A truly great video about Mary

Posted by John Benko - July 17th, 2011

It is a privilege and honor to share it.


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*BEST OF DTB #97* The Catholic Defender: Clean

Posted by John Benko - July 12th, 2011

Luke 5:21 states, “Then the Scribes and Pharisees began to ask themselves, who is this who speaks blasphemies? Who but God alone can forgive sins?”

The Religious leaders of the Jews did not recognize Christ’s authority to forgive sins.

Jesus asks what is easier; to tell this man your sins are forgiven or pick up his mat and walk.

Jesus astounded the crowd when the man picked up his mat and walked.

Jesus states, “All power in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you”.

When I read John 20:23 I find that Jesus did instruct his Apostles to forgive mens sins and hold them bound. This is an authority commanded by Christ!

It is Jesus who forgives in the action of his Ministers. The question becomes, do you believe in Jesus, and does he have the power to forgive sins?

I say, yes he does! Can Jesus use his Church? Yes, he can!

He has commanded it! Jesus gives this authority to forgive sins to his Church saying, “Recieve the Holy Spirit, whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retaned” (John 20:23).

St. Paul would refer to this Ministry as the Ministry of Reconciliation. I’ve heard some say they do not need a “middle man” for forgiveness, they believe you can go straight to Jesus.

I encourage to take all concerns to Jesus everytime. However, when dealing with sin and reconciliation, I must say that we are to go to the Catholic Priest to recieve absolution. St. Paul writes, “And all this is from God, who has reconciled us to himself through Christ and given us the ministry of reconciliation, namely, God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting their traspasses against them and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. So we are ambassadors for Christ, as if God were appealing through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God” (2 Corinthians 5:18-20).

St. Paul continues, “Working together, then, we appeal to you not to recieve the grace of God in vain. For he says: In an acceptable time I heard you, and on the day of salvation I helped you. Behold, now is a very acceptable time; behold, now is the day of salvation” (2 Corinthians 6: 1-2).

James sees this “middle man” important for the sick man saying, “Is anyone among you sick? He should summon the presbyters of the Church, and they should pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord, and the prayer of faith will save the sick person, and the Lord will raise him up. If he has committed any sins, he will be forgiven” (James 5:14-15).

I prefer to have this “middle man” as well, those who are present that the Lord is working through.

The Ministry of Reconciliation was important to the poor sinner who has strayed from the truth, “My brothers, if anyone among you should stray from the truth and someone bring him back, he should know that whoever brings back a sinner from the error of his way will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins” (James 5:19-20).

When you confess your sins, the Lord takes those confessed sins and throws them into the sea of forgetfulness and he remembers them no more.

You also recieve a judgment in the Confessional, a judgment of mercy. The Confessional is the mercy seat of God.

To be truly free and clean of sin, the Lord gives us his “Ministry of Reconciliation!


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*BEST OF DTB #96* "The wages of sin is death"

Posted by John Benko - July 11th, 2011

In a very recent article, I answered some questions regarding the false rapture doctrine. One more question has arisen and I thought it appropo to deal with it as a second post.

My friend wants to know how to reconcile 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17

15 For this we declare to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, shall not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16* For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the archangel’s call, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first; 17 then we who are alive, who are left, shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air; and so we shall always be with the Lord.

With Romans 6:23


23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

[Emphasis mine]

An excellent question.

First, let’s explore the context.

Regarding the verses in 1 Thessalonians 4, they refer to the second coming and the last day, that is the Great White Throne Judgement. (Revelation 20:11-15). John 6 tells us quite clearly that the dead in Christ will rise from the grave on the last day.

However, it isn’t just the dead in Christ. All the dead bodies will rise from the grave.

John 5:28-29


“Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming when all who are in the tombs will hear his voice and come forth, those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of judgment.”

So, at that point, there IS no more death, in the earthly understanding. At this point, there is only eternity. Eternity in Heaven or Eternity in hell. The Bible is clear that the dead cannot rise from the grave before Jesus returns and the alive cannot rise up to meet Him until the dead have risen first.

When this occurs, all of the people who have ever lived will be divided into two groups- the saved and the doomed. Those who did God’s will and those who did not.

Matthew 25


31* “When the Son of man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. 32* Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate them one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats, 33 and he will place the sheep at his right hand, but the goats at the left. 34* Then the King will say to those at his right hand, ‘Come, O blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; 35* for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, 36 I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ 37 Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see thee hungry and feed thee, or thirsty and give thee drink? 38 And when did we see thee a stranger and welcome thee, or naked and clothe thee? 39 And when did we see thee sick or in prison and visit thee?’ 40* And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me.’ 41* Then he will say to those at his left hand, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels; 42 for I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’ 44 Then they also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see thee hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to thee?’ 45 Then he will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it not to one of the least of these, you did it not to me.’ 46* And they will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

Physical death is the normal transition for us from this world to eternity. The Bible records at least two persons (Enoch and Elijah) as having gone straight to heaven (and I would add two others) but that is a article for another day.

For most of us, there will be 2 judgements;

  1. The particular Judgement. This occurs between You and Jesus and will occur at the moment of your death. Your soul will then go to Heaven, Hell or Purgatory (Yes, some will go there temporarily, we can discuss it later)
  2. The General Judgement (spoken above). You will be judged along with all mankind. Your body will be raised and reunited with your soul and both will go to heaven or hell. Earth and Purgatory will pass away.

This will be the case for everyone who dies from now until the second-to-last day.

For those fortunate (or unfortunate) souls who are still alive on the last day, they will pass straight from this life to both Judgements and will, that day, be in Heaven or Hell, Body and Soul.

This is why there is no contradiction between Jesus saying we will be raised on the last day and saying to the Good Thief “This day you will be with me in paradise”.

I welcome more questions!


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*BEST OF DTB #95* Questions regarding the rapture

Posted by John Benko - July 6th, 2011

A good friend, a godly man, called me with some honest questions regarding the doctrine of the rapture. His questions were actually insightful and showed me that he is truly seeking the truth on this matter. I gave him my best summation, then promised I would follow with Scriptural support of my position. My friend’s name is Rodney.

