[The symbol currently being used by the Christian Community is in fact much older than Sho

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[The symbol currently being used by the Christian Community is in fact much older than Shoemaker believes. Many know that the symbol of Pisces, which Age (Biblical "Aeon") Jesus ushered in, is this same symbol. At the beginning of each Aeon a new Prophet is choses to "lead the people," (re: Mosses, Buddah). They have always adopted the Astrological symbol which most closely matches the Aeon. The so-called Aquarian Aeon, which will start in about 250 years, will use the sign of the wave (two squigily lines). - DMR] filename : IXOYE.TXT added : ? Christian Information Exchange 714-531-3834 Fountain Valley, CA Sysop : Mike Wallace Courtesy : The Manna System THE SIGN OF THE FISH Author: Donald P. Shoemaker Submitted by: Jim Fox Have you been asking, "What's it all about?" A symbol nearly as old as Christianity has come out of the history books in recent years. Whether worn as jewelry, attatched to a car window, or placed on a front door, this symbol probably has caught your attention; and what the person displaying it was trying to communicate. The symbol is that of a fish. It is the earliest of Christian symbols and was the most common representation of Jesus Christ from the second through the fourth centuries. It appeared in many forms very meaningful to the followers of Jesus. Why was the fish meaningful to Christians? The Biblical account of Christ's days on earth relates an interesting event which followed His resurrection. On one occasion (John 21:9-13) the resurrected Lord served a meal of fish and bread to His disciples. Fish was a common food shared in the community meals of the early Christians. It was easy then for the fish to become to early Christians a constant symbol of continuing fellowship with their resurrected Lord. To them He was more than a philosophical memory and moral ideal. He was a living, present reality! The living faith of early Christians soon brought organized opposition from the pagan world. Frequently Christians were forced to worship secretly. The fish symbol served them well in the difficult times because it generally would go unnoticed by a foe of Christianity when Christians used it to communicate. Placed outside a Christian's home, this symbol would announce silently that Christian Communion was to be observed secretly there that night. Artistic forms of the fish frequently decorated the Roman catacombs where Christians were forced to meet during persecution. Soon Christians began to attach meaning to the word "fish" itself. The Greek letters for "ichtus" (fish) became an acronym: I - Jesus, X - Christ, O-God's, Y - Son, E - Saviour. Christians picked these titles because they gave the Christian response to the question Who is Jesus? To them, He was no mere social or political hero, no misguided master of a misguided cult. They declared that the Son of God had laid aside the lories of His eqaulity with God and entered human history as a man. This God-man lived sinnlessly and died as a substitute for the humanity He loved in spite of man's rebellion against God's moral law (see Romans 3:10-11, 23; 5:6-8; and John 1:14; 3:16). The person who displays the fish symbol today has accepted the same New Testament teaching that these early Christians accepted - that Jesus Christ is Lord and Saviour. By a descision of faith, he has entered into a new relationship with God and knows the reality of God's forgiveness and the joy of Christian living. This same reality is yours through your simple recognition of Jesus Christ as God's Son and your Saviour. "If you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved" (Romans 10:9).

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