The Council of Trent, (AD 1545-63) placed “Sacred Tradition” equal to God’s Holy Word. Does this not cause you to wonder why it took 1,500 years for this to become dogma? What did the catholic believe prior to that? They believed that God’s Holy Word was final authority. All these years, the poor catholic has believed that the catholic church has had this “dogma” ever since Christ arose into Heaven. However, far is it from the truth. The catholic church states:

    Hence there exist a close connection and communication between sacred tradition and sacred Scripture. For both of them, flowing from the same divine wellspring, in a certain way merge into a unity and tend toward the same end. For sacred Scripture is the word of God inasmuch as it is consigned to writing under the inspiration of the divine Spirit. To the successors of the apostles, sacred tradition hands on in its full purity God’s word, which was entrusted to the apostles by Christ the Lord and the Holy Spirit. . . . Consequently, it is not from sacred Scripture alone that the Church draws her certainty about everything which has been revealed. Therefore both sacred tradition and sacred Scripture are to be accepted and venerated with the same sense of devotion and reverence. Sacred tradition and sacred Scripture form one sacred deposit of the word of God, which is committed to the Church. . . She [the Church] has always regarded the Scriptures together with sacred tradition as the supreme rule of faith, and will ever do so. Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation” (Dei Verbum), Documents of Vatican II, par.9, 10, 21, p. 117, 125

Jesus said,

But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. ~ Matthew 15:9
Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. ~Mark 7:7

The catholic church admits that it was founded around the year 300. The average catholic doesn’t even know what year it came about. The website catholic.com says the catholic church was established around the year 107 and americancatholictruthsociety.com says around 397. However, historical fact says that for the first four centuries, the catholic church did not exist. The early church age believers did not believe in a purgatory or indulgences, neither did they have a of a pope. They had never heard of transubstantiation or mariology! These dogmas were attached to the true Gospel hundreds of years later by the roman catholic church.

The early church’s Gospel was left to the Apostles by our Lord and was considered complete. The Rock, Jesus, and the foundation of His Gospel were the Gospel His followers preached (see Matthew 24:14, 26:13, and Mark 14:9). The catholic dogmas made by men centuries later were not even a part of the original Gospel of Jesus Christ. The early believers werre confident that when they died they went to be with Christ. So much so, Paul mentioned it twice:

Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord:
~2 Corinthians 5:6

We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord. ~2 Corinthians 5:8

I doubt very much that if there had been purgatory, Paul would be so willing to be absent from the body if he knew he were going to a place of burning and judgment.

If you are a catholic reading this today, ask yourself why the Scriptures vary from the catholic church’s traditions. If they are suppose to agree together, how come there are so many contradictions between the Bible and the traditions of your church? When there are disagreements between the two, which one is to be obeyed? God or man? Does this not bother you? It should bother you! God wants it to bother you so that you will research it for yourself instead of allowing man and the catholic church to rule your heart. Rather, let God rule your heart and you will never go wrong!

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(Psa 119:33) HE. Teach me, O LORD, the way of thy statutes; and I shall keep it unto the end. (Psa 119:34) Give me understanding, and I shall keep thy law; yea, I shall observe it with my whole heart. It is the Lord God who provides us with understanding. He is the One who does the teaching through His Word. The Psalmist recognized this and it is no wonder that he was considered the apple of God’s eye! When a person desires to learn God’s Word, you can be certain God will teach him. The Psalmist did not go to a teacher or to the high priest, he spoke to God and asked God to teach him – to show him – to give him understanding. What did the Psalmist want to do with what he learned? The answers are found in the second half of both verses: “and I shall keep it unto the end” and “I shall keep thy law.”

Does this not bless you, Christian? It is God who does the teaching when we seek for wisdom and knowledge through His Word. Jesus Christ’s words pack a wallop when He said, (Joh 14:16) And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; First of all, the Spirit will abide with us for ever!! Praise the Lord! We do not have to walk in darkness, not knowing the way that Jesus would have us to go. Christ’s Holy Spirit was left behind for the believer and He has many functions in our lives.

Here are just a few of the roles of the Holy Spirit in our lives:

1. He anoints the soul winner and will teach you what to say when you need to say it:
(Mat 10:20) For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you.

So why are worried about what to say when you talk to someone about getting saved? The Lord Himself tells us that the Spirit will do the speaking, through you!

(Luk 4:18 ) The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,

2. He will comfort the believer:
(Joh 14:16) And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;

The Holy Spirit is here to stay in our lives. He will not leave us or forsake us but is here for ever!

3. He will lead us to truth and will put God’s Word in our hearts:
(Joh 14:17) Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.
(Joh 16:13) Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.

We learn that the unsaved do not understand the things of God because they do not possess the Holy Spirit – He is not residing in them. They cannot know the truth without Him.

(2 Co 3:16) Nevertheless when it shall turn to the Lord, the vail shall be taken away. (2 Co 3:17) Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.

