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Sacraments and Purgatory



There are seven reasons, but I’ll introduce that starting in verse 6, because the apostle Paul was confronted with something of nearly as great a magnitude as the Roman Church is. And you can see how he spoke out very strongly.  In fact, this book of the, his epistle to the Galatians, is the most strong, denouncing, almost imprecatory of all of Paul’s writings.  Nowhere else, does he so strongly wield the sword of the spirit against specific individuals as when they tampered with the simplicity of the gospel.

Look at verse 6…the apostle Paul went to these people on his first missionary journey.  Of course, in theological circles, I would be of the Southern Galatian belief.  There are two schools of thought:  One is that we don’t even know whom Paul is writing this to, the other is that we do.  And I believe that when you read chapters 13 and 14 of the book of Acts, you find the group of people that Paul was ministering to, and then he wrote back a letter to them to encourage them.  This is probably Paul’s second epistle. It was written about the time of the council in Jerusalem because he was so agitated about the fact that people were coming in and destroying the gospel.  Now, how can you destroy the gospel?  Well, keep reading,

“which is really not…” 

That’s an awful, awful judgmental thing to say.  But Paul the apostle was very serious.  As we have said before verse 9…  Verse 11… 


Legalism is Adding Something to the Gospel to Earn Salvation

So briefly, that introduction will tell you that the apostle Paul was quite angry because a group of people had infiltrated those Southern Galatian cities.  And what they were telling the people was, “Believing in Jesus Christ by faith is not enough.”  You’ve got to add a little surgery to it, circumcision, and a whole list of laws, the laws of Moses.  That’s why he said it’s really not another gospel, it’s a different gospel. 

Because anything that clouds the simple gospel of the grace of God revealed in Jesus Christ, that you don’t need three theological dictionaries, that you don’t need a seminary degree, that you don’t need to go on a pilgrimage to get it.  All you need to do is acknowledge the overwhelming debt we owe to God and the singular sacrifice that Jesus Christ offered.  That’s the gospel. But what happened to that gospel? Well, if you turn back to the 15th chapter of Matthew, I want to show you the problem started when Christ was here and it’s never left us.

And if I was to give a general introduction of what’s wrong with the Roman Church it would be Matt 15:1-6.  I don’t want you to miss this, because the real danger we’re facing today is the elevation of some very erudite, some very earnest people’s opinion elevated over the Bible.  And when you do that, you totally destroy the simple gospel message that Christ accomplished on the cross.  Look at Matt 15:1-2           

Then the scribes and Pharisees who were from Jerusalem came to Jesus, saying, “Why do Your disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? For they do not wash their hands when they eat bread.”

Now, this wasn’t saying that the disciples were a bunch of slobs, what it’s saying is they didn’t do it their way, they did it their own way, instead of the Pharisees’ way.  Basically, in Christ’s time, the Pharisees went through this ritual that involved taking sacred water and putting it from one hand to the other and then letting it run down to the bottoms of their elbows.  Then they would take it again and put it from one hand to the other, then they’d let it out of their hands and it would run down. And they would wash their hands all the way down to the bottom of their elbows. 

And had become a tradition, and it became such a big thing that you’d wear your special clothing, and you’d come into the banquet, and you’d get a little of this water and you’d pour it in your hands and you’d let it run down and drip on the tablecloth, and you’d do this several times. Now look, verse 3. 

“and he…” 

That’s why there’s no tradition at QBC that is not bound to the word of God that we are not willing to change.  Did you catch what I said?  There’s nothing in stone around here except whatever’s built on the rock of Christ.  And that’s why we have to be very careful, because after people are doing something for very long, they start thinking it’s the only way to do it and the right way to do it. 

Just to give you an example, Sunday School.  You might think that Jesus started Sunday School.  Jesus did not start Sunday School, Sunday School was started in 1783 by a fellow named Robert Rakes in England.  No one had Sunday School before that.   Did you know that?  But yet if you say we’re going to change Sunday school, some people go right through the ceiling.  They would have a heart attack.   They would collapse outside.  They would quit going to church because they think it’s in the Bible.  It’s not in the Bible.  The Bible says that parents are to instruct their children.  And your children’s primary spiritual learning should be from you and from me as a parent and not from Sunday School.  That’s a secondary, that’s a supplement.  Do your children live on vitamins?  Church is a vitamin; Sunday School is a vitamin.  It’s a supplement; it’s not their diet. If kids ate vitamins all the time, they’d be sick.  If your children only get a diet from Sunday School, they’ll be sick. 

Traditions had been elevated.  Look at verse 4…It was a clever way to keep your money to yourself and not share with your parents who raised you.  In the Jewish tradition, your parents stayed with you much like is happening nowadays.  After they got old and infirm, you just basically ushered them into the Kingdom when they died.  They died at home instead of being consigned off somewhere where someone else can have the problem because we want to have our own life and have fun, etc., etc.  So, they had a problem back then in that selfish mentality was going then.  What they were saying is we can’t take care of you, you’re on your own, and everything of ours belongs to God and me.  So, that was a tradition they started. 

Look at verse 6…Now, in a nutshell, the Roman church has developed 7 areas of tradition that are inaccurate, they’re not grounded in the Bible, most of them have nothing to do with the Bible.  They were all fabricated from paganism.  Some of them do have roots in the Scriptures.  But all of them are wrong. 