This is an important issue of our time and one that I feel should be addressed. Therefore, I have decided to make public, my response to my friend.

Rodney,
The doctrine of a rapture of the church was born in 1830, as the result of an alleged vision by a young girl named Margaret McDonald, a disciple of a Church of Scotland minister named Edward Irving.

McDonald stated that it was revealed to her that Christ would return in two stages. The first was an invisible stage where the righteous would be taken to heaven and then, later, in Judgement against the unrighteous.

Irving held to the belief that all Christians would manifest the charismatic spiritual gifts of the infant church, of prophesy and speaking in tongues. As a result of the chaos of some of his church gatherings, he was dismissed from the church of Scotland and went on to become the father of modern Pentecostalism. Irving would go on to say that “voices from heaven” instructed him to preach this doctrine. I will not speculate on what he actually heard or didn’t hear. I can only give the irrefutable facts.

  1. Prior to Irving and McDonald’s testimony, there had never been a historical figure that suggested this doctrine.
  2. The Bible is clear on these kinds of new doctrines;
    Galatians 1
    6 I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and turning to a different gospel– 7 not that there is another gospel, but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. 8* But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to that which we preached to you, let him be accursed. 9 As we have said before, so now I say again, If any one is preaching to you a gospel contrary to that which you received, let him be accursed.

Some have speculated that Irving’s views were shaped by the 1827 writings of a Spanish Jesuit priest. Whether this is true or not cannot be known. What we do know, for a fact, is that the belief in a rapture of the church is less than 200 years old, by even the most generous estimation of it’s origin. So, this is a doctrine that has emerged in the last 10% of the duration of the time from the birth of Christ So, the only question that remains is whether an infallible Biblical case can be made in support of this doctrine. As I will soon show you, it certainly cannot.

John Darby, founder of The Plymouth Brethren movement became fascinated by Irving’s new doctrine and traveled to Scotland to interview him.

Darby’s devotion to this doctrine, led him to search for Scriptural support. Believing he had found support for this doctrine, in Matthew 24 and 1 Thessalonians 4, his theories caught the attention of Cyrus Scofield, he published the same in the cross-notes of Scofield Reference Bible

This was, essentially, the beginning of the modern dispensationalist movement and would lead to an almost unbroken succession of date setters for Jesus Christ’s return including the Jehovah Witnesses, the Seventh Day Adventists and the recent fanatic who predicted Christ’s return on May 21st of this year.

The guy who really put the rapture doctrine on the map is one of the most famously wrong date setters in American history. I mention his famously wrong prediction because it strikes to the very heart of how very wrong this interpretation of Matthew’s 24th chapter is and why it doesn’t support a rapture doctrine at all.

The man’s name is Hal Lindsey and his work The late Great Planet Earth revolutionized the way the people looked at the end times and the Book of Revelation (to great detriment, I’m afraid).

Lindsey is the man responsible for taking Dispensationalism from the extreme to the mainstream but he interprets Matthew 24 very wrongly.

To understand Matthew’s 24th chapter is difficult but if you cling fast to Our Lord’s own words, and do a bit of research, you can come to get it.

So, let’s start there-

Taking the chapter apart, piece by piece, we start with verses 1 and 2, and a pretty straightforward account;

Jesus left the temple and was going away, when his disciples came to point out to him the buildings of the temple. 2 But he answered them, “You see all these, do you not? Truly, I say to you, there will not be left here one stone upon another, that will not be thrown down.”

So, even as the disciples are marveling at the amazing buildings of the Jewish Temple, Jesus is predicting it’s utter destruction. Do not lose sight of this. Jesus first prediction deals solely with the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem.

To the people of Jerusalem in Jesus’ day, this would be more unthinkable than the destruction of the Titanic or the World Trade Center was to our time.

So, The disciples ask Him when this will occur but they don’t stop there. They add two additional questions. Read carefully.

3* As he sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately, saying, “Tell us, 1when will this be, and 2what will be the sign of your coming and 3of the close of the age?”

  1. When will this be? That is, when will the Temple be destroyed?
  2. What will be the sign of your coming? That is, the sign of the second coming.
  3. The close of the age. That is, the end of the world.

If you fail to recognize that these three questions are asked in order and answered in order, you reduce Matthew 24 to a frustrating and unsolvable mass of contradictions. However, if you follow this model, Jesus was, indeed, promising to return twice but not in a Rapture and then Judgement. He is promising to return twice in Judgement, first on the city of Jerusalem and then, on the world. The first Judgement would occur within a specific period of time and the second, at the end of the age at a time we do not know.

Read along and you will see. Jesus takes the longest amount of time to answer question 1 and, if you are not careful, you might think this is an end-times prophecy. However, He actually assures us that it isn’t. Allow me to walk you through it and please pay close attention. My commentary is in Bold Red. This may be a little long-winded but it is important, so I can tie it all together.

4 And Jesus answered them,
Very important. Jesus is directly answering the disciples question. Understand this as Jesus speaking personally to them about what they will see and what are their instructions. Resist the temptation to see an end-times prophecy where there is none. If you follow the words closely, it is very clear that Jesus answers each of the 3 questions in order.
“Take heed that no one leads you astray. 5 For many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and they will lead many astray. 6 And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars; see that you are not alarmed; for this must take place, but the end is not yet.
As you will see, the end that Jesus refers to here is still the end of the city of Jerusalem. His discourse on the end of the world comes later.
7 For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places: 8 all this is but the beginning of the birth-pangs.
These events are recorded as having occurred in the time leading up to the destruction of Jerusalem.

9* “Then they will deliver you up to tribulation, and put you to death; and you will be hated by all nations for my name’s sake.
Here he is predicting the martyrdom of the Apostles. Only John definitely escaped this end, surviving miraculously, the attempt on his life. Both Peter and Paul, were dead before the Temple was destroyed as was James.
10 And then many will fall away, * and betray one another, and hate one another. 11 And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray. 12 And because wickedness is multiplied, most men’s love will grow cold. 13* But he who endures to the end will be saved. 14* And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached throughout the whole world, as a testimony to all nations; and then the end will come.
It is very tempting to interpret “preached throughout the whole world” as meaning the whole world according to our reckoning but the following 20 verses make it very clear that this is not the case. Continue to pay close attention and you will see this. Remember that, for the Jews of Jesus time, what was under Roman rule was the whole world.

