The Art of Evasion – or Lying?

If anyone wants to see the dangerous and deceitful nature of the Roman Catholic doctrine of the trinity, please carefully read the following email exchange I had with pastor Arvind Balaram of DBF Church, Gurgaon, India.

4.12.16
Dear Arvind,

It was lovely to meet and speak with you today at DBF Gurgaon.

To recap our conversation re the DBF ‘What we believe’ statement, I want to make it clear that I agree with the Apostle’s Creed, which includes essentially all the points in the DBF statement of faith, except point 2:

“We believe in one God, creator of all things, infinitely perfect and eternal existing in three persons, Father, Son & Holy Spirit.”

As I explained to you, I wanted clarity from you regarding point 2 above. To me, it seems like your church is promoting the Roman Catholic doctrine of the trinity, which is not in the Bible, and nevertheless is still promoted by many so called protestant churches. It would appear that you also believe in this doctrine as you acknowledged that you believe God to be a triune god. The triune god was unheard of by the apostles and early church fathers of the first two centuries.

Please do not misunderstand me, I am not saying that the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are not mentioned in the Bible, of course they are; and I am not saying that they are not in unity, of course they are; I am saying that they are not as described in Roman Catholic doctrine of the trinity, and that God is not described as being a triune god in the Bible.

As you advised, I read your sermon in order to gain a better understanding of what you believe. I will be honest and say that I intend to convince you otherwise.

Why is this so important? Why am I so concerned?

Most scholars know that the Roman Catholic church is the apostate and antichrist church of Revelation. If you do not know this, please verify this for yourself through prayer and further study. With that in mind, it ought to raise alarm bells when the Roman Catholic Church says that it considers its Doctrine of the Trinity to be “the foundation of its whole dogmatic system”. Why? And why was it formulated over several centuries upon pain of death?

The answer lies in the fact that it misrepresents the Father and the Son. Thereby creating a false god, an idol, leading the believer into spiritual adultery. It is satan’s masterpiece of deception. Once one accepts this ‘mystery’, more ‘mysteries’ can be created and used to deceive- as the Roman Church has been and is doing so well. So well, that many protestant churches have swallowed this false doctrine -hook, line and sinker!

You may think that I am exaggerating, but it is a fact that people have been executed in the past for opposing this doctrine. The angel in Revelation tells us to “come out of her, my people!”, i.e., come out of false doctrine and false church, which is spiritual adultery. Such warnings should not be ignored.

You said in your sermon: “…so now there’s God in heaven and God on earth, and they’re talking to each other and everything – but at the same time it’s the same God, and not two Gods!”

I say: The Father resides in the Son, and they are in unity of purpose, but they are two separate beings. The true God is the Father, yet it is not incorrect to call the Son a God, and to also honour him as the Father, the true God, is honoured.
John 5:22-23 KJV

You said in your sermon: “..Because God is a Trinity, God is love

o now I just want you to think about this for a moment – if God was only

one, single person, then what would His nature be like?”

I say: God Almighty, the Father, is a single person in the Bible, and this does not affect His ability to love. 1 Corinthians 8:6 KJV.
Where does the “three in one” fit in here?

The word “Trinity” is not in the Bible, neither is “triune”, or “co-equal” and “co-eternal”. Neither is the concept described of the trinity as described by the Roman Church. None of the early church fathers knew of this doctrine. Certainly not the apostles. It is a concept originally derived from the Greek philosophers. The Father and the Son are described in the Bible precisely because they are meant to be understood in this manner- a ‘Father, Son’ love relationship is something mankind can relate to, not a man made ‘mystery’ which is not even understood by its makers. Not only that, it is not even required, God can be plainly understood from the Bible as it stands. For the doctrine of the RC trinity to be understood, the Bible would have to be rewritten.

Please do more research this issue, for your own sake, as well as your congregation. For me also- I would like to attend this church! But I cannot if this is what your Church believes.

But I am not the only one who is warning about the RC trinity. If you are interested, this topic is explored in greater depth on my blog havefaithinjesus.wordpress.com

I would be interested to hear your thoughts.

Kind regards

Reply by Arvind on 4/12/16

Thanks for your email, it’s good to hear from you. Thanks for sharing your concerns about our belief in the Trinity. I just wanted to clarify one thing from your email. You wrote, “The true God is the Father, yet it is not incorrect to call the Son a God, and to also honour him as the Father, the true God, is honoured.” Does that mean that there are two Gods? Please clarify.

Blessings,
Arvind

My reply on 8/12/16

Dear Arvind, You asked, ” “Does that mean that there are two Gods? Please clarify.”
Sure, I will explain what I mean, although I note that you did not answer my question re 1 Corinthians 8:6!
Before I explain, I want to just ponder again for a moment what you said in your sermon:
“…God is one, but at the same time He exists in three persons (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) who are also each fully God o you can think of it like this – the Father is 100% God, and the Son is 100% God, and the Spirit is 100% God, but when you add it up it equals to 100% God § It doesn’t add up to 300%, it’s not three gods – it adds up to 100%, one God And it’s not as if the Father is 33%, Son is 33% and Spirit 33% – they are all 100% God, but together they add up to 100% God – It’s a mystery – we can’t comprehend..”

I say: You are telling me that there are 3 Gods (line 3 above) and then you say that they are not three Gods (line 4). You call this a mystery. In other words, you expect to me to believe that when you say there are three Gods, there are actually not 3 Gods, but only one. You expect everyone to take your word for it and to accept this statement without question.

What does “Trinity” mean? The use of English would suggest it means “three in unity”, i.e. “Three “Gods” in unity of purpose”, but then you are claiming that there are not three Gods but actually a single God, as in a single entity, no more or less. Whether you like it or not, you have stated three Gods- you have not differentiated between them, you claim they are all equally God, equal in power and authority, but to get round this problem (you know that scripture says there is only one true God), you state that all three make up the ‘one God’, and that without any of these, there is no God.

Yet, when I say that it is not incorrect to call Jesus ‘a/myGod’, (see also my the reasons given below), would I be wrong in assuming that by your question you are attempting to accuse me of being a polytheist?

Let’s take this a bit further. Suppose I said to you that there are two Gods, each being 100% God but actually they add up to one God. I then tell you that it does not make any sense but we should believe it anyway. Would you accept my statement?

However, scripture, Jesus, the apostles and the early church never gave a description of God as you are suggesting. Remember, Jesus said he has a God, and this God is his Father, who is greater than him. I have quoted extracts of some of the early church fathers at the end which corroborate this and I think you will find it very educational, particularly the extracts from Irenaeus’ writings.

Contrast your trinity definition with what Jesus says. You will see that what I say agrees with Jesus’ statement and that of the early church,, that there is only one true God, the Father, and that the Son, the Word of God, who is begotten of the Father, is therefore also a god, and that it is not incorrect to call Jesus a god.

John 17:3 KJV
3 And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.
John 10:33-36
33 The Jews answered him, saying, For a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God.
34 Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods?
35 If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came, and the scripture cannot be broken; 36 Say ye of him, whom the Father hath sanctified, and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest; because I said, I am the Son of God?
I say: Jesus himself is saying it is acceptable to call him a god because he is the Son of God and he is bearing God’s message. In John 17:3 he clarifies that the Father is the true God.
In Isaiah 9:5, the Holy Spirit inspired the prophet to describe Jesus as ‘mighty god’.
Let’s look at Psalm 82:6-8 KJV:
6 I have said, Ye are gods; and all of you are children of the most High.
7 But ye shall die like men, and fall like one of the princes.
8 Arise, O God, judge the earth: for thou shalt inherit all nations.
Psalm 136:2 KJV
2 O give thanks unto the God of gods: for his mercy endureth for ever.
John 5:20-25 KJV
20 For the Father loveth the Son, and sheweth him all things that himself doeth: and he will shew him greater works than these, that ye may marvel.
21 For as the Father raiseth up the dead, and quickeneth them; even so the Son quickeneth whom he will.
22 For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son:
23 That all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father. He that honoureth not the Son honoureth not the Father which hath sent him.
I say: it is therefore acceptable to call Jesus “God” in the sense that he is the Son of God; and as the early church father Irenaeus says, his dominion over Creation was given to him by His Father.
The Apostle Paul also understood this and the role of Jesus Christ:

Philippians 2:6-11 KJV
6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:
7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:
8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.
9 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:
10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;
11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Paul also understood that Jesus is subject to His Father 1 Corinthians 15:24-28, which goes against the doctrine of the RC trinity, but agrees with Jesus’ statement, ” the Father is greater than I”, and “I go to my God and your God”.
The Apostle John also understood Jesus as being a ‘God’ in the same manner:
John 1:1-2 KJV:
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
2 The same was in the beginning with God.
John 20:31 KJV:
31 But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.
I say: in John 20:31, John leaves us in no doubt that the Word of God ‘who became flesh’ is distinct from the Most High.
I say: This agrees with Jesus when he says the true God is the Father.
It all depends what you mean by the word ‘God/Elohim/theos’. In the Bible it may mean the Most High or even ‘judge’ or ‘magistrate’, depending on the context. Jesus told us to honour him as we honour the Father. If I say ‘Jesus is my God’, it is meant in the sense below:
John 12:44-45 KJV
44 Jesus cried and said, He that believeth on me, believeth not on me, but on him that sent me.
45 And he that seeth me seeth him that sent me.
If I say ‘Jesus is my God’, it is meant in the above sense, i.e., ‘he that sees me does not see me but the One who sent me’.
Jesus glorified his Father, not himself, and was acting under the authority of the true God, his Father. And so it is in the Bible and also as recorded by some of the early church fathers (1st and 2nd century). They all considered it acceptable to call Jesus ‘God’, but not in the same line as when the God the Father is mentioned; in these instances Jesus is referred to as the ‘ the Lord Jesus Christ’ or the ‘Lord’, making the distinction. The supreme title of God/ the Most High is reserved for the Father only.

I have included some extracts of the writings from the early church fathers of the first two centuries AD. You may find them interesting and educational. They bear no resemblance to Roman Catholic doctrine of the trinity and the definition which you supplied.


Ignatius of Antioch (AD110-117), friend of Polycarp who was a disciple of the Apostle John.
Ignatius to the Ephesians 15:
“15:1 It is better to keep silence and to be, than to talk and not to be. It is a fine thing to teach, if the speaker practise. Now there is one teacher, who_spake and it came to pass:_ yea and even the things which He hath done in silence are worthy of the Father.” “15:2 He that truly possesseth the word of Jesus is able also to hearken unto His silence, that he may be perfect; that through his speech he may act and through his silence he may be known.” “15:3 Nothing is hidden from the Lord, but even our secrets are nigh unto Him. Let us therefore do all things as knowing that He dwelleth in us, to the end that we may be His temples and He Himself may be in us as our God. This is so, and it will also be made clear in our sight from the love which we rightly bear towards Him.”
Ignatius to the Ephesians 18:2
“18:2 For our God, Jesus the Christ, was conceived in the womb by Mary according to a dispensation, of the seed of David but also of the Holy Ghost; and He was born and was baptized that by His passion He might cleanse water.”

Ignatius to the Romans 0:0
“Ignatius, who is also Theophorus, unto her that hath found mercy in the bountifulness of the Father Most High and of Jesus Christ His only Son; to the church that is beloved and enlightened through the will of Him who willed all things that are, by faith and love towards Jesus Christ our God;” I say: I may call Jesus Christ ‘God’ because he is quite simply the only begotten Son of the one true God the Father the Most High., as Jesus himself stated. Just as Jesus is a man, because he said he is the Son of Man.

Ignatius to the Romans 3:3
“3:3 Nothing visible is good. For our God Jesus Christ, being in the Father, is the more plainly visible. The Work is not of persuasiveness, but Christianity is a thing of might, whensoever it is hated by the world.”

Ignatius to the Philippians 2:

“There is then one God and Father, and not two or three; One who is; and there is no other besides Him, the only true [God]. For “the Lord thy God,” saith [the Scripture], “is one Lord.” And again, “Hath not one God created us? Have we not all one Father? And there is also one Son, God the Word. For “the only-begotten Son,” saith [the Scripture], “who is in the bosom of the Father.” And again, “One Lord Jesus Christ.” And in another place, “What is His name, or what His Son’s name, that we may know?” And there is also one Paraclete. For “there is also,” saith [the Scripture], “one Spirit,” since “we have been called in one hope of our calling.” And again, “We have drunk of one Spirit,” with what follows. And it is manifest that all these gifts [possessed by believers] “worketh one and the selfsame Spirit.” There are not then either three Fathers, or three Sons, or three Paracletes, but one Father, and one Son, and one Paraclete. Wherefore also the Lord, when He sent forth the apostles to make disciples of all nations, commanded them to “baptize in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost,” not unto one [person] having three names, nor into three [persons] who became incarnate, but into three possessed of equal honour.”
Ignatius Letter to Polycarp 8:

“I pray for your happiness for ever in our God, Jesus Christ, by whom continue in the unity and under the protection of God, I salute Alce, my dearly beloved. Fare well in the Lord.”

Justin Martyr: Dialogue with Trypho Ch 56:
“…Reverting to the scriptures, I shall endeavour to persuade you, that He who is said to have appeared to Abraham, and to Jacob, and to Moses, and who is called God, is distinct from Him who made all things—numerically, I mean, not [distinct] in will. For I affirm that He has never at any time done anything which He who made the world—above whom there is no other God—has not wished Him both to do and to engage Himself with.”

Ch 126 Justin:

” But if you knew, Trypho, who He is that is called at one time the Angel of great counsel, and a Man by Ezekiel, and like the Son of man by Daniel, and a Child by Isaiah, and Christ and God to be worshipped by David, and Christ and a Stone by many, and Wisdom by Solomon, and Joseph and Judah and a Star by Moses, and the East by Zechariah, and the Suffering One and Jacob and Israel by Isaiah again, and a Rod, and Flower, and Corner-Stone, and Son of God, you would not have blasphemed Him who has now come, and been born, and suffered, and ascended to heaven; who shall also come again, and then your twelve tribes shall mourn. For if you had understood what has been written by the prophets, you would not have denied that He was God, Son of the only, unbegotten, unutterable God.”

Irenaeus AD 180. In his youth, Irenaeus was a disciple of Polycarp, who was a disciple of the Apostle John.

Irenaeus Against Heresies Book 1 ch 10 (Bold emphasis mine):
“1. The Church, though dispersed through our the whole world, even to the ends of the earth, has received from the apostles and their disciples this faith: [She believes] in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all things that are in them; and in one Christ Jesus, the Son of God, who became incarnate for our salvation; and in the Holy Spirit, who proclaimed through the prophets the dispensations of God, and the advents, and the birth from a virgin, and the passion, and the resurrection from the dead, and the ascension into heaven in the flesh of the beloved Christ Jesus, our Lord, and His [future] manifestation from heaven in the glory of the Father to gather all things in one, Ephesians 1:10 and to raise up anew all flesh of the whole human race, in order that to Christ Jesus, our Lord, and God, and Saviour, and King, according to the will of the invisible Father, every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth, and that every tongue should confess Philippians 2:10-11 to Him, and that He should execute just judgement towards all; that He may send spiritual wickednesses, Ephesians 6:12 and the angels who transgressed and became apostates, together with the ungodly, and unrighteous, and wicked, and profane among men, into everlasting fire, but may, in the exercise of His grace, confer immortality on the righteous, and holy, and those who have kept His commandments, and have persevered in His love, some from the beginning [of their Christian course], and others from [the date of] their repentance, and may surround them with everlasting glory.” “2. As I have already observed, the Church, having received this preaching and this faith, although scattered throughout the whole world, yet, as if occupying but one house, carefully preserves it. She also believes these points [of doctrine] just as if she had but one soul, and one and the same heart, and she proclaims them, and teaches them, and hands them down, with perfect harmony, as if she possessed only one mouth. For, although the languages of the world are dissimilar, yet the import of the tradition is one and the same. For the Churches which have been planted in Germany do not believe or hand down anything different, nor do those in Spain, nor those in Gaul, nor those in the East, nor those in Egypt, nor those in Libya, nor those which have been established in the central regions of the world. But as the sun, that creature of God, is one and the same throughout the whole world, so also the preaching of the truth shines everywhere, and enlightens all men that are willing to come to a knowledge of the truth. Nor will any one of the rulers in the Churches, however highly gifted he may be in point of eloquence, teach doctrines different from these (for no one is greater than the Master); nor, on the other hand, will he who is deficient in power of expression inflict injury on the tradition. For the faith being ever one and the same, neither does one who is able at great length to discourse regarding it, make any addition to it, nor does one, who can say but little diminish it.”

