Suggested Further Reading

The Sabbath causes much confusion. God commanded it but do we, under the New Covenant, need to keep it? And if so, in what form?
The Sabbath
The True Sabbath
On The Rest
Ten Commandments - Remember The Sabbath
A Day of Rest

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Ceremony, Communion and the Sabbath

The Old Testament required God's priests to observe many ritual practices. All of these things pointed to the sacrifical work of Jesus. Jesus fulfilled all these symbols of the Law of God.

But within Christianity many symbolic observances are still practiced. Water baptism as an "outward symbolism of an inward reality" is a chief example along with consuming physical communion bread and wine, foot washing, the wearing of special robes and the keeping of special days. Should we be doing such things when Christ came and obtained for us "a new and living way?" And what of the symbols of the Old Testament. Have they just disappeared and become irrelevant or have they been transformed into spiritual realities?

This is important information for anyone who desires the freedom and liberty that Jesus promised us.

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Thought for Today
Jun. 10


An event in a prayer meeting at Grandma's house, c. 1976.

I was just starting out in the Lord, so all I could do was watch. It was a matter to be dealt with by those much older and wiser in the Lord than I.

Several people in the meeting that Sunday afternoon, including Preacher Clark, testified about how thankful they were that Jesus had taught them that the communion of God is not a ceremony using earthly substances, but a spiritual harmony with God and with the saints on earth. They referred to their own experiences in the Christian churches to which they had formerly belonged, and they remembered how unsatisfying the communion ceremonies with wafers and grape juice had been to their souls.

There was one in the meeting that day who was not hearing those testimonies as testimonies of victory but as confessions of confusion and error. Her name was Bonnie. She was a young Catholic woman, and she sat right behind me, in the hallway, listening attentively. Bonnie was a student at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary who had come with my brother, also a student, to be with us in the prayer meeting at Grandma's farmhouse. I was to learn later that, having become acquainted with my father's work and with me (I, too, was a student at the seminary), she felt she had been chosen and sent by God to rescue my father and me from our fallen (i. e., non-Catholic) state. At the time, however, I knew nothing about that. And at that moment, I was enjoying the testimonies of the older saints immensely. But Bonnie was not. How could she enjoy them, when she saw the testifiers as very misguided? She sincerely felt that she could help those old saints understand why the bread-and-grape-juice communion service of Protestant Churches had disappointed them. So, feeling obligated to rescue my father and the rest of us, she spoke up:

"I can understand why you all were so disappointed in the communion that was offered to you in the churches you attended. That communion was nothing but bread and wine. Our communion in the Catholic Church is the true communion of Christ because the priest transforms the elements of bread and wine into the actual flesh and blood of Christ. When we obey Christ and drink his real blood and when we eat his real flesh, it is not disappointing. Jesus said in John chapter 6 that we must eat his flesh, but that can only happen when a priest transforms the bread into the flesh of Christ. That is the only way to celebrate true communion."

There was an awkward silence for a moment or two. Everyone knew that was a silly thing to believe, much less to say it out loud in front of people. But no one knew how to respond. I glanced to my right just as my father looked over his left shoulder at the young woman sitting behind me. "May I answer that?" he asked in a very meek tone.

Then he gently explained: "After Jesus told the people that they must eat his flesh and drink his blood, he explained to them that 'the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak unto you, they are spirit and they are life'. Now, if I had to choose between eating bread or eating Jesus' real flesh, I would have to choose the bread because he's already told us that eating his flesh would profit nothing. At least with eating bread, my body might get some nutrients from it. But if his flesh was worthless, as Jesus said it was, why would a priest or anyone else want to turn good bread into worthless flesh? As empty as my Baptist communion ceremonies were, that bread and grape juice had to be better than something Jesus said was worthless."

That simple truth brought such peace and rejoicing to the saints that day. I don't think that heavenly wisdom did much for Bonnie, but oh, how protected we felt from the strange spirit of Christianity that blinded her. Bonnie failed in her mission to deliver my father and me from the love of Jesus, and eventually she gave up on us. But I hope that wherever she is today, she too has found the way of life in the holy Spirit and has escaped the death that Christianity offers to all who partake of it.