Council of Nicaea (787 AD) This council was called by the Empress Irene, which ordered the restoration of images in the church, but declared that they should only be venerated, not worshipped. [Look up the definitions in the English dictionary for venerate, veneration, and worship. Is there any difference? There is a possibly that just a little bit more difference exists between George I and George II than those words!]
These four councils established doctrines by majority vote that violates the first four commandments that Jesus Christ summed up into one when asked the trick question: Which is the great commandment in the law? (Matt. 22:33-40) The lust for power, authority, and the murder that ensued while enforcing the council’s dictates violates all of God’s Ten Commandments, not just the first four. The history of the eastern and western orthodox churches, the ecclesiastical councils, and some of the philosophical theology in support of the doctrines and traditions approved can be found in most any Encyclopedia.
Constantine the Great became sole ruler of the entire Roman Empire in 324 AD after Licinius, ruler over the eastern division, was murdered. His father, Constantius I, had ruled jointly with Galerius and Maximianus, and was killed in battle in 306. Afterwards, the army proclaimed Constantine as Caesar, and Galerius was then forced to recognize the title. Constantine’s position was further strengthened by his marriage to Fausta, who was the daughter of Maximianus. In 310, Maximianus tried to oust the young emperor and was murdered.
Maxentius, son of Maximianus, sought revenge and was killed in battle in 312 AD. It was just prior to that battle that Constantine was supposed to have seen in the sky a flaming cross bearing the legend “in hoc signo vinces” or “in this sign conquer”. [Can anyone believe that this was a sign from God? Does it remind you of anything else sinister?] The legend purportedly led to Constantine’s Christianity. He is considered one of the ablest rulers of the Roman Empire, although his reign was beset by much political and religious intrigue. His many reprehensible murders included his wife, Fausta, and his own son, Crispus. He did protect the empire’s new religion, which was the officially recognized form of Christianity by empowering the Catholic Church, but he did not officially become a Christian until his deathbed conversion in 337 AD.
Due to the theological conflicts within Christendom, Constantine ordered and directed the first Council of Nicaea in 325 AD. The eastern churches in Asia and western churches in Greece, Italy and Spain had already adapted Sunday as the Christian day of worship and rest. [Sunday was revered as the day of the sun in Sun god worship. (Gen. 1:3-5; Eze. 8:16)] After Constantine had recognized Christianity as the empire’s official religion and made Sunday the official day of rest (excluding agriculture) a civil law, the official church could legally persecute Christians keeping the Lord’s Sabbath.
Any Christian sect that did not adhere to the Roman Church’s newly established authority was declared heretic. The true flock began fleeing to the wilderness. (Rev. 12) When the poor Sabbath keeping Waldenses emerged during the 12th to 15th centuries with their copies of scriptures from the Bible, the papal bull to exterminate them was issued by Pope Innocent VIII in 1487. [Ironic name for such a supposedly holy, but murderous man.] Their copies of individual books of scripture and even their complete Bibles were burned, and then they were killed in a variety of tortuous ways. The Gutenberg printing press wasn’t invented 1440.