Thoughts on Ash Wednesday

14 02 2018

Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of the season of Lent leading up to Easter Sunday in Roman Catholic tradition. Catholics get a cross made of ash put on their forehead as an outward sign that they are fasting for Lent. I wanted to address some major concerns about this practice in light of what the Scriptures teach.

Ash Wednesday is a violation of the spirit and letter of Matthew 6:16-18

Moreover when ye fast, be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance: for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But thou, when thou fastest, anoint thine head, and wash thy face; That thou appear not unto men to fast, but unto thy Father which is in secret: and thy Father, which seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly.”

Jesus is very clear that we are not to appear to fast in front of other people. Ash Wednesday violates this directly. I don’t believe that Jesus is just addressing the heart because He does tell us not to physically look like we are fasting. Catholic.com tries to cover for this by saying that Jesus didn’t really care if we look like we are fasting He was just concerned with the heart. They even argue from complete silence that the ones He is addressing were not truly fasting:

“First of all, Jesus’ primary concern is hypocrisy. What he is condemning are acts undertaken to show off one’s personal piety. If the intention in doing an otherwise good act of mortification is to draw public attention to oneself, then, Jesus says, the attention received from the public is the only reward that person will receive, rather than the heavenly reward for which we are searching.

It is also noteworthy that Jesus says these hypocrites are “neglect[ing] their appearance, so that they may appear to others to be fasting.” Perhaps those Jesus was condemning were not actually fasting but creating a surface impression so as to win the praise of others for their presumed piety. God, who sees the heart, knows whether or not they were really fasting. Hypocrisy, after all, is creating an appearance that is at odds with reality. (Article by Michelle Arnold, 2017)

To argue they were not really fasting is to argue from silence. To argue that the only important point is humility which is the spirit of His instructions is to ignore the plain meaning of the text. Yes humility is the reason we are commanded not to make our fasting public but the command to not make it public is still valid. It would be a gross misunderstanding of the Scripture to say that Jesus meant only don’t make it public if you’re not humble otherwise its okay.

This same article argued that the practice is Biblical because of a text in Maccabees 3:47. First of all that text is not even accepted as Scripture by the Jews. It was never a part of the Hebrew canon and was even rejected by Jerome and others because of that fact. Secondly, these were Jews performing a historical mourning ritual. There is no command for or example of Gentiles doing this.

Also of note, they rent their clothes and wore sackcloth. Why only a partial obedience by Rome? The truth is that Rome is notorious for finding Biblical passages that have even the vaguest reference to one of the non-biblical doctrines to support it. Even though they argue against Sola Scriptura they know the importance of it. Another point is that these ashes were sprinkled on their heads not smeared on the forehead.

Another point in reference to the above article is that they say it’s not to be done as an outward form of false humility. Many, if not most, American Catholics rarely attend church or practice their religion, yet they accept Ash Wednesday in large numbers. What you have is millions of people with no sincere desire to follow the church wearing a false symbol on their heads simply to look righteous.

This is also part of the system of penance set up by the church. Penance is the idea that we need to help pay for our sins. We need to make satisfaction for our sins. This is a spit in the face of the work of Christ. He made a perfect offering for sins.

But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God; From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool. For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified. Whereof the Holy Ghost also is a witness to us: for after that he had said before, This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them; And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more. Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin.” (Hebrews 10:12-18)

The Bible tells us that Jesus is the propitiation or satisfactory payment for sins.

“Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” (1 John 4:10)

If He is the satisfaction for our sins (and a perfect satisfaction I might add) how can we do anything to satisfy God’s wrath on our sin? The answer is we cannot. The article does end well and I want all Catholics to heed what it says.

“Believe in the gospel!”

The Gospel is the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ for our sins. We cannot make atonement for our sins because we are dead in sins. A perfect atonement is needed and that perfect atonement is given by Jesus Christ. We are not saved by contributing good works to the work of Christ but by trusting entirely in what Christ did on the cross.

On the cross Jesus paid in full the debt of your sin by taking on Himself the guilt of your sin. He now offers you His perfect righteousness as a free gift. You can be right with God because in salvation we are united to His Son. All you must do is to put your faith and trust in Christ and what He did on the cross. Call on the Lord to save you. You can be perfectly purified right now for all sin by putting your faith in Christ. Turn to Him today He is a perfect and loving Savior.





Problems With Purgatory: Part 3

5 07 2016

 

 

What about the argument of antiquity? We often hear the church fathers quoted or as one ignorant man told me, “I read books hidden in caves and it proves people in the early centuries believed these things.”

Does Scripture or human tradition set the standard for belief? I’m sure Jews who wanted to worship a golden calf could point to the antiquity of it and say, “Well when they left Egypt one of the first things our fathers did was make a calf and worship it so it must be right after all they did it way back then.”

Corruption was already setting in during the time of the apostles. John pointed to the slide in Ephesus.

“Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.” (Revelation 2:4)

We saw John also warn about a man who as clergy/laity distinctions were being introduced was known to take control over a church.

“I wrote unto the church: but Diotrephes, who loveth to have the preeminence among them, receive us not. Wherefore, if I come, I will remember his deeds which he doeth, prating against us with malicious words: and not content therewith, neither doth he himself receive the brethren, and forbiddeth them that would, and casteth them out of the church.” (3 John 1:9-10)

We see John continue his warnings to the church in the first century.

“Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.” (1 John 4:1)

We see Paul make a warning that not only would false teachers arise but that they would arise from the very people he was talking to.

“For I know this that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.” (Acts 20:29-30)

Paul said that some of those who he taught would err from the faith and draw away disciples after themselves. The true test of truth is not whether or not the Jews did it, or how long it has been taught, or who trained the person who taught it. The only valid test for the truth of doctrine is does the unchanging, infallible, and inspired Word of God teach it? If not then it cannot, should not, and must not be considered truth.

“If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.” (1 Peter 4:11)

If anything is taught it needs to be in line with what the apostles taught through the inspiration of the Spirit. Paul said:

“But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.” (Galatians 1:8)

Paul was not accidentally inspired, he was aware of the inspiration upon him when he penned the Scriptures. This verse proves that. He said that the gospel he preached under inspiration was so sure that even if he were to come back and correct or add to anything he said then he would be accursed.

If the church fathers believed baptism, penance, almsgiving and the mass add to our salvation and make us righteous before God then they are adding to the Gospel Paul preached which was by grace through faith. They are not only wrong but accursed. Paul goes on to say:

“But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man. For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ.” (Galatians 1:11-12)

Paul said in Romans 1:16 that the Gospel was the power of God unto salvation but then said in 1 Corinthians 1:17 that Christ sent him not to baptize but to preach the Gospel. Paul is thus signifying that baptism has nothing to do with salvation. He said in the verse above that his revelation was from Jesus Christ. If Jesus Christ says this about salvation it matters not to me the great mountain of church fathers, priests, councils, or men who teach otherwise they are all accursed.

Likewise the Scripture reveals through Jesus Christ that the redeemed live forever in Heaven and the damned are punished eternally in hell. It matters not to me how many so called fathers, or church councils declare a third place it does not make it valid or true. All that matters, all truth, and all authority are contained in the Scriptures.

Purgatory is a hill in the southern hemisphere and souls who obtain a second chance end up on Mt. Purgatory where they face two levels. The seven deadly sins are depicted in seven levels all with fitting punishments. This is the depiction in the 14th Century work The Divine Comedy by Dante. Many over the years have held this image as being partially if not entirely accurate.

In a papal audience from August 4th, 1999 Pope John Paul II called purgatory a “condition of existence” lending to the idea that it is less an actual place. In a general audience talk from January 12, 2011 Pope Benedict XVI spoke concerning St. Catherine of Genoa (1447–1510). He said the purification of souls in Purgatory was pictured as a location in space in her day but that she did not agree and saw it as a purifying inner fire, the kind like she experienced in her sorrow for sins committed, when they are compared with the infinite love of God.

He basically likened it to a process that could happen in life more than a place where one goes after death. The church continues to take prayers and offerings for departed loved ones. This shows an amazing disconnect.

The Second Edition of the Catholic Catechism says, “All who die in God’s grace and friendship, but still imperfectly purified, are indeed assured of their eternal salvation; but after death they undergo purification, so as to achieve the holiness necessary to enter the joy of heaven.” The Pope himself seems to be in some conflict here as he sees it more as a process not a place where one goes after death. In this catechism it states that people can be friends of God and assured of eternal salvation but may still need purification. This is a foreign thought to Scripture.

“Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.” (John 15:3)

“Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high.” (Hebrews 1:3)

The Bible says that Christ purged our sins Himself. The catechism says that we are imperfectly purified. The Bible says that He washed us from our sins in His own blood and yet the Romanist dare claim we are imperfectly purified.

“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.” (Revelation 1:5)

The above verse does not say that He washes us a little but then sends us to purgatory to purge us the rest of the way. It does not say He washes us only of former sins but sins committed after salvation must be atoned for by the fires of limbo. It gives us no hint of anything but a complete and perfect cleansing by Christ for us of all sins to God be the glory.

The doctrine of purgatory is a statement that what Christ did for us is imperfect or incomplete and that more must be done to purify us and make us ready for Heaven. This is not only a blatantly false doctrine but utter blasphemy and disregard for the work of Christ. The Roman Catholic Church has declared those whom Christ says He redeemed as imperfectly purified.

We are cleaned in Christ’s blood and declared righteous before Him. Abraham was declared righteous by faith. Scripture says that likewise all who come by faith are declared righteous.

“Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.” (1 Peter 1:18-19)

Silver and gold would be faulty. Any corruptible things would leave a further need of cleansing but we have not been redeemed with such things. We have been redeemed with the precious, perfect Lamb of God to whom be glory forever Amen. Let me just throw a few more Scriptures in to settle the point.

