Natural Law and the State of Things

When we look at the world today, whether you are conservative or liberal, Christian or pagan, you see turmoil, unrest, violence, threats of violence  and signs of societal decline on every side. The question everyone asks, if only to themselves, is “What caused this and what is the solution?”

The answer: everything we see in the world today is an act of natural law.

First, what is natural law?

“The unwritten body of universal moral principles that underlie the ethical and legal norms by which human conduct is sometimes evaluated and governed. Natural law is often contrasted with positive law, which consists of the written rules and regulations enacted by government. The term natural law is derived from the Roman term jus naturale. Adherents to natural law philosophy are known as naturalists.

Naturalists believe that natural law principles are an inherent part of nature and exist regardless of whether government recognizes or enforces them. Naturalists further believe that governments must incorporate natural law principles into their legal systems before justice can be achieved.” (The Free Dictionary, https://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/natural+law)

At its simplest, natural law is the “law of consequences.” In this essay, “consequence” is used to reference something negative, an inherent penalty, whereas a blessing is a positive result. Life is a series of choices, and with each choice you will receive one of two outcomes: either you will get a blessing or suffer a consequence.

Look at the experience of history. Ancient Rome, before the advent of Christianity and before the empire, was a moral nation. And the blessing for that morality was a blossoming, expanding empire and great power. But, as they became wealthy and powerful, their morality failed, and they began more and more to suffer consequences rather than inherit blessings.

Ezra Taft Benson (Quorum of the Twelve) wrote the following:

“Military service was an obligation highly honored by the Romans. Indeed, a foreigner could win Roman citizenship simply by volunteering for service in the legions of Rome. But, with increasing affluence and opulence, the young men of Rome began avoiding this service, finding excuses to remain in the soft and sordid life of the city. They took to using cosmetics and wearing feminine-like hairdo’s and garments, until it became difficult, the historians tell us, to tell the sexes apart.

“Among the teachers and scholars was a group called the Cynics whose number let their hair and beards grow, and who wore slovenly clothes, and professed indifference to worldly goods as they heaped scorn on what they called ‘middle class values.’

“The morals declined. It became unsafe to walk in the countryside or the city streets. Rioting was commonplace and sometimes whole sections of towns and cities were burned.

“And, all the time, the twin diseases of confiscatory taxation and creeping inflation were waiting to deliver the death blow.

“Then finally, all these forces overcame the energy and ambition of the middle class.”

It’s simple: you do good and good things happen to you; whereas if you do “bad” things, you suffer the consequences of your actions. When we look at the policies modern liberals tend to favor, we shouldn’t be too surprised to see them full of consequences rather than blessings.

Let’s look at some of the causes of our society’s miseries today.

Drug Abuse: People who become addicted to readily available drugs consume all their readily available wealth to support their habit. In the process of being impaired, they are also more likely to commit crimes. Often included in this is a government system that benefits to some degree off the drug trade and doesn’t apply its full efforts to stamp it out, as it has too much wealth to gain from it. Once these drug-slaves’ money runs out, they take to theft and ultimately resort to living on the street, spending any money they obtain to continuing their addiction, expecting the public to support them and provide for their housing and necessities as their health inevitably fails. Isn’t this what we see today? One who cannot support themselves is not only not a free citizen, they are a slave and a public burden. The result of this is rampant crime and class warfare (the “rich” against the “poor”) and the destruction of the economy.

Abortion/Evolutionary Doctrine: When the unborn are regarded callously as mere “tissue” to be removed at the mother’s convenience, the inherent sanctity of all life is demoted. This results in ‘senseless, unthinkable’ violence’. Why shouldn’t people, especially young impressionable youths, see other people as mere animals they have every right to eliminate if it benefits them (or for their simple pleasure)? The very conscience of the people becomes tarnished and what used to be a taboo no longer has the stigma it once held. When life is held to be of little importance, the very fabric of society, that which holds people together is endangered.

Weakening of the Family: When children are taken away from their parents because those parents did not raise them the way someone else, or the government, believed they should, the moral fabric of the nation is further sundered. Children are then moved to homes where more often than not they are molested or abused worse then they were at home. Now, I’m not saying genuine child abuse doesn’t happen, but I believe the majority of the cases of so-called abuse are simply the consequences of a system that is designed to financially benefit from the destruction of families. Social workers are encouraged to use the state’s powers to steal children from their God-given homes for such petty reasons as refusing to vaccinate or seeking alternative medical procedures to treat illnesses. The end result is a Clinton-esque communist government of tyranny where the children are raised (and propagandized) to support the state.

Gender Identity: A nation that can’t tell one sex from another is teetering on the brink of destruction. Such purely natural distinctions should, in an intelligent society, not even be questioned. When they are, you can be sure that the moral decline of that nation is just about at the bottom. Rampant infidelity and promiscuity is the result, with increasing abominations and perversions abounding. Child sex. Bestiality. Even polygamy is a symptom of this decline, as it is not the norm throughout the majority of the world and again common sense should dictate that one person can only really have a true intimate relationship with one other. Crimes against persons and violence inevitably follows a society’s profligate ways. As well, the weakening of the society as a whole, as its members’ roles are now in flux and old-fashioned concepts such as “faithfulness” and “loyalty” disappear.

Greed: When a government can spend the wealth of its people witlessly, on any contrived excuse you know that the end is coming. One thing many nations that have failed have in common is a nominalization of their currency. Rome began with silver. By the end, silver was scarce. The United States was founded, wisely, on a gold standard. Didn’t take too long for that to disappear. Fiat currency is debt currency, not wealth. Inflation and debt are the consequences of foolish spending. When you have a government that has to spend its people’s future on the “environment” (whatever that means), maintaining the other consequences of the society’s decline (homeless shelters, socialist security, state-paid healthcare), when the lazy wait for welfare handouts while the decent members of society struggle with supporting themselves as well as the welfare leeches, you have a society on the downturn.

Rampant Uncontrolled Crime: When society believes that punishment for crime is inhumane, and ‘mental health’ so-called ‘professionals’ believe that the offenders’ “low self-esteem” is the problem rather than their “extreme arrogance and self-absorption”; when the death penalty is abrogated as being old-fashioned and hard-hearted, while murderers commit crime after crime knowing the just penalty for their crimes will never be served; when “low-risk” offenders commit petty crimes by the barrel-full (often while receiving welfare benefits) and there is no shame – in fact, they believe it’s their right to do so and to receive what is not theirs; when, in short, the concept of crime has become more of a political issue, a revolving door to propagate a corrupt legal system and support reams of attorneys’ high salaries, you know the system is going to fail eventually. Societal distress and violence is the consequence for these failed beliefs and policies.

The Bible lays out the good and the bad, the blessings and the consequences of such things.

Galatians 5:19 “Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, (20  Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,  (21  Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. (22  But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, (23  Meekness, temperance:”

What kind of nation would you rather live in? What consequences do you enjoy enduring? What would it really take to turn this nation around? All you have to do is embody the good, positive aspects of life, decency, morality, honesty, sincerity. A people who reject such common-sense facts of nature deserve their fate. We either allow our nation to continue its decline until it erupts into violence and destroys itself, or we take this nation back, get the economy back to reason, restore the value of life, eliminate crime and justly punish criminal behavior, and require public decency and a return to a more natural and respectful relationship with each other. Otherwise, the degenerate will destroy all that was good in this country.

Isaiah 5:20 “Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! (21 Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight! (22 Woe unto them that are mighty to drink wine, and men of strength to mingle strong drink: (23 Which justify the wicked for reward, and take away the righteousness of the righteous from him!”

2 Timothy 4:3 “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; (4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.”

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Christian Society vs. World Government

Christianity vs. the World

In thinking about the state of our nation, the contest between conservatism and liberalism, the eroding of our rights and the program to democratize this nation, I came to a realization about the enemy that opposes us.

First, what is liberalism? Yes, I know, I’ve posted about this before, but really, what is liberalism? A form of Marxism. But what is Marxism at it’s foundation, it’s most basic ideology? What, really, is very single other belief system on earth at it’s very core?

A rejection of the Creator. Resistance to what we all are born knowing. OPEN REBELLION.

What is paganism except a man-made construct of ‘deities’ based upon the realities of existence which surrounds us. The humanizing of natural forces based on man’s own imagination (and desire). The creation of gods that mimic (and epitomize) the fallen human existence. What is nature worship but, again, a rejection of God and a worshipping of that which was created. What are philosophical systems (Confucianism, Buddhism) except the vain imaginings of a fallen mankind? God warned us before that this would happen.

Deuteronomy 4:16  “Lest ye corrupt yourselves, and make you a graven image, the similitude of any figure, the likeness of male or female, (17 The likeness of any beast that is on the earth, the likeness of any winged fowl that flieth in the air,  (18 The likeness of anything that creepeth on the ground, the likeness of any fish that is in the waters beneath the earth: (19 And lest thou lift up thine eyes unto heaven, and when thou seest the sun, and the moon, and the stars, even all the host of heaven, shouldest be driven to worship them, and serve them, which the LORD thy God hath divided unto all nations under the whole heaven.”

1 Corinthians 1:25 “Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men.”

Isaiah 55:9 “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.”

You can look at any religious or philosophical system and you will find only a dogmatic refusal to accept reality. We have Scriptures which have survived the ages, and that give us God’s very words as recorded by His prophets… and none of His prophecies can be proven to have failed. Not one. The record for other faiths, however, is not so reliable. But, I digress…

Marxism is the root of humanism, and the basis of the modern “paganistic” paradigm. Just as ancient Romans were crucifying and killing Christians for sport, so too today’s Marxists have and are killing believers throughout the world. These are some of the same people in our country claiming the educational and moral high-ground, proclaiming that they are more educated, more rational, more individualist thinking, claiming to know better than the rest of us.

Humanism is a philosophical and ethical stance that emphasizes the value and agency of human beings, individually and collectively, and generally prefers critical thinking and evidence (rationalism, empiricism) over acceptance of dogma or superstition. The meaning of the term humanism has fluctuated according to the successive intellectual movements which have identified with it. (from Wikipedia)

Superstition is a pejorative term for any belief or practice that is considered irrational: for example, if it arises from ignorance, a misunderstanding of science or causality, a positive belief in fate or magic, or fear of that which is unknown. “Superstition” also refers to religious beliefs or actions arising from irrationality. (from Wikipedia)

So, these ‘rational,’ ‘empiricist thinking’ Marxists are the ones toting, oh, the theory of evolution. This is nothing but one man’s mad philosophy, without one shred of evidence, and which nature and true “empirical” science has consistently and soundly refuted. Evolution has become a “religion”, based on “dogma” and “faith” over fact or evidence.  So, by their own definitions, those Marxists and atheists who subscribe to evolution are superstitious and irrational. Any “theory” of science that has had 150 years for its adherents to prove it as a law of science, and is in fact even further removed from being proven than when it originated, is hardly something to dogmatically rely upon. But it’s all they have, and its either continue to promote it or admit that God exists and all their evidential scrounging’s for the last almost two centuries have been a waste of time. And that is the crux of the issue: their refusal to admit to God’s existence and their responsibilities to abide under His commands to mankind.

To sum up thus far: there are really only two belief systems on earth today: Christian and non-Christian. You either accept the God of the Bible or you don’t. And if you don’t, you imagine something else to worship and serve other than your Creator. We can see this today in our own nation, which was founded upon Christian values and principles, yet that is denied and is not taught in the government schools. What is the alternative we are being force-fed?

Well, our children and our society are being taught a disrespect and disparagement of law. There are two factors to consider: 1) “Law” as it is being passed in legislatures and the Congress today are not all good, not all moral laws, so in this case there are laws which should not necessarily be respected. 2) Long-standing laws which are based on protecting the public morals and maintaining the public peace.

Those who used to be pillars of authority, unquestioned and institutions in our society are no longer respected. How many Hollywood productions and television sitcoms show men as either abusers or fools especially when compared to their wives or children?  Police are being rendered as objects of derision, and the military as well. Authorities are being belittled and made fun of. This disrespect is a symptom of a more serious illness. What’s the point of it all?

“The origin of its law is its god. The final authority for our law is our God. Since we are a people under God’s Law, we are a people under God, or God’s people.

Wherever the emperor is accepted as the source of law, the emperor is also hailed as god. If Der Fuhrer or Il Duce, or The Leader, or the Soviet dictator, gives and enforces the law, he is openly declared to be god. If the final authority is claimed for parliament, parliament usurps the place of Divinity. Such a claim, in fact, incited a War of Independence in the American Colonies. But if the final authority is believed to be in the whole people, the demos, then the voice of the people is said to be the voice of god and we have set up the tyranny of the mob.” The World Under God’s Law, T. Robert Ingram, 1962, p. 3-4.

Mobocracy is Democracy. Democracy eventually fails, every time it is tried. That is why the United States was founded to be a representative Republic. We are, however, via the legal system, Hollywood, political system, societal engineers of any and every kind, being driven to a tyranny once again.

What is law?

“Law in its simplest form is the set of rules which are consented to and imposed upon all members of any group of people, and its purpose is to preserve the existence and identity of the group as a whole. The law sets forth the terms which every individual must observe for the sake of the whole body. The end and purpose of the law in this world is to protect society as a whole. The law protects the nation or the people from the vagaries of individuals.” The World Under God’s Law, T. Robert Ingram, 1962, p. 3.

“There is a foreboding distortion of truth in the recent pronouncements from the Supreme Court of the United States to the effect that the function of law is to protect the individual from society. That perverted philosophy of law has produced a spate of decisions from the Supreme Court which are not only a travesty on law and justice, but an insult to humanity, an offense against nature, and a breeding ground of chaos and violence.” The World Under God’s Law, T. Robert Ingram, 1962, p. 4.

So, the non-Christians are out to destroy everything created by our Christian forefathers. Is this a surprise to anyone?

“The liberal movement is dedicated to the establishment of a supreme world tyrant whose conscious human will is law and whose decree cannot be questioned. It cannot achieve its purpose until it succeeds in breaking down God’s legal system built upon the Ten Commandments, and substituting therefore a system of regulation by law of all human conduct. The recognition of the Ten Commandments as law in the United States and all Christian nations is the bastion of defense of Christian freedom and a rock against which every tyrant must smash.” The World Under God’s Law, T. Robert Ingram, 1962, p. 3.

Thus, the movement to eliminate the 10 Commandments from all government/public buildings. Bring up an issue of morality with a liberal. They will laugh in your face. They have no conscious concept of or tolerance for morality, which is clear in our world that normalizes fornication and legalizes removal of the consequences for such acts (hence abortion). The murder of the resulting child is societally insignificant. Is this situation purely accidental? No, it was planned.

“The alternative to God’s law is not no law, but human law. Governments who do not jealously guard the majesty of God have no choice but to uphold the majesty of their own human authority. Where crime is not an offense against the moral order of God, it is an offense against the arbitrary power of the state.” The World Under God’s Law, T. Robert Ingram, 1962, p. 6.

