THE WAFER-GOD OF ROME
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This article examines the doctrine of transubstantiation, the theory that the bread and wine of the Roman Catholic mass becomes the actual body and blood of Jesus Christ. We will examine the sacred scriptures to see if transubstantiation is fact or fable. We will see if the Catholic church’s belief follows the Bible, confirming it to be a miracle, or if the Bible proves it to be a myth.
“Christ…by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.” (Heb. 9:11,12).
“For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified. Whereof the Holy Ghost also is a witness to us: for after that he had said before, This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them; And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more. Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin.” (Heb. 10:14-18)
Before the apostles of Christ departed from this world they left us with their testimonies. These writings are found in the Holy Bible of the Christian religion and are known as the Holy Scriptures of The New Testament of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. The apostles wrote much about the salvation of man’s soul. Salvation by grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone, is repeated in the scriptures as the only way for man to be saved from his sins. The apostle Paul said, “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.” (Eph. 2:8,9).
The Old Testament priesthood of sacrifices offered to God for the sins of the people and accomplished at the hands of the officiating priest was done away with by Jesus Christ on the cross at Calvary (Col. 2:13,14; Heb. 8:13). Jesus said, “It is finished:” “we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.” (John 19:30; Heb. 10:10). “Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more” (Rom. 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.” (Heb. 7:27).
Jesus “entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.” (Heb. 9:1). “So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many” (Heb. 9:28). Jesus “offered one sacrifice for sins for ever,” so “there is no more offering for sin” (Heb. 10:12,18). Every believer is now a priest unto God (Rev. 1:6); and every believer now has direct and equal access to “come boldly unto the throne of grace” through the one and only “one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus” who “by himself purged our sins” (I Tim. 2:5; Heb. 1:3; 4:16).
The scripture passages above clearly show that there is no more worldly priesthood or sanctuary, no more priest’s office, no more earthly tabernacle, no more physical alter upon which to offer any sacrifice. Every born again believer is now part of the “royal priesthood” by the finished sacrifice of Jesus Christ upon the cross (I Peter 2:9; Rev. 1:5,6). Jesus Christ was sacrificed once, and only once, never again to be offered for our sins. Not a continuous bloody, or un-bloody, humiliating sacrifice that the Roman Catholic Church believes in and practices at its physical alters on a daily basis. Prior to the fourth century of the Christian era the belief of transubstantiation was totally unknown. There is no written record describing or acknowledging the existence of this doctrine. It was not until the 11th century that this doctrine was declared to be the faith of the Roman church.
For 1,000 years after Christ, the Roman Church, like all other Christian churches, celebrated the Last Supper as a simple commemorative meal, and not as a transubstantiation of bread and wine into flesh and blood. On the walls of the catacombs in which the early Christians took refuge from persecution, there are, to this very day, and within a short distance of the Pope’s palace, drawings which represent the believers as celebrating the Last Supper, as a simple meal, with fish and wine on the table, and the Christians pictured, as they sat themselves down to eat. But when the new doctrine of Transubstantiation swept away the simplicity of Gospel teaching, and the continual sacrifice—“the Eucharist”— was substituted for the one supreme and final sacrifice, the daily manipulation of bread and wine at the Roman Catholic altar took the place of the crucifixion on Calvary.
The apostles had much to say in the way of comforting and exhorting the believers. They also had much to say in the way of admonishing the believers and warning us of the perilous times that would shortly come to pass. They warned of the false teachers and false apostles and the strong delusion that would deceive many. The apostles Paul, Peter, John and Jude wrote the following warnings concerning the deception that was already beginning to manifest itself in the churches:
“Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him, That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand. Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.” (II Thessalonians 2:1-4).
“And from Miletus he [Paul] sent to Ephesus, and called the elders of the church…. Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears.” (Acts 20:17,28-31)
“Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron; Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats,” (I Timothy 4:1-3)“For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.” (II Timothy 4:3,4)
“Unto the angel of the church of Ephesus write;.. I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars: And hast borne, and hast patience, and for my name’s sake hast laboured, and hast not fainted. Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works;” (Revelation 2:1-5)
“But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them [the “unbloody sacrifice” of “The Mass” essentially denies the all-sufficient one sacrifice for sins forever accomplished by Jesus Christ on the cross; and bring upon themselves swift destruction. And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of.” (II Peter 2:1,2)
“Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints. For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Jude 1:3,4)
In the above scripture verses the apostles of Christ are describing a corrupting of the simplicity of the gospel from within by certain members in its own ranks. The apostle John said, “Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time. They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us.” (I John 2:18,19).
