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Home arrow Griffin's History arrow Questions and Answers-Part 5
Questions and Answers-Part 5 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Sylvester Hassell   


Q. Are the Old Baptists in accord with the chronology of the Bible?
A. Chronology is the science of time, or the science "which treats of measuring time by regular divisions or periods, and which assigns to events their proper dates." Old Baptists are perfectly agreed to all things, whether events or their dates, mentioned in the Scriptures. The dates in the margin of some copies of the King James or Authorized Version of the Scriptures are seldom given in the Scripture text, but were computed and published by Archbishop Ussher, of Ireland, in 1650 to 1654 A.D., and were inserted in the inner margin of the King James Version by order of the British Parliament. These dates are mostly inferences from the Hebrew text, and are generally accepted by our people as about as accurate as they can be made, except that Christ was undoubtedly born four years before the beginning of the "Christian Era," because He was born during the life of "Herod the Great," and Herod died four years before the "Christian Era." This correction makes four thousand years from Adam to Christ; and Christ's baptism A.D. 26 or 27; and His crucifixion A.D. 30; and the death of Stephen, the first martyr of the Christian Church A.D. 33 (the seven years from A.D. 26 to A.D. 33 being the last prophetic week of years foretold by the Angel Gabriel to Daniel in Dan. 9:27, Christ's death being in the midst of that week, and His confirmation of His covenant with His Jewish people being during His earthly ministry of three and a half years, and the special ministry of His Spirit with His Jewish people for the next three and a half years to the martyrdom of Stephen, at which persecution His disciples were scattered among the Samaritans and Gentiles, as recorded in the Acts of the Apostles). Daniel 9:24-27 is, with the fifty-third chapter of Isaiah, the most unanswerable demonstration, in all literature, of the truth of Christianity and the falsehood of Judaism. No matter what all modern infidel Jews and Gentiles say, these and other similar undoubtedly authentic Scriptures, and the writings of other ancient Jews and Heathens, and the corresponding facts of history prove to all intelligent, informed, and honest minds, both Jewish and Gentile, that Jesus of Nazareth was the Messiah of the Old Testament, the Christ of God.


Catholicism (Roman)

Q. Did Roman Catholicism have its origin in the Apostolic Church at Rome, and, if so, what was the cause?
A. No human being on earth knows who founded the original church at Rome; but it is probable that it was founded by the "strangers at Rome, Jews and proselytes" ("sojourners from Rome, both Jews and proselytes,") who heard and believed the sermon of Peter at Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:10), and were baptized and thus added by the Lord to the church at Jerusalem (Acts 2:41-47). The Apostle Paul visited and preached and wrote his longest letter to the original church at Rome (Acts 28:30,31; Epistle to the Romans). Ecclesiastical literature in the second century shows that this became corrupted in doctrine and practice during that century, as all the seven churches of Asia (mentioned in the first three chapters of Revelation) became, in a century or two, corrupt or extinct. Cyprian, "Bishop" of Carthage in Africa (A.D. 248-258), was the father of diocesan episcopacy, and of Roman Catholicism, pretending, in his Epistle 45, that the Bishops (who, in the New Testament, are always the same as pastors or elders) were the successors of the Apostles, and that the chair of Peter is the center of episcopal unity, and that the church at Rome is the root and mother of the Catholic "Church." But the first pope, in the real sense of the word, was Leo I (A.D. 440-461), who was a man of great ability and ambition, and who, as Rome was then the capital of the political world, sought to make the Roman "Church" the mistress of the ecclesiastical world, with himself at its head. Christ gave to the other Apostles, and even to the church, the same disciplinary authority that He gave to Peter (Matt. 16:19; 19:28; 18:15-18). He called Peter "Satan," because of Peter's attempt to rebuke Him (Matt. 16:21-23). Though Peter was warned by Christ, he cursed and swore that he did not know Christ (Matt. 26:34, 69-75). He dissembled, at Antioch, in regard to the ceremonial law, and Paul reproved him publicly before the church (Gal. 2:11-21). And the Scriptures do not say that Peter ever went to Rome, much less that he was bishop or pastor of the church there, and nowhere make the slightest intimation that he was ever to have a successor or line of successors. The vast forgery of the Pseudo-Isidorian Decretals, made in the ninth century, pretending that the popes from Clement I (A.D. 91) to Damascus I (A.D. 384) ruled over a church in which the clergy were disconnected with the State, and were unconditionally subordinate to the pope, is now admitted by even Roman Catholics to be fraudulent, but was used by the popes and papal writers for six hundred years to establish and increase the power of the popes over the "bishops."

