WHAT EVERY CATHOLIC
NEEDS TO KNOW!
EVERY CATHOLIC NEEDS TO KNOW THE TRUTH!
Every Catholic needs to know the TRUTH that the word of God teaches us as Christians to search the scriptures daily in order to see if what we are being taught is the truth of the whole word of God. The Bible calls QUESTIONING what we are taught as a very NOBLE thing. Please read these clear, plain, and simple words of Almighty God in Acts 17:11 for yourself my dear brothers and sisters in the Lord.
So it is a good thing to always RECEIVE the word of Almighty God with gladness and readiness, BUT these men were called more NOBLE than other believers in Thessalonica, because they did not just simply blindly accept what they were being taught as being the truth, but rather they went to the very word of Almighty God for THEMSELVES to PROVE it for themselves that what they were being taught was the TRUTH of the WHOLE word of God.
The Bible encourages us as Christians to ask questions of what we are taught and then to go directly to the SOURCE of all church doctrine the very word of TRUTH, the Holy Bible, to make absolutely SURE that what we are being taught is the TRUTH of the WHOLE word of God.
And EVERY Catholic needs to know this TRUTH.
Now in truth every Christian no matter what church they attend needs to know this truth, which is for each and every believer to search the word of God for THEMSELVES to see if what they are being taught by their church denomination is the TRUTH of the WHOLE word of Almighty God, but here in this particular study our focus is directed to the believer in the Catholic church for YOU to search the teachings of the Catholic church in order to see for YOURSELF if they AGREE with the WHOLE word of God.
So then, let us begin this study in God's word by asking yourself the question: “Being a Catholic have you ever wondered WHY there are so many different denominations in the church of Jesus Christ? I mean have you ever thought to yourself, “what makes us being Catholics to be different from Protestants? We are all Christians and yet some of us call themselves Catholics, and others Roman Catholic, and others call themselves Protestant, and others refer to themselves as being non denominational, but really what makes us to be different? WE, as in, both Protestants and Catholics say that we ALL believe that Jesus died for our sins. And again we ALL believe that Jesus was raised from the dead. So then, what makes us choose sides, so to speak, and label ourselves with denominational NAMES to identify who we are? Are we not ALL Christians?”
This following question was asked of me by my oldest sister, who is presently a Catholic, as to what is the difference between the Roman Catholic church and the Protestant churches?
I thought for a moment and said to her that basically church DOCTRINE is what makes these many denominations different from each other. We all believe that Jesus died for our sins, which is the core teaching of the gospel of Jesus Christ and the very foundation of our Christian faith, but we disagree on other teachings, where some of these teachings are indeed important, but also where some other teachings that differ are not so important as to divide the church.
And then my sister asked me what do the Protestants believe that is different from what the Catholic church teaches.
Well the answer to that question would depend upon which Protestant Churches you would be talking about, because there are many differences even among some Protestant churches as well. In fact, some Protestant churches are very similar in many ways to the things taught in the Catholic church. But then again other Protestant churches are indeed very different in what they teach and in how they worship God compared to the way the Catholic church does the mass. And especially the Assembly of God Pentecostal Protestant church is extremely different in what they teach from that of the Catholic church, EXCEPT for the CORE central TRUTH that Jesus died for the sins of the whole world so that WHOSOEVER BELIEVES this TRUTH shall be saved and forgiven of all their past sins.
So then, the purpose of this study in God's word is to show the things that the Roman Catholic church teaches that some Protestant churches do not teach, because they are not specifically taught in the Bible. What I mean by this is that the Assembly of God Protestant church that I attended used the Holy Bible ALONE for it's SOURCE and foundation to base what she taught, whereas the Roman Catholic church use both the Bible AND church history TRADITION to form their doctrine.
Now the Protestant churches to which I make my comparison are the ones that have many many differences in their teachings in comparison to the teachings of the Roman Catholic church. And again the reason that they DIFFER is due to the SOURCE for basing their teachings upon. Most Protestant churches teach that we are NOT to ADD to the word of TRUTH, the Holy Bible, but rather we are to teach ONLY what the Bible itself plainly teaches.
