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THE CATHOLIC FAITH is the Faith of the Scriptures!

Keyed to THE CATHOLIC FAITH was the Faith of the Early Church Fathers
80 AD - 215 AD (CFECF)

by David J. Webster, a former fundamentalist Baptist Pastor

1. Praying to the Saints and Angels in Heaven

Rev 5:8-10 The 24 Elders in Heaven holding the prayers of the saints, had been made priests (intercessors) for those still on earth. How would they have these prayers if the saints on earth had not prayed to them?

Rev 8:3 4 Angels also are holding the prayers of the saints in their hands. They offer them up to God.

2. Praying for the Dead (in Purgatory) See also CFECF (11), (12)

II Tim 1:16-18 Paul prays for dead Onesiphoris, that he may find God's mercy.

I Cor 15:29,30 Early Christians were Baptized for those in Purgatory, who would face judgment for sins of the flesh (see also II Cor 5:9,10). This was apparently done publicly, jeopardizing their own lives, which explains the virtue of the act.

II Matt 12:44-46 Praying for the dead that they be freed from sin is commended. This was a well known element of Jewish faith long before the time of Christ.

I Pet 3:18-20; 4:6 During Jesus' physical entombment He went and preached to spirits in prison (Hades/ Purgatory) that they might "live according to God in the spirit."

Matt 12:32 Some sins may be forgiven after death. (No sin can be forgiven after death for those condemned to Hell.)

3. Two Very Significant Categories of Sin: Mortal and Venial Sin.
Matt 12:32 Only certain (mortal) sins cannot be forgiven after death, therefore some sins (venial sins) can be.

Matt 5:22 Only serious (mortal) sin condemns to Hell. All the lost (un- saved) who have not fallen into such sin are therefore safe before God. They are not condemned to Hell. No man is condemned to Hell just because he is a non-Christian.

Acts 10,11 Cornelius was not "saved" from (venial) sin (11:14) and had not received "repentance unto life" (10:43,44; 11:18), yet his prayers had come up as a memorial before God (10:4b) and according to Peter, he was "accepted with God" (not condemned to Hell) because he "feared God" and "worked righteousness" (10:35). [The word "warned" in the KJV in 10:22 (ekramatisthae) is a serious mistranslation, it means merely "divinely instructed."]

Matt 8:12 All men, even those "saved"in God's Covenant or "Children of the Kingdom" are capable of mortal sin.

SALVATION: PAST (finished), PRESENT (unfinished) AND FUTURE (unfinished)
4. Conversion and Justification (Present Tense Salvation) is a process of deliverance from both venial or mortal sin and their penalties. The conversion or justification experience never applies the atonement of Christ to any future sin! See Ezekiel 3:20,21.
Conversion and Justification should be a Continuing Event always Dealing with Any New Sins Committed. James 2:21-23 Abraham is "Justified" by faith and obedience when offering Isaac (v.21). He had long before been justified ("counted righteous") when by faith he obeyed God and left Ur (v.23 cf Gen 15:6,7).

Luke 22:32 Jesus told Peter at the Last Supper, he would have to be "converted." He had been converted when he first obeyed the call of Christ (Mt 4:18-20) and he certainly had many other conversions during his 3 years with Jesus.

I Cor 15:1.2 You are "saved" [in a continuing and increasing sense] "if" you keep the Gospel always in mind.

Phil 2:12 "Work out your own salvation [deliverance from sin] with fear and trembling."

I Peter 1:9 "Receiving [continually] the end of your faith even the salvation of your souls."

Justification Experienced Only Through Faith and Obedience James 2:14-26 "Faith, if it hath not works is dead, being alone"(v. 17). "The devils also believe and tremble"(v. 19). "[As in Abraham's case] by works was faith made perfect'(v.22). "As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead"(v.26).

John 15:1-10 "1 am the true Vine.... If a man abide not in Me, he is cast forth as a branch and ... burned. If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in My love."

Some Protestants insist that it is the faith that does the work in us not we ourselves. Faith (God's gift to man through His Word / Eph 2:8; Rom 10: 17) is a necessary motivation for us to obey but it does not make us obey. Man has a choice to resist or yield, therefore the obedience is our responsibility. It is our obedience in response to faith that brings justification (and Eternal Life). Justification then brings "perfect" or "complete" faith, the proof we have that Eternal Life (See John 3:36!). Further, Eternal Life is something we possess in degrees and that corresponds to how close we have grown to Christ. It is Eternal Life we are given not a promise of the eternal possession of that life. That Life, however, is so powerful that nothing in all the universe, but one's own self will and sin, can remove us from Christ's hand (Romans 8:35-39).

5. Regeneration and New Birth into God's Family, the Church (Past Tense Salvation) See also "Baptismal Regeneration" (1)-(4), and "Infant Baptism" (5), in CFECF.

This salvation was unknown prior to the Church. This is a restoration to original divine sonship, we lost in Adant through entering the New Covenant. This restoration is found only in The Church, Christ's Body, the Household or Family of God, the divine institution Christ left on this earth. This regenerating work is accomplished only once by the Holy Spirit, normally through Baptism. For those who are of age, this saving provision in Baptism must be preceded by personal faith and repentance from conscious willful sin. In this case Baptism also becomes the act of obedience by which God justifies from all past conscious willful sin.

Col 2:11-13. By a regeneration, Baptism then wipes away the stain of Original sin and all other past sin and even all deserved temporal punishments. This does not apply Christ's atonement to any future sins but it does leave a permanent status of Sonship. New Testament Scriptures that speak of salvation in the past tense refer to this aspect of salvation. This salvation was unknown in the Old Testament but was clearly prefigured in circumcision. For this reason none of the Old Covenant righteous could enter heaven until the Atonement was made and they themselves entered the New Covenant. "Ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands... by the circumcision of Christ. Buried with Him in Baptism... And you being dead in your sins... hath He quickened together with Him. having forgiven all your trespasses."

I Pet 3:21 Peter says the water through which Noah was saved was a figure of Christian Baptism, a Baptism, he says, that "doeth also now save us." The waters of the Flood, by God's will, brought Noah and his family to a New World. The waters of Baptism, by the will of the Spirit in regeneration, brings believers into the new relationship to God in Sonship in the New Covenant.

Acts 22:16 Ananias to Saul, "Arise and be Baptized and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord."

Titus 3:5,6 "God... saved us by the washing of regeneration and renewing [to pre-fall Sonship] of the Holy Ghost."

Acts 2:38-47 Peter says, "Repent and be Baptized every one of you... for the remission of sins. And there were added unto them about 3,000 souls." So the Lord remitted sin and "added to the Church [His Bodyl daily." How? Through faith and repentance, but not without the work of and submission to Baptism, which meant submission to the Church, its teachings and its authority! (That was a whole lot more commitment than "coming forward" in an evangelistic meeting, although that act done in faith will bring conversion and justification from sin).

I Cor 12:12.13.27 "For as the [human] body is one and hath may members... so also is Christ [His Body, the visible Church]. For by one Spirit are we all Baptized into one Body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free and have all been made to drink into one Spirit. Ye are the Body of Christ and members in particular."

John 3:3-7 Jesus to Nicodemus, "Except a man be born again he cannot see the Kingdom of God. Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit he cannot enter the Kingdom of God (which according to Matthew 16:18,19; 21:43; 13:47 is the Church)." John the Baptist, standing before Jesus at His Baptism in Chapter 1 had just confessed all he was able to do was to baptize with water(v.3 I) but having seen the Holy Spirit descend upon Christ, confesses that it would be He who would Baptize men with the Spirit in the waters of Christian Baptism.

Acts 19:1-5 Why would Paul ask the believers in Ephesus who had not received the Holy Spirit what baptism they had received if he did not see Christian Baptism as the means of receive the Holy Spirit? And why would he re-baptize these disciples who had only John's baptism if he did not believe Christian Baptism was important to receiving the Holy Spirit?

