God’s Kingdom Society: A Watchtower Surrogate

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My friend, Dexter, sent me an audio clip of a monthly radio program sponsored by the friends of God’s Kingdom Society.

The station minister, Emmanuel Oriaku, was on air to disseminate their teachings and the line was opened for listeners to call in at the end of the program.

Before I proceed to respond to some of the things he said, I need to give a brief history of this religious group.

The God’s Kingdom Society (GKS) is a sect that broke away from the Jehovah’s Witness religion. It was founded in 1934 in Nigeria by Gideon M. Urhobo (1903-1952) a former Jehovah’s Witness (JW).

GKS has become one of the larger offshoots from JWs with followers in Nigeria, Ghana, Liberia, Benin, North America and England.

Urhobo claimed to receive a vision from Jesus in 1933 “to proclaim the good news of God’s Kingdom to all nations as the only remedy for all human sufferings and woes…and to expose all the false doctrines which Satan had used to deceive the people.”

Thereafter, he became a Jehovah’s Witness and a Watchtower Society representative in Nigeria.

He soon disagreed with their teachings regarding marriage, the Memorial celebration, the 144,000 heavenly class, their failed predictions and their name “Jehovah’s Witnesses,” and broke away in 1934 to form his own sect.

When we have surrogate sects that have splintered from a pre-existing curious sect, they usually contain a derivative and successive theological, Christological, soteriological and eschatological views.

Therefore, once you have understood the falsehoods inherent in Jehovah’s Witnesses doctrines and their method of eisegesis (flawed Bible interpretation), you won’t be swayed by the teachings espoused by the God’s Kingdom Society.

Now, back to the audio clip, the words of Emmanuel Oriaku will be in blue:

[Quotes from John 14:1-3]

“This promise is not meant for a Christians. There are two classes of Christians. This is where all the churches get it wrong when they interpret the Scriptures. We have the apostles and the disciples class. Christ himself gave that distinction.”

First of all, nowhere does the New Testament teaches that Christians are in two classes. There is no elitism in the Body of Christ.

It’s quite difficult for a brainwashed mind to admit that his interpretative grid is cut out of the badly smoked, deluded lenses of Mr. Urhobo – a man in the 20th century who supposedly had a better grasp of the Scriptures than all other Christians in the last 2000 years!

One of the first things a cult leader tells his followers is that all others are lying.

To infer that the Bible classifies all believers into “apostles” and “disciples” is ludicrous, because the word “apostle” is used in two senses: as an office and as a gift (implying “one who is sent from”).

In Matthew 10:1-2, the “twelve disciples” were also called “twelve apostles.” The terms were used interchangeably, even though they were quite different.

Jesus originally called disciples. The meaning of the word disciple is “a follower.” These were the people who followed Jesus and learned from Him.

It was out of all His disciples that Jesus chose certain ones who were to be apostles. The word apostle means “sent one.”

In Acts 1:16-26, Peter said the criteria for being in the office of an apostle is that he must have followed Jesus Christ in His earthly ministry and been a witness of the Resurrection.

Mr Oriaku quoted Luke 6:12-13 but it fails to support his preconceived beliefs. The text fails to uphold the idea of a two-tier Christianity.

Christ told the apostles to make disciples through preaching the gospel. He added that each person who believed the gospel was to be taught to obey everything that He had taught the original twelve:

“Teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you” (Matt. 28:20).

This statement can’t be applied exclusively to a special class of “elite” Christians or leadership hierarchy.

Whatever commands, promises and empowerment the apostles received from Christ were passed on to all who believed the gospel (e.g., their own disciples), who in turn passed on the same to their own converts, and down on to the present time.

All believers are recipients of the blessings of the New Covenant – forgiveness of sin, regeneration of the Holy Spirit, baptism of the Holy Spirit and eternal life.

No one has the right to restrict these blessings to a “special class.”

“Is it only 12 that make up the apostles? No. The 12 apostles were the foundation members of the class of Christians known as 144,000 chosen and anointed Christians according to Revelation 14:1-5 and 7:1-7. They are known as the “little flock” Luke 12:32.”