“The will of one man is the alternative to the will of one God, but one will there must be. The distinctive mark of a world government under man as opposed to the present arrangement under God is that it kills for political insubordination – rioting, rebellion, treason, spying, and such like. Christian governments kill for insubordination to the Divine majesty – violations of the law of God.” The World Under God’s Law, T. Robert Ingram, 1962, p. 18

“The modern word for such a government is totalitarian: a government that arrogates to itself total power. The crowning goal of Satan is to have a totalitarian world government.” The World Under God’s Law, T. Robert Ingram, 1962, p. 24

I only have time for one illustration. I’ve often wondered at the liberal dislike of corporeal punishment. It just seems like the most logical, rational solution for those who have proven to be an irredeemable threat to society. Otherwise, it is inhumane punishment on society to support these worthless, dangerous people in prison for their entire lives. Also, the fact is that God ordered the deaths of murderers.

Genesis 9:5 “And surely your blood of your lives will I require; at the hand of every beast will I require it, and at the hand of man; at the hand of every man’s brother will I require the life of man. (6 Whoso sheddeth man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man.”

But, it seems liberals would rather incarcerate than execute. Why? A helpless baby is prone to be eliminated without thought, they actually defend the ‘right’ of mothers to murder their own children, but hardened killers, they must be kept alive. Why?

“The whole Christian doctrine of temporal government rests upon administration of a system of rewards and punishment according to the laws of God. That is what we mean by justice. The execution of punishment is the specific work of the head of government. The cornerstone of the power or authority to punish is the power to execute the chief punishment, which is death. The death penalty thus becomes the symbol of temporal power in a Christian republic. The proposition is recognized from both sides of the issue, by those who believe it is good and right, and by those who believe it is wicked and wrong. John Locke, in his treatise on civil government, writes: ‘Political power, then I take to be a right of making laws with penalties of death, and consequently all less penalties… and of employing the force of the community, in the execution of such laws…’ Consequently, all less penalties is the phrase that acknowledges the key importance of what is commonly called the ‘capital’ or ‘chief’ punishment. In the opposing camp, a Dr. John R. Silber quotes Dr. Sheldon Glueck of Harvard University as follows: ‘The presence of the death penalty as the keystone of our penal system bedevils the administration of criminal justice all the way down the line and is the stumbling block in the path of general reform in the treatment of crime and criminals.’

The liberal movement confirms the key importance of capital punishment by its own dedication to its ‘abolition’. It is necessary to try to strip the government of its power to kill in order to destroy Christian civilization and replace it with a reformed system whose head, himself, sits in the place of God and whose own will and decrees are the only things inviolable… You and I and our state governments are the targets of this mammoth drive. It is our way of life that is to be abolished. The reformed system would be a world government. There can be no world government as long as Texas, for example, retains it sovereignty. Texas loses what Christians have always recognized constitutes temporal sovereignty the minute it gives up the power to put criminals to death under the criminal code of God. The only alternative to utter chaos, then, is the identifying socialist passion to set up a government to rule the whole world. The socialist blueprint for world government is well attested by a leading socialist spokesman, Dr. Martin Buber, who recognizes that such a government must be under man rather than under God. He writes that, ‘for Utopia everything is subordinated to conscious human will, as though there were no other factors at work than conscious human will.’ And again, ‘if… the whole population is to be limitlessly determined in all branches of its life, and thought by one central authoritarian will [God’s will?] then it is inconceivable how such a stage can ever evolve into socialism.’” The World Under God’s Law, T. Robert Ingram, 1962, p. 17-18.

The liberals, or at least the leadership, know exactly what they are doing.

“Even the liberals or socialists who are so passionately trying to demolish these principles know perfectly well what it is they have set about to destroy. Remember the devils were among the first to recognize Jesus. And the enemies of Christ are among the best informed on the score of what Christian government looks like. The trouble with relying on a liberal scholar is that in his passion to destroy, he is apt to distort. Moreover, what the Christian approves, the liberal abhors. If you accept the liberal mind as the standard of approval, then you may hear the Christian position accurately described, but viewed with horror and alarm. For example, discrimination is said to be a bad word. It is simply wrong, say the liberals, to discriminate. Now Christians not only do discriminate, but we regard discrimination as of the essence of all Godly activity. Our whole life in Christ is a process of discriminating choices in every phase of activity – from acquiring knowledge to choosing our associates. We are told that it is an abomination to hold any person guilty by association. But Christians have always quipped, “Birds of a feather flock together.” And Christian legal principles recognize the charge of being guilty as an accomplice to a crime by association under certain conditions with the criminal after the crime is all over.

The socialist has no qualms about disagreeing with what Christ holds to be good, because he has rejected Christ’s authority in the first place. But he is never in any real doubt as to what Christ has said, and what Christian authorities in all churches have generally agreed Christ said.” The World Under God’s Law, T. Robert Ingram, 1962, p. 16.

“Everywhere in the Christian world there is underway a powerful, highly organized movement to abolish the power of governments to punish men for violations of the Ten Commandments and to substitute therefore the power of the state to uphold arbitrary decrees, because, say the socialists, when the government speaks it must be obeyed. If, they argue, we will submit to absolute human sovereignty, resistance to which must bring swift execution, men will have peace such as we cannot know under the moral laws of God.” The World Under God’s Law, T. Robert Ingram, 1962, p. 8.

Something as simple and seemingly insignificant is actually just another attack on our Christian foundations. It’s just another step the liberals/communists/non-Christians are using to destroy what our Founders created, a system with God as it’s head. Think the forbidding of prayer in schools was an accident? Nope, it too was a rung on Satan’s ladder to world government.

“The alacrity with which the liberal movement springs to the attack against any hint that the government might function under Christ is too familiar to need further illustration. It does need to be pointed out, however, that the very denial of a Christian basis for keeping the government out of the regulation or prohibition of practices of worship leaves only the alternative of a totalitarian human supreme will in the place where God ought to be. Apart from Christ, the principle becomes a legal guarantee of atheism. The government must be obeyed: and the government must forbid worship in any activities with which it is connected. The fact that this principle also results in a bald-faced violation of the Constitution against the prohibition of Christian worship is ignored. The fact remains that when the Court rules that the schools may not provide Christian teaching, it is prohibiting Christian worship. One may argue that the government has a perfect right to do so in its schools; yet it is the subjects of that government who are affected and whose freedom, unrestricted, to worship as Christ commanded, is forbidden in a school they are required to attend. Two violations do not produce an affirmation; they merely result in confusion worse confounded.” The World Under God’s Law, T. Robert Ingram, 1962, p. 30.

Wake up before it’s too late. Many liberals may simply be ignorant and misguided, but undoubtedly many also know exactly what they are doing, and unless we oppose their foolishness in seeking a “utopia” on earth without God, we will all suffer the consequences of their foolish attempts.

Funny; on an ending note, those who oppose the will of God are the ones fulfilling His prophecies. If they stopped trying to create a world government, stopped corrupting our nations and opposing God’s people at every step, His prophecies of the end times might actually fail (not that they will, but philosophically speaking). By pursuing their agenda they are assuring the successful accomplishment of God’s Word.

Doctrine vs. Scripture

Each denomination has its own set of doctrines which help to define it, differentiating the Presbyterians, Wesleyans, Baptists, etc. Doctrines in this sense are good, explaining what a given denomination believes in distinction to those of others. However, it has always been my expectation that these doctrines should be subservient to the Scriptures themselves, and that if any doctrine is found to be unsupportable by Scripture, it should be rejected. Such unscriptural doctrines are merely the doctrines of men.

Matthew 15:9—”But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.”

One such doctrine is the doctrine of the strict separation of Israel from the Church, the unique and unparalleled status of Israel and the promises that remain for a future Israelite nation. The most important consideration one must make is to determine how God sees the different peoples of the world. Fortunately, God told us His view.

1 Corinthians 10:32—“Give none offence, neither to the Jews nor to the Gentiles, nor to the Church of God, (33) Even as I please all men in all things, not seeking mine own profit, but the profit of many, that they may be saved.”

In this passage we see that in God’s eyes, there are only 3 peoples on the earth: the Jews, the Gentiles and His Church. The Jews are unique in the sense that even though both they and the Gentiles are unsaved, they are still noted as a separate people.

Romans 11:38—”…as touching the election, they are beloved for the fathers’ sakes.”

Who comprises the Church?

Acts 20:28—”Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.”

Those who have been redeemed by the blood of Christ make up the Church of Christ. God is clear that this is an omni-racial and omni-cultural organization.

Galatians 3:27—“For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. (28) There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.”

When you become a part of the Church, you become an equal with every other Christian of whatever ethnicity, status or gender. A Jew or a Gentile in the Church is considered as one and the same.

Romans 10:12—“For there is no difference between the Jew and Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto them that call upon Him.”

What is the significance of the Church?

Colossians 3:11—“Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all. (12) Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved…”

Many believe the Church began at Pentecost, but when did the Church really begin?

1 Corinthians 10:1—”Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; (2 And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea; (3 And did all eat the same spiritual meat; (4 And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.”

Acts 7:38—”This is he, that was in the church [ekklesia] in the wilderness with the angel which spake to him in the mount Sina, and with our fathers: who received the lively oracles to give unto us:”

The ekklesia, or “called out” have existed at least since the Red Sea crossing, it is not a new creation or concept as many would have one believe. Colossians 3:11 also stated that the Church was the Elect of God. That was a title given to Israel in the Old Testament.

Isaiah 45:4—”For Jacob my servant’s sake, and Israel mine elect, I have even called thee by thy name: I have surnamed thee, though thou hast not known me.”

How can it be that the Church is given Israel’s title? Remember that God’s true people were always a remnant, not the whole nation.

1 Kings 19:18—”Yet I have left me seven thousand in Israel, all the knees which have not bowed unto Baal, and every mouth which hath not kissed him.”

Romans 11:4—”But what saith the answer of God unto him? I have reserved to myself seven thousand men, who have not bowed the knee to the image of Baal. (5 Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace.”

At the time of Elijah, God had 7,000 faithful in the nation of Israel. The rest of the nation did not serve God and were reprobates. Even so, after Christ’s death there was also a remnant of faithful Jews, who spread His Word to the Gentiles and spread the Church of Christ abroad. In this sense, the faithful who became Christians were the true followers of God, the rest were backslidden reprobates. Believing Jews and believing Gentiles make up one body in Christ.

Ephesians 2:11—“Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands; (12) That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world: (13) But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. (14) For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us;… (19)  Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow-citizens with the saints, and of the household of God; (20)  And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;”

Romans 11:11—”I say then, Have they stumbled that they should fall? God forbid: but rather through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy. (12 Now if the fall of them be the riches of the world, and the diminishing of them the riches of the Gentiles; how much more their fulness? (13 For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office: (14 If by any means I may provoke to emulation them which are my flesh, and might save some of them. (15 For if the casting away of them be the reconciling of the world, what shall the receiving of them be, but life from the dead? (16 For if the firstfruit be holy, the lump is also holy: and if the root be holy, so are the branches. (17 And if some of the branches be broken off, and thou, being a wild olive tree, wert graffed in among them, and with them partakest of the root and fatness of the olive tree; (18 Boast not against the branches. But if thou boast, thou bearest not the root, but the root thee.”

Believing Gentiles are members of the commonwealth of Israel, while the natural Jews have been cut off? But, but, that’s “replacement theology” by some men’s reckoning. Perhaps that’s so, but it is what the Scriptures reveal. Remember, doctrines must be subservient to Scripture. The Jews, due to their unbelief, were removed from the ‘vine’ which is Christ. The Gentile Christians were grafted in in their place. Is there any more proof of this ‘replacement’ or augmentation of Israel with the Church? What if the unique descriptions and titles of Israel were put upon the Church? What terms of affection did God place upon Israel?

Deuteronomy 14:2—”For thou art an holy people unto the LORD thy God, and the LORD hath chosen thee to be a peculiar people unto himself, above all the nations that are upon the earth.”

Psalm 105:6—”O ye seed of Abraham his servant, ye children of Jacob his chosen.”

Exodus 19:6—”And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel.”

Numbers 25:13  “And he shall have it, and his seed after him, even the covenant of an everlasting priesthood; because he was zealous for his God, and made an atonement for the children of Israel.”

Yet, for every title of affection God put upon Israel, He also put the same or better upon the Church.

Ephesians 3:3—“How that by revelation He made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words, (4) whereby when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ) (5) Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto His holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit; (6) That the Gentiles should be fellow-heirs, and of the same body, and partakers of His promise in Christ by the gospel:”

Colossians 1:21—“And you that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath He reconciled.”

Philippians 3:3—“For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh.”

1 Peter 2:5—“Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.”

1 Peter 2:9—“But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of Him who hath called you out of darkness into His marvellous light; (10) Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.”

The very definition “Jew” was redefined.

Romans 2:28-29 “For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh: But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.”

Galatians 3:29 “And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.”

The believing Gentiles were previously alienated from God, have been reconciled, have become partakers of His promise, are the circumcision, are a chosen generation, royal priesthood, holy nation, peculiar people. All these terms were used in the Old Testament to reference Israel. What happened?

Romans 9:3—“For I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen after the flesh[Jews]: (4)Who are Israelites; to whom pertaineth the adoption, and the glory; and the covenants, and the giving of the law; and the service of God, and the promises; (5) Whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever.  Amen. (6) Not as though the word of God hath taken none effect.  For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel.  (7) Neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children: but, In Isaac shall thy seed by called. (8) That is, They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed.”

The Jews are Israelites, yet they are not the children of the promise, they are the children of the flesh. Paul wrote about the difference between the fleshly seed and the spiritual seed.

Galatians 4:22—”For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid, the other by a freewoman. (23 But he who was of the bondwoman was born after the flesh; but he of the freewoman was by promise. (24 Which things are an allegory: for these are the two covenants; the one from the mount Sinai, which gendereth to bondage, which is Agar. (25 For this Agar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children. (26 But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all. (27 For it is written, Rejoice, thou barren that bearest not; break forth and cry, thou that travailest not: for the desolate hath many more children than she which hath an husband. (28 Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise. (29 But as then he that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the Spirit, even so it is now. (30 Nevertheless what saith the scripture? Cast out the bondwoman and her son: for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman. (31 So then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman, but of the free.”

The Jews are the children of the flesh, Christians are the children of promise. The children of the flesh will not inherit with the children of the promise. The only way a Jew will enter the Kingdom of God is to become a Christian.

Over and over again God states He will call to the Gentiles, who will come at his call, while the Jews refuse.

Matthew 8:11—”And I say unto you, That many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven. (12 But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”

Luke 13:27—”But he shall say, I tell you, I know you not whence ye are; depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity. (28 There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when ye shall see Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets, in the kingdom of God, and you yourselves thrust out. (29 And they shall come from the east, and from the west, and from the north, and from the south, and shall sit down in the kingdom of God.”

