The early stages of apostasy
Pagan religions had a significant role in the Catholic faith beginning from the early stages.
In ancient Mesopotamia (Assyria), a triune god was worshiped; they were: Father (Marduk), Mother (Ištar, Queen of heaven), and Son (Nabu). Father God was a hidden god, the creator of the world, he was one, but everywhere. Mother-god Ištar was a loving heavenly mother and the Son i.e. Nabu, who was characterized as the Cosmic Messiah and the Saviour-Son. There was a large number of gods in Mesopotamia, Assyria, Babylon and Sumer, each with a number of names: the Messiah, the Creator of the world, the Queen of heaven, etc., were the attributes of these gods. Does this sound familiar?
It is difficult to say how consciously the Christianity of the Trinity was developed on the basis of these pagan religions. In any case, it is evident that the religious patterns of the Gentiles made it easier to accept the doctrine of the Triune God. Could it have been that Satan would have been aware of God’s plan of salvation and rushed to establish such false religions and gods in the world?
For what purpose did the Catholic Church need the help of the pagan religions? It was easier for the people to turn to Christianity when it largely contained familiar gods. The pagan religions contained fables in which god was born a man, or gods appeared to human beings. Worshipping human-like beings as a god was common throughout the Roman Empire. Thus it was easier for the Church leadership to get the people to believe that Jesus Christ is a God born as a human being than to describe him as a man whom God has raised from the dead and given him divine authority only after his resurrection.
Perhaps Satan had a significant role in the formation of Catholic faith in the early stages of religion when the competition took place between Apostolic faith, Catholic faith, and various movements (such as Arionism). The Catholic version conquered, and even Reformation did not tamper in all the distorted doctrines.
2 Joh 1:7 For many deceivers have gone out into the world, those who don’t confess that Jesus Christ came in the flesh. This is the deceiver and the Antichrist. 8 Watch yourselves, that we don’t lose the things which we have accomplished, but that we receive a full reward.
9 Everyone who does not abide in the teaching of Christ but goes beyond it does not have God. The person who abides in the teaching of Christ has both the Father and the Son.
Now we are at the heart of this article. Perhaps you understand, my reader, why I so strongly criticized the doctrine of the Catholic Church. But not just the Catholic church; many other Christian churches should also check their doctrines. The core of criticism is here: If someone (man or church) does not remain in the teaching of Christ, but goes beyond it, all his faith is in vain, he has no God! What does it mean to go beyond? Perhaps it could be said: if someone adds to Christ’s teaching something that Christ did not teach, that means going beyond the teaching of Christ.
My intention is not to convert any more Catholics than any other member of any other Christian Church. I recall, however, the Bible’s text: Rev 18:4 “Then I heard another voice from heaven saying, “Come out of her, my people, so that you don’t participate in her sins and suffer from her plagues.”
In chapter 20 of John, Thomas calls out to Jesus: “My Lord and my God. From this is even today drawn a straightforward conclusion that John acknowledges Jesus as his Lord and God. Truth can be found in three verses later; the purpose of John was to make readers believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God (John 20:31). His purpose was NOT to get readers to believe that Jesus Christ is God. If that had been the case, John would have had a good chance to justify this in his writing. But, on the contrary; John clarifies his purpose in verse 31, but people do not want to hear it.
John and many other biblical authors say, at least in my opinion, unequivocally clearly that the Father alone is the only true God. How is it possible that many understand these differently? There are, of course, verses with a potential for misunderstanding such as: 1 John 5:20 … “We know that the Son of God has come, and has given us an understanding, that we know him who is true, and we are in him who is true, in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life.
Joh 17:3 This is eternal life, that they should know you, the only true God, and him whom you sent, Jesus Christ.
1 Cor 8:6 yet to us there is one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we for him; and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things, and we live through him.
Emperor Constantine (Emperor 306-337), who only near his death, turned to Christianity, used Christianity as a means of unifying the disintegrating kingdom in a religious sense. He was by no means Christian when he summoned the First Council of Nicaea in 325. The Arionism was overturned as heresy, in which it was not recognized that Jesus was of the same essence as the Father. This decision was confirmed in the First Council of Constantinople in 381.
The Arian doctrine of God was one of the greatest doctrinal disputes in the 4th century. The Arian doctrine regarded Christ as the Logos and God’s first creation. When the supporters of Trinity regarded Christ as the second person of the trinity, the Arians assert the divinity of Christ and but do not consider Christ to be of the same essence with God the Father. Arius aimed to bring the doctrine of trinity in harmony with Platonic theology. For this reason, Arius defined that only the Father is true God, while the Son’s counterpart in Platonic philosophy was the demiurge (δημιουργός, dēmiourgós) i.e. a world builder or a lower creator god. Therefore Arius was strongly disagreeing with bishop Athanasios, who also came from Alexandria. The dispute concerning Arianism was one of the major theological problems of the Catholic Church.
