An article was published in some of our daily papers last week under the above heading. This article is an advertisement of the Knights of Columbus; it is one in a series of Catholic propaganda. The purpose of the article is to belittle the Bible, and to keep people from thinking for themselves, and to set forth the Catholic Church as the infallible interpreter of the Scriptures.
The article begins thus: "People often indignantly demand that Catholics prove their teaching from the Bible." What is wrong with this? Not a thing; people ought to demand Bible proof for Catholic teaching, and for all other religious instructions. If Roman Catholics are going to pose as teachers of God's word, let them prove their teaching by the Bible, or let them shut up and quit posing. Catholics claim Peter to be their first Pope; (which claim is false) let them hear- what Peter says: "If anyone speaks, let it be as with words of God." (1 Pet. 4:11) Unless Catholics speak 'as with (by the use Of) words of God" let them be silent. A doctrine that cannot be upheld by using God's word is a false doctrine.
The Savior said, "And if anyone hear my words, and do not keep them, it is not I who judge him; for I have not come to judge the world, but to save the world. He who rejects me, and does not accept my words. has one to condemn him. The word that I have spoken will condemn him on the last day.' (John 12:47,48)
The words of Christ are to be accepted; they are to be kept, and we are to be judged by them. Surely they contain the right doctrine. Again "All Scripture is inspired by God and useful for teaching, for reproof, for correcting, for instructing in justice; that the man of God may perfect, equipped for every good work." (2 Tim. 3:16, 17) The Scripture is good "for teaching that the man of God may be perfect. equipped for every good work." What more docs man need? What can you add to this to make the man of God better? Any religious work not authorized by the Bible is not a good work. Yes, let Catholics prove their teaching by the Bible.
"But why do you call me, 'Lord, Lord,' and do not practice the things I say? Everyone who comes to me and hears my words, and acts upon them is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid a foundation upon rock But he who has heard my words, and has not acted upon them is like a man who built his house upon the ground without a foundation it fell in, and great was the wreck of that house." (Lk. 6:46-49) There is no need of us calling Christ Lord, if we are not going to obey his word; if we obey him we can prove our teaching by the Bible. Paul warned the Corinthians against "transgressing what is written." (1 Cor. 4:6) Again. "If anyone thinks that he is a prophet or spiritual. let him recognize that the things I am writing to you are. the Lord's commandments. If anyone ignores this, he shall be ignored." (I Cor. 14:37. 38) We are commanded not to transgress, i.e., go beyond what is written; let not Catholics ignore this injunction—less the Lord shall ignore them when he comes for his bride.
"But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel to you other than that which we have preached to you, let him be anathema! As we have said before, so now I say again: if anyone preach a gospel to you other than that which you have received. let him be anathema!" (Gal. 1:8. 9) Paul did not preach the doctrine of the Catholic Church to the churches of Galatia, neither did the Galatians receive the teachings of the Catholics. If Paul preached Catholicism. and if the Galatians received it. then it should be easy for Catholics to prove their teaching and practice by the Bible. Since they cannot prove their teaching by the Bible—let them heed this warning less they be anathema! No other gospel is to be preached by man or angel; what was preached by the apostles and their co-workers is the final revelation.
"Anyone who advances and does not abide in the doctrine Of Christ, has not God; he who abides in the - doctrine, he has both the Father and the Son. If anyone comes to you and does not bring this doctrine, do not receive him into the house, or say to hm, Welcome. For he who says to him, Welcome, is sharer in his evil works." (2 John 9-11).
Anyone who advances beyond the doctrine of Christ is an evil worker. "Anyone" - this takes in Catholics, "who advances” - advocates Doctrinal Development, "and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ,” that is, in the Scriptures “has not God. He who abides in the doctrine," the New Testament “he has both the Father and the Son.”
