THE FINISHED WONDER:
The Story of a Catholic Priest
by Rev. Charles Chiniquy
Rev. Chinquy was a famous Catholic Priest of Canada, born at Kamouraska, Quebec, on July 20, 1809. He established the first temperance society there and won the title, "Apostle of Temperance of Canada."
Because of his ability and piety, he was entrusted with a colonizing party of French-Canadians, who settled in Illinois.
Late in his life he was a friend of Abraham Lincoln.
He toured England several times and this particular narrative of his life was first given in London. He lived to his ninetieth year, dying in Montréal, on January 16, 1899.
All quotations from Scripture in this article have been reproduced in the text of the New Catholic Confraternity Edition of the Bible, which bears the imprimature of Francis Cardinal Spellman.
The Finished Wonder
I was born and baptized a Roman Catholic in 1809, and I was ordained priest in the year 1833, in Canada. I am now in my seventy-fourth year, and it is nearly fifty years since I received the dignity of the priesthood in the Church of Rome.
For tenty-five years I was a priest of that Church, and I tell you frankly that I loved the Church of Rome, and she loved me. I would have shed every drop of my blood for my Church and would have given a thousand times my life to extend her power and dignity over the continent of America, and over the whole world. My great ambition was to convert the Protestants, and bring them into my Church, becaise I was told, and I preached, that outside the Church of Rome there was no salvation, and I was sorry to think that those multitudes of Protestants were to be lost.
A few years later after I was born we lived in a place where there were no schools. My mother became my first teacher, and the first book in which she taught me to read was the Bible. When I was eight or nine years old I read the Divine Book with an incredible pleasure, and my heart was much taken up with the beauty of the Word of God. My mother selected the chapters she wished me to read, and the attention I gave to it was such that, many times, I refused to go and play with the other boys outside in order to enjoy the pleasure of reading the Holy Book. Some of the chapters I loved more than others, and these I learned by heart.
But after my mother died, the Bible disappeared from the house, probably through the priest who had tried to obtain possession of it before. Now this Bible is the root of everything in this story. This is the light which was put in my soul when young, and, thanks be to God, that light has never been extinguished. It has remained there. It is to that dear Bible, by the mercy of God, that I owe today the unspeakable joy which I feel when being among the redeemed, among those who have received the light, and are drinking at the pure fountain of truth.
But perhaps you are asking, "Do not the Roman Catholic priests allow their people to read the Bible?" Yes, I thank God that they do. It is a fact that today, almost all over the world, the Church of Rome grants permission to read the Bible, and you will find the Bible in the homes of some Roman Catholics.
But when we have confessed this we must tell the whole truth. When the priest puts the Bible in the hands of his people, or when a priest receives the Bible from his Church, there is a condition. The condition is that though the priest or people may read the Bible, they must never, under any circumstances, interpret a single word according to their conscience, their intelligence, or in their own mind. When I was ordained a priest I swore that I would interpret the Scriptures only according to the unanimous consent of the Holy Fathers.
Friends, go to Roman Catholics today, and ask them if they have permission to read the Bible. They will tell you, "Yes, I can read it." But ask, "Have you permission to interpret it?" They will tell you, "No." The priest says positively to the people, and the Church says positively to the priest, that they cannot interpret a single word of the Bible according to their own intelligence and their own conscience, and that it is a grievous sin to take upon themselves the interpretation of a single word. The priest says in effect to the people, "If you try to interpret the Bible with your own intelligence you are lost. It is a most dangerous book. You may read it, but it is better not to read it, because you cannot understand it."
What is the result of such teaching? The result is, that though both the priests and the people have the Bible in their hands, they do not read it. Would you read a book if you were persuaded that you couldn't understand a single word by yourself? Would you be such a fool as to waste your time reading a book which you were persuaded you could not understand a single line?
That, my friends, is the truth about the Church of Rome. They have a great number of Bibles. You will find Bibles on the tables of the priests and of Catholic laymen, but among ten thousand priests there are not two who read the Bible from the beginning to the end and pay any attention to it. They read a few pages here and there: that is all.
In the Church of Rome the Bible is a sealed book, but it was not so with me. I found it precious to my heart when I was a small boy, and when I became a priest of Rome I read it to make me a strong man, and to make me argue for the church.
