Chapter 7: Falling away – Apostasia


  • The Catholic Church, Faith and Congregation

    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 bed rock (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 were 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 percecuting 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 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 the Arionism, which did not support the Trinitarian doctrine. To the Arians, Jesus was not only Son of God, but God the Son. However Arius was of the opinion that God the father and his Son were not of 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!

  • Virgin Mary worship

    Does God approve Worship of Virgin Mary?

    The Catholic Church seems to have borrowed from these pagan concepts that are not found in the Bible; The Council of Ephesus in AD 431 decreed that Mary is the Theotokos, God-bearer i.e. mother of Jesus. Adoration of the Virgin Mary has almost completely overshadowed that of God the father and also Jesus seems to fall behind. The general Catholic prayer in this way:

    Hail Mary full of Grace, the Lord is with thee.
    Blessed are thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb Jesus.
    Holy Mary Mother of God,
    pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death
    Amen.

    In ancient Mesopotamia (Assyria), people worshiped a triune god, they were: Father (Marduk), Mother (Ištar, Queen of heaven), and son (Nabu). When this “triune” Godhead was transferred to the doctrine of the Roman Catholic Church, one part of it was the Queen of Heaven. The religions of Mesopotamia have familiar concepts to us, such as the Tree of Life, the Resurrection, the creation of the Kingdom of God on earth and so forth.

    Semiramis is known by numerous names: Ishtar, Astarte, Artemis, Aserah, Venus, Diana. She was: the Goddess of the Moon, the Queen of Heaven, the Goddess of fertility, Mother Earth, Mother nature, Eternal Virgin (see the Catholic doctrine of the Virgin Mary).

     

    Where is the second commandment?

    There are many versions of the ten commandments that may be abbreviated “catechism versions” or the contents of the commands are divided between different commandments.
    In this article, I try to find out the true content of the second commandment. Particularly what God commands for making different images. In the Catholic world there is a longer formula (as in the Lutheran) and a shorter catechism version. In this shorter formula, there is not at all the second commandment, but they rather jump over it. You will soon realize why. The 9th and 10th Commands are then divided into two when these are combined in the long formula. It can be good for Catholics because they have plenty of images and statues and so on, about God, Jesus, and numerous saints. What is the purpose of excluding the second commandment? Both Protestants and Catholics share the same interest in this omission because both churches are full of images and statues banned in the Bible. Should not God’s command be taken seriously? Only the smallest denominations, such as Jehovah’s Witnesses, are taking this seriously.

    Exodus 20: 2-17
    2nd commandment

    You shall have no other gods before me.
    You shall not make for yourself a graven image,
    or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above,
    or that is in the earth beneath,
    or that is in the water under the earth;
    you shall not bow down to them or serve them;
    for I the LORD your God am a jealous God,
    visiting the iniquity of the fathers
    upon the children to the third and the fourth
    generation of those who hate me,
    but showing steadfast love to thousands of those
    who love me and keep my commandments.

    10th commandment:

    You shall not covet your neighbor’s house;
    you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife,
    or his manservant, or his maidservant,
    or his ox, or his ass,
    or anything that is your neighbor’s.

    The Traditional Catechetical Formula (catholic version):
    Deuteronomy 5:6-21
    2. You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain.

    Num 33:51 Speak to the children of Israel, and tell them, When you pass over the Jordan into the land of Canaan, 52 then you shall drive out all the inhabitants of the land from before you, and destroy all their figured stones, and destroy all their molten images, and demolish all their high places:

    KJV 33:52 Then ye shall drive out all the inhabitants of the land from before you, and destroy all their pictures … NKJV ”… destroy all their engraved stones, destroy all their moulded images”, – NKJV is no longer talking about pictures, but engraved stones. Many other translations are on the same line. Strong’s H4906: maskîyth, from the same as H7906; a figure (carved on stone, the wall, or any object); figuratively, imagination:—conceit, image(-ry), picture, × wish. – When newer translations no longer speak of “pictures”, but of engravings, the churches may have been sighing with relief when they have a justified reason to leave the altarpiece depicting Christ in place.

