Tag: Jesus Christ

Breaking Bread – The Meaning of the Lord’s Supper Part 2

The Church of Christ is organized under the government of His Son, and is called His house and temple erected for Himself, which He called His house and glorified it with the symbols of His presence.  In allusion to this, the Christian community, organized under this government is called God’s building, built upon the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief corner-stone.”

The church, as typified by the tabernacle of the Old Testament, is in the middle space between the outer court and the holiest of all.  “The holy place made with hands were figures of the true.”  The common priests went always into the first tabernacle or holy place, and the high priest once a year into the holiest of all.  Thus our Great High Priest went once for all into the true “holiest of all, into the presence of God,” and has permitted us who have been baptized into Christ, called a “royal priesthood”, a chosen race, to enter always into the only holy place now on earth—the Church of Christ; “as living stones we are built up into a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices most acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.” 1 Peter 2:8

The “house of God” was a single community under the Christ which the apostle Paul tells us in his letter to the Hebrews; “Having a Great High Priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a full assurance of faith.” Hebrews 10:22  It is apparent that there is under the Lord Messiah, now on earth, an institution called the house of God; and this resembles the holy place between the outer court and the holiest of all, which is that position the Church occupies and which position we will prove.

In the Old Testament holy place (and the house of God in the New Testament) there is furniture on which those who officiated placed items of remembrance. Exodus 25:30 “In the first tabernacle which is called holy, there were the candlestick, and the table, and the show-bread (in other places was called the bread of presence).”  On the golden table EVERY SABBATH were placed twelve loaves, which were exhibited there for one week, and on the next Sabbath they were substituted by twelve fresh loaves sprinkled over with frankincense.  The loaves which were removed the table were eaten by the priests.  These were called in the Hebrew “the loaves of the faces,” or “the loaves of the presence.”  This emblem of the abundance of spiritual food in the presence of God for all who dwelt in the holy place stood alwaysupon the golden table furnished by the twelve tribes, even in the wilderness. The light in the first tabernacle was not from without, but from the seven lamps placed on the golden candlestick; emblematic of the perfect light, not derived from this world, which is in the house of God.

If this was in the emblematic house of God, to which corresponds the Church of Christ, there was not only a table overlaid with gold, always spread, and on it displayed twelve large loaves, or cakes, sacred memorials and emblems of God’s bounty and grace; so shall we say that in the NEW house, over which Jesus is a Son, there is not to stand always a table more precious than gold, covered with a richer food for the holy and royal priesthood which the Lord has instituted, who may always enter into the holy place on the designated day, by command of Himself, to partake?

Paul reminds the saints in Corinth of their familiarity with the Lord’s Table, in speaking of it as being as common as the meetings of the brotherhood.  “The cup of blessing for which we bless God, is it not the joint participation of the blood of Christ? The bread (loaf) which we break, is it not the joint participation of the body of Christ?”  When one event occurred so must the other!!  One can see how common the sight of the bread and cup were to the saints of Rome, Jerusalem, Antioch, and everywhere the saints came together on the first day of the week originated at the inception of the Church!!  These were spoken of as common and usual in the meetings every first day of the week.  Notice: it is not the bread and cup of blessing which we HAVE received with thanks but the cup of blessing which we DO receive and break!!  The aim is now established as fact; for it has been shown that in the Lord’s house there is always the table of the Lord, It is hardly necessary to add, that there is the Lord’s table, as a part of the furniture, for it must always be there, unless it can be shown that only some occasions require the furniture present, and others its absence; or that the Lord is poorer in the New Covenant than He was in the Old Covenant!!  Where, then, comes the Judaic church without the table being spread or is the Lord too delinquent to spread the table for His friends? John 15:14-17

Breaking Bread – The Meaning of the Lord’s Supper Part 1

The Christian was not made for the Christian Institution, but this Christian Institution was made for the Christian.  None but a master of the human constitution-none but one perfectly skilled in all the animal, intellectual, and moral endowments of man could perfectly adapt an institution to man in reference to all that he is, and to all that he is destined to become.  Such is the Christian Institution called the Lord’s Supper.  Its evidences of a divine origin increase and brighten the more we progress in the study of the enlightenment man.  He who most attentively and profoundly reads, himself, and contemplates the picture which the Lord of this Institution has drawn of Him, will be most willing to confess, that man is wholly incapable of originating such a table.  He is ignorant of himself, and of the race from which he sprang, who can persuade himself that man, in any age, or in any country, was so far superior to normal man as to have invented such an institution.  The development of mankind in all his natural, moral, and religious relations, which the Great Teacher has given, is not further beyond the intellectual powers of man, but the Supper of the Lord is as far above man’s intellect as the creation of the sun, moon, and stars is beyond his physical strength.

