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Traditions – Pull Up A Chair

A few years ago, I was approached by someone who tried to convince me that Christians should honor the Sabbath, just as the Jews do, on Saturday and not on Sunday. I prefer to go to God’s Word than man’s. In my findings, I discovered this about the Sabbath:

1. God rested at the end of the six days of creation, not man. I could not find one single solitary verse about people keeping the Sabbath before it was given to Israel in the wilderness.

2. Once this occurred, it was given to Israel by God as a sign to them that they would be His people.

~Exodus 31:13 Speak thou also unto the children of Israel, saying, Verily my sabbaths ye shall keep: for it is a sign between me and you throughout your generations; that ye may know that I am the LORD that doth sanctify you.

This sign was for Israel, not the rest of mankind. Abraham, Isaac and Jacob did not keep the Sabbath but yet they were righteous.

If the Sabbath is to be kept by Christians, the New Testament would be strewn with verses regarding it.   There would be as many comments on the Sabbath in the New Testament as there were after the Law was given to Moses in the Old Testament.  However, instead of seeing verses that support Christians keeping the Sabbath, we find verses that claim that Christians are not bound to keep the Sabbath.

~Colossians 2:16-17 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: Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ.

Jesus kept the Sabbath because He was born a Jew under the Law and He kept all the Mosaic laws!

~Gal 4:4-6 But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.

I found an interesting comment made in Warren Wiersbe’s Bible Commentary on this subject:

The sabbath relates to the old creation and was given expressly to Israel; the Lord’s Day relates to the new creation and belongs especially to the church. The sabbath speaks of law as six days of labor which are followed by rest, but the Lord’s day speaks of grace, for we begin the week with rest that is followed by works” (Wiersbe’s Old Testament Outlines).

There are countless verses depicting worship and special events occurring on Sunday.  Here are a few verses supporting why a Christian sets aside Sunday as their day of rest – each of these occurred on Sunday:

~Mark 16:9 Now when Jesus was risen early the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had cast seven devils.

~John 20:19, 22 Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you. (22) And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost:

~Acts 2:1 And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. (Pentecost was always on a Sunday)

~Acts 20:7 And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow; and continued his speech until midnight.

Sunday is the day that the Lord rose from the dead. Since then, Christians have observed this day to worship, the Lord’s Day. It is in honor of His resurrection, not in honor of the sun god as was told to me by Sabbath keepers.  There is historical proof of early Christians worshipping on Sunday. The earliest I found in my research on the web was around A.D. 100 when Barnabas wrote:

Wherefore, also we keep the eighth day with joyfulness, the day also on which Jesus rose again from the dead.

There were a few more in that second century:

Be not deceived with strange doctrines, nor with old fables, which are unprofitable. For if we still live according to the Jewish Law, we acknowledge that we have not received grace … If, therefore, those who were brought up in the ancient order of things have come to the possession of a new hope, no longer observing the Sabbath, but living in the observance of the Lord’s Day, on which also our life has sprung up again by Him and by His death. The Epistle of Ignatius (about A.D. 107)

He, in fulfillment of the precept, according to the gospel, keeps the Lord’s Day … glorifying the Lord’s resurrection in himself.Clement of Alexandria (A.D. 194)

Again, I repeat myself from previous posts. Read the Word of God for yourself. Galatians is filled with verses about Christians not being under Jewish Law. Why would we want to entangle ourselves with this?

~Galatians 5:1-6 Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage. Behold, I Paul say unto you, that if ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing. For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law. Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace. For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith. For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love.

The catholic church teaches in its catechism that one cannot be so presumptuous as to say that he is going to Heaven when he dies:

There are two kinds of presumption. Either man presumes upon his own capacities, (hoping to be able to save himself without help from on high), or he presumes upon God’s almighty power or his mercy (hoping to obtain his forgiveness without conversion and glory without merit.” Pg. 507, #2092

This teaching makes my blood boil! Specifically, “he presumes upon God’s almighty power or his mercy (hoping to obtain his forgiveness without conversion and glory without merit.” There are so many Bible verses that contradict this catholic teaching alone, it amazes me that the average catholic has not picked up on it! The average catholic has not picked up on it because the average catholic (and I was one of them) never reads his Bible!

So what does the Bible teach? The Bible says that we cannot be saved on our own but only through Jesus Christ and His shed blood on the cross. It is because of God’s precious mercy that we are not all killed right now and thrown into Hell!

