Saturday, July 24, 2010

Answer to post comment of Rev. 19:5

For those tuning in, this blog post is in answer to the comments on the post of Rev. 19:5. Space prohibited my answering it there.


As to your comments, I believe I understand from what background you must come and why you believe as you do. From my blog you have discerned that I am not in agreement with your comments, so I need to take each comment and try to explain why that is so.

I think it would be easier if I start with your main belief and work backwards from there.

As to actually eating and drinking Christ’s blood, I have to admit that if I were to only take the few verses you quoted and build my theology around that, I might come to the same conclusion you did, through lack of understanding the whole of scripture. One thing that I always try to be very careful of though, is to make sure that my beliefs line up with all of Scripture. Sometimes that means looking at a verse or passage that seems to be in disagreement with all the other passages on a subject and see if I am interpreting it correctly, or if there is another way of interpreting it, so that it agrees with all the other verses. In other words, one way or the other, you have to work at it until all the Scriptures about a subject line up together. This is the only method we have of assuring that we are understanding a passage correctly. In this case, I believe that is the problem with the passage you quoted in John 6. Let me explain.

In Leviticus 17:10,11a,12, and 14 we read the following. “And whatsoever man there be of the house of Israel or of the strangers that sojourn among you, that eateth any manner of blood; I will even set my face against that soul that eateth blood, and will cut him off from among his people. For the life of the flesh is in the blood…Therefore I said unto the children of Israel, No soul of you shall eat blood neither shall any stranger that sojourneth among you eat blood. For it is the life of all flesh; the blood of it is for the life thereof; therefore I said unto the children of Israel, Ye shall eat the blood of no manner of flesh; for the life of all flesh is the blood thereof; whosoever eateth it shall be cut off.”

In the Old Testament, Israel was forbidden to eat any manner of the blood of anything. This is because the life is in the blood. To do so meant being cut off and having God turn His face against them. So what about in the New Testament? Was that restriction lifted? Acts 15:19-20, 28-29 “Wherefore my sentence is, that we trouble not them, which from among the Gentiles are turned to God. But that we write unto them, that they abstain from pollutions of idols, and from fornication, and from things strangled, and from blood. For it seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things; that ye abstain from meats offered to idols, and from blood, and from things strangled, and from fornication: from which if ye keep yourselves, ye shall to well.”

It appears that the restriction against consuming blood has not been lifted, and in fact it is said to be one of the very few necessary laws that did carry over from the Old Testament laws. So if this is the case, what is the passage in John 6 all about? First I think we need to look at the entire passage dealing with the verses you quoted.

Let’s back up to John 6:47 and go to verse 63. “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life. I am that bread of life. Your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness, and are dead. This is the bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die. I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world. The Jews therefore strove among themselves, saying, How can this man give us his flesh to eat? Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you. Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him. As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father; so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me. This is the bread which came down from heaven; not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead; he that eateth of this bread shall live for ever. These things said he in the synagogue, as he taught in Capernaum. Many therefore of his disciples, when they had heard this, said, This is an hard saying; who can hear it? When Jesus knew in himself that his disciples murmured at it, he said unto them, Doth this offend you? What and if ye shall see the Son of man ascend up where he was before? It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing; the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.”

So, in looking at this passage, we see that the Jews and the disciples both had a serious reaction to what Christ said. They obviously took Him as literally as you did. The question is, is that the way He meant it to be taken? Is there anything in the passage that would indicate otherwise? I believe there is. First, Christ refers to Himself as bread. He is not a literal loaf of bread. That is obviously a metaphor or spiritual application. While I advocate taking Scripture literally as much as possible, I have also said that it is usually indicated when we are not to do so, and I believe that this is the first clue that Jesus is talking in the “hidden” manner that he often took with His disciples, as indicated with all the parables He told. What did He say right at the beginning of this passage? “He that believeth on me hath everlasting life.” He clearly indicates that belief is the key to salvation, not drinking His blood. He then calls Himself “bread” which clearly indicates a spiritual metaphor, as He is not literally a loaf of bread. He then says that men may eat this bread. Since “bread” is a spiritual metaphor, I believe “eat” should also be a spiritual metaphor. It would be consistent with the grammatical understanding. When He says He will give his flesh for the life of the whole world, He was prophesying His death on the cross, for He did offer His flesh and blood (for the life is in the blood) for the whole world. Jumping down to when He was alone with His disciples, which is when He always cleared up the confusion His disciples had with any of His parables or sayings, He sees they are offended with what He had said. They, as you, had taken it in the most literal sense. He had just told them to break a serious law of God that would make God reject them. This was a true conundrum for them. He then clears this up for them by telling them that it is the spirit which quickeneth or comes alive, in other words, it is the spiritual application that would bring alive their spirits, that the flesh (the actual eating of it) would profit them nothing. The words (eating the flesh and drinking the blood) are spirit (about the spiritual application) and they are the source of life (eternal). This is all about the spirit, not the flesh. He is very specific. “The words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.” He tells them straight out, that He is talking spiritually, not literally. He is talking about the spirit, not the flesh when He is telling them to eat His flesh and drink His blood. It is the spiritual application which will give them life. Not a literal interpretation, as that would defy God’s law that is still binding upon us, and would make God turn His face from us.