Irenaeus Against Heresies Book 1 ch 22 (Bold emphasis mine):
“1. The rule of truth which we hold, is, that there is one God Almighty, who made all things by His Word, and fashioned and formed, out of that which had no existance all things which exist. Thus says the Scripture to that effect By the Word of the Lord were the heavens established, and all the might of them, by the spirit of His mouth. And again, All things were made by Him, and without Him was nothing made. John 1:3. There is no exception or deduction stated; but the Father made all things by Him, whether visible or invisible, objects of sense or of intelligence, temporal, on account of a certain character given them, or eternal; and these eternal things He did not make by angels, or by any powers separated from His Ennœa. For God needs none of all these things, but is He who, by His Word and Spirit, makes, and disposes, and governs all things, and commands all things into existence- He who formed the world (for the world is of all)—He who fashioned man—He [who] is the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, above whom there is no other God, nor initial principle, nor power, nor pleroma,— He is the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, as we shall prove.

Irenaeus Against Heresies Book 3: 2(Bold emphasis mine)
“These have all declared to us that there is one God, Creator of heaven and earth, announced by the law and the prophets; and one Christ the Son of God. If any one do not agree to these truths, he despises the companions of the Lord; nay more, he despises Christ Himself the Lord; yea, he despises the Father also, and stands self-condemned, resisting and opposing his own salvation, as is the case with all heretics.”

Irenaeus Against heresies Book 3 ch 6 (Bold emphasis mine):

“1. Therefore neither would the Lord, nor the Holy Spirit, nor the apostles, have ever named as God, definitely and absolutely, him who was not God, unless he were truly God; nor would they have named any one in his own person Lord, except God the Father ruling over all, and His Son who has received dominion from His Father over all creation, as this passage has it: The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit at my right hand, until I make Your enemies Your footstool. Here the [Scripture] represents to us the Father addressing the Son; He who gave Him the inheritance of the heathen, and subjected to Him all His enemies. Since, therefore, the Father is truly Lord, and the Son truly Lord, the Holy Spirit has fitly designated them by the title of Lord. And again, referring to the destruction of the Sodomites, the Scripture says, Then the Lord rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah fire and brimstone from the Lord out of heaven. Genesis 19:24 For it here points out that the Son, who had also been talking with Abraham, had received power to judge the Sodomites for their wickedness. And this [textfollowing] does declare the same truth: Your throne, O God, is for ever and ever; the sceptre of Your kingdom is a right sceptre. You have loved righteousness, and hated iniquity: therefore God, Your God, has anointed You.

For the Spirit designates both [of them] by the name, of God— both Him who is anointed as Son, and Him who does anoint, that is, the Father. And again: God stood in the congregation of the gods, He judges among the gods. He [here] refers to the Father and the Son, and those who have received the adoption; but these are the Church. For she is the synagogue of God, which God— that is, the Son Himself— has gathered by Himself. Of whom He again speaks: The God of gods, the Lord has spoken, and has called the earth.

Who is meant by God? He of whom He has said, God shall come openly, our God, and shall not keep silence; that is, the Son, who came manifested to men who said, I have openly appeared to those who seek Me not. Isaiah 65:1

But of what gods [does he speak]? [Of those] to whom He says, I have said, You are gods, and all sons of the Most High. To those, no doubt, who have received the grace of the adoption, by which we cry, Abba Father. Romans 8:15” “2. Wherefore, as I have already stated, no other is named as God, or is called Lord, except Him who is God and Lord of all, who also said to Moses, I am that I am. And thus shall you say to the children of Israel: He who is, has sent me unto you; Exodus 3:14 and His Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who makes those that believe in His name the sons of God. And again, when the Son speaks to Moses, He says, I have come down to deliver this people. Exodus 3:8 For it is He who descended and ascended for the salvation of men. Therefore God has been declared through the Son, who is in the Father, and has the Father in Himself — He who is, the Father bearing witness to the Son, and the Son announcing the Father.— As also Esaias says, I too am witness, he declares, says the Lord God, and the Son whom I have chosen, that you may know, and believe, and understand that I am. Isaiah 43:10”

Book 3 Ch 6 (Bold emphasis mine)

“4. Wherefore I do also call upon you, Lord God of Abraham, and God of Isaac, and God of Jacob and Israel who is the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the God who, through the abundance of Your mercy, has had a favour towards us, that we should know You, who has made heaven and earth, who rule over all, who is the only and the true God, above whom there is none other God; grant, by our Lord Jesus Christ, the governing power of the Holy Spirit; give to every reader of this book to know You, that You are God alone, to be strengthened in You, and to avoid every heretical, and godless, and impious doctrine.”

From Irenaeus, Proof of the Apostolic Preaching (extract of translation by J. Armitage Robinson (Bold emphasis mine):

“3. Now faith occasions this for us; even as the Elders, the disciples of the Apostles, have handed down to us. First of all it bids us bear in mind that we have received baptism for the remission of sins, in the name of God the Father, and in the name of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who was incarnate and died and rose again, and in the Holy Spirit of God. And that this baptism is the seal of eternal life, and is the new birth unto God, that we should no longer be the sons of mortal men, but of the eternal and perpetual God; and that what is everlasting and continuing is made God;11 and is over all things that are made, and all things are put under Him; 73 and all the things that are put under Him are made His own; for God is not ruler and Lord over the things of another, but over His own;12 and all things are God’s; and therefore God is Almighty, and all things are of God.” “4. For it is necessary that things that are made should have the beginning of their making from some great cause; and the beginning of all things is God. For He Himself was not made by any, and by Him all things were made. And therefore it is right first of all to believe that there is One God, the Father, who made and fashioned all things, and made what was not that it should be, and who, containing all things, alone is uncontained.13 Now among all things is this world of ours, and in the world is man: so then this world also was formed by God.” “5. Thus then there is shown forth 14 One God, the Father, not made, invisible, creator of all things; above whom there is no other God, and after whom there is no other God.15 And, since God is rational, |74 therefore by (the) Word He created the things that were made;16 and God is Spirit, and by (the) Spirit He adorned all things: as also the prophet says: By the word of the Lord were the heavens established, and by his spirit all their power.17 Since then the Word establishes, that is to say, gives body 18 and grants the reality of being, and the Spirit gives order and form to the diversity of the powers; rightly and fittingly is the Word called the Son, and the Spirit the Wisdom of God. Well also does Paul His apostle say: One God, the Father, who is over all and through all and in us all.19 For over all is the Father; and through all is the Son, for through Him all things were made by the Father; and in us all is the Spirit, who cries Abba Father, 20 and fashions man into the likeness of God.4 Now the Spirit shows forth the Word, and therefore the prophets announced the Son of God; and the Word utters the Spirit, and therefore is Himself the announcer of the prophets, and leads and draws man to the Father.”

“6. This then is the order of the rule of our faith, and the foundation of the building, and the |75 stability of our conversation: God, the Father, not made, not material, invisible; one God, the creator of all things: this is the first point21 of our faith. The second point is: The Word of God, Son of God, Christ Jesus our Lord, who was manifested to the prophets according to the form of their prophesying and according to the method of the dispensation of the Father:22 through whom all things were made; who also at the end of the times, to complete and gather up23 all things, was made man among men, visible and tangible,24 in order to abolish death and show forth life and produce a community of union between God and man. And the third point is: The Holy Spirit, through whom the prophets prophesied, and the fathers learned the things of God, and the righteous were led forth into the way of righteousness; and who in the end of the times was poured out in a new way upon mankind in all the earth, renewing man unto God.”

“8. And by the Spirit the Father is called Most High and Almighty and Lord of hosts; that we may learn concerning God that He* it is who is creator of heaven and earth and all the world, and maker of angels and men, and Lord of all, through whom all things exist and by whom all things are sustained; merciful, compassionate and very tender, good, just, the God of all, both of Jews and of Gentiles, and of them that believe. To them that believe He is as Father, for in the end of the times He opened up the covenant of adoption; |77 but to the Jews as Lord and Lawgiver, for in the intermediate times, when man forgat God and departed and revolted from Him, He brought them into subjection by the Law, that they might learn that they had for Lord the maker and creator, who also gives the breath of life, and whom we ought to worship day and night: and to the Gentiles as maker and creator and almighty: and to all alike sustainer and nourisher and king and judge; for none shall escape and be delivered from His judgment, neither Jew nor Gentile, nor believer that has sinned, nor angel: but they who now reject His goodness shall know His power in judgment, according to that which the blessed apostle says: Not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance; but according to thy hardness and impenitent heart thou treasurest up for thyself wrath in the day of wrath and of the revelation of the righteous judgment of God, who shall render to every man according to his works.25 This is He who is called in the Law the God of Abraham and the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob, the God of the living; although the sublimity and greatness of this God is unspeakable.”
My note:*Please note that the Most High God is ‘He’ , singular.
“40. Thus then the Word of God in all things hath the pre-eminence;112 for that He is true man and Wonderful Counsellor and Mighty God;113 calling men anew to fellowship with God, that by fellowship with Him we may partake of incorruption. So then He who was proclaimed by the law through Moses, and by the prophets of the Most High and Almighty God, as Son of the Father of all; He from whom all things are, He who spake with Moses—-He came into Judaea, generated from God by the Holy Spirit, and born of the Virgin Mary, even of her who was of the seed of David and of Abraham, Jesus the Anointed of God,showing Himself to be the One who was proclaimed beforehand by the prophets.”
“41. And His forerunner was John the Baptist) who prepared and made ready the people beforehand for the reception of the Word of life; declaring that He was the Christ, on whom the Spirit of God rested, mingling with His flesh.”
“47. So then the Father is Lord and the Son is Lord, and the Father is God and the Son is God; for that which is begotten of God is God. And so in the substance and power of His being there is shown forth one God; but there is also according to the economy of our redemption both Son and Father. Because to created things the Father of all is invisible and unapproachable,135 therefore those who are to draw near to God must have their access to the Father through the Son. And yet more plainly and evidently does David speak concerning the Father and the Son as follows: Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: thou hast loved righteousness and hated unrighteousness: therefore God hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.136 For the Son, as being God, receives from the Father, that is, from God, the throne of the everlasting kingdom, and the oil of anointing above His fellows. The oil of anointing is the Spirit, wherewith He has been anointed; and His fellows are prophets and righteous men and apostles, and all who receive the fellowship of His kingdom, that is to say, His disciples.”

As you can see, the early church had a very different understanding of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. I would be interested to hear your thoughts.

Kind regards

Arvind’s response 8/12/16:

Thanks for your lengthy and detailed reply. But to be honest I don’t feel like you answered my question – are there two Gods, or just one? This isn’t to ‘accuse’ you of anything, but I’m just trying to understand what exactly you are saying. You mentioned that it is acceptable to call Jesus ‘God’, but at the same time you are saying that it is the Father who is the ‘true’ God. It almost sounds like you are saying that the Father is more ‘God’ than Jesus, but they are both somehow ‘God’. So it sounds to me like you are saying that there are two Gods, one higher and one lesser – but I’m not sure if that is what you are saying. Again, please clarify.

Also, you said at the end of the attachment that ‘the early church had a very different understanding of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit’ – but I can’t really see how what you quoted there is different from what I believe (except for one line in there which seems to suggest that everyone who has received the grace of adoption is a ‘god’ – but even that I’m not sure if I’ve understood correctly. Is that the difference you are referring to?).

I’m sorry if I am a little dense! But I don’t feel we can even begin any kind of discussion unless I at least first understand what you are saying. So I would appreciate if you could spell out your understanding of all this very clearly.

Thanks,
Arvind

My response 8/12/16
Dear Arvind,

I do not think you are dense, but I do believe you have been deceived.

That’s right. I am saying there is the Father, His name is Yahweh, the Most High God, the true God, the Almighty; and there is also the Son of God, the Word of God, who became flesh, His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ. The Son is subject to the Father. Yes, the Father is greater than the Son. You sound surprised, yet Jesus says very clearly that his Father is greater than him. As the Son says, he cannot do anything without the Father, who sent him. Scripture has termed both of them Gods, the Father being above all. The Son emanates from the Father just as a sunbeam emanates from the Sun.

Now if God has a Son, the Son must be a God also. Yes?

What does Paul mean when he says those who believe in God will be “joint-heirs” with Christ?

Romans 8:14-19 KJV

14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.

15 For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.

16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:

17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.

18 For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.

19 For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God.

So yes, those who have received the Spirit of adoption are also sons of god, or ‘gods’, as Irenaeus also points out, only less mighty. And yes, this is another fundamental contradiction between the gospel and your definition of God and the trinity, and it is a very important one. We know that anything which contradicts the gospel is false.

Let us remember that everything will ultimately be subject to the Father, including Jesus Christ himself. 1 Corinthians 15:24-28

Do you understand now?

How do you explain 1 Corinthians 8:6 in terms of your definition of God?

Kind regards

Arvind’s response 9/12/16:

So are you also god?

My response 9/12/16:

All who receive the Spirit of adoption are children of God. I am an adopted child of God and I call Him Father.
Now, for the fourth time, please answer my question. How does your definition of God fit with 1 Cor 8:6? Why are you being so evasive? Surely if your definition is scriptural and in line with the gospel of Jesus Christ you should have no difficulty in explaining it?

Arvinds response 10/12/.16

Sorry for not answering your question about 1 Cor 8:6 – I wasn’t trying to be evasive, I just got caught up in trying to understand what you believe and so missed answering your question. It’s interesting that you ask about 1 Cor 8:6, it is actually a very precious verse for me. Paul is here contrasting the ‘many gods’ and ‘many lords’ of the pagans with the one God and Lord of Christianity. Of course God and Lord are equivalent terms for Paul – there is only God, who is the Lord of heaven and earth (e.g. Deut 6:4-5). I hope you wouldn’t disagree with me on this point – again, Paul’s whole point in this verse is to contrast the ‘one God’ of Christianity with the ‘many gods’ of the other religions (not the ‘two gods’ of Christianity and the ‘many gods’ of the other religions). So this actually turns out to be a very ‘Trinitarian’ verse – the Father is God, the Lord Jesus is God, and yet within this one God, the Father and Son are distinct from one another. They also have different roles within the Godhead – all things come ‘from’ the Father and are ‘for’ Him, but it all happens ‘through’ the Son.

Do you read this verse differently? How do you understand it?

I must confess that I’m still a little confused about what you believe about all this, and how it differs from what I believe. You said earlier that you wanted to ‘convince’ me that I am ‘deceived’ in my belief in the Trinity, but that is going to be difficult to do if I don’t even understand what you believe! Probably we can at least begin to make progress if you can give me a clear answer to this question: how many Gods/gods are there?

