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"Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory." I Peter 1:8
The first century church was established by Christ in A. D. 33. It remained true as a whole, but even in early times some were starting to depart from the faith
(I Timothy 4:1-3). Both the Bible and history shows how mankind are often not satisfied with what God tells them, thus creating religion and churches of their liking. The form of church government was gradually changed by some men who desired preeminence in the churches.
These men began to regard themselves as successors to the apostles. In 325 A.D. Constantine recognized the Council of Nicea as the first official church law-making assembly. He made Christianity the national religion of the Roman Empire and stopped all persecution against Christians. There were many changes in organization, worship, moral standards, name, etc, brought about by the various councils.
Take note because many of the foundational errors that "churches" have adopted today were solidified here.
Remember the ONE church that Jesus Christ founded and established was upon His resurrection in 33 A.D. (this is the 1st century). Five centuries LATER in 608 A.D. Boniface proclaimed himself the "universal bishop" of the "papa," setting the precedent for all subsequent popes, an office unknown prior to that time.
(Do you see this title in your Bible?)
The Council of 1870 (Vatican Council) proclaimed the doctrine of papal infallibility, culminating the authority claims for the traditions of the hierarchy, termed by Jesus as "doctrines and commandments" (Matthew 15:7-9).
A major division occurred in 1054. The eastern division became known as the Greek Catholic Church ("The Holy Orthodox Catholic Apostolic Eastern Church"). The official name of the western church became "The Holy Catholic Apostolic and Roman Church."
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