(Continued from page 289)The Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist is Biblical?
You write: 'John 6, 1 Corinthians. 10:16 and 1 Corinthians. 11:23-29 all teach very clearly about the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist, something which Catholics believe and Fundamentalists reject. Daniel. 12:11 speaks of the last days when the continual sacrifice will be taken away. He couldn't have been speaking about Fundamentalists, because they deny the Sacrifice of the Mass, which is what the prophet alludes to. And Malachi. 1:11 speaks eloquently about the Mass, saying, 'For from the rising of the sun even to the going down, my name is great among the Gentiles, and in every place there is sacrifice, and there is offered to my name a clean oblation: for my name is great among the Gentiles, saith the Lord of hosts.' This is a prophecy only the Catholic Church has fulfilled; the clean oblation can only be the bloodless re-presentation of the once-for-all sacrifice of Calvary which is the center of every Catholic Mass.'
TCE: Many other verses are also cited by Papal Roman Catholics to try and support their view, e.g.:
Luke 22:19-20: When Jesus shared the bread and wine with His disciples His body and blood were physically present with them so, obviously, He intended His words to be taken figuratively. Papal Roman Catholics insist that Jesus would have corrected those disciples who fell away on hearing this 'hard teaching' (John 6:60) because they thought - correctly you may insist - that He meant it literally. The reasoning used is that He corrected His disciples on other occasions when they misunderstood Him. The disciples very often misunderstood Jesus' teaching. In fact, the resurrection is the one subject most misunderstood (q.v. Mark 9:32,45). They did not fathom some of his references to the Father, John 8:27; his teaching about the sheepfold, 10:6; his entry into Jerusalem, 12:14-16; Jesus washing their feet, 13:4-20; His betrayal by Judas, 13:28-30; his relationship with the Father, 14:7ff; and the doctrine of the Pharisees, Matthew 16:5ff. We know of the disciples' comprehension problems because, quite simply, the Bible tells us! In each case cited above inspiration specifically tells us the disciples did not understand! The writers, writing 'post facto' very candidly reflect on their own ignorance as they write about their time with Jesus.
On these occasions when the disciples did not understand Jesus' teachings, or the significance of their own questions, the Holy Spirit specifically tells us of their failure to fathom. It is nothing less than arbitrary assumption to state something for which there is not one word of contextual evidence! But there is more to consider. Not only do the writers tell us if the disciples failed to understand Jesus' words, they also tell us that, because Jesus knew their thoughts, He corrected their error. In Mark 8:13ff he had warned them to beware of the leaven of the Pharisees. Not comprehending, they reasoned among themselves. But Jesus, knowing their thoughts, called them around and promptly corrected their lack of understanding. It is easy, 2000 years removed from the scene, to try and insist the disciples were guilty of a lack of understanding but, as we have seen, when they were guilty of such the Bible tells us.
Furthermore, these disciples would certainly have been aware of Scripture forbidding the drinking of blood by anyone (Genesis 9:4; Leviticus 3:17). By what logic can a Papal Roman Catholic insist that the disciples, schooled in the commandments of God, would ever understand Jesus to be instructing them to go directly against these commandments? Again, this is to ignore the words of Peter who, just a few months later, said: 'I have never eaten anything unholy and unclean' (Acts 10:14). Peter could not have said this if he thought he had actually ingested the body and blood of Christ, for the law defines such an act as 'unholy' and 'unclean' (Leviticus 3:17). Further, the Jerusalem Council repeated an injunction contained in the Old Testament law to the effect that Christians are to abstain from blood (Acts 15:28-29). How could they possibly make such a decision if the council thought they had actually drunk the real blood of Jesus? It is no surprise to us to hear cannibals justifying their sin by referring to this sin of the Papal Roman Catholic Church.
In contrast to the claims of many Papal Roman Catholics, Jesus often used figurative language. In fact, at the end of His upper-room discourse, He acknowledged this: 'These things I have spoken to you in figurative language' (John 16:25, emphasis added). Jesus also often used figurative language when He taught by the use of parables (Matthew 13 and forward). His corresponding use of figurative language certainly fits in with His instruction regarding the intended meaning of the Lord's Supper: 'Do this in remembrance of Me' (Luke 22:19, emphasis added).
A major problem arises when we consider that Roman Catholic churches all over the world have Masses on a regular basis. This would require that Christ's human body be omnipresent (everywhere-present), whereas the incarnation limited his physical human nature to one location and the Scriptures clearly testify that Christ's human body is localized in heaven (see Revelation 1:13-16). When Stephen was being stoned, he said, 'Behold, I see the heavens opened up and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God' (Acts 7:56). Scripturally speaking, only Christ's divine nature is omnipresent (Matthew 18:20; 28:20; John 1:47-49), not His human nature.
