I pray that your hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love, and attaining to all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the knowledge of the mystery of God, both of the Father and of Christ, 3 in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. COLOSSIANS 2:2-3
John the Baptist has witnessed this of Jesus,“Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” Jesus has fulfilled the Scriptures foretold by the prophets on this Lamb of God: “He has been slaughtered as of a lamb without blemish and without spot for the sins of many.” Jesus has shed His blood: for the remission (forgiveness) of our sins, and the establishment of the New Covenant in His blood.
Today’s Scriptures are quoted from the Holy Bible New King James Version (NKJV) (boldness and italics added to highlight some verses)
56 But all this was done that the Scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled.”
The following account took place on the first day of the Feast of the Unleavened Bread, also known as the Passover, this greatest and most important of the Jewish feasts, which ever brought a great host of pilgrims to Jerusalem, was kept in the first month of the Jewish year (Nisan), from the 15th of the month, the day of full moon, to the 21st. Roughly, this corresponded to the end of our March.
Jesus instituted the Holy Communion and told the disciples, “For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.” Matthew 26:28
32 The place in the Scripture which he read was this:
“He was led as a sheep to the slaughter;
And as a lamb before its shearer is silent,
So He opened not His mouth.
1 Peter 1:18-20
18 knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot. 20 He indeed was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you.
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;
The chastisement for our peace was upon Him,
And by 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;
He was led as a lamb to the slaughter,
And as a sheep before its shearers is silent,
So He opened not His mouth.
8 He was taken from prison and from judgment,
And who will declare His generation?
For He was cut off from the land of the living;
For the transgressions of My people He was stricken.
Taking the Holy communion is a faith in action. When I partake the body and blood of Jesus I receive from Him what I have otherwise overlooked and taken for granted in my busyness an preoccupation with other matters and things. It is a spiritual time. A time of spiritual focus. I like this verse from Paul in 1 Corinthians 6:17 which declares this truth: A person can be joined to Jesus in the spirit. “But the person who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with Him.”
Jesus has taught that His disciple can and must remain in Him as a branch remains in the vine. “Remain in Me and I will remain in you…But if you remain in Me and My words remain in you, you may ask anything you want, and it will be granted! ” (John 15:1-8)
How can this be accomplished? I believe it is through the Holy Communion as an act of faith and by this faith we receive as we read His words with the Holy Communion. Jesus Himself has said this, “Anyone who eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in Me and I in him.” (John 6:56)
I always read the Bible as I partake the Holy Communion. The Lord sends His words and teaches me with His Spirit as I join to Him in my spirit through the Holy Communion.
Today I received His words on parenting as I opened the Bible after I prepared the bread and the cup. I always read the Bible before I partake the Holy Communion. the passage from Luke 9 described the transfiguration of Jesus on the mountain and the healing of a demon-possessed boy after Jesus and His three disciples came down from the mountain the next day.
Here is how the demon-possessed boy was described:
“An evil spirit keeps seizing him, making him scream, It throws him into convulsions so that he foams at the mouth. It batters him and hardly ever leaves him alone.” (Luke 9:39)
When the Bible opened to this passage and description of a young boy, I recalled one event I witnessed in the toy department of a supermarket yesterday. A very young boy suddenly screamed and gained super-human strength, kicked and beat his dad and threw a violent tantrum. he also battered himself. He kept screaming, “I want that! I want that! Give me! Buy! I want that! I want!!! You deaf? Hear me!!!” His mouth foamed and his eyes turned violent like he was another person inside, not an innocent little boy but an evil spiritual presence. He threw himself on the ground and started twisting his body like that of a viper. A cunning and evil beast looked out of his eyes. The dad was totally embarrassed and did not know what to do and where to turn. Everyone else pretended not to hear or see this commotion. The mother was presumably in the grocery section and did not take part in this scene.
Jesus commented on the cause of this failure in parenting: “You faithless and corrupt people!” (Luke 9:4) Faithless goes with corruption.By taking their children away from Jesus the parents have chosen to expose them to a faithless and corrupt world, possessed and dominated by the evil spirits.
