Communion (Part 4) - Refuting TransubstantiationSubmitted by Pastor Chad Wagner on Sunday, May 31, 2015.
VIII. Communion vs. the Catholic mass or the eucharist 1. The mass A. The Roman Catholic and the Orthodox Catholic "churches" call their communion service the mass or the eucharist. B. Mass n. - 1. The Eucharistic service; in post-Reformation use, chiefly that of the Roman Catholic Church. C. Eucharist n. - I. 1. Eccl. The sacrament of the Lord's Supper; the Communion. D. Though the words "mass" and "eucharist" are defined as the Lord's supper or communion, in actuality they are very different. E. A survey of the bloody history of the Roman Catholic church will show that the communion they truly partake of is the one described in Pro 4:17: "For they eat the bread of wickedness, and drink the wine of violence." 2. Transubstantiation A. Catholics believe in what is called transubstantiation. i. Transubstantiation n. - 1. The changing of one substance into another. (Often with allusion to sense 2.) 2. The conversion in the Eucharist of the whole substance of the bread into the body and of the wine into the blood of Christ, only the appearances (and other ‘accidents’) of bread and wine remaining: according to the doctrine of the Roman Church. ii. The Catholic church teaches that the communion bread is transformed into the actual and real flesh of Jesus Christ and the wine is transformed into the actual blood of Jesus Christ when the priest utters the Latin phrase "hoc est corpus meum" (this is my body). iii. "I profess, likewise, that in the Mass there is offered to God a true, proper, and propitiatory sacrifice for the living and the dead; and that in the most holy sacrament of the Eucharist there is truly, really, and substantially, the Body and Blood, together with the Soul and Divinity, of our Lord Jesus Christ; and that there is made a conversion of the whole substance of the bread into the body, and of the whole substance of the wine into the blood, which conversion the Catholic Church calls Transubstantiation." (Pope Pius IV, The Trentine Creed or The Creed of Pius IV, 1564 A.D.) iv. "If any one denieth, that, in the sacrament of the most holy Eucharist, are contained truly, really, and substantially, the body and blood together with the soul and divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ, and consequently the whole Christ; but saith that He is only therein as in a sign, or in figure, or virtue; let him be anathema." (Council of Trent, 1545-1563, Session 13, Canons on the Most Holy Sacrament of the Eucharist, Canon 1) v. "If any one saith, that, in the sacred and holy sacrament of the Eucharist, the substance of the bread and wine remains conjointly with the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, and denieth that wonderful and singular conversion of the whole substance of the bread into the Body, and of the whole substance of the wine into the Blood - the species Only of the bread and wine remaining - which conversion indeed the Catholic Church most aptly calls Transubstantiation; let him be anathema." (Council of Trent, 1545-1563, Session 13, Canons on the Most Holy Sacrament of the Eucharist, Canon 2) vi. Anathema - 1. Anything accursed, or consigned to damnation. Also quasi-adj. Accursed, consigned to perdition. B. The Catholics base their false doctrine of transubstantiation on Christ's words: "This is my body...this is my blood" (Mat 26:26-28). i. This is not an imperative (creative) statement, but a declarative one. a. Jesus didn't say "This has become my body" or "this is turned into my body". b. Jesus' statement would be tantamount to a man pulling out a picture of his wife and saying "This is my wife." c. No sane person would conclude that he had just magically transformed photo paper into his wife's flesh and blood. d. Likewise, Jesus was not telling the bread to become His body, but was saying that the bread symbolized His body. ii. It is obvious that Jesus was speaking figuratively because: a. After he uttered the words "this is my body" and "this is my blood", He was still sitting there in front of them in His flesh and blood. b. The bread is still called bread when it is eaten after it has been blessed and allegedly transubstantiated (1Co 11:26-28). c. The wine was still wine because it made the Corinthians drunk (1Co 11:21). iii. Furthermore, if one wants to take Jesus' words hyper-literally as the Catholics do, then he would have to maintain that it is the cup, not the wine in the cup, that Jesus supernaturally changed into his blood (Luk 22:20). iv. Jesus elsewhere used figurative language to describe Himself. a. Jesus said "I am the vine..." (Joh 15:5). (i) Did Jesus turn Himself into an actual vine when He said those words? (ii) Obviously not. b. Jesus said "I am the door of the sheep..." (Joh 10:7). (i) Did Jesus turn Himself into an actual door when He said those words? (ii) Obviously not. c. Jesus said "I am the living bread which came down from heaven..." (Joh 6:51). (i) Was Jesus an actual piece of bread when He came down from heaven? (ii) Obviously not. d. Jesus said "I am the root..." (Rev 22:16). (i) Did Jesus turn Himself into a root when He said those words? (ii) Obviously not. e. All these statements of Jesus are obviously symbolic, just as are the phrases "this is my body" and "this is my blood". v. The Bible elsewhere speaks of things being called blood symbolically. a. David referred to the water that men risked their lives to get him as blood, saying: "is not this the blood of the men that went in jeopardy of the lives?" (2Sa 23:17), and "shall I drink the blood of these men that have put their lives in jeopardy?" (1Ch 