Tag Archives: Religion

Showing forth Christ…

I was going to write about Morality and Ethics in the season ender of Doctor Who for today…but as I thought about the show I actually was drawn to write about something else…something a bit more serious.  The show really did bring this to mind, with the Holy Spirit’s help I believe…remember I’m a fan of being on the look out for the “sacred” in the “secular.” One of the scenes in the Doctor Who finale involved a character pledging to remember the Doctor, and honor his memory…to carry it on in a way, as the Doctor is about his business.

Within Christianity, in the act of communion; the taking of the bread and wine, we are to remember Christ at His own command.  He makes it into an imperative; do this in remembrance of Me.  We know how serious this is, as Paul underlines the fact that we need to partake in a worthy manner.  As I explained in a previous post, this verse has been misconstrued by different preachers to mean that we as humans must be worthy to partake; not so.  See my previous post here for more detail on that:  Communion; Unworthily vs. unworthy.

Paul also teaches: 1 Corinthians 11:26 For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come. And that verse is what struck me as I mulled this over.  I realized an important point; we are not just showing the Lord’s death to our fellow humans, though that is important too.  There are others watching as well; the holy Angels, the fallen angels, The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; God Himself.

Communion is one of the ways we communicate and act on our faith…think of it from Jesus’ point-of-view in the limited way that we can.  We partake to remember Him, to Honor Him, and to show Him.  While we partake the object of our remembrance and honor is right there with us, as He always is.  But think how He must feel amongst us as we do so!

I don’t know about you, but as I read about the time when Jesus went to pray and asked Peter, James, and Mark to stay and watch and they fell asleep as He prayed.  I have to admit I ask myself, “would I have been able to stay awake in the same situation?”  Jesus wanted their company, and asked them to come, yet they fell asleep in an hour when He did not wish to be alone.

He’s asked us to partake of bread and wine…and I think it gladdens His heart when we actually do so with our focus on Him…when we stay “awake.”  Again, I don’t believe one must take communion in a group, or even in a church (that is another post for another time), but I think it is fascinating to dwell on the fact that even if one is alone in their house partaking, they are still showing Him forth, and also fulfilling Christ’s command.  We are also showing Him forth to ourselves; it helps us to remember Him, and increases our faith because it is an act of faith.

I don’t mean it in the “presenting the sacrifice to God” as the Roman church teaches; far from it…I’ve always found that a bit arrogant; the High Priest Himself is who offered up The Sacrifice, and it was only done once, and only had to be done once.  No, we are showing forth, not offering up.  But, think about us, we enjoy it when someone remembers something hard that we have done for someone else, and that feeling of joy and acknowledgment surely is no sin.  We are remembering Christ’s life, death, and resurrection that were for us, to save us, to redeem us.  His body broken in horrible ways symbolized by the broken bread, and His blood shed for us, for the remission of our sin symbolized by the wine.  When we remember, honor, and show Him forth, surely that makes Him glad of the remembrance…in fact, think of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit looking on.

This same idea would hold true for baptism as well…we should not forget that while our fellow humans can be present, our audience is not limited to them. This idea should also raise within us the awareness that these things are not light matters; they are very serious indeed.  This ties in to a post that I need to write soon; home communion and the fact that you can partake in your home even if you don’t attend an organizational church.  We should not allow that fact to stop us from showing forth Christ, and following His command that we partake in remembrance.

Related posts:

John 6 and Transubstantiation and Transubstantiation (pt. 2)

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Angels (pt. 2); Satan…

In part 1 I focused mainly on the holy Angels; those that serve God, and did not follow Satan.  According to scripture 1/3 of all angels sided with Satan.  Revelation 12:3 And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads. 4 And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth…

As with angels in general, one in particular is misconstrued in popular media, and that is Satan himself.  A red mustachioed figure lugging around a pitchfork.  The king or ruler of Hell.  An omniscient being with direct power over the saints.  These are just a few of the skewed ideas about Satan.

First, his real appearance would not be a disgusting visage, or a cartoonish fire-engine red.  He was chief of the angels and there is an interesting set of verses in Ezekiel Chapter 20, overtly about the king of Tyre, though most scholars agree that the message is about the king of Tyre through a comparison between the king and how Satan fell as well, and it is also probable that Satan was the true power behind the king:

Ezekiel 28:13 Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created.14 Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire. 15  Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee.16 By the multitude of thy merchandise they have filled the midst of thee with violence, and thou hast sinned: therefore I will cast thee as profane out of the mountain of God: and I will destroy thee, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire.17 Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness: I will cast thee to the ground, I will lay thee before kings, that they may behold thee.

