Catherine's Curiosity Corner

Buy the truth and sell it not. Prov. 23:23
 
Is The Communion Host The Real Body Of Christ
And The Communion Cup The Real Blood Of Christ?
For centuries this was not taught by anyone.  Then in 1215 AD Transubstantiation was made doctrine by Pope Innocent III at the Fourth Lateran Council.  Where did this doctrine come from?  The Bible tells us that there are only two sources of authority – either it comes from man or it comes from heaven (God).
 
Mark 11:30  The baptism of John, was it from heaven, or of men? answer me.
 
Since Christ's doctrine was revealed ONCE to man, and this doctrine was not part of their teaching, then this doctrine of transubstantiation can only be attributed to man.
Jude 1:3 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.
 
All Catholics believe (it is anathema not to believe) that Christ is present in the Eucharist. That is, He is bodily present. The Church promises them that they will find "the source and summit of the whole Christian life," [Second Vatican Council, "Sacred Liturgy," On Holy communion and the worship of the Eucharistic Mystery Outside of Mass, no. 79] "the source of salvation," [Second Vatican Council, "Sacred Liturgy," General Instruction on the Roman Missal," no. 55] and even "Christ Himself [1324-1327 Catechism of the Catholic Church.]

The liturgy of the Mass requires Catholics to in effect practice idolatry, to worship the Eucharist "with supreme adoration" [1378-1381 Catechism of the Catholic Church.] They are in fact worshipping a piece of bread and a cup of wine! The Bible explicitly condemns this practice - even if it supposedly represents Him!:
Exodus 20:4-5 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;
 
God does not contradict Himself. He would never order such a thing as this. There is no reason to take the words of Christ in the Lord's Supper as literal. They were figurative in every way.

According to Roman Catholicism, Jesus promised to give the Church a heavenly food:
 
John 6:51 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.
 
They say that He was talking about the Eucharist - his literal body and blood. They quote,
John 6:55 For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed.
 
claiming the Eucharist would be a source of spiritual life [1509 Catechism of the Catholic Church.] Another verse they use is:
John 6:53-54 Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you. Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day.
 
Here, they say, Christ teaches that when the faithful receive holy communion at Mass, they are receiving the heavenly food for the soul. They believe they are receiving grace, which is the beginning of eternal life, and the ‘medicine of immortality.' Thus John 6 is explained by the Catholic church.

But is this a correct interpretation? To take verses out of the Bible and not look at the context is to wrest the scriptures. When we look at the context, we can see something different. The chapter begins with the miracle of the feeding of the 5,000 at the Sea of Galilee (Jn 6:1-14). Some of the Jews who had witnessed this miracle sought for Jesus in Capernaum the following day. But Jesus said to them,
John 6:26 Jesus answered them and said, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Ye seek me, not because ye saw the miracles, but because ye did eat of the loaves, and were filled.
 
He told them they were seeking Him for the wrong reason, and that he was offering something far greater than a free meal.
John 6:27 Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed.
 
Jesus used a common teaching tool of the day - a metaphor - comparing the food they were seeking (physical) with the spiritual food he was offering.

Assuming they would need to work some virtuous act to earn this spiritual food, the Jews asked Jesus,
John 6:28 Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God?
 
Jesus told them that they needed to place their trust in Jesus, the Messiah, the One sent from God.
John 6:29 Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.
Despite the fact that they had themselves just witnessed a great miracle the day before, still they challenged Jesus.
John 6:30 They said therefore unto him, What sign shewest thou then, that we may see, and believe thee? what dost thou work?
By their statement, they reveal that they indeed understood what would be required of them - they would have to believe in Him. However, refusing to accept that Jesus was the Messiah - they asked for more proof. They suggested he do as Moses had done, and bring down manna from heaven.

To get them to understand that believing in Him was essential to their spiritual survival, He answered,
John 6:35 And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.
 
Thus we come to Jn. 6:51. Here Jesus foretells of His death on the cross, and not the sacrament of the Eucharist. He is predicting the giving of His life on the cross. He was not speaking of literal bread, but was trying to teach that He Himself was the source of eternal life for all those who believe.

When put side by side, you can see very clearly that Jesus stated this truth in both the plain and the figurative language, in the very same chapter.
Plain Language
John 6:40

...everyone who

beholds the Son

and

believes in Him,

may have eternal life;

and

I Myself will raise him up

on the last day.
Figurative Language
John 6:54

He who

eats My flesh

and

drinks My blood

has eternal life,

and

I will raise him up

on the last day.
 
The powers that be in the Roman Catholic church continue to reject the figurative interpretation in favor of the literal one which upholds their doctrine of transubstantiation. But this is not how we are to determine doctrine. We do not determine doctrine by expositing a theory, and then plucking out scripture verses to fit it. Rather it is scripture which determines doctrine.

We must remember that Jesus sometimes purposely used figurative language to veil truth from hard-hearted and unbelieving listeners.
Matthew 13:10-16 And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables? He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given. For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath. Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand. And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive: For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them. But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear.
 
Can we even apply what we are reading in John 6 to the Last Supper? No, we may not. The context of John 6 and the Last Supper are completely different, even if they do both refer to bread.

In John 6, Jesus is speaking to unbelieving Jews. The subject is eternal life through faith in Him. Jesus uses bread to represent Himself as the One sent from the Father (John 6:29), as the source of life (John 6:35), and as the Savior of the world (John 6:51). The Lord's purpose is to illustrate the need for sinners to place their trust in Him for eternal life.

Contrast this with the Last Supper. Here, Jesus is speaking to His disciples. He uses bread to represent His body. His purpose is to institute a memorial meal by which they would remember Him. He wants His disciples to proclaim His death in this manner until He returns.

John 6 and the Last Supper are two different events. To use the former to explain the latter is to distort the meaning of both. But this is exactly what the Roman Catholic church has done.

I know many Catholics would be terribly offended by what has been discussed here, but let me make it clear to our Catholic friends out there, that this is not being said to hurt and personally offend.  As Christians, it is our duty before God that we speak the truth in love.  Error, no matter the source, must be exposed so that those walking in such error can have the opportunity to know the truth and to repent of their sins and erring ways, coming to God Almighty, submitting to His will and not our own.  We must always seek to understand and know the truth, for this is the only way we will get to be with our Creator in heaven.  God bless those who read this and look to His word for truth.
 
 
 
 
 
 
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