The Prayer of our Savior on His way to be condemned for our sins

It is customary to grant a last wish to someone the evening before he is executed, even to the worst criminal. In our prisons we let a condemned man choose his last meal. Jesus had a wish for us the evening before He was executed. Jesus, being sinless and innocent, died for our sins, not His own. In gratitude we should grant His wish. First Jesus prayed for His apostles, "Holy Father, keep them in Thy name whom Thou hast given me; that they may be one, as We also are" (John 17:11). And then Jesus went on to pray for all Christians, "And not for them only do I pray, but for them also who through their word shall believe in Me; That they all may be one, as Thou, Father, in Me, and I in Thee; that they also may be one in Us; that the world may believe that Thou hast sent Me. And the glory which Thou hast given me, I have given to them; that they may be one, as We also are one; I in them, and Thou in me; that they may be made perfect in one; and the world may know that Thou has sent sent Me, and hast loved them as Thou hast also loved Me." (John 17:20-23). Jesus was on His way to be condemned for us, so we can be sure that He was praying for something very important. We know that this prayer will be answered, because the "prayer of a righteous man availeth much" (James 5:16).  Jesus was much more than a righteous man--He was sinless and He was God.  

The key to converting the world to Christ

In Jesus’ high priestly prayer in the garden, He gives us the key to converting the world to Himself. Christians are to be perfect in one, in "perfect unity," so that the world may believe Jesus was sent by the Father to die for our sins and that He loves us.  Even Dr. Billy Graham has noted that the most common reason, that people who aren’t Christian give for not becoming Christian, is the divisions within Christianity.   

Jesus said he founded a Church and gave it authority

Jesus proclaimed, "I will build my church and the gates of Hades will not prevail against it" (Matt 16:18). Jesus said “Church”, not “churches”. He only founded one and He promised us that this Church will not fail.  Those who say that the Church failed are contradicting Jesus. Which Church did Jesus found? Only one Church claims to be that Church. (Churches founded in the 16th through 20th centuries cannot seriously make that claim). All reliable histories, whether by Christians, Jews, or atheists, say that the church founded by Jesus in the first century is the Catholic Church. All other churches can trace their roots back to the Catholic Church. The Encyclopedia Brittanica, which is not a Catholic source, describes the Catholic Church as: “Christian church characterized by its uniform, highly developed doctrinal and organizational structure that traces its history to the Apostles of Jesus Christ in the 1st century AD.”

After Jesus declared He was founding a church, He gave authority to the leaders of that church. Jesus told Peter alone, "And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatsoever you shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatsoever you shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. (Matt 16:19 )

Jesus tells us how to handle disagreements concerning doctrines and morals: "it is not the will of your heavenly Father that one of these little ones be lost. If your brother sins [against you], go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have won over your brother. If he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, so that every fact may be established on the testimony of two or three witnesses. If he refuses to listen to them, tell the church. If he refuses to listen even to the church, then treat him as you would a Gentile or a tax collector. Amen, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. Amen, amen, I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything for which they are to pray, it shall be granted to them by My heavenly Father. For where two or three are gathered in My name, there I am in the midst of them" (Matt 18:14-20). This passage only makes sense if there is one and only one Church that has authority on earth. We cannot have different churches teaching different doctrines and make any sense of Jesus’ clear words to us.  Protestant commentaries, such as Barclay, The Interpreters Bible, and Abignon, get around this problem by declaring that Jesus never really said this.  If we believe the Bible, no one may found their own church.  "If they refuse to listen even to the church, they are to be treated as Gentiles and tax collectors."

Some take verse about "two or three gathered in My name" (Matt 18:20) out of context to mean that the Church is not necessary. In context the two or three must be under the authority of the one church. How did the church of the Bible handle disputes concerning faith and morals?  Did they get out their Bibles and see who could quote the most verses supporting their argument?  No, they took it to the church!  The Judaizers at Antioch were saying that the Gentile converts had to observe the entire Jewish ceremonial and sacrificial system, including circumcision and the kosher dietary laws in order to be saved.  Paul and Barnabas were at Antioch, so they had their “two or three gathered in Jesus’ name” (and a pretty big two--Paul and Barnabas), but they couldn’t resolve the problem. The Judaizers could quote scripture on their side (Deuteronomy).  Paul and Barnabas were sent to the Church Council at Jerusalem.  "There was much dispute at the council (Acts 15:7) until Peter stood up and spoke and all the multitude kept silence" (Acts 15:12). "Then Paul and Barnabas proclaimed Simeon (Peter) hath declared" (Acts 15:14). The Holy Spirit spoke through this council as He has through Church councils for the last 2000 years. In the letters sent to the churches we read: "For it seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and to us" (Acts 15:28). After the council, as the Apostles went through the cities, they delivered to them the decrees to keep (Acts 16:4). The Greek word used for decrees is “dogmata” from which we get the English word “dogma.” Church councils declare dogma according to the Bible.

