A Fictional Place Created By, And For Catholicism
By Adam Bartlett
In an email conversation with a Catholic I was given the list of scriptures below that according to them support the doctrine of purgatory. They listed the scripture and their interpretation as taken from catholic teaching. I will take each scripture and respond with what I believe to be Biblical truth.
Before I get into the interpretations of the scriptures they use I would like to give you the Catholic's own statements on the subject.
This is what the catechism of the Roman Catholic Church says;
(1030) All who die in God's grace and friendship, but still imperfectly purified, are indeed assured of their eternal salvation, but after death they undergo purification, so as to achieve the holiness necessary to enter the joy of heaven. (Page 291)
1031) The Church gives the name Purgatory to this final purification of the elect, which is entirely different from the punishment of the damned. The CHURCH FORMULATED her doctrine of faith on Purgatory especially at the Council of Florence and Trent. The TRADITION of the Church, by reference to certain texts of Scripture, speaks of a cleansing fire. As for certain lesser faults, we must believe that, before the Final Judgment, there is a purifying fire. He who is truth says that whoever utters blasphemy against the Holy Spirit will be pardoned neither in this age nor in the age to come. From this sentence we understand that certain offenses can be forgiven in this age, but certain others in the age to come. (Page 291)
Definition as by the Catholic Church:
Pur·ga·to·ry, pur'ga·tor'e, n. pl. pur·ga·to·ries. [L. purgatorius.] Roman Catholic Church Tradition; The doctrine of there being a state of purification, where the soul which has fully repented of its sins, but which has not fully expiated them, goes to have removed from itself the last elements of uncleanness. In purgatory, it is said that all who die guilty of venial sin, suffer punishment for sins not atoned for, and have all remaining love of self transformed into love of God. This doctrine states that, "At death one's soul goes to either heaven, if it is completely fit for heaven (as the saints); to purgatory, if it is not quite fit for heaven, but not worthy of condemnation; or to hell, if it is completely unfit for heaven." It is said to be a temporary state, and everyone who enters it will eventually get to heaven. After the last soul leaves purgatory for heaven, it will cease to exist, and there will remain only heaven and hell.
That, in a nutshell, is the doctrine of Purgatory. It is a belief which has absolutely no Biblical validation and which in fact contradicts God's Holy Word at every turn. There has never been scriptural support or directive for making such precepts, either in the Old Testament, or the New. This doctrine is no more than the product of a leadership that feels they have the right and authority to usurp the Word of God with their own inventions. Derived out of the fallacies of the book of Maccabees and other legends of men, it has become Roman Catholic dogma. No uninspired book or tradition of man can become an authority over God's Word, nor can God's Word be made opposed to itself. It is therefore self evident that any book or tradition which does so, is illegitimate, and of no authority over the Church. All doctrines of Biblical Christianity must come from the Bible as God's Holy and infallible Word and not traditions of man.
We should not lose sight of the fact that every gospel which is not the true gospel, inevitably, in some way, rejects God's Word alone as the source book and final authority of Church doctrines. In rejecting the Bible as the ultimate authority, man frees himself to add, take away from, or circumvent biblical truths by so-called traditions. If the Word of God is not the final authority, then they believe they can add other authorities and claim equality to the Word. Also, when the "Word of God alone" is not our authority, then God alone is not our authority. When the Church decides to make up their own doctrines, or their own way to atone for sins, apart from what the Word of God says, then they have departed from the God of the Bible, and become a god unto themselves. All false gospels (in some way) have that one thing in common. Their "Source" is not the written Word of God alone, taken in its entirety; it is the Bible plus some other additional authority, usually a man, another book, or miraculous revelations.
It is seen in Mormonism, Jehovah's Witnesses, Muslim, Buddhism and others. In these beliefs they even went as far as to write their own "holy book." The dependence is ultimately upon a man who originated the doctrine and "his" teachings in a companion book.
This is the danger that Catholics are oblivious to as they follow traditions that they hold in equality with God's Word, yet none of these traditions have any scriptural support. This is why they added the need for these traditions to accompany the Bible; they claim that the Bible alone is not sufficient. Again, nothing different than what the Mormons, JW's and many others claim.
I will list all the scriptures that prove our atonement was sufficient in the death and sacrifice of Christ, ONCE for all and there is no need for further cleansing. Let the scriptures be the rule by which we derive the answer to this issue. It is vividly clear by the scriptures I will list that purgatory is nothing more than a means of control over the people blindly following Catholicism. They started their fear tactics when they started burning individuals at the stake because those people publicly denounced their doctrines because they seen the Biblical errors. Once the catholic people cowered to these actions it was easy to instill other non-Biblical doctrines and traditions without question by the faithful. I challenge every catholic to read Foxxe's Book of Martyrs and see for yourself the blatant fear tactics used by the catholic institution used on the people of that day.
29: Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men.
I will now get into the statements made by this catholic regarding the "tradition" of purgatory and the catholic view of what they call scriptural support.
EMAIL: (I will insert my comments in bold following each scripture)
Purgatory. Contrary to what you suggest, the concept is in the bible. The word is not, but neither is the word 'Trinity' and is irrelevant. Here are passages regarding purgatory in the bible:
I. A State after Death of Suffering and Forgiveness
Matt. 5:26, 18:34; Luke 12:58-59 - Jesus teaches us, "Come to terms with your opponent or you will be handed over to the judge and thrown into prison. You will not get out until you have paid the last penny." The word "opponent" (antidiko) is likely a reference to the devil (see the same word for devil in 1 Pet. 5:8) who is an accuser against man (c.f. Job 1.6-12; Zech. 3.1; Rev. 12.10), and God is the judge. If we have not adequately dealt with satan and sin in this life, we will be held in a temporary state called a prison, and we won't get out until we have satisfied our entire debt to God. This "prison" is purgatory where we will not get out until the last penny is paid.
It is always best to take scripture in context with what it is saying and to do that I would like to list each scripture so that all can see what it really says.
26: Verily I say unto thee, Thou shalt by no means come out thence, till thou hast paid the uttermost farthing.
34: And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him.
58: When thou goest with thine adversary to the magistrate, as thou art in the way, give diligence that thou mayest be delivered from him; lest he hale thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and the officer cast thee into prison.
59: I tell thee, thou shalt not depart thence, till thou hast paid the very last mite.
It is interesting that you place a doctrine like this on what you say "is likely a reference to the devil." First, in Matthew 5 Jesus is speaking to a multitude that until this time had only heard their religious instruction from the Temple priests. In vs. 20 Jesus plainly told the people that unless their righteousness "exceeded" that of the Scribes and Pharisees they would not enter heaven.
