The First Open Church, Followers of "The Way", Part 3


We were last discussing the facts of the Messiah’s trials and tribulations which led to His crucifixion. Just prior to that, some officers of the Sanhedrin were sent to arrest Yahshua. But when He told them “Ye shall seek me and shall not find me; and where I am, thither ye cannot come. Then said the [impostor] Jews among themselves, Whither will he go ...? will he go unto the dispersed among the Gentiles (Strong’s #1672, ‘Hellen’ or Grecian speaking nations), and teach the Gentiles (sic Hellens)?” John 7:34-35. Even Yahshua’s enemies within the Sanhedrin were aware of the dispersed tribes of Israel 2000 years ago! It was soon after that He was crucified yet resurrected from the dead, defying every principle of their created Babylonian religion of Judaism that they served.

We left off with the great persecution of Christ’s followers that broke out in Jerusalem soon after His ascension. James was beheaded and Peter put into prison (Acts 12:2-4). As mentioned, and as legend shows, Yahshua’s great uncle, Joseph of Arimathea and a band of devout followers of Christ were cast off of the shores of the Promised Land in an oarless boat without sails. Quoting Capt, in his Traditions of Glastonbury, p.37, he states: “... Without sails or oars, they drifted with the wind and the currents arriving unharmed at Cyrene, in northern Africa. After obtaining sails and oars, the little party of refugees followed the trade route of the Phoenician merchant ships as far west as Marseilles, France.

“Cardinal Caesar Baronius (A.D. 1538-1609) was a learned historian and librarian to the Vatican. In his Ecclesiastical Annals, – ending A.D. 1198 (on which he spent 30 years) identifies those that accompanied Joseph as (under section A.D. 35) ‘the two Bethany sisters, Mary and Martha – their brother Lazarus – St. Eutropius – St. Salome – St. Cleon – St. Saturninus – St. Mary Magdalene – Marcella (the maid of the Bethany sisters) – St. Maxim (or Maximin) – St. Martial – St. Trophimus (Restitutus, the man who was born blind). Mary the mother of Jesus undoubtedly was not left behind.’

“The Cardinal’s Annals quote the Acts of Magdalen for the record of the voyage to Marseilles and the preaching of the Gospel in the south of France by the Bethany family. The original manuscript was compiled by Rabanus Maurus, Archbishop of Mayence (A.D. 766-856), and a copy is in the Magdalen College Library at Oxford, England. Chapter 37, after listing names of those accompanying Joseph, describes their voyaging: ‘Leaving the shores of Asia and favoured by an east wind, they went round about, down the Tyrrhenian Sea, between Europe and Africa, leaving the city of Rome and all the land of Italy to the right. Then happily turning their course to the right, they came near to the city of Marseilles, in the Veinnoise province of the Gauls, where the river Rhone is received by the sea. There, having called upon God, the great King of all the world, they parted; each company going to the province where the Holy Spirit had directed them; presently preaching everywhere, ‘the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following’.”

Other manuscripts exist which corroborate this, some older and some later than that of Rabanus (MS. Laud 108 of the Bodleian), which all agree on the essential facts. As will be discussed later, the names of some of these early Saints are perpetuated in the records of the early Gallic Church. Roger of Hovedon (A.D. 1174-1201), the English chronicler, writing of Marseilles, says: “Marseilles is an Episcopal city under dominion of the King of Aragon. Here are the relics of St. Lazarus, ... who held the Bishopric here for seven years after Jesus had restored him from the dead” (Vol. 3, p. 51). But they had to leave their homeland when “The chief priests consulted that they might put Lazarus to death, because that by reason of him many of the Jews (sic, true-Judahites) went away and believed on Jesus.” (John 12:10,11).

J.W. Taylor, in his book The Coming of the Saints, has this to say about other sources that corroborate the story: “There are traditions, monuments, and even histories, which may carry us further. The Recognitions of Clement, purporting to have been originally written by him in the first century; the Acts of Barnabus, which has strong claims to be both genuine and reliable; The Life of St. Mary Magdalene and St. Martha, purporting to have been compiled from the then existing documents by Rabanus in the eighth century; and several traditions, Sicilian, Venetian, Provencal, Spanish, Cornish, British, or Welsh, English, and even Greek, contain references to the origin of Western Christianity, which are at all events worthy of consideration, and have this one great feature in common; the reputed coming of Hebrew disciples of our Lord into the farthest regions of the West in the earliest years of Christendom” (ibid p.56).

