Vibia Perpetua, Circa 181-203 A.D. This beautiful Apostolic woman's story comes to us from her own diary, which came into the hands of Tertullian. Tertullian apostated into the Montanus movement of female preachers around 207-210 according to scholars. Perhaps no man of his day, knew more about the Gnostic influence upon women, than Tertullian. Often, he is ridiculed for his strict evaluation of women and their holiness duty. His detractors call him a woman-hater. In his Montanus influenced writings Tertullian was instrumental in playing a part in the development of the trinity doctrine. There is no record that he ever regretted this error. His rant against Praxeas was after he converted to the Montanus heresies and we are forced to beleive the trinity came then among the Ante-Nicene Fathers via Tertullian's Montanus heresies. The Catholic Church accepts the Montanus trinitarian teachings of Tertullian. There is little evidence Tertullian was trinitarian until he became a Montanus. He left the forming ranks of what became the Catholic Church, and never returned. They have never forgiven him. Oneness Men refuse to forgive him of his heresies because he never repented. So he hangs in the balance of eternity with few friends. His reporting of the account of Vibia Perpetua was before his apostasy.
Perpetua was born in Carthage, the home town of Tertullian, a city of North Africa, around 181 A.D. She was black as to skin color but she was a daughter of God as to her religion. Her parents were pagan and she was raised to worship idols. She was married in her late teens. A child was born to this union. Around 201 A.D., Perpetua was introduced to the Apostolic message. She was then twenty years of age. It is believed that her conversion was the work of her maid-servant, Felicitas. Perpetua was touched by the Spirit of God and filled with the Holy Ghost. She was baptized in the Name of Jesus Messiah. Her husband refused to remain married to a Christian, and abandoned her, leaving the child for the mother to raise alone. In her diary she wrote of her baptism:
"The Holy Ghost has inspired me to pray for nothing but patience under my sorrows and pains of life."
Perpetua and Felicitas were members of a new Apostolic congregation in Carthage. With Perpetua's membership the Church grew to a big total of six. In addition to Perpetua and Felicitas, there was also Pastor Saturus, and brothers Revocatus, Secundulus, and Saturninus.
Roman emperor Septimus Severus decreed that Christians were prohibited from making converts and must renounce their faith. Proof of denying Messiah was to burn a pinch of incense to the emperor as god. The small Carthage congregation of six members ran afoul of this decree. They were reported to the Roman Procurator Hilarian. A political opportunist, Hilarian had them arrested and thrown into jail. The child of Perpetua was torn from her breast and taken to her family. Her aged father came to the prison and begged her to renounce Messiah and return to the family's worship and veneration of idols. She refused! He threatened to beat her. Yet she remained steadfast. She begged for her child. After a few days her request was granted and the child was brought to her visibly malnourished and dying. The moment the child and she were united, it nuzzled up to its mother and took nourishment. Perpetua wrote:
"My prison suddenly became a palace."
The child quickly revived and for a few days they shared the most intimate of mother-child fellowship.
Before she was summoned before the tribunal, her father returned to plead a second time for her to renounce Messiah. He had gone privately to the Roman authorities to learn of his daughter's fate. They told him she was scheduled to be cast to wild beast and lastly have her head cut off if she continued to defy the decree of the emperor. Rushing to her, with tears running down his face, the aged dad pleaded. In her diary she wrote about looking into the loving eyes of her father and trying to comfort him. Knowing she was not going to relent, he kissed her hands and fell at her feet weeping. The guards dragged him away.
The next day, she along with the other five members of the little Church were taken before the Procurator. When her turn came, Hilarian asked: "Art thou a Christian?" Perpetua replied: "I cannot forsake my faith for freedom, I am a Christian." Her father, standing in the hall of judgment and hearing these words, broke forth and ran before the Procurator, in a last attempt to save her. Hilarian commanded he be beaten with a rod and cast into the street. Tears flowed down her cheeks as she watched her dad being beaten and dragged away.
