Christian Churches of God
The Lord’s Supper
(Edition 2.0 19950413-19981226-20080120)
This paper examines the complex meaning behind the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper. The preparation day and the Passover are explained. The sequence of the foot-washing and the bread and wine are expounded as they are enacted. The relationship to the Exodus and the Passover are also explained. The blood of the New Covenant and the entry to the Holy of Holies of the High Priest who was Messiah is the forerunner to us all becoming sons of God. The meaning of the Passover symbolism in relation to other texts is examined. The texts of John 14 and John 17 are explained.
The Lord’s Supper
This evening is probably the most sacred occasion of God’s Calender year, because this is the anniversary of the death of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. We keep this service in memory of Christ’s death. The following passages explain the origin of this service, and its ceremonies.
Luke 22:7-16 Then came the day of Unleavened Bread, on which the Passover lamb had to be sacrificed. 8 So Jesus sent Peter and John, saying, "Go and prepare the Passover for us, that we may eat it." 9 They said to him, "Where will you have us prepare it?" 10 He said to them, "Behold, when you have entered the city, a man carrying a jar of water will meet you; follow him into the house which he enters, 11 and tell the householder, `The Teacher says to you, Where is the guest room, where I am to eat the Passover with my disciples?' 12 And he will show you a large upper room furnished; there make ready." 13 And they went, and found it as he had told them; and they prepared the Passover. 14 And when the hour came, he sat at table, and the apostles with him.
It has been assumed by some that this was the hour to eat the Passover, but that is incorrect.
15 And he said to them, "I have earnestly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer; 16 for I tell you I shall not eat it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God." (RSV)
Christ was saying explicitly, “I really want to eat this Passover with you before I suffer, but I am telling you I will not eat it until it is fulfilled in the Kingdom of God”. Luke 22:7-16 has been translated in a few different ways to get round this text. Christ did not eat the Passover meal; he ate a Passover meal. It’s clear and simply stated. He wanted to eat it with them but he knew he would be dead. Christ said here that he would not eat it until it was fulfilled in the Kingdom of God. Christ thus foretold his death before the actual Passover meal. He was in fact the Passover Lamb.
We know that these are the Days of Unleavened Bread. It was the beginning of Unleavened Bread, when the Passover was to be sacrificed.
In John 6, Christ performed the miracle of the feeding of the five thousand with the five loaves and two fishes. The symbolism was that the elect were saved by being taken in twelve baskets. The miracle of walking on water was performed by Christ as part of the salvation of the elect. After the miracles, Christ had groups falling away because of his sermon when he said, “Unless you eat the flesh of the son of man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day” (Jn. 6:53-54).
That sequence was a critical phase. The work fell down to Christ plus twelve, and one of those was a demon. Now that process was the lowest ebb in the work. Everyone fell away then from the Master. The work was then rebuilt. We know that Christ later ordained the seventy and sent them out. We know the demons were subject to them and we know that the demons recognised that fact. It is written in Heaven. We know that the seventy continued on in the ministry. However, at this meal, there were only the twelve again. Where were the seventy? What were the rest of Christ’s followers doing? Why did Christ have the Last Supper with his twelve only?
There are a lot of answers to that whole problem. The seventy were there at Pentecost. They had not fallen away from the Church. The explanation is that there must have been other Passover meals in preparation with other groups. Christ had decided to hold this meal (his last) with his twelve. The seventy must have been holding the Passover somewhere else. The activity of the seventy opens up a different aspect of the work not previously considered. The seventy, his other disciples, had to be there somewhere. Yet the Last Supper was reduced once again to the twelve. However, the seventy were still ordained and still operated and grew until Pentecost from this Last Supper.
Now that tells us there are fluctuations in the work from consolidation where he built up, lost and consolidated, built up and then consolidated again – but they were in different groups and the work continued to build, yet be reconsolidated. This Last Supper, therefore, has a slightly different significance than that initially considered. When we think of this Last Supper, we think of the twelve. We don’t assume there is anybody else. However, the Bible tells us that there has to have been others. The seventy were ordained and they were Elders of Jesus Christ. There are keys to other aspects of the work in the placement of the Elders and the placement of the Passover and its replication and distribution. There are quite a number of things that flow from that.
The Feast of Unleavened Bread incorporated both the preparation day and the Passover into the Feast.
Matthew 26:17-30 Now on the first day of Unleavened Bread the disciples came to Jesus, saying, "Where will you have us prepare for you to eat the Passover?" 18 He said, "Go into the city to a certain one, and say to him, `The Teacher says, My time is at hand; I will keep the Passover at your house with my disciples.'" 19 And the disciples did as Jesus had directed them, and they prepared the Passover. 20 When it was evening, he sat at table with the twelve disciples; 21 and as they were eating, he said, "Truly, I say to you, one of you will betray me." 22 And they were very sorrowful, and began to say to him one after another, "Is it I, Lord?" 23 He answered, "He who has dipped his hand in the dish with me, will betray me. 24 The Son of man goes as it is written of him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed! It would have been better for that man if he had not been born." 25 Judas, who betrayed him, said, "Is it I, Master?" He said to him, "You have said so." 26 Now as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed, and broke it, and gave it to the disciples and said, "Take, eat; this is my body." 27 And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, saying, "Drink of it, all of you; 28 for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. 29 I tell you I shall not drink again of this fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father's kingdom." 30 And when they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives. (RSV)
This activity took place, as it says here, on the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread. In that time the preparation day, the 14th, was counted as the first of eight days of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, so it is actually on the preparation day that this took place. This preparation day established a new symbolism that is found in the preparation for a Passover yet to come. Because there will be a second exodus and new priests (Isa. 66:20-21), the Lord’s Supper symbolises the preparation of the Church for the millennial reign.