Acts 8:14-17 Even those who had been baptized by Disciples of Christ before Pentecost had to have hands laid on them to receive the Holy Spirit. They, however, did not have to be re- baptized.

Eph 2:19 "Ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and the Household of God." What is the expected or normal way to become part of a household or family? Is it not through Birth? Jesus said New Birth would be through both water and the Spirit! You cannot be fully part of the Church without obedience to Baptism. We are both soul and body and thus God's people are to be united not just in spirit but organically and physically in the visible Body of Christ.

No personal Faith or Choice to Obey is Needed to be Born Again unless One is of Age. We all lost our divine sonship through no personal choice of our own, but through our first human parents, so it certainly may be regained without personal faith through our immediate parents who simply desire this free gift provided by Christ in His sacrifice.

Col 2:11-13 Christian Baptism takes the place of circumcision. It is prefigured in Old Covenant circumcision whether for adults or infants. "Putting off the body of sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ: buried with Him in Baptism."

Acts 16:31.33 The faith of the head of the household who has his whole house baptized "saves" his whole house. Acts 16:15 Lydia and her whole household were baptized at one time.

I Cor 1:16 Paul Baptized the whole household of Stephanas.

Matthew 18:3 For adults fallen into sins, this restoration to Sonship must also involve a personal desire for deliverance from all known sin. "Accept ye be converted and become little children, ye shall not enter into the Kingdom of Heaven." (Little children thus need no conversion to enter the Covenant or the Kingdom).

Eph 1:13.14 "Ye were sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise, which is the earnest (down payment) of our inheritance." Sealed eternally as Sons of God and given a mere "taste" of Eternal (Heavenly) Life (Heb 6:4,5) but not its full measure! A truly regenerated son of God may forfeit entirely God's gift and become eternally lost.

6. Perfect Union with Christ (Future Tense Salvation) Eternal Life in full measure.>
Rom 5:10 "We were reconciled to God by the death of His Son... we shall be saved by His life."

Mt 10:22:24:13 "He that endures to the end [in the great Tribulation!] shall be saved [in its full and final sense]."

I Cor 3:15 "He shall [after death] be saved, yet so as by fire [in purgatory, since he was not fully saved in this life]."

I John 3:2 "We shall be like Him [in perfection and holiness] for we shall see Him as He is [and still live!]." cf. Ex 33:20 This Salvation is Entered into Only after Much Labor. Work and Suffering:

Acts 14:22 "We through much tribulation enter into the Kingdom of God [in its fullest sense]."

Phil 2:12 "work out your own salvation [complete deliverance from sin] with fear and trembling."

7. Good Works Lead to Salvation
Rom 2:6-10 "To them, who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory, honor and immortality, [He will render] eternal life.... Glory honor and peace [shall be] to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile."

Daniel 4:27 To Nebuchadnezzar: "Break of thy sins by righteousness and thine inequities by showing mercy to the poor."

Psa 5 0:23 "To him that ordereth his conversation [or living] aright will I show the salvation of the Lord.

Proverbs 21:21 "He that followeth after righteousness and mercy findeth life..." Works completely motivated by self interest and pride and not by faith and love are not "good works." They are "self righteous works" and, along with the works of the law (O.T. ceremonial observance), are utterly worthless towards procuring salvation. The Catholic faith is just as opposed to works without faith as it is faith without works. Catholics insist, as do the above Scriptures, that those outside the Christian Covenant can also do "good works" because all men have been given some measure of faith.

8. Purgatory: See also CFECF (11),(12).
Our sins incur both an eternal and a temporal debt to God. The temporal debt is our responsibility to satisfy by our love, devotion and self sacrifice now in this life (penance) or in a much more difficult Purgatory.
I Cor 3:15 Speaking of all those not condemned to Hell, especially Christians, Paul says, "Every man's work shall be revealed by fire. If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved yet so as by fire." There is some kind of fire in Purgatory.

II Cor 5:9.10 "[Because we will immediately be in the presence of Christ at death] we labor that... we may be accepted of Him [and allowed immediate access to Heaven] For we must all appear before the Judgment Seat of Christ; that everyone may receive the things done in his body... whether it be good or bad. Knowing therefore the tenor of the Lord [for disobedient Christians!], we persuade men." (That is not Heaven immediately for some Christians!)

Luke 23:43 Jesus' promise to the thief on the cross, "Today thou shalt be with Me in Paradise," is often used to try to show all believers enter Heaven immediately at death.. Jesus, however, did not go to Heaven on Good Friday. He went there after His resurrection (John 20:17). Paradise included a place for those requiring purging (I Pet 3:19; 4:6).

II Macc 12:44-46 Praying for the dead to be freed from sin is commended. Those in Hell cannot be freed from sin. I Cor 15:29 The early church practiced, and Paul approved, a "baptism for the dead" as one of many ways to expiate for the sins of the flesh of those in Purgatory. This act was apparently done publically and thus with great risk of persecution. Those in Heaven need no prayer or sacrifice. Those in Hell can no longer be helped.

9. Inspired Orally Transmitted Tradition Preserved by the Holy Spirit in the Church.
See also "The Infallible Church" in CFECF (34),(35),(36),(37).

God's Word in the Church was Orally Transmitted to and then Through the Bishops and Elders (Presbvters)

I Peter 1:25 "The Word of the Lord endureth forever. And this is the Word which by the Gospel is preached unto you."

John 14:26 is Jesus'exclusive promise to the Apostles: "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 to you." (Most of what Christ taught obviously was never supposed to be written down. Jesus Himself never left us one written document nor any commission for anyone else to write down what He taught. If this Word is not still preserved in Holy Tradition in His Church then it is forever lost to us. Even our confidence in what little has been presented to us as the written Word is based entirely on Church Tradition which alone tells us these writings were authentic and inspired. It was not until the 4th and 5th centuries that the canon of NT Scriptures was established by the authority of the Church's Bishops.)

John 16:13 Jesus to the Apostles: "When He the Spirit of Truth is come, He will guide you into all truth." No Christian or any other church denomination dares to claim they will be guided by the Spirit into all truth.

I Cor 11:2 Paul: "Keep the traditions as I have delivered them to you." This was God's infallibly preserved Oral Word.

II Thess 2:15 "Stand fast and hold the traditions which ye have been taught whether by word or by epistle."

II Thess 3:6 "Withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh not after the tradition which he received from us."

II Tim 2:2 "What ye have heard entrust to faithful men." The orally taught Word would be preserved in the Church.

Inspired Oral Tradition Preserved via the Apostolic "gift" Imparted to Bishops & Presbvters (priests) by the Apostles.

I Timothy 4:14 Paul to Timothy, "Neglect not "the gift" that is in thee which was given thee by prophecy [divine order and command of Christ / Mt 16:18,19], with the laying on of hands of the presbytery (priesthood).

Acts 13:1-4 The Holy Spirit Himself required His own commission to Paul to be imparted through the laying on of hands of the Apostolically appointed leaders in the Church of Antioch! Ignoring or belittling this "gift" is to make oneself greater than God the Holy Spirit!

Eph 4:11-14 tells why God gave to His Church first Apostles and then all those they appointed and to whom they imparted their Apostolic "gift". "That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine." The only reason most of what Jesus taught was not written down was so we would not make any written account of His teaching the center of our faith, but the Church He established and promised to preserve! Paul did not believe the Scriptures were the pillar and ground of the faith. He said it was the Church that was the pillar and ground of the truth (I Timothy 3:15). Even the Scriptures that were left to us by the Church were not to be privately interpreted outside the official teachings of the those with the Apostolic "gift." (II Peter 1:20 says, "Knowing this first that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation.") The reason Peter gives for this restriction is because prophecy is from the Holy Spirit not of man (v.21) and later admits that he himself even with the Apostolic "gift" had a hard time understanding Paul's letters "which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest (twist), as they do the other scriptures, unto their own destruction! (3:16)" The NT Scriptures Cannot Take the Place of the "Gift" of Apostolic Authority Passed Down in Christ's Church.

