Thursday, October 11, 2018

Did the New Testament church believe in Roman Catholic Purgatory?

No, and the Catholic gospel  (see also "Basically, what is the Roman Catholic teaching on salvation?') is not what the New Testament church of Scripture taught. Instead, Roman Catholic (the Eastern Orthodox tend to reject the Roman version) Purgatory is based upon a false premise, not only that there is a need for further atonement for some sins after death, but that justification is on the basis of actual  righteousness, which is first attained  via the act itself of baptism (and which for infants means without even having to repent and to believe on the Lord Jesus with all their heart, which is contrary to Acts 2:38; 8:36,37; 10:43–47- 15:7–9) effecting  "infused” righteousness, for in RC theology one is formally justified by their own righteousness. (Catholic Encyclopedia>Sanctifying Grace) 

However, since  since the unholy sin nature remains, then  after baptism unless the baptized is one of the very few who has become perfect in character in this life and dies in that state, then entering Heaven can only be attained  by attaining perfection of character ("by grace") thru postmortem “purifying punishments” and sufferings, commencing at death, in order to be with God.

But which is contrary to what Scripture most manifestly teaches, which is that of penitent faith  appropriating justification, with effectual faith being that purifies the heart (Acts 15:9) and is counted for righteousness (Romans 4:5) and renders one accepted in the Beloved (on His account) and positionally seated together with their Lord in Heaven. (Ephesians 1:6; 2:6


From  where they positionally await the Lord's return and His final subduing of our "vile body," that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body," (Philippians 3:21)and which is the only transformative change after this life that the Scriptures speak of.

At which time is the judgment seat of Christ, which is the only suffering after this life, which does not begin at death, but awaits the Lord's return, (1 Corinthians 4:5; 2 Timothy. 4:1,8; Revelation 11:18; Matthew 25:31-46; 1 Peter 1:7; 5:4) and is the suffering of the loss of rewards (and the Lord's displeasure) due to the manner of material one built the church with, which one is saved despite the loss of such, not because of. (1 Corinthians 3:8ff)

However, this saving justifying faith is a faith which effects obedience by the Spirit, (Romans 8:14) in word and in deed, in heart and in life, whereby "the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit, (Romans 8:4) insofar as we do. 


 And since faith and works go together like light and heat, sometimes they are used interchangeably as to what they effect. And which obedience includes penitent confession when convicted of not pleasing the Object of his faith for salvation, the risen Lord Jesus.

The appeal to the believer is to produce fruit consistent with faith, as a consequence of being accepted in the Beloved (on His account), to be practically (in heart and deed) as they are positionally in Christ, to be as much conformed to the Lord Jesus in this life as we can be, and will be in the resurrection. (Philippians 3:7-21)

If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. (Galatians 5:25)

If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory. (Colossians 3:1-4)

But which progressive practical sanctification is not the
cause of the sinner's justification and acceptance in Christ, but testifies to such being a believer, evidencing "things which accompany salvation," (Hebrews 6:9) and fit to be rewarded. (Revelation 3:4) For this faith, as manifested in said obedience, God will recompense (Hebrews 10:35) under grace, even though it is God who motivates and enables all obedience, (Philippians 1:12,13) while the only thing we can and must take credit for it our disobedience.

In contrast to this salvation by effectual faith, is salvation by grace thru works, as in Roman Catholicism, in which, to reiterate, it is taught that by grace one is actually made good enough to be with God via the act of baptism. And which act itself is said to regenerate and render them good enough to go to Heaven, and formally justified by their own righteousness.


This itself is a result from the Catholic premise that justification is a process based upon actual sanctification via the act itself of baptism (so that the newly baptized would go straight into glory if they immediately died then, but not after their sin nature that remained manifested itself) vs. heart-purifying regenerating faith being counted for righteousness among the regenerate, but not as making one actually good enough in character to be with God.


While in Catholic theology man does not merit the grace by which process one is justified, yet the "the process of justification" means that it is on the basis of sanctification via baptism (by which one receives "sanctifying grace," having an "interior sanctifying quality") that one is justified by, and which "confers the right to heavenly glory." Thus it is held that newly baptized Catholics would go directly in heavenly glory if they died at that time, before committing sin. But since such soon manifest imperfection, then this premise of salvation via actual sanctification leads to the need for Purgatory in order to become good enough to actually be with God. 


"This inner quality of righteousness and sanctity is universally termed 'sanctifying (or habitual) grace')." "this justification cannot, according to Christ's precept, be effected except at the fountain of regeneration, that is, by the baptism of water" "by which even an infant in receiving baptism is necessarily made just and pleasing to God," "by the grace of this sacrament the catechumen is freed from sin (original and personal) and its punishments, and is made a child of God." "whereby He makes us just, in so far as He bestows on us the gift of His grace which renovates the soul interiorly and adheres to it as the soul's own holiness (Trent, l. c., cap. vii)." 


