Wednesday, July 18, 2012
~~ By James Fire
We've already begun this series and have dealt with two of the four primary dogmas of the Roman Catholic Church as codified in the Seven Sacraments.
We're only dealing with the first four because they are central and pertinent to all Roman Catholics and are foundational to their belief system. Thus far, we have treated Water Baptism and the Holy Confession. We will now move on to the other two primary Sacraments, those being Holy Communion or Eucharist and Holy Confirmation.
Once completed we will address a couple other dogmas and then move onto the second half of this series, dealing with the Roman Catholic Church and it's role in the world as prophecy portrays in the last days, with a one world religion in conjunction with and at least initially in control of a one world government, and the many factors today that are leading us in that direction.
3) Holy Communion/The Eucharist –This sacrament is not merely a commemoration of the LORD’s sacrifice, it is a mystical phenomenon that brings about what the Roman Catholic Church refers to as ‘the Real Presence’ through transubstantiation:
“Transubstantiation is the teaching that during the Mass, at the consecration in the Lord's Supper (Communion), the elements of the Eucharist, bread and wine, are transformed into the actual body and blood of Jesus and that they are no longer bread and wine, but only retain their appearance of bread and wine.
The "Real Presence" is the term referring to Christ's actual presence in the elements of the bread and the wine that have been transubstantiated.
Paragraph 1376 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) states,
“The Council of Trent summarizes the Catholic faith by declaring:
"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 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 transubstantiation (CCC, 1376).”
Because [the elements of bread and wine] are the presence of Christ himself, Catholics worship and adore [them]. The doctrine of the real presence states that the bread and wine contain the actual presence of Christ in bodily form as a result of the process of transubstantiation.
Roman Catholicism states that the incarnation of Christ itself, where Jesus was a man but contained an invisible divine nature, is analogous to the the doctrine of the real presence. Communion is necessary for the infusion of grace, and supplements towards the saving of the Roman Catholic’s soul.
Some of the verses used to substantiate this teaching are the following:
• Matt. 26:28, "for this is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for forgiveness of sins."
• John 6:52-53, "The Jews therefore began to argue with one another, saying, How can this man give us His flesh to eat? 53 Jesus therefore 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 yourselves." (also 1 Cor. 11:27)
No where in scripture do we find this teaching. The elements as the body and blood are referred to, but the LORD Jesus clearly stated that His words were spiritual words:
JOHN 6:53-56, 60-63
53 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.
54 Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day.
55 For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed.
56 He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him.
60 Many therefore of his disciples, when they had heard this, said, This is an hard saying; who can hear it?
61 When Jesus knew in himself that his disciples murmured at it, he said unto them, Doth this offend you?
62 What and if ye shall see the Son of man ascend up where he was before?
63 It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.He did not say they were literal words; that is, He did not say that they were His actual body and blood.
* - But, a Catholic might object and say that Jesus clearly said, "This is My blood..." and "This is my body..." This is true, but Jesus frequently spoke in spiritual terms:
"I am the bread of life," (John 6:48); “I am the Light,” (John 8:12; 9:5); “I am the Door,” (John 10: 7, 9); "I am the true vine," (John 15:1), etc.
Jesus often spoke in figurative terms and in the context of Jesus telling His disciples that they must eat His body and blood, He clearly says He was speaking in spiritual terms, "...the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life (“the flesh profits nothing”)" (John 6:63).
* - After Jesus said, "This is my blood," (Matt. 26:28), He said, "But I say to you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in My Fathers kingdom," (Matt. 26:29).
Why would Jesus speak figuratively of His blood as "the fruit of the vine" if it was His literal blood? We can clearly see that Jesus was speaking figuratively.
* - If the bread and wine were transubstantiated into the actual body and blood of Jesus Christ, the disciples gave no such indication that they thought so, nor did they worship the elements as Roman Catholics are taught to do, nor did they teach such things in their epistles!
* - How could these elements be truly transformed when Christ in the flesh was officiating over this Last Supper? And according to Lev. 17:14 no Jew could ever eat blood of any kind! If the wine became actual blood, they wouldn’t have drank it!
* - Also - The biblical doctrine of the incarnation states that the Word which was God and was with God (John 1:1), became flesh and dwelt among us (John 1:14). This "became flesh" involves what is known as the Hypostatic Union. This is the teaching that in the one person of Christ are two natures: divine and human. That is, Jesus is both God and man at the same time and He will forever be God and man.
* - Incidentally there was another purpose for the Incarnation of Christ, that is, God becoming a man, according the official Roman Catholic doctrine – do you know what this other purpose is?
Answer, according to the Catholic Church Catechism: so that we might become God!