15 “So when you see the desolating sacrilege spoken of by the prophet Daniel, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand), 16 then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains;
What Jesus says here is inescapable and attempts to escape it have ranged from the misinformed to the absurd. Jesus, in referring to Daniel, is giving us a very specific timeline on when these events will commence and you have to make Jesus a liar to propose they refer to the end times. It refers to a specific event, a specific time and a specific people in a specific place. It refers to the Holy place. At that time, only the Temple would have qualified. Further, it specifically instructs those in Judea to flee to the mountains when the abomination Daniel spoke of is seen. The Bible is clear about that, as well, telling us precisely when this will occur.
The prophecy is recorded in the 9th chapter of Daniel and is a prophecy given to Daniel by the Angel Gabriel.


24 “Seventy weeks of years are decreed concerning your people and your holy city, to finish the transgression, to put an end to sin, and to atone for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal both vision and prophet, and to anoint a most holy place.

A week of years= 7 years. Therefore, 70 weeks of years is 490 years by the Jewish calendar or 476 years by our reckoning. After that time the sacrifice ends, so do the prophets, the Messiah is brought in and the Jewish religion comes to an end, culminating with the end of the city of Jerusalem.

25 Know therefore and understand that from the going forth of the word to restore and build Jerusalem to the coming of an anointed one, a prince, there shall be seven weeks.

That decree was made by King Artaxerxes of Persia approx. 443 BC and the rise of Ezra the prophet, about seven years later, fulfills the first week of years, up to 436 BC.

Then for sixty-two weeks it shall be built again with squares and moat, but in a troubled time. 26 And after the sixty-two weeks, *an anointed one shall be cut off, and shall have nothing;

Literally translated, “the Christ”, this takes us forward another 62 x 7 years, that is 434 Jewish years or about 428 years by our reckoning. When the prophesy is converted to days, it takes us to April 3rd, 33 AD. The date of a known eclipse and a Friday immediately preceding the Passover.

To say that this fulfills the “the Christ is cut down” part of the prophecy goes without saying. April 3rd, 33 AD is the date of the crucifixion.

and the people of the prince who is to come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. Its * end shall come with a flood, and to the end there shall be war; desolations are decreed. 27* And he shall make a strong covenant with many for one week; and for half of the week he shall cause sacrifice and offering to cease; and upon the wing of abominations shall come one who makes desolate, until the decreed end is poured out on the desolator.”

Now, once again, the prophecy is pretty straightforward and it is impossible to make this an end-times prophecy honestly. Yet, inexplicably, they do JUST THAT. Lindsey, and others have speculated that a sort of ”stopwatch” is clicked, separating week 69 from week 70. He proposes that Daniel’s 70th week is fulfilled in the end times. There, of course, is zero Scriptural evidence to support such nonsense. They literally created this interpretation out of thin air in order to futurize Daniel’s 70th week. However, such an interpretation makes Gabriel a liar in verse 24! Seventy weeks means SEVENTY WEEKS.

Reading this prophesy correctly shows that the beginning of the events leading to the end of the city of Jerusalem begin at the halfway mark of the 70th week. This takes us to 37 AD and the placement of the bust of Zeus Olympus on the temple wing by the Roman emperor Caligula. This is the Abomination that leads to desolation. In other words, precisely the desolating abomination Jesus spoke of.
It was at that point that the fate of the city of Jerusalem was sealed. It’s destruction was sealed and it’s destruction was no longer a question of if but only of when. This is why, returning to Matthew 24, we see Jesus exhorting people to get out of that city and quick.

17let him who is on the housetop not go down to take what is in his house; 18 and let him who is in the field not turn back to take his mantle. 19 And alas for those who are with child and for those who give suck in those days! 20 Pray that your flight may not be in winter or on a sabbath. 21 For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been from the beginning of the world until now, no, and never will be. 22 And if those days had not been shortened, no human being would be saved; but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened. 23 Then if any one says to you, ‘Lo, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There he is!’ do not believe it. 24 For false Christs and false prophets will arise and show great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect. 25 Lo, I have told you beforehand. 26* So, if they say to you, ‘Lo, he is in the wilderness,’ do not go out; if they say, ‘Lo, he is in the inner rooms,’ do not believe it. 27 For as the lightning comes from the east and shines as far as the west, so will be the coming of the Son of man. 28* Wherever the body is, there the eagles will be gathered together.

29* “Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken; 30 then will appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory; 31 and he will send out his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.
Once again, it is easy to say that this points to the end times unless you understand that the sun and moon being darkened and the stars falling from heaven, and the powers of heaven being shaken are referring symbolically to the violent fury being poured about on the city of Jerusalem. Jesus is coming here, on the clouds of heaven, in retribution against the city of Jerusalem. In verses 32 to 35, He leaves no doubt.

32 “From the fig tree learn its lesson: as soon as its branch becomes tender and puts forth its leaves, you know that summer is near. 33 So also, when you see all these things, you know that he is near, at the very gates.
Hal Lindsey points out, and is correct in pointing out that the fig tree represents the nation of Israel. Curiously, though, he misses Matthew 21


18 In the morning, as he was returning to the city, he was hungry. 19 And seeing a fig tree by the wayside he went to it, and found nothing on it but leaves only. And he said to it, “May no fruit ever come from you again!” And the fig tree withered at once. 20* When the disciples saw it they marveled, saying, “How did the fig tree wither at once?” 21* And Jesus answered them, “Truly, I say to you, if you have faith and never doubt, you will not only do what has been done to the fig tree, but even if you say to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and cast into the sea,’ it will be done. 22* And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith.”