Jesus has also given His solution: “Bring your son here.” By bringing their children to Jesus they have safely cut off such unholy ties with the evil spirits and put themselves under the holy, safe and unpolluted protection of Jesus in the Kingdom of God.
What is required to bring the children back to God’s protection? The parents are required two things. LET US LOOK AT TODAY’S DICTIONARY:
a corrupt society: immoral, depraved, degenerate, reprobate, vice-ridden, perverted, debauched, dissolute, dissipated, bad, wicked, evil, base, sinful, ungodly, unholy, irreligious, profane, impious, impure; informal warped. ANTONYMS moral.
a faithless society: unbelieving, nonbelieving, irreligious, disbelieving, agnostic, atheistic; pagan, heathen.
God wants FAITH and MORAL virtues in the parents.
Why do children open themselves to demon-possession? Because of the above prevalent culture and value of the societies. When the hearts of the children turn to such values they turn away from their parents. The coming of Jesus turns the hearts of the children back to their parents and vice versa.
In the last verse of the last chapter in the last book of the Old Testament, prophet Malachi spoke this prophecy about Jesus:
“His preaching will turn the hearts of fathers to their children, and the hearts of children to their fathers. Otherwise I will come and strike the land with a curse.” (Malachi 4:6)
This morning while taking Holy Communion I opened my Bible and the Lord spoke through Exodus 24, 25 and 26.
The key word is the “pattern” (standard that denotes setting apart for holiness) of God.
All Scriptures are quoted from the Holy Bible New Living Translation (NLT) unless otherwise noted.
Exodus 25: 40 “Be sure that you make everything according to the pattern I have shown you here on the mountain.
Exodus 26: 30 “Set up this Tabernacle according to the pattern you were shown on the mountain.
When did God give this pattern? After He has established the Covenant in blood with His people:
8 Then Moses took the blood from the basins and splattered it over the people, declaring, “Look, this blood confirms the covenant the Lord has made with you in giving you these instructions.”
Where did God give this holy pattern? To whom He has given the pattern? It is notable that God did not choose to give to just anyone His pattern. He narrowed down His choice from the whole congregation to a group of elites (appointed religious leaders and tribal hereditary leaders) who were called to climb the mountain to commemorate the Covenant and were allowed to eat the ceremonial meal, to two (Moses and his successor Joshua), and and finally chose only one man -Moses.
24 Then the Lord instructed Moses: “Come up here to me, and bring along Aaron, Nadab, Abihu, and seventy of Israel’s elders. All of you must worship from a distance.
9 Then Moses, Aaron, Nadab, Abihu, and the seventy elders of Israel climbed up the mountain. 11 …these nobles…In fact, they ate a covenant meal, eating and drinking in His presence!
12 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Come up to me on the mountain. Stay there, and I will give you the tablets of stone on which I have inscribed the instructions and commands so you can teach the people.” 13 So Moses and his assistant Joshua set out, and Moses climbed up the mountain of God.
15 Then Moses climbed up the mountain, and the cloud covered it. 16 And the glory of the Lord settled down on Mount Sinai, and the cloud covered it for six days. On the seventh day the Lord called to Moses from inside the cloud. 17 To the Israelites at the foot of the mountain, the glory of the Lord appeared at the summit like a consuming fire. 18 Then Moses disappeared into the cloud as he climbed higher up the mountain. He remained on the mountain forty days and forty nights.
Why Moses? Moses was a man of faith. He saw the future (Jesus the Messiah King and Priest)It was by faith that Moses left the land of Egypt, not fearing the king’s anger. He kept right on going because he kept his eyes on the one who is invisible.
Hebrews 3:2 For he was faithful to God, who appointed him, just as Moses served faithfully when he was entrusted with God’s entire house.
