In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.
This class is about apologetics, but a particular apologetics. This is about apologetics to Christians who are not Catholics, and to Catholics who do not know why they are Catholics, or do not practice their faith. This class is also about the main theme of apologetics, the main tool of conversions to the Body of Christ, the Catholic Church. For those who do not know, apologetics comes from First Peter 3:15 which states,
Be always ready to give a reason for the faith and hope that is in you to anyone who asks, but with modesty and fear, having a good conscience, so they who speak evil of you will be ashamed of falsely speaking against you.
What Peter is telling us is that first we must have a clear conscience so that the Lord will work through us. And second we must do it with love.
Now at your desk you will see two books. Pick up the one called The Second Greatest Prayer of the Bible. You will notice something strange about this book. If you look at the front and back you cannot tell it is Catholic. If you look inside you will see that it does not have an index or table of content. This is done on purpose to be used as a tool to convert Christians to the Catholic Faith. Most Protestants will not read anything that they think is Catholic, but once they do they are hooked. Much of what is in this book will be in this talk.
When converting a Christian to the Catholic Faith, you need only use one thing - The Bible. Having a solid understanding of the Bible is what apologetics is all about. A good long two year course in the bible is a good idea, but in this class we are going to look at only one thing. And that is - what is this book all about? Why is there a Bible? Who wrote it? Why?
We are going to look for the BOTTOM LINE, THE OVERVIEW, THE PUNCHLINE, THE MAIN REASON for the Bible. All books have one central point, and so does the Bible.
Second Timothy 3:16 tells us:
All scripture is inspired by God, and useful for teaching, for reproving, for correcting, for instruction in justice; that the man of God may be perfect, equipped for every good work.
The Bible is inspired by God but the reader is not. Those who read single passages or jump around from one page to another will distort the word of God to their own destruction. (2 Peter 3:15-16) His Words are the Bible [all the Bible], not part of it. To believe in part, and not the rest, is to rip the Word of God apart. Therefore we are going to look into all the bible at one time.
But first listen to the words of Peter in Second Peter 1:20-21
This, then, you must understand first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is made by PRIVATE INTERPRETATION. For not by will of man was prophecy brought at any time; but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.
You will not be getting my interpretation of the Bible but the Churchs interpretation because the Bible says The Church is the pillar and the mainstay of the truth, (1 Timothy 3:15)
The bible is a HISTORY OF COMMUNICATION. Communication between man and God, and between God and man.
What is the main thing God wants to teach us?
After creation of the heavens, the earth, Adam and Eve, came the test. Adam and Eve could eat from all the trees of Eden except the tree of Knowledge. They could even eat from the Tree of Life. Most people forget that there were two trees.
The original sin of man wasTO KNOW. The LAW was designed to keep us like children, so that we do not know sin by experience, and to know that it is God not us who decides what is and is not sin. Think about this when you think that you have a free conscience, because the Moslems have a free conscience, but who is the writer of the law, you or God? When we decide for ourselves what is right and wrong, we become our own gods, no longer needing God to tell us what is right and wrong. In fact, we become gods.
THE TREE OF LIFE
After they sinned God cast them out of the garden of pleasure and then the Triune God said a funny thing. Listen very carefully because this is a key to all of Scripture.
Behold Adam is become as one of us, knowing good and evil; now, therefore, lest perhaps he put forth his hand and take also of the TREE OF LIFE, and eat, AND LIVE FOREVER.
And the Lord God sent him out of the paradise of pleasure to till the earth from which he was taken. And he cast out Adam; and placed before the paradise of pleasure CHERUBIM, and the flaming sword, turning every way, TO KEEP THE WAY OF THE TREE OF LIFE. (Genesis 3:22-24)
Augustine teaches us that all the bible has symbolisms for our day.
Pay attention to these symbolisms and remember them. LIVE FOREVER, CHERUBIM, FLAMING SWORD, THE WAY. God did not say He would stop the way, but that He would KEEP the way. The way to live forever?
That is what Religion is all about, isnt it? Let us look for the keys.
In (1 Cor. 10:11), he states that ALL THE BIBLE is written as a type for our correction, as examples of the future, as symbols of things to come. Next we have the story of Cain and Abel. What is interesting about our investigation for the bottom line of the bible is that Cain and Abel offered sacrifices of the first fruits of their labor, and in the case of Abel it was acceptable to God. Who told them to sacrifice and why?
In Psalm 49, God flatly states that He has no need of these sacrifices. If God does not need these offerings, why does He approve of such things? And approve He does. Abels offering was acceptable to God. Why? What does God want with these stupid ceremonies of altars and lambs? God, who needs nothing, could not need lambs. But let us go on with the Mystery.
Now lets skip to another key - Abraham and MELCHISEDECH. Abraham defeats five kings and becomes the major power of the world, but instead of all these kings bowing down to him. He, Abraham bows down to a king that is not mentioned in the wars. This king is called Melchisedech.
Jews know this story as AKEDAH which means binding we know it as Covenent or Testament which is a solemn vow made by God.
Who is called King of Salem, which means KING OF PEACE. Jeru-salem. (Jeru means God will offer the Sacrifice.) Melchisedech gave Abram BREAD AND WINE, because he was the priest of the most high God, and blessed him and said, Blessed be Abram by the most high God, who created heaven and earth. (Genesis 14:18-19)
What a strange thing! He gave bread and wine BECAUSE he was the priest of the most high God. Who made him priest, and what does bread and wine have to do with being a priest?
Paul in Hebrews 7:3 conveys that Melchisedech had neither father nor mother. He was without genealogy, and had no beginning nor end of life. But he was like to the Son of God.
In the very next chapter, Abram is promised a son, even though he is one hundred years old and his wife is ninety. God makes a PERPETUAL COVENANT with him. Abram and all the male members of his tribe are circumcised. Why circumcision? Think about how stupid circumcision is from a logical point of view. In those days, from a medical point of view it could have some validity but as a covenant - a sign of belonging????? Then God gives him a son in his old age, and before this son becomes a man god says to KILL HIS SON, Isaac, as a sacrifice. Another sign to look for is that the son carries the wood for his own sacrifice. God tells them to Go to the Mountains of. Moriah to offer the sacrifice. His son, Isaac, says to his father as they approach the mountain:
Behold, the fire and the wood, but where is the LAMB for a burnt offering?
Abraham, then states a prophecy without even knowing it:
God will provide, Himself, the lamb for a burnt offering, my son.
Abraham places his son on the altar and starts to kill him but an Angel stops him. It is a RAM not a lamb that is offered by Abraham IN HIS SONS PLACE.
Where is the lamb that God, Himself, will provide.
(According to the Jewish Talmads this took place on the 14th of Nissan. - The later Exodus also took place on the 14th of Nissan - The Passover is the 14th of Nissan. Jewish tradition (Talmads) continued to believe that someday God, Himself, would come down and provide the lamb for the sacrifice that would end all sacrifices. They believed that God, Himself, would provide the sacrifice on that same mountain, the mountain that the bones of Adam were buried in and the mountain that MELCHISEDECH lived on and the mountain that Abraham offered his son on.
Are you looking for the types, the examples, the symbols?
we have genealogies that will prove that Christ came from the blood of Adam
We have Joseph in Egypt, and the Jews in captivity for 400 years. We have Moses using the STAFF AND VOICE of Moses older brother to bring them out of bondage. Then we have THE BLOOD of unblemished male lambs.
Put the blood on the doors of the houses -
And the BLOOD shall be unto you for a SIGN.
What sign? What symbol? They were to eat the lamb with UNLEAVENED BREAD. Remember the symbolic meanings of things to come? (1 Cor. 10:11)
Then we have the MANNA as a sign - Behold I will rain BREAD FROM HEAVEN for you. (Exodus 6:4) Manna means What is it?
Then Moses put some of it in a Tabernacle. (Exodus 16:34) Then Moses offered a lamb on an altar and took half of the BLOOD and sprinkled it on the people as he said, This is the BLOOD OF THE COVENANT which the Lord has made with you concerning all these words. (Exodus 24:8) Now we have: blood of circumcision, blood of lambs on doors for protection, blood of lambs for a covenant of the words of the law, manna, etc. It is still all kind of strange for a God that doesnt need anything.
Now lets look at the TABERNACLE. Then God directs Moses to build a place for God to DWELL AMONG MAN. This place is called a TABERNACLE, and is to be built like an Ark. God instructs him in the exact details of how to build this thing: its size, its wood, the gold, the decorations, even the artist who is to do the work. He tells him to put TWO CHERUBIM angels of beaten gold on the two sides of the oracle [The oracle was a hole in the top]. Remember the same Cherubim angels that guarded the way to the TREE OF LIFE. In Ezechiel 10 and 11 you will also find these Cherubim angels, always WITH GOD.