The memorial view of the Lord's Supper is entirely consistent with Scripture and logical reasoning. In this view there is no change in the elements, and the ordinance is not intended to be a means of communicating grace to the participant. The bread and wine are purely symbols and reminders of Jesus in His death and resurrection (1 Corinthians 11:24-25) and also remind us of the basic facts of the gospel (11:26), our anticipation of the second coming (11:26), and our oneness as the body of Christ (10:17). This is a viewpoint that fits the whole context of 1 Corinthians 11:24-26.
John 6:51-55: These verses do not support transubstantiation for we read:
'I am the living bread that came down out of heaven; if anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread also which I will give for the life of the world is My flesh.' Then the Jews began to argue with one another, saying, 'How can this man give us His flesh to eat?' 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 yourselves. He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day. For My flesh is true food, and My blood is true drink.'
The argument that Jesus' listeners understood Him to be speaking literally, and hence transubstantiation must be the correct view, does not take into account the broad context of this statement which helps us to see this is not the case. Contextually, Jesus had just performed a tremendous miracle by feeding 5,000 people with five barley loaves and two fishes. Then, in verse 27, Jesus launched into His main message: 'Do not work for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you, for on Him the Father, God, has set His seal' (John 6:27). The crowd had eaten a meal that satisfied their physical hunger, but Christ wanted to give them something to satisfy their spiritual hunger - eternal life. It comes by partaking of the bread of life - Jesus - by faith. The context for understanding Jesus' statement in John 6:54 ('He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life') is given to us 15 verses earlier, in John 6:40: 'This is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him will have eternal life; and I Myself will raise him up on the last day' (emphasis added). Contextually, the discussion centres on salvation by believing in Jesus, not on the Lord's Supper.
John 6:53-54 is therefore saying that, just as one must consume or partake of physical food to sustain physical life, so one must spiritually appropriate Christ to have spiritual life. Just as the ancient Jews were dependent on manna (bread) to sustain physical life, so we are dependent on Jesus (the bread of life) for our spiritual life. Food that is eaten and then digested is assimilated so that it becomes a part of the body. Likewise, people must spiritually appropriate Christ and become one with Him by faith to receive the gift of eternal life. The references to 'flesh' and 'blood' in this passage point us to the work of Christ on the cross. It was there that His flesh was nailed to the cross and His blood was shed to make man's salvation possible and, by placing faith in the crucified Christ, we appropriate Him and His work of salvation.
Papal Roman Catholics also seem to be blind to the fact that there is no mention of wine in John 6:48-58. If this passage were referring to the Mass, wine would surely be mentioned along with the bread?
Again, the fact that some of Jesus' Jewish listeners understood Him to be speaking literally when He announced that people were to eat of His flesh (John 6:52) does not prove that the Papal Roman Catholic Church position is correct. Why? Because the Jews often misunderstood what Jesus taught! When Jesus spoke of destroying 'this temple,' after which He would raise it again in three days, the Jews misunderstood and thought Jesus was referring to the literal temple made of stones (John 2:19-21; other misunderstandings are found in 3:4; 4:15; and 6:32-34). Just because some Jews may have understood Jesus to be referring to literal flesh in John 6 does not mean this interpretation is correct. By contrast we read:
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. 64 Yet there are some of you who do not believe.' For Jesus had known from the beginning which of them did not believe and who would betray him. 65 He went on to say, 'This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless the Father has enabled him.' 66 From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him. 67 'You do not want to leave too, do you?' Jesus asked the Twelve. 68 Simon Peter answered him, 'Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. 69 We believe and know that you are the Holy One of God.' 70 Then Jesus replied, 'Have I not chosen you, the Twelve? Yet one of you is a devil!' 71 (He meant Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot, who, though one of the Twelve, was later to betray him.)
Not all of the disciples struggled with the 'hard' teaching or grumbled, and those that did were already known to be unbelieving (v64) and they left Him (v66). This was clearly no problem to Jesus who had chosen His twelve and knew who would betray Him (v64, 70-71), for He simply asked if they wanted to leave too (v67). Nowhere does it say that He thought they did not understand and needed correction - this is read into the verses by Papal Roman Catholics. The context clearly indicates that Jesus was speaking figuratively of believing in Him for salvation (verse 40).
The Bible often uses the language of eating and drinking to speak of our relationship with God. We read, 'O taste and see that the Lord is good; how blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him!' (Psalm 34:8). David, while in the wilderness of Judah, prayed, 'My soul thirsts for You' (Psalm 63:1). He later affirmed, 'My soul is satisfied as with marrow and fatness, and my mouth offers praises with joyful lips' (Psalm 63:5). The psalmist also said, 'How sweet are Your words to my taste! Yes, sweeter than honey to my mouth' (Psalm 119:103). In 1 Peter 2:2,3 we read of longing 'for the pure milk of the word, so that by it you may grow in respect to salvation, if you have tasted the kindness of the Lord.' In Hebrews 5:14 we read, 'Solid food is for the mature, who because of practice have their senses trained to discern good and evil.' These are all simple metaphors pointing to spiritual realities and the same is true of John 6:51-55.