1. Only 1/3 of the NT was written by any of the 12 Apostles. (Matt; John; I, II, III John; Rev; James, I, II Peter; Jude)

2. Only 5 of the Apostles are represented in the NT canon. (The Church is built on all 12 Apostles. Eph 2:4; Rev 21:14)

3. Since it was the Church itself (not the original Apostles) that determined which writings were to be accepted as Scripture, the Church (Bishops in union with Peter's chair) must have the Apostolic "gift" as it had been passed down to them from the Apostles who received it directly from Jesus Christ the Son of God.

10. A Special Priesthood, among the Priesthood of all Believers, called Bishops and Presbyters ("elders").
See also "On the Priesthood in the Church" in CFECF (13),(14),(l5).

This authority to forgive sins was given first to Peter in Matt 16:19 and then to all the Apostles in Matt 18:18 and John 20:23. This Apostolic "gift" was passed on to all Bishops and Presbyters (priests) "by prophecy [Christ's divine order and Word / Matt 16:18,19; 18:17,18!], with the laying on of hands."

James 5:15.16 "Confess your faults one to another and pray for one another that ye may be healed." It is clear from this text alone that confessing our sins to God is often not enough to obtain complete forgiveness from God. This exhortation is also in the context of the need of presbyters (priests) being called to pray for and anoint with Holy Oil those who are sick and in need of having their sins forgiven! Confession to men and "priests," forgiving sins, and healing are all linked in this text! All Christians admit the need of confessing sins to those we hurt and that God will not fully forgive if we knowingly fail in this, yet many ignore the fact that all our sins hurt the Church of Christ and that the priest with the Apostolic "gift" is the one chosen by Christ Himself to represent the Church in hearing our confession and to represent Him in forgiving those sins! No one but God can actually forgive sin, but God often chooses to forgive fully, only when a proper confession is made to men. This special priesthood in the Church was also necessary to consecrate the elements of Holy Communion. The use of the word "priest" (hiereus), however, was avoided in public reference to Bishops and Presbyters until at least the destruction of the Jewish Temple and religious system in 70 AD, because of the necessity of the establishment of the vital truth of the priesthood of all believers, which the Temple system strongly discounted. Being in Christ, we all now share in His Priesthood and are intermediaries between man and Christ.

11. Holy Orders: The Succession of the Apostolic "Gift" from the Original 12 Apostles and Christ
I Timothy 4:14 Paul to Timothy, "Neglect not "the gift" that is in thee which was given thee by prophecy [the Word of Christ / Mt 16:18,19], with the laying on of hands of the presbytery (priesthood)."

Acts 13:1-4 The Holy Spirit required His own commission to Paul to be imparted through the laying on of hands of the apostolically appointed leaders in the church of Antioch! Ignoring this "gift," then is to make oneself greater than God.

Titus 1:5 Titus was then commissioned and appointed by Paul to ordain, by the laying on of hands, the elders (presbyters or priests) in every city.

Eph 4:11-14 Tells why the Apostles (and all those they appointed and to whom they imparted "the gift") were given to the Church by God: "That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine." (Protestantism, without that Apostolic gift has bred over 20,000 denominations and 20,000 different faiths!)

12. Christ Established One Visible Hierarchal Church under Divinely Guided Apostolic Authority Under Peter and His Successors which will last to the End of This World and Forever.
Primacy of Peter and His Continuing Office in the Church. See also "On Apostolic Succession" in CFECF (19)- (33)
Matt 16:1 8 Peter was the Rock upon which Christ would build His Church. Matthew writing in Greek uses the masculine form of the word Rock (sometimes meaning "stone") rather than the feminine form to refer to Peter for very obvious reasons. However, since Jesus spoke Aramaic, the word He used to rename Peter was "Cephas," always meaning Rock (See John 1:42). Paul thus uses "Cephas" to refer to Peter throughout I Corinthians. So Jesus actually said to Peter, "Thou art Cephas and upon this Cephas I will build My Church." This did not make Peter or any of his successors sinless or free from personal error by any means. It means that Peter's teaching in all official capacities as head of the Church will represent the mind of Christ infallibly. Peter later denied Christ and even compromised the Gospel by his actions. Some later Popes fell into scandalous living, but neither Peter or these Popes introduced their errors into the Church as truth, as happened with Bishops at various times in every other center of Christianity in the world and in all Protestantism.

Matt 16:19 Peter also is made the Prime Minister of New Israel, the Kingdom of Heaven on earth. In the King's absence he would act with the full authority of the King, just as all prime ministers do. To Peter, Jesus said, "And I will give unto thee the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in Heaven."

Isaiah 22:15-22 offers absolute proof Peter was being commissioned as Prime Minister by the King of New Israel to act in His authority in this world. Here King Hezekiah's Prime Minister Shebna is replaced by Elialcim and given the very same authority as was Peter in Matt 16:19. Peter's Primacy is also Manifest Throughout Acts though he was not the first to be chosen, nor the most spiritual.

Acts 1:13-26 He led in the selection of Mathias the Apostle; 2: 14-41 Led in the preaching on Pentecost; 3:6 7 Performed the first miracle; 3:12-4:19 Preached the second great message whereby 5,000 converted; 5:1-11 Led in the first judgment in the Church; 8:14-17 Opened the door of the Church to the Samaritans; 8:21 Excommunicated the first heretic Simon Magnus; 10:44,46 Opened the door of the Church to Gentiles; 15:7,19 Brought a conclusion to the first council in Jerusalem and pronounces the first dogmatic decision. In all four listings of the Apostles, Peter's name is always first.

Christ's Church Protected from Falling into Theological or Moral Error. and Will Endure to End of the Ages See also "On the Infallible Church" in CFECF (34)-. (37).
Matt 16:1 8b This Church built on Peter will never see its governing structure overthrown nor will it fall into apostasy as did Israel: "I will build MY CHURCH and the Gates of Hell SHALL NOT PREVAIL AGAINST IT." By "Church" here, Jesus is referring to the governing system (forming God's people into One Body) and its function of proclaiming the truth of the Gospel in this world. For any governing Monarch or King to say his kingdom will stand and prevail means that the governing structure and the normal function of the Kingdom will never be changed or altered. Jesus our King will then always have His Prime Minister representing Him on earth presiding over His Church, which will never err from truth.
Historical fact: The Roman Catholic Church, which can trace through 262 Popes a continuing line of single authority for 2000 years to its very beginning, is by far the oldest uninterrupted government to have ever existed on earth. That one fact alone should tell us something. That of course was the prophecy for the government placed on the shoulders of the of the child born and the Son to be given in Isaiah 9:6,7: "Of the increase of His Government and Peace THERE SHALL BE NO END!" This same promise is repeated by Gabriel in Luke 1:32,33. The Reformers ignored this truth and rejected this everlasting government and the peace of the Church. Strife among Christians has been the result.

One Visible. Unified and Authoritative Body not 20.000 Independently Governed Bodies with 20.000 Popes and 20.000 Different Faiths as there is Now in Protestantism

Matt 16:17-19 Authority to bind & loose on earth is given to Peter to govern a literal Body of people. This is no mere mystical or spiritual entity!

Matt 18: l5-20 "If he neglect to hear the Church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man (a non-Christian!).

Heb 13:17 "Obey those who have the rule over you." The Reformers utterly rejected this Word of God!

Eph 4:3-6 "There is One Body, and One Spirit, even as ye are called into One Hope of your calling; One Lord, One Faith, One Baptism, One God and Lord of all." The word "body" itself demands a single governing authority.

I Cor 12:13 "By One Spirit are we Baptized into One Body." That One Governing authority is revealed in Mt 18:15,16.

