Christian Churches of God

No. 8

 

 

 

 

CATHOLICISM

Frequently Asked Questions

(Edition 1.0 20010223-20010223)

 

Frequently asked questions regarding the rituals and traditions in Catholicism.

 

 

 

 

Christian Churches of God

PO Box 369,  WODEN  ACT 2606,  AUSTRALIA

 

Email: secretary@ccg.org

 

 

(Copyright ã 2001 Wade Cox)

 

This paper may be freely copied and distributed provided it is copied in total with no alterations or deletions. The publisher’s name and address and the copyright notice must be included.  No charge may be levied on recipients of distributed copies.  Brief quotations may be embodied in critical articles and reviews without breaching copyright.

 

This paper is available from the World Wide Web page:
http://www.logon.org and http://www.ccg.org

 


Contents

 


1…God

The Blessed Trinity-Why some don’t believe in the Trinity-When was the trinity first adopted

2…Jesus Christ

Place of son in the Godhead-Law of Christ-Christ continutally sacrificed-Are the Son and the Father equal-What does it mean to be one with God-Where did Jesus get his Y chromosome-Devotion to the sacred heart of Jesus

3…The Bible

Biblical law and war-Sunday or Saturday observance-What is the definition of Christian-Should Catholics read the Old Testament-Can the Bible be wrong-Which version of the Bible is older-Who is What is the beast

4…Mary and Mariolatry

Is Mary Queen of Heaven-Is Fatima fulfillment of 1Timothy 4:1-Immaculate Heart of Mary-Did Mary have any other children-Veneration of Virgin Mary-What Medjugorje is/was-Was-Mary born without sin-Bible and assumption of Mary-Is ‘star of the sea’ a pagan concept-Was Mary forever a virgin-Our Lady with the Pomegranate-Mary as perpetual virgin (Mat 1:24-25)-What happened to Joseph-Is September 8th Mary’s birthday

5…Angels

Personal guardian angel-Do Angels really have wings-Where did angels come from

6…The Church

Origins of Roman Catholic Beliefs-The Roman Catholic Church and King Solomon-What does it mean to be a Catholic

Doctrine..What are Apologetics-Has man both the spirit of man and God-Significance of Vatican II-Great schism of the Catholic Church-Non-Roman Catholics and Salvation-Earning salvation by keeping church rules

True Church..Is the Catholic Church the true Church-What authority was Peter given-Was Peter the first pope re Matthew 16:18-19-Are all non RC churches lost-Where and what is the true Church- Does Isaiah 22:15-25 prove Peter was given the keys

Society..Decline in attendance in the Catholic churches- Is Roman Catholicism a cult-Was the year 2000 a Jubilee year-Why do people blindly follow what they are told-Will mainstream Christian religion be overtaken by paganism-The Bible and family planning-Is the Kingdom of God in our heart-Reason Church of England was founded-What does sedevcante mean-What is a Secevantist-Catholic Encyclopedia and Pacifism

7…The Sacraments

The sacraments of the Church

Eucharist..Bread and the wine as body and blood-Footwashing and the Eucharist-Children and first communion

Baptism..Is baptism of desire acceptable-Baptism of illegitimate babies-Catholic Church and baptism by immersion-Why baptise infants

Holy Orders..What does Holy Orders involve

Penance..Authority to forgive sins

Anointing the Sick..Concept of anointing the sick

8…Priesthood

Are priests modern day Pharisees-Men and head-coverings

Pope..Origin of the word pontiff-Was Peter the first pope-Name of Pope-Office of the Pope and the first commandment

Priests..Why are priests called Father

Nuns..Are nuns the bride of Christ

Assistants..Altar boys and the Mass

Ordination of Women..Could ladies become Deacons

Vestments..Significance of the vestments-Why do cardinals dress in red-Is this biblical-Clergy wearing long black cassocks

9…Eternal Life

Resurrection..Catholic belief and resurrection of the flesh

The Soul..Difference between the soul and the spirit

Heaven..Is there really a heaven-Do we go to heaven after death

Hell..Does the Bible speak of heaven and hell

Purgatory..Is there really a purgatory-If purgatory is real why not be sinful

Limbo..What is Limbo

10…Calendar

Passover/Easter dispute-Origin of the advent period-How date for Lent is determined

Sabbath or Sunday..Changed Sabbath to Sunday

Holy Days..Sunday 25 June and Corpus Christi-Why is New Year's Day a holy day

11…Sin

Are there degrees of sin-Will Jesus love a sinner-Is everyone born with original sin

12…Worship

The Mass..Did Christ celebrate a Mass-Origin of Sunday Mass

13…Symbols of Worship

Holy water and genuflecting in church

Stations of the Cross..Origin of the Stations of the Cross

Cross..Is the cross a pagan symbol

Rosary Beads..Origin of Rosary beads

Candles..Origin of candles

Bells..Why are bells used in churches

Altar Steps..Significance of the steps on altars

Brown Scapulars..Practice of wearing brown scapulars

Holy Water..How does water become holy

14…Customs

Stained glass windows-Knights of Columbus-Females and Vatican Swiss Guard- Depictions of halo and pagan art-European custom of name days-People originally buried in pine coffins-The Catholic Church and indulgences-Jeremiah 10:3-5 and the Christmas tree-First Friday devotions-Connection to the Friday crucifixion-Fish instead of meat-Palm Sunday-Kissing a bishop’s ring-House-blessing by priest-First Five Saturdays-Why are crosses made from pine-Worship of Mary and the saints

15…Prayer

Who should I pray to-Can St Jude help find things-Are Hail Marys necessary-Practice of praying to patron saints

Apostles Creed..Any scriptural reference for the 12 apostles writing this prayer

16…Saints

Novena to St Jude-St Patrick's Day

17…Inquisitions

Did the Roman Catholic Church try to silence  those who disagreed with them-Sacred Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith-RC Church and the property of heretics

18…Holocaust

Roman Catholic Church and the Holocaust

19…Pagan Idols & Rituals

The Catholic Church and pagan idols-Pagan rituals in Jewish and Christian faiths-Did the Vandals destroy all the icons in Rome-Paganism that infiltrated Christianity

 

            ***************************

 

***Catholicism FAQ***

 

1…God

Trinity

Can you explain to me the Blessed Trinity?

A. The Trinity did not come into existence until it was defined at the Council of Constantinople in 381. The Council of Nicea formalised Binitarianism as a Father and Son and the Nicene Creed is reconstructed from Constantinople canons. The Trinitarian Church dates from this Council in 381. The Council of Chalcedon in 451 saw a division and the Catholic Church emerge as we understand it in Eastern and Western branches which are now Roman, and Orthodox. The Anglican or British Church was not added until its forced changes from Whitby in 663-4. All the Catholic Church was Unitarian until the Modal structure entered Rome from the worship of Attis in the beginning of the third century. The first mention of a trias was in 180 by Theophilus of Antioch however this was not a Trinity even though it has been translated as Trinity. Trinitarianism did not officially exist in the Church doctrine until 381. 

 

Some people don’t believe in the Trinity, would you explain why? 

A: Christianity is made up of various elements.  Many people are sincere and devoted Bible students. They want to do what is right and obey God and His laws as revealed in the Bible. The Trinity is not a Bible Doctrine and does not appear in the Bible. In fact no one in the original Catholic Church was Trinitarian for three centuries. The first mention of any threefold system was in 180 when Theophilus of Antioch mentioned a trias, which has been incorrectly translated as Trinity. However the Binitiarian system was not formulated until 325 at the Council of Nicea. The Trinity did not become formulated until 381 at the Council of Constantinople. It became formalised at Chalcedon in 450/1. Thus the Trinity is a product of the Fourth century Church councils. The dispute then has rested on the authority of the Church to make doctrine and in effect change the Nature of God and elevate Christ to the level of God whom we call the Father.

 

Essentially the people who do not believe in the Trinity say the Church had no right to invent a doctrine on the nature of God which has no Bible sanction. These people have been persecuted for centuries because of this position.

 

When was the trinity first adopted as the official theology of the Church?

A: The Trinity was not formulated until the year 381 at the Council of Constantinople. At Nicea in 325 the Trinity was not formulated. Only the foundation of the Binitarian Structure was laid down here. The so-called Nicene Creed is actually a reconstruction of the canons of Constantinople in 381. The Holy Spirit had not been designated a third person in the Godhead until the Cappadocians formulated it and on the ascension of the Spanish born Theodosius the Council was convened. The council of Chalcedon more or less formulated the Trinitarian system commencing then from 451. Augustine writing in the beginning of the Fifth century concentrated the relationships at the intradivine level. This was the final theology of the Pagan Triune system. C.M LaCugna the Roman Catholic Theologian explains this process in her work God For Us. It is deficient in a number of areas relating to the early Church. The view of the Church in Rome in the middle of the second century was that Christ was the Great Angel of the OT who gave the Law to Moses. This view is contained in Justin Martyr's First Apology to the emperor in Rome on behalf of the Church at around 150-155 CE. The godhead went from this Unitarian view throughout the Church in the second century to the Modalist structure of the pagans in the third and then the Binitarian views of Nicea and the return of the Unitarians from 327 to the Trinitarian ascension in 381. The Modern Catholic position would have been denounced as idolatrous heresy in the first and second century in Rome itself let alone in the more conservative areas under the schools of the apostles. The history of the doctrinal development is explained in the paper Early Theology of the Godhead (No. 127); and The Development of the Neo-Platonist Model (No. 17); Binitarianism and Trinitarianism (No. 76); and Consubstantial with the Father (No. 81).

 

What is the Spiration of Bonaventure and what doctrine did it have to do with?

A: The Doctrine of Spiration relates to the Trinity and is held to be a development of the Augustinian doctrines which concentrated relationships on the nature of God at an intradivine level. The term comes from the second ecumenical council of Lyons who produced the following definition (see Denzinger "Enchiridion", (1908), n. 460). "We confess that the Holy Ghost proceeds eternally from The Father and the Son, not as from two principles, but as from one principle, not by two spirations, but by one single spiration." The teaching was again laid down by the Council of Florence (ibid. n. 691) and by Eugene IV in his Bull "Cantate Domino" (ibid (n. 703 sq.) (see also Cath. Encyc. vol. VII, p. 412). In this sense we have the "Filioque" concept from The Council of Toledo in 589. This view was not accepted by the eastern Catholic or Orthodox system.  Bonaventure was Cardinal Bishop of Albano and Minister General of the Friars Minor (b. 1221 d. 1274). He was charged by Gregory X to prepare the questions for discussion at the Fourteenth Ecumenical Council, which opened at Lyons on 7 May 1274. The Greeks accepted the union, proposed by his aides of the Friars minor, on 6 July 1274. While the council was still in session Bonaventure died on Sunday 15 July 1274 and the chronicle of Peregrinus of Bologna (ed. 1905) says he was poisoned.

 

Bonaventure was a faithful devotee of Augustine and his writings reflect that position on the Nature of God and this view of the intradivine relationships. His "Commentary on the Sentences" is the greatest work and in this work we see the subjects of God and the Trinity, The Creation and the Fall of Man, The Incarnation and Redemption, Grace and the Sacraments. The Breviloqium is the superb summary of the Dogma. His teachings were to carry weight at the councils of Viene (1311), Constance (1417), Basle (1431) and Florence (1438). The Council of Trent (1546) saw his writings have critical effect. He also rejected the doctrine of the physical and admits only a moral efficacy in the Sacraments. His views on this aspect and other critical areas of dogma have been misrepresented by other and even modern writers. Thus you should be careful of what is held out as Bonaventure's teachings on a specific subject. He held Philosophy to be prior to Theology and was a quasi mystic. They will explain the development of the Augustinian and theological doctrine of the procession of the Holy Spirit. The early view of the Church in this matter is established from the papers Early Theology of the Godhead (No. 127); The Holy Spirit (No. 117); Consubstantial with the Father (No. 81)

 

2…Jesus Christ

Catholics say Christ claimed to be divine, to be equal to the Father, to be the word of God, to be God the Son. They then claim this is a mystery and can never be fully understood. Christ is said to be the second person of the (Blessed) Trinity. They claim that the three persons of the trinity are not three gods, but one God, for there is only one divine nature. Now the second person of the trinity as man could pray to the first person calling him 'My Father'. Surely one means one and not 1+1 or 1+2? If God is one then what place has the Son and the Spirit - the so called second and third persons of the Godhead?

A: The Trinity is a fabrication of the Fourth century. It is written “I said ye are gods” and “Scripture cannot be broken” (Jn 10:34-35). So we are all gods. We are co-heirs with Christ as gods and Scripture cannot be broken. The Holy Spirit is the power of God. Look at the paper: The Holy Spirit (No. 117); The Development of the Neo-Platonist Model (No. 17); and Consubstantial with the Father (No. 81). We have examined this argument in the paper Creation: From Anthropomorphic Theology to Theomorphic Anthropology (No. B5).

 

I was reading through a catechism and they referred to the law of Christ. Is there anything in Scripture referred to as the Law of Christ?

A. Scripture is plain that it is the Law of God. The elect are those who keep the commandment of God and the Testimony or faith of Jesus Christ. The contention that it is the law of Christ has been introduced by the Church so that they do not have to keep God's Law. It comes from the notion that Christ came to do away with the Law of the OT and give us a new law.

 

He did give us some new laws but they were in addition to, or an explanation of the Law of God. He said: “Til heaven and earth pass away not one jot or tittle will pass from the Law till all is accomplished”. That is fairly plain. The Law of God is covered in the series The Law of God (No. L1).

 

The Bible says that Jesus gave the apostles the power to forgive sins (John 20:23). If all we need is God why did He give this authority to the apostles?

A: The Holy Spirit was conferred on the Church and the power to forgive and retain was carried with the Church so that those in it may be retained or expelled on the direction of the Church. The capacity to do this rested only on the retention of the Spirit and the doctrine as given to the apostles. The Corinthian fornicator (1Cor. 5:5) was expelled so that his life might be saved at the Day of the Lord i.e. in the First Resurrection. He appears to have repented.

 

Catholics have to bow their heads and/or genuflect when they enter their churches as the 'body of Jesus Christ' is ever present in the tabernacle on the altar - as a blessed host. How is it that Jesus Christ can be present in that piece of wafer? Also is it not wrong to worship another being other than the One True God?

A: This practice is a variation on the doctrine that the bread and wine is the body and blood of Christ. This was taken once a year at the Lord's Supper on the evening of 14 Nisan, the day he was crucified. After the Quartodeciman disputes of the end of the second century, the division saw this degeneration over the years. Look at the paper The Quartodeciman Disputes (No. 277). This was trivialised into the weekly communion and then the daily sacrifice became the morning mass and the host was then ever present in the monstrance or sun symbol which is actually where it originated from.

 

Why is it necessary for Christ to continually offer up his sacrifice? Wasn't his death enough? Surely this is the ultimate sacrifice?

A: Christ offered himself once and for all. The rite established was the Lord's Supper which is a yearly event on 14 Abib where we are commanded to wash one another's feet as a symbol of the renewal of our baptism and we partake of the bread and wine as a symbol of our part in the Church which is the Body of Christ.

 

The weekly Eucharist did not come in until the second century and from Rome. It originally was held at baptisms for the newly baptised members symbolising their introduction to the faith. Normally this was done at Passover. Gradually this happened more often and so did the Eucharist.

 

The original mass was a bread and water communion in the Mithras system and was in its public form the cult of Sol invictus elagabal or Elagabalism rather than Mithraism which was the private all male sun cult. You will see Justin Martyr condemning the water and bread communion of Mithraism in his First Apology ca 150-154 CE.

 

In the first century the Passover only was held in 14-21 Abib or Nisan. The pagan Easter system was introduced in the second century in what were termed the Quartodeciman Disputes from the date of 14th Abib. Look at the paper The Quartodeciman Disputes (No. 277).

 

Catholics believe that Christ claimed to be equal with God the Father by referring to John Chapter 8 where Christ applied to himself the name ‘I AM' which the Jews used for God'. Also referring to the fact that Christ said he had existed before Abraham who by then had been dead for 2000 years. Is this a valid quote for proof that the Son and the Father being equal?

A: By claiming to be I am that I am, Christ was saying I am Yahovah or he causes to be from the concept of 'eyeh 'ahser 'eheh or I will be what I will become. Yahovah is a third person form meaning "he causes to be." This was only fully understood by the priests. That is why the high priest rent his garment. If what this man said was true the priesthood had been torn from Levi. It was forbidden for the high priest to rend his garment. Look at the paper The Pre-Existence of Jesus Christ (No. 243).

 

I have noted that John chapter 10 is used by Catholics as further proof that Christ is equal to the Father. When threatened with stoning he said "I and the Father are one" and repeated "The Father is in me and I am in the Father" (Jn 10:30-38). Also John chapter 14 Jesus said "He who has seen me has seen the Father" (Jn 14:9). Is this really what these Scriptures are saying? Can you explain what is means to be 'one with God'?

A: If we are to use John chapter 10 then we have to all claim equality with God. It is written "I said ye are gods and Scripture cannot be broken" (Jn. 10:34-35). We are all going to be gods and Scripture cannot be broken.

 

To understand how we are to become elohim and how Christ is elohim look at the papers: The Elect as Elohim (No. 1); Consubstantial with the Father (No. 81); The Holy Spirit (No. 117); and The Pre-Existence of Jesus Christ (No. 243).

 

Is Jesus really present in the Tabernacle on the altars in Catholic Churches?

A. Christ is present where he is asked to be by the obedient servants of God who keep the laws of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ (Rev. 12:17; 14:12). Any baptized group of people obeying God and keeping His law will have Christ in their midst. The question then remains will Christ condone the deliberate perversion of God's Law and the answer must be no. The Church founded by Jesus Christ was a sect called: the Way, Christian, the Church of God and the Churches of God. It was called "universal" which is "catholic." The Church is an obedient body of saints who follow God's Laws. This universal Church has shattered into a variety of groups most of whom teach pagan doctrines and have no resemblance to the Original Catholic Church started by Jesus Christ. The Bible is clear as to their position and what happens to them.

 

As Catholicism asserts that their Lord was conceived and born of a never-impregnated virgin human woman, and that he (Jesus) never had a human father, where did his Y (male) chromosome come from?

A: The answer lies in the question where did Adam's Y or male Chromosome come from and why did not Eve have a Y chromosome as she was taken from the rib of Adam and as such should have had the DNA structure of Adam and not that of a woman.

 

The fact of the matter is that the basic human genome was a creation of God. In this way also we can see that the original Catholic doctrines of the Church in Rome in 150 CE was that Christ also had pre-existence as the Angel of the Lord who gave the Law to Moses and appeared to the prophets and patriarchs.

 

This is an even greater problem than the production of a simple XY Chromosome sequence. That can be done by the arrangement of the substructure of quarks and their rotational speed and variation to produce the genomes in the species.

 

That is mere child's play to the spirit world. How could Christ and the others appear as donkeys and other species? The big test is to get the Angel of God to revert to an idea in the structure of God and then become human and suffer death on the cross. That is a bigger question than where does the Y Chromosome come from.

 

In that problem lies the true answer to the resurrection of the dead at the end of the age and the correct judgment. Not only does God have to resurrect every individual from his or her DNA map, which He holds in His mind, but also the ideas that made up the personality of the individual in its nephesh.

 

That is where we see the true power of God and His awesome majesty. Our entire future existence depends entirely on His Omniscience and Omnipotence and on no other thing. That is why they invented the doctrine of the Immortal Soul because they lacked faith in His power and all embracing love and concern.

As Tatian said: “Not immortal is the Soul O Greeks nevertheless it is possible for it not to die”. Look at the papers: The Pre-Existence of Jesus Christ (No. 243); The Angel of YHVH (No. 24); Early Theology of the Godhead (No. 127); The Soul (No. 92); and The Resurrection of the Dead (No. 143).

 

What is the origin of the devotion to the sacred heart of Jesus? I remember the pictures of the flaming heart on the outside of the body with the five wounds with rays like the sun shining forth.

A: The cult which has stimulated some of the most intense devotion in Catholicism is not directed to the heart as a mere physical heart but to the heart as representing the whole person. The heart is seen in western culture as representing the seat of the emotions and this source of love. In the east it is the liver and so the significance is a bit lost there.

 

The form of the devotion was sporadic and only occasional and we see it emerge in the works of Bernard and Bonaventure who favoured it. Gertrude (d. 1302) had a vision in which she is said to have rested her head on Christ's wounded side and heard his heart beating. The story goes that the vision occurred on St John’s day and she enquired of the dead apostle whether he had experienced this and he is alleged to have said yes he had but that the revelation had been held over for later ages (Revelationes Gertudae, Paris, 1877 cf. ERE, vol. 6, p. 557).

 

In the 17th century Margaret Mary Alacoque had a similar vision in which Jesus is alleged to have revealed the wonders of his love and asked her to make them known to the world. Other visions followed and they were published in the journal of Fr. de la Colombiere in 1684 and became widely known.

 

The devotion became popular and in 1693 certain indulgences were made by Rome to Confraternities of the Sacred Heart. In 1765, Clement XIII permitted the Church in France to have a feast with a special mass and offices. It was not, however, until 1856 that this was permitted or extended to the Church as a whole. In 1889 this feast was made a double of the first class. It was held on the Friday after the octave of Corpus Christi.

 

It is thus a cult that arose in part in the 12th an 13th centuries probably in reaction to the Albigensian crusades. The Bible literate Albigensians were being suppressed and the Bible was suppressed in the Roman Catholic systems among the populace even in the UK. The growth after the Reformation and the Revolution in France is probably a similar reaction.

 

The fall of the 1260 year Holy Roman Empire in 1850 with the disastrous plebiscite in which the Roman catholic Church received only 1000 odd votes prompted a political and psychological reaction which seems to have substituted this physical and emotional tool on a level aimed at countering a failing system. (See the Jesuit historian Malachi Martin The Decline and Fall of the Roman Church, Secker and Warburg, pp. 250-254 ff for details of the last Inquisition and plebiscite; see also The Role of the Fourth Commandment in the Historical Sabbath-keeping Churches of God (No. 170).

 

3…The Bible

When I was growing up I remember the references to the Holy War(s). Can a Pope declare a war holy and make it so? What happens with thou shalt not kill? What is the Biblical law relating to war?

A: Wars do not make one Holy. David was not allowed to build the Temple because he was a man of blood. The notion of taking life is under divine sanction according to biblical Law. This aspect is covered in the paper Law and the Sixth Commandment (No. 259).

 

The Holy War notion is a perversion of the notion that the Bible condones some wars and that the Church has the capacity to declare a war holy. The history of this notion is covered in the paper Theory of the Just War (No. 110).

 

The structure is based on the bull Unam Sanctam and the faulty theology of Aquinas.

 

I see nothing in the Bible to indicate that the day of worship should be on Sunday the first day of the week, rather all I find is about the Sabbath which is the seventh day. Where is it written that we should observe Sunday and not Saturday?

A: It is not written in the Bible that Sunday should be observed at all. Paul established an alms collection on Sundays because money could not by law be collected on the Sabbath as a function of Sabbath services. This grew in Rome in the second century to where it was being kept as a service alongside the Sabbath and when the Mystery and Sun cults and the Easter system came in from Rome, Sunday was established to replace the Sabbath. It succeeded in having the Sabbath anathematised from the Council of Laodicea in 366 at canon 29. The history is in the work by S Bacchiocchi, From Sabbath to Sunday, Pontifical Gregorian University Press, Rome, 1975). The history of the Sabbath system is seen in the papers General Distribution of the Sabbath-keeping Churches (No. 122) and The Role of the Fourth Commandment in the Historical Sabbath-keeping Churches of God (No. 170).

 

I am Catholic and have been told by ‘Christian’ people that we are not Christian. I was always told by my church that we are Christians. What is the definition of Christian?

A: The Bible definition of a Christian Saint is found at Revelation 12:17 and 14:12. These are they that keep the commandments of God and the Testimony or Faith of Jesus Christ. If you do not do that you are not a Christian. Faith without works is dead. Look at the Statement of Beliefs of the Christian Faith (No. A1).

 

Should Catholics read the Old Testament? Isn't it just a bunch of stories about the history of Israel that really has no bearing to Catholics today?

A: The OT was the Bible when the apostles were teaching. It is referred to as Scripture by Christ and the apostles and Christ says it can not be broken. The apostles said it was “God breathed”. Most of the quotes in the NT come from the OT Septuagint or LXX which was their authorised Greek version. The NT is commentary on the OT and it cannot be understood without the OT. It is like getting an epilogue to a book and trying to understand the book without reading it. The OT and the NT are interlinking documents which must be read and followed to be in the faith.

 

Genetically speaking, the Bible is wrong in saying the world began with 2. I was raised Catholic, but also attend a Baptist youth group, so sometimes conflicts occur between myself and others. So what I want to know is: is there a right religion? Are all my good friends going to hell because they are not Christian? Can the Bible be wrong because of different cultures?

A. Firstly you will not be going to hell or to heaven for that matter either. Heaven is coming to you. The Roman Catholic Church does not believe now what it believed originally. It has changed things through tradition.

 

In the first and second centuries in Rome if you said that when you died you went to heaven they would have known immediately that you were not a true Christian, but were a Gnostic impostor in the Church. This doctrine so influenced Christianity that most Christians today teach that view in spite of the fact that it was the test of a true Christian originally. True Christians regarded that as a godless and blasphemous doctrine.

 

The original position is outlined in the papers The Soul (No. 92); and The Resurrection of the Dead (No. 143). The original Christian beliefs are to be found in the work The Statement of Beliefs of the Christian Faith (No. A1). Most of the things you are taught today stem from pagan doctrines. Christmas and Easter are pagan festivals. Look at the paper The Origins of Christmas and Easter (No. 235).

 

In the Church in Rome in the second century Christ was understood to be the Angel of the OT that gave the Law to Moses. What you are taught now is vastly different from what the original Church taught. Look at Justin Martyr, First Apology and also the paper Early Theology of the Godhead (No. 127). The vast bulk of the Church that calls itself "Christian" now has very little Christian doctrines left in it.

 

Which is older the Catholic or non-Catholic version of the Bible? 

A: Of the versions we currently have the early Syriac may be the oldest. The codex was not invented until ca 200 so the concept of a single Bible did not exist until then.

 

They were all scrolls with a basic list of accepted scrolls comprising the canon. As Scripture was the OT at the time of the apostles the oldest Bible in that sense is in Hebrew. The Septuagint was the Greek translation of those Scriptures. The history and timing is found in the paper The Bible (No. 164).

 

Does the Church have any authority bestowed on it by God or by Jesus Christ to change doctrine? If so, where's that written? Also, is the Bible the ultimate authority, or are Church teachings, writings, and doctrine the ultimate authority?

A: No, the Church has no authority to change the Commandments of God and the Law. Christ said whoever relaxes the least of these Commandments will be the least in the Kingdom of God. Whosoever shall do and teach them shall be great in the kingdom of Heaven (Mat. 5:19). Christ established his Church and there were many administrations and many operations but one Lord. They were given authority to determine the Church by binding and loosing but they had no authority to alter the Law of God or relax its effect.

 

Why do Catholics have a different version of the Ten Commandments? They combined Commandments #1 and #2 into one, and the tenth commandment is broken into two. This is not what the Bible states?

A: The ten commandments are just that: The first four relate to the love of God and the last six relate to the love of man. The fifth ties them both together. The Catholic Church combined the first two commandments together, namely Thou shall have no other Gods before me and Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image etc. This was because they had adopted the pagan systems of praying to these worthless pieces of masonry and plaster or wood. By combining them they were able to let the second slip out of notice and then in order to get back to ten commandments (because there were ten after all weren't there?) they split the tenth into two; thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s wife and then thou shalt not covet they neighbors good etc. This was done using the Deuteronomy version. However, the Exodus 20 version places house before wife which shows that this is an impossible rendering. The Jews have never accepted that little twist of logic either. The whole thing rests on the necessity to condone prayer to idols and is false worship.

 

I read somewhere that the Latin Vicarius Filli Dei…Vicar of the Son of God (in reference to the Pope) adds up to the number 666 which is supposed to be the number of the beast in Revelation. Does this numbering sequence hold any validity in reckoning things in the Bible? How do we know WHO is WHAT is the beast?

A: The number of the false religious system of the god of this world has always been marked by the number 6 (see the paper Symbolism of Numbers (No. 7)).

 

The sequence of the Vestals for example chosen by the supreme pontiff in pagan Rome was six chosen every year over thirty years. The six were in three groups of ten years, making sixty vestals in each as 60 + 60 + 60 =180.

 

The groups of three equated to Jupiter, Juno and Minerva. Numerology reduces thus to 9 which is 3 x 3 and 3 + 3 + 3 Making each representative of the Triune God. Jupiter and Juno were the representatives of the collective male genii and the female junonese or reproductive and fertility system of the Roman people and Empire. The Minerva was the immaculately conceived virgin goddess of the Middle East, coming in with the Etruscan influence.

 

The system is found in the numbering of the various facets of the Triune God and this found its way into Christianity in various forms. Fifteen as the number of the council of Pontiffs reduces again to six. That figure is applied to the Mother goddess cult in the so-called Mysteries of the Rosary and in many other examples.

Many people have pointed out the fact that The Vicar of the Son of God is numerically tied to that system as 666. Some ancient texts of Revelation read 612 and this is not always taken into account. The number relates as we said to the Triune God above and also to the Mysteries. The Greek Ch, x, s is 600, 60 and 6. The three letters SSS formed the symbol of Isis and was the secret symbol of the Mystery cults (cf. Bullinger Companion Bible fn. to Rev, 3:18).

 

Thus the beast system must be based on the ancient mystery cults and that system must therefore have the sun cults and be based on the Easter and Christmas system. The day of the Sun entered as early as 111 CE. Easter entered the Roman Christian Church from 150-192 CE. (see The Quartodeciman Disputes (No. 277)). Christmas entered from Syria in 375 at Antioch and Jerusalem in 386 and spread from there (see the paper The Origins of Christmas and Easter (No. 235).

 

The mother goddess system entered shortly after as Mariolatry and the Babylonian mysteries took over mainstream Christianity.  The Church has to rid itself of these festivals and systems of worship to get rid of the Mark of the Beast.

 

4…Mary and Mariolatry

Mary is often referred to as the Queen of Heaven. Which scripture supports that belief?

