Who they are and what they do...
A. Truth is one. There can be only one truth.
B. 'Truth' is the opposite of 'error'.
C. The definition of 'Truth' is, 'conformable to fact'. It is when the conscience agrees with the intellect.
D. Jesus Christ is GOD, and GOD is truth, Jn 14:6. GOD cannot lie as it is impossible for Him since He IS truth.
When Jesus Christ said something, we know it is true because HE said it.
1. GOD has spoken to us in two ways.
a. When Jesus spoke to His Apostles, He spoke orally. He did not write to them or give them a book to read. The Apostles spoke the words of Jesus Christ to others and their descendants, the Bishops. This is called 'Tradition', with a capitol 'T'.
b. He spoke to us through His written word, the Holy Scriptures. The
New Testament books were not even written until starting around 48
A.D. and ending about 100 A.D., which was many years after Jesus Christ
was crucified about 33 A.D.. It was up to the writers of the NT to
accurately record many years later, with the inspiration of the Holy
Spirit, the teaching of Jesus Christ, and base much of their writings
c. In John 20:30, and 21:25, John said, '...and there are MANY OTHER
THINGS WHICH JESUS DID, the which, if they should be written every one, I
suppose that even THE WORLD ITSELF
COULD NOT CONTAIN THE BOOKS THAT SHOULD BE WRITTEN'. This says in very simple terms that there are two areas of GOD'S Holy Word, the Holy Scripture and Tradition.
2. Tradition and Holy Scripture taken together are known as 'The Deposit of Faith'.
A. It the job of someone to preserve 'The Deposit of Faith'.
B. There is a need to preserve the truth. In every level of our society we have leaders and followers, some form of government.
C. History shows that no civilization, country, city, or organization, has lasted for very long if there were no effective government for the people to follow, trust, and believe in. Some office is needed to interpret, enforce, and follow the laws.
1. The Romans had Caesar and the
2. The United States has a President, Congress, and the Supreme Court.
3. A state has a Governor and a Legislature.
4. A corporation has a CEO and Board of Directors.
5. The Catholic Church has the Pope, Bishops, and the Magisterium.
D. These governments make the rules for all to follow. They also have the
responsibility to protect and enforce them,
in an orderly and timely manner. Without order there is chaos.
1. What would happen in our country if every person did what HE thought was right and ignored the rights of others, and each had HIS own set of rules or laws to follow, or no rules at all? Civilization as we know it would collapse.
a. Do you realize there are some Christian sects that operate this way?
Each person is told to interpret the Bible, the Word of GOD, for
himself. Whatever feels right for him is all that matters. It is every man
for himself essentially. This policy breeds chaos, infighting, and disunity.
Remember what Jesus Christ said, "Every house divided against itself cannot
stand." Mt 12:25
b. The Bible is not a novel. It is the Word of GOD. If you read it like you would read a novel, you would not
gain much from it except mass confusion. If you gave a million people each a Bible, and asked each to interpret
it, you would get a million different interpretations. Which one would you believe? Which one has the truth? As we have seen, 'Truth is One'. Which person's interpretation is that truthful ONE?
c. Would you want to believe the interpretation of one man, whose credentials might be questionable, or of the collective interpretation of a group of men with impeccable credentials AND The Holy Spirit?
2. The Catholic Church has the Pope and the Magisterium to interpret,
preserve, and protect 'The Deposit of Faith'
for all of us.
a. The Magisterium consists of the Pope, and the Cardinals and Bishops
acting with the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
b. They meet in councils, and with the guidance of the Holy Spirit, make decisions on important matters
regarding the faith.
3. Where there is no governor, the people shall fall, but there is safety
where there is much counsel: Prov 11:14,24:6
4. Designs are strengthened by counsels: Prov 20:18
5. The only way we can know ONE truth is to accept ONE authority.
A. Of all writings since the beginning of time, what one book can be trusted as being the 'Deposit of Truth'?
1. The Holy Scripture of GOD, the Bible, is what I trust. If it says so,
it must be true because GOD Himself said it.
2. If the facts mentioned above in II-D-2-a and b, can be found in the Bible, they must be true. Let us look at a few verses...
3. The Magisterium...
a. Has Bishops placed by the Holy Spirit to rule the Church: Act 20:28, Take heed to yourselves and to the whole flock in which the Spirit has placed you as bishops, to rule the Church of GOD.