Romans 12:5 "We being many are One Body in Christ." At best, other churches are dismembered parts of Christ's Body.

Col 3:15 "Ye are called in One Body." A run away child is still in the family, but not part of it. God wants us all living at Home!

Scandals Among Those in the True Church are no Excuse for Abandoning the Church!
Jer 32:32-35 OT leaders and priests offered child sacrifices.

II Kings 23:7 Cult prostitutes were in the Temple of the Lord.

John 4:22 Despite the sin in the Temple, Jesus said salvation was still from the Jews not from Samaria.

Luke 2:21-24. 41.42 Joseph, Mary and Jesus always submitted to the Temple and its rulers even knowing they would kill Jesus.

Matt 23:2.3 Jesus required His Disciples to submit to the Temple rulers because they "sat in Moses' seat." (Is there to be less respect for those who sit in the very seat of Christ (Peter and his successors) or His Apostles (the Bishops & priests?)

Mark 14:43 Judas, an Apostle, was unfaithful and would betray Christ, but Jesus does not remove him from office! (This does not mean those in the Church who are destroying the faith of others should not be removed!)

Mark 14:50 All the Apostles but John forsake Jesus.

Mark 14:66-72 Peter denies Jesus at least three times but Jesus does not forsake Peter or replace him as head. /u>John 20:24.25 Thomas refuses to believe the resurrection. He is not removed from office.

Romans 3:3.4 Did their infidelity nullify the Church or the Calling of the Apostles? Did it give anyone the right to start another Church body outside that Apostolic authority?

I Corinthians 5:1-7 Did the moral scandal in this church nullify the validity of the Church of Jesus Christ or the validity of the appointed bishops and priests who were given the Apostolic "gift" (I Tim 4:14)? Did Paul ever exhort any believer to forsake their church leaders over their failures and start a new church independent of the Apostolic authority?

Gal 2:11-14 Peter withdraws from the Gentile Christians for fear of the Jews. He is rebuked by Paul for acting contrary to the Gospel. Does a personal failure of even the Pope give excuse for anyone to reject the Church and its appointed authority? Though Paul's one great passion was to help establish the Church in Rome, he does not do so without Peter because he knows Peter must be preeminent in this church which he knows will some day bring the Roman Empire, the fourth Beast of Daniel 7, to its knees before Christ the true King and thus become the center of Christianity and Apostolic Papal Authority [See CFECF (38),(39)]!

I Peter 2:9.10; Jude 8 The ungodly that God reserves for judgment are those who despise government and those who speak evil of dignitaries. Is the government of the Church of Christ and those who sit in the seat of Jesus Christ's and the Apostles, of less significance to us than our secular government and its authorities???

Matt 13:47.48 Many have left the Church over impatience with problems and sin in members in the Church, thinking that if erring members are not officially removed or driven from the Church they must separate from the Church. The Parable of the weeds among the wheat shows excommunication is to be done only when absolutely necessary. Even Matt 18:15-17 is not an excommunication by the Church but the absolving of all responsibility on the part of the one injured to convert a Christian brother from the error of his way. One who will not listen to the Church is to be viewed as one that knows not the truth of God's grace, as one who is still a "heathen man" and a "publican." He then is to actually be treated with extra grace because he is recognized as a sinner!

13. Peter was in Rome Representing that Church, whose Destiny was Known to become Preeminent.
I Peter 5:13 "The Church that is a Babylon, elected together with you, saluteth you; and so doth Marcus my son."

1. According to Rev. 14:8; 16:19; 17:5; 18:2,10, Babylon is Rome: and the Church there, would overcome that final Beast of Daniel 7.

2. Paul reveals that Marcus (Mark), who wrote the Gospel, was in Rome with Paul during his captivity (Col 4:10).

3. Two 2nd century testimonies say both Peter and Paul established the church in Rome. See CFECF (38),(39).

4. See also "The Supremacy of the Church at Rome" in CFECF (40),(41),(42).

14. Eucharist, The Real Presence of Christ, Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity as offered for us at Calvary.
See also "The Eucharist as the Body and Blood of Christ" in CFECF (6)-( 10).
The Eucharist Promised:

John 6:35-71 "The bread that I will give is My flesh, which I will give for the life of the world" (v.5 ib). "Verily, verily I say unto you, except ye eat the flesh of the Son of Man, and drink His blood, ye have no life in you" (v.53). "Whoso eateth My flesh, and drinketh My blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day" (v.54). "My flesh is meat indeed, and My blood is drink indeed" (v.55). "He that eateth My flesh, and drinketh My blood, dwelleth in Me and I in him" (v.56). "He that eateth Me, even He shall live by Me" (v.57).

1. This is what Jesus said that caused "many" of His disciples to forsake Him. The result was that these many disciples renounced all faith in Him as Messiah! They concluded that Jesus was insane and unworthy of their trust! (vv. 60,66)

2. Many Protestants, however, claim Jesus had just explained to them all in vv. 61-63 He was speaking symbolically. First, "spirit" or "spiritual" never means "symbolically" in Scripture. Second, Neither the disciples who ended up forsaking Jesus got this meaning out of His explanation nor did His 12 Apostles! (vv. 67-69)

3. In vv. 61-63, Jesus merely answered the two questions they had.
1st Question: "How can this Man give us His flesh to eat [without creating a total scandal] (v.52)?" Jesus explains (v.62) that it would be done after He is physically in Heaven, hinting His body, as bread, would be supplied like the manna in the wilderness (vv.50,5 I). Jesus here claimed the origin of the Bread He "will give" (a future event v.5 lc) would be from Heaven, thus this eating was far more than mere "believing in Christ" as that was something they were required to do immediately. John calls the Eucharist "hidden manna" in Rev 2:17)
2nd Question: What value would there be in eating the literal physical body of Jesus? Jesus explains (v.63) that without the proper spiritual devotion this incredible privilege would deserve, there would be no value to it, in fact as Paul later says, eating unworthily would bring judgment and even death. Such a curse could only be explained by these elements being literally Christ's body, blood, soul and divinity.

4. "Accept ye eat . . . ye have no life" First, by "life" Jesus is referring to the New Covenant life in His blood which was not experienced by the Old Covenant saints. Not having this life did not necessarily mean you would be forever lost. Second, only those who know the truth of Jesus' doctrine and reject it would be guilty. All these Jews knew what Jesus was saying and thus they forsook Him as the Messiah. (See 3. Mortal and Venial Sin )

5. "He that believeth on Me hath everlasting life." Belief, however, never excludes obedience in what your faith requires. You cannot say you believe in Christ and knowingly refuse to obey what Christ says you must do! John says in 3:36, "He that is not subject [apeithoen] to the Son shall not see life." God, however, certainly has every right to make special exceptions for Protestants who are honestly ignorant of His Word.

The Eucharist Instituted: Jesus only affirms all He said in John 6.

Matt 26:26-29 (Mark 14:22-25; Luke 22:17-20) "Take eat, this is My Body." "This is My Blood of the New Testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins."
The Eucharist Perpetuated: Paul affirms all Jesus taught the Twelve and all he was taught by the Lord directly.
I Cor 11:23-29 "I have received of the Lord that which I also delivered unto you, that the Lord Jesus, the same night in which He was betrayed took bread: And when He had given thanks, He brake it and said, 'take eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance* of Me. After the same manner also He took the cup, when He had supped saying, 'This cup is the New Testament in My blood: this do ye as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of Me... Whosoever shall eat this bread, and [literally, "or"] drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. So let a man examine himself and so let him eat of that bread and drink of that cup. For he that drinketh and eateth unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body. For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep. [*Another clear argument against symbolic communion: The symbolic view reduces the entire purpose of this rite to a reminder of Christ's death. That is clearly a secondary purpose because there are far better ways to remind ourselves of Christ's death than eating mere bread and drinking wine! The use of a Crucifix in worship would be a far better means to that end. Catholics of course know the primary purpose of the Holy Communion which, as His literal Body and Blood, accomplishes both objectives in the most powerful way imaginable.]

