Conscience, The Lord's Table

The Lord’s Table

Take, eat; this is my body, which is broken for you; this do in remembrance of me.”

1 Corinthians 11:24

When was the last time you partook of the Lord’s Table? Is it important today? Through the years I have noticed that some denominations have abandon this ordinance, while others continue it on a weekly basis. There are two ordinances that the church had as important for believers. That of the Lord’s Table and water baptism. I have rarely heard why there is such a difference in the Lord’s Table within the church and it warrants some research as to why it has stopped in some congregations altogether. It seems to be a subject that is not being taught. I can remember how congregations argued about the wine and how it should not be a stumbling block for those who have issues with alcohol. Thus, grape juice was used instead of wine. Then, there was the case of spreading germs from the cup, so individual small glass cups came on the scene, then came the disposable plastic cups. Then came the argument of those who were not Christians partaking of the Lord’s Table. Maybe what the Apostle Paul had stated beforehand in chapter 11 should be of interest to all Christians as to why it is not a part of the church ordinances today.

The question is that of order in the church. The apostle Paul had stated, “Let all things be done decently and in order,” [see 1 Corinthians 14:40]. This is the biggest issue that the church has and that is to have things done decently and in order. But let us remember that Paul in verse 2 of chapter 11 of 1st Corinthians stated to “keep the ordinances, as I delivered them to you.” The early church was a Pentecostal church moving in the gifts of the Spirit and at times got disorderly in its function. Paul was correcting the church in regard to Christian conduct. Keeping that in mind, He exclaims who is the head of every man and woman. Women in the early church wore veils as a covering over their heads. This was a sign of submission as to the order or hierarchy. Call it a pecking order if you like. For a Christian the order of the head is God, then Christ, Man, Woman, and Child. It is acknowledging and adhering to the placement of authority. It was traditional for woman to wear hats and veils in the church, so they do not dishonor their head [see 1 Corinthians 11:5]. Notice that Paul did not say they could not pray or prophesy, only that they honor the headship of God by covering their head.

We must also remember that there were divisions within the church at Corinth. Paul even mentioned that there were different sects and that they were abusing the Lord’s Table. Paul mentions that some were hungry and or drunk and asked the question if they do not have houses to eat in. In otherwards, the Lord’s Table is not the place for eating and drinking like you do at home. The real issue became that of scorning the church of God by Lording it over those who have and those who have not. This is not the purpose of the Lord’s Table. The purpose was in remembrance of the Lord’s death and sacrifice. The other issue is unworthiness in the manner of partaking of the Lord’s Table. Those who partake unworthily are guilty of the body and blood of the Lord and this is serious. We must remember that Christ was the final sacrifice for our sins, and he has provided healing in the atonement. We cannot take this lightly, for it is the only way we can be reconciled back to God.

The apostle Paul gives us the answer to think twice about the Lord’s Table, for this speaks of judgement upon ourselves.

For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh judgement to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body.”

1 Corinthians 11:29

Self-judgment is important to avoid the chastisement of God, and Paul states that is why many are weak, sick, and sleep, [see 1 Corinthians 11:30]. If we do not judge ourselves, then the Lord will Judge us through chastisement.  The benefits of the new covenant through Christ are forgiveness of our sin, and healing from all diseases. Christ gave his body and blood for all mankind. Christ is the living bread that came down from heaven.

I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.” 

John 6:51

The cup is the blood of the New Testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins, [see Matthew 26:28]. We receive eternal life and remission of sins through the Lord’s Table. Paul states as often as we eat the bread and drink the cup of Christ, we proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes back [see 1 Corinthians 11:26]. Let us always examine ourselves in prayer before our Lord and ask for forgiveness of our sins before we partake of the Lord’s Table. We are justified through His blood.

Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:”

Romans 3:24

This is good news for all mankind. Eternal life, redemption, and forgiveness of sins. Can we have the Lord’s Table at home. The answer is yes. Many seniors who are home bound take the Lord’s Table at home. A pastor, elder, or someone at home who is taught the basics of the ordinances can perform the Lord’s Table at home. Many Christian missionaries around the world take the Lord’s Table at home. I had a friend who was to become a priest share the Lord’s Table with me. He had a dedicated place in his home for the Lord’s Table. The importance is in the acknowledgement of what Christ did for us on the cross in that we no longer live onto ourselves, but unto the Lord.

And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again.

