Heretical Teachings, Teachers, & Terms
By James L Melton
This is the false belief that there will be no millennium--no one thousand year reign of Christ and His saints on earth. Revelation 20:1-7 plainly tells us that there WILL be a millennial reign. Other interesting references can be found in II Timothy 2:11-13, Luke 19:17-19, and Revelation 5:10 (just to name a few). Most a-millennialists steal God’s kingdom promises to Israel and apply them to the church today.
Also called British-Israelism, this is the belief that the Anglo-Saxon people make up the ten "lost tribes" of Israel and are the heirs of God’s covenant promises to Israel. Naturally, this belief has lost some weight since the days when "the sun never sat on the British Empire."
However, thanks to Herbert Armstrong, who taught that England is Ephraim and the United States is Manasseh, this heresy is now embraced by a great number of people.
The notion that the ten northern tribes are lost is unscriptural. Revelation 12:4-8 plainly tells us that God will seal 12,000 Jews from each tribe in the coming Tribulation. No mention is made here of America, England, or any anglo-saxon people. In fact, such people would be found in verse 9, totally separate from the Jews.
Also, there is no scriptural basis for teaching that the ten northern tribes will form NATIONS. Hosea and Amos , who prophesied mostly to the ten northern tribes, declared that these tribes would be scattered "among the nations" (Hos. 8:10; 9:17; Amos 9:9). God never said that He would permit them to form independent nations of their own.
Advocates of the anglo-Israel heresy insist that "Jews" are only those from Judah, while "Israel" is the ten northern tribes. Any reader of Scripture knows this just won’t do. In Matthew 10:6, Jesus told His disciples "But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel," yet we never read of the twelve going north and preaching to the ten "lost tribes." They preached in Palestine. It wasn’t until after the resurrection that Christ commissioned them to go elsewhere (Acts 1:8-9). The words "Jew" and "Israel" are used interchangeably throughout the Bible, especially in Ezra and Nehemiah. Peter was from Galilee, some eighty miles north of Jerusalem and over fifty miles north of Samaria, yet Paul still titled him a "Jew" in Galatians 2:14. The Bible is filled with promises like Zechariah 8:13 and Acts 26:7, which tell us that all Israel (all twelve tribes) will be restored and saved. Also see Jeremiah 30:3, Amos 9:14-15, Romans 11:26, Isaiah 66:8, Matthew 19:28, and James 1:1.
Even in eternity, God distinguishes between the twelve tribes and other nations (Rev. 21:12, 24-26). Anglo-Israelism is a gross mis-application of the Scriptures.
This false teaching is very popular with people like the "Jehovah's Witnesses," who do not believe in a literal and eternal lake of fire for the punishment of the wicked. Annihilation is the belief that the wicked will be totally destroyed at some point in the future, and that no ETERNAL place of torment exists. The Lord Jesus Christ believed otherwise (Mat. 25:41; Luke 16:24).
Apostolic Signs and Wonders
In Mark 16:17-18, Jesus said to the Apostles, "And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover."
Because of their inability and refusal to rightly divide the word of truth (II Tim. 2:15), the Charismatics operate under the false assumption that these signs are still in effect today and that it is THEIR duty to fulfill them.
In their haste to make a dollar, the Charismatics consistently ignore the fact that Jesus said these were SIGNS, and that I Corinthians 1:22 tells us that SIGNS are for the JEWS. Israel began with signs (Rom. 4:11; Exo. 4:8 ,9, 17, 23, 28, 30; 7:3; 8:23; 10:1-2; 13:9; 31:13, 17; Deu. 4:34; 6:22), lived by signs (Deu. 11:18; Jos. 4:6; I Sam. 10:7; II Kgs. 19:29; Isa. 7:14; 38:7, 22; Eze. 4:3; 20:12, 20), and demanded signs from Christ (Mat. 12:38; 24:3). There is more scripture to support the doctrine of signs being for Israel than there is to support the Virgin Birth and the Inspiration of Scripture combined! Anyone who ignores this truth is absolutely unqualified to teach, preach, or write anything about the Apostolic Signs. If you'll take a look at Hebrews 2:3-4 you will see that the signs were used to CONFIRM the word of God, and you will also see that the signs are spoken of in the PAST TENSE. They are also spoken of in the past tense in II Corinthians 12:12. Those who insist that we should practice the signs today because they were practiced throughout the New Testament haven't been reading (or believing) their Bible. They were not practiced throughout the New Testament. In fact, Paul left Trophimus SICK at Miletum (II Tim. 4:20); he gave Timothy medical advice instead of healing him (I Tim. 5:23), and he had infirmities of his own from which he could not be healed (II Cor. 11:30; 12:5-10). Now why all this sickness if the Apostolic Signs were still in effect? Answer: They WEREN'T still in effect, because they were only needed in the early ministry of the Apostles for the purpose of confirming the truth to Israel.
Now we firmly believe that God can still work miracles and heal anyone He chooses, and we believe that the prayers of God's people can move Him to work miracles, but let's not confuse answered prayers with Apostolic Signs, because there's a vast difference. We believe in healing; we just don't believe in healers.
As for unknown tongues, people have done this for thousands of years. The Tower of Babel in Genesis 11 was the first instance, but this was certainly no outpouring of the Holy Ghost! When the Church of Satan speaks in unknown tongues (which they do), is that a work of the Holy Ghost? Most any good psychologist can teach you to speak in unknown tongues, but this isn’t a work of the Holy Ghost! Too many people have the idea that if something is highly abnormal or miraculous that it MUST be of God. The coming Antichrist will have a field day with such feeble minded people, because HE will work such "signs and lying wonders" that the entire world will follow after him (II Ths. 2:8-12; Rev. 13:13-14).
Nowhere in the New Testament did God command anyone to speak with unknown tongues. We do read about "new tongues" (Mar. 16:17), "other tongues" (Acts 2:4) and "divers kinds of tongues" (I Cor. 12:10), but these are all FOREIGN LANGUAGES, not senseless gibberish! There are no unknown tongues in Acts 2, and there is no baptism of the Holy Ghost in I Corinthians 14. Instead of rightly dividing the word of truth, the careless Charismatics wrest the Scriptures to their own destruction by ignoring the set divisions and doctrines that the Holy Spirit has inspired in the scriptures. The Apostolic Signs are not for today, because they were only for confirming the word of God to the unbelieving Jews in the first century. The Bible warns us to beware of anyone who professes to practice these signs today (II Cor. 11:13-15; Mat. 7:15; 24:11; I Tim. 4:1-2), and the Lord commends the church at Ephesus for trying out some professing apostles and finding them to be LIARS (Rev. 2:2).
Armstrong, Garner Ted
Outcast son of Herbert W. Armstrong who founded the Worldwide Church of God. Garner Ted assisted his father in spreading the Armstrong "gospel", and he hosted The World Tomorrow telecast. That is, until his expulsion in 1978 for his philandering with money and women.
Today he heads up his own cult in Texas: The Church of God International. His beliefs are very similar to those of his father.
Armstrong, Herbert W.
Founder and lifelong leader of the Worldwide Church of God. Born 1892; founded cult in 1934; died in 1986. See Worldwide Church of God.
Azusa Street Mission
Located at 312 Azusa Street in Los Angeles, the ASM served as a meeting place for the beginning of the modern Charismatic movement. It was from here that Pentecostalism began to spread throughout the nation.See Charismatic Groups.
Baptism of the Holy Ghost and Fire
Most Charismatic groups teach that a person receives the Holy Ghost sometime AFTER they've received Christ as Saviour, but this is plain heresy. Romans 8:9 tells us that a person does not even belong to Christ if that person doesn't have the Spirit of God, so salvation and the baptism of the Holy Ghost are SYNONYMOUS, not separate.
To further the confusion, such groups also refer to this event as a "baptism of fire". The only baptism of fire in the Bible is the one that John spoke of when he spoke of Christ burning sinners in UNQUENCHABLE fire (Mat. 3:11-12). The only time a person is baptized in fire is when he is cast into the LAKE of fire (Rev. 20:14-15). Believers are baptized with the Holy Ghost, but sinners are baptized with fire.
A "Baptist Brider" is an extreme Baptist who believes that "The Baptist Church" is the Bride of Christ. All other Christians supposedly make up the FAMILY of God, but are not part of THE BRIDE. The details of this heresy differ from one group to the next, but the general teaching is that The Baptist Church (whatever that is!) has existed since the time of Christ (or perhaps John the Baptist) and that "approved" water baptism actually places a believer into the bride. Water baptisms that are not approved are considered "alien" baptisms and are not honored by the Baptist Bride churches. This leaves "aliens" like Bob Jones Sr., John Wesley, George Whitfield, and Martin Luther out of the bride, while the Bridegroom rides off into the sunset with His proud and conceited Baptist sweetheart. However, finding someone who will ADMIT to being a "brider" is not an easy task. Just like the Campbellites, they hate the name, but love the doctrine.
There are a number of careless steps that Baptist Briders usually take before promoting this outrageous heresy:
(1) Ignore II Timothy 2:15 where we are told to RIGHTLY DIVIDE THE WORD OF TRUTH. This will allow one to go anywhere in the New Testament to find "proof texts" for his theory.
(2) Ignore Matthew 3:11 where John speaks of Christ’s HOLY GHOST baptism in CONTRAST to his water baptism. This allows them to pretend that water baptism is also the context of I Corinthians 12:13, Romans 6:3-4, and Galatians 3:27. This is convenient because this would mean that water baptism puts one INTO the body of Christ.
(3) Now ignore Matthew 20:22-23 where Jesus speaks of a FUTURE baptism for his disciples which is not a WATER baptism.
(4) Ignore the fact that John’s baptism was a special baptism of repentance which accompanied the preaching of the KINGDOM
message to ISRAEL (Mark 1:4; Luke 3:3; Acts 13:24; 19:4; Mat. 3:1-6; John 1:31).
(5) Ignore the fact that Paul said he wasn’t even sent to baptize, but to preach the Gospel (I Cor. 1:17). (If baptism puts one into the body and bride of Christ, why would Paul make such a statement? We realize that Paul did baptize some, but it wasn’t part of his commission.)
(6) Assume that the term "church" means an organized denomination with a name and a history, as in The Catholic Church, The Episcopal Church, or The Baptist Church. This assumption will allow the brider to add his own special touch to passages like Ephesians 5:30-32, and Ephesians 4:4.
(7) Now he can grab Matthew 16:18, just like the Catholics and Campbellites, and pretend that Jesus was speaking about His BAPTIST church. After all, He DID take over after John the BAPTIST, so the brider can teach that it MUST have been a BAPTIST church.
(8) Ignore the fact that the Kingdom was being offered to Israel all through the Gospels and clear through Acts chapter seven when Israel made her final rejection of the Kingdom by killing Stephen.
(9) Ignore the fact that immediately after Israel rejects the Kingdom God picks Paul and gives him a special commission which does NOT include the water baptism of repentance since his gospel message is not a KINGDOM message (Acts 8-9; I Cor. 1:17; II Cor. 5:18-20).
(10) Ignore the fact that if "The Baptist Church" started with John or Jesus, then there wasn’t any point in God giving a special commission to Paul since the whole thing was already established and operating anyhow!
Now the Brider is all set. Now he can teach that his church started with John. Then John gave the bride away to Jesus who
promised that the gates of Hell wouldn’t prevail against His church. Then Jesus turned his duties over to the twelve and commissioned them to go into all the world teaching and baptizing, which is what The Baptist Church has been doing ever since. How nice. Don’t you just love a happy ending? Too bad Wesley and Whitfield couldn’t come along.
A Calvinist is a person who subscribes to the theological beliefs of John Calvin, the Swiss Protestant reformer of the sixteenth century. There are five main points in Calvinism, four of which are false teachings. The five points of Calvinism are usually represented by the letters T.U.L.I.P.
