My Personal Christian Blog

Thanks for sliding into my blog site. This blog bog is a spin-off from my website at Call me a Night Owl, as my full-time mission and hobby are jabbering from midnight until 8 a.m.ish with chatter bugs across the world. Hoot, hoot! Being a retired newspaper guy and a Curious George, I've written and assembled a whack of stuff that I hope you'll find interesting and thought-provoking. Check out the Stories bar on the right side, below, for all my articles - from my web site and this blog.

November 30, 2010


By Grace Kemp

How does someone get saved during the Tribulation? That's a great question.

In the Old Testament, salvation was "of the Jews" (John 4:22).

Anyone who wanted to be saved came through the Jews and their animal sacrifice system. Jews were called a "kingdom of priests" (Ex. 19:6), meaning they were the mediators of salvation on earth.

Following the rapture and during the tribulation, salvation will again be "of the Jews."

Two "witnesses" will descend from heaven (Rev. 11:3) and who likely remain in Jerusalem preaching the "Gospel of the Kingdom," at the altar in front of the newly-built Jewish temple on the temple mount (Rev. 11:1,2)

Their "first fruit" converts will be 144,000 Jewish men.

By the midpoint, 1/3 of all the Jews will accept Christ as their coming King and Messiah (Zech. 13:8,9).

During the second half of the tribulation, the 144,000 converts will travel around the world preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom to the Gentiles. Millions will be converted to Christ (Matt. 24:14).

Salvation will consist of rejecting the Beast in Jerusalem who will claim to be God, and believing Christ to be the true and coming King.

If they "endure to the end" (maintain that belief), they will be rescued at the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.


The following seems to be a handy—and solid—rule of thumb.

In interpreting Scriptures, we must follow a strict rule that no part contradicts any other. We must seek to harmonize apparent discrepancies.

A wise rule to follow is to make the obscure fit into the plain, or take the few and fit them into the many.

The reverse of this has produced divisions and many cults.

Here is an example:

1 Corinthians 15:29 speaks of "baptism for the dead." It is used by others to baptize a living person on behalf of the dead.
This is interpreting it at face value and ignoring the many verses that teach only living believers should be baptized.

Beware of what man says!
Colossians 2:8-10 states, "Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.

"For in him dwelleth all the FULLNESS of the Godhead bodily. And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power."

November 28, 2010

RCC: King of the Cults

By NiteOwlDave

Call this
outrageous if you like, but I struggle to understand why the Roman Catholic Church (RCC) can be considered a Christian institution, despite its statements, symbols, and size.

That must sound massively bizarre. After all, Roman Catholicism fixes largely on the Lord Jesus Christ, His death, resurrection, and mostly on His atonement.

I am aware that the RCC has a 1,700-year history and boldly claims to be the only true church of Jesus Christ. It claims to have been founded by the Lord Himself who, according to the RCC, crowned the Apostle Peter as His go-to first pope.

Having said that, let me stir the fire by suggesting that the Church of Rome is a false cult of massive proportions. It ranks down there with the Jehovah's Witnesses and The Church of Latter Day Saints (the Mormons).

Like the Jehovah's Witnesses and the Mormons, the RCC solidly fits the true definition of a cult.
The commonly held definition of a cult is simply a belief system.

More correctly, a cult is a group led by a dictatorial leader who demands unquestioning adherence to his doctrines, which are generally taken from or based upon the Scripture, but out of context or twisted to fit a styled teaching. A cult also allows for "new revelations of truth."

This is so true of the Roman Catholic Church. The RCC is headed by the Pope who, at times, claims to speak for almighty God. Papal edicts must be obeyed, without question, for its followers to crack Heaven's gate when they die.

RCC leaders say that after Jesus returned to Heaven, the Apostles taught early church doctrines through inspiration of the Holy Spirit. This is true.

They say their added doctrines are God-inspired, too. No. Many of the central gospel planks taught in the Bible have been horribly changed by the Church of Rome under what it bills as holy traditions.