My great objective was to confound the Protestant ministers of America. I got a copy of the "Holy Fathers", and I studied it day and night with the Holy Scriptures, in order to prepare myself for the great battle I wanted to fight against the Protestants. I made this study in order to strengthen my faith in the Roman Catholic Church.
But, blessed be God! every time I read the Bible there was a mysterious voice saying, "Do you not see that in the Church of Rome you do not follow the teachings of the Word of God, but only the traditions of men?" In the silent hours of the night, when I heard that voice, I wept and cried, but it was repeated with the strength of thunder. I wanted to live and die in the Holy Roman Catholic Church, and I prayed to God to silence the voice, but I heard it yet still louder. When I was reading His Word He was trying to break my fetters, but I would not have my fetters broken. He came to me with His saving light, but I would not have it.
I have no bad feelings against Roman Catholic priests. Some of you may think that I have. You are mistaken. Sometimes I weep for them because I know that the poor men - just as I did - are fighting against the Lord, and that they are miserable as I was miserable then. If I relate to you one of the struggles of which I speak, you will understand what it is to be a Roman Catholic priest, and you will pray for them.
In Montréal there is a splendid cathedral, capable of holding 15,000 people. I used to preach there very often. One day the Bishop asked me to speak on the Virgin Mary, and I was glad to do so. I said to those people what I thought to be true then, and what the priests believe and preach everywhere. Here is the sermon I preached:
My hearers were so happy at the idea of having such an advocate at the feet of Jesus interceding for them day and night, that they burst into tears, and were beside themselves with joy that Mary was to ask and obtain their pardon.
"My dear friends, when a man has rebelled against his king, when he has committed a great crime against his emperor, does he come himself to speak to him? If he has a favour to ask from his king, dare he, under the circumstances, appear himself in his presence? No; the king would rebuke him, and would punish him. But what does he do? Instead of going himself he selects one of the friends of the king, one of his officers, sometimes the sister of the mother of the king, and he puts his petition into their hands. They go and speak in favour of the guilty man. They ask his pardon, they appease his wrath, and very often the king will grant these people the favour he would refuse to the guilty man.
"Then," I said, "we are all sinners, we have all offended the great and mighty King, the King of Kings. We have raised rebellious colours against Him. We have trampled His laws under our feet, and surely He is angry against us. What can we do today? Shall we go ourselves with our hands filled with our iniquities? No! But, thanks to God, we have Mary the mother of Jesus, our King, at His right hand. And as a dutiful son never refuses any favour to a beloved mother, so Jesus will never refuse any favour to Mary. he never refused any petition which she presented to Him when he was on earth. he has never rebuked His mother in any way.
"Where is the son who would break the heart of a loving mother, when he could cause her to rejoice by granting her desires? Jesus, the King of Kings, is not only the Son of God; but he is the Son of Mary, and he loves his mother. And as He never refused any favour of Mary when he was on earth; He will never refuse her any favour today.
"Then what must we do? Oh! we cannot present ourselves before the great King, covered as we are with iniquity. Let us present our petitions to His holy mother. She will go to the feet of Jesus, herself, Jesus, her God and her son, and she will surely receive the favours which she will ask. She will ask our pardon and will obtain it. She will ask for you a place in the Kingdom of Christ, and you will have it. She will ask Jesus to fogive your inquities, to grant you true repentance, and He will give you anything His mother may ask of Him."
I thought at the time that this was not only thr religion of Christ, but that it was the religion of common sense, and that nothing could be said against it. After the sermon the Bishop came to me and blessed me, and thanked me, saying that the sermon would do great good in Montréal.
That night I went on my knees, and took my Bible, and my heart was full of joy because of the good sermon I had given in the morning. I opened and read from Matthew 12:46-50, the following words:
When I had read these words there was a voice speaking to me more terrible than the voice of loud thunder, saying, "Chiniquy, you preached a lie this morning when you said that Mary had always received the favours which she had asked from Jesus. Fo you not see that Mary comes to ask a favour, that is, to see her son, during whose absence she has been lonesome, and who has left her during many months to preach the Gospel?
