Eating the Flesh of Deity


Edited and compiled by Keith Green

Last Days Ministries, Box 40, Lindale, TX 75771-0040

One might wonder why, in a scriptural look at the doctrines of the

Catholic Church, I would choose this subject - The Roman Interpretation of

the Lord's Supper (more commonly known as "Communion") for the first of the

"Catholic Chronicles." Most Protestants (1) would expect me to deal with

what they might consider the more obvious departures from biblical

foundation - such as the worship of and prayers to the Virgin Mary, the

infallibility of the pope, purgatory and prayers for the dead, or the

history of the torture and burning of accused "heretics" and such like


But for this first article I believe that we should get right to the

root, before we begin exploring the branches of Roman doctrine and

practice. And any Catholic who has even a small knowledge of his church

knows that the central focus of each gathering (known as the "Mass") is the

Holy Eucharist.

The word "Eucharist" is a Greek word that means "thanksgiving." In the

gospel accounts of the Last Supper, Jesus is described as "giving thanks"

before breaking the bread (Luke 22:19), and so this word became a proper

name for the Lord's Supper in the early Catholic Church. Today, it is more

commonly associated with the elements in communion, especially the host or

"wafer," although the ceremony itself is still called "The Holy Eucharist."

Now, you might be wondering why I'm taking so much time and effort to

explain something as harmless as the ceremony known around the world as

communion. If you've probably taken part in a communion service. So why

make all this fuss about bread and wine? Why? Because that's where the

similarity between evangelical communion services and the Roman Catholic

Mass ends - at the bread and the wine!



That 18-letter word above is a complete theological statement . . . and

the name of a doctrine, out of which springs the most astounding set of

beliefs and practices that has ever been taught in the name of religion.

Very, very few people know what the Catholic Church actually believes and

teaches concerning this subject, and I am convinced that even fewer

Catholics realize themselves what they are taking part in. From earliest

childhood, "This is the body of Christ" is all they've ever heard when the

priest gingerly placed the wafer on their tongue. And as they grew up, it

was such a natural and normal part of religious life, that their minds

never even questioned the fact that Jesus Christ, Himself, was actually in

their mouth!

It might be hard for you to believe, but that's exactly, literally,

what "transubstantiation" means. The Roman Catholic Church teaches their

flocks that the bread and the wine used in the Mass actually, physically,

turn into the flesh and blood of Jesus Christ after the priest blesses them

during the liturgy (ceremony. Although this in itself might shock you, it

is really only the beginning. For the implications and practical

conclusions of this doctrine are absolutely mind-boggling.

Exclusive Authority


For example, the Roman Catholic Church teaches that since their priests

are the only ones who have the authority from God (2) to pronounce the

blessing which changes the elements of communion into the actual body and

blood of Jesus, that they are the only church where Jesus "physically

resides" even now! Let me quote a letter written to one of the girls in

our ministry from a devoted Catholic:

"To explain the Catholic Church would take volumes, but basically the

Catholic Church was founded by Jesus Christ when He was here on earth.

It is the ONLY church founded by Jesus. The greatest asset of our church

is that we have Jesus present in the Holy Eucharist - He is really here,

body, soul and divinity. He is God and in His omnipotence can do

anything He wishes, and He decided to remain with us until the end of the

world in the form of the host in Holy Communion."

If you think this is just the isolated opinion of someone on the fringe

of the church, or that the Catholic Church as a whole does not really

believe or teach this, I beg you to read on. For not only is this the

official teaching of Rome, but according to irreversible church decree

(called dogma), anyone who does not hold to this belief, in the most

explicit detail, is accursed and damned forever!

The Council of Trent


When Europe was electrified by the eloquent preaching of the sixteenth

century reformation, the Roman Catholic hierarchy gathered together her

theologians who worked for three decades on the preparation of a statement

of faith concerning transubstantiation. This document remains, to this

day, the standard of Catholic doctrine.