~John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

The catechism teaching has truth mixed with false teaching. The truth is that man cannot save himself (the first part of #2092). The truth is that man cannot obtain forgiveness without conversion (second part of #2092). However, the false teaching lies in the latter part of #2092 “Man cannot obtain forgiveness without merit.” This false teaching is a subtle one indeed. The catholic church teaches that as long as a catholic keeps the sacraments and does good works, he will die and go to purgatory and then be allowed into Heaven.

This is quite contrary to what the Bible teaches. There is nothing man can do in his own merit that can bring salvation. The devotional for August 22, 2008, goes into great depth about how God views our own personal works. Only Christ’s work on the cross is sufficient for God! Christ is the only way. It is only by God’s mercy that we are saved! He did not wait for us to be good enough but sent His Son while we were yet sinners!

~Romans 5:8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

What better proof of God’s mercy than sending His Son to die for us while we were yet sinners? Does this say that He sent His Son to die for us while we did our good works?

~1 Peter 1:3-5 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, (3) To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, (4) Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. (5)

Secondly, the Bible teaches that we can know that we are saved, right here – right now! It is not presumptuous at all. Paul absolutely knew he was going to Heaven when he left this earth! In fact, he was torn between staying here on earth to continue his ministry and going to be with Christ!

~Philippians 1:23 For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better:

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

What proof do you need? Paul told the Corinthians that the Christians are confident that once they leave their earthly bodies they will be present with Christ!

So why can the rest of the repentant, born-again Christians know they are going to Heaven? What verses teach this?

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

~ 1 John 5:13 These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.

~John 3:36 He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but thewrath of God abideth on him.
~John 5:24 He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.

Read your Bible, dear catholic! It’s all in there! We can know for sure that we are going to Heaven when we die because we do not depend upon our own works but upon Jesus Christ’s death on the cross.

~Romans 9:31-33 But Israel, which followed after the law of righteousness, hath not attained to the law of righteousness. (31) Wherefore? Because they sought it not by faith, but as it were by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that stumblingstone; (32) As it is written, Behold, I lay in Sion a stumblingstone and rock of offence: and whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. (33)

Paul told the Jews that they were following after the works of the law, just as the catholic is doing today. Paul told the Jews that because they didn’t seek God by faith, but by their works, they stumbled at the stumblingstone! You, dear catholic, are stumbling as well. You have chosen to follow the works of the catholic church instead of pursuing your faith in the work of Jesus Christ. The catholic church does not want you to read your Bible because they know that within its pages are the words of life!

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

As long as the catholic church leaders can keep you out of the Bible, they can keep your faith from growing. But God’s Word promises that your faith will grow IF you read your Bible. In its pages are truth, my friend! Won’t you take the challenge today? You have lack of faith because you do not read the Word of God which builds your faith!

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The Prophet Isaiah prophesied that a Messiah was coming who would be the foundation for all things.

~Isaiah 28:16 Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste.

Isaiah says that not only is Jesus the foundation but His foundation is tried, precious and sure! Why are these adjectives so important? They are important because Christ’s foundation is like no other. No religious organization can have a foundation of equal value or strength. Let’s look at these adjectives and see what makes Jesus so different from religion.

Isaiah says that Jesus is a tried stone. As a refiner works with metal, he puts it through the fire and tests its quality. The same word used for tried is the same word as in:

~Job 23:10 But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.

Christ had to take human form to become the perfect sacrifice on the cross. His life was tried and He came forth as gold. As a result, He was the perfect Lamb of God. Therefore, His Gospel, the very foundation of the Christian faith, was tried and proved worthy. Christ is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow (Hebrews 13:8 ). Therefore, He does not change. His Word does not change. It stands as firm as His foundation. Any religion that changes their stand or eventually compromises does not have Christ as their foundation.

Secondly, Isaiah says that the Messiah was a precious corner stone. What a wonderful graphic picture of what Christianity is all about. A builder will use the largest and strongest blocks to place in the corners of his building. This word precious, according to Strong’s:

From H3365; valuable (objectively or subjectively): – brightness, clear, costly, excellent, fat, honourable women, precious, reputation.

It is safe to conclude that the best and strongest stone was used in Isaiah’s depiction of the foundation that Jesus Christ was to lay for us.

Thirdly, Isaiah refers to Jesus’ foundation as a sure foundation.

A primitive root; to set (literally or figuratively); intensively to found; reflexively to sit down together, that is, settle, consult: – appoint, take counsel, establish, (lay the, lay for a) found (-ation), instruct, lay, ordain, set, X sure.