A: The reference to the "queen of heaven" is in Jeremiah 7:18 where the idolaters in the east baked cakes to the Queen of Heaven. Whole families were involved in the Baal-Easter system. They baked the Easter cakes to Easter or Istar or Ashtoreth the consort of Baal. This practice continues today as the hot cross buns of Easter. The practice entered Christianity from Asia Minor in Syria in the fifth century as Mariolatry. The mother goddess began to be referred to as Maria. This name was not the name of the mother of Christ. Her name was Mariam and her sister, the wife of Clophas, was Maria. This is covered in the paper The Virgin Mariam and the Family of Jesus Christ (No. 232). So correctly by usage Maria is the name of the Queen of Heaven as referred to in the Bible, but she was not the Mother of Jesus Christ and she did not enter Christianity until the fifth century.

 

Many branches of the Catholic Church do not use this term for sound theological reason. It is endemic to Roman Catholicism. She entered Hinduism and Buddhism. She is the Avalokitesvara and the goddess Guanyin or Kuanyin of China.

 

Would you consider the vision at Fatima in 1917 to be a fulfilment of 1Timothy 4:1? Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils? Would you say that vision was one of a seducing spirit?

A: We are probably seeing the effects of 1Timothy 4:1 in almost every branch of Christianity. It is given in the following verses.

The doctrines are:

1. Speaking lies in hypocrisy. This aspect is now almost in every facet of the system denying the laws of God and the testimony of Christ.

2. Forbidding to marry; and

3. Commanding to abstain from meats which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving.

There is a consistent attack on Marriage at present from the world systems. These people are now permeating the fringe Christian systems but are drawing people away into paganism. However there was always an attack on marriage from the mystery cults and that is the origin of celibacy in the clergy. It did not take over Christianity completely until the twelfth century.

 

Another major doctrine of demons is in Vegetarianism. This doctrine is penetrating every Christian Church. It is often accompanied by the temperance lobby that seeks to remove wine from the Lord's Supper. Look at Vegetarianism and the Bible (No. 183) and Wine in the Bible (No. 188).

 

These doctrines have been at work from the beginning but are now increasing as Christianity is exposed as a religion based on adopted pagan customs. Soon these false systems will collapse of their own accord amid the chaos of the world system as it destroys itself.

 

Fatima

As it is a fundamental doctrine of the Church that no one except Jesus Christ has ascended to heaven (Jn 3:13) and that includes Mariam (Mary) and the Apostles and every one else then the visions of Fatima have to be delusions of Demons. The Mother goddess visions and the sun systems indicate the same Satanic belief system we saw established at Babylon.

 

If you said to anyone in the Church in Rome in the second century that you were a Christian and that when you died you went to heaven, they would have denied you were a Christian. They also would have denied that Mariam (called Mary now) had been resurrected and quietly shown you the door as a heretic. Justin Martyr outlined Christian doctrine in his First and Second Apology and warned the people of Rome against these false Christians in his Dialogue with Trypho (80). Justin said they were not to believe they were Christians. The Gnostics inserted this heaven and hell doctrine into the Church after that period. It is a godless and blasphemous doctrine. Look at the paper The Soul (No. 92) and The Resurrection of the Dead (No. 143).

 

I believe most if not all of my Roman Catholic friends pray to Mary at least sometimes. Is there any biblical reference for doing this?

A: The answer in short is ‘No’. There is no Biblical basis for prayers to Mary or to anyone other than God. The Roman Catholic Theologian Herbert Thurston in his article on the Apostles Creed (Cath. Encyc. Vol. 1, pp, 630-631) has given the original form of the Creed in the earliest known document which is the R document of the second century from Rome.

 

It shows quite clearly that the Church was NOT known as the Catholic Church in that document. Also they stated categorically that they believed in the Resurrection of the Dead. To assert that Mariam or Mary had gone to heaven, would have had you branded as Gnostic and removed from the Church. Had you prayed to Mary you would have been removed even more quickly.

 

Mariolatry did not enter the Church until the fifth century from Syria. The creed of the Church in Rome in the second century was as follows:

1. I believe in God the Father Almighty;

2. And in Jesus Christ His only Son our Lord;

3. Who was born of (de) the Holy Spirit and of (ex) the Virgin Mary;

4. Crucified under Pontius Pilate and buried;

5. The third day he rose again from the dead,

6. He ascended into heaven,

7. Sitteth at the Right hand of the Father;

8. Whence He shall come to judge the living and the dead,

9. And in the Holy Spirit,

10. The Holy Church,

11. The forgiveness of sins;

12 The resurrection of the body.

It was regarded as a fundamental of belief of the Christian faith, a shibboleth, that the resurrection of the body was to take place at the end of the age and that the Bible was emphatic that no one had ascended into heaven save he who had descended from heaven, the son of Man (Jn 3:13).

 

The quotes and doctrines are examined in the papers The Soul (No. 92) and The Resurrection of the Dead (No. 143).

 

The Church could not be more emphatic on this doctrine. It was the test of a true Christian. Any one who said that when the saints died they went to heaven showed thereby they were not Christians (cf. Justin Martyr, Dialogue with Trypho (80). This godless and blasphemous doctrine was derived from the Gnostics.

 

The name catholic was added later for political reasons and the Church from the beginning was simply known as the Church until that title was added to it. In the second century the Church at Rome was known simply as the Church and the saints including Mariam were regarded as being dead and awaiting the resurrection of the dead as they held in their creed. The Church split into two sects in 192 CE over what was termed The Quartodeciman Disputes (No. 277).

 

There had been divisions in Africa previously (Montanist) but this marked the great division between the Passover and Sabbath-keeping sect and the New Easter worshipping sect which was to later become the Roman Catholic Church. Britain and the churches in the East remained Quartodeciman. The British Church did not come into union with Rome until 663 from the synod of Whitby.

 

As a child I remember references to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. How is the concept portrayed and from where does this thinking originate?

A: The cult of the Sacred Heart of Mary is analogous to the cult of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. In her case the heart is held to symbolise her love to God and to her son. The idea is to have the faithful imitate this devotion.

 

The cult may also be traced back to the 12th century but papal recognition in a partial form did not occur until 1799. This follows a similar pattern to the post-revolutionary French problems and the Bible illiterate masses that were prevented from genuine and serious Bible study (cf. ERE, Vol. 6, p. 558).

 

An Office and Mass were appointed by the Congregation of Rites in 1855, but these were not imposed on the whole Church nor was any universal feast granted. The idea of the heart as source of virtue and an object of cult focus, stems from the ancient pagans in Europe and elsewhere.

 

The Celts kept heads preserved in jars of cedar oil and we see in the Mabinogian that Gwynn forced Kyledi to eat his father’s heart. "The Wends believe that the heart of a maiden or an infant brewed in herbs will cure disease or inspire love. And hence graves are often violated to obtain the heart of a corpse. Possibly the old German belief that 'a dying man's heart could pass into a living man, who would then show twice as much pluck' is derived from this savage custom" (ERE, ibid.).

 

It seems most probable that this ancient Germanic idea is the basis behind the cults emerging at times of the great crisis of the Church and becoming popular among it's superstitious masses. The hearts of "Mary" and her infant take the place of the maiden or infant in the herbal magic of the pagan past.

 

Where does the Bible say that Mary ascended into heaven?

A: It does not say that Mary ascended into heaven. In fact it says the opposite.
Writing well after her death the apostle Johngives the definitive word on this matter. No one has ascended into heaven but he who descended from heaven, the Son of Man (John 3:13). The early Church would have condemned anyone who asserted that Mariam (now called Mary) had gone into heaven as a heretic. Her family who constituted the leaders of the early Church would have laughed anyone to scorn who asserted that she had no other children. More information is available in the papers The Virgin Mariam and the Family of Jesus Christ (No. 232); The Soul (No. 92) and The Resurrection of the Dead (No. 143).

 

Did Mary have any other children after Jesus? If so, what ever became of them?

A: Her name was actually not Mary it was Mariam. Her sister was named Maria and she was the wife of Clophas. Mariam had four sons after her first child whose name was not Jesus but Joshua. Iesous is the Greek from which the English is derived but it is actually the Greek form of Joshua called Yoshua or Yahoshua in Hebrew.

 

The Bible records she had four sons and a number of daughters but in accordance with tradition their names are not listed. The sons names were Joseph (Yusef), Jacob (Yakob (called James in the English), Judah (Jude) and Simon. Christ's brother Jacob or James wrote the book of James and was martyred in 63 CE. His brother Judah wrote the book of Jude.

Their descendants ruled the Church with those of the siblings of John the Baptist and the children of Maria and Clophas for three centuries. What happened to them is a remarkable story and an indictment on Christianity. The story is in the paper The Virgin Mariam and the Family of Jesus Christ (No. 232).

 

Why do Catholics venerate the Blessed Virgin Mary?

A. Roman Catholics do; Anglican and Episcopalian Catholics do not; the Orthodox do. Originally it was not done. The veneration of Mariam which is the real name of Christ’s mother did not enter the Church until the fifth and sixth centuries from Syria. Maria (and hence Mary) was his aunt.

 

The worship or veneration of Mary was termed Mariolatry and it was originally opposed as blasphemous. It was associated with the cult of the Mother goddess in the east and came in following the Christmas structure, which entered also in Syria at Damascus in 375 CE and Jerusalem in 386 CE.

 

In the first few centuries the Church regarded anyone who said that any one had died and gone to heaven as Gnostic heretic. After the pagan doctrines had weakened the doctrines of the Church by the fourth century these other ideas could enter and break down the original theology. On 15 August 1950 Pope Pius XII declared the doctrine of the Assumption of the Virgin into heaven.  Look at the papers: The Soul (No. 92); The Resurrection of the Dead (No. 143); The Virgin Mariam and the Family of Jesus Christ (No. 232); and The Origins of Christmas and Easter (No. 235).

 

Would you please explain what Medjugorje is/was?

A: The worship of the Mother Goddess system entered the Church as Mariolatry in the fifth and sixth centuries. It has always been there in the Baal-Easter or Istar systems. The nation of Austria is named from the kingdom of Ostarricchi meaning the kingdom of the Goddess Ostar declared in 996. Europe is rotten with this cult system.

 

The goddess appears to people under visitations. Satan appears as an angel of light. It was at Fatima earlier this century and then the phenomena in the Balkans of similar type of the female apparition. The Bible is quite clear that no one has ascended into heaven except he who has descended from heaven namely the Son of Man (Jn. 3:13). Thus this apparition cannot be Mariam the Mother of Christ as she has not yet risen with the rest of the elect of the First Resurrection. Look at the papers The Virgin Mariam and the Family of Jesus Christ (No. 232).

 

Catholics say that the 'Immaculate Conception' refers to Mary being born without sin as she was chosen to be the mother of 'God'. How is this possible? What is your interpretation of the Immaculate Conception?

A: Only Christ was without sin. Only he died sinless and made atonement for us. Only he was the Passover Lamb. Mariam was chosen to be the mother of Joshua the Messiah the son of God. Her conception was a normal result of the fertilization of the female by the male. Her lineage is in Luke chapter 3 (see Genealogy of the Messiah (No. 119)). She was a good wife and mother and died a member of the Church. She is now awaiting the return of her son for the resurrection from the dead. The details of her family are in the paper The Virgin Mariam and the Family of Jesus Christ (No. 232).

 

Does the Bible talk about the assumption of Mary? Where can I find any scriptures that imply or describe the event?

A: If you want more about this subject or about the teaching of the Catholic Church I would refer you to the following book available on site or for purchase in any mall bookstore: Catechism of the Catholic Church Ligouri Publications ISBN 0-89243-566-6

 

There is no direct Scripture reference for the Assumption. But the Catholic Church does not base her doctrine on Scripture alone as do most Protestant Churches. Indeed the Bible is absolutely definitive that there has been no assumption of anyone other than Christ. The matter of Enoch and Elijah are examined in the paper The Witnesses (No. 135).

 

The Roman Church like the Pharisees before them has corrupted Scripture with their traditions. He admits it here. In John 3:13 it says: "No one has ascended up to heaven save he that came down from heaven even the son of Man that is in heaven."

 

This could not be clearer. This text was written after the death of Mariam (Called Mary). It was written by John after the apostles and that is why there is a concerted effort to try and make this book written while the apostles were alive as it destroys completely the false heaven and hell doctrines which entered Christianity from the Gnostics.

 

What Patrick Sena and Roman Catholics generally cannot or will not, due to the constraints of the Church in the late twentieth century, tell you is that in the early Church at Rome it was the test of a true Christian. Justin Martyr, after writing to the Emperor and Senate in Rome ca 150-155 said in the Dialogue with Trypho (80), words to the effect of: "If you came across people who say they are Christians and that when they die they go to heaven do not believe them they are not Christians." This was the test of a true Christian. It was a shibboleth in the Church. If any one said that any one other than Christ had ascended into heaven you knew by that fact they were not Christian.

 

The Roman Catholic Church did not invent and adopt the doctrine of the assumption of Mariam called Maria (which was the name of her sister the wife of Clophas and not the name of the mother of Christ) until August 15 1950 that is in this century just 51 years ago.

 

It is a lie and contrary to Scripture and the entire plan of the Faith and the Bible structure. It rests on a godless and blasphemous doctrine that seeks to deny the basic doctrine of the faith concerning the Resurrection of the Dead. See the papers The Soul (No. 92); Vegetarianism and the Bible (No. 183); The Resurrection of the Dead (No. 143); and also The Virgin Mariam and the Family of Jesus Christ (No. 232).

 

I heard it described that Mary means ‘star of the sea’ because she shines on us by her exemplary virtue in this sea of miseries, like a most glorious star. I remember reading Mary's correct name is Miriam. Is this reference to star a pagan practice of worshipping planets, etc. as a representation of certain deities?

A. The title Stella Maris came into Christianity from the Cult of Isis. The emperors even were addicted to it. Otho attended in a linen garment (Seutonius (Otho 12). Commodus did the same, with shaven head, carrying the effigy of Anubis (cf. Frazer Golden Bough vol. vi, p. 118 fn 1).

 

Frazer compares the devotion to Mary in the Middle Ages to this adoration of Isis. He says:

"Indeed her stately ritual, with its shaven and tonsured priests, its matins and its vespers, its tinkling music, its baptism and aspersions of holy water, its solemn processions, its jewelled images of the Mother of God, presented many points of similarity to the pomps and ceremonies of Catholicism" (Frazer ibid.).

 

That is in fact where it all came from. It was to Isis in her later character of patroness of mariners that the cult of Mary derives this epithet Star of the Sea. Frazer holds that the attributes of a marine deity may have been bestowed on Isis by the sea faring Greeks of Alexandria (ibid. p. 119).

 

Frazer says they were quite foreign to her original character and the habits of the Egyptians, who had no love of the sea. There seems little doubt that the Greeks and Romans adopted Isis and the mystery cults and they were fully entrenched in Rome at the time of Christianity. On this hypothesis we can see that "Sirius the bright star of Isis on July mornings rises from the glassy waves of the eastern Mediterranean, a harbinger of Halcyon weather mariners, was the true Stella Maris, 'the Star of the Sea'."

 

That is the true origin and it is but another indicator of the Mystery Cults in Christianity. The mark of Isis was SSS which is numerically 666 and this entered the Greco-Roman system of Christianity.

 

If Mary was married to Joseph, was she a virgin in the way a lot of people think?

A. Yes she was married to Joseph as a wife and after Christ he had normal relations with her and produced four sons names Jacob (called James) Judah or Jude, Simon and Joseph who was named after him.

 

Mariam was the mother of Christ. Maria was his auntie who married Clophas. She also had a number of children including James the lesser or Little James (Jacob). They were all younger than Christ, which is the reason Mariam was placed in the care of John at the Crucifixion.

 

Jacob called James by us wrote the book of James and chaired the Acts conference, being bishop of Jerusalem. He was martyred in 63 CE. He was succeeded by Symeon his and Christ’s cousin. Jude wrote the book of that name in the Bible. The story of their family is told in the paper The Virgin Mariam and the Family of Jesus Christ (No. 232).

 

I heard reference to Our Lady with the Pomegranate; it is apparently a representation of the Madonna and child. The child is in one hand and the pomegranate in the other. What would the symbolism be and what is its origin?

A: This comes directly from the worship of Attis the Phrygian god who was often associated with Adonis their being so similar.

Attis is the dying God like Adonis that died and was resurrected at the spring festival of Easter. Attis is said to have been a fair young shepherd or herdsman. He was the beloved of Cybele Mother of the Gods. She was the great Fertility goddess of Asia and we see her in other forms in the cults. Some held that Attis was her son (cf. Scholiast on Lucian and also Hippolytus R.o.h. v. 9 cf. Frazer The Golden Bough, McMillan, vol. v, p. 263 and fn 1-4).

 

The Mother of Attis was a virgin, Nana, who conceived by putting a ripe almond or pomegranate in her bosom. In Phrygian cosmogony an almond featured as the father of all things (Frazer, ibid., pp. 263-264). According to Arnobius the Pomegranate represents the story of the mother of Attis conceiving by putting in her bosom the pomegranate representing the severed genitals of a man monster named Agdestis. This was a double of Attis. In other words the pomegranate is a fertility symbol of the castrated god which causes the virgin to conceive and spring forth the man-child Attis. Attis, which means simply "father" is god both as Father and Son representing two elements of the one God. This view entered Christianity as Binitarian modalism with the goddess as third element. This system then was expanded into Triune Modalism proper with the virgin later as fourth element and this has not as yet been finalised in the Roman system. From Attis we derive the term Papas, which was his other name and hence this is the origin of papa or pope in Roman Catholicism. Nana is the name of the mother goddess as mother of all.

 

This aspect also is why the mother goddess system was served by eunuch priests and why celibacy is still part of its structure even today (cf. Frazer ibid. p. 269). The Virgin is his mother who is symbolised by the pomegranate. This pomegranate is also a symbol of multiplicity forming union in Mysticism (cf. Cirlot, A Dictionary of Symbols, p. 223).

 

For this reason Pomegranates were forbidden to the worshippers of Cybele and Attis (Frazer ibid., v. 280). The presentation of the image of the Mother goddess at the river represents the marriage of Cybele and Attis or Aphrodite and Adonis. Demeter also bathed there after her intercourse with Poseidon and so also Hera after the marriage with Zeus. Hera regained her virginity every year by bathing in the spring of Canathus (ibid.). This is the idea of the perpetual virgin and its origins. The mother of Attis was only another form of his divine mistress the Great Mother Goddess (Frazer, ibid., p. 281). She was the Virgin Mother (ibid.).

The adherents of Cybele and Attis were not allowed to partake of certain food and fish was sacred to them as was it to Atargatis or Dercato. Their adherents were forbidden to eat seeds and the roots of vegetables, but could eat stalks and upper parts of plants. Like the Pythagoreans mysteries generally, pork and fish were sacred to them in diet and restricted in their diet.

 

This is no doubt the origin of the restriction of the eating of fish on Friday. In the other mysteries the Pomegranate was sprung from the blood of Dionysus (anemones from the blood of Adonis and violets from that of Attis) (Frazer, ibid., vii. 14. The seeds of the pomegranate were not eaten at the Thesmophoria (ibid.) and they were not to be brought into the sanctuary at Lycosura (ibid., viii, 46).

 

It is thus seen that the Madonna and child that form the Lady of the Pomegranate is Cybele and Attis her son and lover which has counterparts in all the mystery cults meaning virtually the same thing. Look at the papers:

The Cross: Its Origin and Significance (No. 39); The Origins of Christmas and Easter (No. 235); David and Goliath (No. 126); and The Piñata (No. 276).

 

Since so many believe that Mary was a perpetual virgin, what do we do with Matthew 1:24-25?

24 Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife: 25 And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name JESUS.

Till means until, even in the Greek. Do we throw it out?

A. You are quite correct in that the myths that have sprung up around the mother of Christ are legion. The early Church understood Christ to have had brothers and sisters. They are not only named in the Bible but also in the historical works of the Church. Firstly the name of Christ's mother was Mariam. His aunt was Maria the wife of Clophas.

 

They both had children. Matthew 12:46-50 shows that his mother had other children and they were younger than Christ. The boys are named in Matthew 13:55.

 

Their names in the original are Mariam his mother, Jacob (rendered James), Joseph (after their father), Simon, and Judas rendered Jude and who wrote the text Jude. Jacob wrote the book of James, Jude calls himself their slave, brother of Christ and of James. Identifying both James and he as brothers of Christ. Look at Marshall's Greek English Interlinear for the words. Galatians 1:19 specifically names James as the Lord's brother. Thus James and Jude are clearly identified. Thus the four, with Simon and Joseph, are the brothers of the Lord. 

 

The sisters of Christ are not identified by names as was the practice. Maria or Mary, wife of Clophas and aunt of Christ was also mother of the one called James the Lesser or little James in contrast to James bishop of Jerusalem and brother of Christ.

 

The identification of the family and the lineages of Christ are covered in the papers Genealogy of the Messiah (No. 119); and The Virgin Mariam and the Family of Jesus Christ (No. 232). Another indicator of their age being quite a bit less than Christ was that when he was on the cross he placed Mariam in the care of John and thus John became the effective guardian of the younger family.

 

James was martyred in 63 CE and was succeeded as bishop of Jerusalem by Symeon his cousin. The descendants of the family were called the Desposyni meaning belonging to the Lord. They ruled the Church as bishops for quite some time. They were ordered to be exterminated by the bishop of Rome after the conference of 318 ordered by Constantine. They demanded that the Church be restored to its true doctrines and the Law of God and so the bishop of Rome had them exterminated systematically over the next two centuries as they could be tracked down. They then started the myth of the perpetual virginity to cover this misdeed and to establish Mariolatry in the Church under Roman and Greek influence.

 

Hippolytus says Clophas succeeded James and Symeon succeeded his father (see Origins of the Christian Church in Britain (No. 266)).

 

The worship of the mother goddess was endemic to the Mediterranean world and the sun system generally.

 

What ever happened to Joseph, Mary's husband. After the birth of Christ he is not mentioned other than when Christ was in the Temple.

A: The answer appears to be that he was dead by the time of Christ's ministry. Christ's mother was given into the care of John at the crucifixion and it appears that his brothers and sisters joined them from that time. Jacob, called James, the brother of Christ was chairman at the Jerusalem conference of the apostles in Acts and Jude also went on to write his book. His entire family became leaders of the Church for three centuries. The only conclusion we have is that Joseph died prior to the baptism of Christ in 27/28 CE and some time after Christ's discussions in the Temple at about twelve years of age in 7 CE. The fact that he had four brothers and a number of sisters indicates Joseph lived for a good many years and well after the events of 7 AD. There is a work called the History of Joseph the Carpenter and the complete text is preserved in the Boharic and Arabic. A Latin version was made from the Arabic in the fourteenth century. The text is allegedly a story given by Christ on the Mt. Of Olives but the text is a post fifth century text which was affected by Mariolatry and the doctrine of the assumption which emerged in that century and is spurious. The story of Christ's Family is in the paper The Virgin Mariam and the Family of Jesus Christ (No. 232).

 

I realize that birthdays are not scriptural but from where did Catholics decide September 8th was the birth of Mary the mother of Jesus?

A. They got it from the same pagan system as they got everything else associated with the mother goddess system. Mariam, which was her real name, was a Jewess with a Levite mother who was born in Judea under the Temple calendar.

 

They did not celebrate birthdays and the date of her birth is not known. If it were, it would not be according to a pagan calendar developed centuries after her death. Birthdays are the mark of the sun cults for the Babylonian mysteries. If Mariam had kept birthdays she would have been disqualified from being the mother of the Messiah. Look at the paper Birthdays (No. 287).

 

5…Angels

Do we all have a personal guardian angel?

A: The angels are ministering spirits. There is no doubt that the archangel Michael was the one who stood for Israel (Daniel 12:1). Thus angels are allotted to nations. Michael as archangel, had an army under him. It is therefore not unreasonable to conclude that those of spiritual Israel, the elect, certainly must have some angelic oversight. The fallen host also had oversight of nations and it is another conclusion that the demons hold sway over those who are not of the elect. Whether each person is allotted one specific angel is another matter. They certainly have responsibility for some and it may be that each of us is allotted to the host to get us through our lives in the calling to become sons of God.

 

Do Angels really have wings? Do they sit atop the clouds playing harps as they're portrayed by the media?

A: The Bible gives some of the various categories of wings as a seeming sign of position. Four and six wings being allotted to the Cherubim and Seraphim. Angels are sons of God who move in power. They were first sons of God and then angels as messengers to humans. The concept of their sitting around on clouds is a cartoonists view. They were sent to us as ministering spirits and the Archangel Michael is held to stand for Israel from the Book of Daniel. The paper How God Became a Family (No. 187) might help in this regard.

 

Where did angels come from? Were angels once humans who were saved and then became angels? Or did God just create angels just like he created humans?

A: The word angel is derived from the Greek word for messenger aggelos. The Hebrew is malak and means the same. Before they were messengers they were created as sons of God (cf. Job 1:6; 2:1; 38:4-7). This is explained in the paper How God Became a Family (No. 187). The structure is also examined in the paper The Government of God (No. 174). The paper The Pre-Existence of Jesus Christ (No. 243) and also The Angel of YHVH (No. 24) will give you more insight.

 

6…The Church

Origins of Roman Catholic Beliefs

Could you explain both the similarities and the differences between the Catholic religion and the pre-Christian Roman religion in regards to beliefs about the Godhead, their holy days or days of observance, their important doctrines, and their organizational structure?

A: The Roman Catholic religion is actually derived from a combination of ancient pagan beliefs in Rome prior to Christ. The deities of Rome were the Triune God and the Cult of Vesta the goddess of the Hearth Fire. The Sun and Mystery cults were also significant in introducing festivals and beliefs. The Roman system was notoriously egocentric and conservative and thus the early Church for political reason decided to adopt the pagan systems and adapt them. The Sun cults were predominent in Rome and the seven-day week had been adopted from the Egyptians. The day of the sun was associated with the Roman system. The two Sun systems were the cult Mithras which was the private all male bull slaying cult. The term Father was a rank of their priest with Raven and Lion being also important. Regular Communion with bread and water derives from this cult. The Public form was Sol Invictus Elagabal and this was based on the solstice system. Christmas was associated with this cult but the festival appears to have first entered Christianity from Syria in 375 and Jerusalem in 386. It came into Gaul and Rome after that in Christianity although it had long been extant among the Aryans and Rome (see The Origins of Christmas and Easter (No. 235)).

 

The Trinity is derived from two sources. The first is the Triune God which in Rome consists of the Jupiter which originally was not a statue but rather the standing oak tree. Romulus was said to have hung a war trophy on it in the early days of the city. This tree sacred among the Aryans was representative of the collective genii of the Roman system. The female Juno wife of Jupiter was representative of the Collective junones or female reproductive capacity of the Roman women. The third entity was the Minerva which was of Etruscan origin and represents the immaculate virgin daughter of Jupiter. This is where the cult of the Virgin came from. She was also associated with the triune God. This was a version of the Baal-Easter system in the East and of the Osiris-Isis-Horus system in Egypt.  The Golden Calf was part of this system also and that was based on the Triune system of Sun Moon and Morning Star. The Moon God in Mesopotamia was Sin from where we Anglo Saxons derived our word for sin, while we were there in the Middle East. (see The Golden Calf (No. 222).

 

The Celts worshipped the Golden Calf system until after Patrick brought the new Italian version of the cult under the guise of Easter.   The next pagan system was the cult of the god Attis. The priests of Attis were all eunuchs. They believed Attis had been castrated by Rhea. They carried the pine on which he was crucified in the city with music and candles. His effigy was attached to the tree. He was alleged to have been crucified on a Friday and resurrected on a Sunday. This is the origin of the Friday Crucifixion. It is also the origin of the parade of the crucifix with the Christ carved to it and the decorated pine tree which is also associated with Christmas. The cult of Attis was the origin of the doctrine of the Binitarian God. God was said to exist as Father and Son in the same God. The Mother goddess was the lover/mother of the dying son. This is derived directly from the Baal-Easter system of Baal Ashtoreth or Istar in the east. The Fish symbol is also derived from this cult as it was sacred to Derceto or Atargatis as were doves. Holy Water is also derived from this cult which was collected from her sacred pools. Eating fish on Friday is also a feature of her worship where the fish were sacred to Atargatis and the Friday was the day of the death of the god. Among the Greeks this was Adonis. Adonis was a gentler version of Attis as human sacrifice was also associated with Attis. The practice of making Gardens to Adonis is still found to this day among the Catholics in Europe (see also ibid., (No. 235).

 

Eternal Flame

The cult of the eternal flame was also endemic to pagan Rome. I will recap some detail I gave to a question some time ago. The sacred flame or eternal flame is part of the ancient pre-Christian system in Rome. It is much more ancient than Rome and goes back to the earliest system of the Triune god we see enter India from Assyria at the beginning of the second millennium BCE and extant in Shamanism. The idea of the Soul as a flame was widespread among ancient society. Thus we are dealing with the ancient concepts of the soul doctrine (cf. the paper The Soul (No. 92)). The ancients in the Shamanist systems believed that the soul was like a flame. It was directly linked in many religious systems to the soul. Many pagan cults held that the soul would die if the fire went out. The idea comes from the warm living body and the cold dead body: Hence the term the fire of his life went out, or words to that effect in various cultures (cf. ERE Soul (Primitive) xi, p. 727). The idea of the sacred flame was present in the Roman system and in the Roman priesthood associated with the Temple of Vesta and the Flamen Dialis, Flamen Martialis and Flamen Quirinialis and the Flamines (cf. ERE, Priest, Priesthood (Roman), pp. 329, 329 ff). The old ranking of the pagan Roman Priests was: ex sacrorum, flamines Dialis, Martialis, Quirinialis, pontifex maximus. The pontifex maximus (from where the current Pontiff gets his title) had the privilege of choosing the flamen Dialis from a list of three candidates nominated by the college of pontificates or pontiffs. The name indicates the specific God they served. Dialis:Jupiter; Martialis: Mars; etc. The Quirinialis although ranking below the others was frequently involved in the sacrifices relating to agriculture and was associated with the cult and god of Vegetation.

