Tag: Baptist

Who are these people called Baptist? Part 5

It is more than confusion try to keep the ancestry of Philip the King. He is most the time referred to as Herod Philip. He had the unfaithful wife, Herodias, who was responsible for John’s death when John had raised an uproar about her marriage and was embarrassed by John in pubic. She determined to have John put out of the way. All history records the alienation and ire of the Jewish people by the deed she forced Herod into. She asked for the head of John the Baptist by Salome. Herod had made a real stupid promise, all He had to say was I promised you do a gift, I did not offer to commit murder! Sometimes, when men are trying to impress other men they overstepped themselves. In Leviticus 18:16 and 20:21 it was unlawful for a man to have his brother’s wife. Herod was an Edomite, yet, he was bound by a law of God called instinct or nature. It is shameful that a man of such great morality and courage could be so easily killed by a woman who had none. History records that even the Roman world set themselves against Herod. Herodias was stripped of her royalty and sent off to spend the rest of her life with Herod.
In Matthew 14:1-14, Herod conscience had so messed with him that Herod even confused Christ with John the Baptist, like the Baptist Church does today. The guilty conscience(the usual complement of atheism) held no sway with the Christ. Christ was not sympathetic to his plea. Herod got the message of Jesus and John the Baptist confused, he thought John the Baptist preached John was to resurrect from the dead-wrong prophet!!
Preachers may be silenced, and imprisoned, and even banished, but the word of God will still be preached. The prophets may not live forever, but when the word of God seizes control of the hearts and minds of men, it will strive with man. It is true, like the blood of Abel, “blood can cry out of the ground” and “make the devils fear and tremble,” even though they will not repent! They will never be at peace with themselves. There may evidence of the terror of strong conviction yet, no saving conversion!! God accepts no man or woman’s person, all men are subject to the law of God! There may be times that preachers may be indiscreet and get away with it, but sometimes those in authority, without honor, are not restrained from wicked practices. A common error of power is supposed sovereignty.
And so Herod beheaded John. What did that gain him? And in whose eyes was he lifted higher? He who had been a blessing, after his death was now being blessed. A great deal of innocent blood will have been shed before time ends, who will gain? There was a voice silenced, a “burning, shining light was extinguished,” but God was glorified! The damsel and her mother may have triumphed for a moment, but condemned for eternity! Jerome writes that when John’s head was brought her, she gave herself the barbarous diversion of pricking the tongue with a needle. She thought she had stopped his message. She had made sport of a great man, her mother’s insatiable rage had made disciples weep and lament as the world rejoiced, yet like brother Stephen all they got out of it was the burial of the body-from that point on they had no joy, for the removal of this great preacher had advanced the kingdom of God. This was all he had dedicated his life to, anyway!!
Josephus mentions the death of John the Baptist in his book Antiquities 18.116 – 119, and adds, that a fatal destruction of Herod’s Army took place in his war with Arteas, King of the Petrea (whose daughter was Herod’s first wife, whom Herod put away to make room for Herodias). It was generally considered by the Jews to be just judgment upon Herod and Herodias who were both banished to Lyons in France, which says Josephus, was his just punishment for harkening to her solicitation. And lastly, the daughter of Herodias, skating on the ice that winter, fell through the ice, fell headlong, slit her neck on a rock so badly that it was severed from body. God had required her head for that of the Baptist. If true, this was a remarkable act of Providence. Sometimes it just does not pay to do the works of darkness! And where did John end up? In the arms of his beloved Lord! Comfort sometimes have no value, sometimes when taken, show us the “hand of God.”

