Title: Eusebius' Ecclesiastical History
Plot: Most Christians have heard Peter was crucified upside down, but do you know how you know? Because of Eusebius! The man who in 300 AD collected all the writings from the time of Christ to his day, organizing them, assessing their authenticity, and making a history. His work earned him the title, the father of church history!
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Listen to "Eusebius’ Ecclesiastical History Part 6 [20 Mins]" on Spreaker.
Hey, Welcome to Part 6 of Eusebius’ Ecclesiastical History of the Church. I imagine some of you realize that what I’m saying is a little bit redundant. Meaning that since the word Ecclesiastical actually means church, I'm essentially saying, Welcome to part 6 of Eusebius’ Church History of the Church” which I grant you is a little absurd. I've been saying it that way because I dislike the idea of altering the title of the book. So going forward I'm going to start saying, "Welcome to Eusebius' church history". Cause it's short and clear.
It would seem that today is a day for confessions because I confess it feels strange to release such a serious podcast before Christmas. So if you're looking for an uplifting Christmas message this ain't it. I posted those a week ago because I figured it would give everyone a week to find and enjoy them, rather than posting a message most people would only care about for one day. So if you’re after a Christmas message today, look for the messages called, Christmas Miracle and the other one called the best Christmas Story You Have Ever Heard. And no I am not arrogant much.
For those of you who are following this deep study series, today is the message we’ve all been waiting for. I told you I would describe the famine in part 6 and it is the first thing we’ll discuss. But before we do, I want you to think about something while you listen. I want you to ask yourselves, “How would our country be different if our churches taught that there are not only real, but severe consequences for rejecting Jesus?” And in particular if they shared the message you’re about to hear today.
Please remember, that the people God judged are those directly involved in the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. So while you might be tempted to feel sorry or them, I assure you they deserve it. Today’s podcast should reveal in fact just how stubborn these people were. They were so stubborn that after a forty year grace period and all of the calamities I described in part 5, and the famine I’m describing in this one, after all that, they still went to their graves dying like dogs because they refused to consider the question, “Is it possible I could have been wrong?”
Sadly people are exactly that stubborn and thus we require these story examples to derail us from our penchant for self destruction.
Now In addition to the people, who died in stubbornness refusing to consider they might be wrong, there were those who died knowing they were wrong. They knew who Christ was, and willfully decided to rebel against God, seeing the opportunity afforded by God suddenly being accessible and in the flesh. And so under the guise of righteousness, hiding under the cloak of holiness, the Pharisees, the Sadducees and the Scribes conspired together to kill the son of God. Knowing full well who he was. Jesus foretold their decision in the parable where he spoke of the men who decided to slay the son of the vineyard landowner to seize his inheritance. And those are the people he meant.
The Bible makes it clear that some of them knew damn well what they were doing and not only did they do it anyway. They recruited others to their cause.
And so the people dying are the generation of men and women who crucified our Lord, some died knowingly and others died in ignorance, but all of them died in their stubbornness. And so be warned: if you want your stubbornness you can keep it, but it may send you to hell. And since God doesn’t want to lose you, don’t expect that ride to be fun. God gives us every opportunity to change our mind and our destination. But the choice is yours. You may make all the decisions, but God does control the thermostat.
And so we begin chapter 6. In chapter 6 we learn details about the famine. And Eusebius begins as follows:
"It was dangerous for the more wealthy to remain. For under the pretext of desertion, a man was slain for his wealth. But the madness of the rioters increased with the famine, and misery was inflamed from day to day. Provisions were plainly nowhere to be had. Hence robbers burst into houses to search for food, and if they found any, they would scourge the owners as if they intended to withhold it; but if they found none, they tortured them as if it were concealng it. The bodies of the poor wretches were evidence whether they had food or not. Those sound in health, were supposed to have an abundance of food, but those skeletal they passed by: it seemed absurd to kill men who were soon likely to die, anyway.
Many secretly exchanged their property, their property, for a single measure of wheat, if they happened to be the more wealthy; they got a measure of barley.
Famine surpasses all other evils, but it destroys nothing so effectually as shame; for that which would otherwise demand some regard, is contemned in this. Thus wives tore food away from the mouths of their husbands, children from their parents, and what was most wretched of all, mothers from their infants.
The only people that flourished in the famine were the thieves who were so evil that they would burst into homes, that had become sepulchers and they would try their swords on the lifeless. If the person, sprang to life, they thrust them through, but upon encountering someone who was nearly dead who asked to be killed, them they left to die slowly.
Josephus said, “I cannot hesitate to declare what my feelings demand. I think that had the Romans lingered to proceed against these guilty wretches (speaking of the thieves), the city would either have been swallowed up by the opening earth, or overwhelmed with a flood, or like Sodom, been struck with the lightning. For it bore a much more impious race than those who once endured such visitations. Thus, by the madness of these wretches, the whole people perished."
