The Pastor\’s Pen

An Independent Baptist Preacher\’s Musings and Observations

Eating His Flesh and Drinking His Blood

Posted by Pastor Szekely on June 10, 2008

“Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you. Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him. As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me.” John 6:53-57

WHOA! What’s the Lord Jesus Christ saying here? Unless folks “eat His Flesh” and “drink His Blood” they cannot have eternal life? That’s what He said…but what did He say…let’s have “ears to hear and eyes to see”!

In John chapter six, the Lord Jesus was having a conversation with a great multitude of people. They asked Him a question in vs28, “Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God?” They were asking the Lord Jesus about eternal life…how do I know this? By what Jesus said in vs27,29, “Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed.” (vs29) “Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.”

After they question Him on what He says, Jesus declares that HE IS the Bread of Life!

John 6:30-35, “They said therefore unto him, What sign shewest thou then, that we may see, and believe thee? what dost thou work? (vs31) Our fathers did eat manna in the desert; as it is written, He gave them bread from heaven to eat. (vs32) Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Moses gave you not that bread from heaven; but my Father giveth you the true bread from heaven. (vs33) For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world. (vs34) Then said they unto him, Lord, evermore give us this bread. (vs35) And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.”

The Lord Jesus Christ is the True Bread from Heaven – He’s the Living Bread – He’s the Bread of Life…and He goes on further to explain just what that means and entails – vs51, “I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.”

“…came down from Heaven” = Divine

if any man eat of this bread, he shall live” = Life-Giving and All-sufficient

for ever” = Eternal

and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world” = Whosoever Will

 

Now the Jews didn’t like what the Lord was saying – vs41, “The Jews then murmured at him, because he said, I am the bread which came down from heaven.” So vs51 really threw them for a loop! “The Jews therefore strove among themselves, saying, How can this man give us his flesh to eat?” (vs52). Even some who were following Christ around and learning from Him were offended by what the Lord was saying – vs60-61, “Many therefore of his disciples, when they had heard this, said, This is an hard saying; who can hear it? (vs61) When Jesus knew in himself that his disciples murmured at it, he said unto them, Doth this offend you?”

 

WHAT WAS THE LORD JESUS CHRIST SAYING?

When Jesus spoke of “eating His Flesh” and “drinking His Blood” was He calling for us to be “cannibals“?

 

I was born into a Catholic family and to Catholic church I went. This is what I was taught. For my “salvation” one thing I had to do was eat His flesh and drink His Blood. I was in a belief that got “hung-up” on John 6:51, 53-56.

–This is what we had from the Council of Trent (a Catholic Council): “Because Christ our Redeemer said that it was truly His body that He was offering under the species of bread, it has always been the conviction of the Church of God, and this holy Council now declares again, that by the consecration of the bread and wine there takes place a change in the whole substance [being, essence] 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 transubstantiation [meaning, ‘to change into another substance’]. The Eucharistic presence of Christ begins at the moment of the consecration and endures as long as the Eucharistic species subsist . . .Since they remain for about 15 minutes in the human body after being swallowed, we should spend this time in prayer, thanksgiving, and adoration, and not quickly turn to worldly occupations.”

–Also, we read of the town, Lanciano, Italy, where there are pieces of “human heart flesh” on display. Catholics say that in the year 700, there was a priest in that town that doubted that their sacramental host – wafer – actually turned into the “real presence of the Lord”. So, they say that while this priest was doing the Mass, the bread and the wine actually turned into real flesh and real blood!

THIS IS WHAT I HEARD AND KNEW OF IN CATHOLICISM!

 

THIS IS WHAT THE INSTITUTION OF ROMAN CATHOLICISM SAYS, BUT IS THIS WHAT THE LORD JESUS CHRIST SAYS? Let’s search the Scriptures…

 

The ones in John chapter six didn’t “get it”, and neither do many today. God doesn’t call us to be cannibals! They were thinking carnally, and to think and to be carnal means to pertain to the flesh; sensual; opposed to the spiritual” – Again vs60-61, “Many therefore of his disciples, when they had heard this, said, This is an hard saying; who can hear it? (vs61) When Jesus knew in himself that his disciples murmured at it, he said unto them, Doth this offend you?”

 

HERE is what Jesus was saying, and let’s go about this contextually…

1) Vs26-29, “Jesus answered them and said, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Ye seek me, not because ye saw the miracles, but because ye did eat of the loaves, and were filled. [the Lord is telling them they had the wrong motivation – they were coming to Him for the wrong reason!] (vs27) Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed. [Christ is saying, “Stop letting the temporal be your boss!”] (vs28] Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God?  [They were asking for eternal life] (vs29) Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.” [It is God’s work for you to believe – it’s not your work for you to believe]

THEY WERE FOCUSED ON THE CARNAL, BUT CHRIST WAS SPEAKING ON THE SPIRITUAL!

 

2) Vs35-36, “And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst. (vs36) But I said unto you, That ye also have seen me, and believe not.”

AGAIN, CHRIST WAS SPEAKING ON THE SPIRITUAL – “BELIEVETH” JESUS SAYS, BUT “BELIEVED NOT” THEY DID!

 

3) Vs40-42, “And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day. (vs41) The Jews then murmured at him, because he said, I am the bread which came down from heaven. (vs42) And they said, Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? how is it then that he saith, I came down from heaven?”

AGAIN, CHRIST WAS SPEAKING ON THE SPIRITUAL, BUT THEY WEREN’T THINKING ON THE SPIRITUAL!

 

We see that the whole context of John chapter six is Christ speaking on the Spiritual, and the multitude being carnally minded!

SO: why would the context change in verses 51, 53-56?

Why would Jesus all of the sudden change His context on what He was talking about with them in the whole chapter? These verses MUST ALSO BE in the same context – Christ speaking on the Spiritual!

 

Can’t believe that? Still having a hard time “digesting” it? Well, Jesus makes it “crystal clear” in vs63, “It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.” To Christ, it was “Carnal vs. Spiritual”!

 

ONE LAST THING – WHY did the Lord speak in this fashion to the multitude?

Couldn’t the Lord think of a “better way” to say what He wanted to say?

Friends, He knew EXACTLY what He was doing AND He said EXACTLY what He wanted to say!

 

How do I know this? Vs60,64-66, “Many therefore of his disciples, when they had heard this, said, This is an hard saying; who can hear it? (vs64) But there are some of you that believe not. For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that believed not, and who should betray him. (vs65) And he said, Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father. (vs66) From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him.”

 

Many professed to be His disciples, but the Light of the world illumined the Truth in their heart!

(1 Cor 2:14, “But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.”)

 Jesus gave them something that a lost person would stumble over and it showed them who they really were!

 

How did the Lord’s true followers respond? Vs67-69, “Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also go away? (vs68] Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life. (vs69) And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God.” They may not have understood it all, but they “believed and were sure” that Jesus was Christ, the Son of the Living God!

 

So what is the Lord Jesus Christ saying here in John chapter six? Unless folks “eat His Flesh” and “drink His Blood” they cannot have eternal life? No…stop being carnally-minded and start thinking on the spiritual…

 

It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.”

God the Son does not call us to cannibalism – to eat His Flesh and to drink His Blood – but to trust in the Words He has said about the Work He has done to be saved.

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32 Responses to “Eating His Flesh and Drinking His Blood”

  1. Fr. J. said

    Many of Jesus’ disciples left him because of this hard teaching. He did not stop them and tell them that he was just speaking spiritually or just symbolically. They could not believe they had to eat his flesh or drink his blood. They left him, and he let them.

    Christ also uses the word for when animals chew, something like gnaw. So he says several times in slightly different ways this: truly, truly I say to you, you must gnaw my flesh to have eternal life. This is not “spiritual” talk. This is intentionally graphic and is for good reason hard to accept.

    Yes, it was hard for the Jews to accept. It is hard for Protestants to accept. The Jews abandoned Christ, and the Protestants abandoned Christ’s body both in the Sacrament and his body, the Church, just as you have, pastor.

    Then Christ turns to the apostles and asks: Will you leave me also? And Peter responds on behalf of all the apostles, “Lord, to whom shall we turn? You have the words of everlasting life.”

    As Catholics, we stand with Peter. He did not claim to have a perfect understanding of the great mystery of the Eucharist. We just trust the Lord, believe his words and stand with Peter while the rest abandon Christ’s body, taken, blessed, broken and given to us and for us.

