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The Lord's Supper #2
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THE LORD'S SUPPER #2

 

Revised with a much different approach

 

Summer 2006

 

JESSIE E. MILLS, Ph.D.

1729 HWY 79 NORTH

BONIFAY, FLA. 32425

 

THE LORD'S SUPPER

 

I. THE LORD'S SUPPER IS THE GREATEST MEMORIAL FEAST EVER KNOWN, FOR IT IS TO BE OBSERVED IN MEMORY OP THE GREATEST PERSON WHO EVER LIVED ON EARTH.

 

A. The Jewish Passover was observed in memory of a great event-God's passing over the land of Egypt and sparing the firstborn from the families of Israel that had placed the blood on "the lintel and the two side-posts," Exodus 12. On the night that God passed over the land, the firstborn escaped physical death if his parents had complied with God's instructions. But the Lord's Supper is to be observed in memory of Christ, who died that we might be spared the second death-eternal punishment in the lake of fire.

Illustration: He Died for ME.

A man, having a wife and three small children, was compelled to go into the army during the Civil War. The day of rendezvous was authoritatively appointed, and he made all necessary preparation for starting. The day came, and with it his neighbors to bid him farewell, and pray God's protection upon him. First, he bade his neighbor's good-bye; then one by one he took up his children, and imprinted a father's kiss upon each. Then came the parting from his wife.  All hearts felt, and all eyes wept. In all probability they would never meet again. From that dreadful war many never returned; hence the parting was severe. Among those present was a boy who was too young to be compelled into military service. He bravely stepped forward and took the man by the hand and said, 'Sir, let me go in your place. I have no family to leave. If I fall, there will be no widow left nor orphan children to suffer for a father's care. Let me go and you stay with your family.' The proposition was accepted the boy went and the man stayed at home. On the bloody field of Chickamauga in the van of his host "the boy" fell and never breathed again. When the battle was over, his friends buried him, as best they could, and placed a board at the head of the grave with his name and place of address inscribed upon it. They wrote to the man in whose place he had gone that the brave boy had fallen, and how his grave could be found. The man made his way to that grave, disinterred the body, took it home and buried it with all the honor he could bestow upon it. Over the grave he placed a costly marble monument with suitable inscription upon it. With these impressive words: 'HE DIED FOR ME."' (T. W. Brents, Gospel Sermons, pp. 44, 45)

B. Never should we permit anything within our power to take precedence over observing the Lord's Supper.

Illustrations of Engagement with the Lord: 

"In The Lookout was a story of how on President Garfield's first Saturday in Washington as President, a member of the Cabinet insisted that a Cabinet meeting must be called at 10 a.m., the following day, to handle a matter that threatened a national crisis. Garfield refused on the ground of another engagement. The Cabinet member insisted. Garfield still refused on the ground that the other was a prior engagement. The Cabinet member then insisted that the national matter was of such grave importance that the President should break the engagement. Garfield refused. Then the Cabinet member remarked, "I should be interested to know with whom you could have an engagement so important that it could not be broken." Garfield replied, 'I will be as frank as you are. My engagement is with my Lord to meet him at his house and at his table at 10:30 tomorrow, and I shall be there." The crisis passed. The nation survived. President Garfield had been faithful to his obligation.' -- Alvin Kleinfeldt

 

II. HE NEEDS TO KNOW WHAT THE BIBLE TEACHES ON THE SUBJECT OF THE LORD'S SUPPER.

 

A. We need to know that Christ instituted the Lord's Supper, and that it is to be observed in memory of him, Matt. 26:26-29; Mark 14:22-25, Luke 22:19, 20, 1 Cor. 11:23-34. We need to know that we are not to attempt to change what the Bible teaches on this subject, nor on any other subject 1 Cor. 4:6, Gal. 1:8, 9; 2 John 9, Jude 3, Rev. 22:18, 19.

B. We need to know that the Bible teaches by statement of fact, by command, by approved example, and by necessary inference.

1. Statement of fact.

a. The Bible states that "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth", Gen. 1:1.

b. The Bible teaches that in the beginning Christ, or the Word, was God, John 1:1, 2.