Test All Things by God’s Word

The Scriptures tell us that we are supposed to test all things against the scripture 1Thess 5 and hold fast to what is good.  And the apostle Paul said,

“If anybody brings a gospel to you, other than the simple gospel and here’s the simple gospel: For I delivered unto you first of all, that which I also received how that Christ died for our sins according to Scripture, that He was buried, that He rose again, according to the Scripture.” 

That’s the gospel.  How do you tap into that?  That if thou shall confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in thy heart that God hath raised Him from the dead you will be saved.  Period. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness, with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. 

The Gospel in Not Dispensed by Priests

That’s the gospel.  And it’s not mediated through a bunch of people wearing funny outfits, it’s not brought out by one figure-head that says he’s Christ’s representative.  It’s simple people like you and me looking at the Bible and believing it.  Some people say, “Well, don’t bother them.  They have their thing going and they’re not harming us.  Why are you bothering them?” 

I’m not against individuals, I’m not talking about comparing what one friend of yours that’s a Catholic says and they say, “Well, I don’t agree with that.”  I’m talking about the organization.  I’m talking about the monolithic, monarchical episcopate.  What that means in one-man-show ruling the thing who is the pontifex maximus, the vicar of Christ as he’s called or the pope. 

That man sits at the head of an institution that is teaching a different gospel.  You could not, I could not go today, down the road to any of the 200,000 Catholic churches in this world, I could not go there and tell them “Sola Gratia”, solely by grace.  “Sola Fide” only by faith. “Sola Scriptura” you only need the Bible, you don’t need any traditions, you don’t need any of the passed on stuff that has built up over 1900 years.  I couldn’t say that.  But that’s what the Bible says.  It says you don’t need anybody to teach you, you just need the Holy Spirit to move inside at the point of salvation.

Seven Deadly Poisons of Romanism

           Well, what are those seven traditions? 

The first one is the Mass, and I’ve already gone through this in detail.  If you haven’t been with us, you need to specifically look in the book of Hebrews, because the truth of the scripture, starting in Hebrews 9 tells us that without the shedding of blood there is no remission, vs. 12, of sin.  Hebrews 9:22-28… 

The thing that’s wrong with the Mass is that Jesus Christ said, My death, one time paid the total price of the totality of sin of the world.  Jesus Christ died once for all.  Now you can be the jury tonight, okay?  And I’ll just be the lawyer presenting the evidence.  Jesus Christ, Hebrews 9:22-28 and repeatedly through the scriptures says,

“He offered himself once for all.”   

The Roman Church says, and I quote,

“That in this divine sacrifice is contained and emulated the unbloody matter, the same Christ.  He, Himself, has offered Himself not only for His sins, or for the sins of the people and the faithful who are living.  But also of those who are departed and are not yet fully purified.” 

And that sacrifice of the Mass is propitiatory sacrifice repeated over and over.  Those, by the way, are the documents of the Council of Vatican II, volume 1, and page 149.  I mean, that’s what they believe today.  Jesus Christ said once and for all the Roman Church says 200,000 times a day we have to sacrifice Christ, and even that’s not enough to get you to heaven.  You still have to go to Purgatory.  That’s the first error.

The second error I shared with you is the false worship of Mary.  Some people say we don’t worship Mary, we venerate Mary.  They say we don’t venerate Mary, we just say she’s great.  But actually, if you read their doctrine, the Roman Catholic Church teaches, again in the articles from Vatican II:

“Mary, co-redemptrix of the human race because of Christ she ransomed mankind with Him from the power of Satan Jesus redeemed us with His blood from His body, Mary with the agonies of her heart.”  

The Bible says Hebrews 1:3…Jesus paid it all. It all.  He did it all, nobody helped Him.  That’s what the Bible says and the Roman Church says Mary has to aid in the redemption.  Which one’s right?  Only one person can be right, it’s Jesus.  In an argument, there are two people that are right.  If they’re diametrically opposed, only one is right.  It’s not am I right or are you right?  Is Jesus telling the truth, or is the Roman Church telling the truth?   And you can’t say yes, one of them isn’t, because they’re saying two opposite things.  And that’s the error.

thirdly, not only the Mass and Mary, but the Roman Catholic Church has perverted the Bible and substituted tradition in a lot of ways.  And those ways are that they’ve made this monarchical episcopate, this one man ruling the whole church.  They’ve put on the official papal authority, papal infallibility, and prayers to Mary.  There’s the idea of Immaculate Conception of Mary. 

I think Mary would have been embarrassed if you’d said she’d been born without sin.  And then if you back it up in the 1950’s saying her body was assumed into heaven she would have been shocked.  She didn’t know that had happened to her either.  And then when you back it up now and say that her mother in going all the way back to Eve there was perpetual virginity and sinlessness; I wonder how any of us got here.  You know what I mean, if all these people are perpetually virgins, where did the children come from?  But I don’t want to be funny, I’m just saying that when you really think about it none of those traditions, robes, candles, rosaries, masses, holy days, Lent, orders of priests, monks, nun, you understand, relics—none of that is in the Bible, none of it at all.  It’s not even hinted at in here.  And they’ve substituted their traditions, and what the Lord said you invalidate the word of God when you substitute tradition.