Jesus statement to know he is near, at the very gates, is speaking specifically to the gates of the city of Jerusalem. Remember that Jesus said these desolations are decreed from the moment the abomination of desolation (the bust of Zeus) is placed on the temple wing. He now gives us a firm promise of how soon they will come to completion.
34* Truly, I say to you, this generation will not pass away till all these things take place. 35* Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.

Verse 34 clinches it. Jesus is testifying that everything He has spoken of since verse 4 takes place in the current generation. The word generation comes from the Greek genea and denotes a period of about 40 years. So, the only way to properly interpret this prophecy is that it is fulfilled within 40 years of the time Jesus made it. This would mean no later than 73 AD. The city of Jerusalem and it’s Temple, and all the Priests within it, were destroyed in 70 AD by the Romans, exactly as Jesus predicted.


Luke 21

20* “But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know that its desolation has come near. 21 Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, and let those who are inside the city depart, and let not those who are out in the country enter it; 22 for these are days of vengeance, to fulfil all that is written. 23* Alas for those who are with child and for those who give suck in those days! For great distress shall be upon the earth and wrath upon this people; 24* they will fall by the edge of the sword, and be led captive among all nations; and Jerusalem will be trodden down by the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.

Thus, all 70 weeks of Daniel’s prophecy were fulfilled. There was no stopwatch. Only be inserting the wholly unsupported stopwatch theory, is Lindsey able to manipulate the text to be referring to the end times. Lindsey then re-starts his stopwatch at the date the UN recognized the Nation of Israel (1948). Lindsey then totally misinterprets the following;


30 then will appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory; 31 and he will send out his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.

The earth is to mourn because the Lord is coming in vengeance against the City of Jerusalem. In fact, the Jewish historian Josephus actually records that figures were seen in the clouds! Misinterpreting this to be a gathering up of the saints, a rapture, Lindsey adds the 40 years for a generation, and predicts that Jesus would rapture the church in 1988. One of the most famously wrong predictions in history.

Just as Jesus prescribes a definite time-frame (one generation) for His first return (Judgement against Jerusalem, not a Rapture), He is just as clear to distinguish it from His second coming.


36* “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, * but the Father only. 37* As were the days of Noah, so will be the coming of the Son of man. 38 For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark, 39 and they did not know until the flood came and swept them all away, so will be the coming of the Son of man. 40* Then two men will be in the field; one is taken and one is left. 41 Two women will be grinding at the mill; one is taken and one is left. 42* Watch therefore, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming. 43* * But know this, that if the householder had known in what part of the night the thief was coming, he would have watched and would not have let his house be broken into. 44 Therefore you also must be ready; for the Son of man is coming at an hour you do not expect.

You see the distinction? When will Jerusalem fall? Within one generation. When will Jesus return? No one knows- not even the angels of heaven. And the Final Judgement (question 3) follows immediately after

45* “Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom his master has set over his household, to give them their food at the proper time? 46 Blessed is that servant whom his master when he comes will find so doing. 47 Truly, I say to you, he will set him over all his possessions. 48 But if that wicked servant says to himself, ‘My master is delayed,’ 49* and begins to beat his fellow servants, and eats and drinks with the drunken, 50 the master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he does not know, 51* and will punish him, and put him with the hypocrites; there men will weep and gnash their teeth.

So, the sentences 40 Then two men will be in the field; one is taken and one is left. 41 Two women will be grinding at the mill; one is taken and one is left, that people like Lindsey refer to as referring to a rapture, and Tim Lahaye has made a fortune off of with his left behind book series, do not refer to a rapture at all but to what will occur at the second coming. In fact, Jesus, Himself compares it to the days of Noah. In the days of Noah, the ones who were taken were the evil. So, it will be this time.

Now, let’s look at the other chapter, used to defend this doctrine 1 Thessalonians chapter 4. Again, my commentary is in Bold Red.


13* But we would not have you ignorant, brethren, concerning those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. 14* For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep. 15 For this we declare to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, shall not precede those who have fallen asleep.
That clinches it right there. The dead in Christ must rise first and that happens on the last day (John 6: 39-40, 44, 54)

16* For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the archangel’s call, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first; 17 then we who are alive, who are left, shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air; and so we shall always be with the Lord. 18 Therefore comfort one another with these words.

Notice that those who are alive are called up in the sky to meet the Lord. The terminology speaks to meeting or welcoming. The people will actually escort Him back to earth where Judgement will commence. This meeting of the Lord is actually expounded upon in 2 Thessalonians 2 where we are told that this cannot happen until the Anti-Christ comes first. Paul calls him the son of perdition (literally, the son of hell)

Now concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our assembling to meet him, we beg you, brethren, 2 not to be quickly shaken in mind or excited, either by spirit or by word, or by letter purporting to be from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come. 3 Let no one deceive you in any way; for that day will not come, unless the rebellion comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of perdition.

Anti-Christ is a specific person. The rapture is impossible.

  1. Anti-Christ must come before Christ’s return.
  2. The dead must rise first when He returns.

I hope this helped.


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*BEST OF DTB #94* The Catholic Defender: Personal Thoughts on Harry Potter

Posted by John Benko - July 6th, 2011

I know there are a lot of people who see the Harry Potter books and movies simply as children’s books.

Fantasy, strict entertainment. The bible and the Church has much to say about spells and incantations directed towards other gods or the devil.

With the rise of the Harry Potter sensation, so has the Wiccans benefited.

They have 1-800 numbers and witchcraft books where ever Harry Potter is advertized in book stores or libraries.

Some have even tried to “christianize” Harry Potter? The following are some of my thoughts:

The casting of spells is not a natural but a supernatural occurance. They are the product of demons who do the bidding of the one who summons them. There are specific incantations for different spells. It may appear laughable but it is not what God wants us to entertain ourselves with (1 Samuel 15:23).

What is magic? Especially when a supernatural power is attributed to it. A sorcerer. Magic is the “use of means as charms and spells believed to have supernatural power over natural forces”. I know we try to look for the good in all these movies, but a duck is still a duck, no matter how you clothe it.

This is typical for the average American. We feel that we are old enough and mature enough to enjoy what we want to watch. It is a personal right.