    Would the pictures such as the altarpiece painted by an artist representing Christ, be allowed because they are not engraved stones? Let us go back to the time when the people of Israel were on their way from Egypt to the promised land. There were hardly any painting tools, no colours, no brushes. The question must be looked at from another perspective: can the image be used as a means of worship? For example, an altarpiece depicting Christ crucified hanging in the tree; it raises the devoted feelings of the audience and promotes worship. In paintings Christ is depicted as a man who usually has white Caucasian features. What if he was described as a local resident and with a modest look, as in the Bible? Scientists have found, over the old, almost apostolic time images of the resurrection of Lazarus; Jesus is described as being short and beardless. Presumably the apostles and other contemporaries were the same. Why did Judas have to show Jesus to his captives by giving him a kiss? Since all seemed similar (short-sighted with no beard), Judas had to point out Jesus to his captors. It took several hundreds of years before Jesus in the pictures began to resemble the kind of person he is currently presented with.

    What kind of emotions would be inspired by Jesus’ images if they were to be performed according to the prophet Isaiah’s description:

    Isa 53:2 For He grew up before him as a tender plant,
    and as a root out of a dry ground
    He has no stately form or majesty; and when we see him,
    there is no beauty that we should desire him.
    3 He was despised, and rejected by men; a man of suffering, and acquainted with disease: and as one from whom men hide their face he was despised; and we didn’t respect him.

    In this verse, the prophet [Isaiah] describes the humble appearance of the Messiah, and the fact that there was nothing in his personal aspect that corresponded to the expectations that bad been formed of him; nothing that should lead them to desire him as their expected deliverer, but everything that could induce them to reject him. He would be of so humble an origin, and with so little that was magnificent in his external appearance, that the nation would despise him (Barnes’ Notes).

    ”Doesn’t even nature itself teach you that if a man has long hair, it is a dishonor to him?” This is how Paul taught in his first letter to Corinthians 11:14. Could it be that Jesus had long hair, but Paul would not have thought about it, but taught the other way around? Some have explained that Jesus would have given the Nazarite vow, which also included abstinence from drinking wine. Jesus, however, enjoyed the wine, so this cannot be an explanation for Jesus’ long hair. This is evident in Mat 11:19 ”The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Behold, a glutton and a drunk, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ But wisdom is justified by her children.” – Here is transposed the Nazirite vow and the home town Nazareth of Jesus.

    Num 6:2 “Speak to the children of Israel, and tell them: When either man or woman shall make a special vow, the vow of a Nazirite, to separate himself to Yahweh,

    3 he shall separate himself from wine and strong drink. He shall drink no vinegar of wine, or vinegar of fermented drink, neither shall he drink any juice of grapes, nor eat fresh grapes or dried.

    4 All the days of his separation he shall eat nothing that is made of the grapevine, from the seeds even to the skins.

    5 “All the days of his vow of separation there shall no razor come on his head, until the days are fulfilled, in which he separates himself to Yahweh. He shall be holy. He shall let the locks of the hair of his head grow long.

    6 “All the days that he separates himself to Yahweh he shall not go near a dead body.

    7 He shall not make himself unclean for his father, or for his mother, for his brother, or for his sister, when they die; because his separation to God is on his head

    8 All the days of his separation he is holy to Yahweh.

    9 “If any man dies very suddenly beside him, and he defiles the head of his separation; then he shall shave his head in the day of his cleansing. On the seventh day he shall shave it.

    If Jesus had been a long-haired man because of the vow of a Nazirite, Judas Iscariot could have said: “He is the one who is long-haired and strangely dressed. You do not need me to point him out”. – But Jesus had not done the Nazirite vow, and he was not long-haired.

    The Catholic Church first objected to making pictures and placing them in churches. The leaders of the Catholic Church such as Irenaeus, Clement, Origen and Lactantius strongly opposed the violation of the second commandment. It was not until 842 that the Constantinople Council gave up. Protestant churches opposed the images and statues, and during the reformation tried to get the Catholic Church to change their minds, but it was no longer possible.

    Today, many Catholics believe these images of saints protect them from accidents; motorists have attached the image of the patron saint on the rear-view mirror of the car. This is typical especially to the Catholics. Various professions have their own patron saints.

     

    Is Mary in heaven?

