Does the Scripture Sanction the Sacraments? by Pastor Jim Jester
April 10, 2022
The question before us as a church is, does the Bible demand that we observe the alleged sacraments of the historic Christian faith?
I thought this presentation would help get the discussion started, possibly pre-answering certain questions, thus keeping the discussion shorter and reaching a resolution sooner. I want to be fair to both sides of the issue, sorta taking a neutral position, yet at the same time being Scriptural and finding common ground; “…a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” (II Tim. 2:15) Perhaps some of you have found some of the same things I did in this study.
Are rituals demanded by the Word of God, or are they simply customs and traditions of the church? What constitutes a “sacrament” and who has the authority to create one? Is such a thing even valid? I suppose it depends on how one defines it.
Certainly, our Lord Jesus Christ has the authority to create a sacrament, but did He? Most say yes, others say no. How can we be sure? If He did create a sacrament, simply by the words He used on the occasion of the Passover meal, then I will be the first to promote it. If He did not, then this is not a “sacrament” by definition at all, but is rather simply communion (fellowship) among the brethren. Or, is it a Memorial? Or, is it both? I’m inclined to believe both — and I cover many terms in this study. And so we must begin with some definitions.
What is a Sacrament?
First of all, the word “sacrament” means holy, hallow and comes from the Latin sacramentum, thus we have: sanctification, sanctify and saint. It has quite a deep history. The word “holy” means separate and pure in character, and can be applied to many things or people.
According to my dictionary:
- (in the Christian Church) a religious ceremony or ritual regarded as imparting divine grace, such as baptism, the Eucharist and (in the Roman Catholic and many Orthodox Churches) penance and the anointing of the sick.
- 2. (In Roman Catholic use) the consecrated elements of the Eucharist, especially the bread or Host.
- 3. A thing of mysterious and sacred significance; a religious symbol.
According to Melanchthon’s Apology of the Augsburg Confession (Lutheran), he defines sacraments, according to the German text, as “outward signs and ceremonies that have God’s command and have an attached divine promise of graces.” His Latin text was shorter: “rites that have the command of God, and to which is added a promise of grace.”
John Calvin defined a sacrament as an earthly sign associated with a promise from God. He accepted only two sacraments as valid under the new covenant: baptism and the Lord’s Supper. Roman Catholic theology enumerates seven sacraments.
Samuel Wakefield, defined a sacrament as “a sign and seal of the covenant of grace, and a means of conveying to us the blessings of the Gospel.” (Christian Theology, 1869, p. 554) He further clarifies,
“We do not imagine, with the superstitious devotees of the Church of Rome, that the sacraments contain the grace which they signify, or that any spiritual virtue or real efficacy is necessarily connected with them. But still there is a sober sense in which they may be regarded as means of grace to those who rightly receive them. They stand in intimate connection with the essential doctrines of Christianity, and they can in themselves produce no effect upon those who have no knowledge of these doctrines, or no conviction of their truth. But as the Gospel ‘is the power of God unto salvation,’ and as in the sacraments the leading doctrines of the Gospel are taught in the most impressive manner, it would be absurd to suppose that they do not, in this way, exert a saving influence.” (Ibid. p. 555-556)
Thus, while we know the word “sacrament” means holy, it is clear that the term “sacrament” as used in reference to certain rituals, takes on various meanings between church denominations. I would agree with the latter.
Text of the Lord’s Supper
From Mark’s account:
Mark 14:22 And as they did eat, Jesus took bread, and blessed, and brake it, and gave to them, and said, Take, eat: this is my body. 23 And he took the cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them: and they all drank of it. 24 And he said unto them, This is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many. 25 Verily I say unto you, I will drink no more of the fruit of the vine, until that day that I drink it new in the kingdom of God.
Mark and Matthew are essentially the same. Nowhere does our Lord say that he is creating a sacrament or a ritual. All we have here are His words on the occasion of the Passover supper. We are looking for evidence from the Scriptures that indicate the creation of a separate ritual or command. So far, we have found no such evidence.
