The Lord's Evening Meal - How Often?

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apollos0fAlexandria
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Re: The Lord's Evening Meal - How Often?

#11 Post by apollos0fAlexandria » 6 years ago

peely wrote:What held more meaning for many, I feel, were the get togethers at houses and restaurants afterwards. It was as if Easter was celebrated right along with Christ’s death.
Very true Peely. The whole business of where you might be invited afterwards does indeed have a weight of its own, and that always felt slightly off-key to me. Of course as it became clear to me that the ceremony itself was not in accord with scripture then this discord became more pronounced. Now I am able to stand back a little further I can see that what you say is true, at least where I live. The after-party is indeed the focus for many, even though they might not even admit it to themselves.

As to the discussion over frequency, I totally get why someone might feel the way you do, and I believe the only safe path is not to judge any other Christian on how they interpret this. To do so in the absence of any firm scriptural law would surely be in contravention of Col 2:16.

What you have emphasized - and rightly so - is that anything that waters down the significance of the occasion would be wrong. Frequency might be a factor, but there could be many others. (One might be to hold the exact same discourse each time for example so that even if it's once a year it's never a fresh reminder.) Personally I couldn't reach a conclusion that those who come together 52 times a year to share the meal in some form hold it in less regard than those who do so once a year. It depends entirely on the heart and mind attitude of each Christian, and none of us can know that of another.

Apollos

Bobcat
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Re: The Lord's Evening Meal - How Often?

#12 Post by Bobcat » 6 years ago

I might reiterate the gist of Paul's argument in 1 Corinthians 11:17-34.

Actually, 1Co 11:17-34 is a sub-part of a larger context that begins at 1Co 11:2. There, Paul commends the Corinthians because he sees them keeping the traditions he handed on to them about female head coverings at meetings.

In verse 17 Paul then proceeds to chastise them over what he disapproves of at their meetings, the divisions that are occurring. To see that the Lord's evening meal was being held once a week, one has to see that 1Cor 11:17-34 is not directly about the Lord's evening meal. Rather, Paul is using it to chastise them over the divisive condition that regularly occurs at their meetings.

The Lord's evening meal symbolizes the epitome of unselfishness: one man handing himself over to be killed in behalf of many others. So Paul uses this - their holding to this symbolism at every meeting - as a complete contrast to the divisions that are occurring among them, evidenced at their meetings.

Paul is saying that it is incongruent to be celebrating the Lord's evening meal, which symbolizes an act of complete selflessness, and also have divisions among themselves at the very same meetings, which divisions highlight selfishness among themselves. The two things are at complete odds with each other. And for the Corinthians to be doing this shows up the fact that they are missing the very symbolism embodied within the Lord's evening meal. The divisions make the Lord's evening meal meaningless. (Cmp 1Co 13:1-3)

It is this context that argues that they were holding the Lord's evening meal weekly.

At the same time, no intent was intended to say that a yearly, bi-yearly, monthly, or any other frequency was out of bounds. Seeing that the Corinthians held it weekly, and that Paul told them "as often as" they do this, opens up a broader view of the Lord's evening meal.

With regard to the WT, if they find out you are holding your own memorial separately, you will probably find yourself facing a JC for apostasy. So for any who do, be careful.


Bobcat

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menrov
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Re: The Lord's Evening Meal - How Often?

#13 Post by menrov » 6 years ago

Excellent explanation Bobcat, and I fully agree. well worded.

I also agree in general that the bible does not prescribe how often the celebration should took place. The principle is that it should be an act of respect, act of love for what the meaning of the celebration is. And one can express this every week (as long it does not become a standard practice) or every now and then. And yes, once a year is an option, although there is a risk it becomes more an event than a humble celebration, out of the heart. One of the arguments not to celebrate birthdays, incl. Jesus's birthday (besides pagan links) is that one should pay attention to one another every day, whenever we can. Not on a particular day. I guess the same is valid for the celebration of the Lord's meal.

peely
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Re: The Lord's Evening Meal - How Often?

