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Observe the Memorial, not others!


Bunkei
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Seems to be a rather confusing statement to make, but for too long, we as an organization have not been doing as Jesus commanded his disciples to do: "Keep doing this in remembrance of me" ..

Before I start, let me set a few things straight.  I am currently a baptized member of Jehovah's Witnesses.  I do not view myself as an brother [Edit: for some reason, when I type a-p-o-s-t-a-t-e, it is automatically replaced with the word 'brother' very odd!], nor am I actively seeking to encourage others to leave (in fact, quite the opposite).  I also don't intend on starting any kind of movement to "reform" the organization as it stands.  My motive is simple: to inform.  Nothing more,  Nothing less.

Tonight, most will gather to observe the memorial of Christ's death.  However, in reality, most of us are merely observing others who are observing the memorial.  Let's read Jesus' words together as recorded in Luke 22:19, 20 (New American Standard Version):

"And when He had taken some bread and given thanks, He broke it and gave it to them, saying, "This is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me." And in the same way He took the cup after they had eaten, saying, "This cup which is poured out for you is the new covenant in My blood."

The Watchtower Society already does a commendable job of explaining how Jesus' death benefits mankind and why we need it in the first place, so I do not need to explain this here.  Where things go awry is how they explain who is supposed to consume the emblems mentioned in the above scripture.  According to the relevant article on JW.org (highlighted in blue and taken from https://www.jw.org/en/jehovahs-witnesses/faq/lords-supper/ under the subheading "Who partake", it says:

"Jesus’ shed blood established “a new covenant” that replaced the covenant between Jehovah God and the ancient nation of Israel. (Hebrews 8:10-13)"

That is absolutely correct, and is actually the reason that all Jehovah's Witnesses should partake. The passover was the type (shadow) under the old law covenant, and as pointed out by the Apostle Paul, it was only temporary and insufficient, for it's not possible for the blood of animals to atone for human sins. (Hebrews 10:4)

Interestingly enough, under the old covenant, all had to observe the passover--including the alien resident.  There were no observers, as the law specifically states that it was one statute for both groups. (Numbers 9:14)

"Those who are in that new covenant partake of the Memorial emblems. It includes, not all Christians, but only “those who have been called” in a special way by God. (Hebrews 9:15; Luke 22:20) These ones will rule in heaven with Christ, and the Bible says that just 144,000 people receive that privilege.Luke 22:28-30;Revelation 5:9, 10; 14:1, 3."

This explanation makes no sense for a couple of reasons: Jesus stated that his blood (symbolized by the wine) is poured out for 'you'.  Is Jesus inferring here that his death was only meant for the 144,000 anointed ones?  

"For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life." (John 3:16)

This is probably the most famous bible verse, and the answer to the above question is obvious: Jesus' death is for all obedient mankind, and not just limited to the 144,000.  The Watchtower Society actually makes this same point (see: https://www.jw.org/en/publications/magazines/watchtower-no2-2016-march/why-did-jesus-die/ ).  However, they try to separate the benefits of the ransom from the new covenant, when there is no such divide.  As Jesus said, "This cup which is poured for you IS the new covenant .." or as the New World Translation puts it: "This cup means the new covenant by virtue of my blood"  

To prove that Jesus' command to partake of the emblems included all his disciples, notice what he said to the Jews at the beginning of his ministry:

"This is the bread which comes down out of heaven, so that one may eat of it and not die. "I am the living bread that came down out of heaven; if anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread also which I will give for the life of the world is My flesh." Then the Jews began to argue with one another, saying, "How can this man give us His flesh to eat?" So Jesus said to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in yourselves. (John 6:51-53 NASV)

The Apostle Paul again pointed out that Jesus' shed blood was not just for the anointed (he makes no such division), nor is there any inference that Jesus is the mediator just for the anointed few:

"But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things to [come, He entered through the greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this creation; and not through the blood of goats and calves, but through His own blood, He entered the holy place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption. For if the blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer sprinkling those who have been defiled sanctify for the cleansing of the flesh, how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?  For this reason He is the mediator of a new covenant, so that, since a death has taken place for the redemption of the transgressions that were committed under the first covenant, those who have been called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance." (Hebrews 9:11-15)

Lastly, but not least, in John's vision of the Great Crowd that comes out of the great tribulation, notice how he describes them:

Then one of the elders answered, saying to me, "These who are clothed in the white robes, who are they, and where have they come from?" I said to him, "My lord, you know." And he said to me, "These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. "For this reason, they are before the throne of God; and they serve Him day and night in His temple; and He who sits on the throne will spread His tabernacle over them." (Revelation 7:13, 14) 

Is it really possible for the great crowd who survived the great war of Armageddon to have figuratively "washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb" and not be part of the new covenant?  Jesus' own words are clear that this cannot be the case as "this cup MEANS the new covenant by virtue of my BLOOD.

