The study was the product of a question posed to us
about the Roman Catholic Eucharist. The question is: are we to
believe that the bread and the wine at the Last Supper are the
literal body and blood of Christ so that it supports the doctrine
of "substantiation"? The Roman Catholic Church teaches
that one is to imagine in one's mind that we are virtually eating
of Christ's flesh and drinking His blood when we partake in the
Eucharist. Protestants call it "Holy Communion," which
is about to be changed.
This is probably the most important subject in the Gospel
and warrants careful Scripture study which turned out to be quite
exciting for me. A Catholic defender claims, "Fundamentalist
writers who comment on John 6 also assert one can show Christ
was speaking only metaphorically by comparing with verses like
John 10:9 ("I am the door") and John 15:1 ("I
am the true vine"). Ray, who posed the question stated:
"the problem is that there is not a connection to John 6:35,
"I am the bread of life." "I am the door"
and "I am the vine" make sense as metaphors because
Christ is like a door - we go to heaven through him - and he
is also like a vine - we get our spiritual sap through him. But
Christ takes John 6:35 far beyond symbolism by saying, "For
my flesh is meat indeed, and blood is drink indeed." (John 6:55)
He continues in John 6:57, "As the living Father hath
sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me,
even he shall live by me." (John 6:57)
Jesus deliberately spoke in parables. " 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." (Matthew 13:10,11)
A few Scriptures out of context are not going to explain what
Jesus was talking about. I hope you bear with me and read what
developed out of this question. It will give you a different
perspective than your Catholic defender gave.
Before we go into the meat of the Gospel, the Apostle Paul
made it quite clear that Communion should be done in memory of
Jesus Christ and His crucifixion.
Here is why: God does not contradict His own teachings. There
are a number of verses in the Bible which forbid the practice
of drinking blood beginning with Genesis 9:4 "But flesh
with the life thereof, [which is] the blood thereof, shall ye
not eat." " [It shall be] a perpetual
statute for your generations throughout
all your dwellings, that ye eat neither fat nor blood."
(Leviticus 3:17 - Others are Lev.7:26; 19:26;
Deut. 12:23; Eze. 33:25; Acts 15:20; 15:29).
In fact the admonitions get quite threatening. "And whatsoever
man [there be] of the house of Israel, or of the strangers
that sojourn among you, that eateth any manner
of blood; I will even set my face against that
soul that eateth blood, and will
cut him off from among his people." (Leviticus
"As touching the Gentiles which believe, we have
written [and] concluded that they observe no
such thing, save only that they keep themselves from
[things] offered to idols, and from blood, and from strangled,
and from fornication. (Acts 21:25)
Jesus did not make it as clear as the Apostle Paul did, what
Jesus meant by the Last Supper. Paul stated: "For I have
received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That
the Lord Jesus the [same] night in which he was betrayed
took bread: 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. Wherefore
whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink [this] cup of the Lord,
unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the
Lord. But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat
of [that] bread, and drink of [that] cup. For he that eateth
and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation
to himself, not discerning the Lord's body."
(1 Corinthians 11:23-29)
What he meant by "Not discerning (1252) the Lord's body,"
or diakrino meant in Greek denoting to separate and to distinguish,
decide and judge. To make to differ and determine who Jesus is.
Our job is to prove, that Jesus did not mean at the last supper,
that the bread and wine were literally His body and blood which
were to be eaten literally. This act would be the basis of being
cleansed from sin. Catholics are encouraged to attend daily Mass
in a Roman Catholic Church to be continually cleansed from sin.
To study Roman Catholic traditions, a good place to go are
their artifacts that they display during their ceremonies and
later preserve in museums. These speak louder than words. The
fact they are on display to this day means that the Roman Catholic
Church still identifies with the history deciphered by coins
and procession symbols.
In the treasury of Saint Peter, are many "sacred"
objects preserved which are periodically brought into museums
for all to see all over the world, they are called the Vatican
Collections, the Papacy and Art, Exhibits. The symbolism used
on old coins are reminiscent of sun worship. For instance one
coin portrays the emblems of the Catholic Eucharist as a round
water embedded in sun streams, (representing the bread) over
a gold goblet decorated with more sun streams, which is supposed
to have the blood of Christ in it. So does the circle enfolding
an obelisk at Saint Peters Basilica.
In spite of that, when one reads of their literature without
discernment, it is easy to come to the conclusion that the Roman
Catholic Church is the historical church as many deep down believe.