When Jesus said, 'I am the door; by me if any man enter in he shall be saved' (John 10:9), not even Catholics take that to mean that Christ is a physical door through which one must literally walk one's physical body to be saved. He is using this analogy to illustrate that in believing on Him one walks through a door into a new state of spiritual being, eternal life. This has not prevented the popes from being deceived into an occult technique in following the declaration of Pope Celestine V, who gave 'a Holy Door' to the Cathedral of Maria Collemaggio for special indulgences (Bull of 29 September, 1294). When Jesus said, 'I am the light of the world; he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness' (John 8:12), He was not speaking of physical light but of the spiritual light which those who believe on Him receive, in contrast to the spiritual darkness in which this world dwells. Jesus continually called mankind to believe on Him. Whatever He spoke about, whether the new birth, water, sheep, shepherd, seed, sower, plants, fruit, bread, or a door, was meant to convey a spiritual truth through the physical object of which He spoke and was not to be taken literally. We are told specifically that whenever Jesus spoke to the multitude, He always spoke to them in parables: 'All these things spake Jesus unto the multitude in parables; and without a parable spake he not unto them' (Matthew 13:34). We repeat, since Christ was speaking to the multitude in John 6 we know that He was, as always to them, speaking in parables, using figurative and spiritual, not literal and physical, language. There are also other logical and Scriptural reasons for knowing this.
If Catholics insists that the bread and wine is literally Christ we must follow that to its logical conclusion. If Christ was speaking literally about His body, then He must have been speaking literally when He said, 'I am the bread of life; he that cometh to me shall never hunger and he that believeth on me shall never thirst' (v35). Since Papal Roman Catholic Church claim to literally eat Christ's physical body, then they should never physically hunger or thirst! Do you hunger and thirst still? Yet if 'hungering and thirsting' are spiritual terms, then so must be the eating of His body. Obviously, Christ is saying that those who believe on Him receive eternal life and don't have to keep coming back to Him for another instalment!
Thus, clearly, Jesus was not saying that in order to receive eternal life one must literally eat and drink his physical body and blood, but telling his listeners that we must believe on Him and using the analogy of eating and drinking to illustrate that truth. He says very clearly that believing gives eternal life. Yet He says that only by eating Him can one have life. Here is an irreconcilable contradiction - unless, of course, eating is a synonym for believing as we believe. There is an obvious reason why Christ used the symbol of eating - in the Old Testament the priests ate of the sacrifice:
'The priest that offereth it for sin shall eat it ... all the males among the priests shall eat thereof' (Leviticus 6:26,29; cf. 6:16,18; 7:6,15; etc.).
Christ was thus telling the Jews that He was the fulfilment of the Old Testament sacrifices and His body and blood would be given for the sins of the world. He was also introducing the priesthood of all believers. Only the priests ate of the sacrifice under the law, but now all must partake of Him by faith to receive the gift of eternal life by God's grace. All must believe that the Son of God had become a literal flesh-and-blood man in order to die for mankind. Where did Christ give His flesh? Not at the Last Supper, as Papal Catholicism teaches, but on the cross. That interpretive error is again a fatal one. For if when Christ said, 'This is my body ... this is my blood' at the Last Supper it was literally true, then He sacrificed Himself before He went to the cross! This is another bizarre, un-Scriptural, and illogical teaching of Papal Rome which declares:
'Our Saviour at the Last Supper on the night when he was betrayed instituted the eucharistic sacrifice of his Body and Blood so that he might perpetuate the sacrifice of the cross throughout the centuries till his coming.'
If Christ was speaking physically of His body and blood in John 6, then those who eat of Him will never physically die. But all of the apostles themselves are dead. If He did not mean that eating of Him would prevent physical death, then neither did He refer to physically eating Him. He is obviously speaking spiritually all through that chapter, as elsewhere. Tragically, Catholics are prevented from receiving the spiritual eternal life that Christ offers by the dogma that He is speaking physically. Papal Rome claims to control 'the merits Christ won' and to dispense another installment of these each time the Catholic (so it is imagined) physically ingests Christ's literal body and blood. And so the Mass must be repeated endlessly.
Papal Roman Catholics seem oblivious to the fact that the Mass contradicts Scripture and actually detracts from the atonement wrought by Christ. The Catholic Council of Trent declared:
'This sacrifice [of the Mass] is truly propitiatory ... For by this oblation the Lord is appeased ... and he pardons wrongdoing and sins, even grave ones.'