There is no other foundation that can be as perfect as the foundation that Jesus Christ has laid for us. He is the Chief corner stone.

~1 Peter 2:6 Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded.

Yes, the Apostles helped to lay this foundation but we cannot forget that Christ is still the Chief corner stone. He is the Head – it is His work that paid the price, not ours. It is because of His strength as the Chief corner stone that we are able to stand as His church. It is not religion – it is not the catholic church – it is not Judaism. It is all Jesus Christ and Jesus Christ only.

The Apostles and early church disciples always pointed others to Christ. When they encouraged others to follow their example, they always ended by pointing their followers to Christ!

~1 Corinthians 11:1 Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.

Many religions use this verse as their basis for church tradition and following after the Apostles, i.e. Apostolic succession. However, note the latter part of the verse: even as I also am of Christ. In other words, follow after me because I follow after Christ. But it stands to reason that if the one you are following strays from what Christ taught or laid in His foundation, you should not follow him any longer. Christ has the final word.

Cults begin and end with following after men who lay another foundation. Mormonism, catholicism, Jehovan’s witnesses, etc. They add to the simplicity of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

~2 Corinthians 11:3-4 But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. (3) For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him. (4)

The devil’s subtleties crept into some of the early churches and men adopted heresies as a result of their fleshly desires. The catholic church is famous in this area for it has been building on a foundation laid in sand. Their doctrine is quite contrary to the foundation that Christ laid. Christ makes no mistakes. Christ’s words are final as He is the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the End. Let’s take a look at some of the dogmas and sacred traditions the catholic church requires of its members:

  • Celibacy of its priests
  • Nuns
  • Praying and worshipping Mary, Queen of Heaven
  • Mary’s sinless beginning and sinless life
  • Baptism of babies
  • Praying to the dead and to the saints and saying the rosary
  • Purgatory
  • Indulgences
  • The saying of masses for the dead
  • The Lord’s supper administered only in bread and not grape juice
  • The seven sacraments
  • Only the catholic can be saved because salvation is only in the catholic church

These are just a few – I could keep on going but my point is made. IF these traditions and dogmas are true and are so important that people are cursed if they don’t follow them, then why are they not recorded in God’s Word – especially that of salvation found in only the catholic churh. This is not the foundation that Christ laid. In fact, there are no Scriptures to be found that describe these traditions or dogmas.

There is no other foundation than that which Christ laid for our salvation. There is nothing to be added, no matter what people tell you. Everything we need for salvation is found in Christ and in His Word. If we needed more, God would not have us in the dark but He would have told us in His Word.

~John 12:46 I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness.

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The only way to be washed from our filthiness is by the blood of the Lamb, Jesus Christ. There is no other way! We cannot be cleansed by being a catholic or belonging to the catholic church. We cannot be cleansed by going to purgatory. We cannot be cleansed by doing penance. The Word is clear that the only way to be cleansed is by the blood of Jesus Christ.

~Proverbs 16:2 All the ways of a man are clean in his own eyes; but the LORD weigheth the spirits.

~Proverbs 30:12 There is a generation that are pure in their own eyes, and yet is not washed from their filthiness.

How, then, can a generation view themselves clean in their own eyes? The answer is through religion! Anything that draws man’s eyes away from his sin and onto working his way to heaven is religion.

~1 Corinthians 6:9-11 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, (9) Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. (10) 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. (11)

Paul points out the various sins that will keep people out of Heaven. There is no mistaking that unrepentant sinners will not enter into glory! However, Paul said that some of the Corinthians use to be these types of sinners but were no longer. Why? Because they were washed – regenerated by the blood of Jesus Christ. Because of Christ’s shed blood on the cross of Calvary, their sin debt had been paid. There is no coming to Jesus Christ unless you accept His shed blood as payment.

~Revelation 1:5 And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood,

~Revelation 7:14 And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.

There is nothing that can wash away your sin but the blood of Jesus Christ, the perfect Lamb, the Alpha and the Omega, the King of kings and Lord of lords! Going to church won’t do it. Confessing your sins to a priest won’t do it. Even purgatory won’t do it.

Salvation has nothing to do with us but it has everything to do with God!

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Is your faith based on religious beliefs or on a real relationship with God? Is God just God to you or is He your Heavenly Father – your Abba Daddy? As you read today’s Psalm, does it mean something to you or is it just dry reading? To the true born-again believer, these words are like gold – they are precious and full of meat. The born-again believer reads, studies, gleans and applies God’s Word to his life. Is this true of you, dear catholic?

