1 Corinthians 11, the part that I would like to focus on is beginning of verse 23, where the Bible reads, "For I have received of that Lord that which also I delivered unto you, that the Lord Jesus in the same night in which he was betrayed took bread and when he had given thanks, he break it and said, 'Take, eat, this is my body, which is broken for you. This do in remembrance of me.' 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 you drink it in remembrance of me, for as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do show the Lord's death until he comes.'"
Tonight, I want to preach on the subject of communion, or the Lord's Supper. These are two terms that are actually used synonymously. Some people call this the Lord's Supper, some call it communion. The term communion is actually a Biblical term that's found in the previous chapter right before this, in chapter ten. Let's go back before this, if you would, to Matthew 26. We're going to kind of follow this subject through the New Testament as it shows up, starting in the book of Matthew.
The apostle Paul, in 1 Corinthians 11, is simply referring back to this event. He says, "I received the same thing that you received." Basically, the tradition of Jesus doing this at the last supper with his disciples, and telling them that they would do it as oft as they did in remembrance of Him. Let's go back to that original event. Let's follow this subject through the New Testament.
Back in Matthew 26:26, it says, "As they were eating, Jesus took bread and blessed it, and break, and gave it to the disciples and said, 'Take, eat. This is my body.' He took the cup and gave thanks and gave it to them saying, 'Drink ye all of it, for this is my blood of the New Testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. But I say unto you, I will not drink henceforth of the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink anew with you in my Father's kingdom.' When they had sung a hymn, they went out in to the Mount of Olives."
Now, go to Mark 14. Mark 14. We'll see something very similar in Mark 14, beginning in verse 22. The Bible reads, "And as they did eat, Jesus took bread and blessed it and break it, and gave unto them, and said, 'Take, eat. This is my body.' He took the cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, and they all drank of it, and he said unto them, 'This is my blood of the new testament which is shed for many. Verily I say unto you, I will drink no more of the fruit of the vine until that day that I drink it new in the kingdom of God.' When they had sung a hymn, they went out into the Mount of Olives."
Lastly, let's go to Luke 22. Luke 22. I don't want to leave any stone un-turned tonight. I want to show you all of the scriptures that pertain to this subject, and I think that this is a subject that is often misunderstood, but not only that, it's something that can be very contentious among people. Even among Baptists, people have really string opinions about communion, and sometimes I think it's a little bit silly when people get really really dogmatic on their particular view of communion to the point where I've literally had people call our church, and they are basing their decision on which church to go to on this issue as their number one issue. How is communion observed? That's the biggest issue.
Now, this is not the subject that the Bible talks a lot about, honestly. We have 1 Corinthians 11, and then we have this passage that's found in the first three of the four gospels. We have some scriptures in Acts that could apply. We're going to look at those. Obviously we have the Old Testament teaching on the Passover, which the Lord's Supper, or communion is just a New Testament version of the Passover, in a sense. There's not a whole lot of scripture. It's not super specific, or super detailed. For example, there's no frequency given, where he says, "Do it every week. Do it every church service. Do it every Easter. Do it every five years, every one year." There's no stipulation. It just says, "As oft as you do it, do it in remembrance of me." Yet, people will get really dogmatic about this doctrine.
I'll say this. I'm going to teach you tonight directly from the Bible what I believe the scripture teaches on this subject. If you walk away and disagree with my interpretation here, then by all means, walk away disagreeing. That's fine. Honestly, I believe that I'm right, because I'm showing you all the scripture tonight, and I've prayed about this, and studied this, and I believe that what I've preaching is right. I'll say this. I'm not going to condemn people who have a different interpretation of this, who do it a little bit differently, because of the fact that there's not a lot of scripture on this subject, and if other independent fundamental baptists do this differently, I'm not going to condemn them, so I don't want anybody to take my sermon tonight, and use it to condemn someone who's doing things differently. Just understand that this is what I believe, and this is what we're going to practice here.
Look down at your Bible there at Luke 22:15. It says, "And he said unto them, with desire, 'I have desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer.'" Now, that's a significant statement right there connecting the Last Supper with the Passover. He says, "I've desired to eat this Passover with you." That's going to come up later in the sermon, because we're going to look at some scriptures on the Passover. He says in verse 16, "'For I say unto you, I will not anymore eat thereof until it be fulfilled in the kingdom of God.' He took the cup and gave thanks and said, 'Take this, and divide it amongst yourselves, for I say unto you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God shall come.' He took bread, and gave thanks, and break it, and gave unto them saying, 'This is my body which is given for you. This do in remembrance of me.' Likewise also the cup after supper saying, 'This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you.'"
What can we learn from these three passages? Basically, we see that there are two elements to this. There's the eating of the unleavened bread that is broken to symbolize the fact that Jesus body was broken for us. When He died on the cross, He sacrificed His body. His body was physically broken for us, and that He shed His blood for us in that the remission of sins, salvation is through the blood of Jesus. That cup of grape juice, or the fruit of the vine, as He calls it, symbolizes the sinless blood of Jesus Christ. That unleavened bread symbolizes the sinless body of Jesus Christ that would be broken for the sins of mankind.