Because the Mass is said to bring about the forgiveness of sins, it is a necessity in the Catholic system of salvation. This very much detracts from the finality of the salvation Christ accomplished at the cross. The idea that the Mass involves a repetition of the sacrifice of Christ is reminiscent of the repeated sacrifices of the old covenant, which were 'a reminder of sins year by year' (Hebrews 10:3). Instead of believers having the full assurance of complete forgiveness of sins through the once-for-all sacrifice of Christ (Hebrews 10:12: 'But when this priest had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God'), the Mass gives a constant reminder of sins and remaining guilt to be atoned for week after week. Contrary to such repetition, we read the three magnificent words declaring His sacrificial death that Jesus uttered upon the cross: 'It is finished' (John 19:30). This proclamation from the Saviour's lips is fraught with meaning, for the Lord was doing more than announcing the termination of His physical life which was self-evident. What was not known by those who were carrying out the brutal business at Calvary was that somehow, despite the sin they were committing, God through Christ had completed the final sacrifice for sin. The work long contemplated, long promised, long expected by prophets and saints (Isaiah 53:4-6; Zechariah 12:10), is done. As we've said before - the phrase 'it is finished' can also be translated 'paid in full.' The back-ground to this declaration is that in ancient days, whenever someone was found guilty of a crime, the offender was put in jail and a 'certificate of debt' was posted on the jail door. This certificate listed all the crimes the offender was found guilty of and, after serving the prescribed time in jail, the offender was given the certificate of debt upon his release with a stamp on it declaring it to be 'paid in full.' Christ took the certificate of debt of all our lives (including all our sins) and nailed it on the cross (Colossians 2:14). The Lord Jesus Christ therefore declared that our sin debt was 'paid in full' upon the cross (John 19:30).
Jesus' words therefore do not constitute a groan of defeat or a sigh of resignation. Rather, His words were a triumphant recognition that He had now fully accomplished what He came into the world to do. The work of redemption was completed at the cross. Nothing further needed to be done. He had paid in full the price of our redemption (2 Corinthians 5:21) and 'when He had made purification of sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high' (Hebrews 1:3), where He remains to this day. So Jesus' statement, 'It is finished!' (John 19:30), cannot possibly be reconciled with the continual re-presenting of Christ's sacrifice in the Mass.
Jesus completed the work of redemption at the cross with a single, once-for-all sacrifice. No more sacrifices (or 're-presentings') would occur. As we read in the book of Hebrews, God assures believers that 'their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more' (10:17) and He declared: 'where there is forgiveness of these things, there is no longer any offering for sin' (10:18). Christ made a sacrificial offering 'once for all when He offered up Himself' (7:27). He did so 'not through the blood of goats and calves, but through His own blood, He entered the holy place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption' (9:1 2). So, by the death of Christ 'we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all' (10:10).
In his book Crossing the Threshold of Hope, Pope John Paul II writes:
The Church is the instrument of man's salvation. It both contains and continually draws upon the mystery of Christ's redemptive sacrifice. Through the shedding of His own blood, Jesus Christ constantly 'enters into God's sanctuary thus obtaining eternal redemption' (cf. Hebrews 9:12).
Note the high-lighted text, for the Biblical text of Hebrews 9:12 actually reads, 'Through His own blood, He entered the holy place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption.' 'Entered' is an aorist tense in the Greek, indicating a one-time past event. Yet the pope renders it in the present tense, 'enters.' Though the wording of Hebrews 9:12 is changed from the clear record in Scripture, the pope puts it in quotation marks, implying that the source of His words is in fact Hebrews 9:12. The pope adds 'constantly' (constantly 'enters into God's sanctuary') and leaves out 'once for all.' The pope changes the once-for-all 'having obtained eternal redemption' so that it reads, 'thus obtaining eternal redemption' (emphasis added). All this changes the meaning of the Biblical text. The pope renders the verse so that it appears that it supports the Mass but, in reality, the pope has changed the meaning of Scripture! We have already pointed out the seriousness of these acts by popes. An apostle or prophet of God would not dare change what God said (ref. Galatians 1:8; John 10:35) and Scripture has very strong words of condemnation for those who dare to tamper with His Word (Revelation 22:18-19):
I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds anything to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book. 19 And if anyone takes words away from this book of prophecy, God will take away from him his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book.
Now, to consider the other Scriptures you quoted:
1 Corinthians. 10:16. In the same manner to John 6, this passage is talking about (v1-4) the spiritual types which Christ now supercedes:
1 For I do not want you to be ignorant of the fact, brothers, that our forefathers were all under the cloud and that they all passed through the sea. 2 They were all baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea. 3 They all ate the same spiritual food 4 and drank the same spiritual drink; for they drank from the spiritual rock that accompanied them, and that rock was Christ. 5 Nevertheless, God was not pleased with most of them; their bodies were scattered over the desert.