I Cor 10:16 "The cup of blessing... is... the communion of the Blood of Christ. The bread... is... the communion of the Body of Christ." For we being many are One Bread, and one Body: for we are all partakers of that one Bread."

The Eucharist Explained: The Eucharist is the means of an ever increasing umion and oneness with both the Church as His Body, and union and oneness with the literal Body. Soul and Spirit of the very Person of Jesus Christ Himself.

What does eating His literal body in that proper Spirit accomplish? First, it has everything to do with our growth in the One Body of Christ, the visible Church. It was by this One Spirit that we were Baptized into that One Body and now it is by that One Spirit in the Eucharist that we will grow in that One Body. If through Baptism, the Spirit places us in the visible Body, it is by the Spirit in the Eucharist that we grow in that visible Body of Christ. This relationship between the consecrated Communion bread and the Body of Christ is clearly taught by Paul in I Corinthians 10:16, 17: "The Bread which we break, is it not the communion of the Body of Christ? For we being many are One Bread, and one Body for we are all partakers of that one Bread." Second, His blood, which is also within every consecrated host, also imparts to us the very soul of Christ, because the life or soul is in the blood. This infusion of the soul of Christ into the souls of those in His Body was what the prohibition from eating the blood of animals in the Old Testament was all about. The blood prohibition was a symbolic teaching. Man was not to fuse his soul to the soul of any creature, that absolute union was to be reserved for God alone. The one flesh union of the marriage symbolizes this absolute soul union we are to have with God (Ephesians 5:31,32). While the ingesting of animal blood would not in itself infuse the soul of any animal to man's soul, it would have been highly symnbolic of such an act. This was idolatry and punishable by being "cut off from the people (Leviticus 17:11-14)! By partaking of the real Body and Blood of Christ in the proper spirit, a oneness with the very being of the resurrected Christ, by the actual infusion of His very body blood and soul, becomes real in us. The real Body Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ become part of us in the Eucharist! Paul says, therefore, that those in Christ's Church thus have a very real union with the literal living resurrected body of Christ: "We are members of His body, of His flesh, and of His bones..., they two shall be ONE FLESH... this is a great mystery but I speak of Christ and the Church."(Ephesians 5:30-32)! The Eucharist, then is the "Marriage Supper of the Lamb," and its complete reality will come after Babylon the great Harlot (this world system) is destroyed (Rev 18,19 and I Thess 4:13-5:10).

The Eucharist is Seen by John in Heaven and the writer of Hebrews. as a continual re-presentation of Christ the sacrifice. Rev 5:6 The Lamb as it had been slain is still in the form of the Passover Lamb offering Himself to God's people as our food. Jesus calls the Eucharist "hidden manna (heavenly miracle food)" in Rev 2:17. This miracle food (Christ Himself) is hidden by the appearance of bread and wine and will fully manifest in the Church at the Day of the Lord (Rev 19:7-9). Heb 8:1-3 The very fact that Christ is still our high Priest in Heaven proves conclusively that He is even yet offering to us what He offered us at Calvary. You cannot be a priest unless you have something to offer! "Every high priest is ordained to offer gifts and sacrifices: wherefore it is of necessity that this man [Christ] have somewhat also to offer." This sacrifice of Calvary (though now in its resurrected form) is thus presented daily in every Mass. This can be done because in true worship we enter the spirit (John 14:3) where there is no time, or where all time is one (Rev 10:6).

15. Celibacy as a Voluntary Vow is the Sacrificing of Something Good for Something of Greater Value.

Genesis 2:18. 1:28 Marriage is good, a Holy Sacrament capable of bestowing divine grace on those married and increasing the joy and happiness of Heaven through the procreation and the formation of new Holy creatures. Ephesians 5:21-33 Marriage is a holy symbol of Christ and the Church.

I Tim 4:1-3 Forbidding marriage, thinking it to be sinful, is a doctrine of Satan. This was a doctrine of the Essenes and other religious sects but never the Church of Christ.

Matt 19:12 Jesus recognized, however, that celibacy for those called to it was necessary for the Kingdom of God. He Himself was a celibate. It is one of the highest forms of self sacrifice and reparation for human sin.

I Cor 7:32-35; 7:8 Paul, seeing it as the ideal state for ministers, strongly recommends it. He also was celibate.

II Tim 2:4 "No man that warreth (a soldier) entangehth himself with the affairs of this life."

I Tim 5:9-12 The voluntary but binding pledge of celibacy was taken by older widows in the early Church.

I Tim 3:2 In the early Church, marriage to one wife was allowed for Bishops and presbyters (priests) but was never considered the ideal, as the Scripture itself reveals. Bishops or priests were not allowed, however, to marry after they were ordained into those offices. Marriage was allowed then because celibacy had just been introduced to the people of God. By the 4th Century there were enough celibates in the Church to require all new Bishops and presbyters to be unmarried. Marriage, by the way, does not solve the problem of human lust!

16. Holy Mary, Ever Virgin Mother of God and Queen of Heaven The Immaculate Conception of Mary. See also "Holy Mary- The Sinless Second Eve" CFECF (16), (17), (18)

1. If God created the first Adam and Eve sinless to begin the human race, why would He not begin the new and even greater redeemed spiritual human race with at least an equally sinless second Adam and Eve?

2. If the first Eve was perfect and sinless because she was literally taken from the very flesh of the sinless perfect Adam, would we want the child Jesus to be perfect and sinless for any less a reason than that he was formed from the perfect sinless flesh of his Holy Mother?

3. Would we really want to have to say Jesus needed to be saved from Original sin at the moment of his conception, as we must for His Holy and completely pure and sinless Mother? Would God wish us to have to confess in our faith that Jesus had to be "saved" from sin in any sense? That Jesus himself needed a Savior to preserve him from the stain of Original sin is what we would be force to confess if we deny the immaculate conception of the Holy Mother of God.

Luke 1:42 Elizabeth, by the Holy Spirit, declares Holy Mary the most blessed (most graced) of all women. How can we them doubt that she was created even more perfect and more full of grace than Eve?

Luke 1:49 Holy Mary by the Holy Spirit, confesses God worked more than one mighty miracle within her. "He that is mighty hath done to me great things and Holy is His name." All Christians know of the virginal conception of Jesus, but many ignore the other great work of God, Holy Mary's own natural but immaculate conception.

The Perpetual Virginity of Holy Mary
Luke 1:34 Holy Mary's response to Gabriel, who told her she was to bear the Christ child, is conclusive evidence that her vow of virginity was perpetual. "How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?" Had Mary had any intention of living with Joseph as a wife she would not have asked the question. She would have had her answer. The problem she had with Gabriel's announcement could only have been created by her vow of perpetual virginity.

Luke 2:41-51 It's obvious from the story of the visit to the Temple, when Jesus comes of age, that Jesus is the only one in the family with His Mother and Joseph.

John 19:26 By law Jesus would have chosen one of His "brothers" to take care of His Mother after His death if indeed these were either Mary or Joseph's sons. This is particularly true since two of these four "brothers" of Jesus ( James and Jude/Thaddaeus) had become Apostles! (Joseph and Simon, the older "brothers" were unbelievers until after the Resurrection) [We will now see that Jesus' "brothers" were actually cousins, the sons of Alphaeus (Cleophas), the older brother to Holy Joseph. Neither the Hebrew nor the Aramaic language had a word for cousin, therefore cousins were always called "brothers." When the Gospels were put into Greek, the Hebrew/Aramaic "brother" was literally translated and so remained "brother"]

Luke 6:14-16; Acts 1:13 The two "brothers" who became Apostles (James & Jude/Thaddaeus) were the sons of Alphaeus.

