~Galatians 2:7-8 But contrariwise, when they saw that the gospel of the uncircumcision was committed unto me, as the gospel of the circumcision was unto Peter; (For he that wrought effectually in Peter to the apostleship of the circumcision, the same was mighty in me toward the Gentiles:)

It doesn’t take but a few minutes in Galatians to see that Paul was the Apostle to the Gentiles and not Peter. I was raised Roman Catholic and was taught that Peter was the first pope. When one reads the Scriptures, one sees in today’s text that Peter was called to be the apostle to the Jews, not the Gentiles.  There are three more verses where Paul confirms who he was:

~Romans 11:13 For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office:

~1 Timothy 2:7 Whereunto I am ordained a preacher, and an apostle, (I speak the truth in Christ, and lie not;) a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and verity.

~2 Timothy 1:11 Whereunto I am appointed a preacher, and an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles.

Just one doubt should cause a catholic to wonder what else is in the Scriptures that is contrary to what they’ve been taught!  Sadly, like the Jews, catholics would rather trust the traditions of the catholic church, the words of their church fathers and current church doctrine over what the Bible teaches.  🙁

This is just a gentle prod to whomever is reading today and has been searching!  It doesn’t matter whether one is a catholic, protestant, mormon, Jew, etc. Isn’t it better to believe God rather than a person? Forget denominations right now … it is God who will judge in the end, not being part of a certain religion. I’m not asking anyone to change religions, in case you’re wondering. I simply desire that you search the Scriptures whether these things be so (John 5:39)! On judgment day, no one will be there to hold your hand when you stand before Jesus Christ and He asks you why He should let you into His Heaven.

Peter, himself, said to obey God and not man!

~Acts 5:29 Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men.

Think for yourself, reader, instead of relying on someone else to determine the most important decision of your life! Where you spend eternity is not something that is best left in someone else’s hands! Eternity is a LONG time to mourn a wrong decision!

31. July 2008 · 1 comment · Categories: Catholicism · Tags: ,

The following are quotes from various popes of the catholic religion. I’ve used Scriptures to refute their words and pray that this will open the eyes of lost catholics everywhere.

Our Christian conviction is that Christ is also the messiah of Israel. Certainly it is in the hands of God how and when the unification of Jews and Christians into the people of God will take place.
Pope Benedict XVI

The unification of Jews and Christians took place when Christ died on the cross and redeemed them all.

~Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.

~Romans 10:12 For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.

~Galatians 3:28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.

~Colossians 3:11 Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all.

“We must have great respect for these people who also suffer and who want to find their own way of correct living. On the other hand, to create a legal form of a kind of homosexual marriage, in reality, does not help these people.”
Pope Benedict XVI

Where are the Scriptures telling homosexuals that they are living in sin?

~Leviticus 18:22 Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.

~Leviticus 20:13 If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.

~Romans 1:27 And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.

“It is theologically and anthropologically important for woman to be at the center of Christianity. Through Mary, and the other holy women, the feminine element stand at the heart of the Christian religion. And this is not in competition with Christ. To think of Christ and Mary as being in competition means ignoring the essential distinctions between these two figures. . . . That is not a competition, but a more profound kind of intimacy. The Mother and Virgin forms an essential part of the Christian picture of man.
Pope Benedict XVI

Mary has nothing to do with the Christian picture of man. God does not share His throne. He does not share His worship and adoration. He alone is God.

~Exodus 20:5 Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;

~Exodus 34:14 For thou shalt worship no other god: for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God:

~Deuteronomy 4:24 For the LORD thy God is a consuming fire, even a jealous God.

~Deuteronomy 5:9 Thou shalt not bow down thyself unto them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me,

~Deuteronomy 6:15 (For the LORD thy God is a jealous God among you) lest the anger of the LORD thy God be kindled against thee, and destroy thee from off the face of the earth.

~Joshua 24:19 And Joshua said unto the people, Ye cannot serve the LORD: for he is an holy God; he is a jealous God; he will not forgive your transgressions nor your sins.

“We do at least need a new liturgical consciousness, to be rid of this spirit of arbitrary fabrication. Things have gone so far that Sunday litugy groups are cobbling together the liturgy for themselves. . . . The most important thing today is that we should regain respect for the liturgy and for the fact that it is not to be manipulated.”
Pope Benedict XVI

The Word of God is our final authority. Not the catholic church or its sacred traditions and magisterium.

~Mark 7:8 For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men, as the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things ye do.

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

“There is one thing we must not forget: it has always been the Mother who reached people in missionary situations and made Christ accessible to them. That is especially true of Latin America. Here, to some extent, Christianity arrived by way of Spanish swords, with deadly heralds. In Mexcio, at first, absolutely nothing could be done about missionary work – until the occurrence for the phenomenon at Guadalupe, and then the Son was suddenly near by way of his Mother.” Page 300

“Initially, it was possible for people to think, with respect to Lourdes, that this little girl had fantasized something. And then it turned out after all the she herself was really there, the Mother -Mary. It is certainly not by chance that people are nowadays turning again to Mary, in whom Christianity becomes loveable again and close to us, and we really do find the door again through the Mother.” Page 459
Pope Benedict XVI

~1 Timothy 2:5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;

~John 10:9I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.

