In this article, we will examine the painful truth regarding the formation of the largest religion on the planet – the Roman Catholic Church, with all its denominations, divisions, schisms.
Is Christianity after the time of the apostles and the first century Church one built on false teachings, lies and drenched in blood? Why did God allow Israel, His nation, which He Himself had called out of "Babylon" (Egypt), to be deceived?
In Leviticus Chapter 26, God said He would bless Israel above all nations if they would obey Him. God, bringing them out, warned them that if they would not obey Him, He would punish them more than other nations of the earth; they would be slain before their enemies (verse 17), suffer famine (verse 25), and be scattered among the heathen (verse 33).
We have seen that they were deceived by the Devil into worshiping his idols. God says:
They rebelled against Me ...neither did they forsake the idols of Egypt...they walked not in My statutes...My sabbaths were greatly polluted...I lifted up Mine hand...that I would scatter them among the heathen. - Ezek. 20:8, 13, 23
Emperor Theodosius (AD. 378-398) made Christianity the State Religion of the Roman Empire, and made Church Membership compulsory. This was the worst calamity that has ever befallen the Church.
The Church has entered its Great Apostasy. - Halley’s Bible Handbook
What does Apostasy mean?
It is a "a defection or revolt,” a formal disaffiliation from or abandonment or renunciation of a religion by a person.
The Imperial Church of the 4th and 5th centuries had become an entirely different institution from the persecuted church of the first three centuries. In its ambition to rule it lost and forgot the spirit of Christ.
Ministers became Priests. The term ‘priest’ was not applied to Christian ministers before A.D. 200. Leo I (4400461 A.D.) prohibited priests from marrying, and Celibacy of priests became a law of the Roman Church. - Halley’s Bible Handbook p. 760-761
Did you know that some doctrines of the Catholic Church are doctrines of devils?
In I Timothy 4:1-3:
Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron; Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth.
Do Catholics acknowledge that Catholicism cannot be identified with the Gospel of Christ?
In the book “The Spirit of Catholicism” written by Karl Adam in page 2, the Catholics declare:
We Catholics acknowledged readily, without any shame, nay with pride, that Catholicism cannot be identified simply and wholly with primitive Christianity, nor even with the Gospel of Christ, in the same way the great oak cannot be identified with the tiny acorn.
The Catholic does not derive his faith in Jesus from the Scriptures. – Karl Adam, The Spirit of Catholicism, p. 50, 57
Let’s take a look at the history of Catholicism’s invented doctrines.
100 AD Ignatius applied the name ‘Catholic’ to the Church
200 AD Sign of the Cross
325 AD Council of Nicea declared “Christ is God”
393 AD Purgatory was invented by Rome
Read a Bible cover to cover, there is no mention of the purifying flames of purgatory. This is but another Catholic invention.
787 AD Began the use of images in the Divine Worship
The Bible forbids bowing to any statues or images. Jesus said that God must be worshiped in spirit and truth (John 4:24); not in idol worship and vain manmade traditions (Mark 7:6-13).
9th century Confession to the priest began
According to Catholic.org:
The Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation is a Sacrament in which we are sorry for our sins, confess them to a priest, receive forgiveness for them and are reconciled with God and the Church.
The idea that a sinful man can forgive someone's sins is blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. I Timothy 2:5 couldn't be clearer ... “For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.” Jesus never gave His Apostles the power to forgive people's sins.
9th – 12th centuries The Rosary was practiced by the Catholic Church
The Catholic Rosary is a prayer to Mary. Mary allegedly appeared to three children at Fatima, north of Lisbon, Portugal, in 1917, identifying herself as "Our Lady of the Rosary" and giving the promises to those who will faithfully recite the Rosary. The information is from the Roman Catholic site Fatima.org. The Rosary leads people away from trusting upon Jesus Christ alone.
The Vatican II Council and the New Catholic Catechism reaffirmed that Mary is the sinless Mother of God, that she ascended bodily to Glory and was crowned as the Queen of Heaven, that she can hear and answer prayer. Of course, no such teachings are found anywhere in the Bible.
In Isaiah 42:8, the Lord says:
I am the LORD: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images.
11th century The Pope was given the right solely to declare Saints
This is very clear – process for declaring someone a saint or canonization is a Catholic invention. The Bible only said that we pray only through Christ.
1215 The 4th Lateran Council of the Roman Catholic church, held in the Lateran Palace, Rome, endorses Doctrine of Transubstantiation.
1414 Council of Constance begun communion under the form of bread alone
This is the blasphemy that states that the Catholic Priest transforms the Sacraments of the bread and wine into the actual literal body and blood of Jesus Christ. Thus along with symbolic cannibalism, they crucify our Lord anew every Sunday. Jesus told us to partake of Communion in remembrance of Him, but it was only to represent the supreme sacrifice on the cross.
