The Veil Menders
By Greg Durel
The Lord Jesus said many profound and significant things. The most significant might well be His cry from the cross—found in John 19:30, "It is finished." What was finished, you ask? Why, the redemption of the world. The sin debt of the world was placed on the Lamb of God and taken away as far as the East is from the West. Sin never again to be charged against man. Thus man, now being reconciled to the Father by the cross of Christ has no sin debt to pay for. That is why salvation is FREE! One simply must appropriate it by faith in the One that paid their debt for them. When Paul was asked, "What must I do to be saved?" he could only reply, "believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved." (Acts 16:30,31)
The BONA FIDES is found in Matthew 27:51: "And behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent." Notice that the Veil in the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. Understanding the purpose of the Veil helps to clearly see the tremendous significance of this supernatural event. The Veil was used to separate man and his sin from the presence of God. Because of his sin, man could only approach the presence of God through the priesthood. History tells us that this Veil was special. It was not just a curtain. It was made four inches thick of a continuous weave. No seams. It was 60 cubits in height. Before it was placed in the temple, two teams of oxen were attached to each side to see if they could tear it. If it held, it was suitable for use in the temple. Remember that the Veil is what shielded the Holy of Holies from view and kept sinful man from dying in the presence of a righteous God. Once a year the High Priest was the only one allowed entering beyond the Veil to sprinkle the blood on the mercy seat of the Ark of the Covenant, for the sins of the nation of Israel. Before he would enter he had to offer a sacrifice for his personal sins. It was so important that he had made an offering for his sin, for, if he entered with a sin not sacrificed for, he would drop dead. You can almost feel his palms sweating. Because of this, bells were attached to the hem of his garment and a rope was tied around his ankle. Once in the Holy of Holies, if the bells were not heard, the rope would be used to drag out his dead body. No one else dared enter.
So what can we learn from the torn Veil?
Veil Menders are a devious bunch that needs to be exposed. We need to reject their teaching and pray that they may see the Gospel for what it truly is: a GIFT. For, as Paul told Timothy, it is not by works of righteousness that we have done, but according to His mercy He saved [past tense] us.
Aren't you glad?
The Primacy of Peter
By Greg Durel
It is stated, by some, the Apostle Peter had primacy over the other apostles. He is sometimes referred to as the "Prince" of the apostles. All of this, of course, has no basis whatsoever in Scripture and, as a matter of fact, is contradicted in at least three places in the New Testament. Let us look at some New Testament facts:
1. Peter's name appears 153 times in the New Testament.
2. Paul's name appears 153 times in the New Testament as well. If Peter had primacy, if he was the "Chief Apostle" certainly his name would appear more than the Apostle Paul's. Does not the President of the United States' name appear more often than the Vice President's name in the media, or anywhere else for that matter? When we leave the historical narrative of the Gospels, the transitional narrative of the Book of Acts, and journey into the Epistles, which is the practical application of the truths found in the Gospels, we should note even more facts.
3. Peter's name appears only seven times in the Epistles.
4. Paul's name appears thirty times in the Epistles, more than four times to one over Peter's. One would think, when looking for the practical application of the Christian life, that the "Chief Apostle" would be the one to turn to, but the reality is that we must look to Paul over Peter more than four to one for that application.
5. Anyone who reads the New Testament would have to agree that we live under grace and not under the law. When we look to the writings of the Apostle Peter, I and II Peter, we find that Peter mentions the word grace a total of ten times with no true definitive explanation of grace at all. When we turn to the writing of the Apostle Paul we find the word grace mentioned ninety times or nine to one over that of Peter, and in Paul's writings, grace is defined and redefined so that even a child could understand it.
6. Many who promote the "primacy" of Peter also state that the New Testament does not claim inspiration for itself, but in the writing of Peter himself. In II Peter 3:15, 16, Peter admits that the Lord gave revelation to Paul that He did not give to Peter. He admits further in those passages that Paul's writings are inspired and furthermore he very plainly admits that they, in fact, are Scripture. If we accept the divine origin of the Bible, we must recognize that the writings of Paul and of Peter are both inspired and they are Holy Scripture. Upon further reading of the New Testament, we find that Peter wrote 4,041 inspired words. We also find that Paul wrote 43,402 words of Scripture or more than ten to one. "The Primacy" of whom?
7. The book of Acts records the history of the infant church. After Acts 12:18, Peter appears in 15 chapters of the book.
