Excerpt taken from "The Second Window" © Copyright 1997 by Nicholas
"How is it that ye do not understand that I spake it not to you concerning bread, that ye should beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees? Then understood they how that he bade them not beware of the leaven of bread, but of the doctrine of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees."-Matthew 16:11-12
In the year 1215 A.D. the Pope Innocent III decreed the doctrine of transubstantiation. This is the doctrine that states the priest has the ability to perform the miracle of changing the wafer into the body of Jesus Christ for all Catholics to receive as communion. Five years later in 1220 A.D. Pope Honorius sanctioned the adoration of the wafer as doctrine.
These are two verses that have indeed been taken out of context. As a devoted Catholic, I actually believed that the priest had that ability to change the wafer into the body of Jesus every single time I went to mass. Many people from all other churches have time and time again tried to explain to me that Jesus was speaking in a symbolic way when He said the bread was His flesh, and the wine was His blood. But I would have no part of their explanation. Even though I read John 6:35 about how "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..." I realized Jesus was saying He was the meaning of life. But I quickly blew that off because I didn't want to believe that my church was wrong. It would mean that Jesus wasn't really asking us to eat Him as a cannibal eats his prey. However, reading John 1:14 makes one realize that, "...the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us,..." So when Jesus said we must eat His flesh, He actually meant,We must eat His Word. But I was still confused. It wasn't until I read Jeremiah 15:16 that I understood, "Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart..." It was also confirmed to my heart when I read these verses...
Could it be the Catholic church is having a hard time understanding what Jesus meant when He said He is the bread of life? This is not uncommon, even back then "The Jews therefore strove among themselves, saying, How can this man give us his flesh to eat?" [John 6:52] And sadly yes, even "Many therefore of his disciples, when they had heard this, said, This is an hard saying; who can hear it?" [John 6:60] And because they couldn't understand what Jesus meant we read that, "From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him." [John 6:66] And still to this day people the world over still worship the wafer as Jesus incarnate. The Almighty is not one that has to be placed in a wafer to be worshipped. The Bible tells us very plainly that "God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth." [John 4:24] In fact in verse 58 of John 6 we see Jesus even explaining to them that this "eating of bread" is not "as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead: he that eateth of this bread shall live forever." For Jesus to bluntly explain that the type of bread eating He is speaking of is in no way .like "eating manna," is a blunt fact that sadly only a natural man void of Heavenly Truth can miss. To go one step further in the discussion of this doctrine of transubstantiation, or "turning the wafer into Jesus Christ incarnate." I would like to bring to your attention the following decree that the Catholic church still considers binding doctrine today.
"If anyone denies that in the sacrament of the most Holy Eucharist (communion wafer) 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 says that He is in it only as a sign, or figure or force, let him be anathema." (An exhausted definition of "Anathema" = To be damned and put to death) Canons and Decrees of the Council of Trent. Original text with English translation, by Rev. H.J. Schroeder, O.P., B. Herder Book Co. 1960, p.79, Canon 1.
Put to death? Does this appear to be Christlike behavior? I was shocked when I read this. Doesn't Jesus tell us in Luke 6:27 that everyone should "Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you," God Almighty does not want worship out of fear. If He did He would have killed Satan and his fallen angels the first day of their Heavenly revolt. However, this would indeed have caused many of the angels to fear God, wouldn't it? The Almighty wants us to make a choice to worship Him out of our own free will. If we are forced into worship, is it true worship? Have you ever been forced into doing something you didn't want to do? Did you feel happiness? Did you feel joy? Did you want to continue doing it forever? Did you want your friends or loved ones to join you? Was it something you looked forward to? We are either a Christian, or we are not a Christian. There are NO gray areas in Christianity. Still, there are those laws of the Catholic church that makes forced worship a doctrine accepted by God.