Not everyone accepted the dogma pronounced by the Council, just as some people reject the Church Councils throughout the centuries.  In the list of Apostles, Peter is always first and Judas is always last.  It is the same in the list of the first seven deacons in Acts 6.  “And the saying was liked by all the multitude. And they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Ghost, and Philip and Prochorus and Nicanor, and Timon and Parmenas and Nicolas, a proselyte of Antioch” (Acts 6:5).  Notice how Stephen, the first martyr, is first and Nicolas is last.  Nicolas was from Antioch where this Judaizer heresy began.  Those who followed Nicolas did not obey the council. They became known as Nicolaitans. In Revelation, Jesus commends those who didn't follow the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which Jesus also hates.  “But this thou hast, that thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaites, which I also hate.” (Rev 2:6).  He calls the Church of Smyrna the seat of Satan, because they follow the Nicolaitans and disobey the decrees of the Church council (Acts 15:29).  “I know where thou dwellest, where the seat of Satan is. And thou holdest fast my name and hast not denied my faith. Even in those days when Antipas was my faithful witness, who was slain among you, where Satan dwelleth. But I have against thee a few things: because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam who taught Balac to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel, to eat and to commit fornication. So hast thou also them that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaites.” (Rev 2:13-15).

I don't know about you, but I will follow the Church and not the Nicolaitans
or anyone else who opposes the Church.

Authority is passed on in the Church

Jesus founded the Church, but even He didn’t do this of His own authority, but by the authority given Him by the Father. "So also Christ glorified not Himself to be made an high priest; but He that said unto Him, Thou art my Son, to day have I begotten Thee" (Heb 5:5). The word “apostle” comes from a Greek word, “apostolos”, meaning “sending out”. Jesus is described in scripture dozens of times as being sent by the Father. The Apostles were sent by Jesus and in turn sent other men with this authority given to them. In John’s version of the Great Commission Jesus says, "Peace be unto you, as My Father has sent Me, even so I send you. And when He said this, He breathed upon them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost" (John 20:21-22). In Mark’s version of the Great Commission, Jesus says, Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature (Mark 16:15). In Matthew’s version of the Commission Jesus said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always even to the end of the age" (Matt 28:18-20). Jesus knew that all nations would not be disciples before the Apostles died. That is why Jesus promised “lo, I am with you always even to the end the close of the age.” Jesus passed His authority on to His Apostles knowing that the world would not be converted in their lifetime. The apostles did go as far west as Spain and as far east as India, but even today all nations have not heard the gospel. The authority Jesus gave the apostles continues to the end of the age, through the successors of the apostles.  Jesus and the Holy Spirit continue with the Apostles and their successors.  Notice that Jesus told the apostles are to teach "all" that he had commanded them, not just certain “essentials.”

Since the apostles ministry must continue to the end of the world, the very first thing they did after Jesus ascended into heaven was to appoint Matthias to take over Judas Iscariot’s office of bishop. Peter declares: and his bishopric let another take (Acts 1:20). The Greek word translated “bishopric” is “episkopen” from which we get the English word “bishop.”  

 Matthias was "numbered with the eleven Apostles" (Acts 1:26).  The group was called "the twelve" in Acts 6:2 before Paul became a member.  Paul was eligible to become an Apostle since he met Jesus on the road to Damascus, but was not eligible for "the twelve" because he did not accompany Jesus and the Apostles from "the time the Lord Jesus came in and went out among" the Apostles "beginning with the baptism of John, until the day wherein He was taken up from" the Apostles and was not a witness to the resurrection (Acts 1:21-22).  From the very beginning the Church had apostolic or episcopal succession. As Jesus sent the apostles, they in turn sent other men with the authority given to them by God.  The group known as the Apostles died out at the end of the first century but they passed on their office of Bishop.    