The "T" is for TOTAL DEPRAVITY. This is the false doctrine that man is so depraved that he cannot even see his sinful condition and call upon God for salvation. It is true that all men are natural-born sinners (Rom. 3:23; 5:12; Psa. 51:5), but it is also true that God COMMANDS all men to repent and receive Christ (Acts 17:30-31; I John 3:23; Luke 13:3). Man is indeed depraved, but he isn't so depraved that he has no free will of his own (II Pet. 3:9; Jn. 1:12; 3:16; Jos. 24:15; Exo. 35:5, 21, 22, 29). Total Depravity is heresy.
"U" stands for UNCONDITIONAL ELECTION, which is a heresy derived from perverting verses like Ephesians 1:4-5 and Romans 8:29. The Calvinists believe that God predestinated everyone way back before Genesis 1:1, totally ignoring their free will to choose for themselves. That is, He supposedly decided who would go to Heaven and who would go to Hell long before anyone was even born. If you'll read Romans 8:29 and I Peter 1:1-2 you'll see that God's election is based on FOREKNOWLEDGE. He didn't elect to save or damn anyone against their free will. God knew all along who would choose Christ and who would not, and He made His "elections" based on that information.
Then we have the "L" for LIMITED ATONEMENT. This is the belief that only a limited number of people can be washed from their sins in the precious blood of Christ, because only "the elect" will be saved anyhow. The idea is that Christ loved the church and gave Himself for it (Eph. 5:25); so the blood of Christ was only shed for the church. This is foolishness. I Timothy 2:6 says that Christ gave Himself a ransom for ALL, not just the elect. ALL have sinned (Rom. 3:23); so He died for ALL, and He saves "as many as" receive Him (John 1:12).
The "I" stands for IRRESISTIBLE GRACE, which is also false doctrine. This teaching says that God the Holy Spirit overpowers the sinner and grants him the new birth without his submission or positive response. As we've already seen, man DOES have a free will and no one is saved without CHOOSING to believe on Christ as Lord and Saviour. There is no such thing as irresistible grace. God has given us all the ability to resist anyone or anything we choose (Acts 7:51; II Tim. 3:8; Jas. 4:7). There are times when the convicting power of the Holy Spirit is so strong and real that a sinner sees no choice but to give in to God and receive Christ as Saviour, but the sinner always has a choice. No one is saved against their will, and no one is saved without first choosing to receive Christ.
The last letter is "P," which represents the PERSEVERANCE OF THE SAINTS. This is the only point in "T.U.L.I.P" which is anywhere near correct. Once a sinner receives Christ, he is predestinated to be conformed to Christ's image (Rom. 8:29). That is, as Christians, we are eternally secure and cannot lose the salvation which God has freely given us.
The "master spirit" of the "Church of Christ." He was appointed preacher of the "First Church of the Christian Association of Washington" in 1811. By 1830, Campbell was a very strong and stubborn advocate of baptismal regeneration. See Church of Christ.
Father of Alexander Campbell. He established the "Christian Association" which later became the first Campbellite church where he served as an elder. See Church of Christ.
Followers of Alexander Campbell. This is the appropriate name for devout members of the so-called "Church of Christ."
The teaching that Catholic priests must remain single. See Papacy and Priesthood.
The Pentecostals, the Church of God, and the Assemblies of God have been the traditional standard bearers of Charismatic doctrine, although their teachings are also promoted by various groups such as "Full Gospel" churches and "Praise and Worship Centers". These groups do differ in some practices and beliefs, but their basic doctrines concerning the ministry of the Holy Spirit are the same and are false.
It is important for the Bible believer to know and remember that there were NO CHARISMATIC GROUPS AROUND BEFORE 1900. The whole mess began in the year 1900 when Charles F. Parham established the Bethel Bible College in Topeka, Kansas. He taught his students that speaking in tongues was the evidence of the baptism of the Holy Ghost. On January 1, 1901, Agnes Ozman, a student at BBC, spoke in tongues. From that day forth, Pentecostal groups have taught that speaking in tongues is the "evidence" of the baptism of the Holy Ghost.
In 1906, W. J. Seymour, a student of Parham’s, began holding meetings at 312 Azusa Street in Los Angeles. Regular meetings were held here for three years, and it was from here that the movement spread across America with the establishment of churches and denominations.
The principle errors found within the Charismatic movement are listed below.
1. Apostolic Signs and Wonders
2. Baptism of the Holy Ghost and Fire
3. Denial of Eternal Security
4. Unpardonable Sin
5. Women Preachers
Founded in 1879 by Mary Baker Eddy, the Christian Science cult is based upon her book Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures. This book borrowed heavily from the writings of Dr. P. P. Quimby without giving him due credit. Mrs. Eddy is the mother of Christian Science, but many have suggested that the father is none other than Quimby himself.
Eddy had visited Dr. Quimby in 1862 with a spinal inflammation. At the time, she credited Quimby with healing her sickness, but later spoke against him while stealing his ideas and words for her own writings.
That’s not all she stole. Appealing to intellectuals and mystical-minded people with her "mind-over-matter gospel," Mrs. Eddy raked in large sums of money from her members. At the time of her death she was worth around three million dollars. None of this money was left to charity.
During her life, Mrs. Eddy ruled the Christian Science empire without any internal opposition, but after her death in 1910, the fight began for her empty throne. The Christian Science Parent Church was formed with Mrs. Annie C. Bill of London assuming control and Mr. John V. Dittemore leaving the Board of Directors to support Mrs. Bill as Eddy’s successor. The Board of Directors in Boston fought against this effort and eventually the "parent church" faded away.
Today, Christian Scientists are directed from the "Mother Church" in Boston. "Sermons" are prepared by a central committee and issued quarterly to all Christian Scientists throughout the world. Their congregations have "readers," but not pastors. The readers read from Science and Health and from the Bible.
The Christian Scientists are much into publishing with the Christian Science Monitor having a circulation of over 150,000.
Their heresies are many:
1. Denial of Blood Atonement
2. Denial of Deity of Christ
3. Denial of Deity of Holy Ghost
4. Denial of Eternal Security
5. Denial of Literal Burning Hell
6. Denial of the Physical Resurrection of Christ
7. Denial of Literal Second Coming of Christ
8. Denial of Sin Nature from Birth
9. Denial of the Trinity
10. Denial of the Virgin Birth
11. Multiple Authorities
12. Salvation through Works
Church of Christ
Properly called "Campbellites", the so-called "Church of Christ" did not appear on the pages of church history until the early 1800's when Thomas Campbell, and his son, Alexander, left the Presbyterian church to restore the "true" church.
Thomas Campbell first organized the "Christian Association" which later became an independent church in 1811. Thomas was appointed elder, Alexander was "licensed" to preach, and four deacons were elected. At this time, none of the members had been baptized by immersion. The first Campbellite church wasn’t named the "Church of Christ." It was named the "First Church of the Christian Association of Washington."
Having strong argumentive abilities, Alexander, became involved in a number of public debates, and was often corrected by his father for his conduct in these debates. Alexander’s theory was that "a week’s debating is worth a year’s preaching." (Memoirs, Vol. 2, p. 90). Paul’s theory was slightly different (I Cor. 1:18, 21; Rom. 1:29). Needless to say, this same spirit of debate is still very present among his followers.
The Campbells weren’t baptized by immersion until June 12, 1812--a whole year after starting their "church." Being unable to find a Church of Christ preacher (since there were none before 1811), they convinced Matthias Luce, a Baptist preacher, to perform the service. Luce himself was later rejected by his Baptist brethren.
Several years later (1825-1830), the Campbell clan (also called the "reformers") was joined by Walter Scott, a traveling preacher who believed in baptismal regeneration. The Campbells embraced his views and were later joined by Barton Stone (another ex-Presbyterian). Together, the "big four" were ready to take on the world with the "true Gospel." The Baptists took the position that it was the "reformers" who needed to be reformed, and that remains our position to this day.
Today the "Church of Christ" teaches a number of heresies:
2. Baptismal Regeneration
3. Denial of Eternal Security
4. Denial of a Sin Nature from Birth
5. Lord’s Supper Required Weekly
6. Musical Instruments Forbidden in Worship
7. Salvation through Works
8. True Church Theory
Another unscriptural and pagan practice of the Roman Catholic Church. Devout Catholics are expected to confess their sins to a priest in order to obtain forgiveness. I Timothy 2:5 says that Jesus Christ is the only mediator between God and man. Some claim James 5:16 as proof that we should confess our sins to man, but this verse speaks of our FAULTS, not our sins. Faults are to be confessed to man, but sins are to be confessed to God (Isa. 1:18; Pro. 28:13). See Papacy and Priesthood.
Deity of Man
The foolish belief that man can become God, or that God is "reproducing Himself" in man. According to God’s word, those who believe on Jesus Christ can become "Sons of God" (John 1:12), but never God Himself.
Denial of the Blood Atonement
The Blood Atonement of Jesus Christ is one of the fundamental doctrines of Christianity, yet many deny that it is necessary for salvation, while others deny it altogether.
The Blood Atonement is the doctrine that the blood of Jesus Christ, the sacrificial Lamb of God, was shed to atone for the sins of lost mankind (John 1:29; Heb. 9:22), and that this sinless blood was applied to the mercy seat of God the Father in Heaven (Heb. 9:11-12). All of the animal sacrifices of the Old Testament FORESHADOWED the Blood Atonement of Christ. The innocent animal that was slain in Eden for Adam and Eve's covering (Gen. 3:21) pictured the slaying of our Lord Jesus Christ for our sins. Abel's accepted offering, the firstlings of his flock (Gen. 4:4), was also a type of the Blood Atonement of Christ. There are many pictures of the Blood Atonement in the Bible, but probably the greatest is found in Exodus chapter twelve, where God REDEEMS His people by the BLOOD of the passover lamb.
Today, with the completed Blood Atonement behind us, all sinners have access to God THROUGH Jesus Christ, and through Him alone. Acts 20:28 says that God PURCHASED the church "with his own blood." Revelation 1:5 assures us that Christ can WASH us from our sins in His blood. Romans 5:8-9 says that we are JUSTIFIED by His blood, and we can have PEACE through His blood, according to Colossians 1:20. Salvation was made possible, not by the DEATH of Christ alone, but by His Blood Atonement which takes away our sins.
Denial of the Deity of Christ
The Deity of Christ is the doctrine that Jesus Christ is GOD. Naturally, the heretics will "bail out" on this one. Some reason that Christ couldn’t be God if He was God’s "Son", while others insist that He was only a prophet or good teacher. The Scriptures declare otherwise.
God is a Trinity (I Jn. 5:7), and the second Member of that Trinity is the Lord Jesus Christ. John 1:1 says that "the Word was God," and John 1:14 tells us that "the Word was made flesh." Jesus Christ is the Word incarnate, and John 1:1 tells us that the Word was God; so Jesus Christ is God.
Jesus allowed Thomas to address Him as "My Lord and my God" in John 20:28. In Isaiah 9:6, He is called "The mighty God" and "The everlasting Father," and we read in Micah 5:2 that Jesus is "from everlasting."
Our Lord allowed people to worship him in John 10:38 and in Matthew 14:33, and since He is "God with us" (Mat. 1:23) He also has power to forgive sins (Mk. 2:5).
The Deity of Christ is one of the main fundamentals of the Christian faith, because the Bible is very clear in emphasizing the fact that Jesus Christ is more than just a great man. He existed long before He came to this earth to be born of a woman, because He is ETERNAL. He's God. This fundamental doctrine is denied by most cults.
Denial of the Deity of the Holy Spirit
Many also deny that the Holy Spirit is Deity by teaching that he is only a "force" like electricity or wind.
