Bartholomew was an Apostle of Jesus Christ. And with this story, comes the legend of the children of Israel, that is Jacob, son of Isaac, son of Abraham. It highlights a portion in time when the people of God were in transgression and had been scattered throughout the earth, as they are to this day. For their help, He sent them His servants, the Prophets, His own son, Jesus, and his Apostles. In most every instance, they have been met with hostility and persecution because what they had to say was not well received. But they persevered because they had been sent by God Himself to correct His people and turn them back to Him.
August 24, is celebrated and remembered throughout Christendom as the feast day of the Apostle, Bartholomew. He was numbered among the twelve original Apostles who followed Jesus and were witnesses to all that he said and did. Before he died, Jesus sent them out to teach their brethren all things he had taught them. They were all tortured and killed, as Jesus was, for their testimony except one. That one was John who was exiled and from whom we have the Book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ, the last book of the Bible. Jesus had twelve Apostles, one for each of the twelve tribes of the House of Israel/Jacob. Bartholomew was also known in the Gospels as Nathaniel. Jesus pointed to him and said, “Behold! an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile!” (John 1:47)
According to ancient tradition, Christianity was first preached in Armenia by two Apostles of Christ, Thaddeus and Bartholomew. During the first three centuries of Christianity in Armenia its followers had to remain a hidden congregation because of persecution. Indeed Christ led his followers into being persecuted for his name’s sake, as were the Prophets before him. He had told them before-time to expect it. Even Paul/Saul persecuted followers of Christ before his conversion and then after that he himself was killed. (Acts 7-8)
The Land of the Medes
The popular traditions concerning St. Bartholomew say ‘he preached the gospel of Christ in India; from there he went to Greater Armenia, in the area of the Caucasus Mountains, and when he had converted many people there, he was flayed alive and by the command of the king, beheaded. . . The place where he was killed is said to have been Albanopoli. He also had preached in Mesopotamia, Persia, Egypt and elsewhere. These are all places he would have encountered scattered Israelites.
‘India’ was a name applied by Greek and Latin writers to Arabia, Ethiopia, Lybia, Parthia, Persia and the land of the Medes (Media), where they worshiped Mithra, Zoroastrianism and the Sun (Sol Invictus).
Where was the House Israel?
The Book of Second Kings in the Old Testament of the Bible gives an account of the House of Israel having their land flooded with other peoples from round about and being taken captive into Assyria and placed “…in the land of the Medes.” (2 Kings 17:6-23) This happened to them for their disobedience to the commands of God delivered to them by the prophets. They practiced the worship the gods, Baal and Ishtar/Ashtoreth. Thaddeus and Bartholomew knew exactly where they were because that’s where they went at Christ’s instruction!
“The Lost Sheep of the House of Israel”
“The names of the twelve apostles are these; The first, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother (patron saint of Scotland); James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother; Philip, and Bartholomew; Thomas, and Matthew the publican; James the son of Alphaeus, and Lebbaeus, whose surname was Thaddaeus; Simon the Canaanite, and Judas Iscariot, who also betrayed him. These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, ‘Don’t go into the way of the heathen and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not: But go rather to the Lost Sheep of the House of Israel. And as you go, preach, saying, ‘The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.’”Matthew 10:1-7
Jeremiah Spoke of the Lost Sheep in the Last Days
“In those days, and in that time, saith the LORD, the children of Israel shall come, they and the children of Judah together, coming and weeping: they shall come and seek the LORD their God. They shall ask the way to Zion with their faces turned toward there, saying, ‘Come, and let us join ourselves to the LORD in a perpetual covenant that shall not be forgotten.’ My people have been lost sheep: their shepherds have caused them to go astray … they have forgotten their restingplace.”Jeremiah 50:4-6
A Falling Away First…
“Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord the Christ/Messiah, and by our gathering together to him, That you are not soon shaken in mind, or troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the Day of Christ is at hand. 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 is revealed, the son of perdition…”Paul the Apostle, 2 Thessalonians 2:1-12
Going Forward in Time
After the invention of the printing press, a form of the Bible was finally printed. As soon as the people started reading it they realized Roman Catholicism had been teaching false doctrines and their clergy was corrupt. When they turned away, they became known as Protestants. Anti-Protestantism dates back to before the Protestant Reformation itself, as various pre-Protestant groups were persecuted in Roman Catholic Europe. Protestants were not tolerated throughout most of Europe until the Peace of Augsburg of 1555 approved Lutheranism as an alternative for Roman Catholicism as a state religion of various states within the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation. Calvinism was not recognized until the Peace of Westphalia of 1648. Other states, such as France, made similar agreements in the early stages of the Reformation. Poland–Lithuania had a long history of tolerance. However, the tolerance stopped after the Thirty Years’ War in Germany, the persecution of Huguenots and the French Wars of Religion in France, the change in power between Protestant and Roman Catholic rulers after the death of Henry VIII of England in England, and the launch of the Counter-Reformation in Italy, Spain, Habsburg Austria and Poland-Lithuania.