#14 Post by peely » 6 years ago

Hi Bobcat,

I do appreciate your research, and you make some valid and interesting points to consider as to the frequency of partaking. Myself, I will continue with an annual observance since I can guarantee that by doing so I am not possibly going beyond what is written, and that my actions may not come into question. Jer 10:23; Acts 5:9A; Rev 20:12,13; 1 Thess 5:19

There are a few direct points made in 1 Cor 11 that I think has been touched on somewhere – either here or on Beroean Pickets. I feel, since these scriptures are primary in this thread, there is more to consider in reference to partaking.

1 Cor 11:19 – For there must in fact be divisions among you, so that those of you who are approved may be evident.

1 Cor 11:27 - For this reason, whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.


2 Pet 1:10 - Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble
John 15:16; 2 Cor 1:21; Ex 29:7; 30:30; Rev 20:5,6


Jesus was symbolized by the Passover Lamb which was sacrificed for the firstborn of Israel, not the entire nation, although it ultimately brought salvation to everyone.

Heb 11:28 - By faith he kept the Passover and the sprinkling of blood, lest he who destroyed the firstborn should touch them.

The New Covenant established on the night of Christ’s death was made with his chosen, elected ones.

Rev.14:4 - These are the ones who have not defiled themselves with women, for they are virgins. These are the ones who follow the Lamb wherever he goes. These were redeemed from humanity as firstfruits to God and to the Lamb

Heb 12:23 - and congregation of the firstborn, who are enrolled in heaven, and to God, the judge of all, and to the spirits of the righteous, who have been made perfect

Rev 20:6 - Blessed and holy is the one who takes part in the first resurrection. The second death has no power over them, but they will be priests of God and of Christ, and they will reign with him for a thousand years.

Once the “firstborn” receive forgiveness for their sins, the rest of mankind will be blessed. Acts 3:25 - “in your seed all the families will be blessed”. Compare with Gal 3:29 - And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s descendants, heirs according to the promise. Rom 8:9

Rom 8:18-23 - For I consider that our present sufferings cannot even be compared to the coming glory that will be revealed to us. For the creation eagerly waits for the revelation of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility—not willingly but because of God who subjected it—in hope that the creation itself will also be set free from the bondage of decay into the glorious freedom of God’s children. 22 For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers together until now. 23 Not only this, but we ourselves also, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we eagerly await our adoption, the redemption of our bodies.

Because this is a promise, a covenant, made initially with selected individuals invited to attend and partake of the meal with Christ, and it is set in place for the ultimate “glorious freedom of God’s children”, I feel the importance of each one’s partaking needs to be considered, and I don’t doubt it is most likely uppermost on everyone’s mind here.

1 Cor 11:29 - For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment on himself. ESV

If you fail to understand that you are the body of the Lord, you will condemn yourselves by the way you eat and drink. CEV

For the one who eats and drinks without careful regard for the body eats and drinks judgment against himself. NET

For he who eats and drinks in an unworthy manner eats and drinks judgment to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body. NKJV

Discern – to separate, make a distinction, discriminate, to prefer 1 Cor 11:19

After prayerfully contemplating on this covenant, I turned to these scriptures early this morning:

The word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord, saying, 2 “Hear the words of this covenant, and speak to the men of Judah and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem; 3 and say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord God of Israel: “Cursed is the man who does not obey the words of this covenant 4 which I commanded your fathers in the day I brought them out of the land of Egypt, from the iron furnace, saying, ‘Obey My voice, and do according to all that I command you; so shall you be My people, and I will be your God,’ 5 that I may establish the oath which I have sworn to your fathers, to give them ‘a land flowing with milk and honey,’[a] as it is this day.”’”
And I answered and said, “So be it, Lord.”
6 Then the Lord said to me, “Proclaim all these words in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem, saying: ‘Hear the words of this covenant and do them. 7 For I earnestly exhorted your fathers in the day I brought them up out of the land of Egypt, until this day, rising early and exhorting, saying, “Obey My voice.” 8 Yet they did not obey or incline their ear, but everyone followed the dictates of his evil heart; therefore I will bring upon them all the words of this covenant, which I commanded them to do, but which they have not done.’”
Jer 11:1-8

It makes one tend to think, doesn’t it?
With Christian love
peely


Bobcat
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Re: The Lord's Evening Meal - How Often?

