Mass with 2 Protestants and 1 Crucifix

by Steve Ray on May 8, 2014

CrucifixionChurch.jpgA while ago we went to Mass with two Protestants.  As we walked in the door — there it was, as big as life — a CRUCIFIX with the Body of Our Lord hanging over the altar. 

I knew what the Protestants were thinking — I used to think the same – ”CATHOLICS ARE WRONG, JESUS IS NO LONGER ON THE CROSS, HE HAS RISEN FROM THE DEAD AND IS IN HEAVEN.”  Of course they think Catholics are wrong to keep Jesus on the cross as though he had not risen and ascended into heaven. 

Are they right?  Well, YES and NO.  Jesus DID rise and ascend into heaven and He IS glorified at the right hand of the Father and we are mystically seated there with him (1 Pet 3:22, Eph 2:6).  BUT the Catholic Church is ALSO correct to show Jesus on the Cross — not only to remind us of His suffering and death and to show what happens during the Mass — but because in a mystical way He IS STILL on the Cross.

God the Father sits on His throne in heaven.  And what does God see from his throne every time he “opens his eyes”?  He sees Jesus on the Cross!  Really?  Yeah, really!

PassoverLambBlood.jpgJesus is our Passover Lamb (1 Cor 5:7).  In the Old Testament the lambs were slain on Passover to save the Israelites from death.  The lamb was held over the altar, his neck was slashed with a knife and the blood was drained onto the altar. 

This is why we have an altar in the Catholic Church! The altar represents the Cross (among other things). An Altar is where a Sacrifice takes place!  Jesus was slain as our Passover Lamb to save us from eternal death and to appease the wrath of God.  That sacrifice is re-presented at the Mass (see my talk Defending the Eucharist!).

Take a look at Revelation 5:5 and ask yourself — what John is telling us?  It reads,

Between the throne and the four living creatures and among the elders, I saw a Lamb standing, as though it had been slain . . .

LambInHeaven2.jpgWho IS the slain Lamb that is still standing?  Jesus is the Lamb!  Standing on a altar before the throne of God the Father is a Lamb still bearing the wounds of slaugher.  Jesus is that Lamb and he still bears the wounds of His sacrifice. That is what God sees when He “opens his eyes” – Jesus the sacrifice — Jesus on the altar — Jesus on the Cross.

Charles Wesley, the great Methodist minister and hymn writer agrees. In his hymn “Arise, My Soul, Arise” in which he says the very same thing in very poetic terms.

“Arise, my soul, arise; shake off thy guilty fears; The bleeding sacrifice in my behalf appears, Before the throne my surety stands, My name is written on His hands. He ever lives above, for me to intercede; His all redeeming love, His precious blood, to plead: His blood atoned for all our race, And sprinkles now the throne of grace.”

But wasn’t Jesus crucified once and for all, never to sacrificed for sins again?  Yes, of course!  In   space and time  Jesus was crucified once and for all in AD 30.

In God’s eyes — in eternity which is not limited by space and time — Jesus was crucified before the foundations of the world (see endnote 1) and in ”eternity future” He is still seen by the Father as a slain lamb on the alter in heaven, as the crucified Lord on the Cross. All salvation past, present and future is based on this one historical event.

In the Mass, Jesus is NOT re-crucified, but we partake in a mystical way in the re-presentation of the ONE ETERNAL SACRIFICE which is ever before the eyes of the Father (see Endnote 3).

I used to say “Jesus WAS our sacrifice. He cannot be crucified again on Catholic altars, so Catholics are wrong!”  But the Bible says, Yes, he WAS our sacrifice, but he also IS our Sacrifice. Look at what John says in his first epistle:

“[Jesus] is the expiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world” (RSV-Catholic Edition). 
The Protestant NIV renders this “He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins.”

ThomasWounds.jpgThe Greek word for IS (eimi) is in the present tense. Today, right now He IS our propitiation, our sacrifice. After His resurrection with His new spiritual body Jesus still has the wounds of his crucifixion (Jn 20:27). He has a body in heaven and still bears the wounds of the Sacrifice. He is presented before God as slain sacrifice — yet now alive.

So, what does God see when He “opens his eyes”?  He sees Jesus on the Cross!  If this is what God sees in heaven, then it is certainly proper for us to show Jesus on a Cross to remind us what he did for us — and to see what God sees every day and has from eternity.  So Catholic are right after all. Suprise!  Surprise!

Creche.jpgBy the way, once a Baptist said to me, “You are wrong, Jesus is no longer on the cross, He is in heaven.”  It happend to be Christmas and I noticed they had a Manger Scene (creche) on their table.  I said, “Why do you have Jesus in the manger?  He is no longer in the manger — he is in heaven.

“And oh,” I said, “isn’t that a cute statue of Mary!  I thought you Protestants considered statues to be idols?  Why do you have a statue of Mary in your house?”

****************************

Endnote 1: There are two ways to translate this verse, but either way it comes out making the point. The best Protestant translations of Revelation 13:8 read: “All inhabitants of the earth will worship the beast—all whose names have not been written in the book of life belonging to the Lamb that was slain from the creation of the world” (NIV – New International Version).
      “All who dwell on the earth will worship him, whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world” (NKJV – New King James Version).

Endnote 2: Pictures: 1) Crucifix; 2) Passover Lamb slain by the modern day Samaritans; 3) Image of Jesus the Passover Lamb sacrificed on an altar before the Throne of God (could not make out the name of the author, but it can be seen at http://biblia.com/bible/rev45.htm; 4) Caravaggio’s famous painting “Incredulity of St. Thomas.”; 5) Creche scene.

Endnote 3: Catechism paragraph 1367:  ”The sacrifice of Christ and the sacrifice of the Eucharist are one single sacrifice: ‘The victim is one and the same: the same now offers through the ministry of priests, who then offered himself on the cross; only the manner of offering is different.’ ‘And since in this divine sacrifice which is celebrated in the Mass, the same Christ who offered himself once in a bloody manner on the altar of the cross is contained and offered in an unbloody manner. . . this sacrifice is truly propitiatory’.”

{ 23 comments… read them below or add one }

Dane G. Durham August 5, 2007 at 5:40 PM

Steve Ray's comment to preface the comment below:

I couldn't have asked for a more timely and perfect example of Fundamentalist Protestant position concerning the Crucifix and the Mass. I have taken the freedom to respond to his comment belowby a Dane Durham. He has done us a huge favor by providing a  PERFECT EXAMPLE of the misconceptions in the Fundamentalist camps. They attempt to interpret Scripture and the Catholic faith with little understanding of either, or the teaching and practice of the early Church.

They see everything through their myopic and recent Fundamentlist Tradition which denies much of Scripture and defines itself by its protest against the Roman Catholic Church — thus the name Protest-ant.  Things like this make me praise the Lord that I discovered the fullness of the faith in the Catholic Church!

 Feel free to respond to Dane.