1Corinthians 11:23-26 For I received from the Lord what I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took bread, 24 and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, "This is my body which is for you. Do this in remembrance of me." 25 In the same way also the cup, after supper, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me." 26 For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until he comes. (RSV)
This night proclaims the Lord’s death until he comes as an ordinance enjoined upon Christians.
The whole of John chapter 6 is a sequence of symbolism leading up to the preparation and to the Passover. There is specific meaning in every single sentence of John 6 and how it prepares everyone for their calling, their placement in the elect and in the tribes as part of the 144,000, and the Multitude under the twelve Apostles as Judges of the tribes.
John 6:53-54 So Jesus said to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, you have no life in you; 54 he who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. (RSV)
There are three elements to eternal life. These elements are not normally dealt with in the Lord’s Supper. The first two elements are from John 17:3.
The first element … And this is eternal life, that they know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent.
The second element of eternal life is faith in Jesus Christ through knowledge of the One True God.
The third element of eternal life is participation in the Passover and eating of the body and drinking of the blood of Jesus Christ (Jn. 6:53-54).
All of those three elements are predicated upon obedience to the One True God by the keeping of His Commandments. That is the necessary prerequisite to the retention of the Holy Spirit. Without the Holy Spirit we cannot enter the Kingdom of God and thus have eternal life. So with those three elements we are then required to participate from obedience. Obedience to this festival entails keeping the Laws and regulations that Christ set for the participation in the Passover. If we don’t take this ceremony we have no part with Jesus Christ.
The first ceremony of the Lord’s Supper is the foot-washing. The act of washing someone’s feet was a common practice in Jesus’ day. People wore footwear, which exposed them to the grime of the environment. They had open-toed sandals. They were efficient marching shoes, as we know. People wore sandals because they were cool and cheap and easy to make, but they did get their feet dirty. Normally, foot-washing was done as an act of hospitality by a host when the guest arrived. People usually had bathed but they had walked through the streets. Thus, by foot-washing they were made to feel comfortable. It was the job of the lowliest servant to wash feet. The guest was provided with a towel and an urn of water. It normally took place on arrival or before the beginning of a meal, prior to or while the guests were reclining at the table. The dislike of the task symbolised the fact that nobody necessarily likes doing menial things for other people.
It is an act of love to serve other people, but this world is based upon people who don’t actually love one another (if one has not noticed). People don’t normally abase themselves and elevate other people. It takes a special mindset and it is the Holy Spirit that makes that possible. It is a mark of the elect – the servants of Jesus Christ – where they actually rejoice in being of service to other people; they take the triumphs of the brethren as their own and they exalt each other above themselves. That process of service is not evident in the system that was set up under the god of this world (or the elohim of this world), a system that was of superiority and rank and precedence like the animals. All animals have a pecking order. The pecking order determines where they eat, and what their social standing is, and how well they are looked after. That is not to be so with us; we are not to think like that.
This whole process of foot-washing is not just service. It symbolises the laying aside of our own self. We see this from the concept of tithenai (the placing aside of the garment) and the girding by Christ with a towel. That whole process was the symbolism where Christ literally laid down all his trappings and apparel. He firstly laid aside his status as an elohim and became a man in order to serve us. He knew that he had to come down to Earth, not just to show us, because we lived under a system that the demons had set up, but to show the demons that he had to lay his life aside.
By their rebellion, the demons had no sacrifice to restore them to God. There was no sacrifice possible that Satan and the Host could have made to reconcile themselves to God for sin. Somebody had to die. So one of them had to assume human form and be killed to reconcile himself to God in order to show the way. It wasn’t simply that God desired a blood sacrifice. He said that without that mentality you cannot be Me. “I cannot live in any one of you who is not prepared to lay down his life for his brother”. If we will not lay aside our life and wash our brother’s feet to subjugate ourself, God cannot live in us. And that is the sad fact of the matter. We watched the Church in the twentieth century reach levels of respect of persons such that they would not sacrifice for each other. The Holy Spirit was taken away from them. Christ instituted this ceremony for his followers as an example of sacrifice.
We’ll now examine the physical concept of the foot-washing, rather than as it was from the beginning, in terms of the Host as spiritual concepts. Each of these aspects is spiritual as well as physical. Judaism looks back to the Passover and sees it in physical terms. We look forward to the Passover and see it in both physical and spiritual terms. Christ knew he would be betrayed and that he was required to lay down his life.
John 13:1-5 Now before the feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart out of this world to the Father, having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end. 2 And during supper, when the devil had already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, to betray him, 3 Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going to God, 4 rose from supper, laid aside his garments, and girded himself with a towel. 5 Then he poured water into a basin, and began to wash the disciples' feet, and to wipe them with the towel with which he was girded. (RSV)
This laying aside of his garments (tithenai) was symbolic of laying aside his life. For by laying aside his life he washed all of us. The most basic lesson concerning the foot-washing is that of self-sacrifice and humility. Jesus’ attitude was one of being willing to lay down his life for humanity, being willing to lay down his life for each one of us personally, as a friend. So too, we ought to be prepared to lay down our lives for one another.