 

The wife of only one, the flaminica Dialis, participated in the sacred duties with her husband. Plutarch held she represented Juno and despite modern objections this is probably correct due to the Triune system and Juno as collective junones of the Roman females. The most important fifteen of the flamines belonged to the college of pontificates (or pontiffs). The title "flamen" seems to come from "to blow" in relation to the fires of the altars of sacrifice or from the flames (flagrare, fiamma) on them. However, Meyer has associated it with the Sanskrit Brahman 'priest' (cf. ERE, ibid. p. 328b, fn. 2).

 

Thus the title of the pontiff was the fifth in order of rank of the Roman curial system in ancient pre-Christian times. The system was transferred to the pope and the cardinals who wear the red of the temple of Vesta symbolising its flame. The Vestals were also chosen by the pontifex maximus. They were six in number chosen from a list of twenty of the daughters of free men and women still living. Thus we might assume that this idea or restriction was also associated with the flame and an indication of life and the life of the parents were taken as indication of the protection of Vesta the goddess of the hearth flame They assumed duty at about six years and served thirty years in three decades. The first decade was under instruction. The second decade was acting as priestess and the third was spent instructing the novices. Vesta was goddess of the hearth fire which had been a family cult and became state controlled. It was the duty of the priestesses to keep up the sacred fire and that is the origin of the sacred flames we see in many nations. The devolution to the individual goes back to the idea of the Jupiter as symbol of the collective genii of the Roman State and Juno of the Junones and the Minerva the third of the Triune system on the Capitoline. The individual genius or juno being represented by the soul fire at gravesides. This idea is explained in the paper The Doctrine of Original Sin Part I The Garden of Eden (No. 246). Minerva was the immaculately conceived virgin and daughter of Jupiter. The idea of the immaculate virgin comes from this source (as stated above). Nuns also entered Christianity from the cult of Vesta. See the question regarding Nuns. The idea of the flame as the soul is directly linked with the Triune God as the collective and individual genius and Juno of the Roman people and as such is a Roman religious concept linked to the pagans. This preceded polytheism as an idea and is associated with the idea of the Daemon which is the collective spirit given power over those people with whom it is associated. That is what we see happened in Deuteronomy 32:8 when God allocated the nations to the sons of God and Israel was allocated to Yahovah by the Elyon (or Yahovih) as his possession. This text was changed after the fall of the Temple in the MT and hence most Bibles have the text incorrect except for the RSV. The flame represents the daemon of the system that has charge of it and each individual "soul" is part of that system.

 

The Cross

The Cross is a function of two elements. The first is the Goddess Hecate goddess of the crossroads and the Trivia where she was often displayed as three headed or three-faced goddess facing down each of the Trivia. Offerings were carried out to her and this is the origin of the Shrines to the virgin on the roads. See the paper The Cross: Its Origin and Significance (No. 39). The second is the cult of Attis where his tree of cross was in pine. The cross bar represents the union of the male female genitalia in the vegetation system of Baal-Easter. 

 

Worship of saints

Each of the Gods was associated with the ancient pagans calendar and the calendar has the lighting of the sacred fires. This was done from grey granite and the sacred fire was used to light the hearth fires of the nation from this one central system. Candles also are involved with this aspect. This is the origin of the Roman festival of the Easter candle. It was this ritual that Patrick carried out on 26 March in Ireland at the Druid festivals. The death of the Roman Mars on 14 March was also to rid the old god from the city to enable the fresh vegetation to come. Those priests were the link for the Bacchanalian and The Saturnalia, the Lupercalian and Shrove and Carnival festivals. See the question on St Patrick. The Shrove festival of the carnival also had the death of the Shrove. Ash Wednesday originally had nothing to do with Lent and was when they burnt the shrove hence the ash and is derived from that festival. See the Question on Ash Wednesday and also the Question on the Carnival and Fat Tuesday. The gods were allocated days as saints. The doctrine of the immortal soul was derived from two sources one was from Socrates and Greek philosophy which originally was a religion to combat the oppressive wheel of rebirth of the Hyperborean Celts. The Celts taught reincarnation and the progressive use of resources over lives but followed this cult of the Oak and the Druids as did the Romans.

 

The next element is the Gnostic system that has penetrated the pagans, and the Jews, and the Christians. They were a parasite religion that taught that the God who gave the Law to the Jews was a different God and the Law was bad and was eliminated. They taught a doctrine of Heaven and Hell. That is why Justin said in his Dialogue with Trypho (80) to the Emperor on behalf of the Church at Rome that if they came across people who said they were Christians and that when they died they went to Heaven that he was not to believe that they were Christians. Look at the paper The Soul (No. 92) and also The Resurrection of the Dead (No. 143). The pagan calendar also intruded and the Church did not stamp it out. That is why the New Year is on 1 January for Janus the god of beginnings.

 

So we have a pagan Triune God, The Mother goddess, the heavenly virgin, the calendar, Pontiffs and popes, Red Cardinals, priests as fathers, nuns, and saints, Crosses, communion, holy water, Sunday worship, Christmas and Easter, Saint’s days, Fish, Fridays, candles and bells. The latter were so clearly pagan and later, they were baptising the bells so they could be used in Christian worship at the time of Charlemagne and he forbade it. However, the bells stayed. Look at the question on the Angelus.

 

The only thing I have not covered is the black cassock. These were brought in from the Baal-Easter system like everything else. The Bible refers to the idolatrous priests as the Khemarim. This means literally the Black Cassocked ones. They were associated in Syria with the goddess as the Essene meaning bees (not to be confused with the sons of Zadok at Qumran even though Pliny identifies them as Essene, probably from their asceticism). They were celibate for their terms of duty even if they had been married previously. Some, as it was for the cult of Attis, were castrated. The Gnostics carried these practices in as celibacy among their priests, abstinence from meats and wine. (See Vegetarianism and the Bible (No. 183)). Vegetarianism and the abstinence from wine were the only aspects that were opposed by the system because of the impact on the other festivals. The system of Atargatis also brought in fish and the symbol of the fish was influential on the mitre used by the bishops probably associated originally with the temple of Dagon. The growth of monasticism and the orders is covered in the question on Altar boys. In short the Mystery cults have taken over just about every facet of the system and its priesthood.

 

It seems to me that the Roman Catholic Church has much in common with King Solomon. Do you see any similarities here? 

A: Solomon represents the Church. David was a man of blood and prepared for this construction, but did not himself build the Temple. Solomon built the Temple which was a forerunner of the Church.

 

The Catholic Church was given the truth and then committed fornication with the pagan systems and gradually perverted the doctrines of the Church. In this sense she was like Solomon. The Catholic Church split in various schisms due to their introduction of the pagan errors, particularly of the Europeans, and system of the Triune god. These errors became so bad that they had to be cleaned up in the Reformation. The Roman Catholic Church tried to purge itself of error both from the Council of Trent and subsequently.

 

From Vatican II it was realised that unless the superstition was purged from the RCC then no unification is possible. Thus Vatican II is an attempt at getting rid of the errors but still retaining the core doctrines. Now most of the core doctrines are themselves pagan errors.

 

The Church is trying to stay alive but like Solomon it is still married to these idolatrous harlots of the ancient gods. The entire Christian Church has to work out that it has to repent completely and obey and keep the Commandments of God. It has to throw this error and return to the Original Catholic Church Doctrines. These are the doctrines of the true Church free of all this pagan superstition. The sections that do not do this will not survive.

 

The answer is that they do not repent until it is too late. Individuals will repent and the new system will emerge free of the idolatry and paganism of the ancient gods. However, Solomon lost the kingdom for Judah until Messiah returns to take it up again. It went to the ten tribes. Thus the true kingdom of God was lost also to the main system. Solomon did represent the Church and this will be explained more in the paper Rule of the Kings Part III: Solomon and the Key of David (No. 282C).

 

What does it mean to be a Catholic? How is this different from being Roman Catholics?

A: Catholic means universal. The Original Catholic or universal church had nothing to do with Rome other than to establish a branch there. The term Roman Catholic is in fact a contradiction in terms; meaning literally the Roman universal church, which is impossible being a locality and the opposite of universal.  The Catholic or universal church was split up through the introduction of pagan error and political ambition. At the end of the second century the Church in Rome forced the division of the Catholic Church with Rome introducing the pagans Easter system. Error followed error from that time until the councils of the fourth century saw the Triune God installed as the Trinity from 381. This is the true date of the Roman Catholic Church as opposed to the original catholic or universal church.

 

Doctrine

The Roman Catholic Church teaches that justification and sanctification work together for glorification. Thus you can say, that from the moment a person is baptized in the Catholic Church, until the moment he departs this life, he is on probation with God. He never knows for certain that he is justified with God. The Bible clearly teaches that a person is justified with God then he goes on to sanctification. In other words, they are separate from one another. Thus from the Word of God, you can have assurance of your salvation. According to Catholic theology, a person has to earn his salvation by keeping rules and regulations approved by the Church. Please give me your views using Scripture.

A: This is one of the most important questions in Christianity. It is central to the distinction between the Church/Law of God and Roman Catholic, Orthodox and Protestant disputes.

The key text is Romans 8:29-30.

For whom he did foreknow, He also did predestine, them He also called; and whom He called, them he also justified: and whom He justified them he also glorified.

Thus salvation depends on the foreknowledge and predestination of God. This completely denies the doctrine of general salvation in the First Resurrection in obedience to a Church.

The process is seen as this:

God through His Omniscience knows who will succeed and who will not succeed. He calls those people according to His purpose (see Rom. 8:28). Thus they cannot be infants. Look at the papers: The Doctrine of Original Sin Part I The Garden of Eden (No. 246); Doctrine of Original Sin Part 2 The Generations of Adam (No. 248); Purification and Circumcision (No. 251) and Repentance and Baptism (No. 52).

 

This process is by grace alone. Individuals do nothing to earn this privilege. They are given to Christ and placed within the body of the elect baptised and then developed. This process is called justification. Justification is according to the commandments of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ. The elect are those who keep the commandments of God and the Testimony or Faith of Jesus Christ (Rev. 12:17; 14:12).

 

Those who keep the commandments have the right to the tree of life (Rev. 22:14 (KJV)). The process of justification is a process that carries on with the Holy Spirit until the redemption of the body. This process is explained in the papers The Spirit of Adoption (No. 34); and Born Again (No. 172).

 

Justification thus leads to Sanctification or perfection and the full process is of Glorification at the redemption of the body. This is why Christ said to the Father: Glorify thou me with the glory I had with you before the world was.

 

The process of being "called" is by one of two means. God has either chosen the individual in which case the procedure applies as above or the individual has been called but not chosen and in which case one has heard the message but not been determined among the elect. God will allow the individual the spirit but it retires after failure and the individual goes to the Second Resurrection to come under judgment and correction then.

 

Thus salvation is by grace but retention of the Holy Spirit is by obedience. This is the fundamental difference between the Church of God and the Roman Catholic Church. The Church of God adheres to the Bible doctrine that retention of the Holy Spirit and salvation which is given by grace is by obedience to the laws of God.

 

The Roman Catholic Church says salvation is retained by obedience to the Roman Catholic Church (cf. Unam Sanctam) (look also at the paper Theory of the Just War (No. 110)). This distinction is necessary because in order to retain control of the Roman Empire and the Holy Roman Empire it decided to adopt pagan doctrines and the pagan calendar dispensing entirely with the laws of God.

 

To do this it had to elevate Christ to the level of a co-equal and co-eternal God with the Father as One True God. It did this by the insertion of the old Roman doctrine of the Triune God (look at the paper The Doctrine of Original Sin Part I The Garden of Eden (No. 246).

 

Thus Christ had to become God as the Father is God and hence able to insert another law system in place of that given by God through the Angel of the Presence at Sinai. This was done in spite of the NT saying that it was Christ who was in the spiritual rock in the Exodus and thus gave the law to Moses (see the paper The Pre-Existence of Jesus Christ (No. 243)).

 

The doctrines of the Roman and Orthodox and Anglican Catholic churches are a system constructed entirely by itself contrary to the laws of god. This is where Protestantism comes into real trouble. At the Reformation, instead of going back beyond Augustine and correcting the false doctrines and restoring the law and the testimony they stopped at the end of the Fourth century and failed to restore the law. They neither acknowledge the Law of God nor the dogma of the Roman Catholic system. Thus they are adrift in an antinomian wilderness trying to adjust the writings of the OT to the pagan religious system they want to follow. They have Gnostic Doctrines of Heaven and Hell and do not understand why none of it works. They are consigned to moral relativism.

 

The Orthodox are in the same boat but claim the right to alter the doctrine based on the early councils. These views all come from Greek philosophy and are prophesied. In the last days the true Hebrew system will be restored and the Greek religious system removed and destroyed. The papers The Government of God (No. 174) and also Distinction in the Law (No. 96) will be useful in understanding this process. The entire Law series including The Works of the Law Text - or MMT (No. 104) are also important.

 

Your church claims to be restoring the original Catholic faith. Could you explain some of the differences between the original Catholic Church and the Catholic Church of today?

A: The original Catholic Church believed:

1. In one True God who had nothing coeval within Himself and from him all the sons of God, including Jesus Christ, were generated.

2. In the Resurrection of the Dead and the Millennial Reign of Jesus Christ from Jerusalem.

3. It had two sacraments of the Church.

4. It kept the Bible Sabbaths, New Moons and Feasts according to the Temple Calendar.

5. It believed that the saints were those of the Church who died and were awaiting the First Resurrection at the end of this age and the beginning of the millennium at the return of Christ.

6. It believed no one had ascended into heaven save Christ who came down from heaven.

7. It believed that Christ was the being who gave the Law to Moses at Sinai and who brought Israel out of Egypt.

8. It understood Christ was born of a virgin who was a woman who had a series of children after that event and as a saint awaits the resurrection of the dead.

 

The Modern Roman Catholic Church:

1. Proclaims The God is a Triune God consisting of Father and Jesus Christ as a coeternal and coequal God with the one True God and that the Holy Spirit is not the power of God but a third personage in the Godhead. 2. Teaches the Gnostic doctrine of heaven and teaches that people go to heaven and hell and purgatory as a state in-between.

3. Teaches it has authority to create sacraments and has many manmade sacraments teaching that without membership in its body no salvation is possible. (see the paper Theory of the Just War (No. 110). It has turned the annual sacrament of the Lord's Supper into weekly Sunday communions and collects money on a weekly basis having destroyed the tithe.

4. Keeps the pagan sun calendar of Sunday worship and the festivals of Christmas and Easter which are the cults of pagan gods and encourages pagan festivals as well in the civil calendar.

5. Teaches that the saints are already in heaven; and

6. Holds that prayer to dead saints has efficacy and encourages the worship of saints and relics in the cult of the dulia and worship of Mary the so-called mother of God as hyperdulia being a nominal distinction between that form of worship and that of the cult of the latria which is reserved for the Trinity.

7. Teaches that the Law of God is eliminated in the Church and that the pope is the vicar of Christ and as such, has the power to change the lLaw through the Church; and, since the late 19th century has declared the pope as being God on earth as vicar of Christ.

8. Teaches Mariam was actually Maria or Mary and that she ascended into heaven as mother of God having no other children; and, now is attempting to make her a fourth member of the Godhead as the mother goddess. These fundamental differences are so great they cannot be the same original Church.

 

Can you explain what Apologetics are? Are they authorised by the Roman Catholic Church, or are they an 'offshoot'? I ask because I don't want to go astray from the Church of Rome.

A. Firstly apologetics is the process of arguing for a particular belief and hence The Roman Catholic Church has its own apologetics. The early Church writers wrote apologies. For example Justin Martyr wrote his First Apology to the emperor in Rome ca 150-154 CE. He told the emperor what the beliefs of the Christian Church were. The Church at Rome then believed virtually nothing of what it believes now.

 

In some Roman Catholic literature I read the comment that God gives natural life to plants and animals & man but to man he also gives a supernatural life. Obviously this then constitutes the soul which is said goes back to God when the spirit leaves the body upon death. Is it so that man has both the 'spirit of man' and the 'spirit of God'?

A: God gives man a spirit or nepesh, which goes back to God who gave it. In the words of Tatian: “Not immortal is the soul O Greeks but nevertheless it is possible for it not to die”. The doctrine of the Immortal soul is a godless and blasphemous doctrine that originated with the concept that man could go to heaven on death. This was the original way in which Christians could tell Gnostic impostors in the second century.

 

Any one who said they were Christians and that when they died they went to heaven was seen to be a Gnostic impostor and not a true Christian. That has remained the major distinction throughout the ages. It is a shibboleth of the true faith. Those who reject the soul doctrine normally have the normal doctrines of the Sabbath-keeping Churches of God. Look at the papers: The Soul (No. 92); and The Resurrection of the Dead (No. 143).

 

Could you please tell me what the significance of Vatican II was?

A: You will find a detail of information on Vatican II from the websites listed below.

Opened by John XXIII and closed by Paul VI the aim of Vatican II as espoused in the opening address of John XXIII was to declare the magisterium of the Church and to suppress error and proclaim truth. The desire was to return men to the Spiritual truth of the Faith. It was also to establish the Roman Catholic Church as the vehicle for this "restoration".

 

The fact of the matter was to continue on from the council of Trent, which restored little truth at all. The ecumenical nature of the council led to the opening of study and other matters which were later reversed in many cases.

Look at:

http://www.christusrex.org/www1/CDHN/v1.html

That will give you the opening addresses and procedures of the council.

This text is a critical rebuttal of John XXIIIs speech.

http://www.rc.net/rcchurch/vatican2/j23open.txt

We do not necessarily endorse anything said in these texts or the speech itself.

 

We should note the time frame in which John XXIII speaks. It is from the fourth century to the present. In other words from the Council of Constantinople which is the real point of origin of the Roman Catholic and Trinitarian Church.

 

Where can I find information about the great schism of the Catholic Church?

A. The schisms of the Church have been legion. The first one of the Christian Church was under the apostle John. Prior to that there had been major heresies in the Church from time to time. This is covered in the paper Heresy in the Apostolic Church (No. 89). At this time the Church did not call itself Catholic. This terminology did not come in until the end of the Second and beginning of the Third centuries.

 

The first major schism was in 192 with the Passover/Easter controversy when Easter was introduced to the Church from Rome by force. That is in the paper The Quartodeciman Disputes (No. 277). By 325 at the Council of Nicea there had seen so much pagan doctrine introduced through the worship of Attis and the Easter system that another division occurred from the Council of Nicea.

 

The family of Christ called Desposyni had visited Rome in 318 and after their discussions with the bishop of Rome the extermination of this group and the churches associated with them was ordered. This took place over the next two centuries. Look at the paper The Virgin Mariam and the Family of Jesus Christ (No. 232).

 

The detail of the Binitarian disputes and the harmonisation of the Easter system are covered in the papers The Origins of Christmas and Easter (No. 235); The Development of the Neo-Platonist Model (No. 17); Binitarianism and Trinitarianism (No. 76); and Consubstantial with the Father (No. 81).

 

This continued until the Council of Constantinople where there were other divisions, which occurred from the formation of the Trinity doctrine. As a result of this, a number of Divisions occurred. The Coptic Church severed communication from 451 after Chalcedon and has only resumed communion from 1996.

 

The Unitarian and Trinitarians wars also erupted from this time. Look at the paper The Unitarian/Trinitarian Wars (No. 268). The Sabbatarian and Quartodeciman system was separate and remained separate from this time.

Look at the papers General Distribution of the Sabbath-keeping Churches (No. 122) and The Role of the Fourth Commandment in the Historical Sabbath-keeping Churches of God (No. 170).

 

The establishment of the Christian Church was done in the east by the Sabbatarians and Nestorians. Archbishop Muese of Abyssinia established the Christian Church in China from India in the Fourth century (ibid. No. 122).

 

Schisms also developed between the Greek and Roman branches forming the Orthodox and Roman Catholic churches from the sixth century over doctrines such as the Filioque clause from the Council of Toledo at the end of the sixth century. Islam rose as a result of the Trinitarianism of Constantinople and by 632 Islam was formed and many Arab churches went into Islam. The Paulicians or Sabbatarians of Asia Minor remained in Islam and this schism remained.

 

The schisms of the eleventh century relate to the Greek Orthodox and Roman Catholic and much might be made of them. They are however merely part of a long line of schisms over introduced doctrinal changes and innovations on the part of the Church as it adapted to more national systems.

 

The Orthodox system was formed in the east and was never one great system. In fact its systems are not in accord with itself let alone Rome. Russia was converted to Orthodoxy from Constantinople in the end of the Tenth century and others followed. Thus Orthodoxy was barely even in contact with Rome let alone a great schism of the Orthodox/Roman system

 

The greatest schism was arguably the Protestant Reformation. But this itself was a reaction to the inroads being made by the Waldensian Sabbatarian system (ibid., No. 170). The two Schisms referred to in Roman Catholicism as the great Schism is the Orthodox Roman schism of 1054. The details of this Schism can be viewed at www.stjohndc.org. The other one entirely within the Roman system also termed the Great Schism was on Aug. 5, 1378 at the death of Gregory XI. This can be viewed at www.fordham.edu/

 

The proposals devised by the university of Paris at the instigation of the king to end the schism and the two-pope system it had created was undertaken in 1393. This also has its site at www.Fordham.edu/

 

Thus we might say when faced with the question of the Great Schism: yes, but which one? In all that there is only one truth and one true Church. There are many administrations and many operations but one Lord.

 

Why do non-Roman Catholics think they have an ‘assurance of Salvation’ when this is contrary to experience and Scripture?

A: The Roman Branch of the Catholic Church caused the first division in the Catholic Faith with its introduction of the Easter heresy from Anicetus in ca 150 which was opposed by Polycarp and enforced by Victor and opposed by Polycrates. As a result the Catholic Church divided. This was regarded as and is covered in the paper The Quartodeciman Disputes (No. 277)

 

The result of the introduction of the Baal- Easter heresy at Rome resulted in a large number of irregularities which placed its adherents in a serious position regarding salvation.

 

In the middle of the second century at Rome the Church met on Sabbath and Sunday. It believed that:

1. Christ was the Great Angel of the OT that gave the Law to Moses (see The Pre-Existence of Jesus Christ (No. 243);

2. Believed in the Resurrection of the Dead (see The Soul (No. 92) and The Resurrection of the Dead (No. 143); and believed that anyone who said they were Christians and that when they died they went to heaven were imposters and not Christians but Gnostics.

3. Believed that no one had ascended into heaven save Jesus Christ alone (John 3:13);

Believed that the saints were all dead awaiting the resurrection;

4. Believed that prayer was to God alone in the name of Jesus Christ;

5. Believed in adult baptism only;

6. Refused to have any acolyte serve in the Church under the age of twenty years and no officer could be appointed to the rank of sub deacon under twenty five in accordance with Bible law.

7. Appointed women as deaconesses to administer to the females of the Church.

8. Believed that adherence to the commandments of God as laid down by Jesus Christ were essential to the retention of the faith.

 

Now the Church still doing all these things is the original Catholic Church and they have an assurance of salvation. All other churches no matter how large are offshoots of the original. If they do not do these things and keep the commandments of God and the Testimony or Faith of Jesus Christ (Rev. 12:17;14:12) then they are consigned to the second resurrection.

 

No doubt this runs counter to the propaganda you have been fed and the reasons behind your asking this question. The same thinking has prompted the systematic slaughter of the adherents of the original catholic faith for centuries (see the paper The Role of the Fourth Commandment in the Historical Sabbath-keeping Churches of God (No. 170)). It is also the reasoning behind the holocaust and the systematic extermination of millions of people who did not agree with the Roman Catholic Church or its Lutheran daughter.

 

The same people created a category called Bibelforscher or Bible Researcher with an upside down purple triangle on their prison clothes. The aim was to exterminate all non RC/Lutheran Bible scholarship from Europe.

 

The aim was to get rid of the original Catholic Church from the face of the world and they almost succeeded in Europe but not quite. The new class action against the Franciscans for War Crimes in the Holocaust will reveal even more of this mindless horror.

 

I have dealt with the end of the system in the work the Last Pope using Roman Catholic Prophecy itself and examining that against the Bible and other secular prophecy. See the paper The Last Pope: Examining Nostradamus and Malachy (No. 288) and also the Significance of the Year 2000 (No. 286).

 

Those who are keeping the Commandments of God and the Testimony or faith of Jesus Christ have every assurance of Salvation. Those who are not no matter how powerful their organisation is and no matter how many people they kill in anger to silence them will not inherit the kingdom of God. For we perceive that God is no respecter of persons.

 

True Church

Is the Catholic Church the true Church, as founded by Jesus Christ?

A: When you say Catholic Church you need to be more specific. There is an original Catholic Church and there are the Roman Catholic Church; the Orthodox Church, which also has branches; and there is the Anglican Church which is a Catholic Church and has branches in the UK and the British Commonwealth and Episcopalian elements in North America. Which is it do you mean?

 

The Roman Catholic Church - The Council of Trent defined that the sacraments, of which they hold there are seven, of the "New Law" of the Church, were instituted by Christ (Sess.VII, can i). The Roman Catholic Church holds that God alone is the principal cause of the Sacraments. He alone authoritatively and by innate power can give to external material rites the power to confer grace on men (Cath. Encyc. Sacraments, Vol.XIII, p. 298). The Church then holds that Christ as God, equally with the Father, possessed this principal, authoritative, innate power (ibid. pp. 298-299). 

 

The Council of Trent however, did not define explicitly and formally that all the sacraments were instituted immediately by Christ. The Great theologians of the councils held that the apostles had instituted the other sacraments (ibid.). In fact grave doubts were expressed about confirmation and extreme unction (ibid.). Thomas rejects the opinion that confirmation was initiated by the apostles making it a function of the Paraclete after the ascension of Christ on Pentecost. The Council of Trent defined that the sacrament of Extreme Unction was instituted by Christ and promulgated by James (Sess. XIV can.i).  Some theologians such as Becanus, Bellarmine, Vasquez, Gonet thought the words of the council (Sess VII, can 1) were explicit enough to make the immediate institution of all seven sacraments by Christ a matter of defined faith. They are opposed by the theologian of the council Soto, and then Estius, Gotti, Tournley, Berti, Thus the council held, and now the Church holds, that it is theologically certain but not defined (de fide) immediately instituted all the sacraments of the New Law. All of the Catholic churches in all branches are agreed that the two sacraments he did institute were Baptism and the Lord's Supper.

 

The Anglican (Catholic) Church, from the Reformation, and elements among it beforehand, held there were two sacraments and the five lesser sacraments were just that and not of the Church. The Council of Trent held that the Catholic Church in its eastern and western churches had seven sacraments. These were: baptism, confirmation, Holy Eucharist, penance, extreme unction, orders and matrimony. This same view was expressed in the Decree for the Armenians in the Council of Florence (1439); the confession of faith of Michael Palaeologus to Gregory X at the Council of Lyons (1274); and the Council of London (1237) under Otto papal legate (ibid. p. 299).

 

The first to actually adopt seven sacraments, as the sacraments of the Church, is held by some to be Otto of Bamburg, the "Apostle of Pomerania" who was the first to clearly adopt the number seven as the sacraments of the Church in 1139 (ibid.). However, the Roman Church holds it was probably Peter Lombard (d. 1164), who, in his fourth Book of Sentences (d,i n,2), defines the sacrament as a sacred sign which not only signifies but also causes grace and then (in d, ii, n, 1) enumerates the seven sacraments. The later councils were necessary because the seven were never accepted as true sacraments by a great multitude in the nation states. They had not been advanced in a thousand years and were the product of the Church in this millennium. The objections are obvious from the history of doctrines. The assertion of the two in baptism and the Lord’s Supper are clear. They were instituted by Christ and contained in the Bible. All are in agreement on this point. The Lord's Supper was wrongly converted to the weekly Eucharist and that is objected to from the Passover/Easter dispute (see The Quartodeciman Disputes (No. 277)).

 

Penance is not a doctrine of the NT Church and all sin rests on the grace of God. Rehabilitation is laid down under the Law of God, which Christ did not change. Not one jot or tittle has passed from the law. Thus objection is raised to this decree. Confirmation is a right that the apostles reserved in the case of the Samaritan baptisms in Acts for a specific reason and is not a necessary sacrament unless reserved by the elders in specific cases as we see from the actions of the Holy Spirit with Philip and the Ethiopian Eunuch at Acts 8.  The others have no Bible basis. The Resurrection of the Dead in the first or the second resurrection is not a function or decision of the Church and rests on the judgment of God through Jesus Christ. The early Church rejected the entire concept of the immortal soul in heaven and hell as a godless and blasphemous doctrine.

 

Marriage is a right and rite of the nations and the Bible is clear that marriage was defined and God given long before the Church came into existence and from the very beginning. Orders have the same objections and were originally the product of election solely for the performance of the two sacraments. Thus there were a variety of answers to the question as the Church adopted and invented doctrine to further other aims and objectives.

 

When Christ gave Peter the keys of the kingdom of heaven what authority was Peter given? Are the Catholics correct in stating Peter was the first pope especially in reference to Matthew 16:18-19?

A: The text has been misconstructed to justify Roman domination through the Church. No, He did not give Peter any authority to change the law. Peter was never a pope.

 

The text uses the Petros Petra distinction where Peter was acknowledged as the moveable pebble or petros but it was on the rock that was God that Christ was going to build his Church of which he was the chief cornerstone and the apostles were the foundation. It is absurd to suggest that Christ would rest on a rock that was one of his own apostles, who at that time was not even converted. It shows no understanding of what is happening in the construction of the City of God and the naos which Temple or Naos we are. Look at the paper The City of God (No. 180) and also the Statement of Beliefs of the Christian Faith (No. A1).

 

Look at the list of the Popes in the paper Annex A (No. 288a) for the elders of Rome and then the popes that grew from that system. The Bible is quite clear that if any person does not speak according to the Law and the testimony there is no light in them. If Peter changed the law he would have been disqualified from the kingdom and the First Resurrection. He kept the law and taught others to do so.

 

The question of whether or not Peter was ever in Rome is a very serious one and most scholars are now of the view that he was never in Rome and certainly he was never a pope. The term Pope was applied to the heads of major sees in the third century. The term applied to the head of congregations in Rome in the middle of the second century was "president" as we see from Justin Martyr.

 

The view that he was in Rome comes from the text in his epistle where he writes from "Babylon". Rome was traditionally identified with Babylon. Look at the paper Annex A (No. 288a) for the accepted lists of the bishops of Rome and the founders of the Church there. This paper is an appendix to the paper The Last Pope: Examining Nostrdamus and Malachy (No. 288).