8. In Galatians 2:11-16, we find Paul had to face down the "Prince" of the apostles because he was teaching heresy. It was Paul who corrects Peter's theology on the vital doctrine of grace. Further, in Galatians 2:6-8 we see the Scriptures very clearly states that "God accepts no man's person," that is, no one has primacy. Furthermore, the Bible states that as the Gospel of the circumcised, the Jews, was given unto Peter, equally the Gospel of the uncircumcised, the Gentiles, was committed to Paul. Who do you suppose had the biggest constituency? In verse 8 it is stated clearly and without doubt that Paul and Peter were equal and there was certainly no primacy of anyone acknowledged. But that isn't all.
9. At the first "Church Council" in Jerusalem, Acts 15, we find the apostles present at this meeting. Peter is there, and James is there, etc. We find Peter standing to speak and clearly stating in verse 10 and 11 that the O1d Testament as well as the New Testament believers are saved apart from works despite the teaching of the Roman Catholic Church. We find Barnabas speaking, Paul speaking, but the important and significant facts that should be noted here are that the apostle James presided over the council and not Peter, and it is clear in verse 19 that James, NOT Peter renders the decision at this council.
10. In Paul's Epistle to the church in Rome, he made it clear that he would not even think of coming to Rome if another apostle had been there, yet alone the chief apostle (Romans 15:20). When he sends his greetings to the believers there, he mentions 27 people but never mentions Peter. Peter was not mentioned because he was not nor had he ever been there. Peter states in his Epistle that he was in Babylon and not in Rome. Which was only natural because he was the apostle to the Jews and not the Gentiles.
11. Furthermore, in Acts 8, it became necessary to send apostles to Samaria to confirm and establish the Gospel. We find in verse 14 that Peter was sent and not the person sending. The "Vicar" of Christ is not sent by the bishops, but he sends them.
12. For some, only "the words of Christ in red" are authoritative. For that mindset we turn to the Gospel of Luke 22:24. There we find "a strife" amongst the apostles concerning who should have primacy. In verse 25, Christ clearly indicates that the false dichotomy of clergy and laity is a practice of pagans. In verse 26 and 27 Christ states that in Christianity God is no respecter of persons and true humility of service is the path to true Christlikeness.
Now, if that were not enough, for the most logical, open-minded individual, let us put an end to the nonsense of the "primacy" of Peter and the most foolish notion that Peter was the first pope and "Vicar" of Christ. Let us call to the witness stand the noble apostle Peter himself, and from his own mouth and his own testimony, let us see clearly that he is not the pope, and that he is not the "Vicar of Christ," and that he is not "the Chief Apostle," and that he has no "Primacy" whatever.
13. In 1 Peter 5:1 the apostle, writing in 63 A.D., thirty years after the ascension of the Savior, said, "The elders which are among you I exhort, I WHO AM A FELLOW ELDER, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed." Now Peter has had thirty years to contemplate Christ's remarks in Matthew 16. He walked with Christ personally for three years and, three decades later has absolutely no understanding that he is a pope, a primate, a chief or anything except an elder in the church. The Word of God says, "let God be true and every man found to be a liar." Can we not once and for all let God be true and let every man who promotes the primacy of Peter and the very nature of the papacy itself be found to be a liar?
Signs of a Cult
By Greg Durel
There are about seven principle signs that identify a cult. Now when one hears the word "cult," the first connotation is that of some strange obscure religious group. But for our discussion the word cult is simply a word that describes organized heresy. In other words, any religious group that systematically teaches false doctrine. Knowing some of these signs is key to preventing people from following these cults.
The sign we will focus on here is the teaching of exclusivity. Cults will declare that they are the only way to heaven. Apart from them there is no salvation. They alone are the repositories of truth and all must join them to be saved. Here one might say, "yea, like the Jehovah's Witnesses or the Mormons." But to infer, let alone say, that Catholicism is in this class, is to be condemned as a hate monger or Catholic basher.
