By Ministry of
ADDING UP TO MASS
Rome is an enormous institution, covering the globe and wielding both spiritual and political power over hundreds of millions people. she is thus unlike any other part of the professing church.
Rome always seems to play a prominent part in any gatherings of the World religions and has been the main force in leading, or encouraging, other churches into joining with these religions.
Rome sees herself as the inalienable head of the resulting World Church / World Religions;
In this study we will cover the "Mass" ceremony of the Roman Catholic Church, for further study on the Roman Catholic Institute; Titles of the Pope; Worshipping Mary etc. go to ... Teaching of Rome.
From time to time reference will be made to the Alpha Course, for reason that also the Roman Catholic church is using the course to add to their church, and the close relationship of the Anglican church to Rome.
In this topic of THE MASS OF THE ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH, we will have a close look at the true meaning of the Roman "MASS" which is totally different from celebrating the Lord's Supper in other churches.
In this study the word anathema occurs several
times, meaning according to the dictionary;
Content of The Roman Mass.
From; Alpha - "the un official guide"; page 91:
The Roman "Mass" is a very reverent ceremony pertaining to the bread and wine given by the Lord Jesus Christ to His disciples at the 'Last Supper'. It is a pivotal part of Roman Catholic practice, considered vital to salvation. Anyone who goes on from the Alpha Course (since Rome accepted and is using the 'Alpha Course' for 'saving people') into Roman Catholicism would have to observe the Mass. Yet, by Rome's own admission, it differs fundamentally from Communion as performed by others:
So, what are these 'fundamental differences'? Does the Mass line up with God's Word? When we compare the Roman ceremony with the Bible we find some extraordinary things.
From; Alpha - "the un official guide"; page 92-95:
The teaching of the 'real presence' in the Catholic Mass is known as 'transubstantiation'. This is the doctrine that, with the priest's words in the ceremony of the Mass (or "Eucharist"), the bread and the wine turn into the actual body and blood of the Lord Jesus Christ. The Catholic Catechism states that:
Ever since the Counsel of Trent, Rome has taught that this is a "dogma" - a fundamental truth not open to question - and that anyone who does not agree with this belief is "anathema" (i.e. accursed).
This dogma discourages many from testing Rome's doctrine of the Mass against the Holy Bible, but God's command is that we do just that, so...
1) The first problem is this miraculous change is supposed to have originally taken place with Christ still bodily present in the room: "And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is My body" (Matthew 26:26). Is it possible that the bread turned into the actual body of the Lord when He was still physically there?
2) Leaving aside the problem that thousands of wafers supposedly all become the "whole and entire" body of the Lord, simultaneously each Sunday morning there is the fundamental difficulty that, according to Scripture, Christ's resurrected body is at the right hand of the Father:
3) It is certainly important to interpret Scripture literally when the context, or the rest of Scripture, does not call us to do otherwise. For, although figurative Hebrew idioms are very common in Scripture and need to be recognized and understood for what they are, when a passage does not use idioms or poetic language etc, then we must be honest with God and take His words at face value. However, to interpret the phrase "This is My body" - in the context of the verse where it appears - as literally meaning the actual body of the Lord, has some bizarre implications...
This is because elsewhere in Scripture Christ calls Himself, a door (John 10:9), a vine (John 15:5), a stone (Mark 12:10), a light (John 8:12) and so on. If we are insistent that we must use this method of interpreting Christ's words here, then we must also be consistent. It demonstrably makes no sense to interpret these passages literally.
Likewise, in the context, the plain meaning of "This is My body" is "This symbolizes My body" - in the same way that, when the Lord said of John the Baptist, "this is Elijah" he was saying that John symbolized Elijah. (John was not physically the same person as Elijah, as is shown in John 1:21.)
Here is a similar situation. David described some water as being men's "blood" in an incident, recorded in 2Samuel 23:16-17 and 1Chronicles 11:18-19, because it symbolized their blood. His bravest soldiers had put their lives on the line to bless him by bringing him water from a much-loved well on that was in the hands of pagans. they "drew water.... and brought it to David: but David ...said, My God forbid it me,...shall I drink the blood of these men that have put their lives in jeopardy?"
4) We also have a major problem with interpreting "This is My blood" to mean that the wine literally became blood - because drinking blood is banned by God under both the Old and the New Covenants (see Lev 17:10-14 and Acts 21:25 respectively) and yet everyone at the Passover meal would have drunk of the contents, as Mark confirms:
Not only is it unreasonable to believe that the Lord was able to eat His own Body, but He would have been sinning to drink blood or encourage others to do so.
5) Besides, the verse immediately following His statement that "This is My blood" records that Christ said "Verily I say unto you, I will drink no more of the fruit of the vine, until that day that I drink it new in the Kingdom of God." The wine did not turn into blood but remained the "fruit of the vine".