    Naturally, the Catholic Church, worshiping Mary the Queen of Heaven, firmly believes Mary to have risen to heaven. Why does not the Bible say a word of this? The Apostle John, who wrote the Revelation, about six decades after the death of Christ and his ascending in heaven, had had plenty of time to tell about Mary’s ascension. It would have been such an important event that it could not be left without telling. Especially when the Bible proves that Jesus is the only one who has gone to heaven. John says strongly: 3:13 No one has ascended into heaven, but he who descended out of heaven, the Son of Man, who is in heaven.

    Mary is dead and buried and is waiting for the resurrection. She could not have come from heaven to earth to appear to humans because she is not yet in heaven. Acts 2:34 tells King David, “For David did not go up to heaven, but he said,…” David was a man of God, of whom God testified in Act 13:22: ‘I have found that David, the son of Jesse, is a man after my own heart…’ It would be plausible that such a person would have gone to heaven, but no one, no man after God’s own heart, no mother of Jesus did.

    Pope Pius IX ceclared in 1854:”That is what the dogma of the Immaculate Conception confesses, as The most Blessed Virgin Mary was, from the first moment of her conception, by singular grace and privilege of almighty God and by virtue of the merits of Jesus Christ, Saviour of the human race, preserved immune from all stain of original sin“. (Catechism, 491). The Pope declared that Mary was immaculate and free from sin from the first moment of conception. In ancient pagan stories, the supernatural conception of goddess was believed. For the Catholic Church it was not enough for Mary to be conceived by the Holy Spirit, the Church also wanted her to be eternally immaculate and divine Goddess and the Queen of Heaven.

     

    Mary’s apparitions

    Virgin Mary is told to have appeared to people on earth and having talked to them. In Fatima on October 13, 1917 people claimed to have seen the sun falling from the sky. People reported that they saw how the sun fell towards the crowd and then rose to its usual height in the sky. Many believed that this meant the arrival of the end of the world. When the miracle had ended and the sun returned to its place, people cried out of surprise when they got up from the ground. Their clothes, which had become wet and dirty from lying on the ground, were now neat and dry. Many sick and crippled had recovered.

    Such a miracle of the sun is common in many Mary’s apparitions. This was also the case with a hundred thousand people in Puerto Rico attending the event on April 23, 1991. Similar events are reported in Denver, Colorado, Texas, Georgia and elsewhere. The appearances of God’s mother are also associated with miracles, the remarkable movements of the sun in the sky, the transformation of jewels from silver to gold, etc.

    In one apparition Mary told the audience: “The Muslims and the Orthodox, for the same reason as Catholics, are equal before my Son and I. You are all my children !?”

    People feel that Mary has appeared to them in some of the most special places: cookies, trees, windows, mirrors, etc. The stories are spreading and people worship them waiting for miracles to take place. However, people claim that “they do not worship the Virgin Mary”. These are not from God! Read 1 John 4:1 again!

    In 1917, in the so-called Fatima apparitions Mary is quoted as saying in this manner: “Only I can help you.” My Immaculate Heart will be your refuge and the way that will lead you to God.” Here in Fatima, Portugal more than a million pilgrims gather every year to the memorial service of October 13, 1917.

    – Only Mary can help a person? Can God not help at all? Is there no salvation in the name of Jesus?
    Luke 11:27 It came to pass, as he [Jesus] said these things, a certain woman out of the multitude lifted up her voice, and said to him, “Blessed is the womb that bore you, and the breasts which nursed you!” 28 But he [Jesus] said, “On the contrary, blessed are those who hear the word of God, and keep it.” – How many Catholics would be willing to sign verse 27 with full heart? What about Jesus’ answer? That is the Bible jargon, or how?

    1997 Newsweek: “In many ways, the 20th century has belonged to Mary. From almost every continent, Visionaries have reported more than 400 ‘Apparitions’ of the Virgin – more than in the previous three centuries combined …. Taken together, these visions point to what the Marian Movement believes is a Millennial ‘Age of Mary. ” – There have been appearances of Mary through the ages, but only in our day they have become so common and regular. The French magazine Le Monde has estimated that there were 21000 appearances of Mary between 1976 and 1986. Mary’s revelations are not only for Catholics, but for thousands and thousands of people from different countries, from different cultures across religious borders.