To demonstrate that Roman Catholicism bears the mark of a cult is quite easy indeed. If we were left to our opinions and personal interpretations, it might be difficult, but Rome has supplied a mass (no pun intended) of evidence to use. For example:
1) "WE BELIEVE THE CHURCH IS NECESSARY FOR SALVATION BECAUSE CHRIST, WHO IS THE SOLE MEDIATOR AND EXCLUSIVE WAY OF SALVATION, RENDERS HIMSELF PRESENT FOR US IN HIS BODY WHICH IS THE CHURCH. WE MUST ALWAYS REMEMBER THE UNITY OF THE MYSTICAL BODY, WITHOUT WHICH THERE CAN BE NO SALVATION, IS OPEN TO NO ONE OUTSIDE THE CATHOLIC CHURCH." Pope Paul VI
2) "THE HOLY UNIVERSAL CHURCH PROCLAIMS THAT GOD CANNOT TRULY BE WORSHIPPED SAVE WITHIN HERSELF, AND ASSERTS THAT ALL THEY WHO ARE WITHOUT HER PALE SHALL NEVER BE SAVED." Pope Gregory the Great (Now how is that for ecumenism!)
3) "THE CHURCH IS LIKE THE ARK OF NOAH, OUTSIDE OF WHICH NOBODY CAN BE SAVED." Thomas Aquinas.
4) "THAT THERE IS ONE HOLY CATHOLIC AND APOSTOLIC CHURCH WE ARE COMPELLED TO BELIEVE AND TO HOLD, PROMPTED BY DIVINE FAITH, AND WE DO BELIEVE THIS FIRMLY AND CONFESS IT SIMPLY, OUTSIDE OF WHICH THERE CAN BE NO SALVATION, OR REMISSION OF SINS...." Pope Boniface VIII
5) "IT IS A SIN TO BELIEVE THAT THERE IS SALVATION OUTSIDE THE CATHOLIC CHURCH." Pope Pius IX 6) "FOR IT IS THROUGH CHRIST'S CATHOLIC CHURCH ALONE, WHICH IS THE UNIVERSAL HELP TOWARDS SALVATION, THAT THE FULNESS OF THE MEANS OF SALVATION CAN BE OBTAINED." Vatican II
Now we have just cited six infallible sources of the Catholic Church to prove without reservations that they believe that they are the only way to heaven. Understand that they are saying that only Roman Catholics have a chance at going to heaven. This is classic cult mentality. The organization becomes the focus and the savior. Allow us to clearly illustrate this fact. In a recent debate with a Jesuit theologian, we were able to ask a very simple yet extremely important question. The question was "what do we have to do to go to heaven?" The answer that followed was very revealing. It clearly proved that Roman Catholicism teaches that every Baptist is going to hell, in addition to every Presbyterian, Methodist, etc. The Jesuit theologian said to go to heaven we must "do" several things.
Firstly, believe the entire Bible. (Sounds like a fundamentalist.) Secondly, we must be baptized in water. Thirdly, we must keep the commandments. Fourthly, we must eat His flesh and drink His blood literally (in the sacrament of the mass). He mentioned a couple of others, but these four should suffice.
The Scripture clearly reveals to one and all that salvation comes from believing in the Lord Jesus Christ alone. (Cf. Acts 16:30-31; Eph. 2:8-9; Titus 3:5) The entire book of Galatians was written to demonstrate the futility of believing that the Law justifies or saves anyone. But the "eating" and "drinking" the literal flesh and blood of the Lord Jesus Christ says it all. For according to Roman Catholic theology, this can only be done after a "priest"—and and only a priest—says the words of consecration over the bread and wine. Hence, no Catholic Church, no priest. No priest, no Mass or transubstantiation. No transubstantiation, no eating His flesh or drinking His blood. No eating and drinking of Jesus literally, NO SALVATION!
We commend to your reading Hebrews 7, 8, 9 and 10. The mysticism is clearly not biblical and certainly not necessary for anyone to be saved. Their insistence on such heresies places them at the top of the list of religious cults. That statement may seem a bit harsh, but it is nonetheless true. Catholicism does not differ from any of the cults where our first sign is concerned. A closer look at the other signs of a cult further confirm the fact that Catholicism, while large in number, humanitarian in practice, is still unbiblical and perhaps the mother of all "Christian" cults.
By Greg Durel
The prayer life of the Roman Catholic is quite different from the Bible believing Christian. The predominant prayer in the life of almost any Catholic is the "Hail Mary." It goes like this: "HAIL MARY FULL OF GRACE, THE LORD IS WITH THEE. BLESSED ART THOU AMONG WOMEN AND BLESSED IS THE FRUIT OF THY WOMB, JESUS. HOLY MARY, MOTHER OF GOD, PRAY FOR US SINNERS, NOW AND AT THE HOUR OF OUR DEATH. AMEN." The statements made in this prayer are quite significant. Allow us to look at them one at a time and compare them with the word of God to see if there is a basis for such a prayer at all.