But sadly even some Protestant churches go BEYOND the word of God and READ INTO the text their OWN private INTERPRETATION of certain verses to teach false doctrine in some areas or on some subjects. So to ME, I have found that NO church is INFALLIBLE in what they they teach so this leaves the RESPONSIBILITY on each and every individual believer to search the word of Almighty God for THEMSELVES in order to see if what they are being taught is the TRUTH of the WHOLE word of God.
With that being said let us begin this study in God's word by compiling a list of words or terms that the Roman Catholic church uses that are not found in the Bible and also compile another list of words or terms used by the Roman Catholic church that are indeed found in the Bible, but these words are not used by the Roman Catholic church in the way in which the Bible clearly teaches us as to what they truly mean.
Now from this point on in this study of God's word and other studies related to the Roman Catholic church I will refer to as just the Catholic church while meaning the Roman Catholic church and all the other denominations of the Catholic as well. I do NOT use the term “Catholic” to mean UNIVERSAL, but rather I use the word “Catholic” as a DENOMINATIONAL name of churches that teach DIFFERENT doctrines that many other churches do NOT teach. And the purpose of this study is to learn WHICH of these teachings AGREE with the WHOLE word of God and which teachings CONTRADICT the clear, plain, and simple word of TRUTH, the Holy Bible, the very word of Almighty God himself.
So then, let us begin by first taking a look at the list of words or terms that are indeed found in the Bible, but again where we will find that these words or terms are not used in the Catholic church in the same way that the Bible itself clearly teaches us.
#1. Father and father
The words father and Father are both indeed found in the Bible. The Catholic church uses the word or the term “father” as a title that refers to the clergy of the Catholic church. The priests are called father, the Bishops are called father. The Cardinals are called father, and even the Pope is called the Holy father. And very often the word father is very often capitalized in Catholic writings.
Now some of you may be wondering or asking yourself the question, “So what is wrong with calling the priest “father”or even “Father” with a capital 'F'?”
“But be NOT you called Rabbi: for ONE is your Master, even Christ; and all YOU are BRETHREN. (to ME Jesus is saying if someone exalts you to be a master teacher, then you are to humble yourself and give the glory to the Holy spirit of Almighty God who led you into all truth knowing yourself that Jesus and the Holy Spirit are our teacher and that we as Christians are ALL brethren in the Lord)
9. And call NO MAN your father upon the earth: for ONE is your Father, which is in heaven. (to ME this is pretty self explanatory. In the light of the previous verse and the verses that follows it is made quite clear that the reason we are NOT to give the title of “father or Father”to any brother in the church is because we as Christians are NOT to EXALT another brother over or above another. Jesus makes it very plain to us that we have but ONE Father who is Almighty God our heavenly Father.)
12. And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted, (meaning that Almighty God himself will exalt us and that that we should exalt one another and especially not ourselves)”
Now in most of the Protestant Bibles the word “father” is capitalized ONLY when it is speaking of Almighty God as being the ONE Father of all. And all the other times when the word “father” is used it refers to an earthly father and it is always used in lower case letters and is never capitalized. So to ME, I believe the Bible makes it very clear to us that we as Christians are NOT to call the elders in the church by the name or the TITLE of FATHER, Father or even father.
And yet the Catholic church does NOT obey these very simple, plain, and CLEAR words of Jesus. So the question is WHY? Well you my dear brother and sisters in our Lord Jesus Christ will have to answer that question for yourself. You may think this to be a trivial matter, but when one disobedience to God's word is compared along side with another disobedience to his word, and then another and then yet another, then this should raise a red flag to you with the QUESTION, “Have I not been taught the TRUTH of God's word? Why is it that what I have been taught seems to CONTRADICT the word of God? Why do we call the priest father, when the Bible clearly teaches us NOT to do this?”
After reading this very clear, plain, and simple verse from God's word of TRUTH, the Holy Bible and you are NOT asking yourself these questions, then you are not truly seeking to know the truth of the whole word of God. But if reading this verse does raise at least some question in you, then know that this is the Holy Spirit of Almighty God leading you into all truth. It is for you and many others like you, who are TRULY seeking the truth of God's word that I gives thanks to God for always, for I KNOW that whosoever SEEKS shall find, Amen!
The word priest, priests and even the word priesthood speaking of the different orders of the priesthood are indeed found in the Bible.
