THE THREE PASSOVERS
THE LORD'S SUPPER
Maurice M Johnson
"We are the circumcision (crucified ones), which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus;, and have no confidence in the flesh." --Phil. 3:3.
Have you ever grasped the hand of a "saved sinner" just after he had received the Lord Jesus Christ and was rejoicing with joy unspeakable and full of glory? Do you know what it means to have "the love of God shed abroad in your heart by the Holy Spirit"? If you do, then in a very personal way you know something of "the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit." 2 Cor. 13:14. I was reared in a denomination where I heard this beautiful verse quoted as a "benediction" closing each "church service." We usually tucked it away till another meeting, just as we did the hymn books and the "communion set." Then, it was a "benediction" in form. Now, it is a benediction in fact. It is a glorious and living reality in my heart and life, Hear it again:
"The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit, be with you all."
BABES IN CHRIST HAVE FULL FELLOWSHIP
And to think that this heaven-born trinity, GRACE, LOVE, and COMMUNION, is the conscious possession of every "babe in Christ"! And yet there are probably thousands of Christians who have all but forgotten their "first love." How does it happen that the sinner just converted to Christ has this supernatural "grace, love, and communion" and so often loses the joy and consciousness of it all later? I believe it is often because the young Christian begins to listen to some sectarian preacher or "church worker" who seeks to bind some fragments of Judaism on to the perfect, finished work of the Lord Jesus. No CHRISTIAN will deny that the "babe in Christ" fervently loves all of God's children and "worships God in Spirit and in truth" before anything has been said to him about water baptism, the "Lord's supper," or "joining the church of your choice." Had you ever wondered why God would give such delightful liberty and spiritual fellowship to young Christians before they had "obeyed Him in water baptism" and "remembered Him" with physical bread and wine? And have you ever wondered why Paul and Silas could be so joyous in the Philippian jail with their "feet fast in the stocks"? Is it not a fact that they could and did worship God just as surely while in those jails as they could out of them? It is because of the fact that, "If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new." Ye are complete in Christ ... Our citizenship is in heaven ... Our life is hid with Christ in God ... We are the circumcision which worship God in the Spirit, rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh." My friends, this "fellowship of the Spirit" is not to be branded with the name, Methodist, or Baptist, or Fundamentalist, or any other name of man's choosing. It is not "Brethren" fellowship, "Church of Christ" fellowship, or "Interdenominational" fellowship. It is the ONE fellowship that is wholly supernatural. The flesh cannot enter in.
"God is faithful, by whom ye were called into the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord." --1 Cor. 1:9; Phil. 2:1.
ONLY THE HUMBLE UNDERSTAND
Why is it, then, that there are so many different "communions" and "fellowships"? Every student of church history knows that the "ordinance" question has been at the bottom of more fleshly quarrels and sectarian splits than all other causes combined. Is this because God has not spoken plainly on the subjects, "water baptism" and "the Lord's supper"? Is it not rather because physical ordinances afford proud flesh the opportunity to glory in some measure? Let us face this soberly and honestly. All divisions among God's people are very displeasing to God and dreadfully confusing to the world. John 17:20-21; 1 Cor, 1:9-11; Phil. 1:27-30; Eph. 4:1-5; Col. 3:15-17. I beseech you in the name of our Lord Jesus to allow me to present some unforced Bible explanation as to the three distinct "passovers" and, also, just what is meant by the expression, "This cup is the new testament in my blood." This is not a subject that only "scholars" can understand. Our Lord has spoken in the language that only humble hearts can understand. All Christians have received the Spirit of God... "that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God." --1 Cor. 2:12; Col. 1:9.
THE NEW WAY OF KNOWING BELIEVERS
"For me to live is Christ ... God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory: Whom we preach (or show forth), warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus ... Ye are complete in Him ... Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days: which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ ... Ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God ... We are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh ... For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us., who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit ... For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth ... Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ"
(that is, have known Christ in regard to His earthly walk while He was perfectly observing the fleshly rules of God-given Judaism, the meats and drinks, divers baptisms, and fleshly ordinances imposed upon His earthly people, Israel) -Paul says:
"Though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more. Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creation: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new."