Who are these people called Baptist? Part 4

When John the baptizer was leaving the scene of life, he turned his report card in to the Creator of all things, Jesus Christ, to be graded. John was now in prison, had he prepared the Way? His grade would be determined by the fulfillment of the prophecy concerning him; ”he came to prepare the way of the Lord, to make his paths straight.” John had heard that Jesus was in the area by the miracles that He was performing, had the “minds of the fathers been turned to the children,” or had the Jew sufficiently repented to accept the message of Christ? Repentance prepares people to receive God but it is faith that prepares people for the blessings of God Handing the baton to the King of Kings and Lord of lords was the most honorable of all occasions. ”I must decrease, He must increase.” It was not given to John to work miracles, the job given him by the Master of all Ages, was even greater. The message that John delivered to the Jew is never preached by the people who today claim his name: wonder why? John had one joy that he claimed for his own, this is the joy of introducing the Bridegroom to His bride. To introduce the bridegroom one has to understand there must be a bride. The bride was and is the church of Christ. John is on record as claiming Jesus Christ to be his friend, John 3:29, when he stood and heard Him, John’s joy was fulfilled. This joy could only be satisfying if the opportunity of this introduction had been received by the Friend. The joy was the occasion of this joy: John proclaimed the forthcoming marriage of Christ and His Church. The Baptist Church today does not preach of this joy, they, in fact, preach that John’s joy has been rescinded and that Christ marriage will not take place until the Second Coming. How could they get so far off message?
There was a message John delivered that John claimed the world would not receive; “The Father loves the Son, and has given all things over into His hand.” This was not an Abraham – Lot situation, no choice in this matter would be by God, allowed!! The Queen would be the closest thing to the heart of the King, the bride would be the closest thing to the heart of her Lord, to denounce the bride to return to His predecessor could never be anything considered at any time. John preach the end of the Jew as the chosen people of God, the Baptist Church today teaches the Jew is still God’s chosen and the church of Christ has no place of honor. How you get this far off message? How could any people who claim to love the God of heaven require Him to denounce His wife and go back to the one He would divorce because of unfaithfulness? The Baptist Church today, had it to attend the preaching of John the Baptist, would throw up its hands in disgust. There was nothing he was preaching-they believe. They do not accept the sole authority of the Son, nor the woman to whose hand He was given in marriage!! The Baptist Church today, does not accept the Father, in that period of time in Judea, marriages were prearranged, by the Father. So what message today do they preach? Jesus said in Matthew 11:6: “Blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in Me.” This word for offended means to see one in another light of which Christ did not approve. You cannot cast the net of the gospel to those who will not receive the message. Wisdom cries in the city at the entry of the gate that we hear the word of the Lord.
The return message of Jesus to John the Baptist made the prison a Palace, fear became nonexistent, and the purpose of a life of service, rewarded. For Christ conveyed to John, in the language befitting his dignity, “well done, my good and faithful servant, enter now into the joys of thy Lord.” Present circumstances being ignored are the benefit of faith. Christ friend and confidant did not need the doting words of approval that the unspiritual often require, he needed the restatement of purpose that both John and Jesus had come to do the will of the Father! If, there be a remaining insecurity and un-belief, it is often settled, in an hour of temptation, by a confidence of faith that only truth can settle!

Who are these people called Baptist? Part 3

What would have been the possibility of John the Baptist starting his own church? Was John Jesus competitor or was he the one sent to introduce the Jew to the Messiah? All the prophecies made of John the Baptist in the Old Testament, did any ever stipulate that he was to ever start a church? By what authority did John baptize people? Was John human and divine-are just human?
In John 3:28, the prophet John the Baptist answered and said, “A man can receive nothing except it be given him from heaven. You yourselves bear Me witness, that I said, I am not the Christ, but that I am sent before Him. He that hath the bride is the Bridegroom, but the friend of the Bridegroom, rejoices greatly because of the bridegroom’s voice: this my joy therefore is fulfilled. He must increase, but I must decrease. He that cometh from above is above all, he that is of the earth is earthly, He that cometh from heaven is above all. And what He has seen and heard, that He testifies; and no man receives His testimony. For He whom God has sent speak of the words of God: for God gives not the Spirit by measure to Him. The Father loves the Son, and has given all things into His hand. He that believes on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believes not the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.” John 3:27-36 John was either confused or the Baptist Church teaches a lie when they tell us that John came to start his church, and it was the Baptist Church. Had John started the Baptist Church, when Christ began his church the Baptist Church should have gone out of existence! Paul asked the disciples of John when he came into Ephesus “if they’d receive the Holy Spirit says they believed, they said they’d never heard of there be such a ‘Being’ as the Holy Spirit. He said to them; “John truly baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying under the people that they should believe on Him that should come after him that is on Christ. When they heard this they were baptized in the name of Christ”. Acts 19:1-5 Had John ever started a church, the apostle Paul put it out of business! In the Old Testament we know that Jesus church was prophesied to begin in Jerusalem and Isaiah 2:2-4, the prophet Isaiah said; “and the law shall go forth from Zion and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.” Tell me my friend, one place that states where John’s church would start, where it should go forth, and from what city?
John was sent to introduce Jesus, not compete with the Creator of the universe! “Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord. And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse” Malachi 4:5-6 John was a human being like you and I. Human beings are not supposed to start churches. Only God is supposed to start the church. John had a father as well as a mother. Jesus never had a physical father!! John had no brothers and sisters. Jesus had four brothers and sisters. John’s mother and daddy died when John was just a child. Christ mother saw him crucified!! Don’t tell me that people can’t tell the difference between John and Jesus!!
John’s message was clear. “Then said they to him, who art thou? That we may give an answer to them that sent us. What sayest thou of thyself. He answered and said into them, “I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, make straight the way of the Lord as said the prophet Isaiah.” And they which were sent where the Pharisees. And they asked him, and said to him, ‘why baptizes thou then’, if thou be not the Christ, nor Elias, neither that Prophet? John answered them, saying, ‘I baptize with water: but there stands one among you, whom ye know not, He it is whose coming after me is preferred before me, whose shoes latchet I am not worthy to unloose.’ The next day John saw Jesus coming unto to him, and saith, “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world. He is preferred before me: for He was before me. THIS IS WHY I CAME BAPTIZING.