2. Command.

a. Peter commanded the Pentecostians to repent and be baptized, Acts 2:38. He commanded Cornelius and his house to be baptized, Acts 10:48.

b. The things which Paul wrote to the church at Corinth "are the commandment of the Lord", 1 Cor. 14:37.

c. Christ commanded his disciples to observe the Lord's Supper, Matt. 26:26-29.

3. Approved example.

a. Offering thanks for the unleavened bread before partaking of it and offering thanks for the fruit of the vine before partaking of it, Matt. 26:26-29. In Eph. 5:20 Paul said, "giving thanks always for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father." But if that commands offering thanks for the bread and for the fruit of the vine, why does it not require God's children to offer thanks before singing each song, before teaching each class, before taking up the collection, etc.?

b. Observing the Lord's Supper upon the first day of the week, Acts 20:7.

4. Necessary inference.

a. Immortality of the human spirit.

(1) If a lost person's spirit were not immortal, how could the eternal punishment of some lost persons be more severe than that of other lost persons? Matt. 11:20-24, Luke 10:13,14; 12:37, 38.

(2) Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob were living in some sense after they were dead physically. After they had been physically dead for centuries, the Lord said that he was their God, but he is not the God of the dead, but of the living; therefore their spirits were alive after their bodies had returned to the dust, Luke 20:37, 38.

b. The kind of bread to be used in the Lord's Supper is unleavened.

(1) Although the New Testament does not specify in so many words what kind of bread to be used in the Lord's Supper, we can know what kind to use.

(a) Not any leavened bread was to be present when the Passover was observed, Exodus 12:15-20.

(b) The Passover was observed the night that the Lord's Supper was instituted, Luke 22:14-20.

(c) As no leavened bread was present when Jesus instituted the Lord's Supper, we can necessarily infer, or conclude, that the type of bread that he used was unleavened bread.

(2) Consider the following syllogism.

 

            Middle Term        Major Term

Major premise:          All Passover bread        was unleavened.

 

            Minor Term        Middle Term

Minor premise:  Bread in Lord's Supper was Passover bread.

 

            Minor Term        Major Term

Conclusion: The bread used in the Lord's Supper was unleavened.

 

III. WE CAN KNOW WHAT THE BIBLE TEACHES ON THE LORD'S SUPPER.

 

A. We can know upon what day of the week to partake of the Lord's Supper.

1. By approved example and by necessary inference God's children can know upon what day of the week to observe the Lord's Supper.

a. We are not to observe the Lord's Supper only once in a lifetime if it is within our power to observe it as frequently as God's word directs us to. The members of the church at Jerusalem, "continued steadfastly in the breaking of bread," Acts 2:42. Paul said, "For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink the cup," 1 Cor. 11:26.

b. The writer of the book of Acts identifies the day upon which God's children are to observe the Lord's Supper. In Acts 20:7 Luke says, "And upon the first day of the week, when we were gathered together to break bread, Paul discoursed with them." (As the disciples had assembled to worship, their breaking bread was not eating a common meal, for God's children are not to eat a common meal in worship, 1 Cor. 11:20-34.

(1) If Acts 20:7 does not limit observing the Lord's Supper to the first day of the week, why did Exodus 20:8-10 limit observing the weekly Sabbath to the seventh day of the week? Why could not the Israelites labor and do all their work on the last six days of the week instead of on the first six days of the week? Although God specified, "The seventh day is a Sabbath unto Jehovah thy God," why were not the Jews permitted to substitute the first day of the week?

(2) If Acts 20:7 does not limit observing the Lord's Supper to the first day of the week, why did Leviticus 23:33-36 limit the beginning of the feast of tabernacles to the fifteenth day of the seventh month? Jeroboam did ordain, "A feast in the eighth month, on the fifteenth day of the month, like unto the feast that is in Judah," but it was "in the month which he had devised of his own heart," 1 Kings 12:32, 33. His doing so was not pleasing to God. Nor would changing the day upon which to observe the Lord's Supper be pleasing to the Lord.

(3) If a man was "unclean by reason of a dead body," or if he was "on a journey afar off," the law of Moses authorized him to observe the Passover "at even" on the fourteenth day of the second month Numbers 9:9-14. Although the regular time to observe it was "at even" on the fourteenth day of the first month Lev. 23: 5-8, But the New Testament does not give an alternate day, a day other than the first day of the week upon which God's children are to observe the Lord's Supper. If another day would be pleasing to the Lord, why did he not authorize it in his word?

