*Best of DTB #164* The Sabbath Day debate show notes

Posted by John Benko - March 30th, 2012

These notes are in conjunction with this BlogTalkRadio show.


OPENING STATEMENT




The show notes for this program can be found at http://tinyurl.com/86qysfm. To ask a follow up question, send it to email@deepertruthblog.com
You ever wonder why we celebrate January 1st as the start of our calendar? The reason is that Jesus was born on December 25th and, under the law, a boy was circumcised on the Eighth day. Notice that the Eighth day mentioned here does not have to be a particular day. It is not named in Scripture as being, a particular day. Nevertheless, the Eighth day circumcision was the entrance into the Jewish community and that is why time is measured from January 1st.

The Eighth day signified new life just as surely as the 7th day signified God’s rest. In terms of the week, the Eighth day was the first day, a new beginning. It foreshadowed Sunday. To be specific, Resurrection Sunday, or what we call Easter.

That is why the early Apostles understood that Circumcision was no longer required. What it foreshadowed had been fulfilled.

The same is true of the Sabbath.

God said;

8Remember that thou keep holy the sabbath day.
9Six days shalt thou labour, and shalt do all thy works.
10But on the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God: thou shalt do no work on it, thou nor thy son, nor thy daughter, nor thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy beast, nor the stranger that is within thy gates.

11For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, and the sea, and all things
that are in them, and rested on the seventh day: therefore the Lord blessed the
seventh day, and sanctified it.
(Exodus Chapter 20)

7th day Sabbatarians will insist that the Sabbath always explicitly refers Biblically to Saturday. It does not. In Exodus 12:16, the Israelites are commanded to take a Sabbath (or day of rest) on the Seventh day. The Seventh day of the week? No. The Seventh day of the Passover. Well, the passover doesn’t always start on Sunday. In fact, it rarely does. It always starts on 14 Nisan. In 2012, the passover begins on Saturday, making the Seventh day, Friday.

The day of the week of the last day of creation is not named in Scripture. It is simply called The Seventh Day. What is pronounced is that you may work six days and then must rest the seventh. For this to be explicitly Biblically prescribed as a particular weekday day, we would have to know on which day God created the world and start the calendar then.

The word Sabbath is literally translated from Yom Shabbat meaning day of rest. The same Hebrew term is used in Exodus 12, concerning the Seventh day of the Passover and in Exodus 20, concerning the seventh day of the week.

Does this mean that Jews were not required to observe the Saturday Sabbath? By no means.

To understand is to get the relationship between how God’s Covenant law is enforced through the Mosaic law. It was God who demands a 1 day rest out of 7 but it was the Israelites who created the Calendar to implement it.

The Mosaic law was just as binding on a Jew as the moral law but that is not the case today. We are not under the Mosaic law today. The Mosaic law demanded specific Festivals (that is, Yearly commemorations), New Moon (that is, monthly) celebrations and Sabbath (or weekly) commemorations.

All of these, along with circumcision, and prohibitions against certain food and drink were elements of the Mosaic law and shadows of what is to come later. This is clearly shown in Scripture.


Colossians 2
8Beware lest any man cheat you by philosophy, and vain deceit; according to
the tradition of men, according to the elements of the world, and not according
to Christ:
9For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead corporeally;
10And you are filled in him, who is the head of all principality and power:
11In whom also you are circumcised with circumcision not made by hand, in despoiling of the body of the flesh, but in the circumcision of Christ:
12Buried with him in baptism, in whom also you are risen again by the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him up from the dead.

13And you, when you were dead in your sins, and the uncircumcision of your
flesh; he hath quickened together with him, forgiving you all offences:
14Blotting out the handwriting of the decree that was against us, which was contrary to us. And he hath taken the same out of the way, fastening it to the cross:
15And despoiling the principalities and powers, he hath exposed them confidently in open shew, triumphing over them in himself.
16Let no man therefore judge you in meat or in drink, or in respect of a festival day, or of the new moon, or of the sabbaths,
17Which are a shadow of things to come, but the body is of Christ.


The mistake my good friend George makes is the same mistake the the Pharisees made and the same mistake made by contemporary Judaism. They focus too much on carrying the Sabbath much further than God ever intended, without ever grasping it’s meaning or intent.

Jesus said that the Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath (Mark 2:27). The Pharisees, on the other hand, tried to condemn a man for carrying a mat on the Sabbath after He was cured (John 5:8-11)

Jesus was constantly upbraiding the Pharisees for their ultra-legalistic interpretation of the Sabbath at the expense of mercy and the very communion with God the Sabbath was meant to illustrate in Christ’s death. The Pharisees focused on the letter of the law- “dont touch the grain”, “don’t carry your mat” and missed wholly the Spirit of the Law- set time aside for God, put Him first.


Here are some facts and that are not disputable;

  1. The Saturday Sabbath comes from Jewish Holy tradition-the chair of Moses-, not from direct Scripture. This, of course, makes it no less binding and truthful but only upon those under the Old Covenant.
  2. Jeremiah 31 foretells a New Covenant and, Jesus fulfills it in Matthew 26:28.
  3. The Chair of Moses was emphasized by Jesus (Matthew 23:1-3) but it was taken from them and given to another earthly authority. (Matthew 21:42-43)
  4. In the Book of Acts, we see that Church acting with that authority and speaking for the Holy Spirit in abolishing circumcision. (Acts 15:28)

That that authoritative church worshiped on Sunday is a matter quite beyond dispute.

Acts 20:7 On the first day of the week we came together to break bread. Paul spoke to the people and, because he intended to leave the next day, kept on talking until midnight.

1 Corinthians 16: 2 On the first day of every week, each one of you should set aside a sum of money in keeping with his income, saving it up, so that when I come no collections will have to be made.

Further, that the Christian Church, from the very start, up to today, has always observed a Sunday worship cannot be denied (quotes in the show notes). The case that we are still obliged to a Saturday sabbath is wholly without Biblical or historical support.

Keep focused on that.

My opponent will doubtless play the worn-out pagan card alleging that we extrapolated Sunday worship from everything from roman gods to unicorns. He will have no evidence, of course but it will be fun to watch. Detractors of catholicism have lots of boogey men they like to conjure up whenever they are caught in a pickle but it won’t sway our listeners from the plain facts.

God did indeed rest on the 7th day….in the tomb. Death was not the final answer so the shadow was fulfilled.

John wrote his Book of Revelation from the Island of Patmos. He started by saying this;


9 I John, your brother and your partner in tribulation, and in the kingdom, and patience in Christ Jesus, was in the island, which is called Patmos, for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus.
10 I was in the spirit on the Lord’s day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet, (Revelation 1)

Saint Ignatius was a disciple of John and had this to say circa 100 AD;


“If, then, those who had walked in ancient practices attained unto newness of hope, no longer observing Sabbath, but living according to the Lord’s day”

The case that the early church worshiped on Sunday is airtight.



Quotes: Source: catholic.com


The Didache
“But every Lord’s day . . . gather yourselves together and break bread, and give thanksgiving after having confessed your transgressions, that your sacrifice may be pure. But let no one that is at variance with his fellow come together with you, until they be reconciled, that your sacrifice may not be profaned” (Didache 14 [A.D. 70]).
The Letter of Barnabas
“We keep the eighth day [Sunday] with joyfulness, the day also on which Jesus rose again from the dead” (Letter of Barnabas 15:6–8 [A.D. 74]).
Ignatius of Antioch
“[T]hose who were brought up in the ancient order of things [i.e. Jews] have come to the possession of a new hope, no longer observing the Sabbath, but living in the observance of the Lord’s day, on which also our life has sprung up again by him and by his death” (Letter to the Magnesians 8 [A.D. 110]).
Justin Martyr
“[W]e too would observe the fleshly circumcision, and the Sabbaths, and in short all the feasts, if we did not know for what reason they were enjoined [on] you—namely, on account of your transgressions and the hardness of your heart. . . . [H]ow is it, Trypho, that we would not observe those rites which do not harm us—I speak of fleshly circumcision and Sabbaths and feasts? . . . God enjoined you to keep the Sabbath, and imposed on you other precepts for a sign, as I have already said, on account of your unrighteousness and that of your fathers . . .” (Dialogue with Trypho the Jew 18, 21 [A.D. 155]).
“But Sunday is the day on which we all hold our common assembly, because it is the first day on which God, having wrought a change in the darkness and matter, made the world; and Jesus Christ our Savior on the same day rose from the dead” (First Apology 67 [A.D. 155]).
Tertullian
“[L]et him who contends that the Sabbath is still to be observed as a balm of salvation, and circumcision on the eighth day . . . teach us that, for the time past, righteous men kept the Sabbath or practiced circumcision, and were thus rendered ‘friends of God.’ For if circumcision purges a man, since God made Adam uncircumcised, why did he not circumcise him, even after his sinning, if circumcision purges? . . . Therefore, since God originated Adam uncircumcised and unobservant of the Sabbath, consequently his offspring also, Abel, offering him sacrifices, uncircumcised and unobservant of the Sabbath, was by him [God] commended [Gen. 4:1–7, Heb. 11:4]. . . . Noah also, uncircumcised—yes, and unobservant of the Sabbath—God freed from the deluge. For Enoch too, most righteous man, uncircumcised and unobservant of the Sabbath, he translated from this world, who did not first taste death in order that, being a candidate for eternal life, he might show us that we also may, without the burden of the law of Moses, please God” (An Answer to the Jews 2 [A.D. 203]).
The Didascalia
“The apostles further appointed: On the first day of the week let there be service, and the reading of the holy scriptures, and the oblation [sacrifice of the Mass], because on the first day of the week [i.e., Sunday] our Lord rose from the place of the dead, and on the first day of the week he arose upon the world, and on the first day of the week he ascended up to heaven, and on the first day of the week he will appear at last with the angels of heaven” (Didascalia 2 [A.D. 225]).
Origen
“Hence it is not possible that the [day of] rest after the Sabbath should have come into existence from the seventh [day] of our God. On the contrary, it is our Savior who, after the pattern of his own rest, caused us to be made in the likeness of his death, and hence also of his resurrection” (Commentary on John 2:28 [A.D. 229]).
Victorinus
“The sixth day [Friday] is called parasceve, that is to say, the preparation of the kingdom. . . . On this day also, on account of the passion of the Lord Jesus Christ, we make either a station to God or a fast. On the seventh day he rested from all his works, and blessed it, and sanctified it. On the former day we are accustomed to fast rigorously, that on the Lord’s day we may go forth to our bread with giving of thanks. And let the parasceve become a rigorous fast, lest we should appear to observe any Sabbath with the Jews . . . which Sabbath he [Christ] in his body abolished” (The Creation of the World [A.D. 300]).
Eusebius of Caesarea
“They [the early saints of the Old Testament] did not care about circumcision of the body, neither do we [Christians]. They did not care about observing Sabbaths, nor do we. They did not avoid certain kinds of food, neither did they regard the other distinctions which Moses first delivered to their posterity to be observed as symbols; nor do Christians of the present day do such things” (Church History 1:4:8 [A.D. 312]).
“[T]he day of his [Christ’s] light . . . was the day of his resurrection from the dead, which they say, as being the one and only truly holy day and the Lord’s day, is better than any number of days as we ordinarily understand them, and better than the days set apart by the Mosaic law for feasts, new moons, and Sabbaths, which the apostle [Paul] teaches are the shadow of days and not days in reality” (Proof of the Gospel 4:16:186 [A.D. 319]).
Athanasius
“The Sabbath was the end of the first creation, the Lord’s day was the beginning of the second, in which he renewed and restored the old in the same way as he prescribed that they should formerly observe the Sabbath as a memorial of the end of the first things, so we honor the Lord’s day as being the memorial of the new creation” (On Sabbath and Circumcision 3 [A.D. 345]).
Cyril of Jerusalem
“Fall not away either into the sect of the Samaritans or into Judaism, for Jesus Christ has henceforth ransomed you. Stand aloof from all observance of Sabbaths and from calling any indifferent meats common or unclean” (Catechetical Lectures 4:37 [A.D. 350]).
Council of Laodicea
“Christians should not Judaize and should not be idle on the Sabbath, but should work on that day; they should, however, particularly reverence the Lord’s day and, if possible, not work on it, because they were Christians” (Canon 29 [A.D. 360]).
John Chrysostom
“[W]hen he [God] said, ‘You shall not kill’ . . . he did not add, ‘because murder is a wicked thing.’ The reason was that conscience had taught this beforehand, and he speaks thus, as to those who know and understand the point. Wherefore when he speaks to us of another commandment, not known to us by the dictate of conscience, he not only prohibits, but adds the reason. When, for instance, he gave commandment concerning the Sabbath— ‘On the seventh day you shall do no work’—he subjoined also the reason for this cessation. What was this? ‘Because on the seventh day God rested from all his works which he had begun to make’ [Ex. 20:10-11]. . . . For what purpose then, I ask, did he add a reason respecting the Sabbath, but did no such thing in regard to murder? Because this commandment was not one of the leading ones. It was not one of those which were accurately defined of our conscience, but a kind of partial and temporary one, and for this reason it was abolished afterward. But those which are necessary and uphold our life are the following: ‘You shall not kill. . . . You shall not commit adultery. . . . You shall not steal.’ On this account he adds no reason in this case, nor enters into any instruction on the matter, but is content with the bare prohibition” (Homilies on the Statutes 12:9 [A.D. 387]).
“You have put on Christ, you have become a member of the Lord and been enrolled in the heavenly city, and you still grovel in the law [of Moses]? How is it possible for you to obtain the kingdom? Listen to Paul’s words, that the observance of the law overthrows the gospel, and learn, if you will, how this comes to pass, and tremble, and shun this pitfall. Why do you keep the Sabbath and fast with the Jews?” (Homilies on Galatians 2:17 [A.D. 395]).
“The rite of circumcision was venerable in the Jews’ account, forasmuch as the law itself gave way thereto, and the Sabbath was less esteemed than circumcision. For that circumcision might be performed, the Sabbath was broken; but that the Sabbath might be kept, circumcision was never broken; and mark, I pray, the dispensation of God. This is found to be even more solemn than the Sabbath, as not being omitted at certain times. When then it is done away, much more is the Sabbath” (Homilies on Philippians 10 [A.D. 402]).
The Apostolic Constitutions
“And on the day of our Lord’s resurrection, which is the Lord’s day, meet more diligently, sending praise to God that made the universe by Jesus, and sent him to us, and condescended to let him suffer, and raised him from the dead. Otherwise what apology will he make to God who does not assemble on that day . . . in which is performed the reading of the prophets, the preaching of the gospel, the oblation of the sacrifice, the gift of the holy food” (Apostolic Constitutions 2:7:60 [A.D. 400]).
Augustine
“Well, now, I should like to be told what there is in these ten commandments, except the observance of the Sabbath, which ought not to be kept by a Christian. . . . Which of these commandments would anyone say that the Christian ought not to keep? It is possible to contend that it is not the law which was written on those two tables that the apostle [Paul] describes as ‘the letter that kills’ [2 Cor. 3:6], but the law of circumcision and the other sacred rites which are now abolished” (The Spirit and the Letter 24 [A.D. 412]).
Pope Gregory I
“It has come to my ears that certain men of perverse spirit have sown among you some things that are wrong and opposed to the holy faith, so as to forbid any work being done on the Sabbath day. What else can I call these [men] but preachers of Antichrist, who when he comes will cause the Sabbath day as well as the Lord’s day to be kept free from all work. For because he [the Antichrist] pretends to die and rise again, he wishes the Lord’s day to be held in reverence; and because he compels the people to Judaize that he may bring back the outward rite of the law, and subject the perfidy of the Jews to himself, he wishes the Sabbath to be observed. For this which is said by the prophet, ‘You shall bring in no burden through your gates on the Sabbath day’ [Jer. 17:24] could be held to as long as it was lawful for the law to be observed according to the letter. But after that the grace of almighty God, our Lord Jesus Christ, has appeared, the commandments of the law which were spoken figuratively cannot be kept according to the letter. For if anyone says that this about the Sabbath is to be kept, he must needs say that carnal sacrifices are to be offered. He must say too that the commandment about the circumcision of the body is still to be retained. But let him hear the apostle Paul saying in opposition to him: ‘If you be circumcised, Christ will profit you nothing’ [Gal. 5:2]” (Letters 13:1 [A.D. 597]).


