Can priests truly forgive sins?

Yes......

BUT, they can only forgive those sins that are committed against themselves directly. They cannot forgive the sins committed against another person, or against God Himself.

Before you turn me off, read my reasoning then judge for yourself concerning the truth of this matter.

MATTHEW 9:1-8

1 And he entered into a ship, and passed over, and came into his own city.

2 And, behold, they brought to him a man sick of the palsy, lying on a bed: and Jesus seeing their faith said unto the sick of the palsy; Son, be of good cheer; thy sins be forgiven thee.

3 And, behold, certain of the scribes said within themselves, This [man] blasphemeth.

4 And Jesus knowing their thoughts said, Wherefore think ye evil in your hearts?

5 For whether is easier, to say, [Thy] sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Arise, and walk?

6 But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (then saith he to the sick of the palsy,) Arise, take up thy bed, and go unto thine house.

7 And he arose, and departed to his house.

8 But when the multitudes saw [it], they marvelled, and glorified God, which had given such power unto men.

MARK 2:1-12

1 And again he entered into Capernaum after [some] days; and it was noised that he was in the house.

2 And straightway many were gathered together, insomuch that there was no room to receive [them], no, not so much as about the door: and he preached the word unto them.

3 And they come unto him, bringing one sick of the palsy, which was borne of four.

4 And when they could not come nigh unto him for the press, they uncovered the roof where he was: and when they had broken [it] up, they let down the bed wherein the sick of the palsy lay.

5 When Jesus saw their faith, he said unto the sick of the palsy, Son, thy sins be forgiven thee.

6 But there were certain of the scribes sitting there, and reasoning in their hearts,

7 Why doth this [man] thus speak blasphemies? who can forgive sins but God only?

8 And immediately when Jesus perceived in his spirit that they so reasoned within themselves, he said unto them, Why reason ye these things in your hearts?

9 Whether is it easier to say to the sick of the palsy, [Thy] sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Arise, and take up thy bed, and walk?

10 But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (he saith to the sick of the palsy,)

11 I say unto thee, Arise, and take up thy bed, and go thy way into thine house.

12 And immediately he arose, took up the bed, and went forth before them all; insomuch that they were all amazed, and glorified God, saying, We never saw it on this fashion.

In the two accounts above, Jesus forgave the sins of a paralyzed man. The scribes immediately recognized this as blasphemy, as no man has the power to forgive the sins of another but God Himself. So by Jesus stating that the man's sins were forgiven, He was placing Himself in the position of God.

Jesus then did an interesting thing. Knowing their thoughts, He posed them a question as to whether it was easier to forgive the man's sins, or to command that the man be healed. In both cases this was a power that only God Himself could possess, for only God has the power to command that something be done, and it is so. Jesus then proved Himself to be God by commanding that the man be healed, showing that He had the authority to forgive sins on Earth as well as having power to speak and have all creation obey Him.

Now this brings up the first point. Only God has the authority to forgive all sins committed by a person, as Jesus demonstrated.

Jesus needed to prove this, for the Law required that two or three witnesses be present to confirm a fact. The healed man was a witness, and those who saw were witnesses that He had the power to forgive sins, thereby proving Himself to be God. His spoken word which healed the man was also witness of His divinity, for He spoke with His own authority to cause it to happen.

MATTHEW 10:1-15

1 And when he had called unto [him] his twelve disciples, he gave them power [against] unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease.

2 Now the names of the twelve apostles are these; The first, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother; James [the son] of Zebedee, and John his brother;

3 Philip, and Bartholomew; Thomas, and Matthew the publican; James [the son] of Alphaeus, and Lebbaeus, whose surname was Thaddaeus;

4 Simon the Canaanite, and Judas Iscariot, who also betrayed him.

5 These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into [any] city of the Samaritans enter ye not:

6 But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.

7 And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand.

8 Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give.

9 Provide neither gold, nor silver, nor brass in your purses,

10 Nor scrip for [your] journey, neither two coats, neither shoes, nor yet staves: for the workman is worthy of his meat.

11 And into whatsoever city or town ye shall enter, enquire who in it is worthy; and there abide till ye go thence.

12 And when ye come into an house, salute it.

13 And if the house be worthy, let your peace come upon it: but if it be not worthy, let your peace return to you.

14 And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, when ye depart out of that house or city, shake off the dust of your feet.