Q. Who was the first pope of Rome, and when and by what authority was he made pope?
A. Leo I, in 440, by his own authority (Church History, page 407). Cyprian, "bishop" of Carthage, A.D. 248-258, was the father of diocesan episcopacy and of Romanism. He represented the "bishop" as successors of the Apostles, the chair of Saint Peter as the center of episcopal unity, and the "Church" of Rome as the root of all (page 301). But the first pretended "bishop" of Rome to realize Cyprian's invention of the supremacy of Peter over the other Apostles, and the succession of the "bishop" of Rome to Peter and consequently that bishop's supremacy over the whole "church" was Leo I in 440 (Church History, page 407). The Roman Catholics, with thousands of other lies, pretend that the Apostle Peter was the first pope, and, with contradicting statements, pretend that other popes have succeeded him ever since; but, in the Seculum Obscurum, the Obscure Age, the dark period of Church History between A.D. 70 and 100, according to all reputable historians, are forever buried all claims to a personal or material succession of the Apostles (pages 18 and 302). There is not a word in the Scriptures to prove that Peter was ever put by Christ over the other Apostles (Matt. 16:19 compared with 16:23 and 18:18 disproves this) or that Peter was ever at Rome, or that the bishops of Rome were his successors.

Q. Is it scriptural to call or treat any created being as " pope?"
A. It is utterly unscriptural and anti-Christian. The word "pope" is the same as "papa," and means father; and Christ forbids any of His disciples to call any man on earth their "father" - that is, their spiritual father, teacher, leader, and master, as God alone, their Heavenly Father, is the Source of their spiritual being, and of all truth, authority, and power (Matt. 23:1-12). The Jewish scribes (Pharisees) copyists and expounders of the Mosaic law, loved to be called "Rabbi" (my great one, my teacher, my leader, my master); it "tickled their ears, and fed their pride." But Christ said to His disciples, "Be not ye called Rabbi; for one is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren," children of the same God, equal in right and privilege, no one superior to another, or qualified to exercise authority over the faith and practice of another. Utterly despising and disregarding this commandment of Christ, our only Head and Master, Greek Catholics have "patriarchs" and Roman Catholics have "popes" and thousands of "fathers" (they call all their priests "fathers"); and to us - saddest of all - even some Primitive Baptists follow leaders (self-constituted popes or masters) who have departed from the plain teachings of Christ in the Scriptures, and who have thus divided and alienated brethren, the children of God, from one another. In Divine condemnation of this course our dear Saviour commands us to love one another as He loved us; and when He was about to die in shame and agony for us, He prayed that all who believe on Him might be one, even as He and the Father are one (John 13:34; 17:20,21).

Q. What are the works of supererogation?
A. In the Roman Catholic theology these are the good works which it is falsely pretended that Christians can do over and above the strict requirement of the divine law, and which furnish a store of merit to atone for past sins, or to obtain an increase of grace, and to relieve the souls of the dead from the fiery torments of purgatory. The Devil never invented a bigger lie; for the Holy Spirit teaches us that we are born in sin and remain sinners until death, and that, if we are saved, it is alone of God's free and unmerited grace, and of atoning death and justifying resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ, and of the regenerating and sanctifying power of the Divine Spirit. The law of God requires us to love the Lord with all our heart, and mind, and soul, and strength, and to love our neighbor as we love ourselves. No human being in the flesh, except our perfect and incarnate Saviour, the Godman, Jesus of Nazareth, ever came up to this requirement, much less going beyond it. If a man could save himself, he would not have needed Christ to die for him, nor the Holy Spirit to renew him, and the whole system of Christianity would be a falsehood.

Q. When was the name "Catholic" first applied to a church?
A. This word literally means universal; in the Scriptures it is never applied to a church, but only to the Epistles of James, Peter, John, and Jude, which were not addressed to a single church or individual. There is no universal visible church; and, if there were, it could not be called Roman Catholic or Greek Catholic or Anglo Catholic, for these are contradictory terms; if a church is Roman or Greek or English, it is certainly not catholic or universal. In the early centuries, after the first century or the Apostolic Age, churches thought to be orthodox were called by some writers Catholic in distinction from those thought to be heretical. After the Protestant Reformation in the 16th century, the so-called "Church of Rome" tried to monopolize this title; but the so-called "Greek or Orthodox Church" also claimed it. The term "Anglo-Catholic" was invented in England in connection with the so-called "Tractarian Movement," the issuance and influence of what was called "Tracts for the Times," tending to the old and false doctrine of "Roman Catholicism." As stated before, there is no universal visible church on earth; there are hundreds of thousands (in fact millions) of square miles where the gospel has never been preached by any man; and Mohammedanism, a pretended religion which allows the gratification of man's vilest passions, is spreading far more rapidly than even a profession of Christianity.

