Christian rebels keep accusing and even ridiculing the Catholics for carrying holy statues and marching in a festival procession to the altar while singing and dancing. They also criticize the Catholics for celebrating fiestas for the Saints, eating, and drinking during this occasion. But are these practices going against the teaching of God? Let us check the Bible;
1. The Israelites carried holy statues (Ark of the Lord/Covenant) to the altar
GOD’S WORD Translation
[Psalm 118:27] The LORD is God, and he has given us light. March in a festival procession with branches to the horns of the altar.
[Psalm 42:4] I will remember these things as I pour out my soul: how I used to walk with the crowd and lead it in a procession to God’s house. [I sang] songs of joy and thanksgiving while crowds of people celebrated a festival.
2. God’s people held feasts, and they ate and drank
[Genesis 26:30] So Isaac prepared a feast for them, and they ate and drank.
[2 Kings 6] So he prepared a great feast for them, and after they had finished eating and drinking, he sent them away, and they returned to their master. So the bands from Aram stopped raiding Israel’s territory.
[Colossians 2:16-17] “Therefore do not let anyone condemn you in matters of food and drink, or of observing festivals, new moons, or sabbaths.”
3. God will celebrate a feast for all Saints or holy people
[Isaiah 25:6] In Jerusalem, the LORD of Heaven’s Armies will spread a wonderful feast for all the people of the world. It will be a delicious banquet with clear, well-aged wine and choice meat.
4. David danced before the Ark of the Lord with all his might
[2 Samuel 6:12-15] So David went and had the ark of God brought up from the house of Obed-edom into the City of David with rejoicing. When those carrying the ark of the LORD had advanced six paces, he sacrificed an ox and a fattened calf. And David, wearing a linen ephod, danced with all his might before the LORD, while he and all the house of Israel brought up the ark of the LORD with shouting and the sounding of the ram’s horn.
Conclusion: Celebrating fiesta for the saints, eating and drinking wine, and procession of holy statues are biblical.
I am a Catholic and throw all statue or Saints devotion or worship, I stop praying Hail Mary because , Mary is not God. I only call God the Father , Holy Spirit ant Jesus the Son od God and the Messiah. .
Renz @Boy Bautista, If you are really Catholic, you should have known the role of statues in Catholicism. Images and Saints are not worshiped in Catholicism, reverence and worship are not the same. We can ask help from Saints so that God will have mercy on us and be admitted to Heaven. Mary is the mother of Jesus, most probably Jesus cannot refuse her if she will request Him to include you in Heaven. Images are just expressions of the Catholics’ love and faith in God and his Saints. If you hold a picture of your loved one and kiss it, will you commit the sin of idolatry? Jesus and His apostles teach us to worship God in spirit (mind and heart), whether you use images or not, as long as your mind and heart are directed to God above. Psalm 2:12 commands us, ”Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him”. If you want to kiss God, how can you express it if He’s originally a spirit or unapproachable light? Let’s not understand the Bible by picking two or three verses only, let’s understand the Bible by its context. We should also use our common sense. God said His words do not change, and His founded kingdom is for everlasting, and it cannot be overcome by the gates of hell. To accuse the Catholicism of corrupting the Church is the same as accusing God that He’s lying. Of all the religions, it is only the Catholicism that can defend their Faith.
Boy Bautista @Renz , Mary and all other saints cannot hear your prayers because they’re all dead. If truly you don’t worship those images, take them down from the altar, because altar is for God only. And you are kneeling down before those images, and the images will remain in your subconscious as you continue worshiping even with closed eyes.
Renz @Boy Bautista, not all people died, for example Enoch and Elijah did not experience death [2 kings 2:11 & Hebrews 11:5]. And not all dead are asleep because Abel though he was dead, he could still speak to God because of his faith, kindly read;
[Hebrews 11:4] “By faith Abel offered God a better sacrifice than Cain did. By faith he was commended as righteous when God gave approval to his gifts. And by faith he still speaks, even though he is dead.”
As I had said in the previous, we should understand the Bible not by only one or few verses, we should understand its context. The image is not really the issue of God’s hatred, but because people were worshiping gods other than Him. I think you are not familiar about the Ark of the Covenant. In (Exodus 25: 18), God instructed Moses to make two gold cherubim [Cherubim is pl. form of Cherub means angel statue] and placed them over the Ark of the Covenant. Then He commanded the Israelites to pray or request before that Ark. Joshua fell and prayed before that ark, and the Lord answered him (Joshua 7:6-11). Even King David held a feast for the Ark of the Covenant with the two cherubim over it (2 Samuel 6: 15, 19). He sacrificed burnt offerings and fellowship offerings before it, he was dancing and leaping with all his might before it (2 Samuel 6: 13, 14). David was despised by his wife Michal for what he had done, so the Lord closed her womb (2 Samuel 6: 16, 20, 23). What Michal did is comparable to what the non-Catholics are doing today who despise the Catholics for celebrating a feast and dance before a holy image. King Solomon made Cherubim too under the instruction of God and placed them in the inner sanctuary of God’s Temple (1 Kings 6: 23-27). God also instructed Moses to make a bronze statue of snake, and put it up on a pole. Then when anyone was bitten by a snake and looked at the bronze snake, he lived (Numbers 21: 8-9). Therefore, God does not prohibit the people to revere or use an image devoted to Him and His kingdom, as in the case of Micah’s carved silver image (Judges 17: 3). Judges chapter 18 tells about Micah’s carved silver image which was brought by Danites when they attacked Laish, and God let them conquered Laish.
Boy Bautista @Renz , Then, why you don’t have Patron Saint Enoch and Patron Saint Elijah? Besides, your reasoning did not raise Mary from the dead. Have you not seen the Cherub in the Ark of Covenant? They are facing each other, not facing the people. None like them in the Catholic churches all over the world. Your images are clearly dead idols (I know it as I was with it for 30 years). No idolaters can enter the kingdom of God (Revelation 21:8). You must acknowledge that you are sinner and need a savior from heaven and ask Jesus Christ to come-in into your life as Lord & Savior. That’s it, no transferring of religion, just come to Jesus Christ in prayer.
Renz @Boy Bautista
: You are funny, the issue here is the worshiper facing the image, and not the image facing the worshiper. If you try to argue that it was permissible by God to pray before the carved cherubim because they were facing sideward, then a worshiper can easily avoid the sin of idolatry, all he has to do is to turn his face towards the side of the image. So your reasoning is inconsistent.
: In (John 21:25), Apostle John says that there are still many works of Jesus which are not written down. And beside the Bible, we should also use our common sense. If Jesus could bring a criminal to His paradise [Luke 23:43], how much more his own mother? Mary is certainly in Jesus’ paradise. Moreover, there are many people around the world claiming that holy Mary appeared to them.
: Enoch and Elijah were born long time before Christianity, therefore, the Catholic Church is not in the position to declare them as holy. Besides they are already in paradise, there is no need for them to be canonized.
: Saints or holy people although they are dead, are not asleep, they are with Jesus. Kindly read;
[Revelation 6:10] And they cried out in a loud voice, “How long, O Lord, holy and true, until You judge those who live on the earth and avenge our blood?”
: No Catholic that will say his God is the image that he faces while praying. All Catholics know that their God is spirit and in Heaven. Whether you face an image or not in praying, God will judge us by our mind and heart, and not by gesture or food. Instead of accusing the Catholics, you better examine your own religion because your religion is only good at accusing but cannot defend its own doctrine.
Boy Bautista @Renz , You obviously did not see the cherubs at the Arc of Covenant, they are facing each other closely with both wings touching each other, you cannot go in between and worship one of them. Besides, it is absolutely not permissible to worship any form of image in behalf of God. Religion is business, true Christianity is not religion but personal relationship with the Savior – knowing each other intimately.
