“And this day shall be unto you for a memorial; and ye shall keep it a feast to the LORD throughout your generations; ye shall keep it a feast by an ordinance for ever.” (Ex. 12:14)
“…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.” (1 Cor. 5:7,8)
The date for celebrating the Memorial to our Lord in 2014 is Saturday April 12, 2014 after 6:00 p.m. The calculation is based on the New Moon (in Jerusalem) nearest the Spring Equinox (March 20, 6:57 p.m.) which is March 30, 2014, thus March 30 is Nisan 1. Counting forward from Nisan 1, Nisan 14 is April 12.
The instructions for the Passover in Egypt were very rigid, even as respects the time it should be kept. Up to that time the Jewish year began with the first day of the seventh month – Tishri; but the institution of the Passover changed that. The month Abib was then to become the first month: “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.” (Ex 12:1-2.). Since that time the Jews observe two years – the religious year beginning with Abib, or Nisan, and the business year beginning with Tishri. However, all recordings in the Bible after the Passover in Egypt are reckoned as from the month Abib, or Nisan.
This change was not without purpose. Prior to the Passover, the Jews had no organized religious ritual. The religious order which they had when they entered Canaan some forty years later was the one arranged for them through Moses at Sinai in the wilderness, when the Aaronic priesthood and the Tabernacle ceremonies were first instituted. This would seem to suggest to us that the secular year revealed the character of the dispensation previous to the present one – commonly known as the Jewish Age. It would be followed by the ecclesiastical year, and would suggest the spiritual character of the present dispensation. Here then is contrasted the dealings of God during the Jewish Age, along the rigid lines of the Law, to His Grace dealings during the present Age. Prior to the Gospel Age, God’s dealings with His covenant people were along earthly and secular lines; whereas, during this Gospel Age the dealings have been along spiritual and ecclesiastical lines.
In that God made the change in the beginning of the year in connection with His institution of the Paschal Lamb, its feast and the entire Passover festival, suggests that the change of the year is typical of the Lord’s dispensational dealings changing at the beginning of the Gospel Age; for the change in the type was made because of the Passover Lamb, its feast and its following festival, which properly type Christ our Lamb, with the privileges and blessings of the Christian life that attach to it.
And concerning the date on which the Passover and its subsequent memorials were to be kept, the instruction was very specific – it was to be on the 14th day of the first month. (Ex. 12:6)
DELIVERANCE FROM THE BONDAGE OF EGYPT
The Feast of the Passover, celebrated every year for seven days, began with the fifteenth day of the first month. It celebrated in a general way the deliverance of the people of Israel from the bondage of Egypt – but particularly the passing over, or sparing alive, of the first-born of that nation during the plague of death which came upon the Egyptians, and which, as the last of the plagues, finally compelled them to release the Israelites from servitude. The passing over of the first-born of Israel became the precursor of the liberation of the whole nation of Israel, and their passing in safety over the Red Sea into freedom from the bondage of Egypt. We can readily see that so portentous an event would properly be commemorated by the Israelites as intimately identified with the birth of their nation; and thus it is celebrated by Jews to this day. The members of the New Creation are interested in those events, as they are interested in all the doings and arrangements of their Heavenly Father, both in respect to His typical people, Israel after the flesh, and in respect to the whole world of mankind. But the New Creation has a still deeper interest in those matters which occurred in Egypt, in view of the fact that the Lord has revealed to them the “mystery” that those things which happened unto natural Israel were intended to typify and foreshadow still grander things in the divine plan respecting antitypical Spiritual Israel – the New Creation.
