I have wondered about that passage of Scripture since I was born again in 1983.
Who has come in His Name claiming to be Jesus? Did you know that the popes of the Catholic Church are considered to be Christ on earth?
Is the pope the Vicar of Christ?
The term “vicar” comes from the Latin word vicarius, which means “instead of.” In the Catholic Church, the vicar is the representative of a higher-ranking official, with all of the same authority and power that that official has. Calling the pope the “Vicar of Christ” implies that he has the same power and authority that Christ had over the church. The title is derived from Jesus’ words in John 21:16-17 to Peter, “Feed my lambs…. Take care of my sheep.” This, according to Catholic reasoning, defines Peter as the Prince of the Apostles, the first pope, and fulfills the words of Jesus in Matthew 16:18-19 (calling Peter the rock upon which Jesus will build His church).
For a better understanding of whether or not it is biblical to consider that a mere man is the representative of Christ, we turn to the pages of Scripture to find out what it says about Jesus’ role in our lives when He walked the earth and what He continues to do right now. The letter to the Hebrews draws the comparison between Jesus and the high priest Melchizedek (Genesis chapter 14) and contrasts this with the old Levitical priesthood. The question posed is, if perfection could be obtained by following the law, why was another priest to come (Hebrews 7:11)?
The writer says, “For it is clear that our Lord descended from Judah, and in regard to that tribe, Moses said nothing about priests. And what we have said is even more clear if another priest like Melchizedek appears, one who has become a priest not on the basis of a regulation as to his ancestry but on the basis of power of an indestructible life. For it is declared, ‘You are a high priest forever in the order of Melchizedek.’ The former regulation is set aside because it was weak and useless (for the law made nothing perfect), and a better hope is introduced by which we draw near to God” (Hebrews 7:14-19).
This makes Jesus superior to the priests, and more importantly, the high priests. This is the key text: “Now there have been many of those priests, since death prevented them from continuing in office; but because Jesus lives forever, He has a permanent priesthood. Therefore, He is able to save completely those who come to God through Him because He always lives to intercede for them” (Hebrews 7:23-25).
This means that Jesus is our high priest forever. Since He is “holy, blameless, pure, set apart from sinners, [and] exalted above the heavens” (Hebrews 7:26), He is unlike other priests in that He “does not need to offer sacrifices day after day, first for His own sins, and then for the sins of the people. He sacrificed for their sins once and for all when He offered Himself” (Hebrews 7:27). Men are appointed by the Law, and men are weak. But the Son was appointed by the New Covenant, and He has been made perfect forever (Hebrews 7:28). The ministry of Jesus is superior to the old, and it is founded on better promises (Hebrews 8:6).
The Bible says of Jesus that there is no other name by which men can be saved (Acts 4:12). There is only one mediator between God and men, and that is Jesus Christ (1 Timothy 2:5). We can now see that there is no biblical foundation for claiming to be a representative of Christ on earth. No man could do what Christ has done or what Christ is now doing on behalf of humankind. But the title of vicar also carries with it another implication: the bearer has the same jurisdictional power of the official he represents. In Matthew 16:18, Jesus Christ is the one who says He will build His church; He never delegates this power. By claiming the title of Vicar of Christ, the reigning pope is, in fact, promising to do what Christ promised.
Jesus does indeed predict a “vicar” in the sense of a “replacement” for His physical presence here on earth. However, this “vicar of Christ” is not a priest, high priest, bishop, or pope. The only biblical “Vicar of Christ” is the Holy Spirit. John 14:26 declares, “But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.” John 14:16-18 proclaims, “And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Counselor to be with you forever — the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept Him because it neither sees Him nor knows Him. But you know Him, for He lives with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.” The Holy Spirit is Christ’s “replacement” on the earth. The Holy Spirit is our Counselor, Teacher (John 14:26), and guide into all truth (John 16:13).
In claiming that the pope is the “Vicar of Christ,” the Catholic Church rejects the sufficiency and supremacy of Christ’s priesthood and grants to the pope roles that Christ Himself declared would belong to the Holy Spirit. It is, therefore, blasphemy to ascribe to the pope the title of “Vicar of Christ.” Source
Here is a piece I wrote about Pope Francis back in 2018:
Quotes From Pope Francis Compared to the Bible: His Newest Quote is Appalling
“Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified” (Galatians 2:16).
Scriptures about justification by faith and not by works clearly separate us from the RCC. We, as followers of the Lord Jesus Christ, should not align ourselves with that apostate church — not for any reason, as noble as it might sound.
“Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God” (James 4:4).
He came onto the world stage much in the manner of President Obama. The left-wing “Save mother earth” radicals are embracing him as their own. Funny, isn’t it? Wasn’t the job description of a pope to lead the so-called faithful upon the earth — spiritually speaking? This speaks VOLUMES about the Vatican and RCC worldwide! I love the Catholic people, and because of this love — I must speak truth to them.
Where is Repentance and trusting the Lord Jesus Christ for Salvation in the pope’s dialogues with the press? Did I miss it? I think not. Is this man saved? Does he know Jesus as Lord and Savior of his own life? If we look for fruit worthy of repentance in his life, it’s just not there.