Renz @Boy Bautista, I have seen it. In fact before I bring up comments, I checked them first. However the issue is not the positioning of the images, but the Catholicism is accused by Christian sects for committing idolatry because they use images in their worship method. Images are just regarded holy and not worshiped in Catholicism. Christian sects always used [Exodus 20:4-5] to justify their accusation. Let us read these passages starting from verse 3 for us to have a better understanding;
3You shall have no other gods before Me.
4You shall not make for yourself an idol of any kind, or an image of anything in the heavens above, on the earth beneath, or in the waters below.
5You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on their children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me
COMMENT: in verse 3, God begins his commandment by saying, “you shall have no other gods before Me”. The issue here is not really the images themselves, but people who worshiped other gods (like Molech, Golden calf, Asherah, Baal, Bel, Amon, Dagon, Tammuz, Zeus, Hermes, Artemis, and many others). Why God hated these images? Because these were the images of gods that the Israelites worshiped. The Catholicism is the owner of the Holy Scriptures, so they know better than all rebellious groups.
: One of the purposes of God to send Jesus to the world was to found His Church. Jesus said to Simon Peter, “I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven” (Mt. 16: 19). So if we want eternal lives, we need to be bound by this Church or religion. God only found one Church for eternity. Those Churches which are founded by mere men are not authorized by God. How come these groups can enter the kingdom of Heaven?
Boy Bautista @Renz , you don’t worship them? Why kiss them and bow down before them? “5You shall not bow down to them”. You are bowing down before them, bowing down is an act of worship… that is clear. The Catholicism did not own the Holy Scriptures, in fact, all of them were written by Hebrews not even a single Roman writer. The “key” of the kingdom is Jesus Christ himself and the church is every person having the Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit living in them NOT the church/religion made by men. RC was founded by Emperor Constantine in Constantinople – now Istanbul. The church founded by Jesus Christ is his creation not the creation of people. How to enter God’s kingdom? Please read John 3:5 and Matthew 18:3. If you really own the Holy Scriptures, you should have written: “You must be a Catholic to enter God’s kingdom”, but instead, you wrote” “You must be born again” – John 3:7.
Renz @Boy Bautista
A. If we kiss something, it doesn’t mean we worship that something. If you kiss the hand of your grandpa it doesn’t mean you worship him, but you respect him. If you kiss your wife, it doesn’t mean you worship her, but you love her. If you bow to a being it doesn’t always mean you worship that being, it can also mean you revere or honor that being. If a Japanese bow to you, it doesn’t mean he worships you, but he respects you. And this what a Catholic is doing, he shows his love, respect, and reverence to God or Saints by kissing and bowing to their images.
B. It appears that you have no knowledge about the History of the Roman Catholic Church. The earliest Christian Church in Rome was not founded by Romans or an emperor, but by Peter and Paul (the Hebrews who owned the Scriptures).
A BRIEF HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY
In 32 A.D. after the ascension of Jesus Christ, the apostles spread the good news initially from Jerusalem throughout the Roman Empire. In Rome, the apostle Simon Peter together with Paul established the Church which Jesus Christ told to Simon Peter, “and I tell you that you are peter [“peter” derived from Greek “petros” means rock], and on this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of hell will not prevail against it” (Mt. 16: 18). In the year 107, St. Ignatius of Antioch named this Christian Faith as the Catholic Church [catholic derived from Greek katholikos means universal]. It became the state religion by Armenia in 301; Georgia in 319; and in the year 380, Theodocius 1 declared this Faith as the official religion in Rome. It is only the Catholic Church that can trace their root to Jesus.
C. Jesus is not the key himself, but He holds the keys of the kingdom. “Key” means authority, and Jesus assigned these authorities of the kingdom to Peter alone. So the notion that you can go to Heaven by yourself or by another church is false. Try to examine yourself if you have the capability to fly into Jesus’ abode. It is only by the power of Jesus that we can be transported to Heaven. Therefore, we must follow Jesus’ instructions and should not be isolated from His Church. The kingdom of God is not His creation because this creation will vanish like smoke (Isaiah 51:6 & 34:4). The Church (body of people) is the kingdom itself, Jesus preached about this kingdom (Matthew 9:35). Jesus is the head of the Church or king of the kingdom. Unknown to many, the said kingdom of Heaven is the Catholic Church which was established on Earth by Jesus (Matthew 16:18) and this will continue forever or in the afterlife, kindly read the verses below;
1. [Daniel 2:44] “At the time of those kings, the God of heaven will establish a kingdom that will never be destroyed. No other people will be permitted to rule it. It will smash all the other kingdoms and put an end to them. And it will be established forever”
2. [1 Chronicles 22:10] ‘He shall build a house for My name, and he shall be My son and I will be his father; and I will establish the throne of his kingdom over Israel forever.’
3. [Matthew 16:18] “I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it.
4. [Matthew 9:35] Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness.
5. [Revelation 5:10] You have made them into a kingdom, priests to serve our God, and they will reign upon the earth.”
D. The baptism is only your entrance to the Church, You cannot be saved by being baptized alone. But you must believe that Jesus is your savior besides obeying the law For there is no salvation if we are not justified by faith aside from obeying the law [Romans 3:28]. Without faith in the salvation provided by Christ, we will all perish [Isaiah 51:6 & Luke 13:3].
E. You don’t need to look for a “Catholic” word in the Bible as proof of Catholicism. All you have to do is to trace back the origin of Catholicism if it can connect to Peter. The Catholic Church has so much evidence to show their authenticity.
F. To find the name of your church in the Bible is not a basis of authenticity, The New Testament was written in the first century, and your church was established in the 19th century (1,900 years gap). Anyone can found his own church and copy its name from the Bible, and claim that this church is the truth. This is also the ploy of “Iglesia ni Cristo” claiming that their church is the truth because it is found in the Filipino Bible.
Boy Bautista @Renz You are kneeling down before those idols, you talk to them directly in prayers, I know it because I was a devoted Catholic for 30 years. Peter and Paul were killed by the Roman Catholics, please check your history. The rock is Jesus not Peter, please review your hermeneutics.
John 14:6 Jesus said, I am THE WAY, THE TRUTH, and THE LIFE, no one comes to the Father except through me. He is the WORD. He is the DOOR, He is the KEY. There is no “keys” that is in plural form, only one key that is JESUS CHRIST alone. Your keys CANNOT open the DOOR in heaven. The true CHURCH is not the religious organizations making money and grabbing political power and invented many “keys” to heaven but the heart of individual person that received Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior and Confirmed/Sealed by the Holy Spirit. Iglesia ni Cristo is another cult of Filipino version. But, RC has more chances to come to Jesus than INC and Eli Soriano’s Dating Daan, they’re deeply inverted by twisted doctrine.
Renz @Boy Bautista
1. Again, kneeling down before something is not always an act of worship. If an adulterous husband kneels down before his wife to ask for forgiveness, it doesn’t mean he worships her. If a Christian mentions Saints in his prayer, does it mean he worship them? If a child pleads his parents to give him new shoes, does it mean he worship his parents? As I had said, God examines our faith in spirit, not in our gestures or food we eat. A Christian only pleads the Saints for intercession or to ask help, pleading is not worship. Catholic Church never teaches its believers to worship idols. If indeed you were a devout Catholic in the past, you should have known that images were just symbols, and not gods.
2. Peter and Paul were killed by Roman pagans not Catholics, you are lying if not ignorant of the history. In fact, the name Catholic was not yet used by the time of Peter and Paul, use your common sense.