The Council of Trent decreed that the essence of active justification comprises not only forgiveness of sin, but also "sanctification and renovation of the interior man by means of the voluntary acceptation of sanctifying grace and other supernatural gifts" (Trent, l. c., cap. vii)" "According to the Council of Trent sanctifying grace is not merely a formal cause, but "the only formal cause" (unica causa formalis) of our justification." For, "Justification is "considered as a state or habit (habitus justificationis), it denotes the continued possession of a quality inherent in the soul." (Catholic Encyclopedia > Justification) Thus one is "formally justified and made holy by his own personal justice and holiness (causa formalis)." - Catholic Encyclopedia > Sanctifying Grace: emp. mine 


What this is means is that "by the grace of God" man, via the act of baptism - which produces its effects ex opere operato=by the act itself - (The Catholic Encyclopedia>Sacraments), the soul receives "sanctifying grace which renders men the adopted sons of God and confers the right to heavenly glory" (Catholic Encyclopedia > baptism) being actually made "just and pleasing to God." 


While this magic act is appealing, and is set in contrast to a misleading characterization of sola fide (as if that simply meant believers were merely white-washed sinners), what it means is that souls are imagined to be actually good enough to be with God. Thus the innocence of baptism is not enough, but regeneration, however, while the latter does create a new heart rendering man a "new creature," (2Co. 5:17) yet his sinful nature remains, as the new convert will quickly realize.


Therefore most baptized souls are theologically said to go to Roman Catholic (EOs trend to reject Rome's) Purgatory to endure purifying torments to atone for sins they sufficiently failed to provide for while on earth, and to become good enough to enter glory.

The Catholic Encyclopedia states, “whosoever comes into God's presence must be perfectly pure for in the strictest sense His "eyes are too pure, to behold evil" (Habakkuk 1:13).

The Catholic Encyclopedia also states that St. Augustine "describes two conditions of men; "some there are who have departed this life, not so bad as to be deemed unworthy of mercy, nor so good as to be entitled to immediate happiness" etc. (City of God XXI.24.)

And thus by the close of the fourth century was taught "a place of purgation..from which when purified they "were admitted unto the Holy Mount of the Lord". For " they were "not so good as to be entitled to eternal happiness".

One "cannot approach God till the purging fire shall have cleansed the stains with which his soul was infested." (Catholic Encyclopedia>Purgatory) 

CCC 1023: Those who die in God's grace and friendship and are perfectly purified live for ever with Christ...(provided they were not in need of purification when they died, . . . or, if they then did need or will need some purification, when they have been purified after death, . . .)

 Every trace of attachment to evil must be eliminated, every imperfection of the soul corrected. Purification must be complete, and indeed this is precisely what is meant by the Church's teaching on Purgatory. The term does not indicate a place, but a condition of existence. Those who, after death, exist in a state of purification, are already in the love of Christ Who removes from them the remnants of imperfection (John Paul II, Audiences, July 21, 1999; cf. Ecumenical Council of Florence, Decretum pro Graecis: DS 1304; Ecumenical Council of Trent, Decretum de iustificatione: DS 1580; Decretum de purgatorio: DS 1820). 


Catholic professor Peter Kreeft states,

"...we will go to Purgatory first, and then to Heaven after we are purged of all selfishness and bad habits and character faults." - Peter Kreeft, Because God Is Real: Sixteen Questions, One Answer, p. 224

"The purpose of purgatory is to bring you up the level of spiritual excellence needed to experience the full-force presence of God." (Jimmy Akin, How to Explain Purgatory to Protestants).

Roman Catholics also invoke the exhortation of Matthew 5:48: "Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect"  (Matthew 5:48) as a requirement to be with God, actually presuming that that they can attain the perfection of God in this life or in RC purgatory!  


There is some wiggle room as regards the conditions of purgatory since what this suffering actually entails, and how long, for such are are not dogmatically taught, but while salvation by grace thru faith as in sola fide means it is effectual faith being imputed for righteousness that justifies, salvation by grace thru works means that by grace one is actually made good enough to be with God, which premise either requires perfection of character in this life (and which merely being made clean in baptism would actually not effect) or postmortem purifying torments.


However, to reiterate, wherever Scripture clearly speak of the next conscious reality for believers then it is with the Lord, (Lk. 23:43 [cf. 2Cor. 12:4; Rv. 2:7]; Phil 1:23; 2Cor. 5:8 [“we”]; 1Cor. 15:51ff'; 1Thess. 4:17) Note in the latter case all believers were assured that if the Lord returned, which they expected in their lifetime, so would they “ever be with the Lord,” though they were still undergoing growth in grace, as was Paul. (Phil. 3:7f)

And the next transformative experience that is manifestly taught is that of being like Christ in the resurrection. (1Jn. 3:2; Rm. 8:23; 1Co 15:53,54; 2Co. 2-4) At which time is the judgment seat of Christ, which is the only suffering after this life, which does not begin at death, but awaits the Lord's return, (1 Corinthians 4:5; 2 Timothy. 4:1,8; Revelation 11:18; Matthew 25:31-46; 1 Peter 1:7; 5:4) and is the suffering of the loss of rewards (and the Lord's displeasure) due to the manner of material one built the church with, which one is saved despite the loss of such, not because of. (1 Corinthians 3:8ff)

In addition, the whole premise that suffering itself perfects a person is specious, since testing of character requires being able to choose btwn alternatives, and which this world provides. Thus it is only this world that Scripture peaks of here development of character, such as "Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations." (1 Peter 1:6)

And even in making the Lord "perfect" as in experiencing testing, being "in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin," (Hebrews 4:15) then it was in this world: "For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings." (Hebrews 2:10)

Texts that Catholics attempt to use to support Purgatory:


 2 Maccabees  12;44-46 (atonement for the dead to free them from sin ).

O what support is that of praying for men whom the text clearly stated were slain for their idolatry, which is a mortal sin?


