Defense of the Sacrament of Matt1618

Response to Attacks on the Sacraments of Confession, Baptism, Eucharist, and Catholic Teaching on Salvation and the Rosary

Here I am responding to an attack on the sacrament of confession. This is kind of standard fare nowadays from anti-Catholics who are trying to rescue Catholics from its supposedly unbiblical religion and give Catholics the true gospel. Here is the piece I am responding to. I will color in green the critique of the Protestant apologist, by the name of David Stewart. Mr. Stewart is a fundamental Baptist, and comes from that perspective. He also happens to hold to the King James Version as being the only legitimate Bible, from which to draw doctrine. Now, not wanting to get into any argument on that issue, I will respond here using the King James Bible. My response will follow each statement.

He attacks Catholics on many issues, not just confession, and I address each attack in depth. This is a long piece so I will break this up into sections, so if one does not have the time to go through this long paper, I will break this up into parts, so that if one wants to just read an individual section that piques their interest, they can do so.

I. Confession – A Demonic Practice? Biblical Response
II Baptism Just Gets You Wet: Biblical Response
III. Eucharist – A Three Headed Monster? Biblical Response
IV. Catholic Salvation is Corrupt: Biblical Response
V Confession is Blasphemy: Full Biblical Response
VI Hail Mary is Vain Repetition: Biblical Response
VII Conclusion

I. Confession – A Demonic Practice? Biblical Response

There is not a more demonic or unbiblical practice than the Catholic confessional. The idea that a sinful man can forgive someone's sins is blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. 1st Timothy 2:5 couldn't be clearer ... “For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.” Jesus NEVER gave His Apostles the power to forgive people's sins. According to ...

"The Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation is a Sacrament in which we are sorry for our sins, confess them to a priest, receive forgiveness for them and are reconciled with God and the Church." -

What a bunch of lies! No priest can forgive anyone's sins. He can't even forgive his own sins! Come to think of it, who does forgive the priests sins? Does he go to confession too? If the priest goes directly to God, then why can't you? Even the corrupt religious leaders of Jesus' time knew that only God can forgive sin, “...who can forgive sins but God only?” (Mark 2:7).

Ok, the only way that that the sacrament can be seen as more demonic or unbiblical than anything else is plainly because of biblical illiteracy. As we will see, there is precedent in the Old Testament for a priest to atone for and being God’s means of forgiving sin. But before I go there, what about 1 Tim. 2:5? As Mr. Stewart rightly proclaims, Jesus is the mediator between God and man. The Catholic Church does not deny that Jesus is the mediator between God and man. However, if Jesus is the one mediator, we must see how he mediates. He decided to mediate by empowering the apostles to forgive (and retain) sins. He gives that specific mission in John 20:22-23:

22 And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost: 23Whosoever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them;and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained.
Jesus breathes on them the Holy Spirit. This refers us back to the time God breathed on Adam, life in him (Gen. 2:7). The term used here also in 1 King 17:21 where Elijah resuscitated a dead boy when he ‘breathed’. Also in Ezekiel 37 where God raises new life by the breath of the Spirit.
7So I prophesied as I was commanded: and as I prophesied, there was a noise, and behold a shaking, and the bones came together, bone to his bone. 8And when I beheld, lo, the sinews and the flesh came up upon them, and the skin covered them above: but there was no breath in them. 9Then said he unto me, Prophesy unto the wind, prophesy, son of man, and say to the wind, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live. 10So I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood up upon their feet, an exceeding great army.
Look at the momentous occasions where the term of God breathing brings life comes into the picture. Here, Dead bones awake. Israel is given life by God himself. That is what God did in Genesis 2:7 when he ‘breathed’ life into Adam. This term is not used at unimportant times. The Holy Spirit is breathed on the apostles. Indications are that he is speaking only to the apostles. And he then gives them the mission of forgiving, or remitting sins. He does not say, whoever you preach the gospel to, if they accept Jesus as Lord and Savior, then their sins will be forgiven. On the contrary he says that they have the power to forgive sins. Well, how can they forgive sins, unless they are told sins? That is what confession is. I will look later at his critique of the Catholic interpretation of this verse, but Jesus, who is the mediator, as mediator gets to decide how he mediates. If the Fundamental Baptist ignores what the mediator says how can he call him his mediator?

Mt. 18:15-18

15 Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother. 16 But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. 17 And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican. 18 Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.
In Matthew 18, we see the background of dealing with sins. For a small sin, they talk it over with each other. Then they take it to other people. But if it is not taken care of there, where is it taken to? Take the sin to the Church. If he refuses to even hear the Church, then he is like the heathen. That is the background to Matthew 18:18 where Jesus then says ‘whatsoever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven.’ The context is the church is dealing with sin: i.e. confession. So the Church has the authority to forgive sins. Thus, this passage also shows that if someone does not feel sorry for the sins, the Church has the power to not remit the sins as well. The church has the power to retain sins, if they are not sorry for their sins, just as mentioned in Matthew 18:17, where they neglect to hear the Church. What the church declares and binds on earth, is heard and bound in heaven, with the specific background of sins.

Then amazingly he quotes the opponents of Jesus in Mark 2:7 as proof supposedly against Catholics, but ignores the fact that who said this statement of ‘who can forgive sins but God alone’ are opponents of Jesus, who are making this statement against Jesus!! This guy is so desperate to speak against Catholics that he is using the arguments of opponents of Jesus, just so he can attack Catholics. People of faith had dropped a sick man, who had palsy, down the roof upon a bed so they could reach Jesus. (Mk 2:3-4). In verse 5 Jesus said your sins are forgiven you. Then in vs. 7, they made the argument that only God can forgive sins. Jesus did not say ‘well you are right there, but I’m going to do this.’ He said which is it easier to say to this man, your sins are forgiven, or arise, take up thy bed and walk. In v. 10, he showed that as the Son of Man, he has the authority to forgive sins. He is not saying, ‘well because I am God I can forgive sins, so no one else can.’ He says as Son of Man, he has the authority to forgive sins. As man he has the authority to forgive sins. So he corrects the scribes and Mr. Stewart. Besides that, the scribes, should know that priests do have the authority to forgive sins. For example, Leviticus 19:20-22:

20 And whosoever lieth carnally with a woman, that is a bondmaid, betrothed to an husband, and not at all redeemed, nor freedom given her; she shall be scourged; they shall not be put to death, because she was not free. 21 And he shall bring his trespass offering unto the LORD, unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, even a ram for a trespass offering. 22 And the priest shall make an atonement for him with the ram of the trespass offering before the LORD for his sin which he hath done: and the sin which he hath done shall be forgiven him
So clearly there is precedent that priests can make offerings for sin. Out the window goes Mr. Stewart’s argument. And the sin was forgiven only when the offering was made. Other Biblical precedents for example, are Lev. 6:1-7, Lev 5:4-6, Numbers 5:5-9. So there is precedent for priests having the authority to forgive sins, the scribes and Mr. Stewart, ignore. And Jesus did indeed correct them. Now of course in the New Testament it is only Jesus’ blood which can be the source of forgiving sins. But Jesus himself is the mediator who decides how he forgives sins, and he appointed the apostles as the ones to forgive sins. So that is a means that Jesus himself established how that blood can be efficacious for believers through the sacrament that He himself established.

Then, contrary to Jesus words, Mr. Stewart declares no priest can forgive anyone’s sins, and he can’t forgive his own sins and asks who forgives the priests sins. The sacrament of confession is available for priests as well. Priests will go to the confessional themselves, and get sins forgiven through the sacrament that Jesus himself established. Then he asks if the priest can go directly to God, why can’t the normal Catholic? Of course Catholics can go directly to God and should go directly to God and confess sins. We don’t have to wait to go to confession before we say we are sorry for our sins. However, the instrument that Jesus himself set up for the forgiveness of sins is a ministry that he himself set up for believers to use. We will look at the issue of confession in much more depth, with a look at more Scriptures later on in this study.

Baptism Just Gets You Wet: Biblical Response

The word “Sacrament” is NOT even found in the Word of God, nor is it found in the Douay version (the Catholic Bible). The definition of “Sacrament” is: "A formal religious act conferring a specific grace on those who receive it.” The teaching is that there is a “power” to the Sacraments. This false teaching is NOT taught in the Bible. The Seven Sacraments of the Catholic religion were first affirmed in 1439 A.D. There is NO power conferred through being water baptized, going to confession, partaking of Holy Communion, et cetera. The Lord only instituted the ordinances of water baptism and the Lord's Supper; BUT, they do not bestow any grace, or any effect, upon the believer. When you get baptized, you are getting wet. Too many religions today have baptism on the brain, and have perverted the simple Gospel of Jesus Christ by sinfully requiring baptism for salvation. You do NOT have to be water baptized to go to Heaven.
The word sacrament not being in the Bible is laughable. The word Mr. Stewart proudly uses to describe baptism and communion, ordinance, is not in the Bible either. No Catholic said the word sacrament is in the Bible. However, the concept is clearly there. Sacraments are means of grace that God provides for his people. The word Trinity is not in the Bible, but the concept is in the Bible. Mr. Stewart, the word Bible is not in the Bible, even the King James version. That does not stop him from using the Bible to attack Catholics. There is power in these sacraments, and they do have salvific power. The only way one can read the Bible and say that there is no concept of sacraments in the Bible, or those sacraments give no hint of grace, is if you were taught to ignore the plain meaning of Scripture: Let us look at what the Bible teaches on Baptism:

John 3:5

Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
One must be born of water and spirit. That is how one is born again. Absolutely nothing about, ‘here is where you have a salvation prayer and you are saved, as long as you really mean it.’ All of Christianity for 15 centuries saw this passage as clear as day, baptism. Right after Jesus talks about being born of water and spirit, what does he do? He goes baptizing, with his disciples. It is not a coincidence that right after he talks about being born of water and spirit, baptism follows see John 3:21, 22. Yes, obviously he talks about the importance of believing as well, but in the context of baptism. It is a man-made tradition condemned by Jesus in Mark 7, which says that Jesus is not referring to baptism in John 3:5. Christianity interpreted John 3:5 as baptism unanimously for 15 centuries. On what basis should I reject a unanimous Christianity for someone saying that water does not mean water 2000 years laters?

Mark 16:16

He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.
Is it enough to believe, according to Jesus? No. One must believe and be baptized. It is a part of a package. Of course if one does not believe, he won’t be baptized either, and he won’t be saved. But Baptism is salvific, according to the very words of Jesus.

Acts 2:38-39

38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
Repent and be baptized and you get the remission of sins. Not just believe only. How do you receive the gift of the Holy Spirit? According to Peter, you repent and get baptized, only then you get remission of sins and receive the Holy Spirit.