At the First Council of Nicaea in 325, the doctrine of the Arius was rejected and explained that Christ was born, not created, and was of the same essence as the Father. Athanasios strongly defended this decision, and this view was definitively confirmed at the Council of Constantinople in 381. Arius and a number of his followers were separated from the church and sent to exile. By the decision of the Nicaea Council in 325, Jesus was raised to a Father like God. The Holy Spirit was not raised this time, but the forgetfulness was corrected later.
This is how the ’mystery, Babylon the Great, the Mother of the Whores, and the Abominations of the earth’ was born i.e. the religious system based on the Triune God Doctrine. (Rev 17:5)
Apostasy in the Catholic Church
Apostasia means according to Strong’s 646: ἀποστασία, a falling away, defection, apostasy; in the Bible, namely, from the true religion. – The apostasy is, therefore, a deviation from the true faith, the apostolic faith that the apostles taught of the commandment of Jesus Christ. The deviation is manifested in the most diverse ways.
2 The 2:7 For the secret of this lawlessness (iniquity) is already at work, but only until the person now holding it back gets out of the way. 2 Tes 2:3 Do not let anyone deceive you in any way, for that day cannot come unless the apostasy takes place first and the man of lawlessness, who is destined for destruction, is revealed.
1 Joh 3:4 Everyone who sins also commits lawlessness. Sin is lawlessness. – Lawlessness is therefore something other than sin. It is also confirmed by Heb 10:17 … ”and their sins and their lawlessness I will remember no more”.
David Wilkerson describes lawlessness: ”The lawlessness that Paul used here, refers to the rejection of the law of God. Lawlessness is not only a rebellion against human government, or against authorities or violent crimes. These things will raise the wrath of God, but the mystery of lawlessness goes much deeper. It is the direct rejection of the truth, that is, the doctrine of Christ, the pushing aside the Holy Word of God and His commandments. Satan is using the same lie I believe today. Day after day, he assures the believers that they can sin without having to pay any punishment. This is Satan’s plot: distorting the gospel of Christ.” – What is the secret of lawlessness and who is the man of sin? He is called Antichrist. Paul wrote that there were Antichrists already in his time. The actual Antichrist, to whom Satan gives all his power, is expected to come out during the end-time stage.
In the chapter concerning the end-time, I have pondered if the leader of the Catholic Church i.e. the Pope could be this end-time Antichrist, the man of sin. I rejected this possibility for one reason: the Bible says that Antichrist denies both God and Jesus, and not one of the Popes has gone this far. When I now write about apostasy, I have to rethink the matter. Apostasy means to deviate or to abandon the true faith. The man of lawlessness does just that. He goes beyond the teachings of Jesus and gets almost the whole world to forget his most important teachings, written down by the apostles in the New Testament. It has therefore been suggested that denying Christ is the same thing as overthrowing his teachings and replacing them with another teachings.
I wrote of Antichrist that he in the temple of God proclaims something like this: “I am. I am Jehovah, and I am Allah… ” Perhaps we will see even the Pope to combine Christianity and Islam. Then…!
Who is meant when the Bible says until “will be out of the way only he who now restrains”, the person now holding it back. English translations say “he who” or “the one who” or “the person who”. What do we know about this person? We know who he is. This person has been restrained Satan for at least 2,000 years; he is either God or his Holy Spirit. He cannot be mortal because he has been doing this so long, I think this is clear.
Paul says that this deception will come ”for those who are being lost, because they didn’t receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved”. And then he adds: ”For this reason, God will send them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie.”
The Catholic Church displaced the doctrine of one God
Despite the fact that Jesus himself strongly emphasized that God the Father is the one and only God, the Catholic Church developed the doctrine that God consists of three divine persons. It was Paul who warned of the future development, saying that the “mystery of lawlessness” is already at work, but only until the person now holding it back gets out of the way.
The origin of the doctrine of the Triune God is not in the Bible, but it has been attempted to find verses that could be considered to support the doctrine of the Triune God. The Catholic Church accepted it as an official doctrine starting in 325 AD in the Council of Nicaea. Finding Jesus as God took about 300 years and of the Holy Spirit the confirmation of God took even longer. After the death of Christ, the apostles in their lives maintained the teaching based on what Christ taught. For Christ himself there was only one God, the Father.
The central object of the early Church was to raise Jesus to be the Father-like God. To accomplish this, the Church used false interpretations of the Bible. For example, the exclamation of Thomas reported by John, “my Lord and my God”, was interpreted to mean that Thomas meant Jesus was his God, although three verses later John explained his purpose was only to confirm that Jesus is the Son of God.
The content of Christianity began to change from nontrinitarian faith into Trinity, but the Bible says that Father alone is the only true God: “This is eternal life, that they should know you, the only true God, and him whom you sent, Jesus Christ (Joh 17: 3).
