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SIGNPOST OF APOSTASY IN THESE LAST DAYS
by Alan Yusko
I have written often about my concern for pastors and Christians in general who are forsaking sound doctrine and following heresies and doctrines of devils. Many pastors are leading their churches astray and many people are just following along. The goal of this tract is simply to give a warning signpost of apostasy. This warning signpost can be a used for a church assembly or an organization or movement that claims to be Christian.
What is that signpost I am talking about? In the world there are many cults and many isms out there. We have all kinds of strange teachings for people to follow and be led astray. The strength of the Christian is to stand firm on the Word of God, the Bible. When a person stands on the Word of God they are not going to be led astray into deception. I'm proposing a signpost in this tract. It is something if seen, warning bells should go off. The Christian should steer away from danger and false teaching. By looking at the following signpost I would hope Christians who love the Lord would be able to see danger and react properly. The signpost I'm proposing is Roman Catholicism. First I want to make the point that the primary purpose of writing this tract is not to witness to lost Catholics. That may be a secondary purpose but it is not the primary purpose. I'm more concerned that Christians will use this signpost as a warning of danger. Perhaps it is time to find a new church? Perhaps it is time to un-involve yourself from certain Christian-in-name-only organizations (like Promise Keepers etc) who violate the signpost and are really quite ecumenical.
There are many forms of heresy and false teaching out there in these last days. So why do I propose Catholicism as a warning signpost? Well it seems when a church is falling far from God they are also busy uniting with the Catholic Church. A major case in point is the Evangelicals and Catholics together document signed by many leading 'Evangelicals' and Catholics. It basically says that we are all good Christians so lets not waste time evangelizing each other. It indicates that the Jesus of the Catholic church is the same as in 'Protestant' Bible believing churches. Well this is not true at all and we will cover a few 'doctrines' in the Catholic church to make a point. Other churches may have not directly been involved with that Evangelicals and Catholics Together document, but instead you can hear many pastors talking about our Catholic 'brothers and sisters' in Christ. Famous Catholics, like the dead Mother Teresa, are treated with great honor as some kind of a great Christian worker. However Teresa was a hard-core Catholic who fully believed in the works-based-sacramental non-Biblical salvation presented in Catholicism. When a Church pastor begins to grow very warm to Catholicism as being another 'Christian' Church, it is a good warning signpost for the Christian who is walking with God.
Let me also say briefly that another sub-warning signpost that I have seen is rock and roll music in the church. As a church goes far from God, yes they become ecumenical with Catholics. Another growing trend is for such a church to become more involved in worldly, addictive, sensual rock and roll music. It really all goes together. A church that loses its doctrinal perspective will also grow worldly in their worship services. Good Bible teaching will no longer be used to bring in the people. Instead worldly music will be used to attempt to fill the church with young people. The reasoning is the only way to get them into the church is to play this type of music. It is assumed that young people really don't want the Bible and sound teaching. Instead they want to come to the local assembly and have a religious 'jam' session with the latest groups in the religious rock and roll scene. If you think about it, this type of reasoning is really an insult to young people. To bring in people by using music that appeals from the neck down is really an insult to the spiritual condition and preferences of many Christian young people. It is real easy for Christian youth to find a rock concert or religious worship 'jam' session. But how easy is it to find a good in depth expositional Bible study?
As you can see if you just look around there are warning signposts out there that shows when a church or local assembly is liberal, worldly, and travelling on a path away from God. I think a good introduction has been given to this topic of signposts. Next lets look at some of the major Catholic doctrines that show we are dealing with another religion that what is found in the Bible. Again this is not an in-depth study on the subject of Catholicism. However, just by looking at these quotes from the official 'catechism' of the Catholic church, it can be easily seen we are dealing with something foreign to the Bible.
There are 2865 catechisms of the Catholic Church. All catechism references are taken from the Catechism of the Catholic Church, Image, Doubleday Dell Publishing Group, Inc. The official Catechism was finalized in the early 1990's and was signed and approved by Pope John Paul II himself. In fact he wrote the introduction at the beginning. So it is very safe to say that the below quotes are the official teachings of the Catholic church.
