Prelude to Light
Over the centuries, the true meaning of the Lord's Words in Holy Communion, and the substance of the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ, has been debated through inquisitive human minds. Now, in spite of its initial good intentions of protecting the Word's of Jesus Christ, it is unfortunate that the finite mind's invention of transubstantiation, became a Roman Catholic declared doctrine, through their so called infallible Magisterium, thereby seemingly appearing under the auspices of God. The Roman Church has established its binding dogma of Transubstantiation, with curses for those who dispute its validity. The possibilities of transubstantiation, as a philosophical explanation, for the bread and wine, being physically converted into the real Body and real Blood of the Lord, in and of itself, is not necessarily an exclusive problem with this dogma of the Roman Church. The definition of transubstantiation, is a philosophical rationale at best, and it certainly is not better than the other relative conjectures that maintain the mystery in faith, without a forced methodology.
The secret things of God will remain within Him. (See Deuteronomy 29 verse 29.) Therefore, our Faith, in God's Almighty Salvation Word, should tend to give the benefit of doubt, in the realm of the unknown, and does not create unbelief in the WORD of GOD, thereby creating contention among the brethren. Unbelief, in the Word of God, is certainly a problem for self determining flesh of man, and the difficulty makes no difference for the new believer, or the elder in faith. As a means of discipline within the Communal Body, the scriptures certainly calls for the quarantining of a person, for ongoing gross sin, but not with judicial penalties imposed by the church, or even threats of physical torture and death, as in times past. How remarkable it is, that through out the centuries, and even today, that the religions of the world have ruled by terror, or threats of violence. Tragically, Christendom is no less culpable, seeing that the fear of God, or rather the fear of the church, is taught through the doctrines of men. God is faithful to His Word, and it is far better for a person to know and experience, through the Holy Spirit of the Living God, the genuine freedom from sin's condemnation that we have, when we submit to the Lord, and His corrective Love. That liberation of God's Love, through His Holy Spirit, flows through the soul and spirit of a redeemed person, allowing them to experience the Perfection of Love that surpasses human understanding. God's Holy Spirit, administers God's Grace and Truth, which, alone, can satisfy the hungry and thirsty heart of the saved. It is far better to just believe in the unseen Truth, just because the Lord of Scripture says it is so.
Justin Martyr, defending early Christianity, writes: "We do not receive these as common bread or common drink. But just as our Savior Jesus Christ was made flesh through the Word of God, and had both flesh and blood for our salvation, so also we have been taught that the food, which has been eucharistized (the giving of thanks) by the word of prayer from Him, is the Flesh and Blood of the incarnate Jesus". (Year 130 A.D. First Apology, 66: section 2). And Justin Martyr is absolutely right, within his simple declaration of faith.
Historically, as I understand it in a nutshell, the philosophy of transubstantiation, was adopted in the middle ages at the Fourth Lateran Council (1215). This happened several centuries prior to the religious reformation that began to challenge the Pope and Roman Catholic authority to rule infallibly in divine matters of doctrine. In the beginning of the reformation, Friar Martin Luther objected to the Roman Church's authority, to issue indulgences purchased with money. In his objections to the church's heretical position, it is reported that Luther nailed his ninety five treatise to the Wittenberg church door in 1517, and then sent a copy and a letter of explanation to Pope Leo the Tenth. In any case, the document was printed and then spread widely throughout Germany, and certainly came into the hands of the hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church. The Roman Church, then through the auspices of the Emperor Charles V, and through the deliberations at the Diet of Worms, declared Martin Luther an outlaw. Despite Charles' promise of safe conduct to and from the Diet, the Roman Church, through the Edict of Worms, unilaterally conspired to have Luther arrested, and then killed, as a heretic and enemy of the Holy Roman Empire. An earlier Church reformer priest, Jan Hus, like Luther, was also promised the same safe conduct in the Council of Constance 1415 thru 1418, but was captured and burned at the stake on July 6th of the year 1415.
