Clement

It is safe to say that many Christians today have maybe never thought of or even heard of a man named Clement from the early Christian church in Rome. Clement was known as a Bishop in Rome of the early church, and lived during the time of the original Apostles. According to an early Christian writer Tertullian, Clement was ordained by the Apostle Peter himself to serve the congregations of Rome. Other Bishops noted to be ordained by Peter in Rome were Linus and Cletus. Bishop Clement is noted for his leadership between the years 92-99AD, having died in 99AD after a period of imprisonment, where he was tied to an anchor and thrown into the sea. The Roman Catholic Church regards Clement as a Pope, and the first “Apostolic Father” of the church. What is more interesting are the teachings of Clement, as they reflect a picture of the early Christian church that is foreign to the church as we know it today. His writings can be found in 1 Clement, and 2 Clement. Let’s take a look at some of his teachings. First, Clement demonstrates an understanding of the New Covenant where the commandments and ordinances of the Lord are written in the heart:

“Being adorned with a most virtuous and honorable life, ye performed all your duties in the fear of Him. The commandments and the ordinances of the Lord were written on the tablets of your hearts. ~ 1 Clement 2:8

He also talks about the alternative to obeying the commandments of God:

For this cause righteousness and peace stand aloof, while each man hath forsaken the fear of the Lord and become purblind in the faith of Him, neither walketh in the ordinances of His commandments nor liveth according to that which becometh Christ, but each goeth after the lusts of his evil heart, seeing that they have conceived an unrighteous and ungodly jealousy, through which also death entered into the world.” ~ 1 Clement 3:4

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This next section of Clement’s writings are especially interesting, in that he establishes the “Master’s order” of things as being found in the “Appointed times/seasons” of the bible. This teaching of Clement is contrary to current Christianity’s teaching that the Appointed Seasons/Times are no longer relevant. He also refers to “Divine knowledge” that he had “searched into the depths of”, also known as the Holy Scriptures. Remember, Clement was taught by Peter himself, and he seems to be reinforcing the importance of the divine order of things that can be found in the Holy Days/Feasts, New Moons, Sabbaths etc.  There was originally appointed an order of service in the Old Testament where sacrifices were to be brought, along with offerings. Every man has a place in the divine order of things. The seven Feasts included Passover, Feast of Unleavened Bread, Day of Firstfruits, Pentecost (AKA Feast of Weeks), Feast of Trumpets, Day of Atonement, and the Feast of Tabernacles. These were in addition to the monthly New Moon offerings, and the weekly Sabbath Offerings. This portion of the text indicates that the Gentiles were being taught to uphold the Appointed Seasons of the Old Testament:

“Forasmuch then as these things are manifest beforehand, and we have searched into the depths of the Divine knowledge, we ought to do all things in order, as many as the Master hath commanded us to perform at their appointed seasonsNow the offerings and ministrations He commanded to be performed with care, and not to be done rashly or in disorder, but at fixed times and seasonsAnd where and by whom He would have them performed, He Himself fixed by His supreme will: that all things being done with piety according to His good pleasure might be acceptable to His will. They therefore that make their offerings at the appointed seasons are acceptable and blessed: for while they follow the institutions of the Master they cannot go wrongFor unto the high priest his proper services have been assigned, and to the priests their proper office is appointed, and upon the levites their proper ministrations are laid. The layman is bound by the layman’s ordinancesLet each of you, brethren, in his own order give thanks unto God, maintaining a good conscience and not transgressing the appointed rule of his service, but acting with all seemliness. Not in every place, brethren, are the continual daily sacrifices offered, or the freewill offerings, or the sin offerings and the trespass offerings, but in Jerusalem alone. And even there the offering is not made in every place, but before the sanctuary in the court of the altar; and this too through the high priest and the afore said ministers, after that the victim to be offered hath been inspected for blemishes. They therefore who do any thing contrary to the seemly ordinance of His will receive death as the penaltyYe see, brethren, in proportion as greater knowledge hath been vouchsafed unto us, so much the more are we exposed to danger.” ~ 1 Clement 40:1-4 & 1 Clement 41:1-4

Clement also explained what the Gospel was- calling it glad tidings of the kingdom of God that should come!:

“Having therefore received a charge, and having been fully assured through the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ and confirmed in the word of God with full assurance of the Holy Ghost, they went forth with the glad tidings that the kingdom of God should comeSo preaching everywhere in country and town, they appointed their firstfruits, when they had proved them by the Spirit, to be bishops and deacons unto them that should believe. ~ 1 Clement 42:3-4

Again and again, Clement stresses the importance of obedience to the Commandments of God:

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“Let him that hath love in Christ fulfill the commandments of Christ.” ~ 1 Clement 49:1

“Blessed were we, dearly beloved, if we should be doing the commandments of God in concord of love, to the end that our sins may through love be forgiven usFor it is written; Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man to whom the Lord shall impute no sin, neither is guile in his mouth.” ~ 1 Clement 50:4-5

“Receive our counsel, and ye shall have no occasion of regret. For as God liveth, and the Lord Jesus Christ liveth, and the Holy Spirit, who are the faith and the hope of the elect, so surely shall he, who with lowliness of mind and instant in gentleness hath without regretfulness performed the ordinances and commandments that are given by God, be enrolled and have a name among the number of them that are saved through Jesus Christ, through whom is the glory unto Him for ever and ever. Amen.” ~ 1 Clement 58:2

Clement’s second book, 2 Clement, also contains a large amount of text in regard to the commandments:

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“But wherein do we confess Him?  When we do that which He saith and are not disobedient unto His commandments, and not only honor Him with our lips, but with our whole heart and with our whole mind.  Now He saith also in Isaiah, This people honoreth me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me.” ~ 2 Clement 3:4-5 

Let us therefore not only call Him Lord, for this will not save us, for He saith, Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, shall be saved, but he that doeth righteousness. ~ 2 Clement 4:1-2

“For this cause, if ye do these things, the Lord said, Though ye be gathered together with Me in My bosom, and do not My commandmentsI will cast you away and will say unto you, Depart from Me, I know you not whence ye are, ye workers of iniquity.” ~ 2 Clement 4:5

“For, if we do the will of Christ, we shall find rest; but if otherwise, then nothing shall deliver us from eternal punishment, if we should disobey His commandments.” ~ 2 Clement 6:7

“For after that we have departed out of the world, we can no more make confession there, or repent any more.  Wherefore, brethren, if we shall have done the will of the Father and kept the flesh pure and guarded the commandments of the Lord, we shall receive life eternal.” ~ 2 Clement 8:3-4

“And let us not think to give heed and believe now only, while we have departed home, let us remember the commandments of the Lord, and not suffer ourselves to be dragged off the other way by our worldly lusts; but coming hither more frequently, let us strive to go forward in the commandments of the Lord, that we all having the same mind may be gathered together unto life.” ~ 2 Clement 17:3

“He speaketh of that day of judgment, when men shall see those among us that live ungodly lives and dealt falsely with the commandments of Jesus Christ.” ~ 2 Clement 17:6

“Let us therefore practice righteousness that we may be saved unto the end.  Blessed are they that obey these ordinances.  Though they may endure affliction for a short time in the world, they will gather the immortal fruit of the resurrection.” ~ 2 Clement 19:3

One final thing from Clement that is somewhat profound- is he clearly states that man is not given additional opportunities for salvation after death.  This is contrary to the Catholic teaching on Purgatory, and other various Christian teachings on life after death:

“For after that we have departed out of the world, we can no more make confession there, or repent any more.” ~ 2 Clement 8:3

A biblical study on the afterlife can be found on the “Truth About After-Life” page of this website.  You can find the full text to Clement’s writings here: 1 Clement, 2 Clement. Remember that the Commandments and Ordinances of God can be found in the Old Testament, and you can find the original 10 Commandments in Exodus 20. These laws have been altered as it was prophesied that they would be in the Book of Daniel, where the “Beast” was prophesied to change the times and change the laws. More information on this can be found on the “Identifying Antichrist” and “Why Follow The Commandments” pages of this site. The message of Clement is fresh, clear and crisp. He indicates a distinct importance of obedience to the commandments, ordinances, appointed seasons, etc of God. He was taught, trained and ordained by the one and only Apostle Peter and served the Gentiles in Rome. Please prayerfully consider his testimony.

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