In the second paragraph of this article, we mention the word ‘Babylon.’ Is this written in the Bible? Let us read Revelation 17:1, 5:
Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls came and talked with me, saying to me, “Come, I will show you the judgment of the great harlot who sits on many waters.” And on her forehead a name was written:MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT,THE MOTHER OF HARLOTSAND OF THE ABOMINATIONSOF THE EARTH.
Where can we find this harlot? Let us continue reading in Revelation 17:15:
Then he said to me, “The waters which you saw, where the harlot sits, are peoples, multitudes, nations, and tongues.
It clearly states that this harlot can be found in all nations all over the world.
The Catholics declare in The Catholic Catechism, page 146:
The world ‘Catholic’ means ‘universal’ extending all over the world.
The Roman Catholic Church is the largest Christian church with more than 1.2 billion members worldwide. But, is this the true Church of Christ?
Let us go back to Revelation 17:1, 5. What does ‘Babylon’ mean? In the I Peter 5:13 footnote, Douay-Rheims Bible:
“Babylon: Rome A metaphor probably founded on Jewish usage.”
The Catholics declare in The Catholic Catechism, page 146:
The Church is called Roman Catholic because its chief ruler is the lawful bishop of Rome.
Naturally Rome, being the largest city, became the headquarters of this system of pseudo-Christianity. In the struggle for influence there arose among the elders at Rome, a Roman "pontiff" who gradually became the supreme head of these congregations. In order to increase church membership and power, a patronizing attitude was taken toward both pagans and "Christians."
Worship, at first very simple, was developed into elaborate, stately, imposing ceremonies having all the outward splendor that belonged to the heathen temples...The Imperial church of the 4th and 5th centuries had become an entirely different institution from the persecuted Church of the first three centuries. In its ambition to rule, it lost and forgot the spirit of Christ. - Halley's Pocket Bible Handbook, p. 671
The true teachings of Christ were cast aside.
Is the Catholic Church the only one that is built on false teachings? Where do the other religions find their true roots?
In 1517 AD, the Protestant Reformation began and split the western (Catholic) church into the Roman Catholic and the Protestant Churches. Protestant Reformation is a movement against what the Protestants considered to be errors in the Roman Catholic Church.
According to Benson Y. Landis, who wrote the Religion in the United States:
The protestant Episcopal Church in the United States is one of the eighteen independent religious bodies that grew out of the Church of England as it expanded during the great age of British discovery and commerce. The principle characteristics of the Protestant Episcopal church have thus been derived from the Church of England, which in 1534, after a long process of separation, became independent of the Roman Catholic Church.
In AD 1600s, the Church of England splits and the Presbyterian and Congregational Churches emerge. This clearly means that the Roman Catholic Church is the mother of the different denominations’ false teachings. The daughter churches were blinded.
Let us go back to Revelation 17:5. Did you see the phrase "Mystery Babylon The Great, The Mother of Harlots?"
Who are the Harlots? What offspring has the mother church given rise to? It is well-known that they are Protestants — "a name given to the party who adhered to Martin Luther during the Reformation in 1529 and protested, or made a solemn declaration of dissent, from the decree of Emperor Charles V and the Diet of Spires...The name now applied generally to those Christian denominations that differ from the Church of Rome and sprang from the reformation" - Roach and Robertson's New Practical Reference Library, vol. IV, subject, "Reformation"
The Church that was founded in the Roman Empire gradually developed a form of government like the political world in which it existed, becoming a vast Autocratic organization, ruled from the top.
The word "Pope" means "Papa," "Father." At first it was applied to all Western Bishops. About AD 500 it began to be restricted to the Bishop of Rome.
In Matthew 23:9, Jesus said:
And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven.
We know that He wasn't speaking about our flesh parent because the fifth commandment says: "Honor thy father and thy mother..." [Ex 20:12]. But why do Catholics recognize the Pope as the “Father on earth,” the “Vicar of Christ?”
In A Catechism for Adults written by William Cogan, the Catholics declare:
The Pope ... is the bishop of Rome and the Vicar of Christ on earth. He is the visible head of the whole Catholic Church
The importance of the Roman bishop is largely derived from his role as the traditional successor to Saint Peter. The Pope is believed to be the head of the church, but note:
And he put all things under his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all. – Ephesians 1:22-23
And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. – Colossians 1:18
For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. – Ephesians 5:23
Did Peter act like a Pope?
Peter had no authority above other apostles. Notice what God says:
All apostles received direct guidance of the Holy Spirit – Acts 2:1-4; Ephesians 3:3-5; John 16:13; 14:26
Peter did not fit the pattern of modern Popes. Peter was a married man, but modern Popes are not permitted to marry. Read I Timothy 4:1-3 again about the doctrines of devils. Peter, the other apostles, and Jesus Christ refused to allow men to bow to honor him religiously, but modern Popes accept and encourage this. The pope is worshiped and adored by millions worldwide. The pope gladly welcomes the praise of men, but Jesus directed all worship to the Father, and said of Himself: "Why callest thou me good? There is none good but one, that is, God." – Mark 10:18
Let us continue seeking for truth with an open mind.