The only way to disprove it to oneself is to watch the Pope in
action and study the whole history of the church and their doctrine
"For as much as ye know that ye were not redeemed with
corruptible things, [as] silver and gold, from your vain conversation
[received] by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious
blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:"
(1Peter 1:18,19) "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."
To truly understand why Jesus had to offer Himself for our
redemption through His blood for the forgiveness of sins, according
to the riches of His grace; (Ephesians 1:7) we
have to study the Old Testament which describes how Israel was
covered from sin by the slaughter of specific numbers and types
of animals for certain sins.
Hebrews points back to that day: "Neither by the blood
of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once
into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption [for
us]. For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of
an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying
of the flesh: How much more shall the blood of
Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered
himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from
dead works to serve the living God? (Hebrews
Because these animal sacrifices could only cover Jews temporarily
and never Gentiles, who lived outside the law but were just as
condemned through Adams' transgression, a change had to take
The Old Testament had to be replaced by a New Testament. Speaking
of Jesus Christ: "And for this cause he is the mediator
of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption
of the transgressions [that were] under the first
testament, they which are called might receive
the promise of eternal inheritance." (Hebrews
Who are they which are called? "For many are called,
but few [are] chosen". (Matthew 22:14) Again
speaking of Jesus who was ".. declared [to be] the Son of
God with power, according to the Spirit of Holiness, by
the resurrection from the dead: By whom we have received grace
and apostleship, for obedience to the faith among all nations,
for His name: Among whom are ye also the called of Jesus Christ:"
(Romans 1:4-6) Ye refers to the Body of
Christ, the Church. The chosen are the Jews, who will be few
in the end.
Next is described what the meaning of a testament is again
pointing back to the Old Testament, the Abrahamic covenant, which
was done in the middle of the night between the two sides of
a heifer with a smoking furnace, and a burning lamp passing between
those two pieces of heifer, which represented God Himself, who
is Spirit. There could not be blood shed. (see
Genesis 15:9-21) Animal sacrifices had only a temporary
effect. There also had to be many Aaronic priests born into the
priesthood through blood relationships to administer the sacrifices.
Abram, whose name was changed to Abraham by God, at the time
a Gentile, had such faith in God, that God personally made a
covenant with him, which He had to keep. God promised Abram seed,
the numbers he wouldn't be able to count and land which would
be his forever. The promise for Abram's faith which was counted
to him for righteousness (Gen.15:6) became
the key of the entire Old and New Testament and Paul later proved
that Abraham's faith was not merely a general confidence in God
nor simple obedience to God's command, but that it was indeed
faith in the promise of redemption through Christ. (see
Rom. 3:21,22; 4:18-25; Gal. 3:14)
Here was the crux of the matter, a person had to die to truly
leave an inheritance. The promise to Abraham was made by God
Himself the testator. "For where a testament [is], there
must also of necessity be the death of the
testator. For a testament [is] of force after men
are dead: otherwise it is of no strength at all while the
testator liveth. Whereupon neither the first [testament] was
dedicated without blood." (Hebrews 9:16-18)
Truly realizing and comprehending that Jesus Christ was indeed
God Himself, in fact had to be God Himself, to satisfy the Abrahamic
Covenant, one begins to understand the awesomeness of it and
even more the security in it. We can be absolutely sure that
God Himself will fulfill the final part of the Scriptures since
He has already fulfilled most of the Bible prophecy. It is impossible
to doubt anything at this point.
Now ask yourself: did Abraham have to eat sacrificed flesh
and drink blood to have his faith in "Christ resurrected",
to be accounted for righteousness by God? No, so why would that
be changed today? Abraham was a gentile at the time. He became
a Jew when he was circumcised according to God's commandment.
His faith was enough to set God in motion to get the sin factor
under control and buy back Abraham and the rest of mankind who
have such faith. It is finished, Jesus took the sin upon Himself.
In Catholicism the sin seems to never be removed, since Catholics
end up in purgatory after they die, whereever that is. It is
not in the Scriptures.
"How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through
the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge
your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?"
Another proof why drinking the blood cannot apply: In the
Old Testament as well as the New Testament, the blood was separated
from the flesh when it was sacrificed for sins resulting in appeasement
for the sins of the offerers in the Old Testament. The blood
of the animals was taken and presented to God and was applied
to man through sprinkling the blood externally, never by drinking
it. (see Hebrews 9:7-29)
The same is true of the blood of Christ which represents the
blood of the covenant necessary to satisfy the promise God made.
The Law of Moses could not be satisfied through the Aaronic priesthood.