Blessings in Christ,
Arvind

My response on 11/12/16
Arvind, you said:

“So this actually turns out to be a very ‘Trinitarian’ verse – the Father is God, the Lord Jesus is God, and yet within this one God, the Father and Son are distinct from one another. They also have different roles within the Godhead – all things come ‘from’ the Father and are ‘for’ Him, but it all happens ‘through’ the Son….”
“…I must confess that I’m still a little confused about what you believe about all this, and how it differs from what I believe”.

I say:

You still do not understand.
How is this a ” ‘Trinitarian’ verse”, as you claim, the same? How does it jump from ‘but to us there is one God the Father’ to ‘the Father is God, the Lord Jesus is God’? That meaning cannot be derived from this verse at at all. What happened to your “God the Holy Spirit”? In your definition, your “triune” god is three co-equal and co-eternal persons, “God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. Instead, Paul reminds us that there is BUT one God, the FATHER. It is quite clear that Paul does not consider the Father and the Son as equal. Neither does the Son.

But if you say that rest of scripture says this, you are again mistaken.

You see, you are forgetting that Jesus also says he has a God, and this God is his Father. Does it says in scripture that the Father has a God? Of course not, because the Father is the Most High, the Supreme God. Which means He is above Jesus, because He is the God of Jesus, which means they cannot be equal. The Father is the head of Jesus, just as Jesus is the head of the Church. Surely you know this? What is so difficult to understand? It’s really very simple and straightforward. God is not the author of confusion.

When Paul applies the word ‘Lord’ to Jesus in 1 Cor 8:6, it is used in the context of Acts 2:36:

36 Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God HATH MADE the same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.

And Acts 2:34-35:

34 For David is not ascended into the heavens: but he saith himself, The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand,

35 Until I make thy foes thy footstool.

So, the Father is also ‘Lord’, and since he has MADE Jesus a Lord, He is also the Lord of Jesus -but Paul has stated it in this manner to differentiate between the Father and the Son. God the Father conferred Lordship on Jesus. Which means the Father is greater in authority than Jesus. Jesus said ‘The Father is greater than I’. Although the Father is the Lord and God of Jesus, the word ‘Lord’ which Paul uses in 1 Cor 8:6 is not referring to the Father, but to the Son.
This is where you are confused. It must be- or else you are saying the Father is the Son!

So Paul is very clearly stating that the Father is the one true God and that the Son is not.

Paul reiterates this in his opening of address of his letter 2 Cor 1:3:

Blessed be God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ

So does Peter in 1 Peter 1:3:

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ

Now it should be obvious that this God mentioned above cannot be Jesus, because we are told that it is his Father. So we know that Jesus has a God, who is his Father.

1 Cor 8:6
6 But to us there is BUT one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in HIM;

and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him.

Please note that the ‘one God’, the Father, is referred to in the third person, singular.

Do you see now why your definition of the trinity does not fit?

Arvinds response on 11/12/16
Thanks for your reply. Please also answer the question I asked: how many Gods/gods are there?

Sent from my iPhone

My reply on 11/12/16
Ok I thought I had already made that clear in all my mails. There is one true God, the Father and Jesus is the Son of God….Jesus acknowledges his Father is the true God. As I proved in my previous mails, those who have the Spirit of adoption are children of God. They may also be referred to as ‘gods’ according to scripture, but the one true God is the Father; Jesus did not preach another God but the same since the beginning, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, i.e. the God who sent him.

Arvind’s response on 12/12/16
So the Father is the ‘true God’, but there are other lesser ‘gods’ as well, such as Jesus and all of God’s adopted children (like you, and possibly me too ). So isn’t it correct to say that you are a polytheist?

My response on 12/12/16
No, it is not correct to say that I am a polytheist, because for me the one true God is the Father, and I worship Him only through His Son our Lord Jesus Christ. Many Jews at the time of Christ also mistakenly levelled the same accusation at the early Christians and claimed that by calling Jesus the Son of God, the Christians were worshipping another god and advocating polytheism.; but this is clearly wrong because Jesus himself preached worship of the one true God, his Father, and stated that no one could gain access to the Father except through the Son. This is why the Son is called the mediator between God and Man. This Is why the Son taught us how to pray to the Father and why he constantly prayed to the Father also. Ultimately Jesus Christ will return everything to the Father. 1 Corinthians 15:24-28.

Do you understand now?

Here’s a question for you- an easy one for any child of God but one which will cause palpitations for the believer in a ‘triune god’and the roman catholic doctrine of the trinity:

Who is the Most High God?

My mail again to Arvind after no response:

1 Peter 3:15 kJV

15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:

In the same spirit that I have shown, please answer the question I had asked you in my previous mail:

Who is the Most High God?

Arvind’s reply on 20/12/16

Sorry for the slow reply, we have been extremely busy with many programmes going on at the church this month!

I’m sorry for this, but after much reflection and prayer I think this will most likely be my last communication with you on this subject. I’ve enjoyed discussing this extremely important matter with you over email, but at this point I think it looks highly unlikely that either of us will convince the other of our positions on this issue. So at this point I think it’s best to end the discussion, and trust that God will give both of us more light in due time (along with humble hearts to receive it!). I hope this is OK with you.

In regards to the question you asked, I believe that the Most High God is the one, infinite, eternal, all-powerful, all-knowing, Creator, Sustainer, compassionate, kind, slow to anger, abounding in love, who doesn’t share His glory with another. This is in fact one of the reasons that I can not accept the views that you’ve shared with me over the course of this email exchange, because if the Father and the Son are indeed two completely separate beings, then it is unthinkable to “call the Son a God, and to also honour him as the Father, the true God, is honoured” (as you stated in one of your previous emails). The Most High God does not share His glory with any other (Isa 48:11), unless that ‘other’ is also the Most High God. To call anyone ‘God’, and to honour anyone as we honour the Most High God, is actually blasphemy – unless again that other being is also the Most High God.

By the way another reason I can not accept your views on these matters is that you seem to use the word ‘god’/’God’ very casually, in that Jesus is a god/God, and those who are adopted as children of God are also somehow ‘gods’. But the Most High God makes it very clear that we shall have no other gods before Him (Exodus 20:3; Deuteronomy 5:7), and thus you again seem to be advocating a position that is clearly incorrect (and even blasphemous). These are extremely grave and serious errors! It’s hard to understand how you can believe what the Bible teaches about the Most High God, and yet continue to promote such views. Please be careful- our God is a jealous God (Ex 34:14)!

Anyway you can please feel free to respond, but as I mentioned above this will hopefully be my last communication to you on this subject (though I would certainly be happy to be in touch about other matters of course!). Thanks for the discussion we’ve had, it was interesting and thought-provoking for me. Hope to see you again soon sometime, please be in touch. All the best, and God bless you!

In Christ,
Arvind

My response to Arvind 20/12/16
Arvind,

Our discussion highlights the blasphemy of a ‘triune god’ and the trinity as described by the Roman Catholic church. You proved it:

I had asked you a simple question, “Who is the Most High God?”. The answer in the Bible is, of course, the Father, the God of Jesus. Yet you could not answer this, because you know that if you said “the Father”, your doctrine of the trinity cannot be true. The ‘Most High God’ means there is no co-equality, and that He is One. Deep down, you know this. Instead of answering my question, you furnish me with details of His nature, not who He is. This tells me that you do not know who God is, or His name. This is what the Roman Catholic doctrine of the trinity aims to achieve- a misunderstanding of the Most High God and who He is. Why do you think the RC church recently advocated removing the name of Yahweh?

You then accuse me of blasphemy, for repeating what Jesus himself commanded us to do, as I had pointed out earlier:

John 5:23

That all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father. He that honoureth not the Son honoureth not the Father which hath sent him.

Jesus said exactly what I said. Are you accusing Jesus of blasphemy as well?

Please explain. If this is what you believe then you will not inherit eternal life.

Incredulously, you go on to say:

“…if the Father and the Son are indeed two completely separate beings, then it is unthinkable to “call the Son a God, and to also honour him as the Father, the true God, is honoured” (as you stated in one of your previous emails)…”

I say: yet in your own doctrine of the trinity you tell me that the Son is 100% God and that he is distinct!!

Would you care to explain?

You said: “The Most High God does not share His glory with any other (Isa 48:11), unless that ‘other’ is also the Most High God.”

I say: So now you are saying that there are TWO Most High Gods?? This is ridiculous- and also blasphemy.

Where does it say that in the Bible?

Regarding Isaiah 48:11, you have taken it out of context.

11 For mine own sake, even for mine own sake, will I do it: for how should my name be polluted? and I will not give my glory unto another.

let’s look at the context:

Isaiah 48
3 I have declared the former things from the beginning; and they went forth out of my mouth, and I shewed them; I did them suddenly, and they came to pass.

4 Because I knew that thou art obstinate, and thy neck is an iron sinew, and thy brow brass;

5 I have even from the beginning declared it to thee; before it came to pass I shewed it thee: lest thou shouldest say, Mine idol hath done them, and my graven image, and my molten image, hath commanded them….

9 For my name’s sake will I defer mine anger, and for my praise will I refrain for thee, that I cut thee not off…..
11 For mine own sake, even for mine own sake, will I do it: for how should my name be polluted? and I will not give my glory unto another.

This is a confirmation of Isaiah 42:8:
8 I am the Lord: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images.

It is clear here that the Most High God is talking about IDOLS, not His Son and the children of God. Remember, the Most High anointed His Son with the Holy Spirit.

John 17:22
22 And the GLORY WHICH THOU GAVEST ME I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one:

Romans 8:14:17

14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the SONS of God.

15 For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.

16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:

17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also GLORIFIED together.

Also:

John 17:5 And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the GLORY which I had WITH thee before the world was.

So we see that God does give and does share his glory with His sons. Or do you wish to deny scripture? Please explain.

Do you understand now?

You said: “To call anyone ‘God’, and to honour anyone as we honour the Most High God, is actually blasphemy – unless again that other being is also the Most High God.”

I say: I did not say ‘anyone’, I said ‘Jesus’, as he commanded. John 5:23

As for explaining what I mean by a god/God, I have done so now several times and provided the scripture references, see also Romans 8:14-17 again, above. Please read through all the scripture references again. Denying them is to deny the prophets, the apostles and Christ.

You said:”But the Most High God makes it very clear that we shall have no other gods before Him (Exodus 20:3; Deuteronomy 5:7), and thus you again seem to be advocating a position that is clearly incorrect (and even blasphemous)”

I say: My stance is totally biblical and I explained what I mean very clearly in my last mail, please read it again.

Arvind, so far, all I have gleaned from your replies is that you do not know who the Most High God is. When you accept what Jesus says in the Bible we will be able to make progress. Until then, you are in the dark. I hope and pray that you will come to the light and truth. Your doctrine is false, look at it again.

Against Roman Catholicism – Ignatius’ Extract from his Letter to the Smyrnaeans, Chapter 7

Ignatius’ Extract from his Letter to the Smyrnaeans, Chapter 7:

“They abstain from the Eucharist and from prayer, because they confess not the Eucharist to be the flesh of our Saviour Jesus Christ, which suffered for our sins, and which the Father, of His goodness, raised up again”

The above quote is falsely used by some Roman Catholics in support of their Doctrine of Transubstantiation. They claim that Jesus, the apostles and the early church fathers held such a belief, so that their communion wafer -which nowadays in some churches comes complete pictorially embossed with an impression of Christ crucified- actually becomes the literal body and literal blood of Christ.

Of course, Jesus, the apostles and none of the early church fathers of the first two centuries believed this, and as we will see, once the quote is placed back in the context, Ignatius meant something entirely different.

In examining this subject we will look at the context in which Ignatius made his statement, and it may be helpful for the reader to also read my post ‘Against Roman Catholicism – Understanding the true meaning of the Lord’s Supper or Eucharist (Thanksgiving Meal) by looking at its context and meaning within the New Testament’ and also my post ‘Refuting Transubstantiation’

At this point one should be aware that many of the letters of Ignatius are considered forgeries of later origin. There is also contention as to which versions of the letters are genuine-some consider only the short recensions are genuine, others consider only the long recensions are  genuine.  More on this in another post- I have seen at least one example in a long recension which appears to be totally genuine, whereas the short recension differs. However, at least part of the Letter to the Romans was quoted and referred to by Irenaeus, another early church father, and so I have assumed authenticity for Ignatius Letter to the Smyrnaeans as it conveys the same belief.

Ignatius’ statement, meaning and context

The Docetists and their belief (Docetism)

Around the time of Ignatius, there were several groups of people who held differing views on the nature and manner of Christ’s presence during his lifetime on Earth. One such group were known as Docetists (Greek dokein/dokeo -to seem /dókēsis –apparition). They believed that Jesus did not come in the flesh, ie, they did not believe that he had a human body. They believed he only seemed to have a physical human body, which was illusory.

They also did not believe that Jesus suffered on the Cross, they believed that he only seemed to suffer, that he did not die, he only seemed to die. They did not believe in a bodily resurrection. This was the group of people to which Ignatius was alluding in his letter to the Smyrnaeans.

Ignatius’ Extract from his Letter to the Smyrnaeans, Chapter 7 ( Bold emphasis mine):

They abstain from the Eucharist and from prayer, because they confess not the Eucharist to be the flesh of our Saviour Jesus Christ, which suffered for our sins, and which the Father, of His goodness, raised up again

Once we place the above extract from Ignatius in the context of his letter, we see the true intent of his statement, and how it makes the claims of the Roman Catholic Church and its leader absolutely ridiculous.

Ignatius’ statement above is a continuation of a theme he had been discussing in his letter. So, let’s look at the preceding chapters of his letter to understand what he actually meant. (Bold emphasis mine):

 

Ignatius Letter to the Smyrnaeans-Extracts

(Translation taken from http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/0109.htm )

“Chapter 2. Christ’s true passion

Now, He suffered all these things for our sakes, that we might be saved. And He suffered truly, even as also He truly raised up Himself, not, as certain unbelievers maintain, that He only seemed to suffer, as they themselves only seem to be [Christians]. And as they believe, so shall it happen unto them, when they shall be divested of their bodies, and be mere evil spirits.”

Chapter 3. Christ was possessed of a body after His resurrection

For I know that after His resurrection also He was still possessed of flesh, and I believe that He is so now. When, for instance, He came to those who were with Peter, He said to them, Lay hold, handle Me, and see that I am not an incorporeal spirit. And immediately they touched Him, and believed, being convinced both by His flesh and spirit. For this cause also they despised death, and were found its conquerors. And after his resurrection He ate and drank with them, as being possessed of flesh, although spiritually He was united to the Father.

Chapter 5. Their dangerous errors

Some ignorantly deny Him, or rather have been denied by Him, being the advocates of death rather than of the truth. These persons neither have the prophets persuaded, nor th law of Moses, nor the Gospel even to this day, nor the sufferings we have individually endured. For they think also the same thing regarding us. For what does any one profit me, if he commends me, but blasphemes my Lord, not confessing that He was [truly] possessed of a body? But he who does not acknowledge this, has in fact altogether denied Him, being enveloped in death. I have not, however, thought good to write the names of such persons, inasmuch as they are unbelievers. Yea, far be it from me to make any mention of them, until they repent and return to [a true belief in] Christ’s passion, which is our resurrection.

Chapter 7. Let us stand aloof from such heretics

They abstain from the Eucharist and from prayer, because they confess not the Eucharist to be the flesh of our Saviour Jesus Christ, which suffered for our sins, and which the Father, of His goodness, raised up again. Those, therefore, who speak against this gift of God, incur death in the midst of their disputes. But it were better for them to treat it with respect, that they also might rise again. It is fitting, therefore, that you should keep aloof from such persons, and not to speak of them either in private or in public, but to give heed to the Prophets, and above all, to the Gospel, in which the passion [of Christ] has been revealed to us, and the resurrection has been fully proved. But avoid all divisions, as the beginning of evils.