2 Corinthians 5:15

We are consecrated to God, and the Lord’s Table confirms this because we believe in the death and resurrection of our Lord. This is Holy Communion with our precious Lord. This is connecting with our Lord because He loved us so much that He gave us His life. Christ in me is to live, to die is to gain Christ. We die to our self-will in order to live for Christ. Taking of the Lord’s Table is to draw close to God knowing that our conscience is cleansed, and our hearts are purified. We do this in remembrance of our Lord and to ever be consecrated for his purpose. Let us always remember our Lord by partaking of the Lord’s Table with a clean and pure heart.

You can buy grape juice and communion bread is available to buy on Amazon. Have a quiet time in prayer before the Lord and examine yourself before the Lord. Once you have prayed then read verses 24 and 25 of 1 Corinthians of chapter 11. Thank God for giving us His son for the remissions of our sins and eternal life through Jesus Christ. Take and eat the bread and drink the wine. Then thank Him for the blessings of the new covenant and that we are a new creation in Christ Jesus. Keep it simple and you will be blessed.

If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.  And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; “

2 Corinthians 5:17

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Conscience, Doing Good

Be not Troubled

Ye shall hear of wars and rumors of wars; see that ye be not troubled.

Matthew 24:6

Considering recent events in the Ukraine, many are saddened to witness and hear what is happening right now as Russian troops invade Ukraine. It is hard to witness neighbor fighting with neighbor, but this is exactly what is happening, for this is a civil war. We all should pray for peace in the Ukraine. We should also pray for Christians, and anyone left in the Orthodox Churches. Putin is a friend of the Jews and has supported the Orthodox Church. It was under Putin that the unity among Jews in Orthodox Churches in and outside of Russia was established. Federation of Jewish Communities of Russia is now a registered religious organization by Ministry of Justice of Russia in 1999. This was an unusual agreement and through much prayer it was achieved. Let us remember 1st John 2:11, “He that saith he is in the light, and hates his brother, is in darkness even until now.” Let’s remember the 10 commandments about not killing and not coveting thy neighbor’s possessions. The Ukraine has about 360,000 Jews and it is the center for Hasidic Judaism. Let us remember that we follow a Jewish Messiah and the apostle Paul said that the Jews will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again if they would only believe in who Jesus is [see Romans 11:23].

We do not know the whole truth in what is happening in the Ukraine, we only see what is happening. When we see our brothers and sisters in pain, we feel that pain. We can also become angry and do things that void our testimony in Christ. It is easy to get carried away by our emotions into reacting to world events at home and abroad. In any case, any type of political policy made does effect people. No one can deny that. In America we are witnessing policies that one wonders if one has a conscience at all. How have we turned against each other turned due to the political environment has some shaking their heads in astonishment. I’m hearing about apostasy in America, a turning away from the truth of Christ and from sin in general. Moral apathy is beginning to take place with a lack of faith in any type of organization.  The church being top of the list for people’s loss of interest. One cannot blame it all on the pandemic. The walk of a good minister is lacking when they are seeking goods for themself and have no concern for the flock at all. When they treat God like a genie just to get what they want at the people’s expense. When sin is not being preached and the cross of Christ no longer means anything, something is wrong.

We have entered a new age when we see a departing from the faith that is in Jesus Christ. This should sear our conscience as the apostle Paul stated in 1st Timothy 4:1-2.

In the latter times, some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of demons; Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron. 

If there is no true conversion to Christ, then whatever faith you have is a dead faith. Do you find it hard to tell the difference between one who professes to be a Christian and one who is not? As I was recently reminded by a statement “welcome to the new world.” This new world of doing business where personal identity theft, fraud, and cyber-attacks, are now commonplace. How should we respond? We should respond by getting down on our knees and pray. The apostle Paul told us Christians that we have the word of reconciliation [see 2nd Corinthians 5:18]. Christ was made to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him [see 2nd Corinthians 5:21]. We should never forget this. It was Christ himself who stated, “take heed that no man deceives you. For many shall come in my name saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many [Matthew 24:4-5]. These words were stated before “you shall hear of wars and rumors of wars” by Jesus. All this was said to his disciples regarding His coming at the end of this age. No one will know the hour the Lord will come [see Matthew 24:42]. That is why we watch and pray.

We pray for safety and endurance. Endurance because we have committed ourselves to him who will judge righteously [see 1st Peter 2:23]. We pray for God to deliver us from the evil one as is stated in Matthew chapter six verse 13. We continue the work of an evangelist by preaching the word in all season’s rebuking, exhorting and reproving with long suffering [see 2nd Timothy 4:2]. We remember the words of Peter in chapter 3:

Let him eschew evil, and do good; let him seek peace, and pursue it. For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers; but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil.