Matt 27:55,56; Mark 15:40 says it was the "other Mary" standing afar off from the cross who was the mother of James (representing the two who had become Apostles) and Joseph (representing the two who resisted Jesus). Holy Mary and the Apostle John had remained at the foot of the cross.

John 19:25 actually tells us that this "other Mary" was wife to Alphaeus (spelt here Cleophas). Interestingly this other Mary, the mother of the four "brothers" of Jesus is called a "sister" to Holy Mary. She, of course, was her cousin.

Holy Mary. Mother of God
Luke 1:43 We must call Mary "the Mother of God," because Elizabeth by the Holy Spirit did so!

John 1:1 Elizabeth by the Holy Spirit called Mary the Mother of the Lord Jehovah because Jesus Christ was God. It's that simple. The Church has insisted on calling her this because the truth about the Deity of Christ was being denied. Some were saying He was only a man. Other were saying His human nature existed separate from His divinity. Jesus, however, is one person: God-- with two natures. So, if Mary was in any sense the Mother of Jesus Christ she was the Mother of God. The true human nature of Jesus Christ did not exist outside His Divine being. Jesus is not two persons!

Mary. Queen of Heaven. Intercessor and Advocate for all mankind.
Matt 20:20-28 (Mark 10:35-45) Jesus says those to sit on either side of Him in the Kingdom would have to drink His bitter cup and be baptized with total self denial and be chosen by the Father to sit in those places specially "prepared" by the Father. What places on Jesus right and left did the Father specially "prepare" for His Son at His incarnation? Who did the Father already put in those places and were therefore the two most influential and meaningful people in His life? Then how could we doubt that it is Jesus' own Mother who sits today as Queen at His right hand, with the highest honor?

Revelation 12:1-2 John certainly saw her as Queen of Heaven. She is seen as the "Woman clothed with the sum, and the Moon under her feet and upon her head a crown of twelve stars."

Psalm 45:9-16 This great Messianic Psalm is a most striking prophetic revelation of Holy Mary as Queen of Heaven.

1. Messiah-King's Queen is standing at His right hand (v.9).

2. Amazingly, while this is a wedding scene (v. 14,15) this Queen is the King's "daughter" [i.e. the creation of the King Himself!] (v.13) and thus she is to worship Him as her "Lord"(v. 11)

3. The espoused Queen is called to "forget" her own people and concern herself with promoting the King's interest among the gentiles. The true glorv of Mary thus would not be clearly revealed to Israel in Jesus day nor in the NT writings (v. 10-12).

4. The Queen's intercessory role among the gentiles is revealed in v.12.

5. The promise of her being praised for all generations is found here long before Holy Mary herself, through the Holy Spirit, spoke the same prophecy in Luke 1:48.

6. Her great spiritual progeny are also mentioned as becoming "princes" throughout the entire earth (v.16). These spiritual princes, the priests of the Church or her "special Sons," as she calls them in her many messages to us in our day, encircle the world and serve in every nation on earth.

I Kings 2:19.20 Solomon, son of David, is an important and well-recognized type of Christ, therefore his Kingdom is also a type of the Kingdom of Christ. Here Solomon. with his Mother as Queen seated at his right hand is seen here interceding on behalf of Adonijah, who had been one of Solomon's most dangerous rivals to the throne.

Mary. Co-redemtrix for Mankind and the Mediatrix of all God's Grace to Mankind

Phil 3:10 All Christians are co-redeemers in that we participate with Christ in His sufferings so as to extend His finished work to others. "That I may know Him... and the fellowship of His sufferings, being made conformable unto His death.."

II Cor 1:5.6 "As the sufferings of Christ abound in us... it is for your consolation and salvation."

11 Cor 4:10. 12 "Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus.... So then death worketh in us but life [salvation] in you."

Col 1:24 This participation of man in Christ's suffering is so essential to the salvation of men that Paul says that we must "fill up that which is behind (lacking) in the afflictions of Christ!" Now, there are two levels of human participation in the redemptive sufferings of Christ. The first and highest level of participation was accomplished by the one who did it completely and perfectly, the one who drank not only "of the cup" of Christ but who drank the fulness of that cup, which qualified her for the position at His right hand. It is true that all that was necessary to provide redemption for man was Christ's sacrifice. But that sacrifice, which was already accomplished (in the spirit) before time existed ("from the foundation of the world"--Rev 13:8), had to be manifest in time and in a human physical body or mankind would never have known about it!. That required the full and perfect participation of a Mother. This means all the grace man has ever known or experienced from Jesus Christ has all come through that Mother. However, the rest of us also have an important part in man's experience of redemption. Christ's sacrifice now having been manifest in human history would be known by very few without God's people also having been willing to suffer with Him all down through history.

Her Bodily Assumption into Heaven.
Gen 5:24; II Kings 2:11 Both Enoch and Elijah were bodily assumed into "heaven" without dying.

Hebrews 11:5 Since Enoch was "translated" because he pleased God, could we expect anything less for the Holy Mother of God"? Mary's bodily assumption was one of those many well known, apostolically authenticated, holy oral Traditions of which Paul spoke in II Timothy 2:2 and II Thessalonians 2:15 that were not to be put in written form. according to the prophecy in Psalm 45:10,11 that the truth of Mary would be concealed from Israel.

17. Call No Man Father, Teacher (Rabbi), or Master (Boss)
Matt 23:8-10 Protestants insist Jesus statement "call no man Father" applies in every religious application, but fail to point out that Jesus also said, "Be ye not called teacher (rabbi) or master (boss)." Protestants also fail to point out that Steven, Paul and John all contradict their inconsistent and legalistic interpretation. The context shows that Jesus clearly had in mind the abuse of these proper titles and may have actually been pointing to examples indicating the abusive sense he was indicating. It was being called Father, Teacher or Master in the sense the Pharisees used these titles of themselves that He was prohibiting-- in the sense that they should only be used of God Himself. One might use capital letters to express this difference in emphasis: FATHER, Father or father.

Acts 7:2 Steven calls both Abraham and the Jewish leaders of his day "fathers,"or perhaps "Fathers."

Acts 21:40; 22:1 Paul also calls the Jerusalem Jewish leaders "fathers." (not FATHERS or even Fathers!)

Romans 4:16.17 Paul calls Abraham "the Father of us all." (not "FATHER")

I Cor 4:14-17 Paul speaks of the Corinthians as his "children" he has begotten as a father and Timothy as his "son.."

I Timothy 1:2 Paul again speaks of Timothy as his "son," so he was claiming to be a spiritual father.

Titus 1:4 Paul calls Titus his spiritual "son" so he was Titus' spiritual father.

Philemon 10 Paul calls Onesimus his "son" whom he had "begotten."

I Peter 5:13 Peter considered himself a spiritual father to John Mark calling him his son.

I John 2:13.14 John addresses respected mature believers as "fathers."

18. Holy Relics have been Ordained by God as "sacramentals" or a Means of His Grace to Us.
II Kings 13:20.21 Contact with Elisha's bones restores a man to life.

Acts 5:15.16 Many are healed by the passing of merely the shadow of Peter.

Acts 19:11.12 Healings are attributed to cloths touched by Paul.

James 5:14 Holy oil was to be used in anointing those who were sick.

19. Repetitious Prayer is not Wrong. It's can be the Highest Form of Prayer
Revelation 4:8 The four "Living Creatures," (Cherubim) are seen to be before the throne of God in worship and adoration declaring "day and night" without rest, "Holy, Holy, Holy Lord God Almighty, which was and is and is to come."

I Thess 5:17 "Pray without ceasing."

Matt 6:7 Jesus was not at all opposed to repetition or to persistence in prayer if there is faith, worship and adoration in the prayer, but to vain repetition or vain persistence.

Matt 15:22-28 Jesus commends the faith of a Canaanite woman for her persistence in her prayers and petitions to Him.

