One Walks Among Us

5 01 2018

This was a message I preached on a Wednesday night at McKee Road Baptist Church in Bakersfield, Ca.

 

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The Resurrection

26 03 2015

Did Jesus really rise from the dead? Is it important? Is believing in the resurrection of Jesus mere blind faith and opposed to reason and logic? Let’s take a look into the Bible to see what it says about the resurrection of Jesus and back it up with sound historical, logical and reasonable proofs for the resurrection. This Easter season we can be assured that the resurrection is true and our faith in the resurrected Christ is not blind but full of sight. Those who are saved will attest to the living, eternal Son of God and our faith is reasonable, logical, historical, and true.





A Glimpse Into Eternity

19 05 2014

The Lord Jesus told many stories. These stories are called parables. They are make believe stories intended to relate a spiritual or heavenly truth. I see many in the modern church teach that the story of the rich man and Lazarus is a parable equal to all of the other parables. I take serious issue with this and want to share my thoughts on the subject. There are several different reasons that I want to outline as to why I do not believe it was a parable but an actual event which took place.

1. The Scriptures don’t call it a parable.

I think we need to be silent where Scripture is silent and believe what Scripture says. The Bible never calls this story a parable and Jesus starts by saying, “There was a certain rich man.” John Wesley said that if Jesus said there was a certain rich man who was he to say there wasn’t a certain rich man. So often we hear some theologian or scholar teach us that this was just a parable when Jesus said “there was.” I don’t need men telling me why Jesus was mistaken or that the Bible misspoke to not call it a parable.

2. Proper names and places are used.

This is not a practice of parables. Parables often us titles like “a sower.” In this story we see the name of the beggar named Lazarus. We also find that the rich man spoken of is in hell. It was not a practice of our Lord to use proper names in His parables.

So if it’s not a parable then what was the point. The spiritual lesson in the story concerns the wickedness in the hearts of the Jewish people. The rich man represents the Jews who were rich and sat in a place of blessing and honor. Lazarus represents the Gentiles who were seen as outcasts by the Jewish people. In eternity we see Gentiles dwelling in closeness to Abraham. This is why he goes to a place called Abraham’s Bosom. The Jews who prided themselves on being Abraham’s children cast away into hell. Those who preceded the Jews now living urge someone to go tell their loved ones but they are told that they have Moses and the prophets which Jesus pointed out as well. In John 5 Jesus pointed out that if they believed Moses they would believe Him. Abraham also points out that they wouldn’t be convinced even if one went unto them from the dead and they were not convinced when Jesus came back from the dead.

While we must understand and believe the spiritual application we must take into account the literal details as well. We learn a lot about eternity in this passage. Lazarus was carried by the angels into paradise. Those who died prior to the Lord’s resurrection did not go straight to Heaven because their sins were not yet paid for.

“Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God.” (Romans 3:24-25)

Jesus went to this place after His death on the cross.

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

Jesus took these to Heaven after His resurrection and vacated what was once Paradise.

“And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many.” (Matthew 27:52-53)

We understand that the righteous dead are not only in a state of eternal bliss but they are alert and conscious. The rich man as far as we can tell was not carried nor was he aware of the trip he took. When he opened his eyes on the other side of death he awoke in hell.

In hell he was conscious and aware. He could speak, think, and feel. He could remember his life and his family. He reported to us that there is fire in hell. He said he was tormented in the flame. He sought relief and such is the case of all in hell today. He knew there was no way out which is seen in that he didn’t even ask about it. He was concerned about his family members still alive. The greatest prayer meeting going on is in hell today.

Whether you take the approach that this is a parable or not there is a lot we can learn what comes next. Don’t ignore the warnings given in this passage. Turn to Christ today before it’s too late. Someone in hell is probably praying for you right now.





The Mystery of the Eucharist

7 02 2014

By Bartholomew f. Brewer, Ph.D.

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).





A Brief Encounter

17 01 2014

“And it came to pass, when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted up his eyes and looked, and, behold, there stood a man over against him with his sword drawn in his hand: and Joshua went unto him, and said unto him, Art thou for us, or for our adversaries? And he said, Nay; but as captain of the host of the Lord am I now come. And Joshua fell on his face to the earth, and did worship, and said unto him, What saith my Lord unto his servant? And the captain of the Lord’s host said unto Joshua, Loose thy shoe from off thy foot; for the place whereon thou standest is holy. And Joshua did so.” (Joshua 5:13-15)

 

I was reading this in my personal worship the other day and was struck by some interesting lessons in these short few verses that apply to us today. When Joshua looked he saw a man standing with a drawn sword in his hand. The man obviously is a pre-incarnate appearance of the Lord Jesus this is evident by the fact that Joshua bowed and worshipped and the man did not refuse the worship. Angels, that is elect angels always refuse worship as we see in Revelation 22:8-9, “And I John saw these things, and heard them. And when I had heard and seen, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel which shewed me these things. Then saith he unto me, See thou do it not: for I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren the prophets, and of them which keep the sayings of this book: worship God.” Let’s look at a few lessons we can learn from these verses.

1. God is for God:

Joshua at first didn’t understand who he was seeing and he asked the man if He were for the children of Israel or for their enemies. The man gave an interesting answer He said, “Nay; but as captain of the host of the Lord am I now come.” This is our first lesson from this passage. We often get into a crusade and then assume God is for us. If we fail then we sometimes attribute it to His being against us. We need to realize that God is not necessarily for us or for our enemies. God is for God. His own glory and satisfaction is His ultimate end. The burden is not for God to be on our side but for us to be on God’s side. God wasn’t for the children of Israel in this passage any more then He was against them in chapter 7 against AI.