b. Has a leader who holds authority and supremacy over all the rest: When GOD gave authority, He changed the name of the person receiving it. Abram was renamed Abraham, Gen 17:5, when GOD made him 'Father of a Multitude of Nations'. Sarai was renamed Sarah in Gen 17:15-16, when GOD made her 'The Mother of Nations'. Jacob was renamed Israel in Gen 32:29, when GOD made him the 'Father of the nation of Israel'. In Mt 16:18, GOD renamed Simon to PETER, and told him YOU are 'ROCK' and upon this 'ROCK' I will build MY CHURCH. Mt 16:19, I will give YOU the KEYS of the KINGDOM of HEAVEN, and whatever YOU shall BIND on earth shall be bound in Heaven and whatever YOU shall LOOSE on earth shall be loosed in Heaven. Peter was the first leader of the Church and was given supremacy and authority over all the other Apostles. Lk 22:31-32, satan has desired to have YOU that he may SIFT YOU as wheat. But I have prayed for thee that thy faith may not fail; and do thou when once thou hast turned again, STRENGTHEN thy brethren. Jn 21:17, Simon dost thou love Me? FEED MY SHEEP. Act 1:15, PETER stood up in the midst of the brethren. Act 2:14, PETER, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice and SPOKE OUT to them: Men of Judea and ALL you who dwell in Jerusalem let this be known to you, and give ear to MY WORDS. Act 15:7, GOD MADE CHOICE AMONG US, THAT THROUGH MY MOUTH, THE GENTILES SHOULD HEAR THE WORD OF THE GOSPEL AND BELIEVE. 1Cor 15:5, and that He appeared to CEPHAS (first) and AFTER that to the eleven.
c. Meets and discusses issues: Act 15:6, So the Apostles
and the presbyters (Bishops advisers) had
a meeting to look into this matter.
d. Consults with one another about divine revelation: Gal 2:2, I went up in consequence of a revelation, and I conferred with them on the Gospel I preach among the Gentiles.
e. Votes among themselves: Act 1:26, and they drew lots between them.
f. Defines a teaching: Act 15:1,24, Do Gentiles have to be circumcised? Some of our number have disturbed you with their teaching, persons to whom we had given no instruction. (No, they do not have to be circumcised).
g. Is guided and taught by the Holy Spirit: Act 5:32, we
are witnesses of these things and so is The Holy Spirit, whom GOD has
given to all who obey Him.
Act 15:28, "For The Holy Spirit and we have decided to lay no further burden
upon you but this indispensable one..."
Jn 16:12-15, "Many things yet I have to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. But when He, the Spirit of Truth has come, He will teach you all the truth. For He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He will hear He will speak, and THE THINGS THAT ARE TO COME HE WILL
DECLARE TO YOU. He will glorify Me, because He will receive of what is mine and DECLARE IT
TO YOU. All things that the Father has are mine. That is why I have said that He will receive of what is mine and WILL DECLARE IT TO YOU."
h. Is the pillar of truth: 1Tim 3:15,...in the House of GOD, which is the Church of the living GOD, the pillar and mainstay of the truth.
i. Is the teaching authority of the Church: Mt 28:20, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.
j. Is self propagating and has the authority: Jn 15:16, you have not chosen Me, but I have chosen YOU, and have appointed YOU that YOU should go forth and bear fruit, and that YOUR fruit should REMAIN; that whatever YOU ask the Father in My name He may give it to you. 1Cor 3:10-11, ...I laid the foundation and another builds thereon... Mt 18:17-18, ...and if he refuse to hear them, appeal to the Church, but if he refuse to hear even the Church, let him be to thee as the heathen and the publican....whatever you bind on earth shall be bound also in Heaven...
k. Affirms that 'private interpretation' of Scripture is NOT to be done: *2Pet 1:20, you must understand first of all, that NO prophesy of Scripture is made by PRIVATE interpretation.
l. Must be obeyed: Heb 13:17, OBEY your SUPERIORS and be
subject to them, for THEY keep
watch as having to render an account of your souls.
m. Cannot fail: Mt 16:18, and the gates of hell shall NOT prevail against it. Mt 28:20, I am with you ALL days, even unto the end of the world.
A. Public: the teaching of Jesus Christ, also called, 'Divine Revelation'.
1. There are no new public revelations as they were sealed when the last
2. The only possible way for new public (divine) revelation is for GOD Himself to come and proclaim it.
3. Public revelation consists of 'Holy Scripture', and 'Sacred Tradition', the 'Deposit of Faith'.
4. It is the mission of the Pope and the Magisterium to interpret, preserve, and protect, the 'Deposit of Faith'
for all of us.
B. Private: messages received by vision, or by locution by individuals.
1. We should neither believe nor condemn them, until the Church rules
whether they are truth or error.
2. We should test and discern them to see if they are of GOD, 1Thes 5:20-21, 1Jn 4:1-6.
*Gen 17:5,15-16,32:29, Prov 1:5, Amos 3:3, *Mt 16:18,18:17-18,28:18-20, Lk 22:24-33, Jn 14:6,15:16,16:13,20:21, Jn 21:15-19, Act 1:15,26,2:14-41, Act 5:29,32,8:27-35, Act 10:1-48, Act 11:1-18,28,*15:1-28, 1Cor12:28-29,14:28,15:5, *Gal 2:2, 1Thes 1:5, 1Tim 3:15, Tit3:1, Heb 13:17, *2Pet 1:20