God’s word states that He's the third member of the Holy Trinity (I Jn. 5:7). In Acts 5:3-4, Peter accuses Ananias of lying to the Holy Ghost, and in doing so he tells him that he had lied to GOD. The Holy Ghost is God. The Holy Ghost says in Acts 13:2 that He had CALLED Barnabas and Saul, which only God could do, and He does many other things that only God could do (John. 14:16, 26; 16:8-14; Job 33:4; Psa. 104:30; I Cor. 6:11; Eph. 1:13, 4:30, etc.). The Holy Spirit is OMNIPRESENT (Psa. 139:7-8), OMNISCIENT (I Cor. 2:10-11), and ETERNAL (Heb. 9:14). He inspired the Scriptures ( II Pet. 1:21), and He gives life (John 6:63; 3:6). The Holy Spirit is God, for only God could perform such tasks.
Denial of Eternal Security
Since most heretical groups believe in salvation through good works, it is also believed that a loss of salvation comes through a lack of good works. For this reason, eternal security for the believer is commonly rejected.
Actually, it is very logical and very scriptural to embrace the eternal security doctrine. My eternal security in Christ is based on my RELATIONSHIP with God, not my fellowship with Him. I am not saved because I fear God and serve Him, but rather because I have entered into a Father/Son relationship with Him through the Lord Jesus Christ. I was once a child of the Devil and a child of wrath (Jn. 8:44; Eph. 2:3), but now I am a son of God (John 1:12; I John 3:2; Rom. 8:14; Gal. 4:5). Upon receiving Christ as my Saviour, I was SEALED with the Holy Spirit until the day of redemption (Eph. 4:30; II Cor. 1:22), and I am KEPT by the power of God (I Pet. 1:5), not by my own power. Jesus will never leave me nor forsake me (Heb. 13:5; Mat. 28:20), because He BOUGHT me with His own blood (Acts 20:28; I Cor. 6:19-20).
If I choose to be a disobedient child, then my Father in Heaven will CHASTEN me (Rev. 3:19; Heb. 12:4-8; I Cor. 11:30-32), but I will remain a saved and sealed son of God (John 5:24; I John 5:11-13; Rom. 8:38-39; Phi. 1:6; John 6:37; 10:28-29). True Christians are eternally secure in Christ.
Denial of a Literal Burning Hell
We call it to the reader's attention that it was none other than the Lord Jesus Christ who first used the term "hell fire" (Mat. 5:22), and it was Jesus Christ who said in Matthew 25:41, ". . . Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels." When someone attacks the Hell Fire doctrine they are attacking the very words of Christ.
A Jehovah’s Witness, for example, believes that Hell is only the grave that everyone goes to at death. He believes that the saved ones in the graves will be given eternal life on earth after the White Throne Judgment of Revelation 20:11-15, while the unsaved in the graves will be annihilated once and for all in the Lake of Fire. These people refuse to believe that God will punish the wicked forever in the Lake of Fire. Of course, the Scriptures say something entirely different:
(1) There is no FIRE in the grave, but there certainly is fire in the "hell" of the Bible (Luke 16:23; Deu. 32:22; Mat. 5:22; 18:9; Jas. 3:6).
(2) No one PRAYS from the grave, but they certainly do in Hell (Luke 16:24; Jon. 2:2).
(3) Hell was originally made for the Devil and his angels (Mat. 25:41), but the grave was not.
(4) A Christian's SOUL does not go to the grave at death (Phi. 1:21-23; 2 Cor. 5:1-10; 1 Ths. 5:10). Only the BODY goes to the grave. An unsaved man's body also goes to the grave at death, but his SOUL goes to a place of TORMENT and FLAMES (Luke 16:22-23).
(5) The grave cannot possibly be Hell because Jesus said it would be better to enter into life (eternal life) without a hand, a foot, or an eye, than to go to Hell (Mat. 18:8-9). How could it be "better" if Hell is only the grave where there is no suffering at all? According to Jesus Christ, Hell is a lot WORSE than losing a hand, a foot, or an eye forever.
(6) Annihilation cannot be true because the Bible uses such terms as "shame and everlasting contempt" (Dan. 12:2) and "torment . . . forever" (Rev. 14:11). Shame and torment are sufferings that are experienced by a LIVING BEING--not an annihilated corpse.
God is an ETERNAL Being, therefore, an eternal payment is required for sin (Mar. 9:44-48; Isa. 66:22-23). You can have a FAIR TRIAL at the White Throne Judgment, or you can have a FREE PARDON right now by receiving Jesus Christ as your Saviour. In a fair trial before God, you will be eternally damned to Hell because you are a sinner against a Holy God. God will have no choice but to sentence you to Hell forever.
Denial of Literal Second Coming of Christ
If the Lord Jesus Christ was resurrected literally and physically from the dead, and if He appeared physically to His disciples, then His Second Coming must also be literal and physical.
Acts 1:11 tells us that Jesus will return "in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven." Jesus ascended into Heaven literally, physically, and visibly, so He will return "in like manner."
Some deny this by insisting that the Second Coming of Christ will be SPIRITUAL, rather than literal and physical. The word of God says otherwise. Paul says in Titus 2:13 that we should be LOOKING for that blessed hope and the glorious APPEARING of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ. Revelation 1:7 says, "Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen." In Matthew 24:30, Jesus Himself says, "And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory." Zechariah 14:4 says, "And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south." The literal and physical feet of Luke 24:39 will literally STAND upon the literal, physical, and very visible mount of Olives. That's perfectly clear to anyone with reading ability.
There's nothing spiritual or invisible about the Second Coming of Christ. The "clouds" will be literal (Rev. 1:7), as will the "fire" (2 Ths. 1:8), the "saints" (1 Ths. 3:13), the "mountains and rocks" (Rev. 6:16), and, of course, the thousand-year reign (Rev. 20:1-7). A "spiritual" or "invisible" Second Coming is totally foreign to the written revelation of God.
Denial of Physical Resurrection of Christ
The Bible speaks of a literal and physical resurrection, but some teach that He only rose from the grave spiritually.
According to the words of Jesus Christ Himself, He is NOT merely a spirit being. He is a literal and physical risen Saviour. In Luke chapter twenty-four, beginning at verse thirty-six, the disciples see the risen Christ and they suppose they had seen a spirit (vs. 37). Then Jesus cleared the matter up for everyone when He said, ". . . Why are ye troubled? and why do thoughts arise in your hearts? Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have." (Luke 24:38-39) He then SHOWED them His hands and feet, and they believed.
When Jesus appeared to Thomas He said, ". . . Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing." (John 20:27) The risen Christ had the crucifixion scars in His body to PROVE that He had been physically resurrected from the dead.
If Jesus didn't rise physically, then He lied in John 2:18-22 when He said that His "body" would rise in three days. He didn't say His spirit would rise. He said that His BODY would rise. When He arose His disciples actually REMEMBERED this prophecy and believed.
The bodily resurrection of Christ is a fundamental Bible doctrine. The salvation of a person's soul rests upon this doctrine, because if Jesus didn't physically rise from the dead AS HE SAID HE WOULD, then we're all lost and going to Hell according to 1 Corinthians 15:12-19.
Denial of a Sin Nature from Birth
Although the Bible declares the reality of sin from cover to cover, some spiritualist groups insist that sin is only a concept of the mind, and that "mind-over-matter" is the only solution to this "problem" that doesn’t really exist.
Another angle comes from the "Church of Christ," which teaches that men are not born with a sin nature, but rather BECOME sinners later in life. Such a suggestion is almost funny to anyone who has taken time to read their Bible (Psalm 51:5; 58:3; Romans 3:10; 3:23; 5:12).
Men are BORN sinners with a sin nature, which is why Jesus said we must be born again (John 3:3).
Denial of the Trinity
The Trinity doctrine is the doctrine that God consists of three distinct persons: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost. Those who deny the existence of the Trinity usually do so because they can't understand it. Those of us who accept the Trinity doctrine don't fully understand it either; we just BELIEVE what God said about it.
What did He say about it? He said, "For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one." (I John 5:7) He said, "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost." (Mat. 28:19) He said, "The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen." (II Cor. 13:14) You can see all three members of the Holy Trinity present at the baptism of Jesus in Matthew 3:13-17. Jesus said when you've seen Him, then you've seen the Father (John 14:9), and Peter said that when you lie to the Holy Ghost you are lying to GOD (Acts 5:3-4). God the Father is God, God the Son is God, and God the Holy Ghost is God. See Deity of Christ and Deity of the Holy Ghost.
Psalm 19:1-6 and Romans 1:20 tell us that we can learn of God through nature. Have you ever studied nature? The Trinity doctrine is manifest everywhere. Time consists of THREE parts: past, present, and future. Space consists of THREE parts: length, breadth, and height. Matter consists of THREE parts: energy, motion, and phenomena. The sun consists of THREE types of rays: alpha, beta, and gamma. Man consists of THREE parts: body, soul, and spirit. A family consists of THREE parts: Father, mother, and children. You see, the truth of the Trinity is everywhere. We don't have to fully understand it, and God never told us to understand it. Our job is to BELIEVE it. God is a Trinity. Three in One, and One in Three, and the One in the middle died for me.
Denial of the Virgin Birth of Christ
Many deny the virgin birth of Christ, although this is a fundamental doctrine of Christianity. The doctrine of the virgin birth is the doctrine that the Lord Jesus Christ was miraculously conceived of the Holy Ghost and born of a virgin, without a man being involved. The original prophecy of the Virgin Birth was given in Isaiah 7:14, over seven hundred years before Jesus was born. Luke 1:34-35 and Matthew 1:24-25 tell us that Joseph took Mary to be his wife, but that he "knew her not" until after Jesus was born.
It was needful for Jesus to be conceived of the Holy Ghost, because if He had been conceived of a man, He would have had a sin nature (Psa. 51:5; Rom. 5:12). This would have disqualified Him from being the perfect Lamb of God to take away the sin of the world. The Virgin Birth is absolutely essential for New Testament salvation.
Many cults prefer the new Bible translations which deliberately change the wording of Isaiah 7:14, Matthew 1:25, and Luke 2:33 in an attempt to downgrade the virgin birth of our Lord, but thanks be to God, the King James Bible can be trusted to preserve this doctrine without compromise.
This is a wicked twentieth-century unity movement of religious modernists and liberals. It is Satan's desire to unite the world so that all will be in subjection to the coming Antichrist (Rev. 13:3; 12:9); therefore, religious unity is considered a must. Most ecumenicals have no real convictions, and they generally deny the fundamentals of Christianity, the infallibility of Scripture, and the autonomy of local churches.
Eddy, Mary Baker Glover Patterson
Founded the Christian Science movement in 1879 and relied heavily on the writings of Dr. P. P. Quimby. She authored Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, which is still a valued authority to Christian Scientists today. See Christian Science.
The following is from our tract Fables and Facts about Creation and Evolution:
Textbooks and encyclopedias throughout the world promote Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution as a scientific fact, yet this theory has never been proven. In fact, as the years roll by, more and more evidence is being gathered in favor of special creation. Friend, have you fallen for one of the biggest fables of our time, the notion that men have evolved over millions of years from lower life forms? If so, please keep reading and learn a few facts that your professor probably didn’t mention.
FABLE: The creation-evolution issue is an issue between religion and science.
FACT: Evolutionists want you to believe that their view is scientific and that creation isn’t. Evolution has never been proven by experimentation and observation, so it is not a scientific view. Evolution is just as religious as Creation because both views require faith on the part of their adherents. No one saw God create the universe, and no one saw the “big bang” occur. Both views are religious as far as origins are concerned.
FABLE: Much scientific evidence has been brought forth in recent years in support of evolution.
FACT: Every piece of evidence produced by evolutionists amounts to conjecture, not provable facts. In reality, the true evidence supports creation, not evolution.
FABLE: God used evolution to fill the earth with its numerous life forms.
