Rev. Ed Barclay’s Testimony
Snatched from the Jaws of Rome!
What perilous times we are living in.We are seeing before our very eyes the Great Apostasy that is sweeping the Church and hopefully soon the coming of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Since the death of Pope John Paul 2, I have witnessed some mind blowing statements that have issued forth from the mouths of so called leaders in the Church especially Brian Houston, President of the AOG in Australia who stated that the Pope is in Heaven with Jesus because he believed in Jesus, statements from Fred Nile and Gordon Moyes, both Men whom I used to highly respect saying that the Pope was a great man of God. I ask one question and it is this “what Planet are these men living on” Hello? Martin Luther would roll over in his grave if he heard the rubbish that is spewing out of these men”s mouths. I suppose then that these men have never been Roman Catholics or come out of a false religious system. To those of us who have been RC”s, I found their statements to be repugnant, nauseating, and highly offensive. Either these men are stupid in not knowing what Catholicism teaches (in which I don”t think so) or they are being deceptive. Frankly if they are going down the road to Rome then I want no part of it. I call on their Churches to stand up to these men and if they persist, then remove them from office. They are acting like Hirelings and not as Shepherd to the Flock of God.
I was born into a Catholic family when Vatican2 was taking shape. My father when he was young became an altar boy, who had to learn to speak Latin to say Mass because Masses at that time were said in Latin. I thank God I never had to learn Latin because I have enough trouble with the English Language. My Family has had a long association with the Catholic Church which dates back to the 1880’s. When the Josephite order of Nuns (Mary McKillop’s Order) came into the district (Cargo N.S.W) it was my Great Grandfather who took them into his home and looked after them until a convent was constructed. Generations of my family were educated in Catholic schools by Nuns and Christian Brothers. My mothers Brother is still currently a Parish Priest in the Bathurst Diocese. My Mothers Great aunt is a Nun at Cootamundra N.S.W, so as you see there are some strong links to the Catholic Church.
At the age of eight I became an Altar Boy, My two older brothers were Altar Boys so I followed in the “Family Tradition” Our services were in constant demand and going to Mass was a daily occurrence not to mention School Masses, Funerals and Weddings, First Holy Communion and Confirmations. When I was twelve the then Bishop of Bathurst the Rev A.R.E. Thomas DD asked for me to be his Personal Altar boy. I will never forget this as long as I live. He wanted me to Move to Bathurst and he said he would educate me at St Stanislaus College and the Church would pick up the Bill and it would not cost my Parents a cent. I thank God for the way my mother reacted ,because she hit the roof and went up and gave the Bishop a serve, mind you this did not go down too well with my Uncle. I remained an altar Boy until I was 18 years old. There were many humorous things that happened, for example the finding of the Altar wine which the priest thought he had stashed in a safe place in which some went missing, or the time when a great Priest by the name of Father Dave took all the Altar boys on a picnic and the senior Altar boys found his stash of Whiskey. Needless to say the Whiskey was quickly disposed of and a few of us went home a little worst for wear.
Then there were the low points. I remember burying my mate’s mother who died of Cancer and I remember painfully burying my own father who died at the age of 45. I was only fifteen at the time and it was one of the hardest things I have had to do. My Dad had always taught his children to serve. We spent most weekends at the Church or the Convent, either painting or cutting grass. If I wasn’t doing either the Nuns would have me weeding the garden, or chopping the wood .Whenever they needed something done they would ring my mother or father and off we would go, so from it a sense of duty was born.
From about the age of thirteen I sensed that God had a call on my life. I knew he wanted me to serve him. I would pray quite a lot about it trying to seek what he wanted me to do. The Nuns and brothers would give directions but it never seemed right. It was a difficult time for me because at that age puberty hits so you get distracted by the opposite sex. I fell in love with a beautiful girl. They say that you always remember your first love as been special, and she was. Sadly she died from a massive asthma attack when she was in her early twenties.
In 1977 my father died suddenly. He was an alcoholic, He chose the Bottle over his Family. He was a man who in reality could not face life so he found comfort in a beer bottle. As his alcoholism progressed it began to affect his work so he went into a Detox Unit for a few weeks. When he came out he stayed sober for 3 months, however because of pressures he finally succumbed to the bottle again and went downhill pretty quickly. I was at home when he collapsed so I called an ambulance and they took him to hospital. I remember praying those plead prayers to God. You know the ones where you say “I will do anything for you God” “Serve you God anywhere” if only you will make my dad well again. I wasn’t allowed to go to the Hospital because Mum said it was too distressing. I found out later that he had been hooked up to life support and had tubes coming out of him all over the place. My father died three days later on a Saturday from massive complications. I was very angry at God. I clearly remember screaming and yelling at him. I was heart broken because I was really close to my Dad. He was my hero. God had taken away some one whom I really loved. So it was with numbness my brothers and I served as altar boys at his funeral.