"If anyone says that in the holy sacrament of the Eucharist (communion wafer), Christ, the only begotten Son of God, is not to be adored with the worship of latria, also outwardly manifested, and is consequently neither to be venerated with a special festive solemnity, nor to be solemnly borne about in procession according to the laudable and universal rite and custom of the holy Church, or it not to be set publicly before the people to be adored and the adorers thereof are idolaters, let him be anathema." Ibid., p.80, Canon 6
The priest says mass, and he presumably turns the wafer into Jesus, or he publicly carries the wafer in a religious parade. If anyone steps forward to say the wafer is merely a symbol of Jesus, and really isn't the body, blood and soul of Jesus Christ, or they refuse to bow to it, or call it idol worship. They MUST be killed. Is this Christlike? Would Jesus approve? Some will say, "This is ancient history, it doesn't apply today" Even if they're right ancient or current history, is this right for a church to do? Besides, it is no longer ancient history. The FACT is the Vatican II council kept this particular doctrine on the books as present day legal binding Catholic doctrine.
Adoration of the communion wafer is one thing, plain and simple. It is the worship of a god that is made by human hands. Unless the wafer is miraculously created without the aid of a human to form or cook it in an oven, it is made by human hands. Period. And according to the Word of God, the Almighty does NOT reside in anything made by human hands...
Worship belongs to the Creator, not His creation. Paul tells us in Romans 1:25 that there will be those "Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen." Is not the wafer a creation? Even if it is broken down into its base elements, the molecules within the wafer were created by an Almighty and Ever Living Creator God.
By the way, if Jesus really did literally turn the wine into His blood, then explain this...
In verse 28 Jesus declares the wine His blood, and the very next verse has Jesus declaring it the fruit of the vine. Biblical proof, Jesus was speaking symbolically.
To give you an idea of just how far this "turning the wafer into God" has gone. See here the actual wordds of the Catholic church in regards to this act...
"...we find in obediance to the words of his priests - Hoc est Corpus Meum - God Himself descends on the altar, that he comes whenever they call Him; and as often as they call Him, and places Himself in their hands, even though they should be His enemies. And after having come, he remains, entirely at their disposal; they move Him as they please, from one place to another; they may, if they wish, shut Him up in the tabernacle, expose Him on the altar, or carry Him outside the church; they may, if they choose, eat His flesh, and give Him for the food of others. ;Oh how great is their power!' -The Dignity of the priesthood by Liguori p. 26,27
"...the power of the priest is the power of the divine person; for the transubstantiation of the bread requires as much power as the creation of the world. ...thus the priest may be called the creator of the Creator..." -The diginity of the priesthood, p. 33
The most blunt passage that I have found to date that declares Jesus Christ was NOT speaking "literally" in regards to His "flesh" can be found in John chapter 6.
One more thing to mention. At the last supper "UNLEAVENED" bread was used for a symbol of Christ's sinless flesh. Had there been leaven in it, it would have represented CORRUPTION in the bread. And as we all know, Christ Jesus NEVER sinned. Therefore, His flesh would not be stained with the corruption of sin.
We also have this confirmed in the Old Testament when they would bring a lamb as a sin offering. It had to be WITHOUT blemish. If it would have had any blemishes it would have represented an imperfect offering. Seeing how they were using lamb's to signify the perfect "Lamb of God that taketh away the sins of the world" (John 1:29) An imperfect offering would have meant that in the future Christ would have been imperfect. So, sheep with blemishes were rejected by the priest.
The reason I am sharing this with you is to illustrate how important the symbolism is in the communion of our Lord. Looking at the Roman Catholic Eucharist with it's SYMBOLS OF BAAL etched on it portrays a corrupted offering. PLUS, look to the wine they use in the Roman Catholic church as well. It is FERMENTED wine. That means the wine has been allowed to rot so as to ferment and become alcoholic in nature. This wine is the fruit of a corrupted, or "rotten" fruit. Therefore, even the wine they offer in communion in the Roman Catholic church portrays a corrupted offering. BOTH the bread and the wine of the Roman church has evidence of death and corruption within it. Therefore in simplicity, it is an ANTI-Communion of sorts!
To summarize in a few words...
For more info on idol worship being taught in the Roman Catholic church, click here.