1) Hail Mary—The word "hail" brings with it today the connotation of royalty, nobility and power. It is a greeting given to someone of great power, influence and preeminence. We know very well that is the position that Roman Catholicism places on Mary. For example: the principle form for most Catholics is the "rosary." The rosary is a system of beads where a prayer is said for each bead. The beads are a way to count the prayers and to know where and when to say a particular prayer. In this "rosary," ten prayers are said to Mary for every one that is said to God the Father. In other words Mary is preeminent ten to one over God! Mary is referred to as the "mother of the church," "the second Eve," "the queen of heaven." The queen of the universe," "co-redemptrix," "co-mediator," and if that were not enough, the head of the Roman Catholic Church has dedicated the world on at least two occasions, not to the savior Jesus Christ, but to Mary. When he was shot in an assassination attempt, he thanked and credited Mary with saving him! Attributing praise and worship to humans that have no basis to receive such is not uncommon in forms of religious and political paganism, e.g., "Hail Caesar" or "Hail Hitler."
2) Full of Grace—Wow! What a statement. The teaching is clear. Mary was not ordinary, but was in fact "full" of grace. She must have been special to be "full of grace," right? What does God's word have to say on the matter? John chapter 1 is like a giant spotlight on this subject. It clearly tells us that Jesus Christ is the one that is full of grace. Mary is never said to be full of grace in the scripture. John goes on to tell us in verse 16 that we are all full of His grace and truth, because all believers have Jesus dwelling within them. Only in this sense could Mary have been full of grace. The grace would have been the savior she carried in her womb and after Pentecost, the spirit of Christ that lives in every believer.
3) The Lord is with thee—The Lord is with every believer or they are not in fact a believer (Rom. 8:9).
4) Blessed art thou among women—While this statement is certainly biblical, it must be understood in the light of biblical truth and not as a result of subjective interpretation. The New Testament was written in "koine" Greek as opposed to classical. There are several words in the Greek language for blessed. Just like there are several words for "love." Each having a different meaning or carrying with it a particular connotation. A failure to examine the underlying text is a gross mistake on the part of the student of God's word. The word translated "blessed" when speaking of Mary is not the same word used when referring to our Lord. The word used for Mary means to pronounce fortunate and indeed she was. On the other hand the word used for blessed when referring to our Lord means to be adored. Quite a difference wouldn't you say? You may even wish to check your concordance to see if there is a woman whom the Bible says is blessed "above" women.
5) Blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus—Without a doubt this is the truth that should be the focus: the Lord Jesus, the Messiah and savior of the world. This should be the emphasis and not Mary. Many, though, know not what they worship.
6) Holy Mary, Mother of God—What a statement! Is it true? Not by any stretch of the imagination. The Bible clearly teaches that the only HOLY one is God. Mary in what is known as her Magnificat, rejoices in God HER SAVIOR (Lk.1: 47). Holiness does not need saving. Mary, after the birth of Jesus, offers a sacrifice for HER SINS. Holiness need not offer a sacrifice for sins. Mary, as any believer received her righteousness as a gift from the Father. There was nothing inherently holy about Mary. Even Thomas Aquinas denies the "immaculate conception" of Mary. Regarding the "Mother of God" statement much not need be said. God was not born nor was He created. Mary gave birth to the "humanity" of Jesus. Jesus was God, because He is God! The statement "Mother of God" developed out of a reaction to the denial of the Deity of Jesus by some. That overreaction has resulted in the tail wagging the dog so to speak. Mary was the vessel by which the incarnation took place but she was not the supplier of Divine chromosomes.
7) Pray for us sinners—Mary does not pray for you or me. She does not even know that we exist. If she could know millions and millions of people then she would be a God! While I can pray for you if you were to ask me to, I am alive here on earth. If I would know that you were asking me to pray for you from a thousand miles away, then I would be like God. Do you get the picture? Mary has been clearly given the attributes of God. The adjective "sinners" is used because all good Catholics are still trying to pay for their sin debt. Failing to realize that when Christ said, "it is finished," He meant it. When God the Father declared it through Paul in 2 Corinthians 5:17-20 He certainly was not kidding.
8) Now and at the hour of our death—Now," she could not even if she wanted to. "At the hour of our death," why? Please tell me what would be the purpose of such a prayer (if one could be made) at the hour of our death? Further, she again would have to be a "GOD" to know where and when we were going to die.