20. Confession to Man is Often Needed for God to Completely Forgive.
Authority to forgive sin: CFECF (19)
James 5:15.16 "Confess your faults one to another and pray for one another that ye may be healed." It is clear from this one text that confessing our sins to God is often not enough to obtain forgiveness. This exhortation is also in the context of the need of presbyters (priests) being called to pray for and anoint with Holy Oil those who are sick and in need of having their sins forgiven! This authority to forgive sins was given first to Peter in Matt 16:19 and them to all the Apostles by Jesus in Matt 18:18 and John 20:23. Confession. priests and forgiving sins are all linked in this text. All Christians admit the need of confessing sins to those we hurt and that God will not forgive us if we knowing fail in this, yet many ignore the fact that all our sins hurt the Church of Christ and that the priest with the Apostolic "gift" is the chosen one to represent the Church in hearing our confession. No one but God can forgive sin, but God has chosen to forgive us only through those we hurt whenever confession to them is possible. The Church does not limit all forgiveness to the agency of priests!
21. Veneration of Saints and Angels (See also Praying to the Saints and Angels, above)
Josh 5:14 Joshua falls prostrate and "worships*" before an angel. who identifies himself as Prince of the host of Jehovah. Since the angel is not Jehovah, the Son of God, he must be Michael or another powerful angel.

Daniel 8:17 Daniel fell in fear before Gabriel.

Tobit 12:16 Tobiah and Tobit fall before Raphael the Angel.

*Neither the Hebrew word for worship (shachah) or the Greek word (proskuneo) are used exclusively in Scripture for the honor due only to God. The words merely mean to honor, venerate or bow down. Even the English word "worship" can sometimes be used to show a proper but the very highest honor and devotion to another person. Jesus required we give honor to whom honor is due and that certainly includes the Holy Saints and Angels above all other created beings! How can anyone give honor to the Saints or Angels, due only to God, when they know they are only creatures?

22. Importance of Statues, Images and other visual aids in True Worship and Faith

Exodus 25:18.19 Moses commands the making of two cherubim of beaten Gold to adorn the Ark of the Covenant.

Numbers 21:8.9 Moses makes a bronze serpent on a pole to help focus the Israelites faith on God's mercy.

I Kings6:23-29 The Temple had engraved cherubim, trees and flowers to remind them of God the creator.

I Kings 7:25-45 The Temple had bronze oxen, lions and pomegranates to remind the people of the character of God..

Exodus 20:4.5 The prohibition against images was only in respect to worshiping them as God. (See v.22,23; Lev 26:1)

23. The Rapture
I Thess 4:16-5:8 The timing of this event is at the Day of the Lord according to the context 5:1,2. This is at the very end of the Age when Christ comes back to overthrow all evil and at the resuirection of the dead. According to Joel 2:31 this day is some time after the sun is darkened and the moon is turned to blood and is described in detail in Revelation 20.

II Corinthians 12:2.4 This "catching away" (harpazo) is the same word Paul used here to describe his experience of being caught up in the spirit to Heaven and Paradise This was not a physical removal but a bi-locatiom in which his spirit was taken into the heavens. This will happen em-masse to God's people at the end of the Age, who will be joined by forces from heaven, also experiencing this heightened spiritual state. This is a spiritual enablement for war with the AntiChrist, the Beast and the Devil on the earth, not an exodus from the earth! I Thess 5:4 does not say Christians will not be overtaken by "that Day." It says that day will not overtake them as a thief or unexpectedly. The armor mentioned in v.8,9 is given to protect us from God's wrath. That protection does not require our physical removal from earth. Before the final "millennial" triumph of the Church, the Church must endure its own Passion. The Church cannot triumph in its "resurrection" unless it follows Christ in His Passion!

John 17:15 Removing Christians from this world is plainly revealed as absolutely contrary to the will and prayer of Christ. "I pray not that Thou shouldst take them out of the world, but that Thou shouldest keep them from the evil."

Matt 24:40 41 "Two shall be in the field, one shall be taken and the other left," refers to the judgmnent of God(cf. vv 50,51)

24. Sexual Morality: The biblical view of pre-marital sexual union, masturbation, homosexuality, artificial birth control, and marital fornication.
Exodus 20:14 "Thou shalt not commit adultery." Adultery has often been thought to only involve a married person with other than the married partner and to involve only specific outward acts. That was the legal view adopted for practical reasons of enforcement, but it was never God's view. Jesus included far more in adultery.

Matthew 5:28 Jesus said, "Whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart." Jesus not only taught that choosing to "lust" is adultery but shows that the marital status of neither party is important. Jesus says, "whosoever" and "a woman." Though the word "adultery" always has reference to marital infidelity, Jesus here clearly avoid any reference to marital status. Obviously whatever Jesus meant by any man's "lust" towards any woman was adultery because it was a violation of the ideal of marital union which even the unmarried are bound to respect and preserve even in their thoughts. Pre-marital sex then is adultery because it is a violation of God's ideal for marriage. On this spiritual level then "fornication," which is the broad term to describe all sexual perversion, is adultery. On the spiritual level Jesus makes no distinction between these terms. Any sexual activity or even thought, willfully entertained, that falls short of God's concept for marriage was to Jesus adultery, a sin against God and destructive to society. What is God's ideal for the marital union if "lust," even between those in a marital union, is a grave threat to it? God's ideal is realized only when the divine purpose for marriage and sexual union dominates and governs all fleshly human desire. The maxim, "one must eat to live not live to eat," conveys a universally understood moral law that applies just as certainly to this area of human passion as any other.

Because the Catholic Church's position on sexual involvement requires not only "an openness to procreation" in the marital state but an intention of procreation it is the divine, the only scriptural view. All sexual involvement (including our thought life) not governed by this purpose is contrary to our Creator's intention for us and thus destructive to our relationship to God and those around us. Such thinking and activity becomes selfish, exploiting and degrading even in the marital union. Artificial birth control denies both intention and openness to procreation. For this reason all the major Protestant denominations once held with the Catholic Church that artificial birth control was wrong, but one by one they capitulated to the current social understanding. The view is now taken by many Christians that not even an "openness to procreation" is an essential moral element, but that the unifying element in the physical act, justifies the act by itself. This is a deception.

First, there are other far more meaningful ways to foster genuine loving unity of spirit and soul between a husband and wife than through sexual or physical union. The most deep and loving human relationships between people have never required sexual union! Jesus' own celibate life proved this point. Do we wish to say Jesus relationships with people lacked in any meaningful way? Second, this is the same deception that led to the fall of man in Eden. This truth in the story of the fall of Adam and Eve, is left to us in powerful allegorical figures in Genesis 2 and 3.* The form in which this very real event in human history is presented has allowed many to miss even the obvious clues to what really took place at the fall of man. There are many indications that the Garden, the Tree of Life and of the Knowledge of Good and Evil speak entirely of spiritual realities and that the sin of our first parents was of a sexual nature.

The Origin of Human Immorality (all spiritually untamed attempts to satisfy human desire)

1. Adam and Eve were created as spirit beings by God's own breath and then placed into a flesh body ("the Garden") formed from the mud of this earth (Genesis 2:8,9,15). Man was then given an opportunity to immediately gain great merit with God by confirming the supremacy of his spiritual nature over his flesh (animal) nature. In this he would have been able to attain a permanent state of glorification of his earthbound flesh nature without knowing death. He could also chose to allow his animal flesh nature to dominate, bring death to his flesh, subject his own spirit to corruption, disrupt his relationship to God and bar himself from Heaven. Man's orderly and spiritually dominated flesh being and nature was the "Garden of Eden" into which Adam was placed. Adam was then to care for and preserve this "Garden" (2:15). Eve was created from Adam to help him care for this Garden.