Paul was called personally by Jesus Christ, when he was knocked down by a blinding light on the road to Damascus. Jesus personally taught Paul the gospel. Did Paul go off and start his own church? No, Jesus told Paul, you will be told what you are to do (Acts 9:6). Paul went to the Church to be baptized (Acts 22:12-18). Paul went up to Jerusalem to see (historesai or interview) Peter (Gal 1:18) for fifteen days. Then fourteen years later Paul went to be comissioned by James, Peter, John (Gal 2:1-9). Acts 13 describes how "As they ministered (Greek leitourgounton or liturgized) to the Lord and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them. And when they had fasted and prayed, and laid their hands on them, they sent them away. So they being sent forth by the Holy ghost, departed" (Acts 13:2-4). Notice that when Paul had hands laid on him and was sent by the Church, he is described as sent forth by the Holy Ghost. Paul, called personally by Jesus had to be baptized, ordained a bishop, and sent by the Church.

Paul asks the Romans: "For whoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call upon Him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? and how shall they preach unless they be sent?" (Rom 10:13-15). No one can send themselves. They must be sent by those to whom Christ entrusted the gospel.  

Paul tells us how the Holy Spirit has placed bishops in the Church succeed then and rule the Church.  “Take heed to yourselves and to the whole flock, herein the Holy Ghost hath placed you bishops, to rule the Church of God which he hath purchased with his own blood.” (Acts 20:28)  When the Apostles ordained men it was said to be by the Holy Spirit.  Catholic bishops today are ordained by bishops, who were ordained by bishops, who were ordained by bishops, who were ordained by bishops, and so on, and so on, and so on, who were ordained by the Apostles, who were sent by Christ, who was sent by the Father.  Paul tells us this was necessary because others would come in and try to lead people out of the Church and into their own sects: “I know that after my departure ravening wolves will enter in among you, not sparing the flock.  And of your own selves shall arise men speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.”  (Acts 20:29-30).  Notice how Paul does not say that the Church would lead people into error, but that the “ravening wolves” would draw people away.  The only way to be safe is to remain in the Church.

  Divisions are condemned

Nowhere in scripture is anyone given permission to start an independent church, in fact it is condemned. Paul writes to the Galatians: "Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkeness, revellings, and such like; of the which I tell you before, as I have told you in the tiem past, that they who do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God" ( Gal 5:19-21). Notice that seditions and heresies are in the same list of condemned sins as murder and adultery. The word translated “seditions” here is dichostrasia which means “to cause divisions”. Paul uses the same Greek word in Roman 16:17 and 1 Cor 3:3. In the Romans verse Paul warns, "Now I beseech you brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offenses contrary to the doctrine which you have learned, avoid them" (Rom 16:7). Those who create divisions must be avoided by Christians, not followed. To the Corinthians Paul writes: “For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, and ye not carnal, and walk as men”? (1 Cor 3:3). Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and the same judgment” (1 Cor 1:10). For we being many are one bread and one body (1 Cor 10:17). For first of all, when you come together in the church, I hear there are divisions among you; and I partly believe it. For there must also be heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you” (1 Cor 11:18-19). For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many are one body; so also is Christ. For by one Spirit we are all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have all been made to drink into one Spirit. For the one body is not one member, but many” (1 Cor 12:12-14). That there be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care for one another” (1 Cor 12:25). After describing the body Paul goes on to describe the hierarchy: And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers” (1 Cor 12:28). Paul tells the same Corinthians God is not the God of dissension, but of peace (1 Cor 14:33). When Paul writes his second letter to the Corinthians his fear is that perhaps when I come I shall not find you such as I would , and that I shall be found by you such as you would not. Lest perhaps contentions, envyings, animosities, dissensions, detractiosn, whisperings, swellings, seditions, be among you” (2 Cor 12:20). Paul beseeches the Ephesians to be Careful to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. One body and one Spirit; as you are called in one hope of your calling. One Lord, one faith, one baptism. One God and Father who is above all, and through all, and in us all” (Eph 4:3-6). These divisions that Paul was complaining about were factions within the Corinthian church, not independent denominations. These people would not even dream of leaving the Church leaders and starting their own church. Imagine the words that Paul would have for anyone who did such a thing.

Jesus knew there would be divisions; that is why He prayed for it. But He also knew that some day they would all be one: "And other sheep I have, that are not of this fold, them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold and one shepherd" (John 10:16). Let’s not make Jesus wait any longer.  