With great detail God maps out all the things He wants to be with this TABERNACLE, called the Ark. He details the tables, the altars, the lamps, the bowls, the priests, the vestments, the consecration of the priests, the sacrifices of the lambs, the bread and wine. He instructs Moses to have a lamp ALWAYS BURNING BEFORE THE ARK, and to have the priests ELEVATE the lamb and the bread and wine before the Lord.
He calls it a sacrifice of perpetual offering. (Exodus 29:42)
He promises to DWELL IN THE MIDST OF HIS PEOPLE (Exodus 29:45). From the hole in the top of this tabernacle, God spoke to Moses. Fire and smoke came out from this hole in the top of the ark between the two cherub angels.
THE GREAT CURTAIN
Then Moses had a great curtain made to separate the place of the Ark from the rest of the tent. This curtain was over fifty feet tall. Only the priests were allowed to enter behind the curtain. This was the place of GOD WITH HIS PEOPLE. After all was built and the prescribed ceremonies performed, the glory of the Lord filled the room behind the curtain. (Exodus 40:32) Remember this curtain. We will find it again in Solomans Temple and at the death of Christ.
The Lord instructed Moses on sin offerings. If anyone sin, EVEN THROUGH IGNORANCE OF THE LAWS, lambs were to be offered for the sin (Leviticus 4:2). Blood was poured on the altar and in front of the altar. EVEN IF ALL THE MULTITUDE SIN THROUGH IGNORANCE, and afterwards shall understand their sin, they shall offer for their sin a calf, and shall bring it to the door of the tabernacle and offer it up. On and on God explains the sacrifices for SINS OF IGNORANCE. But sins committed without ignorance faced the wrath of the law mostly death.
Very important to God was that NO ONE, who was defiled in any way, whether through sin or bodily, WAS TO EAT of the flesh of the SACRIFICE, which is offered to the Lord (Leviticus 7:20). The blood was poured on the altar because,
the life of the flesh is in the blood; and I have given it to you, that you may make atonement with it upon the altar for your souls, and the blood may be for an expiation of the soul. (Leviticus 7:11)
God set down the laws and the sacrifices for their sins, and He led them through the desert, protected them from enemies, fed them with the manna from Heaven, and guided them to the promised land. But the people began to MURMUR AGAINST THE MANNA.
They were tired of this food from Heaven. God sent a plague upon them for murmuring against the manna; many died. (Numbers 11:6)
Then they MURMURED AGAINST MOSES, saying they were more holy than he; so, why should he be their leader? God punished them with leprosy. (Numbers 12:10)
Then they MURMURED AGAINST THE PRIESTHOOD, saying they too should be priests. God opened the earth and cast them alive into Hell. (Numbers 16:33)
Remember that these are signs of the future, signs to look for in our day.
Again they MURMURED AGAINST THE MANNA from Heaven, and God sent serpents among them, which bit and killed many. (Numbers 21:6)
Paul explains that all of this is a type [a parable] for our instruction and correction. (1 Cor. 10:11) What are we learning from all of this that can be applied to our time?
God taught Moses how to pass on the rights of priesthood and leadership. He appointed Josue to succeed Moses with the ceremony of THE LAYING ON OF HANDS. (Numbers 27:18)
Is this still done today in the Christian era?
Do we still have a line of priests and the sacrifices that they perform?
Do we still have only one leader today with the authority of Moses?
Do we still have priests ordained with the laying on of hands?
Or is everyone a priest as the Jews wanted in Numbers 16:33?
Let us go back to this Ark or Tabernacle which contained something of the presence of God. What tremendous power it had! When the Philistines took the Ark from Gods people and placed it before their god, Dagon, the stone god fell down and broke into many pieces. (1 Kings 5:3) For seven months plagues attacked the Philistines until they gave back the Ark. If anyone touched the Ark, WHO WAS NOT A PRIEST, he died. Even if he was a king, he could not touch the Ark. (2 Kings 6:6) Wars were won with the power of this Ark. This Ark was not God. It was only a thing. Why, then, did It have such power? Why did God give a thing such power, even honor? A thing?
Solomon then built a church for this Ark. This church is called the Temple of Jerusalem. It was built on the same mountain that Abraham started to offer his son, Isaac, as a sacrifice.
Now remember what Abraham said to his son.
GOD WILL PROVIDE THE LAMB FOR THE SACRIFICE.
Remember also that the name of the city is made up of two words: Salem which means Peace and Jeru (later added) which means God will provide
Jewish tradition has it that according to Gen. 22:13 the Lamb of God must be provided on this mountain. God will provide the sacrifice, and that is why the name was changed.
Over the Ark he built two GIANT CHERUBIM ANGELS twenty feet tall and twenty feet from wing to wing that touched in the center of the church. There are those same Cherubs again, the same ones that guarded the TREE OF LIFE! When the Ark was placed in the Temple, into the main oracle of the Temple, behind the great curtain, into the Holy of Holies, under the wings of the two great angels.
Then there was a great celebration. (2 Chronicles 5:7) Solomon prayed and offered the sacrifice of the lambs. FIRE CAME DOWN FROM HEAVEN AND CONSUMED THE LAMBS. The majesty of the Lord filled the house. So great was the presence of God in the house, even the priests could not enter for the first few days.
In 2 Mech 2:11 we learn from Jeremias that, because the sin offering was not eaten, it was consumed by the fire from Heaven.
A strange thing about the day the Ark was put into the Temple for the first time is that there was no longer anything in the Ark except the two stone tables of the law (2 Chronicles 5:10 and 3 Kings 8:9). The reason this is strange is that we know that a vessel of manna was put in from Exodus 16:34.
What happened to the vessel of manna which could be called a Chalice or a Grail or a Holy Grail? Get the point???????
The Ark was in a tent in the City of David, called Zion, and was carried out from there to the Temple. (3 Kings 8:1) Before that, it was in the house of Obededom (2 Kings 6:10) because David was afraid of the Ark.
Could the vessel of manna (the Holy Chalice) have stayed behind in the house of Obededom? This becomes important later - and in fact, I will do an entire talk on this subject.
200 years later the King of Babylon destroyed the Temple of Solomon. (4 Kings 25) The King of Babylon is said to be in the service of God to punish the people for their sins. (Jeremias 27:6) Before the king destroyed the Temple, Jeremias took the Ark out and hid it in a cave at around 600 BC (2 Mach. 2:4). Jeremias said the Ark would never be seen again until God gathered together his people. It has never been seen again. The Temple was rebuilt again, but not by the Jews. It was rebuilt by King Cyrus of Persia [a type of Antichrist] from 538 BC to 515 BC.
It was profaned by Anti-o-chus the 4th in 167 BC [another type of Antichrist].
In 19 BC Herod the Great [another type of Antichrist] rebuilt the Temple again and completed the work in 65 AD, just before its final destruction in 70 AD.
At the time of Christ it was under construction.
Today the Mosque of Omar, or the Dome of the Rock, stands in the exact spot of the Temple. The Temple Christ entered was not built by Jews, but by a type of Antichrist, a Roman, Herod the Great.
Emperor Justin, the Apostate [another type of Antichrist] would again try to rebuild the Temple, but even St. Athanasius knew he could not because he was not the real Antichrist.
Sure enough, fire came out of the ground every time his builders moved a stone and killed all the workers. St. Athanasius knew that only the real and final Antichrist will ever build the Temple again.
SUMMARY OF SYMBOLS
All right, what do we have so far? We have the Bible as a history of communication with God, the TREE OF LIFE, knowledge of sin is a block to the Tree of Life, Cherubim angels, flaming swords, THE WAY, the sacrifice of lambs, bread and wine, Melchisedech, who gave the bread and wine because he was THE priest of the Most High God, ( not A priest of the Most High) who had no beginning or end of life, like the Son of God.
We have Isaac offered as a sacrifice on an altar, but a ram given instead. We have a covenant of blood [circumcision], and the blood of unblemished lambs as a sign. We have the eating of the lamb with unleavened bread. Then we have the MANNA from Heaven and the sins against the manna. We have the Tabernacle [or Ark] with the Cherubim angels, tables, altars, lamps, bowls, priests, vestments, and a lamp always lit before it. We have the consecration of priests, the elevation of the lamb and unleavened bread as a perpetual oblation.
We have the great curtain, lambs to be offered for sins of ignorance, and laws that no one defiled in any way is to eat of the sacrifice. We have the blood as a sacrifice for sins. There is the laying on of hands for priesthood, punishment for assuming priesthood or leadership. Then there is the lost manna and the temples built and destroyed by unholy men. All of this is supposed to tell us something, for it is a type of something to come, written for our instruction and correction.
Before we come to any false conclusions, we must first go to the prophets, for they are the spokesmen of God to man, just as priests are the spokesmen of man to God.