So really, whether one's everlasting life is on earth or in heaven has nothing to do with the memorial.  The memorial is all about Jehovah's love for mankind and the ultimate fulfillment of the very first prophecy he uttered in the Garden of Eden.  He did this as great cost to himself, as he used his only-begotten Son, the one that has been with him the longest, to accomplish his goal to redeem righteous mankind while satisfying the demands of his perfect justice.  Nowhere did Jesus (or his apostles) ever limit who can partake in this momentous occasion, and hence, no has the authority to override Jesus' stated command.  So let me urge all to observe the memorial of Jesus' death as he laid out in scripture.  Moreover, let us show our appreciation by making sure our lives reflect Jesus' sacrifice.  If we do not, then the memorial is of no value. We then actually trample on Jesus' sacrifice thereby pronouncing judgment upon ourselves. (1 Corinthians 11:27-30)  

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Thank you for that information. It was enlightening but I have a question myself using your data, if I may. When Mose brought the nation out under that covenant, with the Passover was not a certain tribe taken out as special? Taken from the whole nation as fruit for Jehovah bot given any of the promised land as the other tribes as they would be his special property, though the complete nation was called such? The tribe of Levi was set aside for a priesthood, correct? A different calling than the others, right? Though still part, they had a different part to play in Jehovah's purpose, so is those chosen in this 'new covenant', ones, the only ones who have his name written on their foreheads and know that song; we all do not know or have this. Correct, per scripture? That is why Jesus was having a personal conversation with his 11 faithful apostles not all mankind. And with that conversation it was extended to others with like hope of life in heaven under that covenant. So as the other 11 tribes would watch the Levites preform their duties and benefit from them we will continue to observe and benefit from those who will rule over us as kings and priests, right?

We are following correctly as scripture shows us. Thank you for your insight though. Hoped you enjoyed the memorial last night, I sure did. It was my 50th and I will continue to as Jesus told his servant who partook last night until they are all gone. Have a wonderful day. Agape!

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12 hours ago, John Houston said:

Hi John, it is nice to meet you!  Let's get to the questions you posed (highlighted in blue):

 

Thank you for that information. It was enlightening but I have a question myself using your data, if I may. When Mose brought the nation out under that covenant, with the Passover was not a certain tribe taken out as special? Taken from the whole nation as fruit for Jehovah bot given any of the promised land as the other tribes as they would be his special property, though the complete nation was called such? The tribe of Levi was set aside for a priesthood, correct? A different calling than the others, right?

Yes, you are correct.  The entire nation of Israel was included in the old covenant, not just the priesthood:

"Then Moses took half of the blood and put it in bowls, and half the blood he sprinkled on the altar. Then he took the book of the covenant and read it aloud to the people.+ And they said: “All that Jehovah has spoken we are willing to do, and we will be obedient.”+ So Moses took the blood and sprinkled it on the people+ and said: “This is the blood of the covenant that Jehovah has made with you in harmony with all these words.”" (Exodus 24:6-8)

And Jehovah pointed out that it was Israel as a people that broke the covenant they swore to uphold:

"“Look! The days are coming,” declares Jehovah, “when I will make with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah a new covenant.+ It will not be like the covenant that I made with their forefathers on the day I took hold of their hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt,+ ‘my covenant that they broke,+although I was their true master,’* declares Jehovah.”" (Jeremiah 31:31, 32)

Let's continue on ...

12 hours ago, John Houston said:

 

Though still part, they had a different part to play in Jehovah's purpose, so is those chosen in this 'new covenant', ones, the only ones who have his name written on their foreheads and know that song; we all do not know or have this. Correct, per scripture?

