MM 39 – PROTESTANTS, CATHOLICS AND THE WORD OF GOD
“Prove yourselves doers of the word,
and not merely hearers who delude themselves.”
Maranatha Revival Crusade
The Word of God
PROTESTANTS v CATHOLICS
The Infallibility and Headship of the Pope
The Veneration of Mary
The Doctrine of Purgatory
WHAT THE CATHOLIC BIBLE SAYS
The Bible is the only Infallible Authority
What does the Catholic Bible teach about Mary?
Is the Catholic Pope Infallible?
What does the Catholic Bible teach about Priests marrying?
Is the Sacrifice of the Mass Scriptural?
What Mediator Can a Sinner Have?
How to be saved according to the Catholic Bible?
THE PRIEST WHO FOUND CHRIST
WAS PETER THE FIRST POPE?
BE DOERS OF THE WORD!
THE WORD OF GOD
We live in a world of turmoil, a world of confusion. Society and people
are confused — about most things — where we came from, where we’re
going, and why we’re here! We are perplexed because of our problems,
and we are usually so taken up with our immediate tasks and
entanglements that we have little time to reflect on the past, or to
contemplate the future. We’re concerned more about the present. Fair
enough! For we are here right now. and before we get to tomorrow, we
have to live today. But we often forget that how we live today, affects
our tomorrow. It affects our future, our destiny, our eternity.
Our real problem often, is that we don’t know how to live the present.
We bustle along, take foolish chances, listen a little to the variety of
voices that trumpet their philosophies, advertisements and advices in
our ears, till we become more confused than ever. Nothing, we conclude,
is very definite, nothing is really final; so we program our minds to
accept relatives — relative standards, relative behaviour, and relative
truth —no absolutes, no conclusions, no dogmas. And the world
encourages us in this philosophy, and tells us we are right!
Our real problem, although we don’t like to admit it, is that we are
lost! Lost to the present, lost to the future; we are a loss, many of
us, to ourselves, to our society, and to God. And unfortunately we are
at a loss to know how to be found, or how to find a way out of our maze
of dead-end alleys.
Yet there is a way, there is a definite guide, there is an absolute,
there is “a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.”
It is the sure Word of God, the Holy Bible.
The Bible, far from being an ancient history book, is a direct
revelation from God to us, today. It is a prophetic message to the
world. True, it does include some historical events, and that, for the
sake of our learning. It shows us where we came from; it shows the right
way to God; and the experiences of others who have either found or
missed the way. The whole Book relates to this problem of why we are
here, and where we are going.
True Bible prophecy is God speaking through chosen human vessels, to
provide a guide for the present, as well as for the future. The Bible
“We have the prophetic word made more, to which you do well to pay
attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and
the morning star arises in your hearts. But know this first of all, that
no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the
Holy Spirit spoke from God.” (2
The Bible is not the private philosophies or interpretations of the men
who wrote it. It is God-given, God-breathed. It is the Word of God to
lead us out of our ignorant, confused darkness, and into “the light of
the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.” (2
The true Light of the World is the Lord Jesus, and true illumination is
the Lord, and His Word, shining into our hearts.
“For God, who said, ‘Light shall shine out of darkness’, is the One who
has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory
of God in the face of Christ.” (2
We cannot divorce the Lord Jesus and the Word of God, for Jesus Himself
is called “the Word of God.”
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word
was God. And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld
His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace
(John 1:1, 14)
And it is the Word of God, implanted in our hearts, that saves us,
guides us, and sanctifies us; that is, that separates us unto God, makes
us acceptable unto God, and will also present us before the Father with
“In humility receive the word implanted, which is able to save your
souls. But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers
who delude themselves. For if any one is a hearer of the word and not a
doer, he is like a man who looks at his natural face in a mirror; for
once he has looked at himself and gone away, he has immediately
forgotten what kind of person he was. But one who looks intently at the
perfect law. the law of liberty and abides by it, not having become a
forgetful hearer but an effectual doer, this man shall be blessed in
what he does.”
To be a “doer of the Word” means to be obedient to the Lord Jesus
Christ. It is not enough to be a mere reader of the Bible. We must
follow its instruction. It is not enough to believe about the Lord
Jesus, we must follow Him, and obey His commands. He says:
“If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.”
Much of the confusion in the religious world today — and I’m thinking
particularly of the confusion in the professing Christian world, is due
to the fact that many do not read and obey the Word of God. Many people
want a man-made religion. Many want a philosophical religion that
tallies with their own blinded intelligence. Many want to add or to take
away from the Word of God.
The tragedy in much of Protestantism today is that it has
from the Scriptures. The tragedy of Roman Catholicism is that it has
to the Bible. Both the taking away, and the adding to what God has given
in His written Word, are wrong, and are condemned in the strongest
terms. This is because the Word has been given as our guide; and God
does not want His revelation tampered with. Anyone who does so, brings
God’s curse upon himself.
“I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book
(the Word of God); if anyone adds to them, God shall add to him the
plagues which are written in this book ; and if anyone takes away from
the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part
from the tree of life and from the holy city, which are written in this
A danger of evangelical Christians — people who claim to follow the
Bible — is that of accepting the Bible, and the Bible only, as the
authority for faith and practice, and yet, not actually
the Word they believe in.
Another danger is of “interpreting” the Bible, and making it say what we
want it to say, so that our own ideas and violations are justified.
We do indeed need a correct interpretation of the Word. And the Lord
“But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name,
He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I
said to you ... When He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you
into all the truth.”
(John 14:26, 16:13)
The Holy Spirit guides us in understanding the Scriptures, when we
sincerely seek the knowledge and will of God. The Bible is its own
commentary, so our understanding increases through continuous and
diligent study of the Word, and not what philosophers and sceptics may
say about the Bible. We are exhorted to study the Word itself!
“Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does
not need to be ashamed, handling accurately the Word of truth.”
This does not mean we should refuse or despise the teachings of true
men of God who have also studied the Word — maybe for much longer than
we have. God has specially gifted different ones, to minister to the
needs of others, and to teach the Word.
“And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as
evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, for the equipping; of the
saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of
Christ; until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the
knowledge of the Son of God.” (Ephesians
Let us learn then, from godly, Bible-based teachers, recognising,
however, that the final authority is not a man, or even a church, but
God’s Word. And let us make the Bible our guide, and our authority.
“Continue in the things you have learned and became convinced of,
knowing from whom you have learned them ; and that from childhood you
have known the sacred writings which are able to give you the wisdom
that leads to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All
Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof,
for correction, for training in righteousness; that the man of God may
be adequate, equipped for every good work.”
(2 Timothy 3:14-17)
PROTESTANTS v CATHOLICS
Many people ask me, “What’s the difference between Catholics and
Protestants? Which is the true Church? And what about the ecumenical
movement — the attempt to unite all churches into a one-world
super-church? Why the divisions in the first place?”
These questions are very relevant today, in view of unity moves, such as
the meeting between the Pope and the Archbishop of Canterbury (the head
of the Anglican Church), and their eagerness to establish a “full
communion” between the two churches.
Basically, Catholics and Protestants differ on the following four major
Infallibility and Headship of the Pope
Catholics recognise the Pope as the head of the church, and are bound to
accept the decrees of the Pontiff, as law. Protestants maintain that
only the Word of God is authoritative, and recognise the Lord Jesus as
Head, in accordance with Scripture.
“Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Saviour of
the body.” (Ephesians
Protestants also object to the title of the Pope — Vicarivs Fileii Dei,
which means, “Substitute for the Son of God.” The Lord has ambassadors,
evangelists, shepherds and teachers, but no substitutes.
Many Catholics today reject the absolute authority of the Pope, and
demand more freedom of conscience. Many Protestants, on the other hand,
are now rejecting the Bible as their authority. They base their “faith”
upon “reason” — the product of the human intellect, rather than upon
Doctrine of Transubstantiation
The Catholic church says that the bread and wine used in the Mass, are
sacraments that, when consecrated, become the actual flesh and blood of
Christ. Protestants have steadily maintained that the bread and wine are
SYMBOLS of the body and blood, and that the eating and drinking of
literal flesh and blood is not required. We partake of Christ through
faith. We eat His “flesh” and drink His “blood” through feasting upon
Him in a spiritual way — by receiving the Lord as our personal Saviour,
and through meditating on Him. Jesus Himself, when He initiated the
Lord’s Supper, said :
“This is my body, which is broken for you; do this in REMEMBRANCE of
Corinthians 11 : 24)
Veneration of Mary
The Catholic Church has proclaimed Mary, the mother of the Lord, as the
Queen of Heaven. Catholics are encouraged to pray to Mary, believing she
is a mediator between men and Christ.
Protestants highly regard Mary as a chosen vessel, but not as a Queen or
a mediator, for the Scripture says:
“For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the
man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself as a ransom for all.” (1
Timothy 2:5, 6)
Protestants have also deplored the practice of setting up statues of
Mary and the Lord, or of saints, in the church.
Doctrine of Purgatory, and Masses or Prayers for the Dead
Catholics teach that people go to a place of purging after death, and
that prayers and masses said for those people will enable them to reach
Protestants maintain there is no such place as Purgatory. When a person
dies, his soul and spirit go either to heaven or to hell. For a true
believer in Christ, there is the assurance that his sins have been
forgiven, and he has been justified by the grace and mercy of God, on
the basis of the cross of Calvary.
“There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ
There are other differences between Catholics and Protestants, of
course, but the above four points are fundamental. The real issue comes
down to this: Do we accept the Bible as the sole authority, or not?
Protestantism began in the 16th century, when Catholic men such as
Martin Luther, William Farrel, and others such as John Knox, Bishop
Riley, Swingli and Calvin discovered the truths in the Bible, and
realised that the Roman Church had become far removed from those truths.
These men began to preach against the apostasy. They claimed that only
the Bible was to be accepted as authority. Some of them sought to reform
the Catholic church, but were soon branded as heretics, and cast out.
Many were burnt at the stake. But soon the Reformation swept over much
of Europe. The division has remained till this time.
Protestantism has never been a single church. Being non-conformist, it
has believed in freedom of conscience and expression. Some groups have
taken the name of the Reformer that has influenced them most, such as
the Lutherans. Others have taken the name of their country, such as the
Church of Scotland, the Anglicans, and the Dutch Reformed Church. Others
have used a name which describes some major emphasis or practise, such
as the Presbyterians and Baptists.
Protestantism today, however, is not what it was in the Reformation
when men believed the Word, and separated from apostasy. Much of
Protestantism today, is far more removed from the Bible than the
Catholics were in the 16th century.
