IS THE DOCTRINE OF PURGATORY BIBLICAL?


IS THE DOCTRINE OF PURGATORY A SOUND BIBLICAL TEACHING?


       For those who may not know what purgatory is or what this doctrine of purgatory actually teaches, then let us first go to the Catholic Encyclopedia to get an accurate definition of the doctrine directly from the source. Here is the link to the an official Catholic website that offers the Catholic encyclopedia online.

       http://www.catholicity.com/encyclopedia/

       Just click on the letter “P” and then scroll down until you find the word “PURGATORY”, then click on the word purgatory to find what the Catholic church itself teaches in their doctrine of purgatory.

       Under article I. Catholic Doctrine, we read where the word purgatory comes from the Latin word “purgare”, which means to make clean, or to purify. 

       So then, the teaching of purgatory in accordance with the Catholic church teaching is a place or condition of temporal punishment for those who:

       #1. Depart from this present life, that is to say, those who die in a state of God's grace. 

       Now I take this to mean that ONLY Christians who die, according to this Catholic doctrine of purgatory, will supposedly go to purgatory whereas all those who reject the gospel of Jesus Christ and die with unforgiven sin will go straight to hell. Also please understand that in the mind of a Catholic it is only a few of the so called very holy saints that go straight to heaven when they die. In other words, most Catholics believe that even the popes, cardinals, bishops, priests, and nuns and almost all good Catholics go to purgatory to be purified from their so called lesser “venial” sins and the effects that their sins may have had on other before any Catholic can get into the joy of heaven.

       #2. Those Christians who still have the guilt and stains of “venial”sins,

       The word venial sins is another term used pretty much only by Catholics, who teach that there are two kinds of sin, which are a mortal sin, which will send a person straight to hell unless that mortal sin is confessed to the priest and penance is made for that sin, and a venial sin, which Catholics consider to be a lessor sin that won't supposedly send a person to hell if they should die with venial sins only. Again it is widely believed by Catholics that this pretty much means every Christian is going to go to purgatory when they die in order to suffer in flames of fire with unbearable pain so that they will be purified or cleansed from their sins and the effects that their sins may have had on others.

       #3. Those Christians who have not fully paid the satisfaction that is due their transgression or sin. 

       Catholicism teaches that a Christian must make right any sin that they commit otherwise they are not fully forgiven of their transgression or sin that they committed. It is also taught in the catholic church that penance must be done in order to be forgiven of their sins and if not enough penance is done while the person is living, then the only way supposedly for their sins to be cleansed completely is for them to suffer in the flames of fire in purgatory for themselves for however long it takes to purify them from their sins.


       Now while this may sound like the eternal torment doctrine of hell it differs in that the supposed suffering in the torment flame of purgatory is only TEMPORAL or not permanent, as in, for all eternity. So then, what is meant exactly by “TEMPORAL” punishment? Well the doctrine of purgatory teaches that AFTER death pretty much every Christian has the left over debt of punishment from sin that must be paid in full order for all the debt of sin to be purged.


But WHERE in the Bible is there support for such a teaching?


       Well the Catholic church attempts to use the argument that even after Adam and Eve were pardoned from their sin they were still made to suffer for their disobedience by being cast out of the garden to toil the soil by the sweat of their brow until they returned to dust from which they were made.

       Here is what Genesis 3:19 actual says.

     “In the sweat of your face shall you eat bread, TILL you RETURN unto the ground; for out of it wast you taken: for dust you are, and unto dust shall you return.”


       This verse in truth means that immediately AFTER a person DIES any and all punishments due ON EARTH because of sin have ENDED when the dead body RETURNS to the ground. Now this does NOT mean that ALL punishment for sins has end, because the Bible teach that man is appointed only once to DIE and then comes the JUDGMENT, so there still remains the final JUDGMENT, which does NOT take place UNTIL the resurrection.

       Now, IF SO BE, that the person who died did indeed truly repent of their sin while they were yet ALIVE on the earth and believed upon Jesus for the forgiveness of their sin, then the Bible clearly teaches us that true faithful Christians go straight to heaven to be present with the Lord the very instant that they draw their last breath and die. However the unbelieving sinner who has not repented of their sins goes straight to the pit to await their day of judgment where they will be resurrected, judged and found guilty of their sins, then all the wicked will be cast into the lake of fire to be destroyed never to rise again. This is what the whole word of God actually and truly teaches us about what happens to the dead. There is absolutely NO teaching from the word of TRUTH, the Holy Bible that teaches us of a THIRD temporary place of punishment called purgatory. This is a man made fictitious place that has it's origin is ancient pagan religions.

       So then, this verse in Genesis 3:19 in no way supports or teaches that there is TEMPORAL punishment for CONFESSED sin that a person has REPENTED of and asked God to forgive them BELIEVING on Jesus who died for their sins AFTER that person DIES. In fact this very verse that is use to TRY and support the false doctrine of purgatory actual proves that it is a FALSE doctrine, because the punishment of toiling the soil by the sweat of mans brow ENDS the very moment man DIES according to God's very own words. It does NOT continue AFTER a person dies it this fictitious place of temporal suffering in flames of fire that the Catholic church calls purgatory in order to be purged and purified from sins. The word “UNTIL”means UP to that TIME when a person dies, which CLEARLY teaches us that the suffering due to sin does NOT CONTINUE until the day of judgment. Yes it is true that the WICKED dead may be tormented in their MINDS know what they are to fave on the day of judgment but their fate is SEALED and cannot be changed unless God is to be made to be a liar.

       The Bible clearly and plainly teaches us that if we ask for forgiveness of our sins that God is faithful and just to FORGIVE us of ALL our sins. Please read 1 John 1:5-9 which clearly teaches us that the blood sacrifice of Jesus is more than enough to completely cleanse us from ALL our sins.


     “This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.

