Holy Communion in the New Covenant of Grace (part 2)

I grew up in a legalistic Church & under various legalistic Pastors, who taught Holy Communion as a set of legalistic ritual that must be observed with a certain rules & regulations.  For example: Conducted only once a month on certain day of the month, must be conducted by legally ordained pastor, and before partaking, everyone must first examine their sins inwardly, “EXAMINE your heart!”, “try to remember every sin you’d committed and then repent & ask for forgiveness”, only then you are worthy to partake; otherwise it would bring damnation upon yourself.  So, every time after I examined my heart from sins that I’d tried to forget, after I tried to remember my ugly sins, I would come to a stage of disgust with myself, feeling condemned already, and there is no more heart to partake the Holy Communion.  Also, I’d rather be safe than sorry, I’d rather not partake, lest I had forgotten one sin un-confessed?  Lest it would bring damnation upon myself?  So, Holy Communion had become a curse instead of a blessing to many Christians.

When I first became a Pastor and had to minister the Holy Communion, I felt something is wrong with these rules which had been passed down from generation to generation by their forefathers.  Because, I could not find those rules written in the bible, Pastors were merely following the rules passed down by their senior pastors.  Thus, I searched for those answers which finally led me to see the true meaning of Holy Communion.

Before Jesus walked to the cross, He gathered all His dear disciples in the Last Supper, and told them about Holy Communion.  It must be very important as far as Jesus is concerned, to have revealed such at the point of His last hours.  Imagine if you know you are going to die the very next day, what would you do before you departed this earth for good?  I believe, you will gather all your children to tell them the most important thing in your heart & mind including all the secret of your hidden treasures and your access passwords so that your children can have them.

Likewise, Jesus was doing the same in the Last Supper. Jesus told them the secret of heavenly blessings that will keep His disciples strong, healthy, and live long, to have the body like Jesus, who was never sick and never subject to stress, always in peace & Joy; so that they could continue His ministry well and glorify God.

This erroneous teaching about “Examine yourself”, is largely due to a misinterpretation of the following verse:

1Co 11:27  Therefore whoever eats this bread or drinks this cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.
1Co 11:28  But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of the bread and drink of the cup.
1Co 11:29  For he who eats and drinks in an unworthy manner eats and drinks judgment to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body.   

To understand the meaning of the word, we have to understand the whole context of Paul’s statement.   He was addressing the issue of eating and drinking unworthily.  It is the manner of eating & drinking of the church in Corinth who came to the Lord’s table with drinking wine excessively, getting drunk, and some came to fill up their hungry stomach with the holy communion’s bread; and this is what Paul was addressing; Not the person’s sins (he did not say: “unworthy person”).  To ask a person to examine his sins, is actually saying the person is unworthy.  But, not what the verse is saying.

We are all unworthy people who come to partake the Holy Communion, and we should remember that we have been made worthy only by His blood not by the confessions of our sins.  It is only Jesus’ death that qualifies us to partake.  So, Paul was not saying that we should not partake if we have sins in our life (we are unworthy).  He was saying we should not partake in an unworthy manner (the manner, the action of eating & drinking).  And, verse 29 clearly stated how to partake worthily? “by discerning the Lord’s body”.  You must recognize that the broken body of Jesus was meant to bring us health & wholeness, and through the bread in your hand you can achieve this. (see my previous article on the same subject, part 1. https://liftingjesus.org/2014/10/10/holy-communion-in-the-new-covenant-of-grace/).

Looking at the passage again, it is clear that the word “examine himself” is to see if the person is eating and drinking worthily, so as not to eat and drink judgment into himself (the judgment is already prevalent in this world, part of the curse of this fallen world because of Adam’s original sin).  The Holy Communion is supposed to reverse this curse for the believers, every time they partake.