It is times like these when your faith gets questioned. Throughout all of the suffering and anguish you ask many questions and God responds to these in many different ways. God uses many people in different ways. Looking back now I can see the hand of God in all of my life. It has been a true work of Grace by God to get me to the point of where I am now. For many years after the death of my father I kept questioning God Why? There were many times that I can remember growing up as a teenager when I needed my father, but he wasn’t there. All of my other mates had a dad that was there for them but I didn’t. I asked God Why? For many years I would have this struggle within me. I still went to Mass every Sunday but little did I know that God had already been laying a path down for my life. When I look back I can see how he placed good men in my way to guide me along this path.
When my father died we had to move. We were living in a house belonging to the company that my father worked for. They were very gracious and allowed us to stay for many months until my Mother could sort things out. Mum decided to move back closer to her mother so we packed up and moved to the “big smoke.” Little did I realize the unfolding of events that were to occur would lead to my salvation. In 1980 I was doing year 12 and before the exams I would attend Mass each Morning. I was still an Altar Boy and I was praying up a storm for a good result. I remember one morning praying a prayer to Mary. I looked at the statue of her and I said I would give anything to get a good result. Sure enough I got a very good exam mark! Little did I realize the consequences of this prayer because it had ramifications that have continued to this day, however that is another story which I will share at a later date.
I started work after I finished High School and got a job in a security company fitting alarms. That company went broke after about six months and so I was unemployed. At that same time the company which my elder brother worked for needed a technician, so they approached me and I accepted the job. This was one of the most rewarding times of my life. My boss was a good Catholic who had 9 children at the time (By the time I finished at the company 12 years later this number had grown to 13). He was like a dad to me. He gave me guidance and direction and kept me on the straight and narrow. I still to this day love him like my dad. He employed two Irish brothers, Doug and Gordon who were originally Baptists, however the older one (Doug) became a Pentecostal and he began to pray for my salvation. He endured in prayer for 10 years before I was saved. I firmly believed it was his prayers that brought me to God. In 1985 I married my wife Rosalind and my uncle conducted our wedding. We had a Nuptial Mass and he sent away to Rome for a special Papal Blessing which was given. In 1989 I joined the Parish committee of our Local Church and was elected to represent it at a Diocese level. This was the time the Catholic Church realized it had a chronic shortage of priests and so steering committees were setup to get feedback from the parishes on how to address this need. I was warned by a couple of older men that it would lead to nothing because in their words they said Rome never changes. Later I was to realize this truth of their statements. This had a major impact on me so I started to question the system. Again God intervened and sent me a Nun of all people. This Nun was an absolute fountain of knowledge on the workings of Rome. She belonged to another Parish and I used to take her to these meetings. I was shocked to find that she certainly didn’t believe what the Pope said Ex- Cathedra. In fact she believed the whole situation could be fixed by allowing Priests to marry and Nuns be ordained. Wow a liberal Nun! I believe she was the catalyst into getting me to start thinking about what I believed. My wife at this time also began to hammer away at me. She too believed differently from me and started to question a lot of things. I began to dig my heels in and began to become staunch, to defend what the Pope had said as Gospel truth. Deep down however, I knew what they were saying was true and this was causing terrific turmoil inside of me, I was being torn between tradition and truth.
God once again intervened at a crucial point in my life. In 1991 my Dad’s brother contracted a rare form of cancer and died in the February of that same year. My uncle was a bachelor and he had spent a lot of time with my older brothers and me. I went morning and evening to hospital so as I could sit with him. On February 20 at 10pm I received a call from my Mum saying that he was dying so I went up to the hospital and he was near death. The priest was called but he didn’t want to come which didn’t impress my mother at all. She got on the phone and told the Parish Priest in no uncertain terms that if a priest wasn’t up there pronto she would organize a Police escort to get him there. I felt it was really important to be there so that he would not die alone. I remember holding his hand as he was dying and it was really calm in the room, there was a peace and I remember praying to God and asking him to be merciful and to take my uncle away so that he would not suffer any more. At the point of his death a strong breeze began to blow and my uncle died. The priest arrived about 20 minutes later so I told him to go. I don’t know whether my uncle knew Jesus as his Savior or not, I suspect he didn’t, but at least he died with dignity and not alone. My aunt and I arranged all the funeral details and it was a very draining demanding time, but through it all I believe now God gave me the strength to get through it. This event really started me asking the deep questions about the existence of God, life after death etc. A few months after the funeral I decided I needed answers. After work I would go up to the Church for half an hour to pray. I always felt a peace when I did this and I couldn’t really understand why. I would gaze at the statue of Jesus on the cross and ask why has the Church still got him on the Cross? Why do they portray him as a child carried by his mother? Why does the Catholic Church always refer everything to the Mother Church and not to Jesus Christ’s Church? These questions needed answers. The Catholic Catechism that I read didn’t make any sense to me as it just added more questions so once again God intervened. At this I was working in Bathurst and I decided the evening before that I should read the Bible for maybe it might have the answers I was looking for. I had a Catholic Bible, but it was too big for me to lie in bed and read .What I wanted was something smaller. I went to the Catholic Cathedral book shop and a nun by the name of Sister Marie Maloney ran the shop so I asked her for a Bible. She said she could give me a Good News Bible. I said no thanks I wanted a King James Bible (I had heard that it was a good bible to read) so she said that it was a Protestant Bible so I said I don’t care just give me one. She had a number in stock so I paid $30.00 for it and left. When I got home that night I started to read it and it was hard to put down. I read the last Chapter Rev 22 first so as I could find out who got it in the end. Then I began to read the Bible and found the questions that I had were being answered.