Ephesians 5:11
“Have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but expose them”.


How we have lifted ourselves up in our own eyes! Rebellion is the same as witchcraft!

I’m not saying that watching Harry Potter will cause you to become a witch, though I do think it may cause people to become desensitized to it. If it’s OK to create a story line that makes magic and spells fun that opens the box that magic and spells are fun. How many people out there can tell the difference from a spell that is genuine and one that is fabricated. Where does the fabrication get the source that makes it fiction?

For me, this is a question of the Lordship of Jesus Christ. If it is offensive to Him, I could care less if it has an impact on me or could sway me. If He says don’t play with it, I’m going to stay clear of it. I might think I could handle it, but He knows better! Satan’s power is deception! He certainly has been given a lot of play!

What is a spell? Is that associated with Christianity? Does dressing yourself with a pentagram mean your a witch? Does that mean you practice witchcraft?

What about fads that become popular? What about those who wear their pants baggy and halfway down their butt, does that mean they are from prison and homosexual? Maybe not, but it’s not a good fad to form the next generation.

Demons can be a lot of fun in fantasy, but I would hope that we can see it for what it is.

There is a great difference from a crucifix and a pentagram, from holy water and a wand, from the miraculous medal and tarot cards, from the bible and crystals.

The wicca (white light) believe that their spells are from goddesses that are good.
It’s not fantasy that I’m opposed to, but the origin from where it comes. Just reading the Cover to the DVD which informs us to join HP on his “amazing journey into the world of wizardry” and talks of their “magical abilities and courage in this spellbinding” book.

What is a wizard? They are a sorcerer having magical power. Worthy of the highest praise.

Wizardry, the art or practices of sorcery.

Jesus says,

“But as for cowards, the unfaithful, the depraved, murderers, SORCERERS, idol-worshipers, and deceivers of every sort, their lot is in the burning pool of fire and sulfur, which is the second death”.

Consider the continued rise in popularity of witchcraft. More young people are getting involved in it. I’ve had soldiers who practiced it and they thought of Harry Potter as free advertizement. people might not be affected by it, your salvation might be intact, but what about your neighbor, the girl down the street? Are we to the point that we don’t care about our fellow man? That’s not what the Church is about! We are suppose to bring the gospel to every nation. Seems like we have retreated and consorted with the enemy!

Another example: George Harrison (former Beatle) donated thousands of dollars to the Krishna movement, wrote a forward to a book encouraging Krishna consciousness in the western world, had a number one song dedicated to Krishna “My Sweet Lord”. The Beach Boys would have Mahareshe Mjewinf speak at their concerts. They would dim the lights down and encourage people to become followers. Mike Love would prance on stage dressed as a Krishna monk. It was ugly especially for me who loved the Beach Boys. Sadly, after about one year of this, nearly 1,000,000 young Americans became followers.

Is this harmless? For many people, it elevates curiosity. I know Psychiatrists who will say that few sins are brought on by a spur of the moment, but usually planned, developed through thought. People don’t wake up one day thinking that they want to be a witch or something, it is a process, moral, spiritual, and physical. But to a child who sees this as fantasy, many today are trying to get out of reality and are moving to the supernatural. They understand what they know and experience. They see nothing wrong with HP and so they do not see spells as evil.


From the CCC

“All practices of magic or sorcery, by which one attempts to tame occult powers, so as to place them at one’s service and have a supernatural power over others – even if this were for the sake of restoring their health – are gravely contrary to the virtue of religion. These practices are even more to be condemned when accompanied by the intention of harming someone, or when they have recourse to the intervention of demons. Wearing charms is also reprehensible. Spiritism often implies divination or magical practices; the Church for her part warns the faithful against it. Recourse to so-called traditional cures does not justify either the invocation of evil powers or the exploitation of another’s credulity.”

Now of course, the situations change when it involves a child’s book or a movie!

One final thought, have we ever thought to consider what the sin was that Judas Maccabees discovered among his fallen Soldiers? “On the following day, since the task had now become urgent, Judas and his men went to gather up the bodies of the slain and bury them with their kinsmen in their ancestral tombs. But under the tunic of each of the dead they found amulets sacred to the idols of jamnia, which the law forbids to the Jews to wear. So it was clear to all that this was why these men had been slain” (2 Maccabees 12:39-40).Making occult symbols into fads of fantasy does not change the Lord’s position of such symbols! The following video is dedicated to all the deepertruth friends out there!


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Can you be a Harry Potter fan and a practicing Catholic at the same time.

Posted by John Benko - July 5th, 2011

No.

Link

Are there any questions?



The attack comes after the Potter series was also
slammed by Pope Benedict XVI who said the seven books contained ”subtle
seductions” that undermined children’s religious development by blurring the
line between good and evil.


I have been saying this for about a decade now. Why in the heck won’t you listen?


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Make love, not idols…

Posted by John Benko - July 3rd, 2011

I am having a bad day, so I thought I might as well get into trouble with a blog post; let’s talk sex! Wave the kiddies off from this one, folks. It’s R-rated in the very first sentence, I’m warning you.
But first, for clarity’s sake, my working definition of the word idol: an object, person, or thing that takes the place of the True God.

We are doing it wrong!

