Chapter 17
The religion of the Mass "Sun Worship"

    DO PRIESTS HAVE power to change the elements of bread and wine into the flesh and blood of Christ during the Mass ritual?  Is this belief founded on the Scriptures?

    The Roman Catholic position is summed up in these words: "In the celebration of the Holy Mass, the bread and wine are changed into the body and blood of Christ. It is called transubstantiation, for in the Sacrament of the Eucharist the substance of bread and wine do not remain, but the entire substance of bread is changed into the body of Christ, and the entire substance of wine is changed into his blood, the species or outward semblance of bread and wine alone remaining."

    Support for this belief is sought in the words of Jesus when he said of the bread he had blessed: "Take eat; this is my body" and of the cup, "Drink ye all of it; for this is my blood" (Matt. 26:26-28).  But forcing a literal meaning on these words creates numerous problems of interpretation and tends to overlook the fact that the Bible commonly uses figurative expressions.

    When some of David's men risked their lives to bring him water from Bethlehem, he refused it, saying, "Is not this the blood of men who went in Jeopardy of their lives?" (2 Sam. 23:17).  The Bible speaks of Jesus as a "door," "vine," and "rock" (John 10:9; 15:5; I Cor. 10:4).  All recognize these statements are figurative.  We believe that such is also true of Christ's statement "this is my body...this is my blood."  The bread and wine are symbols of his body and blood.  This does not detract from the reality of his presence within an assembly of believers, for he promised, "Where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them'" (Matt. 18:20). To reject the idea that he becomes literally present in pieces of bread or inside a cup of wine is not to reject that he is present spiritually among believers!  Interesting note, before 1776 Protestant England  called this kind of practice a superstitious and idolatrous religion.  It was written right into the government Royal Declaration?  Click here for more information.

    After Jesus "blessed" the elements, they were not changed into his literal flesh and blood, for he (literally) was still there.  He had not vanished away to appear in the form of bread and wine. After he had blessed the cup, he still called it "the fruit of the vine," not literal blood (Matt. 26:29). since Jesus drank from the cup also, did he drink his own blood?  If the wine became actual blood, to drink it would have been forbidden by the Bible (Deut. 12:16; Acts 15:20).

    There is no evidence that any change comes to the elements through the Romish ritual.  They have the same taste, color, smell, weight, and dimensions.  The bread still looks like bread, tastes like bread, smells like bread, and feels like bread.  But in the Roman Catholic mind, it is the flesh of God.  The wine still looks like wine, tastes like wine, smells like wine, and if one drank enough, it would make him drunk like wine! But this is believed to be the blood of God.

    When the priest blesses the bread and wine, he says the Latin words, Hoc est corpus meus.  In view of the fact that no change takes place "hocus--pocus" we can understand how the expression originated with these words.

    The Council of Trent proclaimed that the belief in transubstantiation is essential to salvation and pronounced curses on any who would deny it. The Council ordered pastors to explain that not only did the elements of the Mass contain flesh, bones, and nerves as a part of Christ, "but also a WHOLE CHRIST."  The Catholic Encyclopedia says, "The dogma of the totality of the Real Presence means that in each individual species the WHOLE CHRIST, flesh and blood, body and soul, Divinity and humanity, is really present."

    The piece of bread having become "Christ," it is believed that in offering it up, the priest sacrifices Christ.  A curse was pronounced by the Council of Trent on any who believed otherwise: "If any one saith that in the Mass a true and proper sacrifice is not offered to God...let him be anathema."  In Catholic belief, this "sacrifice" is a renewal of the sacrifice of the cross: "Christ...commanded that his bloody sacrifice on the Cross should be daily renewed by an un--bloody sacrifice of his Body and Blood in the Mass under the simple elements of bread and wine."  Because the elements are changed into Christ, he "is present in our churches not only in a spiritual manner, but really, truly, and substantially as the victim of a sacrifice."  Though the ritual has been carried out millions of times, attempts are made to explain that it is the same sacrifice as Calvary because the victim in each case is Jesus Christ.

