Keith Hunt - Babylon Mysteries #9   Restitution of All Things
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Babylon Mysteries #9

The Mysterious Mass


                       Ralph Woodrow


     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 Catholic position is summed up in the following words

from The Catholic Encyclopedia: 

"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."1

     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; 1 Cor.10:4). All recognize these statements are

to be understood in a figurative sense. 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 at all 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!

     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 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, we can understand

how the expression "hocus-pocus" originated with these words.2

     The poem is not included to be unkind or to ridicule what

many sincere people consider a very sacred ceremony. In spite of

its crudeness, the poem does make a point.


     A pretty maid, a Protestant, was to a Catholic wed; To love

     all Bible truths and tales, quite early she'd been bred.

     It sorely grieved her husband's heart that she would not

     comply, And join the Mother Church of Rome and heretics


     So day by day he flattered her, but still she saw no good

     Would ever come from bowing down to idols made of wood. The

     Mass, the host, the miracles, were made but to deceive; And

     transubstantiation, too, she'd never dare believe.

     He went to see his clergyman and told him his sad tale. "My

     wife is an unbeliever, sir; you can perhaps prevail; For all

     your Romish miracles my wife has strong aversion, To really

     work a miracle may lead to her conversion."

     The priest went with the gentleman - he thought to gain a

     prize. He said, "I will convert her, sir, and open both her


     So when they came into the house, the husband loudly cried,

     "The priest has come to dine with us!" "He's welcome," she


     And when, at last, the meal was o'er, the priest at once

     began, To teach his hostess all about the sinful state of


     The greatness of our Savior's love, which Christians can't

     deny, To give Himself a sacrifice and for our sins to die.

     "I will return tomorrow, lass, prepare some bread and wine;

     The sacramental miracle will stop you soul's decline."

     "I'll bake the bread," the lady said. "You may," he did

     reply, "And when you've seen this miracle, convinced you'll

     be, say I"

     The priest did come accordingly, the bread and wine did

     bless. The lady asked, "Sir, is it changed?" The priest

     answered, "Yes,

     It's changed from common bread and wine to truly flesh and

     blood; Begorra, lass, this power of mine has changed it into


     So having blessed the bread and wine, to eat they did

     prepare. The lady said unto the priest, "I warn you to take


     For half an ounce of arsenic was mixed right in the batter,

     But since you have its nature changed, it cannot really


     The priest was struck real dumb - he looked as pale as


     The bread and wine fell from his hands and he did gasp for

     breath. "Bring me my horse!" the priest cried, "This is a

     cursed home!" The lady replied, "Begone; tis you who shares

     the curse of Rome."

     The husband, too, he sat surprised, and not a word did say.

     At length he spoke, "My dear," said he, "the priest has run

     away; To gulp such mummery and tripe, I'm not for sure,

     quite able; I'll go with you and we'll renounce this Roman

     Catholic fable."  

     Author Unknown

     The learned Council of Trent proclaimed that the belief in

transubstantion was 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.3 

     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."4

     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."5 

     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 unbloody

sacrifice of his Body and Blood in the Mass under the simple

elements of bread and wine."6 

     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."7 

     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.8

     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 for ever, sat down on the right hand of God - for by ONE

offering he perfected for ever them that are sanctified " 


     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 die ... so 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 is placed on a monstrance in the center of a sunburst

design. Before the monstrance Catholics will bow and worship the

little wafer as God! This practice, in our opinion, is similar to

the practices of heathen tribes which worship fetishes. 

     Is it scriptural? Notice what The Catholic Encyclopedia


"In the absence of Scriptural proof, the Church finds a warrant

for, Monstrance and a propriety in, rendering Divine worship to

the Blessed Sacrament in the most ancient and constant


     This reasoning brings to mind the words of Jesus, "...making

the word of God of none effect through your tradition" (Mark


     Adopting the idea that the elements of the Lord's Supper

become the literal flesh and blood of Christ 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 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


     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 (1 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 an received

under both kinds," a fact "clearly beyond dispute."10

     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 on this basis! 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 for

bidden by ecclesiastical law to any but the celebrating priest"11

     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."12 

     In the scholarly work "Hasting's Encyclopedia of Religion

and Ethics," 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 pagan Rome as evidenced from

Cicero's rhetorical question about the corn of Ceres and the wine

of Bacchus. In Mithraism, a sacred meal of bread and wine was

celebrated. "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," says The Catholic Encyclopedia.13

     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.14 

     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 ... an image made of flour ... after

consecration by priests, was distributed among the people who ate

it ... declaring it was the flesh of the deity.15

     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


     During Mass, members of the Romish church in good standing

may come forward and kneel before the priest who places a piece

of bread in their mouths which has become a "Christ." This piece

of bread is called "host", from a Latin word originally meaning

"victim" or "sacrifice."l7 

     The Catholic Encyclopedia says that 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


     Hosts are made in a round shape, this form first being

mentioned by St.Epiphanius in the fourth century.19 

     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 pagan

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."20

     We know that round cakes were used in the ancient

mysteries of Egypt. "The thin, round cake occurs on all


     In the mystery religion of Mithraism, the higher initiates

of the system received a small round cake or wafer of unleavened

bread which symbolized the solar disk, 22 as did their round


     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.23 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 worshipping. 

