To Seduce the Elect
Part 4 of 7
An in depth look at some of the falsehoods which have invaded the Christian world and the danger they pose to Christ and His church, with apologies to none.
By Lt. Col. Gordon "Jack" Mohr AUS Ret.
Theology is the study of the laws of God. What could be more noble? I have two high degrees in theology taught from a Judeo-Christian context. This had so effected my thinking, that by the age of sixty, my mind was literally encased in the "hardened theological cement" of Judeo-Christian fundamental denominationalism. I did not have a Pope I was forced to bow down to, or kiss his ring, but my mind was still bound with the force of the same kind of traditionalism, our Lord condemned in the Pharisees, when He said to them, Matthew 15:9 - "In vain do they worship Me (God); teaching for doctrines the commandments of men". My mind was still bound as if in cement, and it took the "dynamite" of God, through a traumatic experience, to blow this cement away to where I would look at the Bible and see what it actually said, not what the seminary professors or my pastor said it said.
There is really not that much difference in many ways, between the Roman Catholic and Protestant churches. Both are so bound up in respect to church tradition, that like the Pharisees of old, they "teach for doctrines, the traditions of men
The Apostle Paul in Titus 1:14, warns us against the failure on the part of the church, which was "Not to give heed to Jewish fables, and COMMANDMENTS of men, who turn from the truth".
Let me say to my Catholic readers, in all Christian love and sincerity, when you listen to and obey the Pope, or your priest, and it is contrary to the Word of God, the Holy Bible, you "make the Word of God of non-effect by your traditions, and thus incur the wrath of God on your life.
Linguori, a Catholic scholar who has been canonized by the church, stated that a Catholic may lie under oath. (This is similar to what the Jews are taught in their Kol Nidre Oath). In his study on "Oaths", he said: "It is a certain and common opinion amongst all divines (priests) that for a just cause it is lawful to use equivocation (deception; lying)... and to confirm it with an oath... Now a just cause is any honest end in order to preserve the good things of the spirit or useful to the body". (This comes very close to echoing the Communist teaching that "the end justifies the means!")
This Catholic scholar says that a woman guilty of adultery may deny it, as long as she has confessed it to a priest. He said: "If sacramentally she confessed adultery, she can answer: 'I am innocent of this crime', because by her confession it was taken away".
He justifies a servant who helps his master commit adultery by bringing him a ladder so he can climb up to a woman's bedroom. He speaks of degrees of sin, stating they if you steal a moderate sum, it is not a mortal sin (one which places you under the condemnation of the church). When a greater amount is stolen, it will still not be accounted as a mortal sin, if there is an intention to restore it. Sounds very similar to the "goobeldegook" that comes from the Jewish Talmud.
The Catholic church teaches that the Pope can release a church member from all oaths, if it is for the good of the public, which is a matter determined by the Pope, who of course, has sole power over the church and it's members.
While few Catholics will want to believe this and very few priests admit it, the church teaches that heretics should be exterminated St. Thomas, in Vol. IV, page 91 says: "Though heretics are not to be tolerated (and a 'heretic' is any Christian who holds beliefs contrary to Roman dogma)... we must bear with them till, by a second admonition, they may be brought back to the church. But those who, after a second admonition, remain obstinate in their errors, must be delivered to the secular powers to be exterminated".
This teaching is very similar to that found in the Jewish Talmud regarding Christians, or non-Jews who read their Book. They state: "Moses commanded the law for the our (Jewish) inheritance; it is ours, not theirs". So if they even read the Talmud, they must be killed, and any Jew who helps them must also suffer death. Of course the historical fact that there were no people known as Jews until 750 years after the time of Moses, means very little to them. And Jesus refuted their claim of following the Mosaic teachings, when He said to them in John 5:46: "If ye had believed Moses ye would have believed Me; for he wrote of Me".
The Catholic church at the Council of Latern in AD 1215, went a step further when it stated: "We decree, further, that all (Catholics) who may have dealings with heretics, and especially such as receive, defend or encourage them, shall be excommunicated. He shall not be eligible for any public office. He shall not be admitted as a witness. He shall neither have power to bequeath his property by will, nor to succeed any such inheritance". This, my friends, is absolute dictatorship!
When officials of the church are given Papal approval to lie, and break their oath for the good of the church, there should be little wonder why Catholic nations, without exception, decline into Third World nations.
Since a nation cannot be great and strong unless it adheres to the truth, any deviation from the truth, for any reason, will ultimately destroy her. A well known philosopher once said; "The more the priests, the more the crimes", and any of you devout Catholics should be aware of the rash of sex crimes, committed by priests, which have hit the front page of our newspapers in recent months, and of the prevalency of homosexuality among priests, even though according to the Bible, this sin deserves the death penalty. (See the Apostle Paul's statement in Romans 1:24-31.)
