The Roman Catholic Church claims to have started in Matthew 16:18 when Christ supposedly appointed Peter as the first Pope.However, the honest and objective student of the Scriptures and history soon discovers that the foundation of the Roman church is none other than the pagan mystery religion of ancient Babylon.
While enduring the early persecutions of the Roman government (65-300 A.D.), most of professing Christianity went through a gradual departure from New Testament doctrine concerning church government, worship and practice.Local churches ceased to be autonomous by giving way to the control of “bishops” ruling over hierarchies.The simple form of worship from the heart was replaced with the rituals and splendor of paganism.Ministers became “priests,” and pagans became “Christians” by simply being sprinkled with water.This tolerance of an unregenerate membership only made things worse. SPRINKLED PAGANISM is about the best definition for Roman Catholicism.
The Roman Emperor Constantine established himself as the head of the church around 313 A.D., which made this new “Christianity” the official religion of the Roman Empire.The first actual Pope in Rome was probably Leo I (440-461 A.D.), although some claim that Gregory I was the first (590-604 A.D.).This ungodly system eventually ushered in the darkest period of history known to man, properly known as the “Dark Ages” (500-1500 A.D.).Through popes, bishops, and priests, Satan ruled Europe, and Biblical Christianity became illegal.
Throughout all of this, however, there remained individual groups of true Christians, such as the Waldensens and the Anabaptists who would not conform to the Roman system.
The Papacy and Priesthood
In the Bible there are no popes or priests to rule over the church.Jesus Christ is our High Priest (Heb. 3:1; -15; 5:5; 8:1; ), and all true Christians make up a spiritual priesthood (I Pet. 2:5).Jesus Christ has sanctified all Christians who believe on Him (Heb. -11), so all priests today are unnecessary and unscriptural.Furthermore, the practice of calling a priest “father” is forbidden by Jesus Christ in Matthew 23:9.There is only ONE mediator between God and men (I Tim. 2:5).
The Catholic church teaches that Peter was the first Pope and the earthly head of the church, but the Bible never says this once.In fact, it was Peter himself who spoke against “being lords over God’s heritage” in I Peter 5:3. Popes do not marry, although Peter did (Mat. ; I Cor. 9:5).The Bible never speaks of Peter being in Rome, and it was Paul, not Peter, who wrote the epistle to the Romans.In the New Testament, Paul wrote 100 chapters with 2,325 verses, while Peter wrote only 8 chapters with 166 verses.In Peter’s first epistle he stated that he was simply “an apostle of Jesus Christ,” not a Pope (I Pet. 1:1).The Roman papacy and priesthood is just a huge fraud to keep members in bondage to a corrupt pagan church.
The Worship of Mary
Roman Catholics believe that Mary, the mother of Jesus,remained a virgin after the birth of Jesus and was sinless all of her life.She is worshiped in the Catholic church as the "Mother of God" and the "Queen of Heaven."St. Bernard stated that she was crowned "Queen of Heaven" by God the Father, and that she currently sits upon a throne in Heaven making intercession for Christians.
The Bible teaches otherwise.In the Bible, Mary was a sinner just like the rest of us.She said herself that she needed a "Saviour" (Lk. ), and she even had to offer a sacrifice for her sins in Luke .Jesus was only her "firstborn" son, according to Matthew , because she later had other children as well (Mt. ; Gal. ; Psa. 69:8).There's only ONE mediator between God and men, and it isn't Mary (I Tim. 2:5).The last time we hear from Mary in the Bible she is praying WITH the disciples, not being prayed to BY the disciples (Acts ). The Bible never exalts Mary above anyone else.Neither should we.
The Catholic Church teaches that a Christian’s soul must burn in purgatory after death until all of their sins have been purged.To speed up the purging process, money may be paid to a priestso he can pray and have special masses for an earlier release.
This heresy began creeping into the Roman Church during the reign of Pope Gregory around the end of the sixth century, and it has no scriptural support.In fact, Jesus warned us about this pagan practice in Matthew 23:14 when He spoke of those who devoured widows houses and made long prayers for a pretence.Psalm 49:6-7 tells us that a person couldn't redeem a loved one, even if such a place did exist: "They that trust in their wealth, and boast themselves in the multitude of their riches; None of them can by any means redeem his brother, nor give to God a ransom for him:"
Peter addresses this issue in Acts when he says, "Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money." God's word is clearly against the doctrine of purgatory.