To some extent the Catholic Church has changed since that time. And now
the climate is one of change and accommodation; fervent efforts are
being made on both sides, to unite all “Christians” into a one-world
Many Protestants who no longer hold to the Word of God as their
authority, feel that dogma or doctrine is not important, as long as “we
are one.” Some maintain that they can continue to express any
differences of thought and expression, within the framework of a
Today, many Protestants do not protest at anything except the hindrances
to the formation of a super-world church. Many would be glad to rid of
the misnomer as early as possible. In
fact some of them emphatically deny that they are “protestants”
There is now a very definite effort being made to “re-define” the
doctrine of both sides, to make them compatible with each other.
Provision is being made also, for the Bible to be interpreted in
various ways, so as to avoid any conflict.
Naturally there can only be one “head” to a united church. The Pope is
already recognised as head by the largest “Christian” group in the
world, and as there is no single leader for the Protestants who are
interested in uniting, and have signalled their willingness to accept
the Pope as Head of the united church.
The present Pope, John Paul II, has made great strides in influencing
the “Christian world” towards unification. He has presented a charming
appearance to many nations and churches, as well as to other religions,
and it could be that he will become the head of the World Church in the
very near future.
Even well-known evangelists have heralded Pope John Paul II, as “the
moral leader of the world,” and have sung his praise.
The World Council of Churches, which is made up of nearly 300
denominations worldwide, representing more than 500,000,000 people, is
working rapidly towards unity. It is already co-operating with Rome in
every way, and wooing others who are not yet involved.
The Bible Society, a Protestant organisation which was created to print
Bibles for the world, has over the last 20 years accommodated Catholic
requirements by including the Apocrypha, which is a set of books
written during the 400 years between Malachi and Christ. Protestants
have never accepted the Apocrypha as inspired, God-given revelation, and
have rejected these writings as part of the Bible. But now an
“accommodation” has been made.
Now the question comes up …
“WHICH IS THE
The true church, which is called the Body of Christ, and which the Lord
recognises as His own, is the company of believers who have trusted in
the Lord and have been born again by his Spirit. They are “doers of the
Word,” and have been justified by grace. There are millions of them —
those already with the Lord in heaven, as well as many scattered
throughout the nations on earth. This church is neither Catholic nor
Protestant, although there are, no doubt, many members from both those
churches in the “true church.”
Another question that naturally comes up for believers in the Lord
Jesus, who hold to the Bible as authority, who believe that nothing
should be added, and that nothing should be taken away from the Holy
Scripture, who find themselves caught up in a system that is denying the
Scriptures in various ways; what should we do? Should we go along with
the unity moves of our churches, or is there an alternative?
Well, if the union churches would actually comprise the true church, and
the Lord could commend and bless it, we would definitely support the
union. But it is becoming more and clearer, that the union being built
today is merely an organisation that, although it takes the name of
Christ, is not built upon the Rock —Christ Jesus. This organic union is
not acknowledging the Word of God and the authority of Christ, but
includes communists, modernists, liberals and unbelievers of many
kinds. This is not by accident.
Many theological seminaries have been highly infiltrated by men
dedicated to the destruction of the Holy Bible; men who deny the Lord
Jesus Christ as Saviour and God. Members of the Illuminati, the
Conspiracy to bring the Antichrist into world power, have infiltrated
the churches also, and have taught modernistic theology with a view to
breaking down true faith in Christ. This modernism has now captured
large parts of the mainline denominations. A Bible-believing believer
will naturally feel compelled to come out from such churches and to
protest against their apostasy, even as believers did in the
The protest today is not only against the additional teachings of the
Roman Catholics — the veneration of Mary, and teaching of purgatory,
etc., but also against the false, Christ-denying, Bible-rejecting
teachings of modern Protestants — against the Illuminati doctrine in
both churches. It is a shocking fact that in some mainline “Protestant”
churches, up to 90% of the leaders deny the Bible as the inspired Word
of God, and a large percentage also deny other fundamentals such as the
virgin birth of Christ, His atoning death of Calvary, His physical
resurrection and His literal future return to earth.
What is the believer to do in the face of this apostasy? Is there an
alternative to compromise? Yes, there is! The believer may meet with
others who maintain a separation from apostasy. There are still many
churches that have not joined the apostate union. And there are small
groups who gather in the Name of the Lord Jesus without denominational
affiliation; often gathering in homes to
the Lord, and seeking whole-heartedly to follow the Bible.
The most essential thing for us as individuals is to receive the Lord
Jesus Christ as our personal Saviour by faith; to follow His Word; to
turn from our own sin, unbelief and false ways; and to be separate from
apostasy wherever it occurs. The Word of God is the
standard, and all religious systems can be tested by that Word. Are they
based on what God says, or on what man says? As for us, we must be doers
of the Word!
WHAT THE CATHOLIC BIBLE SAYS
By DR. JOHN
Dr Rice was a well-known 20th century American evangelist.
He was editor for many years of The Sword of the Lord magazine.
I hold in my hand the new Confraternity edition of the New Testament
which is translated from the Latin Vulgate by Catholic authorities. It
has on the title page the following:
The NEW TESTAMENT of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Translated from
the Latin Vulgate. A Revision of the Challoner-Rheims Version.
Edited by Catholic Scholars Under the Patronage of THE EPISCOPAL
COMMITTEE of the CONFRATERNITY OF CHRISTIAN DOCTRINE. St. Anthony Guild
Press, Paterson, New Jersey, 1941.
It is copyrighted by the “Confraternity of Christian Doctrine.” It has
“Nihil obstat (nothing against) it by Rt. Rev. Msgr. Henry J.
Grimmelsman,” Rev. John F. McConnell, and Rev. Joseph J. Tennant and the
Imprimatur of Most Rev. Thomas H. McLaughlin, Bishop of Paterson, New
Jersey. It is the official Catholic translation. Eugene Cardinal
Tisserant, President of the PONTIFICAL Biblical Commission (the Catholic
Cardinal), has his letter of approval in it.
I will read a little from the foreword, an introduction, to this
Catholic translation under the heading, “On the Reading of Holy
Scriptures.” I want you to see what Catholic authorities say about
reading the Bible. Now our Catholic friends do not always do what their
Bible says, just as we Baptists and Methodists and Presbyterians and
Lutherans and Episcopalians and Pentecostal people and others do not
always do what our Bible says. But it would be well for you to know what
Catholic authorities say about reading the Bible. Then we will show what
the Catholic Bible says about many, many very interesting subjects.
“On the Reading of Holy Scriptures” — this is from the Encyclical
Letter, the “Spiritus Paraclitus,” which is the Catholic Encyclical
designated by those first two Latin words.
“ ‘Since the Holy Spirit, the Comforter, had bestowed the Scriptures on
human race for their instruction in Divine things, He also raised up in
successive ages saintly and learned men whose task it should be to
develop that treasure and so provide for the faithful plenteous
“consolation afforded by the Scriptures.”
Then he goes on to say, “ ‘The responsibility of our Apostolic office
impels us to set before you his wonderful example (that is, of St.
Jerome) and so promote the study of Holy Scripture in accordance with
the teachings of our predecessors, Leo XIII and Pius X.
“ ‘And none can fail to see what profit and sweet tranquility must
result in well-disposed souls from such devote reading of the Bible.
Whoever comes to it in piety, faith and humility, and with a
determination to make progress in it, will assuredly find therein and
will eat the “bread that comes down from heaven.”
A little further down the same passage continues, “ ‘We confidently hope
that his example will fire both clergy and laity with enthusiasm for the
study of the Bible. [The Catholic clergy and Catholic laity, he is
saying, ought to be inspired to a study of the Bible] ... So convinced
indeed was Jerome that familiarity with the Bible was the royal road to
the knowledge and love of Christ that he did not hesitate to say:
“Ignorance of the Bible means ignorance of Christ.”’” And then the
reference for that statement from Jerome is given.
Then further, “ ‘Our one desire for all the Church’s children [the
children of the Catholic church] is that, being saturated with the
Bible, they may arrive at the all-surpassing knowledge of Jesus Christ.
Pope Leo XIII granted to the faithful who shall read for at least a
quarter of an hour the books of the Sacred Scripture with the veneration
due to the Divine Word and as spiritual reading, an indulgence of 300
That is the introduction that our Catholic friends have to their new
Confraternity edition of the New Testament, a Catholic Bible.
There is a further preface which I will not take time to read.
Tonight I want it to be understood that I will not preach about
Catholics, nor attack them. I have many Catholic friends, and as far as
that is concerned, I love Catholic friends as I love others. I think I
ought to say also that I have found a good many Catholics whom I believe
to be very earnest and sincere, born-again Christians. I do not say that
every Catholic is a born-again Christian. I could not say that every
Protestant is a born-again Christian. No, no! Only those who have
personally come to trust in Jesus as Saviour are born-again Christians.
Membership in a church, a Protestant church, does not make you a
Christian. Membership in a Catholic church does not make you a
Christian. Neither does it prevent your being a Christian.
However, I should like for you to see tonight what the Roman Catholic
Bible, the newest and best translation of the Catholic Bible, has to say
on several important doctrines. And, by the way, I would like to say
that this is an interesting translation and it is true to the
originals. You would be safe in reading it. I would not be embarrassed
or afraid at all for Protestants to have this Bible and read it. Though
some of the notes in it I would not agree to, the translation itself is
an honest and good translation. And the surprising and happy thing about
it is that, this coming through the translation of the Latin Vulgate
which was translated by St. Jerome, and the King James translation which
came from the original Hebrew and Greek and copied manuscripts, come out
almost word for word the same.
There are a few words different, but there is no special difference in
meaning when there is a slight difference in the English wording. You
can put it down now that all good translations of the Bible come out
alike and teach the same doctrines exactly. And a Catholic Bible can be
relied upon to teach the truth, and so, of course, can the King James or
Revised Versions or the New American Standard Bible.
1 The Bible is
the Only Inspired, Infallible Authority
First, what does the Catholic Bible say about the Bible? What does the
Catholic Bible say about the authority of the Word of God? There are
some Protestants who do not believe in the authority of the Word of
God. There are modernists, there are unbelievers in the churches, there
are blind leaders of the blind, there are wolves in sheep’s clothing in
Protestant churches who do not believe the Bible, who do not believe it
is the authority of God. There are some Catholics who do not accept the
Bible very much and who do not follow it; but I want to remind you that
the Catholic Bible has a clear teaching about its own authority.
A. Traditions of Men Not Authoritative
Some of our Catholic friends would tell you that we are to go by the
traditions of the church. Suppose we read in this Catholic translation
of the Bible, the words of Jesus Christ on that matter. I turn to Mark,
chapter 7, and from this modern Catholic Bible, translated by Catholic
scholars, I read the words of Jesus Christ.
“Jesus and the Pharisees” is the heading here. I begin with verse 5:
“So the Pharisees and Scribes asked him, ‘Why do not thy disciples walk
according to the tradition of the ancients [In our translation it says,
‘the elders’. You see, there is not much difference], instead of eating
bread with defiled hands?’ But answering He said to them, ‘Well did
Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written, “This people honors
me with their lips, but their heart is far from me. But in vain do they
worship me, teaching for doctrines precepts of men”.’”