Yet when a priest, who is supposed to be God's representative, defiles a young person under his influence, the church allows him to lie in court, as long as he has confessed his sin to another priest. Surely, any decent Christian, and you devout Catholic mothers and fathers in particular, should see the hypocrisy of delivering your children into the hands of a sex pervert, no matter what title he may bear. (This certainly does not exclude Protestants, who often have the same problem).
What good is it for Catholic parents to teach the principles of honor, decency, holiness, and patriotism to your young daughters, when she is required to go many times a year to a bachelor priest, who is bound by conscience to give her lessons in depravity, under the pretext that he is helping her confess her sins. Many a virtuous Catholic maiden has been led into sexual sin by this practice.
When a Catholic theological student questions Catholic theology; as I sometimes did when I was studying for my degrees in religion, the answer he is apt to receive from His Superior is: "You speak of scriptures like a Protestant would. You appeal to them as the only source of Christian truth and knowledge, when we know that the holy traditions and the word of the Pope, equals or supercedes the authority of the scriptures."
"You are not bound to understand all that I, your religious Superior teach you, but you are ordered to obey it!"
Catholic clerics are taught that they MUST interpret scriptures on the "unanimous consent" of the Holy Fathers. Yet very few of the Holy Fathers ever agreed on anything. This is a historically proven fact! Many defended the teachings on Purgatory; while others violently disagreed. St. Jerome and St. Augustine agreed on only one thing, which was to disagree on everything. St. Augustine at the end of his life, agreed with the Protestants, that when Christ said: "On this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell will not prevail if against it", this did not refer to Peter, the "little stone but to Christ the Eternal Rock of Ages!
If you cannot understand simple Gospel writers such as St. Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, how in the world can you understand church fathers who argued for days over how many angels could dance on the head of a pin?
If you Catholics cannot rely on your own intelligence under the guidance of the Holy Spirit to interpret scripture, how can you rely on a priest who is a pervert?
Many Protestants criticize the Catholic church for it's use of sacred statues. But that is not her real idolatry. The real idolatry in the Roman church comes when a priest takes a piece of bread, and repeating a few Latin words over it, declares that it has now become the actual body and blood of Christ. Nowhere in scripture is this taught. It comes strictly from Catholic tradition!
Contrary to the teaching of St. Matthew in 24:23, where Christ told His disciples; "Then if any man shall say to you, lo here is Christ; or there, believe it not!" Yet the priest would have you believe that Christ is actually present in the bread and wine that rests in the sacred chamber of the tabernacle. The reason that Catholics will brave storms, and floods, to go to mass before day break is the natural consequence of this teaching, that the priest of Rome, creates Christ and God by the consecration of the wafer and the wine.
I am not poking fun at your belief, my friends. It is much to serious for that! I am weeping over the way in which you as intelligent men and women have been "brainwashed" by your church into worshiping something which does not exist. The Egyptians worshiped god in the form of a crocodile or a calf. The Greeks made their gods of gold and marble. The Persians made the sun their god. The nomadic tribes of Africa worship the hyena, while the church of Rome, has made her god out of a piece of bread. Tell me honestly, is this not idolatry?
Nowhere in the Bible is authority given to any man, be he Pope, Bishop, or priest, to turn a piece of bread into the body of our Lord, or turn wine into His blood. No wonder that agnostics call this a "bloody religion, a cannibalistic religion".
This is church "tradition" that makes a mockery of the Word of God, and makes it of "non-effect", just as the Pharisees did. (See Matt. 15:6,9).
You good Catholics who honestly love God, and I know there are millions of you. Who are you going to believe, the Son of God Himself, or some man who has been set up by men as God's representative on earth?
Remember well, that in the Day of Judgment, you will be required to answer to God, not the Pope, and God will hold you accountable for this spiritual truth I am now giving to you.
So please do not make me say to you dear Catholic Israel brothers and sisters, what the Apostle Paul had to say to the Christians at Galatia: "Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth?" (Gal. 4:16). Criticize me if you must, but don't endanger your immortal soul by placing the Catholic church before God.
In one of the most sacred books of the laws and regulations of the Church of Rome, the MISSALE ROMANIUM, page 58, you can read what is done with the eucharist if it becomes contaminated: "If the priest vomit the eucharist, if the species appears entire, let them be reverently swallowed, unless sickness arise; for then let the consecrated species be cautiously separated and laid up in some sacred place till they are corrupted; and afterwards let them be cast into the sacrarium". (For you non-Catholics who are not familiar with this term, it is the drain in a sacristy [a room in a church, usually adjoining the sanctuary, where sacred vessels and garments are kept], leading directly to the earth and used for the disposal of water used for the altar linens and chalice). But if the species do not appear, let the vomit be burned, and the ashes cast into the sacrarium).
Can't you see the heathenism in this act? The priest is required to believe that on the night of the Last Supper, Christ took His own body, with His own hands, to His mouth, and ate of Himself. After eating of Himself, He gave it to His disciples who ate of Him also'. Then they did the same with His blood. This is an act which could easily be associated with the heathenism of darkest, savage Africa, certainly it has no place in Christianity.
