Rome in the News, March 2014

800px-Model_Vatican_2~

Here are some headlines about Rome that caught my eye this month:

An 800-year-old cliffhanger! Remains of a medieval monk discovered after his legs are found poking out of a sea ridge

Concept of the family is old-fashioned, says leading theologian

EXCLUSIVE: ‘Welcome home daddy, I’m a porn star!’ ‘Heartbroken’ devout Catholic Army doctor returns from Afghanistan to find beloved daughter is the Duke student Belle Knox starring in X-rated films

Great Mosque under threat from Church

Hundreds flock to sleepy Belgian town to see ‘glowing’ statue of the Virgin Mary

I’m not a superman, Pope Francis says

Jesse Ventura is an Internationalist: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eQ6f96GhKWA

Non-Denominational Megapastor Stuns Congregation With Personal Revelation

‘No-one has done more than Church’ against sex abuse: Pope

Not again! Pope snubs Russell Crowe for a SECOND time in one week as Noah actor’s hopes of getting the papal thumbs up for controversial film are dashed at the Vatican

Pin-up Pope: Popular Francis scores his own weekly magazine entirely devoted to him complete with free pull-out poster as he throws open private palace to public for the first time

Pope: better to retire than die on the job

Pope cancels meeting with Noah star Russell Crowe

Pope drops the F-bomb: Pontiff gets his Italian mixed up during Sunday blessing

Pope May Be False Prophet Says Catholic Theologian

Pope names financial supervisor

Pope to stop condemning same-sex civil partnerships hints leading cardinal in move which could be step towards Catholic gay marriage

Pope Francis reveals he went to confession when he was training to be a priest after falling in love with a young woman

Repent or end up in Hell, Pope tells Mafia chiefs

Russell Crowe, ‘Noah’ Team Briefly Meet Pope Francis

Sculpture of Jesus as a homeless man sleeping on a bench (that the Pope loved) sparks outrage in North Carolina

The Jesuits Elect a New General (an oldie)

Tired-looking Pope Emeritus Benedict appears frail as he is helped into specially-adapted wheelchair after it emerges he critiqued successor’s controversial interview on Church

Vatican insiders thwart Pope’s divorce reforms

Vatican scientists co-host conference on alien life forms

‘We Are Brothers,’ Pope Declares in Heartfelt Message to Pentecostals

Women Could Have Greater Role in Church, Says Pope

Give no glory to this rubbish!

Pope Benedict XVI by Peter Nguyen
Pope Benedict XVI by Peter Nguyen

(Charles Spurgeon, “Christ the Glory of His People”)

Alas! alas! It makes a Christian’s blood boil to see
glory given to a pack of scamps who call themselves
priests!

Does it not make a man feel, when you see pictures
of ‘his holiness’ and the cardinals, and so on, scattering
their benedictions at the Vatican, or at St. Peter’s, while
admiring crowds fall down and worship them, that it were
infinitely better to bow to the devil himself?

We give glory unto God, but not a particle of glory to
anything in the shape of a man, or an angel either.

Have I not stood and seen the crowds by hundreds fall
down and worship images and dressed up dolls? I have
seen them worship bones and old teeth; I have seen
them worship a skeleton, dressed out in modern costume
said to be the skeleton of a saint.

I have marveled to see people so infatuated as to think
that such idolatry was pleasing to the most high God.

We, brethren, the people of God, who know Christ, can give
no glory to this rubbish
,
but turn away from it with horror!

Our glory must be given to Christ, and to Christ alone!

Christ and Christ only must be the grand object of the
Christian; the promotion of His glory must be that for
which he is willing to live, and for which, if needs be,
he would be prepared to die.

Oh! down, down, down, with everything else–but up,
up, up, with the cross of Christ!

Down with your baptism, and your masses, and your
sacraments! Down with your priest-craft, and your rituals,
and your liturgies! Down with your fine music, and your
pomp, and your robes, and your garments, and all your
ceremonials!

But up, up, up, with the doctrine of the naked cross,
and the expiring Savior!

Convert or Die

Scene from an Inquisition by Goya“When soldiers sent from the courts of Europe “discovered” the New World, they came with a show of arms and required the local populations to accept the heresy of Rome at the point of a sword. Women and children were sexually abused, some were tortured, while many would be put to death – ALL in the name of Jesus Christ. The priests leading the charges were in many cases from the Society of Jesus or Jesuits.