“The Church does not invent sins but recognizes the will of God and has to declare it. Of course, the great thing . . . is that upon the Church, which has to declare the will of God in its full magnitude, in its unconditional rigor, so that man should know his true measure, is bestowed as a gift, at the same time, the task of forgiving.” Page 67
Pope Benedict XVI

~Mark 2:7 Why doth this man thus speak blasphemies? who can forgive sins but God only?

~Luke 5:21 And the scribes and the Pharisees began to reason, saying, Who is this which speaketh blasphemies? Who can forgive sins, but God alone?

“Grant that we may be one flock and one shepherd! Do not allow your net to be torn, help us to be servants of unity!
Pope Benedict XVI

~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.

~2 Corinthians 6:17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,

“Give me an army praying the Rosary, and I will conquer the world.”
–Blessed Pius IX

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

“The Pope and God are the same, so he has all power in Heaven and earth.” Pope Pius V, quoted in Barclay, Chapter XXVII, p. 218, “Cities Petrus Bertanous”.

“The Pope takes the place of Jesus Christ on earth…by divine right the Pope has supreme and full power in faith, in morals over each and every pastor and his flock. He is the true vicar, the head of the entire church, the father and teacher of all Christians. He is the infallible ruler, the founder of dogmas, the author of and the judge of councils; the universal ruler of truth, the arbiter of the world, the supreme judge of heaven and earth, the judge of all, being judged by no one, God himself on earth.” Quoted in the New York Catechism.

These words appeared in the Roman Canon Law: “To believe that our Lord God the Pope has not the power to decree as he is decreed, is to be deemed heretical.-I?i the Gloss “Extravagantes” o.f Pope John XXII Cum inter, Tit. XIV, Cap. IV. Ad Callem Sexti Decretalium, Paris, 1685.

~Hebrews 12:23 To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect,

~Exodus 20:3 Thou shalt have no other gods before me.

~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.

Out of the very lips of the popes of the catholic church, one can find Scriptures that can prove their words to either be heresy, contradiction, and lies. The pope is not God, my friend. There is no one that can claim that he is God for there is only one God.

~Isaiah 43:10 Ye are my witnesses, saith the LORD, and my servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me.

~Isaiah 44:6 Thus saith the LORD the King of Israel, and his redeemer the LORD of hosts; I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God.

~Isaiah 44:8 Fear ye not, neither be afraid: have not I told thee from that time, and have declared it? ye are even my witnesses. Is there a God beside me? yea, there is no God; I know not any.

~Isaiah 45:5 I am the LORD, and there is none else, there is no God beside me: I girded thee, though thou hast not known me:

~Isaiah 45:14 Thus saith the LORD, The labour of Egypt, and merchandise of Ethiopia and of the Sabeans, men of stature, shall come over unto thee, and they shall be thine: they shall come after thee; in chains they shall come over, and they shall fall down unto thee, they shall make supplication unto thee, saying, Surely God is in thee; and there is none else, there is no God.

~Isaiah 45:21 Tell ye, and bring them near; yea, let them take counsel together: who hath declared this from ancient time? who hath told it from that time? have not I the LORD? and there is no God else beside me; a just God and a Saviour; there is none beside me.

~Hoseah 13:4 Yet I am the LORD thy God from the land of Egypt, and thou shalt know no god but me: for there is no saviour beside me.

~Mar 12:32 And the scribe said unto him, Well, Master, thou hast said the truth: for there is one God; and there is none other but he:

~Acts 4:12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.

~1 Corinthians 8:4 As concerning therefore the eating of those things that are offered in sacrifice unto idols, we know that an idol is nothing in the world, and that there is none other God but one.

How can the catholic church contradict the Word of God and yet manage to say that they are scriptural? They cannot. However, they mislead their members by having them believe that the pope is Christ on earth and, therefore, he has the right to change God’s Word. Dear catholic, how can you be so fooled? Would God truly contradict Himself?

Jesus said,

And Jesus knew their thoughts, and said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand: ~Matthew 12:25

The catholic church cannot be of God because the Word says that the house that is divided against itself will not stand. The catholic church’s beliefs are contrary to God’s Word. God would not contradict Himself and, therefore, the catholic church cannot be of God.

