Dr. Fred Tarsitano gives a clear Biblical testimony in this video, “Why I’m No Longer Roman Catholic,” as to why, although born and raised in a Catholic family in New Jersey and a staunch adherent to the Catholic traditions, found new life in Christ based upon the blood of Jesus Christ Alone and not upon the added good works of man for salvation, for “We are all as an unclean thing, and all our Righteousnesses are as filthy rags… There is none that calleth upon Thy Name, that stirreth up himself to take hold of Thee: for Thou hast hid Thy face from us, and hast consumed us, because of our iniquities,” Isaiah 64:6-7. It is only through the sinless perfection of Christ salvation is able to be obtained, for “Neither is there Salvation in any other: for there is none other Name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved,” Acts 4:12.
God’s Word is plain as to what displeases Him, for before the inhabitants of the Southern Kingdom of Judah were carried away captive to Babylon, the Israelites of the Northern Kingdom were taken captive to Assyria for their sins against the LORD God. The sins the Northern Kingdom repeatedly committed against God had reached full capacity of His cup of wrath which was poured out upon them for their disobedience.
Twenty years prior to being taken captive to Assyria, the Prophet Hosea warned the inhabitants of the Northern Kingdom it would come to pass they would say, “We have no king, because we feared not the LORD… None at all would exalt Him,” (Hosea 10:3; 11:7). Recorded in 2 Kings 17 is the sins that brought the Northern Kingdom to its demise:
- They feared other gods
- They walked in the statutes of the heathen
- Did secretly those things that were not right against the LORD
- Built high places in all their cities to worship idols
- Set up images and groves in every high hill and under every green tree
- Burnt incense to idols
- Wrought wicked things to provoke God to anger
- Served idols
“Yet the LORD testified against Israel, and against Judah, by all the prophets, and by all the seers, saying, Turn ye from your evil ways, and keep My commandments and My statutes, according to all the Law… Notwithstanding they would not hear, but hardened their necks, like to the neck of their fathers, that did not believe in the LORD their God,” (2 Kings 17:13-14). Therefore they:
- Rejected His statutes and His Covenant
- Followed vanity and became vain
- Went after the heathen round about them
- Left all His commandments
- Made them molten images
- Made a grove to idols
- Worshipped all the host of heaven (sun, moon, and stars)
- Served Baal
- Caused their sons and daughters to pass through the fire
- Used divinations and enchantments
- Sold themselves to do evil to provoke God to anger
“Therefore the LORD was very angry with Israel, and removed them out of His sight: there was none left but the tribe of Judah only… The LORD rejected all the seed of Israel, and afflicted them, and delivered them into the hand of spoilers, until He had cast them out of His sight. For He rent Israel from the House of David.”
It is true Solomon “had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines” for it is recorded in God’s Word, the Holy Scriptures, in 1 Kings 11:3. It has been suggested many of his wives and concubines could have been daughters given as gifts to him by surrounding potentates when peace treaties were negotiated with the Kingdom of Israel. As Solomon’s kingdom and influence grew so did his desire for these foreign women whom God strictly forbade His people as they entered the Promised Land from becoming involved with because of their idol worship (Deuteronomy 7:1-4; 1 Kings 11:1-2).
After all the magnificent successes God had given King Solomon throughout his reign, the Book of Kings records “when Solomon was old, his wives turned his heart after other gods.” Those gods included “Ashtoreth the goddess of the Zidonians… Milcom the abomination of the Ammonites… Chemosh, the abomination of Moab… and for Molech, the abomination of the children of Ammon.” Solomon offered sacrifices and burnt incense unto the gods just as his forbidden wives did who did not worship the One True GOD who had blessed Solomon in wisdom and riches (1 Kings 11:5-8).
Because of His Righteousness, God’s judgment fell upon Solomon and the entire Kingdom of Israel. It was then God pronounced the kingdom would be divided after Solomon’s death into the Northern Kingdom consisting of ten tribes of Israel, and the Southern Kingdom consisting of the remaining two tribes, Judah and Benjamin. Solomon’s son Rehoboam would rule the Southern Kingdom consisting of Jerusalem, while Solomon’s servant, Jeroboam, would rule the Northern Kingdom (1Kings 11:11-13,43; 12:1-24). As a Divided Kingdom God’s judgment continued to be poured forth as a result of Solomon’s sin for the next 400 years, until eventually the Northern Kingdom was carried away captive by the Assyrians and the Southern Kingdom found themselves under captivity in Babylon by King Nebuchadnezzar (2 Kings 17:5-6; 2 Kings 24:10-16; Jeremiah 52:28-30).