There is another passage of Scripture that uses similar language as we have from Mark’s Gospel. It is found in Acts:
Acts 27:33 And while the day was coming on, Paul besought them all to take meat, saying, This day is the fourteenth day that ye have tarried and continued fasting, having taken nothing. 34 Wherefore I pray you to take some meat: for this is for your health: for there shall not an hair fall from the head of any of you.
35 And when he had thus spoken, he took bread, and gave thanks to God in presence of them all: and when he had broken it, he began to eat. 36 Then were they all of good cheer, and they also took some meat.
So here we have nearly identical language describing brethren eating together. There is no hint in any of these cases of any creation of a ritual (or sacrament); but both of these accounts represent true communion (or fellowship) among the brethren.
So let us continue our search for evidence. We go to Luke:
Luke 22:14 And when the hour was come, he sat down, and the twelve apostles with him. 15 And he said unto them, With desire I have desired to eat this passover with you before I suffer: 16 For I say unto you, I will not any more eat thereof, until it be fulfilled in the kingdom of God.
17 And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and said, Take this, and divide it among yourselves: 18 For I say unto you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine, until the kingdom of God shall come. 19 And he took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me.
20 Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you. 21 But, behold, the hand of him that betrayeth me is with me on the table.
Luke has some differences. He mentions the cup, the bread, and giving of thanks. Then he mentions the cup again but not the bread, and reveals His betrayer, and this was “after supper.” The words, “this do in remembrance of me” is significant because it appears to be a command or instruction. This is the first piece of evidence that suggests we should observe a memorial ritual, either of the Passover and/or the sacrifice of our Lord.
The Gospel of John has no direct comment on this scene. The closest to it is in chapter 13; after supper had ended, Jesus washed his disciples’ feet. Then He revealed Judas with a piece of bread.
So we can conclude that the Gospels are in overall harmony with the memorial of Passover or our Lord’s Supper.
In our continued search for more evidence, Paul makes reference to the Lord’s Supper in his rebuke to the Corinthian church. Here he is quoting our Lord:
I Corinthians 11:23 I received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, how that the Lord Jesus in the night in which he was betrayed took bread; 24 and when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said. This is my body, which is for you: this do in remembrance of me. 25 In like manner also the cup, after supper, saying, This cup is the new covenant in my blood: this do, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me.
So far, the “this do” remains, as in the Gospel of Luke. But I shouldn’t include this as a second witness since it is a quote from the Gospel account, which was the first witness. But, it is a confirmation. So we shall continue our search for evidence.
With the Gospel of Luke and Paul’s quote, we have confirmed the first witness supporting the sacrament. Our second witness that we are looking for is in the very next verse of this chapter:
For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink the cup, ye proclaim the Lord’s death till he come. (I Cor. 11:26, ASV)
The sacrament of Luke’s account, is now confirmed by a second witness in the words “ye proclaim” (or show, reveal). This is an action. This is now Paul speaking separately as his own commentary; not quoting our Lord as previously. Paul wants us to proclaim, to preach, to teach the Lord’s death till he come. Surely a memorial observance of the Lord’s Supper accomplishes this; and it would not be wrong to do so.
The fact that Luke and Paul both indicate “after supper” in the narrative, could possibly be a third witness that something different was beginning; but we cannot be sure because it does not include the bread (perhaps an omission) in Luke’s account. However, it is possible that the missing bread here is the bread mentioned by John, in his account (q.v., Jn. 13:26), that Jesus used to dip into the wine and gave to Judas, who then betrayed Him. We cannot be positively sure on this, but at least, we have two sure witnesses that this memorial ceremony is valid. But ya know what, I’m gonna count it anyway, because it is so close.
So these three witnesses: “this do,” “ye proclaim,” and “after supper” are enough evidence to settle the question of whether or not to observe the memorial of the Lord’s Supper. Redemption has come, atonement is made — behold the Lamb of God sacrificed for us.
Objections and Considerations
OBJECTION I: The Apostle Paul illustrates the futility of keeping the works of the law in Galatians chapter two, referring to the rituals and ceremonial ordinances of the former priesthood. Brother Finck comments, “Paul taught that all of these things were done away with [q.v., II Cor. 3:14] in exchange for the faith in Christ under the New Covenant, and not in exchange for any new set of works, or rituals.”
