[This post is contributed by Alex Rover]
There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism and one hope to which we are called. (Eph 4:4-6) It would be blasphemous to say there are two Lords, two baptisms or two hopes, since Christ said there would be just one flock with one shepherd. (John 10:16)
Christ shared only a single loaf of bread, which he broke and, after prayer, gave to his apostles, saying “This is my body which is given to you”. (Luke 22:19; 1Co 10:17) There is but one true loaf of bread, and it is a gift of Christ to you.
Are you worthy to receive this gift?
Happy are the meek
The Beatitudes (Mt 5:1-11) describe Christ’s meek sheep, who will be called children of God, see God, be satisfied, shown mercy, comforted, and will inherit both heaven and earth.
Meek ones will be inclined to say they are unworthy. Moses said of himself: “O my Lord, I am not an eloquent man, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant, for I am slow of speech and slow of tongue.” (Exod 4:10) John the Baptist said he was not worthy to carry the sandals of the one who would come after him. (Mt 3:11) And a centurion said: “Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof”. (Mt 8:8)
The very fact that you question your worthiness is evidence of your meekness. Humility comes before honor. (Pr 18:12; 29:23)
Perhaps you have reflected on the words in 1 Corinthians 11:27:
“Whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of the body and the blood of the Lord.”
One consideration is that by partaking in an unworthy manner, one becomes guilty of the body and the blood of the Lord. Of Judas, Scripture states it would be better for him if he had never been born. (Mt 26:24) We would not want to share in the fate of Judas by partaking unworthily. Understandably then, Jehovah’s Witnesses have used this Scripture as a deterrent for would-be partakers.
It should be noted that some translations use the word “unworthily”. This can confuse the reader, because we all “have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”, thus none of us is worthy. (Rom 3:23) Instead, partaking in an unworthy manner, as described in scripture, reveals an act of contempt for Christ’s gift.
We may think of the analogy with contempt of court. Wikipedia describes this as the offense of being disobedient or disrespectful toward a court of law and its officers in the form of behavior that opposes or defies the authority, justice and dignity of the court.
The one who defiantly doesn’t partake is in ‘contempt of Christ’ due to disobedience, but the one who partakes in an unworthy manner shows contempt due to disrespect.
An illustration may help us understand this better. Imagine your house is on fire, and your neighbor rescues you. However, in the process of saving you, he dies. How would you approach his memorial? The same dignity is what Christ requires of us when approaching his memorial.
Also, imagine you afterward started engaging in a behavior that puts your life at risk. Wouldn’t this show contempt for your neighbor’s life, since he died so that you may live? Thus Paul wrote:
“And he died for all so that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised.” (2Co 5:15)
Since Christ gave his life for you, how you view and act toward his gift of your life demonstrates whether you would partake in a worthy manner or not.
Before partaking, we are told to examine ourselves. (1Co 11:28) The Aramaic Bible in Plain English likens this self-examination to a searching of one’s soul. This means that we don’t make a light-hearted decision to partake.
In fact, such examination involves serious reflection on your feelings and beliefs so that, if you make the decision to partake, you will partake with conviction and understanding. Partaking signifies that we understand our sinful state and need for redemption. It is therefore an act of humility.
If upon self-examination we find ourselves deeply aware of our need of forgiveness for our sins, and we find that our hearts are in the right condition toward Christ’s ransom, then we do not partake in an unworthy way.
In reference to the day when the Lord Jesus will be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, when he comes to be glorified among his anointed followers, Paul, Silvanus and Timothy used to pray that our God would make us worthy of his calling through undeserved kindness. (2Th 1)
This indicates that we are not automatically worthy, but only through God’s and Christ’s grace. We become worthy as we bear much fruit. All God’s children have the spirit operate upon them, developing Christian qualities. It can take time, and our Heavenly Father is patient, but bearing such fruit is essential.