Closing remarks

The show notes for this program can be found at http://tinyurl.com/86qysfm. To ask a follow up question, send it to email@deepertruthblog.com.
At the end of the day, 7th day sabbatarians are right about one point. It does come down to an issue of authority. The infant church either did have the authority to declare the Sabbath Day fulfilled and initiate the Lord’s Day in it’s place, or they didn’t. It is my position, the catholic position and, frankly, the position of the overwhelming majority of Sunday worship Christians, that they did.

This cannot help but be a touchstone onto the larger issue of Sola Scriptura, which we deal with in a future debate. Obviously, we cannot address it now.

Let me at least say this though. I believe George is a decent person. I really do. He was a police officer and people just don’t generally go into that type of field unless they have courage and integrity. Does George want to love and serve Jesus Christ? I have no doubt. However, he needs to study a lot more from grounded sources.

Hosea Chapter 4 says;

My people perish for want of knowledge! Since you have rejected knowledge, I will reject you from my priesthood; Since you have ignored the law of your God, I will also ignore your sons.

I’m trying to make a point here without drifting to far afield from the direct subject and risk getting busted down by the moderator but it is next to impossible to understand doctrines like the Sabbath unless you have a fundamental understanding of Covenant Theology. The Old Testament exists for a reason. We learn God’s Covenant plan through the Old Testament and we fulfill it in the New Testament.

One of the Old Testament’s lesson is the authority to bind and loose. Here are two examples;

Matthew 23: 1 Then Jesus spoke to the multitudes and to his disciples,
2 Saying: The scribes and the Pharisees have sitten on the chair of Moses.
3 All things therefore whatsoever they shall say to you, observe and do: but according to their works. do ye not; for they say, and do not.

Matthew 19:

3 Some Pharisees approached him, and tested him, 4 saying, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any cause whatever?”
4 He said in reply, “Have you not read that from the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female’
5 and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’?
6 So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore, what God has joined together, no human being must separate.”
7 They said to him, “Then why did Moses command that the man give the woman a bill of divorce and dismiss (her)?”
8 He said to them, “Because of the hardness of your hearts Moses allowed you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so.

It takes work to understand this. God gave the Old Testament Church the authority to makes many decisions on His behalf. Clearly, He gave the New testament church this same authority.

In Matthew 16 and 18, Jesus says the Church is the final authority to rule on matters of sin and to bind and loose. In Luke 10:16, He gave that church the power to speak for Him, saying “He who hears you, hears Me. He who rejects you, rejects me. He who rejects me rejects Him who sent me”. The church has spoken. Sunday is our day of worship.

Thank You.


George’s opening statement

Opening Statement: The Sabbath Day, March 30, 2012
by George Lujack

The Sabbath commandment is one of the most misunderstood commandments of Scripture. Before getting into what day the weekly Sabbath should be observed on, I’d like to first define how the Sabbath should be observed.

1. It is a day of rest from weekly labor. No work should be done on this day. That said, it is not a sin to do essential services such as medical care, and emergency response work, nor is it wrong to come to the aid of a stranger. Christ taught that it is not wrong to do good deeds on the Sabbath.

2. It is a day to not buy and sell or trade in whatever manner in the marketplace, for entertainment or for whatever purpose. Purchases for food and essentials should be made in advance, before the Sabbath – in preparation for the Sabbath, so that they are available when the Sabbath arrives.

3. It is a day of reverence to God. It is a day to honor God and not do our own pleasure (Isaiah 58:13).

Beginning Friday at sundown through Saturday at sundown is the seventh day Sabbath, according to how God counted days during the creation week. The purpose of the Sabbath is for a time set aside for physical rest and spiritual refreshment, a time to ponder and give thanks for the wonder of God’s creation.

God did not give man the option to observe the Sabbath as a mater of his own choosing. Church fellowship and attendance is by no means not the solitary way of keeping the Sabbath, but revering and choosing Sunday over Saturday as a special day to honor God is not in accordance with keeping the Sabbath.

A person cannot observe the Sabbath every day of the week, as some say they do, in denying God’s seventh-day Sabbath. That would mean that they never purchase or sell anything nor do any work and revere God ceaselessly. This would not be practical and God does not want us to observe the Sabbath in such a manner as we choose.

Jesus and the disciples were often accused of breaking the Sabbath. In Luke chapter 6, the Pharisees accused Jesus’ disciples of plucking grains and eating them on the Sabbath, considering this “work.” It is not unlawful to eat on the Sabbath. The disciples were hungry and were eating as they passed through a grain field. The law also states that it is unlawful to muzzle an ox while it treads out the grain (Deuteronomy 25:4; 1 Corinthians 9:9; 1 Timothy 5:18). What the Pharisees were doing was treating Jesus’ disciples worse that field oxen.

Now if the disciples had been in the field gathering grain for a weekly harvest, the Pharisees would have been correct in accusing them of breaking the Sabbath, as this would constitute labor. A man was once put to death under the law for gathering sticks on the Sabbath day (Numbers 16:32).

Observant Sabbath keeping Jews, I would say, err in some ways in which they keep the Sabbath. Following in their own traditions of man, many modern day Sabbath observing Jews do such things as not using electricity on the Sabbath, taking their phones off the receivers – so they cannot receive calls, and placing tape on the light switch on inside of their refrigerator – so that when they open their refrigerator door, the interior light will not go on. Yet they leave their refrigerators plugged in so that the food contained inside will not spoil.

This is going too far in Sabbath observation, because Jesus said that the Sabbath was made to serve man, not man to serve the Sabbath (Mark 2:27). The sun keeps shining on the Sabbath. The earth does not stop spinning on the Sabbath. Observant Jew’s non-use of electricity, telephone, internet, and motor vehicle transport on the Sabbath are doctrine of men observances of the Sabbath, not commands of God in honoring the Sabbath. What would be considered harder “work” or labor, a Jewish family walking 2-miles to a synagogue and returning on foot on the Sabbath, or that same Jewish family traveling by automobile to their synagogue and returning by their car? I would say that if the family traveled with their car, they would be resting more than if they traveled by foot, therefore “resting” according to the Sabbath.

The seventh day Sabbath was instituted by God after creation.

GENESIS 2:1-3:
Thus the heavens and the earth, and all the host of them. were finished. And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made.

God included the Sabbath in the Ten Commandments with guidelines of how to observe the day that He sanctified…

EXODUS 20:6-11:
Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 10but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it.

EXODUS 31:12-18:
And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak also to the children of Israel, saying: ‘Surely My Sabbaths you shall keep, for it is a sign between Me and you throughout your generations, that you may know that I am the Lord who sanctifies you. You shall keep the Sabbath, therefore, for it is holy to you. Everyone who profanes it shall surely be put to death; for whoever does any work on it, that person shall be cut off from among his people. Work shall be done for six days, but the seventh is the Sabbath of rest, holy to the Lord. Whoever does any work on the Sabbath day, he shall surely be put to death. Therefore the children of Israel shall keep the Sabbath, to observe the Sabbath throughout their generations as a perpetual covenant. It is a sign between Me and the children of Israel forever; for in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, and on the seventh day He rested and was refreshed.’”
And when He had made an end of speaking with him on Mount Sinai, He gave Moses two tablets of the Testimony, tablets of stone, written with the finger of God.

The seventh day Sabbath is a perpetual covenant and everlasting sign according to Exodus 31:16-17 officially written with the finger of God according to Exodus 31:18!

History reveals that it was decades after the death of the apostles that a politico-religious system, Catholicism supported by Rome, repudiated the Sabbath of Scripture and substituted the observance of the first day of the week in its place.

The Catholic Church altered the actual Sabbath commandment issued from God – written with God’s own finger and recorded in Exodus 20:6, which states, “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.” Catholicism reworded God’s commandment to state, “Remember to keep holy the Sabbath day.” Then they renamed the Sabbath day to Sunday!

By their own admission, the Catholic Church, without any indication from Scripture, changed the Sabbath day from Saturday to Sunday.

The Catholic Church claims a few reasons why they intended to change the Saturday Sabbath to Sunday….

1. They believe Christ rose on Sunday, and this somehow gives them license to change the perpetual Sabbath day from Saturday to Sunday.

2. They believe that the change was part of their “divine mission,” an act of their ecclesiastical power and authority in religious matters.

The Catholic Church does not acknowledge other more sinister reasons reasons why they intended to change the Saturday Sabbath to …

1. Sunday worship is the traditional pagan day of worship.

2. The Catholic Church wanted to differentiate themselves from the Jews; refusing to worship on the same day the Jews did.