This does not teach Purgatory, but instead it advocates offerings with prayers for those who were lost, who were clearly said to have died due to idolatry, that they yet might be in the resurrection (of the just), "in that he was mindful of the resurrection." (2 Maccabees 12:43)


Thus all one can invoke this text from the Deuteros for is for praying for the dead, even for those who died due to mortal sin ("Now under the coats of every one that was slain they found things consecrated to the idols of the Jamnites, which is forbidden the Jews by the law. Then every man saw that this was the cause wherefore they were slain...they saw before their eyes the things that came to pass for the sins of those that were slain" - 2 Maccabees 12:40,42), for whom according to Rome there is no hope. 


Thus RCs must resort to special pleading that maybe they repented in their dying moments, but died anyway due to idolatry. And again, the offerings for them was in hope that they may see the resurrection, which those in purgatory are assured of, not that they may escape from purgatory. 


However, while the Holy Spirit records approx. 200 prayers in Scripture in exampling and teaching how to pray and exhorting the same, there are zero prayers to Heaven anywhere in Scripture addressed to anyone in Heaven but God, except by pagans.


Meanwhile believing this book was Scripture proper was not required until after Luther died, almost 1400 years after the last book was penned.

Other texts which Catholics often attempt to use for support are:

•  1 Peter 3:18-20;4:6 ( Peter preaching to the spirits in prison)

Which preaching was to the "disobedient" lost souls like those of Noah's day, "wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water," and it is obvious they had not attained to perfection of character. But with His resurrection (Matthew 27:52) the Lord set free those in captivity in  Abraham's bosom, (Ephesians 4:8,9) also called paradise,(Luke 23:43) which OT saints went to, and was on the other side of Hades, with a great gulf between the two  (Luke 16:19-31)   since the way into the holiest of all was not yet  enabled under the Old Covenant, (Hebrews 9:8;  10:4) but which Christ enabled by His Death (Matthew 27:51). But which paradise was and  is not purgatory but a place of comfort, (Luke 16:25) not fiery punishments, and Christ having opened the way into the holy of holies by His sinless shed blood, (Hebrews 10:19) then paradise which is now Heaven. (2 Corinthians 12:4

1 Cor 15:29-30  (baptizing the dead)

Which text Mormons also use in attempting to support their false teaching,  but it supports nothing than was it was invoked for by the Holy Spirit thru Paul, that of there being a resurrection which some ("they," says Paul, not "we") thought postmortem baptism would effect, but with nothing inferred as purgatory. And which the Holy Spirit would never fail to clearly teach on, if it indeed was of Catholic importance. 

• 1 Cor 3:15 (saved through fire)

Utterly invalidated as explained below*, by God's grace. 

Mt 5:26 (where you will not be released until you pay the last penny)

 Rather than Matthew 5:25-26 being "explicit about Purgatory" as Staples imagines this either refers to this life, or punishment in Hell, the latter of which is inferred in  the context of  Matthew 5:22-26, (Matthew 5:22; Matthew 5:27-29; cf. Mark 9:43), and Catholics  themselves argue (Mt. 1:25) that "until" ("till thou hast paid the uttermost farthing") need not mean a terminus is inferred.

And here this story cannot be analogous to purgatory, since that is for souls whose guilt is forgiven (CCC 1471) yet who have to make expiation for venial sins, but  Matthew 5:22-26, does not describe penitent saved souls who guilt is forgiven yet atoning for venial sins as per Purgatory, but one who is denying the faith by knowingly  impenitently and hypocritically mistreating a brother and therefore receiving retributive justice. 

And Matthew 5:22-26  correlates to Matthew 18:23-35  in which the subject of punishment is clearly that of a lost soul who is in no way penitent and acting consistent with Christian faith, but akin to the one in 1 Timothy 5:8 who had denied the faith by refusing to provide for his own dependents.
Thus the description there is of a "mortal sin." And contrary to RC Purgatory,  this man was not forgiven, but was damned, and given the vast amount he had to pay, then  I think "Verily I say unto thee, Thou shalt by no means come out thence, till thou hast paid the uttermost [farthest] farthing" (Matthew 5:26) is saying he never will come out, 

Mt 12:32 (sin is forgiven in this age or the next)

That is simple, except Rome rejects the 1,000 year reign of Christ in which there will be sin and forgiveness of sins, as Ezekiel shows in his many chapters which defy then as being mere allegory. 

1 John 5:16-17 (degrees of sin distinguished)

Which refers to apostasy, and there are degrees of sin, and of accountability and guilt, thus degrees of punishment, (Matthew 11:20-24) but which description are only about Hell, not some interim place.

Mark 9:49 (all will be salted by fire)

Which is simply another example of the egregious extrapolation RCs must often resort to in order attempt to postulate some sort of support for what they can only wish Scripture manifestly taught, but which it does not!

Here the only postmortem reality that is seen in the context is that of Hell: "Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched" (Mark 9:48) and otherwise it speaks of salt (Mark 9:49,50; cf. Lev. 2:13; Eze 43:24) which represent holiness, which works for peace, and one either has it or they are good for nothing, (Mt. 5:13) and and there is nothing that infers purgatory in order to get it or more of it, though this would be one of many places we could expect to see it if it were true.