However, most of these terms are found in the OLD Testament and under the OLD covenant, which are NOT used in the same way that they are in the NEW Testament under the NEW covenant where Jesus himself has become our one and only high priest. Let me explain what I mean by this. In the Old testament there were MANY priests that offered sacrifices daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly in behalf of the people as a MEDIATOR between man and God. But in the NEW Testament Jesus became our ONE sacrifice for sins ONCE and for ALL time. Please read the following verses:
“Who (speaking of Jesus) needs NOT daily, as those high priests (of the Old Testament under the OLD covenant), to offer up sacrifice, first for his own sins, and then for the people's: for this he (again speaking of Jesus) did ONCE, when he offered up himself.
“Then said he, Lo, I come to do your will, O God. He takes away the FIRST (or Jesus does away with the FIRST covenant of the priesthood under the Old Covenant in the Old Testament), that (or so that, or in order that) he (Jesus) may establish the SECOND (speaking of the NEW covenant IN his blood).
In other words, Jesus made an END to the offering of sacrifices for sins, and Jesus became our high priest for us ever living to make intercession for us. The Bible says that we now have ONE MEDIATOR between God and man, who is the MAN Jesus Christ. The Bible is very clear that the PRIESTHOOD of having MANY mediators or many priests between God and man has ENDED, and now in the NEW testament EVERY believer in Jesus Christ is a “priest” in the eyes of God. Please read 1 Peter 2:9 where EVERY Christian is a PRIEST in the eyes of Almighty God.
“But YOU (speaking to some new Gentile believers, but as well to all of us as Christians) are a chosen generation, a royal PRIESTHOOD, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that you should shew forth the praises of him who has called you out of darkness into his marvelous light:”
Jesus made the WAY where each and every one of us can come BOLDLY to the throne of grace of Almighty God to obtain help in our time of need because of what Jesus did for us. Please read Hebrews chapter 4, verses 14-16.
16. Let US (speaking of each and every believer in Jesus Christ) therefore come BOLDLY unto the throne of grace (speaking of the very throne of Almighty God), that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.”
In other words, the word of TRUTH, the Holy Bible teaches us that each and every one of us as believers in Jesus Christ have been made WORTHY by the shed blood of Jesus Christ our high priest so that each and every one of us can come BOLDLY to the throne of Almighty God to obtain help in our time of need. In the New Testament Jesus became our high priest making the way fro each of us to come yo Almighty God on our OWN without the need of an earthly priest to mediate FOR us as it once was in the Old Testament under the OLD covenant.
But yet the Catholic church is modeled or structured more after the OLD covenant than it is the NEW covenant. But Jesus came to do away with the OLD covenant in order to establish a NEW covenant in his very own blood and is now become our high priest for us. Plain and simple the word of TRUTH, the Holy Bible teaches us that the priesthood has been done away with under the NEW Testament where each and every believer is made a PRIEST unto God.
So to ME, the Catholic church places many types of CEREMONIAL ritual WORKS of Catholics based upon the OLD Testament priesthood that were only types and shadows of things to come, which Jesus FULFILLED for us. One example of this is found under #3.
In the Catholic church I was taught that in order to have your sins forgiven, then a Catholic needs to go to CONFESSION or to a confessional within the Catholic church building to confess their sins to a PRIEST. And then the priest would absolve them of their sins and give them PENANCE to do as an act of CONTRITION.
However, in the Bible Christians are taught that we are to CONFESS our sins DIRECTLY to Almighty God by asking our heavenly Father to forgive us of our sins in the name of his Son Jesus and then we are assured by the very word of Almighty God, the Father, that he is FAITHFUL and JUST to FORGIVE us of ALL our sins AND then to CLEANSE us of ALL our UNRIGHTEOUSNESS.
Please read 1 John 1:9 where we as Christians are assured of the FAITHFULNESS of Almighty God to FORGIVE us of all our sins when ever we ask him for forgiveness with a sincere repentant heart and CONFESS our sins.
In other words, the Bible does NOT teach us about doing works of PENANCE so that our sins will be forgiven, but rather we are to repent of our sins, ask our heavenly Father to forgive us of our sins, and then BELIEVE God's word of promise that he is faithful to do what he said he would do. The Bible teaches us that the just shall live by FAITH. You must BELIEVE that God FORGIVES you when you confess your sins to him and if you live by FAITH and BELIEVE his word then you are FORGIVEN of ALL your sins and he has indeed CLEANSED you from ALL your unrighteousness and every so called stain of sin.
