Lord’s Supper Part 2

•13/04/2017 • Leave a Comment

As they continued eating, Jesus took a loaf, and after saying a blessing, he broke it, and giving it to the disciples, he said: “Take, eat. This means my body.”

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Date and time

The pattern established by Jesus helps determine not only the frequency but also the date and time of the Memorial. He introduced the observance after sundown on Nisan 14, 33 C.E., according to the Bible’s lunar calendar.  We continue to observe the Memorial on this date each year, following the practice of early Christians.

Although Nisan 14, 33 C.E. was a Friday, the anniversary of that date might fall on a different day of the week each year. We determine the date that Nisan 14 falls each year using the same method as was used in the time of Jesus, rather than applying the method used for the modern Jewish calendar.

Bread and wine

Unleavened bread and red wine…

For the new observance, Jesus used unleavened bread and red wine that were left over from the Passover meal.  Following his example, we use bread without leaven or added ingredients and plain red wine, not grape juice or wine that has been sweetened, fortified, or spiced.

Some denominations use bread with leavening or yeast, but leaven is often used in the Bible as a symbol of sin and corruption.  Thus, only bread free from leaven and other additives can be a fitting symbol for Christ’s sinless body.  Another practice not supported by the Bible is that of substituting unfermented grape juice for wine. Some churches do so because of their unscriptural prohibition against consuming alcohol.

 

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Lord’s Supper…..

•12/04/2017 • Leave a Comment

When you come together in one place, it is not really to eat the Lord’s Evening Meal.

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We adhere strictly to the Bible in our observance of the Lord’s Evening Meal, which is also known as “the Lord’s supper,” the Last Supper, and the Memorial of Jesus’ death. In contrast, many beliefs and practices of other denominations in connection with this observance are not based on the Bible.

Purpose

The purpose of the Lord’s Evening Meal is to remember Jesus, showing our gratitude for his sacrifice in our behalf. The observance is not a sacrament, or a religious practice that imparts merit such as grace or the forgiveness of sins.  The Bible teaches that our sins can be forgiven, not by a religious rite, but only through faith in Jesus.

How often?

Jesus commanded his disciples to commemorate the Lord’s Evening Meal, but he did not specifically say how often. Some feel that it should be observed monthly, while others observe it weekly, daily, several times each day, or as often as a person feels is appropriate.  However, here are some factors that should be considered.

Jesus instituted the Lord’s Evening Meal on the date of the Jewish Passover, and he died later that same day.  This was no coincidence. The Scriptures compare Jesus’ sacrifice to that of the Passover lamb.  The Passover was observed once each year.  Likewise, the Memorial of Jesus’ death was observed once each year by the early Christians, and Jehovah’s Witnesses follow that Bible-based pattern.

Why were there money changers in Jerusalem’s temple?

•09/04/2017 • Leave a Comment

Shortly before his death, Jesus addressed a gross injustice taking place in the temple. The Bible reports: “Jesus . . . threw out all those selling and buying in the temple, and overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves. And he said to them: ‘It is written, “My house will be called a house of prayer,” but you are making it a cave of robbers.’”

First-century Jews and Jewish proselytes traveled from many lands and cities to the temple in Jerusalem, bringing with them coins from their local area. Yet, they were required to use acceptable currency to pay the annual temple tax, to buy sacrificial animals, and to make other voluntary offerings. Thus, money changers would, for a fee, convert coins of different origins and denominations into the required currency. As Jewish festivals approached, these money changers would set up stalls in the temple’s Court of the Gentiles.

Jesus’ criticism that the money changers were turning the temple into “a cave of robbers” evidently indicates that the charges for their services were exorbitant.

Remember Jesus’ Death

•06/04/2017 • Leave a Comment

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Keep doing this in remembrance of me.” (Luke 22:19) Jesus commanded that we commemorate his death, and every year millions of people gather with Jehovah’s Witnesses to observe this important event. We invite you to attend with us this year.

April 11th 2017….

Jehovah Witnesses…..

 

In the Name of the Holy Spirit….

