Sabbath Message 24/5/38/120
The apostle Paul warns that the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own likings, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander into fables (2Tim.4:3-4). This warning by Paul most certainly rings true in light of some who now erroneously claim that the Lord's Supper should be observed in the afternoon at 3:00 pm on the 14th of Abib, rather than at dark beginning of the 14th when Christ instituted the bread and wine as the New Covenant symbols, and when he was betrayed later in that evening.
Below are the reasons for observing a 3:00 pm Lord's Supper by individuals promoting the change. This Sabbath Message will deal with these points and respond to the fallacy of their assumptions.
Also, this Sabbath Message will explain why it is absolutely necessary for baptised members who are part of the Melchisedek priesthood under Christ to partake in the commemorative Passover meal on the evening of the 15th of Abib and to observe the Night of Watching.
Fallacy #1: The terms Passover and the Lord's Supper are interchangeable and the same thing.
Response: They were forced into this mindset due to the ignorance of the WCG under Armstrong and the offshoots that taught this error and that the true Passover was the night of 14 Abib and the Jews had made an error in keeping the Passover meal on the night of 15 Abib. This heresy is still pushed by WCG offshoots and has resulted in the theological collapse into the false doctrine we are now faced with exposing. The people espousing this error had to come up with this ploy to make it fit their change of timing for observing the Lord's Supper. It became necessary to redefine two separate important events as though they are one and the same event. In other words, the Lord's Supper is the same as Passover, and Passover is the same as the Lord's Supper, therefore they must be observed as one event. This view shows a complete ignorance of the text in Deuteronomy 16:5-8. That text requires the elect to go out of their gates for the 14th and 15th Abib and prepare the Passover and on the Morning of the 15th they are permitted to return to their feast accommodation but not to their homes as stated in the commentary to the Soncino from ibn Ezra. This was the law that Christ was observing when he told the disciples to go to the room.
The additional errors in this view are forced because the offshoots do not engage in the sanctification sequence and everyone who fails to do that sequence from 1 Abib falls from the faith and falls into errors which the WCG and Offshoots did from 1967 onwards when they failed to keep the full feast of Unleavened Bread (see the papers Sanctification of the Nations (No. 077); Sanctification of the Temple of God (No. 241) and then Sanctification of the Simple and Erroneous (No. 291)
It is true that the symbols of the bread and wine of the Lord's Supper instituted by Christ on the evening beginning of the 14th of Abib and the symbol of the Passover lamb killed in the Temple at 3:00 pm on the 14th represents Christ as the Lamb of God which his death fulfilled, but does that mean we are to combine these two separate critical events and observe them as one and the same? Absolutely not and here is what these individuals do not understand.
To state that the "Passover" and the "Lord's Supper" are interchangeable and the same thing is a lie and causes confusion as we have witnessed the confusion in the Churches of God and its offshoots of WCG who believe this ruse. WCG under Herbert Armstrong claimed that the Lord's Supper was the Passover, and so they observed "Passover" after sunset at the beginning of the 14th of Abib while not really understanding the difference between the Lord's Supper and Passover. Consequently under the WCG system, the commemorative Passover meal in the evening of the 15th of Abib and the Night of Watching became meaningless and a carelessly observed event. People were allowed to go to restaurants for the evening to have a meal. Those promoting a 3:00 pm Lord's Supper make a similar mistake only they move the Lord's Supper to the time when Christ died on the stake and they eliminate the commemorative Passover meal as WCG did. This is contrary to Scripture including Paul's statement in 1Corinthians 11:20. Both are in serious error as we shall see (see also the paper The Death of the Lamb (No. 242)).
Some offshoot groups of the WCG system who lean towards Messianic Judaism even allow their children to partake of the bread and wine of the Lord's Supper as "Passover" symbols. This was never done in the most heretical days of the WCG.
The most obvious reason why the two terms are not interchangeable and are not observed as the same event is because the Lord's Supper is reserved for adults who have repented and been baptized (Acts 2:38). Its symbols of the footwashing represent repented sin and forgiveness of one another; and the bread and wine represent not only the broken body of Christ and his shed blood for sin, but also a new spiritual life in Christ, the bread of life from heaven (John 6:32-58). It is a remembrance of the life and death of the Messiah; the bread also symbolizes his sinless life that qualified him to be the perfect sacrifice for sin. The Lord's Supper also tends to the anticipation of the second coming of Christ (Matt 26:29). It thus points beyond itself to a future hope in the kingdom of God.