Mar 12:29 and Jesus answered him,`The first of all the commands is; Hear, O Israel, the Lord is our God, the Lord is one;
Eph 4:6 one God and Father of all, who is over all, and through all, and in us all.
Why has the Catholic Church exalted Jesus to be equal with God the Father, and contrary to the Bible writings established the doctrine of the triune God?
The Catholic Church took the path of apostasy very soon after the time of the apostles. Paul already knew that the ’wolves were prowling the sheep’ in order to be able to rule over them and to deprive them. Act 20:29: For I know that after my departure, vicious wolves will enter in among you, not sparing the flock. 30 Indeed, some of your own men will come forward and distort the truth in order to lure the disciples into following them.
The apostasy was manifested by the fact that some of the brothers raised themselves above the others to lords and commanders. The breaking of the bread together with brethren changed; the fellow elder became a “father” above the others which was against the word of the Bible. Mat 23:9 ”Call no man on the earth your father, for one is your Father, he who is in heaven”.
1 Pet 5:1 Therefore, as a fellow elder, a witness of Christ’s sufferings, and one who shares in the glory to be revealed, I appeal to the elders among you:
2 Be shepherds of God’s flock that is among you, watching over it, not because you must but because you want to, and not greedily but eagerly, as God desires.
3 Do not lord it over the people entrusted to you, but be examples to the flock.
4 When the chief Shepherd is revealed, you will receive the crown of glory that doesn’t fade away.
Mat 20:25 But Jesus summoned them, and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them.
26 That’s not the way it should be among you. Instead, whoever wants to be great among you must be your servant,
27 Whoever desires to be first among you shall be your bondservant,
28 That’s the way it is with the Son of Man. He did not come to be served, but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many people.”
On this rock I will build my church (Mat 16:18-19)
Mat 16:18 I also tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not prevail against it.
19 I will give to you the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven; and whatever you release on earth will be released in heaven.”
MGNT: κἀγὼ δέ σοι λέγω ὅτι σὺ εἶ Πέτρος καὶ ἐπὶ ταύτῃ τῇ πέτρᾳ οἰκοδομήσω μου τὴν ἐκκλησίαν καὶ πύλαι ᾅδου οὐ κατισχύσουσιν αὐτῆς
Πέτρος Peter = “a rock or a stone”. Peter’s name, Petros in Greek, is the word for a specific rock or stone.
πέτρα petra G 4073 a rock, cliff or ledge [Greek, petra, a rock mass or bedrock.]
A. a projecting rock, crag, rocky ground
B. a rock, a large stone
C. metaph. a man like a rock, by reason of his firmness and strength of soul
What did Jesus mean by saying that “on this rock …” I will build my church? To Peter, Christ gave the keys of the kingdom of heaven, but Peter’s power was only for his remaining life. However, the Church of Christ will be built for a much longer time. The church is based on the doctrine of Christ and it is taught by the bedrock (petra) mentioned in this verse, not the single stone such as was the apostle Petros (also called Cephas). Joh 1:42 … He brought him to Jesus. Jesus looked at him, and said, “You are Simon the son of Jonah. You shall be called Cephas”, (which is by interpretation, Peter). See also Mat 16:16, Mar 3:16.
There were several parties during the early church. The following was said by Paul when he wrote in 1 Cor 1:12: This is what I mean: Each of you is saying, “I belong to Paul,” or “I belong to Apollos,” or “I belong to Cephas,” or “I belong to Christ.” – The churches were small and scattered. There was no general church. In the beginning, Christians were persecuted and this endured until the 3-rd Century when emperor Constantine made Christianity a state religion. It took 500-600 years before Christianity covered the entire Mediterranean environment. The Catholic Church took over by explaining that the purpose of Christ was that apostle Peter would become the leader of the entire Church, as its first bishop [Catholic i.e. general] and his followers, in turn, the leader i.e. Pope of the entire Church. The Pope even took up the title Vicarius Filii Dei which means Christ’s vicar on earth. Bishops, cardinals, and priests displaced the lay brothers.
Was the Head of the Church to be unmarried?
The Catholic Church adopted the principle that the priests (who were called “fathers”) of the congregation, should be unmarried. This principle is still in force today. The explanation was that this way the priests were able to concentrate on the main issues without the other duties belonging to the marriage. Especially the higher priests, such as bishops etc., however, almost publicly held wives and had children.
What does the Bible say?
1 Tim 3:2 Therefore, an elder must be blameless, the husband of one wife, [Or devoted to his wife; lit. a man of one woman] stable, sensible, respectable, a lover of strangers, and able to teach.
3:12 Deacons must be husbands of one wife [Or devoted to their wives; lit. men of one woman] and must manage their children and their families well.