While I respect brother Fink’s opinion here, I do not believe it is wrong to use a ritual as memorial of an event (not a law). I believe this is what Christ intended when he spoke those words, “This do in remembrance of me.” (Lk. 22:19) I believe brother Finck’s main point here is directed at denominations that insist that rituals are ordinances, which must be done in order to receive grace, which definition is included in their version of “sacraments.” Of course, this is wrong; and I concur with brother Finck.
Basically, I agree with brother Finck, but I disagree that the sacraments are meaningless (he says, “symbols are nothing”); for they certainly do symbolize important truths of Scripture, and these truths are meaningful to any honest seeker of truth. If the source is from the Scripture, it has to be of spiritual value.
OBJECTION II: Regarding the passage of John 6:53;
Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you.
This verse cannot be taken literally, and for these reasons.
First, there is no evidence that John is speaking in reference to the Lord’s Supper. In fact, that was not yet instituted by Christ; and, even if it was, there was no literal eating of His flesh or drinking of His blood.
Further, if it were literal, then how long could I go before I had “no life” left in me? Would I have to take the sacrament every day? Every month? Every church meeting? How would I know how long it would take before I would lose eternal life? If this passage were literal it would turn the sacrament into a Pharisaical works ritual. We are not saved by works, but by faith.
We should also keep in mind that no ritual, ceremony, or liturgy can “save” anyone. Only the atonement of our Lord has already done that. There is nothing we can do, or fail to do, that can remove us from His love.
Secondly, this chapter of John is in the context of bread, which Jesus figuratively is to us. The “eating” and “drinking” are thus metaphors that portray the intimate form of contact with, and dependence upon, the incarnation and sacrifice of the Son of God. This is as close as John comes to the Last Supper scene, about which he is so strangely silent (he does not cover the event).
Jesus uses the figure of eating and drinking because that was the subject of his discourse with the Judeans. They took pride in themselves on the fact that their fathers had eaten manna (v. 49). Because of this, Jesus had said, that He was the bread of life (v. 41), and that the bread He shall give is His flesh (v. 51).
To eat and drink, among God’s people, was also expressive of sharing in or partaking of the privileges of friendship. Spiritual blessings are often represented under this symbol; “And when one of them that sat at meat with him heard these things, he said unto him, Blessed is he that shall eat bread in the kingdom of God.” (Lk. 14:15)
The plain meaning of the passage is: that by the death of Christ, His body and His blood offered in sacrifice for sin, He would procure pardon and life for Adamkind; that they who partook of that, should obtain eternal life. As a man must eat bread and flesh in order to be nourished by them, so a man must receive the grace and Spirit of Christ for his salvation.
OBJECTION III: I would disagree with brother Walt that the sacrament is mandatory because the law made it mandatory for Passover.
It is true that the sacrament replaced Passover for New Covenant Christians, in that it was the fulfilling of the law. This does not mean that the law was totally abolished, but it was abolished as far as our justification was concerned (q.v., Rom. 10:4) since the Old Covenant had been broken; hence the need for a New Covenant, which Jesus Christ came to ratify with his blood. Jesus was the final sacrificial Lamb of Passover.
Conclusion and Suggestions
From this recent Bible study, I have come to the conclusion that there is enough Scriptural evidence that our Lord did establish a separate observance, which became a part of the many aspects of the Passover meal, usually called the Lord’s Supper. Some of these aspects have been dropped in time, such as singing the Hallel, or the sons asking their fathers the meaning of the Passover. But what remains of this ritual are the essentials.
In considering this, we also should not ignore the long history and traditions of our people as related to this subject. From ancient times our churches have used these liturgies in their respective congregations. Yes, maybe some of these customs had their beginnings in paganism; however, we should not throw out the possibility that some of these did not and still have value. In other words, how could our church forefathers have been so wrong for so long a period of time? Even after the Reformation struggles.
