6 Dec 2013


 “The Catholic church is a counterfeit church set up by Satan. Catholics bow to idols and crucify Jesus every Sunday when they eat bread claiming they are eating Jesus’ body.” _ Pastor Chris Okotie
Am not going to join issues with you Chris , making mockery of people and their faith and making yourself THE LORD AND MASTER OF THE UNIVERSE THAT HAS THE POWER TO SEND PEOPLE TO HEAVEN OR HELL. I am only writing to educate you Chris Okotie and to encourage my fellow Catholics and others who care to know what we believe about the Eucharist, which is one of the issues Chris Okotie talked about.
First Chris Okotie is absolutely right when he said we eat bread and drink wine [body and blood] and say we receive the body and blood of Jesus Christ. This accusation/misinterpretation has always been there from the first century. Listen to Pliny the Younger AD 62-114, a Roman official making a report of his discovery about Christians,
''They have been accustomed to assemble on a fixed day before daylight and sing by turns a hymn to Christ as God: and that they bound themselves with an oath [‘sacramentum’], not for any crime, but to commit neither theft, nor robbery, nor adultery, not to break their word and not to deny a deposit when demanded; after these things are done, it was their custom to take food and drink believed to be the body and blood of their God'' [Pliny, Epistulae.10, 96]
Yes that’s what we do, every Sunday, and even everyday Catholics who are in the state of grace receive the body and blood of Jesus Christ. Why do we do that? and how do we come about such a tradition?.
We receive the body and blood of Christ because that is what Jesus Christ Himself commanded us to do. There are a lot of things Jesus commanded us to do but the emphasis He placed on his Body and blood makes it a defining event in the life of early Christians which they in turn handed over to us… Let’s take a tour in the bible.

There are two instances where Jesus specifically used the word unless...'UNLESS YOU ARE BORN AGAIN of water and the spirit you cannot enter the kingdom of God… ' [John 3:3-7] Am sure our separated brothers and sisters are so familiar with this verse… Because that’s why they place so much emphases on being born again. We Catholics also take this verse and every verse in the bible very seriously since you cannot become catholic unless you are born again of water and the Holy Spirit. To be born again for us Catholic means, rejecting Satan and all his works, rejecting sin… and professing faith in Jesus Christ …faith in God the Father Son and Holy Spirit… then the person will be baptized into the death and resurrection of Christ Jesus in the name of The Father Son and Holy Spirit..[Attend a Catholic Baptism and you will see all these elements celebrated.]
The second verse is John 6:52-58…'' Then the Jews started to argue among themselves, How can this man give us his flesh to eat?. Jesus replied and said, 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… for my flesh is real food and my blood real drink… As the living Father sent me and I draw life from the Father so whoever eats me will also draw life from me… It is not like the bread our ancestors ate, they are dead but anyone who eats this bread will live forever. [John 6:52-58] I will encourage you to read the whole sixth chapter of John to understand the importance, emphases and uncompromising position of Christ on this teaching.
"Amen, amen, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life within you. For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the death of the Lord until he comes" (Jn 6:53; ICor. 11:26).
Let's look at the institution narratives found in the three synoptic gospels, Mathew 26: 26-29, Mark 14:22-25, Luke 22: 14-20. In each of these gospels they all recorded an event Jesus celebrated before his passion and commanded his apostles to do in memory of Him. Even St Paul reechoed this tradition '' For I received from the Lord what I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took bread… THIS IS MY BODY WHICH IS FOR YOU. DO THIS IN REMEMBRANCE OF ME, in the same way also the cup… For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until he comes. WHOEVER THEREFORE, EATS THE BREAD OR DRINKS THE CUP OF THE LORD IN AN UNWORTHY MANNER WILL BE GUILTY OF PROFANING THE BODY OF THE LORD [ICor. 11: 23-32].
It is very lucid the apostles understood this command of Christ, prompting St Paul to issue the above warning after handing over the tradition he received. No wonder the apostles and disciples continued gathering together and breaking the bread, Acts of the Apostle 2:42 summarized the activities of the disciples of Christ in this way,
''These remained faithful to the teaching of the apostles, to the brotherhood, to the breaking of bread and to prayers'' [Acts 2:23] read also Acts 20:7.
As the apostles and disciples were dying off, the apostolic fathers and the first, second and third century Christians continued this tradition.[ The tradition of gathering together on the first day of the week, reading the then known scripture, singing psalms and breaking of bread] 