Appeal to Tradition. Since Purgatory is one of the many distinctive Catholic teachings which  are not manifest in the only wholly inspired substantive authoritative record of what the NT church believed (which is Scripture, in particular Acts through Revelation, which best shows how the NT church understood the gospels),  - and the weight of Scriptural warrant is not the basis for Catholic assurance of Truth though many  attempt to employ it in condescension to "Bible Christians" - then they typically must  resort to appeal to Catholic Tradition. 


However,   the doctrine of RC Purgatory is clearly not that which is taught by "unanimous consent of the fathers," and has actually been an acquired belief with a  process of development so that now Purgatory is held as not even being an actual place.  Yet hell is Scripturally taught as a actual place in which lost souls are in a state of torment, (Luke 16:19-31) and men like Tertullian held that his equivalent of purgatory was a place, a "prison of Hell," teaching of Abraham's bosom, that, 


"Although it is not in heaven, it is yet higher than hell, and is appointed to afford an interval of rest to the souls of the righteous, until the consummation of all things shall complete the resurrection of all men with the 'full recompense of their reward.'" (Against Marcion, 4:34) (Tertullian, Against Marcion, 4:34, before 220 A.D.), 


And French historian [and prolific author specializing in the Middle Ages]  Jacques Le Goff further explains: 


"Between Tertullian's refrigerium interim [a region of the afterlife some believers go to] and Purgatory there is a difference not only of kind - for Tertullian it is a matter of a restful wait until the Last Judgment, whereas with Purgatory it is a question of a trial that purifies because it is punitive and expiatory - but also of duration: souls remain in refrigerium until the resurrection but in Purgatory only as long as it takes to expiate their sins." (The Birth of Purgatory [Chicago, Illinois: The University of Chicago Press, 1986], pp. 47-48) Which refrigerium is akin to what EOs tend to profess. 




"In this vision of the other world [advocated by Clement of Alexandria and Origen] a number of ingredients of the true Purgatory are lacking, however. No clear distinction is made between time in Purgatory and the time of the Last Judgment. This confusion is so troublesome that Origen is forced both to expand the end of the world and to collapse it into a single moment, while at the same time making its prospect imminent. Purgatory is not really distinguished from Hell, and there is no clear awareness that Purgatory is a temporary and provisional abode. 


The responsibility for postmortem purification is shared by the dead, with their weight of sin, 

and God, the benevolent judge of salvation; the living play no part. Finally, no place is designated as the place of purgatory. By making the purifying fire not only 'spiritual' but also 'invisible,' Origen prevented the imagination of the faithful from gaining a purchase on it." (The Birth of Purgatory [Chicago, Illinois: The University of Chicago Press, 1986], p. 57) 


Origen erroneously imagines that 1 Cor. 3 refers to the equivalent of purgatory as a place, (Patres Groeci. XIII, col. 445, 448) but as clearly shown this cannot be Purgatory. And he also opines, "I think, therefore, that all the saints who depart from this life will remain in some place situated on the earth, which holy Scripture calls paradise, as in some place of instruction, and, so to speak, class-room or school of souls... in each of which he will first see clearly what is done there, and in the second place, will discover the reason why things are so done: and thus he will in order pass through all gradations, following Him who hath passed into the heavens. (De Principiis, 2:11:6)


3rd century martyr Perpetua also taught that her vision of what Caths call purgatory was a place. "Then I understood that he was translated from the place of punishment." (Acts of the Martyrdom of Felicity and Perpetua, Chapters iii-x) 


Aphrahat (270-345) believed, “For when men die, the animal spirit is buried with the body, and sense is taken away from it, but the heavenly spirit that they receive goes according to its nature to Christ. And both these the Apostle has made known, for he said:–The body is buried in animal wise, and rises again in spiritual wise. The Spirit goes back again to Christ according to its nature, for the Apostle said again:–When we shall depart from the body we shall be with our Lord. 


Polycarp refers to over a dozen deceased Christians, and he comments that all of them are in Heaven: that they are now in their due place in the presence of the Lord, with whom also they suffered. For they loved not this present world, but Him who died for us, and for our sakes was raised again by God from the dead." (The Epistle of Polycarp to the Philippians, 9) Polycarp would not know for sure if all of these people had completed their sanctification but would know they died in faith, and even people like the prophet Daniel and the apostle Paul confessed sins as being imperfect.

 Moreover,  even  the tradition-intensive EOs tend to reject RC Purgatory:

The Orthodox Church opposes the Roman doctrines of universal papal jurisdiction, papal infallibility, purgatory, and the Immaculate Conception precisely because they are untraditional." - Orthodox apologist and author Clark Carlton: THE WAY: What Every Protestant Should Know About the Orthodox Church, 1997, p 135.

Both purgatory and indulgences are inter-corrolated theories, unwitnessed in the Bible or in the Ancient Church.. —

The Orthodox Church does not believe in purgatory (a place of purging), that is, the inter-mediate state after death in which the souls of the saved (those who have not received temporal punishment for their sins) are purified of all taint preparatory to entering into Heaven, where every soul is perfect and fit to see God.