According to 1 Kings 11:4 Solomon’s “heart was not perfect with the LORD his God” concerning his many wives and worship of idols. King Solomon is made mention in the closing words of Nehemiah’s book after the walls of Jerusalem had been rebuilt and the return of Israelites from the Babylonian captivity had taken place. Nehemiah contended with those who were once again taking wives of the Ammonites and the Moabites, saying, “Did not Solomon king of Israel sin by these things?… God made him king over all Israel: nevertheless even him did outlandish women cause to sin. Shall we then hearken unto you to do all this great evil, to transgress against our God in marrying strange wives?” (Nehemiah 13:23-27). Solomon is not one to be emulated or used as an example for having multiple wives, for in doing so he greatly sinned against the One True God.
The most beloved verse in all of Scripture, John 3:16, declares from the mouth of Jesus Himself in His conversation with Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews, “For God so loved the world…” The greatness of the capacity needed to love the whole world is not something mere man could do; only God who IS Love is capable of such love.
Love comes from the very nature of who God is, for “God is Love” (I John 4:8). Love is not merely an attribute of God… God IS LOVE. Without God there would be no love. Without God there would be no love in this world for others, no love for the downtrodden, no love for the poor, no love for the wounded and weary. GOD IS LOVE.
Because of God’s love for the world He sent His Only Begotten Son to offer the redemption of man to Himself. Although the greatness of His love is for the whole world, His gift of Eternal Life is only given to “Whosoever believeth in Him.” Whereas His love is universal, salvation from sin is not; it is dependent upon each individual’s decision to repent and seek God’s forgiveness from their sin.
Without Christ man is incapable of loving fully. Without Christ love is superficial, man-made, subject to the whims of one’s emotions. With Christ love is pure, gentle, kind, compassionate, enduring and loving throughout all generations (Galatians 5:22-23).
On October 31, 1517 a German monk named Martin Luther nailed his Ninety-five Theses to the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg seeking a discussion on the selling of Indulgences for the remission of sin by the Catholic Church. The aim of the Church in selling the Indulgences was to raise money to rebuild St Peter’s Basilica in Rome. Luther, who had become the Professor of Theology at the college, knew from his reading and studying of the Scriptures there was no forgiveness of sin except through the blood of Jesus Christ. The people were being put under great deception by being told by their priests the Catholic Church held the key to God’s forgiveness through the purchase of Indulgences. The simple act of Martin Luther on that day began a Reformation to return to the Truths of Scripture and away from what had become the tenets of a man-made religion.
During Martin Luther’s early days as a monk he came under great conviction of his sinfulness before God. Whereas other monks in the monastery would spend a few minutes a day confessing their sins to the priest, Luther would spend hours confessing his for he was cognizant of how sinful man is in his fallen state. It was not until he read in Galatians 3:11, “But that no man is justified by the Law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith,” that he realized it was not by the works of confession, simplicity of living as a monk, or even self-flagellation that provided forgiveness of sin but having a living faith based totally ALONE upon Jesus’ voluntary death on the Cross for man’s sin, His burial, and bodily Resurrection triumphant over sin and death (Romans 10:9-10). As a repentant sinner, Luther placed his full faith and trust in Christ apart from the teachings and practices of the Catholic Church from which he was eventually excommunicated and proclaimed anathema, bound for hell.
Only available in Latin and confined to only being read and interpreted by the Catholic Church, Luther began translating The Scriptures into the language of the German people so they, too, could read for themselves, “The just shall live by faith,” and find salvation in none other name but Christ Jesus as the Apostles preached on the Day of Pentecost (Acts 4:12). In doing so, Luther found himself having to be in hiding to complete the task as those led by the demons of Hell sought to stop his work. The Scriptures we hold in our hands today, written in our own language, found its beginning in the days of Luther on that fateful day in October 1517 when God opened the floodgates, that whosoever reads and keeps those things written therein will be blessed (Revelation 1:3).