 

The word kai is here emphatic which should be seen as making the sense distinct from what preceded it. Thus in English we would say "but" instead of "and". However, ‘On this Petra I will build my Church and the gates of death shall not prevail against it’. The Petra or Rock, the Sur in Hebrew is God. God is our Sur on which the Church is built with Christ and the chief cornerstone and the apostles are the foundation.

 

I read somewhere that in the Decree on Ecumenism the Roman Catholic Church makes it clear that it considers itself to be the one true Church of Jesus Christ. Apparently all other churches lost something through separating from the main historical tree - which is said to be the RC Church. Do you agree?

A: The Bible is quite clear. If they do not speak according to the Law and the testimony there is no light in them (Isa. 8:20). Thus a church that seeks to modify the Law of God with traditions ceases to be the true Church. The saints are those who keep the Commandments of God and the Testimony or Faith of Jesus Christ (Rev. 12:17; 14:12).

 

Thus the Church, (or churches as there are many operations and administrations but one Lord), are those people that are still doing what Christ told them to do and what he and the apostles did. That is the faith once delivered to the saints to which Jude, the brother of Christ, refers.

 

Christ is said to have given his Church a way of offering his sacrifice with him for all time - namely the Eucharist in the mass. He supposedly offered himself at the Passover meal (bread and wine) and continues to offer himself in this way using men.

 

I know some who believe the Catholic Church is infallible based on 1Timothy 3:15 and Matthew 16:18. How do I know where and what the true Church is?

A: The Church is the house of God, the Church of the living God, the pillar and ground of truth. Thus it is based on the truth and not on lies and the traditions of men. The gates of the grave have not prevailed against it as Christ promised Peter. This Church has been persecuted mercilessly by the dragon who was wrath with the seed of the woman. The earth helped the woman for 1260 years and hid her from the wrath of the dragon.

 

The Church can be seen by its seed, which are the saints. The saints are those who keep the commandments of God and the Testimony or Faith of Jesus Christ. The Fifth Seal of Revelation shows that the saints are persecuted in two major phases over 1260 years and over the last days this has been the period since the end of WWI and on after WWII.

 

The Church is tested by its doctrines. If they do not speak according to the law and the Testimony there is no light in them (Isa. 8:20). Thus any church that speaks contrary to the Law of God and places the traditions of men above the Laws of God is a false church.

 

The Church has continued for two thousand years doing what Christ and the apostles did and have continued doing that despite horrific persecution by other Christians. Look at the paper The Role of the Fourth Commandment in the Historical Sabbath-keeping Churches of God (No. 170). Look also at the book Kohn-Cox, Sabbatarians in Transylvania, CCG Publishing, 1998.

 

The doctrine of Papal infallibility was declared in the 19th century and no one seriously believes it except the gullible credulous of society. It has declared infallibly that the earth is flat and Galileo Galilei is infallibly a heretic because he said it is round. To reinstate him would go against the doctrine of papal infallibility. The furthest John XXIII dared go was to declare him one of Italy's greatest sons.

 

The Church is the pillar and ground of truth keeping the Commandments of God and the Testimony or Faith of Jesus Christ (Rev. 12:17; 14:12).

 

Society

Has there been a decline in attendance in the Catholic churches and, if so, to what is it attributed?

A: There has been a decline in attendance in all of the branches of Catholicism, Roman, Orthodox and Anglican. The decline in the Orthodox systems in the East occurred under the Communists but the resurgence of religious studies there are bringing the Orthodox system back into some greater relevance. The decline in the west is being offset by a rise in paganism in the UK (150,000 as of this year) and a charismatic form of religion in the US.

 

People are becoming more materialist and Ethical Relativism is affecting all areas. Christianity as it has been presented by the Mainstream system can not survive the critical examination of Science and Archaeology.

 

There is also deliberate and systematic attack being made on Christianity by the New Word Order advocates. What is being substituted is a form of Process Theology and a false system of evolutionary theory. The presentation of data is skewed against any Bible explanation deliberately and the average person does not see the reality of it.

 

In addition there are pressures for change within the organisations. The rise of the monastic orders of the twelfth century and the enforced celibacy is coming to an end and there is growing pressure on Rome to remove this self-inflicted wound.

 

The numbers of Roman Catholic Priests are diminishing. Also people are finding out more and more about what went on in Europe during the Holocaust and the Inquisitions and it is simply disgusting people with both RC and Lutheran forms of Catholicism. To offset this appeal is being made to the mystical and to Mariolatry among the credulous.

 

Catholicism in China receives official support while the others are persecuted and so there is a slight balance there in comparison to the Sabbatarian and Pentecostals Churches. Hindu persecution in India favours the major Catholic systems. Also Islam is making some inroads. Islam is larger that Catholicism but smaller than Christianity which has 2 Billion adherents.

 

What is your definition of a cult, and does Roman Catholicism fit into that definition.

A: The word cult comes from the Latin word cultus. It has the sense of meaning to worship. Hence all religions are cults. The system of worship in the Roman Catholic system is divided into the cult of the Latria and the cult of the Dulia. The Latria is centred on the worship of God and Christ.

 

The worship or veneration of the saints is termed the cult of the Dulia. The worship or veneration of Mary is termed the cult of hyper dulia. Thus this is an elevation above the veneration of the saints and below that given to God and Christ.

 

The word cult has now been isolated to cover those systems that are not in favour with the world religious system. That is not its true and original meaning. Unfortunately the capacity to urge people to levels of hate with emotive language is an art form now with the Europeans system. The Holocaust of the 20th century was a deliberate exercise in race and religious control to the level of Genocide. It will continue. The paper The Cult Mentality (No. 74) explains this aspect in more detail.

 

Was the Catholic Church right in declaring the year 2000 a Jubilee year?

A: The errors behind the dating system that arrives at 2000 as a jubilee was explained in the paper The Significance of the Year 2000 (No. 286). Why is it that people will do anything rather than obey God and follow the laws he gave us through Jesus Christ at Sinai.

 

The Roman Catholic Church is not the entire Catholic Church despite what some people here think. Moreover, literally millions of Catholics disagree with the views of these Roman Catholics here.

 

I'm starting to realize that your typical Catholic has been lied to and duped for many years. My question to you is: why do you think so many people just blindly follow what they are told to do, i.e. traditions of men, without taking a little bit of time to find out where their traditions and beliefs come from? Are we as a people just plain lazy? 

A: Most people trust those above them. Many are brought up believing the traditional Trinitarian system. When they read the Bible and start to study they realise that what the Bible says we should be doing is totally opposite to what the Mainstream system is doing.

 

If we ask priests why we did what we did they say we just decided to that, or the Church decided to do that. It became obvious to me that I had been lied to all my life. When we start to study we begin to unravel the enormous horror of the history of the faith.

 

Not only have these people changed the Christian Faith completely they killed every one of the people who tried to expose the truth. Look at the paper The Role of the Fourth Commandment in the Historical Sabbath-keeping Churches of God (No. 170).

 

They attack and slander where they cannot actually kill. The Holocaust started in Europe early in the twentieth century. The Europeans actually killed 122,000 Africans as a warm-up.

The New class action against the Franciscans for war crimes will reveal more horror of the Holocaust in Europe and especially Croatia.

 

Most people are frightened. Some just do not care. Most do not know the truth and anyone who does publish the truth is subject to all sorts of vilification .

 

Most of our history has been deliberately rewritten or obscured to hide the truth. Europe was plunged into the dark ages to establish this false religious system. We will keep publishing and keep informing people of the truth. Only the truth will set you free. Keep studying and do not be afraid to expose these lies and hypocrisy.

 

What do you mean that the mainstream Christian religion will be overcome by paganism in the not too distant future?

A. To the extent that they will fuse with it and then the pagan systems will grow until the witnesses arrive and the Nexus of the Law is restored; unless we repent of course.

 

Catholic teaching appears to be such that to prevent children being conceived by using contraception (other than the approved rhythm method) is to prevent love from achieving what it seeks to do i.e. create life. I guess they are really saying that it is a sin to make love if you are preventing procreation during that act. This seems to be a terrible burden to place on a marriage. Does the Bible have anything to say about family planning?

A: The arguments regarding this position come from a series of philosophical positions regarding the natural objective or use of a thing. Thus the object or purpose of sex is procreation therefore it must always be used for that purpose. The argument regarding Onan is often used to censure masturbation and failure to procreate. However, that is not why God killed Onan. God killed Onan because he failed to carry out the Levirate law through greed and provide offspring to his dead brother as required under the law. The Church had to introduce that doctrine based on a misinterpretation of Onan's sin because they were interfering with the laws of inheritance themselves. This matter is examined in the paper The Sin of Onan (No. 162).

 

There is no doubt that we are to have children and we were asked to go forth and multiply. Logically there can be no difference to whatever method of contraception is used if the purpose is to prevent contraception. If the Church endorses the rhythm method it endorses contraception and we are merely arguing as to the most practical method. The Church in fact, seems to have introduced this argument as a political exercise to martial more numerous groups. Now with the spread of AIDS they are having to re-examine the case regarding condoms for contraception.

 

The Bible is silent on contraception however, whilst the purpose is to have children the Bible also makes it abundantly clear that the man should be content with the breasts of his youth. That does not mean being content that they are full of milk. Sex was obviously made for pleasure in a married relationship or at least it seems that way to most people. It certainly causes enough trouble on that account of pleasurability. This falls under the head of another man made rule that is unworkable.

 

Though I was brought up Catholic there were many things I did not understand. Where did the concept of the Kingdom of God being set up in one's heart come from?

A: The kingdom of God is the Holy Spirit given to you on baptism. This became the power of God to become all in all (Eph. 4:6) and the capacity for us all to become Gods or elohim which was the original doctrine of the Catholic Church. Look at the paper The Elect as Elohim (No. 1).

 

The retention of this aspect with the obedience to the commandments and the concept of adult baptism meant that when the Church at Rome began infant baptism then the transforming grace of the Holy Spirit became minimised and the concept then was simply "the kingdom of God is in your heart" whereas it is in fact that the whole nature of the person is taken over by the Holy Spirit. Look at the papers The Holy Spirit (No. 117) and Consubstantial with the Father (No. 81).

 

Do you agree or disagree? The Church of England (Anglican) was founded by King Henry in 1534, because the Pope could not grant him a divorce with the right to remarry? That the Roman Catholic Church was founded in the year 33? That’s Roman Catholic Church or the universal church.

A: The Catholic Church was founded with Adam and was with the patriarchs and the prophets. Christ, as the Great Angel of the OT, gave the law to Moses to govern Israel which was his inheritance. The Church in Rome taught this doctrine in the second century (see Justin Martyr, First Apology and the paper Early Theology of the Godhead (No. 127). We still teach this doctrine. The Church commenced as an entity open to the Gentiles in 30 CE not 33 CE. The Orthodox Catholic Church started in 381. The Roman Catholic Church was a product of the schism of the Orthodox Church. The Church in England was founded in the first century and was well established when Tertullian wrote in the second century. It was brought under Roman Catholic domination from the conversion of the Angles in 597 CE and the Synod of Whitby in 663 and threat of arms. Look at the paper The Quartodeciman Disputes (No. 277) The Roman Catholic Church did not have any real power until 590 CE. Look at the paper The Unitarian/Trinitarian Wars (No. 268). The original Church system was underground then for centuries. Look at the paper The Role of the Fourth Commandment in the Historical Sabbath-keeping Churches of God (No. 170).

 

The Christian Church which is the Original Catholic Church severed communion with the Church that was at Rome in 192 during the Quartodeciman Disputes after the failure of Polycrates to persuade Victor of his heresy in trying to enforce the pagan Easter system. Polycarp had stayed the schism but also failed to persuade Anicetus when he introduced the heresy ca 150-152. The Church in England was Quartodeciman following the disciples of the apostles and particularly John who was the last apostle. John handed over to Polycarp who handed over to Polycrates. Thus the official line of the apostles rests in the Sabbath-keeping Churches of God and not with Rome.

 

I was reading a text but did not fully understand the concept. What does sedevcante mean?

A: Sedevacante is a term used in the administration of a diocese. Sedevacante is the vacancy that occurs when a diocese that has no cathedral chapter becomes vacant by the resignation, death or removal of a bishop. Where a cathedral chapter exists it will elect a vicar capitular to administer the diocese. Otherwise an administrator must be appointed to administer the diocese until confirmed by Rome.

 

In Missionary countries the bishop of vicar apostolic may himself designate the future administrator of the diocese or vicariate. If he neglects to do so the nearest bishop or vicar apostolic, or in the US by the Metropolitan and in his absence by the senior bishop of the province.

 

In China and East India if no provision for a provicar is made by the vicar apostolic then the priest longest in the mission becomes vicar apostolic of the vicariate. In case of doubt or other difficulties the decision rests with the nearest vicar apostolic.

 

When a vacancy occurs on resignation he may be appointed by Rome Administrator of the same diocese until his successor takes possession of it. When a diocese is divided the bishop may become administrator of the new diocese until the new one is appointed or if transferred to the new diocese remain administrator of the old until a bishop is appointed to the vacant see. (Catholic Encyc. "Administrator" Vol. 1:143).

 

A short while ago you explained what sedevacante was which was very helpful. But I was wondering what a Secevantist is? A: The explanation I gave was the traditional Roman Catholic definition of the term Sedevacante. That is the vacation of a diocese by its bishop either on resignation, death or removal.

 

Sedevacantist however is a different kettle of fish as we might say. There has arisen in the Roman Catholic Church an ultra orthodox body that has rejected all the modern innovations as a result of Vatican II. Most if not every single Sedevacantist hold that the diocese of Rome is now vacant and sedevacante.

 

They hold John Paul II to be an anti-pope. In fact the entire list of popes from John XXIII are held by many to be liberals at the very least and many of the Sedevacantists hold them all from John XXIII to John Paul II to be invalid anti-popes.

 

They also view the Jesuit order as an apostate order. Some even view Opus Dei as a joke. On this new definition of Sedevacante we would hold the diocese of Rome to have been Sedevacante from 192 CE when Victor enforced the Easter heresy.

 

The real problem is that the Roman Church is so divided as to doctrines and so hopelessly compromised by Gnostic and Pagan traditions that it has ceased to be a cohesive Church.

 

The Sedevacantists are the spearhead of a new counter-reformation in the Roman Catholic Church which is in reality a new Inquisition in the formation. You will see and hear more of these elements as the drama of the beast and the whore unfolds.

 

The Church is going to be purified in fire over the next twenty-seven years. What emerges the other side in the Millennium will be nothing like the Church as it is today. It will be taken back twenty centuries to the original doctrines and purged with hyssop. Look at the paper Outline Timetable of the Age (No. 272).

 

In reading the sections on Pacifism in The Catholic Encyclopaedia, it seems to give a conflicting explanation. Could you shed some light on this dilemma?

A: First there is the statement that war is contrary to the teaching of the Gospels, but then it goes on to set forth conditions for the theory of entering into a "Just War". This seems to be a contradiction to me. Just War Theory is explained in the paper Theory of the Just War (No. 110).

 

The Theory of the Just war is a production of the Roman Catholic System that is under review at present. War is a part of human life that is a result or product of the planet under the god of this world and it has been made necessary by disobedience to the laws of God. Only when Israel was evil or failed in its relationship with God was it sent into captivity or plagued by war.

 

The wars of the last century are typified by the wars at the end of the forty years in the wilderness between Israel and Amalek. Moses needed his arms held up by Aaron and Hur. Joshua was the physical instrument as war leader. Look at the paper on Theory of the Just War (No. 110) for the details of the doctrine and the position of Unam Sanctam.

 

7…The Sacraments

Can you explain the sacraments of the Church?

A: Originally there were only two sacraments of the Church. These were baptism and the Lord's Supper, which was carried out at the Passover once a year on 14 Nisan or 14 Abib.  Marriage was not considered a sacrament of the Church as all marriages were recognised from Adam and preceded the Church by four thousand years. It was thus absurd to suggest that only the Church could conduct valid marriage ceremonies. In fact that was not advanced in the early centuries.

 

The Church did not believe in heaven and hell and purgatory, seeing them as pagan or Gnostic doctrines. Thus the concept of requiring consecration and absolution before death to enter heaven and avoid purgatory was dismissed as a godless and blasphemous doctrine by the early Christians. The belief in the resurrection of the dead and the total dependence on God saw no sacrament in this other than the decency of burial of the dead. Often the Church did not get that due to persecution The Bible position on the sacraments is explained in the paper The Sacraments of the Church (No. 150).

 

Eucharist

How does the bread and the wine become the body and blood of Christ in the celebration of the Eucharist? 

A: The Greek term Eucharist[ia] was used in Rome. The earliest reference we have allegedly attributed to Clement (ca 101) is said to use the verbal form generally by way of giving thanks but a reading of the reference given for Clement (CE article Mass, Vol IX, p. 791) is speaking only of the necessity to provide for the wants of the poor in humility. He speaks only of bishops and deacons also as was the NT practice.

 

The earliest real reference claimed for the Mass is Justin Martyr and he is held to speak of the Mass in the sense of giving thanks and also in the liturgy but we have seen directly above that there was no Liturgy of the Mass at all proceedings being according to the direction and ability of the president. References are made to First Apology lxv, 3, 5; lxvi, s1; lxvii, 5. In these texts Justin gives the description of the Eucharist however it is clearly in this text not a weekly service but the service following baptism of the adult. He rejects the entire false doctrine of the Triune God as Jupiter [and Juno] and Proserpine or Corah (Kore) and the Minerva as the immaculately conceived daughter of Jupiter.

 

He says the Eucharist occurs after they have washed him who has been convinced and assented to our teaching bring him to the place where our brethren are assembled in order that we may offer hearty prayers in common, for ourselves and for the baptised person and others in every place, that we may be counted worthy, now that we have learned the truth, by our works also to be found good citizens and keepers of the commandments, so that we may be saved with an everlasting salvation (ibid. lxv).

 

This practice follows the normal pre-Passover baptisms but here it seems to perhaps follow directly as a service on the baptism. He continues: "Having ended the prayers we salute one another with a kiss Then there is brought to the president of the brethren bread and a cup of wine mixed with water; and he taking them gives praise and glory to the father of the universe, through the name of the son and of the Holy Spirit and offers thanks at considerable length for our being counted worthy to receive these things at his hands.

 

He says that now they have learned the truth by their works also they are to be found good citizens and keepers of the commandments. Thus acknowledged and kept the commandments of God. When they give thanks and all assent they then all take of the bread and wine which is distributed by the deacons and portions are carried to the absent. This follows the Sunday alms service routine also. He calls this the Eucharist (Eucharistia) of which no one is allowed to take but the person who believes the faith and has been baptised and who is living as Christ has enjoined. The bread and wine is not received as common bread and wine but as the body and blood of Christ. In this text here at lxvi he says the Mithras mysteries also have imitated this rite with bread and a cup of water and certain incantation in the mystic rites. Thus the rejection of the wine and its substitution with water or juice is in fact a derivation of the mystery cults and Mithraism directly.

 

He then describes the weekly meetings we have seen above and so the section ends as a plea and encloses a copy of the epistle of the Emperor Adrian the father of the person to whom this text is written The Emperor Titus Aelius, Adrianius, Antoninus, Pius, Augustus Caesar. It is obvious that the text is a construction to create sympathetic consideration in judgment and that is why the meeting of the Day of the Sun is emphasised on this text over the Sabbath we see kept and mentioned in the Dialogue with Trypho.

 

The Eucharist was not any form of the mass the Roman Catholic Church has since adopted and changed over the centuries. It was used here at baptisms and for alms collections on Sundays. The term Eucharist is gradually superseded by the term Missa for the whole rite. The first use of this term (as Missam facere coepi) was by Ambrose (d. 397) (CE ibid.). The Unitarians did not keep this form. Soldiers were sent (allegedly by the Unitarians) to break up the service of Ambrose which he refers to as a Missa, which obviously was seen as part of the liturgy of the Triune system in 385 and 386. The alleged use of it by Pius in Rome (ca 142-157) is admitted to be highly suspect by Catholic authorities and there is no evidence for its use until Ambrose.

 

How does the bread and the wine become the body and blood of Christ? Did Christ mean by the act of footwashing that he performed at the Lord's Supper to be enacted every time one partook of the Eucharist?

A: Yes, he did mean that the act of footwashing was to be done each time one partook of the Bread and Wine now called Eucharist. That does not mean that we have to wash feet once a week. It means we should only be taking the bread and wine once a year at the Lord's Supper (see the paper The Lord's Supper (No. 103); God's Calendar (No. 156) and The Holy Days of God (No. 97). The doctrine of Transubstantiation where the bread and wine becomes the actual body and blood of Christ is scientifically not substantiable. It is a spiritual event that ties the baptized person into the Body of Christ which is the group of the elect called the Church symbolized by the bread, and the wine is the blood which symbolizes the activities of the Holy Spirit within the body which is Christ and which is the life blood of the Church.

 

At what age should children receive their first communion?

A: Their first communion should be as a baptised adult of approximately twenty years of age. They should be properly counseled in the faith and have the need for repentance impressed upon them and then baptised into the body of Jesus Christ. Their communion should be an annual Lord's Supper taken in all consideration after having been duly prepared in accordance with the Bible Laws and sequence. Look at Repentance and Baptism (No. 52) and the other papers that deal with this subject including The Lord's Supper (No. 103).

 

Baptism

Roman Catholic literature states that there is such a thing as 'baptism of desire'. Some people are purported to love God sincerely but are not aware of the need for baptism. In these circumstances the Roman Catholic Church says 'Jesus gives the new life of grace directly to them' (i.e. these dedicated people) quoting John 14:21 as evidence for this. Is this an acceptable solution for not being baptised?

A: No, John 14:21 is saying that if you love God you will keep His commandments and then Christ will manifest himself to that person and draw him to himself. The Roman Catholics have a doctrine of the Baptism of Blood and this doctrine of Baptism of Desire. It is directly contrary to Scripture.

 

Israel longed for the Holy Spirit but it was denied to all but a chosen few of the prophets. Even the baptism of John was inadequate. It must be the baptism of the Holy Spirit in the Church as the Body of Christ and as a repentant person. This is carried out in the Name of the Father into the body of the Son asked in the name of the Son, in and by the power of the Holy Spirit.

 

God calls these people and places them in the Church. The doctrines developed by later Roman Catholicism had to be varied to adjust to the heretical and Gnostic doctrines of heaven and hell and thence of purgatory and limbo.

 

In christening babies, do churches generally make a distinction between babies born out of wedlock and babies conceived or born within a traditional marital relationship? If so, why?

A: The situation appears to be changing daily. There are many churches that will not baptise infants at all. This is on the grounds that the original Church did not practice infant baptism and it is totally dependent upon the capacity of the individual to come into repentance.

 

Of the churches that do allow infant baptism some deny baptism to children born out of wedlock. This is now being compounded by the problems of society in day to day situations as divorce and defacto relationships become more common.

 

The situation now is such that the Roman Catholic Church for example which once did not recognise divorce and remarriage and would deny baptism to children of such unions is hopelessly divided on the issue.

 

There is evidence that not only do the practices vary between diocese but actually within the diocese themselves. Not only are children baptised from divorced and remarried parents but also from those living in defacto relationships.

 

It appears that the single mother is next and it is a matter of shopping around until you get a priest or minister that allows baptism for whatever infant category you need.

 

Many take the rational approach that it can hardly be the fault of the infant as to the circumstances of its birth. Indeed the doctrine of original sin demands that it is born in a state of sin in any case. Picking and choosing the types of sin in which its parents find themselves is bizarre reasoning. This merely highlights the absurdity of infant baptism and the rules surrounding it.

 

Why doesn’t the Catholic Church baptize by total immersion and why do they baptize infants?

A: The answer is that the Catholic Church does baptise by total immersion and does not baptise infants and has followed that custom for two thousand years. The Roman Catholic, Orthodox and later Anglican systems which constitute most of the Catholic Church changed the practice.

 

In fact the last great Unitarian Catholic baptistery was built at Ravenna in 525 in the same year Dionysius Exiguus misdated the calendar (see the paper Significance of the Year 2000 (No. 286). The Copts retained their position after the split of 451 and have only just gone back into communion with Rome. Look at the paper Purification and Circumcision (No. 251) for a more detailed examination of the problem of Baptism and Circumcision. The Copts reunion is also examined in the paper The Fall of Egypt (No. 36): The Prophecy of Pharaoh’s Broken Arms.

 

The Latin term baptisterium is applied to the tank containing the water for baptism. Baptism is derived from the Greek bapto and baptizo meaning to wash and to immerse or submerge, often by dipping repeatedly. Look at The New Thayers Greek English Lexicon under Baptizo. It is defined as an immersion in water performed as a sign of the removal of sin.

 

You will find a passage in Justin Martyr (First Apology) concerning the baptising of the adult converts to Christianity and what they did. There is no doubt that early baptism was by immersion. Usually this rite was prevalent before Passover. It was also usually within a river or pool.

 

On the conversion to the pagan Easter system and from the addition of the Eucharist which we see entered Christianity in Rome at the time of the introduction of Easter we see this process transferred. The Catholic Encyclopaedia Vol. II, p. 276 makes note of these early procedures and the meaning of the terms but fails to properly explain the transition. Baptisteries were always separate to the Church because they were by full immersions and the bath structure and drainage was required. However, the shape of the Latin baptisteries were usually derived for the Roman circular Temples or tombs, and the earliest know baptistery, the Lateran, was erected during the time of Constantine.

 

The baptisteries were modified by moving the columns of the Temples into the walls as supports. Other than that they followed the pagan architecture and we must look at this source for the developments.

 

The Eucharist of Bread and Water is rite of the god Mithras of which Constantine participated. He was baptised a Unitarian on his deathbed by the Unitarian bishop Eusebius of Nicomedia. Their baptism and rites took part in caverns administered from above.

 

In the Roman world from the fourth century on these baptisteries seemed to have been round or polygonal. In the Lateran we see the inner octagonal shape with a second level over the octagon supported by it.

 

When infant baptism became the norm the fonts were included within the Church. The Quartodeciman Catholics continued to baptise by full immersion (look at The Quartodeciman Disputes (No. 277)). All the Churches of God and Baptists generally do so to this day.

 

Baptism was established as the First Sacrament of the Church being necessary to entry and receipt of the Holy Spirit (see the paper The Sacraments of the Church (No. 150)). The Roman Catholic Church also holds it as first of the Sacraments from the Bull "Exulte Deo" by Eugene IV termed "The Decree for the Armenians" and also the decree of the council of Florence (see also CE vol. II, p. 258).

 

The Council of Trent anathematised a number of teachings on baptism. These are that: "The baptism on John (the precursor) has the same efficacy as the baptism of Christ. True and natural water is not necessary for baptism, and therefore the words of our Lord Jesus Christ 'unless a man be bore again of water and the Holy [Spirit]' are metaphorical. The true doctrine of the Sacrament of Baptism is not taught by the Roman Church. Baptism given by heretics (i.e. those not in communion with Rome) in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy [Spirit] with the intention of performing what the Church performs is not true baptism. Baptism is free, that is, not necessary for salvation. A baptised person, even if he wishes it cannot lose grace, no matter how much he sins unless he refuses to believe. Those who are baptised are obliged only to have faith, but not to observe the whole Law of Christ. Baptised persons are not obliged to observe all the precepts of the Church, written and traditional, unless of their own accord they wish to submit to them. All vows made after baptism are void by reason of the promises made in baptism itself because by these vows injury is done to the faith, which has been professed in baptism and to the sacrament itself. All sins committed after baptism are either forgiven or rendered venial by the sole remembrance of the baptism that has been received. Baptism although truly and properly administered, must be repeated in the case of a person whom has denied the faith of Christ before infidels and has been brought again to repentance. No one is to be baptised except at the age that Christ was baptised or at the moment of death. Infants, not being able to make an act of faith, are not to be reckoned among the faithful after their baptism, and therefore when they come to the age of discretion they are to be rebaptised; or it is better to omit their baptism entirely than to baptise them as believing on the sole faith of the Church, when they themselves cannot make a proper act of faith. Those baptised as infants are to be asked when grown up, whether they wish to ratify what their sponsors had promised for them at their baptism; and if they reply that they do not wish to do so they are to be left to their own will in the matter and not to be forced by penalties to lead a Christian life, except to be deprived of the reception of the Eucharist and of the other sacraments until they reform (cf. CE ibib., p. 259).

 

Thus the doctrines of the Council of Trent show a continual dispute as to the matter of infant baptism. It also shows another variation which sought to place it back to the time Christ was baptised at over thirty years which is the age to become an elder of the Church based on Bible Law.

 

Originally the Acolytes (now termed Altar Boys) of the Church could not be placed in training until they were twenty which was the biblical age of manhood and decision. They could not be ordained as sub deacons until they were twenty-five and they could not become elders of the Church until thirty. Look at the question on Altar Boys (Acolytes) on this forum for details there.

 

This reduction in the age of Acolytes reflects also the reduction in the age of baptism. Up until Nicea the Unitarian Catholics and the Binitarian Catholics from which the Roman Catholic Church came did not have a dispute about the validity of each other’s baptism. The nomenclature covered the concepts of the name of the Father and of or into the body of the son in the power or name of the Holy Spirit. These three elements were considered essential.

 

The Montanists introduced the error of baptising into the name of the Father and the Son and the name of Montanus and Priscilla. The council of Laodicea ordered their rebaptism. (CE p. 263). This same council also anathematised the Sabbath.

 

At this time the Trinity had not been formed and the Holy Spirit was simply considered the power of God and not as person so there could be no dispute about the name of the Holy Spirit being understood as the third person of the Trinity and that is why it was not in issue at Nicea in 325. It was not formulated until 381 at Constantinople.

 

Two branches of the so-called Arians The Spanish branch which introduced the heresy of the creation of the Holy Spirit by the son, and the Anomeans who also introduced that wording regarding the creation of the spirit by the son in the baptismal formula.

 

The wording for the Anomeans was:

In the name of the Uncreated God and in the name of the created son and in the name of the sanctifying spirit, procreated by the created Son (Epiphanius, Her., 77). This is what Augustine and Jerome refer to as the "Arian" baptism of the "Creator and the creatures".