Now in this Catholic Bible Jesus quotes Isaiah, and says that some
people in vain worship God because they teach the precepts of men for
doctrines instead of teaching the Bible.
I read on in this Catholic Bible about whether the Bible is the only
authority, or whether one can accept the traditions of the church. Jesus
goes on speaking in St. Mark 7:8.
“For, letting go the commandment of God, you hold fast the tradition of
men, the washing of pots and of cups; and many other things you do like
And now verse 13:
“And you do not allow him to do anything further for his father or
mother. You make void the commandment of God by your tradition, which
you have handed down; and many such like things you do.”
This Catholic Bible, quoting Jesus Christ, says that it is wrong to go
by handed-down traditions, and that, instead, everybody ought to go by
the Bible itself. You see, the Catholic Bible says exactly what we
should say in our churches, and not the popes, not Baptist seminaries,
not denominational headquarters. No! No! Not traditions of men, but the
Word of God is the only authority on earth that tells us what God would
have us do.
B. May the Church Add to or Take From the Bible ?
Now let us see what this Catholic version says about adding to and
taking from the Word of God. Some people say. “Brother Rice, don’t you
think it is all right to change things if we find it does not fit for
this age ?” Some people say, “Well, never mind what they did in Bible
times. Let’s change it to fit our plans today.”
And some of our Catholic friends in practice have changed. For instance,
there was a time when the Catholic people had what they call the mass,
the Eucharist, what we call the Lord’s Supper, in “two kinds” which
means that they originally gave both bread and wine, or grape juice, to
all the worshippers who took part, as we do. But they changed that and
now the priest drinks the wine and gives the bread to the people. I am
not criticizing; I just want to show you the danger here. What does the
Bible say about adding to or taking from or changing the Word of God?
Now listen very carefully. Suppose the Bible says preachers should
marry. Should the church change that? Would a church have the right to
say that priests ought not to marry and change what the Bible said, if
the Bible commanded them to marry? We will read in the Apocalypse
22:18-19. If you have a Protestant Bible it is the book of Revelation.
If you have a Catholic Bible the same portion of Scripture is called
Apocalypse. In Revelation, chapter 22, or the Apocalypse, chapter 22, I
read to you, beginning with the verse 18.
“I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book.
If anyone shall add to them, God will add unto him the plagues that are
written in this book. And if anyone shall take away from the words of
the book of this prophecy, God will take away his portion from the tree
of life, and from the holy city, and from the things that are written in
Oh, may we then with a holy reverence handle this Word of God, for if we
add to the Word of God we add to ourselves the plagues written in the
book! If we take from the Word of God by our traditions, then the
Scripture says that God will take away from us our part from the tree of
life and from the holy city and from the things that are written
therein. So you see, then, what the Catholic Bible says about the Bible
— that we are not to go by any tradition handed down from the ancients
or elders, but that we are to go by the Word of God itself, by the
Bible, and that anyone who adds to the Bible or takes from the Bible is
under a terrible curse from God !
Oh, then, to reverence this Bible, the Holy Bible! That is the teaching
of the Catholic Bible, everywhere accepted among Catholics. And of
course it is the teaching of the Protestant Bible, too. All of us alike,
then, Catholics and Protestants, should have a holy reverence for the
authority of the Word of God and follow that and not what any man’s
tradition or church’s tradition may say.
2 What the
Catholic Bible Teaches About the Virgin Mary
Here is another interesting question. What about the Virgin Mary? There
are modernists who are infidels in the churches, as well as infidels and
atheists on the outside of the churches, who make fun of the virgin
birth of Christ. I make bold to say now that our Catholic friends have
done a real service in insisting on the virgin birth of our Saviour. I
join them in that insistence. Mary was a virgin when the Saviour was
conceived. She was still a virgin when He was born. Jesus had no human
father. I join my Catholic friends in doing honor to her as the virgin
mother of our Saviour.
A. The Virgin Birth of Christ
But now then, I say, the infidel does not believe in the virgin birth.
Now let us see what the Catholic Bible says about it. I am glad to say
that I believe what the Catholic Bible says, and I know you will be
greatly impressed and interested in it, as I am. In St. Luke, chapter
1, beginning with verse 30; an angel came to Mary to announce the birth
of the Saviour:
“And the angel said to her, ‘Do not be afraid, Mary, for thou hast found
grace with God. And behold, thou shall conceive in thy womb and shall
bring forth a son; and thou shall call his name Jesus. He shall be
great, and shall be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God
will give him the throne of David his father, and he shall be king over
the house of Jacob forever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.’
“But Mary said to the angel, ‘How shall this happen, since I do not know
“And the angel answered and said to her, ‘The Holy Spirit shall come
upon thee and the power of the Most High shall overshadow thee; and
therefore the Holy One to be born shall be called the Son of God’.’’
Thank God, the Catholic Bible teaches that Jesus was born of a virgin
and is therefore the very Son of God! On that we can agree certainly.
All true believers, all true Christians must acknowledge that Jesus was
born of a virgin as no one else was ever born, just as the Bible — the
Catholic Bible and the Protestant Bible alike — teaches.
B. Was Mary Sinless?
Was Mary herself a sinless and perfect woman? Would she be worthy of our
worship? Was she herself immaculately conceived? What about Mary? Well,
let’s see what the Catholic Bible says - not what vain men say, but what
the Bible says. Verses 46 and 47:
“And Mary said, ‘My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in
God my Saviour; because he has regarded the lowliness of his handmaid’.”
What is that? Mary said, “Oh, my soul magnifies the Lord and my spirit
“Are you rejoicing about the Baby, God has given to you ?’’
“Yes,” Mary said.
“What is that you called Him, Mary?”
“My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God
Did Mary believe that Jesus who was conceived in her was God Almighty,
God incarnate? Yes. Do you mean that Mary needed a Saviour? Surely! What
was she praising God for? For a Saviour! That is what the Catholic Bible
says. The Catholic Bible teaches, as all good translations teach, that
when Mary learned she was to be the mother of the Saviour she called Him
“God my Saviour” and said, “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit
I will read you what St. Augustine said of that very matter as quoted in
a footnote in this same Catholic New Testament, page 100: “St. Augustine
says that Mary was more blessed in that she believed in Christ, than in
that she had given Him birth. (‘De virginibus,’ III).”
So what about Mary? Mary was a sinner, as we all are, and she was saved
by faith in Christ. Mary was a good woman, a virgin; but she was saved
and called Jesus her Saviour. She trusted Him, was born again and
rejoiced in God her Saviour. She needed to be saved just as anybody
else. She was not then sinless; she was not worthy of worship. She was
good woman by human standards, but in God’s sight, as every other good
woman, she needed saving. And she rejoiced in Christ her God and
Saviour, so says the Scripture. Isn’t that interesting ?
C. Jesus said all who do the Will of His Father are as good as Mary
Here is another thing about Mary in which you will be interested, I
know. Let us read in Mark, chapter 3, and see further what this Catholic
translation says about Mary, whether we can go to her in prayer, whether
she will get God to do things, whether she will get Christ to do things.
Can we pray to her better than to Jesus? Listen now to Mark, chapter 3,
beginning with verse 31: “Jesus and His Brethren” is the heading here.
“And his mother and his brethren came, and standing outside, they sent
to him, calling him. Now a crowd was sitting about him and said to him,
‘Behold, thy mother and thy brethren are outside, seeking thee.’ And he
answered and said to them ‘Who are my mother and my brethren?’ And
looking round on those who were sitting about him he said, ‘Behold my
mother and brethren. For whoever does the will of God, he is my brother
and sister and mother’.”
What is that He is saying? He says, “Anybody who does the will of God is
as good as My mother, as good as My brothers or as good as Sisters.” Of
course the brothers He had in mind there, are His half brothers born of
Joseph and Mary, but the point here is that according to this Catholic
Bible it is clearly taught, as it is in all good translations, of
course, that Mary was no different in the sight of Christ from others
who do the will of God.
“She said, ‘Tell Jesus I want to see Him. Tell Him we are out here
“They said, ‘Master, Your mother and Your brethren are outside’.
“He said, ‘Who is My mother? Who are My brothers? These are My mothers
and brothers and sisters. Whoever does the will of God is My mother and
brother and sister’.”
Oh, don’t you see that you could not get any more by going to Mary than
you could by getting any other good Christian to pray for you? That is
what the Catholic Bible teaches. Some false ideas have gotten abroad.
They did not start in the Catholic Bible. Let us remember that. This is
a good Bible and all good Catholics ought to read it, and Protestants
would do well to read it too, or your own Bible, because there would be
no essential difference in it at all. Jesus said, “Whoever does the
will of God he is my brother and sister and mother.” Remember these
words of Jesus Christ in Mark 3:35.
Let me also read from this Catholic New Testament on
praise of Mary”
from Luke 11:27-28:
“Now it came to pass as he was saying these things, that a certain woman
lifted up her voice from the crowd, and said to him, ‘Blessed is the
womb that bore thee, and the breasts that nursed thee.’ But he said,
‘Rather, blessed are they who hear the word of God and keep it’.”
It is more blessed for a woman to put her trust in Jesus, be saved, read
the Word and follow it, than it would be to be even the mother of Jesus
3 Is the
Catholic Pope Infallible?
Here is another thing. Somebody now says, “Well the pope is infallible.”
Let us see what the Catholic Bible says about it. We do not want to go
by what some man says. Let us see what the Catholic authority, the real
Catholic authority and the authority of all other true Christians,
says. Turn to Galatians, chapter 2, and begin with verse 11. The heading
in this Catholic Bible is,
“Paul Reproves Peter.”
“But when Cephas came to Antioch, I withstood him to his face, because
he was deserving of blame. For before certain persons came from James,
he used to eat with the Gentiles; but when they came, he began to
withdraw and to separate himself, fearing the circumcised. And the rest
of the Jews dissembled
[that means they deceived or played the hypocrite]
along with him, so that Barnabas also was led away by them into that
dissimulation. But when I saw that they were not walking uprightly
according to the truth of the gospel, I said to Cephas before them all:
‘If you, though a Jew, live like the Gentiles, and not like the Jews,
how is it that you dost compel the Gentiles to live like the Jews?’”
Paul says, “I withstood him to his face.” The heading in this Catholic
Bible is, “Paul Reproves Peter.” And Peter dissembled, that is, he made
out like he would not have anything to do with Gentile converts; he was
too good a Jew. Then Paul rebuked him and said right to his face, “You
Was Peter, then, infallible? Was he infallible in doctrine? Was he
infallible in life? Was he infallible in leadership? No, not according
to the Bible. Not according to the Protestant Bible or the Catholic
Bible. Peter was a good man; he was saved; he loved the Lord, but he was
a little hotheaded and he made mistakes. Popes are human beings. Some of
them have been very good human beings; some of them have been pretty
sorry. We could say the same thing for some Protestant preachers, of
No, there was no inherent righteousness or authority in a Catholic pope,
nor in a Protestant bishop — both of them are human beings; both need to
be saved by the blood like anybody else. Incidentally, that is the
reason that the Pope at Rome in the Vatican has a private father
confessor to whom he may confess his sins. That is not a joke. All good
Catholic leaders know that. What I am saying is, then, that this is the
Catholic Bible’s teaching about papal infallibility.