God called throughout the generations, yet few were willing to follow Him.

Luke 14:16—”Then said he unto him, A certain man made a great supper, and bade many: (17 And sent his servant at supper time to say to them that were bidden, Come; for all things are now ready. (18 And they all with one consent began to make excuse. The first said unto him, I have bought a piece of ground, and I must needs go and see it: I pray thee have me excused. (19 And another said, I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to prove them: I pray thee have me excused. (20 And another said, I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come. (21 So that servant came, and shewed his lord these things. Then the master of the house being angry said to his servant, Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in hither the poor, and the maimed, and the halt, and the blind. (22 And the servant said, Lord, it is done as thou hast commanded, and yet there is room. (23 And the lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled. (24 For I say unto you, That none of those men which were bidden shall taste of my supper.”

Even so, God will save a remnant of Israel; not the ENTIRE nation, but just a remnant.

Romans 9:27—”Esaias also crieth concerning Israel, Though the number of the children of Israel be as the sand of the sea, a remnant shall be saved:”

Romans 11:5—“Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace.”

The eternal promises are to the Israel of God, which is the Church.

Galatians 6:15—“For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature. (16) And as many as walk according to this rule, peace be on them, and mercy, and upon the Israel of God.”

The Jews continue to exist as a separate group, yet they cling to promises which have already been fulfilled.

Joshua 23:14—”And, behold, this day I am going the way of all the earth: and ye know in all your hearts and in all your souls, that not one thing hath failed of all the good things which the LORD your God spake concerning you; all are come to pass unto you, and not one thing hath failed thereof.”

1 Kings 8:56—”Blessed be the LORD, that hath given rest unto his people Israel, according to all that he promised: there hath not failed one word of all his good promise, which he promised by the hand of Moses his servant.”

The promises to the worldly nation of Israel were fulfilled to the letter as the previous passages testify. However, in this “dispensation”, if you choose to use the term, the promises of God are for the Church just as much as for “Israel”…

Romans 4:16 “Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all,”

Hebrews 8:6 “But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises.”

Galatians 3:29—”And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.”

Israel was based around twelve tribes, even as the Church is based around twelve apostles:

Revelation 21:12-14 “And had a wall great and high, and had twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and names written thereon, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel: On the east three gates; on the north three gates; on the south three gates; and on the west three gates. And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.”

What shall we say then of the Jews? Why would God take away from them all the titles He gave them in the Old Testament and give them to the Church, i.e. chosen generation, peculiar people, elect of God, ect.? Well, here is one dirty little reason.

1 Thessalonians 2:14—”For ye, brethren, became followers of the churches of God which in Judaea are in Christ Jesus: for ye also have suffered like things of your own countrymen, even as they have of the Jews: (15  Who both killed the Lord Jesus, and their own prophets, and have persecuted us; and they please not God, and are contrary to all men:”

It was not the Romans who killed Christ. It was the Jews. This is what the Scriptures say. Anti-semitic? Maybe, but it is the truth. When Pontius Pilate would have released Him, the Jews demanded His death.

Matthew 27:24—”When Pilate saw that he could prevail nothing, but that rather a tumult was made, he took water, and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, I am innocent of the blood of this just person: see ye to it.”

Pilate called Him just. The Romans saw no sin in Christ as He was the spotless Lamb, but the Jews only wanted Him dead. Christ prophesied their motives in this parable:

Mark 12:1—”And he began to speak unto them by parables. A certain man planted a vineyard, and set an hedge about it, and digged a place for the winefat, and built a tower, and let it out to husbandmen, and went into a far country. (2 And at the season he sent to the husbandmen a servant, that he might receive from the husbandmen of the fruit of the vineyard. (3 And they caught him, and beat him, and sent him away empty. (4 And again he sent unto them another servant; and at him they cast stones, and wounded him in the head, and sent him away shamefully handled. (5 And again he sent another; and him they killed, and many others; beating some, and killing some. (6 Having yet therefore one son, his well-beloved, he sent him also last unto them, saying, They will reverence my son. (7 But those husbandmen said among themselves, This is the heir; come, let us kill him, and the inheritance shall be ours. (8 And they took him, and killed him, and cast him out of the vineyard.”

The Jews knew what they were doing, but all not the repercussions of it.

Matthew 27:25—”Then answered all the people, and said, His blood be on us, and on our children.”

Christ prophesied the Jews would kill Him. It wasn’t that they didn’t recognize Him, THEY KNEW who He was.

John 3:2—”The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him.”

The Jews are without excuse. God, knowing what they would do to His Son, said this:

Zechariah 11:10—”And I took my staff, even Beauty, and cut it asunder, that I might break my covenant which I had made with all the people. (11 And it was broken in that day: and so the poor of the flock that waited upon me knew that it was the word of the LORD. (12 And I said unto them, If ye think good, give me my price; and if not, forbear. So they weighed for my price thirty pieces of silver.”

God broke His covenant with Israel when they slew His Son. The old covenant is forever dissolved. He forged a new Covenant through His Son for those who accepted His salvation. The Jews corporately were outside this covenant, but could join if by chance they could come to Him in faith, not by works.

2 Corinthians 3:13—”And not as Moses, which put a vail over his face, that the children of Israel could not stedfastly look to the end of that which is abolished: (14 But their minds were blinded: for until this day remaineth the same vail untaken away in the reading of the old testament; which vail is done away in Christ. (15 But even unto this day, when Moses is read, the vail is upon their heart. (16 Nevertheless when it shall turn to the Lord, the vail shall be taken away.”

What do the Apostles warn us about the circumcision?

Titus 1:10—“For there are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers, specially they of the circumcision: (11) Whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole houses, teaching things which they ought not, for filthy lucre’s sake.”

Philippians 3:2—”Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the concision.”

Paul described Judaism as the “religion of the Jews” or the “Jews’ religion.” Perhaps he meant that their religion was “their” religion, and not God’s religion.

Galatians 1:13—”For ye have heard of my conversation in time past in the Jews’ religion, how that beyond measure I persecuted the church of God, and wasted it: (14 And profited in the Jews’ religion above many my equals in mine own nation, being more exceedingly zealous of the traditions of my fathers.”

The Jews will be on the earth when Christ returns, and will witness His return.

Revelation 1:7—”Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.”

How can anyone accept this as referring to the Jews (which, as far as I know, everyone does), but deny they were the ones who had Him put to death?

Let’s recap: Christians are equal brethren, the elect of God, part of the household of God, fellow-heirs, a holy and royal priesthood, the circumcision, a holy nation. Christians are true spiritual Jews and children of Abraham by faith.

Note: as per 1 Corinthians 10:32 above, this is not intended to give offense to the Jews or anyone else, merely to speak the truth. The truth can be painful, but it is good to keep us on the right path and maintain Godly doctrines.

Today’s Ecumenicalism

The days in which we live seem to be witnessing the attempted conglomeration of old-standing institutions. The liberals want to reinvent our government into a modern democracy/socialist country, and in the religious world there is a push to combine the major “Christian” institutions into one “mother” organization. This is largely led by the Roman Catholic Church and the U.N.’s World Council of Churches. Italics and underlines added for emphasis.

“The animosity and resentments left by the Reformation only began to heal after the Second Vatican Council in the 1960s, with the start of an ecumenical dialogue aimed at promoting Christian unity.

There are still some doctrinal disputes. But Pope Francis says that while theologians iron out their differences, the two churches can work together on social issues like caring for the poor, migrants and refugees, and combating persecution of Christians.

Jens-Martin Kruse, pastor of the Lutheran Church in Rome, says Francis’ approach has been dubbed “walking ecumenism.”

“We are moving together, this is a new experience that we are together on this walk,” Kruse adds. “Walking together, we find that we have lots of things more in [common than] we thought before.”

That raises the question of whether the Reformation might have been a complete misunderstanding.

“Maybe not a misunderstanding,” says Kruse, “but today, we are at the point where a lot of these topics from Luther are common for Catholics and Lutherans.” (“The Pope Commemorates the Reformation that Split Western Christianity”, https://www.npr.org/sections/parallels/2016/10/28/499587801/pope-francis-reaches-out-to-honor-the-man-who-splintered-christianity)

In an interview in Crux, Auxiliary Bishop William Kenney of Birmingham, England — co-chair of the international dialogue between the Lutheran World Federation and the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity stated thus:

The consensus of the 1999 document on justification stated, if I’ve understood it correctly, that the reasons for the Catholics condemning the Protestant positions and vice-versa no longer hold, and if ever each Church did hold the position that the other said they did, what is now true is that neither Church no longer holds that position. In other words, the Reformation was all a big misunderstanding! (https://onepeterfive.com/key-ecumenical-bishop-reformation-great-misunderstanding-got-wrong/)

A misunderstanding? Hundreds of thousands suffered and died throughout the hundreds of years of the dark and middle ages, and it was a misunderstanding? The Catholic Church has clearly stated throughout its history that it (and most especially the Pope) is infallible, and cannot change.

No, the Church cannot change its doctrines no matter how badly some theologians may want it to or how loudly they claim it can. The doctrines of the Catholic Church are the deposit of faith revealed by Jesus Christ, taught by the apostles, and handed down in their entirety by the apostles to their successors. Since revealed truth cannot change, and since the deposit of faith is comprised of revealed truth, expressed in Scripture and Sacred Tradition, the deposit of faith cannot change. (https://www.catholic.com/qa/can-the-church-change-its-doctrines)

This is also from the Catholic Answers website:

The Catholic Church’s teaching on papal infallibility is one which is generally misunderstood by those outside the Church. In particular, Fundamentalists and other “Bible Christians” often confuse the charism of papal “infallibility” with “impeccability.” They imagine Catholics believe the pope cannot sin. Others, who avoid this elementary blunder, think the pope relies on some sort of amulet or magical incantation when an infallible definition is due.

Given these common misapprehensions regarding the basic tenets of papal infallibility, it is necessary to explain exactly what infallibility is not. Infallibility is not the absence of sin. Nor is it a charism that belongs only to the pope. Indeed, infallibility also belongs to the body of bishops as a whole, when, in doctrinal unity with the pope, they solemnly teach a doctrine as true.

Infallibility belongs in a special way to the pope as head of the bishops (Matt. 16:17–19; John 21:15–17). As Vatican II remarked, it is a charism the pope “enjoys in virtue of his office, when, as the supreme shepherd and teacher of all the faithful, who confirms his brethren in their faith (Luke 22:32), he proclaims by a definitive act some doctrine of faith or morals. Therefore his definitions, of themselves, and not from the consent of the Church, are justly held irreformable, for they are pronounced with the assistance of the Holy Spirit, an assistance promised to him in blessed Peter.”

The infallibility of the pope is not a doctrine that suddenly appeared in Church teaching; rather, it is a doctrine which was implicit in the early Church.

An infallible pronouncement—whether made by the pope alone or by an ecumenical council—usually is made only when some doctrine has been called into question. Most doctrines have never been doubted by the large majority of Catholics.

The Protestant Reformation called Catholic doctrines into question, that was the whole point of numerous church councils during those days. Would a church council be considered an infallible institution? Would it not be considered as delivering “infallible” doctrine? I believe so. So, if this is all a misunderstanding, then why did the councils, most especially including Trent, condemn every essential belief of Protestantism, and if this was just a misunderstanding on the part of all those cardinals, bishops and popes, how could they have been so ignorant? Here is just a taste of the kind of anathema’s that were hurled against Protestant doctrines from popes and councils:

Council of Trent’s condemnations:

CANON XIX.-If anyone saith, that nothing besides faith is commanded in the Gospel; that other things are indifferent, neither commanded nor prohibited, but free; or, that the ten commandments nowise appertain to Christians; let him be anathema.

CANON XXIV.-If anyone saith, that the justice received is not preserved and also increased before God through good works; but that the said works are merely the fruits and signs of Justification obtained, but not a cause of the increase thereof; let him be anathema.

CANON X.-If anyone saith, that all Christians have power to administer the word, and all the sacraments; let him be anathema.

CANON III.-If anyone saith, that in the Roman church, which is the mother and mistress of all churches, there is not the true doctrine concerning the sacrament of baptism; let him be anathema.

CANON V.-If anyone saith, that baptism is free, that is, not necessary unto salvation; let him be anathema.

CANON I.-If anyone denieth, that, in the sacrament of the most holy Eucharist, are contained truly, really, and substantially, the body and blood together with the soul and divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ, and consequently the whole Christ; but saith that He is only therein as in a sign, or in figure, or virtue; let him be anathema.

CANON I.–If anyone saith, that in the Catholic Church Penance is not truly and properly a sacrament, instituted by Christ our Lord for reconciling the faithful unto God, as often as they fall into sin after baptism; let him be anathema.

CANON I.–If anyone saith, that in the mass a true and proper sacrifice is not offered to God; or, that to be offered is nothing else but that Christ is given us to eat; let him be anathema.

CANON V.–If anyone saith, that it is an imposture to celebrate masses in honour of the saints, and for obtaining their intercession with God, as the Church intends; let him be anathema.

CANON VII.–If anyone saith, that the ceremonies, vestments, and outward signs, which the Catholic Church makes use of in the celebration of masses, are incentives to impiety, rather than offices of piety; let him be anathema.

CANON VI.–If anyone saith, that, in the Catholic Church there is not a hierarchy by divine ordination instituted, consisting of bishops, priests, and ministers; let him be anathema.

Exsurge Domine, Condemning the Errors of Martin Luther, Pope Leo X – June 15, 1520 — “These errors have, at the suggestion of the human race, been revived and recently propagated among the more frivolous and the illustrious German nation. We grieve the more that this happened there because we and our predecessors have always held this nation in the bosom of our affection. For after the empire had been transferred by the Roman Church from the Greeks to these same Germans, our predecessors and we always took the Church’s advocates and defenders from among them. Indeed it is certain that these Germans, truly germane to the Catholic faith, have always been the bitterest opponents of heresies, as witnessed by those commendable constitutions of the German emperors in behalf of the Church’s independence, freedom, and the expulsion and extermination of all heretics from Germany. Those constitutions formerly issued, and then confirmed by our predecessors, were issued under the greatest penalties even of loss of lands and dominions against anyone sheltering or not expelling them. If they were observed today both we and they would obviously be free of this disturbance. Witness to this is the condemnation and punishment in the Council of Constance of the infidelity of the Hussites and Wyclifites as well as Jerome of Prague. Witness to this is the blood of Germans shed so often in wars against the Bohemians. A final witness is the refutation, rejection, and condemnation no less learned than true and holy of the above errors, or many of them, by the universities of Cologne and Louvain, most devoted and religious cultivators of the Lord’s field. We could allege many other facts too, which we have decided to omit, lest we appear to be composing a history.