We now see that from chapters 2,3, 5 and 7 of his letter, the context and meaning clearly shows that Ignatius was warning against the false doctrine of the Docetists.

In Ch 2, concerning Jesus, Ignatius states that “And He suffered truly, even as also He truly raised up Himself” and reprimands them for saying that Jesus “only seemed to suffer”, and for not believing in the bodily Resurrection,

In Ch 3 Ignatius states “For I know that after His resurrection also He was still possessed of flesh”. Ignatius notes of the disciples, “For this cause also they despised death”. The disciples saw that Christ in his resurrected state was still possessed with a human body, he had been killed and had been raised to life- and was not an apparition. Naturally, the disciples took heart from this, believing that they would also be resurrected in like manner.

In Ch 5 Ignatius says “Some ignorantly deny Him” and warns against those “not confessing that He was [ truly] possessed of a body? But he who does not acknowledge this, has in fact altogether denied Him”

Also, later he says “Yea, far be it from me to make any mention of them, until they repent and return to [a true belief in] Christ’s passion, which is our resurrection.”

In Ch 7, from which the extract we are examining was taken, Ignatius reiterates that Christ physically suffered and that the resurrection was proved and goes further to say that “Those, therefore, who speak against this gift of God, incur death in the midst of their disputes. But it were better for them to treat it with respect, that they also might rise again.”Later he goes on to say, “…but to give heed to the prophets, and above all, to the Gospel, in which the passion [of Christ] has been revealed to us, and the resurrection has been fully proved”.

We can now see that the whole point of Ignatius’ letter was to convey the significance of the Eucharist or Thanksgiving. It was to celebrate Christ’s bodily sacrifice and his bodily resurrection.

Ignatius’ letter was against those who denied the Passion or sacrifice of Christ, that is, those who deny that he suffered bodily and also deny the resurrection.

Is there anything else Ignatius said which would corroborate his understanding of the Eucharist? Well, let’s see what Ignatius said in his letter to the Romans.

Ignatius Ch 3 Letter to the Romans:

For the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.

Ignatius Ch4 Letter to Romans (extract):

“I write to the Churches, and impress on them all, that I shall willingly die for God, unless you hinder me. I beseech of you not to show an unseasonable good-will towards me. Allow me to become food for the wild beasts, through whose instrumentality it will be granted me to attain to God. I am the wheat of God, and let me be ground by the teeth of the wild beasts, that I may be found the pure bread of Christ. Rather entice the wild beasts, that they may become my tomb, and may leave nothing of my body; so that when I have fallen asleep [in death], I may be no trouble to any one. Then shall I truly be a disciple of Christ, when the world shall not see so much as my body. Entreat Christ for me, that by these instruments I may be found a sacrifice [to God].

Here Ignatius provides his understanding of the Bread/Body/Blood topic – he clearly equates his martyrdom with being a true disciple of Christ and of his sacrifice:

“I am the wheat of God, and let me be ground by the teeth of the wild beasts, that I may be found the pure bread of Christ.” And “…Then shall I truly be a disciple of Christ,…”

Let Roman Catholic’s try and explain that in terms of the literal body and literal blood doctrine of transubstantiation!

1 Corinthians 10:1-5, 14-17 KJV

1Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea;

2And were all baptised unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea;

3And did all eat the same spiritual meat;

4And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.

5 But with many of them God was not well pleased: for they were overthrown in the wilderness….

14 Wherefore, my dearly beloved, flee from idolatry.

15 I speak to wise men: judge ye what I say.

16 The cup of the blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ?

 17For we being many are one bread, and one body: for we are all partakers of that one bread.

Here, Paul continues to say that ‘the cup of the blessing’ and the ‘bread which we break’ means fellowship with Christ.

 The analogy comes after and clearly follows from verses 3 and 4, where the fathers are said to ‘eat the SAME spiritual meat’ and ‘drink the SAME spiritual drink’ of Christ.

Note also verse 17 ‘For we being many are ONE bread, and ONE body: for we are ALL partakers of that ONE bread.’

Hebrews 13:8 KJV

8 Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.

Ignatius Ch 7 Letter to Romans extract:

..but there is within me a water that lives and speaks, saying to me inwardly, Come to the Father. I have no delight in corruptible food, nor in the pleasures of this life. I desire the bread of God, the heavenly bread, the bread of life, which is the flesh of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who became afterwards of the seed of David and Abraham; and I desire the drink of God, namely His blood, which is incorruptible love and eternal life.”

When Ignatius talks about a water within him “that lives and speaks”, he is not talking about drinking or bathing water, he is talking about the spirit.

When he says that he desires the bread of God and the drink of God, he is speaking spiritually- he desires the spiritual meat and spiritual drink of Christ (“I have no delight in corruptible food”) , he expresses his desire to share fully in Christ’s suffering and to do his will.

Irenaeus, a contemporary of Ignatius (he was born around the time of Ignatius martyrdom) agrees with and quotes from Ignatius’ letter to the Romans in his own work, Irenaeus Against Heresies 5:28:

“And therefore throughout all time, man, having been moulded at the beginning by the hands of God, that is, of the Son and of the Spirit, is made after the image and likeness of God: the chaff, indeed, which is the apostasy, being cast away; but the wheat, that is, those who bring forth fruit to God in faith, being gathered into the barn. And for this cause tribulation is necessary for those who are saved, that having been after a manner broken up, and rendered fine, and sprinkled over by the patience of the Word of God, and set on fire [for purification], they may be fitted for the royal banquet. As a certain man of ours said, when he was condemned to the wild beasts because of his testimony with respect to God: “I am the wheat of Christ, and am ground by the teeth of the wild beasts, that I may be found the pure bread of God.” (Irenaeus Against Heresies, 5:28)

On this issue it would be also be useful to read Irenaeus’ view on the Eucharist in Fragment 13 (see my post ‘Against Roman Catholicism- Refuting Transubstantiation’). When he was young, Irenaeus had heard Polycarp speak, and Polycarp was said to be a disciple of John the Apostle. In Fragment 13, Irenaeus clearly says

‘‘For when the Greeks, having arrested the slaves of Christian catechumens, then used force against them, in order to learn from them some secret thing [practised] among Christians, these slaves, having nothing to say that would meet the wishes of their tormentors, except that they had heard from their masters that the divine communion was the body and blood of Christ, and imagining that it was actually flesh and blood, gave their inquisitors answer to that effect. Then these latter, assuming such to be the case with regard to the practices of Christians, gave information regarding it to other Greeks, and sought to compel the martyrs Sanctus and Blandina to confess, under the influence of torture, [that the allegation was correct]. To these men Blandina replied very admirably in these words: “How should those persons endure such [accusations], who, for the sake of the practice [of piety], did not avail themselves even of the flesh that was permitted [them to eat]?”

Against Roman Catholicism – Understanding the true meaning of the Lord’s Supper or Eucharist (Thanksgiving Meal) by looking at its context and meaning within the New Testament

 

As always, one looks to the Bible, the source book for all matters of doctrine. Thankfully, the meaning is very easy to discern and requires only reading the relevant passages in the Bible. How Roman Catholic’s manage to make such a mess of it with their Doctrine of Transubstantiation beggars belief.

Please take the time to prayerfully read through the following passages. To be read with my other related post, ‘Against Roman Catholicism – Refuting Transubstantiation’.

We look at the key statements by Jesus and others in the Gospels:

The Gospel of John-The Meeting with Nicodemus

John 3:3-7 KJV

3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.

4 Nicodemus said unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born?

5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.

6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.

7 Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.

Now, we all know that Jesus did not mean that we should ‘enter the second time into the mother’s womb, and be born’- he was talking spiritually. He was stating that a man must be spiritually renewed with the spirit of God, not that he must be physically reborn.

From this we can see that Jesus does not always explain himself, but he allows the hearer to consider his statement.

The Gospel of John-The Woman at the Well

Continuing with the Gospel of John, not long after Jesus meeting with Nicodemus, the account moves on to his meeting the woman at the well:

John 4:10-14 KJV

10 Jesus answered and said unto her, If though knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldst have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water. 11The women saith unto him, Sir thou hast nothing to draw with, and the well is deep: from whence then hast thou that living water?

12 Art thou greater than our father Jacob, which gave us the well, and drank thereof himself, and his children, and his cattle?

13Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again:

14But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.

15 The woman saith unto him, Sir, give me this water, that I thirst not, neither come hither to draw.

 

As we read the extracts from John 4 above, it becomes crystal clear that Jesus is talking spiritually. He speaks of ‘Living Water’. He does not mean literal water, he is speaking of the spirit. Do we really believe that he means that a literal well of water will be found inside the person’s belly? Of course not!

John 4:23 KJV

But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him.

Immediately after this, his disciples came to him.

John 4:31-36 KJV

31 In the mean while his disciples prayed him, saying, Master, eat.

32 But he said unto them, I have meat to eat that ye know not of.

33 Therefore said the disciples one to another, Hath any man brought him ought to eat?

34 Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work.

Again, in John 4:31-36, Jesus makes himself crystal clear:

John 4:34 Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work.

29 Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.

As we continue with John’s Gospel, we find that salvation is found simply by hearing Jesus’ word and believing on his Father who sent him:

John 5:24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation: but is passed from death unto life.

No talk of eating literal flesh and literal blood as per the Roman Catholic formula here!

Continuing with the Gospel of John, we discover that John 5:24 is repeated at John 6:29 below; the work of God (hence our ‘meat’ or ‘food’ or ‘bread’ is the work of God) is to believe on him whom he has sent. We know from John 4:34 that Jesus saith unto them, My meat (food) is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work’.

Gospel of John cont’d:

John 6:26KJV Jesus answered them and said, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Ye seek me, not because ye saw the miracles, but because ye did eat of the loaves, and were filled.

27 Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed.

28 Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might do the works of God?

29 Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.

30They said unto therefore unto him, What sign showest thou then, that we may see, and believe thee? What dost thou work?

31 Our fathers did eat manna in the desert; as it is written, He gave them bread from heaven to eat.

32 Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Moses gave you not that bread from heaven.

33 For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world.

34 Then said they unto him, Lord, evermore give us this bread

35 And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.

38 For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him who sent me.

40And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.

John 6:47 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life. 48 I am the bread of life. 49 Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died. 50 This is the bread that comes down from heaven, so that one may eat of it and not die. 51 I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. And the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh.” 52 The Jews then disputed among themselves, saying, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?” 53 So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. 54 Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day. 55 For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink. 56 Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him. 57 As the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so whoever feeds on me, he also will live because of me. 58 This is the bread that came down from heaven, not as the fathers ate and died. Whoever feeds on this bread will live forever.

John 6:63 It is the spirit that quickeneth: the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life

John7:16 KJV

Jesus answered them and said, My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me.

From the above, we now understand the meaning of John 6:55 from John 4:31-36, Matthew 16:6-8, 11-12 and Luke 12:1. We can see that it is absolutely false to say that the Eucharist is the literal physical flesh and the literal physical blood of Jesus Christ.

Again, note the similarity of the account of the Woman at the Well and the Bread of Life narrative. In John 6:51 above, Jesus says he is the Living Bread.  So if Roman Catholic’s are to take this literally and not symbolically, then they must decide what he is- is he the Living Water or the Living Bread?

We’ve all heard the expression, ‘Food for thought’, and we all know what it means. Roman Catholic’s, however, have great difficulty grasping this concept.

John’s Gospel is unique among the four gospels in that there is no account of the Last Supper and yet he says:

John 20:30-31 KJV

30 And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book:

31 But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ: and that believing you might have life through his name

 

The Gospel of Matthew- The leaven of the Pharisees and the Sadducees

Similarly, Jesus was talking spiritually in:

Matthew 16:6-8, 11-12 KJV

Then Jesus said unto them, Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and the Sadducees. And they reasoned amongst themselves, saying, it is because we have taken no bread. Which when Jesus perceived, he said unto them, O ye of little faith, why reason ye among yourselves, because ye have brought no bread?

How is it that ye do not understand that I spake it not to you concerning bread, that ye should beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees?

Then understood they how that he bade them not beware of the leaven of bread, but of the doctrine of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees.

Here, Christ himself unequivocally equates bread/leaven with DOCTRINE, not physical bread/food/ literal flesh/literal blood. In this instance, he explains himself to his disciples.

Matthew clearly understood what the Eucharist was to signify, and he again makes it very clear in his account of the Last Supper:

 

The Gospel of Matthew-The Last Supper

Matthew 26:26-29 KJV:

26 And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body.

27 And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, drink ye all of it;

28 For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.

29. But I say unto you, I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom

Clearly, Jesus is speaking symbolically here:

Verse 28 says ‘this is my blood,…which is SHED for many…’.

This cannot be literal blood as Jesus had yet to suffer on the Cross. This is ‘spiritual blood’, not physical, literal blood.

We are told in the Bible that Jesus came in the flesh, that is, he had a human body. From the gospel accounts, there is nothing to suggest that the bread which Jesus called his ‘Body’, was made by anything else but human hands.

For the Roman Catholic tale of literal blood to be even half believable, there would have to be an account in the gospels which says that Jesus tore a chunk of his own flesh from his own body (and which was not plucked out of mid air) in front of his disciples, immediately turned it into bread, and then informed them that this was now his body and blood in an ‘unbloody manner’- as per the Roman Catholic Doctrine of Transubstantiation. Of course, there isn’t such an account, because it just didn’t happen- the Doctrine of Transubstantiation is a work of pure fiction.

Verse 29 says ‘I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine’

Just before he said this, he had called it his blood. So in verse 28 he calls it his ‘blood’ and in verse 29 he calls it ‘this fruit of the vine’. Clearly then, it is symbolic of his blood which would be shed on the Cross.

A virtually identical account is given in the Gospel of Mark 14:22-25 KJV.

In the Gospel of Luke 21:15-21KJV, Luke goes even further and in verse 19 says that Christ said ‘Do this in remembrance of me’ and in verse 20, he says ‘..This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you’. If this is to be taken literally, shouldn’t RC’s be taking a nibble at the communion cup as well?

 

The Apostle Paul’s account of the Last Supper

In Paul’s letter to the Corinthians, before he gives his account of the Last Supper, he says:

1 Corinthians 10:1-5, 14-17  KJV:

1Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea;

2And were all baptised unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea;

3And did all eat the same spiritual meat;

4And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.

5 But with many of them God was not well pleased: for they were overthrown in the wilderness….

14 Wherefore, my dearly beloved, flee from idolatry.

15 I speak to wise men: judge ye what I say.

16 The cup of the blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ?

 17For we being many are one bread, and one body: for we are all partakers of that one bread.

Here, Paul continues to say that ‘the cup of the blessing’ and the ‘bread which we break’ means fellowship with Christ.

The analogy comes after and clearly follows from verses 3 and 4, and is clearly referring to them, where the fathers are said to ‘eat the SAME spiritual meat’ and ‘drink the SAME spiritual drink’ of Christ.

Note also verse 17 ‘For we being many are ONE bread, and ONE body: for we are ALL partakers of that ONE bread.’

Hebrews 13:8 KJV

8 Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.

 

So what does the apostle Paul say about the Last Supper?

1 Corinthians11 KJV:

23 For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you. That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread;

24 And when he had given thanks. He brake it, and said., Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me.

25 After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me.

26 For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come.

27 Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.

28 But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup.

29 For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body.

Paul clearly views the Eucharist as a celebration of Christ’s Passion, a thanksgiving and remembrance meal, in anticipation of his coming again.

