Monday, May 28, 2018


Catholics believe that their church is the “one true church” and that it always has been.  Protestants challenge that concept for many good reasons (which we will not go into here).  Catholics may respond, “But if we weren’t always the one true church, then who was the true church since the time of the apostles?  What group was there that could always claim to be following the truth?  Where were these true Christians (who were not Catholic) before the Reformation in the sixteenth century?” 

Someone answered that question this way: “Where was your face before you washed it?”  In other words, your face was there all the time, but it’s just that it got to the point of being unrecognizably dirty.  Or, it is like a ship that was once smooth, sleek, and fast-moving, but where is that ship now?  It is still there - it always remained - but is now weighed down and hopelessly encrusted with barnacles; it is now hidden, and unable to do what it was meant to do. 
In the same way, true believers in the early church have always been there, but through no fault of their own, their pure gospel message became gradually distorted until unrecognizable when the false teachings of Catholicism encrusted around it.  The Catholic Church, who was dominating the “church scene” before the Reformation, had, for the most part, lost the ability to recognize the simple truth of the gospel.

Ok, so who exactly were the true believers in the early church?  Catholics claim that there is no record of any group in the early church that had the fullness of truth (other than the Catholic Church, of course).  But Catholics are forgetting the “remnant principle.”  What is the remnant principle?  The following is an example of it:

The time was the ninth century B.C., during the reign of King Ahab in Israel.  The idolatry and other sins of the Jewish people abounded.  The prophet Elijah was disgusted with the Jews and their Baal worship, and he complained to God that he was the only person left who was serving God.  He truly felt all alone.  But the Lord God surprised Elijah when He told him:

“Yet I have left me seven thousand in Israel, all the knees which have not bowed unto Baal, and every mouth which hath not kissed him. (1 Kings 19:18)

This is a biblical principle.  Throughout history God has always reserved for Himself a remnant, a group that is dedicated to serving God in the midst of an ungodly majority.  For example, Noah and his family were the remnant in the days of the great flood (Genesis 6).  And Lot and his family were the remnant during the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah (Genesis 19).  These remnant groups not only represent the true believers in the Old Testament, but they are also a symbol of the true church in the New Testament (Matthew 24:37-39; Luke 17:26-30).
Someone may object, “But why is there only a remnant saved?  Aren’t most people going to Heaven?”  Unfortunately, that is not the case.  Being part of the biggest church around is not a guarantee that it holds the truth.  It is not always safe being in the majority.  In fact, it can be downright dangerous!  Jesus, Himself, said:

Enter ye in at the strait [narrow] gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.  (Matthew 7:13-14)

A big church does not necessarily produce the truth.  That goes for Protestants and Orthodox, as well.  But Catholicism was never the true expression of the church because of its many false teachings.  Rather, it is something that gradually “morphed” into the monstrosity that it is today (Matthew 13:31-32).  But while this giant grew in influence (both spiritually and politically), the true church was in the background.  God knew those true believers even if the Catholic Church didn’t.

This was similar to Elijah’s situation.  God had a remnant, but they just weren’t well known.  You would think that Elijah would have known about the 7,000 believers.  After all, wasn’t he one of the greatest prophets of God in the Old Testament?  So, if the great prophet, Elijah (who was supernaturally in direct communion with God) was unaware of the existence of the “true church” in his day, it is certainly possible that the Catholic Church was unaware of the existence of true believers back in the early church. 
Of course, some will say that Catholics were the true believers.  No, sorry, but the Catholic Church is disqualified from the title of “true church” because of its false teachings.  Nor does it automatically get to have the title because of its size or influence.  And just because there aren’t any records of similar “big” or “influential” churches back then, that does not make the Catholic Church the true church by default.

We have to remember, the term “true church” means those who are truly saved and serving God, and are biblically faithful.  It is made up of individuals whose hearts are right with God.  It is not just referring to a particular denomination, organization, or group. 

Again, God always has a remnant of true believers, whether we know them or not.  The records we have of the early church are certainly not complete.  But it doesn’t matter if you don’t have a record of every single believing group that ever existed over the centuries.  We have a God who promised that the true church would endure (Matthew 16:18).  A lack of records does not override or negate the biblical concept of the remnant principle.  So, to say that a true remnant didn’t exist because we have no record of it is foolish, arrogant, and unbiblical.