Fourthly, the Bible plainly forbids making any images for worship and bowing down to those images.  And I want to share with you something, there’s a great book that most of you know about, it’s written by a fellow named J.I. Packer, he’s a very, very brilliant man.  He wrote this, because I want you to realize this is not “Baptistic” teaching.  In fact, I would not fight for the term Baptist at all.  In fact, I remember when I came here and was candidating, I said that, I said, “I’m Baptist with a little ‘b’.”  In fact if the word weren’t even a name it wouldn’t bother me at all, because “Baptist” has bad connotations.  You have no idea what they mean.  I’m a born-again Christian.  But, J.I. Packer is definitely not a Baptist, definitely, and listen to what he says, commenting, this is his sermon on Exodus 20:4,5, which say,

“Thou shalt not make any graven images.” 

Because sometimes, we’re guilty. 

“Idolatry consists not only in the worship of false gods,” in other words, of Hindu, of Buddha, some Shinto shrine to some departed spirits, that’s not all idolatry is.” It’s not just some person in the South Pacific Islands hewing out some idol to some nature deity, but listen, “but also in the worship of the true God by images.  In its Christian application, this means we are not to make use of visual or pictorial representations of the Triune God, of any person of the Trinity, for the purposes of Christian worship. 

The commandment thus deals not with the objects of our worship, but with the manner of it.  What it tells us is not that statues and pictures of the one whom we worship are not to be used, but that they are not to be used as an aid to worship.” 

If there’s a picture in a Bible storybook, or a dictionary when you’re teaching your children that there’s Samuel and there’s Paul and there’s Jesus and He’s feeding the 5,000. As long as the children are not using that and have to have that in front of them to pray, it is a valid thing to use in teaching; although if it bothers you, you shouldn’t use it.  However, there should never be a representation of Jesus Christ in a pictorial, statutory form or an icon that you use that helps you worship God.  That is blasphemous and wrong and idolatrous.  Did you know that?  Did you know that if you need to have a little crucifix or a little Saint Somebody medal or a picture of Jesus in your place where you pray that that is idolatry and it’s wrong?  It always has been.  Why?  

What is Wrong With Using Images?

You might ask the question why?  Well, one thing is it reduces God down to your or whoever drew the picture’s concept of Him.  Isn’t it striking that there’s no physical description of Christ, other than the fact that He was bruised and beaten and His, it says His hairs were pulled out of his face and his visage was so marred you couldn’t recognize Him? That’s the only description of Him in the whole Bible.  If it’s so important for us to have pictures of Him and little statues of Him around, don’t you think God could have included those?  He preserved His word.  We know that David had red hair.  We know that Esau was a man with red hair and much like a California weight lifter.  I mean, there’s a lot of descriptions of a lot of people in the Bible.  We know all about them.  Song of Solomon is so graphic; some people can’t even read it.  There’s no problem with the ability of God to use words to describe things.  God says, Don’t worship me with any physical representation.  None.  I think some of you ought to think about that.  If you have all these pictures of Jesus around to help you, that’s wrong.  You’re reducing God.  You’re reducing the inscrutable, the unfathomable God down to a picture?   That really deprecates God’s eternal nature, and God, the Son’s too.

The Error of Idolatry

Well, sometimes we’re guilty of that and Packer has a whole chapter on it in his book, Knowing God.  I recommend it to you highly.  The Roman Church just doesn’t have pictures around.  They encourage that people take crucifixes, images of Mary, images of Saints, pray to them and seek their help.  That is blatant, unmitigated idolatry.  That is not Christianity.  That is paganism, and that is error.  And if no one else will say it, you ought to say it and believe it.  Not to criticize them, but to explain why Romanism is wrong.  They shouldn’t have those statues on their dashboards, they shouldn’t have them around their neck, they should not have them in their house and they should not use them as aids of prayer.  And if they are born-again Christians then they ought to know the truth and turn from their images, because it’s wrong.

The Error of Sacraments

Fifthly, the fifth reason why I’m not a Roman Catholic is because of the sacraments.  And I read to you again from Vatican II that was 1962-1965.   In Vatican II, they reaffirmed, and this is what they said,

“If anyone says the sacraments of the new law are not necessary for salvation, but that without them men obtain from God through faith alone grace of justification. Let him be anathema.” 

That’s exactly Roman doctrine that they do not, they aren’t ashamed of and they don’t veer from at all.   That is what the Roman Church believes.  Look at Titus 3:5…

not by works of righteousness, which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit,

That’s salvation, how do you get it?  Ephesians 2:8,9…

For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.

Not by sacraments, not by as Vatican II says and affirms,

“That this sacred counsel proposes the decrees of Trent are true, and that the Eucharist, and the sacrifice of the Eucharist the work of our redemption is accomplished.” 

The work of our redemption, your and mine, is accomplished by Jesus Christ alone.  Not by sacrifice.

The Error of Purgatory

 Well, real quickly, number six.  The sixth reason why I’m not a Roman Catholic, and for those of you who always tune out until something new happens: This is new, okay?  Number six—it’s because of purgatory.  I want to explain to you how horrible purgatory is because some of you are going to go to funerals. And you’re going to be there because of someone you love or a friend of someone you love, and they’re going to be having a Mass for that person that died to help him out of purgatory.  And everyone’s going to stand up and they’re going to start filing forward and you’re going to be at a moment of truth.  And I’ll tell you something, it is wrong for you to participate in what they’re doing.  It’s not wrong, you can go to a funeral, you can go to a wedding, but when they get and down and do all their things and march forward—you should not.  Why?  Because what they’re doing is wrong, and if you go along with them you are affirming what they’re doing.  You’re affirming their error.  Don’t make a face and do something to upset them, just reverently stand there.  And if they ask you afterwards why you didn’t go just explain to them.  I’ll explain to you what’s wrong with purgatory.