(Phil. 1:21; Col. 1:27,28; 2:10,16,17; 3:3; Phil. 3:3; Rom. 8:3,4; 10:4; 2 Cor. 5:16,17).
These clear truths were never known till Paul was caught up into the third heaven and received them from the Risen Lord Who did not become the Head of the church which is His body until His resurrection and ascension. These are the specific and peculiar truths for this new body of believers called "the new man" in Eph. 2:15. And did we not just read that, so far as this new creation in Christ is concerned -- this "new man" -- "old things are passed away and, behold, all things are become new"? --2 Cor. 5:16-17. In fact, Paul distinctly says that he is not only "the apostle to the Gentiles", but that it was given to him to fulfill, or complete, the Word of God for the church "which is Christ's body." --Rom. 11:13; Gal. 2:6-8; Eph. 3:1-10; Col. 1:23-29. Until you squarely and humbly face this fact of Paul's unique ministry, you cannot possibly understand the Word of God. The first three chapters of Paul's letter to the Colossians, when spiritually understood, will bring every saved soul out of man's religious organizations.
NOTE GOD'S DISTINCTIONS
But what must we do with Paul's statements in the eleventh chapter of 1 Corinthians about the Lord's supper? We must first consistently observe his inspired commands in the tenth chapter:
"Give none offence, neither to the Jews, nor to the Gentiles, nor to the church of God."
The only possible way that we can keep from giving offence to one or all of these three separate and distinct classes of people dealt with in the Bible is to
"study to show ourselves approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of truth." --2 Tim. 2:15.
Nor can we be approved unto God by a more intellectual apprehension of "rightly dividing the Word of truth." I think one great hindrance to the acceptance of Paul's distinct teaching, the glorious truths concerning the church which is Christ's body, is the cold and inconsistent "Bullingerite." These extreme dispensationalists have arbitrarily cut Paul's epistles in two, first of all because they refused to humbly accept the severe corrections of the first three chapters of 1 Corinthians concerning those who cause carnal sectarian divisions in the body of Christ. The late E.W. Bullinger of England and his inferior followers dispose of 1 Corinthians 11 by saying the whole letter was addressed to an entirely different body from the body spoken of in Paul's later epistles. (I have dealt with this grave error more fully in a study entitled, "Why l Reject Bullingerism." I shall be glad to send you the anti-Bullingerism study, if you will write for it.)
I believe no one can have the scriptural teaching concerning the last supper that Christ ate with His twelve Jewish apostles, and the remembrance feast He referred to, without a careful study of the three peoples, the three covenants, and the three passovers. The three people we have already had mentioned in 1 Cor. 10:32. They are the Jews, the Gentiles., and the church of God. The three covenants (there are other Bible covenants, but only these are of especial significance in this study) are: (1) the covenant of promise given to Abraham, in which covenant Gentiles were guaranteed salvation by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ wholly apart from works (as shown in Gal. 3 and Romans 4); (2) the work, or law, covenant given at Mt. Sinai; and (3) the new covenant promised in Jeremiah and repeated in Hebrews 8.
THREE DISTINCT COVENANTS
Remember that Abraham was spiritually saved by faith when He believed (John 8: 56) what God told him about Christ's future death, burial, and resurrection for sinners. And the way Abraham was saved is exactly the way every Gentile today is saved.
"And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify (or save) the Gentiles through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed." --Gal. 3:8.
In Romans 4, we see that Abraham was justified, made righteous by God, without keeping any ten commandments or being baptized in water, and even before he was circumcised. By a comparison of scriptures you will find that his offering up Isaac, that act that is called a work by which Abraham was justified (Jas. 2), was God's testing (Gen. 22:1,2) the faith that had saved Abraham more than twenty years before. Compare Gen. 15:6; Rom. 4:1-11; Gal. 3:6-8 with James.
The main reason I am dwelling on the covenant of promise by which Abraham was saved, and by which all Gentiles today are saved, is that Bible teachers (some merely confused, some dishonest) seek to prove that we today are saved by the new covenant. They beguile many Christians by using Christ's statement about the new covenant cup. Matt. 26:28:
"This is my blood of the new testament (or new covenant), which is shed for many for the remission of sins."