Also, the Orthodox Church does not believe in indulgences as remissions from purgatoral punishment. Both purgatory and indulgences are inter-corrolated theories, unwitnessed in the Bible or in the Ancient Church, and when they were enforced and applied they brought about evil practices at the expense of the prevailing Truths of the Church. If Almighty God in His merciful loving-kindness changes the dreadful situation of the sinner, it is unknown to the Church of Christ. The Church lived for fifteen hundred years without such a theory. —

Instead, as with compromised Jews, Purgatory flowed from   false beliefs as well as paganism,  thus leading to such practices as one that,

arose in the 12th century among Ashkenazim of the Rhineland, who kept lists of their dead in Memorb├╝cher and recited the Kaddish to help the dead through the interim period of purification after death. According to the French historian French historian  Jacques Le Goff, the conception of purgatory as a physical place dates to the 12th century, the heyday of medieval otherworld-journey narratives and of pilgrims’ tales about St. Patrick’s Purgatory, a cavelike entrance to purgatory on a remote island in northern Ireland. As late as 1220, however, Caesarius of Heisterbach, a Cistercian monk and preacher, thought that purgatory could be in several places at once. With his Purgatorio, in which the “second kingdom” of the afterlife is a seven-story mountain situated at the antipodes to Jerusalem, Dante Alighieri (1265–1321) created a poetic synthesis of theology, Ptolemaic cosmology, and moral psychology depicting the gradual purification of the image and likeness of God in the human soul. (

Jacques Le Goff also attests,

PRAYERS FOR THE DEAD Christians seem to have acquired the habit of praying for their dead at a very early date. This was an innovation... These practices developed around the beginning of the Christian era. They were a phenomenon of the times, particularly noticeable in Egypt, the great meeting ground for peoples and religions. Traveling in Egypt around 50 s.c., Diodorus of Sicily was struck by the funerary customs: "As soon as the casket containing the corpse is placed on the bark, the survivors call upon the infernal gods and beseech them to admit the soul to the place received for pious men. The crowd adds its own cheers, together with pleas that the deceased be allowed to enjoy eternal life in Hades, in the society of the good."... It then becomes clear that at the time of Judas Maccabeus--around 170 s.c., a surprisingly innovative period—prayer for the dead was not practiced, but that a century later it was practiced by certain Jews. The Birth of Purgatory By Jacques Le Goff. pp. 45,46 , transcribed using

*Purgatory and 1Co. 3:

This cannot refer to Purgatory due to the facts that,

1. The judgment event of 1Co. 3 is the judgment seat of Christ, with its giving of rewards and loss thereof, which
does not occur until the Lords return and the believers resurrection. (1Cor. 3:8ff; 4:5; 2Tim. 4:1,8; Rev.11:18; Mt. 25:31-46; 1Pt. 1:7; 5:4) versus purgatory, which (typically prolonged) suffering commences at death in order to enable souls to enter Heaven.

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. (2 Corinthians 5:10)

I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; (2 Timothy 4:1)

Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing. (2 Timothy 4:8)
The judgment of 1 Cor. 3:15 will reveal what manner of workmanship they were building church with, for “Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire,” and while saving faith is one that characteristically walks in the obedience of faith, (Heb. 5:9) believers may suffer loss of rewards due to their manner of workmanship.

The fire burns up the fake stones, which like the tares of Mt. 13:40 at the end, are represented here as wood, hay or stubble, while the precious stones with fire-tried faith (1Pt. 1:7) endure, and gain rewards for the instruments of their faithfulness. Thus Paul says to the Thessalonians, "For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at his coming? " (1 Thess. 2:19; cf. Rv. 3:11) And to the Corinthians, “we are your rejoicing, even as ye also are ours in the day of the Lord Jesus.” 2Cor. 1:14) And to the Philippians, that being “my joy and crown, so stand fast in the Lord, my dearly beloved.” (Phil. 4:1)

2. Wherever NT Scripture manifestly deals with the next life location for believers, it is to be with the Lord . (Phil 1:23; 2Cor. 5:8 [“we”]; Heb, 12:22,23; 1Cor. 15:51ff'; 1Thess. 4:17)
Not only did the penitent criminal go to "paradise" at death (Lk. 23:43; cf. 2Cor. 12:4; Rv. 2:7) as did Stephen, (Acts 7:59) but so would Paul and co. be with the Lord once absent from the body (Phil. 1:23,24) - even though Paul told the Philippians that was he not “already perfect.” (Phil. 3:12). Likewise he stated to the Corinthians, "We [plural] are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord." (2 Corinthians 5:8) and so would every believer if the Lord returned in their lifetime: “to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.” (1Thess. 4:17; 1Cor. 15:51ff - even though many believers were in need of greater holiness. (2Cor. 7:1)
Paul confessed he was not already practically perfect, (Phil. 3:12) but he earnestly desired to become as much in this life (to "know him, and the power of his resurrection, being made conformable unto his death" - Philippians 3:10) as he would via the resurrection, yet he knew that if he died before that then he would be with the Lord.

Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord: (For we walk by faith, not by sight). We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord. (2 Corinthians 5:6-8)

For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. But if I live in the flesh, this is the fruit of my labour: yet what I shall choose I wot not. For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better: (Philippians 1:21-23)

I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you. (Philippians 3:14-15)

Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensample. (Philippians 3:17)

For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ:
Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself. (Philippians 3:20-21)

3. And as expressed in that verse and others, the resurrection is the only transformative event the believer manifestly looks forward to after this life (Rm. 8:23; 2Co. 5:1-4; Phil 3:20,21; 1Jn. 3:2) — not purgatory, which suffering commences at death in order to enable souls to enter Heaven.