     6. If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie , and do not the truth:

            5. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the BLOOD of Jesus Christ his Son CLEANSES us from all sin. (The word of TRUTH says that the BLOOD of Jesus CLEANSE us from ALL sin and NOT that the so called flames of fire in purgatory will cleanse us from our sins. So either you believe God's WORD or you believe the TRADITIONS of the Catholic church, which CONTRADICT the word of TRUTH written in the Holy Bible. I know that is not an easy choice, because I myself was raised catholic and was taught these very same false doctrines and I had to choose between what I knew in my heart was right and true and my family who at first treated me like I was going to go to hell because I left the “Catholic” church as if ONLY “Catholics” are going to be saved and all other Christians are going to hell.)

       Yes, I was taught that if a Catholic ever leaves the Catholic church, then they will go straight to hell for all eternity. You can have no idea of the torment that I went through in my mind FEARING that if I believed the BIBLE over what the Catholic church taught, then I would go straight to hell when I died. Finally I came to the conclusion that all churches use the BIBLE and that they all cannot be right, because they teach things the directly contradict each other and supposedly they all CLAIM at least to use the BIBLE to support what they teach. So based upon this conclusion that they all cannot be right I reasoned that only one church must be right and the others were wrong. So I held up a Bible and said to God that all these different church claim that they use the Bible which they say is your word to teach the truth and yet they all teach something different. Then I prayed a prayer with utmost sincerity and fervency that I did not care who was right or who was wrong I just wanted to know the TRUTH, the WHOLE TRUTH, and NOTHING but the TRUTH. The I began reading the Bible for MYSELF and little by little the Holy Spirit of Almighty God has led and guided me into all truth. All the glory for the studies in God's word that I write goes to Almighty God who by his very own Holy Spirit has taught me these things that I write unto you. And I know that if I struggled with these false teachings, then I know that there are others out there who are struggling with these same false teachings who truly and sincerely are seeking the TRUTH of the WHOLE word of Almighty God.

       The very first thing that God showed me was that all these denominational DIVISIONS was NOT his doing, but rather was man's doing being DECEIVED by Satan the devil. God desires us all to speak the SAME things and to walk in UNITY and LOVE. And sometimes this mean laying aside what we have been taught all our lives by the church denomination that we were brought up in, but for some of us it is all we know so to leave the church that we were raised in is a very hard thing. I understand this, because I have been there myself. But what is more important pleasing man or pleasing Almighty God? Many times pleasing God means suffering persecution from our fellow man.

       So I will not mislead to you, choosing God's WORD over the false doctrines of men will bring persecution to your door step, because the enemy is after the WORD of God that is being sow in your heart. The enemy knows that if he makes it hard for us to stand up for what God say, then some Christians will take the easy way and follow the crowd so that they will not be rejected by man. Well for ME, I would rather be rejected by man and called a heretic than to be rejected by God for not trusting his word over the commandments and traditions of man.

       So TRUST in God's WORD that clearly and plainly teaches us that if we CONFESS our sin, then God is FAITHFUL and JUST to FORGIVE us of our sins and the CLEANSE us, PURGE us, and PURIFY us COMPLETELY of ALL unrighteousness)

     8. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.(In other words, if we try to reason away that was have not sinned when we have then we are DECEIVING our own self, BUT)

     9. If we CONFESS our sins, he is FAITHFUL and JUST to FORGIVE us our sins, AND to CLEANSE us from ALL unrighteousness.”


       So then, are you going to BELIEVE and TRUST in the very word of Almighty God to know without fail that your sins are FORGIVEN you AND that your are completely CLEANSED from ALL unrighteousness each and every time you CONFESS your sins to Almighty God and ask forgiveness? OR are you going to REJECT God's word and continue to believe in a false teaching of the Catholic church that CONTRADICTS the very word of TRUTH written in the Holy Bible? The CHOICE is yours, but if I were you I would consider very closely what the BIBLE teaches us over what the TRADITIONS of man teaches us.

            Now I agree that there is no doubt that there are CONSEQUENCES of sin that may continue to haunt and plague us all our entire life while we are yet LIVING, but NONE of these verses used by the Catholic church to try and prove this pagan practice of praying for the dead to free the dead souls from the pain and suffering in the flames of fire in purgatory truly support this false teaching of purgatory that supposedly finishes the job that Jesus obviously must have failed to do when he died for the sins of Catholics.

       Can you not see my dear brothers and sisters in our Lord Jesus Christ, that all a person needs to do, who is truly seeking the truth of the whole word of God as to whether or not this doctrine of purgatory is taught in the Bible, is to look at Luke chapter 16 where Jesus uses the Jews understanding of the underworld place of the dead to show us that the rich man, who had gone to the side of the pit who was in torment of flame knew that his fate was sealed and that there was NO HOPE left for him.

       I mean think about this for a moment. IF the prayers and sacrifices that are offered in behalf of the dead really and truly help the dead to be relieved from their suffering or that the duration of time of their suffering be shortened, then don't you think this rich man would have pleaded with Abraham to send Lazarus back from the grave to plead with everyone still yet living to PRAY for HIMSELF and then the rest of the dead? Any body in there right mind who is suffering would pray first for them own suffering to end. But instead the rich man asked Abraham to send Lazarus to his brother to WARN him to live a righteous life in order that he could at least spare his brother from coming to this place when his brother died.

       Well some may try and argue that the rich man did not die in the grace of God. Or in other words, the rich was not a Christian when he died so this is why he could not be relieved from his suffering.

       That is a good point to make, so since it has now been made please notice where ALL, who did indeed die in the grace of God went when they died in the Old Testament times! Exactly! ALL of the righteous, who did indeed die in the grace of God went to the side of COMFORT in the bosom of Abraham where there was NO SUFFERING. So then, since this Jesus himself taught us, the church, that there are only TWO places that the dead go when they die, then why did Jesus not mention anything about this pagan place that the Catholic church calls “PURGATORY”, IF SO BE, that this doctrine is TRULY taught in the scriptures? This would have been the perfect time to teach us of the place called purgatory, IF SO BE< that it TRULY exists.