John 13:6-8 He came to Simon Peter; and Peter said to him, "Lord, do you wash my feet?" 7 Jesus answered him, "What I am doing you do not know now, but afterward you will understand." 8 Peter said to him, "You shall never wash my feet." Jesus answered him, "If I do not wash you, you have no part in me." (RSV)
We probably all know these words by heart. Peter didn’t want him to wash his feet for a very good reason: Peter wanted a King Messiah. He did not understand the Day of Atonement, in that the High Priest walked in first in linen garments to atone and sacrifice and then he changed into a new set of garments. He did not understand that there were two Messiahs: one who was lowly in plain linen garments and the other who would be dressed in the apparel of a King. He wanted somebody to rule, like Darius or any of the Persians, or the Caesars. He wanted to sit Jesus Christ on the throne of the Caesars and rule this world as unjustly as the Caesars had done, but from Jerusalem. He wanted privilege in the same way the Romans had privilege. That is the mentality behind Peter’s comments. That is what Peter is getting at there when he said, “You are not going to wash my feet”. He said that because that meant we were going to be servants. He thought: I’m going to make the Romans wash my feet. That’s what Peter meant. Christ knew that, which is why he withdrew from the multitude after the miracle in John 6. They also wanted to make him King Messiah. Christ said at the Lord’s Supper that he was among them as one who serves.
We have to look at the psychology behind what these people are saying. They were Zionist supremacists. Peter was unconverted, and none of the disciples at this meal was converted. Christ said later on to Peter, “When you are converted, strengthen your brethren” (Lk. 22:32). Peter was not converted until he had the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. Satan had asked for him to sift him as wheat (Lk. 22:31) prior to this process, as Christ told him at the Lord’s Supper. None of these people had the Holy Spirit until Pentecost. They were baptised but there was a gap between the time they were baptised and the receipt of the Holy Spirit. We have hands laid on us for receipt of the Holy Spirit, but we did not get it in the same power as they did at Pentecost. Ours is a mustard seed. However, the real lesson is that Peter did not want to lay down his life and serve the Gentiles. He was a Jew. We have to serve everybody.
We must allow our feet to be washed – symbolic of our lives being washed clean by Christ on a continuing basis – if we are to have our part with him in the Kingdom and, indeed, in everything that he does. If we do, we will inherit the Kingdom as he did. Peter realised the necessity of the act, but not its significance.
John 13:9-11 Simon Peter said to him, "Lord, not my feet only but also my hands and my head!" 10 Jesus said to him, "He who has bathed does not need to wash, except for his feet, but he is clean all over; and you are clean, but not every one of you." 11 For he knew who was to betray him; that was why he said, "You are not all clean." (RSV)
The realisation is that if we are not prepared to work and submit and become part of the Body by having the foot-washing done, we’ll get nothing of the Kingdom. Then Peter says to him, “Lord, not my feet only but also my hands and my head”. In other words, he did not want to miss out. He was rebuked and his attitude was dealt with. He wanted the lot done because he did not understand the symbolism of foot-washing. He did not understand that he had been baptised once and for all. Nor could he really understand then, because the full significance of Christ’s death and sacrifice had not yet occurred. However, he should have known from the Old Testament Scriptures that Christ had to die and that it was Christ’s death that reconciled men to God.
Once that death reconciled men to God they were clean through baptism. Everybody who had taken part in the baptismal service was clean through baptism because of the death of Christ, which would come. The foot-washing was an annual renewal. In the same way, the guests who had been invited into the Marriage Supper of the Lamb had been cleaned (they had their bath through baptism). They had their garment given to them, which was spotless because it had been cleaned in the blood of Christ. Only their feet, from the travelling through the world, became stained and they had to be cleaned on a renewing basis each year.
So, with the foot-washing each year we clean our feet, physically. Spiritually, we clean the basics of our spiritual bodies. We get ourselves back in a position with Christ so that we can go on to the next year prepared (with our batteries charged) to carry out the tasks that are given to us. So our garment is kept clean. We are kept clean because we have had only part of us – symbolically, the feet – dirty. So we are re-cleaned. That’s the concept we go to in verse 10.
In the baptismal service the sins were taken away and would be taken away. This was a very difficult process to comprehend because Christ hadn’t yet died, and these people were not yet converted. What they were doing was setting up the system that could be understood by us, so that we could go back and examine everything they did. We would know then what the sequence and symbolism of it all was. So he said to them, “You’ve been bathed so you are clean”. We only have to wash our feet every year and that regenerates us. We don't need to be rebaptised each year.
If this symbolic refreshing was not good enough we would have to be rebaptised every twelve months to repeat the cycle, or there would be no meaning in what is done at the Lord’s Supper. This whole thing is done in order to regenerate us and to bring us into a state of contemplation and reconciliation with God.
The Corinthian Church fell because they did not bring themselves into a state of contemplation of their relationship with God. They did not prepare themselves to take this meal, this supper and the Passover (or the Night to be Much Observed). If they had been obeying Deuteronomy 16, or even simply eating away from the service, they would not have been in the position where they were turning it into a drunken mess.
