In previous articles, we explained that and why the Jewish establishment and the numerous Jewish sects and fractions were at odds with Jesus, when He was here on earth, and that the Jews are still waiting for the coming of the Messiah, as they reject Jesus as the Messiah.
In this article, we will point out that nominal or professing Christians are likewise guilty of rejecting the true Jesus of the Bible, albeit for different reasons than the Jews, even though they may not realize this.
This article is a fitting conclusion of our series, as true Christians are spiritual Jews and Israelites (Romans 2:28-29; Romans 9:6-8; Galatians 6:16; John 4:22-24), while nominal Christians are not spiritual Jews in the eyes of God, but rather belong to those “Jews” who are rejecting Jesus (Revelation 2:9; 3:9).
There are many concepts nominal Christianity believes in, which we could quote, all being in contradiction to the clear teachings of the Bible. It has been said that virtually everything which the Bible teaches has been rejected or distorted by traditional Christianity. In this article, we will be concentrating on some major discrepancies showing that traditional or orthodox professing Christians do in fact reject Jesus Christ as their personal Savior.
To begin with, nominal Christians reject the true Jesus Christ as they believe in another Jesus (2 Corinthians 11:4) and in a different message than the one which Jesus taught (Galatians 1:6-8). They believe in the idea that man has an immortal soul [see below] and that therefore, Christians will go to heaven when they die, and that the wicked will go to hell to be tormented forever. All these teachings are wrong and reject the Bible, the written Word of God, and therefore Jesus Christ—the “Logos” or the “Spokesman” or “Speaker,” the spoken WORD of God the Father.
The concepts of “heaven” and “hell” in orthodox Christianity are quite astonishing and troublesome:
“…in most forms of Christianity, [heaven] is the abode of the righteous dead in the afterlife… According to Catholic… teaching, Mary is said to have been assumed into heaven without the corruption of her earthly body; she is venerated as Queen of Heaven.”
The Bible does not teach us that we go to heaven when we die. Christ taught that no one will go to heaven (John 3:13: “No one ascends to heaven, but He who came down from heaven; that is, the Son of Man…”, Luther Bible 1891). The Bible actually teaches that when we die, we sleep a dreamless sleep, without consciousness, and that we have to be raised from the dead. However, according to the Bible, no one, with the exception of Jesus Christ, was raised from the dead to eternal life. Jesus is the FIRSTBORN of many brethren. Those who died in Christ, including Mary, will be resurrected to eternal life at the time of Christ’s return… not before then (1 Corinthians 15:50; 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17). Mary is still dead and in her grave, as everybody else who has died. But the ancient Assyrians and Babylonians believed in and worshipped a goddess in heaven, called Astarte or Ishtar, whom they called the Queen of Heaven (Jeremiah 7:18).
Going to heaven when we die is a doctrine that is NOT contained in Scripture. Neither is the concept of hell.
The Conversation writes:
“In traditional Christian doctrine, hell was conceived as a place, generally beneath the earth, where the wicked would be punished for eternity. There would be both psychological torment – at our knowing we had lost the opportunity for salvation – and physical ones inflicted by the Devil and his demons. There were gnawing worms and unquenchable fires. No escape from hell or mitigation of eternal torment was possible…
“Amidst the gloom, there was one bright spot in the traditional Christian doctrine of hell. Our punishment there would be proportionate to our sins just as our rewards in heaven would be proportionate to our virtues. This sense of proportionality led around the year 1000 CE to the invention of another place between heaven and hell – a place of purification of our sins…
“Purgatory was the place where those who were judged worthy of heaven eventually were purged, purified and punished for their sins before going on to their heavenly reward… The inhabitants were purified by fire…
“The Protestant reformers of the 16th century hated the idea of Purgatory and threw it out… Protestant Christianity therefore returned to the harsh either/or of heaven or hell, determined by God at the time of death (or birth)… Today’s conservative Christians… remain unmoved by the possibility of eventual salvation from hell for everyone. The doctrine of eternal torments in hell has stayed on their theological agenda.”
The concept of hell and purgatory is not biblical. Those who died without having had an opportunity to accept Jesus Christ as their personal Savior in this life will be given the opportunity when they are raised from the dead to a physical temporary existence in the Second Resurrection to qualify then for eternal life (Revelation 20:6, 11-12). If they committed the unpardonable sin, they will be resurrected in a third resurrection to physical life to be burned up in the lake of fire (Revelation 20:13-15). They will cease to exist (Obadiah 16; Malachi 4:1, 3).