What a way to evangelize! Will you convert or would you rather be abused or murdered? Today, the poor peoples in many lands, but primarily Latin and South America, have been under bondage to the evils of Rome. Her priests continue to be abusers and her teachings are nothing short of heresy. She preys on the innocent and all who get in her way eventually feel her wrath.

Visit the hinterlands of Mexico, Columbia, Peru, or Bolivia, and declare yourself as an evangelical devoted to the sharing of the gospel of Jesus Christ. You will face immediate opposition and evangelical missionaries in these countries are still struggling and have suffered at the hands of the local peoples who have been incited to anger by the priests of the Roman Catholic Church.”

Read more: http://defendingcontending.com/2013/03/19/the_reevangelization_of_rome/?relatedposts_exclude=32793

A Natural Religiosity

Un hommage a marie

There is in some people a natural religiosity–that is,
a disposition to be religious. If they had been born in
Turkey, they would have been devout Muslims; if in
Italy, they would have become priests, monks, or nuns,
and as ready to burn a heretic as their fathers; if born
and bred in England, they would be devout churchmen,
pious dissenters, and so forth–just as the various
circumstances of birth and education, habits and
associations, might dispose or determine.

Now to these naturally religious minds, when fully
ripened and blended with a stern spirit of self-denial,
which usually accompanies and grows up with it, no
system so thoroughly adapts itself as that of Popery
–for it just meets and gives full play to that habit of
mind which yields, like clay, to every object of
groveling, superstitious veneration.

(J. C. Philpot, “Contemplations & Reflections“)

The Papacy And Islam

The Papacy and Islam

Richard Bennett and Robert J. Nicholson

New Partnership with Muslims

In his message to the predominantly Muslim nation of Kazakhstan twelve days after the horrors of September 11th, 2001, the Pope declared,

“‘There is one God’. The Apostle proclaims before all else the absolute oneness of God. This is a truth which Christians inherited from the children of Israel and which they share with Muslims: it is faith in the one God, ‘Lord of heaven and earth’ (Lk.10:21), almighty and merciful. In the name of this one God, I turn to the people of deep and ancient religious traditions, the people of Kazakhstan.”[1]

He then gave a false Gospel. Building a “civilization of love”, he said, is the task of Christians and Muslims. His exact words were,

“This ‘logic of love’ is what he [Jesus] holds out to us, asking us to live it above all through generosity to those in need. It is a logic which can bring together Christians and Muslims, and commit them to work together for the ‘civilization of love’. It is a logic which overcomes all the cunning of this world and allows us to make true friends who will welcome us ‘into the eternal dwelling-places’ (Lk.16:9), into the ‘homeland’ of heaven.”[2]

His final prayer was for a partnership between “Christians and Muslims”. His words were,

“And in this celebration we want to pray for Kazakhstan and its inhabitants, so that this vast nation, with all its ethnic, cultural and religious variety, will grow stronger in justice, solidarity and peace. May it progress on the basis in particular of cooperation between Christians and Muslims, committed day by day, side by side, in the effort to fulfil God’s will.”[3]

In spite of the catastrophic events of September 11th, the Pope has continued faithfully the Roman Catholic Church policy of affirmation and approval of Islam. The Vatican speaks officially of the Roman Catholic Church having the same God and faith of Abraham as the Muslims,

“The Church’s relationship with the Muslims. ‘The plan of salvation also includes those who acknowledge the Creator, in the first place amongst whom are the Muslims; these profess to hold the faith of Abraham, and together with us they adore the one, merciful God, mankind’s judge on the last day.’”[4]

The Roman Catholic Church officially declares that the One God of Holy Scripture is also the God of Islam. It also esteems the moral life of Islam, the affirmation of which follows,

“The Church has also a high regard for the Muslims. They worship God, who is one, living and subsistent, merciful and almighty, the Creator of heaven and earth, who has also spoken to men. They strive to submit themselves without reserve to the hidden decrees of God, just as Abraham submitted himself to God’s plan, whose faith Muslims eagerly link to their own. Although not acknowledging him as God, they venerate Jesus as a prophet, his virgin Mother they also honor, and even at times devotedly invoke

Further, they await the day of judgment and the reward of God following the resurrection of the dead. For this reason they highly esteem an upright life and worship God, especially by way of prayer, alms-deeds and fasting.”[5]

It is clear from this official recognition that the Church of Rome’s estimation of Islam has experienced a fundamental change. The Biblical commandment not to venerate any strange god has been broken by Rome in order to credit Islam and its adherents with holding to the faith of Abraham. Patently, this novel re-assessment of the Muslim faith represents a major shift in the political policy of the Vatican. These official statements are carefully constructed religious discourse. They are aimed at engendering a new mood of respectful rapprochement and mutual understanding between the Papacy and Islam. As a device of diplomatic exchange, they show clearly that a new interfaith-ecumenicity is being propounded by Rome with the singular objective of embracing Islam and its peoples within a new international community of religious life and faith, a community incidentally, in which Rome enjoys priority as founder and senior partner.