The eye of man cannot see itself; the ear of man cannot hear itself; nor the understanding of man discern itself; but there is One who sees the human eye, who hears the ear, and who discerns the human understanding.  He it is who alone is skilled in revealing man to himself, and Himself to man.  He who made the eye of man, can He not see?  He who made the ear of man, can He not hear?  He who made the heart of man, can He not know?  None among man could have created such an institution.

It is as supernatural to adapt a system to man as it is to create him.  He has never thought much upon his own powers, who has not seen as much wisdom on the outside as in the inside of the human head.  To suit the outside to the inside required as much wisdom as to suit the inside to the outside, and yet the exterior arrangement exists for the interior.  To fashion a house for the human soul exhibits as many attributes of the Creator as fashioning a human spirit for its habitation!!  Man, therefore, could as easily make a system of religion to suit himself.  It will be admitted, that it calls for as much skill to adapt the appendages to the human eye, as the human eye to its appendages.  To us it is equally plain, that it requires as much wisdom to adapt a religion to man, circumstanced as he is, as to create him an intellectual and moral being!  This did not come about by luck, nor was it fashioned by accidental circumstance, it came about through wisdom beyond our highest consideration, and it is to be admired!!

To come into the kingdom of Christ is one thing, and to live as a wise, happy, and good citizen of that kingdom, is another.  As every human kingdom has its constitution, laws, ordinances, manners, and customs; so has the kingdom of the Great King.   He, then, who would be a good and happy citizen of this kingdom, must understand and submit to its constitution, laws, and customs.  The Designer of the Kingdom of the Great King added brilliance to possibility when He put in that kingdom institutions which would enable those of this kingdom to be successful in being citizens profitable to the King, the Kingdom, and the citizen, himself.

There IS  a church on earth, called the House of God. 1 Timothy 3:15   The citizens of this institution did not enter it by physical birth nor was physical circumcision the outward sign of its coincidental agreement with the Godhead.   The most high God dwells not in temples made with human hands; yet He condescended in the age of types to have a temple erected for Himself, which He called His house, and glorified it with the symbols of His presence.  In allusion to this, the Christian community, organized under the government of His Son, is called His house and temple.  “You are God’s building,” says Paul to a Christian community to whom he wrote.  This building is said to be “built upon the Apostles and Prophets, Jesus Christ being the chief cornerstone.”  “Know you not that you are the temple of God?  The temple of God is holy, which temple you are.”

In allusion to the Jewish temple, the Christian church occupies the middle space between the outer court and the holiest of all.  “The holiest place made with hands were the figures of the true”.  In this holy place was the “table of the Lord” on which the bread of each tribe was placed new, every week.