Acts 22:16

16 And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord.
This is after his meeting Jesus on the road to Damascus. Ananias says you still are in sin, even though Jesus has made his appearance to you. You still need to get cleansed. How does Ananias tell Paul that he must get his sins forgiven? By getting baptized. And it is clearly not some merely spiritual baptism, as the Baptist will assert, who goes out of his way to say that he doesn’t mean water baptism. The same water baptism that was the cause of the remission of sins in Acts 2. In the context of Acts 2, where Luke obviously, has the background of water baptism when one must repent and get water baptized to get remission of sins, Paul is getting his sins washed away when he gets water baptized. Incredulously, some will say this is merely a spiritual baptism. But notice here Ananaias says ‘arise’, why are you waiting? Paul is told he must make a physical act of getting up to get baptized. Nothing about making some mere spiritual prayer. It is both physical and spiritual. Paul recounts this, and nowhere ever does he say Ananias was wrong when he said he must get baptized to get his sins washed away.

Romans 6:3-4

3 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? 4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
In Romans 5 Paul writes about how in Adam sin spread through all mankind. All are born tinged with sin, as it spread through all mankind. Jesus came to reverse that. He came so that men could be made righteous, 5:19. Jesus really came to undo this sin. However, though sin reigned through death, Jesus came so that righteousness can reign. That is the whole background of the beginning of Romans 6. How does one get out of that bondage? Paul writes specifically here. In baptism we are buried into his death. Christ through baptism raises us so we can walk in the newness of life. Again, the whole goal of Christ was to undo Adam’s sin, and what is the means of making us new people? Of course faith is a part of the whole equation, but to make us a new creation, to take us out of Adam’s sin, it is baptism that makes us walk in the newness of life.

Gal. 3:26-27

26 For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. 27 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.
The first thing to note is the background is the importance of faith. One cannot be saved by law. It does not mean that law is done away with, but law gave no power. Grace gives power. How do we put on Christ? Paul answers by saying faith and baptism. Faith is not enough. It must include baptism, which is how one puts on Christ.

Titus 3:4-7

4 But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared,5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;6 Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; 7 That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.
How is one saved? Not by works that anyone does on his own power. Nobody’s work puts oneself in God’s grace. However, it is a gift of grace that God provides the sinner. How is that grace given? By the washing of regeneration and the renewing of the Holy Spirit. Now, Paul himself indicated to us that he himself had his sins washed away by baptism. Washing equals baptism. But also reading further, this renewing is by Jesus Christ so that we are heirs with the hope of eternal life. Not once saved always saved. It is a hope, not a guarantee. Baptism makes you a child of God, and is an entrance into the family of God, and the kingdom, but is no guarantee of one’s perseverance.

1 Pet 3:21

The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ:
It is through the power of the resurrection that baptism saves us. No amount of explaining this passage away can erase Peter’s stark words: Baptism saves us. The only way that one deny what Peter says is if you are following a man-made tradition that Scripture does not mean what it says. Mr. Stewart has the nerve to say ‘baptism does nothing but make you wet’. Peter says ‘baptism saves you’. I’ll take inspired scripture over someone telling me otherwise. Now, there are tons of gymnastics that people like Mr. Stewart will do to say that Jesus doesn’t mean what he says, that Peter both in his address in Acts 2, or his declaration of the same in 1st Peter 3:21 does not mean what he says. Or Paul doesn’t mean what he says that baptism is what takes us out of Adam’s sin, and into Christ’s newness of life. Or that baptism makes us put on Christ. Or that is merely a spiritual baptism, not tied into the water that Jesus himself said brings that Spirit. Scripture does not separate spiritual baptism from water baptism. But then he claims he is the one following Scripture!!! The Catholic Church follows the clear reading of Scripture on baptism, and Mr. Stewart plays biblical gymnastics to say that baptism does not regenerate and it only makes you wet.

St. Theophilus notes the following in the second century:

Moreover, those things which were created from the waters were blessed by God, so that this might also be a sign that men would at a future time receive repentance and remission of sins through water and the bath of regeneration – all who proceed to the truth and are born again and receive a blessing from God. To Autolycus, 2, 16). William Jurgens, Faith of the Early Fathers, Vol. 1, The Liturgical Press, Collegeville, Minnesota, 1970

Eucharist – A Three Headed Monster? Biblical Response

Next Mr. Stewart starts attacking the Eucharist:

Also, the Catholics worship the Eucharist more than Christ Himself. The Bible could be clearer in Luke 22:19, “And he took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do IN REMEMBRANCE OF ME.” The Lord's Supper (Eucharist) was simply something which Jesus wanted believers to do to REMEMBER Him ... no more. The Catholic religion has perverted the Lord's Supper into a monstrosity with three heads, tens eyes, and sharp venomous fangs. It's called “transubstantiation.” Some even call the Catholic practice of Mass, cannibalism, since Catholics believe they are literally digesting Jesus' flesh and blood. The belief is that the flesh and blood of Christ digest into the human body; thus, giving it's recipient spiritual strength and renewal. The logical conclusion then must be that one passes Jesus out in their feces as well. What blasphemy!!!

How ridiculous and absurd! There is NO such teaching in the Bible. Jesus simply told us to remember Him. How in the world did some nut come up with the idea that we are literally eating our Savior?

Catholics worship the Eucharist the same as Christ himself, because the Eucharist is Jesus himself. As the King James Version of the Bible, says ‘ This IS my Body’, not ‘This is NOT my Body’:

Mt. 26:26-28:

26 And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body.27 And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it;28 For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.
What Jesus is giving is his body and his blood. He does not say this represents him, or symbolizes him. He said this is my blood, this blood which is shed for many is for the remission of sins. Again this Eucharist itself forgives sins, grace given to believers. This blood is ‘poured out’. Every time this word, echeo, is used in the Old Testament, it refers to sacrifice (as noted by Mitch Pacwa, in his debate with James White:
It appears 12 times in the context of sacrifice. Poured out libation of water or of wine. In other 9 uses, refers to shedding blood, or pouring out blood as part of the sacrificial ceremony, Where they weren’t just getting rid of the blood in some practical way, they were pouring out that blood at the base of the altar as part of the ritual of the sacrifice. (Mitch Pacwa, in debate with James White, Jan 1991, cassette tape)
In reference to Mr. Stewart downgrading the word remembrance. As though it is only about remembering what Jesus did in the past. Even Protestant scholars admit that ‘remembrance’ or anamnesis, means much more than just remembering something in the past:
Gerhard Kittel, Theological Dictionary of the New Testament, ed. and trans. Geoffrey W. Bromily (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Eerdmans, 1983), speaks of “re-presentation” and “the making present by the later community of the Lord who instituted the Supper” (1:348-49). Protestant writer Max Thurian wrote, “This memorial is not a simple subjective act of recollection, it is a liturgical action. . . which makes the Lord present. . . which recalls as a memorial before the Father the unique sacrifice of the Son, and this makes Him present in His memorial” The Eucharistic Memorial, II, The New Testament, Ecumenical Studies in Worship as quoted in Colin Brown, ed., Dictionary of New Testament Theology [Grand Rapids, Mich: Zondervan, 1979], 3:244).
This is what the Church teaches. What happened in the past, is made present in the act of making bread and wine become the Body and Blood of Christ.

What further indication is that transubstantiation is true? Paul writes clearly:

1 Cor. 11:24-27:

24 And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. 25 After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, this cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. 26 For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord's death till he come. 27 Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.
Paul recounts that Jesus himself said this is my Body. Not represents his body. There were tons of ways Jesus could have said symbolized his body. But he never once used symbolical language. If one eats this bread and drinks this cup in an unworthy fashion, he is guilty of not a symbol of his body and blood, but is guilty of the Body and Blood of Christ. It is a blasphemy to mock what Jesus himself said, as passed on through Matthew Mark, Luke, and the apostle Paul.

When one eats the Body and Blood of the Lord, it is the Eucharist when it is in the form of bread and wine. When it is no longer in that form, it is no longer the Eucharist. So Jesus does not become feces, it is blasphemous to even think that. Now in reference to cannibalish, Tim Staples answers that charge:

1. In cannibalism, the person consumed is, generally speaking, killed. Jesus is not killed. We receive him in his resurrected body and we do not affect him in the least. In fact, he is not changed in the slightest. He changes us! This is far from cannibalism.
2. In cannibalism, only part of the victim is consumed. One does not eat the bones, sinews, etc. In the Eucharist, we consume every bit of the Lord, eyes, hair, blood, bones, etc. But again, I emphasize that we do so under the appearances of bread and wine. This is essentially different than cannibalism, which leads to our next point:
3. In cannibalism, the accidents of blood and flesh are consumed. One must tear flesh, drink blood, etc. In the Eucharist, we only consume the accidents of bread and wine. This is not cannibalism.
4. In cannibalism, one only consumes a body, not a person. The person and the soul of the victim would have departed. In the Eucharist, we consume the entire person of Jesus Christ, body, blood, soul and divinity. One cannot separate Christ’s body from his Divine Person. Thus, this is a spiritual communion as well as a physical consuming. We become one with Christ on a mystical level in this sacrament. This is far from cannibalism.
5. In cannibalism, one only receives temporal nourishment that is fleeting. In the Eucharist, we receive the divine life of God through faith and receiving our Lord well-disposed, i.e. we receive everlasting life (cf. John 6:52-55). This is essentially different than cannibalism.
6. In cannibalism, once one eats the flesh of the victim, it is gone forever. In the Eucharist, we can consume him every day and, as mentioned in #1, we do not change him one bit. He remains the same.
Tim Staples, Are Catholics Cannibals?
Besides that, this was the charge of the pagans in the mid second century, who did not understand Christian teaching. There were absolutely no charges made by Dave Stewart type Christians, as it was indisputable that all believers believed in the true presence of Christ. Mr. Stewart joins the company of pagans, not Christians, who understood what they were partaking of.
Some may submit that Jesus claimed to be the “Bread of Life” in John 6:35; BUT, Jesus also claimed to be the “Door” in John 10:9. Was Jesus a literal door? A literal loaf of bread? It is obvious in John 4:10 that Jesus wasn't offering the Samaritan woman actual water, but living water, the Holy Spirit. The Catholic religion has no right to pervert the plain teachings of the Word of God; but they do horrible and sinfully. Our spiritual life is nourished by the Word of God (1st Peter 2:2). It is the Holy Spirit of God that empowers and strengthens believers (Ephesians 3:16). The crazy idea that the Catholic mass has some special power to it is absurd, and unbiblical.
The ‘plain teaching’ of the Word of God is ‘My flesh is meat indeed, my blood is drink indeed.’ To say that Jesus does not mean what he says is the thing that is horrible and sinful. It is not just a brief mention by Jesus in John 6:35 that we understand that the 'bread of life' is Jesus himself in his flesh and blood. He elaborates that he will give us his flesh and blood quite clearly in John 6:48-58 (down below). Now, of course Jesus did mention about being a door. And we know that Jesus is not a literal door. The door symbolizes for sure something we must open up and enter to get into God's kingdom. He mentions the difference between him and Satan, and whoever enters the door of Jesus, enters into grace, and his kingdom, and puts away the devil, who is termed a thief. That is what is surrounding John 10. Now, everybody understood this is symbolical language and nobody interpreted that Jesus was a literal door. You enter one door you get heaven, you enter the door of the wolf, or Satan, you get hell. However, in John 6 Jesus goes on to say something that is literal and people understood him literally, and he reiterates it again that he was meant to be taken literally.

