But grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever. Amen.
2 Peter 3:18
TRANSUBSTANTIATION AND SACRIFICE OF THE MASS
During his cruel Crusade against the Albigenses, Pope Innocent III proclaimed the doctrine of Transubstantiation, in the year 1215. He died the very next year. But his dogma of Transubstantiation is still alive.
The theory of Transubstantiation was around long before 1215 A.D. But Innocent III made it law at the Fourth Lateran Council. Transubstantiation meant that the priest could change the communion wafer into the LITERAL, PHYSICAL, BODY of Jesus Christ.
BLOOD OF THE MARTYRS
Anyone who said the wafer JUST REPRESENTED the body of Christ was accursed and condemned to death as a heretic. Christ had warned His followers, “... yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service.” (John 16:2)
In the large town of Bezieres, the Albigenses lived among their Catholic neighbors. Simon de Montfort asked the Papal Legate how they should know whom to kill and whom to spare.
The Abbot of Ceteaux replied that they should KILL THEM ALL and let God sort them out. At least 40,000 died in Bezieres. And so it went in Carcassonne, Albi, Toulouse, and others.
Lyons saw 20,000 of its citizens put to death for heresy. Hundreds of villages saw ALL their residents massacred. These residents included many women and children.
Nineteen principal cities of southern France were now devoid of Albigenses, where once they had flourished. “The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the Church.”
The Vatican had murdered Christians, whose rewards are safe in Heaven. But she could not murder the Bible.
LITERAL OR SYMBOLIC?
“And he took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, THIS IS MY BODY which is given for you: this do in REMEMBRANCE of me.” (Luke 22:19)
Did Christ intend for us to believe that the bread was his LITERAL, PHYSICAL, BODY? Or was he using a common figure of speech? Have you ever said, “this is ME” as you pointed to a snapshot of yourself?
Did you mean the photo was your LITERAL, PHYSICAL, BODY? Or did you mean it was a likeness and reminder of you? Christ said, “this do in REMEMBRANCE of me.” Thus the bread is a symbol and reminder of His body. Christ spoke of eating his flesh in John 6.
“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.” (John 6:51)
“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 6:63) (Emphasis mine)
“Eating his flesh” was NOT to be taken literally. Eating His literal flesh PROFITS US NOTHING. But spiritual feeding (meditating and trusting) in His Death on the Cross brings forgiveness, cleansing and eternal life. The Albigenses and Waldenses understood this.
SOME PROFILES IN COURAGE
Claude, Bishop of Turin, in the ninth century, contended for the symbolic nature of the Eucharist. He also preached salvation by faith alone and Christ as sole head of the Church. He denounced both the worship of images (as idolatry) and prayers for the dead.
Turin is an important city in northern Italy, where the Waldenses (Vaudois -- men of the valleys) thrived in the nearby valleys of the Piedmont. The Waldenses were virtually identical with their Albigensian Brethren in southern France. They shared a common catechism.
Berengarius (taught circa 1035-91 A.D.) Peter de Bruys (c. 1110-30) Henry of Toulouse (c. 1135-48) and Peter Waldo (c. 1165-1217) all preached openly against both transubstantiation and infant baptism. Their fame and influence spread far beyond France.
Albigenses had their own Churches and schools. They stood firm against transubstantiation, infant baptism and the supposed need of a Catholic priest to perform the wedding ceremony. For this, the Catholic clergy accused them of rejecting communion, baptism and marriage.
“IT IS FINISHED”
Transubstantiation brought another heresy -- the Sacrifice of the Mass. In order to change the wafer to the literal body of Christ, the priest must first offer up Christ again as a sacrifice for sins, at every Mass.
This teaching DENIES the FINISHED WORK of Christ on the Cross.
“By the which will we are sanctified through the OFFERING of the body of Jesus Christ ONCE FOR ALL. And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins:
But this man, after he had offered ONE SACRIFICE for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God; From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool. For by ONE OFFERING he hath perfected FOR EVER them that are sanctified.” (Hebrews 10:10-14)
Christ said, on the Cross, “It is FINISHED.” (John 19:30) The Greek word for “finished” is “teleo” in John 19:30. The verb “teleo” is variously translated “made an end” (Matt. 11:1) “pay” (Matt. 17:4) “performed” (Luke 2:39) and “accomplished” (Luke 18:31).
Putting these together, we see Christ “made an end” of our sin and guilt. He “paid” the price of our redemption.
He “performed” the utmost requirements of the Law. He “accomplished” the work the Father had given Him to do. He “FINISHED” making Atonement for us.
Christ doesn't need to be offered up continually at each Sacrifice of the Mass. He offered Himself ONCE FOR ALL. We need to trust Him for forgiveness of our sins, and be baptized by immersion as he was (Matthew 3:16-17) in obedience to His Command (Matthew 28:19).
Then we need to remember Him at the Lord's Table, in communion with the saints, in a Bible-believing Church. We feed spiritually on his death, burial and resurrection for our salvation. We don't feed on him physically. We simply trust in His FINISHED WORK on the Cross.
 Loraine Boettner, ROMAN CATHOLICISM (Presbyterian & Reformed Publishing Company: Philadelphia, PA, 1962, 1977) p. 8.
 Cairns, CHRISTIANITY THROUGH THE CENTURIES (Zondervan Publishing House: Grand Rapids, MI, rev. ed., 1972) p. 235.
 Jack T. Chick, SMOKESCREENS (Chick Publications: Chino, CA, 1983) pp. 7-11.
 John T. Christian, A HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS (Bogard Press: Texarkana, Arkansas - Texas, 1922) p. 63. SEE ALSO: John Foxe, FOXE'S BOOK OF MARTYRS paperback ed., Marie Gentert King, Editor, (Spire Book published by Fleming H. Revell: Old Tappan, NJ, 1968) pp. 46-47.
 G. H. Orchard, A CONCISE HISTORY OF BAPTISTS (Bogard Press: Texarkana, AR-TX, 1987) p. 215.
 Ibid. p. 216.
 Ibid. p. 206.
 W.A. Jarrel, BAPTIST CHURCH PERPETUITY (Calvary Baptist Church Bookstore: Ashland, Kentucky, n.d. -- originally published by author, 1894 in Dallas) pp. 279-280.
 G. H. Orchard, A CONCISE HISTORY OF BAPTISTS (Bogard Press: Texarkana, AR-TX, 1987.) pp. 178-181. SEE ALSO: W.A. Jarrel, BAPTIST CHURCH PERPETUITY, pp. 318-319.
 Arthur W. Pink, THE SEVEN SAYINGS OF THE SAVIOUR ON THE CROSS (Baker Book House: Grand Rapids, MI, 1976) p. 113.
George Theiss is a combat veteran of Vietnam who now follows the Lamb of God. He and his wife, Christy, have been married 42 years (in 2019). They have 8 grown children. You can contact George at firstname.lastname@example.org
Copyright © 2002 through 2019 by George Theiss