    The very idea of Christ--"flesh and blood, body and soul, Divinity and humanity"--being offered repeatedly as a "renewal" of the sacrifice of the cross, stands in sharp contrast to the words of Jesus on the cross: "It is; finished" (John 19:30).  The Old Testament sacrifices had to be continually offered because none of them was the perfect sacrifice.  But now "we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ ONCE for all.  For every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins: but this man (Christ), after he had offered ONE sacrifice for sins...forever, sat down on the right hand of God...for by ONE offering he perfected forever them that are sanctified" (Heb. 10:10- 14).

    Catholic doctrine says the sacrifice of Christ on the cross should "be daily renewed," but the New Testament sets the idea of "daily sacrifices" in contrast to the ONE sacrifice of Christ.  He was not to be offered often, for "as it is appointed unto men once to Christ was ONCE offered to bear the sins of many" (Heb. 9:25-28).  In view of this, those who believe the sacrifice of the cross should be continually renewed in the Mass, in a sense, "crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame" (Heb. 6:6).

    After the bread has been changed into "Christ' by the priest, it ts placed on a monstrance in the center of a sunburst design.  Before the monstrance Catholics bow and  worship the little wafer as God!  This practice is similar to the practices of heathen tribes that worship fetishes.

    Is it Scriptural? Notice what The Catholic Encyclopedia says: "In the absence of Scriptural proof, the Church finds a warrant for, and a propriety in, rendering Divine worship to the Blessed Sacrament in the most ancient and constant tradition...This reasoning brings to mind the words of Jesus, "...making the word of God of none effect through your tradition" (Mark 7:13).

    The idea of transubstantiation was not without its problems.  Tertullian tells us that priests took great care that no crumb should fall--lest the body of Jesus be hurt! Even a crumb was believed to contain a whole Christ. In the Middle Ages, there were serious discussions as to what should be done if a person were to vomit after receiving communion or if a dog or mouse were by chance to eat God's body!  At the Council of Constance, it was argued whether a man who spilled some of the blood of Christ on his beard should have his beard burned, or if the beard and the man should be destroyed by burning.  It is admitted on all sides that numerous strange doctrines accompanied the idea of transubstantiation.

    In the New Testament church it is evident that Christians partook of both the bread and the fruit of the vine as emblems of Christ's death ( I Cor. 11:28).  This The Catholic Encyclopedia admits:  "It may be stated as a general fact, that down to the twelfth century, in the West as well as in the East, public Communion in the churches was ordinarily administered and received under both kinds," a fact "clearly beyond dispute."  But, after all these centuries, the Roman Catholic Church began to hold back the cup from the people, serving them only the bread. The priest drank the wine.  One argument was that someone might spill the blood of Christ.  But was it not possible that the early disciples could have spilled the cup? Christ did not withhold it from them.

    Serving only half of what Jesus had instituted called for certain "explanations."  It was explained that "communion under one kind," as it was called, was just as valid as taking both.  The people would not be deprived of any "grace necessary for salvation" and that "Christ is really present and is received whole and entire, body and blood, soul and Divinity, under either species alone....Holy mother the Church....has approved the custom of communicating under one kind....Not only, therefore, is Communion under both kinds not obligatory on the faithful, but the chalice is strictly forbidden by ecclesiastical law to any but the celebrating priest"!   After many centuries, this law has now been relaxed.  Some Catholics are allowed to partake of both bread and cup, but customs vary from place to place.

    Did the idea of transubstantiation begin with Christ?  The historian Durant tells us that the belief in transubstantiation as practiced in the Roman Catholic Church, is "one of the oldest ceremonies of primitive religion."

    In the scholarly work Hastings Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethnics, many pages are devoted to an article "Eating the god."  In these pages, abundant evidence is given of transubstantiation rites among many nations, tribes, and religions.

    Such rites were known in sun worship Rome also, as evidenced from Cicero's rhetorical question about the corn of Ceres and the wine of Bacchus.  "Mithraism had a Eucharist, but the idea of a sacred banquet is as old as the human race and existed at all ages and amongst all peoples," admits The Catholic Encyclopedia.