When I was an unrepentant heathen I bought the contraceptive mentality that says sex is for entertainment then suffered being used as a means to an orgasm. I did my fair share of objectifying in those days, so don’t think I’m playing the victim card here. I was merely a victim of my own stupidity and pointing out the “been there, done that” street cred on this point. Not that credibility is needed to see the point, but most people in our sex saturated culture are so lulled by the pretty blondes straddling the corvettes while hawking a Diet Pepsi that most of us do not even notice that women have became more objectified in our culture after the Sexual Revolution than they ever were before. (If you don’t believe me, google the phrase “objectification of women” and enjoy yourself, and seriously, have you seen MTV in the last ten years or so?)
Now that I’m repentant, struggling against my social conditioning, and a little on the outside of the usual Christian circles by way of my Catholicism and by way of the place I converted from, I have a weird little insight I’d like to share. Our hedonistic culture and certain Christians/Catholics have the same idol–the male urge.
“What?!” thinks the average nonCatholic reader, “I thought only Catholics had idols!” 
“What?!” thinks the average Cafeteria Catholic, “I’m not interested in reading about anything that doesn’t affirm me in my quest for…” <—that’s as far as those folks are going to get before they drop off the radar by clicking off to another page in the endless search for the infallible evidence that they are indeed, the center of their own universe.
“What?!” thinks the average reader of this blog, “I don’t get it yet, but at least it’s not another recipe.” 
“Interesting,” thinks the average, open-to-life, NFPer. “I think I know where she’s going with this one.”<—please not that I am talking about a specific type of Natural Family Planning practitioner here. More on that later.
American Idol
The Male Urge Idol is not just worshiped in our post-Sexual Revolution Culture, but in the bedrooms of straight-laced, upright Christians. The idols are cast from the same mold, the contraceptive mentality, and both reduce a woman to her serviceableness. In other words, both mentalities reduce Woman to a tool.
Him, the Tool Man
Men compartmentalize their brains. It’s how they work. In a 2009 National Geographic Daily News Article , researchers were shocked (shocked, I tell you) to find that men activate the “tool section” of their brains when seeing pictures of scantily clad women. They were further surprised (stunned and amazed) that the social sections of the brains were not also activated, stating that
 This means that these men see women “as sexually inviting, but they are not thinking about their minds,” Fiske said. “The lack of activation in this social cognition area is really odd, because it hardly ever happens.
Do I need to mention that Fiske is a woman? Named Susan? Or did you guess that by the “hardly ever happens” line there? You could probably also guess that it hardly ever happens that I giggle while reading National Geographic articles, but it’s even rarer for me to outright guffaw. It was fun, so I am not complaining. Just pointing out that it “hardly ever happens…”
Hold on a minute…
…while I take a brief sojourn into the daisy-petaled universe envisioned by science fiction? researchers wherein men behold women in beachwear and think rational, language-ladened thoughts such as, “Gosh, that bikini clad gal has a smokin’ hot mind. I want to grasp her and wield her and name her Susan!”
I’m back now…thanks for the moment. Where were we?
Ah, the tool thing. Yes, well, men can forget all about the person in the bikini and the color of the bikini all while starting fixedly at the bikini. We women, on the other hand, are so relationship oriented that we can see a near-naked man on a car and wonder is that trunk is big enough for a trip to Costco and the grocery store because it would be nice not to have to pile the bulky stuff into the backseat, and wow that’s smooth, did he shave his chest for this ad, do men get razor burn on their chests or would they wax, that’s gotta hurt, you know this floor could use a coat of wax, but I really should strip it first and I don’t have time for all of that with the kids out of school, so what happened to my resolution to do spring cleaning this year, oh I don’t know anyway, when do I have the time for extras when I’m already so stressed and I really wish the kids would help out more and I bet that guy knows how to hit the hamper with his speedo unlike somebody who seems to think the floor is just fine for his dirty laundry but see if I care if that pile rots in the corner because I’m not picking it up this time. We forget that men don’t make the connection between near naked people in advertising, laundry, and the next big spousal argument unless we women make it for them. They’re funny like that.
While Fiske may be surprised that men see women as objects (tools), most other women and men on the planet are not. The evidence is all around us. What surprises a lot of unmarried people, and sadly, a lot of married people, is that mature men…don’t. They’ve stopped the process in several ways. When it comes to his wife, he has learned to love her, the entirety of her and not just the parts of her, even when he is making love to her, and his mind becomes just as eagerly involved in the sexual union as his body does, making the act a uniting of two persons and not just the interlocking of two well-fitted parts. What I’m describing is the mind-blowing sex described in Theology of the Body (if you have a few hundred years or so) and other places (look here, too) that is the ultimate result of a committed, marital relationship, and a bonding hormone called oxytocin. Men produce oxytocin much later in a relationship than a woman does, if he has not lost the capacity to produce it through actions that sustain a state of perpetual adolescence such as  masturbation, porn addiction, or promiscuity before and after marriage.
So now this is where the Christians come in, and this is where people are going to get mad at me. We think we have sex safely corralled into marriage. Give a man enough sex and he won’t sin sexually. We women shall be open and available at all times and smile nicely and even if we are not in the mood, we’ll get there eventually, or maybe next time. Use it or lose it, ladies. C’mon now, hop into bed anytime he asks and you both will be fulfilled.
Except for one little detail. No one should be used by another, and this sounds dangerously close to the “tool man” mentality we were laughing about a few minutes ago.
I’m not laughing now because encouraging your husband to sin is serious. Take me seriously for a minute. Look at those rare and unmentionable feelings you may have had once or twice of disappointment and unease after a romp, if you’ve ever had them, and wonder for just a moment if maybe it was because you may have felt a little used? You are not alone if you’ve occasionally been left alone on a pillow moments afterwards without even a kiss. It happens sometimes. That’s when it is obvious and that’s when a talk that starts out, “Hey, honey, you know last night when…well…” can usually fix it.
What’s harder to fix are the subtler manifestations of tool use. When he asks you to risk the cancers and blood clots of oral contraception because it is easier to risk your health than to deny himself sex on the three nights of the month that you are fertile. Learning NFP is such a bother anyway and who cares if it works if I’m horny right this moment and you are insist on being fertile.
Or the flip side…
…could look an awful lot like being open to life and accepting the babies that God gives you, experiencing the joys of a large family. That all sounds great, even pious, but not if he forgets to mature in his manhood. In some married Christian men, this type of rhetoric is not so much about openness to life and God’s Providence as it is a lack of a desire to control sexual urges long enough to be appropriate. Some men won’t even wait to get home first. Fundamentally is there a difference between a good Christian husband or a Neopagan hedonistic husband who asks his wife to have sex in her mom’s bathroom during a big family Thanksgiving Dinner? That’s a true story and since it will illustrate my point about making an idol out of sexual urges, I’m not telling you if it was a Christian or a Neopagan wife who shared it with me. I’ll just let you ponder on it awhile.
Continue pondering while I stretch the story out of truth and into rhetorical fiction and change the time frame from a few hours of waiting to 72 hours during a weekend trip. Still obviously a case of tool use, right? Although there is a bit less of the hedonist showing in the Christian man’s demeanor. Well, how about handing the wife a pregnancy induced heart attack with her last two children? Let’s change that 72 hours from a weekend trip crowded with family who are going to know the couple just coupled to 72 hours of fertility a month. Can you see the tool use behind a husband insisting that sex is his prerogative even if her life is at risk. Can you see how his urge just might be his idol in that situation? He still may be coming at it from a purely saintly perspective of “trusting God with his sexuality” and with his wife’s life, but such cases must be rare given the general state of humankind in the last few millennia.
Since this post is way longer than a blog post is supposed to be, how about we make a deal: if  I concede the point that the male urge to sex is sometimes given by God, will you concede my point that sometimes it isn’t? Our emotions are a part of the symphony that make up human existence. Sometimes they are tied to biology, as in the case of oxytocin bonding a couple to each other and to their child, sometimes they are tied to a desire to love and serve the family by growing it, and sometimes they are tied to human frailty. As many Christian/Catholic men are weak and sinful as the nonChristian men. Women, too. I’ve said it in as many ways as possible, the only real difference between a Christian and a nonChristian is Christ. We Christians seek to be forgiven our shortcomings and frailties through Christ. We try not to pretend they don’t exist.
Let’s not pretend that this idol does not exist in our culture either. Even the Christian culture. Instead, let us put God on the throne of our lives, and let He who gave us Free Will remind us that we are not meant to be a slave to anything, even a God-given impulse to procreate. We serve God, not our passions.
In the economy of God, Woman is the pinnacle of creation and as such, she is the servant of the man. Jesus was the Perfect Man and served the world, so of course a wife is to honor a husband and be submissive. In  his way of reflecting Jesus, a husband is to lay his life down for her and sacrifice himself as Christ sacrificed Himself for the Church so that he can present his bride holy and unblemished before God (If this isn’t sounding familiar it’s the bit in Ephesians 5 that is after the “wives be subordinate to your husbands”). That doesn’t sound like the type of man who won’t make himself wait a few hours for sex or even a  few days. Nor does she sound like the type of creature who is to be reduced to nothing more than a glorified bodily fluid receptacle. If you read all the way to the end of Ephesians 5, you see some wonderful imagery. Just imagine! A wife is a treasure you will present to God and so she should be the best gift you have to offer. You might want to start thinking of her in those terms–a cherished gift you have both received and will give.
She is not a tool to be used. She is a treasure. Put her in the treasury of your heart and you will never find her again in the toolbox of your mind.
And wives? If he begins to treasure you, be a treasure and be treasured. It’s nice.