15 Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrha in the day of judgment, than for that city.

If you read the above passage carefully, Jesus gave the disciples power to heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons.... but did not give them authority to forgive sins.

Hold that thought for a moment.

MATTHEW 18:21-22

21 Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times?

22 Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.

Note that Peter spoke of sins committed against himself, not the sins that others had committed.

He knew he had no authority to forgive the sins of others, therefore he didn't ask about it..

JOHN 20:19-23

19 Then the same day at evening, being the first [day] of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace [be] unto you.

20 And when he had so said, he shewed unto them [his] hands and his side. Then were the disciples glad, when they saw the Lord.

21 Then said Jesus to them again, Peace [be] unto you: as [my] Father hath sent me, even so send I you.

22 And when he had said this, he breathed on [them], and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost:

23 Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; [and] whose soever [sins] ye retain, they are retained.

Some point to this passage as saying that the disciples, and we too have the power to either forgive the sins of others, or retain them against them.

And yes, they did have this power, and so do we. BUT, Jesus was not giving them power to forgive or retain sins, He was warning them concerning abuse of their authority. Remember, He also said;

MATTHEW 6:14-15

14 For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you:

15 But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

Again, Jesus was speaking of sins committed against the person specifically. We have no authority from God to forgive sins in His place. To do so, makes us equal to God ourselves.

MATTHEW 18:23-35

23 Therefore is the kingdom of heaven likened unto a certain king, which would take account of his servants.

24 And when he had begun to reckon, one was brought unto him, which owed him ten thousand talents.

25 But forasmuch as he had not to pay, his lord commanded him to be sold, and his wife, and children, and all that he had, and payment to be made.

26 The servant therefore fell down, and worshipped him, saying, Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay thee all.

27 Then the lord of that servant was moved with compassion, and loosed him, and forgave him the debt.

28 But the same servant went out, and found one of his fellowservants, which owed him an hundred pence: and he laid hands on him, and took [him] by the throat, saying, Pay me that thou owest.

29 And his fellowservant fell down at his feet, and besought him, saying, Have patience with me, and I will pay thee all.

30 And he would not: but went and cast him into prison, till he should pay the debt.

31 So when his fellowservants saw what was done, they were very sorry, and came and told unto their lord all that was done.

32 Then his lord, after that he had called him, said unto him, O thou wicked servant, I forgave thee all that debt, because thou desiredst me:

33 Shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellowservant, even as I had pity on thee?

34 And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him.

35 So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses.

Read the above story carefully. In both cases the sins were of one man against another. The king forgave the sin and the debt of the servant which he had power to do, but could only forgive that particular sin. He had no power to forgive the sins that the servant had committed against others.

The wicked servant in turn had power to forgive the sin and the debt of his fellow servant as the king had forgiven him, but would not. Therefore the king brought punishment upon the wicked servant as an object lesson on forgiveness and compassion.

When Jesus told the disciples that they had the power retain the sins of those who had wronged them, they also knew that if they didn't forgive those who had wronged them, they in turn would not be forgiven by the Father.

In turn, if they freely forgave sins committed against them, so would the Father forgive the disciples' sins committed against Himself. Again, they had no power to forgive the sins of others not specifically committed against them, or against God.

MARK 11:25-26

25 And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.

26 But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses.

Again Jesus states if you have a problem with someone who has sinned against you, forgive them, so that you in turn will be forgiven. In other words, do not hold grudges.

Anyone who claims the authority to forgive the sins of others not specifically committed against them puts themselves in the place of God who alone has the authority to forgive such sins. Man has never been given this authority by God anywhere in Scripture, and he never will be given this authority.

Even priests in the O.T. did not have the power to forgive sins. They could only intercede with God for forgiveness of the penitent. Hang on to that thought for a moment.

Know this also. The only time Jesus sent anyone to the priests, was when the Law required that He do so.