9) Amen—A permanent amen should been given to prayers to anyone other than God. The Father is to be the recipient of all prayer.
In summary, allow me to say that Mary was a wonderful vessel that the Father used. Mary was chosen for these reasons:
Please allow the Scripture to bring you to a true understanding of Mary the Mother of Jesus.
Catholicism And Lordship Salvation
By Greg Durel
The topic of Lordship salvation is a source for long theological discussions in biblical circles. It is a topic that one would not expect to find within a religious institution that teaches salvation by works and sacraments, etc. But Romanism does teach Lordship salvation. The Lordship of the Roman pontiff! In other words, the Church of Rome teaches that one must be subject to the Pope and recognize him as Lord to be saved.
Now at this point some may be screaming, "That is absurd. The Catholic Church teaches no such thing." But the reality is that they do in fact teach that the Lordship of the Roman Catholic pope is necessary for salvation. Those who reject this Catholic dogma cannot be saved. Let us prove this teaching from official Catholic sources:
1. "No man outside the Roman Catholic Church and outside obedience to the Pope of Rome can ultimately be saved...all who have raised themselves against the faith of the Roman Church and have died in final impenitence have been damned and have gone down into eternal punishments of hell." Pope Clement VI
2. "We declare, say, define, and pronounce that it is absolutely necessary for the salvation of every human creature to be subject to the Roman Pontiff." Pope Boniface VIII
3. "Where the necessity of salvation is conceded, all the faithful of Christ must be subject to the Roman Pontiff." V Lateran Council
4. "It is an absolute necessity to submit to the Head and Supreme Pastor... to whom it is absolutely necessary for salvation to remain subject." Pope Leo XIII
Three Popes and an ecumenical council. All of which are said to be infallible since they are teaching in matters of faith and morals. Some will deny this truth because these quotes are bigoted and certainly unbiblical. But nevertheless they clearly prove our point. Many more quotes from official Roman Catholic sources could be given but these four should suffice the person who is intellectually honest.
It should be of no surprise to anyone who understands Romanism how these statements could be made. Remember this is the "church" that refers to the Pope as the Holy Father," the "Vicar of Christ" and when he speaks "ex-cathedra" it is as if God the Holy Spirit was teaching. Imagine that Romanism has given to its visible human head the titles and attributes of every member of the trinity! A religious institution that teaches that a mere man is the Holy Father, when the Bible clearly teaches that only the Father in heaven is Holy. A religious Institution that teaches that a mere man is the Vicar of Christ, when the Bible clearly teaches that it is God the Holy Spirit who is the Vicar of Christ. A religious institution that teaches that a mere man is infallible, when the Bible clearly proclaims that only God is infallible. Imagine a religious institution that has proclaimed that the Lord Jesus Christ, the Apostle Paul and the Apostle John are anathema. (Cf. Luke 26:44: 1 Cor. 1:17; I John 5:13). According to Jesuit Priest Mitch Pacwa, Phd., to be declared anathema is to be forbidden the sacraments. And to be forbidden the sacraments is to be denied what is necessary for attaining Heaven. When one considers the gravity of these statements it is not hard to see how the Roman Pope could be declared necessary for salvation. I challenge you to examine your faith in light of God's word as well as the statements that have been made in this article. Reject feelings, opinions, traditions, etc. and let God's word stand firm.
There is only one Lord and His name is Jesus the Christ. He requires only faith in Him for your salvation. Anything that adds or detracts from that truth is another Gospel. The Apostle Paul instructs us in Galatians 1:8 what our response to Romanism should be. Will we have the courage to believe the Scripture and reject the religious nonsense of Popery or will we remain chained to a religious system for fear of peer pressure or concern for friends and love ones and their feelings? In Matthew chapter 10 the Lord tells us that faith in Him will divide families. Will you choose Him? He loves you and gave His life for you so that you could have eternal life. What will your response be? When one reads the Word of God and sees the startling contrasts between it and the Roman Catholic Religion the choice is not a difficult one at all.
"Bless me, Father..."? Part 1
by Greg Durel
As a Roman Catholic for over a quarter of a century, I said those words often. For the unleaded, they are said at the beginning of every trip to the confessional where a Catholic goes to seek absolution for their sins. For the unlearned again, Roman Catholicism teaches that a Catholic priest has the power to forgive sins. For those that doubted this, Pope John Paul II reaffirmed this teaching in the first years of his papacy. Hence the petition "bless me, Father."