Let me say before we begin that the foundation of the Catholic church is the belief that what Jesus did on the cross was NOT complete. They teach and believe that the sacrifice on the cross did not cleanse lost man from all sin: past, present, and future. In addition to the cross a person must obtain his salvation by the sacraments from the Catholic church. After death the process is still not finished for the poor Catholic. He must then go to a place called purgatory where the fires of purgatory will purge all remaining sins that were not purged here on earth through the sacraments. Once that is complete the Catholic is granted access to heaven. This dear reader is not Biblical Christianity. It is another gospel and a false way of salvation. It is works based where in addition to the sacrifice of the Lord Jesus, the person must take an active part in obtaining his own eternal salvation. I should have to say no more to any discerning Christian as to whether we are dealing with another 'Christian' denomination or not. Yes even with this false teaching many churches are bending over backwards to unite with their 'brothers in Christ', the Catholic church. This is sad but very true.
Now lets look at some of the doctrines of Catholicism:
The Mass Is A Re-Sacrifice Of Christ
(1414) As sacrifice, the Eucharist is also offered in reparation for the sins of the living and the dead and to obtain spiritual or temporal benefits from God. (Page 395)
(1365) Because it is the memorial of Christ's Passover, the Eucharist is also a sacrifice. The sacrificial character of the Eucharist is manifested in the very words of institution: "This is my body which is given for you" and "This cup which is poured out for you is the New Covenant in my blood." In the Eucharist Christ gives us the VERY body which he gave up for us on the cross, the VERY blood which he "poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins." (Page 380)
(1367) The sacrifice of Christ and the sacrifice of the Eucharist are one single sacrifice: "The victim is one and the SAME: the SAME now offers through the ministry of priest, who then offered himself on the cross; only the manner of offering is different." "In this divine sacrifice which is celebrated in the Mass, the SAME Christ who offered himself once in a bloody manner on the altar of the cross IS CONTAINED and offered in an unbloody manner." (Page 381)
Contrary to Catholicism, the Bible says the sacrifice the Lord Jesus made on the cross was sufficient. His ONE sacrifice forever settled payment for sin. No works, priests, popery, sacraments, or purgatory is needed. The blood of Jesus cleanses from ALL sin....period!
27: Who needeth not daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifice, first for his own sins, and then for the people's: for this he did once, when he offered up himself.
24: For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us:
25: Nor yet that he should offer himself often, as the high priest entereth into the holy place every year with blood of others;
26: For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.
27: And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:
28: So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.
1 John 1:
7: 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.
Doctrine Of Purgatory (purging ones own sins after death)
(1030) All who die in God's grace and friendship, but still imperfectly purified, are indeed assured of their eternal salvation, but after death they undergo purification, so as to achieve the holiness necessary to enter the joy of heaven. (Page 291)
Salvation Comes Through Baptism
(1263) By Baptism all sins are forgiven, original sin and all personal sins, as well as all punishment for sin. In those who have been reborn nothing remains that would impede their entry into the Kingdom of God, neither Adam's sin, nor personal sin, nor the consequences of sin, the gravest of which is separation from God. (Page 353)
Penance Necessary For Salvation
(980) It is through the sacrament of Penance that the baptized can be reconciled with God and with the Church:
"Penance has rightly been called by the holy Fathers 'a laborious kind of baptism.' This sacrament of Penance is necessary for salvation for those who have fallen after Baptism, just as Baptism is necessary for salvation for those who have not yet been reborn" (Page 278)
Through Indulgences (time off from purgatory)
(1471) The doctrine and practice of indulgences in the Church are closely linked to the effects of the sacrament of Penance.
What is an indulgence? "An indulgence is a remission before God of the temporal punishment due to sins whose guilt has already been forgiven, which the faithful Christian who is duly disposed gains under certain prescribed conditions through the action of the Church which, as the minister of redemption, dispenses and applies with authority the treasury of the satisfactions of Christ and the saints."
"An indulgence is partial or plenary according as it removes either part or all of the temporal punishment due to sin." Indulgences may be applied to the living or the dead. (Page 411)
(1478) An indulgence is obtained through the Church who, by virtue of the power of binding and loosing granted her by Christ Jesus, intervenes in favor of individual Christians and opens for them the treasury of the merits of Christ and the saints to obtain from the Father of mercies the remission of the punishments due for their sins. Thus the Church does not want simply to come to the aid of these Christians, but also to spur them to works of devotion, penance, and charity. (Page 413)
(1479) Since the faithful departed now being purified are also members of the same communion of saints, one way we can help them is to obtain indulgences for them, so that the temporal punishments due for their sins may be remitted. (Page 413)
Mary-idoltry (sinless co-redeemer with Christ)
(491) Through the centuries the Church has become ever more aware that Mary, "full of grace" through God, was redeemed from the moment of her conception. That is what the dogma of the Immaculate Conception confesses, as Pope Pius IX proclaimed in 1854.
