Q. What did Martin Luther believe about the Body and Blood of Christ in the bread and wine?
A. Martin Luther believed in the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist. He became indignant when groups, who had followed him out of the Catholic Church, rejected the presence of Jesus in the Eucharist. He deplored the fact that every milkmaid and farmhand thought they could interpret scripture correctly. Here he is in his own words.
Who, but the devil, has granted such license of wresting the words of the holy Scripture? Who ever read in the Scriptures, that my body is the same as the sign of my body? or, that is is the same as it signifies? What language in the world ever spoke so? It is only then the devil, that imposes upon us by these fanatical men. Not one of the Fathers of the Church, though so numerous, ever spoke as the Sacramentarians: not one of them ever said, It is only bread and wine; or, the body and blood of Christ is not there present.
Surely, it is not credible, nor possible, since they often speak, and repeat their sentiments, that they should never (if they thought so) not so much as once, say, or let slip these words: It is bread only; or the body of Christ is not there, especially it being of great importance, that men should not be deceived. Certainly, in so many Fathers, and in so many writings, the negative might at least be found in one of them, had they thought the body and blood of Christ were not really present: but they are all of them unanimous.”
—Luther’s Collected Works, Wittenburg Edition, no. 7 p, 391
Ready: We disagree, however, on WHEN this pile of dung must be dealt with. I believe that it must be dealt with in this life (rather than Purgatory) because “it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment.” (Heb. 9v27)
BFHU: And much of the purification can be accomplished in this life. We agree that the Judgment comes immediately after death. The soul is consigned to Heaven or Hell. Purgatory is merely the place of final purification before entering Heaven when necessary.
Ready: When the dying thief on the cross reached out in faith to Jesus, He said to him: “To day shalt thou be with me in Paradise.” (Luke 23v43) Even though he was dying for a crime, He was cleansed there and then in THIS life, by trusting in the blood of Jesus for salvation. Of course the dying thief had no opportunity to commit further sin – while we who continue live here have temptations thrown at us every day – but the Lord is able to deliver us from temptations – and from sin itself. “There remaineth therefore a rest unto the people of God.” (Hebrews 4v9)
BFHU: Of course God/Jesus can purify instanaeously but I have read that perhaps the Thief’s suffering of crucifixion was the purification necessary for his soul coupled with his Faith, of course
Ready: God is able to save – and to sanctify in an instant in this life. “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” (Rom. 8v1)
In my A.V. Bible (which does not, however, contain the book of Maccabbees) I see no mention of destinations other than Heaven or Hell.
BFHU:Purgatory is not a type of condemnation it is a place of cleansing. So, there is no conflict with Rom 8. Purgatory is not a destination, either. It is a layover on the way to our Heavenly destination, for most of us.
Ready: The Trinity, on the other hand, is merely a term to describe Father, Son & Holy Spirit – a clear doctrine in scriptures.
BFHU: It is not very clear. That is why the Jehovah’s Witnesses and Mormons are able to reject it. Have you ever tried to show a JW the Trinity in Scripture? There are evidences and the Doctrine makes sense of many otherwise inexplicable passages. But it is not so clear to the unconvinced.
Ready: From the verses you quote I can see no evidence of any other place. Jesus descended into Hell to preach to the “spirits in prison” – to tell them why they were there.
BFHU: No, Jesus did not go to tell the damned why they were there. As a Protestant I was taught that Sheol was the place of the dead awaiting the opening of Heaven by Jesus. (There is definitely another ‘place’ of the dead other than Heaven and Hell or the place of the damned.) Jesus led these captives free and brought them to Heaven. This I was taught as a Protestant and the Catholic teaching is similar:
Catechism of the Catholic Church
633 Scripture calls the abode of the dead, to which the dead Christ went down, “hell” – Sheol in Hebrew or Hades in Greek – because those who are there are deprived of the vision of God. Such is the case for all the dead, whether evil or righteous, while they await the Redeemer: which does not mean that their lot is identical, as Jesus shows through the parable of the poor man Lazarus who was received into “Abraham’s bosom”:“It is precisely these holy souls, who awaited their Savior in Abraham’s bosom, whom Christ the Lord delivered when he descended into hell.” Jesus did not descend into hell to deliver the damned, nor to destroy the hell of damnation, but to free the just who had gone before him.483
Ready: Horrific as it sounds, Hell is the holding place for those who are destined for the lake of fire. (Rev. 20v14)
BFHU: And no one escapes Hell. The Catholic Church sees two Judgments. One at death and one at the end of time. This passage would be the latter since death is ended by being thrown into the Lake of Fire (Hell) This does not mean that one’s final destination changes at the final judgment. We believe that it is at this time all things are explained and God is glorified for His justice and mercy.