As the Second Vatican Council commenced in 1963, Pope John XXIII

declared, "I do accept entirely all that has been decided and declared at

the Council of Trent." What did the Council of Trent decide and declare?

Some of the first sections are as follows:



"If anyone shall deny that the body and blood, together with the soul

and divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ, and therefore entire Christ, are

truly, really, and substantially contained in the sacrament of the most

Holy Eucharist; and shall say that He is only in it as a sign, or in a

figure - let him be accursed!"



"If anyone shall say that the substance of the bread and wine remains

in the sacrament of the most Holy Eucharist, together with the body and

blood of our Lord Jesus Christ - let him be accursed!"



"If anyone shall say that Christ, the only begotten Son of God, is not

to be adored in the holy sacrament of the Eucharist, even with the open

worship of Latria, and therefore not to be venerated with any peculiar

festal celebrity, not to be solemnly carried about in processions according

to the praiseworthy and universal rites and customs of the Holy Church, and

that He is not to be publicly set before the people to be adored, and that

His adorers are idolators, - let him be accursed!"

The Worship Of The Host


"Thou shall not make unto thee any graven image (4)...

Thou shall not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them"

- The 2nd commandment (Ex.20:4-5)

"God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and


- John 4:23

In Canon VI, a rite of worship called "Latria" was spoken of. This is

not just an "ancient custom," it is thoroughly practiced today in many

Masses. After the bread has been supposedly "changed" into the Christ by

the priest, it is placed in a holder called a monstrance. And before this

monstrance the Catholic must bow and worship (this act is called

genuflecting) the little wafer as God! Sometimes they have processions

where they solemnly march, as the congregation bows and offers praise and

worship - to this piece of bread!

The Roman teaching that Jesus Christ is physically present in each

morsel of bread creates many other doctrinal and practical problems. For

instance, when the service is over, what happens to all those leftover

wafers that have been "changed into Christ?" Do they change back into

bread again when the priest goes home? I'm afraid not. For according to

Canon IV of the Council of Trent, they stay flesh! And don't think that

400 year-old decree is just some dusty old manuscript in a museum case

somewhere - it still is completely adhered to and passionately practiced.

As an example, here is a passage from an official Catholic home instruction

book, copyrighted 1978:

"Jesus Christ does not cease to exist under the appearances of bread

and wine after the Mass is over. Furthermore, some hosts are usually kept

in all Catholic churches. In these hosts, Jesus is physically and truly

present, as long as the appearances of bread remain. Catholics therefore

have the praiseworthy practice of `making visits' to our Lord present in

their churches to offer Him their thanks, their adoration, to ask for help

and forgiveness: in a word, to make Him the center around which they live

their daily lives." That is an incredible interpretation of how to make

Jesus the center of your daily life!

When Did This Teaching Begin?


The teaching of transubstantiation does not date back to the Last

Supper as most Catholics suppose. It was a controversial topic for many

centuries before officially becoming an article of faith (which means that

it is essential to salvation according to Rome). The idea of a physical

presence was vaguely held by some, such as Ambrose, but it was not until

831 A.D. that Paschasius Radbertus, a Benedictine Monk, published a

treatise openly advocating the doctrine. Even then, for almost another

four centuries, theological was was waged over this teaching by bishops and

people alike, until at the Fourth Lateran Council in 1215 A.D., it was

officially defined and canonized as a dogma (a teaching or doctrine that can

never be reversed or repealed. It is equal in authority to the Bible.) by

Pope Innocent III.

Church historians tell us that when this doctrine first began to be

taught, the priests took great care that no crumb should fall - lest the

body of Jesus be hurt, or even eaten by a mouse or a dog! There were quite

serious discussions as to what should be done if a person were to vomit

after receiving the sacrament. At the Council of Constance, it was argued

that if a communicant spilled some of the blood on his beard, both beard

and the man should be destroyed by burning!

