Defense of the Sacrament of the Matt1618

Response to Attack on the Eucharist by Jesus is’s David Stewart

Eucharist – A Three Headed Monster? Biblical Response

Much of the following is a response from a fellow by the name of David Stewart, who runs the Jesus is Savior web site and did a piece that attacked the Catholic faith on the sacrament of confession. Part of his attack included the Catholic teaching on the Eucharist. Since I gave a pretty detailed response on his attack on the Eucharist,, I wanted to give this part of the paper, its own separate url, so one can read this separately from the other much larger piece. Here is the piece I am responding to. I will color in green the critique of the Protestant apologist, by the name of David Stewart. I also slightly expanded in this piece a quotation of an early church father.

Next Mr. Stewart starts attacking the Eucharist:

Also, the Catholics worship the Eucharist more than Christ Himself. The Bible could be clearer in Luke 22:19, “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.” The Lord's Supper (Eucharist) was simply something which Jesus wanted believers to do to REMEMBER Him ... no more. The Catholic religion has perverted the Lord's Supper into a monstrosity with three heads, tens eyes, and sharp venomous fangs. It's called “transubstantiation.” Some even call the Catholic practice of Mass, cannibalism, since Catholics believe they are literally digesting Jesus' flesh and blood. The belief is that the flesh and blood of Christ digest into the human body; thus, giving it's recipient spiritual strength and renewal. The logical conclusion then must be that one passes Jesus out in their feces as well. What blasphemy!!!

How ridiculous and absurd! There is NO such teaching in the Bible. Jesus simply told us to remember Him. How in the world did some nut come up with the idea that we are literally eating our Savior?

Catholics worship the Eucharist the same as Christ himself, because the Eucharist is Jesus himself. As the King James Version of the Bible, says ‘ This IS my Body’, not ‘This is NOT my Body’:

Mt. 26:26-28:

26 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.27 And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it;28 For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.
What Jesus is giving is his body and his blood. He does not say this represents him, or symbolizes him. He said this is my blood, this blood which is shed for many is for the remission of sins. Again this Eucharist itself forgives sins, grace given to believers. This blood is ‘poured out’. Every time this word, echeo, is used in the Old Testament, it refers to sacrifice (as noted by Mitch Pacwa, in his debate with James White:
It appears 12 times in the context of sacrifice. Poured out libation of water or of wine. In other 9 uses, refers to shedding blood, or pouring out blood as part of the sacrificial ceremony, Where they weren’t just getting rid of the blood in some practical way, they were pouring out that blood at the base of the altar as part of the ritual of the sacrifice. (Mitch Pacwa, in debate with James White, Jan 1991, cassette tape)
In reference to Mr. Stewart downgrading the word remembrance. As though it is only about remembering what Jesus did in the past. Even Protestant scholars admit that ‘remembrance’ or anamnesis, means much more than just remembering something in the past:
Gerhard Kittel, Theological Dictionary of the New Testament, ed. and trans. Geoffrey W. Bromily (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Eerdmans, 1983), speaks of “re-presentation” and “the making present by the later community of the Lord who instituted the Supper” (1:348-49). Protestant writer Max Thurian wrote, “This memorial is not a simple subjective act of recollection, it is a liturgical action. . . which makes the Lord present. . . which recalls as a memorial before the Father the unique sacrifice of the Son, and this makes Him present in His memorial” The Eucharistic Memorial, II, The New Testament, Ecumenical Studies in Worship as quoted in Colin Brown, ed., Dictionary of New Testament Theology [Grand Rapids, Mich: Zondervan, 1979], 3:244).
This is what the Church teaches. What happened in the past, is made present in the act of making bread and wine become the Body and Blood of Christ.

What further indication is that transubstantiation is true? Paul writes clearly:

1 Cor. 11:24-27:

24 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. 25 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. 26 For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord's death till he come. 27 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.
Paul recounts that Jesus himself said this is my Body. Not represents his body. There were tons of ways Jesus could have said symbolized his body. But he never once used symbolical language. If one eats this bread and drinks this cup in an unworthy fashion, he is guilty of not a symbol of his body and blood, but is guilty of the Body and Blood of Christ. It is a blasphemy to mock what Jesus himself said, as passed on through Matthew Mark, Luke, and the apostle Paul.