No one of sound mind is ignorant how destructive, pernicious, scandalous, and seductive to pious and simple minds these various errors are…

Therefore we, in this above enumeration, important as it is, wish to proceed with great care as is proper, and to cut off the advance of this plague and cancerous disease so it will not spread any further in the Lord’s field as harmful thorn-bushes. We have therefore held a careful inquiry, scrutiny, discussion, strict examination, and mature deliberation with each of the brothers, the eminent cardinals of the holy Roman Church, as well as the priors and ministers general of the religious orders, besides many other professors and masters skilled in sacred theology and in civil and canon law. We have found that these errors or theses are not Catholic, as mentioned above, and are not to be taught, as such; but rather are against the doctrine and tradition of the Catholic Church, and against the true interpretation of the sacred Scriptures received from the Church.”

Due to disagreement with the Roman establishment by various groups throughout history, the Roman Catholic Church has been a persecuting church throughout her history.

The “Edict of the Emperors Gratian, Valentinian II, and Theodosius I” of Feb. 27, AD 380, established Roman Catholicism as the state religion and said, in part…

“We order those who follow this doctrine to receive the title of Catholic Christians, but others we judge to be mad and raving and worthy of incurring the disgrace of heretical teaching, nor are their assemblies to receive the name of churches.  They are to be punished not only by Divine retribution but also by our own measures, which we have decided in accordance with Divine inspiration.” (Sidney Z. Ehler, John B. Morrall, trans. And eds., Church and State Through the Centuries (London, 1954), p. 7)

The history of the inquisition and the protestant reformation have largely been forgotten in our times. Here is a brief reminder of the persecution Christians had to endure from the monomaniacal, arrogant Catholic bureaucracy.

Nearly 400 years before the Inquisition would be established by Gregory IX, Pope Nicholas I (858-67) encouraged the King of Bulgaria, a new convert to what he thought was “Christianity”, to force Rome’s religion upon his subjects:

“I glorify you for having maintained your authority by putting to death those wandering sheep who refuse to enter the fold; and… congratulate you upon having opened the kingdom of heaven to the people submitted to your rule. A king need not fear to command massacres, when these will retain his subjects in obedience, or cause them to submit to the faith of Christ; and God will reward him in this world, and in eternal life, for these murders.”

(Cormenin, History of the Popes, p. 243 as cited in R.W. Thompson, The Papacy and the Civil Power, New York, 1876, p. 244)

Not satisfied with damning the Protestants theologically (the canons and decrees of the Council of Trent contain more than 100 anathemas against Protestant beliefs), Pope Paul III wanted to destroy them physically.  He offered the Holy Roman Emperor, Charles V of Spain, “1,100,000 ducats, 12,000 infantry, 500 horses, if he would turn his full force against the heretics.”  The Catholic emperor was only too happy to have a reason to bring the rival Protestant princes of Germany into subjection and “to crush Protestantism and give to his realm a unified Catholic Faith that would, he thought, strengthen and facilitate his government.”(Will Durant, The Story of Civilization, Vol. VI, p. 453)

Pope Gregory IX (1227-41) declared it the duty of every Catholic “to persecute heretics.” A heretic was anyone who did not give complete allegiance to the Roman Catholic Church. Such persons were to be tortured, imprisoned, and slain.  Disloyalty to the pope was the same as treason, so closely were state and Church allied. “Of eighty popes in a line from the thirteenth century on,” writes de Rosa, “not one of them disapproved of the theology and apparatus of Inquisition.  On the contrary, one after another added his own cruel touches to the workings of this deadly machine.”(Peter de Rosa, Vicars of Christ: The Dark Side of the Papacy, Crown Publishers, 1988, pp. 175-76)

“Neither sex, nor age, nor rank, have we spared,” says the leader of the war against the Albigenses; “we have put all alike to the sword.”(Ranke’s History of the Popes, Vol. 1, p. 24)

“Whenever one of the Papal states fell to the armies of the new Italy and the prisons were opened, the prisoner’s conditions were said to be indescribable…for more than six centuries without a break, the papacy was the sworn enemy of elementary justice.”(Peter de Rosa, Vicars of Christ: The Dark Side of the Papacy, Crown Publishers, 1988, p. 175)

The following is a sample of facts carefully presented by Halley and still found in copies sold in bookstores today, but which were eliminated from the special Crusade editions:

“[The Albigenses] preached against the immoralities of the [Catholic] priesthood, pilgrimages, worship of saints and images… opposed the claims of the Church of Rome; made great use of the Scriptures… By 1167 they embraced possibly a majority of the population of South France… In 1208 a crusade was ordered by Pope Innocent III; a bloody war of extermination followed, scarcely paralleled in history; town after town was put to the sword and the inhabitants murdered without distinction of age or sex… within 100 years the Albigenses were utterly rooted out.

[Two centuries later] between 1540 and 1570 no fewer than 900,000 Protestants were put to death in the Pope’s war for the extermination of the Waldenses.  Think of monks and priests directing, with heartless cruelty and inhuman brutality, the work of torturing and burning alive innocent men and women, and doing it in the Name of Christ, by the direct order of the “Vicar of Christ”!

…on the night of August 24, 1572, 70,000 Huguenots, including most of their leaders, were massacred [St. Bartholomew’s massacre]. Some 200,000 [more] perished as martyrs…[and] 500,000 fled to Protestant countries.”(Henry H. Halley, Pocket Bible Handbook, Chicago, 1944, pp. 608-13)

Did you know that Rome opposed America’s founding?

Popes had openly declared Rome’s opposition to the United States and its freedom-granting constitution from the moment of the nation’s birth.  Pius IX did the same.  The Catholic World frankly expressed the Roman Catholic view of the U.S. form of government:

“…we do not accept it, or hold it to be any government at all… If the American Republic is to be sustained and preserved, it must be by the rejection of the principle of the Reformation, and the acceptance of the Catholic principle…” (Catholic World, August 1871, p. 755)

In 1864, in Quanta Cura, Pius IX denounced what he called—“that erroneous opinion most pernicious to the Catholic Church, and to the salvation of souls, which was called by our Predecessor, Gregory XIV, the insanity (deliramentum): namely, “that the liberty of conscience and of worship is the peculiar(or unalienable) right of every man, which should be proclaimed by law, and that citizens have the right to… openly and publicly express their ideas, by word of mouth, through the press, or by any other means.”” (R. W. Thompson, The Papacy and the Civil Power, New York, 1876, pp. 721-727 esp. 722)

These false and perverse opinions [of democracy and individual freedom] are so much the more detestable, by as much as they… hinder and banish that salutary influence which the Catholic Church, by the institution and command of her Divine Author, ought freely to exercise, even to the consummation of the world, not only over individual men, but nations, peoples, and sovereigns.” (Pope Pius IX, Quanta Cura, December 8, 1864) … YET…

“I come to proclaim… the message of human dignity, with its inalienable human rights… [as] a pilgrim in the cause of justice and peace… as a friend of the poor… who are seeking… the deep meaning of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” (Pope John Paul II at Miami, September 10, 1987, in the initial speech of his “Second Patoral Visit” to the U.S.)—(National Catholic News Service, ed., John Paul II, “Building Up the Body of Christ,” Pastoral Visit to the United States, Ignatius Press, 1987, p. 9)

Romanism is synonymous with Despotism.

“Our absolutist system, supported by the Inquisition, the strictest censorship, the suppression of all literature, the privileged exemption of the clergy, and the arbitrary power of bishops, cannot endure any other than absolutist governments…” (J. H. Ignaz von Dollinger, The Papacy and the Council, (London, 1869), p. 23)

The Concordat between Pius IX and Ecuador of September 16, 1862, established Roman Catholicism as the state religion and forbade other religions.  All education was to be “strictly controlled by the Church.” A later law declared that “only Catholics might be regarded as citizens of Ecuador.” (Sidney Z. Ehler, John B. Morrall, trans. and eds., Church and State Through the Centuries, London, 1954, p. 273)

“While the state has some rights, she has them only in virtue and by permission of the superior authority… [of] the Church…” (The Catholic World, July 1870, vol. Xi, p. 439)

“Our absolutist system, supported by the Inquisition, the strictest censorship, the suppression of all literature, the privileged exemption of the clergy, and the arbitrary power of bishops, cannot endure any other than absolutist governments…” (J. H. Ignaz von Dollinger, The Papacy and the Council, (London, 1869), p. 23)

“No civil government, be it a monarchy, an aristocracy, a democracy… can be a wise, just, efficient, or durable government, governing for the good of the community, without the Catholic Church; and without the papacy there is and can be no Catholic Church.” (Dr. Brownson, highly-regarded nineteenth-century Catholic journalist, Brownson’s Quarterly Review, Jan. 1873, Vol. I, p. 10.)

“There is only one remedy for this evil (over scrupulous conscience), and that remedy is absolute and blind obedience to a prudent director. Choose one, consult him as often as you desire, but do not leave him for another. Then submit punctiliously to his direction. His conscience must be yours for the time being. And if you should err in following him, God will hold him, and not you responsible.” (Explanation of Catholic Morals, 24).

With this in mind, what do Christians have to face should Rome rise in power again?

In 1864, Pius IX’s Syllabus of Errors condemned “the whole existing view of the rights of conscience and religious faith and profession.”  The syllabus said it was, “a wicked error to admit Protestants to equal political rights with Catholics, or to allow Protestant immigrants the free use of their worship; on the contrary, to coerce and suppress them is a sacred duty, when it has become possible… the Church will, of course, act with the greatest prudence in the use of her temporal and physical power, according to altered circumstances…” (J. H. Ignaz von Dollinger, The Papacy and the Council, (London, 1869), pp. 14-15)

History shows that while the Catholic Church is not in power, it will act meekly and subversively. When the church has the primacy of the power, then the persecutions begin. Catholics are often quick to state their comforting idea that the Church never changes. This should be regarded as both a promise and a warning to us.

Catholic viewpoint–“The Inquisition is, in its very nature, good, mild, and preservative.  It is the universal, indelible character of every ecclesiastical institution; you see it in Rome, and you can see it wherever the true Church has power.” (Comte Le Maistre, 1815, Comte Le Maistre, Letters on the Spanish Inquisition (Boston, 1843), p. 22, as cited in R. W. Thompson, The Papacy and the Civil Power, New York, 1876, p. 82-83)

Even with these facts of history, many well-known Christian leaders still seek unity with the Catholic Church.

“I don’t know anyone more dedicated to the great fundamental doctrines of Christianity than the Catholics.” (W.A. Criswell, former president Southern Baptism Convention, David Beale, Southern Baptist Convention, House on the Sand, pp. 142-43; Dallas Morning News, August 19, 1978)

“I’ve found that my beliefs are essentially the same as those of orthodox Roman Catholics.” (Billy Graham, McCall’s, January 1978)

“The BGEA [Billy Graham Evangelistic Assoc.] acquired the printing rights [for a special edition] of…the classic Henry H. Halley Bible Commentary entitled, Pocket Bible Handbook… It described [Rome’s] martyrdom of millions… [in its 1962 Billy Graham Crusade Edition] the Graham Association… removed all these pages…” (Citing Halley’s Bible Handbook, Billy Graham Crusade ed., special ed. Printed by permission of Zondervan Publishing House for the Grason Company, cited in Wilson Ewin, Today’s Evangelicals Embracing the World’s Deadliest Cult, Quebec Baptist Missions, 1994, p. 57)

“It’s time for Protestants to go to the shepherd [the pope] and say, ‘What do we have to do to come home?’” (Robert Schuller, Los Angeles Herald Examiner, September 19, 1987, Religion page)

The Bible predicts a coming “harlot” church which will enslave the world and murder God’s people. Here are some of the identifying characteristics of this system:

Revelation 17:1  “And there came one of the seven angels which had the seven vials, and talked with me, saying unto me, Come hither; I will shew unto thee the judgment of the great whore that sitteth upon many waters: (2 With whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication. (3 So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet coloured beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns. (4 And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication: (5 And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH. (6  And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus: and when I saw her, I wondered with great admiration.”

PIETY–…A “Church of God” and city on seven hills…

“…hence, one understands the central place of Rome in the life of the Church today and the significance of the title, Roman Catholic Church, the Church that is universal, yet focused upon the ministry of the Bishop of Rome.  Since the founding of the Church there by St. Peter, Rome has been the center of all Christendom.” (Our Sunday Visitor’s Catholic Encyclopedia, Our Sunday Visitor Publishing Division, 1991, p. 842)

“It is within the city of Rome, called the city of seven hills, that the entire area of Vatican State proper is now confined.” The Catholic Encyclopedia (Thomas Nelson, 1976), s.v. “Rome.”

ROYALTY–…Colors of Purple and Scarlet…

“Cappa Magna

A cloak with a long train and a hooded shoulder cape… it was purple wool for bishops; for cardinals, it was scarlet watered silk (for Advent, Lent, Good Friday, and the conclave, purple wool); and rose watered silk for Gaudete and Laetare Sundays; and for the pope, it was red velvet for Christmas Matins, red serge at other times.

Cassock (also Soutane)

The close-fitting, ankle-length robe worn by the Catholic clergy as their official garb… The color for bishops and other prelates is purple, for cardinals scarlet…” (Our Sunday Visitor’s Catholic Encyclopedia, Our Sunday Visitor Publishing Division, 1991, pp. 175, 178)

POWER … reigns over the kings of the earth …

Innocent III (1198-1216) reigned over Christendom with terror… for close on twenty years, he crowned and deposed sovereigns, put nations under interdict, virtually created the Papal States across central Italy from the Mediterranean to the Adriatic.  He had not lost a single battle.  In pursuit of his aims, he shed more blood than any other pontiff.” (Peter de Rosa, Vicars of Christ: The Dark Side of the Papacy, Crown Publishers, 1988, p. 73)

In his desire to put Otho of Saxony on the German throne, Innocent wrote:

“By the authority which God has given us in the person of St. Peter, we declare you king, and we order the people to render you, in this capacity, homage and obedience.  We, however, shall expect you to subscribe to all our desires as a return for the imperial crown.” (Cormenin, History of the Popes, p. 459)

“One eighteenth century historian counted 95 popes who claimed to have divine power to depose kings and emperors.  Historian Walter James wrote that Pope Innocent III (1198-1216) “held all Europe in his net.” (Walter James, The Christian in Politics, Oxford University Press, 1962, p. 47)

Gregory IX (1227-41) thundered that the pope was lord and master of everyone and everything.  Historian R.W. Southern declared: “During the whole medieval period there was in Rome a single spiritual and temporal authority [the papacy] exercising powers which in the end exceeded those that had ever lain within the grasp of a Roman emperor.” (R.W. Southern, Western Society and the Church in the Middle Ages, Vol. 2, Pelican History of the Church series, Penguin Books, 1970, pp. 24-25)

RICHES … golden cup(chalice) in her hand…

“The fabulous treasure of Lourdes [France], whose existence was kept secret by the Catholic Church for 120 years, has been unveiled…Rumors have been circulating for decades about a priceless collection of gold chalices, diamond-studded crucifixes [a far cry from the bloodstained cross on which Christ died], silver and precious stones donated by grateful pilgrims.