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever

The scripture calls the Church "the household of faith, the pillar and foundation of the truth" (1 Tim 3:15).  It is the Church that is the pillar and foundation of truth.  If we want the truth we have to go to the Church.  If the Church stopped being the pillar and foundation of truth then the Bible would be incorrect.   According to the Bible the "manifest wisdom of God" is made known through the Church, even to the "the principalities and powers in heavenly places through the Church" (Eph 3:10).  If the angels, who are in the presence of God, need the Church to discover God's wisdom, certainly us humans with our intellects clouded by sin, need her even more.  Hebrews tells us "Remember them which have rule over you, which have spoken to you the word of God; whose faith follow considering the end of their conversation. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever. Be not carried away with divers and strange doctrine" (Hebrews 13:7-9).  This verse has no expiration date.  It did not expire in 1517.  Paul warns many times "That ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind labouring together for the faith of the gospel" (Phil 1:27) "Fulfill ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord and one mind" ( Phil 2:2).  "A man that is a heretick after the first and second admonition reject. Knowing that that such is subverted and sinneth, being condemned of himself" (Titus 3:10-11).  "If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even to the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine, which is according to godliness; He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings, Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness, from such withdraw thyself" (1 Tim 6:3-5). "And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and one soul" (Acts 4:32).

  What happens when we get bad leaders?  The woman at the well

 John 4:5-25. “He cometh therefore to a city of Samaria, which is called Sichar, near the land which Jacob gave to his son Joseph. Now Jacob's well was there. Jesus therefore, being wearied with his journey, sat thus on the well. It was about the sixth hour. There cometh a woman of Samaria, to draw water. Jesus saith to her: Give me to drink. For his disciples were gone into the city to buy meats. Then that Samaritan woman saith to him: How dost thou, being a Jew; ask of me to drink, who am a Samaritan woman? For the Jews do not communicate with the Samaritans. Jesus answered and said to her: If thou didst know the gift of God and who he is that saith to thee: Give me to drink; thou perhaps wouldst have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water. The woman saith to him: Sir, thou hast nothing wherein to draw, and the well is deep. From whence then hast thou living water? Art thou greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well and drank thereof, himself and his children and his cattle? Jesus answered and said to her: Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again: but he that shall drink of the water that I will give him shall not thirst for ever. But the water that I will give him shall become in him a fountain of water, springing up into life everlasting. The woman said to him: Sir, give me this water, that I may not thirst, nor come hither to draw. Jesus saith to her: Go, call thy husband, and come hither. The woman answered and said: I have no husband. Jesus said to her: Thou hast said well: I have no husband. For thou hast had five husbands: and he whom thou now hast is not thy husband. This, thou hast said truly. The woman saith to him: Sir, I perceive that thou art a prophet. Our fathers adored on this mountain: and you say that at Jerusalem is the place where men must adore. Jesus saith to her: Woman, believe me that the hour cometh, when you shall neither on this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, adore the Father. You adore that which you know not: we adore that which we know. For salvation is of the Jews. But the hour cometh and now is, when the true adorers shall adore the Father in spirit and in truth. For the Father also seeketh such to adore him. God is a spirit: and they that adore him must adore him in spirit and in truth. The woman saith to him: I know that the Messias cometh (who is called Christ): therefore, when he is come, he will tell us all things.”

The Gospels and especially John's Gospel speak to us on several levels.  When Jesus tells the woman that she has had five husbands and is now with another man, she responds that He is a prophet and asks about worship. Many think she is changing the subject because she doesn't want to talk about her husbands.

In the Old Testament, Israel is called to be the Bride of Yahweh, her Husband. When she turns against Him it is referred to as adultery and harlotry. There are two Semitic words for husband and one is "ba’al."  God is called Israel’s husband or “ba’al.”  The same word “ba’al” meaning husband or lord is used to describe a pagan God, at times the object of Israelites’ idolatry.  The ten Northern Tribes went into schism. The Samaritans were the result of the ten Northern Tribes intermarrying with their enemies. When the ten Northern Tribes went into schism they set up an alternative temple on Mount Garizim.  The gods of the peoples around them were their other spiritual husbands. The woman not only was unfaithful in her personal life, but the Samaritans were guilty of following other "husbands."  The gods of the peoples around them were their other spiritual husbands.  Since the Biblical prophets were constantly condemning them and telling them to go back into union with Judah, the Northern Tribes only accepted the first five books of the Bible and ignored the prophets.  So when the woman says, "I can see you are a prophet" she is calling Jesus the Messiah, because this is the prophet promised in Deut 18:15,18. They accepted no other prophets.  The first 9 chapters of 1 Kings have nothing but good to say about Solomon. As the King of Israel and the son of David, he is a type of the Messiah, of Jesus Christ. But then he goes bad and becomes a type of anti-Christ. The Apocalypse tells us: “Here is wisdom. He that hath understanding, let him count the number of the beast. For it is the number of a man: and the number of him is six hundred sixty-six.” (Rev 13:8). Note the similarities between the leader called the beast and Solomon. Solomon was the man of wisdom whose tax was “six hundred and sixty-six talents of gold” (1 Kings 10:14). The king of Israel was forbidden to multiply horses, wives, and money (gold and silver). See Deuteronomy 17:16-17. Solomon had “seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines” (1 Kings 11:3). He built great armies rather than count on God as Joshua had done.. And he taxed the people mercilessly to build his empire and the temple. After Solomon they had a king who was even worse than Solomon. This is when the Northern Tribes had had enough and went into schism.  