He then proceeded to explain to them that now this doctrine of physical "laws" was going a step further and becoming a spiritual awareness. Taking this in context Jesus actually started relating this to the Old law in vs. 17 and throughout the rest of the chapter used examples to show them the New Law. Jesus was simply using a physical experience to relate a spiritual truth about forgiving others and forgiveness in general.
In fact in vs. 29-30 He relates to dismembering one's body parts they could not control in order to keep them from hell. Why would they need to worry about dismembering themselves if they could just go to purgatory and bide their time. The warning was clear, concise, and unmistakable that there was no temporary stop for further cleansing, if you could not control yourself then hell was the destination.
The scripture in Matthew 5 is speaking about true and false repentance and the consequences of both. I find no place in this scripture a reference to a temporary cleansing station before gaining access to heaven.
Then you refer to Matthew 18:34 which is also speaking about forgiving others as supported in vs. 21-22 & 35 as Jesus explained. You must take it in the context it is being used. Again, in this verse it is not saying anything about a temporary place to purge sins to make it to heaven. In fact look at vs. 32-35, Then his lord, after that he had called him, said unto him, O thou wicked servant, I forgave thee all that debt, because thou desiredst me: Shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellowservant, even as I had pity on thee? And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him. So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses.
It is very clear that forgiveness is the subject and there is nothing that indicates a place of further cleansing. The scripture in Luke 12 is the same account as that in Matthew 5. It is fairly easy to take a few verses from different books and combine them to make a doctrine. Unfortunately you must take each verse in context with what it is saying and not isolate them and then combine them with other verses to complete a thought.
Matt. 5:48 - Jesus says, "be perfect, even as your heavenly Father is perfect." We are only made perfect through purification, and in Catholic teaching, this purification, if not completed on earth, is continued in a transitional state we call purgatory.
First, it is important to get a correct meaning of what the word "perfect" means in this context. The word used here is "teleios" which is derived from "telos" and according to the Lexical Aid to the New Testament and Vine's Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words it means the following:
Goal; purpose; adult; full-grown; as opposite to little children. This image of fully completed growth, as contrasted with infancy and childhood, underlies the ethical use of teleioi, being set over against the babes in Christ (1Corin. 2:6; 14:20; Ephes. 4:13; Phil. 3:15; Heb. 5:14). Can be used in a relative or absolute sense (Matt. 5:48; 19:21), that is, God's perfection is absolute; man's is relative, reaching the goal set for him by God with each individual differing according to his God-given ability. The teleios is one who has attained his moral end, the goal for which he was intended, namely, to be a man obedient in Christ. It may be true, though, that having reached this attainment, other and higher ends will open up before him in order to have Christ formed in him more and more. When one is teleios, it does not mean that he has had all of the grace available bestowed upon him. Teleiotes (5047), perfection, is not a static state. In a physical or literal sense, used of spotless sacrifices, involving animals or objects wherein nothing is deficient; also as a full year, perfect work, or something done as it ought to be (1 Cor. 13:10; James 1:4).
To the teleion, complete one, in contrast with to ekmerous (3313), which in part indicates the ultimate goal in heaven as contrasted with something that can have only partial fulfilment on earth. In 1 John 4:18 the teleia agape, perfect love, means the love that is not wanting, the love which accomplishes its goal. Frequently it means full growth, either of men or beasts. Also generally, teleios means what is highest and pre-eminent (Heb. 9:11; James 1:25). When used in a moral sense, referring to God's expectation of us, completely blameless. A perfect gift in James 1:17 means that which meets the need of a person. In James 1:4, "that ye may be perfect" means that you may not be morally lacking. It has a similar meaning in Matthew 5:48; 19:21; Romans 12:2, Colossians 1:28; 4:12; James 3:2. Holoteles (3651), complete to the end (1Thess. 5:23) holding a connecting link between holos (3650) whole, and holokleros (3648), complete in every part, and telekios, to the end. Teleios is not to be confused with anamartetos (361), without sin or sinless
The way in which this is used is indicating that we become mature in Christ and that is the process of our walk on this earth not to be completed in some mystical holding place before heaven. I agree that this "perfection" is a process, but it is a process in our daily walk and not pertaining to after our death. The problem is in what you stated, it is understood in "catholic teaching" that this means a further cleansing, it is not a Biblical concept.
Matt. 12:32 - Jesus says, "And anyone who says a word against the Son of man will be forgiven; but no one who speaks against the Holy Spirit will be forgiven either in this world or in the next." Jesus thus clearly provides that there is forgiveness after death. The phrase "in the next" (from the Greek "en to mellonti") generally refers to the afterlife (see, for example, Mark 10.30; Luke 18.30; 20.34-35; Eph. 1.21 for similar language). Forgiveness is not necessary in heaven, and there is no forgiveness in hell. This proves that there is another state after death, and the Church for 2,000 years has called this state purgatory.
This was a proverbial expression among the Jews, for a thing that would never be done. It here means he shall not escape the punishment of it, either in this world, or in the world to come. The judgment of God shall overtake him, both here and hereafter. This is quite a leap to make this mean some type of holding place of further cleansing. In fact it says just the opposite of what you are trying to make it say. It clearly says that "THERE IS NO FORGIVENESS" in this situation in either this life or the hereafter. In Luke 12:10 it is the same passage as recorded by Matthew and it states it very clearly: And whosoever shall speak a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but unto him that blasphemeth against the Holy Ghost it shall not be forgiven.
This is but another great example of how that doctrine is introduced by manipulating scriptures to make them say what fits a teaching rather than what they truly say. You claim this verse is "Proof" and I would not die for this kind of proof, nor is this kind of "proof" what I would base a doctrine on. This scripture is expressing the danger of attributing the works of God to the devil.
Luke 12:47-48 - when the Master comes (at the end of time), some will receive light or heavy beatings but will live. This state is not heaven or hell, because in heaven there are no beatings, and in hell we will no longer live with the Master.
The scripture in question:
47: And that servant, which knew his lord's will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes.
48: But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more.
Sometimes it is best for clarification purposes to look at the other Gospels to get clarification to the same accounts. Matthew 24: 45-51 gives this same account and says it this way:
50: The lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looketh not for him, and in an hour that he is not aware of,
51: And shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
Again, this scripture is not talking about further cleansing in mystical purgatory, but rather judgment from Christ that will occur when He judges at His coming. In fact Matthew 25 is a whole chapter devoted to Jesus explaining that there will be no second chances, especially verses 31-46. I would be willing to say that a person that has never been exposed to any kind of religion before could read Matthew 25 and all the other scriptures and never come up with this place of further cleansing.