    It is the seal of the New Covenant. Just as the Jews of old had to eat the roasted flesh to renew the passover covenant, so we Catholics and Orthodox must consume the body and blood of Christ made really present.

    Those who mock the Catholic faith, mock the faith of the Early Church. Calling Catholics cannibals is exactly what the pagan Romans did. So, you stand in a handsome and long line of anti-Catholics including all our persecutors from the Romans to the Muslims, to the Soviets to the Chinese. Cannibals!!! You might as well just call us Christians, because real Christians have always be accused of being cannibals.

    It just takes faith to be a Catholic…a faith sadly lacking among our Protestant brothers and sisters.

  2. I’m truly sorry you believe that way, Fr. J.

    No matter how you slice it, you have a salvation by works. To say you must “have faith” in what you’re doing [or in what you’re consuming] is trusting in your act of consumption of the eucharist, no matter what that bread and wine have become.

    I was a Catholic for 22 years until I trusted God’s Word when It said that I must believe “by faith alone” on the Lord Jesus Christ for who He is and for what He says He can do. I didn’t have to eat His Flesh or drink His Blood, but I had to believe – John 6:29, “Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent”.

    Let me ask: What happened before this eucharist? How did the thief on the cross get to be with Christ without partaking of “His Flesh and Blood”?

    BTW: Yes, I have abandoned your belief, and I am not your “Protestant brother”. You also make it sound like Catholics have been persecuted from the Romans…recheck history. It was the Romans who birthed in your belief and the Catholic Church was a heavy persecutor of ones who would not bow down to a wafer god.

    Fr. J – this is what I believe…I don’t hate you nor do I wish ill-will toward you. I don’t want to persecute you, but I want to persuade you. Isn’t this cannibalism and idolatry??? Eating flesh and drinking blood and worshipping a god in a wafer???

    I’m really not trying to be mean – this is what I see. It is all a salvation of works. If you don’t partake of it, you’re in trouble with God…right?

  3. Robert said

    Bro. Szekely,

    You are clearly not a dumb person. However, you are clearly parroting low level polemics which are quite unworthy of a good discussion and of a person of your intelligence. For instance, you said:

    “It was the Romans who birthed in your belief and the Catholic Church was a heavy persecutor of ones who would not bow down to a wafer god.”

    This is like a Jack Chick tract, almost right out of “the Death Cookie.” “Bow down to the wafer god?” For you sake, as well as ours, I hope that Jack Chick isn’t ultimately the source of your misinformation about the Catholic Church. You should know that Jack Chick is indeed an unreliable source on the issue of Catholicism.

    I would be happy to dialogue with you on the subject of faith and works. However, I gave a response to your post back at, “The Black Cordelias” which I think we should discuss first.

    God bless.

  4. G’day Robert!

    Thank you for your comments – and from what I remember, I can see how I could be sounding like a Chick tract 🙂 [I haven’t seen or read any of that guy’s stuff in a long while]

    I really don’t know too much about Jack Chick, but to me, Truth is Truth, no matter who says it.

    I appreciate you clicking in, and I will get over to “the Black Cordelias” for the dialogue.

    Thanks for letting me know – talk with you soon!

  5. Robert said

    The only problem is that Jack Chick is rather short on truth.

    As to the origin of the doctrine on the Eucharist– the earliest Christian documents testify very strongly to this. It is not a Roman invention. Catholics would, of course, assert that this doctrine is taught in the Scriptures. But not only this, it is consistently taught throughout all the ages up until the Protestant Reformation.

    Here are some examples:

    Ignatius of Antioch, who wrote around 110AD.

    “I have no taste for corruptible food nor for the pleasures of this life. I desire the bread of God, which is the flesh of Jesus Christ, who was of the seed of David; and for drink I desire his blood, which is love incorruptible” (Letter to the Romans).

    And again, he says:

    “Take note of those who hold heterodox opinions on the grace of Jesus Christ which has come to us, and see how contrary their opinions are to the mind of God. . . . They abstain from the Eucharist and from prayer because they do not confess that the Eucharist is the flesh of our Savior Jesus Christ, flesh which suffered for our sins and which that Father, in his goodness, raised up again. They who deny the gift of God are perishing in their disputes” (Letter to the Smyrneans).

    Justin Martyr was a convert to Christianity who was– as his name suggests– martyred for his belief. He writes around 150 AD:

    “”We call this food Eucharist, and no one else is permitted to partake of it, except one who believes our teaching to be true and who has been washed in the washing which is for the remission of sins and for regeneration [i.e., has received baptism] and is thereby living as Christ enjoined. For not as common bread nor common drink do we receive these; but since Jesus Christ our Savior was made incarnate by the word of God and had both flesh and blood for our salvation, so too, as we have been taught, the food which has been made into the Eucharist by the Eucharistic prayer set down by him, and by the change of which our blood and flesh is nurtured, is both the flesh and the blood of that incarnated Jesus” (First Apology, 66).

    If you’d like to see many more examples, please follow this link:

    http://www.catholic.com/library/Real_Presence.asp

    You will see that the unanimous testimony of the Christian patrimony is that the Eucharist is indeed the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ. So I must take your statement that “it was the Romans who birthed your belief” and reject it. It’s simply not true. Nor would credible historical evidence suggest this. The best scholars of early Christian belief, like J.N.D. Kelly, conclude that it was universally reality with regards to the Eucharist. If you think that you do indeed have historical evidence to back up your claim, then please present it. Otherwise, I encourage you to revise your position on this question.

    God bless.

  6. I have to say…

    I like to think I’ve read much history, but I’ve not ever read anything on these men that you’ve alluded to on “the eucharist” except from catholic sources. In fact, you only quote catholic sources…hmmm…

    Did you realize that these men you quote never even mentioned the baptism of infants? You might find something to the effect in catholic writings, but…

    On “my side” for example, my Baptist history goes back all the way to the Lord Jesus Christ, and we have testimonies of non-Baptists (even a Catholic Cardinal) on it. Please see: The Testimony of Others

    I need not revise the position that holds me.

    …But thank you, Robert, for your comments.

  7. Robert said

    Bro. Szekely,

    J.N.D. Kelly is not a Catholic source. He is an Anglican scholar. His book, “Early Christian Doctrines” is considered a top work for the study of early Christian belief.

    But note that I– and the catholic.com source I linked to– refer to primary sources. We have actual documents written by Christians from the second century and beyond which testify to this. This shows that the belief was actually held that early, and after. Noting that these Church Fathers are Catholics does not weaken my case, for all I was trying to show was that certain people believed something. The plain history shows that Christians did indeed believe in the Real Presence. The Catholic belief on the Eucharist predates any influence which the Church of Rome could have had on the universal church.

    “I need not revise the position that holds me.”

    You still haven’t given any evidence that the doctrine is a “Roman” invention. You didn’t even treat it in your post. The only historical evidence you tried to support was the position that Baptist Christianity existed from the post-Apostolic age through the Protestant Reformation. Please provide historical evidence that the Catholic doctrine on the Eucharist is a Roman invention, or drop the position from the discussion. Surely this is a historical question which can be answered much more simply than a theological debate.

    “Did you realize that these men you quote never even mentioned the baptism of infants? You might find something to the effect in catholic writings, but…”

    This is, again, a topic I’d love to discuss with you. But for now let us continue discussing the Eucharist. If we tackle too many topics we won’t make any progress in discussion.

    “On “my side” for example, my Baptist history goes back all the way to the Lord Jesus Christ, and we have testimonies of non-Baptists (even a Catholic Cardinal) on it. Please see: The Testimony of Others”

    Brother, thank you for the link. However, I think that the case you are making is far from having been made. From the short quotes it is difficult to tell what exactly some of these men are affirming, even granted that what they are affirming is true to the historical record. For instance, quotes 4 and 5 might be referring specifically to one practice, such as denying paedobaptism in favor of adult baptism only. But this is far from sanctioning the entire range of Baptist doctrine. Oftentimes comparisons are made on the basis of some similarity. For this reason, even if the history which these quotes refer to is credible, they must be examined more directly and with greater context to establish that Baptist Christianity was practiced by these people.

    Regardless, the Waldensian heresy was around in the 1100-1200s. That’s hardly early enough to claim true apostolicity.