In reference to these spiritual things, the Apostle declares that “…the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” “But God hath revealed them unto us [the New Creation] by his Spirit…” (1 Cor. 2:14, 10) God used the Apostles as His mouthpieces to give us certain clues whereby, under the guidance of His Spirit, we may understand the deep things of God. One of these clues is found in 1 Cor. 5:7, 8, quoted above. Following the Apostle’s indication, we see clearly that Israel according to the flesh typified the whole people of God – all who shall ultimately become His people, down to the close of the Millennial age; that the Egyptians represented the opponents of the people of God, Pharaoh, their ruler, representing Satan, the prince of evil and darkness; and Pharaoh’s servants and horsemen representing fallen angels and men who have associated or who will associate themselves with Satan as opponents to the Lord and His people – the New Creation, and in general the household of faith. As the people of Israel longed for deliverance, and groaned under their taskmasters, yet were weak and unable to deliver themselves, and could never have freed themselves from the yoke of Egypt had it not been for the Lord’s intervention on their behalf, and His appointment and sending of Moses to be their deliverer, so we see the world of mankind at the present time and throughout the past groaning and travailing in pain together under the exactions of “the prince of this world” (John 12:31) and his minions, Sin and Death. These hundreds of millions of humanity have a craving for liberty from bondage to their own sins and weaknesses, as well as for release from the penalties of these – pain and death. But without divine aid, mankind is powerless. A few make a vigorous struggle, and accomplish something; but none get free. The entire race of Adam is in bondage to sin and death, and their only hope is in God and in the antitypical Moses, who He has promised shall deliver His people in His appointed time – bringing them across the Red Sea – representing the Second Death, in which Satan and all who affiliate or sympathize with him and his evil course shall be everlastingly destroyed, as was typified in the overwhelming of Pharaoh and his hosts in the literal Red Sea. But the Lord’s people “shall not be hurt of the Second Death.” (Rev. 2:11)
DELIVERANCE OF THE FIRST-BORNS
The foregoing is the general picture; but inside of it, and yet a part of it, was another, a particular picture, which related, not to mankind in general and their deliverance from the bondage of sin and death, but only to a special class among them – the first-born. Corresponding to these as their antitype, we have brought to our attention by the inspired word the “Church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven” (Heb. 12:23) – the New Creation. In the type, the first-born occupied a special place – they were the heirs; a special place also in that they were subjected to a special testing or trial in advance of their brethren. They became liable to death before the general exodus, and when the exodus did occur these first-born ones had a special place in it – a special work to do in connection with the general deliverance, for they became a separated class, represented in the tribe of Levi. They were separated from their brethren, giving up entirely their inheritance in the land, that according to the divine arrangement they might be the teachers of their brethren.
This tribe or house of Levi clearly represents the household of faith, which is represented in turn by the preparatory Royal Priesthood, which gives up inheritance in earthly things on behalf of the brethren, and shall by and by constitute actually the Royal Priesthood, whose Chief Priest is the Lord, and which shall bless, rule and instruct the world during the Millennial age. As the first-born of Israel in Egypt were subject to death, but were passed over, escaped it, and losing the earthly inheritance became a priesthood, so the antitypical Church of first-borns in the present time is subject now to Second Death, having their testing or trial for everlasting life or everlasting death in advance of the remainder of mankind, and passes from death unto life, through the merit of the Redeemer’s blood – death.
Becoming participants in their Lord’s grace, they renounce or sacrifice with Him, the earthly inheritance, the earthly portion, the earthly life, that they may attain heaven and its life more abundant. Thus, while the Church of the first-born, the New Creation, all “die like men,” (Psa. 82:7) and in respect to earthly things seem to lose and renounce more than do others, nevertheless, though the natural man understands it not, these are passed over, or rescued from death, and, as the Royal Priesthood, will, with their Chief Priest, Jesus, be made partakers of glory, honor and immortality.
These, whose passing over occurs during the nighttime of this Gospel Age – before the Millennial morning dawns, and its Sun of Righteousness arises – are to be the leaders of the Lord’s host, to bring it forth from the bondage of sin and Satan. Mark how this agrees with the language of the Apostle (Rom. 8:22,19), “…the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together” – waiting “for the manifestation of the sons of God” – waiting for the complete passing over of the Church of the first-born in the First Resurrection, to glory, honor and immortality.