       Well to me, the SOUND BIBLICAL answer is really very obvious for those, who are truly seeking the truth of the whole word of God, and that TRUTH is that the scriptures do NOT teach of such a place of purging the dead souls from sin after a person dies in flames of fire.

       So then, If you truly want to be PURGED from all your sins, then you must take care of this matter NOW in this PRESENT life, because AFTER you die your choice has ALREADY been made by you yourself and there is no undoing that final choice that is made before a person draws their last breath and dies. All you need to do to understand this truth if God's word is to truly consider the sealed fate of the rich man who made the wrong choices when he was ALIVE on the earth.

       Also please consider the words of Jesus to the thief on the cross. Jesus did NOT say to the repentant thief on the cross, who obviously had zero time to make right or make amends for his transgressions before he drew his last breath and died, TODAY you shall be in PURGATORY where you shall suffer great agonizing pain in flames of fire, until every last trace of your sins have been purged to make you worthy to enter into PARADISE. No absolutely not! Jesus never spoke or taught of such a place called purgatory, but rather Jesus said to the dying thief on the cross TODAY you shall be WITH ME IN PARADISE.

       Now some may still be wanting to cling to this false teaching of the Catholic church and say what about all the verses in the New Testament that support the teaching of purgatory? They may say that they have checked this doctrine out themselves by reading what they own church teaches and just repeat the verses used by the Catholic church to try and support the teaching of purgatory and the praying for the dead.

       But I ask those of you who are TRULY seeking the TRUTH of the WHOLE word of God, have you ever considered that it is not the verses from the Bible themselves that support this false teaching of purgatory, but rather it is the INTERPRETATION that is placed upon these verses that only SEEM to support that the souls of the dead are purified in the AFTER life in flames of tormenting fire?

       Let us take a look at the verses that are used to TRY and support this pagan teaching of purgatory and the praying for the dead to be freed from agonizing suffering in the purging fires in the after life when a Christian dies.

Please read Matthew 12:31,32, which teaches us that ALL manner of sin will be forgiven mankind in this life and even in the world to come, except the sin of blaspheming the Holy Spirit of Almighty God the Father.

     “Wherefore I say unto you, ALL manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: BUT the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall NOT be forgiven unto men.

            32. And whosoever speaks a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaks against the Holy Ghost, it shall NOT be forgiven him, NEITHER in this world, NEITHER in the world to come.”


       The key to understanding the TRUE meaning of this verse is to properly understand what Jesus was speaking of by the words “WORLD TO COME”, but any person using simple LOGIC can also understand by the word “NEITHER” that this particular sin of blaspheming the Holy Spirit of almighty God will NOT be forgiven to those who commit this sin now in this PRESENT world, nor NEITHER will this sin be forgiven those who commit this sin o blaspheming the Holy Spirit in the world that is to COME, which obviously means that SIN is still yet POSSIBLE in the WORLD TO COME in which Jesus is speaking.

       You see my dear brother and sisters in our Lord Jesus Christ, this PRESENT world is what most Christian call the church age where God has partly blinded the eyes of the Jews and has turned to the Gentiles to save them in order to provoke his people Israel to jealously. Then at the second coming of Jesus God will turn to his people Israel a second time to teach them about his Son Jesus during the 1000 year reign of Jesus, which is the WORLD TO COME to which Jesus was speaking. In other words the world to COME is NOT the ages to come where God's will of absolutely NO SIN whatsoever is accomplish in earth as it is is heaven before the throne for Almighty God right now.

       I mean just use a little simple logic. Even the Catholic teaching on purgatory says that this intermediate state of suffering in flames of fire in purgatory for the purging of sins will cease to exist on the day of judgment. In other words, the Catholic church itself plainly teaches that on the day of judgment there will be ONLY TWO places that people will go and those TWO places are HEAVEN or HELL.

       So HOW then can sins, ANY sins, be forgiven in world to come if so be that Jesus was speaking of the eternal ages to come when the wicked shall be no more, which does not start until AFTER the final judgment at the END of the 1000 year reign of Jesus, which again this 1000 year reign of Jesus is the WORLD to come that Jesus was referring to in Matthew 12:31,32?

       The Bible teaches us that during the 1000 year reign of Jesus or during this WORLD TO COME that starts at the second coming of Jesus their will be people who are yet in their MORTAL bodies who will be taught about God and his Son Jesus. Then at the END of the world to come Satan will be loosed for a short time once again to DECEIVE the nations to rebel against God. In other words, this blasphemous sin that denies the very existence of Almighty God will be COMMITTED by some who are living in their MORTAL bodies in this world to come and they will be destroyed with fire that will come down from heaven to devour them. This final rebellion of blaspheming Almighty God will NOT be forgiven them, because no one ever truly repents of this sin once they have hardened their hear to the point of no return where God turns them over to a reprobate mind.

       Now some of you may be thinking, well alright that makes a lot of sense so Matthew 12:31,32 really and truly does not support the teaching of purgatory, but what about what Paul taught us in

       1 Corinthians 3:11-15 where our works will be burned up, but we ourselves will still be saved by FIRE? Does not this passage of scripture teach us that this FIRE is the flames of purgatory?

       Again it is NOT this passage of scripture itself that supports the false doctrine of purgatory, but rather it is the INTERPRETATION that has been placed upon it that twists the true meaning of what this passage of scripture is truly teaching us in the light of the WHOLE word of God. As I have said many times any verse when taken OUT of CONTEXT and viewed ALONE and APART from the WHOLE word of God may SEEM to be saying something that it is NOT truly saying.

       You see my dear brothers and sisters in our Lord Jesus Christ, the CONTEXT of this passage of scripture is teaching us about preaching the gospel where some of us will plant the seed of God's word and others of us will come along and water the seed of God's word whereby the house or building of God, the church, the body of Jesus Christ, is being BUILT person by person as people BELIEVE the gospel of Jesus Christ and these believers are added to the church.

