Many non-Catholic Christian churches believe in Replacement Theology. That is, they believe that the church has replaced Israel in the plan of God, and Israel no longer has Biblical relevance. This, in my opinion, is Biblically inaccurate. From front to back, the Bible is bursting with God’s forceful promises to never abandon Israel and the Jewish people. These promises are fulfilled with stunning prophetic accuracy by modern-day Israel, and the Jewish people. As an anti-Catholic, I assumed the Catholic Church also believed in Replacement Theology. As with most of my beliefs about the Catholic Church, I was wrong.
Israel is [not “was”] the priestly people of God, “called by the name of the LORD”, and “the first to hear the word of God”, the people of “elder brethren” in the faith of Abraham… The prophets proclaim a radical redemption of the People of God… ~ Catechism of the Catholic Church, 63
That sounds very much like the belief held so dear by Evangelicals, and I agree with it. Israel is the people of God, and they will be radically redeemed. Israel is not old news.
Israel And The Catholic Church
But here’s where it got fascinating, and where crucial prophecy came into view, prophecy hidden in plain sight, not visible to me as an anti-Catholic. Just as surely as Israel is the People of God, dancing the ballet of world events to the music of the Biblical prophets, so is the Catholic Church.
When I stopped being an anti-Catholic, I was amazed at how those prophecies, long hidden in plain sight, came alive in vivid Biblical color. Here’s what I mean.
Abolish The Daily Sacrifice
From the prophecy of Malachi, 400 years before Christ (Malachi 1:11), to the instructions spoken by Jesus Christ in the Bible around 30 A.D. (John 6:53-56), to some of the earliest historical writings of Christianity around 80 A.D. (the Didache, also known as The Teaching of the Twelve Apostles), through 2,000 years of the Christian age, to this day, the plan of God has been for Christianity to acknowledge and revere the pure offering, the pure sacrifice, the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist. Being aware of the daily Eucharistic sacrifice, a whole new reel of images plays in my mind when I read the following passages.
It [the horn representing the Antichrist] set itself up to be as great as the Prince of the host; it took away the daily sacrifice from him, and the place of his sanctuary was brought low. ~ Daniel 8:11
His [the Antichrist’s] armed forces will rise up to desecrate the temple fortress and will abolish the daily sacrifice. ~ Daniel 11:31
From the time that the daily sacrifice is abolished and the abomination that causes desolation is set up, there will be 1,290 days. ~ Daniel 12:11
I had always understood these passages to be future events pertaining only to a rebuilt Jewish Temple, with its daily animal sacrifice. That was terrifying enough. However, with my anti-Catholic blinders off, I can see that these passages also clearly pertain to the Catholic Church, with its daily Eucharistic sacrifice!
At this point, I do not know the geographical extent to which the Eucharist will be banned. Maybe it’s just the Middle East. Maybe it extends to the Vatican and Europe. But I do know that the Eucharist will be banned.
In fact, it already is. Can a priest offer up the Eucharistic sacrifice in formerly Christian, but currently ISIS-controlled, Syria or Iraq? No.
And remarkably, ISIS boldly states that its goal is to conquer both Jerusalem and Rome!
One Bread One Body
The daily Eucharistic sacrifice of the Catholic Mass is Jesus Christ (represented by the priest) offering himself to the Father, in an unbloody manner, after having been crucified and sacrificed once for all in a bloody manner at Calvary. Jesus Christ is not crucified again and again at each Catholic Mass as many anti-Catholics mistakenly believe.
The daily Eucharistic sacrifice is a time-transcending pure offering to God the Father. Each Catholic Church worldwide has, does, and will celebrate one unified time-transcending sacrifice– not a new sacrifice at each Mass, not separate sacrifices at each Mass and in each individual Catholic Church. It is the same sacrifice, one bread and one body, unbound by time and distance. This is done in obedience to Jesus Christ, who told us in Luke 22:19 to “do this in remembrance of me.” Do what in remembrance of him? Eat his flesh, and drink his blood.
Jesus said to them, “I tell you the truth, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you.” ~ John 6:53
Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. ~ John 6:54
For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink. ~ John 6:55
Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in him. ~ John 6:56
The Bible is always proven true.
Protestants, Catholics, and Orthodox Christians are my brethren in the Lord Jesus Christ. I have learned much from all three groups. I have had family members in all three groups. And I have been greatly blessed by all three groups. I view each group as a sibling in the same family. We all call on the name of the same Lord Jesus Christ.
…whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved. ~ Acts 2:21