After an indiscreet remark by their press spokesman this week, church authorities agreed to reveal part of the collection… some floor-to-ceiling cases were opened to reveal 59 solid gold chalices alongside rings, crucifixes, statues and heavy gold brooches, many encrusted with precious stones.

Almost hidden by the other treasures is the “Crown” of Notre Dame de Lourdes, made by a Paris goldsmith in 1876 and studded with diamonds.

Church authorities say they cannot put a value on the collection.  “I have no idea,” says Father Pierre-Marie Charriez, director of Patrimony and Sanctuaries.  “It is of inestimable value…”

Across the road is a building housing hundreds of [antique] ecclesiastical garments, robes, miters, and sashes—many in heavy gold thread…

“The Church itself is poor,” insists Father Charriez.  “The Vatican itself is poor.”” (The European, April 9-12, 1992, p. 1)

“The pectoral cross [suspended by a chain around the neck, and worn over the breast by abbots, bishops, archbishops, cardinals, and the pope] should be made of gold and… decorated with gems…” (Robert Broderick, The Catholic Encyclopedia, Thomas Nelson, 1976, p. 466)

Petrarch, poet laureate of the empire, described the papal court in Avignon scornfully as “the shame of mankind, a sink of vice, a sewer where is gathered all the filth of the world.  There God is held in contempt, money alone is worshipped and the laws of God and men are trampled underfoot.  Everything there breathes a lie: the air, the earth, the houses and above all, the bedrooms.”  Referring to Avignon as “the Babylon of the West,” Petrarch declared:

“Here reign the successors of the poor fisherman of Galilee… loaded with gold and clad in purple, boasting of the spoils of princes and nations.  Instead of holy solitude we find a criminal host… instead of soberness, licentious banquets… instead of the bare feet of the apostles… horses decked in gold and fed on gold, soon to be shod with gold, if the Lord does not check this slavish luxury.” (Colman J. Barry, O.S.B., ed., Readings in Church History, vol. 1, From Pentecost to the Protestant Revolt (Newman Press, 1960), pp. 470-71)

At the time of Mexico’s Civil War, the Roman Catholic Church there owned “from one-third to one-half of all the land of the nation [and about one-half of all the property of Mexico City].  Its revenues from tithes, Masses, and the sale of devotional articles such as statues, medals, rosaries, and the like, amounted to between six and eight million dollars annually, while its total revenues reached the astronomical figure of twenty million dollars… This drain on the poor country of Mexico was equal to the operating expenses of the entire United States government during these same years.” (Emmet McLoughlin, An Inquiry into the Assassination of Abraham Lincoln (The Citadel Press, 1977), p. 70)

Nino Lo Bello, former Rome correspondent for Business Week, calls the Vatican “the tycoon on the Tiber” because of its incredible wealth and worldwide enterprises.  His research indicates that it owns fully one-third of Rome’s real estate and is probably the largest holder of stocks and bonds in the world, to say nothing of its ownership of industries from electronics and plastics to airlines and chemical and engineering firms. (Nino Lo Bello, The Vatican Empire (Trident Press, 1968), p. 186 and jacket)

DRUNKENNESS … drunk with the blood of martyrs …

In his History of the Inquisition, Canon Llorente, who was the Secretary to the Inquisition in Madrid from 1790-92 and had access to the archives of all the tribunals, estimated that in Spain alone the number of condemned exceeded 3 million, with about 300,000 burned at the stake. (R. W. Thompson, The Papacy and the Civil Power, New York, 1876, p. 82)

To these three million victims [documented by Llorente] should be added the thousands upon thousands of Jews and Moors deported from their homeland… In just one year, 1481, and just in Seville, the Holy Office [of the Inquisition] burned 2000 persons; the bones and effigies of another 2000… and another 16,000 were condemned to varying sentences. (Emilio Martinez, Recuerdos [Memoirs] de Antano, CLIE, 1909, pp. 105-06)

A leading nineteenth-century Catholic professor of Church history — “Through the influence of Gratian… and unwearied activity of the popes and their legates since 1183, the view of the Church had been…[that]every departure from the teaching of the Church, and every important opposition to any ecclesiastical ordinances, must be punished with death, and the most cruel of deaths, by fire…

Innocent III declared the mere refusal to swear, and the opinion that oaths were unlawful, a heresy worthy of death, and directed that whoever differed in any respect from the common way of life of the multitude should be treated as a heretic.

Both the initiation and carrying out of this new principle must be ascribed to the Popes alone…It was the Pope who compelled bishops and priests to condemn the heterodox to torture, confiscation of their goods, imprisonment, and death, and to enforce the execution of this sentence on the civil authorities, under pain of excommunication.

From 1200 to 1500 the long series of Papal ordinances on the Inquisition, every increasing in severity and cruelty, and their whole policy towards heresy, runs on without a break.  It is a rigidly consistent system of legislation; every Pope confirms and improves upon the devices of his predecessor.  All is directed to the one end, of completely uprooting every difference of belief…

It was only the absolute dictation of the Popes, and the notion of their infallibility in all questions of Evangelical morality, that made the Christian world…[accept] the Inquisition, which contradicted the simplest principles of Christian justice and love to our neighbor, and would have been rejected with universal horror in the ancient Church.” (J. H. Ignaz von Dollinger, The Papacy and the Council, (London, 1869), p. 190-93)

PAGANISM … full of names of blasphemy … abominations and filthiness …

W.H.C. Frend, Emeritus Professor of Ecclesiastical History, in his classic The Rise of Christianity, pointed out that by the middle of the fifth century the Church “had become the most powerful single factor in the lives of the peoples of the empire.  The Virgin and the saints had replaced the [pagan] gods as patrons of cities.” (W. H. C. Frend, The Rise of Christianity, Philadelphia, 1984, p. 773)

Pope Leo I (440-61) boasted that St. Peter and St. Paul had “replaced Romulus and Remus as the city’s [Rome’s] protecting patrons.” (H. Chadwick, The Early Church, Wm. B. Eerdmans, 1976, p. 243)

During a 1984 visit to New Guinea, Pope John Paul II presided over an outdoor celebration of the “New Mass” for natives.  The Mass involved “dancers who pranced to the altar for the offertory procession, throwing up clouds of orange and yellow smoke, a pagan custom to ward off evil spirits… [while] an 18-year-old college student read a passage of Scripture at the papal altar wearing her traditional clothes [nude above the waist].” The New York Times said the Mass was indicative of—

‘The Roman Catholic Church’s efforts to make its services more universal by integrating into its ritual and liturgy elements of the cultures of the peoples to whom Western missionaries brought their religion.’ (The Roman Catholic, June-July 1984, p. 32)

Virginia Barta, president of the Franciscan Sisters in the USA, explains that: “We can be Catholic and at the same time open… to recognize the mystical truth in all religions.” (Chicago Sun Times, Dec. 24, 1989)

The National Catholic Reporter favorably reported on a somewhat recent convention in Brazil:

“One[leader] held a silver scepter of Candomble, the worship of African gods… Another, a Baptist minister, displayed a drawing of the world traversed by a crucifix… Beside him, a voodoo priest from Haiti raised a pot of incense, spreading good energy over the crowd.  And a pastor from the United Presbyterian Church read from Paul’s letter to the Galatians.

The celebrants surrounded a Brazilian Catholic brother who lifted up a priest’s stole. Each kissed the colorful band of cloth.” (National Catholic Reporter, October 9, 1992, p. 13)

At another convention, “Priests in Roman collars talked with saffron-robed Buddhist monks, and Rastafarians engaged in animated discussions with turbaned Sikhs… On one night, followers of the neo-pagan Wicca[witchcraft] religion performed a full-moon ritual…” (Los Angeles Times, September 5, 1993, p. A1)

“The Moslems together with us adore the one merciful God.” Lumen Gentium

“It is interesting to note how often our Church has availed herself of practices which were in common use among pagans…Thus it is true, in a certain sense, that some Catholic rites and ceremonies are a reproduction of those pagan creeds; but they are the taking of what was best from paganism, the keeping of symbolical practices which express the religious instinct that is common to all races and times” (Externals of the Catholic Church, 156).

To review the question of the Catholic Church’s historical position on Protestantism, keep in mind that it was established by numerous papal bulls and church councils that Protestants were “heretics” and were worthy of “extirpation”. The church cannot now claim that it was a misunderstanding, for this was the belief heralded by hundreds of bishops and cardinals, and numerous popes throughout the centuries. To say that it was a misunderstanding is to make these ‘illustrious’ churchmen into fools, and specifically contradicts the authoritative position of the infallible church through the centuries, even before Protestantism became a reality. This was the infallible doctrine of that church for most of its history.

 “…pronouncements by the Pope on faith or morals are infallible, irreformable, ‘in no way in need of the approval of others, and do not admit of appeal to any other tribunal.’” Also, the same is said of “…the body of bishops when, together with Peter’s successor [the pope], they exercise the supreme teachings office.” (Austin Flannery, general editor, Vatican Council II: The Conciliar and Post Conciliar Documents, Costello Publishing, 1988, Vol. 1, p. 380)

“The burning of the Marian martyrs is an act that the Church of Rome has never repudiated… Never has she repented of her treatment of the Vaudois and the Albigenses… of the wholesale murders of the Spanish Inquisition… of the burning of the English Reformers. We should take note of that fact and let it sink down in our minds.  Rome never changes.” (Anglican Bishop J.C. Ryle, 1885)

Even if these were not weighty issues, the fact remains that God has told His people to stay out of the Roman harlot system:

Revelation 18:4 “And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues. (5 For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities.”

Aside from her violent and repressive practices, the one thing that should keep all of God’s people far away from her is her penchant for idolatry.

Exodus 20:4 “Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: (5 Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;”

But Rome’s whole system is dependent upon a large variety of images and idols for their worship.

 “The first notice,” says Gibbon, “of the use of pictures is in the censure of the Council of Illiberis, three hundred years after the Christian era.” (Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Vol. 9, pp. 117-118)

“The first introduction of a symbolic worship,” continues the historian, “was in the veneration of the cross and of relics… But a memorial more interesting than the skull or the sandals of a departed worthy, is a faithful copy of his person and features, delineated by the arts of painting or sculpture… By a slow though inevitable progression, the honors of the original were transferred to the copy; the devout Christian prayed before the image of a saint, and the pagan rites of genuflection, luminaries, and incense, again stole into the Catholic Church… The use, and even the worship, of images was firmly established before the end of the sixth century.” (Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Vol. 9, p. 119)

Writing of the seventh century, we find Gibbon stating that, “the throne of the Almighty was darkened by a cloud of martyrs, and saints, and angels.” (Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Vol. 9, p. 262)

The Council of Constantinople, A.D. 754, summoned by Constantine Copronymus, condemned the worship, and also the use, of images.  The Council of Nice, in Bithynia, A.D. 786, also known as the Second Nicene Council, convoked by the fair but flagitious Irene, the widow and murderess of Leo IV, reversed the sentence of the Council of Constantinople, and restored the worship of images. Leo V condemned these idols to a second exile, but they were recalled by the Empress Theodora, A.D. 842. (Du Pin, Eccles. Hist., Vol. II, Councils of the Church, p. 32; Second Council of Nice, Du Pin, Vol. II, p. 32, 43)

The churches of France, Germany, England and Spain, held a middle course.  They condemned the adoration of images, but they adopted the perilous course of tolerating them in their churches as “the memorials of faith and history.” (Mosheim, cent. VIII, part II, ch. III, sec. XIV; Gibbon, vol. IX, p. 171)

“When we give or receive Christmas gifts; or hang green wreaths in our homes and churches, how many of us know that we are probably observing pagan customs…the god, Woden, in Norse Mythology, descends upon the earth yearly between December 25th and January 6th to bless mankind…But pagan though they be, they are beautiful customs. They help inspire us with the spirit of ‘good will to men’, even as the sublime service of our Church reminds us of the ‘peace on earth’ which the babe of Bethlehem came to bestow” (Externals of the Catholic Church, 140).

In equal measure with Rome’s open promotion of idolatry is its disgust concerning the Scriptures.

Following is an excerpt from an address given by the Cardinals to Pope Pius III, and is preserved in the National Library in Paris, Folio No. 1068, Vol. 2, pp. 650-651:

“Of all the advice that we can offer your holiness we must open your eyes well and use all possible force in the matter, namely to permit the reading of the gospel as little as possible in all the countries under your jurisdiction. Let the very little part of the gospel suffice which is usually read in mass, and let no one be permitted to read more. So long as people will be content with the small amount, your interest will prosper; but as soon as the people want to read more, your interest will fail. The Bible is a book, which more than any other, has raised against us the tumults and tempests by which we have almost perished. In fact, if one compares the teaching of the Bible with what takes place in our churches, he will soon find discord, and will realize that our teachings are often different from the Bible, and oftener still, contrary to it.”

Pope Clement XI’s Constitution Unigenitus (1713) denounced the following Jansenist propositions presented by Pasquier Quesnel:

“Christians are to sanctify the Lord’s Day with reading Godly books, more particularly the Holy Scriptures.”  Clement’s judgment: “CONDEMNED!”

“To pull the New Testament out of the hands of Christians is to shut the mouth of Christ against them.”  “CONDEMNED!”

“To forbid Christians the reading of the Holy Scriptures and especially of the Gospel is to forbid the use of the light by the children of light and to punish them with a kind of excommunication.” “CONDEMNED!”

“It is for the bishops, with whom the apostolic doctrine resides, suitably to instruct the faithful entrusted to them in the correct use of… the New Testament… by giving them translations of the sacred texts which are equipped with necessary and really adequate explanations.” (Austin Flannery, general editor, Vatican Council II: The Conciliar and Post Conciliar Documents, Costello Publishing, 1988, Vol. 1, pp. 764-65)

Vatican II acknowledges:

“Tradition that comes from the apostles makes progress… there is a growth in insight into the realities and words that are being passed on…

Sacred Scripture is the speech of God as it is put down in writing under the breath of the Holy Spirit.  And Tradition transmits in its entirety the Word of God which has been entrusted to the apostles by Christ the Lord and the Holy Spirit… Hence, both Scripture and Tradition must be accepted and honored with equal feelings of devotion and reverence…

It is clear, therefore, that, in the supremely wise arrangement of God, sacred Tradition, sacred Scripture and the Magisterium of the Church are so connected and associated that one of them cannot stand without the others.  Working together, each in its own way under the action of the Holy Spirit, they all contribute effectively to the salvation of souls.” (Austin Flannery, general editor, Vatican Council II: The Conciliar and Post Conciliar Documents, Costello Publishing, 1988, Vol. 1, pp. 754-756)

The Council of Tarragona of 1234 ruled that:

“No one may possess the books of the Old and New Testaments in the Romance language, and if anyone possesses them he must turn them over to the local bishop within eight days after promulgation of this decree, so that they may be burned lest, be he a cleric or a layman, he be suspected until he is cleared of all suspicion.” -D. Lortsch, Historie de la Bible en France, 1910, p.14. See also: The 1913 Catholic Encyclopedia article on the Scripture.