The Lord's Supper also symbolises the Melchisedek/Melchizedek priesthood (Ps.110:4, Heb.5:6,10; 6:20;
7:17,21) that individuals enter when baptised and placed into the body of Christ (1Pet.2:5,9;
Rev.1:6;5:10; 20:6). It is this priesthood to which Christ became High Priest to which we are become priests; and to which Levi tithed whilst in the loins of Abraham. This important sequence is explained in the book of Hebrews. The Church of God has kept the Lord’s Supper as its primary annual event reserved for its baptized members and it has always been kept on the night of 14 Abib and Paul chastised the Corinthians for making it into a drunken party and told them to eat at home before attending that evening (1Cor. 11:34) which was on the Night that he was betrayed (1Cor. 11:23).
Passover is reserved for all to participate in, including the unconverted of the nation, alien sojourners, those who are not baptised, and the children. They are to partake in the commemorative Passover meal consisting of the roasted lamb or an animal from the herd (Ex.12:5), bitter herbs, and unleavened bread at dark beginning of the 15th of Abib, and they are to observe the Night of Watching (Ex.12:42). Passover is the dynamic means for the nation(s) of this world or age to understand that it is through the nation Israel and Moses that God, through the angel of the Lord, gave His Laws for all mankind. Passover also symbolises Israel's past deliverance from Egypt which points to the future deliverance of all nations from Babylon under Satan's rule. The Night of Watching not only points to the past when the death angel passed over the camp of Israel, but it also points to the future return of Christ and we are to be watching (see Mark 13:32-37).
The converted baptised individuals, who are part of the Melchisedek priesthood, are also required to partake in the Passover observance including the commemorative meal and “Night of Watching” (or Observation) for reasons that will be explained in response to the fallacy below (see Melchisedek (No. 128)).
Fallacy #2: The partaking of the physical lamb as the commemorative Passover meal shows a thinking based in physical terms only and reflects a lack of understanding of the role of the Messiah. It places one back in the First Covenant under the obligation of the physical sacrificial ordinances and a physical sanctification; it then is still waiting for the first coming of the Messiah.
Response: This ruse reflects a type of theology and thought process found in WCG during the H. W. Armstrong and J. Tkach eras. It is utter nonsense and shows a total lack of understanding of the temple system, the covenants, and ultimately the role of the Melchisedek priesthood. The commemorative Passover meal which is eaten at dark at the beginning of the 15th of Abib according to God's Law is now moved back by these individuals to the time of the 3:00 pm sacrifice in the afternoon on the 14th. The evening memorial Passover meal that is to be eaten on the 15th consisting of the lamb, bitter herbs, and unleavened bread now becomes the Passover/Lord's Supper consisting of the bread and wine and foot washing service on the 14th. The Night of Watching on the 15th (Ex.12:42) also is eliminated just as it was under Armstrong in WCG. They turned it into a meaningless party.
In Luke 22:15-16 Christ states: "15) I have earnestly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer. 16) For I tell you that I will not eat it until it is fulfilled in the Kingdom of God (RSV). Christ wanted to eat the Passover but he was to suffer as the Passover and could not eat it and would not until it was fulfilled in the Kingdom of God. The proponents of a 14 Abib Passover totally misconstrue and misapprehend this text.
In the verse 15 quoted above, Christ is referring to the Passover meal eaten in the evening at the beginning of the 15th of Abib at dark when lambs were killed earlier in the late afternoon on the 14th and have been roasting and now ready to be eaten (see John 18:28). The Passover meal is for all to eat including the unconverted of the nation, the children, as well as baptised adults. The false doctrine that the Passover was on the night of the 14th was complete heresy and misled the entire WCG and Offshoots for decades.
Christ states that he will not eat another Passover meal until it is finally eaten in God's Kingdom (vs.16). When will this take place in God's Kingdom and what epoch or era in God's plan is Christ referring to?
In verse 16 Christ is referring to the Millennium when God re-gathers Israel into a nation for re-education under the Melchisedek priesthood.
First of all, when Christ returns and ends Satan's rule on earth, he establishes the millennial rule and God's Kingdom. Christ restores in total the nexus of God's Law and re-establishes the physical temple system for the re-gathered nation of Israel (Ezek. 36:22-37). Christ also re-establishes the Levitical priesthood physically and among the 144,000 of the Twelve tribes (Ezek.40:45-46; 43:19; 44:15; 45:5; Rev. 7:4-8), and the animal sacrifices for the Sabbaths, New Moons and Feasts and the Morning sacrifice of the Temple system (cf. Ezek.45:21-25).
Christ is the High Priest representing the spiritual Melchisedek priesthood (Ps.110:4, Heb.5:6,10;6:20;7:17,21). Those of the 1st Resurrection are partakers of this spiritual Melchisedek priesthood under the Messiah in the Millennium (1Pet.2:5,9; Rev.1:6;5:10;20:6).