Here's what the RCC proclaims about its position on traditions: "And (Holy) Tradition transmits in its entirety the Word of God which has been entrusted to the apostles by Christ the Lord and the Holy Spirit."

The RCC, therefore, declares that both Scripture and tradition must be accepted and honored with equal sentiments of devotion and reverence. Huge error there.
The problem with this theology is that many of the teachings and traditions of the Roman Catholic Church are blatantly in opposition to what the Bible proclaims.

In the event of a suggested contradiction between tradition and Scripture, which wins? The church's traditions do every time. As one wise old Bible teacher used to put it, "This is playing with fire!"

The Bible insists that a doctrine, to be valid, must conform to the Word of God, and it alone. Isaiah 8:20 in the Old Testament says, "To the law and to the testimony; if they speak not according to this Word, it is because there is no light in them." Is that emphatic enough?

This is sadly ironic because the 27 books of the New Testament were approved by the Roman Catholic Church at the Council of Hippo in North Africa in 393 AD after much work in previous councils.

Nowhere in the Bible does it suggest God will ship us more inspired writings. We have the complete WORD OF GOD.

It goes without saying that God rode shotgun over which books would be considered Canon-worthy and which writings would be rejected at Hippo. God is not about confusion. He would not give us a faulty manual.

What does the Bible say about bowing to traditions?

Colossians 2:8 says, "See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ."

In other words, if a belief is opposed or not given room for support in the Bible, it must be shunned.

Jesus was no fan of churchy traditions. While on earth, He always dismissed the fake Temple priests and quoted the Old Testament as His source of truth.
Here are some other Bible verses which address traditions.

Matthew 15:1-3 states,
"Then some Pharisees and teachers of the law came to Jesus from Jerusalem and asked, 'Why do your disciples break the tradition of the elders? They don't wash their hands before they eat'!"

Jesus replied,"And why do you break the command of God for the sake of your tradition'?"

Matthew 15:6 says,
"Thus you nullify the word of God for the sake of your tradition."

Mark 7:8 says,
"You have let go of the commands of God and are holding on to the traditions of men."

Beliefs and Practices

Let's examine a few Roman Catholic beliefs and practices based on tradition and which fly directly in the face of what Holy Scripture teaches. These teachings are heresies to the max degree.

The Bible portrays the blessed mother Mary as the earthly mother of The Lord only, not the "Queen of Heaven" as the Roman Catholic Church proclaims.
Mary was not sinless, as Rome insists.

She confesses that she was a sinner—who would need the same salvation cleansing that we all do by the atoning blood of Jesus—when she referred to Jesus, in Luke 1:47, as "God my Savior." A sin-less person would not need a savior.

The Bible does not teach Christians to devote themselves to Mary as the Popes demand, especially these days.
Nowhere does it suggest we seek her as our advocate or go-between before God.

To the contrary, the Bible points out in 1 Timothy 2:5 that "There is one God, and one mediator (go-between) also between God and men, Christ Jesus."
(See this article for more on Mary.)

Paying to have a priest pray for the soul of someone who is dead is traditional bunk but is a grand cash cow for the Vatican. Reformer Martin Luther thundered loudly against this practice which is still carried on today. Cha-ching!

2 Corinthians 5:8, which applies to the born-again Christian only, mentions no sin-cleansing Purgatory: "To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord."

. The Latin language was imposed as the language of prayer and worship in churches by Pope Gregory I, 600 years after Christ. In 1 Corinthians 14:9, God forbids praying and teaching in an unknown tongue.

"Unless you speak intelligible words with your tongue, how will anyone know what you are saying? You will just be speaking into the air."

The worship of the cross, images, and relics is given the green light by the RCC. It is severely condemned and called idolatry in the Bible. Exodus 20:4 says, "You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below."

. Canonization of dead saints was first declared by Pope John XV in 995 AD. The Bible says every believer and follower of Jesus Christ is a saint.