Q. Can it be possible that the great arrogant leaders of Catholicism are sincere?
A. Impossible, if they have any real knowledge of God or of themselves or of the Scriptures; and, even if sincere, they are no more justifiable in their wicked persecution of the children of God than were the ancient heathens and Pharisees, and the Mohammedans.

Q. Is there any Scripture proof of the Roman Catholic doctrines of the Immaculate Conception or sinlessness of Mary, the mother of Jesus, and her Perpetual Virginity?
A. Not the slightest; the Immaculate Conception or sinlessness of Mary was proclaimed, against the entire teachings of the Scriptures, by Pope Pius IX at Rome, December 8, 1854; and the Catholic doctrine of her Perpetual Virginity is disproved by Matt. 1:25.

Q. Is there any need of a "pope" and a long list of his assistants to save us?
A. "Pope" means father; and Christ says, "Call no man on earth your father" (Matt. 23:9), that is, your spiritual father; "for one is your Father, which is in heaven;" yet, in direct disobedience to Christ, Roman Catholics call not only their "Pope" but all their "priests," father. By their inventions and traditions they make the commandments of God none effect (Matt. 15:3-9).

Q. Was the Guy Fawkes attempt to blow up the English Houses of Parliament and King James I November 5, 1605, by Roman Catholics, and how near to success did it attain?
A. It was by Roman Catholics, and was intended to destroy the Protestant government of England, and to restore the Roman Catholics to power; and it was discovered by an anonymous letter received October 26, 1605, by William Parker Montague, a member of the House of Lords, written, it is believed, by his brother-in-law, Francis Tresham, one of the conspirators, warning him not to attend that session of Parliament. Investigation was made, and thirty-six barrels of gunpowder, containing 3,200 pounds, were found, with abundance of fire-wood and coal, in the cellar of the Houses of Parliament. The originator of the plot was Robert Catesby, a cousin of Francis Tresham. Robert Catesby, Thomas Percy, John Wright, and Robert Wright, who were among the conspirators, were shot and killed in a house by the sheriff and his men in attempting to arrest them; Guy Fawkes, Thomas Winter, Robert Winter, Everard Digby, Ambrose Robewood, Robert Keyes, Thomas Bates, and a Jesuit priest, Henry Garnet, were tried and executed; Francis Tresham died in the Tower; while the Jesuit priests, Greenway and Gerard, escaped. Jesuit authors and editors excuse and even justify the diabolical "gunpowder plot" to murder hundreds of innocent people, and the Massacre of St. Bartholomew's August 24-25, 1572, in which the Catholics killed tens of thousands of Protestants in France, and the slaughter of the Albigenses and Waldenses, and all the horrors of the Inquisition, which, as soon as they have the power, they will renew all over the world. But we know, from the Scriptures, that the end will be their own and terrible and everlasting destruction (II Thess. 2:1-12; Rev. 17:15-18; 18; 19:1-3,20; 20:10).

Q. Is kissing the pope's hand and foot an act of worship, or typical of abject submission to his unbounded power?
A. It is both; of course if he is God on earth, as the Romanists pretend, the members of his apostatical communion should be entirely submissive to him. The so-called "cardinals" whom he creates are next in rank and power to him, and, at his death, they elect his successor from their own number.

Q. Do Catholics owe their first and highest allegiance to the church?
A. Unquestionably they do. In a contest with other nations where the church is not involved thousands of Catholics are just as loyal to the flag as Baptists and Protestants, but if the test ever comes no student of history doubts what loyal Catholics will do. They will defend the church and destroy the flag. P.

Q. What is the difference between "the Holy Catholic Church" and "the Roman Catholic Church?"
A. The "church of England" (or the "Protestant Episcopal Church" of the United States) considers itself "the Holy Catholic (or Universal) Church;" but the "Roman Catholic Church" is that organization which acknowledges the Pope of Rome as its infallible earthly head, the vicar of Christ, God on earth, the Lord of Heaven, Earth, and Hell, out of whose communion there is no salvation. The Apostle John, in the 17th chapter of Revelation, gives an exact prophetic photograph of this wealthy, filthy, and bloody institution.

Q. Does not the first beast in Rev. 13th, 17th, and 19th chapters, represent the persecuting world power; and the second beast, and the great whore, and false prophet, in these chapters, represent the false persecuting church, generally supported by the world power, but at last attacked and destroyed by the world power (Rev. 17:16)?
A. I think so. The Pope of Rome has mostly lost, but is regaining, his power over the governments of the world; but we know, from Rev. 17:16-18, that he or his power will finally be destroyed by the nations that have supported him.