For three years the apostle Paul warned the churches “night and day with tears” (Acts 20:31). Paul said, “But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him.” (II Cor. 11:3,4). Paul warned about “false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ.” (II Cor. 11:13,14).
The apostle Jude exhorted the followers of Jesus Christ to “earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.” (Jude 1:3). Christ’s followers are exhorted to earnestly contend for the faith which was delivered to the saints at the time the last apostle went to glory, because the canon of Scripture was completed by then. The faith is made up of the word of God and the traditions which were taught by the apostles (2 Cor. 11:4; Gal. 1:6-9; Jude). Christ’s followers must contend against every extra-biblical tradition, ordinance, doctrine and revelation, because religious leaders and institutions can become corrupt, and our only assurance to genuine faith is from the objective, infallible word of God (Mat. 23; John 17:17; Rom. 16:17).
This “once delivered” faith was communicated first to the evangelists and apostles, by the teaching of Jesus Christ, and by the inspiration of the Holy Ghost; and was by them spread abroad in the world, and set before “all nations for the obedience of faith;” and was by them also committed to writing in the gospels and epistles as a standing rule for the guidance of all future ages (Rom. 16:26). It was delivered to them by their divine Lord, as a sacred deposit to be kept by every believer, that by these lively oracles, these “words of eternal life,” they might be guided into every saving truth, and directed to the blood of the cross, and instructed in all things, how they should walk and please God, and follow the steps of their “Lord and Master,” “the author and finisher of their faith” (John 6:68; 13:14; Heb. 12:2). This faith was delivered to the saints once, and only once, to be an unalterable rule and standard of truth, which was not to be changed by the wayward fancies of men. Nevertheless, man’s traditions slowly crept into the churches. Shortly after the apostles’ death a great corrupting of the simple doctrines of the Christian faith began to take shape in the form of superstition, fables and idolatry.
In the Old Testament when God delivered the children of Israel from bondage in Egypt, many of his people yearned for the idols of the gods of the Egyptians (Ezk. 20:1-16). On their journey to the promised land the children of Israel fashioned their own image and attempted to worship the true God in a similar manner as the Egyptians worshiped their false gods. Needless to say, their idolatrous worship provoked God to wrath, and three thousand lost their lives (Ex. 32:1-28). From mount Sinai man was given the ten commandments engraved on two tables of stone written with God’s own omnipotent finger to instruct man in the way of truth (Ex. 31:18). Because of man’s propensity to make and bow down to images, God included the second of the ten commandments as a prohibition against the making and use of images in any shape or form to be used in any religious worship (Ex. 20:4,5; Deut. 4:16).
When God told Moses to make two cherubims (angels) on the ark of the covenant, the high priest was never instructed to bow down to these statues of cherubim or to pray to the angels in heaven that they represented (Ex. 25:1-40; 37:7-9). When God told Moses to make a brass serpent the people were instructed to only “look upon it,” no one was told to bow down to it or pray before it (Num. 21:8,9). When the people began to venerate the image and burn incense to it, King Hezekiah did that which was right in the sight of the LORD and destroyed it (II Kings 18:3,4). Solomon’s Temple had many carvings, images, and even statues of angels and oxen, but in no case did anyone bow down before them and pray to what they represented (I Kings 6:21-29; 6:32,35; 7:23-29; II Chr. 4:2-5-15).
Some churches use similar such decorations of angels etc, as God has not completely prohibited art. You cross the line though when you bow down before any image in prayer. That act of bowing down before any image in worship is what God so clearly forbids:
“Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.” (Ex. 20:4-6) “Ye shall make you no idols nor graven image, neither rear you up a standing image, neither shall ye set up any image of stone in your land, to bow down unto it: for I am the LORD your God.” (Lev. 26:1)
“Take ye therefore good heed unto yourselves; for ye saw no manner of similitude on the day that the LORD spake unto you in Horeb out of the midst of the fire: Lest ye corrupt yourselves, and make you a graven image, the similitude of any figure, the likeness of male or female,… For the LORD thy God is a consuming fire, even a jealous God.” (Deut. 4:15-24)
Nevertheless, fallen man, who by nature is a creature of habit, continually provoked God to anger by copying the customs of the heathen to worship the true God. The apostle Paul, writing to the disciples at Corinth, said, “Wherefore, my dearly beloved, flee from idolatry.” (I Cor. 10:14). Today, as in ancient times, the temptations of idolatry are present and are given heed to by unregenerated man as he makes and attempts to “Christianize” images to worship the true God: “there is no new thing under the sun.” (Eccl. 1:9).
