En el juicio final,

los hombres no serán condenados porque creyeron concienzudamente una mentira, sino porque no creyeron la verdad, porque descuidaron la oportunidad de aprender la verdad. No obstante los sofismas con que Satanás trata de establecer lo contrario, siempre es desastroso desobedecer a Dios. Debemos aplicar nuestros corazones a buscar la verdad. Todas las lecciones que Dios mandó registrar en su Palabra son para nuestra advertencia e instrucción. Fueron escritas para salvarnos del engaño. El descuidarlas nos traerá la ruina. Podemos estar seguros de que todo lo que contradiga la Palabra de Dios procede de Satanás.

33.02. "Lord God the Pope"

It is one of the leading doctrines of Romanism that the pope is the visible head of the universal church of Christ, invested with supreme authority over bishops and pastors in all parts of the world.

More than this, the pope has been given the very titles of Deity. He has been styled "Lord God the Pope" ¹, and has been declared infallible ². He demands the homage of all men. The same claim urged by Satan in the wilderness of temptation is still urged by him through the Church of Rome, and vast numbers are ready to yield him homage.

But those who fear and reverence God meet this heaven-daring assumption as Christ met the solicitations of the wily foe: "Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and Him only shalt thou serve." Luke 4:8.

God has never given a hint in His word that He has appointed any man to be the head of the church. The doctrine of papal supremacy is directly opposed to the teachings of the Scriptures. The pope can have no power over Christ's church except by usurpation.

Romanists have persisted in bringing against Protestants the charge of heresy and willful separation from the true church. But these accusations apply rather to themselves. They are the ones who laid down the banner of Christ and departed from "the faith which was once delivered unto the saints." Jude 3.

Satan well knew that the Holy Scriptures would enable men to discern his deceptions and withstand his power. It was by the word that even the Saviour of the world had resisted his attacks. At every assault, Christ presented the shield of eternal truth, saying, "It is written." To every suggestion of the adversary, He opposed the wisdom and power of the word.

In order for Satan to maintain his sway over men, and establish the authority of the papal usurper, he must keep them in ignorance of the Scriptures. The Bible would exalt God and place finite men in their true position; therefore its sacred truths must be concealed and suppressed. This logic was adopted by the Roman Church.

For hundreds of years the circulation of the Bible was prohibited. The people were forbidden to read it or to have it in their houses, and unprincipled priests and prelates interpreted its teachings to sustain their pretensions. Thus the pope came to be almost universally acknowledged as the vicegerent of God on earth, endowed with authority over church and state.

The detector of error having been removed, Satan worked according to his will. Prophecy had declared that the papacy was to "think to change times and laws." Daniel 7:25.

This work it was not slow to attempt. To afford converts from heathenism a substitute for the worship of idols, and thus to promote their nominal acceptance of Christianity, the adoration of images and relics was gradually introduced into the Christian worship.

The decree of a general council finally established this system of idolatry ³. To complete the sacrilegious work, Rome presumed to expunge from the law of God the second commandment, forbidding image worship, and to divide the tenth commandment, in order to preserve the number.
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¹ In a passage which is included in the Roman Catholic Canon Law, or Corpus Juris Canonici, Pope Innocent III declares that the Roman pontiff is "the vicegerent upon earth, not of a mere man, but of very God;" and in a gloss on the passage it is explained that this is because he is the vicegerent of Christ, who is "very God and very man." See Decretales Domini Gregorii Papae IX (Decretals of the Lord Pope Gregory IX), liber 1, de translatione Episcoporum, (on the transference of Bishops), title 7, ch. 3; Corpus Juris Canonici (2d Leipzig ed., 1881), col. 99; (Paris, 1612), tom. 2, Decretales, col. 205. The documents which formed the Decretals were gathered by Gratian, who was teaching at the University of Bologna about the year 1140. His work was added to and re-edited by Pope Gregory IX in an edition issued in 1234. Other documents appeared in succeeding years from time to time including the Extravagantes, added toward the close of the fifteenth century. All of these, with Gratian's Decretum, were published as the Corpus Juris Canonici in 1582. Pope Pius X authorized the codification in Canon law in 1904, and the resulting code became effective in 1918.

For the title "Lord God the Pope" see a gloss on the Extravagantes of Pope John XXII, title 14, ch. 4, Declaramus. In an Antwerp edition of the Extravagantes, dated 1584, the words "Dominum Deum nostrum Papam" ("Our Lord God the Pope") occur in column 153. In a Paris edition, dated 1612, they occur in column 140. In several editions published since 1612 the word "Deum" ("God") has been omitted.

² On the doctrine of infallibility as set forth at the Vatican Council of 1870-71, see Philip Schaff, The Creeds of Christendom, vol. 2, Dogmatic Decrees of the Vatican Council, pp. 234-271, where both the Latin and the English texts are given. For discussion see, for the Roman Catholic view, The Catholic Encyclopedia, vol. 7, art. "Infallibility," by Patrick J. Toner, p. 790 ff.; James Cardinal Gibbons, The Faith of Our Fathers (Baltimore: John Murphy Company, 110th ed., 1917), chs. 7, 11. For Roman Catholic opposition to the doctrine of papal infallibility, see Johann Joseph Ignaz von Doellinger (pseudonym "Janus") The Pope and the Council (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1869); and W.J. Sparrow Simpson, Roman Catholic Opposition to Papal Infallibility (London: John Murray, 1909). For the non-Roman view, see George Salmon, Infallibility of the Church (London: John Murray, rev. ed., 1914).

³ "The worship of images . . . was one of those corruptions of Christianity which crept into the church stealthily and almost without notice or observation. This corruption did not, like other heresies, develop itself at once, for in that case it would have met with decided censure and rebuke: but, making its commencement under a fair disguise, so gradually was one practice after another introduced in connection with it, that the church had become deeply steeped in practical idolatry, not only without any efficient opposition, but almost without any decided remonstrance; and when at length an endeavor was made to root it out, the evil was found too deeply fixed to admit of removal. . . . It must be traced to the idolatrous tendency of the human heart, and its propensity to serve the creature more than the Creator. . . .

"Images and pictures were first introduced into churches, not to be worshiped, but either in the place of books to give instruction to those who could not read, or to excite devotion in the minds of others. How far they ever answered such a purpose is doubtful; but, even granting that this was the case for a time, it soon ceased to be so, and it was found that pictures and images brought into churches darkened rather than enlightened the minds of the ignorant--degraded rather than exalted the devotion of the worshiper. So that, however they might have been intended to direct men's minds to God, they ended in turning them from Him to the worship of created things."--J. Mendham, The Seventh General Council, the Second of Nicaea, Introduction, pages iii-vi.

For a record of the proceedings and decisions of the Second Council of Nicaea, A.D. 787, called to establish the worship of images, see Baronius, Ecclesiastical Annals, vol. 9, pp. 391-407 (Antwerp, 1612); J. Mendham, The Seventh General Council, the Second of Nicaea; Ed. Stillingfleet, Defense of the Discourse Concerning the Idolatry Practiced in the Church of Rome (London, 1686); A Select Library of Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, 2d series, vol. 14, pp. 521-587 (New York, 1900); Charles J. Hefele, A History of the Councils of the Church, From the Original Documents, b. 18, ch. 1, secs. 332, 333; ch. 2, secs. 345-352 (T. and T. Clark ed., 1896), vol. 5, pp. 260-304, 342-372.