By perverting the Christian practice of the Lord's Supper (Mat. 26:26-28; I Cor. -27), the Catholic Church has created the Mass, which they believe to be a continual sacrifice of Jesus Christ:
"Christ...commanded that his bloody sacrifice on the Cross should be daily renewedby an unbloody sacrifice of his body and blood in the Mass under the simple elements of bread and wine." (The Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. 10, Pg. 13, Article: "Mass, Sacrifice of")
Jesus never made such a command.If you'll check the above references in Matthew 26 and I Corinthians 11, you'll see for yourself that the Lord's Supper is a MEMORIAL and a SHOWING of Christ's death until He comes again.It is not a sacrifice. The Catholic Encyclopedia states the following:
"In the celebration of the Holy Mass, the bread and wine are changed into the body and blood of Christ.It is called transubstantiation, for in the Sacrament of the Eucharist the substance of bread and wine do not remain, but the entire substance of bread is changed into the body of Christ, and the entire substance of wine is changed into his blood, the species or outward semblence of bread and wine alone remaining."(Vol. 4, pg. 277, Article: "Consecration")
The Catholic Church teaches that the "Holy Mass" is a LITERAL EATING AND DRINKING OF THE LITERAL FLESH AND BLOOD OF JESUS CHRIST.The priest supposedly has the power to change the bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ.
Now, what does God's word say about such practices?If you'll read Genesis 9:4, Leviticus 17:11-12, and Acts 15:29, you will find that God absolutely FORBIDS the drinking of blood all through the Bible.
Rome teaches that the Mass is a continual "sacrifice" of Jesus Christ, but God's word states that Jesus made the FINAL sacrifice on Calvary!This ismade perfectlyclear in Hebrews 10:10-12:
"By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins: But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God."
The mass is unnecessary and unscriptural.
The Catholic religion is filled with all sorts of symbols, images, and relics.The Catechism of the Council of Trent states these words:
"It is lawful to have images in the Church, and to give honor and worship unto them..."
It's lawful to honor and worship images?Not according to God's word.Exodus 20:4-5 says, "Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me."Image worship is unscriptural and will end with the eternal damnation of those who practice it (Rev. 14:11).
Salvation by Works
Through infant baptism, keeping sacraments, church membership, going to mass, praying to Mary, and confession (just to mention a few), the Catholic church has developed a system of salvation through WORKS.God’s word says that we are saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ, not through works:
“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:Not of works, lest any man should boast.” (Eph. 2:8-9)
“But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.” (Romans 4:5)
Jesus Christ came into this world to lay down His sinless life for YOU--to pay for your sins, because you couldn't.Jesus is your only hope for salvation.Only by receiving Him as your Saviourcan you enter the gates of Heaven.There is no other way.
"Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father but by me." (John 14:6)
The Lord Jesus Christ has come and PAID for your sins by shedding His own Blood on Calvary.By receiving Him as your Saviour, you can be WASHED from all your sins in His precious Blood (Rev. 1:5; Col. 1:14; Acts 20:28; I Pet. 1:18-19).Notice these important words from Romans 5:8-9:
"But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him."
Jesus PAID your way to Heaven for you!By receiving Him as your Saviour, you will be receiving God's ONLY means of Salvation for you.Are you willing to forsake YOUR righteousness and receive Jesus Christ as your Saviour, your ONLY HOPE for Salvation?Romans says, "Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved."Romans 10:9 says,"That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved."Are you willing to forsake your own righteousness, and trust Jesus Christ alone?He will save you just as He promised.Why not receive Him today and trust Him to give you a better way of life?
For more information about salvation, please send for your free copy of Understanding God's Salvation Plan.
The purpose of this tract is to provide solid answers for Roman Catholics who have a sincere heart's desire to learn what God's word says about Catholic Church doctrine.This author is writing from the standpoint that God's word is always right, and that men are often in error.The Bible is much more than a religious guide to follow; it is our Final Authority in all matters of faith and practice.When any person teaches contrary to God's preserved word, that person is wrong, and God's word is right.When any person teaches in accordance with God's word, that person is right, while all who disagree are wrong.If you cannot agree with these statements, then you are not ready for a serious Bible study.If you do agree with these statements, then please keep reading, for God's word has many things to teach you about Roman Catholic beliefs.
