The HighlyVisible"Invisible" Church!
"He who hears you hears
me, and he who rejects you rejects me..."
Non-Catholics, having no claim to Apostolic succession and
thus no valid priesthood, "invented" the idea that the Church which Jesus Christ
founded is an "invisible" church within each one of us, and thus has no need of
a priesthood at all.
Holy Scripture, however, tells us that the Church which Jesus Christ founded is a highly visible Church as so it must be.
As is their custom, non-Catholics tend to ignore verses which are strictly counter to their false teaching.
Fact: The Church which Jesus Christ founded is His Body, and He is the Head:
Is He not divinity who came to earth in a highly visible human Body? Luke 2:7, Philippians 2:5-8
With that inescapable fact made manifest, non-Catholics, using their "either / or" theological opinions (as compared to the Catholic "and"), attempt to divide the humanity of Christ from His divinity by denying His visibility.
This is an impossibility for non-Catholic theology, due to the hypostatic union, which inseparably binds His two natures together into the one divine Person. Those two natures simply cannot be divided one from the other.
The Person of Jesus the Christ possesses the invisible nature of His divinity, and the visible nature of His humanity. Since His two natures cannot be separated, neither can His visible Body, the Church, be separated from His visible humanity or His invisible divinity.
Consequently, just as Jesus Christ has two natures, His Body the Church, has two natures, one invisible in its divinity, and one visible in its humanity. This explains how Holy Scripture can make these statements which at first appear to be a contradiction:
"Husbands love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish."
It is obvious that those two verses refer to the divine nature of Christ's Church.
Holy Scripture can also state this seemingly contradictory verse to those just given:
"It is impossible that scandals should not come. But woe to him through whom they come!
It is quite clear that this verse can only be applied to the human side of His Church, and not to the divine side.
We recall the scandals and human weaknesses of Jesus Christ's very own inner circle.
They are His personally chosen Apostles, the very foundation of His Church (Ephesians 2:19-22).
One betrayed Him (Luke 22:48).
One denied Him, not once but three times (Matthew 26:69-75).
One doubted Him (John 20:24-29).
All ran away from Him (Mark 14:50).
Note that all of them, save one, are now saints.
By using sound reasoning and common sense from what we have observed so far, we can elucidate that:
1. Jesus Christ has a divine nature and a human nature, both of which are possessed by the one divine Person.
2. His two natures are inextricably bound together by the hypostatic union.
3. Since His natures cannot be divided, His Body the Church, therefore must possess those same two natures as well.
4. The divine side (nature) of His Church is without spot or wrinkle, while the human side of His Church is populated by sinners.
After all, isn't the purpose of His Church to save sinners? How then can an "invisible" Church save sinners?
"For, every one who calls upon the name of the Lord will be saved. But how are men to call upon him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without a preacher? And how can men preach unless they are sent?"
I must add here, "How can any of this be accomplished through an "invisible" Church?
Does an invisible" Church have "invisible" preachers? Did "invisible" Apostles preach to "invisible" Churches?
The word "church" is mentioned about 74 times (KJ and RSV) in the New
Testament alone. In the Old Testament, the word used for "church" was "assembly"
which is used about 110 times (RSV), or "congregation" about 330 times (KJ). Now
for "Bible only" believers,
and "true to the Word" as non-Catholics claim to be, then the word "invisible"
should be found in the same verse as the three example words for "church" which
I have listed. The word "invisible" appears in only seven verses in the entire
Bible (Rom 1:20, Col 1:15-16, 1Tim 1:17, Heb 4:13,11:3,11:27) and none of them
have anything to do with an assembly, congregation or church. For the Sola Scriptura believer to
believe anything, then the "invisible church" has to be found somewhere in
Scripture. Is this not true? Strangely, an invisible church is not mentioned
anywhere in Holy Scripture, so someone please tell me how any Sola Scriptura believer can
truthfully say that the Church which Jesus Christ founded is "invisible"? I
would say that Sola Scriptura believers have a double standard when it
comes to "Bible only". When dealing with Catholics, they tell us that everything
has to be in the Bible or it simply is not believable, but among themselves it
does not, and this "invisibility" topic is a prime example of that double
The non-Catholic concept of the "invisible" church is not Biblical. Neither is it historical, as genuine historical documents before the Protestant revolt make no mention of "invisibility" of the Church which Jesus Christ founded. It also is not workable as no one can govern an "invisible" church, but only a visible one. Jesus Christ certainly did set up a visible body of Bishops working under the prompting of the Holy Spirit (John 14:16-17, John 16:12-13, Acts 20:28) to guide His one Church.