    As to the actual beliefs of the Waldensians, I think you’ve very mistaken. This link has a very good discussion which I encourage you to read in full:

    http://www.bringyou.to/apologetics/num3.htm

    The Waldensians were wholly orthodox in doctrine in the beginning, but they came into trouble for preaching as laypeople. He cites documents which show profession in belief in sacraments and infant baptism. Later, a small group of Waldensians moved towards adult baptism. On the whole, as the writer notes, the baptist writer A.H. Newman says that they have more in common with Catholics than evangelicals.

    Steve Ray has a fairly informative overview, from a Catholic perspective, of the Baptist succesionism beliefs. See here: http://www.catholic-convert.com/Portals/0/TrailOfBlood.pdf

    Unfortunately, these beliefs are not grounded in credible history.

    If you want to support the (I think, rather fantastical) theory that Baptists existed in the period between the end of the apostolic age and the Protestant Reformation, then please produce a primary or secondary source of some kind which shows that they do coincide in all of these beliefs. I have presented you quotations from primary documents which show early Christian beliefs in the Real Presence in the Eucharist, perhaps you can find me, at least in the Waldensians, these substantial likenesses between Baptist Christianity and the Waldensians? It appears that they are really Catholic, primarily.

    Perhaps you should pick up the book which PhilVaz quotes, by Baptist historian James Edward McGoldrick.

    God bless.

  8. Give me some time on all this…I’ll definitely get back to you.

  9. Robert said

    Sure thing. It’s a lot of material to cover! May the Holy Spirit guide you in your study and your writing. If it takes a real long time, leave a message on the Black Cordelias, and I’ll remember to look back. 🙂 God bless.

  10. Much going on today, Robert…thanks for waiting on my reply.

    I’ve been thinking on this as I read your last full reply…

    I’m not trying to skirt the issue here, but as far as your Catholic sources and my sources, and what these ones said vs. what those ones said, I don’t think that can be the primary object in the discussion. I won’t be swayed by your sources and you won’t be swayed with mine. Plus, with sources on each side, I’m sure we both can find things about them in which we both can point out as a discredit…

    I’m not saying that sources can be totally discredited, but at the end of the day, I want to know what God says on “the eucharist” and on everything else. You see, for me, the Bible is my Only Rule of Faith and Practice. “…let God be true, but every man a liar” (Romans 3:4).

    See, you can claim my comments aren’t grounded in “credible history”, and I can do the same with yours, no matter what man you quote outside the Bible…and we can go on and on for a while like that.

    From what I’ve read, I believe the eucharist was a pagan [Roman] invention. You disagree, and I understand that. And putting our histories aside for a moment, the primary reason I believe this is because I don’t see the Lord Jesus Christ in the Bible changing the bread and the grape juice into His actual Body.

    For you, it has to be so for your salvation, along with some other things you practice. Robert, if you have to have faith in what you partake to be right with God, that is an admixture of faith and works.

    Robert, you cannot have salvation by faith in Christ alone…you must have the eucharist…along with doing other things.

    You know, we can talk about “real presence” and your body being assimilated into christ’s body during communion instead of you ingesting him, but where’s that in the Bible? Where does the Bible say that your body melds into the flesh you’ve eaten and the wine you’ve drunk? Where does the Bible prove that what you’ve taken in your mouth doesn’t become ingested into your body?

    I know you believe in extra-Biblical writings from various popes and councils, but for me Robert, that won’t do it. As I’ve stated, the Bible is my Only Rule of Faith and Practice.

    Well…that’s the kind of guy you’ve been talking with. You want to reply, please feel free…but I’d really like to know where the Bible tells us about our bodies being assimulated into his body when his body is eaten.

  11. Robert said

    Bro. Szekely,

    “Much going on today, Robert…thanks for waiting on my reply.”

    No problem. The internet moves too fast.

    “I’m not trying to skirt the issue here, but as far as your Catholic sources and my sources, and what these ones said vs. what those ones said, I don’t think that can be the primary object in the discussion. I won’t be swayed by your sources and you won’t be swayed with mine. Plus, with sources on each side, I’m sure we both can find things about them in which we both can point out as a discredit…”

    I agree with you that when it comes down to an interpretation of any historical event, there is always room for disagreement. I disagree that there is room for serious disagreement on the larger issue here. It seems that the Baptist successionism is a fantastic invention of some authors, which isn’t grounded in history. Surely, various heretical groups in the history of the church have had likenesses to Baptists in doctrine, but there is no question about there being an actual line of Baptist successionism. It’s just not in the history, period. We can debate about the nuances of Ignatian, Augustinian, etc. Eucharistic theology, and we’d be unlikely to be swayed either way if we’re hard put. But on the issue of the supposed apostolic origin of the Waldensians, this was a historical error which no one seriously holds anymore.

    It doesn’t do to say that the debate is intractable because we each have our sources. I think what our discussion has shown, at the least, is that while some Waldensians were against infant baptism, they were also largely a group which was Catholic in doctrine in most other ways, and which later merged with the Protestant movement. It is especially not a case of pitting sources against one another because none of your sources cited a single belief which Baptists shared with any Waldensians except for being against infant baptism. One of your quotes says that they were substantially Baptist, but that hardly flies. We need specific examples, and none are forthcoming. If you claim that Waldensians agreed with Baptists on another doctrine… well, we can investigate that. Since you and I both know that there are many other issues, we cannot hold that this theory is established.

    Besides, while I have referred to Catholic apologists, the very Catholic apologists I have cited have referred to Baptist historians, like A.H. Newman and James Edward McGoldrick. You try to make the impression that we have sources stacked against one another, when the reality is that there is really nothing which is supporting the Baptist succession thesis at all. I have also referred to Protestant historian J.N.D. Kelly, as well as specific sources– Ignatius, Justin Martyr and others.

    “I’m not saying that sources can be totally discredited, but at the end of the day, I want to know what God says on “the eucharist” and on everything else. You see, for me, the Bible is my Only Rule of Faith and Practice. “…let God be true, but every man a liar” (Romans 3:4).”

    Jesus says that His Body is true food indeed, and His Blood is true drink indeed. You hardly need me to cite the Bible back to you.

    “See, you can claim my comments aren’t grounded in “credible history”, and I can do the same with yours, no matter what man you quote outside the Bible…and we can go on and on for a while like that.”

    Feel free to critique the sources I quoted. I don’t think you’ll find a way to discredit them so as to establish your thesis if you are using historical method.

    “From what I’ve read, I believe the eucharist was a pagan [Roman] invention. You disagree, and I understand that.”

    You haven’t given any evidence that it is a pagan Roman invention. Not only do I disagree, I have been given no reason to consider otherwise. If you can trace back the origin of the realist view of the Eucharist to a pagan Roman corruption, that would be quite powerful indeed. I would think that Ignatius of Antioch’s belief, circa 110AD, in the Real Presence would be enough of a counter-example to refute your idea. You haven’t even addressed this. How in the world would Ignatius, the bishop of Antioch, have been an heir to a pagan Roman corruption, so early and close to the death of the apostle John? Please address this. When was there time for pagan Rome’s corrupting influence to work on Ignatius’s doctrine?

    “And putting our histories aside for a moment, the primary reason I believe this is because I don’t see the Lord Jesus Christ in the Bible changing the bread and the grape juice into His actual Body.”

    Grape juice! Let’s not even get into that.

    At the last supper Jesus holds the bread and the wine and says, “This is my Body” and “This is the cup of my Blood.” Of course you don’t *see* it. It’s not a sensible change. But we take on the authority of faith that what Jesus– Truth Himself– speaks is True. If not, then nothing’s true! This is clearly a mystery which is beyond our senses. The only sense which is adequate is the sense of hearing, by which we submit to the authority of God’s word. It’s right there in the synoptic gospels and in Paul’s epistle to the Corinthians.

    “For you, it has to be so for your salvation, along with some other things you practice. Robert, if you have to have faith in what you partake to be right with God, that is an admixture of faith and works.”

    Let’s put the issue of faith and works to the side for the moment. I’ll be happy to get back to it later. But it would be a huge tangent at this point. (It always is. :))

    “Robert, you cannot have salvation by faith in Christ alone…you must have the eucharist…along with doing other things.”

    The Eucharist *is* Jesus.

    “You know, we can talk about “real presence” and your body being assimilated into christ’s body during communion instead of you ingesting him, but where’s that in the Bible? Where does the Bible say that your body melds into the flesh you’ve eaten and the wine you’ve drunk?”