For further research, we could recommend dozens of books and web sites, but the following sources should prove to be easily accessible, very informative, and inexpensive enough for most anyone:
1. The Catholic Encyclopedia; a primary Catholic publication (1913), in which most of the primary quotes in this booklet can be found.
2. Catholicism Against Itself by O.C. Lambert; a book which quotes from numerous Catholic publications.
3. The Two Babylons by Alexander Hislop; the definitive work on proving that the Catholic religion is nothing more than sprinkled B.C. paganism.
4. Babylon Mystery Religion by Ralph Woodrow; easy reading, and quotes from various Catholic publications.
5. Heresies Exposed by William C. Irvine; deals with many false teachers, including the Catholic Church.
The Catholic Encyclopedia can be freely researched at newadvent.org, and the other four books above may be ordered through Amazon.com.By reading through the chapters, indexes, and bibliographies of these books, the sincere student of truth can find hundreds of sources that shed light on the true character of the Roman Catholic religion. Used copes of these books can even be ordered at very reasonable prices.
The Authority of the Written Word
The Roman Catholic Church has given tradition much weight when establishing and practicing her beliefs, yet the Bible clearly warns against this.In Matthew 15:3, the Lord Jesus Christ says, "Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition?"Paul says, in Colossians 2:8, "Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ."Catholic writings are filled with phrases like "the Church teaches" or "tradition teaches" or "the Church has traditionally taught".In light of the above Scripture, shouldn't true Christian writings be filled with phrases like "the Bible says" or "according to the Scriptures"?
Friend, are you following God's pure words or are you following man's tradition?Perhaps you're thinking, "This is anti-Catholic hate literature!" No, actually, this tract is based on God’s word.If you doubt it, please check the references for yourself.What have you got to lose?
Even when Rome professes to believe the Bible, we must remember that the Catholic bible is very different from the written word of God.The Catholic Church includes several books in their Old Testament that are not God's word.The Catholic Council of Trent of 1541 placed a curse upon everyone who does not accept the Apocrypha as inspired Old Testament Scripture (See Catholic Encyclopedia).In doing so, the famous council pronounced a curse upon Jesus Christ and the New Testament writers!
In Matthew 23:35, Jesus said that the Old Testament began with Abel (The Book of Genesis) and ended with Zecharias (II Chronicles).Since the Hebrew Old Testament ends with II Chronicles, there is no room left for the Apocryphal books.This explains why the Lord Jesus and the New Testament writers never refer to the Apocrypha or quote it.These writings were not accepted as Scripture.So Jesus, Peter, James, Paul, John, Luke, and the rest are officially cursed by the Roman Catholic Church.
Lest someone claim that this is no longer a Catholic belief, we refer the reader to page 61 of the Catholic publication, Faith of Our Fathers, by Cardinal Gibbons:
If only one instance could be given in which the Church ceased to teach a doctrine which had been previously held, that single instance would be the death blow of her infallibility.
So there is no absolute Final Authority in the Catholic Church.There are dual authorities: tradition and the Catholic bible, which is entirely unscriptural (Isa. , Mat. 4:4, Col. 2:8, Mat. 15:3).God's word alone should be the Final Authority of any Christian institution.
The Infallibility of the Pope
Since 1870, with Pope Pius IX, the Catholic Church has taught the doctrine of Papal Infallibility.The Vatican Council then declared that
The Vatican Council has defined as "a divinely revealed dogma" that "the Roman Pontiff, when he speaks ex cathedra -- that is, when in the exercise of his office as pastor and teacher of all Christians he defines, by virtue of his supreme Apostolic authority, a doctrine of faith or morals to be held by the whole Church -- is, by reason of the Divine assistance promised to him in blessed Peter, possessed of that infallibility with which the Divine Redeemer wished His Church to be endowed in defining doctrines of faith and morals; and consequently that such definitions of the Roman Pontiff are irreformable of their own nature (ex sese) and not by reason of the Church's consent" (Catholic Encyclopedia)
On June 20, 1894, Pope Leo XIII was bold enough to claim that the Popes “hold upon the earth the place of God Almighty” Of course, this was nothing new because the Vatican Council of 1870 had already proclaimed that:
The Pope is Christ in office, Christ in jurisdiction and power...we bow down before thy voice, O Pius, as before the voice of Christ, the God of truth; in clinging to thee, we cling to Christ. (Babylon Mystery Religion, p. 103).