Is there further evidence that this is a spiritual application? I believe so. When Jesus held the last supper, it was not a random, new tradition He was implementing, but rather He was changing the spiritual, symbolic meaning of elements of the Passover seder. I covered the meaning of all this in my blog when I covered the Jewish festivals back in the Old Testament, so I will not go into great detail here as you can access that on my blog and read it. I will merely mention here that it was the bread or afikomen and the third cup of wine during the seder ritual which normally stood for the flesh and blood of the sacrificial Lamb and redemption (both of which were spiritual, symbolic applications to physical objects - the maztoh and the wine). He simply changed the spiritual application to refer to Himself rather than the lamb, as He was the sacrificial Lamb and the means of redemption. The maztoh and wine did not actually turn to His flesh and blood. Even if that were the case today, which I do not believe it is, Christ had not died yet, so it could not have turned to His actual flesh and blood at that seder, as He had not been sacrificed yet. Therefore, at that first seder, when Christ initiated what we call the Lord’s Supper or communion, it was not a case of transubstantiation, but a changing of the meaning in a spiritual metaphor. When Christ said, "This is my body," and "This is my blood," He was not being literal. He could not be, as He was sitting right there with them. So if it were not literal then, I believe that set the precedent for us to treat it in the same manner. And interpreting this passage of Scripture in that same manner would then line up with the other Scriptures that tell us we are not to partake of blood of any kind, in any manner. It is imperative that we always try to make all Scripture agree for an accurate understanding of what God is telling us. Added to that is the fact that if transubstantiation or the turning of the wafer and wine into the actual body of Christ is true, do we not re-crucify Christ every single time we do that? It is said that Christ was crucified once for our sins, and once only. He cannot be crucified again.

Romans 6:10 “For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God.” Hebrews 7:26-27 “For such an high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens; 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.” This last verse tells us that not only was the sacrifice a one time only thing, but that he does not need to offer it daily (as some churches do the transubstantiation mass), as once was enough. Hebrews 10:10-12 “By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all, and every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices which can never take away sins; but this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God.” Hebrews 10:14 “For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.” Christ’s blood and body were offered once for all. One sacrifice was sufficient. He need not be crucified over and over. In fact, he cannot be. Hebrews 10:18 “Now where remission of these (sins) is, there is no more offering for sin.” Hebrews 6:4-6 “For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, and have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, if they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing that they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.” This last verse refers to those who would walk away from Christ, so it is a little out of context, but notice that Christ cannot be crucified a second time, as it would put Him to open shame. Every time someone thinks they are literally eating and drinking Christ’s flesh and blood, they are crucifying Him again, which is not possible. His sacrifice was a one time thing. We are repeatedly told that. Not to mention that what we are speaking of here (eating human flesh and blood) has another loathsome name. This is something God would never sanction. He did not even allow the eating of animal blood.

While I hate to mention the next thing, as it is an extremely delicate issue, I feel that total comprehension requires it. Over the centuries, the church has been guilty, just as Israel was, of incorporating things into our belief system that have come from other sources. Israel brought paganism into Judaism in the form of Kabbalah. The church, in spite of its best intentions has done the same. Having studied much of the occult in the course of my studies, I have found that transubstantiation is actually an occult practice and comes from the Babylonian mysteries. It was never a practice of Judaism, nor the early church. There are many small and sometimes seemingly insignificant little practices (as well as larger more significant ones) that the Church (I’m speaking of all of Christendom, not any particular denomination) has incorporated into worship that can be directly traced back to the Babylonian mysteries or pagan practices, and that have no foundation at all from the Bible and are even forbidden or at least deplored in Scripture. Enough said.