"Beloved, while I was making every endeavor to write to you about our common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you, exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith once for all delivered to the saints." (Jude 3) •'The faith" as used here, means a system of teaching, in other words. the gospel. What docs "once for all delivered" mean? "Once" means the same here a; it means in Hebrews 9:27, 28; "it is appointed unto men to die once . . . so also was Christ offered once to take away the sins of many." Men die once; Christ was offered once, not twice, and the gospel was delivered once. Paul says, once I was stoned. thrice I suffered shipwreck." (2 Cor. 11:25) Paul was stoned one'; time, not continuous; he “was shipwrecked”, three times. If we can understand this, we ought to be able to understand that "once for all delivered" means one time, and not a continuous revelation as the Catholics and so many others teach.
The article objects to the Bible as rule of faith, and raises this question: “But – are they right in calling the Bible, privately interpreted, the sole source for Christian teaching?” This question alludes to 2 Peter 1:20; but what docs this passage mean ? “This, then, you must understand first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is made by private interpretation. For not by will of man was prophecy brought at any time, but men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit." (2 Pet. 1:20, 21) Prophecy did not come at the impulse of the prophet; it was not his invention.
Private interpretation in the passage docs not mean the same as "privately interpreted" in the above question quoted from the newspaper. 2 Peter 1:20, has to do with revelation, and the question has to do with a private interpretation of that revelation. If Peter and the Knights of Columbus were writing of the same thing, it would be impossible for the Bible to be "privately interpreted," because Peter said, ''no prophecy is made by private interpretation . . not by the will of man was prophecy brought . but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit."
There are no people that I know anything about who are more guilty of "privately interpreting" the Bible than are the Catholics. Theirs is a private interpretation; the Pope hands to all Catholics his private interpretation, and they accept it. It is the interpretation of an individual, a single person speaking without authority from God. As far as the Catholic Church is concerned it may be official, but inasmuch as it has to do with the Bible it is private because God has not authorized him to bind his opinions on men. (All Scriptural quotations are the Challoner-Rheims Version, 1940 Revision) -Walter Henderson, "Pause-Ponder-Profit" - April, 1954
Dishonesty and distrust are intimately associated with sin. For as long as Man has existed, there has been someone trying to hide from God. For instance, Adam and Eve tried to hide from God when they ate of the forbidden fruit (Gen. 3:8). Like his father, Cain feigned ignorance after murdering his brother by asking God, “am I my brother’s keeper?” (Gen. 4:9). Despite these attempts, no sin can be hid from God.
God’s inspired Prophets and Apostles have commented for generations about the pointlessness of trying to hide from Him. Jeremiah wrote, “Can a man hide himself in secret places so that I cannot see him? declares the LORD. Do I not fill heaven and earth? declares the LORD.” (Jeremiah 23:24). The author of Hebrews wrote, “And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account.” (Hebrews 4:13).
So, why would someone still try to hide from God? There are a number of reasons. Since we do not see him, it is easy to rationalize our actions as if He did not see them. We also might convince ourselves over time that our sinful actions are not actually sin, and therefore we carry them out thinking that God approves of them. Both of these possibilities are hurtful for our influence toward others, but an even more damaging and dangerous influence is wielded when we are working against God’s Truth with an agenda.
Further, we might not even try to hide from God, but rather hide from our own brothers and sisters in Christ. Many can secretly hold to false doctrine, courting support within the membership, and then unleashing this deceit publicly upon a congregation of members who may, in general, have little or no idea as to what is truly going on. We see local congregations split apart often because of this very kind of situation.
God has warned us of these things from the very beginning. Jesus said of false teachers, “You will know them by their fruits.” (Matt. 7:16). Paul told the elders at Ephesus, “I know that after my departure fierce wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; and from among your own selves will arise men speaking twisted things, to draw away the disciples after them.” (Acts 20:29-30). This is not some new problem arising within God’s Kingdom.
False doctrine of any sort within a congregation is a serious matter. If we try to trivialize the Truth as “a matter of opinion,” we will have a conflict on our hands and no peaceful resolution in sight. Some might bring up the fact that many of us hold differing views on subjects, and of course, such is true. Brethren hold differing views on the nature of the Head Covering, and yet are able to fellowship each other. However, when someone is actively trying to get others to change their views, and spreading their doctrine around in subversive ways, it creates an atmosphere of dishonesty and insincerity.