The Catholic Mass is regarded as a perpetual re-sacrifice of Christ on every Catholic altar, every day, and that the participants commit the abomination of cannibalism.

The First Apology of Justin

Chapter LXVI.-Of the Eucharist.

“And this food is called among us Eucharistia, of which no one is allowed to partake but the man who believes that the things which we teach are true, and who has been washed with the washing that is for the remission of sins, and unto regeneration, and who is so living as Christ has enjoined. For not as common bread and common drink do we receive these; but in like manner as Jesus Christ our Saviour, having been made flesh by the Word of God, had both flesh and blood for our salvation, so likewise have we been taught that the food which is blessed by the prayer of His word, and from which our blood and flesh by transmutation are nourished, is the flesh and blood of that Jesus who was made flesh.”

Council of Trent (Sess. XXII, can. 1): “If any one saith that in the Mass a true and proper sacrifice is not offered to God; or, that to be offered is nothing else but that Christ is given us to eat; let him be anathema” (Denzinger, “Enchir.”, 10th ed. 1908, n. 948)

1413: “By the consecration the TRANSUBSTANTIATION of the bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ is brought about. Under the consecrated species of bread and wine Christ himself, living and glorious, is present in a true, real, and substantial manner: his Body and his Blood, with his soul and his divinity [cf. Council of Trent: DS 1640; 1651.].” (Catechism of the Catholic Church)

But Scripture states that Christ was sacrificed once for all.

Hebrews 10:10 “By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.”

Hebrews 6:4 “For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, (5 And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, (6 If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.”

To re-sacrifice Christ is to shame Him. Not to mention the fact that it is a very arrogant claim, to boast of bringing God down to earth in the form of a wafer of bread upon a priest’s summons.

Romans 10:6 “But the righteousness which is of faith speaketh on this wise, Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring Christ down from above:) (7 Or, Who shall descend into the deep? (that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead.)”

Previously I provided quotes about Rome’s ties to paganism. It has many practices connected to magic and pagan superstition as well.

“Inquisitors who interrogated accused witches were advised by demonologists first to protect themselves by wearing a sacramental amulet that consisted of salt consecrated on Palm Sunday and blessed herbs, pressed into a disk of blessed wax.” (Guiley, Rosemary Ellen, “The Encyclopedia of Witches and Witchcraft.,” New York, Facts on File, Inc. (1989), p. 301)

“One of the Catholic Church’s most powerful weapons against the supernatural was holy water. Holy water is a mixture of salt and water that has been blessed by a priest. Witches, vampires, and other nasty evil creatures were considered violently allergic to holy water. During the Medieval and Renaissance periods, holy water was sprinkled on homes to drive away “pestilential vapours” and evil spirits, on farm animals to protect them from bewitchment, and on crops to promote fertility and protect them from witches. Like a sort of milkman, the holy-water carrier came by regularly, ensuring no one was caught short of divine protection. When storms hit, villagers would race to the local church for extra holy water to drive witches away and to protect against lightning.” (Guiley, Rosemary Ellen, “The Encyclopedia of Witches and Witchcraft.,” New York: Facts on File, Inc. (1989), pp. 357-8)

“I was reading in my Maryknoll Catholic Dictionary and came across the “consecration of a church”. It reads: “Each permanent church should be consecrated, an act which dedicates it to sacred use. The consecrator is a bishop, usually the bishop of the diocese where the church is located, The highlights of the consecration are the sprinkling of the exterior walls, the tracing of the alphabet on the floor , the anointing of the door posts with chrism, the consecration of at least the main altar, the anointing of the walls at twelve consecration crosses, the celebrating Mass”” [Maryknoll : Catholic Dictionary page 152 © 1965 The Maryknoll Fathers Nihil Obstat Rt. Rev. Msgr. James T. Clark Censor Librorum November 27, 1964 Imprimature +Jerome D. Hannan Bishop of Scranton November 28, 1964]

“The Church of God regulates divine worship for us with wisdom and experience of centuries. Her sacrifice is the first great act of worship. Then there are her ceremonies, rites, and observances; the use of Holy Water, blessed candles, ashes, incense, vestments, her chants, and fasts and feasts, the symbolism of her sacraments. This is the language in which, as a Church, and in union with her children, she speaks to God her adoration, praise and thanksgiving. This is her religion, and we practice it by availing ourselves of these things and by respecting them as pertaining to God” (Explanations of Catholic Morals, 111).

The sad fact of the matter is that from the very beginning, when the “church” was legalized and condoned by the Roman government, it became corrupted by the ancient pagan customs and practices under the auspices of them having been “Christianized” by the church’s authority.

A brilliant military commander, Constantine took control of the empire in the West, while his ally Licinius conquered the East.  Together they signed the Edict of Milan in 313, restoring to Christians full rights as citizens.  Will Durant, a purely secular historian with no religious axe to grind, comments upon the resultant marriage of Christianity and paganism…

“Paganism survived… in the form of ancient rites and customs condoned, or accepted and transformed, by an often-indulgent Church.  An intimate and trustful worship of saints replaced the cult of pagan gods… Statues of Isis and Horus were renamed Mary and Jesus; the Roman Lupercalia and the feast of purification of Isis became the Feast of the Nativity; the Saturnalia were replaced by Christmas celebration… an ancient festival of the dead by All Souls Day, rededicated to Christian heroes; incense, lights, flowers, processions, vestments, hymns which had pleased the people in older cults were domesticated and cleansed in the ritual of the Church… soon people and priests would use the sign of the cross as a magic incantation to expel or drive away demons…[Paganism] passed like maternal blood into the new religion, and captive Rome captured her conqueror.  …the world converted to Christianity…” (Will Durant, The Story of Civilization (Simon and Schuster, 1950), Vol. IV, p. 75, vol. III, p. 657)

Referring to developments after Constantine, Peter Brown writes: “Far from being a source of improvement, this alliance [with the state] was a source of ‘greater danger and temptation’ [than persecution had been] … The spread of Christianity in Africa, by indiscriminately filling the churches, had simply washed away the clear moral landmarks that separated the ‘church’ from the ‘world.’” (Peter Brown, Augustine of Hippo (University of California Press, 1967), p. 213)

“From the very earliest days of the Church there has been a tradition whereby images of our Lord, His holy Mother, and of saints are displayed in churches for the veneration of the faithful… The practice of placing sacred images in churches so that they be venerated by the faithful is to be maintained.” (Austin Flannery, gen. Ed., Vatican Council II: The Conciliar and Post Conciliar Documents, rev. ed., Costello Publishing, 1988, vol. 1, pp. 35, 193)

“Their conversion to Christianity [i.e. the idolatrous nations’] was merely nominal.  Ignorant of its doctrines, destitute of its spirit, and captivated by its splendid ceremonial, they were scarcely conscious of any change, when they transferred to the saints of the Roman Church the worship they had been accustomed to pay to their Scandinavian deities.  The process by which these nations, from being pagan, became Christian, may be adequately likened to the contrivance by which the statue of Jupiter at Rome was converted from the representative of the prince of pagan deities to the representative of the prince of the Christian apostles, namely, by the substitution of the two keys for the thunderbolt.” (J. A. Wylie, History of the Papacy, Ch. III, Rise and Progress of the Temporal Sovereignty)

What would we reasonably expect will happen should the goal of the ecumenicists be accomplished? How could a holy Church remain holy under the authority of a church that compromised with the world from the very beginning?

Let’s quickly examine some observances handed down to us by the Roman Catholic Church. What of Christmas? Surely it is Christian and not pagan…

“CHRISTMAS (the ‘Mass of Christ’) … Clement of Alexandria (about 200 AD) mentions several speculations on the date of Christ’s birth, and condemns them as superstitious… The exact day and year of Christ’s birth have never been satisfactorily settled. When the Fathers of the Church in AD 340 decided upon a date to celebrate the event, they wisely (!) chose the day of the Winter Solstice, which was firmly fixed in the minds of the people, and which was their MOST IMPORTANT FESTIVAL.” The Encyclopedia Britannica (1949, article “Christmas”)

“The roots of Christmas observance go deeply into the folklore of the Druids, Scandinavians, Egyptians and Romans.” Alfred Hottes, Christmas Fact and Fancy

“There are not a few popular observances associated with the Christmas season which have NOTHING TO DO with the Christian religion and the birth of Jesus. Most of these observances are older than Christianity, and some of them–it must be confessed–are NOT OF VERY ELEVATED ORIGIN.” R.J. Campbell, The Story of Christmas

Did the early Christians celebrate Christ’s birth?

Tertullian wrote (says Encyclopedia Britannica) “in a period when a LAX SPIRIT OF CONFORMITY had seized the churches”: about 200 AD–says regarding decorating with evergreens and ceremonial candles–

“Let those who have no Light, light their lamps, let them affix to their posts laurels. YOU [Christians] are the Light of the World, a tree ever green. If you have renounced temples, make not your own gate a temple [by heathen wreaths].”

“Christmas was originally a festival of the Winter Solstice. It was customary to hold great feasts in honor of the HEATHEN GODS. The early teachers of Christianity PROHIBITED THESE FESTIVALS as unsuited to the character of Christ. Yet the symbols and customs of the old festivals are adapted to the new, and so we find Christmas patterned with many customs of pagan origin.

“To the mind of the Puritans, Christmas smelled to heaven of idolatry… The Puritans abolished Christmas as a hateful relic of Popery.” The Customs of Mankind.

ln Massachusetts in 1659, a law was passed that- “Whosoever shall be found observing any such day as Christmas, either by forbearing of labor, feasting, or in any other way, shall be fined 5 shillings.”

“The Christmas tree, now so common among us, was equally common in pagan Rome and pagan Egypt…The festivals of the Roman Church are innumerable, but five of the most important may be singled out for elucidation, viz:

CHRISTMAS, Lady-day, Easter, the Nativity of St. John, and the Feast of the Assumption. Each and all of these can be proved to be Babylonian.

“It is admitted by the most learned and candid writers of all parties that, within the Christian Church, no such festival as Christmas was ever heard of till the third century, and that not till the fourth century was far advanced did it gain much observance…

“This tendency on the part of Christians to meet Paganism half way was very early developed. We find Tertullian, even in his day, about the year 230, bitterly lamenting the inconsistency of the disciples of Christ in this respect, and contrasting it with the strict fidelity of the pagans to their own superstitions. ‘By us’, he says, ‘the feasts of January, the Brumalia, and the Matronalia are now frequented, gifts are carried to and fro, and sports and banquets are celebrated with uproar. Oh, how much more faithful are the heathen to their religion, who take special care to adopt no solemnity from the Christians.’

“Upright men (continues Hislop) strove to stem the tide, but in spite of all their efforts the Apostasy went on till the Church, with the exception of a small remnant, was submerged under pagan superstition…THAT CHRISTMAS WAS ORIGINALLY A PAGAN FESTIVAL IS BEYOND ALL DOUBT.” Alexander Hislop, The Two Babylons

The list of corruptions and reasons to reject Rome’s primacy could go on and on, but one final issue to consider is the fact that in order to have “communion” with Rome, one has to “kiss the pope’s ring”, either figuratively or literally. The Pope is considered by the Catholic Church to be the “pontifex maximus” (which was the title of the Roman high priest of paganism), and the “vicar of Christ”. Literally, anti-Christ. Rejection of the primacy of the Pope is rejection of the whole system of Romanism.

Pope Boniface VIII stated: “There is one fold and one shepherd.  The authority of that shepherd includes the two swords—the spiritual and the temporal. So much are we taught by the words of the evangelist, ‘Behold, here are two swords,’ namely, in the Church.  The Lord did not reply, it is too much, but, it is enough. Certainly He did not deny to Peter the temporal sword; He only commanded him to return it into its scabbard.  Both, therefore, belong to the jurisdiction of the Church—the spiritual sword and the secular. The one is to be wielded for the Church—the other by the Church; the one is the sword of the priest—the other is in the hand of the monarch, but at the command and sufferance of the priest.  IT behooves the one sword to be under the other—the temporal authority to be subject to the spiritual power.” (Corpus Juris Canonici (Coloniae, 1631), Extravag. Commun., lib. I, tit. VIII, cap. I)

“It is not enough for the people only to know that the Pope is head of the Church… they must also understand that their own faith and religious life flow from him; that in him is the bond which unites Catholics to one another, and the power which strengthens and the light which guides them; that he is the dispenser of spiritual graces, the giver of the benefits of religion, the upholder of justice, and the protector of the oppressed.” (La Civilta Cattolica, 1867, vol. Xii, p. 86)

“Fear, then, our wrath and the thunders of our vengeance; for Jesus Christ has appointed us [the popes] with His own mouth absolute judges of all men; and kings themselves are submitted to our authority.” (Pope Nicholas I (858-67), Cormenin, History of the Popes, p. 243 as cited in R.W. Thompson, The Papacy and the Civil Power (New York, 1876), p. 369)

In a passage which is included in the Roman Catholic Canon Law, Pope Innocent III declares that the Roman pontiff is “the vice-regent upon earth, not of a mere man, but of very God;” and in a gloss on the passage it is explained that this is because he is the vice-regent of Christ, Who is “very God and very man.” See Decretales Domini Gregorii Papae IX (Decretales of the Lord Pope Gregory IX), liberi, de translatione Episcoporum, (on the transference of Bishops), title 7, chapter 3; Corpus Juris Canonice (2nd Leipzig ed., 1881), col. 99; (Paris, 1612), tom.2, Decretales, col. 205.