Note, if the Body and Blood is to be taken literally and not symbolically, then verse 25 says that Jesus drank from the cup – if this is literal blood, then was Jesus drinking his own blood?

However, immediately after, in verse 26, Paul says Jesus referred to his body and his blood as this ‘bread’, and this ‘cup’. Clearly, the bread and the cup are symbolic of Jesus’ sacrifice.

In verse 29,they are ‘not discerning the Lord’s Body’. What does he mean here? Why does he say it?

In all the physical attributes of the bread, it is corruptible- it is bread- it looks the same and tastes the same as any piece of bread, so the discernment must therefore be spiritual, not physical. He says it is not common bread because it has been blessed and is holy because. it symbolises Christ’s Passion/Sacrifice, and those partaking of it must eat it recognising the fact that it is a celebration and thanksgiving meal, in remembrance of the sacrifice of Christ, his resurrection and his coming again. We are spiritually nourished by this ‘spiritual meat and spiritual drink’ when we celebrate Christ’s Passion and recall to mind his teaching and do his will. Those who eat and drink unworthily are those who do not respect or believe the reason for the Eucharist and consider it common bread and not holy.

We already know from Matthew 16:6-8 above that when Jesus used the term ‘leaven’ or ‘bread’ it can also mean ‘Doctrine’ or ‘Teaching’. It is true to say that Jesus’ life contained the New Testament doctrine. When we follow his teaching, he dwells in us and we dwell in him.

Therefore, if, as the Roman Catholic’s believe, Jesus was talking about his literal flesh and literal blood, they must then answer the following insurmountable problems:

1. How did Jesus shed blood and give it to his disciples before his crucifixion?

2. If it is his literal blood, Jesus drank his own blood with his disciples?

3. Will Jesus drink his own blood with his disciples when he comes into his Father’s kingdom?

4. Jesus and his disciples must be cannibals (On this issue, see Fragment 13- Irenaeus, in my post ‘Against Roman Catholicism – Refuting Transubstantiation’ )

Final Thoughts

Luke 23:39-43 KJV

39 And one of the malefactors which were hanged railed on him, saying, If thou be Christ, save thyself and us.

40 But the other answering rebuked him, saying, Dost not thou fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation?

41 And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds: but this man hath done nothing amiss.

42 And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom.

43 And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with me in paradise.

We know that this criminal had not taken any eucharistic meal.

Matthew 4:1-11 KJV

4 But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.

 

 The Doctrine of Transubstantiation- How does it stack up in the light of the Bible?

We have studied the accounts of the Last Supper and the other related passages and we can see below that this doctrine is not found in the Bible.

Just like the Roman Catholic Trinity doctrine, it is a work of fiction. When scrutinized by anyone with even a basic knowledge of the Bible, it falls apart.

Let’s see what the Roman Catholic’s claim, by looking at catechisms from the Vatican’s own website:

1376 The Council of Trent summarizes the Catholic faith by declaring: “Because Christ our Redeemer said that it was truly his body that he was offering under the species of bread, it has always been the conviction of the Church of God, and this holy Council now declares again, that by the consecration of the bread and wine there takes place a change of the whole substance of the bread into the substance of the body of Christ our Lord and of the whole substance of the wine into the substance of his blood. This change the holy Catholic Church has fittingly and properly called transubstantiation.

1377 The Eucharistic presence of Christ begins at the moment of the consecration and endures as long as the Eucharistic species subsist. Christ is present whole and entire in each of the species and whole and entire in each of their parts, in such a way that the breaking of the bread does not divide Christ.

1364 In the New Testament, the memorial takes on new meaning. When the Church celebrates the Eucharist, she commemorates Christ’s Passover, and it is made present the sacrifice Christ offered once for all on the cross remains ever present. “As often as the sacrifice of the Cross by which ‘Christ our Pasch has been sacrificed’ is celebrated on the altar, the work of our redemption is carried out.”

1365 Because it is the memorial of Christ’s Passover, the Eucharist is also a sacrifice. The sacrificial character of the Eucharist is manifested in the very words of institution: “This is my body which is given for you” and “This cup which is poured out for you is the New Covenant in my blood.”187 In the Eucharist Christ gives us the very body which he gave up for us on the cross, the very blood which he “poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.”

1366 The Eucharist is thus a sacrifice because it re-presents (makes present) the sacrifice of the cross, because it is its memorial and because it applies its fruit:

[Christ], our Lord and God, was once and for all to offer himself to God the Father by his death on the altar of the cross, to accomplish there an everlasting redemption. But because his priesthood was not to end with his death, at the Last Supper “on the night when he was betrayed,” [he wanted] to leave to his beloved spouse the Church a visible sacrifice (as the nature of man demands) by which the bloody sacrifice which he was to accomplish once for all on the cross would be re-presented, its memory perpetuated until the end of the world, and its salutary power be applied to the forgiveness of the sins we daily commit.

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

1368 The Eucharist is also the sacrifice of the Church. The Church which is the Body of Christ participates in the offering of her Head. With him, she herself is offered whole and entire. She unites herself to his intercession with the Father for all men. In the Eucharist the sacrifice of Christ becomes also the sacrifice of the members of his Body. The lives of the faithful, their praise, sufferings, prayer, and work, are united with those of Christ and with his total offering, and so acquire a new value. Christ’s sacrifice present on the altar makes it possible for all generations of Christians to be united with his offering.

 

Critical Analysis

 

It does not take long to see that the Roman Catholic’s have departed from the true faith.

Their own Catechisms contradict each other (bold emphasis mine).

Catechism 1364 says ‘…”As often as the sacrifice of the Cross by which ‘Christ our Pasch has been sacrificed‘ is celebrated on the altar, the work of our redemption is carried out.”

Catechism 1365 says ‘…the Eucharist is also a sacrifice’

Catechism 1367 says ‘…The sacrifice of Christ and the sacrifice of the Eucharist are one single sacrifice:The victim is one and the same

If the victim is one and the same, then in Roman Catholic  doctrine, the victim is being sacrificed again each time the Eucharist is celebrated.

Catechism 1367 says ‘…the same Christ who offered himself once in a bloody manner on the altar of the cross is contained and is offered in an unbloody manner. . . this sacrifice is truly propitiatory.

In this catechism, the Roman Catholic’s have out done themselves. If it is an ‘unbloody sacrifice’, then it cannot be the literal, physical blood of Jesus as they maintain, period.

In fact, if it is ‘unbloody’, then it is not even blood- whether literal or spiritual! Of course, they mean it is actual blood, which is not actual blood- rather like another one of their inventions- their Roman Catholic Trinity doctrine, which makes ‘three Gods equal to one God, but not one God equal to three Gods’. Or as one great Roman Catholic once told me,  1+1+1 = 1. Get it?

What the Bible says

No amount of artful dodgery and playing with words, can hide the fact that the Roman Catholic church makes the ‘once for all sacrifice’ of Christ into a farce- a daily sacrifice of Christ which must be repeated again and again continually at the altar for remission of sins. This is in complete contradiction to the Bible.

Hebrews 7:26-27 KJV

26 For such an high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens;

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

Hebrews 9:24-28 KJV

24 For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but unto heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us.

25 Nor yet that he should offer himself often, as the high priest entereth into the holy place every year with blood of others;

26 For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world; but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.

27And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgement:

28 So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.

Final Thoughts and Conclusion

 

The choice is clear, to follow the teaching of Jesus in the Bible, or to depart from it and follow the teaching of the Roman Catholic church.

Beware the leaven of the Pharisees and the Sadducees!

Against Roman Catholicism – Refuting Transubstantiation

Against Roman Catholicism- Refuting Transubstantiation

Below follows my responses to three Roman Catholics on a Roman Catholic apologetic website, where I refute the Roman catholic doctrine of transubstantiation. Names have been changed for the purposes of this article.

MY RESPONSE:

Whoso eateth my flesh and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day. John 6:54 KJV
He that eateth my flesh and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me and I in him. John 6:56 KJV
Many therefore of his disciples, when they had heard this, said, This is an hard saying; who can hear it? John 6:60 KJV
When Jesus knew in himself that his disciples murmured at it, he said unto them, Doth this offend you? John 6:61 KJV
What and if ye shall see the Son of Man ascend up where he was before? John 6:62 KJV
It is the spirit that quickeneth: the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life. John 6:63 KJV

It is very clearly written in the Bible. Jesus clarified what he was saying for the benefit of those disciples who did not understand. Irenaeus merely affirms this in Fragment 13.
Quite simply, the Bread and the Wine are a symbolic and spiritual food and drink. Why else would Hippolytus note that Peter and Paul convinced two Jews, Mark the evangelist bishop of Alexandria and Luke the evangelist to come back and join them? They were disciples and of the Seventy, but left because they were offended at ‘eat my body and blood’ teaching.

Every time we eat the bread and drink the wine with faith and thankgiving, we feed on Jesus spiritually and become spiritually nourished, provided we remain in his teaching and do his will. In response to his disciples Jesus said, ‘The flesh profiteth nothing, my words are spirit and they are life’.
And so the bread is blessed with the word of God and by this act becomes holy.

John tells us that the word became flesh and dwelt among us, and so the word is the spiritual body and blood of Christ. The bread and wine are symbols of the body and blood of Christ and so we do not treat them as ordinary bread, but we respect what they represent.

Jesus said that his food was to do the will of the one who sent him and to finish his task, and so as we eat the bread and drink the wine as he commanded, we remember him, follow his doctrine, believe and do his will, so we too in our turn are spiritually nourished, feeding on his word in our hearts, the true leaven of Christ. So the food at thanksgiving is both earthly and heavenly, as Irenaeus also affirmed. As the bread and the wine are symbolic of the body and blood of Christ and are made holy by the word of God, by eating with thanksgiving, we partake of the spiritual body and blood of Christ- we receive spiritual meat and drink. Christ dwells in us, that is, he is spiritually present in our hearts. Remember, he said that when two or three are gathered together in his name, he is there amongst them. He was talking spiritually. And that is exactly what he was trying to convey when he said, ‘Do this in remembrance of me’. This is what Jesus meant when he said he is the Living Bread-do not labour for food which perishes but that which leads to eternal life.

Then Jesus said unto them, Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and the Sadducees. And they reasoned amongst themselves, saying, it is because we have taken no bread. Which when Jesus perceived, he said unto them, O ye of little faith, why reason ye among yourselves, because ye have brought no bread? Matthew 16:6-8 KJV
How is it that ye do not understand that I spake it not to you concerning bread, that ye should beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees?
Then understood they how that he bade them not beware of the leaven of bread, but of the doctrine of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees. Matthew 16:11-12 KJV

It is important to realise that the apostles, Irenaeus, and the early church fathers did not understand the eucharist in the terms of the doctrine of transubstantiation as formulated by the Roman Catholic church.

Roman catholic 1 says:
Yes, but Ireneaus also talks about the bread not longer being common bread. So it is more than symbolic…

MY RESPONSE:

It is no longer ‘common bread’ because it symbolises Christ’s Body, and that is why we are admonished to eat the bread worthily and with respect, recognising the sacrifice Christ made for us. This bread is not meant to be taken lightly and without due regard to this.

Roman catholic 2 response to me:

What do you mean by “symbolizes”? The point I think that is being made is that the bread and wine are not mere “symbols” but the real presence of the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ. Luke 22:19-22 1 Corinthians 11:27-30

Roman Catholic 2 says:

This change is made possible by the Holy Spirit together with God the Father, One God in essence and undivided.

Roman Catholic 2 says:

The bread and wine are consecrated at all Divine Liturgies before God and the community of the Church share Holy Communion.

Roman Catholic 3 says:

I agree that for early Christians the Eucharist is more than symbolic. Justin believes that the bread and the wine are “consecrated by the word of prayer” and become “flesh and blood of the incarnate Jesus”. It is confirmed by Irenaeus of Lyon who in the same century states: “The mixed cup and the bread that has been prepared receive the Word of God and become the Eucharist, the body and blood of Christ.”The next century Apostolic Tradition tells us that the bishop gives the bread with the words: “The bread of heaven in Christ Jesus.”
Of course, we cannot say they believed in transsubstantiation…Early christians did not have a compultion to explain everything, like we have in contemporary times. Instead, they saw it as a mistery, comparing it to the mistery of Incarnation:They could say today: “We do not know how exactly it is happening, the same, we don’t know how Christ can be fully divine and fully human. But we receive it by faith, and just benefit from the presence of God in the elements of bread and wine.”.
Simple Eucharistic liturgies of the second century descended into different liturgical families around the Mediterranean. The East emphasized the work of the Holy Spirit who is invoked over the elements and “may come upon them…and make this bread the holy body of Christ.” Bishop Cyril reflected: “for whatsoever the Holy Spirit has touched is sanctified and changed.” The West emphasized the power of the words of institution in the consecration moment: “the priest no longer uses his own words, but he uses the words of Christ. Therefore the word of Christ makes this Sacrament”, says Ambrose of Milan. Therefore the emphasis is on the second person of the Trinity, not as in the Eastern Church on the Third.
We see that even if the churches differed in their liturgies and emphasized different theological truths (Holy Spirit, the Word) they kept the Eucharist in the center of their worship believing that Christ is present among believers in the bread and wine.

Roman Catholic 1 says:

I agree. Thanks for you comment.

MY RESPONSE:

Roman Catholics 1, 2 and 3,

I’m afraid you missed the point I was trying to illustrate in Matthew 16:11-12 KJV above…

Christ is present in spirit when we break bread in his name, provided we believe his teaching and try and follow it. If we do not believe his teaching and follow other doctrines, yet still eat the bread, we do not respect him or his doctrine and may expect to be judged accordingly.

To believe that Christ is present in the actual wafer or bread itself, or that the actual wafer or bread is Christ crucified is to misinterpret the meaning intended in the Gospels.

Fragment 13 From the Lost Writings of Irenaeus (New Advent Translation):

13

‘For when the Greeks, having arrested the slaves of Christian catechumens, then used force against them, in order to learn from them some secret thing [practised] among Christians, these slaves, having nothing to say that would meet the wishes of their tormentors, except that they had heard from their masters that the divine communion was the body and blood of Christ, and imagining that it was actually flesh and blood, gave their inquisitors answer to that effect. Then these latter, assuming such to be the case with regard to the practices of Christians, gave information regarding it to other Greeks, and sought to compel the martyrs Sanctus and Blandina to confess, under the influence of torture, [that the allegation was correct]. To these men Blandina replied very admirably in these words: “How should those persons endure such [accusations], who, for the sake of the practice [of piety], did not avail themselves even of the flesh that was permitted [them to eat]?”