Indeed, the anointed who were foreshadowed by the tribe of Levi are part of the new covenant, along with those of the earthly hope.  Keep in mind, that the point of the New Covenant was the permanent forgiveness of sins and redemption of all faithful worshipers of God:

"For if the blood of goats and of bulls+ and the ashes of a heifer* sprinkled on those who have been defiled sanctifies for the cleansing of the flesh,+ how much more will the blood of the Christ,+ who through an everlasting spirit offered himself without blemish to God, cleanse our consciences from dead works+ so that we may render sacred service to the living God?+That is why he is a mediator of a new covenant,+ in order that because a death has occurred for their release by ransom+from the transgressions under the former covenant, those who have been called may receive the promise of the everlasting inheritance." (Hebrews 9:13-15)

This is a point that can't be overstated enough.  The memorial of Christ's death is not about the anointed.  It is about the forgiveness of sins, and the ability for us to "cleanse our consciences" and "render sacred service to the living God".  Compare the above to what was said of the Great Crowd who survives the Great Tribulation:

 “These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation,+ and they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.+ That is why they are before the throne of God, and they are rendering him sacred service day and night in his temple; and the One seated on the throne+ will spread his tent over them.+ They will hunger no more nor thirst anymore, neither will the sun beat down on them nor any scorching heat,+ because the Lamb,+ who is in the midst* of the throne, will shepherd them+ and will guide them to springs* of waters of life.+And God will wipe out every tear from their eyes.”+ (Revelation 7:14b-17)

Apostle Paul makes a point that it is not even possible to worship Jehovah by "rendering sacred service to the living God" apart from the New Covenant, and yet, that's precisely what the Apostle John sees in his vision of the "great crowd" of survivors of the Great Tribulation.  They are seen worshiping Jehovah in his temple.  Also remember, only the Israelites with a clean standing were allowed inside Jehovah's physical temple during its existence; anyone unclean that approached it were to be put to death. (Exodus 30:17-21; Leviticus 22:1-3)

12 hours ago, John Houston said:

That is why Jesus was having a personal conversation with his 11 faithful apostles not all mankind. And with that conversation it was extended to others with like hope of life in heaven under that covenant. So as the other 11 tribes would watch the Levites preform their duties and benefit from them we will continue to observe and benefit from those who will rule over us as kings and priests, right?

There is no biblical evidence that Jesus' command to commemorate his death was limited to the anointed, and for good reason as I already discussed.   Apostle Paul made no mention of it in his letters to the Corinth congregation. The tradition of those of the earthly hope merely being observers and not participants started with Judge Rutherford back in the 1930's.  Back then, only the anointed were considered Jehovah's Witnesses.  Those of the earthly hope were referred to as "Jonadabs".  Such erroneous use of types and antitypes lead to some far fetched and unscriptural doctrines.  The Watchtower Society admitted as such in an article published approximately a year ago:

"If such interpretations seem far-fetched, you can understand the dilemma. Humans cannot know which Bible accounts are shadows of things to come and which are not. The clearest course is this: Where the Scriptures teach that an individual, an event, or an object is typical of something else, we accept it as such. Otherwise, we ought to be reluctant to assign an antitypical application to a certain person or account if there is no specific Scriptural basis for doing so."—The Watchtower 2015 3/15 p. 17-18.

They also listed some examples of interpretations, and I find it incredibly odd that the Jonadab interpretation was not mentioned among them.  After all, that interpretation not only influenced how the memorial was observed, it also was the reason why those of the earthly hope were not called "Jehovah's Witnesses".  Of course, that was changed some years later.

 

12 hours ago, John Houston said:

We are following correctly as scripture shows us. Thank you for your insight though. Hoped you enjoyed the memorial last night, I sure did. It was my 50th and I will continue to as Jesus told his servant who partook last night until they are all gone. Have a wonderful day. Agape!

Same to you brother, and you are a servant of Jesus also, no? Certainly his blood was poured out in your behalf too, right? :)

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Yes, his blood was poured out in by behalf. But was it for a kingdom seat? His death, the shedding of his blood was for ALL MANKIND, but as you have stated in your own data, what Jesus and Paul emphasized was to those who were to sit with Jesus as rulers in a kingdom, not those of us; though benefitted from his death, who would live under their rule, with Jesus as King.

 Why would I drink of his blood? No spirit has enjoined upon me adopted me as a spiritual son of God. These ones who partake do not doubt or wonder if they are, they know for certain. Anyone who partakers and questions should not, because they would be lying to Jehovah, having not been called. Listening to your own facts, I know I should not partake, the one overwhelming facet of this is Jehovah himself, which many who make this argument leave out. He makes all the choices of the 144000, so when he does make that choice he and that person would without a doubt know they been given a 'token', and invite to a major event and their exercising lifelong faith and endurance till death, they would be sealed as a priest and king in that heavenly government. That is what scripture teaches us, that is Jehovah's purpose. Anything else is crap! Utter nonsense! Hypocritical nonsense which borders on apostasy, so be careful. It is good to discuss and have an opinion, but never leave Jehovah out of any equation or discussion, my friend. 