Yet, Peter was not the first pope, neither was the original Bishops of Rome invested with the power and glory they hold for Catholics today. Even Catholic apologists have admitted as much…

“…Thus He built His Church upon a single man; and although after His resurrection He assigned equal authority to all the apostles, saying, “As the Father sent Me, so send I you…”, nevertheless in order to bring out the Church’s unity vividly, He so ordered the origin of that unity as to make it begin with a single man.  Assuredly, the other apostles were all exactly what Peter was, equipped with an equal share of honor and authority; but a beginning was made from unity, so that the oneness of Christ’s Church might be manifested.  If this is the true text, it supports the collegiate conception of the episcopate which Cyprian advocates elsewhere, only adding that St. Peter was the starting-point and symbol of unity.  There is no suggestion that he possessed any superiority to, much less jurisdiction over, the other apostles, any more than in the numerous other contexts in which the Church’s unity is traced to him.Early Church Doctrines by J.N.D. Kelly, ‘Development in the Doctrine of the Church,’ p. 205)

“The student tracing the history of the times, particularly of the Arian, Donatist, Pelagian and Christological controversies, cannot fail to be impressed by the skill and persistence with which the Holy See was continually advancing and consolidating its claims.  Since its occupant was accepted as the successor of St. Peter, the prince of the apostles, it was easy to draw the inference that the unique authority which Rome in fact enjoyed, and which the popes saw concentrated in their persons and their office, was no more than fulfillment of the divine plan.” Early Church Doctrines by J.N.D. Kelly, ‘The West and the Roman Primacy,’ p. 417

The real framers and promoters of the theory of the Roman primacy were the popes themselves.  Men like Damasus (366-384), Siricius (384-99), Innocent (402-17), and their successors not only strove to advance it on the practical plane, but sketched out the theology on which it was based, viz. The doctrine that the unique position and authority assigned by Christ to St. Peter belonged equally to the popes who followed him as bishop of Rome. Leo the Great (440-61) was responsible for gathering together and giving final shape to the various elements composing this thesis… His (Leo’s) teaching as expounded in many contexts, involves the following ideas.  First, the famous Gospel texts referring to St. Peter should be taken to imply that supreme authority was conferred by our Lord upon the apostle.  Second, St. Peter was actually bishop of Rome, and his magisterium was perpetuated in his successors in that see.  Thirdly, St. Peter being in this way, as it were, mystically present in the Roman see, the authority of other bishops throughout Christendom does not derive immediately from Christ, but (as in the case of the apostles) is mediated to them through St. Peter, i.e. through the Roman pontiff who in this way represents him, or, to be more precise, is a kind of Petrus redivivus.  Fourthly, while their mandate is of course limited to their own dioceses, St. Peter’s magisterium and with it that of his successors, the popes of Rome, is a plenitudo potestatis extending over the entire Church, so that its government rests ultimately with them, and they are its divinely appointed mouthpiece.” Early Church Doctrines by J.N.D. Kelly, ‘The West and the Roman Primacy,’ pp. 418-419

Could the Church survive under the domination of men like these?

The time is not far off [after Constantine] when Peter’s [alleged] successors will be not the servants but the masters of the world.  They will dress in purple like Nero and call themselves Pontifex Maximus.  They will refer to the Fisherman as “the first pope” and appeal not to the authority of love but to the power invested in him to act as Nero acted.

In defiance of Jesus, Christians will do unto others what was done unto them, and worse will they do.  The religion that prided itself on triumphing over persecution by suffering will become the most persecuting faith the world has ever seen…

They will order in Christ’s name all those who disagree with them to be tortured, and sometimes crucified over fire.  They will make an alliance between throne and altar; they will insist that the throne is the guardian of the altar and the guarantor of faith.

Their idea will be for the throne (the state) to impose the Christian religion on all its subjects.  It will not trouble them that Peter fought against such an alliance and died because of it.” (Peter de Rosa, Vicars of Christ: The Dark Side of the Papacy, Crown Publishers, 1988, pp. 34-35)

“The whole life of such a man [the pope], from the moment when he is placed on the altar to receive the first homage by the kissing of his feet, will be an unbroken chain of adulations.

Everything is expressly calculated for strengthening him in the belief that between himself and other mortals there is an impassable gulf, and when involved in the cloud and fumes of a perpetual incense, the firmest character must yield at last to a temptation beyond human strength to resist.” (J. H. Ignaz von Dollinger, The Papacy and the Council, (London, 1869), pp. 337-38)

Nicholas I (858-67)—

“It is evident that the popes can neither be bound nor unbound by any earthly power, nor even by that of the apostle[Peter], if he should return upon the earth; since Constantine the Great has recognized that the pontiffs held the place of God upon earth, the divinity not being able to be judged by any living man.  We are, then, infallible, and whatever may be our acts, we are not accountable for them but to ourselves.” (Cormenin, History of the Popes, p. 243, as cited in R.W. Thompson, The Papacy and the Civil Power, New York, 1876, p. 248)

The World Loves Christmas

“[K]now ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God” (Jas. 4:4). “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world” (1 John 2:15). Who leads whom? Is not the church of the Lord Jesus Christ supposed to be an example to the world? Is not Christ’s church to be salt and light to the nations? Is it proper for the church to follow the pagan world-system? Christmas did not originate in the Bible or the apostolic church; it is pagan to its very core. The day, the tree, the exchanging of gifts, the mistletoe, the holly berries all originated in the idolatrous pagan festivities surrounding the winter solstice.

The compromised, apostatizing Roman church took what was pagan and attempted to Christianize it. Covenant-breaking, Christ-hating, idol-worshipping, pagan unbelievers love Christmas. Why? Because Christmas is not biblical. Christmas is not of God. It is a lie, and Satan, their master, is the father of lies. Atheists, homosexuals, feminists, wicked politicians, murderers, child molesters, and idolaters all love Christmas. If Christmas were biblical, and if Christmas were commanded to be observed in the Bible, would the world love it so? Absolutely not! The world would hate Christmas. “But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God” (1 Cor. 2:14). Does the world love the Lord’s day? Of course not. The world hates it.

Does the world love and obey the resurrected King of kings and Lord of lords? No! The world hates Christ. The world does love a plastic or clay baby in a manger. A plastic baby is not very threatening. Christ is no longer a baby. He is the glorified king who sits at the right hand of the Father. “Yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more” (2 Cor. 5:16). The Bible teaches that “the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God” (1 Cor. 3:19). “Thus saith the LORD: Learn not the way of the heathen. . . for the customs of the peoples are vain” (Jer. 10: 2-3). The apostle Paul has in mind a much broader application than just marriage when he says: “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? and what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? and what agreement hath the temple of God with idols?. . . Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you” (2 Cor. 6:14-17).

When the church has something relating to worship and religion in common with the unbelieving pagan world, the church, in that area, is bound together with unbelievers. The church has no business celebrating a pagan holiday with the pagan world. What hypocrisy! What wickedness! Evangelicalism in our day is in a state of serious decline. Church growth, ecumenical fellowship, pragmatism and keeping the peace have taken precedence over doctrinal integrity and pure worship. As a result, modern Evangelicalism is flabby, compromising, impotent and lukewarm. [Schwertley, Brian. The Regulative Principle of Worship and Christmas. Southfield Reformed Presbyterian Church. Southfield, MI.]

 

The Christ – Equal to or Greater than Moses?

The Christ – Equal to or Greater than Moses?

There is much debate between Judaism and Christianity, and also with the emergence of the “Messianic movement”, regarding the role and authority between Moses and “the law” in general, and the teachings of Christ. The purpose of this paper is simply to determine the relation of Christ to Moses, to see whether they are a continuing revelation or completely different dichotomies.  Who is the better and who the lesser or are they equals?  Additions of mine to Scripture will be highlighted in italics.

Let’s begin with what Christ was to be.  One of the first passages regarding the position of the Christ is here:

Deut. 18:15 “The LORD thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me(Moses); unto him ye shall hearken;

16 According to all that thou desiredst of the LORD thy God in Horeb in the day of the assembly, saying, Let me not hear again the voice of the LORD my God, neither let me see this great fire any more, that I die not.

17 And the LORD said unto me, They have well spoken that which they have spoken.

18 I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee(Moses), and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him.

19 And it shall come to pass, that whosoever will not hearken unto my words which he shall speak in my name, I will require it of him.”

The words of the Father…

John 14:10 “Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works.”

The punishment for transgressing His words…

Hebrews 10:28 “He that despised Moses’ law died without mercy under two or three witnesses:

29 Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?

30 For we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people.

31 It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.”

In addition to this, the Pharisees were aware of the prophecy of the coming of “that Prophet”, and asked John the Baptist if it were he…

John 1:21 “And they asked him, What then? Art thou Elias? And he saith, I am not. Art thou that prophet? And he answered, No.”

Final proof…

John 6:14 “Then those men, when they had seen the miracle that Jesus did, said, This is of a truth that prophet that should come into the world.”

Christ was in fact “that Prophet.”  Now, what did Deuteronomy say above?  He who despised Moses died a physical death, but those who trod Christ underfoot will suffer being the target of God’s vengeance.  That itself would suggest that Christ held a higher role than Moses.  That Christ’s own words were in fact straight from God reinforces that impression.  The fact that there had to be another prophet (after Moses) shows that Moses’ revelations of the Law did not complete God’s plan, in fact were only part of it. What do the Scriptures say about the Law that Moses delivered?

Matthew 11:13 “For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John.”

Luke 16:16 “The law and the prophets were until John: since that time the kingdom of God is preached, and every man presseth into it.”

What was the relevance of the time of John?

John 1:17 “For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.”

Does this say that Moses didn’t give truth, or that Christ’s was better or more significant?

John 4:23 “But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him.”

Did the ancient Israelites not worship in Spirit and Truth then?  Or, was greater Spirit and greater Truth found in Christ’s words/ways?  Christ is the “WAY, TRUTH, LIFE”.  Moses never claimed to be any of those.  So, was Moses the superior, or was Christ… or were they equal?

Hebrews 3:1 “Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus;

2 Who was faithful to him that appointed him, as also Moses was faithful in all his house.

3 For this man(Christ) was counted worthy of more glory than Moses, inasmuch as he who hath builded the house hath more honour than the house.

4 For every house is builded by some man; but he that built all things is God.

5 And Moses verily was faithful in all his house, as a servant, for a testimony of those things which were to be spoken after;

6 But Christ as a son over his own house; whose house are we (our “house” is better than Moses’), if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end.”

In addition, both Christ and Moses inaugurated a Covenant with their people:

Exodus 24:12 “And the LORD said unto Moses, Come up to me into the mount, and be there: and I will give thee tables of stone, and a law, and commandments which I have written; that thou mayest teach them.”

Exodus 34:28 “And he was there with the LORD forty days and forty nights; he did neither eat bread, nor drink water. And he wrote upon the tables the words of the covenant, the ten commandments.

Hebrews 9:11 “But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building; 12} Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption [for us. ] 13} For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh: 14} How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? 15} And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions [that were] under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance.”

Whose Covenant is best?

Hebrews 8:6 “But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises. 7} For if that first [covenant] had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second. 8} For finding fault with them, he saith, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah:”

The New Covenant in Christ’s blood is better than/supersedes Moses’ Covenant, and in face Moses’ Covenant is “passing away” in the presence of Christ’s Covenant.

Hebrews 8:13 “In that he saith, A new [covenant,] he hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old [is] ready to vanish away.”

All considered, the disciples had perhaps the clearest teaching on this matter:

Mark 9:2 “And after six days Jesus taketh with him Peter, and James, and John, and leadeth them up into an high mountain apart by themselves: and he was transfigured before them.

3 And his raiment became shining, exceeding white as snow; so as no fuller on earth can white them.

4 And there appeared unto them Elias with Moses: and they were talking with Jesus.

5 And Peter answered and said to Jesus, Master, it is good for us to be here: and let us make three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias.

6 For he wist not what to say; for they were sore afraid.

7 And there was a cloud that overshadowed them: and a voice came out of the cloud, saying, This is my beloved Son: hear him.

8 And suddenly, when they had looked round about, they saw no man any more, save Jesus only with themselves.”

Here we have the Law(Moses) and the Prophets(Elijah) both present together (the Old Testament is often called the “Law and the Prophets”), but rather than honor both with Christ, the Father told them to listen to Christ.

I believe that the truth cannot be denied. We have proof throughout the Scriptures that Christ completely supersedes (and sometimes even contradicts, as in the divorce issue) both Moses and the Prophets, the entire Torah.  The Torah was an introduction to Him, but His words far exceed theirs in wisdom and applicability.  The law and the prophets gave examples which Christ delineated clearly without the extra carnal applications and examples, i.e. being “unequally yoked” no longer has anything to do with yoking oxen and asses together on the plow as the O.T. commandment warns against, but being married with unbelievers.  One must know the Way to the Truth that leads to eternal Life.

The Old Testament, the Torah, has much to show of the personality and character of God, of His ways and patience. But most of all, it is for our example, to know what NOT to do.

1 Corinthians 10:1  Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; (2  And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea; (3  And did all eat the same spiritual meat; (4  And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ. (5  But with many of them God was not well pleased: for they were overthrown in the wilderness. (6  Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted. (7  Neither be ye idolaters, as were some of them; as it is written, The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play. (8  Neither let us commit fornication, as some of them committed, and fell in one day three and twenty thousand. (9  Neither let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed of serpents. (10  Neither murmur ye, as some of them also murmured, and were destroyed of the destroyer. (11  Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.”

What the Christ actually taught is the subject of another paper…

Flesh vs. Spirit and the Covenants

There is a fine line between worshipping God in the flesh (via ritual and ceremony) and in spirit (in the Word and prayer).

John 4:23—“But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him.”

John 4:24—“God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.”

In his day John himself said that the hour COMETH and NOW IS when true worship shall be done in truth and spirit.  So, if worship only just began to be of spirit and truth in Christ’s time, what form of worship was performed previously?

Hebrews 9:8—“The Holy Ghost this signifying, that the way into the holiest of all was not yet made manifest, while as the first tabernacle was yet standing: (9) Which was a figure for the time then present, in which were offered both gifts and sacrifices, that could not make him that did the service perfect, as pertaining to the conscience; (10) Which stood only in meats and drinks, and divers washings[baptisms], and carnal ordinances, imposed on them until the time of reformation.”

The Old Testament ‘ordinances,’ ‘washings’ and ‘meats and drinks’ were imposed on mankind UNTIL the time of reformation. Some examples of these are…

Godly Ordinances:

Hebrews 9:1—“Then verily the first covenant had also ordinances of divine service, and a worldly sanctuary.”

2 Chron. 2:4—“Behold, I build an house to the name of the LORD my God, to dedicate it to him, and to burn before him sweet incense, and for the continual shewbread, and for the burnt offerings morning and evening, on the sabbaths, and on the new moons, and on the solemn feasts of the LORD our God. This is an ordinance for ever to Israel.”

Exodus 30:10—“And Aaron shall make an atonement upon the horns of it once in a year with the blood of the sin offering of atonements: once in the year shall he make atonement upon it throughout your generations: it is most holy unto the LORD.”

Numbers 19:21—“And it shall be a perpetual statute unto them, that he that sprinkleth the water of separation shall wash his clothes; and he that toucheth the water of separation shall be unclean until even.”

Secular (Worldly) Ordinances:

Colossians 2:20—“Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances, (21) (Touch not; taste not; handle not; (22) Which all are to perish with the using;) after the commandments and doctrines of men? (23) Which things have indeed a shew of wisdom in will worship, and humility, and neglecting of the body; not in any honour to the satisfying of the flesh.”

Matthew 15:9—“But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.”

Mark 7:70—“Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.”

Titus 1:14—“Not giving heed to Jewish fables, and commandments of men, that turn from the truth.”

Colossians 2:8—“Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.”

God sees to the heart (Ps. 44:21, 1 John 3:20) and not outside appearances.  Rituals and invocations of the flesh do not honor Him nor do they please Him now that His Son has been sacrificed for all sin. All these are now mere additions which insult God by suggesting that His sacrifice was not enough and more is needed.