Who are these people called Baptist? Part 2

It is hard for us to conceive the churches and the doctrine that was taught before the 16th century. All England, Scotland, Switzerland, France, and Christianity as a whole had one common baptism that was always a part of every religion. Sprinkling for baptism came about in the second or third century A.D., and was only used in emergencies. As was the case in all of Europe, so the case in the early existence of the Baptist Church that started around 1603-1610 in Holland and Amsterdam where she began. Religious freedom is not something that is considered so sacred today as it was then. When a man lived in a country he was commanded to practice the religion of that country or suffer persecution and death. When King Henry VIII decided to marry Anne of Boleyn, divorce his first wife which the Roman Catholic Church stopped. King Henry started his own church, killed all the Roman Catholic leadership in England and became the head of the Episcopalian church and killed Anne three years, later. The major difference between the Episcopalian church and the Roman Catholic Church was strictly authority. Denying the authority of the Pope in stopping him from divorce, King Henry made himself the head of his own church who could make his own rules! Roman Catholicism had begun to teach sprinkling for baptism as an alternate in the second and third century and made it a part of their religion. Because it’s acceptance became so common among the religious people of the 13th through the 16th century, sprinkling as a mode of baptism was never considered a problem, never thought of it as a deviation from the original “faith once delivered to the saints,” and therefore never came up as an issue! People today, who accept December the 25th as the birthday of Christ or Easter as a celebration of Christianity do the same thing. They accept these lies without question and when questioned, their anger arises! Ask anybody from the Roman Catholic Church about these two religious holy days and they will say you are a heathen if you don’t accept the Pope’s official birthday for the Christ!!
Religious freedom is what caused people to leave England. You had to follow the King of England or die. They actually went there so they could worship God the understanding they had in their hearts. Baptism by immersion was never one of those things. There was no denomination that broke off from the Roman Catholic Church in the 14th to the 17th century that ever gave immersion a thought. Nor was this the reason for the first 80 years of their existence, the Baptist Church practiced sprinkling for baptism. They left England running from the King. Religious freedom was more dear to them than life itself!! Reading the Scriptures was also new to them. They were just getting the Scriptures translated in their own language. The mode of baptism wasn’t even a consideration!! They felt baptism was an “outward sign of an inward grace.” Whether baptism was immersion, sprinkling, or pouring did not matter. To most of them it was not matter of faith, it was not a test of fellowship, nor was it ever something that was considered as relevant to one’s salvation. Baptist separated over who was to be baptized not by what mode!! Those who believed their infant baptism was acceptable to God were called Pedo-baptist while those who believed they had to be re-baptize as adults were called Ana-baptist. It was not until 1680 that the Baptist Church took a stand on Immersion as being the only mode of baptism. This had begun to be discussed around 1640 or 50. Immersion as an action of baptism became the accepted mode without a split!! They were considered a radical movement of Protestant Reformation and like the Mennonites and Quakers, they taught that the converts had to be submitted to a second baptism, which was a crime punishable by death under the legal codes of the time. They repudiated their own baptism as infants as a blasphemous formality. Following the Swiss reformer Huldrych Zwingli, they held infants were not punishable for sin. They followed the Schleitheim Confession of 1527 practiced by a former priest Menno Simons who started the Mennonite church.

Who are these people called Baptist?