    In John 6 Jesus says, “Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in him” (6:56). When we eat the Eucharist Jesus abides or “remains” in us, and in doing so we abide or remain in Him. It is a cause of mutual indwelling. Jesus says, “Just as the living Father sent me and I have life because of the Father, so also the one who feeds on me will have life because of me” (6:57). And so we have spiritual life because we feed on Jesus.

    “Where does the Bible prove that what you’ve taken in your mouth doesn’t become ingested into your body?”

    Be careful not to tie me to your presuppositions. When you say, “where does the Bible prove” you are tying me to sola scriptura. I feel like rejoining, “where does the Bible say that all doctrine must be in the Bible?” And since it doesn’t, I feel that my point would be proven.

    Nevertheless, what I have taken in my mouth is broken down, according to its accidents. But the substance itself– Jesus Christ– is not broken down or divided. This is really just the only reasonable conclusion we can make about it. Any conclusion to the contrary would be to rip apart His flesh– which can never be wounded evermore– again. Note that such a doctrine follows on the Real Presence.

    “I know you believe in extra-Biblical writings from various popes and councils, but for me Robert, that won’t do it. As I’ve stated, the Bible is my Only Rule of Faith and Practice.”

    I understand that, but you were trying to say that there is actual historical evidence for certain things– among those, the pagan origin of the Catholic doctrine of the Eucharist and the apostolic succession of Baptist Christianity. These two things are quite absurd, so I had to discuss them with you. Especially since you were using them as excuses not to consider Catholic doctrine. I’d be happy to deal with the Eucharist from Scripture with you, but then you’ve got to drop your claim about the supposed pagan Roman origins, which is not a Scriptural, but a historical question.

    For me, there is an additional problem. I think it is semi- Scriptural, semi-historical. Suppose that Baptist Christianity is true. Suppose also that there is no historical evidence that for some 1500 years anyone practiced it. As we were discussing above, even the Waldenses, for their opposition to infant baptism, were still sacramental and largely Catholic in belief. But suppose there is no historical evidence that anyone practiced Baptist Christianity for this long period of time. What am I supposed to think of that? When Jesus told us that He would not let the gates of hell prevail against His Church, that His Church was the pillar and foundation of truth, and that the Holy Spirit would be with His Church to guide it, did He just drop the ball? I’m sorry, but the logic of Protestantism ends in the non-Christian “restorationist” movements because it seems to necessitate apostasy of some sort. And if the Baptist claims about doctrine are true, then as Ricky says, “you got some splainin’ to do.”

    So approach this from my perspective. There is no evidence that Baptist Christianity was practiced for 1500 years. It seems, then, that I must conclude either that Jesus dropped the ball, or that Baptist Christianity is wrong. Do you find it odd that I conclude that Baptist Christianity is wrong?

    “Well…that’s the kind of guy you’ve been talking with. You want to reply, please feel free…but I’d really like to know where the Bible tells us about our bodies being assimulated into his body when his body is eaten.”

    Thanks. I appreciate your candor. At the same time, I’m disappointed. I feel that often when it comes down to it that I cannot get my Protestant friends to really dialogue with me on the historical questions which they hold to. I suspect that this is often because, as John Henry Cardinal Newman said, history does not lend much credence to Protestant systems of belief. “To be deep in history is to cease to be Protestant.” I hope you appreciate my candor in this as well.

    I gave the response to your question above. I feel that perhaps you may have misunderstood my original statement about us being assimilated into Jesus. It means that we are brought into deeper union with Jesus Christ. Thus, as Jesus says, when we eat His flesh and drink His blood we abide in Him.

    If you want to get back to the Eucharist, I need you to address what we were discussing over at the Black Cordelias, which I felt you didn’t address in your response to me.

    I said.

    It would seem that there is no reason to suppose, from Jesus saying that His words are “spirit and truth” that this should make us take a symbolic view of the Eucharist. To use “carnal” or “the flesh” to impugn the reality of the flesh would clearly be wrong, when, as I’ve noted, it refers to a way of thinking. Now, you’ve based most of your argument on this very distinction– you continually point out that Christ was speaking of the spiritual and telling us not to be carnal, and thus that we must take a symbolic view. But if what I’ve said is correct, then you haven’t given sufficient reason to interpret John 6 in a symbolic way. Why, then, ought we to take Christ’s word’s symbolically?

    God bless.

  12. Since this is my blog, I’m going to have the last word 🙂

    “It seems that the Baptist successionism is a fantastic invention of some authors, which isn’t grounded in history.”

    –Your opinion.

    “Besides, while I have referred to Catholic apologists, the very Catholic apologists I have cited have referred to Baptist historians, like A.H. Newman and James Edward McGoldrick.”

    –Obviously, only the ones who agree with your position. There are Baptist historians I disagree with, such as A.C. Vedder – He’s off on the Church – so to every one to whom you refer there is another one [or more] that holds to the opposite position.

    “Jesus says that His Body is true food indeed, and His Blood is true drink indeed. You hardly need me to cite the Bible back to you.”

    –Yes, you do need to cite the Bible back to me, as I had asked…so you quote me John 6:55 – I go back to my original post. You have nothing else, and I have explained it.

    “I would think that Ignatius of Antioch’s belief, circa 110AD, in the Real Presence would be enough of a counter-example to refute your idea.”

    –You haven’t even proved this was Ignatius’ belief, except by friendly, convenient sources.

    “Grape juice! Let’s not even get into that.”

    –Oh yes, I forgot…I’m conversing with a Catholic.

    “Be careful not to tie me to your presuppositions. When you say, ‘where does the Bible prove’ you are tying me to sola scriptura. I feel like rejoining, ‘where does the Bible say that all doctrine must be in the Bible?’ And since it doesn’t, I feel that my point would be proven.”

    –“But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. 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 1:8-9

    –“For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.” Revelation 22:18-19

    –“Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him. Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar.” Prov 30:5-6

    –“Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you.” Deuteronomy 4:2

    “So approach this from my perspective. There is no evidence that Baptist Christianity was practiced for 1500 years.”

    –Again…says you, but there are many historians that would disagree with you. So, where do we go from there? Nowhere.
    –Also, let’s just go by what you said – “no evidence”. I could say the reason for that was because our forefathers were being persecuted and murdered for their belief by the Catholic Church and the Protestants like Luther and Zwingli, so there was no thought of posterity during these times, just survival. Consequently, we must hear from other historians many times for certain periods, and there have been some favorable accounts written of these persecuted people…whether you want to believe it or not.

    “Thanks. I appreciate your candor. At the same time, I’m disappointed.”

    –I’m sorry for your disappointment, Robert, but I must be upfront once again. I’m done with this thread. I’m moving on to other things. I’ve stated my points and belief, and if you do not believe what I believe, that is your right – and you can thank Baptists for the right of religious freedom in our country. [and I won’t go into that now]

    –I will not get caught in a circular thread. You say I haven’t responded to some things, but I will say the same. In any case, I’ve stated my belief in my original post, and I’ve given you plenty of space to state yours…but it has to stop here.

    I appreciate you clicking over and discussing with me…
    Thank you, Robert.

  13. Robert said

    Bro. Szekely,

    Thank you for your time. May God bless you.

    If you want to discuss any of the side issues which came up in our topic– like faith and works which we’ve left open, maybe we can do posts on our respective blogs. I didn’t want to deprive you of a discussion of that topic. This combox, of course, is not the place and this isn’t the time. Feel free to start a topic which asks a question or poses a challenge, and then notify me if you’d like to start that up.

    I hope that you may rest secure in Christ’s peace. Good bye.

  14. Thank you very much, Robert.

    Lord bless!

  15. Kate said

    Just a former catholic jumping into the mix here … a catholic can NEVER have full assurance that he/she is definitely going to heaven. No matter how good a catholic I was, I never had that peace which surpasses all understanding. What it boils down to is this: are works part of salvation or not? The Bible says that good works come AFTER one is saved – not before. Christ’s work on the cross is sufficient for the sins of man. Nothing needs to be added to Christ’s work. To say otherwise is blasphemy – it says that the death of Jesus Christ was not enough to pay for all sin. Once man repents from his wicked ways and believes through faith that he deserves hell and Christ is the only way to heaven (without works like the mass, purgatory, sacraments), he is born again. The catholic cannot believe this because the catholic has been conditioned to believe (through sacred tradition and magisterium) that heaven cannot be achieved without all these other things. Therefore, the catholic will never know true peace. Christ said we could have it – beyond measure.