~Psalm 1:1-6 Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. (1) But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. (2) And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper. (3) The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away. (4) Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous. (5) For the LORD knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish. (6)

Examine your own heart, my friend. Can you sit here truthfully and say that you meditate in God’s Word and you delight in it? Or have you allowed your religious leaders to guide and direct you? How do you know what they teach you is from God’s Word? How can you be certain? Do you double check to make sure?

~Nehemiah 9:34 Neither have our kings, our princes, our priests, nor our fathers, kept thy law, nor hearkened unto thy commandments and thy testimonies, wherewith thou didst testify against them.

How can one be certain that he is being taught the truth? You can’t just “hope” that you are being taught the truth, my friend. You, alone, will be held responsible for your own spiritual condition.

~Proverbs 16:25 There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.

What would seem right to a man as it relates to his spiritual condition? I believe that this means that a man’s religion seems right to him but God warns that his religion is the way of death.

What is religion according to God’s Word? The word “religion” is only used five times in the Bible. The number five represents grace in God’s Word. How appropriate it is that God’s grace saves us from religion!

~Acts 26:5 Which knew me from the beginning, if they would testify, that after the most straitest sect of our religion I lived a Pharisee.

~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:

~Galatians 1:14 And profited in the Jews’ religion above many my equals in mine own nation, being more exceedingly zealous of the traditions of my fathers.

~James 1:26 If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man’s religion is vain.

~James 1:27 Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.

Wow! Even Paul, being in the strictest sect of Judaism (a Pharisee) considered his religion wrong. Surely the Pharisee fulfilled James 1:26-27! However, something was different in this born-again “religion.”

Do you keep yourself unspotted from the world? How can one possibly do this? In the flesh, one cannot. As an unsaved person, one cannot fulfill James 1:27 because he is dependent upon his own works to do so. For example, as a catholic I fulfilled visiting the fatherless and widows but that did not save me. Why not? Because I also did not keep myself unspotted from the world. I did as the world and then went to confession. These were my own works and they did not bring peace. I was depending on myself, not on Christ’s complete work on the cross!

The Word has all that we need to guide and instruct us, my friend.

~Psalm 119:18 Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law.

The born-again believer desires God’s Word so that he may learn and grow spiritually. This desire draws him closer to God.

~James 4:8 Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.

As a catholic, I was desirous to grow close to God. However, the way that I was taught to do so only drove me further from God. What was I doing wrong? I was not cleansing myself through the Word. I was double minded in my religious beliefs. I believed what the catholic church taught me but I never once opened the Bible to find out whether these teachings were of God. God will teach us. God will “spank” us when we are doing wrong. We do not need the penances of the catholic church.

~Psalm 94:12 Blessed is the man whom thou chastenest, O LORD, and teachest him out of thy law;

The catholic church has made God’s law void. They want the poor catholic members to rely on the church rather than rely on God’s Word.

~Psalm 119:126 It is time for thee, LORD, to work: for they have made void thy law.

The Bible promises that God’s Words will not go out void, however. That is why I have dedicated my life to this blog so I can reach the dear catholic who has depended on his church to save him.

~Isaiah 55:11 So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.

My friend, God’s Word is never ending. He has not left us to our own devices. He has provided us truth in the Bible. He has provided us instruction in righteousness and truth. Christ, the Word of God, has given Himself for us. He removes all doubt – He removes all debt – He replaces it with eternal life!

~Psalm 119:142 Thy righteousness is an everlasting righteousness, and thy law is the truth.

Turn to the Bible today and read it. Let Christ show you salvation as He intended it to be. God wants to set you apart from the world. He wants you to be different. He wants you to be born-again, not the words spoken when you were baptized as a baby. Born-again is a newness of life – no longer following after the works of darkness. Search the Scriptures whether these things be so, dear catholic!

~John 17:17 Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.

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In Christ’s letters to the churches as given to John, we see that twice the Nicolaitans are mentioned.

~Revelations 2:6 But this thou hast, that thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate.

~Revelations 2:15 So hast thou also them that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate.

This interested me. When God says He hates something, we should take note, right? The Word tells us in 2 Timothy 3:16-17 that all of Scripture:

1. has been given to us by the inspiration of God,
2. is profitable for doctrine
3. for reproof
4. for correction
5. for instruction in righteousness
6. so we may be complete
7. and thoroughly furnished unto all good works.

