EXAMINING TRANSUBSTANTIATION
FROM THE BIBLE

By Tom Faulkner

It is always good to receive essays and papers on current topics from our readers.  Tom Faulkner has done a great piece of work here, and we ask you to read it carefully.


 

Transubstantiation: Miracle or Myth

Webster's dictionary defines transubstantiation as the bread and wine of the mass to become the actual body and blood of Jesus Christ; although the appearance and texture of these elements remain the same.

This booklet is to show the history and the belief in the doctrine of transubstantiation. We will see if the Roman Catholic Church's' belief follows the Bible, confirming it to be a miracle, or does the Bible prove it to be a myth.

We will first look at the history of this doctrine and how it has become what it is today. Prior to the Council of Nicene ( 325 AD ), and shortly there after, the belief of transubstantiation was totally unknown. There is no written record describing or acknowledging the existence of this doctrine.

During the Carolingian Empire ( 754 - 911 AD ) the Abbot of Corbie, Paschasius Radbertus, wrote a treatise called "On the Body and Blood of the Lord". Which is the beginning and the foundation of the belief of transubstantiation. Though, at this time, it was only at best a theory and not widely accepted or taught.

Transubstantiation as a term, was apparently first used by the archbishop of Tours, Hildebert of Lavardin ( 1056 - 1133 AD ). The doctrine was authoritatively declared to be the faith of the church at a council held in Rome under Pope Gregory VII in 1079, and again in the Fourth Lateran Council.

Adoration of the host ( also known as the Eucharist ), the act of paying honor and reverence to a deity, was first prescribed by Cardinal Guido, in Cologne, in 1203 AD.

In 1215 AD, at the Fourth Lateran Council under Pope Innocent III, the doctrine of transubstantiation was reaffirmed as an article of faith, or creed to be believed in without question. Also, during the ceremony ( The Mass ) when the priest at the altar uplifts the host and pronounces the words, "Hoc est corpus meum" ( This is my body ). The substance of the bread and wine is changed into the substance of the body and blood of Christ.

St. Thomas Aquinas ( 1225 - 1274 ), according to his school of philosophy, actual believed that the substance of the bread and wine changes into the substance of the body and blood of Christ. This is known as cosubstantiation, forming a union between the eucharistic elements after consecration. The Roman Catholic Church does not quite follow this belief to the point that he did. There allegedly have been some reports of the elements changing into the actual flesh and blood. They believe this to be a miracle, and do not challenge it to see if it is from God or not, because of their strong belief in it.

Adoration, of the host takes place when the congregation kneels as the priest uplifts the wafer. This ceremony was installed by Pope Honorius III in 1227 AD. Dulia ( veneration ) adoration is a type of expressed reverence used towards the host.

There are two types of worship within the church.

The first is Latria, which is a Greek word and translated into English is worship. This type is used towards God.

The second is Dulia, which is a Greek word and translated into English is veneration. This type is used towards the saints. These distinctions of worship were made around the beginning of the fifth century.

The Council of Trent ( 1545 - 1563 AD ) was called by Pope Paul III and concluded by Pope Pius IV. It was declared during the third period ( January 18, 1562 - December 1, 1563 ), the 22nd session, that the sacrifice in the Mass is identical to the sacrifice of the cross. In which Jesus is the priest and victim of both. Also the council made tradition to be equally authoritative as the Bible, when it comes to formatting church doctrine. Therefore their belief does not necessarily follow scripture, which leaves it completely to what they dictate. This was all formally documented in the Creed of Pope Pius, which was written during this council.

Consequently the Council of Trent decreed that the Mass is the true propitiatory sacrifice. As a complete atonement for the sins of the people.

The Roman Catholic Church also exercises perpetual adoration towards the host whether it is in view or not. This is done at all hours in which the people are kneeling and prayers are said before the host. The Eucharist ( host ) is the third of the seven sacraments that the Catholic Church celebrates. When the Mass is performed, and the consecrated elements are worshipped, Jesus is being sacrificed over and over again. A continual sacrifice for our sins and a continual suffering on His part. The Scriptures that the Catholic Church refers to as proof of this doctrine are as follows.

"And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take eat: this is my body. And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins." ( Matthew 26:26 - 28 )

"I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world." ( John 6:51 )

With these short passages of Scripture, the Roman Catholic Church has presented a complete doctrine in relation to the sacrifice that Jesus had suffered on the cross. Have people to believe that God had not only changed the bread and wine, but have gone into these elements as well. That the elements are God Himself making it possible to refer to the host as a type of wafer-god. Which can be called this after being consecrated by the priest during the Mass.