God does not ask of us to do PENANCE. This teaching was added by the Catholic church. We will go into more detail on the difference between PENANCE and Biblical repentance in the next section of Catholic terms that are NOT found in the Bible under the word “penance” that is Not found in the Bible. But for now let us continue with words the are found in the Bible, but are not being used by the Catholic church in the way that the word of God teaches.
Now some may argue and say what about the words of Jesus when he said whosoever sins you remit, then they are remitted and whosoever sins you retain then they are retained? Does that not teach us that Jesus gave POWER to the PRIEST to forgive sins?
First of all to ME Jesus is speaking of forgiving those who wronged us personally and not that we have power to forgive the sins of just anyone. For example Stephen prayed when he was being stoned to death for God to forgive those who were stoning him. In other words Stephen was REMITTING that PARTICULAR sin that was being sinned against him PERSONALLY.
Also please keep in mind that Jesus was speaking to each and every one of us when he spoke those words and Jesus was NOT speaking of only CERTAIN believers such as PRIESTS having power to forgive sins. Remember we have already seen that the priesthood has been done AWAY with by the ONE sacrifice of Jesus and that we ALL have been made a part of the ROYAL PRIESTHOOD and each and every believer has become a PRIEST unto God.
The Bible also teaches us to confess our FAULTS with one another, but to me this means that we are to share our weaknesses or the area that we are having trouble overcoming the devil with each other so that we can encourage, exhort and strengthen one another to over come sin better and better as we learn from each other. This also means that if we have a fault with that particular brother of sister in the Lord that God will not hear our prayer until we settle that fault that is between you and that particular brother or sister in the Lord. Please read James 5:13-20. which clearly teaches us that
15. And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him. (Sometimes the sick are both healed of the physical sickness and forgiven of the sins at the same time without that person confessing their sins or their faults first. But at other times Christians do not receive their healing because God wants them to confess their faults and make amends first and then God will forgive them of their sins and then heal their bodies. Remember the words of Jesus when he said if you have ought against your brother then leave your gift at the feet of God and go to your brother and make amends and restore a right fellowship between you and your brother and then return and offer you gift or prayer to God. The Bible teaches us that unless we FORGIVE others their trespass AGAINST US, then we shall NOT be forgiven of our sins. This is what the bible means to confess our faults with one another and whosoever sins you remit then they are remitted and whosoever sins you retain, then they are retained and you shall not be forgiven of your heavenly Father until you REMIT or FORGIVE those who trespassed against YOU personally.)
16. Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. (you are the the very RIGHTEOUSNESS of God each and every time you CONFESS your sins and BELIEVE in God's WORD that you have been forgiven of all your sins and that he has CLEANSED you from ALL your UNRIGHTEOUSNESS. That means that you no longer have ANY UNRIGHTEOUSNESS in you and now you are RIGHTEOUS. Therefore YOUR prayers avails much even as the prayers of the great prophet Elijah)
18. And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth her fruit.(I can not emphasize this enough my dear brothers and sisters in our Lord Jesus Christ for you to get this THROUGH your thick skull that YOU are RIGHTEOUS and that the great prophet Elijah is just the SAME as YOU. He had his fears just the SAME as you, but when he BELIEVED God then he was mightily used by God. Sorry for being so blunt, but I get tired of hearing UNBELIEF just like Jesus got tired of hearing it from his disciples and said how much longer must I suffer you. Read the gospels and see how many times Jesus said BECAUSE of YOUR unbelief, and be it done unto you ACCORDING to YOUR FAITH. It is IMPOSSIBLE to please God without FAITH. If you want to receive from God, then YOU must BELIEVE that he will do what he said that he will do. God is not a man that he should lie.)
20. Let him know, that he which converts the sinner from the ERROR of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins.”
We are ALL ministers of the gospel of Jesus Christ, and each and every one of us has the authority to FORGIVE those that have sinned specifically against US personally. But the Bible does not teach us that any of us have been given the power and the authority to just say to any one we choose, your sins be forgiven and then they are forgiven. The person needs to CONFESS their sin to Almighty God and then we can ASSURE them that God himself has FORGIVEN them. But to teach that a priest has been handed down this power to forgive sins is going BEYOND what the clear, plain, and simple word of TRUTH teaches us. So let us stay with what Almighty God clearly teaches us in his word.