With the light of the Gospel available to all men, how can anyone go into the horrible dark recesses of folly and superstition to take part is such a debasing system of idolatry and blasphemy?
But you may say: "You were fooled for over sixty years, by an equally superstitious teaching of your church, called the Rapture". And I will readily admit this is true! It took the "dynamite" of God, through a very painful experience, to "blow my mind loose from the denominational cement" which had hardened about it. But when I finally saw the truth, I did change! There is an old saying: "Fool me once; shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me!" It is easy to become fooled in our modern day of apostasy, even in the church. But our sin is not so much in being deceived, as it is in remaining deceived when we finally receive the truth!
What we see happening throughout Christendom, Catholic, Protestant, Fundamentalist, Evangelical, is the fulfillment of the prophecy of 2 Thessalonians 2:10,11 - "And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish: BECAUSE THEY RECEIVE NOT THE TRUTH, that they might be SAVED! And for this cause because they refuse to accept the truth of God's Word) God shall send them a STRONG DELUSION, that they should BELIEVE A LIE; that they all might be DAMNED, who believe (receive) not the truth..." (The emphasis has been added!)
When priests in the Catholic church have succumbed to the human weaknesses of the flesh, as you must admit many have done, and have been exposed in recent months; the anti-Christ media has rejoiced over these scandals which have done irreparable damage to the cause of Christ. (The same can be said for the Bakker's and the Swaggart's in Protestantism).
What has been the answer given by the Roman church, for the sins of their clergy? "The Holy Church is infallible. The gates of hell cannot prevail against her. But the assurance of her perpetuity, and her infallibility, does not rest of any human foundation, such as a priest; it rests of the promises of Jesus Christ! Her infallibility and perpetuity are a perpetual miracle! It requires the constant working of Jesus Christ to keep her pure and holy, in spite of the sins and scandals of her priests. The clearest proof of her infallibility can be drawn from the sins and scandals (admitted by the church hierarchy) which would have destroyed her long ago, if Christ had not been in her midst to save and sustain her!"
But it might be well for all Catholics and Protestants every-where, to take into consideration the words of Hebrews 10:26-29 - "For if we sin willfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins (even the Pope can't disannul these). But a certain fearful looking forward to of judgment and indignation that will devour the adversaries. He that despised Moses' law died without mercy under two or three witnesses: Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall be he 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?"
Vs 31 - "It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God". Be warned! You will not be saved by your church affiliation, or by the pleas of the Pope, if you turn your back on the TRUTH!
The Catholic church uses the same essential excuse as that used by the Protestant world. Both have failed to realize that Christianity is like a row boat with two oars, one is called FAITH, and other WORKS. In order for the boat to make a straight line to it's destination against the current, both oars MUST be used. To use only one, either FAITH or WORKS, without the other, causes the boat to move in circles, never reaching it's destination.
Over and over again during the history of the Roman church, you can find at least twelve Popes who were raised up to take this head position, each of these Popes came into power through the riches and influences of Roman prostitutes. One, Pope John XI, the son of Pope Sergius, was consecrated as Pope at the age of twelve, through the influence of his mother Marosia, who was a well-known prostitute in Rome. He was so horribly profligate, that he was deposed by the Catholic laity and the clergymen of Rome. (Yet he had been chosen by the Church hierarchy to be "God's representative on earth".)
As you take time to look at the crimes perpetuated by the Roman church, and you must be willing to do this if you are honest, you will find that a priest is not holy because he became a priest, or a bishop, or a Cardinal, or even Pope, but because of what he has done with Jesus Christ in his life. The Pope won't get into the Kingdom because he was chosen Pope, but by what he does with Jesus Christ.
Jesus tells us about this in (Matthew 7:17-20) - "Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit: but an evil tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree CANNOT bring forth evil fruit, neither can CORRUPT tree bring forth GOOD fruit. Every tree that bringeth forth not good fruit is hewn down and cast into the fire; (this will be true, no matter what church you attend, or whether you are Pope, Priest, Pastor or layman) wherefore, by their fruits (not what they say) shall ye know them". If he does not bring forth righteous fruit, no matter what vestments or crown he may wear; no matter whether he and others call him God's representative on earth, by his "works shall ye know" if he is from God or not!
Many priests, as you probably know, are given to strong drink, even though the Bible cautions the religious against this. The Apostle Paul, writing in 1 Timothy 3:2 warns us that a Bishop (church leader) must be "vigilant, SOBER, of good behavior (The English word for BISHOP, comes from the Greek word EPISKOPOS, which means: "An official in general charge of the church [ecclessia]; a spiritual overseer"). In Titus 1:7, Paul says: "For a bishop MUST be blameless, (Greek ANEGKLETUS, meaning: "unaccused; by implication irreproachable"), as a steward of God; not self-willed, nor soon to anger; not given to wine, nor given to filthy lucre (love of material things").