God is a good daddy, He does not want us to be Sin-Conscious, He wants us to be Son-Conscious.  He just wants us to examine ourselves to see if we are putting our Faith in His Son’s work on the cross for our goods.  Holy Communion is the great expression of God’s love, and it is one of the most important blessings that every believer can have as merciful inheritance from Lord Jesus.  Jesus does not want us to walk alone on this earth, He not only has given us the Holy Spirit to guide us, He also left us with Heavenly blessing of Holy Communion to make our body & soul healthy and strong and live long, while we are on earth waiting to meet Him again. Thank you Jesus.

Holy Communion 2

Holy Communion in the New Covenant of Grace (part 1)

It is the loving heart of God the Father to have ordained the Holy Communion, which is not a ritual to be observed but as a blessing to be received – the blessing of health and wholeness.

The bread is the greatest expression of His Love towards us, that He endured the cruel stripes on His back, His body was beaten, bruised, and broken, that we can be made whole in exchange for our sickness and diseases.  The wine represents His blood, the sinless blood of the Son of God, that brings Forgiveness of all sins (past, present, and future sins) – it made us forever Righteous, Holy, and blameless.  So today, we can have PERFECT STANDING before the Father and we can come BOLDLY to His loving PRESENCE without fear or worry, and our PRAYERS are surely heard by God attentively.

Partaking Holy Communion is to remind us of these TWO elements’ benefits that we inherit as believers. The more we are aware of them, the more the benefits become real and manifested in our daily life.

It is God’s nature to heal, we can witness this in the Bible, that most of the time Jesus was healing the sick, delivered the demon possessed, raising the dead, and feeding the multitude.  If God wants us healthy and whole, then Christians should not be experiencing serious, life-threatening illnesses. I am not referring to cough or cold.  If the people of the world are sick, it should not surprise us, for they do not have Jesus Christ as their protection.  But when believers are seriously sick, I want to know why, and I do not want to draw my conclusions from human experience, I want an answer from God’s Word.

The bible gives one and only one reason Christians are weak and sick, and die prematurely.  The apostle Paul in 1Cor 11:29-30 said “For he who eats and drinks in an unworthy manner, eats and drinks judgment to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body. For this reason many are weak and sick among you, and many sleep (died prematurely)”

Paul said, “For this reason…” , a singular reason, ONE REASON (he did not say these reasons, but this reason). What is this reason? => Not discerning the Lord’s body (failure to discern the Lord’s body).  It means that they did not know why they were partaking Holy Communion.  They had no idea why they were eating the bread.  Therefore, they were not receiving the benefits of the divine health and divine life of their Savior, Jesus Christ.  So, they become like one of the people of the world, who are always subject to sickness and diseases.  In other word, if they were to do discern the Lord’s body, they will receive the benefits of the Lord’s supper and become strong, healthy, and live long.

The early church believed this, in Act 2:42 “…they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine (preaching of the Good News) and Fellowship, in the breaking of bread (Holy Communion), and in prayers.”  They truly observed the 4 major things that Jesus taught them (Apostle’s doctrine, Fellowship, Holy Communion, and prayers), and it is no wonder that the early church experienced God’s Power, as we can read in Act 2:43, 46 that they broke bread from house to house, and many signs and wonders were done through the apostles.

Breaking of bread became a major and continual act in the early church, they did it often. How often? as often as you need it (it is a medicine to your body & soul), and once you are a believer you are a Priest (1 Pet 2:9) and you do not need a Pastor to do this for you, and you can do this until you meet Lord Jesus again. (1Co 11:26)

Apostle Paul separated the two elements, the bread and the wine. Thus, the body and the blood should not be treated as one.  There is a two-fold application in the Holy Communion. The wine which is His blood is for our forgiveness. And the bread, which is His body, is for our healing.

Most Christians today have no problems discerning the blood when they partake of the wine. But not many know how to discern the Lord’s body.  The Bible treats disease and demon possession as the same thing since they both originate from the devil. Act 10:38 says that Jesus went about doing good and “…healing all who were oppressed by the devils”. Notice that disease is due to the devil’s oppression, and we need God’s healing power for these problems.

