Shepherd's Cross Christian Helps Ministry
(1 Corinthians 12:28)

Following in the footsteps of the Acts of the Apostles, written by St. Luke, Shepherd's Cross Christian Helps Ministry exists by the grace of God to further the first century Apostolic tradition serving in the Great Commission.

(St. Matthew 28:16-20)

The Holy Bible And The Holy Scriptures Closed or Open

Part One

For this is the way God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world should be saved through him. St. John 3:16-17

Jesus Prays for the Father to Glorify Him
John 17

When Jesus had finished saying these things, he looked upward to heaven and said, ďFather, the time has come. Glorify your Son, so that your Son may glorify you, just as you have given him authority over all humanity, so that he may give eternal life to everyone you have given him. Now this is eternal life that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you sent. I glorified you on earth by completing the work you gave me to do. And now, Father, glorify me at your side with the glory I had with you before the world was created.

Jesus Prays for the Disciples

I have revealed your name to the men you gave me out of the world. They belonged to you, and you gave them to me, and they have obeyed your word. Now they understand that everything you have given me comes from you, because I have given them the words you have given me. They accepted them and really understand that I came from you, and they believed that you sent me. I am praying on behalf of them. I am not praying on behalf of the world, but on behalf of those you have given me, because they belong to you. Everything I have belongs to you, and everything you have belongs to me, and I have been glorified by them. I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, keep them safe in your name that you have given me, so that they may be one just as we are one. When I was with them I kept them safe and watched over them in your name that you have given me. Not one of them was lost except the one destined for destruction, so that the scripture could be fulfilled. But now I am coming to you, and I am saying these things in the world, so they may experience my joy completed in themselves. I have given them your word, and the world has hated them, because they do not belong to the world, just as I do not belong to the world. I am not asking you to take them out of the world, but that you keep them safe from the evil one. They do not belong to the world just as I do not belong to the world. Set them apart in the truth; your word is truth. Just as you sent me into the world, so I sent them into the world. And I set myself apart on their behalf, so that they too may be truly set apart.

Jesus Prays for Believers Everywhere

I am not praying only on their behalf, but also on behalf of those who believe in me through their testimony, that they will all be one, just as you, Father, are in me and I am in you. I pray that they will be in us, so that the world will believe that you sent me. The glory you gave to me I have given to them, that they may be one just as we are one I in them and you in me that they may be completely one, so that the world will know that you sent me, and you have loved them just as you have loved me.

Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, so that they can see my glory that you gave me because you loved me before the creation of the world Righteous Father, even if the world does not know you, I know you, and these men know that you sent me. I made known your name to them, and I will continue to make it known, so that the love you have loved me with may be in them, and I may be in them.

Prior to the New Testament being written God was moving within time and space to fulfill His purpose.

Jewish People

But when the appropriate time had come, God sent out his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we may be adopted as sons with full rights. Galatians 4: 4-5

Gentiles

Therefore remember that formerly you, the Gentiles in the flesh who are called uncircumcision by the so-called circumcision that is performed on the body by human hands that you were at that time without the Messiah, alienated from the citizenship of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who used to be far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For he is our peace, the one who made both groups into one and who destroyed the middle wall of partition, the hostility, when he nullified in his flesh the law of commandments in decrees. He did this to create in himself one new man out of two, thus making peace, and to reconcile them both in one body to God through the cross, by which the hostility has been killed. And he came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near, so that through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father. So then you are no longer foreigners and noncitizens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of Godís household, because you have been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the cornerstone. In him the whole building, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together into a dwelling place of God in the Spirit. Ephesians 2: 11-22