What are his beliefs?
Well, let’s take a look at what Pope Francis deems important enough to give to the press. SCRIPTURE will be bolded: – source
Pope: “Each of us has a vision of good and of evil. We have to encourage people to move towards what they think is good…. Everyone has his own idea of good and evil and must choose to follow the good and fight evil as he conceives them. That would be enough to make the world a better place.”
Isaiah 5:20 – “Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!”
Pope: “Since many of you do not belong to the Catholic Church and others are non-believers, from the bottom of my heart I give this silent blessing to each and every one of you, respecting the conscience of each one of you but knowing that each one of you is a child of God.”
John 1:12 – “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, [even] to them that believe on his name:”
Pope: “From my point of view, God is the light that illuminates the darkness, even if it does not dissolve it, and a spark of divine light is within each of us.”
This is NOT what the Bible says. To say that there is a spark of divine light within each of us SMACKS of New Age teaching!
Pope: “A person once asked me, in a provocative manner, if I approved of homosexuality. I replied with another question: ‘Tell me: when God looks at a gay person, does he endorse the existence of this person with love, or reject and condemn this person?’ We must always consider the person.”
Romans 1:24-27 – “Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen. For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.”
Pope: “I am always wary of decisions made hastily. I am always wary of the first decision, that is, the first thing that comes to my mind if I have to make a decision. This is usually the wrong thing. I have to wait and assess, looking deep into myself, taking the necessary time.”
Proverbs 3:5-6 – “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.”
Pope: “There is a need for financial reform along ethical lines that would produce in its turn an economic reform to benefit everyone. This would nevertheless require a courageous change of attitude on the part of political leaders.”
And now you are giving advice to political leaders and to the leaders of the financial market — this is for the Pope to do? I thought that bringing people to a saving knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ is what the church should be about.
Pope: “The Jesuits have a vow to obey the pope, but if the pope is a Jesuit, maybe he should have a vow to obey the superior general…. I feel like I’m still a Jesuit in terms of my spirituality, what I have in my heart.”
1 Corinthians 11:1 — “Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.”
Pope: “Proselytism is solemn nonsense; it makes no sense. We need to get to know each other, listen to each other and improve our knowledge of the world around us.”
Matthew 28:19-20 — “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.”
Pope: “A church without women would be like the apostolic college without Mary. The Madonna is more important than the apostles, and the church herself is feminine, the spouse of Christ and a mother.”
WHERE in the Bible does it say that the mother of Jesus is more important than the Apostles??
Pope: “The Lord has redeemed all of us with the blood of Christ: all of us, not just Catholics. Everyone! ‘Father, the atheists?’ Even the atheists. Everyone!”
Romans 10:9 – “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.”
Pope: “Right now, we don’t have a very good relation with creation.”
Can you say ‘WICCA’?
Pope: “My authoritarian and quick manner of making decisions led me to have serious problems and to be accused of being ultraconservative. I have never been a right-winger. It was my authoritarian way of making decisions that created problems.”
Oh, Pope Francis — we would NEVER call you a right-winger!
Pope: “God is not afraid of new things. That is why he is continuously surprising us, opening our hearts and guiding us in unexpected ways.”
This came from the Pope’s mouth when asked about homosexuality. GOD is not afraid of new things?? He is Creator of the Universe and of each one of us!!! Guiding us in unexpected ways?? HIS WORD NEVER CHANGES!!
Pope: “Safeguard Creation,” he said. “Because if we destroy Creation, Creation will destroy us! Never forget this!”
New Age, New Age, New Age…
Pope: “But when we exploit Creation, we destroy the sign of God’s love for us. In destroying Creation, we are saying to God, ‘I don’t like it! This is not good!’ ‘So, what do you like?’ ‘I like myself!’ – Here, this is sin! Do you see?”
No, Pope Francis – I do NOT see.
Pope: “Climate change, the loss of biodiversity and deforestation are already showing their devastating effects in the great cataclysms we witness.”
Now he is a scientist?
Pope: “Beauty of nature and the grandeur of the cosmos” is a Christian value, noting that failure to care for the planet risks apocalyptic consequences.”
Psalm 19:1 “The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork.”
Recently, this pope declared that the Cross of Christ was God’s failure:
Pope Declares the Cross to be God’s Failure <read article here
I believe that Pope Francis will be used by our God in these last days to usher in the Antichrist. I also believe that he may be the last pope. The world is so blind to truth because they reject the Truth!
I also must say this:
I have many friends who are Catholics, and I love them all. Some of them are born-again believers in the Lord Jesus Christ yet have chosen to remain in the Catholic Church. But we know what God has said about Salvation:
“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9).
That passage of Scripture is what brought about the Great Reformation, and it is why Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses to the door of the Roman Catholic Church. He ultimately lost his life for his actions.
Luther was not a perfect man (none of us are), but because of his bravery and strong conviction about Salvation being attained by Grace through Faith – the Protestant movement was birthed, and the Word of God proved that Catholic doctrine was false.
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