Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope: And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us (Romans 5:1-5).

Was The Reformation Brought About By God?

In Part One I began to address the critical issue of our time in how the apostate Church of Rome, along with her dutiful daughter, the Ecumenical Church Of Deceit (ECoD), is currently throwing the evangelical community into much confusion in the quest to bring all religions into her fold. The major point that I established in that first article is that the Roman Catholic Church, which still considers itself the Church of Christ headed by the Bishop over the universal Body of Christ–the Pope–the sole Vicar (representative) of Jesus Christ on the earth, has not changed an iota the “gospel” she preaches as detailed in the Council of Trent. Men and women, in this age of rapidly accelerating deceptions you need to understand that. Absolutely nothing in that regard was changed with Vatican II.

Now there have been those who don’t like when I refer to Rome as the “mother” of the ECoD, but in Session VII, in Trent’s Canons on Baptism we are warned: “If anyone says that in the Roman Church, which is the mother and mistress of all churches, there is not the true doctrine concerning the sacrament of baptism, let him be anathema” (Canon 3, on file, emphasis added). One of the most difficult parts of this whole issue with Rome is documenting what she teaches without driving readers away. The other problem is that as soon as we begin to talk about reaching Roman Catholics with the true Gospel of Jesus Christ a straw man inevitably arises: “But there are people who are saved within the Church of Rome.” No one is saying there isn’t.

The gross apathy of evangelicals concerning this crucial topic of Romanism is the very root of the rapidly spreading apostasy and The Falling Away Of The Evangelical Church. Please know that I am quite sympathetic to the difficulties the average Christian may have trying to see through the complexities of the dogmas of the Church of Rome. As a matter of fact it’s very much like The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which is another man-made organization that considers itself God’s one true Church upon the face of the earth. In fact one of Dr. Walter Martin’s most known works is The Maze of Mormonism, and if I might borrow the theme, in studying Roman Catholicism one soon finds themselves entering a labyrinth of quite similar claims and contradictions.

As I begin to cover in The Church of Rome Has Fueled The Current Apostasy, through the ECoD and her Gnostic mysticism of contemplative spirituality, which gave birth to the monastic traditions within apostate Rome, the issue we are going to have to face in our lifetime is this: Was the Reformation brought about by God, or was it rather a divisive spirit which tore apart our Lord’s Church? Your evangelical leaders are now succumbing to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils through men like Living Spiritual Teacher Richard Foster and others in the Emergent Church that have brought the spiritually corrupt teachings of so-called “Christian” mystics right into the mainstream of the evangelical community. I’ve discussed Charles Swindoll elsewhere, but now even someone like Charles Stanley who is thought by many to be quite “middle-of-the-road” is discussing “silence and solitude.”

I tell you in the Lord that the pathetic weakness now being shown by your evangelical leaders is not going to be overlooked by God, nor is the appalling lack of interest in this crucial matter of the apostate Church of Rome by the average evangelical. Do you consider yourself a Protestant? Then I ask you: What is it you are protesting against? Are you feeling you’re just too “busy” to study the theology of the Reformation, and instead trusting your pastor to do this work for you? Well I’ve got news for you; if you were able to see the course list he took in seminary, if you had access to his bookshelves, then you would very quickly be in for your own little “enlightenment.” A.W. Tozer was right years ago when he said that so often we send our young lions off to these schools only to have their claws trimmed that they come back as harmless tabby cats who carefully paw at their congregations unable to cut past the surface.

But is that what men like Martin Luther risked his life for? Did John Wycliffe and William Tyndale really need to be presecuted and die that you might have that Bible collecting dust on your shelf? Perhaps you think it was it only “majoring in minors” that caused men like John Hus, Hugh Latimer and Nicholas Ridley to be burned alive at the stake by the order of Popes in Rome? O but now for the sake of “unity” we’re supposed to just put all that aside? Suddenly today man-pleasers like Rick Warren and Brian McLaren and Joel Osteen have it all figured out and the Christian message is now met with universal acceptance? Hmm, sounds suspiciously like what the great chameleon that is the Church of Rome has always been doing through the ages, adapting the message to the conditions she happens to find herself in. These ECoD leaders are busy telling us that now we must put fundamental doctrine aside and work together to bring in a peaceful utopia? Rubbish!

Ye are they which justify yourselves before men; but God knoweth your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God (Luke 16:15).