1st Peter 3:11-12

The eyes of the Lord are over the righteous and his ears are open to their prayers. Praise God! This is good news. If your heart is in the right place, He will hear your prayers. We are close to the end, but we are not there yet. There is a season for everything, but in the end, it all belongs to God. Everyone should fear God and know their place in life. If your house is not in order then get it in order and “seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you,” [Matthew 6:33] this was talking about personal needs we all have as human beings such as food and clothing. “Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof,” see Matthew 6:34. God cares about what you need but remember to seek Him and His righteousness first. All things are in the hand of God. Therefore, we seek Him and pray. Should we receive the good of our labor, we should remember that it is a gift of God.

Every man should eat and drink, and enjoy the good of all his labor, it is the gift of God. I know that whatsoever God doeth, it shall be forever; nothing can be put to it, nor any thing taken from it; and God doeth it, that men should fear before him.

Ecclesiastes chapter 3:13-14

Be not troubled of what you hear and see. Continue in prayer and always be reconciled to God. Whatever you eat, drink, or do, do all to the glory of God.

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Conscience, Doing Good, Good and Evil

The Struggle of Two Natures

For we know that the law is spiritual; but I am carnal, sold under sin.

Romans 7:14

I do not know of any Christian that does not struggle between “Two Natures” that some call good or evil. We do not understand why we do what we do. We tend to do what we should not do even when we want to do good.

Man between an angel and devil

It is like the picture above which some of us have seen when we were a child on cartoons. I have seen it on Sponge Bob Square Pants as well as on the TV show “The Simpsons.” Do you ever wonder why even as a child that this struggle still carries on into adulthood. Why is it that we do not heed the warning signs? It could be that we just do not believe it is true, and need to experience it to learn the truth about it. It is like diving in to fast to eat your soup. Did you know that there is a proper etiquette to eating your bowl of soup? First of all, I do not see everyone diving into it because it may be too hot and you can burn yourself. This is why we use the spoon and scoop the edge of the bowl away from us when extracting soup towards our mouth to eat. This is so we do not splatter hot soup on us. The bible is our moral compass and if you find yourself struggling on what to do, you are not alone. Every good Christian struggles with their nature or behavior to do good or evil. The apostle Paul dealt with this subject of two natures in writing to the Roman Christians.

For that which I do I understand not; for what I would, that do I Not; but what I hate, that do I.

Romans 7:15

“I do what I hate to do,” said the apostle Paul and if he had issues with it there is no doubt that everyone has issues with not doing the right thing. So what was it that Paul found out about dealing with this issue? Paul found that there is a law present that if he did good, evil is present with him [see Romans 7:21]. In fact, he describes several laws. We have laws in place in countries in order to live a peaceful life with all mankind. For the most part civil law is supposed to be good in that it regulates concerns in private relations between members of a community. It is the principal of equality within communities. The apostle Paul who was a Roman citizen by birth received certain consideration when thrown in jail. The apostle Paul addressed six laws. The law of Moses which condemns, the law as a principle within society, the law of faith, which excludes self-righteousness, the law of the mind that tries to do good but can not do it, the law of sin within humanity, the law of the Spirit that has the power to deliver the believer from sin.

The result the apostle Paul found is in Romans 8:1, “There is therefore, now no condemnation to them who are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” I hear many Christian quote up to the part in Christ Jesus, but leave off the not walking after the flesh, but after the Spirit. What Paul is saying here is that our walk in our behavior and action must match that of Christ Jesus. The end result is walking in the Spirit which means we surrender our self to Jesus who is our priesthood and our redemption. Jesus fulfilled the demands of the Mosaic law and He is the one who sends us the Holy Spirit. Paul mentions the “Spirit” sixteen times in Romans chapter 8 and therefore we should take note that this is a most pivotal conclusion to the problem of the struggle between two natures. It is the Spirit that gives us life. Listen to what Jesus said in John 6:63.

It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.

