After the Jerusalem Council in Acts 15, some broke away, refusing to accept the resolution of the Council. They
claimed Jesus as Messiah, but taught the following: (Eusebius’ Church History 6:17 and Ireneaus’ Against All
Heresies, 1:26, 3:11, & 5:1)

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Manicheans – Mani

Manicheans – Mani

The Manichean’s were the followers Mani. In about 252AD, Mani, a Persian, mixed Christianity with Gnosticism and
other Persian elements. He stated his teaching came from Christ and the Persian Magi.

Mani taught there are two gods; one evil and one good.2 Jesus was not a real man [did not have flesh].1 Jesus came
to reconcile man to Satan, the dark god4 but Jesus did not undergo punishment on the cross.6 Satan is the god of
Moses and the prophets.7 Man does not has free will,8 some are born with their nature totally depraved,9 while
others are born nearly perfect.9 He taught reincarnation based on Karma.5 Mani said he was the Comforter
(Paraclete) and also the “that which is perfect” of 1 Corinthians 13: 3. Mani taught Vegetarianism,10 Marriage, and
begetting children are sins,10 and that there was a purgatory for purifying souls.5 After being purged of sins in the
sun, the souls fly to the moon [Purgatory].5 The soul of man is from light and his body from darkness.2

St. Augustine was a Manichean for eight years before becoming a Christian. After becoming a Christian, he
taught free will (see: City of God). It was not until 417 AD, while debating with Pelegius, that he began teaching
what today’s Calvinists describe as the doctrine of “total depravity” and the “bondage of the will.”
It seems that in reaction to Pelegian doctrine that “man could be sinless from birth,” Augustine went too far the
other way.

Archelaus, AD 33 –

The Judges concluded against Mani that man has free will; so if Mani can sin, his spirit can’t be an
emanation from God. The angels, and Satan (dark, evil god) are not of God’s essence.

Augustine recorded that Mani taught when the sun and moon have liberated all the light they are able, there
will be a fire kindled on the earth which will burn for 1,468 years, after which, there will be no light left. The King
of Darkness and his hosts will thereupon withdraw into the pit prepared for them. Mani taught, unlike the
world, man was the created by demons. The aim of demons is to imprison in man, through the propagation of
the race, as much as possible of the light, and so to hinder the separating process by the sun and the moon.
Manicheans teach salvation comes from rigorous asceticism, and by the practice of certain ceremonial
observances. Manicheans deny the saving efficacy of baptism but believe Salvation consists simply in the
liberation of the light from the darkness. In the case of the Elect this takes place immediately after death; in the
case of adherents who have not practiced the prescribed forms of asceticism, it takes place only after
considerable torment [purgatory]. In the case of the ordinary sensual man, there is no deliverance.

From biblefacts.org



In the middle of the second century AD, Marcion left the church and started the Gnostic Marcionites. Marcion was a
native of Sinope on the Black Sea. He first studied with the Stoics, then became a Christian. According to Epiphanius,
as he began to apostatize, he seduced a young girl, and was excommunicated. Marcion then traveled to Rome in
hopes of being readmitted to the church. Later he joined Cerdon and another Gnostic, preaching in Rome, hoping to
create a schism in the church. Marcion’s most famous disciples were Apelles, Lucanus, Basilus, Potitus, and Blastus.
This same Blastus later caused a schism in Rome. Marcionites continued until the sixth century, principally in Egypt,
Israel, and Syria.

Marcion rejected the Old Testament and used cut up versions of Luke and some of Paul’s epistles, for Scripture. He
used the Gospel of Luke but eliminated the first four chapters and removed all references to Jesus’ divinity or any
connection with the God of the Old Testament. His canon of Scripture also contained Romans, 1st & 2nd
Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, 1st & 2nd Thessalonians, Philemon, and Laodiceans. All of
these were tailored to fit Marcion’s teachings. In Paul’s Epistles, he removed all references to God creating the
world, and to Jesus being God’s Son, and any predictions of Jesus’ birth. He taught the God of the Old Testament
and His prophets were evil and would be destroyed because that god was the author of sin. He also taught there are
two equal and opposite gods, one good and one evil. He taught the Law and the Gospel were so strongly different, it
proves there were two different gods. Marcion insisted there is no resurrection and removed all references in his
gospel showing Christ was the creator and the God of the Old Testament was Jesus’ father. He also removed the
genealogy of Jesus. He said Jesus was a phantom having no physical body. Marcion forbade marriage and said it was
evil. Married people could not be baptized unless they got a divorce and practiced celibacy. The Marcionites were
strongly addicted to astrology.

Other Doctrines of the Marcionites were that Jesus came to overthrow the dominion of the evil creator. Followers
needed to be baptized in order to remove sins recently committed, and women were allowed to baptize other
women. Followers must be single, widowed, or divorced before they could be baptized. They denied Christ came in
the flesh and claimed there was no salvation or resurrection of the flesh, only of the spirit. Some Marcionites
believed in the transmigration of souls. We know this teaching as reincarnation. Some Marcionites sought
martyrdom in order to escape this evil world. It was well known that Marcion tried to publish a Gospel he wrote
himself in the name of Paul.

Church teachings contrasted:

Tertullian, AD 200
Against Marcion 4.8 – Jesus was not a phantom, but had a real body.
Against Marcion 4.37 – Christ saves both body and soul. Only heretics say the body is not saved
Against Marcion 5.11 – Heretics try to say the epistle to the Ephesians is the epistle to the Laodeceans.