4 What Does
the Catholic Bible Teach About Priest’s Marrying?
Next, should preachers marry, or priests marry? That is an interesting
question. Suppose we turn to the case of Peter. Our Catholic friends say
that Peter was the first pope. You must not be angry with them. You
probably misunderstood what our Catholic friends mean. All they really
mean, I should think, is that Peter was the first of the twelve
apostles. And they think — and here we differ with them — that these
twelve apostles were the starting of a human organization that was
handed down, becoming, they say, the Roman Church. In that sense they
say that Peter was the first pope. That is generally what Catholic
scholars mean when they talk about it.
A. Was Peter Married?
Now let us see about Peter. Was Peter married? That would be
interesting, wouldn’t it? What would you think about a Catholic pope
that was married? Well, let us see about Simon Peter. Turn to Mark,
chapter 1, verse 29 and following:
“And as soon as they came out of the synagogue, they, with James and
John, came to the house of Simon
[that is another name for Peter, you know]
and Andrew. Now Simon’s mother-in-law
[in our Bible it says, Simon’s wife’s mother. This is a little neater,
don’t you think?]
was keeping her bed sick with a fever, and they immediately told him
about her. And drawing near, he took her by the hand and raised her up;
and the fever left her at once, and she began to wait on them.”
Isn’t that interesting? Simon Peter was married. His mother-in-law lived
with them. She was sick and Jesus healed her. Simon Peter, then, was
married, wasn’t he?
B A Priest Should Be “Married but Once,” “Keeping His Children Under
Should preachers marry? We found that Peter had a mother-in-law. He had
a family. Now preachers or priests today — should they marry or not? In
I Timothy, chapter 3, we read in the Catholic translation, under the
“Qualities of a Bishop”
“This saying is true: If anyone is eager for the office of bishop, he
desires a good work. A bishop then, must be blameless, married but once,
reserved, prudent, of good conduct, hospitable, a teacher, not a drinker
or a brawler, but moderate, not quarrelsome, not avaricious. He should
rule well his own household, keeping his children under control and
perfectly respectful. For if a man cannot rule his own household, how is
he to take care of the church of God?”
Notice that this Bible says that a bishop should be married (should have
but one wife at a time). He should be married, he should have children,
he should mark them to obey him respectfully, the Scripture says.
Now there is a note at the bottom of the page in the Catholic Bible
“Bishop: represents a Greek word meaning ‘overseer’, and ‘presbyter’
another Greek word meaning ‘elder.’ In St. Paul’s epistles, ‘bishop’ and
‘presbyter’ seem to be used convertible, and probably priests are here
included under the term ‘bishops’.” “Married but once: priestly celibacy
as a law is of later ecclesiastical institution.”
What do the Catholic translators mean? They mean that it was not found
in the Bible. “Ecclesiastical” means “of the church.” It was an
institution the church founded later, to have priests be celibate, that
is, they are not to marry. In other words, that is a human tradition.
But the Bible plainly says that priests are to marry, or bishops are to
marry. “A bishop then, must be blameless, married but once.” The bishop
or priest, says this Catholic Bible, “should rule well his own
household, keeping his children under control.”
5 Is the
Sacrifice of the Mass Right and Scriptural?
Our Catholic friends would be interested, and everybody else who makes a
study of comparative religions, and comparison of Catholicism and
Protestantism, in the question of the mass. Our Catholic friends are
reverent, and I may say now, I want to thank God that our Catholic
friends have made much of the bleeding wounds of Christ. I thank God
they believe in the blood. On some things I differ with them, but I want
to give honor to whom honor is due. A Catholic priest, or a Catholic
teacher, for example, who honors the blood of Christ, and believes the
blood of Jesus was poured out to pay for sin, I honor far more than a
modernist in a Protestant pulpit who does not believe in the blood.
Now let us see what the Catholic Bible says. Our Catholic friends in the
mass ‘elevate the host.’ That means, as I understand them, that the
priest elevates the bread and wine. After the prayer of the priest and
the consecration, this bread actually becomes the body of the Lord
Jesus and this wine actually becomes the blood of the Lord Jesus, they
say, and then they offer it as a sacrifice again. Every time the mass is
said, there is a new sacrifice made of the body and blood of Christ.
If I understand my Catholic friends correctly, and I think I do, that is
just about their position, that is, actually converting the bread into
the body of Jesus and the wine into His blood, and whether one can tell
the difference in the taste or not, or by chemical analysis or not, in
God’s sight, and for its practical efficacy, they say, it actually
becomes the body and blood of Jesus, and it is offered anew every time
the mass is said.
Now what does this Catholic Bible say about it? Is there a need for more
sacrifices day by day? If someone dies shall we have masses said for his
soul? Shall we have more masses said as a new sacrifice for sin? What
about that? I turn in this Catholic Bible to Hebrews chapter 10, verses
10 to 14:
“It is in this ‘will’ that we have been sanctified through the offering
of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.”
How many times? “Once for all,” this Catholic Bible says. Now listen:
“And every priest indeed stands daily ministering, and often offering
the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins; but Jesus, having
offered one sacrifice for sins, has taken his seat forever at the right
hand of God, waiting thenceforth until his enemies be made the footstool
under his feet. For by one offering he has perfected forever those who
Let us read verse 18:
“Now where there is forgiveness of these, there is no longer offering
What does the Catholic Bible say about a need for new mass or new
sacrifice? “That we have been sanctified through the offering of the
body of Jesus Christ
once for all.”
And again, that “Jesus, having
offered one sacrifice for sins,
has taken his seat forever at the right hand of God.” And again, “For by
he has perfected forever those who are sanctified.” And again it says,
“Where there is forgiveness of these, there is no longer offering for
What is the teaching of the Catholic Bible, then? That when Jesus died,
there was no more need for a priest and sacrifices.
My friends, some here will not quite understand why I am called a
preacher, and if it were a Catholic man as the head of his church, he
would be called a priest. Now what is the difference? This is it: that
I come and take my stand on this Catholic Bible or on all Bibles, for
it is the Word of God the same, and I take my stand that when Jesus
died, you do not need any more priests. Jesus Christ is the one Priest
who settled everything. What I mean is this: the only sacrifice, the
only official sacrifice that is ever needed to pay for sin has now
already been offered. Now we need preachers to proclaim it. We do not
need priests to make sacrifices.
That is the point of the Catholic Bible here. I am not saying anything
unkind; I am saying what the Roman Catholic translation of the Bible
clearly teaches, that Jesus Christ is the only hope, and when He pays
the price, it is all paid forever. And one ought to trust in Jesus
Christ and have it settled on His blood that paid the whole debt for
mankind forever when He died on the cross. Do you see what I mean, and
what the Catholic Bible teaches here? The death of Christ ended all
sacrifices for sin. There is room for the Lord’s supper as a memorial,
an object lesson, but it should not be made as a sacrifice for sins.
Mediator Can a Sinner Have?
Let us see another thing that will be of interest. To whom shall we go
for pardon? We come close to the plan of salvation, and that is the most
“important matter for a Catholic. It is the most important matter for a
Protestant. How can I be saved? A Catholic friend who has a rosary —
some beads on a string — does not mean that rosary to be idolatry. No,
that is not the point. These beads are only a convenient reminder to say
a prayer for this, that or the other; a particular kind of prayer; to
say so many prayers. We are not discussing the use of beads. That is not
the point. The point is: to whom shall I pray? Shall I pray to Mary the
virgin? Or shall I pray to the saints? Or shall I go and confess to a
priest? Who can be a mediator? Can the priest go into the matter and
offer some mass for me, or say some prayers for me? Shall I pray to the
saints? Or shall I pray to the Virgin Mary?
Or are there some good people who are called saints, who have been
canonized? They have done a super abundance of good works and they have
some credit left, it may be thought — should I go and pray to them? Our
Catholic friends think so. Now what does the Catholic Bible say about to
whom I should pray, and how I should come to God?
Now this is interesting. Aren’t you finding the Catholic Bible
wonderfully interesting? Aren’t you enjoying the Word of God in this
Catholic Bible? I do. Bless God for it! The Word of God is sweet
anywhere. And I would have you come to the point where, when it is the
Word of God, it is sweet to you. What if it does come from a Catholic
printing house? What if they were Catholic priests who translated it?
Just so long as they reverently bring to us the very Word of God, then
we should so regard it and should live by it, shouldn’t we?
I turn to 1 Timothy, chapter 2 and begin with verse 5:
“For there is one God, and one Mediator between God and men, himself
man, Christ Jesus, who gave himself a ransom for all, bearing witness
in his own time.”
Now let me give it to you in the King James Version from which I usually
preach, and you will find a difference in only a word or two:
“For there is one God
(exactly the same),
and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus
(The Catholic translation says: ‘himself man, Christ Jesus.’)
; Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.”
The Catholic translation says: “Who gave himself a ransom for all,
bearing witness in his own time.”
It is exactly the same. How do I come to God, then?
“There is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ
Jesus.” Or “there is one God and one Mediator between God and man,
himself man, Christ Jesus, who gave himself a ransom for all, bearing
witness in his own time.”
I was in Washington, D.C. and preached in the Non-sectarian Tabernacle
one morning on, “Ye Must Be Born Again.” I could have preached it from a
Catholic Bible, but I didn’t. I will read it to you in a moment. I
remember that in the service a number of people were saved. One woman
who seemed deeply concerned whispered to her friend. This friend came up
to see me and she said, “Brother Rice, the lady with me wonders if you
would be willing to talk to her after the service.”
“Surely I would,” I said.
When the service was dismissed, she came forward and we sat to one side.
She said, “Dr. Rice, I have two things I want to say. The first one is
an apology. I owe you and everybody here an apology.”
“I didn’t see anything wrong,” I said. “What have you done?”
She said, “I didn’t believe God was in this place. I had never been to a
Protestant service and I did not believe God would be in it. But He is.
God is here this morning. And you are God’s man. And these are good
people here. God is here for He talked to my heart. I know God is in
this place and I want to apologize that I ever felt God would not be in
a Protestant service, that God would not talk through a Protestant
preacher.” She said, “I know I was wrong, and I am sorry.”
“Well,” I said, “that is all right. I am glad you felt that God was here
and that He spoke to your heart. Now what is the other thing?”
She said, “The other thing is, what do you mean about being born again?
I have never been born again. I pray. I go to confession. I go to mass.
I do whatever they tell me. I say my prayers. But, she said, “I have
never been born again.” I did not know that you had to be born again.