Luther started well in opposing the abuses of the Roman Catholic Church, but it is quite questionable, as to whether some of his writings, lectures and prejudicial judgments, in his latter years, ended as well as they may have begun began. See Luther's Anti-Semitic quotes, and Against the Rioting Peasants. Nevertheless, as a result of Luther's initial challenge, to the Roman Catholic Church's indulgences, the protestant reformation was ignited throughout Europe. The Roman Catholic Church, in order to circumvent the protestations against its authority, convened three haphazard assemblies between the years 1545 and 1563, under three different popes, and became known, as the Council of Trent. During the council assemblies, the Roman Church attempted to shore up the abusive breaches, of their own making, and to clarify the doctrinal abuses that the Latin Church was deemed responsible for, by the accusing reformers. During this lengthy period of fits and starts, the Roman Council of Trent at the Thirteenth Session, unilaterally ratified transubstantiation, as a definitive doctrine of the Roman Church, and set fifteen anathemas to offset any unbelief in the doctrine. Logically, yesterday and today, anyone who is, or was in the church, and did not believe precisely in the Roman Church's human speculations, is already anathematized many times over, and out of the church, or under the threat of excommunication from their declared only true church; even though guilty still sit silently in the pews of the sanctuary.
We will attempt to set forth are own spiritual contentions, that would expose the errors of Roman doctrine of transubstantiation accordingly.
1. There is not a physical conversion by the Roman priest of the bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ, but there is an unseen spiritual reality based on the Infinite Oneness of the WORD of GOD, Jesus Christ and His union with the Holy Spirit of the Living God, Creator of all things. The Holy Spirit of the Living God, is One with the WORD of GOD, Jesus Christ, and therefore One with the Serum Water and Blood that flowed from the side of Jesus Christ. (See 1st John 5 verse 7 thru 8.)
2. The Roman Church has an error in their hermeneutics of John 6, and therefore an error in their doctrine of transubstantiation, concerning their distribution of the one kind alone, to the faithful of the pews.
3. It is the Holy Spirit of God that ministers the New Covenant Blood of Jesus Christ, for the remission of the sins of the people in the Body of Jesus Christ. The greater portion of our spiritual understanding of the mystery, can be found in a previous chapter "The Holy Spirit of Truth".
With our first disagreement over transubstantiation, we begin with the following excerpt from the Council of Trent, the Thirteenth Session expressed in red.
And because that Christ, our Redeemer, declared that which He offered under the species of bread to be truly His own body, therefore has it ever been a firm belief in the Church of God, and this holy Synod doth now declare it anew, that, by the consecration of the bread and of the wine, a conversion is made 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; which conversion is, by the holy Catholic Church, suitably and properly called Transubstantiation.
The literal physicality of transubstantiation of the bread and wine, into Jesus' physical Flesh and His physical Blood, may not be exactly as our Lord Jesus Christ would have us to perceive, concerning His Word of Truth. The Roman Catholic's definitive doctrine of the miraculous conversion by the priest, of the bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ, within our limited understanding of the present space time continuum, is just not sanguine to the mind and sensibilities of the natural man, who taste only the bread and the wine without any perception of a physical miracle. Also the philosophy of the conversion of the bread and wine, by the Catholic priest only, being bound altogether with the fifteen anathemas associated with the Doctrine of Transubstantiation, are a legislative burden, too heavy to be born by the heart of a child of God, accorded the simplicity of the mystery of faith in the WORD of GOD. It is by God's Holy Spirit, in our union with God's faith that the elements of the universe are what the WORD of GOD says they are, without our philosophical reservations and dictums.
It is apparent to me, that the Infinite Majestic God, desiring our faith to be within the constancy of His extraordinary Word of Salvation, having been made the flesh and blood of Man/Adam, has taken the relativity of our finite nature, and knowledge into consideration, and ruled the flesh of the natural man out of the equation. It is the Spirit that makes alive; the flesh profits nothing: The Words that I speak unto you, They are Spirit and They are Life. (John 6 verse 63.) The flesh of all mankind is already corrupted, awaiting its final disposal. Only the soul and the spirit of the person of faith, are redeemed as one, in the new creation of God. The new creation that now lives by the faith of the Son of God, Jesus Christ, will by the same Spirit of God that raised up the Son of Man from the dead, be made alive in their bodies to serve the Living God. (See Romans 8 verse 9 thru 14.)
The philosophical error of transubstantiation was born out of the controlling idolatrous flesh of man, and is as a broken cistern that does not hold the True Water that flows from the Fountain of Living Water of God's Holy Spirit. Through the simplicity of faith, we hold the Word of God to be self evident in that faith, for we worship God in Spirit and Truth. It is the real Flesh and the real Blood of Jesus Christ, and just as He said, it is of the substance of the Spirit and Truth. The problem in the mind of man, is that our mental conception of the substance of Spirit and Truth, is lacking in knowledge of the Holy. Holy Communion is not what finite man sees, and then eats only as bread and wine during the Lord's Supper, but what the Infinite God of substance, space and time beholds, as the Word declared Spiritual Flesh and Blood of God's WORD and Son Jesus Christ. The Spirit and Truth of Christ, is firmly affixed in the heart and soul of obedient and believing faith, through God's Holy Spirit of Life. And Scripture warns us, concerning the Word of God, on this Holy Matter: For he that eats and drinks unworthily, eats and drinks damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body. Understand that absolutely nothing is withheld from the eyes of the Infinite, with Whom we have to do.