In the Millennium, the Melchisedek priesthood will be guiding and instructing the Levitical priesthood through the process of the physical Temple system, and both priesthoods will be co-existing side by side. Why are the two Temple systems now co-existing and why is the physical Temple system with its Levitical priesthood and animal sacrifices re-instituted?
The answer is very important to understand. In the Millennium, the two Temple systems, the physical Temple and the spiritual Temple, will co-exist until all of humanity under the physical Temple System, including the fallen Host, are re-educated in God's Laws to be brought into the spiritual Temple system with God's Laws written on the heart so He can become all in all with His creation. This is the responsibility of the Melchisedek priesthood under the guidance of its High Priest, the Shepherd/Messiah Yahoshua to restore in total the nexus of God's Laws by working with the physical creation and guiding it to become part of the spiritual Temple system.
The physical Temple system and its priesthood will finally cease to exist when it has accomplished its purpose of re-education in the Laws of God, and when the City of God arrives to this earth. All of humankind not in the spiritual Temple by then will simply be allowed to die and will cease to exist.
Why are baptised members required to participate in the evening commemorative Passover meal on the 15th of Abib and the Night of Watching?
The Lord's Supper and Passover are two separate events representing the two covenants. The Melchisedek priesthood not only partakes of the Lord's Supper the evening before, but also eats of the commemorative Passover meal of the physical lamb, or beast of the herd, on the 15th of Abib to: (1) symbolically acknowledge that Christ literally became flesh and blood to die as the physical Lamb of God for humanity, and (2) to conduct, guide, and participate in the evening congregational activities of the commemorative Passover meal and Night of Watching. These evening activities are to include everyone, especially the non-baptised and the children. Thus the Melchisedek priesthood is required to do its part in the sanctification process of the Temple and nation that began on the 1st of Abib.
Today the Melchisedek priesthood is required to partake in the process under Christ that he re-establishes in the Millennium with the Levitical priesthood. This includes not only partaking of the Lord's Supper with its spiritual symbols of the bread and wine (and foot washing), but also the priesthood is required to partake in the events the next evening of the 15th of Abib and the physical symbols as well.
In summary, there are two separately celebrated events, the Lord's Supper and Passover. The correct sequence of these events are: 1) the Lord's Supper being celebrated by the Melchisedek priesthood on the evening beginning of the 14th of Abib, 2) at 3:00 pm in the afternoon of the 14th a congregational service commemorating the death of the Messiah as the Passover Lamb of God is conducted and everyone (baptised and non-baptised) are to attend, 3) the Ingathering following sometime after the 3:00 pm Service, and 4) the gathering together of everyone beginning of the 15th of Abib for the evening commemorative Passover meal and the Night of Watching.
Both celebrated events represent the Temple systems and covenants, and both systems will co-exist from the beginning of the Millennium until the City of God arrives to this earth. The spiritual Melchisedek priesthood under the guidance of the Shepherd/Messiah Yahoshua and High Priest will guide the physical Temple system and its priesthood until all is accomplished in God's Kingdom. Then the physical Temple system will cease to exist.
Those who now want to move the Lord's Supper to the afternoon on the 14th of Abib and call it Passover do not understand the Temple systems, its covenants, and its priesthoods. It is massive ignorance of the faith and is spreading among those who are derived from the offshoots and do not understand the Passover sequence. They misplace the Footwashing and the Bread and Wine and separate them, or simply allocate them to the afternoon of the 14th in ignorance. Some are judaisers. They have swallowed this heresy introduced to destroy the Lord’s Supper in the Faith.
Fallacy #3: The reference by Paul to the Lord's Supper in 1Cor.11:20 may well be the commanded night of ingathering required by law which would occur at the end of the 14th. If Paul was referring to the beginning of the 14th it would be adding another day to Passover and he would be a false apostle. Therefore the symbols of the Lord's Supper in 1Cor.11:20 are to be taken at the time of the 3:00 pm Passover sacrifice and that would perfectly lead into the first holy day of Unleavened Bread which commences that same night after dark.
Response: The Lord's Supper was instituted by the command of Christ and by his example as well. On the night before His death, Christ gathered with his disciples to eat a meal before he was betrayed. The apostle Paul rightly identifies this gathering as the Lord's Supper.
The word Paul uses for supper in 1Cor.11:20 is "deípnou" (SGD #1173) and is defined as the chief meal of the Jews, Greeks and Romans taken at or towards evening and often prolonged into the night, usually an evening banquet or a feast in general (Matt 23:6; Mark 6:21; 12:39; Luke 14:12,16,17,24; 20:46; John 12:2; 13:2,4; 21:20; 1Cor.11:20-21; Rev.19:9,17).
If Paul's statement in verse 20 was the commanded night of ingathering at the end of the 14th, he would have used the word Pascha (SGD #3957) which is the Greek word for Passover since the timeframe of the ingathering would be just before Passover. In other words Paul could have used the phrase the Lord's Passover rather than the Lord's Supper in verse 20.
