Previously on Face the Truth, the history of Christianity after the time of the apostles and the first century Church, is one built on false teachings, lies and drenched in blood. Unfortunately these facts all point to the Catholic Church, but are they the only ones?
Brother Barry: Previously on Face the Truth, we took at a look at the history of Christianity after the time of the Apostles in the first century church, discovered a past built on false teachings, lies, and drenched in blood as forewarned by the Lord Jesus Christ and his apostles. Unfortunately, these facts all point to the Catholic church, but are they the only ones? Find out on Face the Truth.
Welcome to Face the Truth, a program brought to you by the Church of Christ. I’m brother Barry Thompson. In our previous episodes we have been covering the real history of Christianity. Now, we use the word “real” because what many people know as Christianity is not what the Lord Jesus Christ established. In fact, what has happened to the church that Jesus Christ established in the first century could certainly make the best seller list for great works of fiction. But unfortunately the things that have happened to the Church of Christ established are sadly true. The grave warnings Christ and his apostles gave concerning the apostasy of the church were that the church would abandon the true faith was fulfilled. The fulfillment of this apostasy was and is the Catholic church. Now we know that some would dismiss this as anti-Catholic rhetoric, however the Catholic church itself gives us the proof that it is the product of apostasy and the proof is in her teachings. Now so that you could clearly see this truth, let us first define the term apostasy. Now from the World English Dictionary, it states this:
Abandonment of one’s religious faith, party, a cause, etc.
[World English Dictionary]
So, apostasy is an abandonment of one’s religious faith. And in the case of our study, it would be to abandon the true teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ, the apostles, and the Church of Christ established by Christ in the first century. Now, this was actually mentioned by Henry H. Halley in his Bible Handbook on page 760:
The Imperial Church of the 4th and 5th centuries had become an entirely different institution from the persecuted church of the first three centuries. In its ambition to rule, it lost and forgot the spirit of Christ.
[Halley’s Bible Handbook p. 760]
Now, do you notice that what was mentioned about the Church after the time of the apostles was that the church had become an entirely different institution? And so what happened to the church? Again, from Halley’s Bible Handbook, still on page 760, this is written:
The Church had changed its Nature, had entered its Great Apostasy…
[Halley’s Bible Handbook pg. 760]
And so, the church entered its Great Apostasy. And so in the course of our study for the past two episodes, we have been giving you the biblical pronouncements showing you that what Christ and the apostles warned about actually happened. History attests to this fact. Now, the Catholic church, though it traces its history back to the early years of Christianity, it cannot be identified with the church Christ established in the first century. It cannot be identified with the teachings of the apostles. But who else teaches this about the Catholic Church? The answer might surprise you. Find out when we return of Face the Truth.
Welcome back to Face the Truth. Today we’re talking about the real history of Christianity. Now, perhaps you’re not surprised if we or anyone else who is not a Catholic would teach that the Catholic church abandoned the true teachings of Christ and the apostles, and thus is a fulfillment and the result of the apostasy. However, I am sure you will be shocked to learn that the Catholic church readily admits to this fact. In fact, in a Catholic book entitled The Spirit of Catholicism written by Karl Adam on page 2, this is stated:
We Catholics acknowledge readily, without any shame, nay with pride, that Catholicism cannot be identified simply and wholly with primitive Christianity, nor even with the Gospel of Christ, in the same way that the great oak cannot be identified with the tiny acorn.
[The Spirit of Catholicism p. 2]
It’s hard to believe that the Catholic church would admit it cannot be identified with Christianity of the first century or with the gospel of Christ. What’s even more shocking is that they are proud of it. It doesn’t matter to them that they abandoned the true faith and the teachings of Christ. Now, as Catholic priests themselves believe, what is the reason the Roman Catholic church can hardly be identified with primitive Christianity and the gospel of Christ? In the same book, on pages 50 and 57, this is also stated:
“Without the Scripture,” says Mohler, “the true form of the sayings of Jesus would have been withheld from us…” “Yet the Catholic does not derive his faith in Jesus from the Scriptures,” “…I learn the complete Christ, not from the Bible…”
[The Spirit of Catholicism p. 50, 57]
You notice what was written? The Catholic church also admits that its members do not derive their faith from the scriptures or from the bible. In other words, its teachings are not from the Lord Jesus Christ and the apostles because that is what we can find written in the bible or the holy scriptures.
Now, we can find many proofs of what we just learned—that the Catholic does not derive his teaching or the Catholic church’s teachings do not come from the bible. For example, the worshipping of idols, praying for the dead, repetitious prayers, and so many other things that the Catholic church upholds are in direct violation of the commandments of God, the teachings of Christ as well as the teachings of the apostles.