Catholic Premise:

“We have always been the ONLY group to have the fullness of truth.”

Catholic Conclusion:

“Therefore, we HAVE to have been the one true church all along.  If we weren’t, then there was NO church, and the gates of Hell have prevailed (Matthew 16:18), but Jesus would not let that happen.”

But if there was always a remnant of true believers, then this Catholic premise is wrong in the first place.  So, since there was a remnant, Jesus was right – we don’t have to worry that the gates of Hell have prevailed – because the true church has always existed, even if only in the form of a remnant, at times. 
But Catholics will still insist that they must be the one true church, since their church has been refuting heresies for centuries.  That may be, but what good is refuting all those heresies, while still embracing today the Judaizer heresy of adding to Jesus’ work on the cross (Acts 15:1, 5), directly contradicting the nature of the atonement and the very gospel, itself?

For anyone who still thinks that the Catholic Church should be considered the “one true church,” please feel free to read the articles on this blog, which we believe refute this idea and demonstrate the unbiblical nature of many of the Catholic Church’s teachings.


  1. Good points , that is what I have been saying a long time. That somethings hasnt been recorded in history, ti doesnt mean it didnt exist. All historians will have to admit this.

  2. Hello Marcos,

    Good to hear from you, Brother! I hope all is well and that your ministry is doing fine.

    And thanks for your input. Yes, this idea of a remnant is something that you almost never hear from Catholics (and others).

    Thanks again, and God bless.

    1. Russ is a Jesuit catholic priest who wants to manipulate the minds of unsuspecting protestants run!

    2. Yeah, you got me there, Anonymous! You uncovered my secret identity and plan for world domination! The best way for a Catholic / Jesuit to promote Catholicism is to prove the Catholic Church WRONG. Yep, that makes a lot of sense…

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  4. James,

    You said:

    “What is most interesting to me is, they were many heresies which the early Church fought against however this one about Sola Fide does not seem to be on the radar especially when it is the crucial one.”

    Sola Fide was indeed “on the radar” since the time of Paul. He originally dealt with the Judaizer heresy by insisting on Sola Fide, i.e., salvation by faith alone, and not of works (Romans 3:19-20; 28; 4:2-5; 9-10; Galatians 2:16; Ephesians 2:8-9; Titus 3:5; etc.)

    And what makes you think that the remnant was “hibernating” until the 16th century? Remember, the remnant principle is indeed a biblical concept. And the fact that we have the truth today is evidence that the gates of Hell have not prevailed, thanks to the remnant. It certainly was not the Catholic Church that maintained the truth all this time. It was BECAUSE OF the corruption and false teaching from the Catholic Church that the Reformation even happened. The people in Luther’s time had had enough of her false teaching, so it came to a head at that particular time.

    James, you apparently don’t (or won’t) see the heresy and false teachings of the Catholic Church out of a misplaced loyalty. But an honest look at Scripture refutes many teachings of the Catholic Church. And since she maintains such a tight grip on her false teachings, she stands condemned, no matter how long she’s been around, or how many boasts she makes.

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    1. James (Ahem "Perfect Mug"),

      "You are applying it with no evidence that the Protestants were actually the remnant from the period of Christ up to the 16th century. Even protestant historians agree that Sola Fide was never believed or taught until Martin Luther discovered it. The way you are applying the principle is not really showing showing me that in every generation the doctrine of Sola Fide was believed and taught."

      You are quite a liar and a deceiver:

      Hilary of Poitiers--Commentary On Matthew 9:3:

      “It disturbed the scribes that sin was forgiven by a man (for they considered that Jesus Christ was only a man) and that sin was forgiven by Him whereas the Law was not able to absolve it, since faith alone justifies.”

      Augustine--Exposition 2 of Psalm 31, 2-4:

      “When someone believes in him who justifies the impious, that faith is reckoned as justice to the believer, as David too declares that person blessed whom God has accepted and endowed with righteousness, independently of any righteous actions. What righteousness is this? The righteousness of faith, preceded by no good works, but with good works as its consequence.”
      Polycarp--The Epistle Of Philippians:

      "I know that through grace you are saved, not of works, but by the will of God, through Jesus Christ.”