Paul was taught by Christ (Gal.1:12,15-17) and if Christ intended that the timing of the Lord's Supper should be changed, Paul would have made that clear to the Church. To say if Paul was referring to the beginning of the 14th in 1Cor.11:20 that it would be adding another day to Passover and he would be a false apostle is incredible, and it is a straw argument with no Scriptural validity. The notes to the RSV show that it was without doubt the common meal taken on the night of the 14th and which came to be referred to as the Agape meal of the love feasts also referred to in Jude 12. Paul had to rebuke them because they were drinking too much at this feast beginning 14 Abib and they had to be told to eat at home until they got control of themselves. The argument that this was not the Lord’s Supper at the beginning of the night of the 14th is delusional. It was for this purpose that the text in the law at Deuteronomy 16:5-8 was given so that the sequence could be used for the Lord’s Supper and the preparation for the Passover. Armstrong’s failure to understand this was evidence of his lack of conversion and also evidence of these judaizers’ lack of conversion. Some just want to establish a variation in doctrine for no purpose other than to do it.
Fallacy #4: the key for the change of time for observing the Lord's Supper is that the disciples partook of the symbols of Christ in faith before the fact and a foreshadowing of Christ's impending death. It is now required to observe the Lord's Supper as the Passover at the end of the 14th of Abib after the fact in recognition that Christ died as our Passover lamb. This is the key reason for changing of the timing of the Lord's Supper observance to 3:00 pm on the14th of Abib.
Response: Their key reason for changing the timing to observe the Lord's Supper and to eliminate the commemorative Passover meal along with the Night of Watching heresy, ignores the law re Deuteronomy 16:5-8 and totally contradicts the NT position of the church and its history. Their key opens the wrong door and will lead people astray in the understanding of the meaning and symbolism of these two separate events. See also the response to Fallacy #2 and as above.
Fallacy #5: Observing the Lord's Supper at the beginning of the 14th would now require everyone to be ingathered one day earlier at the end of the 13th and beginning of the 14th necessitating and erroneously causing a change in the Law of God.
Response: This is simply false. The Lord's Supper has no effect on the ingathering. The time for ingathering remains the same as it is taken up after the 3:00 pm Death of the Lamb Congregational service.
Fallacy #6: Partaking of the bread and wine at the beginning of the 14th rather than at the end of the 14th at 3:00 pm invalidates the purpose of the symbols of Christ's sacrifice and denies his role as the Passover lamb. It is instituting a different day or time for the Passover/Lord's Supper.
Response: This Fallacy #6 is logically absurd with absolutely no Scriptural validity. See the response to Fallacy #2.
Fallacy #7: The continuity of the unleavened sacrifice of Christ and our de-leavening process is broken and lost on the individual if one observes the symbols Christ instituted at the beginning of the 14th of Abib since there would be no injunction to not eat leavening for the next 12 plus hours.
Response: This is weak fallacious reasoning for changing the timing of observing the Lord's Supper, and it lacks Scriptural validity. Biblical Law requires that unleavened bread be eaten with the sacrifices (Ex 23:18) and that includes the Lord’s Supper and is the reason the church has always eaten unleavened bread at the Lord’s Supper and why the items are disposed of before morning. Biblical Law also requires unleavened bread during Passover beginning of the 15th of Abib at dark until dark ending the 21st of Abib. Whether there is 12 hours or 2-3 hours (if the Lord's Supper is observed at 3:00 pm) before the Passover evening begins on the 15th, the law is specific as to when we are to eat unleavened bread (cf. Ex. 12 and 13).
The pastor of a WCG offshoot group used this exact same reasoning to change the days of Passover from the 15th-21st of Abib to the 14th-20th of Abib. He felt that it must be an error to eat any leavened bread at all on the 14th of Abib. Therefore he has his congregation observing Passover from the beginning of the 14th of Abib to the 20th of Abib which violates Biblical Law. They are ignorant of the law and its reasons because they are not obedient to Scripture.
Fallacy #8: The attributing to Paul that 1Cor.11:20 meant him endorsing the night Christ was betrayed as the correct day and time to observe the symbols Christ instituted them would show a lack of appreciation or recognition of his knowledge as an apostle regarding the law and appointed times of God.
Response: This is obviously grasping at straws in desperation to justify the change they want to make. It has no Scriptural validity or sense.
Paul warns us that some will not endure sound teachings. Hold fast to the faith once delivered to the saints. Do not be fooled by these individuals, but pray for their repentance and pray that they come to understand the Temple system, the covenants, and priesthood. Strive for the truth of God's word.
Tom Schardt, Coordinator California and Wade Cox Coordinator General