It is proper that we follow the example of our first century brothers and pray for ourselves and each other that God may help us be worthy of his calling. As little children, we are absolutely certain of our Father’s love for us, and that he will give us any and all help we need to succeed. We sense his protection and guidance, and follow his direction so that it may go well with us. (Eph 6:2-3)
A Single Lost Sheep
What made the one little sheep worthy of the full attention of the Shepherd? The sheep became lost! So Jesus Christ said there would be great rejoicing over a single sheep found and returned to the flock. If you feel unworthy and lost – what makes you worthy over all Christ’s other sheep to receive such love and care?
“When he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’ I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.” (Luke 15:5-7 NIV)
The parallel parable of the lost coin and parable of the lost son convey the same truth. We do not consider ourselves worthy! The lost son said:
“Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.” (Luke 15:21 NIV)
Yet all three parables in Luke chapter 15 teach us that even if we are not worthy by our own standards, our Heavenly Father loves us still. The apostle Paul understood this so well because he carried the burden of his murderous past when he persecuted God’s sheep, and needed this forgiveness and love not less than we do. Notice his beautiful conclusion:
“For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,
Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Rom 8:38-39 KJV)
The Covenant in His Blood
In the same way as with the bread, Jesus took the cup after saying: “This cup is the covenant in my blood; do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.” (1Co 11:25 NIV) Drinking the cup is in remembrance of Christ.
The first covenant with Israel was a covenant for a nation through the Mosaic Law. God’s promises to Israel have not become invalid by the new covenant. Jesus Christ is also the root of the olive tree. Jews were broken off as branches because of unbelief in Christ, although natural Jews are natural branches. Sadly, not many Jews remain connected to the root of Israel, but the invitation to accept Christ remains open to them. Those of us who are gentiles are not natural branches, but we have been grafted in.
“And you, though a wild olive shoot, have been grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing sap from the olive root […] and you stand by faith.” (Rom 11:17-24)
The olive tree represents the Israel of God under the new covenant. A new nation does not mean the old nation is entirely disqualified, just like a new earth does not mean the old earth will be destroyed, and a new creation does not mean that our current bodies evaporate somehow. Likewise a new covenant doesn’t mean the promises to Israel under the old covenant have been undone, but it means a better or renewed covenant.
Per the prophet Jeremiah, our Father promised the coming of a new covenant which he would make with the house of Israel and the house of Judah:
“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.” (Jer 31:32-33)
Is Jehovah our Father YOUR God, and have YOU become part of HIS PEOPLE?
A Most Sacred Night
On Nisan 14 (or as often we drink of the cup and eat the loaf), we remember Christ’s love for mankind, and Christ’s love for us personally. (Luke 15:24) We pray that you may be motivated to “Seek the Lord while he makes himself available; call to him while he is nearby!” (Isaiah 55:3, 6; Luke 4:19; Isaiah 61:2; 2Co 6:2)
Do not let fear of man rob you of your joy! (1 John 2:23; Mat 10:33)
“For who is going to harm you if you are devoted to what is good? But in fact, if you happen to suffer for doing what is right, you are blessed. But do not be terrified of them or be shaken. But set Christ apart as Lord in your hearts and always be ready to give an answer to anyone who asks about the hope you possess. Yet do it with courtesy and respect, keeping a good conscience, so that those who slander your good conduct in Christ may be put to shame when they accuse you. For it is better to suffer doing good, if God wills it, than for doing evil.” (1Pe 3:13-17)
Although we are not worthy in and of ourselves, we allow God’s love to make us worthy. Set apart as his Holy possession in this wicked world, we let our love for our Father and our neighbors shine as a light that cannot be extinguished. Let’s bear much fruit, and proclaim boldly that OUR KING CHRIST JESUS DIED, BUT IS RISEN.
Unless otherwise noted, all quotes are from the NET Translation.