However, Holy Scripture is replete with verses which tell us of the greatvisibilityof the Church which Jesus Christ founded. How is this one for starters?
"You are the lightof the world.A city set on a mountain cannot be hidden.Nor do men light a lampand put it under a bushel, but on a stand, and it gives lightto all in the house."
You may say that "a mountain" has nothing to do with GOD's Church? Then please take note of this next verse.
"It shall come to pass in the latter days that the mountain of the house of the Lord shall be established as the highest of the mountains, and shall be raised above the hills; and all the nations shall flow to it..." Isaiah 2:2
We are in the latter days and the house of the Lord is His Church, placed high so nations may easily see it in order to flow to it.
You may also say that "a city" does not refer to GOD's Church? Then please read this verse.
"There is a river whose streams make glad the city of GOD, the holy habitation of the Most High." Psalms 46:4
Also, please take note that the city of GOD is also called "the New Jerusalem".
"He who conquers, I will make him a pillar in the temple of my God; never shall he go out of it, and I will write on him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my GOD, the new Jerusalem which comes down from my God out of heaven, and my own new name." Revelation 3:12
"For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government will be upon his shoulder, and his name will be called "Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace."
Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end, upon the throne of David, and over his kingdom, to establish it, and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and for evermore. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will do this."
It is obvious that these two verses refer to the coming of Jesus Christ. They speak of an increase of His government (note the singularity of the word) which can only mean His Church. Any government has to be highly visible in order for it to function at all. Also the verses make it quite clear that His Kingdom, again His Church, will last forever as reinforced in Matthew 28:20, and Ephesians 3:21.
As stated, the "invisible" church was invented by non-Catholics in a vain attempt to claim that the new covenant priesthood established by Jesus Christ was non existent.
However, they have conveniently ignored the inescapable fact that GOD did indeed assure a very visible priesthood in both the Old and New Testaments. They also have ignored one of the most important tools of Biblical exegesis, that of typology.
By using typology we can readily and easily see that the Old Testament type of the Levitical priesthood points directly to the reality of the Priesthood of Jesus Christ of the New Testament. The Levitical priesthood was powerless to forgive sins. However, Jesus Christ gave His Apostles, the first New Testament priests, the power to forgive sins,
"Jesus said to them again, "Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I send you." And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and said to them, "Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.." John 20:21-23
In John 20:19, the context clearly shows that only the Apostles were present when Jesus spoke these words and gave them these powers, and only they received the power to remit sins. The succession of Bishops down to the present time began here as Jesus Christ passed the baton to the Apostles.
Likewise in Luke 22:19, and again when only the Apostles were present, Jesus said these words,
"And he took bread, and when he had given thanks he broke it and gave it to them, saying, "This is my body which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me."
Jesus told His Apostles and none other, to break bread and to do this in remembrance of Him. Only the Apostles and their successors in turn, by the laying on of hands, were given these powers.
Beginning in Genesis 14:18 we see Melchisedek as a type of the High priesthood of Christ.
Then we see the appearance of the Levitical priesthood in Exodus 31, with Aaron as the high priest. That Levitical priesthood type is woven throughout the Old Testament and into the New Testament.