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Dear catholic friend – I pray you will read Richard Bennett’s piece below. There is solid historical evidence to support his words. Mr. Bennett was a priest for many years and has authority and insight in this matter. It would be to your benefit to read this – you will see that the church history you are fed by the catholic church is quite different to the real truth. Kate

Dear Friend,

The Pope’s visit to the U.S.A., April 15–20, placed him in the limelight of his so-called apostolic succession from Peter. It is actually required in the Catholic Church that one believes in an historical continuity between the early Church and the Church of Rome. Most Catholics presume that this is an historical fact. Regrettably, many Bible believers have not really analyzed the question. Our article, which studies the authentic early Church, is one of the most important articles that we have written. We depend on the conviction that truth is derived from God alone and on His strength alone. We trust that He will use this article to pull down the strongholds of man-devised apostolic succession, and the Papal re-writing and amending of early Church history to shore up this dogma. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds.” The article called, “History of the Early Church Invalidates Papal Claim of Apostolic Succession,” is below.

We ask that you respond by carefully studying the article and through your much needed prayers. We would greatly appreciate it if you would forward the article to others. We request also, if possible, that you post it on your Web page.

Trusting in the Lord’s grace and mighty power,

Richard Bennett

History of the Early Church Invalidates

Papal Claim of Apostolic Succession

From April 15-20, 2008 Benedict XVI visited the US and the UN as the Pope of the Roman Catholic Church and first representative of the Holy See. Thus the President welcomed him with the words, “This is your first trip to the United States since you ascended to the Chair of Saint Peter.”[1] Both Benedict’s title and his chair are granted by the dogma of apostolic succession.

In fact it is required in the Catholic Church that one believes in an historical continuity between the early Church and the Roman Catholic Church as defined by the papal dogma of apostolic succession.[2] Catholics are taught not to question this dogma. Based on it, the present Pope has flatly stated that “Christian Communities born out of the Reformation of the sixteenth century cannot be called ‘Churches’ in the proper sense…[they] do not enjoy apostolic succession in the sacrament of Orders, and are, therefore, deprived of a constitutive element of the church.”[3] He is not speaking in a vacuum, but rather in a time when many people are being seduced through dialogue and other methods into the Roman Catholic Church. For example, the American President said to him, “Most of all, Holy Father, you will find in America people whose hearts are open to your message of hope. And America and the world need this message.” [4] The Pope’s message was consistently vacuous, totally without the Gospel of grace, stooping even to pray for the dead at Ground Zero. His words were, “O God of love, compassion, and healing, look on us, people of many different faiths and traditions, who gather today at this site, the scene of incredible violence and pain. We ask you in your goodness to give eternal light and peace to all who died here…”[5]

These words, based in anti-biblical doctrine as they are, come from a man who claims to be head of the true church of Jesus Christ. His actions, too, in performing the Mass, which is heretical, are perfectly consistent with his position against the Reformation flowering of the true churches in the sixteenth century, whose biblical heritage is undeniable. Therefore in this presentation we want to document the New Testament concept of church and give historical data showing that the biblical concept of church was indeed lived in the times after the Apostles and prior to the Reformation.

Biblical concept of church

Jesus Christ founded His church on the Gospel message that He is “the Christ” (Anointed-Messiah) and “the Son of the Living God.[6] After the Lord’s glorification, the Holy Spirit empowered all the believers that were assembled at Jerusalem to take the Gospel throughout the world. According to the New Testament, the first church to be established was the church in Jerusalem. It was from there that the believers went forth with the Gospel. They were the church which was at Jerusalem; and they were all scattered abroad throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except the apostles.”[7] The New Testament also records the establishment of the local churches in Judea and Samaria. The Gospel then spread to cities in Cypress and to Antioch. When the believers in Jerusalem heard that people in Antioch had received the Gospel, they sent Barnabas to Antioch. Barnabas went to Tarsus to fetch Paul. Together they spent a whole year at the Antioch teaching the Gospel of grace though faith alone in Christ Jesus. It was there that those who believed the Gospel were first called Christians. The Apostle Paul appointed elders[8] and deacons in these local churches. These offices, however, are not the very essence of the church; rather they function for teaching and administration so that the assembly is orderly. The unifying center of the assembly of believers is not the structure of the group, as the Pope maintains, but rather it is the Gospel.

The Greek word “ekklesia” literally means “the called out ones”. In the New Testament it is applied to the whole company of believers throughout the present era, of whom Christ said, I will build my Church.[9] The Apostle Paul’s definition under the direction of the Holy Spirit is that the church is Christ’s body.[10] Most regularly the word signifies the local assembly of believers. The central feature of the New Testament letters is the Gospel of grace through faith alone, as for example in the letter to the believers at Ephesus, For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.[11] The expression “the church of God”, as when the Apostle wrote, “give none offence, neither to the Jews, nor to the Gentiles, nor to the church of God[12] was collective, meaning the believers as distinguished from the Jews and Gentiles. The ordinary believers are continually called the “church” as the Apostle addressed them, unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus.”[13] And when this epistle is read among you, cause that it be read also in the church of the Laodiceans.”[14] The church was simply the community of believers. The messages given by the Lord through the Apostle John were also all to local churches.[15]

The unifying factor that designated early local churches was the Gospel. These local churches believed and taught the Gospel of God’s grace. That Gospel was for them the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth.”[16] Faith alone, consistent with the Scriptures, was the means by which the believers entered into the salvation purchased by the perfect life and sacrifice of Christ Jesus. Across Europe and Asia, local churches were established as ordinary believers spread the Gospel.

