The Pope and the Church!
What Are The Bible Facts?
The Pope is acclaimed to be 'Vicar of Jesus Christ', 'The Holy Father', and 'Head of the Universal Church'.
It is also asserted that the apostle Peter was the first Pope, that he was appointed as such by the Lord Jesus Christ, and that the modern Popes reign by right of apostolic succession.
The purpose of this folder is to show from Bible facts that such claims are false.
Eight Bible Reasons Why The Papacy Is Erroneous:
1. CALL NO MAN "FATHER". Referring to those who called themselves spiritual leaders, Jesus said,
"And call none your father upon earth: for one is your father, who is in heaven" (MATTHEW 23:9; Douai Roman Catholic Bible - referred to by abbreviation D.V. in the following).
The title 'Pope' derived from the Latin 'papa', means 'father' and the Pope is commonly called 'The Holy Father'. This title is a denial of Christ's Word.
2. A BODY CANNOT HAVE TWO HEADS. The Bible likens the true Church to a human body, with Christ as the head. We read,
"...Christ is the head of the church. He is the saviour of the body" (EPHESIANS 5:23 D.V.).
The Pope is claimed to be 'Head of the Universal Church'. This cannot be. A body with two heads is a monstrosity! Christ is the Head of the Church.
3. JESUS CHRIST HAS NO VICAR. Vicar, from the Latin 'Vicarius', means 'in the place of', e.g. the vicarius sacrifice of Christ being His sacrifice in the place of the sinner. Papal claims such as infallibility, Head of the Church, Holy Father, all seek to put the Pope in the place of Christ, which place only the Living Christ can have.
This false assumption of Rome is expressly put forward in the Papal title 'Vicar of Jesus Christ'.
The New Testament was written in Greek, and the Greek translation of 'Vicar of Christ' is 'Anti-(instead of)-christos', or in our English Bible, 'Antichrist'. The word 'Antichrist' is not just a word of wild insult, but is a Bible warning of the false role assumed by the Popes of Rome as supposed vicars of Christ (See 1 JOHN 2:18 D.V.).
4. PETER, NOT THE FIRST POPE. Peter said,
"Neither as being lords over God's heritage..." (1 PETER 5:3). Jesus said,
"You know that the princes of the Gentiles lord it over them, and they that are the greater exercise power upon them. It shall not be so among you" (MATTHEW 20:25-26 D.V.).
Amidst glorious ceremony, the Pope is enthroned, and crowned with a triple crown, designating his supposed authority in the three realms of heaven, earth and hell. He is acclaimed 'Sovereign Pontiff' and given the Latin title 'Pontifex Maximus', the same title given to the ancient Caesars of Imperial Pagan Rome.
In the light of the above words of Christ, and of Peter, Peter was no Pope!
The early Christian martyrs, and we are led to believe, Peter also, died at the hands of the 'Pontifex Maximus' of their day.
5. PETER, ALSO A MAN. Upon the selection of a new Pope, the Cardinals of the Roman Catholic Church prostrate themselves at the feet of the Pope, to show their complete submission to him.
An interesting incident in the life of Peter makes it clear, in this regard, that Peter was no Pope. We read,
"And it came to pass that when Peter was come in, Cornelius came to meet him and falling at his feet adored. But Peter lifted him up saying: Arise: I myself also am a man" (ACTS 10:25-26 D.V.).
6. PETER, A MARRIED MAN. Peter's married state is clear in the Bible. In MATTHEW 8:14 (D.V.) we read,
"And when Jesus was come into Peter's house, he saw his wife's mother lying and sick of a fever".
In the Roman Catholic Church it is unthinkable that the Pope should be a married man, yet Peter, who was married, was supposed to be the first Pope. The Bible warns about the forbidding of marriage. We read,
"Now the Spirit manifestly saith that in the last times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to spirits of error and doctrines of devils... forbidding to marry..." (1 TIMOTHY 4:1,3 D.V.).
7. CHRIST THE ROCK, NOT PETER. Rome claims that Peter was the rock - foundation of the Church - from the Gospel passage Matthew 16:16-18. This is an error, however, which puts aside the whole basis of the New Testament, and deliberately ignores the fact that Jesus referred to the divinely revealed confession of Peter,
"Thou art the Christ, the Son of the Living God" (verse 16). His Church was to be founded on the Rock which Peter had just confessed, that is, on Himself, the Christ, the only foundation.
The Bible says,
"And they drank of the spiritual rock... and the rock was Christ" (1 CORINTHIANS 10:4 D.V.). Also we read,
"For other foundation no man can lay, but that which is laid: which is Christ Jesus" (1 CORINTHIANS 3:11 D.V.).