Now the Trojan horse has been fully unearthed. These are the same errors adhered to by Jehovah’s Witnesses, except that they don’t designate their two classes as “apostles” and “disciples.”

This has been addressed in two posts, The 144,000 and the Great Crowd and Who mediates for the Great Crowd?

Indeed, the title “apostle” was not limited to the Twelve, for Barnabas (Acts 14:14), Paul (Acts 9:1-31; 22:5) and James the Lord’s brother were also apostles (Gal. 1:19; 1 Cor. 15:7). But they didn’t leave behind a dynasty of apostolic succession as Romanism or Mormonism teaches.

When you open to Revelation 14:1-5 and 7:1-7 and read, you will find out that these people are literal Jews from the tribes of Israel, not anointed Christians.

Again, when you read Luke 12 from verse 22, you find that Jesus was directly saying these things to His disciples.

So, even if we assume that the term “little flock” indicates the number of those who would be in heaven, it also shows that disciples will be in heaven!

Those who subscribe to these absurd GKS teachings need to learn that the promise of believers agreeing together in prayer (Matt. 18:19) and receiving whatever they ask in the name of Jesus (Jn. 16:23) was originally given to Christ’s inner circle of twelve. So why do they follow it today?

The command given at the Last Supper for believers to do this “in remembrance of me” (Lk. 22:19) was given to the inner circle of 12 disciples, so why do they follow it?

Approaching the Bible with a two-tier lens makes the Bible quite confusing and contradictory.

Finally, Mr. Oriaku drops the bombshell:

And there is no woman among those that are going to heaven. No woman will go to heaven. Some of the women may be surprised to hear this. (The interviewer cuts in, “The women on earth?”). Yes. No woman on earth would go to heaven. We have it in the Scriptures … I am not here to patch the words, I’m just here to tell the truth as contained in the Holy Bible. (The interviewer asks, “So where will women go?”). They will be blessed, once they are faithful in God’s kingdom here on earth.”

If there’s a proof that this is a false religious group, this one extinguishes all the doubts.

If the Bible is clear that “there is neither Jew not Greek…slave nor free, … male nor female; for you are all one in Christ” then our position as recipients of Christ’s blessings is not premised on race, social class or gender. It’s based on faith in the perfect work of Christ at Calvary (Gal. 3:26).

One excited caller on the program (who has been soaking in these heresies) said he taught in his church during the youth week, that we would not go to heaven and his pastor corrected him that if he doesn’t want to go to heaven, he, his pastor wants to. I hope that guy was corrected and re-taught from the Bible.

We are living in an age where Christians need to be grounded doctrinally in the truths of Scripture otherwise we will be blown here and there by different winds of false doctrines.

The 144,000 and the “Great Crowd”

Jehovah’s Witnesses teach that only 144,000 people of mankind are saved and will be in heaven. These 144,000 are called “the anointed class” or “spiritual Israel.”

The rest of JWs who constitute the majority, belong to “the great crowd” or the “earthly class” who will live forever on paradise earth instead of heaven. Here are some quotes:

…[O]nly 144,000 chosen from among mankind over the past nineteen centuries would gain eternal life … the Bible holds out hope of eternal life under righteous conditions here on earth for all others who would become faithful servants of God…” (The Truth that leads to Eternal Life, 1968, p. 79).

These 144,000 Christians, including Jesus’ faithful apostles are raised to life in heaven. When does their resurrection take place? The apostle Paul wrote that it would occur during the time of Christ’s presence … So those few remaining ones of the 144,000 who die in our day are instantly resurrected to life in heaven … The vast majority of mankind, however, have the prospect of being resurrected in the future to life in Paradise on earth” (What Does the Bible Really Teach? 2005, p. 74).

All faithful men and women who died before Jesus died had the hope of living again on earth, not heaven” (You Can Live Forever in Paradise Earth, 1982, p.122).

