Paul's Passing Thoughts

The Truth About the Lord’s Table

Posted in Uncategorized by pptmoderator on December 17, 2014

PPT HandleOriginally published February 7, 2014

The Lord’s Table was never meant to be an institutional solemn ceremony administered by church hierarchy. Neither was it ever intended that the Lord’s Table impart additional grace. Clearly, especially with the present-day resurgence of medieval religion embodied in New Calvinism, church is a filling station that keeps the gospel gas tank full until we get to heaven. If you don’t partake in the daily fillings consummated by the topping-off on Sunday, your race car self will not finish the “race of faith” alone that requires a perpetual application of the same death, burial, and resurrection that saved you.

The Protestant Reformation was Catholicism Light, and continues to be so today. In the early days, both were harlots drunk on the blood of the saints. Protestants would have slain as many saints save their distraction in warring with their harlot mother. Money is thicker than blood, and there is big bucks in the salvation business.

The first battle over sacramental salvation pitted the Anabaptists against the Catholics and the Protestants. Both tortured and executed the Anabaptists with the same vigor. This is conspicuous history that is inconvenient truth. Later, Protestantism morphed into an exception regarding infant baptism called “Baptist” which rejected the idea that baptism itself imparts salvation, but retained Reformed soteriology (see the 1689 London Baptist Confession of Faith). Over the years, because it is the same soteriology, Baptists have come to function like their harlot mother while denying the Protestant foundation of salvation through the institutional church.

The Reformers believed that the institutional church held the “power of the keys” which is the authority to forgive sins on earth. Calvin, as well as the rest of the Catholic Light crowd, believed that sins committed as Christians separate us from our original salvation. Hence, a perpetual reapplication of Christ’s death and resurrection must be perpetually applied through the institutional church to maintain salvation (CI 3.14.11 among many other references: see It’s Not About Election available on Amazon and free reading @  People wonder why New Calvinism is taking over Baptist churches like a wild fire and Baptists seem defenseless against it. The answer is simple: they have functioned like their harlot mother for centuries and New Calvinism is merely helping them to come out of the closet muttering, “Had we been alive during the times of our Protestant fathers we would have not murdered the Anabaptists.”

And that is not a pretty historical sight. Among other examples of cruelty on steroids, Protestants liked to toss Anabaptists in some deep body of water enclosed in sacks while mockingly asserting that they were merely rebaptizing them according to the desire of the Anabaptists. Protestants by and large condoned this cruelty because they believed there was only one thing more terrible: denying infants salvation through the authority of church bishops. Moreover, to suggest that Baptists came from the Anabaptists is a cruel joke; historically, Baptists have always held fast to the institutional salvation of Protestantism. This explains, in every instance, the behavior of Baptists that I have observed over the years:

1. 10% of the members do 100% of the work: it’s not about discipleship; it’s about being saved via membership.

2. Faithful members, on average, comprise 25% of the membership roles: this speaks for itself.

3. The Alter call is Absolution Light.

4. The Lord’s Table is a solemn ceremony and a time of self-examination: see #3.

The list of examples could be much longer, but you get the point. New Calvinists are merely suggesting that a deeper commitment to the local church is needed; whisper: “to get into heaven” who can argue with that?

Baptism has remained as the onetime act that represents the beginning of justification in Protestantism. The Lord’s Table represents the perpetual need for the same gospel that saved you in order to keep yourself saved. It’s New Calvinist Transubstantiation Light. When a New Calvinist states that this “sacrament …imparts grace,” what they are really saying in broad daylight goes right over our heads; you think “grace” means help in sanctification while by “grace” they really mean salvation. We are saved by Jesus, and the Christian life is an endeavor to get more and more Jesus until we can stand at the final Judgment full of grace. And of course, we can only get grace installments through the local church. New Calvinists say this continually in public and outright. Yet, no one can stop the New Calvinist tsunami. Why? Because when it gets right down to it—that’s who we are.