The Last Week of Jesus Life Part 42

Examples or en samples are good for nothing if the example does not show what the writer is striving to teach. Christ entered into the throws of death, as a boxer enters the ring in a boxing match. He was not made, as some teach, nor did He entreat the Father to extricate Him. In no cowardly fashion did our Lord and Captain approach His death. Paul, as he is directed by the Holy Spirit, uses verbiage that teaches the Hebrew Christians NOT to ever relinquish or surrender citing them example after example previous to citing them Christ, to prove his position. “Ye have not resisted unto blood.” The image here is from pugilism (boxing), as the Holy Spirit previously had the image of a race, both being taken from the great national games of the Greeks, the example could not be used if it had not existed, it would not teach a lesson. An example of fighting an opponent would have been useless had our Lord “withdrew from the ring” as some contend in Gethsemane! The brethren to whom Paul was writing were to suffer the loss of goods, and become a gazing-stock by reproaches and afflictions; they would shed blood (Hebrews 13:7). “The athlete who had seen his own blood, and who, though cast down by his opponent, let his spirits be cast down as often as he had fallen, had to be exhorted to rise the more determined than ever to win the contest. The fighter goes into the ring and anticipation and intends to win!! What mockery this would have presented the world if the Captain of our salvation had failed to “win the race, set before Him.?”
We are to fight against sin, not give in to it. Sin is personified as an adversary; sin, whether with you attempting to spare your blood, or in our adversaries, leading them to shed it, if they could not through your faithfulness even unto blood, see some example in Christ to cause them to fight to the death, how would this example induce them to continue in the faith? The cause of the conflict was sin, the gentle and moderate would never stand up to the fight. The fight has a good cause, for sin is the worst enemy both to God and man. We are engaged in spiritual warfare, which is both honorable and worthwhile. We are not defending ourselves, we are defending the Captain of our Salvation, we are enlisted under His banner, against sinful doctrines, practices, and habits. We cannot “throw in the towel” because the opponent is too strong, we have to bear up under the fiercest odds. Thankfully, our Lord, does not call His people out to the hardest battles at first, but wisely trains them by the easier rounds to be prepared for greater. He will not put new wine into weak vessels, He is the “gentle shepherd,” who will not ruin the “young ones in the flock” by breaking their spirits in conflicts that the wisest and most tried would have trouble bearing!! As He, we CAN bear up under battle!!
It becomes Christians to take notice of the gentleness of Christ in accommodating their trial to their strength. We should not over play our afflictions, but should take notice of the mercy that is mixed with them, and should admire, pity, and use as examples those who are called to the fiery trials to “resist to blood;” not to shed the blood of their enemies, but to seal their testimony with their blood!! This the example of our Lord and why it is used!! Afflictions endured, though they may be the fruits of God’s displeasure, are yet proofs of His paternal love to His people. “Whom the Lord loves, He chastises, and scourges every son whom He receives.” The best of God’s children need correction; we are His family, and shall not escape His rebukes even when we want not to have them. In this He acts as a father, and treats us like children. No wise and good father will wink at faults in His own children as he would in others; his relation and his affection oblige him to take more notice of the faults of his own children rather than those of his brothers! If God allowed us to go on in sin without correction, He would show us a bad sign, that He was alienated from us, and cause us to think we were bastards or strangers, not sons. Many call Him Father, because He is the head of the church; but do not appreciate His affection in correction!! If we are resistant to His correction and behave worse toward Him than we have to our earthly fathers, we show Him no reverence!! But, who can be proud of a father who is called a coward by His won children??, that which, some of the sons of the Almighty call our Captain!!
Children who have parents that will not correct them when wrong are loved less by the very parent that brought them into this world than they deserve. Do not expect this of our righteous King!!

The Last Week of Jesus Life Part 41

“We are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses.” Hebrews 12:1 Who would the could of “witnesses” be? How are we “compassed about”? What has this to do with the 11th chapter which has received so much more attention than this part of the 12th?
Being “compassed about” has been expressed to inform the Christians who were attempting to include the Law of Moses with the Law of Christ by showing them which trials are apart of Christianity! The “witnesses” are definitely not apart of the denomination of the Watch Tower nor the Arian heresy of the second century, they were the soldiers in a spiritual army that had been called to duty, and obeyed the call, even at the expense of their physical life and not complained about it!! Important to remember is that they who are on record in the 11th chapter were they who had no knowledge of the “end.” Without the promise of reward, many will not even dare to enter the fray, yet these (most of these) were not privy to special knowledge or information that would make their decision easier to make! When one knows the reward, it is a lot easier to make the commitment! Trials are apart of every life, faint trials that are considered such, are not considerations, but to be unable to know the results of faithfulness, in order to have faithfulness, makes the trial harder to bear. The Law of Moses was a law of terror, not of hope. To despise the penalties imposed in proportion to the greater privileges offered, makes our decision so much easier than the heroes mentioned in Hebrews 11. The “numberless cloud“ are the “unknown.” Their testimony defies determined response based on stimuli. The witnesses, Greek word martus, are first spectators. Next, they are those who after His example have prove the strength and genuineness of their faith in Christ by undergoing a violent death, they are martyrs. They who are witnessed now have become witnesses to the faithfulness of God to His people, for He has prepared for them a Home!! “That you be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises.” Hebrews 6:12
In Rome, the spectators gave additional spirit to the combatants, so the “cloud of witnesses” who have themselves been in the same contest, increased in earnestness, due to God’s faithfulness. They, who had gone through the same combat, could fortify the courage and industry of we who have yet to enter that arena. By the fact they still are testifying, they instill and encourage our strength that might have been mutating a little to stand even stronger. Some had won the battle and testified of the faithfulness of God standing by them in the hour of deepest trial!! “At my first answer no man stood with me, but all men forsook me. I pray God that it may not be laid to their charge. Notwithstanding, the Lord stood with me, and strengthened me, that by me the preaching might be fully known, and that all the Gentiles might hear and I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion.” 2 Timothy 4:16-17 This extraordinary wisdom and courage, to enable Paul to speak so much the better himself when nobody else would defend him, shows how “God caused His face to shine upon him.“ What a favor and privilege to be put into such a position to receive such a blessing. Wonder if Paul would have traded this privilege for anything the world would have offered?? The “privilege”? What meant more to Paul than the “preaching of the gospel”? Answer: nothing!! If front of whom was Paul able to present Jesus Christ that no other man alive had had the opportunity?? NERO. Nero was the lion! For this, Paul by inspiration reasoned, if he could escape Nero and his might from what was it that God could not deliver him? “Oh death, where is thy sting? Oh grave, where is thy victory?” When God quits delivering, our work is over!! Matthew 11:1-7. Guess John had this rule down pretty well!! Former deliverences provide future hope!! We are in a Heavenly kingdom and the Lord will preserve His faithful for His greater good. We ought to give God the glory of all past, present, and future deliverances: “To whom be glory for ever and ever more, Amen.”
I have to put this in for future references: Paul in 2 Timothy left Trophimus at Miletus, sick. This will mess up the Pentecostals and Healers, won’t it?? Though the apostles healed all manner of diseases miraculously, only for confirmation of the gospel, they did not have permission to exert such power on their friends and associates for personnel gain!! Jesus did not get John the Baptist out of jail, either!! Maybe we blame God when in fact, He has given us a privilege. We just don’t recognize it!!