The last quote is as false as it sounds because Jesus stated in Matthew 8:11 that many shall come from the East and West to “sit down with Abraham, and Isaac and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven.” (Note: The NWT of JWs has spuriously pluralized the word “heaven” in the text to alter its meaning).

The Old Testament saints were described as “foreigners and strangers on earth” who “were longing for a better country – a heavenly one” and that God prepared this for them (Hebrews 11:13, 16).

The Psalmist says,”You shall guide me with your counsel, and afterward receive me to glory [heaven]” (Ps. 73:24). Remember also that both Enoch and Elijah were taken up to heaven.

Most JWs believe they do not need to be born again or look forward to heaven because they are part of the “great crowd.” Thus, they sneer at Christians who speak of looking forward to heaven. They also believe that only these 144,000 people have the Holy Spirit in them:

Only Christ and his 144,00 spirit brothers can be born again and receive spirit baptism which is for body members only.” (Make Sure of All Things, 49)

This ‘great crowd’ of people are not ‘born again’ nor do they need to be ‘born again’ because they gain everlasting life on earth.” (The Watchtower, Nov. 15, 1954, 682)

Jesus Christ is the sinless Saviour; only sinners are in need of regeneration and a Saviour. Therefore, it’s blasphemy to teach that Jesus can be born again.

Jehovah’s Witnesses also believe that the New Covenant privileges – regeneration, spiritual adoption into God’s family, approaching Jesus as Mediator, the witness of the Spirit, partaking in the Lord’s Evening Meal and hope of heaven – belong only to these 144,000 elites.

This implies that JWs are a battalion of unregenerate servants for the Watchtower Society. There are problems with this doctrine:

I. It conflicts with the clear teachings of Christ. He stressed the importance of being born again:

“Unless anyone is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God” (John 3:3).

“Do not marvel because I told you, YOU people must be born again” (John 3:7).

“Jesus answered: Most truly I say to you, Unless anyone is born from water and spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.” (John 3:5).

Everyone believing that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God…” (1John 5:1) [Note: all Bible quotes are from the New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures].

The Bible is clear that the only way by which anyone can enter into God’s kingdom (whether heavenly or earthly) is to be born again. Notice the urgency of Jesus’ words on this. He kept referring to “anyone,” “YOU people,” and “everyone.” This leaves no one out; everyone is included.

Jesus said that it’s God’s will “that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life” (Jn. 6:40). There’s no justification for limiting Jesus’ command directed to everyone to only 144,000 people.

2. The idea of a ‘two-tier salvation’ wasn’t early Watchtower teaching. Charles Russell wrote that:

“The only way, by which any and all of the condemned race may come to God, is not by meritorious works, neither by ignorance, but by faith in the precious blood of Christ, which taketh away the sins of the world (1 Peter 1:19, John 1:29). This is the gospel, the good tidings of great joy, which shall be unto all people” (The Divine Plan of the Ages, 1886, 103).

But today, the Watchtower Society teaches that the anointed class have been appointed between 33 AD and 1935. If their number has been completed since 1935, that means by now, most of them must have either died or become very old.

In essence, all JWs who joined the organization after 1935 are not part of the anointed class and will therefore live eternally on earth. What makes this rather intriguing is that these remaining 144,000 alive are believed to be the “spiritual house” or “temple” which constitute Watchtower leadership:

For Jesus said that, in this ‘time of the end,’ he separates to a position of favor those doing good to the remaining ones on earth of his ‘brothers,’ his joint heirs who make up the Christian congregation … These are the remaining ones of the ‘living stones’ that are built up into a spiritual house or temple, ‘a place for God to inhabit by spirit.’ Those doing good to the members of this temple class are… [the] ‘great crowd.” (The Truth that Leads to Eternal Life, 121)

Since these “temple class” are the only ones who have God’s Spirit and can hear from Him; they alone are qualified to lead and teach the “great crowd” of JWs.

In the next few years when all these 144,000 finally die, to whom will the JWs be turning to for spiritual guidance? Does this imply that there will no more a place for Jehovah to inhabit by spirit again?

