Communion/Eucharist

Abhorrent Traditions—-Communion/Eucharist

Over the centuries the Church has picked up a lot of dirt, like a snowball rolling across a gravel pit.  Many of our erroneous beliefs and traditions began shortly after the death of the Apostles.  Those leaders who followed in the steps of the Apostles were faced with a constant and persistent attack from false teachers and heretics.  The “push back” was valiant, but TIME and the Father of Lies were not cooperative.  By the third century, there were so many corrupt teachings and customs that it was a stroll through the park for the Roman Emperor, Constantine the Great, to merge PAGANISM into Christianity, Church with State, and a complete transformation was well on its way.  With rabid antisemitism saturating the Church, every semblance of our Jewish root was driven from our thought and practice.

Whereas  the Lord’s Table had previously been celebrated yearly in the DAYS OF UNLEAVENED BREAD, the Church turned the corner toward Romanized practices following the harsh treatment of those who persisted in orthodoxy.  Nearly all succumbed to Roman pressure and the Lord’s Table became institutionalized in “Holy communion”.  Power drifted upward and away from the local assembly to ROME.  Christianity quickly transformed from a “faith” to a CULTURE, and remains so today.  The Lord’s Table at Passover was shoved aside and EASTER took its place.   “CHRIST MASS” soon replaced the detailed account of Luke 1-2-and 3 regarding the birth of Christ—-never mind that Luke held emphatically that no other teaching was known in all of the Churches than that which he revealed in his gospel [Luke 1].

For two centuries following the crucifixion of Jesus, there was never a time when the Churches celebrated the birth of the Savior. Even though there were many in the earliest Church who knew well when Jesus was born. Mary [the mother] certainly knew. James [the brother] certainly knew. The New Testament records that Jesus had several younger siblings, certainly they knew, and yet not a word, either in scripture or in secular historical records. Haven’t you ever wondered why? Don’t you understand that it is not the BIRTH of Jesus that was celebrated, rather, HIS DEATH till he comes.

The Lord’s Table—-evening Nisan13, AD 30

1 Cor 11:24-30

24 And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me.

25 After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me.

26 For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come.

27 Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.

28 But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup.

29 For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body.

30 For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep. KJV

Let’s get straight to the point; we were never authorized to celebrate the sacrifice of God’s Son in any way other than the Lord’s Table!   We are commanded to celebrate the Savior’s DEATH——TILL HE COMES.  We celebrate Christ’s death in the Lord’s table.  This sacrament has been lost to the paganization of our faith.  It’s not too late. We can fix it.  All we have to do is return to the New Testament.

Just look at I Cor.11:27-—-it says “whoever celebrates this sacrament unworthily is guilty of Christ’s blood”.  That’s how important this matter is.  Let’s try to give honor to the Sacraments by dismissing the traditions of men, and returning to the orthodoxy of the early Church.

Each year at Passover we celebrate the Lord’s Table under a predictable full moon in the evening of 14 AVIV [March/April full moon].  Why not do the same?  It’s wonderful to know that you are following a great crowd of New Testament Saints as we celebrate “CHRIST—-OUR PASSOVER” till he comes.

 

LOOK AT THE WORDS OF HYSLOP

“The festival, of which we read in Church history, under the name of Easter, in the third or fourth centuries, was quite a different festival from that now observed in the Romish [and Protestant] Church, and at that time was not known by any such name as Easter.  It was called Pasch, or the Passover, and though not of Apostolic institution [It was instituted by God and by Jesus--Lev 23; Matt 26:17-29; Mark 14:12-25; Luke 22:7-20; I Cor 11:23-30], was very early observed by many professing Christians in commemoration of the death and resurrection of Christ [It is a memorial of His death, not His resurrection--I Cor 11:26].  That festival agreed originally with the time of the Jewish [i.e., God's] Passover, when Christ was crucified …. That festival was not idolatrous, and it was preceded by no Lent” (Alexander Hislop,  The Two Babylons, p.104)

Note in this following account of the life of Polycarp; that the celebration of the New Covenant was clearly commanded to take place in the season of Passover.  Paul is recorded as insisting that this Sacrament take place YEARLY as also suggested in the New Testament.