FACT: The God of the Bible gave specific details of His creation, and these details contradict evolutionary theory over and over again. God’s word says that God created the earth and all that is therein in six literal days. Life forms were ordained to reproduce after their own kinds, and no new life was created after the sixth day (Gen. 1-2). This wholly contradicts the evolution theory which has life continuously evolving with new species being produced by natural processes.
FABLE: Many remains of prehistoric animals have been found which prove the Bible’s young earth record to be inaccurate.
FACT: The word “prehistoric” didn’t exist before the evolutionists invented it to mislead millions of people. All animal remains ever found on earth are the remains of animals which lived from the time of their creation in Genesis 1 until now. None are “prehistoric,” and no scientist can prove otherwise.
FABLE: Scientists have proven the universe to be billions of years old.
FACT: Scientists have proven nothing of the kind. They want the universe to be billions of years old because this allows plenty of time for working in Darwin’s theory of evolution. There are many scientists who do not believe the earth to be over several thousand years old, and there is much evidence to support this theory.
FABLE: The geologic column shows a gradual evolution from simple life forms to complex life forms over millions of years.
FACT: The “geologic column” exists only in the minds of evolutionists and in the books they write. This column is nothing more than a fictional chart filled with impressive little pictures and big words. The chart is only a theory because it has never been proven scientifically.
The simplest life forms are placed at the bottom of the chart because they represent fossils which have been found in the deepest strata. This much is true, but then the fables begin. The deepest strata is presumed to be the oldest strata (never proven), and the various layers of strata represent hundreds of millions of years (never proven).
The fact is that the Genesis flood could have easily created every rock formation known to man, and the simplest life forms would naturally be found in the deepest strata because more intelligent life forms would have managed to survive the flood longer, thus being buried last. Most of the “geologic column” was created in about one year (Gen. 6-8), not billions of years.
FABLE: Radioactive dating methods have proven the earth to be billions of years old.
FACT: Radioactive dating has proven to be unreliable time and time again. Some rocks in Russia have been radioactively dated at 100 million to 10 billion years, yet it is well known that these rocks were formed by volcanos less that 200 years ago. Live mollusk shells have been dated up to 2,300 years old. Basalt from Mt. Etna, Sicily was mis-dated by nearly 250,000 years. Part of a baby frozen mammoth was dated at 40,000 years, while another part was found to be a much “younger” 26,000 years! The wood found around it was estimated to be even younger--10,000 years or less. Radioactive dating methods are anything but a proven science.
FABLE: Comparative anatomy shows that animals and humans have a common ancestor.
FACT: Comparative anatomy shows that animals and humans have a common Designer. Evolutionists like to limit their comparisons to bone structures, but why stop there? Clouds are 100% water, jelly fish are 98% water, and watermelons are 97% water. Does this prove they all evolved from a common ancestor?
The kidney bean, the redwood tree and the opossum each have 22 chromosomes. Second or third cousins, perhaps?
Humans have 46 chromosomes, which would make us near of kin to the bat (44) and tobacco (48). With a few million years of gradual evolution, we might even catch up with the carp (100) or maybe even the fern (480).
The Darwinians like to compare humans and animals to show similarities, but they limit the comparisons to keep from looking foolish (Rom. 1:22). We have a common Creator and Designer, not a common ancestor.
FABLE: The existence of vestigial organs in humans is proof that we’ve evolved from lower life forms.
FACT: Vestigial organs do not exist. The so-called “vestigial organs” are believed by evolutionists to be parts of the human body that are no longer needed. These body parts are presumed to be "left-overs" from our ancestors, the monkeys. The organs include the appendix, the coccyx (tail bone), the pineal gland, the plica semilunaris, the tonsils, and the ear lobes.
Many medical doctors now agree that all of these organs have important functions in the human body and aren't vestigial in any sense. The appendix contains a rich blood supply which serves as some defense against cancer. The tail bone isn't where a monkey tail used to be, as Darwinians believe, but it instead provides support for the muscles which control elimination. The pineal gland contains important hormones which the body needs. The plica semilunaris helps to keep the eye cleansed of foreign particles. The tonsils help to keep foreign particles out of your child's throat, and they also help in fighting infection. Even the ear lobe has a purpose, for it helps to keep our ears warm during cold weather by providing them with a good blood supply. There are no vestigial organs.
FABLE: The findings of such “ape-men” as Java Man, Neanderthal Man and Lucy are proof that humans have evolved from apes.
FACT: No one has ever found an “ape-man.” A few examples will make our point.
In 1922, some bones were found in Nebraska by a man named Harold Cook. After studying the upper and lower jaws and the teeth of some thirty different animals, a complete ape known as Ramapithecus was constructed. The neatly drawn pictures in the textbooks give the impression that entire skeletons have been found, but this never happened.
Dr. Eugene Dubois discovered the famous Java Man (Pithecanthropus erectus) in 1891. This "great discovery" consisted of a small piece of the top of a skull, a fragment of a left thigh bone, and three molar teeth. But, instead of being found all together, these remains were found in an area of about seventy feet, and they were found over about a year's time. They were also found in an old river bed with other assorted extinct animal bones. This, of course, presents a number of problems for Java Man. How can the "experts" be so sure that these remains all came from the same being? Better yet, how do such bones survive for 750,000 years without decaying? Where's the evidence to prove these theories?
Piltdown man was discovered by Charles Dawson in 1912. Dawson claimed to have found some bones, some teeth, and even some primitive implements in a gravel pit in Piltdown, Sussex, England. He took them to a British museum where anthropologists claimed that they were 500,000 years old. Textbooks throughout the world then proclaimed Piltdown Man as the greatest find to date. Then in October of 1956, Reader's Digest EXPOSED this finding as "The Great Piltdown Hoax." The bones where found to be fraudulent. The jaw bone was proven to have belonged to an ape which had died only FIFTY YEARS before (not 500,000). The teeth had been filed down, and both, teeth and bones, had been discovered with bichromate of potash to cover up their true identity! Piltdown Man is a fraud.
The so-called Neanderthal Man was discovered around 1900 in a cave in the Neanderthal Valley near Dusseldorf, Germany. Naturally, he was hailed as another great "missing link." Since that time, it has been proven that Neanderthal wasn't an ape-man at all. He turned out to be a fully erect human being with a cranial capacity of over 13% more than that of normal man. Today, he is classified as "Homo Sapiens" (completely human) by most all anthropologists.
Finally, we come to Lucy, a 40% skeleton found in Ethiopia by D.C. Johanson in the 70's. Johanson claimed that "Lucy" had walked on two legs, because of the "angle of the thigh bone and the flattened surface at it's knee joint" (National Geographic, December, 1976). However, the knee joint was badly crushed; so Johanson's conclusion is mere speculation. Anatomist Charles Oxnard said "Lucy" did NOT walk upright, at least not in the same manner as humans. The chimpanzee does spend some time walking upright, so this was probably just another ape.
There is simply no proof that apes have evolved into men. Every time a case is presented it soon crumbles in the light of further research. Only the evolutionists with their prejudiced theories cling to such weak “evidence.”
Friend, don’t be like so many others who have fallen for this great deception. You and this entire universe were created by an all-powerful and all-wise God. The Bible (KJV) is the most accurate text book and science book ever produced. Read God’s word daily, and believe every word. After all, “scientists” have been proven wrong time and time again. The Bible has never been proven wrong.
For a closer look at the creation-evolution debate, see The Bible-Believer’s Handbook of Creation Science by this author.
Some believe in a GENERAL resurrection and judgment for all people when Jesus returns, but this is not taught in the Scriptures. Revelation 20:4-6 plainly speak of a "first resurrection," which occurs 1000 years prior to the final judgment of Revelation 20:11-15.
The first ten verses of Revelation 19 cover the events in Heaven immediately preceding the Lord's Second Coming, which follows in verses 11 through 21. After that, we see the 1000 year reign of Christ and His saints showing up in 20:1-7. This is the promised Kingdom of the Old Testament (Isa. 2:1-4; Dan. 7:27). Satan is doomed in Revelation 20:10. The wicked are judged at the White Throne Judgment in verses 11-15 and cast into the lake of fire. The Bible is perfectly clear in stating that the 1000 year reign of Christ will come immediately AFTER the Second Coming, and then the final White Throne Judgment occurs AFTER the 1000 year reign. The Second Coming in NOT when the final judgment occurs. There is no "general judgment."
The Catholic religion is filled with all sorts of symbols, images, and relics. The Creed of Pope Pius IV states the following:
"I most firmly assent that the image of the Christ, of the Mother of God, ever Virgin, and also of other saints ought to be had and retained, and that due honor and veneration are to be given them."
The Catechism of the Council of Trent states these words: "It is lawful to have images in the Church, and to give honor and worship unto them..."
It's lawful to honor and worship images? Not according to God's word. Exodus 20:4-5 says, "Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me." Image worship is unscriptural and will end with the eternal damnation of those who practice it (Rev. 14:11).
Other practices such as using prayer beads, prayer wheels, crosses and relics are foreign to the Bible. The sad fact is that Roman Catholicism is a faithless religion where people refuse to walk by faith. Catholics insist on having a material religious set-up where everything can been seen (statues, crosses, bread, wine, rosaries, etc.). God's desire is for Christians to walk by faith, not by sight (II Cor. 5:7). Idolatry is wicked, and it is strictly forbidden in the Bible.
The practice of baptizing (or sprinkling) babies. The oldest group to practice infant baptism is the Roman Catholic Church, who teaches that all sins are forgiven by baptism. Some other groups also practice it, mostly those who came out of the Catholic church during the reformation. This practice is pagan in it’s origin, and is condoned nowhere in God’s word. Every candidate for baptism in the New Testament is old enough to have expressed BELIEF on Jesus Christ as Saviour. There isn’t one instance of infant baptism in the New Testament.
In 1870, at the age of eighteen, an ex-Congregationalist by the name of Charles Taze Russell started a Bible class in Pittsburgh. In 1876, the class elected Russell as their Pastor.
He founded the "Herald of the Morning" in 1879, which eventually developed into what is known today as "The Watchtower Announcing Jehovah's Kingdom." Today this publication has grown to over seventeen million copies per month in over one hundred languages.
In 1884, Russell incorporated the "Zion's Watch Tower Tract Society" at Pittsburgh. Today this organization has branches in over one hundred countries, and it has missionary works in over two hundred and fifty. With over one-half million volunteer workers, the Jehovah's Witnesses have become a serious threat to Bible believers throughout the world.
Russell died in 1916, and Judge J.F. Rutherford took over the Society's leadership. It was under Rutherford's leadership that the group took the name "Jehovah's Witnesses," and Society headquarters moved to Brooklyn. Rutherford died in 1942, and Nathan Knorr took control and boosted the membership to over two million. In 1961, the Society published its own "translation" of the scriptures, called "The New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures." Knorr died in 1977. As of 1996, the president of the Watchtower Society was Milton Henschel.
The main heresies taught by Jehovah’s Witnesses are as follow:
2. Denial of the Deity of Christ
3. Denial of the Deity of the Holy Spirit
4. Denial of Eternal Security
5. Denial of a Literal Burning Hell
6. Denial of Literal Second Coming of Christ
7. Denial of the Physical Resurrection of Christ
8. Denial of the Trinity
9. Salvation Through Works
10. True Church Theory
Lord’s Supper Required Weekly
Some teach that the Lord’s Supper is supposed to be observed on a weekly basis, but the Bible never says this once.
There is certainly nothing wrong with a church observing the Lord’s Supper on a weekly basis, but no one has a right to command it. The Bible never says how often this is to be done. If you’ll read Matthew 26:26-28 and I Corinthians 11:23-26, you will see what God’s word says about this subject, and you will notice that God does not command a weekly observance. Anyone who does command a weekly observance is ADDING to God’s word.