"While he was still speaking to the crowds, his mother and brethren were standing outside, seeking to speak to Him. And someone said to Him, 'Behold, thy mother and thy brethren and standing outside, seeking thee.' But He answered and said to him who told him, 'Who is my mother and who are my brethren?' And stretching forth his hand towards His disciples, He said, 'Behold my mother and my brethren! For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven, he is my brother and sister and mother.'"
"When Mary got to the place where Jesus was preaching, the place was so crammed that she could not enter. What will she do? She will do what every mother would do in the place. She raises her voice and requests Him to come and see her; but while Jesus hears the voice of His mother, and with His divine eyes sees her, does He grant her petition? No. He shuts His ears to her voice and hardens His heart against her prayer.
"It is a public rebuke, and she feels it keenly. The people are astonished. They are puzzled, almost scandalised. They turn to Christ, and they say to Him, 'Why don't you come and speak to your mother?'
"What does Jesus say? he gives no answer except this extraordinary one: 'Who is My mother, and who are My brethren?' and, looking at His disciples, He says 'Behold, My mother, My brethren, and My sisters.' As for Mary, she is left alone, and publicly rebuked."
And then the voice spoke to me again with the power of thunder, telling me to read also in St. Mark 3:31-35. You will find the same incident both in Mark and Luke 8:19-21. Instead of granting her petition Jesus replied in such a way as to publicly rebuke His mother.
And then the voice spoke to me with terrific power, telling me that Jesus, as long as He was a small boy, obeyed Joseph and His mother; but as soon as he presented Himself before the world as the Son of God, as the Saviour of the world, as the great Light of humanity, then Mary had to disappear. It is to Jesus alone that the eyes of the world must be turned to receive Light and Life.
Then, my friends, the voice spoke to me all the night: "Chiniquy, Chiniquy, you have told a lie this morning. You were preaching alot of fables and nonsense. You preach against My Scriptures when you say that Mary has the power to grant any favour from Jesus." I prayed and wept, and it was a sleepless night for me.
The next morning I went to table with the Bishop-Prince, the coadjutor, who had invited me to breakfast.
He said to me, "M. Chiniquy, you look like a man who has spent the night in tears. What is the matter with you?"
I said, "My lord, you are correct, I am desolate above measure."
"What is the matter?" he asked.
"Oh! I cannot tell you here," I said. "Will you please give me one hour in your room alone? I will tell you a mystery which will puzzle you."
After breakfast I went out with him and said:
"Yesterday you paid me a great compliment because of the sermon in which I proved that Jesus had always granted the petitions of His mother. But, my lord, last night I heard another voice, stronger than yours, and my trouble is that I believe that voice is the voice of God. That voice has told me that we Roman Catholic priests and bishops preach a falsehood every time we say to people that Mary has always the power to receive from the hands of Jesus Christ the favours which she asks. This is a lie, my lord - this, I fear, is a diabolical and damning error."
The Bishop then said, "M. Chiniquy, what do you mean? Are you a Protestant?"
"No," I said, "I'm not a Protestant." (Many times I had been called a Protestant because I was so fond of the Bible.) "But I tell you, face to face, that I sincerely fear that yesterday I preached a lie, and that you, my lord, will preach one also the next time you say that we must invoke Mary, under the pretext that Jesus never refused any favour to His mother. This is false."
The Bishop said, "M. Chiniquy, you go too far!"
"No, my lord," I said, "it is of no use to talk. Here is the Gospel; read it."
I put the Gospel into the hands of the Bishop, and he read with his own eyes what I have already quoted. My impression was that he read those words for the first time. The poor man was so much surprised that he remained mute and trembling. Finally he asked, "What does this mean?"
"Well," I said, "this is the Gospel; and here you see that Mary has come to ask from Jesus Christ a favour, and He has not only rebuked her, but He has refused to consider her as His mother. He did this publicly, that we might know that Mary is the mother of Jesus as man, but not as God."
The Bishop was beside himself. He could not answer me.
I then asked to be allowed to put a few questions to him. I said, "My lord, who has saved you and saved me upon the Cross?"
He answered, "Jesus Christ."
"And who paid your debts and mine by shedding His blood - was it Mary or Jesus?"
He said, "Jesus Christ."
"Now, my lord, when Jesus and Mary were on earth, who loved the sinner more - was it Mary or Jesus?"
And again he answered that it was Jesus.
"Did any sinner come to Mary on earth to be saved?"
"Do you remember any sinner going to Jesus to be saved?"