Hebrews 3:5 Moses was certainly faithful in God’s house as a servant. His work was an illustration of the truths God would reveal later.They serve in a system of worship that is only a copy, a shadow of the real one in heaven. For when Moses was getting ready to build the Tabernacle, God gave him this warning: “Be sure that you make everything according to the pattern I have shown you here on the mountain.”
This morning I learned something new while taking the Holy Communion. My Bible opened to Matthew 26:26-28. Jesus instituted the Holy Communion with His disciples.
As they were eating, Jesus took some bread and blessed it. Then He broke it in pieces and gave it to the disciples, saying, “Take this and eat it, for this is My body.” And He took a cup of wine and gave thanks to God for it. He gave it to them and said, “Each of you drink from it, for this is My blood, which confirms the covenant between God and His people. It is poured out as a sacrifice to forgive the sins of many.”
I knelt there and marveled at the teaching from Jesus Himself. Why did He open this page of the Bible? Because I was taking the Holy Communion. So I am back to basic. The bread which is His body. The cup which is His blood. He led me to pray through a flow of Bible verses as the verses came to me in my spirit. He has restored my memory of verses.
The power of the body and the blood of Jesus came to me through His words. The true meaning of the Holy Communion: the body and the blood of Jesus came to life. His words are life and spirit (John 6:63). The true meaning of the New Covenant in His blood. The forgiveness of sins and redemption for His people. The holiness made possible for all who believe. The holy words God put in our hearts and write on our minds. Awesome. I cannot comprehend how this can be possible. But all these have come true in the heavenly realm and I can appropriate without the need to fathom the mystery (unlike what Nicodemus uttered, ‘how can this be possible?’). By faith I have believed and received every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus. (Ephesians 1:3)
Spiritual Application Note: It is supernaturally well to walk by the Spirit and not by flesh. I could not find my Giant Print Edition Holy Bible (New Living Translation) for two weeks after I returned. Two days ago I was led in my spirit to command it (by the authority in the name of Jesus ) to show itself. Then I climbed the stairs to a wooden cupboard, opened it (like I have done several times before), and looked inside. I had pulled out many Bibles before but it was not there. This time after I commanded it to show itself I did exactly what I did before. But this time when my hand reached inside I pulled out this lost Bible! Hallelujah!
On another note, after I shared in my previous blog post how dusty my house had become, yesterday afternoon the volunteer cleaners came! They did the remaining cleaning and completed the task by six in the evening. They repaired the lights and put in bright white lights too. They did not want to charge me a fee. In the end I only paid for the cost of the materials. I also decided to give a love gift to their children who are still studying in college. This morning I walked down the stairs with confidence in the bright lights and knelt on a clean floor at a clean coffee table. I really marvel at the greatness of the holy God who likes details and standards. He took the steps to provide what He likes. I like too. I am a happy Christian.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Here are some of the all powerful, comforting and uplifting verses which came to me from Hebrews: (All scriptures are quoted from the New Living Translation Holy Bible unless otherwise noted)
10 5 That is why, when Christ[a] came into the world, he said to God,7 Then I said, ‘Look, I have come to do your will, O God—
as is written about me in the Scriptures.’”
9 Then he said, “Look, I have come to do your will.” He cancels the first covenant in order to put the second into effect. 10 For God’s will was for us to be made holy by the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ, once for all time.
12 But our High Priest offered himself to God as a single sacrifice for sins, good for all time. Then he sat down in the place of honor at God’s right hand.13 There he waits until his enemies are humbled and made a footstool under his feet. 14 For by that one offering he forever made perfect those who are being made holy.
15 And the Holy Spirit also testifies that this is so. For he says,
17 Then he says,
“I will never again remember
their sins and lawless deeds.”[e]
18 And when sins have been forgiven, there is no need to offer any more sacrifices.
19 And so, dear brothers and sisters,[f] we can boldly enter heaven’s Most Holy Place because of the blood of Jesus. 20 By his death,[g] Jesus opened a new and life-giving way through the curtain into the Most Holy Place.