Islam rejects Trinity, Christ’s divinity, His sacrifice Christians believe in One God, in which One Godhead there exists Three Persons. Islam rejects this concept as blasphemous. The Qur’an declares,

“Certainly they disbelieve who say: Surely Allah is the third (person) of the three; and there is no god but the one God, and if they desist not from what they say, a painful chastisement shall befall those among them who disbelieve”(Surah 5:73)[6].

The Bible proclaims Christ’s sacrificial death on the cross in place of the believer, “In Whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace.”[7] Islam passionately rejects the crucifixion of Christ Jesus. Thus the Qur’an declares,

“And their saying: Surely we have killed the Messiah, Isa son of Marium, the apostle of Allah; and they did not kill him nor did they crucify him, but it appeared to them so (like Isa) and most surely those who differ therein are only in a doubt about it; they have no knowledge respecting it, but only follow a conjecture, and they killed him not for sure” (Surah 4:157).

The Bible proclaims Christ Jesus as divine, being the brightness of the divine glory, and the express image of God. In the Qur’an Christ Jesus is debased to being solely an apostle of Allah. Thus the Qur’an states, “O followers of the Book! do not exceed the limits in your religion, and do not speak (lies) against Allah, but (speak) the truth; the Messiah, Isa son of Marium is only an apostle of Allah…” (Surah 4.171) Christ Jesus declared, “Before Abraham was, I am.”[8] “I and my Father are one.”[9] “I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins.”[10] A religion that rejects Christ’s divinity is dead in its sins. It is an absurd blasphemy that the Pope declares that the one, living and subsistent God of the Bible is the same one as the infidel god of Islam.

The Gospel and the Qur’an’s religious philosophy

In the Bible the Gospel is as the Apostle John declared, “This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.”[11] “And this is life eternal, that they might know Thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom Thou hast sent.”[12] The whole purpose of the God of Scripture is clearly seen in the reason why the Gospel of John was written, “These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.”

Our God is totally different from the god of Islam who orders fighting, war, and punishment, by murder, crucifixion and amputation. The following is just a sample of the primary concept of fighting for Allah that the Qur’an requires:

“And kill them wherever you find them, and drive them out from whence they drove you out, and persecution is severer than slaughter, and do not fight with them at the Sacred Mosque until they fight with you in it, but if they do fight you, then slay them; such is the recompense of the unbelievers.” Surah 2.191

“And fight with them until there is no persecution, and religion should be only for Allah, but if they desist, then there should be no hostility except against the oppressors.” Surah 2.193

“…let those fight in the way of Allah, who sell this world’s life for the hereafter; and whoever fights in the way of Allah, then be he slain or be he victorious, We shall grant him a mighty reward.” Surah 4.74

“The punishment of those who wage war against Allah and His apostle and strive to make mischief in the land is only this, that they should be murdered or crucified or their hands and their feet should be cut off on opposite sides or they should be imprisoned; this shall be as a disgrace for them in this world, and in the hereafter they shall have a grievous chastisement,” Surah 5.33

“Those who believe fight in the way of Allah,…” Surah 8.39

The commandment of the Lord is as different as darkness and light, for He says, “Love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil. Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful.”[13] While many individual Muslims may deplore atrocities committed in the name of Islam, it cannot be denied that these atrocities are justified and encouraged by Islamic teaching. Even the most moderate form of Islam is incompatible with Biblical truth.

Rome’’s dogma on Islam changed

Nonetheless, after six centuries of condemning of Islam and two centuries of Crusades against the Muslims, modern Roman Catholicism is welcoming and affirming the religion of Mohammed. Rome now accepts Islam as having the same faith of Abraham as herself. How can the Roman Catholic Church espouse a religion that utterly rejects the Trinity, the divinity of the Lord Jesus Christ and His Gospel? Clearly, the Roman Catholic Church still plays the adaptable chameleon¾for since Vatican Council II, she has in Muslim circles embraced Islam to the extent that she calls praiseworthy that which she once had denounced as evil and the object of war.