CHRIST OUR PASSOVER LAMB
But, now, another feature of the type is important. In order to effect the passing over of the first-born, and the consequent deliverance of all the Lord’s people in the type, it was necessary that the Passover lamb should be slain, that its blood should be sprinkled upon the doorposts and lintels of the house, that its flesh should be eaten that night with bitter herbs, and with unleavened bread. Thus each house of Israel represented the household of faith, and each lamb represented the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world, and the first-born in each family represented the Christ, Head and Body, the New Creation. The bitter herbs represented the trials and afflictions of this present time, which all the more serve to whet the appetite of the household of faith for the Lamb and the unleavened bread. Moreover, as each household was to eat with staff in hand and girded for a journey, it represented that the antitypical first-born and household of faith who would thus partake of the Lamb during the night time of this Gospel Age would be pilgrims and strangers in the world, who would realize the bondage of sin and death, and be desirous of being led by the Lord into freedom from sin and corruption – into liberty of the sons of God.
It was in harmony with this type of the killing of the Passover lamb on the 14th day of the first month – the day preceding the seven days’ Feast of the Passover, celebrated by the Jews – that our Lord died, as the antitypical Passover Lamb, “…the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” (John 1:29) At no other time was it possible for our Lord to have finished in death the sacrifice which He began when He was thirty years of age, in His baptism unto death. Hence it was that, although the Jews many times sought to take Him, no man laid hands on Him, because “his hour was not yet come.” (John 7:8,30)
As the Jews were commanded to select the lamb of sacrifice on the tenth day of the first month, and to receive it into their houses on that date, the Lord appropriately offered Himself to them on that date, when, five days before the Passover, He rode into the city on the ass, the multitude crying, “Hosanna to the Son of David: Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord…” “He came unto his own, and his own [as a nation] received him not.” “But as many as received him [individually], to them gave he power to become the sons of God...” (Matt: 21:9; John 1:11,12) The nation, through its representatives, the rulers, instead of receiving Him, rejected Him, and thus identified itself for the time with the Adversary. Nevertheless, by God’s grace the blood of the New Covenant is efficacious for the house of Jacob also, and upon all who desire harmony with God, and they were partakers of the merits of the Lamb – yet they refused to eat of the antitypical Lamb – they lost the opportunity of becoming as a nation the first-born ones, the Royal Priesthood, the holy nation, the peculiar people of Messiah – they lost the opportunity of passing over and becoming members of the New Creation, with life more abundant in glory, honor and immortality; but we are glad to be informed elsewhere in the Scripture that they will, nevertheless, have a glorious opportunity of accepting the Lamb of God, of eating, appropriating, His flesh, His sacrifice, and of thus escaping the bondage of sin and death, under the leadership of the Lord and of His faithful brethren, spiritual Israel, the antitypical Church of the First-born. (Rom. 11:11–26)
OUR LORD’S MEMORIAL SUPPER
“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. 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. For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come.” (1 Cor. 11:24–26)
It was at the close of our Lord’s ministry, on the 14th day of the first month, in “the same night in which he was betrayed,” and in the same day, therefore, in which He died, as the antitypical Lamb, that He celebrated with His disciples the typical Passover of the Jews – eating, with His twelve Apostles, the typical lamb which represented Himself, His own sacrifice for the sins of the world and the “meat indeed,” (John 6:55) in the strength of which the life, the liberties and the blessings of the sons of God are alone obtained. The eating of this supper on the night preceding our Lord’s death, and yet the same day, was made possible by the Jewish custom, which began each day, not at midnight, but in the evening. The Lord evidently arranged all the affairs of Israel in conformity with the types which they were to express.