The first being to ever liken himself to God was Lucifer (Isa. -15), and the last will be Antichrist (II Ths. 2:3-4), so the Pope isn't in very good company.King Herod, who also followed the Roman religion, was killed by God for allowing people to credit him with infallibility (Acts -23). God's word is the only infallible Authority in Christianity.No man is infallible.The Bible record is quite clear about that:
God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar..." (Rom. 3:4) To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them." (Isa. 8:20)Surely men of low degree are vanity, and men of high degree are a lie: to be laid in the balance, they are altogether lighter than vanity." (Psa. 62:9)
Friend, who will you believe, God's word or the Catholic Church?
The Worship of Mary
The Bible says in I Timothy 2:5, "For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus."Yet, the Catholic Church teaches that Mary is to be honored as the great "Mother of God".
Mary worship actually began in the fifth century A.D. whenthe term "Mother of God" was applied to her in the Council of Ephesus.In 1854, Pope Pius IX proclaimed the Immaculate Conception of Mary by stating that she was "preserved exempt from all stain of original sin".
Romans says that "all have sinned", which includes Mary.We know it includes Mary, because she was commanded to offer a sacrifice in Luke , and she spoke of needing a "Saviour" in Luke 1:47.
The idea of a female deity is nothing new.Most all pagan societies worshipped female goddess long before Mary was born, and many of them also believed in immaculate conceptions.The Scandinavians worshipped Disa; the Druids worshipped the Virgo-Patitura as the "Mother of God"; the Germans worshipped Hertha; the Greeks worshipped Aphrodite; the Egyptians worshipped Isis, and the Romans worshipped Venus and Fortuna.
In the Bible, we find that pagan goddesses are very common also.The Ephesians worshipped Diana (Acts ).As early as Judges (about 1400 B.C.), we find the worship of a goddess named "Ashtaroth".Throughout God's word, the Israelites would wander after these false goddesses and bring God's wrath upon their nation (Jud. 10:6, I Sam. 7:3-4, 12:10, I Kgs. 11:5, II Kgs. 23:13, etc.)The term "queen of heaven" is a common Catholic term for Mary, but the avid Bible student will notice that this was really a false goddess (Jer. 44:16-25)!Can't you see how deceitful Satan has been?This heathen goddess was gradually brought into the Catholic Church under the name of "Mary" in order to attract the pagans to the new Roman system, the "Holy Roman Empire".In reality, it's the same old pagan worship that God has forbidden for centuries!
Notice in Luke 11:27 a woman cries out to Jesus and says, "Blessed is the womb that bare thee, and the paps which thou hast sucked."Does Jesus commend her for these words?No, he is very quick to keep the emphasis off of Mary.He replies in verse 28 with,"Yea rather, blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it."Jesus had a perfect opportunity to praise and exalt Mary, but he chose not to do so.
The Catholics make much of Luke 1:42 where Mary is said to be blessed "among women", but in Judges , Jael is said to be blessed "above" women.So, if there were a Queen of Heaven, Jael would make a far better candidate than Mary.
Should we pray to Mary?No, because no one in the Bible ever prays to Mary.In fact, the last time we read of Mary in the Bible she is praying along with the disciples (Acts ), not being prayed to by them.
It is taught in the Catholic Church that Mary remained a perpetual virgin after Jesus was born, but Matthew 1:25 says that Jesus was only her "firstborn" son.That is, there were others born later.Matthew tells us that James, Joses, Simon, and Judas (not Iscariot) were brothers of Jesus.Galatians speaks of James the Lord's brother, and Psalm 69:8 also speaks of Mary's other children.According to God's word, she did not remain a virgin, and she is not a virgin today.There is no such person as the Virgin Mary.
Mary never allowed anyone to exalt her in the Bible, and she never assumes a position of authority over other Christians.In fact, Mary gives only one command in the whole Bible.This is a command which should be noted and remembered by all professing Christians the world over.In John 2:5, Mary the mother of Jesus says,"Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it."Mary didn't say to follow her or pray to her.She said to obey the Lord Jesus Christ!Friend, Mary worship is totally pagan and totally forbidden in God's word.
Was Peter the First Pope?