 Dane the Fundamentalist writes:

You can attempt to twist Scripture all you want to justify a pagan sacrifice that is meaningless. The Mass is not a propitiatory sacrifice and does nothing but deny, denigrate, disparage, dishonor and DISANNUL the benefits of the ONE, ALL-SUFFICIENT SACRIFICE OF CHIST ON THE CROSS! God always required the shedding of blood for sin. We see this from the fall in the Garden when Adam and the woman could not cover their nakedness of sin by any self-effort (as with leaves). For God to cover them with coats of skins there had to be the shedding of blood of spotless animal/s (pointing to the spotless Lamb of God, Jesus).

Steve's Response: Here you sound like a Catholic Dane since it has been our teaching for 2,000 that our sins are forgiven by the free grace of God through the shed blood of Jesus Christ. To atone or cover the sinners Adam and Eve, an animal had to die to which prefigured the future death of Jesus Christ the perfect Lamb. And yes Dane, we have taught it long before Protestants came on the scene.  

That the Lamb was slain from the foundation of the world does not mean that the sacrifice had been made at that time.

Steve's Response: I never said that Jesus was slain physically in a bloody manner from eternity past. I DID say that he was crucified once and for all in 30 AD. But since God is not tied to space and time, so the sacrifice of Christ is an eternal event to God.

If it had, then: (1) Jesus would have had to have had a body prepared Him by the Father–being already become the seed of the woman [virgin born of the Holy Ghosty], (2) suffered and (3) died thousands of years before His crufixion. No sacrifice prior to the Cross could take away sins and there is none thereafter that can take away sins. READ [in context] and CONSIDER WELL: Heb:9:22: And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission. God's word emphatically says that there is no remission [of sins] without the shedding of blood. Roman Catholicism teaches that the Mass is a bloodless sacrifice and therefore it cannot be a propitiary one for the remission of sins.

Steve's Response: Wrong on every count since Jesus WAS cruciifed once and for all in space and time (as I said) and that the blood of that eternal sacrifice is sufficient for sin past, present and future. It was an eternal event in God's eyes which is why, from God's eternal perspective, Jesus was crucified before the foundations of the world and is even in "eternity future" seen as a sacrificial lamb in the eternal eyes of God. You really should have read what I actually wrote Dane. 

From here on out Dane stops arguing and just provides a long list of verses — all taken out of their biblical, contextual, theological and historical context. All of these verses have been read and taught by Catholics for 2,000 years IN CONTEXT and with the eternal perspective in mind — as well as the view from space and time. This is also a good example of Fundamentalist practice — sling as many Bible verses as you can and hope the adversary will be impressed, intimidated, and overwhelmelmed. It's amazing that Dane seems to think I've never studied the passages he cuts and pastes onto my blog.

Jerking verses out of context — biblical, contextual, theological and historical — and slinging them has never impressed me. A thorough understanding of Scripture like the Catholic Church has provided through the ages — now that impresses me.

Thanks for commenting Dane, but no cigar!

Heb:7:27: Who needeth not daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifice, first for his own sins, and then for the people's: for this he did once, when he offered up himself. Heb:9:12: 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. Heb:9:26: For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself. Heb:9:27: And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: 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. Heb:10:10: By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. Rom:6:9: Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him. 10: For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God. 1Pet:3:18: 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: The payment for the sins of the world required not only the physical suffering at the hands of men and on the Cross, but required Jesus to suffer the equivalent of eternal separation from the Father… Mt:27:46: And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? Mk:15:34: And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani? which is, being interpreted, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? …whereby He was suffered the wrath of God and was bruised (eg. Isaiah 53). Jesus had to suffer the equivalent of spiritual death (separation from God in suffering and torment–being forsaken) as well as physical death and then be raised again for our justification. Rom:4:25: Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification. How many times does the Holy Spirit have to tell you through Scripture that Jesus was offered ONCE for the sins of the world? And Scripture says that if any sacrifice representative of Christ's sacrifice on the Cross could have taken away sins, then Jesus would have had to have suffered often since the foundation of the world. The Mass and the Catholic priesthood are meaningless except for holding people in bondage to a false sacrificial system and good works for salvation when salvation is all of grace through faith in Christ and His finished work alone. If you continue to follow these false doctrines you will die in your sins. Works and grace cannot be mixed! Rom:11:6: And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work. Romans 4: 1: What shall we say then that Abraham our father, as pertaining to the flesh, hath found? 2: For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God. 3: For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness. 4: Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. 5: But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness. 6: Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works, 7: Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered. 8: Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin. 9: Cometh this blessedness then upon the circumcision only, or upon the uncircumcision also? for we say that faith was reckoned to Abraham for righteousness. 10: How was it then reckoned? when he was in circumcision, or in uncircumcision? Not in circumcision, but in uncircumcision. 11: And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had yet being uncircumcised: that he might be the father of all them that believe, though they be not circumcised; that righteousness might be imputed unto them also: 12: And the father of circumcision to them who are not of the circumcision only, but who also walk in the steps of that faith of our father Abraham, which he had being yet uncircumcised. 13: For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith. 14: For if they which are of the law be heirs, faith is made void, and the promise made of none effect: 15: Because the law worketh wrath: for where no law is, there is no transgression. 16: Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all, 17: (As it is written, I have made thee a father of many nations,) before him whom he believed, even God, who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were. 18: Who against hope believed in hope, that he might become the father of many nations, according to that which was spoken, So shall thy seed be. 19: And being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body now dead, when he was about an hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sara's womb: 20: He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God; 21: And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform. 22: And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness. 23: Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him; 24: But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead; 25: Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification. Eph:2:8: For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9: Not of works, lest any man should boast. Repent, cry out to God for the free gift of salvation and come out of that false, idolatrous system unto eternal life. Rom:10:9: That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. 10: For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. 11: For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. In love, Dane G. Durham

J.R. DePrisco August 6, 2007 at 2:32 PM

The dawn is repeated every day. But the sun is not. In outer space it is always the same: always shining. Each dawn, the sun is re-presented, not repeated. The dawn is re-peated, the sun is re-presented. Likewise the Mass: it is repeated every day, while the sacrifice of calvary is re-presented. Not a different sacrifice, the same one, just like the sun. As St. Paul says in Ephesians, at the fullness of times, God summed-up or recapitulated all things in Chirst: things in Heaven and things on Earth. If Jesus is appearing for us in Heaven as the lamb looking like it was slain perpetually propitiating the Father, then it must also be happening on Earth since all things are summed up or recapitulated in Christ. The Mass is this Earthly recapitualtion of the Heavenly propitiation.

Steve Ray August 6, 2007 at 3:28 PM

Beauuuuutiful analogy! Thanks!

Steph August 6, 2007 at 7:46 PM

I am going to borrow that analogy if I may.

I appreciate your blog, Steve, and all of the great work you do defending our faith. I am in the trenches myself, gearing up everyday to against false accusations of our Church and Her teachings.

Thanks to your site and others like it, I am able to bring some great questions to those ‘bible only’ discussions. Thanks a million.

God Bless!
Steph

Scott Montgomery August 6, 2007 at 8:42 PM

Dear Mr. Durham,
In your letter to Mr. Ray you have attempted to disprove two dogmas of the Catholic Faith: Justification By Faith & Works, and the Sacrificial Nature of the Mass. I will attempt to briefly address both of these from the Catholic perspective, with the clear understanding that a thorough treatise could be written on each in order to do justice to the constant teaching of the Church that has been handed down to us from Christ and the Apostles.