God was for Himself in both instances, the only difference is that the children of Israel were only on His side in one instance. We see here the children of Israel ready for battle as well as the unseen angelic host that fought for them as well. We see then Jesus as captain and leader of both. He was there to fulfill God’s divine plan. We need to stop waging our own battles and then asking whether God is with us or our “perceived enemy.” We need to ask are we in His battle? Are we fulfilling His will or our own?

2. The mystery of conviction:

At this point Joshua realizes the man he is talking to is divine and not mere man. We are not told what gives him this realization which gives us an apt comparison to our own realization of who Christ is. I don’t know what it is that convinces people of their sinfulness or of Chrit’s divine nature simply by proclaiming the Gospel. We often can’t explain such moving of God. Jesus told Nicodemus, ” The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.” (John 3:8) Just as we can’t see the wind but only it’s effects, so it is with the realization of God’s nature and person. We cannot see how God saves, changes, or convinces people but we see the effects of this just as we do with Joshua.

This is our second lesson from these verses. We need to stop trying to convince people in our own strength of the truth of God. We are to boldly and without compromise proclaim the truth of salvation by faith alone and allow God’s Spirit to work as He will in the hearts of the hearers. Joshua became convinced of the divine nature of the captain of the host. We often spend needless hours i debate and argument when its all unnecessary. God needs no defense from us. He will convince men of His nature if only we are faithful to our place in the battle.

3. Worship is on God’s terms:

When Joshua realized in whose presence he was standing the Bible says he fell down and worshiped. We might look at this reaction and say, “well good for him. That’s the right reaction.” I agree worship is the right reaction to a personal encounter with the divine One but look at what the Lord says, “And the captain of the Lord’s host said unto Joshua, Loose thy shoe from off thy foot; for the place whereon thou standest is holy. And Joshua did so.”  We live in a day in Christianity when we say that anything goes. Worship as you want, do what feels good. We are being taught that any worship is fine and all that God cares about is that we are worshiping but we see a very different perspective in this encounter.

The Lord actually corrects Joshua in the midst of his worship. He reminds him that His presence was holy and that Joshua could not simply stand in His presence with the filth of his shoes on his feet. One thing is for sure the presence of God is holy. The holiness of God is not stressed fully in churches today because we want to uplift man and tell ourselves that we are not really that bad. People often try to worship the Lord with unconfessed sin in their hearts. With bitterness, and unforgiveness. These are not acceptable ways to worship God. We must remove the filth of our sinfulness to stand in the presence of a holy God. This is why I believe personal worship is so important. If we worship alone with God daily we can keep our selves cleansed and enter public worship in good conscience.

When it comes to the worship of the one true and holy God we must reject the idea that anything goes as long as you worship. Here Joshua was corrected in his worship. We must worship on His terms, and in His ways. We must have a reverence for God that would move us to take off the filth of our sins daily, and worship in His presence. Sin must never be tolerated in the life of the church or in the life of the believer. We must also reject worship simply because it’s more comfortable for us. It was probably more comfortable for Joshua to keep his shoes on but God calls us to worship Him on His terms whether or not those terms are the most comfortable for us.

 





I’m Not Interested

24 11 2013

Our ministry this week was both encouraging at times and yet heartbreaking at other times. We hope all who read this have been able to find a place of ministry this week and that you took time to witness to someone. We took Tuesday away from our usual outreach and traveled to Los Angeles to pick up a dear elderly widow from our church who was flying back from a trip to see her family. It’s always a blessing to be a help and a blessing to someone else and that in itself is ministry. Often I think we are tempted to say “sorry I can’t help you because I’m on my way to minister for the Lord” when that may be the ministry He has brought your way.

On Wednesday we took the Gospel door to door with our youth group and encountered many people home unfortunately many of them were Spanish speaking and it made witnessing difficult. We did have Spanish language tracts with us and were able to leave them all with a Gospel witness and a church that ministers in their language. In all we gave the Gospel to around 60 homes that day. On Saturday a group of about 8 of us went door knocking again and knocked around 120 doors. All received tracts and we spoke to several interested in coming to church. My partner was able to speak to a catholic man who had a whole shrine outside his door but no assurance all his works would save him. We took him through the Scriptures and showed him what the Bible says about salvation and the gift of God through Jesus Christ. I was able to speak to 1 person about their eternity as well.

My heart broke when I went to the last house of the night and spoke to a man who was not interested in the things of eternity. I asked if we could come back and talk to him another time but he said, “maybe my parents would want to talk but I’m just not that interested.” He told me that he didn’t know where he was going when he died. I said, “your telling me that you don’t know where you will spend eternity and God sent me to your house with the way of salvation and your just not interested in hearing it.” He said no he wasn’t and that was it. He took a tracts and was polite but very hard hearted. I pray the Lord uses the tract mightily in his life.

This week we expanded distribution of my newest book in ebook format by adding it to LULU.com, Nook, and the IBookstore. It is still available on Kindle and in paperback and those can be obtained on our website under the Our Books tab. Another blessing is that a local bookstore here in Bakersfield Russo’s Books will be selling my books in their store as well. Each book has in it a Gospel presentation so please pray that many sell and God uses it in a mighty way. I was already able to find out that a family member read my first book and it led to forgiveness of a grudge lasting over 30 years. God can use anything to minister to people and that is the primary purpose of writing. God Bless!





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.








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