THE UNBIBLICAL BELIEF OF TRANSUBSTANTIATION BY ROMAN CATHOLICISM
In the observance of Holy Mass, celebrated by Roman Catholicism, it
is believed and taught by their doctrine that the elements of the bread
and wine are changed LITERALLY, into the body and blood of Christ at
celebration. This is called transubstantiation, which became a written
Catholic doctrine only 400 years ago.
Transubstantiation is the conviction of belief that the bread does not stay as bread nor the wine stay as wine. Many succumb to the fallacy and believe it is essential to salvation. The Catholic Encyclopaedia of Theology, volume 14, records the dogma of the totality of the real presence means that in each individual species the whole Christ, flesh and blood, body and soul, Divinity and humanity, is really present.
Believing that the bread and wine have become Christ at every Mass, the priest sacrifices Christ as a renewal of the sacrifice of Jesus on the Cross.
Although the bread and wine at Mass services still has the same taste, colour, smell, weight and dimensions, in the mind of many it is believed to be the true flesh and blood of Christ. The priest is the person who can apparently perform this ongoing miracle of changing the bread (substituted as a wafer) into Christ. The priest then places the wafer in the centre of a monstrance, and before this man-made idol, the people bow to worship the wafer as God.
The Roman Catholic church teach unbiblically that the moment the priest raises the wafer and says 'This is my body' during the celebration of Mass, the wafer is to be worshipped and adored as the actual body of Christ. When the priest has done this, they believe by tradition, which is put above the Word of God, grace is granted.
The Roman Catholic church is careful to make clear that it is a real sacrifice, and Christ becomes present by the transformation of the whole substance of the wine into His blood. The power of transformation resides in the priest. All Roman Catholic believers must give adoration and worship to Christ in this supposed state. It is taught that these elements literally become the body and blood of Christ, first for the glory of God and second for the Atonement. This is done not only for the living but for the dead also, who reside in the unbiblical purgatory place of the dead. Because the elements of the bread and wine have supposedly changed into the ACTUAL REAL body and blood of Christ, it is regrettably believed Christ is being sacrificed over and over again for the reason in regard to the continuation of grace imparted to certain members of the congregation, but not knowing who.
This is not biblical practise either in the Old Testament or the New Testament, (Mark 7:13) making the Word of God non effective through tradition of humankind. Transubstantiation is contrary to Jesus' statement of the Cross, "It is finished" (John 19:30). The Book of Hebrews records that Jesus Christ was sacrificed once and for all, only one sacrifice needed to be offered. (Hebrews 9:25-28, 10:10-14) Grace is always available to all at any time.
When Jesus instituted His memorial supper, He broke bread, representing the brokenness of His body by cruel beatings and the torture of crucifixion. It was not meant to be substituted with a round wafer called a host, meaning victim or sacrifice, as the same symbol of the sun is used at pagan altars.
It is known by historians that transubstantiation, the eating of a god, is amongst pagan religious rites. The Catholic Encyclopaedia also admits the practise has existed throughout past ages, amongst all peoples of the human race and was practised as a primitive religion in pagan Rome. Roman Catholic missionaries have been surprised to witness religious ceremonies declaring to be eating the flesh of their deity, after pagan priests have consecrated images in flour. Pagan priests ate portions of human sacrifices. Priests of Baal were required to eat human flesh, this was detestable to God and is forbidden in the Bible.
It is clear in the New Testament that all Christians take part of Jesus' command to remember what He had done for the sake of mankind, by breaking of the bread and the drinking of wine. However, the Roman Catholic Church holds back the cup from the people, therefore only serving half of what was commanded. Serving only half of what Christ instituted as The Lord's Supper is also unbiblical and disobedient to the words of Jesus. It was not reserved only for priests, although this law now changes and is varied, depending upon the locale of Catholicism followers. The cup was withdrawn on the grounds of it being spilled by chance, it would be the actual blood of Christ spilled.
