Those ignorant of history are
doomed to repeat its mistakes!
Acts 20:28-30; 2 Thess. 2:1-4;
1 Tim. 4:1-3
Secular history must be studied to see
the fulfillment of this prediction
Elders (bishops, shepherds, overseers,
pastors) – appointed in every church
(Tit. 1:5-9; Acts 14:23; Phil. 1:1)
Oversight limited (Acts 20:28;
1 Pet. 5:1-4)
Departure in Organization
Chief elder became bishop
Chief bishop became archbishop (or
Chief archbishops became patriarchs
(Rome, Alexandria, Antioch, Jerusalem,
Chief patriarch became pope
A.D. 588 – Patriarch John the Faster
(Constantinople) assumed the title of “universal
bishop.” Gregory the Great (Rome) said he
should be “inspired with shame for your
ambition…and that you will not consent to
ascribe to yourself a title as senseless, as
vainglorious…” (Church History for Busy People)
He quoted Mt. 23:8,9 and said “May all
Christians reject this blasphemous title.”
607 A.D. – Boniface III, of Rome, was
given the title by Roman Emperor Phocus
The other Patriarchs never accepted the
claim. The Greek, or Eastern Orthodox
Churches have Patriarchs in each country
but all look to Constantinople (Istanbul).
East – West Division
1054 – Pope Leo IX sent bull of
excommunication to Constantinople for
“all the heresies of the past.” The
Patriarchs of the Eastern Church
excommunicated the Western Church.
The first 7 Ecumenical Counsels (325-787)
– 1460 bishops from East; 26 from West.
The Orthodox Church
Sprinkling – accepted by the Roman
Church in 1311 (Council of Ravenna)
Doctrine of purgatory and indulgences
The immaculate conception, or bodily
assumption of Mary into heaven
Instrumental music (Roman: c. 670, but
opposed in Council of Trent 1545-1563).
Three Basis Errors
Claim – Pope succeeds Peter; other
bishops succeed other apostles
One successor (Acts 1:21-26); Bishops
never succeeded apostles!
If you could trace two groups from
Acts 20:28-30, how would you determine
which was true?
Second: Apostolic Tradition
Misuse 2 Thess. 2:15
Tradition – may be from God,
or from men (Mt. 15:1-3)
The further you get from the apostles,
they more you hear of Catholic traditions!
Celibacy of priesthood (1123), immaculate
conception (1854), Papal infallibility
(1870), bodily assumption of Mary (1950)
Third: Infallibility of Church
Means the Pope – when he speaks
“ex cathedra” – from the chair, concerning
matters of faith and morals
Bishops were not promised infallibility
Did not prevent division in 1054; and
Catholics are divided on many subjects.
Departures Are Gradual
Sprinkling – “clinic baptism,” then
Instrumental music – first organ, 670;
Charles Spurgeon (London 1854-) did not
use instrumental music; many think
always used them
Church socials – kitchens/fellowship halls
gradually accepted (inst. Music again)
At what point did the usurping of authority by
one elder become wrong?
Allow one hole in the fence - what happens?
“We don’t dare to put ourselves in a class or
compare ourselves with some of those who
speak highly of themselves, but when they
measure themselves by their own yardstick and
compare themselves with themselves, they don’t
show good sense” (2 Cor. 10:12, Beck’s).