Now, the unleavened bread obviously goes back to the Passover. The Passover was also known as the feast of unleavened bread. Now, first of all, let me point out that leaven in the Bible is a picture of sin, and therefore the bread was unleavened to symbolize the sinless body of the Lord Jesus Christ, the fact that He was without sin. What's so ridiculous is that many churches, and many Christians will think that this was an alcoholic beverage that was served with the unleavened bread, because they have this mistaken belief that every time the Bible uses the word wine, for example, they think it's always an alcoholic beverage.
Of course, I did a sermon a few weeks ago where I proved that that's false because of the fact that there are places where it talks about the wine being in the cluster of the grape, for example. Obviously, that's not an alcoholic beverage. Also, we talked about the fact that the Bible does not ever use the word juice. When you find the word juice, one time in the Bible it's about wine. It says the juice of the wine. It would be bizarre to think that God would mention alcoholic wine over 200 times, and just never mention fruit juice ever, one time. That's kind of a silly belief. That's why no serious student of God's word has ever come to the conclusion that every time the Bible says wine, it's always an alcoholic beverage. That is just foolishness of those who are unlearned, period. Even people who condone of drinking in moderation, if they have any education or have studied the Word of God at all, realize that there are two different drinks being referred to.
Now, different people might disagree on a particular passage which one is referring to the alcoholic beverage, and which one is referring to just simply a fruit juice of any kind, but the bottom line is, though, that when He's saying, "Look not on the wine when it's red, when it giveth its color in the cup, when it moveth itself aright." It says, "Thine eyes shall behold strange women, and thy mouth shall utter perverse things," obviously we know what He's talking about there. He's saying, "Don't look on that kind of wine."
You say, "Pastor Anderson, how do we know that the wine at the Last Supper here was not an alcoholic beverage?" Well, it would be ridiculous for it to be an alcoholic beverage when the whole point of this is to have unleavened bread. What's another word for leaven? What do we use for leaven today in 2015?
Pastor Anderson: What do you use to ferment wine? Yeast! The exact same thing! On the outside of the grape is that film, and that is yeast. When they crush the grapes and ferment it with the white film, that's how they make the alcoholic beverage, using yeast. Just as the bread was to be without yeast, without leaven, obviously the beverage was also to be without leaven. Why would you have an alcoholic beverage that is literally poison. I mean, it literally has a substance in it that is harmful to your body, harmful to the mind, harmful to the soul even, and have that symbolize the blood of Jesus? Let's symbolize the blood of Jesus with a bottle of booze? That makes absolutely no sense. If the yeast symbolized sin in the bread, then obviously we wouldn't use that in the Lord's Supper. It would make absolutely no sense. This is just something that is done with just a fresh grape juice. Not any kind of an alcoholic beverage. The Roman Catholic Church, for example, would partake of this with an alcoholic beverage, which I find blasphemous. Use a fresh-squeezed juice.
The mistake that people make with the word wine in the Bible is that they assume it's always alcoholic, and number two, they assume that it's always grape juice, when in reality, the word wine throughout the Bible refers to any kind of juice. It refers often to pomegranate juice, other types of juices. It's just the old word for juice. It used to mean both fermented or unfermented. It was just the word for the fruit of juice. Here we know it's grape juice because He talks about the vine. Obviously, the vine is that which produces grapes. We see here that there are two elements symbolizing the broken body of Christ, and the blood of Christ.
Another practice that people will do that I believe is unscriptural is where they will show up and basically just have a little square. Nothing is broken. They don't break bread, but they actually just get sort of a ready-made square from the Christian Supply Company, or Christian bookstore, to whatever, and they basically just pop this little tablet into your mouth. Who's ever been to a church where they gave you the little square? Okay. That's not really scriptural because in all of these accounts, there's great emphasis on the fact that He break the bread. He blessed, he prayed, he break it, and then they ate it together to symbolize the broken body of Jesus, and the sinless blood of Jesus.
What's the purpose of going through this process? Well, the purpose was to remember Jesus. The purpose was to show the Lord's death until He comes, just as baptism symbolizes the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ. We're buried with Him, by baptism, into His death. "Like as Christ was raised up from the dead, to the glory of the Father, even so, we also should walk in newness of life." This is another just symbolic thing that we do as a way to remember and pass on the truths of God's Word to the next generation. You see, all throughout the Bible, there's great emphasis placed on teaching your children, building monuments, and having remembrances and memorials for the next generation that they would not forget the Lord. Teaching them the Bible stories, teaching them to memorize scripture, teaching them the songs, and hymns, and spiritual songs that they might not be lost to the next generation. This is one of those traditions that we partake of all the way until Christ's second coming, to show the Lord's death until He comes.
Let's go to the book of Acts, because we want to look at all the pertinent scripture tonight. We've seen Matthew, we've seen Mark, and we've seen Luke. Now, as we go into the book of Acts, let me say this. These scriptures, it's questionable whether or not these scriptures are referring to the Lord's Supper. What I want to do tonight, because I don't consider this to be a super clear subject in the Bible ... I believe that I understand it, and I have confidence in what I believe. Don't get me wrong. It's not that I'm up here like, "I don't know what this means." I'm just telling you that some of this could be open to interpretation, so I want you to actually use your own brain tonight, and pay attention to the sermon, and look up the scriptures, and you decide for yourself whether what I'm teaching is the truth. That's really something that you should be doing anyway every time I preach, right?