When we are born again, the vail is removed from our eyes and we are no longer blinded. We now are free from condemnation and have the beautiful and precious liberty of knowing that we have eternal life in Christ Jesus. I remember when I first got saved and opened the Bible for the first time. I was amazed that I immediately understood God’s Word where just a few weeks before, it was as dry as dirt!

4. He testifies of Jesus:
(Joh 15:26) But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me:

It is the Holy Spirit of God that reveals the truth of salvation through Jesus Christ. Without accepting this truth, we cannot be saved. It is the Holy Spirit who reveals it and then He comes to dwell within us and continues His role as Teacher and Comforter. Praise the Lord for the Spirit in our lives! We are not left to fight alone!

5. He seals our salvation for eternity:
(Eph 1:13) In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, (Eph 1:14) Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.
(Eph 4:30) And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.

Amen and amen! We do not bounce in and out of salvation if we are truly born-again. How can we know if we are? The Word says in 2 Cor. 5:17 that we are a new creature and that old things are passed away and all things are become new! The repenting sinner that comes to Christ will continue in Christ. Just like the Parable of the Sower, the Gospel seed fell into good soil and grew. There is no question as to what the outcome of a growing seedling is. It produces something – it just does not die – it grows. The true born-again Christian grows – maybe slowly but he grows none-the-less. His old lifestyle dissipates and you can tell that he is changing. The one who says he is born again and yet is unrepentant and goes on with his sinful ways is not truly born again.

6. He sanctifies the believer:
(1Co 6:11) And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.

The Holy Spirit sanctifies the believer – He sets us apart and molds us spiritually so we can represent Christ and we can reflect His image. Because of the Spirit’s sanctification in our lives, we become less like our old nature and more like Christ’s nature. His job is to convict us and discipline us when we stray from the path.

7. He can be grieved:
(Eph 4:30) And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.

Grieving the Holy Spirit is to prevent His direction in our lives. In other words, when you are under conviction and you ignore it, you are grieving the Holy Spirit of God in your life.

8. He will punish those who trod under foot the Son of God:
(Heb 10:29) 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? Who would call Christ’s blood as unholy and do despite unto the Holy Spirit? Right off the bat, I can think of catholicism. They offer Him in sacrifice every day through the mass – His first and only sacrifice of the cross is not sufficient. Not only catholicism, but all the other cults out there that diminish the work of the blood of the cross!

(Jas 1:5) If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. In closing, God’s Word promises us wisdom if we ask God. He has left us with the Holy Spirit, the Teacher, the Comforter and the One who has our salvation sealed unto the day of redemption! Who better to teach us than the One who glorifies the Lord Jesus Christ!

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(2 Tim 3:13-17) But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived. (13) But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them; (14) And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. (15) All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: (16) That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works. (17)

In these five verses, we learn from the Apostle Paul what is going on with God’s Word. Even in his day, Paul sees that the devil is busy working through evil men to corrupt the Word.

What do we learn from these verses? Let’s take a look:

1. There were and will be attempts to corrupt the Scriptures:

Verse 14 starts with the word “But.” But what? Paul tells Timothy to continue in those things which he learned and that is undoubt-able in his mind because Timothy learned them from his mother and grandmother as well as from Paul – from the Word of God. So back to the word “But.” I believe that Paul is telling Timothy that evil men will come along and try to deceive by changing the Word but that Timothy should continue in what he has learned and not believe their lies and deceptions. I believe that these seducers were changing God’s Word (including trying to corrupt the letters Paul, and others, had written) but Timothy had learned them so well in his youth and they were confirmed in Paul through the Word.

Have you ever heard how a bank teller is taught to recognize counterfeit money? It is not by looking at counterfeit bills. It is by actually handling, touching, and looking closely at the real thing that educates the teller. Once they have handled real money, they can more easily spot a counterfeit. It is the same with God’s Word. If you are in the true Word of God, you can spot a phony – you can spot changes and heresies. My friend, how can you believe that God created the universe and is in control of all things yet you cannot believe that He can preserve His Word throughout the ages? You limit God by believing such things.

2. The Scriptures lead to salvation:

Paul goes on to say that these Scriptures were what led Timothy to salvation. It stands to reason the corrupted text from these evil men and seducers would not lead someone to salvation but lead away from salvation. These same evil men were once deceived and now they deceive others – getting worse and worse in their beliefs. In fact, some are down right militant. They are totally convinced now that God’s Word is not in written form today! Again, this limits God’s power and ability, doesn’t it?

The various versions out there take away references to the “blood of Christ,” its saving power, Christ’s deity, etc. All in the name of preserving the originals. How deceived they are! It is through God’s perfect Word that salvation can be found. (Rom 10:16) But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report? (Rom 10:17) So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. It is the complete Gospel of Jesus Christ that saves – His virgin birth, His sinless life, His death on the cross as atonement for our sins, His resurrection, and He sits at the right hand of the Father awaiting His return to reign.

3. All Scripture is inspired of God:

Verse 15 does not say just the Old Testament but all Scriptures are inspired by God. The Apostle Paul was inspired of God to write much of the New Testament. We owe much of our Christian walk today to what God has communicated to us through Paul’s letters. Because his letters were divinely inspired, they are considered Holy Scriptures just as much as the Old Testament.