CCC 460, The Word became flesh to make us "partakers of the divine nature":78 "For this is why the Word became man, and the Son of God became the Son of man: so that man, by entering into communion with the Word and thus receiving divine sonship, might become a son of God."79
"For the Son of God became man so that we might become God."80 "The only-begotten Son of God, wanting to make us sharers in his divinity, assumed our nature, so that he that made man, might make men gods."81
80 St. Athanasius, De inc. 54, 3: PG 25, 192B
81 St. Thomas Aquinas, Opusc. 57, 1-4
A Mormon-like Dogma of 'becoming gods' in the Roman Catholic Church?
* - The Last Supper was not a sacrifice of Christ as is portrayed in Roman Catholic catechism and dogma –
In the Mass, the re-enactment of the Last Supper, the host is seen as the actual body of Christ, literally sacrificed for the sins of the world again and again, every time the priest offers it up; the Mass is conducted every Sunday, and on special holy days in every Roman Catholic church all over the world, year after year.
This means that Christ is sacrificed literally, millions of times since the beginning of the historical Mass, and countless numbers of times during the life time of individual Roman Catholics, yet this contradicts Scripture:
1 For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect.
2 For then would they not have ceased to be offered? because that the worshippers once purged should have had no more conscience of sins.
3 But in those sacrifices there is a remembrance again made of sins every year.
Yet the Roman Catholic in the Eucharist has a remembrance of this sacrifice of the Mass every single Sunday, year after year!
HEBREWS 9: 11, 12, 28
11 But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building;
12 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.
28 So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.
HEBREWS 10: 9-12
9 Then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God. He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second.
10 By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.
11 And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins:
12 But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God;
1 PETER 3: 18
18 For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit:
Finally, because the sacrifice of Christ was once for all, it is sufficient to save us and we do not need to maintain our salvation by our efforts or by our participation in the Lord's supper. It is not a means of grace that secures our salvation or infuses into us the grace needed that then enables us to maintain our salvation by our works. Instead, we are made right before God by faith.
• "being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus . . . Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law,"" (Rom. 3:24, 28).
• "For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness," (Rom. 4:3).
• "Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ," (Rom. 5:1).
• "that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved," (Rom. 10:9).
For a special debate on the issue of the Mass and Transubstantiation, watch this video: Doug Harris with SIMPLY the TRUTH ministries
4) Holy Confirmation –
In the Roman Catholic Church, this Sacrament is intended as a baptism into the Holy Spirit and confirms the Roman Catholic as a member of the church which began when they were baptized in water as an infant (or their conversion to Roman Catholicism later in life). According to their Catholic Church Catechism, Section Two – The Seven Sacraments of the Church; Chapter One – the Sacraments of Christian Initiation, Article 2:
THE SACRAMENT OF CONFIRMATION
“1285 Baptism, the Eucharist, and the sacrament of Confirmation together constitute the "sacraments of Christian initiation," whose unity must be safeguarded. It must be explained to the faithful that the reception of the sacrament of Confirmation is necessary for the completion of baptismal grace.89 For "by the sacrament of Confirmation, [the baptized] are more perfectly bound to the Church and are enriched with a special strength of the Holy Spirit. Hence they are, as true witnesses of Christ, more strictly obliged to spread and defend the faith by word and deed."90”
Catechism of the Roman Catholic Church: 2nd Edition
Yet once again, no such ceremony, practice or belief is demonstrated in Scripture that reveals such a tradition as necessary for the believer. The Baptism of the Holy Spirit always occurred at God’s initiative and never by the initiative of any officiating disciple of Christ (only in certain cases by apostles as in Acts 19: 1-6; which have no successors).
ACTS 15: 32 –
32 And Judas and Silas, being prophets also themselves, exhorted the brethren with many words, and confirmed them.
The Greek word for confirmed used here is episterizo, meaning to support further, reestablish, strengthen, “confirming souls” as in Acts 14:22, and “strengthening the disciples” Acts 18: 23. In each of these cases, no endowment of the Holy Spirit by baptism is shown, but only an examination of the condition of the disciple’s faith, ascertaining their genuine belief in Jesus Christ as LORD and Savior, and once such is ascertained, these disciples were confirmed, that is, assurance is given of their salvation experience as valid and biblically sound, apart from works, ceremonies or religious participations in traditions and laws.
Other Roman Catholic Dogmas & Issues:
* Authority of Tradition
* Mary the Mother of God/ the Queen of Heaven
* Mystical Practices
* Emergent Connections
* A One World Religion?