This is an impending Watchtower crisis. This is why they are now trying to manipulate the figures of the dead anointed class and shift the 1935 date.

3. The doctrine is plagued with inconsistencies. Under the heading “Ancient Babylonian Concepts” in Reasoning from the Scriptures, they state: “The distinction between the priest and layman is characteristic of this [Babylonian] religion” (p. 51).

Elsewhere, they stated: “Jesus, the Head does not split up the body of his congregation into a clergy class and a laity class of the ‘common people’…there is no division among those who make up the true church” (The Truth, p. 119).

So on the one hand, the Watchtower Society attacks other religious groups for having a clergy-laity distinction, but at the same time, they teach that Christians are in two classes – the anointed and servant class.

To them it’s wrong to have a clergy class giving spiritual guidance to a laity class, but essential to have a “little flock” or “anointed class” giving spiritual guidance to the “other sheep” or “great crowd!” Where is the difference? Such hypocrisy.

There is no caste system in Christianity. It’s totally unbiblical. Even in the Old Testament, the anointed Levite priests (or kings) were still part of Israel.

In the Church, the pastors, overseers or elders are drawn from the Christian congregations. They are not an “elite class” who receive all the benefits of the New Covenant to the exclusion of the “inferior” masses.

4. The Watchtower informs us that: “only the 144,000 … have properly partaken of the emblems during the Memorial of Jesus’ death, and only with them did Jesus make his covenant … Members of the great crowd are not participant in the new covenant.” (February 1, 1998, p. 19)

But there’s no indication in all the Bible passages relating to the communion that it’s an ordinance to be partaken of only by an “elite” group (Lk. 22:14-20, 1 Cor. 11:23-24). None of Jesus’ promises to the apostles were only for them.

He taught the inner circle disciples to ask for what they need in His name (Jn. 16:23), yet all Christians do so today. Why? Because the same commands that applied to them apply to us. Jesus told them to make disciples of all men and teach them all what He taught them – reserving not one for a special group (Matt. 28:19).

5. According to Watchtower records, there were 52,465 members of the anointed class “sealed” in 1935. This is known by the number of those who partake of the communion emblems each year. In 1985, they were 9,051 and in 1992, 8,683.

But in 2002 they had increased to 8,760! This is another problem for the Watchtower Society because logically, their number ought to be reducing each year.

In a “Questions from our Readers” segment, someone asked why the number of those partaking of the Memorial emblems have increased, since that implies they are having more people being “anointed” as part of the 144,00 – which was supposed to have been completed in 1935.

The Watchtower went into a lengthy explanation to drown the question and gallantly dismissed it:

On balance, that a few more chose to partake of the emblem is no cause for concern. Over the years, some newly baptized have suddenly begun to partake … Some have recognized that they partook as an emotional response to perhaps physical or mental strain … There is no need for any of us to be concerned if a person begins to partake of the emblems or ceases to do so. It really is not up to us whether someone actually has been anointed with holy spirit and called to heavenly life or not” (The Watchtower, August 1996).

Nice trick there. They deflect the question by telling the reader to mind his own business and attribute the increasing number to physical and mental strain! Bravo mama Watchtower!

Consider this: if the 144,000 elites were completed in 1935, and 52,465 of them were alive then, that means for 18 centuries, God could only find 91,535 heaven-bound Christians. But between 1879 when the Watchtower Society was founded, and 1935, God was able to find 52,465 heaven-bound elites. This makes no sense.

Consider the rate of growth of the early church. When Peter preached after Pentecost, “about three thousand souls were added” to the church in just one day (Acts 2:41).

God also “added to the church daily such as should be saved” (Acts 2: 47). We also read of “more added to the Lord, multitudes both of men and women” (5:14).

Why would God wait till 1935 to have 144,000 saints? Thousands of Christians were killed between the 1st and 4th century, so it would be absurd to believe that God bypassed over hundreds of thousands of faithful Christians for heavenly honours for 18 centuries but – for no reason at all – opened it up to those who joined the Watchtower organization between 1879-1935 on a first come, first served basis.

