"TRUE AND FALSE WORSHIP: THE CROSS AND THE MASS" by Richard Bennett
1. The promise of restoration, or salvation, is given in Genesis 3:15, "And I will put
enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it
shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel." 2. Having made
the promise, God initiates the action which at the time of the
res-urrection of Jesus Christ will fulfill perfectly the promise of
restoration of the relationship between the Creator and His creatures.
God's first action after the promise is to slay animals to make covering
for Adam and Eve, "Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make
coats of skins, and clothed them" (Genesis 3:21). In so doing, God has
set the pattern for how the resto-ration shall be accomplished, for this
action on God's part foreshadows the blood sacrifice of Jesus Christ.
Richard is reading into Genesis 3:21 a foreshadowing of forensic justification. This notion teaches that we obtain Christ's blood as "clothing" or a "covering" resulting purely from Christ's finished work on the cross alone. Our good works, according to this thinking, do not contribute to this clothing. However, complementing Genesis 3:21 at the other end of the bible is Revelation 19:7-8 which states "His Bride [the saints] has made herself ready; it was granted her to be clothed with fine linen, bright and pure - for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints."
"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).
B. In taking the initiative, God shows that one cannot approach God in
his own way; Adam with his fig leaf, Cain with his grain offering, and
Nadab and Abihu offering strange fire are examples.
Not true. God never mentions "fasting" as a way to approach or worship Himself. Yet in Luke 2:37 it is said "[the prophetess Anna] did not depart from the temple, worshiping with fasting and prayer night and day." Likewise the repentant harlot approached Jesus in her own unique way:
37 And behold, a woman of the city, who was a sinner, when she learned that he was at table in the Pharisee's house, brought an alabaster flask of ointment,
38 and standing behind him at his feet, weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears, and wiped them with the hair of her head, and kissed his feet, and anointed them with the ointment.......
47 Therefore I tell you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much; but he who is forgiven little, loves little."
48 And he said to her, "Your sins are forgiven."
C. God sets the pattern for how He will fulfill His Promise of
Salvation. Evident throughout the Scripture, God develops acceptable
worship for His people. Since the thoughts of man are only evil from his
youth (Genesis 6:5, 8:21), God always approaches man on covenantal
basis. In each step, it is God who takes the initia-tive.
III. The Basis for True Worship
A. Throughout the Old and New Testaments, no communion between
God and man is possible except on the basis of conformity to God's specific requirements.
He is the perfect All Holy God, and the one who has fellowship with Him must also be
perfect in His sight with God's own perfection credited to him. "Be ye
there-fore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect" (Matthew 5:48).
Stating "credited" again underscores forensic justification. But there is a problem in attempting to use the associated verse (Matthew 5:48) with the concept of "crediting." To be perfect "as your Father in heaven is perfect" would require that we be righteous not just on the outside, but on the inside as well. That is, Jesus' demand would require the Catholic view of justification for fulfillment of the verse.
B. God's imperative Word is that we are to worship Him "in the beauty of
holiness", "Give unto the LORD the glory due unto his name...worship the
LORD in the beauty of holiness" (I Chronicles 16:29). 1. This command is
never possible in the believer's own holiness which, because of our
nature, is always imperfect.
Richard has presented a dichotomy that the bible doesn't propose. Put differently, it is clearly not the intention of 1 Chronicles 16:29 to tell us what we can not do.
The constant theme of the Old Testament and
the New Testament is that God has provided His perfect One, Jesus
Christ, whose righteousness is credited to the believer. Therefore,
Isaiah could declare, "Surely, shall one say, in the LORD have I
righteousness and strength...(Isaiah 45:24), and "...He hath covered me
with the robe of right-eousness" (Isaiah 61:10). 2. The praise of the
Old Testament saints is of God's own righteousness in which they counted
their salvation and strength. a. Psalm 71:15-17 "My mouth shall shew
forth thy righteousness and thy sal-vation all the day;....I will go in
the strength of the Lord GOD: I will make mention of thy righteousness,
even of Thine only." b. "The beauty of holiness" in which we approach
God is best summarized by the prophet Jeremiah, "And this is his name
whereby he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS" (Jeremiah 23:6).
Richard is correct in everything he has said here insofar as it is true that Jesus "credits" righteousness to the believer. Catholics accept this doctrine. But Scripture also reveals that Jesus is revolted by those who are only righteous on the outside:
39 the Lord said to him, "Now you Pharisees cleanse the outside of the cup and of the dish, but inside you are full of extortion and wickedness.
40 You fools! Did not he [God] who made the outside make the inside also?"
Jesus draws attention to the need for righteousness that is within as well.
2nd Corinthians 5:17 Therefore, if any one is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has passed away, behold, the new has come.
This indicates that Jesus has made our "outside" AND "inside" righteous! If Christ made us a "new creation" whose interior was wicked - then Jesus would be a hypocrite.
26 You blind Pharisee! First cleanse the inside of the cup and the plate, that the outside also may be clean.
Assuredly Jesus, who justifies sinners, knows how to follow his own advice.
3. This basis of relationship whereby we may communicate with the All
Holy God, while understood and applied under the Law and the prophets,
is now made manifest in the New Testament. "But now the righteousness of
God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the
prophets; even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus
Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no
difference: being justified freely by his grace through the redemption
that is in Christ Jesus" (Romans 3:21, 22, 24). 4. Once we stand before
the All Holy God accepted in the beloved (Ephesians 1:6), clothed with
the righteousness of Christ, we have the basis of fellowship with God.
Richard won't realize it, but Catholics agree with the above doctrine. The only questionable part is the "basis...whereby we may communicate." It appears that several Biblical characters have communicated with God despite the fact that they were wicked people. For example Balaam (Numbers 22:9-10; 31:16) and Satan (Luke 4:1-13). As for the righteous, Scripture teaches that good works are part of the basis for God's willingness to listen: "We know that God does not listen to sinners, but if any one is a worshiper of God and DOES HIS WILL, God listens to him" (John 9:31).
In sanctification as he writes His law on our hearts as believers, we
strive to be holy as He is. He is then our God and we are His people,
and we are privileged to call Him Abba Father. "I will put my law in
their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God,
and they shall be my people" (Jeremiah 31:33).
IV. The Restrictions of True Worship
The law in summary is the Ten Commandments, the first two of which deal explicitly with worship.
Continued fellowship with God includes the keeping of His restrictions
in our worship of Him. A. Most important in the First Commandment of the
Decalogue, He sanctions Him-self as the only object of true worship.
This is most important because what is excluded is all religious
veneration of beings not God, all objects not God and all superstition.
"I am the LORD thy God...Thou shalt have no other gods before me"
This inference is patently false. "You shall...REVERENCE my sanctuary: I am the Lord" (Leviticus 19:29; 26:2). Reverence encompasses the notion of veneration. Indeed, the verb "reverence" in Hebrew is YARI. The noun form is YIRAT. The very definition of YIRAT is "veneration, reverence." Thus, God has commanded an object made of wood and canvas to be venerated. "I bow down to thy holy temple" (Psalm 138:2). Richard does not understand that God's commandment "thou shalt have no other gods before me" means ONLY what it says. What does it say? That we shall have no other gods. Does venerating the tabernacle mean that the tabernacle is another god? No. Does it replace god? No. As can be seen, scripture has just interpreted scripture and has proven that venerating things other than God is not a violation of the first commandment.
B. The Second Commandment is also of uttermost importance, for it
forbids practices which negate one's worshiping God by faith. What is
excluded from our com-munion with the true God sanctioned in the First
Commandment is the making and bowing down to any graven images of Him,
which includes the making or bowing to any likeness or art form of God.
Richard is correct, but he needs to observe God's cadveat. Deuteronomy 4:16 commands that we make no images of God. But Deuteronomy 4:15 explains why: "Since you saw no form on the day that the Lord spoke to you at Horeb out of the midst of the fire." So why does God not want us to make an image of him? Because we didn't see him (during that dispensation). But when Jesus came, all of this changed: "He who has seen me has seen the Father" (John 14:9) "henceforth you know him and have seen him." (14:7). Thus, while we have not seen God personally with our own eyes, we belong to the dispensation of mankind which has indeed seen God. Jesus purposely makes a new revelation of the OT when he demonstrates that the bronze snake of Numbers 21:6-9 is to be considered an image of Himself - that is God (John 3:14). When Jesus shares these ideas, he shows that Deuteronomy 4:15 is no longer in effect, which in turn encourages images to be made.
1. Thus, all divination is forbidden. This includes all looking to
material things (and the rituals by which they must be attended) as if
they were able to convey God's favor (or disfavor) to us, and conversely
all looking to material things and rituals as instruments able to convey
our praise and worship to Him.
1.Yes, divination is forbidden - but left unqualified it does NOT include looking to material things. "And God did extraordinary miracles by the hands of Paul, so that handkerchiefs or aprons were carried away from his body to the sick, and diseases left them and the evil spirits came out of them" (Acts 19:11). These Christians looked to the "material things" and God blessed them for doing this.
2. Richard has claimed that using a "ritual" to convey our worship of God is "divination." Read the paragraph again if you don't think that is what he just said. Thus, by Richards own interpretation - God has commanded his people to be steeped in divination. Why? Because he has commanded through much of the bible that his people worship him via ritual.
2. Even in the Old Testament, worshiping
God was by faith resting on Him and His promise and His righteousness.