Anyway, in Acts 2:42, this is the early church at the day of Pentecost. It says in verse 42, "And they continued steadfastly in the apostles doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers." Now, some people would look at that scripture and say, "This could just be them just getting together and eating food, and it's just using the term 'breaking bread' figuratively as having a meal together, or this could be interpreted as they are partaking of the Lord's Supper. They are following Christ's teaching to do this in remembrance of Him." If you think about it, though, the fact that it says "breaking bread," what kind of bread really breaks? If you think about it, the unleavened bread would be that which you would break. Okay? In my opinion, the fact that the word break is being used implies that it's an unleavened bread, that they are doing it in remembrance of Christ. That's my opinion.
Look at verse 46. It says, "They continues daily, with one accord, in the Temple, and breaking bread, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart." Again, some people would interpret this as they're just fellowshiping and eating together. I'm not saying that they're just for sure wrong, or that that's a terrible interpretation. I'm just saying that I believe that this is referring to the actual observation of the Lord's Supper.
Now, go to chapter 20, if you would. Again, what's my evidence for that? The fact that it's using the term "breaking." Now, there are other places in the Bible where it talks about breaking bread, but I don't believe that when it says breaking bread, it's talking about a loaf of bread that's leavened. I think any time it's referring to breaking bread, it's some type of an unleavened food. You know, there's a time when the apostle Paul, later in the book of Acts is on a ship, and he breaks bread. It makes sense that they might have some kind of an unleavened bread on that ship, simply because they're out at sea, and they may not be able to keep fresh yeast-type bread, or leavened bread, or sourdough bread, as fresh as they could unleavened bread, which is more like a cracker. They could maybe keep fresh a little longer.
If you would, look at Acts 20:6. The Bible reads, "And we sailed away from Philippi after the days of Unleavened Bread," which is referring to the Jewish Passover, "And came unto then, to Troas, in five days, where we abode seven days. And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow, and continued his speech until midnight," and so on and so forth. Look at verse 11. "When he therefore was come up again, and had broken bread, and eaten, and talked a long while, even till break of day, so he departed."
Then of course, in chapter 27, if you would flip over there, is the one that I just alluded to, where they are on a ship out at sea, and these are all the references in the book of Acts to any kind of breaking bread whatsoever. If we're going to form a doctrine on this, if we're going to understand what the Bible teaches on this, we should look at all the scripture and get it all in front of us, and see what the Bible teaches, and then decide what we're going to believe on this. It says in Acts 27:34, "'Therefore I pray you to take some meat, for this is for your health, for there shall not an hair fall from any of you,' and when he had thus spoken, he took bread, and gave thanks to God, in the presence of them all, and when he had broken it, he began to eat."
Go to 1 Corinthians 5. We've looked at the evidence in the four gospels. We looked at the evidence in the book of Acts. Some people might reject all the references in the book of Acts, out of hand, and just say, "None of those have anything to do with communion, the Lord's Supper." That's okay, if that's what you believe. My opinion is that they're relevant. Either way, let's move on to 1 Corinthians, that which is for sure teaching us the doctrine of communion, or the Lord's Supper. Look at 1 Corinthians 5:6. "Your glorying is not good. Know ye not that a little leaven, leaveneth the whole lump." What does leaven represent in the Bible again?
Pastor Anderson: In this case, it was a horrible sin where there was fornication that was just commonly reported to be going on in the church. He says, "A little leaven leavens the whole lump. Purge out therefore the old leaven that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened, for even Christ, our Passover, is sacrificed for us, 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." Flip over the 1 Corinthians 10. Let me say this, the Jewish Passover today is a complete joke that has nothing to do with the Bible. Let me just say that right now. You know why? Because in the Bible, the Passover had to do with sacrificing a lamb, and that lamb's blood would be shed, and today the Jews do not sacrifice a lamb on the Passover. They do not apply the blood, and so they have no remission for their sins.
Now, we have Christ, our Passover, who sacrificed ... Jesus is our Passover. The Jews don't have Jesus. They are without Christ, and without hope, without God in the world. If you don't have the Son, you don't have the Father. This discussion has nothing to do with the modern day Jewish Passover, which is a Christ-rejecting, wicked, pharisee religion, that we as Christians should have nothing to do with, have no fellowship with, and we should not take lessons from them. Hey let's go talk to a rabbi and see how ... No, no, no. The Bible says that even to this day, in the reading of the Old Testament, the veil is upon their hearts. The Bible says that when their heart will turn to Christ, then the veil is removed. Why would I want to take lessons from somebody who is reading the Bible blindfolded? I mean, they're reading it blindfolded. Oh, yeah, you know ... Here's what it ... "Shabbat Shalom, Passover, kosher." No. Shut up. You don't know the Bible. You're blind. They're blind. That's what Jesus said, "You're blind."