~2 Timothy 3:16-17 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)

Notice that no where is it recorded that we are to glean from church tradition or the doctrines of the magisterium! In fact, it is quite the opposite. Christ, Himself, said that He hates the doctrine of the Nicolaitans! The word Nicolaitan is interpreted: Niko “to conquer, to overthrow,” and laos, “the people or laity.” So Christ said He hated the doctrine of those who conquered the people/laity! Somewhere in the church ages, a heretical doctrine arose of separation between those that were preaching and those that were not. Furthermore, it seems that this conquering over the laity placed the preachers in a special category – a hierarchy, if you will. Apparently, this “doctrine” must have been underway while Peter was yet living because he spoke of something similar:

~1 Peter 5:2-3 Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind; (2) Neither as being lords over God’s heritage, but being ensamples to the flock. (3)

What a prime example of the hierarchy of the catholic church. They have a semblance of feeding the flock of God but it is not with the Word of God. It is through magisterium, sacred tradition and THEN the Scriptures IF the Scriptures coincided with the aforementioned! Secondly, the catholic hierarchy has forced its membership to follow the dogmas and “sacred” traditions so as to keep them under bondage. This bondage is exactly what Christ came to free mankind from! I never felt free in Christ when I was a catholic. But I did feel as though I was under bondage. I felt a heavy weight upon my shoulders just as Christian did in Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan. Every catholic should read this book. It is the book most sold next to the Bible. (John Bunyan uses an allegory style of writing to portary a lost sinner who finds salvation without any influence from various religions but by using the Word of God.) Thirdly, the catholic hierarchy most certainly fits in this description of being “lords over God’s heritage”! This is the conquering of the laity that Jesus said He hates! There is no head over the church but Christ.

~1 Corinthians 11:3 But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.

~Ephesians 4:15 But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:

~Ephesians 5:23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.

If Peter were the first pope, then he would have made mention of this hierarchy in his letters. But instead, Peter stated that he was an elder just like the other elders.

~1 Peter 5:1 The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed:

Instead of heeding God’s Word as exhorted in 2 Timothy 3:16-17, the catholic church has taken the doctrines of the Nicolaitans and lorded over the laity – adding burden after burden of dogma, sacraments, rules, etc. The poor catholic doesn’t know whether he is coming or going when it comes to his salvation. He does not have peace but an immense burden of sin on his shoulders. How tragic this is when Christ is so willing to give that peace which goes beyond understanding!

~Philippians 4:7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

Do you have that peace, dear catholic? I do not speak up against catholic doctrine because I hate the catholics! I speak up because I once was in darkness and served the catholic church as it was entrenched in me from an early age. I served out of ignorance. But the blessed Word of God has been given to us to instruct us of all doctrine. The catholic church has incorporated various dogmas into its religion and added extra doctrine that is not spoken of in the Bible thus nullifying 2 Timothy 3:16-17.

The catholic church preaches heresy and goes against the Word of God in many areas. Its hierarchy has forced its membership (laity) to submit to them or else be condemned. I do not speak lies but back all that I write on this blog with the Scriptures, the Truth! I do this so that maybe one searching catholic will read here one day and will realize that he has been led astray by the false teachers of the catholic church.

I have been cussed out and spoken evil of in the last couple of weeks by catholics who post comments at my blog. The comments are not posted because some are vile. They do not encourage the lost to seek but instead support heresy. Some accuse me of being an enemy of the catholic church. This comment reminded me of:

~Galatians 4:16 Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth?

If I have stirred the pot, then I say, “Good!” I hope and pray that one catholic will be freed from the lies of the catholic church and will be set free as Christ wants us to be set free!

~John 8:32-36 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. (32) They answered him, We be Abraham’s seed, and were never in bondage to any man: how sayest thou, Ye shall be made free? (33) Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin. (34) And the servant abideth not in the house for ever: but the Son abideth ever. (35) If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed. (36)

The catholic church would have you believe that salvation is only found in the church. However, Jesus taught that it was Him, the Son, that shall make you free! And in the same breath, Jesus provides assurance of this “Ye shall be free indeed.” No doubts, no wondering, no purgatory, nothing more, nothing less!

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The confessional – I can still recall the musty smell of incense burning outside it and waiting in fear to confess my sins to our local parish priest. Once a month, on a Saturday, we would have to go to confession. I recall the exact words I use to recite each time I went to confession:

Bless me Father for I have sinned. It has been one month since my last good confession. I confess that I told a lie, “x” amount of times. I cursed, “x” amount of times, etc.