As Jews born “under the Law,” it was obligatory upon our Lord and His Apostles to celebrate this type, and at its proper time; and it was after they had thus observed the Jewish Supper, eating the lamb with unleavened bread and herbs, and probably also, as was customary, with “fruit of the vine,” that the Lord – taking part of the unleavened bread and of the fruit of the vine remaining over from the Jewish Supper, the type – instituted among His disciples and for His entire Church, whom they represented (John 17:20), a new thing, that with them, as the spiritual Israel, the Church of the First-born, the New Creation, should take the place of, and supplant, the Jewish Passover Supper. Our Lord was not instituting another and a higher type of the Passover. On the contrary, the type was about to begin its fulfilment, and, hence, would be no longer appropriate to those who accepted the fulfilment. Our Lord, as the antitypical Lamb, was about to be slain, as the Apostle expresses it, “Christ our Passover is sacrificed.”
None accepting Christ as the Passover Lamb, and thus accepting the antitype as taking the place of the type, could any longer with propriety prepare a typical lamb and eat it in commemoration of the typical deliverance. The appropriate thing thence-forth for all believers in Jesus as the true Passover Lamb would be the sprinkling of the doorposts of the heart with His blood: having their “…hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience”… [from present condemnation – realizing their sins propitiated through His blood, and that through His blood they now have forgiveness of sins]. (Heb. 10:22) These henceforth must eat, or appropriate to themselves, the merits of their Redeemer – the merits of the man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself a ransom for all. By faith they must partake of those merits, and realize that as their sins were laid upon the Lord, and He died for them, so His merits and righteousness are imputed to them. These things they eat, or appropriate by faith.
If, then, our Lord’s Supper took the place of the Passover Supper, yet not as a higher type – the antitype having commenced – what was it? We answer that it was a Memorial of the antitype – a remembrance for His followers of the beginning of the fulfilment of the antitypical Passover.
When our Lord instituted His Memorial Supper, called the Last Supper, it was, as above stated, a new symbol, built upon and related to the old Passover type, though not a part of it, being a commemoration, or memorial of the antitype. As we read, He “…took bread, And when he had given thanks he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you [this represents me, the antitypical Lamb; it represents my flesh]: this do in remembrance of me.” Our Lord’s evident intention was to fix in the minds of His followers the fact that He is the antitypical Lamb to the antitypical first-borns and household of faith. The expression, “this do in remembrance of me,” implies that this new institution should take the place with His followers of the former one, which must now become obsolete by reason of fulfilment. “After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, this cup is the new testament [covenant] in my blood” – the blood of the covenant – the blood which seals the New Covenant – “this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me.” We would not understand this to imply the doing of it without respect to time and place, etc., but as signifying that when this cup and unleavened bread thenceforth were used as a celebration of the Passover, it should on every occasion be considered a celebration, not of the type but of the antitype. As it would not have been lawful, proper or typical to celebrate the Passover at any other time than that appointed of the Lord, likewise it is still not appropriate to celebrate the antitype at any other time than its anniversary. (1 Cor. 11:23–25)
The Apostle adds, “For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come.” (1 Cor. 11:26) This shows us that the disciples clearly understood that thenceforth to all of the Lord’s followers the annual Passover celebration must have a new meaning: the broken loaf representing the Lord’s flesh, the cup representing His blood. Although this new institution was not laid upon His followers as a law, and although no penalties were attached for failure of its proper observance, nevertheless the Lord knew well that all trusting in Him and appreciating Him as the antitypical Passover Lamb would be glad to take up the Memorial which He thus suggested to them. And so it is still. Faith in the ransom continues to find its illustration in this simple memorial, “till he come” – not only until our Lord’s parousia, or presence, in the harvest or end of this age, but until during His parousia one by one His faithful ones have been gathered to Him, beyond the “Veil,” there to participate to a still fuller degree, and, as our Lord declared, partake of it “anew in the Kingdom.”
PRIMARY SIGNIFICANCE OF THE BREAD AND THE CUP
We recall the circumstances of the first Memorial – the blessing of the bread and of the cup, the fruit of the vine: and our Lord’s declaration that these represented His broken body and shed blood, and that all His followers should participate, not only feeding upon Him but being broken with Him; not only partaking of the merit of His blood, His sacrifice, but also laying down their lives in His service, in cooperating with Him in every and any manner, that they might later share His honor and glory in the Kingdom. How precious are these thoughts to those who are rightly in tune with our Lord!