      Jerome, Epistle to the Ephesians, 1.2.1:

      "We are saved by grace rather than works, for we can give God nothing in return for what he has bestowed on us."

      Irenaeus, Against Heresies, 5.32.2:

      "Thus, then, they who are of faith shall be blessed with faithful Abraham, and these are the children of Abraham. Now God made promise of the earth to Abraham and his seed; yet neither Abraham nor his seed, that is, those who are justified by faith, do now receive any inheritance in it; but they shall receive it at the resurrection of the just. For God is true and faithful; and on this account He said, "Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth."

      Theodoret of Cyrus, Interpretation of the Letter to the Romans:

      “The Lord Christ is both God and the mercy seat, both the priest and the lamb, and he performed the work of our salvation by his blood, demanding only faith from us.”

      Ambrosiaster--Commentary On 1 Corinthians 1:4:

      “God has decreed that a person who believes in Christ can be saved without works. By faith alone he receives the forgiveness of sins.”

      Clement of Rome--1 Clement (First Epistle to the Corinthians) Chapter 32:

      "All these, therefore, were highly honoured, and made great, not for their own sake, or for their own works, or for the righteousness which they wrought, but through the operation of His will. And we, too, being called by His will in Christ Jesus, are not justified by ourselves, nor by our own wisdom, or understanding, or godliness, or works which we have wrought in holiness of heart; but by that faith through which, from the beginning, Almighty God has justified all men; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen."

    2. “Let us see, however, whether the brigand gave evidence of effort and upright deeds and a good yield. Far from his being able to claim even this, he made his way into paradise before the apostles with a mere word, on the basis of faith alone, the intention being for you to learn that it was not so much a case of his sound values prevailing as the Lord’s lovingkindness being completely responsible. What, in fact, did the brigand say? What did he do? Did he fast? Did he weep? Did he tear his garments? Did he display repentance in good time? Not at all: on the cross itself after his utterance he won salvation. Note the rapidity: from cross to heaven, from condemnation to salvation. What were those wonderful words, then? What great power did they have that they brought him such marvelous good things? “Remember me in your kingdom.” What sort of word is that? He asked to receive good things, he showed no concern for them in action; but the one who knew his heart paid attention not to the words but to the attitude of mind.” —John Chrysostom, (347 – 407 AD), Sermon 7 on Genesis, in St. John Chrysostom, Eight Sermons on the Book of Genesis, pp. 123-24 (2004), Robert C. Hill translator.

      “They said that he who adhered to faith alone was cursed; but he, Paul, shows that he who adhered to faith alone is blessed.”- St. John Chrysostom (347 – 407 AD) (Homily on Galatians 3)

      “But he calls it their ‘own righteousness,’ either because the Law was no longer of force, or because it was one of trouble and toil. But this he calls God’s righteousness, that from faith, because it comes entirely from the grace from above, and because men are justified in this case, not by labors, but by the gift of God.”- St. John Chrysostom (347 – 407 AD) (Homily 17 on Romans 10:3)

      “Here he shows God’s power, in that He has not only saved, but has even justified, and led them to boasting, and this too without needing works, but looking for faith only.” Homily 7 on Romans- St. John Chrysostom (347 – 407 AD)

      “For you believe the faith; why then do you add other things, as if faith were not sufficient to justify? You make yourselves captive, and you subject yourself to the law.”- St. John Chrysostom (347 – 407 AD)(Epistle to Titus, Homily 3, PG 62.651)

      "But what is the ‘law of faith?’ It is, being saved by grace. Here he shows God’s power, in that He has not only saved, but has even justified, and led them to boasting, and this too without needing works, but looking for faith only.” St. John Chrysostom, (347 – 407 AD)Homilies on Romans 3

      “We need none of those legal observances, he says; faith suffices to obtain for us the Spirit, and by Him righteousness, and many and great benefits.”- Chrysostom (347 – 407 AD), Homilies on Galatians 4