What we see here also is that from the baptismal sequence, Judas Iscariot was baptised, and he had his feet washed as well. The sequence of this foot-washing and the bread and wine was that the foot-washing was done early in the meal. The bread was broken at the end of the meal and the wine was taken after the meal. Judas Iscariot did not leave until the wine had been drunk. He took part in the entire service and that is something for us to consider. Judas Iscariot was baptised, he took part in the foot-washing, he took part in the body and blood of Jesus Christ, yet he allowed himself to be possessed and used by Satan because his motives were wrong.
Peter’s motives were conditioned by the supremacist concepts of Satan in the world. He viewed life from the hierarchical structure. However, he could see the error of it quickly; Judas Iscariot could not. In the same way, the other disciples wanted to sit on Christ’s right and left hand. But it wasn’t Christ’s to give. Christ is not God. God had allocated the seats on Christ’s right and left because they are specific functions which God wants taken in the restoration and the reconciliation of the Host.
Judas could not be washed clean and we will see Judas Iscariot continually. In fact, if we look at the Knox translation of the Vulgate, we will see that the Philadelphian Church is allowed to have those of the synagogue of Satan (Satan’s very own) placed within it. Now that is quite a concept. There are select people that Satan places within the Philadelphian system. We have to keep our mind on the concepts behind this point. These are all spiritual concepts. We are not Jews. We do not think in physical terms. We are spiritual Jews and not members of the tribe of Judah. We are members of the nation of Israel. There is a big difference; but we are spiritual Jews in that concept.
Only at the Lord’s Supper do we need our feet washed, as we were once bathed in the waters of baptism and so we are clean once and for all. Every year, spiritually speaking, we collect sins as we walk the path of life, and so we need to have that baptism covenant renewed. We symbolically accept that rewashing as we go through the foot-washing.
From John 13:12-17 we look again at that concept.
John 13:12-17 When he had washed their feet, and taken his garments, and resumed his place, he said to them, "Do you know what I have done to you? 13 You call me Teacher and Lord; and you are right, for so I am. 14 If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another's feet. 15 For I have given you an example, that you also should do as I have done to you. 16 Truly, truly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master; nor is he who is sent greater than he who sent him. 17 If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them. (RSV)
Here he is trying to explain to them the symbolism because they did not know the sequence as we know it. These words are put down so that we understand that there is a symbolism which they had to know. From the concept of the Lord and Teacher having washed the feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet, was then an injunction of Christ. The thought process was to become enshrined on a continual basis forever, to try to instil in our minds how we have to be serving one another.
The problem with most of our people in this era is that things are so highly competitive that it is difficult to get to the point of continually putting ourself below other people. The competitiveness of our society is becoming all-consuming. People are taught to compete at every level. People are taught that they are inadequate if they do not perform at set objective levels. We have a high rate of suicide among our young people, as do the Japanese also, and it is because of the competitiveness of their system. They are forced to think on a competitive basis. They have to be better. They have to achieve. They have to get into University and they have to get a degree. Its society will not tolerate people if they do not succeed. Now that comes from a concept of reward for effort, which becomes unbalanced. People take all of those concepts to the point where they lose sight of the value of individuals and the value of each other. Christ will have to come again to restore some of the simple self-sacrifices that he talks about and that we should be concerned with.
Christ says in verse 16: “Truly truly I say to you a servant is not greater than his master nor is he who is sent greater than he who sent him”. Now this is a concept where he was emphasising the placing of himself at a level below God so that we understood that all of us are not greater, and we do not have the expectations of the fallen Host of taking over from God. We wash one another’s feet in order to show each other that we are introspectively developing our own positions and our own spirituality with Jesus Christ.
And so now, following Jesus’ instruction and his example, we will wash one another’s feet.
The symbolism of the washing is twofold. Initially, it was a physical form, and in 1Corinthians 10, starting in verse 1, we will understand that physical salvation of our people was done as an example to us all to prepare us for this second phase of our salvation. Through baptism we participate in the Holy Spirit, which was closed to Israel before Christ.
1Corinthians 10:1-13 I want you to know, brethren, that our fathers were all under the cloud, and all passed through the sea, 2 and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, 3 and all ate the same supernatural food 4 and all drank the same supernatural drink. For they drank from the supernatural Rock which followed them, and the Rock was Christ. 5 Nevertheless with most of them God was not pleased; for they were overthrown in the wilderness. 6 Now these things are warnings for us, not to desire evil as they did. 7 Do not be idolaters as some of them were; as it is written, "The people sat down to eat and drink and rose up to dance." 8 We must not indulge in immorality as some of them did, and twenty-three thousand fell in a single day. 9 We must not put the Lord to the test, as some of them did and were destroyed by serpents; 10 nor grumble, as some of them did and were destroyed by the Destroyer. 11 Now these things happened to them as a warning, but they were written down for our instruction, upon whom the end of the ages has come. 12 Therefore let any one who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall. 13 No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your strength, but with the temptation will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it. (RSV)
Verse 6 should ring warning bells in our head. They saw mighty works. If any of us had been there we would have been amazed with the mighty works God did with Israel when He brought them out under Moses during that march, that exodus and the plagues. If we had seen those activities we would have been quite amazed at the power of God. It would have been firmly entrenched in our minds. Yet they did not put their minds on God. One of the reasons they didn’t is that they did not have the Holy Spirit. It doesn’t mean we’re any better than they were in any way except that God has chosen us, to put his Holy Spirit in us, in order to overcome our own carnality and our own problems. That process is a very serious problem.