The more one examines this doctrine, the more absurd it looks, but Witnesses have been taught not to question it.

6. The proof texts used as support for this teaching are:

(a) Luke 12:32 Have no fear, little flock, because your Father has approved of giving you the kingdom” (NWT)

These were the comforting words of Christ to the disciples after He attacked the religious leaders (11:37-54). He was addressing a crowd of thousands (12:1-12).

After telling them of what will befall His disciples, He tells them “do not worry” (vs. 22) and “do not be afraid” (vs. 32).

His addressing them as “little flock” was a term of endearment, rather than an indication of the number of those who would be in heaven. He specifically promised to give them the kingdom so they will “sit on thrones to judge the twelve tribes of Israel” (v. 30). Nothing here supports the JW claim.

(b) John 10:16 “And I have other sheep, which are not of this fold; those also I must bring, and they will listen to my voice, and they will become one flock, one shepherd.

JWs quote only the first part of this verse because its second part destroys their theory of a two-tier salvation.

The text says that Jesus’ sheep and this “other sheep” will form “one flock” under one shepherd (Jesus). This contradicts the JW belief that Jesus mediates only for the 144,000 while the 144,000 mediate for the other sheep.

There is only one mediator between God and men – Jesus Christ (1Tim. 2:5). If the 144,000 anointed class mediate for the great crowd, then 1st Timothy 2:5 is false.

In its real context, John 10:3-4 speaks of the Gentiles (the other sheep) who will be brought into the Jewish Christian fold to form one flock. This was actually fulfilled since Acts 8:4-8.

(c) Revelation 7:4 “And I heard the number of those who were sealed, a hundred and forty four thousand, sealed out of every tribe.

These 144,000 are Jews from the 12 tribes of Israel (vs 4-8) and the names of their tribes are given, because they are not “spiritual Israel.” JWs can only appeal to this verse if they are literal Jews, but they are not.

After listing these Jewish tribes, it speaks of a “great crowd which no man was able to number” standing “before the throne” of Jesus – which is in heaven – not on earth (See Rev. 7:9).

Verse 15 also says they serve God “in his temple” in heaven (see Rev. 11:19, 14:17) and verse 16 adds that “neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat.” These prove  that they are in heaven (Rev. 21:23, 22:5).

The Watchtower Society also quote Revelation 14: 1,3 but have slyly inserted the words “taken (from the earth)” into the text to push the unwary reader into their false doctrine.

But if you read Revelation 19:1 directly from your Bible, you will see that both the 144,000 and the great crowd are in the same place – heaven!

(d) Psalm 37:29 “the righteous will inherit the land and dwell in it forever.”

Nothing here speaks of these righteous as the resurrected dead, so the feeble attempt of JWs to link them with the “great crowd” falls apart.

The basic error in JW earthly paradise teaching is how they snag on the promises of God to the restored nation of Israel under the Messiah in the OT and apply it to themselves.

In conclusion, Jesus fails to be a Saviour if He saves only 144,000 people. There is no single verse in the Bible that says only 144,000 are going to be in Heaven. This doctrine is a grievous, shabby lie.

The Golden Lie of Purgatory

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The Vatican II Council (Austin Flannery, Vol. 2, 394) states:

The doctrine of purgatory clearly demonstrates that even when the guilt of sin has been taken away, punishment for it or the consequences of it may remain to be expiated or cleansed … [I]n purgatory the souls of those who died in the charity of God and truly repentant but who had not made satisfaction with adequate penance for their sins and omissions are cleansed after death with punishment designed to purge away their debt.”

Sins must be expiated. This may be done on this earth through the sorrows, miseries and trials of this life and, above all through death. Otherwise the expiation must be made in the next life through fire and torments or purifying punishments…” (Vol. 1, 63).

Purgatory is said to be a place (or a state) where sins which have not been discharged off on earth can be removed through fire and torments until a dead soul is totally purified of his sins and sent to heaven.

What this means is, even though your sins are forgiven through Christ’s death, you must still suffer some punishment for them here in this world or in purgatory before the gates of heaven can open for you after death.