 

This was a later introduced error. By the fifth century they were in error in all branches. The papacy under Stephen I declared all baptism valid even if it was given in the name of Jesus Christ only. Cyprian notes this and Firmilian in his letter to Cyprian holds that Stephen really required that and specific mention of the Trinity was required because he held that the invocation of the names of the Father the Son and Then Holy Spirit were required which is nonsense or he would not have made such a decree (cf. CE ibib. p. 263).

 

This was based on the early concepts: Ambrose says that if you name one of them you name them all (Lib. I, De Sp. S., iii).

"If you say Christ you have designated God the Father, by whom the son was anointed, and him who was anointed son, and the Holy Spirit in whom he was anointed."

 

This is the original understanding that The Holy Spirit was the power of God that anointed Christ. The Sabbath-keeping Church of God has tried to keep to the original position as far as possible. Look at the papers General Distribution of the Sabbath-keeping Churches of God (No. 122) and The Role of the Fourth Commandment in the Historical Sabbath-keeping Churches of God (No. 170).

 

Infant baptism is non-effective as a rite. The reasons for its introduction are in Purification and Circumcision (No. 251).

 

It is my understanding that the Catholic belief regarding infant baptism is that all of us are born under the sin of our first parents, Adam and Eve, and that to be cleansed of this sin we must be baptised. I can see no evidence of infant baptism in scripture. Can you please explain where this tradition came from?

A. The doctrine of original sin is basically that expounded by Augustine. Look also at the paper The Doctrine of Original Sin Part I The Garden of Eden (No. 246) and Doctrine of Original Sin Part 2 The Generations of Adam (No. 248).

 

Infant Baptism was not only not taught it was not permitted by the early Church. It is certainly not biblical. It grew in the early Church from a misconstruction of the eight-day circumcision doctrine. Look at the paper Purification and Circumcision (No. 251) to see what the process was. It later became politically expedient to hold people to vows made on their behalf by sponsors.

 

Holy Orders

I believe one of the sacraments of the Roman Catholic Church is Holy Orders. What does that involve and is there any scriptural basis to it?

A: The term Holy Orders is a term used by the Roman Catholic Church to enforce a distinction between the congregation called laity and the priesthood who are then ranked above them. These distinctions seems to come in after the councils of the Fourth century and appear in terminology of the writings of Jerome (5th cent) and Gregory I (6th Cent.). The terms ecclesiastical order started to be used at the beginning of the third century (Ter. De exhort. cast., vii, ordo sacerdotalis, ordo ecclesiasticus) and Gregory of Tours (Vit. patr. X, i, ordo clericorum.

 

This was an innovation like the Mass and indeed it is grouped with that in the comments on orders in the Catholic Encyclopaedia. The CE says the term order: "also indicates what differentiates laity from clergy or the various ranks of the clergy, and thus means spiritual power" (CE, vol. XI, p. 279). This is then the basis of a fundamental objection of Protestantism and the Sabbatarian churches on the grounds of the priesthood of the elect as the congregation.

 

The Roman Catholics recognise this view of the primitive Church. They say:

“According to the Protestant view there was in the primitive Christian Church no essential distinction between clergy and laity, no hierarchical distinction of the order (bishop, priest, deacon), no recognition of pope and bishops as possessors of the highest power of jurisdiction over the universal church or over its several territorial divisions. On the contrary the Church had at first a democratic constitution, in virtue of which the local churches selected their own heads and ministers, and imparted to these their inherent spiritual authority. The deeper idea for this transmission of power is to be sought in the Primitive Christian idea of the universal priesthood, which excludes the recognition of a special priesthood" (C.E., Vol. XII, p. 414 art. "Priesthood").

 

Penance

What authority has a 'man of the cloth' to forgive sins? Also from recollection penance consisted of saying x number of prayers. How is it possible that praying should be a penance? I thought praying should be a delight.

A: The authority to forgive sin rests with Messiah. The Church has authority to bind and loose and that will be honored. Thus from this power and from the injunction to confess your sins one to another it was deduced the power existed for priests to forgive sin.  This practice was introduced very late in the Church history within this millennium and was done for reasons of intelligence gathering by the Church. This resisting the practice has been suppressed. You are correct, prayer is a mark of your relationship with God and you need to develop that aspect. It should not be looked on as a penance.

 

Anointing the Sick

Could you explain the concept of annointing of the sick? Is this the same practice as the ‘last rites’ of the Catholic Church?

A: The practice of anointing the sick was established by James the Brother of Christ. At James 5:14 he says ‘if any among us is sick (weak) let him call for the elders of the Church and let them pray over him anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord’.

 

Thus it was given that the Church could intervene and pray for an individual and the person would be affected by the intervention of the Holy Spirit. Some people needed assistance and also the Church had elders like Luke who was a Physician and who also assisted in the healing of the sick. In biblical times the priesthood was entrusted with the duties of quarantine and other normal handling regulations for contagious disease etc. and thus there were various responsibilities. The Holy Spirit intervened in many cases for which we have record in the Bible.

 

Originally it was anointing for the sick. It could be done by anyone provided the oil had been consecrated by an elder in the Roman rite. In the Eastern rites it was consecrated by the priests themselves.

 

The anointing with oil was declared mandatory about 829 by Jonas bishop of Orleans for the sick as resort was being made to magical remedies. However due to the avarice of the priesthood who made it impossible for the poor and even the middle classes to receive anointing in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries and also due to the erroneous theology of the Scotus school in both Bonaventure and Scotus it was confined to the dying.

 

The Roman Catholic rite is to anoint with consecrated oil the five sense organs of eyes, ears, nostrils lips and hands, of the feet and in some areas the genitalia. The words are spoken for each organ "Through this holy unction may the Lord pardon thee whatever sins or faults thou has committed."

 

The Orthodox do it not only for the sick, but trivialise it by the use after Penance and before communion and use an entirely different format. It was determined from Trent that it could only be administered to those capable of repentance and so the dead are absolutely denied it and there are other categories also denied it.

 

The universality of the rite in Roman Catholicism only took on from the Seventeenth century. The details are in the Catholic Encyclopidia. The Anglicans deny it altogether. Look at the paper The Sacraments of the Church (No. 150).

 

8…Priesthood

Do you see the establishment of priests today as the modern day Pharisees? They seem to enjoy their lofty status, going for the show as the Pharisees did at the time of Christ.

A: No they are not the Pharisees. The Pharisees perverted Scripture by their traditions. The priests do that all right but no Pharisee of Christ's time would have dressed as a priest of Baal and kept the festivals of Baal, although many orthodox Jews now dress as the Khemarim.

 

The priests of modern Christianity do not enter the Kingdom of God themselves and prevent anyone who wishes to do so from entering by their false teachings.

 

Some say it does not matter what Christ said we have a tradition that allows us to do x, y or z. In that respect they are also like the Pharisees. The Bible is absolutely clear on one aspect. The Law of God cannot be reduced by tradition nor can it be trivialised and those that do such will not enter the kingdom of God.

 

The mainstream Christian system has murdered the prophets and the leaders of the law abiding Church of God for centuries. There is a religious system condemned by the Bible because it is drunk on the blood of the saints. There are not many candidates for that title. Look at the paper The Messages of Revelation 14 (No. 270).

 

In the Holocaust of Europe there was a specific category in the concentration and extermination camps. They had an upside down purple triangle and they were termed Bibelforschers or Bible Researchers. The mainstream system and under their priests placed anyone who was a Bible researcher and obeyed the Laws of God into the camps and exterminated them under this category. That was only fifty-six years ago. And the fifth seal was opened and those lying under the altar, those that were slain for the word of God and the testimony they held cried with a loud voice: How long o Lord Holy and True, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth? They were given a white robe everyone of them and told to wait a little while until their fellow servants also and their brethren that should be killed as they were should be fulfilled. Truly you have seen prophecy fulfilled in this century.

 

Head Covering

The Bible at ICorinthians 11:4 and 7 states that during worship a man ought not to have his head covered. Could you explain why some Jewish men and Catholic clergy can be seen wearing head-coverings during their religious services?

A: The custom comes from the ancient systems and is the reason why the Law of God forbids the shaving of the head in the priests in Leviticus 21:5 and Ezekiel 44:20. In Egypt the priests shaved their head every third day. In the case of initiation to the Isis mysteries shaving the head was a necessary preliminary (ERE, vol. 6, art. Head p. 538). This undoubtedly is the origin of the tonsure in Christianity (ibid.). Thus following the same practice another covering had to be worn.  Shaving the head is a Brahmanic rite of initiation and a Buddhist rite of ordination (ibid.). In the mourning for Adonis (the Easter festivals) at Byblus the people shaved their heads which was a practice for the dead relatives and which was forbidden to Israel on this account. The ERE says the custom was also followed by the Hebrews in spite of it being forbidden by the legal code at Leviticus 19:27; 21:5; Ezekiel 7:18; Jer. 16:6; Deuteronomy 14:1 (ibid.). In the case of the mourning for Osiris (another version of this dying god system or Easter) the mourners appeared with their heads shaven. In other words they removed their wigs which were worn over their shaven heads. This is the probable reason for the wearing of wigs over shaven heads in Judaism following the Hellenised and Egyptian practices of these mysteries.

 

The Babylonian Epic of Gilgamesh shows that the washing of the head was the way of putting away grief.  The head covering thus had to be worn over these shaven heads in the case of the Egyptian, the Greek and the Hellenised Jewish customs. The custom of covering the head during services comes from the Babylonian system out into the shamanistic practices where the head was always covered to ward off evil falling on the practitioner.  Among the Veddas the cloth is held over his head while his hair is being cut and over his head in the sacred dances. The priests of the Goths were called pileati according to Jordanes because they wore a hat while sacrificing. The Roman priests, in performing sacrifices, always covered the back of their heads and the neck with the toga (velato capite). This is the origin of the extension of the mitre to the neck and shoulders in the trail. The exceptions were when the praetor sacrificed with head uncovered at the ara maxima and the aedes Herculis. The custom was traced to the advice given by Helenus to Aeneas, but Plutarch suggests that the real reasons were for the avoidance in humility of hearing ill-omened words or more particularly the symbol of the soul hidden by the body (ibid. p. 539). Thus the soul doctrine is involved also. See the paper The Soul (No. 92). The Greeks on the other hand sacrificed bare headed (aperto capite). This practice was followed when the sacrifices at Rome were followed according to the Greek rite (ibid.).

 

The Jewish custom may well come from the integration of these pagan rituals from Rome and Hellenism into the Jewish system after the fall of the Temple. The Arabs also had the system of covering the head in prayer and the Jews do the same but claim to base the practice on Exodus 3:6 where Moses hid his face from God. However there is no trace of this practice in Christianity early or otherwise and none in the Temple period that we can see. The pagans systems of head covering came into Christianity from Rome and the mystery cults.

 

Pope

Could you please tell me what is the origin of the word pontiff?

A: The word "pontiff" is derived from the ancient Roman Pagan system of the Triune god on the Capitoline. Originally there were a college of them from which the college of cardinals is descended. Their coloured garb comes from this fact also. See the answer on ‘Eternal Flame’ for futher information on this subject.

 

Was Peter really the first Pope?

A: No, Peter was not the first pope. The title pope was not used by the early Church until the third century. Thus Peter could never have been a pope. Also it is highly unlikely that Peter was ever in Rome let alone became its elder or bishop. Paul was the one in Rome.  The claim that Peter was in Rome rests on the letter he wrote from Babylon and so it was assumed that he was writing from Rome. If he was bishop of Rome then we have unequivocal evidence that he identified Rome with Babylon. The list of the Popes no longer includes Peter and the evidence indicates otherwise.

 

How does the Pope get his name? Who decides it? Why do many of them have the same name throughout different generations?

A: When the pope is elected he gets to choose the name by which he is to be identified as Pope. The name is sometimes taken from a predecessor he admired. In some cases he takes the name to indicate his reign will have that form of administration or continue with the style of his predecessor.

There has been a long list of favourite or popular names with popes of the past. In the case of John XXIII he wished to reclaim the name of John, as the previous John XXIII was an infamous pope of scandalous morals. No one had used the title since that time because of it. So it depends on the views of the pope in question when he is elected. See the list of popes in the paper Annex A (No. 288a) which will give a complete list of the popes and anti-popes and the names given by Malachy for them.

 

Elevation of Pope

Is not the way the office of the Pope treated in direct violation of the commandment to not have anyone or thing before God?

A: The office of pope has nothing to do with the original structure of the Church and bishop or elder of Rome. No man can place themselves in between a man and Christ and God. The head of every man is Christ and the Head of Christ is God. The Law of God proceeds from His nature and no man can change the Law of God. Not even Christ could do that. 

 

Priests

Doesn't Jesus say to call no man Father? If so, then why do we call our priests Father?

A: The term father came into the Church from the Mithras system. Members of the Mithras sun worshipping system, which in its public form was sol invictus Elagabal, came into Christianity and brought with them the term "father". A father with Lion and raven were terms of the higher officers of the system. The system was prevalent in the Middle East and associated with the sun cults there. For this reason Christ gave the order at Matthew 23:9 where he said: And call no man your father upon the earth: for One is your Father, Which is in Heaven.

 

Nuns

I have heard various nuns/sisters state they are married to Christ. I think they also wear a ring to indicate the marriage. I know there is a scripture that indicates we will all be brides of Christ; is this practice the same? I do not recall all the stages from novice to nun and when they receive the ring.

A: The bride of Christ is the Church and we as individuals are part of the Body of the Church. The parable of the wise and foolish virgins shows the concept of the multiplicity of the activity. The term includes men and women and is a generic term.

 

The marriage of the lamb takes place at his return, as the Bible makes so very clear. The taking of vows after a period of training as a novice is derived from the ancient Roman priesthood in the temple of Vesta.

 

The Pontifex maximus or Great Pontiff who was fifth in the order of priesthood but powerful in the sense he also chose the Dialis or priest of Jupiter and hence his wife the flaminica representing Juno as well, and the Vestals. The Vestal Virgins were chosen from the age of six and six were chosen each year from twenty candidates by Pontifex maximus who was the senior of the fifteen senior pontiffs that comprised the college of pontiffs or the curia which we now call the College of Cardinals. Both of their parents had to be alive.

 

The Vestals were engaged for thirty years and the first third or ten years was spent as a novice under training. The second decade was spent as a working Temple priestess and the last ten were spent in training the novices. They were married to the Temple system and if a Vestal was caught in fornication she was buried alive. Their garbs were red.

 

The system changed and the nuns entered Christianity at the end of the third century. This is probably from the influence of the pagan systems on Christianity and the vestals of Rome. From the earliest times there were virtuous women in the Church who remained unmarried but they always lived with their families and were never seen or thought of as an order or living in community. At the end of the third century we see the emergence of "Partheuones" or houses in common.

 

From the first part of the third century the virgins had begun to form a special class in the Church and took communion before the laity (C. E. "Nuns" Vol. XI, p. 164). This activity follows on from the rise of the Easter system in the Church and the increase in pagan customs entering the Church over the hundred years before Nicaea in 325. Vermeersch (CE ibid.) tries to make a case for the early Church virgins being the first nuns but the case is far too feeble.

 

The first "convent" recorded was that built by Pachomius (292-346) for religious women living with his sister. Jerome made the monastery of St. Paula and Bethlehem famous.

 

The nuns of Egypt and Syria cut their hair, which was not adopted until much later elsewhere. It should be remembered that the Egyptian mysteries of Isis and Osiris were the origin of this cutting of hair or shaving the head and the wearing of wigs or coverings over them. In the mourning for Osiris the wigs or coverings were not worn. In the west double houses of male and females existed until the twelfth century while in the East they were abolished by Justinian.

 

In the ninth century women in the Church including those living in common included: virgins whose solemn consecration was reserved to the bishop, nuns bound by religious profession, canonesses living in common without religious profession, deaconesses engaged in the service of the Church, and wives or widows of men in sacred orders (CE ibid.). Nuns sometime occupied a special house but it was not considered necessary in the West. Some monasteries allowed the nuns to go in and out. Their dress was to become the normal black of the Baal-Easter system at least from the ninth century.

 

The case for their entry from the Easter system is more convincing when we see that the first mention of them is in "the office of Good Friday in which the virgins are mentioned after the porters, and the Litany of the Saints, in which they are invoked, show traces of this classification. They were sometimes admitted among the deaconesses for the baptism of adult women and to exercise the functions which St Paul had reserved for Widows of sixty years" (ibid.).

 

In Gaul and Spain the noviciate lasted one year for the cloistered nuns and three years for the others. In the West for several centuries there were children offered by their parents and these oblates were considered as bound for life by the offerings of their parents. This was a carry over from the Roman vestals and in fact even more binding and thus harsh. The Nuns were used in educating these young oblates.

 

Profession could be express or implied. If one put on a habit and lived for years they were considered as professed. The consecration to virginity took place many years later at twenty-five years of age, which was the same age for the entry of Acolyte to the office of sub deacon and the Bible age for the entry to service in the Temple.

 

With the rise of the Mendicant Orders in the Thirteenth century more rigorous rules and professions of poverty restricted certain type of property even held in common. The founders of these orders instituted rules covering also female orders (e.g. Francis of Assis, and Clare under his direction founding the second order of Franciscans in 1212. The Dominicans female orders were approved even before that of the Friars Preachers on 22 December 1216. Orders were also for the Carmelites and Hermits of St. Augustine and also the Clerks Regular for the sixteenth century. The Jesuits are the exception.

 

The enclosure was inserted in Canon Law by Boniface VIII (1294-1309) and this was confirmed by the Council of Trent. This placed severe restriction on nuns operating effectively and so the enrolling of nuns bound by simple vows was made to overcome this problem. The enforcing of Trent by the strict interpretations of Pius V in Circa Pastoralis 25 May 1566 effectively closed the convents to the enrolment of nuns under simple vows.

 

Urban VIII abolished the English teaching congregation founded by Mary Ward 1609 with simple vows and a superior general. The binding of enclosed orders by solemn vows has been relaxed and we see more openness of today.

 

Assistants

What is the rationale for having altar boys assist in the Mass? Where did the practice come from?

A: The practice has no biblical sanction, in fact the Bible says that a man must be twenty-five before he can be placed in the service of the Temple. An altar boy is a degeneration of the position of acolyte who was a functionary in the early Church in Rome and Carthage and later elsewhere from as early as the middle of the third century. They were not boys however and the earliest record of the Church in Rome from a letter written by Cornelius bishop of Rome, to Fabius bishop of Antioch in 251, shows they had forty six priests, seven deacons, seven sub-deacons, forty two acolytes and fifty-two exorcists, lectors and doorkeepers. The predecessor of Cornelius, Fabian had divided Rome into seven ecclesiastical regions and set a deacon over each one. It appears from the records we have that the sub deacons were placed in charge of the acolytes. Thus the regional distribution in the last of the third century in Rome would have been one deacon to a region with a subdeacon and six acolytes to a region. The Constitutum Silvestri of 501 gives the figure of forty-five acolytes in Rome. By the time of the Council of Nicea, according to Eusebius, they appeared in the personal retinue of bishops there and not as functionaries of the Church. They were used for all sorts of functions. They were in Carthage in the third century according to Cyprian and elsewhere.  They were used for distributing alms and carrying documents and other duties shared also by readers and subdeacons. They were not boys. In Rome there were three classes of acolytes between the fifth and ninth centuries.

1. The palace (palatini) who served the pope or the bishops in the palace and the lateran basilica.

2. The regional acolytes (regionarii) who assisted the deacons in the regions.

3. The stationarii or those of the station who served in the Church but these were not a distinct body.

 

They were used to carry the sacraments of the papal bread and wine to the other churches, and they carried spices and items to those in prison. Justin Martyr (killed about 165-166) assigned this function, of carrying the sacraments, to the deacons (First Apology 1, 67) as is the custom in the Church of God on Passover and so we can safely conclude Acolytes did not exist in the middle of the second century. This is the origin of the Sunday mass and communion in the middle half of the second century where Justin says here that they met and the president (no pope here) offered prayers according to his ability. This fact shows a rotational basis and no set form of service. They all gave thanks and said Amen and took portions. To those that were sick portions were sent by the deacons. Thus the deacons performed this function but it seems it had reduced to a weekly basis even as early as the middle of the Second century with the introduction of this Easter system in Rome under Anicetus. It was on this Sunday service that the president of the congregation then took up an alms collection because he was charged with the care of the widows and orphans and each gave as they could. They were prevented from doing this on the Sabbath meeting. Therefore they met the following day.

 

You will recall Paul had set up on Sunday in the early Church for alms collecting for Jerusalem. Here we see the result of the alms collecting set up on the first day of the week by Paul growing into a service from the mystery cults and in time it was to replace both the Sabbath and the Lord's Supper. A new order of officers also grew out of this innovation and acolytes replaced deacons and in time became boys. In the middle of the tenth century the term arch acolyte is found and this is the same we think as a sub deacon. According to the records the degree of acolyte was conferred on the candidate as he approached twenty years of age (This was also in accordance with Deuteronomy 20). This was according to the decree of Siricius (ca 385) to Himerius, bishop of Tarragona Spain. He was five years in training before he could be made sub deacon. Thus the age of twenty-five was the minimum age for the lowest ranks of deacon. The mandatory age before one could be entered into the service of the Temple according to Biblical Law is twenty-five. That age is the youngest age the Church of God should permit any ordination to deacon rank in accordance with the Bible statues. An Elder can not be ordained until he is at least thirty according to Bible Law. These aspects are covered in the paper Selecting the Ministry (No. 4). Look also at the paper Deuteronomy 20 (No. 201).  

 

The practice of making young boys altar boys is considered to be an historical reflection of the influence of the monastic orders and enforced celibacy in the Church which prohibited married clergy from the 12th century under Adrian.

 

Ordination of Women

I live in Ireland where there is now a shortage of Priests, and the Bishops are discussing having more Deacons to 'fill the gaps', so to speak. Apparently, Deacons can do everything that Priests can do - except celebrate mass. Since there are a number of ladies in Ireland who feel they have a vocation towards the Priesthood, couldn't these ladies become Deacons?

A. There were deaconesses in the Roman Catholic Church until the twelfth century and the domination of the Monastic orders. They had married priests until then as well. Ireland was given to England under Henry II by Pope Adrian in the Twelfth century to consolidate the power of the Catholic Church. The deaconesses and married clergy disappeared from the UK from that time. Ireland was plunged into darkness for 800 years.

 

Vestments

What is the significance of all the vestments the clergy wear to celebrate the Mass? Does it have anything to do with the Levitical priesthood, i.e. linen garments etc.?

A: Yes the vestments of the priests of Levi were white and linen. The vestments of the so-called Christian Clergy are white over a black cassock which is the opposite of the Temple Priesthood. This matter has been covered in the paper The Messages of Revelation 14 (No. 270). Some of the following will be quoted from that work and then other vestments will be dealt with after that. The Bible is absolutely clear that black cassocks are not to be worn and the Prophet Zephaniah proclaims that the false priests of Chemarim or Khemarim will be eliminated completely from Jerusalem in the last days. They are the Black-cassocked priests. It has been their identifying dress for millennia. Zephaniah 1:4 ‘I will stretch out my hand against Judah, and against all the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and I will cut off from this place the remnant of Ba'al and the name of the idolatrous priests;’ (RSV).

 

It is easier to see in the KJV. Zephaniah 1:4 ‘I will also stretch out mine hand upon Judah, and upon all the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and I will cut off the remnant of Baal from this place, and the name of the Chemarims with the priests;’(KJV).

 

Who or what is a Chemarim? The word is left untranslated in the KJV and rendered idolatrous priests in the RSV, because it means literally the black-cassocked ones, and the translators of the KJV were all part of the Black-cassocked priest system, so they deliberately left it untranslated. Bullinger has a note to that effect in the notes in the Companion Bible. The texts in Hosea 10:3 ff. is also left untranslated, as is the text in 2Kings 23:5.

Hosea 10:3-5 3 ‘For now they shall say, We have no king, because we feared not the LORD; what then should a king do to us? 4 They have spoken words, swearing falsely in making a covenant: thus judgment springeth up as hemlock in the furrows of the field. 5 The inhabitants of Samaria shall fear because of the calves of Bethaven: for the people thereof shall mourn over it, and the priests thereof that rejoiced on it, for the glory thereof, because it is departed from it.(KJV). 

 

The term priests in verse 5 is actually the Khemarim or Chemarim, meaning the black-cassocked ones. The term was always understood to mean priests of Baal, as only they wore black cassocks.

2Kings 23:5 5 ‘And he put down the idolatrous priests, whom the kings of Judah had ordained to burn incense in the high places in the cities of Judah, and in the places round about Jerusalem; them also that burned incense unto Baal, to the sun, and to the moon, and to the planets, and to all the host of heaven.’ (KJV).

 

Idolatrous priests here are the same Khemarim as elsewhere. They are rendered as idolatrous priests to cover up the fact of the matter. The priests of the One True Eloah God never wore a black cassock. They always wore white.

 

“The black-cassocked ones have been trying to control Jerusalem since David entered it in 1005 BCE and are still there trying” (ibid. No. 270). The other vestments also come from the Baal-Istar or Easter system. The mitre is derived from the worship of Atargatis or Derceto or Cato to whom the fish is sacred. The fish symbol was evident among the Philistines and associated also with Dagon. The mermaid is derived from this source and is the origin also of the Piñata (see The Piñata (No. 276)). The details are also in the paper David and Goliath (No. 126). The fish symbol in Christianity is derived from the worship of Derceto and has nothing to do with Christ. It is simply another pagan symbol that was absorbed into mainstream Christianity. Doves were also sacred to Atargatis or Derceto. Almost all the vestments of the mainstream clergy are derived from or associated with paganism and the Baal-Ashtoreth or Istar or Easter system. 

 

The red cardinal vestments come from the Roman curial system of the Temple of Vesta.
The tradition of nuns being celibate and attached to the Church comes from the priestesses of Vesta but the colours have changed to the normal Baal system. If a priestess of Vesta was found to cohabit with a man she was buried alive. Yes, white linen was used by the Temple priesthood. No, the vestments of today's clergy have nothing to do with the One True God.

 

Why do the cardinals dress in red? Is this biblical?

A: Cardinals and their attire come from the Roman curial system of the Temple of Vesta hence the red. The system long preceded Christianity and was adopted into the Christian system at Rome when they took over all the forms of the pagan cults, like that of Attis and the Temple of Vesta there and the triune God and countless other practices. The Roman system of the triune system is explained in the paper The Doctrine of Original Sin Part I The Garden of Eden (No. 246).

 

Why do some of the clergy wear those long black cassocks? Does this custom relate to something of a biblical nature?

A: The wearing of long black cassocks is mentioned in the Bible but I am afraid it is the Khemarim that used them. These Khemarim, the black cassocked ones, were the priests of Baal and Ashtoreth or Easter, the goddess Istar. The term is not translated in the KJV or the other Bibles correctly, and for very good reason, as the system is now almost all black cassocked, even the orthodox Jews, and it is all predicated on the sun system condemned by God. The paper The Messages of Revelation 14 (No. 270) deals with the system and its end.

 

Some use Isaiah 22 especially verses 15-25, as proof that Peter was the one given the keys in reference to Matthew 16:18,19. A couple of key points for you to address...v15 Shebna; v16 sepulcher; v20 Eliakim the son of Hilkiah. This text is to show us the lesson that the apostate and evil structure of Shebna will be replaced by the true Messianic system and Church. Can you comment?

A: If they are claiming the rock here is Peter as Shebna, they are in real trouble because it proves that the system under Shebna, which was thought to be a rock is in fact no rock or nail, but a false system to be removed by Messiah.

 

They represent the system we would see under Shebna, but it is condemned and replaced by Messiah as Eliakim meaning “Whom God has set up”. You will get the thrust of this from looking at Bullinger's notes in the Companion Bible but he does not comprehend it fully.

 

9…Eternal Life

Resurrection

I noticed in a Catholic manual the belief of the resurrection of the flesh at the "perfect age of 33". Do Catholics believe in a resurrection of the flesh? I thought the belief was to heaven, hell, or purgatory? Where does the age 33 come from?

A. Originally the Catholic Church did not believe in heaven and hell much less purgatory. The perfect age of 33 concept comes from the fact that the Bible says that Christ began to be about thirty when he commenced his ministry in other words he was in his thirties. His ministry was about three years if we count that of John the Baptist with it.

 

From the error of "Little Dennis" in fixing the birth of Christ at the year 0, over four years after the death of Herod which is absurd, and adding the time factors we get to 33 CE which was the only year that they could seem to even approximate a Friday Crucifixion.

 

All years before that for some time were on days which rendered a Friday Crucifixion impossible. Thus they made an error in fixing the year of Christ's birth based on the impossibility of his death with the pagan system of Easter. This dating problem is examined in the papers: Significance of the Year 2000 (No. 286); Timing of the Crucifixion and the Resurrection (No. 159); The Origins of Christmas and Easter (No. 235).

 

Christ was resurrected in the flesh and thus the basis of the first declarations in the second century was of the physical resurrection and translation. Look at the paper The Resurrection of the Dead (No. 143); and The Soul (No. 92).

 

The Soul

Is there any difference biblically between the soul and the spirit? Are they the same things? Where does each go after death? Do they both go to heaven?

A: The Bible speaks of the Nephesh (Hebrew) and pneuma (Greek). All animals had a nephesh. The Nephesh of man is stated to return to God who gave it, and the structure awaits the Resurrection of the Dead. In the early centuries if any said they were Christians and said that when they died they went to heaven, you knew thereby they were not Christians, but Gnostic imposters. Justin Martyr said this to the Emperor on behalf of the Church in Rome in 150 CE. Look at the papers The Soul (No. 92) and The Resurrection of the Dead (No. 143).

 

Heaven

Is there really a heaven? I know in the Bible, Heaven has been described to us, which is a place without worries and pain. It is only full of happiness. This is where I have doubts. If God does exist, he must be very intelligent, far from human being’s imagination. It is clear to everyone that without pain, there is no happiness; without concerns, there is no relief. All these emotions exist as pairs. We can’t just have the good ones without the “bad” ones. How could there be such a wonderland as heaven? Even if there is one like what’s described in the Bible, how could that one make everyone happy?

A. Your intuitive view is correct. The Bible does not teach Heaven and Hell as abodes of the dead, other than as the grave. The Bible teaches the doctrine of the Resurrection of the Dead (as does the Koran to the gardens of paradise). You are right. The learning experience must include some pain.

