The Roman Catholic Mass – What is the Mass?

THE WORD OF GOD VS THE ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH  (Boldface type below are quotations from Roman Catholic literature. See footnotes for references. All scripture references are from the Confraternity-Douay Version of the Bible. Scripture locations in parenthesis indicate the KJV location.)

13. The Roman Catholic Mass
“SUMMARY: From the beginning of time sacrifice has been offered to Almighty God to acknowledge His sovereign dominion over man and all creatures. Cain offered fruits, Abel offered sheep and Melchisedech offered bread and wine, foreshadowing the sacrifice of the New Law. All
(including Cain’s offering???…italics ours) these were but preparations for the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on Calvary, of which He is both priest and victim.”19

 

The following verses show the errors in the so called “infallible” teaching of the above statement:

 

Hebrews 11:4 By faith Abel offered to God a sacrifice more excellent than did Cain, through which he obtained a testimony that he was just, God giving testimony to his gifts; and through his faith, though he is dead he yet speaks.

 

I John 3:12 Not like Cain, who was of the evil one, and killed his brother. And wherefore did he kill him? Because his own works were wicked, but  his brother’s just.

 

Hebrews 8:4 If then he [the Lord Jesus Christ] were on earth, he would not even be a priest, since there are already others to offer gifts according to the Law.

 

#357. What is the Mass? The Mass is the sacrifice of the New Law in which Christ, through the ministry of the priest (Roman priest), offers Himself to God in an unbloody manner under the appearance of bread and wine.20

 

#359….The Mass is the same sacrifice as the sacrifice of the cross.21

 

#360. Why is the Mass the same sacrifice as the sacrifice of the cross?…because in the Mass the Victim is the same…Jesus Christ.22

 

#361. What are the purposes for which the Mass is offered?

The purposes for which the Mass is offered are:…to satisfy the justice of God for the sins committed against Him.23

 

Again, the word of God speaks and annihilates this false doctrine:

 

Isaiah 53:10-11[But the Lord was pleased to crush him in infirmity.] If he gives his life as an offering for sin, he shall see his descendants in a long life, and the will of the Lord shall be accomplished through him. Because of his affliction he shall see the light in fullness of days,; through his suffering, my servant shall justify many, and their guilt he shall bear.

 

Hebrews 9:24-28 For Jesus has not entered into a Holies made by hands, a mere copy of the truth, but into heaven itself, to appear now before the face of God on our behalf; nor yet has he entered to offer himself often, as the high priest enters into the Holies year after year with blood not his own; for in that case he must have suffered often since the beginning of the world. But as it is, once for all at the end of ages, he has appeared for the destruction of sin by the sacrifice of himself. And just as it is appointed unto men to die once and after this comes the judgement, so also was Christ offered once to take away the sons of many; the second time with no part in sin he will appear unto the salvation of those who await him.

 

Hebrews 10:10-14 It is in this “will” that we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all and every priest indeed stands daily ministering, and often offering the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins; but Jesus, having offered one sacrifice for sins, has taken his seat forever at the right hand of god, waiting thenceforth until his enemies be made the foot stool under his feet. For by one offering he has perfected forever those who are sanctified.

 

I Peter 3:18 Because Christ also died once for sins, the Just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God. Put to death indeed in the flesh, he was brought to life in the spirit…

 

Hebrews 9:22 And with blood almost everything is cleansed according to the Law, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.

 

19Rev. John A O’Brien, Ph.D., Ll.D, Understanding the Catholic Faith, An Official Edition of the revised Baltimore Catechism No. 3, (Ava Maria

Press, Notre Dame, Indiana, 1963), p.215

20Rev. John A O’Brien, Ph.D., Ll.D, p. 210

21Rev. John A O’Brien, Ph.D., Ll.D, p.211

22Rev. John A O’Brien, Ph.D., Ll.D, p. 212

23Rev. William J. Cogan, A Catechism for Adults, (Chicago, Ill, ACTA Publications), p. 81#1290

 

The Apocryphal books

THE WORD OF GOD VS THE ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH (Boldface type below are quotations from Roman Catholic literature. See footnotes for references. All scripture references are from the Confraternity-Douay Version of the Bible.  Scripture locations in parenthesis indicate the KJV location.)