Catholics have been obsessed with this idolatrous practice since the fourth century. Devout Roman Catholics believe that Mary, the mother of Jesus, remained a virgin and was sinless all of her life. She is worshiped in the Catholic church as the "Mother of God" and the "Queen of Heaven." St. Bernard stated that she was crowned "Queen of Heaven" by God the Father, and that she currently sits upon a throne in Heaven making intercession for Christians.
The Bible teaches otherwise. In the Bible, Mary was a sinner just like the rest of us. She said herself that she needed a "Saviour" (Lk. 1:47), and she even had to offer a sacrifice for her sins in Luke 2:24. Jesus was only her "firstborn" son, according to Matthew 1:25, because she later had other children as well (Mt. 13:55; Gal. 1:19; Psa. 69:8). There's only ONE mediator between God and men, and it isn't Mary (I Tim. 2:5). The last time we hear from Mary in the Bible she is praying WITH the disciples, not being prayed to BY the disciples (Acts 1:14).
Roman Catholic Mary Worship is nothing more than Pagan Idolatry. Throughout history pagans have worshiped female deities under various names, and many of them are in the Bible (Judges 10:6; I Sam. 7:3-4; 12:10; I Kings 11:5; II Kings 23:13, etc.), including the "queen of heaven" (Jer. 44:16-25). Mary is nothing more than a sinner saved by grace, whom God chose to use as a means of bringing His Son into this world. The Bible never exalts her above anyone else. Neither should we. If you are a Roman Catholic, perhaps you should give special attention to Mary's only command in John 2:5.
Also known as "The Masons" or "The Lodge," Freemasonry has been around for many centuries. Masons claim that their organization finds its roots with the builders of King Solomon’s temple, but others trace its origin in the Ancient Pagan Mysteries. According to Pike’s Morals and Dogma, Buddha was a Mason some one thousand years before Christ. The first Grand Lodge was founded in London in 1717.
Masons claim that their "fraternity" is not a religion, but over and over again we find religious elements in their practices. They have temples, alters, Bibles, prayer, lamb skins, and one must believe in a Supreme Being before joining. In Grolier’s Encyclopedia, a Masonic member states: "If a person lives what the lodge teaches he won’t have any trouble getting into Heaven." (Grolier, Vol. 5, "Freemasonry," pg. 68) Another Masonic writer, Albert Pike (who was also an occultist), writes: "Every Masonic Lodge is a Temple of Religion; and its teachings are instruction in religion." (Morals and Dogma, pg. 213) On page 68 of the Minnesota Proceedings, 1895, we read these interesting words: "He who approaches our alter in good faith and by the light which we bring him receives our teachings into a heart already prepared and lives a life in conformity with the principles which he here imbues, has come into an invaluable possession and need have no fear when the word shall come calling him into the hereafter but that he will be received as a living stone fit for a temple not made with hands." (See I Peter 2:4-8)
Regardless of their claims, the Masons are clearly embedded in a mystical religious system of salvation through works. Any god will do in this religion, because the Lodge teaches that it isn’t God who saves one’s soul anyhow: it’s their good works. In fact, in nations where Christianity isn’t embraced, Masonic alters display the appropriate "Book of the Law" instead of the Bible. Freemasonry is definitely a religion, and a very BAD one at that.
The entry level in Masonry is The Blue Lodge, which consists of three degrees: Entered Apprentice, Fellow Craft, and Master Mason. One may stop at the level of Master Mason, or he can choose to enter either the Scottish Rite or the York Rite. The Scottish Rite advances by numerical degrees, the highest being the 33rd honorary degree. The York Rite advances by Chapter, Council, and Commandery degrees, with the highest level being The Order of the Knights Templar Commandery.
The Masons speak much about approaching "the light," yet their whole organization is shrouded in secretive practices and blood curdling oaths which should deter any true Christian. In clear violation of the words of the Lord Jesus Christ (Mat. 5:33-37), as well as James 5:12, an Entered Apprentice Mason SWEARS BY GOD to: "...always hail, ever conceal, and never reveal, any of the arts, parts, or points of the hidden mysteries of Ancient Free masonry...binding myself under no less penalty than that of having my throat cut across, my tongue torn out by its roots, and my body buried in the rough sands of the sea..." Thank God this is an entry level oath, for it has no doubt turned away many God-fearing Christian men!
The deep secrets of Masonry are just as unscriptural. It is falsehood and wickedness that dwell in dark secret corners . Truth is worthy of propagation (Mat. 28:18-19). Jesus Himself said, "...I spake openly to the world; I ever taught in the synagogue, and in the temple, whither the Jews always resort; and in secret have I said nothing."
In the initiation of an Entered Apprentice, the "Worshipful Master" (Mat. 23:10) asks: "In your present condition, what do you most desire?" The candidate responds: "Light." The "Master" later informs the candidate that he is "yet in darkness." Then for the Second Degree (Fellow Craft) the candidate is required to ask for "more light." According to God’s word, Jesus Christ is the LIGHT (John 1:9; 8:12) and God’s word is LIGHT (Psa. 119:105, 130). If you are saved, then it is an outright BLASPHEMY for you to agree that you are "yet in darkness." Please note: "This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin." So all Masons have DENIED Jesus Christ and have asked for another light being offered to them through Masonry. "And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light." (II Cor. 11:14) Having denied Christ, the TRUE LIGHT, the Mason can now advance upwards on the Masonic ladder where he will encounter ANOTHER "light" in some of the most ungodly practices and worship rituals known to man. Meanwhile, lower level Masons are kept in darkness, thinking they are only taking part in a good cause for their fellow man. (Before you send me your letters of protest, please read the Masonic literature recommended in the back of this booklet.)
The Lodge is no place for Christians. One Masonic publication in my file is titled "Is Masonry Worthwhile?" No, it’s an enemy of Christianity, a tool of Satan, and a gross waste of valuable time.
By perverting the Christian practice of the Lord's Supper (Mat. 26:26-28; I Cor. 11:23-27), the Catholic Church has created the Mass, which they believe to be a continual sacrifice of Jesus Christ: "Christ...commanded that his bloody sacrifice on the Cross should be daily renewed by an unbloody sacrifice of his body and blood in the Mass under the simple elements of bread and wine." (The Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. 10, Pg. 13, Article: "Mass, Sacrifice of")
Jesus never made such a command. If you'll check the above references in Matthew 26 and I Corinthians 11, you'll see for yourself that the Lord's Supper is a MEMORIAL and a SHOWING of Christ's death until He comes again. It is not a sacrifice. This is a private interpretation and an outright perversion of God's word.
The Mass is without a doubt the central part of Catholic worship. The Catholic Encyclopedia states the following:
"In the celebration of the Holy Mass, the bread and wine are changed into the body and blood of Christ. It is called transubstantiation, for in the Sacrament of the Eucharist the substance of bread and wine do not remain, but the entire substance of bread is changed into the body of Christ, and the entire substance of wine is changed into his blood, the species or outward semblence of bread and wine alone remaining." (Vol. 4, pg. 277, Article: "Consecration")
This may come as a shock if you aren't familiar with Catholic belief, but do you realize what you've just read? The Catholic Church teaches that the "Holy Mass" is a LITERAL EATING AND DRINKING OF THE LITERAL FLESH AND BLOOD OF JESUS CHRIST. Read the statement again. The priest supposedly has the power to change the bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ. You say, "It's just symbolic, not literal." You're wrong! It SHOULD be symbolic, but Rome teaches it to be literal.
The Catholic Encyclopedia also says that "The dogma of the totality of the Real Presence means that in each individual species the whole Christ, flesh and blood, body and soul, Divinity and humanity, is really present." (Vol. 14, pg. 586) So all of Jesus Christ is "really present" in the mass, and devout Catholics believe in eating and drinking Him. In fact, the Council of Trent pronounced a CURSE upon anyone who doesn't believe it (Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. 10, pg. 6).
Now, what does God's word say about such practices? If you'll read Genesis 9:4, Leviticus 17:11-12, and Acts 15:29, you will find that God absolutely FORBIDS the drinking of blood all through the Bible. This has been a pagan practice for thousands of years. In Psalm 16:4, David said that he would not take up drink offerings of blood! Jeremiah 44:17 speaks of the pagan practice of pouring out drink offerings unto the "queen of heaven". Sound familiar? Rome teaches that the Mass is a continual "sacrifice" of Jesus Christ, but God's word states that Jesus made the FINAL sacrifice on Calvary! This is made perfectly clear in Hebrews 10:10-12: "By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins: But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God;"
The mass is unscriptural and unnecessary. Rome teaches that the mass is a continual sacrifice, but God's word states that Jesus Christ finished every work necessary to pay for all sin. There's no need for a continual sacrifice. There's nothing more to do except repent of your sins and believe on Christ. Just accept His finished work on Calvary as the final payment for your sins. John 1:12 says, "But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name."
Known as the father of the Seventh Day Adventists. Miller was a Baptist minister who falsely predicted the date of Christ’s second advent in the 1840's. Realizing his error, he alienated himself from the Adventist movement, but Ellen White rekindled the fire with her visions and writings, and the Adventists were here to stay. See Seventh Day Adventists.
Moon, Rev. Sun Myung
Founder of The Unification Church (the Moonies) who claims to have received a personal commission from Jesus Christ. See Unification Church.
The Mormon movement began with "the prophet" Joseph Smith, Jr. in the year 1820. Joe (as he was known) was born to some rather strange parents in 1805. His mother, Lucy, was involved in occult practices and visions, while his father, Joseph, Sr., consumed much time with imaginary treasure digging (including the booty of Captain Kidd).
According to Mormon writings (Pearl of Great Price, Joseph Smith - History 1:1-25), on a day in 1820, Joe was praying in the woods when he received a vision from God the Father and Jesus. It was revealed to Joe that the church was in apostasy and he was the chosen one to launch a new dispensation.
Being unwilling to drop his current occupation of money-digging with his father (while using "peep stones" and "divining rods"), Joe put his "calling" on hold for three years. Then, according to his own account (Pearl of Great Price, Joseph Smith - History 1:29-54), he was paid a bedside visit by the angel Moroni in 1823. Moroni, who professed to be the glorified son of a man named Mormon (who had been dead 1400 years), told Joe about a book of golden plates which contained "the fulness of the everlasting Gospel." This book was said to have been buried at Cumorah Hill, near Palmyra, New York, some 1400 years earlier by the man named Mormon. Four years later (1827), Joe supposedly dug up the golden plates along with a gigantic pair of spectacles which he called "the Urim and Thummim." The spectacles were for translating the hieroglyphics on the plates. With the help of his only legal wife and a friend named Oliver Cowdery, Joe translated the plates and published the Book of Mormon in 1830. Later that same year, Joe, his wife, his brothers (Hyrum and Samuel), and Cowdery established the "Church of Jesus Christ," which is known today as the "Church of Jesus Christ of Later Day Saints."
The Book of Mormon contains many plagerisms of the King James English (at least 25,000 words). This is strange since the plates were supposed to have been in the ground many centuries before the King James Bible was completed in 1611! The Book of Mormon also contains many errors such as claims of elephants in the Western Hemisphere and advanced metal producing capabilities in America before 400 A.D. (See Walter Martin’s Kingdom of the Cults for a fine study in the errors of the Mormon Bible)
The Mormons, under Smith’s command, turned out to be a rough bunch. Joe was a polygamist with at least twenty-seven wives (some say over 60 wives). The whole gang left New York for Ohio, and then moved to Missouri. The Missouri governor ran them out of the state, so they settled in Nauvoo, Illinois, and built the state’s largest city. In 1844, Joe and Hyrum were thrown in jail. Then an angry mob stormed the jail and murdered them both. Naturally, this "martyrdom" insured the perpetual reverence of the great "prophet" Joseph Smith.
The "church" then split. The Smith family headed for Independence, Missouri and started what is now the "Recognized Church of Jesus Christ of Later Day Saints." However, the majority of Smith’s followers chose Brigham Young as their new captain.