He even talked to a man with physical blindness, and told him, "These people are blind," about the pharisees in the book of John. He said, "You pharisees are blind guides." He said, "If the blind lead the blind, you're both going to fall in the ditch." If you follow the Jewish rabbi, you're falling in a ditch. That's what the Bible says. He's a blind guide. Now, when we talk about the Passover though, the Old Testament Passover, not this modern-day Rabbinical Jewish fraud, but I'm talking about the Old Testament Passover was something that God ordained, right? God had them eating unleavened bread, it was called the feast of unleavened bread, and then they would also eat the lamb. They would eat the Passover lamb. Well, in the New Testament, we don't have a meat component to this, because Jesus Christ is the lamb. He's our Passover. That's why we don't sacrifice a lamb. Why don't they sacrifice a lamb? Because they ignore the Bible. They don't care what it says. Why do we not sacrifice? Because Jesus is the lamb of God. The Bible is telling us that we keep the feast with Christ as our Passover.
Remember, when Jesus instituted the Lord's Supper, what did He say, in Luke 22? He said, "I've desired to eat this Passover with you." We need to understand that, Biblically, communion, or the Lord's Supper, is a New Testament continuation of the Passover. Now, is there a difference between the New Testament Passover, and the Old Testament Passover? Yes, there is. The big difference is that Christ is our Passover in the New Testament. In the Old Testament, they slaughtered a literal lamb, and they ate that lamb. In the New Testament, we observe the breaking of bread, and the drinking of the cup in order to signify the body and blood of Christ, sacrificed for us, the new testament in His blood.
Go to chapter 10. This is where we get the term communion. It says in 1 Corinthians 10:16, "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, being many, are one bread, and one body, for we are all partakers of that one bread." Let's back up to get some context. At the very beginning of the chapter, verse one. "Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all pass through the sea." I love how he's talking to Gentiles, and He calls Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, Moses, the children of Israel leaving Egypt, he calls "our fathers." It's not about genealogy. Father Abraham had many sons, right? As the song goes. He's the father of all those who believe, the Bible says. He's talking to the Gentiles and he says, "These are our fathers." He said, "All our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed thorough the sea, and were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea." Watch this, "And did all eat the same spiritual meat, and did all drink the same spiritual drink, for they drank of that spiritual rock that followed them, and that rock was Christ."
This is explaining that the Old Testament congregation of Israel that left Egypt, that is a picture of the church. It symbolizes the church. When they crossed the Red Sea, that was a picture of baptism, because they had a wall of water on this side, a wall of water on this side, the cloudy pillar above them. They were surrounded by water on all side, a picture of baptism. When they ate of the manna, and when they drank of the water from the rock, they were all eating from the same spiritual meat, they were all drinking the same spiritual drink, and these are all things that are symbolic of New Testament practice. Everybody understand?
Let's flip forward to 1 Corinthians 11. 1 Corinthians 11 says in verse 17, "Now in this that I declare unto you, I praise you not, that ye come together not for the better, but for the worse. For first of all, when you come together in the church, I hear that there be divisions among you, and I partly believe it, for there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be manifest among you. When ye come therefore together into one place, this is not to eat the Lord's Supper." There again we see both the term communion and Lord's Supper, so those are both Biblical terms.
Flip over to verse 21 there. "For in eating, everyone taketh before other his own supper: and one is hungry, and another is drunken. What? Have you not houses to eat and to drink in, or despise ye the church of God, and shame them that have not? What shall I say unto you? Shall I praise ye in this? I praise you not! 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, and when he had given thanks said, 'Take, eat. This is my body which is broken for you. This do in remembrance of me.' After the same manner, also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying this cup is the new testament of my blood. This do, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me.'" For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, ye do show the Lord's death until He comes.
I'll show you in a moment, but here's why I think this subject is unclear to a lot of people, and a lot of people are confused, is simply because of the fact that there's not a lot of scripture on this. We have the example in the gospels, and then we have this chapter, and this chapter is directed at a church that's doing it wrong, so we don't have a positive example in another book where he says, "Hey you guys are doing great. Here's how you're doing it, and it's working out great." All we have is this sort of negative chapter telling them I'm hearing all these bad things about your church. You're doing it wrong. Okay?
Now, one thing I want to point out in this scripture, that I think is a verse that's often overlooked, and this is a verse that's always kind of stuck out to me, and for a long time I wondered, "What does it mean?" Verse 20 very clearly says, "When ye come together, therefore, into one place, this is not to eat the Lord's Supper." That's a verse that a lot of people I think have read over, and just kind of skipped. I've heard a whole bunch of sermons on this chapter my whole life, and I've never been in church when a pastor expounded that verse. It was one that just kind of gets glided over, and I don't blame them, because honestly, sometimes when I'm preaching on things, and there's something that I don't really understand, I'll just kind of glide over it too, and just preach on the stuff I do understand. Nobody understands everything, so we should always preach things that we know, and not just throw wild guesses out there. We should actually be sure that what we're preaching is right before we teach. I'm not faulting anybody for that. I'm just saying that I've grown up, born and raised Independent Fundamental Baptist. I've been in a lot of church, and I've just never heard that verse expounded, because of the fact that I believe that verse teaches something that these churches aren't practicing.