    I wrote that Mary seems to be more popular than her son, Jesus, who has ascended to heaven and exalted above all created beings. Nevertheless, two billion believers pronounce the prayer of Mary “Hail Mary full of Grace ” every day.

    How is this possible?

    John 14:6 says, however: Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father, except through me.” – Who is lying, Jesus or Mary, who is said to have come from heaven? 1 Joh 4:1 gives guidance … Beloved, don’t believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.

    Satan is capable of great miracles that deceive many: Rev 13:13 ”He performs great signs, even making fire come down out of the sky to the earth in the sight of people.” If Satan causes the fire to fall from heaven, certainly also the sun!

    1 Tim 4:1 But the Spirit says expressly that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to seducing spirits and doctrines of demons,

    Mat 24:24 For there will arise false christs, and false prophets, and they will show great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the chosen ones. – I believe “Mary” belongs to this same set. She cannot be the real mother of Jesus because she is dead and has not risen to heaven, even though the Pope has declared so. The reality of Mary’s ascension to heaven is based on the papal declaration ex cathedra, and you know, then it is absolutely certain; this is how the Catholics believe.
    Virgin Mary promises in some revelations to save people from the trouble of purgatory. But the Bible does not know anything about purgatory. I have written about God’s cleansing fire in the chapter of the Last judgment. This cleansing fire does not have anything in common, at least not with such a purgatory from which you can escape by paying the required amount of money to the church. This was common practise in the Catholic Church in the past years.

    Mary is also very popular in the Islamic world, more popular than Prophet Jesus. Jesus is called the Son of Mary and not the Son of God.

     

    Is Mary a mediator between God and men?

    1 Tim 2:5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus,

    In addition to Mary, the believing Catholics turn to the saints with the intent that Mary or the saint would help that believer or mediate a request to God. There is a large number of saints in the Catholic Church; there are 7,000 names in the Church List (Martyrologium Romanum). Each profession has its own patron saint. For example, motorists keep a small saint image in the driver’s field of vision, for example, in the rearview mirror. Everyone, not only the Catholics, know Saint Nikolaus. He is the old man with a long white beard, Father Christmas.

    – “The saints have, by their very nature, had the task of a heavenly intercessor. Since they are already in the presence of God in heaven, they are entrusted to speak there on behalf of those who try to live on our earth. For example, Holy Laurentius who died in the flames is the patron of firefighters and flammable places such as libraries and archives.” (Jaakko Heinimäki, Pyhät ystäväni)

  • Is Easter inspired by the pagan celebrations?

     

    Is today’s Easter of pagan origin? Where did Easter get its name? The Hebrew name Pesach is in English Passover. It refers to the Jewish celebration of the release of the Jews from slavery in Egypt and the journey escorted by God to the Promised Land. The New Testament’s name in Greek is Pascha. These names are not yet related to resurrection in any way. When Jesus and the Apostles celebrated Pesach, Jesus gave the apostles an order to remember his death as a proclaimer of the New Covenant. In some languages, in the name of Easter, there is also a word referring to the resurrection. Easter (William Tyndale 1534 ‘Ester’) is commonly used in English and in German there are many versions, such as Martin Luther’s das Ostern and das osterfest, der Pascha, das pessach. Initially, in 1530, Tyndale used the word to describe how the angel of the Lord passed (i.e. pass over) by the Jewish houses identified by the sheep’s blood painted in the doorposts.

    Passover is guaranteed a Jewish celebration and also a Christian celebration by order of Jesus at the Last Supper. There is nothing pagan in it! But note that, over time, pagan feast practices – eggs, Easter Bunnies, Easter fires, Easter witches etc. – were included in the celebrations. The celebration was named Easter, which can well originate from the goddess of Anglo-Saxon Eostre, (also called Estre, Estara, Ostar) and in Babylonia Astarte or Ishtar, Ashtoreth, Venus. It is therefore important to know how the greatest Judeo-Christian celebration became, by its name and its content, anything but a ‘Passover’ or a commemoration of the death and resurrection of Christ.