POLYCARP

A disciple of John, the Apostle
(by Pionius who knew him
& witnessed his Martyrdom in A.D. 166)

 “TRACING my steps farther back, I shall begin with the visit of the blessed Paul to Smyrna, as I found it in ancient copies. I will give the following narration in order, thereby coming down to the history of the blessed Polycarp.

2. In the days of unleavened bread, Paul, came down from Galatia, and arrived in Asia. He considered the peacefulness among the faithful in Smyrna to be a great refreshment in Christ Jesus, after his severe toil. He then intended afterwards to depart to Jerusalem.

In Smyrna he went to visit Stratæas (who had listened to him in Pamphylia) who was the son of Eunice the daughter of Lois. These are they whom he mentions when writing to Timothy, saying, “Of the unfeigned faith that is in you, which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois and in thy mother Eunice” (2 Tim. 1:5). Consequently, we find that Stratæas was Timothy’s brother.

Paul then, entering his house and gathering together the faithful there, spoke to them concerning the Passover and the Pentecost. He reminded them of the New Covenant of the offering of bread and the cup. He stated how they ought, most assuredly, to celebrate it during the days of unleavened bread, holding fast to the new mystery of the Passion (literally-Christ’s sufferings) and Resurrection. It is here that the Apostle plainly teaches that we ought not to keep it outside the season of unleavened bread, as the heretics do, especially the Phrygians. Also, on the other hand, not necessarily on the fourteenth day, either. Paul said nothing about the fourteenth day, but only named the days of unleavened bread, the Passover, and the Pentecost, thus confirming the Gospel.

3. After the Apostle left, Stratæas continued to spread his teaching, as well as others after him. These other’s, and their names, will I mention later concerning their manner of life, in as much as it is possible to know. But for the present, let us proceed to the subject of Polycarp.

It is no small matter to corrupt the Church in any fashion

1 Cor 3:16-17

6 Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?

17 If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.

So many have trivialized such corruptions in the Church. They greet opposition with sarcasm,  a saccharin smile, and a condescending attitude, and in so doing, cause others to do the same. They are SELF RIGHTEOUS and pious in their error.

 

THE BREAD OF THE NEW COVENANT

NT:740—bread

artos (ar’-tos); from NT:142; bread (as raised) or a loaf:

KJV – (shew-) bread, loaf.

In every reference of the New Testament regarding the BREAD of the NEW COVENANT, the Greek word ARTOS is used exclusively.  There is a very pertinent reason for the use of this word “ARTOS”. I will discuss this reasoning as we continue this study.

 

ARTOS

Matt 4:3-4

3 And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread [artos].

4 But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread [artos] alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. KJV

Matt 7:9

9 Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread [artos], will he give him a stone?

Matt 16:7-8

7 And they reasoned among themselves, saying, It is because we have taken no bread [artos] .

8 Which when Jesus perceived, he said unto them, O ye of little faith, why reason ye among yourselves, because ye have brought no bread [artos]? KJV

Mark 6:36-37

36 Send them away, that they may go into the country round about, and into the villages, and buy themselves bread [artos]: for they have nothing to eat.

37 He answered and said unto them, Give ye them to eat. And they say unto him, Shall we go and buy two hundred pennyworth of bread [artos], and give them to eat?

Mark 14:22

22 And as they did eat, Jesus took bread [ARTOS], and blessed, and brake it, and gave to them, and said, Take, eat: this is my body.

Luke 22:19

19 And he took bread [ARTOS], and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me.

Mark 14:22-25
22 While they were eating, Jesus took bread [artos], gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying, “Take it; this is my body.”

23 Then he took the cup, gave thanks and offered it to them, and they all drank from it.

24 “This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many,” he said to them. 25 “I tell you the truth, I will not drink again of the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it anew in the kingdom of God.”

This  is the BREAD [ARTOS] of the New Covenant. In every reference to the Lord’s Table—-THIS WORD “ARTOS” is used without exception. It is a loaf.

This following use of the word “bread”  is clearly a translation from the Greek word “ARTOS”.  This was an un-ceremonial “bread”.  It was leavened bread.

