It will be necessary to click onto the blog post in order to see more posts and comments, and to be able to see the worship video.
During each Friday Evening Sabbath Worship service we begin with a reading of Genesis whereby we give honor and glory to God and to the greatness that He has placed on His creation. We reflect on the particular Holiness that He has placed on the seventh day of creation, “The Sabbath.” We will have a reading from the Gospel of John, Chapter 1, vs 1-14, where we will hear of another creation, which is the creation of a new spirit, a Holy Spirit, for fallen mankind. After a time of worship and praise to our Lord and Savior, Jesus of Nazareth, we will be taught and encouraged through a preaching and teaching of God’s Holy Word. We will conclude our service by having a fellowship meal. During the meal, we will take time to remember the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus. We encourage all who receive this letter to join us for worship at 6:30 P.M., which will be the beginning of Sabbath.
Sermon: Breaking Of Bread
In this sermon, the use of repetition is used to reinforce topics that appear not to have been taught on a large and effective basis. Notice, also, that the sermon is conversational. It is not a five point sermon, or ten, or even three point sermon. The ideas that come to my mind are typed and placed in the sermon. As you read the scriptures that relate to “Communion, The Breaking Of Bread, The Lord’s Supper,” you will notice that they all relate to the sacrificial death of Jesus on the cross, but they were not inventions of the apostles, or of the New Testament Church. The message, and the procedure, all relate back to the Last Supper of the Passover (Matthew 26:17-30), and also to the meal that took place at the end of the trip to Emmaus where Jesus “broke bread” before Cleopas and other believers (Luke 24:1-52). (The Ryrie Study Bible has a very good “day by day breakdown”, in Luke’s Gospel (Chapters 19-24), of the events that took place during the Passion Week.) Consider “The Day Of Preparation” that is recorded in John 19:31. Because it was the preparation for the Sabbath, and that Sabbath day, because it fell in the Passover week, was a “high day.” Bodies would not have been allowed to remain on the crosses on the Sabbath day, which was one of the days of Unleavened Bread. Every Sabbath day is a Holy day, and is a good day; but this particular Sabbath was a high day; it was a great day. Therefore Passover Sabbaths are High days, and are called High Sabbaths. Consider the significance of The Day Of Preparation. Consider that the Jews used that day to prepare for, “get ready for the Sabbath. It’s sort of like the “good ole days” when Christians would use Saturday to get ready for “Church on Sunday.”
Luke 24:35, “They began to relate their experiences on the road and how He was recognized by them in the breaking of the bread”
In today’s church there is a lot of discussion, and disagreement, on issues that relate to The Lord’s Supper, The Communion, The Breaking Of Bread, The Eucharist. It will be the purpose of this writing to clarify some areas of confusion or misunderstanding that believers in Christ might have in this regard. Also, because the disciples of Jesus were Jews, we should consider their lives as they relate to the feasts that they celebrated before, and after, the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus. The time line is important to our study, as is the comparison of the cities that will be discussed. As my method of study dictates, scripture will be used to interpret scripture. My personal comments will always be clearly marked as such. Hopefully we will have the mindset of the Bereans, in Acts 17:11. New International Version “Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.”This sermon covers a time frame from A.D. 33 to A.D. 59. The events that will be discussed range from Jerusalem to Corinth.
A.D. 33 (Passover)
Jesus Celebrates Passover With His Disciples
17 Now on the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread the disciples came to Jesus, saying to Him, “Where do You want us to prepare for You to eat the Passover?”
18 And He said, “Go into the city to a certain man, and say to him, ‘The Teacher says, “My time is at hand; I will keep the Passover at your house with My disciples.”’”
19 So the disciples did as Jesus had directed them; and they prepared the Passover.
20 When evening had come, He sat down with the twelve. 21 Now as they were eating, He said, “Assuredly, I say to you, one of you will betray Me.”
22 And they were exceedingly sorrowful, and each of them began to say to Him, “Lord, is it I?”
23 He answered and said, “He who dipped his hand with Me in the dish will betray Me. 24 The Son of Man indeed goes just as it is written of Him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been good for that man if he had not been born.”