Yes, the word “altar” is indeed found in the Bible, but again this word is used primarily speaking of the altar of SACRIFICE for sins of the Old Testament under the OLD covenant that was ENDED with the FINAL sacrifice for the sins of mankind that Jesus himself made for the sins of the whole world as we have already seen. In other words, the altar of sacrifice has been done AWAY with by Jesus when he shed his very own blood for the sins of the world ONCE and for ALL time.
There is absolutely NO teaching in the NEW Testament where the CHURCH is taught to offer a bloodless sacrifice of the mass on an altar to God. I will speak more on this is the next section under the word “mass” that is NOT found in the Bible.
Also the altar of the Old Testament is NOTHING like the altars that are used in the Catholic church. The altar of the OLD covenant where very simple and plain uncut stone altars where animal sacrifices where offered to God by the priest in behalf of themselves and then for the people of God for the forgiveness of sins. The animal was first killed and the blood was carefully collected and then sprinkled on the altar and the rest poured out at the base or the foot of the altar. Then the dead animal was placed upon the altar, and then it was burnt till it was consumed by fire.
But yet the altar in the Catholic church is very ornate, upon which the Catholic priest offer a BLOODLESS sacrifice to God for the people. Yet the Bible say that without the shedding of BLOOD there is NO remission of sins, but more importantly the Jesus was our ONCE and for all time FINAL sacrifice. Thus it is NOT pleasing to God when religion goes beyond God's word to offer him sacrifices that HE no longer accepts. God provided us his OWN LAMB as the ONLY acceptable sacrifice that he will accept. Also many of the Catholic altar have the RELICS of dead saints in them. I will speak more on the RELICS in the Catholic altars under the term relics in the next section of Catholic words and terms that are NOT found in the Bible.
#4. Bread and Wine of Communion.
Yes BOTH the Protestant churches and the Catholic church observe the words of Jesus to take COMMUNION.
However, the WAY in which the Catholic church observes this remembrance of the death of Jesus is NOT how the Bible clearly teaches us as Christians to take communion. The Catholic church only allows the priest to partake of BOTH the bread AND the cup of wine of communion, but the common laity are only allowed to partake of the bread while drinking from the cup of wine is WITHHELD from the congregation.
But this is NOT what the word of TRUTH, the Holy Bible clearly teaches us. Please read Matthew 26:26-28 where Jesus
himself instructs ALL his disciples to drink of the cup of wine.
28. For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.”
In Mark Jesus makes it very clear that ALL of the disciples drank from the cup of wine.
Then so there is absolutely NO misunderstanding that Jesus did NOT mean that ONLY the Apostles should partake of the wine we read in 1 Corinthians 11:23-28 where Paul says that he was TAUGHT of the Lord this institution of taking communion in remembrance of our Lords death and he instructs the church that ALL believers are to take BOTH elements of bread AND the wine.
So then the word of TRUTH, the Holy Bible leaves absolutely NO doubt that ALL Christian are to partake of BOTH the bread and the wine when taking communion, but yet the Catholic church WITHHOLDS the wine from the common people.
Another point that every Catholic should know is that the Catholic church teaches that the Pope is INFALLIBLE, which means that it is impossible for the Pope to make a mistake when INTERPRETING the scripture. Now it should raise some question in you being a Catholic that two earlier Popes CONDEMNED the WITHHOLDING of the cup of wine from the people; Pope Leo I before he died in 461 AD and Pope Gelasius before his death in 495 AD both said that the cup of wine should NOT be withheld from the congregation at communion. But in the 12th century this practice of withholding the wine became more and more accepted and finally was made official at the Council Constance in 1415 AD. Here is what the Catholic encyclopedia says:
From the first to the twelfth century:
The catholic encyclopedia goes on to say under the following heading:
The final suppression of intinctio was followed in the thirteenth century by the GRADUAL abolition for the LAITY of Communion under the species of wine.
And if you want to continue to read under this section and wade through the lawyer type biased language of the roman Catholic church you will find that Pope Leo 1 and Pope Gelasius in the fifth century condemned the practice of the Catholic priests from WITHHOLDING the cup of wine from the laity.