The robbers searched for food among those who appeared to be dying, lest they were concealing it.
But the robbers themselves, with their mouths wide open for want of food, roved and straggled hither and thither, like mad dogs, beating the doors as if drunk; and for want of counsel, rushing two or three times an hour into the same houses.
Eusebius concluded this chapter with a story of cannibalism. This was considered to be the worst story of them all:
A woman who had recently moved into the area with goods and possessions was repeatedly robbed. As you can imagine, her abundance made her the obvious target and so she was quickly reduced to nothing apart from her and her child. And yet the robbers persisted day after day hour after hour breaking in to search for food.
And by the way, food, had taken on a new definition. Belts and shoes were considered food now, anything leather or wax like candles were boiled and eaten. This was a horrific existence reducing people to walking and crawling skeletons. Some dying others pretending to be dying just to be left alone.
This woman one day looked at her child and asked the question, “What kind of life am I saving you for? How can I bring you into this world with a hope to raise you or educate you and yet consign you to this existence?” And so she killed her baby. <re-record with pauses and slow down!>
She cooked and ate half her baby, anticipating the arrival of the thieves she covered the other half. When they came and smelled the food they demanded it and she revealed her half-eaten son and bade them eat, or leave her so she could finish. The thieves as base and cruel as they were, were so horrified by what she’d done that they left and she finished her child. <re-record with pauses and slow down!>
Now you might wonder why did she leave half? It's because she understood, she realized that they would smell the smell of food and not believing what she'd done. She needed to provide some evidence.
Word spread throughout Jerusalem and everyone was horrified not so much by what she’d done, but because they knew they, too were capable of it. They mourned as if they committed the sin themselves because for all intents and purposes, they had.
I once heard a pastor say the difference between a righteous man and a liar is four meals, the difference between a liar and a thief is eight and the difference between a thief and a murderer is twelve. We can quibble over the number of meals in question, but the next time you get it in your mind to talk about your goodness, understand that your goodness is a function of God’s grace in your life. The Bible says he won’t confront you with temptations you can’t handle and that is an act of mercy because if he did, there isn’t a soul in this world apart from Jesus Christ, who would not degenerate into something wicked and vile.
In an earlier podcast I commented that power corrupts and that absolute power corrupts absolutely. And so this dynamic actually goes both ways. Whether you are confronted by abject poverty and starvation, or by unlimited power and opportunity, the only thing that will keep civilization from tipping into the Abyss is God’s grace, mercy and his consequences. The consequences designed to keep us in check.
And so when I see people calling for an end to prayer in school, followed by school shootings and police zones; I’m not terribly surprised. Because you see action is followed by consequence. That's what we call: normal. You stick your finger into a light socket and you get shocked. So why then are you shocked when you call for an end to prayer in school and people die?
I see people indulging in the use of manipulation, trickery and lies and thus witchcraft. In other words, open rebellion against the God who loved them so much he died on the cross for them. The problem being they loved themselves so much they became murders.
I’ll share a quick parable with you. This is one of my own. Meaning I made it with God’s help. And what it does well is it illustrates that murder is often done slowly and in increments. And so here we go:
There once was a power hungry man who desperately wanted to be a hero. Having no qualities of particular significance he resolved to creating emergencies himself and then saving his victims. His love for himself was so great he refused to acknowledge the reality that one of his victims was his favorite. She desperately wanted a hero and he desperately wanted to be one. They became codependent and fed on each other. She sucked the life out of him, while he victimized and abused her, scaring her to death. Little did they know they were both bloodthirsty murderers sucking the life from each other... because little did they know. The problem was they both enjoyed the arrangement so, that they spiraled toward death together, whistling through the graveyard, digging their own graves, and lying down in them indulging in a sleep that grew longer each night until the will to wake was only just a dream.
Admittedly this parable is very specific. It describes a death spiral. And unless someone or something intervenes, the codependency becomes deadly. For the sake of momentary gratification, the two parties create and endure permanent permanent damage.
Being a parable it’s a warning and as you can imagine I know people who fit this description. So let me tell you a quick true story, now:
There was a woman dating a man for his money. Neither one of them was a prize. She wore him down over a period of a handful of years. She convinced him to take out an insurance policy on himself and shortly thereafter, using her winning personality she drove him to commit suicide. It was a tragedy because after literally nagging him to death and repeatedly skewering him in public humiliation, she finally got her wish, except that she didn’t. She couldn’t collect the money, because he had commit suicide. You would think that would have been obvious, but she was no rocket scientist. And her only regret was that she didn't paid for all that work.