Didn’t Vatican II Change These Errors?

Vatican II, this is what they said, 1962, and this is the Roman Church.  Everyone says Vatican II changed everything, Vatican II changed nothing; they just painted the building.  That’s all they did, made it look pretty.  They didn’t change the insides, their doctrine. 

“Sins must be expiated through the sorrows, miseries, and trials of this life; otherwise, in the next life through fire and torments [because our souls need to be purified].  In purgatory, the souls of those who died in the charity of God, truly repentant, but had not made satisfaction with adequate penance [works, penance] for their sins and omissions are cleansed after death with the punishments designed to purge away their death.” 

And those are the documents of Vatican II, volume 1, pp. 63-64.  You can go get them at a library, I’m sure they’d loan them to you at St. Francis down here.  That’s what they believe.  Do you know what that’s saying?  That’s saying that you have to pay for part of it.  There’s a hymn in our hymnbook that based on the Scriptures that says “Jesus Paid it All”.  If we sang it like this, [singing]

“Jesus paid it all, Now I have to pay the rest myself….” 

Is that what the Bible says?  No.  It says that Jesus, in fact, the Bible says this Hebrews 1:3:

Who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,

Again in Hebrews 9:12:

Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption.

Assurance of Heaven?

When you talk to Roman Catholics and ask them if they’re going to go to heaven they say, “I don’t know, I’m not sure.”  They’re telling you the truth, they don’t know.  Why?  Because they’re not sure that they’ve suffered enough in this life.  They’re not sure that they’ve done enough penance and that they’ve done enough good works.  You can’t get to heaven by good works. 

One of the best sermons I ever remember about this is when Bob Vernon, the former police chief of LA was standing up here in this pulpit a few years ago and he was going  Here’s God—and here’s all of us trying to get to God.  You know, and some of us we only do a little, and Billy Graham might go closer, but none of us can make it to God.  No matter how good we are.  And the Scriptures say that Jesus Christ once for all sanctified us,

Remember: Hebrews 10:10

By that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

Note also Hebrews 10:14:

For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified.

And Catholicism or more properly, Romanism denies that doctrine.  Now let me ask you, I started out with Gal 1:6-10.  Is Romanism teaching the gospel of Jesus Christ?  Is Romanism teaching that Jesus paid it all?  Is Romanism agreeing with the Bible that one sacrifice forever paid the price of sin?  No.  No.

The Error of Indulgences

Although Rome teaches that there must be a purging by suffering for one’s own sin, it offers indulgences to reduce the suffering and eliminating some of it.  Indulgences can thus discharge what Christ’s death could not.  And in Vatican II, there are 20 complex rules telling you when and how indulgences may be obtained.  Now, an eyewitness report: Paul and I took our picture by the door in the Vatican that every 50 years in the year of jubilee they open it.  And if you walk through that door you get an extra 120 years out of purgatory.  Can you imagine that by walking through some door in the city of Rome that’s only opened every 50 years?  Do you know that if I had that door over here I’d leave it open all the time?  Go through it all you can if that’s true.  Why would you shut it and make it available only every 50 years to people that come on Pilgrimages?  I mean, if the Pope really can dispense indulgences, I say, give them all out to everyone.  It’s really hard, it’s really sad.

Well, it says also in Vatican II: 

“The faithful who use with devotion an object of piety,” (and they designate what that is: A crucifix, a cross, a rosary, a scapular, or a medal.)  “After it’s been duly blessed by a priest can gain a partial indulgence.  But if this object of piety is blessed by the Pope or a bishop the faithful who use it with devotion can also gain a plenary [or a full] indulgence at the Feast of the Apostles or Peter and Paul provided there also and make a profession of faith using the approved formula.” 

Do you know what all that means?  If you just buy one at the bookstore at the Catholic Church over here, you only get partial.   But if you get a high-up person to bless it, you’ll get more credit. 

The Folly of Relics

Do you know that’s what Martin Luther broke with the Roman Church over?  It’s because it was told to those dear people in the Dark Ages, that if they would spend their last money to come through and see the relics.  And did you know every Roman church in the whole world has a relic under the high altar under the place they do the Mass.  Every church has to have a relic under there.  I’m not sure what they have here, it usually has something to do with name.  So maybe whoever Francis of De’Salles was there’s some part of his body, a bone or some object of his over there. 

But there’s a superstition attached that you cannot actually have the grace of God unless this relic is under the altar.  And I if you take a compendium of all the Roman relics in the world, they have, and this is just a partial listing, three completely preserved right hands and index fingers of John the Baptist.  Three!  (I only have one right hand and index finger)  That he pointed at Jesus Christ when he said, “Behold the Lamb of God that taketh away the…

So relics make the church more sacred in Roman Catholic tradition. Therefore, if you’re inside the place, something good; and that’s why, sometimes we have services outside. And that’s why we’ll have our Sunrise Service off premises.  I want you to know you can have a service other than with “holy hardware” around, and you’re still in touch with God.  You can be baptized in a swimming pool, in a lake or in the baptistery, it doesn’t make any difference because there’s no holy water here; there’s just the Holy Spirit filling Christians that testify of Christ.  And that’s what’s wrong, because purgatory, the whole concept, was built to keep people in bondage to the Church.