The Roman Catholic concept of church

The Vatican requires that Catholics profess that there is an historical continuity between the church founded by the Lord Jesus Christ and the Roman Catholic Church. To assess the validity of the Catholic belief, it needs to be held firmly in mind that the Roman Catholic Church means something quite different by the word “Church” than the New Testament does. While the teaching Magisterium does mention the Church as “the People of God”, “the Body of Christ,” and “the Temple of the Holy Spirit,” the emphasis is always on the authority and mission of the papal organizational system. Thus Rome teaches, “He [Christ] instituted the Church. He gave her authority and mission, orientation and goal:..”.[17] How this claimed power structure is exercised is clearly laid out by the Roman Catholic system: There is no offense, however serious, that the Church cannot forgive.[18] “Priests have received from God a power that he has given neither to angels nor to archangels….God above confirms what priests do here below.”[19] “‘Believing’ is an ecclesial act. The Church’s faith precedes, engenders, supports and nourishes our faith. The Church is the mother of all believers. ‘No one can have God as Father who does not have the Church as Mother.’”[20] The claimed absolute power of the papal hierarchical system is totally contrary to the New Testament concept of the church as “the assembly of believers.” The Papacy’s lust for power is so insatiable that it claims power for itself which rightfully belongs to the Holy Spirit. Thus the Magisterium officially teaches, “For the Roman Pontiff, by reason of his office as Vicar of Christ, and as pastor of the entire Church has full, supreme, and universal power over the whole Church, a power which he can always exercise unhindered.”[21] How does such dogma reflect any historical continuity with biblical doctrine and the practice of the authentic early church?

Early Believers and Scripture

The early believers held to the Scriptures as the absolute Word of God’s truth. The early Church understood apostolic doctrine as the written Word of the God. From the very start of the post-apostolic age in the writings of such Apostolic Fathers as Ignatius, Polycarp, Clement, and Barnabas, there was an exclusive appeal to the Scriptures for the positive teaching of doctrine and for defense against heresy. In the writings of these men the authority cited is that of the Old and New Testaments. In the written texts of the apologists, such as Justin Martyr and Athenagoras, the same exclusive appeal to Scripture is evident. There was no appeal in any of these writings to the authority of an extra-biblical tradition as a separate body of revelation. Rather, it is in the writings of Irenaeus and Tertullian in the mid to late second century that the concept of an apostolic tradition, which was handed down in the Church in oral form, was first encountered. Irenaeus and Tertullian stated forcefully that all the teachings of the bishops that were given orally were rooted in Scripture and could be proven from the written Scriptures.

Examples of Early Believers Testifying to the Gospel

Polycarp of Smyrna (born c. 69) died a martyr in about the year 155. He testified to being saved through grace and Jesus Christ, “…the Lord Jesus Christ…in whom you believe…knowing, that through grace ye are saved, not from works, but by the will of God, through Jesus Christ.”[22] Clement of Rome, who died about the year 100, wrote of being justified by faith, “…Therefore, we also, being called through his (God’s) will in Christ Jesus, are not justified through ourselves, neither through our own wisdom or understanding or piety or works…but through Faith.”[23]

Justin Martyr (c. 100—165) wrote of being righteous before God on account of faith. He stated, “It was not by reason of circumcision that Abraham was testified of God to be righteous, but on account of faith. For, before he was circumcised, it was said of him: Abraham believed in God; and it was imputed unto him for righteousness.”[24]

Irenaeus, who died about the year 190 or as late as 202, clearly explained the Gospel message in Romans, Chapter Three: “When Christ came, he accomplished all things: and still, in the Church, continues to accomplish the New Testament, foretold by the Law, even to consummation. As also the Apostle Paul says in his Epistle to the Romans: but now, without the Law, the righteousness of God is manifested, being testified of by the Law and the Prophets: for the just shall live by faith. But, that the just shall live by faith, had been foretold by the Prophets.”[25] Clement of Alexandria, a contemporary of Justin and Irenaeus in the late second and early third century, gave evidence to the Gospel of grace when he wrote, “Abraham was justified, not from works, but from faith. After the end of life, therefore, it is no profit to men even though now they shall have performed good works, unless they have faith.”[26]

Athanasius in the fourth century likewise testifies of grace and redemption in a clear-cut Gospel message, “Not from these, but from faith, a man is justified; as also was Abraham. Having thus discussed such points, the Apostle shews again: that, in no other manner, can there be redemption and grace to Israel and to the Gentiles, except the original sin, which through Adam passed unto all, be loosed. But this, says he, can be blotted out though no other than through the Son of God….For it was impossible, that any other should loose this transgression. Thus, as through one man sin entered into the world: thus also, through one man, grace came upon all.”[27]