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Sola Scriptura show notes

Posted by John Benko - July 1st, 2011

These notes are intended to be used in conjunction with the Blog talk radio program on this subject.

Opening statement:

The father of protestantism, and, thus, the doctrine of Sola Scriptura, had this to say in the prologue to his commentary on the Gospel of Saint John;



“We are compelled to concede to the Papists that they have the Word of GOD,
that we received it from them, and that without them, we should have no
knowledge of it at all.”


Martin Luther was correct in saying this. It is an undeniable historical fact that it was the Catholic church that created the Bible and, if not for the Catholic Church, no one would have a Bible today.

I say this not as a gotcha argument but as something on which I would ask you to prayerfully reflect. For, when the Catholic Church set about the task of sorting through all the books that would purport to be Scripture, it was no small task, even if only by the sheer volume of works She had to sort through. For example, there were about 50 gospels that were eliminated, leaving us only the 4 we have now. Further, many of the books of the Bible do not record the authors in the text and how are we to know in which order the chosen books go?

This task speaks to authority. Before we can even begin a discussion of what are the best translations of Holy Scripture or what are the best interpretations, we must first be able to arrive at what is and is not Scripture, and to provide an index of how the books should be bound together in a single volume. Absent an infallible path for reaching these ends, we have no hope of looking to the scriptures for God’s truth. This is argument #1 of how Sola Scriptura is untenable.

Imagine if the New Testament canon was given to us with the caveat that only 24 of the 27 books were inspired but the church had no idea which were the uninspired 3. If you went to 70 people in your church, how many different combinations of 3 books would you get?

About the second century BC, the Jewish leaders faced a simple problem. Since Greek was the universal language, they sought to create an Old Testament Bible. According to Jewish tradition, Seventy of the best Scripture scholars were employed for the task. They worked in isolation but when their work was complete all had miraculously translated all the same books exactly the same, word for word.

This translation became known as the Septuagint or LXX which both mean Seventy. This refers to the number of scholars, not the number of books.

Some of the books in this sacred translation were later removed by Luther and the first protestants. Two books that barely missed being cut were the epistle of James and the Book of Revelation. Luther referred to the Epistle of James as an epistle of straw, stating further that he should like to throw Jimmy into the stove. Luther described the Book of Revelation as having ;

“…. no marks of an apostolic or prophetic character… Everyone may form
his own judgment of this book; as for myself, I feel an aversion to it, and to
me this is sufficient reason for rejecting it.”

Most protestants would be scandalized at the prospect of a Bible missing James or Revelation but Luther would not have stopped there. He also wanted to remover Esther, Hebrews, and Jude. This is in addition to the 7 that he did remove. So, I ask you. If Luther did not have the authority to remove Esther, Hebrews, Jude, James and Revelation, how can we then assert that he had the authority to remove Baruch, Maccabees and the others?
Imagine the temerity of a man who admits that were it not for the Catholic church, he should have no knowledge of the scriptures, now setting forth to reset the Bible canon by his own authority.

Argument #2- Translation.

Once we have arrived at an acceptable canon of scripture, placing the books in a categorized and indexed order, we must set about the task of translation.
This, also, makes Scripture alone impossible.