These prophets prophecy a new Church. Isaias, tells us God will DIVORCE His people and sell them for their iniquities. (Isaias 50 and Jeremias 33:21)
The Jews broke the covenant of God, and so God will make a NEW COVENANT. (Ezechiel 34)
He prophesies a new and EVERLASTING COVENANT, and a NEW SANCTUARY AND TABERNACLE. (Ezechiel 37)
He is to take a NEW PEOPLE who were not His people before. (Osee 2:24)
He teaches Zacharias that He will raise up Christ, who will not visit what is forsaken, nor seek what is scattered, nor heal what is broken. He tells him that what is dead, let it die, and what is cut off, let it be cut off. (Zacharias 11)
God prophesies through Isaias that He will give eunuchs (VIRGINS) a new name, a new place, a new and everlasting name. He predicts that strangers will worship God in a NEW HOUSE, and an altar of SACRIFICE that will be pleasing to God, a HOUSE OF PRAYER, and NEW PRIESTS for ALL THE NATIONS. (Isaias 56)
He predicts the birth of Christ and the call of the Gentiles to be His people instead of the Jews (Isaias 66), and a NEW JERUSALEM with a NEW PEOPLE. (Isaias 65)
In fact, God [Christ] completely does away with the old ways, --- because the rebellious Israel had played the harlot, I had put her away, and given her a bill of divorce. (Jeremias 3:8)
He morns the fact that He had even given them more lenient laws at the time of Moses because of their hard hearts, but they still disobeyed the law.
Therefore I also gave them statutes that were not good, and judgments, in which they shall not live. (Ezechiel 20:25)
Then the prophets predict a new sacrifice. In Isaias 52, God promises to send the Lamb of God, the suffering servant, according to Jewish tradition. For his appearance will be marred beyond human semblance.
Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows, yet we esteemed Him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities, upon Him was the chastisement that made us whole, and with His stripes we are healed.
Then Isaias calls this human person sent by God the Lamb of God. He was oppressed, and He was afflicted, yet He opened not His mouth; like a LAMB that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is dumb, so he opened not His mouth
(Isaias 53:7) He made Himself an offering of sin. (Isaias 53:10) and bears the sin of many (Isaias 53:12) Isaias here verifies what was the tradition of the Jews that God will provide the Sacrifice.
To replace the Ark, the prophets predict a new UNIVERSAL TABERNACLE. God prophesied: the coming of Christ and His death in Isaias 53, that CHRIST WOULD BE IN HIS TABERNACLE in Psalms 14:42-60, that Christ would be a priest forever according to the order of Melchisedech in Psalms 109, and that there would be a NEW COVENANT (Jeremias 31:31) that would LAST FOREVER. (Jeremias 31:36 - Ezechiel 16:61)
This tabernacle and sacrifice would not be in one place but ALL OVER THE WORLD.
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 A SACRIFICE, and there is offered to my name a clean oblation; for my name is great among the Gentiles. (Malachias 1:11)
And there will be new priests because He made void the covenant of the Levi priests. (Malachias 2:8) It will be the last Church on earth.
Great shall be the glory of this LAST HOUSE of God with humility. (So-phonias 1:8-9)
And SILENCE shall be in His holy Temple (Habaca 2:20) for the Lord of Hosts WILL BE THERE. (Zacharias 2:11)
SUMMARY THE PROPHETS
Christ is to come. He is to establish a new covenant, not like the first covenant. He will have TABERNACLES and HE WILL DWELL IN THEM, and they will LAST FOREVER. He will have new priests and virgins. His Church will be amongst the Gentiles, not the Jews, and it will be all over the world. His sacrifice will be everywhere and continual. It will be like the old covenant in some wayssome old, some new. Lets take a break and when we come back we will outline the New Testament
THE NEW TESTAMENT
In the New Testament, right off the bat we have a new mystery. John the Baptist prepares the way for Christ by saying, God is able out of these stones to raise up children to Abraham. (Matt. 3:9) Then when John sees Christ he yells out,
Behold, THE LAMB OF GOD, who takes away the sins of the world.
Lamb of God? Why would John call Christ a lamb, let alone a Lamb of God? Lambs were for eating or sacrifice. What does that have to do with Christ?
Remember back in Gen. 22 Abraham told his son, Isaac:
GOD, HIMSELF, WILL PROVIDE THE LAMB FOR THE SACRAFICE.
But to this date He never did. Remember also that the name of the city is made up of two words: Salem which means Peace and Jeru (later added) which means God will provide Jewish tradition has it that according to Gen. 22:13 the Lamb of God must be provided on this mountain. God will provide the sacrifice, and that is why the name was changed.
He was born in Bethlehem [which means house of bread] and laid in a manger [which is an eating trough]. He is totally obedient to the old law and is circumcised on the eighth day. Thirty-two days later He was offered up to the Father by Simeon outside the Temple.
He lived in obedience to His parents for thirty years. He gathered His disciples and began performing hundreds of miracles. He taught a new law of repentance and forgiveness, doing away with the justice part of the law. He did not do away with the law itself, but only with the punishment by human hands. The law of sin, the commandments of the law, He made more strict. Instead of punishment, He taught forgiveness.
KINGDOM OF HEAVEN
The Jews did not recognize Christ because they looked for an earthly king, and it was a kingdom Christ came to establish. John the Baptist prepared the way for Christ by announcing,
Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand. (Matt. 3:2)
Christ started His preaching in Capharnaum by saying the same words. Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand. (Matt. 4:17)
In Matt. 8:11-12 Christ predicts many will come into the Kingdom of Heaven on earth, but the former children of the Kingdom [the Jews] will be cast out. He commissioned twelve Apostles and told them to preach the message, The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand. (Matt. 10:7)
In speaking of John the Baptist, Christ says,
Amen I say to you, among those born of women, there has not risen a greater than John the Baptist; yet the least in the Kingdom of Heaven is greater than he. But from the days of John the Baptist until now the Kingdom of Heaven has been enduring violent assault, and the violent have been seizing it by force. (Matt. 11:11-12)
We could take this to mean Heaven in the sky, but we know from Christs conversation with Nicodemus in John 3:13 that no one from earth had ever entered Heaven. The gates of Heaven were still closed and would be until His death on the Cross.
And no one has ascended into Heaven except him who has descended from heaven; the Son of Man who is in Heaven. (John 3:13)
If He only meant Heaven in the Sky, how could Heaven be assaulted? Im sure even the twelve Apostles did not understand. Christ said not all would understand.
To you it is given to know the mysteries of the Kingdom of Heaven, but to them it is not given. (Matt. 13:11)
He began to speak in parables about the Kingdom of Heaven because, seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, neither do they understand. (Matt. 13:13)
He goes on to say, the Kingdom of Heaven is like...good seeds and weeds growing together. (Matt. 13:24-30) The Kingdom of Heaven is like...the growing of a mustard seed. (Matt. 13:31-35)
So that there will be no mistake what He means, Christ explains that the Kingdom of Heaven is ON EARTH.
The field is the world; the good seed, the sons of the Kingdom; the weeds, the sons of the wicked one, and the enemy who sowed them is the devil. (Matt. 13:38)
To further prove that the Kingdom is on the earth as well as in the sky, Christ predicts that,
The Son of Man will send forth his angels, and they will gather out of His Kingdom all scandals and those who work iniquity. (Matt. 13:44-46)
He lets them know that nothing is more important than entering the Kingdom. In The Kingdom of Heaven is like a net cast into the sea, He explains that in the Kingdom will be the good and the bad. (Matt 13:47-49) In Matt 13:52 He teaches that the Kingdom will be new but draw from the old.
Regarding something new, He predicts there will be virgins in His Kingdom. (Matt. 19:12) In Chapter 20 of Matthew, He explains that no one is first or last in the Kingdom of Heaven, and many are called but few chosen. His Kingdom is like a great PEARL, worth more than all earthly treasure to belong. (Matt. 13:44-46)
Even after He died and rose from the dead, He preached the Kingdom of God. (Acts 1:3) They still didnt understand and asked when the Kingdom would come. (Acts 1:6) Christ had told them that the Kingdom of Heaven on Earth was not to be a kingdom like Davids, but a spiritual Kingdom. (Luke 17:21) His new Kingdom would be a kingdom of grace and the Holy Spirit. The old kingdom was a covenant God made with circumcision. The new Kingdom would have a new covenant.
The Kingdom of Heaven on Earth is the Church. It is united by the Greatest Prayer in the Bible.
Everywhere Christ went, thousands gathered to hear Him speak or to have the sick cured. He cured them all. He cast out devils. He gathered around Him the poor, the sinners, the outcasts, but the priests and the lawyers of the law He reprimanded as hypocrites.
One day in the first year of His teaching he went up a mountain and thousands followed. The Apostles told Him to send them home because there was no food. Instead He fed them all on five loaves of bread and two fishes. Twelve baskets of food were left over.
Again, a second time, He fed four thousand on seven loaves and a few fishes. Seven baskets were left over. Now the people began to realize this man had great power. They would never have to worry about sickness or food again. He was curing all and feeding them besides. More and more began to follow Him, and on the next day they pursued Him to the other side of the sea looking for more free food. But Christ saw what was in their hearts and rebuked them.