The scripture you are speaking of above is talking about one servant that knew what he was supposed to do and did not do it and one servant that did not know anything and was spared the judgment of the one that did know. In fact the warning Jesus is expressing in this scripture is that claiming to be a servant is not enough, you must have the actions, life, and heart to back it up. It is more a warning against eternal security if anything.
Luke 16:19-31 - in this story, we see that the dead rich man is suffering but still feels compassion for his brothers and wants to warn them of his place of suffering. But there is no suffering in heaven or compassion in hell because compassion is a grace from God and those in hell are deprived from God's graces for all eternity. So where is the rich man? He is in purgatory.
23: And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.
24: And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.
25: But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented.
26: And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence.
I would find your comments on this verse comical if it were not for the seriousness of the error of this doctrine. It clearly says that this rich man is in "HELL" and that is the source of his torment. Then it further clearly states that there is a "great gulf" between them and that they "cannot" pass in either direction. This of all things should be a clear indicator of how far the catholic church is willing to go to blatantly misinterpret scriptures to fit their teachings.
I am sure that they have some way of explaining away the fact that he is said to be in Hell. This scripture is reinforcing the fact that once a person is in hell that there is no help, comfort, nor a way to warn those loved ones you may want to keep from joining you there. My personal thought is that this will be part of the torment of hell that they will be able to see heaven and know that they have no way out. What greater torment than to be able to see eternally what you rejected.
1 Cor. 15:29-30 - Paul mentions people being baptized on behalf of the dead, in the context of atoning for their sins (people are baptized on the dead's behalf so the dead can be raised). These people cannot be in heaven because they are still with sin, but they also cannot be in hell because their sins can no longer be atoned for. They are in purgatory. These verses directly correspond to 2 Macc. 12:44-45 which also shows specific prayers for the dead, so that they may be forgiven of their sin.
There are no prayers nor baptisms for the dead that are of any value and I will cover that at the end of this in my summary with numerous scriptures. What Paul was saying (if you take the whole context of what is being said which cannot be done by these two verses alone but the whole chapter) was that there were apparently some in that area or church that was following this practice but didn't even believe in the resurrection of the dead as vs.12 says. They were performing a practice but didn't even believe in what they were doing and perverting the church. If you read the history of the Corinthian church you will find that there were many spiritual errors in this particular church and these are the things Paul was addressing.
He was exposing their obvious contradiction between their belief and practice, much like this of purgatory.
Phil. 2:10 - every knee bends to Jesus, in heaven, on earth, and "under the earth" which is the realm of the righteous dead, or purgatory.
9: Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:
10: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;
11: And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Again, this would be another comical scripture to support this doctrine if it weren't for the seriousness of this matter. All living things whether good or bad will acknowledge that Jesus is LORD, regardless of how much they deny Him in life they will acknowledge His Lordship at this time. That is all this scripture is saying, nothing about a place of further cleansing. Revelation 5:13 confirms this and it is to acknowledge that Jesus is LORD over all, He is the Creator and all created things will acknowledge Him as such.
2 Tim. 1:16-18 - Onesiphorus is dead but Paul asks for mercy on him "on that day." Paul's use of "that day" demonstrates its eschatological usage (see, for example, Rom. 2.5,16; 1 Cor. 1.8; 3.13; 5.5; 2 Cor. 1.14; Phil. 1.6,10; 2.16; 1 Thess. 5.2,4,5,8; 2 Thess. 2.2,3; 2 Tim. 4.8). Of course, there is no need for mercy in heaven, and there is no mercy given in hell. Where is Onesiphorus? He is in purgatory.
16: The Lord give mercy unto the house of Onesiphorus; for he oft refreshed me, and was not ashamed of my chain:
17: But, when he was in Rome, he sought me out very diligently, and found me.
18: The Lord grant unto him that he may find mercy of the Lord in that day: and in how many things he ministered unto me at Ephesus, thou knowest very well.
I find no place in the Bible that indicates that Onesiphorus is "dead" as you state. In fact Paul again addresses his household in 2 Timothy 4:19. I will have to assume that is another one of those catholic "traditions" that hold equal value to the Holy Word of God. Paul is simply asking God to remember the good things that Onesiphorus did in relation to helping Paul when no one else would. Even if he were dead Paul is not asking for his "further" cleansing but that the good he did be remembered. "That day" is referring to the day we "ALL" will stand before Christ and answer for our lives as Romans 14:12, 2 Corinthians 5:10, and Matthew 12:36 state.
Heb. 12:14 - without holiness no one will see the Lord. We need final sanctification to attain true holiness before God, and this process occurs during our lives and, if not completed during our lives, in the transitional state of purgatory.
The word "holiness" used in this verse is hagiasmos which means: sanctification, translated holiness, separation unto God; the resultant state or behaviour befitting those so separated. It is derived from the word hagios which means: holy, set apart, sanctified, consecrated or devotion to God. Our goal is always to be Christ-like but we will never be completely without sin or completely consecrated while confined to this flesh. Our completeness is in Christ and through His blood applied to us we are holy and sanctified. Our complete transformation will take place when we transfer from this life to eternal life with Him. In the instant we die, not through some transitional period in a mystical place that only exists in the minds of catholics.
Our holiness is through His work not ours and by the blood that is applied after we have become born-again we are cleansed from "all" unrighteousness as the scripture attests. Will we sin after being born-again? Of course, but we are told that:
1 John 1
9: If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
That is about as clear and simple as it could be and that is the way our Lord wanted it to be. I will have many more scriptures like this at the end to completely dispel this fantasy land called purgatory.
Heb. 12:23 - the spirits of just men who died in godliness are "made" perfect. They do not necessarily arrive perfect. They are made perfect after their death. But those in heaven are already perfect, and those in hell can no longer be made perfect. These spirits are in purgatory.
Again a verse taken out of context. These "spirits" were made perfect when these men died. It is not saying they are being transitioned into perfection, but that they were mad perfect the moment they died and entered the spiritual realm of holiness. Again, you must read the context of the scripture and not pull individual verses out and try to make a doctrine. Contrary to your remark above, yes they do "arrive perfect." When we leave this body of flesh and enter the His presence (assuming this is a saved person, otherwise obviously they do not go to heaven) we are made perfect immediately when we become a spiritual being. I will address this later with many scriptures to support it.
1 Peter 3:19; 4:6 - Jesus preached to the spirits in the "prison." These are the righteous souls being purified for the beatific vision.
Again, interpretations must agree with the remainder of scripture and not create some doctrine that is not supported by any other scripture. The following is an interpretation of this verse by the Vines Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words.