The ceremonial law was merely of SIGN value to remind the believer of
the promise, the Passover meal was a memorial ALONE and a shadow of what
was to come in Christ. So the continued theme of worship in the midst of
the ceremonial details of the old Testament was God Himself and nothing
of the paraphernalia. "The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my
deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and
the horn of my salvation, and my high tower" (Psalm 18:2).
You will notice that Psalm 18:2 (which he quoted) does not state or imply that ceremony is not necessary or "merely a sign." That is why Richard has taken biblical teaching and sprinkled in the words "sign" and "alone" (which I capitalized) to add traditional Protestant meaning. It is very common amongst Protestants to add such words (i.e. "sign/symbol," "alone/only") to bible teaching to obtain this effect.
Contrary to Richard's position, however, the Old Testament unequivocally demonstrates that various ceremonies, even if viewed as a "shadow" (Collosians 2:17) of things to come, have real consequences relating to proper participation:
Exodus 4:24-26 At a lodging place on the way the Lord met [Moses] and sought to kill him [because he had not circumcised his son]. Then Zipporah [his wife] took a flint and cut off her son's foreskin...So [God] let [Moses] alone.
Numbers 9:13 But the man who is clean and is not on a journey, yet refrains from keeping the passover, that person shall be cut off from his people, because he did not offer the LORD's offering at its appointed time; that man shall bear his sin.
It could be said that the only purpose of the Law was to foreshadow New Testament practices, but the biblical evidence demands that these Old Testament ceremonies were nevertheless necessary.
V. The Wonder and Essence of True Worship
A. Our worship and service to God as believers is as a spiritual house to
offer spiritual sacrifices to God acceptable only in the person of Jesus Christ
"Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up
spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ" (1 Peter 2:5).
This is in fact how the believers lived, "And they continued steadfastly
in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and
in prayers" (Acts 2:42). The Gospel was always the spiritual message of
repentance and faith, as were the fellowship the breaking of bread and
prayers. The continued theme is communion with the Father in the Holy
Spirit because the believer is accepted in Christ. B. **No hint is ever
given of trusting material signs to give life.**
Again Richard is flat incorrect: "and Peter said to them, 'Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit" (Acts 2:38). "Baptism...now saves you" (1st Peter 3:21). Richard would argue that Catholics misunderstand the above two verses. Lets conjecture for a moment. Suppose he is right, such that Catholics misunderstand the above verses. This would not change the fact that Richard could greatly improve his integrity by not saying "no hint is ever given of trusting material signs to give life." With greater integrity, Richard would say "There are definately passages in the bible that sound as if signs participate in giving life - but such passages are simply misunderstood."
Assuredly, however, it is much easier for Richard to ignore the above verses rather than to attempt to explain them!
The stress is always on
the blessings in Christ in the heavenly places. "Blessed be the God and
Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual
blessings in heav-enly places in Christ" (Ephesians 1:3).
John 9:6-7 "As he said this he spat on the ground and made clay of the spittle and anointed the man's eyes with the clay, saying to him 'Go, wash in the pool of Siloam. So he went and washed and came back seeing." Would this verse be an example of how the stress "is always" on spiritual things? The Catholic would answer "yes." Because in this instance, even mud can be used within spiritual activities (hey, God made it - didn't he?)
VI. The distinctive of New Testament worship
A. In the New Testament, the Lord Himself teaches that the worship of God must continue to be in
spirit and in truth. Christ Jesus' teaching on true worship is in the
imperative form: "true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit
and in truth" John 4:23. "they that worship Him must worship Him in
spirit and in truth" John 4:24.
Catholics adhere to this fully. Evidently, however, Richard believes that these verses condemn "matter." Ironically, if worshipping "in spirit" means that no matter can be involved, then Christians would have to separate their soul from their body to worship God. Perhaps Richard would suggest suicide or New Age "out of body experiences" to accomplish this. Catholics, however, propose that to worship "in spirit" means that true worship must be done as more than just external expression - the heart and soul must be involved as well.
B. Christ indicated to the woman at the well that a great change in the
form of wor-ship was soon to happen. When Christ died on the cross, He
exclaimed, "It is finished" (John 19:30) and the veil of the temple was
torn from top to bottom (Matthew 27:51). The Old Testament ceremonial
rituals were fulfilled and fin-ished. The distinctive is that the
fulfillment of the promise of redemption has been accomplished. There
are now no rituals to signify what is to come. 1. The truth has come in
person and is now manifest to us in the person of Christ in whom we
worship by faith alone.
Richard just got done proving from the bible that we must "worship in spirit and truth," and then he contradicts by saying we "worship by faith alone." The only way I can think to remedy the contradiction is to remove the word "alone." As I said earlier - Protestants are fond of adding words such as "symbol/sign," "alone/only" to the bible. Nevertheless, Richard is correct in saying that the "Old Testament ceremonial rituals were fulfilled and finished...there are now no rituals to signify what is to come." But many of these rituals pointed to the sacraments which Jesus instituted. For example: circumcision for baptism or the Passover for the Lord's Supper. Not for a moment should any think that the ceremony of baptism or the Lord's Supper have been done away with!
In the words of the Apostle Paul, the ceremonies
were "a shadow of things to come" (Colossians 2:17). The con-tinued
theme of the New Testament is that the believer is by God's grace in
Christ. Ceremonies and rituals were again in the words of Paul the
schoolmas-ter of old, "But after that faith is come, we are no longer
under a schoolmas-ter".
Protestants sometimes change the words of the bible without compunction. Richard, an exemplar of this, has replaced "the law" in Galations 3:24 which is very specific, with "ceremonies and rituals" which is very broad. Often, when a Protestant is aware that his alterations are fraudulent, he will not mention which verse was being altered. Indeed, in this document, Richard seems to provide references liberally - but when he altered Galations 3:24-25 (above) he left out the reference (despite the fact that he was using quotation marks). This does bring us back to the issue of integrity. It also begs us to ask, if Catholic theology is false - why can't it be proven so without altering the bible?
2. We do indeed have two signs in the New
Testament to testify to what His per-son has done. The truth is, "ye are
complete in him" (Colossians 2:10 ), rather than in any sign or symbol.
"For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father"
This is like saying "I am complete in nutrition - this proves that I never needed food for my health." Richard needs to provide the missing link for his argument. He needs to show the verse that says "ye are complete in him - without signs or symbols." In reality, Richard provides this missing link from his own tradition. Conversely, Collossians 2:10 (which Richard cited) is followed with a confirmation in 2:12 that baptism (for example) is indeed involved in the process of becoming "complete in him:"
Collosians 2:12 you were buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the working of God, who raised him from the dead.
VII. The One Sacrifice
A. Once Offered Christ's sacrifice marked the
fulfillment and end of the priestly ordinances of the Old Testament,
"there is no more offering for sin" (Hebrews 10:18). Through His
priestly offering on the cross, Christ "by Himself purged our sins" and
"sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high" (Hebrews 1:3). A.
The Holy Spirit clearly instructs us that Christ's sacrifice was one, in
contrast to the many sacrifices of the Old Testament.
B. The unique oneness of Christ's sacrifice is in this very fact that it
was one offering once made. The concept "once" is deemed so important
that it is asserted seven times by the Holy Spirit in the New Testament.
The perfection of Christ's sacri-fice is contrasted to the daily
repeated sacrifices of the Old Testament. The truth of the excellence of
Christ's sacrifice is highlighted by the word "once". 1. "For in that he
died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God."
Romans 6: 10 2.
Why is Richard bombarding with the notion of the oneness and completeness of Christ's sacrifice? Because anti-Catholics think that Catholic Eucharistic theology re-sacrifices Jesus repeatedly. Sometimes they believe this mistakenly, but more often than not, they assert this straw-man even after being corrected. It is as if "their very minds and consciences are corrupted" (Titus 1:15).
Correct Catholic doctrine regarding the sacrifice of the Eucharist is that it is united beyond time and space with the one sacrifice of Christ. Thus, it is simultaneously the true sacrifice of Christ, but it is not repetitive. Said differently, when the priest says the words of consecration - the whole congregation goes literally (but discerned only spiritually) backward into time to the one sacrifice of Jesus. Catholics therefore teach that "Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins" (Hebrews 10:12).
VIII. The One Sacrificial Priest
A. Clear as the midday sun also is the
contrast that the Holy Spirit presents to us in contrasting Christ's
priesthood to the Old Testament priesthood. The Levitical priests were
mortal and therefore needed successors. Christ is an eternal priest and
His priesthood is untransferable, needing no successor. "And they truly
were many priests, because they were not suffered to con-tinue by reason
of death: But this man, because he continueth ever, hath an unchangeable
priesthood" (Hebrews 7:23-24).
Richard has run into another one of those annoying "missing-links." Richard tossed in the word "untransferable," a concept the bible never conveys in regard to the Melchizedek priesthood. Therefor, the best argument that Richard could pose is that the transfer of the Melchizedek priesthood is unnecessary, not impossible. If Richard was armed with this sort of argument, then Catholics would be forced to agree. But this argument works against itself: Jesus also didn't need to appoint evangelists - he could have just had angels preach to men. He didn't need to institute baptism for re-birth - but he did. He didn't need to make salvation contingent upon faith - but he did. Thus, just because Jesus didn't NEED to do something doesn't mean that he didn't do that very thing.