       Then we are told in the CONTEXT of this passage of scripture that each and ever building block or believe that is added to the house or BUILDING of God will be tried in fire, where the word “FIRE” is a metaphor or an analogy for the TRIALS that we go through as Christians in this PRESENT world. Please read the parable of the sower sowing the seed of God's word in Luke 8:11-15 which teaches us that believers will go through trails and that these trials are from the enemy Satan who wants believers to cast away their faith in God and his word.


     “Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God.

     12. Those by the way side are they that hear; then comes the devil, and takes away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved. (This describes people who are being taught the TRUTH of God's word, but then the devil comes right away and LIES in their ear saying things like, “you know that if you leave the teachings of the Catholic church that you will go straight to hell. So are you going to take that chance to believe what Mark is teaching you over the teachings of the one and only true Catholic church that you have been raised in all your life?” This is how Satan steals the word of truth from people who hear the word, but then do not HONESTLY and TRULY consider what they are being taught in the LIGHT of the WHOLE word of God by searching the truth out for them selves, but rather place their BLIND trust in the hands of others for their eternal destiny.)

     13. They on the rock are they, which, when they hear, RECEIVE the word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while BELIEVE, and in time of temptation fall away. (meaning that some who we witness to will indeed believe for A WHILE, but then some will be overcome by temptations of the devils and fall back into sin and if they should die while living in sin, then they shall BURN if the lake of fire to be destroyed on the day of judgment)

     14. And that which fell among thorns are they, which, when they have heard, go forth, and are choked with cares and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to perfection. (meaning that because of the pleasures of sin they are drawn back into their old lifestyle of sin and therefore shall perish or be burn in the lake of fire if they do not repent and work the works of righteousness)

     15. But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it (or they endure unto the end to be saved and receive the promise of reward of eternal life in the world to come), and bring forth fruit with patience.”


       So you see my dear brothers and sisters in our Lord Jesus Christ some of the building blocks or Christians will be purified by the trying of fire or the trials in this PRESENT world and be found to be vessels of silver and gold who have made themselves worthy to receive their promise of reward of eternal life in the world to come. While other building blocks or other believers will be tried by fire and will fall away from God and die in their sins and therefore these sinners will be found to be vessels of wood and stubble, which will be burned up in the lake of fire to be destroyed.

       But we ourselves shall be saved, who witnessed and shared the gospel to them shall be saved even though SOME of our WORK of preaching the gospel to add these building blocks or believers to the house of God who happen to not remain faithful unto the end in order to receive eternal life. You see, the sad truth is that SOME of the building blocks or people that we helped bring to Jesus will not be found worthy to receive eternal life in the world to come, because of their own choices that they themselves have made to NOT believe the truth and endure unto the end to be saved and therefore those who fall away and do not endure unto the end will be consumed or BURNED in the lake of fire at the end of the age, but we ourselves who preached the gospel and who did remain faithful through all the trials that served to purify us and sanctify us in this PRESENT world shall be saved and granted the right to eat of the tree of life in the world to come. This is what the CONTEXT of this passage of scripture truly teaches us so please read 1 Corinthians 3:11-15 left in it's context.

       Here is the CONTEXT. Please read 1 Corinthians 3:1-15 in the light of what I have just shared with you about the BUILDING of God as being individual BELIEVER who go through every day trail that serve to purify us like fire purifies silver and gold but burns up vessels like wood hay and stubble.


     “And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ. (In other words, there are vessels of gold and silver in the HOUSE of God, AND there are vessels of wood and hay in the HOUSE of God. That is to say, there are STRONG Christians in the house of God who are more likely to endure unto the end and be found that good and faithful servant at the second coming of Jesus. AND there are weaker Christians who are yet learning how to overcome the enemy's temptation to sin, who if they do not overcome the deceptions of the enemy will be more likely to fall back into their old lifestyle of sin and should they die while living in sin, then they shall perish or be burned in the lake of fire on the day of judgment)

     2. I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto you were not able to bear it, neither yet now are you able.

     3. For you are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are you not carnal, and walk as men?

     4. For while one saith , I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal?

     5. Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, (or WHO then is the Catholic church, or WHO is the Protestant church, or WHO is the Baptist church, or WHO is the Pentecostal church, or WHO is any denomination of church organization that is name by man?) but ministers by whom you BELIEVED, even as the Lord gave to every man? (in other words, the FOUNDATION of all these ministers of the gospel is that Jesus Christ die for YOUR sins no matter what church denomination you attend.)

     6. I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase.

     7. So then neither is he that plants any thing, neither he that waters; but God that gives the increase.

     8. Now he that plants and he that waters are one (We are working for the same goal, which is to lead people to the Lord): and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labor. (In other words, will those we witness to remain in the faith unto the end? If so, then we shall receive a reward for or according to our WORK of planting and watering God's word,)

     9. For we are laborers together with God: you are God's husbandry, YOU are God's BUILDING.

     10. According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise master builder, I have laid the foundation, and another BUILDS thereon. But let every man take heed HOW he BUILDS THEREUPON. (In other words, WE, as in, each and every member of the BODY of Jesus Christ, the church, are individual building blocks all connected together to make the HOUSE of God. Some of us have grown in the Lord to become strong in our faith to overcome the enemy where we are tried. While others of us are yet carnal or babes in Christ and are yet learning how better to over come the enemy to get sin out of our life. And we are being WARNED of HOW we build upon the foundation that Jesus died for our sins. In other words, I myself would take HEED of any teaching such as the doctrine of purgatory and praying for the dead that at their core are actually teaching that the sacrifice of the shed blood of Jesus is not good enough to FORGIVE us from ALL our sin AND CLEANSE us from ALL unrighteousness as the clear plain and simple word of TRUTH clearly teaches us.)