When we recall that this new covenant was expressly promised to Israel and Judah: Jer. 31:31; Heb. 8:8; Rom. 11:27, and that during His earthly ministry, Christ was
"a minister of the circumcision for the truth of God,
to confirm the promise made unto the fathers,"
(Rom. 15:8), we will "give none offence to the Jews" by robbing them of their own covenant blessings. The blood of Christ was the foundation of the Abrahamic Covenant just as it was also "the blood of the new covenant." In Heb. 9:15, we have a very clear passage to prove that Christ's work as the Mediator of the new covenant was for those who had the "first", or "works" "covenant". No Gentile ever had the Old Covenant.
GENTILES NEVER UNDER "OLD" OR "NEW" COVENANT
We Gentiles didn't have any sins under the first, or law covenant--only Israel did.
"For to them pertaineth the giving of the law,"
we read in Rom. 9:1-5, also Deut. 5:5. The Apostle Paul is simply explaining to the Hebrews (Heb. 9:75) how their sins which were merely covered by the blood of bulls and goats under the ten-commandment covenant were to be taken away by the blood of Christ under the new covenant. Some teach that Christ "is the Mediator of the new covenant" according to Heb. 7 and that therefore the new covenant is for the church today. This whole argument collapses, however, when the context is fairly dealt with, for, as I have shown above, Paul distinctly says that Christ's work in connection with the ""new testament"", or new covenant, is for those people who had the "old covenant" (the ten-commandment system). Gal. 3:16-17 make it very plain that we Gentiles were gloriously taken care of by the covenant that God made with Abraham four hundred and thirty years before Israel received their "works' covenant". Therefore, the new covenant may be said to be the Jewish part of the Abrahamic covenant. But neither the Mosaic (law) covenant nor the new covenant is for the church in any sense whatsoever. And, indeed, the Abrahamic covenant is for us only as unsaved Gentiles who can be saved on no other basis than that Covenant that God made with Abraham; for, although the moment we accept the covenant of promise for our soul's salvation we are saved by "the faith of Abraham", but are baptized into a body that Abraham knew nothing about, the church which is Christ's body, in which there is neither Jew nor Gentile. (Incidentally, the "Bullingerites" vainly ridicule the thought that we are saved under the Abrahamic Covenant.) The Bible teaching concerning the new testament (covenant) cup cannot be understood without a clear conception of the purpose and time element of these three covenants: the Abrahamic, the Old and the New Covenants.
THE THREE PASSOVERS
Next comes the question of the three passovers. So far as I know, virtually the whole school of fundamentalists, as well as the larger school of post-millennialists, teach that there are only two Passovers in the Word of God. But "what saith the Scriptures?"
The first was accomplished fifteen hundred years before the cross of Christ, when the Lord passed over the Israelites' homes in Egypt (Ex. 12).
The second passover was accomplished at the cross, where the Just Judge of the universe passed over the sinful race of Adam, because of the substitutionary blood-shedding of Christ dying as "the Lamb of God", without spot or blemish. John 12:31-32; 1 Cor. 5:7.
But the third passover is yet to be accomplished when the Lord comes back as "the Angel of the covenant" (Ma l. 3:1-7) and passes, over Jerusalem and the restored nation of Israel but destroys their enemies, including the antichrist and the false prophet, Isa. 31:5; Joel 2:15-26; Rom. 11:25-29; 2 Thess. 2:7-9.
THE THREE PEOPLES
Every Bible student recognizes that there have been the three distinct classes: Jews, Gentiles, and church of God, but many today deny that they still exist in God's program. Can any honest person read Romans 11 and then say that "the church which is Christ's body" is "Israel"? Many have been puzzled by the statement in Rom. 2:
"He is not a Jew who is one outwardly;
...but he is a Jew, who is one inwardly."
And they have taken that text to prove that believers are inward Jews, or "spiritual Israel". To the careful reader of the entire chapter, it is evident that Paul is writing to Jews, showing that the Jews were not acceptable to God merely because they had the Ten Commandments. Their merely receiving the law didn't make them lawful characters,
"for not the hearers of the law are just before God
but the doers of the law shall be justified."