Catholic tradition teaches that while Christ is in Heaven, the Pope is the appointed head of the church on earth.However, the Bible never mentions anyone being the head of the church except Jesus Christ Himself (Eph. ).In Matthew 16:18, Jesus says to Peter,
And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
According to the Catholic Church, this is where Jesus appointed Peter to be the first Pope, the earthly head of the church.That is, the Catholics teach that "this rock" is a reference to Peter.The Scriptures are quite clear in stating that the Rock is Jesus Christ and no one else.In fact, Peter himself testifies of this truth when he calls Jesus the "chief cornerstone" in I Peter 2:6.Paul tells us in I Corinthians 3:11 that Jesus Christ is the "foundation".He then says in I Corinthians 10:4 that Jesus Christ is the "Rock".The reader might also give some consideration to the words of Moses in Deuteronomy 32:29-31.The "rock" in Scripture is the Lord Jesus Christ, not Peter.
Catholics argue that Peter is the "rock" of Matthew because the word "Peter" is from the Greek word "petros", meaning “a piece of rock” or "a stone".However, the word "rock" in Matthew is from the word "petra", which is a "mass of rock", like a large slab, not a small stone.Jesus Christ is the foundation (I Cor. ), the perfect match for the "rock" ("petra") of Matthew .Christ is clearly the Rock in Scripture (II Sam. 22:32, Psa. 40:2, 42:9, 89:26, 92:15,94:22, Acts 4:11-12).
As for Peter being the first Pope, the sincere Bible student should note the following facts:
1.The word "Pope" is never mentioned once in God's word.
2.Peter was married (Mat. ; I Cor. 9:5), while the Popes are not.
3. Peter refused to allow others to bow down to him
(Acts -26), but the Popes allow such practices.
4. Peter didn't think very highly of tradition (I Pet. ), yet tradition is a major authority in the Catholic Church.
5. Peter believed in waiting for the "crown of glory" (I Pet. 5:4), while all Popes believe in wearing a crown now.
6. If Peter was the Pope in Rome, as the Catholics teach, then why did Paul not mention him in his letter to the Romans?In Romans chapter 16, Paul gives the names of over twenty church members, yet he fails to mention Peter.How could this have happened if Peter was the Pope in Rome?
7. If Peter was the head of the church, why did Paul have to set him straight on doctrine in Galatians 2:11?
8. If Peter was the Pope, then why didn't he say so in his epistles?He simply labeled himself "an apostle of Jesus Christ" (I Pet. 1:1) and nothing more.
9. Paul wrote 100 chapters with 2,325 verses, while Peter wrote only 8 chapters with 166 verses. Why would "the Pope" write less?
10. Paul spoke of Peter, James, and John (not just Peter) being pillars in the church (Gal. 2:9).Peter is never magnified above the other Apostles.
11. Don't forget that it was Peter who denied the Lord Jesus Christ three times in one night (Mat. 26:69-75).Does this sound like something that would be done by the head of the church?
12. The Catholics believe that Peter was the first Pope in Rome, but the New Testament never speaks of Peter being anywhere near Rome.
The Bible never even hints of Peter being a Pope.This whole doctrine is Catholic tradition, having been concocted for the purpose of lording over the common people of the church.It lacks any Scriptural support.
The Catholic Priesthood
In the Bible, the Lord Jesus Christ is our High Priest (Heb. 3:1; -15; 5:5; 8:1; ), and all Christians make up a spiritual priesthood (I Pet. 2:5).Only in the Old Testament do we find a special class of priests, the Levites, who make intercession to God for the common people.In the New Testament, Jesus Christ has sanctified all Christians through His completed work on Calvary (Heb. -11).All priests today are unnecessary and unscriptural.
However, the Roman Church desires to force upon its members all sorts of sacramental laws and rituals in order to keep them faithful to "the Church".Such practices are foreign to the New Testament.
For example, the idea of calling a priest "father" is not New Testament Christianity, but rather Old Testament paganism (Jud. 17:10).According to Matthew 23:9,Jesus clearly forbids this today:
And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven.
The New Testament never speaks of a special priest class to rule over the laity.In fact, Peter forbids this in I Peter 5:3:"Neither as being lords over God's heritage, but being ensamples to the flock." The "Nicolaitans" ("to conquer the laity") were also guilty of this wicked practice, and Jesus Christ said he hates it (Rev. 2:6).By appointing priests, bishops, archbishops, and popes, the Catholic Church has constructed a system which rules some one billion people!