“But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.” (1 John 1:7)

“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 9:12)

Let’s look briefly at the few inspired texts that are used to justify this doctrine.

“And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come.” (Matthew 12:32)

The argument that they try to grasp is that when it says that those who blaspheme the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven in this world or the world to come that it implies some things can be forgiven in the world to come.

There are several faults with this argument. First of all in the first part of the verse it says that those who speak against Christ will be forgiven. It makes no mention of being forgiven in this life and in the world to come. What is being shown here is the severity of the offense of blaspheming the Holy Spirit. It is not telling us some sins will be forgiven and some won’t. We see no evidence at all that forgiveness is attainable after death. We are told that after death comes our judgment.

“And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment.” (Hebrews 9:21)

Consider the rich man and Lazarus in Luke 16:19-31. After death we see them in Paradise and Hell exclusively and their destinations were decided during their lifetime. We do not see any forgiveness being offered after death.

The second problem is that forgiveness is predicated on simply confessing and asking in this life. Logic would follow the same would apply to the life to come. The payment is then applied not by asking but by others doing stuff to obtain it.

Purgatory is not just “another place” people go after death. It represents an entire change to the program of God’s forgiveness. Just finding a verse to show there may be another destination after death is not enough. The Bible never indicates a change to God’s plan of salvation.

It thirdly must be realized that if you look further into the text we see judgment being talked about not the possibility of forgiveness.

“But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.” (Matthew 12:36-37)

Those who blaspheme Christ can be forgiven and those who blaspheme the Holy Spirit are not forgiven but are to face condemnation. This is the clear meaning of the text.

The next Scripture that is used and all I can guess is that this one is used out of utter ignorance or desperation and that is 1 Peter 3:19.

“By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison.”

I won’t insult your intelligence by staying here too long so let’s go to the next verse and see where this prison is.

“Which sometime were disobedient” are you ready? Wait for it now, “when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah.” (Vs. 20a)

This is speaking of hell not purgatory these were not imperfectly purified friends of God. What were these people? Wicked, sinners, condemned eternally.

“And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And it repented the Lord that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart.” (Genesis 6:5-6)

The next passage is from the writings of the apostle Paul.

“For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is. If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.” (1 Corinthians 3:11-15)

They use this passage because it speaks of fire and it’s clearly not talking about hell so they figure this is a good place to fit their doctrine. They say that “being saved yet so as by fire” means they go to purgatory and fire burns away their sin and yet they are saved. The problem is that the thing being tried by fire here is not a person, neither is it sin. It is the works of the believer.

Our works are judged some being worthless, others with some worth and others shining as gold. The fire tries those works and only those of great worth make it through to be rewarded. Some will have their empty works burn up in God’s fires. They will be saved themselves but have little or nothing to show for the gift God has given them.

Another interesting point is the context of the passage in 2 Maccabees. The people he was making sacrifices for had been killed by God for idolatry. This according to Rome is a mortal sin which would send them straight to hell. Even in the context it was written it can’t refer to purgatory.

False religion not Scripture puts a relationship between the living and the dead. The only clear glimpse of the dead we are given is in Revelation 6:9-10:

“And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held: And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?”

Here we see no evidence of prayers to them or them having knowledge of happenings on earth. We see no evidence in the Bible of praying to the dead. When we examine it in light of the Old Testament it is strictly forbidden.

What we see when we examine prayers for the dead is a long history of paganism. We see again and again Rome mixing paganism with Christianity. We see a pollution of idols being added to the clear Gospel given by the apostles. We see another Gospel being preached under the authority of a church that has usurped God’s throne, name, and power over His flock.

We see in purgatory a mechanism to obtain offerings and to control their followers all in the hope of possibly helping their loved ones get into Heaven although such hope is never realized officially. We see a Church that claims Christ imperfectly finished redemption and claim that they can complete what He lacked not just in His sacrifice but in the purification of the faithful. We see a system that gives the hope of eternal bliss but they themselves are the servants of corruption. They neither go into the kingdom themselves nor do they allow their followers to enter.





Problems with Purgatory: Part 2

13 05 2016

In the text given for Purgatory the sin they died committing was idolatry. According to Rome this is a sin for which there is no forgiveness after death. This invalidates this text as purgatory.

Often tradition is cited as the justification of a doctrine by Rome. Surely if the early believers or Jews held to it then it must be true. This is a grievous error that needs to be addressed. We will start as Scripture says with the Jews first.

The entire Old Testament is made up of stories of the mistakes and errors of the Jewish people. They were constantly caught up in idol worship, being carried captive, being returned, only to be carried away again. They had battle after battle many times having nations turned against them by God because of their waywardness. The prophets such as Hosea, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Isaiah preached a message of condemnation warning that the people had forsaken the LORD.

The Jews often strayed from the Scriptures and formed their own man made doctrines. They practiced these doctrines for years so when a new generation rose up they were taught that these “traditions” were just as valid as Scripture much like the modern day Romanist. Jesus had to rebuke them sharply for this.

“…Thus have ye made the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition. Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias prophecy of you, saying, this people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.” (Matthew 15: 6b-9)

Jesus even confronted their traditions in Matthew 5:21-22, 27-28, 31-32, 33-34, 38-39, and 43-44. Each time He started His rebuke by saying, “Ye have heard it said by them of old,” and finished the correction with, “But I say unto you.” He was not correcting Scripture, He was correcting their human tradition, sometimes centuries old that deviated from or contradicted Scripture.

The greatest support for such a doctrine comes not from the accepted canon of Scripture but from the contested Apocrypha. I will likely cover that topic elsewhere but needless to say the Apocrypha was not accepted by the Old Testament Jews as Scripture, and the texts contained in the Apocrypha often contradict accepted Scriptures.

The early church fathers were never in agreement on which apocryphal books were to be included. When Trent needed them to support their doctrines (otherwise unsupported) the Council of Trent confirmed them as inspired. They were not considered as part of the canon prior to Trent at least not by the church officially.

The main apocryphal text use to support purgatory is 2 Maccabees 12:42-46.

And they begged him that this sin might be completely blotted out. Then, Judas, that great man, urged the people to keep away from sin, because they had seen for themselves what had happened to those men who had sinned. He also took up a collection from all his men, totaling about four pounds of silver, and sent it to Jerusalem to provide for a sin offering. Judas did this noble thing because he believed in the resurrection of the dead. If he had not believed that the dead would be raised, it would have been foolish and useless to pray for them. In his firm and devout conviction that all of God’s faithful people would receive a wonderful reward, Judas made provision for a sin offering to set free from their sin those who had died.”

This is the great proof text of the purgatory doctrine. In the passage all we see is Judas making an offering, and prayers for the dead. In the Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church published in 2005, when asked question 211 on how we can help those in purgatory the answer is different. “Because of the communion of saints, the faithful who are still pilgrims on earth are able to help the souls in purgatory by offering prayers in suffrage for them, especially the Eucharistic sacrifice. They also help them by almsgiving, indulgences, and works of penance.”

So the text said he made offering and said prayers for those already dead but there is no mention of indulgences or works of penance to aid the dead. These were added by the church. Even if this were inspired and a proof of purgatory they stray from the text and add to it their own doctrines.

The text emphasizes prayers and almsgiving yet in the catechism answer it says “especially the Eucharistic sacrifice.” The mass is not mentioned and yet they say it is especially beneficial. I was debating a man who was Rome-ward and he tried to say the mass is not the sacrificing of Christ but here we clearly see it is.

Another point in the text that I noticed was that Judas did these things it says to set them free. He seems at least from the passage to have that hope and yet no such hope exists in modern day Romanism. The faithful are told to say mass, light candles, do good deeds, and pay offerings in order to free their loved ones from purgatory and yet the Church has no power to declare when this task is completed.

They just keep doing those things until they die. After their death someone else does the same for them until they die and so on and so on. There is no point where the priest says, “enough is done, keep your money your loved one is now in Heaven.”





Problems with Purgatory: Part 1

11 05 2016

I would like to address the doctrine of purgatory. Millions of souls over the centuries have perished because they gave offerings hoping to buy less time in purgatory. Ornate cathedrals and churches were built with the money given by poor, often uneducated and trusting souls.

Purgatory is where people go who die in what Rome calls a “state of grace.” This is a state in which people are purged completely from sin and made ready for Heaven. This concept has no Biblical basis but relies heavily upon tradition and ancient pagan roots.

The concept of purgatory is seen in ancient Buddhist practices of making prayers and sacrifices for the dead. The term purgatory does not appear on the scene until around 1160 but the concept is applied long before that. Purgatory has been defined by several councils including the Council of Trent in 1545, the Council of Florence in 1438, and the first and Second Council of Lyon in 1245 and 1274.

Prior to these declarations the doctrine was developed and underwent changes over time. This happens when we try to hold firmly to doctrines not clearly stated in the Word of God. When we build our doctrine upon the sinking sand of human tradition and philosophy we will have to make changes to avoid contradiction and ensure compliance. When a doctrine is founded upon the solid rock of the oracles of God then we can be sure they can stand the test of time.

Catholics accept the Scriptural life after death destinations of mankind. In Heaven the souls of the righteous spend eternal bliss in the presence of God, and on the opposite end of the spectrum those who go on in sin rejecting salvation spend eternity in the fires of hell (although some Romanists make the Biblical description of fire as only symbolic). The Romanists have inserted a third state to which all must go in order to be ready to go to Heaven. They call this place purgatory.

Rome teaches that some souls are not yet purified enough to enter Heaven and must be purified in purgatory in order to prepare for being granted admission into Heaven. Peter opposes this idea.

“Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently. (1 Peter 1:22)

Peter is not saying that purification comes in some limbo state after death. He is saying our souls are purified by obeying the truth. This means that when we are saved our souls are purified not at some later time and place.

