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What was the Christian conflict with Rome?
Why were Christians persecuted and what did that persecution look like?


In the first few hundred years of the last millennium 1.5 million people on all sides of the conflict were killed in the Crusades to the Holy Land which was reported to be led by “Christians”.

During the late 1500s in the Wars of Religion in Europe people claiming to be Christians killed 4 million people claiming also to be Christians. If you add in the inquisitions the numbers reach into millions of people claiming to be Christian were killed by people claiming to be Christians.[1] While estimates very the real question is were those killers and persecutors and inquisitors “real Christians”.

Back in the late second century when Romans were persecuting Christians the Taoists of the Yellow Scarves Rebellion in China were causing the death of over 7 million people. A dearth and crop failures had brought famine and displaced the people. The Taoists of that Rebellion had organized the people to rise up and throw off the oppression of corrupt governments as well as those who had become wealthy from their exploitation of cheap labor. Others took advantage of this to become rich at their expense and because of their misfortune.

The truth is if you look at the Democratic Socialist Party, better known as NAZI's in Germany, they apparently killed close to 20 million people including about 9 million Christians only to be outdone by Stalin who killed some three times that number of his own people. China’s People's Revolution topped that with their own efforts to murder each other from World War II to 1970.

The truth is people kill people.

Religion is sometimes used as an excuse. As we have shown there have been two definitions of religion floating around in the minds of men throughout history. There is the religion of love and service steeped in forgiveness and giving and then there is the religion of prideful theological opinions. The more people lean to the definition that “religion” is “what you think about supreme beings” (personal or private theological opinion) the more likely religion can be used as an excuse to oppress and even kill people.

Just as an example, Pope Innocent III, at the Lateran Council in 1215, pronounced it the duty of each secular government to execute heretics and Frederic II obliged him just 5 years later to get himself off the heretic list.

Frederic’s edict said, “Heretics of all sects were outlawed; and when condemned as such by the Church they were to be delivered to the secular arm to be burned.” Even if they recanted they would get life in prison.

But of course the real motivation could be seen in the unjust terms of the edict. “All the property of the heretic was confiscated and his heirs disinherited. His children, to the second generation, were declared ineligible to any positions of emolument or dignity, unless they should win mercy by betraying their father or some other heretic.”

Pope Pius II engaged in this profitable search for heretics as late as 1458 when dead people were still being accused of heresy. They would be literally dug up, put on trial, found guilty, and their remains burned. The key motivation was again that the heirs of estate of the dead heretical ancestor would have all their property confiscated by religious rulers of Rome. And of course someone would have to manage these properties which was often the accusers themselves if not the inquisitors.

The combining of secular powers of the earth with the desires of opinionated theologians was often a recipe for death and oppression. But when you sweep away all the labels like religion and government it comes down to the real causes of mass murder are pride, hate and greed. So the true followers of Jesus the Christ who preached humility, love and charity never killed anyone nor has the religion preached by Jesus caused the death of any people.

Jesus came to serve[2] not to be served. He came to sacrifice himself for others not to make himself[3] or his ministers rich.[4] But a great many people still call themselves “Christians” and believers in Jesus when they are in fact taking that label or name in vain. They are actually workers of iniquity.[5]

RELIGIO quid sit[6]

Those who want to blame religion for the deaths and murder of people often use that label "religion" to cover their own covetous hearts and slothful practices. Pure religion[7] is the way you take care of your obligation to your fellow man. We do that by providing for the widows and orphans and needy families of society who have fallen on hard times. In order to do that in a way that strengthens the poor we need to gather together in a way that allows us to strengthen those in need. The true followers of Christ, John the Baptist, Moses and Abraham want to do that with freewill offerings which is what we call charity while the secularist wants to force the offerings of the people through authoritarian governments.

The people of the world often want to force all people to do what they want, pay for what they want, and do things their way. Such covetous and autocratic practices are anti-Christ whether you rely upon a king or the ballot box. Socialism is secular religion in the sense that it is the way some people take care of the needy of society. The socialist is pro-choice though he or she may profess they are with their lips.