    Once I was born again, the Holy Spirit opened the Word and I was able to understand for myself. This is a gift from God to His children. No where could I find transubstantiation, Bro. Mike. No where could I find that my salvation was dependent on the sacraments. No where could I find anything about purgatory and praying my relatives out of there or buying indulgences. These things are no where to be found in God’s Word.

    This is an excellent post. Keep posting these types of things. Prayerfully one catholic will fall under conviction and will open the pages of the Bible and read them for himself and learn the blessed truth!

  16. Thanks for jumping in, Kate!

    “Just a former catholic jumping into the mix here … a catholic can NEVER have full assurance that he/she is definitely going to heaven. No matter how good a catholic I was, I never had that peace which surpasses all understanding. What it boils down to is this: are works part of salvation or not?”

    Great point! Your reply strikes at the root and the whole conclusion to this matter…our works cannot give salvation!

    Once I was born again, the Holy Spirit opened the Word and I was able to understand for myself. This is a gift from God to His children. No where could I find transubstantiation, Bro. Mike. No where could I find that my salvation was dependent on the sacraments. No where could I find anything about purgatory and praying my relatives out of there or buying indulgences. These things are no where to be found in God’s Word.”

    AMEN & AMEN, SIS ~ Thank you & LORD BLESS!

  17. Courtney said

    Well, this post certainly didn’t win you any popularity votes, did it? As always, I am thankful for your devotion to the truth, regardless of the cost. You presented these truths clearly and biblically. Along with what Kate said, now we pray that Catholics would find this post, challenge you, and in the end find that the blood of Christ alone was always enough to atone for their sins.

  18. Thanks for your comments, Courtney!

    It’s kind of funny…but…I’ve never really been popular 🙂

    Thank you for praying and for your fellowship – Keep on keepin’ on, my sis!

    Lord bless!

  19. Stan Evans said

    Hey there Bro Szekely,
    How are you doing?
    Do you think you could read my scripture study and comment on it?
    Thanks,
    Stan

  20. G’day Stan!

    I’m not doing too badly today…my son just had his right ACL reconstructed this morning, and everything went so very well – God had truly blessed and answered prayer – but we all are very tired.

    Stan, please refresh my memory and forgive me, but where can I find your Scripture study?

    Thank you!

  21. Stan Evans said

    Bro Szekely,
    I am glad everything went well with your son. Praise God.

    The reason I am asking you to read and comment on this study is because I have explained this to many Catholics but I want to see what you think about it. Since I haven’t typed this study out, I will be sending it to you a little bit at a time.

    Now what I’d like to do is just to share with you my own scripture study in an abbreviated form that led me to see something that I didn’t think was possible, led me to see that the Last Supper and Christ’s sacrifice on Calvary and the Eucharist are all of one piece.

    It’s been an explanation that has provided insight for others as well. It’s not entirely original, but for me it was a discovery of my own before I discovered it in the writings of other great and holy and wise authors.

    But before I start on my study, I want to briefly explain what the Catholic Church believes the Eucharist is. The Eucharist is a sacrament and it’s a sacrifice in which Our Lord Jesus Christ not only establishes a covenant, but really, is the covenant. And the sacrament it contains our Lord Jesus Christ, body, blood, soul and divinity; but it’s also an offering. So in the Eucharist Our Lord Jesus Christ body and blood, soul and divinity is offered to the Father continually in an unbloody manner. Then, finally, it’s not just contained, it’s not just offered but it’s received. All three of those elements are crucial to understanding how the Eucharist is both a sacrifice and a sacrament. And when it’s received, we call that Holy Communion. All three of those belong together. They are inseparable. They are critical.

    Now I have got to say one thing right off the bat. The most common theological objection is normally taken from Hebrews 10, verses 10 through 12, where the sacrifice of the Body of Jesus Christ is spoken of as being once for all. Once and for all, or more literally, once for all, and then it says, “He sat down at the right hand.”

    He is not continually killed. He is not continually put to death, and I want to make something very clear. As Catholics we do not believe that Jesus dies again and again and again in the Eucharistic sacrifice of the altar. I am not talking about a bloody sacrifice where Christ is still bleeding. I am not talking about the fact that Christ is still dying on Calvary. We believe, rather, that this is an unbloody sacrifice. It doesn’t mean that he is being killed, only without any bloodshed. It means that he is not being killed at all. He’s not dying. He’s been buried. He’s been raised. He’s ascended. He’s enthroned and there he is in glory. But as he is in glory, he is the Lamb of God, enthroned as the Pascal Lamb; and so all of this belongs together in a very deep and mysterious way and I for one do not pretend to think that I can encapsulate or summarize it all adequately.

    I’ll have to continue this at a later time. But in the meantime, could you help me and please provide me with the Bible verses that you believe that the Catholic Church uses to support their position on the Eucharist. And you are welcome to comment on what I have already written.

  22. G’day Stan…

    I’ll try to assist you in any way I can. A friend of mine and I have teamed up on another blog called “From Tradition to Truth“. It’s a blog specifically designed to reach out to Catholics. If you’d like, check out this post: The Eucharist Helps the Dead and other posts.

    We’re just getting it started – it’s been going now for about a month – but we’ve had some great posts and replies…it may be a help to you.

  23. Stan Evans said

    Now before I start, I would like to remind you of another important theological doctrine. God is omnipresent. God is present everywhere; but Jesus Christ in His humanity, that is the flesh and the blood that He assumed for Himself from the Blessed Virgin Mary, that is only in heaven. That is spatially limited. In addition to its space, to its place in heaven however, we also say that through the miracle of the Mass and the Eucharist, Jesus Christ, not just in His divine nature, which is present everywhere; but in His human nature is present on the altars of the Church around the world as Mass is celebrated daily approximately 300,000 times each day.

    So I’m talking about the humanity of Jesus Christ which is inseparably united to His divinity. This is done, of course, to establish the New Covenant. Jesus Christ wants to be with us. His name, in a sense, is Emmanuel, God with us. God is with us in such a unique way with the New Covenant that I have to say it’s a completely different kind of covenant because in the Old Testament, the covenants were all preparations.

    In a sense, the first time a covenant is mentioned explicitly is with Noah and the covenant is that rainbow. So that covenant prepares for Christ because we see that when the Lamb is enthroned in Revelation 4 and 5, around his throne is that rainbow. Then the next covenant is with Abraham and Isaac and that oath covenant is established in Genesis 22 on Mount Moriah when Abraham was ready to sacrifice his only beloved son, but God stopped him. That covenant was not really completed until Jesus Christ, God the Father’s only beloved firstborn Son went to Moriah to a peak called Calvary and there He was offered. And on it goes.

    When Moses led the people out of Egypt and to Mount Sinai and he slew the animals and he took the blood and he threw it upon the people and he said, “This is the blood of the covenant.” Those exact words were taken by Jesus in the Upper Room when he instituted the Eucharist, only to insert the word, “new” covenant, but it’s there, practically verbatim because what Moses was doing was only a symbol and a shadow of what Christ would really accomplish.

    Likewise when David, seeing in himself and then in his firstborn son, Solomon, a priest king after the order of Melchizedek, there in Salem, there in Jerusalem as he took the Ark up and as he requested the building of the temple and as he gave the people bread and wine; all of this was a shadowy anticipation of what Christ would accomplish. But it was only a partial picture. So how can I possibly exhaust the meaning and beauty of the sacrament? It’s impossible, but I can say this: God is not done in history until he is with us, until he is one of us.

    For the first time in history, with the New Covenant, God is the covenant in his human nature. The Christian religion is the only religion established on the basis of the divine oath. All religions have divine oaths in this sense that we swear oaths to God, “So help me God.” “Curse me God, if I don’t fulfill this promise.” But only in the Jewish scriptures and in the fulfillment of the Christian New Covenant do we have God swearing the oath, pronouncing upon himself the curse, and then establishing in his own body and blood, the covenant — absolutely unique and distinct.
    (to be continued)

  24. Stan Evans said

    Before I go on, I want to just read to you some quotations from early Church Fathers about the Eucharist to give to you an awareness that this is not some innovation. This is not some novel invention in the Middle Ages. For instance, there at the end of the 1st Century, St. Ignatius of Antioch, disciple of the beloved disciple John, spoke of the heretics who were plaguing the Church in his day. “They abstained from the Eucharist because they do not confess that the Eucharist is the flesh of our Savior, Jesus Christ.” It’s a perennial problem, isn’t it?