As to the other things mentioned, the phrase “accepting Christ as our own personal Lord and Savior” is a well known phrase that has been accepted by a vast number of Christians for many, many years to refer to the act of personally and individually confessing with our mouths and believing in our hearts that Jesus is the Son of God, that He died for our sins, and was buried and resurrected on the third day, and that we need His forgiveness for our sins, which we must also confess. It is true you will not see those exact words “accepting Christ as our own personal Lord and Savior” used in Scripture, any more than the word “rapture” is there, however common acceptance of the phrase with the understanding as to what it refers is so long-lived, that we should be able to use the phrase with understanding as to what it is referring. There are Scriptures that instruct us to confess and believe, and you will read them below.

Oddly enough (actually there are no coincidences, there is only God directing us) for the past two or three days, the Lord placed upon me the need, or I might even call it an obsession to write what turned out to be a sort of sermon that contained these issues. I had no idea at the time that it was going to be ready so that I could just copy and paste it into this message to you, which is fortunate, as I am going out of town on vacation tomorrow and would not really have had the time to go into depth to answer all of your questions. It is a good thing God knows in advance what is needed, isn’t it?

What you will read below is not all applicable to what you have said, but for some reason I feel that I should post the entire thing as there may be someone else who needs to see everything that I wrote. Therefore I ask your forgiveness for digressing off topic and your indulgence to read through it to get to the answers to your comments. Also forgive the format. When writing my ideas as something that I would present verbally, I write it differently than I would just to write. It would take too long to rewrite it in a different format, so here goes. I understand from where you are coming, as my husband used to be Catholic, so he came from your belief system. I hope what I have written gives sufficient answers to your comments, so that you can understand why Scripturally I do not accept those beliefs.

In Christ’s love,

Today people are embracing the gospel of Oprah,
which says that everyone can find their own path or way to God.
But exactly who makes that decision?
Or God?
Who are we,
And with what arrogance
Do we dare to tell the Creator of the Universe
on what terms He will accept us.

Heaven is God’s home, not ours.
It is not our place to tell Him to whom He will open His door.
We decide whom we let into our homes.
Why should we expect that it would be any different with God?
People who try to force their way into our homes are considered
sometimes thieves.
They are not invited
and they are not welcome.
We invite those whom we want in our homes,
and we give them the directions on how to get there.
God does the same.

He has invited us.
He has invited all of us.
Everyone on the planet.
He has said, “Come unto me all ye that labour and are heavy laden
and I will give you rest.”

Does that mean because we have all been invited
that we can choose to follow our own path to God?
To take whatever road we think will get us there?
Or do we need to follow the directions God has given us?
The directions which He knows will get us there.

I have often given instructions to people to direct them to my house.
Several times people have decided to not follow those directions
as they thought they knew better than I
how to get to where I lived,
even though they had never been there,
or at least they thought they knew a different route
to get there
than I had given them.
They ignored street names
or landmarks
or took different roads
and in so doing
found themselves not at my house,
but lost,
or at least someplace where I was not.
I even once had someone say,
“I saw the landmarks,
I saw the signs,
but I didn’t think that was it,
so I didn’t take that road.”
They did not trust me to know the way to my own house.
They did not arrive at the destination
even though they received the invitation
because they did not follow the directions.

The same situation exists in getting to God’s house.
Man asks,
“Isn’t any religion adequate to save us?”
Not according to God.
“Jesus saith unto him,
I am the way, the truth, and the life,
no man cometh unto the Father but by me.”
According to Jesus,
He is the only way,
No other person can show you the way to God’s house.

Man asks, “Isn’t membership in a particular church
necessary to save us?”
Not according to God.
God’s Word says,
“For God so loved the world
that He gave His only begotten Son
that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish
but have everlasting life.”
According to God,
Jesus is the only necessity.
We do not have to go through anybody or anything else.

Man asks, “Isn’t being good,
enough to save us?”
What does God say?
“For all have sinned
and come short of the glory of God.”
“There is none righteous,
no not one.”
According to God,
it is impossible for us to be good enough.

Man asks, “Can we not work our way there
and earn God’s favor?”
God says,
“For by grace are ye saved through faith,
and that not of yourselves,
it is the gift of God,
not of works
lest any man should boast.”
"Be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel
according to the power of God,
who hath saved us
and called us with an holy calling,
not according to our works
but according to his own purpose and grace,
which was given us in Christ Jesus
before the world began."
According to God,
salvation is not a matter of our works.
It is a matter of His grace
and our faith,
and the latter is even a gift from God to us.

Then what is to be done
for us to get to God‘s house?

We look at the invitation
to see how to get there.
God gave us the directions to find His house.
He told us which road to take.
Jesus is the only way
and the only necessity.
He is the only person in history
who claimed to be God
“I and the Father are one”
And who came back from death,
A torturous, gruesome death,
to actually prove that what he said was true.
Nobody else
Now really consider this,
Nobody else
has ever proven
the truth of what they have said
in this manner.
Christ rebuilt the road between God and us
that sin destroyed,
so that we can travel back
to God‘s house.