"In this verse it is simply stated that Christ preached. It does not describe what message He might have preached. Every time the word kerusso (2784) "preach," occurs it does not necessarily mean "to preach the Gospel." Even the word euaggelizo (2097), "to proclaim good news," does not always refer to preaching salvation. The same verb is used in Ephesians 2:17, but the object of the verb is peace. The glorious result of Christ being put to death, "the just for the unjust," was not merely the attainment of a resurrection body; for Peter goes on to say, "By which also he went and preached unto spirits in prison." Whatever the nature of this preaching may have been, it had to take place between His death and resurrection. There is certainly no need to put an arbitrary interpretation on the words "spirits in prison," as referring simply to those who had passed to the unseen world, because the ungodly are constantly spoken of in Scripture as being in a state of imprisonment, bondage or captivity. If, therefore, this passage does not refer to certain individuals but to the declaration of Christ's victory over death and hell, then the meaning of the phrase "preached unto spirits in prison" is clarified."
Also in 4:6 it states that it was preached to them that "are" dead in the present tense meaning at the time of Peter's writing. There is no second chance for salvation once dead as Hebrews 9:27 proves along with many other scriptures I will list at the end of this.
Besides this, they were obviously preached to before their death according to your statement, because you call them "righteous souls" so what more could they achieve from more preaching? They either believed what was preached to them while alive or they didn't.
Rev. 21:4 - God shall wipe away their tears, and there will be no mourning or pain, but only after the coming of the new heaven and the passing away of the current heaven and earth. Note the elimination of tears and pain only occurs at the end of time. But there is no morning or pain in heaven, and God will not wipe away their tears in hell. These are the souls experiencing purgatory.
1: And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.
2: And I John saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
3: And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.
4: And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.
If you look at what is being said then the context is much different than what you are trying to imply. He is speaking of how all the old things will be passed away and everything will be new. He then lists all the things that will not appear in heaven i.e.…crying, sorrow, pain, death, and yes, tears. Nothing is this verse alludes to this magical place you call purgatory.
Rev. 21:27 - nothing unclean shall enter heaven. The word "unclean" comes from the Greek word "koinon" which refers to a spiritual corruption. Even the propensity to sin is spiritually corrupt, or considered unclean, and must be purified before entering heaven. It is amazing how many Protestants do not want to believe in purgatory. Purgatory exists because of the mercy of God. If there were no purgatory, this would also likely mean no salvation for most people. God is merciful indeed.
27: And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb's book of life.
The extreme misinterpretations of scriptures like this one is the prime example of why Protestants do not believe in purgatory nor any other non Biblical catholic tradition. Once a believer dies and transitions to heaven there is no more sin, nor propensity to sin, as you put it. We become a perfect spiritual being and there is no further need for cleansing. His blood cleansed us already and to say that it was only powerful enough to get us to some holding station is absurd and blasphemy to Christ.
This verse is clearly stating that unbelievers or sinners will not be allowed in heaven as vs. 7-8 of this same chapter support.
7: He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.
8: But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.
I also like how you incorporate "salvation" into this whole equation with your statement above. I guess now not even our salvation is secure by faith in the Work of Christ but we will have to go to this holding place and find what we were missing. It is truly amazing the blindness that is evident in catholics because they refuse to believe the Word of God but would rather believe what "man" tells them it means.
Luke 23:43 - many Protestants argue that, because Jesus sent the good thief right to heaven, there can be no purgatory. There are several rebuttals. First, when Jesus uses the word "paradise," He did not mean heaven. Paradise, from the Hebrew "sheol," meant the realm of the righteous dead. This was the place of the dead who were destined for heaven, but who were captive until the Lord's resurrection. Second, since there was no punctuation in the original manuscript, Jesus' statement "I say to you today you will be with me in paradise" does not mean there was a comma after the first word "you." This means Jesus could have said, "I say to you today, you will be with me in paradise" (meaning, Jesus could have emphasized with exclamation his statement was "today" or "now," and that some time in the future the good thief would go to heaven). Third, even if the thief went straight to heaven, this does not prove there is no purgatory (those who are fully sanctified in this life - perhaps by a bloody and repentant death - could be ready for admission in to heaven).
I don't know where you get the word "sheol" from but the word used in this verse is the Greek word paradeisos (3587) which is also used in Revelation 2:7 which states that it is in the "midst of God." I will not haggle about where the punctuation mark should be but I will acknowledge that in the "midst" of God does not sound like "sheol" to me. It is also good to know that martyrs get to pass by purgatory but it makes me wonder. Since Joan of Arc was burned at the stake for being a heretic by the catholic church and then about 100 years later proclaimed a "saint" does that mean she was in purgatory the first 100 years or not?
I also find that amazing that the so called perfect church that is infallible can go from burning someone as a heretic and then reverse that decision and make them a saint. Anyway, this verse again is in no way alluding to purgatory.
Gen. 50:10; Num. 20:29; Deut. 34:8 - here are some examples of ritual prayer and penitent mourning for the dead for specific periods of time. The Jewish understanding of these practices was that the prayers freed the souls from their painful state of purification, and expedited their journey to God.
10: And they came to the threshingfloor of Atad, which is beyond Jordan, and there they mourned with a great and very sore lamentation: and he made a mourning for his father seven days.
29: And when all the congregation saw that Aaron was dead, they mourned for Aaron thirty days, even all the house of Israel.
8: And the children of Israel wept for Moses in the plains of Moab thirty days: so the days of weeping and mourning for Moses were ended.
This is another very blatant misinterpretation. There is no way anyone would ever see the fact that they were mourning (not praying) as a means of praying them out of purgatory. This is so blatant it is really hurts any credibility, if there were any to begin with regarding this doctrine. I am sincerely amazed that intelligent people can actually fall for this type of exegesis. It is very hard not to be cynical when these types of scripture are given as so called "proof."
Baruch 3:4 - Baruch asks the Lord to hear the prayers of the dead of Israel. Prayers for the dead are unnecessary in heaven and unnecessary in hell. These dead are in purgatory.
4: O Lord almighty, thou God of Israel, hear now the prayers of the dead Israelites, and of their children, which have sinned before thee, and not hearkened unto the voice of thee their God: for the which cause these plagues cleave unto vs.
5 Remember not the iniquities of our forefathers: but think upon thy power and thy name, now at this time.
6 For thou art the Lord our God, and thee, O Lord, will we praise.
7 And for this cause thou hast put thy fear in our hearts, to the intent that we should call upon thy name, and praise thee in our captivity: for we have called to mind all the iniquity of our forefathers that sinned before thee.