The Catholic is seeking favor from the priest himself. Now the Bible prohibits the addressing of any person as "Father" in the spiritual sense. Yes, you may address your biological father as such but NOT someone in a religious context. For the Lord Jesus is very clear on the subject: "And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven" (Matt 23:9 (KJV). In the context of the chapter He is clearly referring to men assuming the role that only God the Father has a right to.
So the very thought of a person being addressed as your spiritual "father" is unbiblical to say the least Referring to a person as THE HOLY FATHER is blasphemous at best. It does not take a rocket scientist to see the path that Rome puts its sheep on. From the get-go they are taught that the priest is something special, holier than thou and certainly closer to God than a mere lay person. The Baltimore catechism teaches that when a priest puts on his vestments he becomes an "alter christus," i.e., another Christ. When you see the priest you are seeing Jesus Christ as well. In the minds of many Roman Catholics the parish priest is sacrosanct and above reproach. Remember that it is a priest and only a priest that can change the bread and wine of the Lord's table into the literal body, blood, soul and divinity of the Lord Jesus Christ.
What if there were no priests or priesthood?
To put the answer very simply, there would be no Roman Catholic Church. If the Bible were ever to become authoritative In the Catholic Church, there would certainly be no priests. An example of the complete disregard for the sacred Scripture held by the Roman Catholic Church is seen in the mandatory requisite of celibacy for every priest. One simply must read Paul's epistle to Timothy, where God gives the requirements for a Pastor: "A bishop, then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behavior, given to hospitality, apt to teach" (1 Tim. 3:2).
Now the phrase "must be" is very interesting. Maybe you have seen it before in the Bible. Perhaps in the third chapter of the Gospel of John? Do you remember what Jesus said to Nicodemus? He said, "you must be born again." Now I am sure that no respectable Roman Catholic theologian would deny the fact that this command is obligatory. The new birth is NOT optional! The language in 1 Timothy 3:2 is the same as in John 3. Therefore the pastor must be a MARRIED MAN. How clear is that? There is nothing like the word of God to clear up a religious education. Do you realize the impact of this truth? There is only one "church" where NONE of its pastors are married. Not only are they not married, but also the Roman Catholic Church forbids them being married. Now the Bible has something to say about anyone that would forbid a pastor from being married: "Now the Spirit speakers expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits. and doctrines of devils; speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron; forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth (1 Tim. 4:1-3).
If you believe the Word of God you must then reject the Roman Catholic Church. For their Doctrines are of devils and completely contrary to the Bible. At best you must reject this absurd notion of a celibate priesthood, which in turn makes the teaching magisterium of the church no longer infallible, but in fact heretical and therefore should be rejected.
The Bible and a Sacrificing, Mediating Priesthood
The Council of Trent declared, "If anyone saith that there is not in the New Testament a visible and external priesthood; or, that there is not any power of consecrating and offering the true body and blood of the Lord, and forgiving and retaining sins, but only an office and bare ministry of preaching THE GOSPEL; OR, THAT THOSE WHO DO NOT PREACH ARE NOT priests at all: let him be anathema." It seems clear that Rome knows that if she has no priesthood that she must close up shop.
Let us prove that there is no sacrificing priesthood in the New Testament from their scholars.
The Catholic Encyclopedia says: "THE DIVINE INSTITUTION OF THE THREEFOLD HIERARCHY CANNOT OF COURSE BE DERIVED FROM OUR TEXT: IN FACT IT CANNOT IN ANY WAY BE PROVED DIRECTLY FROM THE NEW TESTAMENT: IT IS A CATHOLIC DOGMA BY VIRTUE OF THE DOGMATIC TRADITION. I.E., IN A LATER PERIOD OF ECCLESIASTICAL HISTORY ...BUT DOGMATIC TRUTH CANNOT BE TRACED BACK TO CHRIST HIMSELF BY ANALYSIS OF STRICT HISTORICAL TESTIMONY."
What an admission! The Roman Catholic Priesthood was made up hundreds of years after Jesus Christ! It is nowhere to be found in the Word of God. The only priesthood found in the New Testament that applies to Christians is the Royal Priesthood of ALL BELIEVERS. No more offering a sacrifice for sins because the Lord Jesus offered a perfect sacrifice once for all and said it was finished. Nothing for you and yours to do except what the apostle Paul said in Acts 16:31: "believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved."