John 6:48-58:

48 I am that bread of life. 49 Your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness, and are dead. 50 This is the bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die.

51 I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live forever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world. 52 The Jews therefore strove among themselves, saying, How can this man give us his flesh to eat? 53 Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you. 54 Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day. 55 For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. 56 He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him. 57 As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me. 58 This is that bread which came down from heaven: not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead: he that eateth of this bread shall live forever.

Jesus starts to do a little further explication of the bread of life in the beginning of v. 48. Now he starts to prepare for a transition. Now in v. 49 he starts to talk about manna in the wilderness. Now manna, was real, was physical, God did not make symbolical manna, but real manna. Then in vs. 51, a startling transition is made. In v. 51, he says that of this living bread, that he will give is his own flesh!! The Jews understood him literally, right here. They say ‘how can this man give us his flesh to eat?’ They didn’t say in John 10, how can he be a door? Huge difference. Jesus then says, that eternal life is staked on eating him literally. You have no life if you refuse to eat his flesh and drink his blood. Then in the King James version, he says his flesh is meat indeed and his blood is drink indeed. When we eat his flesh and drink his blood we abide in him!!! What we partake of is the risen Christ. Grace in abundance. This grace is life-giving. What a superb gift, given by the God man Jesus himself. Now, the Fundamental Baptist will say well, eating his flesh and drinking his blood is just a continuation of what he said earlier in John 6:35-44 about being the bread of life, and just believing. However, here the language is different. Eating flesh and drinking blood is of a different category than merely believing. And eating flesh and drinking blood symbolically does have a meaning but it is quite opposite of believing. In the Old Testament, there are three occasions of eating flesh and drinking blood symbolically in the Old Testament (Psalm 27:2, Micah 3:1-4, Isaiah 9:18-20).

I’ll give example #1:

Psalm 27:2 When the WICKED CAME AGAINST ME to EAT UP MY FLESH, my ENEMIES AND FOES, they stumbled and fell.
They all show whoever eats blood and drinks blood symbolically is making one an opponent, eating the flesh is doing evil deeds, fighting against the person, trying to destroy an enemy. Is Mr. Stewart saying that we must fight against Jesus, treat him as an enemy, and that leads to eternal life? That is the only meaning of symbolical. See for the other examples.

(I will grant that this is the RSV, not the KJV, but it is eating flesh, ‘trogo’ in the Septuagint).

Then in vs. 57-58, he goes back to manna. That was physical manna that God provided. It was real manna that helped Israel survive. But the flesh and blood is compared to a physical manna, again not showing symbolic language.

One last thing is I make a challenge to Mr. Stewart and any Protestant who reads this. I made it years ago in my article on John 6:

in regards to eating flesh and drinking blood the word used in v. 54 to eat (and three other places) is trogo. It is not the normal word used for eating. It literally means to gnaw or chew, thus emphasizing the literalness of the chewing. To those Protestants who mock the implications of us chewing Jesus I will throw out a challenge to those mocking Protestants. Show me one time where the word (to eat or chew, trogo) in the Greek is used symbolically anywhere in the New Testament, the Old Testament, the Septuagint, or even in ancient secular literature. If every time it is used in the Bible and ancient literature it is used in a literal sense, we must use it that way in exegeting John 6. If it has never been used in the way that Protestants impose on John 6, then the figurative sense of eating flesh cannot be possible.
I have not received a response from anybody that anybody ever used the term eating flesh and drinking blood figuratively, in a way which means believing.

Finally, another way to find out, is someone who studied under John. His name is Ignatius of Antioch. John lived approximately to 99 AD or so. Ignatius of Antioch was one of his disciples. He went to his death for his faith in Jesus Christ 110 AD. What did he say in reference to the Eucharist? Symbolic, doesn’t really do much, this is bread and wine (or grape juice nowadays, btw making a mockery of what Jesus did) that are just symbols? Nope, Ignatius of Antioch writes the following:

"Consider how contrary to the mind of God are the heterodox in regard to the grace of God which has come to us. They have no regard for charity, none for the widow, the orphan, the oppressed, none for the man in prison, the hungry or the thirsty. They abstain from the Eucharist and from prayer, because they do not admit that the Eucharist is the flesh of our Savior Jesus Christ, the flesh which suffered for our sins and which the Father, in His graciousness, raised from the dead." "Letter to the Smyrnaeans", paragraph 6. circa 80-110 A.D.

"Come together in common, one and all without exception in charity, in one faith and in one Jesus Christ, who is of the race of David according to the flesh, the son of man, and the Son of God, so that with undivided mind you may obey the bishop and the priests, and break one Bread which is the medicine of immortality and the antidote against death, enabling us to live forever in Jesus Christ." -"Letter to the Ephesians", paragraph 20, c. 80-110 A.D

There were heretics who denied the Body and Blood of Christ, but they were not Christians. There is no record of any Christian body, that was Christian, that saw the Eucharist as merely symbolic. There were no Mr. Stewarts around, during the apostle John’s lifetime. His understudy, who went to his death, St. Ignatius says that the Eucharist is the flesh of our savior Jesus Christ. He said that the bread of life, is the medicine of immortality, (Giving a Catholic interpretation of John 6:48-58) an antidote against death, that enables us to live forever in Jesus Christ. That is his understanding of what John himself taught when hearing Jesus proclaiming that ‘he who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life.’

In the Mass, the once and for all sacrifice is made present. As already noted, Jesus himself said: He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life (Jn 6:54). Again, Jesus said his Blood that he pours out, sheds, (In the KJV) forgives sins, in the context of the Eucharist. Jesus, is an eternal priest, and as Hebrews shows, a priest must offer gifts and sacrifices (Heb. 5:1-4, 8:3), and that is what Jesus is. He is an eternal priest, and he now offers it in the manner of the priest Melchizedek (Heb. 5:6, 7:17), who offered bread and wine (Gen 14:17-20). Now, though Christ died only once and for all, and only one time did he die (Heb. 7:27, 9:27), nonetheless the author of Hebrews makes a comparison of the old sacrifices which only was a pattern of the old that pointed to a more perfect sacrifice in the new covenant:

Hebrews 9:21-23

21 Moreover he sprinkled with blood both the tabernacle, and all the vessels of the ministry. 22 And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission. 23 It was therefore necessary that the patterns of things in the heavens should be purified with these; but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these
What is so grandiose about the Catholic mass is what is shown in the above Scripture. Even though the sacrifice of Jesus only happened on one occasion, the eternal High Priest Jesus himself now offers better sacrifices, plurally. Note this in the King James Version. Now he offers better sacrifices. This is a heavenly thing. So this is purely Biblical. Yes, in 9:27 he talks about the once and for all sacrifice, but, that once and for all sacrifice is made present with these better sacrifices, meaning on multiple occasions. This sacrifice has been made present now for over 2000 years in Christian history. It is this that fulfills the sacrifices prophesied in Malachi 1:11:
For from the rising of the sun even unto the going down of the same my name shall be great among the Gentiles; and in every place incense shall be offered unto my name, and a pure offering: for my name shall be great among the heathen, saith the LORD of hosts.
So this is a fulfillment of the sacrifice. A sacrifice where there is a pure offering. The pure offering is Jesus himself offering Himself to his followers. What can be greater than that? And believers from the earliest of times noted this. As shown in the very first showing of Christian worship, the mass was seen as a pure sacrifice, and was celebrated by believers who confessed sins, and saw this offering as a fulfillment of Malachi 1:11. The Didache which has been dated by some as early as 70 AD, by others at about 140 AD, show this was the understanding of believers. This manual, which showed the outlines of the Mass, shows an understanding that the Mass was a sacrifice, and sins were to be confessed before partaking of this sacrifice: Didache 14:1-5
14:1 And on the Lord's own day gather yourselves together and break bread and give thanks, first confessing your transgressions, that your sacrifice may be pure. 14:2 And let no man, having his dispute with his fellow, join your assembly until they have been reconciled, that your sacrifice may not be defiled; 14:3 for this sacrifice it is that was spoken of by the Lord; 14:4 {In every place and at every time offer Me a pure sacrifice; 14:5 for I am a great king, saith the Lord and My name is wonderful among the nations.}
This shows that this concept of the Mass, of people confessing sins, before partaking of the sacrifice of Christ, who is present, and offering a sacrifice for believers to get their sins forgiven, is present in the very first century. So there is no record of any Mr. Stewarts around, and all believe in confession, and the sacrifice, and as we’ve seen through a disciple of St. John, is the Very Body and Blood of Jesus himself. Why in the world would anyone want to instead worship at a man-made worship service that Mr. Stewart wants you to partake in? Whatever he wants you to worship in, has no apostolic roots, such as the Catholic Mass offers. One last thing before I move on to his next error. He claimed the Eucharist is a three headed monster and a wicked thing because of transubstantiation. St. Justin Martyr, who died for his faith, said in mid second century the following about what the Eucharist is:
Chapter 66. Of the Eucharist And this food is called among us Εὐχαριστία [the Eucharist], of which no one is allowed to partake but the man who believes that the things which we teach are true, and who has been washed with the washing that is for the remission of sins, and unto regeneration, and who is so living as Christ has enjoined. For not as common bread and common drink do we receive these; but in like manner as Jesus Christ our Saviour, having been made flesh by the Word of God, had both flesh and blood for our salvation, so likewise have we been taught that the food which is blessed by the prayer of His word, and from which our blood and flesh by transmutation are nourished, is the flesh and blood of that Jesus who was made flesh. For the apostles, in the memoirs composed by them, which are called Gospels, have thus delivered unto us what was enjoined upon them; that Jesus took bread, and when He had given thanks, said, This do in remembrance of Me, Luke 22:19 this is My body; and that, after the same manner, having taken the cup and given thanks, He said, This is My blood; and gave it to them alone. Which the wicked devils have imitated in the mysteries of Mithras, commanding the same thing to be done. For, that bread and a cup of water are placed with certain incantations in the mystic rites of one who is being initiated, you either know or can learn. St.Justin Martyr, First Apology, Chapter 66
The martyr who goes on to die for the faith passes on what has been taught. It has been passed on from the apostles. The prayer makes bread and wine, ‘transmutes’ into the Body and Blood of Christ (a precursor to the word ‘transubstantiation’). He knows what remembrance means. He knows that ‘This is my Body’actually means ‘This is my Body.’ What Mr. Stewart does, if he even celebrates communion, is celebrate grape juice and bread, and calls it grape juice and bread, (true his grape juice and bread is grape juice and bread) yet he calls his faith, the faith of the apostles. He calls what the Church celebrates as ‘ridiculous and absurd.’ This is what the martyrs of the faith died for, filled with faith in Jesus, going to their death believing. This Body and Blood of Christ is for real, and is the faith of the apostles. BTW, If you look at chapter 65, it reflects the Catholic Mass today, in kernel form.