We begin this study was no fear or in-trepidation!! Of all the denominations that exist, she has been the most vocal in her insistence of error for the past 500 years! It is our usual approach in our studies to go to the Bible for a book chapter and verse or a thus saith the Lord to find anything on what is supposed to be a biblical subject. I confess to you readily at this time, that I have not been able to find anything in the Bible that mentions the Baptist Church, tells where it started, who started it, the reason our purpose of it starting, or the particular doctrines that she teaches! Having only existed for 500 to 600 years, the people of religion for the first 1600 years knew nothing about such a religious group by name or doctrine. There were glimpses of pre-doctrine some 400 years before she became a religious movement, but the existence of its teachings cannot or have not been found before the 13th century A.D.. Quotations from Baptist historians, claiming themselves to be Baptist, support rather than refute the fact that they just have not existed 1000 years yet!!
To quote from a book written by a gentleman named Benedict called History of the Baptist page 304, states the first regular organized Baptist Church of which we possess any account, is dated from 1607, and was formed in London by a Mr. Smythe, who had been a clergyman in the Church of England. Interestingly, Mr. Smythe was self-baptized. In a book called History of the Baptist, written by a man by the name of Veeder, we read,” sometime about March, 1639, Roger Williams baptized Ezekiel Holloman, who had been a member of his church at Salem: and, Holloman baptized Williams. 11 others obeyed their Lord in this way, and the first Baptist Church in America was formed. This occurred in Providence, Rhode Island. Mr. Veeder informs us that the first official use of the name is in the Baptist catechism issued by the authority of their assembly. There had been no churches before, and hence there was no need of the name. The history of the Baptist churches cannot be carried by the scientific method, farther back than the years 1611, when the first Baptist Church, consisting wholly of Englishmen, was founded in Amsterdam by John Smith. Another author, Mr. Lofton, wrote: The English Baptist Reformation, list eight kinds of Baptist churches that existed in the first 50 years, beginning with 1603. A man by the name of Whittset who wrote a book entitled: A question in Baptist History writes; “immersion was first introduced into England in 1641, and it is a monument of the recent change from sprinkling to immersion.” That the name Baptist first came into use shortly after 1641, is another evidence of the fact in question…. Henceforth they were called baptized Christians, and in due time, Baptist. The earliest instance in which this name occurs as a denominational designation, so far as my information goes, befell in the year to 1644, three years after immersion had been introduced.” According to history the Baptist came from groups who were called Mennonites, who were originally called Waldenses. What were the Waldenses? They were a movement of the religious cultural group which appeared first in Lyon, France and spread to the Alps. They were begun by Peter Waldo, declared to be heretical by the Roman Catholic Church in 1215. On the rise of the Protestant Reformation, church leaders met with Swiss and German Calvinist and agreed to join with the Reformed Church, adopting the Calvinist tenets and becoming its Italian arm as their confession of faith still tells us. Their claim to fame was denying the supremacy of Rome. Interestingly, they kept the Sabbath day- this was later dropped when they joined the larger group. In 1487 Pope Innocent the VIII, issued a bull for the extermination of the Waldenses. The massacre that ensued was so brutal that Oliver Cromwell, then ruler in England, defended them. John Milton’s famous poem, On the late massacre in Piedmont verify their existence. Those who survived came to America on three chartered ships and settled in the Delaware area. There they were championed by their greatest preacher Roger Williams.

Is Christ Divided? Why are there so many denominations? Part 23

When studying Roman Catholicism, one finds that the stock and trade is deceit.  There are many books that have been claimed to have been originals that never were heard of even in the mother language. They are most universally accepted as forgeries.  Of the early centuries, a work called the apostles Creed most Protestants accept.  It is recited as reverently as if it had really been given by one of the apostles.  The myths surrounding it would have us to believe that one apostle wrote one part and another apostle wrote a different part, when it is really a product of fourth century writing; according to the Catholic Encyclopedia: volume 1 page 629 and 630.  It is said to be legend and unhistorical, even by them.  It is a curious fact that it is very difficult to put your finger on anything a Catholic writers affirm to be an infallible utterance of a Pope!, yet they spend most of their time representing things that are not. Another writing called the Epistle of Barnabas is one of the earliest forgeries they use which figures prominently in Catholic writings and even in their works it is called pseudo-Barnabas.  Writing from a literary point of view, they state: “this epistle of Barnabas has no merit; the style is tediously poor in expression, deficient and vague in elegance and incorrectness.  The author’s logic is weak and his subject matter is not under his control.”  From this fact arise numerous expressions from other works.  Another of this type is the shepherd of Hermes.   Acknowledgment that this is a forgery is expressed as follows: “the writer wished to be thought to belong to the preceding generation.”  Again, according to the Catholic Encyclopedia number seven page 270.  We could go on and on listing more works like the “Apostolic Church Ordinances.”   One of the strangest forgeries is that which was not until the Middle Ages ever heard of and its true origin was forgotten, even by the most learned of that time. These apocryphal stories began to enter largely in the sacred legends and miracle plays, then in Christian art and poetry, and finally were accepted as established doctrine