Jesus instituted a sincere, simple, memorial supper of the New Covenant, but Roman Catholicism with complicated ritualism with coloured elaborate robes, candles, bells, incense, has added mechanical performances of the priest who must make the sign of the cross 16 times, turn to the congregation 6 times, lift his eyes heavenward 11 times, kiss the alter 8 times, fold his hand 4 times, touch has breast 10 times, bow his head 21 times, bend the knee 8 times, bow his shoulders 7 times, bless the altar with the sign of the cross 30 times, pray quietly 11 times, pray aloud 13 times, cover and uncover the chalice 10 times, move back and forward 20 times and lay his hands flat on the altar 29 times.
It is overlooked that Jesus used figurative expressions, and many believers take a LITERAL meaning of Jesus' words. Drinking of blood and eating of flesh (cannibalism) is forbidden by God. The bread and wine is symbolic that Jesus Christ is present spiritually among believers.
This teaching of transubstantiation which the Roman Catholic church supports was first taught in the 9th century. Jesus did not promise to come again and again in a sacrificial manner. Transubstantiation is an absurdity and a contradiction. Roman Catholicism teaches transubstantiation as a doctrine necessary for salvation, since this concept was not heard of prior to the 9th century, did the Apostles and disciples miss out on their salvation? Did not the thief on the cross go to paradise with Jesus, even though he did not eat of the wafer bread?
The Roman Catholic teaching fails to recognise the symbolic character of Jesus' statements, for example, Jesus said, "I am the Door, I am The Shepherd, I am The Way, The Truth and The Life, I am The Light, I am the Gate, I am the Vine", including "I am the Bread".
When Jesus blessed His memorial meal, the bread in His hand was distinct from His body, none of the disciples present actually thought Jesus meant that the bread was literally His body. They also knew the cup of wine itself was not the covenant, but that both represented the New Covenant and made a closure of the Old Covenant. The New Covenant that was prophesied would be made between God and all his people individually.
Nowhere in The Bible is the Lord's Supper called a sacrifice, but believers do offer spiritual sacrifices of worship, of praise and thanksgiving, service and obedience. This is so wrongly misconstrued by the Roman Catholic Church, they, like some of the misguided Jews took Jesus literally, even though He had not yet at that point in time instituted the Lord's Supper. It is also misunderstood that if they take the sacrament when they are dying on their death bead, they shall certainly go to heaven. People who do not believe in Christ are certainly dead and have no spiritual life, His blood was shed for remission of sin.
The Roman Catholic teaching also fails to recognise the completeness of Christ's sacrifice as stated in the Book of Hebrews of the New Testament, giving great assurance to believers of sins forgiven and atoned for. To Christians the idea of a continuing sacrifice to be paid by Christ treads under foot His true sacrifice given. Sins have been forgiven and there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ and live Spirit-led, free from sin and death.
The Scriptures of The New Testament that Roman Catholicism use for their doctrine of transubstantiation.
Matthew 26:26 While they were eating, Jesus took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying, "Take and eat; this is my body."27 Then he took the cup, gave thanks and offered it to them, saying, "Drink from it, all of you.28 This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.29 I tell you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it anew with you in my Father's kingdom."
John 6:45 It is written in the Prophets: 'They will all be taught by God.' Everyone who listens to the Father and learns from him comes to me.46 No one has seen the Father except the one who is from God; only he has seen the Father.47 I tell you the truth, he who believes has everlasting life.48 I am the bread of life.49 Your forefathers ate the manna in the desert, yet they died.50 But here is the bread that comes down from heaven, which a man may eat and not die.51 I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world."52 Then the Jews began to argue sharply among themselves, "How can this man give us his flesh to eat?"53 Jesus said to them, "I tell you the truth, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you.54 Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.55 For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink.56 Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in him.57 Just as the living Father sent me and I live because of the Father, so the one who feeds on me will live because of me.58 This is the bread that came down from heaven. Your forefathers ate manna and died, but he who feeds on this bread will live forever."59 He said this while teaching in the synagogue in Capernaum.60 On hearing it, many of his disciples said, "This is a hard teaching. Who can accept it?"61 Aware that his disciples were grumbling about this, Jesus said to them, "Does this offend you?62 What if you see the Son of Man ascend to where he was before!63 The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life.