8. PETER, NOT INFALLIBLE. The Popes claim to be infallible in matters of faith and religion. The present Pope has recently reasserted this dogma. We read of Peter, at a time when he is supposed to have become the first infallible Pope,
was to be blamed". Interesting details of Peter's fallibility are given in GALATIANS 2:8-14 (D.V.).
In the light of the Bible, 'papal infallibility', and the claim that Peter was the first such Pope can only be seen as total error.
Facts Of Bible History Confound Papal Claims
Roman Catholic writers generally state that Peter was the first Bishop or Pope of Rome between the years A.D. 42 and A.D. 68, with some writers varying this slightly. Absolutely no evidence of Peter ever being in Rome is found in the Bible. In fact, all Bible evidence is positively to the contrary.
The following time-table is worthy of note:
|41 A.D.:||Peter at Caesarea, Palestine (ACTS 10:24).|
|43 A.D.:||Imprisonment in Judaea, Palestine (ACTS 12:1-19).|
|43 A.D.:||Peter at Caesarea, Palestine (ACTS 12:19).|
|42-52 A.D.:||Peter at Antioch, Syria, sometime between these dates (GALATIANS 2:8-14)|
|52 A.D.:||Peter at Jerusalem (ACTS 15:7).|
|60 A.D.:||Peter writes from Babylon (1 PETER 5:13).|
|60 A.D.:||Peter obviously not in Rome. Paul, when writing to the Romans in 60 A.D., greeted about 30 prominent Christians in Rome by name. Peter was not mentioned once, a great discourtesy had Peter been the Pope of Rome (ROMANS 16:1-15).|
|60 A.D.:||Once again Peter obviously not in Rome. In this year Paul wrote from Rome saying,
"Only Luke is with me". Also,
"At my first answer no man stood with me"(2 TIMOTHY 4:10-17). Paul was on trial before Caesar in Rome. If Peter was the Pope, he certainly let Paul down.
|68 A.D.:||Peter's martyrdom. There is no certainty where this happened. If at Rome, as claimed by the Roman Catholic Church, it was probably the only time Peter was in Rome. Jesus said concerning his death,
"When thou shalt be old, thou shalt stretch forth thy hands, and another shall gird thee, and carry thee whither thou wouldest not. This spake He, signifying by what death he should glorify God"(JOHN 21:18-19).
Not the Shadow Of An Argument
The following is a quotation from an old Bible dictionary:
'Popish writers have asserted that Peter was Bishop of Rome during the years A.D. 43 to A.D. 68. Now during this period Paul wrote once to the Romans, six times from Rome to other churches, was once at least in the city, and remained two whole years; but there is no hint given that Peter was there during any of these times, and it is incredible that he should be there and Paul take no notice of the fact.
Paul governed the affairs of the church of Rome, gave directions for their conduct, and mentioned by name all the principal Christians of the city, men and women. Still he said not one word about Peter, who, according to the Romanists, had his throne there, and governed the Church before Paul's arrival, during his residence, and after his departure. Certainly, if Peter had been at Rome some mention of the fact would have been made by the Apostle Paul.
If Peter was never at Rome, the supremacy of the Pope falls to the ground. The notion of his being the first Bishop of Rome is a silly conceit, for which there is NOT THE SHADOW OF AN ARGUMENT.'
Attacking Error, Not People
To refute error is often necessary, that people might find the truth of Bible Salvation. To refute error is not to attack people who have been deceived by that error, but is for their help.
In the Bible, God does not classify people as Catholic or Protestant. Today Protestant denominational churches have set aside the Scriptures, and the Bible way of salvation just as surely as they are set aside by the erroneous teachings of Catholicism.
The Lord Jesus Christ died for all men, and all men have a right to know the truth of God despite fables and commandments of men
"that turn from the truth" (TITUS 1:14).
Only One Constructive Alternative
Many a nominal Protestant, who has never obeyed the Gospel, and received an experience of personal salvation, waves a Bible and glories in identifying the errors of Rome.
In revealing error, the Bible offers one solution - salvation through the power of the Holy Spirit, received in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. To neglect this great salvation is to be in the same error as those whose teaching we may condemn!
The answer is in believing and accepting the Bible Gospel; the
"one faith" once delivered to the saints (See EPHESIANS 4:5; JUDE 3). To be miraculously
"born again" by the Spirit of God, speaking with tongues as at Pentecost, is the Bible pattern. Millions throughout the world today rejoice in this mighty experience. The God of the Christian Bible is alive, and as promised by Jesus, the preaching of the Gospel is producing
"signs and wonders" to confirm the one and only true Gospel: MARK 16:15-20.
Source: 'Revival Publications', Australia.