Since the definition of religion just two hundred years ago consisted of “the performance of all known duties to God and our fellow men”[8] the socialist believes that duty should be enforced by secular government. While the socialist may have a variety of opinions about the existence or non-existence of a spiritual supreme being they all believe that some men should have the right to rule as supreme over their fellow man in the performance of that “religious” duty of social care.

“The various modes of worship, which prevailed in the Roman world, were all considered by the people, as equally true; by the philosopher, as equally false; and by the magistrate, as equally useful.” Edward Gibbon (1776)(Chapter II: The Internal Prosperity In The Age Of The Antonines.—Part I. Second Paragraph)

But when Gibbons wrote this quote he was not referring to religion as much as he was speaking of superstition for it appears between two lines with that reference.[9] The real problem with what had become Roman religion was its connection to civil government. Like Herod’s system of Corban the Κορβάν system of Greece and Rome were religious institutions with its “Roman Pontiffs”[10] but forced its offerings through the secular authority of magistrates appointed by civil and imperial governments.[11]

It has been reported that Lucius Annaeus Seneca, the Younger once said "Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by rulers as useful." Atheists and anti-religion factions love to quote him but I find no evidence that he ever did actually say or write this. In fact he makes a distinction between the two Latin words that are each sometimes translated as “religion”. One is “riligio” which he regarded as virtue and “superstitio” which he believed became a vice.[12]

“...just as religion does honour to the gods, while superstition wrongs them, so good men will all display mercy and gentleness,...” Lucius Annaeus Seneca, the Younger , De Clementia On Mercy , II. iv. 4-v. 4

He went on to connect religion with duty, the weightier matters of Christ and the whole list of Social virtues that appear in true fellowship. And he points out that it is avarice that degenerates society:

“ ...[Philosophy’s] sole function is to discover the truth about things divine and things human. From her side religion never departs, nor duty, nor justice, nor any of the whole company of virtues which cling together in close-united fellowship. Philosophy has taught us to worship that which is divine, to love that which is human; she has told us that with the gods lies dominion, and among men, fellowship. This fellowship remained unspoiled for a long time, until avarice tore the community asunder and became the cause of poverty, even in the case of those whom she herself had most enriched. For men cease to possess all things the moment they desire all things for their own.” [13]

That avarice was the “extreme greed for wealth or material gain” at the expense of your neighbor that moves the socialist toward a welfare state. Romans had spoken of and warned Roman society from Polybius to Plutarch and Seneca was no different.

Early Christians were fond of Seneca and his writings, and authors like Tertullian referred to him as "our Seneca." This was because he was not against religion but superstition. Superstition is used to unmoor our understanding from the wisdom of God. We are warned against the same in the Bible's reference to “fables”[14] which is translated from the Greek word “muthos” from which we get the word myth.

There are countless warnings in the Bible and by Christ that we would be deceived by false Christs preached by many professing Christ.[15]

It was Christ and the apostles who preached charity, love and forgiveness and Cain, Nimrod, Caesar and Herod who preached the socialist state which forced offerings compelled by civil government which takes away the freedom of man.

Even Cicero understood that “If we do only what is required of us we are slaves, the moment we do more we are free.” Cicero, 106 - 43 B.C.

A free society cannot survive as free unless the people embrace the wisdom of Christ and walk in His way of love. Coveting the goods or sweat of your neighbor, even though he may be wealthy, drags society into a path of degeneration and hopelessness.

If you will not trust your neighbor to make the righteous choice of helping those in true need why do you trust them with the power to force and distribute contributions needy in society? Those who choose to imagine that people will not volunteer to help their neighbor lack faith but those who want to force the contributions of others covet power more than righteousness. They love their own pride more than they love their neighbor.