Luke 22:17 After taking the cup, he gave thanks and said, "Take this and divide it among you.18 For I tell you I will not drink again of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes."19 And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, "This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me."20 In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you.
At the Last Supper, the Lord Jesus Christ Himself blessed the bread
and the wine, they did not change into His literal body and blood.
Does a human priest have more divine power than the Son of God?
In John 6 Jesus made it quite clear He was speaking spiritually, not
The first Christians partook of the memorial supper at night, after a meal, but it is now the custom amongst all churches to hold the Lord's supper in the morning before eating. Jesus is the sustenance of one's life. Jesus clearly does not teach that receiving the sacrament is the one requirement for eternal life or that is, the only ordinance through which Christ's saving benefits are received. Flesh and blood point out Christ crucified is the source of life, not a ritual requirement. (John 6:46) (Luke 22:17-20)
Just as the Passover was a constant reminder and proclamation of God's redemption, of His saving grace towards Israel's bondage in Egypt, so too keeping Christ's command would be a remembering and a proclaiming of deliverance of believers from the bondage of sin through His atoning work on the Cross.(Mark 4:22-25) The Bread represents Jesus' body given, the cup represents the blood of Jesus, which represents His life poured out, until death for the remission of sins. God's commitments to His people of the New Covenant are only possible because of Christ, His once and for all atoning death. (Matthew 26:26-28) (Hebrews 9:10-14) God never intended obedience and sincerity to nullify His Word, rejecting the true meaning by using His words in religious vows and rituals. The practice of religious tradition was not to ignore the spiritual, by the literal.
Jesus does not have to offer Himself again and again, now He has appeared once and for all to do away with sin. Christ died once, the perfect sacrifice. Hebrews 10:10-14 "By one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy". In the Old Testament the sacrifices had to be offered over and over because they were not sufficient, and the Levi priest's work was never finished. It was because their sacrifices could not remove sin, they had to be offered over and over again. Not so with the sacrifice of Christ. Christ's work was complete and sufficient, making any further sacrifice unnecessary, and He sat down at the Right Hand of God, never to be offered again. The point of the sacrifice of Atonement for the New Covenant was the contrast of the Old against the New, the Old offered repeated offerings, the New a once and or all offering, one sacrifice that completely removes sin, and replaces it with God's grace, His undeserved favour.
In reality, to eat of Christ's flesh and drink His blood is feeding from the Word of God. Feeding from The Word of God means to read, study, memorise or absorb the contents by embracing the Truths of God. When Christ fulfilled the Will of God, He provided for the believer a continuing permanent condition of holiness. before God. The bread and wine represents Jesus' body and blood, and is a strong substitutionary image. Jesus was speaking figuratively.
The Bible gives no restrictions on the people who can preside at Communion. All Christians are priests and members of a royal priesthood and share the privilege of being able to confidently go before God and be near Him all the time and not just at services held.
The truth is a symbolic and spiritual presence of Christ as believers partake of the bread and the wine and worship Him. Jesus commands that the followers drink of the vine and to remember Him as often as they drink, the same as the bread. Christ's followers are to remember through the ages His redemptive sacrifice by the symbols of bread and wine. It is also a reminder of Jesus' return. Christ is the New Covenant sacrifice. Believers feed on the Word of God through faith. To eat the flesh and to drink the blood are to be understood spiritually and not literally, also not literally for obtaining salvation. The Apostle Paul also used the body and blood imagery regarding communion. 1 Corinthians 11:23-26. Paul also called The Word of God meat (flesh). Eating flesh is a metaphor for food, what can be digested and the Word of God can be digested by the mind and spirit.