If the church so votes to use the rite of the Lord’s Supper, I suggest it be honored once every year as was the ordinance of Passover, according to the former law under the Old Covenant. “And ye shall observe this thing for an ordinance to thee and to thy sons for ever.” (Ex. 12:24; q.v., Ex. 12:14, 17)
I believe that the memorial sacrament should be available to all racial Israelites (Adamic families) who have put their trust in Jesus Christ.
If adopted, it should also be made clear that there is nothing we can do to earn salvation through any kind of ritual, ceremony or liturgy. We must not follow a works religion, for grace is already extended by our Lord — not by sacrament, but by sacrifice. And that we perform said ritual as a memorial of our Lord, nothing more.
The main value I see in this liturgy, is that the time spent in reflection upon what our Lord did, should motivate all involved, to emulate the Man who, “Did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth.” (I Pet. 2:22)
Communion by Randa Elmore
(Read by Pastor Elmore)
Greetings fellow brothers and sisters in Christ.
First, I would like to thank Walt for having the courage to bring this topic to us and challenge us to think about our church’s position on communion. And I would like to thank everyone here for being willing to study and ponder it and have this discussion. We have all come into this Israel Identity truth from different churches, different backgrounds, different teachings and practices, and I feel confident we will all learn and grow as a result of our discussion today. I also am confident that we will come to the correct conclusion for our church. Whatever the decisions that we make regarding communion, I am committed to trusting in and abiding by those decisions.
That said, I will try to articulate my belief in the practice of Communion in the church as I see it.
I am in favor of practicing Communion in the church. I do not believe it is a ritual, a rite or even a sacrament as is taught by many churches. I know many churches, especially Catholic, believe it is a means of grace, and the believer receives something when he partakes of it. I do not believe this, although I believe it can benefit the believer and be a blessing to him. I believe it is simply a practice of the church that was demonstrated and instructed by Christ at the Passover supper which he had with his disciples before his crucifixion, the purpose of which was to be a remembrance of him. He said, “Take eat, this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me.” And “This cup is the new testament (covenant) in my blood: This do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me.” 1 Corinthians 11: 24, 25. He wanted us to remember that his blood was shed for us, for “without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins” Lev. 17:11, and secondly, to remember that his body was broken for us. Jesus said, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, Moses gave you not the bread from heaven; but my Father giveth you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world…. I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.” John 6: 32-35. I don’t believe anything magical or mystical happens when we partake of Communion, but I do believe it is important for Israelite Christians to regularly reflect upon what Christ did at the Cross for us. The wine does not turn into blood and the bread does not turn into Christ’s body. We are to understand and remember what Christ did for his people in the giving of his body and shedding of his blood for us on the cross.
I further believe that it was not unusual for God to instruct his people to set up some kind of memorial so that they could remember certain things that God did for them. For example, in Gen 28: 10-22 Jacob set up a pillar in Bethel to remember where God gave him his dream. In Joshua 4:1-8 God instructed Joshua to remove 12 stones from the Jordan River and set them up as a memorial for the children of Israel to remember how God miraculously brought them across the Jordan River to the Promised Land. He told them when their children asked what the stones meant they should tell them that this was the place where God brought the Israelites into the Promised Land. In 1 Samuel 7:7-12 Samuel set up a stone between Mizpeh and Shen so they would remember this was where God gave them victory over the Philistines. In Exodus 12 and 13 God gave the children of Israel instructions for the Passover observance to be celebrated each year so that they would remember how God delivered them from their bondage in Egypt. And, again as with the 12 stones, when their children asked why they celebrated the Passover each year, they were to tell them what God had done for them in delivering them from Egypt. We Israelites have a continual history of forgetting what God has done for us and for easily straying from his ways. This is evidenced by the period of the Judges which God sent to Israel time and again as they would disobey Him. And there are many other examples of God’s judgment on Israel when they would disobey Him which I’m sure we can all think of. Why would He not give us a way to help us remember and reflect upon what God in Christ did for Israel?