In presenting to the disciples the unleavened bread as a memorial, Jesus said, “Take, eat; this is my body.” (Matt. 26:26) The evident meaning of His words is: This symbolizes or represents my body: for in no sense had His body yet been broken. In no sense would it then have been possible for them to have partaken of Him actually or antitypically, the sacrifice not being as yet finished. But the picture is complete when we recognize that the unleavened (pure, unfermented) bread represented our Lord’s sinless flesh – leaven being a symbol of sin under the Law, and especially commanded to be put away at the Passover season. On another occasion Jesus gave a lesson, which interprets to us this symbol. He said, “For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world.” “…I am the bread of life...” “I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.” (John 6:33,35,51)
In order to appreciate how we are to eat, or appropriate, this living bread, it is necessary for us to understand just what the bread signifies. According to our Lord’s explanation of the matter, it was His flesh, which He sacrificed for us. It was not His prehuman existence as a spirit being that was laid down and its glory laid aside, in order that He might take our human nature. It was the fact that our Lord Jesus was “…holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners…” (Heb. 7:26) – without any contamination from Father Adam, and hence free from sin – that enabled Him to become the Redeemer of Adam and his race, that permitted Him to give His life “…a ransom for all to be testified in due time.” (1 Tim. 2:3–6)
When we see that it was the pure, spotless human nature of our Lord Jesus that was laid down on behalf of sinners, we see what it is that we are privileged to appropriate. The very thing He laid down for us we are to “eat,” appropriate to ourselves: that is to say, His perfect human life was given to redeem all the human race from condemnation to death, to enable them to return to human perfection and everlasting life, if they would: and we are to realize this and accept Him as our Savior from death. The Scriptures show us, however, that if God would consider all past sins canceled, and should recognize us as having a right to human perfection, this still would not make us perfect, nor give us the right to eternal life.
In order that any of the race of Adam might profit by the sacrifice of Jesus, it was necessary that He should rise from the tomb on the Divine plane of life, that He should ascend to the Father and deposit the sacrificial merit of His death in the hands of justice, and receive from the Father “…all power… in heaven and in earth.” (Matt. 28:18) As relates to the world it was necessary also that in the Father’s due time Jesus should come again to earth, invisibly, a glorious Divine Being, then to be to the whole world a Mediator, Prophet, Priest and King, to assist back to perfection and to harmony with God all who will avail themselves of the wonderful privilege then to be offered.
It is this same blessing that the Gospel Church of this Age receives by faith in their Redeemer – namely, justification by faith – not justification to a spirit nature, which we never had and never lost, and which Christ did not redeem; but justification to human nature, which Father Adam possessed and lost, and which Christ redeemed by giving His own sinless flesh, His perfect human life, as our ransom sacrifice. The partaking of the unleavened bread at the Memorial season then means to us primarily the appropriation to ourselves, by faith, of justification to human life-right – a right to human life – with all its privileges, which our Lord at His own cost prepared for us. Likewise the fruit of the vine symbolizes primarily our Savior’s life given for us, His human life, His human being, His soul, poured out unto death on our behalf (Isa. 53:12); and the appropriation of this by us also signifies, primarily our acceptance of restitution rights and privileges secured by our Lord’s sacrifice of these.