    In Egypt, a cake was consecrated by a priest and was supposed to become the flesh of Osiris.  This was then eaten and wine was taken as a part of the rite.  Even in Mexico and Central America, among those who had never heard of Christ, the belief in eating the flesh of a god was found.  When Catholic missionaries first landed there, they were surprised "when they witnessed a religious rite which reminded them of communion, image made of flour...after consecration by priests, was distributed among the people who ate it...declaring it was the flesh of the deity."

    Hislop suggests that the idea of eating the flesh of a god was of cannibalistic inception.  Since heathen priests ate a portion of all sacrifices, in cases of human sacrifice, priests of Baal were required to eat human flesh.  Thus "Cahna-Bal," that is, "priest of Baal," has provided the basis for our modern word "cannibal."

    During! Mass, Catholics in good standing come forward and kneel before the priest who places a piece of bread--"Christ"--in their mouths. This is called a "host," from a Latin word originally meaning "victim" or "sacrifice."  In Catholic belief, the host "has been the object of a great many miracles," including the bread being turned to stone and hosts which have bled and continued to bleed.

    Hosts are made in a round shape, this form  first being mentioned by St. Epiphanius in the fourth century. But when Jesus instituted the memorial supper, he simply took bread and brake it.  Bread does not break into round pieces!  Breaking the bread actually represents the body of Jesus which was broken for us by the cruel beatings and stripes. But this symbolism is not carried out by serving a round, disk-shaped wafer completely whole.

    If the use of a round wafer is without Scriptural basis, is it possible that we are faced with another example of sun worship influence?  Hislop says, "The 'round' wafer, whose 'roundness' is so important an element in the Romish Mystery, is only another symbol of Baal, or the sun."

    We know that round cakes were used in the ancient mysteries of Egypt.  "The thin, round cake occurs on all altars."  In the mystery religion of Mithralsm, the higher initiates received a small round cake or wafer of unleavened bread which symbolized the solar disk as did their round tonsure.

    In 1854, an ancient temple was discovered in Egypt with inscriptions that show little round cakes on an altar.  Above the altar is a large image of the sun.   A similar sun-symbol was used above the altar of a temple near the town of Babain, in upper Egypt where there is a representation of the sun, before which two priests are shown worshiping. (picture left.)

    This use of the sun-image above the "altar" was not limited to Egypt.  Even in far away Peru, this same image was known and worshiped.   If one compares the sun image before which the heathen bowed with the monstrance sun image--in which the host is placed as a "sun" and before which Catholics bow--a striking similarity will immediately be seen.  We see they are practicing Sun Worship.

    Even among the Israelites, when they fell into Baal worship, sun--images were set up above the altars!  But during the reign of Josiah, these images were torn down: "And they brake down the altars of Baalim in his presence; and the images (margin, sun-images)  that were on high above them" (2 Chron. 34:41).

    The accompanying old woodcut illustrates(photo left) some of the strange images that idolatrous Jews worshiped, including sun--images at the top of columns.

    The photograph on the left.  Shows the altar of St. Peter's and ninety--five foot canopy which is supported by four columns, twisted and sightly covered by branches.  At the top of the columns--"on high above" the most important altar in Catholicism--are decorative sun images. High on the wall, as the photograph also shows, is a huge and elaborate golden sunburst image which, from the entrance of the church, also appears "above" the altar.  A large sun--image also appears above the altar of the Church of the Gesu, Rome, and hundreds of others.  Interestingly enough, the great temple at Babylon also featured a golden sun-image.

    Sometimes the circular sun--image is a stained glass window above the altar or, as is very common, above the entrance of churches.  Some of these central circular windows are beautifully decorated. Some are surrounded with sun rays.  In Babylon there were temples with images of the sun--god to face the rising sun placed above the entries.  An early Babylonian temple built by king Gudea featured such an emblem of the sun-god over the entrance.  It was a custom for Egyptian builders to place a solar disk (sometimes with wings or other emblems) over the entrance of their temples to honor the sun--god and drive away evil spirits.  We are not suggesting, of course, that the round designs in use today convey the meanings they once did to those who went to heathen temples.  Nevertheless, the similarity in design seems curious.