 The Apocryphal books. “After the third century, Jewish Bibles did not include these books, so the Reformers decided, in the sixteenth century, to reject them as well.”12

This is another very deceptive statement leading the reader to believe that the apocryphal books were a part of the Jewish canon until they were removed in the third century. Note the following.

 

“Between 285 and 247 B.C., the Hebrew Scriptures were translated into Greek at Alexandria for use in the Greek speaking world, and to them were added a number of apocryphal books written after the completion of the Old Testament canon. These the Palestinian Jews refused to acknowledge as part of the Scriptures. Both the Hebrew and Septuagint Greek Scriptures were in current use during the time of our Lord and His disciples. He and His disciples in their writings quoted from the Old Testament some 350 times. About 300 of these quotations are from the Septuagint, but there is not a single quotation taken from the apocryphal books…”13

 

When Jerome translated the Bible into Latin between A.D. 382 and 404, he did not translate the Apocryphal, and in common with many others of his own and later times, refused to acknowledge its canonicity. The translation of these books into Latin was the work of others, and Jerome was in no way responsible for their inclusion in the Vulgate version of the Bible. Though some references to the apocryphal writings are found in early church literature, it was not until the Councils of Laodicea and Carthage in 363 and 397 that we find them listed as an actual part of the Old Testament. But even this did not signify anything like universal acceptance, and the controversy continued. In the sixteenth century the Reformers rejected them, and the Council of Trent, which was especially called to stop the Reformation movement, reaffirmed their canonicity…”15

 

Jerome’s own list of the canonical books of the Old Testament does not include the apocryphal books, whose divine inspiration he refused to accept.15

 

Note this quotation from the preface to 1Machabees in the Roman Catholic Confraternity Version of the Bible:

 

“Although both Jews and Protestants do not regard these books as Sacred Scripture, they have always been so regarded by The [Roman Catholic] Church who has authoritatively and infallibly declared that they belong to the canon of inspired writings.”

 

12Karl Keating, Catholics, Fundamentalists, and the Bible, (Los Angeles, Franciscan Communications), p.11

13F.C.H. Dreyer and E. Weller, Roman Catholicism In the Light of Scripture, (Chicago, Illinois, Moody Press), p. 25

14Dreyer and Weller, p.26

15Dreyer and Weller, p.30-31

 

Peter the “rock” in Matthew 16:18 Explained

THE WORD OF GOD VS THE ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH

(Boldface type below are quotations from Roman Catholic literature. See footnotes for references.
All scripture references are from the Confraternity-Douay Version of the Bible.
Scripture locations in parenthesis indicate the KJV location.)

This is the Roman Catholic Statement:

 “…to refute the Catholic understanding that “rock” in Matthew 16:18 (‘You are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church’) refers to Peter, Fundamentalists list as many verses as they can in which “rock” refers to God. They don’t bother to look at Matthew 16:18 in itself, and they forget that the whole point of the verse is precisely that Peter was being given a title usually reserved for God and that the name signified something important about his new status.”7

 

Contrary to the above accusation let us look at Matthew 16. The subject of the context is found in verse 13:

 

Matthew 16:13 Now, Jesus, having come into the district of Caesarea Philippi, began to ask his disciples, saying, “Who do men say the Son of Man (Jesus Christ) is?” (NOT “Who is Peter?”)

 

When Peter correctly answered the subject of the context (i.e.. Who is Jesus?), the Lord spoke these words to Peter:

 

Matthew 16:18 And I say to thee, thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

 

What would Peter have understood by the Lord’s words to him? The following verses were part of Peter’s heritage:

 

Deuteronomy 32:4 The Rock- how faultless are his deeds, how right all his ways! A faithful God, without deceit, how just and upright he is!

 

Deuteronomy 32:15 So Jacob ate his fill, the darling grew fat and frisky; you became fat and gross and gorged. They spurned the God Who made them and scorned their saving Rock.