In the New Testament we see the formation of the Christian Church, founded by Jesus Christ (Matthew 16:18), and built up by the Apostles and their successors, beginning with their commission by Jesus Christ in Acts 1:8,
"But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be my witnesses in Jerusalem (local) and in all Judea and Sama'ria (expanding to surrounding areas) and to the end of the earth."
(Covering the whole earth...universal, Catholic)
Are the Apostles to be "invisible" witnesses?
"Now they who received his word were baptized, and there were added that day about three thousand souls." Acts 2:41
"And the multitude of men and women who believed in the Lord increased still more..." Acts 5:14
"Now in those days, as the number of the disciples was increasing..." Acts 6:1
"So the Churches grew stronger and stronger in the faith and increased in numbers daily." Acts 16:5
"And the Word of the Lord continued to spread, and the number of the disciples increased rapidly in Jerusalem; a large number also of the priests accepted the faith." Acts 6:7
"Now throughout all Judea and Galilee and Samaria the Church was in peace and was being built up, walking in fear of the Lord, and it was filled with the consolation of the Holy Spirit." Acts 9:31. The command of Jesus Christ in Acts 1:8 is being carried out.
"And news concerning them came to the ears of the Church in Jerusalem, and they sent Barnabas as far as Antioch. Acts 11:22
"But the Word of the Lord continued to grow and spread." Acts 12:24
Starting in Acts 13:1, the worldwide, universal, Catholic Church began to expand to eventually include all of humanity...
"Now in the Church at Antioch there were prophets and teachers, among whom were Barnabas and Simon, called Niger, and Lucius of Cyrene, and Manahen the fostering brother of Herod the tetrarch, and Saul." Acts 13:1
"On arriving at Jerusalem they were welcomed by the Church and the Apostles and Presbyters (priests), and they proclaimed all that GOD had done with them." Acts 15:4
"Then the Apostles and the Presbyters (priests) with the whole Church decided to select representatives and to send them to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas. Acts 15:22
"But I commend to you Phoebe, our sister, who is in the ministry of the Church at Cenchrea..." Rom 16:1
"..to the Church of GOD at Corinth." 1Cor 1:2, 2Cor 1:1
"Paul and Sylvanus and Timothy to the Church of the Thessalonians." 1Thess 1:1, 2Thess 1:1
"The Church which is at Babylon (Rome), chosen together with you, greets you, and so does my son Mark." 1Pet 5:13
"To the angel (Bishop) of the Church at Ephesus write..." Rev 2:1
"And to the angel of the Church at Smyrna write..." Rev 2:8
"And to the angel of the Church at Pergamum write..." Rev 2:12
"And to the angel of the Church at Thyratira write..." Rev 2:18
"And to the angel of the Church at Sardis write..." Rev 3:1
"And to the angel of the Church at Philadelphia write..." Rev 3:7
"And to the angel of the Church at Laodicea write..." Rev 3:14
Cyprus, Acts 13:4
Iconium, Acts 14:1
Lystra, Acts 14:7
Derbe, Acts 14:19-20
Philippi, Acts 16:12
Thessalonica, Acts 17:1-2
Berea, Acts 17:10
Athens, Acts 17:16
Corinth, Acts 18:1-2
Ephesus, Acts 18:19
Tyre, Acts 21:3-6
Malta, Acts 28:1-10
Rome, Acts 28:16-30
Pamphylia, Acts 14:23
Perge, Acts 14:24
Attalia, Acts 14:24
Phoenicia, Acts 15:3
Caesarea, Acts 18:22
"For from you the Word of the Lord has been spread Abroad, not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but in Every Place Your Faith In GOD Has Gone Forth, so that we need say nothing further." 1Thess 1:8
"Amen I say to you, wherever in the Whole World this Gospel
is preached, this also that she has done shall be told in memory of
"But I say; Have they not heard? Yes, indeed, Their voice has gone forth into All the Earth, and their words Unto the ends of the World." Rom 10:18
"And this Gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the Whole World, for a witness to All Nations; and then will come the end." Matt 24:14
"Go, therefore and make disciples of All Nations..." Matt 28:19
And He said to them, "Go into the Whole World and preach the Gospel to every creature." Mark 16:15
"But they went forth and preached everywhere, while the Lord
worked with them and confirmed the preaching by the signs that followed." Mark
Show me where the "invisibility" is in all of these Churches? The Apostles founded them, visited them, and wrote Epistles (letters) to them. How did the postman ever find them if they were "invisible"?