It was then that the priest would “absolve” me from my sins and give me a penance to perform. The only penance I ever received was to recite the rosary. I would leave the confessional relieved that it was over with and would return to my pew to say my rosary. Then afterwards, I did not feel any differently than when I walked into the confessional. I did not feel forgiven. I did not have that peace that comes when one is truly forgiven. Much to my surprise, my friends felt the same way. None of us had a calm assurance that we had met with God that day. How sad is that? How blind we truly were.

So exactly what does the Bible teach about confessing our sins? Does the Word say we should confess our sins to someone other than God? The catholic church made the confessional a dogma in the year 1225. In my readings, I discovered that prior to 1225, the priest heard confession but didn’t absolve sins. He merely prayed to God for that person.

So what does the Bible say about confessing our sins? Jesus answered the disciples questions in this way:

~Matthew 6:9-15 After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. (9) Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. (10) Give us this day our daily bread. (11) And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. (12) And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen. (13) For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: (14) But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. (15)

Jesus did not say to pray this prayer word for word, but after this manner. This was an example of how to pray to our Heavenly Father. Here we see that we are to ask God to forgive us, not a priest. Jesus would have had the perfect opportunity to teach about the confessional here. But nowhere do we see this. In fact, we are to forgive one another when we sin against each other. So if I sin against you, I must go to you and ask your forgiveness. And if you are a repentant born-again Christian, you will forgive this sin I’ve committed against you or Jesus teaches that you won’t receive God’s mercy in your life.

Also, notice verses 14 and 15 say your heavenly Father will forgive you! Not the priest!

So how does the catholic church support its dogma of the confessional? They claim that John 20:21-23 give them the authority. But let’s look at those verses and see to whom Jesus was referring:

~John 20:19-24 Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you. (19) And when he had so said, he shewed unto them his hands and his side. Then were the disciples glad, when they saw the Lord. (20) Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you. (21) And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost: (22) Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained. (23) But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came. (24)

Not only the Apostles were in attendance during this event. Notice in verse 19, it states that the disciples were gathered and Jesus stood in their midst and spoke to them. Verse 20 says that the disciples were glad. Verse 21 says that Jesus spoke to them again. It was to the disciples, not just the Apostles, that Jesus breathed the Spirit on them. It was to the disciples, not just the Apostles, that Jesus commanded that they remit and retain sins. Is this just semantics? No! Verse 24 says that Thomas, one of the 12, was not with them. So clearly these verses state the difference between the disciples and Apostles. This act of remitting sins and retaining them was not specifically given to the Apostles only but to all repentant, born-again believers.

So what was being said here? It simply means that those we preach to (witness to) who receive the Gospel of Jesus Christ are are saved will receive forgiveness of sins and those who do not accept the Gospel will not receive forgiveness of sins. Plain and simple!

This is definitely in line with the example Christ gave us in the Lord’s Prayer. It is also in line with

~Acts 2:37-38, 10:43 Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do? (37) Then Peter said unto them, 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. ( 38 ) ~Acts 10:43 To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins.

It is the act of repentance, believing in Jesus Christ as our Saviour, receiving the Holy Spirit and being baptized into the family of God that we receive our forgiveness. This is crucial – repentance is key. You hear many a gospel today but few include repentance. Most include church membership, works, baptism, the confessional, etc. But this is not what Jesus said we must do to receive forgiveness. Repentance is vital because it produces a change of life.

~2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

If a person is born again, he has a NEW nature. That is the whole purpose of being born again. The catholic church claims this occurs at baptism when a baby is baptized. However, that baby cannot change his mind toward sin and walk in newness of life. That baby has no control over his sin. It is not until that baby learns the difference between right and wrong that he can see that he is a sinner in need of forgiveness. That baby cannot repent! However, a person with knowledge of right and wrong can. A person that sees he needs forgiveness definitely can repent and be truly born again. Do you see how the catholic church has muddied the beautiful water of the Word of God?

Yes, we need to confess our sins but they are to be confessed to our Heavenly Father as Christ taught us. If we do not forgive our brothers and sisters in Christ when they sin against us, then how can we receive God’s mercy toward us for our own sins?

The confessional did not teach me repentance. It placated my guilty feelings and gave me a false sense of security. Once I truly repented of my sins, I was born again and the Lord gave me a new life. I have a life of peace and assurance, knowing that my sins are forgiven and that Jesus Christ paid the penalty, once and for all on the cross of Calvary. I do not need to confess to anyone but my Heavenly Father. If I have sinned against a brother or sister in Christ and I am truly repentant, I will go to that brother or sister and acknowledge to them my sin and make things right. That, my friend, is true confession.

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