21 And since we have a great High Priest who rules over God’s house, 22 let us go right into the presence of God with sincere hearts fully trusting him. For our guilty consciences have been sprinkled with Christ’s blood to make us clean, and our bodies have been washed with pure water.
23 Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep his promise. 24 Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. 25 And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.
32 Think back on those early days when you first learned about Christ.[j] Remember how you remained faithful even though it meant terrible suffering.
35 So do not throw away this confident trust in the Lord. Remember the great reward it brings you! 36 Patient endurance is what you need now, so that you will continue to do God’s will. Then you will receive all that he has promised.
12:22 No, you have come to Mount Zion, to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to countless thousands of angels in a joyful gathering. 23 You have come to the assembly of God’s firstborn children, whose names are written in heaven. You have come to God himself, who is the judge over all things. You have come to the spirits of the righteous ones in heaven who have now been made perfect. 24 You have come to Jesus, the one who mediates the new covenant between God and people, and to the sprinkled blood, which speaks of forgiveness instead of crying out for vengeance like the blood of Abel.”
I do faith in action. Today I continue on the subject of taking Holy Communion. This is my personal testimony. Do not feel condemned if you experience otherwise. Because I have been away for a long time from this place the place has become dusty and not as tidy. When houses and things are not in use for sometime things gather and need to be cleansed, both physically and spiritually.
The first night things happened as I was unpacking. I bumped my head twice, once on the treadmill and then on the bathroom handle. I was surprised as it had not happened to me for a long time. I became alert after that. As I arranged for the place to be thoroughly cleaned physically I cleansed the spiritual scene myself in separate acts of faith.
One of my normal supernatural faith in action is taking Holy Communion. I have written on this in my previous blog post.
Today as I was preparing to take my Holy Communion, I was reminded of the furniture. I often kneel down and pray at a low glass and wood coffee table. The floor tiles had been mopped once by the cleaner/helper. But the coffee table is dusty and the floor has been exposed to the elements in the last two weeks and are dusty too. Yesterday my spirit received this prompting but I was in a hurry and my mind was on the unresolved internet access issue involving my new MacBook. So I just took the Holy Communion anyway without cleaning the furniture.
But the prompting came again today. This time I was wide awake and repented for my own treating God’s words and God lightly. My Bible opened to Leviticus 13:1-59 wherein God commanded Moses to deal with serous skin diseases and contamination of clothing. The clothing contaminated by mildew was to be completely destroyed by fire regardless its value. The priest was to put the affected item in quarantine for seven days and destroyed them if the contaminated area had spread. I asked the Lord what the key teaching is. I received the word: Be serious about the Lord’s standard of cleanliness. God has nor changed His standard.
This word, “seriousness” rings in my ears. I have not been serious over many matters like whether the floor or the table I use are clean or not. Once because I was in a hurry I did not bother to dry the little saucer I used to place the biscuit for the Holy Communion. My attitude was not serious about the matter of God.
The traditional priest is careful and treats the Holy Communion and all utensils and furniture with care, in reverential fear of the Lord. What makes Christian today assumes that we can just do what we like and treat God as an ordinary common man in the street who does not bother with such matters? The reminder is “Beware”. God is holy.
When coming to the holy presence of God we must be serious. Holiness is a serious attitude before God. Holiness involves the whole preparation (physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual) to come to meet with the holy God. The ancient people of Israel treated God’s matters with carelessness which really meant they treated God (as revealed in His words) with unbelief and contempt. And they were slain.
When we come to God we minister to Him as royal and holy priests:
1 Peter 2:5 New Living Translation (NLT) 5 And you are living stones that God is building into his spiritual temple. What’s more, you are his holy priests.[a] Through the mediation of Jesus Christ, you offer spiritual sacrifices that please God.
- 2:5 Greek holy priesthood.