The Protestant Reformation led to a long period of warfare and communal violence between Catholic and Protestant factions, sometimes leading to massacres and forced suppression of the alternative views by the dominant faction in much of Europe. Those Roman Catholics who carried out the massacres were always enticed by the promises of gold and property to be gained by robbing and killing. This was also the case in the Inquisitions, the Holocaust and many similar situations.
Anti-Protestantism manifested in a reaction by the Roman Catholic Hierarchy against the Reformation of the 16th century. Protestants were denounced as heretics and subject to persecution in those territories, such as Spain, Italy and the Netherlands in which the Catholics were the dominant power. This movement was orchestrated by popes and princes as the Counter Reformation. There were religious wars and eruptions of sectarian hatred such as the St. Bartholomew’s Day Massacre of 1572. This was a massacre of a group of Protestants known as the Huguenots.
This persecution ultimately led to the Huguenots Immigrating to America for refuge. During the American Revolution and the writing of the Constitution which followed its victory, it was the Huguenots who predominated in every battle and every deliberation. The fortunes of France, on the other hand, sank into a steady decline, from which it has never recovered.
Data shows the Falling Away
Data shows there is a wide gap between older Americans (Baby Boomers and members of the Silent Generation) and Millennials in their levels of religious affiliation and attendance. More than eight-in-ten members of the Silent Generation (born between 1928 and 1945) describe themselves as Christians (84%), as do three-quarters of Baby Boomers (76%). In stark contrast, only half of Millennials (49%) describe themselves as Christians; four-in-ten are religious “nones,” and one-in-ten Millennials identify with non-Christian faiths.
Why has white Protestantism as a whole—the most powerful cultural force in the history of the United States—faded? The answer is, in part, a matter of powerful demographic changes. America has been flooded by the people round about and the country is once again being stealthy taken captive, because this is a nation that does not obey the voice of their God. They said they would, but they don’t.
“Except the LORD of Hosts had left unto us a very small remnant, we would be as Sodom and like unto Gomorrah.”Isaiah 1:9
Protestants dwindling in numbers
In 2004 the U.S. Census Bureau predicted that by 2050 the United States would no longer be a majority-white nation. Four years later, when Americans elected their first African American to lead them, the Census Bureau lowered that threshold year to 2042. In 2012, the forecast was that by 2060 whites will see their numbers decline for the first time in American history, while the number of people who identify as multiracial will nearly triple and the number of Hispanics and Asians will more than double.
“No other country has experienced such rapid racial and ethnic change.”
Along with its population, America’s religious and cultural landscape is being fundamentally altered. This is exactly what happened to the House of Israel when the Assyrians came in, took over their land, enslaved them and moved them out to the land of the Medes, and for the same reason.
Something Unusual Happened…
In 1974, 63% of Americans identified as Protestants; about 25% as Catholic; 7% claimed no religious affiliation at all. These numbers remained mostly steady until the 1990s, when something unusual happened: The numbers of Americans who identified as Protestant began to slip. At the same time, more and more Americans were reporting to pollsters that they had no particular religious affiliation. The last year on record in which Protestants as a whole—not just white Protestants—represented a majority of the country was in 2008. By 2014, the religiously unaffiliated rivaled Catholics’ share of the religious marketplace, with each group making up 22 percent of the American population. Looking ahead, there’s no sign that this pattern will fade anytime soon. These numbers would have been unimaginable just a few decades ago.