3. “Rock” has several meanings in the Bible, it can mean strength, fortress, refuge, shield, or foundation. God is called rock because He is the fortress or refuge of the people, kindly read;
[Psalm 18:2] “The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my Savior, my God, my rock in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the strength of my salvation, my stronghold”
Simon is called peter or rock because he is the foundation of the Church. When we build a house, we need to lay a rock or foundation on the ground first.
4. You don’t understand, I was pointing about the keys of the kingdom which were given by Jesus to Peter (Matthew 16:18). And these keys are not literal, they mean authorities. There is no such thing as “Jesus is the key” in the Bible, you are inventing a verse. You know what, Churches founded by mere men are given to lying because they cannot defend their doctrines. “Door” and “key” definitely are not synonymous. “Door” is the opening thru which we enter a house or kingdom, while “key” is a piece used to open or close a locker. If we say Jesus is the key, it implies that we use Jesus as our key to Heaven which is illogical! Jesus holds the key(s) and not the key Himself, verses about Jesus who holds the keys;
[Isaiah 22:22] “Then I will set the key of the house of David on his shoulder, When he opens no one will shut, When he shuts no one will open.
[Revelation 1:18] “the Living One. I was dead, and behold, now I am alive forever and ever! And I hold the keys of Death and of Hades”
5. The Catholic Church never ask a 10% from the income of the people. During Mass, it is okay for the Church if a believer give just a peso or none. How can non-Catholics accuse the Catholic Church for making them poor? Italy is predominantly Catholic but they are not poor. And what power of the Government that the Catholic Church grab? Have you heard a position of the government that is held by a Bishop? These accusations by non-Catholics are baseless. I sense that rebellious churches keep inventing stories to topple the Catholic Church. But as Jesus said, to attack this Church is like kicking against the prick (Acts 26:14). Catholics are now 1.3 Billions, the biggest of all the religions of the world. This is what Jesus had promised to Peter, that the gates of hell (other religions) cannot prevail His Church. God laid down steps in the Bible for people to know how to enter the kingdom of Heaven. But people like your group are disposed to rebel and make their own teachings. Saint Paul already predicted this rebellion or apostasy in his epistles, he says;
[2 Timothy 4:3-4] “for the time is coming when men will not endure sound teaching. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths”
6. God says His Covenant brought by Jesus is everlasting, so there will be no more Church to be founded. He says that the kingdom founded by Jesus on Earth is for eternity, so the Catholic Church or kingdom of Jesus will be the kingdom in Heaven. Let us remember that God’s mind and words do not change, kindly read;
[Numbers 23:19] “God is not like people. He tells no lies. He is not like humans. He doesn’t change his mind. When he says something, he does it. When he makes a promise, he keeps it.”
Boy Bautista @Renz , Even having an image on altar is already idolatry how much more when you kneel down before them. Not worshiping? You are lying to yourself. Roman Catholicism is paganism from the very start up to now. Roman Catholicism killed millions of Christians and Jews, there is no way that religious group is of God. Look at the lives of the majority of RC members, they are living in sinful lives, true Christians must be living in holy lives – you are not.
Jesus is the everything. He is the creator of heaven and earth (John 1:1-3). Jesus is not something literal or physical, He is the Almighty God, the perfect face of the Father. Jesus is the kingdom, the door, the way, the key, the secret code, the truth, the eternal life, he is sovereign God. Narrow is the way to heaven and only few coming to, but wide is the way to hell and many are going to: 1.3 billion from RC and more billions from other groups. You can think it further and deeper, you can come to Jesus personally, talk to Him seriously and ask Him what is really the truth. I will never ask to join my group, but, I will ask you to come to Jesus Christ personally, He is the Savior not my group.
Renz @Boy Bautista
You are so ignorant of the history, the Romans who killed Jews and Christians were not Catholics.
If Jesus says He is the “door”, it means He is our way/path to the Father. If the Bible says “God is everything”, it means He can do everything, it does not mean that His being is everything. For God is definitely not an object, planet, building, airplane, space, animal, etc.. My goodness! God is not a kingdom Himself, where did you get this learning? Your church teach you falsehood. God is called a king because He has a kingdom. A kingdom is composed of a king, area, and subjects. In the Old Testament, God keeps telling that He will establish a kingdom on Earth for eternity. He will install His Son as king. This kingdom is composed of King Jesus, the 12 apostles as judges, priests, and people. Whoever enters this kingdom thru other gate is a thief (John 10:1-2). When I said that the Catholics are 1.3 Billions, I did not mean all of them can make it to Heaven. As I had said, baptism alone cannot save us. We need to believe that Jesus is our Lord and Savior plus obeying the law. Brother, you are the one who needs enlightenment by Jesus. Ask him personally what’s the real truth about Him. Certainly He will answer you, “I am not a kingdom, a key, or code, and leave your church for they are teaching you falsehood”.
Boy Bautista @Renz , Jesus is the key in the house of David, he is also the only door, he is also the way upon entering the door into the kingdom, he is also the kingdom that has no bounds. You should know who Jesus is, he is the Almighty God. The church is the person having the Holy Spirit NOT the church per your understanding that are making money and grabbing political power like the Rome, etc. Italy is now predominantly atheist and their economy is collapsing following Greece.
Renz @Boy Bautista
1. Man, don’t make any perception that is not mentioned in the Bible, it would only make your mind more confused. And also God cannot be an instrument Himself, it’s inconsistent. Furthermore, when you make a claim from the Bible, put forward a verse to back up your claims. For nowhere in the Bible that says Jesus is the key in the house of David. “Holding the key” and “the Key Himself” are not synonymous. The Bible teaches that Jesus holds the key of the house of David, here read;
[Isaiah 22:22] “I will place on his shoulder the key of the house of David. What he opens, no one can shut; what he shuts, no one can open”
[Revelation 3:7] “To the angel of the church in Philadelphia write: These are the words of the One who is holy and true, who holds the key of David. What He opens, no one will shut; and what He shuts, no one will open”
2. Again you’re inventing stories. Italy is 88% Catholic, the growth of other religion and atheism is mostly caused by migrants: https://themediaproject.org/news/2018/6/11/italys-new-government-and-the-catholic-church-increasingly-at-odds-over-migrant-crisis
Italy’s economy ranks no. 8 in the world although she experienced crisis, definitely this country is not poor: http://statisticstimes.com/economy/projected-world-gdp-ranking.php
Boy Bautista @Renz , you already said that is not material but spiritual, you are confused. You need to come to Jesus, don’t stay with Mary or else you shall never arrive with Jesus.
you already said that it is spiritual not physical, why are you confused? You cannot limit what God can do. Italians still claiming Catholics but don’t go to church anymore.
the Isaiah 22:22 is prophetically referring to Jesus, but, RC is claiming to have the authority in lieu of Jesus thus RC is basically an Anti-Christ. Anti-Christ is not against Christ but claiming to be the salvation, has the keys of salvation. Christ is the key, and the salvation. The key is the way to open the door of salvation. Only Jesus can do that. Only Jesus is the Alpha and Omega, from the beginning to end He is God
there is no other means to salvation. His name is Salvation, Savior, Yeshua, Jesus, Christ, Messiah, etc. There is no Mary in the path to heaven.
Renz @Boy Bautista
1. Don’t go around your mistake, admit it _that Jesus is not the kingdom or the key Himself so that you will learn. Either God meant literal or spiritual, it is illogical to say that Jesus is the kingdom or key Himself. You cannot learn if you don’t know how to accept mistakes. And also you mentioned that the church is the person having the holy Spirit. We can have many churches by your definition because there are many persons who have the holy Spirit. Jesus established only one church. The word “church” is a translation of the Greek word ekklesia, which is defined as “an assembly” or “called-out ones.” The root meaning of church is not that of a building, but body of people.