The Last Week of Jesus Life Part 40

What often is overlooked about Christ on His way to Calvary was His despite for the cross, the pain and agony, and the shame accompanied. Christ despised, counted as nothing of importance the cost He was to pay for the forgiveness of sin on man’s behalf. What a prize our Lord is fo all who follow Him to eternity. He FINISHED!! If there is anything to be considered in the definition of words, finish is what most people do not do well!! There was no quit in the Lord. He came to “do the will of the Father.” What it cost to do that Will was of no consequence, it would be done. When trials met Christ on His journey, He endured! The Greek word means to preserve; under misfortunes and trials to hold fast to one’s faith; to bear bravely and calmly ill treatments. Inordinate care for His body, this present life, and the world were not even in consideration. The fondness most have for this world actually becomes a dead weight pulling as an undertow. It pulls down when they need most to ascend. It pulls back whey we should press forward. There are many things that can come across our path of life when we travel. These things become a drag on our spirit and drag us into complacency, it causes us to put the world before the Lord, and it causes our cares to be for the wrong life!! The more the weight they pull, the heavier becomes our load, and the more we find ourselves doing exactly the opposite of what we intended when we entered the race!! The love affair we have with the things of the world have to be held in check or they will control our place of habitation for eternity! For some to think Christ was so naive as to not consider the cost before going to war is ridiculous!! Remember the parable of the king who “counted the cost?” Was this king wiser than our Lord? Did this King have more integrity than the God who created the heavens and the earth? Luke 14:28-32 It seems ridiculous that some faithless unbeliever would preach that our Lord was not as wise as the King!! If you think a King too high, what about the man who was to build a tower? Either the darling sin of the Jews, the over-fondness for the world, or the damning sin of unbelief causes this lack of drive to achieve the goal. Does this describe our Lord?
The race MUST be run!! That is what most of us do not consider. One day it will be finished-then what? Our Lord knew when He came into the world He was to die. He knew it before He created the heavens and the earth. He knew it as a baby in Mary’s arms. He knew what it would take for the Father to forgive sin. Do you think He dreaded His roll? When Christ was drawn out into the desert by Satan to be tried, did He throw up because of fear? Did He not know Satan? Had they ever met? Was He not Satan’s creator, also? If Christ had dreaded the cross as much as some of our brethren preach, could He just have not created Satan?? When He created Him, did Christ not pre-determine His death at Calvary? When Satan led Him off into the wilderness did Christ hesitate or was His spirit within Him such that He eagerly went out for the challenge? The book says “Jesus was led up of the spirit into the wilderness.” Matthew 4:1 The word “lead up” means to launch out, set sail, put to sea. Is this accidental? Or on purpose?? What spirit lead Him, His own spirit of the Holy Spirit? It is interesting, is it not that never are we without the tempter no matter what station we have in the Kingdom? Great privileges and special allowances will not secure us from being “tempted”!!
We had better consider that when we have great honors bestowed on us Satan or one of his imps will be around to check our resolve to be a child of God! Expect something humbling!! God usually prepares His people for temptation BEFORE He calls them to it; He gives strength according to the day, and, before a sharp trial, gives more than ordinary temptation, the good Spirit of adoption has already written out our plan of escape in that mighty book called the Bible which gives the answer to all the suggestions of the evil spirit that is trying to debauch or destroy us!! When we have been invited into the communion of God, we must expect we are at our weakest, then is when the evil one will set upon us. The Bible calls temptations fiery darts, thorns in the flesh, buffetings, siftings, wrestlings, combats, all which denote hardship and suffering!! Christ submitted to them because He humbled Himself, we are watched over, guarded, and protected BUT we too must show our colors!! Though Satan is the strong man armed, the Captain of or salvation is stronger than he!! Physical weakness from fasting never deterred the drive of His spirit for battle. Our Captain won the day!!