C. He alone had the absolutely unique qualifications to offer Himself.
"For such an high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled,
sepa-rate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens" (Hebrews
This is true but misleading. Jesus also has the power to decide how his church would receive the full benefits of his one sacrifice. If he decided that his church would continually have at the hand of the presbyters "an altar from which those who serve the tent have no right to eat" (Hebrews 13:10) - then who are we to argue?
D. Christ is the sole sacrificial Priest of the New Testament.
The bible doesn't say this. It does say that he replaced a multitude of priests whose sacrifices couldn't atone. But what about the priests (presbyters) of the New Testament that Christ appoints to initiate his sacrificial meal: "do this in remembrance (anamnesis) of me" (Luke 22:19). The Greek word "anamnesis" in the Septuagint (Old Testament) always refers to a sacrificial offering- e.g. Numbers 10:10.
finished the work of our salvation by one sole offering. The Scriptures
repeatedly establish this truth. The substance of this is found in the
Lord's declaration from the Cross, "It is fin-ished" (John 19:30). 1.
For anyone to deem himself fit to offer immortal Christ Jesus in His
perfect sacrifice is blasphemous pride.
Well, as we've just seen with Christ's institution of the practice, Jesus must of had "blasphemous pride" to have commissioned his presbyters to perform the duty. It is not the presbyters that "deem themselves fit," it is Christ who deems them fit!
Were such a human offering of
Christ possi-ble, Christ would have suffered so cruel a torment in vain,
in His own oblation of Himself, "when he had by himself purged our sins,
sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high" (Hebrews 1:3). 2.
Measured by the biblical terms of worship given to us by God, the idea
that Christ ought to offer Himself often is equally blasphemous. Such a
concept attempts to reduce Christ's sacrifice to imperfection, since it
assumes that His one offering made once was not good enough to make
As the reader can see, the concept of the "repeated" sacrifice of Christ is a straw-man argument that runs very, very deep in anti-Catholic polemics. They need to be told repeatedly (often in the space of a few minutes are seconds during a conversation) that Catholics reject the notion that Christ needs to be or could be sacrificed over and over.
When Protestants can't resolve the Catholic daily Eucharistic sacrifice with the one finished sacrifice of Christ, it is because they don't understand the difference between the "sufficiency" of Christ and the "efficiency" of Grace. Christ's sacrifice was sufficient for all mankind, but the work of applying this sacrifice to all mankind is not finished. It will only be finished when either every man on earth is saved or Jesus returns. Protestants themselves must admit that Christ's sacrificial "sufficiency" does not include the automatic universal salvation of all mankind past, present, and future. Christ's "sufficient" sacrifice must still be applied to each man individually. The daily Eucharistic sacrifice does NOT add to the "sufficiency" of Christ's sacrifice, but it does represent the application of its grace to each man individually. Thus, the "efficiency" of Christ's "sufficient" atonement depends on each human accepting Christ in faith.
However, caution must be used with anti-Catholics when explaining this doctrine. Often they will attempt to defend their straw-man view of Catholic doctrine by producing a quote from some obscure priest, nun, or etcetera from some obscure document. They must be told that they have to prove their hypothesis that it is "doctrine of the Church to repeat Christ's sacrifice" by a quote from: the bible, the catechism, or one of the ecumenical councils of the church. They will never be able to do it. They will attempt to distort the intent of such words as "re-enactment," which Trent used, but these words in reality only secure the Catholic position: we offer the Sacrifice of the Eucharist daily, but we do not re-sacrifice Christ.
What is absolutely perfect and consummated cannot be
repeated since repeti-tion is a proof of imperfection. 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 7:27).
Here again - Catholics reject the notion that Christ's sacrifice needs to be or could be repeated.
E. The summary of the Scriptural truth regarding communion with God is
1. He alone initiates the pattern of such worship.
Two counter examples were given. The prophetess Anna, and the woman who washed Jesus' feet with her tears.
2. His own
righteousness credited to the believer by grace through faith alone is
the only basis of true worship.
No such proof from the bible was forthcoming from Richard. Although he did merely assert something like this earlier. Nevertheless, he again has added the word "alone" to the Scripture, which gets him into double trouble.
First, the definition of religion is: "the service and worship of God or the supernatural" (Merrian Webster's Collegiate Dictionary). Therefor the Scripture's promise: "Religion that is pure and undefiled before God is this; to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world," (James 1:27) proves that charity and piety also constitute "true worship."
Second, Richard's addition of the word "alone" to Ephesians 2:8 "For by grace you are saved through faith" gets him in trouble with James 2:24 "You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone."
3. His restrictions are to be taken most
seriously so that worship of Him remains spiritual, as He is Spirit.
As has been demonstrated multiple times in my reply, "spiritual" can include physical/material things. Catholics, unlike some Protestants, reject the Gnostic heresy of the supposed evil nature of matter (which precludes it from being spiritual).
The wonder of the greatest comfort we have in true worship is that we
have Je-sus Christ, our Lord and Master in Whom we are accepted, as our
intercessor. He is our High Priest, "Now of the things which we have
spoken this is the sum: We have such an high priest, who is set on the
right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens" (Hebrews 8:1).
This is the presence of God that we now have, and the fulfillment of
which we look forward to in celestial glory, "Behold, the tabernacle of
God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his
people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God"
With this, Catholics agree.
IX. False Worship in the Position of the Roman Catholic Church
A. Overview showing a lack of the fear of the Lord 1. The Church of Rome
officially teaches that in her Mass is the culmination of the worship
men offer to Christ and through Him to the Father. She declares that the
Mass is also the source and summit of her life. 2. The sacrifice of
Calvary, she claims, is in her control since she declares her Mass to be
one and the same sacrifice with that of the Lord Jesus Christ's.
The Church doesn't claim that the sacrifice of Calvary is in her control any more than Evangelicals claim that being "born again" is in their control. Anyway, speaking of "lack of fear of the Lord," Richard notes that Catholics believe the "Mass to be one and the same sacrifice with that of Jesus." If he knows this, then saying that Catholics teach a re-sacrifice of Christ is false witness. This shows a lack of fear of God who commanded "you shall not bear false witness against your neighbor" (Exodus 20:16).
contrast to the biblical Christ, Who is now reigning King of Kings and
Lord of Lords and sitting at the right hand of God the Father, Rome
consistently portrays the dying Christ, "the sacred victim".
Which is indeed what biblical Christians do (1st Corinthians 1:23):
"We preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block." Indeed, this teaching is clearly a stumbling block to many anti-Catholics "of whom I have often told you and now tell you even with tears, live as enemies of the cross [death] of Christ. Their end is destruction" (Phillipians 3:18-19). But Catholics are "... always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies" (2nd Corinthians 4:10).
4. Using as
her center of worship the ritual of the Mass, which all the faithful on
pain of mortal sin are required to attend, Rome attempts to establish
her own righteousness (grace plus works). a. She teaches and dramatizes
this by having her faithful offer themselves, to-gether with the dying
Christ, to Holy God of the Bible.
Richard ignores: "I appeal to you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, to PRESENT YOUR BODIES AS A LIVING SACRIFICE, holy and acceptable to God, WHICH IS YOUR SPIRITUAL WORSHIP" (Romans 12:1). This one verse obliterates the idea that "Rome attempts to establish her own righteousness" by this activity, and obliterates the idea that spiritual worship is by "faith alone" (which Richard never provided a quote for in the first place). This verse alone brings the entirety of Richard's arguments back to ground zero.
As far as the "grace plus works" idea is concerned, the truth is that the Catholic Church teaches that we are saved by grace alone. The council of Trent stated:
"...no one can be just but he to whom the merits of the Passion of our Lord Jesus Chrsit are communicated" (session 6, chapter 7). "...we are therefore said to be justified by faith, because faith is the beginning of human salvation, the foundation, and the root of all justification; without which it is impossible to please God and to come unto the fellowship of his sons; but we are therefore said to be justified freely, because that none of those things which precede justification--whether faith or works--merit the grace itself of justification. FOR, IF IT BE A GRACE, IT IS NOT NOW BY WORKS; otherwise, as the same Apostle says, grace is no more grace" (session 6, chapter
It is true that Catholics teach that after we obtain salvation by faith without works ("You are saved by grace through faith...not of works" Ephesians 2:8-9) we must commit ourselves to good works ("For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them" Ephesians 2:10). Catholics acknowledge that these subsequent good works maintain or increase the justification we were originally given without good works (1st Timothy 6:18-19, Revelation 19:7- but we also maintain that we are still saved by grace alone because the good works themselves are given to us by God (Phillipians 2:13).
b. She teaches that in the round white
wafer is contained the physical Christ and His soul and divinity. This
wafer is to receive worship due to Holy God alone.
B. The Roman Catholic Church teaches that Christ is immolated in the
Mass. 1. Vatican Council II Documents, "For in the sacrifice of the Mass
Our Lord is immolated when 'he begins to be present sacramentally as the
spiritual food of the faithful under the appearances of bread and wine.'