Regarding “the sun,” ancient sun-worship was an idolatrous custom of the nations of the world from the earliest times of recorded history. In different parts of the world ancient celestial deities were worshiped under a variety of names, but they all shared identical or similar attributes. And God’s people often went astray by worshipping in these idolatrous ways (Deut. 4:19; 17:3; Judges 2:13; 10:6; I Sam. 7:3,4; 12:10; I Kings 11:5,33; II Kings 23:3-5,13; Jer. 7:18; 44:17,18). In the first century of the Christian church we are told “of the great goddess Diana…whom all Asia and the world worshippeth.” (Acts 19:27).
When the apostle Paul was in Athens “he saw the city wholly given to idolatry” (Acts 17:16,29,30). The book of Acts says of God’s own people, even after he delivered them from bondage in Egypt, “in their hearts turned back again into Egypt,…Then God turned, and gave them up to worship the host of heaven;” (Acts 7:39-43).
“Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.” (I Cor. 10:11)
The successful merging of pagan rituals with Christian doctrines was finally accomplished after the Pagan/Christian Roman Emperor “Constantine the Great” came to power in 312 A.D. The simple Christian doctrine of salvation by grace through faith was corrupted and mingled with pagan customs. In what became known as the Dark Ages, a new form of worship emerged which dominated the Christian world for over a thousand years. A new priesthood arose that separated God’s people into an unscriptural clergy-laity relationship and introduced a mixture of Jewish, Christian and pagan practices and ceremonial sacrifices which essentially denies the all-sufficient one sacrifice for sins forever accomplished by Jesus Christ on the cross at Calvary. Over the centuries many extra-biblical traditions were adopted —priests offering sacrifices for sins, indulgences remitting punishment for sins, prayers for souls in purgatory, church leaders forbidden to marry, infallible men, salvation dispensed through sacraments, rosaries, holy water, crucifixes, statues— and by the turn of the thirteenth century when Innocent III was Pope Transubstantiation was added to the church of Rome’s litany of false doctrines. Innocent III also declared himself “the bridegroom,” a title belonging exclusively to the Lord Jesus Christ (Matt. 9:15; 25:1-13). This anti-biblical form of Christianity received a crushing blow during the Protestant Reformation; but tragically, over the last one-hundred years it has revived and is again cunningly propagating its doctrines and is gaining in popularity among the unlearned and misinformed.
Upon examining the claims of the Roman Catholic Church being the true Church of God, it will be found that the claims of that Church are not substantiated by the revealed word of God. The overwhelming majority of Catholics enter that Church in infancy, without their knowledge or consent. They become members of the Roman Church without the exercise of their reason or judgment. And as Paul exhorts the Corinthian church to “examine yourselves whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves” (2 Cor. 13:5) it is the privilege and duty of all Catholics and non-Catholics to examine themselves whether or not they are in the true faith and “the true Church of God.” Everyone must examine for himself. Furthermore, as the everlasting destiny of all Roman Catholics is suspended upon the supposed truth of this proposition —that the church of Rome is “the true Church”— it behooves them especially to examine their Church claims calmly and impartially, in the light of God’s Revelation – the Holy Scriptures.