It ceased to exist. The temple was destroyed. With Christ's resurrection,
an eternal Priesthood was instituted, in Christ Jesus, who became
the only Melchizedek Priest, who can provide eternal life through
His priesthood, the only eternal priesthood in existence. The
New Testament in Christ's blood, applied not only to Jews but
to all mankind. The Pope calls himself also a Melchizedek priest
which is an impossibility according to the Word of God.
To go deeper in relation to the meaning of bread and wine
in reference to Jesus' body and blood, in Greek, the word for
blood is haima (129); the blood of the human or animal body is
the substantial basis of their lives. The life of the flesh is
in the blood. Haima by itself may denote life passing away in
bloodshed, generally taken away by force. Haima is used to denote
life given up or offered as an atonement. (see
Matt. 26:28; Heb. 9:12, 25; 1John 1:7)
Christ (5547) in connection with the blood, the word used
was Christos which means to anoint. Used in the Old Testament,
anointed applied to everyone anointed with the holy oil, pertains
primarily to the high priesthood (see Lev.4:3,5,16;
6:22). It is also a name applied to others as redeemers.
In the Gospels (NT) Christos appears as a proper noun alone in
connection with Jesus Christ. Jesus who is called Christ and
Christos also refers to the society of which Christ is the head.
It also means the doctrine of Christ (Eph. 4:20),
the benefits (Heb. 3:14); and the
disposition arising in believers from a sound Christian faith.
(see Gal. 4:19; cf. 2Cor. 3:14; Eph. 3:17; Phil.
Taking the meaning of Christos, the doctrine of Christ (Eph. 4:20) a step further, we find in Revelation
19:13 the following: "And He [was] clothed with a vesture
dipped in blood (haima): and his name is called THE WORD OF GOD."
His name (3686) is called THE WORD (3056) of God. His name,
onoma (3686) in Greek, means a character described by the name,
the name as a substitute or representative of a person. Since
in Jesus' case His name is the Word of God, it represents Jesus
and His character. If Jesus represents God, it would represent
God's character. From this we can deduce that the Word of God
is what He left with us to represent that which wants to get
into us to become one with Him, His character, not physical flesh
eaten at a Mass. His name, onoma, also gives importance to confession
of a name for the sake of the person confessed. (see
Matt. 10:22; 19:29; 24:9) so to be baptized into someone's
name means to be baptized into the faith or confession of that
person and to be identified with his character. It also delegated
authority: "And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that
will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son."
(John 14:13) This promise only applies
if it is conformable of His character and to His purpose.
The Word (3056) is logos in Hebrew which means to speak. It
is articulated utterance of human language, also applies to thought
in the mind. It refers to spoken words which are accepted as
truth and understood. Those who are of God hear God's words (John 3:34, 8:47). Jesus Christ being sent
of God, speaks exactly God's utterances. In the first chapter
of John, Jesus Christ in His preincarnate state is called ho
Logos, the Word, meaning first immaterial intelligence and then
the expression of that intelligence in speech that humans could
understand. It also refers to the practice of the Gospel (Matt. 13:21; Mark 4:17; John 8:31; Rev. 1:9; 20:4)
Apply this to the Eucharist in Roman Catholicism, which is
supposed to cleanse a Catholic from sin daily. This practice
does away with the scriptural admonition that the Word of God
needs to wash us clean.
And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash
away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord. (Acts
22:16) Calling on the Word of God as confirmed in Ephesians
5:25,26: "Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ
also loved the church, and gave himself
for it; That He might sanctify and cleanse it with the
washing of water by the word." "Jesus answered,
Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of
water and [of] the Spirit, he cannot enter
into the kingdom of God." (John
3:5) "Not by works of righteousness which we have
done, but according to his mercy he saved us,
by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of
the Holy Ghost.." (Titus 3:5)
John 1:1: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word
was with God, and the Word was God." "And the Word
was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld His glory,
the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace
and truth. (John 1:14) Here is the connection
between the Word and the flesh Catholics want one to eat. It
is the Word that God wants us to eat daily just like bread is
necessary daily for physical sustenance, the Word is necessary
for spiritual sustenance. We are not in Jesus when we do not
take in the Word to sustain us in Jesus. The Word is what Jesus
refers to when He says I am the vine.
"I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman.
In the following verses, Jesus is speaking of Israel, it did
not bear fruit by rejecting the Word of God (Christ Jesus) and
not teaching the world as they were to do. He states that they
will be cut off because of it, so that new branches can spring
out of the cuts. Gentile evangelists bore much more fruit (the
spoken Word of God representing Jesus Christ) instead.
"Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh
away: and every [branch] that beareth
fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more
fruit. (John 15:2)
In His First miracle, Jesus made wine out of water which was
prophetic of what was to come. The water was the symbol of the
Old Testament truth. It was the Word of God, the Law. Moses hit
the rock and got water. The water parted by the Word of God.
The flood waters cleansed the world. The teaching was referred
to as water from deep wells. Jesus changed the water to wine
which refers to the New Testament and His blood shed for the
sins of the world.
Why did Jesus tie His message to the disciples to meal time.
Going back to the Old Testament,God was in the habit of that.
One of the reasons God wanted all the male children of Israel
circumcised on their penis was to remind them every time they
used it, who they belonged to. They were God's elect. In another
instance he told them to put long fringes on their garments (shawls)
and memorize a commandment with each fringe, something they wore
every day to not forget. Jewish priests still wear their shawls.
"Speak unto the children of Israel, and bid them
that they make them fringes in the borders
of their garments throughout their generations,
and that they put upon the fringe of
the borders a ribband of blue: And it shall
be unto you for a fringe, that ye may
look upon it, and remember all
the commandments of the LORD, and do them; and that
ye seek not after your own heart and your own eyes,
after which ye use to go a whoring:" (Numbers
"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." (Matthew 26:29)
Why did Jesus tell them that He would not drink of this fruit
of the vine, He was still alive before He shed His blood. He
was still under the Old Covenant and would not be with them in
flesh and blood. To leave a New Testament, He had to be separated
from His blood representing the wine in the cup. No one can leave
a Testament (inheritance) without passing away (leaving permanently).
In Jesus' case the body was resurrected.
Note Jesus does not include blood when he reappeared to his
disciples after His death to fulfill His promise to "drink
it new with you in my Father's kingdom." He didn't mean
up in heaven but His Father's kingdom which is to be headed by
Jesus Christ here on earth have already been achieved by His
"Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle
me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as
ye see me have." (Luke 24:39)
Why on earth would we be drinking His blood or eating His
flesh to get cleansed. It makes no sense whatsoever. Jesus is
alive at the right hand of the Father interceding for us against
accusations from Satan to the Father. He must be grossed out
at the thought of having people by the millions chewing him up
and drinking His precious blood daily simply by Scripture twisting
and blindness to the truth.
"Not to all the people, but unto witnesses chosen before
of God, [even] to us, who did eat and drink with
him after he rose from the dead. (Acts
So what did Jesus mean at the Last Supper? "And from
Jesus Christ, [who is] the faithful witness, [and] the
first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings
of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed
us [notice past tense, it is done] from our sins in his own
blood.." (Revelation 1:5)
Since He is the Word (John 1:1), to
do it He became the Word in the flesh to make sure we got the
message. The Word only stands if every tittle is fulfilled to
the finest detail. How would we know what God did for us without
the Word of God.
Matthew 26:26,27: "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.." Better put by
Mark: "And he took the cup, and when he had given thanks,
he gave [it] to them: and they all drank of
it. And he said unto them, This is my blood
of the new testament, which is shed for many."
The "broken" bread represented His broken body,
by demoralizing Him in placing a crown of thorns on His head,
pushing it hard into His skull. They ripped his clothes off,
spat in His face and nailed Him to the cross. To make sure He
was dead, they pierced Him and blood and water gushed out of
Him. (The blood and water representing the New and Old Testament)
The blood and water dissipated into the ground. The blood
in itself has no life. It only has life in conjunction with the
Word of God. The blood and the Word are interrelated. One without
the other has no power of it's own. Jesus without the Word of
God is just a man. Nobody would have known what his purpose for
being here was or who He was.
When we pray "Give us this day our daily bread,"
we are not only asking for food for the belly but for the Word
of God (Jesus Christ) "And forgive us our debts.."
We are forgiven through His crucifixion which is represented
in the Lord's Last Supper. We are to remember it every time we
break bread and remember Him and what He did for us.
But he answered and said, it is written, Man shall not live
by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the
mouth of God. (Matthew 4:4) If Jesus wanted
us to eat His body and drink His blood, He would have written
this Scripture differently.
Another wonderful example of bread being something other than
bread is in Matthew 15:23-28: The woman who came to Jesus wanted
a healing for her daughter establish that these verses are not
about physical bread or the eating Jesus' flesh.
"But he [Jesus] answered her [the woman] not a word.
and his disciples came and besought him, saying, Send her away,
for she crieth after us. But he answered and said, I am not sent
but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel."