25 Then Judas, who was betraying Him, answered and said, “Rabbi, is it I?” He said to him, “You have said it.”
Matthew 26:17-25, My thoughts
As is clearly seen, all of the disciples are present. There were no exclusions, and no exceptions. We can also see that Judas, who betrayed Jesus, was present. Notice, also, that the setting was that of a meal. Notice also (John 13:2-5, 11-12) that it was during the Passover Seder/Meal that Jesus washed the feet of the disciples, including the feet of Judas. It should also be considered that a meal has an air of intimacy. With the exception of Judas, there was a great love among the disciples for each other. For us, consider what it would be like to have a meal with someone, or someones, where there would be adversity and conflict. The Passover meals were times of a uniting of minds of Jews, in a common purpose for remembering all that God had done for them in bringing them out of the bondage that they had suffered as slaves in Egypt. Again, consider the intimacy of the meal, and that there were no exclusions or exceptions. All of the Jews participated in the celebration and meal of Passover.
Jesus Institutes the Lord’s Supper
26 And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to the disciples and said,“Take, eat; this is My body.”
27 Then He took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you. 28 For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. 29 But I say to you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in My Father’s kingdom.”
30 And when they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.
Matthew 26:26-30, My thoughts
It was during the Passover meal, when Jews reflect on their deliverance from bondage in Egypt, that Jesus took the opportunity to tell of his soon coming and imminent death. He used the bread and wine that were used during the meal to explain the state that would be of His body and blood, as a result of His dying on the cross the next day, which we call Good Friday. This event would occur before the beginning of Sabbath (Friday at sundown). It is important to know that Jesus didn’t use a small wafer of bread when He said, “Take, eat, this is My body.” Neither did He use a small sip of wine when He said, “Drink from it, all of you.” Jesus took bread and wine from the table where they were sharing the meal. The food on the table did not suddenly become the literal body and blood of Jesus. “Transubstantiation” is the suggested change whereby, according to Catholic doctrine, the bread and wine that are used in the sacrament of the Eucharist become the body and blood of Christ. Again, the bread and blood that Jesus used, as He instituted the Lord’s Supper, were taken from the table where all of the other Passover food items had been placed. Also, Jesus was not “holding Himself and eating of His own body,” and was not “drinking His own blood,” as he was telling of his impending death. A final item that should be emphasized is that Jesus did not separate the Passover meal from the moment that He began to tell of His death. The occasion was that of a meal, a continuous meal, where bread and wine were taken from the table. There were no rules for the meal, other than the normal procedures of the Passover Seder. There were no statements that had been made known about who would not be allowed to participate in the meal. Consider the words of Jesus in Matthew 11:28: Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest”(New Living Translation). Notice also, that the meal took place in the evening of Thursday, the day before His crucifixion. This day is also called Holy Thursday and Maunday Thursday, which is the day before Good Friday. It should also be noted that “The Day Of Preparation” (John 19:31), refers to Friday, the day before, or the ‘preparation’ day for, the Sabbath.
A.D. 33 (After The Resurrection)
The Road to Emmaus
13 Now behold, two of them were traveling that same day to a village called Emmaus, which was seven miles from Jerusalem. 14 And they talked together of all these things which had happened. 15 So it was, while they conversed and reasoned, that Jesus Himself drew near and went with them. 16 But their eyes were restrained, so that they did not know Him.
17 And He said to them, “What kind of conversation is this that you have with one another as you walk and are sad?”
18 Then the one whose name was Cleopas answered and said to Him, “Are You the only stranger in Jerusalem, and have You not known the things which happened there in these days?”
19 And He said to them, “What things?”
So they said to Him, “The things concerning Jesus of Nazareth, who was a Prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, 20 and how the chief priests and our rulers delivered Him to be condemned to death, and crucified Him. 21 But we were hoping that it was He who was going to redeem Israel. Indeed, besides all this, today is the third day since these things happened. 22 Yes, and certain women of our company, who arrived at the tomb early, astonished us. 23 When they did not find His body, they came saying that they had also seen a vision of angels who said He was alive. 24 And certain of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said; but Him they did not see.”
25 Then He said to them, “O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken!26 Ought not the Christ to have suffered these things and to enter into His glory?” 27 And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself.
Luke 24:13-27, My Thoughts
Jesus comes upon two disciples who are walking to Emmaus; they are prevented by Jesus from recognizing Him. The three of them engage in conversation as they walk. The disciples discuss the events of the crucifixion of Jesus, the death, burial, and resurrection. At that point in the conversation, Jesus uses Old Testament scriptures to explain that those same scriptures identify Him as being the prophesied Messiah.
The Disciples’ Eyes Opened
28 Then they drew near to the village where they were going, and He indicated that He would have gone farther. 29 But they constrained Him, saying, “Abide with us, for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent.” And He went in to stay with them.
