To Be Absent From The Body...
by Dr. Ken Matto
(2 Cor 5:8 KJV) We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.
In the past two weeks we witnessed two highly publicized deaths. The first death was that of Terry Schiavo who was murdered by starvation by her husband and with the help of the judicial system. The second death we saw was that of Pope John Paul II. Right after the death of the Pope the announcers were coming on with interviews with all kinds of government officials both past and present. In fact, Larry King even interviewed Billy Graham on the telephone concerning the Pope’s passing. Of course, Billy boy sang the praises of the Pope in contrast to what Charles Haddon Spurgeon had to say about Catholicism:
Charles Spurgeon, from "Christ the Glory of His People"
Alas! alas! It makes a Christian's blood boil to see glory given to a pack of scamps who call themselves priests!
Does it not make a man feel, when you see pictures of 'his holiness' and the cardinals, and so on, scattering their benedictions at the Vatican, or at St. Peter's, while admiring crowds fall down and worship them, that it were infinitely better to bow to the devil himself?
We give glory unto God, but not a particle of glory to anything in the shape of a man, or an angel either.
Have I not stood and seen the crowds by hundreds fall down and worship images and dressed up dolls? I have seen them worship bones and old teeth; I have seen them worship a skeleton, dressed out in modern costume said to be the skeleton of a saint.
I have marveled to see people so infatuated as to think that such idolatry was pleasing to the most high God.
We, brethren, the people of God, who know Christ, can give no glory to this rubbish, but turn away from it with horror!
Our glory must be given to Christ, and to Christ alone!
Christ and Christ only must be the grand object of the Christian; the promotion of His glory must be that for which he is willing to live, and for which, if needs be, he would be prepared to die.
Oh! down, down, down, with everything else--but up, up, up, with the cross of Christ!
Down with your baptism, and your masses, and your sacraments! Down with your priest-craft, and your rituals, and your liturgies! Down with your fine music, and your pomp, and your robes, and your garments, and all your ceremonials!
But up, up, up, with the doctrine of the naked cross, and the expiring Savior!
-Courtesy of Grace Gems - 4/3/05
I remember right after the Pope was declared to have died some priest came on and said that “The Virgin Mary was now going to intercede for him.” During the past week Roman Catholicism received a lot of press and will continue to receive it until things get back to normal. This means that millions of people were exposed to the false teachings of this institution. I don’t think any true Christian is rejoicing in the fact that this man is now awaiting the judgment of God for his life of religious idolatry.
A few days before the Pope died we saw the death of Terry Schiavo and after her death we also heard that mass was being said for her outside of the hospice where she died and James Dobson had Terry’s priest on his program on 3/31 (Dobson also received a degree from a Catholic college in Steubenville, Ohio). If Terry was a Roman Catholic, then she too is now awaiting the judgment of God. We must keep in mind that because a person suffers, even at the hand of someone else is not an indicator that they are automatically going to heaven upon their demise. If a person is going to Heaven, they must be redeemed by the Lord Jesus Christ and be born again. No one enters Heaven by reason of being religious or by suffering. Throughout history, there have been millions of people that suffered and did not go to Heaven.
It must grieve the heart of God when redeemed Protestants consider adherents to the Roman Catholic religion as Christians. No one can become a Christian unless it is through Christ. No one can come to Glory except through Christ. Whether one is a Pope or victim of the evil of another, we cannot expect a person to enter Heaven based on those grounds. I can say, without being a prophet, that over the next few months we are going to hear Protestant preachers singing the praises of the Pope without teaching their people the truth about that religion. Pope John Paul ruled over one of the largest scandals in the Roman Catholic Church, that of the rise in number of homosexual priests resulting in massive amounts of child molestation. To the best of my recollection, he didn’t do much to solve the problem but instead became window dressing to try and squelch the negative publicity it caused.
We must also keep in mind that it was under the rule of the Popes that the bloody inquisition was started and millions of true Christians met horrible deaths which were sanctioned by Rome. Roman Catholics cannot be viewed as brethren but must be viewed as heathens in a mission field. Chick tracts are definitely free will but they have a hard hitting tract which is also a good conversation starter called “Are Roman Catholics Christians?” At this point it would be good to keep some of these on hand and give them to people who ask about this religion since it is going to be in the news for a while. Here is the URL plus other RC tracts that Chick offers. If they are not live URL’s then please copy and paste.