Justification:

Since the time of the Protestant Revolt, many have attempted to use the writings of St. Paul to prove that man is justified by faith alone. Indeed, in his epistles to the Romans, Ephesians, and Galatians, the Apostle says on more than one occasion that we are justified by faith and not works. This appears to contradict the teaching of the Apostle James who states that faith without works is dead. Are these two Apostles of Christ opposed to each other on the issue of justification? The answer is no, and if we take a closer look at the teaching of St. Paul we will see that he and St. James are in agreement with each other on this important doctrine.
When Christ died upon the Cross, he merited through the sacrifice of His human nature all of the grace that is necessary for our salvation. Through faith in Him, and by means of the Sacraments, sanctifying grace is infused into our soul and we are elevated from a state of enmity with God to one of friendship as his adopted sons and daughters. But this is not all that is needed to attain Heaven, for we must cooperate with this grace and put it into practice in our daily lives through the performance of good works. Paul states this specifically in Romans 2:6 (“God will render to every man according to his works”) and in Galatians 5:6 (“For in Christ Jesus, neither circumcision avails anything nor uncircumcision: but faith that works by charity.”). It is stated even more plainly by St. James in the second chapter of his epistle when he says, “For even as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead” (James 2:26).
When Paul declares in Romans, Ephesians, & Galatians that we are justified by faith and not works, he is condemning those Pharisees from the School of Shammai who taught that strict adherence to the 613 precepts of the Mosaic Law was all that was necessary to obtain salvation. These precepts governed nearly every aspect of daily life and were pushed by many Pharisees to an unbearable extreme. For example, the law to prepare no food on the Sabbath had to be observed by not even allowing the beast to toil; hence, it was argued in the Mishnah that an egg laid on the Sabbath must not be eaten (Eduyoth, iv, 1). Another debate concerned whether, on a holy day, a ladder could be carried from one dove-cote to another or should only be glided from hole to hole. Through circumcision and a slavish adherence to the precepts of the Mosaic Law such as these, many Pharisees felt that they were justified in the eyes of God.
Paul counters this by saying that what is needed instead is a circumcision of the heart (Romans2:29); one that will manifest itself in acts of charity. In this way, the Old Law is brought to its fulfillment through its marriage to the corporal and spiritual works of mercy. That this is true is revealed by our Lord in His discourse to the Apostles on the Final Judgement (Matthew 25:31-46): only those who obey the commandment of Christ to alleviate the sufferings of the least of their brethren will enter into the Kingdom of Heaven. Those who do not (even though they have faith) will be condemned to eternal punishment.

Sacrifice of the Mass:

That the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is the Sacrifice of Calvary made present upon our altars is a doctrine that has its basis in both the Old and New Testaments:

1. “For from the rising of the sun even to the going down, my name
is great among the Gentiles, and in every place there is sacrifice, and
there is offered to my name a clean oblation: for my name is great
among the Gentiles, saith the Lord of hosts.” (Malachias 1:11)

In this passage God rebukes the Jews for not offering pure sacrifices. He will, however, accept the Sacrifice of Jesus on Calvary and the clean oblation ( the bloodless re-presentation of this one bloody sacrifice) that will be offered in the Mass in every place among the Gentiles.

2.
18 But Melchisedech the king of Salem, bringing forth bread and wine, for he was the priest of the most high God, 19 Blessed him, and said: Blessed be Abram by the most high God, who created heaven and earth. 20 And blessed be the most high God, by whose protection the enemies are in thy hands. And he gave him the tithes of all. (Genesis 14:18-20)

4 The Lord hath sworn, and he will not repent: Thou art a priest for ever according to the order of Melchisedech. (Psalm 109:4)

The eternal priesthood of Christ (which will be shared by those who receive the indelible mark of God on their souls in the Sacrament of Holy Orders) is pre-figured by the Old Testament priesthood of Melchisedech.

3.
19 And taking bread, he gave thanks, and brake; and gave to them, saying: This is my body, which is given for you. Do this for a commemoration of me. 20 In like manner the chalice also, after he had supped, saying: This is the chalice, the new testament in my blood, which shall be shed for you. (Luke 22:19-20)

26 And whilst they were at supper, Jesus took bread, and blessed, and broke: and gave to his disciples, and said: Take ye, and eat. This is my body. 27 And taking the chalice, he gave thanks, and gave to them, saying: Drink ye all of this. 28 For this is my blood of the new testament, which shall be shed for many unto remission of sins. (Matthew 26:26-28)

In these passages the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, the Sacrificing Priesthood, and the true presence of Christ in the Blessed Sacrament are established by our Lord during the Last Supper, which is also the first Mass. This re-presentation of His bloody sacrifice on Calvary is to be perpetuated by the Apostles and all who will follow them in Holy Orders (“Do this for a commemoration of me.”).

Note also that Christ does not say “This is a figure or symbol of my body”, but “This is my body”; clearly indicating Transubstantiation.

4.
In John 6:31-60, we are then given the clearest teaching that the Mass is truly a Sacrifice and that Christ is present in His entirety (body, blood, soul, and divinity) in the Blessed Sacrament. It has always amazed me that those Fundamentalist Christians who are so fond of demanding a literal interpretation of Scripture suddenly shrink and begin to speak of symbolism when confronted with these words of our Lord:

31 Our fathers did eat manna in the desert, as it is written: He gave them bread from heaven to eat. 32 Then Jesus said to them: Amen, amen I say to you; Moses gave you not bread from heaven, but my Father giveth you the true bread from heaven. 33 For the bread of God is that which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life to the world. 34 They said therefore unto him: Lord, give us always this bread. 35 And Jesus said to them: I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall not hunger: and he that believeth in me shall never thirst.

36 But I said unto you, that you also have seen me, and you believe not. 37 All that the Father giveth to me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me, I will not cast out. 38 Because I came down from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of him that sent me. 39 Now this is the will of the Father who sent me: that of all that he hath given me, I should lose nothing; but should raise it up again in the last day. 40 And this is the will of my Father that sent me: that every one who seeth the Son, and believeth in him, may have life everlasting, and I will raise him up in the last day.

41 The Jews therefore murmured at him, because he had said: I am the living bread which came down from heaven. 42 And they said: Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How then saith he, I came down from heaven? 43 Jesus therefore answered, and said to them: Murmur not among yourselves. 44 No man can come to me, except the Father, who hath sent me, draw him; and I will raise him up in the last day. 45 It is written in the prophets: And they shall all be taught of God. Every one that hath heard of the Father, and hath learned, cometh to me.

46 Not that any man hath seen the Father; but he who is of God, he hath seen the Father. 47 Amen, amen I say unto you: He that believeth in me, hath everlasting life. 48 I am the bread of life. 49 Your fathers did eat manna in the desert, and are dead. 50 This is the bread which cometh down from heaven; that if any man eat of it, he may not die.

51 I am the living bread which came down from heaven. 52 If any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever; and the bread that I will give, is my flesh, for the life of the world. 53 The Jews therefore strove among themselves, saying: How can this man give us his flesh to eat? 54 Then Jesus said to them: Amen, amen I say unto you: Except you eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, you shall not have life in you. 55 He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath everlasting life: and I will raise him up in the last day.