Then came she and worshiped Him, saying, Lord help me. But
he answered and said, It is not meet to take the children's bread,
and to cast [it] to dogs. And she said, Truth, Lord: yet the
dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their master's table.
Then Jesus answered and said unto her, O woman, great [is] thy
faith: be it unto thee even as thou wilt. And her daughter was
made whole from that very hour." Here he could have only
been referring to the Word of God. If one replaced bread with
shepherd representing Jesus Himself, it wouldn't fit the sentence
where the Word can be doled out in bits and pieces.
Place the "Word of God" where Christ is mentioned
into the Scripture John 10:9, John 15:1, 6:35 and John 6:27,
it fits. John 6:63 is where Jesus confirms what I just wrote.
"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
"And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy
to take the book, and to open the seals
thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us
to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue,
and people, and nation;" (Revelation 5:9)
The Catholic Vatican II is one of the books of "how to"
proceed enforcing Roman Catholic traditions laid down by the
leadership of Catholic Church for priests and teachers. It states
that the Eucharist is the center of Roman Catholicism. "Celebrating
the Eucharist in which "the victory and triumph of his death
are again made present." (The Council of
Trent, session 23: Decree on the Holy Eucharist, ch.5)
The Most Sacred Mystery of the Eucharist 47. At the Last Supper,
on the night he was betrayed, our Savior instituted the Eucharistic
sacrifice of his Body and Blood. This he did in order to perpetuate
the sacrifice of the Cross throughout the ages until he should
come again, and so to entrust to his beloved Spouse the Church,
a memorial of his death and resurrection: a sacrament of love,
a sign of unity, a bond of charity, a paschal banquet in which
Christ is consumed, the mind is filled with grace and a pledge
of future glory is given to us. (Roman Breviary:
Feast of Corpus Christi, Second Vespers, Antiphon Magnificat.)
"In the celebration of the Eucharist, a sense of community
should be encouraged. Each person will then feel himself united
with his brethren in the communion of the Church local and universal,
and even in a way with all men. In the sacrifice of the Mass
in fact, Christ offers (notice present tense which is not biblical)
himself for the salvation of the entire world. The congregation
of the faithful is both type and sign of the union of the whole
human race in Christ its Head. (cf. Constitution
on the Church, n.3:AAS 57 (1965), p.6)
The Eucharist is also presented to the faithful "as a
medicine, by which we are freed from our daily faults and preserved
from mortal sin: (Council of Trent, Session 13:
Decree on the Eucharist, ch.2: Denz. 875 (1638)..) The
custom of the Church declares this to be necessary, so that no
one who is conscious of having committed mortal sin, even if
he believes himself to be contrite, should approach the holy
Eucharist without first making a sacramental confession."
(Council of Trent, Session 13; Decree on the
Eucharist, ch. 7: Denz. 880 (1646-47)
Frequent or daily reception of the Blessed Eucharist increases
union with Christ, nourishes the spiritual life more abundantly,
strengthens the soul in virtue and gives the communicant a stronger
pledge of eternal happiness.. (S.C.of the Council,
Decree on the daily reception of communion, 20 Dec. 1905, n.6:AAS
38 (1905-06), pp.401)
Priests should ensure that they preside over the celebration
of the Eucharist that the faithful know that they are attending
not a rite established on private initiative, but the Church's
public worship, the regulation of which was entrusted by Christ
to the apostles and their successors. (Vatican
The reasons for receiving the Eucharist is that the sick are
led to the praiseworthy custom of adoring the heavenly food which
is preserved in churches. This practice of adoration has a valid
and firm foundation," especially since belief in the
real presence of the Lord has as its natural consequence
the eternal and public manifestation of that belief." (Ibid., p 130)
The Blessed Sacrament.. should have only one tabernacle..
safe and inviolable.. in a prominent place, in the middle of
the main altar.. In the celebration of Mass the principal modes
of worship by which Christ is present among the faithful gathered
in his name; then in his Word.. Care should be taken that the
presence of the Blessed Sacrament in the tabernacle is indicated
to the faithful by a tabernacle veil.. a lamp should burn continually
near the tabernacle as a sing of the honor paid to the Lord.
(CF.C.I.C., can 1271.)
"All men are called to this catholic unity which prefigures
and promotes universal peace. And in different ways to it belong,
or are related: the Catholic faithful, others who believe in
Christ, and finally all mankind, called by God's grace to salvation;"
(Vatican II, 1992) This final call includes
literally, Buddhists, Islams, Hindus in other words all religions
because they all have some sort of faith which is all it takes
according to the Pope.