--Rom. 2:13. In other words, he says that the Jew has much advantage every way if he keeps the oracles of God that were committed unto him. (They were never given to the Gentiles.) When a Gentile accepts the Lord Jesus Christ as his personal Saviour, that Gentile does not become an inward Jew but "a new creature in Christ Jesus,"(2 Cor. 5:17) "where there is neither Jew nor Gentile, male nor female, bond nor free". (See also 1 Cor. 12:12,13; Col. 3:10,11). It is very interesting to note, however, that the converted (i.e. "inward") Jews were referred to as "the Israel of God", Gal. 6:16, as long as the Lord continued to deal with the nation of Israel (during the book of Acts period), but this will be taken up later.
Let me repeat that there still is such a class as "Israel" in God's program, though that people, as a nation, are under God's judgment and are consequently scattered among the Gentile nations. Romans 11 and Jeremiah 31 are quite enough scriptural proof that God is not through with the people spoken of in 1 Cor. 10: 32 as "the Jew". Read Jer. 31:22-37.
We are now living in "the times of the Gentiles", and it is probably very near the hour when the "fullness of the Gentiles" will be "come in". --Rom. 11:25-29.
During this dispensation, the Lord is "visiting the Gentiles to take out of them a people for His name. --Acts 15:14-15. This taken-out people, the saved Gentiles, are baptized with the Holy Spirit along with the few believing Jews into what is called "the church which is Christ's body", "the new man", whose citizenship is in heaven, and whose worship is in the realm of the Spirit.
ISRAEL'S PAST AND FUTURE "PASSOVERS" CONTRASTED
Israel was told that after the Lord had passed over them in Egypt and thus gloriously delivered them from that land of bondage, they should annually commemorate that passover with a feast that was to be called the "passover feast". And they were expressly told that the passover feast should be observed "forever" --Ex. 12: 24-27. Now, let us note carefully that this passover feast was not a type of the cross of Christ so far as its primary meaning to Israel was concerned. It was merely a reminder and a commemoration of that accomplished passover back there in Egypt. Now, just after Israel was so gloriously delivered out of Egypt by the God of Abraham, the Israelites in blind self-righteousness turned their backs on the Abrahamic covenant which had assured them, not only the "promised land", but also soul salvation (all for nothing),
"even as Abraham believed God and
it was counted unto him for righteousness."
So, at the foot of Mt. Sinai, with their backs turned to the Abrahamic covenant of promise given four hundred and thirty years before, they asked for a works program. God then imposed the works covenant upon them. It was "the law written and graven upon stones" and ministered death. (2 Cor. 3:7). But years later, while Israel was fretting and sweating under the stern "Thou shalt ..." covenant, that not one of them could possibly keep, they heard a wonderful prophecy and promise:
"Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the Lord: but this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the Lord, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people. And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the Lord: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more." -Jer. 31:31-34.
"what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh."
Christ perfectly kept the whole law program with its "meats and drinks, and divers baptisms, and fleshly ordinances", (Heb. 9:9-10) and then called His twelve disciples together at the passover supper, the night before He was to be crucified. Read what He says to those twelve Jewish disciples: Luke 22:14-30. Now, what does He mean by saying that He is going to eat that passover supper with them AGAIN after it is FULFILLED in the kingdom of God?
"For I say unto you, I will not any more eat thereof,
until it be fulfilled in the kingdom of God."
--(verse 16). The passover feast that the Jews had been keeping every year for fifteen hundred years was a feast that looked back to a passing over that was accomplished in Egypt. And in looking backward as they kept the feast of the passover each year, the Israelites were doing exactly what God had commanded them. Let us read again Ex. 12:24-27. But, note well that at this passover feast the Lord Jesus is telling His Jewish disciples of a passover that has not yet been accomplished. The one down there in Egypt fifteen hundred years before was a passing over on the basis of the applied blood of a physical lamb. But He says:
"This cup is the NEW covenant, or testament,
in MY blood ... I will not drink of the fruit of the vine
UNTIL the kingdom of God shall come."
In other words, the Lord Jesus tells His disciples that from then on they were to look FORWARD instead sense whatsoever did Christ take away their physical cup or their physical bread, nor did He say that it was to cease being a passover feast. But He does say it is the passover feast showing forth MY blood till I come to establish the kingdom of God upon earth (Dan. 2:44), or till the kingdom is "restored to Israel" on the basis of the new covenant. Acts 1:6; Rom. 77:26-28. For remember that the new covenant was promised to the very ones that the old, or ten-commandment covenant, had been made with, namely, "the house of Israel and the house of Judah."--Jer. 37:31; Heb. 8:8.