How would you go about getting born again?”
I said, “I will tell you. There is a verse I think you would like.” I
turned to this verse I have just read to you in the Catholic Bible, and
read it. I said, “Now you look on with me,” and she did. “For there is
one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; Who
gave himself a ransom for all.” I said, “Now I will tell you what to do:
you look at that verse. You want to know really what it takes to come to
“All right. You look at that verse, and I will ask you a Bible
She said, “But I don’t know much about the Bible.
I said, “You don’t need to. You just look on and read, and answer from
the Bible. Don’t try to make up your own answer. How many Gods are
She smiled. “That was easy. There is just one God.”
I said, “I know there is, but I want you to look on, and read it in the
words of the Bible.”
So she read it: “For there is one God.”
That was easy, I said, “Now here is another Bible question. Look at this
verse, 1 Timothy 2:5. How many mediators are there between God and men?”
She began to knit her brows. I said, “Never mind. I don’t want you to
think about it and decide for yourself. Look and see what God said.”
So she read it. “For there is one God and one Mediator between God and
“Just one Mediator?”
“Yes,” she said, “just one.”
“All right. Now listen. Here is another question, and this one is very
important. There is just one Mediator. Who is that? Is that a preacher
like I am, a minister?”
She was a little puzzled, but she looked at the Scripture. She said,
“No, it is not a preacher.”
I said, “Is it a priest ?”
“No, it isn’t a priest.”
I said, “Is it the saints ?”
She said, “No.”
She was getting a little uneasy. I said, “Is it the Virgin Mary? Is she
She said, “No, no, it is not the Virgin Mary.”
By this time her lips were quivering. I said, “Well, who is it?”
She read it from the Bible: “The man Christ Jesus, who gave himself a
ransom for all; He is the only Mediator.”
I said, “Do you see what I mean about how to come to God? A preacher
cannot do it for you. A priest cannot do it for you. The saints cannot
do it for you. The Virgin Mary cannot do it for you. There is just one
go-between, just one Conciliator, there is just one Priest, or Lawyer,
or Mediator. Who is that one?”
She said, “The man, Christ Jesus.”
By this time it was all very plain.
“Don’t you see? You know that He died for sinners?”
“And He is ready to go to God for you. You do not have to go to the
priest to get him to do it. You do not have to come to me to get me to
do it for you. You do not have to go to the Virgin Mary. You just go to
Jesus Christ. He died for you. He loves you. He will forgive you.”
She was ready then. We bowed our heads and asked Jesus Christ to come in
and forgive her and to be her Mediator, her Redeemer; to be her
peacemaker with God; to be her Advocate with the Father; to be her High
Priest. And she let Jesus come into her heart. We had a joyful time! She
had her handkerchief drying her tears. She said to me, “You know, I
would never have believed that if you had not shown it to me in the
Well, I am showing it to you in the Catholic Bible. Do you want to know
how to get to God? I would not say one word against the Virgin Mary.
Bless God, she was the most blessed among women because she was the
mother of our Lord! But she called Him “Saviour.”
I will read you again what St. Augustine said. It is copied here in the
footnote in this Catholic Bible, page 100. Thank God for St. Augustine,
that great doctor of Hippo, a real earnest man he was, a father in the
Roman Church. If you have read St. Augustine’s Confessions, you have
found that they are very sweet and good. Now listen: “St. Augustine says
that Mary was more blessed in that she believed in Christ than in that
she had given Him birth. (‘De virginibus’ III).” Mary trusted in Christ
as her Saviour, and so must you, if you would be saved.
7 How to be
Saved According to the Catholic Bible?
How can a person be saved according to the Catholic Bible? Let us turn
to the first chapter of the Gospel of John, verses 11, 12 and 13:
“He came unto his own, and his own received him not. But to as many as
received him he gave the power of becoming sons of God; to those who
believe in his name; who were born not of blood, nor of the will of the
flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.”
What does the Catholic Bible say? “He came unto his own, and his own
received him not. But to as many as received him he gave the power of
becoming sons of God.” Everybody who would receive Jesus, He would make
sons of God, even to those who believe in His name. And they were born,
He said, of God.
Now turn to the third chapter of John. In our Bible the first verses
“There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews:
The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, ‘Rabbi, we know that
thou art a teacher come from God; for no man can do this miracles that
thou doest, except God be with him’.”
The Catholic translation reads:
“Now there was a certain man among the Pharisees, Nicodemus by name, a
ruler of the Jews. This man came to Jesus at night, and said to him,
‘Rabbi, we know that thou hast come a teacher from God, for no one work
these signs that thou workest unless God be with him.’ Jesus answered
and said to him, ‘Amen, amen, I say to thee, unless a man be born again,
he cannot see the kingdom of God.’ “
The Catholic Bible says that unless you get born again, you can never
see the kingdom of God. You must have a new heart, you must be born from
Heaven. You must be born of the Spirit of God or you cannot get to
Heaven. I read on:
“Nicodemus said to him, ‘How can a man be born when he is old? Can he
enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born again?’”
“Jesus answered, ‘Amen, amen, I say to thee, unless a man be born again
of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God’.”
There is a note here that the Clementine Vulgate says: The word ‘Holy’
is added to ‘spirit’. ‘‘Unless a man be born again of water and the Holy
[that is the marginal reading here in this Catholic Bible]
he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh
is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not wonder
that I said to thee; ‘You must be born again’.”
Listen to me: “Is there a Protestant reading who is not converted? You
may be a member of a church — that is not enough. You must be born
Is there a Catholic friend reading who is not converted? You say, “Well,
I go to church. I go to confession. I go to mass.” Never mind. Let me
ask you this: Have you been born again? This Catholic Bible and the
Protestant Bible — suppose we quit saying Catholic Bible and the
Protestant Bible — and say, this Word of God says, “You must be born
again.” Do not wonder that I said to thee, “You must be born again,”
“Amen, amen, I say to thee, unless a man be born again, he cannot see
the kingdom of God.” That is what Jesus said in the Holy Bible. That is
what He has said in the Catholic translation, in the King James
translation and, in all the other translations.
Now I would like to read you the sweetest verse in the Bible. I suppose
it is that. More people love it, more people have been led to Heaven by
it, maybe, than any other. Here it is as we have it in this lovely
“For God so loved the world that he gave his only-begotten Son, that
those who believe in him
[whosoever in ours]
may not perish, but may have life everlasting.”
You say it in the King James Version:
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that
whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting
Oh, may God make these words clear on how to be saved! Whether
Protestant or Catholic — don’t you see the church will not do it? Don’t
you see a Baptist church will not do it? A Methodist church will not
make you a Christian. An Episcopal church will not make you a Christian.
A Lutheran church cannot save your soul. A Catholic church cannot save
your soul. Christ must do it. How does He do it?
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that
whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting
That is the way to be saved.
Do you want to be saved? God loves you. Isn’t that good news? I like for
anybody to love me. I am glad I have some friends who love me and pray
for me every day. But thanks be to God, He loves me and He gave His Son
for me. He gave His only begotten Son for you, too, “that whosoever,” or
that “those that believe in him may not perish, but may have life
Do you want to have that life in your heart, a new heart, be born again?
Do you want to be God’s own child? Don’t you see we preachers and
priests cannot make that? Don’t you see that Protestant churches cannot
do that, and Catholic churches cannot do it? Jesus Christ, the one
Mediator between God and men, has to do that. He will change your heart
tonight and give you peace and set a song ringing in your heart, and you
can go home happy in Jesus. Don’t you want that tonight?
Let me ask you a question. I am not asking what church you belong to; I
am asking how many can say, Brother Rice, one time I saw I was a sinner,
and I came to God and confessed it. I saw I was a sinner, and I
believed that Jesus died for me on the cross and I trusted Him to save
me and He did save me. I know in my heart I believed in Jesus as the
Catholic Bible says we must do, and I have this everlasting life. I put
my trust in Jesus as I would in a doctor when I am sick, as one would
risk a bank with his money. I have put my trust in Jesus and so I was
born again and got a “new heart.”
How many can say, “Thank God I have been converted or born again, or I
have personally trusted Jesus to be my Saviour to take my sins away?”
How many can say, “I thank God I know I have been”? (Many raise hands).
Isn’t that good? Catholics, Methodists, Baptists, Lutherans, and — all
just as long as you honestly have come to Jesus and trusted Him, you are
saved. Thank you. God bless you.
DECIDE FOR JESUS
No matter whether you are a Protestant or Catholic, if you have not
personally put your trust in Jesus Christ, depending on Him to save you
once for all, you have no right to say you are a Christian. The Catholic
Bible and the Protestant Bible alike say that you must be born again,
you must have a new heart. And the Scriptures say that if you will
personally trust Christ as your own Saviour, He will forgive you and
give you everlasting life. Will you trust Christ this very moment to be
your own Saviour and give Him your heart forever?
The Lord Jesus must be received as Saviour and Lord
It is the LORD JESUS who is the Way, and the Entrance into the kingdom.
It is into His kingdom that we must be transferred. Look at the
following Bible verses very carefully and you will see that Jesus MUST
become our PERSONAL Saviour.
“And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under
heaven that has been given among men, by which we must be saved.”
“But as many as RECEIVED Him, to them He gave the right to become
children of God, even to those who believe in His name.”
“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son that
whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.”
“He who believes in-the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey
the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.”
(John 3: 36)
“That if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your
heart that God raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved.”
It was the Lord Jesus who died for us. It is He who paid the penalty for
our sins. It is only on the basis of His sacrifice at Calvary that our
sins can be forgiven. So it is essential that we receive Him, accept His
sacrifice for us, and trust Him to save us.
What does it mean to receive Christ as Saviour and Lord? There are three
steps you must take.
your sin to God, and ask His forgiveness. This means also an attitude or
willingness to forsake sin.
“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our
sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
(I John 1:9)
the Lord Jesus to come into your heart and life, to be your Saviour and
Master. This is more than merely
Him to fulfil His promises — to forgive you; to make you His own ; to
come into your heart; to deliver you from Satan’s kingdom; implant you
in the kingdom of Light; to make you a genuine child of God; to do the
miracle of New
Birth in you; to put His Holy Spirit within you; and to keep you as His
own; and to write your name in the “Book of Life.”
It is by faith — by SIMPLE TRUST in the Lord, that He becomes real to
us. It is simple trust that the Lord honours. He is waiting and knocking
at the door of your heart, just wanting to come in to fulfil His word:
“Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if any one hears my voice and
opens the door, I will come in to him, and will dine with him, and he
with Me.” (Revelation
Will you open the door and do your part, right now? If you do your part,
He will definitely do His.
Just come to Him in prayer, just where you are. Kneel if you can, and
take these 3 steps.
When you have done that, then THANK HIM for answering. For if you have
been sincere in your heart, He will immediately answer but you may or
may not have new feelings immediately, the peace and joy of the Lord
will follow in the days ahead.