The Gospel Of Sacraments

With that as our backdrop now we move on for a quick overview of what these seven sacraments of the Church of Rome are and then define them as we go. From the official Catechism Of The Catholic Church here again are the seven so-called “sacraments of the New Law.” In section 1113 we read: “The whole liturgical life of the Church revolves around the Eucharistic sacrifice and the sacraments. (n.29) There are seven sacraments in the Church: Baptism, Confirmation or Chrismation, Eucharist, Penance, Anointing of the Sick, Holy Orders, and Matrimony (n.30). I pointed out last time that note 30 here references the Council of Trent to bolster the authority of this teaching ([1547]:DS 1601). In looking to define what the Roman Catholic Church considers each of these sacraments to be we move along to section 1212 which tells us:

The sacraments of Christian initiation – Baptism, Confirmation, and the Eucharist – [which] lay the foundations of every Christian life. “The sharing in the divine nature given to men through the grace of Christ bears a certain likeness to the origin, development, and nourishing of natural life. the faithful are born anew by Baptism, strengthened by the sacrament of Confirmation, and receive in the Eucharist the food of eternal life. By means of these sacraments of Christian initiation, they thus receive in increasing measure the treasures of the divine life and advance toward the perfection of charity (emphasis added).

As I have showed you previously, in Roman Catholic theology baptism is considered the “new birth,” and in section 1213 we read: “Holy Baptism is the basis of the whole Christian life, the gateway to life in the Spirit (vitae spiritualis ianua), (4) and the door which gives access to the other sacraments. Through Baptism we are freed from sin and reborn as sons of God; we become members of Christ, are incorporated into the Church and made sharers in her mission: ‘Baptism is the sacrament of regeneration through water in the word.’ ” This is all really pretty clear; any way you slice it as I have already told you, the Church of Rome teaches baptismal “regeneration,” which means these infants who are baptized have been born again.

In his fine little book Roman Catholic Tradition: Claims And Contradictions William Webster adds this salient point regarding this issue of baptism:

The Roman Catholic Church teaches that baptism by water is the means of regeneration and forgiveness of sins. [This is] yet another error, the same as that of the Jews under the Old Testament dispensation when they taught that an individual entered into God’s spiritual covenant and became a child of God through the rite of physical circumcision. This was a teaching repudiated by the apostle Paul, who taught that though one may be circumcised physically and made part of the visible nation, that did not guarantee a spiritual circumcision or part in God’s spiritual kingdom (54).

The Issue Concerns The Gospel Itself

At this point we shift our focus away from the sacraments for a bit and zero in on the central thesis of this work: A different gospel cannot be the same gospel. While I am thankful AM is aligned with many of them, there are no where near enough evangelical ministries that deal with the issue of the apostate Church of Rome. And as a result the point being missed by most evangelicals in this discussion about Roman Catholicism is we are talking about the very heart of the Gospel itself here. How disgraceful that the Body of Christ can’t even stand for that anymore! If it were as simple as their fictitious priesthood or devotion to Mary–as bad as that is–it would be more understandable why evangelicals would struggle with this issue. But men and women, this is the Gospel itself, and I shudder to think where God would ever find a Martin Luther today.

But the Bible is more than clear enough that God’s Gospel is through His grace alone; by faith alone; in Christ alone. Consider Romans 4:12-15 – [Abraham is] the father of circumcision to them who are not of the circumcision only, but who also walk in the steps of that faith of our father Abraham, which he had being yet uncircumcised. For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith. For if they which are of the law be heirs, faith is made void, and the promise made of none effect: Because the law worketh wrath: for where no law is, there is no transgression. Notice in verse 12 the steps of that faith and again in verse 13 the righteousness of faith.

And now for Paul’s conclusion in verse 16 – Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all. Can you see; Therefore – [On account of this, what we have just read in verses 12-15. God’s inspired Apostle says] – Therefore – [in light of what I have just told you] it is of – [or for, “all of you who are co-operating with God in order that you may actually become righteous?” No! It is ] – of faith, that it might be by grace – [which is God’s unmerited favor] – to the end the promise – [which for Abraham was that he will have his son, but for us it’s salvation by God’s grace] – might be sure to all the seed – [to all those who accept God’s gracious salvation] – which is of the faith of Abraham.