1. Irenaeus Against Heresies 1.27 6. Against Marcion 1.24
2. Against Heresies 4.29 7. Against Marcion 2.17
3. Tertullian Against Marcion 1.2 8. Against Marcion 3.8, 4.8
4. Against Marcion 1.18 9. Against Marcion 1.29
5. Against Marcion 1.19-20

taken from Biblefacts.org



Tatian started off being orthodox. He wrote a harmony of the gospels called the Diatessaron. Later, he became very
violent and apostatized from the church. After he apostatized, he founded the Gnostic sect of the Encratites. The
name in Greek means “self-perfected ones.” It the 12th century the name of Encratites was applied to the Bogomils.
Tatian then started removing passages from the Diatessaron that referred to Jesus’ divinity and other non-Gnostic
thoughts. Copies of both the original Diatessaron and the perverted Diatessaron still exist. (The eastern church used
the Diatessaron for years before going back to the four Gospels.)

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In Revelation, John wrote that the Ephesus church hated the Nicolaitans and got rid of the false apostles who started
the Gnostic cults; but in the process, they lost their first love. The ancient church fathers taught Nicolaitan
characteristics included: the practice of fornication (both heterosexual and homosexual forms of adultery and
chambering), Then in a confession ritual on a weekly basis they were forgiven. (on the eighth day). Nicolaitans used
idols and participated in pagan rituals, which also means they tolerated ungodly things. This form of idolatry was
also practiced by the Carpocratian Gnostics. The idea that food had to be exorcised before it was eaten was based
on the idea that a Christian could be demon-possessed. The ancient church fathers taught Nicolaitans had a special
way of exorcizing meat offered to idols so that if Christians ate it they would not become demon-possessed. The
belief that Christians can be possessed by demons, is an error.

“So hast thou also them that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitanes, which thing I hate. Repent; or else I will come
unto thee quickly, and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth.” Revelation 2:15-16

Taken from a work on Bible-facts.org


David Cox’s Topical Bible Concordance

Described De 13:13; Heb 3:12
Persecution tends to make Mt 24:9,10; Lu 8:13
A worldly spirit tends to make 2Ti 4:10
Never belonged to Christ 1Jo 2:19
Saints do not become Ps 44:18,19; Heb 6:9; 10:39
It is impossible to restore Heb 6:4-6
Guilt and punishment of Zep 1:4-6; Heb 10:25-31,39; 2Pe 2:17,20-22
Cautions against becoming Heb 3:12; 2Pe 3:17
Shall abound in the latter days Mt 24:12; 2Th 2:3; 1Ti 4:1-3
Amaziah. 2Ch 25:14,27
Professed disciples. Joh 6:66
Hymenaeus and Alexander. 1Ti 1:19,20



A set of heretics that appeared in France and Spain about the end of the third century. They are supposed to have borrowed part of their opinions from the Gnostics and Manichaeans, because they opposed marriage, condemned the use of flesh meat, and placed the Holy Ghost in the class of created beings.


  1. One who abstains; a faster. [First attested around 1350 to 1470.]
  2. (usually capitalized, religion, historical) One of a sect who appeared in France and Spain in the 3rd century, and believed in abstinence towards meat and sex.


These nouns refer to the habitual refusal to indulge a desire, especially a sensual one. Abstinence implies the willfulavoidance of pleasures, especially of food and drink, thought to be harmful or self-indulgent: “I vainly reminded him ofhis protracted abstinence from food” (Emily Brontë).
Self-denial suggests resisting one’s own desires for the achievement of a higher goal: “For too many people, the resultof sedentary living is a perennial, losing battle against the bulge: bursts of self-denial interspersed with guilt when self-denial inevitably leads to self-indulgence” (Jane Brody).
Temperance refers to moderation and self-restraint and sobriety to gravity in bearing, manner, or treatment; bothnouns denote moderation in or abstinence from consuming alcohol: Teetotalers preach temperance for everyone. “[T]hose moments which would come between the subsidence of actual sobriety and the commencement ofintoxication” (Anthony Trollope).
Continence specifically refers to abstaining from sexual activity: The nun took a vow of continence.



Those who supported reform sought a return to the ideals of the early years of the Order and focused especially on its original vegetarianism. The Rule of St. Benedict, the fundamental document of the Cistercian Order, permits meat only to the sick, but by the 16th and 17th centuries the prohibition was rarely observed. The reformers – the “Abstinents” – regarded this meat eating as a symbol of all decadence, utterly rejected it, and (with papal approval) formed themselves into a congregation known as the Congregation of St. Bernard of the Strict Observance. However, they were not unopposed, and those who disagreed with them saw meat eating simply as an accommodation to changing times and regarded the Strict Observance as a collection of deluded enthusiasts.

The schism was so acrimonious that Pope Alexander VII (1655-1667) was called to intervene, and in 1664 he invited representatives of both parties to Rome to put their cases to a commission of cardinals. Two years later Alexander promulgated the bull In suprema> which recognized two Cistercian observances, common and strict, the main difference between them being that the former would eat meat three times a week (except during Lent and Advent) and the latter would not.

Meanwhile, Ranee, who had been in Rome in 1664 defending the Abstinents, had established his own rule at La Trappe: a rule more severe than that either of the early Cistercians or of the Abstinents. His monks were forbidden not only meat but also fish, eggs, cheese, and butter. The austerity of the house – the seclusion, the silence, the fasts, the intensity of the opus Dei, and the hard manual labor – became a matter of such wide renown that Strict Observance” and “Trappist” came to be used (incorrectly) as synonyms.