God ordained baptism to honor the resurrection, not the Sunday Sabbath according to Romans 6:3-5.

The Catholic Church in statements through the centuries, freely admit that they are responsible, without any direction from Scripture, for intending to change God’s Sabbath day from Saturday to Sunday.

Catholic spokespersons, in their own words:

“The Catholic Church, . . . by virtue of her divine mission, changed the day from Saturday to Sunday.” The Catholic Mirror, official publication of James Cardinal Gibbons, Sept. 23, 1893.

“But you may read the Bible from Genesis to Revelation, and you will not find a single line authorizing the sanctification of Sunday. The Scriptures enforce the religious observance of Saturday, a day which we never sanctify.” – James Cardinal Gibbons, The Faith of our Fathers, 88th ed., pp. 89.

“The Catholic Church took the pagan Sunday and made it the Christian Sunday…And thus the pagan Sunday, dedicated to Balder (a pagan god) became the Christian Sunday, sacred to Christ.” – Catholic World, March, 1894.”

“Perhaps the boldest thing, the most revolutionary change the church ever did happened in the first century. The holy day, the Sabbath, was changed from Saturday to Sunday not from any directions noted in the Scriptures, but from the Catholic Church’s sense of its own power. – Saint Catherine Catholic Church Sentinel, May 21, 1995.

“Question: Have you any other way of proving that the Church has power to institute festivals of precept?
“Answer: Had she not such power, she could not have done that in which all modern religionists agree with her-she could not have substituted the observance of Sunday, the first day of the week, for the observance of Saturday, the seventh day, a change for which there is no Scriptural authority.” – Stephen Keenan, A Doctrinal Catechism 3rd ed., p. 174.

“The Bible says, ‘Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.’ The Catholic Church says, No! By my divine power I abolished the Sabbath day, and command you to keep the first day of the week. And lo, the entire civilized world bows down in reverent obedience to the command of the holy Catholic Church!” – Father Enright, C.S.S.R. of the Redemptoral College, Kansas City, MO as taken from the History of the Sabbath, p.802.

Well, this is one Christian who will not bow, nor obey the commands of the Catholic Church, but will obey the perpetual command of God, to remember the seventh day as the Sabbath day.


Closing Statement by George Lujack


March 30, 2012

In closing, I would just like to state the obvious about the attempt to change God’s perpetual commands, including but not limited to the weekly Sabbath day.

DANIEL 7:25:
He shall speak pompous words against the Most High, shall persecute the saints of the Most High, and shall intend to change times and law.

The office holder known as the Catholic Pope (all of them) has fulfilled this prophecy. All Catholic popes have either INTENDED to change God’s laws or have upheld the intended changes of Catholic popes that came before them.

Notice how Scripture says, “He … shall INTEND to change times and law.”

The Catholic pope CANNOT change God’s times and laws, though that is his intention. God’s times and laws REMAIN as God originally commanded them.

Therefore the seventh day Saturday Sabbath remains, no matter how many churches and people wish to observe Sunday instead.

MALACHI 3:6:
For I am the Lord, I do not change…

HEBREWS 13:8:
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

PSALM 111:7-8:
The works of His hands are verity and judgment; all His commandments are sure. They stand fast forever and ever and are done in truth and uprightness.

ISAIAH 24:5:
The earth is also defiled under its inhabitants, because they have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance, broken the everlasting covenant.

The seventh day Saturday Sabbath is a perpetual unchangeable command, written with the finger of God (Exodus 31:12-18).

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*BEST of DTB #163* The Catholic Defender: Pray for the Priests of God

Posted by John Benko - March 28th, 2012

Daily Prayer for Priests

O my Jesus, I beg You on behalf of the whole Church … give us holy priests. You yourself maintain them in holiness.

O Divine and Great High Priest, may the power of Your mercy accompany them everywhere and protect them from the devil’s traps and snares, which are continually being set for the souls of priests.

May the power of Your Mercy, O Lord, shatter and bring the naught all that might tarnish the sanctity of priest, for You can do all things. – St. Faustina (Diary, 1052)

From: Saint Peter’s List.com

Father John Higgins – “Who doesn’t enjoy a good BBQ with friends? When I was asked to a young couple’s home for a Young Adult Ministry Home Mass and BBQ I packed my Mass kit and off I went. I arrived about 6:00 pm with a hearty appetite and was greeted by about 15 young people. Then the phone rang and everything changed. I had to drive about 10 miles to a hospital where there was an emergency call.

I drove quickly, thinking that the nurse in charge of the ER, Anne, would be waiting for me. I knew her and her husband and children from the parish. When I walked in I could see paramedics at the foot of the only occupied gurney there, so I hurried and walked in. “Sorry, Fr. John, you’re too late. He’s gone.” Anne said, smiling. She had a lot of compassion, but also understood that I’d come as fast as I could. They were removing wires from an older man.

I noticed that he was wearing a Brown Scapular, one of the old cloth ones. I reached and said “He’s wearing an old fashioned Scapular”. When I touched it there was a beep from a monitor, then another. The nurse, Anne, said “What did you do?” I said “Nothing!” She and another nurse jumped to work, reconnecting wires and calling for help. The Paramedics stood with their jaws dropped. The patient opened his eyes and said (in an Irish accent)

“Oh, good, Father. I’ve been waiting for you. I want to go to Confession.”

I nearly fell over. I’d done nothing but seen and touched his Scapular. The next thing I knew they were working on him. He didn’t get to go to Confession, but I gave him an emergency absolution as they worked. One of the Paramedics asked if I was OK and sat me in a chair.

A couple of weeks later the man came to me for Confession and told me that the doctor couldn’t figure out what happened and had to tear up the Death Certificate he’d already started to fill out. The Paramedics had come to see him in the hospital and shown him their notes. At the bottom of the page they’d written the time and place of his death and then in big bold letters had added “BROUGHT BACK TO LIFE BY GOD”.

Miracles still happen. And no, I didn’t do it. It just happened according to God’s will. Why does He intervene in some cases and not in others? I really don’t know. I haven’t figured that out yet. But I do know that God has worked miracles in my life, the most important for me not being what He did for someone else, but what He has done over and over to bring me back from sin and death, through the Sacraments into His Covenant Relationship.

That man still had to die a natural death to be raised from the dead into eternal life. The resurrection Jesus offers all of us is eternal too. And that’s what we look forward to at Easter.”

What a powerful testimony coming from Father Higgins!

The following comes from St. Francis:

“Our Lord Jesus said to His disciples: “I am The Way, The Truth and The Life. Nobody can come to the Father except through Me. If you had recognized Me, you would have recognized My Father too. And from now on you will recognize Him, since you have seen Him.” Philip said to Him: “Lord, show us the Father and it is enough for us.” Jesus said to him: “Have I been so long a time with you and you have not learned who I am? Philip whoever sees Me, sees My Father too” (Jn. 14, 6-9).

Now, the Father dwells in light that cannot be penetrated (1 Tim. 6,16), and God is a spirit (Jn. 4, 24), and nobody has ever seen God (Jn 1, 18). Because God is a spirit, therefore He can be seen only by means of the spirit, for it is the spirit that gives life, where as the flesh is of no avail (Jn. 6, 64).

But since the Son is like the Father, he too is seen by nobody otherwise than the Father is seen or otherwise than the Holy Spirit is seen. And so it was that those who saw our Lord Jesus Christ only in a human way and did not see nor believe that He was the true Son of God, as the spirit and his Divine nature demand – they all stood condemned.

And so now with all those who see the Blessed Sacrament, sanctified by our Lord’s words on the altar, through the hands of the priest, in the form of bread and wine: if they do not see and believe, as the spirit and the Divine nature demand that it is truly the most holy Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, they stand condemned. For it is the Most High who bears witness to it. He says, “This is My Body, and the Blood of the New Testament” (Mk, 14, 22-24) and, “He who eats My Flesh and drinks My Blood, has life everlasting.” (Jn. 6, 55)

“And just as He appeared before the holy Apostles in true flesh, so now He has us see Him in the Sacred Bread. Looking at Him with the eyes of their flesh, they saw only His Flesh, but regarding Him with the eyes of the spirit, they believed that He was God. In like manner, as we see bread and wine with our bodily eyes, let us see and believe firmly that it is His Most Holy Body and Blood, True and Living.

For in this way our Lord is ever present among those who believe in him, according to what He said: “Behold, I am with you all days even to the consummation of the world.” (Mt. 28, 20)

- St. Francis of Assisi

The Virgin Mary at Fatima asks us to pray for our Priests, Hebrews 13:18 echos this plea, “Pray for us, for we are confident that we have a clear conscience, wishing to act rightly in every respect.” St. Paul wrote St. Timothy, “Presbyters (Priests) who preside well deserve double honor, especially those who toil in preaching and teaching.” St. Peter encourages the Priests to “Tend the flock of God in your midst, overseeing not by constraint but willingly, as God would have it, not for shameful profit but eagerly. Do not lord it over those assigned to you, but be examples to the flock” (1 Peter 5:2-3).

Jesus wants you to utilize His priests for the good of your souls, that you would be healed through the Lord’s mighty sacraments.


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*Best of DTB #162* Once saved, always saved? A primer for Ross and Margie’s Catholic roundtable

Posted by John Benko - March 27th, 2012


Matthew 19
16 And behold one came and said to him: Good master, what good shall I do that I may have life everlasting? 17 Who said to him: Why asketh thou me concerning good? One is good, God. But if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments..
Matthew 25

45 Then he shall answer them, saying: Amen I say to you, as long as you did it not to one of these least, neither did you do it to me.
46 And these shall go into everlasting punishment: but the just, into life everlasting.

Romans 2
6 Who will render to every man according to his works.
7 To them indeed, who according to patience in good work, seek glory and honour and incorruption, eternal life: 8 But to them that are contentious, and who obey not the truth, but give credit to iniquity, wrath and indignation.
9 Tribulation and anguish upon every soul of man that worketh evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Greek. 10 But glory, and honour, and peace to every one that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.

1 Timothy 6
18 To do good, to be rich in good works, to give easily, to communicate to others,
19 To lay up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on the true life.

James 1
12 Blessed is the man that endureth temptation; for when he hath been proved, he shall receive a crown of life, which God hath promised to them that love him.

2 Timothy 2
12 If we suffer, we shall also reign with him. If we deny him, he will also deny us.

2 Peter 2
20For if after having escaped the pollutions of the world through [the] knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, again entangled, they are subdued by these, their last state is worse than the first.
21For it were better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known [it] to turn back from the holy commandment delivered to them.
22But that [word] of the true proverb has happened to them: [The] dog [has] turned back to his own vomit; and, [The] washed sow to [her] rolling in mud.


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*BEST OF DTB #160* Mary debate show notes

Posted by John Benko - March 23rd, 2012


These notes intended for use with this BTR show

Opening Monologue


I wish to thank everyone for the opportunity to have an honest, frank discussion of the Catholic church’s doctrines regarding Mary. Many will disagree, and that is just fine, but let’s at least be honest about what we disagree on. A frank discussion, free of the needless hyperbole, endless supposition and outright falsehood about what my church actually teaches and believes about Mary and her special role in the salvation story.

Anyone who suggests that Mary is a goddess in the catholic faith, someone who we worship, isn’t engaging in a serious conversation, let’s get that right out of the way now.

God is Omniscient, Omnipresent, Omnipotent, and Eternal. No Catholic ascribes these qualities to Mary. Mary was born on a particular day in time and She died on a particular day. Mary has no power whatsoever of herself, only that which is from the creator and is a reflection of God’s power. Mary is not a mediator between God and Man and Mary is not our redeemer. The Catholic Mary is not modeled after Isis or any other pagan goddess and she is not the Queen of Heaven that the prophet Jeremiah referred to as being the object of sacrifices and worship. We do believe that Mary is the actual Queen of Heaven according to the Davidic model and scripture clearly shows this. Catholics worship God alone- The Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, unless you are using the British use of the word worship, which means honor in our American English. For example, a Judge is called your honor in America but your worship in England.

At the same time, we do not believe people should be going to the other extreme either. Reducing Mary’s role to that of just an ordinary woman that God used then set aside is just as disturbing as what we are alleged to believe. God does not use people the way that humans unfortunately sometimes do.