    Exo 12:3 Speak to all the congregation of Israel, saying, ‘On the tenth day of this month, they shall take to them every man a lamb, according to their fathers’ houses, a lamb for a household;

    6 and you shall keep it until the fourteenth day of the same month; and the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it at evening.

    7 They shall take some of the blood, and put it on the two side-posts and on the lintel, on the houses in which they shall eat it.

    8 They shall eat the flesh in that night, roasted with fire, and unleavened bread. They shall eat it with bitter herbs.

    In addition to the Passover lamb Jews also eat unleavened bread and bitter herbs seven days according to the commandment given by God. 12:18 In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month at evening, you shall eat unleavened bread, until the twenty first day of the month at evening.

    Jesus was crucified and died in the late afternoon of Nisan 14th at the same time as the Jews slaughtered thousands of Easter lambs in the temple. The Jews rushed to get Jesus off the cross and with him the two crucified robbers before the sunset, as it was the day of preparation, and they should not remain there for the week Sabbath and the high sabbath and the first day of the unleavened bread feast.

    Jesus and the disciples followed with the Jewish community instructions given by Moses concerning observances of the Passover feast. However, our Lord Jesus gave instructions for future memorial events, saying:

    1 Cor 11:23 … the Lord Jesus on the night in which he was betrayed took bread. 24 When he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, “Take, eat. This is my body, which is broken for you. Do this in memory of me.” 25 In the same way he also took the cup, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink, in memory of me.” 26 For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.

    Each time we enjoy a cup, we do it as a memorial of the Lord Jesus and for the New covenant in the blood of Jesus, proclaiming the death of the Lord. No more for commemoration of leaving Egypt, but because of the New covenant.

    The supper which Jesus and the disciples had was not the actual Pass over supper, but just a usual dinner one day before the actual pass over.

     

    What does belong to modern Easter?

    In many European and American family’s Easter celebrations include Easter bunnies, eggs, grass, candy, even Easter witches.

    Easter egg has its roots in paganism, when the arrival of spring was celebrated and the eggs symbolize it. Rabbit, in turn, is a pagan symbol of fertility. Easter bonfires are also of pagan origin in which the spring was shown to overcome the winter. Of course, it would be good to know at what period of time such practices were rooted in the Catholic Church and other churches as well, but finding that is difficult.

    Easter bunnies. Rabbits have been regarded as a symbol of fertility in many cultures. Today, the main task of the Easter Bunny seems to be to bring candy and hide them during the night for the children to search for in the morning. A fun play like this means pushing the real message of Easter behind. Especially in the churches of the East, eggs are painted with the most beautiful colours symbolizing the resurrection of Christ. Their original pagan symbolism was the spring awakening after the winter. The original Christian purpose, however, remains easily in the shadow of the paganism.

    Fasting ahead of the Passover/Easter was also one of the Church practices. The duration of fasting was 40 days, though few followed such long fasts. Many were content with a day or a few days of fasting. Those fasting longer had an example of Christ’s 40 day fasting in the wilderness (Luke 4:1-13) during which Satan tempted Jesus to bow and worship before him. Satan has a clever way to use Bible-based doctrines, but Satan falsifies them to support of his own purposes. Fasting is an important part of the Old Testament, sometimes even mandatory. The New Testament tells how, for example, the Pharisees fasted conspicuously. In Mat 9:14 we read from a more liberal attitude to fasting:

    1 Cor 10:31 Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do everything to the glory of God.
    1 Tim 4:3 They will try to stop people from marrying and from eating certain foods, which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth. 4 For everything God created is good, and nothing should be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving,

    The Old Testament instructed Jews giving over 600 orders of eating, celebration, Sabbath observance and various aspects of life. The New covenant declared in the New Testament is not so pedantic. The Ten Commandments remain in force, but Jesus summed up the instructions for the double command of love. Then the content of Passover changed; Christians no longer remember the emancipation of Israel’s from Egyptian slavery and their walking in the wilderness to the promised land. Christ said plainly, “He did the same with the cup after the supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. As often as you drink from it, keep doing this in memory of me.” (1 Cor 11:25) ”

     

    A New name for Easter?