    Then St. Justin Martyr in the 2nd Century, “This food is known among us as the Eucharist. We do not receive these things as common bread and common drink but as Jesus Christ, our Savior, being made flesh by the word of God.” Then in the 4th Century, St. Cyril of Jerusalem, another venerable Church Father, wrote, “Since then he has declared instead of the bread, ‘This is my body,’ who after that will venture to doubt. And seeing that he has affirmed and said, ‘This is my blood,’ who will raise a question and say it is not his blood?”

    So I have testimony throughout all of the first centuries of the Church to this effect. (And I can provide many more examples if you want them.) You are hard-pressed, I would say it is practically impossible to find a single statement by anybody in the first eight centuries of the Church where you have a denial of the Real Presence of Jesus Christ, flesh and blood, body, soul and divinity there in the Eucharist. I remember when I first discovered that, I was still anti-Catholic, but boy, did that bother me; because I wondered how could John’s disciple get it so wrong? How could St. Ignatius say something so patently false and superstitious after spending all this time at the feet of the beloved disciple, St. John? Now I’m convinced that he didn’t get it wrong. Now I’m convinced that Vatican II got it right when it said, “In the Sacrament of the Eucharist, the unity of believers who formed one body in Christ is both experienced and brought about.” We are in a sense what we eat. We’re only in the supernatural body of Christ because in the Eucharist we receive the supernatural body of Christ.

    Now I would like to call your attention to something that is said in the Mass. It’s taken from the Eucharistic Prayer # 1, the Roman Canon. “Father, accept this offering from your whole family.” In the middle of the Mass, we are told what we are and we are told what we are doing and that is we are praising and loving and sacrificing and worshipping our Father as he gathers his family.

    Then it goes on in the same prayer to speak about God. It says, “Father, we celebrate the memory of Christ, your Son,” etc. “Look with favor on these offerings and accept them as once you accepted the gift of your servant Abel who offered himself as an oblation.” It was a perfect sacrifice of his own body and blood in an act of martyrdom, a very substantial image of Christ, but it was not perfect because it wasn’t voluntary. It was involuntary; it’s murder. Then the prayer says “The sacrifice of Abraham, our father in faith who offered his only beloved son, on Moriah.” Another very powerful symbol of our Lord, Jesus Christ. But then, Abraham didn’t really kill him, did he? So it’s only an inadequate image. The prayer continues with “and the bread and wine offered by your priest Melchizedek.

    Now, that’s taken from Genesis 14 where it says, “After his return from the defeat of Chedorlaomer and the kings,” the four kings were with them. It goes on to talk about the king of Sodom went out to meet him at the Valley of Shaven, that is the King’s Valley, and Melchizedek, king of Salem, (later is called Jeru-salem Psalm 76 shows us that), and “Melchizedek, the king of Salem, brought out bread and wine for he was priest of God Most High and he blessed Abram.” This is the first time in the Bible that the word coen, the Hebrew word for priest is used. He was the priest and he brought out bread and wine and those two things are in close conjunction. He brought out bread and wine and then it says he was a priest. Well, what’s the connection?

    Back then the priest did not need to offer the bloody sacrifices. Those only became necessary, we learn in Exodus 8 and Ezekial 20 when Israel becomes enslaved and addicted to the gods of Egypt and to idolatrous customs which God has got to break by having him sacrifice the gods of Egypt ceremonially on Mount Sinai. But back when we had the patriarchal family religion rooted in nature, what was the sacrifice that pleased God? Well, bread and wine offered by God’s priest Melchizedek, the first time that somebody is called a priest, he is offering bread and wine to Abraham who has come and paid his tithes and receives bread and wine and then he receives a blessing. This is the pattern of the Eucharistic liturgy, where we give our offerings and then the priest, Christ working through the human priest, transforms them into his own body and blood and then he gives us that under the appearance of bread and wine and then he gives us the blessing.

    Szekely, before I continue could you please tell me what you believe the last saying of Jesus meant; It is finished.

  25. Stan Evans said

    Also if you have any comments on what I have written so far please post them.

  26. Stan…

    #1: You said, “…we also say that through the miracle of the Mass and the Eucharist, Jesus Christ, not just in His divine nature, which is present everywhere; but in His human nature is present on the altars of the Church around the world as Mass is celebrated daily approximately 300,000 times each day.”

    –My question is, “Why does He NEED to be present in His human nature”? Christ promised to send forth the Comforter – the Holy Spirit – after He ascended to the Father, and through the Holy Spirit, He and the Father would dwell within believers (see John 14:16-18,21,23).

    #2: Again you say, “So I’m talking about the humanity of Jesus Christ which is inseparably united to His divinity. This is done, of course, to establish the New Covenant. Jesus Christ wants to be with us. His name, in a sense, is Emmanuel, God with us. God is with us in such a unique way with the New Covenant that I have to say it’s a completely different kind of covenant because in the Old Testament, the covenants were all preparations.”

    –Our fundamental difference: You continually sacrifice His humanity for your covenant…I trust in His sacrifice that He provided once for all to spiritually seal me for eternity.

    #3: You bring in the “early Church fathers”. They’re not my church fathers and I hold them and their words in no way equal to the Word of God. And you must be joking if you think I’ll give any credence to what the Vatican II has said or endorsed.

    #4: You go on about Genesis 14 and what was offered to Melchizedek being not a bloody sacrifice, and you said, “Back then the priest did not need to offer the bloody sacrifices. Those only became necessary, we learn in Exodus 8 and Ezekial 20 when Israel becomes enslaved and addicted to the gods of Egypt…”

    –So there wasn’t a bloody sacrifice BEFORE Israel that pointed to Christ??? So God didn’t require a blood-sacrifice for the payment of sin???
    Genesis 3:15 God said, “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.” Of course, speaking of Messiah, the Lord Jesus Christ…then, vs21, “Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them.” The leaves [man’s work] wasn’t good enough to cover their shame and sin, so God had to have an animal give it’s life [a blood-sacrifice] to cover [atone for] their sin…THEN in Genesis 4 – Why did God accept Able’s sacrifice and not Cain’s “sacrifice”? Able’s was a blood-sacrifice.

    #5 and lastly: Jesus said, “It is finished” because He was THE fulfillment of the ceremonial Law. No more bulls and goats, no more animal sacrifices…HE was THE Sacrifice to end all sacrifices…and He only needed to be sacrificed once…for all.

    Stan, you or I don’t need to partake of Christ’s “physical body” in some wafer. When I realized who I was – a law-breaking sinner before a Holy and Righteous God – and when I submitted unto who Jesus was – God, the Son given in substitution for my sin payment – I was indwelt by God, sealed with that Holy Spirit of Promise. My spiritual rebirth had and has no dependence upon eating the supposed “body of Christ”.

  27. Stan Evans said

    Now my last post is going to become very important as I unfold and unpack all of this. But before I go on with Melchizedek, let’s just step back and let me talk about a few other things. First, I was investigating one of the last sayings of Jesus on the cross when He says, “It is finished.”

    I was listening to my favorite pastor and preacher who also happened to be my Hebrew instructor and Old Testament professor. He was going through the Gospel of John, and he was focusing on Christ’s passion and death. Then he got to chapter 19, and then he came to those famous verses in John 19, beginning in verse 28, “After this, Jesus knowing that all was now finished said to fulfill the scripture, ‘I thirst.’ A bowl full of sour wine stood there, so they put a sponge full of sour wine on hyssop and held it to his mouth. When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, ‘It is finished’ and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.” In the middle of his sermon, he was distracted by these words, “It is finished.” You could tell that he was taking in unplanned tangent. He said, “You know, well what exactly did Jesus mean when he said, ‘It is finished?” Now this pastor always had a way of asking provocative questions, off the cuff, and then giving you brilliant answers off the cuff, that just opened up layer after layer of meaning for scripture. So I was sitting there waiting with bated breath for some mind-numbing insight, when all of a sudden he shocked me and said, “I’m not really sure what Jesus meant when he said, ‘It is finished.’ What is the ‘it’ that was finished?”