Lets have a look at the writings of these early Christians. The Didache, or The teaching of the Apostles which dates prior to some New Testament books has this to say '' Assemble on the Lord's day and break bread and offer the Eucharist [Thanksgiving]: but first make confession of your faults, so that your sacrifice may be a pure one. Anyone who has a difference with his fellow is not to take part until they have been reconciled, so as to avoid any profanation of your sacrifice. For this is the offering of which the Lord said, ‘Everywhere and always bring me a sacrifice that is undefiled, for I am a great king says the Lord and my name is the wonder of nations'[Malachi 1:11]'' DIDACHE, sec.14. 
Reading the writings of clement of Rome. AD 96, Justin Martyr AD100- 165, Irenaeus AD 200, Clement of Alexandria, Tertullian and many other key players in the first three century of the church is the clearest indication of the centrality of the Eucharist.
Listen to Ignatius of Antioch AD 35- 107, '' Make certain therefore, that you all observe one common Eucharist: for there is but one Body of our Lord Jesus Christ, and but one cup of union with His Blood, and one single altar of sacrifice… [Ignatius of Antioch, Epistle to the Philadelphians 4].
Listen to Justin Martyr AD 100-165 ''And on the day called Sunday, all who live in the cities….gather to one place and the memoirs of the apostles or the writings of the prophets are read…when the reader has ceased, the president [priest] verbally instructs and exhorts to the imitation of these good things. Then we all rise together and pray, and as we before said, when our prayer is ended bread and wine are brought, and the president in like manner offers prayers to his ability, and the people accent, saying Amen; and there is a distribution to each and a participation of that over which thanks have been given [Eucharistic elements] and to those who are absent a portion is sent by the deacon… For not as common bread and common drink do we receive these; but in like manner as Jesus Christ our Saviour, having been made flesh by the Word of God, had both flesh and blood for our salvation, so likewise have we been taught that the food which is blessed by the prayer of His Word and from which our blood and flesh by transmutation are nourished, is the flesh and blood of that Jesus who was made flesh'' [ Justin Martyr, First Apology 1,67]
Rev. Fr. Sly Fulton Achonam.
Just for the records this tradition of gathering on the first day of the week, reading scripture, singing Psalms, sharing in the brotherhood, breaking the bread and prayers has continued from the apostolic times, the second, third, fourth, century and to the 21st century. And that is what Catholics do in every Mass.
I know there are some people who think that the gospel of Jesus Christ just landed on their laps, without history without tradition. This is completely false. Jesus Christ [The Incarnate Son of God, The Word made Flesh that dwelled among us, The Eucharistic Emmanuel] is a Historical being and He lived in time and the Church He Founded has been on a journey awaiting the Second Coming…[ Christ has died, Christ is Risen, Christ will come again] as we reecho in every mass. 
Search the scripture, study history and Tradition, You will discover the Teachings of Jesus Christ, you will discover his church… NOT CHRIS OKOTIE'S CHURCH.
For Chris Okotie to call Pope Francis anti-Christ is seeking undue media coverage. For members of Chis Okotie church…my advice is simple…just look at the life of Chris Okotie and look at the life of Pope Francis even before he became Pope…you will discover for yourself who is for Christ and who is against Christ… and good enough Jesus had already given us the key when He said… By their fruits you shall know them [Matt 7 15-20]
May the Lord Jesus Christ who promised to be with his church always… that not even the powers of the netherworld will prevail against it bless his church [ Matt 28; 20, Matt 16 ;18]… May the Lord Jesus Christ who prayed for Peter that his faith may not fail, but to strengthen his brothers bless Pope Francis [Luke 22 ;31].

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