Romanism teaches that holiness is achieved in purgatory and that without purgatory we would still bear the stain of sin and not be holy enough to enter the presence of God. Scripture in several places disagrees with this idea.

“According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love…And (we) are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief cornerstone; In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord.” (Ephesians 1:4, 2:20-21)

“I charge you by the Lord that this epistle be read unto all the holy brethren.” (1 Thessalonians 5:27)

To follow this teaching to its conclusion would make it impossible to explain the plight of the thief on the cross. Here is a criminal who has lived his whole life in sin and degradation. While being executed he comes to believe that Jesus is who He claims to be.

In a repentant heart he asks Jesus to remember him when He comes into His kingdom. What was the response of Jesus to this man’s faith?

“And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with me in paradise.” (Luke 23:43)

I must say if anyone needed purification or was not holy enough to enter Heaven it would be a criminal who just repented. Surely with no good works, no baptism, nothing to show for his faith he would need further cleansing and yet we have a statement from Jesus that by his faith he is counted worthy to be with Him in Paradise. No limbo, no waiting, just an immediate pardon for sin and access to God.

To better understand this view we must understand the Romanist view of sin. They categorize sin in two ways, mortal sins, and venial sins. Mortal sins would be grave violations of God’s law and venial sins are forgivable sins that don’t necessarily separate us from God.

I guess you could call them minor infractions. The Scriptures give us no evidence of God viewing sin this way. Some sins are greater than others in terms of the punishment for sin which is why those at the Great White Throne are judged according to their works when their fate is already determined (Revelation 20:11-15).

We also see examples of some sins being called abominations and others are not. We receive no hint as to whether that means non abominations are more or less forgivable. According to Scripture all sin brings spiritual death and separation from God.

Ezekiel 18:4b says the “soul that sinneth it shall die.” What is sin?

“Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.” (1 John 3:4)

Who has sinned?

“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23)

What is the penalty for sin?

“For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Romans 6:23)

How is sin forgiven?

“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God.” (Ephesians 2:8)

While Rome teaches mortal vs. venial sins the Scriptures tell us that sin is the breaking of God’s law. It goes on to tell us that all have sinned. The Bible also teaches that our sin can be forgiven by the grace of God through faith. Let me ask faith in what? Faith in the finished work of Christ.

“Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Acts 20:21)

This is where most Romanists miss salvation because they feel their works add to salvation and that the work of Christ must be repeated through the mass. Jesus said:

“I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do.” (John 17:4)

The Roman Church teaches her followers that Christ’s righteousness is not imputed to us. Rome teaches that we are infused with grace and each grace that we act upon makes us more righteous before God. They teach that our sin stains are still with us after salvation and that these must be purged in purgatory.

They can teach this because they do not see salvation as a possession but a state of being. In other words you cannot possess salvation as a gift and have it and hold onto it but rather you can be in a “state of grace” where you have done enough good to merit God’s favor. The bad news is that you can do enough bad to fall out of that favor.

Let me address each heresy with the Bible. Is Christ’s righteousness imputed?

“But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead.” (Romans 4:24)

“Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works.” (Romans 4:6)

Can doing good make us more righteous?

“But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.” (Romans 4:5)

“For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.” (Romans 4:3)

“I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness [come] by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.” (Galatians 2:21)

Do our sin stains stay with us after salvation?

“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.” (Revelation 1:5)

“In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace.” (Ephesians 1:7)

Is salvation a state of being or a free gift possession?

“But the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Romans 6:23b)

“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God.” (Ephesians 2:8)

Can we lose the gift of salvation?

“For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.” (Romans 11:29)

“And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.” (John 10:28)

“Him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.” (John 6:37b)

These beliefs are at the heart of the doctrine of purgatory. The idea of fire in purgatory is common in Roman lore but separate from hell. Scripture speaks often, and definitely about hell but is silent on purgatory.

Some have agreed it’s a material fire, although some have used the term fire metaphorically. The Church has not condemned such use. It seems that even the Church in her supposed wisdom, and power cannot decide.

 





Without the Shedding of Blood Is No Remission

15 05 2014

One of the chief blasphemies of the Roman Catholic Church is the sacrifice of the mass. Rome teaches that the mass is the same sacrifice as Calvary offered in an unbloody manner. Listen to the Catechism of the Catholic Church:

“And since in this divine sacrifice which is celebrated in the Mass, the same Christ who offered himself once in a bloody manner on the altar of the cross is contained and is offered in an unbloody manner.”

Rome claims that the mass is a propitiatory sacrifice for sins. Listen to the Council of Trent:

“If any one saith, that the sacrifice of the mass is only a sacrifice of praise and of thanksgiving; or, that it is a bare commemoration of the sacrifice consummated on the cross, but not a propitiatory sacrifice; or, that it profits him only who receives; and that it ought not to be offered for the living and the dead for sins, pains, satisfactions, and other necessities; let him be anathema.”

The reason I can stand against Rome on such teachings is because the Bible stands against her. I won’t get too into the mass since I have written about it elsewhere but I want to address from the inspired Word of God what is said about the necessity of blood. We are told that the life of the flesh is in the blood. The blood is what makes atonement for the soul.

“For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul.” (Leviticus 17:11)

The blood of animals could only push sins ahead but they could never take away sin that’s why they had to be offered over and over again.

“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. For then would they not have ceased to be offered? because that the worshippers once purged should have had no more conscience of sins. But in those sacrifices there is a remembrance again made of sins every year. For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins.” (Hebrews 10:1-4)

The blood of Christ was sufficient to not only push our sins ahead but to completely pay for them.

“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; 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 9:11-12)

The issue with the mass is simple. They claim that the sacrifice of the mass is the same offering of Jesus Christ again. If this is true then His sacrifice was just as imperfect as the priests in the Old Testament. The perfection in His sacrifice is that it does not need to be repeated continually. Rome claims that the difference is that the mass is offered in an unbloody manner. The Bible not Rome is the ultimate authority. The Bible we know is the inspired Word of God and it declared that it is blood which makes atonement for the soul. The mass cannot take away sin, the mass cannot atone for the soul, the mass cannot be a propitiatory sacrifice if offered in an unbloody manner.

“And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.” (Hebrews 9:22)

The shedding of blood is absolutely necessary for the remission of sins. This passage of the Bible screams out as Rome makes her unbloody sacrifice and tells her followers their sins are forgiven. What does it scream? In loud bold tones it screams out WITHOUT THE SHEDDING OF BLOOD IS NO REMISSION. Rome offers only false forgiveness of sin in her sacrifice. She despises the sacrifice of Jesus Christ every time the priest performs his rituals. What can be done? Shall we make blood sacrifices? The answer is no the sacrifice has already been made one time for all.

“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: Nor yet that he should offer himself often, as the high priest entereth into the holy place every year with blood of others; 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.” (Hebrews 9:24-26)

“For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.” (Hebrews 10:14)

I want to urge you that if you have been trusting in the sacrifice of the mass to take away your sin turn to the once for all sacrifice that was made by the Lord Jesus Christ. Stop trying to make your own offering and accept the offering that God made for you. Rome is like every other false religion she gives her followers a list of things to do in order to hopefully gain eternal life.

The Bible says that we can know our sins are forgiven and that we have eternal life by believing on the Son of God Jesus Christ. By faith in Him alone we are forgiven of all that we have ever done and we are given the righteousness of Jesus Christ. Will you do that today?





Is It Finished?

9 05 2014

I once spoke to a man who argued for the heresy of open theism. He claimed that when God declared His creation good that there could have been no way He knew that sin would come into the world. This same man argued in favor of Roman Catholicism and the sacrifice of the mass. What amazed me is that he doesn’t apply the same standard to what Jesus said on the cross. Jesus at the end of His sacrifice for sin made a declaration.

“When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.” (John 19:30)

Why would Jesus declare it finished if He knew there would be a necessity for the sacrifice to be offered again and again? The answer of course is that He would not have made such a declaration unless He meant what He said. The sacrifice that Jesus made was complete, satisfactory, and for all time. The Roman Church teaches her followers that the sacrifice of Christ must be reenacted over and over again through the sacrifice of the mass.

According to Rome the priest magically calls Christ down from His throne. Christ submits Himself and obeys coming down to take the form of a wafer. They believe He is then offered again and again for the sins of the living and the dead. They teach that the mass is the same sacrifice as at Calvary offered over and over again. Listen to the Council of Trent which Rome teaches to be infallible.

“For the victim is one and the same, the same now offering by the ministry of priests, who then offered Himself on the cross, the manner alone of offering being different.”

Trent calls Christ the victim because in their hearts they are calling Christ down and sacrificing Him all over again. This is the chief blasphemy of Rome because it denies the finished work of Christ on the cross. Some would argue there is no harm in this practice if they are wrong about the mass so why worry about it? The answer is because in their hearts they are sacrificing the Son of God. The Bible is clear that if we commit sin in the heart it’s just as if we actually did it. The Bible tells us that those who sacrificed Jesus did so wickedly.

“Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain.”(Acts 2:23)

Rome teaches an incomplete salvation because they believe their followers must sacrifice Jesus Christ over and over again. What does the Bible say about the sacrifice of Christ. The Bible teaches emphatically that the sacrifice of Christ was perfect, complete, and a one time thing. The Bible teaches that the sacrifice is not like the Old Testament sacrifices that had to be repeated. This made them weak. What makes Christ’s sacrifice superior is that it does not need to be repeated.

“For such an high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens; Who needeth not daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifice, first for his own sins, and then for the people’s: for this he did once, when he offered up himself.” (Hebrews 7:26-27)

“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: Nor yet that he should offer himself often, as the high priest entereth into the holy place every year with blood of others; 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.” (Hebrews 9:24-26)

If sacrifices for sin were perfect then there would be no need for them to continue. To say that Christ’s sacrifice needs to be repeated is to say it was imperfect.