The Last Week of Jesus Life Part 39

The trailblazer, Jesus Christ , is the subject of these verses. This example comes from the Olympic games so recognized by all peoples of this time. There were two types of service, passive and active. As with the Lord, our race is marked out, it is set beforehand. This makes our lives more interesting when we recognize the Lord has beforehand set out our race!! These, being the “cloud of witnesses” set before us, we are compassed about surrounded, set about by proper limits and directions. These witnesses are both the word of God and sacrificial examples that gave their all for the cause. There is no one “looking over the balconies of Heaven” watching our lives, as some have taught. We can never offend some faithful one who has gone on before by sinning away their good name nor will will we put in agony some loved one who is caused to watch our direction, be it good or bad!! The watchwords of our journey must be faith and patience!! Christians have more examples than any who had just been mentioned in the previous chapter, but particularly Christ Jesus our Lord!! This being true, we can gaze upon, aphouontes, Jesus because He is the trailblazing pioneer, archegon, the One who brings faith to completion, teleioten. He set an example for all His brethren by enduring the agony and suffering of crucifixion, discounting the shamefulness of a criminal execution. He had set His gaze on the joys of the resurrection and His eternal role as High Priest at the side of the Ancient of Days!! We are asked to carefully examine and re-emphasize the example set by Jesus in His endurance of the verbal hostility and abuse, antilogian, of sinful men. The perfect tense of the verb “endured” stresses the abiding results of His endurance. It is not just a matter of historic interest; it is significant for all believers. Careful consideration of Jesus endurance of persecution has the power to encourage and keep we who are gradually dropping out of the race when things get rough. How could this be said of Christ had He been only half committed to dieing at Calvary? How could His brethren, who are suppose to defend His name, claim faith in a quitter, if in fact Jesus ever considered backing out of the agreement with God the Father? Remember the warning: “Having done all, STAND.” Ephesians 6:14 When Christ met obstacles and frustrations in His journey, He did not throw up His hands and quit, He ENDURED!! Remember—the sword was thrust into His abdomen, not His back!!
The Jewish Christians to whom the epistle of Hebrews was written were reminded that even though they had “resisted” (antikatestete-stood against) the sin of unbelief because of their identification with Christ, they had not yet been asked to die while struggling, antagonizomenoi, wrestling against, the temptation to apostatize. Jesus and the Old Covenant saints are reminders to all Christians that is possible to endure such persecution even to the point of dying IF Christ is at your side. The eternal nature of the reward is far superior to anything that can be gained by “giving up in the struggle.” To continue living in the present age at the expense of forsaking Christ and His eternal kingdom is to squander the greatest treasure for a mere pittance!! “To gain the world one can lose his soul!!” The “end” of His race brought joy, peace, comfort and a seat at the right hand of God!! Nothing passes between earth and heaven but by Him, He does all that is done, and “He ever liveth to make intercession for the saints.”!! Hebrews 7:25 We must set Christ continually before us as an example, our advantage would be never weary or discouraged. It is amazing what fresh supplies of encouragement and faith can do for all of us, for it was He who said: “if we suffer with Him, we shall also reign with Him.” Where will our journey take us?? A quitter never wins and a winner never quits!! is the banner on the helmet worn by the faithful child of God!!
The fact that some of the Jewish Christians who were recipients of this letter may have been thinking about giving up their confession of Jesus the Messiah, indicates they had lost sight of a confession Jesus as Messiah had made before Pontius Pilate: “I give you charge in the sight of God, who quickeneth all things, and before Christ Jesus, who before Pontius Pilate witnessed a good confession.” 1 Timothy 6:13
What kind of larceny does some malcontent have in his heart who stands in the pulpit and charges Jesus Christ with quitting: “let this cup pass, from Me.” This would have been SOME example for the apostle Paul to have had when he stood before Nero, he would have had to be ashamed of his Captain!!