(494) At the announcement that she would give birth to "the Son of the Most High" without knowing man, by the power of the Holy Spirit, Mary responded with the obedience of faith, certain that "with God nothing will be impossible": "Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be done to me according to your word." Thus, giving her consent to God's word, Mary becomes the mother of Jesus, Espousing the divine will for salvation wholeheartedly, without a SINGLE SIN to restrain her, she gave herself entirely to the person and to the work of her Son; she did so in order to save the mystery of redemption with him and dependent on him, by God's grace:
(966) "Finally the Immaculate Virgin, preserved free from all stain of original sin, when the course of her earthly life was finished, was taken up body and soul into heavenly glory, and exalted by the Lord as Queen over all things, so that she might be the more fully conformed to her Son, the Lord of lords and conqueror of sin and death." The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin is a singular participation in her Son's Resurrection and an anticipation of the resurrection of other Christians.
(508) From among the descendants of Eve, God chose the Virgin Mary to be the mother of his Son. "Full of grace," Mary is "the most excellent fruit of redemption" (SC 103): from the first instant of her conception, she was totally preserved from the stain of original sin and she remained pure from all personal sin throughout her life. (Page 142)
(964) Mary's role in the Church is inseparable from her union with Christ and flows directly from it. "This union of the mother with the Son in the work of salvation is made manifest from the time of Christ's virginal conception up to his death"; it is made manifest above all at the hour of his Passion:
(969) "This motherhood of Mary in the order of grace continues uninterruptedly from the consent which she loyally gave at the Annunciation and which she sustained without wavering beneath the cross, until the eternal fulfillment of all the elect. Taken up to heaven she did not lay aside this SAVING OFFICE but by her manifold intercession continues to bring us gifts of eternal salvation. . . . Therefore the Blessed Virgin is invoked in the Church under the titles of Advocate, Helper, Benefactress, and Mediatrix." (Page 275)
Notice below that Mary calls God... her Saviour. Only sinners call God their Saviour!
46: And Mary said, My soul doth magnify the Lord,
47: And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.
The Bible is quite clear that all are sinners. This includes Mary!
For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
Finally we have a mediator between God and man. It is NOT Mary.. it is the Lord Jesus Christ!
For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;
For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us:
I really don't have to say anything further. Roman Catholicism presents another gospel and another way to be saved than is found in the Bible. It is a works-based, sacramental form of salvation that denies the finished work of the Lord Jesus on the Cross. The Bible gives severe warnings for those who teach and embrace another gospel:
6: I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel:
7: Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ.
8: But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.
9: As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.
So why would any 'Christian' church want to unite with Romanism as fellow Christians? It really does not make any sense. This is why we have set Roman Catholicism as a major signpost to warn the Christian of danger in his local assembly or Christian group. When you see men reject foundational doctrines to unite with a works based sacramental religion then warning bells should be going off. It may be time to move elsewhere in search of a church and a pastor who still loves the Lord and who is committed to sound doctrine.
UNITING TOWARD A ONE WORLD CHURCH...ONE WORLD RELIGION
After the rapture the world will unite as one and ultimately worship the antichrist. Today we live in the days sometime before the rapture. Already we are seeing all kinds of religious groups unite. A major player is Roman Catholicism that seeks to bring back into its fold all forms of 'separated brethren'. Those who once 'protested' are encouraged to protest no longer but to return back into the arms of the Catholic church. The ecumenical movement is growing and many groups and religious institutions are re-uniting with Catholicism as they throw away sound Biblical doctrine. Ultimately the Catholic church will not be the supreme religion of the world. The devil through the antichrist will seek to gain the worship of the entire world.
Let me repeat myself. The current ecumenical movement we see today where many religions are uniting will ultimately end in the worship of the antichrist. Below are several verses about the coming antichrist and as you look at them think on the word 'worship':
4: And they WORSHIPPED the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they WORSHIPPED the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him?
5: And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months.
8: And all that dwell upon the earth shall WORSHIP him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.
11: And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon.
12: And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to WORSHIP the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed.
13: And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men,
14: And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live.