According to Joel 2, a time is coming when the Jews will tear their hearts and not merely their garments. They will follow David in saying:
"What shall I render unto the Lord for all his benefits
toward me? I will take the cup of salvation ..."
--Ps. 776:12-13. That will be the new-covenant cup, and it will mean national salvation for Israel just exactly as the new-covenant promise states. Jer. 31:31; Job. 8:8; Isa. 66:5-15.
ISRAEL WAS REJECTED GRADUALLY
This kingdom hope, this new-covenant promise, was held out to all Israel during the entire Acts period. See 2 Cor. 3:6,16; Acts 1:6; 3:19-21; 26:6,22; 28:23. That is why God didn't allow the Temple to be destroyed until after all of the Jews, both in Palestine and all of those scattered abroad, had heard of Jesus, the Crucified and Risen Messiah, and had rejected the message. As a result of this rejection, the Jews, as the "natural olive branches", (Rom. 11:17) were broken off _a _branch at _a time, as Paul preached, first to this branch, and then to that one, finally going to Rome and preaching to the last scattered group of Jews. During all of that period of God's long-suffering, the believing Jews were allowed to continue their Temple worship with all of the ceremonies including the annual Passover feast with Christ's newly placed significance in regard to a future passing over Israel rather than the passing over in Egypt.
JEWISH AND GENTILE BELIEVERS WALK DIFFERENTLY DURING TRANSITION
The believing Gentiles were told to "observe no such thing". (Acts 21:25). Until you see that the two classes of believers, Jew and Gentile, had two sets of rules for their conduct during this period of gradual change from Judaism to - Christianity, you certainly cannot understand the book of Acts nor many things in Paul's earlier epistles. Note carefully that the first "church conference" (Acts 15) was called for the purpose of getting God's decision about physical ordinances for the Gentile converts to Christ. No one had even suggested that Jewish believers should give up their Jewish ceremonies and Temple worship yet. (It is my firm conviction that not one Bible teacher out of a hundred is clear on this point.) While it is quite true that Paul had already revealed that "in Christ" "there is neither Jew nor Gentile" (Gal. 3:27-28), he had not yet revealed that "the middle wall of partition", ("the law of commandments contained in ordinances") had been done away with so far as "members of Christ's body" were concerned. In other words, though they knew that God had accepted both Jews and Gentiles, the church as a whole did not know until after the book of Acts closed that all of the "meats and drinks, and fleshly ordinances, and divers baptisms" were set aside. Every careful reader will see the two classes of believers and the two rules for conduct given in the following texts: Acts 15:19-30; 16:4-5; 21:18-25; 1 Cor. 11: 2. During this period of transition, then, believers were spiritually "one in Christ", but, as to practice, they were Gentile believers who were to walk by the, rule given in the decree or "ordinances" handed down from the Jerusalem conference and delivered by Paul (Acts 16:4-5; 1 Cor. 11:2) and Jewish believers referred to as "the Israel of God". --Gal. 6:15-16. This explains why Paul could become "as a Jew to those who were Jews" and "under the law to those who were under the law" (1 Cor. 9:20-22; Acts 21:23-24), and be "an able minister of (Israel's) new testament." --2 Cor. 3:6.
JEWISH CONVERTS OBSERVE "NEW COVENANT" PASSOVER FEAST DURING TRANSITION
It was during this transition period (covered by the record in the book of Acts) that the Jewish converts were continuing to observe the Passover. Let us not forget, however, that in their minds, the Passover had an entirely new significance since the Lord explained that "THIS Passover" was to be fulfilled in the kingdom and was to be a passing over "the house of Israel and the house of Judah" on the basis of "the new covenant in my blood". --Luke 22:15-20,28-30; Jer. 31:31; Isa. 31:5; Rom. 11:26-29. But the Gentile converts were "to observe no such thing ".-Acts 21:25. Note well that the Corinthians were keeping these "ordinances" or decrees, Acts 16:4-5). But be very careful to note that these "ordinances" commanded the Gentile believers NOT to take on ANY fleshly ceremony, for the Spirit of God had charged the apostles to "lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things ..." How few Christians know what "these necessary things" laid upon those Gentile converts were! They were four "don'ts" and not a single "do". -Acts 15:28-29. No wonder Paul said:
"I would that they were cut off that trouble you."