In 1095, Pope Urban II called for a “War of the Cross,” or a Crusade, to retake the holy lands from the infidel Muslim Turks. Several versions of his speech at the end of a Church Council have survived. Although we cannot be sure of the exact words the Pope used, the substance however is the same.

The heart and mind of papal power in twelfth and thirteenth centuries is seen in these sentences, “All who die by the way, whether by land or by sea, or in battle against the pagans, shall have immediate remission of sins. This I grant them through the power of God with which I am invested.”[14]

The present Pope and his Church uphold the teaching that the definitions of all Roman Pontiffs pertaining to faith or morals of the Roman Pontiff are “irreformable by their very nature.”[15] If the present Roman Pontiff, John Paul II, has proclaimed Muslims to be acceptable as believers, then by that same proclamation, Urban II and the whole line of Crusading Popes have been proven to be damnable heretics, since they condemned Muslims and fought against them!

Emotional unity and its consequences

The ecumenism of the Papacy with Islam is of grave concern for the true body of Christ to consider. The Sovereign Pontiff John Paul II sees himself as the one capable of bringing in a New World Order, in which Rome will be the Mother and Lawmaker.

Through his Vatican II documents the Pope declares, “The encouragement of unity is in harmony with the deepest nature of the [Roman Catholic] Church’s mission….”[16] On an highly emotional spiritual level there has been a great common-ground meeting place between Rome and Mecca in the town of Fatima in Portugal. To quote a Catholic news organization, “Our Lady of Fatima is really Fatima, daughter of the Prophet Mohammed…On October 23, 1995, Iranian television began running stories that the apparitions in Fatima, Portugal in 1917 were religious phenomena of Muslim origin.”[17] Islam teaches that men can achieve favor with God by what a person does. On the Fatima site in Portugal May 13th 2000, the Pope proclaimed a message that could be readily accepted by both Muslims and Catholics. “‘Pray, pray much and make sacrifices for sinners; many souls go to hell because they have no one to pray and make sacrifices for them’….”[18] Heroic deeds to win the approval of God appeal to the natural man, including the devout Muslim; it is, however, light years away from the Gospel of grace. The Pope’s message, and the message and veneration of heroism in Islam are a total negation of the Gospel, “not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us….”[19] In practice both systems¾a mammoth one billion adherents each¾are totalitarian, synthesizing spiritual and civil power in their doctrinal presentations and cultic practices. The global hierarchy and infrastructure of the RCC, however, is far more developed than that of Islam.[20] The bringing together of both under the Roman Pontiff, who calls himself the Vicar of Christ, would make for a political powerhouse of vast consequences.

Pope’’s message echoed by Bush and Muslim Leaders

The drawing of governments and religions even more closely into a global coalition before a politically constructed god has already begun. Rome has many times shown herself as the one to whom all can come for unity within her. Islam as such is still accepted as a valid religion, and the terrorists of September understood to be fallen from their religion, rather than upholding its teachings.

In the words of President George W. Bush,

“These murderers have hijacked a great religion in order to justify their evil deeds. And we cannot let it stand.”[21] The Muslims themselves are giving the same message. For example, the Associated Press reported,

“An international Muslim religious ruling endorsed the morality of the U.S.-led military effort against terrorists…The ruling…was written by Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, the widely respected chairman of the Sunna and Sira Council in Qatar, along with three colleagues in Egypt and one in Syria. The new fatwa cited the words of God in the Quran and authoritative Hadith…‘All Muslims ought to be united against all those who terrorize the innocents, and those who permit the killing of non-combatants without a justifiable reason,’ the fatwa said…The five jurists also said Muslims have a duty to speak up about the faith’s anti-terrorism stand.”[22]

This spin on Islam is perfectly in line with what Pope and the Vatican declared, “together with us they adore the one, merciful God, mankind’s judge on the last day.”[23] It looks as if the Pope, the politicians, and the Muslims continue to conceal successfully the history of Mohammed and the contents of his Qur’an.