#16 Post by Bobcat » 6 years ago

peely:

I appreciate your earnest response.

Bobcat

GodsWordIsTruth
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Re: The Lord's Evening Meal - How Often?

#17 Post by GodsWordIsTruth » 6 years ago

peely wrote:What held more meaning for many, I feel, were the get togethers at houses and restaurants afterwards. It was as if Easter was celebrated right along with Christ’s death.


So very true!

apollos0fAlexandria
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Re: The Lord's Evening Meal - How Often?

#18 Post by apollos0fAlexandria » 6 years ago

1 Cor 11:29 - For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment on himself. ESV
Peely

I do think it of note that a Christian is to "discern" his or her calling. The JW idea that one receives a "special feeling" that sets oneself aside from other Christians is not supported in the context of the only scripture they appeal to (Rom 8:16). But for a person to discern that to be a Christian is to be a part of the body of Christ fits with all scriptures. (I'm certainly not suggesting that "special feelings" do not accompany and/or follow from that understanding of the calling though.)

You draw attention to the passover being a sacrifice for the "firstborn" only. This is true, and the idea of "first fruits" is evident in the NT, but does that mean:

1) Christians are first fruits, and the rest of redeemed mankind are the "secondary fruits"?

... or ....

2) Some Christians are "first fruits". Some are "secondary fruits".

If #2 then is the rest of mankind who eventually get saved "third fruits"? Or are secondary Christians in fact no different in practice to the rest of mankind?

JW theology teaches that Israel can sometimes foreshadow the whole world (Matt 19:28; also in effect Rev 7 by implication). So the question of who the firstborn during the passover foreshadowed is not necessarily answered by implying that the "first fruits" must be a sub-group of Christians.

Apollos

leaving_quietly
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Re: The Lord's Evening Meal - How Often?

#19 Post by leaving_quietly » 6 years ago

You draw attention to the passover being a sacrifice for the "firstborn" only. This is true, and the idea of "first fruits" is evident in the NT, but does that mean:

1) Christians are first fruits, and the rest of redeemed mankind are the "secondary fruits"?

... or ....

2) Some Christians are "first fruits". Some are "secondary fruits".

If #2 then is the rest of mankind who eventually get saved "third fruits"? Or are secondary Christians in fact no different in practice to the rest of mankind?
If I may interject...

I've said it before, but I'll say it again. Nearly every JW doctrinal teaching comes down to the issue of whether or not the 144,000 = anointed. This one is no different. You raised a good question. The word "firstfruits" is applied in different ways.

To the spirit (Rom 8:23)
To dough and branches (Rom 11:16) - actually, worth reading the entire chapter
To a Christian in a particular region (Epaenetus in Asia - Rom 16:5) (Stephanus in Achaia - 1 Cor 16:5)
To Christ (1 Cor 15:20-22)
To the scattered 12 tribes (James 1:18 - see verse 1)
To the 144,000 (Rev 14:4)

peely
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Re: The Lord's Evening Meal - How Often?

#20 Post by peely » 6 years ago

Hi Apollos,

I feel I have totally derailed this topic. I will go ahead with a comment, but I understand if it needs to be moved.

Isa 46:10 - who announces the end from the beginning
and reveals beforehand what has not yet occurred,
who says, ‘My plan will be realized,
I will accomplish what I desire,'

Starting with the ancient Temple priesthood, God’s further plan for His Temple carries down to our day – in a spiritual sense. We know the High Priest is Christ.

“ So if perfection had in fact been possible through the Levitical priesthood—for on that basis the people received the law—what further need would there have been for another priest to arise, said to be in the order of Melchizedek and not in Aaron’s order? For when the priesthood changes, a change in the law must come as well. Heb 7:11,12

Now the main point of what we are saying is this: We have such a high priest, one who sat down at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in heaven, a minister in the sanctuary and the true tabernacle that the Lord, not man, set up. Heb 8:1,2