8 Behold, we are yet this day in our captivity, where thou hast scattered us, for a reproach and a curse, and to be subject to payments, according to all the iniquities of our fathers which departed from the Lord our God.
Even with your apocrypha books you still take verses out of context. If you read the following verses you will see that they are pleading with God to "not" hear the prayers of those that have passed on because it was their actions that caused them to be in captivity. It is speaking of their prayers when they were alive not the prayers after they were dead. The dead cannot pray, except maybe according to catholic tradition.
Zech. 9:11 - God, through the blood of His covenant, will set those free from the waterless pit, a spiritual abode of suffering which the Church calls purgatory.
11: As for thee also, by the blood of thy covenant I have sent forth thy prisoners out of the pit wherein is no water.
I fail to see where a waterless pit becomes purgatory. The Hebrew word used here is bor (953) which means: a pit; whole; cistern; well; dungeon.
Empty cisterns were used as prisons just as Jeremiah was placed in.
6: Then took they Jeremiah, and cast him into the dungeon of Malchiah the son of Hammelech, that was in the court of the prison: and they let down Jeremiah with cords. And in the dungeon there was no water, but mire: so Jeremiah sunk in the mire.
Once again, the 'church' calls it purgatory so it must be!
2 Macc. 12:43-45 - the prayers for the dead help free them from sin and help them to the reward of heaven. Those in heaven have no sin, and those in hell can no longer be freed from sin. They are in purgatory. Luther was particularly troubled with these verses because he rejected the age-old teaching of purgatory. As a result, he removed Maccabees from the canon of the Bible.
2 Maccabees 12
43: And when he had made a gathering throughout the company, to the sum of two thousand drachmas of silver, he sent it to Jerusalem to offer a sin offering, doing therein very well, and honestly, in that he was mindful of the resurrection.
44 (For if he had not hoped that they that were slain should have risen again, it had bin superfluous and vain, to pray for the dead.)
45 And also in that he perceived that there was great favor laid up for those that died godly. (It was an holy, and good thought) whereupon he made a reconciliation for the dead, that they might be delivered from sin.
Most students of study know that whenever something is added in parenthesis
that it is added by the writer to, in their minds clarify the meaning of the text. In
other words, it is not necessarily "inspired" words. So if we omit those words then
in vs. 45 you have at most that they were making "reconciliation" for the dead,
which is also understood as commemoration as was done with the offering.
The books that were omitted from the cannon of our Bible were dismissed because
they added no value to the sixty six existing books.
II. Purification After Death By Fire
Heb. 12:29 - God is a consuming fire (of love in heaven, of purgation in purgatory, or of suffering and damnation in hell).
So because God is called a consuming fire there must be a purgatory? So what do we get because He is called the following: A vine, door, shepherd, jealous, strong tower, rock, ancient of days, lamb, branch, and many more?
1 Cor. 3:10-15 - works are judged after death and tested by fire. Some works are lost, but the person is still saved. Paul is referring to the state of purgation called purgatory. The venial sins (bad works) that were committed are burned up after death, but the person is still brought to salvation. This state after death cannot be heaven (no one with venial sins is present) or hell (there is no forgiveness and salvation).
1 Cor. 3:15 - "if any man's work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire." The phrase for "suffer loss" in the Greek is "zemiothesetai." The root word is "zemioo" which also refers to punishment. The construction "zemiothesetai" is used in Ex. 21:22 and Prov. 19:19 which refers to punishment (from the Hebrew "anash" meaning "punish" or "penalty"). Hence, this verse proves that there is an expiation of temporal punishment after our death, but the person is still saved. This cannot mean heaven (there is no punishment in heaven) and this cannot mean hell (the possibility of expiation no longer exists and the person is not saved).
1 Cor. 3:15 - further, Paul writes "he himself will be saved, "but only" (or "yet so") as through fire." "He will be saved" in the Greek is "sothesetai" (which means eternal salvation). The phrase "but only" (or "yet so") in the Greek is "houtos" which means "in the same manner." This means that man is both eternally rewarded and eternally saved in the same manner by fire.
1 Cor. 3:13 - when Paul writes about God revealing the quality of each man's work by fire and purifying him, this purification relates to his sins (not just his good works). Protestants, in attempting to disprove the reality of purgatory, argue that Paul was only writing about rewarding good works, and not punishing sins (because punishing and purifying a man from sins would be admitting that there is a purgatory).
1 Cor. 3:17 - but this verse proves that the purgation after death deals with punishing sin. That is, destroying God's temple is a bad work, which is a mortal sin, which leads to death. 1 Cor. 3:14,15,17 - purgatory thus reveals the state of righteousness (v.14), state of venial sin (v.15) and the state of mortal sin (v.17), all of which are judged after death.
I put all the above together since they come from the same section of scripture.
1 Corinthians 3
10: According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon.
11: For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.
12: Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble;
13: Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is.
14: If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.
15: If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.
16: Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?
17: If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.
This scripture is focusing on the "works" of individual Christians and how these works will be tested. If the works are not genuine i.e.…wood, hay, and stubble they will burn in that Day of Judgment. If they are genuine i.e.… gold, silver, and precious stones then they will survive the test of fire, or judgment by God. If the works are not genuine then the works will suffer loss but the soul will be saved. Sometimes God may take an individual life that is on a path that may lead to errors that only something of this nature can prevent. Only God knows that though and He alone makes those decisions. God will have no mercy on these types of works and will burn them, yet He may choose to pull the individual from the fire. This scripture is far from establishing the concept of purgatory; in fact it is contrary to it. The fire mentioned here does not exist until the Day of Judgment: therefore, if this is the fire of purgatory, then purgatory does not exist before the Day of Judgment.
1 Peter 1:6-7 - Peter refers to this purgatorial fire to test the fruits of our faith.
1 Peter 1
6: Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations:
7: That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:
Sorry, this is talking about building your faith through "Earthly" trials and I see no connection with purgatory. Besides the testing of our faith is only useful while we are on this earth, once we are dead there is no use for testing our fruit of faith.
Jude 1:23 - the people who are saved are being snatched out of the fire. People are already saved if they are in heaven, and there is no possibility of salvation if they are in hell. These people are being led to heaven from purgatory.
23: And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh.
This verse is clearly speaking of saving those that are on their way to hell by preaching salvation to them. No connection to purgatory here. Who is leading them to purgatory? According to the introduction to the book of Jude he is addressing this message to all Christians. Show me just ONE scripture where Jesus instructed His disciples or anyone for that matter to lead people to a temporary holding place! He instructed them to perform miracles and cast out demons and demonstrate the power of God through HIS name. He did not ever direct anyone to a temporary place because He was not strong enough or His blood was not good enough to cleanse them completely. This type of thinking irritates me because it is so clear from scripture that there is NO need for further cleansing. I will fully refute this with crystal clear scriptures following this email.