They ate the manna in the wilderness (Exodus 16:31-35) and drank the living water from the Rock 'that was Christ'! Yet, clearly, they were not drinking the blood of Christ then - they drank the water He supplied from the rock (Exodus 17:13).
Having warned against idolatry, sexual immorality, and grumbling, Paul makes it as clear as possible (v11-12):
These things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us, on whom the fulfillment of the ages has come. 12 So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don't fall!
They are seen 'as examples' - they are not to be taken literally!
Paul asks the people to be sensible (v15):
15 I speak to sensible people; judge for yourselves what I say. 16 Is not the cup of thanksgiving for which we give thanks a participation in the blood of Christ? And is not the bread that we break a participation in the body of Christ? 17 Because there is one loaf, we, who are many, are one body, for we all partake of the one loaf.
It is a participation in the blood and body, just as the people of Israel participated in the Old Testament sacrifices (v18): 'Consider the people of Israel: Do not those who eat the sacrifices participate in the altar?'
Did the Old Testament priests eat the offering - the literal flesh of animals which they saw in front of them? When they sacrificed at the altar and ate part of the sacrifice (Leviticus 6:16-29; 7:6-15; 8:31; Deuteronomy 12:17, 18), they participated in and became a part of the sacrificial system and worship of God. Did the blood and flesh of animals represent the blood and flesh of the Lamb of God who was to come and die for 'the sins of the world' (1 John 2:2) - a type of Christ's atoning death (Hebrews 13:11-12)? Obviously, yes! Why then can the Papal Roman Catholic Church not believe that the memorial in front of them is what it is - literally bread and wine representing the body and blood of Christ?
How is it that devout Papal Roman Catholics pray to wafers as though to Christ, believing they are in His holy presence, so that across the USA they sign up for an hour or more each week of devotion - 'keeping Christ company' - in worship of the host almost around the clock every day in a 'perpetual adoration of the Blessed Sacrament.' Pope John Paul II gave his approval of this perpetual adoration 'establishing exposition of the Blessed Sacrament in St. Peter's in 1981' when he claimed:
'How great is the value of conversation with Christ in the blessed sacrament. There is nothing more consoling on earth, nothing more powerful for advancing along the road to holiness.'
This idolatry is supposed to advance you along the road to holiness? How did the broken body of our Lord become millions of bodies each in the form of a tiny wafer, each one literally and physically Jesus Christ 'whole and entire'? How did the bloodied cross of shame and reproach transmute into gold and become encrusted with diamonds? How can bishops in their ornately embroidered robes of finest silk represent the One who hung naked on the cross and whose lifeless, battered body wrapped in grave-clothes was laid in a tomb? What does such pagan pageantry with its gold and jewels have to do with Calvary? How blasphemous is this parading before the world of the Church's boasted power to hold the pre-crucifixion body of Christ in its hands and offer Him again upon its altars?
Let us not forget that this blind dogma bred the fanaticism which led to the slaughter of the Jews in Deggendorf in revenge for their allegedly stealing and 'torturing' a consecrated wafer.
The claim of transubstantiation does not come under the wing of the miraculous, for there is absolutely no detectable change in wafer or wine after they are claimed to have been transformed through the priest's unique power into Christ's literal body and blood. So how can anyone believe that this 'miracle' has occurred? In the days of Christ's attested miracles men and women saw crippled limbs straighten, blind eyes open, dead men rise - and they tasted wine that had been water! But Rome and hordes of other deceivers present 'Emperor's New Clothes miracles' - believe it because popes say it is so! As with so much else in Papal Catholicism, assurance comes only by blindly accepting whatever the Church says. As was stated before - check your mind at the door! Examine the Bible verses supposedly offering support of this dogma and you find common sense and genuine, logical, exegesis prove the claims to be false.
There are numerous other reasons why Christ could not have meant the literal eating and drinking of His physical body and blood. His sacrifice for sin occurred only once. If there were any physical eating, it should have taken place at that time. The body that was sacrificed and laid in the grave was resurrected and glorified. Christ's new body in which He now resides at the Father's right hand in heaven is glorified and cannot die. The old body whose life was in the blood no longer exists. Paul said: 'Yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him [as He was before the cross] no more' (2 Corinthians 5:16). To suggest that the pre-crucifixion body of Christ has been re-created on Catholic altars to be offered again for sin is a clear contradiction of both Scripture and logic.