Quoting scripture does not help, if Jehovah is not involved. Have a good day! Agape!

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7 minutes ago, John Houston said:

Yes, his blood was poured out in by behalf. But was it for a kingdom seat? His death, the shedding of his blood was for ALL MANKIND, but as you have stated in your own data, what Jesus and Paul emphasized was to those who were to sit with Jesus as rulers in a kingdom, not those of us; though benefitted from his death, who would live under their rule, with Jesus as King.

 Why would I drink of his blood? No spirit has enjoined upon me adopted me as a spiritual son of God. These ones who partake do not doubt or wonder if they are, they know for certain. Anyone who partakers and questions should not, because they would be lying to Jehovah, having not been called. Listening to your own facts, I know I should not partake, the one overwhelming facet of this is Jehovah himself, which many who make this argument leave out. He makes all the choices of the 144000, so when he does make that choice he and that person would without a doubt know they been given a 'token', and invite to a major event and their exercising lifelong faith and endurance till death, they would be sealed as a priest and king in that heavenly government. That is what scripture teaches us, that is Jehovah's purpose. Anything else is crap! Utter nonsense! Hypocritical nonsense which borders on apostasy, so be careful. It is good to discuss and have an opinion, but never leave Jehovah out of any equation or discussion, my friend. 

Quoting scripture does not help, if Jehovah is not involved. Have a good day! Agape!

So let me see if I am understanding you correctly.  I presented scriptural evidence against the common belief that the Memorial is only to be observed by the anointed.  Yet you disregard it as "hypocritical nonsense which borders on apostasy", then advise me to be careful and never leave Jehovah out of any equation or discussion.  That doesn't make sense to me since I did present scriptural evidence in both of my posts.  Is not "All Scripture is inspired of God and beneficial for teaching, for reproving, for setting things straight .."? (2 Tim 3:16)

How does quoting scripture not involve Jehovah?  Are we also counseled to "believe not every inspired expression, but test the inspired expressions to see whether they originate with God"?  (1 John 4:1)

Where are your scriptural proofs in this matter?  This is also brings me to my biggest concerns about our organization: Have we as Jehovah's Witnesses have become so dependent on the Society's literature that we're not able to discuss scriptural truths just using the Bible?

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Listen to yourself, that this is to be observed by only the anointed, your words. This is not what is said or taught. We all are to observe, but only those who have been invited to sit with Jesus on thrones are to partake of the bread and wine. When Paul went on his missionary travels he reasoned with the gentile people about the Christ, this man named Jesus. I loved it because he would not pull out scripture they did not believe the words of the tome he had but would understand the common sense he used , the logic of reason in his words with them at times. 

It is still true today. You say to me what is untrue in one breath, but argue another point in another, which I agree with. Confusion all around. We who have a hope of living on earth eternally, observe this celebration, which Jesus began with 11 faithful apostles and grew to include a set number of people, first fruits from earth, not all of us. Yes, Jesus died for all of us he his our shepherd, one shepherd for the two flocks, but just as a ruling class has to have someone and something to rule over so do they. That just makes sense. They are not going to heaven to rule over the angels. Jesus is to make right to put in place God's will on earth as it is in heaven. So I want to benefit from that. What Adam lost, I want back. Just as the Levites was set aside to perform as priests and Judah as kings, these 144000 are to do both, not all mankind. That is what scripture teaches. That is Jehovah's purpose. These one are a special property, marked with his name and the name of the Lamb, singing a song they only know. Not all mankind. That is what I know from reading scripture. Not only the literature. From start to finish, it all has to make sense. And this does, not what you just spun. Sorry my friend, even Satan quoted scripture, you understand? I thought so!!

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On 3/27/2016 at 0:24 PM, John Houston said:

Listen to yourself, that this is to be observed by only the anointed, your words. This is not what is said or taught. We all are to observe, but only those who have been invited to sit with Jesus on thrones are to partake of the bread and wine.

No that wasn't my words, but let's get straight to the point:  Can you show me any scriptures that say only the anointed are to partake of the bread and wine?  Obviously, Jesus' apostles shared the momentous occasions with other disciples, and should be noted somewhere if such a limitation did exist.

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