Old Testament teaching:
New Testament teaching:
I do some ritualistic actions like taking the Holy Communion daily without fail. I do it because I am convicted to do it. I take the time to remember what the Lord Jesus has done. I take the time to read and proclaim the words of God. I take the time to listen to the Lord, pray and intercede as the Spirit of the Lord leads me. It is always a person time between my Lord and me. My intercession during the Holy Communion time is always for a small group of close ones: my family and loved ones, my former house group (a few families). Why do I limit my prayer to this tiny group? I have no answer or explanation. I just know this is a private personal time and I hold up to my Lord those who are dearest to my heart at this time. I believe the Lord’s Spirit has led me. This private time with my Lord is always a very precious experience. I rise early, usually well before others rise. I prepare the cup and the bread. I identify a spot at the living room where I can kneel down and pray. I kneel down. I take the Holy Communion. I intercede and petition. When traveling I confine myself to my room. It works for me just the same. I always have a spot where I can commune with my Lord in privacy. Taking the bread and the cup is a private matter for me when living among people who do not do this practice. Have my prayers been answered and granted? My answer is yes. I have no doubt that the Lord has answered and granted my requests. Have I ever grown tired of this ‘ritual’? My answer is no. I have done this for a long time and I have always encountered my Lord afresh in this morning hour. Never tired. If someone does not do this will their prayers ad petitions be answered and granted? I have no answer. That someone has to answer himself. I enjoy my time this way as I kneel before the Lord and pour out my heart to prepare myself and my loved ones for another day. I cannot remember how long have I been doing this. It’s not important. The fact that I am doing it today matters. Today is the day that really matters. Today I stay close to my Lord. This matters. Is this the only way to stay close to Him? I have no answer for you. I have only my own experience to stand on. One thing I can testify is that taking the bread and the cup has a beneficial spiritual significance for those who believe. For that matters, Christianity is spiritual. I am speaking out of my own personal experience. So there is no condemnation for anyone who does not believe in the spirituality of Christianity. Two things are fundamental truth in Christianity: God is Spirit. We live by faith. Taking the Holy Communion is my faith in the unseen God in action. Here are my favorite Bible verses from Jesus in John 6: 35 Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.” 51 “I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats this bread will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.” 54 Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day. 55 For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink. 56 Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in Me, and I in them. 57 Just as the living Father sent Me and I live because of the Father, so the one who feeds on Me will live because of Me.
Walking with Jesus in His last three days journey on earth is not easy as it gets heavier each day. Today we are surrounded by evil and murderous plot from the authorities, betrayals, empty vows and repeated denials from loved ones, armed intimidation, illegal arrest, humiliation, falsehood, greed and unjust conviction of the innocent. But Jesus remained calm and majestic. He is purposeful.
Is there any hope among His followers? Yes, there was one who walked by the spirit and not by flesh, a woman who really believed in what Jesus had prophesied. she came to Him prepared for His last journey before His death and burial. How unique and totally out of human reason and ration her action was. All the important people involved were walking by their human nature (flesh), and here came this spiritually discerning woman who was a nobody. Her act of faith is recorded in God’s record book.
There is also the institution of the Holy Communion, the body of Jesus and the blood of Jesus. How awesome!
Matthew 26 (American Standard Version)
2 Ye know that after two days the passover cometh, and the Son of man is delivered up to be crucified.3 Then were gathered together the chief priests, and the elders of the people, unto the court of the high priest, who was called Caiaphas;4 and they took counsel together that they might take Jesus by subtlety, and kill him.
5 But they said, Not during the feast, lest a tumult arise among people.6 Now when Jesus was in Bethany, in the house of Simon the leper,
7 there came unto him a woman having an alabaster cruse of exceeding precious ointment, and she poured it upon his head, as he sat at meat.
8 But when the disciples saw it, they had indignation, saying, To what purpose is this waste?9 For this ointment might have been sold for much, and given to the poor.
10 But Jesus perceiving it said unto them, Why trouble ye the woman? for she hath wrought a good work upon me.11 For ye have the poor always with you; but me ye have not always.12 For in that she poured this ointment upon my body, she did it to prepare me for burial.