Q. What is the meaning of "Selah?"
A. This word occurs 74 times in the Bible - 71 times in the Psalms, and 3 times in the 3rd chapter of Habakkuk, which is a Psalm. It is a musical note, and for more than two thousand years its meaning has been and is yet unknown. Hebrew scholars have conjectured that it means "pause;" or "forever;" or "strong" or "strongest," that is, a change from a lower to a higher note; or that it is a direction for a musical interlude, between stanzas or paragraphs, or for an outburst of music at the close of a Psalm. "Selah" is, in Psalm 9:16, preceded by "Higgaion," a musical note, which occurs in the text of Psalm 19:14 and 92:3; in Psalm 19:14 "Higgaion" is rendered "meditation," and, in Psalm 92:3, "a solemn sound."

Q. What was the Shekinah?
A. Shekinah (also written Shechinah) is a Hebrew word used, not in the Bible, but by the Jews of the second century after Christ and since that time, and means dwelling, that is, the majestic dwelling or glorious manifestation of God among or to men, the Divine presence; and sometimes the Jews used the word to denote God himself. The word is taken from those passages of the Old Testament which speak of God dwelling in the bush or in the pillar of cloud and fire in the wilderness or in the tabernacle or the first temple (that of Solomon) or upon Mount Sinai or Mount Zion; and in the New Testament this Divine manifestation is called "the glory of God." This glory is perfectly and eternally manifested in heaven.

Q. What are the meanings of Aleph, Beth, Gimel, etc., at the beginnings of every eight verses in the 119th Psalm?
A. They are the 22 letters of the Hebrew alphabet, each one of the eight verses beginning, in the Hebrew, with the latter standing above them. The alphabetical arrangement is thought to have been made to help the memory of the Hebrews in repeating or singing the Psalm, and also to show that the simple or elementary truths of the Psalm are for the instruction of all the children of God. The letters of the Hebrew and other ancient alphabets had a meaning, somewhat descriptive of their shape. The following are the meanings of the 22 letters of the Hebrew alphabet: Aleph, ox; Beth, house; Gimel, camel; Daleth, door; He, window; Van, hook; Zain, weapon; Cheth, fence; Teth, snake; Jod, hand; Caph, bended hand; Lamed, ox-goad; Mem, water; Nun, fish; Samech, prop; Ain, eye; Pe, mouth; Tzaddi, fish-hook; Koph, back of the head; Resh, head; Schin, tooth; and Tau, cross.

Q. Does the "all" in John 12:32, and I Cor. 15:22, mean the whole human family?
A. In one sense it may, because Christ will raise all human beings from physical death and will assemble them before His judgment seat (John 5:28, 29; Matt. 25:31-46) ; but in a special and saving sense the "all" here means the elect, redeemed, and regenerated people of God.

Q. Who is the strong man armed in Luke 10:21,22?
A. The strong man is the Devil; his palace is the soul of the unregenerate man; his goods are all the faculties of that man, of which the Devil has undisturbed possession; the Stronger that comes upon him is Christ, who overcomes him in his palace, and deprives him of all his armor, his deceitful wiles, and divides the spoils, takes from Satan's service the regenerated man's endowments, and devotes them to the service of God. Christ having dispossessed Satan, conquers our hearts and occupies them forever.

Q. What is meant by the binding and loosing of Satan (Rev. 20:3)?
A. He is not bound now or excluded from the earth, but he goes to and from in the earth, seeking whom he may devour (Job 2:2; I Pet. 5:8) and deceives the whole world, tempting them and leading them into sin (Rev. 12:9); but in the future he will be excluded from the earth a thousand years by God's almighty Power, and then truth and righteousness, peace and happiness will prevail, the nations not then being deceived by him. When the thousand years are expired, Satan, according to God's purpose, will be loosed or allowed to roam over the earth again a little season, and he will again deceive the nations, and lead them, in the last great apostasy, to attempt to destroy the people of God, and God will then manifest His righteous wrath and infinite power in casting him and his angels and all his wicked followers into the lake of fire and brimstone, which is the second death (Rev. 20:21).

Q. How did Christ destroy the Devil (Heb. 2:14)?
A. By destroying his power over the chosen and redeemed people of God, and condemning him, like all his emissaries, to everlasting punishment (Heb. 2:15; Matt. 25:41; 10:28).

Q. Revelation chapter 12:7,8,9 - does this mean that the Devil or Satan, was up in God's heaven and was cast down from there?
A. Not in the third heaven, the habitation of God. There is no discord or fighting there, but peace, love and joy. The church here on this earth is sometimes called heaven. Paul, speaking of the Ephesians, says, "hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus." Chapter 2, v. 6. I think the war between Michael and his angels and the dragon and his angels was in this world, and that the Devil was cast out of heaven, or heavenly places, into the earth.

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 11 October 2006 )
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