According to God,
Oprah is completely and totally wrong.
There are not multiple ways to His place.
Why not?
Because in spite of the invitation,
to gain entrance into God’s house,
you have to travel the road set forth on the invitation.
The road that Christ rebuilt.

But there is a problem with getting on that road.
And the problem is ……..
that road happens to be a toll road,
because the cost to travel the road to God
is sinless perfection.
We cannot travel that road on our own.
It is an impossibility for us
because we cannot pay the toll.
Nobody is good enough.
Nobody can earn it through hard work.
Neither religion nor a particular church
will give us sinless perfection.

So how does one get to a house
when the only road there,
is a toll road,
and one does not have the toll,
cannot get it from someone else,
because no one else has it either,
nor can one work to earn the toll?

Fortunately for us, God took care of that.
He paid the toll in advance.
Christ rebuilt the road,
By paying the toll.
God’s Word says
“But God commendeth His love toward us in that
while we were yet sinners,
Christ died for us.”
“For the wages of sin is death,
but the gift of God is eternal life
through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

According to God,
Christ paid the toll for us.
The wages of sin…..death,
Was paid in full on the cross
When Christ offered His sinless perfect life as the substitute
for each and every one of us.
That allowed everyone access to the road.
But you have to actually get on that specific road.

How do we do that?
God says,
“For whosoever
shall call upon the name of the Lord
shall be saved.
For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world,
but that the world through him might be saved.
He that believeth on Him is not condemned,
but he that believeth not is condemned already,
because he hath not believed in the name
of the only begotten Son of God.”

According to God,
To get on that road
we must believe
and call upon the name of the Lord.
And notice that one cannot remain neutral.
Either you believe and are saved,
or you do not believe and are condemned.
There is no middle ground.
No neutral position.
To not choose Jesus
is to choose the other side by default.
Jesus said, “He that is not with me,
is against me.”

Is it enough to say ?
“Well, intellectually I believe that Jesus lived
and was the Son of God.”
Is that enough to get you on the road into heaven?
God’s Word says “Thou believest that there is one God;
thou doest well,”
It also says,
“the devils also believe
and tremble.”
Intellectual belief does not get the devils into heaven.
So a head belief
an intellectual belief
does not get you on that road.
Jesus said, “Not everyone 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.
Many 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?
And then will I profess unto them,
I never knew you,
depart from me,
ye that work iniquity.”
Someone can think that they know God,
that they must belong to Him
as they serve Him and even do miraculous things for Him,
but what does He say?
He says He never knew the person.
It is said that a person can miss heaven by eighteen inches.
That is the approximate distance between the head
and the heart.

Everyone wonders about the meaning of life.
Why do we exist?
We were created for one reason
and one reason only.
God wanted the same thing that we want.
He wanted someone to love
who would love Him in return.
by their own choice.
It really is as simple as that.
He wants our hearts.

Rituals and offerings are not a bad thing.
God ordained that Israel have many rituals
And offerings.
But they were never to be a replacement
For loving Him.
For knowing Him.
To become more important
than a personal and intimate relationship with Him.
God has told us what he thinks
of our supplanting a relationship with Him
with these things.

“To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices unto me.
Bring no more vain oblations,
incense is an abomination unto me,
the new moons and the Sabbaths,
the calling of assemblies,
I cannot……away with it,
it is iniquity,
even the solemn meeting,
Your new moons and your appointed feasts my soul hateth,
they are a trouble unto me,
I am weary to bear them.
Take thou away from me the noise of thy songs,
for I will not hear the melody of thy viols.”

According to God,
All of our man-made rituals,
sacrifices, offerings
meetings, holy days, and music,
Are completely worthless,
Nay, abhorrent in His eyes,
if we do not have love in our hearts for Him.
God wants a relationship with us.
Such as we have with each other.
“Come now and let us reason together, saith the Lord.
Though your sins be as scarlet,
They shall be as white as snow.
Though they be red like crimson,
They shall be as wool.”
God tries to reason with us,
but not everyone wants to be reasonable.
God wants to forgive us.
He wants to love us.
He wants to be intimate with us.

God has invited us to come live in His house.
He loves us
and He wants us to love Him
and to come and live with Him.
That is what our short sojourn on this world is really all about.
It is the period of time we have
for us to decide where we really want to live
for the rest of our lives,
which will last for all of eternity.