The Law required that lepers who were healed show themselves to the priests and make an offering for their cleansing. As Scripture records;

LEVITICUS 14:1-32

1 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,

2 This shall be the law of the leper in the day of his cleansing: He shall be brought unto the priest:

3 And the priest shall go forth out of the camp; and the priest shall look, and, behold, [if] the plague of leprosy be healed in the leper;

4 Then shall the priest command to take for him that is to be cleansed two birds alive [and] clean, and cedar wood, and scarlet, and hyssop:

5 And the priest shall command that one of the birds be killed in an earthen vessel over running water:

6 As for the living bird, he shall take it, and the cedar wood, and the scarlet, and the hyssop, and shall dip them and the living bird in the blood of the bird [that was] killed over the running water:

7 And he shall sprinkle upon him that is to be cleansed from the leprosy seven times, and shall pronounce him clean, and shall let the living bird loose into the open field.

8 And he that is to be cleansed shall wash his clothes, and shave off all his hair, and wash himself in water, that he may be clean: and after that he shall come into the camp, and shall tarry abroad out of his tent seven days.

9 But it shall be on the seventh day, that he shall shave all his hair off his head and his beard and his eyebrows, even all his hair he shall shave off: and he shall wash his clothes, also he shall wash his flesh in water, and he shall be clean.

10 And on the eighth day he shall take two he lambs without blemish, and one ewe lamb of the first year without blemish, and three tenth deals of fine flour [for] a meat offering, mingled with oil, and one log of oil.

11 And the priest that maketh [him] clean shall present the man that is to be made clean, and those things, before the LORD, [at] the door of the tabernacle of the congregation:

12 And the priest shall take one he lamb, and offer him for a trespass offering, and the log of oil, and wave them [for] a wave offering before the LORD:

13 And he shall slay the lamb in the place where he shall kill the sin offering and the burnt offering, in the holy place: for as the sin offering [is] the priest's, [so is] the trespass offering: it [is] most holy:

14 And the priest shall take [some] of the blood of the trespass offering, and the priest shall put [it] upon the tip of the right ear of him that is to be cleansed, and upon the thumb of his right hand, and upon the great toe of his right foot:

15 And the priest shall take [some] of the log of oil, and pour [it] into the palm of his own left hand:

16 And the priest shall dip his right finger in the oil that [is] in his left hand, and shall sprinkle of the oil with his finger seven times before the LORD:

17 And of the rest of the oil that [is] in his hand shall the priest put upon the tip of the right ear of him that is to be cleansed, and upon the thumb of his right hand, and upon the great toe of his right foot, upon the blood of the trespass offering:

18 And the remnant of the oil that [is] in the priest's hand he shall pour upon the head of him that is to be cleansed: and the priest shall make an atonement for him before the LORD.

19 And the priest shall offer the sin offering, and make an atonement for him that is to be cleansed from his uncleanness; and afterward he shall kill the burnt offering:

20 And the priest shall offer the burnt offering and the meat offering upon the altar: and the priest shall make an atonement for him, and he shall be clean.

21 And if he [be] poor, and cannot get so much; then he shall take one lamb [for] a trespass offering to be waved, to make an atonement for him, and one tenth deal of fine flour mingled with oil for a meat offering, and a log of oil;

22 And two turtledoves, or two young pigeons, such as he is able to get; and the one shall be a sin offering, and the other a burnt offering.

23 And he shall bring them on the eighth day for his cleansing unto the priest, unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, before the LORD.

24 And the priest shall take the lamb of the trespass offering, and the log of oil, and the priest shall wave them [for] a wave offering before the LORD:

25 And he shall kill the lamb of the trespass offering, and the priest shall take [some] of the blood of the trespass offering, and put [it] upon the tip of the right ear of him that is to be cleansed, and upon the thumb of his right hand, and upon the great toe of his right foot:

26 And the priest shall pour of the oil into the palm of his own left hand:

27 And the priest shall sprinkle with his right finger [some] of the oil that [is] in his left hand seven times before the LORD:

28 And the priest shall put of the oil that [is] in his hand upon the tip of the right ear of him that is to be cleansed, and upon the thumb of his right hand, and upon the great toe of his right foot, upon the place of the blood of the trespass offering:

29 And the rest of the oil that [is] in the priest's hand he shall put upon the head of him that is to be cleansed, to make an atonement for him before the LORD.