2. God, whose only object for the creation of man was to fill Heaven with virtuous human beings, then gave man the privilege of being co-creators with Him of mankind: "Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth." (1:28) He told him all the physical delights of his still perfectly orderly fleshly nature could be enjoyed except one. Interestingly, Eve sees this forbidden "Tree" as the one in the "midst of the Garden" (3:3)! God's perspective was quite different (2:9). Eve, looking at Adam with physical eyes, interpreted "midst" physically. God saw spiritually. Clearly God was telling them He had a better way for them to procreate than that of animals and flesh–by the Tree of Life, at the center of man's spiritual being. Obedience here would have subdued man's animal nature and given it immortality.

3. The animal creation which was to be subdued by man–not imitated or worshiped--was a providentially designed reflection of man's own inferior flesh nature. This animal creation procreated according to the nature of flesh. If man's spirit was to dominate and subdue his own flesh nature, man would have to procreate according to the spirit. That this could be done and indeed was God's original plan for human procreation is revealed it the generation of the human nature of Christ by the Holy Spirit (pure Divine Love) within the virginal womb of Mary.

4. So in this great commission to replenish the earth was the test. In this commission was an opportunity for man to affirm the supremacy of his spiritual nature and immediately gain the merit needed to truly enjoy God forever

5. Adam and Eve, however, at the prompting of Satan, and in the first disorder in their "Garden," were both seduced by the desire of their own flesh. In direct violation of God's original plan they chose the forbidden Tree and learned "Evil" (but also the "Good" of procreating!) by choosing to live dominated by their flesh or animal nature.

6. That they felt ashamed of their nakedness after their sin reveals rather clearly the manner in which they defrauded one another. It reveals the manner in which they used the other for the satisfaction of their own selfish fleshly desires. Eve's choice to lower her holy calling of procreation from the spiritual plain to the physical is also indicated in that now human birth itself would be a physical (and painful) experience rather than a supra- physical one.. Above all it is important to realize what led to their imitating the animal kingdom. It was not that Adam and Eve were closed to procreation. They merely lacked the single intention of procreation. Sensuality in this one matter, which God had originally completely prohibited, was the focus. If Adam and Eve had been solely interested in procreation they would have chosen the "Tree of Life," as did Holy Mary and Her Son Jesus. Now, because of Original Sin, that "Tree" is no longer immediately accessible. Such generations by the Spirit of God (pure Love) within us could never take place without our perfect holiness, a holiness that was only true of the Holy Virgin Mary. Now mankind, who now often descends lower than the animals he submitted to, must deal with an even more unruly desire called concupiscence. Some choose to subdue it by the Holy Spirit, most will in some way justify it. The pagan worship of animals and their depiction of their deities in the form of animals is of course fallen man's attempt to justify his unbridled sensual nature by attributing it to the deities. (See Romans 1:21-27).

7. Since God did not want man to live forever in this fallen state dominated by the flesh, he "drove them out of the Garden and from the Tree of Life." This simply means God denied Adam and Eve physical immortality and subjected the entire human race to physical death. The lot of man now was to "work by the sweat of his brow" to maintain the order and discipline in his fleshly earth bound nature. The "thorns and thistles" are the inordinate lusts and desires of all kinds that now continually crop up in the human soul. Being consigned to eating of "herbs of the field" rather than the fruits of the Garden means our life in this world would loose all its original beauty and sweetness. It certainly does not mean God has restricted our literal physical diets to herbs.

Only Jesus and Mary have been able to live in that Garden of perfect ordered humanity while on this earth. They however denied themselves all the fruits of that Garden to atone for the fallen human race and they instead ate of all the most bitter herbs. For this reason they are the new Adam and Eve who are establishing the new and spiritual race, which has been re-enabled, through their graces, to attain final glorification and immortality for the physical human nature after death. According to Revelation 2:7; 22:2, that Garden of the perfectly ordered flesh nature and the Tree of Immortality is found only in Heaven. To attain this end man has been given a "taste" through Jesus Christ of some of the very life giving juices that flowed in that Tree. Those life giving juices, according to John 15 are available to those who abide in Jesus Christ, the Vine.

Those who justify sexual union apart from the intention of procreation, speaking of some "unitive value" as itself sufficient, are only advocating what caused the original fall of man. Further, the unitive value apart from the purpose of procreation is the very grounds homosexual gays and lesbians justify their life styles. It is the same grounds that pedophiles justify their "loving" acts with children. The only clear basis we have to condemn any of these unions is the plain truth of Genesis 2 and 3, that sexual union even with its unitive value cannot be justified outside its primary purpose of procreation. The "one flesh" of marital union cannot be morally separated from its purpose of procreation! Only the Catholic Church today maintains this much misaligned moral principal, though many Catholics no longer believe the Church's teaching let alone practice it. The fruit of this rebellion against God and the Church Jesus established and preserved to be our certain light is everywhere evident in the multitudes of children being born out of wedlock and unwanted children, the legalization of the murder of unwanted babies, rampant sexual abuse of children and every other sexual perversion in our day. The disorder these sins have created in society have led to every other social disorder and tragedy including the deplorable spiritual impotence of the Christian Church in our day.

[*NOTE: There are not two but four creation accounts in Genesis, each of which, like the four Gospels, presents an important truth about man's dual nature and the great challenge this presented to Adam and Eve. Genesis 1:1-2:3 presents man's true purpose on earth. God here shows that He was giving man the opportunity to experience spiritual mastery over his lower human nature. This was graphically illustrated in the first mission he was given. He was to have dominion over the inferior animal kingdom.

The opportunity for this mastery over his own animal nature would come in choosing the proper spiritual way to fulfill his second mission, to "multiply and replenish the earth." Genesis 2:4-7 contrasts the great inferiority of man's earthly fleshly nature to his heavenly spirit. The is seen in the contrast in origins. The original barrenness of the created earth before vegetation grew is depicts humble origin of man's flesh. This is contrasted to the origin of the spirit of man which originated from the very Spirit (breath) of God. Genesis 2:8-14 reveals that despite its humble and inferior nature, the divinely ordered human flesh nature is a most beautiful and pleasant thing. In this account God first mentions this "Garden of Eden" into which man (the spiritual being) is placed. Here also is now mentioned the two Trees that would later represent the choice Adam and Eve would have to make. From this Garden of man's divinely ordered human nature would come a fount of "water" capable of turning the rest of humanity into a Garden. Revealing their symbolic nature, that Garden, it's fount, and the Tree of Life, however, can now only be found in Heaven (Revelation 22:1- 2). Genesis 2:15-3:24 (That v.15 repeats man's placement into the Garden, shows this is yet another accounts.) Here God reveals to Adam, before Eve is created, the consequence of failing to "keep" the Garden in its proper order, with his spirit ruling over his animal nature. We see also how Adam fell by allowing disorder into his Garden by conceding to Eve suggestion to partake of the forbidden fruit (desire). In God's mercy, man was then denied physical immortality so he could eventually escape from the inescapable struggle with his flesh nature. God's reason for allowing man's physical death, by the way, is wholly incompatible with the notion of reincarnation.

If we had to live with the flesh nature until we "get it right," God would never have subjected man to physical death in the first place.]

CONCLUSION Why has the Catholic faith been so continuously misrepresented and maligned, especially by professing Christians? Non-Catholic Christian writers do not seriously misrepresent the Jehovah's Witnesses, the Mormons, or any number of the other way out heretical cult groups. Why the incredible unrelenting and unparalleled distortion of Roman Catholic faith? There can only be one answer to that-- the big "D"–and the vulnerability of many Christians to his devices.

Apart from the many Judases who have infiltrated the Church with the intent to subvert it, how much of the failure of its leaders is due to the steady barrage of hatred, lies and misrepresentations that these leaders have endured from fellow Christians who often had little interest in understanding the Catholic faith and perhaps even less interest in its high and holy standards? We are increasingly becoming aware of the price we are paying and are yet to pay for this lack of love of the truth as revealed in completeness by Jesus Christ to His Apostles 2000 years ago.