"Have they been rebuked?"
"Do you remember Jesus ever saying to sinners, 'Come to Mary and she will save you'?"
"No," he said.
"Do you remember that Jesus has said to poor sinners, 'Come unto Me'?"
"Yes. he has said it."
"Has He ever retracted those words?"
"And who then, was more powerful to save sinners?" I asked.
"Oh! It was Jesus!"
"Now, my lord, since Jesus and Mary are now in Heaven, can you show me in the Scriptures that Jesus has lost anything of His desire and power to save sinners, or that He has delegated this power to Mary?"
And the Bishop answered, "No."
"Then, my lord, "why do we not go to Him, and Him alone? Why do we invite poor sinners to come to Mary, when, by your own confession she is nothing compared with Jesus, in power, in mercy, in love, and in compassion for the sinner?"
Then the poor Bishop was as a man who is condemned to death. He trembled before me, and as he could not answer me, he pleaded business and left me. His "business" was that he could not answer me.
But I was still not converted. There were still many links by which I was still tied to the feet of the Pope. There were other battles to be fought before I could break the chains which bound me.
In those days, though I was troubled, I had not lost my zeal for my Church. The Bishops had given me great power and authority, and the Pope had raised me above many others, and I had the hope, with many others, that little by little, we might reform the Church in many things.
In 1851 I went to Illinois to found a French colony. I took with me about 75,000 French Canadians, and settled on the magnificient praries of Illinois, to take possession in the name of the Church of Rome. After I had begun my work of colonisation I became a rich man. I bought many Bibles and gave one to almost every family. The Bishop was very angry at me for this, but i did not care. I had no idea of giving up the Church of Rome, but I wanted to guide my people as well as I could in the way which Christ wanted me to lead them.
Now the Bishop of Chacago did a thing at that time which we Frenchmen could not tolerate. It was a great crime, and I wrote to the Pope and got him dismissed. Another Bishop was sent in his place, who sent his Grand Vicar to visit me.
The Grand Vicar said to me, "M. Chiniquy, we are very glad that you got the former Bishop dismissed, for he was a bad man: but it is suspected in many places that you are no more in the Church of Rome. It is suspected that you are a heretic and a Protestant. WIll you not give us a document by which we can prove to all the world that you and your people are still good Roman Carholics?"
I said, "I have no objection."
He rejoined, "It is the desire of the new Bishop whom the Pope has sent, to have such a document from you."
I then took a pieace of paper - and it seemed to me that this was a golden opportunity to silence the voice which was speaking to me day and night and troubling my faith. I wanted to persuade myself by this means that in the Roman Catholic Church we were really following the Word of God, and not merely "traditions of men." I wrote down these very words:
I signed that and offered it to my people to sign, and they did. I then gave it to the Grand Vicar, and asked him what he thought of it. he said, "It is just what we want." He assured me that the Bishop would accept it, and all would be right.
"My lord, we French Canadians of the colony of Illinois want to live in the Holy Catholic Apostolic and Roman Church, out of which there is no salvation, and to prove this to your lordship we promise to obey your authority according to the Word of God, as we find it in the Gospel of Christ."
When the Bishop had read the submission, he too found it right, and joyfully stated: "I am so glad that you have made your submission, because we were fearful that you and your people would turn Protestants."
My friends, to show you my blindness, I must confess to my shame, that I was glad to have made peace with the Bishop, a man, when I was not at peace with God. The Bishop sent me a "letter of peace", by which he declared that I was one of his best priests, and I went before my countrymen with a determination to remain there. But God looked down upon me in His mercy, and he was to break that peace which was peace with man and not with God.
The Bishop later went to the telegraph office and telegraphed my submission to the other bishops, and asked them what they thought of it. They unanimously answered him the very same day: "Do you not see that Chiniquy is a disguised Protestant, and he has made a Protestant of you? It is not to you that he makes a submission; he makes his submission to the Word of God. If you do not destroy that submission you are a Protestant yourself.
Ten days later I received a letter from the Bishop, and when I went to him he asked me if I had the "letter of peace" he had given me the other day. I produced it, and when he saw it was that letter, he ran to his stove and threw it into the fire. I was astonished. I rushed to the fire to save my letter, but it was too late. It was destroyed.