2. Yes, [Isaiah 22:22] is referring to Jesus, but Jesus pass this key or authority to Peter (the head of Catholicism);
[Matthew 16:19] I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”
See? The Catholic Church has the authority. It is sad to say that your church has no authority from Jesus. No permit, and yet you claim that your church is the truth. You better ponder about this fact. Or else Jesus will call you a thief for you try to enter the Kingdom of Heaven other than its gate.
Boy Bautista @Renz , the many churches that are people living holy lives is called the body of Christ (you can read it in Corinthians) . I never seen a single Catholic person living holy life simply because of wrong teachings. You need to accept Jesus Christ first as Lord & Savior by faith in order to see Him. That is called born again experience (John 3:3), because no matter how I tell you, you can never see nor understand who Jesus is until Jesus himself will reveal it to you personally.
Renz @Boy Bautista Where in the Corinthians? There are 1 & 2 Corinthians, and what verse? After telling Jesus is a key or kingdom, you now have another claim. How did you know that no Catholic lives a holy life? Are you God who knows the inner part of a person? Don’t you know that “holy” means sinless or perfect? Is there any perfect man except Jesus? Are you perfect? You are a joke. After you showed to me your ignorance of the Bible and history, you have the cheekiness to declare that Jesus personally revealed to the Born Again believers the understanding, and this is called Born Again experience, Wow!
But why you are ignorant Biblically and historically? Are you sure it was Jesus who revealed to you that understanding? Because Jesus knows everything but His Born Again people are ignorant. You know what, the Bible says those people who cannot understand are evil;
[Proverbs 28:5] “Evil people do not understand judgment, but those who seek the LORD comprehend fully”
[John 8:47] “Whoever belongs to God hears the words of God. The reason you do not hear is that you do not belong to God.”
Furthermore, we cannot be saved by just believing the saving work of Jesus alone. It should be faith plus obedience of the law;
[Romans 3:28] “For there is no salvation if we are not justified by faith aside from obeying the law”
IF I WERE YOU, LEAVE THAT CULT SO THAT YOU WILL BE ENLIGHTENED BY THE TRUE GOD.
Boy Bautista @Renz , Romans 3:28 King James Version (KJV) 28 Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law. hhhmm… it is without the law, you are twisting the word of God.
Renz @Boy Bautista. Numerous translators translated that way;
New International Version
For we maintain that a person is justified by faith apart from the works of the law.
English Standard Version
For we hold that one is justified by faith apart from works of the law.
Berean Study Bible
For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from works of the Law.
New American Standard Bible
For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from works of the Law.
Christian Standard Bible
For we conclude that a person is justified by faith apart from the works of the law.
International Standard Version
For we maintain that a person is justified by faith apart from the actions prescribed by the Law.
For we consider that a person is declared righteous by faith apart from the works of the law.
New Heart English Bible
For we maintain that one is justified by faith apart from the works of the law.
New American Standard 1977
For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from works of the Law.
American Standard Version
We reckon therefore that a man is justified by faith apart from the works of the law.
English Revised Version
We reckon therefore that a man is justified by faith apart from the works of the law.
Weymouth New Testament
For we maintain that it is as the result of faith that a man is held to be righteous, apart from actions done in obedience to Law.
World English Bible
We maintain therefore that a man is justified by faith apart from the works of the law.
Young’s Literal Translation
therefore do we reckon a man to be declared righteous by faith, apart from works of law.
LET US BE HONEST, IN YOUR OPINION, CAN YOU BELIEVE IN GOD WITHOUT DOING HIS LAW? WHY DON’T YOU KILL OR RAPE, ISN’T IT BECAUSE YOU ARE DOING HIS COMMANDMENT?
The book of Romans (KJV) concluded that the law should not be made void;
[Romans 3:31] Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law.
THE BOOK OF JAMES CONFIRMS THAT FAITH WITHOUT DEEDS IS WORTHLESS;
But someone will say, “You have faith and I have deeds.” Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds.
O foolish man, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is worthless?
As you can see, a man is justified by his deeds and not by faith alone.
SEE? THE ABOVE VERSES WERE MAIN REASONS WHY MARTIN LUTHER WANTED TO EXCLUDE THE BOOK OF JAMES FROM HIS OWN BIBLE VERSION.
Boy Bautista @Renz , 1 Corinthians 12:12 King James Version (KJV) 12 For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ.
Renz @Boy Bautista So what about this verse? It confirms my previous statements that the Church is a body of people.
Boy Bautista @Renz , I was a Catholic and still surrounded by Catholics, I never seen even one not living in sins. By their fowl words, vices, and image worship. While the real born-again Christians are full of praise and thanksgiving to God and good words and good works. Yet, our holiness and righteousness were not earned but imputed to us by Jesus Christ.
Renz @Boy Bautista So you are living in a sinless life now, how sure are you? You know what, whatever your Church does, it does not matter to God, it is useless because you rebelled from His Church, You are not belong to God anymore. You made your own gate to Heaven rather than the gate made by Christ on Peter. Saint Paul predicted already the people like you;
[2 Timothy 4:3] For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires,
Here in my place, the priests keep holding masses every day from dawn to evening, the Catholics around me are worshiping God warmly. They don’t keep attacking another religions. They are brave, they spread the Gospel even the most dangerous Muslim area. But you (born again), do not, you take your converts from Catholics, investing their children, poisoning their minds that Catholic are worshiping images. You don’t go to dangerous area because you are afraid (weak faith). You just wait when an area become Catholic, And then you enter there, poisoning the products of Catholics.
Boy Bautista @Renz , “the gate made by Christ on Peter”, you created your own gate with your out of context interpretation. Jesus said, “thou art Peter and upon this rock I will build my church”. He’s referring to himself the rock of all ages, existed from everlasting to everlasting. Jesus did not said, “I will build my church upon Peter”.
Renz @Boy Bautista It shows that you are not aware of the origin of the name, “Peter”. It originated from the Greek word, “petros” which means rock. Peter’s previous name was Simon, Jesus called him as rock or Petros because He made him the foundation of His Church. In other word, Jesus said to Simon, “you are rock and on this rock I will build my Church”
Boy Bautista @Renz, a body of people without the Holy Spirit living in them cannot become a church that is holy dwelling place of God. They are basically categorized as cult, RC is a cult.
Renz @ Boy Bautista, Wrong, the Church was already built by Jesus on Simon Peter, how can you say the Church of God cannot become a church? The Church (body of people) is not the dwelling place of God, but His kingdom founded on Earth for eternity. What is more cult, the group that can connect its origin to Peter, or the group that can connect only its origin to Martin Luther?
Boy Bautista @Renz, Romans 10:17 King James Version (KJV) 17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
Renz @Boy Bautista your KJV teaches you already that the law should not be made void through faith (Romans 3:31), and faith is worthless without deeds (James 2:20). So you better don’t propose a verse anymore to prove your doctrine. I sense that you have no interest in seeking the truth.
Boy Bautista @Renz , Origin to Peter church is so shameful because he denied Jesus 3 times. The Living Church is everyone born with new life on JESUS. The RC cannot understand this even the pope.
Renz @Boy Bautista If Peter’s church is so shameful, then why your church copied the Bible? Why your church use the book of Peter in your Bible? Since your church followed the Scriptures of a so shameful church, therefore, your church is also so shameful, right? You don’t know what you are talking about. If RC (which is the originator of the Bible) does not understand God’s teachings, how much more your own church, which was founded very recently? Your “faith alone” doctrine even contradicts the teachings of the Bible. And yet you have the audacity to claim that you know the Bible better than the Catholic Church.
Boy Bautista @Renz , The Truth is Jesus. The law is there for you to know that you are a SINNER. No sinner can save himself by doing good works. If ever can, Jesus should have not come and paid all sins by His blood.