Yet I have seen priests and high church officials who have become "fallen down drunk" and yet it was laughed off by the church hierarchy as of little consequence.
If church officials are questioned, they are apt to answer as they did to the priest Chiniquy, when he protested against the drunkenness of the Catholic clergy. (Page 90 of his book): The church officials said; "Are we not children of God? Is not the loving Father pleased when He sees His beloved children eat and drink of the good things He has provided for them?"
"The more we, the beloved children of God eat of these delicate viands, and drink of the precious wines our Heavenly Father puts into our hands, the more He is pleased with us. The more we, the most beloved one's of God, are merry and cheerful, the more He Himself is pleased and rejoiced in His Heavenly Kingdom".
Be honest now. Is this not making the Word of God of "non-effect", through church traditions? (Matthew 15:6,9).
With blasphemous words, the Catholic clergy encourages drunkenness and gluttony among its priests, who often go to church within the hour, to confess their sins, and offer communion, while still "under the influence". I don't know about you, but common Christian sense tells me this is wrong!
A priest who was confronted by one of his parishioners, who did not receive a clear conscience even after confession was asked by him: "Our Savior, Jesus Christ, paid for my sin debt on Calvary. He has saved and redeemed us by His death on the cross. Why then must you or I put again to the justice of God, that which His Son has already absolutely paid?"
The priest replied: "That is the doctrine of Protestantism which was condemned by the Holy Council of Trent. Christ has most certainly paid for our sin debts; but not in such an -absolute manner that nothing is paid by us. It is only through the mercy of God, and the penances imposed by the church, that communicants can be purified." (My Catholic friend, this is making the Word of God of non-effect through church traditions," as our Savior criticized the Pharisees of doing in Matthew 15:6. The Apostle Paul, in Ephesians 2:8 said "For by grace (the unmerited favor of God) are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God: NOT OF WORKS, lest any man should boast". (Emphasis mine). That -seems mighty clear to me, regardless of what the Pope, some priest, or preacher may say to the contrary. There is nothing you can do to ensure your salvation. other than trust in the shed blood of Christ. The good works come after you are saved; they do not ensure salvation!
This is further substantiated in Colossians 2:4, where the -Apostle speaking about Christ, says: "Blotting out the handwritings of ordinances that are against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to His cross Christ did not do away with the Law, He confirmed it, but He did pay the penalty of the law, which was death, for those who accept Him as Savior.
The Colossian Christians understood what Paul was talking about, for in those days, when a man was convicted of committing a crime, and was sentenced to prison, the presiding judge had a parchment called a "libellus" written, on which was listed the man's crime and punishment. This was nailed to his cell door. When he had completed his sentence, or had been pardoned the judge wrote across the face of this libellus the words PAID IN FULL! He could never be held accountable for that crime again. This did not make him blameless for additional crimes he might commit.
This of course, in essence, is what Christ does for us, when we accept Him as Savior. He writes across the record of our disobedience to God, in His own blood PAID IN FULL! When a just God looks at the record of our lives, He does not see the record of our disobedience and rebellion, but the fact that His Son paid the penalty for our sins. There is absolutely nothing else that you, or I, or the priesthood can do to pay for our sins. Of course, when we sin, as all humans do, it is necessary to seek God's forgiveness. The Apostle John, writing in 1 John 1:9, says: "If we confess our sins (to Him, not to some priest or preacher), He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins (no priest has the scriptural authority to do this, and the church has no authority to give them this power), and cleanse us from all unrighteous-ness . The Psalmist tells us in Psalm 32:5- "I acknowledged my sin unto Thee (God), and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the Lord (not to some priest); and Thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin". No, my Catholic friend, your priest does not have the scriptural authority from God, to forgive your sins, no matter how many times you may go to the confessional.
While Catholic priests often profess a profound love and respect for the Holy Scriptures, many of them, like many Protestant prelates, do little to study them. In the Protestant church, the pastor's life is filled with weddings, funerals, visiting the sick, Rotary meetings, church business, etc. He has little time for study of the Word, which is supposed to be the foundation of his ministry.
So Saturday comes around and he has not yet prepared his Sunday sermon. But no big problem, for he can go to his library, and take down a book written by Dr. So-and-So, D.D. of sermon outlines. The entire message is lined out for him, from the scripture he is supposed to read, to the illustrations he will give, and in thirty minutes he can prepare a passable Sunday morning sermon. The problem is that the message given is the thoughts of Dr. So-and-So, D.D., and are not necessarily Bible truths, for the good Doctor got his ideas from the seminary he attended, not necessarily from the Word of God. Thus apostasy rears its ugly head and good people are often led astray. (I'm sure the same thing happens in the Catholic church).
Many priests, without a doubt, have a great love for their Savior, Jesus Christ, but as the Apostle Paul states in Galatians 1:8 - "But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you, than that which we have preached unto you, (the gospel message "By grace are ye saved, through faith... not of works") let him be accursed". The Jesus Christ the priests love, respect, and adore, is unfortunately not the Christ of Scripture, but the Christ of the Church of Rome who cannot save anyone.