God's sequence throughout the Bible is first the natural, then the spiritual. The bread from heaven 'manna' was physical and temporal. Jesus, is far greater than the temporary bread. He, the spiritual bread from heaven satisfies completely and leads to eternal life. (John 6: 47, 53, 54.) While both the bread and the wine is a memorial of a sacrifice, it is not a repetitious sacrifice, it is a proclamation of the Lord's death, until He returns.
Jesus makes it clear to eat of Him is to believe in who He is, and to feed on the Word of God, get spiritual nourishment from it. To eat means to enjoy and utilise. A believer partakes of the benefits of Christ's person and of His work, by receiving His gifts.
It is not the sacrament that gives life, but rather salvation is found in the meaning behind it which evokes faith, the key is the Spirit who gives life, spiritual life comes through Him. Jesus satisfies spiritual hunger and thirst. Jesus explained in John 6 that He was not speaking literally when He spoke of His flesh and blood being eaten and drunken.
Whoever reflects, remembers and believes by faith here on earth will receive eternal life. Jesus teaches that Salvation is not by works, nor law-keeping, nor church membership, nor the keeping of rituals but simply by believing in The Lord Jesus Christ.
P 826-827 taken from the classic work of Alfred Edersheim, The Life and Times of Jesus The Messiah that has become one of the best know and most important references on the life of Christ ever written, especially valuable because of the author’s knowledge of Jewish lore and customs.
None of the gospels give us
the very words of Christ, since
these were spoken in Aramaean. The copula (something that connects or
together) ‘is’ [This is My Body,’ ‘This is My Blood’] was
certainly not spoken by the Lord in the Aramaic, just as it
not occur in the Jewish formula in the breaking of bread at the
the Paschal Supper. The words: ‘Body which is
given,’ or, in 1 Cor.11: 24,
‘broken,’ and ‘Blood which is shed,’ should be more correctly rendered:
being given,’ ‘broken,’ ‘shed.’ The copula ‘is’ which,
indeed, did not occur
in the words spoken by Christ Himself, cannot be equivalent to
nor can it refer to any change of substance, be it in what is called
Transubstantiation or Consubstantiation.
Receiving the Bread
and the Cup in the Holy Communion is, really, though spiritually, to
what the outward elements are to the Body: that they are both the
the vehicle of true, inward, spiritual feeding on the Very Body and
Christ……. So this Cup is fellowship with Him and His dying, fellowship
Him with one another, who are joined together in this - the seal of His
Presence and its pledge, as well the promise of the bright Day at His
Graphics and documents are copyright.1991-2006 All rights
Managed by Stefan Kreslin,
Last updated August 2017
SCRIPTURES Luke 22:17.
QUESTIONS 1] Did Christ institute a memorial supper? 2] Was Jesus speaking literally of His Blood and of His Body? 3] At the last supper that Jesus officiated over, was the wine His blood and the bread His flesh?
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None of the gospels give us the very words of Christ, since these were spoken in Aramaean. The copula (something that connects or links together) ‘is’ [This is My Body,’ ‘This is My Blood’] was certainly not spoken by the Lord in the Aramaic, just as it does not occur in the Jewish formula in the breaking of bread at the beginning of the Paschal Supper.
The words: ‘Body which is given,’ or, in 1 Cor.11: 24, ‘broken,’ and ‘Blood which is shed,’ should be more correctly rendered: ‘is being given,’ ‘broken,’ ‘shed.’
The copula ‘is’ which, indeed, did not occur in the words spoken by Christ Himself, cannot be equivalent to ‘signifies’ nor can it refer to any change of substance, be it in what is called Transubstantiation or Consubstantiation.
Receiving the Bread and the Cup in the Holy Communion is, really, though spiritually, to the Soul what the outward elements are to the Body: that they are both the symbol and the vehicle of true, inward, spiritual feeding on the Very Body and Blood of Christ……. So this Cup is fellowship with Him and His dying, fellowship also in Him with one another, who are joined together in this - the seal of His Presence and its pledge, as well the promise of the bright Day at His Coming.
Graphics and documents are copyright.1991-2006 All rights
Managed by Stefan Kreslin, Last updated August 2017