Verse 7 goes on with some of the problems that he saw, namely idolatry.
Verse 11 shows that it happened to them as a warning. It wasn’t a warning to those killed. They are dead. It was a warning to the rest of Israel, and it was a pretty significant warning. And it was a warning to us. Verse 12ff. shows that every one of us is given a temptation but God does not give us a temptation beyond that which we can endure, and He gives us a way of escape when we are tempted. In other words, there is always a door. There is always a situation where we can avail ourself of two choices and we make the choice.
It is written: the people sat down to eat and drink and rose up to play, reflecting the symbols of the idolatrous practices of those days. God is a jealous God and He will not tolerate idolatry. The whole concept of adultery is a sin of the spirit. It is the sin of people turning their backs on their own God. Adultery is simply the physical sin of idolatry, which is a spiritual sin. That is the reason why divorce is permitted for adultery, because God divorces Israel for idolatry. God sends Israel into the wilderness and He punishes Israel because of those sins.
Through the commission of fornication, these people prefigured the temptation of Christ and the elect, of putting Christ to the test, whereupon many were destroyed. They reflected on a carnal level the higher spiritual problems we face with the fallen Host as partners of Christ in the altar and sons of God. So all these things are simply there to prepare us and show us where we should be aiming and the standards that we should set. This shows us what the minimum standard of the high jump bar is, but we have been given a pole-vault. We’re not jumping on the high jump bar; we’re going over the pole-vault because we have the Holy Spirit and these people did not have it. We have higher standards. Sometimes the elect can’t even make the simple standards of the Gentiles who have none of the Holy Spirit.
1Corinthians 10:14-20 Therefore, my beloved, shun the worship of idols. 15 I speak as to sensible men; judge for yourselves what I say. 16 The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not a participation in the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ? 17 Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body, for we all partake of the one bread. 18 Consider the people of Israel; are not those who eat the sacrifices partners in the altar? 19 What do I imply then? That food offered to idols is anything, or that an idol is anything? 20 No, I imply that what pagans sacrifice they offer to demons and not to God. I do not want you to be partners with demons. (RSV)
Now this is a very significant concept. It’s the sacrifice at the altar that determines what we are, who we worship and with whom we worship. What altar we go before determines what God we worship, and that is the most significant concept we face. We cannot go with impunity before the altar of a false god. The penalty is death.
The Exodus and the Passover demonstrate the downfall of the fallen Host and the placement of other elohim before God our Father. There is only One True God and that is God the Father; and Jesus Christ is His son.
1Corinthians 10:21-22 You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons. You cannot partake of the table of the Lord and the table of demons. 22 Shall we provoke the Lord to jealousy? Are we stronger than he? (RSV)
There is no mixture. When one creates the doctrine of the Antichrist and a false table, he creates a false god. The participation in the table of demons is forbidden. Participation takes the form of giving, as well as receiving. We cannot give or receive tithes and offerings of false gods. Tithes and offerings of such Churches are clearly in contravention of the injunctions in Acts 15:19-29; 21:25-26; 1Corinthians 8:1-13; 10:13-33, especially verse 21; 2Corinthians 6:16; 1Thessalonians 1:9-10; 1John 5:20-21 (which says there is only One True God and Jesus Christ is His son) and Revelation 2:14,20. We are not even allowed to take the money of people who are in the employ of the organisation of a false god. If we do not know where the meat has been sacrificed to false gods or foreign gods, there is no problem with eating because we eat in ignorance to the glory of God. However, when we know the origin, we have no option. The doctrine of the Trinity is a false god.
There is only one bread, the Body of Christ. This makes us all one body, partaking of this one bread. There is only one cup, the cup of the Lord. So do we denigrate Christ by saying there is only One True God? No, we do not. Christ is our Lord and Master but he is not the One True God. Christ lives in us as God lives in all of us, as all of us were redeemed from death.
By this symbolism we are set apart. The first Exodus was to take us out of Egypt and establish the nation of Israel, so that a place could be established in which God could reveal His Plan through His prophets.
Jeremiah 31:31-34 "Behold, the days are coming, says the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah, 32 not like the covenant which I made with their fathers when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, my covenant which they broke, though I was their husband, says the LORD. 33 But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the LORD: I will put my law within them, and I will write it upon their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 34 And no longer shall each man teach his neighbor and each his brother, saying, `Know the LORD,' for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, says the LORD; for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more." (RSV)
We will be developed by the Holy Spirit to the point where we will all know God. That is why the head of Christ is God and the head of every man is Christ. Because we have the Holy Spirit we know God and we know Jesus Christ, everyone of us. That is the fulfilment of the Scripture of Jeremiah. That is why no minister can place himself between any one of us and Jesus Christ. No minister can say to us that we do not need to do any specific action laid down by the Bible and absolve us from the responsibility. No Elder has the power to diminish the Law.
This covenant that had to be made required the sacrifice of blood (cf. the paper The Covenant of God (No. 152)).
Matthew 26:26-28 Now as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed, and broke it, and gave it to the disciples and said, "Take, eat; this is my body." 27 And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, saying, "Drink of it, all of you; 28 for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. (RSV)
Thus, Christ made a covenant with us but, like all covenants, it required the sacrifice of blood. He was appointed as our High Priest, from Hebrews 8:3.