To escape U.S. laws, Young led the Mormons from Nauvoo to Salt Lake City in 1847 (which then belonged to Mexico). For the next thirty years, Young and his "saints" laid the foundation stones of the Mormon cult.
Little known to most Mormons, Young was a rather rough and ruthless character. In 1857, he commanded Bishop John D. Lee to murder a wagon train of over one hundred helpless non-Mormon immigrants. Twenty years later Lee was convicted and executed by the U.S. Government. Young escaped punishment, and his role in the Mountain Meadows Massacre has escaped the Mormon history books.
Young spent most of his "ministry" dodging the law to continue the immoral practice of polygamy. At the time of his death in 1877, Young had seventeen wives and fifty-six children.
Today the Mormon church is administrated by its "General Authorities." These authorities consist of the "First Presidency," the "Counsel of Twelve Apostles," the "First Quorum of the Seventy" and its presidency, the "Presiding Bishoprick," and the "Patriarch of the Church."
Male Mormons over twelve years of age are divided into priesthoods. The Aaronic order is the lesser priesthood, and the Melchizedek order is the higher.
The church is divided into thousands of "wards" and "stakes," with over 2000 branches and 180 missions, and over 5,000,000 members. Mormons are very missionary-minded people, with over 26,000 active missionaries. However, much of this missionary army consists of young men and women in their early twenties who must serve two years in missionary work while supporting themselves.
The Mormon people of today are highly respected in our society, but there is nothing respectable about their doctrines. Their principle heresies are:
2. Baptismal Regeneration
3. Deity of Man
4. Denial of the Blood Atonement
5. Denial of the Deity of Christ
6. Denial of the Deity of the Holy Spirit
7. Denial of a Literal Burning Hell
8. Denial of the Physical Resurrection of Christ
9. Denial of a Sin Nature from Birth
10. Denial of the Trinity
11. Multiple Authorities
13. Salvation through Works
14. True Church Theory
The "angel" who disobeyed Galatians 1:8-9 and appeared to Joseph Smith in 1823 to instruct him to dig up some golden plates in Cumorah Hill, New York. The Book of Mormon was supposedly translated from these plates. See Mormon.
"To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them." (Isa. 8:20) God’s word is the ONLY Divine authority upon this earth, yet many give tradition or their own religious writings, or even their feelings, just as much weight as God’s word. The Catholic authorities are the Bible (their Bible), the Pope, tradition, and the Church Fathers. Jehovah’s Witnesses look to the Bible (their Bible) and The Watchtower. Christian Science is built upon the Bible and Science and Health by Mrs. Eddy. Charismatics use the Bible until it contradicts their FEELINGS. Then they ignore the Bible and follow their feeling.
Musical Instruments Forbidden in Worship
A strange heresy taught mostly by the "Church of Christ." (and the Plymouth Brethern - Editor) The Bible is filled with musical instruments (Psa. 33:2-4; I Chron. 25:5-6; II Sam. 6:5; I Chron. 16:42; Neh. 12:27; Psa. 150), and there are even musical instruments in Heaven (Rev. 5:8; 14:2; 15:2)! To forbid instruments in worship is simply another case of ADDING to God’s word.
Two favorite texts for this heresy are Ephesians 5:19 and Colossians 3:16, which speak of Christian music coming from the heart. Neither verse forbids instruments, and neither verse speaks of a worship service. Both verses are dealing with an individual believer’s personal fellowship with Christ, not church worship services.
There is no such thing as "the Greek text," and no one living today has ever seen "the original Greek" because it hasn't existed since it fell apart many centuries ago. Usually when a man makes reference to "the Greek," he is having trouble believing what God has already told him in THE ENGLISH. There are over 5000 PIECES of manuscript evidence available, which have been found in different places, but there is no "original manuscript" in existence. No one knows what the "original" says, because no one has it, and no one living today has ever seen it.
Papacy and Priesthood
Catholic doctrine teaches that while Christ is in Heaven, the Pope is the appointed head of the church on earth. However, the Bible never mentions anyone being the head of the church except Jesus Christ Himself (Eph. 5:23).
In Matthew 16:18 Jesus says to Peter, "And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it." According to the Catholic Church, this is where Jesus appointed Peter to be the first Pope, the earthly head of the church. That is, the Catholics teach that "this rock" is a reference to Peter. The Scriptures are quite clear in stating that the Rock is Jesus Christ and no one else. In fact, Peter himself testifies of this truth when he calls Jesus the "chief cornerstone" in I Peter 2:6. Paul tells us in I Corinthians 3:11 that Jesus Christ is the "foundation". He then says in I Corinthians 10:4 that Jesus Christ is the "Rock". The reader might also give some consideration to the words of Moses in Deuteronomy 32:29-31. Jesus Christ is the foundation (I Cor. 3:11), the perfect match for the "rock" ("petra") of Matthew 16:18. Christ is clearly the Rock in Scripture (II Sam. 22:32; Psa. 40:2; 42:9; 89:26; 92:15; 94:22; Acts 4:11-12).
As for Peter being the first Pope, the sincere Bible student should note the following facts:
1. The word "Pope" is never mentioned once in God's word.
2. Peter was married (Mat. 8:14; I Cor. 9:5), while the Popes are not.
3. Peter refused to allow others to bow down to him (Acts 10:25-26), but the Popes allow such practices.
4. Peter didn't think very highly of tradition (I Pet. 1:18), yet tradition is a major authority in the Catholic Church.
5. Peter believed in waiting for the "crown of glory" (I Pet. 5:4), while all Popes believe in wearing a crown now.
6. If Peter was the Pope in Rome, as the Catholics teach, then why did Paul not mention him in his letter to the Romans? In Romans chapter 16, Paul gives the names of over twenty church members, yet he fails to mention Peter. How could this have happened if Peter was the Pope in Rome?
7. If Peter was the head of the church, why did Paul have to set him straight on doctrine in Galatians 2:11?
8. If Peter was the Pope, then why didn't he say so in his epistles? He simply labeled himself "an apostle of Jesus Christ" (I Pet. 1:1) and nothing more.
9. Paul wrote 100 chapters with 2,325 verses, while Peter wrote only 8 chapters with 166 verses. Why would "the Pope" write less?
10. Paul spoke of Peter, James, and John (not just Peter) being pillars in the church (Gal. 2:9). Peter is never magnified above the other Apostles.
11. Don't forget that it was Peter who denied the Lord Jesus Christ three times in one night (Mat. 26:69-75). Does this sound like something that would be done by the head of the church?
12. The Catholics believe that Peter was the first Pope in Rome, but the New Testament never speaks of Peter being anywhere near Rome.
Conclusion: The Bible never even hints of Peter being a Pope. This whole doctrine is Catholic tradition, totally lacking Scriptural support.
What about the priesthood? In the Bible, the Lord Jesus Christ is our High Priest (Heb. 3:1; 4:14-15; 5:5; 8:1; 9:11), and all Christians make up a spiritual priesthood (I Pet. 2:5). Only in the Old Testament do we find a special class of priests, the Levites, who make intercession to God for the common people. In the New Testament, Jesus Christ has sanctified all Christians through His completed work on Calvary (Heb. 10:10-11). All priests today are unnecessary and unscriptural.
However, the Roman Church desires to force upon it's members all sorts of sacramental laws and rituals in order to keep them faithful to "the Church". Such practices are foreign to the New Testament.
For example, the idea of calling a priest "father" is not New Testament Christianity, but rather OLD Testament paganism (Jud. 17:10). Jesus clearly forbids this in Matthew 23:9.
The New Testament never speaks of a special priest class to rule over the laity. In fact, Peter forbids this in I Peter 5:3: "Neither as being lords over God's heritage, but being ensamples to the flock." The "Nicolaitans" ("to conquer the laity") were also guilty of this wicked practice, and Jesus Christ said He HATES it (Rev. 2:6). By appointing priests, bishops, archbishops and popes, the Catholic Church has constructed a system which rules well over half a billion people!
One of the requirements of a Catholic priest is celibacy, in spite of the fact that Peter (their first "Pope") was a married man. There is simply no command in the Bible for any spiritual leader to be unmarried. In fact, I Timothy 3:2 says that a bishop must be the husband of one wife. I Timothy 4:1-3 told us that there would come a time when people would be "forbidding to marry", and Paul said this was a doctrine of devils. Why, even the OLD TESTAMENT priests were allowed to marry (Exo. 6:23-25)! The only priests who didn't marry were the pagan priests from places like Babylon who remained celibate to practice their religious prostitution. Should you confess your sins to a priest? No, you should not. Peter told Simon of Samaria to pray to GOD in Acts 8:22. Jesus Christ is the One Mediator between God and men (I Tim. 2:5). Jesus is the High Priest, while Christians make up a spiritual priesthood. A true Christian IS a priest (I Pet. 2:5, 9) and needs to confess to no one other than Jesus Christ. The Roman Catholic priesthood is totally unscriptural.
Parham, Charles F.
The "father" of the modern Pentecostal movement who founded the Bethel Bible College in 1900 and taught his students to speak in tongues as initial evidence of the baptism of the Holy Ghost. See Charismatic Groups.
The belief in more than one God. The Bible teaches that there is but one true God (Gen. 1:1; Mal. 2:10; Mark 12:29), and that all other "gods" are false gods (I Cor. 8:5-6).
This is the false belief that the millennial reign of Christ will be ushered in by the Church, and Jesus will not return until AFTER the earth has experienced one thousand years of peace and righteousness. This, of course, is pure foolishness. Man has never established peace and righteousness, and he never will. The Pre-Millennial view of the Second Coming is the only correct view.
The Promise Keepers is a massive organization of men who have made "Seven solid promises that will change a man’s life forever." The seven promises are titled: (1) A man and his God, (2) A man and his mentors, (3) A man and his integrity, (4) A man and his family, (5) A man and his church, (6) A man and his brothers, and (7) A man and his world. The promises include such seemingly good practices as honoring Jesus Christ through prayer and worship, obeying God’s word in the power of the Holy Spirit, pursuing and keeping friendships with other Promise Keepers, practicing purity, building and maintaining strong marriages and families, supporting the church and pastor, practicing Biblical unity, and influencing the world by obeying the Great Commandment and the Great Commission. To the average onlooker, the Promise Keepers appear to be a very commendable organization.
However, like with many other harmful groups, the outward appearance of the Promise Keepers covers the true danger of their movement. The basic danger lies in the unscriptural alliance between fundamental Christians, apostates, false teachers, and worldly philosophies. Sound doctrine is sacrificed on the alter of UNITY and MONEY.
The Promise Keepers have actually changed their statement of faith in order to better accommodate Roman Catholics. In fact, Bill McCartney, the 1991 founder of Promise Keepers, has told Our Sunday Visitor (a Catholic publication) that it was his intention to include Catholics from the very start. On page 19 of the book, Seven Promises of a Promise Keeper, Charismatic leader Jack Haylord includes the Catholic Eucharist and the Mass as ways to worship God. It is estimated that ten to twenty percent of Promise Keepers are Catholic.