As Aaron led the children of Israel in the wilderness to worship a golden calf he had set up as their god, so these priests, who are often good men, unknowingly are leading their people to worship a god baked between two heated, well polished irons, in the form of a crucified man. This is blasphemy, some of you Catholics will say, but it is not nearly as blasphemous as what the priest tells you when he lifts the communion elements and says: "Ecce agnus Deiquitollit peccatu munde". ("Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sins of the world"). When in reality he is only elevating a piece of bread which has no saving properties.
So Christian people are led into idolatry!
In Jeremiah 23:22, we hear God as He speaks to His Israel people:
"But if they (the priests and preachers) had stood in My counsel, and had caused My people to hear My word (not the words of the Pope, or a priest. or a minister, but the words of God as given in the Scriptures) then they (the people) should have turned them from their evil ways, and from the evil of their doings".
This has not happened in either the Protestant or Catholic church world, and indicates that something is terribly wrong with the preaching that is coming from our church leaders.
For centuries, theologians have debated the parameters and even the existence of purgatory, a place where, the Catholic church teaches, human beings who died in God's grace are sent to be purified before entering heaven.
Enter many Catholic churches and you will quickly find that the practice of praying for the dead is alive and well among the people in the pew.
Such popular devotions as having a daily Mass said for the repose of the soul of a loved one or lighting a candle for someone who has died are part of the living tradition of the church. (Note that it is not part of "living Scripture", but of "tradition").
When liberal Catholics would shove such teachings aside as outdated, the Vatican, in recent days, has made it clear it has no such plans. The new Catechism of the Catholic' Church reaffirms the traditional teachings about heaven and purgatory and makes it clear that "a perennial link of charity exists between the faithful who have already reached their heavenly home, those who are expiating their sins in purgatory and those who are still pilgrims on earth". Between them there is, too, an abundant exchange' of all good things.
"Hell is still an option for the unrepentant who sin gravely against God, the catechism says, but purgatory is a place where individuals who are forgiven of their sins but die imperfectly purified; may achieve the holiness necessary to enter the joy of heaven".
Since all Catholics are linked together in what the catechism calls "the Mystical Body of Christ", Masses, prayers, and acts of charity are offered up by the living for the dead and are viewed as helping purify individuals in purgatory of their sins so "they may attain the beatific vision of God". So says an Associated Press article in the Religious Section of the July 2, 1994, Modesto, (Calif.) Bee.
As a result, it is not at all unusual for Catholic priests to hand hundreds of dollars to their Bishop, which have been given to them by their parishioners, for the celebrating of masses for the souls of their loved ones who they have been told are in purgatory. No where in scripture can you find authority for this heathen practice. But it is a "money maker" for the church.
You can search the scriptures from one end to the other, without finding even a hint of a place called purgatory, where the souls of those who were in Christ, have gone to be purified. It is almost as though the Catholic church is saying "the blood of Christ is not enough; for by your suffering in purgatory, you will be made pure and saved!"
It is also interesting to note that Purgatory was not taught in the Catholic church, until hundreds of years after its beginning. It began when the church treasury began to "run dry" during the Middle Ages and there was a need to raise funds for the operation of the church.
A little arithmetic will show that there are not enough priests, world-wide in the Catholic church, necessary to say masses which are paid for by the people. Could it be possible, do you suppose, that priests actually take money from their parishioners in pretext that their masses will save souls from Purgatory? A Purgatory which exists only in the imagination of the church, and which was invented to raise money for the church?
In the late 1800's a scandal developed in the church in Canada, when it was found that the Catholic Bishops were pocketing most of the money paid for by these masses and were sending it to Paris, where masses were repeated for $.05 each by French priests who were actually living sinful lives with their concubines. You say: "Prove this!" and I say, "Look at the revealed history of your church!"
As one good Catholic priest said when remonstrating with his Bishop over this nefarious practice: "Woe to our Holy Church, the day that our people learn that our holy religion, the blood of Christ, is turned into merchandise to fill the treasury of the Bishops and Popes". Woe indeed, from man as well as God!
In Paris in 1874, it was discovered that the Catholic church was doing an immense business in the matter of masses for the dead. The government, which was not particularly friendly towards the church at that point, became suspicious and began examining the church's books. It found that an incredible number of masses paid for by the people, were never said, while the money went into the pocket of the Parisian Mass merchants. The Catholic bishops.
But these things are not known by the rank and file members of the Catholic church, and like their brethren in the Protestant churches, they often get angry when someone exposes the hypocrisy in their church.
The problem of alcoholism in the priesthood is acknowledged by many, so why is it that, knowing the dangers posed by the overuse of alcohol, that so many priests become alcoholics? Why, if a man is ordained by God, should he abuse his body by pouring poison into it?