Deuteronomy 32:18 You were unmindful of the Rock that begot you, you forgot the God who gave you birth.

 

2Kings 22:2 (2Samuel 22:2) And he said: The Lord is my rock, and my strength, and my saviour.

 

Psalms 17 (18):2-3 I love you, O Lord, my strength, O Lord, my rock, my fortress, my deliverer. My God, my rock of refuge, my shield, the horn of my salvation, my strong hold.

 

Psalms 17 (18):32 For who is God except the Lord? Who is a rock, save our God?

 

Psalms 17 (18):47 The Lord alive! And blessed be my Rock! Extolled be God my saviour.

 

Psalms 27 (28):1 To you, O Lord, I call: O my Rock, be not deaf to me, lest, if you heed me not, I become one of those going down into the pit.

 

Psalms 30 (31):3 Incline your ear to me, make haste to deliver me! Be my rock of refuge, a stronghold to give me safety.

 

Psalms 41(42):10 I sing to God, my Rock:…

 

Psalms 61 (62):2-3 Only in God is my soul at rest; from him comes my salvation. He only is my rock and my salvation, my stronghold; I shall not be disturbed at all.

 

Psalms 61 (62):6-7 Only in God be at rest, my soul, for from him comes my hope. He only is my rock and my salvation, my stronghold; I shall not be disturbed at all.

 

Psalms 70 (71):3 Be my rock of refuge, a stronghold to give me safety, for you are my rockand my fortress.

 

Psalms 77 (78):35 Remembering that God was their Rock and the most high God, their redeemer.

 

Psalms 88 (89):27 He shall say of me, “You are my father, my God, the Rock, my saviour.”

 

Psalms 91 (92):16 declaring how just is the Lord, my Rock, in whom there is no wrong.

Psalms 93 (94):22 yet the Lord is my stronghold, and my God the Rock of my refuge.

 

When we allow the word of God rather than men to define “Rock” for us, we find consistently that it is God, Himself. There is no reason from the scriptures to assume that Peter or anyone else thought that Peter was attaining a title “usually reserved for God.” The Lord certainly did not hold Peter in such high regard when a few verses later He addressed the disobedient Peter as “Satan.”

 

Matthew 16:23 He turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, satan, thou art a scandal to

            me; for thou dost not mind the things of God, but those of men.”

 

Paul did not hold Peter in such high regard when he rebuked him publicly:

 

Galatians 2:11 But when Cephas came to Antioch, I withstood him to his face, because he was deserving of blame.

 

Peter, to whom the Lord spoke in Matthew 16:18, did not hold himself in such high regard when he came to the Gentile Cornelius’ home:

 

Acts 10:25-26 And as Peter entered, Cornelius met him and, falling at his feet, made obeisance to him. But Peter raised him up, saying, “Get up, I myself also am a man.”

 

When the Jews of Christ’s time rejected His claim as the Messiah, He said to them:

 

Matthew 21:42 Jesus said to them, “Did you never read in the Scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, has become the corner stone; by the Lord this has been done, and it is wonderful in our eyes?

 

After Matthew 16, Peter, Luke and Paul all refer to the Lord Jesus Christ thus:

 

Acts 4:10-12 Be it known to all of you and to all the people of Israel that in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God has raised from the dead, even in this name does he stand here before you, sound. This is The Stone that was rejected by you, the builders, which has become the corner stone. Neither is there salvation in any other. For there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.

 

1Peter 2:6-8 Hence Scripture says, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief cornerstone, chosen, precious: and he who believes in it shall not be put to shame. For you, therefore, who believe, is this honor; but to those who do not believe, A stone which the builders rejected, the same has become the head of the corner, and A stumbling-stone, and a rock of scandal,  to those who stumble at the word, and do not believe. For this also they are destined.

 

Romans 9:33 as it is written, Behold, I lay in Sion a stumbling-stone and rock of scandal: and whoever believes in him shall not be disappointed.