Did Jesus said that it was all right for them to worship in their schismatic temple? No. He told her, “You adore that which you know not: we adore that which we know. For salvation is of the Jews. But the hour cometh and now is, when the true adorers shall adore the Father in spirit and in truth.” Even though the Jews had treated the Northern Tribes shabbily, that didn’t matter.  Salvation was of the Jews.  The Northern Tribes worshiped what they did not know. As Jesus prophesied, the Temple in Jerusalem was about to be destroyed and worship would be replaced by the true Temple, the Body of Christ, the Catholic Church which would soon fill the whole world and offer the Eucharist throughout the world at all times.  

If Jesus did not reject the Jews because of their bad leaders (both kings and priests), then why do some suppose He could reject His Church after He promised, “the Gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.”  The Church is promised to be with us through all generations: "To him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus, unto all generations, world without end. Amen." (Eph. 3:21).  Immediately after promising the Church to us "world without end," Paul implores us to  be "Careful to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.  One body and one Spirit: as you are called in one hope of your calling.  One Lord, one faith, one baptism." (Eph 4:3-5).  

If people would read the Old Testament, they would see that the Jews do all kinds of bad things. When Jesus picks the leaders of the New Testament Church, He again uses sinful men. Judas sells out Jesus for thirty pieces of silver. Peter and ten of the other apostles deny Jesus.  Only John is at the cross from among the Apostles. People complained to Jesus that He ate with sinners. Jesus promised there would always be good and bad people in His Church and ordered us not to try to get rid of the tares. Jesus uses examples of wheat and tares, good fish and bad fish, etc.  

So one must wonder why people reject Christ’s Church because their have been “bad” leaders and “bad” members of the Church.  Didn’t Jesus tell us that this would happen? The Bible tells us to obey the leaders in the Church and forbids one from splitting from the One Church and starting a competing “church” just as the Northern Tribes did.  These verses do not have expiration dates.  

Even when leaders misbehave, we are to obey them.  Jesus says, “The scribes and the Pharisees have sitten on the chair of Moses. All things therefore whatsoever they shall say to you, observe and do: but according to their works do ye not. For they say, and do not." (Matt 23:2-3).  The people were supposed to obey the teachings of these leaders, just not imitate their actions.  God spoke through a mule in the Old Testament and he even spoke through Caiphas in the New Testament, because of his office of high priest, even though Caiphas was wicked.  “And this he spoke not of himself: but being the high priest of that year, he prophesied that Jesus should die for the nation.” (John 11:51)

People often say, "we obey men rather than God." They don't realize that this is Peter who first said this when the Jews were opposing the Church.  “But Peter and the apostles answering, said: We ought to obey God rather than men.” (Acts 5:29).  It is interesting that some will attempt to use this against the Church when Peter was using it to defend the Church. The Jews even realized this.  “And now, therefore, I say to you: Refrain from these men and let them alone. For if this council or this work be of men, it will come to nought: But if it be of God, you cannot overthrow it, lest perhaps you be found even to fight against God. And they consented to him.  (Acts 5:38-39).  

Even Gamaliel realized that to oppose the Church could be found to even
oppose God. And 1970 years later, the Church still stands because being from
God you cannot overthrow it.  If the Church was not of God it would have fallen centuries ago.  Does anyone suppose that Satan is more powerful than God.  A weak God could have sustained a Church made up of righteous men.  Our powerful God has sustained a Church made up of sinners.  No purely human institution could have survived this long.

When Saul (Paul) persecuted the Church, Jesus said, "Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?" Acts 9:4.  Jesus considered an attack on the Church as an attack on Him.  Lying to Peter was considered to be lying to the Holy Ghost.
”But Peter said: Ananias, why hath Satan tempted thy heart, that
thou shouldst lie to the Holy Ghost and by fraud keep part of the price of
the land?”
(Acts 5:3).  