How can we, in our finite capacity, understand Holy God Almighty's infinite command of all substance that He has created, and which is held in existence by the Excellency of His Word Jesus Christ, and consist of the power of His Word? And most certainly, the elemental substance of the very Flesh and Blood of our Savior from the beginning of His existence on this earth, originally consisted of the Word of God, for He was and is the timeless Word of God made incarnate as the Son of Man. The elements of the Lord's Covenant Blood imprinted with His Soul, Spirit and even the physical genetics of His human body was poured into the earth, and remains there according to John's Gospel, and referenced in His first Epistle. The Lord's resurrected Body, having never seen corruption, exist within the unknowable dimensions of God's heavenly space and timelessness, and yet He is not limited in any way to our confined space time continuum.
Our second rebuttal on Transubstantiation, addresses the:
"DECREE ON COMMUNION UNDER BOTH SPECIES, AND THE COMMUNION OF INFANTS"
The sacred and holy, ocecumenical and general Synod of Trent,--lawfully assembled in the Holy Ghost, the same Legates of the Apostolic See presiding therein,-whereas, touching the tremendous and most holy sacrament of the Eucharist, there are in divers places, by the most wicked artifices of the devil, spread abroad certain monstrous errors, by reason of which, in some provinces, many are seen to have departed from the faith and obedience of the Catholic Church, It has thought fit, that what relates to communion under both species, and the communion of infants, be in this place set forth. Wherefore It forbids all the faithful in Christ to presume henceforth to believe, teach, or preach otherwise on these matters, than is in these decrees explained and defined.
That laymen and clerics, when not sacrifising, are not bound, of divine right, to communion under both species.
Wherefore, this holy Synod,--instructed by the Holy Spirit, who is the spirit of wisdom and of understanding, the spirit of counsel and of godliness, and following the judgment and usage of the Church itself,--declares and teaches, that laymen, and clerics when not consecrating, are not obliged, by any divine precept, to receive the sacrament of the Eucharist under both species ; and that neither can it by any means be doubted, without injury to faith, that communion under either species is sufficient for them unto salvation. For, although Christ, the Lord, in the last supper, instituted and delivered to the apostles, this venerable sacrament in the species of bread and wine; not therefore do that institution and delivery tend thereunto, that all the faithful of Church be bound, by the institution of the Lord, to receive both species. But neither is it rightly gathered, from that discourse which is in the sixth of John, however according to the various interpretations of holy Fathers and Doctors it be understood, that the communion of both species was enjoined by the Lord : for He who said; Except you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you shall not have life in you (v. 53/54), also said; He that eateth this bread shall live for ever (v. 58/59); and He who said, He that eateth my flesh and drinketh my blood hath everlasting life (v. 54/55), also said; The bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of (lie world (v. 51/52); and, in fine,- He who said; He that eateth my flesh and drinketh my blood, abideth in me and I in him (v. 57), said, nevertheless; He that eateth this bread shall live for ever (v. 58/59.)
The Lord Jesus said that His Word was Spirit and Life. It is the Spirit that makes alive, (your) flesh profits nothing: the Words that I speak unto you, they are Spirit, and they are Life." (John 6 verse 63 thru 64.) For, Faith is perceiving as real fact, what is not revealed to the senses". (Hebrews 11 verse 1. amplified.) Through the revelation of faith, you can be certain that the Holy Spirit of Truth, Who raised Jesus from the dead, has with God's Word, made the sanctified Bread and Wine 'to be' for us the real Body, and the real sanctifying Blood of Jesus Christ that gives Life to the Body of believers. The problem within the confusion of searching finite minds, is we do not have the capacity to see God's Holy Spirit of Truth administering the Truth, by the Lord's multi-dimensional Words of Spirit and Truth, bringing forth the Lord's Body members within the unleavened bread, and the wine, becoming the life blood of Jesus Christ. Only the eyes of faith have the true perception of the unfathomable Truth. The true spatial reality of the power of God's Word is not in our observable plane of earthly reality, but is within God's dimensions, with infinite proportions of Spiritual Truth and reality. The same Holy Spirit of God that raised the Body of Jesus Christ to Life, is God's same Spirit of Holiness that gives resurrection Life, in Holy Communion, to the members of the Body of Jesus Christ, who eat in faith the Bread that is empowered by the Spirit of Life, that is One with the Blood and Water of Christ Jesus.