56 For my flesh is meat indeed: and my blood is drink indeed. 57 He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, abideth in me, and I in him. 58 As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father; so he that eateth me, the same also shall live by me. 59 This is the bread that came down from heaven. Not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead. He that eateth this bread, shall live for ever. 60 These things he said, teaching in the synagogue, in Capharnaum.

5.
Not only is the Mass a propitiatory sacrifice, it is so beneficial to the salvation of souls that we are told in Scripture that the Antichrist will do everything in his power to destroy it:

11 And from the time when the continual sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination unto desolation shall be set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred ninety days, (Daniel 12:11)

Conclusion:

At the end of the day, what separates Catholics from Protestants on these and other points of doctrine is that Catholics have the infallible teaching authority of the Church to guide them in the proper interpretation of Scripture and Tradition. The reason that there are literally thousands of Protestant denominations is that after accepting only a portion of the deposit of faith (Scripture), Protestants cannot even agree among themselves as to what the Scriptures mean. This is especially true of the writings of St. Paul, which Peter himself says contain “certain things hard to be understood, which the unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction” (2 Peter 3:16). In light of this, it would seem the better thing for you to do, Mr. Durham, would be to submit yourself to the authority of the Church established by Christ for the salvation of souls. To do otherwise is an act of pride which places you in grave danger of eternal damnation.

Steve Ray August 7, 2007 at 11:27 AM

Interestingly, the Methodist minister Charles Wesley wrote a hymn entitled “Arise, My Soul, Arise” which says the same thing as my blog above. Here are the words.

Arise, my soul, arise; shake off thy guilty fears;
The bleeding sacrifice in my behalf appears:
Before the throne my surety stands,
Before the throne my surety stands,
My name is written on His hands.

He ever lives above, for me to intercede;
His all redeeming love, His precious blood, to plead:
His blood atoned for all our race,
His blood atoned for all our race,
And sprinkles now the throne of grace.

Five bleeding wounds He bears; received on Calvary;
They pour effectual prayers; they strongly plead for me:
“Forgive him, O forgive,” they cry,
“Forgive him, O forgive,” they cry,
“Nor let that ransomed sinner die!”

The Father hears Him pray, His dear anointed One;
He cannot turn away, the presence of His Son;
His Spirit answers to the blood,
His Spirit answers to the blood,
And tells me I am born of God.

My God is reconciled; His pardoning voice I hear;
He owns me for His child; I can no longer fear:
With confidence I now draw nigh,
With confidence I now draw nigh,
And “Father, Abba, Father,” cry.

Kjetil Kringlebotten August 7, 2007 at 1:32 PM

I posted this in the discussion forum, too…

When discussing if the Eucharist is a sacrifice (or eather a re-presentation of The Sacrifice of the Cross) I tend to point to three Greek words in Christ’s words at the Last Supper. The text reads:

Luke 22:19, NKJV:

And He took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me.”

The three words I point out, is: (i) eucharistos, “gave thanks,” (ii) poieo, “do [this],” and (iii) anamnesis, “remembrance.”

The first word points out that this is a sacrifice of thanks. One problem when discussing this with protestants (and non-Christians) is that they seem to believe that “sacrifice” = “bloody.” While in the Bible there are a lot of unbloody sacrifices.

The second word is also found in the Septuaginta OT. And it is used within a sacrificial context: “Now this is what you shall offer on the altar: two lambs of the first year, day by day continually.” (Exodus 29:38, emphasis added)

The third word is the most interesting. For Plato, and one cannot totally rip a word from its original context, the word meant “remembrance,” but in a totally different way than we seem to think. For Plato to “remember” something was to “invoke” it. So, when we “do this in remembrance of [Christ],” we offer it/re-present the sacrifice of the Cross, and we invoke Christ, “make” Him really present under the species of bread and wine.

Pera August 8, 2007 at 4:44 AM

If I may try my hand at explaining this in a fundamentalist sort of way for Dan, it might help. I am currently preparing to take RCIA classes so I still have a good idea of how they think.

Think of it like this, Dan. You know that when Jesus died for our sins he did it for
ALL our sins. This includes any sins that we may commit some 2000 years later. That means that the sacrifice would have to TRANSCEND time. There is no one but God himself who could have done this.

This is why Jesus is depicted as still being on the cross, in a sense, he still is. That one sacrifice was so great and so holy that the blood shed during that one event in our measured time, counts in God’s eternal sphere of existence.

Also, may I point out that there is fresh blood during Mass. During holy communion the faithful partake of the blood and flesh of Christ. It isn’t a representation; it’s really the flesh and blood of Jesus.

janet heiman August 8, 2007 at 11:36 AM

Dear Steve and Company,
Recently a small group of people from St. Patrick’s Parish in Menasha, Wisconsin watched your Footprints of God series. We really liked what we saw and and what we learned. We had popcorn and soda or water and were so engrossed in your wonderful presentations that we are going to try this again in the winter! We are also looking forward to seeing all your series as I am led to believe you have not finished shooting the series.
Getting right to the point is not one of my strong points, but, while watching the films we noticed that many of the CHURCHES that Paul was reported to have been in did not seem to have tabernacles. Also this made us wonder if some of the other CHURCHES or chapels had tabernacles and we wondered if Jesus is kept on any of these sites. It doesn’t make these places any less holy, only we wondered. If you could answer we would be very appreciative. We also understand that many sites you visit are not very Christian friendly.
Thank you for your time and your great series. Some of the people in the group were cradle Catholics and were surprised to relearn somethings about our faith. Some of us are returning Catholics and need to LEARN our faith and your series did it all. Hoping you can answer our question.

Yours in Christ Jesus, Janet Heiman 116 Adella Beach Rd. Neenah, WI 54956

Brian August 9, 2007 at 3:18 PM

The point of the crucifix is that we are reminded of what it cost God to buy our souls. A blank cross has saved no one, was the cross Christ died on taken down immediately after he died and then put back up right after he rose from the dead? The Bible does not seem to say so.

“We can all relate to a crucified Christ because we all have a cross to bear but none of us can relate to the risen Christ because none of us have risen from the dead!”
-Fr. Benedict Groshell

Steve Ray August 9, 2007 at 4:04 PM

All Catholic Churches have tabernacles. Unhappily, even in Rome the tabernacles are not always in the center behind the altar, but all churches have tabernacles and most of them are absolutely gorgeous!

Thanks for your kind words about the Footprints DVDs. Apostolic Fathers will be out by the end of September — my favorite to date!

Rushad August 10, 2007 at 3:57 PM

Steve, your blog is great, as always! God Bless You!

Tony McNosky August 20, 2007 at 10:28 AM

Steve.
What a wonderful teaching on explaining the Mass. And some very wonderful comments from others on this subject. I must point out that you used the words re-represent instead of re-present and re-representation instead of re-presentation as the others who commented here. Don’t know if you want to change those but I think it might be good to do so. Big difference between represent and re-present.
Since meeting you and other Catholic convert apologists my faith is being renewed and you were the catalist to its taking place…… thank you.