The verse very clearly says, "When ye come together, therefore, into one place, this is not to eat the Lord's Supper." What does he mean by coming together into one place? Well, there are a couple of other scriptures that use this term that we could compare to get an idea. First of all, in Acts 2:1, you don't have to turn there, if you would, flip over to just chapter 14 in 1 Corinthians. Back in Acts 2:1, it says, "When the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord, in one place." Now, if you get the context, in chapter one, the Bible talked about the early church being made up of 120 people. It explained that that was including the women, so men, women, and children, the early church, when they gathered together, were about 120 people. That is the group that in chapter 2:1 is all with one accord in one place. Basically, what that is referring to is that the entire church is assembled. They're all come together in one accord, one place. Everyone would probably agree with that interpretation. Any Baptist pastor would say, "Yeah, Acts 2:1, they're all gathered together, 120, etc."
Look at 1 Corinthians 14:23. "If, therefore, the whole church," notice that term. "If, therefore, the whole church be come together into one place, and all speak with tongues, and there come in those that are unlearned, or are unbelievers, will they not say that ye are mad?" This goes right along with the definition in Acts 2:1 that being together in one place has to do with the whole church being assembled. Like we are right now. Wouldn't you say the whole church is assembled right now? This is a general assembly where everybody is here. Obviously some people don't come on Sunday nights, or whatever, but honestly, on Sunday morning, it's open to everybody. Pretty much the whole church is gathered. Sunday night, Wednesday night, the same thing. These are church services where the whole church comes together. It's not an invitation only select few where just certain people are there, other people are not included. No, it's the whole church that's invited, right? We all come together in one place. That's what the Bible is teaching there.
Therefore, according to 1 Corinthians 11:20, when it says, "When ye come together, therefore, into one place, this is not to eat the Lord's Supper." Yet, at most churches, when do they do the Lord's Supper? When the whole church is come together in one place. People would even come to our church and say, "I came on Sunday morning. Why was the Lord's Supper not served?" Well, because according to this verse it says, "When ye come together, therefore, into one place, this is not to eat the Lord's Supper."
Now you say, "Whoa, Pastor Anderson, you're just basing that off that one verse?" Let's look at all the verses and see if we can find one shred of evidence that ever teaches that we should practice the Lord's Supper where we're all gathered together in one place. Okay? Go back, if you would, for example, to Exodus 12. Let's go back to the very beginning. Let's go back to the Passover itself. Remember, this is a New Testament continuation of the Passover. What does the Passover teach in Exodus 12?
It says in Exodus 12:1, "And the Lord spake unto Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt saying, 'This month shall be unto you the beginning of months. It shall be the first month of the year to you. Speak ye unto all the congregation of Israel saying.'" Now, what is the congregation rendered as in the New Testament?
Congregation: The church.
Pastor Anderson: The church, and the congregation, those words mean the same thing. In the Old Testament, it's called the congregation. Obviously, it's not a New Testament church, it's the Old Testament nation of Israel, but they are called the congregation when they are assembled together before Moses. Remember 1 Corinthians 10 said that it's picturing the New Testament church when we read the Old Testament stories. "Speak unto all the congregation of Israel," so is this for certain people or is this for everybody?
Pastor Anderson: Everybody is included. Everybody is admonished here. "Speak ye unto all the congregation of Israel saying, in the tenth day of this month, they shall take to them, every man, a lamb, according to the house of their fathers, a lamb for an house, and if the household be too little for the lamb, let him and his neighbor next unto his house take it according to the number of the souls, every man according to his eating shall make your count for the lamb. Your lamb shall be without blemish. A male of the first year. You shall take it out from the sheep or from the goats, and you shall keep it until the 14th day of the same month, and the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it in the evening, and they shall take of the blood, and strike it on the two side posts and on the upper door post of the houses wherein they shall eat." The congregation would get together to kill the Passover, but where did they eat the Passover?
Pastor Anderson: Did they all eat it together in the congregation? Did they all gather into one place and eat the Passover? No. They ate it in the houses. That's what the Bible actually says. Let's go back to the New Testament then. Now ask yourself this question: When Jesus Christ instituted the Lord's Supper, was the whole church there?
Pastor Anderson: Yet I've been taught my whole life, in every Baptist church I've ever been in that that is the church partaking of the Passover. Let me ask you this: Where are the women? Where are the children? At the first Lord's Supper, who is there? It's Jesus and 11 guys. There's 12 people present. Judas was there for a while, and then takes off. 13 guys present at this event. That's no the whole church. That's not the whole congregation. That's a household right there, of people. Obviously, they're not related in the sense that they're not brother, sister, mother, father, but they are a small group of Christians joining together in a house to observe the Passover.
What did we see in Exodus? Did it have to be your family? Did it say, "It's just for the family?" Did it say anything about the family? It didn't mention the family. What it said was that it's a lamb for a house. He said, if the house is too small for the lamb, then the neighbor will come over. Basically, it could be other people would come over, and join together, and observe this as a group. If somebody lives by themself, they're not going to do this by themself. He wanted it to be the amount of people that it would take to eat the whole lamb, because they were supposed to eat all of it. They said, "Okay, figure out how much each person eats. That's how many should be at that Passover meal." Every man according to his eating. If the lamb is too much for you, then you get your neighbor over and you invite others to partake. In a sense, that's the amount of people that we see with Jesus. We see 12, 13 people. We don't see ... By the way, my family is 10 people. Just by itself. Anyway, the point is, we don't see the whole church assembled, because otherwise Jesus could have instituted the Passover with the ... "That was the early church!" No, that wasn't the whole church. There were more people in the church than that.