In Gibbon’s Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, he praised “the union and discipline of the Christian republic”. He also pointed out that “it gradually formed an independent and increasing state in the heart of the Roman Empire”.[16] The early Christian ekklesia was a republic that was recognized by Rome through the proclamation nailed to the cross of Christ by order of the Proconsul of Rome, Pontius Pilate. When Jesus rose from the dead to stand again upon the earth, so did His Kingdom.

The apostles, when instilled with the Holy Spirit, came out preaching the kingdom of God was at hand and comes to us by grace as we love one another by doing the will of the Father in heaven instead of the fathers of the earth. That Kingdom is now living in the hearts of those who follow His way as doers of His word.

Christ came that the whole World might be saved. He was going to take the kingdom from the Pharisees[17] because they were not bearing fruit, the fruit of Repentance. He complained about their Corban because it was making the word of God to none effect because children were not taking care of the needs of their parents but leaving that to the Corban run through the temple.

Jesus condemned them because they did not attend to the weightier matters. Jesus warned them to call no man on earth Father and not be like the Benefactors who exercised authority. John the Baptist had preached against the forced contribution of the world and said that to make the way of the Lord straight[18] they needed to care for their social needs with charity.

Peter and Paul warn against covetousness and eating that which was offered in these civil systems of social welfare. Peter tells you that it is this covetousness that would return you to bondage and make you human resources, literally Merchandise. He tells you that through these Covetous Practices that you would curse your children with debt and bondage - and you have. You are warned not to bite one another because you will be devoured by this act of unrighteousness.

The early Christians were persecuted for the most part because they did not sign up for Roman welfare for their free Bread and circuses. This was clearly the Christian conflict with Rome.

Modern Christians often claim a belief in Christ and The Way but are not doers of His word and are in need of Repentance.

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Why were Christians persecuted under Gaius Aurelius Valerius Diocletianus Augustus and was he really "the embodiment of irrational ferocity" or a desperate attempt to secure the loyalty and dependence of the people on his regime of power and force?

Diocletianic Persecution

Why were Christians persecuted under Diocletian?

The Diocletianic Persecution was sometimes called the Great Persecution in the Roman empire. In 303, The Emperors including Diocletian at the beginning of the 4th century issued a series of edicts rescinding the legal rights of Christians. This tells us that Christians had legal rights at that point even before Constantine. But rights at Law are not the same as Legal rights. Freedom of religion had existed in Rome but there were times when private religion was outlawed and everyone was commanded by the rulers of the world of Rome to apply to public religion through the Temples of Rome which were government institutions.

Of course Early Church and the true Christians who looked to the Church for their Daily ministration refused to make such an application to the men who called themselves Benefactors but who exercised authority one over the other. This refusal to become a part of the Covetous Practices of a socialist state was the Christian conflict.

Rome had outlawed foreign religions through the edicts of Emperor Septimius Severus but now they demanded that everyone comply with traditional Roman religious practices.

What were those practices?

They demanded all inhabitants sacrifice to the gods many. Modern Christians do not even know who those gods were then or now. They do not understand the real meaning of Religion or why the Corban of the Pharisees made the word of God to none effect. They lack knowledge[19] of the true message of Christ and are often under a Strong Delusion.

In a nation where public welfare was run through government buildings called Temples what did that mean sacrifice to the gods?

The Latin word salus means "safety", "salvation", "welfare". Salus was the goddess of security and well-being so this would include individual welfare, health care and prosperity. This prosperity was perceived as important for the peace of the state and the Pax deorum (“peace of the gods”) was the goal of Roman state religion.

Being at peace with the gods was mutually beneficial to the state and the Roman public welfare (salus publica; cf. Cic. Rab. perd. 5). If the Romans were not providing to the gods their desired worship there would be shortages in the treasuries of the Temples and there would be a shortage in the distributions of salus or welfare and riots would ensue in their decaying cities.

The Christian community grew from 250 to 300 A.D. The estimated population of 1.1 million may have grown to as many as 6 million which may have been about 10% of the empire's total population.