So, Let me give a summation of some of the Catholic beliefs concerning Mary.We have no hope of covering all these tonight so let me give you our e-mail address so you can request follow up on any with which you have a question. email@deepertruthblog.com

  1. We believe Mary fulfills the role of The Woman of both Genesis 3:15 and Revelation 12:1. This is why Jesus called her Woman and not out of any disrespect. Jesus could not disrespect His own mother and break the Commandment of God.
  2. We believe that Mary is the Ark of the Covenant foreshadowed by the Old Testament.
  3. We believe that Mary fulfills the role of daughter Zion.
  4. We believe Mary was conceived without sin by a special privilege from God to prepare her to carry God’s Son.
  5. We believe Mary’s Body and Soul were taken into heaven at the moment of her death.
  6. We believe Mary is the Queen of Heaven fulfilling the Davidic role of the Queen Mother.
  7. We believe Mary should be called Mother of God.
  8. We believe Mary is the spiritual mother of all Christians.
  9. We believe Mary is the new Eve.
  10. We believe that Mary has miraculously appeared to thousands of Christians throughout the centuries.
  11. We believe Mary remained a virgin her entire life.

These 11 beliefs were not invented out of whole cloth, nor were they taken from any Babylonian system or any of the other nonsensical alleged sources. All 11 of these precepts find their root in scripture. If they didn’t, I, nor any other devout Catholic would believe or adhere to them. The last of these, Mary’s perpetual virginity, will receive special emphasis tonight.

The problem with understanding Mary is that a deep understanding of scripture requires work. Too many are not willing to put forth that work, while others rely on dubious sources for assistance. No more brilliant a Scripture Scholar has emerged in the last century than Dr. Scott Hahn and it was the deep rooted doctrines on Mary that took Hahn from rabid anti-catholic fundamentalism to devout Catholic professor.

It is not that Mary surpasses Jesus or even comes close to equaling Him. It is that Mary is so vitally central to a proper understanding of Jesus and His Covenant relationship with us, that to not come to a properly formed Biblical comprehension of Mary is to make impossible a proper Biblical comprehension of Jesus. It really is that critical.

I must emphasize again that this is not an improper elevation of Mary. She is, by no means, equal with Jesus nor ever could be. She is not Divine. Yet, the masterpiece of God’s saving plan, worked by Jesus, is so intrinsically bound to Mary in so many ways. So many doctrines of God are seen and understood through the one whose very soul magnified the Lord (Luke 1:46).

Among these theological precepts are Grace, Intercession, Typology, Worship, Free Will, and Suffering. It is frustrating to me that I cannot go on for hours discussing each of these tonight, so I guess we have future articles to write and shows to produce above and beyond the library we have already amassed.

Now, on to tonight’s particular topic. Did Jesus have brothers and Sisters? No, He most certainly did not. This belief was refuted centuries ago and I will do so again tonight.

The central issue of whether or not Jesus had brothers and sisters hinges on linguistics. Some argue that it is a fact demonstrated on the plain face of Scripture.


Mark 3:32: And a crowd was sitting about him; and they said to him, “Your mother and your brothers are outside, asking for you.”


Yet, it precisely the linguistic context that provides an understanding of this passage. Consider this passage recording Mary and Joseph finding Jesus in the Temple.;

Luke 2
48: And when they saw him they were astonished; and his mother said to him, “Son, why have you treated us so? Behold,
your father and I have been looking for you anxiously.”
49: And he said to them, “How is it that you sought me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?”

Obviously, you know that when Mary said your father, She was speaking of Joseph but when Jesus said My Father, He was talking about God the Father. You know this because you know the historical context. However, there is nothing in the English rendering of this passage to indicate this. There is nothing in the Greek either. Both renderings of Father come from the same Greek word Pater. (definition in the show notes). So, this dilemma can not be solved linquisticly, only by context.
In the same way, the question of Jesus alleged Brothers and Sisters cannot be solved linguistically either. Protestants often argue that Adelphos is a word specific for blood brothers and Anepsios is a word specific to cousins and Sygennes indicates a relative. This simply is not born out in Scripture. In the Greek Septuagint, the Old Testament Bible Jesus and the Disciples most often quoted from, Adelphos is used in Genesis 14:14 and 1 Chronicles 23:21–22. In both cases, the person being described was in fact, not a brother but a cousin.

Anepsios is never used in the New Testament to identify a cousin. In fact, in it’s lone New Testament usage (Colossians 4:10), it referred to Marcus’ sister’s son, a nephew, not a cousin.

In two perfect opportunities to use Anepsios as cousin (Luke 1:36 and 1:58), the word Sygennes is used instead.
So, the linguistic case for “brother” is not a solid one, by any stretch of the imagination.
Neither is the case for Joseph knowing Mary after She bore Jesus.


Matthew 1:25 And he knew her not till she brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name JESUS.




Till is translated from the Greek word Heos which states that an action has not taken place up to a certain point with no implication that it occurred after that point. (definition linked in the show notes). Many claim that this verse states that Joseph knew her after Jesus was born but they are inserting into the text what is not there. They do the same with the statement that Joseph took Mary as his wife.

  • 2 Samuel 6:23: And Michal the daughter of Saul had no child to (until) the day of her death. (Does this mean she had children after she died?)
  • 1 Timothy 4:13: Until I come, attend to the public reading of scripture, to preaching, to teaching. (Does this mean Timothy should stop teaching after Paul comes?)
  • 1 Corinthians 15:25: For he (Christ) must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. (Does this mean Christ’s reign will end? By no means! Luke 1:33 says, “he will reign over the house of Jacob forever and of his kingdom there shall be no end.”)

Source: Catholic.com


Now let’s get down to the brass tacks. John 19:25 is a verse that blows this all apart.


25 Now there stood by the cross of Jesus, his mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalen.

Are we to believe that Mary’s sister was also called Mary? No, Mary of Cleopas was Mary’s sister-in-law and yet the Scripture uses the word Adelphe for sister.

Now cross reference with Matthew 27:56


56 Among whom was Mary Magdalen, and Mary the mother of James and Joseph, and the mother of the sons of Zebedee.

This proves that Mary, the mother of Jesus, and Mary, the mother of James and Joseph were actually two different people. James and Joseph are called two of Jesus brothers.

Matthew 13
55 Is not this the carpenter’s son? Is not his mother called Mary, and his brethren James, and Joseph, and Simon, and Jude:
56 And his sisters, are they not all with us? Whence therefore hath he all these things?

James and Joseph were called Jesus’ brothers but they were actually His cousins. Mary the Mother of Jesus was called Mary’s Sister but was actually her sister-in-law. Elizabeth is called Mary’s relative but was her cousin. Marcus’ sister’s son is called a cousin but is really a nephew.

Finally, the clincher.


1 Corinthians 15:6 Then he was seen by more than five hundred brethren at once: of whom many remain until this present, and some are fallen asleep.

If verses like Matthew 13 prove that Jesus had brothers by virtue of the word Adelphos then we have a real problem because Adelphos is the word used in 1 Corinthians 15:6. Are we to believe that Jesus had 500 brothers? No.

There is a reason why we see no brothers or sisters when Jesus was found in the Temple at age 12. There is a reason why we see no brothers or sisters for Jesus to leave His mother in the care of. There is a reason why Mary is never called the Mother of anyone but Jesus, anywhere in Scripture.

The word Adelphos clearly cannot be constrained to full brothers because even other children of Joseph and Mary would not have been full brothers to Jesus because they would not have God as their Father.

Clearly, Adelphos includes half-brothers, step-brothers, cousins and even spiritual brothers. Therefore, it is illogical to automatically conclude that Jesus so-called brothers and sisters had to be children of Mary, especially in the complete absence of any evidence to support such a proposition.

It is truly puzzling to me that anyone would suggest that God would go so far as to preserve Mary’s virginity by Divine action if He intended that action to be undone by a man. A man sharing the Holy womb that carried God. absurd. Remember Uzzah. Joseph wouldn’t have even thought about it.


Closing Remarks


To read the show notes for this debate, please go to http://tinyurl.com/6rf8bat. Also, to email us, send to email@deepertruthblog.com
I have little doubt that some people approached tonight’s debate thinking it would be a slam dunk for my opponent. To the undiscerning eye, the Bible does seem to indicate that Jesus had other brothers and sisters. That is until you come to understand the Scriptures long journey from aramaic to greek to latin to english and the many subtleties of language resulting from such a journey. When you examine the whole of Scripture in the context of language, typology and the early church Fathers, Mary’s perpetual virginity is a matter beyond dispute.

It should be mentioned that many catholic doctrines concerning Mary use sources outside the Bible. This is not so strange. Many today use all manner of outside sources to help them understand Scripture. One of the documents we look to is written by James, the Apostle and writer of an Epistle. It is called the Proto-Evangelium (link in the show notes). Why the proto-evangelium did not make the canon of Scripture is an open question. However, it does give us many insights that are confirmed by Sacred Scripture.

Here is one example.

Matthew’s Gospel tell us that Jesus is a descendant of the lineage of David by Joseph, the spouse of Mary. However, Paul’s letter to the Romans says something different.

Jesus could not be descended from David, according to the flesh, if Mary were not also of the House of David. The Bible, nowhere makes this claim but the proto-evangelium does.

The proto-evangelium also states that Joseph was an elderly man, a widower, when He was betrothed to Mary and already had adult children. This would not only perfectly account for some of Jesus brothers and sisters but makes sense of the fact that Joseph is out of the picture somewhere between Jesus age of 12 and 30.

The proto-evangelium also states that Joseph was betrothed to Mary more as a caretaker in her young age than as a typical, conjugal marriage. This would certainly explain why Mary was astounded at the prospect that She would become pregnant.

These explanations are at direct opposition to much protestant thought but they are the only ones that make sense of the Scriptures. If it is so easy for some to believe that Jesus had half brothers without His real Father, why is it such a stretch to believe that He had step-brothers by His adoptive father? This explanation certainly makes more sense juxtaposed against the notion that Almighty God would share the womb of the Ark of the Covenant with a man, even a man as decent as Joseph.

Nevertheless, the assertion that Mary had other children is an affirmative claim, unproven even if the Proto-Evangelium is rejected.

In the end, my opponent has failed to demonstrate that Mary had other children because it cannot be demonstrated. It cannot be demonstrated because it flat out didn’t happen.
Pope Saint Siricius, the first Pope to inherit a canonized Bible, put it so brilliantly;


“You had good reason to be horrified at the thought that another birth might issue from the same virginal womb from which Christ was born according to the flesh. For the Lord Jesus would never have chosen to be born of a virgin if he had ever judged that she would be so incontinent as to contaminate with the seed of human intercourse the birthplace of the Lord’s body, that court of the eternal king” (Letter to Bishop Anysius [A.D. 392]).

Amen. I cannot top that.

That Mary had no other children is clear by the Biblical record. That the early church understood this is clear by the historical record. Yet, this teaching is very hard for our current selfish, contraceptive culture. The idea that restraint is more valuable than indulgence and that there are places too holy for man to tread run counter to the current thought.

Catholic Priests are mocked for being celibate. But who are the people mocking? Are they mocking Jesus, whose example of celibacy they follow? Are they mocking Paul who pointed the same way? If Celibacy is unnatural, do we serve an unnatural Savior? For that is clearly the way He lived, so how can priests be attacked for following His lead? Paul, whose doctrines are allegedly so central to the development of protestant thought was a preeminent example of this expressly catholic mindset.

Is our world so cynical as to sneer at the notion that Mary, overshadowed by the Holy Spirit, cradling God Himself in her arms, could resist the temptations of the flesh for God’s higher purpose? Is it so outrageous to contemplate that righteous Joseph who was going to divorce Mary quietly rather than seek justice would not have the temperance, through God’s grace to stay this holy course? Finally, if God intended Joseph to have sex with Mary, why on earth would He have gone through the trouble of impregnating her, Himself in such a miraculous way?

Is this really our objection, or is it that we have been so brain washed by our sex saturated, post Humanae Vitae culture as to be scandalized by the thought that Sex is not a need but a desire, against which a person of profound grace can bend against. Is it so hard to comprehend that a person can actually say no, for the greater love of God and holiness?

Isaiah 7 says the Virgin will be with child and bear a son…..not sons. Isaiah 9 says A Child is born to us…not children are born to us.

God’s singular and miraculous action through Mary was not shared. Thank You.