30 And he shall offer the one of the turtledoves, or of the young pigeons, such as he can get;

31 [Even] such as he is able to get, the one [for] a sin offering, and the other [for] a burnt offering, with the meat offering: and the priest shall make an atonement for him that is to be cleansed before the LORD.

32 This [is] the law [of him] in whom [is] the plague of leprosy, whose hand is not able to get [that which pertaineth] to his cleansing.

Mark 1:39-44

39 And he preached in their synagogues throughout all Galilee, and cast out devils.

40 And there came a leper to him, beseeching him, and kneeling down to him, and saying unto him, If thou wilt, thou canst make me clean.

41 And Jesus, moved with compassion, put forth [his] hand, and touched him, and saith unto him, I will; be thou clean.

42 And as soon as he had spoken, immediately the leprosy departed from him, and he was cleansed.

43 And he straitly charged him, and forthwith sent him away;

44 And saith unto him, See thou say nothing to any man: but go thy way, shew thyself to the priest, and offer for thy cleansing those things which Moses commanded, for a testimony unto them.

LUKE 5:12-14

12 And it came to pass, when he was in a certain city, behold a man full of leprosy: who seeing Jesus fell on [his] face, and besought him, saying, Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean.

13 And he put forth [his] hand, and touched him, saying, I will: be thou clean. And immediately the leprosy departed from him.

14 And he charged him to tell no man: but go, and shew thyself to the priest, and offer for thy cleansing, according as Moses commanded, for a testimony unto them.

Jesus had not yet fulfilled the Law, so therefore being obedient to the Law, he sent the cleansed lepers to the priests so they could bear witness of the cleansing according to the dictates of the Law.

When Jesus fulfilled the Law with His death, the veil of the Temple was torn from top to bottom, showing that there was no longer a need for intercessors between man and God, as was required by the Law.

LEVITICUS 16:2

2 And the LORD said unto Moses, Speak unto Aaron thy brother, that he come not at all times into the holy [place] within the vail before the mercy seat, which [is] upon the ark; that he die not: for I will appear in the cloud upon the mercy seat.

LEVITICUS 16:17

17 And there shall be no man in the tabernacle of the congregation when he goeth in to make an atonement in the holy [place], until he come out, and have made an atonement for himself, and for his household, and for all the congregation of Israel.

LEVITICUS 16:33-34

33 And he shall make an atonement for the holy sanctuary, and he shall make an atonement for the tabernacle of the congregation, and for the altar, and he shall make an atonement for the priests, and for all the people of the congregation.

34 And this shall be an everlasting statute unto you, to make an atonement for the children of Israel for all their sins once a year. And he did as the LORD commanded Moses.

The tearing of the veil was so important that it is included in three of the four gospels.

MATTHEW 27:50-54

50 Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost.

51 And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent;

52 And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose,

53 And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many.

54 Now when the centurion, and they that were with him, watching Jesus, saw the earthquake, and those things that were done, they feared greatly, saying, Truly this was the Son of God.

MARK 15:38-39

37 And Jesus cried with a loud voice, and gave up the ghost.

38 And the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom.

39 And when the centurion, which stood over against him, saw that he so cried out, and gave up the ghost, he said, Truly this man was the Son of God.

LUKE 23:44-48

44 And it was about the sixth hour, and there was a darkness over all the earth until the ninth hour.

45 And the sun was darkened, and the veil of the temple was rent in the midst.

46 And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said, Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit: and having said thus, he gave up the ghost.

47 Now when the centurion saw what was done, he glorified God, saying, Certainly this was a righteous man.

48 And all the people that came together to that sight, beholding the things which were done, smote their breasts, and returned.

Why didn't John record the tearing of the veil? Because he was the only one of the disciples who was brave enough to witness Jesus' crucifixion at Golgotha. Therefore he only wrote of those things which he had actually seen.

JOHN 19:25-27

25 Now there stood by the cross of Jesus his mother, and his mother's sister, Mary the [wife] of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalene.

26 When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved, he saith unto his mother, Woman, behold thy son!

27 Then saith he to the disciple, Behold thy mother! And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own [home].

Being at Golgotha, he would not have been able to see what was happening at the Temple in Jerusalem.