The Last Week of Jesus Life Part 38

Of all the verses we have discussed is this study, the one least discussed by the advocates of denial who teach Christ did not want to die, is Hebrews 12:2. It reads: “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” There are key words that must be either denied or misunderstood for good men to dis-believe the intent of Christ intending to die!!
The first word will be “joy.” Usually, the word joy brings delight and encouragement. This word in the Greek language is the word “chara.” It means joy and gladness but further restricts this to the persons who are one’s joy. We are the purpose for Christ to have joy. He was intent on bringing to pass what He had had in preparation for the past 6,000 years. The author, chief, leader of Christianity was given an army. With this army, He was to take over and make over humanity. What had been so disadvantageous about mankind was his continual movement in the wrong direction, away from God. Christ was to bring into existence the army that would head in the opposite direction!! We would change the destiny of millions by the gospel we would be given to proclaim. No other institution had ever been given this charge. The Church of Christ is and was always in the mind of God as the defender of God’s love. “God, so loved the world.” John 3:16 There had to be something, someone, or some reason God would love. Until now, that was conspiculously absent from our race. Going away from God seemed to be the way the river of humanity was running. Things had gotten so bad that man had committed acts of treason against his very own flesh. Surely, something had to make some sense as to why God loved!! All the prophesies, all the sacrifices, all the teaching and instruction had to have a finality. Something had to make sense!! As consistent as God, the consistency of His message to mankind was, man had to change. Man, himself could not bring this about, angels were not offered the opportunity, so what did God have in mind by sending His Son!! When His Son came, mankind for whom He was coming flatly rejected Him. Christ had come healing the sick. One would have thought that sufficient to produce love, but it had not been. Christ came serving mankind, unlike John the Baptizer, Jesus had come and had been socially acceptable; but that had not changed man. If nothing else, it had seemed to make things worse!! No Jew had tried to kill John!! With superior wisdom, Christ had fed the hungry, raised the dead, made the deaf, hear, defended the righteous, showed kindness to little children, and comforted the mourners. All these things had had their appeal, but all put together they had not made man “take their shoes off their feet” in His presence. It had even been recorded that one of His closest disciples had had talks with His frantic enemies making arrangements to set a trap for His arrest. Yet, Christ was looking for “joy.” He knew that among mankind there were people like that for which He would die; He knew that His creation had not gone that far toward evil that some of us were worth saving and He was willing to sacrifice His life to prove His creation was better than what it seemed. He had born the opposition of those who were professed sinners and those who professed self-justification and righteousness. What was in this species called humanity He saw that we could not, see? He had heard their rants against His Holiness, God, the Father. He had recognized that one tremendous lacking in humanity was appreciation, yet onward He kept moving toward the cross—mind you- with ‘JOY.’
He “endured” the cross. This word, endure means He was not to recede, flee, or change. It is the Greek word hupemeno and describes what Christ had on His mind when He considered the cross of Calvary. Included in the definition of this word is the fact that He bore bravely and calmly. All His time among man, He never heard man profess openly, “this man loved Me.” His last interview with Simon Peter is a heart-breaker if you expect to find Simon openly, unabashedly declaring “Christ, I love You.”!! Anticipating and knowing the difference His obedient would bring into this world when He and the Holy Spirit had an opportunity to make over they who would serve Him, what the world had never had the pleasure of having a plethora of, Christ NEVER one time backed off His continuous journey to make US possible, never deterred from His mission of going to the cross!! His love was not lip service, He loved all the way to Calvary. If you can’t appreciate this, don’t deny Him this love!