What is the Lord’s Table? First, it is a Jewish tradition. The Lord’s Table must be seen through its Jewishness or it will not be understood. The Lord’s table is a remembrance in regard to a covenant that God made with Israel. God did not make that covenant with anyone but the nation of Israel. By faith, Gentiles are included, they are invited to the Jewish feast, but it is a Jewish feast. Gentiles are invited to the Sabbath rest, but it is a Jewish rest. New Jerusalem’s foundation bears the names of the 12 apostles—that’s future, and the names of 12 Jews. One of the earliest epistles was written to the 12 tribes of Israel because that’s all there was in the beginning of the church.

What is the New Covenant, and who was the covenant made with? Let’s see:

Jere 31:31 – “Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah, 32 not like the covenant that I made with their fathers on the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, my covenant that they broke, though I was their husband, declares the Lord.

When will the covenant be fully executed?

Jere 31:38 “Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when the city shall be rebuilt for the Lord from the Tower of Hananel to the Corner Gate. 39 And the measuring line shall go out farther, straight to the hill Gareb, and shall then turn to Goah. 40 The whole valley of the dead bodies and the ashes, and all the fields as far as the brook Kidron, to the corner of the Horse Gate toward the east, shall be sacred to the Lord. It shall not be plucked up or overthrown anymore forever.”

What will the people there be like?

Jere 31:33 – For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 34 And no longer shall each one teach his neighbor and each his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, declares the Lord. For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.”

Will this covenant ever be voided because of something Israel did?

Jere 31:35 – Thus says the Lord, who gives the sun for light by day and the fixed order of the moon and the stars for light by night, who stirs up the sea so that its waves roar—the Lord of hosts is his name: 36 “If this fixed order departs from before me, declares the Lord, then shall the offspring of Israel cease from being a nation before me forever.” 37 Thus says the Lord: “If the heavens above can be measured, and the foundations of the earth below can be explored, then I will cast off all the offspring of Israel for all that they have done, declares the Lord.”

This is why Christ first and foremost went to the cross for the Jews; because the covenant was made with them:

Acts 5:31 – God exalted him at his right hand as Leader and Savior, to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins…13:23 – Of this man’s offspring God has brought to Israel a Savior, Jesus, as he promised…28:20 – For this reason, therefore, I have asked to see you and speak with you, since it is because of the hope of Israel that I am wearing this chain.”

The setting from which the Lord’s Table comes is no different from the original model set forth during the Exodus. The tabernacle was obviously not made to facilitate regular corporate meetings, and the rest was ordinary tent structures among the people. Small groups met under the leadership of elders for teaching and fellowship. The tabernacle was not for discipleship. During the time of Christ, this is the same model: discipleship took place in homes. The Lord’s Table is not a temple ordinance—it is a remembrance tradition within the venue of discipleship and fellowship.

It is also VERY informal. Christ initiated the fellowship tradition of remembrance (not a “church ordinance” or “sacrament”) during the Passover meal and while all were reclined at the table (Matt 26, Mark 14, Luke 22, John 13-17?). This event was typical of the house meetings that took place in the lay synagogues. The meetings were in the upper rooms, involved a fellowship meal, a lesson, and a departure by the singing of a hymn. This particular meeting’s lesson/teaching may be completely detailed in John 13-17 which would have been a pretty hefty study. According to the book of Acts, Paul taught a lesson where a disciple fell asleep and plummeted to the ground from the upper room.

The Lord’s Table initiated by Christ involved one cup and eating from one loaf. Christ was very deliberate in using one cup, and the apostle Paul later confirms that the eating from one loaf was the tradition carried forward (1Cor 1:17). This points strongly to the intended relevance of this tradition taking place in a small group. Could it be that the Lord’s Table is the only argument one needs for the home fellowship model as a total replacement for the institutional church? On the one hand, it is a solemn ceremony that should be done with all reverence, but on the other hand, the setting is one that circumvents one of the main points of the remembrance.

But most of all, the fact that the Lord’s Table represents the New Covenant made with Israel is circumvented, and also, the fact that the finalization of the covenant is future. Christ said that He would not drink of that cup again until He could drink of it again in the kingdom. That is a day when all of national Israel is saved (Rom 11:26). Christ inaugurated the New Covenant with His death, the kingdom will be the full consummation of God’s covenant with Israel. The Gentiles have been included in the common wealth of Israel (Eph 2:11,12).