[Transubstantiation] was not a doctrine of the early Church. For the first eight centuries it does not appear to have been much a subject of dispute; and the real presence certainly formed no essential part of the creed. The first controversy regarding transubstantiation took place in the ninth century, when the doctrine of the real presence was advanced, in the year 831, by Paschasius Radbertus, the Abbot of Corbie, and when the opposite view was stoutly maintained by Ratramnus (Bertram), a monk of the same place. The next great controversy was carried on between the years 1040 and 1050, when Berengarius, of Tours, attacked the doctrine of transubstantiation, and declared it to be contrary to reason, to Scripture, to the teaching of the early Fathers, and especially to that of St. Augustine. Berengarius, however, had no chance of success when opposed by the famous Hildebrand; and after this period the doctrine of transubstantiation triumphed completely in the Western Church. Its introduction into England was due to William the Conqueror and his Norman priests; Lanfrance, whom William made Archbishop of Canterbury, being one of its most zealous supporters. At the fourth Lateran Council, in 1215, the term transubstantiation was first used in a decree of the Church, and the doctrine of the real presence was formally incorporated with the creed.” (John Wycliffe, Patriot and Reformer, 1884, p. 161)
Jonathan Edwards, widely acknowledged as one of America’s most important Christian preachers, wrote many important theological works including History of Redemption published in the 18th century in which is shown what great works of Satan were wrought during the Dark Ages in opposition to the kingdom of Christ. Edwards said:
“During this time also superstition and ignorance more and more prevailed. The holy scriptures by degrees were taken out of the hands of the laity, the better to promote the unscriptural and wicked designs of the Pope and the clergy; and instead of promoting knowledge among the people, they industriously promoted ignorance. It was a received maxim among them, That ignorance is the mother of devotion: And so great was the darkness of those times, that learning was almost extinct in the world. The very priests themselves, most of them were barbarously ignorant as to any commendable learning, or any other knowledge than their hellish craft, in oppressing and tyrannizing over the souls of the people. The superstition and wickedness of the church of Rome, kept growing worse and worse till the very time of the Reformation; and the whole Christian world were led away into this great defection, excepting the remains of the Christian church in the Eastern empire that had not been utterly overthrown by the Turks, as the Greek church, and some others, which were also sunk into great darkness and gross superstition, excepting also those few that were the people of God….” (History of Redemption, Jonathan Edwards, 1793, pp. 435,436)
Jonathan Edwards also wrote about how the true church of Christ was upheld through this dark time:
“ It is to be observed, that towards the former part of this space of time, some of the nations of Christendom held out a long time before they complied with the corruptions and usurpations of the church of Rome. Though all the world wondered after the beast, yet all nations did not fall in at once. Many of the principal corruptions of the church of Rome were brought in with a great deal of struggle and opposition; and particularly, when the Pope gave out that he was universal bishop, many churches greatly opposed him in it; and it was a long time before they would yield to his exorbitant claims. And so when the worship of images was first brought into the churches, there were many who greatly opposed it, and long held out against it. And so with respect to other corruptions of the church of Rome. Those people that dwelt nearer to the city of Rome complied sooner, but some that were more remote, were a long time before they could be induced to put their necks under the yoke; and particularly ecclesiastical history gives an account, that it was so with great part of the churches in England, and Scotland, and France, who retained the ancient purity of doctrine and worship much longer than many others who were nearer the chief seat of antichrist.  In every age of this dark time, there appeared particular persons in all parts of Christendom, who bore a testimony against the corruptions and tyranny of the church of Rome. There is no one age of antichrist, even in the darkest times of all, but ecclesiastical historians mention a great many by name who manifested an abhorrence of the Pope, and his idolatrous worship, and pleaded for the ancient purity of doctrine and worship. God was pleased to maintain an uninterrupted succession of witnesses through the whole time, in Germany, France, Britain, and other countries; as historians demonstrate, and mention them by name, and give an account of the testimony which they held. Many of them were private persons, and many of them ministers, and some magistrates, and persons of great distinction. And there were numbers in every age who were persecuted and put to death for this testimony.” (History of Redemption, Jonathan Edwards, 1793, pp. 440-442)