Catholic Salvation is Corrupt: Biblical Response

The catholic religion is dangerous, teaching people false religion, leading one billion souls into the lake of Fire. The Bible repeatedly condemns self-righteousness (Romans 10:3-4; Mark 7:6-13; Titus 3:5; Ephesians 2:8-9; Romans 4:5-6; Romans 3:19-20; Matthew 7:21-23 and John 6:40). Study all of these Scriptures in the King James Bible and you will find that I am telling you the Gospel truth. The Pope is a liar, who claimed in 2005 that a person doesn't even need Biblical faith to enter into Heaven. The entire concept of Catholic salvation is corrupt, very similar to the hellish teaching of Lordship Salvation being propagated in unsuspecting, carnal, ecumenical and apostate churches today!!! It is evil and a road to Hell.
Before he goes on to do more blasting of the Catholic faith because of the sacrament of confession, which he claims has no basis in Scripture, he blasts the Catholic teaching on salvation. He throws a bunch of verses out, just plastering them, to get you to think that these verses really go against Catholicism. He doesn’t actually spell any of them out. Now, I will likewise not give any of them in depth, but will comment on each one of them to show that they are not opposed to the Catholic teaching on salvation. It is Mr. Stewart, though, despite a quoting of lots of Scriptures, totally misuses Scripture, and as Peter says, twists Paul’s letters to his own destruction 2 Pet. 3:16.

In order to comment on his blasting the Catholic teaching on justification, let’s briefly go over that teaching. Now, justification in Scripture is where a man is made righteous by God’s grace. The unbiblical understanding of Mr. Stewart is that God does not make us righteous, and we are covered over in Christ’s righteousness, and our righteousness has nothing to do with our own salvation. Our best works are filthy rags, and even though a believer will try to do righteous, because he really changes, that is not any of the grounds of one’s justification. One is a believer when one makes a prayer to follow Christ, as long as he really means it. He must admit that he is a sinner, as all fall short of the glory of God. They must acknowledge their sins and trust in Christ. That is the meaning of being born again. One makes a decision for Christ, and his salvation is secured. One does not have to worry about losing salvation according to this theory. If someone professes to be a Christian, but goes on back sinning like he did before, that probably means he never was saved in the first place. But a true believer gets an imputation of Christ’s righteousness applied to a believer’s account, and that imputation will get applied and you never will lose it. So that is a part of why confession is not important. There are no such differences as mortal, or venial sins, because all sins are the same, and no sins will separate one from Christ. They will point to Romans 8:39. Now, these sins may interfere with the goodness of your relationship with Christ and other believers, but as long as you are a true believer, whatever sins you commit will not impact one’s salvation. That is his view.

Now, a Catholic will not disagree with some of the above. We are all sinners. We must admit that we are sinners, we fall short, and sin, just as mentioned above in Romans 3:23. We need God’s grace to turn us away from sin’s bondage. However, a Catholic view, is that the Bible says far more than the above, and the ‘fundamental baptist’ view ignores what God means to do for us, and ignores our own responsibility in reference to our salvation.

The most detailed explication of justification from the Catholic perspective is the Council of Trent, I will give a few citations to help understand the Catholic view of justification, not the caricature given to us by Mr. Stewart and others. This is session six. A full explication can be seen here: Chapter 1 mentions that we are under the power of sin, born in a state of original sin. One cannot on one’s own power fulfill the law. We are by nature children of wrath. We cannot be justified by law in and of itself. But moving on we go to chapter 4:



In which words is given a brief description of the justification of the sinner, as being a translation from that state in which man is born a child of the first Adam, to the state of grace and of the adoption of the sons of God through the second Adam, Jesus Christ, our Savior.

This translation however cannot, since promulgation of the Gospel, be effected except through the laver of regeneration or its desire, as it is written:

Unless a man be born again of water and the Holy Ghost, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.[John 3:5]

Chapter VII

IN WHAT THE JUSTIFICATION OF THE SINNER CONSISTS, AND WHAT ARE ITS CAUSES This disposition or preparation is followed by justification itself, which is not only a remission of sins but also the sanctification and renewal of the inward man through the voluntary reception of the grace and gifts whereby an unjust man becomes just and from being an enemy becomes a friend, that he may be an heir according to hope of life everlasting[Tit. 3:7].

The causes of this justification are:

the final cause is the glory of God and of Christ and life everlasting; the efficient cause is the merciful God who washes and sanctifies[1 Cor. 6:11] gratuitously, signing and anointing with the holy Spirit of promise, who is the pledge of our inheritance,[Eph 1:13f.] the meritorious cause is His most beloved only begotten, our Lord Jesus Christ, who, when we were enemies,[Rom. 5:10] for the exceeding charity wherewith he loved us,[Eph 2:4] merited for us justification by His most holy passion on the wood of the cross and made satisfaction for us to God the Father, the instrumental cause is the sacrament of baptism, which is the sacrament of faith, without which no man was ever justified finally, the single formal cause is the justice of God, not that by which He Himself is just, but that by which He makes us just, that, namely, with which we being endowed by Him, are renewed in the spirit of our mind,[Eph. 4:23] and not only are we reputed but we are truly called and are just, receiving justice within us, each one according to his own measure, which the Holy Ghost distributes to everyone as He wills,[1 Cor. 12:11] and according to each one's disposition and cooperation.



Against the subtle wits of some also, who by pleasing speeches and good words seduce the hearts of the innocent,[Rom. 16:18] it must be maintained that the grace of justification once received is lost not only by infidelity, whereby also faith itself is lost, but also by every other mortal sin, though in this case faith is not lost; thus defending the teaching of the divine law which excludes from the kingdom of God not only unbelievers, but also the faithful [who are] fornicators, adulterers, effeminate, liars with mankind, thieves, covetous, drunkards, railers, extortioners,[1 Cor. 6:9f, 1 Tim. 1:9] and all others who commit deadly sins, from which with the help of divine grace they can refrain, and on account of which they are cut off from the grace of Christ.



Therefore, to men justified in this manner, whether they have preserved uninterruptedly the grace received or recovered it when lost, are to be pointed out the words of the Apostle: Abound in every good work, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.[1 Cor. 15:58]

For God is not unjust, that he should forget your work, and the love which you have shown in his name;[Heb. 6:10] and, Do not lose your confidence, which hath a great reward.[Heb. 10:35]

Hence, to those who work well unto the end[Mt. 10:22] and trust in God, eternal life is to be offered, both as a grace mercifully promised to the sons of God through Christ Jesus, and as a reward promised by God himself, to be faithfully given to their good works and merits.[Rom. 6:22]

At the root understanding is that we are transferred from the bondage of sin, and as a child in Adam as noted in Romans 3:23 via God’s grace we are made a child of God, through the second Adam, Jesus Christ. We are made a child of God through baptism as we have already shown through many Scriptures already given above. We cannot work our way into God’s grace. At the root of justification, is divine sonship. We are children of God. As children of God, we through God’s grace, work to cooperate with the grace. But also at the root is the fact that in justification, we are made righteous by God (Rom. 5:19). The Baptist view is that we are declared righteous, not actually righteous. That is why that one can sin in a serious manner, and not be cut off of God’s grace. So therefore confession would not be necessary for maintaining one’s own justification. However, the Catholic view is what God makes righteous is righteous, and we have to maintain that righteousness to maintain one’s justification. As we are children of God, it is possible to undo our justification. Paul clearly writes that it is possible for us to lose our justification. Mr. Stewart and the Baptists will never quote the following Scriptures in their analysis of justification: 1 Cor. 6:9
Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,
Paul writes that you are deceived if you believe that fornicators or adulterers can inherit the kingdom of God. Mr. Stewart and others who follow this devilish theory, are oblivious to this Scripture. They rationalize, or say it doesn’t really apply to believers. But Paul is clearly seeing that some opponents of him taught Mr. Stewart’s theory that a believer cannot lose one’s salvation. He tells the believer, do not be deceived into thinking that you can commit such sins and still attain eternal life. As long as we breathe, unfortunately such sins are a possibility, otherwise Paul wouldn’t warn Christians, who this is written to.

Eph 5:19-22

19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, 20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
In the same letter that quotes Eph 2:8-9, he infers do not misuse Ephesians 2, to argue that what you do with your life does not affect your inheritance. He’s warned people to not so assume that your salvation is set, that you don’t have to worry about committing such sins. He’s warned people exactly of Mr. Stewart’s mindset. He says ‘I’ve warned you this in the past.’ It is like there are a bunch of Mr. Stewarts around that he has to correct. You are going down the wrong road, and you are on a course to hell if you commit such sins, as you can disinherit oneself, is Paul’s warning.

Next, is the idea that we are adopted sons. We aim to please God, because we are adopted sons. Now, as adopted sons, we are adopted sons in grace. So though the law is not the way that we are made right with God, law is not done away with us. We are in the law of the Spirit, and through the law of the Spirit, as adopted sons, we can meet the righteous requirement of the law (Rom. 8:4). Now as children, small sins do not separate us from God’s grace, but we do need pruning. We see this explicated more in Hebrews 12, where we see a distinction in types of sins, but also how God’s mercy is applied. One can disinherit oneself through mortal sin. It is a long passage but I want to show it in total to make an important point:

Heb. 12:5-17

5 And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him: 6 For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. 7 If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? 8 But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons. 9 Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live? 10 For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness. 11 Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby. 12 Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees; 13 And make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way; but let it rather be healed. 14 Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord: 15 Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled; 16 Lest there be any fornicator, or profane person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright. 17 For ye know how that afterward, when he would have inherited the blessing, he was rejected: for he found no place of repentance, though he sought it carefully with tears.
So the author of Hebrews shows us that as children we need discipline. As children we need pruning, we need correction, from the Father. God gave us the Church to help in this manner as already noted by Jesus himself in Matthew 18:15-18. But the goal of this correction is our holiness. The author states unequivocally that no one see the Lord without the pursuit of holiness. This is a direct contradiction of Mr. Stewart’s theology. Then the author warns that if one does not pursue holiness, one can fall short of God’s grace, v. 15. And writing to fellow believers he explicates that one can turn away like Esau, who sold his birthright. Now a Baptist might say, well, Esau was never saved in the first place. That is not the point. The point is that he is writing to believers that they can become like Esau. And Esau was rejected by God, and Esau never repented from his heart, and he did not inherit the blessing he rejected. Thus, believers can lose their inheritance through mortal sin. Though not all sin is mortal, much sin can just be hurtful, and can tend toward more sin, thus the need for pruning, thus the grace of a sacrament is helpful. Other sins can make us like Esau.