 

Heaven is a Gnostic doctrine. In the first and second century, if you came across people who said that they were Christians and that when they died they went to heaven, you knew they were not Christians. Justin Martyr, a teacher of the Roman Church in the middle of the second century wrote that very thing to the emperor in ca 150-155 CE. His text is examined in the papers The Soul (No. 92) and The Resurrection of the Dead (No. 143).

These texts will assist you in understanding the original Christian doctrines, and not these silly developed Gnostic theories that have ruined the theology of Christianity over the centuries.

 

What exactly is Paul saying in 2Corinthians 5:1-10? This text has been used to uphold the belief of going to heaven after death. Some translations say 'an eternal house made in heaven' while the RSV says 'eternal in the heavens' (plural). Could you please give me a brief outline of what is being said here?

A: The text in Corinthians deals with the fact that the tabernacle was a shadow of the heavenly tabernacle. We are the living stones that comprise the Temple of God and the City of God comes to us. Look at the paper The City of God (No. 180). We received the earnest or downpayment of the spirit so that we might be accepted. Whether we are present or absent in the body we will be judged by Christ according to what we have done be it good or bad.

 

This downpayment of the Holy Spirit enables us to become part of the Temple of God. The Bible is quite clear. No one has ascended to heaven save he who descended from heaven namely the Son of Man (Jn. 3:13). The Church was emphatic on this aspect above all others. It is still the same day.

 

No one who says that when they die they go to heaven is a Christian nor can they ever be Christian (cf. Justin Martyr, Dialogue with Trypho, chapter 80). They espouse a godless and blasphemous doctrine of Gnosticism.

 

The history of the doctrine is discussed in the papers The Soul (No. 92); The Resurrection of the Dead (No. 143); Vegetarianism and the Bible (No. 183) and The Nicolaitans (No. 202).

 

Hell

Where does the Bible say that I will either go to Heaven or Hell when I die?

A. It does not say that and you will not. There are three words used for Hell in the Greek these are “Hades,” “Gehenna” and “Tartaros.” “Hades” is the grave and equivalent to Sheol. “Gehenna” is the rubbish pit outside of Jerusalem in which refuse was burnt. This context refers to the disposal of the bodies of those who face the second death. “Tartaros” is the pit used to confine the angels until the judgement.

 

In the first centuries of the Church that was the test of a true Christian. If when you died you said you went to heaven you were not a Christian, you were a Gnostic posing as a Christian to infiltrate the Church (cf. Justin Martyr, Dialogue with Trypho, chapter 80).

 

Unfortunately, they did manage to infiltrate with this godless and blasphemous doctrine. It is dependent upon the doctrine of the immortal soul for its coherence, which is a lie (see the paper The Soul (No. 92)).

 

The Bible says there will be two resurrections of the dead. Many people even manage to mess up this simple structure, and have the Second Resurrection burning in hell due to their own weaknesses and hatred, imputing sin to God.

 

Many people show what they are really like inside by their interpretation of Scripture. Most people really want someone else to burn forever in torment, because that is what they would do if they were God. Fortunately, they are not and they have no say in the structure. All creation will be given a second chance and re-educated.

 

Purgatory

Is there really a purgatory? If so, is this where people go who are not good enough to go to heaven, but not really bad enough to go to hell?

A: The doctrine of purgatory is a pagan doctrine, which saw an emergence in the Christian era. The Bible teaches the resurrection of the dead. The concepts of Heaven and Hell as abodes of the dead were Gnostic doctrines. Justin Martyr writing in the second century around 150 said words to the effect of: "If you come across people who say they are Christians and that when they die they are going to heaven do not believe them; they are not Christians." See the papers The Soul (No. 92) and The Resurrection of the Dead (No. 143).

 

If purgatory is real, then can't I lead a sinful, unchristian-like life, and then ‘work’ it off in this place of temporary torment?

A: The existence of purgatory is denied by most of the Catholic churches and is held as true only for the Roman Catholic faith. The doctrine is denied by the modern Orthodox Church but the Roman Catholic theologians hold it is inconsistent in its doctrine to it (Cath. Encyc. "Purgatory" Vol. XII, p. 576). The doctrine is also denied by the Anglican and Episcopalian, Calvinist and Lutheran as well as the various Orthodox churches. The Roman Catholic theologian Grattan-Flood holds that Luther was ambivalent in the early days of the Reformation (CE ibid.). This may indicate Luther's real aim was less of restoring the true faith but more of stopping the growing power of the Sabbatarians. The Albigenisans, Waldensians and Hussites all rejected it outright.

 

Thus it is uniquely Roman Catholic. There was a doctrine advanced by some apologists in the Protestant churches regarding the doctrine of the Middle State which Roman Catholics interpret as a variant of the purgatory doctrine in a weakened form but this is highly improbable.

 

Aerius in the fourth century taught that prayers for the dead were of no effect and Epiphanius records this (Her. lxxv, P. G. XLII. col 513). The doctrine of purgatory is expressed in the Decree of Union of the Council of Florence (Mansi t, XXXI, col. 1031) and in the Council of Trent (Session XXV).

 

Mosheim taught that the error entered Christianity from the Platonists and seems to have arisen perhaps as early as the second century, with the concept that the soul went to heaven (Mosheim's Eccl. Hist. P. 67 s 3). Now we know beyond dispute from Justin Martyr that the introduction of heaven and hell came into Christianity in the second century from the Gnostics and Mosheim makes very poor work of this distinction due to his position. He does however clearly show that the doctrine of purgatory emerged full blown in Manes doctrines (P. 109, s 8). It is thus a doctrine of Manichean Dualism of the third century that entered mainstream Christianity in the fourth century as a purifying fire for the soul when separated from the body and also aspects of celibacy of the clergy of the worship of images and relics "which in process of time almost banished the true religion, or at least very much obscured and corrupted it" (p. 143, s. 1).

 

Mosheim says that absurd notions that prayers to dead saints became entrenched in the fifth century and the pagan doctrines of assuming that the statues of Jupiter and Mercury could have the spirits of the gods was transferred to the places of burial and the death of the dead saints. "The doctrine of the purification of souls after death by means of some sort of fire, which afterwards became a source of great wealth to the clergy, acquired in this age a fuller development and greater significance” (ibid p. 191, s 2).

 

Mosheim places the source of the development of the doctrinal error at the feet of Gregory I founder of the Holy Roman Empire who developed these doctrines of worshipping saints and relics and of the purifying fire of souls after death in his writings (p. 230 s 2).

 

The defence of purgatory is made on the grounds that penance is required even after repentance is granted by God. This view completely misapprehends the doctrine of Grace and the doctrines concerning resurrection. Look at The Resurrection of the Dead (No. 143). This doctrine is fundamental to true Christianity. Look also at the paper The Soul (No. 92).

 

Purgatory can thus be seen as a pagan doctrine that entered Christianity and which was used as a money making exercise by the early clergy and which is based on the pagan notion of the Soul and those Gnostic doctrines of heaven and hell.

 

Limbo

Apart from the beliefs of heaven, hell and purgatory of the Catholic faith I also grew up learning about a place called 'limbo'. From recollection that was where babies went when they died without having been baptized. Where did this one come from?

A: Limbo is a doctrine to reinforce infant baptism. It has no Biblical basis and like purgatory it was introduced to control the masses. All of these doctrines were invented around the Socratic doctrine of the immortal soul. All unbaptized infants who died will be resurrected in the second resurrection along with every one else not in the First resurrection. They will all be taught the truth, even the people who taught this false doctrine.  Look at the papers The Soul (No. 92) and The Resurrection of the Dead (No. 143).

 

10…Calendar

Could you explain the dispute in the early Church between those who wanted Passover, and those who wanted to observe Easter.

A: In the second century around 150 bishop Anicetus determined to introduce the Easter festival in place of the original Passover Festival which was observed by the whole Church from the beginning and was still observed by the Church outside of Rome.   Polycarp bishop of Smyrna and disciple of John disputed with Anicetus and the Church was left with two factions, one keeping the traditional Passover and Unleavened Bread from 14 Nisan to 21 Nisan, and the other keeping the newly introduced Easter festival which had been introduced from the pagan system. It was brought in because the Roman Church was trying to accommodate the followers of the god Attis who kept a Friday Crucifixion and a Sunday Resurrection. This system was called Easter by the Anglo-Saxons from the goddess Easter or as she was named in the East, Istar or Astarte and among the other Teutons, Ostar. The Celts sometimes called her Ostara.

 

In 190-192 the dispute erupted again with bishop Victor who demanded the whole Church keep Easter or be declared anathema. This time Polycarp’s successor Polycrates entered the dispute to no avail. These disputes were called the Quartodeciman Disputes and are covered in the paper The Quartodeciman Disputes (No. 277).

 

The Quartodeciman Passover continued to be held in various countries of the world and the Celtic Church in Britain held it until at least the synod of Whitby in 663 where it was slowly introduced to the British Isles from 663/664. The Church of God has held it for two thousand years.

 

What is the origin of keeping the advent period, advent wreath, and advent calendar?

A: According to present usage Advent is the period beginning with the Sunday nearest to the feast of St Andrew (30 November). It embraces four Sundays. The First Sunday may be as early as 27 November and then Advent has 28 days or as later as 3 December giving the season only 21 days (C.E. Advent, vol. I, p. 165). The ecclesiastical year begins with Advent in the western churches.

 

The Church uses this period to prepare for the anniversary of the Lord's coming into the world in other words to prepare for the Christmas festivals. That is the true origin of the practice.

 

The dates of the decrees in the Nocturn also demonstrate this origin. As Lesson of the First Nocturne the prophet Isaiah is used to showing the scathing castigation of the children of Israel and the gathering of the gentiles.

 

The Lessons for the Second Nocturn, the lessons on three Sundays are taken from the eighth homily of Pope Leo (440-461) on fasting and almsdeeds. On the second Sunday the Lesson is taken from Jerome's Commentary on Isaiah xi, 1 in which text he interprets the Virgin Mary as "the rod out of the root of Jesse". Traditionally this text is always Messianic referring to the Messiah. It was never applied to Mariam other than here. Similar ideas are expressed in the antiphons for the Magnificat on the last seven days before the Vigil of the Nativity.

 

Christmas was not a festival of the Church until it entered in 375 at Antioch and was then found from 386 at Jerusalem and later in Rome and Gaul. That is why the references are to the writers of the Church at the end of the fourth and in the early fifth century. It was celebrated on 25 December in the west and on 6 January in the east and in other areas.

 

The preparation for this may be as early as the synod of Saragossa in 380 the fourth canon of which required that no one be absent from Church from 17 December until the nativity CE ibid., p. 166). This shows that in 381 at Constantinople we are looking at the true watershed of the installation of the system of the Triune God with all its pagan festivals. The festival of the virgin goddess came in from Syria at this time. The practice of parading the infant child came in also from the pagan sun cults in Egypt.

 

The wreaths and calendar are associated with this system also. Look at the papers The Origins of Christmas and Easter (No. 235) and The Virgin Mariam and the Family of Jesus Christ (No. 232).

 

In the Catholic Church I believe that Easter is 40 days after lent. Can you tell me how the date for Lent is determined?

A: The title of Ash Wednesday is the caput jejunii. There is a liturgical difference between the caput jejunii and the "initium quadragesimae" the title of the first Sunday in Lent. Originally when the Easter system was introduced, the festival of the dying god began the 36 day fast on the Monday after the first Sunday in Lent (ERE, art Shrove-Tide, Shrove Tuesday, xi, 477). After the time of Gregory I called the Great, and the establishment of the Holy Roman Empire, Ash Wednesday became the first of the four supplementary fast days with the title "caput jejunii." The week of this period relates to the Carnival or Mardi Gras. The shrove system related to and still relates to the week of the Carnival and the term "Carniprivium" is given to Quinquagesima Sunday. The customs practiced in Scotland show the links with the "Bacchanalian customs of Shrove tide with the Saturnalian licence of Christmas" (ERE p.478). Originally Ash Wednesday was the mourning for the dying god and the death of the shrove at carnival. Frazer has extensive notation on the custom in the Golden Bough at iv. 2220-221, and 226 ff. It is or was until this century carried on throughout Europe. It was not an original Christian custom and takes its origins from the pagan customs that were taken on with the Easter system in the second century and which were not fully harmonized until the beginning of the seventh with Gregory.

 

Ash Wednesday has nothing to do with the Bible system. It was originally the memorial of the death of the Bacchanalian shrove.

 

Sabbath or Sunday

Catholics say the apostles had authority from Christ to make the first day of the week, rather than the seventh, the Lord's day. Some of the evidence is: on a Sunday Christ rose from the dead, the Holy Spirit came down on a Sunday and 'on the first day of the week' all the faithful gathered for the Eucharist. By keeping the first rather than the (commanded) seventh day holy, the Apostles were apparently trying to convey that the Laws for Christians were different for those of the Jews. Do you know where Christ authorised this in the Bible?

A: There is no such order. Christ kept the Sabbath and the Feasts and Holy days of God. So did the apostles and the early Church. Look at the paper God's Calendar (No. 156). The Christian Church is the product of centuries of forced syncretism between pagan religions systems and an increasingly apostate church.

 

The Bible is quite clear that the only thing set up on the first day of the week was an alms collection so Paul could gather gifts of alms and take them to Jerusalem to help the hard pressed Church there. Look also at Law and the Fourth Commandment (No. 256).

 

Holy Days

Do you know why Sunday June 25, 1900 is referred to as Corpus Christi?

A: In 1264 Urban IV had extended the feast of Corpus Christi to the whole Church. The Feast of Corpus Christi was modified Motu Proprio of Pius X promulgated 2 July 1911 and modified 24 July to read, inter alia, as follows: “...the feast of Corpus Christi with its privileged octave is observed as formerly on the Thursday after Trinity Sunday, but the solemnity of the feast is transferred to the following Sunday...” Liturgical questions that arose from the changes of the decrees were settled by a decree of the Sacred Congregation of Rites on 28 July 1911. Perhaps these people got a little ahead of Pius X in the celebrations or perhaps the date quoted is wrong.

 

Why is New Year's Day in the Gregorian calendar considered a holy day by the Catholic Church?

A: The first day of the month of January is dedicated to the god Janus the god of beginnings and openings. That is the Roman system and they are dedicated to the Triune god. They imposed it on Christianity and they adopted the pagan calendar on the same grounds. The New Year is the First day of the First month which is Abib. The Anglo Saxons kept the month of March as the New Year until the 18th century. Read the papers The Moon and the New Year (No. 213) and also God's Calendar (No. 156).

 

Some Catholic calendars list Sunday June 18, 2000 as Trinity Sunday. What is the origin and meaning of this day?

A: John XXII (1316-1334) ordered this feast as a feast for the entire Church on the first Sunday after Pentecost. A new Office had been made by the Franciscan John Peckham, Canon of Lyons, later Archbishop of Canterbury (d. 1292). The feast ranked a double of the second class but it was raised to the category of primary of the first class on 24 July 1911 by Pius X (Acta Ap. Sedis III, 351).  The Orthodox have no such feast as the practice is derived. Its origin is this: There was no doctrine or office in the early Church for the Trinity as it was not developed until 381 CE. The Sunday became mandatory from the Council of Laodicea (366) which proscribed the Sabbath and made Sunday the day of worship. This act was rejected along with the Trinity by the Sabbath-keeping Churches. The Unitarian Trinitarian Wars (see the paper The Unitarian/Trinitarian Wars (No. 268) saw entrenched conflict as the Roman Church established itself and became the origin of the Holy Roman Empire under Gregory I in 590.

 

The Sacramentary of Gregory I (P.L. LXXXVIII, 116) has prayers and the Preface of the Trinity. Bishop Stephen of Liege (902-920) composed the Office of the Trinity. The office came to be recited on the First Sunday after Pentecost in some places according to The Micrologies (P. L. CLI, 1020) which were written during the pontificate of Gregory VII. However the Micrologies refers to the Sunday after Pentecost as a "Dominica vacans" with no special office. It also records that the Office of the Trinity was said on the Sunday before Advent in many places. Alexander II (1061-1063) refused a petition to make this day a special feast. He held the Gloria Patri was sufficient honour. However, he did not forbid it where it was already observed. From there it was campaigned until John XXII ordered it a feast (as above). It did not therefore exist as a feast day until this Millennium. Its emphasis this year comes from the actions of John Paul II to make this the year of the Trinity.

 

11…Sin

Are there degrees of sin? I was taught that venial sin was forgivable but mortal sin condemned one to hell. The Bible says that sin is the 'transgression of the law'. So how does a Christian differentiate between venial and mortal sins?

A: The concept comes from the term used by Paul regarding the fact that there are some sins that lead to death. A Christian is faced with a constant struggle with his or her daily life and the overcoming that is necessary in the road to perfection of holy righteous character. The blatant sins such as the incestuous fornicator in Corinthians excluded the person from the First Resurrection and thus the man was given to the adversary so that his life might be saved in the last days. He was put out of the Church so that he could be brought to repentance and not sent to the second resurrection to be retrained again.

 

The concepts of heaven and hell are pagan concepts. The word Sheol was the grave where the dead were buried. Hades was the Greek word used for the Hebrew meaning the grave. The third word translated as Hell in the Bible is Gehenna, which was the rubbish pit outside of Jerusalem where they burnt dogs and other refuse. The third Greek word and fourth word of the Bible was tartaros or tartaroo which was the pit reserved for the angels in their containment. There is no such thing as ever burning Hell and the Roman Catholic Church under John Paul II has finally had the decency to admit that fact after 1700 years of fiction and misery.

 

Minor sins that are the struggle of the Christian’s life in overcoming are not decisive in eliminating one from the First Resurrection. Blatant and serious continued sin excludes the individual from salvation and Christ can not be crucified on a continual basis in one's life. That was the origin of the concept but what has been done to it is pure paganism.

 

As Justin said: If you come across those who say they are Christian and that when they die they go to heaven do not believe they are Christians (or words to that effect). See the papers The Soul (No. 92) and The Resurrection of the Dead (No. 143)).

 

Was the forbidden fruit really an apple? I don't see that in my Bible, could you tell me where it says that Eve ate an apple?

A: The notion that Eve gave Adam an apple is not biblical. It comes from the myths and mysteries and is associated with the golden fruit of discord. The full story is contained in the paper The Doctrine of Original Sin Part I The Garden of Eden (No. 246).

 

Is gambling a sin, and if so, what about our Thursday night bingo?

A: The desire to obtain money at the expense of others and not from honest labour is a problem in the spiritual development of the individual. All forms of gaming that involve loss to another are not honest forms of gain and as such they should be avoided.  Thursday night Bingo seems harmless but it is based on a principle of appealing to an easy money mentality that condones the accumulation of wealth at the expense or from the weakness of others. In that way it must run counter to Bible teachings. I hope I have not spoiled your Thursday nights.

 

I go to church every Sunday and strongly believe in God and the Christian religion, but I am wild and party a lot. I always hear that Jesus loves me. But will he still love me and forgive me even if I commit a lot of sins?

A. First of all to have your sins forgiven you have to repent. One of the things you have to repent of is breaking the Fourth Commandment and not keeping the Sabbath. Sunday is not the Sabbath.

 

Look at the papers: Law and the Fourth Commandment (No. 256); The Law of God (No. L1); Repentance and Baptism (No. 52); The Relationship Between Salvation by Grace and the Law (No. 82); The Role of the Fourth Commandment in the Historical Sabbath-keeping Churches of God (No. 170).

 

The concept of original sin perplexes me. Isn't "original sin" primarily a metaphor for sexual activity that procreates (brings forth offspring)?

A: No, it was not that as Adam and Eve were created with that capacity and yet they were to be allowed to remain in the Garden.  I can see how you would get to that point and it seems to be a sound conclusion to draw. However, the capacity for Adam not to die and yet have a woman created for him to reproduce is a conflict that has to be resolved. There had to be something else involved. I have examined the concepts in the papers The Doctrine of Original Sin Part I The Garden of Eden (No. 246); and Doctrine of Original Sin Part 2 The Generations of Adam (No. 248).

 

Is everyone born with original sin because of Adam and Eve? I just don't understand this concept.

A: The human race suffered because of their sin and the structure was forever different. The way in which it affected us is explained in the papers The Doctrine of Original Sin Part I The Garden of Eden (No. 246) and Doctrine of Original Sin Part 2 The Generations of Adam (No. 248).

 

If they had not sinned, we could all have lived to translation and the system would have been different. However, they did sin and God made provision for that fact knowing they would sin.

 

12…Worship

The Mass

Did Christ celebrate a Mass? Isn't this what the term refers to?

A: No Christ did not celebrate a mass. He celebrated the Lord's Supper. The term Mass did not come into the Church until the end of the fourth century in about 397 in the writing of Ambrose. Look at the paper The Lord's Supper (No. 103) and also The Passover (No. 98).

 

I would really appreciate knowing the origin of Sunday Mass?

A: The Sunday mass came with the introduction of Sunday worship from the mystery cults but it was done in a most interesting way. Paul had set up a collection on the first day of the week. He wrote to Corinth and said: Now concerning the contributions for the saints: as I directed the churches of Galatia, so you also are to do. On the first day of every week, each of you is to put something aside and store it up, as he may prosper, so that contributions need not be made when I come. And when I arrive I will send those whom you accredit by letter to carry your gift to Jerusalem. If it seems advisable that I should go also then they shall accompany me (1Cor. 16:1-4).

 

Paul wrote to the Romans informing them that he was going to Jerusalem with the gifts from Macedonia and Achaia he had collected for the community at Jerusalem and says he is coming to Rome on his way to Spain (Romans 15:22-33). The general collection Paul set up on the first day of the week to help the Jerusalem Church was above the normal provisions of the Third tithe legislation (see the paper Tithing (No. 161)). The most terrible persecution occurred in Jerusalem of the early Church by the majority of Jews who had rejected Messiah.

 

The collection of the assistance could not be done on the Sabbath and so the First day of the week was set aside for this practice.  Sunday meetings first intruded into Rome in about 111 CE. Probably a result of the collection established by Paul, it was used then because the pagans also kept this day especially in Rome and for slaves of pagans. Conduct of the Sunday meetings is seen clearly from Justin Martyr in his First Apology at chapter 67. In chapter 63 Justin identifies Christ as the Angel who gave the Law to Moses and an apostle of God. He says: 

“Now the Word of God is His son as we have before said. And he is called Angel and Apostle for he declares whatever we ought to know, and is sent forth to declare whatever is revealed; as our lord himself said he that heareth me heareth Him that sent me" [Luke 10:16].

Justin continues here and identifies Messiah as the Angel who gave the Law to Moses.

"From the writing of Moses this will be manifest; for thus it is written in them, "And the Angel of God spake to Moses, in a flame of fire out of the bush, and said I am that I am, the God of Abraham the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob, the God of they fathers... But so much is written for the sake of proving that Jesus the Christ is the Son of God and His Apostle, being of old the Word, and appearing in the form of Fire, and sometimes in the likeness of angels; but now, by the will of God having become man for the human race...."

 

Thus the Church in Rome was Unitarian as we see from these early writings (look also at the Early Theology of the Godhead (No. 127). They met on the Sabbath and also on the Sunday. The Sunday meeting we see in First Apology and from the Dialogue with Trypho we know they also kept the Sabbath. The Church could not conduct financial transactions and take alms on the Sabbath. Thus the Sunday meetings were used for the alms collections of the Church. This is the origin of the collection plate also on Sundays.  Let us look at chapter 67:

"And on the Day called Sunday (te tou 'Hloiu legomene emera), all who live in cities or in the country gather together to one place, and the memoirs of the apostles or the writings of the prophets are read, as long as time permits; then when the reader has ceased, the president verbally instructs, and exhorts to the imitation of these good things. Then we all rise together and pray, and, as we before said, when our prayer is ended, bread and wine and water are brought, and the president in like manner offers prayers and thanks givings according to his ability, and the people assent saying Amen; and there is a distribution to each, and a participation over that which thanks has been given, and to those who are absent a portion is sent by the deacons. And they who are well to do, and willing, give what each thinks fit; and what is collected is deposited with the president, who succours the orphans and widows, and those who through sickness or any other cause, are in want, and those who are in bonds, and the strangers sojourning among us, and in a word takes care of all who are in need."

So here we see the collection meeting instituted by Paul in the middle of the first century become, a hundred years later, under Justin in the middle of the second century, a meeting not just for alms but also for the a common supper of bread and wine taken by all. Water was mingled with wine, as desired, by the Greeks and Romans (see also Wine in the Bible (No. 188). This taking of bread and wine in common was derived from the injunction to do so for the Lord's Supper. (See the paper The Lord's Supper (No. 103) and associated papers). Thus the Feast of the Passover of the early Church appears to have been supplanted by a weekly service in Rome even as early as 150. In 152 Anicetus tried to have the churches abroad conform to this practice also and adopt Easter which they refused to do. Polycarp, disciple of John and head of the Church in Asia Minor at Smyrna, rejected this innovation totally (see the paper The Quartodeciman Disputes (No. 277)). We know that the Easter system is involved here from the following justification offered by Justin. "But Sunday is the day on which we all hold our common assembly, being it is the first day on which God, having wrought a change in the darkness and matter, made the world; and Jesus our Saviour on the same day rose from the dead. For he was crucified on the day before that of Saturn (Saturday); and on the day after that of Saturn, which is the day of the Sun, having appeared to his apostles and disciples, he taught them also these things which we have submitted to you also for your consideration." This text is proof positive of the Easter system and the Friday crucifixion and Sunday resurrection of the cult of Attis in Rome and that of Adonis in the east entering Christianity. We know beyond doubt that 14 Abib or Nisan was on Wednesday 5 April in 30 CE. On no year that Christ could have possibly been crucified did 14 Abib fall on a Friday and the Church rejected entirely this premise outside of Rome and the influence of the Mystery cults (see also The Origins of Christmas and Easter (No. 235)) and also the paper Timing of the Crucifixion and the Resurrection (No. 159)). Christ was crucified on a Wednesday and risen on the Sabbath evening at the end of the day. The Bible is quite clear he was risen well before dawn. Somewhere between 111 and this point in 152 the Sunday alms collection became a bread and wine supper in common with the alms collection and associated with the Easter system.

 

13…Symbols of Worship

As a child I remember going into church and making the sign of the cross, after dipping my hand in Holy Water, then having to half kneel before sitting in a pew. Throughout the service there was a variety of standing, kneeling, sitting. What is the meaning of all these activities?

A: The bending of the knee in the worship service came from the Baal-Easter system and was ancient in Israel and extent with Paul who uses it a as reference in Romans 11:3-4 quoting from 1Kings 19:10-18. They killed God's servants the prophets and Elijah said to God: ‘Lord they have killed Thy prophets, and digged down thine altars; and I am left alone and they seek my life.’ But what was the answer of God unto Him? ‘I have reserved to Myself seven thousand men, who have not bowed the knee to the image of Baal’. The sun symbol and the dying god was the image of Baal-Easter as was the Asherah or Phallus. This symbol was also associated with the Crescent Moon of Sin and the Triune god as we know for certain. Look at the papers: The Golden Calf (No. 222); The Origins of Christmas and Easter (No. 235); The Doctrine of Original Sin Part I The Garden of Eden (No. 246).

 

Stations of the Cross

What is the origin of the Stations of the Cross? Is there a biblical basis for this concept?

A: The Stations of the Cross are depictions in painting or carving of scenes from the activities which led up to the trial and crucifixion of Christ on the 14th day of the First Month. This is usually referred to as the passion of Christ. The scenes are referred to as the Way of the Cross. The erection and use of these stations did not become at all general until the end of the seventeenth century (C. E. Vol. XV, p. 569). They are thus very late in history. Formerly their number was varied but now fourteen are prescribed by authority. These are:

1.      Christ condemned to death;

2.      The cross is laid on him;

3.      His first fall;

4.      He meets his mother;

5.      Simon of Cyrene is made to bear the cross;

6.      Christ's face is wiped by Veronica;

7.      His second fall;

8.      He meets the women of Jerusalem;

9.      His third fall;

10    He is stripped of his garments

11    His crucifixion

12    His death on the cross;

13    His body is taken down from the cross;

14    He is laid in the tomb.

 

The name Veronica comes from the Latin "vera icon" meaning "true image". This was applied to the oldest of the so called "Mors Pilati" or the death images of Christ to distinguish it from others and so it became Veronica which name was applied to one of the matrons of Jerusalem, who was then alleged to have brought it to Rome. Other relics of the "mother of Christ" were alleged to have been also brought by her. She later became a Saint as Veronica. The name is entirely fictitious. The legends of the various countries associated with this fictitious person are enumerated in the Catholic Encyclopaedia (CE, XV, p. 362-363). Charles Borromeo excluded the office of this fictitious person from the Milan Missal where it had been introduced.

 

The images are supposed to assist one to make in some imitative way a pilgrimage to the Via Dolorosa and to trace Christ's way along these routes. This journey and the route is on streets that are several above the level of the time of Christ and it is absolutely impossible that it had been the route that was followed by Christ and the incidence with Veronica is entirely fictitious. In fact the names did not occur before the sixteenth century. Sylvia says nothing of the practice in her Peregrinatio ad loca sancta (380) although she describes minutely every other religious exercise she saw practiced there. The germ of the idea might be asserted to Petronius bishop of Bologna who created a series of connected chapels in the fifth century representing places in Jerusalem but this is a very long bow indeed. Nothing we have can in any way be described as a Way of the Cross until the Fifteenth century. That is why the associations are all at such a late level in Jerusalem building strata. The roads and levels bear no resemblance to ancient times. The true origin of the Stations comes from the granting of indulgences to the Franciscans in 1342 who were given guardianship of the "sacred places." The stations to which indulgences were attached according to Ferraris (CE ibid.) were 4, 5, 8, and where the soldiers cast lots for Christ’s garment, where he was nailed to the cross, Pilates House and the Holy Sepulchre. These are all sites which are in serious dispute and many could not have been correct. The system of indulgences is the true origin. The practice can be seen as generating this traffic. The Catholic Encyclopaedia says: "Analogous to this event [Franciscan indulgences and stations] in 1520 Leo X granted an indulgence of a 100 days to each of a set of sculptured Stations, representing the Seven Dolours of Our Lady, in the cemetery of the Franciscan Friary at Antwerp, the devotion connected with them being a very popular one" (CE ibid.).