     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


     If there is any doubt that the shape of the host was

influenced by sun-worship, one may simply compare 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 -and a striking similarity will immediately be seen.

     Even among the Israelites, when they fell into Baal worship,

sun-images were set up above their 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.34:4). An

accompanying old woodcut illustrates some of the strange images

that they worshipped, including two sun-images at the top of


     The photograph on the next page shows the altar of St.

Peter's and huge canopy (the baldachinum)-ninety-five feet high -

which is supported by four columns, twisted and slightly covered

by branches. At the top of the columns - "on high above" the most

important altar in Catholicism - are sun-images like those that

were used in pagan worship. High on the wall, 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.25

     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.26 

     An early Babylonian temple built by king Gudea featured such

an emblem of the sun-god over the entrance.27 

     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 seems significant.

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 in 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. A similar

design marks the pavement of the circular court before St.


     Romish pictures of Mary and the saints always 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 over-all picture is seen, each

provides a clue to help solve the mystery of Babylon modern.

     The round wafers of the Mass are often pictured as circles

marked with crosses. We can't help but notice how similar these

are to the round wafers seen in the drawing of an Assyrian



     In this scene, one man is bowing before a priest-king and

beneath a sun-image. The second man from the right is bringing an

offering of round wafers marked with crosses!

     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.28 


     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, with 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.29 

     Fasting itself is, of course, a Biblical doctrine. 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" 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 worshippers. These are indeed spectators, not participants,

spectators like those who were present at a performance of the

ancient mystery cults."30

     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."31 

     Adding to this complicated ritualism is the use of highly

colored robes, candles, bells, incense, music, and the showy

pageantry for which Romanism is known. What a contrast to the

simple memorial supper instituted by Christ!

(Of course it was NOT a supper instituted by Christ. The idea

that the NT Passover symbols were "a supper" is not found in any

NT verse, though some will quote 1 Cor.11:20 to say it is. But

understanding the Greek here gives you the truth as to what Paul

actually said. He said: "When you come together therefore into

one place, you CANNOT eat the Lord's supper" - see a good Greek

Lexicon, or as the Greek scholar Green translated in his

Greek/English NT, "Coming together then you, together, NOT it is

of the Lord a supper to eat."

The OT Passover was a supper type meal with roasted lamb. Jesus

during that supper introduced the NT Passover ordinance - bread

and wine. And so it is not a supper meal at all in any sense of

imagination, it is in many respects quite different from the OT

Passover meal, but it is still the Passover - Keith Hunt)


1.The Catholic Encyclopedia, vol.4, p.277, art. "Consecration."

2.Durant, 'The Story of Civilization: The Reformation.' p.749.

3.Encyclopedia of Religions, vol.2, p.77.

4.The Catholic Encyclopedia, vol.14, p.586, art. "Theology."

5.Ibid., vol.10, p.6, art. "Mass, Sacrifice of."

6.Ibid., p.13.

7.Ibid., vol.7, p.346, art. "High Altar."

8.The New Baltimore Catechism, no.3, question 931. 

9.The Catholic Encyclopedia, vol.5, p.581, art. "Eucharist."

10.Ibid., vol.4, p.176, art. "Communion under both kinds."


12.Durant, 'The Story of Civilization: The Reformation,' p.741.

13.The Catholic Encyclopedia, vol.10, p.404, art. "Mithraism."

14.Encyclopedia of Religions, vol.2, p.76. 

15.Prescott's Conquest of Mexico, vol.3. 

16.Hislop, 'The Two Babylons,' p.232.

17.The Catholic Encyclopedia, vol.7, p.489, art. "Host." 

18.Ibid., p.492.

19.Ibid., p.491.

20.Hislop, 'The Two Babylons,' p.163.

21.Wilkinson, Egyptians, vol.5, p.353 (quoted by Hislop, p.160).

22.Blavatsky, Isis Unveiled, p.351.

23.Inman, 'Ancient Pagan and Modern Christian Symbolism,' p.34.

24.Dobbins,'Story of the World's Worship,' p.383. 

25.Hislop, 'The Two Babylons,' p.162.

26.Lethaby, Architecture, Nature, and Magic, p.29. 


28.Nichols, 'The Growth of the Christian Church,' p.23. 

29.Hislop, 'The Two Babylons,' p.164.

30.Scott, 'Romanism and the Gospel,' p.93. 

31.Boettner, 'Roman Catholicism,' p.170.


END OF OUR STUDY FROM WOODROW (his original work was published in


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