Sunday, March 29, 2015

Who should gather for the Memorial?

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A letter I received:

Good day Sister D,
I hope all is well with you and that preparations are also in order for the memorial.
Not sure if this question has been asked before if so please direct me to it.

Since Jesus sat down with his 12 apostles before chasing Judas away for the occasion. To me it seems like it was a private matter between him and his loyal 11 apostles.  That being the case why do we (non partakers) need to be with the partakers on the night? If Jesus wanted other people to be there he could have arranged it wouldn't you say?

I await your answer on this matter with great anticipation.


My reply

"If I understand your questions accurately; you are asking about who should gather to commemorate the Memorial of Christ's death, and who should partake. I will give you a scripture or two for each point, and if you wish to go into one aspect of my reply with more depth, you can follow up.

First... Who should gather?
In my mind, 1Cor. 11:33 makes this clear...
"So then, my brothers and sisters, when you gather to eat, you should all eat together."

Notice that the "brothers and sisters" being spoken of, "gather to eat".
This indicates, that those who gather, are gathering, because they are going to participate in sharing the emblems.

Another scripture...

"After taking the cup, he gave thanks and said, "Take this and divide it among you." (Luke 22:17)
When Jesus offered the wine, he told all who were present, to share it.

So my reply to you is, that those who expect to share in the Memorial by partaking of the emblems, are the ones directly expected to gather, according to the scriptures. No one was present at the original event, except those entering the New Covenant with Christ, and actively partaking.
How do we know who gathered at the original event?

juanes_avondmaal.jpg (1200×773)

Matt.26:20 tells us:
"When evening came, Jesus was reclining at the table with the Twelve."
Why the twelve?
"Then Jesus replied, “Have I not chosen you, the Twelve?” (John 6:70 a)
(John 15:16)
The twelve were present, because they were chosen by Christ to be there.
Were they the only ones that were following him, having put their faith in Jesus Christ?
No. See John 7:31; 11:45; 12:10-11; 12:42.

John 13:2 reads:
"The evening meal was in progress, and the devil had already prompted Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot, to betray Jesus."
The Twelve were there, because Jesus had chosen them, but not all for the same purpose. Jesus knew ahead of time, that Judas would compromise his loyalty to Christ. (John 17:12; 13:11)
Jesus knew the prophecies about him, written in the scriptures. So although the twelve gathered, Jesus knew that Judas was not chosen to be in the New Covenant (Luke 22:20). He had only been chosen, to fulfill what God foretold about the betrayer (Ps.41:9).
At John 13:18 Jesus said:
 “I am not referring to all of you; I know those I have chosen. But this is to fulfill this passage of Scripture: ‘He who shared my bread has turned against me.’"

So it was only those chosen to be in the New Covenant, that were present to partake with Christ.
This assertion is further enforced by a consideration of what Jesus said at that last meal to those in attendance for the emblems:
"You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last (1Cor. 3:14) —and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you." (John 15:16)
Jesus says that those who attended,
were those whom he "chose" and "appointed". A closer look at the beginning of that verse reveals that it is not possible to choose ourselves to be in this relationship with Christ. We, are chosen, by him.

As John 15:16 stated...those at the Last Supper of our Lord, were a hand-picked group, which Christ selected to "bear fruit" that would last. This directly refers to the "trees of life" inside the Holy City...

"Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations." (Rev.22:1,2)

Those who produce "fruit" to heal the nations, are Abraham's seed, about which he was told...
"and through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed, because you have obeyed me." (Gen.22:18)
These are spiritual Jews (Rom.2:28,29; Gal.3:28,29), and have received of the circumcision of the heart, by Holy Spirit (Col.2:11).
Are all those who put sincere faith in Christ, members of these "chosen" and "appointed" to bear "lasting fruit"?
I could say from personal experience, that to be "chosen" by Christ, is an event that is clearly experienced by the power of Holy Spirit. Those who assert that they are chosen, and yet have not had such an experience, do not realize the difference. Yet, rather than rely on my experience of what it means to be chosen by Christ; let us examine scriptures, which prove that not all who have sincere faith in Christ, should gather and partake of the emblems.

What was the situation in the first Century? Did the 11 who partook, do so because they were the only ones who had put faith in Christ?