Irenaeus makes it clear the bread is NOT the actual flesh and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ

Of Pentecostals, Charismatics, Tongues and Alpha: 1 Corinthians 14 explained

Below is a mail I received from a Pentecostal church member in response to one of my earlier mails. My response follows. His name and the name of his church have been changed for the purposes of this article, as well as some minor editing of my response for clarity.I think it is very useful in understanding what Pentecostals actually believe and their errors. It covers, amongst other things, the topic of ecstatic/unintelligible utterances, claimed by many modern day churches (including Pentecostal, Charismatic, Baptist and Roman Catholic) to be the biblical gift of tongues. Dear Shalin , How are you doing, thank u for sharing your mind. I did not get a chance to  check my email till today ,so i apologise for not sending a reply earlier. I fell it is quite natural to have reservations about speaking in tongues . But we should be very clear that it is phenomenon that is very clearly documented in the book of acts( acts2:1-4, acts10:44-48, a) tongues as a experience is documented in the bible b) tongues are for all Christians 1cor14:5:  c) tongues and interpretation of tongues are two distinct gifts 1 cor12:10 d) concerning the use of tongues in church meetings 1 cor 14 gives absolute clarity. it says that for personal edification tongues are the best,(1 cor 14:4,18) but in a group which may consist of different types of people some may not have the gift or may be an unbeliever(1 cor 14:5,6,22,23) Paul does not forbid it( 1 cor 14:39) but asks for balance of all the gits like prophecy , teaching etc so that everyone may be edified, so it is perfectly alright to speak in tongues in church e) tongues are not for understanding all the time (1cor14:2). I have chosen not to speak at all from experience but form the Bible only, You brother are a person with a thirst to know the things of God , i am sure he will help you with your  reservations i do pray that you also will be baptised in the holy spirit. — Dr. David MY RESPONSE TO DAVID Brother  David! I am well, thank you! -and you will be pleased to know that I am already baptised in the Holy Spirit- and so are all believers the moment they believe in the Lord Jesus Christ! This was the whole point of Pentecost being fulfilled- Jesus Christ sent the promised Holy Spirit as also foretold by the prophet Joel  3:1-3 and so the Church was created, empowered and expanded- the great outpouring of God’s spirit which would apply to all believers! A wonderful, joyous occasion! 1 Corinthians 12:13 KJV: 13For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit. Again: 1 John 3:23-24 KJV: 23And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment. 24And he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him. And hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us. And again: Ephesians 4:4-6 KJV: 4There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; 5One Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all. It is a popular misconception in some Pentecostal churches to think that to be baptised in the Spirit is when one receives the gift of tongues. You disagree? Paul himself says to the Corinthians in 1 Cor 12:13 KJV (see above again) that the Corinthians are all baptised by one Spirit into one body. In 1 Cor 12:30 he asks, ‘…do all speak with tongues?’, the answer to the rhetorical question being ‘No’. The meaning of this is that not all the Christian believers at Corinth spoke in tongues, yet they are all baptised by one Spirit into one body. This is indisputable. And clearly, the tongues gift was not a sign of spirituality, as the Corinthians were clearly carnal, that is why Paul wrote 1 Cor 14, because they were not using the spiritual gifts as God intended. David, I think I can understand where you are coming from- I guess you have been born and brought up in a traditional Pentecostal Church where events such as I witnessed on my last Sunday visit (referred to in my last mail) are common, certainly unquestioned and certainly  uninterpreted occurrences. However, PAUL COMMANDS US TO BE SILENT IN THE USE OF TONGUES IN CHURCH IF THERE IS NO INTERPRETATION. THIS is the absolute clarity of 1 Corinthians 14. Brother, I would ask you to put tradition aside for one moment and read God’s word afresh on the subject, without any pre-conceived ideas or doctrines. I realise that what I am writing will in some measure challenge your beliefs (and perhaps even offend!), but there is no intention to offend on my part, merely to educate. If I did not think it was worth it, I would not bother. Hopefully you will take it on this understanding. Please feel free to go through this with a fine tooth comb and you may show it to anyone for educational purposes. I will be discussing the whole issue with the Pastor as soon as I am able and depending on his answers, I will decide if I am to continue coming to XYZ Church . In my view, the issue is that serious. Let us just clarify one thing. I have never implied that tongues were not documented in the Bible! What I am saying is, if the meaningless babble offered by some of the congregation( and sweeping through Pentecostal, Charismatic and even mainstream churches today), permitted and accepted without question by all, are not true languages in the sense as known in the Biblical application of tongues, then where have they come from? I ask you again to examine this phenomenon in the light of the Bible. If these are genuine tongues and a move of the Holy Spirit, they will be supported by the Bible texts. In our investigation, let’s look again at 1 Corinthians 14. We will examine this in greater depth later, but there is already a significant clue Paul has given about the spiritual health of an individual or church which does not accept the Lord’s commands and which should immediately raise alarm bells: 1 Cor 14:34-38 KJV 34 Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law.35 And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church.36 What? Came the word of God out from you? Or came it unto you only? 37 If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord. 38 But if any man be ignorant, let him be ignorant. These verses are final, the tense and nature of the original Greek proves this. There is no explaining them away and Paul is correct. Incidentally, many women accept them in deference to the Lord and indeed the church has done so almost universally throughout history for more than 1,800 years. Here, verse 36 is equally important, because Pentecostal and Charismatic churches seem to think that they have exclusive rights on discussing all matters spiritual. They forget that that they are a relatively new and small movement which has only surfaced in the last two hundred years. So, is Paul correct? On his verdict then, a person is not spiritual if he does not acknowledge this teaching.  So what is happening at XYZ Church?  According to Paul, XYZ Church is not spiritual. XYZ Church is clearly not following this. It then follows that XYZ Church will also be lacking in spiritual discernment. Yes? So how does XYZ Church follow Paul’s teaching when it comes to the matter of speaking in tongues? 1 Cor 14:27-28 KJV: If any man speak in an unknown tongue, let it be by two, or at the most three, and that by course; and let one interpret. 28 But if there be no interpreter, let him keep silence in the church; and let him speak to himself, and to God. Again, THIS is the absolute clarity of 1 Corinthians 14.   Let us look at this.

  1. A MAXIMUM OF 3 TONGUE SPEAKERS IN CHURCH
  2. IN TURN
  3. THEN ONLY IF THERE IS AN INTERPRETER
  4. IF NO INTERPRETER THEN THE TONGUE SPEAKER MUST KEEP SILENT IN CHURCH

Please note: The complete OPPOSITE is being followed at XYZ Church and in many contemporary churches. Everyone is actually encouraged to sing and pray in tongues together, and all without interpretation. I know, because I was encouraged to! THIS IS IN COMPLETE DEFIANCE OF PAUL’S TEACHING. If Paul were here now, what do you think he would say? Would you say XYZ Church is following the Paul’s teaching on this or has it departed from it? If it has departed from it, why is no one saying anything about it? Is it because people are not strong enough to break the tradition?   Or is it because they are afraid to question their church leaders ? Or is it because they prefer to do what they want rather than what the Bible teaches?   1 Thessalonians 5:21-22 KJV 21Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.  22Abstain from all appearance of evil. If it is not within our power, God would not demand it of us. If we do not understand what we are saying, how can we prove if what we are saying is good or evil? Does it not seem strange to you therefore when we contrast this with modern tongues usage , where it is all about FALSE ‘self-edification’ and all/mostly consists of unintelligible babble, so that there is no Gospel message delivered? – THE EXACT OPPOSITE OF THE BIBLICAL REASON FOR TONGUES. In addition, in modern tongues usage neither the speaker nor the listener can understand what is being said. This then renders Pauls  message in 1 cor 14 about ‘understanding’ totally irrelevant! Since this is an indisputable fact, shouldn’t we be looking at this very seriously and with a great deal of caution? I am not saying there are no instances of genuine tongues usage in Church today. I believe they are entirely possible, because I believe that with God ALL things ARE possible. Before we move on, take a look at this extract from one of the early church fathers, Ireneaus, a disciple of Polycarp who was a disciple of the apostle John. Irenaeus tells us elsewhere that he has witnessed genuine tongues and other spiritual gifts in his time. The extract reminds me of what I have witnessed in churches in the UK, XYZ Church and also what I have heard is practiced in Charismatic churches (though it is dressed up a little differently). In the UK it goes under the guise of the Alpha Course, the founder being Nicky Gumbel and it is being actively promoted around the world, and has now reached India. Intrigued, I myself went through the whole Alpha course in the UK to see what this was all about and I have been to the ‘Holy Spirit weekend’ with Nicky Gumbel preaching- and I can testify that this is how he asks people to ‘call the holy spirit and speak in tongues’. All I heard around me was the same unintelligible babble I hear at XYZ Church and other similar churches. Alpha’s roots were from the phenomenon known as the Toronto Blessing which swept Canadian churches in the early nineties. I have exchanged letters with Nicky on the issue of whether it is permissible for a christian to go to war (scanned copies of letters and responses will be uploaded shortly) and I have told him that he is false and that he is promoting a very dangerous doctrine  : Irenaeus Against Heresies (Book 1, Chapter 13) The deceitful arts and nefarious practices of Marcus “…Receive from me a spouse, and become receptive of him, while you are received by him. Behold Charis has descended upon you; open your mouth and prophesy.” On the woman replying, “I have never at any time prophesied, nor do I know how to prophesy;” then engaging, for the second time, in certain invocations, so as to astound his deluded victim, he says to her, “ Open your mouth, speak whatever occurs to you, and you shall prophesy.”She then, vainly puffed up and elated by these words, and greatly excited in soul by the expectation that it is herself who is to prophesy, her heart beating violently [from emotion], reaches the requisite pitch of audacity, and idly as well as impudently utters some nonsense as it happens to occur to her, such as might be expected from one heated by an empty spirit.(Referring to this, one superior to me has observed, that the soul is both audacious and impudent when heated with empty air.)Henceforth she reckons herself a prophetess…. 4.But already some of the most faithful women, possessed of the fear of God, and not being deceived (whom nevertheless he did his best to seduce like the rest by bidding them prophesy), abhorring him and execrating him, have withdrawn from such a vile company of revelers. This they have done, as being well aware that the gift of prophesy is not conferred on men by Marcus, the magician, but that only those to whom God sends His grace from above possess the divinely bestowed power of prophesying; and not when Marcus orders them to do so. Please see Footnote (1)   Modern Charismatic churches are adopting the same methods. This is why I asked you to look at the previous Heidi Baker link and the similarities with Ms Renuka who spoke at XYZ Church, who even said the same words in what she claims are ‘tongues’ and the same prophecy.  Heidi Baker’s roots go back to the Toronto blessing. If you are interested, here is another link. Do take a look. Would you say this is someone who is possessed by the Holy Spirit? In the light that Heidi Baker obviously does not have the Holy Spirit  (or ‘slain in the spirit’ as the TV show presenter claims), when she is whooping and wailing and then disappears under the table- I presume she fell off her chair- and continues her conversation horizontally on the floor, complete with silly giggles. Where is the spiritual discernment here? http://event.cbn.com/spiritualgifts/event/?EventID=11  Tongues is such a frequently misunderstood topic that I have gone into it at some length- particularly as more and more churches are embracing an increasingly Charismatic doctrine. By understanding the clearer passages in 1 Corinthians 14 one may understand the obscure, especially when the letter to the Corinthians is placed in context of both the Old and the New Testament. Remember, God gave the gift of tongues for a PURPOSE. What was this purpose? You already touched on it: Acts 2:1-13 Acts 10:44-48 Acts 19:1-7 The purpose here was to reach out to three categories of people- the Jews, the Gentiles and the Samaritans. By giving the sign of tongues at that time, a message was sent for all generations- that the God of Israel is a God for Mankind. Tongues were a sign to the Jews- they had become arrogant-they thought they could only be God’s people, God showed them this was not the case. So to what purpose are the so called tongues we hear at XYZ Church and many other churches today- by this I mean the unintelligible mutterings/prayer language/ecstatic utterances, which are all offered without understanding and interpretation? Before I go any further, it must first be pointed out that the word translated as ‘tongue’ in the Bible has always only been used in the sense that it is either referring to the organ itself or to a language of the world. Throughout the Bible, Old and New Testaments, including the book of Revelation, in all the instances where the use of tongues was described in Mark and Acts, its usage has been in this context. In 1 Corinthians 14, the original Greek  word is ‘Glossa’ for the word which has been translated as ‘tongue’ and which in the context  can mean ‘tongue’- the organ itself or as in the usual biblical context, an interpretable known language of the world. In the Bible the word has never been used for a non -language or sounds/unintelligible muttering or as some people describe ‘ecstatic utterances’. These kind of utterances however are common place in pagan religions and the occult but there is not a shred of evidence for them being used in the Bible by men of God. If you wish to disagree, please find them and show me! Please see STRONG’s definition for the word translated as ‘tongue’- From the Greek word ‘Glossa’ used in the New Testament, it means also the organ the tongue and it also means ‘the language or dialect used by a particular people distinct from that of other nations’. The usage of the word ‘unknown’ by the translators: In order to understand 1 Corinthians 14, it is EXTREMELY MPORTANT to know that in the KJV/AV and some other translations the word ‘unknown’ has been added   in some of the passages by the translators. By this, the original translators were trying to be helpful to show that Paul merely meant an ‘unknown’ foreign language which was not understood by the listeners (and not that it was an language unknown to the world).Please see an extract of Strong’s Greek lexicon for 1 Corinthians 14 below with my additional notes in the margins. You may verify this for yourself on the internet by doing your own study.We can see which words were added by the translators and which were not in the original Greek text. Knowledge of this will help in understanding the true intent of the apostle Paul’s statement. This in itself should indicate to you that the word tongue was used in its general usage by Paul- in the usual biblical sense of the word, that is, a foreign language. And indeed we see this meaning applied to all the instances where tongues were used. In the quotations I have taken from the KJV I have also placed the word in italics. I want to make clear that this is what the purpose of this debate is- Speaking in Tongues-real languages or meaningless babble? I maintain that meaningless babble is false tongues and that is what I am trying to prove to you.  At this point it is highly instructive to see what our Lord Jesus says on the matter: Matthew 6:7-12 KJV 7But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. 8Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him. The original Greek and Hebrew words for the word translated repetitions: Word: battologew Pronounce: bat-tol-og-eh’-o Strongs Number: G945 Orig: from Battos (a proverbial stammerer) and 3056; to stutter, i.e. (by implication) to prate tediously:–use vain repetitions. G3056 Use: TDNT-1:597,103 Verb Heb Strong: 1)      to stammer 2) to repeat the same things over and over, to use many idle words, to babble, prate. Some suppose the word derived from Battus, a king of Cyrene, who is said to have stuttered; others from Battus, an author of tedious and wordy poems And from Answers.com:  n.  Stuttering The act of one who stutters; — restricted by some physiologists to defective speech due to inability to form the proper sounds, the breathing being normal, as distinguished from stammering. Stam·mer·ing n. (Physiol.) A disturbance in the formation of sounds. It is due essentially to long-continued spasmodic contraction of the diaphragm, by which expiration is prevented, and hence it may be considered as a spasmodic inspiration. In verse 9, the Lord then goes on to teach us how to pray and gives us the Lord’s Prayer. Short, simple and to the point, but more importantly, the prayer was clearly UNDERSTOOD by the speaker. No doubt someone will tell me that the ‘babble’ or ‘prate’ described above is not the same as the unintelligible babble that I am referring to in this discussion… I do also examine some of the ideas  concerning tongues, such as whether the unknown foreign language is actually understood by the tongue speaker or not and I look at the arguments for and against such views, however, my ultimate conclusion must be that the tongue speaker obviously knew what he was saying. The main theme of 1 Cor 14 is all about UNDERSTANDING. If there is no understanding in the audience, then the tongue speaker must keep silent. Why? Because the audience and/ the church is not edified or built up- they do not know what is being said. Therefore, if we are to keep silent if the audience does not understand, it would then be ludicrous to say that we may pray privately WITHOUT UNDERSTANDING for self-edification, as Paul has already established that the church is NOT EDIFIED WITHOUT UNDERSTANDING (1 Cor 14:17). If the church cannot be edified without understanding, how can an individual who does not understand what he is saying be edified? Therefore we MUST ASSUME THAT THE SPEAKER FULLY UNDERSTANDS THE TONGUE HE SPEAKS and he is to pray that the listener will be able to understand.  If the listener cannot understand, the speaker should remain silent. Let’s look at this logically for one moment. If a person prays without understanding what he himself is saying, how will he know if his prayers have been answered? Indeed, how will he know what he has prayed for, if anything at all, to start with?? A common, but faulty, argument used to explain this is to say that although the person does not understand the’ tongues’ (or unintelligible utterance), it is his Spirit groaning. They use Romans 8:26 to justify this: Romans 8:26 Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. But they fail to note that the Greek word translated as ‘uttered’  is ‘alaletos’ which  means  they cannot be expressed in any speech, so this passage CANNOT be referring to tongues, known or unknown. See below:

Strong’s Number:  215

a)la/lhtov

Original Word Word Origin
a)la/lhtov from (1) (as a negative particle) and a derivative of (2980)
Transliterated Word Phonetic Spelling
Alaletos al-al’-ay-tos
Parts of Speech TDNT
Adjective None
 Definition
  1. not to be uttered, not expressed in words
 Translated Words
KJV(1) – which cannot be uttered, 1;NAS (2) – too deep, 1; too deep for words, 1;

Now let’s look at 1 Cor 14 in depth. I believe I have the Spirit of God on this. EXPLAINING 1 CORINTHIANS 14   The one major problem people have with 1 Cor 14 is that they struggle to understand the meaning of the obscure passages first without understanding what is plainly stated and what is the overall thrust of the  message. As Paul says ‘God is not the author of confusion.’ Actually, 1 Cor 14 is all about the application of plain common sense! We can only work with the knowledge one possesses- various translations of old biblical texts and biblical accounts of actual tongues usage. As for a genuine, authenticated   account of tongue speaking in recent times (many say that tongue speaking  ceased altogether in the third century AD in fulfillment of Paul’s prophecy 1 Cor 13:8-10 KJV), I have no knowledge (Please see Footnote (2)).  I can only refer to the Bible and use whatever spiritual discernment I have.   On the subject of tongues and 1 Cor 14, probably the most accurate English translation of the original Greek text is the King James Version. However, as we have seen, the translators have obviously struggled to produce a translation that best explains their understanding, given the little Greek text they had to start with. Going back to the original Greek, I do believe that there is still possibly a little leeway for better interpretation. Some of these interpretations are put forward -they are a bit involved, but you may follow my thought process. However, I personally believe, after having examined 1 Corinthians 14 line by line and also in the context of the Bible, that Paul implied from his statements that a TRUE tongue speaker would only ever speak if his audience could understand what he was saying, that is, they could understand him. Otherwise he would remain silent. That the tongue speaker himself understood what he was saying is taken for granted. But we must also acknowledge that the word interpretation can also embrace the following meaning as well, that is, that someone may well understand the words themselves but not the message or meaning behind the words, so when Paul’s  exhortation is to pray for interpretation* (the actual Greek word used in the original text is ‘diermeneuo’-please see below) , it could in this sense apply to the audience and tongue speaker alike. The Bible is an excellent example of this requirement to interpret the meaning of the words in context. Many Jews heard God being praised in their own language but they did not understand the significance. The tongues were a sign for unbelievers.

Strong’s G1329 – diermēneuō

διερμηνεύω

Transliteration

diermēneuō

Pronunciation

dē-er-mā-nyü’-ō (Key)

Part of Speech

verb

Root Word (Etymology)

From διά (G1223) and ἑρμηνεύω (G2059)

TDNT Reference

2:661,256

Vines

View Entry

Outline of Biblical Usage

1) to unfold the meaning of what is said, explain, expound 2) to translate into one’s native language

Authorized Version (KJV) Translation Count — Total: 6

AVinterpret 4, by interpretation 1, expound 1

Strong’s Greek Lexicon Search Results


Result of search for “interpret”: 1329. diermeneuo dee-er-main-yoo’-o from 1223 and 2059; to explain thoroughly, by implication, to translate:–expound, interpret(-ation).

1 Corinthians 14 :13 Wherefore 1355 let him that speaketh 2980 in an [unknown] tongue 1100 pray 4336 that 2443 he may interpret 1329 . Throughout the Old Testament, God brought judgement on the Jews through people who spoke foreign languages. You may say, ‘but Paul says we should also pray for the gift of interpretation or that someone else will interpret, so this means the speaker could speak a tongue without understanding it’. Yes, in terms of the translations we have, I suppose that is one way of looking at it, but that does not mean it is the correct way of looking at it. And if we want to explore this, then, what does one mean by ‘understanding’- does it mean the language or the significance of the meaning behind the words? Let’s look at the verse in question : 1 Cor 14:13KJV [13] Wherefore let him that speaketh in an unknown tongue pray that he may interpret. The words ‘…he may..’, (the part I have placed in bold), have been added by the translators and are not in the original Greek text. The ‘he’ here could very well refer to the listener, based on the discussion in verse 11 or in fact, one could very well insert ‘they may’ instead of ‘he may’ for clarity . Based on the previous verses and in context, we will agree that the theme is very plainly one where the LISTENER is the person who must understand for him to be edified. If there is any doubt, take a look below! Let’s look at the preceding verses 1 Cor 14:6-12 below (here I have placed the words in bold to stress the point ): [6] Now, brethren, if I come unto you speaking with tongues, what shall I profit you, except I shall speak to you either by revelation, or by knowledge, or by prophesying, or by doctrine? [7] And even things without life giving sound, whether pipe or harp, except they give a distinction in the sounds, how shall it be known what is piped or harped? [8] For if the trumpet give an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself to the battle? [9] So likewise ye, except ye utter by the tongue words easy to be understood, how shall it be known what is spoken? for ye shall speak into the air. [10] There are, it may be, so many kinds of voices in the world, and none of them is without signification. [11] Therefore if I know not the meaning of the voice, I shall be unto him that speaketh a barbarian, and he that speaketh shall be a barbarian unto me. [12] Even so ye, forasmuch as ye are zealous of spiritual gifts, seek that ye may excel to the edifying of the church. THE OVER RIDING FACTOR IS THAT IN THE ABSENCE OF INTERPRETATION OR UNDERSTANDING ON THE PART OF THE LISTENER THEN PAUL DEFINITELY SAYS THAT IN CHURCH THE TONGUE SPEAKER SHOULD KEEP SILENT. This he has made abundantly clear. In fact, so clear, that it must automatically be assumed that the tongue speaker himself understands what he is saying, or else how could he make others understand and how could he be able to respond to questions posed by his listeners in the same language? For example, how do I speak to a French man in French and respond to his questions in French if I myself do not understand what I am saying? It is obvious the speaker understood the foreign language he was speaking  and knew what he was saying. It cannot mean that the speaker had to have the gift of interpretation because if he had, he may as well have spoken in his native language in the first place.It only makes sense if the listener is to interpret.Again, if the church cannot be edified without understanding, how can an individual who does not understand what he is saying be edified? Remember, Paul has already established that the church is NOT EDIFIED WITHOUT UNDERSTANDING (1 Cor 14:17) and so an individual is only edified by understanding (1 Cor 14:4). Paul is getting people to think along these lines-that the question which should arise in the tongue speaker’s mind should be ‘if I myself do not understand the significance of what I am saying, (the message or meaning behind the words that is-not that he does not understand the words) why should I speak? Do I speak in the hope that someone will explain the meaning? Supposing there is no one. What is the point then?’  -See verse 6 above-Do you follow what I am saying? I can recall two instances in the New Testament where an answer is given, that requires the listener to examine himself before he continues to pass judgement or continue with an action. 1)      ‘Let him who has not sinned cast the first stone’. Jesus does not directly tell them not to throw a stone, he knows they will not when they start thinking properly. 2)      Where the soldiers asked John:  Luke 3:14 KJV And the soldiers likewise demanded of him, saying, And what shall we do? And he said unto them, Do violence to no man….’ He did not directly tell them to leave the military, although this was the consequence of his words. (Incidentally, this is why I tend to use the KJV more- it is probably the most accurate translation, other translations often do not say this, but offer a watered down version, presumably because Governments still need armies. There are records of Roman soldiers who were executed because they put down their weapons and left the Roman army when they became Christians .) Let’s continue to see if this theme of ‘understanding’ is followed by looking at the verses which follow: Explanation of 1 Cor 14:14-19 and verse 23 KJV [14] For if I pray in an unknown tongue, my spirit prayeth, but my understanding is unfruitful. [15] What is it then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also: I will sing with the spirit, and I will sing with the understanding also. [16] Else when thou shalt bless with the spirit, how shall he that occupieth the room of the unlearned say Amen at thy giving of thanks, seeing he understandeth not what thou sayest? [17] For thou verily givest thanks well, but the other is not edified. [18] I thank my God, I speak with tongues more than ye all: [19] Yet in the church I had rather speak five words with my understanding, that by my voice I might teach others also, than ten thousand words in an unknown tongue. [23] If therefore the whole church be come together into one place, and all speak with tongues, and there come in those that are unlearned, or unbelievers, will they not say that ye are mad? Again, here the theme is VERY CLEARLY one where the LISTENER MUST UNDERSTAND. I have placed in bold what I am wanting to stress. It is taken for granted that the speaker understands, as in verse 16 when the speaker ‘shall bless with the spirit’, how would he know he had blessed in the spirit unless he understood the tongue? And as in verse 17, he is admonished that he ‘gave thanks well but the other was not edified’, therefore, how did the speaker know he gave thanks well if the speaker did not understand what he himself was saying? As for self-edification of the speaker or edification of the listener, this only occurs where there is understanding. This we have already discussed before. But let us look at verse 14 and verse 19 where I have highlighted the word ‘my’ in the phrase ‘my understanding’. I maintain that this means ‘understanding of me. And this makes sense in not only the particular verse but also in the whole context of the chapter. Indeed, this is a possible interpretation of the Greek word. See STRONG’S Greek word Bible dictionary below and also the Strong’s Greek Translation of 1 Cor 14 above. STRONGS 3450   //  mou  //  mou   //  moo  // genitive of   1473  , the simpler form of   1700  ; pron AV – my 501, me 52, mine 19, I 11, mine own 4; 587 1) I, me, my, of me Strong’s Greek Definition for # 3450 ‘…with MY understanding’ OR ‘understanding OF ME…’?   For example, if I say, ‘I am teaching a class of children French but my understanding is unfruitful’, would you say I did not understand or that the class did not understand? We know what I mean, because the meaning can be no other in the context . The understanding is unfruitful because it has not been understood by the LISTENERS, in this case the class of children. If they did understand, then understanding has been fruitful. Now, if I say, ‘I am teaching a class French but ‘understanding of me is unfruitful’ then the sentence is explained more fully. Supposing  I say, ‘I would rather speak five words of a language to a class of children with my understanding, that by my voice I might teach others also, than ten thousand words which were not understandable’, would you say the understanding was for me or for the class? We know what I mean, because the meaning can be no other in the context. Now, if I say, ‘I would rather speak five words of a language to a class of children with understanding of me, that by my voice I might teach others also, than ten thousand word which were not understandable’, then the sentence is explained more fully. So looking at 1 Cor 14 again, inserting ‘of me’ instead of ‘my‘, we have:

14] For if I pray (in front of others)* in an unknown tongue, my spirit prayeth, but understanding of me is unfruitful. [15] What is it then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also: I will sing with the spirit, and I will sing with the understanding also. [16] Else when thou shalt bless with the spirit, how shall he that occupieth the room of the unlearned say Amen at thy giving of thanks, seeing he understandeth not what thou sayest? [17] For thou verily givest thanks well, but the other is not edified. [18] I thank my God, I speak with tongues more than ye all: [19] Yet in the church I had rather speak five words with  understanding of me, that by my voice I might teach others also, than ten thousand words in an unknown tongue.