How to discern the bread during Holy Communion?  Know this: His body was burnt because the full fury of God’s wrath against our sins fell on Jesus. This fire was supposed to fall on us and our families, but it fell on Jesus instead.  His side was pierced and He bore those merciless stripes on His back so that our bodies might be made whole.  On the last supper just before Jesus went to the cross, He took the bread and broke it because His body was going to be broken.  His body was broken so that yours and mine can be made whole. When you partake in this spirit of faith, something happens to your body. You become strong, healthy, and you will live long. Hallelujah. Thank you Jesus.

Holy Communion

 

The insight story of the woman caught in adultery (John 8:3)

Do you remember the women who was caught in the act of committing adultery? (John 8:4 “Teacher, this woman was caught in adultery, in the very act)

And the Scribes and Pharisees cruelly dragged the woman to Jesus, with the intention to test & trap Jesus over what would Jesus do? Punish her or free her?  If Jesus punished her, then where is His Grace?  If Jesus freed her, then He would break the prevailing Moses’ Law.

And the amazing words of Jesus in (Joh 8: 7): “He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first.”
Joh 8:9 Then those who heard it, being convicted by their conscience, went out one by one, beginning with the oldest even to the last. And Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst.
Joh 8:10 When Jesus had raised Himself up and saw no one but the woman, He said to her, “Woman, where are those accusers of yours? Has no one condemned you?”
Joh 8:11 She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said to her, “Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more.”

Jesus gave her the gift of No Condemnation, to empower her to sin no more; while the Church normally has it backward, by telling people not to sin first, then only we will not condemn you.

We are all excited to hear this story which demonstrated Jesus’ amazing Grace, are we not?  But to be honest in our hearts there is anger towards the Scribes and Pharisees, because of their hypocrisy.  If this woman was caught in the very act of  committing adultery, then why only the woman was brought?, WHERE is THE MAN? (As I understands it, adultery takes at least two people?)  Maybe one of those Pharisees was involved? (my logical conclusion).

I was happy when I meditated on this amazing answers of Jesus, He did not justify or condone the woman’s action of adultery. by literally saying “pls go ahead & throw stones” This woman deserves punishment in accordance to Moses Law (stoned to death).  But, remember! “only those who is without sin can throw!”  And no one in this world is without sin, Except Jesus.  So only Jesus who COULD throw stones, BUT Jesus DID NOT .  While they all wanted to, BUT they COULD NOT.

However, I heard Jesus spoke in my heart, “Son, I do not like this story like you do”.  Surprised, I asked, “Why Lord? You had freed this poor woman gracefully and in a spectacular way”.  Back Jesus spoke: “Only this woman was saved, BUT I wanted all of them saved, yet I did not get.”

Then, I realized, this woman answered in (John 8:11): “No one, LORD”  (Act 2:21 AND IT SHALL COME TO PASS THAT WHOEVER CALLS ON THE NAME OF THE LORD SHALL BE SAVED)  And ONLY this woman called on the name “LORD”, and thus only this women was saved.  And yet Jesus’ heart is full of GRACE & Longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance (2Pet 3:9).  Not just the woman.

woman-caught-in-adultery

The Rapture And End-Time Tribulation Explained—Part 1, 2, 3

Behold, your Bridegroom is coming!

Join Ps. Joseph Prince for another exciting study on the soon-coming rapture of the church by Christ Jesus.

Raptured 1

Part 1:

What’s the rapture of the church all about? How is it different from the second coming of Christ? Will Christians go through the seven-year tribulation on the earth? Join Joseph Prince in an exciting message as he unravels these mysteries and explains who and what Jesus was referring to in Matthew 24. Understand God’s prophetic timetable and face life without fear in the last days as you learn how to interpret past, present, and future events through the lens of grace. Begin to live life with greater rest, direction, and purpose as you look upward and forward to Jesus’ imminent return!