    The circular window that has been so commonly used above the entrances of churches is sometimes called a "wheel" window.  The wheel design, as the wheel of a chariot, was believed by some of the ancients to also be a sun--symbol.  They thought of the sun as a great chariot driven by the sun-god who made his trip across the heavens each day and passed through the underworld at night.  When the Israelites mixed the religion of Baal into their worship, they had "chariots of the sun"--chariots dedicated to the sun--god (2 Kings 23:4-11).  An image in the form of a chariot wheel is placed over the famous statue of Peter in St. Peter's.  A tablet now ln a British museum shows one of the Babylonian kings restoring a symbol of the sun-god in the temple of Bel.  The symbol is an eight pointed cross, like a spoked wheel.  The Babylonian solar wheel (left) has been inked with occultism and astrology.  A similar design marks the pavement of the circular court before St. Peter's church (below).

    Romish pictures of Mary and the saints feature a circular sun-symbol disk around their heads. The Roman tonsure is round.  Round images are seen above the altars and entrances.  The monstrance in which the round host is placed often features a sun-burst design.  All of these uses of sun symbols may seem quite insignificant.  But when the overall picture is seen, each provides a clue to help Expose Mystery Babylon ". (Sun (Baal) Worship)

    When Jesus instituted the memorial supper, it was at night.  It was not at breakfast time, or at lunch time.  The first Christians partook of the Lord's supper at night, following the example of Christ and the types of the Old Testament.  But later, the Lord's supper came to be observed at a morning meeting. To what extent this may have been influenced by Mithraism, we cannot say.  We do know that the Mithraic rites were observed early in the morning, being associated with the sun and dawn.  For whatever reason, it is now a common custom among both Catholic and Protestant churches to take the Lord's "supper" in the morning.

    A factor that may have encouraged the early morning Mass within the Catholic Church was the idea that a person should be fasting before receiving communion.  Obviously early morning was an easier time to meet this requirement!  But to require such fasting cannot be solidly built on scripture, for Jesus had just eaten when he instituted the memorial supper!

    On the other hand, those who sought initiation in the Eleusinian mysteries were first asked: "Are you fasting?"  If their answer was negative, initiation was denied.  Fasting itself is, of course, Biblical.  But true fasting must come from the heart and not merely because of a man--made rule.  Of such, God says, "When they fast, I will not hear their cry" (Jer. 14:12).  The Pharisees were strict about fasting on certain days, but neglected the weightier matters of the law (Matt. 6:16). Paul warned about certain commandments to "abstain from meats (foods)" as being a mark of apostasy (1 Tim.4:3).

    In commenting on the Mass and its elaborate ritualism, Romanism and the Gospel says: "It is a spectacle of gorgeous magnificence--lights, colors, vestments, music, incense, and what has a strange psychological effect, a number of drilled officiants performing a stately ritual in entire independence of the worshipers.  These are indeed spectators, not participants, spectators like those who were present at a performance of the ancient mystery cults.'

    A noted work on Catholicism summarizes the mechanical performance made by the priest during Mass: "He makes the sign of the cross sixteen times; turns toward the congregation six times; lifts his eyes to heaven eleven times; kisses the altar eight times; folds his hands four times; strikes his breast ten times; bows his head twenty-one times genuflects eight times bows his shoulders seven times; blesses the altar with the sign of the cross thirty times; lays his hands flat on the altar twenty-nine times; prays secretly eleven times; prays aloud thirteen times: takes the bread and wine and turns it into the body and blood of Christ: covers and uncovers the chalice ten times; goes to and fro twenty times." Adding to this complicated ritualism is the use of highly colored robes, candles, bells, incense, music, and the showy pageantry for which Romanlsm is known.  What a contrast to the simple memorial supper instituted by Christ!
“Signs and symbols rule the Sun Worship world, not words nor laws.”