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The Persecuted Church

 

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YESTERDAYS are still with us

The Pharisees might have had good intentions and were sincere in their endeavor to please God, at least in the beginning. What they decided to do is build a wall around the law the 613 commandments. This wall consisted of 100 to 1,500 (the Sabbath was the queen and had the most laws applied to her) additional laws added to the former commandments. Their logic was like this, by putting a fence, a protective barrier around the Holy Law one would first have to break this law before they would break God's law and become guilty and be punished. The problem was that as time went on the Jewish people become more familiar with and obedient to the fence laws of the Pharisee’s than to Gods law. After all there was so much more to study before one could break through and become actually guilty from God. Whenever we have two sources of where truth comes from one is eventually going to rise above the other. Neither one can ever be on a equal basis with the other. While it may be stated as such we know from the historical record and practical experience it just is not so.

In the NT. Period Jesus whole ministry was a contention with the Pharisees traditions. They wanted him to validate and approve what they called the tradition of the elders(fathers) Mk.7:1-9; Mt.15:1-4, contention grew between Jesus and the religious leaders as they wanted his approval of their traditions to be considered equal with scripture. Jesus was clear he was not going to approve of their traditions, saying,"you lay aside the commandment of God and hold higher the tradition of men." The Pharisees set up a barrier between God and man making the commandments of no effect because they stopped people from seeing the word of God. Jesus always brought their traditions to the ultimate authority the word of God. Mk.,7 "These people honor me with their lips, but their heart is far from me and in vain they worship me teaching as doctrine the commandments of men. By adding traditions alongside the word they watered down the truth, and the emphasis shifted. The Pharisees laws were burdens that God never intended, it brought them in bondage because it went beyond scripture. This is why Jesus said in Mt.11:28, "Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. "Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.30 "For My yoke is easy and My burden is light."

The Catholic church ignores these warnings and defends their position by saying "We must, therefore, conclude that the Scriptures alone cannot be a sufficient guide and rule of faith...because they are not of themselves clear and intelligible even in matters of the highest importance..." (The Faith of Our Fathers p. 73). The Bible says the very opposite what they wrote was understandable if not why write it instead it would have to be told and explained by the apostles everywhere they went.

2 Cor.1:13, "For we write nothing to you that you do not read and understand." "According to revelation the mystery has been made known to me, as you reading, may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ..." (Eph. 3:3-4 Douay Rheims )

Their position is "Christ gave his disciples no command to write, but only to teach." (Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. 5, p. 767).

"The Apostles are never reported to have circulated a single volume of the Holy Scripture, but they going forth, preached everywhere, ..." (Mark 16:20)." (The Faith of Our Fathers, p. 66).

This is not true Jesus commanded the apostle John, "Write therefore the things that thou hast seen, and the things that are, and the things that are to come hereafter." (Rev. 1:19). Christ did commissioned His apostles to write. The apostles put their own writings into circulation. "And when this letter has been read among you, see that it be read in the church of the Laodicians also; and that you yourselves read the letter from Laodicea." (Col. 4:16). "I charge you by the Lord that this epistle be read to all the holy brethren." (1 Thess. 5:27).They exchanged letters and commanded them to not be withheld from others. Jesus tells John the apostle in Rev 1:11saying, "I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last," and, "What you see, write in a book and send it to the seven churches which are in Asia: to Ephesus, to Smyrna, to Pergamos, to Thyatira, to Sardis, to Philadelphia, and to Laodicea."

God speaking in Rev 21:5, "Then He who sat on the throne said, "Behold, I make all things new." And He said to me, "Write, for these words are true and faithful."

Luke said, "...It seemed good to me also, having followed all things closely for some time past, to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, that you may know the truth concerning the things of which you have been informed." (Luke 1:3-4 Catholic Edition RSV). Thus, Luke said he wrote his book to Theophilus so he could know the truth concerning those things which he had heard. His intention was to put on paper what they had heard previously by word of mouth, but could now prove them by the inspired writings.The book of Acts is a continuation of his first epistle in Acts 1:1 Luke said, "In the first book, O Theophilus, I have dealt with all that Jesus began to do and teach..." (Catholic Edition RSV). Notice Luke mean said he wrote of all that Jesus did and taught? Luke traveled with Paul and was under his headship.

John 20:30-31 says, "Many other signs also Jesus worked in the sight of his disciples, which are not written in this book, but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in his name." The apostle John says the things which he wrote were given to produce faith for those who want to follow Jesus and have life. It's not the traditions that are not excluded from being written but the signs he did to prove who he was. One does not need a enormous amount of miracles but John says the ones he wrote down are sufficient.

They are taught things that are not unlike the Jehovah Witnesses "Can you learn to save your soul just by reading the Bible? No...because the Bible does not have everything God taught." (A Catechism for Adults, Ques. 1, p. 52).

Paul told Timothy, "For from thy infancy thou hast known the Sacred Writings, which are able to instruct thee unto salvation by the faith which is in Christ Jesus." (2 Tim. 3:15). Once again the very opposite is written by an apostle, one can save his soul just by reading the Scriptures. 2 Tim. 3:16-17 says, "All Scripture is inspired by God and useful for teaching, for reproving, for correcting, for instruction in justice, that the man of God may be perfect, equipped for every good work." The Scriptures contain everything that is necessary to equip the man of God for every good work unto God. There is nothing outside the scriptures that the Christian can do which is not written in them for all to read. The religious leaders challenged Christ first and his apostles later with their traditions, Solomon was right their is nothing new under the sun, the same challenges continue in the church today.

 

Mary's sinlessness   Mary's Son or Gods only Son   Who gave us the Scripture?
The Eucharist   Jn.6 -eat my flesh Peter the Rock Is it a Mass ?
Praying to Mary?  Problems with the Mary of Roman Catholicism    The Virgin Birth
Purgatory the Spiritual Bermuda Triangle   Idolatry    Traditions found in the Bible
Traditions,Traditions,Traditions   Yesterdays Challenges revisited What is a Saint
  The Apocrypha Unity sought with Islam  Marriage and the Priesthood
It is Written    

 

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