God then again intervened! The company that I was working for was expanding and my Boss employed 2 more sales people and they were Pentecostals (Rick and Corrine) who belonged to the AOG church. Little did I know that they all began to pray for me? In March 1993 Rick asked to see me in my office as he wanted to ask me something privately, so we went in. The question that he asked was point blank” Who is your Savior? I immediately said that I believed Jesus Christ is my Lord and Savoir. He looked stunned and said “but Catholics don’t believe that” . I said that I might be the exception. He then asked me if I would like some tapes by a New Zealand Evangelist by the name of Barry Smith so I said yes. I listened to these tapes over and over and over again and came under the strong power of conviction. I realized that I was an unsaved sinner who needed Salvation. When it came to salvation Barry Smith was always spot on. I had some very serious conflicts that were ripping at the very core of my soul. I could sense the strong drawing of the Holy Spirit and so I had to make a decision on what was truth. Was the Catholic Church the one true Church and the Pope was Christ’s Vicar on earth? Had all the sins that I confessed before a priest been truly forgiven? Was there salvation outside the Catholic Church? Did the Mother Church have the power to dispense Grace? Could I stay in the Catholic Church?
Was what God had said in his Holy Word the real Truth?
Rom 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
Rom 3:24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:
Rom 3:25 Whom God hath set forth [to be] a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;
Rom 3:26 To declare, [I say], at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.
Rom 6:23 For the wages of sin [is] death; but the gift of God [is] eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
I had then read Ephesians 2 v8-9 and saw that Salvation is a free gift from God.
Eph 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: [it is] the gift of God:
Eph 2:9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.
So one week before Easter in 1993 after coming to the realization that I was a Sinner and was bound for Hell, that night I knelt down on my lounge room floor and repented of all my sins and asked the Lord Jesus Christ to be my Lord and Savoir . I wept and wept and then a wonderful sense of peace came over me. I knew that I knew that the Lord had heard my cry.
The next day when I went to work I told Rick, Corrine and Doug that I had received the Lord Jesus as my Savior that evening and there was much joy and rejoicing. Doug told me that he had spent 10 years praying for my salvation and so I thanked him. That evening after I went home I told my wife that I was saved, born again by the Spirit of God. Approximately two weeks later I was reading my Bible and one remaining question remained unanswered. Should I leave the Catholic Church? I was reading 2 Corinthians 6v17-18
Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean [thing]; and I will receive you,
And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.
This verse literally jumped up out of the page at me Again God was gracious enough to answer my prayer. I immediately left the Catholic Church and started to attend the local AOG Church which had a Godly Pastor there. He was a true Shepherd to the flock of God and has over the years directed and guided me with his godly wisdom. I knew that if the Spirit of God is in you CANNOT STAY IN A Catholic Church. It is not possible it is an oxymoron. When the Spirit of truth is in you your eyes are opened. Roman Catholicism is Paganism with a thin veneer ofChristianity on top.Idolatry- praying to statutes, praying to dead saints, Purgatory which denies the total work of the Cross, MIRIAM worship, The Blasphemous Mass, where Jesus Christ is sacrificed on an altar over and Over again. The Perverted Priesthood whereby men are forced to lead celibate lives and normally end up being drunkards and die lonely old men, the Heresy of Transubstantiation whereby the bread and wine is turned into the Literal Body and Blood of Christ and then they perform the act of Cannibalism by eating and drinking it. The vestments, candles, incense, and Rosarybeads and the list can go on and on. You simply cannot stay in it at all!
Roman Catholicism cannot save you. It is only by the Blood of Jesus Christ can your sins be forgiven. No Institution or Church can save, it is only God who can save and he saves to the Uttermost. Amen!
From that day on I have not looked back. I was free, released from the yoke of Bondage and oppression in which “True Religion” ensnares you. Jesus said in John 8 v31-32
Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, if ye continue in my word, [then] are ye my disciples indeed;
And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
The key here is abiding in the words of Jesus!! If you do this you are free indeed.
I have now been saved for twelve years now and my walk as a Christian has had its trials and testings, but through it all there is one thing that I know is for certain and it is That God is sovereign and when you place your complete trust in him he sets about doing a marvelous work in you that is soul changing and Life Giving.