The past quarter century’s religious revolution is almost entirely due to the decline of white Protestants. As recently as 1993, 51 percent of Americans identified as white Protestants, but that percentage dropped to 32 percent by 2014.
This has been directly due to the concerted efforts and guidelines of the Catholic See in Rome and specifically the Jesuit Order, which was founded to establish the Counter-Reformation and have infiltrated into all walks of life including religious teaching. For instance, the Doctrine of Rapture is taught by Jesuit false prophets and teachers. Are you still waiting for Rapture?
Like most other mainline denominations, the RCA (Reformed Church of America) has also had a declining membership during the last thirty years. In 2018 the total membership was less than 196,308, down from… 360,000 in 1980. In the last thirty years, the church has lost more than 45% of its membership.
The Protestants came to America
It was the white Anglo-Saxon (“Isaacs sons”) Protestants who founded this country of America. They came here from England and Europe to escape religious persecution Roman Catholicism had imposed on Europe for millennia. They thought this was the “Promised Land.” The British and Americans are brethren. “God make you as Ephraim and Manasseh”
The Huguenots were French Protestants who held to the Reformed, or Calvinist, tradition of Protestantism. The term originated in early-16th-century France. The Huguenots suffered severe persecution at the hands of the Catholic majority and many thousands emigrated from France. Many settled along the east coast of the United States of America.
St. Bartholomew’s Day 1572
The massacre began in the night of 23–24 August 1572 (the eve of the feast of Bartholomew the Apostle), two days after the attempted assassination of Admiral Gaspard de Coligny, the military and political leader of the Huguenots. French King Charles IX ordered the killing of a group of Huguenot leaders, including Coligny, and the slaughter spread throughout Paris. It lasted several weeks and expanded outward to other cities and the countryside.
The Roman Catholic party in the city of Paris believed they had received orders from the king to begin the massacre. Letters from the Duke of Anjou, urged the massacre in the king’s name. In some cities the massacres were led by the Catholic mob and in others small groups of soldiers and officials began rounding up Protestants. In Bordeaux the inflammatory sermon on September 29 of a Jesuit, Edmond Auger, encouraged the massacre that was to occur a few days later.
The Body Count
Estimates of the number that perished in the massacres have varied from 2,000 by a Roman Catholic apologist to 70,000 by the contemporary Huguenot duc de Sully.
Many Catholics inside and outside France initially regarded the massacres as deliverance from an imminent Huguenot coup d’etat. The severed head of Coligny was dispatched to Pope Gregory XIII; the pope sent the king a Golden Rose. The pope ordered a Te Deum to be sung as a special thanksgiving and had a medal struck with the motto: Ugonottorum strages 1572 (Latin: “Slaughter or massacre of the Huguenots 1572”) showing an angel bearing a cross and a sword before the felled Protestants.
Massacre at Montsegur – The Albigensian Crusade
Similarly, just 363 years earlier, the Massacre at Montsegur took place around the same area and for the same reason. Also known as The Albigensian or Cathar Crusade (1209–1229; French: Croisade des albigeois, Occitan: Crosada dels albigeses) it was a 20-year military campaign initiated by Pope Innocent III to eliminate the heresy of Catharism in Languedoc, in southern France. The Cathari claimed to have Apostolic Succession.
“The papal sanction against a Christian people served to destroy forever the moral authority of the Roman Catholic Church and to undermine the very foundation on which that authority rested.”Massacre at MountSegur, A History of the Albigensian Crusade, Zoe Oldenbourg, ©1959
Barnabas described the Twelve Apostles
“The young men that performed the sprinkling, signified those who preach to us the forgiveness of sins and the purification of the heart, to whom the Lord gave authority to preach his Message: being at the beginning twelve, to signify the tribes, because there were twelve tribes of Israel.”The Epistle of Barnabas 7:5
Barnabas, who traveled around with Paul, met with the same fate when he was preaching the Gospel. Those wicked priests, being exasperated and envious of his extraordinary success, fell upon him in the Temple, dragged him out, and, after the most inhumane tortures, stoned him to death.
