THE LORD’S SUPPER Written February 24th, 2017 by Dr. Scott D. Oliver (All scripture references are from “One New Man” Bible with additional references from the actual Hebrew and Greek transcripts.) My personal search for truth has directed my study recently toward answering the following questions about the Lord’s Supper (Heb. Aruchat Adonai): 1. 2. 3. 4. How do we incorporate it into our Messianic worship today? Is it to be always connected to a fellowship meal? Is it only to be observed during Passover? Do we observe it on the first Sabbath of the month as many Messianic congregations in Israel are currently doing? 5. Do we observe it every Sabbath as a few Messianic congregations in Israel are currently doing? Our discussion here may not be able to answer all of the above questions clearly, but as we look at Paul’s discussion in the context as it is given on the matter in 1 Corinthians chapter 10 and mostly in chapter 11, we can at least see what it is not supposed to be. In Corinthians chapter 10 Paul spends much time warning against the congregation going back to their pagan roots especially after, as did Israel, “(they) all drank from the spiritual drink: for they drank from the spiritual rock, which was following them, and the rock was Messiah” (10:4). Paul continues by using many examples from Exodus and Numbers when Israel desired previous slavery over their new found freedom; they constantly tested Elohim. Paul now concludes in 10:14, “My beloved, you must habitually flee from idol worship”. In 10:16 Paul continues, “When we are blessing the cup of blessing, is it not fellowship from the blood of the Messiah? The bread which we break, is it not fellowship with the body of the Messiah? Because there is one body, for we are from one loaf”. He again repeats his concern over sacrificing to other gods or idols of those gods concluding with “You cannot drink a cup of the Lord and a cup of demons, you cannot share a table of the Lord and a table of demons.” So what can we conclude from these verses in chapter 10? Paul uses a practice that every Israelite can relate with the blessing of wine and blessing of bread every Sabbath to make a point about the danger of the infiltration of pagan gods and customs. It was a constant problem for Israel historically, so why would it not be a problem for the relatively new Messianic congregations of ethnic Israelite and Gentile still living in a very pagan world. This sort of sounds like us today doesn’t it? But it is very interesting how Paul describes this blessing of bread and wine here in this passage; he uses the additional phrases “fellowship from the blood of Messiah” and “fellowship with the body of Messiah”. And even adds the idea of “echad” (oneness in Messiah) to be represented from all in the congregation partaking from the one loaf of bread; as “Israel shared some of the offerings from the altar”. It sounds like this expanded blessing of bread and wine was happening on each Sabbath in those congregations in Corinth. Let’s go on to 1 Corinthians chapter 11 now. We find Paul now giving some harsh criticism to the Corinthian congregation regarding the way they were carrying out the Lord’s Supper. In 11:17 Paul begins, “But when I give these instructions I do not praise you, because you come together, not for the better but for the worst”. Paul feels that when they and we come together it should benefit us spiritually; it should help us grow together in the Lord. Paul seems to feel that when they came together it was to criticize and tare one another down and not to build each other up. He then talks about divisions among them. Then he addresses the main problem at hand in 11:20. “Therefore when you come together for this it is not the Lord’s Supper you eat: for you each takes his own supper to eat beforehand, and indeed one is hungry and another is drunk. Do you not have homes in which to eat and drink? Or do you despise the congregation of Elohim and do you shame those who do not have enough? What could I say to you? Will I praise you? I do not praise you in this!” Notice that Paul is going to say twice in chapter 11, “Do you not have homes to eat and drink in?” So he is talking about something in the Lord’s Supper that is more than a fellowship meal with bread and wine being blessed. He is talking also about a congregational event. The Passover is not a congregational event; it is a family home event. This was a problem as it occurred in the congregation. Paul

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