Tit 1:6 An elder must be blameless. He must be the husband of one wife and have children who are believers and who are not accused of having wild lifestyles or of being rebellious.
The Bible does not, therefore, require the staff of the congregation to live in celibacy. The leaders of the congregation (the eldest and shepherds) are explicitly said that they must be men of one wife. A couple thousand years ago, polygamy was common and this scripture of the Bible prohibits it. The highest posts of the congregation were also intended for men.
When I was writing this article in August 2018, there was news of priests’ extensive sexual abuse of over a thousand children in Pennsylvania. This is not the only criminal wrongdoing by Catholic priests. However, it contributes to a long-term residence in the training of priests among the same sex, during which they are excluded from normal interaction with the opposite sex. Common to all abuse cases that have emerged is that people try to cover them; the priests that are caught are sent elsewhere hoping that the commotion dies down… For example, Jehovah’s Witnesses found widespread sexual abuse. What happened? The central organization funded the exploiters’ defense but did not address the core of the problem. Jehovah’s Witnesses naturally denied any abuse happened. This is sad because the Jehovah’s Witnesses I know are sincere in their faith and cannot believe this has happened.
1 Cor 7:9 However, if they cannot control themselves, they should get married, for it is better to marry than to burn [with passion].
Apostle Paul was not married and he recommended that no one else should take a wife who wanted to fully devote himself to Christ. It was just a recommendation and not an absolute decree, as is the case in the Catholic Church. Paul writes 1 Corinthians 7:8 “Again I say unto the unmarried and to the widows: it is good for them if they remain as I am; 9 But if they can not control themselves, they should get married, for it is better to marry than to burn.
The Roman Catholic Church requires celibacy from its priests, although several Popes like Sergius III (904-11), John X (914-28), John XII (955-63), Benedict V (964), Innocent VIII (1484-92), Urban VIII (1623-44), and Innocent X (1644-55), and innumerable cardinals, archbishops, bishops, and ordinary monks have disregarded the celibacy requirement and kept a wife secretly. The opinion of ’City of Seven Hills’ (HOIM) is that “Rome is indeed the mother of Harlots”! Her identification as such is unmistakable. No other city, church, or institution in the history of the world is her rival in this particular evil.”
Peter was married and probably some other apostles as well. 1 Cor 9:5 We have the right to take a believing wife with us like the other apostles, the Lord’s brothers, and Cephas, [i.e. Peter] don’t we?
Persecutions of those who believe contrary to the Catholic tenet of religion
Many historians perceive that in the Catholic Church over 1000 years of power in Europe and the New World more than 50 million people died in the hands of the Catholic Church’s Inquisition. Not even Adolf Hitler was able to achieve this. In persecuting those heretics who believe contrary to the existing Catholic tenets, the Church tortured and killed Jews and Christians in great numbers, many more than the pagan Rome or Islam.
Already in 54 AD when Nero became the Emperor of Rome, the persecution of Christians began as the emperor needed a scapegoat for the conflagration of Rome. During the persecution, Christians were crucified and even burned alive. Then followed the time when the persecutions were not continuous and systematic. Christians refused to worship the Emperor as a god, which gave the Emperor a good excuse to kill Christians and to torture them brutally. This continued to the 4th century, when Constantine the Great rose to Emperor. The practice of Christianity was allowed, and it even became the state religion in 380 BC. As Christian churches had so far dispersed across the Mediterranean, especially in Asia Minor, the whole Mediterranean region began to be inhabited by Christians. At the same time, the Catholic Church gained a dominant position, though there were various rival doctrines, such as Arianism, which did not support the Trinitarian doctrine. To the Arians, Jesus was not only the Son of God, but God the Son. However, Arius was of the opinion that God the Father and his Son were not of the same essence and the Father was clearly above God the Son, his first creation. The doctrinal controversy ended with the loss of the Arians. By the time of the fifth century, Rome was divided into two.
The role of the bishop of Rome strengthened and he was nominated Pope. The Pope tried to act as a new emperor, not just a religious leader. The Greek language was marginalized and Latin gained a leading position. Began the unfortunate evolution that has persisted since then: the pagan Roman deities were merged with Christian characters, and the position of the Virgin Mary was emphasized, even at the expense of Christ. She became the Eternal Virgin, the Queen of Heaven, the beloved figure of the Mother of God who is worshiped and prayed as a mediator of God.
How did the Catholic Church develope into the kind of monster that has persecuted, tortured and killed millions upon millions of people who only believed contrary to the Catholics? How is it possible for the Catholic Church to have a strong grasp on 1.2 billion people? Prevents them from thinking with their own brains? The Pope is the Vicar of Christ on earth (Vicarius Filii Dei) and the simple priest is a ”Father” (which is the name reserved only for our God) who can in his own power to “bound and to loose” and to forgive sins. To think that, the right, which is only for God and His Son, is given by the Church to the priests of every village!