Roman Catholics now glibly tell you that Mary’s mother and father were named Jochin and Anna.  The Doctrine of the Immaculate Conception has to do more with Mary’s mystical mother Anna than with Mary. One lie just necessitates another, doesn’t it?   Nobody is born with original sin!!  To do so Mary’s mother would be born without original sin, so that Christ could be born without original sin.  The  names of Jochin can and Anna rest on clumsy forgery and the doctrine called “Original Sin” rest on the doctrine of damnation.  It is told that Mary was donated to the temple worship at the age of three and stayed there till her womanhood.   The birth, education, and marriage of the Blessed Virgin are described in great extreme.  The truth of this was never and could never be verified and absolutely a figment of somebody’s fertile imagination.

The Rosary, wherein you say Hail Mary and Our Father between one of them is something that came into existence in the middle 1300’s.  It supposedly was brought into existence and published by a St. Dominique.  This is affirmed when as late as 1883 Pope Leo the 13th affirmed its doctrinal and biblical existence.  “Hail Mary seems to have some mythical miraculous way to solve problems, even for birds.  It is said that a bird was setting on a limb and a young boy was throwing a rock at it and the bird cried out “Hail Mary” and the rock fell short, right in front of the bird and the bird was not harmed!

Imagine an infallible, holy church perpetrating thousands of frauds for centuries and to add insult to injury, they continue to encourage the worship of these things because they enrich the Catholic Church!, while at the same time, they even admit them to be spurious.  No wonder the Scriptures speak of them as having “their conscience seared with a hot iron.” First Timothy 4:1-3

Then, there’s the “doctrine of mental reservation.”   Mental reservation is where if Catholicism was to be harmed you can mentally reserve to tell a lie and it not be a sin. It is a general law permitting Catholics to live if by so doing they can further the Roman Catholic Church.  Being asked if he is a Roman Catholic, he can deny that he is. They can even deny their faith if such answer is a fitting reply to an impertinent question.  There is a difference, so they teach, between religious and legal oaths; they can even make an oath without intention of keeping it!!

Then, there is the story of the three wise men which we will discuss next week!

Is Christ Divided? Why are there so many denominations? Part 22

In the days of persecution, there was a very perceptible slipping away from the original moorings.  Almost every detail of divine order was being gradually changed to conform to human ideals.  The New Testament predicted this.  Please read 1 Tim 4; 11Tim 4; 2 Peter 2; Galatians 1; 2 Thessalonians 2; and Acts 20.  The most outstanding thing in church history is the great apostasy.  Men were not satisfied with the work of the Holy Spirit and intended to mold and change His work into something the world could accept.  This increase in apostasy continued until the sixteenth century when the reformation movement started the main current of religion back toward the Bible, though by no means was this very desirable end attained in that day.  It was about three hundred years later, or about two hundred years ago, that men decided to go back to the original ground, and as yet only a small minority has decided to so do.  Even some of us who declare our intention to “speak where the Bible speaks, be silent where the Bible is silent, do things in Bible ways, and call things by Bible names” have turned back toward Egypt (spiritually speaking) and desire the fellowship of “believers” instead of converted, convicted, disciples of the written Word.  The greater number of those who claim to follow Christ have chosen to pitch their tents at various points on the road from Rome to Jerusalem.  Most of those wearing the general title Protestant, are nearer Rome than Jerusalem in the doctrine they espouse.  They are indebted to Rome for their model of church polity and most of their faith and practice.