(4) If the fact that Acts 20:7 does not say in so many words "upon the first day of EVERY week" makes unnecessary our observing the Lord's Supper upon the first day of every week, then why did not the fact that Exodus 20:8 does not say in so many words, "Remember EVERY Sabbath day, to keep it holy" make unnecessary the Israelites' observing every Sabbath day under the law of Moses? The man who gathered, "sticks upon the Sabbath day" was stoned to death, Numbers 15:32-36. Not any kind of reasoning on the man's part could have spared him the death penalty. If the Sabbath breaker could not violate a single time God's law respecting the Sabbath without being punished, how could a Christian who refuses to observe the Lord's Supper on only one Lord's day when he can do so be pleasing to God?

c. If the Lord had wanted the members of his church to observe the Lord's Supper monthly, an example of monthly observance would have been left. Instead of Luke's saying, "And upon the first day of the week, when we were gathered together to break bread," Acts 20:7 he would have said, "And upon the first Lord's Day in the month, when we were gathered together to break bread."  If observing the Lord's Supper quarterly were pleasing to God, an example of quarterly observance would have been left. Example; "And upon the first Lord's day in the quarter, when we were gathered together to break bread." If yearly, the month and the day of the month would have been left. Example: "And upon the fourteenth day of the first month, when we were gathered together to break; bread. ..." If daily, the day of observance would not have been mentioned. Example: "And in the evening, when we were gathered together to break bread."

d. What of Easter? The New Testament does not authorize God's children to observe Easter in a religious manner. We cannot know the exact first day of the week upon which Christ was raised from the dead, for the Jewish calendar had an intercalary (inserted) month every fourth year. As that month was inserted, "not according to some scientific method or some definite rule, but arbitrarily by command of the Sanhedrin, a distant Jewish date can never with certainty be transposed into the corresponding Julian or Gregorian date." (The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 5, p. 225.) God's children are not to exalt one first day of the week above another first day of the week, but upon the first day of each week, they are to observe the Lord's Supper and give as prospered, Acts 20:7; 1 Cor. 16:2.

B. We can know when the first day of the week begins and when it ends.

1. The count of time before the cross. Under the Law of Moses the twenty- four-hour day began at even and ended the next even. The Israelites were told, "... from even unto even, shall ye keep your Sabbath," Lev. 23:32. This method of counting time was still being observed when Christ was on earth. On the Sabbath day Jesus entered the synagogue and taught. He cast an unclean spirit out of a man, Mark 1:21-28. After he had left the synagogue, he entered a dwelling and healed the apostle Peter's mother-in-law, Mark 1:29-31. Now notice the following: "And at even, when the sun did set, they brought unto him all that were sick, and them that were possessed with demons," Mark 1:32. Why did they wait until the sun had set to bring the sick and those that were possessed with demons to Christ? The reason is that the Sabbath would be past, and they would not be accused of violating the Sabbath while bringing to Jesus those in need of healing.

2. In this dispensation we are permitted to count time from midnight unto midnight. Consider the following:

a. According to Mark, Jesus was crucified "the third hour," Mark 15:25 But according to John, "it was about the sixth hour" and Jesus had not been crucified, John 19:14. If Mark and John used the same method of counting time in regard to Christ's crucifixion, etc., there would be a contradiction-unless a copyist made a mistake.

b. If a copyist made an error in John 19:14, did he make an error in John 20:19? In the latter passage John said, "When therefore it was evening, on that day, the first day of the week, and when the doors were shut where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in the midst, and saith unto them. Peace be unto you." According to this passage it was in the evening of the first day of the week that Christ appeared to the disciples. But, according to the Jewish method of counting time, the evening came before the morning. If in John 20:19 the apostle John were using the word "evening" to designate the first half of the day as the Jews did and not the second half of the day as the Romans did, then all the appearances that Jesus made on the day of his resurrection prior to this appearance that he made to his disciples had to be made earlier in this same evening, for Jesus was raised from the dead upon the first day of the week, and the Jewish evening was the first part of the day, and the morning was the second part of the day.