Paul Prisoner Of Christ Jesus For The Sake Of You Gentiles

For this reason I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus for the sake of you Gentiles if indeed you have heard of the stewardship of Godís grace that was given to me for you, that by revelation the divine secret was made known to me, as I wrote before briefly. When reading this, you will be able to understand my insight into this secret of Christ. Now this secret was not disclosed to people in former generations as it has now been revealed to his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit, namely that through the gospel the Gentiles are fellow heirs, fellow members of the body, and fellow partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus. I became a servant of this gospel according to the gift of Godís grace that was given to me by the exercise of his power. To me less than the least of all the saints this grace was given, to proclaim to the Gentiles the unfathomable riches of Christ and to enlighten everyone about Godís secret plan a secret that has been hidden for ages in God who has created all things. The purpose of this enlightenment is that through the church the multifaceted wisdom of God should now be disclosed to the rulers and the authorities in the heavenly realms. This was according to the eternal purpose that he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord, in whom we have boldness and confident access to God because of Christís faithfulness. For this reason I ask you not to lose heart because of what I am suffering for you, which is your glory. Ephesians 3: 1-13

Jesus Gave Gifts To Men

But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of the gift of Christ. Therefore it says, When he ascended on high he captured captives; he gave gifts to men. Now what is the meaning of he ascended, except that he also descended to the lower regions, namely, the earth? He, the very one who descended, is also the one who ascended above all the heavens, in order to fill all things. It was he who gave some as apostles, some as prophets, some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, that is, to build up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God a mature person, attaining to the measure of Christís full stature. So we are no longer to be children, tossed back and forth by waves and carried about by every wind of teaching by the trickery of people who craftily carry out their deceitful schemes. But practicing the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into Christ, who is the head. From him the whole body grows, fitted and held together through every supporting ligament. As each one does its part, the body grows in love.Ephesians 4: 7-16

God Makes Know His Will To Mankind

Blessed is the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms in Christ. For he chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world that we may be holy and unblemished in his sight in love. He did this by predestining us to adoption as his sons through Jesus Christ, according to the pleasure of his will to the praise of the glory of his grace that he has freely bestowed on us in his dearly loved Son. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace that he lavished on us in all wisdom and insight. He did this when he revealed to us the secret of his will, according to his good pleasure that he set forth in Christ, toward the administration of the fullness of the times, to head up all things in Christ the things in heaven and the things on earth. In Christ we too have been claimed as Godís own possession; since we were predestined according to the one purpose of him who accomplishes all things according to the counsel of his will so that we, who were the first to set our hope on Christ, would be to the praise of his glory. And when you heard the word of truth (the gospel of your salvation) when you believed in Christ you were marked with the seal of the promised Holy Spirit, who is the down payment of our inheritance, until the redemption of Godís own possession, to the praise of his glory. Ephesians 1:3-14

Prayer for Wisdom and Revelation

For this reason, because I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints, I do not cease to give thanks for you when I remember you in my prayers. I pray that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you spiritual wisdom and revelation in your growing knowledge of him, since the eyes of your heart have been enlightened so that you may know what is the hope of his calling, what is the wealth of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and what is the incomparable greatness of his power toward us who believe, as displayed in the exercise of his immense strength. This power he exercised in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms far above every rule and authority and power and dominion and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. And God put all things under Christís feet, and he gave him to the church as head over all things. Now the church is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all. Ephesians 1:15-23

Living in the United States of America, in the twenty-first century, when we as customers, visit local bookstores, in order to purchase a Bible, many of us take for granted, not thinking twice, that the twenty-seven typed printed books in the New Testament, that are bound together along with the thirty-nine books of the Hebrew Scriptures, being called the Holy Bible was in fact first steadfastly agreed upon by Christian Bishops in the year of 397 A.D. in North Africa at the Council of Carthage. Once agreeing together, at the Council of Carthage that the New Testament should include just these twenty-seven title books, excluding all others, these same Christian Bishops were resolute to send this same (sine qua non) list of books that they had decided upon to Rome confirming them as authoritative. Since this is true, following the early Christian Bishopís decision at the Council of Carthage in 397 A.D., Christian brothers and sisters in the first century were able to possess the same New Testament that we in the twenty-first century can pay money for.

Before the Christian Bishops first met in the year, 397 A.D. in North Africa at the Council of Carthage and agreeing to the same Canon list of books we currently have in the New Testament, devout manuscript writings were placed in three separate groupings.