It was for this pur-pose that Christ entrusted this sacrifice to the
[Roman Catholic] Church, that the faithful might share in it both
spiritually, by faith and charity, and sac-ramentally, through the
banquet of Holy Communion. Participation in the Lord's Supper is always
communion with Christ offering himself for us as a sacrifice to the
Father." (Emphasis added)
All this looks good except the "[Roman Catholic]" parenthetical that was made. The "Roman" rite is just one of several rites of the Catholic Church. Some of the other rites are: Byzantine, Coptic, Maranite, Melkite, Ukranian and etc. Thus, the parenthetical is erroneous to single out "Roman" Catholics as if Byzantine Catholics are not also entrusted with the sacrifice of the mass.
2. The present day R C Church that has
officially ratified the Council of Trent continues to curse all who do
not hold that her Mass is indeed a propitiatory sacrifice. What she
presently ratifies is the following, "If anyone says that the sacrifice
of the mass is one only of praise and thanksgiving; or that it is a mere
commemoration of the sacrifice consummated on the cross but not a
propitia-tory one; or that it profits him only who receives, and ought
not to be offered for the living and the dead, for sins, punishments,
satisfactions, and other ne-cessities, let him be anathema." 3. The
clarity of Christ's command stands diametrically opposed to such
teaching. Christ's words, "Take and eat", were addressed not to His
Father in heaven but rather to the apostles. He did not command them to
"offer and propiti-ate". Rather, such an offering was His own unique
office as the one Mediator.
Here again, the sense of the Greek word ANAMNESIS (i.e. "do this in REMEMBRANCE of me" - Luke 22:19) is one of sacrificial offering. Thus "offer" and "propitiate" are definately appropriate words. The irony, therefore, is that by denying this role of the Eucharist one actually opposes what Jesus commanded.
It must also be remembered that the ONLY reason Jesus is called the "Lamb of God" (John 1:29.36) is because he replaces the Passover lamb: "For Christ, our paschal [Passover] lamb, has been sacrificed" (1st Corinthians 5:7). Therefore, the Last Supper was indeed a sacrificial meal for when Christ said "take, eat, this is my body" (Matthew 26:26) he replaced the Passover lamb, which is slaughtered for the passover meal, with his own body. Therefor Christ's own death paradoxically tied together the slaughter of the Passover lamb, his own offering of his body at the Last Supper, and his death on the Cross. This we know because the Spirit which said: "this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins," (Matthew 26:28) also said:
Therefore he is the mediator of a new covenant, so that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance, since a death has occurred which redeems them from the transgressions under the first covenant.
Jesus became "the mediator of a new covenant" when he said "this is my blood of the covenant," but this was only possible "because a death has occurred." This proves that while Jesus had indeed finished his sacrifice on the cross, he had actually already "established" it during the Last Supper by stating "this is my blood of the [new] covenant!" Thus, without physically dying he had nevertheless "established" his death:
Hebrews 9:16-17 For where a covenant is involved, the death of the one who made it must be established. For a will takes effect only at death, since it is not in force as long as the one who made it is alive.
When Jesus "established" his death at the Last Supper and then said "do this in remembrance of me" (Matthew 26:27) he had empowered the Apostles to also establish his death in the Eucharistic sacrifice: "For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until he comes" (1st Corinthians 11:26).
C. The center of Roman Catholic worship and life is the Mass. The Roman
Church teaches her faithful that they are to offer themselves with "the
sacred victim", Jesus Christ, and to receive the same "sacred victim".
As Paul stated "...in my flesh I complete what is lacking in Christ's afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church." (Colossians 1:24). And furthermore "[I] may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, that if possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead" (Phillipians 3:11). Is their truly any lack in Christ's afflictions? No, but the APPLICATION of the merits of his sufferings is a job that is never complete. It will only be complete when every single human being is saved.
2. Christ was never a victim and the idea of His being victimized is
nowhere in Scripture. Rather it was of His own free will that He chose
to go to the cross. This erroneous doctrinal base is so highlighted by
Rome that it focuses the mind on a tragic Christ as victim and not the
Victor as he now is Lord of Lords and King of Kings. An example of the
way this is worded in the wor-ship of the Mass is the following from
Eucharistic Prayer No. 3, "Look with favor on your Church's offering,
and see the Victim whose death has recon-ciled us to yourself." The
whole idea of offering this "Sacred victim" is sacri-legious.
Not true: "More in number than the hairs of my head, are those who hate me without cause" (Psalm 69:4) "It is to fulfill the word that is written in their law, 'They hated me without case'" (John 15:25). Richard has decided what is "sacrilegious" based on his own tradition, not Scripture. Catholics imitate the Scriptural Lord's Supper which usually emphasis Christ's death rather than his victory over death: "For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until he comes" (1st Corinthians 11:26).
3. As Rome
repeats her commands, the false gospel of offering one's self to
coop-erate in one's salvation is dramatized in their worship. So Rome
proclaims: "Therefore the eucharistic celebration is the center of the
assembly of the faithful over which the priest presides. Hence priests
teach the faithful to offer the divine victim [Jesus Christ] to God the
Father in the sacrifice of the Mass and with the victim to make an
offering of their whole life..." The simple truth of Scripture is "there
is no more offering for sin" (Hebrews 10:18).
True, "there is no more offering for sin," but that does not stop the faithful from participating: "Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I complete what is lacking in Christ's afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church" (Colossians 1:24). Richard has therefor called Colossians a "false gospel." Also, Richard is still attempting to foist the idea that Catholics somehow repeat the sacrifice of Christ. Such an idea is anathema to Catholic theology.
D. While purporting that she is doing what the Lord commanded, Rome
further claims that the sacrifice of Calvary and the Mass are the
same--"one single sacrifice". 1. Rome teaches, "The sacrifice of Christ
and the sacrifice of the Eucharist are one single sacrifice: 'The victim
is one and the same: the same now offers through the ministry of
priests, who then offered himself on the cross; only the manner of
offering is different.' '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
We are back to the integrity issue. If Richard is able to quote Catholic teaching which stipulates that Catholics don't believe it is possible to "re-sacrifice Christ," then why does he, repeatedly in this document, tout the idea that Catholics "repeat" the sacrifice of Christ?
2. Three things are claimed: that Christ is contained, that He
is offered, and that the offering is in an unbloody mode. a. The claim
that Christ is contained in the bread is directly opposite to
Scrip-ture. 1. The New Testament stressed the opposite as facts, "Christ
is not en-tered into the holy places made with hands, which are the
figures of the true; but into heaven itself" (Hebrews 9:24).
Richard wants to believe that this verse proves that Jesus won't enter into a material framework. However, "Christ is all, and in all" (Collosians 3:11). Richard misunderstands the intention of Hebrews 9:24. Paul is explaining that Jesus has accomplished what the Old Covenant could not. But Jesus has indeed miraculously "contained" himself in the Eucharist ("this is my body...this is my blood") so that by partaking of it, it becomes true that "Christ is in you" (Romans 8:10).
of Rome in each Mass insists on saying that its bread is that into which
Christ is claimed to have changed. His substance is claimed to be in
what is "made with hands", Thus she states "we have this bread to of-fer
which earth has given and human hands have made." 2. Christ is
ministering in heaven itself and "is not entered into the holy places
made with hands." Further He himself warned us, "Wherefore if they shall
say unto you,.. behold, he is in the secret chambers; be-lieve it not.
For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the
west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be" (Matthew 24:26-27).
First, the bread ceases to be "made with hands" when Jesus makes it his body. So it holds true that he has not entered into something "made with hands." Second, the end-time warnings of Matthew 24 deal with false messiahs and false prophets. They do not refer to the bread and wine of which Christ said "this is my body...this is my blood."
b. Rome claims that Christ is offered in her Mass. We have seen that the
Word declares, "Nor yet that he should offer him-self often...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 9:25-26). c. Rome claims that that Christ
"is offered in an unbloody manner."
Anti-Catholicism strikes again. Catholic theology forbids the possibility that Jesus could or should be sacrificed repeatedly.
1. Note that in the quotation under
discussion, Rome claims "Christ...is contained and is offered in an
unbloody manner." Scripture equates offering and suffering. In a
propitiatory sacrifice, to offer and to suffer are the same thing. This
truth is so important that it is given in Scrip-ture as an absolute
principle, "without shedding of blood is no remis-sion" (Hebrews 9:22).
2. Hence in this context to propose a bloodless sacrifice is to claim as
sac-rifice that which cannot be a sacrifice, as defined by Scripture. A
bloodless sacrifice is a senseless contradiction that has no purpose
other than to deceive.
Underlying Richard's misuse of Hebrews 9:22 is his lack of faith in Jesus' promise given at the Last Supper: "And he took a cup...saying 'Drink of this all of you...this is my blood...which is poured out...for the forgiveness of sins'" (Matthew 26:27-28). Now, Hebrews 9:22 indicates that there must be "shedding of blood" for "forgiveness." But Jesus offers "forgiveness of sins" with the wine of the Last Supper. Thus, Jesus PERSONALLY caused the unbloody bread and wine offering of the Last Supper to be united with his bloody sacrifice on the Cross. The two are paradoxically tied together so that an unbloody propitiation is indeed achieved by the Lord's Supper.