Nominal Christians also reject Christ by believing that He will not return to set up the Kingdom of God, but that the Kingdom is either the Church or that it is within us. They do not believe that God is the Kingdom, the Family of God, and that true Christians who are begotten today will be BORN into the Kingdom as God beings. Even though some may give lip services to this Truth (see the Catechism of the Catholic Church, Number 460), they really do not truly believe in it, as reflected by their other teachings (Please read our free booklets, “God is a Family,” and “Are You Already Born Again?”).
Nominal Christians believe in a Jesus who came to do away with the Law of God, even though Christ said the exact opposite (Matthew 5:17-19). They teach against and transgress God’s commandments in order to keep their own traditions. Christ said that in doing so, they worship Him in vain; that is, they reject Him (Matthew 15:7-9; Mark 7:6-9, 13).
This is especially true for the Sabbath commandment. Jesus is the LORD of the Sabbath (Mark 2:27-28). He created it, as God the Father created everything through Jesus Christ (Ephesians 3:9). Since no one has seen the Father or heard His voice (John 5:37), it was Christ, the God and LORD of the Old Testament, who proclaimed the Ten Commandments from Mount Sinai. He told us to KEEP the Sabbath holy (Exodus 20:8). But orthodox Christianity has abolished the Sabbath and replaced it with Sunday [calling it the “eighth day”]. The Roman Catholic Church began this movement, due to anti-Semitism and the desire of embracing pagans into their fold who already kept Sunday in honor and worship of their gods, and most Protestant churches have followed the lead of the Catholic Church. In rejecting the Sabbath—God’s creation—they are rejecting Jesus Christ, the Creator and Lord of the Sabbath.
In our literature about the Sabbath and the mark of the beast, we have published numerous admissions of the Catholic Church to the effect that they have changed the Sabbath to Sunday, knowing that the Bible does not endorse such a change. Here are a few more admissions by the Catholic Church (we could cite many more quotations, but this should suffice):
“It is well to remind the Presbyterians, Baptists, Methodists, and all other Christians, that the Bible does not support them anywhere in their observance of Sunday. Sunday is an institution of the Roman Catholic Church, and those who observe the day observe a commandment of the Catholic Church” (Priest Brady in an address on March 18, 1903).
“Sunday is founded, not [on] scripture, but on tradition, and is distinctly a Catholic institution. As there is no scripture for the transfer of the day of rest from the last to the first day of the week, Protestants ought to keep their Sabbath on Saturday and thus leave Catholics in full possession of Sunday” (Catholic Record, September 17, 1893).
“The Sunday… is purely a creation of the Catholic Church” (American Catholic Quarterly Review, January 1883).
“Sunday…is the law of the Catholic Church alone…” (American Sentinel, June 1893).
“Protestants… accept Sunday rather than Saturday as the day for public worship after the Catholic Church made the change… But the Protestant mind does not seem to realize that … in observing Sunday, they are accepting the authority of the spokesman for the Church, the pope” (Our Sunday Visitor, February 5th, 1950).
“They deem it their duty to keep the Sunday holy. Why? Because the Catholic Church tells them to do so. They have no other reason… The observance of Sunday thus comes to be an ecclesiastical law entirely distinct from the divine law of Sabbath observance…The author of the Sunday law… is the Catholic Church” (Ecclesiastical Review, February 1914).
“[Sunday] is a day dedicated by the Apostles to the honour of the most holy Trinity, and in memory that Christ our Lord arose from the dead upon Sunday, sent down the holy Ghost on a Sunday… and therefore is called the Lord’s Day. It is also called Sunday from the old Roman denomination of Dies Solis, the day of the sun, to which it was sacred” (The Douay Catechism of 1649, by Henry Tuberville).