"And Saul was consenting to his death. And on that day a great persecution arose against the church in Jerusalem; and they were all scattered throughout the region of Judea and Sama'ria, except the apostles. Devout men buried Stephen, and made great lamentation over him. But Saul was ravaging the church, and entering house after house, he dragged off men and women and committed them to prison."
How does one go about persecuting an "invisible church"? How could Saul ravage an "invisible Church"?
For you can do nothing without Me...
Jn 15:5, "For without Me, you can do nothing."
Jn 5:19, "...the Son can do nothing of Himself, but only what He sees the Father doing..."
Lk 24:48, "...and you yourselves are witnesses to these things."
Mk 2:10, "But that you may know that the Son of Man has power on earth to forgive sins..."
Jn 7:16, "My teaching is not My own, but His who sent Me."
Jn 5:30, "Of Myself I can do nothing. As I hear, I judge and My judgment is just because I seek not My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me."
Jn 8:28-29, "...when you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am He, and that of Myself I do nothing: but that I preach only what the Father has taught Me. And He who sent Me is with Me; He has not left Me alone, because I do always the things that are pleasing to Him."
Jn 12:49, "For I have not spoken on My own authority, but He who sent Me, the Father, has commanded Me what I should say, and what I should declare."
Mt 28:18, "...All power in Heaven and on earth has been given to Me."
Jn 15:15, "But I have called you friends, because all things that I have heard from My Father I have made known to you."
Jn 16:11, "...and of judgment, because the prince of this world has already been judged."
Lk 24:49, "And I send forth upon you the promise of My Father. But wait here in the city, until you are clothed with power from on high."
Mt 28:19-20, "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 all days, even unto the consummation of the world."
Jn 20:21, "As the Father has sent Me, I also send you."
Jn 17:18, "Even as thou hast sent Me into the world, so I have sent them into the world."
Jn 17:22-23, "And the glory that thou hast given Me, I have given to them, that they might be one, even as We are One; I in them and Thou in Me; that they may be perfected in unity, and that the world may know that Thou hast sent Me, and Thou hast loved them even as Thou hast loved Me."
Jn 20:22-23, "...He breathed upon them, and said to them, 'Receive the Holy Spirit; whose sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven them; and whose sins you shall retain, they are retained.'"
Jn 21:15-17, "Simon, son of John, dost thou love me?.....Feed My sheep." Note! Jesus did not say feed YOUR sheep. He said Feed MY sheep.
Acts 15:7, "And after a long debate, Peter got up and said to them, 'Brethren, you know that in early days GOD made choice among us, that through my mouth the Gentiles should hear the word of the Gospel and believe."
Acts 16:4, "And as they passed through the cities, they delivered to the brethren for their observance the decisions arrived at by the Apostles and presbyters in Jerusalem."
1Thess 2:4, "But as approved by GOD to be entrusted with the Gospel, so we speak not as pleasing men, but GOD, who proves our hearts."
Heb 3:1, "Therefore, holy brethren, partakers of a heavenly calling, consider the apostle and high priest of our confession, Jesus, who is faithful to Him who made him..."
Jn 20:29, "Because thou hast seen Me, thou hast believed. Blessed are they who have not seen, and yet have believed."
Gen 3:9, "But the Lord GOD called the man and said to him, 'Where are you'?"
1Sam 3:4, "And the Lord called Samuel. And he answered; 'Here I am'."
Acts 9:10, "...the Lord said to him in a vision, "Ananias." And he said, "Here I am Lord."