"Still, many in the crowd believed in him. They said, “When the Messiah comes, will he perform more signs than this man?” (John 7:31)
"Therefore many of the Jews who had come to visit Mary, and had seen what Jesus did, believed in him." (John 11:45)

"So the chief priests made plans to kill Lazarus as well, for on account of him many of the Jews were going over to Jesus and believing in him." (John 12:10,11)

"Yet at the same time many even among the leaders believed in him. But because of the Pharisees they would not openly acknowledge their faith for fear they would be put out of the synagogue" (John 12:42)

Clearly, there were in reality, many that put sincere faith in Jesus Christ. Yet only 11 were offered the symbols of his sacrifice that night. If we return to John 15:16, it becomes clearer why this is the case...
"You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you."

Not all who make a personal choice to put faith in Jesus Christ, are appointed by him personally, to heal the nations by the fruit they produce. These have been selected by Jesus Christ, to receive the "circumcision of the heart" by Holy Spirit (Rom.2:28,29; Col.2:11; Heb.10:16; Deut.6:6,8; Rev.14:1;  1Cor. 5:7).
At the original first century occasion, only those so "chosen and appointed" by Jesus, were present at that sacred occasion, to eat the same bread, and drink the same wine, that Jesus did.

Since you already seem to understand these things, I will now comment on your questions...

1. Why do we (non partakers) need to be with the partakers on the night?

Simply put, you don't.
I would compare Christ's last meal with his Chosen Ones,
to a Bridegroom going away before a wedding. He has a last intimate dinner with his fiance before leaving, to assure her of his love and intention to return. He directs her what to do in his absence, and asks her to remember him, his love, and all he is sacrificing for their future. It is not an occasion that he invites all his friends and relatives to attend.
Scriptures like Eph.5:25 and Rev.14:1; and Rev.5:9,10 make clearer, who Christ died for, first (James 1:18; Rom.8:23; Rev.20:5,6).
That ransom will be applied to the rest of creation, under the Kingdom of God... through the sacrifice of Christ AND his completed Bride (Rom.6:5; Rev.6:9,11; Mark 8:35), when the New Covenant ends, through fulfillment (1Cor. 11:26; 13:10; Rom.8:25).
("End of the New Covenant")

2. If Jesus wanted other people to be there he could have arranged it wouldn't you say?

Absolutely! We need only consider Matt.14:15-21...
"As evening approached, the disciples came to him and said, “This is a remote place, and it’s already getting late. Send the CROWDS away, so they can go to the villages and buy themselves some food.”
Jesus replied, “They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat.”
“We have here only five loaves of bread and two fish,” they answered.
“Bring them here to me,” he said. And he directed the people to sit down on the grass. Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the people. They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over. The number of those who ate was about five thousand men, besides women and children."

If the "Covenant by virtue of Christ's blood" (Luke 22:20) and the emblems which represented it were for all Christ's disciples, Jesus certainly could have included them.
  When one is authentically Chosen by God, the reason why he didn't include the great majority, is easy to grasp. When genuinely chosen by God and Christ, such a one understands that this rare experience is not a wish of one's will (Rom.9:16).
No matter how the scriptures may seem to be leaned upon in one's own reasoning or deductions; inclusion in this chosen and appointed group cannot be assumed, without error. All scriptures about this subject must be accepted; and none, nullified.
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If you would like to read more about "Who should partake?", this is another post on this subject:

...And here is a recent post about which day we should memorialize Christ's death on:

As an afterthought,
It is not wrong for all those of faith, to be prayerful during this sacred occasion. Christ's brothers are being trampled, and are enduring perilous spiritual circumstances in our day. Our earnest prayers should be given on their behalf.

"And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord's people." (Eph.6:18)

"God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them." (Heb.6:10)
        (1Pet. 2:5,9,10 shows who God's people, are.)
Matt.25:31-46 (-click on to read) conveys the support Christ expects to be extended to his Chosen brothers, by all those of faith.

It is also good for all to remember, that the effects of the meaning of this occasion, reach everyone of faithfulness, just as Rev.22:1,2 highlighted.
For this reason, this yearly event has meaning to all those who benefit from the "lasting fruit" that those Chosen by Christ, have been chosen and appointed, to provide. Through such fruit, the nations are healed.
For more information about how non-anointed may observe this special occasion, here is a link: (

I certainly hope that you and your family are doing well. I especially pray that anyone in your life that might be favorable toward truth, will be reached.
Love in Christ,

>(For making and reading comments in language other than English)

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