Creeds and manuals were written by uninspired men as vain attempts at unity.  When Constantine became Emperor of Rome early in the fourth century and saw the great numbers who were members of the Church of Christ while the paganistic religions were on the rapid decline, he nominally embraced Christianity; though in reality he was never a Christian.  While the New Testament meaning of the word heresy is party or sect, it soon began to mean anything contrary to the majority opinion.  Christianity had become the state religion.  Heathens were driven from their magnificent temples with their works of art hanging on their walls of a naked breasted woman with a baby in her arms with a halo around his head, were given to the Christians.  The Christians (?) covered her breast and re-naming them Mary and the baby Jesus.  Christianity was now popular and millions forsook heathenism and were soon prominent in the “new” Christian (?) cause.  For a while they who had been Jews and those who been worshippers of Baal relinquished many of their false beliefs but by and by they began to introduce these beliefs into Christianity.  Unconverted pagans flocked into the Church by countless thousands and began clamoring for the retention of their time honored “traditions.”  It only made sense to “save” the works of art which hung on the walls of the Pagan temples and after all, Mary and Jesus needed some representation, the Lord’s Supper just was not enough!!  This hybrid religion needed some credibility, so they changed the structure of the Lord’s Church into a power mongering institution where all the power in heaven and on earth would now be invested in the Church instead of the words of the Holy Spirit.  Becoming more like Judaism and heathenism, from which they had recently come, Christianity possessed none of the mysterious and pompous ceremonies so desirable in a state religion  A new religion needed to have tribute to men, worship in a fashion to which they had been accustomed. They dressed their new “leaders of worship” in the clothing of old mother Israel to make them visibly different as the priesthood of Aaron’s tribe and family had been.  They now would have value ONLY if “they were worshipped as god, in the temple of god opposing and exalting themselves above all that is called God, or is worshipped, so that as God, they could sit in the temple of God, showing themselves, that they were God.” 2 Thessalonians 2:4

It was then that Constantine declared himself Pontifex Maximus, or high Priest of Christianity.  He called the Nicene Council to legitimize his new position and take over the controls of this new found political power he now held as a “Christian”?).  In order that he might have some power in this new found position, at this council they formulated a new “creed” called the “Nicene Creed” in which power was given him to force this down the necks of those who were humble followers of Christ.  After this, force began to be applied to those who did not readily subscribe to this “new” doctrine!!

Is Christ Divided? Why are there so many denominations? Part 21

It has been a long road from Jerusalem in the first century to Roman Catholicism of today.  No one could recognize they who claim to children of God and they who claim to be Roman Catholics were ever of the same beliefs and conviction, yet they were.  The early church had no creed except the sacred writings.  This continued until 325 AD, when the Nicene Creed was formulated, and an attempt was made to bind it upon Christians.  Through the ages other human creeds were written, or rather the old ones were remodeled which brought about denominationalism as we know it, today.  This effort saw a great increase in effort from the 5th to the 16th century when millions were tortured to death for simply believing the divinely written Word of God, only.  In the hazy travel this road took, primitive Christianity was equated with the doctrines and teachings of men who were never inspired by the Holy Spirit nor claimed to be.  Nothing is Christianity that the Bible does not teach but when men have been told it is a sin to read that book from our God, blasphemy and intolerance have to be expected.

At first, it was the Jewish nation which offered the most stubborn opposition to Christianity, but a generation after the establishment of the Church their capital city, Jerusalem, was taken by the Romans.  Their temple was destroyed, their form of worship made impossible, and their ancestry impossible to verify.  No man or woman could prove their genealogical past once the temple was taken down stone by stone by the Romans in AD 70.  After this, the Jews as a religious group were an unimportant factor.    There is still (the Seventh Day Adventist) some who claim to be Christians who try to bind the Law of Moses upon men.  For more than a hundred years after the destruction of Jerusalem by Titus, there existed a Judaizing party in the Church of Christ called Ebionites.

There came to be a college of Elders of equal rank governing each congregation, and one of the first steps, in the great departure from the divine pattern, was to make one of these men more important that the rest.  This began nearly a hundred after the beginning of the church on the day of Pentecost in the year AD 33.  These men soon began to meet together, from different congregations, at some central point, to discuss religious matters, and thus Councils began.  When they met in these Councils they couldn’t help themselves, they had to improve their position among equals.  Like true politicians, these brethren wanted to make a name for themselves and be greater in importance than any others among them.  Whatever was decided on in these councils or synods was bound upon the people with no recognition of the teachings or support of God’s written Word, and by this time it was “once delivered to the saints”. Jude vs. 3   they then dispensed with a plurality of elders in each congregation and brought about something never taught in God’s Word, the single elder, they called a bishop.