Additionally, what we are supposed to remember in the Lord’s supper is similar to the Passover in this way. In the Passover God was reminding Israelites of how he delivered them from bondage in Egypt. It was a foreshadowing of what Christ would do. In the celebration of Communion God reminds us how God, in Christ, delivered us from bondage to sin and the law of the ordinances. Christ IS our Passover. He fulfilled all the law of the ordinances. We no longer are required do all the rituals and ceremonies that the early Israelites needed to do before Christ came to earth. We have a better covenant now as seen in the book of Hebrews. His sacrifice was once and for all. Also, I think that, as in the Passover, when our children see us partaking in Communion and ask why we do it, we are to tell them what Jesus did in his death for us.
In addition, in Corinthians 11:26 Paul says, “for as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come.” In my Bible the word “shew” is translated as “proclaim.” So, when we partake of Communion, we are proclaiming the death of Christ to believers and unbelievers and looking forward to when he comes again. Additionally, we are expressing and celebrating our union with Israelite Christians in the larger Israelite Church all over the world. The Church at large is the Kingdom of Christ on earth in this time period until he returns again. The Church is God’s battleax (Jer. 51:20) against evil. Communion is a way to be in unity with them.
Another point is that Paul said to the Corinthians that they should examine themselves and not take it unworthily. I believe this has something to do with the fact that we are to love our brethren. It is not totally clear to me what the verses in 1 Corinthians about taking it worthily mean. It seems to me that the Corinthians were doing something that was not considering all people in the assembly. The verses seem to indicate that they did share meals together and sometimes the meal would not be equal for all and some would get drunk. But I believe this was separate from the Lord ’s Supper celebration. The most important thing the church was commanded to do was to love God and love the brethren. Jesus said, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.” Matt. 22:37-40. At the end of chapter 11 in Corinthians it says “Wherefore, my brethren when ye come together to eat, tarry or “wait” for another. And if any man hunger, let him eat at home; that ye come not together unto condemnation.” This seems to indicate that in some way the Corinthians were not following the commandment to love one another when they came together. In verse 20 it says “When ye come together therefore into one place, this is not to eat the Lord’s Supper.” My Bible translates that as “it is not possible” to eat the Lord’s Supper, perhaps because they were not doing it in love and unity. As I said, I am not totally clear on what this means. But I do believe a man should examine himself to see if there be any wicked way in him and be sure he is loving the brethren as he should.
As far as the manner in which Communion is celebrated, I don’t feel the Bible gives very explicit instructions on this - how often should it be done, whether it should be open or closed, whether we should use unleavened bread or wine or grape juice. I feel the church has some liberty in this and we are not bound by any hard and fast rules. My sense is that it would be beneficial to be as close to the original Passover feast as possible using unleavened bread, as leaven represents sin, and wine, but I believe there is some liberty here.
In conclusion, I feel the greatest thing that God did for Israel was to send his kinsman redeemer Son to shed his blood, (represented by the wine), for her for the forgiveness of sins and to be the true bread of life, (represented by the bread), for her and to bring the two kingdoms of Israel, north and south, back together. He placed the law in our hearts, and we are no longer bound by the laws of the ordinances. They are fulfilled in the death and resurrection of Christ. And we are his people on the earth, meant to rule and reign with Him forever. Why would it be wrong to have a celebration to show forth and remember this marvelous thing that He has done for us?
Holy Communion by Pastor Don Elmore
April 10, 2022
ROMAN CATHOLIC EUCHARIST
One of the more fascinating elements of Catholicism is the ritual that could be called the “cannibalistic and vampire consumption”. It is known instead as Holy Communion or Eucharist. During Catholic mass, bread and wine are transformed into the actual flesh and blood of Jesus Christ in a rite called “transubstantiation.”
Practitioners eat the body and blood of Christ to become one with God. But in this first “Last Supper”, the Apostles did not eat and drink His literal body and blood! For after this “Last Supper” was over, His body and blood were still intact. If the 11 Apostles had drunk His actual blood, He would have been either dead or severely handicapped and if they would have eaten His actual flesh, He would have been disabled, if still alive.
Similar rituals were practiced in the underground “mystery religions” of the Greco-Roman world. It can be found in the occult religion of Mithraism and Osiris, which goes back as far as 3100 BC.