Let's take a closer look at the Scriptures, cited by the Roman Catholic Church for transubstantiation, and reason together, so as to ascertain the Truth of the Word of God, and not Trent's eisegesis of expediency promoting the authority of the Roman Church.
48 I AM that Bread of Life. 49 Your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness, and are dead. 50 This is the bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die. 51 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.
52 The Jews therefore strove among themselves, saying, How can this man give us his flesh to eat?
53 Jesus said to them: "I tell you the truth, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man, and drink His blood, you have no Life in you. 54 Whoever eats My flesh, and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. 55 For My flesh is real food and My blood is real drink. 56 Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood remains in Me, and I in him. 57 Just as the living Father sent Me, and I live because of the Father, so the one who feeds on Me will live because of Me. 58 This is the Bread that came down from heaven. Your forefathers ate manna and died, but he who feeds on this Bread will live forever. (John 6 verse 53 thru 58,)
Jesus declares, within the whole of His Persona of the I AM, that He is the Bread of Life that came down from Heaven to give life to the world. In verse 52 we see that the Jews murmuring among themselves, question the possibilities of eating the flesh of this man Jesus. But Jesus amplifies His word to the Jew and to us, when the Lord says in verse 53: "I tell you the truth, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man, and drink His blood, you have no Life in you". The Scripture in Leviticus makes the imperative distinction, instructing us that the life of the flesh is in the blood, and Jesus, as the Son of Man, was made of the flesh of Man/Adam and that flesh was dependent upon the Blood that contained the Soul and Life of His Body.
The blood, which contained the life of all sacrificial animals, was poured upon the dust of the earth, and so was the Life Blood of Jesus Christ poured out upon the earth, as God's ever living sacrifice for the sins of mankind. And Jesus would say at the Passover Seder: Take and drink all of you. This is My Blood of the New Covenant shed for many for the remission of sin. Paul, writing to the Corinthians, brings the absolute significance of the Blood Covenant, to the forefront of our thinking, when he asks his first rhetorical question: The Cup of Blessing, which we bless, is it not the Communion of the Blood of Christ? Yes, absolutely, for the Blood of Jesus, with its Spirit of Life, is absolutely necessary for the Holy Life of the Body. And then Paul follows with: The Bread, which we break, is it not the Communion of the Body of Christ? Yes, absolutely, and the reason being: For we being many are One Bread and One Body: For we are all partakers of that One Bread.
In the old covenant, the Jew was to identify with the sacrifice of the animal, and eat of the flesh of the beast, but was not allowed to drink of the life blood of the beast, because that blood was the life of the beast. Likewise in Christ, we identify with the sacrifice of the Bread of God, and partake of that One Bread, whose members we are, but we are also commanded to drink of the Life Blood of Jesus Christ, given to us by God's Holy Spirit, for in the Blood is the Life and Soul of our Savior . Wherefore, to remain holy in the Body of the Lord, it is necessary, in our repentance, to partake of both the sanctified Flesh and the Blood of our Savior, Who confirms this with His following Word: verse56 Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood, remains in Me, and I in him.
It is recorded in Paul's Epistle writings that Jesus says: Do this in remembrance of Me. So Paul reiterates in the Remember: For as often as you eat this bread, and drink this cup, you do show the Lord's death [for our sins] till He comes again? The Lord's physical Body was crucified for our sins, for He was made to be sin for us, who knew no sin, and then on the cross, His Life that was in His Blood was poured out upon the dust of Calvary, to release us from our sins of our selfish carnality.
That Holy Life Blood, of the Son of Man, contained the Soul with the Spirit of the Lord that was separated from His Body in death, and that lifeless Body was entombed in the grave for three days and three nights. But, God's Holy Spirit, Who is One with the Blood of Jesus Christ. gloriously raised the Lord's body that was dead, to the Life of the Eternal Spirit of God. By faith we were baptized into the Lord's death, and by faith, we identify with His Body, and so we eat, and by faith, we remember that the Life of the Body, is in the Blood, and so we drink of the Spirit of Life. Without the flow of the Spirit of the Blood of Christ Jesus, there is no life in a member of the body, who has cut themselves off in unbelief.
