HILDA THE ABBESS OF WHITBY
Throughout the centuries, great men and women, independent of Rome’s intrusion, stood valiantly for Christ and
His Word. Even though Rome granted “saint” status to these great men and women of THE CHURCH IN THE WILDERNESS
(Rev.12:6) [when every devout Christian is called a saint in the Bible (Ps.30:4)], none of them patterned their faith after
the dogma of Rome. In fact, Apostolic Christians have always been commandment keepers, while Roman priests have never been
commandment keepers, nor will ever be, according to the prophecies assigned to her.
Some historical background is needed to appreciate more fully the 7th century life of Hilda the Abbess of Whitby. After
Patrick of Britain went to Ireland in the 5th century to establish the Apostolic Christian faith [in honour of the Judean
model of Peter and Paul (I Thess.2:14)], other great men and women were raised up by GOD to maintain “the faith which
was once delivered to the saints” (Ju.3): a faith extending all the way back to the year 120 A.D., the historical beginning
of the Apostolic Waldenses, according to the great scholar of the 16th century, Theodore Beza.
The Britons of England along with the Scotch and Irish were
of the Celtic race. The Celtic branch of the human family are descendents from Gomer, the grandson of Noah. The Celts, whose
temperament is marked with a noble courage under fire, a deep love for learning, and a fervent devotion to the religion of
their choice, these were ordained by GOD to establish and preserve the Judean model of Christianity at a time when darkness
ruled over the land. In this great calling, Patrick was a pillar of European life and was to all intents and purposes the
father of Irish Christianity. His standard of Christ-like love, his meek spirit, and his ardent devotion to Scripture, helped
the Irish fend off Rome’s intrusion for two centuries.
In the century following Patrick came Columba of Ireland. He was the great Irishman of the Christian faith! He set
his heart in Scotland to establish the renowned school at Iona. This school served throughout Europe, sending teachers and
missionaries; among whom was the great Columbanus who was sent to the kingdoms of Europe to establish and fortify the Bible
obedient faith of Christ.
of Rome was also evangelizing the peoples of Europe and the British Isles. In fact they were pernicious in usurping the more
humble faith of Christ’s followers by supplanting it with papal supremacy. As the Judaizers followed the Apostle Paul
in his missionary journeys, always working to undo the Gospel message of Paul, so Rome followed the Apostolic Church, tirelessly
working to undo their work of establishing the truth “as the truth is in Jesus” (Eph.4:21). Historically, Rome
always asserted the Unbiblical claim that Peter established the pope as his vicegerent, and therefore, all must serve the
pope as Christ Himself. But wherever Rome established herself among the people, those churches raised up by Rome continuously
reverted back to the heathenism of their ancestors. This is because the church of Rome had long incorporated traditions of
pagan idolatry into her doctrines. Therefore, it was no great thing for the heathen idols to reestablish themselves in place
of the Roman idols. Despite Rome’s continued contamination of Christ’s great work, Columbanus and his brethren
continued to reestablish the Apostolic Gospel. This lays at the heart of the life’s work of Columbanus, to whom Europe
today owes a great debt.
missionaries sent from Columba’s school at Iona kept coming to Europe to share “the faith which was once delivered
to the saints.” It was these great men and women who kept the church from total loss throughout the long dark centuries
of heathenism and papal intrusion where only glimmers of heavenly light from the LORD Jesus Christ could take hold in the
souls of men.
Then, in 7th century
England, came a great man of GOD: a man named Aiden. He was a mighty man of GOD. In his day the LORD raised up Dinooth of
Wales, another mighty man of GOD. And in their day the LORD raised up one of the greatest women in this sinful world’s
history to compliment the work of Christ through these men, Hilda, the Abbess of Whitby. She was of noble birth and showed
great spiritual maturity at a young age, showing such great piety in her devotion to the LORD Jesus Christ that all took notice
of her godliness. She established the school and seminary at Whitby. This school/seminary during the 7th century was renowned
throughout Europe. She was so gifted in the wisdom of GOD that kings came to her for advice. Her university was the finest
institution of learning throughout all of Europe.
The high level of education received at Whitby was exemplary of the day. There was first and foremost, unflinching
allegiance to the Scriptures. Their Bible was the ancient Itala, the original Latin Vulgate, whose date ranges from the days
of the Apostle John to no later than 170 A.D. according to the great historians. This complete Bible from Genesis to Revelation
was the Bible of Patrick, the Waldenses and all Apostolic Christians throughout Western Europe. It’s New Testament was
translated from the Apostle’s Greek manuscripts, and came centuries before Jerome’s corrupt Latin vulgate in the
4th century whose text was adopted by the Roman church. Hence began the battle of the Bibles.