Jesus often used analogies and comparisons to teach his people. He called men “branches,” “sheep,” “vipers,” a “tree,” and so forth. Jesus’ followers, and even his enemies, understood that he was only speaking figuratively. Jesus said, “Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” (John 3:3). Anyone with an iota of intelligence knows that the phrase “born again” is not meant in a literal sense. Speaking to his disciples, Jesus said, “I am the vine, ye are the branches.” Jesus was never a physical vine. When Jesus said, “I am the bread of life:” we can no more interpret this literally than when he said, “I am the vine” and “I am the door”. At the Passover when Jesus took a piece of bread and told his disciples “this is my body, which is broken for you:” it was no more of a literal meaning than when Jesus said “I am the door of the sheep.” Jesus does not become a piece of physical wood for us to enter through. Jesus is the spiritual door, not physical wood. Jesus is no more present in the physical bread of the so called Eucharist than he is present in the physical wood of the door of a church building. (Mat. 12:33,34; 23:33; John 6:35; 10:7; 15:5; I Cor. 11:24)
When Jesus, referring to his flesh and blood, said, “Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life;” he was, of course, speaking figuratively (John 6:54). But because many of Jesus’ disciple didn’t understand that he was not speaking in a literal sense but in a spiritual sense, “Many therefore of his disciples, when they had heard this, said, This is an hard saying; who can hear it?” and “From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him.” (John 6:60,66). We know that Jesus was not talking about his natural flesh, but of his eternal words, because when Jesus said unto the twelve apostles, “Will ye also go away?” Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life.” (John 6:67,68). Furthermore, Jesus said, “It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.” (John 6:63). Jesus said “That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.” (Luke 4:4). The Lord said, “open thy mouth wide, and I will fill it.” (Psa. 81:10). The Lord is not telling us to open our physical mouths but our spiritual hearts (Rev. 3:20). Jeremiah said, “Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart:” (Jer. 15:16). Job said, “I have esteemed the words of his mouth more than my necessary food.” (Job 23:12). Paul said, in three different places, “the church is the Lord’s body:” “Now ye are the body of Christ,” (I Cor. 12:27; Eph. 1:22,23; Col. 1:24). To “eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood” means to hear his words in your ear and believe them in your heart and “be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.” (John 6:53; Luke 8:21; Psa. 119:11; Jam. 1:22) (See scriptures that disprove the Transubstantiation in the next post.)
When Jesus celebrated the last passover meal with his disciples just before his death, he took bread and wine and gave it to them to eat and drink and said, “This is my body which is given for you:” and “This is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many.” and “This cup is the new testament in my blood,” the disciples were not eating and drinking the Lord’s actual flesh and blood (Matt. 5:17; 26:26-29; Mark 14:22-25; Luke 22:20; I Cor. 11:25). If Jesus was speaking literally of his flesh and blood in these scripture verses, as Romanists maintain, then the actual cup was transubstantiated into the New Testament. This shows that Christ was speaking figuratively. Christ’s words here can not be figurative and literal at the same time—the bread literal, the cup figurative. The Lord’s disciples never ate and drank His actual flesh and blood, because Jesus used bread and wine metaphorically, as an example, to show his disciples that he was to fulfil the law and the prophets and become the ultimate and final sacrifice for our sins. The apostle Paul said that “we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.” (Heb. 10:10). Jesus said, “Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.” “Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.” (John 15:3; 17:17). Paul said that Jesus “offered one sacrifice for sins for ever,… by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified…. there is no more offering for sin.” (Heb. 10:12,14,17).
“But the righteousness which is of faith speaketh on this wise, Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring Christ down from above:) Or, Who shall descend into the deep? (that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead.) But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach; 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…. So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” (Rom. 10:6-17)
According to the scriptures, which are given to us “by inspiration of God,.. for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:” (II Tim. 3:16), the so called Mass, the Eucharist, the Transubstantiation of the wafer-cake and the wine supposedly transformed into the very flesh and blood of the Lord Jesus Christ and reverenced, adored and worshiped as the “true God,” is absolute idolatry. Before the participant, or “communicant,” of the Catholic “Mass” can receive the “actual flesh of Jesus” (according the Catholic church) every participant must affirm that the bread, or wafer, that he or she is about to consume is in fact the very flesh of Jesus Christ and is the true God. This is blatant idolatry. This practice is nowhere to be found in the scriptures. No apostle or disciple of Jesus Christ ever performed such superstitious blasphemous ceremonies. On the contrary, the apostles of Christ warned us that such “doctrines of devils” would be taught by “false apostles” who would “privily bring in damnable heresies” which would “deceive many.” (I Tim. 4:1-3; II Cor. 11:13,14; II Pet. 2:1; Mat. 24:4,5)