When one eats the Body and Blood of the Lord, it is the Eucharist when it is in the form of bread and wine. When it is no longer in that form, it is no longer the Eucharist. So Jesus does not become feces, it is blasphemous to even think that. Now in reference to cannibalish, Tim Staples answers that charge:

1. In cannibalism, the person consumed is, generally speaking, killed. Jesus is not killed. We receive him in his resurrected body and we do not affect him in the least. In fact, he is not changed in the slightest. He changes us! This is far from cannibalism.
2. In cannibalism, only part of the victim is consumed. One does not eat the bones, sinews, etc. In the Eucharist, we consume every bit of the Lord, eyes, hair, blood, bones, etc. But again, I emphasize that we do so under the appearances of bread and wine. This is essentially different than cannibalism, which leads to our next point:
3. In cannibalism, the accidents of blood and flesh are consumed. One must tear flesh, drink blood, etc. In the Eucharist, we only consume the accidents of bread and wine. This is not cannibalism.
4. In cannibalism, one only consumes a body, not a person. The person and the soul of the victim would have departed. In the Eucharist, we consume the entire person of Jesus Christ, body, blood, soul and divinity. One cannot separate Christ’s body from his Divine Person. Thus, this is a spiritual communion as well as a physical consuming. We become one with Christ on a mystical level in this sacrament. This is far from cannibalism.
5. In cannibalism, one only receives temporal nourishment that is fleeting. In the Eucharist, we receive the divine life of God through faith and receiving our Lord well-disposed, i.e. we receive everlasting life (cf. John 6:52-55). This is essentially different than cannibalism.
6. In cannibalism, once one eats the flesh of the victim, it is gone forever. In the Eucharist, we can consume him every day and, as mentioned in #1, we do not change him one bit. He remains the same. Tim Staples, Are Catholics Cannibals?
Besides that, this was the charge of the pagans in the mid second century, who did not understand Christian teaching. There were absolutely no charges made by Dave Stewart type Christians, as it was indisputable that all believers believed in the true presence of Christ. Mr. Stewart joins the company of pagans, not Christians, who understood what they were partaking of.
Some may submit that Jesus claimed to be the “Bread of Life” in John 6:35; BUT, Jesus also claimed to be the “Door” in John 10:9. Was Jesus a literal door? A literal loaf of bread? It is obvious in John 4:10 that Jesus wasn't offering the Samaritan woman actual water, but living water, the Holy Spirit. The Catholic religion has no right to pervert the plain teachings of the Word of God; but they do horrible and sinfully. Our spiritual life is nourished by the Word of God (1st Peter 2:2). It is the Holy Spirit of God that empowers and strengthens believers (Ephesians 3:16). The crazy idea that the Catholic mass has some special power to it is absurd, and unbiblical.
The ‘plain teaching’ of the Word of God is ‘My flesh is meat indeed, my blood is drink indeed.’ To say that Jesus does not mean what he says is the thing that is horrible and sinful. It is not just a brief mention by Jesus in John 6:35 that we understand that the 'bread of life' is Jesus himself in his flesh and blood. He elaborates that he will give us his flesh and blood quite clearly in John 6:48-58 (down below). Now, of course Jesus did mention about being a door. And we know that Jesus is not a literal door. The door symbolizes for sure something we must open up and enter to get into God's kingdom. He mentions the difference between him and Satan, and whoever enters the door of Jesus, enters into grace, and his kingdom, and puts away the devil, who is termed a thief. That is what is surrounding John 10. Now, everybody understood this is symbolical language and nobody interpreted that Jesus was a literal door. You enter one door you get heaven, you enter the door of the wolf, or Satan, you get hell. However, in John 6 Jesus goes on to say something that is literal and people understood him literally, and he reiterates it again that he was meant to be taken literally.

John 6:48-58:

48 I am that bread of life. 49 Your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness, and are dead. 50 This is the bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die.

51 I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live forever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world. 52 The Jews therefore strove among themselves, saying, How can this man give us his flesh to eat? 53 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. 54 Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day. 55 For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. 56 He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him. 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. 58 This is that bread which came down from heaven: not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead: he that eateth of this bread shall live forever.