The Apostle Paul approaches this problem in 1 Corinthians 3:16, when he clearly states: "Know ye not that ye (Christians) are the temple of God, and that the temple of God dwelleth in you?" (This happens when you knowingly accept Christ as Savior, not when you are baptized as an unknowing infant).
Baptism is necessary, don't get me wrong, but it should be as St. Peter taught in Acts 2:39 when he told the people in Jerusalem on that first Day of Pentecost: "Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost." The Holy Spirit does not indwell you when you "speak in tongues" but when you are "baptized into Christ for the remission of sins". In order for this to happen, you MUST know what you are doing!
But after the Holy Spirit indwells you, 1 Corinthians 3:17 goes on to say: "If any man (woman) defile the temple of God (their body) him (her) shall God destroy: for the temple of God (the believer's body) is holy, which temple are ye".
So if you pour poison into your body in the form of alcoholic beverages, tobacco, drugs, or in any other manner, expect God to ultimately destroy you. He may not do this instantaneously with a stroke of lightning, but "Be not deceived, God is not mocked," He will do it, one way or the other.
If you were to go into a hospital and study the anatomy of those who have died as the result of alcoholism, drugs, or tobacco, you would understand better what this curse is all about. So why would a man of God deliberately destroy him-self, unless he wants to "do his own thing", regardless of what the consequences may be?
The New Catechism
of the Catholic Church
I believe it might be well, at this point, to discuss briefly the New Catechism which has been approved and released by Pope Paul II.
Some of the revised rules include some surprises. For instance: "The plan of salvation also includes those who acknowledge the Creator, in the first place amongst who are the Muslims". Yet the words of the Christ, as clearly stated in the Scriptures says: "No man (woman) cometh unto the Father but by Me (Jesus)". (John 14:6). The catechism goes on to state that God's plan for salvation includes Jews and Muslims and repudiates centuries of Catholic teaching which heaped blame for the death of Christ on the Jews. Even though the Scriptures clearly state that it was they who cried "crucify Him! His blood be on our heads", (Matt. 27:22,25).
This action so pleased the anti-Christ's of Judaism, that Rabbi A. James Rudin, spokesman for the American Jewish Committee praised the catechism for opening paths of contact between the two faiths. (Those who love Him, Christians, and those who hate Him, the anti-Christ's of Judaism). Rudin then went onto further "brainwash" Catholics by stating that "Judaism is strictly a preparation for Christianity". This in the face of all proof that they are opposites and that "never the twin shall meet!"
Although this volume is seasoned with Latin words and legalistic jargon, there are many intriguing passages: For example. There is the sin of "luke warmness" which is "hesitation or negligence in response to Divine love". This is one many Protestants would be well to copy, (see Rev. 3:16).
"Irony" is sinful when "aimed at disparaging someone by maliciously caricaturing some aspect of his behavior".
The catechism spends nearly two pages discussing "the common good," which is a term that religious and political leaders have used for centuries to justify actions which often trample on the rights of individuals.
The church states regarding children that have died with-out benefit of baptism, that "the liturgy of the church invites us to trust in God's mercy and pray for their salvation."
Another "dilly", which has been proven wrong over and over again, is that "A human being must always obey the certain judgment of his conscience". This is like saying, "That fellow must be right; he is so sincere", when "sincerity" is a matter of intent not fact. You can be very sincere and be sincerely wrong. The same goes for your conscience!
This catechism moves beyond the tightly knit fraternity of the bishops who first requested it and into the more reactive world of rank-and-file Catholics. It is drawing much fire from the "feminists" and "women's libbers" in the Catholic church over it's male-centered language and it's defense of the barriers erected against women in the priesthood. But especially against homosexual behavior.
Rev. Joseph Mannion, pastor of the St. Mary of the Annunciation Church in Oakdale, CA., says: We believe there should be no overt discrimination against homosexuals, that should not be denied their rights. But we also believe that there are some fundamental things which they do not have a right. When you believe that something is fundamentally wrong, and that something is sin, then the question of discrimination applies". (God says that it deserves the death penalty in both the old and New Testament; what is to be argued over?)
For nearly a decade, an international team of Catholic scholars has been working on this catechism which is the first to be released since the Council of Trent in 1566. The basic heathenism of the church remains intact. That the church has precedence over the Word of God.
Bible Study By Catholics
For as long as you can trace Catholic church history, study of the Bible has been discouraged. Even when priests and nuns spend much time in this study, they are apt to be criticized by their Superiors, who may say to them, as one Superior said to a priest who was engaged in in-depth Bible study: "You spend so much time studying the Bible and not enough in studying the doctrines and holy traditions of the Church. You are becoming inclined to interpret the Word, through your fallible intelligence, instead of going to the church for your interpretation. This was the rock on which Luther and Calvin were destroyed. Do not try and be wiser than the church!"