    Since Christ in the above manner gave the old Jewish celebration a new content, should the name of the Easter celebration be changed into a more Christian one? “Pass over” refers to escaping and, in this case, getting away from Egyptian slavery. I’ve seen that to the case to replace the old name “The Day of Resurrection” is presented. In fact, I would name it as “The Commemoration of Christ’s Resurrection”. It contains the important word resurrection that includes the fact that Christ died and then resurrected. The resurrection is, in my opinion, at the center of everything as is the case with the Greek Orthodox Catholics when celebrating Easter/Passover. The suggested name also includes a “memorial”; Christ urged the congregation to celebrate in his memory.

    However, the most important thing is not the name but the content. For children I could accept eggs and Bunnies, but adults should focus on remembering the resurrection of Jesus and the coming Kingdom of Jesus.

  • Another Jesus

    Poor Christ – rich church. Jesus and his followers did not care about tomorrow and did not collect earthly wealth. Mat 6:20 But keep on storing up treasures for yourselves in heaven, where moths and rust do not destroy and where thieves do not break in and steal.

    Mat 19:21 Jesus said to him, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have, and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.”

    Luk 12:33 “Sell your possessions, and give the money to the poor. Make yourselves wallets that don’t wear out—a dependable treasure in heaven, where no thief can get close and no moth can destroy anything.

    1 Tim 6:17 Charge those who are rich in this present world that they not be haughty, nor have their hope set on the uncertainty of riches, but on the living God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy;

    How does the Catholic Church follow the example of its paragon? In no way! On the contrary, the church has long sought riches and splendour throughout its existence. The Catholic Church is the most prosperous institution in the world. It is, of course, true that much of the property of the Church cannot be changed for money, for example beautiful paintings on the ceiling of the Church. Over the centuries, the Church has accumulated enormous sums of money by “selling salvation”. In defense, the church may say that by this way was financed, among other things, St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome.

    Rev 17:4 tells about the harlot: The woman wore purple and scarlet clothes and was adorned with gold, gems, and pearls. In her hand she was holding a gold cup filled with detestable things and the impurities of her immorality. 5 and upon her forehead was a name written: `Mystery, Babylon the Great, the Mother of the Whores, and the Abominations of the earth.’ 6 I saw that the woman was drunk with the blood of the saints and the blood of the witnesses to Jesus. I was very surprised when I saw her. – John saw a vision of two millennia ahead; the Church leadership still wears purple and uses countless golden cups and chalices. The remainder of the verse that says the cup is filled with detestable things and the impurities of her immorality, is naturally a figurative description of all the horrors the Church has committed. The Church’s leadership likewise wears a golden cross decorated with jewels. Is that appropriate? What could these abominations be? The list of sins of the Catholic Church has been said to include unauthorized banking activities, drug money laundering, trading in counterfeit securities and business transactions with Mafia. Nino Lo Bello writes in his book The Vatican Empire: Vatican is so closely allied with the Mafia in Italy that “many people…believe that Sicily…is nothing more than a Vatican building”.

    Verse 6 shows that the whore was drunk with the blood of the saints and the blood of the witnesses of Jesus.

    Rev 17:18 The woman you saw is the great city that rules over the kings of the earth.”

    The Bible urges: “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.” – It is sad that over one billion Catholics – a large number of them are deeply religious – are as prisoners in their church.

     

    Another Jesus

    2 Cor 11:4 For if someone comes along and preaches another Jesus than the one we preached, or should you receive a different spirit from the one you received or a different gospel from the one you accepted, you are all too willing to listen.

    The Galatians says even more strongly:

    Gal 1:8 But even if we or an angel from heaven should proclaim to you a gospel contrary to what we proclaimed to you, let that person be condemned!
    1:9 As we have said before, so I now say again: if any man preaches to you any gospel other than that which you received, let him be cursed.

    What is this all about? If someone preaches another Jesus or proclaims another gospel, he may be cursed. How could it be said more strongly than it has been said here? And yet countless denominations have their own interpretation of Jesus and his gospels. What about the largest Christian church, the Catholic Church?