c. But after Jesus had been raised from the dead, he made his first appearance in the morning. Mark said, "Now when he was risen early on the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, from whom he had cast out seven demons," Mark 16:9. This occurred in the morning, for it was after the sun had raised, Mark l6: 2. This proves that, on the day of his resurrection, Jesus did not appear to anyone in the evening as the Jews counted time. His evening appearance to his disciples, recorded in John 20:19, had to occur, therefore, in the evening as the Romans count time.

d. Mark's saying that Jesus was crucified "the third hour" does not contradict John's saying that "it was about the sixth hour" and Jesus had not been crucified, for Mark used the Jewish count of time, and evidently John used the Roman count of time. "The third hour" to which Mark referred was about nine o'clock in the morning Roman time, and "about the sixth hour" to which John referred was about six o'clock in the morning Roman time. As stated before, the Jews counted time "from even unto even." On the other hand, the Romans counted time from midnight unto midnight. As John used Roman time in John 20:19, we conclude that God approves our using Roman time. It is permissible, therefore, for us to count time from midnight unto midnight. In this dispensation, the first day of the week is not to begin at sunset on Saturday and end at sunset on Sunday. Instead it is to begin at midnight on Saturday and end at midnight on Sunday.

3. Objection: As the Jewish day had two evenings, how can we know whether the evening to which John refers in John 20:19 was the first or the second evening?

a. Answer: The Greek word OPSIOS which is translated "evening" in John 20:19, means: "evening: I. e. either from our three to six O'clock P. M., Matt. 8:l6, 14:15, 27:57, Mark 4:35, or from our six o'clock P. M. to the beginning of night, Matt. 23:14, 16:25, 26:20, Mark 1:32, 6:47, 14:17, 15: 42, John 6:16, 20:19, (hence between the two evenings, Ex. 12:6, 16:12, 29:39." (Joseph Henry Thayer, A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament, p. 471) In the foregoing quotation we note that Thayer says that the "evening" of John 20:19 was the second evening.

b. Additional evidence that the "evening" of John 20:19 was not the first Jewish evening (from three p. m. until sunset) but the second Jewish evening (from sunset until dark) can be adduced from the following. It was toward evening when Jesus and the two disciples reached Emmaus. Jesus entered the house, broke the bread and gave it to them. Then he vanished out of their sight. After Jesus left, the two disciples left Emmaus to return to Jerusalem, Luke 24:29-34. The distance from Emmaus to Jerusalem was about seven miles, Luke 24:l3. New American Standard Bible) the "evening" of Luke 24:29 might have been the first "evening".  If the "evening" of John 20:19 were a Jewish evening, it had to be the second evening, for between the first and the second Jewish evenings the two disciples left Emmaus to travel "about seven miles" to Jerusalem. That Jesus' appearance to his eleven apostles in Jerusalem in the evening of the first day of the week, recorded in John 20:19, occurred after his appearance to the two disciples on the way to Emmaus is clearly taught in Mark l6: 12-14. If the "evening" of John 20:19 were a Jewish evening, it came at the time that the Roman evening was in progress.

4. As we are permitted to count time from midnight unto midnight, the members of the church are to assemble between Saturday midnight and Sunday midnight to observe the Lord's Supper.

C. We can know that God's children who cannot be present for the Lord's Day morning service but who can be present for the evening service are not automatically excused from partaking of the Lord's Supper that night.

1. What proof from the New Testament can be offered to support the theory that they are automatically excused?

2. If they were automatically excused from observing the Lord's supper that night, why should they give as prospered that night, or give an extra amount the following Lord's day? By its very nature, however, a Christian could not make up the following Lord's Day for not partaking of the Lord's Supper the previous Lord's Day. The Jews under the Old Covenant could not make up the following week for not observing the Sabbath the week before, nor could they make up the following year for not observing the Passover the year before.

3. Do we have an example of God's children's observing the Lord's Supper on Lord's Day evening, even though they were hindered for some reason beyond their control from being present for the morning service? W do not have an example of a congregation's conducting a morning and a night service on a given Lord's day with some Christians present for the night service who could not be present for the morning service. Furthermore, we do not have an example of the same group of Christians' assembling twice for services on a given Lord's Day.