Hence, the true significance of the Lord’s Table has been stripped from Protestantism in the same way that Protestants skewed the true significance of baptism. And likewise, in the same way that the Anabaptists defied Protestant whoredom in their home fellowships—the same needs to be done today in regard to the Lord’s Table. We have little to fear in our day as opposed to the Anabaptists—the New Calvinists can only replace the burning stake with musings of running us over with buses (Mark Driscoll) and throwing us into death with human catapults (James MacDonald). The true spirit of the Baptists is revealed by the fact that they still follow those who espouse such wishful thinking by the thousands.

Each and every Christian is now the temple in which the Spirit dwells permanently. Each and every Christian is a priest. Each and every Christian is a citizen of Israel’s holy commonwealth. This should be remembered informally and in a joyful fellowship as we watch for His coming when Christ the Lord will join us in the lifting of that cup,

Holy be His name, our Glorious King.


One Response

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  1. Andy said, on December 17, 2014 at 9:52 AM

    The significance of the “Jewishness” of the Lord’s table becomes even greater when you consider one additional fact. Not only were Jesus and the disciples observing Passover in the upper room on the night before the crucifixion, but the Passover was also the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread. Recall that back in Exodus chapter 12, God gave Israel the instructions for the Passover. They were to eat the meal “in haste”, with their shoes on and their “loins girded”, so that they could depart quickly once Pharaoh threw them out.

    They were also to eat unleaven bread, not just with the Passover meal but for seven days. This was a matter of convenience. Back in those days, they didn’t have ready-made leavening agents like we do today such as yeast or baking powder. They would leaven their bread from a dough “starter”, much like a sour-dough starter. The starter combines a small amount of flour, sugar, and milk in a container and is allowed to sit for several days for bacterial action to begin and grow. When you want to make bread, you take a small quantity of the starter to use as a leavening agent and then add the rest of your ingredients. You would then add some more flour and sugar and milk to the “starter” to “feed” it and replace what you used.

    In Exodus 12:15, not only was Israel told to eat unleavened bread, they were commanded to put all the leven out of their houses. They had to dispose of their starters. In Exodus 12:34, Israel had left in such a hurry that it says they took up their dough before it was leaved, bound up in their kneadingtroughs over their shoulders. So because they left in such a hurry, they didn’t have time to make new leavening starters and give it the needed time to grow before it could be used to leaven their bread. They really had no choice but to eat unleavened bread. From the time they left Egypt to the time they were safely on the other side of the Red Sea was SEVEN DAYS.

    So this Feast of Unleavened Bread that begins with Passover also commemorates Israels flight from Egypt and the seven days that they ate unleavened bread during their flight. It was, as you said above, about commemoration. Jesus and his disciples eating unleavened bread in the upper room was NOT a new thing to them. It was part of the entire Passover meal itself, and not a separate “ritual”. It was something the Jews had been doing for centuries.

    Now, if you take the time to look up the recipe for unleavened bread in the Old Testament, you will find that it is very simple: 3 parts fine flour to 1 part olive oil. Any of you who have any baking experience might recognize such a recipe. In fact, we use it as part of a certain dessert all the time. It is PIE CRUST! Only instead of olive oil, we typically will use butter or shortening. Pie crust is unleavened bread. What happens when you try to cut pie crust? It BREAKS apart! Their unleavened bread was the same way. They would form the dough into a ball, and roll it out flat to between 1/4 inch and 1/2 inch in thickness, then put it in a pan and bake it in an oven or over a fire. The result is a round flat disc is that is golden brown, light and flaky and brittle.

    So when Jesus passed around the bread at the table that night, they would simply “break” a piece off because that was the way the bread was. This became an object lesson for the disciples. Jesus wasn’t creating a new ritual for them. He was taking something that already did and added a new significance to it! He said, from now on, when you have this meal, and you pass around the unleavened bread, when you break off a piece, think of Me! Remember my broken body! When taken in this context, I think it is very clear that Protestantism has twisted this observance into something much more than it was.


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