 

Part 2:

Does the Bible actually talk about the rapture of the saints? If so, will every Christian be caught up to meet the Lord, or only the “faithful” ones? Find scriptural answers to these questions and more as Joseph Prince demystifies the controversy surrounding this imminent end-time event. Discover what the Bible actually says about this subject, how it applies to all believers, and why only a revelation of the gospel of grace provides the proper perspective of the rapture and tribulation. Let this message give you the assurance of your glorious bodily redemption and renewed hope to live life unafraid in the last days!

 

Part 3:

Understand why of all the times in church history, we live in such a “day” where the rapture can happen anytime. See from numerous scriptural references the significance of the “third day,” and how it points to the days we are living in as the time the Lord will come for His bride, the church. Discover also why the Bible exhorts us to live in hope of His return and how to occupy our time until then. Rejoice! Your Bridegroom is coming!

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Dlm Bahasa Indonesia “Penghakiman di Akhir Zaman – Dijelaskan”.

“Rapture” (Pengangkatan) – adakah yg tertinggal?:

Berbicara ttg Akhir Zaman, kita tdk akan luput dari penjelasan ttg Pengangkatan, krn ini akan terjadi sebelum masa kesengsaraan (Tribulation) & “Anti Christ” terjadi. Pengangkatan BUKAN kedatangan Yesus yg ke dua, tapi ia adalah wujud nyata dari Kasih Karunia Tuhan utk menyelamatkan anak-2Nya / GerejaNya yg sedang menungguNya. Janji Tuhan bahwa karena kita sekarang telah dibenarkan oleh darah-Nya, kita PASTI akan DISELAMATKAN DARI MURKA ALLAH (Rom 5:9). Penghakiman dan murka Allah memang pasti akan terjadi kpd org dunia TAPI BUKAN kpd org percaya (GerejaNya). Setelah Pengangkatan terjadi, kemudian di ikuti oleh 7 tahun masa kesengsaraan, lalu barulah kedatangan Kristus ke dua untuk menyelamatkan Israel dari tangan “Anti Christ”. Sehingga kita org percaya tdk akan melihat / mengalami masa kesusahan tsb oleh krn telah di angkat & diselamatkan.

Ps. J.Prince telah menjelaskan dgn khusus dan mendetail ttg topic “The RAPTURE” dalam 3 series khotbah di bulan Sept 2014 MP3 bisa diunduh di atas: (The Rapture And End-Time Tribulation Explained—Part 1, 2, 3)

Jadi di sini saya hanya akan menekankan beberapa poin pencerahan ttg “Pengangkatan”:
Kata “Rapture” ini bukan kata yg dibuat pd abad ke 18 spt ada sebagian org mengatakan. Buktinya Mathew Henry, seorang “bible commentary” terkemuka pada abad 16 sudah menulis mengenai kata “bodily Rapture” / Pengangkatan Badaniah. Kata Rapture memang tidak ada di Alkitab, tapi pengajarannya ada di Alkitab. Sama seperti kata “Trinity” tidak ada di Alkitab, tapi Realitas & Pengajaran Trinity nya ada yaitu: Allah Bapa, Putra, dan Roh Kudus, dan prinsip ini ada ditemukan dlm Alkitab. Sama seperti hal nya “Rapture”, pengajaran nya ada di hampir setiap surat-2 Paulus.

Rasul Paulus menulis 14 surat dalam PB dan 12 surat selalu menyinggung ttg Kedatangan Kristus lagi utk Pengangkatan ini, dan hanya 2 dari 14 surat yg dia tdk menyinggung. Ini berarti betapa penting & berartinya janji Pengangkatan Kristus kpd kita sbg mempelai Nya, SaudaraNya dan TemanNya. Pengangkatan juga menjadikan Pengharapan yg pasti bagi org Percaya yg mengenakan ketopong-harapanNya dan sedang menunggu kedatangan Kristus. Ketika Paulus berbicara soal “HOPE” / Harapan di dalam surat-2nya, maka sebenarnya dia menunjuk kpd harapan Pengangkatan oleh Kristus.