REV 20:12 And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life; and the dead were judged from the things which were written in the books, according to their deeds.13And the sea gave up the dead which were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead which were in them; and they were judged, every one of them according to their deeds.14Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire This is the second death, the lake of fire.15And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.
You might find this Protestant site of interest to further explain: Berean Bible Society
Ready: But it is not God’s will that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance (2Pet. 3v9) which is why He still stands knocking on the doors of mens hearts in this, the day of Grace. (Rev. 3v20)
1) what is a soul TO youself?? you say “my soul” as if you are different from the soul…then if you dont know your soul why care for it?? so 1stly define soul.
BFHU: That is just a way to speak of it. I am one but two natures–body and soul. The body will die the soul is eternal. At death the soul will be judged by what was done in the body. It will be consigned to Heaven or Hell and will go there immediately unless the soul must first be purified on its way to Heaven in Purgatory. At the end of time, after the final judgement the body will be resurrected and joined once again to the soul for all eternity either in Heaven or Hell. That should explain why I care for my soul.
2) what exactly do you mean by purifying the soul?? is it via pain or fear or loving guidance??
BFHU: Unpleasant. Pain is used to image this unpleasantness as in burning in fire. Regret, possibly very much sorrow. Fear? no b/c the soul knows it will be in Heaven. Loving guidance? I don’t think so. What it is exactly only God knows.
as far as i know there is no mention of purgatory and man made up the whole concept to cover up the illogical fear of eternal hell which in reality is not eternal anyway…just because no man can declare that he is going to heaven just before dying as the whole life is not obviously sinless, man created this place to make things fit!!
BFHU: No God taught it to us. The Jews believe also in a purification before Heaven. What is purified is the consequences of sin that are temporal. Jesus paid the eternal consequences for sin.
2) what do you mean by salvation?? answer this honestly to yourself !!
BFHU: Friendship with God and the opportunity to live with Him in Heaven for eternity rather than suffer in Hell.
is it an entry to heaven without suffering??
BFHU: No, we all suffer first to atone for the temporal consequences of sin, either in this life or the next, in Purgatory.
look i will make 2 situations to make you think: case 1 : you go to heaven….but ‘you” are “you” after death!! say you were an angry man before death and remain so after death too!! so you enter heaven….no more death to fear…all eternity of non-suffering(but mind you …what do you feel in life on earth when you have nothing interesting going on in life!! say a perfect trouble free period..BORED!! same in heaven in our example) so in heaven …millions of years,,,,u meet saints….god pops up to say hi and you declare eternal love to each other!! you meet jesus and know all mystries of the universe!! same old thing again and again and again!! years go by…no end…as no death!!! WHAT DO YOU DO IN HEAVEN?? WORSIHP GOD?? EVEN HE WILL WANT SILENCE AND PEACE THAN TO HEAR SHRILL VOICES CALL HIS NAME ALL THE TIME!! REMBER YOU CANT SHOUT FOR ALL ETERNITY…MADNESS TO SAY “I LOVE U GOD” -NON-STOP FOR ALL ETERNITY ..NON STOP AND GOD LOVES HEARING THAT!! what next!! you grow bored…fed up ?? is that heaven?? long long eternal time ..doing nothing…no job …only watching god and saints!! YOU HAVE A HOUSE IN HEAVEN?? OR MAYBE CAR TO TRAVEL?? OR MAYBE TENNNIS COURTS?? does it make sense?? or is it just not a fairy tale i am making up?? so if my story seems absurd then what do you say happens in heaven?? millions of years of boredome doing nothing but trying to show love to god?? how do you on earth show love?? by giving things….etc?? what does the lord of everything want from a mere you OTHER THAN THE FEELING OF LOVE INWARDLY THAT YOU HAVE?? you see …thus the concept of going to heaven after death and liviing a earth style life out there is as flawed as the fuuny concept of eternal hell!!