If you would, go back to 1 Corinthians 11. Here's my evidence tonight. Exodus 12, it's eaten in the houses, not in the congregation. Jesus institutes it, it's eaten in a house with only 13 people. Not the whole church. Not the whole congregation. Then, when we go to book of Acts, if you accept these references in Acts 2, what does it say? In verse 46, "And they continuing daily with one accord in the Temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart." If you accept that, that is yet another consistent proof of this. Then when you get to 1 Corinthians 11, where he's rebuking a church for doing it wrong, he says, "When ye therefore come together into one place, this is not to eat the Lord's Supper." That's one, two, three, four pieces of evidence for the fact that it's not to be done in the church service, and one, two, three, four pieces of evidence that point to the house as being a place for this to happen. Zero evidence for the whole church coming together as a congregation and doing it.
Again, you say, "Pastor Anderson, that's every church. That's what they do." Here's the thing though, that's not what makes it right. It's what the Bible says that's the final authority. Let me also say this, I am not teaching up here a diverse or strange doctrine. This is not something that is new. There is nothing new under the sun, okay? I got this just directly from reading the Bible. I can't really point to anybody who taught me this, except the Holy Spirit. I'll say this, though. There have been Christians throughout the last few thousand years that have practiced it this way, where they would meet together in houses and partake of the Lord's Supper. There are millions of people who agree with what I'm saying right now, who actually would partake of it in this way. It's not me coming up with some crazy, half-baked idea.
Just because there's a large segment that believes the wrong thing on something, we don't just say, "Well, we've got to just do what everybody else is doing. Otherwise, people are going to expect it. They're going to come to a baptist church, they're going to expect it to be a certain way. You've got to give them what they want." No, no, no. If God is saying in 11:20 here, "When ye come therefore together into one place, this is not to eat the Lord's Supper," and then we go ahead and do it anyway when we all come together in one place, then what would we be doing? We'd actually be disobeying the Bible, wouldn't we. If we just knowingly read that, and understood it, and comprehended it, and then said, "Well, we're just going to keep doing it that way, because that's what we've always done, then we would actually be transgressing God's word because He told us not to.
Let's keep reading. Verse 21. Let's read all the scripture here. In fact, let's just back up and start over to verse 17. "Now in this that I declare unto you I praise you not, that ye come together not for the better, but for the worse." He's saying, "Your church services are so messed up, it's almost better ... People are worst when they leave than when they got there." He's upset. Whatever they're doing, it's way off for him to say that.
"You come together not for the better, but for the worst. For first of all, when ye come together in the church, I hear that there be divisions among you; and I partly believe it." Now, I've been in churches where there are a lot of divisions. You know what it's due to? Weak leadership. When you have strong leadership, and when you have strong examples, and leaders in the church, and when you have a lot of doctrine being strongly preached, that's where you get people in one accord. People are on the same page, people understand the Word, because they're being taught. I've been to churches where it seems like everybody believes something different. Have you been in a church like that? You talk to one person, and they believe one thing, and you talk to another person, and ...
Now, obviously, on small issues, different people are going to have different opinions. Of course we're not all just in lock step on every issue, but I'm talking about big issues. I'm talking about, you'll talk to one person and salvation is eternal, and you can't lose it. Another, "Oh, of course you can lose your salvation." It's all over the place on major doctrine. There's no unity. One crowd loves soul winning. The other crowd is against soul winning. Half the church is Calvinist, half of them believe in free will. It's just confusion. Then you get divisions where factions form, and there are different factions that believe different things. That was a problem in this church. Why are there divisions?
He says this in verse 19, "For there must be also heresies among you." In order to have these divisions, where people believe radically different doctrines, somebody's right and somebody's wrong. Somebody is into heresy. Right? He says, "There must also be heresies among you that they which are approved may be made manifest among you." Let me say this. We don't need to be all in lock step on every little tiny issue. People have differences of opinion, or differences of interpretation on things that are not clear. When it comes to major doctrines, we need to be in one accord. I mean, we need to know what salvation is. We need to know the deity of Christ. We need to all be using the same Bible, not all different Bibles. We need to have the same base.
If you don't believe in soul-winning. If you believe soul winning is wring, you're in the wrong church. You need to just leave. We don't want you here. I'm serious. Honestly, we are a soul winning church. We believe in aggressively evangelizing, preaching the gospel to every creature. If you think, "That's stupid." Then you're stupid, and get out. Honestly, we need to be in one accord on big, giant issues like that, and we don't want that kind of leaven of really bad doctrine, like, "Hey, you can lose your salvation," or "Hey, we shouldn't be going door to door and preaching the gospel." "Hey, Jesus is not God." You're in the wrong place. You go find some messed-up church that believe like you, and stay away from us. This church stands for the key doctrines of the faith.
When it comes to smaller issues, there are people in this church that have differences of opinion. They don't agree with everything I preach. That's fine. I don't want you to think, "I have to quit the church because I disagree with something that Pastor Anderson said." Good night. I'm not God. I'm not perfect and you're not perfect. Stick around long enough, and you'll figure out that I'm right about stuff. I'm just kidding. I'm just saying, obviously, there are little issues, but we're talking heresy here. He's saying, "Look, there are heresies among you. There's division where there are the people that are right, and the people that are wrong, and it's clear-cut." We need to not have those kinds of divisions.