“And it shall be, that every one who calls on the name of the Lord shall
(Acts 2 : 21)
We will be glad to hear from you if you have received the Lord Jesus
today. Write a short line, and tell us of your decision; and request
some literature to help you grow in the Lord.
WHO FOUND CHRIST
I was born in Venice, north of Italy, on March 22, 1917. At the age
often I was sent to a Roman Catholic Seminary in Piacenza, and ordained
a priest, after 12 years of study, on October 22, 1939.
Two months later Cardinal R. Rossi my superior, sent me to America as
assistant pastor of the new Italian Church of Blessed Mother Cabrini, in
Chicago. For four years I preached in Chicago, and later in New York. I
never questioned if my sermons or instructions were according to the
Bible. My only work and ambition was to please the Pope.
It was on a Sunday, February, 1944, when I turned on the radio and
accidentally turned in on a Protestant church program. The pastor was
giving his message. I was going to change the program because I was not
to listen to protestant sermons, but interested, I do not know why — I
My old theology was shaken by one text from the Bible I heard over the
radio: “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved.”
Therefore, it is not a sin against the Holy Spirit to believe that one
I was not yet converted, but my mind was full of doubts about the Roman
religion. I was beginning to worry about the teachings of the Bible more
than about the dogma and decrees of my Pope. People were giving me,
every day, a generous offering for thirty minutes of ceremony called
Mass, because I promised them to relieve the souls of their relatives
from the fires of purgatory. But every time I looked at the big
crucifix upon the altar it seemed to me that Christ was rebuking me,
“You are stealing money from poor, hard-working people by false
promises. You teach doctrines against my teaching. Souls of believers do
not go to a place of torment, because I have said, ‘Blessed are the dead
who die in the Lord, from henceforth now says the Spirit, that they may
rest from their labours’. (Rev. 14:13). I do not need a repetition of
the sacrifices of the cross because My sacrifice was complete. My work
of salvation was perfect and God has sanctioned it by raising Me from
the dead. ‘For by one suffering He has perfected forever those who are
sanctified’ (Heb. 10:14). If you priests and the pope have the power of
liberating souls from purgatory with Masses and indulgences, why do you
wait for an offering?”
I could no longer face Christ on the altar. When I was preaching that
the pope is the vicar of Christ, the successor of Peter, the infallible
rock upon which Christ’s church was built, a voice seemed to rebuke me
“You saw the Pope in Rome; his large, rich palace; his guards; men
kissing his feet. Do you really believe that he represents me? I came
to serve the people; I washed men’s feet; I had nowhere to lay my head.
Look at me upon the cross. Do you really believe that God has built His
church upon a man when the Bible clearly says that Christ’s Vicar on
earth is the Holy Spirit, and not a man? (John 14:26). ‘And that rock
was Christ’. If the Roman Church is built upon a man then it is not my
I was teaching my people to go to Mary, to the saints, instead of going
directly to Christ. But a voice within me was saying: “Who has saved you
upon the cross? Who paid your debts by shedding His blood? Mary, the
Saints, or I, Jesus? You, and many other priests do not believe in
scapulars, novenas, rosaries, statues, candles; but you continue to keep
them in your churches because they are a good source of income. But I do
not want any merchandising in my church. My believers should adore me —
spirit and truth. Destroy these idols.”
Where my doubts were really tormenting me was inside the confessional
box. People were coming to me, kneeling before me, confessing their sins
to me. And I, with a sign of the cross was promising that I had the
power to forgive their sins. I, a sinner, a man, was taking God’s place,
God’s right and that terrible voice was penetrating me, saying, “You are
depriving God of His glory. If sinners want to obtain forgiveness of
their sins they must go to God and not to you. It is God’s law they have
broken. To God therefore, they must make confession; to God alone they
must pray for forgiveness. No man can forgive sins, but Jesus can and
does forgive sins.”
“‘You shall call his name JESUS, for He shall save His people from their
“There is no other name under heaven given among men whereby we must be
“For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man
(1 Timothy 2:5)
I could not stay any longer in the Roman Catholic Church because I could
not continue to serve two masters, the Pope and Christ. I could not
believe two contradictory teachings, tradition and the Bible. I had to
choose between Christ and the Pope; between tradition and the Bible; and
I have chosen Christ and the Bible. I left the Roman priesthood and the
Roman religion in 1944 and now I have been led by the Holy Spirit to
evangelize Roman Catholics and urge, with lectures in churches, colleges
and public places, Christians to witness without fear in order to gain
their Roman Catholic friends to Christ.
Friend, if my testimony has touched your heart, and you realize your
need of Christ’s salvation from sin, as I did, and His forgiveness and
peace, will you with a broken heart call upon the Lord Jesus Christ to
save you now, for He said: “Him who comes to me, I will not cast out.”
WAS PETER THE
By Dr. R. L. MOYER
(Quotations in the article are from the Douay-Roman Catholic translation
of the Bible)
We are here concerned with the claim made by the Roman Catholic church
concerning Peter. Was he the first pope?
“The pope is the bishop of Rome, supreme pontiff and visible head of
the Roman Catholic Church, accounted by that church the vicar of Christ
and successor of St. Peter, formerly temporal ruler also of the states
of the church, and still recognized as dependent sovereign prince. He
is elected by the college of cardinals and usually from their own
(New Standard Dictionary)
The word “pontiff” means a high priest of any religion, and is used by
the Catholics for the supreme or sovereign, Pontiff. The word “vicar”
means one who is appointed to perform functions in the place of
We believe that we can show from the Roman Catholic Bible that the
claims made by the church are without scriptural foundation, and that
Peter was never pope.
It is amazing what Roman Catholics would learn if they would read their
Never Called Pope
The word “Pope” is not found in the Bible. As far as that is concerned,
neither are such titles as cardinal, archbishop, archpriest, archdeacon,
or many other titles in current Christendom.
Furthermore, W. H. Withrow, in his “Catacombs of Rome,” page 509,
declares that the word “pope” does not occur in the Catacombs until at
least the latter part of the fourth century. We believe that title was
first given to the bishop of Rome in 610 A.D. by the wicked emperor,
Never Called the Bishop of Rome
The Catholics so claim, but we challenge them to produce proof for the
claim. In all of the New Testament, not a single word proves it. Indeed,
there is not one word in Scripture to prove that Peter ever was at Rome.
The new Testament tells us that Peter went to Antioch, to Samaria, to
Joppa, to Caesarea, but not to Rome ; a strange omission in the light of
the claim that for twenty-five years he was in Rome as the bishop of
The Roman Church claims that he suffered martyrdom there with Paul after
a pontificate of twenty-five years. If we accept 66 A.D. as the date of
Paul’s martyrdom, that would mean that Peter was in Rome from 41 A.D. to
66 A.D., but about 44 A.D. he was in the council in Jerusalem (Acts 15).
About S3 A.D. Paul joined him in Antioch.
(Galatians 2: 11)
About 58 A.D. Paul wrote his letter to the Romans in which he sent
greetings to twenty-seven persons, but does not mention Peter. In none
of the church epistles written from Rome is Peter mentioned.
Paul’s last letter from Rome was 2nd Timothy. In it he says, “At my
first answer no man stood with me, but all forsook me.” (4:16). Where
was Peter if he was in Rome? In the same epistle, just before his
martyrdom, Paul said, “Only Luke is with me.” (4:11)
Paul had written to Rome, he had been in Rome and he wrote from Rome,
but he never mentioned Peter. Instead of that he wrote, “only Luke is
with me.” Peter may never have been in Rome. He was never pope.
Peter Was A
He lacked papal celibacy.
“And Simon’s wife” Matthew 8:14: “And when Jesus was come into Peter’s
house, He saw his wife’s mother lying, and sick of a fever.”
Peter was a married man. Why should Romanists damn Luther because he
married? Why shouldn’t they all marry? Still it remains that one cannot
be married and be a bishop, or priest, or cardinal, or pope — but Peter
The Roman Catholic Church explains this by saying Peter ceased to live
with his wife. Now, if Peter ceased to live with his wife, either she
left him or he left his wife. Did Peter’s wife leave him? If so why?
Incompatibility? Maybe she didn’t leave him; maybe he left her. If so,
he was a wife deserter. In either case, he was a poor foundation for a
Look at I Timothy 3:2, “It behoveth, therefore, a bishop to be
blameless, the husband of one wife.” A note in the Douay version says,
“The meaning is that every bishop should have a wife.” I think that is
right, but Rome won’t let any bishop have a wife, and Peter HAD a wife.
A priest, a bishop must be a celibate. Why can he not marry? Apparently,
in order to be holy. Is it holier to be single and called “father” than
to be married? It seems that it is holier to be unmarried than married
and yet the Roman Catholic Church calls marriage a sacrament.
Supremacy is Not Scriptural
Peter had certain characteristics which made him a leader, true enough,
but Jesus refused to recognize any pope among His disciples. Matthew
“But you do not be called Rabbi. For one is your master; and all you are
call none your father
upon earth; for one is your father, who is in heaven. Neither be called
masters; for one is your master, Christ. He that is the greatest among
you shall be your servant. And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be
humbled; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted.”
The above Scripture does not mean that you cannot call the one who begat
you, “father.” This is done over and over in Scripture.
It does mean that no one should call a man “father” as is done in
Catholicism. A man who assumes this title arrogates to himself the title
and prerogative of God. It is not the title itself that is of supreme
importance. The Lord is forbidding the recognition of any man’s power to
impart by ceremony or in any other way, spiritual life to any fellow
The father is the one who begets, the one from whom life comes. You
should never recognize any man who claims to be able by sacramentarian
grace, or any other thing, to communicate life to your soul. The life of
God in the soul of a man must come by the begetting of God. We must be
careful not to give to any man, place and honor which does not belong to
We must not allow any man to come between ourselves and Christ. There
are no priests who can atone for us. There are no mediators who can
undertake to manage our souls with God.
Acts 15 reports a church council in Jerusalem, discussing the relation
of the Gentiles to the law, to circumcision, etc. In this council,
Peter, Barnabas and Paul gave reports: then James rendered the decision
— NOT PETER. Read Acts 15:13-20:
“And after they had held there peace. James answered saying: ‘Men,
brethren, hear me, Simon hath related how God first visited to take of
the Gentiles a people to his name’ ...” (13,
14 and 19)
Again, in Galatians 2:11, Paul rebukes Peter openly because of
blame-worthy actions. Certainly Paul took a privilege which no one would
take toward the pope today. In Galatians 2:8-10, Peter is named with
others as a pillar of the church, but no supremacy. In Acts 8:14, we
are told that Peter was sent by others to preach and help in the work of
Rev. M.D. Forrest, M.Sc., in “Who Is The Pope ?” emphasizes the primacy
of Peter in John 21:15, 17, saying that Christ addressed Peter only when
He said, ‘Lovest thou me more than these? Feed ‘my lambs.’ “ The reason
Christ addressed Peter only is not supremacy of Peter but that Peter
alone denied his Lord.