The Temple veil represented the barrier of sin between God and Man, and was a visible reminder of the holiness of God, compared to the fallen nature of Man. As such, the high priest went through the veil to meet with God only once a year, to intercede with God for the people on the day known as Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement.

With Jesus' death, the barrier of sin was removed, thereby removing both the need for a priesthood and the need for intercessors signified by the tearing of the veil. Note that two of the four Gospel writers are careful to record that the veil was torn from top to bottom, signifying that God Himself had torn the veil, and that it wasn't man's doing. The most likely reason why Luke didn't record that the veil was torn from top to bottom, was that he didn't see it happen.

Concerning the veil, the author of Hebrews states;

HEBREWS 9:1-8

1 Then verily the first [covenant] had also ordinances of divine service, and a worldly sanctuary.

2 For there was a tabernacle made; the first, wherein [was] the candlestick, and the table, and the shewbread; which is called the sanctuary.

3 And after the second veil, the tabernacle which is called the Holiest of all;

4 Which had the golden censer, and the ark of the covenant overlaid round about with gold, wherein [was] the golden pot that had manna, and Aaron's rod that budded, and the tables of the covenant;

5 And over it the cherubims of glory shadowing the mercyseat; of which we cannot now speak particularly.

6 Now when these things were thus ordained, the priests went always into the first tabernacle, accomplishing the service [of God].

7 But into the second [went] the high priest alone once every year, not without blood, which he offered for himself, and [for] the errors of the people:

8 The Holy Ghost this signifying, that the way into the holiest of all was not yet made manifest, while as the first tabernacle was yet standing:

HEBREWS 9:11-12

11 But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building;

12 Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption [for us].

HEBREWS 9:24-28

24 For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, [which are] the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us:

25 Nor yet that he should offer himself often, as the high priest entereth into the holy place every year with blood of others;

26 For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.

27 And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:

28 So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.

The author of Hebrews is saying that the earthly Temple was the representation of the Temple of God in Heaven.

And with the death of Jesus Christ on the cross, there was no longer a need for an earthly Temple, sacrifice, priest, or blood atonement, for He through His own blood has entered the Temple of God as the High Priest of God in heaven for us. The Law being fulfilled and our sins paid for, there was no longer a need for earthly works concerning salvation.

An interesting point of note here also. The author of Hebrews carefully states:

HEBREWS 9:16:-17

16 For where a testament [is], there must also of necessity be the death of the testator.

17 For a testament [is] of force after men are dead: otherwise it is of no strength at all while the testator liveth.

When a person creates a Last Will and Testament, it has no effect until the person who created it is deceased. The Law was dedicated with the blood of animals, a symbol of the future sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross. Therefore the Old Testament was given by Jesus at Mount Sinai, and with the blood of animals, symbolic of His future sacrifice and eternal atonement, the Old Testament Law was put into force.

However, as animal sacrifices were not sufficient to take away sin, neither did the Law have the power to bring salvation. They were both symbolic, earthly representations of a future, more permanent Testament. Thus the Law was not a permanent Testament, and Jesus could take it away, as He was the author of the Law.

For if a Testament has force only when the author of the Testament dies, God, being eternal, was only able to replace the symbolic Old Testament Law sanctified with the symbolic death of it's Author through the blood of animals with a permanent covenant with the true death of God through Jesus Christ. Therefore the Old Testament Laws are no longer effective, having been replaced by a new Testament sealed with the death and blood of the testator, fulfilling the law of Testaments.

The Old Testament Law ordained priests and a High Priest before God. And with the removal of the Old Testament Law, the need for ordained priests was removed also.

Therefore there should not be a Pope, or an ordained priest within the Christian churches, as the New Testament has made no provision for them. Therefore any person designated as a priest in any church is ordained by man, and not by God.

Sometimes it is just as important to understand what the Scriptures DON'T say, as well as what they DO say.

Because Israel didn't understand this, or ignored the truth of these things, God put an end to the sacrifices and the priesthood with the destruction of the Temple by the Roman Tenth and Thirteenth Legions under generals Vespasian and Titus in 70 A.D.

And yet we still ordain priests and a "high priest" (Pope) in direct disobedience of the clear dictates in Scripture that there should be no separate priesthood in the Christian churches.