The Last Week of Jesus Life Part 37

Remembrance of this event had to be a painful thing for the Lord. “For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered unto you.” 1 Corinthians 11:23 Often, revisiting an event or incident brings with it new and better insight to the event and affect it had on your life. What mental state would the Lord be in to re-visit this night? What tone of voice did He use to speak to the only apostle of the twelve that had no memory of this most famous happening? In grave tones, deep and mellow, or in exuberant tones with the brightness and clarity only the Lord could have spoken? What whirlwind of remembrance did all the events of that one night flood the Lord’s mind? 5,000 or 6,000 years of development had gone into this one evening. Every event had to have been played over and over again as the Prince of Heaven had for a million times visited every moment before He actually lived them. He would know every expression on the faces of every disciple, every breath each would live, and every utterance each had made though we have not the record given. This was the night!!
Six thousand years of struggle, dedication, and sacrifice had made this night possible. Each hero of God had brought this moment into existence. Each soldier of an unseen army had rendered this event possible by their sacrifice and then men of today think Christ was caught off guard, by surprise, and failed the test when taken?? Even humanity with the precise knowledge and perfect information about the events of this night would have prepared themselves to pass this test!! From the Garden of Eden to the Garden of Gethsemane was a great distance, but each step had been totally planned for and prepared. The Creator of the Universe, mankind, and everything in between with a history of perfection in every detail He performed would dictate in this night the type of perfection before seen in all His works, continued. There were no surprises, no lapses, nor any unforseens unprepared for or not considered. The trophy designed from before time that would be laid at the feet of His Redeemed was being made this night and the entire perfection of Deity was on display!! No mistakes!! No surprises!! No circumstances that Satan nor all the imps of Hell might devise had not been rendered empty, for the Son of God was going to sacrifice His life’s blood for payment that had now come due, He was going to die!!
It is easy to understand why the Lord of Glory had not destroyed Judas, why the tree on which He was to be impaled had not been destroyed, and why the Roman soldier that was to pierce His side had been allowed life to remain in his body from the womb of his mother. All of these were for the “glory that would await Him.” This was not selfishness seen to the point of ridiculousness, this was selflessness to the point of perfection!! This was God at His finest expression, something man has had a lot of trouble comprehending. No dark, doomsday theories, no disappointments, no challenges to His nature had produced in Him anything that would at any time give thought to not “doing the will of My Father, in Heaven.” Christ Jesus our Lord was moving on to a job greater than sacrifice, greater than His triumphant journey to the Hadean world, and greater than His return to the Ancient of Days; and nothing nor no one would or could stop Him. Christ was moving on to the greatest work of His gift to His bride; He was going to become her High Priest in Heaven, Her means of making it safely to the abode of righteousness, and Her acclimation announced before Her purchase; “Come ye blessed of My Father and inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.” How could He ever have envisioned such a delightful address IF He would not have died on Calvary’s stake??
How many nights had He spent in prayer with His Father? How often had He predicted through His prophets His death, and how much had He put into making this moment a truth to have given up in face of predictable odds?? Yes, He could predict what was to happen!! So, in what tones did He give this message to Paul, the apostle? Answer: VICTORIOUS!! Having now been reigning at the right hand of the Father for about forty years, Christ would be riddled with joy, enthusiasm, and finality. Only they who have lived moments can fully express them, and such would be the case with the Lord of Glory.
What a thrill this must have been to His courageous apostle! To hear this eloquence and feel this tenderness must have been unearthly!! To have been thought worthy to have shared with Christ this most touching of moments must have been beyond understanding, yet He shares this thrill with us!!

The Last Week of Jesus Life Part 36

In 1st Corinthians 5:6-8 we have an admonition not taken too seriously by some: “Your glorying is not good. Know you not that a little leaven leavens the whole lump? Purge out therefore the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, as you are unleavened, For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us: Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.” So serious were some of the participants of the passover feast in ridding themselves of any leaven that they demanded new vessels both with which to bake the bread and partake. They paid close attention to this admonition that many of us overlook and that to our damnation.
In every respect, every demonstration of piety should be paid to the partaking of the emblems that were given to us as typical of the body and blood of Christ. In every sign or type, the thing being signified or patterned points to something beyond itself and must be understood to have certain properties consistent to what it is that it is prophetically showing. Bread, could have been an emblem apt enough to show the body of our Lord, but the Holy Spirit wanted us to see more concerning the disposition of the participant. We must partake in sincerity and truth, the very opposite of malice and wickedness. The very taste of the bread was at the very first instructive, it was unleavened! As the symbol shows by taste the extreme concern to show the purity of Him of whom we partake, so the attitude of the partaker. He who comes to this remembrance of the offering of the body of Christ with malice or ill-will against anyone present or absent shows the lack of respect demanded for the offering of His body, itself. Again, if he come with a profligate or sinful life, we are damning and judging ourselves for we have not determined to understand the type of life this bread represents!! “He is eating and drinking damnation to himself, not discerning the purpose the Lord had in mind when He sacrificed His body.” Like represents like!! Christ died that all sin might be destroyed and the absolute purity of Christ life denies anyone actively “continuing in sin.” The clearest light should not be able to discern sin, only truth. The Law of truth which it represents, can never show itself anything in common with sin or profligacy. Had the bread used been one of common kind, it would might have allowed mockery, but His was of the purest of the pure. For this bread communicates to the participant a story of utmost sinlessness, and as it is rarely used (as a type of bread) its representation is deeply more impressive. The sign and the thing signified have an agreement so that to destroy one you must destroy the other, not only in correspondence but also in influence!! Unleavened bread MUST be the type bread used in this offering to God! It is the only type bread that is fitting what it represents!!
In like manner, the wine. Most denominations use fermented wine. It is here, it could be argued, that the communicate gets his first taste of an influence not of his nature. It is man-made, not God made!! The influence attending the cup is not only adulterated by making the wine intoxicating, but shows the demeaning disrespect to Him who’s blood it represents! Imagine coming into the presence of Deity, by invitation mind you, and showing the detestable disrespect and lack of appreciation man-made wine brings!! Since no one who partakes is sinless, why would we practice adultery in substance. Children, imbeciles, nor those without control of the mind are invited to this celebration. If the symbol of the container in which the blood was sealed be without contamination, how could the blood which was contained not be as pure? How improper and indecent to mock the Lord of Glory in His celebratory remembrance!! How could we lift this fruit of the vine to our lips if these lips were mocking the truth that the “life of the flesh is in the blood: and God has given it to us upon the altar of sacrifice to make an atonement for our souls: for it is the blood that makes an atonement for the soul!!” Leviticus 17:11 Let him who enters into the presence of God fear, but let him fear in a far greater sense who has the audacity to enter here with the contamination of sin and its fruits on his lips!! The church at Corinth was busy setting itself up as supporting those who practiced sin instead of falling on its knees before a holy God fearful to enter into His presence!! and there they had to come every first day of the week!! Can you imagine the pain and insult to the great apostle to the Gentiles when an assembly he was solely responsible for bringing into existence partook in such fashion!!