Mark 15:34 tells us that Jesus cried out from the cross Eloi, Eloi, Lama Sabachtani. That is Aramaic. Mark translated it to Greek. In the 4th century, Jerome translated it to Latin when he produced the first Bible, the Vulgate. It wasn’t until 1609, and the Douai Rheems, that those words were first translated to English in a Bible. Aramaic to Greek to Latin to English.

In addition to a genuine cry of anguish, Our Lord’s words were a quote of King David, in Psalm 22. Those words were translated from Hebrew to Greek to Latin and then to English.

Yet, both passages are rendered correctly in English: “My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me?”

The translation of scripture is something that must be guided by the Holy Spirit whether the translation is a literal- by the letter of the text- translation or a dynamic-by the spirit of the text-translation. When you look at all the Bible translations that have been made, in all the languages they have been made in, the opportunity for translation error is monumental. Sometimes this error is the innocent result of some linguistic, grammatical or punctuation subtlety in one of the languages. However, other times, it is the result of the translator allowing his or her bias to influence the text. Examples of this are the King James Version’s rendering of Genesis 3:15 and Luke 1:28, The New International Version’s insertion of the word ‘Woman’ into Luke 11:27-28 and New World Translation which tries to eliminate Christ’s Divinity out of John 1:1

All of these examples refute Sola Scriptura because they prove that the translation of the Scriptures must be safe guarded by a trust worthy authority.

My 3rd argument speaks to the historical untenability of Sola Scriptura. Since we hold that Jesus died in 33 AD, we can say that the church survived for about it’s first 17 years without even one of the New Testament books having been written. In fact, it is entirely possible that the Epistle of James, that Luther despised so much, was, in fact, the first New Testament book written circa 50 AD. The next 26 would be written over about the next 50 years, most likely ending in about 100 AD with John’s gospel and His 3 Epistles. It would be about another 300 years before these 27 specific books would be chosen as our New Testament at the Councils of Hippo and Carthage and another 1000 years from there to the invention of the Gutenberg press.

In other words, the Christian church was about 1,450 years beyond the death of Jesus before the idea of Sola Scriptura could have even been suggested as a plausible, practical possibility. Further, there is no evidence, whatsoever, that any historical person had ever suggested the Bible alone as authority prior to Luther in the 16th century.

The 4th argument, and most important, which nullifies this doctrine is the fact that it is explicitly refuted by the very text it purports to uphold. 2 Thessalonians 2:15 tell us that we are to obey all that is handed down to us- Oral AND written. 2 Timothy 3:15 tells us that the Church, not the Bible is the pillar and foundation of all truth. Matthew 18:17 tells us that the Church is the final arbiter on a dispute over sin. Matthew 18:18 tells us that what the Church binds on earth is bound in heaven. Luke 10:16 tells us that who HEARS, not reads mind you, HEARS His apostles hears Him and he who rejects them, rejects Him. Romans 13 tells us that he who rejects the earthly authority God has put in place, risks Judgement.

The word Church appears more than 100 times in the New Testament, the word Bible 0. This is because the Church gave us the Bible, not the other way around.

Finally, the Bible itself tells us in John 21:25 that the whole teachings of Jesus could not be contained in all the books contained since the foundation of the world.

The Bible tells us that Scripture is inspired, infallible, profitable for reproof, correction and training in righteousness. Inspired, infallible and profitable. We agree. However, we are not arguing that. What we are arguing is the practical sufficiency of Scripture and nowhere in Scripture is that even suggested.

In fact, as we have said, it is explicitly refuted. 1 Peter 1:20 tells us that no scripture is a matter of personal interpretation and 2 Peter 3:14-16 tells us that Paul’s letters, and all the other Scriptures, are written according to the wisdom implanted in the writers, with which the unstable and ignorant will twist to their own destruction.

Sola Scriptura is untenable Logically, Historically, practically and Biblically. Finally, it has been proven unworkable in practice by the splintering of Christendom into more than 33,000 different denominations. The Bible says a House divided against itself cannot stand. Sola Scriptura creates exactly such a house.

Rebuttals of expected arguments:


Expected argument:

2 Timothy 3 says;

16 All scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.

Answer: Profitable for every good work and sufficient for every good work are two different things. The preceding verses are key

14 But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it 15 and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings which are able to instruct you for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.

The scriptures are important but as important are who Timothy learned the Scriptures from. Here Paul is telling Timothy directly that the Scriptures are subject to the Church. Further, these were the Scriptures learned from Timothy’s childhood, when no New Testament books had been written, to now, when only some had been written including only 2 of the Gospels.

Expected argument: The Bible says “Do not go beyond what is written” (1 Corinthians 4:6).

Answer: Of course we are not to go beyond what is written but that does not mean that we are not subject to the authority of who wrote it! In this very same chapter, Paul tells the Corinthians that he became their spiritual father through the gospel and is sending Timothy to teach them. Paul threatens to return with a rod if he must.

Expected argument: Do not add to, or subtract from, God’s Word.


Answer: Again, going above or below God’s Word is not the issue with regards to Sola Scriptura. The issue is who decides where that line actually is and who is crossing it. When one is using this angle, they are making a circular argument. In saying that going beyond God’s Word necessitates going beyond Scripture, they are stating an unsupportable premise. Direct revelation can very clearly be seen in scripture.

Matthew 16:

17 And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jona! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven.

The Bible shows us that Jesus gave the Church the Keys to the Kingdom and He told His disciples to go forth and preach. He told not one of them to go forth and write. In fact, only 5 of the original 12 wrote at least one book making the NT canon.

Expected argument: 2 Timothy 2

15 Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.

Answer: We are indeed to study, including the study of Scripture. But what is the basis of that study?

Acts Chapter 8
29 And the Spirit said to Philip, “Go up and join this chariot.” 30 So Philip ran to him, and heard him reading Isaiah the prophet, and asked, “Do you understand what you are reading?” 31 And he said, “How can I, unless some one guides me?”

Proverbs 3
5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart,
and do not rely on your own insight.
6 In all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make straight your paths.

These verses very clearly tell us that Scripture is subject to a teaching authority and study means studying what has been revealed, not trying to figure it out ourselves.

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