     11. For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.

     12. Now if any man BUILD upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones (speaking of strong spiritual Christians that are being taught SOUND BIBLICAL doctrine, who will endure unto the end to receive their reward of eternal life), wood, hay, stubble (speaking of carnal Christians who are not being taught sound Biblical doctrine that teaches them to purge their selves from sin and therefore they may not endure unto the end to be saved and receive eternal life in the world to come);

     13. Every man's WORK shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's WORK of what sort it is (In other words, are you producing carnal Christians who may not endure unto the end to received the promise of their reward of eternal life in the world to come, or is your WORK a strong spiritual Christian that you are teaching sound Biblical doctrine, that will help them endure trials and temptation to try them in this PRESENT world like fire purifies silver and gold in order for them be found to be that good and faithful servant at the second coming of Jesus, because the OVER CAME the enemy and endured unto the end to be save?).

     14. If any man's WORK abide which he has BUILT THEREUPON (so I ask you my dear brothers and sisters in our Lord Jesus Christ, what is the WORK that we are BUILDING and where upon are we building this WORK? The WORK we are building is the kingdom of God, the HOUSE of God speaking of the church or the BODY of BELIEVERS in Jesus Christ. The foundation for all churches is the same, which is that Jesus Christ died for OUR sins and not only for ours sins but also for the sins of the whole world. Now sometimes those we share the gospel with will indeed become MATURE Christians, who will remain faithful to their last breath and because they over came the trials in this present world these faithful believer will receive the promise of reward of eternal life in the world to come. But sadly some people, who do hear the gospel that we preach and who will gladly indeed receive the truth in the beginning, but then when TRIALS of fire come their way the fall right back into their old lifestyle of sin and if they do not repent and they should die in their state of sin then our WORK that we have done shall BURN in the lake of fire on the day of judgment, but we ourselves shall be save and only lose the reward that we would have received if every one we witness to believes unto the end. In other words, those whom we have preached to who do not endure unto the end SHALL BURN in the lake of fire and we shall suffer loss of the reward that we would have received if they would have remained faithful unto the end. But if our WORK shall remain faithful unto the end then), he shall receive a reward. (meaning both us and them)

     15. IF any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss (speaking of the loss of that dear brother or sister who did indeed believe on Jesus at the first, but then they were overcome by the deceptions of the enemy and did not endure unto the end and therefore they shall suffer the LOSS of not receiving their reward of eternal life. And we also will suffer LOSS of the reward that would have received if they would have remained faithful unto the end): but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.(meaning that the you or I who preached the gospel and endured unto the end shall be saved even though some whom you or I have preached the gospel of our salvation TO, who have believed for a while, but then they fell away from the faith. For you see that if a believer should fall away from the faith and go back into their old lifestyle of sin and they should do die in their sin, then that person who once truly believed on Jesus shall perish or be BURNED in the lake of fire on the day of judgment, but you or I shall still be saved, if so be we endure these trials in this PRESENT world unto the end that try us like fire purifies gold and silver.)


       Now if we compare this passage of scripture of what is being BUILT to be like gold and silver, OR what is carelessly being BUILT to be vessels like wood and stubble with the vessels of gold and silver, OR the vessels of wood and hay that we read about in

       2 Timothy 2:15-26, then it becomes even more clearer to us that these vessels are Christians in God's great house.


     “Study to show yourself approved unto God, a WORKMAN that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. (or correctly understand the word of truth by comparing scripture with scripture so that what we conclude and teach as doctrine does NOT contradict any other part of God's word)

     16. But shun profane and vain babbling: for they will increase unto more ungodliness.(in other words, we are to reject any false teaching when the light of God's word and his Holy Spirit reveals to us that it is FALSE and does NOT agree with the rest of God's word)

     17. And their word (their false teaching) will eat as does a canker: of whom is Hymenaeus and Philetus;

     18. Who concerning the TRUTH have ERRED, saying that the resurrection is past already; and overthrow the faith of some. (It does not matter what the ERROR may be. If the false doctrine causes any to stumble and turn away from God. Now those who themselves teach these false doctrines may not lose their own salvation, but when their false teaching nonetheless causes the weaker Christians to fall away from the faith they dishonor the word of God.)

     19. Nevertheless the foundation of God stands sure, having this seal, The Lord knows them that are his. And, Let every one that names the name of Christ depart from iniquity.

     20. But in a great house (Or BUT in the church, the body of Jesus Christ there are some who are not departing from sin, because of what they are being taught by their church denomination. So sadly to say in the church) there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honor, and some to dishonor.

     21. If a man therefore PURGE HIMSEL from these, (or if a Christian who understands this truth then purges his or herself away from those Christians or those bodies of believers that are teaching these false doctrines that dishonor the word of God) he shall be a vessel unto honor, sanctified, and meet for the master's use, and prepared unto every good WORK.

     22. Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart. (believers who sincerely desire to know the truth and walk in the truth even if it means leaving the church that they have attended all their lives and that they will be reject by all their friends and family)

     23. But foolish and unlearned questions avoid, knowing that they do gender strife. (meaning do not get into heat arguments with those in your church when God has shown you the truth, but rather follow the teaching in the next verses)

     24. And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient,

     25. In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth (whether or not some Christians want to acknowledge the truth that the false doctrine which they are being taught do indeed cause them to oppose themselves in their walk with the Lord does not change the fact that false teaching lead people away from God. Some Christians may think or say something like, “Well does it really matter what I believe so long as I believe in Jesus?” Again it may not matter in the end for you, but others may only hear these false teachings and they my not endure unto then end. So take HEED what you are being taught and what you teach.);

     26. And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.”


       Now to ME, teaching that offering prayer of sacrifices of the mass for the dead could very easily lead Christians to become less vigilant to fight and resist temptation to sin, because these false teaching are DECEIVING people into believing that the so called little sins that the Catholic church teaches are “VENIAL”sins will be purged from them AFTER they die in a place called PURGATORY that simply does not exist in the clear plain and simple teaching of God's word. So then, the Catholic church may teach these false doctrines as being the truth, however this is NOT what the WHOLE word of TRUTH teaches us.