The Last Week of Jesus Life Part 35

“Then He took the cup.” Oh! How the Father must have loved Him!! What had been prophesied in every covenant as a means of sacrifice that would appease the righteousness of God, He held in His hands. Rivers of sacrificial blood had flowed from the sacrificial altars of the Judaical and Patriarchal altars, yet no sin had ever been literally forgiven. “the blood of bulls and goats and the ashes of a heifer could not take away sin,” but when the “blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, He purged (purified, pronounced clean in a levitical sense) our consciences from dead works (see Hebrews 6:1) to serve the living God.” Hebrews 9:14 And, of course, it is in baptism in water that this purification, purifying, answer of a good conscience is located. 1 Peter 3:21
Everything done in the “work of the Father” involved the Holy Spirit. It was by the Spirit Mary was “found with child” (not in a vulgar sense, in the sense that the Spirit Himself functioned in that capacity), it was by the Spirit (the finger of God, Luke 11:20), Jesus worked miracles, so it was “by the Spirit” Jesus, as the human sacrifice, was Deity offered by the Holy Spirit to God, and it was “by the Spirit” He was raised from the dead, 1 Peter 3:18. In every facet of the work of Christ, the Holy Spirit was, along with the Father, an integral part!!
The hands that “made all things” was now in the process of “making all things new!” Revelation 21:5. Not only would His blood ratify (establish) the covenant with the Father, it would also purify conscience, AND ransom our souls. Matthew 20:28 The first covenant was dedicated (inaugurated) with blood, it would be impossible to inaugurate His new covenant without the sacrifice of His blood!!
What He held in His hands was the “fruit of the vine,” (a new phraseology begun by our Lord). This announced a new covenant that was being brought into existence. The cup and the container were two different things. The cup was high quality grape juice, non-fermented, a product yielded from God’;s creation, not man’s invention, of a consistency, color, and texture that reminds anyone of the blood of the human body. As He stated of the bread, “Take, eat,” here with the cup, He commands, “drink you all of it.” It used to be and may still be that the Roman Catholics do not partake of the cup in their mess called the mass, but the very essence of this institution is the blood, the very reason for remembrance is the blood, the very obligation to remember is the blood. All men have flesh, but none have carried in their bodies the blood of the Son of God!! Life is in the blood, the sacred duty of each child of God to show honor and allegiance to Christ. The cup causes all of us to know that having been dead in sin, we are now, again, forever alive in Christ!! Isn’t it strange that the denomination that spends so much time showing off about the cross spend no time allowing their participants to partake of the very representative of His blood??!!
Pity the man or woman who comes to this Table with malice or malcontent. They who set around them is their family. As sin is dark, we must restrict sin and think on things that bring purity and subjugation instead of enmity and murder. 1 John 3:11-12 The clearest of hearts are those who esteem the light far superior to darkness and should never enter on holy ground. This contempt countermands the blessing received. If Moses could not come to the Lord with his shoes on his feet for fear of dirt or contamination, soiling or germination, or restriction brought about by communication with anything of the earth, imagine how we, who hold His sacrifice with the severest passion and the glorious liberty given us from sin as the richest invitation offer to enter the gates of light, that for which purchase has been made, contaminated with a heart of ill favor? Such a holy invitation should cause us to never invite sin or lack of respect to attend our partaking. THIS IS THE CUP OF THE LORD!!
No wonder Judas was asked to leave before this institution was inaugurated. No wonder the washing of the disciples preceded this overture of love. Imagine being invited around the table of Deity to partake with Him who was sacrificed, that had gained you joint heir ship and enter with the wrong heart. Nothing equals this invitation. No one comes unattended by mind or conscience of worldy things, but ALL obstructions of any kind must be removed for He who we come before “who can read the very thoughts and intents of the heart” is our host!! Enter with fear and joy!