Steve Ray August 20, 2007 at 12:22 PM

I think I have them fixed now. Thanks! If you see one I missed, email me at sray@rc.net and let me know. Thanks.

Mark August 21, 2007 at 3:09 PM

San Damiano Cross. A famous Franciscan symbol represented on EWTN in the Mass and all over the world – like my son’s T-shirt. It’s not the crucified Christ, but rather the risen Christ with the wounds from the crucifixion. Look at it closely. I’d love to see the San Damiano Cross in all of the churches, T-Shirts, Cars, sacramentals, etc. However, the Crucifix is an ancient symbol reminding us not only what Jesus did for our salvation, but also the resurrection. It’s a symbol. Holy water reminds of us baptism and our calling as priests – not the ordained kind. His death is meaningless without the resurrection. We don’t look at Jesus as our buddy like some over-the-top upbeat Protestants seem to believe. I know because I’ve been there. Jesus is our savior and we like to be reminded of it so that we don’t forget it

The ancient Christians signed themselves too. Why don’t we just get rid of all Christian symbols. That would make the world very happy. Once they get rid of the symbols the rest is easy. Get rid of the Christians just like the NAZIs and Communists tried. It wouldn’t be the first time. Look at the catacombs. The ancient symbols are everywhere. HOW POMPOUS of us to red the world of the ancient symbol that reminds of the price Christ paid – DEATH ON A CROSS. The early Christians recited the Apostles Creed and the Nicene Creed according to my previous Protestant preacher who asked us to recite it. I don’t think he realized what he was doing. Of course it would be a cold day in hell before he admitted that the early Church was Catholic. But I hope he doesn’t wait that long though because a cold hell would be as if not more painful than a hot one from my experience with extreme whether. Not that he’s going to hell. Just an interesting play on words.

“KATHOLIKOS” – used by Ignatius of Antioch in 107 on his way to be put to death

Let’s pull the ancient church fathers out to show what the real beliefs were of the early church. I learn something everyday. WOW! Thanks to a return the ancient church fathers. It may have save the Protestant’s from believing in the Da Vinci Code. It helped me but led me back to the Catholic Church.

I’m always amazed at how many Greek scholars are produced in the Protestant world. Man they should be speaking it since they’re so good at it. I heard that the leading Greek scholars are actually Orthodox. So I love it when someone tries to use Greek or Scripture on me. I know what they’re doing and used to try it myself. Yes. It’s a sign of a panic attack cause from one’s faith being rattled in their caged in beliefs. That’s what happens when you faith is built on sinking sand. It doesn’t stand the test of fire.

Mark August 21, 2007 at 3:11 PM

Oh yea, my favorite saying is “been there, got the T-shirt”. I literally have the T-shirts in my former protestant days. Now I’m trying to replace them with orthodox Catholic T-shirts.

Mary Teresa September 10, 2007 at 9:26 AM

I am so thankful that I found your blog and message board. This is just what I need to learn more about my Catholic faith and to prepare myself for question from non-believers (protestants). I was raised in the PNW, attended a parish there with my stepmother and now at 36 am on my way to conversion. I livein the south where it is difficult for Catholics to just “be” so unlike my PNW home. Your blog and the message board are going to be extremely useful to me, and I am sure to others.

Peace,
Teresa

LEE B. DAY September 19, 2007 at 8:21 AM

Dear Bro. Steve,
Since I met you in the phil particularly in davao city @ NCCC Mall with Sis. Janet..I never stopped following you in your website every moment coz I really inspired with your life as a convert specially rwadibng your book crossing the tiber which you gave it to me for free..I pray that it would inspired more catholic faithfull and open the eyes of those who turned back thier faith..and may God continue to make you as HIS instrument to catch more fish back to His fold..And may the guidance of the blessed Virgin Mary be upon you always and your family…

Lee

joseph paul adorable November 19, 2007 at 12:47 PM

Bro. Steve,

Peace and all-good!

Your personal testimony continue to inspire more Catholics to know and live their faith. We are very happy to know that many more good Protestants now see the light of faith and come back home to the one true Church of Christ.

Ave Maria!

jpaul

Julie November 27, 2012 at 8:33 AM

Great post. So I wonder if Dane came back to read the reply or if he did a drive-by.

De Maria December 1, 2012 at 8:39 AM

Hi Dane,

You said,
You can attempt to twist Scripture all you want to justify a pagan sacrifice that is meaningless.

1. I don’t see any twisting of Scripture by Steve.
2. The Mass is not a pagan sacrifice.
3. The Mass is full of meaning. All of God’s plan of salvation for mankind is revealed in it. Because in it is revealed His love for mankind, Jesus Christ.

The Mass is not a propitiatory sacrifice

Yes, it is. Propitiatory means to “put an end to” or “wash away” sin. That is precisely what the Mass does. In the Mass, the Blood of Christ is applied to our sins and washes them away.

The Mass is our Passover feast. Because Christ is our Passover:
1 Corinthians 5:6-8
King James Version (KJV)
6 Your glorying is not good. Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump? 7 Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us: 8 Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.

Perhaps you refuse to keep the Feast. But we don’t.

and does nothing but deny, denigrate, disparage, dishonor and DISANNUL the benefits of the ONE, ALL-SUFFICIENT SACRIFICE OF CHIST ON THE CROSS!

On the contrary, it is in the Mass that the benefits of the all sufficient Sacrifice of Christ on the Cross is applied to our souls. If you choose to believe.

If you choose to deny, denigrate, disparage, dishonor and disannul the Mass, then Christ died in vain for you:
Hebrews 10:25-31
King James Version (KJV)
25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching. 26 For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, 27 But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries. 28 He that despised Moses’ law died without mercy under two or three witnesses: 29 Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace? 30 For we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people. 31 It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

God always required the shedding of blood for sin. We see this from the fall in the Garden when Adam and the woman could not cover their nakedness of sin by any self-effort (as with leaves). For God to cover them with coats of skins there had to be the shedding of blood of spotless animal/s (pointing to the spotless Lamb of God, Jesus).

True.

That the Lamb was slain from the foundation of the world does not mean that the sacrifice had been made at that time.

Who said that it had?

If it had, then: (1) Jesus would have had to have had a body prepared Him by the Father–being already become the seed of the woman [virgin born of the Holy Ghosty], (2) suffered and (3) died thousands of years before His crufixion.

Steve nowhere made any such remark, so that part of your objection is without any foundation.

What Steve did say, which I thought was Protestant doctrine, is that the grace which Christ poured out from the Cross is applied to all in all of time. Whether it be before the Sacrifice or after. From Adam to the future which we have not yet arrived. Without the Sacrifice of Christ, no one’s sins would be forgiven. This is why we depict Christ on the Cross (1 Corinthians 1:23). And this is why we believe it is an eternal Sacrifice.

No sacrifice prior to the Cross could take away sins and there is none thereafter that can take away sins.

Who said there was? Did you not understand that the Eucharist is the self same sacrifice that took place on Calvary?

Here is what Protestants miss and don’t understand. And the reason they don’t understand is because they don’t understand the Scriptures.

In the Old Testament, we learn that Sacrifice is not simply the slaughter of the victim. Sacrifice is also the offering of the Victim. And Sacrifice is also the consuming of the Victim.