Amen, amen, I say to you, you seek me, not because you have seen signs, but because you have eaten of the loaves and have been filled. Do not labor for the food that perishes, but for that which endures onto LIFE EVERLASTING, which the Son of Man will give you. For upon Him, the Father, God Himself, has set his seal. (John 6:26-27)
Food that gives LIFE EVERLASTING? That sounds familiar. Isnt that what the TREE OF LIFE gave in its fruit?
Anyway, the crowds liked the idea, and they asked how they could labor for this food that gave everlasting life. Christ told them that all they had to do was believe in Him. But still wanting Him to give them some food, they asked for a sign.
Our fathers ate the manna in the desert, even as it is written. Bread from Heaven He gave them to eat. (John 6:30-31)
But Jesus said to them, Amen, amen, I say to you. Moses did not give you the bread from heaven, but my Father gives you the TRUE BREAD FROM HEAVEN. For the bread of God is that which comes down from Heaven and gives life to the world. (John 6:32-33)
Now they really wanted this bread. Lord, give us always this bread.
But Jesus said to them, I AM THE BREAD OF LIFE. He who comes to me shall not hunger, and he who believes in me shall never thirst. (John 6:35)
The Jews began to MURMUR ---------[sound familiar].
They began to murmur amongst themselves about Him saying that He was the Bread of Heaven, but instead of explaining Himself, He made it harder to understand.
Amen, amen, I say to you, he who believes in me has life everlasting, I AM THE BREAD OF LIFE. Your fathers ate the manna in the desert, and have died. This is the BREAD THAT COMES DOWN FROM HEAVEN, so that if anyone eat of it he will not die. I AM THE LIVING BREAD that has come down from heaven. If anyone eat of this bread, he shall LIVE FOREVER, and the bread that I will give is MY FLESH for the life of the world. (John 6:47-52)
Bread from Heaven? His flesh? Not die? Life of the world? These things were not easy to understand, and the people were hungry for real food. They began to --- MURMUR ---- with each other about His strange sayings. But Christ did not compromise with them at all. [Amen, amen, means it will be written in stone.]
Amen, amen, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man, and DRINK HIS BLOOD, you shall not have life in you. He who EATS MY FLESH AND DRINKS MY BLOOD HAS LIFE EVERLASTING, and I will raise him up on the last day. For MY FLESH IS FOOD INDEED, AND MY BLOOD IS DRINK INDEED, HE WHO EATS MY FLESH, AND DRINKS MY BLOOD, ABIDES IN ME AND I IN HIM. As the living Father has sent me, and as I live because of the Father, so he who eats me, he also shall live because of me. This is the bread that has come down from heaven, not as your fathers ate the manna and died. He who eats this bread SHALL LIVE FOREVER. (John 6:54-59)
Now, all these people had enough of this silliness and began to leave him, but He still would not soften His words for them or explain Himself except to say, Does this scandalize you? What then if you should see the Son of Man ascending where he was before? IT IS THE SPIRIT THAT GIVES LIFE; THE FLESH PROFITS NOTHING. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life. (John 6:62-64)
He was trying to say that His Spirit could give real life to anything, but they did not understand. Finally they all left him except the Twelve Apostles. They would have made Him King, but they could not accept this saying of His to eat his flesh and drink his blood. The drinking of blood was a violation of the law of Moses. Christ did not try to stop them. He let them go.
(It should be noted that the only passage in all the New Testament that is 666 is John 6:66 where the crowds left because of the hard sayings about eating His Flesh and drinking His Blood.)
He turned to the Twelve Apostles and said, Do you also wish to go away?
Now, they did not understand His words, but Peter spoke up for them.
Lord! To whom shall we go? You have the words of everlasting life, and we have come to believe and to know that you are the Christ, the Son of God.
The Twelve followed Him for three years, never understanding those words, --- eat My Flesh and drink My Blood. Christ continued to gather crowds and then to lose them with these same words. He gathered more with His miracles and then lost them with His hard sayings. But the Apostles stayed with Him, even though they didnt understand Him.
THIS IS MY BODY
Then one day, after being with them for three and one half years, He told them to prepare for the day of the UNLEAVENED BREAD on which the Passover had to be sacrificed. There was a special house that He wanted to eat the Passover meal with them, and He sent Peter and John to the house to prepare the meal. (Luke 22:7-13) Could this be the house of Obededom? Could this be the house where the Chalice the Grail remained behind. Anyway, thats another story.
On the night of the Passover, He washed their feet, so that they might be clean all over. (John 13) He told them of His coming suffering, of His betrayal, of Peters denials. He explained for the first time that He was God, and that He and the Father were the same God. (John 14:9) He told them of the coming Holy Spirit. He prayed for the UNITY OF THE NEW KINGDOM. (John 17)
After the Passover meal was completed, He took bread, gave thanks to the Father, broke the bread, gave it to the Twelve, and said,
THIS IS MY BODY, which is being given for you; do this in remembrance of me. Then He took a cup of wine and said, THIS IS THE CUP OF THE NEW COVENANT IN MY BLOOD, which shall be shed for you.
(Now think about this It wasnt wine he shed on the cross)
Now regarding the word remembrance the English leaves a lot to be desired.
The Greek: ZAKAR means - to remember or impart which you can find in Num 10:9 ZIKKARAN means remembrance or memorial which you can find in Malichi 3:16) (ANAMNESIS mean repeating in the same way or to duplicate which is found in Luke 22:19, 1 Cor 11:24-25, and Heb 10:3 Luke, Mark,
John and Paul wrote in Greek and so what Christ said at the last supper is to (duplicate this in the same way as I have done it). It is a Zikkaran of the Cross but the word used at the last supper is Anamnesis or repetition in the same way.
Then Christ said a strange thing.
Amen I say to you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine again until the day when I shall drink it new in the Kingdom of God.
Remember these words.
Now the words that He had spoken three and one half years earlier came back to them. But the new sacrifice had only begun that night, for it would be a continual sacrifice of the body and blood of Christ from that moment until 3:00 in the afternoon the following day. For as soon as the bread and wine were taken, Christ rose up and went out to the Garden on the Mount of Olives.
The mercy of Christ did sweet violence on the justice of the Father in the Garden of Olives. In His prayers He won the final conversion of the Jews in the last days. His mercy won major victories over His justice. (Padre Pio)
As He prayed and thought of the suffering that He was about to endure and of the sins that would continue throughout the history of the world in spite of His suffering, blood began to pour down His face. In the stillness of the night could be heard the sound of hundreds of gentle, innocent, helpless lambs bleating in quiet fear of the coming Passover.
Arrested and tried, He was tied to a pillar to be scourged. As the strokes of the whips echoed through the stone walls of Pilates palace grounds, the bleating of the Paschal lambs could be heard, which were being washed in the pool near the sheep-gate to the east.
After the first purification of the lambs, their jaws were muzzled and they were carried by their owners along the clean road to the Temple. They were then driven around toward the western side, where they were subjected to another ceremonial washing. The helpless bleating of the lambs went in unison with the Saviors sighs. He was being washed in the blood of our sins as the lambs were being washed with water for the Old Law of Sacrifice.
They marched the lambs towards the place of slaughter as Christ carried His Cross to Mt. Calvary. As He climbed and stumbled up the hill, the steady march of hundreds of lambs wound their way through corridors of the Temple.
They raised Him upon the Cross, and the screams of the lambs could be heard in the distance. As His blood flowed to the ground, the echo of the Jews words sounded in His inner ear,
His blood be upon us and upon our children.
They did not know that as the Passover went on and as they were killing the symbolic Paschal lambs, they were also killing the real LAMB OF GOD. While they were sacrificing the lambs that had been washed, purified, and blessed in the stone temple, the Lamb of God hung on His Altar. They had, with great care, provided against contracting outward legal impiety themselves, while not minding their souls wickedness, which had blinded them to the real God amongst them.
THE FOURTH CUP
Knowing that all things were now accomplished (John 19:28) that the Scripture might be fulfilled, He said, I thirst. What Scripture? Psalms 68:22 they gave me vinegar to drink.
And then in John 19:30 it reads, When Jesus had taken the wine, he said, It is finished.
What is finished? Why did He drink the wine when He said at the Last Supper I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until I drink it with you in my kingdom?
Think about that and we will come back to it.
From the Cross He offered His Sacrifice. Father forgive them, and then looking up to Heaven, Father, into Your hands I commend My Spirit. He bowed His head and died.
At that moment the earth quaked and the GREAT CURTAIN of the Temple was torn in two FROM THE TOP TO THE BOTTOM, as though two giant hands grabbed it in the center and rent it in two.
Caiphas, the high priest, had torn his garments as a sign that he was finished with Christ, and now the Father tore the great curtain as a sign He was finished with the Old Law.