The Holy Spirit spoke through men and reminded them of what Christ had taught them. (Joh 16:13) Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. (Joh 16:14) He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you. and (2Pe 1:19) We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: (2Pe 1:20) Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. (2Pe 1:21) For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost. Therefore, all Scriptures were breathed into men that God had anointed for the sole purpose of preserving His Word.

How can we limit God, then? Is anything too hard for God? The Word responds with a resounding “No”! (Gen 18:14) Is any thing too hard for the LORD? At the time appointed I will return unto thee, according to the time of life, and Sarah shall have a son. (Jer 32:17) Ah Lord GOD! behold, thou hast made the heaven and the earth by thy great power and stretched out arm, and there is nothing too hard for thee: (Jer 32:27) Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh: is there any thing too hard for me?

I love the fact that it is stated three times in the Scriptures that nothing is too hard for the Lord. The number three symbolizes the godhead and completion. Isn’t that something? God is completely capable of preserving His Word, my friend. Why is it that man says God is omnipotent in one breath but in another breath he says that God cannot keep His Word from being corrupted through the ages?

4. Scriptures are profitable for doctrine:

According to Noah Webster, doctrine is defined “to teach.” The Word of God instructs us on who God is and what His will is for us. The Word teaches us that God is eternal and He has provided salvation through Jesus Christ. His Word centers around Christ, His complete work of the cross and His reign to come. It starts in the Garden of Eden and ends with His reign in Revelation 22. Is it any wonder that one of Christ’s names is the Alpha and Omega? The beginning and the end! Amen! His Word is eternal – His Word is from the foundations of the earth! There is no changing it – there is no removing it – every single letter from God’s Word will be fulfilled – it is that important. (Mat 5:17) Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. (Mat 5:18 ) For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. If Christ Himself said that every jot and tittle would be fulfilled (every single letter of every single word), then each word is that important!

5. Scriptures are for reproof:

Again, Noah Webster defines reproof as “Blame expressed to the face; censure for a fault; reprehension.” The Word exposes our sin to us and shows us our errors – and teaches us how to change and what to do. We can also use it to exhort others in the faith or to lead the unsaved to a saving knowledge of Christ.

I am currently conversing with a staunch catholic who is totally convinced that we “fundy-mentals” twist the Scriptures to mean what we want it to mean. But to him I respond, (Mat 15:3) But he answered and said unto them, Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition? The catholic church transgresses God’s commandments (purgatory, mariology, various degrees of sin, pope’s infallibility) by its traditions. Sadly, this dear catholic man will not see the Truth because he has been blinded. He has been deceived by evil men and seducers. They have managed to convince this precious soul that he can do something … anything to help his salvation along – that Christ’s precious blood is not enough to completely wipe his sins away. Instead, he has bought into the seducers lies that there’s more to salvation and they are trying to corrupt the Word of the Living God so this soul cannot find true salvation. But I have news for these evil men – God is able to preserve His Word and salvation can still be found in its blessed pages.

Just an after thought on this – how many “wrong” traditions does it take before one leaves a church that teaches such things? These catholic doctrines are not just how short someone’s hair should be or how long a dress a woman should wear. These are the fundamentals of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Their church traditions and magisterium supersede the Word of God. Where does one turn to for authority when there is conflicting information in the catholic church? Sadly, they do not turn to the Word of God because they believe it has been corrupted by man. Again, sadly they put God in a box saying He is not powerful enough to protect His precious Word throughout the ages.

6. Scriptures are for correction:

Mr. Webster defines correction as “The act of correcting; the act of bringing back, from error or deviation, to a just standard, as to truth, rectitude, justice or propriety; as the correction of opinions or manners.” Therefore, the Scriptures bring the fallen back to the truth (the Just Standard, if you will) – it corrects false ideas, traditions and mistaken views. What better “measuring stick” to use to see if a certain religion is right. Is the religion you hold dear based on the truth or on false ideas or even tradition?

“Oh, but my church only believes a couple of things that can’t be found in the Bible.” How much yeast do you need to make dough rise? It only takes a little but yet you can make an entire loaf of bread rise. The Word says (Gal 5:7) Ye did run well; who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth? (Gal 5:8 ) This persuasion cometh not of him that calleth you. (Gal 5:9) A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump. Paul acknowledges that the Galatians did run well at one point. However, someone/something stopped them from obeying the truth! Paul likened it to yeast – he said that a little leaven leavens the whole lump. Therefore, some unsound doctrine (or tradition of man) made its way into the church at Galatia and they were side tracked and it was corrupting the whole lump. To me, that would mean even the pastors were side tracked and teaching wrong doctrine. One must be careful which church one picks. He must be certain that their “just standard” is the Word of God and not “thus saith the councils or priest/minister.”

So I beg you today to dig into the Bible for yourself. Don’t just listen to the preacher – don’t just listen to the minister – don’t just listen to the priest. Pattern yourself after God’s Word – it will make you wise. (2Ti 3:15) And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.

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