Read the following information which was taken directly from the NAB (New American Bible), the official Roman Catholic Bible, and see if the church of Rome does not present a false gospel of sacramental works thereby promoting “another Jesus” and “denying the Lord that bought them” through its supposed “unbloody” sacrifice, because “without shedding of blood is no remission” of sin (Heb. 9:22; II Cor. 11:4; II Pet. 2:1):
It is a true, but unbloody, sacrifice, in which the Body and Blood are offered to God under the appearance of bread and wine. On the Cross the sacrifice of Christ was physical and personal; in the Mass Christ is both priest and victim, and the sacrifice is made through the Ministry of His priests. Pope Pius XII indicated the role the laity should play in the celebration of the Mass…. The faithful are no longer to be mere spectators at the Mass, but are to participate in it, along with the priest. The second Vatican Council convened under Pope John XXIII and Pope Paul VI, further declared: “The Church, therefore, earnestly desires that Christ’s faithful, when present at this Mystery of Faith, should not be there as strangers or silent spectators. On the contrary, through a proper appreciation of the rites and prayers they should participate knowingly, devoutly, and actively. They should be instructed by God’s word and be refreshed at the table of the Lord’s body . . . by offering the Immaculate Victim, not only through the hands of the priest, but also with him…. (page 462-2) THE OFFERTORY (Liturgy of the Eucharist). After the Offertory procession, the priest prepares the gifts of bread and wine which will be used in the Eucharist…. “Blessed are You, Lord God of all creation. Through Your goodness we have this bread to offer which earth has given and human hands have made. It will become our bread of life. (page 462-14)
PREPARATION OF THE GIFTS (Liturgy of the Eucharist). Having prepared the gift of bread, the priest now prepares the gift of wine, which is to be changed into the Blood of Christ. (page 462-15)
THE CELEBRANT WASHES HIS HANDS (Liturgy of the Eucharist). This washing of the hands is symbolic of the purification of the soul, so that the priest may approach the great sacrifice without blemish. (page 462-16)
CONSECRATION OF THE BREAD (Liturgy of the Eucharist). We believe that bread and wine truly become the glorified Body and Blood of Jesus Christ. (page 462-19)
THE ELEVATION OF THE HOST (Liturgy of the Eucharist). Now the priest raises the consecrated Bread for all to see and adore. What had been bread before had truly become the Body and Blood, soul and divinity, of our Lord Jesus Christ. (page 462-20)
CONSECRATION OF THE WINE (Liturgy of the Eucharist). The Wine has now truly become the Blood of Christ, and Jesus is truly present now on the alter under both forms. (page 462-21)
THE ELEVATION OF THE CHALICE (Liturgy of the Eucharist). Again, the celebrant raises the chalice for all to see. It is the Blood of Christ. Jesus offers Himself anew to His Heavenly Father as He did on the Cross…. (page 462-22)
BEHOLD THE LAMB OF GOD (Liturgy of the Eucharist). The celebrant holds a particle of the Eucharistic bread and uses the words first used by St. John the Baptizer: “Behold the Lamb of God; behold Him who takes away the sins of the world.” (page 462-29)
THE COMMUNION PROCESSION (Liturgy of the Eucharist). Having humbly confessed their unworthiness, and asking for forgiveness, mercy, and peace, the communicants proceed to the foot of the alter to receive Holy Communion. The priest holds the Consecrated Host before each communicant saying: “The Body of Christ!” and each communicant replies: “Amen.” (page 462-30) (New American Bible, 1975, Catholic heirloom Edition)
If the Roman Catholic Mass is not a false gospel of sacramental works, then nothing is. If the so called act of “Transubstantiation” and the elevation and veneration of the “Host” as the “Real Presence” of the “true God” is not gross idolatry and another gospel, another spirit and another Jesus (Gal. 1:6-9; II Cor. 11:3,4), then neither is the Mormon Temple Ceremony false. So what if a Catholic claims to believe in only one God, Jesus Christ: “the devils also believe, and tremble.” (James 2:19; Mark 1:24). Compare the false Romish gospel of sacramental works with the “once for all…. one sacrifice for sins for ever” in the true scriptures of the Holy Bible where “there is no more offering for sin” (and “without shedding of blood is no remission”), even as the Lord Jesus Christ was dying on the cross some two thousand years ago, and said, “It is finished” (John 19:30), and the old covenant of sacrifices offered by priests for the sins of the people was “finished” and forever done away with at Calvary (Heb. 1:3; 8:13; 9:11-14,22,28; 10:10-18).