The Apostle Peter had much to say about this in his second letter, declaring in 2 Peter 2:1 that, “false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you.” These teachers would not be brought in by some evil outside force, but be “among” them. These teachers would not be honest or trustworthy, but would “secretly bring in destructive heresies,” teachings that would undermine the faith of those who were listening to them. In this, they would be “bringing upon themselves swift destruction.”
When a brother approaches us privately, and begins to talk to us about something that we might not immediately understand, we should not refuse to study with them. On the contrary, we should be more than willing to do so! However, we must be grounded in the Scriptures, properly motivated for the true benefit of their soul, and we must be willing to show them the truth if they are found to be in error. If they are in error and eventually refuse to change, we must recognize that they are a danger to anyone under their influence. Shouldn’t we warn others about such danger?
Paul apparently did so, because he told the elders at Ephesus: “Therefore be alert, remembering that for three years I did not cease night or day to admonish every one with tears” (Acts 20:31). Even though this warning might “stir up trouble,” we know that in cases of false doctrine being taught, trouble must sometimes be “stirred up” in order to prevent greater problems from manifesting. Should we hold back from warning the flock about a possible wolf among us? Peter writes, “And many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of truth will be blasphemed. And in their greed they will exploit you with false words. Their condemnation from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep” (2 Peter 2:2-3). Dare we sit back when such things are going on among the LORD’s faithful?
We have to be willing to go through troubling times to see God’s Truth as victorious. If there are some who are divisive and contentious among us, we must deal with that error, but not by ignoring it. We face error openly and honestly with the Truth. Jude wrote, “Beloved, although I was very eager to write to you about our common salvation, I found it necessary to write appealing to you to contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints. For certain people have crept in unnoticed who long ago were designated for this condemnation, ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into sensuality and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ” (Jude 3-4). Are we willing to contend (literally, AGONIZE) for the Faith? Or will we allow it to be excommunicated from our midst? Jude writes further, “These are grumblers, malcontents, following their own sinful desires; they are loud-mouthed boasters, showing favoritism to gain advantage [...] It is these who cause divisions, worldly people, devoid of the Spirit” (Jude 16, 19).
In contrast, Jude exhorts his audience to “keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life” (Jude 1:21). No matter who turns away from the LORD, we can be confident and assured that our faith, if placed in God, will endure to the end.
Finally, no two situations will be absolutely the same. Jude advises, “But pity some, making distinction. But save others with fear, snatching them out of the fire; hating even the garment having been stained from the flesh” (Jude 1:22-23). Some who spread false doctrine are doing so out of a sincere motive to be faithful to God, and simply need to be patiently led out of error and into truth. Others might require a firmer hand, to be “shocked” into a proper understanding.
We must always remember, as well, that it could be ourselves who are failing in understanding. Let the Bible be the barometer for such consideration. Again, to the Ephesian elders, Paul said: “And now I commend you to God and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up and to give you the inheritance among all those who are sanctified” (Acts 20:32).
Holding error in secret will do nothing but create discord, disunity and heartbreak, not only for us, but also for God. Remember that we are able to fool our fellow man, but “be sure your sin will find you out.” (Numbers 32:23). God knows our hearts, and He will be the one to judge us in the end. God expects us to “have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them.” (Ephesians 5:11)
Let us be as Jesus was, teaching everything openly before all, and not saying a word in secret (John 18:20). Let us also work to find evil wherever it is and expose it for what it is. -Steven McCrary
Almost anywhere one can find religious people who claim either that they can "perform miracles" or that they have seen others do so. It requires little Bible study to see that such a person is deceived. Bible miracles were real miracles. The blind saw the lame walked, lepers were healed, the deaf heard, the dead were raised, deadly poisonous liquid could not harm the drinker and deadly poisonous snake bite could not hurt the bitten. A man's sight was purposely destroyed and then restored. "Many other signs did Jesus which are not written ..." If ALL of these miracles recorded in the Bible cannot be done today, NONE of them can be done (Has God's power failed?); and so-called miracles are pure fakes. (Read Matt. 11:2-5; John 20:30-31; Acts 9:40-41; Acts 28:5)
Bible miracles were performed for a Bible purpose. "Jesus. . . a man approved of God among you. By MIRACLES and WONDERS ... and SIGNS, as ye yourselves also know." Acts 2:22. Is the miracle worker satisfied with Jesus' divinity? If not, why not require Jesus and Lazarus to come back to earth so Jesus can raise Lazarus again (in every generation for all people)? If yes, why not let our faith rest, on miracles already "written" as John 20:30-31 says we are to do?