30 Now it came to pass, as He sat at the table with them, that He took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them. 31 Then their eyes were opened and they knew Him; and He vanished from their sight.
32 And they said to one another, “Did not our heart burn within us while He talked with us on the road, and while He opened the Scriptures to us?” 33 So they rose up that very hour and returned to Jerusalem, and found the eleven and those who were with them gathered together, 34 saying, “The Lord is risen indeed, and has appeared to Simon!” 35 And they told about the things that had happened on the road, and how He was known to them in the breaking of bread.
Luke 24:28-35, My Thoughts
As the journey ends in Emmaus, the disciples invite Jesus to stay with them. It was the evening of the day, on Sunday, the first day of the week, on the same day that Jesus was resurrected from the dead. An evening meal is set before Jesus and those who are with Him. As with the Passover Meal, Jesus took bread from the meal table, just as He did on Thursday evening, and blessed it and gave the bread to those who were present. Jesus didn’t use little pieces of bread wafers. Nothing was said about those who should not “come around the Lord’s table.” There was not a “set aside” moment, that was separate from the meal, when Jesus broke the bread. All of this was a part of a meal. It was during this “meal,” as Jesus blessed the bread from the table, and gave it to the other people, that He was made known to them. The term, “breaking of bread,” will become a common name for the fellowship meals that believers will begin to share. During such fellowship meals, remembrance will be made of the death of Jesus.
A.D. 33 (Day Of Pentecost Follow up)
A Vital Church Grows
40 And with many other words he testified and exhorted them, saying, “Be saved from this perverse generation.” 41 Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them. 42 And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers. 43 Then fear came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles. 44 Now all who believed were together, and had all things in common, 45 and sold their possessions and goods, and divided them among all, as anyone had need.
46 So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart, 47 praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.
Acts 2:40-47, My Thoughts
Three thousand Jews, who were present for the Feast Of Pentecost, had come to know Jesus as their Lord and Savior. It is important to identify them as “believing Jews.” Jews who had not come to that belief should be called “unbelieving Jews.” Still, religious Jews, whether they were “believing” or “unbelieving” Jews, had great respect for their Jewish heritage. The believing Jews continued to attend the temple worship services, but they also met as believers in Christ in their homes. They had meals in each others’ homes where they, “broke bread,” just as had taken place in Luke 24:28-35. Key words are seen in this passage. The believers had “all things in common.” “Common,” relates to communion. The bread and wine were not seen as being, “the communion.” The believers were “the communion.” In the 1960s and 70s, there were “communes” of people who lived together and had all of their things “in common.” The Episcopal Church has a group of believers who belong to the “Anglican Communion.” There were no rules as to who should not be allowed to participate in these fellowship meals. There was a daily sharing of the fellowship meals, but there was no “set aside” of a separate “wafer of bread” and “sip of wine” being identified as “the communion,” “the Lord’s Supper,” or “the Eucharist.” The bread of the meal that was placed on the tables did not become the literal “body of Christ.” The wine of the meal that was placed on the tables did not become the literal “blood of Christ.” There was no particular schedule that was stated for, “the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers,” other than that the believers were “steadfast” in those things. Also, notice in verse 46, “they ate their food.” That reiterates the fact that it was during fellowship meals that the death of Christ was remembered, and was not just the sharing of bread wafers and sips of wine. It is also important to understand that the believing Jews did not automatically build “The First Baptist Church Of Jerusalem,” or any other such named congregation, and place their membership in such places. Home churches were not a direct design for churches to follow; they were appropriate for the time. The difference that existed in the lives of the believing Jews was that they had come to know Jesus as their Lord and Savior. Verse 42 has been cited to show that the early church had “the communion” as a regular part of their church services. That verse does not make that point. It is very clear in its meaning. Those who had come to saving faith in Jesus followed the teachings of the apostles. They maintained a fellowship with other believers. They “broke bread,” shared fellowship meals. They prayed. But, also remember that these Jews, who were new to belief in Jesus, were still Jews. They still went to the temple, but also met outside of the temple as believers in Christ. There is a problem that exists for Jewish believers today, who do not fellowship with other believers of Jesus; they don’t receive the blessings of the teachings of Jesus.