With the rise of its popularity among successful Romans who paid into the Church rather than the Pagan Temples of Rome came jealousy and envy. Christians received a lot of criticism but the real problem as always was the money.

The Christian apologist Arnobius of Sicca wrote Adversus Nationes. He composed it in response to Diocletian's persecution of Christians, and attributes that persecution to financial concerns of providers of welfare benefits through the pagan temples. The Modern Christians do not know how those Temples worked and what they relate to in these modern times.

"The augurs, the dream interpreters, the soothsayers, the prophets, and the priestlings, ever vain...fearing that their own arts be brought to nought, and that they may extort but scanty contributions from the devotees, now few and infrequent, cry aloud, 'The gods are neglected, and in the temples there is now a very thin attendance. Former ceremonies are exposed to derision, and the time-honoured rites of institutions once sacred have sunk before the superstitions of new religions.'"[20]

Religion was more than just superstitions and doctrines. It was the performance of the peoples duty to their fellow man by providing a Daily ministration for the needy of society. Fortūna, equivalent to the Greek goddess Tyche, was the goddess of fortune while Spes was the goddess of hope. The Christians only practiced Pure Religion and did not depend on the the fortunes of the Fathers of Rome in hope for their benefits. Christians depended upon Charity and not the "extort(ed) but scanty contributions from the devotees" subject to the Genius of Rome.[21]

These were cults and the word cult was a noun from cultus originating from the past participle of the verb colo, colere, colui, cultus, which means "to tend, take care of, cultivate".

Cultus was an aspect of the contractual nature of Roman religion.

You could choose any cult, but you had to contribute to one, and would need the symbol of that temple displayed by you outside or in your house. You might carry a pendant.

Understanding things like the Imperial Cult of Rome and the two Welfare_types will give you a perspective on the Christian conflict and the difference between what Rome was doing and what we are doing today.

The Christian Martyrs' Last Prayer, by Jean-Léon Gérôme (1883)

Roman government becomes despotic because the people wanted to force their neighbor to secure their welfare. Corruption followed from this centralization power by focusing the greed and covetous of every man's soul, their "genius", into the office of the emperor. When Diocletian was asked to come back from retirement and settle the grab for power, he replied, "If you could show the cabbage that I planted with my own hands to your emperor, he definitely wouldn't dare suggest that I replace the peace and happiness of this place with the storms of a never-satisfied greed."

A votive deposit or votive offering is one or more objects displayed or deposited, without the intention of recovery or use by the giver, in a sacred place for broadly religious purposes. The Sacrifices upon the living Altars of the Kingdom of God were votive offerings and the compelled and even voluntary offerings given to the temple of Rome were also votive deposits. Things sacred were things given up or over to the priests of religious institutions. Religion was the fulfillment or performance of your duty to your fellow man. That duty included the care or welfare of other members of your society who fell into need.

Rome and Israel, as Republics, both cared for the needy with freewill offerings through a system of ministers. These offerings (also called Corban, qorban, korban) or sacrifice were for religious purposes. Both nations began to force these offerings or contributions through government-run social welfare schemes. This was contrary to the teachings of Moses and the Torah, John the Baptist, Jesus and Paul the Apostle and therefore the early Christian Church. It was also against the principles of many Romans and Greeks like Polybius and Plutarch who warned the people of their Socialist tendencies.

In ancient Roman religion, Annona (Latin annōna “corn, grain; means of subsistence”, from annus "year") is the divine personification of the grain supply to the city of Rome. She is closely connected to the goddess Ceres, with whom she is often depicted in art.

Later edicts targeted the clergy and demanded universal sacrifice, ordering all inhabitants to sacrifice to the genius of the gods.

Diocletian's second edict targeted deacons, lectors, priests, and bishops. These people were essential to providing Church services to the needy of the Christian society. So many were arrested the prison system overflowed which caused criminals to be released.