Quotes from the fathers (Source: catholic.com)

The Protoevangelium of James
“And behold, an angel of the Lord stood by [St. Anne], saying, ‘Anne! Anne! The Lord has heard your prayer, and you shall conceive and shall bring forth, and your seed shall be spoken of in all the world.’ And Anne said, ‘As the Lord my God lives, if I beget either male or female, I will bring it as a gift to the Lord my God, and it shall minister to him in the holy things all the days of its life.’ . . . And [from the time she was three] Mary was in the temple of the Lord as if she were a dove that dwelt there” (Protoevangelium of James 4, 7 [A.D. 120]).
“And when she was twelve years old there was held a council of priests, saying, ‘Behold, Mary has reached the age of twelve years in the temple of the Lord. What then shall we do with her, lest perchance she defile the sanctuary of the Lord?’ And they said to the high priest, ‘You stand by the altar of the Lord; go in and pray concerning her, and whatever the Lord shall manifest to you, that also will we do.’ . . . [A]nd he prayed concerning her, and behold, an angel of the Lord stood by him saying, ‘Zechariah! Zechariah! Go out and assemble the widowers of the people and let them bring each his rod, and to whomsoever the Lord shall show a sign, his wife shall she be. . . . And Joseph [was chosen]. . . . And the priest said to Joseph, ‘You have been chosen by lot to take into your keeping the Virgin of the Lord.’ But Joseph refused, saying, ‘I have children, and I am an old man, and she is a young girl’” (ibid., 8–9).
“And Annas the scribe came to him [Joseph] . . . and saw that Mary was with child. And he ran away to the priest and said to him, ‘Joseph, whom you did vouch for, has committed a grievous crime.’ And the priest said, ‘How so?’ And he said, ‘He has defiled the virgin whom he received out of the temple of the Lord and has married her by stealth’” (ibid., 15).
“And the priest said, ‘Mary, why have you done this? And why have you brought your soul low and forgotten the Lord your God?’ . . . And she wept bitterly saying, ‘As the Lord my God lives, I am pure before him, and know not man’” (ibid.).
Origen
“The Book [the Protoevangelium] of James [records] that the brethren of Jesus were sons of Joseph by a former wife, whom he married before Mary. Now those who say so wish to preserve the honor of Mary in virginity to the end, so that body of hers which was appointed to minister to the Word . . . might not know intercourse with a man after the Holy Spirit came into her and the power from on high overshadowed her. And I think it in harmony with reason that Jesus was the firstfruit among men of the purity which consists in [perpetual] chastity, and Mary was among women. For it were not pious to ascribe to any other than to her the firstfruit of virginity” (Commentary on Matthew 2:17 [A.D. 248]).
Hilary of Poitiers
“If they [the brethren of the Lord] had been Mary’s sons and not those taken from Joseph’s former marriage, she would never have been given over in the moment of the passion [crucifixion] to the apostle John as his mother, the Lord saying to each, ‘Woman, behold your son,’ and to John, ‘Behold your mother’ [John 19:26–27), as he bequeathed filial love to a disciple as a consolation to the one desolate” (Commentary on Matthew 1:4 [A.D. 354]).
Athanasius
“Let those, therefore, who deny that the Son is by nature from the Father and proper to his essence deny also that he took true human flesh from the ever-virgin Mary” (Discourses Against the Arians 2:70 [A.D. 360]).
Epiphanius of Salamis
“We believe in one God, the Father almighty, maker of all things, both visible and invisible; and in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God . . . who for us men and for our salvation came down and took flesh, that is, was born perfectly of the holy ever-virgin Mary by the Holy Spirit” (The Man Well-Anchored 120 [A.D. 374]).
“And to holy Mary, [the title] ‘Virgin’ is invariably added, for that holy woman remains undefiled” (Medicine Chest Against All Heresies 78:6 [A.D. 375]).
Jerome
“[Helvidius] produces Tertullian as a witness [to his view] and quotes Victorinus, bishop of Petavium. Of Tertullian, I say no more than that he did not belong to the Church. But as regards Victorinus, I assert what has already been proven from the gospel—that he [Victorinus] spoke of the brethren of the Lord not as being sons of Mary but brethren in the sense I have explained, that is to say, brethren in point of kinship, not by nature. [By discussing such things we] are . . . following the tiny streams of opinion. Might I not array against you the whole series of ancient writers? Ignatius, Polycarp, Irenaeus, Justin Martyr, and many other apostolic and eloquent men, who against [the heretics] Ebion, Theodotus of Byzantium, and Valentinus, held these same views and wrote volumes replete with wisdom. If you had ever read what they wrote, you would be a wiser man” (Against Helvidius: The Perpetual Virginity of Mary 19 [A.D. 383]).
“We believe that God was born of a virgin, because we read it. We do not believe that Mary was married after she brought forth her Son, because we do not read it. . . . You [Helvidius] say that Mary did not remain a virgin. As for myself, I claim that Joseph himself was a virgin, through Mary, so that a virgin Son might be born of a virginal wedlock” (ibid., 21).
Didymus the Blind
“It helps us to understand the terms ‘first-born’ and ‘only-begotten’ when the Evangelist tells that Mary remained a virgin ‘until she brought forth her first-born son’ [Matt. 1:25]; for neither did Mary, who is to be honored and praised above all others, marry anyone else, nor did she ever become the Mother of anyone else, but even after childbirth she remained always and forever an immaculate virgin” (The Trinity 3:4 [A.D. 386]).
Ambrose of Milan
“Imitate her [Mary], holy mothers, who in her only dearly beloved Son set forth so great an example of material virtue; for neither have you sweeter children [than Jesus], nor did the Virgin seek the consolation of being able to bear another son” (Letters 63:111 [A.D. 388]).
Pope Siricius I
“You had good reason to be horrified at the thought that another birth might issue from the same virginal womb from which Christ was born according to the flesh. For the Lord Jesus would never have chosen to be born of a virgin if he had ever judged that she would be so incontinent as to contaminate with the seed of human intercourse the birthplace of the Lord’s body, that court of the eternal king” (Letter to Bishop Anysius [A.D. 392]).
Augustine
“In being born of a Virgin who chose to remain a Virgin even before she knew who was to be born of her, Christ wanted to approve virginity rather than to impose it. And he wanted virginity to be of free choice even in that woman in whom he took upon himself the form of a slave” (Holy Virginity 4:4 [A.D. 401]).
“It was not the visible sun, but its invisible Creator who consecrated this day for us, when the Virgin Mother, fertile of womb and integral in her virginity, brought him forth, made visible for us, by whom, when he was invisible, she too was created. A Virgin conceiving, a Virgin bearing, a Virgin pregnant, a Virgin bringing forth, a Virgin perpetual. Why do you wonder at this, O man?” (Sermons 186:1 [A.D. 411]).
“Heretics called Antidicomarites are those who contradict the perpetual virginity of Mary and affirm that after Christ was born she was joined as one with her husband” (Heresies 56 [A.D. 428]).
Leporius
“We confess, therefore, that our Lord and God, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, born of the Father before the ages, and in times most recent, made man of the Holy Spirit and the ever-virgin Mary” (Document of Amendment 3 [A.D. 426]).
Cyril of Alexandria
“[T]he Word himself, coming into the Blessed Virgin herself, assumed for himself his own temple from the substance of the Virgin and came forth from her a man in all that could be externally discerned, while interiorly he was true God. Therefore he kept his Mother a virgin even after her childbearing” (Against Those Who Do Not Wish to Confess That the Holy Virgin is the Mother of God 4 [A.D. 430]).
Pope Leo I
“His [Christ’s] origin is different, but his [human] nature is the same. Human usage and custom were lacking, but by divine power a Virgin conceived, a Virgin bore, and Virgin she remained” (Sermons 22:2 [A.D. 450]).

George Lujack’s opening statement

Opening Statement: A Discussion on Mary March 23, 2012
by George Lujack

Most of the Marian doctrines of the Catholic Church are false and simply not biblically supported at all. Through human reasoning and a desire to keep Mary an “untouched vessel” of God, they cannot accept the fact that Mary engaged in sexual intercourse and had numerous children with her husband. Catholics cherish, praise and worship Mary as the Immaculate Conception, the perpetual Virgin, the queen of heaven, the co-redemptrix, and the Holy mother of God, though these titles are not bestowed upon her in Scripture.

Mary simply referred to herself as the maidservant of the Lord in Luke 1:38.

Jesus had no earthly biological father. This point is not in dispute. Jesus had no earthly biological mother. I repeat, Jesus had no earthly biological mother. Jesus was born to the Virgin Mary and Mary served as a surrogate mother for the Lord. Joseph and Mary served the Lord Jesus Christ as adoptive parents in servitude to the kingdom of God.

Jesus was born without the strain of original sin in Him. This is generally accepted as truth by Christians and Catholics alike, and I don’t think my opponent will dispute this. Being born without original sin poses a dilemma however…. How can Jesus have been born as a man through a woman and yet not inherit original sin as all men do?

There are only (2) known possibilities…

1. Jesus was born to a sinless Virgin Mary. Mary was sinless, having been immaculately conceived herself. Being without sin made it possible for Mary to be Christ’s biological mother.

-or-

2. Jesus was born to a highly favored, blessed and righteous Virgin who was a humble
maidservant to the Lord, who served as a surrogate birth mother and raised Jesus as her own child.

Catholicism follows possibility #1 by creating the perpetual virgin goddess Mary, a sinless woman who ascended to heaven and is now queen of heaven. There are so many flaws with Catholicism’s Mary, that she can never conform with Scripture and Catholics no longer even attempt to make their Mary do so. They will site tradition and other unbiblical Marion visions in order to justify their version of Mary.

Here are some basic problems with Catholicism’s Mary…

Jesus is the Immaculate Conception (a title that He does not go by, but I mean that in the descriptive sense). Jesus was immaculately conceived by the Holy Ghost into the Virgin Mary. If Mary was immaculately conceived and sinless, so that she could give birth to Christ as His biological mother – free from original sin, then Mary’s mother would also have had to have been immaculately conceived to bring forth a sinless Mary, And Mary’s grandmother would have had to have been immaculately conceived to bring forth Mary’s mother, and so forth. Mary would have had to have descended from a line of sinless descendants or immaculately conceived descendants. Catholicism does not address this paradox problem.

Scripture proves the Immaculate Conception sinless Mary is a not-so Immaculate-deception. The Marion apparitions proclaiming Mary to be the Immaculate Conception are satanic angels telling lies not found in Scripture. Scripture warns us to not follow spirits that preach another gospel (Galatians 1:6-9) and that Satan appears as an angel of light (2 Corinthians 11:14).

The idea that Mary is born without sin is also unbiblical.

Romans 3:23 declares that all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.

2 Corinthians 5:21 & Hebrews 4:15 declare Jesus knew no sin.

Mary would not need a savior if she were without sin, yet
LUKE 1:47-48: proclaims…
And my spirit has rejoiced in God ‘my’ Savior.
For He has regarded the lowly state of His maidservant

Now the 2nd possibility of how Jesus was born into sinful humanity as a sinless being is that He was born to a highly favored, chosen blessed and righteous Virgin who, as a humble maidservant to the Lord, served as a surrogate birth mother and raised Jesus as her own child.

The surrogate mother Mary is both plausible and fits with Scripture. At the dawn of Catholic Christianity, some 2000 or so years ago, they were not able to understand that it was possible for a woman to serve as a surrogate mother. Modern science has proven that an already fertilized egg can be placed inside of a woman and that woman can serve as a surrogate mother, giving birth to a child that is not related to her. It is in this manner that God the Father, through His Holy Spirit overshadowed the Virgin Mary (Luke 1:35) and placed Christ inside of her to be born to her. The Holy Spirit did not fertilize Mary’s egg. Christ was born to Mary and had no blood relation to her.

Some will no doubt object, saying, how could Jesus not be a blood relative of Mary if He died for the sins of mankind? The answer is that Jesus was born as Adam was created, without sin. Jesus had to be born and had to live a perfect sinless life as a man, to qualify to be a sacrifice to atone for the sins of mankind.

Scripture identifies Christ as Melchizedek, priest of the Most High God, king of righteousness and king of peace in…

HEBREWS 7:1-3:
As 3without father, without mother, without genealogy, having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but made like the Son of God, remains a priest continually.

Now onto the birth of Christ…

Before we can determine whether or not Mary had other children, we should first clarify that Mary engaged in sexual intercourse with her husband Joseph

MATTHEW 1:18:
Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: After His mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Spirit.