Saul (who we know as Paul), who was at that time the oppressor and not yet converted, later mentions Clement in his letter to the Philippians, listing him as one of his “fellow labourers, whose names are in the book of life” (Philippians 4:3). In his book Recollections, Clements gives an account of his first acquaintance with Christians through the preaching of St. Barnabas in Rome (which will be discussed in further detail later).

Christ Himself had made it very clear that the Kingdom, at that time primarily under the control of the Canaanite/Edomite-jews in Judaea, would be taken from them and given to another, and surely never to be returned, where He stated at Matthew 21:43: “... Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof.” And so it was that after the second period of persecution occurred, when King Herod “stretched forth his hands to vex certain of the church and he killed James the brother of John with the sword ... because he saw it pleased the [impostor] jews” (Acts 12:1-3), that he arrested Peter and threw him into prison. Realizing that persecution was imminent, the other disciples fled from Caesarea (where many had gathered), and later in Antioch, and emigrated to those and other cities, as explained in Dedicated Disciples, by Henry W. Stough, Artisan Publishers. But there is absolutely no record that the ekklesia representative of that Kingdom was ever moved to any other nation than to Britain, where there is evidence of this. And surely the move had to take place shortly after the crucifixion!

To the west, in the British Isles and in Gaul, ‘Cymric’ was the spoken language. The city of London (Llandin) was founded circa 1100 B.C. (about 350 years before Rome) by Brutus, of Troy (E.O. Gordon, Prehistoric London p.3).

The famed British archaeologist, Sir Flinders Petrie, discovered pieces of Celtic gold ornaments and enamel ware in Old Gaza, dating to 1500 B.C., and Egyptian beads at Stonehenge. The enameling was invented by the early settlers of the Isles, and tin was identified with Britain. Herodotus, the fifth century B.C. historian, named the Isles of Britain the ‘Cassiterides’ (because of the tin). Julius Caesar (55 B.C.) wrote of the Brit’s high culture in every aspect, although oftentimes with a purely Roman bias, exhibiting prejudice against those whom the Romans would consider barbarians.

Those who were called Kimerians in the East, later known as Kimmerii, and Keltoi, then known as Kelts in the West, were the same people extended from the Crimea to the British Isles. William Finck, through the Watchman’s Teaching Letter, explains the migrations in broad detail in his Classical Records and German Origins, parts one through six. They were indeed and without doubt the scattered tribes of Israel. The Phoenician script (a Semitic language) is an earlier ancestor to our English today, and philologists say that Keltic, or Cymric, is the oldest living language still in use on earth, with an affinity to the archaic Hebrew language. In fact, English is more assimilated to Hebrew than to either Greek or Latin.

The name ‘Kimri’ originally came from the name of King Omri, the king of the northern kingdom of the ten northern tribes of the House of Israel after they separated from their southern tribal kindred after King Solomon’s reign. King Omri founded the city of Samaria, the capital of Israel. The Assyrians, in their writings since found, called their Israelite captives from the northern kingdom ‘Beth Omri’ (House of Omri), of ‘Beth Kimri’ (People of the Ghomri [King Omri]). The Greeks called them ‘Kimmeroi’. The Welsh today are called the ‘People of Cymri’.

There is a black obelisk in the British Museum, from the Assyrian King Shalmaneser II, which depicts and lists ‘Jehu, son of [King] Omri’ paying tribute to the Assyrian ruler. There it is pronounced K’Omri, becoming Kymri, Kimmerii, Keltoi, Keltic, where Cymri evolved from. Crimea is a corruption of the Cimmeri. Monuments in Crimean cemeteries identify these peoples as by this name. The Welsh still retain the original name Kymri (spelled Cymri), and their language is Cymric, the Welsh exhibiting their ancient racial characteristics more than any of the Celtic-Saxon-Scandinavian race. It was the later Engles, Frisians, Jutes and Saxons, all of the same stock and more numerous, who would influence the native disposition of the Isles. Yet they all originated from the northern kingdom of Samaria, where they were first led by Ephraim, which was the first stage of the fulfillment of the prophecy of Ephraim becoming a ‘multitude of nations’ (Britain, Canada, Australia, South Africa, and so many colonies), as preordained by the Almighty Yahweh in Genesis chapter 48.