The Catholic Church thus makes the distinction of sin that Hebrews, Ephesians, 1 Corinthians makes, and if one commits such mortal sins, then the sacrament of confession is a grace where one can be put back in God’s grace. Or in many cases for non-mortal sins, this grace can help do the pruning, and correction as mentioned in Hebrews 12:5-12. So with that background, there is the understanding of justification and need for the sacrament of confession

Now, with that important understanding let’s go back to the verses he says disproves Catholicism.

Romans 10:3-4. That teaches how one is not saved by one’s own self-righteousness. The law does indeed do nothing in and of itself. Only grace can save. Catholicism teaches that as well.

Mark 7:6-13 is about not following human tradition. Of course Catholics do not follow human traditions but God made traditions. Paul wrote to hold fast to tradition, whether oral or written 2 Thes. 2:15. That is what the Church follows. Now, Mr. Stewart follows a man-made tradition of Sola Scriptura, which is that your only ultimate guide is Scripture alone, as interpreted by oneself. That is why many, many denominations are born, because everybody interprets the Scripture by themselves, though Scripture itself says that the Church is the pillar and ground of truth (1 Tim. 3:15), not one’s own interpretation of Scripture. Mr. Stewart also teaches a human man made teaching of once saved always saved, when in the New Testament each book in the New Testament (except Philemon) clearly teaches that one can lose their salvation. I’ve given a couple but here is a plethora of verses that teach the same, that Mr. Stewart and those of his theology, totally ignore or downplay:

Titus 3:5. We’ve already looked at it. It is not through our own power that we are saved. But we are saved through the washing of regeneration, we are at the time of regeneration, made righteous in Christ, but we have no guarantee, but a hope of eternal life, Titus 3:7. In any case we work out our salvation with fear and trembling not because of ourselves but because it is God at work within us for his good pleasure that we can inherit that salvation. (Phil 2:12-16).

Ephesians 2:8-9. We cannot boast of anything of ourselves. It is God’s gift to us. Our own power outside God’s grace merits hell. It is not us working on our own. But as v. 10 says in Ephesians 2, we are God’s workmanship. Paul in Ephesians 5 later on, goes on to say do not be deceived into thinking that sins will not separate you from God himself. I have an in-depth study of Ephesians 2:1-10 here:

Romans 4:5-6. This just shows that we are saved by faith, and not on our own works. Works that we do on our own power do not save us. The example of Abraham and David, when we study their lives, show that these examples show that justification is a process, not a mere one-time event. I have done studies on the passages of Romans 4 here: Romans 4:4-8: Proof for Justification by Faith Alone? and hereRomans 4 – Justification, Abraham, and David – Imputation or process?

Romans 3:19-20. Paul indicates that one is not justified by works of the law. Yes, Jews, Gentiles are not saved by law in and of itself. As Trent notes, we cannot attain anything on one’s own power. Law gives no power, only grace does. As already noted, though law has no power, that does not mean the law is done away with, because when one is within the Spirit it is the doers of the law who are justified (Rom. 2:13).

Mt. 7:21-23, only those who do the will of the Father go to heaven. Notice, it is those who do the will of the Father who go to heaven. Many will be cast out if they do not do the will of the Father. Thus, the criteria is that someone has to do the will of the Father. It is not based on belief, or faith alone. In fact in no judgment scene in the Bible is where the criteria of faith only (Mt. 7:21-23, Mt. 25:31-46, Jn 5:28-29, Rev. 20:11-13)

John 6:40 If everyone who believes on Jesus, they will have eternal life. Now a Protestant faith alone person jumps to this verse as only belief, or a profession of faith , as long as you really mean it, is all one needs. However, that is not all what Jesus means. One must act in concert with belief, as shown in the prior passage Matthew 7:21-23. Belief entails acting on such. Jesus says also if one abides in him, but does not remain in him, he will be cast aside, thrown in the fire (Jn 15:6-7). Remember, believers in John 6 left him over his proclamation just a few verses later that they must eat his flesh and drink his blood to have eternal life. Many left him just over that proclamation. Also later Jesus says to enter life, one must keep the commandments (Mt. 19:17-18). The proclamation of Jesus in John 6 does not cancel out his teaching that one must keep the commandments.

So much for Mr. Stewart’s proof against the Catholic teaching of salvation. Now we finally get to his fuller critique of the sacrament of confession

Confession is Blasphemy: Full Biblical Response

It is Blasphemy for Priests to Claim the Power to Forgive Sin According to ... “Jesus Christ, the Son of God, gave the Church the power to forgive sins when he breathed on the Apostles and said: ‘Receive the Holy Spirit. Whose sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven.’ (John 20 22:23)”

Please notice this subtle deception of Satan. The above quote made by a Catholic religious teacher didn't FULLY quote John 20:23 which states, “Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained.”

If what the Catholic Church teaches is true (i.e., that priests have been given the power to forgive sins), then it must also be true that they have been given the power to REFUSE to forgive your sins. If this is true, then it creates a serious doctrinal contradiction in the teachings of Christ, who said in Matthew 6:15, “But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” Clearly, we have a discrepancy here. If priests did have the power to forgive your sins, but refused to do so, then it would be a sin. ‘

Mr. Stewart jumps to calling it blasphemy again because of his failed attempt at understanding God’s Word. He has been taught a human tradition by his teacher that it is impossible and attempts to teach other gullible people that what Mr. Stewart says is true. He has a hard time understanding Jesus words and says ‘well he can’t mean that’. Let us look at the passage again, John 20:22-23:
22 And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost: 23Whosoever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them;and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained.
Again, it is as plain as day that he breathes on the Holy Spirit, and as has been shown, it is a momentous occasion. He gives the apostles the power to remit and retain sins. It is pretty easy to understand, it is not complex. And Mr. Stewart decries him quoting part of John 20:23. Yet he forgets how he used only one part of Titus 3:5 when he supposedly teaches on how our justification has nothing to do with an internal change in us. He points to Titus 3:5a, not the full Titus 3:5.

Well, let’s look at Titus 3:5, and what he wants to highlight:

5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost
He only wants you to focus on one part of Titus 3:5, where Paul writes that one is not saved by works of righteousness that we have done, and according to his mercy. That is all he wants to highlight. Works on our own power merit nothing, exactly as Trent teaches. He totally ignores the second part of Titus 3:5, which points to baptismal regeneration, when one is washed and regenerated by the baptism, exactly as Paul got his sins washed away in baptism in Acts 22:16, Titus 3:5. Exactly like the Council of Trent taught. Also in justification, one is renewed by the Holy Spirit. Now, in justification, one is made right, and renewed by the Holy Spirit. This is at one and the same time, not just later, it is by the washing of regeneration. And as noted in Titus 3:7, after he talks of the cleansing done in justification, one only has the hope of inheriting eternal life. One is not guaranteed that, as Mr. Stewart teaches. So the gall of Mr. Stewart complaining about a Catholic highlighting one part of the verse and seemingly forgetting the rest. Now unlike Mr. Stewart’s twisting of Titus 3:5 where it means the exact opposite of what he preaches, no such thing happens in the second part of John 20:23 to invalidate the Jesus’ teaching in the first part of John 20:23. He somehow thinks that if the priest/Church has the ability to retain sins, the Church is somehow invalidating Jesus saying that one is to forgive the other. The best way to understand what Jesus means is not by saying what he says does not make sense, but to sees how Jesus himself explicates it. We’ve already looked at the passage which also shows the act of binding and loosing sins given to the apostles. Let us look at this passage again, Matthew 18:15-18:
15 Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother.16 But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. 17 And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican. 18 Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.
Again, Jesus is shown here in Matthew giving the power to his disciples to bind and loose on earth, which shall also be bound and loosed in heaven. The context is sin. Now if it is a small quibble one can handle it themselves. But if the sin gets larger and larger, where does it get taken to? Do they go say sins of repentance themselves, directly to God, and not involve any Church person as Mr. Stewart expects you to believe? No, as the sin problem gets larger, they take it to the Church. Now, Jesus takes it as an assumption that you will listen to the Church. Church leaders get a hold of this situation. At that time it was the apostles. If it was good for the apostles, there must be successors who have that capability. One must proclaim their sin to the Church. Now, if a person refuses to listen to the church, treat him like a heathen. He is now outside of God’s grace, because he refused to listen to the Church. Now, in exactly this context, this is where the judgment of the Church is legitimated. The person is not sorry for his sins, and he continues to go on sinning. Then only after that example does Jesus say ‘whatsoever you bound on earth will be bound in heaven.’ So the clear context is the Church dealing with sins. The Church declares the person still in sin, because the person refuses to truly be sorry for that sin. It is because they are not sorry for their sin, the Church’s judgment is that they are not forgiven. Likewise if a person is talking about a sin, but refuses to really be sorry for that sin, it is incumbent on God’s representative, to not forgive that person for that sin, because he is not truly sorry for that sin. This sacrament is meant for people who are truly sorry for that sin (they get their sins remitted, forgiven), and a priest would only make that judgment that they shall not be forgiven if they attempt to rationalize away that sin (the sin is retained). So it is not where the priest refuses to provide remission of sin if a person is sorry for that sin. So Mr. Stewart’s objection has no basis. So the Church does not make the second half of John 20:23 violate Jesus’ teaching on forgiveness in Mt. 6:15.

Mr. Stewart goes on:

So what did Jesus mean in John 20:23? To understand John 20:23, you need to consider Romans 1:16, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth...” The Gospel (good news) of Jesus Christ is the POWER which opens the gates of Heaven to those who obey it; BUT, it is also the POWER which will send them to Hell forever if they do not obey it (2nd Thessalonians 1:8). Jesus simply explained to the Apostles that by preaching the GOSPEL, they held the keys to Heaven and Hell. Those who believed the Gospel were forgiven; those who didn't weren't. The Gospel is the key to Heaven or Hell, depending on whether you obey it or not.

To claim that Jesus gave the Apostles the power to forgive sin is blasphemy. We've already learned that there is only ONE MEDIATOR between God the Father and men, the man Christ Jesus (1st Timothy 2:5). We've also read in Mathew 6:15 that God requires us to forgive others who seek our forgiveness, it's not an option.

In addition, not one mention is made anywhere in the New Testament of an Apostle ever forgiving someone's sins. This FACT alone speaks volumes against the Catholic religion. Out of all the sermons recorded in the New Testament by the Apostles, not one mention is ever made of an Apostle having the power to forgive someone's sins.