The covenant of the Old Law was finished. The New Covenant of Christs Sacrifice had begun. The Gates of Heaven were opened. The Lamb of God started His Sacrifice at the breaking of bread the night before when He said, This is my body and this is the blood of the New Covenant, which is being shed for many unto the forgiveness of sins. (Matt. 26:28) As a ram was substituted for Abrahams son, Isaac, now Christ replaced the lambs of the old law with the Son of God. The old law of sacrifice was only symbolic of the new.
The gates of Heaven were closed because of Adams sin. No one could eat of the TREE OF LIFE and live forever, but now, with the sacrifice of the Lamb of God, access was opened to the fruit of the TREE OF LIFE --- CHRIST, HIMSELF. The tree is the CHURCH [THE KINGDOM]. The fruit is CHRIST.
When Christ drank the fourth cup according to the Jewish law of the Passover, he ended the Jewish law of the lambs and started the new law of his continuous sacrifice. He opened the Kingdom of Heaven on Earth - the Church. And He will be with us in his kingdom all days until the end of the world.
After three days, on the first day of the week [Sunday], Christ came forth from the dead. That very day, He was seen by two disciples walking from Jerusalem, but they did not recognize Him. He talked to them of many things along the road, but they still did not recognize Him. They invited Him into the home where they were staying, and still did not know Him.
Then, at the table, He took bread and blessed it and broke it and gave it to them, and instantly THEIR EYES WERE OPENED, and they recognized Christ. At that moment He vanished from their sight. They ran to the Apostles and told them how they had recognized Christ in the BREAKING OF THE BREAD. (Luke 24:35) What kind of power this bread, to open the minds in understanding of the Lamb of God? The Apostles said, Yes, He has already appeared to Peter. Why did He appear to Peter first and not the other Apostles? Let us go on,
--- they continued steadfastly in the teaching of the apostles and in the COMMUNION OF THE BREAKING OF THE BREAD and in prayers. (Acts 2:42)
And continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and BREAKING BREAD IN THEIR HOUSES. (Acts 2:46)
What is this all about? Communion of the breaking of the bread, daily with one accord? Communion means togetherness. Were they, who were together with the breaking of the bread, the only ones to be saved?
WARNING OF PAUL
Paul, in his letter to the Corinthians, said that all those lambs were a type. A type of what? Lets see what else he taught the Corinthians.
Neither let us commit fornication, even as some of them committed fornication, and there fell in one day twenty-three thousand (Numbers 25:1-9). Neither let us tempt Christ, as some of them tempted, and perished by the serpents (Numbers 21:5). Neither murmur, as some of them murmured, and perished at the hands of the destroyer (Numbers 14:2). Now, all these things happened to them as A TYPE, AND THEY WERE WRITTEN FOR OUR CORRECTION, UPON WHOM THE FINAL AGE OF THE WORLD HAS COME. Therefore let him, who thinks he stands, take heed lest he fall. (1 Cor. 10:8-12)
Gods anger flared up in Numbers 25 because Israelites ate of the sacrifices of the lambs after having committed sins with Moabite women. He was even more angered because they invited the Moabite women to eat of the Lords Sacrifice. He ordered them all killed and 23,000 died. This is a type, an example, written for our correction. What do we learn?
In Numbers 21 the Israelites said they were disgusted with the wretched food, meaning the MANNA. In punishment the Lord sent serpents and killed many Jews. What do we learn from this example for our age, written for our correction, so that we do not do the same?
In Numbers 14 we learn that the Israelites wanted to get rid of Moses and Aaron as the leaders. They wanted to appoint their own leaders and form a new community. As a punishment NOT ONE ENTERED INTO THE PROMISED LAND. Here in the desert shall your dead bodies fall. How does this relate to our own times, for as I have already stated, this is the last generation of the world, THE FINAL AGE, the age of Gods Kingdom of Heaven on Earth, the Church.
May no temptation take hold of you but such as man is equal to [what man can resist]. God is faithful and will not permit you to be tempted beyond your strength, but with the temptation will also give you a way out that you may be able to bear it. (1 Cor. 10:13)
Why is Paul warning them about sin and temptation? What is he referring to? Is it the same sins the Israelites committed against the MANNA and the PRIESTHOOD and their UNITY? Let us go on and see.
Therefore, beloved, flee from the worship of idols. I am speaking as to men of sense. Judge for yourselves what I say.
THE CUP OF BLESSING THAT WE BLESS, IS IT NOT THE SHARING OF THE BLOOD OF CHRIST?
AND THE BREAD THAT WE BREAK, IS IT NOT THE PARTAKING OF THE BODY OF THE LORD?
BECAUSE THE BREAD IS ONE, WE THOUGH MANY, ARE ONE BODY,
ALL OF US WHO PARTAKE OF THE ONE BREAD.
(1 Corinthians 10:14-17)
ONE BODY IN CHRIST
Now we understand why Paul called the new Church the Body of Christ in 1 Cor. 12:27 Now you are the body of Christ, member for member. The main requirement for membership in this new Church was the sharing of the BODY AND BLOOD OF CHRIST. In so doing, Christs Blood flowed through all the members of His MYSTICAL BODY, THE CHURCH. We, though many, are one body.
We, who eat His Flesh and drink His Blood. But is this bread and wine really the actual body and blood of Christ? Would it not be easier to say that it is symbolic of His Body and Blood? It would be easier, but that would make Christ a liar, for He said,
He who eats MY FLESH and drinks MY BLOOD has life everlasting and I will raise him up on the last day. (John 6:53)
But how can that be? How can simple bread and wine become the Body and Blood of Christ?
It is the SPIRIT THAT GIVES LIFE. The flesh profits nothing. (John 6:64)
If the spirit can give life to a small egg the size of a pinhead in a womans womb; if God can appear in a burning bush, a pillar of fire or a dove, and then become a Man, is it so hard to believe He can also become, at His command, a piece of bread? Can we become cells in the Body of Christ with His blood flowing from one to the other of us? Can we have such perfect UNITY as to be one body?
Perhaps when Christ did it at the last supper it was real, but all the rest of the times it is symbolic only. Paul does not agree with that hypothesis.
For I MYSELF HAVE RECEIVED FROM THE LORD WHAT I ALSO DELIVERED TO YOU, that the Lord Jesus, on the night in which He was betrayed, took bread, and giving thanks broke, and said, THIS IS MY BODY which shall be given up for you; do this in remembrance of me.
In like manner also the cup, after He had supped, saying, THIS CUP IS THE NEW COVENANT IN MY BLOOD. DO THIS as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.
For as often as YOU SHALL EAT THIS BREAD AND DRINK THE CUP, you proclaim the death of the Lord, UNTIL HE COMES. (1 Cor. 11:23-26)
Christ is not only saying through Paul that this sacrifice will last until the end of the world [until He comes], but He is commanding that we do it continually [as often as you shall eat]. Paul, who did not know Christ when He lived on earth, asserts that He received and could deliver this power [to change the bread to Christs Body] from Christ, Himself.
Therefore WHOEVER EATS THIS BREAD OR DRINKS THE CUP OF THE LORD UNWORTHILY, WILL BE GUILTY OF THE BODY AND THE BLOOD OF THE LORD. (1 Cor. 11:27)
Now we can see the relationship between the lambs of the Old Law and the Body and Blood of the New Way. For as no one could eat the Pascal Lamb who was unclean in any way, whether in sin or in body; so too, no one can eat of the real Body of Christ who is in the state of sin.
But let a man prove himself, and so let him eat of that bread and drink of the cup; for he who eats and drinks UNWORTHILY, WITHOUT DISTINGUISHING the Body, eats and drinks JUDGMENT to himself. (1 Cor. 11:28-29)
Without distinguishing the Body means that if we eat of the Body without believing that it is really the actual Body of Christ, we will be condemning ourselves.
In fact, Paul warns the Corinthians not to think of it as an earthly food. If anyone is hungry, let him eat at home, lest you come together unto judgment.
(1 Cor. 11:34)
So we see from Pauls words and from the symbols of the Old Law that there are three ways to sin against the Body of Christ: to receive in the state of sin; to not believe it to be His real Body; and to think of it as a food.
In First Corinthians Paul is addressing the Christians, whom he had already taught before. His letter was to remind them of his teachings. But his letter to the Hebrews is not to the Christians. He is now addressing the Jews. The entire letter to the Hebrews is about the NEW SACRIFICE. Paul tries to explain how the old law was simply a shadow of the good things to come, and not an exact image of the objects. He explains how Christ is the High Priest by the order of Melchisedech; how their worship was a mere copy of the things heavenly, and how God foretold the coming of the NEW COVENANT.
Now, in saying a new covenant, He has made obsolete the former one, and that which is obsolete and has grown old is near its end. (Heb. 8:13)
In Hebrews Paul explains how the veil, the ark, the manna, the rod of Aaron, and the sanctuary were types of the new; how the new tabernacle is one made in heaven; how we have been sanctified through the offering of the Body of Jesus Christ once and for all. Paul explains why we must accept the New Sacrifice.