“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. For then would they not have ceased to be offered? because that the worshippers once purged should have had no more conscience of sins.” (Hebrews 10:1-2)

“And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins: But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God.” (Hebrews 10:11-12)

The Bible tells us more then once that the sacrifice that Christ made was a one time perfect offering for sin.

“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.” (Hebrews 9:28)

“By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.” (Hebrews 10:10)

“For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.” (Hebrews 10:14)

The doctrine of the sacrifice of the mass teaches that we must continually pay for our sins. The Bible teaches that once we believe on Christ unto salvation our sins are completely forgiven, God no longer remembers them which is a way of saying He no longer counts them against us and there is no more offering necessary for sin.

“And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more. Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin.” (Hebrews 10:17-18)

This salvation comes not by good works, or going to church or by making a sacrifice such as the mass. The Bible teaches it comes by faith.

“But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness. Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works, Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.” (Romans 4:5-8)

Won’t you turn to Christ in faith today trusting His once for all sacrifice on the cross?





A False Forgiveness

24 03 2014

I was watching a debate not long ago between some Roman Catholics and some Christians on Facebook. What I found interesting was the references made by the Roman Catholic to the need to pay for our sins. She kept saying that although Christ has forgiven our sins more must be done to make things right. This puzzled me as I contemplated what the use of forgiveness was if it was only partial. I decided to look up the teachings of Rome concerning such matter and it states as follows.

“Many sins wrong our neighbor. One must do what is possible in order to repair the harm (e.g., return stolen goods, restore the reputation of someone slandered, pay compensation for injuries). Simple justice requires as much. But sin also injures and weakens the sinner himself, as well as his relationships with God and neighbor. Absolution takes away sin, but it does not remedy all the disorders sin has caused. Raised up from sin, the sinner must still recover his full spiritual health by doing something more to make amends for the sin: he must “make satisfaction for” or “expiate” his sins. This satisfaction is also called “penance.”

I understand that sometimes there are remedies to a sin that must take place even after a person is saved. If a man leaves his family he may have to continue paying child support by law or if a person commits a crime he may have to pay restitution although God has forgiven him there is still an area of man’s law that must be paid. This is not what they are teaching. They are teaching that God forgives our sin but then has us pay for it as well. Many in Rome’s traditions give money or do good deeds or say prayers or even hurt their bodies in the hopes of making penance for sins.

This is a false forgiveness. The very meaning of forgiveness means that there is no debt to pay. If I “forgive” your debt but still demand you pay half of it then no matter what I call it I have not truly forgiven your debt. It’s good to bear fruits of repentance but those are natural meaning they naturally flow from a forgiven heart. These are not rules that must be enforced and if they are then they are not fruits. We should do all of these things that are listed but not to gain forgiveness or acceptance. We should do them because we are forgiven and accepted.

No place in the New Testament do we see forgiveness being conditioned upon any certain act with the exception of confessing our sin. John said in 1 John 1:9.

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

There is no mention here of having to do anything else but confess our sins. Are we to have sorrow for our sins? The answer of course is yes and confession will flow naturally from a contrite and humble heart. These are doctrines that this so called church has added to the words of Scripture. When we confess our sins we are cleansed from them no strings attached. Some would argue and say “so a person could not be sorrow and go on and never do good works?” The answer is not with he Holy Spirit. If he is truly sorry for sins then he will confess those sins and be cleansed. A person truly grateful for forgiveness will bring forth these fruits of repentance.

The problem is that the Roman Church is working off a system where the Holy Spirit does not indwell their people, most are not truly saved and therefore they need a religious system to force them to do these good works they would not otherwise do. A forgiveness that requires more works to make it real is a false forgiveness. It is not the forgiveness offered by Jesus or the Bible. It is the false forgiveness of a system that does not offer the full and free forgiveness of Jesus Christ. This type of forgiveness is absent from the inspired Word of God.





Unholy Devotion

23 02 2014

Our new book Unholy Devotion: Rome’s Marian Errors is available by clicking on the “Our Books” tab here on the website. Unholy Devotion is a look at Mariology from Paul,Peter, Jesus, and Scripture as a whole. It examines the error in Rome’s view on Mary as well as a look at Roman Catholic salvation and how it differs from Biblical salvation. We have links to both the eBook as well as the paperback edition of the book.

If you read the book do us a favor and leave us a review on Amazon with a rating and short review of the book and share the book with friends and family. This is an important subject which covers one of the darkest of the false doctrines that comes from Rome and which has deceived millions. Half of all profits from the book go to Mission to Catholics International.





The Mass Vs. The Lord’s Supper

20 11 2013

The following is a sermon preached by H.A. Ironside concerning the nature of the Lord’s Supper as taught in the Bible as opposed to the mass as taught by Rome. Dr. Ironside is thorough and Biblical in both his teaching of the Lord’s Supper and his condemnation of the heretical doctrine of the mass in which the Lord Jesus is sacrificed over and over again.

The Pastor learned late in the previous week of the possibility of holding a great Protestant Rally in the Moody Church, with Mr. H.A. Ironside as speaker, on the Sunday following the Eucharistic Congress held in Chicago. The time was much too short for extensive advertising, but through announcement in the Saturday papers, and the co-operation of a large number of city ministers, many of whom were present at the Rally, the effort became known to a great many. Pastor John O’Hair and Pastor James Gray, very kindly mentioned the meeting to their radio audiences. The former presided at the Rally. More than 3,500 people attended.

It is possible, as I speak to you to-day, that I may use the word “Catholic” as opposed to “Protestant.” If I do, it is simply a slip of the tongue, for I maintain that every true Protestant is a real Catholic, that every believer in the Lord Jesus Christ is a member of the one Holy Catholic Church, purchased by the precious blood of the Son of God. But I distinguish between a Catholic and a Romanist. When I was speaking, on one occasion, to a Roman Catholic priest whom I met in a train in California, he asked me what my profession was and I said, “I am a Catholic priest.”

He looked at my collar and said, “You are surely jesting with me.”

I said, “No, I never was more serious in my life. I am a priest in the Holy Catholic Church. I mean that I am a member of that holy and royal priesthood composed of all believers in the Lord Jesus Christ and together forming the Holy Catholic Church.” So if I use the word “Catholic” when I mean “Romanist” you will understand me.

I am not here to say anything unkind against the Roman church. As my friend, Brother O’Hair, has reminded you, our Government guarantees to every man the right to full liberty of conscience in regard to religious privileges. As we wish to enjoy that liberty ourselves, we are glad to accord it to others. But I simply desire to examine some of the teachings of the Church of Rome and compare them with the teaching of the Word of God, particularly on the great central doctrine of that church, which is called the Sacrament of the Blessed Eucharist, or the Sacrament of the Mass.

THE CRUX OF THE MATTER

Every Roman Catholic priest will tell you that all the claims of the Church of Rome stand or fall with the doctrine of the real presence of Christ in the Mass. If the bread and wine used in the Sacrament of the Mass, when consecrated by the priest, are changed in some mysterious way into the body, blood, soul and divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ so that the communicant receiving the bread actually takes into his mouth and eats and digests the body, blood, soul and divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ-if this is true, then the Church of Rome is the true church of Christ and every one of us should be members of it. But if it is false, if it is absolutely opposed to the teaching of the Word of God, then the Church of Rome is an apostate church and every faithful believer should come out of her in order that he might not be held accountable for her sins.

It was because the great reformers of the sixteenth century saw this clearly and were assured in their own hearts that the doctrine of the Church of Rome in regard to the Eucharist or the Mass was absolutely opposed to the Word of God and was not only blasphemous but idolatrous, that they came out in protest against that apostate system and they won for us at tremendous cost of Christian blood the liberty that we now possess. And yet we, unworthy children of such worthy sires, are frittering away our liberty and we are allowing our children to be ensnared again by this evil system from which our fathers escaped with such tremendous effort.

BASIC TRUTH

I want to call your attention first of all to a passage in the 10th chapter of the Epistle to the Hebrews which may not seem at first sight to have any reference to the subject in question, but I think we shall see that it not only has reference to it but presents the basic truth in regard to it. The 10th chapter of the Epistle to the Hebrews, beginning with verse 11:

And every priest (the Apostle is referring to the Levitical priesthood) standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins: but this man (that is, the Lord Jesus Christ who as to the mystery of His person is both God and man in one blessed, glorious person never to be divided), after He had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God: from henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool. For by one offering He hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified. Whereof the Holy Ghost also is a witness to us: for after that He had said before, This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them; and their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.”

Now here is the crucial text that I want you to get:

Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin.”

CHRIST’S FINISHED WORK

In the Epistle to the Hebrews the apostolic writer contrasts the ritual system of the Old Testament dispensation with the glorious work achieved by Jesus Christ when He offered Himself on Calvary’s cross for our redemption. He draws our attention to the fact that under the old economy the priest’s work was never done because the sin question was never settled. No sacrifice had been found that was of sufficient value to atone for the sins of the world and so whenever men sinned afresh they had to come with a new sacrifice. One offering followed another constantly, therefore there was not even provision made for the priest to sit down in the tabernacle or in the temple of the Lord. The priest’s work was never done for sin was never put away. But he goes on to say that in those sacrifices there was an acknowledgment again made of sin from year to year. That is, the worshiper under the Old Testament dispensation came to God in faith, confessing his sin, and brought his animal sacrifice, whether a bullock from the herd, a sheep from the flock, or two birds. He confessed his sin and these sacrifices were offered for him. They did not cancel his guilt. They did not cleanse his heart. They were rather in the nature of a note that a man gives to his creditor for a debt. A man is owing a certain sum of money. He makes out a note for that sum. He is unable to pay when it is due, so he makes out another note, and in those notes there is an acknowledgment again made of the debt from year to year. So in the sacrifices of old there was simply an acknowledgment of sin made year after year. Sometimes when a man must give a note for a debt he has a wealthy friend who is good enough to endorse that note for him. By endorsing that note his friend says, “If you are not able to pay when the note becomes due, I pledge myself to pay for you.”