Hebrews 8:3 For every high priest is appointed to offer gifts and sacrifices; hence it is necessary for this priest also to have something to offer. (RSV)
The High Priest went into the Holy of Holies for the blood sacrifice. The symbolism was to lead to or point to Christ’s sacrifice as a blood sacrifice. Christ, as leader, had only himself to offer. No other sacrifice would have been good enough, nor would it have demonstrated the way God thinks and the way He would have us think.
1Corinthians 10:24 Let no one seek his own good, but the good of his neighbor. (RSV)
This is the same concept coming back to foot-washing. This admonition was through Christ, where Christ did not seek his own but our wealth, the things that were ours, and to do that he entered into a sacrifice, whereby he laid down his own life as an example to us that we should lay down our lives for one another. This concept of the body of salvation as the bread is seen from John 6:58.
John 6:58 This is the bread which came down from heaven, not such as the fathers ate and died; he who eats this bread will live for ever." (RSV)
Manna was the prototype, the example for us that we would eat of the bread of Jesus Christ. That bread was from Heaven. That symbolised that nothing we could make or do would suffice. It was through Christ and his sacrifice that we would achieve our capacity to be Sons of God.
Mark 14:22 And as they were eating, he took bread, and blessed, and broke it, and gave it to them, and said, "Take; this is my body." (RSV)
That is to be done now.
Lord God, Eternal Father, we ask your blessings on the bread and the wine. We ask also your inspiration in the understanding of the symbolism. We ask it in Christ Jesus’ name. Amen.
The covenant mentioned by Jeremiah in 31:31 is not looking forward to a future covenant. That covenant could only have been at this time, and established on an ongoing basis.
Luke 24:39 See my hands and my feet, that it is I myself; handle me, and see; for a spirit has not flesh and bones as you see that I have." (RSV)
Therefore, the blood of Christ could only be once. Once Christ had ascended there could be no more sacrifice, because he would be a spiritual body. There could be no further stage in which the covenant could be introduced. It was introduced there and then, and is a continual and ongoing covenant. The wine is symbolic of the High Priest’s sacrifice, where yearly, through the blood of bulls, he entered into the Holy of Holies. By his blood, Christ tore the curtain veil and, once and for all, he entered into the Holy of Holies and made it possible for us also to enter into a relationship with God and receive the Holy Spirit. In order to do this, we had to be purged from sin, which was a symbolism of Christ’s sacrifice.
Hebrews 1:3 He reflects the glory of God and bears the very stamp of his nature, upholding the universe by his word of power. When he had made purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, (RSV)
This sacrifice was twofold, and wine was also symbolic of Christ acting as the vine.
John 15:1-6 "I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. 2 Every branch of mine that bears no fruit, he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. 3 You are already made clean by the word which I have spoken to you. 4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. 5 I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in me, and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. 6 If a man does not abide in me, he is cast forth as a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire and burned. (RSV)
This concept of the wine coming forth from the fruit is also symbolic of the Holy Spirit, where every one of us produces fruit of the Spirit, through Christ, by the power of God. The simple symbolism of Christ’s sacrifice is reflected in these two symbols of bread and wine. We will now partake of the wine.
It is perhaps important to realise that the bread and the wine, of which we have just partaken, added a new dimension to the understanding of Christ’s sacrifice that was not understood through the Passover lamb. The bones of the lamb were never broken to symbolise a righteous man having his bones remain intact to fulfil Psalm 34:20; but the body of Christ was broken on the cross. The bread represents the body of Christ being made up of many different people and hence the bread is broken into different parts. The lamb’s blood was never drunk, but we drink the wine as symbolic of Christ’s blood being shed for us. It has been said that having taken these symbols, we should go through the next day recognising that Christ is going to suffer in a terrible manner for us. We shall examine one of the prophecies that dealt with this, in Isaiah.
Isaiah 52:13-15 Behold, my servant shall prosper, he shall be exalted and lifted up, and shall be very high. 14 As many were astonished at him -- his appearance was so marred, beyond human semblance, and his form beyond that of the sons of men -- 15 so shall he startle many nations; kings shall shut their mouths because of him; for that which has not been told them they shall see, and that which they have not heard they shall understand. (RSV)
Isaiah 53:1-12 Who has believed what we have heard? And to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed? 2 For he grew up before him like a young plant, and like a root out of dry ground; he had no form or comeliness that we should look at him, and no beauty that we should desire him. 3 He was despised and rejected by men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not. 4 Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. 5 But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that made us whole, and with his stripes we are healed. 6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all. 7 He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is dumb, so he opened not his mouth. 8 By oppression and judgment he was taken away; and as for his generation, who considered that he was cut off out of the land of the living, stricken for the transgression of my people? 9 And they made his grave with the wicked and with a rich man in his death, although he had done no violence, and there was no deceit in his mouth. 10 Yet it was the will of the LORD to bruise him; he has put him to grief; when he makes himself an offering for sin, he shall see his offspring, he shall prolong his days; the will of the LORD shall prosper in his hand; 11 he shall see the fruit of the travail of his soul and be satisfied; by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant, make many to be accounted righteous; and he shall bear their iniquities. 12 Therefore I will divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he poured out his soul to death, and was numbered with the transgressors; yet he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors. (RSV)
We see that Isaiah understood the exact nature of Christ, and he saw that Christ had to die to be numbered with transgressors and, yet, that he would see his offspring. Now Christ was not married and bore no children, yet this prophecy says that he will see his offspring. This prophecy has to be fulfilled. We are the initial offspring given to Jesus Christ. We are also the ‘Bride of Christ’, and the offspring of us is to become the era of righteous judgment, namely, the thousand years of the Millennium. The offspring will be coupled with Christ to rule this planet and the planet will be in complete harmony with God. That is the prophecy. That is why we are likened to a bride and become part of a system, and why Christ becomes an everlasting father, from Isaiah 9:6. He becomes a father and we become brides to him, and our offspring – those who are instructed in righteousness – are the millennial structure. Only by this meal can we understand that or take part in it.