The first grouping was the officially recognized Gospel and Epistles authored by an Apostle or an immediate follower of an Apostle. These books included the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and John being Apostleís. Being an immediate follower of an Apostle, the Gospel according to Luke was also added in. Having accompanied the Apostles Peter and Paul on their journeys their account written by Luke and called Acts of the Apostles was also received. Paulís Epistles were officially recognized.

The second considered decisive factor the Christian Bishops considered at the council for allowing certain books into the Canon fold was to take notice of which ones were used by the universal Christian body of believers from those that were not.

Among the current books we now have in the New Testament that were debated upon were the Letters of James, Jude, Peter; the 2nd and 3rd Letters of John; the Letter to the Hebrews; and the Book of Revelation. Examples of those books that were not accepted were the Shepherd of Hermes, the Letter of Barnabas, the Gospel according to the Hebrews, and the Letter of Paul to the Laodiceans.

The last grouping of books that were making the rounds among certain Christian communities before 397 were those which were never granted any serious merit as to having any worth in the Church universal.

They were full of superstitions and outlandish sacrilegious stories of miracles of Our Lord Jesus Christ and the Apostles which mocked the true purpose and mission of the Lord Jesus Christ.

A list has been left to us passed down from antiquity of approximately fifty Gospels (the Gospel of James, The Gnostic Gospels of Jesus, the Gospel of Judas, the Gospels of Mary: The Secret Tradition of Mary Magdalene, the Companion of Jesus, the Gospel of Mary Magdalene, The Gospel of Nicodemus, the Gospel of Phillip, The Gospel of Thomas, and The Gospel of Truth) to name a few. There were also additional books of Acts (like the Acts of Pilate, Acts of Paul, and others). They were all universally condemned.

The truth is that although it may look as if the number of Christian Bishops attending the Council of Carthage were personally responsible for initiating which books were to be included in the biblical canons, from those that were not, a more accurate deliberation of the subject matter is that the Christian Bishops acknowledged or identified those books that had already obtained the benefit of a special standing from usage among the early universally Christian communities.

The Universal Church guarded the compilation of inspired writings. Once a Council of elected Christian Bishops of the Church had spoken (in 397 and again in 419), and Rome had confirmed it that matter was settled until this day. The decrees of the Councils of Carthage were reaffirmed by the Council of Florence in 1442 under Pope Eugenius IV, and again by the Council of Trent in 1546.

According to Dr. LAMBERT T. DOLPHIN(http://www.ldolphin.org/LTDres.html),there seems to be broad agreement that the world population at the time of Christ was between 200 and 300 million. World Population Since Creation by Lambert Dolphin (http://ldolphin.org/popul.html) God set apart only nine men to author the manuscripts which historically would be called the Bible.

God elected to have only these men our of a world of 200 and 300 million to pen the New Testament

These are the following:

St. Matthew
The Gospel according to St. Matthew

St. Mark
The Gospel according to St. Mark

St. Luke
The Gospel according to St. Luke
The Book of Acts

St. John
The Gospel according to St. John
First, Second and Third Epistle of St. John
The Book of Revelation
Called also Revelation to John, Apocalypse of John, Revelation of Jesus Christ.

St. Paul
Epistle to the Romans
First Epistle to the Corinthians and Second Epistle to the Corinthians
Epistle to the Galatians
Epistle to the Ephesians
Epistle to the Philippians
Epistle to the Colossians
First Epistle to the Thessalonians and Second Epistle to the Thessalonians
First Epistle to Timothy and Second Epistle to Timothy
Epistle to Titus
Epistle to Philemon

Anonymous Epistle to the Hebrews
Tradition: St. Paul

St. Peter First Epistle of Peter and Second Epistle of Peter

St. James Epistle of James

St. Jude Epistle of Jude

Understand This Clearly

The universal Christian Body of believers was present before the Bible came into the present bound book it is recognized today as.

Men who were called to be an Apostle of the Lord Jesus during His earthly ministry were authors of the New Testament Canon or an immediate follower of an Apostle Wrote books that are uniquely included in the New Testament Canon.

The universal Christian Church body decided which books were to be included in New Testament Canon books.

The Church preserved the Bible.

In Jesus name,

Brother Richard, MS Ed
Brother Richard, MS Ed

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