Hilda’s method of education held a specific theme unique to her time. Her innate wisdom led the structure of
education to center on one word: SYMMETRY. She well understood the words of Paul concerning the LORD’S distribution
of talents and how in a united work every area of the Gospel commission of Christ could be met: in language skills, in medicine,
in farming, in engineering, in social structure, and above all in moral judgment. In this, she was gifted with a keen discernment
to identify individual talents and to educate them to their best use in service to the Master. Among whom included the great
Caedmon. His musical genius led to the printing of a hymnal containing all the great stories of the Bible. His melodies and
words were common in those days.
during this time the dark spirit of the great usurper suddenly appeared. Arriving on their shores came Augustine (Not St.
Augustine of Hippo of the 4th century) to impose the Roman dogma over the humble faith of the Apostles and overthrow the virtuous
lives of Christ’s true followers and replace their religion with the amalgamation of truth with error, love with hate—humility
with pride. When first appearing and asserting the primacy of Rome and of the pope’s unquestioned authority over all
men, no common ground could be reached. So they decided to meet later. Uncertain of how to proceed with this “newcomer”
(as the Roman church was always called by the Waldenses and others from Apostolic Christianity) they went to ask the advice
of the wisest man of the realm. His counsel was simple. He told them to be sure to arrive at the place of meeting after Augustine
arrives, and “if he rises from his chair to greet you, you shall embrace him as a brother in Christ.” So, the
English churchmen agreed and arrived to their place of meeting after Augustine arrived. And as they approached him, “he
would not deign to rise.” This has always been the character of Roman Catholicism. The more illiterate and gullible
among the people succumbed to Rome’s temptation to adopt a religion based on pride and not Jesus Christ.
And so, as the centuries passed, and Rome asserted
herself in progressively more and more violent methods of forced submission, where examples such as the 12th century pope,
Adrian IV commanded King Henry II to invade Ireland “to enlarge the limits of the church, to decree the truth of the
Christian faith to untaught and rude nations, and to eradicate vice from the field of the Lord.” It was this “evil
spirit” that eventually led to the rise of the Spanish Inquisition under the Dominican Order and then a century later
the Jesuit Order to counter the Protestant Reformation and America’s liberties, in which America today is merely a pawn
in their grand scheme.
Of the dark
ages it has been written: “The noontide of the papacy was the world's moral midnight. The Holy Scriptures were almost
unknown, not only to the people, but to the priests. Like the Pharisees of old, the papist leaders hated the light which would
reveal their sins. God's law, the standard of righteousness, having been removed, they exercised power without limit,
and practiced vice without restraint. Fraud, avarice, and profligacy prevailed. Men shrank from no crime by which they could
gain wealth or position. The palaces of popes and prelates were scenes of the vilest debauchery. Some of the reigning pontiffs
were guilty of crimes so revolting that secular rulers endeavored to depose these dignitaries of the church as monsters too
vile to be tolerated. For centuries Europe had made no progress in learning, arts, or civilization. A moral and intellectual
paralysis had fallen upon Christendom.”—E.G. White, The Great Controversy, p.60.
And this is what the Bible has warned for over 2,500 years through the prophet Daniel, that men, who stand in a pompous
stature and are willfully illiterate to the Bible’s lessons on faith and salvation, these are the ones given authority
to impose the worship of GOD over all others. Their traditions, dating back to heathen deities from Baal and Molech to Dagon
the fish god are carried out and evangelized as heaven-led. But this has no approbation from the LORD Jesus Christ. The Bible
calls this dominant religious system ruling the world, “MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS
OF THE EARTH.” Rev.17:5. And the day is soon to come when this system that has always employed tyranny whether openly
or subversive will give a final decree to every member of the human family, ‘You either join us in our sins against
GOD or you will be put to death’ (Rev.13:15). It always gets back to that age-old "convert or die" ultimatum.
Just know that tyranny has no part of Christ's kingdom (Lu.22:25,26). This may seem impossible today, but events are on
the horizon that will change the minds of men. But leading up to this time in the not so distant future, Jesus will give His
final appeal to those under the thumb of this fictitious, hellish religion masquerading in virtue: “Come out of her,
my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.” Rev.18:4.
The controversy between Christ and Satan has always
been over the Holy Law of GOD. And so, the choice to obey or disobey will come to every man before the end. And those who
choose against the Law of Christ (Jn.8:58) will stand complicit with those whose single-minded purpose is to eradicate Jesus
forever from the Earth—in the Person of His Saints.