E. Rome claims that her Mass is a continuation of
Christ's work of redemption. 1. Canon 904 "Remembering that the work of
redemption is continually ac-complished in the mystery of the
Eucharistic Sacrifice, priests are to celebrate frequently; indeed daily
celebration is strongly recommended, since even if the faithful cannot
be present, it is the act of Christ and the [Roman Catholic] Church in
which priests fulfill their principal function." 2. God's truth is that
the work of redemption is already accomplished "having ob-tained eternal
redemption for us" (Hebrews 9:12). To teach redemption as presently
continually being accomplished is to teach a lie boldfacedly before the
clarity of God's Word: "Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the
law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one
that hangeth on a tree" (Galatians 3:13-14), "It is finished" (John
Richard offers the words "is already accomplished" from Hebrews 9:12 and claims from this that it is a lie to say that redemption is continually being accomplished. Yet in Hebrews 9:14 (not just two verses later) Paul says "how much more shall the blood of Christ...purify your conscience from dead works to serve the living God." Paul, speaking to those who are already saved, places the process of purification in the future tense ("shall the blood of Christ...purify your conscience"), to show that it is an ongoing affair. Thus, Richard thinks Catholics are telling "boldfaced lies" merely due to his lack of familiarity with scripture. But more fundamentally, Richard again fails to recognize the difference between "efficacy" of grace (which is what Catholics and Paul are referring to) and "sufficiency" of grace.
F. The Roman Catholic Church teaches that the communion bread is to be
wor-shiped AS GOD. 1. Vatican Council II documents state, "There should
be no doubt in anyone's mind 'that all the faithful ought to show to
this most holy sacrament the worship which is due to the true God, as
has always been the custom of the Catholic Church. Nor is it to be
adored [worshipped] any the less because it was instituted by Christ to
be eaten. For even in the reserved sacrament he is to be adored
[worshipped] because he is substantially present there through that
conversion of bread and wine..."
2. The Lord's words are spoken to us in precise and clear terms, "Take,
eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of
me"(I Corin-thians 11:24). "Take, eat" is not "offer and adore"; "this
do" is not "sacrifice this".
True, "take eat" is not "offer and adore." But if the bread is truly Christ (Richard leaves out the "this is my body" phrase), then we must obey the commandment "You shall worship the Lord your God" (Matthew 4:10). Also, we agree that "this do" is not "sacrifice this" but it is the phrase "in REMEMBRANCE of me" that is the important part of the puzzle. Again, "remembrance" (Greek: anamnesis) refers to offerings.
3. Most serious in the above teaching of Rome is idolatry. The Lord Jesus Christ repeats the commandment of old when He declares in His Word, "Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve" (Matthew 4:10). We must truly worship Him in spirit and truth. To command worship of the communion bread is idolatry.
I just got done quoting Matthew 4:10 to prove that the communion wafer should be worshipped! Here again, Richard has ignored Jesus' teaching that "this is my body" (Matthew 26:26). Since Jesus' humanity and divinity are inseperable - the communion wafer is indeed God.
It is an absurd and impious doctrine that by ne-cessity imposes worship of something that is eaten and carried into the stom-ach. Not without the dreadful crime of idolatry can the worship due to the true God alone be transferred to the communion bread.
It is also "an absurd and impious doctrine that by necessity" we must eat the flesh of Jesus (John 6:51-57), or so at least the Pharisees thought. Appropriating Paul's words and applying it to the Real Presence, those who cannot accept this doctrine "did not pursue it through faith...they have stumbled over the stumbling stone" (Romans 9:32). He has left us a faith that causes all to stumble who rely on their own sense of what is rational, rather than just simple faith and obedience.
X. Roman Catholic concept of "transubstantiation" must be seen in the light of Scripture.
A. The Roman Catholic Church claims a change of
substance in the communion elements.
1. The concept of "transubstantiation" was officially introduced into the RC Church in
1215 AD at the Lateran Council under Innocent III.
2. The roots of the concept can be found from after the Second Council of Nicea when images
of Christ were officially sanctioned in AD 787.
The concept of Transubstantian was taught by Christ in John 6:45-68 and Luke 22:19-20. The word "Transubstantiation" that Catholics chose for this concept did not appear until the Lateran council. Images of Christ were officially sanctioned in AD 30 when Jesus used the image of the serpent in Numbers 21:8-9 to refer to himself in John 3:14.
The physics be-hind it
is that of the pagan philosopher, Aristotle.
Here Richard is referring to the philosophical language and terminology that Catholics use to describe the Transubstantiation concept that Jesus taught. Using the "pagan's" own language was the way to help the pagan understand biblical teaching. Indeed, Jaroslav Pelikan (the finest Protestant scholar of our day) states, "It is true that in its language and sometimes in its ideas orthodox Christian doctrine still bears the marks of its struggle to understand and overcome pagan thought" (Emergance of the Catholic Tradition, p. 45). He continues:
It is even more a distortion when the dogma formulated by the catholic tradition is described as 'in its conception and development a work of the Greek spirit on the soil of the gospel.' Indeed, in some ways it is more accurate to speak of dogma as the "dehellenization" [removal of pagan influence] of the theology that had preceded it and to argue that 'by its dogma the church threw up a wall against an alien metaphysic.' For in the development of both the dogmas of the early church, the trinitarian and the christological, the chief place to look for hellenization is in the speculations and heresies against which the dogma of the creeds and councils was directed. (Ibid. p. 55).
Nevertheless, Richard proves that there is "nothing new under the sun" (Ecclesiastes 1:9) with his accusations: "the charge that one's theological opponent has subordinated the truth of divine revelation to the philosophy of the Greeks is a common one in the history of theological polemics" (Emergence. p. 45).
Present day Rome continues
to teach this medieval tradition in the following, "..this holy Council
now declares again, that by the consecration of the bread and wine there
takes place a change of the whole substance of the bread into the
substance of the body of Christ our Lord and of the whole substance of
the wine into the substance of his blood. This change the holy Catholic
Church has fittingly and properly called transubstantia-tion.'" 3. This
absurd conviction that defies the truth of Scripture, the evidence of
the senses, and even reason itself is taught adamantly by the Church of
The truth of Scripture is that Jesus "took bread, and when he had given thanks he broke it and gave it to them, saying, 'This is my body'" (Luke 22:19). It is the truth of scripture that Jesus said:
I am the living bread...if anyone eats of this bread he will live forever ; and the bread which I shall give for the life of the world is my flesh...my flesh is food INDEED, and my blood is drink INDEED. He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me. (John 6:51.55-56).
Thus, Richard's teaching is what actually defies the truth of scripture. But what about the senses? As far as the unspiritual are concerned, reality is based on mere appearance. For example, the Pharisees saw Jesus, but could not perceive that he was God: "With them indeed is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah which says: `You shall indeed hear but never understand, and you shall indeed see but never perceive" (Matthew 13:14). If these cannot perceive that Jesus is God, neither will they perceive that the Eucharist is God: "Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgment" (John 7:24).
Richard also claims that the Real Presence is against reason. Whose reason? I'm sure that the Pharisees felt that Jesus as Messiah was against reason.
So she summaries in Para. 1375, "It is by the conversion of the
bread and wine into Christ's body and blood that Christ becomes present in this sacra-ment...." Biblically this is a denial of Christ's words and the words of the Apostle Paul.
B. The actual words of Scripture must be seen in context. 1. In the
passages of Scripture concerning the Last Supper, the elements retain
the same name after the Lord's words as before he spoke, "Take, eat;
this..." The demonstrative pronoun "this" means this bread. There is
nothing else that it can mean.
If we are looking at the "context" as Richard suggests, then we must note that Jesus said of the bread "this is my body" (Matthew 26:26). The "this" argument is therefore rather false.
The Scripture continually calls that
which Christ gave to his disci-ples bread, "For as often as ye eat this
bread," "...whosoever shall eat this bread", "But let a man examine
himself, and so let him eat of that bread" (I Corinthians 11:26, 27,
28). The relative pronoun "this" limits the element spo-ken about to the
same that Christ took; no other explanation is possible.
Richard thinks that "no other explanation is possible." How about this: the use of the word "bread" is intended to refer to the APPEARANCE of the Eucharistic host. But does this explanation square with scripture? Notice the words of Scripture in 1st Corinthians 11:27-29 that Richard surgically removed:
Whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of PROFANING THE BODY AND BLOOD OF THE LORD. Let a man examine himself, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For any one who eats and drinks without DISCERNING THE BODY eats and drinks judgment upon himself.
Somehow unworthiness of the "bread" and "wine" profanes the "body" and "blood" of Jesus. This is only possible if the bread and wine somehow ARE the body and blood of Jesus. Also, it would not be possible to "discern the body" of Jesus in the "bread" unless the "bread" were indeed Jesus' body. But the "discerning" or "perceiving" issue goes back to Matthew 13:14 " With them indeed is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah which says: `You shall indeed hear but never understand, and you shall indeed see but never perceive." Nevertheless, it therefore is appropriate in Scripture to refer to the appearance as "bread" and "wine." Catholics do this to this very day.
It must also be noted that Jesus once referred to the hypocrisy of the Pharisees as "leaven" (Matthew 16:5-12). When his disciples thought he was referring to literal leaven or bread, Jesus asked "How is it that you fail to PERCEIVE that I did not speak about bread" (Matthew 16:11)? Likewise when the Eucharist is referred to as "bread" and "wine," it is necessary that the reader "perceive" that it refers to the body and blood of the Lord.
Christ calls that which he gave the disciples to drink "wine". "For this
is my blood of the new testament,...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" (Matthew 26:28, 29). "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 that I drink
it new in the kingdom of God" (Mark 14:24, 25).
Based on the following verses:
28 for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.