The fourth edict at the beginning of 304 A.D. ordered all men, women, and children, to gather in a public space and offer a collective sacrifice. If they refused, they were to be executed.

The persecution varied in intensity across the empire — weakest in Gaul and Britain, where only the first edict was applied, and strongest in the Eastern provinces. Persecutory laws were nullified by different emperors at different times, but Constantine and Licinius's Edict of Milan (313) has traditionally marked the end of the persecution.

Evil Elements

There is always an element of a society or of the world[22] that wants to force contributions of their neighbors because they are both covetous and slothful. Early Christians practiced Pure Religion and did not take benefits from Public religion run by men who called themselves Benefactors but exercised authority in the collection of these votive offerings.

"Votive" means something "Given or dedicated in fulfillment of a vow or pledge: a votive offering." The term votive comes from a Latin term which means a vow[see: Vows and Swear not]. When Jews signed up for Herod's public Corban they vowed to pledge regular contribution by statutory directives. The same was true for those who signed up with Augustus and his free Bread and circuses of Rome. Many people saw the error of this way and with the hearing of the Gospel they repented and became Christians.

These same systems have been set up in almost every country and government of the world today. Your national social security contribution is your votive offering given to take care of the needy of your society and the administrators of those systems who enforce your pledges and vows according to statutory directives are your true religious ministers. Early Christians died rather than sign up for such Covetous Practices.

Modern Christians have need of Repentance. If people imagine themselves to be Christian but are not doing what Christ said, not keeping his commandments they may not be Christians at all but merely under a strong delusion, lieing to themselves and to God.

Are you truly faithful, a true believer, a follower of Christ? Are you a worker of iniquity or are you attending to the Weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith which include caring for the needs of our neighbors and the widows and orphans of our society through Pure Religion in matters of health, education, and welfare. We are NOT to provide for the needy of society through the Covetous Practices and the men who call themselves benefactorsbut who exercise authority one over the other like the socialists do.

The Way of Christ was like neither the way of the world of Rome nor the governments of the gentiles who depend on those fathers of the earth through force, fear and fealty who deliver the people back in bondage again like they were in Egypt. Christ's ministers and true Christians do not depend upon systems of social welfare that force the contributions of the people like the corban of the Pharisees which made the word of God to none effect. Many people have been deceived to go the way of Balaam and the Nicolaitan and out of The Way of Christ and have become workers of iniquity.

The Christian conflict with Rome in the first century Church appointed by Christ was because they would not apply to the fathers of the earth for their free bread but instead relied upon a voluntary network providing a daily ministration to the needy of society through Faith, Hope, and Charity by way of freewill offerings of the people, for the people, and by the people through the perfect law of liberty in Free Assemblies according to the ancient pattern of Tuns or Tens as He commanded.

The modern Christians are in need of repentance.

"Follow me!" —Jesus the Christ.


In the Bible on 'persecute'