Let me read to you another thing, because this really bothers me: Indulgences, that’s what you get out of purgatory with, are dispensed from, I quote, from the articles of Vatican II, by the way, I had to read that thing so many times because that’s what I did my doctoral work on the Roman Catholic Church and it really gets into you after a while when you read this, Indulgences are dispensed from

“a treasury entrusted by Christ to the blessed Peter and his successors Christ Vickers on earth, to distribute to the faithful for their salvation.”  Volume I, page 70. 

Do you know what that says?  That when Christ left the earth, he gave Peter this treasury of merits of the saints and Peter could dispense that cupful by cupful to worthy people. And thus,

“distribute to the faithful for their salvation.” 

Where does stuff get into that treasury from?  Well, just in case we didn’t know, they explain it. 

“The treasury includes the prayers and good works of the blessed Virgin Mary plus the prayers and good works of all the saints who attained their own salvation.” 

You know that’s amazing to think of.  You know what the Bible says?  We were all born in sin,

“there’s none righteous, no not one, for all have sinned and fall short of the Glory of God, neither is their salvation in any other than in Jesus Christ.” 

Do you know what the Roman Church says? 

“That the treasury of those who attain their own salvation and at the same time”, and I continue quoting, “cooperated in the saving of their brothers.  Those who believe in Christ, have carried their crosses to make expiation for their own sins and the sins of others.” 

From the most ancient times, the Church, in the Church, good works were also offered to God for the salvation of sinners.  And by the way, that’s what is at the heartbeat of the church that 900,000,000 people on this planet offer their allegiance to.  Don’t say, “I have a friend that doesn’t believe that, I have a friend that’s a Godly Christian, I have a born-again friend that’s a Catholic.”  We’re not talking about individuals; we’re talking about the totality.

            I want you to see Acts 20:31, I want you to see the attitude that we should talk to anyone that’s enslaved in Romanism, because I think this is a biblical attitude.  Acts 20:31 and I think that if you ever talk to anyone, if the spirit of God, if the love of Christ ever constrains you to talk to anyone, this is the spirit in which it must be.  I want you to know that I have regular practice, my across the yard neighbors meet me at the back line and one of them is dying of cancer, and they regularly say to me, “Pray for Joe, pray for Joe.  I’ve been praying to St. Agnus, you can pray to whoever, but pray for Joe, he’s sick.”  You know, we don’t just go, “ pphhtt!  You’re crazy!”  This is how we go and talk to them Acts 20 verse 31…

 “Therefore watch, and remember that for three years I did not cease to warn everyone night and day with tears.

That’s the heart attitude that we go to someone enmeshed in a false system of worship and tell him or her about Christ.  Not with a “I’m better than you” not with a “I’m right and you’re wrong”, but with the love of Christ constraining our hearts. 

As Paul said in 2 Corinthians 5:11:

Knowing, therefore, the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are well known to God, and I also trust are well known in your consciences.

Do you know the terror of the Lord?  Do you know that Jesus Christ mentioned Hell more than he mentioned Heaven?  Did you know that Jesus Christ described the endless lake of fire more than he described the pearly gates?  In fact, he really never described heaven.  The only thing he ever talked about heaven was 

“In my Father’s house are many mansions”

And he said there’s gonna be a great big feast and all of you are going to go there that trust in me. That’s all he said.  He said There’s gnashing of teeth and darkness and vengeance of flame for those that don’t bow.  That’s the spirit that we go to those that don’t know Christ or that don’t know Him in a biblical way. 

            Well, finally, I’ll just introduce this because we have to go.  The last reason that I cannot be Roman Catholic Church is because of Romanism’s close asscociation with paganism. 

Paganism and Romanism

Now I’ll pick this up next week, but I’ll just get started with it because I think it’s really shocking when a Roman Catholic learns where their church evolved from.  Now, scientists are looking for proof of evolution, there’s no evolution of animals and people that’s true. That’s not true.  God created everything full-form, full-bore, no evolution.  But there has been evolution in the Roman Church.  Because, we have hymns in this hymnbook that Catholics wrote and we unashamedly sing them.  We have confessions of the faith, the apostle’s creed, etc., etc. that we unashamedly should profess and Catholic’s wrote them.  But Romanism is the deadly poison that ruined the Church called Catholic today.  For an example, the concept of the Lord’s table, which we celebrate, you know, it’s just supermarket bread and Welch’s grape juice or at least it used to be in the deaconess’ manual.  There’s nothing magical and we just celebrate it here and we all take part, etc., etc.  They took that simple celebration of the Lord’s Supper and made it a sacrifice.

Mass Began in the 12th Century

That was propounded or first introduced by a Benedictine monk named Radbertus in the 9th Century AD.  Did you realize that? No Mass, no transubstantiation, no adoration of the host by the Roman Church was even started until the 9th Century, that’s the 800’s AD.  They fought for 400 years over that concept until finally Pope Innocent III declared it official Roman doctrine in 1215 AD.  Do you know who Pope Innocent III was?  Don’t get me started talking about the popes; we had to memorize all the popes in seminary and had to know a biography of each of them. 

Alexander VI, the pope of the Renaissance, had 30 children.  He was celibate.  His children were given cardinal posts, the boys.  And that’s a historical fact. 

Innocent III was a warrior that had an army that conquered most of the Italian peninsula with a sword.  He was probably the most conquering of all the popes, the most powerful of all the popes in history.  Innocent III.  And that man, who knew more about killing people with swords than he did about the Bible, He declared that this theological controversy would be put in stone in 1215 and they started the Roman doctrine of the bloodless sacrifice of Mass. 