Are Roman Catholics Christians? - http://www.chick.com/reading/tracts/0071/0071_01.asp
Last Rites - http://www.chick.com/reading/tracts/0082/0082_01.asp
The Death Cookie - http://www.chick.com/reading/tracts/0074/0074_01.asp
Why is Mary Crying? - http://www.chick.com/reading/tracts/0040/0040_01.asp
We can no longer follow men like James Dobson, Billy Graham, Jack Van Impe and others who sing the praises of Roman Catholicism. Keep in mind that they must also solicit donations to stay on the air so instead of seeing these people as a mission field, they see them as a donation field. All teachings must be compared with the Scriptures and I mean your King James Bible. Are you aware that the modern versions agree with the Roman Catholic Bible? If you think I am kidding, go to: www.scionofzion.com/kjv_1611_yahoo.htm
The name “Vatican” in Latin means “hill of divination.” Just by the name of the central headquarters of this institution you can tell what you are dealing with. If one goes to Rome, you will also see many forms of idolatry from the Egyptian Obelisk to the sun god Ra otherwise known as the monstrance. None of these things have anything to do with true Christianity and that is why Roman Catholicism cannot be considered a Christian denomination. The unsaved world sees them as another denomination but when their teachings are compared to the pure teachings of the Scriptures, we cannot conclude anything else than that religion is a false one leading countless millions to eternal damnation.
The Popes and Bishops and even Mother Angelica of EWTN may come across as the friend of everyone but they must be viewed as serpents ready to sting with the venom of false teachings which lead people to Hell and not Christ. Mary is held up higher than Christ in the RC establishment. If Pope John Paul was so moral, then why does Mary have to intervene for him? It is because in Roman Catholic theology, she is co-redemptrix with Christ. The word Trinitarian means three and that is how we would describe the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost but I want to invent a new word called “Quadratarian” which would mean four in the Godhead because Roman Catholicism adds and equates Mary with the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. We find nothing of this in the Scriptures.
The Roman Catholic theologians use allegory to make Mary a queen of Heaven.
(1 Ki 2:19 KJV) Bathsheba therefore went unto king Solomon, to speak unto him for Adonijah. And the king rose up to meet her, and bowed himself unto her, and sat down on his throne, and caused a seat to be set for the king's mother; and she sat on his right hand.
In this verse the Roman Catholic theologians claim that Solomon is a picture of Christ who is having another throne placed by him for his mother Bathsheba who is supposed to represent Mary. This is one reason allegory is very dangerous when it is misused. It can make the Bible say anything and here it creates and endorses the idea that Mary shares the same authority that Christ does which is nowhere taught in the Scriptures. Mary was the human vessel by which the Lord Jesus Christ entered the world. The fact that Mary gave birth to Him did not automatically mean she became co-redemptrix. This idea of the exaltation of Mary is really an old Babylonian heresy which has been perpetuated down through the ages, normally portrayed as a cult of the virgin. We saw it in Acts 19, where the town of Ephesus portrayed itself as the center of Diana worship believing she came from the god Jupiter.
Whenever we trace back a belief system like Roman Catholicism, we need not go to far before we will find extreme contradictions to the Scriptures. This is why Christians must be far more astute than their teachers because many times teachers and preachers feel they have to maintain relations with false religions, (I don’t know why) but they are in violation of the Scriptures. (2 Cor 6:15 KJV) And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? We may have to work with the unregenerate and we may have to partake of their services but that does not mean we adopt nor accept their belief systems. Many Christians are chided by other Christians for even suggesting the fact that Roman Catholics are not true Christians. Our understanding of who a Christian is must come from the pages of Holy Writ and not from the commentaries of unsaved men or sellout preachers. Christ came to save His people and only those whom He has saved are true Christians. Becoming a member of a religious denomination does not make you a Christian, it makes you a member of that denomination and that is all.
During the next few weeks, when the Roman Cardinals are going to choose a new Pope, this will open up a great door for Christians all over this world to be able to expose this religion for what it is. (1 Cor 16:9 KJV) For a great door and effectual is opened unto me, and there are many adversaries. Paul saw the great door open for him at Ephesus where Diana was their central deity. History repeats itself as we see a door opened where Mary is the central deity. The majority will not be up to the challenge since they have accepted the lie that Roman Catholicism is another denomination but there will be the faithful minority who will take up the challenge and try to bring people out of that Babylonian system. My question is, will you be ready? Some years ago I did a study on Roman Catholicism where I compared their rituals and teachings to Scripture. It may be accessed at: www.scionofzion.com/rc.htm (4/8/05)