Is this sheer paganism in believing that the host has been changed into God? Does scripture teach or support the doctrine of transubstantiation at all?

Let's look at more scripture to verify or dismiss this doctrine.

First, Christ is not sacrificed each time the Catholics have Mass. Jesus was sacrificed once and only once, as shown in the following scriptures.

"Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him." ( Romans 6:9 )

"Who needeth not daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifices, first for his own sins, and then for the people's: for this he did once, when he offered up himself." ( Hebrews 7:27 )

"So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many;" ( Hebrews 9:28 )

"By the which we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all... But this man ( Jesus ), after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God;" ( Hebrews 10:10 & 12 )

The Bible shows clearly that Jesus was sacrificed once and only once upon the cross for our sins. Not a continuous bloody humiliating sacrifice that the Roman Catholic Church practices and believes in. Secondly, Jesus did not change the bread and wine ( actually grape juice ) into His body and blood. Notice what He says in Matthew 26:29.

"But I say unto you, I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father's kingdom."

He says "fruit of the vine" meaning that it was not changed into His blood. Otherwise He would have mentioned that it was changed, or He would have not referred to it as "fruit of the vine". Also that in Luke 22:19 Jesus says that we are to do this "in remembrance" of Him. That the bread could not have been changed into His body. Jesus was still present among His disciples and could not have meant a literal body, but spoken of it symbolically.

Paul shows this in 1 Corinthians 11:24 - 26.  "And when he had given thanks he brake it, and said , Take eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord's death till he come."

Paul does not say for us to repeat the Lord's death, but to do it as a memorial for what He has done for us. We are not to forget what Jesus has done for us upon the cross. Also in verse 26 Paul refers to it as bread, not as the body of Christ.

Second, the bread ( host ) does not become Christ or God Himself as the believe. As stated before, this belief is paganism, a worship of false gods. It is a form of idolatry in which the Catholic Church is giving excess veneration to the host ( Eucharist ).

"Thou shalt have no other gods before me..." ( Exodus 20:3 )

"Thou shalt not bow down thyself unto them..." ( Deuteronomy 5:9 )

"Ye are my witnesses, saith the Lord, and my servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me." ( Isaiah 43:10 )

Third, in response to the one scripture, John 6:51, that they use as proof to this doctrine. Jesus explains what He is saying in verse 63.

"It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life."

He is not saying that you literally eat His flesh or drink His blood, for it is all symbolic and spiritual. When we worship the Lord it must do so in spirit and in truth.

"But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth. ( John 4:23, 24 )

Fourth, in response to the Catholic Church believing that the Mass is the propitiatory sacrifice is does not follow scripture. Which says that Christ is the propitiation for the remission of sins and not a ceremony as follows.

"Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;" ( Romans 3:25 )

"And he is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world." ( 1 John 2:2; see also 1 John 4:10 )

Realize also that the host is hidden in a chamber on the alter in front of the church, which is also against scripture.

"Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not." ( Matthew 24:26 )

On Good Friday the tabernacle ( chamber ), on the alter of the church, is open to show that Christ is not there. Giving the belief that Jesus actually resides in there. The host is then placed some where secretively until Easter Sunday. Which as we have seen by the previous scripture is totally not true. The Roman Catholic doctrine on transubstantiation is totally against the Word of God. They are creating idols to worship in according to this belief. As a doctrine that we cannot believe in, nor accept at all.

When we celebrate the Lord's Supper, we are to be worthy to do so. Otherwise we will be guilty of Christ, and bring damnation unto ourselves. We are to examine ourselves and seek forgiveness from God to cleans us of our sins. An to have forgiveness towards others, as God has forgiveness to us. Then we are worthy, as true believers, to partake of the Lord's Supper. Which brings us in communion with God spiritually.

This is the proper way of celebrating the Lord's Supper. Realizing the elements are only symbolic of Christ's body and blood, and having forgiveness from God in setting us free from sin. As Paul states this in 1 Corinthians 11:23 - 32.

There is only one sacrifice that set's us free from sin and that one occurred on the cross when Jesus shed His blood for our sins. When we accept Jesus as our Lord and Saviour, we become born again and are are to to enter into His kingdom. It is His blood that cleanses us from all unrighteousness.

"But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin." ( 1 John 1:7 )

Our belief is in Jesus Christ and God's holy Word, the Bible. Not church doctrine, or a doctrine based on tradition that would lead us into unbelief and damnation. Notice what Jesus Himself says about man's tradition.

