This is an excerpt from my work titled "ATreatise on God." Chapter 9 is the introduction, "The Church". Page 1of 49 Introduction The reader should understand this is not simply a church history. The Church(the Body of Christ) is a vital part of the plan of God, and it is also about Satan's unending effort to thwart the plan of God. You are reminded that Scripture is adamant as to the reality and significance of Satan. He is mentioned in the New Testament as an unrelenting adversary and enemy of God and humanity. If you accept the Bible as the Word of God as I do, you cannot discount the works of Satan. As you read through the following pages I would admonish you to keep those two positions in mind. Beginning with the Pentecost event, and even with the earliest of Paul's epistles, we are informed that "the mystery of iniquity doth already work." (IIThess. 2:7). Paul wrote this in 50 or 51 AD. The plot by Satan to supplant the truth in the early Church had already begun. In the later epistles of Paul and in those of other Apostles, we find it gaining considerable momentum. However, even while Satan's diabolical system was arising, we need to understand the scope of Satan's plan as carried out primarily through the Roman Church. From its inception following the death of Jesus, the god of this world has generated a consensus among all Christians as to what is meant by "The One True Church." Here we see that Satan promoted division within the Christian community by implanting the assertion found in most Christian churches that each of them alone represent the one true church to which Jesus gave his authority in the Great Commission. Jesus preached the gospel of the kingdom, but with his death it was "The True Church of Christ" which arrived. The One True Church, consisted of all believers, one of which was the early Roman Church. It was the Roman Church that Satan invaded, and eventually led into spiritual bondage to a professional priestly caste, a hierarchical order, which dispossessed the original Roman Church organs of functions that belonged to all its members, and withheld any independence and autonomy they might have had. The effect of this usurpation was to degrade the one pure Roman Church into an Not only were Christians persecuted from time to time by the governing powers of the day for their allegiance to Christ, but once the Roman Church assumed absolute power in the fourth century, now under the name "Roman Catholic Church," it too became a persecutor and many Christians were threatened with certain death if they would not subscribe to the various man-made doctrines and false teachings that threatened to seduce them away from their pure devotion to Scripture and the one True Church(the Body of Christ). This chapter is for the most part an overview of Christian Church history from its inception upon the death of Jesus up to the Protestant Reformation. It also deals with the plan of Satan to thwart the plan of God. As soon as God created man as related in Genesis 2, we are immediately introduced to Satan in the following chapter. Then Isaiah shows us how Satan felt in his bitter, resentful heart, which is demonstrated by Satan's five "I will" claims: "I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God; I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly, on the utmost heights of the sacred mountain. I will ascend above the tops of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High." (Isaiah 14: 13,14). From Genesis and Isaiah we can now outline the plan of Satan: 1.) To deny the Word of God. 2.) To destroy the promised seed of blessing, and 3.) To prevent the redemptive work of Jesus Christ. 4.) To prevent the forming of the Body of Christ. When we look back at what happened to the Roman Church following Constantine, one has to believe that it was instigated and empowered by Satan and the powers under his leadership. We know Satan is cunning because Scripture says as much. For example, there seems to be no way to come up with hard evidence to prove an actual complicity of Satan in the Church. Satan has cleverly covered his tracks so that how this has come to pass remains in the realm of philosophical concjecture. Continued on pages 2-49.