One of the great differences between Protestant and Catholic doctrine is in the area of Tradition. The Protestant church maintains that the Bible alone is intended by God to be the source of doctrinal truth (2 Tim. 3:16). The Catholic Church, however, says, "Sacred Tradition and Sacred Scripture make up a single sacred deposit of the Word of God . . ." (Catechism of the Catholic Church, paragraph 97. Note, all citations in this article are from this Catechism).
The Catholic Church reasons thusly:
* - "The apostles left bishops as their successors. They gave them their own position of teaching authority.'" (Par. 77).
* - "This living transmission, accomplished through the Holy Spirit, is called tradition..." (Par. 78).
* - "Both Scripture and Tradition must be accepted and honored with equal sentiments of devotion and reverence." (Par. 82).
Yet Scripture itself warns that no one, no church or religious institution is to add anything to the completed Word of God (Deut. 12:32; Rev. 22:18).
Within the Catholic scope of Tradition, many doctrines have been "revealed" to the Church over the centuries. For example, there is the veneration of Mary to her exalted position as Mother of God, Queen of Heaven (431 AD), her Immaculate Conception (1854 AD) and her bodily Assumption into heaven (1950 AD). There is also the Traditions of the apocrypha, transubstantiation, praying to saints, the confessional, penance, purgatory, and more.
The Bible is for tradition where it supports the teachings of the apostles (2 Thess. 2:15) and is consistent with biblical revelation. Yet, it is against tradition when it "transgresses the commands of God" (Matt. 15:3). By Jesus' own words, tradition is not to transgress or contradict the commands of God. In other words, it should be in harmony with biblical teaching and not oppose it in any way. None of the Roman Catholic dogmas as listed above as their sacred traditions are in harmony with Scripture but contradict them.
The Bible vs. Tradition
An indulgence, according to the Roman Catholic Church, is a means of remission of the temporal punishment for sins which have already been forgiven but are due to the Christian in this life and/or in purgatory. This punishment is most often in purgatory but can also be suffered in this life. An indulgence removes time needed to be spent in purgatory. There are two kinds of indulgences: partial and plenary. A partial indulgence removes part of the punishment of sins. A plenary indulgence removes all of the punishment of sins.
The Second Vatican Council, p. 63, mentions purgatory as a place of punishment for our sins: "The truth has been divinely revealed that sins are followed by punishments. God's holiness and justice inflict them. Sins must be expiated. This may be done on this earth through the sorrows, miseries and trials of this life and, above all, through death. Otherwise the expiation must be made in the next life through fire and torments or purifying punishments." Indulgences only have value in Catholicism due to the unbiblical teaching of purgatory, which the Roman Catholic Church teaches is a place of punishment where people expiate their own sins there (CCC, 1475).
Expiation is "a term associated with the removal, cleansing, or forgiveness of sin."1 But how does a person expiate or cleanse himself of his own sins? He doesn't. If there were a means by which we could cleanse ourselves on our own sins, then God would have provided that.
GALATIANS 2: 21
I do not nullify the grace of God; for if righteousness comes through the Law, then Christ died needlessly.
CARM: On the Issue of Indulgences
JOHN 8: 36, 46-47, 51, 58
36 If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.
46 Which of you convinceth me of sin? And if I say the truth, why do ye not believe me?
47 He that is of God heareth God's words: ye therefore hear them not, because ye are not of God.
51 Verily, verily, I say unto you, If a man keep my saying, he shall never see death.
58 Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.
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:
There is no biblical basis to support the view that there really is such a place as purgatory; that such a place and such an activity wherein a Christian must suffer for themselves in order to purge their souls of sin is completely unnecessary because Jesus Christ already “purged out sins”.
A WOMAN RIDES the BEAST by Dave Hunt, in book form as well as dvd; this documents the history, practices, beliefs and prophetic last days relevance that the Roman Catholic Church has and will have. You can watch this on youtube as well. Here is a link to the presentation (57 minutes, 56 secs).
A DVD: CATHOLICISM: CRISIS OF FAITH - This dvd “goes to the heart of the matter, investigating the teachings of Roman Catholicism and comparing them to Scripture. Follow the spiritual journey of devout priests and nuns who courageously faced a crisis of faith and emerged with a life changing experience of Jesus Christ. (The entire dvd is on youtube).
The BEREAN BEACON (not to be confused with Dave Hunt’s own web site, The BEREAN CALL) is a ministry of Richard Bennett, a former priest of the Dominican Order for 30 years.
The BEREAN BEACON
Also don’t forget C.A.R.M.’s web site: Christian Apologetics Research Ministry – go to World Religions, then click on Roman Catholicism; you will find articles and videos with a lot more information on this subject than I had the chance to share with you.
And lastly, another web site: (W.E.C.S.K.): WHAT EVERY CATHOLIC SHOULD KNOW
Posted by James J. Fire at 9:38 AM