Rev. 3:18-19 - Jesus refers to this fire as what refines into gold those He loves if they repent of their sins. This is in the context of after death because Jesus, speaking from heaven, awards the white garment of salvation after the purgation of fire (both after death).
18: I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.
19: As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.
This only proves that catholic Bible study is so lacking in its content. Jesus is addressing the three areas that this particular church was placing before Him. He was showing them with physical items their spiritual condition. He did this with the previous six churches and now at this one you see the word "fire" and jump at the chance to connect it with purgatory. That is really sad and very revealing as to how desperately you will try to make something fit your doctrine.
These seven churches actually existed at the time of John's vision and writing of the book of Revelation. These congregations were actual people and not already dead as you presume. I covered these churches in my study on Revelation on my site; I would encourage you to read it.
Dan 12:10 - Daniel refers to this refining by saying many shall purify themselves, make themselves white and be refined.
7: And I heard the man clothed in linen, which was upon the waters of the river, when he held up his right hand and his left hand unto heaven, and sware by him that liveth for ever that it shall be for a time, times, and an half; and when he shall have accomplished to scatter the power of the holy people, all these things shall be finished.
10: Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand.
11: And from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days.
Once again you take a verse and try to make a doctrine. If you take in context what is being said you will see that this is during the tribulation period and there will be much persecution during that time. The word used for "purified" is Barar and means; to separate, single out, to prove, to keep oneself pure, to show oneself pure.
These descriptions are all speaking in a tense of a living person, not someone in a purging state. The word used for "tried" is Tsaraph and it means; to test, prove, try, examine someone in order to see who was qualified for battle. God instructed Gideon to test 10,000 men, but only 300 of them were chosen by Him.
Doesn't sound like a purgatory state to me! The problem with Catholicism is that they do not understand that purifying and purging is done in this life through physical trials as Peter and James attest to in their books. They automatically attach any type of "test" or "purifying" or anything related to their purgatory. Then because there is no Scriptural support they must twist scriptures to make them say what they need them to. Every "tradition" they have is done the same way and is very transparent to anyone that knows the truth of the Scriptures.
Wis. 3:5-6 - the dead are disciplined and tested by fire to receive their heavenly reward. This is the fire of purgatory.
1: But the souls of the righteous are in the hand of God, and there shall no torment
2: In the sight of the unwise they seemed to die: and their departure is taken for
3: And their going from us to be utter destruction: but they are in peace.
4: For though they be punished in the sight of men: yet is their hope full of
5: And having been a little chastised, they shall be greatly rewarded: for God
proved them, and found them worthy for himself.
6: As gold in the furnace hath he tried them, and received them as a burnt
7: And in the time of their visitation, they shall shine and run to and fro, like
sparks among the stubble.
8: They shall judge the nations, and have dominion over the people, and their
Lord shall reign for ever.
9: They that put their trust in him, shall understand the truth: and such as be
faithful in love, shall abide with him: for grace & mercy is to his saints, and he hath
care for his elect.
10: But the ungodly shall be punished according to their own imaginations, which
have neglected the righteous, and forsaken the Lord.
Again, a misinterpretation of what is being said in the context. They were tested
on the earth and because of their faithfulness they will reign and rule with Christ
just as we are promised in Revelation 5:10 & 20:4. He is showing the distinction
between those that follow Christ and those that don't.
Sirach 2:5 - for gold is tested in the fire, and acceptable men in the furnace of humiliation.
5: For gold is tried in the fire, and acceptable men in the furnace of adversities.
6: Believe in him, and he will help thee, order thy way aright, and trust in him.
7: Ye that fear the Lord, wait for his mercy, and go not aside, lest ye fall.
This scripture actually proves what I have been saying from the start. These
"tests" or "trials" are those that we go though in this physical life. Read the text
these scriptures and it is clear, but take single verses and you can make them say
what you want. I could use this method and make any doctrine I want to. Yes, I do
have the apocrypha books as you may have figured out.
Zech. 13:8-9 - God says 2/3 shall perish, and 1/3 shall be left alive, put into the fire, and refined like silver and tested like gold. The ones that perish go to hell, and there is no need for refinement in heaven, so those being refined are in purgatory.
6: And one shall say unto him, What are these wounds in thine hands? Then he shall answer, Those with which I was wounded in the house of my friends.
7: Awake, O sword, against my shepherd, and against the man that is my fellow, saith the LORD of hosts: smite the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered: and I will turn mine hand upon the little ones.
8: And it shall come to pass, that in all the land, saith the LORD, two parts therein shall be cut off and die; but the third shall be left therein.
9: And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is my people: and they shall say, The LORD is my God.
This is a prophetic scripture pertaining to the reign of Christ on earth during the millennial period and if you read the rest of the accompanying text which would be chapter 14 you would understand what is being said here. Again, it is not speaking about a place of further cleansing but rather those that will live during this time period.
Mal. 3:2-3 - also refers to God's purification of the righteous at their death.
2: But who may abide the day of his coming? and who shall stand when he appeareth? for he is like a refiner's fire, and like fullers' soap:
3: And he shall sit as a refiner and purifer of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the LORD an offering in righteousness.
4: Then shall the offering of Judah and Jerusalem be pleasant unto the LORD, as in the days of old, and as in former years.
This is speaking in the present tense as verse 4 explains. Also, if you would read the rest of the chapter you will see that God is exposing the errors of the priests at that time and warning them to return to what is right. This passage is speaking about God restoring honesty and purity back into the priests of that day, not some purging of dead people in a holding place.
Therefore, there are numerous references to purgatory in the bible.
Now, you might have noticed that two of the references referred to Maccabees, which you obviously reject. However, there are numerous other references to purgatory in the books of the bible, which you accept. With regards to Maccabees, the seven books of the Apocrypha were declared divinely inspired through God's guidance with the rest of the bible when the bible was complied at the Council of Carthage during the third century. However, during the 'Reformation' Martin Luther questioned these books despite the fact that they had been declared divine with the rest of the bible centuries earlier. Luther supported the removal of these books to the back of the bible and eventually they were removed from the Protestant bible altogether. It is often claimed that the Council of Trent included the Apocrypha within the Catholic bible, but Trent only reaffirmed these books in the face of Protestant opposition. The Council of Carthage declared the Apocrypha divine.