MATTHEW 1:18 indicates Mary was found with child, before she and Joseph came together, implying that they eventually did come together through sexual intercourse.

MATTHEW 1:24-25:
24Then Joseph, being aroused from sleep, did as the angel of the Lord commanded him and took to him his wife, 25AND DID NOT KNOW HER TILL she had brought forth her FIRSTBORN SON. And he called His name Jesus.

Now what does Scripture mean when it says Joseph did not know Mary until she brought forth her firstborn Son?

Two points are evident here in Matthew 1:25.

Point 1:
Joseph obviously knew who Mary was… He was married to her. He was her betrothed husband. Scripture un-mistakenly points out that Joseph did not carnally know his wife, until after Jesus was born, and then he knew Mary intimately. After Jesus was born is when Joseph did know Mary through sexual intercourse.

The language that Scripture uses, that Joseph did not know Mary till after Jesus was born, refers to not knowing her through sexual intercourse. A biblical example of a man knowing his wife in reference to sexual intercourse:

GENESIS 4:1: XR with: GENESIS 4:17: GENESIS 4:25:
Now Adam knew his wife and she conceived and bore Cain…

If Mary remained a perpetual virgin after the birth of Christ, Scripture would have been clear in declaring this. Instead of Matthew 1:25 saying that Joseph did not know Mary until she had brought forth her firstborn Son, Matthew 1:25 would have said that Joseph did not know Mary “all the days of his life.”

There are numerous biblical examples of Scripture using the term “all the days of his life,” such as…

1 SAMUEL 7:15:
And Samuel judged Israel ALL THE DAYS OF HIS LIFE.

Point 2.
Matthew 1:25 indicates Mary brought forth her FIRSTBORN Son. If Jesus were Mary’s ONLY Son, Scripture would have said so. This is obvious as Scripture declares that Jesus is God the Father’s ONLY begotten Son (John 1:18, 3:16, 3:18; Hebrews 11:17, 1 John 4:9).

Jesus is NEVER described as the Father’s Firstborn Son. Jesus, being Mary’s firstborn Son indicates that she had other sons after Him.

Now as for Mary’s Children:

I’m sure I will hear the typical Catholic defense using language confusion, claiming that when Scripture refers to Jesus’ brothers and sisters, it is a mistranslation of the Greek language, then when that does not work out (as there is a Greek word for cousin and brother and sister), they go back even further to Aramaic. Language confusion is a tactic used to preserve the perpetual virgin status of Mary and they will never allow even the truth of Scripture to expose the fallacy of this core tenant of their faith.

MATTHEW 12:46-47; XR with MARK 31:32-33; LUKE 18:19-20:
While He was still talking to the multitudes, behold, His mother and brothers stood outside, seeking to speak with Him. 47Then one said to Him, “Look, Your mother and Your brothers are standing outside, seeking to speak with You.”

MATTHEW 13:55-56:
Is this not the carpenter’s son? Is not His mother called Mary? And His brothers James, Joses, Simon, and Judas? 56And His sisters, are they not all with us?

ACTS 1:14:
These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with His brothers.

Scripture is somewhat vague about the details of Jesus’ brothers and sisters lives, because the story of the gospel is not focused of the children of Joseph and Mary, but on the incredible life of Yeshua the Messiah / Jesus the Christ.

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*Best of DTB #159* The Catholic Defender: The Lord Is My Shepherd

Posted by John Benko - March 19th, 2012

Jesus was asked by his Apostles regarding a man born blind if this was because of his sin or his parents sin.

Jesus gives an incredible answer! He responds, “Neither he nor his parents sinned: it is so that the works of God might be made visible through him” (John 9:3).

Sometimes when I think of my problems and worries, I find that there are people with far worse crosses and challenges to endure.

I personally find it better when I help others than dwell to much on my own problems.

That is not always an easy thing because life can hit you where you live with a powerful impact. It can be life changing.

I’m looking at what Jesus is telling us through the man born blind, how many of us see our sufferings from the Lord’s perspective?

That these events might be a means God wishes to make himself visible through them.

I have known people to grow away from God in their casting of blame on God.

Jesus gives us another important message in speaking to the cured blind man, “I came into this world for judgment, so that those who do not see might see, and those who do see might become blind” (John 9:39).

If you think you see, Jesus challenges us saying to the Pharisees, “If you were blind, you would have no sin; but now you are saying, ‘we see,’ so your sin remains” (John 9:41).

This is why it is so important that we take self inventory often. We must be a humble follower of Christ.

Our boldness is in the Lord, not ourselves. Like the Blind Man, when we take the blinders off and the scales come off our eyes, like St. Paul, we can see.

Then Psalms 23 can take a new perspective: “The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I lack. In green pastures you let me graze; to safe waters you lead me: you restore my strength. You guide me along the right path for the sake of your name. Even when I walk through a dark valley, I fear no harm for you are at my side; your rod and your staff give me courage. You set a table before me as my enemies watch; You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Only goodness and love will pursue me all the days of my life; I will dwell in the house of the Lord for years to come.”

The Lord established the Church which gives us cleansing and healing.

Like the blind man who was able to see the Lord, we too can recognize the Lord in our lives and know he is with us. “May those who have eyes, see”!


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*Best of DTB #158* Trinity debate show notes

Posted by John Benko - March 16th, 2012

These show notes go in tandem with this Blog Talk radio debate



OPENING MONOLOGUE:
I wish to start out by thanking Jimmy Z for moderating this debate and George Lujack for participating in it. The debate this evening is on the doctrine of the Trinity. Let me repeat that; the debate tonight is on the doctrine of the Trinity. In the course of the debate tonight, my opponent will no doubt argue that the word Trinity appears nowhere in the Bible. I gladly concede this point.

Here are a list of other words that appear nowhere in the Scriptures; Incarnation, Divinity, Tetragrammaton, Christmas, Easter, and, of course, Bible. Yet, millions of people believe that these concepts are clearly shown in Scripture. Each one could be debated on it’s own merits but the point I am trying to make is clear. That a word is coined after a concept, to describe that concept, in no way nullifies the veracity of that concept. To suggest that it is would be a fallacious argument. The concept stands or falls on it’s own merits, not on which word is posits it.

The doctrine of the Trinity asserts that the Christian Bible presents to us a singular God manifested in three Divine persons- the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. An examination of Christian belief worldwide shows this concept to be almost a universally accepted foundational belief. In fact, by extrapolating the data posted at the website adherents.com , controlling for denominations that reject this doctrine, one can calculate that even about 95% of non-catholic Christian denominations accept this doctrine as foundational. (see chart in the show notes).

However, I do not assert that the doctrine of the Trinity is true because better than 95% of Christians believe that it is. That would be committing the logical fallacy known as Argumentum Ad Populum. Let me just point out this, though. Even the majority of Sola Scriptura Christians, that is, those who adhere to a Bible alone belief system, open their Bibles and see- clearly manifested within the pages- a singular God that exists in three persons. I would ask George and others who believe as he does, to search their hearts to examine why so many see this reality so clearly in Scripture.

I am happy that George has asked me to go first, so that I can make the affirmative case for this doctrine. It is my contention that the Biblical case for the Trinity is airtight. Therefore, I will rely on Scripture alone to make my case. That is my case. I will probably find it necessary to also appeal to history to disprove my opponent’s case as he will almost certainly misrepresent history to attempt to prove it.

That the Bible teaches us that there is ONE God is a matter beyond dispute and I doubt that George will contest this.

Deuteronomy 6
4 Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God is one Lord.
Malachi 2 10 Have we not all one father? hath not one God created us? why then doth every one of us despise his brother, violating the covenant of our fathers?

Mark 12

29 And Jesus answered him: The first commandment of all is, Hear, O Israel: the Lord thy God is one God.
30 And thou shalt love the Lord thy God, with thy whole heart, and with thy whole soul, and with thy whole mind, and with thy whole strength. This is the first commandment.
31 And the second is like to it: Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. There is no other commandment greater than these.
32 And the scribe said to him: Well, Master, thou hast said in truth, that there is one God, and there is no other besides him.

Since God’s oneness in Divinity is really not disputed, I’ll waste no more time belaboring the point.

The doctrine of the Trinity starts to come into focus when we see verses like Matthew 28:19;
Going therefore, teach ye all nations; baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.

In the name comes from the greek word Onoma (ὄνομα) which means in the Authority of. These breakdowns are shown in the show notes.

Jesus clearly denotes both the separate person-hood and authority of each of the 3 figures by instructing that Baptism is to be performed in the name of the Father AND of the Son AND of the Holy Spirit. This point is irrefutable. each of the three is a person and each of the three exercises the full authority of the ONE God.

The full term is eis to onoma, a conjunction of three words (strong’s 1519, 3686 and 3588) which is translated In the name indicates to actually be incorporated or subjected to the authority of. In this case, it is clearly divine authority since the term is singular, not plural.

To extrapolate, Jesus is actually saying to be baptized into the Singular Divine authority of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. The wording eliminates both the interpretation of more than one God and the interpretation of more or less than three persons. On the basis of this passage of Scripture, exegeted correctly, we could win tonight’s debate. One singular Divinity, subsisting in three distinct persons is the only way to interpret this passage honestly.

Nevertheless, allow me to go forward.

I doubt very seriously that my opponent, or any Christian listening, would deny that the Father is God, therefore, I will waste no time proving it. Nevertheless, Scripture does prove that the Son is also God, no less explicitly.

John Chapter 1 tells us that In the Beginning (that is, before time) the Word was with God and the Word was God. The Greek word Theos (Strong 2316). Definition posted in the show notes.


Theos, in this context indicates the utmost supreme Divinity. The most high, if you will. The reference that the word was with God clearly indicates with God the Father. I am positive that my opponent would concede the obvious inference. So, the only possible way to exegete this passage is to say that the Word (Jesus), was with the Father who is God, thus the two are separate and distinct, yet was, at the same time, the very same God (Theos, the same word).

It is verse 14 that tells us that the Word took on flesh. So, in John 1, we see two separate and distinct persons that share the same exact Divinity, only one of which also took on humanity.

According to these verses, it is simply impossible to extrapolate God as not having at least a Biune nature. The term Adonai which refers to God in the Old Testament, is translated to the Greek Kyrios and explicitly assigned to Jesus in Luke 1:43 and many other passages.

Jesus clearly understood Himself to be Divine and that is what He was crucified for.


Matthew 26:
63: But Jesus was silent. And the high priest said to him, “I adjure you by the living God, tell us if you are the Christ, the Son of God.”
64: Jesus said to him, “You have said so. But I tell you, hereafter you will see the Son of man seated at the right hand of Power, and coming on the clouds of heaven.”

John 8 24 Therefore I said to you, that you shall die in your sins. For if you believe not that I am he, you shall die in your sin.

John 2028 Thomas answered, and said to him: My Lord, and my God.
29 Jesus saith to him: Because thou hast seen me, Thomas, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and have believed.

What about the Holy Spirit?


John 14
26 But the Paraclete, the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things, and bring all things to your mind, whatsoever I shall have said to you.
So, the Holy Spirit, like the Father and the Son, is a person. Simple logic would dictate that. like the Father and the Son, His authority speaks to His Divinity and, of course, Scripture confirms this.


Revelation 2 7 He, that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith to the churches: To him, that overcometh, I will give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the paradise of my God.

Acts 10
19 And as Peter was thinking of the vision, the Spirit said to him: Behold three men seek thee.
20 Arise, therefore, get thee down and go with them, doubting nothing: for I have sent them.


Romans 8

26 Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmity. For we know not what we should pray for as we ought; but the Spirit himself asketh for us with unspeakable groanings.

27 And he that searcheth the hearts, knoweth what the Spirit desireth; because he asketh for the saints according to God.

This is what you came to hear. The affirmative case that the Trinity is Biblical. I have made that case. I have shown you first that there is only ONE God. Secondly, I have shown you that we are under the Lordship of three separate and distinct persons, all active at John’s Baptism of Jesus (reference in the show notes)


Matthew 3


16 And Jesus being baptized, forthwith came out of the water: and lo, the heavens were opened to him: and he saw the Spirit of God descending as a dove, and coming upon him.
17 And behold a voice from heaven, saying: This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.

Finally, I have shown you that all 3 persons participate in that singular Divinity. Ladies and gentleman, I have just proven the Trinity.