15: And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not WORSHIP the image of the beast should be killed.
The devil wants to be worshipped and one day he will lead the world to worship himself. All who refuse will be killed. To worship the beast will one day be a matter of life or death to the people living on earth.
Right now the antichrist cannot come to power because the church, the body of spirit reborn believers who are still in the world. The Holy Spirit through the Church is restraining the rise of this man of sin called the beast or antichrist. However once the church is removed the restraining influence of the Holy Spirit will be removed and the devil will be free to bring his man to power. Note: the Holy Spirit will not be removed as He is omnipresent, but the church will be removed.
Today lost men are being prepared as the Bible and sound teaching is being rejected. Lost men are uniting together and slowly the barriers of doctrinal division are falling away. It is considered 'loving' to unite with other faiths and those who stand true to the Bible who witness to the lost rather than unite with them as brothers, are considered bitter, unloving, judgmental, and divisive.
As the world heads deeper into apostasy they reject the Bible while still loving to call themselves 'Christians'. However this apostasy is not new. God clearly gave warning that in the last days there would be a great apostasy. See the below verse:
2 Thes 2
3: Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;
Notice that BEFORE the revealing of the man of sin (antichrist) there will be a falling away. This falling away is a great apostasy and rejection of God and the Bible. Folks we are living in those days RIGHT NOW!. All around us in so-called Christendom we can see evidence of religious men rejecting and compromising Biblical doctrine and the Christian faith. Signpost number one is uniting with the works based sacramental religion of Catholicism. This cannot be done unless a church or a pastor takes part of the great falling away. Only then when the pastor has rejected and compromised sound Biblical doctrine may this uniting with error occur.
As we close up this tract I'm not suggesting to anyone to stop going to church. I believe we must find a good fellowship of believers and attend regularly. I do encourage Christians to look, search, and find a Godly assembly not involved in gross doctrinal compromise. Find a place where the Bible is believed and taught. Watch for the signpost of uniting with Catholicism. Also watch for other signposts such acceptance of worldly rock and roll music. However if you find a church that loves Jesus and who adheres to sound Biblical doctrine, the subject of rock and roll is not even an issue. Simple Biblical discernment keeps trashy music out of the church. But always remember as a church falls away from God and sound doctrine they will grow close to Catholicism and embrace worldly music. There will be other signposts as well as a church falls away. Some of these are the barking and laughing movement, prosperity get-rich teaching, name it and claim it heresy etc...
I close with this thought. Words change their meaning. There was once a time when non-denominational actually meant something. It now means ecumenical. Here is an example:
I was recently talking with a fund raiser for the Promise keepers who tryied to solicit a donation from me. I guess they are having financial problems and they have resorted to harassing people over the phone in their homes. I challenged the person on the ecumenical nature of promise keepers where they are busy uniting as 'brothers in Christ' with Catholics and even Mormons. This person explained to me that promise keepers is a non-denominational organization. Now here is an important point to remember. The word non-denominational has changed in its meaning. It used to mean a person was a Christian who attended a Baptist church, a Evangelical church etc. Now the term also includes Catholics which are considered just another 'Christian' denomination. The term non-denominational is no longer true anymore. The real term should be ecumenical. When so-called Christian churches unite with non-Christian religions that is ecumenicism. That type of unity is very wrong and dangerous. We should no be uniting with the deceived and lost. Instead we should be preaching and sharing Jesus with these lost souls. They are not brothers in Christ, but rather lost people who need the Lord Jesus Christ so they may be saved. At any rate this person from the promise keepers realized that I would not be a good candidate for a donation so we said our goodbyes and hung up.
Another point is the common buzz words that go like this: 'Well I believe there are Christians in the Catholic church'. Here is the answer: There are as many saved Christians in the Catholic church as there are saved Christians in the Jehovah Witness church or the Mormon church etc. You see once a person gets saved, he will leave his particular false religion. A saved person will not continue in a false religion but will leave it and go somewhere that he may grow and mature in Christ.
I hope the readers of this tract will stand firm in these last days and refuse to compromise or give up foundational, Biblical truths as the world heads deeper into apostasy. We will soon go up in the rapture! The devil will have this world for a short time as God's Word clearly says. However the home of the Christian is in heaven and we eagerly look forward to meeting the Lord in the rapture. That day is coming very quickly!
10: Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.
11: Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown.
12: Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name.
13: He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.
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