•03/04/2017 • Leave a Comment

All Scripture is inspired of God and beneficial for teaching, for reproving, for setting things straight, for disciplining in righteousness,

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What does it mean to be baptized in the name of the holy spirit? As noted earlier, those hearing Peter on the day of Pentecost were aware of the holy spirit. In fact, they could see proof right before their eyes that God continued to use the holy spirit. Peter was one of those who had been “filled with holy spirit and [who had] started to speak with different tongues.” The expression “in the name of” need not imply the name of a person. Today, many things are done “in the name of the government,” which is not a person. They are done by the authority of the government. Similarly, one who is baptized in the name of the holy spirit recognizes that the holy spirit is, not a person, but Jehovah’s active force. And such baptism means that one acknowledges the role the holy spirit plays in God’s purpose.

Have you not come to know about the holy spirit through studying the Bible? For example, you have come to appreciate that the Scriptures were written under the inspiration of holy spirit. As you made spiritual progress, you likely gained a deeper appreciation of the fact that ‘the Father in heaven gives holy spirit to those asking him,’ including to you.  You have probably seen holy spirit working in your life. On the other hand, if you are yet to be baptized in the name of the holy spirit, Jesus’ assurance that the Father gives holy spirit means that you have real blessings ahead as you receive that spirit.

It is evident that today, too, Jehovah guides and leads the Christian congregation through his spirit. That spirit also helps us individually in our daily activities. Our having been baptized in the name of the holy spirit involves recognizing its role in our life and gratefully cooperating with that spirit. Some may wonder, though, how we can live up to a dedication made to Jehovah and how the holy spirit is involved.

In the Name of the Son

•02/04/2017 • Leave a Comment

For the love the Christ has compels us, because this is what we have concluded, that one man died for all; so, then, all had died.  And he died for all so that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for him who died for them and was raised up.

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Think again, though, about what Peter said to the crowd. He stressed accepting Jesus, which is directly linked to being baptized “in the name . . . of the Son.” Why was that vital then, and why is it vital now? Well, accepting Jesus and being baptized in his name means recognizing his role in our relationship with the Creator. Jesus had to be hanged on a torture stake in order to remove the curse of the Law from the Jews; however, his death had a greater benefit.  He provided the ransom sacrifice that all mankind needed.  To that end, Jesus endured injustice, reviling, torture, and finally death. How much do you appreciate his sacrifice? Imagine you were a 12-year-old boy traveling on the Titanic, the ship that struck an iceberg and sank in 1912. You try to jump into a lifeboat, but it is full. Then a man on the lifeboat kisses his wife, jumps back onto the deck, and puts you into the lifeboat. How do you feel? Certainly you are grateful to him! You can understand how one boy who really had that experience felt. Yet, Jesus did much more for you. He died so that you can gain endless life.

How did you feel upon learning what the Son of God did for you?  Likely you felt deep gratitude. That helped to move you to dedicate your life to God and to ‘live no longer for yourself, but for him who died for you.’ Being baptized in the name of the Son means acknowledging what Jesus has done for you and accepting his authority as “the Chief Agent of life.”  Previously, you had no relationship with the Creator, and actually you had no valid hope. But by exercising faith in the shed blood of Jesus Christ and being baptized, you now have a relationship with the Father.  “You who were once alienated and enemies because your minds were on the works that were wicked,” wrote the apostle Paul, “God now has again reconciled by means of Jesus’ fleshly body through his death, in order to present you holy and unblemished.”

Though you were baptized in the name of the Son, you are keenly aware of your own sinful inclinations. That awareness is helpful every day. For example, if someone offends you, do you bear in mind that both of you are sinners? You both need God’s forgiveness, and you should both be forgiving.  To emphasize this need, Jesus gave an illustration: The master of a slave canceled his debt of ten thousand talents (60 million denarii). Later, that slave would not release his fellow slave who owed him 100 denarii. Jesus then made this point: Jehovah will not forgive the one who does not forgive his brother.  Yes, being baptized in the name of the Son means recognizing Jesus’ authority and striving to follow his example and teachings, including that of being willing to forgive others.