Every Catholic looks forward to spending some unknown length of time in purgatory, but no one – even the pope – can know when his sins will be totally purged. This doctrine is rife with problems:

I – Sin cannot be cleansed from the soul by any kind of suffering. Suffering may only temporarily alter a person’s attitude to sin, but once the pain is forgotten, the old tendencies return, because sins come from the heart.

Until the heart is cleansed – by what? suffering? No! By the blood of Christ shed on the cross and renewed by God’s Spirit through faith in Christ, it will persist in sin.

II – Sins are cleansed by Christ (on earth) and not at a place of fire after death. The Bible declares that Christ “when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high” (Heb. 1:3).

It also says, “the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin” (1Jn. 1:7), in fact, “without the shedding of blood is no remission [of sin]” (Heb. 9:22).

But purgatory is said to be not a place of blood shedding but a place of “purifying fire” Can fire remove sin? The only possible purging of our sins was accomplished by Christ and it is effected on the heart by grace when received by faith.

III – The Vatican II quoted above speaks of “adequate penance.” What is adequate penance? No one knows and Rome has never defined it.

This is why many Catholics crawl on their knees at Marian shrines, whip themselves, wear hair shirts to ‘atone’ for their sins and by-pass purgatory through suffering. This reflects a rejection of Christ’s perfect substitutionary sacrifice on our behalf.

God made Jesus “to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him” (2Cor. 5:21). “For by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy” (Heb. 10:14).

Since we have been perfected forever by Christ’s sacrifice, there is no “work” or suffering of ours that can cleanse our sins. The perfect work of Christ at the cross puts out the mythical flames of purgatory.

IV – Romans 6:23 says “The wages of sin is death [i.e eternal separation from God]” not a limited time in purgatory. Since no one can escape from hell, “working off” the penalty of sins is impossible.

We would be lost forever apart from Christ’s sacrifice for our sins. We are finite beings and could never pay the infinite penalty that Christ paid. Being the God-Man, only He could pay the price.

V – Purgatory implies that Christ’s sacrifice on the cross (which “is finished” John 19:30) was insufficient to purge sin, but the Catholic Mass, which allegedly repeats that sacrifice, does the purging.

They claim Christ’s sacrifice is not enough to get us to heaven, but the forgiven sinner must suffer torment to add to Christ’s sacrifice to be purified.

So on one hand you must suffer to expiate your sins and at the same time, you need not suffer if enough Masses are said for you. This is a fatal contradiction. What makes the sacrifice of Christ less effectual than its alleged repetitions by priests?

VI – The Vatican II Council (2:205) also says:

The Church offers the Paschal Sacrifice for the Dead so that … the dead may be helped by prayers and the living may be consoled by hope. Among Masses for the Dead is the Funeral Mass which holds the first place in importance…

Masses are said to help the dead by shortening their time in purgatory. Thus, Catholics have to pay priests to perform Masses on behalf of their dead loved ones.

A funeral Mass is often infused with big money with big shot priests and Catholic dignitaries in attendance. Like an Irish saying goes: “High money, High Mass; Low money, Low Mass; No money, no Mass!”

The Catholic church has never been able to define how much of reduction each Mass would grant a soul or when exactly the souls would leave purgatory, so the money has to keep flowing in to the men in robes for more Masses.

That’s why some Catholics still hold Masses for parents who have died over 30 years ago.

While the Lord said it’s hard for a man who trusts in his riches to enter heaven, Catholicism teaches the opposite, that with money you can buy a lesser burning time in purgatory (Mt. 19:23-24).

Psalm 49:6-7 says for “those who trust in their wealth … No man can redeem the life of another or give to God a ransom for him.” Now, if money can’t redeem a living man, how can it redeem the dead?

The fruit of this doctrine have paved the way for priestly control and exploitation. Purgatory is not only a lie, but also a very golden lie. It’s literally “the goldmine of the priesthood!”

Purgatory “Proof texts?”