    Its leader the Pope has raised himself as “Vicarius Filii Dei”; should not the most important message of the Church be Christ, whom God has raised to the right of his throne and above all creation? In this article, I have presented facts that show otherwise. “The Queen of Heaven” has taken the place of Jesus; people pray her and she is called to mediate to God. There are statues of her in many Catholic churches and she is celebrated in processions …

    Except that the Pope has exalted himself the vicar of Son of God, he is infallible interpreter of the Catholic doctrine. The Pope’s infallibility concerns the questions of faith as expressed “ex cathedra”. Impeccability is defined in the English Dictionary with complete authority, or said by the Pope to be true and so accepted by all members of the Roman Catholic Church. Mat 28:18 ”Jesus came to them and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to me in heaven and on earth”. Only Christ has all power and all knowledge and when using this power of God he is infallible. Pope’s ‘infallibility’ has resulted in many sad examples.

    The message of Jesus is distorted. His core was the proclamation of the kingdom of God. He himself said that “for this purpose he was sent”. He will establish it when he comes second time on earth.

    Apostle Peter warned that apostasy would overtake the Church. 2 Pet 2:1 Now there were false prophets among the people, just as there also will be false teachers among you, who will secretly introduce destructive heresies and even deny the Master who bought them, bringing swift destruction on themselves. 2 Many people will follow their immoral ways, and because of them the way of truth will be maligned.

    1 Joh 2:22 Who is the liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the Antichrist, he who denies the Father and the Son.

    The sign of Antichrist is that he “denies” both God and Christ. Can we without any doubt say that the Pope is not the antichrist, because he does not directly deny either God or Jesus? Is he not cursed according to the Bible, if he proclaims another kind of Jesus than the Bible does? Many scholars believe it is the same thing as a straight denial.

    During the time of Constantine we find the real completion of the Babylonian and the diasporaic Samaritan movements to Rome and to Italy. The religion, philosophy and even the government of old Babylon had been transferred to Rome and, with an acceptance of the Constantine form of Christianity (the type which introduced Babylonian idolatry and pagan teachings into the bosom of the Christian Church), the Roman Catholic Church had now arisen which was to govern the future western world — a powerful, paganized force which is still influencing us today! Those of Yehovah’s people who continued to keep His commandments were now forced to flee for their very lives into remote, wilderness areas of Europe, hopefully beyond the reach of their Catholic persecutors.

    “The new state religion, A bizarre blend of Christianity and paganism, now began to dominate Europe for over a thousand years, leaving the true Church in ‘a place prepared of God’ (Revelation 12:6) (The Incredible History of God’s True Church, p. 132).

    1 Tim 4:1 ”Now the Spirit says clearly that in the last times some people will abandon the faith by following deceitful spirits, the teachings of demons”. – The signs of apostasy are by no means the total separation from the Biblical faith. Those who abandon are most often pretending to be true believers, they just follow another gospel in which Jesus is not in the leading role. It has been stolen by Virgin Mary or by the hundreds of Saints who are supposed either to heal or otherwise help, especially if the prayer has a piece of saint’s bone, a tooth, or a piece of the cross in which Christ was crucified. Those who believe in such a doctrine are the students of Satan and his demons. I do not judge these people, it is done by the word of the Bible.

     

    The Antichrist is coming!

    The Great Apostasy and the Man of Lawlessness:

    … that Day will not come unless first comes the falling away, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, (2 The 2:3)

    In 2 Thes, Paul is writing what must happen before Jesus comes:

    2:1 Now we ask you, brothers, regarding the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to him
    for you not to be quickly shaken in the mind, nor to be disturbed, neither through a spirit, nor through speech, nor through letter, as through us, as if the Day of Christ has come.
    3, Do not let anyone deceive you in any way, for it will not come unless the apostasy comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction,
    4 he opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship. As a result, he [the antichrist] seats himself in the temple of God and declares himself to be God.

    There is, therefore, to take place a great apostasy in Christendom. Before the arrival of the Lord’s Day, the Antichrist (man of sin, son of perdition), who declares himself to be God, will appear and reside in the temple of God. Jesus will not come before these happen. It seems as if apostasy has been actualized widely, but the Antichrist has not yet appeared. Settling as being proclaimed God (in the new Temple to be built in Jerusalem) is not yet in sight.

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