He says in verse 20, "When ye come together therefore into one place, this is not to eat the Lord's supper. For in eating every one taketh before other his own supper: and one is hungry, and another is drunken. What? Have ye not houses to eat and to drink in? Or despise ye the church of God, and shame them that have not? What shall I say to you? Shall I praise you in this? I praise you not. 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," and the part that we've already read a few times. This is kind of confusing, in a sense, because he kind of goes from one subject to another kind of rapidly. First he's talking about division in the church, and heresy. Then he's telling them, "Look, when you come together all in one place, don't eat the Lord's Supper here at that time, because you've got all these people here who are screwing it up." He's saying, "One's hungry, another is drunken. There's heresy amongst people. You're fellowshipping with people who don't even necessarily believe like you, in a sense." Let's keep reading and see if we can kind of sort all this out.
The reason it's like that is just because he's talking to a pretty messed up church. This church has serious problems. Let's keep reading here. He says, in verse 26, "For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do show the Lord's death till he come. 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." What is he saying there? He's saying that basically, it's a sacrilege, or desecrating of the Lord's Supper to participate in it, when you're not saved, when you're not respectful of it, you don't discern the ... You don't understand the sacrifice that Jesus gave for us, and His blood, and you're just sort of, "Oh, cool. Free food." Eating the cracker and drinking the juice as some kind of a snack, or something. This could even be a small child who's given access to this as just a play time. It's something that's meant to be taken seriously, soberly, and also it's meant for those who are actually saved.
He says, in verse 28, "But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup." Let me point this out. Does it say, "Be examined by the pastor?"
Pastor Anderson: Let a man be examined by the church. Let a man be examined by the pastor. Let a man be examined by the deacons. Is that what it says? No. It says, "Let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup." This is a personal decision whether a person believes that it's right for a them to partake of this or not, because he says in the next scripture, "For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body." The word damnation is a synonym for the word condemnation, but it's a stronger word than condemnation. It says here if you eat and drink unworthily, you're just eating and drinking damnation to yourself not discerning the Lord's body.
What does it mean "unworthily"? Does it mean that you're a really good Christian, now you are worthy? No. When you're saved, that's when you're justified and declared righteous in the eyes of God. If you are saved, and you are humbly showing up to remember the Lord's death, and to pay honor unto Him, as our savior, and to do it in remembrance of Him, then you're worthy. You've been made worthy through the blood of Christ, not through your own goodness, or your own merit.
He says, in verse 30, "For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep." Many people were being punished in this church, and judged, and chastised for doing this wrong. He says, verse 31, "For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged. But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world. Wherefore, my brethren, when ye come together to eat, tarry one for another. And if any man hunger, let him eat at home; that ye come not together unto condemnation." Again, that's going back to the word damnation, synonym. "That ye come not together unto condemnation and the rest will I set in order when I come."
Notice, in verse 33, there is a phrase that says, "Wherefore my brethren, when ye come together to eat, tarry one for another." There is a coming together to eat, but guess what. It's not for the whole church. It's not all together in one place. He says, "When you all come together in one place, it's not to eat the Lord's Supper." Later in the passage, he uses the term coming together to eat, but he's not taking about the whole church. He's just talking about people in a smaller group that would come together and partake together of the Lord's Supper, like Jesus and His disciples did, like they did in Exodus, where the neighbor that was near unto them would come to their house, and they would partake of the Lord's Supper, or as they did in the book of Acts when they're breaking bread with the disciples, and from house to house, and they're basically doing this at various people's houses.
Now, the question comes up of how often does this take place. There are some people that said, "We did it on a weekly basis." Now, flip over if you would to Acts 20. Other people would say that this is done once a year, once a year when the literal Jewish Passover happens. That's what some people would say. Because this is the continuation of the Old Testament Passover, we should do it on that day. Here's the problem with that. I do not believe in observing the Jewish calendar. I don't believe in observing the new moons, and the times, and the days, necessarily, that I would sit there and figure out when that is, the 14th day of the month Abib, or the 14th day of the second month. I don't think in the New Testament that is something that God requires of me, according to the book of Galatians. Again, I already taught on that subject a great deal when I was preaching through the book of Galatians. Probably the sermon on chapter four is where I really went into that.
Here is a little more evidence for why I would not say, "Let's observe it once a year at that exact time." Look down at your Bible there in Acts 20:6, "We sailed away from Philippi after the Days of Unleavened Bread." What are the Days of Unleavened Bread?
Pastor Anderson: So is it after the Days of Unleavened Bread? "And came unto them in Troaz in five days where we abode seven days." Basically, after the Days of Unleavened Bread, then there's five days, and then there's seven days, so this is a couple weeks later, right? "Upon the first day of the week when the disciples came together to break bread." If the disciples coming together to break bread on the first day of the week here is a reference to communion, or the Lord's Supper, then right there, we would see that they are not observing it on the Jewish Passover? Does everybody see that, because this is weeks later that they're doing this. Also, Jesus said that you would do this ... He said, "As often as you eat of this bread and drink of this cup." He didn't say once a year. He didn't say every day on the Passover.