You did not supply any support from scripture, all you did was twist and misinterpret scriptures to make them fit this doctrine. I have proven the errors above and that should be enough to show the error of this doctrine but I want to put it to rest. I want to provide scriptures that will prove that this concept of further cleansing is not only a catholic invention but actually heretical.
29: And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.
30: And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.
There is no mention of a holding place here and the warning is severe that if a member of your body is out of control to take it off. There would be no need for this drastic measure if all we had to do was go to some purging ground. This "purgatory" would take care of our problem, no need to eliminate a body part. I'll stick with what Jesus says in this situation over catholic "tradition."
8: Wherefore if thy hand or thy foot offend thee, cut them off, and cast them from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life halt or maimed, rather than having two hands or two feet to be cast into everlasting fire.
9: And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life with one eye, rather than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire.
According to the catholic teaching this scripture is inaccurate because all this person would have to do is go to purgatory and they would not lose any members. This magical purgatory would make them whole and they would enter heaven even though this scripture says they would be in hell. Again, I take Jesus on this one too.
30: And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.
31:And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.
I don't see in these verses that when Jesus comes for "His" people that he will be getting any of them from some holding place. There is no mention of a holding place but it says they are all in heaven.
31: When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory:
32: And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats:
33: And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.
34: Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:
It says nothing about purgatory, but that Christ will divide individuals as sheep and goats, i.e….saved and unsaved. I see no place where he sends anyone to a holding place for further cleansing.
22: And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried;
23: And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.
24: And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.
This is a verse I addressed earlier in which catholics say this rich man is in purgatory and these flames are the flames of purging. I guess there is a typo in our Bible because it clearly says this rich man is in HELL. Of course this is just one of the many examples of how far false teachings will go to try to make their doctrine fit. The truth is that there was no transitional period for Lazarus, there was no purgatory, he went straight to heaven. The rich man however, according to catholic teaching anyway, went to this mystical place. What is odd is that according to Jesus this man was a sinner worthy of hell, but the catholics feel Jesus was in error and want to purge this man and allow him to make it to heaven.
Regardless of many claims by others this "story" is not a parable. Jesus started all parables with the phrase, "And He spake this parable unto them," and if it was intended to be a parable He would have indicated such.
3: Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
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.
Jesus mentions no further need of cleansing or place of holding. According to Jesus' own words it is based on whether or not you are "Born-Again" that will determine your entrance into heaven.
24: Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.
Again, no mention of a purging place after death but the promise of everlasting life with no stop offs in-between.
3: Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.
The word "clean" used here is katharos which means: "clean, pure, in this usage there is a clear reference to a legal or ceremonial cleanness; clean or pure, in a spiritual sense from pollution and guilt of sin."
You can't get any clearer than that, there is no need for this place of further cleansing to obtain what Jesus said was already acceptable in His Word.
17: Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.
18: As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world.
19: And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth.
20: Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word;
According to Jesus the sanctification is done through His Word and not through some holding place of further cleansing. He clarifies that His Word is the "Truth" and does not mention anything about adding "traditions" to it. He does not indicate that "Anything" is needed alongside His Word to help it like catholic traditions or teachings.
22: Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:
23: For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
24: Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:
25: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;
26: To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.
Our righteousness is obtained by our faith in Jesus' work not our own and not through some mystical place of further purging. We are justified through Jesus' blood for "all" sins and declared righteous by Jesus for accepting His free gift to us. By saying that we need further cleaning is a mockery to what Jesus did and calling Him a liar according to His own Word. There are many more scriptures to follow that are just as clear on this.
21: And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform.
22: And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness.
23: Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him;
24: But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead;
25: Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.
I should just say read the book of Romans but it is so vividly clear from the first eight chapters that it is impossible to see how any person with intelligence could not see the error in the doctrine of purgatory.
8: But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
9: Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.
10: For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.
11: And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.
Notice these are all "Present Tense" statements that we have NOW. We are "now" justified by His blood, we are reconciled "now," and have "now" received the atonement. This whole chapter is a rebuttal to purgatory but I have pulled out a few verses that make it so crystal clear it is undeniable.
16: And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift: for the judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offences unto justification.
17: For if by one man's offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.)
18: Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.
19: For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.
I sincerely pray that any catholic that reads this will find the truth and realize that if you have been lied to about purgatory then maybe you should check out the rest of the "traditions" that you believe.
1: There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
3: For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:
4: That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
9: But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.
10: And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.
11: But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.
14: For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.
16: The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:
We are free from the condemnation of God as long as we strive to serve Christ in the spirit. It does not mean we will be perfect and not sin. God knows this and that is why He made an avenue to redeem us when we fail. We simply repent to Him and He cleanses us from that unrighteousness. There is no purging place; it is all done right here and now. You either belong to Christ or you don't and if you do then the Spirit will bear witness with your spirit and when you fail He will show you.
9: That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
10: For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
11: For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.
12: For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.
13: For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
There is nothing here saying that you will be saved "but" you will have to go through a holding place because what you said you believed to get you saved is not enough according to our doctrine. It says that we believe unto "righteousness" not that we suffer until we obtain it in some holding place.
1: I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
2: And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
We as Christians are to be different than the "lost" individuals. We are to be living sacrifices to God living our lives according to what He wants and not our sinful desires anymore. To do that we have to "transform" and "renew" our minds and that is done through the Word of God. Remember we already established that Jesus said His Word is Truth and that is how we transform our minds. It says nothing about the "traditions" of men, in fact Jesus warned plenty of the traditions of men and I will use those scriptures in the summary.
11: For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.
12: So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.
According to the catholic's own statement on this belief of purgatory this scripture is not true. They claim that one will go to purgatory and be completely cleansed and then be able to enter heaven. If this is the case then there is no answering and giving an account because you are cleansed first. This judgment spoken of is later and all those that have died over the past years are already in purgatory without passing through this judgment. Therefore the only explanation is that they bypass this scripture due to their being in purgatory. Interesting dilemma.
1 Corinthians 6
11: And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.
We are complete in Him and there is no need for further cleansing. It purgatory is true then this verse is a lie.
1 Corinthians 15
51: Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,
52: In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
53: For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.
Maybe I am missing something but I do not see purgatory in this scripture. What I do see is that we will be changed in an instant, not purging process needed.
2 Corinthians 5
10: For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.
Once again we are told that we all will appear before the judgment seat of Christ, I covered this in Romans 14:12 and the same applies here.
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.
21: For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.
Our past is forgotten by God after we accept Christ because His blood cleanses us from all sins. We are reconciled to God upon our acceptance of Jesus not after some purging process when we die in a place that does not exist. When we sin after receiving Jesus we ask forgiveness and repent directly to Him and He cleanses us of it all. I will get to scripture to verify this later.