Deuteronomy 30:7 And the LORD thy God will put all these curses upon thine enemies, and on them that hate thee, which persecuted thee.
Nehemiah 9:11 And thou didst divide the sea before them, so that they went through the midst of the sea on the dry land; and their persecutors thou threwest into the deeps, as a stone into the mighty waters.
Job 19:22 Why do ye persecute me as God, and are not satisfied with my flesh?
Job 19:28 But ye should say, Why persecute we him, seeing the root of the matter is found in me?
Psalms 7:1 « Shiggaion of David, which he sang unto the LORD, concerning the words of Cush the Benjamite. » O LORD my God, in thee do I put my trust: save me from all them that persecute me, and deliver me:
Psalms 7:5 Let the enemy persecute my soul, and take it; yea, let him tread down my life upon the earth, and lay mine honour in the dust. Selah.
Psalms 7:13 He hath also prepared for him the instruments of death; he ordaineth his arrows against the persecutors.
Psalms 10:2 The wicked in his pride doth persecute the poor: let them be taken in the devices that they have imagined.
Psalms 31:15 My times are in thy hand: deliver me from the hand of mine enemies, and from them that persecute me.
Psalms 35:3 Draw out also the spear, and stop the way against them that persecute me: say unto my soul, I am thy salvation.
Psalms 35:6 Let their way be dark and slippery: and let the angel of the LORD persecute them.
Psalms 69:26 For they persecute him whom thou hast smitten; and they talk to the grief of those whom thou hast wounded.
Psalms 71:11 Saying, God hath forsaken him: persecute and take him; for there is none to deliver him.
Psalms 83:15 So persecute them with thy tempest, and make them afraid with thy storm.
Psalms 109:16 Because that he remembered not to shew mercy, but persecuted the poor and needy man, that he might even slay the broken in heart.
Psalms 119:84 How many are the days of thy servant? when wilt thou execute judgment on them that persecute me?
Psalms 119:86 All thy commandments are faithful: they persecute me wrongfully; help thou me.
Psalms 119:157 Many are my persecutors and mine enemies; yet do I not decline from thy testimonies.
Psalms 119:161 SCHIN. Princes have persecuted me without a cause: but my heart standeth in awe of thy word.
Psalms 142:6 Attend unto my cry; for I am brought very low: deliver me from my persecutors; for they are stronger than I.
Psalms 143:3 For the enemy hath persecuted my soul; he hath smitten my life down to the ground; he hath made me to dwell in darkness, as those that have been long dead.
Isaiah 14:6 He who smote the people in wrath with a continual stroke, he that ruled the nations in anger, is persecuted, and none hindereth.
Jeremiah 15:15 O LORD, thou knowest: remember me, and visit me, and revenge me of my persecutors; take me not away in thy longsuffering: know that for thy sake I have suffered rebuke.
Jeremiah 17:18 Let them be confounded that persecute me, but let not me be confounded: let them be dismayed, but let not me be dismayed: bring upon them the day of evil, and destroy them with double destruction.
Jeremiah 20:11 But the LORD is with me as a mighty terrible one: therefore my persecutors shall stumble, and they shall not prevail: they shall be greatly ashamed; for they shall not prosper: their everlasting confusion shall never be forgotten.
Jeremiah 29:18 And I will persecute them with the sword, with the famine, and with the pestilence, and will deliver them to be removed to all the kingdoms of the earth, to be a curse, and an astonishment, and an hissing, and a reproach, among all the nations whither I have driven them:
Lamentations 1:3 Judah is gone into captivity because of affliction, and because of great servitude: she dwelleth among the heathen, she findeth no rest: all her persecutors overtook her between the straits.
Lamentations 3:43 Thou hast covered with anger, and persecuted us: thou hast slain, thou hast not pitied.
Lamentations 3:66 Persecute and destroy them in anger from under the heavens of the LORD.
Lamentations 4:19 Our persecutors are swifter than the eagles of the heaven: they pursued us upon the mountains, they laid wait for us in the wilderness.
Lamentations 5:5 Our necks are under persecution: we labour, and have no rest.