Luke 24:30-35

30 And it came to pass, as he sat at meat with them, he took bread [artos], and blessed it, and brake, and gave to them.

31 And their eyes were opened, and they knew him; and he vanished out of their sight.

32 And they said one to another, Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures?

33 And they rose up the same hour, and returned to Jerusalem, and found the eleven gathered together, and them that were with them,

34 Saying, The Lord is risen indeed, and hath appeared to Simon.

35 And they told what things were done in the way, and how he was known of them in breaking of bread [artos].

 

            Notice in the following,  the vital connection between BREAD and WINE in this familiar COMMUNION PASSAGE.

 

Luke 22:19-20

19 And he took bread [artos], and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me.

20 Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you.

 

THE BREAKING OF BREAD WITHOUT THE CUP OF THE NEW COVENANT IS SIMPLY A COMMUNAL MEAL AND HAS NO RELEVANCE TO THE LORD’S TABLE !  The word “artos” is used in both.

 

Acts 20;7-11

7 And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread [artos], Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow; and continued his speech until midnight.

8 And there were many lights in the upper chamber, where they were gathered together.

9 And there sat in a window a certain young man named Eutychus, being fallen into a deep sleep: and as Paul was long preaching, he sunk down with sleep, and fell down from the third loft, and was taken up dead.

10 And Paul went down, and fell on him, and embracing him said, Trouble not yourselves; for his life is in him.

11 When he therefore was come up again, and  broken bread [artos], and eaten,  and had  talked a long while, even till break of day, so he departed.

 

Some insist that this “breaking of bread” was the ceremonial TABLE OF THE LORD in every instance where people came together for a meal simply because they “broke bread” together.  A simple exercise in logic should dismiss such a notion.

Take a close look at this clearly defined TABLE OF THE LORD!

 

 Cor 10:16-17

16 The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread [artos] which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ?

17 For we being many are one bread, and one body: for we are all partakers of that one bread [artos].

 

The evidence is very clear. The Lord’s Table was always celebrated with leavened bread [artos].   The leaven in the bread represented OUR SINS which God had laid on Christ to be remitted at the CROSS [Is.53:6].  This is the manner in which the early Church celebrated the Lord’s Table until it was corrupted by the Roman WAFER—-embossed with a sunburst, a tribute to the day of the Sun, i.e.—-Sun worship.  In every passage in the New Testament where “ceremonial bread” was used, it is translated from the Greek word AZUMOS [unleavened bread----Passover bread].  That word AZUMOS is never used in regard to the Lord’s Table—-NOT ONCE.  We have drifted so far from our beginnings.

 

1 Cor 11:23-30

23 For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread [artos]:

24 And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me.

25 After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me.26 For as often as ye eat this bread [artos], and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come.

27 Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread [artos], and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.

28 But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup.

29 For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body.

30 For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep.

 

THE CEREMONIAL BREAD

AZUMOS

NT:106

azumos (ad’-zoo-mos); from NT:1 (as a negative particle) and NT:2219; unleavened, i.e. (figuratively) uncorrupted; (in the neutral plural) specially (by implication) the Passover week:

KJV – unleavened (bread).

This is the “CEREMONIAL BREAD” of Passover. This is UNLEAVENED bread. Furthermore—–this UNLEAVENED BREAD is NEVER used in reference to the “BREAD” of the New Covenant——-NOT ONCE !

 

Matt 26:17-21

17 Now the first day of the feast of unleavened bread  [AZUMOS] the disciples came to Jesus, saying unto him, Where wilt thou that we prepare for thee to eat the Passover?

18 And he said, Go into the city to such a man, and say unto him, The Master saith, My time is at hand; I will keep the Passover at thy house with my disciples.

19 And the disciples did as Jesus had appointed them; and they made ready the Passover.

20 Now when the even was come, he sat down with the twelve.

21 And as they did eat, he said, Verily I say unto you, that one of you shall betray me.

We must clarify that Jesus was NOT serving the “Passover” on this evening—-but rather, it was beginning the PREPARATION [the Day of Preparation] for the Passover.  This was the evening of 13/14 Aviv——-the day the Passover would be killed.  The FOLLOWING EVENING [Nisan Aviv 14/15] would begin the Passover—-the beginning of the “Days of UNLEAVENED BREAD”.  The body of Jesus would lay in the tomb on the First night and day of Unleavened Bread.