So then. According to the Roman Catholic church herself for the first 1200 years ALL believers partook of BOTH the bread AND the wine and then the Catholic church EXALTED herself ABOVE the very word of Almighty God to WITHHOLD the cup of wine at communion from the laity in the 12th century and GRADUALLY made it to be official teaching in the 13th century, and then in the 14th century to be INFALLIBLE dogma.
Yes there is some evidence that a FEW in the Catholic churches were WITHHOLDING the cup of communion around the 5th century, but two Popes, who according to the Catholic church are supposed to be INFALLIBLE CONDEMNED this practice of WITHHOLDING the cup of wine or communion from the laity and it was not until the 14th century that only the Catholic church made it official to go AGAINST the clear word of Almighty God and withhold to cup of communion form the common laity. In other words, all the other groups of Christians stayed with God's word to take BOTH the elements of bread AND wine at communion.
Now the Roman Catholic church tries to explain this away by citing a few CERTAIN case in the history of the church where bread ALONE was given and it was considered to be enough to say communion was received. Now some of these CERTAIN case were in the homes of those on their death bed and they were not able the sit up to drink from the cup of wine. I mean to use such examples is like saying we should ELIMINATE baptism altogether just because the thief on the cross was saved and he was never baptized.
Also the Catholic church teaches that the bread and wine is LITERALLY changed in SUBSTANCE into the ACTUALLY and LITTERAL body of flesh and blood of Jesus when the priest consecrates these element of bread and wine during the sacrifice of the mass. Please read the study called “IS THE DOCTRINE OF TRANSUBSTANTIATION BIBLICAL?” for a SOUND BIBLICAL teaching on what Jesus truly means when he said “Take eat this is my body.”
There is much more that can be said about the way that the Catholic church takes communion that does NOT AGREE with the clear teaching of God's word, some of which we will cover under the word EUCHARIST that is NOT found in the Bible in the next section of this study in God's word.
The Catholic church teaches that infant babies are to be baptized.
But the word of TRUTH, the holy Bible says absolutely NOTHING about baptizing babies or even small children, but rather we clearly see that ONLY adults are baptized by full submersion under the water only AFTER a person has believed on the name of Jesus and repented of their sins.
The Catholic church use SPINKLING of water, and or the pour of water over the forehead of the one being baptize most always and infant baby, but is sometimes adults that are converted to Catholicism.
Please read the study “DOES BAPTISM SAVE US?” for a sound BIBLICAL understanding of how the New testament church baptized believers in Jesus Christ. But for now we will look at only a few verses that clearly show us that MUCH WATER was needed to baptize believers because the early church completely SUBMERSED the believer who was being baptized in water. Please read John 3:23.
The very word baptize mean to SUBMERGE completely under. Now some may argue as say that was John's baptism and not the true Christian baptism. Well Jesus himself was baptized by John as our EXAMPLE to follow. And this is what the early church did in fact do. Please read the ACTS of the early church recorded for us in the books of Acts chapter 8, verses 29-40 where we see that Philip PREACH the gospel to a eunuch and then when the eunuch BELIEVED on Jesus he asked to be BAPTZED saying hear is some water so what is preventing me to be baptize. And Philip said IF you BELIEVE then you can be baptized. So hear it is made quite clear in the Bible that baptism is for ONLY those who can hear and understand the preaching of God's word and BELIEVE, and infant babies are NOT capable of UNDERSTANDING the preaching of the gospel of Jesus Christ and BELIEVING. Therefore infant baptisms are NOT Biblical.
Now the word “incense” is also found in the Bible and incense was indeed burn before the altar of sacrifice in the Old Testament. However in the NEW Testament there is no hint of any altar nor the use of burning incense by the apostles nor the disciples of Jesus in the early church. Nor is there any evidence of the use of incense in the first four centuries of the church. The first evidence of the use of incense began to show up in the Catholic church in the 5th century.
To me many things in the Old Testament were type and shadows of things to come. In the NEW Testament incense is symbolic for the prayers of the saints coming up before God's throne. So the me in the Old Testament the priests burned incense FOR the people, BUT in the New Testament the saints can offer their OWN prayers up to God without the need of earthly priests, because Jesus is our high priest up in heaven ever living to make intercession for us.