After the disciples had gone through the ceremonies, Jesus gave them fervent instruction.
John 14:1-31 "Let not your hearts be troubled; believe in God, believe also in me. 2 In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? 3 And when I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. 4 And you know the way where I am going." 5 Thomas said to him, "Lord, we do not know where you are going; how can we know the way?" 6 Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but by me. 7 If you had known me, you would have known my Father also; henceforth you know him and have seen him." 8 Philip said to him, "Lord, show us the Father, and we shall be satisfied." 9 Jesus said to him, "Have I been with you so long, and yet you do not know me, Philip? He who has seen me has seen the Father; how can you say, `Show us the Father'? 10 Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own authority; but the Father who dwells in me does his works. 11 Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father in me; or else believe me for the sake of the works themselves. 12 "Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I go to the Father. 13 Whatever you ask in my name, I will do it, that the Father may be glorified in the Son; 14 if you ask anything in my name, I will do it. 15 "If you love me, you will keep my commandments. 16 And I will pray the Father, and he will give you another Counsellor, to be with you for ever, 17 even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him; you know him, for he dwells with you, and will be in you. 18 "I will not leave you desolate; I will come to you. 19 Yet a little while, and the world will see me no more, but you will see me; because I live, you will live also. 20 In that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you. 21 He who has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me; and he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him." 22 Judas (not Iscariot) said to him, "Lord, how is it that you will manifest yourself to us, and not to the world?" 23 Jesus answered him, "If a man loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. 24 He who does not love me does not keep my words; and the word which you hear is not mine but the Father's who sent me. 25 "These things I have spoken to you, while I am still with you. 26 But the Counsellor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you. 27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. 28 You heard me say to you, `I go away, and I will come to you.' If you loved me, you would have rejoiced, because I go to the Father; for the Father is greater than I. 29 And now I have told you before it takes place, so that when it does take place, you may believe. 30 I will no longer talk much with you, for the ruler of this world is coming. He has no power over me; 31 but I do as the Father has commanded me, so that the world may know that I love the Father. Rise, let us go hence. (RSV)
In John 14:3, Christ told the disciples that he was going to prepare a place for them (and for us). The rooms in the Temple of God were occupied by the priests, and were constructed in specific sequence to be occupied by the priesthood from the High Priest down. Each room prepared for us symbolises the fact that we are appointed (all of us) as priests of the Living God. That is the significance of the rooms that Christ is preparing for us.
From John 14:4-7 we see that by our knowledge of Jesus Christ and participation in this sacrifice, we come to know God. When anyone says to us God is a mystery and is unknowable, we know thereby that they are not converted and they are not part of the elect. It is our job, through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, to participate in the knowledge of God. If we say God is a mystery, we do not know Him and we are not any one of Christ’s. To know the One True God and His son Jesus Christ is eternal life (Jn. 17:3). To deny that is to have no part either in our Father or His Son, Jesus Christ.
From John 14:8-9 we see the reason Christ could say what he did concerning the Father is because he partook of the divine nature. The divine nature conferred the aspects of the Father on the Son, as the divine nature also confers the aspects of the Father on us. Whenever anyone looks at us they see the Father and they see Christ.
So, from John 14:10-12, we see that our works themselves are evidence that the Father is in us.
From John 14:13-20 we see that because God gave Christ the power to live, He has given us the power to live. So Christ is in the Father, and the Father is in us. We are in Christ and in the Father and they are both in us. Any system that tries to limit Christ and the Father and separate Christ and the Father from us is a heresy. It is an attempt to steal our birthright with lies.
From John 14:21-23, it is quite clear that both the Father and Christ come and make their home in each of the elect who love them. From verse 24, the keeping the Commandments of God is necessary for the retention of the Holy Spirit and the occupation of each of the elect by the Father and the Son.
Verse 27 is very significant. The Holy Spirit ties us all together – the Father, Son and all the other sons of God. Every single son of God is tied to the Father in the same way. We are all co-heirs with Christ, tied together with the Father by the Holy Spirit. It is the Holy Spirit that enables Christ and us to all become elohim.
From verse 28 we are reconciled to the Father. If the Father wasn’t greater He would have gone to Jesus Christ.
From verse 30 we see that the god of this world has no power over the sons of God.
It is important to understand the way in which the relationship with the Father is maintained. The significant aspect is that it is maintained by the Holy Spirit and through the keeping of the Commandments in the love of Christ. We have taken of the body and blood of Christ and become fused with Christ for a purpose, and the purpose is to become one with the Father. This Lord’s Supper service is purely to reconcile us to God. It is not an end in itself to become one with Jesus Christ. The end is to become one with Jesus Christ so that we are all one with God. There is no separation of one from the other. It is necessary to become one with Christ in order become one with God.
The close of the Lord’s Supper dealt with the Godhead and our relationship with God.