Being unity lovers, the Charismatics also play a large roll in the Promise Keepers movement. A survey conducted at the Stand In The Gap Rally on October 4, 1997, indicated that about one third of the men there spoke in tongues, while most did not believe the Bible should be taken literally. Most also believed in a large revival in Christianity before the Second Coming, although God’s word says just the opposite (II Ths. 2:3-12; II Tim. 3:1-13; I Tim. 4:1-5). The survey also showed that most Promise Keepers were very proud of their ability to IGNORE BIBLE DOCTRINE for the sake of unity. The Bible says, "Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables." (II Tim. 4:2-4)
It seems that the most common characteristic among Promise Keepers isn’t unity or love. It is disregard, disrespect, and disobedience to the clear teachings of God’s word, especially where sound doctrine and separation are concerned (See II John). Christians that really love Jesus Christ will also love His WORDS (John 14:23). Those who claim His name, but ignore His words, are serving "another Jesus" through "another Spirit," and are proclaiming "another gospel" (Psa. 138:2; II Cor. 11:1-4; Mat. 7:22-23). "To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them." (Isa. 8:20) God’s word was here long before Bill McCartney and the Promise Keepers, and it will be here long after they’re gone. They would do well to start obeying it. "Whoso despiseth the word shall be destroyed: but he that feareth the commandment shall be rewarded." (Pro. 13:13)
Let's assume that you're a Roman Catholic and your Catholic mother dies. The Catholic Church teaches that she doesn't go straight to Heaven because her sins must be purged in a place called purgatory. She must burn in the fires of purgatory after death until all of her sins have been purged, and then she can enter Heaven. To speed up her purging process and to shorten her days in purgatory, you must pay money to the priest so he can pray and have special masses for her.
This heresy began creeping into the Roman Church during the reign of Pope Gregory around the end of the sixth century, and it has no scriptural support. In fact, Jesus warned us about this pagan practice in Matthew 23:14 when He spoke of those who devoured widows houses and made long prayers for a pretence. Psalm 49:6-7 tells us that a person couldn't redeem a loved one, even if such a place did exist: "They that trust in their wealth, and boast themselves in the multitude of their riches; None of them can by any means redeem his brother, nor give to God a ransom for him:"
Peter tells us in I Peter 1:18-19 that one cannot be redeemed with the corruptible riches of this world, but rather with the precious blood of Jesus Christ. Peter also addresses this issue in Acts 8:20 when he says, "Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money." God's word is clearly against the doctrine of purgatory.
So where did this belief originate? Actually, it's a very old pagan belief, beginning hundreds of years before Christ. Plato believed in it, as did the Stoics, Buddha, and the Moslems. Also, the Apocrypha speaks of praying for the dead in II Maccabees chapter twelve. The purgatory doctrine is simply another pagan heresy.
Quimby, Phineas P.
The clock-maker from Maine who developed the system of mental healing on which Christian Science and Unity are built. It was Quimby who first used the terms "The Science of Christ" and "Christian Science" long before Mrs. Eddy began her cult.
The belief that a person’s soul passes from one body to another at death. This process continues until the soul is "perfected." The Bible disagrees by saying that to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord (II Cor. 5:8).
Roman Catholic Church
The Roman Catholic Church claims to have started in Matthew 16:18 when Christ supposedly appointed Peter as the first Pope. However, the honest and objective student of the Scriptures and history soon discovers that the foundation of the Roman church is none other than the pagan mystery religion of ancient Babylon.
While enduring the early persecutions of the Roman government (65-300 A.D.), most of professing Christianity went through a gradual departure from New Testament doctrine concerning church government, worship and practice. Local churches ceased to be autonomous by giving way to the control of "bishops" ruling over hierarchies. The simple form of worship from the heart was replaced with the rituals and splendor of paganism. Ministers became "priests," and pagans became "Christians" by simply being sprinkled with water. This tolerance of an unregenerate membership only made things worse.
The Roman Senate eventually became the College of Cardinals, the Emperor became the Pope, the vestal virgins became the nuns, Jupiter became St. Peter, Venus became Mary, and many of the pagan idols took on Christian names. SPRINKLED PAGANISM is about the best definition for Roman Catholicism.
The Roman Emperor Constantine established himself as the head of the church around 313 A.D., which made this new "Christianity" the official religion of the Roman Empire. The first actual Pope in Rome was probably Leo I (440-461 A.D.), although some claim that Gregory I was the first (590-604 A.D.). This ungodly system eventually ushered in the darkest period of history known to man, properly known as the "Dark Ages" (500-1500 A.D.). Through popes, bishops, and priests, Satan ruled Europe, and Biblical Christianity became illegal.
Throughout all of this, however, there remained individual groups of true Christians, such as the Waldensens and the Anabaptists, who would not conform to the Roman system. Many Bible believers throughout history have acknowledged the Catholic church as Satan’s COUNTERFEIT church, and as the Babylonian "whore" of Revelation chapter 17. This author is no exception.
Some of the main heresies of the Catholic church are as follows:
1. Baptismal Regeneration
2. Celibate Priesthood
4. Denial of Eternal Security
5. Image Worship
6. Immaculate Conception
7. Infant Baptism
8. Mary Worship
10. Multiple Authorities
11. Papacy and Priesthood
13. Salvation through Works
14. True Church Theory
Russell, Charles Taze
Founder of the Jehovah’s Witnesses. In 1870, at only eighteen years of age, Russell started a Bible class in Pittsburgh which elected him as pastor six years later. His followers were called "Russellites."
Rutherford, Judge Joseph Franklin
Successor to Charles Russell as the leader of the Jehovah’s Witnesses. The movement experienced much growth during his reign from 1916 untill his death in 1942.
This is a heresy taught by the Seventh Day Adventists and the followers of Armstrongism. The Jews under the law of Moses were commanded to keep the sabbath day (Saturday) as a SIGN of their relationship to God (Exo. 20:8-11; Ezk. 20:12, 20; Neh. 9:14). Since Jesus "finished" the Old Testament law, the sabbath is no longer in effect as a sign between God and His people. Colossians 2:16-17 says, "Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days: Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ."
The "first day of the week" is the appointed day of worship for New Testament Christians. The disciples and New Testament Christians met and worshiped on the first day of the week (Acts 20:6-7; I Cor. 16:2). Jesus rose and completed our redemption on the first day of the week (Mark 16:9). Jesus met with His disciples after His resurrection - more than once - on the first day of the week (Mark 16:9-12; Mat 28:8-10; Luke 24:36). Jesus blessed His disciples and gave them the Holy Spirit on the first day of the week (John 20:19). The Gospel of a risen Saviour was first preached on the first day of the week (Luke 24:34). The Holy Spirit descended on the first day of the week (Acts 2 - We know Pentecost was on a Sunday because it was always on the 50th day after Passover - Lev. 23:15-16.) Christians do not keep the sabbath. We keep the first day of the week.
Salvation through Works
Any human effort to EARN eternal salvation. The Bible declares that salvation is a gift of God through the shed blood of Jesus Christ (Rom. 6:23; 5:15-18; John 3:16; Heb. 9:14, 22; Rev. 1:5). We are saved by grace through faith (Eph. 2:8-9). God imputes His righteousness to believers WITHOUT works (Rom. 4:1-8), because Christ has already PAID our sin debt. In Romans 11:6 Paul states the matter very clearly: "And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work." Anyone who teaches a plan of salvation through religious rituals, sacraments, keeping commandments, baptism, or just "doing more good than bad" is teaching heresy.
An ex-Presbyterian who became one of the "big four" pioneers of the Campbell movement. Scott was the first Campbellite to practice baptismal regeneration. See Church of Christ.
Seventh Day Adventists
This movement started in the mid 1800's after William Miller falsely predicted the date of Christ’s second advent. Miller stated that Christ would return in 1844, but when this didn’t happen Miller alienated himself from the Adventist movement. Later, Ellen G. White, a follower of Miller, began promoting Adventist teachings and having "visions". Her writings are considered "prophecy" in the SDA church. In 1844, White began teaching the doctrine of "Investigative Judgment," which is the belief that Christ entered the Holy of Holies in Heaven in 1844 and began an investigation of the records of men. This judgment is supposed to continue until the Second Advent, and no one can be sure of their salvation until then.
Today, this movement has over 5,000,000 members in nearly 28,000 churches, and over 6,000,000 students are enrolled in their Bible correspondence courses. Although probably not as harmful as the Jehovah’s Witnesses or the Mormons, the Seventh Day Adventists do teach a number of heresies with which Christians should be familiar:
2. Denial of a Literal Burning Hell
3. Multiple Authorities
4. Sabbath Keeping
5. Salvation through Works
6. Soul Sleep
Founder of the Mormon church. Smith claimed to have received a vision from God the Father and Jesus in 1820, and then a special visit from an angel named Moroni in 1823. As a result of these revelations, Smith organized the Mormon church. See Mormons.
Soul sleep is the false belief that the souls of the dead are unconscious until the Second Coming, and that no one is rejoicing in Heaven or burning in Hell right now.
When the Bible speaks of the death of a saint as being "sleep" it is speaking of their BODY, not their soul. Lazarus was dead in John 11:11-14, but Jesus referred to this as a "sleep" which Lazarus must be awaken from. Then Jesus later raised his BODY. In Matthew 27:52 the Bible says, "And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose." Even in the Old Testament the saints were not in an unconscious state while in the "paradise" section of the underworld. In Luke 16:22-31 Abraham was fully alert. Paul said, "For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better." In II Corinthians 5:8 Paul said, "We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord." Then in Revelation 6:10 the souls of some martyrs cry out and ask God, "...How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?" They were dead, but they weren’t asleep. Soul sleep is heresy.
The belief that God expects Christians to handle live poisonous snakes as a means of expressing their faith in Him. This comes from a misapplication of Mark 16:18, which was actually fulfilled in Acts 28:3-6 when Paul shook a viper off his hand without being harmed. See Apostolic Signs and Wonders.
An ex-Presbyterian preacher who led his flock to join forces with the Campbells in promoting their "water gospel." The Stonites and the Campbellites became "one" in the year 1832. See Church of Christ.
The theory that God created the universe and all life forms through the evolutionary process. Adherents to this theory profess to believe that the Bible and evolution can be reconciled so as not to contradict one another. Of course, this is impossible.
In the Bible, God is the Creator of all things (Gen. 1). In evolution, natural chance accounts for the existence of all things. In the Bible, all life forms are created in six literal days (Gen. 1). In evolution, life forms evolve over millions of years. In the Bible, creation has been completed (Gen. 2:3). In evolution, a natural creative process continues. In the Bible, oceans appear before land (Gen. 1:9). In evolution, land appears first. In the Bible, life begins on land (Gen. 1:11). In evolution, life began in water. In the Bible, the earth is made before the sun, moon, and stars (Gen. 1:14-19). In evolution, the earth comes later. In the Bible, all stars are made on the fourth day (Gen. 1:16). In evolution, the stars evolve at various times. In the Bible, birds and fishes are created on the fifth day (Gen. 1:20, 21). In evolution, fishes evolve hundreds of millions of years before birds. In the Bible, man appears before rain (Gen. 2:5). In evolution, rain appears before man. In the Bible, man is created before woman (Gen. 2:21-22). In evolution, woman genetically appears before man. In the Bible, light appears before the sun (Gen. 1:3-19; Psa. 74:16). In evolution, the sun appears before any light. In the Bible, plants appear before the sun (Gen. 1:11-19). In evolution, the sun appears first. In the Bible, the human body comes from dirt (Gen. 2:7). In evolution, the human body evolves from lower life forms over thousands of years. In the Bible, man exercises dominion over all organisms (Gen. 1:28). In evolution, most organisms become extinct before man evolves. In the Bible, man is originally a vegetarian (Gen. 1:29). In evolution, man is originally a meat eater. In the Bible, life comes in fixed and distinct "kinds" (Gen. 1:11, 12, 21, 24, 25; I Cor. 15:38-39). In evolution, life forms are in a continual state of flux. In the Bible, man's sin is the cause of death (Rom. 5:12). In evolution, struggle and death exist long before man evolves. So much for reconciliation.
Many theistic evolutionists even profess to be Christians--followers of Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ believed in the literal Genesis account of creation (Mark 10:6; 13:19), not theistic evolution. Also see Evolution.
True Church Theory
The True Church Theory is the false theory that the Lord Jesus Christ has a specific religious organization on the earth today, complete with a name, a membership, and a leadership, which makes up His "true church." This doctrine is found nowhere in God’s word. Everyone who has received Christ as their Saviour is a member of His church, which is a spiritual body of born-again believers (Eph. 4:4; 5:23-32; Col. 1:18-24; Heb. 12:23; Rev. 19:7; 5:9-10; 21:9).