DEEPER SIGNIFICANCE OF THE LOAF AND THE CUP
Now let us note that God’s object in justifying the Church by faith during the Gospel Age, in advance of the justification of the world by works of obedience in the Millennial Age, is for the very purpose of permitting this class who now see and hear, who now appropriate the great sacrifice which love had made on man’s behalf, to present their bodies a living sacrifice, (Rom. 12:1) and thus to have a part with the Lord Jesus in His sacrifice – as members of His body. This deeper meaning of the Memorial He did not refer to directly. It was doubtless one of the things to which He referred when He said “I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. Howbeit, when it, the Spirit of Truth, shall come it will guide you into all truth,… and will show you things to come.” (John 16:12,13)
This Spirit of Truth (the power and influence of The Father), bestowed through Christ and speaking through the Apostle Paul, clearly explains the very high import of the Memorial; for St. Paul says, writing to the true Church, “The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion [participation] of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion [participation] of the body of Christ? For we being many, are one bread, and one body...” (1 Cor. 10: 16,17)
Both views of this impressive ordinance are very important. First of all, it is essential that we should see that our justification is through our Lord’s sacrifice. It is proper then that we should realize that the entire Christ, the entire anointed company, is from the Divine standpoint, a composite body of many members, of which Jesus is the Head (1 Cor. 12:12,13), and that this Body, this Church, as a whole must be broken – that each member of it must become a copy of the Lord Jesus and must walk in the footsteps of His sacrifice. They do this by laying down their lives for the brethren, as Jesus laid down His life directly for His Jewish brethren, but really for the whole world, according to the Father’s purpose.
It is not their spiritual life that they lay down, even as it was not Jesus’ spiritual life that He laid down. As He sacrificed His actual, perfect being, His humanity, so they are to sacrifice their justified selves, reckoned perfect through Jesus’ merit, but not actually so. Likewise the loaf and the cup represent suffering. Each grain must be crushed and ground before it can become bread for man; they cannot retain their life and individuality as grains. The same with the grapes; they must be crushed to extract their juice, thus losing their identity as grapes.
Our Lord distinctly declares that the cup, the fruit of the vine, represents blood; that is, life – not life retained, but life shed, given, yielded up. He tells us that this life poured out was for the remission of sins; and that all who would be His must drink it, must accept His sacrifice and appropriate it by faith. They must receive life from this source. It will not do to declare that life is the result of obedience to the Law. It will not do that faith in some great teacher and obedience to his instruction will amount to the same thing and bring eternal life. There is no way to attain eternal life other than through the blood once shed as the ransom price for the whole world!
“Neither is there salvation in any other; for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12)
“TILL HE COME”
The Jews were commanded to keep the Passover each year on the 14th day of Nisan as “a memorial…throughout your generations” (Ex. 12:14), and Christians have also been commanded to “do this in remembrance” of Christ our Passover each year “till he come.” (1 Cor. 11:25-26) From this statement by St. Paul some have raised the question: Should we continue to keep the Memorial if our Lord has returned? However, when we consider that both the Little Flock and the Great Company are a part of the Church of the Firstborn, and that partaking of the bread and the wine symbolizes their participation in the merit of the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world, then it should require no argument about them continuing to “shew the Lord’s death till he come” – until the last one has come to journey’s end. But we believe the command would apply also to those faithful ones here in the end of the Age who are not a part of the spirit-begotten Church of the Firstborn, because the merit of our Lamb has been tentatively imputed to all such – to the extent that the New Covenant cannot begin to operate toward the world until that embargo against Christ’s merit has been removed.
And, as we partake of our Lamb “in newness of life,” so we also partake of His sufferings, each according to the Class in which he finds himself. If we are rightly exercised by such experiences, we then receive “the Egyptians jewels of silver, and jewels of gold, and raiment” (their good character qualities – Ex. 12:35) – which they in turn lose by reason of their unjust acts against God’s faithful people. “We must through much tribulation enter into the Kingdom of God.” (Acts 14:22) The word “tribulation” is derived from the Latin “tribulum,” the threshing instrument by means of which the Roman husbandman separated the corn from the husks. Says one commentator: “Though tribulation may crush and bruise us, it separates our chaff from the wheat, so that we are prepared for the granary of Heaven. Sorrow is hard to bear, and doubt is slow to clear, but the New Testament is the most joyful book in the world because its writers have been delivered from the doubt that paralyzes the soul, and they live in the sunshine of the love of Christ. They know their affliction (tribulation) is working out for them the glory that is to be.”