Extensive Growth and Severe Persecution

The spread of the Christian faith during the first three centuries was rapid and extensive. In the providence of God, the main reasons for this were the fidelity and zeal of the preachers of the Gospel, the heroic deaths of the martyrs, the translation of the Scriptures into the languages of the Roman world, and the well developed and expansive Roman road system over which the Gospel was carried. Under the Emperor Septimius Severus (193-211), Christians suffered appallingly. The most severe persecution was under the Emperor Diocletian and his co-regent, Galerius, during the years 303-311. Yet, far from exterminating the Christians and the Gospel, the persecution purified those who preached and increased their ability to give the Gospel message.

Early Church: Northern Italy and the Cottian Alps

Since at least the late eleventh century[28] the Roman Catholic Church has loudly alleged that the early churches of what is today known as Northern Italy[29] were simply those churches that had fallen way from the authority of the Bishop of Rome. But Peter Allix, writing in 1690, shows clearly that these churches were established locally from apostolic times and were not under the Bishop of Rome at any time before the eleventh century. Of their doctrine and practice he states, “It is sufficient to make them deserve the name of apostolical, that they received the doctrine of the Apostles, as a pledge from the hand of their first disciples, which they preserved so very tenderly throughout the following ages.”[30] Allix’s rebuttal of the Roman Catholic charge uses quotations from these churches’ liturgy and from records of the practice of their faith, which regularly included record of increasing disagreement with the Bishop of Rome. At times, Allix quotes the records of the Roman Catholic Church against the believers, showing that the very things of which the Roman Church was accusing them were in fact biblical.

According to Faber, in about the year 406, Vigilantius, a native of Aquitaine, published a treatise in answer to Jerome’s defense of his [Jerome’s] departure from Scripture. In it, Vigilantius “attacked the notion that celibacy is the duty of the clergy; censured…the figment that they [martyrs] are potent intercessors at the throne of grace; ridiculed the blind and almost idolatrous reverence which was paid to their relics; exposed the folly of burning tapers, like the Pagans, before their shrines, in broad day-light; detected the pretended miracles said to be wrought by their senseless remains;…pointed out the useless absurdity of pilgrimages either to Jerusalem or to any other reputed sanctuary.”[31] Although Vigilantius’s treatise is no longer extant, this information comes from Jerome as he seeks to refute Vigilantius during the course of their exchanges. According to Jerome, who resided in Jerusalem, Vigilantius “wrote from a region, situated between the waves of the Adriatic and the Cottian Alps.”[32] Nor was Jerome able to have Vigilantius extirpated from this region, where he worked as a presbyter, because the bishop of the area agreed with Vigilantius. Faber’s point is this:

“This district [where Vigilantius was residing] on the eastern side of the Cottian Alps is the precise country of the Vallenses. Here they claim to have lived at least from the time of Pope Sylvester; and here, in point of fact, as we may presumptively gather from the present remarkable statement of Jerome, that they were actually settled as early as in and before the year 406….

“Here, therefore, only seventy years after the death of Pope Sylvester, we actually find a Church in the valleys of the Cottian Alps, the theological condition of which exactly corresponds with the account handed down, from generation to generation, among the Vallenses themselves: that is to say, we actually find a Church, in the very region where the account teaches us to seek it, protesting, through the mouth of its approved pastor, Vigilantius…against the superstitions of the times, and, in its estimate of those superstitions, openly differing from the bishops of the corrupt Church of Rome.”[33]

The Roman Catholic claim for dominion in the area is refuted by the written record of Jerome’s correspondence with Vigilantius. Further, Pope Pelagius I (555) lamented that “The Bishops of Milan do not come to Rome for ordination,” and this was in accordance with “an ancient custom of theirs.”[34] Allix further notes, “In the year 590, the Bishops of Italy and of the Grisons, to the number of nine, rejected the Communion of the Pope, as of an heretic…protesting [to the Emperor] that they could not communicate with Pope Gregory the First.”[35]

Allix documents the fact that even in the ninth century the churches of Northern Italy were still not under the yoke of papal authority. Rather they were able to hold out until after the death of Claude, Bishop of Turin. Claude, in the mid-ninth century, staunchly defended his diocese against Rome while simultaneously and indefatigably teaching the Gospel and the Bible throughout his diocese by preaching and by writing. Wylie confirms that it was not until the mid-eleventh century that the churches on the plains of Northern Italy finally succumbed to papal authority. Even then the churches in the valleys of the Cottian Alps held true to the Bible in their faith and practice. These are they who were known as the Vaudois, or People of the Valleys.[36]