In an article by the late Isabel Hill Elder of Northern Ireland, published by the Ensign Message, Vol. 11, 2009, Elder states: “The ancient Britons ... adhered to their own customs. This, with similarity of Welsh and Cornish words and whole sentences in the Hebrew language leaves no doubt as to the origin of the British people” (ibid p. 25). It goes on to say that the “Mythology of the British Druids” is a hymn of the arrival of the Hyksos from Egypt. But it must be noted, that the claims of the Ensigm Message stating that the Hyksos were Semitic or Israelites is erroneous. They were in place in Lower Egypt prior to Joseph’s arrival in Egypt, circa 1800’s B.C., and were actually Kenites. Taliesen, the Welsh authority on matters Druidical, stated that his lore had been delivered to him in Hebrew. Mr. Davies put this passage of some five hundred men, in five ships, landing in prehistoric times, into Hebrew letters which have been translated thus: “And I have Covenanted a Covenant. O heap (or ruin). A home of wood is my home, my budding forth, I have Covenanted a Covenant. O ships. Sak (my defender) is my witness. He is my friend.” Interesting to note here is the fact that the Brits are known as the “Covenant people”, and the “Saks” are the Sakas, or ‘Sons of Isaac’, later called Saxons.

The ancient language of Cymric is still spoken in Wales, Cornwall, Ireland, Scotland, Brittany and Normandy. Celtic is the official language of Eire (Ireland).

At the time of Christ, even soon after His crucifixion, nobody was known as ‘Christians’. Although in Antioch they were referred to as ‘One of Christ’, all who followed the teachings of the Word and Christ were more commonly known as followers of ‘The Way’. ‘Christ’ (‘Kristos’ in Greek) means ‘consecrated’, and ‘ian’ (from Hebrew) means ‘am’. Therefore, ‘Christian’ means ‘consecrated person’, and the word is of British origin (Sabellus, early Christian presbyter and historian, A.D. 250).

When Joseph and the Bethany group landed in the Isles, and even later disciples that would come from Gaul, they were not called Christians, but rather ‘Culdees’, meaning ‘certain strangers’, which is derived from ‘Ceile De’, meaning ‘Servant of the Lord’. In the ancient British Triads, Joseph and his twelve companions are referred to as Culdees, as were Paul, Peter, Lazarus, Simon Zelotes, Aristobulus and others of that walk, and the name is not known outside of Britain. It is attributed to Cymric, and even though Gaul was Keltic, the name ‘Culdee’ was never employed there.

In later years, the word Culdee emphasized that it was the ‘Culdee’ Christian Church that was the original Church of Christ on earth. It was termed the Culdee Church as late as A.D. 939, in church documents at Saint Peter’s Church, York. According to records, the Canons of York were called Culdees as late as the reign of King Henry II (A.D. 1133-1189). In Ireland, a whole county was so named. The Scottish Church was where would be found the latest use of the names ‘Culdee’ and ‘Culdish’. The first converts of the Culdees or ‘Judaean refugees’ were the Druids of Britain.

In the days of Christ, the common language of the East was Greek, such as English is the accepted common language of the world today. Latin was not the common language. Aramaic and Hebrew were localized languages to the Judaeans. We can suspect that Messiah Yahshua, who was a cultured and quite literate young man (from the records of His great knowledge of Scripture and law), understood at least Greek, Hebrew, Aramaic and Latin. It is also said that He was versed in the Celtic language, likely Cymric, which if true makes absolute sense when one considers that His entire mission, His dictates, was to go “not to the heathens, but only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel” (Matt. 10:5-6). As the Scriptures show, even the Pharisees and high priests in Jerusalem were well aware of the scattered flock of Israel amongst the Greeks and the ‘Isles’ (Isa. 11:12; 41:1; 42:10; or John 7:35), called “the dispersed”.

The Septuagint translation of the sacred Scriptures was transcribed into Greek at Alexandria in 285 B.C. by seventy Hebrew (Judahite) scholars, not Greeks. Yet since that time, the Greek language was well known to not only Christ and those in Palestine, but also to the ancient Brits.

In pre-Roman times, and as previously alluded to, Britain was always known as the ‘Cassiterides’, or ‘Tin Islands’ (in Greek) to such writers as Aristotle (350 B.C.) and Herodotus (450 B.C.). It was for centuries the only country in the world known for its tin.

Julius Caesar, in 50 B.C., wrote of the tin mines in Talavera, Spain, and associated them with the tin mines in Cornwall, Britain. Aside from Herodotus and Aristotle, Pytheas (350 B.C.), Polybius (150 B.C.), Diodorus Siculus, Posidonius and other pre-Christian historians and writers cite the extraordinary tin trade that was carried on in Cornwall and Devon, of the British Isles. The tin that garnished the walls of King Solomon’s temple (1005 B.C.) was mined and smelted at Cornwall.