PLEASE NOTE: It may come as some surprise to my opponent that I did not make an appeal to 1 John 5:7-8. (The Johannin gloss)

7For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.
8And there are three that bear witness in earth, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one.

v 7 is a disputed text that has a minority of support among currently available greek manuscript evidence. Nevertheless, it appears in the Latin Vulgate, The Douai Rheems and the King James. However, it is excluded from many modern versions including 3 versions used by Catholics. Therefore, since it is a disputed text, and since there is more than enough other evidence to support the Trinity, we make no appeal to it.


Some who get it wrong:

Mormons;

Mormons hold a polytheistic view that not only holds that the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are three separate Gods, but hold that they are 3 of many, many gods, even holding that we ourselves can become gods. This theology is obviously abhorrent to legitimate Christianity. Thus, mormons are not Christians.

Jehovah’s Witnesses;

Founded by Charles Taze Russell, this religion is a cult just as Mormonism is. In addition to calling the Father by the un-Biblical name “Jehovah”, JWs deny the Divinity of Christ and the very person-hood of the Holy Spirit.

The Pentecostal Oneness movement;Though we won’t know for certain until the debate begins, we are pretty sure that this is the theology arguing in opposition to us today, represented by George Lujack.
Therefore, we will deal most with the beliefs of this system.

The oneness Pentecostals also get the Biblical God wrong but in a different way. The see God as one and they see the Father and Son and the Holy Spirit as God but not the way we do. To people in this group, The Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit are three manifestations of the same God, who is the same person. Three different roles that God plays, if you will. This view is, of course, wholly alien to Sacred Scripture. In fact,it turns sacred scripture on it’s ear.

Consider these passages;

John 14

16 And I will ask the Father, and he shall give you another Paraclete, that he may abide with you for ever.
17 The spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, nor knoweth him: but you shall know him; because he shall abide with you, and shall be in you.
26 But the Paraclete, the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things, and bring all things to your mind, whatsoever I shall have said to you.

How can the Father send the Holy Spirit in the name of the Son if the three are the same person? You have to suspend common sense to adopt such a belief.

Or this one?

Matthew 3 11 I indeed baptize you in the water unto penance, but he that shall come after me, is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear; he shall baptize you in the Holy Ghost and fire.

How can Jesus baptize into the name of the Holy Spirit if they are one and the same?

16 And Jesus being baptized, forthwith came out of the water: and lo, the heavens were opened to him: and he saw the Spirit of God descending as a dove, and coming upon him.


17 And behold a voice from heaven, saying: This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.

The Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit are all present and acting independently. What more proof could you want?

2 Peter 1
16 For we have not by following artificial fables, made known to you the power, and presence of our Lord Jesus Christ; but we were eyewitnesses of his greatness.
17 For he received from God the Father, honour and glory: this voice coming down to him from the excellent glory: This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him.


How can Jesus receive honor and glory from the Father (and how could the Father give it, for that matter) if they are the same person?

Luke 1
31 Behold thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and shalt bring forth a son; and thou shalt call his name Jesus.

32 He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the most High; and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of David his father; and he shall reign in the house of Jacob for ever.

33 And of his kingdom there shall be no end.
34 And Mary said to the angel: How shall this be done, because I know not man?
35 And the angel answering, said to her: The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the most High shall overshadow thee. And therefore also the Holy which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.

How can Jesus be conceived by the Holy Spirit and be called the Son of the Most High (The Father) if they are the same person?

Genesis 1:26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.

Even the first book of the Bible talks of God as a plurality of persons.



Objections;

Jesus said that Him and the Father are one and the same;

John 14
8: Philip said to him, “Lord, show us the Father, and we shall be satisfied.”
9: Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and yet you do not know me, Philip? He who has seen me has seen the Father; how can you say, `Show us the Father’?

Jesus says no such thing, at least not in personage Examining the full context clearly refutes such an interpretation.

1: “Let not your hearts be troubled; believe in God, believe also in me.
2: In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you?
3: And when I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.4: And you know the way where I am going.”
5: Thomas said to him, “Lord, we do not know where you are going; how can we know the way?” 6: Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but by me. 7: If you had known me, you would have known my Father also; henceforth you know him and have seen him.”
8: Philip said to him, “Lord, show us the Father, and we shall be satisfied.”
9: Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and yet you do not know me, Philip? He who has seen me has seen the Father; how can you say, `Show us the Father’?
10: Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own authority; but the Father who dwells in me does his works.
11: Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father in me; or else believe me for the sake of the works themselves.
12: “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I go to the Father.
13: Whatever you ask in my name, I will do it, that the Father may be glorified in the Son;
14: if you ask anything in my name, I will do it.
15: “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.
16: And I will pray the Father, and he will give you another Counselor, to be with you for ever,
17: even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him; you know him, for he dwells with you, and will be in you.

So, it is manifestly clear that though the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are one in Divinity and purpose, they are three separate persons.

One publication from Oneness Pentecostalism claims the following regarding John 1:1;

If you are with someone, then you are other than and distinct from that person. The actual Greek here says the One called the Word was with “the God,” while the Word Himself was also “God.” It does not say that the Word was “the God,” for They are not the same entity. Rather, John clearly describes two divine Beings in this passage—One called the God and another referred to as God the Word, who was with Him.

The original Greek makes no such distinction. See for yourself

Later, it says
We see, then, that there is a plurality in God and that Jesus Christ is God along with the Father. While acknowledging that, the Trinity doctrine is wrong in presenting Them as persons in a single being along with the Holy Spirit.

This person just contradicted himself. If there is a plurality in God, How can he deny that there is a single Divine being. He is arguing monotheism and polytheism at the same time. Further, that the Holy Spirit is God is beyond dispute.



Origin of these interpretations.

The true doctrine;

The doctrine of a God in three persons was the belief of the Christian Church from the very start. The Word Trinity is found as early as 180 AD used by Bishop Theopolis of Antioch. It comes from the Greek Trias, signifying three persons. Despite the contention of some, that the Catholic Church invented this doctrine in the early church councils, the historical record that Christians believed in a Triune God right from the beginning is a clear matter of the historical record. You will note that each of these quotes predates the council of Nicea (325 AD) when opponents of this doctrine claim we invented it.

The Didache

“After the foregoing instructions, baptize in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, in living [running] water. . . . If you have neither, pour water three times on the head, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit” (Didache 7:1 [A.D. 70]).

Ignatius of Antioch

“[T]o the Church at Ephesus in Asia . . . chosen through true suffering by the will of the Father in Jesus Christ our God” (Letter to the Ephesians 1 [A.D. 110]).

“For our God, Jesus Christ, was conceived by Mary in accord with God’s plan: of the seed of David, it is true, but also of the Holy Spirit” (ibid., 18:2).

Justin Martyr

“We will prove that we worship him reasonably; for we have learned that he is the Son of the true God himself, that he holds a second place, and the Spirit of prophecy a third. For this they accuse us of madness, saying that we attribute to a crucified man a place second to the unchangeable and eternal God, the Creator of all things; but they are ignorant of the mystery which lies therein” (First Apology 13:5–6 [A.D. 151]).

Theophilus of Antioch

“It is the attribute of God, of the most high and almighty and of the living God, not only to be everywhere, but also to see and hear all; for he can in no way be contained in a place. . . . The three days before the luminaries were created are types of the Trinity: God, his Word, and his Wisdom” (To Autolycus 2:15 [A.D. 181]).

Irenaeus

“For the Church, although dispersed throughout the whole world even to the ends of the earth, has received from the apostles and from their disciples the faith in one God, the Father Almighty . . . and in one Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who became flesh for our salvation; and in the Holy Spirit” (Against Heresies 1:10:1 [A.D. 189]).

Tertullian

“We do indeed believe that there is only one God, but we believe that under this dispensation, or, as we say, oikonomia, there is also a Son of this one only God, his Word, who proceeded from him and through whom all things were made and without whom nothing was made. . . . We believe he was sent down by the Father, in accord with his own promise, the Holy Spirit, the Paraclete, the sanctifier of the faith of those who believe in the Father and the Son, and in the Holy Spirit. . . . This rule of faith has been present since the beginning of the gospel, before even the earlier heretics” (Against Praxeas 2 [A.D. 216]).

“And at the same time the mystery of the oikonomia is safeguarded, for the unity is distributed in a Trinity. Placed in order, the three are the Father, Son, and Spirit. They are three, however, not in condition, but in degree; not in being, but in form; not in power, but in kind; of one being, however, and one condition and one power, because he is one God of whom degrees and forms and kinds are taken into account in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit” (ibid.).

“Keep always in mind the rule of faith which I profess and by which I bear witness that the Father and the Son and the Spirit are inseparable from each other, and then you will understand what is meant by it. Observe now that I say the Father is other [distinct], the Son is other, and the Spirit is other. This statement is wrongly understood by every uneducated or perversely disposed individual, as if it meant diversity and implied by that diversity a separation of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit” (ibid., 9).

“Thus the connection of the Father in the Son, and of the Son in the Paraclete, produces three coherent persons, who are yet distinct one from another. These three are, one essence, not one person, as it is said, ‘I and my Father are one’ [John 10:30], in respect of unity of being not singularity of number” (ibid., 25).

Origen

“For we do not hold that which the heretics imagine: that some part of the being of God was converted into the Son, or that the Son was procreated by the Father from non-existent substances, that is, from a being outside himself, so that there was a time when he [the Son] did not exist” (The Fundamental Doctrines 4:4:1 [A.D. 225]).

“No, rejecting every suggestion of corporeality, we hold that the Word and the Wisdom was begotten out of the invisible and incorporeal God, without anything corporal being acted upon . . . the expression which we employ, however that there was never a time when he did not exist is to be taken with a certain allowance. For these very words ‘when’ and ‘never’ are terms of temporal significance, while whatever is said of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, is to be understood as transcending all time, all ages” (ibid.).

“For it is the Trinity alone which exceeds every sense in which not only temporal but even eternal may be understood. It is all other things, indeed, which are outside the Trinity, which are to be measured by time and ages” (ibid.).

Hippolytus

“The Word alone of this God is from God himself, wherefore also the Word is God, being the being of God. Now the world was made from nothing, wherefore it is not God” (Refutation of All Heresies 10:29 [A.D. 228]).

Novatian

“For Scripture as much announces Christ as also God, as it announces God himself as man. It has as much described Jesus Christ to be man, as moreover it has also described Christ the Lord to be God. Because it does not set forth him to be the Son of God only, but also the son of man; nor does it only say, the son of man, but it has also been accustomed to speak of him as the Son of God. So that being of both, he is both, lest if he should be one only, he could not be the other. For as nature itself has prescribed that he must be believed to be a man who is of man, so the same nature prescribes also that he must be believed to be God who is of God. . . . Let them, therefore, who read that Jesus Christ the son of man is man, read also that this same Jesus is called also God and the Son of God” (Treatise on the Trinity 11 [A.D. 235]).

Pope Dionysius

“Next, then, I may properly turn to those who divide and cut apart and destroy the most sacred proclamation of the Church of God, making of it [the Trinity], as it were, three powers, distinct substances, and three godheads. . . . [Some heretics] proclaim that there are in some way three gods, when they divide the sacred unity into three substances foreign to each other and completely separate” (Letter to Dionysius of Alexandria 1 [A.D. 262]).

“Therefore, the divine Trinity must be gathered up and brought together in one, a summit, as it were, I mean the omnipotent God of the universe. . . . It is b.asphemy, then, and not a common one but the worst, to say that the Son is in any way a handiwork [creature]. . . . But if the Son came into being [was created], there was a time when these attributes did not exist; and, consequently, there was a time when God was without them, which is utterly absurd” (ibid., 1–2).

“Neither, then, may we divide into three godheads the wonderful and divine unity. . . . Rather, we must believe in God, the Father Almighty; and in Christ Jesus, his Son; and in the Holy Spirit; and that the Word is united to the God of the universe. ‘For,’ he says, ‘The Father and I are one,’ and ‘I am in the Father, and the Father in me’” (ibid., 3).

Gregory the Wonderworker

“There is one God. . . . There is a perfect Trinity, in glory and eternity and sovereignty, neither divided nor estranged. Wherefore there is nothing either created or in servitude in the Trinity; nor anything superinduced, as if at some former period it was non-existent, and at some later period it was introduced. And thus neither was the Son ever wanting to the Father, nor the Spirit to the Son; but without variation and without change, the same Trinity abides ever” (Declaration of Faith [A.D. 265]).

The early church councils, such as Nicea (325) and Constantinople (381) did not create doctrine but defended already established doctrine from heresey. In these two councils, for example, the Church affirmed the wide-spread understanding of the Divinity of Jesus Christ and of the Holy Spirit as also God.