There seems to be a part of us that desires evil to seem overtly evil…to look evil to the naked eye.  But, part of his power is that he can indeed appear as an angel of light, something beautiful to behold.  If evil appeared evil, we wouldn’t have been instructed to test the spirits, we’d just be able to tell by looking.  1 John 4:1 Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. 2 Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: 3 And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.

We can actually turn to another major religion to see, perhaps, were this fits in.  Within Islam, it is believed that an angel calling himself/claiming to be Gabriel appeared to Mohammed and dictated the Koran to him.  Islam denies two key aspects of the fact that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh; they deny He is the very Word/Wisdom/Logos of God made flesh, and they deny that He was resurrected bodily (they deny the crucifixion of Christ too).  I don’t think it was Gabriel appearing to Mohammed, but perhaps it was the father of lies himself; Satan.  Of course he would look like an angel; he is one.  Another interesting aspect that possibly ties this in with Satan is that, if you read the description of Satan in Ezekiel, you see that tabrets and pipes are part of his being; music is a part of who or what he is.  The Koran is claimed to have rhyme and rhythm just as music does…

As for an example in recent literature; I love Frank Peretti’s angel novels (This Present Darkness, and Piercing the Darkness), and think he portrayed the holy Angels really well…but, I have to point out that those beings on the other side, the evil beings in the novel are portrayed as evil, ugly, hideous creatures, which does set the mood and give us the creeps, but we have to realize that they won’t always appear that way.

Anywho, onto Hell.  Hell, and/or the lake of fire is a prison, not a party with Satan in charge; he isn’t ruling Hell.  At the time of Job, we see that he still had access to the Throne.  Job 1:6 Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them. 7 And the LORD said unto Satan, Whence comest thou? Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it. Hell isn’t his “playground,” this earth is.  Adam was given dominion over the earth, and gave up that dominion when he fell.

Notice, when Satan is tempting Christ, one of the thing he offers is: Matthew 4:8 Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; 9 And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me. 10 Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve. The Devil offers Christ the world; Jesus doesn’t say that it isn’t Satan’s to give.

Nowhere does scripture indicate that Satan is omniscient, omnipresent, and it definitely does not say he is omnipotent.  And, while we should not be flippant about the Devil and the rest of the fallen angels (Jude 1:9 Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee.)  we have not been given the spirit of fear, and Christ has indeed taken the keys to Hell, death, and the grave (Rev. 1:18).

Ephesians 6:11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. 13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. 14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;

15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: 18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints; 19 And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel, 20 For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.

Again, always turn to scripture for facts, not to popular media and fanciful ideas…

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Angels (pt. 1)…

God’s messengers, harbingers, and sometimes mode of destruction.  One thing is for sure, humankind hasn’t done them any favors in the accurate representation department.

I do realize that the naked baby with wings depiction stemmed from an art form, a style…but really.  they see us, and hear us if they are around…what must they think?  In scripture, they often announce themselves with, “fear not,” having to physically pick people up off the ground as the humans hit the dirt in shock and/or misplaced worship, they slew thousands of men, and were responsible for warding certain people and places, and for bringing news and callings to mankind…one being elected to bring a bit of important information to Mary herself.

2 Kings 19:35 And it came to pass that night, that the angel of the LORD went out, and smote in the camp of the Assyrians an hundred fourscore and five thousand: and when they arose early in the morning, behold, they were all dead corpses. (To those keeping score, that’s 185,000 humans killed in one evening.) 2 Chronicles 32:21 And the LORD sent an angel, which cut off all the mighty men of valour, and the leaders and captains in the camp of the king of Assyria… etc…

The Cherubim are first introduced as set guardians to the entrance of Eden.  Seraphim are introduced in Isaiah: Isaiah 6:2 Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly. We know there are archangels as well, and we see them sent to battle; for example, Michael watches over Israel (Daniel 12:1).

We humans have a tendency to either elevate them to “gods” or make them infants.  Often they are portrayed as actual females with long flowing hair and dresses, despite the fact that we don’t have a reference in scripture to actual female angels.  It is important for us as believers to search scripture for accurate understanding on many issues, Angels included.