Lk 6:13, "And when day broke, He summoned His disciples; and from those He chose twelve, whom He also named Apostles."
Mk 3:13-14, And going up a mountain, He called to Him men of His own choosing, and they came to Him. And He appointed twelve that they might be with Him and that He might send them forth to preach."
Jn 15:16, "You have not chosen Me, but I have chosen you, and have appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain; that whatever you ask the Father in My Name he may give you."
Jn 15:19, "If you were of the world, the world would love what is its own. But because you are not of this world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hates you."
Mt 10:1, "Then having summoned His twelve disciples, He gave them power over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to cure every kind of disease and infirmity."
Acts 13:2, "...the Holy Spirit said, 'Set apart for Me Saul and Barnabas unto the work to which I have called them."
Acts 9:15, "But the Lord said to him, "Go, for this man is a chosen vessel for Me, to carry My Name among nations and kings and the children of Israel."
Eph 4:11, "And He Himself gave some men as Apostles, and
some as Prophets, others again as Evangelists, and others as
Pastors and teachers."
"And He Himself gave some men as...Pastors". The Greek word used here is Poimenas which means shepherds. Pastors are the shepherds of the Christian flock and are the priests or Bishops. Isn't this a clear indication of a visible priesthood? How are we to see invisible pastors?
Acts 26:17-18, "...to whom I am now sending thee, to open their eyes that they may turn from darkness to light and from the dominion of satan to GOD; that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those sanctified by faith in Me."
Acts 20:28, "Take heed to yourselves and to the whole flock
in which the Holy Spirit has placed you as Bishops, to rule the Church of GOD,
which He has purchased with His own blood."
How can there be any rule whatsoever over an invisible Church? One can not govern an invisible Church, only a visible one.
Gal 1:1, "Paul, an Apostle, sent not from men nor by man, but by Jesus Christ and GOD the Father who raised Him from the dead."
Acts 14:22, "And when they had appointed presbyters for them in each church, with prayer and fasting, they commended them to the Lord in whom they had believed."
Tit 2:15, "Thus speak, and exhort, and rebuke, with all authority. Let no one despise thee."
1Cor 12:28, "And God hath set some in the church, first
apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then
gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues." King
Governments? How can anyone govern an invisible church?
Lk 22:29-30, "And I appoint to you a kingdom, even as My Father has appointed to Me, that you may eat and drink at My table in My kingdom; and you shall sit upon thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel."
Lk 10:16, "He who hears you, hears Me; and he who rejects you, rejects Me; and he who rejects Me, rejects Him who sent Me."
1Thes 2:7, "Although as the apostles of Christ we could have claimed a position of honor among you, still while in your midst we were as children: as if a nurse were cherishing her own children..."
1Thes 3:2-3, "...and we sent Timothy, our brother and a servant of GOD in the Gospel of Christ, to strengthen and comfort you in your faith, lest any should be shaken by these tribulations. For yourselves know that we are appointed thereto."
1Thes 2:11, "Inasmuch as you are aware of how we entreated and comforted each one of you, acting towards you as a father towards his children."
1Thes 5:12-13, "Now we beseech you, brethren, to appreciate those who labor among you, and who are over you in the Lord and admonish you. Esteem them with a more abundant love on account of their work. Be at peace with them."
Passing the Baton...
Psa 109:8, "...May another take up his duties."
Acts 1:20, "...And his ministry let another take."
Acts 20:32, "And now I commend you to GOD and to the Word of His grace, who is able to build up and to give the inheritance among all the sanctified.
1Chron 24:5, "And he divided both the families one with the other by lot; for there were princes of the sanctuary, and princes of GOD..."
1Chron 25:8, "And they cast lots by their courses, the elder equally with the younger..."
1Chron 24:31, "And they also cast lots over against their brethren the sons of Aaron before David the king, and Sadoc, and Ahimelech, and the princes of the priestly and Levitical families, both the elder and the younger. The lot divided all equally."