THE SIN QUESTION SETTLED

When these people of old gave their notes to God by bringing their sacrifices again and again, our Lord Jesus Christ, the Eternal Son still ex-carnate, endorsed every note and He said,

Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of Me) to do Thy will, O God.”

In the fulness of time He came, made of a woman, made under the law, and He went to Calvary’s cross and there, may I say, gathered up and settled for all those notes of the past, and undertook the full responsibility for every believer to the end of time and offered Himself a sacrifice for the sins of men. By that one all-sufficient offering of Himself upon the cross, He has settled the sin question to God’s satisfaction so that now God can be just and the justifier of him that believeth in Jesus.

The sacrifice of our Lord Jesus Christ had both a backward and a forward aspect. It put away all the sins of the past that had only been covered by the blood of the sacrifices and made ample provision to put away all the sins of the future for every one who would believe on Him. The means by which needy sinners avail themselves of an interest in the finished work of Christ is very simple. The sinner has to take his place before God as a lost. guilty man, owning his iniquity and putting his trust in the Man who died on the cross; for

By Him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by Moses’ law.”

In this New Testament economy Christ is the only sacrificing priest. He is the one all-sufficient victim. Christ having made atonement for sins, rose from the dead and God has manifested His righteous satisfaction in the work of the cross by seating Him in heaven at His own right hand.

A FEAST OF LOVE

Our Lord Jesus before He went away, foreseeing all this, gave to His disciples that feast of love which we commonly call “The Lord’s Supper.” In the Lord’s Supper this mystery of redemption is wonderfully and beautifully pictured. I want to read to you the various scriptures in the New Testament that refer to it. I am going to read each passage that speaks of this feast of love in order that you, hearing them, may compare them in your own mind with the celebration — the idolatrous celebration — which you have either seen or of which you have been reading during recent days, and I ask you to put the questions to yourself: Is there anything here that is remotely connected with this ceremony that myriads have been so occupied with during this past week? Is there in this a sin offering? Is there a sacrificing priest? Is there any provision here for incense, any provision for worshipping the Virgin Mary, any provision for a great hierarchy with their brilliant garments? I read the other day that $200,000.00 worth of priestly garments were ruined by the rain during the celebration at Mundelein. You could put all the apostles, and the 500 who saw the Lord after His resurrection, and all the Christians in the early days, out in the rain and hail and they would not ruin $10.00 worth of priestly vestments! Is there anything that compares with the ceremony that has been enacted in this city and its environs in the last few days and which is supposed to be the continuation of that of which our Lord speaks here?

In the 26th chapter of Matthew-our Lord had just eaten the Passover with His disciples — we read, beginning at verse 26:

And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat: this is My body. And He took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it: for this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. But I say unto you, I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom. And when they had sung an hymn they went out into the mount of Olives.”

How beautiful in its simplicity is this first celebration of the Lord Supper! How different to this mysterious ceremony which is the very center of the Roman Catholic system!

OTHER VERSIONS

Now turn to the Gospel of Mark and get his account of the same Supper. See if there is anything which Matthew left out which he has inserted which might give some ground, some basis, for the doctrines that have gathered round the so-called Sacrament of the Mass. St.Mark 14:22:

And as they did eat, Jesus took bread, and blessed, and brake it, and gave to them, and said, Take, eat: this is my body. And He took the cup, and when He had given thanks, He gave it to them: and they all drank of it. And He said unto them, This is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many. Verily I say unto you, I will drink no more of the fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God. And when they had sung an hymn, they went out into the mount of Olives.”

“And as they did eat.” I would draw your attention to that. Every Roman Catholic is instructed to take the Sacrament of the Mass fasting. Have you read that after “they did eat, Jesus took bread.” They were just concluding the Passover meal. And “Jesus took bread.” Mark you, not some special cake marked with the mystic letters “I.H.S.” which are supposed to mean “Iesus Hominum Salvator”, but that might just as wall mean the Egyptian deities “Isis”, “Horus”, “Seb”, as they did ages ago in a similar ceremony.

Now I turn you to the account given by our brother Luke, Doctor Luke, the beloved physician. Luke’s Gospel 22:19:

And He took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of Me. Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you.”

PAUL SPEAKS

The Apostle John does not give us any account of the institution of the Lord’s Supper, but after Christ’s ascension and after the conversion of Saul of Tarsus when he became the Apostle Paul, a special revelation was given to him, and in the 11th chapter of 1st Corinthians we get the full account of it. Read from verse 20:

When ye come together therefore into one place, this is not to eat the Lord’s supper. For in eating every one taketh before other his own supper: and one is hungry, and another is drunken. What! have ye not houses to eat and drink in? or despise ye the church of God, and shame them that have not? What shall I say to you? Shall I praise you in this? I praise you not. For I have received of the Lord (the risen, ascended, glorified Lord) that which also I delivered unto yen, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which He was betrayed (the night in which He was to know experimentally the untrustworthiness of the human heart) took bread: and when He had given thanks, He brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of Me. After the same manner also He took the cup, when He had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in My blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of Me. For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do show the Lord’s death till He come.”

Observe how this feast links together the two great facts of Christianity, the death of Christ and His second coming. The Lord’s Supper is taken in remembrance of One who died, but as we take it we look forward and wait for His coming again.

TILL HE COME


A friend of mine, giving some lectures at a church not long ago, spoke of the second coming of the Lord and the pastor came up to him after the service and said, “I am sorry that you touched that subject. We don’t believe here in the second coming of Christ.”
“Oh, you don’t?”
“No.”
“What is that table that you have down there in front of the pulpit?”
“That is the Lord’s Table.”
“What do you do with it?”
“We use it when we take the Lord’s Supper.”
“What do you take the Lord’s Supper for?”
“Because the Word of God tell us to.”
“How long are you going to take it?”
“As long as we are here, I suppose.”
“What does the Bible say?”
“I don’t know what you mean.”
” ‘As often as ye eat this bread and drink this cup ye do show the Lord’s death till He come.’ If you don’t believe He is coming again you’d better cut that out. It is a witness that the Christ who died is coming again. He says, While you are waiting for Me, do this in remembrance of Me.”

Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shah be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.”

Then in the 10th chapter of the same Epistle we read in verse 16:

The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ?” Verse 21: “Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of devils: ye cannot be partakers of the Lord’s table, and of the table of devils.”

THE TEACHING IS CLEAR

I have read all these passages because they give you every verse in the New Testament that definitely refers to the Lord’s Supper. You can see just what they teach. Our blessed Lord was going out to die and before He left His disciples He gave them this memorial feast. There is a striking passage in the book of the prophet Jeremiah in which he is predicting dire judgments coming upon Israel and he says that so many people will die that there will be none left to break bread for them (that is the marginal reading), nor to give them the cup of consolation. It evidently referred to an old custom that when somebody died loving friends gathered together with those who were left and they sat down and ate and drank in memory of the loved one, probably talked of his virtues and tried to comfort his loved ones.

Now our Lord Jesus Christ has come to the end of His thirty-three wonderful years here upon earth. He is about to go out to die. He came for that purpose. He said, “The Son of Man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.” Now He has His little company of disciples gathered about Him. They have kept the Pascal feast, the last Passover that God ever recognized. Actually, they kept the Passover and Christ died on the same day, because the Jewish day began in the evening and went on until the next evening. So the Lord ate the Passover with His disciples on the first evening and before the next evening — between the two evenings — He died on the cross, Christ, our Passover, sacrificed for us.

A MEMORIAL FEAST

Our Lord, with all this before Him, takes a piece of bread — just common bread, the bread they were using at the Passover — probably unleavened bread, although there is no scripture that definitely indicates that it must be that. I don’t find that the Word of God has been careful to legislate whether the bread should be leavened or unleavened, whether the wine should be fermented or unfermented. I think we may see the wisdom of God in it, for there are circumstances under which, if there were such a rule, many of God’s children could not partake. But He took bread and held that bread in His hand and said to the disciples, “This is my body which is given for you,” Observe: There He sat at the table. He is not indicating that any change takes place in the bread. He is there in His perfectly human body and He holds this bread in His hand and He says, “This is my body.” Surely any one must be blind who cannot see what He is telling them is this: This bread, I want you to understand, is to bring before you the truth that my body is to be sacrificed for sin. He had not yet been sacrificed and yet He speaks as though it had already taken place. “This do in remembrance of Me.” And He passes the bread around to them. There is no mysterious priesthood; there are no costly vestments; there are no candles burning in a ceremonial manner; no smoking incense ascending. They have partaken of one meal and then He gives them this beautiful memorial feast. He does not even appoint a clergyman to preside there. He addresses them as brethren and He saps, “This do in remembrance of Me.”

SIMPLE AND BEAUTIFUL

I think, my brethren, the simpler we can be in our thoughts of the Lord’s Supper the better. I read some time ago of a Hindu who was living in a village when a missionary came for the first time and they said to him, “Come. You must see So-and-So.”

The missionary went to this man’s house. When he saw a white man coming with a Bible he rose to greet him and bowed at his feet. The missionary said, “Stand up. I am just a man like yourself.”

“Oh,” said the Hindu, “you have come with the Book. I have waited for it for twenty years.”

“How is that?”