The oldest graves found in Cornwall, in Harlyn Bay near Padstow, are the earliest settlers in Cornwall and thought to be the first tin workers, were buried exactly like the prehistoric Egyptians were. (R.A. Bullen, B.A., Harlyn Bay Discoveries). The earliest tin mining in Cornwall is found, in this discovery, to point to the builders of Stonehenge (circa 1800 B.C.) and other gigantic monuments across the British Isles, believed to be the Hyksos, or so says the renowned Elder, the Semitic descendants of Noah who built the Great Pyramid and migrated to these Isles, bringing their astronomical and scientific knowledge with them. “It is thought that this accounts for the advanced knowledge of tin mining in such pre-historic times, which later proved to be the most universally useful metal for the use of mankind” (Ensign Message, p. 25).

Diodorus Siculus, in the first century B.C., describes the ancient tin industry of mining and smelting as follows: “They that inhabit the British promontory of Belerium, by reason of their converse with the merchants, are more civilized and courteous to strangers than the rest. These are the people that make the tin, which with a great deal of care and labour they dig out of the ground; and that being rocky, the metal is mixed with some veins of earth, out of which they melt the metal and then refine it. Then they beat it into four square pieces like a die and carry it to a British Isle, near at hand, called Ictis. For at low tide, all being dry between them and the island, they convey over in carts abundance of tin.” (Book V, cap .2)

This description of the island, as being joined to the mainland at low tide, describes St. Michael’s Mount, a small island off the southern coast of Cornwall, in southern England.

The tin mines of Cornwall were the source of the world’s supply of tin (the chief metal for making alloys) in the first century A.D., the time of our story of Joseph as the ‘Minister of Mining-,’ Nobilis Decurio, during the height of the Roman Empire.

For many years the Phoenicians of Cadis (largely Semites – Israelite tribes of Dan, Asher, Zebulun, Gad and Napthali) held a monopoly on the source of the British tin they transported. Quoting Capt: “They guarded their secret jealously.” Confirmation of this is found in the writings of Strabo, who died A.D. 25: “Anciently the Phoenicians alone, from Cadis, engrossed this [tin] market, hiding the navigation from all others. When the Romans followed the course of a vessel that they might discover the situation, the jealous pilot willfully stranded the ship, misleading those who were tracing him to the same destruction. Escaping from the shipwreck, he was indemnified for his losses out of the public treasury.” Tin is the main alloy in the making of bronze, and therefore it can be assumed that the inception of the Bronze Age can be attributed to the tin mines in Britain.

These facts alone speak against any malicious insinuations of the ancient Britons as being barbarians. This tin trade kept these people in constant contact with the powers of the known world. The Brits, with the foundation of their language steeped in ancient Hebrew, which is why many of the landmarks in the British Isles have Hebrew names, must surely be those Covenant People of the promise.

At the time of Christ, the islanders were best known as Kelts, derived from their historically racial name Kimmerian-Kimmerii-Kymri-Keltoi-Kelt, and the letter ‘C’ would eventually replace the ‘K’, yet the pronunciation never changed. In England and Wales, they were known as Celts. In Hibernia (or Ireland), called Kelts or Gaels, and in Scotland and Gaul they were called Gallic, the significance in each place meaning ‘Stranger’, showing that they were not aboriginal to the area, but rather the first settlers. Jowett, in The Drama of the Lost Disciples, states that they migrated to these areas (the British Isles) “from beyond the Euphrates River since before 1400 B.C.”, which is not exactly right. The early settlers most likely migrated from Egypt, actually the Danites prior to the Exodus of Israel.

The area of northwest Spain, known as ‘Iberia’ more than 1000 years B.C., comes from the word ‘Hebrews’, as does the name ‘Hibernia’ for Ireland. Today these areas are still referred to by these ancient names by some. Eventually, in the fifth century (A.D.), the Gothic Franks displaced the Gauls, where ‘France’ comes from, meaning ‘Freeman’. But the Gauls left their impression upon the area, and it became known as ‘Brittany’, due east of the British Isles on the continent of Europe, Gaul’s first province.

As sure as geneticists can trace the lineages of peoples through their DNA, or customs and languages leave a fingerprint of clans through their migrations, we will see that it is through the Spirit of the Holy seed of these Saxons, Vikings and Celts that is the light to the world and the fulfillment of prophecy. And although much of the historical evidence has been destroyed through pillaging and wars, quite enough has survived to piece together our story. We are instructed at Jer. 16:16 to follow the message of the “hunters” (archaeologists) for the answer! We will next continue with these migrating ‘Hebrews’ and their predestined mission.