There is no “holy Trinity,” as will be explained below. In addition, Sunday is nowhere called the Lord’s Day in the Bible. Jesus is the Lord of the Sabbath, not of Sunday. When the term “the day of the Lord” is used, it refers to a prophetic time span for the last days of approximately one year—not a particular day (compare Zephaniah 1:7, 14.) In Revelation 1:10, the phrase “the Lord’s day” is used in English translations. This is the only passage where this wording is used. Some try to make a distinction between the “day of the Lord” (a prophetic time span) and the “Lord’s Day” which allegedly refers to Sunday. As we have seen, IF the phrase “the Lord’s Day” was to refer to a particular day, then it would refer to the Sabbath. However, the distinction is arbitrary and a “clever” invention of the translator to teach the “holiness” of Sunday. Some translations even say quite deceitfully: “I was on Sunday in the spirit…” But the phrase in Revelation 1:10 could be easily and correctly translated with “the day of the Lord.” All German bibles render this phrase as “the day of the Lord.”
Also, Christ did not rise on a Sunday [see below], so the argument of having to keep Sunday holy to honor Christ’s resurrection or that suddenly Sunday became the Lord’s day evaporates as well.
The same is true for the replacement of God’s Holy Days or annual Sabbaths (cp. for instance Leviticus 23:24, 27, 32, 39) which Jesus, the God of the Old Testament, instituted for His Church, with pagan holidays which were instituted under Satan’s inspiration, such as Christmas, Easter, Halloween, and New Year’s Day. In doing so, they reject Jesus and the sign for His people (which sign is associated with both the weekly and the annual Sabbaths). This sign shows that those keeping God’s weekly and annual Sabbaths are God’s and that the true God is their God (Exodus 31:13-17; Ezekiel 20:12, 20).
Orthodox Christianity rejects Jesus in that they deny the only sign that He gave to the Pharisees that He was the Messiah—that He would be three days and three nights in the grave (Matthew 12:40); that He was crucified on a Wednesday and placed in the grave just before sunset, when the annual Holy Day or Sabbath of the first Day of Unleavened Bread began—a “high day” (John 19:31); and that He was resurrected on Saturday (the Sabbath) and left the grave just before sunset, exactly three days and three nights later, as He had said that He would. It was right “in the end” (Authorized Version) or “at the close” (Moffat) of the [two] Sabbaths (as it should be rendered—so the Fenton Bible; the word here for “Sabbath” is in the plural, referring to the annual Sabbath on Thursday and the weekly Sabbath on Saturday), when the women appeared at the grave (Matthew 28:1), and Jesus had already risen (verses 5-6). Instead, traditional Christianity believes that He was crucified on “Good Friday” (called “black Friday” in pagan religions) and that He was resurrected on Sunday morning—the day of the pagan sun god Baal, also known as Nimrod, Mithra or Attis. This Sunday is called Easter Sunday, which was dedicated to the pagan goddess Ishtar, known today as Easter. As mentioned, Ishtar was also worshipped by pagans as the Queen of Heaven (see above).
For more information, please read our free booklet, “Jesus Christ—a Great Mystery.”
Traditional Christianity rejects Jesus Christ, the Son of God, by believing in the Trinity and that Jesus was somewhat of a human extension on earth while He—as the Son—was still in heaven.
First, let us notice how the concept of the “Trinity” is being described:
“The central teachings of traditional Christianity are that Jesus is the Son of God, the second person of the Trinity of God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.”
“Trinity refers to the teaching that the one God comprises three distinct, eternally co-existing persons: the Father, the Son (incarnate in Jesus Christ), and the Holy Spirit… They are distinct from another: the Father has no source, the Son is begotten of the Father, and the Spirit proceeds from the Father. Though distinct, the three persons cannot be divided from one another in being or in operation… The Trinity is an essential doctrine of mainstream Christianity…”
The Catechism of the Catholic Church describes it in this way:
“The faith of all Christians rests on the Trinity… The mystery of the Most Holy Trinity is the central mystery of Christian faith and life…”
The question is then, what happened to the Son (the second “Person” of the Trinity) when Christ became a human being and when He died.
“God is a trinity of persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit… If any one of the three were removed, there would be no God… Jesus has two natures: divine and human… When Jesus died on the cross, his human nature died. The divine nature did not die. Therefore, we see that the Trinity never ceased to exist…”
This is nowhere taught in Scripture, and it is in fact utter nonsense. Worse yet, it constitutes a rejection of Christ and represents the spirit of Antichrist.