“How shall we escape if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord (it was NEW), and was CONFIRMED unto us by them that heard him; God also BEARING THEM WITNESS, both with signs and wonders, and with divers MIRACLES, and gifts of the HOLY GHOST…?” Heb. 2:2-4. ". . .They preached everywhere, the Lord… CONFIRMING the WORD with SIGNS following. . . " Mark 16:20. "For the priesthood being changed, there is made of necessity also a change of the law.'' Heb 7:12. Forgiven sins are now "remembered no more forever." Jer. 31:31-34; Heb. 8:8-12. We are ministers of the "NEW TESTAMENT." 2 Cor. 3:6.
All of these passages make it plain that these things - priesthood, sacrifice, law, system, testament, salvation - are NEW. God's command is to "prove all things." 1 Thes. 5:21; "Try the spirits." (Some teachers would be false). 1 John 4:1. That is exactly how it was in the days of Jesus and the apostles. The Jews were not expected to accept everything new without proof. Jesus was APPROVED by MIRACLES. The apostles WORD (the gospel) was CONFIRMED by MIRACLES. The apostles WORD (the gospel) was CONFIRMED by MIRACLES. That was the Bible purpose of miracles. The miracles PROVED the message to be true.
"If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God." 1 Pet. 4: 1 1. " . . . preach any other gospel - receive the "curse" (anathema) of heaven. Gal. 1:6-9 " . . . abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God." 2 John 9 - speak only as the oracles of God - no other gospel - only that which is IN the DOCTRINE of Christ. Now remember, God used miracles to make this message DEPENDABLE, trustworthy.
Now take a long, hard look at the present day miracle worker.
This article is addressed to people who think they take Christ as their authority, but who in reality, deny him. Many today are honestly wrong — sincerely mistaken — , and their mistake is based largely on the fact that they are following the wrong guide.
In the temple, the chief priests and elders asked Christ this question, "By what authority doest thou these things? And who gave thee this authority?" (Matt 21:23.) Had this question been asked in the right spirit and for the right purpose, it would have been a good question. I believe I have the right to ask you the same question. No one should be ashamed of his authority Let us just stop and think: What is my authority? Why am I a member of the church with which I am affiliated? By whose authority was I baptized? If I have never been baptized, what is my authority, or who told me it is unnecessary? Does the church of which I am a member have the proper authority behind it?
Some folk take as their authority the religion of their parents. They have no other reason for affiliating with a certain church than the fact that mother and daddy were this. They have never stopped to consider the question, Could I be wrong? But why should they consider? They have been taught all their life that it makes no difference of which church one is a member, if he is honest and sincere; if he is upright and a good citizen. If he never does anything wrong, or harms no one, he is sure to go to heaven, according to his former teachings. But when you stop to think on this, it is really a flimsy excuse. Paul found out that being right went much deeper than family ties. He had to forsake his boyhood religion to be with Christ. He was honest, sincere, devout and courageous in his "fight" for what he believed to be right — Judaism. But when he found out that the "new and living way" had been given to the world, he didn't love his former ways so much that he was unwilling to change. Earthly ties must never be so strong that one forsakes that which he knows to be right. Jesus says, "He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. And he that doth not take his cross and follow after me, is not worthy of me." Nothing must cause us — no, not even earthly relations — to go contrary to Christ and his word. If you are following your parents religion, stop and think. We are not advocating disrespect to parents, but we are saying that and that alone is not sufficient authority in matters religious.