Then I turned to the Bishop, and I said, "How dare you, my lord, take from my hand a document which is my property, and destroy it without my consent?"
He replied, "M. Chiniquy, I am your superior, and I have no account to give to you."
"You are indeed, my lord, my superior, and I am nothing but a poor priest, but there is a great God who is as mjuch above you as above me, and that God has granted me rights which I will never give up to please any man. In the presence of that God I protest against your iniquity."
"Well," he said, "do you come here to give me a lecture?"
I replied, "No, my lord; but I want to know if you have brought me here to insult me?"
"M. Chiniquy," he said, "I brought you here because you gave me a document which you know very well was not an act of submission."
Then I answered, "Tell me, what act of submission to you require of me?"
He said, "You must begin by taking away these few words 'according to the Word of God, as we find in the Gospel of Christ', and say simply that you promise to obey my authority without any condition; that you will promise to do whatever I tell you."
Then I got to my feet, and I said, "My lord, what you require of me is not an act of submission, but an act of adoration, and I refuse it to you."
"Then," said he, "if you cannot give me your act of submission, you can no longer me a Roman Catholic Priest."
I raised my hands to God, and said, "May Almighty God be forever blessed," and I took my hat and left the Bishop.
I went to the hôtel where I had engaged a room, and locked the door behind me. I fell on my knees to examine before God what I had done. Then I saw, for the first time clearly, that the Church of Rome could not be the Church of Christ. I had learned the terrible truth, not from the lips of Protestants, not from her enemies, but from the lips of the Church of Rome herself. I saw that I could not remain in it except by giving up the Word of God in a formal document. Then I saw that I had done well to give up the Church of Rome. But oh! my friends, what a dark cloud came upon me! In my darkness I cried out, "My God, my God, why is it that my soul is surrounded by such a dark cloud?"
With tears I cried to God to show me the way, but for a time no answer was given. I had given up the Church of Rome. I had given up position, honour, my brothers and sisters, everything that was dear to me! I saw that the Pope, the Bishops, and the priests would attack me in the press, and in the pulpit. I saw that they would take away my honour, and my name - and perhaps my life. I saw that war to the death was begun between the Church of Rome and me, and I looked to see if any friends had been left to me to help me fight the battle, but not a single friend remained. I saw that even my dearest friends were bound to curse me, and look upon me as an infamous traitor. I saw that my people would reject me, that my beloved country, where I had so many friends, would curse me, and that I had become an object of horror to the world.
Then I tried to remember if I had any friends amongst the Protestants, but as I had spoken and written against them all my life, I had not a single friend there. I saw that I was left all alone to fight the battle. It was too much, and in that terrible hour, if God had not wrought a miracle, I should not have been able to bear it. It seemed impossible for me to go out of that room into the cold world, where I should not find a single hand to shake my hand, or a single smiling face to look upon me, but where I should see only those looking upon me as a traitor.
It seemed that God was far away, but He was very near. Suddenly the thought entered my mind: "You have your Gospel; read it, and you will find the light." On my knees, and with trembling hand, I opened the book. Not I, but God opened it, for my eyes fell on 1 Cor.7:23: "You have been bought with a price; do not become the slaves of men."
With these words the light came to me, and for the first time I saw the great mystery of salvation, as much as a man cans ee it. I said to myself, "Jesus has bought me. Then, if Jesus has bought me, He has saved me. I am saved! Jesus is my God! All the works of God are perfect! I am, then, perfectly saved - Jesus could not save me by half. I am saved by the blood of the Lamb. I am saved by the death of Jesus."
These words were so sweet to me that I felt unspeakable joy, as if the fountains of life were open and floods of new light were flowing in upon my soul. I said to myself, "I am not saved, as I thought, by going to Mary. I am not saved by purgatory, or by indulgences, confessions or pennances. I am saved by Jesus alone!! And all the false doctrines of Rome went away from my mind as a tower falls which is struck at the base.
I then felt such a joy, such a peace, that the angels of God could not be more happy than I was. The blood of the Lamb was flowing upon my poor guilty soul. With a loud cry of joy I said: "Oh! dear Jesus, I feel it, I know it. Thou hast saved me. Oh! Gift of God, I accept Thee! Take my heart and keep it forever Thine. Gift of God, abide in me to make me pure and strong. Abide in me to be my way, my light, and my life. Grant that I may abide in Thee now and forever! But, dear Jesus, do not save me alone; save my people. Grant me to show them the Gift also! Oh! that they may accept Thee and feel rich and happy as I am now."