The reason for the priesthood was taken away by Jesus Christ at the cross, because there is no more need for sacrifice for sins. Jesus made the atonement forever at His death, an act never to be repeated again.

The author of Hebrews understood this clearly, and recorded;

HEBREWS 10:1-14

1 For the law having a shadow of good things to come, [and] not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect.

2 For then would they not have ceased to be offered? because that the worshippers once purged should have had no more conscience of sins.

3 But in those [sacrifices there is] a remembrance again [made] of sins every year.

4 For [it is] not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins.

5 Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me:

6 In burnt offerings and [sacrifices] for sin thou hast had no pleasure.

7 Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy will, O God.

8 Above when he said, Sacrifice and offering and burnt offerings and [offering] for sin thou wouldest not, neither hadst pleasure [therein]; which are offered by the law;

9 Then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God. He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second.

10 By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once [for all].

11 And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins:

12 But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God;

13 From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool.

14 For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.

The book of Hebrews states in verse 3 that the purpose of the sacrifices was to remind the Jews of their sins which they had committed during each year. And in verse 12 he states that Jesus made one sacrifice for all time, and in verse 14 he states that those who are sanctified by Jesus are sanctified forever! Therefore there is no need for an earthly priest as there are no more sacrifices required for sin!

Remember, Jesus only sent people to the priests when the Law required that He do so, as in the case of the cleansing of leprosy. With His sacrifice for sins, and the subsequent fulfillment of the Law, there was no provision made in the New Testament for a earthly priesthood. There were to be no more sacrifices, no more Temple, therefore no priests were needed. Jesus commands us to come to Him instead.

He Himself said;

MATTHEW 11:28-30

28 Come unto me, all [ye] that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.

30 For my yoke [is] easy, and my burden is light.

Why is there no separate, earthly priesthood designated in the New Testament? Because by the grace of God, when Jesus paid for our sins, we were all made priests to God. Just as the priests of the Old Testament ministered to God under the authority of the High Priest, even so we all are priests to God under the authority of Jesus Christ.

As the apostle John stated in the book of Revelation;

REVELATION 1:4-6

4 John to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace [be] unto you, and peace, from him which is, and which was, and which is to come; and from the seven Spirits which are before his throne;

5 And from Jesus Christ, [who is] the faithful witness, [and] the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood,

6 And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him [be] glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

Even the apostle Peter, whom the Catholic Church proclaims was the first Pope, knew this when he wrote to the Gentile believers;

1 Peter 2:9-10

9 But ye [are] a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:

10 Which in time past [were] not a people, but [are] now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.

As such, Peter could never have been the first Pope because he knew better than to elevate himself above his brethren, and by the very statement above he expressed that we are all royal priests before God, under Jesus Christ, our High Priest.

Therefore, any priest who claims the authority to act in the place of God in forgiving sins other than those committed against him is guilty of impersonating God, who alone has this authority. We have proven from Scripture that God never gave authority to forgive sins to men, as men are not God.

And anyone who goes to any other intercessor for the forgiveness of sins other than to Jesus Christ disobeys Jesus' command to come to Him, who is the true intercessor for us.

For as the apostle Paul clearly states,

1 TIMOTHY 2:5-6

5 For [there is] one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;

6 Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.

One mediator. No saint, not Mary, not Joseph, not an angel, but only Jesus Christ. Going to anyone else sets the person you go to in the place of God, in violation of the commandment;

EXODUS 20:3

3 Thou shalt have no other gods before me.

Any one who prays to the "saints", Mary, Joseph, etc., puts other gods before Jesus, for prayers are offered only to deities. And the only other person Jesus said we could pray to, was His Father.

MATTHEW 6:6-15

6 But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.

7 But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen [do]: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.

8 Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him.

9 After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.

10 Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as [it is] in heaven.

11 Give us this day our daily bread.

12 And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.

13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.

14 For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you:

15 But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

LUKE 11:1-4

1 And it came to pass, that, as he was praying in a certain place, when he ceased, one of his disciples said unto him, Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples.

2 And he said unto them, When ye pray, say, Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth.

3 Give us day by day our daily bread.

4 And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil.

Note that in both cases, Jesus said to ask the Father to forgive us, as we also forgive those who have sinned against us. And He also warns in the Matthew passage that if we do not forgive those who have wronged us, we in turn will not be forgiven.