Some people are monsters, whether they can see it themselves or not.
The man in the parable must stop manufacturing emergencies and the woman must stop looking to her abuser as her hero. Both should turn to God... Him for forgiveness and in repentance and her for salvation because he is her idol.
Getting back to the text:
Chapter seven is where we discover that those over seventeen were sent prisoners to labor in mines in Egypt and those under seventeen were sold as slaves. That might sound like it’s a lot of people, but over one million died in the famine alone. The rest were killed either because they were trampled, they were trying to leave Jerusalem with the Egyptian false prophet, or because of the robbers. The ones who went in and killed them for their food. Some died in the Colosseums at the hands of animals.
You may recall that Jesus wept because of Jerusalem and he said, “the days will come upon thee, and shall encompass thee around, and shall everywhere shut thee in, and they shall level thee and they children with the ground.” To be leveled with the ground is not only graphic it's specific.
When I was in Ethopia I often saw shadows in the road that were in the shape of horses. And that’s because when a horse dies on the road they leave it there and the cars then hit it drive it into the ground — until it's leveled with the ground and thereafter you only see a shadow of the former animal. So when Jesus says that Jerusalem shall be trodden down by the nations, now you know what that means.
Both Eusebius and Josephus commented that God gave Israel a forty year grace period, which is about half a lifetime, and when they failed to repent, the sword of divine justice unleashed his wrath for crucifying Jesus and martyring the apostles.
Before you started this series, most of my church going friends knew that the apostles were martyred, but I wonder how many knew the sword of divine justice cut the Jews down for doing it.
In Chapter 8, Eusebius turns back the clock somewhat to the time just before the extermination of the generation of Jews who crucified Jesus.
Ironically, he makes the comment that the Jews embraced false gods and false prophets as if struck with stupidity, while they rejected Christ and his apostles.
And sadly they viewed the omens of their destruction as signs of good tidings. At one time a star much in appearance like a sword stood above the holy city, and a comet was seen for a whole year.
During the feast of unleavened bread (which by the way, commemorated their exodus from Egypt) a great light shone around the altar and the temple so as to seem a bright day. This continued for 30 minutes and the people, believe it or not, thought that that was a good sign, imagine thinking that after what you had done. But the scribes understood it for it's significance. At that same festival a cow gave birth to a lamb and this happened when the priest slaughtered it for a sacrifice. The eastern gate opened all by itself, and that was a sight to behold because that gate is really really heavy.
Before the sunset chariots and armed troops were circling the city in the sky among the clouds. And they heard a confused voice that said, “Let us go hence.”
Jesus the son of Ananias began to cry out, “A voice from the east, a voice from the west, a voice from the four winds. A voice against Jerusalem and the temple, a voice against bridegrooms and brides, a voice against all people.” Even after being seized and scourged he continued repeating that cry night and day. And even after being scourged to the bone he shed no tear and with every blow he said, “Alas, alas for Jerusalem.”
In chapter 9 we learn that for his exemplary work, Josephus was honored with a statue in Rome and a special place in the library for all twenty of his books on the Antiquities of the Jews and the history of the Jewish War that are in seven books.
In chapter 10 Eusebius returns to the matter of the authenticity of the books in the holy Scriptures. He says, There are 22 that embrace the record of all history and are justly considered divine compositions. Of them 5 are the five books of Moses, which covers a space of nearly 3,000 years by the way. The prophets cover the period of time from Moses to Artaxerxes of Persia in 13 books. And the remaining four books are hymns and praises to God and precepts for regulation of human life.
In the lapse of so many ages no one has dared to alter the Scriptures. It was implanted in the Jews from the origin of the nation to consider them the doctrines of God and die for them if necessary. This is again with regard to those 22 books.
Josephus accused Justus of Tiberias of not writing according to the truth. And said of his own writings, “I am not afraid respecting mine, but have presented them to the emperors themselves as the facts occurred almost under their very eyes.”
King Agrippa wrote sixty-two letters bearing testimony to their truth of Josephus' history.
In Chapter 11 Eusebius turns the clock back again, quite a bit this time. He says, the apostles choose Simeon, son of Cleophas as successor to James the Just over the church in Jerusalem. The decision was unanimous. So we’ve gone back to the time just after the third martyrdom of the apostles. Cleophas was by the way was the brother of Joseph making Simeon the cousin of Christ.
In Chapter 12 we discover that Vespasian declared war on the house of David. He sought to cut off the entire holy line, which triggered a violent persecution of the Jews.
In chapter 13 we learn that Vespasian was succeeded by his son Titus who was succeeded by his brother Domitian. That’s with regard to the emperors. And with regard to the church in Rome Linus was succeeded by Anancletus. And in just two chapters, which is chapter 15, we learn that Anancletus was succeeded by Clement.