The Assassin’s Oath
Those belonging to the Jesuit Order to this day take an oath to bring about the torture and death of anyone deemed by their superiors to be a heretic.
“My son, heretofore you have been taught to act the dissembler: among Roman Catholics to be a Roman Catholic, and to be a spy even among your own brethren; to believe no man, to trust no man. Among the Reformers, to be a reformer; among the Huguenots, to be a Huguenot; among the Calvinists, to be a Calvinist; among other Protestants, generally to be a Protestant, and obtaining their confidence, to seek even to preach from their pulpits, and to denounce with all the vehemence in your nature our Holy Religion and the Pope; and even to descend so low as to become a Jew among Jews, that you might be enabled to gather together all information for the benefit of your Order as a faithful soldier of the Pope…
I furthermore promise and declare that I will, when opportunity present, make and wage relentless war, secretly or openly, against all heretics, Protestants and Liberals, as I am directed to do, to extirpate and exterminate them from the face of the whole earth; and that I will spare neither age, sex or condition; and that I will hang, waste, boil, flay, strangle and bury alive these infamous heretics, rip up the stomachs and wombs of their women and crush their infants’ heads against the walls, in order to annihilate forever their execrable race. That when the same cannot be done openly, I will secretly use the poisoned cup, the strangulating cord, the steel of the poniard or the leaden bullet, regardless of the honor, rank, dignity, or authority of the person or persons, whatever may be their condition in life, either public or private, as I at any time may be directed so to do by any agent of the Pope or Superior of the Brotherhood of the Holy Faith, of the Society of Jesus…”Excerpt from The Jesuit Extreme Oath of Obedience:
“Therefore also says the wisdom of God, I will send them prophets and apostles, and of them they shall slay and persecute: That the blood of all the prophets, which was shed from the foundation of the world, may be required of this generation; From the blood of Abel unto the blood of Zacharias, which perished between the altar and the temple: truly I say to you, It shall be required of this generation.”Jesus, Luke 11:49-51
The Fifth Seal in the Book of Revelation
“And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the Word of God, and for the testimony which they held: And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, do you not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth? And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said to them, that they should rest yet for a little season/time, until their fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled.”The Book of Revelation 6:9-11
The Foundation of the Apostles
“…Now therefore you are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow-citizens with the saints, and of the household of God; And are built upon the foundation of the Apostles and Prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief cornerstone; In whom all the building fitly framed together grows unto an Holy Temple in the Lord: In whom you also are built together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.”Ephesians 2:19-22
“Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation stone, a tried stone, a precious cornerstone, a sure foundation: he that believes in me shall not be confused. Judgment also will I lay to the [plumb]line and righteousness to the plummet…”Isaiah 28:16-17
“And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God…
And had a wall great and high, and had twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and names written thereon, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel:
…And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them the names of the twelve Apostles of the Lamb.
And he that talked with me had a golden reed/rod to measure the city, and the gates thereof, and the wall thereof. … And he measured the wall thereof, an hundred and forty and four cubits, according to the measure of a man, that is, of the Angel…”The Book of Revelation 21:10-17
The Remnant of Israel
“And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion/Zion, and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father’s Name written in their foreheads. …And they sung as it were a new song before the throne, …and no one could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth. …These are they which follow the Lamb wheresoever he goes. These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb. And in their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God.”The Book of Revelation 14:1-6
“The first of the firstfruits of your land you shall bring into the house of the LORD your God… Behold, I send an Angel before you, to keep you in the way and to bring you into the place which I have prepared. Beware of him and obey his voice, don’t provoke him; for he will not pardon your transgressions: for My Name is in him. But if you shall indeed obey his voice, and do all that I speak; then I will be an enemy unto your enemies, and an adversary unto your adversaries…”Exodus 23:19-22
Come out of Her, My People!