The Papal Roman Catholic case rests entirely upon the plea that Christ is to be taken literally. It is not literalism, however, but fantasy to suggest that each one of millions of wafers is the complete, whole, and entire physical, pre-crucifixion body of Christ - while at the same time Christ is in heaven in His resurrected body. A common response is that God is omnipresent - which is true - and because He is God, by His Spirit, Christ is everywhere at once. But this is forgetting that, when Christ became a man, He voluntarily subjected Himself to certain limitations, such as a physical body which occupies space and therefore can only be in one place at a time. There is absolutely no record in the Bible that Christ was ever bodily present in more than one place at a time.
You may try to argue that Christ said: 'Where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them' (Matthew 18:20). Christians believe this promise, but no one imagines that Christ is at one and the same time physically present in the midst of thousands of different groups of believers around the world. In fact, no orthodox Christian would agree that He is present physically at all, for that would mean He could be seen, while He is not seen (apart from supposed physically appearances to those deceived by Satan and demons!). To suggest that millions of wafers are each Christ's physical body, whole and entire, is to depart from Scripture and reality. Was Christ seen literally and bodily after the crucifixion and resurrection? Clearly, yes! Many Scriptures attest to this (e.g. John 21:14: "This is now the third time that Jesus was manifested to the disciples, after He was raised from the dead') - but He was then literally taken into heaven in the presence of many witnesses (Acts 1:1-11), an angelic promise that He would return one day (Acts 1:11) when 'every eye will see Him' (Revelation 1:7) - even those who hated, despised, and crucified Him!
Clearly, Christ's language at the Last Supper also does not support transubstantiation: '[He] took bread.., broke it, and said, Take, eat; this is my body which is broken for you; this do in remembrance of me.... This cup is the new testament in my blood; this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me' (1 Corinthians 11:23-25). He wants Christians to remember His death on the cross and to take bread and wine as a reminder of His sacrifice. His language contains no thought of a repetition of His sacrifice on the cross.
He said clearly: 'This is my body.' He did not say that one day pieces of bread would become His body through the miraculous power of transubstantiation wielded by Catholic priests, but that the bread at that moment was His body. No one could take that statement literally, for he was sitting there in His physical body and holding the bread in His hands. Obviously the bread was symbolic. It is contrary to the facts recorded to claim that Christ's disciples imagined that the bread He held was His literal body. That it could be His literal body and at the same time Christ be there in His literal body was impossible. Such a thought did not enter the minds of those present and was not invented until much later. It was certainly not conveyed by Christ's words, nor do we have any reason to believe that the disciples derived from them such a meaning. It took over a thousand years for this dogma to be added to Papal Rome's errors when Pope Innocent III made the Mass as a 'sacrifice' official dogma in A.D. 1215.
Martin Luther was unable to shake free from much of his Papal Roman Catholicism (infant baptism, eucharism etc.), and it remains within the church that bears his name to this day. But at least Luther did not teach that Christ's sacrifice was being repeated endlessly and that forgiveness of sins and eternal life are received in instalments by eating the bread and wine. That delusion fostered by transubstantiation prevents the Catholic from believing in the Biblical Christ. The Eucharist is the very heart of the false gospel of works promulgated by Papal Catholicism and papists have been robbed of the faith exhibited by the thief on the cross (Luke 23:43) who proves that one act of faith - receiving Christ by faith into his heart - saved us eternally and at the moment of death we pass instantly into Christ's presence, not into purgatory.
Those who reject transubstantiation are accused of not believing in miracles while forgetting that Biblical miracles defy the known laws of God regarding literal physical objects on earth. We agree that 'with God all things are possible' (Matthew 19:26; Mark 10:27), but that statement must be defined by the nature of God and of reality revealed in Scripture. God will not make Himself a demon or Satan, nor will He ever lie (Titus 1:2). A miracle must function within the bounds of verifiable reality. An iron axe-head that was lost in water remained an iron ax-head when it miraculously floated and was recovered (2 Kings 6:3-7):
2KI 6:3 Then one of them said, "Won't you please come with your servants?" "I will," Elisha replied. 4 And he went with them. They went to the Jordan and began to cut down trees. 5 As one of them was cutting down a tree, the iron axe-head fell into the water. "Oh, my lord," he cried out, "it was borrowed!" 2KI 6:6 The man of God asked, "Where did it fall?" When he showed him the place, Elisha cut a stick and threw it there, and made the iron float. 7 "Lift it out," he said. Then the man reached out his hand and took it.
God could have changed the axe-head into anything He chose to make it float to the surface and, although it would have still been a miracle, unless He changed it back into the required axe-head it would have been a pointless miracle! The miracle glorified God through His servant Elisha and showed His love and concern for an admittedly small matter which was, nonetheless, important to the man who had 'borrowed' the valuable tool. When Jesus turned water into wine (John 2:1-11) it likewise answered a human need at a time of great joy to those gathered at the wedding feast but, more importantly (v11), 'This, the first of his miraculous signs ... revealed his glory, and his disciples put their faith in him'. Yes, the water had been transformed into another substance, wine, but the important fact is that everyone could recognise this fact with their normal faculties of sight, taste, smell, even feel!