So, what of the passages in John 6:53 where Christ said: "Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, ye have no life in you"? Surely this is saying that the bread and the wine turn into the flesh and blood of the Savior"? As always, the explanation can be found in the surrounding verses. The rest of the Chapter is actually about having a living faith in the Messiahship of Jesus. Thus the act of "coming" to Christ and "believing on" Him is likened to eating and drinking;
Later in the Chapter it is confirmed that believing on Christ is what gives life - i.e. this is what is meant by eating the bread of life:
We are to partake of Christ in the same sense that we are to cling to Him and abide in Him: "He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me" (John 6:56a). We are to take in the Word of God - i.e. to devour and digest the holy scriptures - hence the way God's Word is likened to bread in Matthew 4:4 and the way Christ's words are said to be life-giving and a source of the spirit in verse 63 of the passage we were looking at.
As for the blood, we are to be like organs transplanted into Christ and thus cleansed inside by His blood. This picture is used many times in the Bible. It is in this sense that we "drink" Christ's blood. If we stop abiding in the Vine and drinking the spiritual sap from it then there will indeed be "no life" in us.
The Lord's Supper is certainly to be taken extremely seriously. But its immense spiritual importance stems not from the bread and the wine, but from the significance that God the Father has given the occasion. Holy Communion is an opportunity for us to express the gravity we attach to His Son's death, not the weight we attach to a piece of bread. The emblems are there simply to help remind us of this pivotal event in history. That is what God cares about.
We have perhaps labored this point, but for a very good reason. Roman Catholics are strongly encouraged to worship the wafer (or "host"). Understandably, they do not need much persuasion since, according to strict teaching, they are in the immediate presence of the Lord Himself. But the 'real presence' is not all that Rome has to say about the Mass.
From; Alpha - "the
un official guide"; page 95-97:
According to the Word of God, Christ's sacrifice was a once-only affair. On the cross He was able to proclaim "It is finished" , and subsequent events certainly confirmed it. So do many scriptures, including Hebrew 10:
"We are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once and for all... This man... offered one sacrifice for sins forever... For by one offering He hath perfected forever them that are sanctified... Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin" (Hebrew 10:10,12,14,18).
The passage in Hebrew 9:24-28 is no less unequivocal:
That is why the bread and the wine are an ongoing memorial or commemoration of what our Lord did for us once on the cross:
The only purpose of an altar is for performing sacrifices. We should be wary of any church that feels the need to keep an altar, because it implies that more sacrifices are needed beyond Christ's once and for all sacrifice on the cross itself. But according to Rome.....
In the same document, Rome also asserts: "The Sacrifice of the Mass is of infinite value, no less than that of the Cross" [Qn 1294]. In the Alpha course Nicky Gumbel goes some way to denying this when he says "in Jesus there was a perfect sacrifice. One, perfect sacrifice. Once and for all. For all time, for all people". But the course doesn't mention the cross here, so unbelievers may not grasp the full truth. Not only was Jesus given to us "once and for all", but so was the sacrifice He made in the cross. This is an important distinction.
Needless to say, it must be an outstanding emotional experience to believe that one is in the physical presence of Christ as He is being sacrificed for one again. A cause for extremely deep and sincere worship:
See also Chapter V of the Council of Trent on the Eucharist, where the faithful of Christ are encouraged to "render in veneration the worship.... which is due to the true God, to this most holy sacrament... for we believe the same God to be present therein".
From; Alpha - "the
un official guide"; page 97-98:
Now that we have seen from Scripture that the wafer (or "host") does not turn into Christ Himself we are left with a very serious problem - quite aside from the fact that the Roman priest, in implying that Christ needs to be sacrificed again is being profane...
If the Roman Catholics are worshipping something that is NOT the true God than they are inevitably worshipping something else. As we saw in Part One, this is not only detestable to God, because it constitutes idolatry, but it also leaves the worshipper open to demonic forces. Given that Catholics are eating the object of their worship, they are taking into themselves, in a very real way, whatever spiritual entity lies behind the wafer they have been worshipping.
We know that there is a very subtle enemy of God [Satan] who desires to lead God's people away into danger - into his own stronghold. If he could fool them into worshipping something other than God, they would be made vulnerable to demonic attack and thus brought even further into subjection under him. But how to pursuade God's people to do such thing? One very effective way would surely be to invent a counterfeit Communion and convince the people that the wafer was their God, when in actual fact it was the "host" for another spirit altogether.
If the enemy [Satan] did this, he would obviously do everything he could to encourage the people to take part in his invention. He would claim that it was vital to salvation and would urge that it be observed often. Amazingly (and in direct contention with Scripture again) Rome declares the Mass to be vital to salvation:
Rome also urges that it be performed often: "Remembering always that in the mystery of the Eucharist Sacrifice the work of redemption is continually being carried out, priest are to celebrate frequently".
The enemy [Satan] would have to threaten anyone who questioned his subterfuge, and would also claim that his Communion had all sorts of temporal benefits aside from spiritual ones. Consider whether Rome's teaching, that the sins of the departed loved one, can be paid for with Masses taken by living relatives, (or 'said' on their behalf) This can't possibly come from God, but instead, is derived from another source:
From; Alpha - "the
un official guide"; page 99-100:
As if all the above were not bad enough, and despite the enormous Scriptural emphasis on Christ blood which is, after all, what cleanses us from our sins - the Roman Mass constitutes a bloodless sacrifice. By claiming the Mass is "expiatory for sins" Rome maintains a continual 'unbloody' repeat-presentation of the once for all blood-drenched sacrifice of Calvary:
But "without without the shedding of blood there is no remission [of sins]" (Hebrew 9:22a) as Cain found out (Genesis 4:3-7a). An unbloody sacrifice has never been able to cover sin.