Being imperfect, you are not able to imitate Jesus fully. Nevertheless, in line with your wholehearted dedication to God, you want to imitate Jesus to the best of your ability. This involves continuing to work at putting away the old personality and putting on the new. When you come to respect a friend, you likely try to learn from his example and good qualities. Likewise, you want to learn from Christ and imitate him.

There is another way you can show that you understand what is involved in having been baptized in the name of the Son. God “subjected all things under Jesus’ feet, and made him head over all things to the congregation.”  Thus, you need to respect the way Jesus directs those dedicated to Jehovah. Christ is using imperfect humans in the local congregation, particularly the spiritually older men, the appointed elders. The provision of having such men appointed is “with a view to the readjustment of the holy ones, . . . for the building up of the body of the Christ.”  Even if an imperfect human makes a mistake, Jesus as King of the heavenly Kingdom is able to handle the matter in his time and way. Do you believe that?

Again, some have not yet dedicated themselves to Jehovah and been baptized. If you have not, can you see from the above that recognizing the Son is the reasonable and appreciative thing for you to do? Being baptized in the name of the Son will bring you in line to receive grand blessings.

In the Name of the Father

•31/03/2017 • Leave a Comment

This is why I say to you, the Kingdom of God will be taken from you and be given to a nation producing its fruits.

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As noted, those who responded to Peter’s discourse worshipped Jehovah and had previously had a relationship with him. They had been trying to follow his Law, which was the reason those from other lands had come to Jerusalem. However, God had just made a significant change in his dealings. He rejected the Jews as his special nation; their keeping the Law was no longer the means to obtain his approval. If those listeners wanted an ongoing relationship with Jehovah, they needed something else.

It certainly was not to turn away from Jehovah, their Life-Giver.  No, those responding to Peter’s explanation could see now more than ever that Jehovah was a benevolent Father. He sent the Messiah to deliver them and was willing to forgive even those to whom Peter could say: “Let all the house of Israel know for a certainty that God made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you impaled.” Actually, those applying Peter’s words would now have even greater reason to appreciate what the Father had done for all who wanted a relationship with God!

Indeed, those Jews and proselytes could now see that a relationship with Jehovah involved recognizing him as the Provider of salvation by means of Jesus. You can understand, then, why they repented of their sins, including that of knowingly or unknowingly sharing in killing Jesus. And it is equally understandable that during the following days “they continued devoting themselves to the teaching of the apostles.”  They could and would want to “approach with freeness of speech to the throne of undeserved kindness.”

Today, millions of people from various backgrounds have learned from the Bible the truth about Jehovah.  Some were atheists or deists, but they became convinced of the existence of a Creator with whom they could have a meaningful relationship. Others worshipped a triune god or various idols. They learned that Jehovah alone is the almighty God, and they now address him by his personal name. That is in line with the fact that Jesus said his disciples should be baptized in the name of the Father.

They have also learned that they inherited sin from Adam.  This was something new that they had to accept as true. Such ones can be likened to a sick man who was unaware of his illness. He may have had some symptoms, such as an occasional pain. Yet, having no diagnosis of a specific disease, he might have imagined that he was basically in good health. The facts proved otherwise, however.  What if he got an accurate diagnosis of his illness? Would he not be wise to seek and accept a known, proven, and effective treatment? Similarly, upon learning the truth about inherited sin, many have accepted the Bible’s “diagnosis” and have come to understand that God is offering the “cure.” Yes, all who are alienated from the Father need to turn to the One who can “cure” them.

If you have already dedicated your life to Jehovah God and have become a baptized Christian, you know what a wonderful thing it is to have a relationship with him. You can now appreciate how loving your Father, Jehovah, is.  Although Adam and Eve had sinned against him, God took the initiative so that their descendants including us could have a good relationship with him. In doing that, God had to face the pain of seeing his dear Son suffer and die. Does knowing this not help us to recognize God’s authority and obey his commands out of love? If you have not yet done so, you have reasons to dedicate yourself to God and be baptized.