 

1Corinthians 10:4 and all drank the same spiritual drink (for they drank from the spiritual rock which followed them, and the rock was Christ.

 

Ephesians 2:14-22 For he himself is our peace, he it is who has made both one, and hath broken down the intervening wall of the enclosure, the enmity, in his flesh. The Law of the commandments expressed in decrees he has made void, that of the two he might create in himself one new man, and make peace and reconcile both in one body to God by the cross, having slain the enmity in himself. And coming, he announced the good tidings of peace to you who were afar off, and of peace to those who were near; because through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father. Therefore, you are now no longer strangers and foreigners, but you are citizens with the saints, and members of God’s household:  you are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets with Christ Jesus himself as the chief corner stone. In him the whole structure is closely fitted together and grows into a temple holy in the Lord: In him you too are being built into together into a dwelling place for God in the Spirit.

 

I Corinthians 3:11 For other foundation no one can lay, but that which has been laid, which is Christ Jesus.

 

It is clear when we allow the scriptures to define themselves that not Peter, but the Lord Jesus Christ, was and is the one and only “Rock”! Peter was never called nor defined by this expression anywhere in the scriptures.

 

Even if Peter were the foundation for the church of the Lord Jesus Christ, we would still need to come to the scriptures to find any link between present day Romanism and the true church. The “unbroken succession” of the popes of Rome has been revised, deleting some and adding another and placing some in doubt. One pope of the list before 1947 did not even exist. (See Secrets of Romanism by Joseph Zacchello, pub. Loizeaux Brothers, N.Y., 1952, p. 48-50).

 

Roman Catholics are bound to believe the interpretation of the Scriptures “according to the unanimous consent of the Fathers” (Creed of Pope Pius IV).8 On the subject of the supremacy of Peter, the Fathers do not unanimously agree.

 

Speech of Roman Catholic Archbishop Kenrick; cited in An Inside View of the Vatican Council,edited by Leonard Woolsey Bacon, pp. 107-109.9

 

     “The rule of Biblical interpretation imposed upon us is this: that the Scriptures are not to be interpreted contrary to the unanimous consent of the Fathers. It is doubtful whether any instance of that unanimous consent is to be found. But this failing, the rule seems to lay down for us the law following, in their interpretation of the scripture, the major number of Fathers, that might seem to approach unanimity. Accepting this rule, we are compelled to abandon the usual modern exposition of the words, ‘On this rock will I build my church.’”

     “In a remarkable pamphlet ‘printed in facsimile of manuscript,’ and presented to the Fathers almost two months ago, we find five different interpretations of the word ‘rock,’ in the place cited, ‘the first of which declares’ (I transcribe the words) ‘that the church was built on Peter’; and this interpretation is followed by seventeen Fathers – among them, Origen, Cyprian, Jerome, Hilary, Cyril of Alexander, Leo the Great, Augustine.”

     “The second interpretation understands from these words, ‘On this rock I will build my church,’ that the church was built on all the apostles, whom Peter represented by virtue of the primacy. And this opinion is followed by eight Fathers – (etc)

     “The third interpretation asserts that the words, ‘On this rock,’ etc., are to be understood of the faith which Peter had professed – that this faith, this profession of faith, by which we believe Christ to be the Son of the living God, is the ever lasting, immov-able foundation of the church. This interpretation is the weightiest of all, since it is followed by forty Fathers and doctors; among them, from the East, are Gregory of Nyssa, Cyril of Alexandria, Chrysostom, Theophylact; from the West, Hilary, Ambrose, Leo the Great, from Africa, Augustine.”

     “The fourth interpretation, declares that the words, ‘On this rock,’ are to be understood of that rock which Peter had confessed, that is, Christ – that the church was built upon Christ. This interpretation is followed by sixteen Fathers and doctors.”

     “The fifth interpretation of the Fathers understands by the name of the rock, the faithful themselves, who, believing Christ to be the Son of God, are constituted living stones out of which the church is built.”