From; Alpha - "the
un official guide"; page 100-101:
Interestingly, Babylon had an effective identical ritual. It too represented an 'unbloody sacrifice'. But that is not the only similarity between Rome and Babylon regarding the Roman Mass. Rome insists the wafer, or 'host' be circular, despite there being no indication of this in biblical descriptions of Holy Communion. Babylon's Sun-worship also centered around a circular wafer - i.e. a disk to represent the round sun. Also, like Rome, Babylon's ceremony used a shiny plate in the form of a sun - i.e. with a sun-burst design - to show off the wafer above the altar so that it looked especially impressive and deserving of worship. (Rome's name for this holder is a "monstrance", and everyone present has to reverently bow or kneel before it.)
Babylon's Communion that each communicant fast beforehand - as does Rome. Catholicism claims that such fasting is "indispensable", and yet the original 'Lord's Supper' took place straight after a meal. Babylon had its false trinity, the Egyptian names for which were Isis, Horus and Seb. Unbelievably, Rome's wafers bear the same initials 'IHS'.
Finally consider that Rome teaches regarding the Mass, that the communicant is eating another person (i.e. eating the 'actual body' of the Lord Jesus). The word for someone who eats another is "cannibal" which derives from "Cahna-Bal" meaning priest of Baal. Baal is the name of Babylon's demonic, central god.
From; Alpha - "the
un official guide"; page 101-103:
Chiniquy, a priest in the Catholic Church for many years, had these grave observation to make concerning the 'priestly' part in the Roman ceremony of the Mass:
Thus has Rome "superseded the simple but most precious sacrament of the Supper instituted by our Lord Himself" with a pagan fake. Of all the occasions in which Catholicism is raised in the Alpha Course, never has there been any solitary moment in which the prospective sheep learn about the the truth behind the Roman Mass. There is nothing at all. Hence the Alpha Course graduates with a Catholic upbringing come away from the course imagining that the Roman Mass is a "Christian" belief.
It may be that some readers, offended by the horrors being exposed here, believe we should only discuss praiseworthy things. We sympathize with this view, but we feel it is dangerous to be ignorant of Rome's ways when other believers are promoting them. After all, when Ezekiel was ignorant of the details of the apostasy in his day he was commanded by the Lord to "Go in, and behold the wicked abominations that they do there" (Ezekiel 8:5-18) We must (carefully) face up to the truth about Rome's teaching, and explain the shortcomings by comparing it to what the Bible teaches.
Others will claim that we are being 'anti Catholic'. But we are certainly not. we care greatly for these ensnared in error, and those in bondage to false ways. It is Catholicism, i.e. those teachings which are sending its adherents to Hell, that we oppose - not the precious folks entangled in it. In reality, it is those who fail to warn the souls caught up in Rome's idolatry that are the ones being anti-Catholic.
From; Alpha - "the
un official guide"; page 103:
As a postscript to his discussions of the Roman Mass, we perhaps ought to ask about the celebration of Christmas (or Christ's Mass) which Rome has given us. Oddly, it is held on a date which must scholars agree could not possibly be even close to Christ's birthday. Actually, the date of December 25th is one that was central to the Babylonian calendar - thus greatly pre-dating the incarnation of the Person we are told it commemorates! Namely the birth of Christ Jesus. Many features of Christmas are derived not from Christianity but from pagan religious practices. These include the holly and icy, the mistletoe, Midnight Mass, and the yule log ("Yule" is a Babylonian word) Even the decorated tree has its roots, so to speak, in false religion.
Some Christians are very attached to Christmas and argue that it is harmless. But should a pure bride (us) be flirting with the trappings of foreign gods in front of her wonderful, betrothed husband (the Lord Jesus Christ)? If we are obedient to Him and His Word then the answer is no (Jeremiah 10:2a Thus says the LORD, "Do not learn the way of the nations,).
What we have learned and seen is a of a very serious nature, many people rather turn away and try to keep the peace, shall I disregard the Roman Catholic believer as a brother or sister in the Lord? Is he or she to be regarded as a idolater or pagan worshipper? Undoubly there are believers in the Roman church that have a different view about the Cross and the Mass, but the truth is that the Roman Mass stands for its belief and rituals and the meaning of these rituals are very clear and they are not found to be in Scriptures.
Therefore it is as Paul clearly states: not to associate or have company with such a person:
Because they call themselves Christian and are not worshipping the true God and do not believe in the blood, and do not believe that Jesus is the redeemer. These differences are touching the core of our beliefs and the centre of our worship. Yet we are passionate towards those that have been deceived, and are entangled by it. Therefore it is with care and consideration we deal with all these precious people that have never known the the only way to heaven, and may we be the instrument of His love to show them the way, by our deeds, by our lives, and our testimonies, by our love for them.