This in essence is the same thing which happens in the Judeo-Christian church, as I have mentioned before. When men come to a passage which is hard to understand, instead of searching the scriptures for the true answer, they take the lazy way out and go to their pastor for the answer. In all probability, he will give them the answer he was given in the seminary, which is not necessarily what the Word of God says. In this way, error enters the church.
The problem in both Catholic and Judeo-Christian churches is that the answer the pastor gives, is probably what his church teaches, ("making the Word of God of non-effect through their traditions").
(The Worship of the Virgin Mary)
Here in essence is a sermon preached in the Cathedral of Montreal on August 15, 1850. It gives the Catholic idea concerning the Virgin. Listen carefully, before you make any mental decisions:
"Who among you will refuse any reasonable demands of a beloved mother? Who would sadden her loving heart by refusing a petition which you had the power to grant?"
"This respect and obedience to our mothers, Christ Jesus, the Son of God, practiced to perfection. Although He was God and man, He was still in perfect submission to the will of His mother. The Gospel says, in reference to His parents, Joseph and Mary, that He was subject to them (Luke 2:51.) What a grand and shining revelation we have in these few words: Jesus was subject to Mary: Is it not written in Hebrews 13:8 that He is the same, yesterday, today and forever? He has not changed: He is still the Son of Mary, as He was when He was twelve years old.
"This is why our holy Church invites you to put your unbounded confidence in her intercession. Remembering that Jesus has always granted her petitions, let us put our petitions in her hands, if we want to receive the favors we need."
"The second reason we must all go to Mary is that we are sinners - rebels in the sight of God. Jesus Christ is our Savior. Yes! but He is also God, infinitely just, infinitely holy; He hates our sins with an intense hatred!"
"Had we loved and served Him faithfully, we might be able to go to Him with hope and assurance of being welcomed, (I guess this priest had never read the Parable of the Prodigal Son in Luke 15:18-24). But we have forgotten and offended Him; we have trampled His blood under our feet; we have joined with those who nailed Him to the cross, pierced His heart with a lance, and shed His blood to the last drop. How can we dare to look at Him and meet His eyes? This is why our holy Church, speaking through her infallible pontiff, the Vicor of Christ, Gregory XVI, has told us, in the most solemn manner, 'Mary is the only hope of sinners!"'
"Jesus has a thousand good reasons to refuse our petitions, if we are impudent enough to speak to Him ourselves. But look to the right hand of our offended King and behold His dear and divine Mother. She is your mother also! For it is to every one of us, as well as to John, that Jesus said on the cross, speaking of Mary: 'Behold thy mother!' (John 19:27). Jesus has never refused any favor asked by that mother! Let us go to her; let us ask her to be our advocate and plead our cause, and she will do it. Let us request her to ask for our pardon and we will get it!"
This advice sounds impressive and reasonable, if it were true.
The problem being that none of this message can be backed by scripture. It is all Church dogma! If what this priest said were true, why is it that John the Divine, writing in 1 John 2:1, said: "And if any man (woman) sin, we have an ADVOCATE with the Father, (not the Virgin Mary) but Jesus Christ the Righteous!" Christ is our ADVOCATE, our Defense Attorney, if you will, when we face an angry God.
Speaking in Hebrews 7:25, specifically of Christ, the author says: Wherefore He (Jesus Christ) is able to save them to the uttermost, that come to God by Him (not through Mary or the church), seeing that He liveth to make INTERCESSION for our sins!" Over and over again in the New Testament, we are told that Jesus Christ is the ONLY ADVOCATE, between God and man. Mary is not mentioned once as such. The word ADVOCATE, as used in 1 John 2:7, comes from the Greek word "parakletos" which means: "an intercessor". Webster's New World Dictionary defines ADVOCATE, as "A person who pleads another's case". The only One who pleads our case before God is Jesus Christ. Nowhere in scripture is the Virgin Mary assigned this exhaulted position.
In Matthew 12:47, we are told of an incident where as Jesus spoke to the people, He was told "Thy mother and thy brethren stand without, seeking to speak with Thee". His answer was: "Who is my mother? and who are my brethren?" Then stretching out His hand and pointing to His disciples. He said, (vs 49, 50) "...Behold my mother and my brethren. For whosoever will do the will of My Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and my sister, and my mother".
You see that beautiful message that priest preached in the Cathedral of Montreal, was a sacrilegious lie. He told a deluded people that Jesus always granted the petition of His mother, when nowhere in Holy Writ can you find an example of this.
There were times recorded when Jesus rebuked His mother for asking petitions of Him in public. Was it out of disrespect? Oh no! No Son respected or honored His mother more than He did her. But nowhere will you find that He ever implied, that we were to worship her, or go to God through her intercession.
This is probably one of the most blasphemous and dangerous teachings in the Catholic church today, and it comes solely from tradition, not the Word of God. (See Mark 3:31-35).
The story of our Savior's first recorded miracle at the wedding of Cana of Galilee, is I believe, an indication that our obedience is not to Mary, but to her Son, our Lord Jesus Christ.
