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Compiled by JS LOWTHER
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THE LORD’S SUPPER
A Sacrament of the Faith of Jesu(s) Christ
Compiled by JS Lowther
History and Tradition
In the Last message we had started to consider the Quatrodeciman controversy, that is the 14th day of the Month as it is called in the Latin though and of the Vulgate in the Law if one were to look. This is a reference to the day of Passover when the Paschal lamb was killed for the memorial supper, which is commonly also called the Passover or the Paschal meal. Early, in the 2nd century about 180-190 AD the first controversy happened over this issue, that is if the Passover was to be kept, or if it’s celebration was to kept according to the Law of YHWH God or should it be kept by another standard, that is the standard of ‘the Lord’s Day’.
It is of necessity to reflect upon where church traditions come from, and to look as far back as it available to us, not for doctrine but for understanding of tradition, and in so doing we must remember the words of our Lord in Mat_24:35 Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.
In this way tradition which is not derived from the Word of God and rooted in the Law will and should pass away.
And when we consider the Paschal festival as a whole, as Polycrates so clearly stated his 2nd century observance “All these observed the fourteenth day of the passover according to the Gospel, deviating in no respect, but following the rule of faith. And I also, Polycrates, the least of you all, do according to the tradition of my relatives, some of whom I have closely followed. For seven of my relatives were bishops; and I am the eighth. And my relatives always observed the day when the people put away the leaven.”
We have one issue which is apparent which arises from the pages of history and now present in our day, which does not appear in the scripture, yet is attributed to the scripture, and that attribute is is the undermining of the roots of Biblical Faith, and that is the shovel of Spiritual religion: It is found in analogy which goes beyond the Biblical dictate, it is the seed bed of allegorical interpretation, it is the substance of Faith which ignores any evidence causing the definition of Biblical Faith to be rearranged “faith is the hope in things unseen”, substance and evidence is unneeded in Spiritual Gnostic religion as is more so with us today than perhaps any other day in recent history. In this way Christ is attributed as the equalizer of all men: male and female, bond and free, Jew or Greek, Barbarian or Scythian, by allegorical interpretation this Pauline teaching of Scriptural substance and evidence becomes the Ideals of Socialism and worse the tolerance gospel of Lawlessness, No male or female, No master or servant (owner or employee), No Ethnic distinctions, No intellectual distinctions- all are one in society, which in some way is allegory for Christ?
Brother Joshua, what does this have to do with the Paschal controversy?
It’s all part and parcel of Spiritual religion, that is the root of allegorical and analogical interpretation, when we believe / have faith in the allegory or analogy distinctly and separately from the reality of the matter in life.
Now it’s not a huge difference in understanding but it is important to note that an analogy by definition is a ratio or comparison of words or reason, such as puffed up in 1st Corinthians to leaven bread, while an allegory is the figurative description of real facts by use of other speech.
In the case of unleavened bread and of the Passover, the majority of the churches believe 1Corinthians teaches that the allegory found in the antitypical Crucifixion of Christ as the passover Lamb and it’s analogy to sin and leaven bread is the prime meaning and always has been of the feast, in other words that the people never really had to keep the literal Word of God only the equivalent in there spirit or mind. Insomuch that all things done in the flesh can not please God in any way therefore we can only please him in spirit, and by spirit we imply faith and intellect because, according to the reasoning matter is carnal and evil and spirit is clean and good, this thinking is attributed to Plato and Aristotle (Not biblical prophets by the way); thus the Platonism is akin to gnosticism which reasons that even Christ was not a man but a spiritual being and did not dye because he could not do so, thus the elements of the Lord’s Supper were useless to this branch of christians because Christ had no physical flesh or blood, thereby rendering the whole Sacrament even as far back as Exodus an allegory. Thus in different levels in different churches even before Pauls death (Colossians was written against gnostics of this manner, as was the epistles of John) the Word of God and it’s ability to reprove, remit and punish sin was reduced to an allegory and not believed as a reality as in fact. And it is this Faith in the realistic Scripture that is shattering society today beyond the churches, it is the same root which bares the gall and wormwood of transgender-ism, the theft of socialism, the promotion of miscegenation, and the elevation of ignorance as intellect.
So, all of this is a prelude to the subject at hand the Pascha and it’s relevance to a Biblical Christianity, and I hope that introduction is sufficient to show the lasting effects of Gnostic Christianity and it’s now hybrid form it takes in our modern churches and congregations, that is because today we generally find that allegorical interpretation is applied when parts of scripture are undesirable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works in the society we are comfortable in. (2Ti_3:16-17)
The two subject of Church history I wish to cover before the month is out is Lord’s supper and the Lord’s Day which historically, seem to be the rhyzohm of this Gnostic crop: I wish to save the Lord’s Day discussion for next Sabbath, and continue on the focus of Passover and of unleavened bread.
The earliest example of these subjects are represented by the writings of Justin son of Priscus and grandson of Bacchius, natives of Flavia Neapolis in Palestine (Near Samaria) he lived around A.D. 110-165.