Renz @Boy Bautista The law was made only to let us know that we are sinners, so after Jesus saved us, don’t we need to follow the law and continue sinning? This is ridiculous. Why is it that Jesus told the prostitute woman to sin no more if the law is no longer necessary? No matter how hard you do good works, but you have no faith the saving work of Jesus, you cannot be saved also _this is what Saint Paul meant in his teaching. The Bible teaches us that faith and doing the law should go together in order to save our lives.
Boy Bautista @Renz , Jesus did not say, “On you Peter”. Perhaps the reason is you don’t who Jesus is, The Rock, The Foundation, The Kingdom, The Word, The Almighty God, The Way, The Truth, The Life. etc, etc..
Renz @Boy Bautista If truly you know Jesus and His firm believer, don’t play game, let us be honest. Jesus founded His Church on rock (peter). Jesus changed Simon’s name into Peter because He chose him as the foundation of His Church. This is one of the sicknesses of rebellious Christians who could not topple the Catholic Church’s doctrine, they will resort to word-for-word basis. We are no longer a child that cannot understand a simple sentence. Love the truth because Jesus is the truth.
Boy Bautista @Renz , The Truth is Jesus. The law is there for you to know that you are a SINNER. No sinner can save himself by doing good works. If ever can, Jesus should have not come and paid all sins by His blood.
Renz @Boy Bautista It is not knowing that you are a sinner, but the law is there for us to stop sinning. No sinner can save himself by doing good works if you don’t have faith the saving work of Jesus. You must believe the saving work of Jesus first. Because there are people who do good works but don’t believe the salvation provided by Jesus, for instance the Muslims, they believe that by doing good works alone, they can go to paradise.
Boy Bautista @Renz , All of the books in the Bible were written by Hebrews, no single Catholic contributed. Salvation can be received from Jesus Christ alone. Good works that shall follow are fruits of salvation, but, if you continue the sinful lifestyle, that means you have not Jesus Christ nor believe nor have faith in Him. Works to earn salvation are direct rejection of Jesus Christ’s offer of free salvation. You obviously don’t understand “salvation by grace”, because you want to earn it.
Renz @Boy Bautista where did the protestants get the Bible in 1517? don’t tell me the Bible suddenly went into their hands? the Catholics were the ones who kept the Scriptures. and they were the ones who selected the inspired books then compiled them as bible. You should read the history so that you wouldn’t end up lying.
If salvation comes first (through faith) therefore good works comes as a result, then why there are protestants who still sinning? I don’t think they don’t believe the saving work of Jesus. There is a Born Again Church closed to our house built 8 years ago, And I had noticed that their number grew from one to more than a hundred. But I had also noticed two years after their number declined, their number today is less than 20 mostly children. I asked why their number declined, one of the ex-member said, (who is my cousin) that their number started declining when the members found out that their pastor had affairs with 3 lady members. I don’t think that this pastor doesn’t believe the saving work of Jesus. So your doctrine is inconsistent. The teaching of Saint Paul is very clear, that we can be saved through faith aside from obeying the law.
I DID STUDY. AND THIS IS WHAT I HAVE LEARNT; GOD FOUNDED A KINGDOM ON EARTH FOR ETERNITY,
[Psalm 78:69] (Aramaic Bible in Plain English) “He built His holy place upon the height and He prepared it in the earth for eternity.
[Daniel 2:44] “At the time of those kings, the God of heaven will establish a kingdom that will never be destroyed. No other people will be permitted to rule it. It will smash all the other kingdoms and put an end to them. And it will be established forever”
GOD SAYS HE WILL SET JESUS OVER HIS HOUSE (THE CHURCH AND KINGDOM FOREVER);
[1 Chronicles 17:14] I will set him over my house and my kingdom forever; his throne will be established forever.
GOD SAYS THIS KINGDOM WILL NOT BE DESTROYED AND WILL ENDURE FOREVER, THEREFORE NO MORE KINGDOM AFTER THIS;
[2 Samuel 7:16] “Your house and your kingdom shall endure before Me forever; your throne shall be established forever.”
[Daniel 7:14] “And to Him was given dominion, Glory and a kingdom, that all the peoples, nations and men of every language might serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion which will not pass away; And His kingdom is one which will not be destroyed”.
[Jeremiah 50:5] “They will ask for the way to Zion, turning their faces in its direction; they will come that they may join themselves to the LORD in an everlasting covenant that will not be forgotten.
JESUS ASSURED THAT THE CHURCH HE FOUNDED ON PETER WOULD NOT BE OVERCOME BY THE GATES OF HELL (OTHER RELIGIONS). SO IT IS NOT TRUE THAT THE CATHOLIC CHURCH WAS CORRUPTED:
[Matthew 16:18] You are Peter, and I can guarantee that on this rock I will build my church. And the gates of hell will not overpower it.
JESUS PREACHED THIS CHURCH OR KINGDOM TO THE PEOPLE;
[Matthew 9:35] Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness.
What is Trinity? Trinity is derived from the two words, tri– means three + unity means oneness; is a doctrine of the Catholic Church that teaches that God has three persons (the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit) in one Godhead. The person referred in the Trinity does not mean individual man, but, it does mean the form or appearance of God when He introduced Himself to men. A lot of individuals or groups could not grasp what is the Holy Trinity as taught by Catholicism based on the Holy Scripture; some have perceived it, but they just purposely distorted the truth either for principle’s sake or for fear of losing adherents. It is difficult to understand the Trinity specially when you are lazy to read and study the Holy Bible. Islam accuses that Catholicism practices polytheism which is contrary to what is written in the Holy Scripture that God is one; [Isaiah 45:18]. Though the mystery of Divine Trinity is hard to fathom specially for the ordinary-minded individuals, It is undeniable that this mystery is revealed in the Holy Scriptures many times. The Holy Scripture teaches us that God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are interrelated to each other. The Father is God [Psalm 68:5, Isaiah 64:8, & 1 Corinthians 8:6], the Son is God [Psalm 2:11-12, John 1:1-18, & Hebrews 1:8-9], and the Holy Spirit is also God [Acts 5:3-4 & Hebrews 3:7-11], but, they are one in nature [Deuteronomy 6:4]. This triune God stirs different interpretations among groups or individuals, and became one of the causes of Christian apostasies. Some Christian denominations believe that the Son and the Father are separate in nature _resulting to two Gods. This belief contradicted God’s claim that He is one. It appears that their religious founders were not sharp enough to comprehend the contents of the Holy Scripture, or they did perceive but just deliberately twisted the truth for personal gain.
TRINITY REVELATION IN THE BIBLE:
There are many verses in the Bible that emphasize the three persons of God. The following are some of the verses that revealed Trinity, let us read and interpret each;
1. [Isaiah 9:6] For to us a child is born, to us a Son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And He will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
COMMENT: Isaiah 7:14 is another verse of the book of Isaiah that also predicts the birth of a Son; it says, Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Emmanuel. ‘Emmanuel’ is a Hebrew word which means “God with us”. These predictions were fulfilled in Jesus about 700 years later; the angel said to Mary, “Do not be afraid Mary; for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name Him Jesus” [Luke 1:30-34]. ‘Jesus’ is a transliteration derived from the word ‘Iesus’, a Greek transliteration for Hebrew word ‘Yeshua’ which means “God saves”. Isaiah 9:6 describes the Son (Jesus) as the Counselor, Mighty God, and the Everlasting Father. In John 15:26, Jesus says that this Counselor is also the Spirit of Truth; He says, “When the Counselor comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, that is the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father, He will testify about me”. Isaiah 9:6 is a resounding evidence that God the Father, the Son (Jesus), and the Holy Spirit are one being; this verse declares the Trinity.