The day of execution was announced. Criers went throughout the city announcing that Christians would to be cast to wild beast in the sports arena. The city buzzed with excitement. Priests of the pagan religion worked up the ignorance of the multitudes and challenged the Christian's right to make converts. Felicitas was eight months with child. She was tormented that she and the unborn infant would be thrown to wild beast together. She desired the Pastor and the others to pray that the child be born before the day of death. They all united in prayer and made this petition known to God. Three days before they were to be executed, birth pangs started and a baby girl came into the world. A guard, hearing her cries of suffering, mocked her saying: "If you cry out now, what will you do when you are thrown to the wild beast in the sports arena?" Her child was taken from her and given to her family. Their prayer was answered.
On the day of execution, the little Church family marched single file proudly to their sacrifice. As they approached the seat of the Procurator and his government friends, Hilarian pointed at them mockingly, crossed his arms, and settled back into his seat. As the little band of Christians came before his indignant grin, they each said to him: "You may judge us, but God will judge you and this city." Hilarian rose to his feet in anger, being embarrassed before his friends, and commanded them to be immediately beaten.
Pastor Saturus was thrown to his death first. He was attacked by a leopard, a bear, and a wild boar. As the hungry beast lunged and attacked, tearing at his flesh, he fell and rose, his body drenched in his own blood. The voice of a pagan priest cried out: "He teaches the baptism of the blood of Jesus. Now look at the fool covered with his own blood. He is well baptized." A chant arose from some of the devotees of the pagan shrine that attended with the priest: "He is well baptized. He is well baptized." Each time Pastor Saturus rose to his feet, he raised his hands in honor and praise as a salute to God. When he could rise no more and his blood was scattered over a large area, he was beheaded and the remnant of his body was dragged away.
The fury of the people of Carthage was unleashed upon these six precious souls. One by one, Revocatus, Secundulus, and Saturninus met the same fate. One by one, their severed heads were raised in tribute, to show the crowd, that Rome and Carthage would not tolerate Jesus Messiah and Christians trying to make converts. Hilarian reserved the girls for the grand finale.
The former beasts, well fed on the flesh and blood of four brave Apostolic men, were removed from the sports arena and a savage steer was led in. The Apostolic girls were thrown to the ground before this animal. The steer attacked Perpetua first. Thrusting her through with both horns, her precious body was hurled in a spinning mass over its back, where she fell limp to the ground. The beast, turning, saw Felicitas, and charged at her repeatedly. Each time she was thrust through with one or more horns and her body tossed from side to side as the animal tried to free her flesh from his forehead. Perpetua regained her vision and strength. In severe pain she drew herself upon her hands and knees. Seeing her friend savagely torn asunder and laying in a pool of blood, she crawled to the side of her hand-maid. She noticed her own clothes were torn and her body was partly exposed. She modestly tried to hide her nakedness, holding the ripped clothing with one hand while ministering and praying for her hand-maid with the other.
The voice of an aged man begged in a cry of despair: "It is enough!"
The crowd, moved with a moment of sensitivity, began to chant: "It is enough, it is enough!"
Hilarian observed the sympathy of his subjects and signaled for the gladiator to come and conclude his duty. Perpetua regained enough strength to rise to her feet. Seeing one of her brothers, she struggled toward him. With her dying words, she begged him to become a Christian and not to lose faith. The gladiator twisted her long lovely blood drenched hair into a fisted knot, and cast her to the ground. Drunk on the frenzy of the crowd's roar, he brought his sword crashing down upon her body. His first blow sliced into her shoulder and left only a small gash on her neck. With one bloody hand reaching to comfort that painful injury, some believed she was pointing to the place he should strike next. It was not a quick death. It took the drunken gladiator numerous hacks before her head was severed. He grabbed her hair and pulled her head from her body in one last jerk, ripping the last remnant of flesh holding it to the torso. He raised the bloodied face of this precious daughter of God to Hilarian and a smiling satisfied crowd. The day of slaughter was over. Six Christians were dead. They each sealed their testimony with their own blood. In heaven, the official decree was ordered: "Carthage must be destroyed, vengeance is mine saith the Lord, I WILL REPAY."