Thus, he wrote to the Gentile believers at Galatia who were being "bewitched" into believing that "having begun in the Spirit" they should take on at least some fleshly ordinances in order to "be made perfect". Remember well that Paul called, those teachers who would mix God's Jewish and Gentile programs "wizards". (Today we have "Reverend Witches", too.)
Yes, at Corinth the Jewish believers were observing the Passover as Christ commanded His Jewish disciples "the night He was betrayed" and as Paul had repeated to those at Corinth. But gluttony had gotten into their "new-covenant" (new testament) feast, and Paul wrote them, "I praise you not". After rebuking them sharply for the selfish manner in which they had been observing that physical feast, he reminded them of what the Lord had said the "night in which He was. betrayed", and also reminded them that in the keeping of this "new-covenant" feast they were showing
"forth the Lord's death till He come."
In other words, those Jewish believers were not looking back to that merely physical passing-over on the basis of a lamb's blood down in Egypt. They were supposed to be looking forward to the future glorious passing-over in Palestine on the basis of "the new covenant in Christ's blood". And as long as God continued to offer Jesus as the Messiah to Israel (till the last "natural olive branch" was broken off when Paul got to Rome --Acts 28:16-28), the believing Jews, including Paul, observed the passover feast with the "new-covenant cup" in mind and the glorious return of "the Angel of the Covenant" (Mal. 3:1) to victoriously pass over restored Israel as they
"tear their hearts and not their garments
... calling on the name of the Lord."
--Joel 2:1218; Isa. 31:4,5. But let us remember well that "The Gentiles observed no such thing."
THE UNMIXED TRUTH FOR THE CHURCH HAS NO PHYSICAL SUPPER
How proper it was, then, for the Apostle Paul to never mention the "Lord's supper" in any of his epistles written after the last scattered group of Israelites (the natural olive branches) were broken off. Glorious, liberating truths are given in Ephesians, Philippians, and Colossians, but not a word about eating bread and drinking grape juice, except the positive declarations that "new creatures in Christ" should refuse to allow anyone to judge them on the basis of "meat or drink or sabbath days". --Col. 2:6-17. When it comes to our worship,
"we are the circumcision,
which worship God in the spirit,
and rejoice in Christ Jesus,
and have no confidence in the flesh."
--Phil. 3:3. Therefore, in giving Timothy and Titus instructions as to how to "set things in order" and "how to behave in the church of the living God", not one single word is said about whether physical bread should be cut or broken, whether the wine should be passed or gone after, or who should serve at a physical table, and how often, etc., etc., etc. "All things are become new." 2 Cor. 5:16-17; Eph. 2:14-16.
THE INNER MAN NEEDS NO BREAD AND WINE
I realize that some of you find it hard to believe that it was not God's will and way for you to have participated in the "blessed communion services" that you can so easily recall now. Why, God bless you, it was not the bread and wine that stirred your mind and heart. It was the LIVING WORD of God that was given in connection with the physical elements. In fact, after the preached Word and scriptural hymns had lifted you out of yourself into worshipful devotion and meditation upon the Person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ, the physical bread and wine served ONLY to bring you back to earth--to earth and the realm of sense. Oh, can t you see that it is the SPIRITUAL bread that feeds and lifts our affection to things above?
"Ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God ... Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth."
"Walk ye in Him."
Surely, every honest reader can see that I have said nothing to draw your attention away from the Lord, and surely, I have said nothing that will add to man's pride. I beseech you by the name of the Lord Jesus Christ:
"Let us strive together for the faith of the gospel."
--Phil. 9:27. I have about despaired of most preachers and Bible teachers for they seem to think they can do "more good" by leaving out these liberating truths. For ten years I have joyously proclaimed ALL of the truth my Blessed Lord shows me. Needless to add, such a ministry has closed the "doors" of "successful" ministry but has opened many doors for
"knowing Christ in the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings."
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