Would anyone here take the Roman Catholic Eucharist? The Catholic hierarchy says that anyone taking their Eucharist are eating the literal flesh and drinking the literal blood of their god. They are breaking the commandments that the LORD God of Israel gave to His followers…eat no manly/godly flesh and drink no manly/godly blood. If the Catholics are correct in the transubstantiation of their communion elements, then they make their members sin every time they take the Eucharist. If they are not correct about the transubstantiation, then they are liars. Neither way is good.
Catholics say that the Eucharist is one of the church’s seven Sacraments. Protestants said that it is one of its two sacraments. But what do they all not say?
A MISTHOUGHT OF THE LORD’S SUPPER
It was at the end of the Passover Supper when the event happened between Jesus Christ and His Apostles. At the Passover, all leaven was to be discarded for a week. All leaven was to be eradicated from every house. So, the bread would be unleavened, and the drink would be unleavened wine or unleavened grape juice. Not any of the many thousands of kinds of wine, but grape wine or unleavened grape juice.
They had just finished eating the Passover Meal and it was after this that Jesus presented His Last Supper. There were no women or children who were given this meal. There was only one race present. There was no church that had come into being for Jesus hadn’t died and been resurrected. There were the 11 Apostles of the LORD who were all from the House of Judah. One Apostle, Judas, was told to leave before the Communion was presented.
There was no one from the House of Israel present as they were still in a state of divorcement. They did not live in Jerusalem where Jesus and His Apostles were. They were still in a state of “not being the people of God”. They had “no hope”. But they would soon be rejoined into one kingdom with their brothers from the House of Judah. They would be the recipients of the gospel of the “kingdom of God”. After seven centuries, they would soon be received, once again, by their brethren from the House of Judah.
28) “This is my blood of the covenant....”
24) “This is my blood of the covenant....”
20) “This cup is the new covenant in my blood....”
1 Corinthians 11:25:
25) “This cup is the new covenant in my blood....”
At the Last Supper Jesus holds up a cup, probably the Fourth Cup of the Seder, and invests it with new meaning:
1 Corinthians 11:25:
25) “In the same way, after supper He took the cup, saying, This cup is the new covenant in My blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of Me.”
Many ancient biblical covenants were confirmed or sealed by a sacrifice followed by a covenant meal between the parties. For example, in Exodus 24:11, after the first covenant was given, God invited the 70 elders of Israel up on the mountain and in:
11) “…they [Moses, Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu and the 70 elders] saw God, and they ate and drank.”
If the 70 elders plus the four priests ate in God’s presence as representatives of the people of God to confirm the Old Covenant; now the 11 apostles ate in Jesus’ presence at the beginning of the restoration of the House of Israel. It was after 700 years, with the soon coming of the death and resurrection of the Messiah, telling what this miraculous event would accomplish: the rejoining the House of Israel back into the kingdom of God in the New Covenant.
Both the elders and the Apostles ate in the actual presence of their Husband or soon-to-be re-Husband. The rest of Israel was not told to continue to eat this particular “after supper ritual.”
1 Corinthians 11:25:
25) “In the same way, after supper He took the cup, saying, ‘This cup is the new covenant in My blood; do this, whenever YOU drink it, in remembrance of Me.’”
Who does the pronoun “YOU” represent in this verse? Does it represent all the different Christian churches that will be organized in the future? Does it represent just the Apostles who partook of the Communion with Jesus after the Passover Meal? Does it represent all the individuals who will believe in Him in the future? Does it represent women and children believers? Does it represent the House of Israel?
Note what had happened. They had just finished the Old Testament Passover Meal. That was what they had to do that gave remembrance of the Passover event that saved their first born and eventually sent them free. The ate the unblemished Lamb of a certain age for Passover.
But Jesus then instituted something different. He taught that they had to “eat” and “drink” Him, instead of the Passover Lamb in the future, for He was the “unleavened” Passover Lamb of the New Covenant. He was the sacrifice of the sin offering for His people—no longer an animal. The Apostles did not understand this at the time, but they later completely understood it. Thus, began the New Covenant!