 

William Wey the English pilgrim who visited the Holy Land in 1458 and in 1462 is the first to describe the manner in which it had become usual "to follow the footsteps of Christ in his sorrowful journey" (ibid.). This is undoubtedly the start of the practice and the alterations to the stations since (from the early 16th century) indicate a very late origin consistent with this account and not related whatsoever to the time of Christ. This original set of stations has only five Stations which were the same as the current fourteen and the others differing. Of these others, there are seven which have nothing to do with the current concepts or even the Bible. They are: the house of Dives; the city Gate through which Christ passed; the probatic pool; the EcceHomo Arch, the blessed virgins school, and the Houses of Herod and Simon the Pharisee (CE ibid.).

 

In 1515 Romanet Boffin was told by two friars there that there were thirty-one in all but in the manuals subsequently issued they are given as nineteen, twenty-five and thirty- seven. Thus they varied and probably what was most cost effective of the pseudo sites was selected. Copies or reproductions of the stations began to be erected in several parts of Europe in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries following on from this money-making innovation in Jerusalem under the Franciscans were: Alvarez (d. 1420) of the Dominicans of Cordova, Poor Clares at Messina, Emmerich at Gorlitz ca 1465, Ketzl at Nuremburg 1468. Imitations of these were made at Louvain in 1505, St Getreu, Bamberg on 1507, and at Fribourg and Rhodes at about the same time. They proliferated from there. In 1584 twelve stations were published and these coincide with the first twelve listed above. Thus the date for the first twelve stations of the current view are attributed to Adichromius in his work Jerusalem sicut Christi tempore floruit of 1584.

 

Cross

Someone recently told me that the cross is actually a pagan symbol which has nothing to do with Christianity. Could this be correct? Didn't Jesus die on the cross?

A: Yes, the Cross long precedes Christianity as a symbol and was used of the sun cults and paganism. The cross and the fly similar to Baal Zeebub god of Ekron were used in ancient Egypt as early as the third millennium BCE. (see the paper Tattooing (No. 5)). It forms also a basis of the Asherah in the mother goddess system as one can see from the various Asherah on the Hill of Crosses at Siauliai in Lithuania to this day. The NT Greek uses the word Stauros which was a stake and the early forms of crucifixion were by stake but the cross piece was added later. The Latin word crux is the basis of the term cross. The various forms of crosses and the origin of the terms are all discussed in the paper The Cross: Its Origin and Significance (No. 39)).

 

Rosary Beads

What is the origin of Rosary beads?

A: Prayer beads were used by world religions to assist in the process of remembering sequences and to measure the times one prayed. Buddhists used rosary beads and these became prayer wheels. The idea was that by making a thing familiar and by repetition, a larger amount of petitions could be placed before the deity and so gain more merit and perhaps a greater likelihood of an answer.  This repetition was in fact forbidden to Christians by Christ. He said: But you when you pray go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret: and your Father who sees in secret will reward you. And in praying do not heap up empty phrases as the gentiles do; for they think that they will be heard for their many words. Christ then gave us the formula or check list for prayer to the Father. All prayer is to the Father. The concept of the rosary is prayer to multiple entities. In this case it was the mother goddess and father in sequences which was a pagan idea.

 

Candles

What is the origin of candles? Why are there special candles on the altar? What is the concept of the votive candles?

A: The term "Candlesticks" denote the spirits either of God within the Temple or more generally the Fallen Host. They were only used in the Temple in the Menorah which was a seven branched candlestick representing the seven spirits of God. The Temple used oil lamps and these were trimmed according to law in the morning and the evening both first and last thing of the Temple rituals. In Solomon's Temple the candlesticks were as a tenfold system. This appears to be representing the council of the Seventy, which was reflected in the structure of the Sanhedrin. This function passed to the Church in the ordination of the seventy [two] (Luke 10:1, 17). It was not the same in Herod's Temple and that candlestick was carried off by Titus and the image is carved on his Arch in Rome. Christians never used candles on the altars in any Church. In the Catholic system nothing was placed upon the altar except the cloth and the sacred vessels for the Eucharist, after that had come into the Church from Rome in the second century by way of the alms collection gathering service on the First Day of the Week and on which Justin Martyr (Ap. 1, 67) records they took bread and wine which was blessed by the president of the services in Rome who prayed over them as he was able. This term indicates no set order of service either. This was the practice until the ninth century when a pastoral charge or homily attributed to Leo IV (ca 855), but probably of Gallic origin, permitted a shrine containing relics, the book of the gospels, and a pix or tabernacle containing the "Lord's Body", for purposes of the viaticum (see ERE, Altar (Christian), vol. 1:340-341). From this period on the ornaments which were in the ciborium began to be transferred to the altar. Thus for almost a thousand years there was nothing on the altars of this nature.

 

At first they were placed there only for the liturgy, but gradually they began to be placed there permanently. Thus the cross, which formerly had intruded into the Church, only as far as the dome of the ciborium and had suspended from it, was placed on the altar itself.

 

This was the same with lights. "First a single candlestick was placed on one side of the altar opposite the cross; later two candlesticks are found one on either side of it" (ERE, ibid., p. 341). This was all done between the end of the ninth and the thirteenth centuries. The ciborium disappeared in the West and the altar became loaded with all these tabernacle reliquaries, crosses, candles and the other objects which would have been and were totally rejected in early Christianity. The earliest description we have of the inside of a church can be found in the Didascalia apostolorum incorporated into the Apostolic Constitutions Bk. ii, c57.

 

Candles entered the Christian Church from the ancient pagan festivals. The feast of Candlemas is directly linked to these pagan feasts.  It stems from the Blessing of the New Fire in both the Evesham and the Mozarabic rites. The carrying of the candles is associated with the "Lumen ad revelationem gentium." The idea of purification is preserved both in the name of the festival but in the "oratio ad pacem" in the Mozarabic rite of the feast. The Mozarabic rites require that the fire be struck out of new flint, which is a link back to the pagan fires of the Celts.

 

The pagan Celtic year began on November 1, which the Church then consecrated to All Saints day. 1 May began summer and the Beltane fires of 1 May compare with the Samhain Fires of 1 Nov. 1 August is the great feast of the Sun-god, the Lughnasadh Fair or Lammas Day, which the Church then took over and made into the day of St Peter. The 1st of February was the fourth of the great Fires of Celtic paganism of the Druids. This day of Candles is derived from this Fourth Celtic blaze which is still dedicated to the goddess St Bridget or St Bride (cf. ERE, Candlemas vol. 3, p. 192 ff.).

 

The practice of the corn beds and hay associated with both Bride and Bridget or Brigit and the candles lit beside them go back to the ancient vegetation festivals and the dying god and the gods of the corn. The candles were placed with the crosses on the altar because the festival of the goddess Easter had penetrated Christianity so far that they were all similar representations of the same thing. That is why magic and the Satanic rituals use the same structure because they also are bound up in the Days of Human sacrifice which are these very same days. The candles represent the spirits of the gods and goddesses and serve as an invocation of them whether used on ritual at services or in the home.

 

The links with the Roman rites of Purification in February are also demonstrable. The blessing of the Fire and Candles as it is termed in the Evesham rite shows what is happening in the festival. The custom came in when Christmas was introduced into the Church. It was unknown in Jerusalem in 385 and Chrysostom in 386 refers to it having been introduced at Antioch in 375. The festival is a festival of the Latin Church and the forty days of the purification led to the Presentation on February 2.

 

It was probably introduced to Constantinople (ca 542) for the Danube provinces (there ca 500) as Justinian came from Dardania between Old Servia and Macedonia and was in Gaul ca 650 and Rome (ca. 650) (ERE, ibid.). It took over in Rome from the festival of the Lupercalia (ibid). We can see the references and ceremonies then develop in the 8th century. The early dawn gathering recorded of the Pope meeting the representatives of the diaconal regions and parishes all with lighted candles at the church of St Adriano in the Forum was the very meeting of the plebs on the very site of the Comitium, in the Curia, where in bygone years the Comitia tributa had assembled (ibid., pp. 190-191).

 

Candles were not used for the first thousand years on the altar of Christianity because they were understood to be pagan in origin and symbolism. Look at the paper The Origins of Christmas and Easter (No. 235) for the details of the festivals and the customs and their origins.

 

There is a most important reference from Justin Martyr in First Apology chapter 24 where he specifically condemns the use of Candles and fat in pagan worship and states that the Christians do not use this pagan practice. He says: "And this is the sole accusation you bring against us, that we do not reverence the same gods as you do, nor offer to the dead libations and the savours of fat, and crowns for their statues, and sacrifices."

 

Thus we see the reverence for the dead in the candles of fat in the ancient pagan practices. The crowns as garlands for their statues is the probable origin of the parading of the so-called effigies of Christ as well. As we can and will see this is a different church to the later Catholic Church.

 

Bells

Why are bells used in churches? In particular I would like to know about the angelus bell. I suspect it is about calling the faithful to prayer at certain times but then what of its origin? What purpose do bells serve?

A: Bells originated as instruments to make a sound to frighten evil spirits and that is why they were hung on babies cradles and cows necks and all sorts of other places. Their function as a charm was also found in the rattle which was most popular in shamanism.

 

Among the Celts early handmade bells were associated with patron saints and shrines were built to protect them. How much this is a relic of the ancient superstitions is anyone's guess. The idea however according to Wheeler was to command silence when they spoke and thus was the same as the branch of earlier times.  The Irish had bells for the purpose of warding off spirits as early as the bronze age. They also used gongs for this purpose.

 

The musical branch or creabh ciuil was assumed by O'Curry to be a branch with a cluster of bells and was shaken for silence. The legend also was extended to the bough of golden (metal) apples that emitted music which soothed the sick. The Chinese and the east also have these forms of bells, gongs, bell chimes and gong chimes

 

The first of the bells in worship came from China in 677 BCE and found its way into Buddhism and from there to the west. So the bell is not unique in Christianity and not even generalised in Christianity. Bells were not used in Christianity for the first three centuries. This is attributed by Wheeler (ERE, 6, p. 314) to persecution and Roman architecture but even where there was no persecution it was not used and so the argument is apologetic and conjectural. The introduction of large bells to Christianity is attributed to Paulinus archbishop of Nola ca 400 CE. However he omits any reference to such implements in his letter giving a very full description of his church and so this is very doubtful indeed (cf. ERE, ibid.). From Jerome’s description we get the idea from his use of the word tuba that small peals of bells might have been used with trumpets in music then.

 

Gregory of Tours (573) writes of bells as signa. The Gregorian Sacramentary and that of Rheims gives fair evidence that by 590 we have use of bells. This is not certain but the campaniles give fairly strong evidence that by this time bells were in use (ERE, 6, 314). The "clocca" was used to summon to services in Britain and by 740 Egbert Archbishop of York was using bells to toll the hours of service.

 

The first peal of bells was at Royland abbey in 960 and the clergy of the church in England are required to toll a bell daily before services.  The introduction of pagan custom comes from or rather is seen in the Bayeux tapestry where at the depiction of the funeral of Edward the Confessor two boys are each ringing a pair of hand bells. The pagan custom was then altered to call people to pray for the "souls" of the departing spirits which was a definite pagan and Gnostic idea and which was why this practice was so long in getting into Christianity. The practice of ringing bells at funerals and as the corpse passed by to scare away evil spirits became so common that it had to be controlled by the bishops. The 7th century saw a law at canon 67 of the passing bell, which was rung when a person was dying and a minister was not to be slack in doing his duty. This summons for the minister may have had a pagan link but by the tenth and on to the 14th centuries the bells were for warding off evil spirits. The Lych bell is still rung at Oxford before the body of any university official is carried to burial. The passing bell was later merged with the soul bell which was tolled after the death of an individual and its manner of ringing told something of the age and sex of the deceased. During the middle ages the bells were considered as warding off evil spirits and were preventative. Any idea that they might have been used to summon people to prayer was lost if it was ever truly present. Among the pagans the bell was to scare off the death demon and that has been its major function in Christianity until recent times. Among the Buddhists it is to attract the god's attention. The opening of Tibet gave us more insight into the usage there.

 

Bells were used among the American Indians mostly south of the Rio Grande and the Mayan god of death also had bells on his ankles etc. This is the same idea as the other sun cults and the systems coming into Christianity.  Bells were thought of as heathen and the people were baptized to make them Christian. Charlemagne made protest at this "Baptism" but the rite remained in most pontificals until the Reformation and still remains on the continent in the Roman Catholic system (ERE, ibid., p. 315). The triple hail Marys or Aves is held to have originated the Angelus bell at the evening (after Complin) and this is held to be distinct from the curfew bell at evening although it is often rung on the same bell. The curfew bell is usually later. The Angelus bell on the continent serves the demarcation of days and ends some pagan ceremonies associated with Christmas and Easter and like systems (see also The Origins of Christmas and Easter (No. 235)).

 

The tolling of the three interrupted peals of the Angelus in Cathedrals in effect serves as introduction to the tolling of the curfew and the starts of Matins which follows it. It is thus effectively associated with the end of day and curfew. The Reformation Bishops like Hooper tried to stamp the Curfew Bell out as associated and superstitious practices obviously because of its association with the cult of Mariolatry. In 1538 the parson of St Peters was presented before the Protestant Grand Jury in Canterbury for the superstitious practice of tolling the Ave bell after Evensong (cf. Cath. Encycl. Angelus Vol. 1, p. 488).

 

Altar Steps

What is the significance of the steps leading to the altar in most (large) churches?

A: In early Christianity altars were not constructed in steps. Those in the catacombs were constructed on the pavement. In churches they came to be constructed over the tombs of martyrs. This was probably from a reference to the text in Revelation (or the Apocalypse) regarding the Fifth Seal, thus making it a self fulfilling prophecy in relation to the Church. In the fourth century the altar was supported by one step above the floor of the sanctuary. The number of steps is now, for symbolic reasons, always uneven and is either three or five or seven steps including the upper platform or predella which pass round the altar on three sides. The steps may be of wood stone or bricks but Charles (Instructions on Ecclesiastical buildings XI, section 2) would have the two or four lower steps of stone or bricks while he prescribed that the predella on which the celebrant stands be of wood.  The steps should be about one foot in breadth. The Predella should extend along the front of the altar and be three feet six inches in breadth and the sides about one foot. The height of each step ought to be about six inches. Side altars must have at least one step (see Catholic Encyc., article Altar (Altar steps). The Hebrew and Arabic terms for altar mizbeah and madhbah are a derivation of the Assyrian zibu and thence the Arabic dhabaha which means to sacrifice. Thus it was clearly associated with the offering of a victim in sacrifice or its blood. The Celts under the Druids scattered the blood of captives on them and this was common in Gaul. But Julius Caesar and also Strabo were silent on this subject which is significant. The Teutons did not have them and used groves for worship and hence the concepts come to us from the Latin and their influence. The Indo-Germanic etymology of the language of altar is diverse. The Latin is from altare meaning high. This was borrowed in the Old High German, Old Prussian and Church Slav. and Lithuanian. Although the ERE, Vol. 1, p. 333) holds it is connected to adoleo meaning to burn and fiery and thus also associated with the same concepts. The Greek terms for altar are bomos, thumele and thusiasterion. The first is associated with the Doric Bama and the Attic Bema or step (cf. Odyss., vii, 100). This has found its way into the Indo-Aryan in the Indonesian as "bench" for judgment. The Anglo-Saxon "wihbed" or "idol table" is associated with this concept (ERE, ibid., p. 334).

 

Thus we can deduce that the altar among the Semites was the place where the victim was sacrificed and in the Indo-Germanic the place where it was burnt. The steps are clearly associated with the Greek sacrificial system in this regard. The Hebrew Massebah means upright stone pillar and was connected with the Arabic nasaba and thence to set up an idol which was annointed with blood. Originally this was the sacred stone or tree on which the victim was hung. This was the concept associated with the Easter cults where the gods Attis and Adonis etc. were hung. Thus it was the unhappy tree of the Greek myths. Thus placing the tree or cross on the steps or bema which were themselves the altar was the Easter system of Adonis among the Greeks or Attis among the Romans the entry to Christianity in the fourth century coincides with the councils of that time and the Easter system becoming the ratified religion and festivals of Christianity.

 

Thus we can associate the altar and the raised structure of the sacrifice of Attis which was on a pine tree and the pine was sacred to him. Hence the relics of the cross are always of pine. The numbers are again associated with the ancient system; three being the system of the Triune god, five the next phase and reflected also in the structure of the Celts associated with the cross, and in some ziggurats. Seven is the levels of the ascent to the gods found in animistic shamanism and among kabbalistic Judaism as the halls of the Hekalot in Merkabah Mysticism. The seven levels are in the Babylonian ziggurat, the highest being dedicated to the Moon God which is called sin in the Golden Calf system and among the Hebrews (See also The Golden Calf (No. 222)).

 

Brown Scapulars

I would know more about the brown scapulars that are worn by Catholics. My recollection is that by wearing a scapular one received indulgences and/or was saved from 'everlasting fire' if one died wearing this item. I think a medal can be worn instead and one still receives the same benefits? Where did this practice come from?

A: The Roman Catholic Church acknowledges there are two forms of scapular a large and a small scapula and also since the regulation of the Holy Office of 16 December 1910 (Acta Apost. Sedis, III, 22 sq.) has acknowledged scapular medals of metal and permitted them to be worn (see for example Cath. Encyc. Scapular, XIII, p. 510). That seems awfully late one would say and with good reason. The reason they were approved so late is that they were condemned so early and for good reason. Scapula falls into the class of Defensive charms and comes under Amuletum, which has the same meaning as Phylacterium. The term is derived from amolimentum. The Greeks speak continually of these forms under different names alezeterios, alezikakos, alezibelemnos, alezipharmakos (ERE, 3, p. 416). The charms ward off the evil eye and demoniacal possession, fever, illness of all kinds, wounds, sudden death, fire, drought, attacks of robbers, and all other evils by which mankind is threatened (ibid.). The special name given to these is "amulet" or from the Arabic talesma, a "talisman". The medallions or plaques came from the East. In Rome the lead tube or bulla was replaced by the casket or locket. Under Christian influence these amulets took the form of the cross but the medallions also survived. The crosses also contained relics and many of the superstitious especially among the monastic orders carried relics in the crosses themselves.

 

The ancients had an exhaustive system of defense by magical means and allotted a special charm to every limb and every disease. A child as soon as it was born was surrounded by bells and magic knots in its cradle. The rattle and the little bell given to children are derived from this practice. The Christian superstitious sought to set these objects on a level with the Tephilin of the OT and which Judaism and the Jews had made into amulets from a misrepresentation of the injunctions in Deuteronomy 6:8; 11:18 (ERE, ibid.). Originally the manufacture of these charms was condemned (e.g. Epiphanius Haer, 15 [PG xli, 245) and the synods of the Church laid the penalties of the Church upon the manufacture of these "Phylacteries" by the clergy (ERE, ibid.). So originally they were condemned as superstitious heresy by the Church synods. In the East a change of opinion began in the 6th century and the rejection of these crosses with icons and relics was taken as condemnation of iconoclasm and began to gain acceptance in the Church beginning with the Patriarch Nicephorus. He clearly refers to them as phylacteries and says they were for "the protection and assurance of life, for the health of soul and body, for healing in sickness, and for the averting of attacks by unclean spirits." The Emperor and other high officials also wore these "phylacteria" and they were sent as pledges of safe conduct. Constantine Capronymous (the iconoclastic emperor) condemned them (ERE, pp. 416-417 and fn. 2). This seems to have coincided also with the rise of Mariolatry or mother goddess worship among Christians. The development in the west followed similar development. In time the distinctions came to be made between heathen charms which were expressly forbidden and Christian charms which were made and worn by the clergy.

 

Gregory sent a series of crosses and charms to Theodelind which all have the character of amulets. They are preserved at Monza.   Gregory of Tours wore such a cross and regularly changed the items in it. The "Lives of the Saints" is full of miracles attributed to these phylacteries (cf. ERE, ibid., p. 417). The Catholic record (CE ibid.) states that the Scapular was derived from the Benedictines as a shawl with the corners from shoulder to shoulder with a hole for the head and the corners thus forming a cross. They say the Dominicans followed and then the other monasatic orders and a hood was added. This was the larger scapula with the small scapula being derived from it as a token of the order to which the people were associated.  The ERE deals with the scapula as derived from the Carmelites in 1287 which were supported by papal privileges (Privilegium Sabbatinum, 1320). It was so popular it aroused the competition of other monastic orders (ERE, op.cit.). It was originally a strip of cloth suggesting the cowl, which was wrapped around the dying in order to ensure him a blessed death and freedom from purgatory. Thus it is not hard to see why people, even those not ill, began wearing them to bed, in case they died in their sleep. These medallions and medals and crucifixes and ornaments are all amulets, which were held to ward off evil. The ERE says: "Modern Roman Catholicism, with the numerous insignia of its brotherhoods, its medals struck in commemoration of ecclesiastical festivals, its medallions in memory of different shrines, and especially of pilgrimage centres, has done much to encourage this faith [in amulets]" (ibid.).

 

The hanging of the amulet around the neck as a scapula with knots and the other identifying items has also the product of a counter or curative charm and falls under that form of magic. The idea is that the sight of the antidote frightens the demon.  The hanging of the charm around the neck is done for magical purposes and Chrysostom taught vigorously against the practice deeming it idolatrous and if death followed the renunciation, it was to be counted as martyrdom (ERE, p. 418). The scapular is a charm or amulet that originated with the Carmelites under papal privilege in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries and which was copied by other orders for money making purposes and is held to hold protective powers and form an indulgence from purgatory and as such is one of the last vestiges of the medieval mentality of indulgences and magic charms which had a cause in the Reformation. It was so outlawed by the early Catholic Church that it took until only recently to be condoned generally in Roman Catholicism.

 

Holy Water

How does holy water become holy, and just what does this mean?

A: The practice in the Bible is derived from blood not water and it was sprinkled once a year in the Holy of Holies by the High Priest.  Christ entered the sanctuary not made with human hands with his own blood and it was once and for all. The practice of collecting water and making it "holy" once again stems from the Baal system and is examined in the papers dealing with Derceto or Atargatis and the others in that system. See for example The Piñata (No. 276) and David and Goliath (No. 126).

 

14…Customs

Do you know where the idea of stained glass windows in churches came from?

A: Stained glass in the west came from the use in the Gothic style churches. It began in France with the Windows of St Denise (1140-44) and it spread from there to Chartres (ca 1145), York and Le Mans (ca 1155), Angers and Poitiers. In the following century the school of Notre Dame de Paris played a similar role; the Old Christian idea that each person of the OT was a prefiguring of the New. This idea only became expanded in the Gothic art of the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. In the East Islam and the Byzantine emperors who were iconoclasts such as Leo the Isaurian and Theophilus were educated men who resisted such iconography very strongly and the iconoclast controversy of 725-850 had limited any artistic development in the east. It was under the Normans that this form was spread in Gothic architecture. There are more details of the Flemish and Gothic styles that are available if you desire.

 

As a child growing up in a Catholic family my father belonged to the Knights of Columbus. What is the origin of that organization and how does if function?

A: Ferdinand Marcos made Herbert Armstrong an officer of the Order of the Knights of Columbus and the Daughters of Jezebel so the inscription went. The Knights of Columbus are an order of Roman Catholic origin much like freemasonry or odd-fellows. It was formed for Roman Catholic men in New Haven Connecticut 2 February 1882 and incorporated there on 29 March 1882. Its purpose is to promote Roman Catholic doctrine, education and society and charity. It has an insurance department to assist deceased members. They established subordinate councils in the same way Freemasonry establishes lodges and the movement began to spread outside of Connecticut from 15 April 1885. It admitted associates from October in 1893. Originally they were for aged or incapacitated men but it has spread to all those not requiring insurance.

 

The Fourth Degree was established among twelve hundred men in New York City on 22 February 1900. It is now all over the world and has a multitude of members. It does a large amount of charitable work and also assists in the evangelising of the Roman Catholic Faith.

 

Are any of the Vatican Swiss Guard females?

A: The Swiss Guard consists of 6 officers and 110 men and they are all Swiss. They are not permitted to marry. Unless they have recruited a female in the recent past or changed policy they have no females. That does not account for the Vatican cats or mascots they might possess. If it has changed please let me know.

 

The Catholic Encyclopaedia has the following to say about the nimbus (halo): In early Christian art, the rayed nimbus as well as the rayless disc were adopted in accordance with tradition. The sun and the Phoenix received, as in pagan art, a wreath or a rayed crown, also the simple halo. The latter was reserved not only for emperors but for men of genius and personifications of all kinds, although both in ecclesiastical and profane art, this emblem was usually omitted in ideal figures. In other cases the influence of ancient art tradition must not be denied. Do you believe that this sort of symbolism is condoned by God? Does it matter that the early Christians followed the pagans before them in their depictions of art?

A: The Bible is quite clear you are not to follow the heathen in the ways they worship their gods. The result is quite clear.

 

They placed the nimbus around Christ and then worshipped Him and then Mariam and worshipped her and then the other saints and worshipped them and on and on it has gone until they have more gods than the heathen they replaced. Often the saints have even the same name of the god or goddess appropriated to them. For example the Maeve Bridget is St Bridget or Brigit. The Mother Goddess is Mary or Maria. 

 

What is the significance of the European custom of celebrating 'name days' in preference to birthdays? I assume a newborn was named after a particular saint who was being commemorated around the time of his or her birth.

A: The custom of the name day in the Europeans Aryans comes from the ancient and wide spread Aryan view that the name was not only part of the man but as Frazer says in The Golden Bough: "but that it was part of him which is termed the soul, the breath of life, or whatever you may choose to define it as being" (Vol. iii, p. 319).

 

This is thus an aspect of the pagan system of the Triune God from where we get all the other customs of the Baal-Easter system. Look at the paper Abracadabra: The Meaning of Names (No. 240) for some of the ancient views associated with this subject. Look also at the paper The Soul (No. 92) for this aspect.

 

Can you give me examples of pagan rituals being adopted in both the Jewish as well as Christian faith?

A: The introduction of pagan ritual was from the beginning in both Christianity and Judaism. For example Rosh HaShanah is a Babylonian tradition kept by Judaism. Look at the answers in Rosh HaShanah. It has affected the entire Modern Jewish Calendar (see the paper God's Calendar (No. 156). Easter is a pagan ritual adopted into the Church in the latter half of the second century. Christmas in its entirety is the festival of the Invincible sun God which came in with Sunday worship from the Sun Cults (see The Origins of Christmas and Easter (No. 235). Look at Samuel Bacchiocchi From Sabbath to Sunday, Pontifical University Press, Rome 1975).

 

Were people originally buried in pine coffins as part of existing belief that pine was magical?

A: Yes, Attis was the Dying God and pine was sacred to him. As the resurrected god of the Easter system one appealed to Baal-Easter or Ashtoreth to resurrect the individual as Attis was resurrected. This does not mean that every one who gets buried in a pine box is a worshipper of Baal Ashtoreth, as it is a common and cheap material, but if it is a specific of their religion it probably comes from the influence of the black cassocked khemarim or priests of Baal.

 

What is the reason the Catholic Church uses the concept of indulgences? Some people even pay for this privilege.

A: Papal indulgence was one of the concepts that gave rise to the Reformation. It follows from the logic that the Church has power to forgive sin. If it has that power why not forgive sin in advance? This was considered necessary in the political work of the Jesuits where the adherents were forgiven all sin even murder in the pursuit of the power of the Roman Church. This same power and oath taking and absolution is associated with Opus Dei also. This aspect is covered in the book Their Kingdom Come dealing with the structure and aspirations and funding of Opus Dei and its danger to the interests of the nation states in which it operates. Indulgences got to the point of selling them for a price for specific sins such as theft. If you were absolved for theft then you could pay up to x value if you were intending stealing x plus y. Thus the Church got its cut of crime as well.

 

This scandalous and totally immoral conduct was overthrown by the Reformation and reformed in the Counter Reformation that followed. The concepts are still in use today in the pursuit of political power in the Church.

 

Where did the custom of the Christmas tree come from?

A: The custom of the Christmas tree came from the Assyro-Babylonian system and found prominence in the festivals of the worship of Attis and also Adonis. Attis was a god as father and son in a modal structure that was crucified on a pine tree and the pine was sacred to him. It was cut and decorated each year and the decoration was kept and burnt the following year as a symbol of regeneration. The traditions are covered in the paper: The Origins of Christmas and Easter (No. 235).

 

Is Jeremiah 10:3-5 referring to a Christmas tree?

Jeremiah 10:3-5 For the customs of the people are vain: for one cutteth a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the axe. They deck it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it move not. They are upright as the palm tree, but speak not: they must needs be borne, because they cannot go. Be not afraid of them; for they cannot do evil, neither also is it in them to do good.

A: Yes, that is exactly what Jeremiah is referring to in this text. The Pine was sacred to the god Attis who was originally a Lydian deity of Asia Minor. The idea of the pine in winter probably came from the fact that it was the only green tree on the horizon and hence associated with life. The Babylonian system had the festival of the dying god as Attis which became popular in Rome because of the aspects of human sacrifice associated with it. Adonis was more popular among the Greeks and Osiris, consort of Isis, was the dying God in Egypt. The pine was cut and decorated and the top decoration was kept and then burnt at the fires. This is the custom of keeping the decorations until next year. The death of the shrove and the burning on Ash Wednesday is also a key aspect or link in the festivals. They are condemned by God through His servants the prophets and represent false gods as this text so clearly shows. Look at the papers The Origins of Christmas and Easter (No. 235) and The Cross: Its Origin and Significance (No. 39).

 

My parents still attend First Friday devotions. What is the origin of that practice?

A: The Holy Hour and the Communion of the First Friday in each month were established by Margaret Mary Alcoque. She was of the Visitation order and entered the convent of Paray on 25 May 1671 with final vows in November 1672.

 

She had frequent apparitions attributed to Christ and was cured often of infirmities; she suffered through her devotions, which she attributed to Christ. She established the practice called Holy Hour which consisted of lying face down on the floor in prayer for the hour from 11 p.m. until midnight on the first Friday in each month.

Communion was then taken on the day, called First Friday. Christ allegedly showed her the desire to make his love of all men known and he allegedly instructed her that the Friday after the octave of the Feast of Corpus Christi is the feast of the Sacred Heart (cf. C. E. Vol. IX, p. 653).