23: And be renewed in the spirit of your mind;
24: And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.
According to this verse righteousness and true holiness are found in Christ during our life on earth, not in some holding place of purging.
25: Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;
26: That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word
Again we are told that the sanctifying and cleansing is done through the Word, not purgatory.
12: Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light:
13: Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:
14: In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:
We are made partakers and are delivered from darkness, translated and redeemed through Jesus. All while on this earth in our walk and not done in some purging place.
20: And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.
21: And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled
22: In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight:
If we are "holy" "unblameable" and "unreproveable" through His blood then where is the need for a purgatory? It says we are "NOW" reconciled to Him not in the future after some cleansing.
1 Thessalonians 4
15: For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.
16: For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
17: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
18: Wherefore comfort one another with these words.
There is no mention of a purgatory here, but I would bet that the catholics would argue that these people would have all passed the need to go there. It clearly says that all those who are alive when Christ returns will be immediately transformed and be with Christ from that point on. No purgatory for them or those that were dead in Christ and preceded them.
2 Timothy 3
15: And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.
16: All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
17: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.
According to this scripture it is the Word that is able to perform all that is necessary to make us holy and acceptable to God. I see no clause in this verse that says it may be necessary for further cleansing and instruction in purgatory.
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.
Again our justification and cleansing is from Jesus and not purgatory.
11: But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building;
12: Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.
Notice His own blood cleanses us and it was only necessary to apply it ONCE, which also refutes catholic teaching on the sacrifice of Christ being done every mass. He obtained "eternal" redemption for us, there is no need for further cleansing.
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.
24: For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us:
25: Nor yet that he should offer himself often, as the high priest entereth into the holy place every year with blood of others;
26: For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.
27: And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:
28: So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.
Many things are clear and contradict other catholic traditions in the process of disproving purgatory. There is no remission without "blood," so either the scripture is in error or the concept of purgatory is a lie. According to their belief purgatory will purge out any remaining sin by fire. According to the Bible, ONLY blood can atone for sin and it was only offered ONCE, not often as catholics do each mass. It is also made clear that once a person dies then it is directly to judgment.
It is apparent that catholics do not read the book of Romans or Hebrews because if they did there is no way they could justify the many traditions they hold to.
10: By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.
11: And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins:
12: But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God;
13: From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool.
14: For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.
I believe there is more than one reason that it is repeated over and over about Christ offering being ONCE for all and only needing to be done ONCE. It was not just for this purgatory doctrine but also the error of catholic mass re-crucifying Christ each time.
17: And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.
18: Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin.
19: Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus,
20: By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh;
21: And having an high priest over the house of God;
22: Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.
If He remembers our sins no more once we accept Him and seek forgiveness each time we do fail then were is the need for a purgatory? If Jesus remembers our sins no more then why does the catholic church insist on it? Whey do they insist that we need to go to a place of further cleansing when Jesus says differently?
26: For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins,
27: But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries.
28: He that despised Moses' law died without mercy under two or three witnesses:
29: Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?
According to this scripture if we continue to sin after we know the truth then there is no sacrifice for our sins which only leaves one alternative and that is not purgatory, it is hell. The catholic church has made concessions for just about everything; do what you want and just go to confession and say 13 hail Mary's and all is well. Do what you want in this life because as long as you are part of "the church" the worst that can happen is you end up on purgatory. How convenient! Unfortunately it is not Biblical and it is leading people astray to what Jesus actually says and demands.
Our spiritual walk is not to be taken lightly and it is very dangerous to take God's grace lightly. As I mentioned earlier, we are not going to be sinless, but when we make mistakes we ask forgiveness and repent. If we continue in those sins and do not seek repentance then we can only look for God's judgment as a result and that is not purgatory!
3: According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:
4: Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.
We are partakers of the divine nature while on this earth and not after purgatory.
1 John 1
7: But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.
8: If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
9: If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
This is how we remain clean from our sins in this New Testament, we simply repent and ask forgiveness and we know that He is faithful to cleanse us from "ALL" things. We do not have to worry about some place after we die to cleanse us further because we recognize that His blood has already obtained that for our past, present, and future sins.
1 John 4
12: No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us.
13: Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit.
17: Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world.
This is done in our physical life not in purgatory. We are perfected through Him because of Him therefore this is how He sees us.
There are many more scriptures I could use but I hope this is sufficient to prove the gross error in this doctrine that demeans the power of Jesus' blood to fully cleanse us. Scriptures are very clear that we are made complete in Him and that there is no need for further cleansing as is suggested by this erroneous doctrine of purgatory. I believe that most catholics are sincere for the most part, they are just ignorant of what the Bible says and brainwashed to believe that it is not sufficient by itself. That is why they can cling to these types of doctrines without on shred of Biblical support. At some point as a catholic we can only pray that they will look at the evidence surrounding these "traditions" and doctrines and believe the Biblical truth over them.
I find great similarity between the catholic faith today and that of the Pharisees and Saducees of Jesus' day. They were consumed with "traditions" and would not accept Jesus' teachings. They used pretty much the same baseless arguments as the catholic church uses today and this is what Jesus had to say about them. When you read Jesus' statement think of how easily it could apply to the catholic church today.
1: Then came to Jesus scribes and Pharisees, which were of Jerusalem, saying,
2: Why do thy disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? for they wash not their hands when they eat bread.
3: But he answered and said unto them, Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition?
4: For God commanded, saying, Honour thy father and mother: and, He that curseth father or mother, let him die the death.
5: But ye say, Whosoever shall say to his father or his mother, It is a gift, by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me;
6: And honour not his father or his mother, he shall be free. Thus have ye made the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition.
7: Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying,
8: This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me.
9: But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.
13: Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered: and many such like things do ye.
The whole chapter 23 of Matthew is also a vivid picture of the catholic church. The parallel is unprecedented and undeniable. The catholic church stands staunchly behind their "traditions" and claim that they are Biblical and hold equal authority with the Bible. That is a claim that is unsubstantiated and against Biblical principles. No tradition can usurp the authority of the Bible nor can it go against any of its teachings. The Bible is the final authority and even Jesus used it against the devil and claims its dominance.
It is easy to introduce anything you want when you discredit the foundation and claim it is insufficient in itself. Then you add other things to the foundation that do not belong such as the Pharisees of Jesus' day. I believe I proved the point of this issue by my comments to each of the scriptures the catholics use along with the ample proof in scripture refuting the doctrine of purgatory. I pray that every catholic that reads this will ask the Holy Spirit to allow them to see the truth regarding this matter and every other "tradition" they have been led to believe.
In Christ, Adam