Lk 1:8-9, "Now it came to pass, while he was officiating in the order of his course as a priest before GOD, according to the customs of the priest's office, that he was chosen by lot to enter the temple of the Lord to burn incense."
Acts 1:15-26, "In those days Peter stood up in the midst of the brethren, now in the number of persons met together was about a hundred and twenty,....And they drew lots between them, and the lot fell upon Matthias; and he was numbered with the eleven apostles."
1Cor 3:10, "According to the grace of GOD which has been given to me, as a wise builder, I laid the foundation, and another builds thereon."
The 'Laying on of Hands' to convey authority and leadership is prefigured in the Old Testament.
Num 27:15-23, Then Moses said to the Lord, "May the Lord, the GOD of the spirits of all mankind, set over the community a man who shall act as their leader in all things, to guide them in all their actions; that the Lord's community may not be like sheep without a shepherd." And the Lord replied to Moses, "Take Joshua, son of Nun, a man of spirit, and lay your hands upon him. Have him stand in the presence of the priest Eleazar and of the whole community, and commission him before their eyes. Invest him with some of your own dignity, that the whole Israelite community may obey him. He shall present himself to the priest Eleazar, to have him seek out for him the decisions of the Urim in the Lord's presence; and as He directs, Joshua, all the Israelites with him, and the community as a whole shall perform all their actions." Moses did as the Lord had commanded him. Taking Joshua and having him stand in the presence of the priest Eleazar and of the whole community, he laid his hands on him and gave him his commission, as the Lord had directed through Moses."
Deut 34:9, "And Joshua, the son of Nun was full of the Spirit of Wisdom; for Moses had laid his hands upon him: and the children of Israel hearkened unto him, and he did as the Lord commanded Moses."
This same rite was practiced in the early Church and continues to this day. The Bishop, by the 'laying on of hands' , conveys a succession of Priests and Bishops with a commission, giving them the authority and the leadership needed to perpetuate the Church which Jesus Christ founded.
Acts 6:6, "These they set before the apostles, and after they had prayed they laid their hands upon them."
Acts 9:17, "...and laying his hands upon him, he said, "Brother Saul, the Lord has sent me, Jesus, who appeared to thee on thy journey, that thou mayest recover thy sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit." A 'laying on of hands' is a filling of the Holy Spirit.
Acts 8:17, "Then they laid their hands on them and they received the Holy Spirit."
Acts 19:6, " and when Paul laid his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came upon them, and they began to speak in tongues and to prophesy."
Acts 13:3, "Then having fasted and prayed and laid their hands upon them, they let them go."
2Tim 1:6, "For this reason I admonish thee to stir up the grace of GOD which is in thee by the laying on of my hands."
1Tim 4:14, "Do not neglect the grace that is in thee, granted to thee by reason of prophecy with the laying on of hands of the presbyterate."
Acts 9:15-17, "But the Lord said to him, 'Go for this man is a chosen vessel to me, to carry My Name among nations and kings and the children of Israel. For I will show him how much he must suffer for My Name'. So Ananias departed and entered the house, and laying his hands upon him, he said, 'Brother Saul, the Lord has sent me, Jesus, who appeared to thee on thy journey, that thou mayest recover thy sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit'."
Heb 6:1-3, "Therefore, leaving the elementary teaching concerning Christ, let us pass onto things more perfect, not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith towards GOD, of the doctrine of Baptism and the laying on of hands, of the resurrection of the dead and of eternal judgment. AND THIS WE WILL DO IF GOD PERMITS."
Col 1:24-26, "I rejoice now in the sufferings I bear for your sake; and what is lacking of the sufferings of Christ I fill up in my flesh for His body which is the Church; whose minister I have become in virtue of the office that GOD has given to me in your regard. For I am to preach the Word of GOD fully, the mystery which has been hidden for ages and generations, but now is clearly shown to His Saints."