Matthew 5:10 Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Matthew 5:11 Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.
Matthew 5:12 Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.
Matthew 5:44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;
Matthew 10:23 But when they persecute you in this city, flee ye into another: for verily I say unto you, Ye shall not have gone over the cities of Israel, till the Son of man be come.
Matthew 13:21 Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended.
Matthew 23:34 Wherefore, behold, I send unto you prophets, and wise men, and scribes: and some of them ye shall kill and crucify; and some of them shall ye scourge in your synagogues, and persecute them from city to city:
Mark 4:17 And have no root in themselves, and so endure but for a time: afterward, when affliction or persecution ariseth for the word’s sake, immediately they are offended.
Mark 10:30 But he shall receive an hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world to come eternal life.
Luke 11:49 Therefore also said the wisdom of God, I will send them prophets and apostles, and some of them they shall slay and persecute:
Luke 21:12 But before all these, they shall lay their hands on you, and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues, and into prisons, being brought before kings and rulers for my name’s sake.
John 5:16 And therefore did the Jews persecute Jesus, and sought to slay him, because he had done these things on the sabbath day.
John 15:20 Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also.
Acts 7:52 Which of the prophets have not your fathers persecuted? and they have slain them which shewed before of the coming of the Just One; of whom ye have been now the betrayers and murderers:
Acts 8:1 And Saul was consenting unto his death. And at that time there was a great persecution against the church which was at Jerusalem; and they were all scattered abroad throughout the regions of Judaea and Samaria, except the apostles.
Acts 9:4 And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?
Acts 9:5 And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.
Acts 11:19 Now they which were scattered abroad upon the persecution that arose about Stephen travelled as far as Phenice, and Cyprus, and Antioch, preaching the word to none but unto the Jews only.
Acts 13:50 But the Jews stirred up the devout and honourable women, and the chief men of the city, and raised persecution against Paul and Barnabas, and expelled them out of their coasts.
Acts 22:4 And I persecuted this way unto the death, binding and delivering into prisons both men and women.
Acts 22:7 And I fell unto the ground, and heard a voice saying unto me, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?
Acts 22:8 And I answered, Who art thou, Lord? And he said unto me, I am Jesus of Nazareth, whom thou persecutest.
Acts 26:11 And I punished them oft in every synagogue, and compelled them to blaspheme; and being exceedingly mad against them, I persecuted them even unto strange cities.
Acts 26:14 And when we were all fallen to the earth, I heard a voice speaking unto me, and saying in the Hebrew tongue, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.
Acts 26:15 And I said, Who art thou, Lord? And he said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest.
Romans 8:35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
Romans 12:14 Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not.
1 Corinthians 4:12 And labour, working with our own hands: being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we suffer it:
1 Corinthians 15:9 For I am the least of the apostles, that am not meet to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.
2 Corinthians 4:9 Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed;
2 Corinthians 12:10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.
Galatians 1:13 For ye have heard of my conversation in time past in the Jews’ religion, how that beyond measure I persecuted the church of God,
Galatians 1:23 But they had heard only, That he which persecuted us in times past now preacheth the faith which once he destroyed.
Galatians 4:29 But as then he that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the Spirit, even so it is now.
Galatians 5:11 And I, brethren, if I yet preach circumcision, why do I yet suffer persecution? then is the offence of the cross ceased.
Galatians 6:12 As many as desire to make a fair shew in the flesh, they constrain you to be circumcised; only lest they should suffer persecution for the cross of Christ.
Philippians 3:6 Concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless.
1 Thessalonians 2:15 Who both killed the Lord Jesus, and their own prophets, and have persecuted us; and they please not God, and are contrary to all men:
2 Thessalonians 1:4 So that we ourselves glory in you in the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that ye endure:
1 Timothy 1:13 Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: but I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief.
2 Timothy 3:11 Persecutions, afflictions, which came unto me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra; what persecutions I endured: but out of them all the Lord delivered me.
2 Timothy 3:12 Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.
Revelation 12:13 And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man child.