The Covenant is in the Blood, that gives Life to the Body of Christ, and not just in the partaking of the flesh alone that is left without the Life of the Spirit of the Blood. Know you not that you are the Temple of the HOLY SPIRIT. When we, as members of the Body of Jesus Christ, partake of the flesh of the Son of Man, we are each enjoined to each other in the Communion Body, as members of the temple of the HOLY GHOST: But the Temple of Holy God, has need of the sanctifying Life, of the Holy Blood of Christ that cleanses each one of us from our confessed self idolatrous thoughts and actions. Sin is like leaven in the dough, that puffs up and makes air pockets in the finished bread, and so it is with the members in the Body of Christ, where we are to be free of the leaven of sin that brings separation, and division, in that which is One Body. If we say we have no sin then we deceive ourselves and the Truth is not in us. Sin begets death, and there is no Life in you, while you love your sin. For the Life of the Spirit of Christ to be within you, you must forsake you sins of death, and participate in the ecclesia, both in the eating of the flesh of Jesus Christ, and drinking of the Spirit of His Blood of Life.
With the idolatrous self serving nature of man, you can not remain holy in the Body without the sanctifying Blood of Jesus Christ, and the leading of the HOLY SPIRIT of God. Verse 57, Just as the Father sent Me, and I live by the Father, so the one who feeds on Me (my Life) shall live by Me. The temple of Christ is made holy, by the sanctifying Blood of Jesus Christ, for He is the Living Sacrifice that ever makes intercession, for the soul of the believer. Remember that the life of the flesh is in the blood. (See The Crucible.)
By our statement of faith, and when we are initially immersed into the Water of Life, we each have shown ourselves to have been Baptized into Christ's death for our sins, and have been given a reserved place, within the Body of Jesus Christ, even the Bread of Life. But even as the latent virulence of sin, within the flesh can spiritually kill us, and sets us apart from Holy, Holy, Holy God Almighty, so then God has provided in His New Covenant the remediation of the Spirit of Life, Who is one with the Blood of Jesus Christ, and in washing us, gives Life to that which is dead in idolatrous sins and trespasses. Because we have renounced our sins of commission and omission, those sins can no longer hold us in bondage, for in the Spirit of Truth and Life, the Blood of the New Covenant in Christ, is ever efficacious for the remittance of confessed sin. (See Romans 6 verse 3 thru 7.) This is My Blood of the New Covenant that is given for the remission of the sins of the many. The Power of the Life that is in the Blood of Jesus Christ, can not be presupposed, in the people of His calling, as a license to continue to sin grossly. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew thee out of My Mouth. (See Revelation 3 verse 14 thru 18.)
If there is only the One Holy Spirit residing in the many of redeeming faith, then there can be only One Body, where each member of justifying faith, resides within the Body of Jesus Christ, because of that One Holy Faith in the Christ of God. (See Ephesians 4 verse 4 thru 6.) Why then do the problems of separatist dogmas in Christendom exist, when there is only the one promised Bride of Christ within the Holy Spirit? Those who do violence to her are without, and not of the Body of Jesus Christ.
Again, seeing that it is with the eyes of faith and trust in the Creator, then we conclude, from the Spirit of Scripture, that God has left the real Flesh, and the real Blood of His Son, as rightly unperceivable to the perishing carnal mind of flesh. For the Lord Jesus says: It is the Spirit that makes alive; the flesh profits nothing: The Words that I speak unto you, they are Spirit, and they are Life. Therefore, with faith and trust in mind, there is no need for a substantial change in the matter, or the literal morphological transformation in the physical bread, into the Flesh and Blood of Jesus Christ, as ascribed to, in the Roman Catholic doctrine of transubstantiation. The Roman Church, apart from their present doctrinal errors in the delivery of Communion to the members of the Church, has grievous idolatrous errors in their church doctrine. The church leadership needs to repent of their gross antithetical errors, for the sake of the people that occupy their pews. We will venture more into this matter in the latter chapters.
The New Covenant Salvation is by God's Spirit of Grace, and yet we do not see the Spirit of Grace in the Water Baptism that initially separates us from our past sins. Sanctification is by the Spirit of God, and yet we do not see God's Holy Spirit of Grace in the Communion Water and Wine that is the Life Blood that will cleanses the humble person of faith, and separates us from guilt of known and unknown sins. Both Salvation and Sanctification are through God's Holy Spirit of Grace that is One with God, His Word and the fountain of Water and Blood that flowed from wounds of Jesus Christ, the Son of Man. God's Spirit of Life is in our High Priest Jesus Christ, and He alone is the only Covenant Mediator between sinful man kind and Holy, Holy, Holy Yahweh Lord God Almighty.
To proceed to the next chapter, please click on Discerning the Truth.