       The Bible teaches us that we are to PURIFY ourselves now in this present world in order to be accounted worthy to be given the right to eat of the tree of life in the world to come. Please read the in depth studies that I have written on what must we do to be saved and receive eternal life in the world to come. But for now please read

       1 John 3:2-11, which clearly teaches us that if we truly have the hope of obtaining eternal life in the world to come, then we will PURIFY ourselves even as Jesus is pure.


     “Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it does not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.

     3. And every man that has this HOPE in him PURIFIES himself, EVEN AS he is PURE.

     4. Whosoever commits sin transgresses also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.

     5. And you know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin.

     6. Whosoever abides in him sins not: whosoever sins has not seen him, neither known him.

     7. Little children, let no man DECEIVE you (there is no such thing as a little “VENIAL”sins that will be purge form a believer AFTER they die in a place called purgatory): he that DOES righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous. (in other words, even so called little sins cause a believer to become UNRIGHTEOUS)

     8. He that commits sin is of the devil; (even Christians who commit those little so called “VENIAL” sins are of the devil) for the devil sins from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil. (Jesus died to set us free from sin so that sin will no longer have dominion over us and that we should live godly IN this PRESENT world. Please read the study called “HOW YOU CAN LIVE YOUR LIFE FREE FROM SIN!”)

     9. Whosoever is born of God does not commit sin; for his seed remains in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. (this does not mean that it is impossible for a believer to sin, but rather that the new heart of a believer cannot tolerate his or her outer fleshly man when this lower nature gives into the temptations of the enemy. But the Bible also teaches us that we do NOT have to OBEY our lower nature and fleshly desires. We are known by our fruit that we bear.)

     10. In this the children of God are manifest (or are clearly seen and known), and the children of the devil: whosoever does NOT righteousness is NOT of God, neither he that loves NOT his brother. (In other words, a person can call themselves by what ever denomination name they desire, but if they are not walking in righteousness and in love toward one another, then they are NOT of God. So just being baptize a a baby in the Catholic church is NOT what saves you. You must BELIEVE and OBEY the gospel of Jesus Christ walking in LOVE unto the END in order to be saved)

       11. For this is the MESSAGE that you heard from the BEGINNING, that we should love one another.”


       The gospel of Jesus Christ has not changed, but the church has changed and we need to get back to the TRUTH of what the WHOLE word of God truly teaches us.

             Now a lot of teachings or doctrines in the Catholic church rely very heavily on church TRADITION, which Jesus WARNED us, the church, NOT to follow the same mistakes that caused the Jews to be worshiping God in VAIN, because they taught commandments of men.

       You see, the Jews around the time of Jesus had many ERRORS in their teachings and this is the same time that the 2 Maccabees was written, which is one of the MAIN verses that the Catholic church uses to TRY and support their teachings of purgatory and the praying for the dead to be relieved from the agonizing suffering in purgatory in order to be made pure enough to enter into the joy of heaven. So this point alone that the Jews had many ERRORS in their teachings around the time of Jesus should raise a red flag to believers to build doctrines on these Jewish writings that where just mere fables so to speak. But even more we as Christians should reject any INTERPRETATIONS of any verses in the Bible when these teachings do not agree with the WHOLE word of God.

       Titus 1:9-16 teaches us the not be deceived by Jewish fables and commandments of men that turn away believers from the TRUTH.

     “Holding fast the faithful word as he has been taught, that he may be able by SOUND doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers.

     10. For there are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers, specially they of the circumcision:

     11. Whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole houses, teaching things which they ought not, for filthy lucre's sake. (one of the very things that started the reformation was the abuse of indulgences where the Roman Catholic church SOLD indulgences to Catholics that granted them to indulge in their SINS without fear of punishment. This was the straw that broke the camel's back so to speak. This practice of selling indulgences driven by greed is what cause Martin Luther and others to break away from the corrupt teachings of the Catholic church.)

     12. One of themselves, even a prophet of their own, said, The Cretians are always liars, evil beasts, slow bellies.

     13. This witness is true. Wherefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be SOUND in the faith;

     14. Not giving heed to Jewish fables, and commandments of men, that turn from the truth.

     15. Unto the pure all things are pure: but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled.

     16. They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate.”


       The truth of the matter is that false teaching has been in the church from the very earliest days of it's beginning. This is very evident from many of the epistles to the churches. Now even though there is no direct evidence from the epistles themselves that praying for the dead and the doctrine of purgatory was not directly opposed in the epistles and the letters to the churches recorded and accepted in the New Testament, there is also equal and even greater evidence that these doctrines where NOT taught in the epistles or any where in the Bible for that matter.

       It is also clear that false doctrine has been taught and fought against throughout the entire church age to this present day. So to try and use the argument that the church “fathers” taught these doctrines of purgatory and the praying for the dead does not in any way make them sound BIBLICAL teachings. For you see there were a lot of JEWISH TRADITIONS that polluted the pure gospel of Jesus Christ in the early church and even continues to pollute the word of truth to this very day that were seemly constantly being fought against as the Holy Spirit led believers to see these errors of these false teachings. Also many early writings of some church fathers were destroyed by the Catholic church, because the writings of these particular church fathers did not agree with the doctrines of the Catholic church.

       Even the mere fact that these doctrines of praying for the dead and the purging fires of purgatory have been debated, changed, rewritten from the 3rd century to the the council of Trent in 1564 should tell anyone who is truly seeking the truth of the whole word of God that there is just not enough evidence either in the scriptures or outside of the scriptures in so called church traditions to teach such doctrines.

       Now despite all the inscriptions of the prayers offered in behalf for the dead on the catacombs as evidence that the early church saints prayed for the dead so therefore it must be scriptural just does Not hold water, because there are also inscriptions of prayers invoking the souls of the dead to pray for the living which is most definitely AGAINST the teaching of the Bible. So again these inscriptions where most likely made by Christians who were still yet carnal Christians that had not put away all their JEWISH FABLES and traditions that do NOT agree with what the Bible teaches. In other words, some Christians in the early church were being INFLUENCED by Jewish TRADITIONS that these Jews living around the time of Jesus had adopted from the pagans, which these Jews were taught all their lives before they became a Christian.