2. [Isaiah 48:16] “I have not spoken in secret from the beginning; from the time that it was, there I am; and now the Sovereign Lord has sent Me with his Spirit“.
COMMENT: The speaker of this verse claimed that He already existed from the beginning, so it means, He is God. And then He proceeded, “. . . and now the Lord has sent Me with His Spirit”; so the speaker God is sent by Sovereign Lord with His Spirit. Notice that there are three persons mentioned in this verse: the speaker God who is sent, the Sovereign Lord who is the sender, and the Spirit of the Sovereign Lord. The sender Lord is the source or Father of the Spirit, and the messenger God is the emanated Spirit who came to Earth and became Jesus, the Son of God [Luke 1:35]. The speaker God could easily just say, “the Sovereign Lord has sent me”, but He mentioned about “Spirit“; so God emphasizes the interrelation among the Father, the Son, and the Spirit. Isaiah 48:16 portrays Trinity.
3. [John 14:6] Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me“.
COMMENT: “Way” signifies Salvation. Since mankind was cut-off from God’s grace because of transgression, and since God so loved mankind, He provided a bridge for us to cross to His Holy abode; this bridge or way is Jesus, that whoever believes in Him will have eternal life: “Truth” signifies the Spirit of Truth who will attest Jesus’ testimony. He will prove to mankind that what Jesus promised and warned are true: “Life” signifies the Father God who is the fountain of life [Psalm 36:9]. The Lord Jesus demonstrates the Trinity.
4. [John 15:26] Jesus says, “But when the Counselor comes whom I will send to you from the Father, that is the Spirit of Truth who goes out from the Father, He will testify about me”.
COMMENT: Notice that in this verse, Jesus is the one who will send the Counselor, and this Counselor is the Spirit of Truth who goes out from the Father. Who is this Counselor or Spirit of Truth that Jesus will send from the Father? It is He who will testify about Jesus. But referring to [John 8:18], Jesus Himself will testify about Himself. For He says, “I am the one that bear witness of myself, and the Father that sent me bear witness of me”, therefore the Spirit of Truth is Jesus Himself. The Father is the source of the Son (Jesus) and the Spirit of Truth, so they are one nature. In this verse, Jesus demonstrates the Trinity.
5. [John 14:15-17] If you love me, you will obey what I command. “And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to help you and be with you forever, that is the Spirit of truth.
COMMENT: Jesus tells that He will ask the Father another Counselor to be with His people forever; why another Counselor? because Jesus himself is the Counselor whom sent by the Father and His Spirit, and dwelt among the people. After Him, will follow another Counselor who is the Spirit of Truth. But referring back to [John 8:18], we are told that this Spirit of Truth is also Jesus Himself who will return on the Last Day. And in [Isaiah 9:6], we know that the Counselor is also the Everlasting Father. Therefore, the Father, Counselor (Jesus), and the Holy Spirit (Spirit of Truth) are one being. Jesus demonstrates the Holy Trinity.
6. [Matthew 28:19] “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit”.
COMMENT: Prior to ascension of Jesus to Heaven, He commanded His disciples to baptize His followers using the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. This formula strongly signifies interrelation among the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Why it should be the three of them? because they symbolize the three phases of God’s appearance to men: the God (as Father) on the Creation period; the God (as the Son or Jesus) on the Salvation period; and the God (as Spirit of Truth) who will appear on the Resurrection period. Jesus emphasizes the importance of the Holy Trinity in baptism.
7. [1 John 5:7] For there are three that bear witness in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit: and these three are one.
COMMENT: The “Word” is also Jesus or the Son of God according to John 1:14, it says; “The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us. We have seen His glory, the glory of the one and only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth”. ‘1 John 5:7′ clearly emphasizes the Trinity.
8. [1 John 5:6-8] This is the One who came by water and blood, Jesus Christ; not with the water only, but with the water and with the blood. It is the Spirit who testifies, because the Spirit is the truth. For there are three that testify: the Spirit and the Water and the Blood; and the three are in agreement.
COMMENT: . . . For there are three that testify . . . Notice that the writer John specifies about three testifiers (‘testifier’ means person who testifies); they are the Spirit, the Water, and the Blood. The “Spirit” signifies the Spirit of Truth, who is the testifier of the truth about Jesus [John 15:26]: the “Water“signifies the fountain of living water, the source of life [Jeremiah 2:13 & Psalm 36:8-9], the Father God who is the testifier of Jesus [John 12:18]: and the “Blood” symbolizes the sacrificial Lamb who is Jesus, and testifier of the Father [John 5:36]. And these three persons of God are in agreement.
9. [2 Corinthians 13:14] The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.
COMMENT: God is the source or Father of Jesus (Son) and the Holy Spirit. This verse clearly emphasizes the Holy Trinity.
10. [Revelation 1:8] “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God the almighty, “Who is, and Who was, and Who is to come“.
COMMENT: In this verse, the speaker Lord Jesus (Son of Man), declares that He is the Alpha (First) and the Omega (Last) equaling what God the Father’s claim in [Isaiah 41:4]. He is not pointing that His reign has First and Last for He is eternal being, but He is referring to the Beginning of Creation through the Last Day. “Who is“, describing Himself as the present God, the Son, who appeared to men in the form of Jesus on the ‘Salvation’ period; the center of the three stages of God’s appearance to men. “Who was“, describing Himself as the God in the Beginning, the ‘Creation’ period, the Father God; the first stage of God’s appearance to men. And “Who is to come“, describing Himself as the coming God on the ‘Resurrection’ period, this is the Spirit of Truth, who will return to the world to punish the sinners, and bring His devoted followers to Heaven; the last stage of God’s appearance to mankind on earth. Again, God emphasizes the significance of the Holy Trinity.
The truth is that there is only one God, He is naturally spirit [John 4:24], but He can fold Himself into many, in fact, He appeared to Abraham in three persons [Genesis 18:1-3]. He made the heavens and all living things, but He took favor on humans probably because He created them after His image [Genesis 1:26]. These humans are unique from His other living creations. They are intelligent and wise, the reason why they disobeyed His commandment and succumbed to Satan’s temptation, since they wanted to compete God’s lordship [Genesis 3:4-6]. Even until today, there are many skeptics who keep challenging God’s claim of the universe.
Why God came to the World through human birth?
When Adam and Eve transgressed God’s law and fell [Genesis 3:1], they became impure for they committed a sin _thus they’re condemned to eternal punishment which is death [Genesis 2:16-17]. Because of the first sin, man became mortal and doomed to perish. Mankind was cut-off from God’s grace [Isaiah 59:2]. Heaven is holy, impure creation has no place in there; God is holy He won’t live with impure creation [Leviticus 11:44 & Deuteronomy 23:14]. Man can’t enter into Heaven by himself because of his sin. God is so angry with the sins of the world, that’S why He determined to destroy the world [Ezekiel 22:31]. He searched for the one among the people who would stand as mediator between Him and mankind, but He found no one [Ezekiel 22:30], all people are sinners [Micah 7:2]. But because God so loved the world [John 3:16], and since He is the only one who can bring the pure from the impure [Job 14:4], He sent forth His Spirit to destroy the works of the devil through His death [Isaiah 48:16, 1 John 3:8, & Hebrews 2:14]. This emanated Spirit is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of His nature [Hebrews 1:3]. God called the sender Spirit as the ‘Father’, while He called the messenger Spirit as the ‘Son’ [Isaiah 9:6]. The messenger Spirit descended to the world and became flesh through human birth _ thus He’s called “Immanuel, Jesus, and Son of God/Man” [Isaiah 7:14, Luke 1:35, & Matthew 26:24]. Jesus’ mission was to save the world from condemnation by purifying it with His pure nature _ thus He’s called ‘Jesus or Savior’ [Titus 2:13 & Isaiah 62:11]. He’s the only sinless man on Earth, making Him eligible to stand as a mediator between God and mankind _ thus He’s called a ‘Mediator or Counselor’ [Isaiah 9:6]. He showed His great love for mankind by giving up His life for the sins of the world [1 John 2:2]. His deed was like a sacrificial lamb prepared by men to atone their transgressions against God _ thus He’s called ‘lamb of God’. By the saving blood of Jesus, man could regain his eternal life and became qualified to enter into Heaven. To follow Jesus’ teaching is the way or bridge of mankind to Heaven _ thus He is also called the ‘Way’ [John 14:6]. The savior (sent spirit) needed to be a pure man, since death entered the world through a man, therefore, the resurrection of the dead comes through a man [1 Corinthians 15:21]. And after the saving mission of Jesus on Earth, He ascended to Heaven and rejoined with the source Spirit, the Father God [Mark 16:19]. He promised to return on the Last Day to punish the ancient Serpent and his angels [Revelation 12:9], as well as, to punish the unrepentant human sinners [Revelation 20:15], and to bring His devoted followers into His Holy abode, the Heaven [John 14:1-3].
