Unfounded conspiracy theory? Study this information thoroughly and decide for yourself!
“And now, behold, I know that all of you, among whom I went about preaching the kingdom, will no longer see my face. Therefore, I testify to you this day that I am innocent of the blood of all men. For I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole purpose of God. Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood. I know that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; and from among your own selves men will arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after them. Therefore be on the alert, remembering that night and day for a period of three years I did not cease to admonish each one with tears.
Beware of the dogs, beware of the evil workers, beware of the false circumcision; for we are the true circumcision, who worship in the Spirit of God and glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh, although I myself might have confidence even in the flesh. If anyone else has a mind to put confidence in the flesh, I far more: circumcised the eighth day, of the nation of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; as to the Law, a Pharisee; as to zeal, a persecutor of the church; as to the righteousness which is in the Law, found blameless.
But whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ.
Although they give us reason for boasting in the flesh, we must count all denominational affiliations, systems, traditions, so-called “church-authority”, and sacramental participation as loss for the sake of Christ and the simplicity of His gospel (grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone). Christ did ordain baptism and communion, but it is the baptism of the Holy Spirit and fire (Luke 3:16; Acts 11:15-16) which saves, and we participate in communion in remembrance of His sacrifice (Luke 22:19).
All salvation, righteousness, goodness, purity, holiness, sanctification, truth, wisdom, and discernment are found in Christ alone. We cannot obtain these things by attending Mass every Sunday and participating in the Eucharist. We must know Christ ourselves, which only happens through His grace and His Spirit.
We should not trust in mere mortals, but test everything – every church teaching and authority – by the word of God and the discernment of the Spirit.
We are not Christ’s because we’re part of the “right” church system or because we got baptized. We’re only His if we believe in Him for our salvation. We must put no confidence in our own flesh or the things we do in our flesh (church attendance, fasting, sacraments, etc.). When it comes to obtaining salvation or justification, that is like the false circumcision (physical circumcision).
We who worship in the Spirit of God and glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh are the true circumcision and the true baptism/church.
Those trusting in rites or systems – the efforts, actions, and inventions of Man – for their salvation are of the false church.
I don’t buy the argument that “God has appointed church ‘authority’ to be His voice on earth, and therefore these traditions are valid.” All who know Him are given His wisdom, His Spirit, and His discernment, down to the very “least” of the flock.
However, apart from Christ, there is no wisdom. Many church “authorities” are actually not saved. Therefore, they lack the wisdom of God. Many are actually wolves in sheep’s clothing, pretending to be ministers of righteousness, and they lead the flock astray. This is why we must not trust a ministerial position or office, but the Word of God.
Even Paul was hardly bothered by scrutiny from the Corinthians.
But to me it is a very small thing that I may be examined by you, or by any human court; in fact, I do not even examine myself. For I am conscious of nothing against myself, yet I am not by this acquitted; but the one who examines me is the Lord. Therefore do not go on passing judgment before the time, but wait until the Lord comes who will both bring to light the things hidden in the darkness and disclose the motives of men’s hearts; and then each man’s praise will come to him from God.
1 Corinthians 4:3-5
Why was it a small thing to Paul? Because he had a clean conscience before God. He sought to serve with integrity.
It is those who don’t know God and who seek to destroy His church who have something to hide, and fear being exposed.
It is the evil workers who hide from the light of the Word. Who would prefer that you remain in darkness about God’s truth. Who would discourage you from reading your Bible, or would even call the Bible “dangerous”.
Of course it’s dangerous. It exposes false teaching.
May it never be! Rather, let God be found true, though every man be found a liar, as it is written,
“That You may be justified in Your words,
And prevail when You are judged.”
The Lord has given His Spirit and His wisdom to all of His children, His sheep. Not just a special set of people at the top. That would be a recipe for religious tyranny.
Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful.
While I would not describe a belief in the true God – made manifest through Jesus Christ – as unwise in the least, Seneca was right about the usefulness of religion – false religion – in the hands of rulers.
As for you, the anointing which you received from Him abides in you, and you have no need for anyone to teach you; but as His anointing teaches you about all things, and is true and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you abide in Him.
1 John 2:27
These things I have spoken to you so that you may be kept from stumbling. They will make you outcasts from the synagogue, but an hour is coming for everyone who kills you to think that he is offering service to God. These things they will do because they have not known the Father or Me. But these things I have spoken to you, so that when their hour comes, you may remember that I told you of them. These things I did not say to you at the beginning, because I was with you.
While Jesus was likely speaking of the Jewish persecution which was to ensue imminently, His words are also applicable to false religious leaders today, as well as Roman Catholic persecutors of the saints throughout history.
But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come. He will glorify Me, for He will take of Mine and will disclose it to you. All things that the Father has are Mine; therefore I said that He takes of Mine and will disclose it to you.
The Holy Spirit glorifies Christ, because He takes directly from the riches of the wisdom of Christ and discloses it to His people. All the glory is then rightly given to Christ as the source of knowledge rather than to the Church – the Bride of Christ. She is not the authority on knowledge and wisdom. Christ is. All the members of the body learn directly from Him, and this way they can keep each other’s teachings in check.
But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will also be false teachers among you, who will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing swift destruction upon themselves. Many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of the truth will be maligned; and in their greed they will exploit you with false words; their judgment from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep.
2 Peter 2:1-3
For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths.
2 Timothy 4:3-4
But what I am doing I will continue to do, so that I may cut off opportunity from those who desire an opportunity to be regarded just as we are in the matter about which they are boasting. For such men are false apostles, deceitful workers, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. No wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. Therefore it is not surprising if his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness, whose end will be according to their deeds.
2 Corinthians 11:12-15
“To the angel of the church in Ephesus write:
The One who holds the seven stars in His right hand, the One who walks among the seven golden lampstands, says this:
‘I know your deeds and your toil and perseverance, and that you cannot tolerate evil men, and you put to the test those who call themselves apostles, and they are not, and you found them to be false; and you have perseverance and have endured for My name’s sake, and have not grown weary.
See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ.
Then if anyone says to you, ‘Behold, here is the Christ,’ or ‘There He is,’ do not believe him. For false Christs and false prophets will arise and will show great signs and wonders, so as to mislead, if possible, even the elect. Behold, I have told you in advance. So if they say to you, ‘Behold, He is in the wilderness,’ do not go out, or, ‘Behold, He is in the inner rooms,’ do not believe them. For just as the lightning comes from the east and flashes even to the west, so will the coming of the Son of Man be. Wherever the corpse is, there the vultures will gather.