“Well, twenty years ago I took a long journey. I heard a man in the market place (he looked like you) read from a book. He told the story of the Great God of Love who sent His Son to die for sinners. I bought a book.” He produced a copy of Matthew’s Gospel all worn so that hardly a leaf was whole. “I took it home. I have eaten that book. I have read it over and over. I have read it to all the people in the village. I have been praying that God would send somebody to tell me more.”

He asked him to eat with him. Now the host was a little embarrassed. He had a bowl of rice and he turned to the other man and said, “Before we eat, I always do as Jesus said.”

The missionary did not understand. But he said, “Go ahead. Don’t let me interfere.”

The Hindu closed his eyes, thanked God that Christ had died for him, and then he said, “I eat this rice because the body of my Lord Jesus was nailed on the cross for me.” Then he took the common drink of the land and said, “I drink of this because my Lord Jesus died for me,” and he gave some to the missionary, as he had given the rice, and they ate and drank together.

The missionary said, “How long have you been doing this?”

“For twenty years.”

“And how often!”

“Every time I eat a meal.”

He saw nothing in the Book that would tell him how often. So I repeat, the simpler we can be the better. It is a memorial– that is all.

WHAT DOES “EUCHARIST” MEAN?

You ask, Do you not believe in the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist? Some may not know the meaning of the term Eucharist. It is “thanksgiving.” Oh yes, dear friends, every instructed Christian believes in the real presence in the Eucharist, but He does not believe that the bread ceases to be anything but bread and he does not believe that the wine ceases to be anything but wine. He does not believe in a strange, mysterious transformation of cereal bread and of wine into the body, blood, soul and divinity of Jesus Christ. But he believes this: “Where two or three are gathered together in My name (as Jesus said) there am I in the midst.” Some of the sweetest moments of my life have been spent at the Table of the Lord, communing with the Blessed One who of old said, “Do this in remembrance of Me,” and faith’s eye could discern Him there standing in the midst, showing His wounds and spreading His hands.

A Roman Catholic layman in St.Louis who does much to put Protestants to shame because of his zeal in advertising his religion, recently put out an advertisement like this: “Catholics believe in the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist; Protestants believe in the real absence.” But that is false. Protestants do not believe that the bread and wine undergo any mystic change, but they do believe that as you eat and drink in remembrance of Christ, Christ is present in His sweet and wonderful way, manifesting Himself to the hearts of His beloved people so that by faith they are enabled to feed upon Him. We feed upon Him in remembrance. We look back and think of the sorrows He bore. We contemplate His cross and bitter passion, and as we do, we eat of His flesh and drink of His blood, and as we feast on Christ we find our love for those things for which Christ died upon the cross becoming less, and our love for those blessed things into which He would lead us through the new and living way, through the veil into the holiest, becoming greater, for we become like that upon which we feed.

NO DISTINCTION BETWEEN CHRISTIANS

In this feast Christ gives the bread and then He gives the wine. He did not separate believers into a clergy and a laity and say to the clergy, “The wine is for you: the bread is simply for the laity.” There is no such distinction made in the Bible. For two centuries and a half after Christ’s gospel began to be preached in this world you will search reputable church history in vain to find such a distinction. There were officials in the church; there were elders and there were deacons; elders who had a special oversight, but no such distinction as the dividing of Christians into the laity and the clergy, the clergy having special access to God and special authority in dispensing divine mysteries. This was unknown in the early days of Christianity, and in those early days the Lord’s Supper was observed in simplicity. We have distinct records of it.

If you care to look it up you will find that the Younger Pliny, when Governor of Bythinia, wrote to the Emperor Trajan asking what offense the Christians had committed for which they should be exterminated. He said in substance, “I have been trying to get all the information I could regarding them. I have even hired spies to profess to be Christians and become baptized in order that they might get into the Christian services without suspicion. Contrary to what I had supposed, I find that the Christians meet at dead of night or at early morn, that they sing a hymn to Christ as God, that they read from their own sacred writings and partake of a very simple meal consisting of bread and wine and water (the water added to the wine to dilute it in order that there might be enough for all). This is all that I can find out, except that they exhort each other to be subject to the Government, and pray for all men.”

Pliny could not understand why they should be persecuted. He knew nothing of a gorgeous altar, of a sacrificing priest, nothing of a special cake upon the altar which the faithful were to fall down and worship as the Incarnate God, but his spies found Christians partaking together of a very simple meal of bread and wine and water.

Justin Martyr, who wrote about the same time, gives us a very clear account of the way in which the Lord’s Supper was observed. He knew of no priesthood, no altar, no mystic change. He certainly knew of no prayers to the Virgin Mary. He knew nothing of ascending incense or anything of the kind, but he describes just such an observance of the Lord’s Supper as you would find in any evangelical company of Christians to-day. He speaks of one of the elders presiding, of the people singing together, of giving thanks for the bread and wine, of distributing these elements among the faithful and sending portions to any who were not present because of illness-beautiful in its simplicity, as is the account given in the gospel.

WHEN THE CHANCE OCCURRED

But you go down through the Christian era a few centuries and you find everything is changed. You enter a Christian church. The Lord’s table is conspicuous by its absence. Instead of a table you have an altar. An altar in a Christian church! The altar belonged to Judaism. But the altar is typical of Christ Himself whose glorious person sanctifies the offering He gives, and second, it typifies the cross upon which He was uplifted. The Christian’s altar is the cross of Christ, but in these churches of the centuries after Constantine we find an altar again and, serving there, is a priest with special vestments, not such as were used by the Jewish priesthood, but vestments which were identical with those worn by the priests of Babylon centuries before. What had brought about the change? Simply this: As long as Christianity was persecuted, as long as the Christian company was under the ban of the Roman Government, simplicity and reality prevailed. But the day came when the state become the patron of Christianity and an effort was made to unite the ancient heathen religion and the Roman Empire with the new Christianity. The result was that little by little pagan forms and ceremonies were brought in and displaced the early Christian forms which were so simple, so beautiful and so scriptural. The altar was not even taken from Judaism, for no such altar as the altars of Judaism was ever found in so-called Christian churches.

HEATHENISM

A few years ago I had a company of Indian youths in Oakland, California, that I was educating. I was teaching these young men church history, and one day, to give them a practical lesson, I took them to San Francisco through three Chinese temples and then I took them through two Roman Catholic churches. After our visits I said to these youths, “Now tell me what you saw in each place,” And they wrote it all out. They said, “In each building we found holy water at the door. Each building had an altar. Each building had priests in costly vestments bowing below the altar. Each building had candles and incense. In each building a bell rang when the worshipers were to kneel down.” The Romanist and pagan temples were practically alike.

Any one who familiarizes himself with the history of the ancient heathen cults can see where all these forms and ceremonies came in that are now linked up with what is called the Sacrament of the Eucharist. The identical customs were practised by Babylonish priests over 500 years before Christ. There was in the Babylon temples and on the altars an image of a woman with a child in her arms. This woman was said to be the Queen of Heaven. Her child was called the Seed, which was evidently Satan’s imitation of the truth involved in the words, “The seed of the woman shall bruise the serpent’s head.” To this woman was sacrificed a bloodless offering consisting of round moon-shaped cakes, and these being presented to her were put upon the altar and the faithful bowed down in reverence before them.

In the 44th chapter of Jeremiah the people had read of the same cult transferred to Palestine and observed afterwards among the dispersed Jews in Egypt:

Seest thou not what they do in the cities of Judah, and in the streets of Jerusalem? The children gather wood, and the fathers kindle the fire, and the women knead their dough, to make cakes to the queen of heaven, and to pour out drink offerings unto other gods, that they may provoke Me to anger.”

In the 44th chapter of Jeremiah the people had turned from their idolatry, but they declare that they are going back to it. In verse 15 we read:

Then all the men which knew that their wives had burnt incense unto other gods, and all the women that stood by, a great multitude, even all the people that dwelt in the land of Egypt, in Pathros, answered Jeremiah, saying, As for the word that thou hast spoken unto us in the name of the Lord, we will not hearken unto thee: but we will certainly do whatsoever thing goeth forth out of our own mouth, to burn incense unto the queen of heaven, and to pour out drink offerings unto her, as we have done, we, and our fathers, our kings, and our princes, in the cities of Judah, and in the streets of Jerusalem: for then had we plenty of victuals, and were well, and saw no evil.

COMPROMISE

This ancient custom of offering these round cakes was taken up by the apostate church. They said,

“The best way is to get all the different religions into one and we can take this heathen rite and turn it into a Christian ceremony. This round cake we will call the body, blood, soul and divinity of Christ.” That is what is called the host. It must be absolutely round. It is taken into the church and the priest blesses it. If it has a piece broken off of it, anybody can eat it; it is just bread.

The Roman Catholic church will tell you that this is taught by our Lord when He said, “This is my body which is given for you.” But as He said that He was there with them. No part of it was broken for them. He handed them this bread and they partook of it, clearly giving us to understand that the bread was God’s wonderful way of illustrating the value of feeding upon Christ. We feed upon bread and we get physical strength. We feed upon Christ and we get spiritual strength.

But now they tell us that the bread is changed when the priest blesses it. We charge that to fall down and worship that piece of bread is an act of idolatry. The Roman Catholic church says that bread is actually Christ. We say, “Do you mean us to understand that – that bread is literally the body of Christ, literally the body, blood, soul and divinity of Christ?”

“No, not literally, but mystically it becomes such.”

It is a well-know fact that Roman priests have been poisoned at the altar drinking wine that had been blessed and was supposed to be turned into the body, blood, soul and divinity of Christ, when some enemy had poured poison into it. It has been known that the host has been poisoned. They understand that no such change as they declare, actually takes place. But they say that at the moment of consecration Christ comes and enters it.

Here is a man making images. You say, “Are these images actually gods?”

“No, not yet.”

“When will they become gods?”