A man making void the Law of Moses dies without any mercy on the word of two or three witnesses; how much worse punishments do you think he deserves who has trodden under foot the Son of God, and has regarded as unclean the BLOOD OF THE COVENANT through which he was sanctified, and has INSULTED THE SPIRIT OF GRACE? (Hebrews 10:29)
In other words, if a Jew lost his life for violating the law, what worse punishment must there be for those who speak, or even think, badly of the NEW COVENANT, the Body and Blood of Christ? Paul also teaches the Jews in this passage that it is the Body and Blood of Christ that sanctifies and gives grace to the soul.
Paul concludes his lessons to the Hebrews with a warning. He mocks them for their sacrifices, and shows them that there is one MAIN DIFFERENCE between the Jews of the Old Law and the Christians of the New Covenant.
WE HAVE AN ALTAR, FROM WHICH THEY HAVE NO RIGHT TO EAT who serve the tabernacle. For the bodies of those animals whose blood is brought into the Holies by the high priest for sin, are burned outside the camp; and so Jesus also, that He might sanctify the people BY HIS BLOOD, suffered outside the gate. Let us therefore go forth to Him outside the camp, bearing His reproach, for here we have NO PERMANENT CITY, but we seek for the city that is to come. (Hebrews 13:10-14)
GREATEST PRAYER OF THE BIBLE
Our study started out looking for the greatest prayer of the Bible. What then is the greatest prayer? Is it the Lords Prayer? No, it is not the Lords Prayer because that is a prayer we say, ourselves. But the Sacrifice of the Body and Blood of Christ is a prayer that the Lord does, HIMSELF. It is HIS OWN OFFERING TO HIMSELF FOR OUR SINS, for our salvation, for our graces. There is nothing that we, ourselves, can do to pay back to God for one single sin, because any sin against God is an infinite sin. An infinite sin must be paid with an infinite sacrifice and by an infinite person. Only God can pay back to God anything done against God.
The greatest prayer of the Bible is a prayer that Christ does all by Himself through the hands of His priests. He renews the Sacrifice of Calvary every time He comes down to this earth and becomes that little piece of bread. He renews the offering of His Blood for the sins of mankind every time the wine is transformed into His Blood.
Where do we find this sacrifice today? Where are these tabernacles with a light always burning before them? Where are these priests who were ordained by the perpetual laying on of hands? Where are these new leaders who replaced Moses and Josue? Where are these priests vestments, altars, candles, cups, plates, etc.? Where are these churches that are called a house of prayer? Where are these churches Paul speaks about where women wear veils? Where do we find this Body and Blood of Christ that we might LIVE FOREVER? Where is this NEW KINGDOM that will LAST FOREVER, containing the CONTINUAL SACRIFICE that makes us LIVE FOREVER?
The early Church called itself THE WAY, as you can find in Acts 9:2. Later they were mocked as CHRISTIANS. The Christians, themselves, did not use that name until many years later. Soon there were many sects who called themselves Christians. All these sects [who were not part of THE WAY] were condemned with anathemas by the Apostles. Before the death of the last Apostle, THE WAY became known as the UNIVERSAL or CATHOLIC Church.
In 107 A.D. St. Ignatius of Antioch wrote to the Church in Smyrna these words:
Wheresoever the bishop shall appear, there let the people be, even as where
Jesus is, there is the CATHOLIC CHURCH.
However, the Creed of Catholic, Orthodox, and Protestant Churches all use the word catholic. Are all these 7000 different Christian religions part of THE WAY, THE BODY OF CHRIST? Or can we eliminate some of them simply because they do not meet the requirements for membership in THE WAY?
Look at Revelation, chapter 5. John is taken up into Heaven before the throne of God. He sees a Lamb standing as though it had been slain. Then the Lamb takes the scroll and all in Heaven sing a new song: Worthy are you to take the scroll and to open its seals, for you were slain and by your blood you ransom men for God from every tribe and tongue and people and nation and have made them a Kingdom and priests to our God, and they shall reign ON EARTH. The Kingdom is on earth. The priests are on earth. It is a universal Kingdom - Catholic.
Then John hears all heaven and earth cry out, To Him who sits upon the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor and glory and might for ever and ever. And the four living creatures said, Amen! and the elders fell down and worshipped.
They fell down and worshipped. Who fell down and worshipped? The elders, the Apostles and the Bishops and the saints and the angels. What is happening here?
It is the Mass. It is the Mass on Earth being mirrored and offered in Heaven as it is being offered on earth.
This is the SHEKINAH that covered the Temple at the time of Soloman.
This is what happens at the Mass when the priest says, This is My Body.
All of the heavenly host comes down around that altar. All the Apostles, the Saints, the martyrs, the patriarchs, the angels, Joseph, Mary, all heaven.
We do not see it with human eyes, but it happens nonetheless.
This is why for 2,000 years we tried to imitate the SHEKINAH in the architecture of our Churches.
But that is another talk.
THE EARLY CHURCH FATHERS
In keeping with what we have found out about the main theme of the Bible, let us look at what the early Church Fathers have to say about the Mass.
Bishop Saint Ignatius of Antioch wrote to the Ephesians as he was on his way to the beasts in the arena during Emperor Tajans persecution of the Christians in 110 A.D. His dying words to his flock were to stay united to the bishop who would replace him. Listen to his words.
I am at once taking this opportunity to exhort you to live in harmony with the mind of God. Surely, Jesus Christ, our inseparable life, for His part IS THE MIND OF THE FATHER, just as the bishops, though appointed throughout the vast wide earth, represent for their part the MIND OF JESUS CHRIST.
Hence it is proper for you to act in agreement with the MIND OF THE BISHOP...I count you happy who are as closely knit to him as the Church is to Jesus Christ, and as Jesus Christ is to the Father. As a result, the symphony of UNITY is perfect.
LET NO ONE DECEIVE HIMSELF, UNLESS A MAN IS WITHIN THE SANCTUARY, THE CHURCH, HE HAS TO GO WITHOUT THE BREAD OF GOD.
In other words, you must belong to the unity of the Church under the Bishop in order to have LIFE FOREVER in the fruit of the BREAD OF GOD. Can we then say that unless we are members of the body of believers who eat of the Body of Christ, we are not members of Christs new WAY?
The answer is yes.
St. Justin wanted Emperor An- ton-in-us Pius to understand the Church, for the Emperor was killing Christians as fast as he could. Justin knew the Emperor personally and wanted him to know exactly what THE WAY was all about. In his letter to the Emperor he explained that the center of the new WAY religion was the sacrifice of the Body and Blood of Christ. So as not to be misunderstood by the Emperor, he explained the ceremony in total detail.
Then, bread and a chalice containing wine mixed with water are presented to the one presiding over the brethren. He takes them and offers praise and glory to the Father of all, through the name of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and he recites lengthy prayers of thanksgiving to God in the name of those to whom he granted such favors.
At the end of these prayers and thanksgiving, all present express their approval by saying Amen. This Hebrew word, Amen, means So be it. And when he who presides has celebrated the Eucharist, they whom we call deacons permit each one present to partake of the Eucharistic bread and wine and water; and they carry it also to the absentees.
We call this food the Eucharist, of which ONLY HE CAN PARTAKE who has acknowledged the TRUTH OF OUR TEACHINGS, who has been cleansed by BAPTISM for the remission of sins and for his regeneration, and who REGULATES HIS LIFE UPON THE PRINCIPLES LAID DOWN BY CHRIST.
Not as ordinary bread or as ordinary drink do we partake of them, but just as, through the word of God, our Savior Jesus Christ became Incarnate and took upon Himself flesh and blood for our salvation, so, we have been taught, the food which has been made the Eucharist by the prayer of His Word, and which nourishes our flesh and blood by assimilation, is both THE FLESH AND BLOOD OF THAT JESUS WHO WAS MADE FLESH.
The Apostles in their memoirs, which are called Gospels, have handed down what Jesus ordered them to do; that He took bread and after giving thanks, said, Do this in remembrance of Me, this is My Body. In like manner, He took also the chalice, gave thanks, and said, This is My Blood, and
TO THEM ONLY did He give it.
We have learned that the earliest Christian Church taught and believed that the UNITY of the CHURCH comes from one thing only, and that is the COMMUNION of the sharing of the real BODY OF CHRIST in the bread and wine. This sharing of the Body of Christ is what makes us a Kingdom. It is what makes us MEMBERS OF THE BODY OF CHRIST.
I believe we have demonstrated that the ENTIRE BIBLE from Genesis and the TREE OF LIFE to the last chapter of APOCALYPSE and the TREE OF LIFE (22:19) is about one thing, and one thing only, and that is the Sacrifice of the God-Man, Jesus Christ, Himself. This prayer of the Son of God, or the Word of God, to the Father is the greatest prayer in the Bible. This Sacrifice is what the whole Bible was written for. It is our WAY to the TREE OF LIFE and our only WAY to LIFE EVERLASTING.