4. Furthermore, Scripture only reveals growth in grace and overcoming as being realized in this world, with its temptations and trials, (1 Peter 1:6-7; 1Jn.2:14; 5:4,5; Rv. 2.7,11,17,26; 3:5,12,21) where alternatives to submitting to God can be made (suffering itself does not make one mature) and thus it was here that the Lord Himself was made “perfect,” (Heb. 2:10) as in being “in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.” (Heb. 4:15)

Thus what Scripture teaches is that it is on earth that testing and overcoming takes place, and that the elect go to be with the Lord upon death, or at His return, whichever comes first, and then they are judged as to the manner of works, reflecting their faith, and rewarded or suffer loss of rewards.

While perfection of character in this life. Mt 5:48 is invoked in support of this perfection being needed to be with God (which in context refers to treating your enemy benevolently), yet this does not teach that the achievement of absolute moral perfection in this life is a perquisite for salvation, which idea requires redefining salvation as to mean progressing to a state of being just enough by moral perfection to be with the Lord, and that being absent from the body means present in purgatory, not with the Lord, contrary to what is expressly stated. And which is akin to placing one under the Law, (Gal. 3:10) versus justification by imputed righteousness (justifying the unGodly by faith: Rm. 4:5) appropriated by a faith, but a faith which effects holiness.

For while salvific faith is one which characteristically effects the “obedience of faith” toward its Object (which faith in any moral authority will do), and which is an overcoming kind of faith, (Rv. 2,3), and grows towards the maturity which is called perfection, (Col. 1:28; 4:12; Ja. 1:4; 3:2; 1Jn. 4:17) and which faith has “great recompense of reward,” (Heb. 10:35), yet Scripture states that believers (being of true faith) are presently saved (Titus 3:5), and positionally perfect (Heb. 10:14) and seated in Heaven. (Eph. 2:6) And thus Christ can dwell with them now - "Christ in you, the hope of glory (Col. 1:27) - and as shown, they can and will go to be with the Lord at death, or at the Lord's return.

Finally, this RC interpretation of 1Co. 3 is not one which is even officially taught by Rome as requiring assent, and is contradicted by the notes in the official RC Bible which notes  state,

The text of ⇒ 1 Cor 3:15 has sometimes been used to support the notion of purgatory, though it does not envisage this. -$4AC

The following is from a debate with a disciple of Rome, Scott Windsor Sr., who engaged me in debate on James Swans site, "Beggars all. His words are in
While I get the rationalizations you put forth,   

No, what you do not get then is that Scripture clearly speak of the next conscious reality for believers then it is with the Lord, (Lk. 23:43 [cf. 2Cor. 12:4; Rv. 2:7]; Phil 1:23; 2Cor. 5:8 [“we”]; 1Cor. 15:51ff'; 1Thess. 4:17) And the next transformative experience that is manifestly taught is that of being like Christ in the resurrection. (1Jn. 3:2; Rm. 8:23; 1Co 15:53,54; 2Co. 2-4)

At which time is the judgment seat of Christ, which is the only suffering after this life, which does not begin at death, but awaits the Lord's return, (1 Corinthians 4:5; 2 Timothy. 4:1,8; Revelation 11:18; Matthew 25:31-46; 1 Peter 1:7; 5:4) and is the suffering of the loss of rewards (and the Lord's displeasure) due to the manner of material one built the church with, which one is saved despite the loss of such, not because of. (1 Corinthians 3:8ff)

Since all you see are rationalizations I repeated what Scripture says, which all your strained or wrested appeals to texts which do not teach Purgatory cannot refute.
- I can provide prooftexts which allow us to rationalize that there is indeed a Purgatory -

And which attempts have been refuted here in a succession of posts, and shown that belief in Purgatory is not what is manifest in the the only wholly inspired authoritative record of what the NT church believed (including how they understood the OT and gospels). But there is always another RC devotee who seems compelled to defend whatever Rome imagines, regards of how cultic it makes them look.
and- if it exists, then the Church, through her authority to bind or loose whatsoever she chooses, could indeed loose in a a plenary or partial fashion the time spent in Purgatory.

Please. Parroting prevaricating propaganda may be comforting to the Catholic choir but it simply will not stand the test of examination of what the NT church believed in the most ancient substantive record. But I do understand that Rome has presumed to infallibly declare she is and will be perpetually infallible whenever she speaks in accordance with her infallibly defined (scope and subject-based) formula, which renders her declaration that she is infallible, to be infallible, as well as all else she accordingly declares.

Maybe you want to try the "The Church ® gave you the Scriptures, thus it is the supreme infallible authority on what it means" argument.
that indulgences are ONLY for those who are saved already.
I think I expressed that, except that "saved" in Scripture means the next conscious reality for believers after this life it is with the Lord. Who is not in RC Purgatory.

May God peradventure grant you "repentance to the acknowledging of the truth." (2 Timothy 2:25)

Scott Windsor, Sr. said...Greetings PBJ, I took the time to respond fully to your posting. It became too long (mostly because of the list of Bible verses you cited, but didn't quote) for a combox response so I posted to my blog. Click Here for my response.

Pt. 1

I do not recall seeing your reply which came 6 days after my last post, but seeing as I have much later come by your sophistry then I will take some time (hours for me to type) to refute your poor attempt at trying to refute my reproof of RC Purgatory.