“From this follows, either that no argument at all, or one of the slenderest probability is to be derived from the words, ‘on this rock will I build my church,’ in support of the primacy. Unless it is certain that by the rock is to be understood the Apostle Peter in his own person, and not in his capacity as the chief apostle speaking for them all, the word supplies no argument whatever, I do not say in proof of papal infallibility, but even in support of the primacy of the Bishop of Rome. If we are bound to follow the majority of the Fathers in this thing, then we are bound to hold for certain that by the rock should be understood the faith professed by Peter, not Peter professing the faith.”

Only 17 out of the eighty-four early church fathers believed that the Lord referred to Peter when He said, “this rock,” the others holding variously that it applied to Christ or to Peter’s testimony to Christ, or to all the apostles. So if appeal is made to the early church fathers of the first four centuries, Rome’s claim must be disallowed.”10

 

The apostle Peter is only mentioned 65 times after the church begins in Acts 2. The apostle Paul is mentioned 182 times. Peter does have a prominent place until his failure mentioned in Galatians 2. In the council of Acts 15 Peter only recounts his calling to preach to Cornelius in Acts 10, then asks the council a question. James was evidently in charge and passed judgment on the issue before the brethren and it was agreed to by the apostles, elders and the church there present.

 

Note that Peter was called by Almighty God to be the apostle to the circumcision (Jews) while it was Paul who was called as the apostle to the Gentiles. Paul wrote 13 epistles in which he was chosen by God to reveal truths for the present church age. Peter only wrote 2 epistles to the “…scattered…” (Strongs #1290, the ‘diaspora,’ the Jews living outside Palestine).

 

Peter’s mission:

Galatians 2:7 On the contrary, when they saw that to me was committed the gospel for the uncircumcised as to Peter that for the circumcised.

 

Paul’s mission:

Romans 11:13 For I say to you Gentiles, As long, indeed, as I am an apostle of the Gentiles, I will honor my ministry:

 

I Timothy 2:7 To this I have been appointed a preacher, and an apostle, (I tell the truth and do not lie) a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth.

 

II Timothy 1:11 Of which I have been appointed a preacher and an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles.

 

7Keating, Catholics, Fundamentalists, and the Bible, (Los Angeles, Franciscan Communications), p.9

8Joseph Zacchello, Secrets of Romanism, (New York, Loizeaux Brothers, Edition 1952), p. 18

9Zacchello, p.p. 40-42

10F.C.H. Dreyer and E. Weller, Roman Catholicism In the Light of Scripture, (Chicago, Illinois, Moody Press), p.42

Religious Gullibility

Religious Gullibility

 

One is gullible when he takes things for granted, gulping it down without personal investigation. This is most prevalent in the religious realm, which is tragic because here one’s eternal destiny is involved. Is the Bible understandable to all? It is a common mistake to think that only the “clergy” can understand it. Psalm 25:9, 14 informs us: “The meek will He guide in judgment: and the meek will He teach his way. The secret of the LORD is with them that fear Him; and He will shew them his covenant.” The Bereans “searched the scriptures daily, whether those things [which they were taught] were so,” we read in Acts 17:11. “The simple [the gullible] believeth every word [they hear]: but the prudent man looketh well to his going.” Proverbs 14:15. All sorts of false teaching may be produced by “handling the Word of God deceitfully.” 2 Corinthians 4:2.

 

The Bible a Reliable Book

 

Is the Bible truly reliable as “a light to our path,” without contradictions and without scientific mistakes? Certainly, as proved by its contents! One verse, for example             (1 Cor 15:39), exposes the unproven theory of organic evolution as being a great lie. It plainly states: “All flesh is not the same flesh: but there is one kind of flesh of men, another flesh of beasts, another of fishes, and another of birds.” Modern science itself has verified this in the study of bloods and chromosomes, which in number, kind and assortment differ in the cell nucleus of each species of flesh. They never change, so transmutation of species is quite impossible. Bible biology also makes known an unchangeable law that everything in the vegetable and animal kingdoms brings forth “after his kind.” Gen 1:17, 24

 

Another outstanding proof of the Bible’s veracity is to be found in fulfilled prophecies. History has corroborated many of them. Eighty prophecies about Jesus Christ were fulfilled at His first advent, which advent was foretold 4,000 years ahead of time. Gen 3:15. See also Isa 7:14. Now let this sink down in your ears, dear reader, 250 more prophecies are yet to be fulfilled at His second coming, which is drawing near!