"Bless me, Father..."? Part 2
by Greg Durel
Recently, I wrote a paper entitled "Bless me Father..."? It seems to have caused quite a stir. As usual the opposition never deals with the text at hand, but rather tries to circumvent the issue by using secondary sources and opinions of men. This in itself is further proof that Roman Catholic apologists are simply "ANTI-BIBLE". The Word of God is not their final authority and certainly not their only authority. Their authority lies in the traditions of men. Check and see if an issue is ever answered with just the Word of God being the final word. You will never see that in this life.
THE ISSUES: #1. "Call no man your Father" is very clear in Matthew 23:9 to the intellectually honest person. It certainly is not referring to your BIOLOGICAL father. We are to give to no man the office of spiritual father. We have ONE Spiritual Father who is in heaven. Protestants are just as wrong when they use the term "Doctor" when referring to someone in a spiritual role. Does anyone ever refer to anyone in the New Testament as father ____ "? The New Testament does not teach the false dichotomy of "laity" and "clergy." That is a man-made invention. Further, to deny that Catholicism teaches the primacy of their priesthood is an insult to anyone that has been through a basic catechism for children. But let us not be the final word on that, but allow us to quote official Roman Catholic sources.
ISSUE #2. Do not try and tell any Catholic in the pew that Catholic priests can marry. Their celibacy is not optional. Thousands have left the various orders because they wanted to marry. Of course we are aware that a priest does not break his vow of chastity unless he marries. Simply having sex will not break the vow according to "Catholic" morals. Further to deny the mandate in 1 Timothy 3:2 is childish and ANTI-BIBLE. Jesus declares in John 3 that we "must be...." Then obviously we must be whatever comes after. Paul tells Timothy that the pastor "must be..."! So the prerequisites of the pastor in 1 Timothy "Must be" met! Not just one or two of them, but ALL of them. A husband is a married man! You don't need to be a Jesuit to figure that out. Paul was not a pastor but an Apostle. It was his option to marry or not. There are no qualifications for Apostles other than
ISSUE #3. The Bible clearly does not teach a sacrificing, mediating earthly priesthood of men. It does teach of a mediating High priest who offered one sacrifice, for all, forever and is now our sole mediator, advocate and savior. His name is Jesus the Christ. In the first article I quoted from The Catholic Encyclopedia to prove that the Roman Catholic priesthood was NOT biblical and "cannot be traced back to Christ Himself by analysis of strut historical testimony." If that were not enough, let us quote some other official Catholic sources:
ISSUE #4. The argument that the word "presbyters" should be translated "priest" because the German matches is laughable. Firstly, the Bible, i.e., the New Testament, was written in Koine Greek not German. Secondly, there was no "German" language at the time the New Testament was written. Thirdly, the Greek language has its own word for priest (Heirus) and that word is never used when referring to a New Testament Believer. One only has to read Hebrews chapter 7 to see clearly that the Lord did not establish such a thing as a sacrificing priesthood. All "veil-menders" must believe that He did in order to keep people under religious bondage and give them job security. Even Peter twenty-five years after the cross of Christ testifies that he is merely a co-elder and nothing more. Nowhere in the New Testament does Peter or Paul or any Christian offer a "Mass" for the sins of the living and the dead. Nowhere in the New Testament does Peter or Paul or any Apostle hear someone's confession. Nowhere in the New Testament for that matter, does anyone even mention a "sacrament" or even have a clue as to what one is. If you were to give them Romanism's definition they would surely say that you were ANTIBIBLE and that you were frustrating the Grace of God.
In closing let me say that a person must not let some secondary source correct a primary source. Never let someone's opinion be your authority, but only allow God's word to have the final say in the matter.
The Mass: Miracle or Mendacity?
By Greg Durel
The Mass is the heart and soul of Roman Catholic worship. Without the Mass there would be no Roman Catholic Institution. The Mass is unique to Romanism, for only they teach and believe in the Doctrine of Transubstantiation. This doctrine teaches that when the priest and only a priest says the words of consecration, that the bread and wine are literally changed into the body, blood, soul and divinity of the Lord Jesus Christ. Christ is then offered again as a sacrifice for the sins of the living and the dead. Rome teaches that it is necessary for one's salvation to partake of the Mass. Peter Kreest, in the book Ecumenical Jihad, says the mass is an extension of Calvary's cross. He states that protestant communion is deficient.
Eat Protestant communion bread, and you have not eaten Christ. You have no more grace than if you had only prayed or read the Bible. But eat the Catholic Host, and you are really filled with Christ, as really as Mary's womb was.