So you see it’s not a favor based on human merit at all, but rather by God’s grace, which is His unmerited favor. For those who will see it really couldn’t be more plain within the very text of Holy Scripture itself that true biblical theology–the Reformed Protestant position–is the proper view of justification. And that’s why Dr. Sproul was right in Part One when he said on The John Ankerberg Show: “the only righteousness that has the merit necessary to meet the requirements of the holiness of God, is that righteousness that was achieved and performed by Jesus Christ—and by Jesus Christ ‘alone!’ There is where the word ‘alone’ comes in…because all Protestants have acknowledged, historically, that the phrase, ‘justification by faith alone,’ [is] shorthand for, ‘Justification by the righteousness of Christ alone—that only His righteousness is sufficient to save us.’ ”

The Gospel Itself Has Been Perverted

Men and women, this is precisely why the Church of Rome is an apostate form of Christianity, and why Roman Catholicism is “Christian” in name only. The time has arrived where you’d best come to grips with what God the Holy Spirit revealed through the Apostle Paul in Galatians 1:6-9 – I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. 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. 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. Yet today the new evangelical leaders of the ECoD continue to pedal their corrupt contemplative spirituality within the mainstream of our Lord’s Church as one by one the Chuck Swindolls and the Charles Stanleys and the Radio Bible Classes begin their turn toward Rome.

However, in The Expositor’s Bible Commentary Dr. James Montgomery Boice makes this insightful comment about the above passage of Galatians 1:

At this point Paul would normally introduce an expression of praise for the Christians of the church to which he is writing, followed sometimes by a mild suggestion of that which is not so praiseworthy. But here, instead of an expression of praise, there is an abrupt and indignant cry of astonishment at what seems to be happening among the Galatians. Paul had delivered to them the one gospel of salvation by grace through faith in Jesus Christ. They had received it.

But now, according to reports that had come to him, Paul has reason to believe that the Christians of Galatia are on the point of turning from the gospel of Christ to embrace something that was no gospel at all, but only legalism. So in this brief expression of his feelings, Paul declares his astonishment at this almost inconceivable turn of events, pronounces a judgment upon any who would pervert the gospel of grace, and reiterates that there is only one gospel that makes salvation possible… The agitation Paul feels is shown by the tone and vocabulary of these verses. (Galatians, CD Rom).

Then Why Aren’t We Agitated By Rome?

Now let’s tie this type of “agitation” about the perversion of Christ’s Gospel to the clearest example that we have from the history of the ancient Christian Church concerning what was actually being taught. Dr. Luke reports on this for us in chapter 15 of his Book The Acts of the Apostles in verses 1 and 2. These Judaizers here are preaching the exact same kind of false gospel that Paul has just anathematized in Galatians 1. Did you think it was just a fortunate accident that God would happen to preserve this for us in Holy Scripture? And certain men which came down from Judea taught the brethren, and said, Except ye be circumcised after the manner of Moses, ye cannot be saved. When therefore Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and disputation with them, they determined that Paul and Barnabas, and certain other of them, should go up to Jerusalem unto the apostles and elders about this question.

Such a different reaction from what we see today conditioned as we are to a false understanding of tolerance. As you are coming to see it can easily be demonstrated that the Church of Rome is teaching a “different gospel” than the one Paul preached, but why then do we not apply the anathema of Galatians 1 to them? Holy Scripture clearly shows our Lord, Christ Jesus of Nazareth Himself, opposing the self-righteous religious system of the Pharisees, then why as His disciples aren’t we also opposing religious systems of self-righteousness? As you’ve just seen the Bible also shows Christ’s initial inspired Apostles themselves opposed a self-righteous system of salvation, one that is not the biblical Gospel of Jesus Christ. Despite how “Christian” it might have seemed, Paul and Barnabus vehemently opposed those early Judaizers of the circumcision group and now as disciples of the Master it is also our task to do the very same thing with the apostate Church of Rome.

Beloved in Christ, whether we like it or not the mandate of our unchanging God’s eternal Word in the Bible tells the true Christian that when anything or anyone obscures and adulterates God’s glorious Gospel of salvation then we are to oppose it no matter the cost. Luke tells of one such instance in Acts where Peter and John’s work for Christ was restricted and they told the Sanhedrin – But Peter and John answered and said unto them, Whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge ye. (Acts 4:19). And the pristine clarity of the text in the Bible itself makes it abundantly clear that the Gospel of salvation is by the grace of God alone; through faith alone; in Christ Jesus alone. Well, you will hear your evangelical leaders and theologians say this all the time. So I must then ask: What has changed?