 

The sudden silence of heaven for nearly 2,000 years since Israel was set aside (temporarily) at the close of the book of Acts period, has caused many to doubt that God exists and they become scoffers just as the Bible predicted. A clear understanding of this temporary silence is obtainable by examining Rom 11; Acts 15:14-18 and Eph 1:22; 3:1-11 explaining how God is now silently “taking out of the Gentiles [the nations] a people for His name” to form the church which is Christ’s body. Meanwhile, because of His Son’s unlimited vicarious atonement for man’s sin, He allows the world by His grace to continue its way, offering His free salvation to all men through Jesus Christ. Shortly after the church is “caught up to meet the Lord in the air.” (1 Thes 4:13-17) “The Lord shall roar from on high, and utter His voice from His holy habitation: He shall give a shout . . . against all the inhabitants of the earth. A noise shall come even to the ends of the earth . . . He will plead with all flesh: He will give them that are wicked to the sword, saith the Lord” Jer 25:30-31. See also Isa 2:17; Joel 3:16 and Rev 6:12-17. Thus, be not gullible in believing the scoffers!

 

The Holy Spirit never promotes hysteria; but note the large crusades in hysteria-filled tents where gullible multitudes believes that all they see, hear and experience is undoubtedly the working of the Holy Spirit of God — in “a second Pentecost,” so called. We refer to the way God’s Word is handled by ringmaster healers, so-called, the strange power seizing the body in a so-called “baptism of the Holy Ghost,” babbling tongues and seeming miraculous healing. The Bible plainly warns us about the counterfeit activities of Satan and demons! King Saul “prophesied” while possessed by “an evil spirit.” 1 Sam 18:10. So it can be with “speaking in tongues” today! “Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils.” 1 Tim 4:1-2 “And for this cause [receiving not ‘the love of the truth’] God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie . . . 2 Thes 2:10-11.

 

Deception in “Church Authority”

 

A tragic and far reaching gullibility is associated with the supposed power and authority over the bodies and souls of men through the distorted doctrines of a man-organized so-called “church” and its officials. The following four biblical points should be sufficiently clarifying for the truth seeker in this matter.

 

[1] No man was ever divinely empowered to directly forgive another man’s sins or to retain them! Christ said to His disciples, “Receive ye the Holy Ghost: Whosoever’s sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whosoever’s sins ye retain, they are retained.”   Joh 20:22-23. This can only mean that through their preaching in the convicting power of the Holy Spirit the gospel of free salvation in Christ and the remission of sins through the merit of His shed blood, the disciples would be the indirect means of sins being remitted or retained. It points to the result of such preaching whether it is accepted or rejected by the hearers.

 

“Who can forgive sins but God alone?” Christ did so, being “God manifest in the flesh.” Luk 5:20-21; 1 Tim 3:15. As for binding and loosing [Mat 18:18], that was a temporary bestowment of miracle-working power during the infancy of the church. See Acts 5:1-11 and 13:8-11, recording clear examples of such binding and loosing. Compare       Jer 1:9-10. The true church of the Bible, a God-organized organism, as composed of saved sinners throughout the world who are “all one in Christ Jesus” [Acts 2:47; 5:14; Gal 3:28] has no autocratic power over men. This rests solely in its head, the Lord Jesus Christ.     Col 1:18; 2:19; Eph 5:23. True, His ministers are to “rule” in the church [1 Tim 3:5; 5:17], but this word means “to guide” or to lead believers in the truth of God’s Word and to beseech them to heed and to obey it. According to Joh 18:36; Phil 3:20 and 1 Pet 2:11, Christ’s church has no part or activity in the political and militant ways of “this world,” for His kingdom is not of this world order!