Paul Travels To Keeps The Feast Of Pentecost At Jerusalem
18 So Paul still remained a good while. Then he took leave of the brethren and sailed for Syria, and Priscilla and Aquila were with him. He had his hair cut off at Cenchrea, for he had taken a vow. 19 And he came to Ephesus, and left them there; but he himself entered the synagogue and reasoned with the Jews. 20 When they asked him to stay a longer time with them, he did not consent, 21 but took leave of them, saying, “I must by all means keep this coming feast in Jerusalem; but I will return again to you, God willing.” And he sailed from Ephesus.
Acts 18:18-21, My Thoughts
The feast that is mentioned in verse 21 probably relates to the Feast Of Passover, which Paul was planning to attend. The apostles were religious Jews before they became believers in Jesus. They did not necessarily remove themselves from the keeping of the Jewish feast days. Of course, there was no reason to force such attendance on the Gentiles, who would come to accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior.
Ministering at Troas
7 Now on the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul, ready to depart the next day, spoke to them and continued his message until midnight.
Acts 20:7, My Thoughts
The breaking of bread accompanied the preaching by the Apostle Paul. This occurred on the first day of the week, which was Sunday. The meeting appears to have occurred in the evening of the day. There is nothing that is stated that indicates that the breaking of bread was any different than that which took place in Acts 2:42-46. There, the believers had a fellowship meal, during which time the death of Jesus was remembered. Neither were there any statements about anyone that should be excluded from the fellowship meal, which was the “breaking of bread.” The bread was part of the meal, as was the wine. This “breaking of bread” did not consist of small wafers of bread or and sips of wine, that were used outside of the fellowship meal to remember the Lord’s death.
Paul Travels To Keep The Feast Of Pentecost At Jerusalem
16 For Paul had decided to sail past Ephesus, so that he would not have to spend time in Asia; for he was hurrying to be at Jerusalem, if possible, on the Day of Pentecost.
Acts 20:16, My Thoughts
The Apostle Paul made the trip to Jerusalem to attend the Festival of Pentecost.
1 Corinthians 5:1-8
Immorality Defiles the Church
5 It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and such sexual immorality as is not even named among the Gentiles—that a man has his father’s wife! 2 And you are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he who has done this deed might be taken away from among you. 3 For I indeed, as absent in body but present in spirit, have already judged (as though I were present) him who has so done this deed. 4 In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when you are gathered together, along with my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ, 5 deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.
6 Your glorying is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump? 7 Therefore purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, since you truly are unleavened. For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us. 8 Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.
1 Corinthians 5:1-8, My Thoughts
The city of Corinth was one that was morally corrupt. It was widely known for its indulgences in sensual pleasures and scandalous activities that involved illicit sex and drunkenness. Some of these same sins were common among members of the church in Corinth, which included incest. There were many religious prostitutes who lived and worked there; they went into the city in the evening to offer “their services” each evening. The Corinthian church was full of worldliness and would not separate itself from the culture that surrounded it. The Apostle Paul wrote his letter to the Corinthian church to instruct the faithful members of that church to break fellowship with those who were disobedient and unrepentant, and also to put them out of the church. Whenever a church becomes an embarrassment within any community, and begins to look like the sinful world, corrective actions must be taken by the church or there will be no clear difference between that apostate church and the world. In this passage, we can seen specific problems within that church. Sexual immorality, including incest (vs 1); selfish pride, and an unwillingness of the church to remove the incestuous man from the church (vs 2). Paul related the Feast of Unleavened Bread to the way that the Church at Corinth should live its daily life. Sinful lifestyles should be replaced with lifestyles of Holiness. It is important to notice that the problem that Paul is addressing is one that had taken root in the church as a corporate body. It was not just one person’s sinful lifestyle choices that had made the church repulsive, even to the Gentiles (unbelievers).
1 Corinthians 11:17-22
Conduct at the Fellowship Meal
17 Now in giving these instructions I do not praise you, since you come together not for the better but for the worse. 18 For first of all, when you come together as a church, I hear that there are divisions among you, and in part I believe it. 19 For there must also be factions among you, that those who are approved may be recognized among you. 20 Therefore when you come together in one place, it is not to eat the Lord’s Supper.21 For in eating, each one takes his own supper ahead of others; and one is hungry and another is drunk.22 What! Do you not have houses to eat and drink in? Or do you despise the church of God and shame those who have nothing? What shall I say to you? Shall I praise you in this? I do not praise you.