 

Probably on 27 December 1673 Christ is alleged to have appeared to her. First Friday Communion and the Holy Hour began in June or July 1674. In 1675 the "great apparition is alleged to have occurred in which Christ is alleged to have shown the sacred heart and demanded the feast of the Sacred Heart be on the Friday after the octave of Corpus Christi” (cf. CE, Vol. VII p. 166.

 

She declared all this to Fr. de la Colombiere who then dedicated himself to the Sacred Heart and wrote about it in his journal which was published and thence it became a popular charismatic movement of the time.

 

She died 1690. She was declared Venerable by Leo XII in March 1824 and on 18 September 1864 Pius IX declared her Blessed. Her tomb was canonically opened in July 1830 and two alleged cures took place. Her feast is on 17 October and she is buried under the altar at the chapel at Paray. She is considered the apostle of the Sacred Heart movement.

 

Is this any connection to the Friday crucifixion idea?

A: Yes it is precisely directed at the idea of a Friday crucifixion. The whole idea of First Friday Communions is described by the Roman Catholic Church itself as a cultus superfluus and is termed improper worship.

The expectation of some form of enhanced performance of the religious ceremony due to this day observance is classed as a superstition and listed in the Catholic Encyclopaedia under the article "Superstition" in Vol. XIV p. 340.

 

Much of the customs associated with Friday and the prohibitions on food come from paganism and the cult of Derceto or Atargatis in the Middle East and that of the Dying God associated with a Friday Crucifixion and Sunday Resurrection. Christ was crucified on a Wednesday 5 April 30 CE (see the paper Timing of the Crucifixion and the Resurrection (No. 159)).

 

Is this why we always had fish instead of meat on Fridays?

A: Yes, fish and doves were sacred to Atargatis/Derceto/Easter. The Pine and its decoration were sacred to Attis who Rhea castrated. Rhea was associated with Atargatis. Holy Water originates in this cult also. That is the origin of the mermaid and is why they make Piñatas and why they do all sorts of things associated with Lent that are not in the Bible. Look at the The Origins of Christmas and Easter (No. 235); David and Goliath (No. 126) and also The Piñata (No. 276).

 

Is there any scriptural reference to keeping Palm Sunday and braiding palms and keeping them in your house or car?

A: Making booths out of boughs is a function of the feast of Tabernacles and is sanctioned by the Bible. Look also at the paper The Holy Days of God (No. 97).

 

The practice of laying palms down on Palm Sunday comes from the entry of Christ into Jerusalem. This aspect is covered in the paper Timing of the Crucifixion and the Resurrection (No. 159).

 

As a former Catholic I witnessed the kissing of the ring worn by a bishop or archbishop. Why do they do this? All I can think of is 'what a perfect way to spread germs'! Where did this practice come from? Does this practice still exist?

A: The ring is the symbol of the marriage of a bishop to his see and is the basis of power in the same way the ring of the king or queen of England is termed "the wedding ring of England." The practice of kissing the ring is an acknowledgement of the fealty of the subject to his Lord and his vassal. This also stems from, or was enshrined by, the doctrine of the papal bull Unam Sanctam (see the paper Theory of the Just War (No. 110)). This practice of kissing objects is found throughout the religious world and particularly in St Peters and in Jerusalem and environs. The kissing of the feet of the idol that purports to be Peter in Rome is astounding and untold hundreds of people line up to do just that. The practice has no biblical basis and is as you say unhygienic to say the least. These sorts of unbiblical practices were the reason the Medieval and Middle Ages saw plagues spread among the Christian populace.

 

I have a friend who recently moved into a new house. She's planning on having a Catholic priest come to bless her new home. What benefit would this confer to one's house and its occupants?

A: It is an ancient pagan superstition among the Aryans. They used to sacrifice humans in the cornerstone at one time to make it blessed. The priests in Europe took this up for money among Roman Catholicism and among the Orthodox in some areas. I have explained the origins of some of it in the paper The Origins of Christmas and Easter (No. 235).

 

I have been reading some Roman Catholic History and see mention of "The First Five Saturdays" which might somehow be connected to Fifteen Mysteries of the Rosary. Can you tell me anything about what these might be?

A: The Roman Catholic Rosary differs entirely from the Eastern Church system of approximately 100 knots as an aid to prayers among the less literate of the monks.

 

The Latin rite of the Rosary was said to be introduced by St Dominic in Toulouse deliberately to counter the Albigensian teachers who by their examination of doctrine were having a devastating impact on the Church in the thirteenth century (cf. The Cath. Encyc. (CE), Rosary, Vol. XIII. p. 184 ff.). The Dominicans were expressly formed for the Inquisitions and took over the role of Inquisitors for the Benedictines who had played the major part until the formation of the Dominicans. It formed a sort of prayer wheel that answered intelligent criticism with repetition.

 

Dominic is alleged to have had a vision of The Virgin who told him to institute the practice and successive popes have credited him with it. However Dominic writings are entirely silent on the practice.

 

It appears to be in effect the first form of brainwashing to counter a serious ecclesiastical controversy. It was not entirely successful, as they had to institute the Albigensian Crusade and murdered untold thousands of Waldensians and Cathars in the most unspeakable ways. The work of “Bernard of Fontcaude” gives an idea of the mindless rhetoric used against the Waldensians from the Third Lateran Council, and subsequently from Genoa and the persecutions from 1190.

 

The legend attributing it to Dominic probably originated with the Dominican Alan de Rupe of around 1470-1475. His works were fictitious and his writings have impregnated much of the literature but are based on false references (CE Vol. XIII, p. 186).

 

The practice of saying these 50 or 150 Hail Marys or Aves seem to come from the twelfth century as we see from the various accounts of e.g. St Albert d 1140, from the UK in the Corpus Christi MS in the Ancren Riwle, and the story of Eulalia are all from the twelfth century (cf. CE XIII, p. 186).

 

Thus the rise of the custom coincided with the rise of the Waldensians and Lollards and seemed to be a reaction to the dedicated Bible advocacy of what was to initiate the Inquisitions and then the Reformation in reaction to it. Look at the paper The Role of the Fourth Commandment in the Historical Sabbath-keeping Churches of God (No. 170).

 

The Rosary is divided into fifteen decades of tens of Hail Marys with an Our Father between each ten. The term rosary or rosarius means garland of roses and comes from the legend of the formation of rose buds from the prayers of a monk that were collected from his lips and used by the Virgin as a garland. This form of vestment was an old idea of the pagans and had been adopted in Christianity with the rise of Mariolatry.

 

The thirteenth century metrical version in German (CE, Rosary ibid., p. 187) indicates this legend was formulated for the Albigensian crusades and the knights were recruited for this mindless slaughter from the north and well into Germany.

 

Originally they were termed beads in the Old Saxon which means prayer and thus were more linked to the Eastern concepts which had no prayers such as are understood in the Latin rite of the Rosary. That is why the Anglican Catholic Church rejects them as idolatrous repetition and Mariolatry from the Reformation.

 

The term mystery is a more recent innovation, which was used in the construction of the chapels of the Mysteries of the Rosary in the sanctuary of Monserrat outside of Barcelona (CE vol. 1, p. 290).

 

The Rosary is an innovation taken up by the Dominicans in the fifteenth century and made popular by them. The various arrangements and religious devotions attributed to them are all even more recent innovations.

 

Is there a reason that crosses are made from pine and not other wood?

A: Crosses are made from other wood but the reason they are made primarily from pine is that the god Attis was crucified on the pine tree and people gather that tree in the forest each year and decorate it with trimmings and a main top decoration which is based on the fertility system. That symbol is kept and burnt each year at the festivals of the mourning for Attis and also for Adonis. This custom entered Christianity with the Easter cult of which it was a central part. The Friday Crucifixion and Sunday resurrection is also tied into this aspect. Look at the papers The Cross: Its Origin and Significance (No. 39); and The Origins of Christmas and Easter (No. 235).

 

Catholic doctrine seems to agree that idolatry is giving a thing or person worship, which is due to God alone. Yet they venerate images of Mary and saints but say they do not adore these things as gods therefore it is not the same as bowing down to serve idols as if they were gods. Is this not a contradiction? Apart from that, these people are dead and doesn't the Bible say the 'dead know nothing'?

A: Yes, it is idolatry. It is written thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image or any likeness of any thing that is in the heavens above or in the earth beneath or in the waters under the earth. Thou shalt not bow down to it nor worship it.

 

Pretty clear one would think. No idols of anything are to be bowed down to or given worship. This activity never took place in the early Church. The system of adoration in the Roman Catholic Church rests on two facts. One is a supposed distinction between the worship accorded to God and Christ, which they term the cult of the Latria.

 

The Saints are given worship, which is termed the cult of the Dulia and the worship given to Mary is the cult of the Hyperdulia which is higher than that accorded to saints and lower than that accorded to God and Christ.

 

These distinctions have no Scriptural basis and rest on another false doctrine namely that of the Gnostic false doctrine of Heaven and Hell where Mary and the saints are asserted to have gone to heaven. This notion is contrary to Scripture which states no one has ascended into heaven save he who descended from heaven the Son of Man who is Christ (Jn. 3:13). Look also at the papers: The Soul (No. 92); The Resurrection of the Dead (No. 143); and The Virgin Mariam and the Family of Jesus Christ (No. 232).

 

15…Prayer

Who should I pray to, Jesus, God, or one of the saints, or Mary? 

A. Christ told us to Pray to the Father in His name. I know of no other sanction for prayer. The very cosmology of the Bible prevents you from praying to Mariam or the other Saints as they are still in their graves awaiting the Resurrection of the Dead.

 

Look at the paper The Resurrection of the Dead (No. 143). The Bible is emphatic. No one has ascended into heaven save he who descended from heaven, namely the son of man (John 3:13). If they are all dead, what is the point of prayer to them? Revelation 4 and 5 shows that the prayers to God are collected as a fragrant incense by the Council of the Host. Look at the paper Teach Us to Pray (No. 111).

 

If I lose something and I pray to St Jude  will he really help me to find what I've lost?

A: Jude or Judah the brother of Christ and author of the book of that name is dead. So is Jacob called James and Joseph and Simon and their sisters and their mother Mariam and the rest of the apostles and early saints. Look at the paper The Virgin Mariam and the Family of Jesus Christ (No. 232). The Bible is quite clear that: ‘No man has ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven’ (Jn. 3:13). That means nobody is in heaven except Christ: Not David or Moses or Adam or Jude or Mariam or any other person. They are dead and lying in the grave awaiting the return of the Messiah. Look at the papers The Soul (No. 92) and The Resurrection of the Dead (No. 143). Praying to dead men's bones is a rather silly thing to do and idolatrous. Worship God. The Church told the Roman emperor that if the people said that when they died they went to heaven and they were Christians do not believe them. They are not Christians. It is the same today.

 

Catholic Churches are full of idols. Doesn’t the Bible say we are not to make any graven images nor bow down to them? Why do they have to say Hail Marys? Does it mention anywhere in the Bible that you have to say this prayer?

A: The fact of the matter is that God told us not to make graven images nor bow down to them and that is precisely what is being done. The Bible says that no one has ascended into heaven save he who descended from heaven the Son of man (Jn 3:13).

 

Originally no one prayed to Mary, whose real name was Mariam by the way, Maria was her sister. This aspect and the names and relationships of the brothers and sisters of Christ are discussed in the paper The Virgin Mariam and the Family of Jesus Christ (No. 232). The practice of praying to Mary and then the saints did not come into Christianity until the fifth and sixth centuries.

 

Where did the practice of praying to patron saints originate and when?

A: Praying to patron saints originated from the practice of praying to local and area deities. Many of these were simply incorporated into the Christian system and given the names of saints and the people simply kept on praying to the deity under Christian guise. Originally it was to trees within animistic shamanism and this practice is recorded, even in recent times in Islam as well, coming from paganism also.

 

In the early Church the practice was never in question and the Church would have denounced the practice as heresy. The Church believed in the Resurrection of the dead and they all understood that the saints were still in the grave. The assertion that the saints including Mariam (Mary) or anyone other than Christ being resurrected and in heaven was considered a godless and blasphemous doctrine and was the true test of a Christian. Gradually the gods and goddesses, for example like the Maeve Brigit, one of the triune system of the Celts, was incorporated among countless others. Hecate at the crossroads became Mary after Mariolatry was established in sixth century coming from the Middle East.

 

Apostles Creed

I remember learning the Apostles Creed as a child, but where is the scriptural reference for the 12 apostles writing it?

A. The Creeds are the result of the activities of the Fourth century. They are all attempts at placing the theology of Constantinople on an earlier footing.

 

The Nicene Creed is actually a reconstruction of the Canons of Constantinople in 381. The canons of Nicea were "lost" and the creed was reconstructed to make it appear that the creed was of an earlier date.

 

The so-called Apostles Creed is of a similar invention. The legend that it was written by the apostles on the day of Pentecost is a popular myth of the Middle Ages alleged to date back to the sixth century (cf. Pseudo Augustine in Migne P. L. XXXIX, 2189 and Pirminius ibid. LXXXIX, 1034; Catholic Encyclopaedia Vol. 1, p. 629).

 

It is allegedly foreshadowed in a sermon given by Ambrose (Migne P. L. XVII, 671; Kattensbusch I, 81) which takes notice that the creed was pieced together by twelve separate workmen. So the twelve workmen then became the twelve apostles.

 

Rufinus (ca 400) (Migne P. L., XXI, 337) gives a detailed account of the composition of the creed, which account he professed to have received from earlier ages. He does not assign each article to an apostle stating that they were the work of all, taking place on Pentecost. He uses the term symbol here to identify this rule of faith. The earliest known instance of this term was ca. 390 in a letter addressed to Pope Siricius by the Council of Milan (Migne, P. L. XVI, 1213) (cf. CE, ibid.). The term was Symbolum Apostolorum (Creed of the Apostles).

 

There is not any record ever of an instance for such a creed or symbol prior to the Council of Milan. The conclusion is obvious. After Constantinople they were faced with the task of defining the new Trintiarian system and they were seeking some symbol or document that they could reconstruct which predated the reconstruction of the Council of Constantinople back to Nicea at 325. They then invented the so-called Apostles Creed to given the new theology of the Triune system some basis of acceptability.

 

The term "Symbolum" does not go back beyond Cyprian and Firmilian writing in the third century. Firmilian speaks of a creed as the "symbol of the Trinity" including it as an integral part of the rite of baptism (Migne, P. L. III, 1165, 1143) Kattensbusch tries to trace the use of words back to Tertullian (cf. II, p. 80, note and cf. CE ibid. p. 630).

 

The concept of creed is held to have been seen in terms such as "regula fidei", "doctrina", "traditio". These terms regulation of the faith, doctrine and tradition in no way isolate the existence of the so-called Apostles Creed and there is no evidence of such a work. In fact the written statements of the faith are such that they would have regarded the fourth century creeds as heretical from the writings we have extant.

 

The greatest 19th century theologian Harnack says the Apostles Creed represents only the baptismal confession of the Church in Southern Gaul dating at the earliest from the last half of the fifth century (Das apostolishe Glaubensbekenntniss, 1892, p. 3; cf. CE ibid.). The Roman Catholic Herbert Thurston agrees with this statement, but says that it was not in Gaul but in Rome that the creed received its final form (ibid., cf. Burn the Journal of Theological Studies, July 1902).

 

Both of these hold that another and older form of the creed termed R came to existence in the second century in Rome and Thurston tries to show this dates back to the apostolic age.

 

The early R form was as follows.

1. I believe in God the Father Almighty;

2. And in Jesus Christ His only son our Lord;

3. Who was born of (de) the Holy Spirit and of (ex) the Virgin Mary;

4. Crucified under Pontius Pilate and buried;

5. The Third Day he rose again from the dead,

6. He ascended into heaven,

7. Sitteth of the Right Hand of the Father;

8. Whence he shall come to judge the living and the dead,

9. And in the Holy Spirit;

10. The Holy Church;

11. The forgiveness of sins;

12. The Resurrection of the Body.

The T document is acknowledged by the Roman Catholic Church to have achieved its final shape in Rome shortly before 700 CE (ibid.). Thus the concept of the declaration of Creator of heaven and earth was added as were the words, "descended into hell", "the communion of Saints", "Life everlasting", and the words "conceived" "suffered" "died" and "Catholic".

 

If there is an early document it is based on the concepts here and in the statements of Tertullian from where we can make some reconstructions. There is no doubt that the later Apostles Creed is a forged document containing concepts that would have been rejected by the early Church.

 

16…Saints

I frequently see an ad in the public notices of our local newspaper expressing thanks to St Jude for favors granted or prayers answered. It seems this public display of thanks is a condition of receiving the favor. What is this novena all about?

A: The Novena is derived from novem or nine. It is a nine-day public or private devotion in the Roman Catholic Church to obtain special graces. The octave is of a festive character. The novena is one of grief, of hopeful mourning, of yearning of prayer.

 

Jerome held that nine was indicative of suffering and grief from Ezekiel 7:24. The novena is permitted and even recommended by ecclesiastical authority but still has no proper and fully set place in the Church (cf. Cath. Encyc., XI, p. 141). The nine-day sequence has nothing to do with the Bible and comes from the Roman nine-day sequence of sacrifice in appeasement of the gods and to avert evil and is carried out when the circumstances indicate evil. The origin is related in Livy (I, xxxi) and noted in the CE (ibid). The Greeks and Romans also had a special nine days of mourning with a special feast on the ninth day after a death or burial and this was of a family nature. Romans also celebrated the nine-day novena in commemoration for all the departed members of their family on the 13-22 February. The ninth day had a special sacrifice and a joyful banquet (CE ibid., p. 142). This custom was rejected as pagan by Augustine who warned Christians against it (P. L. XXXIV, 596, ibid.).

 

In the early part of the Middle Ages another form came into place which was the Novena of preparation, but at first only before Christmas and only in Spain and France (CE ibid). This may have had its origin in the tenth council of Toledo (656). From 1690 the custom sprang up of having novenas for the feasts of the founders of the religious orders and this was given authority from 1843 (CE ibid). The practice of novenas to saints was formalised over two hundred years from the seventeenth century and is at Decretal authority 3728 and the decrees of 30 June 1896. At the same time as the novena of preparation came into being, so also did the novena of prayer to the saints especially to recover health and the origin was in France and Belgium. Up until 1000 they were to Hubert Marcolf and Mommolus, the latter being the patron of head and brain diseases.

 

The novena to Hubert is best known and continues to this day. It was used as a defence against rabies. The novena of Grace to Francis Xavier commenced in 1633 (made 4-12 March and also to Ignatius). The novena to Jude is another of the growing list of prayers to dead saints who lie in wait for the resurrection and can of themselves do nothing. The concept rests on the soul doctrine and the Gnostic doctrines and assumptions of heaven and hell. (Look at the papers The Soul (No. 92); The Resurrection of the Dead (No. 143); and also Vegetarianism and the Bible (No. 183). Jude was the brother of Jesus Christ and has been dead these last nineteen centuries. Prayers to him are successful only in the coincidence. The publication by announcement is superstition like the practice of a modern chain letter where it must be sent on so as not to invoke the bad "luck" (an Egyptian concept) that goes with such action.

 

Where did the worship of St Patrick originate? From the Saint part of the name, one would assume that it has some religious background.

A. Patrick (b. at Kilpatrick near Dumbarton in Scotland in 387 is alleged to have died on 17 March 493 at Saul Downpatrick in Ireland. He was the son of the Roman Calphurnius who was decurio of either Gaul or Britain and his mother was Conchessa, a near relative to Martin of Tours in Gaul. Ireland was committed to the worship of Baal as arch god and the Golden Calf until their alleged conversion by him in March 433 (see the paper The Golden Calf (No. 222)).

 

The Easter system was on 26 March, the New Year being 25 March with the concept of the Equinox. The Easter fires were lit there perhaps in advance of the Beltain fires of May 1 (cf. Frazer Golden Bough, x, p. 158). Patrick lit the Easter fires and allegedly took over from the Druids in the Baal system. This dispute is a clear appropriation of the fire role of the Baal system from the Druids to the system of the Monks of Lerins.

 

The Baal-Easter system began in the period before 25 March and with Attis we see it began on 22 March with the cutting of the tree of the god in the forest and its decoration and carriage with the effigy (or in the past the real sacrifice) representing the god strapped to the tree. The eunuch priests paraded with it in the east and in Rome. How much the celebrations are associated with the driving out of witches and demons and the Baal festivals of the Druids is anyone's guess. This process was carried out on Fridays in each week during March especially in Italy.

 

The story of Patrick and the Druids was extraordinarily like the Roman festival of 14 March, where the old god Mars is sent as scapegoat from the city as god of vegetation driven by his dancing priests, the Salii. This deity beaten and driven then had to be replaced by the New Divinity and the New Fires on the New Year of 25 March which is undoubtedly the day we are seeing in the story of St Patrick (cf. Frazer The Golden Bough, vol. ix, p. 231).

 

17…Inquisitions

Why do some religions think that only they and those holding their particular views and beliefs are the only ones that should be heard? Isn't this just what the Roman Catholic Church did over the past 1500 years, i.e. try to silence all those (right or wrong) who disagreed with them, many times by torture and death? Do you think that it's because they're afraid that if the light of truth shined into their dark closets it would reveal a whole lot of skeletons that they don't want the public to know about?

A: That no doubt is precisely the reason.  Literally millions of people holding to the true Bible faith and denying the right of the Church to alter the Laws of God have been murdered in the most unspeakable ways by the Trinitarian Church and their officers in the name of God. The history of the 1260 years of the persecutions are covered in the papers General Distribution of the Sabbath-keeping Churches (No. 122) and The Role of the Fourth Commandment in the Historical Sabbath-keeping Churches of God (No. 170). The Unitarian/Trinitarians Wars (No. 268) also tells the story. When we have done the true story of the Holocaust this century the world will simply stand in disgust.

 

I have heard of the Sacred Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith. Would you please explain what it is exactly?

A: It used to be called the Holy Office or the Unholy Office depending on which side of the Inquisition you were on. Professor Roth makes this observation in his work on The Spanish Inquisition.

 

Its purpose is Doctrinal Uniformity in the Roman Catholic Church. It gathers information on people whom it considers doctrinally heretical which, in their view, means not in conformity with Rome at whatever given time it is speaking on whatever given subject.

 

The Holy Office was responsible for having Galileo declared a heretic by Papal Decree for saying the earth was round when they thought it was flat. So the earth is round everywhere except the Vatican and Galileo is still a heretic for saying so. To reverse that decree would go contrary to the doctrine of papal infallibility and so they cannot reverse it. The best they could do was get John XXIII to declare him as one of Italy's greatest sons. They gather information from all over the world and now in North America and the Commonwealth as I understand it.

 

I've been reading about the Inquisition and what happened to those deemed to be heretics. There seems to be evidence that the Roman Catholic Church could immediately confiscate the property of the accused. Do you know if any such evidence exists.

A: Yes. they could and they did confiscate property. Also the people had to pay for their own imprisonment. One nun falsely accused and acquitted had her family paying off the debt in the next century (look at the comments re professor Roths work detailed in the paper The Role of the Fourth Commandment in the Historical Sabbath-keeping Churches of God (No. 170). This quote is important to your question. It is far too easy to paint the darkest picture. After all, the Inquisition courts of history did not always condemn those who stood before them to burning at the stake. Sometimes, they merely excommunicated them, or confiscated all their property, or maybe tortured them. Pope Innocent IV authorized the use of torture to extract confessions from alleged heretics. (Innocent IV, Papal Bull Ad Extirpanda de Medio Populi Christiani Pravitatis Zizania, May 15, 1252. The Cambridge Medieval History, Vol. VI: Victory of the Papacy, (Cambridge University Press. 1964) p.725.

 

18…Holocaust

I've read from various sources that the Roman Catholic Church took part in the Holocaust. Do you believe this is true? 

A: The facts speak for themselves, Hitler’s stated aims were to establish the Roman Catholic and the Lutheran Church as the two great religious pillars of Europe. This is a well-documented fact.

 

The first concentration camp was handed over to the Lutheran Church by the SA in December 1932. We have a copy of a letter from the Lutheran's of the Hamburg area concerning this camp.

 

From 1932 to 1945 some 15000 camps were established and run by the SA/SS with men drawn from Lutheran and Roman Catholic sources throughout Europe.

 

The Extermination camps or Vernichtens lager were in the east and were run by Roman Catholics. Perhaps the most brutal camp was in Croatia and was run by the Ustashi, which was the Croatian fascist organisation under the command of a Roman Catholic bishop.

 

In this camp people were often burnt alive instead of being gassed first. This was by no means confined to Croatia. In one day in Romania 5,000 Jews were burnt alive and 23,000 were shot. That is in one day in Romania alone.

 

There was a purple upside down triangle among the categories in the concentration camps. These were for the Bibelforschers or Bible Researchers. The aim was to intern and execute every non-Trinitarian Sabbath-keeper in Europe. They almost succeeded but not quite.

 

Most of the non-Lutheran and non-Roman Catholic Bible intelligentsia of Europe were executed. The numbers killed in the approximately 15,000 concentration camps is between 12 and 18 million people. Six million of these were Jews. The full numbers will never be known.

 

In 1942 the International Red Cross held a meeting in Geneva Switzerland to discuss the systematic extermination of the Law abiding Sabbath-keeping Jews and others and it was decided to take no action to alert the world to the plight of the people being exterminated. The US representatives were present and concurred with the decision. The world then set about exterminating the Sabbath-keeping Jews and Christians.

 

Only the British Commonwealth and then the United States of America stood between the final and total annihilation of Judah and the Sabbatarians and other ethnic minorities. However, they took no action to alert the world. The slaughter was carried out in Roman Catholic Countries with no opposition from the Church there and no voiced opposition in the countries where opinion could have been marshalled, such as the US and the British Commonwealth.

 

At the end of WWII the Vatican helped Nazi war criminals escape to Australia and South America and elsewhere. The details are well known to all countries and have been published here. The full extent may never be known. Some details are in the paper The Last Pope: Examining Nostradamus and Malachy (No. 288) but more will be published as soon as we are able.

 

In one area when we mapped the camps in Poland there was one in every direction you walked every fifteen kilometres. They were all Roman Catholics there. There were five camps around the city of Siauliai in Lithuania alone. The slaughter was systematic and mind numbing. When the full truth is told the third vision of Fatima will come true.

 

19…Pagan Idols & Rituals

I was amazed to discover recently that many obelisks were taken from Egypt and now reside in the control of the Catholic Church such as the one at St. Peters Square. In fact, out of 21 Egyptian obelisks in existence today, 13 of them reside in Rome. My question is why would Christians import such pagan idols and erect them on church ground as if they were a part of Christianity? Weren't these obelisks sacred to the Egyptians as part of their own religious symbolism?

A: Yes they are totally pagan and represent the phallus and the sun system. It is absolutely forbidden for a Jew or Christian to erect one in any of their cities or lands.

 

The concentration of these objects and their erection is to have the effect of placing the power of the ancient sun worshipping system in that city. Thus Rome sees itself as the centre of the world religious power and obviously the centre of the sun system.

 

The Egyptian obelisks of which you speak are referred to in Jeremiah 43:12-13 where God said He would kindle a fire in the houses of the gods of Egypt and carry them away captive. These are the obelisks or pillars sacred to the god Atum-re the sun god and the obelisk based there at Heliopolis became more slender. The original ones or Asherah were shorter and fatter and represent the phallus and the reproductive system.

 

This was also the basis of the Oak representing Jupiter on the Capitoline with the Juno and Minerva representing the collective reproductive system of the Roman junones and the Virgin of the immaculate conception who was Minerva daughter of Jupiter. Look at the paper The Doctrine of Original Sin Part I The Garden of Eden (No. 246) and The Golden Calf (No. 222).

 

Can you give me examples of pagan rituals being adopted in both the Jewish as well as Christian faith?

A: The introduction of pagan ritual was from the beginning in both Christianity and Judaism. For example Rosh HaShanah is a Babylonian tradition kept by Judaism. It has affected the entire Modern Jewish Calendar (see the paper God's Calendar (No. 156)). Easter is a pagan ritual adopted into the Church in the latter half of the second century. Christmas in its entirety is the festival of the Invincible Sun God which came in with Sunday worship from the Sun Cults (see The Origins of Christmas and Easter (No. 235)). Look at Samuel Bacchiocchi From Sabbath to Sunday, Pontifical University Press, Rome 1975).

 

I heard it said that the term vandal comes from when the Vandals conquered Rome and destroyed the all the statues and icons. As Christians they believed that Christians were not to have any graven images or statues that they venerated. Is this true?

A. Yes, that is exactly true. The Vandals were a tribe that came into Europe from the Middle East as part of the Parthian Horde as were the Goths and Anglo-Saxons and the related sub tribes. They were Monotheists and Unitarian Christians and they were enraged at the idolatry that had entered the Trinitarian system in Rome. Pagan idols had been given the Christian names and were being worshipped in the same ways as they had always been. The vandals were iconoclasts who simply destroyed the idols on the grounds of the second commandment and got a bad press subsequently from the idolaters that survived. Look at the paper The Unitarian/Trinitarians Wars (No. 268).

 

If all of these practices that we see in the Catholic Church have their origins in paganism and the mystery cults, then what exactly are the true Christian beliefs and practices? In other words, if we take out all of the paganism that infiltrated Christianity, what are we left with?

A: The Faith once delivered to the saints is the comprehensive answer. That is what we should all be about restoring and getting rid of the rubbish. One can be justified in saying that: No one can say that Christianity has failed as a system because no one system has really tried it and in fact they killed everyone that did try it. The Original Christian Faith had: 

1. A belief in the One True God whom no man has ever seen or can see and who sent Jesus Christ. This God alone was worshipped and no idolatry of any kind was ever permitted.

2. Belief that Jesus Christ had preexistence as the Angel of Yahovah who gave the Law to Moses and that he was the object of their salvation reconciling them to God.

3. Kept the commandments of God and the Testimony of Jesus Christ including the food laws and the Bible Calendar according to the Temple system.

4. Practiced adult baptism and kept the Passover/Unleavened Bread as the three Feast systems of the Bible.

5. Believed in the Resurrection of the Dead and the millennial reign of Jesus Christ and the salvation of all mankind. They regarded any one who said that when they died they went to heaven as a false Christian or Gnostic.

6. Taught that they were saved by Grace but retained their salvation by obedience to the Law, sin being transgression of the Law.

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