The burning of incense in the Catholic church is optional, but the question still arises as to WHY the Catholic church does things that the New testament and early church did NOT do?
The word candle and candlestick are indeed found in the Bible, but once again their USAGED and their meaning is NOT the same in the Bible as it is in the Catholic church.
What I mean by this is that in the Catholic church candles are lit as a VIGIL. Here is what one Catholic website says:
The Sight of burning votive candles -real or electronic - is common in most Catholic churches. The candles are usually placed before statues of saints or at shrines. But how did this tradition get its start?
According to A Handbook of Catholic Sacraments, by Ann Ball (our Sunday Visitor Books), the practice of lighting candles in order to obtain some favor probably has its origins in the custom of burning lights at the tombs of the martyrs in the catacombs. The lights burned as a sign of solidarity with Christians still on earth. Because the lights continually burned as a silent vigil, they became known as vigil lights.
Vigil Lights (from the Latin vigilia, which means "waiting" or "watching") are traditionally accompanied by prayers of attention or waiting. Another common type of candle offering is the votive light. Such an offering is indicative of seeking some favor from the Lord or the saint before which the votive is placed.
Lighting a candle is a way of extending one's prayer and showing solidarity with the person on whose behalf the prayer is offered.
So where did the use of candles in the church begin since we do not see any evidence of it in the early church in the New Testament?
Here is what a Catholic writer named Cardinal Newman has to say:
Cardinal Newman admits in his book that; the "temples, incense, oil lamps, votive offerings, holy water, Holidays, and seasons of devotion, processions, blessings of the fields, sacerdotal vestments, the tonsure (of priests, monks and nuns), images, and statues... are ALL of PAGAN ORIGIN." -The Development of the Christian Religion Cardinal Newman p.359
Joseph McCabe a Monk says rather harshly:
The choice of December 25th was obviously part of the general policy of disarming the pagans and Mithraists when their cults were suppressed, and it began, significantly, at Rome.
In pre-Christian times knowledge of astronomy and the calendar was so imperfect that the great nature-festivals, originally fixed at mid-winter, spring, mid-summer, and autumn, often got out of date, but even in Roman days the birth of a solar or a vegetation-god, saving the world from the darkness, discomfort, and sterility of winter, was widely celebrated at the winter solstice (December 21st) or just after it, when the day began to lengthen again.
From very early times the Romans had celebrated their Saturnalia in honour of the old vegetation-god at that time with a great display of presents, CANDLES, and dolls (probably a reminiscence of an earlier sacrifice of children). From the reign of the Emperor Aurelian (270-6), who introduced a SOLAR CULT (the S.U.N. god) of a high ethical character, December 25th was the outstanding day of their calendar and was officially described as "the Birthday of the Unconquered Sun."
The coming of Mithraism from Persia confirmed the date. The Mithraic cave-temple was on the Vatican Hill, close to the Christian settlement, and the midnight celebration of the birth of the saviour-god,
And the Catholic encyclopedia says the following:
"Candles from the Catholic Encyclopedia: The word candle (candela, from candeo, to burn) was introduced into the English language as an ecclesiastical term, probably as early as the eighth century. It was known in classical times and denoted any kind of taper in which a wick, not uncommonly made of a strip of papyrus, was encased in wax or animal fat.
We need not shrink from admitting that CANDLES, like incense and lustral water, were commonly employed in pagan worship and in the rites paid to the DEAD.
But the Church from a very early period took them into her service, just as she ADOTED many other things indifferent in themselves, which seemed proper to enhance the splendour of religious ceremonial.
We must not forget that most of these adjuncts to worship, like music, lights, perfumes, ablutions, floral decorations, canopies, fans, screens, bells, vestments, etc. were not identified with any idolatrous cult in particular; they were COMMON TO ALMOST ALL CULTS.
St Jerome writes against Vigilantius the following:
Among other blasphemies, he (Jerome speaking against the so called BLASPHEMIES of Vigilantius) may be heard to say, "What need is there for you not only to pay such honour, not to say adoration, to the thing, whatever it may be, which you carry about in a little vessel and worship?" And again, in the same book, "Why do you kiss and adore a bit of powder wrapped up in a cloth?" And again, in the same book, "Under the cloak of religion we see what is all but a heathen ceremony introduced into the churches: while the sun is still shining, heaps of tapers are lighted, and everywhere a paltry bit of powder, wrapped up in a costly cloth, is kissed and worshipped. Great honour do men of this sort pay to the blessed martyrs, who, they think, are to be made glorious by trumpery tapers, when the Lamb who is in the midst of the throne, with all the brightness of His majesty, gives them light?"