Faber shows from the text of the Vaudois poem, Noble Lesson, which has imbedded in it the date of 1100, that the language in which the document is written is “derived, without any intervention of an older derivative language, from the decomposed stock of its parent Latin.” This was the language of the Vaudois who had retreated to the valleys of Italian Cottian Alps during the second, third and fourth centuries. Since the Noble Lesson was one of their documents, it shows conclusively that the language of the Vaudois had not changed substantially in all the centuries they lived hidden in their valleys. This confession of faith in poetic form was used to teach their children “the faith once delivered to the saints”. Here, then, are conclusive pieces of evidence—Jerome’s recording of Vigilantius in 406, Claude Bishop of Turin in the early 800’s, and the language in which the Noble Lesson (written in 1100) and other earlier original documents which Samuel Morland procured in 1655—that the Vaudois or Vallenses really were preserved by God in the line of unbroken apostolic faith from the early centuries through the Reformation.

The Vaudois are sometimes called Waldenses. The Roman Catholic Church’s consistent policy has been to try to confuse the origin of the early churches of the Valleys. It contended that it was Peter Waldo who established these churches thus maintaining that they were heretics rather than the true church. However, the still extant historical facts make it clear that the Papacy’s long record of revisionist history is as false today as it was at its inception many centuries ago. One very important fact is that Peter Waldo was not known before 1160 while the Noble Lesson was written in 1100. In 1690 Allix contends, “it is not true that [Peter] Waldo gave this name to the inhabitants of the valleys: They were called Wallenses, or Vaudés, before his time, from the valleys in which they dwelt. This we find….in Ebrardus de Bethune, who wrote in the year 1212, where he asserts, that they called themselves Wallenses…‘because they abode in the ‘valley of tears:’ so that we see that this etymology rather has respect to the place where they lived, which was in the valleys of Piedmont, than to the name of Peter Waldo.”[37]

The testimony of the Vaudois, both in their writing and in their practice, showed that the authority of the Bible continued to be their rule of life.[38] The first distinguishing principle of the Waldenses bore on daily conduct, and was summed up in the words of the apostle: We ought to obey God rather than men.”[39] The second distinguishing principle was the authority and popular use of the Holy Scriptures, which they had in their native language. There were those among them who could quote the entire Bible from memory. The third principle was the importance of preaching and the rights of believing men to exercise that function. To these fundamental principles based on the Sermon on the Mount, the Vaudois added the rejection of oaths, the condemnation into purgatory, and prayers for the dead. There are only two ways after death, they declared—the way to heaven and the way to hell. The pre-Reformation Vaudois faith and practice touched many people through those dark centuries. They regularly sent out missionaries, many of whom were merchants, to evangelize Europe and attracted converts from many sources. They were to suffer terribly for their faith.

It is an historical fact that these churches of Northern Italy, which had remained faithful to the Scripture from the time of their establishment in the second, third and fourth centuries through the Reformation, were the true churches. The Papal Church clearly was and is still today the heretical schismatic. It is the historical account of these ancient biblical churches northern Italy and of southern France that the Roman Catholic Church has been trying for at least the past nine centuries to wipe out—ethnic cleansing of them by crusades and six hundred years of Inquisition against them, by destruction of the records of their testimony, and by revisionist history. It is the providence of God that to this very day Papal Rome has not succeeded.

The Paulician Churches from the First Century

The Paulician churches were of apostolic origin, and were planted in Armenia in the first century. “Through Antioch and Palmyra the faith must have spread into Mesopotamia and Persia; and in those regions become the basis of the faith as it is spread in the Taurus mountains as far as Ararat. This was the primitive form of Christianity. The churches in the Taurus range of mountains formed a huge recess or circular dam into which flowed the early Paulician faith to be caught and maintained for centuries, as it were, a backwater from the main for centuries.”[40] The earliest center of Christianity in Armenia was at Taron, which was the constant home and base of operations of the Paulicians. They claimed that they were of apostolic origin. Upon this point Adeney says, “Therefore, it is quite arguable that they should be regarded as representing the survival of a most primitives type of Christianity…Ancient Oriental Baptists, these people were in many respects Protestants before Protestantism.”[41]

In the eighth century the Paulicians, scattered by persecution, spread westward through Bulgaria and along the northern coast of the Mediterranean as far as the Pyrenees Mountains. Many settled in southern France where they became known as the Albigenses. All along the way, the Paulicians planted local churches which continued strong in biblical doctrine and practice.[42] They did not recognize persons of other communions as belonging to the churches. “We do not belong to these,” they said. “They have long ago broken connection with the church and have been excluded.”[43]