The So-called Sacraments Of “Christian Initiation”

With a sharper focus on what’s truly at stake here now we move back into our discussion of the sacraments of the so-called “New Law” of the apostate Church of Rome. Next we come to Confirmation, usually of the young adult, where much like the Jewish custom of Bar-mitzvah one receives the rite of passage, so to speak, into the Church as an active member. Here is section 1285:

Baptism, the Eucharist, and the sacrament of Confirmation together constitute the “sacraments of Christian initiation,” whose unity must be safeguarded. It must be explained to the faithful that the reception of the sacrament of Confirmation is necessary for the completion of baptismal grace. (n.88) For “by the sacrament of Confirmation, [the baptized] are more perfectly bound to the Church and are enriched with a special strength of the Holy Spirit. Hence they are, as true witnesses of Christ, more strictly obliged to spread and defend the faith by word and deed.” (n.89)(emphasis added)

Then from section 1303 we read:

From this fact, Confirmation brings an increase and deepening of baptismal grace:
– it roots us more deeply in the divine filiation which makes us cry, “Abba! Father!” (n.115);
– it unites us more firmly to Christ;
– it increases the gifts of the Holy Spirit in us;
– it renders our bond with the Church more perfect; (n.116)
– it gives us a special strength of the Holy Spirit to spread and defend the faith by word and action as true witnesses of Christ, to confess the name of Christ boldly, and never to be ashamed of the Cross: (n.117) (emphasis added)

The Actual Presence Of Christ And The Sacrifice Of The Cross

Next we come to the sacrament of the Eucharist (Greek, “thanksgiving”) in section 1322 “The holy Eucharist completes Christian initiation. Those who have been raised to the dignity of the royal priesthood by Baptism and configured more deeply to Christ by Confirmation participate with the whole community in the Lord’s own sacrifice by means of the Eucharist.” Further on in section 1333:

At the heart of the Eucharistic celebration are the bread and wine that, by the words of Christ and the invocation of the Holy Spirit, become Christ’s Body and Blood. Faithful to the Lord’s command the Church continues to do, in his memory and until his glorious return, what he did on the eve of his Passion: “He took bread….”

“He took the cup filled with wine….”the signs of bread and wine become, in a way surpassing understanding, the Body and Blood of Christ; they continue also to signify the goodness of creation. Thus in the Offertory we give thanks to the Creator for bread and wine, (n.152) fruit of the “work of human hands,” but above all as “fruit of the earth” and “of the vine” gifts of the Creator. the Church sees in the gesture of the king-priest Melchizedek, who “brought out bread and wine,” a prefiguring of her own offering. (n.153) (emphasis added)

Then in section 1366:

The Eucharist is thus a sacrifice because it re-presents (makes present) the sacrifice of the cross, because it is its memorial and because it applies its fruit:

[Christ], our Lord and God, was once and for all to offer himself to God the Father by his death on the altar of the cross, to accomplish there an everlasting redemption. But because his priesthood was not to end with his death, at the Last Supper “on the night when he was betrayed,” to leave to his beloved spouse the Church a visible sacrifice (as the nature of man demands) by which the bloody sacrifice which he was to accomplish once for all on the cross would be re-presented, its memory perpetuated until the end of the world, and its salutary power be applied to the forgiveness of the sins we daily commit. (n.187)

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 priests, 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 is offered in an unbloody manner.” (n.188) (emphasis added)

Here now the true Protestant arrives at a major difference with the Church of Rome, as if the repugnant words we’ve just read aren’t enough, the doctrine of transubstantiation. As you have just seen Roman Catholic theology teaches that the communion wafer and the wine literally become Christ’s body and blood. Section 1374:

The mode of Christ’s presence under the Eucharistic species is unique. It raises the Eucharist above all the sacraments as “the perfection of the spiritual life and the end to which all the sacraments tend.” (n.199) In the most blessed sacrament of the Eucharist “the body and blood, together with the soul and divinity, of our Lord Jesus Christ and, therefore, the whole Christ is truly, really, and substantially contained.” (n.200) “This presence is called [a] “real” – by which is not intended to exclude the other types of presence as if they could not be “real” too, but because it is presence in the fullest sense: that is to say, it is a substantial presence by which Christ, God and man, makes himself wholly and entirely present.” (n.201) (emphasis added)

It’s not my intention to do more at this point than to clearly document for you, in order that you may read it for yourself, just what it was that the Reformers were reacting against and then bringing the Bible to bear upon. Men and women, you simply must come to understand that absolutely nothing has changed in the Church of Rome regarding these matters since Martin Luther initially raised his hammer. In Part Three we’ll finish our look at the rest of these sacraments which the Roman Catholic Church tells us are necessary for salvation. By their use of the word necessary in regard to salvation they are now adding to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. So the only question left is: Why is it today, that not only is there no reaction like that of Paul and Barnabus or Martin Luther, instead the evangelical community is actually running with outstretched arms to embrace this long apostate system. However the Lord has already told us:

They went out from us, but they were not of us: for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us (1 John 2:19).