In response to Lk. 23:43, this day thou shalt be with me in paradise," you respond
Purgatory IS part of Paradise. Only the SAVED can be in Purgatory, but which bare assertion misses the point of my citing this text, which was part of showing that Paradise is now Heaven.

However, Purgatory is NOT Paradise, AKA "Abraham's bosom," since that is a place of comfort, (Luke 16:25) not "fire and torments or 'purifying' punishments.'" (Indulgentiarum Doctrina)

Next, in response to the corresponding text (2Cor. 12:4, "That he was caught up into paradise...") that I listed together with the above, you state,
This speaks NOTHING about after this life, yet it certainly does, being caught "up to the third heaven,"(2Cor. 12:2) and your own NAB notes support the inference that this was God's abode. And with my point being that paradise is now Heaven, where those whom Christ set free went at His resurrection. Thus supporting what I stated, when "Scripture clearly speak[s] of the next conscious reality for believers then it is with the Lord."

Next, in response to Rv. 2:7 ("I will give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the paradise of my God"), you argue that this cannot be used against Purgatory, but that it even supports it, stating, "He that overcometh (the trials of Purgatory) shall eat of the tree of life...."

However, it is against Purgatory since not only is the tree of life in paradise, versus the two being the same, or preceding it (both of which you have now argued), but together with the other verses this testifies to what I said, that the next conscious reality for believers is with the Lord.

Next, when faced with the next corresponding verse, Phil 1:23, "having a desire to depart and to be with Christ," you admit that Paul here expresses his desire to be with Christ, yet blithely assert, "there is no negation of Purgatory here," yet there certainly is.

For as shown, paradise was a place of comfort, not fire and torments or purifying' punishments, and is the 3rd heaven, where the tree of life is, and thus the Lord, and the imperfect Paul (Philippians 3:12,13) expressed he would go to be with once absent from his earthly body.

Which bring us to the next verse of conflation which you are compelled to deny, 2Cor. 5:8, "to be absent rather from the body, and to be present with the Lord." To which you again blithely assert,
there is no denial of Purgatory here! The desire to be in Heaven does not mean there is no Purgatory.

Yet there certainly is for the same reason as was shown. To die as a believe is to be with the Lord, in paradise, the 3rd Heaven, versus awaiting that reality by becoming actually good enough thru RC Purgatory.

Next up, 1Cor. 15:51ff' "the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed," which (once again taking in isolation) you argue, this "does not preclude going to Purgatory." However it does, for as the next verse in my list states,

1Thess. 4:17 - "After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever."

To which you wishfully assert,
SW: Keep in mind, those in Purgatory WILL be with Him forever too. Still no preclusion of Purgatory here.

However, contrary to your imposed intermediate stage, those who die or are alive at the coming of Christ go directly be with the Lord forever, non-stop, and which is a reality you cannot avoid despite your compelled assertions to the contrary.

11:59 AM, December 11, 2019
Blogger PeaceByJesus said...
Pt. 2

Yet as you must deny what Scripture teaches, then faced with the next verse, 1Jn. 3:2 ."...when he shall appear, we shall be like to him: because we shall see him as he is," you assert, "what we shall be does not mean we will not be purified before we get there."

However, contrary to this intermediate stage, the substantiated fact remains that to be absent from this life via death or the Lord's return is to be with the Lord forever. And that as stated, "the next transformative experience that is manifestly taught is that of being like Christ in the resurrection."

And which the next verse conflates with, Rm. 8:23, "...the redemption of our body." Which again is met with your simple denial that this does not equate to no Purgatory, but which intermediate stage is just what is missing and must be imposed to support a tradition of men.

Worse, next, in actually trying to wrest support, you abuse Scripture by taking a verse which speaks about the resurrection (1Co 15:53, "this corruptible must put on incorruption; and this mortal must put on immortality)," and making it refer to or support Purgatory, stating,

"Yes, when we go to Purgatory our corruption puts on incorruption."

However, 1Co 15:53 is not speaking about Purgatory, a condition commencing at death, of making atonement for sins and becoming pure enough to enter Heaven, but refers to the (first) resurrection, that of the bodies of believers who already directly went to be with the Lord, and with the only transformative experience after this life being that of made like Christ in the resurrection!

Moving on, after I stated that "At which time [the resurrection] is the judgment seat of Christ, which is the > only suffering after this life," you incredibly assert that 1 Corinthians 4:5 which refers to this, "supports Purgatory! "Who will bring to light the hidden things of darkness..." but every man shall still have praise from God? Even though the things of darkness are exposed - "every man" who is in this purification IS saved and shall have praise from God!"

Which is either ignorance or sophistry, for RC Purgatory is not the resurrection of believers, which is what 1 Corinthians 4:5 refers to, and which resurrection awaits the return of Christ, and is the time when the Lord gives reward unto His servants at the judgment seat of Christ, making what they did manifest and rewarding them. (1Cor. 3:8ff; 4:5; 2Tim. 4:1,8; Rev.11:18; Mt. 25:31-46; 1Pt. 1:7; 5:4) In which one is saved despite the loss of such fruit, not because of the loss. (1 Corinthians 3:8ff)

You next try (of-course) to face 2 Timothy 4:1,8 ("...the Lord the just judge will render to me in that day..."and to which you respond with I would be relatively certain that St. Paul suffered his Purgatory while still on Earth."