Well, if you were to trace back the robes, the beads; if you were to trace back the incense, the candles; if you were to trace back the saints, and the veneration; if you were to trace back the different things that go on in the ceremonies of the Roman Church, what you’d find is a labyrinth of paganism coming from the fountain of idolatry of ancient Babylon itself.

The Harlot Church of Revelation

            And I want to close where we’re going to start next week, in Rev 17.  Because I want to tell you first off, blatantly, right out, that I don’t think Rev 17 is the Roman Catholic Church, okay?  Couldn’t be the Roman Catholic Church because the Roman Catholic Church, as we know it today, has not amalgamated all the religions of the World.  This church, in Rev 17, the mystery of Babylon, is going to be all together in one place all the false Satanic religions of this world.  Mormonism is gonna be there, the Jehovah’s Witnesses are gonna be there B’hai is gonna be there and every other cult you can think of and every false liberal church, both Protestant and Roman are all gonna be there.  As well as all of the followers of Confucius, and Buddhists and Shintos and Hindus and everyone.  Rev 17 is Satan’s Church finally amalgamated into one.  But, what’s interesting is, verse 5…now a mystery is something that is a mystery until God explains it.  It’s not explained until here. 

Nobody knew this until the Bible explained, that from the Garden of Eden, and that’s where we’re going to start next Sunday night, we’re going to start in the Garden of Eden with Satan’s first convert, whose name was Cain, and by the way, the only person mentioned in 1 John, in the exact center of the book, is Cain.  Do you know why?  1John talks about true salvation and watch out for apostasy and Cain is right in the center, 1John 3:12, why?  Because Cain was Satan’s first convert and he started the religion of works of getting to heaven my way.  Remember the story of Cain and Abel?  God says, “offer me a sacrifice” He told them what He wanted.  Cain says No, I’m going to give you a pumpkin and a squash and Abel says No, I’m going to give what God wants, I’m going to give a bloody sacrifice.

This mystery, verse 5, of Rev 17 …verse 6…now later in our study, a few weeks from now, we’re gonna go through this chapter, but next week we’re gonna start here and go back to Eden and trace the development of Paganism.  And you can take the Encyclopedia Britannica and do the same thing I’m going to do.  Because everything from the 40 days of Lent to the Madonna/child relationship is all something that’s chronicled in history long before Romanism ever picked it up. 

            Dwight Pentecost, the prophetic writer, was travelling in Mexico. He was at one of the ancient temples of Mexico and as they were unearthing it and looking at some of the inscriptions there was the mother/child and he said, “What’s that?”  And they said, Oh, all throughout the ancient Mexican religions, there was the belief of the mother Goddess with the son, the son the savior, the mother who mediated for the people’s needs.  Two hundred years before Christ, in Mexico they were worshipping a mother/son pair.  Romanism didn’t invent that; it’s part of Satan’s Church.  It’s an abomination to call yourself Christian and to worship Satan’s way.  

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We are in our last two sessions of study on the Roman Catholic Church. Remember Romanism is a deadly error. There are so many good people touched by it, but it doesn’t lessen the evil of the blasphemous doctrine of Romanism.  Let me explain by way of review:

The First Roman Catholic False Doctrine is the Mass

Thank[1] God that we can look back to what our Lord did on Calvary and know that He completed the sacrifice for sins once for all, and that our salvation is not dependent on the whim or arbitrary decree of any priest or church.  Any pretense at a continuous offering for sin is worse than vain, for it is a denial of the efficacy of the atoning sacrifice of Christ on Calvary.  So first, I am not Roman Catholic because of the anti-Christian blasphemy of mass.  Don”t partake of it if you know Christ!

The Second False Roman Catholic Teaching is the Doctrine of Mary

Do not avoid the truth here on the authority of Jesus Christ, “Whosoever shall do the will of God, the same is my brother, and my sister, and mother.”  And when one heard Jesus and cried out, “Blessed is the womb that bare thee, and the paps which thou hast sucked,” Jesus answered, “Yea rather, blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it” (Luke 11:27, 28). 

There is no hint in the Bible that New Testament Christians ever regarded Mary as more than another good woman.  She had no authority among the apostles.  No one was taught to pray to her, to do her homage, to adore her, or to partake of the unscriptural worship, which Catholics do, but call it by other names.  Thus the Roman Church has brought a plague upon itself by adding the commandments of men and traditions of men to the commands of God.

Third, Roman Catholicism is False and Anti-Christian Because it has Perverted the Bible and Substituted Tradition

I have not room here to discuss all the innovations, all the strange and unscriptural doctrines and practices which have been invented by Roman Catholic hierarchy.  In the Bible there was no pope and no papal authority, no papal infallibility.  There were no prayers to Mary, no doctrine of Mary’s Immaculate Conception or of her body’s ascension to Heaven.  There was no penance, no indulgences, no confessions to priests, and no orders of monks or nuns.  All of this is manufactured, not only without the Bible but contrary to the plain teachings of the Word of God.

Fourth, Roman Catholicism is False and Anti-Christian Because The Bible Plainly Forbids Making Any Image for Worship and Bowing Down to Any Image.

And any honest reader knows that that Scripture forbids using an image in worship, bowing down to it, praying before it, and serving it.  And yet the Catholic Church not only has images, but also encourages people to pray to images, to the crucifix, to images of Mary, to images of saints.  Here Roman tradition violates the Bible, and the commandments of men take the place of the commandments of God.  That is sin.