Romans 1:7 says, "To all in Rome who are loved by God and called to be saints: Grace and peace to you from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ." Acts 9:32 says, "As Peter travelled about the country, he went to visit the saints in Lydda."

. The Roman Catholic mass was developed gradually as a sacred sacrifice. Attendance was made obligatory in the 11th century. The Bible teaches that the sacrifice of Christ was offered once and for all, and His death is not to be repeated, but only commemorated in the Lord's Supper.

Hebrews 9:26-28 says, "Unlike the other high priests, he does not need to offer sacrifices day after day, first for his own sins, and then for the sins of the people. He sacrificed for their sins once for all when he offered himself.

"Then Christ would have had to suffer many times since the creation of the world. But now he has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to do away with sin by the sacrifice of himself.

"Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him."

7. Is infant baptism, a RCC ceremony where God through a priest is said to wipe away a child's inherited sin, biblical? No. It's a tradition. It is not supported by the Bible. Interestingly, Jesus was baptized at age 30 and He had no sin.

Mark 1:9 says, "And it came to pass in those days, that Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee, and was baptized of John in Jordan."

Does regular church attendance, confession of one's sins to a priest, and participation in a mass, put us on the right road to Heaven? No.
The Bible teaches that the church is not something we go to.

Rather, the church is the people of God, the worldwide collective of the Body of Christ.

The Bible teaches that we are to call no man on earth "Father," and that the bread and wine services are in "memory of" rather than the RCC mass practice of literally re-sacrificing Jesus and eating His literal flesh and drinking His literal blood.

Jesus said in Luke 22:19, "This is My body which is given to you; do this in memory of Me."

Is praying the rosary mentioned in the Bible or was it made up by the RCC? It's made up. As pointed out above, the Bible does not say that Mary whispers messages into the ears of Jesus.

Rosary prayers don't make it to the ceiling. Jesus teaches us that repeating prayers, like the rosary, over and over again is of no value.

Matthew 6:7 says, "But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: For they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking."

The RCC teaches that the condition of our soul at the moment of death affects our eternal destiny. This teaching is blind tradition.

Jesus said that those who belong to Him would never be condemned to Hell.
John 10:28 states, "I give eternal life to them, and they shall never perish; and no one shall snatch them out of My hand."

The celibacy of the priesthood was decreed by Pope Hildebrand Gregory VII in 1079. Jesus imposed no such rule, nor did any of the apostles. On the contrary, Peter was a married man, and Paul says that bishops were to have wife and children.

Matthew 8:14-15 says, "When Jesus came into Peter's house, he saw Peter's mother-in-law lying in bed with a fever. He touched her hand and the fever left her, and she got up and began to wait on him."

The Inquisition of "heretics" and the slaughter of many was instituted by the Council of Verona in 1184. Jesus never taught the use of force to spread or to protect His gospel.

Matthew 10:14-15 say, "And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, when ye depart out of that house or city, shake off the dust of your feet. Verily I say unto you, it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment, than for that city."

The following is from two historical accounts of unholy aggression.
"In the middle of the fifth century, Pope Leo the Great commended the Emperor for torturing and executing heretics on behalf of the Church.

"Anyone in Villaro who declined to go to a Roman Catholic mass was liable to be crucified upside down, but there was some variation in the manner of killing in other towns.

"Some were maimed and left to die of starvation, some had strips of flesh cut off their bodies until they bled to death, some were stoned, some impaled alive upon stakes or hooks. Some were dragged along the ground until their flesh was scraped away.

"One at least was literally minced. Daniel Rambaut had his toes and fingers cut off in sections: One joint being amputated each day in an attempt to make him recant and accept the Roman faith."

Confession of sin to a priest at least once a year was instituted by Pope Innocent III, in the Lateran Council in 1215. The Bible does not say anything about our need to pray to or through a priest or pastor.