Christianity soon became widely scattered, and, giving way to local customs and notions, church leaders began to put in local “holy days” favored in their different countries that had been a part of religion before Christianity was ever born.   In those days there were three great theological schools; Alexandria, under Clement and Origin; Asia Minor, under Irenaeus; Carthage, in North Africa, under Tertullian and Cyprian.  These men had different ideas, and all were very noticeable different from the New Testament.  In the course of time, the preacher disappeared and evolved into a priest (Latin for elder), the Lord’s Supper gave way to the Eucharist, then the Mass; repentance became penance; and the meeting place became the building owned by the wealthiest members and those priest they favored that favored them and their pet sin.  Never think these changes came about quickly, they were gradual and most people seemed not to realize they were being led off in a direction the Holy Spirit had not authorized.  Greek soon ceased to be the common language; it became increasingly difficult if not impossible for those who could not read Greek to know the New Testament teachings.  The door was opened for men of determined desire for power to “translate” (interpret, alter to suit themselves), the Word of God into the language of the people without any consideration for the God’s Book from heaven.  The doctrine of hereditary total depravity began to be believed by the majority in the third century and the companion doctrine of Infant Baptism soon followed.  And we were off to the races!!

Is Christ Divided? Why are there so many denominations? Part 20

The assumption of Mary is a doctrine from the heart of Catholicism.  It involves the same subterfuge and theft of history that we have become accustomed to when they decide to teach a doctrine that will place themselves in the position as the “teachers of Christ” on the earth.  Pius XII made official what had been rumored among the Roman Church for over 12 centuries when on November 1, 1950 he exercised his “right to speak ex cathedra” making the assumption of Mary, official.  Papal Infallibility was made a part of Catholicism by the council called Vatican I, in 1870.  Papal Infallibility is when the Pope speaks for Christ making Law that that has never been obeyed.

It is taught that when Mary was born she had a “grace” given her.  Unfortunately, this “grace” is one she did not need.  It relieved her on in-born sin they tell us (which is another Roman Catholic lie; she never had sin when she was born).  August 15th is the date of celebration which they assigned, which, by the way was the date of celebration for Caesar Augustus.

Again, it is taught that Mary may have never died as men die, but was taken (the definition of assumption- it means a taking) immediately before death or immediately, thereafter, they cannot decide.   It is also taught that all the apostles were transported to her death bed which was in Jerusalem or Ephesus in the hour of her leaving this earth, except Thomas.  When Thomas arrived, the tomb was opened and was found empty, then miraculously, heaven was opened and Mary dropped an intimate piece of her clothing down to Thomas to prove she was in heaven.  What began as a teaching in the 3rd and 4th centuries, became a part of doctrine in the 5th finally made the status of “doctrine of the church” by the” ex cathedra” by Pius XII.  It took a long time for Mary to get situated, didn’t it?

They always like to give Mary the label “mother of God”!  Mary was only the mother of the humanity of Christ!!  Mary is not a mediator between God and man, either.  “For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.” 1 Timothy 2:5   Mary is called the “favored one” (highly favored), Luke 1:28, but not because she was Christ’s mother but because she was chosen to bring the Christ into the world in a special way.

Did she sin?  I do not know.  Sin sometimes involves time to rebel, when there is no rebellion, repentance is the name of the act of obedience.  I know that if Mary had not repented and been baptized for the remission of sins on the day of Pentecost, she would have become a sinner, like the Roman Catholics!!  If she did not remain faithful unto death, she would have died a sinner.   The word translated “highly favored” is also used in Ephesians 1:6 for members of the Churches of Christ where the word is translated “accepted.”  It was Christ who said of Mary and His brethren when they came to shame Him into not preaching the gospel of preparation. “Matthew 12:46-49   the truth is, a man’s relations are as different and distinct as are his own flesh and spirit.  His blood-relatives are often not his spirit-relatives, unfortunately.  Blood relations are of time and for time; kindred spirits are of eternity and for eternity.  Natural life has its own associations, as does the Divine.  When the Divine life is quickened in a man, he enters into a new world of relationships.  In proportion to the reality and fervor of his new life will be his attachment to his new kindred, and his power of attaching them to him.

Mary had five sons, Jesus, Joseph, James, Jude, and Simon.  She also had at least sisters.  As the word for brothers so was the feminine for sisters, the Greek word adelphos (masculine) and adelphe (feminine).  Of these sons, Joseph was the father of the last four sons-they were half-brothers and daughters (Nicephorus tells us their names were Esther and Tamar).  Matthew 12:46; 13:55; Mark 6:3; John 2:12; 7:3, 5, 10; Acts 1:14; 1 Corinthians 9:5; and Galatians 1:19   Jesus relates: “A prophet is not without honor, but in his own country, and among his own kin, and in his own house.”  The word for “kin” is suggenes in the Greek language and is defined as “related by blood.”

