31 March 2013

The Fact and Process of Apostasy



The Church in History, Part One:
The Fact and Process of Apostasy


St. Peter's Basilica, Vatican City


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The apostasy of the first century Church of Christ 
is indeed prophesied by the Bible
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THE ISSUE IF there was an apostasy took place in the first century Church of Church is very vital especially for the Roman Catholic Church because if there was, the Catholic Church cannot be the true Church founded by Christ, but the apostatized church because the Catholic Church claims that they succeeded the first century Church of Christ. This is the reason why the Catholic Church is using every possible way to cover the biblical and historical facts of the apostasy that took place in the first century Church of Christ.



What “Apostasy” Is

The dictionary defines “apostasy” as “the renunciation of a religious or political belief or allegiance” (Microsoft Encarta Dictionary). Thus, Apostasy is a defection, a falling away from what one believed in, as apostasy from one’s religion, creed, or politics. Hence, one becomes an "apostate" as soon as he departs from his former belief, whatever it was. What undergoes change is not the person nor his nature but his beliefs.

The Bible also has a definition for “apostasy.” Let us read what is written I Timothy 4:1:

“Now the Holy Spirit tells us clearly that in the last times some will turn away from the true faith; they will follow deceptive spirits and teachings that come from demons.” (New Living Translation)

According to Apostle Paul, “some will turN away from the true faith; they will follow deceptive spirits and teachings that come from demons.” These words (“turning away from the true faith”) is synonymous with the word “apostasy”:

“But the Spirit speaks expressly, that in latter times some shall APOSTATISE from the faith, giving their mind to deceiving spirits and teachings of demons.” (Darby Bible)

Aside from “turning away from the true faith,” the Bible also used the following words which are also synonymous with the word “apostasy”:

“depart from faith” (KJV)
“abandon the faith” (NIV)
“fall away from the faith” (NASB)
“desert the Christian faith” (God’s Word)
“turned away from the faith” (Bible basic English)
“renounce the faith” (NRSV)

For Apostle Paul, apostasy is not only turning away from the true faith, but also following deceptive spirits and teachings that came from  demons.” The “true faith” is what the Lord Jesus Christ and the His apostles taught. Where could we find the truth taught by the Lord Jesus and His Apostles? Which can teach us the truth? This is what apostle Paul said in II Toimothy 3:16-17:

“And you remember that ever since you were a child, you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching the truth, rebuking error, correcting faults, and giving instruction for right living, so that the person who serves God may be fully qualified and equipped to do every kind of good deed.” (TEV)

Not all the things done by Christ and the Apostles were written (cf. Jn. 20:30-31). In fact there were some things that God did not want to be written (cf. Dan. 12:4; Rev. 10:4). The Apostles wrote down what they witnessed (cf. 1 Jn. 1:1-4). All such writings were inspired by God, should be used for doctrine, correction, instruction, and they make man perfect (cf. II Tim. 3:16-17). What were written are enough and nothing should be added to them nor subtracted from them (cf. Rev. 22:18-19) for what are written were written so that we might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God and that by believing we might have eternal life through His name (cf. Jn. 20:30-31). Apostle Paul adds that we must not go beyond what is written:

 “Now, brothers, I have applied these things to myself and Apollos for your benefit, so that you may learn from us the meaning of the saying, "Do not go beyond what is written." Then you will not take pride in one man over against another.” (I Corinthians 4:6 NIV)

Thus, departing from the true faith is departing from what the Bible teaches through going beyond what is written. Moreover, apostasy is also changing the Gospel of Christ or the doctrine writen in the Bible:

“I am surprised at you! In no time at all you are deserting the one who called you by the grace of Christ, and are accepting another gospel. Actually, there is no "other gospel," but I say this because there are some people who are upsetting you and trying to change the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel that is different from the one we preached to you, may he be condemned to hell! Galacia 1:6-8 TEV

Hence, an apostate is (1) those that followed the doctrines came from the demon or erroneous doctrines; (2) went beyond what is written (taught doctrines not in the Bible, upheld unbiblical doctrines); and (3) changed the doctrines written in the Bible (changed the Gospel or the teachings of Christ and the apostles). Apostle Paul said, “if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel that is different from the one we preached to you, may he be condemned to hell!.”