A wafer which has been 'turned into' Christ's body and blood yet retains all its original qualities and characteristics lacks an essential of a miracle: to be recognizable and thereby bring glory to God. Since the wafer and wine remain unchanged, the alleged miracle remains unseen. But a miracle must be observable (the lame walk, the blind see, the storm is instantly calmed, the dead come to life upon command, an iron axe-head floats on water etc.), or else no one can know that it has taken place and thus no one can give God glory for it.
Of course God would be able to turn a wafer into human flesh. John the Baptist said that God could 'of these stones... raise up children unto Abraham' (Matthew 3:9; Luke 3:8). But if He did it, the stones which had been changed into human beings would not continue to look like stones and have all the qualities of stones. To turn a wafer into human flesh and blood would deny neither the nature of God nor of reality. But transubstantiation is not such a miracle. Papal Rome claims that the wafer becomes Christ's body 'under the appearance of a wafer.' Truly 'Emperor's New Clothes theology'!
There is no such 'miracle' in the Bible. The opening of the Red Sea so that the Israelites could walk through it on dry land was a feat that both Jews and Egyptians observed and that both understood had occurred by God's power. Suppose it had been a 'transubstantiation kind of miracle' - the Red Sea 'opened' under the appearance of remaining closed and the Israelites had 'walked' across on dry land 'under the appearance' of having to swim across. Suppose Christ healed a blind man 'under the appearance' of his not being able to see, or raised the dead 'under the appearance' of lifelessness. Such suppositions are ludicrous, yet that is exactly the nature of the 'transubstantiation miracle.' Jesus did not miraculously turn water into wine 'under the appearance of it remaining water.' There is no such 'miracle' in the Bible, and for Papal Rome to make such a claim is a feeble attempt to cover obvious fraud. In fact, a miracle of the kind Papal Rome claims is simply of the 'Emperor's New Clothes' kind of deception and akin to the occult. Things are simply not what they are claimed to be!
There is another reason why transubstantiation is deception. The psalmist declared (and Peter quoted this prophecy in his Pentecost sermon, as did Paul later): 'Thou wilt not... suffer thine Holy One to see corruption' (Psalm 16:10; cf. Acts 2:27; 13:35). Christ's body did not decay in the grave. Yet the consecrated and transubstantiated host reserved for administering to the sick or displayed for adoration molds through normal decomposition if it isn't disposed of soon after the Mass. If it were really Christ's body, it could not corrupt.
Transubstantiation is a dogma akin to the 'Emperor's New Clothes' fairy tale. A child can tell it is a hoax. Yet Papal Rome burned 288 English martyrs at the stake during the five-year reign of Bloody Queen Mary because they would not accept such deception.
Are your other proof verses of a similar ilk?
Daniel 12:11 reads:
11 And from the time that the continual burnt offering is taken away, and the abomination that makes desolate is set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days. 12 Blessed is he who waits and comes to the thousand three hundred and thirty-five days. 13 But go your way till the end; and you shall rest, and shall stand in your allotted place at the end of the days.'
These verses are not speaking about the Mass, but refer to the abomination prophesied concerning the invasion of Jerusalem - first in 168 B.C. (known as the 'Proto-Tribulation abomination of desolations') under Antiochus Epiphanes when he desecrated the temple and sacrificed a pig as a deliberate insult to the Jews and their God! Daniel prophesied for his time, the near future, and the End Times - the latter Tribulation desecration will occur when the Anti-Christ sets himself up in the Jerusalem temple (subsequent to the abrogation of the covenant between Antichrist and Israel) and demands worship from those who have taken the 'mark of the beast' (Revelation 16:2; 19:20) - the pope and his ecumenical lackeys!
Three times the words, 'abomination of desolation' is used in the book of Daniel. Twice references are made to 'abomination' which will take place under the Man of Sin in the Temple at Jerusalem (Daniel 9:27; 12:11; Matthew 24:15). The third time it is the pollution of the Temple under Antiochus Epiphanes (Daniel 11:31). There are three similarities of the desecration of the Temple under Antiochus and the Man of Sin:
1. He brought an end to the sacrifices offered in the Temple (Daniel 11:31; 9:27b). The termination of the sacrifices will occur just before the abomination of desolation set up by the Man of Sin in the Tribulation (Daniel 12:11).
2. The Man of Sin places an image of himself in the Temple (Daniel 9:27; 12:11; Matthew 24:15; 2 Thessalonians 2:4; Revelation 13:14-15).
3. He magnifies himself as God (Daniel 8:25;11:36; 2 Thessalonians 2:4)
4. Another similarity of these two men is that, just as Antiochus tried to impose an alien religion (his Hellenistic culture) on the Jews, the man of sin will likewise try to impose his culture on Jews in the coming day (Daniel 7:25).