The Unification Church is a classic example of a genuine "cult." Yong Myung Moon was born in 1920 in Korea. His family converted to Christianity when he was ten years old and joined the Presbyterian Church. At sixteen years of age Moon claimed that Christ appeared to him and commissioned him to finish the work that He (Christ) wasn’t able to finish. This work was to save humanity. Moon claimed to be the Messiah and demanded worship from his followers.
Yong Myung Moon (Dragon Shining Moon) changed his name to Sun Myung Moon (Sun Shining Moon) after meeting up with Park Moon Kim, another "messiah."
After his wife divorced him in 1954, Moon organized the Unification Church, and published his work, Divine Principle, about three years later. Divine Principle is considered by Moonies to be just as authoritative as the Bible.
Moon taught many strange beliefs and also dabbled in the occult. Due to his belief in physical salvation, sex became a major part of his "ministry." In the beginning, some reports indicated that he taught a doctrine of "blood cleansing." The idea behind this was that female members could be cleansed physically from sin by engaging in sexual intercourse with "Rev. Moon," and males could be cleansed by having intercourse with Moon’s "cleansed" women. As the cult grew this practice evidently ceased, but Moon continued to have much control over the marriages and sex lives of his members.
Moon came to America in 1972. He went to prison for tax evasion in 1984 and was released eleven months later. His members (the Moonies) have raised millions of dollars for him, and his church has grown to an estimated world-wide membership of about 3,000,000 people who honor Moon and his wife as the "True Father and True Mother.
As for their heresies, the Moonies reject fundamental Christianity as a whole. They teach that God has discarded Christianity as an outdated religion. They deny the deity of Christ, the completed blood atonement for sin, and the literal second Coming. In fact, Moonies believe that Jesus was a failure for being defeated by Satan at Calvary, and they believe "Rev. Moon" to be the "chosen one" to complete God’s salvation plan.
Unity School of Christianity
Unity is a Gnostic cult like Christian Science, except Christian Science denies the literal existence of matter, while Unity acknowledges that God can express Himself in matter and in mind.
Founded by Charles and Myrtle Fillmore in 1889, Unity is just another bad apple from the corrupt tree planted by Phineas P. Quimby, whose theories about mental healing also inspired Mary Baker Eddy (Christian Science). They began a publication titled Modern Thought in 1889 and then changed it to Christian Science Thought a year later. Mary Baker Eddy objected to the Fillmores using her group’s name, so they changed it to Thought. In the 1890's, the Fillmores became very interested in Hinduism and Yogaism which brought about their beliefs in reincarnation and vegetarianism.
This cult school is still operated by the Fillmore family. Unity Village, the cult’s headquarters, is located in Lees Summit, Missouri. They have a huge printing operation, which produces such publications as Wee Wisdom for children (a Sunday school quarterly), Good Business for working men, and a weekly devotional titled Weekly Unity. Walter Martin (Kingdom of the Cults) says that Unity is "probably the most inoffensive of all the cults." Unity followers are allowed to remain in the churches of their choice while subscribing to the Unity publications.
Like Christian Science, the heresies of Unity are numerous. Some are listed below:
1. Deity of Man
2. Denial of Blood Atonement
3. Denial of Deity of Christ
4. Denial of Deity of Holy Ghost
5. Denial of Eternal Security
6. Denial of Literal Burning Hell
7. Denial of the Physical Resurrection of Christ
8. Denial of Literal Second Coming of Christ
9. Denial of Sin Nature from Birth
10. Denial of the Trinity
11. Denial of the Virgin Birth
12. Multiple Authorities
14. Salvation through Works
During His physical life on earth, Jesus often exercised His Deity by performing miracles through the Divine power of the Holy Ghost. In Matthew 12:22-32, the Pharisees witness one of the Lord's many miracles. Then, instead of believing on Jesus, they accused Him of performing miracles through the power of the Devil. He then told them that men could be forgiven for blasphemy (evil and hurtful speaking) against men and against Him, but that blasphemy against the Holy Ghost could NEVER be forgiven. A companion reference for this is found in Mark 3:30, where we are told WHY Jesus said this to them: "Because they said, he hath an unclean spirit."
It is important to note that nothing is said about this particular sin after Calvary. It is only mentioned during the life of Christ on earth, while He was working genuine miracles by the power of the Holy Ghost. It is also needful to understand that blasphemy is a sin of the TONGUE. A person could not commit blasphemy with thoughts or actions. It was strictly a sin of the tongue, and it could only be committed by openly accusing Jesus Christ of working through Satanic power.
Some teach that this sin may still be committed today, but there is no scriptural support for this. In fact, when Jesus later speaks of the coming of the Holy Ghost to indwell believers, He said that the Holy Ghost would convict the world of three things: sin, righteousness, and judgment. He then said that the Holy Ghost would convict the world of SIN for ONE REASON: "because they believe not on me." (John 16:7-11) It seems that if blasphemy against the Holy Ghost was to be the greatest sin of this age, that Jesus would have used this opportunity to warn us about it, but He warned us about UNBELIEF instead. Some Charismatic groups, who profess to be LED by the Holy Ghost, are in the habit of accusing anyone who opposes them of blaspheming the Holy Ghost. For example, some Charismatics would say that I have blasphemed the Holy Ghost in this booklet, because I have written things in opposition to their practice of speaking in unknown tongues and faith healing. That's baloney. Even if they WERE doing all these things by the Holy Ghost (which they are not), it still would not be unpardonable to speak against it. Many people have spoken against great Christian works and then gotten saved later. The Apostle Paul is a good example (Acts 8-9). The blood of Jesus Christ cleanses us from ALL SIN (I John 1:9), and if you want to commit the unpardonable sin in this age, then you will have to reject Jesus Christ as your Saviour. Go ahead and reject Christ, and when you stand before God at the White Throne Judgment, you will NOT be forgiven.
Now we do realize that a person can reject Christ for so long that God the Holy Ghost pulls away and stops convicting that individual. In which case the individual never receives Christ, never receives forgiveness of sin, and goes to Hell (Pro. 1:23-33; Isa. 55:6-7; John 12:37-43), but only God knows when a person crosses that line. No man on this planet has any scriptural authority for telling someone that God will never forgive them for their sins.
A heresy promoted by various cults, liberal churches, and the Charismatic Movement. I Timothy 2:11-12 says, "Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence." I Timothy 3:2 states that a bishop (a pastor) must be the HUSBAND of one wife, which is not possible for a woman. So it is unscriptural for a woman to be a preacher or a pastor. Women are not forbidden to teach children because teaching children doesn’t constitute the usurping of authority over men.
Worldwide Church of God
The Worldwide Church of God (not to be confused with the Church of God) began with a radio broadcast in 1934. The place was Eugene, Oregon, and the man was Herbert W. Armstrong.
Herbert left the "Church of God Seventh Day" because of his beliefs in Anglo-Israelism, and he had failed more than once as a business man in the depression. Using his advertising experience, he began the Plain Truth magazine, which still enjoys a wide circulation today.
Armstrong’s Bible studies began after a controversy with his wife over keeping the Sabbath. He finally concluded that everyone was wrong for worshiping God on the first day of the week and that true Christians should observe the Old Testament Jewish sabbath. He also concluded that man can become God, while denying some of the most fundamental doctrines of the Bible.
Herbert Armstrong was very bold with his words. In a personal letter to Robert Sumner in 1958, Armstrong stated that it was HE whom God chose to fulfill the prophecy of Matthew 24:14 (preaching the gospel of the kingdom in all the world). He believed that no one other than himself was preaching the true gospel, and that no one had been since the first century. Like so many others, HE claimed to be God’s chosen one to restore true Christianity. Herbert was also a notorious date setter. He predicted the rapture of the church (his church) on several occasions, but only to be proven wrong. He’s dead, and his church is still here.
The Worldwide Church of God has not been without its problems. For four months in 1972, Garner Ted Armstrong (Herbert’s son) was relieved of his ministry duties, and in 1978 he was thrown out altogether on reports of sexual and financial misconduct. Garner Ted now heads up his own cult in Tyler, Texas--the Church of God International.
Upon his son’s dismissal, Herbert took full control again and remained in control until his death in 1986. At ninety-two years of age, Herbert was divorced by his wife Romona, who was only forty-five. Some reports indicated that Armstrong had been involved in some sexual misconduct, including incest.
Here follow some of the heresies taught by Herbert W. Armstrong and his "church":
3. Baptismal Regeneration
4. Deity of Man
5. Denial of the Blood Atonement
6. Denial of the Deity of Christ
7. Denial of the Deity of the Holy Ghost
8. Denial of Eternal Security
9. Denial of a Literal Burning Hell
10. Denial of the Physical Resurrection of Christ
11. Denial of the Trinity
13. Sabbath Keeping
14. Salvation through Works
15. True Church Theory
Since the first printing of this booklet, I have learned that the Worldwide Church of God has repented of many of the above heresies and now embraces fundamental Christianity. To this we offer a hearty "amen," but the fact remains that millions of their old publications are still being read by millions of people throughout the world. Such publications still bear their name, therefore, we think it best to leave this section of the booklet in tact as an effort to combat the errors of such publications.
What Should A Church Believe?
20 Questions to Ask before Joining a Church
Before joining any church, ask for a Statement of Faith and check it carefully. If one is not available, at least speak with the Pastor personally and get answers to the following questions. This concerns YOUR spiritual well-being. You have every right to ask questions. In fact, a genuine Bible-believing Pastor will appreciate you asking doctrinal questions.
The answer to every question should be a very definite "Yes." If the answer is "No" or "I’m not sure," then keep looking because there are better churches to join. A "Yes" answer to each question doesn’t guarantee that the church in question will be the best one for you, but it does help you to guard yourself from many of the heresies in our midst. (Scripture references for the following are found throughout this booklet.)
I. Do you believe God has preserved an infallible copy of His word for us today?
II. Do you believe the King James Bible is God’s infallible word for the English speaking people?
III. Do you believe that God is a Holy Trinity, consisting of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit?
IV. Do you believe that the Lord Jesus Christ was born of a virgin, without a man being involved, and lived a sinless life for thirty-three years as God manifest in the flesh?
V. Do you believe that the Lord Jesus Christ died and paid for our sins on Calvary’s cross through the shedding of His own sinless blood?
VI. Do you believe that the Lord Jesus Christ rose physically from the dead for our justification?
VII. Do you believe that the Son of God, the Lord Jesus Christ, currently sits at the right hand of God the Father as our High Priest?
VIII. Do you believe that the Holy Spirit is a Divine Person who convicts the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment?
IX. Do you believe that the Holy Spirit is the Supernatural Agent in regeneration, baptizing all believers into the body of Christ?
X. Do you believe that the apostolic sign gifts of the Holy Spirit, such as speaking in tongues and the gift of healing, are not for today, since they were for the purpose of confirming the preached word of God to Israel in the first century?
XI. Do you believe that all men are born with a sin nature, and that salvation through Christ is needful for all?
XII. Do you believe in the eternal security of those who have received Christ as Saviour?
XIII. Do you believe that the church is the bride of Christ, consisting of all born-again believers?
XIV. Do you believe in the autonomy of the local church?
XV. Do you recognize water baptism and the Lord's Supper as Scriptural ordinances of obedience for the church?
XVI. Do you agree that the majority of professing Christianity is in apostasy, and that true Christians need to practice Biblical separation from such people?
XVII. Do you believe in the literal, physical, imminent Second Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ?
XVIII. Do you believe in a literal glorious Heaven for the saved, and in a literal burning Hell for the lost?
IXX. Do you believe that Satan is a literal living being who opposes God, and who will be condemned to eternal punishment in the Lake of Fire?
XX. Do you believe in the literal word-for-word Genesis account of creation?