“And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that you are not partakers of her sins, and that you receive not of her plagues. For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities. … Therefore her plagues shall come in one day, death, and mourning, and famine; and she shall be utterly burned with fire: for strong is the Lord God who judges her.
…And the light of a candle shall shine no more at all in you; and the voice of the bridegroom and of the bride shall be heard no more at all in you: for your merchants were the great men of the earth; for by your sorceries (φαρμακεια, pharmacia) were all nations deceived. And in her was found the blood of prophets, and of saints, and of all that were slain upon the earth.”The Book of Revelation, chapter 18
“And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet color, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication/idolatry: And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH. And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus: and when I saw her, I wondered… The woman which you saw is that great city, which reigns over the kings of the earth.”The Book of Revelation, chapter 17
“…Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled… and those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven. Blessed are you, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so did they persecute the Prophets which were before you.”Jesus, Matthew 5:10-12
“You stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Spirit: as your fathers did, so do you. Which of the Prophets haven’t your fathers persecuted? and they have slain them which showed before of the coming of the Just/Righteous One; of whom you have been now the betrayers and murderers: Who have received the Law by the disposition of angels, and have not kept it.”Acts of the Apostles 7:51
It’s the Law!
“Keep far from a false matter; and the innocent and righteous slay not: for I will not justify the wicked. And you shall take no gift/bribe: for the bribe blinds the wise, and perverts the words of the Righteous. Also you shall not oppress a stranger: for you know the heart of a stranger, seeing you were strangers in the land of Egypt.”Exodus 23:7-9
“Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil: that put forth darkness for light and light for darkness… Woe unto those who are wise in their own eyes… which justify the wicked for a bribe and condemn the Righteous. Therefore, as the fire devours the stubble… their root shall be rottenness: because they have cast away the Law of the LORD of hosts and despised the Word of the Holy One of Israel.”Isaiah 5:20-25
The Prophets, Christ and the Apostles all gave us an Example
“Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as you have us for an ensample/example. (For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ: Whose end is destruction, whose god is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.) For our conversation is heavenly; from where also we look for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ:”Apostle Paul, Philippians 3:17-20
“We have confidence in the Lord touching you, that you both do and will do the things which we command you. And the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God and into the patient waiting for Christ/Messiah. Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waits for the precious fruit of the earth and has long patience for it, until he receive the early/former and latter rain. You also be patient; establish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draws near.
Grudge not one against another, brethren, lest you be condemned: behold, the judge stands before the door. Take, my brethren, the Prophets, who have spoken in the Name of the Lord, for an example of suffering affliction, and of patience. Behold, we count them happy which endure. You have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very full of pity and tender mercy…
Elijah was a man subject to like passions as we are and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it didn’t rain on the earth by the space of three years and six months. And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth her fruit.”Apostle James, James 5:7-11, 17-18
“Servants, be subject to your masters with all fear/reverence; not only to the good and gentle, but also to the froward. For this is thankworthy, if a man for conscience toward God endures grief, suffering wrongfully. For what glory is it, if, when you are buffeted for your faults, you shall take it patiently? but if, when you do well and suffer for it, you take it patiently, this is acceptable with God.
For even hereunto were you called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow his steps: Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to Him that judges righteously:”
Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes you were healed. For you were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls.”Apostle Peter, 1Peter 2:18-25
“Arise, and let us go up to Zion. Sing with gladness for Jacob… O LORD, save Your people, the remnant of Israel… Hear the Word of the LORD, O you nations and declare it … He that scattered Israel will gather him and keep him, as a shepherd does his flock. For the LORD has redeemed Jacob and ransomed him from the hand of him that was stronger than he. Therefore, they shall come and sing in the height of Zion… and they shall not sorrow any more at all.”Jeremiah 31
I Lay in Zion, Leon Patilla
How Firm a Foundation, Michael Card
On Your Walls, Jerusalem, Chuck King
O thou that tellest Good Tidings to Zion, Susan Ashton, The New Messiah
Jewels, Allison Kraus
The Lord will surely Comfort Zion, Scripture Memory Songs