Pre-Reformation Missionaries to Europe

From the year 405 when Patrick arrived in Ireland there were more than six hundred years of fruitfulness from the clarity of the Gospel message preached by Patrick and those who worked with him. There were many famous Irish missionaries like Patrick, such as Columba, Columbanus, Kilian and Forannan, who carried the Gospel with the same truthfulness as Patrick to Britain, Germany, France, Switzerland, Italy and beyond well up to the tenth century. From at least the eleventh century onward, the Vaudois sent their missionaries, called barbes, throughout Europe. They carried the same Gospel message as did the Irish missionaries. In 1209 the Papacy began its first crusade against European believers, starting with the Albigenses in southern France. Those who could escape did. They spread the Gospel wherever they were scattered. In about 1332, Pope John XXII sent his inquisitors into the territory of the Vaudois to execute the laws of the Inquisition against these believers. From then on, the Vaudois were scattered throughout France, the Low Countries, Germany, Poland, Bohemia, Moravia, England, Calabria, Naples and further. They, too, spread the Gospel wherever they went.[44]

The Legacy of the Early Church

We have identified the true Church of the Lord Jesus Christ by two marks—they hold to the sole authority of Scriptures and to the true Gospel. We have briefly documented the true Church of the Lord Jesus Christ as it existed in various countries before the Reformation of the sixteenth century. Down through the centuries, these believers were scattered from Jerusalem to the Piedmont valley of Italy to France, Spain, to Scotland, Ireland, England and throughout all of Europe. We have documented peoples honoring the true faith, and bearing the Scriptural truth.


The stark reality of the facts of history of the true church permeated with the Gospel of God’s grace in doctrine and practice utterly voids the papal assertion of an historical continuity between the early believers and the papal church via their dogma of apostolic succession. Rather the Roman Catholic Church is the proven schismatic from the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ.

As the true church prior to the Reformation and the Reformers saw, the papal system with its blasphemies against the redeeming work of the Lord Jesus Christ, its idolatry and Inquisition, its claim to apostolic succession—all these show “the woman” “sitting upon the scarlet-colored beast.[45] The same woman drunken with the blood of the saints and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus[46] is still today making merchandise of the souls of men while purporting to “dialogue” with true Christians as “brothers and sisters in Christ.”

But the wary understand that the love for the Papacy is hazardous, such as to bring to mind the Scripture, all the world wondered after the beast.”[47] They have noted that, as with the funeral of John Paul II, so also with April 2008 visit of Benedict XVI to the USA. Both were widely received with such reverence and awe as to be called adoration.

Like true believers of old, we must enter into battle. The Lord is with us; we will have the final victory. The command of the Holy Spirit is still this: having done all, to stand. Stand therefore.[48] The certainty that we know Him and are His should animate our efforts, and encourage us in our struggles. The glory of God’s free grace in the Gospel, based on the written Word of Scripture alone, remains the legacy of the Early Church and is still available to all the Lord’s people.♦

Richard Bennett of Berean Beacon ministry–Website: http://www.bereanbeacon.org

Permission is given by the author to copy this article if it is done in its entirety without any changes. Permission is also given post this article in its entirety on Internet WebPages.

[2] The Catholic faithful are required to profess that there is an historical continuity—rooted in the apostolic succession between the Church founded by Christ and the Catholic Church:…” Official Declaration “Dominus Iesus” 2000 §16. Italic in the original.

[3] “Responses to Some Questions Regarding Certain Aspects of the Doctrine on the Church.”

www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/cfaith/documents/rc_con_cfaith_doc_20070629_responsa-quaestiones_en.html 8/10/2007

[6] Matthew 16:16-17

[7] Acts 8:1

[8] The terms overseer and elder/pastor are used interchangeably (Acts 20:17, 28; I Peter 5:1-4).

[9] Matthew 16:18

[10] Ephesians 1:22-23

[11] Ephesians 2:8, 9

[12] Corinthians 10:32

[13] I Corinthians 1:2

[14] Colossians 4:16

[15] Revelation 1:11

[16] Romans 1:16

[17] Catechism of the Catholic Church (1994), Para 874

[18] Catechism, Para 982

[19] Catechism, Para 983

[20] Catechism, Para 181

[21] Catechism, Para 882

[22] George Stanley Faber, The Primitive Doctrine of Justification, Investigated (London: R. B. Seely and W. Burnside, 1837) Ch. IV, p. 87

[23] Ibid., p. 80

[24] Ibid., p. 89

[25] Ibid., p. 94

[26] Ibid., p. 96

[27] Ibid., pp. 100-101

[28] J. A. Wylie, History of Protestantism Vol. I, pp. 10-15. See also Peter Allix, Some Remarks upon the Ecclesiastical History of the Ancient Church of Piedmont, originally printed in 1690; 1989 reprint of 1821 edition, p. 192.

[29] Allix, Ancient Church of Piedmont, p. 1. See also Thomas M’Crie, History of the Progress & Suppression of the Reformation in Italy in the Sixteenth Century (Edinburgh & London: Wm. Blackwood & Sons, 1856).

[30] Allix, p. 4.

[31] George Stanley Faber, Personal letter to Dr. Gilly quoted in William Stephen Gilly, Vigilantius and His Times (London: Seeley, Burnside, & Seeley, 1844) Reprint. pp.335-338.