13 Verily I say unto you, Wheresoever this gospel shall be preached in the whole world, that also which this woman hath done shall be spoken of for a memorial of her.
14 Then one of the twelve, who was called Judas Iscariot, went unto the chief priests,15 and said, What are ye willing to give me, and I will deliver him unto you? And they weighed unto him thirty pieces of silver.16 And from that time he sought opportunity to deliver him unto them.
17 Now on the first day of unleavened bread the disciples came to Jesus, saying, Where wilt thou that we make ready for thee to eat the passover?18 And he said, Go into the city to such a man, and say unto him, The Teacher saith, My time is at hand; I keep the passover at thy house with my disciples.19 And the disciples did as Jesus appointed them; and they made ready the passover.20 Now when even was come, he was sitting at meat with the twelve disciples;
21 and as they were eating, he said, Verily I say unto you, that one of you shall betray me.
22 And they were exceeding sorrowful, and began to say unto him every one, Is it I, Lord?
23 And he answered and said, He that dipped his hand with me in the dish, the same shall betray me.
24 The Son of man goeth, even as it is written of him: but woe unto that man through whom the Son of man is betrayed! good were it for that man if he had not been born.
25 And Judas, who betrayed him, answered and said, Is it I, Rabbi? He saith unto him, Thou hast said.
26 And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed, and brake it; and he gave to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body.
27 And he took a cup, and gave thanks, and gave to them, saying, Drink ye all of it;
28 for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many unto remission of sins.
29 But I say unto you, I shall not drink henceforth 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 unto the mount of Olives.
31 Then saith Jesus unto them, All ye shall be offended in me this night: for it is written, I will smite the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock shall be scattered abroad.
32 But after I am raised up, I will go before you into Galilee.
33 But Peter answered and said unto him, If all shall be offended in thee, I will never be offended.
34 Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, that this night, before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice.
35 Peter saith unto him, Even if I must die with thee, yet will I not deny thee. Likewise also said all the disciples.
36 Then cometh Jesus with them unto a place called Gethsemane, and saith unto his disciples, Sit ye here, while I go yonder and pray.
37 And he took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be sorrowful and sore troubled.
38 Then saith he unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: abide ye here, and watch with me.
39 And he went forward a little, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass away from me: nevertheless, not as I will, but as thou wilt.
40 And he cometh unto the disciples, and findeth them sleeping, and saith unto Peter, What, could ye not watch with me one hour?
41 Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.
42 Again a second time he went away, and prayed, saying, My Father, if this cannot pass away, except I drink it, thy will be done.
43 And he came again and found them sleeping, for their eyes were heavy.
44 And he left them again, and went away, and prayed a third time, saying again the same words.
45 Then cometh he to the disciples, and saith unto them, Sleep on now, and take your rest: behold, the hour is at hand, and the Son of man is betrayed into the hands of sinners.
46 Arise, let us be going: behold, he is at hand that betrayeth me.
47 And while he yet spake, lo, Judas, one of the twelve, came, and with him a great multitude with swords and staves, from the chief priest and elders of the people.
48 Now he that betrayed him gave them a sign, saying, Whomsoever I shall kiss, that is he: take him.
49 And straightway he came to Jesus, and said, Hail, Rabbi; and kissed him.
50 And Jesus said unto him, Friend, do that for which thou art come. Then they came and laid hands on Jesus, and took him.
51 And behold, one of them that were with Jesus stretched out his hand, and drew his sword, and smote the servant of the high priest, and struck off his ear.
52 Then saith Jesus unto him, Put up again thy sword into its place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword.
53 Or thinkest thou that I cannot beseech my Father, and he shall even now send me more than twelve legions of angels?
54 How then should the scriptures be fulfilled that thus it must be?
55 In that hour said Jesus to the multitudes, Are ye come out as against a robber with swords and staves to seize me? I sat daily in the temple teaching, and ye took me not.