He has freely given us all the directions we need to get there.
He has told us the road to take.
He has paid the necessary toll or price.
But just having an intellectual belief
that the road exists and the toll has been paid
will not answer.
There is something more required.
God has told us,
“If thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus,
and shalt believe in thine heart
that God hath raised him from the dead,
thou shalt be saved.”

According to God,
It is not enough to believe with our heads.
To have an intellectual belief.
We have to believe with our hearts.
We have to love with our hearts.
We have to confess with our mouths.
Confess what?
Our sins.
Our belief that Jesus is the Son of the true and living God.
Our belief that Jesus died for our sins,
and that he was resurrected
conquering the penalty of death for our sins.

We have to make Christ Jesus the Lord of our lives to enter into heaven.
We have to engage our hearts….
Have a relationship with Him.
That means loving God enough
to give up being your own god,
your own controller,
to let Him make the choices and decisions for your life,
to make Jesus Christ and God the Father
the love and Lord of your life.
This is more than some people are willing to relinquish.
They want to be their own gods,
They want to make their own choices,
Including trying to get to God’s house
on their own terms,
on a road of their own making.
But according to God,
There is only one road,
And it is the road we have to travel
to arrive at our destination
if we choose to accept the invitation.

But what if we do that?
If we confess and believe.
Is anything more required?
How can we ensure
That we stay on the right road
And do not make a wrong turn somewhere?
Life is hopefully long,
And we can get distracted and get off course.

God has given us directions for that too.
We have been told
to abide in Christ.
Jesus said,
“Abide in me and I in you.
As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself,
except it abide in the vine,
no more can ye,
except ye abide in me.
If a man abide not in me,
he is cast forth as a branch
and is withered,
and men gather them,
and cast them into the fire,
and they are burned.”
If you love me,
keep my commandments.
If ye keep my commandments,
Ye shall abide in my love.”
So to abide in His love,
we must keep His commandments.
By the way,
Even though there were ten commandments
Christ reduced them down to two simple ones.
“Jesus saith unto him, Thou shalt Love the Lord thy God with all thy heart,
and with all thy soul,
and with all thy mind,
This is the first and great commandment.
And the second is like unto it.
Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.
On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.”
Just two little commandments
with the same verb.

Another method God has given us for checking our progress,
to make sure we are abiding in Him,
is to check our fruit.
“I am the vine,
ye are the branches.
He that abideth in me,
and I in him,
the same bringeth forth much fruit,
for without me,
ye can do nothing.
Every good tree bringeth forth good fruit,
but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.”
What are the fruits?
“But the fruit of the spirit is

God tells us
that to keep in fellowship with Him……
to maintain a loving relationship……
We need to confess and ask forgiveness for the sins
that we inevitably will commit,
as we are not perfect.
Our confession need only be to Him alone.
“For there is one God
And one mediator between God and men
The man Christ Jesus.”
We are told that
“if we say that we have no sin,
We deceive ourselves
And the truth is not in us.”
But “if we confess our sins,
He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins
And to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
Confession and forgiveness are necessary, ongoing,
lifelong activities
if we want to stay on the road.

God tells us we must have endurance
“he that shall endure unto the end,
the same shall be saved.”
A few weeks, months, or years will not suffice.
This requires a lifelong commitment.

God says good works
(Which come not from a grudging sense of obligation,
But joyfully and willingly from the heart),
are a hallmark of being on that road,
“faith if it hath not works is dead, being alone…
by works is faith made perfect
Ye see then how that by works a man is justified
and not by faith only.”

These things are not the means of getting on the road,
that was done through confessing and believing.
These are the evidences
Of having gotten on
and the means of staying on
the road to God’s house,
because make no mistake,
you can get off that road
anytime you want,
if you decide that you no longer want to travel it.
God does not force anyone to come to his house.
Only he that endures to the end,
who stays on that road to the end of life,
shall be saved.

None of us is perfect,
if we were Christ would not have had to die for us.
But we can ask Christ to be the Lord of our lives
and strive to walk down that road that He built for us,
picking ourselves up and continuing on when we fall down,
abiding in Christ,
enduring to the end in faith.


  1. Connie this is a wonderful presentation of the plan of salvation! Thank you for sharing your sermon with us! It is a very clear explanation of God's requirements for reconciliation with Him and for receiving eternal life. The warning to test "truth" against the Scriptures is indeed wise. There are too many who wish to believe their way is better. Believing in Jesus and accepting Him as God's Son, the Messiah is the only way to receive forgiveness of sin and a place with Him for all eternity. Thanks again for making it so clear!

  2. True enough, it is only through Jesus that we get our salvation.

  3. The eating of Jesus' flesh and drinking His blood is should not be taken literally. It just meant that we accept him in our hearts.