We are to confess our sins directly to God.
1 John 1:9 says, "If we confess our sins, he (God) is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness."

The Scapular was invented by Simon Stock, an English monk. It is a piece of brown cloth with the picture of Mary, and it is supposed to contain supernatural virtue to protect from all dangers those who wear it on naked skin. Yeah, that flies! This is fetishism.

In 1229, reading the Bible was forbidden to laymen and placed in the Index of forbidden books by the Council of Valencia.

Jesus and His disciples said the Scriptures should be read by all.
2 Timothy 2:15 says, "Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth."

The Council of Trent, held in the mid 1500s, declared that tradition is of equal authority with the Bible. Tradition is human teachings. The Pharisees believed the same way, and Jesus bitterly condemned them, for by teaching human tradition they nullified the commandments of God.

Mark 7:7-9 says, "They worship me in vain; their teachings are but rules taught by men. You have let go of the commands of God and are holding on to the traditions of men."

And he said to them: "You have a fine way of setting aside the commands of God in order to observe your own traditions."

Colossians 2:8 says, "See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ."

Personal Observations:

The majority of murals displayed by the Roman Catholic Church depict the Blessed Mother Mary as the head, mothering the helpless baby Jesus or grieving over the dead Jesus.

Very rarely does one see a rendering of Mary with the grown man, the Lord Jesus Christ. That's backwards.

Protestants, by and large, hold that the Bible is the stated one-and-only Word of God. Most reject man-made traditions. Sadly, many Protestant pastors do not—as the Bible demands—preach a clear salvation message of the atoning blood of Jesus alone. Too many serve up thin soup focused on social betterment.

All this church stuff aside, what does the Bible say we each must do to qualify for Heaven?
I think the majority of us will agree that there can only be one truth. God did not create chaos nor many ways to Heaven.

Jesus states flatly in John 14:6: "Jesus saith until him, I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life: No man cometh unto the Father, but by me."
It's Jesus' way or the highway.

Salvation is through Him alone. It is not by church affiliation or good works, although church membership and good deeds are noble.

Neither the words "Protestant" nor "Roman Catholic" are mentioned in the Bible. Jesus emphasized, "I am the Way."

Jesus taught that to get into Heaven one must "be saved," "be born again," "receive," "accept," "believe". They all mean the same thing.

Simply put, the Bible says we are all sinners facing an eternity in Hell unless we ask to be saved.
How do we get saved? It's quite easy, actually. Jesus made it so simple that even a kid can become a Christian. In a private, honest, one-on-one prayer to God we must:

Confess to God that we have sinned.

2. Choose to believe that when Jesus died and rose again He paid for all our sins in full.
If we receive or accept Him and what He did, we will be saved. It's a one-time thing, like taking out citizenship.

We do not gain-lose-gain our salvation. If we honestly believe that Jesus Christ died and rose again for us and we invite Jesus to take command of our life, our salvation is sealed.

What do we pray? Well, something like this:

Dear God:
I am a sinner. Others have sinned greater than I have. Nevertheless, I stand before you now as a lost sinner, deserving of Hell. I choose to believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God who became a man. I choose to believe He allowed Himself to be put to death, arose again on the third day, and is alive today.

The Bible says our sins are washed away by the blood of Jesus Christ, and I believe that.
Father I want to be cleansed of all my sins right now. I know I am not right with God, and I want to be. I want to go to Heaven when I die. Right now at _______ (date and time), I bow at the foot of the cross of Jesus Christ, and I am putting all of my sins there. All of them. I ask that the blood of Jesus Christ wash away all my sins—past, present, and future. I am sorry for my sin, and I accept your forgiveness.

Right now I declare that I am a Christian. I ask, Father, that you will make me aware of when I want to sin and give me the courage to say no. I ask, too, that you will help me understand the Bible, and to make the rest of my days on earth count for eternity. I pray all of this in the name of Jesus Christ, my new Lord and Savior. Amen.