Eph 2:20, "You are built upon the foundation of the Apostles and Prophets with Jesus Christ Himself as the chief cornerstone."
Tit 1:5, "For this reason I left thee in Crete, that thou shouldst set right anything that is defective and shouldst appoint presbyters in every city, as I myself directed thee to do."
Jn 15:20,"Remember the Word I have spoken to you..."
2Tim 2:2, "...and the things that thou hast heard from me through many witnesses, commend to trustworthy men who shall be competent in turn to teach others."
2Tim 3:14, "But do thou continue in the things that thou hast learned and that have been entrusted to thee, knowing of whom thou hast learned them."
2Thess 2:15, "So then, brethren, stand firm, and hold the traditions that you have learned, whether by word or by letter of ours."
2Tim 1:13, "Hold to the form of sound teaching which thou hast heard from me, in the faith and love which are in Christ Jesus."
1Cor 11:2, "Now I praise you, brethren, because in all things you are mindful of me and hold fast my precepts as I gave them to you."
1Thes 2:2, "But although we had previously experienced
suffering and shameful treatment at Philippi, as you know, we had confidence in
our GOD to preach to you the Gospel of GOD amid much anxiety."
Rom 10:14-15, "How then are they to call upon Him in whom they have not believed? But how are they to believe Him whom they have not heard? And how are they to hear if no one preaches? And how are men to preach unless they be sent?"
1Thes 3:10, "Night and day we pray more and more that we may see you again, and may supply those things that are lacking to your faith."
1Thes 5:14, "And we exhort you, brethren, reprove the irregular, comfort the fainthearted, support the weak, be patient towards all men."
1Pet 5:1-4, "Now I exhort the presbyters among you, I your fellow presbyter and witness of the sufferings of Christ, the partaker also of the glory that is to be revealed in time to come, tend the flock of GOD which is among you, governing not under constraint, but willingly, according to GOD; not yet for the sake of base gain, but eagerly; nor yet as lording it over your charges, but becoming from the heart a pattern to the flock. And when the Prince of the Shepherds appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory."
Heb 13:7, "Remember your superiors, who spoke to you the Word of GOD. Consider how they ended their lives, and imitate their faith."
Heb 13:17, "Obey your superiors and be subject to them, for they keep watch as having to render an account of your souls; so that they may do this with joy, and not with grief, for that would not be expedient for you."
1Thess 5:12, "Now we beseech you, brethren, to appreciate those who labor among you, and who are over you."
Mt 16:15-19, "...'But who do you say that I am'? Simon Peter
answered and said, 'Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living GOD'. Then Jesus
answered and said, 'Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-Jona, for flesh and blood has
not revealed this to thee, but My Father in Heaven. And I say to thee, thou art
Peter, and upon this rock I will build My Church, and the gates of hell shall
not prevail against it. And I will give thee the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven,
and whatever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever
thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.'"
Jn 14:15-17, "If you love Me, keep My commandments, and I will ask the Father and He will give you another Advocate to dwell with you forever, the Spirit of Truth whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him."
Jn 16:23, "And in that day you shall ask Me nothing. Amen, amen, I say to you, if you ask the Father anything in My Name, He will give it to you."
Eph 3:21, "To Him be glory in the Church and in Christ Jesus
down through all the ages of time without end. Amen."
As you can readily see, I have presented many verses in support of a valid, visible priesthood, commanded by GOD in Holy Scripture. There are many verses regarding the demise of the Levitical priesthood in the New Testament, but not one regarding the ending of the priesthood of the covenant of Jesus Christ.
Matthew 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. Amen I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be
bound also in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed also in
Please show me how anyone can appeal to an "invisible church"? As for Sola Scriptura believers, in order to satisfy the word of GOD in these verses, to which Church would you go if you lived in 100, or 300, or 700, or 1000, or 1400 A.D.? Answers?
1Corinthians 12:28, "And GOD indeed has placed some in the Church, first Apostles, secondly prophets, thirdly teachers; after that miracles, then gifts of healing, services of help, power of administration, and the speaking of various tongues."