       These facts alone that the book of 2 Maccabees was written by these same Jews who had been influenced by the pagan teaching of praying for the dead and a place where the dead are purified of their sins should be enough to reject these apocrypha books that are accepted by the Catholic church as inspire scripture.

But none the less, since the Catholic church considers these apocrypha books as being part of the Bible, then it is necessary to at least consider 2 Maccabees 12:43-45 as a legitimate argument to try and support the doctrines of praying for the dead and the purging fires of purgatory to be teachings from the Bible.


     “42. And they turned to prayer beseeching that the SIN that had been committed MIGHT BE wholly blotted out. And the noble Judas exhorted the people to keep themselves from SIN (for fear that they also would be judged by God and die), FOR they had SEEN with their own eyes what had happened BECAUSE of SIN of those who had fallen.

   43. He also took up a collection, man by man, to the amount of two thousand drachmas of silver, and sent it to Jerusalem to provide a sin offering. In doing this he acted very well and honorably, taking account of the resurrection.

   44. For if he were not expecting that those who had fallen would rise again, it would have been superfluous and foolish to pray for the dead.

   45. But if he was looking to the splendid reward that is laid up for those who had fallen asleep in GODLINESS, it was a holy and pious thought. Therefore he made atonement for the dead, that they might be delivered from their sin.”


       Let us now read a little more context to better see what is going on. If you read all of chapter 12 you will see that the Jews fought many battles in a very short time and killed thousands upon thousand of the enemy with out losing a single man UNTIL the FEW Jewish soldiers fell in battle. Please read 2 Maccabees 12:33,34.


     “33. And he came with three thousand infantry and four hundred cavalry.

   34. When they joined in battle, it happened that a FEW of the Jews fell.”


       Now we must ask the question of WHY did these FEW Jewish soldiers fall in battle when in the previous days not one single Jewish soldier died when killing thousands upon thousand of the enemy? 

       Please read 2 Maccabees 12:39-45 to better understand what is going on.


   “39. On the next day, as by that time it had become necessary, Judas and his men went to take up the bodies of the fallen to bring them back to lie with their kinsman in the sepulchers of their fathers.

   40. Then under the tunic of every one of the dead they found sacred tokens of the IDOLS of Jamnia, which the law FORBIDS the Jews to wear. And it became CLEAR to them that this was WHY these men had FALLEN.

   41. So they all blessed the WAYS of the Lord, the righteous JUDGE. Who REVEALS the things that are HIDDEN. (in other words, NOW they understood WHY the Jews died in battle when no other Jew died in all the previous battles recorded in this 2 book of Maccabees)

   42. And they turned to prayer beseeching that the SIN that had been committed MIGHT BE wholly blotted out. And the noble Judas exhorted the people to keep themselves from SIN (for fear that they also would be judged by God and die), FOR they had SEEN with their own eyes what had happened BECAUSE of SIN of those who had fallen.

   43. He also took up a collection, man by man, to the amount of two thousand drachmas of silver, and sent it to Jerusalem to provide a sin offering. In doing this he acted very well and honorably, taking account of the resurrection.

   44. For if he were not expecting that those who had fallen would rise again, it would have been superfluous and foolish to pray for the dead.

   45. But if he was looking to the splendid reward that is laid up for those who had fallen asleep in GODLINESS, it was a holy and pious thought. Therefore he made atonement for the dead, that they might be delivered from their sin.”


       Now in reading this whole account of these wars and WHY these Jews fell in battle and just the style of writing all the way up to verse 44 and 45 leads me to QUESTION the last part of verse 43 along with verses 44 and 45 to part of the original text. To me these verses seem to be ADDED at a later time in order to use this passage from the book of 2 Maccabees to try and support the doctrines of purgatory and the praying for the dead. I mean read these last two verses again and see if they do not sound more like bias comments rather than the telling of these battles in a historical style of writing.

       Please notice that the historical style writing in verses 39-42 clearly show that these Jews died BECAUSE of the SIN that they committed. But in CONTRAST to these verses we see in verse 44 and 45 that read more like a commentary would read telling us that they must have truly believed that God would answer their prayers and forgive their fellow soldiers who sinned, because why else would they have prayed? Then we see in verse 45, which again to me is a more of an apologetic commentary style of writing we see that these Jews had died in GODLINESS, which is the exact opposite of dying in SIN that we see back in verses 40 and 41. Then notice in verse 42 it seems that they are praying for the Jews whom they KNOW have SINNED in HOPES that God MIGHT by chance forgive them of their sins.

       This is just my opinion, but I the thought came to me to point this CONTRAST out to my readers and seekers of the truth. Now regardless if these verses were indeed added or not we must INTERPRET these verses in the LIGHT of the WHOLE word of God. In other words, IF one is to dogmatically demand that these verses without fail teach that we as Christians should pray for the dead, then this same teaching MUST without fail be found in other parts of the Bible as well and must ALSO NOT contradict any other part of God's word. Other wise it must be REJECTED as being FALSE teaching.

             Now we have already seen that some of the other New testament verses that the Catholic church uses to TRY and support these teaching of praying for the dead and the doctrine of purgatory do Not in any way teach or support these false doctrines when they are properly interpreted in their CONTEXT and in the LIGHT of the WHOLE word of God.

       The idea for the origin of purgatory was that Christians felt so unworthy to go to heaven, but yet at the same time they did not believe that they were so evil that they deserved hell. So then, an intermediate place was developed that would comfort the minds of Christians that they could go for a time until they could be purged enough from their sins to enter into heaven. This was the birth of the doctrine of purgatory in the church that grew and changed over the centuries. Some believed in torment fire, other did not. Some believed in the fires of purgatory and then later changed their belief to purgatory having no flames of fire.

       But despite all the differences among Catholics through the centuries this idea of an INTERMEDIATE state had to exist in the minds of many Catholics, because they for the most part have not been taught the grace of God the freely forgives us of all our sins.