Ada issue-2 pengajaran “Partial Rapture”, yaitu Pengangkatan hanya sebagian org saja yg “faithful” / setia. Maksud mereka utk menakut-nakuti jemaat supaya setia menjaga moralitas sehari-hari, “jangan berbuat dosa, kalau berbuat dosa harus cepat minta pengampunan, kalau tidak maka Pengangkatan yg bakal terjadi secara mendadak itu anda bisa TERTINGGAL (left behind)” ??. Temanku, itu omong kosong dan bukan PB-KK, org percaya yg sdh selamat pun kadang bisa jatuh dalam dosa tanpa disadarinya. Contoh: anda setir mobil dekat tebing gunung yg curam, dan mendadak ada gambar porno di depan, terlambat sudah anda melihatnya dan terjadilah birahi di pikiran, itu sudah dosa perzinahan. Ketika anda sadar, mobil anda ternyata lepas kendali dan terjun bebas jatuh dalam jurang. Anda Cuma punya waktu satu detik utk minta pengampunan dosa dan satu detik itupun tdk akan cukup waktunya. Maka Menurut pengajaran Kristen Campuran PL+PB:
1) Kalau anda mati dlm kecelakaan itu maka langsung masuk neraka.
2) Kalau Pengangkatan mendadak terjadi sebelum mobil anda menyentuh jurang, maka andapun TERTINGGAL.

Apa Kata Alkitab? Pengangkatan bhs Yunani nya ditulis “Harpatzo” (a seizing away / diangkat pergi), dan semua org percaya akan Terangkat, tidak ada yg tertinggal. (1Thes 4:13-18) NKJV
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1Thes 4:13-18 Selanjutnya kami tidak mau, saudara-saudara, bahwa kamu tidak mengetahui (to be Ignorant) tentang mereka yang meninggal, supaya kamu jangan berdukacita seperti orang-orang lain yang tidak mempunyai pengharapan (Hope).
Karena jikalau kita percaya, bahwa Yesus telah mati dan telah bangkit, maka kita percaya juga bahwa mereka yang telah meninggal dalam Yesus akan dikumpulkan Allah bersama-sama dengan Dia.
Ini kami katakan kepadamu dengan firman Tuhan (by the word of the Lord): KITA YANG HIDUP, YANG MASIH TINGGAL (alive and remain) sampai kedatangan Tuhan, sekali-kali tidak akan mendahului mereka yang telah meninggal.
Sebab pada waktu tanda diberi, yaitu pada waktu penghulu malaikat berseru dan sangkakala Allah berbunyi, maka Tuhan sendiri akan turun dari sorga dan mereka yang mati dalam Kristus akan lebih dahulu bangkit;
sesudah itu, kita yang HIDUP, yang masih TINGGAL, akan diangkat bersama-sama dengan mereka dalam awan menyongsong Tuhan di angkasa. Demikianlah kita akan selama-lamanya bersama-sama dengan Tuhan.
Karena itu hiburkanlah seorang akan yang lain dengan perkataan-perkataan ini.
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Paulus tdk ingin kita org percaya menjadi bebal (to be ignorant) atau tdk mengetahui akan hal Pengangkatan ini. Dia berkata: Ini FIRMAN TUHAN sendiri, bukan kata-2 manusia, Bersuka citalah, jangan spt org dunia yg sedih tdk punya Harapan. Kita org Percaya harus suka cita berpegang teguh kpd Harapan Pengangkatan ini.
Pertama yg akan di angkat dulu adalah yg telah meninggal dunia. Kemudian kita yg masih “alive and remain” hanya dua Kriteria nya disebut disini yaitu:
1) Kita yg masih HIDUP pd saat Pengangkatan terjadi,
2) Kita yg MASIH TINGGAL di bumi ini.
Seolah-2 Paulus tahu bahwa banyak org Kristen akan ragu jika mereka akan tertinggal oleh Pengangkatan, sehingga dia tekankan kedua poin tsb diatas spy tdk terjadi kesalah pahaman dlm terjemahan. JIka anda org Percaya dan masih Hidup dan Masih tinggal di bumi ini pada saat Pengangkatan, maka anda PASTI berangkat. Jangan kuatir, bersuka citalah dan hiburlah org percaya yg lain yg belum tahu dgn perkataan-2 ini. Halleluyah.