Biblical Facts of the Apostasy

On Matthew 16:18

As expected, the Catholic Church denies that apostasy took place. Catholic Defenders evem used Matthew 16:18 and Matthew 28:18-19 to proved that apostasy did not took place. However, careful reading of the verse will show that the Lord Jesus did not said that there will be no apostasy. Let us first look at Matthew 16:18:

“And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.” (Matthew 16:18 NIV)

When the Lord Jesus said “the gates of Hades will not overcome it (the Church He build),” the Catholic defenders understand this to mean that the Church will not be apostatized. However, this is only their conclusion and this reveals their ignorance of the teachings of the Bible. What is the equivalent of the words of Christ that “the gates of Hades will not overcome the Church”? Let us read the rendering of Today’s English Version:

“And so I tell you, Peter: you are a rock, and on this rock foundation I will build my church, and not even death will ever be able to overcome it.” (Matthew 16:18 TEV)

When the Lord Jesus Christ said that “the gates of Hades will not overcome it," what he meant is “not even death will ever be able to overcome it.” In I Thessalonians, this is what Apostle Paul said:

“For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever.” (I Thessalonians 4:16-17 NIV)

Thus, no where in Matthew 16:18 that the Lord Jesus Christ said that the Church He founded will not be apostatized. What the Lord Jesus Christ said is that "the gates of Hades will not overcome" the  Church He founded. The Bible explained that this words of Jesus does not mean that the Church will not be apostatized, but that "the power of death will not overcome it" because the members of the Church He founded although they suffered death but will be resurrected in His Second Coming.


On Matthew 28:19-20

Regarding Matthew 28:19-20, the Catholic Defenders insist that the words of the Lord Jesus saying “surely I am with you always, to the very end of time” means apostasy will not took place. However, careful study of the verse shows that the conclusion or interpretation of the Catholic Defenders is erroneous:

“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28:19-20 NIV)

Before the Lord Jesus Christ said the words “surely I am with you always, to the very end of time,” He first said, “and make disciples of all nations…and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you." Thus, if the disciples will continue obeying everything the Lord Jesus Christ commanded, He will be with them always to the very end of time.

Thus, like Matthew 16:18, nowehere in Matthew 28:19-20 that the Lord Jesus Christ said that the Church He founded will not be apostatized. The Lord said to His disciples that He will with them always to the very end of time IF they will continue obeying everything He have commanded them.


Comparing the Church with Israel

They could not accept the fact that the first century Church was apostatized because it is built by Christ, taught by the apostles, and guided by the Holy Spirit. It is of God and the nation of God, so for them it is impossible that apostasy would take place. However, they forgot that before the Church of Christ, Israel was the nation of God. In Deuteronomy 7:6 this is what the Bible tells about Israel:

“For you are a people holy to the LORD your God. The LORD your God has chosen you out of all the peoples on the face of the earth to be his people, his treasured possession.” (NIV)

How did Israel became God’s nation? In II Samuel 7:24, this is what is written:

“You have established your people Israel as your very own forever, and you, O LORD, have become their God.” (NIV)

The following were the privileges enjoyed by the Israelites when they were still the nation of God:

“They are God's people; he made them his sons and revealed his glory to them; he made his covenants with them and gave them the Law; they have the true worship; they have received God's promises.” (Romans 9:4 TEV)

Although Israel was the first nation of God, that God Himself established them as His people and they received His promises, however, Israel was apostatized and did not remained God’s nation:

“All Israel has transgressed your law and turned away, refusing to obey you. "Therefore the curses and sworn judgments written in the Law of Moses, the servant of God, have been poured out on us, because we have sinned against you.” (Daniel 9:11 NIV)

Israel “turned way” from God. Isn’t that the words “turned away” are synonymous with “apostatized”? Israel was indeed apostatized, that is why she was replaced as God’s nation. Apostle Peter attests to this fact:

“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.  Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. I Peter 2:9-10 NIV

Apostle Peter is referring to the Church of Christ, the Church that Christ established. Thus, because Israel did not remained faithful to God and has been apostatized, she was replaced as God’s nation by the first century Church of Christ.