BFHU: Heaven will be more than we can think or ask. It won’t be boring and Hell won’t be funny. If you are right and there is reincarnation then my Christian faith will not cost me anything. But if I am right and there is a Heaven and a Hell then your Paganism will land you in eternal Hell. Why risk it?
i mentioned your anger to show how flawed the logic non-suffering in heaven is!! say someone stops your speech in heaven…your anger causes you to swear…and that causes suffering to the other person who dared to inturrupt!! so you DESTROYED heaven!! now you might say its impossible to enter heaven with a flawed nature as purgatory takes care of that!!
BFHU: Correct. We will not destroy Heaven by anger b/c we won’t have anything to be angry at since we shall all be perfect as our Heavenly Father is perfect.
case 2: you have sinned bad and end up in hell!! now what!! fire all around you (by the way you have no body to feel fire..so you must explain as how a physical thing like fire can touch the soul) ..anyway so u feel say burnt up…and feel pain…for all eternity?? millions of years!! you hate god….you curse him for pain…and then call him and say tearfully …”you called me your own son?? even i would not put my own son on fire even if he commits the worst crime for ever!! why dont you listin to me!! ” according to you god has forsaken you right?? never to look upon you?? WHAT YOU CANNOT DO ON EARTH TO YOUR OWN SON GOD WILL DO TO HIS OWN SONS??? WILL YOU BE ABLE TO BURN SLOWLY YOUR OWN FELLOW HUMAN BEING SAY WHERE YOU ARE SITTING AND READING THIS!! NO YOU CANT!! HIS SUFFERNG WILL HORRIFY YOU TO STOP!! THINK ON WHAT POINT I WANT TO STRESS!!
BFHU: Fire is a metaphor most likely to illustrate the horror of damnation. God does not consign people to Hell they chose it by their life in the body.
and what about the millions of other non-christains??? are they not souls?? a creation of god??
BFHU: Of, course. God loves them too. they are His children as well.
is god so partial that some who are lucky to hear of christ gets a ticket to heaven ..while the child who dies without hearning about christ goes to hell!!
BFHU: You misunderstand b/c you have probably been more exposed to Protestant theology rather than Catholic theology. Each soul is judged based on its knowledge of God and what it did in response to that knowledge. Christians have the best map to Heaven but God judges on what we knew, not what we did not know. There is nothing about luck to it. God is love and mercy. A child who dies without hearing about Christ does not go to Hell. But the reality of God is KNOWN to all who have reached the age of reason.
The Wrath of God Romans 1:18 The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, 19since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. 20For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse. 21For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools 23and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles. 24Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. 25They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen. 26Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. 27In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion.
28Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done. 29They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, 30slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; 31they are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless. 32Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.
THIS LOTTERY CONCEPT OF THE SPIRITUAL PATH IS A LIE!! billions have poppulated the earth and have died!! and more billions will come!! do you mean that all the trillions of people were new souls??
according to you …infinite number of souls will come and go….
what about your concept that salvation will come on the judgment day …all of a sudden as if in a flash??
BFHU: Yes. The day you die is your own personal Judgement Day…sudden or not.
say before J-DAY a soul comeS on earth!! LUCKY SOUL!! JUST A DAY TO KNOW GOD!!!
BFHU: Yes, many souls live a day or less.
WHILE billions of years waiting had to be sustained by the say 100000th soul on earth!! big partiality right?? now all this is FALWED!! MAKE NO SENSE!!
BFHU: No. God judges each on the individual facts. At death we, our souls, enter eternity. The conscious part of our being doesn’t wait billions of years or even thousands of years. Bodies, however may have to wait along time for resurrection.
and pugatory?? say smoking is a sin !!
BFHU: Smoking is not a sin.
a man smokes and thus in purgatory he is to be de-addicted!! so god inflicts him with pain..fear…andfinally when the sou breaks down…and changes….
BFHU: Purgatory is not for convincing someone to change. At death their chances end. Purgatory is only for those who die in friendship with God and desire to please Him and be purified. Purgatory is not coercive, it is purifying. The soul though suffering is joyful b/c it knows it will soon be in Heaven.