Christ takes care of the first two aspects of His Sacrifice. We participate in the same Sacrifice by consuming the Passover. Have you not read in Scripture?

Exodus 12
King James Version (KJV)
1 And the Lord spake unto Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt saying, 2 This month shall be unto you the beginning of months: it shall be the first month of the year to you. 3 Speak ye unto all the congregation of Israel, saying, In the tenth day of this month they shall take to them every man a lamb, according to the house of their fathers, a lamb for an house: 4 And if the household be too little for the lamb, let him and his neighbour next unto his house take it according to the number of the souls; every man according to his eating shall make your count for the lamb. 5 Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year: ye shall take it out from the sheep, or from the goats: 6 And ye shall keep it up until the fourteenth day of the same month: and the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it in the evening. 7 And they shall take of the blood, and strike it on the two side posts and on the upper door post of the houses, wherein they shall eat it. 8 And they shall eat the flesh in that night, roast with fire, and unleavened bread; and with bitter herbs they shall eat it. 9 Eat not of it raw, nor sodden at all with water, but roast with fire; his head with his legs, and with the purtenance thereof. 10 And ye shall let nothing of it remain until the morning; and that which remaineth of it until the morning ye shall burn with fire.

READ [in context] and CONSIDER WELL:

Excellent advice which you should take. We understand Scripture in the manner which Scripture advises:
1 Corinthians 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.

2 Corinthians 3:6
Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.

The first thing that Protestants did wrong with regards to understanding the Word of God is to reject the Traditions of Jesus Christ. The Mass being one of them. These Traditions predated the New Testament Scriptures. And it is upon these Traditions that the New Testament is based. That is why, when you read the Scriptures, you don’t recognize the Traditions that are there illustrated.

Let us go over these in context.
Heb:9:22: And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.

God’s word emphatically says that there is no remission [of sins] without the shedding of blood. Roman Catholicism teaches that the Mass is a bloodless sacrifice and therefore it cannot be a propitiary one for the remission of sins.

Not true. The actual word used is, “unbloody”. Not “bloodless”. The verbiage is thus:
1369 ….Through the ministry of priests the spiritual sacrifice of the faithful is completed in union with the sacrifice of Christ the only Mediator, which in the Eucharist is offered through the priests’ hands in the name of the whole Church in an unbloody and sacramental manner until the Lord himself comes.

The words, “unbloody” and “sacramental” are united with the word “and”. Which means that they are together. Sacramental means “mysterious”. It is the mystery which existed from the foundation of the world:
1 Corinthians 2:7
But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory:

We believe that the wine becomes the Blood of Christ. Therefore, Blood is involved. But it is not visible to the eye of flesh. By faith alone does one discern this Blood of Christ in the Cup of Salvation:
1 Corinthians 10:16
The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ?

1 Corinthians 11:27
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.

Therefore, the Blood of our Lord is consumed in the Eucharist and that is why it is propitiatory for our sins. Where do you get the Blood of Christ which you claim washes away your sins, since you deny the Eucharist?

Now, let’s look at your verses in context.

Heb:7:27: Who needeth not daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifice, first for his own sins, and then for the people’s: for this he did once, when he offered up himself.

True. But if that means that Christ no longer offers Himself to the Father, why is the Lamb standing in heaven as though slain?

Revelation 5:6
And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth.

Heb:9:12: 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.

Well, He did. How does this contradict the Mass. It is because He did that we can celebrate the Mass.

Heb:9:26: For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself. Heb:9:27: And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: 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.

This also does not speak against the Mass, but confirms it.

Heb:10:10: By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

Yes. Once for ALLLLLLLLL. That includes us. And the benefits of the Sacrifice of Christ, are applied to us, in the Mass.

Rom:6:9: Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him. 10: For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God.

Excellent! It is Protestants who accuse us of killing Christ over and over. But we don’t believe that at all. We simply obey His Word and “do this in remembrance” of Him. We “re-present” the once for all sacrifice upon the altar as He commanded. Yes, we have an “altar”. It is the Table of the Lord. But it is an altar of Sacrifice:

Hebrews 13:10
King James Version (KJV)
10 We have an altar, whereof they have no right to eat which serve the tabernacle.

1Pet:3:18: 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: The payment for the sins of the world required not only the physical suffering at the hands of men and on the Cross, but required Jesus to suffer the equivalent of eternal separation from the Father…

Hm? One thing which that verse does not say is anything about the Mass.

However, what kind of weird heresy are you teaching there? What does that mean? “but required Jesus to suffer the equivalent of eternal separation from the Father”….

Huh?

You don’t believe that the Sacrifice of Jesus Christ upon the Cross is eternal, but you believe He is eternally separated from the Father?

Mt:27:46: And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?

Mk:15:34: And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani? which is, being interpreted, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?

Jesus is not there accusing the Father of forsaking Him. If you knew and understood the Scripture, you would know that Jesus is there calling to mind the prophecy of the Suffering Servant from the Psalm. It is the first verse of Psalm 22:

Psalm 22
King James Version (KJV)
1My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? why art thou so far from helping me, and from the words of my roaring?….

Read the whole thing if you are not familiar with it. Jesus is letting the Jews know that His Crucifixion was prophesied, long ago.

…whereby He was suffered the wrath of God and was bruised (eg. Isaiah 53).

Still nothing which can possibly be construed to be in contradiction with the Mass.

Jesus had to suffer the equivalent of spiritual death (separation from God in suffering and torment–being forsaken) as well as physical death and then be raised again for our justification.

No He didn’t. Jesus was never forsaken or separated from the Father. This is your teaching which you are reading into the Scriptures because you don’t understand the Word of God.

Rom:4:25: Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification. How many times does the Holy Spirit have to tell you through Scripture that Jesus was offered ONCE for the sins of the world?

Only once. How many times does Scripture have to tell you that you apply the grace of His Sacrifice on the Cross to yourself by consuming His Body and Blood in the Eucharist?

And Scripture says that if any sacrifice representative of Christ’s sacrifice on the Cross could have taken away sins, then Jesus would have had to have suffered often since the foundation of the world.

But the Eucharist is not “representative” of Christ’s sacrifice. It is Christ’s sacrifice.

The Mass and the Catholic priesthood are meaningless

The Mass is our remembrance of Christ’s entire life.
The Eucharist is Christ’s re-presentation of His Sacrifice upon the Cross at Calvary.
The Catholic ministerial priesthood, is the ordination of men who are completely dedicated to Christ as is suggested in Scripture:
1 Corinthians 7:32
But I would have you without carefulness. He that is unmarried careth for the things that belong to the Lord, how he may please the Lord:

except for holding people in bondage to a false sacrificial system

The false system of worship is the one you are proposing. The Scripture is very clear that it is in the breaking of the Bread, the Eucharist, that Jesus Christ is revealed:

Luke 24:35
And they told what things were done in the way, and how he was known of them in breaking of bread.

and good works for salvation

This is the main teaching of Scripture from one end to the other. St. Paul teaches:
Galatians 6:6-8

King James Version (KJV)

6Let him that is taught in the word communicate unto him that teacheth in all good things.
7Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.
8For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.

That explicitly teaches that we are justified by works and not by faith only.