Here, we can see that the argument that the first century Church of Christ will never be apostatized because she was built by Christ and God acknowledge her as His nation” is baseless. Israel was established by God as His people, receiving God’s promises and covenant, acknowledge as God’s nation, but she was apostatized and been replaced.

Therefore, although the first century Church of Christ was apostatized, it doesn’t mean that Christ failed. It was not Christ, but it was the people who failed to continue obeying His commandments. Remember that Christ will only continue to be with them if they will continue obeying everything He commanded.



Is the continues history of the Catholic Church 
or its existence for 2,000 years proves that 
no apostasy took place?
 
The Catholic defenders asked us that if the Church of Christ was truly apostatized, why there was no period in history that the Church did not exist. For them, the continues history of the the Catholic Church (it's 2,000 years history proves that there was no apostasy that took place). If this is the case, then the Jews can still claim that there are the nation of God until this time, and there were never been replaced by the Church of Christ as God's nation, because the Jewish nation (the Jewish people) remained until our time. No period of history can be shown that the Jews did not continue to exist. From the time of Christ and until this day, the Jewish people remained, now having a continuous history of about 3,500 years (since the time of Moses).

However, as the New Testament points out, although the Jewish people remained but they did not remained God's nation because they departed from the true faith or because they were apostatized.  That's why, even though they continued to exist, but they were no longer God's nation, and been replaced by the Church of Christ as God's nation. Therefore, the apostasy menationed by the Bible does not mean that the Church will not continue to exist. The Church or the organization remained, but she was transformed from being the true Church to an apostatized church. So, although the church continued for 2,000 years, but as we know it, not as the Church of Christ, but as the Roman Catholic Church.


Who Makes the Lord Jesus Christ a Liar?

The Catholic Defenders say that “those who say that the Church was apostatized is making the Lord Jesus a liar.” It is not those who say that the Church was apostatized that making Jesus a liar but the Catholic Defenders who say that the Church will not be apostatized. Please ponder this words of the Lord Jesus Christ:

“Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me.  At that time MANY WILL TURN AWAY FROM THE FAITH and will betray and hate each other.” (Matthew 24:9-10 NIV, emphasis mine)

These are the very words of the Lord Jesus Christ: "MANY WILL TURN AWAY FROM THE FAITH." Remember that "apostasy" means "turning away from the faith." So, who makes the Lord Jesus Christ a liar, those who say that apostasy took place or those that who say that there was no apostasy? Still, according to the Lord Jesus Christ, who will led the disciples astray and how many will be led astray?

“Many false prophets will rise up and lead multitudes astray.” (Matt. 24:11 Weymouth)

Take note that Jesus warned us that not only  “many will turn away from the faith” but that those faithful disciples “will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death.” This is how the first century Church of Christ was totally apostatized. The faithful disciples were persecuted and put to death, and the multitudes of His disciples "will turn away from the faith."

Therefore, it is indeed a biblical fact that the first century Church of Christ will be apostatized.


The Process of Apostasy

How was the multitude of the disciples was apostatized? Apostle Peter explains this in II Peter 2:1-2:

“But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them-bringing swift destruction on themselves.  Many will follow their shameful ways and will bring the way of truth into disrepute.” (II Peter 2:1-2 NIV)

Apostle Peter said, “there will be false teachers among you.” The false teachers will not rise from outside of the Church and will deceive many to get them to depart from the Church. The false teachers will rise IN THE MIDST of the disciples. How these false teachers will distort the doctrines of Christ and the apostles written in the Bible? Apostle Peter also said that, “They will secretly introduce destructive heresies.” Thus, apostasy will happen inside the Church.

The Church will remain, the organization will still be there, however, her doctrines did not remained “pure” as what the Lord Jesus Christ and the apostles taught and as what are written in the Bible. False teachers will rise among them and will secretly introduce false doctrines. Remember what Apostle Paul said in I Timothy 4:1:

"Now the Holy Spirit tells us clearly that in the last times some will turn away from the true faith; they will follow deceptive spirits and teachings that come from demons.” (New Living Translation)

Who are these false teachers that will secretly introduce to the Church  “destructive heresies” or false doctrines? Apostle Paul answered this in Acts 20:30:

“Even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them.” (Acts 20:30 NIV)

Apostle Paul said, “from your own number men will rise and distort the truth.” Who were Apostle Paul talking to when he said “from your own number men will rise and distort the truth”? In Acts 20:28:

“Take heed unto yourselves, and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit hath made you bishops, to feed the church of the Lord which he purchased with his own blood.” (Acts 20:28 ASV)

Thus, among the bishops will rise men that will distort the truth. This is how many were led astray. False teachers will rise among the bishops and will distort the truth. When will this happen? This is Apostle’ Paul's statement in Acts 20:29-30:

“I know that after I leave, savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock.  Even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them.” (Acts 20:29-30 NIV)

Apostle Paul said, “afer I leave...” He is referring to his death (cf. Acts 20:29-30, 24-25 and 37-38; I Tim. 4:6-8). The process of apostasy or the turning away from the teachings of God as written in the Bible, was already at work even during the times of the apostles (cf. II Thess. 2:7). Apostle Paul warned the Christians in Galatia that those who teach doctrines different from what the Apostles already taught be accursed (cf. Gal. 1:6-9). But for as long as the Apostles were still alive and in control of Church administration, such forces of iniquity did not succeed in enticing the entire living members of the Church away from what the Apostles taught them (cf. II Thess. 2:7).

Thus, the apostasy will take place after the death of the apostles or after the apostolic period. After the death of the apostles (John, the last of the apostles, died in c. 90-100 AD), among the bishops (those who succeeded the apostles) will rise false teachers that will distort the truth.


the fulfillment of the prophecy

Christ said that “you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me.” Indeed, the first century Christians were persecuted and put to death. There’s the Jewish persecution where Stephen was one of the Christians who were put to death. Then came the imperial persecution of the Church started by Roman Emperor Nero in 64 AD:

“Tacitus recorded the rumor that Nero had ordered the fire that destroyed part of the city of Rome. This rumor was so widely accepted by the people that Nero had to find a scapegoat. He diverted feeling against himself to the Christians by accusing them of arson and by engaging in a saturnalia of destruction of the Christians.” (Christianity Through the Centuries, p. 91)

Then, another imperial persecution broke out still in the first century AD, this time by Emperor Domitian:

“Persecution broke out again in 95 during the reign of the despotic Domitian. The Jews had refused to pay a poll tax that had been levied for the support of Capitolinus Jupiter. Because the Christians continued to be associated with the Jews, they also suffered the effects of the emperor’s wrath. It was during this persecution that the apostle John was exiled to the Isle of Patmos, where he wrote the Book of Revelation.” (Christianity Through the Centuries, p. 91)

Thus, what the Lord Jesus Christ prophesied in Matthew 24:9 was fulfilled. The faithful, including the apostles, were put to death during the imperial persecution. Indeed, many Christians were put to death during these two imperial persecutions of the Church in the first century. Apostle John was exiled in an island called Patmos. He died in c. 90-100 AD. With the death of the apostles, however, something happened to the Church:

“For the years after the record in Acts ends, evidence for the history of the Christian Church becomes more scanty. There began to be passing references to it in pagan writers. These writers make it seem likely that the Roman Emperor Nero blamed the Christians for the burning of the city of Rome in A.D. 64. It is also very likely that Saint Peter and Saint Paul were put to death at Rome about this time… .
“When the original Apostles died, the leadership of the Church was taken over by local pastors known as bishops. Under them were ministers of lower rank, known as presbyters and deacons. The Church organized the area of the Roman Empire into provinces. The bishops at the head of the Christian communities in the large cities such as Rome, Antioch, Alexandria, and Carthage ranked highest.” (The New Book of Knowledge, vol. 3, pp. 280-281)

Thus, when the Apostles died, not much was recorded on what went on in the Church of Christ but during this period of silence the administration of the Church fell into the hands of the bishops. Apostle Paul describes the bishop as he was in the first century Church of Christ. His qualities are detailed in I Timothy 3:2-7 as:

“…blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach; Not given to wine, no striker not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous; One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity; (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?). Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil. Moreover, he must have a good report of them which are without; lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.” (King James Version)

Apostle Paul further says that a bishop should be “holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers” (cf. Titus 1:9). Thus, among other things, a bishop in the first century Church of Christ is a husband of one wife and a teacher of things taught by the Apostles and Christ, things that are written in the Bible.