(a) 1 Samuel 31:13 “And they took their bones, and buried them under a tree at Jabesh, and fasted seven days

Where’s purgatory here? It’s absent! The fasting observed was a Jewish custom of mourning the dead for some number of days eschewing food (Genesis 50:3-4, 10, Numbers 20:29).

(b) Luke 12:59 “I can guarantee that you won’t get out until you pay every penny of your fine.”

This is teaching restitution on settling monetary debt with an adversary, yet it has been snagged on to cement a deadly heresy – that one can pay the price for one’s own sin and save oneself from purgatory.

“Following in Christ’s steps, those who believe in him have always… carried their crosses to make expiation for their own sins and the sins of others…[to] help their brothers to obtain salvation…” (Vatican II, 1:65, 68)

The truth is, no man can purge himself from sin because to do so, he would have to be sinless.

Even in the Old Testament, the animals to be offered had to be without blemish. This symbolised Christ, the sinless “Lamb of God” who would takes away the sin of the world” (Jn. 1:29).

Jesus had to be sinless to be able to die for our sins, otherwise He would have been under the penalty of His own sins. Christ “the just [suffered] for [us] the unjust that he might bring us to God”[i.e to heaven, not to purgatory]” (I Pet. 3:18).

You either accept His pardon and be saved or reject it and be damned forever.

(c) Matthew 12:32 “…it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come.”

The Greek word translated world is “aion” which means age or a period of time. The term “this world” refers to the period between the first and second advent of Christ (Mt. 24:14, 29-31) while the “world to come”  refers to the millennium following the second coming of Christ. The Bible calls it “the dispensation of the fullness of times” (Eph. 1:10).

It takes a great deal of craftiness to link “the world to come” with purgatory.

(d) 1 Corinthians 3:15 “If his works is burned up, he will suffer the loss. However, he will be saved, though it will be like going through a fire.

The preceding verses show that this is about a believer’s “rewards according to his labour” (v. 8). The quality works are like gold, silver and precious stones and those whose works are inferior are like wood, hay or stubble.

“Every man’s work shall be manifest…and fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is” (v. 13). The passage is about Believers’ works tested by fire, not souls in purgatory.

(e) Colossians 1:24 “Who now rejoice in my suffering for you and fill up what is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body sake which is the church.

Paul was not suffering to purge himself or anyone’s soul from sin neither was he claiming Christ’s sacrifice is insufficient, rather his suffering was for the sake of bringing the gospel to others (“my suffering for you”).

There was no lack in the suffering of Christ rather Christ Himself said that Paul must suffer greatly “for my name sake” (Acts 9:16).

In Philippians 3:10, Paul expressed his passion to know Christ “and the fellowship of his sufferings” which he says brings him into conformation with His death and lifestyle.

Therefore the suffering Paul refers to is for the sake of Christ here on earth – in the hands of sinners – not in a pagan “third state” called purgatory.

(f) 2 Timothy 1:18 “The Lord grant unto him [Onesiphorus] that he might find mercy of the Lord in that day…

There’s not even a hint of purgatory here and there’s no evidence that this man was dead when Paul wrote this.

(g) 2 Maccabees 12:45 “It is a holy and wholesome thought to pray for the dead, that they may be loosed from their sins.

This comes from the spurious apocryphal books which contradicts the Bible: “People die once, and after that they are judged” (Heb. 9:27). It’s too late to pray for the dead. Also, the dead Jews referred to that verse were guilty of idolatry:

“But under the tunic of each of the dead they found amulets sacred to the idols of Jamnia, which the law forbids the Jews to wear” (2 Macc. 12:40 NAB).

According to Catholic doctrine, idolatry is a mortal sin which would land these men in hell, so praying for them would be a sheer waste of time, if not blasphemy.

The book of Maccabees also admits that divine inspiration had ceased at this time. At best, it’s an uninspired story book.

In the absence of Biblical evidence, the Catholic Encyclopedia (11:1034) admits:

In the final analysis, the Catholic doctrine of purgatory is based on Tradition not Sacred Scripture.”