Here, lets go through it together.

Galatians 6:6-8

King James Version (KJV)
6Let him that is taught in the word communicate unto him that teacheth in all good things.

If you read the previous 5 verses, this is a reference to Confession. St. Paul is saying, if you have sinned, you need to go to the Priest and confess your sin. But this has nothing to do with this discussion. I included this verse in order not to be accused of leaving anything or posting out of context.

7Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.

Here St. Paul states the overall adage. In more common language, our actions will result in consequences. If we do good, good will come of it. If we do evil, evil will come of it.

8For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.

Now, St. Paul is more specific and explains what he has said in verse 7.

He that soweth to his flesh.

To me, that means the one that acts selfishly.

shall reap corruption.

To me, that means that individual will be condemned to “rot” in hell.

but he that soweth to the Spirit.

The Spirit, in this case, is a reference to the Law of the Spirit. Which is the Law of Love and therefore this is a person who acts with love towards his neighbors.

reap life everlasting.

To me, “live everlasting” means heaven.

St. Paul is here teaching salvation by works and not by faith only. One who sows good deeds will reap life eternal.

when salvation is all of grace through faith in Christ and His finished work alone.

That does not seem to be the case. Read also Matt 25:31-46. The sheep are rewarded for well doing. Just as again it is confirmed in Rom 2:7 and 2:13. You can actually see this teaching throughout the Scriptures, Old and New Testament.

If you continue to follow these false doctrines you will die in your sins.

I’m afraid it is the other way around.
1. It is you who follow false doctrines. Here, I’ll show you and exceptionally blatant one which you have just mentioned. Scripture nowhere says anything about faith “alone” except to decry its efficacy for salvation:
James 2:14
What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?

James 2:24
Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.

It is you who follow false doctrines. It is you who will die in your sins if you don’t reject them and come to the Fullness of the Truth which is only taught in the Catholic Church.
Ephesians 3:10
King James Version (KJV)
10 To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God,

Works and grace cannot be mixed!

Works are grace.

Rom:11:6: And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work.

Well, since you have taken this out of context, you simply post one verse. But in order to understand it correctly, you must post a great deal, both from the Old and the New Testaments.

Lets begin. Why does he say, “no more of works”? Have you not read in Scripture where Jesus says:
Matthew 20:1-3
King James Version (KJV)
1 For the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is an householder, which went out early in the morning to hire labourers into his vineyard. 2 And when he had agreed with the labourers for a penny a day, he sent them into his vineyard. 3 And he went out about the third hour, and saw others standing idle in the marketplace,

To what is Jesus here referring? To the Jews. The Jews made a contract with God. They had an agreement with God. Have you not also read in Scripture?

Exodus 19
King James Version (KJV)
3 And Moses went up unto God, and the Lord called unto him out of the mountain, saying, Thus shalt thou say to the house of Jacob, and tell the children of Israel; 4 Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagles’ wings, and brought you unto myself. 5 Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine: 6 And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel. 7 And Moses came and called for the elders of the people, and laid before their faces all these words which the Lord commanded him. 8 And all the people answered together, and said, All that the Lord hath spoken we will do. And Moses returned the words of the people unto the Lord.

In essence, the Old Covenant of the People of God through Moses with God, is a labour contract. They keep the works of the Law, God saves them.

But it is no longer of works. It is now of grace. Does that mean that there are no requirements. There remain the Ten Commandments:
John 14:21
King James Version (KJV)
21 He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.

And Jesus has added the Sacraments:
Mark 16:16
King James Version (KJV)
16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.

That is what St. Paul means, no longer of works.

Old Testament. Do good deeds all your life. Maybe God saves you at the Judgement.
New Testament. Do good deeds meet for repentance. Wash away your sins calling on His name in Baptism. Receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. Walk upon Mount Sion with the Saints.

Romans 4, below, is actually a confirmation of the doctrine of faith AND works. But your tradition has twisted the Scriptures beyond recognition, therefore you don’t understand what you are reading.

Romans 4: 1: What shall we say then that Abraham our father, as pertaining to the flesh, hath found? 2: For if Abraham were justified by works,

First off, the Church does not teach justification by works “alone”. But by faith and works.

And that is only a “manner of speaking”. Because in reality, we are not justified by faith and works. But those who do the works of God are justified in His eyes.

Romans 2:13
King James Version (KJV)
13 (For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified.

Do you understand? We don’t justify ourselves by faith or works. God justifies those who obey Him and do the works of the Law. God justifies. We don’t.

1994 Justification is the most excellent work of God’s love made manifest in Christ Jesus and granted by the Holy Spirit.….

he hath whereof to glory; but not before God.

That is true. And it is again, the Teaching of the Church. That is, in fact, why works are so important:
Philippians 2:11-13
King James Version (KJV)
11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. 12 Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. 13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.

We work out our salvation because it is God working through us.

If we are not doing good works then God is not in us.

3: For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.

This is an awesome Scripture which you have to follow throughout the pages of the venerable book in order to understand its true meaning. Study and show yourself approved! These words were first stated by Moses in Genesis 15:6. And they are explained in the book of St. James.

James 2: 21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar?22 Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect? 23 And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God. 24 Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.

Did you notice that? The words, “Was not Abraham our father justified by works,….”

Was that by works or by faith? By works. When? When did this take place?

“when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar?”

But you object? Pull up any Bible that you want, there it is in black and white. He was justified by faith AND WORKS.

You still object? Then explain this. If Abraham was justified by FAITH ALONE in Gen 15:6, or at anytime, why was he not justified back in Genesis 12:1-5? Because, you see, that is when St. Paul says is his first recorded action in faith.

Heb 11:8 By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went.

So, then, if Abraham were ever justified by faith alone, it should have been in Genesis 12. But since he first had to obey God’s commands and thus add works to his faith and thereby make his faith perfect, he was not justified by faith alone.

As you can see, Protestant theology has taken that verse completely out of context. But it is necessary that they do so in order to confound the populace. Because it is true that the Reformation stands or falls with the doctrine of justification by faith alone. And that doctrine never had legs. Therefore, they must confuse and contort the Scriptures in order to keep you in bondage to their lies.

4: Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt.

Again, this is a reference to the Jew. Him that worketh. The Old Covenant.
But reckoned of grace is about the Sacramental System which Christ installed. Wherein, we, the laborers who were found late in the evening, are paid the same coin. We are saved in this life and walk with the Saints on Mount Sion.

And it is in the Sacraments, that we are justified by faith APART FROM WORKS. Baptism is the work of God. Not of man. Burn that into your brain. Justification, the washing away of man’s sins, is done in Baptism. No man can do that. God alone can do that.

5: But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.

That is us. We who believe in Christ and obey His every word:
Hebrews 5:9
And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him;

We are saved according to our faith. A faith which is expressed in works:
Galatians 5:6
For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love.

Let me explain further. We are saved ACCORDING to our faith. Which is expressed in works. But we are neither saved by our faith or by our works. Except in a manner of speaking. Because without either or both, we are not saved. God, in His mercy, saves those who by their faith act out in love.

6: Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works, 7: Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered. 8: Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.