The Rebellion of Korah

Jude 1:3-4. “Dearly beloved, taking all care to write unto you concerning your common salvation, I was under a necessity to write unto you: to beseech
you to contend earnestly for the faith once delivered to the saints. For certain men are secretly entered in (who were written of long ago unto this
judgment), ungodly men, turning the grace of our Lord God into riotousness and denying the only sovereign Ruler and our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Jude 1:10-11. “But these men blaspheme whatever things they know not: and what things soever they naturally know, like dumb beasts, in these they are
corrupted. Woe unto them! For they have gone in the way of Cain: and after the error of Balaam they have for reward poured out themselves and have
perished in the contradiction of Core.”
Jude 1:16-20. “These are murmurers, full of complaints, walking according to their own desires: and their mouth speaketh proud things, admiring persons, for gain's sake. But you, my dearly beloved, be mindful of the words which have been spoken before by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who told you that in the last time there should come mockers, walking according to their own desires in ungodlinesses. These are they who separate themselves, sensual men, having not the Spirit. But you, my beloved, building yourselves upon your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost,”

Because many don't know the Old Testament they don't know what the contradiction of Core or the error of Balaam were. In the Old Testament the Jews were called a royal priesthood, a holy nation. But they also had a sacrificial priesthood. Core (Korah) thought that they didn't have to follow the appointed leaders (the Levites). Read what happened and what Jude is threatening those who would who would cause separation or schism (hint 14,700 died). This is a stern warning to anyone in the New Covenant who would oppose the leaders in the Church.

16:1-50. “And behold Core the son of Isaar, the son of Caath, the son of Levi, and Dathan and Abiron the sons of Eliab,and Hon the son of Pheleth of the children of Ruben, Rose up against Moses, and with them two hundred and fifty others of the children of Israel, leading men of thesynagogue, and who in the time of assembly were called by name. And when they had stood up against Moses and Aaron, they said: Let it be enough for you, that all the multitude consisteth of holy ones, and the Lord is among them: Why lift you up yourselves above the people of the Lord? When Moses heard this, he fell flat on his face: And speaking to Core and all the multitude, he said: In the morning the Lord will make known who belong to him, and the holy he will join to himself: and whom he shall choose, they shall approach to him. Do this therefore: Take every man of you your censers, thou Core, and all thy company. And putting fire in them to morrow, put incense upon it before the Lord: and whomsoever he shall choose, the same shall be holy: you take too much upon you, ye sons of Levi. And he said again to Core: Hear ye sons of Levi. Is it a small thing unto you, that the God of Israel hath spared you from all the people, and joined you to himself, that you should serve him in the service of the tabernacle, and should stand before the congregation of the people, and should minister to him? Did he therefore make thee and all thy brethren the sons of Levi to approach unto him, that you should challenge to yourselves the priesthood also, And that all thy company should stand against the Lord? for what is Aaron that you murmur against him? Then Moses sent to call Dathan and Abiron the sons of Eliab. But they answered: We will not come. Is it a small matter to thee, that thou hast brought us out of a land that flowed with milk and honey, to kill us in the desert, except thou rule also like a lord over us? Thou hast brought us indeed into a land that floweth with rivers of milk and honey, and hast given us possessions of fields and vineyards; wilt thou also pull out our eyes? We will not come. Moses therefore being very angry, said to the Lord: Respect not their sacrifices: thou knowest that I have not taken of them so much as a young ass at any time, nor have injured any of them. And he said to Core: Do thou and thy congregation stand apart before the Lord to morrow, and Aaron apart. Take every one of you censers, and put incense upon them, offering to the Lord two hundred and fifty censers: let Aaron also hold his censer. When they had done this, Moses and Aaron standing, And had drawn up all the multitude against them to the door of the tabernacle, the glory of the Lord appeared to them all. And the Lord speaking to Moses and Aaron, said: separate yourselves from among this congregation, that I may presently destroy them. They fell flat on their face, and said: O most mighty, the God of the spirits of all flesh, for one man's sin shall thy wrath rage against all? And the Lord said to Moses: Command the whole people to
separate themselves from the tents of Core and Dathan and Abiron. And Moses arose, and went to Dathan and Abiron: and the ancients of Israel following him, He said to the multitude: Depart from the tents of these wicked men, and touch nothing of theirs, lest you be involved in their sins. And when they were departed from their tents round about, Dathan and Abiron coming out stood in the entry of their pavilions with their wives and children, and all the people. And Moses said: By this you shall know that the Lord hath sent me to do all things that you see, and that I have not forged them of my own head: If these men die the common death of men, and if they be visited with a plague, wherewith others also are wont to be visited, the Lord did not send me. But if the Lord do a new thing, and the earth opening her mouth swallow them down, and all things that belong to them, and they go down alive into hell, you shall know that they have blasphemed the Lord. And immediately as he had made an end of speaking, the
earth broke asunder under their feet: And opening her mouth, devoured them with their tents and all their substance. And they went down alive into hell, the ground closing upon them, and they perished from among the people. But all Israel, that was standing round about, fled at the cry of them that were perishing: saying: Lest perhaps the earth swallow us up also. And a fire coming out from the Lord, destroyed the two hundred and fifty men that offered the incense. And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying: Command Eleazar the son of Aaron the priest to take up the censers that lie in the burning, and to scatter the fire of one side and the other: because they are sanctified In the deaths of the sinners: and let him beat them into plates, and fasten them to the altar, because incense hath been offered in them to the Lord, and they are sanctified, that the children of Israel may see them for a sign and a memorial. Then Eleazar the priest took the brazen censers, wherein they had offered, whom the burning fire had devoured, and beat them into plates, fastening them to the altar: That the children of Israel might have for the time to come wherewith they should be admonished, that no stranger or any one that is not of the seed of Aaron should come near to offer incense to the Lord, lest he should suffer as Core suffered, and all his congregation, according as the Lord spoke to Moses. The following day all the multitude of the children of Israel murmured against Moses and Aaron, saying: You have killed the people of the Lord. And when there arose a sedition, and the tumult increased, Moses and Aaron fled to the tabernacle of the covenant. And when they were gone into it, the cloud covered it, and the glory of the Lord appeared. And the Lord said to Moses: Get you out from the midst of this multitude, this moment will I destroy them. And as they were lying on the ground, Moses said to Aaron: Take the censer, and putting fire in it from the altar, put incense upon it, and go quickly to the people to pray for them: for already wrath is gone out from the Lord, and the plague rageth. When Aaron had done this, and had run to the midst of the multitude which the burning fire was now destroying, he offered the incense: And standing between the dead and the living, he prayed for the people, and the plague ceased. And the number of them that were slain was fourteen thousand and seven hundred men, besides them that had perished in the sedition of Core. And Aaron returned to Moses to the door of the tabernacle of the covenant after the destruction was over.” The Church fulfills the prophecies of Daniel