Jesus starts to do a little further explication of the bread of life in the beginning of v. 48. Now he starts to prepare for a transition. Now in v. 49 he starts to talk about manna in the wilderness. Now manna, was real, was physical, God did not make symbolical manna, but real manna. Then in vs. 51, a startling transition is made. In v. 51, he says that of this living bread, that he will give is his own flesh!! The Jews understood him literally, right here. They say ‘how can this man give us his flesh to eat?’ They didn’t say in John 10, how can he be a door? Huge difference. Jesus then says, that eternal life is staked on eating him literally. You have no life if you refuse to eat his flesh and drink his blood. Then in the King James version, he says his flesh is meat indeed and his blood is drink indeed. When we eat his flesh and drink his blood we abide in him!!! What we partake of is the risen Christ. Grace in abundance. This grace is life-giving. What a superb gift, given by the God man Jesus himself. Now, the Fundamental Baptist will say well, eating his flesh and drinking his blood is just a continuation of what he said earlier in John 6:35-44 about being the bread of life, and just believing. However, here the language is different. Eating flesh and drinking blood is of a different category than merely believing. And eating flesh and drinking blood symbolically does have a meaning but it is quite opposite of believing. In the Old Testament, there are three occasions of eating flesh and drinking blood symbolically in the Old Testament (Psalm 27:2, Micah 3:1-4, Isaiah 9:18-20).

I’ll give example #1:

Psalm 27:2 When the WICKED CAME AGAINST ME to EAT UP MY FLESH, my ENEMIES AND FOES, they stumbled and fell.
They all show whoever eats blood and drinks blood symbolically is making one an opponent, eating the flesh is doing evil deeds, fighting against the person, trying to destroy an enemy. Is Mr. Stewart saying that we must fight against Jesus, treat him as an enemy, and that leads to eternal life? That is the only meaning of symbolical. See for the other examples.

(I will grant that this is the RSV, not the KJV, but it is eating flesh, ‘trogo’ in the Septuagint).

Then in vs. 57-58, he goes back to manna. That was physical manna that God provided. It was real manna that helped Israel survive. But the flesh and blood is compared to a physical manna, again not showing symbolic language.

One last thing is I make a challenge to Mr. Stewart and any Protestant who reads this. I made it years ago in my article on John 6:

in regards to eating flesh and drinking blood the word used in v. 54 to eat (and three other places) is trogo. It is not the normal word used for eating. It literally means to gnaw or chew, thus emphasizing the literalness of the chewing. To those Protestants who mock the implications of us chewing Jesus I will throw out a challenge to those mocking Protestants. Show me one time where the word (to eat or chew, trogo) in the Greek is used symbolically anywhere in the New Testament, the Old Testament, the Septuagint, or even in ancient secular literature. If every time it is used in the Bible and ancient literature it is used in a literal sense, we must use it that way in exegeting John 6. If it has never been used in the way that Protestants impose on John 6, then the figurative sense of eating flesh cannot be possible.
I have not received a response from anybody that anybody ever used the term eating flesh and drinking blood figuratively, in a way which means believing.

Finally, another way to find out, is someone who studied under John. His name is Ignatius of Antioch. John lived approximately to 99 AD or so. Ignatius of Antioch was one of his disciples. He went to his death for his faith in Jesus Christ 110 AD. What did he say in reference to the Eucharist? Symbolic, doesn’t really do much, this is bread and wine (or grape juice nowadays, btw making a mockery of what Jesus did) that are just symbols? Nope, Ignatius of Antioch writes the following:

"Consider how contrary to the mind of God are the heterodox in regard to the grace of God which has come to us. They have no regard for charity, none for the widow, the orphan, the oppressed, none for the man in prison, the hungry or the thirsty. They abstain from the Eucharist and from prayer, because they do not admit that the Eucharist is the flesh of our Savior Jesus Christ, the flesh which suffered for our sins and which the Father, in His graciousness, raised from the dead." "Letter to the Smyrnaeans", paragraph 6. circa 80-110 A.D.