Within twenty years, over 300,000 people of Carthage were killed in the most bloody war of the century. The city was nearly destroyed. Over the next four hundred years, hundreds of thousands were killed and the city nearly destroyed each time. Finally, in 698 A.D. Carthage was completely destroyed and over a million souls are thought to have perished. In all total, it is safe to estimate, that nearly two million souls gave an account for the blood shed of six precious Apostolic souls. Will God need to repent for making hell after these types of hateful atrocities upon his children? Can anyone sanctify a sports arena and God put his stamp of approval upon it? Can a real Child of God go and play games in an edifice that stands as a symbol of supreme hate and sacrifice of precious Christians throughout the ages? The cup is not yet full. Over the next fourteen centuries, it is estimated that nearly fifteen million were killed by the Catholic Church, continuing the bloodshed by Mystery Babylon.
The crimson trail leads from the Palace of King Herod to Bethlehem where an untold number of baby boys were slaughtered. It proceeds from the Temple in Jerusalem, winding its way down a secret passage to the bowels of the underground caverns, where John the Baptist was executed. Among these tunnels, directly below where the altar once stood, stuffed secretly in the walls, are the remains of murdered saints, whose dried blood cries out of these archeological ruins, "How long O Lord!" Bursting into the sunlight, the trail emerges from the cold main tunnel proceeding into the tower of Antonia and the hall of Pilate, where Jesus was scourged. From Calvary to the prison where James was beheaded, to the city street where Stephen lay dead. In the soil around the whipping post where the Apostles and other Christians received numerous floggings of forty stripes save one. Into the hundreds of tiny homes with dirt floors, where families, scarcely with enough food, huddled in fright as Temple bounty hunters crashed down the doors, searching and capturing their precious souls, and quickly shedding their blood. The trail leads toward Damascus where Saul finds God along a bloody trail of his own making. From Israel it weaves its way from city to city, nation to nation, continent to continent, island to island, and arrives in our lifetime at the door of the last day Apostolic Church. Mark it down. The Charismatic Pentecostals, with their growing hatred and detesting of hearing the old fashion Apostolic message of holiness, will lend their voices, as did the "christian apostate traitors" in the Apostles day, to cause the blood-shed of saints in the not-to-distant future. Jesus predicted it. It will come to pass. This will usher in the wrath of God and the end of the age.
Before you are two females, Antoinette L. Brown, a self-made and newspaper ordained woman preacher. Nothing was precious or sacred, except the will of her wanton lust to feminize the pulpits of America. On the other hand, Perpetua had no greater love than to stand in her lot as a true Apostolic Woman, not desiring to alter a single word of the precious Book. She neither desired or demanded to be made a woman preacher. She was cut down in her youth, while Antoinette Brown lived after her plotting sin, sixty eight years, sinning her day of grace away. She lived to flaunt her feminist liberalism as best as she could, before God, as she masqueraded in the disguise of a Man of God. Two natures are here manifest. The one represents the leaven of Gnostic Babylon and the other the beauty of the true Apostolic Woman.
The true Apostolic Woman has the sweetest nature on earth. She is to be what Eve was before the fall. Her tenderness keeps her humble and her soul does magnify the Lord. She may feel neglected, taken for granted, often ignored, and many times hurt: but her faith is in the reward, and so she forgives and forgives and forgives. She is a reason Jesus said he would prepare a place that eye has not seen nor ear heard. The Apostolic Woman lives a life of piety, and in holiness, she worships the true and living God, JESUS Messiah! Therefore, we are not ashamed to call her. . .SISTER!
God drew the line against women priestess and women preachers throughout the entire time of Bible history. The last apostate movement to usurp authority from Jesus Messiah over the world will be the great whore of Mystery Babylon. This Spirit will come against the endtime Ministers of God. It will come in part from women who will not get down out of the pulpit. It will come from men in agreement with these women out of order. But the Truth shall prevail and all who walk not according to the faith of Jesus Messiah will be lost.
The question: "CAN A WOMAN PREACH?" is answered in the negative. No, they may not Scripturally preach in any Apostolic Church to Apostolic members. They may not claim God sent them, God called them, or God ordained them. These three claims are false!
I pray the favor and grace of the Lord Jesus Messiah upon all those who read this and who were blessed to walk in the Covenant of the Scriptures by it.
With all my love,
Cohen G. Reckart, Pastor
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