John 6:63

We must remember that the law is spiritual, as Paul exclaimed in chapter seven of Romans, but “I am carnal, sold under sin” [see Romans 7:14]. Our checks and balances come from the word of God and through the Holy Spirit that points to Christ. When we struggle with our old nature, we take it to Jesus and ask him to intervene and allow His Spirit to take control of our mind and actions. We ask through prayer that we put to death any feelings of hatred, getting even, anger, or anything that does not project the image of Christ. Some may have to struggle in letting it go. Remember the flesh will not profit. There are those who have gotten even, and later found that it did not bring them a lasting peace. Peace only comes through the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus. Reprove yourself and flee from doing evil. Remember that the Apostle Paul said to “be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good,’ [see Romans 12:21].

Let us pray and ask God to help us to overcome evil by doing good. Let us walk in the Spirit of Christ knowing it is ” the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus that hath made me free from the law of sin and death,” [Romans 8:2]. We must get under control our emotions and our mind by giving it to Jesus at the cross where our victory is. Sing along and ask god to renew a right spirit within you. Released in 1984 by Keith Green.

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Complaining, Conscience, Heart

Search the Heart, Test the Conscience

I, the Lord, search the heart, I test the conscience, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings.

Jeremiah 17:10

The prophet Jeremiah stood out in making claims of God’s judgment in Judah and Jerusalem. This was in a time much like our own where people did not listen and went their own way instead of heeding the warnings. Jeremiah complained to God about his role as a prophet, for it was not an easy path. His path met with consistent friction of opposing oppositions to his preaching and warnings. Today, we have many false prophets who make money by deceiving many to go down a path that is anything but fruitful. Many are blinded to the actual truth of what is reality and what is not. We see what we want to see with our own eyes. The focus in any ministry that claims to be of God should be that of love for one another, helping parent-less children, and widows [see James 1:27]. James described this as a pure religion. According to the scriptures every word that is spoken will be tested and proven if it is true or not.

Can a man search the heart of another or test the conscience of another? We try to, but we do not always succeed in this endeavor. This can only take place when you are living daily with the person whom you are searching or testing. However, Jeremiah tells us it is the Lord who searches the heart and tests the conscience. Jeremiah also warns those who put their trust in man instead of God [see verse 5 of chapter 17]. Those who trust the Lord will be blessed. Blessed with what? Many believe with wealth, but this is not always the case [see Jeremiah 17:11]. Does prospering mean wealth? If you look at the Greek or Hebrew text for prosper its meaning is that of safety, rest, and security, or being at peace. Today we associate the word to mean wealth, but this is not the truth of its meaning. You do not have to be rich to have peace, rest, or security. It is whether, or not your basic needs are being met and if you can sustain yourself through a year of drought like what we experienced last year with Covid-19 where many businesses closed their doors for business, and people were without a job.

Is the grass greener somewhere else? Many seem to think this is true but, it does not always work out that way. Whatever our lot, it takes effort on our part to make something happen whether for good or bad. The result will display itself in how we react towards whatever we must face. I can remember the time I ran away from home. I was lost in the city of Perth and I was complaining to God. I had a strong belief in God for I have received dreams and vision in my early youth. I heard God’s voice spoke to me when I was complaining about my situation at home. He told me I had to go back home. He told me that He would be with me and help see me through the situation. He helped me find my way back home and was true to His word. Sometimes walking away from our path is not the answer and we end up going around a loop and come right back to face what we are running away from. You might say that He was testing my conscience in the situation I was in which was anything but peaceful.

I learned from the mistakes of my parents that moving to another place to gain riches only brought disparity and inequality. When an individual is set on only making money, love goes out the door for other members of the family. Sometimes it means that siblings are left to defend for themselves. Sometimes even when social authorities come for a visit, it is anything but peaceful after when they leave. I hear people exclaim does not God care. Of course, He cares. That is why He sent his Son Jesus. Jesus is God’s Gift of grace to humanity. God’s grace equals love, kindness, and favor. God will chasten those whom He loves, and it is for our own profit towards the fruit of righteousness. Being chasten by God opens our eyes to understanding the truth behind a situation. It brings revelations to our own feelings about a situation as well as those around us. Being chasten by God can mean learning about something and or educating us as to the fact about a given circumstance. Are we willing to listen and consider another point of view? If we can agree to disagree and still be friends, I consider this to be a wonderful place to be, for whatever the disagreement, it is in God’s hand to work it out to prove before our eyes what the truth is.

Everyone can choose the path they wish to walk on, but know that whatever that path is, God will search your heart and test your conscience. I pray you take the path He leads you on to where you are trusting him with all your heart as is stated in Proverbs 3:5-6. Do not get stuck in the loop, ask God to help you see the truth behind any situation or circumstances. Your path soon will be straight again. Remember He Loves You.

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