Matt 27:62

62 Now the next day, that followed the day of the preparation, the chief priests and Pharisees came together unto Pilate,

Mark 15:42

42 And now when the even was come, because it was the preparation, that is, the day before the Sabbath [Passover],

Luke 23:54

54 And that day was the preparation, and the Sabbath drew on.

John 19:14

14 And it was the preparation of the Passover, and about the sixth hour: and he saith unto the Jews, Behold your King!

John 19:31

31 The Jews therefore, because it was the preparation, that the bodies should not remain upon the cross on the Sabbath day, (for that Sabbath day was an high day,) besought Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away.

 

Nisan Aviv 13/14—-the day of Preparation

Matt 26:26-27

26 And as they were eating, Jesus took bread [ARTOS], and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body.

Luke 22:1-7

22:1 Now the feast of unleavened bread [AZUMOS] drew nigh, which is called the Passover.

2 And the chief priests and scribes sought how they might kill him; for they feared the people.

3 Then entered Satan into Judas surnamed Iscariot, being of the number of the twelve.

4 And he went his way, and communed with the chief priests and captains, how he might betray him unto them.

5 And they were glad, and covenanted to give him money.

6 And he promised, and sought opportunity to betray him unto them in the absence of the multitude.

7 Then came the day of unleavened bread [azumos], when the Passover must be killed.

1 Cor 5:8

8 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.

In Paul’s plea for the “unleavened bread of sincerity— KJV” in this passage; some would attempt to utilize this phrase “unleavened bread” to justify the use of AZUMOS [unleavened bread] in celebration of the Lord’s Table, however, Strong’s reference 9999  tells us the  KJV translators added the word “BREAD” to the passage for their own understanding in the sentence, and that NO SUCH WORD [bread] EXISTS in the original language of this passage.  Therefore, when Paul refers to “entering the FEAST” [the Lord’s Table at Passover] he simply states—–“let us keep the feast [the Lord’s Table] with the “UNLEAVEN OF SINCERITY AND TRUTH”—–and never suggests that unleavened bread should be used in the Lord’s table.  The only use of the word “leaven” is in typology to our own sins, and is admonished to be PURGED FROM OUR CONSCIENCE prior to our participation in the BODY and BLOOD of JESUS.

May we now come to the CRUX of this study.  What does it matter that we celebrate the Lord’s Table this way or that?  Would you not agree that so many of our beliefs and celebrations have been corrupted in the passage of TIME?  Have we no ENEMY to steal at opportune times?  Is IGNORANCE truly a virtue?  Are we AGENTS OF TRADITION?  What is the importance of ORTHODOXY in this matter?  May I take you to Isaiah 53:

“FOR THE LORD HATH LAID UPON HIM THE INIQUITIES [leaven] OF US ALL”

This is the MATTER for us.  The leaven of SIN was placed upon Christ——-OUR SIN !  That’s why it is important to resist the traditions of men, and to hold fast to the teachings of the New Testament.  We celebrate the Lord’s table yearly at Passover as did the New Testament Church for nearly TWO HUNDRED YEARS following that initial Table set by our Master.  It’s important, It really is!  It’s important to recognize that ——-OUR SIN [leaven]——–was laid upon him!  Look what we have lost with the passing of time.  Look at how time and TRADITION have buried the truth.

In the 17th century the Catholic Church held the Council of Trent to rebut and address criticisms of the Reformation Movement.   In the fourth session, the council determined that “Church Tradition” held equal authority to Scripture, whereas the Reformers concluded that Scripture Alone [Sola Scriptura] held authority in all things concerning the Church.  Unfortunately, the banner of Sola Scriptura has been soiled by many unauthorized doctrines and practices within the Protestant Church.   It remains so today.

In closing this lesson, I would like to say, —-”it’s not about the celebration of  Christmas or Easter or any other single issue that I have mentioned in this work. The PROBLEM is in the accumulative corruption that has robbed God’s people of the beauty of truth.  It’s about our departure from our first century roots”.

Song 2:15

15 Take us the foxes, the little foxes, that spoil the vines: for our vines have tender grapes.

These lovely nuggets from the New Testament are our “tender grapes”. We must protect them from the foxes who have ravaged the vine for centuries.

Danny McDowell    [copywrite]

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