The Fifth Reason I am not Roman Catholic is Because of the Sin of the Sacraments

The first of the 7 sacraments is baptism, which is performed upon 98% of Catholics as infants.  It is declared in Canon 849 to be the means “by which men and women are freed from their sins, are reborn as children of God….”  The Basic Catechism declares that baptism “is necessary for salvation…cleanses us from original sin, makes us Christians….”  Another sacrament is the Mass, which the Catechism declares to be “one and the same Sacrifice with that of the Cross, inasmuch as Christ…continues to offer himself…on the altar, through the ministry of his priests.”  Canon 904 states that “the work of redemption is continually accomplished in the mystery of the Eucharistic Sacrifice,” thus denying Christ’s triumphant “It is finished!”

Tradition: Mt. 15:3-6

What a particular Catholic may believe is not the issue, but rather the official teaching of Roman Catholicism.  That is found in The Canons and Decrees of the Council of Trent (1545-64) and Vatican II (1962-5).  Trent denied every Reformation doctrine, from Sola Scripture to salvation by grace through faith alone.  It pronounced 125 anathemas (eternal damnation) upon anyone believing what evangelicals believe and preach today.  “No one can know with the certainty of faith…that he has obtained the grace of God [anathema to all who claim they know]” (Trent, 6th Ses., Chap. IX).  “If anyone says that the sacraments of the new law are not NECESSARY FOR SALVATION…but that without them…men obtain from God through faith alone the grace of justification…LET HIM BE ANATHEMA” (Trent, 7th Ses., Canon 4).

Vatican II far from making changes, reaffirmed Trent:  “This sacred council…proposes again the decrees of…the Council of Trent” (Vol. 1, p. 412).  As for the “sacraments of the new law,” which Trent said were “necessary for salvation,” Vatican II declared: “For it is the liturgy through which, especially in the diving SACRIFICE of the Eucharist, the WORK OF OUR REDEMPTION IS ACCOMPLISHED” (Vol. 1, p. 1).

Sixth, Because of the Horrible Lie of PurgatorY

Here are a few more quotes from Vatican II, which prove conclusively that Roman Catholicism is a counterfeit gospel:  “Sins must be expiated…through the sorrows, miseries and trials of this life…otherwise…in the next life through fire and torments…[because] our souls need to be purified…in purgatory the souls of those who died in the charity of God and truly repentant but who had not made satisfaction with adequate penance for their sins and omissions are cleansed after death with punishments designed to purge away their debt” (Vol. 1, pp. 63-4).

The Bible declares: “When he [Christ] had be himself PURGED our sins (Heb. 1:3)…By his own blood he entered in ONCE into the holy place, HAVING OBTAINED ETERNAL REDEMPTION for us (9:12)…without the shedding of blood is no remission [of sin] (9:22 – suffering in purgatory won’t do it!)…now where remission of these is there is NO MORE OFFERING (SACRIFICE) for sin (10:18)…we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ ONCE FOR ALL (10:10)…for by ONE OFFERING he hath perfected FOR EVER them that are sanctified” (10:14).  Catholicism denies this Biblical Gospel!

Although Rome teaches that one must be “purged” by suffering for one’s own sins, it offers “indulgences” to reduce or eliminate that suffering.  “Indulgences” can thus discharge what Christ’s death could not.  Vatican II has 20 complex rules concerning when and now an indulgence may be obtained.  For example: “The faithful who use with devotion an object of piety (crucifix, cross, rosary, scapular or medal) after it has been duly blessed by any priest, can gain a partial indulgence.  But if this object of piety is blessed by the Pope or any bishop, the faithful who use it with devotion can also gain a plenary [full] indulgence on the feast of the Apostles Peter and Paul, provided they also make a profession of faith using any APPROVED FORMULA” (Vol. 1, pp. 77-8).  “The Church…commands that the usage of indulgences…should be kept…and it CONDEMNS WITH ANATHEMA those who say that indulgences are useless or that the Church does not have the power to grant them…[for] the task of WINNING SALVATION” (Vol. 1, pp. 71, 74).

Finally the Last Reason I Cannot Be a Roman Catholic is Because of the Close Aassociation With Paganism

Did you know that many of the key elements of Romanism are directly taken from the pagan religions of the ancient world? The robes, beads, candles and statues are all part of paganism and idolatry. Even more shocking is the Mass. Even most Roman Catholics would be shocked to learn where the Mass originated. The proposal of the Lord’s Supper as a sacrifice was first made by a Benedictine monk, Radbertus, in the ninth century and was the subject of many fierce verbal battles by the bishops until Pope Innocent III declared it an official Roman doctrine in 1215 AD. 

As we examine the very principles found in this bloodless sacrifice of the Mass as it is in the church of Rome today we can trace them back through the labyrinth of paganism to the fountain of idolatry, ancient Babylon.  

Rome’s most blasphemous and massive religious fraud originated in Chaldean idol worship and will continue until the time of the end when, according to Revelation 17 and 18, amid the wonder and admiration of the world, Rome will be judged with violence and be thrown down and shall be found no more at all, for strong is the Lord God who judgeth her. This brutal, bloody, and blasphemous harlot is none other than the universal false church, the wicked wife of Satan! 

God[2] had no sooner begun the blessed work in preparing for himself a people than the Devil did likewise.  In fact, the first baby to be born on this earth later became Satan’s original convert!  See Genesis 4:8 this is where religion starts. As I John 3:12 explains Cain was the tool of Satan.  We shall now consider the historical, current, and future activities of this perverted prostitute.