Over against his threefold denial we have the Lord’s threefold question
concerning the love which Peter declared to be greater than that of the
other disciples. We repeat, this is not a question of primacy but one of
confession in the light of his awful denial.
Peter Was Not
We are sure that there are some other things Rome claims for Peter that
he would never and could never claim for himself.
We have just mentioned a church conference in Jerusalem to decide
certain Gentile relationships. Why was such a discussion necessary if
the pope of that day was infallible and knew the truth? Why didn’t they
refer the whole matter to Peter and let him define and settle the duties
of the Gentiles ?
If the pope is infallible, were all the popes infallible, or just
certain ones? R. Ditterich, in his book “Protestantism” states: “It is
argued that infallibility is necessary to keep the church’s unity. Did
Rome preserve unity in the eleventh century when there were three rival
popes at the same time, all of whom were deposed by a council convened
by the Emperor Henry III?
“Was there unity later on in the same century, when over and over again
there were rival popes? Clement III was opposed by Victor III and
afterwards by Urban II.
“Or was there unity in the twelfth century, when the ‘Great Schism’ took
place and lasted for fifty years? Italians elected Urban VI and the
French cardinals chose Clement VII. Popes cursed each other year after
year, until a council deposed both and elected another.
“If infallibility makes for unity, where was infallibility then?” Rome
explains away all these difficulties by drawing a distinction between
the pope’s private views and his utterances ‘ex cathedra,’ that is,
official utterances as sovereign pontiff. That is only a poor, weak,
pitiful presence. There is no more sense to that than to say that a
priest can sin as a man, but he cannot sin as a priest.
The only infallibility we have is the Book — the grand and glorious old
Bible! The infallible guide to life and Heaven is not the pope nor the
church, but the old Book, the Book Divine.
Romanists do not believe that, however. In the “Confessio
Romani-Catholica in Hungaria Evangelicis publicis publice prescripta et
proposita,” Art. IV runs thus:
“We confess that whatsoever new thing the Pope of Rome may have
instituted, whether it be in Scripture or out of Scripture, is true,
divine and salvific; and therefore ought to be regarded as of higher
value by lay people than the precepts of the living God.”
Art. 1— “We confess that the Pope has the power of altering
Scripture, or increasing and diminishing it, according to his will.”
Art. XXI— “We confess that Holy Scripture is imperfect and a dead
letter, until it is explained by the Supreme Pontiff and permitted by
him to be read by lay people.”
From Libri Symbolici Eccl Cath. editi a Streitwolf (a Romanisto)
Getting, 1838, Tom. 2, p. 343.
By the way, had Peter been infallible he never would have known it until
July 18, 1879. How did he become infallible? He was pronounced so by the
pope in 1879. Of course it would take infallible authority to pronounce
infallibility upon a man. As F. C. Jennings says, “The pope’s
infallibility depends on his own word and his word depends on his
Today a man automatically becomes infallible by being elected pope by
the college of cardinals.
Peter Was Not
the Head of the Church
Take the Word of God in this matter.
“And he hath subjected all things under his feet, and hath made him
head over all the church, which is his body, and the fulness of him who
is filled all in all.”
(Ephesians 1:22, 23)
This plainly states that Christ is the head of the church. No man on
earth today is the head of the church.
Note also Ephesians 5:23:
“Because the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ is the head of
the Church and he is the saviour of the body.”
Ephesians was written probably thirty years after Pentecost and Christ
was still the Head of the Church.
“And it came to pass that when Peter was come in, Cornelius came to meet
him, and falling at his feet adored. But Peter lifted him up, saying:
Arise, I myself am a man.”
(Acts 10 : 25, 26)
Neither did Paul. Neither did Barnabas.
(Read Acts 14:12-14).
There is no record that anybody ever kissed either Peter’s hands or his
Had a “ Treasury “
I have never read that Peter asked and accepted gifts of many to gather
unto himself a treasury of silver and gold, to be called, “The Treasury
of St. Peter” in Scripture! In Acts 3:6 Peter said, “Silver and gold
have I none.” In Acts 8 : 20 Peter refused to sell a gift for money —
“keep thy money to thyself, to perish with thee, because thou hast
thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money.” Rome sells
Sat on a Throne
The throne of Pius XII and Paul VI is not the throne of Peter. Peter got
a cross instead of a throne.
Wore a Crown
Coronation day is crowning day. Peter’s coronation day was never during
his earth life, nor since his earth life. He will receive a crown when
the Lord comes again.
“All when the prince of pastors shall appear, you shall receive a
never-fading crown of glory.”
(I Peter 5:4)
The Catholic Dictionary says, concerning the crowning of the pope :
“The earliest representation of the tiara with three crowns is found in
an effigy of Benedict XII (died in 13421. The first circlet symbolizes
the Pope’s universal episcopate, the second his supremacy of
jurisdiction, and the third his temporal supremacy. It is placed on his
head at his coronation by the second cardinal deacon, with the words
‘Receive the tiara adorned with three crowns and know that thou art
Father of princes and kings, Ruler of the world, Vicar of our Saviour
Is this not blasphemous arrogance?
Peter Was Not
the Foundation of the Church
“Simon Peter answered and said: ‘Thou art Christ, the Son of the living
God.’ And Jesus answering, said to him: ‘Blessed are you, Simon Bar Jona:
because flesh and blood hath not revealed it to you, but my Father who
is in heaven. And I say to thee: That thou art Peter; and upon this rock
will I build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against
it. And I will give to thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven. And
whatsoever thou shalt bind upon earth, it shall be bound also in
heaven; and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth, it shall be loosed
also in heaven’.”
Rome teaches, of course, that Peter is the rock upon which the church is
built. Let us see exactly what we have. The Lord said to Peter:
“Thou art Petros
(a small stone, a rolling stone):
and upon this PETRA
(a great rock)
I will build my church.”
Our Lord clearly drew a distinction between Petros and Petra. He did not
say, “Thou art Petros and on thee I will build my church,” as He might
easily have done.
When Peter tried to turn Christ from the thought of dying upon the
cross, He said, “Thou art Petros; Go behind me Satan, thou art a scandal
unto me.” We are sure that Christ did not in one moment call Peter the
rock upon which the church was to be built, and at the same time its
It was this apostle, reproved by the Lord, and publicly by Paul, who was
the first infallible pope.
Peter himself tells us the rock upon which Christ built the church.
“Unto whom coming, as a living stone, rejected indeed by men, but chosen
and made honorable by God: ... Wherefore it is said in the Scripture:
Behold, I lay in Zion a chief cornerstone, elect, precious. And he that
shall believe in him, shall not be confounded. To you, therefore that
believe, he is honour (precious), but to them that believe not, the
stone which the builders rejected, the same is made the head of the
corner: And a stone of stumbling, and a rock (Petra) of scandal, to
them whom stumble at the word, neither do believe, whereunto also they
are set.” (I
Peter 2:4, 6-8)
There can be no doubt as to the foundation of the church. Paul says:
“For other foundation no man can lay. but that which is laid; which is
Christ Jesus.” (I
Paul also says “The Rock (Petra) was Christ.” (I
Hear Peter’s word also, as recorded in Acts 4:11-12. Christ is called
the Rock because He is God. That word ‘Rock’ is used for God over forty
times in the Old Testament. Christ was speaking to Hebrews who were
familiar with the Old Testament. They knew the Rock of Israel. Peter’s
confession, “Thou art Christ, the Son of the living God,” sets forth
Christ as the Son of the Rock for Christ Jesus is the living God
manifested in time in His Son, the Messiah.
I like what Dr. W. B. Riley says:
“The Church of God rests upon the Divine Christ. It was not Peter upon
whom the church was built, or it would have crumbled when they crucified
Christ. It was not even on Peter’s confession, “Thou art the Christ, the
Son of the living God,” for a mere statement is not a sufficient
There is nothing mysterious about the keys. A key opens a door.
We call attention to the fact that these keys were not given to Peter
alone, but to all the disciples. See Matthew 18:18. A key throws open
the door of faith. Peter used the key on the day of Pentecost, and again
when he visited Cornelius. In fact, since a key opens a door, if you
have ever led anyone to Christ, you have used a key in exactly the same
We quote here Matthew 16:19:
“And whatsoever you shall bind upon earth, it shall be bound also in
heaven: and whatsoever you shall loose on earth, it shall be loosed
also in heaven.” And also John 20:23, “Whose sins you shall forgive,
they are forgiven them; and whose sins you shall retain, they are
These verses are constantly quoted as though they gave to the priesthood
exclusively the power of remitting and retaining sins. This is a
complete perversion of the words. In Matthew 18:18, we find that the
privilege of binding and loosing is given, not only to Peter, but to all
the apostles, while the words in John 20:23 are spoken, not only to the
apostles, but to disciples as well. Luke 24:23 verifies this.
The power to forgive sins is always spoken of in Scripture as the
special prerogative of God. In the healing of the man sick of the palsy,
the Lord said, “Son, thy sins are forgiven thee” (Mark 2:5). Then the
question came to the scribes, “who can forgive sins, but God only?” Mark
(2:7). There is only one answer to that question: No one. The Lord Jesus
alone had power on earth to forgive sins because He was God.
It is blasphemy for any so-called priest or ministerial dignity to
assume God’s prerogative in pronouncing absolution to a fellow man. You
will look in vain to find any one of the apostles using such a phrase
as, “I forgive thee all thy sins.” The utmost any of them could do was
to introduce the sinners to the Saviour. Only then was forgiveness
One of the clearest examples of this is seen in the statement of Paul:
“Be it known, therefore, to you men, brethren, that through Him
forgiveness of sins is preached to you.”
The words spoken to the apostles can mean only that they were to be
instruments in the remitting of sins, or the retaining of them. If men
believed in Him, their sins were remitted. If certain refused to accept
Him, their sins were retained — not by the apostles, but through the
As the Old Testament priest declared authoritatively whose leprosy was
cleansed, so the apostles were instructed to declare whose sins were
forgiven. Any minister, or believer, can do as much. The absolution of
an impenitent man by a priest is nothing but mere invalid pretense. If
that man be penitent he is forgiven though all the priests in the world
were to refuse him absolution.
A former Roman Catholic came into my office. A young man twenty-three
years of age, he desired to enroll in the school to prepare for the
ministry. He related that when his mother died, the priest asked for two
hundred fifty dollars for the masses for his mother. Two months later a
demand for five hundred dollars was made that his mother might be
released from purgatory. When he declared that he did not have the five
hundred dollars, the priest said, “Well, then, your mother is doomed.”
This is not the meaning of the words of our Lord concerning the
forgiveness of sins.