But is the Catholic church the only one? We’ll find out when we return on Face the Truth.
Welcome back to Face the Truth. Today we’re talking about the real history of Christianity. At this point, because we have identified that the Catholic church cannot be identified with the true Christianity, or the true church of Christ established by Christ in the first century, those who are not Catholic or do not identify themselves as Catholic would probably be boasting at this point that well, we are Protestants. And perhaps they are believing that the various churches that they belong to came from Christ.
However, when we ended our previous episode, we mentioned that we would find out where the other churches came from. We also told you that you would be shocked. To find out about the origin of the other churches that exist today, and there’s no many, we need to first find out about the difference between the church established by Christ versus the false one and the false ones. Now how did the apostle Paul refer to the church established by our Lord Jesus Christ? In 2 Corinthians 11 and 2, Apostle Paul tells us this:
For I am jealous for you with godly jealousy. For I have betrothed you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.
[2 Corinthians 11:2 New King James Version]
Now, here apostle Paul is speaking to the church, to the members of the church and the church as a whole. How did he address the members of the church or refer to the church? He referred to the church as a chaste virgin, or in other words, a pure woman.
Now on the other hand, how does the bible describe the false church? Is it still the same like what apostle Paul mentioned? Let’s read, this time from the book of Revelation, the chapter is 17, and the verses are 1 and 5.
Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls came and talked with me, saying to me, “Come, I will show you the judgment of the great harlot who sits on many waters, and on her forehead a name was written: mystery, Babylon the great, the mother of Harlots and of the abominations of the earth.
[Revelations 17:1, 5 New King James Version]
How does the bible describe the false church? Well, the false church is described as a harlot, a bad woman or an impure woman. Now it was also mentioned that this woman which is really referring to a church is seated upon many waters. What does this mean? Well, we don’t give the explanation of meanings. We let the bible explain to us what that means. What is the meaning that the woman mentioned here, which is really a church, is seated upon many waters? Let’s go to verse 15 for the explanation.
Then he said to me, “The waters which you saw, where the harlot sits, are peoples, multitudes, nations, and tongues.”
[Revelation 17:15 New Kings James Version]
So, what does the phrase seated upon many waters really mean that was mentioned in verse 1 where the harlot is seated? Well, the bible tells us that the waters refer to where the harlot sits are peoples, so all kinds of people, multitudes, many people, nations comprising different nations and tongues or different languages, or in other words, extending all over the world. Now is there a religion or church today that claims to be universal or extending all over the world? Well, why don’t we read from Catholic Catechism. On page 146, this is what we can read:
The word ‘Catholic’ means ‘universal’ extending all over the world.
[The Catholic Catechism p. 146]
So do you notice that the very word Catholic means universal. You can find Catholics all over the world made up of people from different countries, continents, speaking different languages. In fact, there are over a billion Catholics worldwide.
Now, it was also mentioned in the verse we read earlier that this false church has a name. By what name is the church that turned away from Christ called? Let’s go back to Revelation 17 and 5, and let’s see what was stated here:
And on her forehead a name was written: MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.
[Revelation 17:5 New King James Version]
So, this false church has a name of Babylon. Well, what is referred to as Babylon? Well, in 1 Peter 5:13, in the footnote, from the Douay-Rheims version of the bible, it says this and I quote:
A Metaphor probably founded on Jewish usage.
[1 Peter 5:13 Footnote, Douay-Rheims Bible]
What is referred to as Babylon? Well, it refers to Rome. So, now we have to find out which church claims to be universal and bears the name of Rome. I’m sure you’ve already guessed it. But we’re going to read it to you anyhow. Again, which church claims to be universal and bears the name of Rome? Catholic Catechism, pg. 146 again, this is stated:
The Church is called Roman Catholic because its chief ruler is the lawful bishop of Rome.
[Catholic Catechism p. 146]
Well, there you have it. So we have identified the first false church: the Catholic church which we have been studying about for these past few episodes. However, there are so many other churches that exist today which are not Catholic, the many various Protestant denominations. Well, what ties do they have with the Catholic church and how tightly are they connected? Find out when we come back on Face the Truth.
Coming up, so many denominations, so many churches, but where did they all come from? Stay with us on Face the Truth.
Welcome back to Face the Truth. Today we’re talking about the real history of Christianity. Now, earlier we identified the Catholic church as the first false church. But it is alone? Did you notice what was mentioned in Revelation 17:5? First we read in Revelation 17:1 that the false church is referred to as a harlot, but not only that. In verse 5, this harlot or bad woman which refers to a church is called the mother of harlots. In other words, this woman or false church has offspring or children.
