When it comes to bribery, politicians or the mob are those who most likely to come to mind. But supervisors at any level in any organization, even religious leaders or judges, can be and have been influenced by bribery. For a nation that claims to be ‘one nation under God’ the prevalence of bribery blatantly contradicts the simple instruction from God against bribery. In this article we are going to look at examples of bribery becoming institutionalized into the ‘American Way.’ A nation cannot claim to follow God, yet at the same time, turn away from His Instructions. God is fully aware of what is going on, and we can look to His Word to find out what He is going to do about it.
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)
October 31st, 2017 marks the 500th anniversary of the beginning of the Protestant Reformation. Five hundred years ago, Martin Luther published his 95-theses document challenging doctrines of the Catholic church. The importance placed on the practice of selling indulgences, the false security it gave to those who purchased them and the true destination of the collected money offended Luther.
Martin Luther’s 95 Theses
Martin Luther’s 2nd thesis states “This word (“repent”) cannot be understood as referring to the sacrament of penance, that is, confession and satisfaction, as administered by the clergy.” Thesis 35 states “They who teach that contrition is not necessary on the part of those who intend to buy souls out of purgatory or to buy confessional privileges, preach unchristian doctrine.”