A Trumpet Call to the True Church

The Pope’s profession of a ‘civilization of love’ in his rapprochement with Islam represents only another tactical re-appraisal of circumstances and opportunities for Rome. It is merely the old idol of humanistic sentiment religiously recycled and held out to the world as the cohesive force that will unite all sincere religious people in a concordat of international condemnation against the kind of anti-social fanaticism that led to the September 11th horror. The profound danger for Evangelical people is that they, unthinking, might come to embrace Rome’s claim to be the true spokesman for Christ on this earth, a lie which is deeply embedded in this new thrust for inter-faith ecumenicity. The Pope is not a first among equals as a bishop. Frankly, he is not even a bishop in the biblical sense of the term. Karol Wojtyla is the head of a totalitarian hierarchy. Its position as the restored Holy Roman Empire is depicted in the Bible. He is an absolute monarch. He has his own secular government of Vatican City and more property worldwide than any other person on the planet. He has territorial dominions, cardinals, ambassadors worldwide, a detective force, legislature, jurisprudence, laws, advocates, taxes, banks, foreign treaties, ambitious plans and policy, more than any other secular Prince. But he differs from other secular leaders: his spiritual commerce goes hand in hand with his civil power, claiming infallibility and international recognition. The Pope in his own laws declares, “There is neither appeal nor recourse against a decision or decree of the Roman Pontiff.” His arrogance is not just in spiritual matters, but in secular affairs also, for he claims supreme power as much as any totalitarian ruler, “The First See is judged by no one.”[24] “It is solely the right of the Roman Pontiff himself o judge…those who hold the highest civil office in a state…”[25]

This Pope desires partnership with Islam. His claims echo II Thessalonians 2:4, “Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God” and Isaiah 14:14, “I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like most High.” Had not Holy Scripture warned us of this we would rightly be afraid. The Sovereign God remains sovereign. His purposes may be the purification of the Bride of Christ Jesus, the remnant pilgrim Church on earth. The Lord Jesus Christ did not elect the Pope as His Vicar on earth; rather He and the Father gave to the Holy Spirit of Truth to that position.

If contemporary Evangelical leaders and their disciples discount and ignore these utterly basic prophetic and historical facts, they must understand they are placing themselves outside the stream of historic biblical Christianity. They are willingly divorcing themselves from great men of the faith¾Wycliff, Huss, Luther, Tyndale, Calvin, Cranmer, Latimer, Ridley, Bradford, Foxe, Bunyan, Newton, Edwards, Whitefield, Wesley, Spurgeon, Ryle, and Lloyd-Jones to mention just a few.

It is impossible to hold to the Gospel of Christ and simultaneously accord any legitimacy to the accommodations of the papal system. The Lord of Glory Himself will not allow such behavior to go unpunished. If Evangelicals continue to fraternize with Rome, it will mark a major, irrevocable betrayal of the Gospel testimony toward the poor deluded adherents of Romanism and leave them languishing in the claws of the devil. In other words, in simple terms of loyalty to the Lord Jesus Christ, those claiming to be believers must “Come out of her…that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.”[26] There is no common ground between the religion of apostasy and the Gospel of the Apostles. In spite of papal declarations of a truce and vacuous “Evangelical” alliances with the enemies of Christ, “Enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed,” Genesis 3:1, is an epitomized history of conflict which, from the moment of the Fall, has been waged between the children of light and of darkness, between those who adhere to the Gospel of grace and God’s righteousness, and those who are ranged on the side of the Devil by their love of accommodation and compromise.

At this moment of history the Ecumenism of accommodation, with the Pope leading the pack, accepts Islam as a great religion. The true believer must decide where he or she stands. “And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve.”[27] ¨

Permission is given by the authors to copy this article if it is done in its entirety without any changes.

Permission is given is also give to publish it in its entirety on the Internet

WebPages of authors: http://www.bereanbeacon.org

http://www.users.bigpond.com/farel/index.html

http://members.optusnet.com.au/~farelpinel/

Richard Bennett is available for speaking engagements:rbennett@stic.net P.O. Box 192 Del Valle, TX 78617, USA

Distributed in the British Isles by REFORMATION IRELAND.

Please visit our website at http://www.reformationireland.com

Our representative, Mark Fitzpatrick is available for speaking engagements: mfp1517@eircom.net Tel. Dublin 2966001

——————————————————————————–

[1] Homily of the Pope, in Astana, Kazakhstan, on Sunday, 23 September 2001. Accessed 9/28/2001.

http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/john_paul_ii/homilies/2001/documents/hf_jpii_hom_20010923_kazakhstan_astana_en.html

[2] Ibid.

[3] Ibid.

[4] Catechism of the Catholic Church, (San Francisco, CA: Ignatius Press, 1994) Para. 841 Hereafter Catechism

[5] Vatican Council II: The Conciliar and Post Conciliar Documents, No. 56, Nostra Aetate, Austin P. Flannery, ed. (Grand Rapids, MI: Wm B Eerdsmans Publ. Co., 1975 & 1984) Vol. I., pp. 739-740. Hereafter Vatican II.