It was thus I found the light and the great mystery of our salvation, which is so simple and so beautiful, so sublime and so grand. I had opened the hands of my soul and accepted the gift. I was rich in the gift. Salvation, my friends, is a gift; you have nothing to do but to accept it, love it, and love the Giver. I pressed the Gospel to my lips, and swore I would never preach anything but Jesus.
I arrived in the midst of my colony on a Sabbath morning. The whole people were exceedingly excited and ran towards me, and asked what new I had. When they were gathered in the church I presented to them the Gift. I showed to them what God had presented to me, His Son Jesus as a gift - and, through Jesus, the pardon of my sins, and life eternal as a gift.
Then, not knowing whether they would receive the gift or not, I said to them: "It is time for me to go away from you, my friends. I have taken the gift of Christ, but I respect you too much to impose myself on you. If you think it is better for you to follow the Pope than to follow Christ, and to invoke the name of Mary than the name of Jesus, in order to be saved, tell it to me by rising up.
To my exceeding great surprise the whole multitude remained in their seats, filling the church with their sobs and tears. I thought some of them would tell me to go, but not one did so. And as I watched I saw a change come over them - a marvelous change, which cannot be explained in natural ways - and I said to them, with a cry of joy:
And all, without a single exception, rose to their feet, and with tears, asked me to remain with them.
The mighty God who saved me yesterday can save you today. With me you will cross the Red Sea and go into the Promised Land. With me you will accept the great gift - you will be happy and rich in the gift. I will put the question to you in another way.
If you think it is better for you to follow Christ than the Pope, to invoke the name of Jesus alone than the name of Mary, that it is better to put your trust only on the Cross for your sins, than in the fabulous purgatory of Rome, after your death to be saved; and if you think it is better for you to have me preach to you the pure Gospel of Christ, than to have a priest preach to you the doctrines of Rome, tell it to me by rising up - I am your man!"
The Gift, the great, and unspeakable Gift had, for the first time, come before their eyes in its beauty. They had found it precious. They had accepted it. And no words can tell you the joy of that multitude. Like myself they felt rivh and happy in the Gift. The names of one thousand souls, I believe, were written in the Book of Life that day. Six months later we were two thousand converts. A year kater we were about four thousand! And now we are nearly twenty-five thousand who have washed our robes and made them white in the Blood of the Lamb.
The news spread quickly all over America that Chiniquy, the best-known priest of Canada, had left the Church of Rome at the head of a noble band of men and women. And wherever it was told the Name of Yahshua (Jesus) was blessed.
The Bible is the inspired, infallible Word of Yahweh-God. In its pages are the words of Life. For several centuries after Christ the writings of the Apostles (the New Testament) were the rule of faith for all Christians.
Then power politics by Bishops, especially in Rome, ushered in pagan teachings and traditions that were of men and not of Yahweh (God).
As time went on certain ancient apocryphal books, written before Christ, were added to the Old Testament part of the Bible to bolster these traditions. The Roman Catholic Church still retains these added books. Some are inspired and some are not. Protestant Churches have removed all of these. The New Covenant Church of God has retained the inspired ones in a secondary canonical collection and totally rejected those which are false.
The New Testament is essentially the same in both the Roman Catholic, Protestant/New Covenant Christian Bibles. But nowhere in either Bible are we instructed to pray to Mary. In fact, Christ discouraged the adoration of Mary. She would be honoured, according to Luke 1:48. But notice Luke 11:27-28:
Christ taught here that it is of greater importance to listen to God's Word, and obey it, than to be the honoured virgin through whom he came to the earth. The Bible nowhere encourages the adoration or worship of Mary.
"Now it came to pass as He was saying these things, that a certain woman from the crowd lifted up her voice and said to Him, 'Blessed is the womb that bore thee, and the breasts that nursed Thee.' But He said, 'Rather, blessed are they who hear the Word of Yahweh (God) and keep it...'"