“When the priest takes them and blesses them and consecrates them to the deity they represent. Then the deity will come and dwell within them so that when the worshiper bows down he is not worshipping the image but the soul of the divinity that dwells within.”

BLASPHEMY AGAINST CHRIST’S SACRIFICE

Is there any difference between that and the Romish doctrine? None whatever. The bread was bread until the priest blessed it, and then in some mystical way Christ’s body, blood, soul and divinity became identified with it. Worship in the New Testament is only given to God the Father and God the Son in the energy of the Holy Ghost. Then the Roman church tells us that this host is a continual unbloody sacrifice for the sins of the living and the dead. Christ died once on the cross, but Christ is offered daily upon the altars of the Roman church. This, we maintain, is a denial of the all-sufficiency of the one offering of our Lord Jesus Christ. As long as sacrifice had not been found that could put away sin, it was necessary for one offering to follow another, but when Christ came into the world and offered Himself without spot unto God, then the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom, thus signifying that the way into the holies is made manifest and every believer is entitled to enter into the very presence of God, washed from every sin and justified from all things through the infinite value of the atoning work of the Son of God. Now, to talk of any man on earth offering a continual sacrifice for the sins of the living and the dead is not only blasphemy against the sacrifice of our Lord Jesus Christ, but if is absolute nonsense, for the Word of God says, “Without the shedding of blood is no remission of sins.” It is worthless because being bloodless it has no value to atone for sin and because it isn’t needed to atone for sin for Jesus’ atonement has already been made.

PROTESTANTS NEED REVIVAL

Therefore, I say, there is a tremendous chasm between the Roman Catholic doctrine of the Mass and the Bible doctrine of the Lord’s Supper. The Lord’s Supper is a memorial feast. Christians, members of the body of Christ, come together to remember the One who died for them and who put away their sins, and do this because their sins have been put away. No instructed Christian would approach the Lord’s Table to get forgiveness. I come because my sins have been forever put away by the atoning blood of the Lord Jesus and I desire gratefully to remember the One who offered that mighty sacrifice and so fitted me for the presence of a holy God.

There can be no compromise between the two systems. While Protestant churches have been sleeping Rome has been stealing the fruits of the Reformation. While they have been quarreling about the most trifling things Rome has been getting a great many week Protestants who have looked in vain for spiritual help because they have not been hearing the precious gospel of the grace of God.

But let there be a revival of doctrinal preaching; of the proclamation of the great truths of the Reformation; of the universal priesthood of all believers, doing away with anything like a special priesthood; of the membership in the body of Christ of all who have been washed in the blood of Jesus, justified from all things, by faith in the one offering that has forever settled the sin question; of the Lord’s Supper not as a sacrament but a memorial feast. Let these great truths be re-emphasized and wherever the Word is preached in faith and dependence upon the Holy Ghost God will use it to bring joy and peace and gladness to souls as in Reformation days.

LUTHER LIT THE TORCH

Let me just remind you of Luther. When he was still a monk of the Augustinian order he went to Rome to transact business for his Order. He was delighted to go. A restless, unhappy man, having tried everything the church had to offer and yet without peace with God, he said, “If I go to Rome, the holy city, I will find all I want.” So he went, earnestly counting on meeting God. Giving his testimony afterwards he says, “Rome living would have made me an infidel, but Rome dead kept me a Christian.”

When he arrived there and saw the simony of the priests and the corruption of the church his soul was filled with horror. He said, “In Rome they sell everything for money, forgiveness, the right to commit sin– everything. In Rome they would sell the Father and the Son and the Holy Ghost!”

Then at last, as he wended his way through the city, he came to the church of St.John Lateran and he learned that in it there was supposed to be the very staircase down which Christ walked from Pilate’s judgment hall. It was said that if one would go up that staircase on his hands and knees he would get great spiritual blessing by the time he reached the top. So earnest was this German monk that he was ready to do anything that might give peace, and he started up that staircase, until suddenly in the midst of it all a passage of scripture came rushing down into the depths of his soul: “The just shall live by faith.”

He sprang to his feet and said, “What a fool I am. If ‘the just shall live by faith’ what am I doing climbing this staircase?”

He went back to Germany to light that torch which for hundreds of years has been the light of all our Protestant lands and which it is Rome’s persistent and determined effort to put out if it possibly can. Rome wants religious liberty and we gladly accord the liberty we want ourselves, but let Rome become supreme again in this country or any other Protestant country and we will no longer have an open Bible, or a public school, or any of the institutions that we have learned to value. God wake us up that we may not leave to our posterity a land of bondage out of which God mercifully delivered our forefathers.





The Mystery of the Eucharist: By Bart Brewer Former Roman Catholic Priest

8 01 2012

    Of all the ancient dogmas of the Roman Catholic religion, the dogma of transubstantiation is the most wicked and satanic. It is the very heart of Romanism and the key to the so-called “sacrifice of the mass.” Transubstantiation is Rome’s most lucrative, powerful and fixed dogma. Certainly it is her most effective control device for the perpetuation of her gigantic corporation whose existence is maintained by sacraments administered by a supposedly divinely empowered priesthood.

 

PAGAN ORIGIN

The doctrine of transubstantiation does not date back to the Last Supper as is supposed. It was a controverted topic for many centuries before officially becoming an article of faith, which means that it is essential to salvation according to the Roman Catholic Church. The idea of a corporal presence was vaguely held by some, such as Ambrose, but it was not until 831 A.D. that Paschasius Radbertus, a Benedictine monk, published a treatise openly advocating the doctrine of transubstantiation. Even then, for almost another four hundred years, theological war was waged over this teaching by bishops and people alike until at the Fourth Lateran Council in 1215 A.D., it was officially defined and canonized as a dogma.

Like many of the beliefs and rites of Romanism, transubstantiation was first practiced by pagan religions. The noted historian Durant said that belief in transubstantiation as practiced by the priests of the Roman Catholic system is “one of the oldest ceremonies of primitive religion.” The Story Of Civilization, p. 741. The syncretism and mysticism of the Middle East were great factors in influencing the West, particularly Italy. Roman Society From Nero To Marcus Aurelius, Dill. In Egypt priests would consecrate mest cakes which were supposed to be come the flesh of Osiris. Encyclopedia Of Religions, Vol. 2, p. 76. The idea of transubstantiation was also characteristic of the religion of Mithra whose sacraments of cakes and Haoma drink closely parallel the Catholic Eucharistic rite. Ibid. The idea of eating the flesh of deity was most popular among the people of Mexico and Central America long before they ever heard of Christ; and when Spanish missionaries first landed in those countries “their surprise was heightened, when they witnessed a religious rite which reminded them of communion…an image made of flour…and after consecration by priests, was distributed among the people who ate it…declaring it was the flesh of deity…” Prescott’s Mexico, Vol. 3.

The Christian Church for the first three hundred years remained somewhat pure and faithful to the Word of God, but after the pseudo-conversion of Constantine, who for political expedience declared Christianity the state religion, thousands of pagans were admitted to the church by baptism alone with out true conversion. They brought with them pagan rites which they boldly introduced into the church with Christian terminology, thus corrupting the primitive faith. Even the noted Catholic prelate and theologian, Cardinal Newman, tells us that Constantine introduced many things of pagan origin: “We are told in various ways by Eusebius, that Constantine, in order to recommend the new religion to the heathen, transferred into it the outward ornaments to which they had been accustomed in their own…The use of temples, and these dedicated to particular saints, and ornamented on occasions with branches of trees; incense, lamps, and candles; votive offerings on recovery from illness; holy water; asylums; holydays and seasons, use of calendars, processions, blessings on fields, sacerdotal vestments, the tonsure, the ring in marriage, turning to the East, images at a later date, perhaps the ecclesiastical chant, and the Kyrie Eleison, are all of pagan origin, and sanctified by their adoption into the Church.” An Essay On The Development Of Christian Doctrine, pp. 359, 360. This unholy alliance also allowed the continuance of the pagan custom of eating and drinking the literal flesh and literal blood of their god. This is actually how transubstantiation entered the professing church.

The TESTIMONY of SCRIPTURE

True born again Christians who correctly interpret the Word of God see without any difficulty whatsoever that our Lord’s reference to His body and blood was symbolic. When Jesus spoke of Himself as being the bread, He was not teaching the fictitious transubstantiation of the Papal church. It is preposterous to hold that the Son of God turned a piece of bread into Himself. When Jesus said “this is my body” or “blood,” He did not change the substance, but was explaining that He is the one “represented” by the passover bread and wine. Jesus did not say touto gignetai, this has become or is turned into, but touto esti, which can only mean this represents or stands for. It is perfectly clear in the Gospels that Christ spoke in figurative terms, referring to Himself as “the door,” “the vine”, “the light,” “the root,” “the rock,” “the bright and morning star,” et cetera. In Luke 22:22, Jesus said, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood.” In First Corinthians 11:25, 26, He said, “This is the new covenant in my blood…For as oft as ye eat this bread, and drink the cup, ye proclaim the Lord’s death till he come.” “In these words He used a double figure of speech…The cup was not literally the new covenant, although it is declared to be so as definitely as the bread is declared to be His body. They did not literally drink the cup, nor did they literally drink the new covenant…Nor was the bread literally His body, or the wine His blood. After giving the wine to the disciples Jesus said, ‘I shall not drink from henceforth of the fruit of the vine, until the kingdom of God shall come’ (Luke 22:18). So the wine, even as He gave it to them, and after He had given it to them, remained ‘the fruit of the vine’! Paul too says that the bread remains bread;…’but let each man prove himself, and so let him eat of the bread, and drink of the cup’ (First Corinthians 11:28). No change had taken place in the element. This was after the prayer of consecration, when the Church of Rome supposes the change took place, and Jesus and Paul both declare that the elements still are bread and wine.” Roman Catholicism, Boettner.