D. We can know which persons should observe the Lord s supper.

1. Persons who are citizens of Christ's kingdom-members of Christ's church. (See 1 Cor. 1:2; 11:20-34; Luke 22:30.)

2. What of "close" communion?

a. God's children are to sing and give; but if a non-member wants to engage in those two acts, should we refuse to permit him to do so?

b. The non-member should not be permitted to take up the collection, direct the singing, etc.

c. We should try to teach the non-member that he will not receive credit for giving, singing, observing the Lord's supper, etc., while he remains out of Christ's church.

3. Should the preacher alone partake of the fruit of the vine?

a. Paul said, "The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not a communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not a communion of the body of Christ?" 1 Cor. 10:l6. Should the preacher alone have communion with Christ's blood?

b. God's children are to drink the fruit of the vine "in remembrance of" Christ, 1 Cor. 11:25. Should the preacher alone do that?

c. On the night that Jesus instituted the Lord's Supper, he "took a cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave to them and they ALL drank of it," Mark 14:23. Not only one of the group drank of it.

4. What of being worthy to partake of the Lord's Supper?

a. A Christian should try always to live in harmony with the teaching of Christ, but all accountable children of God sin, 1 John 1:8-10, James 3:2. If God demanded that his children practice sinless perfection before they could scripturally partake of the Lord's Supper, then no child of God could partake of it.

b. Paul criticized the manner in which some members of the church at Corinth were professing to partake of the Lord's Supper. Members of the church are not to make a common meal of the Lord's Supper, nor are they to make a mockery of the Lord's Supper. Each member is to examine, or prove, himself to make sure that he eats of the bread and drinks of the cup in a proper manner, 1 Cor. 11:20-34. Christians are not to permit their minds to wander, nor are they to think of secular matters while they are observing the Lord's Supper. They might quote to themselves the things that Jesus said when he instituted the Lord's Supper. They might also quote to themselves his seven utterances while he was on the cross.

E. We can know that God's word does not permit us to substitute anything for the unleavened bread nor for the fruit of the vine.

1. If God would permit us to substitute, why did he not permit the Jews to substitute leavened bread for the unleavened bread of the Passover, Exodus 12?

2. If God permitted us to substitute, why could we not substitute another liquid for the water into which a penitent believer is to be immersed, John 3:5, Acts 10:47.

3. If God permitted us to substitute, why could we not substitute secular songs for "psalms and hymns and spiritual songs", Eph. 5:19, Col. 3:l6?

4. Illustration; "During World War II an army chaplain substituted water for the fruit of the vine. The wine that he had planned to use had either been stolen or misplaced. He said that Jesus' first miracle was to change water to wine. But the fact that Jesus miraculously changed water to wine does not prove that the Lord approves a person's substituting water for the fruit of the vine. Through natural means the Lord uses sunshine, water, nitrogen, etc., with which to produce wheat from wheat seed. Could we substitute water, nitrogen, etc., for the unleavened bread? When God specified that Noah build the ark out of gopher wood, the Lord excluded every other kind of wood that Noah might use out of which to build the ark, Gen. 6:14-22. As the Lord used unleavened bread and fruit of the vine when he instituted the Lord's supper, we can know by the law of exclusion not to substitute anything for the unleavened bread nor for the fruit of the vine." Eris B. Bens 

F. We can know that the unleavened bread and the fruit of the vine do not become Christ's literal body and literal blood, respectively, Matt. 26:26-29.

1. Consider the following figures of speech.

a. Jesus said, "I am the vine, ye are the branches," John 15:5. Is Christ a literal vine, and are human beings literal branches?

b. Peter said, "Wherefore girding up the loins of your mind," 1 Pet. 1:13 is that literal or figurative?

c. Suppose a person should point toward a picture of George Washington and say, "That is George Washington." Would the person mean that the literal George Washington was standing there, or would he have reference merely to Washington's picture? If a person points to a picture of his mother and says, "This is my mother," he does not mean that the picture is his literal mother.

2. Christ certainly did not mean his literal body and his literal blood, for he was still in the flesh when he instituted the Lord's Supper. The bread was a picture or representation of his body, and the fruit of the vine was a picture or representation of his blood.