       I know that some verses in the Bible like be you PERFECT even as your Father in heaven is PERFECT seem like impossibilities to us. And they are to US but not to Almighty God. You see it is Almighty God himself who sent his only begotten Son to die for the sins of the whole world so that whosoever BELIEVES on his Son should be FORGIVEN of all the past sins an made to be the very righteousness of Almighty God through the shed blood of Jesus.

       Please read 2 Corinthians 5:21.

     “For he has made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the RIGHTEOUSNESS of God IN him.”


       So then, when we first come to Jesus and confess the we are a sinner and ask forgiveness of all our sins, then God forgives us of all our sins and we are made PERFECT even as our Father in heaven is PERFECT. All our past sin and every stain and quilt of sin is washed completely away the very moment that a sinner repents of his or her sins and turns to the Lord to serve him in righteousness.

       Here is what Isaiah 1:18 says from the Good News Translation.


     “The Lord says, "Now, let's settle the matter. You are stained red with sin, but I will WASH you as CLEAN as snow. Although your stains are deep red, you will be as WHITE as wool.”


       When God cleanses you from sins his word assure us that we are made white as snow and are as white as wool, which means that ALL the stains of sins are CLEANSED and PURGED from us when we ask for forgiveness of our sin. So settle this matter once and for all. Either BELIEVE the word of TRUTH or continue to live in doubt and fear that God has not cleansed you good enough to enter into heaven when you die and therefore you must SUFFER horrible flames of fire in purgatory until you are clean enough to enter into the joy of heaven. If I truly believe this false teaching of purgatory, then I would leave all my money to someone that I could trust to pay for masses and prayers to be offered up for me when I died so that I could get out of purgatory as quickly as possible. And if they did not spend they money that I left and trusted with them to offer prayers for me then they would be anathema or cursed with a curse by God.

      But thank God I do NOT have to fear and concern my self with any of this foolishness of making sure that people would pray for me when I die. The word of truth teaches us that we are to pray for one another while we are yet ALIVE, but there is absolutely no mention or clear teaching that we are to pray FOR the DEAD, nor pray TO the DEAD.

       You are either CLEAN when you die and you go straight to heaven until the resurrection, OR you die as an unrepentant SINNER in which case you will go straight to hell. But be assured that when Almighty God FORGIVES you of your sins, then you are FORGIVEN and COMPLETELY WASHED and made CLEAN and WHITE with absolutely NO STAIN of sin remaining in your that still yet needs to be purged by you suffering in the flames of purgatory. This FALSE doctrine of purgatory was taken from paganism to control the people with FEAR. Be assured that God has FORGIVEN you and your are CLEANSED.

       Then we read in Revelation 7:14,15, where the faithful believers


     “And I said unto him, Sir, you know. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have WASHED their robes, and MADE them WHITE in the blood of the Lamb.

     15. Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple: and he that sits on the throne shall dwell among them.”


       The words robe and garments are analogies for our life that we live. Therefore if a persons garments are stained, then this means that that person is living in SIN. So then whenever we see that our garments are washed and made clean and white, then this means that we have been made PURE even as Jesus is PURE.

       Please understand that this is NOT our own doing, but rather it is Almighty God himself who CLEANSES us from ALL unrighteousness each and every time we ask for forgiveness it is through God's own faithfulness to his word that he forgives us of all our sins and makes us white as snow.

       Revelation 12:11 teaches us that we OVER COME the enemy BY the BLOOD of the Lamb and by the word of our testimony.


     “And they overcame him (speaking of Satan the devil) BY the blood of the Lamb, and BY the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.”


       So then, since the word of TRUTH, the Holy Bible, the VERY WORD of Almighty God clearly teaches of ONLY TWO places that a person goes when they die, the from WHERE did the Catholic church get the idea of this THIRD place where the dead must go where they die?

       I mean WHY the need for this so called THIRD place of purgatory and even a FOUTH place the catholic church calls LIMBO where babies who were not baptized in the Catholic church supposedly go when they die. So from WHERE did these teachings of the Catholic come?

       Well because of the FALSE teaching of ORIGINAL SIN that the Catholic church teaches that every person ever born INHERITS the GUILT and the PUNISHMENT of that ORINGINAL SIN of Adam, then that would therefore mean that ALL babies would go to hell, because they are not old enough to understand and believe the gospel in order to be saved.

       Now this doctrine of original sin started a lot of controversy in the church and people could not understand WHY an INNOCENT baby would go to HELL just because they were not yet old enough to understand and believe the gospel to be saved. So then to calm the people the Catholic church then invented another FALSE doctrine of baptizing infant babies so that they could now be saved.

       But what about all the innocent pagan babies that die before they are old enough to be saved? So then in order to PLEASE the people yet another FALSE teaching was invented called LIMBO so that babies who were not baptized would have the opportunity to grow up and be taught the gospel and be given the chance to be saved. One FALSE doctrine after another just to cover the LIE of ORIGINAL SIN. Please read the study called “THE FALSE DOCTRINE OF ORIGINAL SIN!” for all the sound biblical evidence that exposes this FALSE teaching of the Catholic church that has spilled over into some of the Protestant churches as well.

       You can also read the study “HOW BAPTISM SAVES!” that will give you sound Biblical teaching that clearly shows us that the early church NEVER baptize not even one single baby ever.

       So then, from WHERE did these FALSE doctrine of the Catholic church come? Well many of them came from the PAGAN religions that where prevalent in the Roman empire during the time that Christianity began to turn the world upside down with the preaching of the gospel of Jesus Christ as the ONLY WAY to heaven, and many PAGANS where converted to Christianity.

       I will cover the HISTORY of the church and HOW paganism entered into the Christian church in the study called “HOW DIE THE CHURCH DIVIDE?”

       Thanks for reading and may God bless you richly as you continue to seek the TRUTH of the WHOLE word of Almighty God.

       Your brother in our Lord Jesus Christ,

       Mark.


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