Here, Mr. Stewart makes Jesus say something he does not say here in John 20:23. Yes, the gospel of Christ has power to open the gates of Heaven to those who obey it. If one does not obey the gospel one will be sent to hell. I get that. Jesus does teach that in other places. He preaches in Mark 16:16 he who believes in the gospel and is baptized will be saved, if they don’t, they will not be saved. Jesus gives them a commission in Matthew 28:20-21. Go therefore and baptize all nations (again showing what saves is baptism), and preaching all of what he taught everywhere. Whoever is baptized in the Trinitarian fashion will be saved. And all must obey. If one does not obey after baptism, one will not be saved. In Luke 24, he preached repentance from sins and remission of sins should be preached, Luke 24:47-48. Sure that is correct. However, that is not what Jesus says here. This is what he says, John 20:22-23:
22 And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost: 23Whosoever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them;and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained.
He said if you remit sins they will be remitted. Of course one is not to be ashamed of the gospel. But part of that gospel is that the apostles are given the power to forgive, or retain sins. And that is found right here in John 20:22-23, Matthew 18:15-18. That is what Jesus says, and no matter of Mr. Stewart wishing those words away, make those words disappear. Again Mr. Stewart helplessly jumps to the one mediator argument. If he is a mediator, you do what he says. And the mediator himself declared that the apostles have the power to forgive sins. If he gave those powers to the apostles, Jesus said he would be with his people to the end of the world. That mission would be given to future generations as Jesus said he would never leave us orphans. The same means of forgiveness given to the apostles would be passed on to future generations, as Jesus said He and his church will be with us to the end of the world.

Mr. Stewart says there is no mention anywhere of apostles ever forgiving sins. If that was the case, that does not invalidate Jesus teaching. If Jesus taught that one must be baptized in the Name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, even though nowhere in Scripture does it show anybody as being baptized in the name of the Father Son and Holy Spirit, this is Jesus teaching. We know from Scripture that we are to obey the commandment to worship on the Lord’s day. Now, we know that we are supposed to worship on the Lord’s day, but the Bible does not give us a manual of how worship is performed. We get a hint that worship includes breaking of the bread, 1 Cor. 10:16 shows that the breaking of the bread is communion in the Body of the Lord. That is part of worship. However, there is no detail of exactly how New Testament worship is performed in the Church. Yet Mr. Stewart most likely goes to Church on Sunday, and probably thinks it is good for you even though the Bible gives absolutely no explication of how exactly the worship service is performed. We only get this through tradition, like the Didache, St. Justin Martyr’s rendition of the Mass, on how it was performed in mid-2nd century, but it is not spelled out in the Bible, but he probably wants you to go to some church, hopefully fundamental Baptist. So if it was not mentioned elsewhere does not mean that Jesus did not mean what he said when he breathed on them and gave them the power to forgive sins.

But with that said, let us look at other hints in Scripture of the apostles being given the power to forgive sins. We get a look at this in Matthew: Matthew 9:3-8

3 And, behold, certain of the scribes said within themselves, This man blasphemeth. 4 And Jesus knowing their thoughts said, Wherefore think ye evil in your hearts? 5 For whether is easier, to say, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Arise, and walk? 6 But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (then saith he to the sick of the palsy,) Arise, take up thy bed, and go unto thine house. 7 And he arose, and departed to his house. 8 But when the multitudes saw it, they marvelled, and glorified God, which had given such power unto men.
So here Matthew declares that the power to forgive sins has been given to men. Jesus says that as man he has power to forgive sins, and again Mr. Stewart quotes Jesus enemy in saying that it is blasphemy. And looking further Matthew writes that such power has been given to men!!! This is Scripture. Men, it is plural, so the power to forgive sins is not limited to Jesus. Matthew does not have Jesus correcting the people who think that. Mr. Stewart would have corrected them, but not Jesus. So this is not just a hint. Matthew writes They glorified God, which had given such power unto men. So God had given that power. So this Scripture is not a hint, it is proof. It points forward to the actual commission in John 20:23, Mt 18:15-18.

Now, we definitely get other Scriptures that point us to the sacrament of forgiveness, but we also have actual Scriptures that hints at, if not is a specific explication of people exercising the ministry of confession.

Acts 19:18-19:

18 And many that believed came, and confessed, and shewed their deeds. 19 Many of them also which used curious arts brought their books together, and burned them before all men: and they counted the price of them, and found it fifty thousand pieces of silver.
The context is of Jewish priests who had tried to cast out demons in the name of Jesus, and recognizing Paul. Paul had performed many miracles in Jesus’ name and also had cast out demons (Acts 19:8-12). However, the Jewish priests were not believers in Jesus, and had no apostolic authority to cast out demons, and the demons overpowered the sons of a Jewish chief priest (Acts 19:13-16). The Jewish priests had attempted to use Jesus’ name, but they were not given apostolic authority to do so, as they actually were unbelievers. It was as though they were trying to use this power as magic. First, the effect of this on the unbelievers was that true fear came upon them, both Jew and Greek. Next, of the many who were now believers, when they heard of this, they then came forth to confess their sins. They specifically spelled out sins (by confessing) to those properly authorized to hear these sins (v. 18), to get those sins forgiven. Apparently magical practices were still practiced even after they had come to faith in Christ. Magic had been so ingrained even among Christians, they had not immediately given all their practices up. The combination of Paul having the authority to cast out demons, and the recognition that only those with apostolic authority had such authority to deal in such spiritual matters, had them totally give up their magic that they had apparently continued to practice. The fact that Luke says they confessed and divulged their practices shows that those sins were confessed to specific individuals authorized to hear such confessions. Then they totally destroyed all those possessions and books that prompted magic (v. 19).

2 Cor. 2:5-10 also shows that Paul himself used the sacrament of confession. The Catholic teaching is that the minister works in the person, name of Jesus. He forgives in the name of Jesus, in the person of Jesus. The King James version spells it out even clearer than in modern versions:

5But if any have caused grief, he hath not grieved me, but in part: that I may not overcharge you all. 6Sufficient to such a man is this punishment, which was inflicted of many. 7So that contrariwise ye ought rather to forgive him, and comforthim, lest perhaps such a one should be swallowed up with overmuch sorrow.8Wherefore I beseech you that ye would confirm your love toward him. 9For to this end also did I write, that I might know the proof of you, whether ye be obedient in all things. 10To whom ye forgive any thing, I forgive also: for if I forgave any thing, to whom I forgave it, for your sakes forgave I it in the person of Christ
Here Paul is speaking about a person who he criticized in 1 Cor. 5:1-5. There was a sinner who was sleeping with his own mother. Paul condemned the Corinthians in 1st Corinthians as condoning this. Now, he is calling for the forgiveness of the person, who now is repentant. What this shows is that if one sins, he also sins against the church (2 Cor. 5:5-8). As the body is made up of members, if one member sins, he sins against the whole body. Not only does the sin hurt himself. He hurts the whole church. That is why the mere ‘Jesus and me’ Christianity that excludes the church in relation to sin is faulty. The whole church is made better by the person getting reconciled with God. Next, in v. 10, we see Paul, exercising this authority that we will see that he writes of in 2 Cor. 5:18. Now, the important verse here is v.10, where it says, ‘if I have forgiven anything, it has been for your sake in the person of Christ.’ This is Catholic Doctrine to the tee.

Another clear Scripture on the existence of the sacrament of Confession shows here:

2 Cor. 5:17-20:

17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. 18 And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; 19 To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. 20 Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God.
Paul writes clearly that he has a ministry of reconciliation. Now one is made new in Christ, he is a new creation in baptism as shown in multiple Scriptures. However, after one is new in Christ, there still is a need for reconciliation. Why, because people still sin, and there is a need for this ministry to be exercised. Now, to show that Mr. Stewart’s theory about once saved always doctrine is false, is because even after being a new creation, there is still a need for reconciliation because sins are still at your door. Sins can still be committed. That is why Paul tells believers, still be ye reconciled to God!! So it is a process, not merely a one-time event in the past. The early church also saw these passages as pointing to confession. I already showed the Didache in the first century saying that one must confess their sins so they can participate in the service at Church, or Mass. This article is the list of the Scriptures and how the apostolic fathers also saw in these passages the sacrament of confession:
The Sacrament of Confession: The Fathers on Specific Scriptures.
When Stephen preached the Gospel in Acts 7, he never offered to forgive anyone's sins. When Peter preached the Gospel on the Day of Pentecost in Acts 2, he never offered to forgive anyone's sins. When Paul witnessed to King Agrippa in Acts 26, he didn't offer to forgive the king's sins.
Of course confession would not apply in these circumstances. Here, they are preaching to unbelievers. You must believe, repent and be baptized. Steven gave a history lesson in Acts 7, in Acts 2, Peter told people to repent, believe, and be baptized. Mr. Stewart says they need a salvation prayer, nowhere found in Scripture. When Paul spoke to Agrippa, his hope is that he would convert. In Baptism all the sins are washed away, there is no need for confession, because they are wiped clean in baptism. Confession is after baptism, when sins are committed after baptism. So of course the sacrament of confession would not apply when they have not come into the faith yet.
Notice what Peter said to Simon, the former sorcerer, when Simon tried to buy God's power ... “Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee.” The Apostle Peter told Simon to pray to GOD for forgiveness! Peter didn't claim the power to forgive Simon's sins, nor did Peter tell him to go find a confessional booth.
Simon made a horrible judgment, trying to buy the power. Peter just observed the sin. He proclaims how horrible the sin is. He made the judgment that he was not sorry for his sin, and was in the gall of bitterness. This is the judgment that Mr. Stewart just said he did not have. BTW, when one does confess to the priest, it does not exclude going directly to God. We Catholics are to pray to God directly as well. Peter made the judgment, to retain the sins because he was not sorry. He would not be offering forgiveness because he was bound in iniquity.

