onsdag 14 februari 2018

The True Catholic Doctrine of Salvation

This is extracted, unedited and without comment, from “The Innovations of the Roman Church” by Apostolos Makrakis (1831-1905).

Here is an alternative interpretation of Matthew 16:18, the passage on which the perpetual Supremacy of Peter is based: that the Rock is not the person of Peter, but the faith which Peter confesses.

“He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus answered and said unto him. Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” (Matt. 16: 15-19).

The Father of Christ revealed to Peter that Christ was the Son of the living God, and not what other men thought about Him, who thought Christ to be John the Baptist, or Elias, or Jeremiah, or as one of the prophets. And Christ supplementing the divine revelation made to Peter, says to him that for this reason he was named Peter, he who was formally called Simon son of Jona—that he knew the rock of faith and became the foundation stone of the holy structure and the fact that upon this rock of faith Christ will build His own Church, which the ruler of darkness will fight with all his might, but shall not prevail against it. (The effectiveness of the above passage in Greek lies in the etymology of the name Peter meaning of rock.)

Thus every man who knows and confesses Christ as Peter did to be the Son of the living God, becomes petros (like rock) that is a rock useful toward the building of the Church all the members -of which possess the same essential characteristic, of confessing Christ as the Son of the living God, perfect God, begotten of true God without time, and perfect man born within time of .the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary according to the testimony of the Evangelists. He who does not believe and testify this does not become petros nor a member of the Church of Christ.

And he moreover, who denies this testimony, crumbles away from the divine structure or is cut off from association with the Church because he has lost the most essential asset of membership. Therefore the stone upon which Christ promises to build his Church is the confession of Peter, the truth revealed to him by the heavenly Father which abides for ever, the truth which gives birth to Peter’s and the stones of the divine structure. But the Papists destroy this scriptural passage toward their own damnation arguing sophistically and erroneously that Christ promised Peter to build upon the latter’s persons His Church; and the phrase “upon this rock” which clearly signifies the confession of Peter they interpret upon thee Peter. And by heaping up more falsehoods upon this one they build up the system of their diabolical heresy through which Satan has attempted the overthrow of the orthodox Church but failed totally; for falsehood is not strong enough to overcome truth.

The foundation of the Christian Church in Christ and Peter’s testimony. Upon this foundation the apostles have built the once Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church of God, as Peter also testifies in his first Catholic Epistle saying: To whom coming as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God and precious, ye also, as living stones are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God by Jesus Christ. Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded.” Behold the living stone, the chosen, the precious, the corner stone upon which Apostle Peter built the church; behold too the living stones placed upon the Foundation stone of the structure and constituting God’s spiritual house within which holy priests offer acceptable sacrifices to God through Jesus Christ. But the Papists of Rome, after repudiating this doctrine of Apostle Peter, boast that they are his only successors, thus deluding themselves and others and bound toward perdition.

But this delusion of theirs we have reproached in our work which has been fully reprinted under the title “Memoir of the Nature of the Church of Christ” and whoever wishes may find therein the reproach. But the prophetic statement of Christ regarding the Church to be built upon the testimony of Peter “And the gates of hell shall not prevail against it” has received full historic proof; because since the beginning of the foundation and organization of the Church, Satan’s attacks out of the gates of Hell, against the Church and its basic truth for the purpose of destroying them, have proven powerless either toward shaking the foundation. or toward tearing down the super-structure on the foundation. And the well founded and fighting Church shall prevail against the gates of hell, and after finally overcoming the enemy will imprison him in the place whence he attacked her. The invincible Church will prove victorious through sheer strength over her bitter enemy and will eventually wipe out his power and authority from the face of the earth.

“And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”

The kingdom of heaven has a door which closes and opens, and the door has keys by which it is opened and closed. But what is the door to the kingdom of heaven, and what are the keys that open and close it. The door to the kingdom of heaven is Christ as He says: “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.” This door is opened to those who will repent and bring forth fruit worthy of repentance, but it is closed to the unrepentant and unbelieving.

And the keys which open and shut this door are the power to bind and loose n1en’s sins. He who has been granted remission of sins by the one who has the authority to do so, enters freely through the door opened for him; whereas he who has not been granted forgiveness does not enter, the door being closed to him. The power to forgive sins was possessed by Christ who exercised it by announcing to those who approached Him in faith the remission- of their sins, and by saying “Child be of good cheer, thy sins are forgiven thee.” This power Christ, after his resurrection imparted to his own disciples by breathing upon them and saying “receive ye the Holy Ghost: whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained.” Then Peter with the other disciples received the keys of the kingdom which Christ promised to give him after his testimony of the truth. The Father showed Peter the door of the kingdom of heaven; and the Son fulfilling the work of the Father gave Peter the keys for opening and closing the door, for ushering in or keeping out those whom he judged worthy or unworthy of admittance. But Peter was not the only one who received from the Father the knowledge of the door nor was he the only one to whom Christ gave the keys for opening and closing it. Christ praying to His Father says: “O righteous Father the world hath not known thee; but I have known thee and these have known that thou hast sent me.” And Peter answering Christ says: “Lord to whom shall we go? Thou hast the words of eternal life. And we believe and are sure that thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.”

Obviously Peter testifies to a common knowledge of the faith in Christ among the disciples and does not boast that he alone knew and believed in Christ. Therefore he received the keys in common with the other disciples, no one disciple being given the keys individually. But those who distort the Scriptures toward their own perdition, those who have misinterpreted the rock of faith, and have built the house of their heresy on false foundation, have also misinterpreted the keys of the kingdom and commercialised them toward filling their purse. The self-elected successors of Peter have become the exclusive and only heirs to the keys of God’s kingdom, and the only possessors of the authority to bind and loose and to usher in and put out of Paradise those they wish. And they wish to usher in those who give them silver and gold, whereas Peter excludes from the kingdom of heaven those who offer him silver and gold according to the following proof. The book of Acts of the Apostles record that Simon the sorcerer seeing that the Apostles imparted the Holy Spirit through the laying of their hands he offered them money saying: “Give me also this power, that on whomsoever lay hands, he may receive the Holy Ghost.” But Peter said unto him. “Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money. Thou hast neither part nor lot in this matter: for thy heart is not right in the sight of God.”

Behold, Peter, the key-master of God’s kingdom excluded Simon the sorcerer from it for offering silver to the former. But his self-termed successors usher the one offering them the most silver farthings into Paradise. And what may be gathered logically from this contrast? That the keys of Peter are different from those that the Papists hold in their hands. The keys of the latter being different from those of Peter open and close an opposite door—the door of hell and death. And those who give silver to them in order to enter Paradise, enter the Tartarus of eternal damnation whereas these who turn away and flee from the Papists, get farther from the door and entrance which ushers all that enter through it, to everlasting perdition.

Speaking more simple—Christ established His Church on the Confession of St. Peter (Petra) in Greek meaning a Great Rock, and Christ is (the Rock of our salvation. The Romish Church established its claim on the person of St. Peter. Therefore, they worship St. Peter more than God, and look to the Pope for their salvation and wage continual war upon Christ’s true people everywhere with a view to world-wide domination to rule the Church and Politics in every country and to bring down ruin on all nations.

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