How Rome Views the Bible


Before we proceed to look at what the Bible has to say on this subject,

it is important to understand the official Catholic view of the Scriptures.

According to unquestionable decree, they hold that "Church tradition has

equal authority with the Bible." This is not just a theological view, but

it was made an article of faith by the same Council of Trent in 1546! And

again, this view is completely held by the Church today:

"The teachings of the Church will always be in keeping with the

teachings of the Scripture...and it is through the teaching of the Church

that we understand more fully truths of sacred Scripture. To the Catholic

Church belongs the final word in the understanding and meaning of the Holy

Spirit in the words of the Bible."

And explaining the premise used in interpreting the Bible:

"...usually, the meaning of the Scriptures is sought out by those who are

specially trained for this purpose. And in their conclusions, they know

that no explanation of the Scriptures which contradicts the truths

constantly taught by the infallible Church can be true." (10)

Anyone can see how such a mode of interpretation can be dangerously

used to manipulate Scripture to mean absolutely anything at all! Who has

not observed this of the various cults? The Moonies, Mormons, and

Jehovah's Witnesses all back up their false teachings with "new

revelations" and "inspired interpretations" of the Scriptures - each

claiming that the Holy Spirit revealed these new truths to their founders.

One opens themselves to all kinds of deception when they judge the Bible by

what their church or pastor teaches, instead of judging what their church

or pastor teaches by the Bible!

Catholic Proof-Texts Explained


With this in mind, we will briefly discuss the two main passages of

Scripture that the Roman Church uses while trying to show that Jesus

Himself taught transubstantiation.

John 6:54-55: "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."

Catholics are taught here, that Jesus is explaining how He is literally

offering them His flesh and blood, so that they may have eternal life by

physically eating Him. With just a little study of the whole passage

(verses 27-71), it is clear that Jesus was not talking about physical, but

spiritual food and drink.

Food is eaten to satisfy hunger. And in verse 35 Jesus says, "He who

cometh to Me shall never hunger." Now, Jesus is not promising eternal

relief from physical hunger pains. He is, of course, speaking of the

spiritual hunger in man for righteousness and salvation, And He promises

to those who will "come to Him" that He will satisfy their hunger for these

things forever - therefore, to come to Him is to "eat"! (See also Matt.

5:6, 11:28; Jn. 4:31-34.)

We drink also to satisfy thirst, and again in verse 35 Jesus tells us,

"He that believeth on Me shall never thirst." Therefore, to believe on Him

is to "drink"! (See also John 4:13-14.) No one can say that Jesus was

here establishing the eating and drinking of His literal flesh and blood to

give eternal life, for in verse 63 He says, "It is the Spirit who gives

life; the flesh profits nothing; the words that I speak unto you, they are

spirit, and they are life." Thus Jesus makes clear what we should be

eating and drinking to have eternal life! Matt. 26:26 and 28: "This is My

body...this is My blood." (See also Matt. 4:4.)

Catholics base their whole religious system on their interpretation of

these tow verses. They adamantly teach that right here, Jesus is

pronouncing the first priestly blessing that mysteriously changes the bread

and wine into His body and blood. The absolute folly of such a conclusion

is proved by this one observation: He was literally still there before,

during, and after they had partaken of the bread and the cup! He was not

changed into some liquid and bread - His flesh was still on His bones, and

His blood still in His veins. He had not vanished away to reappear in the

form of a piece of bread or a cup of wine!

Let's look closer at His words. No one can deny that here we have

figurative language. Jesus did not say TOUTO GIGNETAI ("this has become"

or "is turned into"), but TOUTO ESTI ("this is," i.e., "signifies,"

"represents" or "stands for"). (11) It is obvious that Jesus' meaning was

not literal but symbolic! And He wasn't the first in the Bible to claim

figuratively that a glass of liquid was really "blood."