The Son of God meaning
Biologically, Jesus could not be called the son of God because He was not formed in the womb through sperm or sexual contact. In another sense, “father” could also mean “source or author”, for instance, “Satan is the father of lies”; likewise, “son” could also mean “product or emanation” that is something coming from a source, for instance; “son of soil”, ‘son of the Demon’. In [John 15:26] Jesus says that the Spirit of Truth goes out from the Father _ so this Spirit is an emanation from God the Father. And this is the Spirit who came upon Mary and became flesh, whom named Jesus, also called the Son of God [Luke 1:35] or Son of Man [Daniel 7:13 & Matthew 16:27].
How come a Spirit goes out from a Spirit?
Before I answer this question, I want to share with you a short story; “When I was a teenager, I met a faith-healer, he’s nickname was ‘Migo’. He confessed to me that he had an angel friend. One day right after his marriage, he had experienced a supernatural event. He narrated that while he was talking to his parent-in-law inside the house, the angel came and took him outside. To his amazement, while they were talking each other with the angel, he saw his body also talking to his parent-in-law inside the house”. At a young age, I regarded that event as impossible to happen, but not until in my early thirties. In my mid-twenties, I became somewhat curious about Spiritual Faith, I started scanning the Holy Bible occasionally. Though I was born Catholic, I didn’t go to Church to attend Mass often. I became doubtful about Trinity and using of images of Catholicism, because these had been the prevailing objections raised by many Christian denominations, and for me, they seemed had Biblical truths. I often watched Eli Soriano’s Bible Exposition on television, I admired him for his Bible adeptness, he could answer your query right away through quoting of Bible verses, as if he had memorized the whole contents of the Bible. His argument about the Son and Father God whom, for him, are different beings, was convincing on my part. But still I had a feeling left somewhere within me that there must be some explanations behind the accusations because Catholicism is the original Christian Church founded by Christ Himself, hence this should not be fallible. Thanks to the internet age! we can now scan verses comfortably in the Bible that we want to read or consult. I now understand much of the Trinity.
The main problem why people could not comprehend the Trinity in the Bible is because they regard the capability of God as of human, remember that God is the greatest supernatural being, His capability is unlimited, hence all things are possible to Him [Matthew 19:26]. He is not human that depends only on his limited resources. The claim of ‘Migo’ is very possible because a spirit has power. We can divide or fold even our being into many through the power of God’s spirit. We have not become spirits yet, hence we don’t know about spiritual characteristic, but the Bible gives us several verses relating spirits and their capabilities for us to formulate ideas about them. The following are the verses about spirits and their capabilities, let us read and interpret each of them;
1. [Numbers 12:25-26] Then the Lord came down in the cloud and spoke with him, and he took some of the power of the Spirit that was on him and put it on the seventy elders. When the Spirit rested on them, they prophesied—but did not do so again. However, two men, whose names were Eldad and Medad, had remained in the camp. They were listed among the elders, but did not go out to the tent. Yet the Spirit also rested on them, and they prophesied in the camp.
COMMENT: . . . He took some of the power of the Spirit . . . God took some of the power of His Spirit and put it on seventy elders so that they prophesied, including Eldad and Medad who were away from the seventy elders. Now, if God could take out some power of His Spirit and put it upon numerous bodies to prophesy, how much more on one body? Therefore, it is very possible for God to take an amount from His powerful Spirit, and sent it to the world to become a man and purified the world. In Luke 4:18, Jesus says that the Spirit of God is upon Him.
Actually, a spirit could transform into a human body anytime, and vice versa [God appeared to Abraham (Genesis 18:1-3); Jacob wrestled with God (Genesis 32:24); & Lot and the angels (Genesis 19:1)]. The birth of Jesus was for the people to believe that indeed He was the Son of God, a descendant of David, and born from a virgin woman as written in the Prophesies; and these prophesies about Him should be fulfilled [Luke 24:44]. When Jesus ascended to Heaven, He was in the human body, since He was raised from the dead. In [Matthew 17:2] Jesus’ body transfigured into white brightness, His face shone like the sun, an indication that His body could transform into light or spirit. A spirit being, whether he is in a human body, could still ascend to heavens.
2. [Revelation 5:6] Then I saw a Lamb, looking as if it had been slain, standing at the center of the throne, encircled by the four living creatures and the elders. The Lamb had seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the Earth.
COMMENT: . . . the seven spirits of God sent out into all the Earth. This verse is very evident that God could divide His Spirit into many. Therefore, no doubt that God could emanate another Spirit from His powerful Spirit and send to the world to become a purifier. God could fold His eyes into many, the same way, He could fold His Spirit into many because nothing is impossible to Him [Luke 1:37 & Job 42:2]. These Spirits could detach from each other, and even talk to each other. God has the power to fold Himself into many, and reversely converge them into one being, that’s why He could sometimes be singular or plural as described in the Bible. “Revelation 5:6” solidifies the belief on Trinity.
I wonder why those people who have read the Bible completely, still are skeptic about the Trinity, for there are verses in the Bible that so emphasize it. God is one being but He has the capability to divide His Spirit into many. Just like water, one nature, but it has the capability to scatter upon different places of the Earth, and reversely, it has the capability to converge from different corners into one body. God could pour His Spirit on all people [Joel 2:28]; meaning, He could distribute His Spirit on all people. Just like an electricity, one nature, but it could be distributed to Billions of households. Indeed, God could approach us not just with His three persons, but even with His countless persons. He could appear and talk to all humans at the same time at different venues. Jesus appeared to His more than 500 believers at the same time [1 Corinthians 15:3-9]. God works all things in all persons [1 Corinthians 12:5], let us not limit the capability of God.
ENCOURAGEMENT AND WARNING:
For those who are ignorant of the Holy Scriptures (the Bible or Tanakh and Gospel), I encourage you to read them. There are a lot of them available at the internet today; you waste your own intellect and education if you just depend your Godly knowledge on the rhetoric of your religious leaders; remember that your spiritual life is put at stake in this matter; do you not dream of having eternal life in Heaven? to achieve eternal life is far better than the most precious thing on Earth; Heaven and Earth will pass away, but the word of God will endure forever [Mark 13:31 & Luke 21:33]; so research about God, and do not rest your salvation on other people, because who knows they are lying. You would be easily misled by their lies if you are ignorant of the Holy Scriptures. The Bible warns us, “false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will also be false teachers among you, who will secretly introduce destructive heresies” [2 Peter 2:1-3]. This means that the original Church would deal false prophets and heresies. And these false prophets and teachers are now among us who have misled billion of people.