In all the letters (Epistles) which the Apostle Paul wrote to the New Testament churches, he never mentioned or taught anything about the power to forgive another's sins. Clearly, the Catholic Church is lying!
Wrong, 2 Corinthians 2:5-10, 2 Cor. 5:18-19, already quoted. Again the teaching by Jesus is given several times (John 20:22-23, Mt. 18:15-18, 16:18-19, Mt 9:8). One time is all that is needed to show biblical support. The virgin birth is only referred to twice (Matthew & Luke), and nowhere else is there a hint of it in the New Testament. Paul certainly did not write about it. Does that mean there was no virgin birth?
To whom should we confess our sins? 1st John 1:9 states, “If we confess our sins, he (Jesus Christ) is faithful and just to forgive us our sins...” A sinner cannot forgive a sinner on behalf of God. You need Jesus Christ, God Almighty, to forgive your sins and save your soul. Only Jesus has the nail-scared hands and feet; thus, only Jesus has the power and right to forgive your sins.
Hmm, Mr. Stewart’s theology says that one is guaranteed salvation, because God will look only at the blood of Christ, one’s righteousness is imputed. One cannot have their salvation affected. But here John says that we must confess our sins in order to get our sins forgiven. The need to get sins forgiven shows how false Mr. Stewart’s theology is. Paul has already shown Mr. Stewart is deceived because he thinks sins will not separate one from God. John here says otherwise that we must confess our sins. Mr. Stewart says this confession was only to Jesus Christ. John writes that one must confess sin, but John does not write that one must confess those sins directly to Jesus. He just writes that one must confess sins. Now, the background is that everybody who is reading this in the late first century, knows what John said Jesus said in John 20:22-23. Jesus of course is who forgives sins, but the sacrament is his means that he himself established. The Christian readers at this time in the late first century know that Jesus breathed on the apostles and said ‘whosever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them, whosoever sins they retain, they are retained.’ They know of the ministry of reconciliation that Paul wrote of. The readers know exactly what Jesus told John. They are to go to confession to get their sins forgiven. There is no need for him to say that, they know what he means because they know exactly what Jesus said.

John in this book also writes about mortal and venial sins. This is something also at odds with Mr. Stewart’s theology.

1 Jn 5:16-17

16 If any man see his brother sin a sin which is not unto death, he shall ask, and he shall give him life for them that sin not unto death. There is a sin unto death: I do not say that he shall pray for it.17 All unrighteousness is sin: and there is a sin not unto death.
John writes clearly that there are sins that lead to death (Catholics term that mortal sins), and sins that lead not to death (Catholics term venial). The context is about eternal life see 1 John 5:10-20, it is all about eternal life and death, so it is not speaking about sins that lead to physical death. So here is another distinction that Mr. Stewart rejects.
We read in Luke 18:13 that a Publican (a non-religious person) went up to the temple to pray and said, “...God be merciful to me a sinner.” Carefully notice that the man didn't ask the Pharisee to forgive him, nor did he go to the priest for forgiveness. No, the publican went to GOD ALONE!
Sure on this occasion Jesus did not, however, that does not mean that Jesus did not refer them to priests. In fact, Jesus also said after curing a leper the following:

Mt. 8:2-4

2 and behold, a leper came to him and knelt before him, saying, "Lord, if you will, you can make me clean." 3 And he stretched out his hand and touched him, saying, "I will; be clean." And immediately his leprosy was cleansed. 4 And Jesus said to him, "See that you say nothing to any one; but go, show yourself to the priest, and offer the gift that Moses commanded, for a proof to the people."
Jesus as God is also the one who mandated what priests offer to atone for sins in the Old Covenant. I already referred to those passages earlier. Mr. Stewart proceeds as though those passages don’t exist. But that is ok, he calls what Jesus did blasphemy, echoing Jesus’ opponents.

The next passage is another clear passage that points to a new sacrament, as well as more evidence of the sacrament of confession

James 5:14-16:

13Is any among you afflicted? let him pray. Is any merry? let him sing psalms. 14Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord: 15And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him. 16Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed.
Here is another passage in Scripture which documents that prayers are forgiven through ministers of faith. Elders are termed by Catholics priests. Anoint with oil, and sins are forgiven. Another sacrament, which Mr. Stewart says does not exist. Not by being sorry by oneself, but by the instrument of the elders, or priests. Absolutely nothing about say a prayer by yourself to God, forget the church. And with that background it says confess to one another, but the context is calling for elders, and thus when it speaks about confessing, it means confessing to the elders. These are already believers, obviously have been Christians. Here is where the sacrament applies. And confession is yet again referred to.
Cursed Be the Man that Trusteth in Man

We read in Jeremiah 17:5, “Thus saith the LORD; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the LORD.” I marvel at the willingness of the victims of false religion, to follow the traditions of men, instead of the teachings of the Word of God (Mark 7:6-13). The problem is that people continue to believe the excuses and lies of their sinister ministers. If a soulwinning Christian tries to share the Word of God with a lost Catholic, that Catholic often counters with something their priest taught them. The priest's advice might be total heresy; BUT, the victim will believe it, simply because the priest said it. The reason is because most people are trusting in MAN instead of GOD. Psalm 118:8 states, “It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man.”

Are there ignorant Catholics? Yes, but the sad thing is that a person who claims to speak the truth, can be so lost that he argues that what Jesus teaches is blasphemy, who echoes Jesus opponents. The fellow who says though Peter says 1 Pet. 3:21 ‘Baptism saves you’, it means ‘Baptism does not save you.’ The fellow who says when Jesus says ‘This is My Body’ (Mt. 26:28) he really means ‘This is not my Body’. Jesus says when speaking specifically to the apostles that ‘whosoever sins you remit, they are remitted unto them’, means ‘you cannot remit sins’. Jesus says ‘if you want to enter life, keep the commandments’ (Mt. 19:17), actually it means ‘you cannot keep the commandments, just believe, as long as you really mean it, you are guaranteed salvation’. Then he changes Jesus’ word in John 20:23 to something else and says what Jesus says is blasphemy and echoes his opponents. And he is going to lecture Catholics that we are deceived? The gall. The thing is he probably thinks that what he says is true. In 15 centuries of Christianity you will not find Christians who did not believe in the sacraments of Baptism, Eucharist and Confession, as Catholicism teaches. We’ve seen that in a first century liturgy and a direct disciple of the apostle John, who went to his death. But, apparently according to him, all of Christianity was lost til some Anabaptists came around. I say that because there is no record of anyone giving David Stewart objections. Now of course there are heretics, and from the Church Fathers we know what they taught, but none of David Stewart heresies. Marcionites, Gnostics, Donatists, Arians, just a few of them, but no David Stewarts around. Why not? Jesus said to Peter, that the gates of hell shall not prevail against the Church. The Church believes what Scripture clearly shows, that these sacraments have salvific power.

Mr. Stewart is living a lie, but claims to be teaching the truth. He trusts in whoever hoodwinked him into thinking that Scriptures do not mean what they say. And counts that as the gospel, and is all into salvation prayers, something nowhere found in Scriptures.

Hail Mary is Vain Repetition: Biblical Response

As an example, some Catholics try to justify vain repetitious prayers with Scriptures such as Matthew 26:44, “And he left them, and went away again, and prayed the third time, saying the same words.” But, asking God three times for the same thing, is very different than mumbling the same dead words (the Rosary) over and over for a lifetime. Furthermore, this was not the norm when Jesus prayed. There are times in our life where we will want to keep asking God for something; but, that is certainly not the same as mumbling the same WRITTEN, dead, repetitious, religious, words over and over. A Catholic repeats 52 “Hail Mary” in each DAILY Rosary prayer.

Jesus clearly stated that the “heathen” pray with useless repetitions. Since Catholics claim that their repetitious Rosary prayers are not “vain repetitions”; then I ask, who was Jesus speaking about? Do you realize that a faithful Catholic who prayers the Rosary every day, will in a lifetime say “Hail Mary” well over 1,000,000 times!!! Think about it. And yet, not one mention is made of the name of Jesus Christ in the Rosary.

A Catholic would not agree that his prayers are vain. At that time there would be repetitious prayers to pagan gods. So prayers are vain when they are made to a false god. At that time, pagans would say prayers that were vain. That is what Jesus is speaking about. He is not talking about prayers using inspired Scripture, or scriptural meditations as vain repetition. Now, let us look at the Hail Mary, which is the one that Catholics repeat regularly:
Hail Mary full of grace the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among woman and blessed is the fruit of thy womb Jesus. Holy Mary Mother of God pray for us sinners now and at the hour of death amen.
This is the prayer that Mr. Stewart says is vain. He says we say it 52 times, actually it is 53 times. But let’s go through this prayer. 3 basic sayings let’s look at how that prayer breaks down.

First part:

Hail Mary full of grace the Lord is with thee.
The King James version of the Bible says this in Luke 1:28:
28And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee, Blessed art thou among women.

The angel does not greet Mary with the name Mary. He gives her a title. The angel says ‘Hail’ but doesn’t give her name but gives her a title. The word is Kerichitome, granted not translated in the King James version, as full of grace. The Dhouay Rheims translation is Hail, Full of grace. That is the way St. Jerome translated it. So this is the Bible. Now to go a little more into the greeting Tim Staples elaborates:

St. Luke uses the perfect passive participle, kekaritomene, as his "name" for Mary. This word literally means "she who has been graced" in a completed sense. This verbal adjective, "graced," is not just describing a simple past action. Greek has another tense for that. The perfect tense is used to indicate that an action has been completed in the past resulting in a present state of being. "Full of grace" is Mary’s name. So what does it tell us about Mary? Well, the average Christian is not completed in grace and in a permanent sense (see Phil. 3:8-12). But according to the angel, Mary is. You and I sin, not because of grace, but because of a lack of grace, or a lack of our cooperation with grace, in our lives. This greeting of the angel is one clue into the unique character and calling of the Mother of God. Only Mary is given the name "full of grace" and in the perfect tense, indicating that this permanent state of Mary was completed. Catholic Answer article on the Immaculate conception
Now I get that Mr. Stewart doesn’t like much of the above, but this is the way St. Jerome himself translated it, ‘full of grace.’ We add the term Mary, but the term full of grace is her identification. In v. 28, we see the term ‘the Lord is with thee, blessed art thou among women.’ Again, this is Scripture.

Second Part:

Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thou womb Jesus
This prayer is from Luke 1:42-43
And it came to pass, that, when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost: 42And she spake out with a loud voice, and said, Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb

Just as in v. 28 where the angel terms Mary blessed art thou among women, Elizabeth declares her blessed as well. Again this part is pure Scripture. John the Baptist was excited to hear Mary speaking. Sure Jesus was of course there but hearing Mary’s voice, the Baptist was excited. Full of the Holy Spirit Elizabeth says ‘Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb.’ So in essence The Catholic is just echoing Elizabeth’s full of the Holy Spirit proclamation, but we add the term ‘Jesus’ to the end of it. So this idea that Jesus is never mentioned ignores the fact that Catholics add the term ‘Jesus’ to Elizabeth’s full of the Holy Spirit phrase. So thus far, the phrases reflect Luke 1:28 and Luke 1:42. So apparently saying Scripture is vain repetition according to Mr. Stewart

Third part

Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of death amen

Okay as we have seen Mary is termed by the Angel full of grace. How can she not be holy? Mother of God. Okay let us look at how Elizabeth termed Mary in King James English:
Luke 1:43-48:

43 And whence is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? 44For, lo, as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in mine ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy. 45And blessed is she that believed: for there shall be a performance of those things which were told her from the Lord.46And Mary said, My soul doth magnify the Lord,47And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.48For he hath regarded the low estate of his handmaiden: for, behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed.
Elizabeth says the mother of her Lord. 17 times in Luke 1 the term Lord is used. Every single time it is used it refers to God. Jesus is man and God. Mary is the mother of Jesus who is God, so she clearly is Mother of God. So that part is a part of who Mary is. She is Holy and the Mother of God. Notice how all generations shall call her blessed. She is blessed, and I am part of that generation that calls her blessed. Baptists yet again, apparently think that believing Scripture is blasphemy. Again, Mr. Stewart is not following but departing from the Lord. Finally ‘pray for us sinners now and at the hour of death amen.’ Catholics believe that neither life nor death will separate us from the love of God. Catholics believe that the Church is one body, not one body on earth and another body in heaven.