They are creations of God, as we are…they are also split into factions.  Out of all the angels created, 1/3 fell with Satan, 2/3 stayed loyal to God.  When we die, we don’t become angels as is sometimes portrayed; we are human, they are not, though we become like them in the absence of marriage in Heaven.  It isn’t clear from scripture if we each have a guardian angel of our own, or if it is limited to the peoples of God in a general way.  We do know that they are watching, and there is a certain level of threat hinted at in this: Matthew 18:10 Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, That in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven.

They can also be sent to ward us, and are joyful when we humans turn to God…when each one of us submitted to Him: Luke 15:10 Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth. They are God’s to command, and if we desire their protection, as always, we should go before the Father in prayer to make the request, we are to pray to Him and Him alone.  All of this can seem a trifling matter since we are surrounded by these placid images of Angels…but they do exist and there is a spiritual realm around us that we cannot see.

2 Kings 6:15 And when the servant of the man of God was risen early, and gone forth, behold, an host compassed the city both with horses and chariots. And his servant said unto him, Alas, my master! how shall we do? 16 And he answered, Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them. 17 And Elisha prayed, and said, LORD, I pray thee, open his eyes, that he may see. And the LORD opened the eyes of the young man; and he saw: and, behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha.

Ephesians 6:12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

There have been some representations of Angels in modern media that have shown angels as warriors; I enjoyed the first installment of the movie series: The Prophecy very much.  (Just so my readers know, they are very violent, and aren’t based off of scripture.)  They portray them as powerful players in a war amongst themselves…of course a lot of it isn’t accurate (including the smear on Gabriel’s good name, and adding to scripture), but it is a refreshing switch from naked babies floating on clouds.  In my next post about Angels I’ll take a look at Satan, and misconceptions about him as well.  I’ll mention Frank Peretti’s Angel novels more in depth then too.

Just keep in mind that Angels are powerful servants of God Most High, they are warriors and messengers answering to the Throne itself…not chubby little kids with harps.

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Biblical food metaphors…

Have you ever noticed how many times a food metaphor is used in the Bible?  Many times, it isn’t “cream puff” ideas being put forth either…Jesus Himself employed them about various subjects, including Himself.  Why do you think that is?

John 6:35 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

Food and drink are two things every human can relate to.  We know what it is like to be hungry and thirsty; these are experiences we’ve all had.  When a food metaphor is used, it is then easy to connect to no matter who you are.

Matthew 5:6 Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.

Food and drink are essential to life.  Food gives us energy, and strength.  It helps us to grow and even to think.  Have you ever noticed that when you are hungry that it is easier to zone out; usually we just concentrate on the rumblings in our stomachs.  When you are thirsty all you can think of is how thirsty you are, how great it would be for a nice cool glass of some kind of sparkling liquid to quench that thirst.

John 4:13 Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again: 14 But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.

When Christ was tempted by the devil in the wilderness, one of the outcomes of the isolation was that Jesus was hungry.  Here comes the devil to tempt Him with food.  Command the stones to become bread, the devil prodded.  How did Jesus answer?  Matthew 4:4…Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. The metaphor is doubled when we consider that Christ Himself is the very Word of God.

John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. 17 For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.

Romans 10:17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

So, that is our answer to getting spiritual food; we turn to the word of God; scripture, and also to The Word of God; Christ.  In the same way that physical food nourishes our bodies, helps us to grow, to concentrate, to be strong…so too does turning to the word and The Word of God.  I’ve mentioned before that I find it interesting that those who do not have a relationship with God; those that are not permanently quenching that thirst, try to quench it through various means, be it with drugs, human relationships, fame, physical food, man-made philosophy, etc…  While in their current lives, these things may add something, we are more concerned with eternal life. It reminds me of the occurrence of pica; the ingestion of substances that don’t really have any nutritional value…such as clay from a river bank.  Often times it gives the impression that one is feeding oneself, it makes you feel full for a time, but in reality, the person is not getting anything from what they are eating.  In fact, their body may be in need of some essential nutrient, but they are not getting it from the substance that they consume.

2 Timothy 3:1 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come…. 7 Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.