Mary was a member of the Church of Christ, not Roman Catholic Church.  The Roman church had not come into existence at this time and when it did, it began in Rome, not Jerusalem.  She “repented and was baptized for the remission of sins and received the gift of the Holy Spirit as proof she was now a child of the King.”  She and Joseph were very special people and we thank God for them!!

Is Christ Divided? Why are there so many denominations? Part 19

It is claimed by the Roman Catholic Church that Peter was the first pope.  In Matthew 16:18, they try and make their claim biblical.  “”Thou art Peter and upon this rock I will build My Church.”  Notice the word “thou” refers to Peter and “this” refers to the rock.  Peter was the stone and Christ was the rock.  In Deuteronomy 32: 1-5 Moses relates “Give ear, O ye heavens, and I will speak, and hear, O earth, the words of my mouth.  My doctrine shall drop as the rain, my speech shall distil as the dew, as the small rain upon the tender herb, and as the showers upon the grass: Because I will publish the name of the Lord: ascribe ye greatness unto our God.  He is the Rock, His work is perfect: for all His ways are judgment: a god of truth and without iniquity, just and right is He.”   Christ is referred to four more times in this song of Moses; 32:15. 32:18; 32”30; and 32:31.  The Hebrew word, tsur, appears in several proper names of the Mosaic period; Numbers 1:5; the name is an epithet and is applied to God, in a name of the same import as Pedahel, “God delivers.” Numbers 1:10 all the strength and firmness of earth’s stones is but a small description of His unchangeable nature, rectitude, and faithfulness.  THIS COULD NOT BE A DESCRIPTIVE NAME OF A HUMAN BEING!!

The intent of this passage was not Peter, it was Christ.  Paul, the apostle of Christ, settles that question for sure in 1 Corinthians 3:10-11.  “As a wise masterbuilder I have laid the foundation and another builds thereon.  For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.”

It is also asserted by the Roman Catholic Church that Christ conferred on Peter singularly, the “keys to the kingdom of heaven,” which in no way is true.  The same language is used by the Lord in Matthew 18:18 when He addressed the twelve, not singling out any one over the other, but collectively, showing that Peter had NO authority that all did not have, and exercised NO power that all did not exercise, and possessed no keys that all did not possess.  The whole claim of the Catholics concerning Peter’s primacy over the twelve is a fallacy.  Christ taught: “You know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them.  But is shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister and whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant.” Matthew 20:25-27

Peter is never referred to as the “prince of apostles” nor does he claim such as the Holy Spirit directed him to write.  In 1 Peter 1:1, Peter writes: “Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ…”  In his second epistle, “Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ…” never calls himself the “vicar” of Christ or “prince of the apostles” as does the Pope of Rome.    Also, in 1 Peter 5:1, Peter refers to himself as “an elder” (ancient one) and calls Christ the “chief shepherd” (archipoimen), that “great Shepherd of the sheep,” Hebrews 13:20.    Peter nowhere and in no place claimed any supremacy as did the apostle Paul.  2 Corinthians 11:23-31; 2 Corinthians 12:5-12.  In the records of the early church, its councils when held during the first six centuries, nor during the writings of the brethren of that time was the “Chair of Peter” ever mentioned.  In 1870 the Vatican Council declared the infallibility of the Pope to be a church doctrine.  How could a fallible council declare infallibility on a man?  Prior to 1870 the Catechism plainly said: “It (infallibility) is no article of Catholic faith,” yet today daddy Fran claims infallibility.

The charge to Peter in Luke 22: 24-32, is their final claim to any scriptural proof of “the see of Peter”.   Aside from being a mere assumption, the message of verses 24-30 contradict that claim.  John 21:15-17, where Jesus told Peter to “feed My sheep” they say entitles Peter to the position of pope.  The ignominy of Peter’s failure to follow Christ was what is under discussion.  They tell us that Peter took the lead in appointing Judas’ successor, the censure and deaths of Ananias and  Sapphira (Acts 5), the rebuking of Simon Magus (Acts 8), the shadow of Peter’s garment, and the special trip Paul made to see Peter in Jerusalem after his conversion.   The exploits of Paul far out-weigh those of Peter in Lystra, the island of Melita, Elymas, the sorcerer, and the public rebuke of Peter by Paul in Galatia subordinates the primacy of Peter to the prominence of Paul.