"But he ( Jesus ) answered and said unto them, Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition?" ( Matthew 15:3 )

Paul also warns us about following's man's tradition in Colossians 2:8.

"Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ." ( See also Mark 7:6 - 13, & 1 Peter 1:18 )

We are to study God's Word, so we will not be deceived by false doctrine, that is taught by any church.

"Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth." ( 2 Timothy 2:15 )

Now is the time to repent and follow God's Word as it is written in the Bible. Pray for Jesus to come into your heart and be born again. Now is the time to repent and follow God's Word as it is written in the Bible.

Here is an example of the sinners' prayer that you can use as a guide to pray unto God for salvation, in receiving Jesus as your redeemer. Pray with all sincerity and humility, and as you pray this prayer confess all your sins to God, individually, and extend forgiveness to those who have done you wrong.

"Father in heaven I come to you in Jesus name. I'm a sinner Lord, for I have not lived my life for you. I repent of my sins and turn away from them. Forgive me of my sins and cleanse me with your blood that you shed upon the cross. I believe that Jesus died for my sins; that He rose again from the dead so that I will have everlasting life with you. I receive Jesus as Lord and Saviour. Thank you Lord for hearing my prayer. Fill me with your Holy Spirit. Amen and amen."

Next pray every day to God and read His Word every day as well. Then, fine a Bible believing church that confesses the Bible as the final authority in all things. A church that believes and accepts the Bible as the literal, inerrant, infallible Word of God. Also, you need to tell someone of your decision as it says in Romans 10:9.

"That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved."

Once you are saved no one can take your salvation away from you, nor can anyone pluck you out of God's hands ( John 10:28 - 30 ). You now, not only have salvation, but, have been set free ( Galatians 5:1 ) of any bondage that any church might try to put you in. Your salvation comes from God's grace, through Jesus, and not from works.

"For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast." ( Ephesians 2:8 & 9 )

We also need to pray for those who are trapped in religious bondage, like those in the Roman Catholic Church. Showing the love of Christ towards them, that they may be set free from the false doctrine.

As Jesus loved the sinner, and hated sin, so shall we. May you keep your sight on Jesus; not on man or his word. Amen.

Bibliography

The Bible - King James Version
Cyclopedia of Religious Knowledge ( 1890 )
Christianity, by Roland H. Bainton ( 1987 )
Eerdman's Handbook to the History of Christianity ( 1977 )
Encyclopedia Americana ( 1975 )
Funk & Wagnalls Encyclopedia ( 1962 )
Pocket Catholic Dictionary, by John A. Hardon, S. J. ( 1985 )
Reformation, The, by Owen Chadwick ( 1986 )
Roman Catholicism, by Loraine Boettner ( 1986 )
Webster Dictionary ( 1975 )


Hundreds of Eucharistic Adoration chapels have been established in the USA-- Chicago has some 30 Perpetual Adoration chapels. In Joliet, Illinois, 3000 people are signed up to take turns "adoring" the wafer god. "Adoration" takes place in 207 parishes in the St. Louis area.

In Lombard, Illinois, the deacon in charge of the local Eucharistic Adoration stated, "There are three pillars that hold up the roof of our faith: Belief in the real presence of Jesus in the Holy Eucharist, devotion to our Blessed Mother, and obedience to the Holy Father (The Pope). Without all three, the roof comes crashing down."

The Pope on the Eucharist-- "The Eucharist is the source and summit of the Church's life. The Church lives by the Eucharist, she draws from it the spiritual energy to carry out her mission. It is the Eucharist that gives her the strength to grow and to be united. The Eucharist is the heart of the Church!" It is evident from this quote that The Living Lord Jesus Christ at the right hand of the Father in heaven is NOT the first source of the Roman Catholic Church. A cookie god is this Pope's primary source of power. This cookie god is as alien to Jesus Christ as a cabbage is to the moon.

Question to wafer god worshippers: Where is your Jesus eight hours after you eat Him? Click Here for answer. Too rough? Well, then prove me wrong. Did Jesus really mean that the bread was His flesh?  You say, yes. Well, then why didn't the disciples start chewing on Jesus' leg after the resurrection when they saw Him? That would be eating the "verily and truly body of Christ" according to Catholic doctrine.

Question for the Pope: You believe Jesus will one day return and set up His kingdom I gather. When He appears, will you take a nip out of His leg, or will you take second best and eat the cookie?


LINKS:

Here is zeal, but insane zeal

 

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