Mormonism;

Mormonism was founded in 1830 by Joseph Smith. Truth be told, you could say he invented the religion out of thin air. Mormonism is a religion of many gods and brings a false Christ. It is wholly incompatible with Christianity. In Mormonism, The Father, Son and Holy Spirit are three separate Gods.

Jehovah’s Witnesses;

The Jehovah witnesses were founded in 1872 by Charles Taze Russell as an off-shoot of Adventism. The witnesses maintain that God exists as one singular person named Jehovah (an incorrect transliteration of the name of God, traced to the middle ages). The witnesses deny the Divinty of Jesus Christ as well as the person of the Holy Spirit. Thus, this religion is also not compatible with Christianity.
Oneness Pentecostals;

The Oneness Pentecostal movement was formed in Los Angeles, California. The movement (and it’s offshoots) claim to trace their founding back to the very Apostles but there is no historical support whatsoever for this claim.

Oneness Pentecostals believe that the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are the same person. This is easily dis-proven by Scripture. In creating their movement, they drew from a long debunked third century heresy known as Modalism practiced by a man named Sebelius. There is zero historical evidence that the early church accepted the view of the modalists.


Closing remarks;

Once again, I want to thank Jimmy Z for moderating this debate, Donald Hartley for running the switchboard and for George Lujack for participating in it. I hope those of you listening had as much fun as we had putting on this debate. For further information, please visit our debate show notes which can be found easily at tinyurl.com/7uc4qq9. There you will find ample support for our arguments as well as both my opening and closing statements.

It was very important to me to be as respectful as possible to my opponent and win this debate in meritus, that is, on the merits.

To review, between my debate arguments, and the show notes supporting them, we have shown definitive proof that;

  • there is only one God, in the Christian religion.
  • That that God is revealed in Scripture as being 3 persons- the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. and
  • this is what the Christian church has believed and proclaimed since day 1.

We hold these 3 facts as irrefutable. In fact, so protective was the infant church of this reality, that 1 John 2:22 calls those who deny the Father and the Son AntiChrist

Now, please don’t say that I called my opponent the AntiChrist, I didn’t. However, along with Islamists, Jews, Mormons and Jehovah Witnesses, he does espouse an Anti-Christian ideology. His intentions are good, to be sure, but his theology is not in line with the direct revelation of God.

To better understand this, it is helpful to understand all of scripture in order to provide context. Part of that understanding is Old Testament typology. When God the Father sent Abraham up the mountain, instructing him to offer up his own son, He was showing Abraham the great sacrifice He was going to make. On Friday, April 3rd, 33 AD, God the Son died on a cross. On Sunday, April 5th, God the Father raised Him. On Pentecost, with Jesus gone to heaven, God the Holy Spirit descended on the Apostles. It is just inescapable.

I have no doubt that my opponent is a good man and neither do I doubt his desire to know, love and serve God. However, the Bible tells us that God must be worshiped in spirit and truth. (John 4:24). We simply are not allowed to worship God in any form other than in that which God is revealed to us. To do so would be idolatry.

2 Corinthians 13:13 explicitly argues for the Trinity.

13 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the charity of God, and the communication of the Holy Ghost be with you all. Amen.

To further deny the Trinity it is an exercise in futility.

Despite the contention that the Trinity was a doctrine created to answer the protests of the Arians or Macedonians or an accommodation to paganism, nothing exists in the way of credible evidence to support these claims. All that remains are fallacious assertions and juxtapositions.

For those who claim we Catholics invented the doctrine of the Trinity at the council of Nicea in 325 AD, consider this quote from Origen, 100 years early to the year, from his work fundamental doctrines;

“For it is the Trinity alone which exceeds every sense in which not only temporal but even eternal may be understood. It is all other things, indeed, which are outside the Trinity, which are to be measured by time and ages” (ibid.).

In addition to this quote, we have 10 more in the show notes, all preceding that council. The oldest, in fact, going back to 70 AD. All of these quotes support the Trinity and each one precedes the council of Nicea by 50 to 255 years and the first Bible by between 128 and 323 years

In the end, opponents of this doctrine cannot counter the clear Scriptural evidence of One God in three persons and the clear historical proofs that the Christian religion has believed and taught this fundamental doctrine for nearly 2,000 years.

True, Peter talks about baptism in the name of Jesus in the Book of Acts 2:38, but context again is the key. Remember that eis to onoma, translated “in the name” means “in the authority” of. Peter is pronouncing the authority of the baptism that was instituted by Christ. Yet, don’t forget that Christ Himself, in instituting that baptism instructed that it be in the authority of the Father AND the Son AND the Holy Spirit. Thank you.


George has provided me with this link. I provide it to you as a courtesy.

*Best of DTB #157* Be Careful What You Read

Posted by John Benko - March 15th, 2012

Reading this…

led me to read this…

which of course puts this next on the reread list…

and will cause me to watch this again.

All of this will lead me, once again, to irritate my friends with sharing the thoughts that we, too, got it all horribly wrong. Russia’s Communism was merely the flipside to 20th Century Western Consumerism. Both Communism and Consumerism come out of the mistaken world view that we can create a Utopia merely by an act of the will: the collective will of Communism or the individual will of Consumerism. Just like Communist Russia, we Consumerists are bankrupting our economies and our moral structure. We simply have taken a little longer to fall apart. Unless we change, we will and probably soon. Our culture can not survive much longer enslaved to our whims. Since there is no self control, control will be imposed from without. It’s inevitable. Nature, and human nature above all else, abhors a vacuum.

Like Solzhenitsyn, I know the answer to our problems lies in a renouncing of our materialistic philosophy. We have developed it, worshipped it, and danced with it since the Renaissance. It has left us empty. The Individual, when he looked up from his centuries’ long dance, has found himself alone

and oh so lonely…

It is time to look God in the face again, and let Him answer the eternal question, “Who am I?” with “You are mine.”


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*Best of DTB #156* The four persons

Posted by John Benko - March 13th, 2012

In a counseling session some years back, our Catholic counselor told me that each person is actually 4 persons- an intellectual person, an emotional person, a spiritual person and a physical person. I certainly came to agree that she was correct. Dr. Lyle H. Rossiter Jr. later confirmed this reality to me.

Yet, two days ago, I was pleasantly surprised to see this concept clearly enunciated by Our Savior in the greatest commandment. (my emphasis)

Mark 12

30 And thou shalt love the Lord thy God, with thy whole heart (emotional), and with thy whole soul (spiritual), and with thy whole mind (intellectual), and with thy whole strength (physical). This is the first commandment.
31 And the second is like to it: Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is no other commandment greater than these.

The key to understanding this concept is to understand that, in a healthy individual, each person interacts with, and is dependent on the other 3.

A ruthless genius with no compassion. An athlete with no ability to manage his own life. A person with the best of intentions that sleeps his life away. An emotional cripple who spends her life lamenting all the evil in the world to no good effect. These are all examples of a life out of balance.

I have found out late in life that problems in one area of life are not usually confined to that area. Depression, for example, is an emotional weakness. Science has determined that it may be partially rooted in the physical realm, including diet. That is true enough. Yet, depression can also be caused by an ill-formed intellect- the frustration that results from having not developed basic problem solving skills. By the same token, some people are depressed simply because their souls are sick. They are overcome with selfishness, anger, pride, envy, unforgiveness…any number of things. Often, all 4 are involved.

Likewise, conditions have outward consequences to all 4 persons.

Jealousy of a neighbor (spiritual) causes Bob to become despondent (emotional). As a result, he concludes that God doesn’t exist (intellectual) and gives up going to church. He grows spiritually weaker and falls into drinking which has consequences on his health (Physical). All 4 of Bob’s persons suffer consequences of the one sin- Pride.

So, what does Jesus mean?

Exploring this question is what makes being a Catholic so great. It is the very essence of Catholic worship that we endeavor to worship the Creator with all 4 persons.

With the Sacraments and prayer, we serve Him with our soul. With tears of remorse and a joyful, giving heart, our emotions. With Spiritual study, our intellect. With fasting, devotions and acts of charity and work, our bodies.

In this season of lent, I’m starting with the men in the mirror- all 4 of them.

I have come to accept the fact that my poor health is no mere inconvenience, it is something that is robbing my family, friends and the world of what I can offer and for how long. I am trying to eat better, walk more and get that blood sugar down. I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired, of not being able to sleep at 1 AM or stay awake at 7 Pm.

I have come to realize the difference between the remorse that chastens and straightens and the scrupulosity that enslaves.

I have come to realize that I need to spend less time feeling sorry for my self and more time empathizing with others.

I have come to understand that I have much to learn and study.

Most of all, I have come to understand that the natural consequence of loving God with all of you is that you would learn to finally and truly love yourself. The fruit of that, naturally, is love of your neighbor.

I guess Jesus knew what He was talking about after-all. We are all-in. All 4 of us.


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*BEST OF DTB #155* The Catholic Defender: Look At The Man in the Mirror

Posted by John Benko - March 12th, 2012

Hebrews 2:1 states, “Therefore we must pay the closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it”.

The Season of Lent is a great opportunity to reflect on ourselves and to be honest about our faith. Are we growing in the Faith or are we slipping?

The world seems to be constantly tugging at you to get your eyes off the mark.

Hebrews 2:2 continues, “For if the message declared by angels was valid and every transgression or disobedience recieved a just retribution, how shall we escape if we neglect such a great salvation?”

How shall we escape the coming judgment if we do not take the Faith seriously?

I know that the pressures of life can be a challenge. We got to pay the bills, we got all the problems to solve. Seems like there is always a storm around us.

I love what Hebrews 2:8 continues to say, “Now in putting everything in subjection to him, he left nothing outside his control. As it is, we do not yet see everything in subjection to him. But we see Jesus, who for a little while was made lower than the angels, crowned with glory and honor because of the suffering of death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for every one.”

Through Jesus suffering, we are enjoined with him through our own suffering. But with this suffering, the Lord santifies us in him.

So my encouragement to you is to embrace the grace the Lord offers you for your own sanctification.

In doing so, you will find joy and peace in the midst of the swirling sea. Look at the mirror and see the one whom the Lord has called.

When you go to Mass, you offer up your whole being as Jesus comes to you in the Eucharist.

The following song was performed at an outdoor concert at St. Michael’s Catholic Church in Oak Grove KY.

It was an all day event which was attended by thousands of people.

This was also the day that the great Rich Mullins, A Catholic Convert, died in a tragic car accident. He was on his way to recieve Jesus in the Eucharist.


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*BEST OF DTB #154* Forgiveness is not optional

Posted by John Benko - March 12th, 2012

In Matthew 6:14-15, we are given one of the most morally challenging and difficult passages in the entire Bible;

14For if you will forgive men their offences, your heavenly Father will forgive you also your offences.

15But if you will not forgive men, neither will your Father forgive you your offences.

So, when we say “well, he doesn’t deserve it” and rationalize in our minds that it is OK for us to hold onto unforgiveness because of the grievousness of the injuries (or perceived injuries), we are actually nullifying our own salvation.

In short, Jesus is really not interested in our opinion on the matter. Here is the deal- If you wish to be forgiven, you must forgive. If you wish to be shown mercy, you must show mercy (Matthew 5:7).

What if they aren’t sorry? Doesn’t matter.
What if what they did was really bad? It Doesn’t matter.
What if….. LISTEN. It just doesn’t matter.

Yes, it is a high standard. In some cases it may even seem like an unreachable standard. Nevertheless, it is the standard you must reach if you are to be called a Christian. There is ample Biblical support.


Luke 11:4
And forgive us our sins, for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation.

Matthew 7:2
For with what judgment you judge, you shall be judged: and with what measure you mete, it shall be measured to you again.

To get straight to the meat of the matter, we are not only unable to judge whether someone is worthy of salvation or mercy, but, in attempting to do so we are setting ourselves up to be measured by the same standard of measure.

No, thanks.

Knowing that we must reach such a difficult standard should not fill us with despair. It should fill us with zeal to approach the throne of grace, seeking the Divine assistance we need to get there, knowing two things;

  1. He who has created the greatest moral debt is most in need of mercy and how can they hope to find it in God if not first finding it in us?
  2. Forgiving the trespasses of others is the greatest proof that we are grateful for the kindness and mercy God has shown us.

My Lord, My God, grant me the grace to forgive. Amen


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