The False Bride of Satan

The harlot viewed historically: Satan’s church began officially at the tower of Babel in Genesis 11:1-9 this is the beginning of organized religion, nearly 24 centuries BC.  Here, in the fertile plain of Shinar, probably very close to the original Garden of Eden, the first spade of dirt was turned for the purpose of Devil-worship.

  • The first full-time minister of Satan was Nimrod, Noah’s wicked and apostate grandson (Gen. 10:8-10). Secular history and tradition tell us that Nimrod married a woman who was as evil and demonic as himself.  Her name was Semerimus.  Knowing God’s promise of a future Savior (Gen. 3:15), Semerimus brazenly claimed that Tammuz, her first son, fulfilled this prophecy.
  • Semerimus thereupon instituted a religious system, which made both her and her son the objects of divine worship.  She herself became the first high priestess.  Thus began the mother-child cult which later spread all over the world.

1.   From Babylon it spread to Phoenicia under the name of Ashteroth and Tammuz.

2.  From Phoenicia it traveled to Pergamos in Asia Minor.  This is the reason for John’s admonition to the church of Pergamos in the book of Revelation:  “I know thy works, and where thou dwellest, even where Satan’s seat is…”  (Rev. 2:13).

  • In Egypt the mother-child cult was known as Isis and Horus.
  • In Greece it became Aphrodite and Eros.
  • In Rome this pair was worshiped as Venus and Cupid.  Dr. J. Dwight Pentecost writes, “Several years ago I visited an archeological museum in Mexico City.  A recent find had just been put on display which Mexican archeologists had authenticated as belonging to the period about 200 years before Christ.  The object was the center of religious worship among some of the early Indians in Mexico.  To my amazement, it was an image of a mother with a child in her arms.  This Babylonian religion spread abroad to become the religion of the world….”[3]

The Evil False Teaching of the Queen of Heaven

What was the teaching of Semerimus’ satanic church? That Semerimus herself was the way to God.  She actually adopted the title “Queen of Heaven.” 

1.   That she alone could administer salvation to the sinner through various sacraments, such as the sprinkling of holy water.

2.   That her son Tammuz was tragically slain by a wild boar during a hunting trip.

3.   That he was, however, resurrected from the dead forty days later.  Thus, each year afterward the temple virgins of this cult would enter a forty-day fast as a memorial to Tammuz’ death and resurrection.

4.   After the forty-day fast, a joyful feast {Easter} called Ishtar took place.  At this feast colored eggs were exchanged and eaten as a symbol of the resurrection.  An evergreen tree was displayed and a Yule log was burned.  Finally hot cakes marked with the letter T (to remind everybody of Tammuz) were baked and eaten!

The Queen of Heaven in the Old Testament

About 2000 BC God called Abraham away from all this (see Joshua 24:2, 3) and led him into the Promised Land.  But by the ninth century B. C. Israel had returned to this devil worship under the influence of wicked Jezebel (see 1 Kings 16:30-33).  At this time the cult was worshiped under the name of Baal.

  • Both Ezekiel and Jeremiah warned against this hellish thing.  “Then he brought me to the door of the gate of the Lord’s house which was toward the north; and behold, there sat women weeping for Tammuz” (Ezek. 8:14).
  •  “The children gather wood, and the fathers kindle the fire, and the women knead their dough, to make cakes to the queen of heaven…to burn incense to the queen of heaven, and to pour out drink offerings unto her…” (Jer. 7:18; 44:25). 
  • By the time of Christ this cult had so influenced Roman life that the Caesars were not only crowned as emperors of Rome but also bore the title Pontifex Maximus, meaning, “high priest.”  They were high priests of the Babylonian satanic church!
  • During the year A. D. 306 a very powerful enemy army threatened a Roman emperor named Constantine.  Realizing that his uneasy troops needed confidence, Constantine claimed to have seen a vision on the eve of the battle.  He saw a large blue flag with a red cross on it and heard a might voice which said In hoc signo vinces — “in this sign conquer.”  He thereupon marched his troops into a shallow river, claimed them to be officially baptized, and ordered the sign of the cross painted on all his weapons.  Thus inspired, he led his troops to victory and subsequently made Christianity the state religion of Rome.
  • The Roman priests of Tammuz soon discovered that they could easily make the transition into Christianity (with certain changes) and thereupon carried their traditions forward without interruption by promoting the Madonna-Child worship concept, the holy water sacrament, etc.  For years the Roman Catholic popes have worn their well-known “fisherman ring.”  This symbol can be traced back to the Philistines, who worshiped the fish god Dagon (1 Sam. 5) along with Tammuz. 

Thus for nearly 300 years the Devil had desperately attempted to destroy the church from outside by his terrible persecutions.  But with the advent of Constantine he changed his tactics, walking the aisle, applying for membership, and joining the church!  To this very day he holds his church letter!  The corrupted church was already flourishing in Christ’s day, and the Savior delivered a scathing attack against some of its very deacons and elders!  See Matthew 23.

Thus Seven Biblical Reasons I can’t Ever Be in the Roman Catholic Church.

1.  The lie of The Mass

2.  The lie of the role of Mary

3.  The lie of Tradition over Scripture

4.  The lie of Veneration (worship) of images

5.  The lie of the false Sacraments

6.  The lie of Purgatory

7.  The lie to Paganism

[1] Boettner, Roman Catholicism.

[2] Wilmington’s Guide to the Bible.

[3] J.  Dwight Pentecost, Prophecy for Today, p. 133.

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