Candles were called “tapers” back then. Now Vigilantius and Jovinianus were considered a heretics by Jerome, who is often quoted by Catholic writers, because the theology of Jerome in some point agrees with what the Roman Catholic church teaches today.
No matter the argument of today it is made quite sure by these early church writers that the church of Rome most definitely venerated the dead by the lighting of candles and having vigils unto them who were martyred for their faith in Jesus. And this lighting of the candles to the dead was a pagan practice that entered into the church at Rome.
In Pagan processions: "these were usually followed by the principal youth of the place, in white linen vestments or surplices, singing hymns in honour of the gods whose festivals they were celebrating, accompanied by crowds of all sorts that were initiated in the same religion, all with flambeaux (or wax-candles) in their hands."
so thoroughly and exclusively PAGAN was this custom of
lighting up lamps and CANDLES in daylight, that we find
Christian writers, such as Lactantius, in the fourth century,
exposing the absurdity of the practice, and
deriding the Romans "for lighting up candles to God,
Yes they did and Almighty God himself gave them very specific instructions on how he wanted the lamp stand to be beaten out of pure gold and not poured in a cast. This was a type of figure of the 7 churches that would come and suffer much persecution to be refined and be made pure. The TYPES and FIGURES in the Old Testament were SHADOWS of the true, which were to come. And when the TRUE came we, as Christians are NO longer to observe the SHADOW. For example the Passover lamb was observed every year by the Jews, but when the TRUE Passover Lamb came WE, as Christians, NO LONGER observe the SHADOW of the true, because the TRUE, which is Jesus has now become OUR Passover Lamb and being IN Jesus we are keeping the Passover feast without keeping the RITUAL of the Passover meal. so then the JEWS may still yet have the Menorah being ignorant of its; MEANING, but the CHURCH knows it's meaning and thus we as Christians should NOT use the Menorah or any other CANDLES is our worship of the one true God and his SON Jesus.
Please know and understand that in the New Testament there is no mention nor instruction to use candles other than being used for LIGHT by which to see at night time or in a dark room. We have already seen that when the church first started to bring this pagan practice of candle vigils to the dead that other believers opposed these practices and spoke out against them.
This brings us to the second section where I have given a list of words or terms that are used in the Roman Catholic church, but they are NOT found anywhere in the word of TRUTH, the Holy Bible. neither in word nor in practice.
In this section you can read through the following list of words or terms that are used in the Catholic church, which are not found in the Bible. And then any word that is highlighted and underlined is a link that will open a new page to a study or studies on that particular subject. Now if there is no link, then either that study is not complete or I have already discussed that word or term in one of the related studies.
My main point that I want all Catholics to see is to read and study the Bible for YOURSELF and ask God, NOT Mary, to help you understand his word. I ask of you no more and no less than for you to search the word of God for YOURSELF in order to see if what you are being taught is the TRUTH of the WHOLE word of Almighty God. Your very reward of ETERNAL LIFE is based upon what YOU YOURSELF BELIEVE. Do not leave so great a matter in the hands of another.
41. Zucchetto, skull cap worn by Pope, Cardinals, & Bishops
42. Relics http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Relic
43. Mary Mother of God
Also every Catholic should know that there are many different sects or divisions within the Catholic church itself as well, which do NOT agree when it comes to what they TEACH. Now some Catholics are aware that there is a difference between the Catholic church and the Roman Catholic church, but most Catholics are not aware that there are some 66 denominational divisions within the Catholic church itself, which differ in what each one teaches. So the Catholic church is not so 'UNIVERSAL” as they would like Catholics to believe.
Again search the word for yourself in order to if what you are being taught is the truth of the whole word of God no matter what church you attend. We are all brothers and sisters in the Lord.
Thanks for reading. May God bless you richly as you continue to seek the truth of the whole word of God.
Your brother in our Lord Jesus Christ,
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