So, for me, it is clear why food metaphors are used; they are central to the human experience, food and drink are necessary for life, we gather energy and strength from them, and let’s face it, most of us like good food.  Food, in the best of times, also becomes a communal experience, something shared between people.  Food connects us and enhances our lives…so it should be with spiritual food as well.  Just as with physical food and drink, we need to keep part of our minds on our health.  It matters very much what we put into ourselves, what we feed on, what we draw our nutrition from.

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Pets in Heaven…

Will there be animals in heaven?  Will my pets be in Heaven?  Will my pets go in the Rapture, and if they don’t, what will happen to them?  If you’ve been around Christians long enough, these questions will and do come up.  They are not meant to be taken lightly, nor should they be.  Humans have strong bonds and emotional attachments to animals; animals, our pets, our work companions, are a part of our lives, and most of us believe gifts of God.  When we have a pet pass on, or a pet growing old, we begin to contemplate these issues.

First, there is no Biblical evidence decidedly for or against our pets being resurrected or taken to Heaven.  It disturbs me when I see someone pronounce a definite decision either way.  In this post, I’m going to talk about my opinion, but first a clarification on the issue.  When people ask me, or ask this question on a message board, “What about my pets?” I have one question to ask back that will supersede all others; “Do you trust God?”  That’s the real issue, do you trust Him?  If you can answer that question, the animal questions are covered.  If you can (and you should) answer “Yes, I trust Him completely,” then you can totally 100% rest your heart about your animals, no matter what happens.

Second, I do think there is Biblical evidence of animals in Heaven.  After all, the army of the Lord rides down on horses, do we not?  So either there is indeed a Heavenly stable, or they are conjured for us between Heaven and Earth.  Heaven is beyond our ken; 1 Corinthians 2:9 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.

We also know that animals are precious in God’s sight; He sees every little sparrow that falls, and values them, though He values humans more, as we are made in His image.  We know that living animals have nephesh or a soul, though theirs are different than ours.  We know that love and loyalty are wonderful things, also gifts of God, and what allows us to show both love and loyalty better than our pets?  Adam was put in the garden to tend it, and was responsible for naming the very animals.  We have a connection to the furballs/hairballs that cannot be denied.  Our ancestor Noah, under God’s direction, help, and guidance, built the ark that carried their ancestors to safety, we are assuredly connected.  For a glimpse at the deeper side of animals, make sure to read the story of Balaam’s Ass in Numbers chapter 22, I’m sure many times they are quicker to catch on to Spiritual things than we are…

It is also possible that they will be resurrected during the Millennial Kingdom; we know for a fact animals will be on the Earth at that point, living peaceably side-by-side.  Or, it is possible that our pets will be made new when the Heavens and the Earth are made new; after all, He did say He was reconciling all of creation to Himself, and was going to make all things new.

In my family, our animals (we’re a dog family) are a part of our family.  I’ve cried tears onto their fur while mourning loss, or guilt for something I’d done.  I’ve cried tears without them after they’d died.  I’ve laughed at their antics and my life has been made richer for them; they’ve reminded me of how God is master of creation, and a God of love, life, and joy.  Do I think we’ll be seeing them again? Yes, but I’m not going to pretend to know for sure.  But, I do know for Truth and for Fact that I can trust God to deal with my pets, and yours, completely Righteously, Mercifully, and with Love for them and us.

Perhaps a fitting question to end this post would be, “Will your pets be seeing you in Heaven or on the new Earth?”  Never forget that we need our Shepherd, to believe on Him, to have faith in Him, for we are but “sheep” gone astray.  And, our relationship with Him is what takes center stage.

Trust God, have faith in Him, fear not, everything will turn out just as it is meant to.

Be thou comforted, little dog, Thou too in Resurrection shall have a little golden tail,” –Martin Luther

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Church of the New Atheists…

Anyone that has been in the land of Christian Apologetics online knows that atheists like to proselytize their own religion…er,um…beliefs…even when they are on websites, such as Christian message boards, where that type of thing is strictly prohibited in the ‘board rules.  When someone comments or blogs about atheism, often times it is the atheists that come swarming to read and respond, whilst responses from those from other belief systems are few; they wish to defend their belief system, just as I do, I get it; but what is the logical reason?