Our beloved Saviour and His apostles repeatedly warned that there would be a great departure from Biblical truth, and that increasing apostasy would be manifest through the centuries until there would be a complete turning away from the historic faith. Any Christian, his mind illumined by the Holy Spirit, can see that these predictions have been fulfilled. He can see that Paul’s prophecy of Acts 20:29, 30 came true in less than a hundred years. He can see how “the mystery of iniquity” expressed itself in vain, unscriptural teaching through the Dark Ages when unregenerate popes, cardinals, bishops and priests “changed the truth of God into a lie,” substituting the authority of their religion for the authority of the Holy Scriptures.

 

TRANSUBSTANTIATION

ACCORDING to the COUNCIL of TRENT

When Europe was electrified by the eloquent preaching of the sixteenth century Reformation, the Roman Catholic hierarchy gathered her ablest theologians who worked for three decades in the preparation of a statement of faith concerning transubstantiation. This document remains, to this day, the standard of Catholic doctrine. As the Second Vatican Council commenced, Pope John XXIII declared, “I do accept entirely all that has been decided and declared at the Council of Trent.” What did the Council of Trent decide and declare? The first sections are as follows:

Canon I: “If any one shall deny that the body and blood, together with the soul and divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ, and therefore entire Christ, are truly, really, and substantially contained in the sacrament of the most holy Eucharist; and shall say that He is only in it as a sign, or in a figure, or virtually, — let him be accursed.”

Canon II: “If any one shall say that the substance of the bread and wine remains in the sacrament of the most holy Eucharist, together with the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, and shall deny that wonderful and singular conversion of the whole substance of the bread into the body, and of the whole substance of the wine into the blood, the outward forms of the bread and wine still remaining, which conversion the Catholic church most aptly calls transubstantiation, — let him be accursed.”

Canon III: “If any one shall deny, that in the venerated sacrament of the Eucharist, entire Christ is contained in each kind, and in each several particle of either kind when separated, — let him be accursed.”

Canon IV: “If any one shall say that, after consecration, the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ is only in the wonderful sacrament of the Eucharist in use whilst it is taken, and not either before or after, and that the true body of the Lord does not remain in the hosts or particles which have been consecrated, and which are reserved, or remain after the communion, — let him be accursed.”

Canon V: “If any one says that the principal fruit of the most holy Eucharist is the remission of sins or that other effects do not result from it, — let him be accursed.”

Canon VI: “If any one shall say that Christ, the only begotten Son of God, is not to be adored in the holy sacrament of the Eucharist, even with the open worship of latria, and therefore not to be venerated with any peculiar festal celebrity, nor to be solemnly carried about in processions according to the praiseworthy and universal rites and customs of the holy Church, and that He is not to be publicly set before the people to be adored, and that His adorers are idolaters, — let him be accursed.”

How frequently we hear Catholics and liberal Protestants exclaim, “Rome is changing!” What optimism prevails among religionists that Rome is heading toward a new reformation. Even professing evangelicals are convinced that Roman Catholicism is changing, changing, changing. However, true believers are not impressed by Vatican window-dressing. The Romish mass, that wicked counterfeit of the Lord’s Supper, has been modernized but not renounced. The renowned Hislop states that “the doctrine of transubstantiation is clearly of the very essence of Magic, which pretended, on the pronunciation of a few potent words, to change one substance into another, or by a dexterous juggle, wholly to remove one substance, and to substitute another in its place.” The Two Babylons, p. 259. The God of flour and water, produced by priestly sorcery, is still worshipped and adored to this day as it was defined in the dark years of medieval religion (bowing, genuflecting, praying to the “Blessed Sacrament” may be seen daily in any Catholic church). Modern Catholicism has produced no change in doctrine, but only a change of position.

VATICAN II UPHOLDS TRENT

Vatican II began in 1962 and ended in 1965. Some two thousand, five hundred bishops, and each with his committee of theologians, worked the greater part of four years, and spent between forty and sixty million dollars. Dozens of resolutions, called “Schemae,” were passed, hundreds of similar ones were rejected, and thousands were proposed, most of which were reported in newspapers around the world. At the third session, the Council produced Sacrosanctum Concilium (The Holy Liturgy). One of its articles entitled “The Mystery of the Eucharist” completely reaffirmed its belief and practice in the changing of the bread and wine at the mass into the very body and blood, soul and divinity of Jesus Christ. It was not long thereafter that Pope Paul VI issued an encyclical, Mysterium Fidei, which reads in part: “During the Second Vatican Council the Church has made a new and most solemn profession of her faith in and worship of this mystery…For if the sacred liturgy holds the first place in the life of the Church, the mystery of the Eucharist stands as the heart and center…Those who partake of this sacrament in Holy Communion eat the Flesh of Christ and drink the Blood of Christ, receiving both grace, the beginning of eternal life, and the ‘medicine of immortality,’…Indeed, we are aware of the fact that, among those who deal with this Most Holy Mystery in written or spoken word, there are some who…spread abroad such opinions as disturb the faithful and fill their minds with no little confusion about matters of faith as if every one were permitted to consign to oblivion doctrine already defined by the Church, or to interpret it in such a way as to weaken the genuine meaning of the words or the approved import of the concepts involved…the spread of these and similar opinions does great harm to the faith and devotion to the Divine Eucharist… we cannot approve the opinions which they express…We must therefore approach this mystery especially with humble obedience, not following human arguments, which ought to be silent…It is a logical conclusion, then, that we should follow as a guiding star in our investigations of this mystery the agisterium of the Church, to which the Divine Redeemer entrusted for protection and for explanation the revelation which He has communicated to us through Scripture or tradition having this from conviction that ‘what since the days of antiquity was preached and believed throughout the whole Church with true Catholic Faith is true, even if it is not comprehended by reason, even if it is not explained by means of words’…we are not to tolerate anyone who on his own authority wishes to modify the formulae in which the Council of Trent sets forth the Mystery of the Eucharist for our belief…It is the teaching of the First Vatican Council: ‘that meaning of the sacred dogmas must forever be retained which Holy Mother Church has once defined and we may never depart from that meaning under the pretext and in the name of deeper understanding.’…the Catholic Church has held to this faith in the presence of the Body and Blood of Christ in the Eucharist, not only in her teaching but also in her practice, since she has at all times given to this great Sacrament the worship which is known as latria and which may be given to God alone. As St. Augustine says: ‘It was in His flesh that Christ walked among us and it is His flesh that He has given us to eat for our salvation. No one, however, eats of this flesh without having first adored it…and not only do we not sin in thus adoring it, but we would sin if we did not do so.’…The Catholic Church has always offered and still offers the cult of latria to the Sacrament of the Eucharist…We therefore beseech you, venerable brothers…Tirelessly promote the cult of the Eucharist, the focus where all other forms of piety must ultimately meet and converge…May all those not yet in perfect communion with the Catholic Church, who though separated from her are honored by and glory in the name of Christian, share with us as soon as possible with the help of divine grace that unity of faith and communion which Christ wanted to be the distinctive mark of His disciples…May the Most Blessed Virgin Mary from whom Christ Our Lord took the flesh which under the appearances of bread and wine ‘is contained, offered, and received in this Sacrament,’ and all the saints of God, especially those who had a more ardent devotion to the Divine Eucharist, intercede with the Father of mercies so that from this same faith in and devotion to the Eucharist may come forth and flourish a perfect unity among all who bear the name Christian.” Thus Pope Paul VI reaffirmed his loyalty to those canons of Trent which belched curses for those who deny them. Every Roman Catholic, under pain of mortal sin and excommunication is obliged to render religious worship to the host. Is it not then “double-talk” for Rome to consider non-Catholics as Christians or “separated brethren” when indeed at the same time they are considered accursed or damned?

Because of her ecumenical move toward the one world church, statues may have disappeared, rosary beads may be unpopular, limbo and purgatory may be de-emphasized, even the term transubstantiation may be unfashionable, but the doctrine of transubstantiation is here to stay.

The POSITION of the TRUE BELIEVER

Our hearts are heavy for the millions of Roman Catholics who, not knowing the Scriptures, greatly err in believing the fable of transubstantiation, undoubtedly the greatest lever of the Roman Church. How little these sincere, but spiritually lost people realize that “the worship of what is called the Blessed Sacrament is as vile an idolatry as the worship by the Egyptians of onions and other pot-herbs which grew in their own gardens,” Charles Spurgeon. Any Roman Catholic who comes to a personal knowledge and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, who has sincerely repented and is truly born again of the Holy Spirit of God, is no longer a Roman Catholic, doctrinally, whether he knows it or not. However, as he feeds upon the Holy Word of God and begins to grow spiritually, he will not only abjure the hideous dogma of transubstantiation, but all Romish teachings…the whole idolatrous circus! Those who truly understand what it means to have Jesus as Lord and Saviour immediately distinguish the teachings of God’s Word from the teachings of man (John 10:27) painful though it may be, the Word of God, “Come out of her my people.” (Revelation 18:4, also see First Thessalonians 5:22).

May God’s Spirit convict the hearts of false shepherds of the Roman Church who feed “the faithful” the old Roman recipes, much to their own eternal destruction and that of their misled flocks. May God’s Spirit have mercy upon the simple people who so unreservedly trust their eternal destiny to a sacramental priesthood that uses the host as a charm. May God’s Spirit open the eyes of evangelicals to know that Rome is not a part of the Christian Church. The Roman Church has never had God’s blessing. May God’s Spirit bend the wicked arm of apostate Protestant churches who are more excited about “union” than Biblical truth. Finally, may God’s Spirit raise up a faithful army of bold witnesses whose weapons “are not carnal but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds; casting down imaginations and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.” (Second Corinthians 10:4, 5).








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