In fact ... Again, I don't want to open this can of worms, because it's a whole other sermon, and it's complicated subject, when you try to map out the last week of the life of Christ, it's questionable whether or not Jesus was eating the Last Supper in the last day of the 14th month Abib. I believe He died on the 14th day of the month Abib, because he was the Passover. That's why they said, "Let's get His body off the cross before the Passover." When He was being crucified, they said it was the preparation. The day before the Passover.
Therefore, if that be the case, which is my personal belief on that, and I know it's a subject that's deep, because there's a lot of scripture that says a lot of things, and again, it's something that people have different views on, but in my view, Jesus isn't doing it on the exact day, nor are the apostles doing it on the exact day, and there's this kind of, "As oft as you do it, do it in remembrance of me." There's also the teaching that we don't observe the Jewish calendar with the new moons, because the Jewish calendar is not a solar calendar, like we have. It's based on the moon, and it changes. That's why it's not the same day every year. Yeah, we could just Google it, what day is Passover, and some rabbi will tell us, but I'm not really interested in doing that.
Honestly, I believe that from studying all these scriptures, just to sum things up, that this is something that we as believers should do in the New Testament. It's something that out church should do, where we observe the Lord's Supper. Where we have communion one with another, and where we do break the bread, and where we drink the fruit of the vine, in remembrance of Christ's broken body, and His shed blood for our sins, and it is something that we do basically at whatever interval that we do, that we do it in remembrance of Him. Not a set interval, and that it is not something that we do when the whole church is gathered together in one place, because of the fact that there are all kinds of people that come to these church services, the bigger the church gets. There are many unsaved people who come and visit out church services, and people coming from all over that believe who knows what, that are brand new. We have visitors in every service. It just gets too big to be able to observe it in the the way that it was intended, which was an intimate observation, where it's a small group, both in Exodus, and when Jesus partook, and when the disciples partook. It's something where, yes, people of the church would come together and do this, but it would actually be in the home. It would be outside of the main congregation.
That might seem radical to you, only because you've maybe just been taught a certain thing your whole life. I'll say this, there are many Independent Fundamental Baptists that do something very similar to this. What they will do sometimes is they won't do it in the church service, because of this verse, and they'll basically just have a set time where it's like invitation only, where they'll get together and do it. To me, that ... As the church is growing, that doesn't make any sense to sit there and try to figure out something like that, who's worthy, you know? A man is supposed to examine himself, and where does the Bible teach that this is supposed to be something that the pastor administers? Does the Bible teach the pastor will administer this? That's kind of Catholic, where the Catholic priest is the only one who has a right to administer this, and he judges you whether you're worthy. The Catholics will deny communion to those who are excommunication or whatever.
The reason is because the Catholics are tying this in with salvation, but what does the Bible say? That "whosoever believeth in him shall not perish, but have eternal life." You do not have to participate in this to be saved. It has nothing to do with salvation. Therefore, it's not something that that Catholics could hold over your head, and say, "We will decide whether you're worthy of salvation." They have all kinds of crazy beliefs about this. We can't look to them. They teach that it's the literal body and blood. They teach that you're literally drinking blood. It's crazy what they teach. It's a bizarre teaching that they have. They do it with alcohol. They teach that it's the literal, it becomes His blood in your stomach. They teach that the priest is the only one that can give it to you, and he hangs it over your head. He knows whether you've been bad or good, so be good for goodness sake, or whatever. Instead of letting a man examine himself.
This is something that should be partaken of in the home, either the family, or if it be too small of a family, come together and break bread with the disciples of Christ. Show the Lord's death till He comes. Do this in remembrance of Him. This should clear up any confusion as to why we do not do this. Some people come here. "Why don't we do the Lord's Supper? Why don't we do the communion?" Here's the thing. In the early days of the church, we did. Here's the thing, the church was so small back then, it pretty much was like the Upper Room, at that point. I think if the church is really small, and you know everybody, then yeah, it would just make sense everybody comes together and celebrates this, but I think what we have in the church of Corinth is a great big church. He says, "Look, when you're all coming together in one place, this is not to eat the Lord's Supper. You've got all these different people. You've got heresy. You've got people that don't know how to behave themselves. You've got all these different situations. It makes more sense, it's more reverent, when you're in the home with a small group, where everybody basically is on the same page, and so forth.
You say, "What about people that are new to church? They're new to this ... They don't understand." Well, that's where they're breaking it from house to house. They would show others, and say, "This is what we've gotten from scriptures. This is something that we do as believers to show the Lord's death till he comes." That's actually something that would take place.
Let's bow our heads and have a word of prayer. Father, we thank you so much, Lord, for your sacrifice of the Passover for us, Lord. The fact that you died on the cross for us, Lord. Help us to keep that in remembrance, Lord. Help us to just always focus on the cross, and the death, burial, and resurrection, as being the most important event in the history of mankind. In this time of year, as people are focusing on the birth of Christ, help us to remember why you were born, and what you came here to do, which was to shed your blood for us, and that your body might be broken for us, Lord, that we might have salvation through your flesh, and through your blood. We pray, Lord, that you would just help these things to sink down into our ears, and if anyone here has any confusion on this issue, Lord, I pray that as they open their Bibles and read, that it would become clear to them. In Jesus's name we pray, amen.