This incident, recorded in John 2:1-5, if you remember, has to do with a wedding which was being attended by Jesus and His mother. The host ran out of wine while the wedding was still in progress and Mary came to her Son, stating: "They have no wine!" (Notice there was no intercession on her part). He said to her, not in disrespect, I'm sure: "Woman, what have I to do with thee? Mine hour is not yet come!" Yet He went ahead and turned the water into wine.
The Catholic church says this is proof, and a seal of Mary's irrestable superhuman power over her Divine Son and proof that Jesus cannot deny anything she asks of Him.
Yet the witness of St. Matthew, St. Mark, St. Luke, and St. John, says to all Christians: "How can you be so blind as to not see that instead of a favor granted to Mary, this first miracle was the opportunity chosen by Jesus to protest against her INTERCESSION? It is a solemn warning, I believe to His mother, that she was not to interfere with His work, and that we must not put our confidence in what she asks Him to do".
This will come as a shock to good Catholics, who will believe what I have said borders on blasphemy. Yet what I have said bears the seal of scriptural approval. My dear Catholic friend, you will not be "saved" and enter God's Kingdom through obedience and petition to Mary, but only as you come to God through His Son, our Lord! In John 6:40, we read: "...Everyone which seeth the Son (not His mother), and believeth on Him, (not Mary) may have everlasting life: and I (Jesus) will raise him up on the last day". Our salvation MUST be in Christ alone, for there is no other name given among men, whereby we MUST be saved.
In the Cana of Galilee incident, we see where Mary full of compassion for the governor of the feast, who no doubt was terribly embarrassed by running out of wine, wanted her son to help him.
But Christ answered her request with a mild rebuke. Instead of saying: "Yes, mother, I'll do what you tell me to do," He said in essence, "Woman, what have you to do with this matter. I don't want you to put yourself between the wants of lost men and me. I don't want the world to believe that you have the power to influence me, or control my compassion for lost men and women. It is to Me, and Me alone, that the lost children of Adam must come for salvation. Woman what part do you have in my work of saving a lost world? Nothing! I must fulfill my Father's will, not yours".
Christ was trying to banish for all time, any idea that His mother or anyone else, could ever influence Him as an intercessor, and Mary understood this when she told the wedding servants: "Whatsoever He saith unto you, do it! Don't come to me, go to Him!"
In Acts 4:12, where St. Peter preached his first, powerful sermon he said: "For there is none other name under heaven (other than Jesus Christ) given among men, whereby we MUST be saved". Mary can't do it! Only Jesus has the power to save, and He alone!
Many a Catholic priest has struggled with this scripture and the knowledge that what he had been teaching concerning the Virgin Mary as intercessor was false; and many a priest has succumbed to pressure from his peers and church authorities and refused to speak what he knows is true! In this they are little different from the apostates among the JudeoChristian churches, who are governed by peer pressure.
You might like to ask yourself these questions:
"When Jesus and His mother Mary were on earth, who loved sinners with the most effective and saving love? Who died for them?" We have no evidence of Mary's love for lost men and women in the scriptures.
As an honest Christian man and woman your answer would have to be: "It was Jesus, the Son of God, whose love is the only effective means of my salvation."
To whom did Jesus invite sinners to go for salvation, Himself or Mary?" and the honest answer MUST be that Jesus said: "Come unto Me, and I will give you rest!" He never made this claim regarding His mother.
I know of no example in the New Testament, where sinners fearing a rebuke at the hands of Jesus, ever went to His mother, hoping she would intercede for them.
The penitent thief on the cross did not address his plea for mercy to the Virgin as she stood at the foot of His cross, we are told very clearly in Luke 23:42 that he turned to Jesus and said:
"Lord, remember me when Thou cometh into Thy kingdom".
If Christ is sitting at the right hand of the Father, as scripture says, then it is He we MUST go to. There is no scriptural evidence that His mother ever sat in this place.
In Isaiah 53:12, we read: "...He (Jesus) was numbered with the transgressors; and He (not Mary) bare the sins of many, and made intercession for the transgressors". Mary had no part in this salvation process either then, or now.
We read again in Hebrews 7:25 - "Wherefore He (Jesus) is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by Him, seeing that He (Jesus) liveth to make intercession for them" My Catholic friend, can you see any part that Mary has in this scripture? You are saved by the intercession Jesus makes for you before the Father. You are not saved through any good work of His mother, no matter how wonderful a woman she might have been, and I honor her as His mother. She must have been the best. But she is not our salvation or our advocate!
If Jesus is the only advocate we have with the Father, why should we attempt to reach Him through some other source?
1 John 2:1, which I have quoted before states clearly: "...and if (when) any man (woman) sin, we have an ADVOCATE (intercessor) with the Father, Jesus Christ the Righteous" Only Jesus Christ qualifies as this INTERCESSOR!
Continue on to Part 5 of 7
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