[6] All quotes from the Koran are from this site: http://www.hti.umich.edu/k/koran/

[7] Ephesians 1:7

[8] John 8:58

[9] John 10:30

[10] John 8:24

[11] 1 John 1:5

[12] John 17:3

[13] Luke 6:35-36

[14] Bongars, Gesta Dei per Francos, 1, pp. 382 f., in A Source Book for Medieval History, Oliver J. Thatcher and Edgar Holmes McNeal, eds. (New York: Scribners, 1905).

[15] Vatican II, No. 28, Lumen Gentium, Vol. I., p. 380.

[16] Vatican II, No. 64, Gaudium et Spes , Vol. I, Sec. 42, p. 942.

[17] http://www.zenit.org/english/asia/za980513.html Accessed 11/1/2001

[18] http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/john_p…/hf_jp-ii_hom_20000513_beatification-fatima_en.htm accessed 6/1/00.

[19] Titus 3:5.

[20] For a brief overview of the Islamic position, see Yossef Bodansky, Bin Laden: The Man Who Declared War on America (Roseville, CA: Prima Publ, Forum, 1999, 2001) Introduction, pp. x-xv. For a study of RCC infrastructure, see 2001Catholic Almanac (Huntington, IN: Our Sunday Visitor Publ., 2000) Part III: The Church Universal.

[21] Reported on cnn.com 10/12/01 “Bush Gives Update on the War on Terrorism”.

[22]http://dailynews.yahoo.com/h/ap/20011012/ts/attacks_fatwa_1.html Associated Press, Saturday October 13, 2001.

[23] Catechism of the Catholic Church, Para. 841.

[24] Code of Canon Law, Latin-Eng. ed. (Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 1989) Can. 1404. All canons taken from this work.

[25] Can. 1405.

[26] Revelation 18:4.

[27] Josh 24:15

The Regulative Principle of Worship: A Bulwark Against Popery

548px-John_Calvin_21And they have built the high places of Tophet, which is in the Valley of the Son of Hinnom, to burn their sons and their daughters in the fire, which I did not command, nor did it come into My heart. (Jeremiah 7:31)

We hence perceive that there is no end of sinning, when men give themselves up to their own inventions; for God surrenders those to Satan, that they may be led by the spirit of giddiness and of madness and of stupidity. Let us therefore learn ever to regard what God approves: and let this be the very beginning of our inquiry, whenever we undertake anything, whether God commands it; and this course ought especially to be observed with regard to his worship; for, as it has been already stated, religion is especially founded on faith, and faith is based on the word of God: and hence it is here added —

Which I commanded them not, and which never came to my mind This reason ought to be carefully noticed, for God here cuts off from men every occasion for making evasions, since he condemns by this one phrase, “I have not commanded them,” whatever the Jews devised. There is then no other argument needed to condemn superstitions, than that they are not commanded by God: for when men allow themselves to worship God according to their own fancies, and attend not to his commands, they pervert true religion.

And if this principle was adopted by the Papists, all those fictitious modes of worship, in which they absurdly exercise themselves, would fall to the ground. It is indeed a horrible thing for the Papists to seek to discharge their duties towards God by performing their own superstitions. There is an immense number of them, as it is well known, and as it manifestly appears. Were they to admit this principle, that we cannot rightly worship God except by obeying his word, they would be delivered from their deep abyss of error. The Prophet’s words then are very important, when he says, that God had commanded no such thing, and that it never came to his mind; as though he had said, that men assume too much wisdom, when they devise what he never required, nay, what he never knew.

John Calvin, Commentaries on the book of the prophet Jeremiah and the Lamentations, trans. and ed. John Owen (Geneva, 1589) in Calvin’s commentaries (22 vols, Grand Rapids, 1993), ix, 413-14.

HT: http://reformedcovenanter.wordpress.com/2014/02/08/john-calvin-on-the-regulative-principle-of-worship-a-bulwark-against-popery/

The Old Blue Banner Yet

Covenanters in a Glen

Chapter LI. The Old Blue Banner Yet

The Project Gutenberg eBook, Sketches of the Covenanters, by J. C. McFeeters

The Covenanters in Scotland’s struggle for liberty carried a significant banner. Letters of gold, on a field of blue, displayed the soul-stirring motto: “FOR CHRIST’S CROWN AND COVENANT.”