John 17:1-26 When Jesus had spoken these words, he lifted up his eyes to heaven and said, "Father, the hour has come; glorify thy Son that the Son may glorify thee, 2 since thou hast given him power over all flesh, to give eternal life to all whom thou hast given him. 3 And this is eternal life, that they know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent.
There is only One True God and Jesus Christ is His Son. Knowledge of them is eternal life.
John 17:4-5 I glorified thee on earth, having accomplished the work which thou gavest me to do; 5 and now, Father, glorify thou me in thy own presence with the glory which I had with thee before the world was made.
Christ accomplished his task in the glorification of God. He then requested to be reinstated from this sequence to the glory that he had with God before the world was made.
John 17:6-8 "I have manifested thy name to the men whom thou gavest me out of the world; thine they were, and thou gavest them to me, and they have kept thy word. 7 Now they know that everything that thou hast given me is from thee; 8 for I have given them the words which thou gavest me, and they have received them and know in truth that I came from thee; and they have believed that thou didst send me.
Christ made known the name of God to the people whom God had given to Christ. The elect had kept the word of God. They knew that Christ came from God. He was not that One True God. However, they believed that God sent him.
John 17:9-10 I am praying for them; I am not praying for the world but for those whom thou hast given me, for they are thine; 10 all mine are thine, and thine are mine, and I am glorified in them.
The interrelationship of the elect with God and Christ is evident from this text.
John 17:11 And now I am no more in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to thee. Holy Father, keep them in thy name, which thou hast given me, that they may be one, even as we are one.
From verse 11 we see that Christ is given the name and, hence, the authority of God. It is a Hebrew concept. Where the name is given, that person carries the power of the conferring authority. That is why Moses was called an elohim. Christ was returning while the elect remained in the world. They were entrusted to God. Both God and Christ together with the elect are all one.
John 17:12 While I was with them, I kept them in thy name, which thou hast given me; I have guarded them, and none of them is lost but the son of perdition, that the Scripture might be fulfilled.
In verse 12 it is stated that the Scripture might be fulfilled. It wasn’t that Judas Iscariot had no choice, because he did. He was given the opportunity for salvation and he fell away. It’s not as though he couldn’t have made it. He was given the opportunity but his own intrinsic evil was known from the foundation of the world. From the time these Scriptures were written, it was known that the sequence would occur and Christ would have a disciple who would betray him. God is not confined to our time and space problems such that His foreknowledge predetermined that Judas Iscariot would sin. God did not make him do it. God simply knew he would do it. There is a big difference.
John 17:13 But now I am coming to thee; and these things I speak in the world, that they may have my joy fulfilled in themselves.
From verse 13 we see that Christ spoke that we might understand what was happening to him for our enlightenment and to fulfil his joy in us.
John 17:14-16 I have given them thy word; and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. 15 I do not pray that thou shouldst take them out of the world, but that thou shouldst keep them from the evil one. 16 They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.
The world hates the elect because they are of the word of God. Christ gave the word, the Logos (here the accusative logon) to the elect. Thus the Logos is an expression or true utterance of God, which is not confined to the personage of Jesus Christ. This contrasts with the pseudo-logon from 1Timothy 4:2, translated of men who speak lies (see Marshall’s Interlinear).
The elect are sanctified by truth, which is the word of God.
John 17:17 Sanctify them in the truth; thy word is truth.
The elect are sent out into the world as Christ was sent out as a lamb amongst wolves.
John 17:18-19 As thou didst send me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. 19 And for their sake I consecrate myself, that they also may be consecrated in truth.
Verse 19 refers to being consecrated in the truth. Truth is the consecration of the Holy Spirit. Christ was consecrated by the truth so that we also might be consecrated. There should be no lie among the elect.
John 17:20-21 "I do not pray for these only, but also for those who believe in me through their word, 21 that they may all be one; even as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.
Verses 20-21 refer to the fact that the world can only know that Christ was sent by God through the veritable evidence of us. If we do not reflect that, then the world is blind to the fact that God sent Christ. It is by our example that the world sees that Jesus Christ was sent by God and did indeed achieve His purpose. That is the responsibility placed on the elect. Sometimes sinners are called out just to show the power of God. They are repaired and set on a train of action in the service of the One True God merely to confound the mighty (1Cor. 1:27).
We share in Christ’s glory so that we can become one with God.
John 17:22-23 The glory which thou hast given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, 23 I in them and thou in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that thou hast sent me and hast loved them even as thou hast loved me.
From verse 23 we see that there is no distinction in God’s love for Jesus Christ and for every one of us. God is not a respecter of persons. He does not love Jesus Christ any more than He loves any one of us, because there is no sin in our Father – and respect of persons is sin. If God loved Christ more than He loved us He would be a respecter of persons and sin. But God loves us all equally and perfectly.
John 17:24-26 Father, I desire that they also, whom thou hast given me, may be with me where I am, to behold my glory which thou hast given me in thy love for me before the foundation of the world. 25 O righteous Father, the world has not known thee, but I have known thee; and these know that thou hast sent me. 26 I made known to them thy name, and I will make it known, that the love with which thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them." (RSV)
One day we also will behold the glory of God conferred in Christ.
After this, Christ and the disciples sang a hymn, and then they went out.
Mark 14:26 And when they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives. (RSV)
The service will close by singing the hymn: The Lord is My Shepherd.