G. We can know that the breaking of bread of Acts 20:11 was not the Lord's Supper, but it was a common meal.

1. Luke said: "And upon the first day of the week, when we were gathered together to break bread, Paul discoursed with them, intending to depart on the morrow; and prolonged his speech until midnight. Paul went down, and fell on him, and embracing him said. Make ye no ado, for his life is in him. And when he was gone up, and had broken the bread, and eaten, and had talked with them a long while, even till break of day, so he departed," Acts 20:7, 10,11.

a. The antecedent of "he" of Acts 20:11 is "Paul" of Acts 20:10.

b. "When he was gone up," Acts 20:11 is singular in the Greek; therefore Paul is the one under consideration.

c. "Had broken", Acts 20:11 is singular in the Greek; therefore Paul is the one who broke the bread.

d. "Eaten" Acts 20:11 is singular in the Greek; therefore Paul is the one under consideration who ate.

e. "Talked" Acts 20:11 is singular in the Greek; hence Paul is the person who "talked with them a long while, even till break of day."

2. From the foregoing information, we conclude that Paul is the only person who did any of the eating that is under consideration in Acts 20:11. But the breaking bread of Acts 20:7 was not done by Paul alone, for that verse says, "... when we were gathered together to break bread . . .." The breaking bread of Acts 20:11 was a common meal that Paul ate.

H. We can know there were certain incidentals connected with the Lord's Supper.

1. The geographic location.

a. The Samaritan woman said to Jesus: "Our fathers worshipped in this mountain; and ye say, that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship. Jesus saith unto her, woman believe me, the hour cometh, when neither in this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, shall ye worship the Father. Ye worship that which ye know not: we worship that which we know: for salvation is from the Jews. But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and truth: for such doth the Father seek to be his worshippers. God is a Spirit; and they that worship him must worship in spirit and truth", John 11: 20-21. Jesus taught the woman that the time would come when it would not be necessary to be in Jerusalem nor in any other specific place for the worship to be acceptable to God. The geographic location where the worshippers assemble is a matter of expediency, or indifference, but the worship itself is not a matter of indifference, for it is to be "in spirit and truth."

b. As the geographic location where God's children meet to worship is an incidental John 4:20-24, the "upper room" Luke 22:11-20 and the "upper chamber" Acts 20:7, 8 are incidentals. Hence God's children are not required to be in an "upper room" or "upper chamber" while they observe the Lord's Supper.

2. The number of containers in which to distribute the fruit of the vine.

a. Jesus "took a cup, and gave thanks, and gave to them, saying. Drink ye all of it; for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many unto remission of sins", Matt. 26:27,28. He said, "...This cup is the new covenant in my blood, even that which is poured out for you", Luke 22:20. If "cup" authorizes only one container, why would not "covenant" authorize only one copy of the New Covenant in an assembly?

b. Paul said, "Ye cannot partake of the table of the Lord, and of the table of demons", 1 Cor. 10:21. A literal table was present when Jesus instituted the Lord's Supper, for he said, "But behold, the hand of him that betrayeth me is with me on the table", Luke 22:21. Could we observe the Lord's Supper in a scriptural manner if a literal table were not present? Would it be sinful to place the unleavened bread on one literal table and the fruit of the vine on another literal table?

c. But could there be joint participation, or joint communion, if the members should drink from individual containers?

(1) The communion is to be with Christ's blood 1 Cor. 10:l6, not with one another.

(2) When Jesus instituted the Lord's Supper, all the disciples drank of the cup, Mark 14:23. But does that teach that God requires all the members of the congregation to put their lips to the same container? We learn that Jacob, his sons, and his cattle drank of Jacob's well, John 4:12. Does that mean that they put their lips to the brim of water in the well? Water was drawn from the well, and they could drink in appropriate containers. It is not necessary for all the members of a congregation to drink from the same container.

d. So far as we know, only one copy of the book of Isaiah was present when Jesus read before the assembly in the synagogue in Nazareth, Luke 4:l6-2l. Would it be unscriptural for us today to have more than one copy (container) of the book of Isaiah from which to read before an assembly?

e. Is there any proof that Paul and Peter made more than one copy of each of their epistles, Col. 4:l6; 1 Thess. 5:27; 2 Pet. 3:1 Would it be unscriptural to read before an assembly from more than one copy, or container, of each of those epistles?