11:19). b. David was obviously referring to the water figuratively as blood, just as Jesus was referring to the wine figuratively as blood. vi. Wine is symbolic of blood in the scriptures. a. Wine represents blood (Gen 49:11; Deu 32:14; Isa 49:26). b. Being an intoxicant, wine is symbolic of blood which is symbolic of an intoxicant (Eze 39:19; Rev 17:6). c. This is why Jesus used wine to represent His blood (Luk 22:20). vii. It is the wicked that offer drink offerings of blood (Psa 16:4). C. The other passage that the Catholics rely heavily upon to support their heresy of transubstantiation is Joh 6:48-58. i. Jesus was speaking of spiritual hunger (Joh 6:35), and therefore of spiritual food (Joh 6:55) in this passage. a. Jesus elsewhere spoke of spiritual food (Joh 4:31-34; Mat 5:6 c/w Psa 107:9). b. Jesus told the Samaritan woman at the well that He gives water that eternally quenches our spiritual thirst (Joh 4:13-14). c. Apparently being a proto-Roman Catholic, the woman thought that Jesus was speaking of natural water (Joh 4:15). d. She didn't realize that Jesus satisfies the hunger and thirst of the soul, not the body. ii. The life that He spoke of was clearly spiritual life, not physical life (Joh 6:50,53,54,57,58). a. Therefore, the eating of Christ's flesh and drinking His blood is eating and drinking of Him spiritually (Joh 6:53-54,56). b. It would be an inconsistent interpretation to interpret the life as spiritual and the flesh and blood as physical. iii. The dwelling in Christ is clearly spiritual, not physical (Joh 6:56). a. We are not physically dwelling in Christ, but rather spiritually dwelling in Him (Joh 15:2). b. Therefore the eating of Christ's flesh and blood is likewise spiritual (Joh 6:56). iv. The bread that Jesus gave for the life of the world was His flesh, His body (Joh 6:51). a. Jesus offered His body once as a sacrifice for sin (Heb 10:10-14). b. By the sacrifice of Himself (Heb 9:26), He abolished death that we may live eternally (2Ti 1:10; 1Co 15:54-57). c. Priests are partakers of the sacrifice on the altar (1Co 9:13; 1Co 10:18). d. We are the priests who partake of Christ, the sacrifice (1Pe 2:5,9; Rev 1:6). e. Eating Jesus' flesh is being a partaker in His death for sin (Gal 2:20; Rom 6:6). f. If a man eateth Christ's flesh and drinketh His blood, he hath eternal life (Joh 6:54). g. He that eateth Christ's flesh and drinketh His blood dwelleth in Christ (Joh 6:56). h. Notice how eateth, drinketh, hath, and dwelleth are all present tense, which shows that partaking of Christ is the evidence, not the cause, of one's eternal life and dwelling in Christ. v. Jesus was speaking of spiritually partaking of Him when He spoke of eating His flesh and drinking His blood. a. Like an unborn baby dwells in its mother and lives by eating and drinking her flesh and blood, so we live by spiritually partaking of Christ. b. "To feed upon Christ is to do all in his name, in union with him, and by virtue drawn from him; it is to live upon him as we do upon our meat." - Matthew Henry c. "...our bodies may as well live without meat as our souls without Christ." - Matthew Henry d. "We shall live, shall live eternally, by him, as our bodies live by our food." - Matthew Henry e. "The life of believers is had from Christ (Joh 1:16); it is hid with Christ (Col 3:4), we live by him as the members by the head, the branches by the root; because he lives, we shall live also." - Matthew Henry f. Israel in the wilderness partook of Christ in this way (1Co 10:3-4). vi. Jesus could not have been referring to partaking of communion in Joh 6:48-58 because the events in John 6 took place at least a year before the communion service was instituted at the end of Jesus' life. a. John 6 took place near the time of the passover (Joh 6:4). b. The institution of the Lord's supper took place at the next (at least) passover the following year (Joh 13:1). c. Jesus said that those who ate His flesh and drank His blood had eternal life (Joh 6:54-56). d. But since the first communion service, in which Jesus allegedly transformed His flesh and blood into bread and wine for the disciples to eat, didn't happen for another year, then anyone who died in that year would have missed their chance at getting eternal life (if one holds to this ridiculous Catholic doctrine). vii. If this is speaking of communion, then anyone one who takes communion has eternal life which cannot be lost (Joh 6:54 c/w Joh 10:28). a. This means that every Catholic who took communion even one time has eternal life, whether he ever enters a Catholic Mass again in his life. b. Judas took communion (Mat 26:25-28), but didn't have eternal life (Mat 26:24 c/w Joh 6:70-71 c/w Joh 17:12). viii. Furthermore, eating blood is forbidden in both testaments (Gen 9:4; Lev 7:26-27; Lev 17:10; Act 15:20). a. When Jesus spoke of drinking His blood in John 6 and when He instituted communion at the passover in Matthew 26, the law of Moses was still in effect which demanded death for anyone who drank blood (Lev 7:26-27; Lev 17:10). b. Had Jesus literally been referring to His actual blood, He would have been sinning and commanding His disciples to sin. c. His subsequent death then would have been for His own sin, not the sin of His elect and we would all be going to hell. D. Some questions i. What happens to "Jesus" a few hours after a faithful Catholic eats him? ii. What happens to "Jesus" when a faithful Catholic gets sick from drinking another Catholic's backwash mixed with "Jesus" and barfs up "Jesus" into the toilet after Mass? iii. What happens to "Jesus" if he gets dropped on the floor and a mouse eats him? Does the mouse get eternal life?