One of the requirements of a Catholic priest is celibacy, in spite of the fact that Peter (their first "Pope") was a married man.There is no command in the Bible for anyspiritual leader to be unmarried.In fact, I Timothy 3:2 says that a bishop must be the husband of one wife!I Timothy 4:1-3 told us that there would come a time when people would be "forbidding to marry", and Paul said this was a doctrine of devils.Even the Old Testament priests were allowed to marry (Exo. -25).The only priests who didn't marry were the pagan priests from places like Babylon who remained celibate to practice their religious prostitution.
Should you confess your sins to a priest?No, you should not.Peter told Simon of Samaria to pray to GODin Acts 8:22.Jesus Christ is the One Mediator between God and men (I Tim. 2:5).Jesus is the High Priest, while Christians make up a spiritual priesthood.A true Christian is a priest (I Pet. 2:5, 9) and needs to confess to no one other than Jesus Christ.The Roman Catholic priesthood is unscriptural.
The Doctrine of Purgatory
Let's assume that you're a Roman Catholic and your Catholic mother dies.The Catholic Church teaches that she doesn't go straight to Heaven, because her sins must be purged in a place called purgatory.She must burn in the fires of purgatory after death until all of her sins have been purged, and then she can enter Heaven.To speed up her purging process and to shorten her days of suffering in purgatory, you can pay money to the church and have special masses held for her.
This heresy began creeping into the Roman Church during the reign of Pope Gregory around the end of the sixth century, and it has no scriptural support whatsoever.In fact, Jesus warned us about this pagan practice in Matthew 23:14 when He spoke of those who devoured widows houses and made long prayers for a pretence.Even if such a place as Purgatory did exist, Psalm 49:6-7 tells us that a person could not redeem a loved one from its flames:
They that trust in their wealth, and boast themselves in the multitude of their riches; None of them can by any means redeem his brother, nor give to God a ransom for him.
Peter tells us in I Peter 1:18-19 that one cannot be redeemed with the corruptible riches of this world, but rather with the precious blood of Jesus Christ.Peter also addresses this issue in Acts 8:20 when he says,
Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money.
God's word is clearly against the doctrine of purgatory.
So where did this belief originate?Actually, it's a very old pagan belief, (like most other Catholic beliefs) beginning hundreds of years before Christ.Plato believed in it, as did the Stoics, Buddha, and the Moslems.The Catholic Apocrypha speaks of praying for the dead in II Maccabees chapter 12, but, as we've already seen, the Apocrypha isn't Scripture.The purgatory doctrine is simply another pagan heresy which lacks Scriptural support.
The Catholic Mass
By perverting the Christian practice of the Lord's Supper (Mat. 26:26-28; I Cor. -27), the Catholic Church has created the Mass, which they believe to be a continual sacrifice of Jesus Christ:
Christ...commanded that his bloody sacrifice on the Cross should be daily renewed by an unbloody sacrifice of his body and blood in the Mass under the simple elements of bread and wine. (The Catholic Encyclopedia)
Jesus never made such a command.If you'll check the above references in Matthew 26 and I Corinthians 11, you'll see for yourself that the Lord's Supper is a memorial and a showing of Christ's death until He comes again.It is not a sacrifice.This is a private interpretation and an outright perversion of God's word. The Mass is without a doubt the central part of Catholic worship.The Catholic Encyclopedia states the following:
In the celebration of the Holy Mass, the bread and wine are changed into the body and blood of Christ.It is called transubstantiation, for in the Sacrament of the Eucharist the substance of bread and wine do not remain, but the entire substance of bread is changed into the body of Christ, and the entire substance of wine is changed into his blood, the species or outward semblence of bread and wine alone remaining.
This may come as a shock if you aren't familiar with Catholic belief, but do you realize what you've just read?The Catholic Church teaches that the "Holy Mass" is a literal eating and literal drinking of the body and blood of Jesus Christ!Read the statement again.The priest supposedly has the power to change the bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ.
True Christians understand that the elements of the Lord’s Supper are symbolic, and rightly so, but Rome teaches these elements to be literal.The Catholic Encyclopedia also says that
The dogma of the totality of the Real Presence means that in each individual species the whole Christ, flesh and blood, body and soul, Divinity and humanity, isreally present.