[32] Ibid.

[33] Ibid.

[34] Wylie, Vol. I, Book I, p. 19

[35] Letter to Emperor Mauritius as recorded in Baronius, ad h. annum, n. 29, in Allix, Ancient Church of Piedmont, p. 35.

[36] Peter Allix, Remarks upon the Ecclesiastical History of the Ancient Churches of the Albigenses, first published in 1692. 1989 Reprint of the Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1821 edition.

[37] Allix, pp. 182-183.

[38] See The Noble Lesson and other works, a catalog of which is recorded in Samuel Morland, The History of the Evangelical Churches of the Valleys of Piemont (Henry Hills, 1658 ) Reprint. Morland was sent by Oliver Cromwell to put pressure on the Duke of Savoy to stop the “bloudy massacre” of the Vaudois in 1655. Morland received many original manuscripts of the Vaudois at that time and put them in the public library at the University of Cambridge, from which they shortly disappeared. Morland in his two volume History was careful to quote widely from these original sources.

[39] Acts 5:29

[40] Bury’s edition of Gibbon’s History, VI. p. 543

[41] Adeney, The Greek and Eastern Churches, pp. 217-219

[42] George Stanley Faber, The History of the Ancient Vallenses and Albigenses (London, 1828 ) Book II & III.

[43] Such is the testimony of Gregory Magistos, A. D., 1058, whose history is one of the chief sources of information. For the documentation see “Paulicians and Bogomil Churches” www.pbministries.org/History/John%20T.%20Christian/vol1/history_04.htm 4/8/2008

[44] Wylie, Vol. III, Book 16th.

[45] Revelation 17:3 Raynerius, a papal inquisitor who lived before the middle of the thirteenth century, testified of the Vallenses, “They hold the Church of Rome to be the whore of Babylon, and that all that obey her are damned…” Quoted in Allix, pp. 209-211.

[46] Revelation 17:6

[47] Revelation 13:3

[48] Ephesians 6:13,14

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The catholic church believes that the pope is the vicar (substitute) of Christ on the earth and that he has universal power over the entire church. That is what the 1994 Catholic Catechism states:

“For the Roman Pontiff, by reason of his office as Vicar of Christ, and as pastor of the entire Church has full, supreme, and universal power over the whole Church, a power which he can always exercise unhindered.” Pg. 234, #882

“The Roman Pontiff… as supreme pastor and teacher of all the faithful…” Pg. 235, #891

What does the Word say? The Word says that the Holy Spirit is our Teacher and He will bring all things to remembrance for us. He will guide us into all truth. But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. John 14:26 and Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth John 16:13 . Christ even said that the Holy Spirit would be with us forever and that He is the only One that knows the things of God and reveals them to man. And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; John 14:16 and For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. 1 Corinthians 2:11.

If the pope is Christ’ s substitute on earth, then this would be backed up by Scripture somewhere. Instead, we find contradictions to that belief. Everyone bows down to the pope and kisses his ring or bows at his feet. The supposed “first pope” (to the catholics) was Peter. What did Peter do when Cornelius bowed down to him to worship him? And as Peter was coming in, Cornelius met him, and fell down at his feet, and worshipped him. But Peter took him up, saying, Stand up; I myself also am a man. Acts 10:25-26 If Peter considered himself just a man, then why wouldn’t today’s popes? Why would the popes of today allow such a thing? Is it because Peter was humble? Then why isn’t today’s pope humble? Again, church tradition has allowed this and yet Peter physically pulled Cornelius up and rebuked him saying he (Peter) was also just a man. Not only was Peter saying he was a man but a man like Cornelius – no difference – no higher echelon, no greater degree, etc.

The Catechism also states that:

“The Pope enjoys, by divine institution, supreme, full, immediate, and universal power in the care of souls” Pg. 246, #937

The Bible says, For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church Ephesians 5:23. The catholic church also calls the pople Holy Father. But Jesus said, call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven. Matthew 23:9 Also, Who shall not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify thy name? for thou only art holy” Revelation 15:4 Only God is holy – only the Heavenly Father should be called Father. God would not give His name to another when His Word emphatically says He wouldn’t. I am the LORD: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another… Isaiah 42:8

If the position of pope was so important, why didn’t Jesus state it in the Word? To base an entire religion on this very concept would most certainly warrant a place in the New Testament where Christ began His church. And ye are complete in him (Jesus), which is the head of all principality and power: Colossians 2:10 and And he is the head of the body, the church… Colossians 1:18. This spoke of Jesus, not Peter.

My goodness, my friend, so many Scriptures refute the church doctrine of headship lying with the pope! How can traditions and majesteriums conflict with the Word of God? Who decides that it’s OK? The pope? Ouch! I would certainly prefer to err on the side of caution and use God’s Word than to depend on a man’s and find myself lacking at the judgment seat of Christ!

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