    3. “And he well said, “a righteousness of mine own,” not that which I gained by labor and toil, but that which I found from grace. If then he who was so excellent is saved by grace, much more are you. For since it was likely they would say that the righteousness which comes from toil is the greater, he shows that it is dung in comparison with the other. For otherwise I, who was so excellent in it, would not have cast it away, and run to the other. But what is that other? That which is from the faith of God, i.e. it too is given by God. This is the righteousness of God; this is altogether a gift. And the gifts of God far exceed those worthless good deeds, which are due to our own diligence.” Chrysostom, (347 – 407 AD) Homily on Philippians 3

      “God does not wait for time to elapse after repentance. You state your sin, you are justified. You repented, you have been shown mercy.”- St. John Chrysostom, (347 – 407 AD)Homily 7 On Repentance and Compunction, p. 95 in FOTC, vol. 96.

      “Suppose someone should be caught in the act of adultery and the foulest crimes and then be thrown into prison. Suppose, next, that judgment was going to be passed against him and that he would be condemned. Suppose that just at that moment a letter should come from the Emperor setting free from any accounting or examination all those detained in prison. If the prisoner should refuse to take advantage of the pardon, remain obstinate and choose to be brought to trial, to give an account, and to undergo punishment, he will not be able thereafter to avail himself of the Emperor’s favor. For when he made himself accountable to the court, examination, and sentence, he chose of his own accord to deprive himself of the imperial gift.

      This is what happened in the case of the Jews. Look how it is. All human nature was taken in the foulest evils. “All have sinned,” says Paul. They were locked, as it were, in a prison by the curse of their transgression of the Law. The sentence of the judge was going to be passed against them. A letter from the King came down from heaven. Rather, the King himself came. Without examination, without exacting an account, he set all men free from the chains of their sins.

      All, then, who run to Christ are saved by his grace and profit from his gift. But those who wish to find justification from the Law will also fall from grace. They will not be able to enjoy the King’s loving-kindness because they are striving to gain salvation by their own efforts; they will draw down on themselves the curse of the Law because by the works of the Law no flesh will find justification.

      What does this mean? That he has justified our race not by right actions, not by toils, not by barter and exchange, but by grace alone. Paul, too, made this clear when he said: “But now the justice of God has been made manifest apart from the Law.” But the justice of God comes through faith in Jesus Christ and not through any labor and suffering.” Chrysostom on Justification, (347 – 407 AD) Discourses Against Judaizing Christians. Discourse 1:6-II:l:

    4. James (Ahem "Perfect Mug"),

      "Its still debatable whether St Paul actually taught Sola Fide so we cannot say it was on the radar. What was on the radar was heresy of Judaizers."

      Okay, let us break this down a bit:

      1.) Justification Is By Faith, Apart From The Merit Of Any And All Good Works:

      "now that a person is not justified by the works of the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ. So we, too, have put our faith in Christ Jesus that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law, because by the works of the law no one will be justified." (Galatians 2:16)

      2) Those Who Add Their Works To Faith In Christ For Salvation Are In Reality Frustrating And Nullifying The Grace Of God:

      "I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!" (Galatians 2:21)

      3.) Scripture Equates Doing Good Deeds With The Intention Of Meriting Justification With Living According To The Flesh:

      "I would like to learn just one thing from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by believing what you heard? Are you so foolish? After beginning by means of the Spirit, are you now trying to finish by means of the flesh? Have you experienced so much in vain—if it really was in vain?" (Galatians 3:2-4)

      4.) Those Who Strive To Be Justified By The Law Must Do So Perfectly:

      "For all who rely on the works of the law are under a curse, as it is written: “Cursed is everyone who does not continue to do everything written in the Book of the Law.” Clearly no one who relies on the law is justified before God, because “the righteous will live by faith.” (Galatians 3:10-11)

      5.) Scripture Affirms That Everybody Has Broken God's Commandments. Thus, Seeking Justification Through Keeping The Law Has Been Rendered Impossible:

      "But Scripture has locked up everything under the control of sin, so that what was promised, being given through faith in Jesus Christ, might be given to those who believe." (Galatians 3:22)

      6.) In Fact, Those Who Seek Justification By Works Have Severed Themselves From God's Grace:

      "You who are trying to be justified by the law have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from grace. For through the Spirit we eagerly await by faith the righteousness for which we hope." (Galatians 5:4-5)

      7.) A Works-Based Gospel Is A Complete Departure From The Sufficiency Of Christ, And So Is A False Gospel Which Has No Power To Save:

      "I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you to live in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel—which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let them be under God’s curse! As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let them be under God’s curse!" (Galatians 1:6-9)

      The sad truth is, the Church of Rome is an apostate church.