56 But all this is come to pass, that the scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled. Then all the disciples left him, and fled.
57 And they that had taken Jesus led him away to the house of Caiaphas the high priest, where the scribes and the elders were gathered together.
58 But Peter followed him afar off, unto the court of the high priest, and entered in, and sat with the officers, to see the end.
59 Now the chief priests and the whole council sought false witness against Jesus, that they might put him to death;
60 and they found it not, though many false witnesses came. But afterward came two,
61 and said, This man said, I am able to destroy the temple of God, and to build it in three days.
62 And the high priest stood up, and said unto him, Answerest thou nothing? what is it which these witness against thee?
63 But Jesus held his peace. And the high priest said unto him, I adjure thee by the living God, that thou tell us whether thou art the Christ, the Son of God.
64 Jesus said unto him, Thou hast said: nevertheless I say unto you, Henceforth ye shall see the Son of man sitting at the right hand of Power, and coming on the clouds of heaven.
65 Then the high priest rent his garments, saying, He hath spoken blasphemy: what further need have we of witnesses? behold, now ye have heard the blasphemy:
66 what think ye? They answered and said, He is worthy of death.
67 Then did they spit in his face and buffet him: and some smote him with the palms of their hands,
68 saying, Prophesy unto us, thou Christ: who is he that struck thee?
69 Now Peter was sitting without in the court: and a maid came unto him, saying, Thou also wast with Jesus the Galilaean.
70 But he denied before them all, saying, I know not what thou sayest.
71 And when he was gone out into the porch, another maid saw him, and saith unto them that were there, This man also was with Jesus of Nazareth.
72 And again he denied with an oath, I know not the man.
73 And after a little while they that stood by came and said to Peter, Of a truth thou also art one of them; for thy speech maketh thee known.
74 Then began he to curse and to swear, I know not the man. And straightway the cock crew.
75 And Peter remembered the word which Jesus had said, Before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice. And he went out, and wept bitterly.
The importance of taking the Holy Communion with the right attitude and manner is clearly stated in the Bible. Yet many do not know or pay attention to this truth.
The Scripture says, “For if you eat the bread or drink the cup without honoring the body of Christ, you are eating and drinking God’s judgment upon yourself.”
As the watchman reads this passage, he realizes that it does matter with whom he partakes the cup and the bread. he can no longer assume that the religious institution is honoring the body and the blood of Christ when the leaders conduct the rite with an unbelief attitude! Indeed, that was the reason he escaped from his former church. Despite the watchman’s reminders, the pastor and elders refused to mention the blood and the body of Jesus Christ when they conducted the communion service. No wonder he felt the urgency to run away!
If the church does not recognize the Lord’s blood and body, what do they think they are partaking? If they refuse to honor the body and blood of the Lord Jesus, to whom are they giving honor? The answer makes one shudder. (It is no wonder that the church spiritual door is wide open for the enemy to get in to attack the members one by one!)
Lesson from the past (Part Two): 1 Corinthians 11:17-32
17 But in the following instructions, I cannot praise you. For it sounds as if more harm than good is done when you meet together. 18 First, I hear that there are divisions among you when you meet as a church, and to some extent I believe it. 19 But, of course, there must be divisions among you so that you who have God’s approval will be recognized! 20 When you meet together, you are not really interested in the Lord’s Supper. 21 For some of you hurry to eat your own meal without sharing with others. As a result, some go hungry while others get drunk. 22 What? Don’t you have your own homes for eating and drinking? Or do you really want to disgrace God’s church and shame the poor? What am I supposed to say? Do you want me to praise you? Well, I certainly will not praise you for this!