We know as well that Justin was a philosopher and even in his conversion to Christ wore a particular gown which marked him as a philosopher, this was a custom of that day to do so. Now Justin lived before the Paschal controversy, and he even lived in Palestine, it would seem right that Justin would have knowledge of true primitive christianity. Yet when Justin is examined we see that he writes accounts of scripture which are mixes of different accounts together (as of Moses and Jacob), and we can not fault him there but it shows that he was not raised in the Torah. It is important also to respectfully remember, regardless of our disagreement with Justin, that he did received martyrdom by beheading for not sacrificing to Idols and worshiping Cesar; yet it is worth noting that both non-biblical philosophy acknowledged the foolishness of Idolatry, as well as the mystical gnostic types who called themselves christian, it hard to reason that many of the martyrs of the 2nd century were indeed Gnostics and mystics of a Christian persuasion. To this point, I in no way desire to take away from any one who stood in the face of death for the testimony of Christ, yet truth behooves us to acknowledge the divergence in even there first accounted christian’s, such as Justin son of Priscus from the Scriptures in preference for the allegorical interpretation thereof.
Justin is the first writer who chronologically mentions what is considers a reference to ‘sunday’ worship, as well he is the first writer who intentionally writes his Apologies with intent to sway heathens, Jew’s and other forms of Christians (such as Marcion), and among these apologies we have a dialoque with a Jew named Trypho who is not a Christian but follows the Law and prophets, Trypho of course keeps the feast of unleavened bread and the Passover, thus Justin and he has discourse on the subject we can glean from.
Justin martyr dialoque with Trypho (the Jew)
Chap. XII (7). — The Jews Violate the Eternal Law, and Interpret Ill That of Moses.
… The Lawgiver is present, yet you do not see Him; to the poor the Gospel is preached, the blind see, yet you do not understand. You have now need of a second circumcision, though you glory greatly in the flesh. The new law requires you to keep perpetual sabbath, and you, because you are idle for one day, suppose you are pious, not discerning why this has been commanded you: and if you eat unleavened bread, you say the will of God has been fulfilled. The Lord our God does not take pleasure in such observances: if there is any perjured person or a thief among you, let him cease to be so; if any adulterer, let him repent; then he has kept the sweet and true sabbaths of God. If any one has impure hands, let him wash and be pure…
Chap. XIII(8). — Isaiah Teaches That Sins Are Forgiven Through Christ’s Blood.
“For Isaiah did not send you to a bath, there to wash away murder and other sins, which not even all the water of the sea were sufficient to purge; but, as might have been expected, this was that saving bath of the olden time which followed25 those who repented…
Chap. XIV(9). — Righteousness Is Not Placed in Jewish Rites, but in the Conversion of the Heart Given in Baptism by Christ.
“By reason, therefore, of this laver of repentance and knowledge of God, which has been ordained on account of the transgression of God’s people, as Isaiah cries, we have believed, and testify that that very baptism which he announced is alone able to purify those who have repented; and this is the water of life. But the cisterns which you have dug for yourselves are broken and profitless to you. For what is the use of that baptism which cleanses the flesh and body alone? Baptize the soul from wrath and from covetousness, from envy, and from hatred; and, lo! the body is pure. For this is the symbolic significance of unleavened bread, that you do not commit the old deeds of wicked leaven. But you have understood all things in a carnal sense, and you suppose it to be piety if you do such things, while your souls are filled with deceit, and, in short, with every wickedness. Accordingly, also, after the seven days of eating unleavened bread, God commanded them to mingle new leaven, that is, the performance of other works, and not the imitation of the old and evil works…
Sound like the common understanding of churches today? A spiritual Baptism is more important than literal water Baptism, spiritual sabbath in Christ is more important than literal days of rest, spiritual feasts by allegory is more important than the literal Law of God…All allegorical analogies of what the Bible really says. Yet everything Justin says is true, if it is a spiritual analogy of reality and not a spiritual allegory of an analogy. What Justin says would fortify the validity of scripture and it’s understanding if to the symbolic significance was reckoned along with the actual keeping of these things he waves what The Lord our God does not take pleasure in by such observances.
In part 3 of this series the reason it was so important to show how logic like Justin’s and Eusebius has interpreted 1st Corinthians for us and not Paul via the Law of God. And how Paul is not speaking of the Passover celebration in and of it’s self but that as well he is more so speaking of the analogy of Christ as the Paschal Lamb, and how we as a church made of the body of Christ respond to it: That is by example of the totality of the feast, We the church must reckon our selves as the unleavened bread of the Paschal meal and the continued feast, just as Paul and Just enplane; and thus when we arrive at the communion table in a leavened state (puffed up with sin), that is symbolically looking at the slain Lamb as Christ, and we unfit to eat it by our sin puffed self will, this is not to eat the Lord’s Supper, rather it is Our own Supper where we do not discern the body and blood of our Lord and his sacrifice.
In the state heretofore described we are not assembled to be with the Lord, day to day, week to week or month t moth, and even more so at the yearly Law ordained Sacrament of the Paschal celebration literally according to the moon of God’s calendar.
Moreover and beyond the prior comparison, consider how the way you treat leavened bread, leavening during that week, is a mirror into your life, a true allegory, a ratio of sin to leaven.
Do you leave the leavened bread in the house and say “I just won’t eat it” ?, Do you rationalize the cost and price of expelling the purchased leavened bread or yeast as to say “It is more Godly to not waste my money, by being a good steward, by expelling the literal leaven in your home? When in reality, you had a year to plan to not have leaven in your home on that one commanded week, consider the true stewardship in a life devoted to executing the will of God, rather than one which can not conform it’s self to the image of Christ in this simple way. The sad reality is that only for one week is leaven considered a sin in an Israelite home, one week. And regardless of the philosophy and alagorical interpretation it is a telling mirror to consider our personal handling of this feast. Not because leaven in and of it’s self is so holy or sacred but because He who commanded it’s observance is so Holy and so Sacred, and He who died for you is so Holy and so Sacred, and the representation of our life being hid in Christ as his body is our goal…how hard will you try?