Daniel 2:30-44. “To me also this secret is revealed, not by any wisdom that I have more than all men alive: but that the interpretation might be made manifest to the king, and thou mightest know the thought of thy mind.  Thou, O king, sawest, and behold there was as it were a great statue: this statue, which was great and high, tall of stature, stood before thee, and the look thereof was terrible.  The head of this statue was of fine gold, but the breast and the arms of silver, and the belly and the thighs of brass.  And the legs of iron, the feet part of iron and part of clay.  Thus thou sawest, till a stone was cut out of a mountain without hands: and it struck the statue upon the feet thereof that were of iron and clay, and broke them in pieces.  Then was the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold broken to pieces together, and became like the chaff of a summer's threshing floor, and they were carried away by the wind: and there was no place found for them: but the stone that struck the statue became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth.  This is the dream: we will also tell the interpretation thereof before thee, O king. Thou art a king of kings: and the God of heaven hath given thee a kingdom, and strength, and power, and glory: And all places wherein the children of men, and the beasts of the field do dwell: he hath also given the birds of the air into thy hand, and hath put all things under thy power: thou, therefore, art the head of gold. And after thee shall rise up another kingdom, inferior to thee, of silver: and another third kingdom of brass, which shall rule over all the world. And the fourth kingdom shall be as iron. As iron breaketh into pieces, and subdueth all things, so shall that break, and destroy all these.  And whereas thou sawest the feet, and the toes, part of potter's clay, and part of iron: the kingdom shall be divided, but yet it shall take its origin from the iron, according as thou sawest the iron mixed with the miry clay.  And as the toes of the feet were part of iron, and part of clay: the kingdom shall be partly strong, and partly broken.  . And whereas thou sawest the iron mixed with miry clay, they shall be mingled indeed together with the seed of man, but they shall not stick fast one to another, as iron cannot be mixed with clay. But in the days of those kingdoms, the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that shall never by destroyed, and his kingdom shall not be delivered up to another people: and it shall break in pieces, and shall consume all these kingdoms: and itself shall stand for ever.”