Actually, even if we remove ‘my’ or ‘of me’ altogether, the common sense reading of the passage would result in the same meaning.
(* I have added ‘in front of others‘ here for clarity only- this is implied by verse 16 “Else when thou shalt bless with the spirit, how shall he that occupieth the room of the unlearned say Amen at thy giving of thanks, seeing he understandeth not what thou sayest?..”). Now let’s also apply the understanding theme to the obscure verse 2. 1 Cor 14:2 KJV For he that speaketh in an unknown tongue speaketh not unto men, but unto God: for no man understandeth him; howbeit in the spirit he speaketh mysteries. At first glance, it is not immediately apparent that Paul is in fact referring to an audience. Naturally, this is nothing unusual, we have only just started reading the chapter! This we discover as we read on. Actually, here he means that when the speaker talks in a foreign language to his audience, if they do not understand , then it is inevitable that the speaker is merely speaking to God, since no one else can understand him. This is confirmed in verse 28. We have already established in our discussion that the speaker himself understood what he was saying. If only this verse was to be used by Paul, then for clarity it should have read ‘…he that speaketh an unknown tongue to an audience, speaketh not unto men…’. However, it is not necessary as it is totally clarified in the later passages, for example  1 Cor 14:28KJV below, as already stated, and in the theme throughout the chapter. 1 Cor 14:28 KJV 28 But if there be no interpreter, let him keep silence in the church; and let him speak to himself, and to God. In the absence of an audience who can understand, it is inevitable that the only people who can understand are the speaker and God, which was the theme started in verse 2 as we have just seen. In my opinion, 1 Cor 14 asserts that Paul could speak, understand all, and * interpret all the languages he used, because he spoke many. Why do I say this? 1 Cor 14:18 KJV I thank my God, I speak with tongues more than ye all: If Paul did not understand them, how could he know how many he spoke? You may say each language has a certain nuance and that he could recognize that they were different without understanding them. Is this possible? Let’s take the case of India- I am told there are three hundred dialects, and all of which sound very similar to me if I do not understand any of them! Would I be able to distinguish between all of them if I did not understand them? *Interpret ALL, because, I believe he would not have SPOKEN them if he could not understand them. Supposing, for arguments sake, that even after all our discussion, one still maintains that Paul can have received the gift of a tongue which he did not understand. Well, if this was the case, I would still believe, based on the strength of his message in 1 Cor 14, and in the context of the Bible, that he would not use it until he could understand what he was saying. I suppose if he heard the tongue being used elsewhere by a person of that nationality he could discern it and ask that person to interpret. But suppose that person gave a false interpretation? If Paul did not understand it, how would he know if the interpreter was telling the truth? I do not believe that Paul did not understand what he was saying when he spoke in tongues. Why? Because I cannot possibly imagine Paul using a tongue (foreign language) in public, and being approached by someone in public who then asked him for a translation and/or meaning, and Paul replying that he did not know. Can you imagine this? To me it is inconceivable. One more look at: 1 Cor 14:27-28 KJV 27 If any man speak in an unknown tongue, let it be by two, or at the most three, and that by course; and let one interpret. 28 But if there be no interpreter, let him keep silence in the church; and let him speak to himself, and to God. How can we explain this? For example, an Englishman may receive the gift of speaking French. He himself understands the meaning of what he is saying, whether in English or French, but the audience is German and let us say that they do not understand English or French. In this case the tongue speaker should be silent because no one else can interpret it. You may say that if the tongue speaker understands it, surely the tongue speaker can interpret it. Yes, he can, but not in the language the German audience can understand, so the audience’s understanding of the tongue speaker is unfruitful and so they are not edified. If one of the Germans happened to know French or English as well, (or the Englishman knew German!) then either could act as the interpreter. But if no one was to be found, the tongue speaker should remain silent and speak to himself and to God. Do you follow? At the Corinthian church many people spoke in different tongues without interpretation and without order. Remember, in Acts 2, at Pentecost at least 16 different languages were spoken. Here the listeners were the interpreters as they immediately understood as they heard their own language being spoken. Now, specifically answering the points you had made : With reference to your point a) tongues as a experience is documented in the bible Let me say again, I never implied that tongues were not documented in the Bible! Let there be no misunderstanding, I am not denying the existence of tongues in the Bible, speaking in tongues is in the Bible, but in the context that they are tongues as HUMAN LANGUAGES as documented in the Bible (as was the intention of the original Greek). I refer you again to Acts 2:1-13, Acts 10:44-48, Acts 19:1-7. Remember, in the Bible, in ALL the cases where the tongues phenomenon was recorded, they were foreign languages in the sense that they were not the native language of the speaker, who had no previous knowledge or understanding of them, but by the power of the Holy Spirit conveyed the message of God to unbelievers who heard and believed the message in their OWN LANGUAGE or in turn heard and still did not believe. This is why Paul says the tongues are a sign for unbelievers. This is the OPPOSITE of what is seen in many churches today, including, in my experience, at XYZ Church. Nowadays, tongues have come to mean a different thing- unintelligible prayer language/mutterings/ecstatic utterances or non-languages/sounds from the vocal cords. To what purpose?  Self-edification?  Paul said the Church was to be edified. How are they a sign for unbelievers?  Do they spread the Gospel? No -in fact people are deterred from coming to Church.  In the bible, it was a fact that at least someone understood and could interpret the tongues. In the situation we have today, NO-ONE understands them. Biblical prophecy predicted authentic tongues as a move of God. Unintelligible babble was not predicted as a move of God.  They are the exact opposite of the Biblical tongues. What do we call something that superficially looks authentic but upon examination is not?   David, in my understanding, and from your earlier silence, it appears you are endorsing the unintelligible mutterings? Please do let me know if you are not. Take a look at the following: 1 Cor 14:10 KJV There are, it may be, so many kinds of voices in the world, and none of them is without signification. This again supports the fact that the gift of tongues was for speaking a language of the world not previously known by the speaker for communication of the gospel to a particular race of people for God’s purpose – the voices had meaning (signification). A POPULAR MISCONCEPTION Some people misunderstand Paul’s intention in 1 Cor 13:1KJV when he says: ‘Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels….’ They think this to mean that he actually spoke in tongues of angels. He also went on to say in 1 Cor 13:2  KJV  ‘And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains…’ But we know he could not do all these things- he was only making his point that ‘even if’ he could do all these things, without Charity or Love, they were meaningless. This is proved when he later says: 1 Cor 13:9 KJV For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. In any case, instances where angels have spoken in the New Testament have been in the native language of the listener. 1 Cor 14:21-22 KJV ‘In the law it is written, with men of other tongues and other lips will I speak unto this people; and yet for all that will they not hear me, saith the Lord. Wherefore tongues are for a sign, not to them that believe, but to them that believeth not…’ We know this prophecy was fulfilled by the use of human languages of the world. Can you not see that this would not make any sense if tongues were anything other than a human language? 1 Corinthians 14 does not make any sense unless this is the case. In the New Testament, many Jews both native to Jerusalem and from other parts of the world heard Gentiles and the apostles praising God in their own Jewish language but many still did not believe. Tongues are what convinced Peter that the salvation of Christ is offered also to the Gentiles. This is what the prophet Isaiah meant when he said, referring to the unbelief of the Jews : Isaiah 28:11 KJV 11For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people.  12To whom he said, This is the rest wherewith ye may cause the weary to rest; and this is the refreshing: yet they would not hear. No doubt, someone will tell me that here it says ‘stammering lips’ therefore it means unintelligible  babble. We all agree that we are in the Last Times, Yes? Then it is important to study the Bible and see what it says concerning the Last Times. We are told there will be signs and wonders to deceive even the elect if that were possible. In my opinion, the unintelligible babble we are hearing today in many churches is all part of this Great Deception. In NONE of the cases were the tongues of the kind we are seeing in some churches in contemporary christianity and at XYZ Church- again I am speaking of merely mystical/ecstatic/angelic/syllables/sounds from the vocal cords.  In all of the cases in the New Testament where the apostles were involved, an interpreter was NOT required, except when Paul was addressing the Corinthian church on this point- that without order and with every one speaking in different languages, they were to exercise control- no point in speaking in another language if there was no one there to understand.  If an unbeliever or person not well acquainted with scripture came in, he would think they were all mad- especially if no interpretation could be given. Paul also spoke of the correct position of tongues in their relation to the other spiritual matters, namely that it was of least importance if there was no interpreter, as without an interpreter the Church could not be edified.  Love, prophecy and teaching were the greater gifts to be desired. ANOTHER LOOK AT EDIFICATION First, as we have both already read 1 Cor 14, let’s have a quick recap-if there was no interpreter of the foreign language, then the speaker was to keep silent. Agreed? 1 Cor 14:5 KJV I would that ye all spake with tongues, but rather that ye prophesied: for greater [is] he that prophesieth than he that speaketh with tongues, except he interpret, that the church may receive edifying. On the topic of using unknown/unintelligible mutterings prayer language for private prayer, we need to use some spiritual discernment here. If, for example, you are saying these are genuine tongues but the speaker does not understand them, ask yourself, why would God wish anyone to pray PRIVATELY to Him in another ‘language’ which the speaker and no one else can understand??  Why not pray using the language the speaker does understand- it is in private after all? Here, Paul does NOT commend people to pray in UNKNOWN tongues (foreign languages) in private, he effectively says it is pointless if there is no understanding on the part of the listener. This applies also to 1 Cor 14:2, 1 Cor 14:4 and echoed also in 1 Cor 14:28 (see above).  From the whole of chapter 14 it would be fair to say that Paul would NEVER speak in a tongue in church WITHOUT interpretation. Can you not see, it is nonsense to suggest that speaking tongues as per the New Testament refers to anything other than a language of the world given by the Holy Spirit to the speaker for COMMUNICATING THE GOSPEL OR FOR PRAISING GOD ACCORDING TO HIS PURPOSE? In the biblical use of tongues, the primary purpose was for edification of the CHURCH, not the individual: 1 Cor. 12:7 KJV – But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal. This theme is continued: 1 Cor 14 :15-17 15 What is it then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also: I will sing with the spirit, and I will sing with the understanding also. NOTE: The key point here is that whatever he does, it is to be with understanding. UNDERSTANDING is the key issue here. This theme is continued:  16 Else when thou shalt bless with the spirit, how shall he that occupieth the room of the unlearned say Amen at thy giving of thanks, seeing he understandeth not what thou sayest?17 For thou verily givest thanks well, but the other is not edified. NOTE: Here, it is implied that the tongue was UNDERSTOOD by the speaker and NOT by the listener. Paul takes it for granted the speaker must understand what he is saying or how could he bless with the spirit, know he gave thanks well and know that his thanks were directed to God? Therefore, the speaker gives thanks well because the speaker understood, but the listener did not understand and so was not edified. Compare this with 1 Cor 14:14. We have already looked at how this must be interpreted (please see 1 CORINTHIANS 14 EXPLAINED and the sub-heading Explanation of 1 Cor 14:14-19 and verse 23 KJV and this merely confirms the above theme. If the speaker prays in an unknown tongue to a listener (‘listener’ because it is implied by the whole theme of the chapter, or one could say that the whole chapter is couched in a ‘speaker’ and ‘listener’ context), here, the speaker’s spirit is edified, but because, the listener  could not understand him, that is, THE LISTENER’S UNDERSTANDING OF THE SPEAKER WAS UNFRUITFUL .So in 1 Cor 16-17 above, although the speaker gave  thanks well ,because the speaker understood what he himself was saying,  but because THE LISTENER did not know what he was saying, THE LISTENER  WAS NOT EDIFIED. YES? As stated previously, we are reminded that self-edification is NOT the purpose of a spiritual gift : 1 Cor. 12:7 KJV – But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal. Ask yourself, how many of the XYZ Church congregation (or for that matter, many of the contemporary churches such as the Charismatics and those bordering on Charismatic movement) can understand the ‘tongues’ they speak, even if in private? If they cannot, they are not giving thanks well, as Paul rightly says. Actually, according to Paul, there is every indication that speaking in tongues would eventually cease: 1 Cor 13:8-10 KJV 8 Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part.10 But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away. With reference to your point b) tongues are for all Christians 1cor14:5   With regard to 1Cor 14:5, Paul did NOT say tongues are for all Christians. Please see above. In 1 Cor 14:5 He said he WOULD (like) that all spoke in tongues- meaning that he recognized that all did not! (-Brackets mine) And this is further verified by: 1 Cor 12:28-31 28 ‘And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.29 Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Are all workers of miracles? 30 Have all the gifts of healings? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret? (these are rhetorical questions with the answer being NO) 31 But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way.’ (-Brackets mine) With reference to your point c) tongues and interpretation of tongues are two distinct gifts 1 cor12:10 -Yes, but it does not mean a person cannot have both, or more gifts. The apostle Paul did, and so did others. That is why Paul asked people who had the gift of tongues to also pray for the gift of interpretation. It is possible that one tongue speaker may also act as an interpreter for another tongue speaker. And consider the context in which he is suggesting we pray for interpretation. Not so he can understand the language, but that others who do not understand the language may be given an interpretation. The whole emphasis throughout  1 Corinthians 14 is that the  listener should understand what the speaker is saying. Indeed, that is the purpose for which language was created, for communication! Please note also, that where there is the gift of tongues, the Holy Spirit will also provide the gift of interpretation. God does not allow one to exist and not the other. There seems to be a particular lack of the gift of interpretation at XYZ Church. With reference to your point d) on 1 Cor 14:4, 1 Cor 14:18, that for personal edification ‘tongues are best’ -It does NOT say that for personal edification ‘tongues is best’ as you say. You are taking 1 Cor 14:4 out of context. If we want to examine what is best for self-edification we need to ‘…covet earnestly the best gifts’ 1 Cor 12:31KJV (see above). The best gifts are not tongues, but prophecy and teaching, and so it follows that these are best for edifying. Again, please see my explanation above regarding these passages. How one is edified has also been explained in depth earlier. Paul merely states a fact: that if one speaks an unkown tongue (by this, it is implied to the listener), it is inevitable that the only person who can be edified is the speaker! Also, with regard to 1 Cor 14:18-19 KJV, this has already been explained earlier. With reference to your point e) tongues are not for understanding all the time (1cor14:2). This has already been addressed. Please read 1 CORINTHIANS 14 EXPLAINED above. With reference to your point that 1 Cor 14:39 Paul says we are not to forbid tongue speaking – Yes, but this must be in the context of the rules he had just laid down in verse 27-28. AFTERTHOUGHTS NOTE: A word of caution! We are moving down a very dangerous path if we think we can speak in  tongues that we do not understand. I do not have the gift of speaking tongues. I do not speak in tongues. I refuse to say anything that I do not understand. Let us remember that Hindu tantrics and proponents of Kundalini speak in ‘unknown tongues’, or ‘mumbo jumbo’. So do those who practice voodoo and other forms of the occult So do some Muslims and some Roman Catholics. According to the Roman Catholics, Muslims follow the same God as they do (-they have stated so in their own Catechism of the Catholic church).Very true!  Neither are following Jesus Christ. Even in ancient Corinth, the pagan temple prostitutes used to inhale the smoke of incense and as they became more intoxicated they began to speak in unintelligible tongues or ecstatic language, which at the time was thought by the pagan worshippers to be divine languages. I repeat again- If I do not know what I am saying, how am I to know if I am blessing or cursing? How is one to know if it is a holy spirit or the spirit of error? Please consider my points very carefully in the light of God’s Word. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact me. Shailin Author’s note and Footnotes : I received a reply from David shortly after, which did not address any of the questions I had put forward, but instead broadened the discussion to other topics. I responded with another mail, answering his questions and refuting his arguments, and posing my questions again, to which he admitted he could provide no answer. He suggested I approach his church leadership for their opinion.I took David’s permission and sent copies of our correspondence to the Pastor and several other leaders within the same church to hear what they had to say. In the meantime I informed them that I could no longer attend their church.After a few months, and then only after prompting from me, I finally received an email to come and discuss it over coffee. I requested that they let me know a convenient time. It has been over a year now and I am still waiting… The Great Revival that many churches around the world are proclaiming is nothing more than the Great Deception. Scripture itself tells us that in the Last Times there will be a great falling away (emphasis mine):

2 Thessalonians 2:1-3

King James Version (KJV)

1Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him, 2That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand. 3Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition. Sound speech and sound mind are to be characteristics of the Christian (emphasis mine): Titus 2:1-8 King James Version (KJV) 1But speak thou the things which become sound doctrine: 2That the aged men be sober, grave, temperate, sound in faith, in charity, in patience. 3The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; 4That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, 5To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed. 6Young men likewise exhort to be sober minded. 7In all things shewing thyself a pattern of good works: in doctrine shewing uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity, 8Sound speech, that cannot be condemned; that he that is of the contrary part may be ashamed, having no evil thing to say of you.

2 Timothy 1:7

King James Version (KJV) 7For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. James 1:26 King James Version (KJV) 26If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man’s religion is vain. Since we are in the Last Times, to whom is our Lord Jesus Christ referring when He says? :

Matthew 7:21-23

King James Version (KJV) Emphasis mine.

21Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. 22Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? 23And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. Footnote (1) Another modern day illustration which confirms the truth of Irenaeus remarkable statements against Marcus is the statement made by well known Charismatic Stacey Campbell. Excerpts from her book ‘Ecstatic Prophecy’ by Stacey and Wesley Campbell, in her own words, on describing her being ‘filled with the spirit’ (emphasis mine) : “…. something began to happen to me. Out of nowhere my foot began to shake. As though it had a will of its own it trembled, softly at first, thenforcefully. The shaking moved from my foot up my leg and down my other leg. My stomach instantly filled with a strong wind that began pushing up my windpipe and out of my mouth. My body began to bounce like a jackhammer—up and down off my chair—as my head shook violently from side to side. No one was praying for me or touching me. What is going on? I wondered. I did not feel afraid, yet I was unable to comprehend what was happening to my body. I was not initiating this experience at any level. I was being overcome by the Spirit of God, and much like the 120 disciples on the Day of Pentecost (see Acts 2) it was affecting my body in ways that were beyond my control. I was as surprised as anyone when the wind burst out of my mouth, forming into a language I had never spoken before.I found myself speaking in tongues at the top of my lungs. This was my first encounter with the phenomenon known as ecstatic prophecy or divine spirit possession. What I experienced that night for the first time, which I had never heard of and which I thought was something new, was actually nothing new at all. I would soon discover that forms of ecstatic prophecy have existed since Old Testament times.That night, however, no one was more shocked than I was to experience such phenomena.” Note the striking similarities to the account of Irenaeus provided earlier in my article. Footnote (2) As I already mentioned in this article, there are different views on the subject of cessation of gifts and as I said I have no knowledge. However, we do know from the New Testament record that in Paul’s later ministry, some of his disciples were suffering from illnesses and died.Why were they not cured? Had the gift ceased? Clearly, God did not allow them to be physically healed. He also advised some to take wine to help ease their stomach ailment. They were obviously not cured through him. Contrast this with his previous miracles of raising the dead and also that of Peter, whose shadow was enough to cure all who stepped into it. The Jews admitted the miracles of Jesus.His enemies did not deny them. They only wanted to kill him because he claimed to be the Messiah and the Son of God. However, today, all those who claim to have raised the dead- notably the ‘signs and wonders’ brigade of the Pentecostal and Charismatic churches- cannot produce even one authenticated instance. Something to bear in mind. The Benny Hinns of this world  have been shown to be frauds but still people blindly follow them and refuse to believe otherwise. Final Thoughts People who advocate the use of these false tongues/meaningless babble and say it is a heavenly language have been deceived and are believing a lie. It is my earnest desire and prayer that all who read this article will recognise and turn away from this false practice with a renewed mind. Therefore, I strongly advise all who are still confused about this subject to prayerfully read and work through the explanations  given above. God would not adjure us to test the spirits if there was not a means of doing so. The answers are in the Bible for those who earnestly seek them. In Jesus name, may God bless you Shailin Ramji