Certainly a Roman Catholic will search his Bible in vain for any
evidence that Peter claimed ability to forgive sin.
In the house of Cornelius, Peter said:
“By His Name all receive remission of sins, who believe in Him.”
(Acts 10: 43)
— The Sword of The
Lord. Used by permission
BE DOERS OF THE
“Prove yourselves doers of the word,
and not merely hearers who delude themselves.”
THE BIBLE was not written as a history book, even though it does contain
history. It is not a poetry book, although it does contain poems. It is
not intended to be a collection of wise sayings and precepts, although
it does contain both. The Bible is first and foremost,
It is God speaking to the sincere reader, giving him direction and
guidance, so that he might be clear about the Narrow Way that he should
take, the type of life he should live, and the dangers he should avoid
along the way. It also reveals the ultimate blessedness of those who
enter the Way. But it is essential that the reader becomes a
of the Word, and not merely a reader.
When you want to go to a new city, you read the instructions, and then
follow them, don’t you? When you come to a junction, you look at the
signposts and then proceed in the right direction. You don’t take a
chance and say, “Well, this other road is likely to take me to my
destination also,” or, “Let me take a wild guess and take any one of the
roads” No! You must take the right road.
If you are ordered by a doctor to take 2 tablets of medicine at 6-hour
intervals do you decide to take 16 tablets all at once, every second
day? Or if your boss orders you to send out 100 invitations to a special
breakfast to his 100 most important business contacts, would you decide
to send the invitations, instead, to the first 100 people whose names
and addresses are listed in the telephone directory? Surely not! You
must obey your instructions, otherwise you are liable to loose your job.
And the Bible must be obeyed, not merely listened to. We must follow its
instructions, otherwise we might loose the way, or lose our own souls.
The Bible says :
“Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine
(2 Corinthians 13 : 5)
To be in the faith, is to be in Christ, and to have Christ in us. This
is the first essential, for every one of us. Religion is not enough.
Being a member of a church, or being sprinkled as a baby is not enough.
Even to merely read the Bible and to intellectually believe in Christ is
not enough. We must have Christ in us.
The Lord Jesus Christ is the Creator, the Saviour of the world, the Head
of the Church, and the Bible is His Word. If any man is to be saved, no
matter whether he is from Protestant, Catholic, Hindu, Moslem, Buddhist
or any other religious background, he must come through the Lord Jesus.
He is the only way to God.
We say that so, emphatically, not because Jesus is “the best” of the
religious leaders or prophets, but because He Himself is the Son of God,
the Creator. He is inseparable from the Father. It is because if who He
is, that He could say what He said. It is because He was eternally
co-existent and equal with the Father, that He could say what He said
living on earth as a Man:
“I and the Father are one.”
“He who has seen Me has seen the Father.”
“The Father is in Me, and I in the Father.”
“I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father,
but through Me.” (John
Salvation is received through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. He will
come into us, and will make us new people; He will save us, if we …
Confess to Him that we are sinners, turn from our sin, and ask Him to
Ask the Lord to come into our life. We need simply to trust Him to do
The Scriptures make it quite clear what we are to believe, and what we
we confess our sins,
He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us
from all unrighteousness.” (1
Jesus promises, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock! If any one
My voice and
opens the door,
I will come into him, and will dine with him, and he with Me”
(Revelation 3 :20)
“And it shall be, that every one who
calls on the Name of the Lord
shall be saved.”
and let each one of you
in the Name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins ; and you
shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”
(Acts 2 : 38)
My reader, if you have no assurance of salvation, and that Christ lives
in you, why don’t you
to the Lord Jesus right now, and ask Him to come into your heart.
Him to forgive your sins, and to make you a new person from this day on.
to Him, and
Him. He’s waiting to hear your prayer. He will save you today, if you
will call Him. And then, go on to follow the Lord. Listen to His words,
as recorded in the Bible:
“Then Jesus said to His disciples, ‘If any one wishes to come after Me,
let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever
wishes to save his life shall lose it: but whoever loses his life for My
sake shall find it. For what will a man be profited if he gains the
whole world, and forfeits his soul? Or what will a man give in exchange
for his soul?”
This denial is not merely a foregoing of a few questionable pleasures.
It is a denial of oneself. It means
to self, and
to God, all along the way. “Taking up the cross” is not merely an
attitude that accepts the frailties and problems in good spirit. No! To
take up the cross means death to my selfish own desires ; it means
embracing God’s will in me. To save our souls, we must deny those things
which would destroy our souls. To follow Christ means discipline, it
means a surrender of our bodies, our souls, our wills, to Him.
Paul could say, “I die daily,”
(1 Corinthians 15:31),
not only in relation to the constant dangers he faced, but as a
principle of discipleship. He wrote of this principle in the following
“I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but
Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by
faith in the Son of God, who loved me and delivered Himself up for me.”
(Galatians 2: 20)
Baptism which the Lord Jesus commanded, is not a ritual that saves, but
it is an outward testimony of this new life that Jesus gives to us. It
is a testimony that my old self has been crucified with Christ, and that
I am a new person by His grace.
And that’s why the Scripture says:
“I urge you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your
bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your
spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world,
but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what
the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.” (Romans
12 : 1-2)
This may seem to be asking a lot of us, but it is the principle of, “not
I but Christ.” It’s no longer I that lives, but Christ that lives in me.
The only way to live a blessed life, is to present ourselves entirely to
the Lord, to be His vessels, His instruments. But so often we want to
plan our own lives, and we get caught up in desires to live according to
ways -the way
feel will bring us happiness. We often give mental assent to the Word of
God, and then go and do as we please. Tragic!
The Word of God must be our authority. We must do what it says ! There
are things we must do, and other things that we must not do ! Take for
example, the commands concerning
our relationship with others,
and ask yourself, Do I do what these Scriptures command?
“This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved
you ... This I command you, that you love one another.”
(John 15: 12,17)
“You call Me Teacher, and Lord ; and you are right; for so I am. If I
then, the Lord and Teacher, washed your feet, you also ought to wash one
another’s feet. For I gave you an example that you also should do as I
did to you.”
“And this commandment we have from Him, that one who loves God should
love his brother also.” “We know love by this, that He laid down His
life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.”
(1 John 4:21, 3:16)
“Above all, keep fervent in your love for one another, because love
covers a multitude of sins. Be hospitable to one another without
( 1 Peter 4:8-9)
“But I say to you, love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute
( Matthew 5:44)
“Do not speak against one another, brethren ... do not complain,
brethren, against one another, that you yourselves may not be judged.”
(James 4:11; 5:9)
“Do not let the sun go down on your anger, and do not give the devil an
“Therefore, putting aside
guile and hypocrisy and envy and
slander ... grow in respect to salvation.” (1
“See that no one repays another with evil for evil, but always seek
after that which is good for one another and for
“Put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and
patience; bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever
has a complaint against any one; just as the Lord forgave you, so also
should you.” (Colossians 3:12-13)
Concerning riches and earthly wealth.
Here are some important words to heed:
“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust
destroy, and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves
treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where
thieves do not break in or steal; for where your treasure is, there will
your heart be also.”
“But those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a snare and
many foolish and harmful desires which plunge men into ruin and
destruction. For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil, and
some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith, and pierced
themselves with many a pang. But flee from these things, you man of God;
and pursue after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, perseverance
(1 Timothy 6:9-11)
there are definite commands:
“Guard what has been entrusted to you, avoiding worldly and empty
chatter and opposing arguments of what is falsely called
(1 Timothy 6:20)
“But avoid worldly and empty chatter, for it will lead to further
( 2 Timothy 2:16)
“If any one thinks himself to be religious, and yet does not bridle his
tongue but deceives his own heart, this man’s religion is worthless.”
“But now you also, put them all aside: anger, wrath, malice, slander,
and abusive speech from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, since you
laid aside the old self with its evil practices, and have put on the new
self who is being renewed to a true knowledge according to the image of
the One who created him.”
“Do you not know that your
body is a temple
of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you
are not your own? For you have been bought with a price; therefore
GLORIFY GOD in your body.”
(1 Corinthians 6:19-20)
“Therefore consider the members of your earthly body as dead to
immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed, which amounts to
“For this is the will of God, your sanctification; that is, that you
abstain from sexual immorality; that each of you know how to possess his
own vessel in sanctification and honor, not in lustful passion.”
(1 Thessalonians 4:3-5)
“Do not be conformed to this world.”
“Do not love the world, nor the things in the world. If any one loves
the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the
world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful
pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world.” (1
the work of God
“Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does
not need to be ashamed, handling accurately the word of truth.”
(2 Timothy 2:15)
“Preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke,
exhort, with great patience and instruction . . . be sober in all
things, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfil your
(2 Timothy 4:2, 5)
“Suffer hardship with me, as a good soldier of Christ Jesus.”
(2 Timothy 2:3)
“Give attention to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation and
teaching ... Take pains with these things; be absorbed in them, so that
your progress may be evident to all. Pay close attention to yourself and
to your teaching;
in these things; for as you do this you will insure salvation both for
yourself and for those who hear you.”
(1 Timothy 4: 13-16)
“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in
the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to
observe all that I have commanded you.” (Matthew
The Word of God gives us much direction, and clear guidance for our
lives and for God’s work. But we must be on guard lest we add to the
Scriptures, or take away from them. We must be wary of practices and
rituals, which seem to be harmless, but which have not authority in
Where is the authority for “Father Christmas,” and for caster eggs?
Where is the authority for putting statues in churches? Where is the
authority for holding elections for church leadership, like a political
campaign? Where is the authority for churches to take loans for building
elaborate chapels, especially in view of Romans 13:8, which says, “Owe
nothing to anyone.”
The Reformation began with men who would judge everything by the Bible.
It is certainly time that we did like wise, in view of the very imminent
return of the Lord Jesus, it is time to examine ourselves, and be
actually doers of the Word and not hearers only. Here is one more
exhortation in view of the present times:
“Be careful how you walk, not as unwise men, but as wise,
making the most of your time,
because the days are evil. So then do not be foolish, but
the will of the Lord
is. And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but
be filled with the Spirit.”
To redeem the time, to know the will of God, and to be filled with the
Holy Spirit, we must be doers of the Word. If we have failed, we must
confess it; if we have been holding anything back from the Lord, we
must surrender it to Him; if we have become ensnared by worldly
pleasures, it is time to cry to the Lord to set us free; if we are busy
building our OWN little kingdoms, it is time to seek the Lord and His
righteousness, and to dedicate ourselves to building HIS kingdom. If we
have been sleeping, it is time to wake up; if we have been lukewarm, it
is time for us to revived, for the coming of the Lord is at hand.
“Blessed is he who READS and those who HEAR the words of the prophecy,
and HEED the things which are written in it; for the time is near.” (Revelation
“He saved us,
not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness,
but according to His Mercy, by the washing of regeneration
renewing by the Holy Spirit.”
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