 

[2] Instituting continuance of the Old Testament [covenant] Aaronic priesthood and imitating it in this present dispensation of the formation of “the church which is Christ’s body” [Eph 1:22; 3:1-11], is to put people under the law and its characteristic fleshly ordinances, or rituals, under the mediatorial office of man-made clergymen, priests and popes. Formerly there were God appointed priests but Hebrews 7,9 and 10 explains that that order of Aaronic priesthood ceased, giving way to the rising up of “another priest,” a kingly one, the Lord Jesus Christ, “made a priest forever after the order of Melchisedec.” He is the “one mediator between God and men!” 1 Tim 2:5. He “died for our sins” and “was raised again for our justification.” 1 Cor 15:15; Rom 4:25.

 

“The Spirit of Christ,” the one “head of the church,” is ever present in all believers. Rom 8:9, 11; Gal 4:6; Phil 1:19; Col 1:27. He needs not, and has not a “vice regent” – a “vicar” on earth. He commanded, “Do not you be called Rabbi, for one is your Master, and all you are brothers. And call no one on earth your father; for one is you Father who is in heaven. Neither be called masters; for one only is your Master, the Christ.” Mat 23:8-10. [R.C. Confraternity Version.] Yes all who belong to Christ are truly a common brotherhood of redeemed saved sinners. The Bible teaches the direct opposite of Rome’s pompous, major claims! Her demand that all men be obedient to the “authority” and teaching of the Roman Catholic “Church” as centered in her pope, or “Pontifex Maximus” [a name of pagan religion origin] is utterly unscriptural and blasphemous!

 

[3] There isn’t the faintest hint in the Bible about the teaching of so-called “apostolic succession!” All that God wanted men to receive by way of apostolic authority He has supplied in the inspired epistles of the apostles Paul, Peter, James and John. Their epistles are included in “All scripture is given by inspiration of God,” which are “profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.” 2 Tim 3:16-17. To know that the Bible can be sufficiently understood by any humble believer anywhere, anytime, apart from clerics and popes in a religious hierarchy, please read Joh 14:26; 16:13-15; 1 Joh 2:27 and 2 Tim 2:7, “Consider what I say; and the Lord give thee understanding in all things.”

 

[4] The doctrine that Christians need a certain amount of cleansing after death from “remaining sins” in an intermediate place called “purgatory” is utterly foreign to God’s word! The main prop for this wicked, unproveable invention is taken from the uninspired Second Book of Maccabees [12:40-45], where it is stated that Judas had “a pious thought” to make atonement for and to pray for some dead soldiers “so that they might be set free form their sin” of having worn idolatrous “amulets under their shirts.” Please read 2 Cor 10:5 concerning unscriptural thoughts and imaginations.

 

God says, “The blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth [purgeth] us from all sin,” “For by one offering He hath perfected forever them that are sanctified.” 1 Joh 1:7;       Heb 10:14. Please read Heb 9 and 10. Remember, “The wisdom of the prudent is to understand his way: but the folly of fools is deceit.” Pro 14:8. Yes, the gullible are easily and painfully deceived!

 

Beware of all religious means used by individuals or sectarian organizations to obtain temporal power and gain!

 

The forgoing should, by Bible investigation, help to forestall and expel the stupefying gullibility suffered indeed by the masses in deception by, and ignorant submission to, grave ecclesiastical errors and schemes. How precious are the words of the Lord Jesus: “If any man will do His [God’s] will he shall know the doctrine . . . ,” and, if you continue in my word then are you my disciples indeed; and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” Come unto me all ye that are weary and heavy laden and I will give you rest.” Joh 7:17; 8:31-32; Mat 11:28. Why not be restfully free from the burdens and deceptions produced by the “doctrines and commandments of men” [Mat 15:9] and so rejoice in the truth, having joy and peace in mind and conscience? “Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them.” [Make them to stumble.] Ps 119:165

 

Yours “for the truth’s sake” and “in the name of the Lord Jesus” [2 Joh 2; Col 3:17]

Ed Stevens.      Circa 1960                       Copied by D. Brittain