And the fact that no one has any special favor in Heaven before God is manifested in the following Scriptures.

2 CHRONICLES 19:4-7

4 And Jehoshaphat dwelt at Jerusalem: and he went out again through the people from Beersheba to mount Ephraim, and brought them back unto the LORD God of their fathers.

5 And he set judges in the land throughout all the fenced cities of Judah, city by city,

6 And said to the judges, Take heed what ye do: for ye judge not for man, but for the LORD, who [is] with you in the judgment.

7 Wherefore now let the fear of the LORD be upon you; take heed and do [it]: for [there is] no iniquity with the LORD our God, nor respect of persons, nor taking of gifts.

The statement "nor respect of persons" before God means that we are all equal in His sight. No one has an "inside track" with God, as He shows no favoritism to anyone.

ROMANS 2:11

11 For there is no respect of persons with God.

EPHESIANS 6:1-9

1 Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right.

2 Honour thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise;)

3 That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth.

4 And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.

5 Servants, be obedient to them that are [your] masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ;

6 Not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart;

7 With good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men:

8 Knowing that whatsoever good thing any man doeth, the same shall he receive of the Lord, whether [he be] bond or free.

9 And, ye masters, do the same things unto them, forbearing threatening: knowing that your Master also is in heaven; neither is there respect of persons with him.

COLOSSIANS 3:23-25

23 And whatsoever ye do, do [it] heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men;

24 Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ.

25 But he that doeth wrong shall receive for the wrong which he hath done: and there is no respect of persons.

1 PETER 1:15-17

15 But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation;

16 Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.

17 And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man's work, pass the time of your sojourning [here] in fear:

The fact that no man or woman holds any position in Heaven yet is expressed by the fact that we will be rewarded for our works when Jesus returns, not before!

MATTHEW 16:27

27 For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works.

REVELATION 22:2

2 And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward [is] with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.

Therefore, Mary cannot be the "Queen of Heaven" as the Catholic church teaches, as she has not received her reward yet. Neither will she ever be "Queen of Heaven", as this would place her equal to God himself, which is blasphemy.

She also cannot, as they also teach, hear prayers, intercede with God for men, or anything else, as when we die, we rest from our labors just as God has rested from His labors.

Scripture teaches;

HEBREWS 4:1-10

1 Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left [us] of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it.

2 For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard [it].

3 For we which have believed do enter into rest, as he said, As I have sworn in my wrath, if they shall enter into my rest: although the works were finished from the foundation of the world.

4 For he spake in a certain place of the seventh [day] on this wise, And God did rest the seventh day from all his works.

5 And in this [place] again, If they shall enter into my rest.

6 Seeing therefore it remaineth that some must enter therein, and they to whom it was first preached entered not in because of unbelief:

7 Again, he limiteth a certain day, saying in David, To day, after so long a time; as it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts.

8 For if Jesus had given them rest, then would he not afterward have spoken of another day.

9 There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God.

10 For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God [did] from his.

Note that last verse above. When we die, we enter into rest, our works being finished. Therefore no one who has died can work any more. They cannot intercede with God for anyone.

Also, anyone who offers prayers to anyone who has died is guilty of necromancy (communication with the dead), as while the dead are alive to God, they are still dead to us. And as prayers are offered only to deities, they are again guilty of worshiping other gods. Please understand this!

DEUTERONOMY 18:9-14

9 When thou art come into the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee, thou shalt not learn to do after the abominations of those nations.

10 There shall not be found among you [any one] that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, [or] that useth divination, [or] an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch,

11 Or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer.

12 For all that do these things [are] an abomination unto the LORD: and because of these abominations the LORD thy God doth drive them out from before thee.

13 Thou shalt be perfect with the LORD thy God.

14 For these nations, which thou shalt possess, hearkened unto observers of times, and unto diviners: but as for thee, the LORD thy God hath not suffered thee so [to do].

Remember, if you sin in ignorance you are still guilty of that sin before the Lord.