"Come together in common, one and all without exception in charity, in one faith and in one Jesus Christ, who is of the race of David according to the flesh, the son of man, and the Son of God, so that with undivided mind you may obey the bishop and the priests, and break one Bread which is the medicine of immortality and the antidote against death, enabling us to live forever in Jesus Christ." -"Letter to the Ephesians", paragraph 20, c. 80-110 A.D

There were heretics who denied the Body and Blood of Christ, but they were not Christians. There is no record of any Christian body, that was Christian, that saw the Eucharist as merely symbolic. There were no Mr. Stewarts around, during the apostle John’s lifetime. His understudy, who went to his death, St. Ignatius says that the Eucharist is the flesh of our savior Jesus Christ. He said that the bread of life, is the medicine of immortality, (Giving a Catholic interpretation of John 6:48-58) an antidote against death, that enables us to live forever in Jesus Christ. That is his understanding of what John himself taught when hearing Jesus proclaiming that ‘he who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life.’

In the Mass, the once and for all sacrifice is made present. As already noted, Jesus himself said: He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life (Jn 6:54). Again, Jesus said his Blood that he pours out, sheds, (In the KJV) forgives sins, in the context of the Eucharist. Jesus, is an eternal priest, and as Hebrews shows, a priest must offer gifts and sacrifices (Heb. 5:1-4, 8:3), and that is what Jesus is. He is an eternal priest, and he now offers it in the manner of the priest Melchizedek (Heb. 5:6, 7:17), who offered bread and wine (Gen 14:17-20). Now, though Christ died only once and for all, and only one time did he die (Heb. 7:27, 9:27), nonetheless the author of Hebrews makes a comparison of the old sacrifices which only was a pattern of the old that pointed to a more perfect sacrifice in the new covenant:

Hebrews 9:21-23

21 Moreover he sprinkled with blood both the tabernacle, and all the vessels of the ministry. 22 And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission. 23 It was therefore necessary that the patterns of things in the heavens should be purified with these; but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these
What is so grandiose about the Catholic mass is what is shown in the above Scripture. Even though the sacrifice of Jesus only happened on one occasion, the eternal High Priest Jesus himself now offers better sacrifices, plurally. Note this in the King James Version. Now he offers better sacrifices. This is a heavenly thing. So this is purely Biblical. Yes, in 9:27 he talks about the once and for all sacrifice, but, that once and for all sacrifice is made present with these better sacrifices, meaning on multiple occasions. This sacrifice has been made present now for over 2000 years in Christian history. It is this that fulfills the sacrifices prophesied in Malachi 1:11:
For from the rising of the sun even unto the going down of the same my name shall be great among the Gentiles; and in every place incense shall be offered unto my name, and a pure offering: for my name shall be great among the heathen, saith the LORD of hosts.
So this is a fulfillment of the sacrifice. A sacrifice where there is a pure offering. The pure offering is Jesus himself offering Himself to his followers. What can be greater than that? And believers from the earliest of times noted this. As shown in the very first showing of Christian worship, the mass was seen as a pure sacrifice, and was celebrated by believers who confessed sins, and saw this offering as a fulfillment of Malachi 1:11. The Didache which has been dated by some as early as 70 AD, by others at about 140 AD, show this was the understanding of believers. This manual, which showed the outlines of the Mass, shows an understanding that the Mass was a sacrifice, and sins were to be confessed before partaking of this sacrifice: Didache 14:1-5
14:1 And on the Lord's own day gather yourselves together and break bread and give thanks, first confessing your transgressions, that your sacrifice may be pure. 14:2 And let no man, having his dispute with his fellow, join your assembly until they have been reconciled, that your sacrifice may not be defiled; 14:3 for this sacrifice it is that was spoken of by the Lord; 14:4 {In every place and at every time offer Me a pure sacrifice; 14:5 for I am a great king, saith the Lord and My name is wonderful among the nations.}
This shows that this concept of the Mass, of people confessing sins, before partaking of the sacrifice of Christ, who is present, and offering a sacrifice for believers to get their sins forgiven, is present in the very first century. So there is no record of any Mr. Stewarts around, and all believe in confession, and the sacrifice, and as we’ve seen through a disciple of St. John, is the Very Body and Blood of Jesus himself. Why in the world would anyone want to instead worship at a man-made worship service that Mr. Stewart wants you to partake in? Whatever he wants you to worship in, has no apostolic roots, such as the Catholic Mass offers.