HEAVENLY TICKIT COMES!! but satan tempts!! the joy of smoke is too good..but purgetory fear rules and te man rejects the smoke!! but next day god to test the man’s heart and sincierity tells the man that for a day smoking is legal and no sin is there to smoke!! thus the man takes the cigar from gods hand and tells him what a pleasure it is!! god relizes that fear had only changed the heart temporarily!! it was only fear that was preventing the man from cigars!!1 purgatory had failed!! so you may be forced to supress anger to go to heaven!! but anger kills inside iF it cannot be experesed!! so do you think now BHFU THAT CHANGE COMES THROUGH FEAR??
BFHU: No. There is no temptation in Heaven. All attachements to sin are purged in Purgatory so there no longer remains any desire to sin even if one were tempted b/c the fulness of human nature is restored and love for God reigns over the soul.
HOW VAST CAN BE HEAVEN??
BFHU: As vast as it needs to be. All things are possible with God.
DO YOU THINK YOU WILL HAVE A BODY WHEN YOU DIE TO WALK WITH??(DONT TRY TO ANSWER THIS..ITS COMPLEX)
BFHU: Yes, at the end of time. Our bodies will be reunited to our souls. Not complex really.
Sarah: Regarding the idea of the “reparation for the temporal consequences of sin” please see Isaiah 53. I would suggest you read the whole chapter, but I will emphasize verse 5 “By his wounds we are healed”. The term “healed” cured: freed from illness or injury.
BFHU: But, Sarah, the reality is that we are NOT truly healed because we still sin. If everything was healed, cured, completed in the life of a Christian as soon as they believe in Christ and repent of sin, then why are there so many verses in the NT that urge us to increase in holiness?
Hebrews 12:14Pursue peace with all men, and the holiness without which no one will see the Lord.
Matthew 12:36 But I tell you that every careless word that people speak, they shall give an accounting for it in the day of judgment.
Matthew 5:48 Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
2 Corinthians 7:1Since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God.
Philippians 3:12-15 Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 13Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
I could go on. In all of God’s activity in Scripture He does His part but He always requires Man to do the part God gives to him.
- God gave Adam and Eve all they needed but they were required to NOT eat from one tree.
- God promised to rescue Noah and family but Noah had to build an ark.
- God promised to free the Israelites from slavery but they had to observe the Passover.
- God promised to give the Israelites the Promised Land but they had to go into battle.
If we must pursue that holiness without which no one will see God, something IS STILL NEEDED–complete holiness, perfection, purification. We both know about sanctification but most Protestants are taught it is optional for salvation and for entering into the presence of God. Catholics, take these verses, along with hundreds of other verses, to be holy as He is holy, literally. So, we are supposed to strive for holiness in this life, and what is not accomplished for our purification in this life, will be completed in Purgatory. The rejection of the need for purification can be supported only if we concentrate on certain verses. But, it doesn’t hold up if one tries to reconcile it with all of scripture.
SARAH: Another verse; Luke 23:43TODAY YOU WILL BE WITH ME IN PARADISE” Jesus does not go on to say after a couple hundred years of purification. JESUS states, “today”. Is Jesus capable of lying? misquoting the truth? Or is the son of God simply mistaken?
BFHU:I understand why you ask these questions. You are convinced that your interpretation of these verses leaves no other possibility than to believe that Jesus was a liar or at least not omniscient if Catholic theology is accepted. But, there are some other possibilities, after all. First of all, Jesus did not go to Heaven that very Friday as we find out when Jesus tells Mary Magdalene, on Sunday, that He has not ascended to the Father yet. Therefore, Jesus and the thief did not go directly to Heaven on Friday. The possibility is that the Greek should be read: “I tell you today, you will be with Me in Paradise” rather than “I tell you, today you will be with me in Paradise”. There are no commas in the Greek. Both are legitimate interpretations but the second one doesn’t line up with scripture.
Another possibility is that “paradise” referred to the happy part of the sheol/Abraham’s bosom where Jesus did go to preach to the dead and lead the captives free. And the Good Thief accompanied Him there, which would have been just as good news as being told he was going to Heaven.
Q. What is Hell?
A. “Hell is the eternal lot of misery awaiting those who die in a state of grave sin and at enmity with God. Before the general resurrection, the soul alone experiences this misery; after the resurrection, the body will be reunited with that soul and will share in the misery, being tormented by created elements even as the person forsook God during life for the enjoyment of created things. The chief misery will be the sense of having lost the happiness of the Vision of God; the other will be the torment of fire.” Radio Replies, Vol 1; #921, p189.