HOW IMPORTANT IS THE MASS?
In this session we are going to ask, HOW IMPORTANT IS THE MASS & WHAT SHOULD OUR REACTION TO IT BE?
Daniel says that it is a CONTINUAL SACRIFICE (Daniel 8:11), and that it is this continual sacrifice that the Antichrist will try to do away with. In fact, we will know the Antichrist by his denial of the MASS. Mass means Sacrifice.
The sacrifice of the lambs no longer exists and has not existed since 70 A.D. Not only that, but it can never ever exist again since the Levite Priesthood was totally destroyed in 70 A.D. Without a Levite Priest there can be no Jewish sacrifice.
The only CONTINUAL SACRIFICE in the world for the last two thousand years is the MASS. Daniel calls it continual, and so it is, for as the sun rises over the horizon around this earth, every minute of everyday the Body and Blood of Christ is being offered up to the Father for the sins of the world. Hundreds of thousands of times per day, everyday, the offering is lifted up to the Father to honor the Father with the Sacrifice of Praise, to bring countless graces to the Church and to all the world, to give relief to the souls in Purgatory, to make restitution for sins, and to give grace to the Church.
Christ said to pray always continually. However, even when I do not, the Church does it for me as it continually offers up the most perfect prayer of all, the Body of Christ.
Padre Pio said that, the world will last longer without the sun than without the Mass, because only the Mass appeases the wrath of God for our sins.
Even if a priest offers the sacrifice of the Mass all by himself in the privacy of his own room, all Heaven rejoices, the souls in Purgatory are relieved of suffering, the entire Communion of Saints, the Church, receives graces, the wrath of God is appeased, and the just are justified. Even if the priest is all alone, HE IS NOT ALONE. The angels are there with him, the saints are there, the holy innocents are there, the cherubims are there, Christ and Mary are there.
When a priest does not say a Mass, even if it is not his fault, all the world loses these gifts, the souls in Purgatory lose relief from suffering, the Church loses its storehouse of graces for indulgences, sinners lose the grace of forgiveness, and the Mercy of God becomes Justice.
Canon 904 states, Remembering that the work of redemption is continually accomplished in the mystery of the Eucharistic Sacrifice, priests are to celebrate frequently: indeed daily celebration is strongly recommended, since even if the faithful cannot be present, it is the act of Christ and the Church in which priests fulfill their principal function.
And canon 276 Part 2 states that priests. are to nourish their spiritual life from the twofold table of Sacred Scripture and the Eucharist and priests are therefore earnestly invited to offer the Sacrifice of the Eucharist daily.
What will God say about a priest who deliberately fails to say a Mass everyday? What shall we say then of this prayer of God to God? Is it important for us to be there? Since it is a prayer that Christ does Himself at the hands of the priest, how important is it for us to go and how often?
Christ tells an interesting parable about a marriage feast in Matthew 22.
The Kingdom of Heaven is like a marriage feast ... Tell those who are invited, Behold I have prepared my dinner ... But they made light of it, and went off, one to his farm, and another to his business ... when the King heard of it, he was angry.
What shall we say to Him when we die? I think the first thing Christ will say when we see Him, is:
Where were you when I offered my Sacrifice to the Father for your sins?
What shall we say?
I havent got the time. --- It is too early in the morning. --- I dont get anything out of it. --- I dont like the priest. --- Once that priest was very mean to me. --- I can pray to God at home. --- I go on Sunday. That is enough for me.
Is that what we will say? What do you think God will say?
When you die you will see Christ face to face. The accuser will be there. You will see your entire life go before your eyes like a motion picture. What will you say if you have made light of His Sacrifice? I think Christ will say:
I offered My Sacrifice for the sins of the world. I came down to the earth into the tabernacle of My Mother in order to die on a cross to create My Continual Sacrifice. I came down to the earth each and everyday into that little piece of bread to make the perfect prayer for you. I stayed locked away in all those tabernacles all over the world for you to come to Me. Where were you?
What will you say? Will you say to Him, as I have heard so often,
I didnt get anything out of it.?????
What about you, who go to the Sacrifice every Sunday, or even everyday, but do not do it with the proper reverence and respect? What about you who go to communion with sin on your soul?
Regarding a man who came to the wedding feast without a wedding garment [Sanctifying grace on the soul], Christ told His angels:
Bind his hands and feet and cast him forth into the darkness outside, where there will be the weeping, and the gnashing of teeth. For many are called, but few are chosen. (Matt. 22:13-14)
What about you little old ladies, who go to the Sacrifice so punctually every morning preparing for your death, but chit-chat with all your friends so much that others cannot pray and properly prepare themselves for the union with Christ? Do you think God will be pleased? The saints say that one single unnecessary word spoken in Church when others are trying to pray will equal seven years in Purgatory. And the Bible is not silent about these things.
But I tell you, that of EVERY IDLE WORD men speak, they shall give account on the day of judgment. For by thy words thou wilt be justified, and by thy words thou wilt be condemned. (Matt. 12:36-37)
My house shall be called a house of prayer for all the nations. (Mark 11:17)
The Lord is in His Holy Temple; let all the earth KEEP SILENCE before Him.
Inside the church is a tabernacle. Inside the tabernacle is the real live presence of the Lamb of God, the Word made Man, the Man made into a Sacrifice. You ought, therefore, enter the church with fear and reverence. The God in that tabernacle is the only one that can put you in Hell forever and ever. He is the only one to be feared.
How then shall we show fear and reverence? Should we do like the Jews, who showed all the outward signs of reverence but inside there was nothing? What is inside the soul is what really counts. Does that mean what is outside does not matter? No, it does not mean that. Christ said that we should clean the inside, while not leaving undone the outward signs of the law. What then are these outward signs?
As I live, says the Lord, to me EVERY KNEE SHALL BEND, and every tongue shall give praise to God. (Romans 14:11)
For every knee shall be bowed to me. (Isaias 45:24)
Come let us adore and fall down; and weep before the Lord that made us. (Psalms 94:6)
This is not just a suggestion, it is a warning. All through the Bible we find the saints immediately kneeling down to the angels, but the angels always warned them not to do so, for that sign of reverence was reserved to God alone. What then shall we say about churches that do not even have kneelers or do not even kneel during the consecration of the Body and Blood of Christ?
Paul said that when in church a woman should wear a veil over her head in the presence of God. Many think the reason for this is humility, and that is a good reason. A womans pride is her looks. Even if she is very humble, her very humility makes her even more beautiful to men. She knows this subconsciously and her humility gives her pride. For this reason, they say, Paul demanded that that false pride be covered.
The man, however, does not get pride from acts of humility, for his pride is not in his looks but in his confidence. A man, even a very good looking man, who does not have self-confidence is not attractive to women. All he has to do to show true humility is leave his confidence outside the church.
Even the old ladies, who no longer worry about distracting men, have the same problem of interior attitude through appearance. They spend more time on their hair than in prayer. If they spent as much time decorating their soul as their body, they would go straight to Heaven.
This is a good argument but this is not the true reason for veils. In Scripture, what is veiled is what is sacred. A woman is the tabernacle of creation. God and woman work together to create something in the image and likeness of God that can never die. Only woman can create with God. Only woman, not even angels, can give to God a living soul. Only woman shares creative power with God. Only woman shares in the creative suffering that Christ suffered. Woman is sacred to God, and therefore, could never be a servant as man is. Woman is sacred and therefore must be treated as sacred. She must be dressed holy, and honored, and respected, and waited on, just as anything holy.
There is no law regarding veils in church and there never has been, but there is no law against it either. Why then do so many choose to disregard the warning of Paul in 1 Cor. 11? Theologians have pointed out one reason a woman should wear a veil in churchhumility, even though it is not a law, and I have pointed out another, but these are not the best reasons.
Why should I care about veils? Are these outward signs important? Ecclesiastics 19:27 and 26:12 indicate that they are. The reason I think veils are important is the children. The criteria of how we act and how we dress should be the children. Let me explain it this way.
It were better for him if a millstone were hung about his neck and he were thrown into the sea, than he should cause one of these little ones to sin. (Luke 17:2)
If by our example we cause a child NOT TO BELIEVE that God is really present in that Tabernacle, that the little white host is really God, that when the priest offers it up to the Father, that it is for the salvation of the world, that when we receive it, we have God inside us, that His blood flows through our veins and our heart, and if our ACTIONS cause a child NOT to believe this, we will answer to God. (1 Cor. 8:10; 10:22-30)
It is by OUR EXAMPLE that children come to know, to have faith in the hardest thing to believe in the world. It is by OUR EXAMPLE that they will continue to go to the marriage supper of the Lamb. If a stranger walked into your church, would he immediately know God was present in that Tabernacle by your example?