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  1. There are much higher estimates that reach numbers like 60 million for the inquisitions alone. We need to realize that the long bloody history of people claiming to be the Church killing and persecuting others with a claim of belief goes back centuries over all of Europe.
  2. Luke 22:27 For whether [is] greater, he that sitteth at meat, or he that serveth? [is] not he that sitteth at meat? but I am among you as he that serveth.
  3. 2 Corinthians 8:9 For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich.
  4. Luke 14:26 If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.
    Luke 14:33 So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple.
  5. Luke 13:27 But he shall say, I tell you, I know you not whence ye are; depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity.
  6. RELIGION what it is
  7. James 1:27 Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, [and] to keep himself unspotted from the world.
  8. John Bouvier's 1856 Law Dictionary
  9. “The policy of the emperors and the senate, as far as it concerned religion, was happily seconded by the reflections of the enlightened, and by the habits of the superstitious, part of their subjects....The superstition of the people was not embittered by any mixture of theological rancour; nor was it confined by the chains of any speculative system.”
  10. A pontiff is from Latin pontifex. In Roman antiquity they were the high priests of the Roman religion.
  11. “The magistrates could not be actuated by a blind, though honest bigotry, since the magistrates were themselves philosophers; and the schools of Athens had given laws to the senate. They could not be impelled by ambition or avarice, as the temporal and ecclesiastical powers were united in the same hands. The pontiffs were chosen among the most illustrious of the senators; and the office of Supreme Pontiff was constantly exercised by the emperors themselves. They knew and valued the advantages of religion, as it is connected with civil government.” Chapter 2, Fall In The West from The Decline And Fall Of The Roman Empire by Edward Gibbon
  12. RELIGIO et superstitio quid different. What difference between religion and superstition
  13. Moral letters to Lucilius by Seneca, Letter XC. On the Part Played by Philosophy in the Progress of Man
  14. 1 Timothy 1:4 Neither give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which minister questions, rather than godly edifying which is in faith: so do.
    1 Timothy 4:7 But refuse profane and old wives’ fables, and exercise thyself rather unto godliness.
    2 Timothy 4:4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.
    Titus 1:14 Not giving heed to Jewish fables, and commandments of men, that turn from the truth.
  15. Matthew 24:4 And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you.
    Matthew 24:5 For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.
    Matthew 24:11 And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.
    Matthew 24:24 For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.
    Mark 13:5 And Jesus answering them began to say, Take heed lest any man deceive you:
    Mark 13:6 For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.
    Romans 16:18 For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple.
    1 Corinthians 3:18 Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you seemeth to be wise in this world, let him become a fool, that he may be wise.
    Ephesians 4:14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;
    Ephesians 5:6 Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience.
    2 Thessalonians 2:3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;
    1 John 1:8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
    1 John 3:7 Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous.
    Revelation 20:3 And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season.
    Revelation 20:8 And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea.
  16. Rousseau and Revolution, Will et Ariel Durant p.801. fn 83 Heiseler, 85.
  17. Matthew 21:43 Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof.
  18. Psalms 5:8 Lead me, O LORD, in thy righteousness because of mine enemies; make thy way straight before my face.
    Isaiah 40:3 The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the LORD, make straight in the desert a highway for our God.
    Matthew 3:3 For this is he that was spoken of by the prophet Esaias, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.
    Mark 1:3 The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.
    Luke 3:4 As it is written in the book of the words of Esaias the prophet, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.
    John 1:23 He said, I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, Make straight the way of the Lord, as said the prophet Esaias.
  19. Hosea 4:6 ¶ My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.
  20. Arnobius, Adversus Nationes, 1.24, qtd. in Davies, 79–80, from a translation by Bryce and Campbell.
  21. In Roman religion, the genius (Latin: [ˈɡɛ.nɪ.ʊs]; plural geniī) is the individual instance of a divine nature which is present in every individual. Much like a guardian angel or the Holy Spirit, the genius would guide each individual from birth to death. The rational powers and abilities of every human being were attributed to their soul, which was a genius.
  22. Galatians 4:3 Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world:
    Galatians 4:9 But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage?
    Colossians 2:8 Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments (elements) of the world, and not after Christ.
    Colossians 2:20 Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments (elements) of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances,
    Hebrews 5:12 For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles (elements) of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat.
    2 Peter 3:10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.
    2 Peter 3:12 Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?
  23. Matthew 20:25-26 But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them. But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister;
    Mark 10:42-43 But Jesus called them to him, and saith unto them, Ye know that they which are accounted to rule over the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and their great ones exercise authority upon them. But so shall it not be among you: but whosoever will be great among you, shall be your minister:
    Luke 22:25-26 And he said unto them, The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and they that exercise authority upon them are called benefactors. But ye shall not be so: but he that is greatest among you, let him be as the younger; and he that is chief, as he that doth serve.

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