23 For I pass on to you what I received from the Lord himself. On the night when he was betrayed, the Lord Jesus took some bread 24 and gave thanks to God for it. Then he broke it in pieces and said, “This is my body, which is given for you.[a] Do this to remember me.” 25 In the same way, he took the cup of wine after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant between God and his people—an agreement confirmed with my blood. Do this to remember me as often as you drink it.” 26 For every time you eat this bread and drink this cup, you are announcing the Lord’s death until he comes again. 27 So anyone who eats this bread or drinks this cup of the Lord unworthily is guilty of sinning against[b] the body and blood of the Lord. 28 That is why you should examine yourself before eating the bread and drinking the cup. 29 For if you eat the bread or drink the cup without honoring the body of Christ,[c] you are eating and drinking God’s judgment upon yourself. 30 That is why many of you are weak and sick and some have even died. 31 But if we would examine ourselves, we would not be judged by God in this way. 32 Yet when we are judged by the Lord, we are being disciplined so that we will not be condemned along with the world.
- 1 Corinthians 11:24 Greek which is for you; other manuscripts read which is broken for you.
- 1 Corinthians 11:27 Or is responsible for.
- 1 Corinthians 11:29 Greek the body; other manuscripts read the Lord’s body.
O Watchman, run! You do not want to share their sins!
Matthew 24:6-8 “And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of sorrows.”
Reading headline like “the day of death” was no comfort. In the same weekend more than one disaster hit the nations of the world, earthquakes, tsunami, typhoon, and flood with colossal human and financial losses, were certainly bad news for the earth inhabitants. The Christians woke up and asked whether these were signs of the end time. The more sensible ones asked themselves, whether they were ready to meet the Lord, who is coming soon.
Indeed, when shocked out of our hitherto comfort zone, no matter how secure we once thought we were, we had no choice but to re-examine our lives, calculate the possible risk factors and the worst case scenario and decide our best immediate defense actions.
To prepare for the end time, Jack thus is looking for a church. He had escaped from his previous church as it no longer mentioned (and/or believe in the power of) the cross, Jesus’ blood and His redemption anymore. The church had gone the popular humanistic way and thus returned to Egypt, busily prospering in numbers, building colossal multi-million dollars buildings, engrossed in a great variety of programs, works and activities. The music was popular. The attendance rate was high. The number of membership and its growth probably topped the list of its peers in this city.
But it preached anything but Christ. Jack patiently waited for three years. Then, as signs of end time kept popping up, Jack figured that it would be impossible to be part of that corporate body and yet go to heaven. So he abandoned ship when he was certain that the Holy Spirit had called him to progress in his faith (not without feeling sorrowful to leave the familiar).
Now he is looking for a church that preaches Jesus Christ day in and day out. There is no other more worthy topic. But where is that church? At times he wonders if he should advertise. How shall he word it? “A man in the Holy Spirit is looking for a church that preaches nothing but Jesus on the cross, shedding His precious blood to save the world, so that all who believe will not perish but finds eternal life. If any church fits into this category please let Jack know the good news. Those who take the Holy Communion in vain, that is, not mentioning (and/or believing) the redemptive blood of Jesus and healing body of Jesus, need not bother to apply.” Many churches will feel offended. Many will ignore this advertisement. One mere number of memberships is not worth the bother to churches which had gone the Egypt (worldly) pathway. One is nothing to the churches when they already have a hundred or even a thousand. Or worse, many would think this is a cry of an outdated man who has not kept up with the modern religious world.
But Jack is sincere in his cry. Meanwhile he has asked God to make Jesus’ footsteps his pathway. So daily he seeks the presence of God through Jesus, bringing to daily remembrance of His cross through the Holy Communion (remembering the redemptive power of the blood of Jesus and the body of Jesus that was broken for us-our total healing), reads His words and prays in the name of Jesus, living in the Spirit and all by faith. He believes the church is out there, all over the world, with individuals like him, forming the corporate body of Christ, spiritually, not limited by physical distance and time.
1 Cor. 11:24, 25 The Lord Jesus said, “Take, eat, this is My body, which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” “This cup is the new covenant in My blood. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.”
1 Cor. 10:16-17 The Apostle Paul wrote (authored by the Holy Spirit): “The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ?” “For we, though many, are one bread and one body; for we all partake of that one bread.”