The priest washes his hands in Holy Water and prays before he dares to touch the Body of Christ. Saint Francis of Assisi would not even become a priest because he did not feel he was worthy to take the Body of Christ in his hands. Anne Catherine Emmerich wanted constantly to hold the finger and thumb of her priest before she died because they were the two fingers that touched and consecrated her God.
Whatever reverence we can pay to God ABOVE AND BEYOND THE LAW, we should. I tell you without any hesitation that in the past two thousand years there have been more chastisements for IRREVERENCE AT THE ALTAR of God than for any other reason.
Think about it! Are your actions different in the church from what they are outside the church?
Can we teach children that God is that bread when we attend Mass without preparation, without making an offering of His Sacrifice, without silent contemplation of our sins, without reverence for the great mystery, without frequent confession?
How can we teach our children to go to confession often, when we do not go. This is not an essay about confession; however, one short thing should be said. Confessionals are empty on Saturday nights not because peoples consciences are clear and they are without sin. They are empty because their consciences convict them.
If they had a clear conscience as they say, they would not find it hard to go to confession every week or at least every month. Blessed Margaret Castello [the unwanted child and the patron saint of abortion] went to confession everyday. Padre Pio went every week.
The reason people do not go is that their conscience convicts them of sin sin they refuse to confess. In most cases that sin is birth-control. If they really believed it was not a sin, they would have no problem going to the sacrament of forgiveness. Oh, how much grace is lost! Confession gives great graces even to a soul that has no serious sin. Why then do people stay away? A guilty conscience.
Even if they are right, that their conscience is clear; they are sinning. For the conscience can make something that is not a sin become a sin (1 Cor. 8:7); but it cannot make a sin not a sin. (1 Tim. 4:2; 1 Cor. 4:4) Here again is our example to the children.
How can we teach children that God is in that Tabernacle when we do not visit Him? The God of the Universe sits in that Tabernacle day after day, night after night. His heart longs for someone to visit Him, to talk to Him, to love Him, or just to go and sit with Him. His heart longs for His children. What then do we say? What example do we set for our children?
I dont need to go to Church...I can pray at home ... God is everywhere.
One day we will be all alone with Christ even if we do not go and visit Him in the loneliness of His prison. Then what will we say?
I did not have time for daily Mass?
You could have visited me after work.
I had little time even for my family.
Why didnt you bring them to me?
Lord, I always believed in you. I always loved you.
Loved me? Where were you? Where were you when I poured out my Precious Blood everyday to clean your sins? Where were you when I waited day and night to hear your footsteps coming to visit me? Where were you when I offered you my love and my forgiveness?
A priest receives his power in his hands. He gets this power from the bishop. The bishop gets it from the laying on of hands from the Apostles, to the first bishops, from the first bishops to the next, from them to the next, all the way down to our age. This direct line of bishops is called Apostolic Succession. Without this Apostolic Succession there is no power. With this power in the hands of the priest, he becomes another Christ.
If we, the people, understood the priesthood, we would always kiss the hands of the priest, we would always ask his blessing, we would always reverence him as we would Christ.
It does not matter if he is a good priest or not. The power in his hands are not conditional on the state of his soul. Even if he is an unbeliever, he has the power of Christ in his hands. Even if he is a child molester or a homosexual, he has the power. Even if he does not believe in what he is doing, even if he is an atheist, a communist, a mason, if he says, This is My Body, it still becomes the real physical body of Christ. Why? Because the power is the power of Christ, not the power of the priest. It is Christ who offers the sacrifice at the hands of the priest, not the priest, himself.
This power is the power to forgive sins, cast out devils, baptize souls into the Kingdom, marry souls in Christ, anoint the sick, consecrate the Body and Blood of Christ. As a bishop he can bring down the Holy Spirit and ordain new priests. He can cast out souls from the Kingdom of Heaven. As Pope, he can interpret the Scriptures, make new laws, make void old laws, and govern the entire Militant Kingdom of Heaven.
A priest, who makes it to heaven, will be higher than the angels. A priest, who does not, will be in the deepest pits of Hell. The reverence we give to a priest is given to Christ. That may seem hard at times, when you think of some priest you do not like, but if you went into the office of the President of the United States, you would give him his due, even if you did not like him personally.
It is the office of the president we honor, not the man. It is the office of the king we honor, not the man. We honor the priest because of the priesthood of Christ. His soul will be judged the same as ours, only more severely.
The only time we have the right to speak publicly against a priest is if his actions or words threaten the salvation of the souls in his care. Even then, we do not have the right to dishonor the power in his hands. I would even kiss the hands of Judas Iscariot.
When there is a bad priest, it is all the more reason to honor God in that Sacrifice. Christ is the one suffering at the hands of a bad priest, not you. Christ is the one dishonored at his hands, not you. We should increase our devotion in direct proportion to the irreverence we see.
The greatest sin man can commit is a sacrilege, or a sin against a Sacrament. The greatest Sacrament is the Mass. I go to confession every month. I should go every day. If your soul is in the state of sin, do not go to the altar and receive the Body of Christ, for that is the worst sin that you can commit. It is like taking the Body of Christ and putting it inside a coffin full of bones and maggots.
Blessed are they who wash their robes that they may have the right to the TREE OF LIFE. (Apoc. 22:14)
COME TO ME
The following words are the actual feelings of Christ as He waits for us in His Sacrament. Given to Sister Josefa Menendez in 1923.
Poor pitiable sinners, do not turn away from Me ... Day and night I am on the watch for you in the tabernacle. I will not reproach you ... I will not cast your sins in your face ... But I will wash them in My Blood and in My Wounds. No need to be afraid ... COME TO ME ... If you knew how dearly I love you. And you, dear souls, why this coldness and indifference on your part? Do I not know that family care, household concerns, and the requirements of your position in life, make continual calls upon you? But cannot you spare a few minutes in which to come and prove your affection and your gratitude? Do not allow yourselves to be involved in useless and incessant cares, but SPARE A FEW MOMENTS TO VISIT AND RECEIVE THE PRISONER OF LOVE.
And how often should I wait for this or that other soul to visit Me in the Blessed Sacrament and receive Me into his heart? How many nights should I spend longing for his coming? But he would let business or carelessness or anxiety for his health get the better of him ... and he would not come!
(The Way of Divine Love, Page 246, TAN BOOKS & PUBLISHERS, INC.)
If I had a job that would not let me go everyday to the Lords Sacrifice, I would quit. If I were a priest, I would beg people to come. If I were a pastor, I would arrange my Masses so that everyone could go everyday [early morning and late evening for the workers]. If I were a bishop, I would make sure that each group of four or five churches in each geographical area had an evening Mass for working people. If I were a priest, every time I did not have a Mass to offer, I would offer one in a home, a hospital, a school, the street, anywhere that I could share the Body of Christ and sanctify the Communion of Saints. If this were so, then everyone could answer the call of God to come to His Sacrifice.
And when He calls out, Come to me all you who labor and are heavily burdened, and I will refresh you.
God help anyone who refuses to go; who refuses to believe; who prevents others from going, believing; who speaks out against the Continual Sacrifice; who teaches others not to believe; or who [by bad example] hinders children from believing.
All the Bible can be summed up in one thing: The Mass.
The world continues because of the Mass.
The Church exists because of the Mass.
We are members of the Church only because we share in the one Body at the Mass.
We can only get to Heaven through the Mass.
We are justified by the Mass.
The wrath of God is appeased by the Mass.
The Antichrist will be recognized by his outlawing the Mass.
If you perform miracles so as to move mountains but do not love the Mass, you are as nothing in the eyes of God.
Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in thy name, and cast out devils in thy name, and work miracles in thy name?
And then I will declare to them, I never knew you. Depart from me, you workers of iniquity! (Matt. 7:22-23)
Miracles do not produce grace, the Mass does.
Grace! Amazing Grace!
Grace is the money of the soul.
Grace determines our place in Heaven.
It is said that every time we look at the Body of Christ when the priest elevates it, our place in Heaven is raised forever.
If all the people in the world prayed twenty four hours a day, three hundred and sixty-five days a year, it would not equal one Mass.
If all the people in the history of the world prayed twenty-four hours a day, three hundred and sixty-five days a year from Adam to the end of the world, it would not equal one Mass. Why?
When we pray, we pray; but when the priest says, This is My Body, Christ comes down on the altar.
When the priest holds the Body and Blood of Christ up and says, Through Him, with Him, in Him, all glory and honor are Yours, Almighty Father, forever and ever, all the universe rejoices, Heaven rejoices, Purgatory rejoices, the Church rejoices, the earth rejoices, the Father is appeased, grace pours into Christs Kingdom, souls are released from Purgatory, sinners are converted and the devils tremble.
It is the prayer of the Son to the Father, the prayer of God to God, the ultimate prayer, the greatest prayer in the world, the prayer of God, Himself.
In the Name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Our next talk will be on the Old Latin Mass and then we will look into the changes, the abuses, and what we can do about it.
Sacred Liturgy and The Holy Mass