How could any of these members of Christs Church be invisible? How could they communicate? How could the 'power of administration' govern an invisible Church?
1Timothy 3:15, "...if I am delayed, you may know how one ought to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and bulwark of the truth."
Of which Church is St Paul speaking in this verse? How could it be an "invisible" Church?
In non-Catholic bibles, does Matthew 16:18 read, 'And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my invisible Church'...?
It is impossible for anyone to write anything with complete assurance that
everyone who would be reading it would interpret the writing exactly as to the
meaning of what the writer had in mind. Since everything we see and everything
we hear must pass through the filter of the human intellect, there will always
be differences of opinion as to the true meaning of the written word.
Now what about the only faithful and true interpretation of the most important Book ever written, Holy Scripture, the Bible? It is absolutely imperative that the Word of GOD be interpreted exactly as GOD had intended it to be. That is why Holy Scripture says, "First of all you must understand this, that no prophecy of scripture is a matter of one's own interpretation, because no prophecy ever came by the impulse of man, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from GOD."
Who are these "men moved by the Holy Spirit"?
Now, with that said, we must now look at the tens of thousands of sects of diverse denominations, all of which defy the words of GOD in those two verses. Ask them why they continue to interpret Scripture according to their very own private interpretation and none other? Ask them why they claim "the Holy Spirit told them", when in fact each has a different interpretation, and the Holy Spirit being GOD, has only one interpretation which is the one truth? After all, if GOD did indeed give us an inerrant book, as non-Catholics claim it is, why then did He not give us an infallible interpreter for it? The fact is, that He did give us an infallible interpreter for it. He gave us His highly visible teaching Church.
The Bible needs His Church to defend His Word, as it cannot defend itself.
Now, just how could that teaching Church ever be an invisible Church?
Invisible: something which exists, but cannot be seen. GOD
is a prime example.
Invisible: something which cannot be seen and therefore does not exist. Read on for some prime examples.
In all of the verses which I have listed regarding the Church and the priesthood, there is not even the slightest hint of "invisibility" of either, but what we do see is a very profoundly "visible" Church which Jesus Christ founded.
Non-Catholics, however, are partially correct in their concept of an "invisible church". But unfortunately for them, they shot themselves in the foot by declaring it, simply because the only "invisible churches" on the planet are the over 39,000 existing sects of diverse denominations*, as they are not "churches" at all**, since none of them can show that they were founded by GOD, but only by mere human creatures.
After all, GOD did establish only one Church, did He not?
See Psalms 127:1 for proof.
*World Christianity Encyclopedia, 2008, a Protestant publication.
**Remember, Jesus Christ did say "Church" (singular) and not "churches" in Matthew 16:18 and 18:17, as did Saint Paul in 1Corinthians 10:32 and Ephesians 3:10,21, Colossians 1:18, 1:24, 1Timothy 3:5, and 3:15. Saint Luke said the same in Acts 5:11, 9:31, 12:1, 12:5,14:27,15:22, and 20:28, just to name a few. Then Saint James echoed the same in James 5:14, as well as Saint John in 3John 1:6, and 1:9-10. With Jesus Christ, and Paul, Luke, James and John, all using the singular "Church" as many times as they did in Holy Scripture, it is a foregone conclusion that there could be only one Church.
All of those "Churches" mentioned earlier in this file in Revelation 2 and 3, Acts, and several other Scriptures, are the same one Church located in different cities (Acts 1:8). They were all founded by the Apostles, each of whom was infused with the same one knowledge of truth at Pentecost (Acts 2:1-21). They are not individual sects of diverse denominations with each teaching something different, as some non-Catholics would like to have us believe.
Today we have Catholic Churches located in thousands of cities all over the world, fulfilling the command of Holy Scripture in Acts 1:8. However, all of them, teaching the same one truth, are members of the same one highlyvisibleChurch which Jesus Christ founded.