The men of the Covenant unfurled their colors with dauntless spirit, and went forth in the name of the Lord, conquering and to conquer. And this is the victory by which they overcame the world, even their faith.

BlueBannerThe Covenanters carried their banner as an emblem of the truth in Jesus Christ. The Bible focussed its light in the burning words that flashed on their ensign. These fathers accepted the Bible without reservation or apology, as God’s Book, inspired, inerrable, authoritative, the rock foundation of faith, and the supreme law of life. They grasped the wondrous system of redeeming truth, as bearing on their own lives, on the Church, on the world, and on all generations to come. They embodied it in their Covenant, and wove it into their flag. They saw all Bible truth converge in Christ, the Only Begotten of the Father, the Mediator of the Covenant of grace, the crucified and risen Redeemer, the exalted Prince and Saviour; and on their banner they emblazoned their faith. But while their profession was embroidered on their colors, their creed was pulsating in their veins. This standard they carried boldly into the battle in defence of Christ and His Church. The deadly missiles that tattered its folds, and plowed through their flesh, could not subdue their spirit. Their blood often stained it, but it was never surrendered. One standard-bearer fell, and the flag-staff was grasped by another. Thus the Old Blue Banner, in all its significance, has come down through the ages; it is the Covenanter’s banner yet.

THE COVENANTERS’ STANDARD OF RELIGION.

The Covenanters' Communion

The standard of truth is the real banner of the Covenant. The standard of religion in the Covenanted Church exalts the truth of Christ, and makes it most conspicuous. Nothing in a nation so public as her colors. Where the flag flies, the power, honor, and greatness of the country are represented by the folds that flap on the winds. The Covenant commits the Covenanted Church to the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth of God’s Word. This obligation, when honored, carries the Covenanter into all truth, and all truth into the Covenanter. The doctrines of grace will throb in his heart, flow in his veins, illumine his mind, dominate his thoughts, deepen his life, enlarge his capacities, control his actions, and purify all the fountains of his being. To all such the truth is concrete, not abstract; it has form, color, action, energy, atmosphere, horizon, immensity: To the true Covenanter, knowledge is experience; he deals with God, worships in spirit, battles with sin, glories in Jesus, and listens to the Eternal Spirit. His faith is power; his love is life; his hope is realization. The invisible world looms up with awful visibility before him. Such is the life that is distinguished by Covenant fidelity; in it the truth of God has grandest publicity. It shines like the sun. The voice of that life has the majesty of thunder, testifying for Christ. They who are thus animated with the truth cannot hide the great principles of the Church. They will glory in her Covenant and publish the truth. Behold the martyrs, how they witnessed for Jesus Christ, while fire and sword had no more power over their faith than over the stars. The truth demands publicity. Our poor, deceived, demon-ridden world needs the truth, Gospel truth shining like the sun, convicting truth pointed like lightning; the sweet truth of love and the fiery truth of wrath; truth that reveals life, death, immortality, judgment, heaven, hell, and eternity. The world needs the truth that will rend the heavens with prayer, and make the earth quake with fear.

THE HIGHEST TYPE OF CHRISTIAN LIFE.

The Covenanters' Preaching
The standard of religion adopted by the Covenanted Church demands that Covenanters possess the noblest spirit. They, who rally in earnest under this banner, will be men after God’s own heart. Such were the martyrs: kind, patient, self-sacrificing, passionately in love with Christ, and laboring diligently to bring others into the same sphere of blessedness. They were strong, heroic, and unconquerable; affectionate, intelligent, filled with veneration for God, and aflame with zeal for His House. Those Covenanters knew that they were redeemed, and gloried in their relation and obligation to the Lord Jesus Christ, their Almighty Redeemer. They flew into every service at His command. Their obedience was accompanied with much assurance of salvation. They had heaven on earth. The heaven of glory was merely an extension of their vista, an enlargement of their horizon, higher up the mountain that they were climbing, more spiritual ozone in the air they were breathing. They dwelt with God, lived in Jesus Christ, felt the raptures of the Holy Spirit; they knew the mystery of the cross, the value of the Blood, and the power of the spiritual resurrection. Therefore were they swallowed up in love to God and man. Are we amazed at the divine beauty of the martyr’s life? Let us have the same heartiness, the same vision of God, the same joy in the Holy Spirit, and we will have the key to the nobleness of the martyr. The Covenant with God, when kept, produces holiness, tenderness, charitableness, and divinest sympathy; turns life into an overflowing fountain of goodness. They, who follow the Banner of the Covenant in spirit and in truth, will aim at the very climax of Christian character, moral culture, and heroic service through Jesus Christ.