King David is one of the circumcision. And he is making reference to one specific incidence in his life. His adulterous affair with Bathsheba and resulting murder of her husband. David repented. God forgave David. But all David did was ask forgiveness through God’s representative. Yeah. Just like we do in the Sacrament of Confession. God made his repentance known to the Prophet Nathan. And it is Nathan who advised him of God’s forgiveness.

Therefore, this confirms that this is a reference to the Sacraments. God washing away our sin, in the action of the Holy Spirit, when we repent of our sins before the priest (Heb 13:17).

9: Cometh this blessedness then upon the circumcision only, or upon the uncircumcision also? for we say that faith was reckoned to Abraham for righteousness. 10: How was it then reckoned? when he was in circumcision, or in uncircumcision? Not in circumcision, but in uncircumcision.

He is still explaining the same idea. The Sacramental idea. David represents the circumcision. But the New Covenant now includes the Gentiles. The uncircumcision. Abraham was not yet circumcised and had not yet offered Isaac upon the altar when his righteousness was first mentioned.

I highlight the word, first, because justification is a process. And apart from his works, Moses, inspired of the Holy Spirit, declares that Abraham is just in the eyes of God.

Abraham was called out of Ur in Gen 12. By faith, he obeyed.
He was first declared righteous in Gen 15:6.
And his righteousness was tested and confirmed in Gen 22.

That’s a process. Not a one time event.

11: And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had yet being uncircumcised: that he might be the father of all them that believe, though they be not circumcised; that righteousness might be imputed unto them also:

This is a reference to us. We who come from the pagan and gentile nations. He is our father also because God made the Covenant with him before he was circumcised. Circumcision was a sign of the Covenant. But God had declared him righteous before he was circumcised. And he was circumcised because of his righteousness.

12: And the father of circumcision to them who are not of the circumcision only, but who also walk in the steps of that faith of our father Abraham, which he had being yet uncircumcised. 13: For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith. 14: For if they which are of the law be heirs, faith is made void, and the promise made of none effect: 15: Because the law worketh wrath: for where no law is, there is no transgression.

We need to look at Scripture more closely to see what St. Paul means here:

Genesis 26:5
Because that Abraham obeyed my voice, and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws.

The Commandments had not yet been written in stone when Abraham obeyed God’s commandments. Obviously, then, the Commandments existed although they were not written on a physical media. The Law has always existed. But it is in the heart of man.

That is what he means by, “where no law is”. If the law did not exist, God would not have destroyed the world in the Flood.

So, what does St. Paul mean in this verse? He means that the Jews kept the law BY FAITH. The Commandments are there to test the faith of man. This is why they continue to be essential to the Faith of Christ. People who do not keep the Commandments, have no faith in Christ.

1 Corinthians 7:19
Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but the keeping of the commandments of God.

Therefore all who are of Christ, are His by faith. And all who live by faith are the seed of Abraham. That is what St. Paul is saying. Jew or Gentile, who keeps the Commandments because of their faith, is a child of Abraham, a child of the promise.

16: Therefore it is of faith,

There, you see. That is the conclusion to which we must arrive. It is of faith. Those who keep the Commandments do so, of faith. But there is more to that verse, so I only took it apart so you could see the conclusion of the previous idea. It also begins a separate idea which I will explain.

16: Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace;

You see, faith is the first grace which we receive. It is the prevenient grace of God, which we receive without any merit of our own.

to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all,

Which confirms what I said above.

17: (As it is written, I have made thee a father of many nations,) before him whom he believed, even God, who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were.

Remember the verse that says, “justifieth the ungodly”. That is what it is referring to, “quickeneth the dead”.

18: Who against hope believed in hope, that he might become the father of many nations, according to that which was spoken, So shall thy seed be. 19: And being not weak in faith,

Being not weak in faith, what did he do? Did he say, “Oh, I know you can do it God!” No. He, himself, entered into his wife in the physical, matrimonial sense and they bore a son. Even though they were both well beyond their child bearing years.

he considered not his own body now dead, when he was about an hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sara’s womb: 20: He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God; 21: And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform.

There, you see? By his strong faith, he acted. He worked.

22: And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness.

And so, St. Paul has also explained that verse to you. By faith, he worked and THEREFORE, it was counted to him for righteousness.

23: Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him; 24: But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead; 25: Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.

And St. Paul continues. It was not written for Father Abraham alone. But for us, that we, acting in faith, may be made just in the eyes of God.

Eph:2:8: For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9: Not of works, lest any man should boast.

Repent, cry out to God for the free gift of salvation and come out of that false, idolatrous system unto eternal life.

Why’d you leave out verse 10?

Ephesians 2:10
King James Version (KJV)
10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

Now, ask yourself. Are we created in Christ Jesus when we are justified? Or are we created in Christ Jesus when we are born? Or when we are first conceived? What does Scripture say?

John 1:3
King James Version (KJV)
3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.

That means us. We were all made by Christ from the first moment of our existence. And we were all made to keep the Commandments of God. The Commandments are the works which existed from the beginning of time which God made that we should walk in them.

Rom:10:9: That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. 10: For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. 11: For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.

Amen! Here’s a different version of the same teaching. It is directly from the mouth of Our Lord. Mark 16:16.

In love, Dane G. Durham

May you also receive these admonitions as they are intended. In love,

Sincerely,

De Maria

Albert Baxley May 10, 2014 at 10:53 AM

Steve, Many thanks for this excellent explanation; I have forwarded it to my family and friends. However, there is a single small Greek word — a very important WORD that should be changed, to move closer to perfection. That single, small Greek word eimi = I AM. The Greek word used in the Attic Greek of the New Testament for “IS” = esti —
In the Gospel according to St. John, chapter 14, verse 6 there is that famous statement….. “…. ego eimi he hodos kai he aletheia kai he zoe……” = …..I am the way, the truth, and the life…..”
I hope this is of value and use to you.
Keep up this great work, Steve. Our prayers are with you. In Christo. Albert Baxley

Chibuzor F. Ogamba May 12, 2014 at 8:29 AM

Hi Steve, a very good day to you.
The first time I heard you talk was some 2 years ago when you were on a radio show I guess and you were talking about baptism and how you challenged the Catholic Position while you were still a Protestant, you also talked about your new found conviction as a Catholic ad I was greatly impressed. The thoughts you offered on the issue helped me in my miniature apologetics with my non-catholic friends and I have really had very interesting experiences. And now this is the first time I have come in contact with your site. I must say I am greatly impressed and pleased. From the comments above I now see that not just mine but the lives of a great many others have also been touched. Keep up the Good Work Sir!

I really hope that here in my country,Nigeria,God would raise up for us great evangelizers like you and alsovery illustrous converts who would be guiding lights and a source of inspiration to others.

In my own little way, as a youth, a really young one,I have also taken up this work by God’s grace and using my blog I also try to offer my thoughts and the various truths I have and still receive in the One Church of Christ, I would greatly appreciate it if you would check out credoexperience.blogspot.com and maybe offer your comments about the things I write there. It would really be an honour having you go through the little work I have done so far.

I do wish you God’s unfailing grace, peace and strength as you labour for him in winning souls and through your knowledge and experiences,bringing them to full communion with Him in His Church.

Thanks!

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