29 I tell you I shall not drink again of this fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father's kingdom.
It appears that Jesus himself partook of this cup. Indeed, it stands to reason that he partook of this "blood of forgiveness" since he also submitted to John's "baptism of repentance" (Mark 1:4). However, Luke 22:20 discusses a cup of wine offered before the cup of the New Covenant:
17 And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he said, "Take this, and divide it among yourselves;
18 for I tell you that FROM NOW ON I shall not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes."
20 And likewise the cup after supper, saying, "This cup which is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood.
Thus, Jesus stated that he would drink no wine both after and BEFORE he drank the cup of the New Covenant. This, ironically, only serves to prove that what he drank in Matthew 26:28 must have ceased to have been wine! Thus Jesus changed the wine into his blood just as he promised: "this is my blood!" He had outdone the miracle of changing the water into wine at Cana (John 2:9)!
C. Communion is through faith. 1. There is indeed communion with the
body and the blood of Christ in a spiritual sense, so in a very real
sense both the bread and the wine point to Christ and is His finished
work. Communion with the Lord is the heart of the message in the
biblical texts. Our faith is focused on Him. "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? For we
being many are one bread, and one body: for we are all partakers of that
one bread" (I Corinthians 10:16, 17). 2. What is definitively excluded
by all the texts given is the idea of looking to the element itself as if
it had life. In Christ's words "the flesh profiteth nothing" John 6:63
Richard's misuse of "the flesh profiteth nothing" (John 6:63) is highlighted by reductio ad absurdem; Jesus' death on the cross would be of no value if "the flesh profiteth nothing!" In truth, the phrase is part of biblical language which contrasts people who are spiritual versus those who are spiritually dead. For example:
(1) John 3:6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
(2) Romans 7:5
5 While we were living in the flesh, our sinful passions, aroused by the law, were at work in our members to bear fruit for death.
(3) Romans 8:
8 and those who are in the flesh cannot please God.
9 But you are not in the flesh, you are in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you.
(4) Galations 5:
17 For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit.
24 And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.
Using Richard's mode of interpretation on the above verses we would have (1) people being born again and suddenly their physical bodies dissappear, (2) Christians walking around without bodies, (3) anyone who has a physical body cannot please God, (4) being hungry or cold is sinful because the "desires of the flesh are against the Spirit."
Now, all of these ludicrous difficulties vanish if one recognizes that based on context "flesh" can indeed mean "flesh" or it can be a biblical metaphor for a dead spirit. Armed with this understanding, John chapter 6 demands a revisit:
53 So Jesus said to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, you have no life in you;
54 he who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.
55 For my flesh is food indeed, and my blood is drink indeed.
56 He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him.
60 Many of his disciples, when they heard it, said, "This is a hard saying; who can listen to it?"
61 But Jesus, knowing in himself that his disciples murmured at it, said to them, "Do you take offense at this?
63 It is the spirit that gives life, the flesh is of no avail; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life."
66 After this many of his disciples drew back and no longer went about with him.
It is not even remotely possible that when Jesus said "the flesh is of no avail" that he was referring to his statement: "the bread which I shall give for the life of the world is my flesh" (John 6:51). If that were the case, then Jesus flatly contradicted himself.
Indeed, it makes no sense to demand repeatedly that eating his flesh is necessary for eternal life (John 6:53-56) just to contradict himself a few verses later. Fortunately, it is clear by the context of John 6:63 that when Jesus says "the flesh is of no avail" he is referring to those who are "spiritually dead." Thus, those who are spiritually dead will not be able to accept the necessity to eat the body of Jesus. Those who are "born of the flesh are flesh" (John 6:6) and will not accept that "the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life" because "the flesh is of no avail" (John 6:63).
It is also clear from the above verses that we are indeed to look to the Eucharistic elements to give life.
D. True power is in spiritual atonement. 1. A consistent command of God
is that of not physically consuming blood a. "But flesh with the life
thereof, which is the blood thereof, shall ye not eat" (Genesis 9:4). b.
"Only be sure that thou eat not the blood: for the blood is the life;
and thou mayest not eat the life with the flesh" (Deuteronomy 12:23). 2.
While this command not to eat blood is very strong , the spiritual
importance of the blood shed is constantly given in God's Word: " 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). 3. This same
concept of spiritually exalting and dignifying of blood finds its
high-est development in the vicarious application of the shed blood of
Christ to the believer. "The blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us
from all sin" (I John 1:7).
If we go by Scripture Alone in a STRICT fashion so that no tradition can seep in whatsoever, the only prohibition the Old Testament makes against consumption of blood is that it can not be eaten while it is still in the flesh (e.g. "You shall not eat any flesh with the blood in it" - Leviticus 19:26). Put differently, the Old Testament never condemns "drinking" blood (shaqah), but only "eating" (awkal) blood.
Using this STRICT Scripture Alone approach, we see that Jesus had commanded his Apostles to "drink" his blood seperately from his body rather than "eating" the blood WITH his body. So the Apostles did not violate the Old Testament prohibition of "eating" blood. Instead, they drank it.
Now, no one should be so naive as to think that either Richard or the Catholic Church believes in using Scripture Alone for doctrine. By tradition we know that the Old Covenant did indeed prohibit both eating and drinking blood. Thus we must argue against Richard by pointing out that Jesus has the sovereignty and intent to overturn this Old Covenant practice. Jesus forewarned that his New Covenant could not be measured by the Old Testament:
36 He told them a parable also: "No one tears a piece from a new garment and puts it upon an old garment; if he does, he will tear the new, and the piece from the new will not match the old.
37 And no one puts new wine into old wineskins; if he does, the new wine will burst the skins and it will be spilled, and the skins will be destroyed.
38 But new wine must be put into fresh wineskins.
Alternatively, if Jesus did not overturn this practice, Richard would be wrong in partaking of the Lord's Supper which presumably he believes is a "symbolic" consumption of Christ's blood rather than a "physical" consumption. If God prohibits physically murdering a man - then we are not to go about "symbolically" murdering either. Such a thing would be akin to Voodoo. So, if the Old Testament forbids us from drinking blood - then we cannot "symbolically" drink blood either. Thus if Richard want's to partake of the Lord's Supper, he must ALSO believe that Jesus overturned the Old Covenant prohibition against blood.
E. Command remains against drinking blood. The command to abstain from
physically consuming blood is repeated in the New Testament. "That ye
abstain from meats offered to idols, and from blood, and from things
strangled, and from fornication: from which if ye keep yourselves, ye
shall do well" (Acts 15:29). The concept of physically drinking Christ's
blood is both abhorrent and forbidden in both the Old Testament and New
Testament. The whole idea, therefore, of an actual drinking of Christ's
blood is Biblically for-bidden and insulting to the Person and words of
Actually, the idea of eating the flesh of the Lord is only insulting to those who cannot accept this teaching in faith:
55 For my flesh is food indeed, and my blood is drink indeed.
56 He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him.
61 But Jesus, knowing in himself that his disciples murmured at it, said to them, "DO YOU TAKE OFFENSE AT THIS?"
Jesus knew of the Old Covenant prohibition against blood. He knew that only those who put their whole faith in him would convert to his teaching of the New Covenant and overcome their sense of offense. Richard, however, has indeed taken offense at the teaching of Jesus despite Jesus' warning: "blessed is he who takes no offense at me" (Luke 7:23).
Now an inspection of Acts 15:19-20 must be made:
19 Therefore my judgment is that we should not trouble those of the Gentiles who turn to God,
20 but should write to them to abstain from the pollutions of idols and from unchastity and from what is strangled and from blood.
It must be noted that the next verse gives the reason as to why this is being recommended.
Acts 15:21 For from early generations Moses has had in every city those who preach him, for he is read every sabbath in the synagogues."
Jesus himself taught the need for Christians not to unnecessarily offend the Jews: "However, do not give offense to them" (Matthew 17:27). So, Acts 15:21 is noting how everywhere there are Jews who, knowing the teaching of the Old Testament, would be offended by the liberties taken by gentiles under the New Covenant. Thus the gentiles, who already know that unchastity is prohibited, are being further asked to not violate certain "unchastities" of the Old Testament which include giving oneself in marriage to a pagan (Ezra 9:14) or courting a non-Christian Jew as a spouse (Leviticus 21:14). The gentiles are also asked to abstain from "what is strangled." These two enactments were handed down despite the fact that the New Covenant allows the Christian to marry who he wants and eat what he wants:
1st Timothy 4:
2 through the pretensions of liars whose consciences are seared,
3 who forbid marriage and enjoin abstinence from foods which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth.
4 For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving;
5 for then it is consecrated by the word of God and prayer.
So does the direction to abstain in Acts 15:20 contradict 1st Timothy? No. Acts 15:20 is a temporary discipline being enjoined upon the gentiles so that the Jews don't take offense. Romans chapter 14 most excellently explains why this is a sensible thing to do. In time however, the same church which made this decision in Acts 15 would revert to directing the gentiles to return to the liberties they were given under the New Covenant. Imagine how relieving it must be for German Christians to know that they are allowed to eat all the blood sausages they want!
With the proper contextual background now given for Acts 15:20, how did the discipline of "abstaining from blood" pertain to the Lord's Supper at that time? The answer is that it didn't. Participating in the Lord's Supper was far more important than avoiding the offense of the Jews.