Catechism of the Catholic Church
1033 We cannot be united with God unless we freely choose to love him. But we cannot love God if we sin gravely against him, against our neighbor or against ourselves: “He who does not love remains in death. Anyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.”612 Our Lord warns us that we shall be separated from him if we fail to meet the serious needs of the poor and the little ones who are his brethren.613 To die in mortal sin without repenting and accepting God’s merciful love means remaining separated from him for ever by our own free choice. This state of definitive self-exclusion from communion with God and the blessed is called “hell.”
1034 Jesus often speaks of “Gehenna” of “the unquenchable fire” reserved for those who to the end of their lives refuse to believe and be converted, where both soul and body can be lost.614 Jesus solemnly proclaims that he “will send his angels, and they will gather . . . all evil doers, and throw them into the furnace of fire,”615 and that he will pronounce the condemnation: “Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire!”616
1035 The teaching of the Church affirms the existence of hell and its eternity. Immediately after death the souls of those who die in a state of mortal sin descend into hell, where they suffer the punishments of hell, “eternal fire.”617 The chief punishment of hell is eternal separation from God, in whom alone man can possess the life and happiness for which he was created and for which he longs.
1036 The affirmations of Sacred Scripture and the teachings of the Church on the subject of hell are a call to the responsibility incumbent upon man to make use of his freedom in view of his eternal destiny. They are at the same time an urgent call to conversion: “Enter by the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is easy, that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard, that leads to life, and those who find it are few.”618
- Since we know neither the day nor the hour, we should follow the advice of the Lord and watch constantly so that, when the single course of our earthly life is completed, we may merit to enter with him into the marriage feast and be numbered among the blessed, and not, like the wicked and slothful servants, be ordered to depart into the eternal fire, into the outer darkness where “men will weep and gnash their teeth.”619
1037 God predestines no one to go to hell;620 for this, a willful turning away from God (a mortal sin) is necessary, and persistence in it until the end. In the Eucharistic liturgy and in the daily prayers of her faithful, the Church implores the mercy of God, who does not want “any to perish, but all to come to repentance”:621
- Father, accept this offering
from your whole family.
Grant us your peace in this life,
save us from final damnation,
and count us among those you have chosen.
632 The frequent New Testament affirmations that Jesus was “raised from the dead” presuppose that the crucified one sojourned in the realm of the dead prior to his resurrection.478 This was the first meaning given in the apostolic preaching to Christ’s descent into hell: that Jesus, like all men, experienced death and in his soul joined the others in the realm of the dead. But he descended there as Savior, proclaiming the Good News to the spirits imprisoned there.479
633 Scripture calls the abode of the dead, to which the dead Christ went down, “hell” – Sheol in Hebrew or Hades in Greek – because those who are there are deprived of the vision of God.480 Such is the case for all the dead, whether evil or righteous, while they await the Redeemer: which does not mean that their lot is identical, as Jesus shows through the parable of the poor man Lazarus who was received into “Abraham’s bosom”:481 “It is precisely these holy souls, who awaited their Savior in Abraham’s bosom, whom Christ the Lord delivered when he descended into hell.”482 Jesus did not descend into hell to deliver the damned, nor to destroy the hell of damnation, but to free the just who had gone before him.483
634 “The gospel was preached even to the dead.”484 The descent into hell brings the Gospel message of salvation to complete fulfilment. This is the last phase of Jesus’ messianic mission, a phase which is condensed in time but vast in its real significance: the spread of Christ’s redemptive work to all men of all times and all places, for all who are saved have been made sharers in the redemption.
Q. Is the transmigration of souls, and our return in animal forms impossible?
A. Yes. The human soul is essentially an intellectual being, and the nature God has given to man demands a proportionately constructed bodily counterpart. An intellectual soul united with a body incapable of cooperating in thought processes, as, for example, a human soul inhabiting a dog, would be a metaphysically repugnant monstrosity, and a direct contradiction of Divine Wisdom.
Moreover, God has revealed that “it is appointed for man to die once and after that the judgment.” Hebrews 9:27 We do not come back as animals and die again. Also the jusgment of each soul concerns its final destiny, and does not allow of another temporary and earthly existence. So, our returning in animal forms is outside the realm of both possibility and fact.