John Wycliffe, known as “The Morning Star of The Reformation,“ was the very first to translate the entire Bible into English, which he completed in 1382. With the translation of the Bible into the common language of the people, many began to see for the first time the numerous errors and corruptions of the Roman Catholic church. John Wycliffe said of the so called act of “Transubstantiation”
“I maintain that among all the heresies which have ever appeared in the Church, there never was one which was more cunningly smuggled in by hypocrites than this, or which in more ways deceives the people; for it plunders the people, leads them astray into idolatry, denies the teaching of Scripture, and by this unbelief provokes the Truth Himself oftentimes to anger.” (John Wycliffe, Patriot and Reformer, 1884, p. 162)
For translating the scriptures into the English language, John Wycliffe was persecuted and branded a heretic by the papacy. More than 40 years after his death and burial, even Wycliffe’s remains were not allowed to rest in peace, as Pope Martin V orderd Wycliffe’s bones exhumed and placed on trial and publicly burned. Historian John Laird Wilson remarked,
“On the dead Reformer his enemies took a mean revenge. His writings were condemned at the Council of Constance in 1415; and a decree was issued, ordering that “his body and bones, if they could be distinguished from those of the faithful, should be disinterred and cast away from the consecrated ground. This decree was disregarded for thirteen years, when, at the peremptory mandate of the Pope, it was executed under the personal direction of the Bishop of Lincoln. The bones were disinterred, burned, and flung into the Swift, the stream which flows past Lutterworth, and falls into the Avon. “Thus,” says Thomas Fuller, in his “Church History of Great Britain,” “this brook did convey his ashes into Avon, Avon into Severn, Severn into the narrow sea, and this into the wide ocean. And so the ashes of Wycliffe are the emblem of his doctrine, which is now dispersed all the world over.” (John Wycliffe, Patriot and Reformer, 1884, p. 230)
Known as the prophet of the American Revolution, 18th century Congregationalist minister Jonathan Mayhew was a Harvard graduate and Pastor of The West Church in Boston who published a sermon in 1765 entitled “Popish Idolatry.” In this sermon Mayhew addressed, among other idolatrous practices, the popish doctrine of transubstantiation. In his published sermon, Mayhew stated,
“The Romanists do not pretend to deny, but that all the five senses bear testimony against it, as much as they possibly could if it were false, or if the bread and wine remained after the juggling, hocus-pocus trick, which they term consecration…. For the truth of the Christian revelation itself depends on the truth of certain facts, by which there was an appeal made to the senses of men; particularly the miracles and resurrection of our Saviour…. Thus does the church of Rome, by this doctrine, subvert the very foundations of Christianity…. transubstantiation is the grossest imposition and insult, that ever the priesthood itself put upon the superstitious credulity of mankind. This doctrine then, being plainly false, the church of Rome is certainly guilty of idolatry, in worshipping the eucharist as true God.” (Popish Idolatry, 1765, pp. 11,12)
The fact that God included in the ten commandments a prohibition against the making and use of images for religious purposes shows the seriousness of the sin of idolatry (see Exodus 20:4-6). “Howbeit in vain do they worship me,” said Jesus, “teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.” (Mark 7:7). In 1832 American lexicographer Noah Webster said, “All worship of images and saints, is an abomination to God; it is idolatry, which is strictly forbidden in the Bible;”(History of the United States, 1832, p. 299). Jesus said, “Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition.” (Mark 7:9). The Book of Common Prayer of the Episcopal church in America describes the Catholic Mass and Transubstantiation as “blasphemous fables, and dangerous deceits.” It further stated that the Romish Doctrine concerning Purgatory and Invocation of Saints was “vainly invented” and is “repugnant to the Word of God”:
ART. XXII. Of Purgatory.
The Romish Doctrine concerning Purgatory, Pardons, Worshipping and Adoration, as well of Images as of relics, and also Invocation of Saints, is a fond thing, vainly invented, and grounded upon no warranty of Scripture, but rather repugnant to the Word of God.
ART. XXVIII. Of the Lord’s Supper.Transubstantiation (or the change of the substance of Bread and Wine) in the Supper of the Lord, cannot be proved by Holy Writ; but is repugnant to the plain words of Scripture, overthroweth the nature of a Sacrament, and hath given occasion to many superstitions.
ART. XXXI. Of the one Oblation of Christ finished upon the Cross.
The Offering of Christ once made is that perfect redemption, propitiation, and satisfaction, for all the sins of the whole world, both original and actual; and there is none other satisfaction for sin, but that alone. Wherefore the sacrifices of Masses, in the which it was commonly said, that the Priest did offer Christ for the quick and the dead, to have remission of pain or guilt, were blasphemous fables, and dangerous deceits.