Make a post or a blog that doesn’t even have direct connection to Christianity, such as Intelligent Design, and they still come out of the woodwork.  Now, this is statistically an odd occurrence, since, for example, atheists make up only somewhere between 3-9% of the US population from what I can gather by looking at different polls (of course, this number is really hard to pinpoint since the way questions are worded in polls sometimes muddy the water, but the point still remains), of course responders and posters can be from different countries, but still, it seems sometimes that the ‘net is favored as an atheist playground in some respects.

I realized that along with the priests of New Atheism, such as Dick Dawkins, and their prolific proselytizing, the New Atheists also now have a Church and it is apparently the internet itself, or rather, certain corners of the ‘net.  It does make sense; before the internet (yes, all you younglings out there, there was a time before the internet) , with such a small percentage of the population declaring themselves to be atheistic,  it had to be hard to find a place of fellowship.  Of course I use the term “church” loosely, for instead of being outcalled by God, they attempt to outcall themselves in some manner.  If you do a search, which I can’t really recommend, trying to find a Church of Atheism, you’ll find them outside of cyberspace as well, but where else can such a large group of non-believers get together to fellowship, praise and offer thanksgiving to…themselves, and…materialism?

My husband brought up a good point; aren’t secular universities Atheist Churches too?  I’ve given it some thought, and I think secular universities as “Atheist Seminaries” is a better descriptive.  Go online and you will find an actual “First Church of Atheism” which offers ordination…yes, one can actually be an ordained minister…of atheism; but, nobody better make the claim that atheism is another religion…did I mention that they think that they should be allowed to preach what they believe, and that one reason this is available is so that atheist couples can have a minister to preside at a marriage ceremony…but, nobody better make the claim that atheism is just another religion *footstomp*

Make no mistake about it, many of the “New” Atheists take discipleship seriously, find a teacher (or teachers) to latch onto, and wish to churn out disciples of their own.  Sometimes, when you run into these disciples online, you can literally tell where the conversation will head, because they are all reading off the same attack oriented websites…because in their religi…I mean belief system..I mean lack of belief system, it is apparently part of the Creed to attack the belief in God, especially Christian belief, and if you can’t attack the beliefs directly, hang out and bash those that hold said beliefs.

Christians believe that God wishes us to share the good news, and no, that doesn’t mean bashing someone over the head with The Bible, as some of my overzealous brethren sometimes tend towards.  Our motivation includes a “higher” calling; one from God Himself.  Our gathering together is called for as well as our sharing of the good news.  Why exactly do atheists feel the need to proselytize, what is their logical basis?  It isn’t as though they believe we humans are immortal beings and are trying to sow seeds that will help insure a right relationship with something above us, and a positive life in eternity.  Why exactly do atheists feel the need to be married by a minister…why do they feel the need to get married in a non-civil sense at all?  Besides the very grave, very serious spiritual implications, various studies have shown that things like faith in something greater than ourselves, prayer, hope, religious belief, etc… is a good thing for us humans…so what exactly is the joy in trying to tear down someone’s faith in God?  Usually some twisted idea that Christians are all a bunch of illogical, irrational, deluded idiots is set forth by non-believers…unfortunately for the atheists, that isn’t so.

A major point here being that the atheists have found a nifty base of operations online.  So, if you are out there contending for the Faith, and doing Christian Apologetics, or even Intelligent Design apologetics, be ready to meet and engage in dialogue with people from all backgrounds and beliefs…especially those that have found a non-believing church home on the ‘net, that wish to evangelize you to a state of…non-belief. Or, as I see it as a Christian; evangelize you to a state of having faith in something other than the only thing that deserves our faith; the One True God.  I write this too, to remind fellow Christians to support one another in real life, and especially online, as we have discussions and also share the gospel.

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Transubstantiation (pt. 2)…

I focused solely on John 6 in the first part in regards to transubstantiation, and I’m going to pick up where I left off, and also move on past John 6 to show other evidence that transubstantiation contradicts scripture.  At the end of Jesus’ discourse in John chapter 6, in which He used symbolic language to get His point across, many of the people that had been following Him left. The ones who left Jesus when He made the Bread of Life speech were the ones that misunderstood Him. The ones that left Him took Him literally. The Roman church (RC) POV would have us believe that the ones who left Him understood Him perfectly. This isn’t so.

We have scriptural evidence that when people got angry at analogies used by Jesus, they were NOT understanding.