The Bible nowhere teaches that Mary can hear our prayers. And nowhere does it teach that any of the saints can hear our prayers either. Christ alone is the Mediator between God and man. The Bible says, "For there is one God (Yahweh), and one Mediator between God (Yahweh) and men, himself man, Christ Jesus (Yahshua haMashiach)." Christ is our High Priest, and we are to go directly to Him, for He alone can hear us. He is the One who loved us and died for us as Yahweh's sin offering for our sin.
The apostle John in 1 John 5:14-15 says this to the true and faithful believers in Christ: "And the confidence that we have toward Him is this, that if we ask anything according to His will. He hears us. And we know that he hears us whatever we ask; we know that the requests we make of Him are granted." He says this of Christ. But nowhere in the Bible is such a thing said of Mary or the Saints.
The Bible teaches the fact of Hell, the place of punishment for the unbeliever and the unconverted in heart. But the teaching of purgatory is purely an invention of the Roman Catholic Church. Christ never taught it, not did His Apostles. The opposite is taught. When a Christian dies he goes to be with his Lord. The Bible teaches that we receive a FULL pardon for our sins through the sacrifice of Christ on the cross.
Our sins were ALL purged by His suffering and sacrifice on Calvary. He died for our sins - not for just some of them - but for ALL of them. It is recorded in Hebrews 1:3 that he has "...effected man's purgation from sin and taken His seat at the right hand of the Majesty (Yahweh) on high."
And in Colossians 2:13-14 the apostle Paul said: "...forgiving you all your sins, cancelling the decree against us, which was hostile to us. Indeed, He has taken it completely away, nailing it to the cross."
Now then, mankind is not automatically forgiven of all sin because of Christ's sacrifice. We avail ourselves of His forgiveness and the assurance of everlasting life by FAITH andREPENTANCE.
Our FAITH must be in the fact that Christ is the Son of God and that our sins are purged only by His sacrifice and suffering for us at Calvary. Our faith must not be in prayers or good works of any kind. When you are really converted to a new life in Christ it will be evident by good works. But our sins, of every nature, are forgiven us only by God's grace (unmerited favour) because of Christ's sacrifice for sin.
Indulgences granted for prayers, masses, etc. will have no effect at all toward your deliverance from a purgatory which does not exist. He died ONCE for all sin, for all sinners for all time. Listen to Ephesians 2:8-9: "For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not from yourselves, for it is the GIFT of God; not as the outcome of works, last anyone may boast."
Prayers and masses for the dead will never bring one to Heaven. A Roman Catholic mass is said to be the offering of Christ again in suffering and death for the sinner. But Hebrews 10:10 says: "...we have been sanctified [purged] through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ (Yahshua haMashiach) once for all."
Your faith must NOT be in a sacrifice of Christ in the mass, for He died ONCE for sins. Your faith must be in the sacrifice of Christ on Calvary! He has not been sacrificed since that day for sins. Notice this in Hebrews 9:24-28:
Listen to Christ. Just before His life expired as He hung on the cross He cried out, "It is consummated!". Yes, the only sin offering Yahweh (God) recognises was FINISHED - completely, on Calvary. The wonder of it will be retold by saints and angels forever.
"Jesus (Yahshua) has not entered a Holies made by hands, a mere copy of the true, but into heaven itself, to appear now before the face of God (Yahweh) on our behalf; not yet has He entered to offer Himself often, as the high priest enters the Holies year after year with blood not his own [Old Testament sacrifices] for in that case He must have suffered often since the beginning of the world.
"But as it is, once and for all at the end of the ages, he has appeared for the destruction of sin by the sacrifice of Himself. And just as it is appointed unto men to die once, and after this comes the judgment, so also was Christ offered once, to take away the sins of many."
Then notice 1 Peter 1:18-19:
You may spend all your silver and gold for prayers and masses, but the only sacrifice Yahweh (God) recognised is the sacrifice of Christ on Calvary. And He makes no charge. He simply asks your faith and trust in the sacrifice of His Son for your sins.
"You know that you were redeemed from the vain manner of life handed down from your fathers, not with perishable things, with silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ."
The apostle Paul says in Romans 10:9-11;
No, you will not be disappointed. You have Yahweh's promise in His Book. He offers you FULL pardon NOW, without your doing anything to earn it. God offers you His GIFT of pardon and eternal life.