(The Book of Common Prayer of the Episcopal Church in America, 1803 Ed., pp. 389, 391, 392; 1897 Ed., pp. 562, 563, 564; 1953 Ed., pp. 607, 608, 609) (See also The Book of Common Prayer of The Church of England 1753 Ed., pp. 402, 404; and The Book of Common Prayer of The United Church of England and Ireland 1863 Ed., pp. 720, 722, 723)
The Bible tells us that “the most High dwelleth not in temples made with hands” and that “ye are the temple of God” (Acts 7:48; I Cor. 3:16). Venerating an image of a wafer and bowing down to images of saints are gross forms of idolatry and blatant violations of the second commandment: “Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image,..Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them,” (Ex. 20:4,5). The apostle Paul said, “And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.” (II Cor. 6:16-18).
Many modern-day Bible believing Christians are unwilling to confront the issues of the idolatrous practices of the Roman Catholic church. Many Protestant ministers will readily speak out against Islam and Mormonism, but are strangely silent when it comes to exposing the false doctrines of Catholicism (see THE “EVANGELICAL” SEDUCTION). If we could go back in time 100 years and ask Protestant Christians if the Catholic “Mass” is idolatrous, scarcely one in a hundred would have denied that the ceremonial mass of the Roman Catholic church, the adoration of the wafer/cake as the “real presence” of the “true God” in particular, is gross idolatry. In less than fifty years we have witnessed a great apostasy in the Christian churches. We are seeing the end-time falling away foretold in the scriptures, “a falling away” from the simple doctrines of “the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.” (II Thess. 2:1-12; Jude 1:3). For years people have been slowly conditioned to simply avoid religious controversy. Unwilling to suffer shame for their Saviour, many Protestants today simply refuse to defend the sound doctrine of the gospel against false teachings. Many are afraid of being looked down upon by their friends or family, some of whom are Catholic or Catholic sympathizers. But isn’t this precisely what Jesus said his disciples would go through for standing up for the gospel? “Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man’s sake…. for, behold, your reward is great in heaven:” (Luke 6:22.23). Jesus said, “Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.” (Mark 8:38) (see The Decline of Historic Bible Protestanism)
The prophet Samuel said that “rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry.” (I Sam. 15:23). The apostle Paul said, “Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters,.. shall inherit the kingdom of God.” (I Cor. 6:9,10). A fitting analogy is to be made here with the stubborn rebellious idolatrous children of Israel during the time of the prophet Ezekiel when the Lord said, “Her priests have violated my law, and have profaned mine holy things: they have put no difference between the holy and profane, neither have they shewed difference between the unclean and the clean, and have hid their eyes from my sabbaths, and I am profaned among them.” (Ezek. 22:26)
“Every man is brutish in his knowledge: every founder is confounded by the graven image: for his molten image is falsehood” (Jer. 10:14)“Behold, they are all vanity; their works are nothing: their molten images are wind and confusion.” (Isa. 41:29)
“Their idols are silver and gold, the work of men’s hands.
They have mouths, but they speak not: eyes have they, but they see not:
They have ears, but they hear not: noses have they, but they smell not:
They have hands, but they handle not: feet have they, but they walk not: neither speak they through their throat.
They that make them are like unto them; so is every one that trusteth in them.” (Psa. 115:4-8)
There is no doubt that the rituals of the Roman Catholic church are extra-biblical. The so-called act of Transubstantiation and adoration of the wafer, celibacy of the priesthood, abstinence from meats, praying to saints, and other official Roman Catholic doctrines directly contradict the teachings of Jesus Christ and his apostles. The scriptures are unmistakably clear: the Christ of the Roman Catholic church is not the historical Christ of Biblical Christianity, but is in fact “another Jesus” of “another spirit” of “another gospel” (Gal. 1:6-9; II Cor. 11:3,4). Not only is adoration of the so-called “Host” a form of idolatry, but praying to saints or invoking the prayers or favors of saints is clearly an anti-biblical form of idolatry as well: “For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;” (I Tim. 2:5) We’ll close this portion of the study with these words of warning from the apostle Paul:
“I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel:
Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ.
But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.” (Gal. 1:6-9) “But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him.”
“For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ.And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.” (II Cor. 11:3,4,13-15)