And for those people who have read the whole Scripture but still denying Jesus as God, you help Satan spreading his lies; “who is a liar? It is whoever denies that Jesus is the Christ. Such a person is the anti-Christ—denying the Father and the Son” [1 John 2:22]. You let the father of lies guide your heart in exchange of earthly pleasures, so prepare yourselves for the coming fiery lake; “But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars—they will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death” [Revelation 21:8].
A BRIEF HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY
In 31 A.D. after the ascension of Jesus Christ, the apostles spread the good news initially from Jerusalem throughout the Roman Empire. In Rome, the apostle Simon Peter together with Paul established the Church which Jesus Christ told to Simon Peter, “and I tell you that you are peter [peter derived from Greek petros means rock], and on this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of hell will not prevail against it” [Matthew 16:18]. In the year 107, St. Ignatius of Antioch named this Christian Faith as the Catholic Church [catholic derived from Greek katholikos means universal]. It became the state religion by Armenia in 301; Georgia in 319; and in the year 380, Theodocius 1 declared this Faith as the official religion in Rome. In 1054, the Latin West Church and the Greek East Church split especially due to conflict of leadership and language barrier, which later became known as the Roman Catholic Church in the west and the Orthodox Catholic Church in the east. Today, the Roman Catholic Church proved to be the most dominant of all Christian Religions at 1.6 Billion adherents around the world. There had been ecumenical efforts made to reunite these two early Churches.
In 1517, a priest named Martin Luther protested the management of the Roman Catholic Church, he questioned the using of images and also selling indulgences by some corrupt leaders. Martin Luther’s purpose was to reform the management but later led to breaking away from the Mother Church and establishing the Protestant Church. And that’s the Genesis of the many schisms, many so-called Christian reformists followed.
In 1527, King Henry vIII of England asked the pope to have his marriage to Catherine of Aragon annulled because for nearly twenty years they had not yet produced a male heir to the throne. The pope refused to grant the annulment so Henry declared his independence from the pope in 1534 and founded the Church of England.
In 1914 in the Philippines, Felix Manalo founded the Iglesia ni Cristo. He claimed that he’s an angel rising from the east. From the Philippines it reached as far as America.
In 1870, Charles Taze Russell in the USA founded a Bible study movement and had gained many members. In 1931 after Charles Russell’s death, his followers led by Joseph Rutherford established the Jehovah’s Witnesses.
Since then, many other Christian sects had emerged, each of them claimed that they are the true Church. These Christian denominations or sects were once partakers of the Catholic Faith founded by Christ through Saint Peter and other Apostles, but eventually left the Mother Faith. Just like children who rebelled against their parents, just like Satan who rebelled against God.
TRUTH OR ORIGIN OF A RELIGION
If believers want truth of a religion, they should trace back the origin of it. How come a newly sprouted Church can be true or original? Instead, it is the one which has the earliest foundation, the one that Jesus Christ founded through St. Peter and other apostles, the one which has an unbroken continuity with the early apostolic Church. A Christian religion that has no apostolic connection is false. God said to Simon Peter, “I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven” [Matthew 16:19]. To break away from the Church bound by Peter and other Apostles is a rebellion, and therefore it has the consequence of losing the grace of God’s promise. Saint Paul already predicted this apostasy or rebellion in his epistles: “for the time is coming when men will not endure sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths“ [2 Timothy 4:3-4]; and, “don’t let anyone deceive you in anyway, for that Day will not come, unless the rebellion occurs” [2 Thessalonians 2:3]. They rejected the Church that Jesus Christ founded, therefore God will reject them in the Last Day. One needs to be part of this Church bond in order for them to be enclosed by the Lord’s grace. If ever there is a blemish in the management, it’s not the Church itself that erred, but some people within it. Jose Rizal became doubtful of this Faith because of the atrocities inflicted by the Friars, but later retracted his doubt. People are prone to be swayed by earthly pleasures, and the clergy are not impervious to it for they are humans too.
DO CATHOLICS WORSHIP STATUES OR IMAGES?
Most of the newly sprouted Christian religions are attacking the Catholic Church focusing on the image issue. I prefer to call them ‘newly sprouted Christian religions’ because of the enormous time span from the time the Catholic Church was established to the time they emerged as religions. For more than thousand years, there was no other Christian religion except the Catholic Church. Some regard these newly sprouted Christian religions as cults or sects because they were founded by men only.
In [Exodus 20:4-5] it says, “you shall not make for yourself a graven image or likeness of anything that is heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. You shall not bow down to them or serve them”. This passage is the center of accusation and rebellion by many so-called reformists. It is right to point fingers against people committing the sin of idolatry, but condemning the Catholics because they use images is based on misinterpretation of what the Bible says about the purpose and uses of statues.
COMMENT: If we read the verse 3 of Exodus 20, God begins His commandment by saying, “you shall have no other gods before Me”. So the issue here is not really the images themselves, but people who worshiped other gods (like Molech, Golden calf, Asherah, Baal, Bel, Amon, Dagon, Tammuz, Zeus, Hermes, Artemis, and many others). Why God hated these images? Because these were the images of gods that the Israelites worshiped. The Catholicism is the owner of the Holy Scriptures, so they know better than all rebellious groups.
In (Exodus 25:18-20), God instructed Moses to make two gold cherubim [Cherubim is pl. form of Cherub means angel statue] and placed them over the Ark of the Lord. Even King David held a feast for the Ark of the Lord with the two cherubim over it [2 Samuel 6:15, 19]. He sacrificed burnt offerings and fellowship offerings before it, he was dancing and leaping with all his might before it [2 Samuel 6:13-14]. David was despised by his wife Michal for what he had done, so the Lord penalized her by closing her womb (2 Samuel 6:16, 20, 23). King Solomon made Cherubim too and placed them in the inner sanctuary of God’s Temple [1 Kings 6:23-27]. God also instructed Moses to make a bronze statue of snake, and put it up on a pole. Then when anyone was bitten by a snake and looked at the bronze snake, he lived [Numbers 21:8-9].
Catholic Church does not worship, bow, or serve idols. When Catholics kiss the image of God, they imagine it as they kiss the heavenly Father, just like when you are hugging a pillow while you are longing for your loved one, just like when you are kissing their picture while you are imagining them in your arms. Assuming that you have a girlfriend somewhere else, at one day, a friend of yours informed you that she is caressing your picture and hugging pillow in longing for you, would you get angry of your girlfriend because of what she is doing? _certainly you would not. How much more on the part of God? The Lord is not severe, He is slow to anger and abounding in love (Exodus 34:6). God would have even spared Sodom and Gomorrah if only He had found ten righteous men living in those cities [Genesis 18:32]. God instead loves those who are addicted to Him.
Catholics use statues, paintings, and other devices to reflect the persons who had firm faith in God that led to their martyrdom. By looking at their images, it helps us recollect their examples, as well as strengthen our spiritual Faith. Catholics also use the images as teaching tools for the instruction of the illiterate people. In the situation of the gold cherubim and bronze snake, it proves that God does not forbid the ritual use of religious images. It is when people start to worship and serve a statue as god that the Lord becomes angry. The Bible recorded that early people killed their children as propitiatory sacrifices for their cult images; and did many other detestable practices (such as sexual perversions in homage for their gods) that provoked the anger of the Lord. God does not prohibit the making of image as long as it is solemnly consecrated to Him, as in the case of Micah’s carved silver image [Judges 17:3]. Judges chapter 18 tells about Micah’s carved silver image which was brought by Danites when they attacked Laish, and God let them conquered Laish.