Dear Brethren, if we will consider our trying experiences with Satan’s deluded servants as opportunities of obtaining Divine Truth and grace, receiving them in the Lord’s spirit, we will thus receive the symbolic articles of gold, silver and raiment. Let us view these experiences from this standpoint and act accordingly amid them; and we will emerge from them greatly enriched spiritually. This consideration will keep us from murmuring and complaining amid such experiences and will enable us to take them joyfully. (1 Pet. 4: 12‑14)
As the Israelites fled from the Egyptians after being told to be gone the morning after the tenth plague, the morning after the Passover had been eaten, the cloudy fiery pillar set a barrier between them and the pursuing Egyptians, casting a light ahead of it to lighten the path of Israel, but working a thick darkness to the Egyptians. So during this Harvest period and especially so during this Epiphany night, the Truth (the fiery pillar) has been the means of separating the faithful from the measurably faithful and from the unfaithful. That which effects deliverance for the faithful, keeping them standing and growing in “grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ,” (2 Pet. 3:18) is the very thing that entraps the unfaithful and brings them to a fall. This is much the same picture as given in Ex. 4:9, where Moses was told to “take of the water of the river, and pour it upon the dry land: and the water which thou takest out of the river shall become blood upon the dry land.” The refreshing Harvest Truth would appear to be bloody repulsive error to those for whom it was not intended. “But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him…” (1 Cor. 2:14)
This paper includes excerpts from the following: Studies in the Scriptures, Vol. 6, pages 457–465, and several of Brother John J. Hoefle’s writings.
With this writing comes Christian love to all God’s people wherever they may assemble. We especially offer a prayer for the Lord’s nearness and rich blessing in the preparation for, and participation in this coming service. “Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us.”
QUESTION OF GENERAL INTEREST
QUESTION – May members of the Youthful Worthies participate in the Memorial Supper, as was their custom before realizing that they belonged to this class?
ANSWER – The primary participants in the Lord’s Supper are the Little Flock. By their participation therein they are privileged to symbolize three things: (1) the death of our Lord Jesus (1 Cor. 11:26); (2) their faith, appropriating justification through His death (Matt. 26:28); and (3) their sharing with Him in the privilege of the sacrificial death for the world (1 Cor. 10:16,17). The Little Flock will be privileged to do these three things as long as it is in the flesh. The Great Company, as such, will cease in the Memorial Supper to symbolize death with Christ, when they recognize that they are no longer dying with Him; but they will not for that reason cease partaking of the Memorial Supper for the other two purposes above mentioned. So it seems to us the case stands with the Youthful Worthies. They are not privileged in the Lord’s Supper to symbolize death with Christ; for they are not dying as a part of The Christ. But they may partake of the Lord’s Supper to symbolize His death as the Lamb of God, and to symbolize their faith, tentatively appropriating justification through His death. We have two reasons for believing that it is appropriate for the Youthful Worthies to partake of the Lord’s Supper for the first two purposes above set forth. (1) Not only the firstborns, but all Israelites by Divine command and approval (Ex. 12:25-27; Josh. 5:10; 2 Chro. 35:1-19) partook of the annual Passover, the type of the Lord’s Supper. This types that all ultimate believers ─ the Youthful Worthies, as well as all new creatures ─ may celebrate the Lord’s Supper. (2) The Apostles partook of the first Lord’s Supper while consecrated but in a tentatively justified condition. At that time their condition was very much the same as that of the Youthful Worthies, though they had a prospect of membership in the Body of Christ denied the Youthful Worthies. (By Brother Paul Johnson, E-4-page 408, bottom, 409)
“IN THE VALLEY OF THE SHADOW”
Brother John Barham, of Tulsa, Oklahoma, finished his course late December 2013. He came into the Truth when a young man, and has been a “good soldier” in the Lord’s Army since that time, remaining faithful to the end. When such good brethren leave us we feel a deep sadness. He is now asleep in Jesus awaiting the resurrection of the Just (Acts 24:15). We mourn his passing with his family and friends
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