XI. Application of the concept of Transubstantiation
A. In face of the clarity of Scripture, Rome insists that the elements are actually the
body and the blood of Christ. On top of this, Rome claims a power effect
from the elements. Thus the Church of Rome declares, "Holy Communion
separates us from sin. The body of Christ we receive in Holy Communion
is 'given up for us,' and the blood we drink 'shed for the many for the
forgiveness of sins.' For this reason the Eucharist cannot unite us to
Christ without at the same time cleansing us from past sins and
preserving us from future sins" In this the "Eucharist" is looked upon
as uniting us to Christ and at the same time cleansing from sin. To
attempt to claim causative effects for that which was given to testify
to the Lord's grace and His finished work is divination, as one's hope
centers on the physical object.
Matthew 26:28 states concerning the cup from the Lord's Supper "for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins." Call it what he like, this passage dictates that the Lord's Supper has a causative effect: forgiveness. Such causative effects are taught all over the New Testament. So, for example, if it is true that "causative effects for that which was given to testify to the Lord's grace is divination," then Paul was teaching divination when he said:
1st Corinthians 11:
29 For any one who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment upon himself.
30 That is why many of you are weak and ill, and some have died.
B. Likewise considering the Eucharist again Rome teaches, "By the same
charity that it enkindles in us, the Eucharist preserves us from future
mortal sins." Rome here teaches her people to look to physical things as
a means of conveying God's grace, to look to the sign as if it had
power. This is exactly the Roman Catholic mindset as is declared,
"Sacraments are 'powers that comes forth' from the Body of Christ, which
is ever-living and life-giving...."
Acts 19:11-12 has already been quoted in defense of the certainty that "physical things" can perform miracles. Clearly, more must be added:
2nd Kings 13:21 And as a man was being buried, lo, a marauding band was seen and the man was cast into the grave of Elisha; and as soon as the man touched the bones of Elisha, he revived, and stood on his feet.
How about this?
Mark 6:13 And they cast out many demons, and anointed with oil many that were sick and healed them.
To resist the Scriptural teaching of the valid place material has in spiritual worship is astounding!
C. Such teachings as these come under the eternal curse of perverting
the Gospel of Christ (Galatians 1:6-9). Christ's words are spirit and
life, "It is the Spirit that quickeneth" (John 6:63). To propose an oral
ingesting of Christ's flesh is to hold out a false message that perverts
Richard states "to propose an oral ingesting of Christ's flesh is to hold out a false message that perverts the Gospel." But what does Jesus propose?
53 So Jesus said to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, you have no life in you;
54 he who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.
55 For my flesh is food indeed, and my blood is drink indeed.
56 He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him.
57 As the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so he who eats me will live because of me.
Therefore, according to Richard, Jesus holds out "a false message that perverts the Gospel." To attribute this demonic character to Jesus is to "blaspheme the Holy Spirit" (Mark 3:29). No wonder Richard so hotly pursues Catholics, for "if they have called the master of the house Beel'zebul, how much more will they malign those of his household" (Matthew 10:25).
D. The teaching of the Lord Jesus Christ Himself in John Chapter Six
confirms the spiritual union of Himself and the believer and not "for
the meat which perisheth" but rather "for that meat which endureth unto
everlasting life" (John 6:27).
He teaches us precisely what the meat is "which endureth unto everlasting life." Jesus said "I am the living bread which came down from heaven; if any one eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread which I shall give for the life of the world is MY FLESH" (John 6:51).
If Jesus wanted to say that a non-physical purely spiritual union between himself and believers was the "meat which endureth unto everlasting life," why did he instead say "my flesh" in John 6:51? Besides, it is clear that his audience understood him quite literally: "'How can this man give us his flesh to eat" (John 6:52)? Yet despite this, Jesus does not say "you misunderstand" as he is accustomed to (John 3:10; 11:50), but hammers home the literal understanding "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, you have no life in you" (John 6:53).
1. When the Jews asked what they were to
do that they might partake of "the bread of life", Christ answered,
"This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent"
(John 6:29). The whole theme of John Chapter Six is believing on Him the
Christ as the true means of allaying spiritual hunger and slaking
spiritual thirst. "I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall
never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst." (John
Richard has damaged his integrity again by saying that the Jews asked "what they were to do that they might partake of the bread of life." The Scripture that Richard altered states: "they [the Jews] said to him, 'what must we do, to be doing the WORKS OF GOD'" (John 6:28)? Richard altered this to support his "theme" argument. When the verse is restored, it teaches something quite different.
John 6:29 is the only place in the bible where faith is referred to as a work. Why? Because the Bread of Life discourse which immediately follows will constitute the single most difficult teaching a Christian will have to believe. It is a teaching that is so profound, faith itself will have to "labor" to accept it. Thus Richard's above quote: "I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst," means that those who truly believe Jesus will work their faith to also believe that "he who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life" (John 6:54) and proceed to partake of the Eucharist. Indeed, Jesus had already clarified that to "come to him" (John 6:35) meant to "labor...for the food which endures to eternal life, which the son of man will give to you" (John 6:27). Jesus mentions here "food" that he will "give." Thus, eternal life involves something more than just "coming to him."
Conversely, those who don't work to believe his words will fall away: "after this many of his disciples drew back and no longer went about with him" (John 6:66) and therefore they will never receive the Eucharist.
2. The Lord's words "For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is
drink in-deed" (John 6:55) show how serious is the command to believe on
If Richard is aware of this, then why doesn't he believe him? Jesus said "my flesh is meat indeed." He did not say "my flesh is symbolic indeed."
The Lord Himself has commanded worship " in spirit and in truth" It
is the ab-surd to suggest that he might have been advocating physical
eating of flesh and drinking of blood. The clear principle of
interpretation that He gives of His own words are, "It is the spirit
that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth noth-ing: the words that I speak
unto you, they are spirit, and they are life" (John 6:63).
This statement represents a juxtaposition of much of Richard's misinterpretation of Scripture. As has already been proven, to worship "in spirit and truth" does not mean that material things are not be involved. Also, the "flesh profiteth nothing" means that those who are spiritually dead will not be able to accept his teaching. Furthermore, no one is "suggesting" that Jesus promoted the physical eating of his flesh. Why merely "suggest" the idea when Jesus himself COMMANDED it! Again, as has been shown, Jesus' listeners understood him LITERALLY in John 6:53. Jesus made no effort in his reply to them to say "hey, I am just speaking symbolically!" Jesus never said that his language was "symbolic." His audience's understanding of his literal command and their unwillingness to accept it was underscored by the mass departure from his teaching (John 6:66).
Turretin writes, "Our opponents [the Roman Catholic Church] can find
nothing in this chapter [John Chapter Six] which favors oral
manducation. (1) Not what is said in v. 55: 'My flesh is meat indeed,
and my blood is drink indeed.' For He is the true food; but of the mind,
not of the stomach; of the heart and of faith, not of the mouth. Thus it
denotes the truth of the similitude be-tween corporeal food and
spiritual and celestial food as to the efficacy of nutrition, but not as
to the mode of eating. As 'Why do you prepare teeth and stomach,
[rather] believe and thou has eaten.' as Augustine says on John Chapter
Francis Turretin, a 16th century Protestant, is entitled to his opinions - wrong though they may be. St. Augustine, however, needs better treatment.
The historian and scholar Yarislov Pelikan, a Lutheran, explains in his book The Emergence of the Catholic Tradition that it is difficult to understand Augustine's formal doctrine of the Eucharist:
The presence in the sacrament was sufficiently "objective" to imply that Judas, as well as more recent unworthy communicants, received "the body of the Lord and the blood of the Lord nonetheless" (Aug.Bapt.5.8.9). In the incarnation Christ "took upon himself earth from earth, because flesh is from the earth, and he received flesh from the flesh of Mary...He walked here in that very flesh and gave us that very flesh to eat for our salvation" (Aug.Ps.98.9). But in the same paragraph he went on to paraphrase John 6:63 to mean: "Understand spiritually what I have said. You are not to eat this body which you see, nor to drink that blood which will be shed by those who are to crucify me" (Aug.Ps.89.9). Augustine's famous formula, "Why are you preparing your teeth and your stomach? Believe, and you have already eaten," does not, in its context, seem to have been referring specifically to the Eucharist; but shortly thereafter he does seem to have had it in mind when he asserted that Chrsit, in "explaining what it means to eat his body and to drink his blood," intended that "for a man to eat this food and to drink this drink means to abide in Christ and to have Christ abiding in him" (Aug.Ev.Job.26.18). (p. 305).
So Augustine believed that Jesus gave us his "very flesh to eat for our salvation." Yarislov notes that Augustine did not think that Jesus had in mind "the body which you see, nor the blood which shall be shed by those who are to crucify me." This fits perfectly with the doctrine of Transubstantiation since the appearance of the body and blood is that of bread and wine as opposed to the "body which you see."
Richard's use of Augustine's phrase "why are you preparing your teeth and your stomach," is noted as contextually not necessarily referring to the Eucharist. Nevertheless, those who believe in Transubstantiation accept that "to eat his body and to drink his blood" means "to abide in Christ and to have Christ abiding in him." Why? Because if one eats the literal flesh of Jesus Christ - that one indeed has Christ abiding in him.