The bishops that took control of the Church administration in the second century were of a different breed. They were priests who were not allowed to marry and taught things not coming from the Bible. Moreover, the bishops of the first century Church were not monarchical:

“In Acts 20:28, …the fact that there were several bishops in one community excludes the monarchical concept of the term…” (New Catholic Encyclopedia, vol. 2, p. 585)

In spite of this clear evidence from the Bible that the original bishop in the Church of Christ was not monarchical, Catholic Church authorities inject the idea that the monarchical episcopate which prevailed in the second century must have come from oral tradition:

“Therefore, since there is no clear evidence in NT for a monarchical episcopate, this office, which was firmly established by the early decades of the 2d century must have been based on oral apostolic tradition going back ultimately to Christ.” (Ibid.)

A monarchical episcopate is defined as “one single bishop assisted by priests and deacons” (Ibid. p. 589), a thing that did not prevail during the time of the Apostles. In spite of this difference in administration between the first century Church of Christ and that of the second, Catholic authorities reject the first and accept the second:

“The testimony of Ignatius from the first decade of the 2d century, along with the evidence of the writers from the second half of that century and the earliest catalogs of bishops in the principal Churches – all of which trace a line of succession of individual bishops back to the apostolic age – satisfies most Catholic theologians that this form of Church government was the only one ever recognized as normal and regular.” (Ibid.)

Soon after the bishops took over the administration of the Church in the second century, the doctrines of this Church began to be infected with poison:

“At first the history of the Roman Church is identical with the history of the Christian truth. But unhappily there came a time when streams of poison began to flow from the once pure fountain.” (The World’s Great Events, vol. 2, pp 163-164)

This control of the Church administration by the bishops who began to teach different doctrines was the fulfillment of what Apostle Paul prophesied concerning the overseers (bishop):

“Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.” (Acts 20:30, KJV)


departing from the true faith

The great apostasy did not consist in the destruction of the first century Church of Christ and the establishment of another one. It consisted in the deterioration of the Church established by Christ. Immediately after the death of the Apostles, during this period the bishops took over the administration of the Church and the Church became very different from what Christ founded (or the first century Church):

“For fifty years after St. Paul’s life a curtain hangs over the church, through which we strive vainly to look; and when at last it rises about 120 A.D. with the writings of the earliest church-fathers, we find a church in many aspects very different from that in the days of St. Peter and St. Paul.” (The Story of the Christian Church, p. 41)

The differences between what used to be the Church of Christ in the first century and the Church that was revealed in the second to the fourth centuries are profound:

“It is necessary to note that we should recall the reader’s attention to the profound differences between this fully developed Christianity of Nicaea and the teachings of Jesus of Nazareth….What is clearly apparent is that the teaching of Jesus of Nazareth was a prophetic teaching of the new type that began with the Hebrew prophets. It was not priestly, it had no consecrated temple, and no altar. It had no rites and ceremonies. Its sacrifice was ‘a broken and contrite heart’. Its only organization was an organization of preachers, and its chief function was the sermon. But the fully fledge Christianity of the fourth century, though it preserved as its nucleus the teachings of Jesus in the Gospels, was mainly a priestly religion, of a type already familiar to the world for thousands of years. The center of its elaborate ritual was an altar, and the essential act or worship the sacrifice, by a consecrated priest, of the Mass.” (The Outline of History, pp. 552-553)

These profound changes, made on the original teachings of Christ, dealt great violence on the teachings of the Bible for the purpose of enhancing the interests of the Catholic Church:

“Jesus too, being a Galilean, was of Aryan stock, a remarkable man whose teachings had, in the course of centuries, been deformed out of all recognition in the interests of the Catholic Church.” (The Vatican in the Age of Dictators, p. 168)

Adding insult to injury, Catholic authorities acknowledge such changes without shame and even with pride:

“We Catholics acknowledge readily, without any shame, nay with pride, that Catholicism cannot be identified simply and wholly with primitive Christianity, nor even with the Gospel of Christ, in the same way that the great oak cannot be identified with the tiny acorn.” (The Spirit of Catholicism, p. 2)

Catholic authorities even boast that they did not derive their faith in Jesus from the Scriptures:

“ ‘Without the Scriptures’, says Mohler, ‘the true form of the sayings of Jesus would have been withheld from us….Yet the Catholic does not derive his faith in Jesus from Scripture’.” (Ibid. p. 50)

Hence, those responsible for this apostasy of the first century Church of Christ were the bishops under whose administration these profound changes took place. The first bishop identified as having introduced changes into the Church was Ignatius, bishop of Antioch who was martyred in Rome about 110 A.D. He was the first to use the term Catholic Church in reference to the Church of Christ:

“The name Catholic as a name is not applied to the Catholic Church in the Bible. ..St. Ignatius of Antioch, writing to the Christians of Smyrna about the year 110, is the first to use the name ‘The Catholic Church’ …” (The Question Box, p. 132)

This same Ignatius introduced the doctrine that Christ is both God and man:

“He asserted unequivocally both the divinity and humanity of Christ, the Savior.” (New Catholic Encyclopedia, vol. 7, p. 353)

Ignatius is one of the so-called Antenicene Fathers who were divided into three groups, namely:

1. Apostolic Fathers – supposedly had personal contact with the Apostles or were instructed by their disciples. To this group belong Ignatius of Antioch, Polycarp of Smyna, and Clement of Rome.

2. Greek Apologists – born of the Church’s reaction to paganism. To this group belong Justin Martyr, Athenagoras of Athens, Theophilus of Antioch, and Irenaeus.

3. Theologians – to this group belong Clement of Alexandria, Origen, Tertullian, and Cyprian.

These Church Fathers were the source of the teachings that the Catholic Church taught and implemented beginning the second century. However, such persons were not immune from errors and yet, the apostatized church approved their teachings:

“Obviously much that Christ and the apostles preached was in time reduced to writing. Hence there grew up a library composed of men called ‘the fathers of the Church’. They were called so because in apostolic days the word ‘father’ also meant teacher of spiritual things, and these were among her earliest teachers. But, unlike the apostles, all of whom enjoyed infallibility, they were not immune from error nor inspired as the scriptural writers had been. In so far as they dealt with questions of faith and morals, much of what they wrote was approved by the Church, and thus, became part of written tradition.” (Whereon to Stand: What Catholics Believe and Why, p. 142)

As a result of the teachings of these early Church Fathers, the Church of Christ or Christianity became Roman Catholicism, the last and the greatest of the mystery religions:

“On that dies Domini, or Lord’s Day, the Christians assembled for their weekly ritual. Their clergy read from the Scriptures, led them in prayer, and preached sermons of doctrinal instruction, moral exhortation, and sectarian controversy…
“By the close of the second century, these weekly ceremonies had taken the form of the Christian Mass. Based partly on the Judaic Temple service, partly on Greek mystery rituals of purification, vicarious sacrifice, and participation through communion, in the death-overcoming powers, of the deity, the Mass grew slowly into a rich congeries of prayers, psalms, readings, sermon, antiphonal recitations, and, above all, that symbolic atoning sacrifice of the ‘Lamb of God’ which replaced, in Christianity, the bloody offerings of older faiths. The bread and wine which these cults had considered as gifts placed upon the altar before the god were now conceived as changed by the priestly act of consecration into the body and blood of Christ, and were presented to God as a repetition of the self-immolation of Jesus on the cross. Then, in an intense and moving ceremony, the worshippers partook of the very life and substance of their Saviour. It was a conception long sanctified by time; the pagan mind needed no schooling to receive it; by embodying it in the ‘mystery of the Mass’, Christianity became the last and the greatest of the mystery religions.” (Ceasar and Christ, pp. 599-600)

Thus, the claim of the Catholic Church that they are the Church founded by Christ in the first century is not true because the Catholic Church is very much different from the Church of Christ founded by Christ in the first century. The Catholic Church is not the Church founded by Christ, instead it’s the fulfillment of the prophecies of the Bible regarding the apostasy that will  take place immediately after the death of the apostles. Hence, the claim of the Catholic Church that they succeeded the apostles is not a proof of being the true Christ founded by Christ, but instead, a strong proof that the Catholic Church is indeed the apostate Church, the fulfillment of what the Bible prophesied that after the death of the apostles, among the ranks of the bishops will rise false teachers that will distort the truth.


1 comment:

  1. very informative article,may all people know about this information

    ReplyDelete

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