THE EMBLEM OF WAR.

800px-Replica_Covenanter_flag,_National_Museum_of_ScotlandThe standard of religion in the Covenanted Church recognizes an uncompromising conflict in the world. Where hostile forces are encamped, the banner means battle. The martyrs were carried into this conflict, by their zeal for God’s House and love to Jesus Christ. Their fight was against the tyranny of Civil government and the corruption of the Church. They fought well, resisting the aggressor at every point of attack.

We must open our eyes wide, to see the forces on either side. The persecution was merely the crimson line, along which the kingdom of Christ and the kingdom of Satan came into collision. These kingdoms stretch beyond our vision, far away into the spiritual world, each having immense resources and innumerable battalions for the war. The firing lines are merely the visible places that project themselves upon our horizon. The human struggle, the din of battle, the blood, the groans, the graves, are merely the evidence of the momentum of these tremendous powers, grinding each other at the points of contact. It is Satan against Christ, in his effort to waste the Church, suppress the truth, crush mankind, and despoil Jesus of His crown, people, and kingdom. It is Christ against Satan, determined to resist, defeat, enchain, and imprison that old dragon.

This war still rages. The powers are the same as in the days of old, though the methods of warfare be changed. Christ still calls for soldiers of the Covenant, men of spirit, courage, and unshaken faith. He needs consecrated men, to hurl them against the organized powers, and inbreaking hordes, that are desecrating the Sabbath, corrupting the Church, maiming the truth, debauching morality, bribing conscience, licensing drunkenness, desolating the home, adulterating religion, worshiping wealth, crushing the poor, chaining manhood to secrecy, denying God in government, and the Lord Jesus Christ on His throne. Men are needed, men of the martyr type, men who count not heads, but principles. Men are in demand, men who find victory in defeat, men who see the mountains filled with horses and chariots, the mighty host of God.

THE GREAT INHERITANCE.

Covenanter in the West BowThe Church of the Covenanters has a precious inheritance. The achievements of the past, the privileges of the present, and the victories of the future—all, all are hers, if she be faithful. The Old Blue Banner leads to the world-wide triumph of the principles it represents. This is no presumption; it is a foregone conclusion, the very language of logic. The certainty is based on God’s revealed purpose, and glows in the richest hues of prophecy. Humility forbids boasting; we have not said that the Covenanted Church shall have this honor. But the Banner of the Covenant, by whomsoever borne, will surely be glorified with victory, as Jesus Christ, the great Captain, leads His conquerors to universal conquest.

The Covenant contains all Bible principles that apply to Church and State; it is neither sectarian nor sectional. The Covenant abhors sectarianism. It contains the universal principles which must become universal in practice ere the world bask in Millennial glory. The true Covenanter is no sectarian. He occupies the center of a circle that contains all revealed truth, and he is pledged to all known duty.

The martyrs died in the assurance of the triumph of the cause for which they suffered. “Do not weary to maintain the present testimony,” said dying Renwick. “When Christ goeth forth to defeat anti-Christ, with that name written on His vesture and on His thigh, KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS, He will make it glorious in the earth.”

Marriage with the Son of God awaits the Church. Covenanting with the King of glory awaits the nations.

“And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth.

“Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honor to Him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and His wife hath made herself ready.

“Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb.”

HT: http://reformedchristianheritage.wordpress.com/2014/02/21/the-old-blue-banner-yet/

Per Project Gutenberg:

This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever.  You may copy it, give it away or
re-use it under the terms of the Project  Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.net

Daniel’s Seventieth Week

Cruzeiro em Belém-PB

What was to happen during the 70th week?:

“Messiah shall be cut off.” The Hebrew word translated “cut off” here (karath) “is used of the death penalty, Lev. 7:20; and refers to a violent death,” i.e, the death of Christ on the cross.

… Negatively, Messiah’s cutting off in verse 26 results from Israel’s completing her transgression and bringing it to a culmination (v 24) by crucifying the Messiah….Considered from its positive effect, this confirming the covenant with many makes reconciliation and brings in everlasting righteousness (v 24).

Read more:  http://postmillennialism.com/2012/06/daniels-seventieth-week/

Where Will You Go When You Die?

~

Who shall ascend into the hill of the LORD? or who shall stand in his holy place?
He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully.  (Pslam 24:3,4)

The Gospel Shall Triumph Over Antichrist

2Thessalonians28