    I’m sitting there thinking, “Come on, it’s the work of redemption.” Then he said from the pulpit, “You might be tempted to say, it’s Christ’s redemption that is finished. And he said, “Well, actually, if you’re going to do careful exegesis and interpret the passage in context, there’s no suggestion of that big theological doctrine, there in the context of that passage. So you have to ask yourself, ‘what is the primary meaning of the text in context. What is the “it” that is finished.’ And besides we can’t just summarize and say, ‘Well, redemption is completely finished,’ because Jesus hasn’t been raised from the dead yet. And St. Paul tells us that He was raised for our justification. So redemption still has to unfold some more.” So the resurrection is essential for our redemption every bit as much as the crucifixion. All right then, what did he mean when he said, ‘It is finished.’?” I just kept sitting there waiting until finally he said, “I’m not sure. Let’s just move on.”

    “It is finished,” boy, that bothered me. I didn’t hear another word because once he did that, I began burying myself in those verses, trying to find the answer. Little did I know that it would take months, in fact a couple years altogether. I decided when I got home from church that day to back up a couple steps and really resolving to do some work. So I did. I went back and I went, I think five or six chapters backwards in John and I started reading the Synoptic Gospels and I believe I found a connection with the Passover, and I’ll share it with you. When I think about how Christ instituted the Eucharist, I am obviously taken back to the Upper Room. And just recall if you will some well-known facts. He and the disciples were celebrating what well-known feast? The Passover. Probably the most important feast in all the Jewish calendar back then, because it signaled the event it signified the salvation deed of God, the work of God. Centuries, over a thousand years before, when Moses and the twelve tribes of Israel found themselves in bondage down in Egypt. And you know how it was that God called Moses from the burning bush and said, “Go and tell pharaoh the following: ‘Israel is my firstborn son.'” Now that’s a very interesting statement to begin with, because that idea of firstborn son is very essential to the Passover itself. “Israel is my firstborn son.” God is saying something to Egypt and to all the other nations: ‘You are enslaving and ignoring and mistreating your eldest brother’ It almost implies that all the nations in God’s eyes are like sons, but that Israel back then held a kind of primacy, like the oldest brother. “Israel is my firstborn son. Go tell pharaoh that Israel is my firstborn son. Let him go to serve me or else I will slay your firstborn sons.” And you know the story about the plagues and how they came upon Egypt and pharaoh kept hardening and turning away from God and wouldn’t listen, or he would listen and act like he was going to give in but at the last minute he’d turn away and harden his heart some more. Until finally the tenth plague came, which was the plague of the angel of death visiting death upon the firstborn sons in Egypt. All firstborn sons would have died, not just the Egyptian firstborn sons, except for one thing the Passover. If you and your household through the father took a lamb and slew that lamb and sprinkled the blood on the doorpost and ate the meal you would wake up and your firstborn son would be alive. And of course the Egyptian families didn’t, the Israelite families did and with that they were brought up in the exodus out of Egypt to Mount Sinai where God made a covenant with them, where He, like a father, entered into a loving relationship with the son. It’s almost like a bridal….it’s like a marriage encounter.

    That’s the Old Testament background. What it all meant was that this was the covenant event. In other words, what God was interested in doing was to restore the family purity and the family communion of His children, the people of Israel. The Passover was the bonding agent that brought it about, through the blood of the lamb, that sacrifice. And so it was celebrated for thousands of years, and still is by Jews, as the sign of the Mosaic covenant. Now remember, a covenant is a sacred family bond; it’s more than just a contract. And remember also that firstborn sons were marked for destruction. In other words, Egypt offered up a sacrifice and so did Israel. Egypt’s sacrifice was unwilling: their firstborn sons. Israel’s sacrifice was voluntary: the unblemished lamb.

    All of this is key, I believe, to understand the New Testament context of the Last Supper and the Holy Eucharist, because when Christ institutes the Eucharist, as I said, it takes place in the upper room at the Last Supper. And what are they doing but celebrating the Passover?

    Please comment if you’d like. I’ll have to continue this later.
    Peace

  28. Stan Evans said

    In Mark chapter 14: “His disciples said to him, ‘Where will you have us go and prepare for you to eat the Passover?’ And he gave them instructions and the disciples set out and entered the city and found it as he had told them and they prepared the Passover.” So likewise in Luke 22, verse 15, our Lord says, “I have earnestly desired to eat this Passover with you.” So we are assured that the Last Supper in the Upper Room was a Passover meal. In Mark 14, verses 22 through 26, we hear the words of institution, “And as they were eating He took bread and blessed and broke it and gave it to them and said, ‘Take, this is my body.’ And He took a cup and when He had given thanks [the Greek word for that is eucharisto], He gave it to them and they drank all of it and He said to them, ‘This is my blood of the New Covenant which is poured out for many. Truly I say to you, I shall not drink again of the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God.'”

    And I thought, “Huh, I never noticed those words before, ‘I shall not drink of the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God.'” Elsewhere you have the same idea expressed in the gospels where Jesus says, “I won’t drink of the fruit of the vine until,” you know, I’m being glorified. And I thought, “Well, wait a second, when he said, ‘It is finished,’ he had just taken some sour wine.” I wanted to work on that connection a little more. And then I noticed the next phrase, “And when they had sung a hymn, they went out into the night.” They went to the Mount of Olives, in fact.

    Now that might not seem very significant to people who are not familiar with the Haggadah, with the ancient Seder, but to Jewish readers of the gospel and scholars who study the gospel accounts of the Passover in the upper room, there’s a big problem. Why? Because we know the way the Passover has been celebrated for centuries, for millenia; it’s a very ancient liturgy, it’s well known, it’s no secret. When you look carefully at the sources, scholars, historians tell us that the Passover liturgy in Jesus’ time, just as it is today, is based on a four-part structure. There are four cups of the Passover liturgy represents essentially the basic liturgical structure of the Passover. So, if you look carefully at the structure of a Passover Seder, known as the “Haggadah” the liturgy that Jesus celebrated in the Upper Room with his disciples, you see these four stages or cups. The first cup is called the kadush. It’s the blessing that is pronounced over the first cup. The second one actually initiates the Passover liturgy in a technical way. The second cup of wine is drunk after you do the singing of Psalm 113, which is known as the Little Hillel Psalm and then the third cup, which is called the cup of blessing is drunk after grace is given. This is also done in conjunction with the prayer that is spoken over the bread. But what is so significant about this is that after the third cup but before the fourth and final cup, the Hillel Psalms are sung. It’s one great hallelujah Psalm. We get the word hallelujah from hillel which means praise yah, yahweh, hallel-u-yah. And the Hillel Psalms 114 through 118 constitute a gorgeous and majestic Psalm of praise to Yahweh.

    As soon as the third cup is drunk, you go ahead and sing that Psalm of the Hillel Psalms and then you proceed to the fourth cup of consummation, which is the climax of the Passover. What’s so odd and what many scholars have noticed is that Jesus — it says, “They sang a hymn, which is obvious, the Hillel Psalm, there’s really no disputing that point. Every Jew who knows the liturgy would expect: and then they went ahead and said the grace and the blessing and had the fourth cup, which climaxed and consummated the Passover. But no, the gospel account says “they sang the psalms and went out into the night.” And right after they drank that third cup and right before they sang that Psalm, the Hillel Psalms, Jesus said, “I’m not going to drink of the fruit of the vine again until the kingdom is come.” It’s almost as though Jesus meant not to drink what he was expected to drink. Before I go on do you think that this is a problem?

  29. Stan,

    You didn’t even answer MY questions in my response…

    That’s enough…get your own blog.

  30. Stan Evans said

    Your answers would have been answered if you had been patient. Patients is a virtue.

  31. Marcia said

    I guess I am jumping in wayyyy after the fact, but, its all okay…

    What puzzles me is the Catholic idea that if Ignatius of Antioch said it within 100 years of Christ ascension and the early Christian “Fathers” practiced it it must be true.

    Look at the old testament, when Moses was up for just a short time (burning bush, ten commandments), God’s people were forming a golden calf to worship…see how very quickly us humans turn from God’s truth!

    It is entirely possible that within a very short time period, the truth of Jesus became perverted and that perversion could be accepted very quickly. Even within a couple of years.

    We see examples of the Israelites turning from God’s ways so many times…

    We even see that today….just about every week , there is a new perversion to the truth even today..why would 2000 years ago be any different then now or 2000 years before Christ?

  32. Patrick M said

    Hi Marcia,

    Excellent question!
    The answer to your question is at the heart of EVERYTHING in this post:

    There is an incredible amount of history and depth associated with the bible. It has REAL context relating to the time and period of the writings and REAL context to us today. We do a HUGE dis-service to our God and to ourselves when we try to interpret the bible entirely on our own or reduce it to a few self-relevant tenets, without first trying to understand things beyond the bible that lend context to Christ’s teachings and illuminate the truth of God’s message for us in ways that we may otherwise be blind to without historical context.