Hebrews 12:1-2

Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, 2Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
We are in a race for salvation. This is the Hebrews 12 that we saw earlier which spoke of how we must pursue holiness or we will not see the Lord. And at the beginning of chapter 12 it looks back at Hebrews 11 which is a summary of salvation history of faith. All these people who have now passed away physically, now are there spiritually cheering us on. The term ‘cloud of witnesses’ takes us back to God’s spiritual presence in the cloud, which went along with Israel during Moses time. So it is a real presence of God. And those in heaven are cheering us on. And those of us down here who are trying to follow Jesus, and fix our eyes on Jesus appeal for those in the cloud to pray for us, that is the way that they can cheer us on. Those in heaven can lift up our prayers (Rev. 5:8), and those in heaven can call for justice on earth (Rev. 6 :9) no doubt also are cheering us on in our race. So we know that Mary is holy, is Mother of God, and as a part of the Church whose relation to us does not die when they die, they pray for us. So when we look at the whole prayer in total, it is filled with Scripture and has an ending with a Scriptural hope. So this prayer is not vain.


Like it or not, the Word of God condemns formalized religion. It is abundantly clear that the nuns who are chanting the Rosary are praying with VAIN REPETITIONS. This is just one example of a manmade tradition, not taught anywhere in the Bible. The Rosary was invented in 1090 A.D. If you trust in man, you WILL be greatly disappointed at The Great White Throne of Judgment one day. If you trust upon Jesus Christ as your personal Saviour, Jesus will not fail you (Romans 10:11). I plead with you as a loving friend, forsake the Great Whore of Catholicism, and turn to Jesus Christ alone! Follow the Word of God; not the religion of men, who make a living off of victims like you.

The Word of God has been shown to contradict Mr. Stewart all throughout this study. The God of the Old Testament set up priests, to offer sacrifices that all of the Old Covenant, were to participate in. They were given the commission to forgive sins in the Old Testament. Moses was God’s spokesman. God did not repudiate but commended Moses. In the New Testament, Jesus set up a church it was organized, and a visible body. He says whoever refuses to listen to the church let him be a heathen and tax collector Mt. 18:17. Mr. Stewart sounds like the classification of heathen and tax collector. It is a visible church that Christ set up, not a disorganized bunch of people who are told to read Scripture on their own, and come up with their own interpretation (as long as you interpret it the fundamental Baptist way). The church is a visible body, not some amorphous collection of fundamental Baptist believers. Jesus also did say to Peter thou art Peter and upon this rock I will build my Church and the gates of hell shall not prevail. Regardless of how you interpret why Jesus changed his name, he declared that the gates of hell shall not prevail against the Church. But somehow he says ‘the Word of God’ condemns formalized religion. In Acts 15, there was a dispute among Paul and the Judaizers. How did they solve that problem? They took it to Peter, who settled the issue and declared that no one is required to be circumcised (Acts 15:7), but also in Council with other apostles, and James, and the rest of the apostles sent out a disciplinary letter, where followers of Christ were bound to follow (Acts 15:20, 27-30). That is organized religion. They didn’t say, ‘hey you read Scripture on your own, and if you interpret it the fundamental Baptist way, you got it right’. The visible church is the one who preserved the Bible that Mr. Stewart misuses. As Luther declares, (though I understand the fundamental Baptist doesn’t like him because he believed in baptismal regeneration and is closer to belief in the Eucharist than Mr. Stewart), we would not have the Bible were it not for the Catholic Church.

Mr. Stewart says turn to Jesus Christ alone. That sounds nice but he doesn’t want you to turn you to Jesus Christ alone. Turn to Jesus ‘as interpreted by him.’ Not only does he bash Catholics, but just about everybody who is not a fundamental Baptist, and you better not listen to Christian music!!! On his web site he condemns people who disagree with him, they are the ones who are unbiblical. He has a running feud with fellow anti-Catholics, they strongly disagree on the issue on whether one can lose salvation. Another example is James White. He is a well known anti-Catholic, is castigated because he teaches ‘Lordship’ Salvation, and doesn’t believe the King James version is the only Bible. And he quotes Romans 4:6 against White. I agree James White is a heretic and even because he misinterprets Romans 4:6, but certainly not because Stewart’s interpretation is better than White’s. They both hold to the imputed righteousness of Christ, but apparently Stewart, as his own pope is issuing proclamations that White doesn’t understand imputed righteousness the ‘right’ way. Stewart and his opponents say they only go by the Bible, Stewart see the others as heretics, because they don’t understand salvation the way he sees it. His opponents, also supposedly going by the Bible only, read justification/salvation in a totally different way. In other words, if you don’t interpret Scripture the way that they say so, you really aren’t going by the Bible. They will say ‘you are only a true follower of Christ if you believe as I do.’ As his own pope Mr. Stewart declares heathen Dr. Dobson, John MaCarthur, James White, ‘holiness’ teachers, Christian rock singers, who apparently are all just as good as heathen, even though they follow Christ. You don’t listen to Third Day, Toby Mac, because rock music is of the devil, and they don’t preach the Fundamental Baptist gospel of David Stewart. So don’t believe Stewart for a second when he says ‘turn only to Jesus Christ.’

I’ll go in the order of what he wrote in his attack on Catholicism. We have seen Mr. Stewart say the following: ‘Confession is a demonic practice.’ However, Jesus gave a commission to the apostles to forgive sins. John 20:22-23, is a clear commission for the Apostles to forgive sins. As Jesus said he would not leave us orphans, and he would be with his Church to the end of the ages, successors would also have that power. Mt. 9:8 declares that God had given that power to men. Mr. Stewart says following Jesus’ words is a demonic practice. Jesus said you must be born of water and spirit (Jn 3:5), and in order to get saved one must believe and be baptized (Mk. 16:16). The apostle Peter says ‘Baptism saves you’. Mr. Stewart says ‘Baptism just makes you wet.’ Who am I to believe, Mr. Stewart or Jesus, Peter, and Paul?

Jesus says ‘This is My Body’ (Mt. 26:26), and his blood forgives sins (Mt. 26:28). He said my flesh is meat indeed and my blood is drink indeed (Jn 6:55). The context, as we examined, shows that there is no possible way for the metaphorical interpretation of John 6 to be valid. Paul writes if one eats the bread and drinks the cup unworthily, one sins against the Body and Blood of our Lord, 1 Cor. 11:24-27. Mr. Stewart downplays Jesus & Paul’s words and makes it a symbol. In John 6 Jesus used language, as we have seen, that can only be interpreted in a literal fashion, Jesus gives us his true flesh and blood in the Eucharist. He says people like the very disciple of John, Ignatius, were deceived when he said that the Eucharist is the true Body and Blood of our Lord. Apparently he went to death over a lie, Mr. Stewart knows better 2000 years after. We have shown that Mr. Stewart’s view of Scripture on salvation ignores King James Scripture after King James Scripture which shows that we are responsible for pursuing holiness in order to attain salvation (Heb. 12:5-17), or else we can become like Esau. Jesus warned of the possibility of falling away (Mt. 13:20-21, Mt. 18:8-9, Mk 4:16-18), but Mr. Stewart says, hey don’t worry, your holiness has nothing to do with it. Just really believe in him, and your salvation is assured. He will say he won’t condone sin, but that theory he holds to, downplays any eternal consequences for sins, Scripture shows otherwise.

I then looked at confession, which is the main thing he attacked. In order to combat confession as a sacrament, he had to change Jesus words to what he said elsewhere. That is not respecting Jesus. He then dares to say Jesus is the mediator when he ignores the plain words of that mediator. The Holy Spirit was breathed, and Jesus himself said to the apostles if you remit sins, they are remitted, if you retain the sins of any they are retained (Jn 20:22-23). Nothing that Mr. Stewart says can cancel out Jesus’ words. He then argues Jesus is contradicting himself so he can not mean what he says. That is what is blasphemous. He did not say if you preach the gospel and then say a salvation prayer, then you get your sins forgiven. He made his commission on preaching the gospel in other places in Scripture, but not here. Here he gave them a commission to forgive sins. And we saw spelled out by Jesus himself elsewhere as well (Mt. 9:8, Mt. 18:15-18, Mt. 16:19). We saw it in the Acts of the Apostles (19:18-19), written by Paul himself (2 Cor. 5:17-20, 2 Cor. 2:5-10), and given by James as well (Jm 5:14-16). But Mr. Stewart takes the view of the opponents of Jesus who called following what Jesus said ‘Blasphemy’. And Mr. Stewart says trust in Jesus Christ? Then finally he calls the Hail Mary vain repetition when as examined, the prayer is a Scriptural meditation, reflecting on the life of Jesus himself.

Mr. Stewart is a preacher of a false gospel. If you follow him you are being deceived. His fundamental Baptist church is a descendant of the Anabaptist sect which arose in the 16th century. Some Baptists will say that there were people who believed like them, but if you look at writings of the Fathers, you will not see any that accepted Baptist theology, or the only stuff that was believed as the fundamental Baptists were the things that they have in common with Catholics (like the divinity of Christ, belief in the Trinity, belief in the Resurrection.) His outlook on the issues discussed here was not seen in any of the Fathers. The once saved always saved heresy that he promotes was an invention in the 16th century, and even Alistair McGrath, a ‘reformed’ Protestant acknowledges that. If you trust in Jesus, you believe that the gates of hell did not prevail against the Church. The Jesus that Mr. Stewart promotes believes in, couldn’t keep to his promises. Paul writes that what is the pillar and ground of truth? You reading the Bible under Mr. Stewart’s 21st century interpretation? No. Paul writes the following, using Mr. Stewart’s King James Bible:

1 Tim 3:15

But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.
The best way of knowing Jesus is being in communion with the Church he established. Trust in a Jesus who is worthy to be trusted. The words that he spoke really have meaning. The heresies that Mr. Stewart promotes in many places ignore or change Jesus and the apostles’ words.

To all visitors Grace of Christ to you!

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2015 Defense of the Sacrament of Confession...... Matt1618... This text may be downloaded or printed out for private reading, but it may not be uploaded to another Internet site or published, electronically or otherwise, without express written permission from the author.

Work completed on Sunday, December 13, 2015