In chapter 14 we learn that the first bishop of Alexandria after Mark, died and was replaced by Avilius.
And In chapters 15 and 16 we learn that Clement became bishop of Rome and wrote an epistle to the church of Corinth one that was both long and popular. Apparently there was a sedition in Corinth that is detailed by Hegesippus.
In Chapter 17 we find out that Domitian was abusive and was compared to Nero. He killed many of the noblemen of Rome punishing others with exile and confiscation of property. And he was especially considered successor to Nero in his hatred and hostility toward God.
Chapter 18 resolved some open questions I had about the man named John. According to the Bible, there was an apostle that Christ loved and I always wondered if it was the John who was imprisoned on the island of Patmos, the one who wrote the book of Revelation. Turns out it was.
And chapter 18 continues to tell us a little more about John. Justin who is also called Iraneas said in his history that if it were necessary to declare the name of the the Antichrist openly at the present time, then John, would have stated it in his book of Revelation.
And so this is where I’ll interject what I’ve learned from research into other historical documents. And again why I believe doing homework outside the Bible is not only desirable, but fascinating and in some cases vital. Eventually I'll do the review on these books and you will hear this for yourself:
But while Justin didn’t think it was necessary to state the antichrist's name openly, at the time that was two thousand years ago So I'm gonna tell you his name: it’s Nimrod, the man responsible for building the tower of Babel. That's right. That is exactly what I said. Nimrod the man who commisseioned the building of the tower of Babel. He goes by other names because you will recall that as a result of that incident the languages were confounded and so I know he has 70 different names, though I don't know them all. Nimrod is the Hebrew version of his name. Osiris was the Egyptian. He is part of the unholy trinity that has a woman at the top, her name is Semiramus in the Hebrew and in the Egyptian... Any guesses? Her name is Isis. Since it’s been a while since I’ve done the study I only remember a handful of their names. And the reason I remember the Egyptian ones is because in addition to an unholy trinity, I expect an unholy resurrection.
So I'm sharing a theory in progress that is an educated guess based on research. Remind yourself that the devil is called the great counterfeiter, which means he copies God. If God has a holy trinity, the devil has an unholy one. If God has a resurrection, he wants one also. Remember that the Egyptian magicians emulated the miracles performed by Moses. And that’s a useful clue. So when the Bible says the last days will be like the days of Noah, I believe that means that some of the same people who were here before will be back. Yeah...
Remember, Osiris had himself embalmed and mummified in a religious ceremony? And for those of you who follow my podcasts, you know that I’ve commented that the Bible says sin came into the world and makes things worse and worse, while evolution says things get better and better. Casual observation only confirms what the Bible says.
And so this is important because if the body of Osiris AKA Nimrod is resurrected, he will be many orders of magnitude stronger than modern day man. And this accounts for the interest that modern day science has in genetics. And it also explains how those heavy heavy heavy pyramids were built. They were built by men who were much stronger than we are.
Revelation makes the comment that in the last days men will seek death and not find it. And this implies that science solves the problem of death. Could it really be that much of a leap to restore someone who was once alive?
Since I’m wandering off the topic, I will end this digression by reminding you that in the book of Revelation John comments that the people will marvel at the Antichrist because he was, is not, and will be again. Meaning he was here and he died, and he's coming back. I’ll read you Revelation 17:8:
The beast that you saw was, and is not, and is about to rise from the bottomless pit and go to destruction. And the dwellers on earth whose names have not been written in the book of life from the foundation of the world will marvel to see the beast, because it was, is not and is to come.
I forget which historical documents gave me the basis for this theory, but since I'm re-reading everything I’ve ever read for this channel, at some point you’re gonna learn it, too.
So getting back to chapter 18 it ends with the comment that Flavia Domitilla the niece of Flavia Clemens was transported with others who professed Christ to the island of Pontia.
Chapter 19 makes an interesting comment. It says Judas was a descendant of David. And this was relevant because Domitian ordered the extermination of the holy line. However, it may have been referring to another Judas. Besides Judas Iscariot. It implies this Judas might have been the one who was the brother of Christ. Incidentally, a cursory Google search revealed that Christ did have a brother named Judas, but I will be looking for confirmations.
This does make me curious about Judas Iscariot. I've never looked into it before. It would be fascinating to discover he was the brother of Christ. But don't quote me on that because that's just... because I don't even consider that to be a good guess. I think that that's probably unlikely.
Right here is as good a place as any to stop for today.
Just by way of letting you know, though I will continue the deep study on this book, I will after Christmas, kickoff a new study one for valentines day. I thought I’d spent six weeks on it since love is so complicated.
Anyway, that’s all folks. As always thank you for listening! And y’all come back now, ya here?