"For if thou confess with thy mouth that Jesus (Yahshua) is Lord, and believe in thy heart that God (Yahweh) has raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart a man believes unto justice, and with the mouth profession of faith is made unto salvation. For the Scripture says, 'Whoever believes in Him shall not be disappointed.'"
You have no part in the purging of your sins, but to believe and joyfully receive.
But one thing God does require of you. This is your part. He requires your heart. He requires you to love Him above all else. He requires you to love Him more than you love your sin. This requirement is called REPENTANCE.
Christ died that he might save you FROM your sins, not in them. The apostle Peter said, Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out." (Acts 3:19) Yes, this Yahweh does require.
The apostle Paul said his message to the people was twofold - that they should, "...turn to God in repentance, and believe in our Lord Jesus Christ (Yahshua haMashiach)." (Acts 20:21)
When you turn to Him sincerely, in true repentance and faith, He will receive you.
You can do it right now. To die without being truly converted in heart and without simple trust in Christ as your complete Saviour is to die LOST. And no silver or gold can redeem you after death any more than it can while you live.
He wants to be your Saviour and Lord now. From the bottom of your heart will you join Father Chiniquy in a prayer similar to the prayer he made, and make it your very own sincere prayer to your Saviour:
If the above is truly YOUR heart-felt prayer, then pray it with all sincerity, print out this pafe, and out your name to it and the date. Then walk with the Lord by reading the Bible daily, and by praying to Him often.
Oh" dear Yahshua (Jesus), it is You, and You alone who can save me! Oh! Gift of Yahweh (God), I accept Thee. I place my hope COMPLETELTY and ONLY in Your sacrifice for me on Calvary. Take my heart and keep it forever Thine. Reign there supreme. Live within my heart and make me pure and strong. Led me by Your Holy Spirit that I may know your will in all things. My Lord! My Saviour! My God!
Be strong in the Lord. Confess Him to others. They too need this message.
If you stumble and sin, confess that sin immediately to the Lord and ask His forgiveness. And ask for strength to be victorious over such sin. Confess only to the Lord unless your sin involves someone else whose forgiveness you should seek.
Search out Christians who believe the truths of the Bible for salvation, fellowship with them, and it will strengthen both your faith and theirs. And seek to win others to Christ, who alone brings peace, joy, forgiveness and everlasting life.
Adapted with thanks from a pamphlet by Ray W. Johnson called The Finished Wonder, pub. 'Life Messengers', Box 1967, Seattle, Washington 98111, USA.
Charles Chiniquy founded St.Anne's Church, Illinois and resigned as pastor there in 1888. A new building was errected in 1895, replacing the old one. Although retired, Rev. Chiniquy spoke several times in the building. He passed away in Canada in 1899, faithful to Christ to the end, never returning to the Roman Church. In case you should sometime wish to visit this church, it is the First Presbyterian Church, located at 334. S. St. Louis Ave. in St. Anne, Ill.. You will even find some of the streets in St.Anne named after Charles Chiniquy.
RECOMMENDED FURTHER READING
You'll Never be the Same Again!
If you find ploughing through long books difficult and would like to read some excellent materials in comic format, we would like to recommend the following series about a Spanish Roman Catholic Priest called Dr. Alberto Rivera called "ALBERTO":
ALBERTO: The Unforgettable Story of a Jesuit priest and his Conversion to Christ in 6 parts:
If you would like to read the story of Charles Chiniquy in comic format too, this may also be ordered as:
The whole story by Charles Chiniquy is also available in book format under the title:
- Part 1: ALBERTO (Vol.12 in "The Crusaders" Series)
- Part 2: DOUBLE-CROSS (Vol.12 in "The Crusaders" Series)
- Part 3: THE GODFATHERS (Vol.13 in "The Crusaders" Series)
- Part 4: THE FORCE (Vol.14 in "The Crusaders" Series)
- Part 5: FOUR HORSEMEN (Vol.15 in "The Crusaders" Series)
- Part 6: THE PROPHET (Vol.16 in "The Crusaders" Series)
These publications may be ordered from:
- 50 YEARS IN THE "CHURCH" OF ROME: The Conversion of a Priest
*Recommendation of these publications does not necessarily imply NCCG's endorsement of all Chick publications or its every doctrinal position.
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First created on 28 July 1999
Last updated on 28 July 1999
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