On the other hand, Protestants cannot accept the idea that Jesus gave his "very flesh to eat for our salvation." So, it is easier to conclude that Augustine believed in Transubstantiation rather than a Protestant doctrine of symbolism. However, if anyone wanted to uphold a pretended "Augustinian" symbolic view of the Eucharist, they must contend with the fact that "Even in the heat of battle Augustine disclaimed any desire 'to think or say that my writings are free from every kind of error'" (Emergence, p. 307). In contrast, Augustine believed that "between the authority of the Bible and the authority of the Catholic Church there could not in a real sense by any contradiction. Here on could find repose in 'the resting place of authority'" (Pelikan, Ibid., p. 303-304). In other words, St. Augustine believed the Church to be infallible. Thus if Augustine were with us today, he would proclaim Transubstantiation as it is taught by Scripture and defended by the Church.
XII. Summary: True and False Worship
A. The Christ in Whom we spiritually worship is Biblically portrayed, "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).
B. The finished Sacrifice on which we rest our faith and which we
commemorate in praise and thanksgiving is His sacrifice alone: II
Corinthians 5:21 states, "For He hath made Him to be sin for us, Who
knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him."
This was Christ's sacrifice and His alone.
With all of the above, Catholics agree.
Yet in the sacrifice of the
Mass, Roman Catholic theology debases Christ's finished and complete
offering of Himself on Calvary's cross: Roman Catholic doctrine teaches
people that they are able to help in Christ's offering of Himself by
taking part in the so-called sacramental representation of His offering
(Mass) and to assist in propitiating God's wrath by also offering
themselves at the same time. But such action by people is not possible
because Christ was the only one as God-man Who could make such an
offering for sin. In a strict sense it is blasphemy a showing of
contempt and lack of reverence for God. It is a violation of the Third
Commandment, which required that the name and reputation of the Lord be
up-held, "Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for
the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain"
So let's get this straight. When Catholics:
1) offer Christ in the Eucharist and
2) offer themselves in the same Eucharist
It is to be understood that such things aren't possible and therefore it
1) is blasphemy
2) is contempt of God
3) is lack of reverence for God
4) violates the third commandment "Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain."
And this is all true despite Paul's words "I appeal to you, brethren, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship" (Romans 12:1). And the command to offer Christ in the Eucharist "...do this in memory of me" (Luke 22:19). If Richard weren't such a great anti-Catholic, he would be a better student of the bible.
C. Our praise in worship is for the once offered Christ: Scripture
teaches that Christ's atonement--His own blood having been shed and
through that final act having obtained our eternal redemption (Hebrews
9:12)--ended all sacrifices. Thus on the authority of God's word, what
the Lord said on the cross must be held by the be-liever: "It is
finished." Believers glory only in Christ's finished work of their
All this is true except for the word "only" in the phrase "...glory only in Christ's finished work." For Scripture has it:
1st Chronicles 16:10 Glory in his holy name;
Jeremiah 9:24 but let him who glories glory in this, that he understands and knows me,
Galations 3:21 to him [the Father] be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, for ever and ever. Amen.
The Protestant tradition of adding the word "only" has again contradicted Scripture. Richard needs to be reminded that those who preach that we must worship "in spirit and truth" and yet add their own traditions to scripture risk their own condemnation: "in vain do they worship me; teaching as doctrines the precepts of men" (Matthew 15:9).
D. As believers we glorify God, with Him as the object of our faith, as
He has always commanded because "God is a Spirit" (John 4:24). In
worshipping the bread as if it were substantially the Lord Himself, the
Church of Rome commits gross idola-try.
Richard is here arguing that "God is Spirit" but the bread of the Eucharist is matter and not spirit, therefor it is not God. This also means, therefor, that those who worshipped Jesus in the flesh had committed "gross idolatry."
Matthew 2:2 "Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we have seen his star in the East, and have come to worship him."
Matthew 14:33 And those in the boat worshiped him, saying, "Truly you are the Son of God."
Matthew 28:9 And behold, Jesus met them and said, "Hail!" And they came up and took hold of his feet and worshipped him.
Perhaps Richard's solution to this is to say that Jesus did not "come in the flesh." But Scripture has it:
2nd John 1:7 For many deceivers have gone out into the world, men who will not acknowledge the coming of Jesus Christ IN THE FLESH; such a one is the deceiver and the antichrist.
Interestingly enough, Richard claims to be an ex-Catholic priest. His departure and implied unwillingness to accept that Jesus came in the flesh call to mind John's words: "so now many antichrists have come; therefore we know that it is the last hour. They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us; but they went out, that it might be plain that they all are not of us." (1st John 2:18-19).
E. Believers in remembrance of the Lord take the elements of the Lord's
Supper with great respect, to deepen their spiritual union with Him. To
confuse signification, which is a remembrance, with identification,
which holds that the elements have become the actual body and blood of
the Lord Jesus Christ, is serious sin against the Lord in His First and
It has already been stated that Protestants love to add the words "sign/symbol" and "alone/only" to the bible. Richard has just done this again. He has Jesus saying of the bread "this is a signification [a symbol] of my body." Catholics instead accept Jesus' words regarding the bread as they stand: "this IS my body" (Luke 22:19). His cadveat is that "remembrance" is "signification." The bible, a dictionary and a thesaurus will all confirm that this is a fallacy.
XIII. Concern for Catholics: Since the Mass is central to
Catholicism, Bible believers ought to have real com-passion for
Catholics who are taught the doctrine documented here. To try to appease
God with an ongoing sacrifice is de facto an act of unbelief in the
all-sufficiency of Christ's work on the cross.
What little integrity Richard has left wanes further when he foists this "ongoing sacrifice" straw-man onto Catholicism repeatedly. The reader must be reminded that earlier in this document, Richard himself asserted proper Catholic teaching as follows:
D. While purporting that she is doing what the Lord commanded, Rome
further claims that the sacrifice of Calvary and the Mass are the
same--"one single sacrifice". 1. Rome teaches, "The sacrifice of Christ
and the sacrifice of the Eucharist are one single sacrifice."
At this point it is probably fair to say that Richard has sufficient knowledge of his error to constitute an intentional lie. So again, if Catholicism is false, why does Richard need to alter scripture and lie about Catholic teaching to prove that we are wrong? "And when one comes to see me, he utters empty words, while his heart gathers mischief; when he goes out, he tells it abroad" (Psalm 41:6).
"Communion with the flesh of the risen Christ, a flesh 'given life
and giving life through the Holy Spirit' preserves, increases, and
renews the life of grace received at Baptism..." Such teachings come
under the eternal curse of perverting the Gospel of Christ (Galatians
To be baptised is to be born again (John 3:5). It is at this point a Christian receives eternal life. The body and blood of Jesus also give life "he who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life" (John 6:54). Since a Christian already has eternal life when he receives the Eucharist (as just described) it assuredly must "preserve, increase, and renew the life" each Christian has. Thus it can truly be said that Richard's gospel is not the Gospel of Jesus Christ. As such, it is his own gospel that would come under Paul's condemnation.
Each week, millions of Catholics line up at the altars, each
time being promised "the source and summit of the whole Christian life"
and "Christ him-self". They are required to worship the bread with "the
cult of adoration".
This has been proven to be Biblical in this discourse. Perhaps Richard should participate.
Does all this matter before the All Holy God? Most certainly it
does, for the Scripture states emphatically, "As we said before, so say
I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye
have received, let him be accursed." Galatians 1:9 "I am the LORD thy
God...Thou shalt have no other gods before Me." Exodus 20:2-3 "I am the
LORD; that is My name: and My glory will I not give to another, neither
My praise to graven images." Isaiah 42:8
Unfortunately, the more Richard cites Galations 1:6-9, the more he seals his own condemnation. For Jesus said "For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and the measure you give will be the measure you get" (Matthew 7:2).
If Richard insists on judging and condemning proper biblical Christianity with reckless abandon, so to will Jesus apportion to him a sorrowful judgement.
We have analyzed the Cross and the Mass in biblical light.
Individual Catholics also sin against the First Commandment in religious
invocation and veneration given by them to saints, angels, relics, and
to the Pope himself. To rationalize that such worship is of a lesser
kind of worship than the worship Holy God demands for Himself alone is
pure sophistry, similar to calling adultery a casual affair. The Lord's
Word to such individual Catholics is " repent ye, and believe the
gospel" (Mark 1:15).
Remember, "You shall reverence [venerate] my sanctuary: I am the LORD" (Leviticus 19:30). And also "I bow down toward thy holy temple" (Psalm 138:2). To prove that Richard calls forth his own condemnation, it is here noted that Richard must either admit that worshipping the tabernacle or the temple is not idolatry, or he must admit that veneration is not the same thing as worship. The true sophistry would be in attempting to deny this quandary.
Several times Richard has criticized using what he calls "biblical light." Yet he errs in so much, the Lord's Word to him is "Your eye is the lamp of your body; when your eye is sound, your whole body is full of light; but when it is not sound, your body is full of darkness" (Luke 11:34).
The All Holy God who hates adultery in worship also
commands, "Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her
sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues" (Revelation 18:4).
Here, Richard has delivered his final insult to Christ. For he has taken a passage that refers to the Whore of Babylon and applied it to the body of Christ so as to make us fear and make us feel that we are in a conspiracy of deception. But the Spirit encourages us:
11 For the LORD spoke thus to me with his strong hand upon me, and warned me not to walk in the way of this people, saying:
12 "Do not call conspiracy all that this people call conspiracy, and do not fear what they fear, nor be in dread.