Most of the 11 Apostles were to go, after the ascension of their Messiah, to the House of Israel and preach to them the “gospel of the kingdom.” A few were to preach the same message to the House of Judah. They all were to establish churches with both Houses. It was a reminder to them to preach the “gospel of the kingdom” to the House of Israel and to the House of Judah.
Now, every church with very few exceptions, both Arminian and Calvinistic, have a communion service. Some Arminian “churches” believe that:
- God and Satan were brothers; or
- Jesus was not divine; or
- Jesus was created an angel and then was born into the earth;
but they all still celebrate some form of Holy Communion. The Arminians believe that any individuals in the world can choose God for salvation. Calvinists and Lutherans believe the opposite: Almighty God chooses whoever He wants from anybody in the world for salvation. They are both universal and wrong.
And the elements that they use differ greatly; as Arminians and Calvinists use either one of the following as their elements:
- Grape juice and unleavened bread, or a wafer, or unleavened cracker,
- Grape juice and leavened bread,
- Wine and unleavened bread, or a wafer, or an unleavened cracker,
- Wine and leavened bread,
- Soft drinks and animal crackers,
- Wine and grape juice and unleavened bread,
- Wine and grape juice and leavened bread,
- Water and unleavened bread, some take…
- Many cups, or
- One cup, some take communion…
- Every time they meet, or
- Once a month, or
- Four times a year, or
- Once a year, some churches have…
- Open communion, or
- Closed communion, some offer it to
- All races, some offer it to
- Only the race of the covenant, some say that communion is
- A sacrament, others say that it is
- Not a sacrament, others say that it is
- Salvational, others say that it is
- Not salvational, but I believe that it is a
- Confirmation of the New Covenant.
Very few churches mention that a new covenant was being put in place. Very few churches even teach that the House of Israel was divorced for over seven centuries! It is not mentioned for a very good reason. Because then the church would have to tell its congregation who the new covenant was made with and that would eliminate many members of its congregation, not only from the communion service, but from church membership. In fact, it would seriously make the church of no use, as it would nullify all of its universal messages.
There are different ways and different formulas that every church uses. Which one is correct or are several correct? Which ones are wrong? They all can’t be correct. Maybe none are correct.
What are we as a covenant church to believe and do?
- First, we are to get all the “spiritual” leaven out of God’s house as our ancestors did in eliminating all the literal leaven out of their private homes. That is, if someone in the church has offended you, you are to go to that person and try to make things okay. That will settle most difficulties.
But if you are unable to get things settled, you are to take two or three members of the church and see if that helps. If that doesn’t, you are to take it to the church. You must agree with the church’s decision, whether you agree with their decision or not. Even if the church’s decision is wrong, you are to agree, and the problem is to be put away. That is true communion.
If the difficulty remains, you cannot take the communion supper, if we decide to have one. Christ died for all our sins; so, we must bear the sins of our neighbor, or vice versa.
- Second, that is the part of communion or fellowship that must be done on a regular basis anyway. No one should feel offended by anyone in the church. They have the responsibility to do what our LORD told us to do.
If that is done, then whatever the church decides on taking its own Holy Communion service or not, is okay with me. I would recommend that if it is taken, that we use unleavened wine or unleavened grape juice and unleavened bread.
At Pastor Ramsey’s Conference, for the last two years, I and the rest of the church that was there, all partook of his church’s communion service. It was grape juice and unleavened bread; open communion; many cups.
- Third, the Lord’s Supper is not a church sacrament or rite. It does not affect any one’s salvation.
- Fourth, the Holy Communion is a confirmation of a New Covenant—one that was made with the House of Israel and the House of Judah. It is no longer the eating of the Passover Lamb as it was in the Old Covenant (Testament); for Jesus the Christ was the true Passover Lamb whose body and blood were shed for His covenant people. It was no longer for a limited time, but it was eternal.
Israel was once one kingdom in the beginning; became two; and now would be one again. It coincides with the “gospel of the kingdom” that was preached by Jesus and His Apostles. It signifies how this whole process was brought to an eternal blessing.
Blessed be the LORD God of Israel.