Which misses the point, that this text goes together with the other texts which show that the day of Christ is the resurrection and when believers shall be judged and gain or less rewards, which is not Purgatory. Meanwhile Paul himself testified that he had not yet attained unto perfection, nor did he ever express hope that Purgatory would do it, but while he strove to presently be (what he was positionally in Christ) perfect like he would be in the resurrection, (Philippians 3:10-15) he only pointed to that event as effecting charge after this life, when Christ "shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself." (Philippians 3:21).
12:01 PM, December 11, 2019
Blogger PeaceByJesus said...
Part 3

You next are faced with Revelation 11:18 ("...the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest render reward to thy servants...") which conflates with the other texts which establish that 1 Cor. 3:8-15 awaits the return of the Lord Jesus and the judgment seat of Christ. Yet which you yet try to spin as supporting Purgatory, or at least not denying it, stating, nothing is denying a time of purification of those souls who WILL BE rewarded."

Yet no matter how much RCs need to spin 1 Cor. 3:8-15 as referring to Purgatory or supporting it, this is simply disallowed even by the very FACT that this awaits the return of Christ, versus commencing at death as with Purgatory!

Meanwhile the suffering is not that of being purified of character faults so that one may be good enough to enter Heaven and with "saints" who went there directly, but the judgment is of believers who are already with the Lord, and the suffering loss is that of the manner of workmanship believers attempted to build the church with being burned up (as tares will be), but which one is saved despite of

Next you respond to Matthew 25:31-46, which testifies to believers being rewarded, by asserting, EVERY MAN who goes to Purgatory SHALL GO INTO LIFE EVERLASTING too! . but which is simply begging the question, that of presuming the very thing that has only being invalidated, that of Purgatory being referred to.

Along with this attempt to compel what 1 Cor. 3:8-15 refers to as being Purgatory, or supporting it, that those being purged will "suffer loss" though they will still be "saved" in the end.
But which is the very argument that has just been shown to be utterly untenable! Some RCs seem to think that much of any verse which refers to purification supports Purgatory, but which simply fails, and such extrapolation testifies to the desperate measure RCs can resort to in the light of what Scripture actually manifestly clearly consistently teaches as regards believers after this life.
Yet you actually double-down on arguing what which is untenable, invoking (A verse from me) 1 Cor. 3:15 , which simply cannot refer to Purgatory, and actually contradicts it as explained. IF it is burned up, he will suffer loss; but he himself is still saved! That is PRECISELY what Purgatory is all about!

The reality that something is being burned up from the saved simply does not translate into Purgatory, due (again) to the fact that this event awaits the Lord's return, and what is consumed are believers works, not character defects, and the subjects are already with the Lord, and will still be saved despite such less, not because of them.

Yet you must still blindly insist, Yes, this IS Purgatory!... NOT ONE of those verses refutes Purgatory and which further testifies to RC blindness or ignorance and or sophistry.
12:04 PM, December 11, 2019
PeaceByJesus said...
Part 4

Which is also invalid, untenable, and the logic (being the magisterial discerners and stewards of Scripture means such possess infallibility of office and thus are to be submitted to) used in support of it ultimately invalidates the NT church itself. The Peter of Scripture was not the Peter of Rome , which even the EO's argue tradition does not support (which it does not ), but this post is already long enough
then Scripture lies to us in telling us she can bind or loose whatsoever she chooses

Including that she can bind or loose whatsoever she chooses. For Rome has presumed to infallibly declare she is and will be perpetually infallible whenever she speaks in accordance with her infallibly defined (scope and subject-based) formula, which renders her declaration that she is infallible, to be infallible, as well as all else she accordingly declares.

However Scripture nowhere lies to us and tells us she can bind or loose whatsoever she chooses without error, for while all authority has power to bind and loose, varying in scope and degree, which Scribes and Pharisees has as do fathers and husbands, this does not mean such possess infallibility of office .
IF there is merit to the Church having said authority THEN the matter of Purgatory is not really up for debate anymore. IF the Church does not have this authority - then Scripture lies to us in telling us she can bind or loose whatsoever she chooses and that binding and/or loosing is also in effect in Heaven.

At least you are honest and implicitly reveal why RCs can so blithely dismiss what refutes them and abuse Scripture in compelling it as a slave to support Rome and their assertions in support of her, as you have. For that is what it is so often for them, an slave abused to support Rome, and not the sure and supreme standard for Truth claims as is is abundantly evidenced to be, which even the veracity of the apostles was subject to. Instead church law is to be supreme, under the false premise that God is the author of both.

In contrast , Scripture itself and most of it came before the church, and was built upon its prophetic and doctrinal foundation. And thus the appeal to it in establishing the authority of teaching by the church, including in Acts 15, versus the basis for veracity resting upon the novel and unScriptural premise of ensured perpetual magisterial infallibility as per Rome.
Yet again, this would be another thread, and as it is I will likely have to split this one up, while RC Purgatory remains a fable, one of the many distinctive Catholic teachings are not manifest in the only wholly inspired substantive authoritative record of what the NT church believed (which is Scripture, especially Acts thru Revelation. and which best shows how the NT church understood the OT and gospels).

May God peradventure grant you "repentance to the acknowledging of the truth." (2 Timothy 2:25)
12:13 PM, December 11, 2019

12:13 PM, December 11, 2019

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