1 Corinthians 11:17-22, My Thoughts
The Apostle Paul continues with his objections that relate to the Corinthian church. There was nothing good about that church’s coming together as a body; instead it was seen to be a bad thing (vs 17). There were severe divisions within the church, as opposed to a church that was unified in a common purpose to worship God (vs 18). The Corinthian church came together to “break bread,” which was a fellowship meal. That gathering was far from that which occurred in the example that is shown in Acts 2:42-47. There was no unity of purpose for the “communion of the saints.” (vs 20). Some people ate their meal before others arrived. Consequently, not all people who were hungry found enough, if any, food to eat. Notice that it was not a “set aside” of wafers of bread, but a meal which was served. And, as is shown, people were getting drunk because of their over indulgence in the drinking of the wine. The drunkenness did not come from “a sip of wine,” but from the beverage that was served during the meal (vs 21). If the Corinthians could not have a fellowship meal in manner that was respectful, to their fellow believers and to God, they should just have their meals at their own homes. There was nothing about the way the Corinthians had their fellowship meals, “the breaking of bread,” that Paul found to be worthy of his praise (vs 22).
1 Corinthians 11:23-26
Paul Remembers the Last Supper/Passover/Lord’s Supper
23 For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you: that the Lord Jesus on the same night in which He was betrayed took bread; 24 and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, “Take, eat; this is My body which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” 25 In the same manner He also took the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.”
26 For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death till He comes.
1 Corinthians 11:23-26, My Comments
As we see in the Last Supper, “The Passover Meal,” (Matthew 26:26-28), it was during that meal that Jesus took time to tell of His soon to be death on the cross. It was also during the “breaking of bread,” the fellowship meal, that there was also a time for the remembrance of the death of Jesus on the cross. Notice that the Corinthians did not have a “set aside” time, which was held outside of the fellowship meal, that small wafers of bread, and sips of wine, were used to remember the death of Jesus.
1 Corinthians 11:27-34
27 Therefore whoever eats this bread or drinks this cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. 28 But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of the bread and drink of the cup. 29 For he who eats and drinks in an unworthy manner eats and drinks judgment to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body. 30 For this reason many are weak and sick among you, and many sleep. 31 For if we would judge ourselves, we would not be judged. 32 But when we are judged, we are chastened by the Lord, that we may not be condemned with the world.
33 Therefore, my brethren, when you come together to eat, wait for one another. 34 But if anyone is hungry, let him eat at home, lest you come together for judgment. And the rest I will set in order when I come.
1 Corinthians 11:27-34, My Thoughts
The question that should be raised as we read this passage is one that refers to verse 29, as it relates to “an unworthy manner.” Leading up to this point in scripture, there was nothing written that was relative to “who may, or may not” participate in a fellowship meal. The problems of the Corinthian church had nothing to do with sharing a meal, or remembering the death of Jesus. Notice, also, that the problems were corporate and not necessarily individual. The bread and wine of the fellowship meals were not “the ark of the covenant.” The context of Paul’s letter to the Corinthians does not change. In Matthew 11:28, we read, “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” So, we’re told that we should come to Jesus when we have a problem, but many of us have been taught that if we have certain “unknown” problems, and if we come “around His table” that He will strike us dead. None of us are ever worthy of anything of God. It is in our weak times that we need the fellowship of the body of Christ, which is the true communion. But, let’s consider the word “unworthy.” If the context of Paul’s message had changed, has there ever been published, for all to read, a list of offenses for which we may have committed, which if we have committed them, will keep us from participating in a meal with other believers, and which will prevent us from remembering the Lord’s death among those same believers, with the penalty of death? (a long run-on sentence, but it is difficult to separate it). God has ways of dealing with those who are embarrassments to His church. Consider Acts 5:1-11. The deaths of Annanias and Sapphira had nothing to do with “the breaking of bread,” participation in a fellowship meal, or remembering the death of Jesus. Their penalty for lying to the Holy Spirit served a purpose that is written in Acts 5:11: “So great fear came upon all the church and upon all who heard these things. The punishments of sickness and death that happened to the Corinthian believers also created great fear among their congregation.
Thought to consider. Believers in Jesus can remember His death on the cross outside of a fellowship meal. Small wafers of bread and small sips of grape juice or wine can be used to focus on the broken body and shed blood of our Lord and Savior. There is no frequency that is scripturally stated for “a communion service,” or for a fellowship meal. It is important, though, for us not to put unscriptural requirements for participation in such times of “breaking bread.” Let us consider the words of the following song of breaking bread. The early church shared in a fellowship meal. During that meal they remembered the death of Jesus on the cross. They did it “together.” They “were” the communion. May we also be “the communion.”
New American Standard Bible
that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death;