    For example, the fact that Jesus was a practicing Jew should be COMPLETELY relevant to our understanding of Christ’s teachings – especially if we TAKE THE TIME to understand that his message for us was delivered via a message to the Jewish people. He says things and does things from time to time that ONLY have the intended meaning or depth of meaning when we understand the context of his Jewish heritage and audience. I think Stan was driving towards this with one such example in his posts above. We can’t deeply appreciate the significance of Jesus’s life as a fulfillment of God’s covenant with man until and unless we understand the details in the celebration of the passover and the very deliberate things that Jesus did and said during his last celebration of the passover to reveal to us in striking clarity his promised and everlasting role as lamb and saviour. Jesus offers us the fourth cup

    In other words, what I’m saying is that the bible is very deep, with many teachings in it that are inter-related and contextually-based. I think it would be impossible for any of us to just “know” the intended meaning of Christ’s teachings in the bible alone without some understanding of relevant history and context. So if we pick up the bible today and don’t either properly educate ourselves on Jewish and gentile practices in and around the time of Christ, as well as Christian practices attributed to the apostles and early Church Fathers immediately after Christ’s death and resurrection – and even before the writings of the bible were completed, and WAY before the New Testament bible was compiled – or if we don’t otherwise listen to people who can help educate us – and I’d guess that the number of pastors PROPERLY versed in ALL the biblically interrelated facets of history would be VERY FEW – then wouldn’t we MISS out on Christ’s teachings and wouldn’t we risk mis-interpreting the bible? And wouldn’t we then have thousands of Christian “churches” today with their own interpretations claiming to be the ONLY ones with the fullness of truth?

    On the other hand, the more we immerse ourselves in relevant history and context, the more we will understand and appreciate scripture. And in fact, I’m increasingly finding that there are many many many mind-blowing revelations for me in scripture BECAUSE I’m slowly learning more and more about the historical foundation on which my faith is laid. The incredible number of relationships between Old Testament scripture and New Testament scripture alone are enough to excite anyone who takes the time to study them in any depth. But we miss most of these unless we also “get” the history and context.

    Ultimately, when it comes to studying the bible and following God, the only thing that should matter to you or I is seeking and following His TRUTH and, by association, His WILL for us. But is His TRUTH revealed to us in Sola Scriptura alone? I don’t see how anyone can defend that position. Today, we have thousands of different “Christian” denominations, each promoting and defending their own “interpretations” of the bible’s truth. Are they all right? No! So should I reject every other denomination than “my own” and dive into the bible without any guidance in interpretation? I’d be a fool.

    The bible is not a single sentence that simply says: “You are saved by faith alone, period, end of story” or “Just love God and others and you’re good to go”. That’d be too easy! Instead, the bible is a large collection of deep God-given teachings that contain more meat than you or I can ever chew in a lifetime. There are seeming contradictions and dual meanings and things none of us could “get” just by reading the bible on our own.

    So did God really intend to reveal the full glory of His TRUTH and His WILL for me in the simple reading of words (albeit His Word) … especially when the words seem to have context in history and practices that extend beyond the “words” in the bible alone?

    And if God ONLY left me this bible (and the opportunity to pray of course) as the ONLY truth, then why would I ever trust what my pastor or some blogger or anyone else ever says? I’d be a fool to trust anyone else’s interpretation, so I wouldn’t read this blog or any other that might lead me astray. And I’d never attend ANY church, because ALL of them have a pastor or someone else of AUTHORITY guiding it. In fact, I shouldn’t talk to anyone about anything in the bible, for fear that they’ll try to sway me into some wrong interpretation!

    And if I ONLY have the bible as truth, then do I just keep reading the same words over and over until they hopefully reveal themselves (i.e. God reveals them) fully to me some day? Do I not need to concern myself about all the details and the incredible depth in the writings? Should it not bother me that others “interpret” the bible differently than myself? Why does the bible emphasize “faith” in one spot and “works” in another? Does it matter?

    Of course it does! If I believe that God left me a bible, then He must have left it for a reason!

    The good news is that the truth is much sweeter and less dependent on me. The truth is that God didn’t ONLY leave me a bible and He didn’t ONLY leave it up to me to figure it out on my own (with His help, of course). First and foremost, He left behind apostles and disciples and He appointed Peter to be the ROCK on which He’d build his church. And He reveals the ONE truth of the bible to me THROUGH the CHURCH He left behind. He never even promised me a bible and He certainly never promised He would reveal himself to me uniquely through the New Testament that was going to be written after He died! So there MUST only be ONE church that has ALWAYS held God’s truth, or why would he have promised to build it on a ROCK?!? There must be one Church that started with Peter and the apostles and CONTINUED unbroken. Otherwise, Jesus broke His promise!

    The new testament was recorded and the bible was compiled AFTER Jesus died. But He left a ROCK of truth behind that was intended to last forever. I just have to figure out which CHURCH has ALWAYS held the truth! And while that sounds hard, it’s not really, because I can readily find His CHURCH in the celebration of the Eucharist by the earliest apostles and by the Church Fathers. Because Jesus left His full presence with us in this world in the Eucharist, along with His Holy Spirit. It was celebrated by the first apostles, continuing after Jesus’s death. And it wasn’t celebrated in order to sacrifice Jesus, but rather in order to make Jesus’s ONE and FINAL sacrifice present to US and to ME today, so that you and I can be saved by FAITH that Jesus loves us so much that He would humble himself for us. I don’t have to fully understand the depth of this mystery, but I do have to BELIEVE it, because it is the essence of what Jesus taught (which is WHY some disciples left Him – because it was a hard teaching) and because it’s the essence of what the first CHURCH practiced!!! The TRUTH that lives unbroken today!!!

    Do you want to know the TRUTH??? You need to seek harder and go deeper, always. You need to stop listening to people who pronounce their own interpretations and instead seek the interpretations of the first people who lived on the ROCK, who wrote as humble, dedicated apostles, disciples and martyrs and who’s mission was to preserve the teachings of Christ. Yes, take the bible as TRUTH, but understand that it’s TRUTH lies buried in interpretation and that there is only ONE CHURCH that has preserved the interpretation of scripture without wavering from the very start.

    Clear your mind and start from scratch if that’s what it takes, but inasmuch as you immerse yourself in the bible, do ALSO immerse yourself in study and in history and in the writings of the early Church Fathers and in Jewish history. What you’ll find will probably astonish you. What you’ll find, I suspect, is that the Catholic Church is and has always been the ROCK. No, not the individual popes or bishops or priests, nor any other sinners and saints in the pews – none of them individually are the ROCK (and some are FAR from it). But rather the collective authority of the Catholic Church itself IS the ROCK. It’s INTERPRETATIONS OF SCRIPTURE are TRUE to scripture and unchanged through history. That’s what the ROCK means! Peter betrayed Jesus and yet Jesus choose him as his ROCK. Why? Not because of what Peter had to offer Jesus, but rather because of what Jesus had to offer Peter. The Catholic Church is the rock, FOR US! It’s teachings are 100% faithful to the bible and to Christ’s will for His CHURCH.

    Every question you ask of the Catholic Church – regarding Mary, the Pope, the Eucharist, has a TRUE answer. Most people can’t or won’t take the time to discover this truth (see Bro. Szekely, item 29 if you want a good example of this). They’re too immersed in forming their own interpretations of the bible and justifying their faith while condemning everyone else for their “false” interpretations. But to immerse yourself HUMBLY and FULLY in bible history, including the practices of the CHURCH before the New Testament was ever written and long before the bible as we know it was ever compiled, is to become Catholic. You’ll find yourself agreeing to EVERYTHING in the Catholic CHURCH once you study it’s teachings in depth and compare them FULLY to scripture, with an open mind, turned always in prayer to God. The bible is authoritative. The Catholic Church is the ROCK that was, is and will always be our interpreter of the TRUTH.

    Seek Christ with an open mind. If you want to know what Baptists truly believe, then don’t ask a Mormon. If you want to learn what Mormons truly believe, then don’t ask a Catholic. If you want to learn what Catholics truly believe, don’t ask a Baptist. Seek answers in many sources that collectively go much deeper than you or I might by ourselves. Don’t be afraid to question, but don’t accept answers that aren’t based in TRUTH.

    Seek and you shall find. God bless!

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