Colossians 3:22—“Servants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh; not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but in singleness of heart, fearing God:”(This follows to servants of God as well…)

2 Corinthians 5:12—“For we commend not ourselves again unto you, but give you occasion to glory on our behalf, that ye may have somewhat to answer them which glory in appearance, and not in heart.”

2 Corinthians 10:7—“Do ye look on things after the outward appearance? If any man trust to himself that he is Christ’s, let him of himself think this again, that, as he is Christ’s, even so are we Christ’s.”

Job 35:13—“Surely God will not hear vanity, neither will the Almighty regard it.”

Matthew 6:7—“But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.”

Galatians 6:7—“Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.”

The original, Old Covenant worship was based in the flesh, with fleshly purifications, washings and sacrifices, ordinances and statutes and represented carnal examples of spiritual truths, truths which would be expressed with greater clarity in the then future New Covenant and point to Christ.

Hebrews 10:1—“For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect.”

Colossians 2:16—“Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days: (17) Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ.”

Shadow vs Body.  Which is the more important, the reality or the illusion (or illustration)?  So then, just how does the Word suggest we worship Him?

PRAYER

Acts 2:42—“And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.”

1 Timothy 2:1—“I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men;… (8) I will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting.”

Revelation 5:8—“And when he had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints.”

CONFESSION

Matthew 10:32—“Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven.”

James 5:16—“Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.”

1 John 1:9—“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

PRAISE

Hebrews 13:15—“By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name.”

Romans 15:11—“And again, Praise the Lord, all ye Gentiles; and laud him, all ye people.”

Hebrews 2:12—“Saying, I will declare thy name unto my brethren, in the midst of the church will I sing praise unto thee.”

READ THE WORD

John 15:3—“Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.”

Acts 6:4—“But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word.”

Romans 10:17—“So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”

2 Corinthians 6:7—“By the word of truth, by the power of God, by the armour of righteousness on the right hand and on the left,”

Are any other rituals/ceremonies prescribed by the Word of the New Covenant?  No.  Do visible ceremonies impress God?  No, the state of the heart, prayer, confession, praise and the Word of God are the sum total of prescribed signs of obedience and relationship which He respects and honors His sacrifice.  It is not in the ritual that His grace is conferred, it’s the intentions and position of the heart that matter. As Timothy put it:

1 Timothy 1:5—“Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned:”

Now some might say, “but God’s ordinances and commandments are forever.” The question then stands: Does “forever” in Hebrew literally mean that something is “eternal”?

2 Chronicles 2:4—“Behold, I build an house to the name of the LORD my God, to dedicate it to him, and to burn before him sweet incense, and for the continual shewbread, and for the burnt offerings morning and evening, on the sabbaths, and on the new moons, and on the solemn feasts of the LORD our God. This is an ordinance for ever to Israel.”

The word “forever” is olam in Hebrew. According to one Biblical Lexicon, olam means:

“long duration, antiquity, futurity: a. indefinite futurity , c. prep. for ever , always (= during the lifetime )slave for ever ;  serve for ever redemption at any time; ever pregnant (womb); of persecutors of Jeremiah; always at ease ;   may the king live always ; so of the pious;  I will sing for ever (as long as I live); other emotions and activities continuous through life. b. = continuous existence , (1) of things: the earth; other phr., heavens and contents, ruined cities, ruined lands or a witness for ever , in a book; (2) of nations: Babylon, of Judah; (3) families; the dynasty of Saul; house of Eli; (4) national relations: continual enmity ; of exclusion from; various relations;   perpetual reproach , of dynasty of David, families ;  of God’s covenant:  everlasting covenant ; covenant with Noah ; God remembers it; will not break it, e. of God’s laws; temple to bear God’s name; consecrated; its ceremonies; Levit. priesthood; Aaronic priesthood. f. of God’s promises: his word; promised dynasty of David; of holy land; given, inherited; dwelt in; other blessings; Jerus. to abide”  [BDB]

Forever can have a finite time limit, as the Scripture seems to suggest is the case with the Old Covenant conditions. Not only that, but God reserves the right to make changes as He deems necessary.

Hebrews 7:18—“For there is verily a disannulling of the commandment going before for the weakness and unprofitableness thereof. (19)  For the law made nothing perfect, but the bringing in of a better hope did; by the which we draw nigh unto God.”

Jeremiah 31:31—“Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: (32)  Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake…”

At the first Passover, they were to eat the meal in their own homes, but once the sanctuary in Jerusalem was built, that changed and they were required to eat it there. Also, in the beginning God “visited the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children’s children, unto the third and to the fourth generation.” (Ex. 34:7) Yet, in Deuteronomy 24:16 God said: “The fathers shall not be put to death for the children, neither shall the children be put to death for the fathers: every man shall be put to death for his own sin.” One last proof of inter-Biblical change: the Law initially encompassed just the writings of Moses and the tables of stone. Later, in Christ’s time, it encompassed the writings of the prophets as well. These are just a very few of the changes that took place during Old Testament times alone. Sufficient to prove that change can and does occur in the Scriptures, and that new things begin as old things end.

Hebrews 8:6—“But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, (7)  For if that first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second.”

2 Corinthians 3:11—“For if that which is done away was glorious, much more that which remaineth is glorious.”

End-Times Chronology of Events

First off, many believe the Gospel accounts were written only for the Jews. The truth is, Christ made a difference between His disciples and the “Jews” –  He spoke to the “Jews” only in parables according to the Scriptures:

Matthew 13:10-13—“And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables? (11) He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given. (12) For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath. (13) Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand.

Mark 14:10-11—“And when he was alone, they that were about him with the twelve asked of him the parable. (11) And he said unto them, Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: but unto them that are without, all these things are done in parables:“

Matthew 13:34-35—“All these things spake Jesus unto the multitude in parables; and without a parable spake he not unto them: (35) That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, I will open my mouth in parables; I will utter things which have been kept secret from the foundation of the world.”

Mark 4:1-2—“And he began again to teach by the sea side: and there was gathered unto him a great multitude, so that he entered into a ship, and sat in the sea; and the whole multitude was by the sea on the land. (2) And he taught them many things by parables…”

Luke 8:9-10—“And his disciples asked him, saying, What might this parable be? (10) And he said, Unto you it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God: but to others in parables; that seeing they might not see, and hearing they might not understand.”

 

Second, He gave specific information related to the chronology of the end-times to His disciples, which would later become His apostles (and whom would hold the first place in His Church) …

Matthew 24:3-31 – “And as he sat upon the Mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be [destruction of the temple]? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?”

Mark 13:3 – “And as he sat upon the mount of Olives over against the temple, Peter and James and John and Andrew asked him privately, (4) Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign when all these things shall be fulfilled?”

1 Cor. 12:28 – “And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.”

 

Third, they asked about His return and the end of day’s events.  If they were expecting to be raptured beforehand, why would they even ask such things?  They wouldn’t expect to be present to witness the events anyway… Thus, the events recorded in passages such as Matthew 24 give us the series of events that must happen in the end of days, before and through to the day of His coming and His gathering together of His people.

 

Matthew 24: (4) And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. (5) For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.

Luke 21:8—“And he said, Take heed that ye be not deceived: for many shall come in my name, saying, ‘I am Christ’; and ‘the time draweth near’: go ye not therefore after them.”

Mark 13:5-6—“And Jesus answering them began to say, Take heed lest any man deceive you: (6) For many shall come in my name, saying, ‘I am Christ’; and shall deceive many.”

Colossians 2:8—“Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.”

Colossians 2:18—“Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind,”

 

Matthew 24: (6) And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. (7) For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. (8) All these are the beginning of sorrows.

Mark 13:7-8—“And when ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars, be ye not troubled: for such things must needs be; but the end shall not be yet. (8) For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be earthquakes in divers places, and there shall be famines and troubles: these are the beginnings of sorrows.”

Luke 21:9-10—“But when ye shall hear of wars and commotions, be not terrified: for these things must first come to pass; but the end is not by and by. (10) Then said he unto them, Nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: (11) And great earthquakes shall be in divers places, and famines, and pestilences; and fearful sights and great signs shall there be from heaven.”

 

Matthew 24: (9) Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake.

Mark 13:13—“And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.”

Luke 21:17—“And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake.”

Matthew 10:22—“And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.”

John 15:18-19–“If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. (19) If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.”

1 John 3:13—“Marvel not, my brethren, if the world hate you.”

 

Matthew 24: (10) And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another.

Mark 13:12—“Now the brother shall betray the brother to death, and the father the son; and children shall rise up against their parents, and shall cause them to be put to death.”

Luke 21:16—“And ye shall be betrayed both by parents, and brethren, and kinsfolks, and friends; and some of you shall they cause to be put to death.”

Matthew 13:21—“Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended.”

Mark 4:17—“And have no root in themselves, and so endure but for a time: afterward, when affliction or persecution ariseth for the word’s sake, immediately they are offended.”

 

Matthew 24: (11) And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.

Mark 13:22—“For false Christs and false prophets shall rise, and shall shew signs and wonders, to seduce, if it were possible, even the elect.”

Matthew 7:15—“Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.”

Matthew 24:24—“For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.”

2 Peter 2:1-3—“But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. (2) And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. (3) And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not.”

1 John 4:1—“Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.”

 

Matthew 24: (12) And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.

1 Timothy 4:1—“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; (2) Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;”

1 Timothy 3:1 – “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. (2) For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, (3)  Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, (4) Traitors, heady, high-minded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God.”

 

Matthew 24: (13) But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.

Mark 13:13  And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.

Matthew 10:22—“And you will be hated by all for My name’s sake.  But he who endures to the end will be saved.

2 Timothy 2:10—“Therefore I endure all things for the sake of the elect, that they also may obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory. (11)  For this is a faithful saying: For if we died with Him, we shall also live with Him. If we endure, we shall also reign with Him.”

 

Matthew 24: (14) And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come. (15) When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:) (16) Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains: (17) Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house: (18) Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes. (19) And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days! (20) But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day:

Mark 13:14—“But when ye shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing where it ought not, (let him that readeth understand,) then let them that be in Judaea flee to the mountains:”

Revelation 12:13—“And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man child. (14) And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent.”

Daniel 11:31—“And arms shall stand on his part, and they shall pollute the sanctuary of strength, and shall take away the daily sacrifice, and they shall place the abomination that maketh desolate

11:36  And the king shall do according to his will; and he shall exalt himself, and magnify himself above every god, and shall speak marvellous things against the God of gods, and shall prosper till the indignation be accomplished: for that that is determined shall be done.”

 

Matthew 24: (21) For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since thebeginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. (22) And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened.

Mark 13:19—“For in those days shall be affliction, such as was not from the beginning of the creation which God created unto this time, neither shall be. (20) And except that the Lord had shortened those days, no flesh should be saved: but for the elect’s sake, whom he hath chosen, he hath shortened the days.”

Revelation 12:12—“Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time.”

 

Matthew 24: (23) Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not. (24) For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. (25) Behold, I have told you before. (26) Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not.

Mark 13:21—“Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or, ‘Look, He is there!’ do not believe it.”

Luke 17:23—“And they will say to you, ‘Look here!’ or ‘Look there!’  Do not go after them or follow them.”

Luke 21:8—“And He said to them, Take heed that you not be deceived.  For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am He,’ and ‘The time has drawn near.’  Therefore, do not go after them.”

 

Matthew 24: (27) For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.

Mark 13:24—“But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; (25)  the stars of heaven will fall, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken. (26)  Then they will see the Son of Man coming in the clouds with great power and great glory. (27)  And then He will send His angels, and gather together His elect from the four winds, from the farthest part of earth to the farthest part of heaven.”

Luke 17:24—“For as the lightning that flashes out of one part under heaven shines to the other part under heaven, so also the Son of Man will be in His day.”

Revelation 1:7 – “Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.”

 

Matthew 24: (28) For wheresoever the carcass is, there will the eagles be gathered together.

Luke 17:34—“I tell you, in that night there shall be two men in one bed; the one shall be taken, and the other shall be left. (37) And they answered and said unto him, Where, Lord? And he said unto them, Wheresoever the body is, thither will the eagles (i.e. vultures) be gathered together.”

Rev 19:17—“And I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the fowls that fly in the midst of heaven, Come and gather yourselves together unto the supper of the great God; (18) That ye may eat the flesh of kings, and the flesh of captains, and the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of horses, and of them that sit on them, and the flesh of all men, both free and bond, both small and great.”

 

Matthew 24: (29) Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken:

Mark 13:24—“But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; (25) the stars of heaven will fall, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken.

Acts 2:19  “and I will show wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapor of smoke; (20) The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before that great and notable day of the Lord come.”

Zephaniah 1:14—“The great day of the Lord is near; It is near and hastens quickly.  The noise of the day of the Lord is bitter; There the mighty men shall cry out. (15) That day is a day of wrath, A day of trouble and distress, A day of devastation and desolation, A day of darkness and gloominess, A day of clouds and thick darkness, (16) A day of trumpet and alarm Against the fortified cities And against the high towers.”

Amos 5:20—“Shall not the day of the LORD be darkness, and not light? even very dark, and no brightness in it?”

 

Matthew 24: (30) And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.

Mark 13:24—“But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; (25) the stars of heaven will fall, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken. (26) Then they will see the Son of Man coming in the clouds with great power and great glory.”

Mark 14:62—“Jesus said, “I am.  And you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Power, and coming with the clouds of heaven.”

Luke 21:25—“And there will be signs in the sun, in the moon, and in the stars; and on the earth distress of nations, with perplexity, the sea and the waves roaring; (26) men’s hearts failing them from fear and the expectation of those things which are coming on the earth, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. (27) Then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.”

Acts 1:10—“And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as He went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; (11) who also said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven?  This same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven.”

2 Thessalonians 1:7—“and to give you who are troubled rest with us when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, (8) in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

 

Matthew 24: (31) And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.

Mark 13:24—“But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; (25) the stars of heaven will fall, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken. (26) Then they will see the Son of Man coming in the clouds with great power and great glory. (27) And then He will send His angels, and gather together His elect from the four winds, from the farthest part of earth to the farthest part of heaven.”

Ephesians 1:10—“that in the dispensation of the fullness of the times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth-in Him.”

Psalm 47:5—“God has gone up with a shout, The Lord with the sound of a trumpet.”

Thessalonians 4:13—“But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. (14) For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus. (15) For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. (16) For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God.  And the dead is Christ will rise first. (17) Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the air.  And thus we shall always be with the Lord.”

1 Corinthians 15:51—““Behold, I tell you a mystery;  We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, (52) In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet:  for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. (53) For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.”

 

The “Rapture” is merely an aspect of the 2nd coming, not a unique event in and of itself. The coming of the Lord is never described as secret, but it will come as a surprise to those that are not diligently watching for Him, and the whole point of Revelation, and the Bible as a whole, is His public revelation (return) to the world to reward His people and punish the wicked and initiate His kingdom.