Before I close here I want to look at one more thing. He claimed the Eucharist is a three headed monster and a wicked thing because of transubstantiation. St. Justin Martyr, who died for his faith, said in mid second century a quick summary of how Christians worshipped, and what the Eucharist actually is:

Chapter 65. Administration of the sacraments

But we, after we have thus washed him who has been convinced and has assented to our teaching, bring him to the place where those who are called brethren are assembled, in order that we may offer hearty prayers in common for ourselves and for the baptized [illuminated] person, and for all others in every place, that we may be counted worthy, now that we have learned the truth, by our works also to be found good citizens and keepers of the commandments, so that we may be saved with an everlasting salvation. Having ended the prayers, we salute one another with a kiss. There is then brought to the president of the brethren bread and a cup of wine mixed with water; and he taking them, gives praise and glory to the Father of the universe, through the name of the Son and of the Holy Ghost, and offers thanks at considerable length for our being counted worthy to receive these things at His hands. And when he has concluded the prayers and thanksgivings, all the people present express their assent by saying Amen. This word Amen answers in the Hebrew language to γένοιτο [so be it]. And when the president has given thanks, and all the people have expressed their assent, those who are called by us deacons give to each of those present to partake of the bread and wine mixed with water over which the thanksgiving was pronounced, and to those who are absent they carry away a portion.

Teaching is shown specifically here mixed in with worship . There are prayers said. There is a teaching that you will receive salvation only if one keeps the commandments and have works. There is a peace greeting just as a peace greeting today called then as now, a Kiss of peace. Bread and wine are there, and it is mixed with water. There was a ministry to the sick or at least those who were unable to come to the Worship. Prayers of worship the Father, represent the prayers given in the Eucharistic prayer.
Chapter 66. Of the Eucharist And this food is called among us Εὐχαριστία [the Eucharist], of which no one is allowed to partake but the man who believes that the things which we teach are true, and who has been washed with the washing that is for the remission of sins, and unto regeneration, and who is so living as Christ has enjoined. For not as common bread and common drink do we receive these; but in like manner as Jesus Christ our Saviour, having been made flesh by the Word of God, had both flesh and blood for our salvation, so likewise have we been taught that the food which is blessed by the prayer of His word, and from which our blood and flesh by transmutation are nourished, is the flesh and blood of that Jesus who was made flesh. For the apostles, in the memoirs composed by them, which are called Gospels, have thus delivered unto us what was enjoined upon them; that Jesus took bread, and when He had given thanks, said, This do in remembrance of Me, Luke 22:19 this is My body; and that, after the same manner, having taken the cup and given thanks, He said, This is My blood; and gave it to them alone. Which the wicked devils have imitated in the mysteries of Mithras, commanding the same thing to be done. For, that bread and a cup of water are placed with certain incantations in the mystic rites of one who is being initiated, you either know or can learn. St.Justin Martyr, First Apology, Chapter 65 and 66
The martyr who goes on to die for the faith passes on what has been taught. It has been passed on from the apostles. Baptism is the washing for the remission of sins. Again this shows the understanding of Titus 3:5 that points to baptism is what is referred to here. That puts you in grace, and makes you worthy to partake of this holy meal. The prayer makes bread and wine, ‘transmutes’ into the Body and Blood of Christ (a precursor to the word ‘transubstantiation’). He knows what remembrance means. He knows that ‘This is my Body’actually means ‘This is my Body.’ What Mr. Stewart does, if he even celebrates communion, is celebrate grape juice and bread, and calls it grape juice and bread, (true his grape juice and bread is grape juice and bread) yet he calls his faith, the faith of the apostles. He calls what the Church celebrates as ‘ridiculous and absurd.’ This is what the martyrs of the faith died for, filled with faith in Jesus, going to their death believing. This Body and Blood of Christ is for real, and is the faith of the apostles.

To all visitors Grace of Christ to you!

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