“Keep doing this in remembrance of me.” (Luke 22:19)
Let’s summarize what we’ve learned so far.
- We cannot prove with certainty that Rev. 7:4 is referring to a literal number of individuals. (See post: 144,000—Literal or Symbolic)
- The Bible doesn’t teach that the Little Flock are a subset of Christians who are differentiated from the rest because they alone go to heaven; nor does it teach that the Other Sheep are only Christians with an earthly hope. (See post: Who’s Who? (Little Flock/Other Sheep
- We cannot prove from Scripture that the Great Crowd of Rev. 7:9 is comprised exclusively of other sheep. For that matter, we can’t prove that the Great Crowd has any connection whatsoever to the other sheep, nor that they will serve on earth. (See post: A Great Crowd of Other Sheep)
- The scriptural evidence favors the view that all Christians are in the New Covenant just as all natural Jews were in the old one. (See post: Are You in the New Covenant)
- Romans 8 proves we are all God’s sons and that we all have the spirit. Verse 16 does not prove that this revelation is anything other than a clear understanding of our position based on what the spirit reveals to all Christians as it opens up the Scriptures to us. (See post: The Spirit Bears Witness)
Given this, our path seems simple. Jesus told us at Luke 22:19 to keep doing this in remembrance of him. Paul confirmed those words applied not just to the apostles, but to all Christians.
(1 Corinthians 11:23-26) . . .For I received from the Lord that which I also handed on to YOU, that the Lord Jesus in the night in which he was going to be handed over took a loaf 24 and, after giving thanks, he broke it and said: “This means my body which is in YOUR behalf. Keep doing this in remembrance of me.” 25 He did likewise respecting the cup also, after he had the evening meal, saying: “This cup means the new covenant by virtue of my blood. Keep doing this, as often as YOU drink it, in remembrance of me.” 26 For as often as YOU eat this loaf and drink this cup, YOU keep proclaiming the death of the Lord, until he arrives.
By celebrating the Lord’s Evening Meal, we are obeying a direct command of our Lord Jesus and thus “proclaiming the death of the Lord until he arrives”. Is there any mention of an observer class? Does Jesus, in commanding us to commemorate his death by partaking of the wine and bread instruct us that this only applies to a tiny percentage of Christians? Does Jesus instruct the vast majority to abstain from partaking? Does he command them to merely observe?
This is simple order; a straightforward, unambiguous command. We are expected to obey. Anyone reading this can grasp the meaning. It is not couched in symbolisms, nor does it require the study of a Bible scholar to decode some hidden meaning.
Do you feel uncomfortable learning this? Many do, but why should that be?
Perhaps you are thinking of Paul’s words in 1 Cor. 11:27.
(1 Corinthians 11:27) Consequently whoever eats the loaf or drinks the cup of the Lord unworthily will be guilty respecting the body and the blood of the Lord.
You may feel that God hasn’t chosen you and so you are unworthy. In fact, you may feel you would be sinning by partaking. However, read the context. Paul isn’t introducing the idea of a non-anointed class of Christian who is unworthy to partake. Our publications imply that, but would it make sense for Paul to write the Corinthians to warn them of conduct that wouldn’t apply for another 2,000 years? The very idea is ludicrous.
No, the warning here is against disrespecting the solemnity of the occasion by acting inappropriately, not waiting for one another, or over-indulging, or even having sects and divisions. (1 Cor. 11:19,20) So let’s not misapply this text to support the traditions of men.
Still, you may feel it inappropriate to partake because you feel it is Jehovah how decides who should partake. Where would that idea have come from?
“All of us need to remember that the decision is solely God’s, not ours.”
(w96 4/1 pp. 8)
Ah, so it is the interpretation of men that is causing you to doubt, is it not? Or can you show this belief from Scripture? It is true that God chooses us. We are called and as a consequence, we have the holy spirit. Were you called out of the world? Do you have the holy spirit? Do you have faith that Jesus is the son of God and your redeemer? If so, then you are a child of God. Need proof. There is solid proof, not from the reasoning of men, but from Scripture: John 1:12,13; Gal. 3:26; 1 John 5:10-12.
Therefore, you are a chosen one, and as such, you have a duty to obey the Son.
(John 3:36) . . .He that exercises faith in the Son has everlasting life; he that disobeys the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God remains upon him.
Either we exercise faith for life, or we disobey and die. Remember that faith is more than believing. Faith is doing.
(Hebrews 11:4) . . .By faith Abel offered God a sacrifice of greater worth than Cain, through which [faith] he had witness borne to him that he was righteous,. . .
Both Cain and Abel believed in God and believed what God said was true. The Bible actually shows Jehovah talking to Cain to warn him. So both believed, but only Abel had faith. Faith means believing in the promises of God and then acting on that belief. Faith means obedience and obedience produces works of faith. That is the whole message of Hebrews chapter 11.
You have faith in the Son of man and that faith is manifest by obedience. So now the Son of man, our Lord, commands you how he wants you to commemorate his death. Will you obey?
Still holding back? Perhaps concerned how it will look? Understandable considering what we have been taught.
w96 4/1 pp. 7 Celebrate the Memorial Worthily
“Why might one wrongly partake of the emblems? It may be due to  previous religious views— that all the faithful go to heaven. Or it may be because of  ambition or selfishness—a feeling that one is more deserving than others—and a  desire for prominence.” (Bracketed numbers added.)
- Of course, we shouldn’t partake because of a previous religious view. We should partake because of what the Scriptures, not men, are telling us to do.
- Whether all the faithful go to heaven or not is irrelevant to the matter at hand. Jesus said the cup represented the New Covenant, not some spiritual passport to heaven. If God wants to take you to heaven or wants you to serve on earth, that is entirely up to him. We partake because we are told to do so, for by doing this we proclaim the importance of Christ’s death until he arrives.
- Now if all Christians are to partake, how is ambition served by partaking? In fact, if there is ambition or selfishness, it is a symptom, not a cause. The cause is the artificial two-tier system created by our theology.
- This is the most telling comment of all. Do we not speak reverently of someone who partakes. If their name is mentioned, will not the next comment be, “He’s one of the anointed, you know?” or “His wife just passed away. Did you know she was one of the anointed?” We, ourselves, have created two classes of Christian in a congregation where no class distinctions should exist. (James 2:4)
Given the forgoing, we are naturally going to find it hard to partake because we will be concerned what others might think of us.
“Who does she think she is?”
“Is God going to pass over all these long time pioneers to pick him?”
We have attached a stigma to what should be a demonstration of loyalty and obedience. What a sad predicament we have created for ourselves. All because of the tradition of men.
So next year, when memorial rolls around, we will all have some serious soul-searching to do.