John 2:18 Then answered the Jews and said unto him, What sign shewest thou unto us, seeing that thou doest these things? 19 Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up. 20 Then said the Jews, Forty and six years was this temple in building, and wilt thou rear it up in three days?

They took Him at His literal word, and they were wrong to do so. He did not mean the literal physical temple, He meant His body. The listeners got upset, and sarcastic, they misunderstood Him here, just as they misunderstood Him about “flesh and blood” in John 6.  I’ve had many RC’s ask me why Jesus didn’t stop them from leaving if they misunderstood.  Look at all the instances in scripture; He doesn’t stop people that leave or get mad over misunderstandings.  He talks in parables so that faith plays a role, and so that not everyone will get it, or have it “forced” upon them;

Matthew 13:10 And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables? 11He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given. 12For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath. 13Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand.

Now, we also have the timing and positioning of the words in other scripture to show that the bread and wine are symbols.

Mat. 26:26 And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body. 27 And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; 28 For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. 29 But I say unto you, I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.

Note in verse 29 that the Lord says; I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine. It does not say blood, and this verse follows the blessings. He labels it fruit of the vine even after the blessing. The blessing is where the Roman church sees the transubstantiation as happening; however, from scripture we can see this isn’t accurate. Jesus is still at the table, the goblet of wine is still there and He labels what they’ve just drunk together as fruit of the vine.

Paul too seems to back this up:

1. Cor. 11:23 For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread: 24 And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. 25 After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. 26 For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come. 27 Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. 28 But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup.

Notice Paul went through the happenings at Passover. Then he says in verse 26 that as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup. He does not say flesh and blood. And again in verse 27 he says whosoever shall eat this bread. It is literal and physical bread.

If one views the wine as becoming literal blood, then it goes against this:

Leviticus 17:10 And whatsoever man there be of the house of Israel, or of the strangers that sojourn among you, that eateth any manner of blood; I will even set my face against that soul that eateth blood, and will cut him off from among his people.

And, to show that it is not just an old covenant teaching:

Acts 15:20 But that we write unto them, that they abstain from pollutions of idols, and from fornication, and from things strangled, and from blood.

Acts 15:29 That ye abstain from meats offered to idols, and from blood, and from things strangled, and from fornication: from which if ye keep yourselves, ye shall do well. Fare ye well.

This is teaching coming from James, the leader of the first church; Jerusalem. Now, whether or not you agree with all of James’ teaching, and his seeming legalistic bent, you can’t deny that he taught that believers should not drink blood. It’s straight forward; no blood. There are no exceptions taught, or mentioned.  Notice in the OT verse that it is any manner of blood; it isn’t limited.  Jesus did not break the Law, which can only mean He did not partake of blood at the Passover.

Another issue; Christ is not bodily on this Earth. He’s seated at the right Hand of the Father. He will only return bodily, touching this earth, at the second coming. If the eucharist is His literal body, blood, soul, and divinity, then He would already be here physically, which is not what scripture teaches, so it is another contradiction.

This brings me to the fact that not even the Roman church takes Christ literally. He said this is my flesh, this is my blood. However, the RC teaches that the wafer becomes not just Christ’s flesh but body, blood, soul, and divinity by transubstantiation. This idea is clearly not scriptural, even if you take His words as being completely literal. Jesus instructed the disciples to both eat and drink. The Roman POV is that you don’t have to do both, just one. This isn’t scriptural. We are to do both, first, the bread shows His body that was abused and pierced for us, second the wine, the symbol of His blood shed for us.

And finally, we have one really good example of what happens when Jesus turns one thing into another in scripture. He turned water into wine. When He did this it looked like wine, tasted like wine, everyone knew it was wine. With transubstantiation you do not have this. For all practical intents and purposes, to every scientific look, that bread is still bread, and that wine is still wine, not flesh and blood. We have a good basis; water to wine, to show that this is not how this type of miracle works. Why does the blood not taste like blood?

Taking all of scripture into account, and by looking at the context of all of these various verses, transubstantiation is not supported, and even contradicts several key verses.   I look forward to delving into the symbolic nature of Passover, that we carry out in communion in future posts, as well as whether or not we are to examine ourselves to make sure we are worthy (or for some other reason) before partaking in communion, or are we to keep our eyes solely on Christ with the acknowledgment that we are not worthy, but that we are symbolically showing His death, and remembering Him by partaking?

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