As a result of this unbiblical theory, we find chapels of perpetual adoration where a piece of bread is knelt before, prayed to and worshipped. Kreeft gives an excellent argument from logic to reject this false teaching, even though he uses it to try and prove the opposite. He tells of a Muslim student that can not believe that a Catholic really believes that a piece of bread is not bread at all but in reality is Jesus Christ in the flesh. Remember, to deny that doctrine is to be hell-bound according to the Council of Trent as well as Vatican II. The Muslim says that if a person really believes that they were in the presence of the Lord God they would never get up off their knees, much less turn their back on Him and walk out.
The Muslim's point is well taken and correct. If this miracle has taken place and Catholicism believes that it certainly has:
The supreme power of the priestly once is the power of consecrating. "No act is greater," says St. Thomas, "than the consecration of the body of Christ'' In this essential phase of the sacred ministry, the power of the priest is not surpassed by that of the bishop, the archbishop, the cardinal or the pope. Indeed it is equal to that of Jesus Christ. For in this role the priest speaks with the voice and authority of God Himself.
When the Priest pronounces the tremendous words of consecration, he reaches up into the heavens, brings Christ down from His throne, and places Him upon our altar to be offered up again as the Victim for the sins of man. It is a power greater than that of monarchs and emperors: It is greater than that of the saints and angels, greater than that of the Seraphim and Cherubim.
Indeed it is greater even than the power of the Virgin Mary While the Blessed Virgin was the human agency by which Christ became incarnate a single time, the priest brings Christ down from heaven, and renders Him present on our altar as the eternal Victim for the sins of man—not once but a thousand times! The priest speaks and lo! Christ, the eternal and omnipotent God, bows his head in humble obedience to the priest's command. (Cardinal John A. O'Brien, The Faith of Millions, Our Sunday Visitor, Inc., (Huntington, IN 1974), pp. 255-256).
Would anyone leave the physical presence of the risen Savior? I would think not.
The Mass and the Bible—do they agree?
When you ask a Catholic to show you where in the Bible one can find the Lord instituting the Mass, you will be directed to the passages dealing with the "Last Supper." You will be told that when Christ says the words, "this is my body," the bread is changed into His body and the same miracle occurs with the wine.
A few years ago, in a dialogue with a "Eucharistic minister," I was told that, clearly, anyone could see that this was the institution of the sacrament by Christ. I responded by asking him a few questions.
I replied, "You are right and when we celebrate the Lord's Supper today we are pointing back to what Christ has already done on the Cross for us. 'For by ONE offering He hath selected FOREVER...'"
He became very quiet and replied, "I have a lot to think about."
The intellectually honest person, when reading passages dealing with the last Passover meal that Jesus shared with His apostles, will quickly notice the absence of words such as sin, Sacrifice, offering, Priest, etc. You must force your presuppositions into the text to retrieve the Roman Catholic doctrine of the Mass and the Priesthood.
The Mass and Theology
Whenever a person reads Catholic catechisms or theological works for Biblical proof of the false doctrine of Transubstantiation we are brought to John chapter six without fail.
For the sake of space, let us look strictly at the text involved. Verses 53-56 are used to prove that you are to literally eat His flesh and drink His blood to be saved. Leaving aside the fact that this is unnatural and against Levitical law (cf. Lev. 17), Transubstantiation is disproved by John chapter six.
Firstly, the verbs in this verse are NOT present tense verbs, which they would be if we were to repetitiously partake of His flesh and blood in the Mass. They are, In fact, aorist tense verbs which tells us that, whatever this eating and drinking really is, it is to be done only one time.
Secondly, verse 58 clearly tells us that this is not literal eating at all. Jesus says "NOT AS YOUR FATHERS DID EAT MANNA AND ARE DEAD." How did they eat manna? Literally! Was the manna physical or spiritual? Physical! So we are not literally eating any literal thing. We are in fact spiritually receiving something SPIRITUAL. If you miss it in verse 58, you get it again in verse 63. Jesus says here that the words that He is speaking are SPIRITUAL! This is why when the apostle Paul is asked the question in Acts 16:30, ''What must I do (present tense—literally "do and keep on doing") to be saved?" He replies, "Believe (aorist tense—literally "believe one time for salvation") on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved..."
Nowhere in the New Testament does anyone celebrate a "Mass." It is not some miracle, but is in reality a falsehood, a religious ritual that says the work of Christ on the cross was deficient and incomplete. It should be rejected as all false doctrine should.