So all of Jesus Christ is "really present" in the mass, and devout Catholics believe in eating and drinking him.In fact, the Catholic Council of Trent pronounced a curse upon anyone who doesn't believe it.
Now, what does God's word say about such practices?If you'll read Genesis 9:4, Leviticus 17:11-12, and Acts 15:29, you will find that God absolutely forbids the drinking of blood all through the Bible.This has been a pagan practice for thousands of years.In Psalm 16:4, David said that he would not take up drink offerings of blood.Then Jeremiah 44:17 speaks of the pagan practice of pouring out drink offerings unto the "queen of heaven".Sound familiar?
Rome teaches that the Mass is a continual "sacrifice" of Jesus Christ, but God's word states that Jesus made the final sacrifice on Calvary.This is made perfectly clear in Hebrews 10:10-12:
By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins: But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God.
Does that not settle the issue?The Catholic mass is unscriptural and unnecessary.Rome teaches that the mass is a continual sacrifice, but God's word states that Jesus Christ finished every work necessary to pay for all sin, so there's no need for a continual sacrifice.There's nothing more for a sinner to do than repent of his sins and believe on Christ—accepting his finished work on Calvary as the final payment for all sin.John says,"But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name."Friend, have you receivedJesus Christ as your Saviour like God's word commands, or are you trusting in a vain religious practice?
Idolatry in the Catholic Church
The Catholic religion is filled with all sorts of symbols, images, and relics.The Creed of Pope Pius IV states the following:
I most firmly assent that the image of the Christ, of the Mother of God, ever Virgin, and also of other saints ought to be had and retained, and that due honor and veneration are to be given them.
The Catechism of the Council of Trent states that
It is lawful to have images in the Church, and to give honor and worship unto them . . .
It's lawful to honor and worship images, is it?According to the Bible it is unlawful!Exodus 20:4-5 says,
Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me.
Image worship is unscriptural and will end with the eternal damnation of those who practice it (Rev. 14:11).
Other practices such as using prayer beads, prayer wheels, crosses and relics are foreign to the Bible.The sad fact is that Roman Catholicism is a faithless religion where people refuse to walk by faith.Catholics insist on having a material religious set-up where everything can be seen (statues, crosses, bread, wine, rosaries, etc.).God's desire is for Christians to walk by faith, not by sight (II Cor. 5:7).Idolatry is wicked, and it is strictly forbidden in the Bible.
Is Catholic Salvation Biblical?
There is no real salvation in the Catholic Church.If you know a Roman Catholic who is really saved, then you know someone who has gone to God's word for answers, rather than to the priest or to the Church.
Rome believes in the pagan custom of baptismal regeneration.Infants are even candidates for baptism in the Catholic Church, although no infants are baptized in the New Testament.No one in the New Testament is baptized until they show genuine belief and a true repentant heart.Furthermore, no one is sprinkled in the New Testament.A baptism is an immersion, matching the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ.To sprinkle a child with water and call that salvation is foolishness, for a child has no understanding about God, the Bible, Heaven, Hell, or the Lord Jesus Christ.According to Deuteronomy 1:39, God doesn'tholdyoung children accountable for sin, so there's no need for them to be baptized or join any church.
Catholic salvation is basically a system of works.By being sprinkled, keeping the commandments, going to confessional, and keeping the sacraments, the devout Catholic believes he can earn his salvation.Since he believes the Catholic Church is the one true Church which Christ founded, he also believes that leaving the Church means eternal damnation.So the whole thing is a trap.If you stay in the Roman Church, you can only hope for the best, although you are never really sure about your eternal destiny.If you leave, then you risk being “damned” forever.
Of course, God's word never says once that you will be damned for leaving a church.The Bible speaks often about personal salvation, but it never links it with belonging to any religious organization.Salvation is a personal thing between you and God, and you can only be saved by doing business with God personally.
Jesus said that salvation is a new birth, a spiritual birth from God (John 3:3).The salvation of your soul is entirely a spiritual matter.No amount of outward physical acts, such as church attendance, receiving sacraments, confession, or being sprinkled can save you.You must be born again.You must come to know the Lord Jesus Christ personally in your own heart.Friend, you need more than a religion: you need a relationship. Please read the next section carefully and prayerfully, asking God to show you the truth.
In the actual printed booklet, our publication Understanding God’s Salvation Plan is inserted here, but we have not included it on this page since it is available elsewhere on the site.
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