Some take as their authority in religion the decision of the pope, or the official decision of the church. Our neighbors, the Catholics, are guilty of this. Many have told us that they do not read the Bible, for the priest tells them all that they need to know. We need not argue with Catholics today unless we can settle the question of authority in religion. As long as one prefers decisions of the church to the Bible, there is little use to talk about what the Bible says. But the question is this: Does God authorize the pope to speak as authoritatively as the Bible? The scripture is lacking that hints at such an idea, and if the Bible is true (as Catholics claim it is) then no authority is given the pope. The Bible claims perfection, or completion. Paul says "Every scripture inspired of God is also profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for instruction which is in righteousness; that the man of God may be complete, furnished completely unto every good work." (2 Tim. 3:16-17.) If the Bible furnishes a man with complete instructions, then nothing is left for the pope or anyone else to impart. No added information is needed, nor promised by God. If this statement is so, then the Catholics' claim is false. No man can consistently believe Catholic doctrine and the Bible at the same time. The two are as opposite as day and night.
Others take as their religious authority the feelings or conscience of the individual. One says, "I know I'm saved because I feel like it." If this is true, then there are as many ways to heaven as there are individuals, and Christ did not tell the truth when he said, "I am the way, the truth and the life; no one cometh unto the Father but by me." (John 14:6.) Jesus never taught that one would know by his feelings that he was saved. Paul said, "I verily thought within myself that I ought to do many things contrary to the name of Jesus of Nazareth." (Acts 26:9.) One today says, "I thought I was saved because I felt like it." Feelings have never been true evidence of being right. Within his heart Jacob was sure that Joseph, his son, was dead, but instead he was very much alive in Egypt. It is true that one's conscience is not to be disregarded, but this alone will not suffice as your religious authority. Paul lived in all good conscience, but at that time he "lived in good conscience" he was a persecutor and a blasphemer of the church of God. (1 Tim. 1:13; Acts 23:1.) Again such evidences of religion and such authority would divide and destroy and would make void the one way that Christ prayed for. (John 17:20.)
A modernist told me some time ago that everyone would go to heaven (of course he had a distorted idea of heaven) if he had lived true to his conscience and that no further religion was necessary. I asked him, "If one is taught to lie, and murder and commit adultery, and if such actions were believed to be all right, would he go to heaven?" His answer was "Yes." Such destroys conscience and would make the most hardened criminal as "good" as the innocent babe, or the Christ himself. Neighbor, if you are one who believes conscience is a safe guide, better reconsider and see what the Bible says.
Some take as their authority the decisions of church councils, and leaders. Most religious people are guilty here. The prayer book, manual, discipline or confession of faith are taken in preference to the Bible. As I said, all Such people claim to believe in the authority of Christ, but the very fact that one subscribes to a discipline of his church is evidence that he does not believe all the Bible or else he would not need anything else to supplement it. Besides that the prophet said "Oh Jehovah, I know that the way of man is not in himself; it is not in man that walketh to direct his step." (Jer. 10:23.) We beg people to open the New Testament and study with an open mind. Christ is our only authority. He said, "All authority hath been given unto me in heaven and on earth. (Matt. 28:18.) He delegated none of that to the pope, church councils, priests or preachers. The things done without the authority of Christ are wrong and sinful. Whether we err by word or actions, the results are the same. It is bad to outwardly deny Christ as the son of God, but it is just as bad to confess him with the mouth and deny him by our actions. Many who claim to believe him refuse to be baptized (Mark 16:16); to observe the Lord's Supper (Acts 20:7); and many other direct commands of the Lord. Many who claim to believe in him insist on doing many things without his authority. They add human societies to the church to do the work of the church; add mechanical music to the worship; add lavish entertainment to the work and worship of the church; raise money to support the church and its work by every conceivable means (read 1 Cor. 16:1-2); all this without Christ's authority. In conclusion, please read 2 John 9 where inspired John said, "Whosoever goeth onward and abideth not in the teaching of Christ, hath not God: he that abideth in the teaching, the same hath both the father and the son." Friend, better stop and ask, "By what authority doest I these things?" -Jady W. Copeland, "Gospel Guardian", vol. 6, no. 48, April 14th, 1955