The place where they serve is a sketch and shadow of the heavenly sanctuary, just as Moses was warned by God as he was about to complete the tabernacle. For he says, “See that you make everything according to the design shown to you on the mountain.” But now Jesus has obtained a superior ministry, since the covenant that he mediates is also better and is enacted on better promises. For if that first covenant had been faultless, no one would have looked for a second one. But showing its fault, God says to them, “Look, the days are coming, says the Lord, when I will complete a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah. “It will not be like the covenant that I made with their fathers, on the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of Egypt, because they did not continue in my covenant and I had no regard for them, says the Lord. For this is the covenant that I will establish with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord. I will put my laws in their minds and I will inscribe them on their hearts. And I will be their God and they will be my people. Heb 8:5-10

But now Christ has come as the high priest of the good things to come. He passed through the greater and more perfect tent not made with hands, that is, not of this creation” Heb 9:11

Do we understand what the true tabernacle comprises? What changed it? It appears the priesthood changed as well as the law changed, yet it is still the Temple arrangement set in place from the beginning, right down to the selected priests who work as Christ’s helpers under the New Covenant. Num.18:7; 2Cor.5:20; 1Cor.3:9

The design, the pattern, was set from the beginning by God. Ex 25:1,9,22,40. In the physical Temple, priests were consecrated to serve within – the Temple became a holy arrangement only accessible by those who were consecrated. If that was the design Moses saw “on the mountain”, then that is the heavenly design that determines today’s Temple arrangement Ex 29:44; 25:25, 30-33; Num 3:10; 18:7

1 Pet 2:5 - you yourselves, as living stones, are built up as a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood and to offer spiritual sacrifices that are acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.

Since this priesthood offers their spiritual sacrifices for the rest of mankind, they are considered the firstfruits.

Do we change this shadow arrangement, or do we accept it? Aaron and his sons were “anointed” to serve as priests. Chosen ones, anointed ones, have lived through the centuries since Christ; chosen to be faithful priests under the New Covenant. Under the ancient Temple arrangement, if those not chosen as priests were replaced by others; needless to say, God became pretty angry. Ezek 44:6-9; 2 Chron 13:9

Yes, there are many scriptures concerning the firstfruits, including Revelation. Rev 14:1-5; Rev 20:6 There is also condemnation toward those selected “priests” or "firstfruits" who fail serving in complete devotion. Matt 18:7,6; 1 Tim 4:1; Matt 5:19; Matt 24:45-51

Those who listen to correct teachings from these “priests” and support these ones are the rest of mankind, or as you say, secondary fruits. Mal 2:7; Matt 25:45 So, getting down to brass tacks, there are the chosen ones to serve in the Temple, or New Covenant, and also who are the Bride of Christ; they are used to bring life to the entire rest of God’s children, those who accept Christ and this Temple arrangement. 1 Thess 2:8; 2 Cor 12:15 This spiritual Temple under Christ, the High Priest, returns life to the earth that was lost by Adam. Rev.21:2,3,4,5; 22:2,17 We can only leave it in God’s hands how each one of us is judged.

Getting back to the Lord’s Evening Meal, I believe that those who shared in that meal with Christ are the particular chosen ones to be within this Temple arrangement. Rom 6:5; Matt 24:9. This is where Christ started with the building of his Temple. Eph 2:20; 1 Sam 2:8 That is only my opinion from reading the scriptures. It is interesting to note that in the time of the end, Revelation speaks of a “great multitude which no one could number” Rev 7:9 In verse 15 it says, they serve him day and night in his temple, and the one seated on the throne will shelter them. Who, other than the priests have that role in the temple arrangement set by the Father from the beginning?

This puts a new slant on the meaning of the Great Crowd. It is not only showing a possible influx of those coming out of the organization, waking up to the realization of where they belong with Christ, it also disposes of the WT teaching of the Great Crowd as not part of the 144,000. As far as that second thought, this seriously supports the "trampling of the temple", the "Gentile" rule of the organization over chosen ones and their expulsion when declaring a witness about the Christ. 2 Thess 2:3,4; Dan 7:25; Matt 24:15; 1 Kings 12:31

I won’t go any further. I have derailed beyond my accepted derailment, if indeed it was accepted.
love in Christ,
peely

http://4womaninthewilderness.blogspot.c ... again.html

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