In the New Testament the Church is said the be built on a rock (Matt 16) and as being “built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone” (Eph 2:20).  The Church, the kingdom of God on earth is compared to tiny mustard seeds (Matt 13:31) which are planted in the field symbolizing the world (Matt 13:38) and as leaven expanding to fill the whole (Matt 13:33).  The Catholic Church has grown from its humble beginnings on the Day of Pentecost, 30 A.D. to a worldwide group of over 1.1 billion people on every continent, speaking every language.  If the Church failed and had to be replaced by new organizations as some claim, that would make Jesus a fool rather than a wise builder.(Matt &:24-27).  Our God is not a fool.

Daniel 7:2-14. “I saw in my vision by night, and behold the four winds of the heavens strove upon the great sea.  And four great beasts, different one from another, came up out of the sea.  The first was like a lioness, and had the wings of an eagle: I beheld till her wings were plucked off, and she was lifted up from the earth, and stood upon her feet as a man, and the heart of a man was given to her.  And behold another beast, like a bear, stood up on one side: and there were three rows in the mouth thereof, and in the teeth thereof, and thus they said to it: Arise, devour much flesh.  After this I beheld, and lo, another like a leopard, and it had upon it four wings, as of a fowl, and the beast had four heads, and power was given to it. After this I beheld in the vision of the night, and lo, a fourth beast, terrible and wonderful, and exceeding strong, it had great iron teeth, eating and breaking in pieces, and treading down the rest with his feet: and it was unlike to the other beasts which I had seen before it, and had ten horns.  I considered the horns, and behold another little horn sprung out of the midst of them: and three of the first horns were plucked up at the presence thereof: and behold eyes like the eyes of a man were in this horn, and a mouth speaking great things.  I beheld till thrones were placed, and the ancient of days sat: his garment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like clean wool: his throne like flames of fire: the wheels of it like a burning fire. A swift stream of fire issued forth from before him: thousands of thousands ministered to him, and ten thousand times a hundred thousand stood before him: the judgment sat, and the books were opened. I beheld, because of the voice of the great words which that horn spoke: and I saw that the beast was slain, and the body thereof was destroyed, and given to the fire to be burnt: And that the power of the other beasts was taken away: and that times of life were appointed them for a time, and a time.  I beheld, therefore, in the vision of the night, and lo, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven,  and he came even to the ancient of days: and they presented him before him. And he gave him power, and glory, and a kingdom: and all peoples, tribes, and tongues shall serve him: his power is an everlasting power that shall not be taken away: and his kingdom that shall not be destroyed.”

The first kingdom was Babylon.  They were defeated by the second kingdom, Medo-Persia, under Cyrus.  They were defeated by the third kingdom, Greece, under Alexander the Great.  And the Greeks were defeated by the Romans.  The Catholic Church is the kingdom of "all peoples, tribes, and tongues" who "serve Him" and are ruled by the Son of Man "and his kingdom that shall not be destroyed."  These are five successive kingdoms.  This is why Peter and Paul went to Rome.  This is why the early Popes all stayed in Rome even though all but one for the first 300 years were martyred there.  They knew the Church would take over the Roman empire and rule it forever.  They didn't know it would take over 280 years.  When the Protestants left the Church in the 1500s, it is interesting that, except for England (which was inhabited by different people anyway--Anglo Saxons), all of the area of the west that was part of the Roman Empire, when it broke, up remained Catholic.   England left so that their King could have a series of wives.  He divorced or murdered 5 wives in 9 years.  Henry agreed with all Catholic doctrine and in 1527 wrote “In Defense of the Seven Sacraments” against Luther and was rewarded with the title, “Defender of the faith.”  The Pope let England leave the Church rather than condone Henry’s immorality.  Martin Luther, on the other hand, let Prince Philip have more than one wife.  And yet Luther called this Pope the antichrist!

The point here is not to rehash the errors of the past.  The point is that we need to come together and fulfill the Great Commission.  The world will not believe in Jesus until all Christians come together in perfect unity.  It is clear from the writings of the founders of Protestantism, that if they knew what would become of Protestantism, they probably would not have done what they did. John Calvin wrote to Luther’s successor, Philip Melanchton, “It is of great importance that the divisions that subsist among us should not be known to future ages; for nothing can be more ridiculous than that we who have been compelled to make a separation from the whole world, should have agreed so ill among ourselves from the beginning of the Reformation.” Later in his life Luther complained, “I tried to get rid of one pope and now I have 1000.” Today there are over 33,000 distinct denominations and no one knows how many independent churches. What would Luther or Calvin say today? Let us be the generation to end the 500 years of divisions and come back together in one body answering Jesus' prayer for us. He answers our prayers, now let's help answer His!  

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