Kedatangan Kristus utk GerejaNya ini, juga di jelaskan dlm Ibrani 9:28 (NLT) BUKAN utk URUSAN DOSA lagi, bukan utk penghakiman dosa kita lagi, krn dosa kita sudah selesai ditebusNya dgn sempurna. Tapi utk menganugerahkan keselamatan.

Ibr 9:28 demikian pula Kristus hanya satu kali saja mengorbankan diri-Nya untuk menanggung dosa banyak orang. Sesudah itu Ia akan menyatakan diri-Nya sekali lagi (NLT: He will come again) tanpa menanggung dosa untuk menganugerahkan keselamatan (NLT: NOT TO DEAL WITH OUR SINS, BUT TO BRING SALVATION) kepada mereka, yang menantikan Dia.

Menganugerahkan keselamatan apa?
Bukan saja dari masa Kesengsaraan dunia yg kacau balau itu, Kita juga bukan hanya akan di angkat begitu saja, Tuhan tahu badan kita ini rapuh tdk akan sanggup utk diangkat dgn kecepatan cahaya. Jadi kita akan diberikan badan yg baru seperti badan Yesus. Badan yg bisa menembus waktu dan tempat (can transcend time and space). Seperti saat Yesus telah bangkit dari kuburNya, badanNya masih bertulang dan berdaging, tapi Dia bisa hilang dan muncul, bisa menembus dinding dan pintu yg di kunci. Dan yg terlebih menakjubkan lagi, dgn badan yg baru itu Yesus bisa makan ikan panggang bersama murid-2Nya di pantai (Yoh 21:12).

Surat Korintus ini sangat jelas dlm terjemahan NLT bhs Inggrisnya:
1Kor 15:51-54 Sesungguhnya aku menyatakan kepadamu suatu rahasia: kita tidak akan mati semuanya, tetapi kita SEMUANYA (ALL) akan diubah, dalam sekejap mata, pada waktu bunyi nafiri yang terakhir. Sebab nafiri akan berbunyi dan orang-orang mati akan dibangkitkan dalam keadaan yang tidak dapat binasa dan kita semua (YG MASIH HIDUP JUGA) akan diubah (NLT: And we who are living will also be transformed.). Karena yang dapat binasa ini harus mengenakan yang tidak dapat binasa, dan yang dapat mati ini harus mengenakan yang tidak dapat mati. Dan sesudah yang dapat binasa ini mengenakan yang tidak dapat binasa dan yang dapat mati ini mengenakan yang tidak dapat mati, maka akan genaplah firman Tuhan yang tertulis: “Maut telah ditelan dalam kemenangan.

Jadi satu-2nya kemuliaan yg belum kita dapatkan saat ini adalah Badan yg tdk dapat binasa, tdk bisa mati, dan ini akan kita (SEMUA org Percaya) yg masih hidup ataupun yg sdh meninggal, pasti akan mendapatkan nya. BADAN BARU yg tdk akan mati lagi, tdk akan sakit lagi, dan tdk akan susah sedih lagi, tdk akan lelah lagi. Badan yg bisa menembus kecepatan cahaya dan Alam Semesta akan menjadi ajang tempat bermain kita. Inilah satu-2 nya penebusan yg belum selesai utk org Percaya, Keselamatan Badaniah yg penuh, sehingga rampunglah sudah Keselamatan kita: Badan, Jiwa, dan Roh.
Dgn badan ini kemudian kita akan melihat kebawah ke bumi yg mengalami masa kesengsaraan 7 tahun dan bersama Yesus kita akan “Reign” memerintah bersamaNya. Dan, Sebelum Israel hancur, Yesus akan datang menyelamatkan nya dan Yesus akan memerintah dari kota Yerusalem. Dan dunia akan mengalami keindahan sempurna spt Surga di bumi.

Amen.