It is certainly ironic that, in your desperate eisegetical attempt to make this verse support the Mass, you make an obtuse reference to the 'abomination' of the Mass!
Malachi 1:11 is also mis-used by you:
1 The oracle of the word of the LORD to Israel by Mal'achi. 2 'I have loved you,' says the LORD. But you say, 'How hast thou loved us?' 'Is not Esau Jacob's brother?' says the LORD. 'Yet I have loved Jacob 3 but I have hated Esau; I have laid waste his hill country and left his heritage to jackals of the desert.' 4 If Edom says, 'We are shattered but we will rebuild the ruins,' the LORD of hosts says, 'They may build, but I will tear down, till they are called the wicked country, the people with whom the LORD is angry for ever.' 5 Your own eyes shall see this, and you shall say, 'Great is the LORD, beyond the border of Israel!' 6 'A son honours his father, and a servant his master. If then I am a father, where is my honour? And if I am a master, where is my fear? says the LORD of hosts to you, O priests, who despise my name. You say, 'How have we despised thy name?' 7 By offering polluted food upon my altar. And you say, 'How have we polluted it?' By thinking that the LORD's table may be despised. 8 When you offer blind animals in sacrifice, is that no evil? And when you offer those that are lame or sick, is that no evil? Present that to your governor; will he be pleased with you or show you favor? says the LORD of hosts. 9 And now entreat the favor of God, that he may be gracious to us. With such a gift from your hand, will he show favor to any of you? says the LORD of hosts. 10 Oh, that there were one among you who would shut the doors, that you might not kindle fire upon my altar in vain! I have no pleasure in you, says the LORD of hosts, and I will not accept an offering from your hand. 11 For from the rising of the sun to its setting my name is great among the nations, and in every place incense is offered to my name, and a pure offering; for my name is great among the nations, says the LORD of hosts. 12 But you profane it when you say that the LORD's table is polluted, and the food for it may be despised. 13 'What a weariness this is,' you say, and you sniff at me, says the LORD of hosts. You bring what has been taken by violence or is lame or sick, and this you bring as your offering! Shall I accept that from your hand? says the LORD. 14 Cursed be the cheat who has a male in his flock, and vows it, and yet sacrifices to the Lord what is blemished; for I am a great King, says the LORD of hosts, and my name is feared among the nations.
This section of Scripture (verse 1-14) is clearly dealing with the Lord's objection to the dishonouring sacrifices offered by Israel. In verse 11, God told his faithless priests that he had others who, in different places and in later times, would bring acceptable offerings and give Him - with love and devotion - the worship he demanded. Of course, Christians do not bring incense and sacrificial animals to the Lord as ancient Israel did. But Revelation 5:8 reminds us that incense corresponds to prayer, and Hebrews 13:15-16 states that 'a sacrifice of praise' is 'the fruit of lips that confess his name.' So Christians are among those spoken of in Malachi 1:11, those of the far-off nations living in the distant future, who in Malachi's day were thought to be without hope because they had no contact with the religion of Jerusalem and its priests (cf. 1 Peter 2:9). The verses have nothing to do with the Papal Mass which is administered by a false priesthood which usurps our High Priest, the Lord Jesus Christ, and all we have to do is read through the verses relative to His Infinite Priesthood and the words high-lighted there speak plainly of the differences between Papal Rome and True Christianity.
Starting at Hebrews 7:23-8:1:
23 Now there have been many of those priests, since death prevented them from continuing in office; 24 but because Jesus lives forever, he has a permanent priesthood. 25 Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them. 26 Such a high priest meets our need - one who is holy, blameless, pure, set apart from sinners, exalted above the heavens. 27 Unlike the other high priests, he does not need to offer sacrifices day after day, first for his own sins, and then for the sins of the people. He sacrificed for their sins once for all when he offered himself. 28 For the law appoints as high priests men who are weak; but the oath, which came after the law, appointed the Son, who has been made perfect forever. 8:1 The point of what we are saying is this: We do have such a high priest, who sat down at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in heaven, 2 and who serves in the sanctuary, the true tabernacle set up by the Lord, not by man.
And Hebrews 10:11:
Day after day every priest stands and performs his religious duties; again and again he offers the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. 12 But when this priest had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God. 13 Since that time he waits for his enemies to be made his footstool, 14 because by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.
Finally Hebrews 10:19:
Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, 20 by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, 21 and since we have a great priest over the house of God, 22 let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. 23 Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.
We have shown the One True Priest and Once-for-all Sacrifice is the Lord Jesus Christ, and that the Mass does not appease God but is simply another desperate attempt to find evidence to support an un-Scriptural belief through eisegesis.
(Continued on page 291)