3. Must the Lord's Supper be observed only in the evening, Mark 14:17, 22-25? There is no indication from the New Testament that the hour of the day is a matter of faith. The Lord selected the day of the week the first day of the week Acts 20:7, but he permits us to select the hour of the day. It the hour of day were a matter of faith, would it be scriptural to have a Lord's day morning service, as we have no New Testament example of one's being conducted?

4. Should we wait until after we offer thanks for the unleavened bread before we break it, Luke 22:19 into different pieces to be placed into different plates?

a. If so, why not wait until after we offer thanks for the fruit of the vine before we pour it from the bottle into individual containers?

b. Jesus waited until after he had blessed the bread in a common meal before he broke it and gave it to the persons at the table, Luke 24:30. As Jesus did not break the bread for a common meal until after he had blessed it, must a person today wait until after someone has offered thanks for the cornbread before cutting it into different pieces? As waiting until after offering thanks for the bread in a common meal before breaking it was only a custom, even so waiting until after offering thanks for the bread in the Lord's Supper before breaking it was only a custom, or an incidental.

 

IV. BLESSINGS TO BE ENJOYED BY THOSE WHO OBSERVE THE LORD'S SUPPER IN A SCRIPTURAL MANNER.

 

A. They have communion with Christ, 1 Cor. 10:l6.

B. Observing the Lord's Supper helps to keep alive in their memory Christ's suffering and death, l Cor. 11:23-25.

C. By partaking of the Lord's Supper, they "proclaim the Lord's death till he come", 1 Cor. 11:26.

Illustration: Proclaiming the Lord's Death Till he Come.

"The Jacobites of Scotland never met one another on the mountain paths, never sat down to a table of council and conference, without lifting a cup to pledge the return of their king and prince, Charles. At length Charles came back, but only to bring to Scotland defeat, disaster, and suffering. In every celebration of the Lord's Supper . . . the followers of Christ have . . . (eaten the bread and drunk the) cup as a token of their faith that their King shall come. That is the "meaning of those words which we hear so often that . . . If we are not careful, we shall forget their deep import: 'As often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do show the Lord's death till he come.' Till he come! And when He comes He shall come not to bring pain and suffering (To his faithful followers) as did King Charles to unhappy Scotland, but to . . . (carry his followers to heaven and) to wipe away all tears from . . . (their) eyes." -- Macartney 

 

V. NOW IS THE TIME TO BECOME A CITIZEN OF CHRIST'S KINGDOM SO THAT YOU MIGHT PARTAKE OF THE LORD'S SUPPER IN A SCRIPTURAL MANNER.

 

A. To enter Christ's kingdom, or church, and be saved from your alien sins, you must believe, Mark 16:16, repent, Acts 2:38, confess your faith in Christ, Rom. 10:9, 10, and be baptized, Rom. 6:3, 4, 1 Cor. 12:13, John 3:5, Acts 2:38, 1 Pet. 3:21.

B. Erring children of God are required to repent, confess their sin or sins, and pray, Acts 8:22, 1 John 1:9, James 5:16.

C. How many Lord's days could a child of God deliberately refuse to partake of the Lord's Supper before he would be required to make a public confession of his sin? Only one. If not, why not? The reason that it would be a sin to tell one hundred lies is that it would be a sin to tell the first lie. The reason that it would be a sin to steal a million dollars is that it would be a sin to steal the first penny. The reason that it would be a sin for a child of God to refuse willfully to observe the Lord's Supper one hundred Lord's days is that it would be a sin for him to refuse willfully to observe the Lord's supper one Lord's day. If it were not sinful for him to refuse willfully to observe the Lord's Supper one Lord's Day, at what point would his willfully refusing to partake of the Lord's Supper become sinful?


 

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© Copyright 2015 by Jessie Mills. All Rights Reserved by the author, Jessie E. Mills, Jr. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopy, recording, or otherwise, without the prior express written permission of the publisher, except for brief quotations in critical reviews or other publications. Such quotations must be used with proper reference to their context and give appropriate credit to their authorship.