Now what other churches branch out from the Catholic church? I’ll be reading an excerpt from a book entitled Religion in the United States by Benson Y. Landis. On page 60, this is what we can read, and I quote:
The protestant Episcopal Church in the United States is one of the eighteen independent religious bodies that grew out of the Church of England as it expanded during the great age of British discovery and commerce… The principal characteristics of the Protestant Episcopal church have thus been derived from the Church of England, which in 1534, after a long process of separation, became independent of the Roman Catholic Church.
[Religion in the United States p. 60]
So, what other churches branched out from the Catholic church? Well, we just learned her offspring is the Anglican church or the Protestant Episcopal Church. And what about the other Protestant churches? From where did they originate? From another excerpt from Collier’s Encyclopedia, Volume 19, page 432, I quote:
During the Reformation the new form of Christianity called Protestantism subdivided, almost as it appeared, into four major branches… The fragmentation of Protestantism was subsequently extended by doctrinal disputes within established groups and by claims of new revelation that necessitated the founding of new sects.
[Collier’s Encyclopedia, Vol. 19, p. 432]
And what about the other Protestant churches? From where did they originate? Well almost from the start of the Reformation and the separation from the Catholic church, Protestants or the Protestant churches divided, subdivided into major branches. What are the four major branches? We would learn from history that they are Lutheranism, Presbyterianism, Anglicanism, and the Anabaptist. And, so you see, the church, the Catholic church started to have even offspring, which are the Protestant denominations, groups, and churches.
Do you know the extent of this unity and this harmony in Protestantism? We are going to read to you an excerpt from a religious magazine published by The Moody Bible Institute of Chicago. The magazine is Moody Monthly. In their September 1984 issue on page 28, it says this, and I quote:
With 20,800 denominations in the world, supplemented by more than 15,000 distinct parachurch agencies, we have “something for everyone”, the carnival midway of Christianity. But the competition among these carnival booths is anything but amusing.
[The Moody Monthly: September 1984 p. 28]
How much disharmony, disunity can we find in Protestantism? Or in other words, how many different churches? Well in 1984, take note that we’re in 2011 now, but in 1984, there were more than 20,800. That’s a lot. When you say a lot of children, a lot of offspring. And because of these divisions in Protestantism, what have the Protestants themselves noticed? From that same magazine, same page, let’s continue to read:
…today’s churches bear little resemblance to the first century model.
[The Moody Monthly: September 1984 p. 28]
This is not coming from us. This is coming from the Protestants themselves. They say that today’s churches or all of the various churches that you see existing today, they bear little resemblance to the first century model. Why is it that they bear little resemblance to the first century model? Remember the church of the first century, the one established by Christ, the Church of Christ, was only one. That is not what you see in Protestantism. And so, what is admitted by Protestants? Same magazine again, another excerpt, same page, I quote:
Division within the Church arose from unfaithfulness to Christ…has marred the body of Christ…
[The Moody Monthly: September 1984 p. 28]
So the Protestants admit, or maybe not all of them, but at least in this magazine, they admit that division arose or is due to unfaithfulness to Christ. The same with the Catholic church. The Catholic church turned away from the teachings of Christ. The various Protestant denominations and churches that exist are also the result or the product we should say of the Catholic church, the offspring of the Catholic church.
Yes, they may have left the Catholic church, but it doesn’t mean that they qualify to be the true church because they’ve also contained and uphold teachings that are against the teachings of Christ. One of which is division. Because in the true church, there is unity. And you can read that in Ephesians 4:4-6, but that’s not what you find in Protestantism. And so many may find it hard to believe and to accept that the Catholic church and the various churches that exist today are not the work of Christ nor the apostles but the facts are the facts. And for the past two episodes, and this one today, we have shown you those facts. Christ established only one true church: the Church of Christ. This was the Church preached by His apostles. This one true church did not however remain true to the faith, became the Catholic church which in turn gave birth to various Protestant churches.
The Lord Jesus Christ and His apostles forewarned it. The bible records it, and history proves it. What should you do with this information? We presented this information to you so that you would be well-informed, so that you will know the real history of Christianity, which also tells you the history of the church to which you may belong. Then you can make correct decisions about your spiritual future. Now, what we have presented to you is not the end of all things, for we will continue to compare the various religions and churches and beliefs that exist today with the truth recorded in the holy scriptures.
You know the truth, it may be painful at first, but whether we accept it or not, whether we believe it or not, the truth is something we all must face. Thanks for joining us on Face the Truth. See you again next time. God bless.