The Bible teaches that Jesus Christ was the Son of God (2 Corinthians 1:19; 1 John 4:14-15; 5:5; 2 John 1:3,9) who became man—fully flesh—and who died (Romans 5:10). When Jesus died, the Son died. The Son did not continue to be a living “Person” within a Trinity. Secondly, it was God the Father who resurrected Jesus Christ—the SON—from the dead (Galatians 1:1).
By believing in the Trinity, orthodox Christianity rejects Jesus Christ as God who came in the flesh and who died for us (1 John 4:2-3). Christ, the Son of God, needed to die for us to become our Savior. If the Son of God did not die, we don’t have a Savior (1 John 2:22). Orthodox Christianity rejects Christ as the Son, saying that the Son, as part of the Trinity, could not die. The Son stayed alive when His “human shell” or His “human nature” died. Jesus’ “divine nature” did not die. This, quite frankly, is blasphemy.
Traditional Christianity rejects the Sacrifice of Christ for an additional reason in that it claims and believes that even the Man Christ—His human shell—did not really die, but kept on living as an “immortal soul.” They state that Jesus (who, they say, did not really die, not even as a Man) went to hell to preach to the spirits, while His human body was in the grave.
Wikipedia writes about immortality:
“By the 3rd century, with the influence of Origen, the traditions of the inherent immortality of the soul and its divine nature were established. As the new Encyclopedia Britannica points out: ‘The early Christian philosophers adopted the Greek concept of the soul’s immortality…’”
The Catechism of the Catholic Church writes:
“…every spiritual soul is created immediately by God… and it is immortal: it does not perish when it separates from the body at death.”
We show in our free booklet “Do We Have an Immortal Soul,” that the Bible nowhere teaches that concept. In fact, the Bible says that the SOUL which sins will DIE (Ezekiel 18:4, 20).
However, since it is taught that Jesus (as supposedly every human being) had an immortal soul, the concept is that He went to hell after He died, but before He was resurrected.
“The frequent New Testament affirmations that Jesus was ‘raised from the dead’ presuppose that the crucified one sojourned in the realm of the dead prior to his resurrection… that Jesus, like all men, experienced death and in his soul joined the others in the realm of the dead. But he descended there as Savior, proclaiming the Good News to the spirits imprisoned there… In his human soul united to his divine person, the dead Christ went down to the realm of the dead. He opened heaven’s gates for the just who had gone before him.”
The National Catholic Reporter wrote in 2012:
“Every Christian knows the story: Jesus was crucified on Good Friday and rose from the dead on Easter Sunday. But what did he do on Saturday? … Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox and most mainline Protestant churches teach that Jesus descended to the realm of the dead on Holy Saturday to save righteous souls, such as the Hebrew patriarchs, who died before his crucifixion.
“The catechism of the Catholic church calls the descent ‘the last phase of Jesus’ messianic mission,’ during which he ‘opened heaven’s gates for the just who had gone before him.’ An ancient homily included in the Catholic readings for Holy Saturday says a ‘great silence’ stilled the earth while Jesus searched for Adam, ‘our first father, as for a lost sheep.’…
“Churches that teach he descended to the realm of the dead most often cite 1 Peter 3:18-20…”
Of course, this passage does talk about the time of Noah, prior to the Flood, when Jesus preached to the spirits in prison (that is, the spiritually imprisoned demons—not any “departed ones” or dead people still being alive in “hell”).
Many within traditional Christianity also don’t believe—contrary to Matthew 24:27, 30; Mark 13:26; Revelation 1:4-7—that Jesus, at His Second Coming, will come back visibly, but they claim that Jesus will come back at first in secret, or that He already returned on the Day of Pentecost as the Holy Spirit—the third “person” of the Trinity who is somehow “identical,” but still not identical, with the Holy Spirit. This idea is nonsense for the simple reason that the Holy Spirit is not a person, and if it were a person, then it would have been the Person of the Holy Spirit who would have come—and not the person of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. For more information on what the Holy Spirit is, and what it is not, please read our free booklet, “Is God a Trinity?”
We could add many more concepts taught by traditional Christianity, which are contrary to who and what Christ was and is, and what He, the Word, taught; but we believe that the foregoing is sufficient to show that traditional Christianity does in fact reject the TRUE Jesus of the Bible. As long as it does, it does not believe and accept our Savior… and there is no other name under heaven by which we must be saved (Acts 4:12) than the name of the TRUE Jesus of the Bible.
Lead Writer: Norbert Link