The coming eclipse of the moon passing before the sun caused numerous details to be considered and executed in preparation of its arrival throughout the United States for its safe viewing. Some traveled great distances at great cost to be in the direct path of its totality of coverage. Maps were pored over, arrangements for travel and lodging were made, meals were planned, the acquisition of solar viewing glasses were sought out and action taken to be in the best possible location for the best possible view. Much preparation took place by individuals to see the once in a lifetime event.
Before natural disasters strike, such as hurricanes in the current age, much time is given broadcasting the time of their potential arrival. Admonitions are made to prepare for the coming wind, rain and flooding such storms bring. Windows are boarded up, store shelves are emptied of their products, fuel is sought out to power transportation and generators, arrangements are made to either stay or find shelter elsewhere until the storm passes by. Much time and preparation takes place by each individual in its path in anticipation of what is about to befall them.
The Prophet Amos in the Old Testament of the Holy Scriptures admonished his hearers “Prepare to meet thy God,” (Amos 4:12). The judgment of God was once again upon the Children of Israel after endless years of rebellion and rejection of God’s Will for their lives. The writer of Hebrews in the New Testament over 800 years later called for Spiritual preparations to be made, “As it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment,” (Hebrews 9:27). Preparing for Eternity is the most important preparation each individual must make.
To find what is needed to prepare for an Eternity with God one must spend time in His Word reading the Scriptures for what God requires of man to be in a right relationship with Him. One must spend time in prayer seeking God’s forgiveness and His Will for their life. One must daily be about the Father’s business, going where He would have them go, doing what He would have them do, sharing the Good News of the Gospel with all who will hear. The first step in preparing for Eternity is to begin with the ABCs… Acknowledge your sin (Romans 3:10, 23); Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, His death, burial and resurrection for sin (Romans 5:8-9; 6:23); Confess your need to Him of His Forgiveness (Romans 10:9-13). From there, as the Apostle Peter admonished in 2 Peter 3:18, “Grow in Grace, and in the Knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To Him be Glory both now and forever. Amen.”
As the Children of Israel wandered in the wilderness, God spoke to Moses concerning His statutes and judgments they were to obey once they entered the Promised Land in order to receive His blessings. God spelled out for them what they should eat (Leviticus 11), how to curb the spread of leprosy (Leviticus 13-14), the importance of personal hygiene (Leviticus 15), and how to conduct themselves in the new land they would inherit (Leviticus 19).
God’s words to Moses to speak to the Children of Israel included the familiar “Ye shall not steal;” “Neither lie one to another;” “Neither shalt thou profane the Name of thy God,” (Leviticus 19:11-12). The LORD further related to Moses the Children of Israel were not to turn to idols (v.4), they were to give their offerings to Him of their own free will (v.5), pay those they hired (v.13), and were not to be talebearers (v.16). They were also not to eat anything with the blood, use enchantments, nor observe times of supposedly good days or bad days for human activity (v.26).
In order to “Be holy: for I the LORD your God am holy,” (v.2), God instructed Moses to “not let thy cattle gender with a diverse kind,” (v.19). From the days of Creation each animal was designed by God to reproduce after its kind. The mixing of different animals to produce a new type of animal was forbidden by God. The same applied to different seeds being “mingled” together to form a new type of plant, or a garment made of an alternative type of fabric that combined linen with wool. In order to keep the strains pure, God instructed Moses to admonish the Children of Israel to abstain from any attempts at these practices, which were part of idol worship taking place in the land they would inherit.
Included in the idol worship of the Canaanites was the rounding of the corners of their heads and marring the corners of their beards, cutting themselves to mourn the dead, and printing marks upon themselves. God forbade the Children of Israel to participate in any form of idol worship, for “I am the LORD” (vs.27-28).
God’s instructions to the Children of Israel to “keep all My statutes, and all My judgments, and do them,” was to cause them not to be spewed out of the land as was happening to those He was removing for them to occupy the land. God said, “Ye shall not walk in the manners of the nation, which I cast out before you: for they committed all these things, and therefore I abhorred them.” The inheritance of the Children of Israel of the land flowing with milk and honey for which God laid out strict instructions was for His people to know, “I am the LORD your God, which have separated you from other people… I the LORD am holy, and have severed you from other people, that ye should be Mine,” (Leviticus 20:22-26).