LEVITICUS 4:1-3

1 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,

2 Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, If a soul shall sin through ignorance against any of the commandments of the LORD [concerning things] which ought not to be done, and shall do against any of them:

3 If the priest that is anointed do sin according to the sin of the people; then let him bring for his sin, which he hath sinned, a young bullock without blemish unto the LORD for a sin offering.

LEVITICUS 4:13-14

13 And if the whole congregation of Israel sin through ignorance, and the thing be hid from the eyes of the assembly, and they have done [somewhat against] any of the commandments of the LORD [concerning things] which should not be done, and are guilty;

14 When the sin, which they have sinned against it, is known, then the congregation shall offer a young bullock for the sin, and bring him before the tabernacle of the congregation.

LEVITICUS 4:22-24

22 When a ruler hath sinned, and done [somewhat] through ignorance [against] any of the commandments of the LORD his God [concerning things] which should not be done, and is guilty;

23 Or if his sin, wherein he hath sinned, come to his knowledge; he shall bring his offering, a kid of the goats, a male without blemish:

24 And he shall lay his hand upon the head of the goat, and kill it in the place where they kill the burnt offering before the LORD: it [is] a sin offering.

God has given us His Word to tell us what is right and wrong in His sight, therefore we are responsible for knowing what He expects of us.

SUMMARY

Please know and understand the following proofs from Scripture;

No one can forgive sins not specifically committed against them. To do so, places them in the position of God, who alone has this authority.

There is no provision in the New Testament for a separate priesthood as Jesus has made all of us priests and kings before His Father. Therefore any priests who are designated as such are ordained by man, not by God.

The dead cannot intercede with God for the living. They cannot hear us, neither can they work any more, as they have entered into God's rest. And as God does not show favoritism with any man (or woman) they could not intercede for us anyway. That's why Jesus said to come to Him with our sins.

Praying to the dead is necromancy, and places other gods before the Lord.

Jesus never sent anyone to a priest for the forgiveness of sins, as with the fulfillment of the Law at His death there was no longer a need for sacrifice, therefore no priesthood was needed. Jerusalem was destroyed by the Roman army in God's wrath because the inhabitants of Judea refused to believe in Jesus' atoning death, and continued the sacrifices which could never atone for sin.

Also, the genealogical records of the tribes were destroyed by the Romans so that no one knows what tribe they are from. Thus no one can prove a claim to be a descendant of the priests, or of the line of David. The purpose of the priesthood and the lineage of the Messiah had already been fulfilled.

Ignorance of these things will not be a valid excuse before God. First of all, by reading this, you now know the truth of these things and are now responsible for that knowledge. Also, God has given us His Word to instruct us as to what is right and wrong in His sight.

As king David said;

PSALMS 138:1-2

1 <<[A Psalm] of David.>> I will praise thee with my whole heart: before the gods will I sing praise unto thee.

2 I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy lovingkindness and for thy truth: for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name.

First of all, when David spoke of "gods" in verse 1, he was referring to the rulers of Israel. They were referred to as "gods" for like God, they were given authority to judge the difference between right and wrong for the people, and could reward or punish as they rendered judgment.

Secondly, in verse 2, David says that God has magnified His Word even above His own name! That's how important He considers His Word to be!

And remember, Jesus Himself said;

John 12:48-50

48 He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.

49 For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak.

50 And I know that his commandment is life everlasting: whatsoever I speak therefore, even as the Father said unto me, so I speak.

If we reject God's words, He will in turn reject us when we stand before Him at our judgment.

If you are doing any of these things, please, turn away from them, and repent before the Lord before it's too late! Countless numbers of people are going to Hell because they believe that they are doing the right thing before God, but are guilty of disobedience to Him and His Word!

People are going to priests to confess their sins in direct violation of Jesus' command to come to Him directly! And by doing so, they are placing the priest in the position of God, and are being told that their sins are forgiven by men who have no such authority, and who should not be priests in the first place according to Scripture.

They are also praying to the dead who cannot hear them for intercession with God, thereby praying to other gods, and practicing necromancy.

I challenge you who read this to search the Scriptures and find out for yourselves the truth of these things. And may God in the riches of His mercy and love grant you the understanding of the truth, that you may be satisfied within yourselves as to the truth of these matters.



In Christ Jesus,

Watchmen



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