One time, David's friends heard him express a strong desire for water

from the well of Bethlehem. In spite of extreme danger, these men broke

through the enemy lines of the Philistines and brought the water to him.

When David found out that these men had risked their lives in this way, he

refused to drink the water, exclaiming, "Is not this the blood of the men

who went in jeopardy of their lives?" (2 Sam. 23:17)

Throughout the gospels we find similar metaphorical language: Jesus

referring to Himself as "the Door," "the Vine," "the Light," "the Root,"

"the Rock," "the Bright and Morning Star," as well as "the Bread." The

passage is written with such common language that it is plain to any

observant reader that the Lord's Supper was intended primarily as a

memorial and in no sense a literal sacrifice. "Do this in remembrance of

Me." (Luke 22:19)

True Pagan Origins


Where did this teaching and practice really come from? Like many of

the beliefs and rites of Romanism, transubstantiation was first practiced

by pagan religions. The noted historian Durant said that belief in

transubstantiation as practiced by the priests of the Roman Catholic system

is "one of the oldest ceremonies of primitive religion." (12) The

syncretism and mysticism of the Middle East were great factors in

influencing the West, particularly Italy. (13) In Egypt, priests would

consecrate mest cakes which were supposed to become the flesh of Osiris.

(14) The idea of transubstantiation was also characteristic of the

religion of Mithra whose sacraments of cakes and haoma drink closely

parallel Catholic Eucharist rites. (15)

The idea of eating the flesh of deity was most popular among the people

of Mexico and Central America long before they ever heard of Christ; and

when Spanish missionaries first landed in those countries, "their surprise

was heightened, when they witnessed a religious rite which reminded them of image made of flour...and after consecration by priests, was

distributed among the people who ate it...declaring it was the flesh of

deity..." (16)

So Why Do They Teach It?


Before concluding our first chronicle, the question needs to be asked,

"Why does the Roman Catholic Church need to have such a doctrine - why do

they think that Jesus wants them to Physically eat Him?" That is what

truly puzzled me as I read astounded through the catechism and doctrinal

instruction books. But the answer to that question is a sad one. As I

said before, the implications and practical conclusions of the teaching of

transubstantiation are substantially worse than the doctrine itself - and

like a great web spun by an industrious spider, Rome's teachings spiral out

from this central hub like the spokes of a wheel.

In Catholic Chronicle II we will look intently at the next direct

result of transubstantiation in official Catholic systematic theology: "The

Sacrifice of the Mass."


1 - Today, Protestants are considered to be members of any church or

church-group outside the Roman Catholic or Eastern Orthodox churches.

2 - Passed down through "Apostolic Succession" from Peter the apostle-the

supposed "first pope."

3 - The "wafer."

4 - NASV reads, "You shall not make for yourself an idol."

5 - This act is called "genuflecting."

6 - "The Spirit of Jesus" Catholic Home Study Instruction Course.

Book #3, p.92.

7 - A "Dogma" is a teaching or doctrine that can never be reversed or

repealed. It is equal in authority to the Bible.

8 - The Other Side of Rome, p.21.

9 - By the end of the eleventh century, lest someone should spill God's

blood, some in the church began to hold back the cup from the people,

and finally in 1415, the Council of Constance officially denied the

cup to laymen. Although today, by decree of the Vatican, churches may

now offer the cup optionally to communicants.

10 - "The Spirit of Jesus," pp.94-95.

11 - If I held up a picture of my son and said, "This is my son," I am

certainly not saying that the actual picture is literally my son.

12 - The Story of Civilization, p.741.

13 - Roman Society From Nero to Marcus Aurelius, by Dill.

14 - An ancient Egyptian god of the lower world and judge of the dead -

Encyclopedia of Religions, Vol.2, p.76.

15 - Ibid.

16 - Prescott's Mexico, Vol. 3.

End of Text

Index of files                                             

These documents are free from , providing free webcontent for websites around the world!. copy freely with this link intact.