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  7. Church Historian J.N.D Kelly on "tradition" in the early Christian church--"Early Christian Doctrines", pages 36 through 46:

    [Tertullian] insisted that Christians must not pick and choose doctrines according to their whims; their sole authorities were the apostles, who had themselves faithfully transmitted Christ’s teaching. Both [Tertullian and Irenaeus] on occasion described this original message as tradition, using the word to denote the teaching delivered by the apostles, without any implied contrast between tradition and Scripture. p.36

    On the other hand, Irenaeus took it for granted that the apostolic tradition had also been deposited in written documents. As he says, “what the apostles at first proclaimed by word of mouth, they afterwards by God’s will conveyed to us in Scriptures.” pp. 37-38

    Did Irenaeus then subordinate Scripture to unwritten tradition?…. his real defense of orthodoxy was founded on Scripture. Indeed, tradition itself, on his view, was confirmed by Scripture, which was “the foundation and pillar of our faith.” Secondly, Irenaeus admittedly suggested that a firm grasp of “the canon of truth” received at baptism would prevent a man from distorting the sense of Scripture. But this “canon,” so far from being something distinct from Scripture, was simply a condensation of the message contained in it. … The whole point of his teaching was, in fact, that Scripture and the Church’s unwritten tradition are identical in content, both being vehicles of the revelation.
    pp. 38-39

    [Tertullian] was emphatic that no secret tradition existed, and that it was incredible that the apostles did not know, or failed to pass on, the revelation in its entirety. p.40

    Like Irenaeus, Tertullian is convinced that Scripture is consonant in all its parts, and that its meaning should be clear if it is read as a whole. But where controversy with heretics breaks out, the right interpretation can be found only where the true Christian faith and discipline have been maintained, i.e. in the Church. The heretics, he complained, were able to make Scripture say what they liked because they disregarded the regula. p.40

    It was the Bible, declared Clement of Alexandria about A.D. 200, which as interpreted by the Church, was the source of Christian teaching. His greater disciple Origen was a thorough-going Biblicist who appealed again and again to Scripture as the decisive criterion of dogma. The Church drew her catechetical material, he stated, from the prophets, the gospels and the apostles’ writings; her faith, he suggested, was buttressed by Holy Scripture supported by common sense. “The holy and inspired Scriptures,” wrote Athanasius a century later, “are fully sufficient for the proclamation of the truth”; while his contemporary, Cyril of Jerusalem, laid it down that “with regard to the divine and saving mysteries of faith no doctrine, however trivial, may be taught without the backing of the divine Scriptures…. For our saving faith derives its force, not from capricious reasonings, but from what may be proved out of the Bible.” Later in the same century John Chrysostom bade his congregation seek no other teacher that the oracles of God; everything was straightforward and clear in the Bible, and the sum of necessary knowledge could be extracted from it. In the West Augustine declared that “in the plain teaching of Scripture we find all that concerns our belief and moral conduct”; while a little later Vincent of Lerins (d. c. 450) took it as an axiom the Scriptural canon was “sufficient, and more than sufficient, for all purposes.” pp.42-43

    Further, it was everywhere taken for granted that, for any doctrine to win acceptance, it had first to establish its Scriptural basis. p. 46

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  8. James,

    Have you ever commented on this blog before under another name? Yes or no?

  9. James,

    Please answer the question.

  10. Come on, "James," we're waiting for your answer. You always seem to be quite wordy and eager to comment. Why are you quiet now?

  11. To anyone interested, "James" has been deleted because he has been banned from this blog several times before under different names. Please pray for his repentance and for him to experience true salvation.

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