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Hi. I’m currently in between a rock and a hard place. I was raised in this organization and I’ve been baptized since 2002. After a couple years of doubting and researching and reading, I’ve reached the conclusion that the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society isn’t the sole channel of God. My views are pretty much out in the open as I’ve already talked to a few elders. But I’m married to a witness who is adamant about her views and we have two kids together. My wife feels with her whole heart like I once felt – that this is… Read more »
the other thing to keep in mind with some prophecies regarding Israel is that they may already have been fulfilled. Not everything is an end-time prophecy. (The return from Babylon for example.)
Good point. I agree
i commemorated Jesus memorial at home also I watched a movie on the final days of Jesus life – i made some unleavened bread and bought some no preservative wine – laid out a nice table cloth – dressed in my best clothes and sat up on the beach under the moon – read the scriptures and prayed – This is the first time i have partaken of the bread and wine – i was feeling very nervous about doing it – in fact i was anxious for a number of weeks before just the thought of doing it –… Read more »
The real bible students among us are not fooled anymore billy . We had a little meeting of four in our area .3 of whom visit this site . We had a lovely meal .we read the scriptures we said prayers and partook of the bread and wine . It was a lovely evening . just the way its meant to be we are with you billy .if not in person certainly in spirit . Kev
Kev, It must be really nice that you can meet up with others in your home. If anyone lives in my area and they want to meet up with me that would be lovely. I live in Edinburgh, Scotland.
Yes Kev real bible students/apostates are not fooled anymore.
I couldn’t believe how much changed once I started to move towards Christ, the Bible became a new book with a powerful message for me!
Most of the “truth”became irrelevant.
I was no longer sustained spiritually by anything from the GB.
And then the realisation that the GB has set a trap for seekers of truth,yes a lot of things change
Both me and my wife along with our two adult children also celebrated the Lord’s Evening meal at home. I baked the unleavened bread myself and also acquired a good quality red wine to drink of which we all partook of on that night, and remembered Jesus as he was he on the earth and his self-sacrifice in our behalf so that we could put our faith in him and the Heavenly Father. I first of all said a prayer to start with followed by a little speech to open with and then we all discussed all about Jesus and… Read more »
It seems to me that the Jws religion is becoming each day more and more like the 1st century jewish treligion . Who also used fear of being expelled from the synagogue .to control the masses . John 9 v 22 . Theres also a whole host of extra rules added to gods word that they must observe .mark 7 v 4 to 8. Those who truly confessed christ were also in danger of losing family members matthew 10 v 36 to 37 .The hierarchy of the religion has also seated themselves in the seat of moses matthew 23 v… Read more »
JW salvation lies with following and obeying the GB, even if it may seem strange from a human stand point, I think skye has a valid point fear is what is blinding JW not fear of Jehovah but fear of man. We all have had that haven’t we when first awakening and for some still its a nagging feeling, not wanting to lose family and for some status in the congregation, branded an apostate is worse then a pedophile to JW, but the Gb have done a good job by their constant reminders of the evils of those that disagree… Read more »
That is so true Katrina, what you have spoken here as I myself have been branded by thhe JW organization as an “apostate” because I have pursued the truth. In fact by now, I am probably at the top of their list as they surely would have read many of my posts on the various sites that I have posted on and I am sure that they from time to time do monitor. As far as they are concerned and my JW family (those who are still active JWs) I am as good as “bird-food”, as good as “dead” in… Read more »
Many brothers and sisters would be thrilled to know that they can be born again and rule with Jesus on the earth, and to truly belong to him. The internet has helped and continues to help, but many do not have the internet or view what they consider to be apostate websites. I believe that fear of losing Christian fellowship is one reason that keeps many brothers and sisters attached to the Organisation. Is there more we can do to help – any ideas?
@skye,I have often said in passing to other JWs,”isn’t it note worthy that we of the Great Crowd are in the same position as a Moslem,we aren’t in a covenant and like them don’t have a personal mediator,and if we died in an accident together with a Moslem would be ressurected with the same standing,don’t you think that’s odd?”
Most times I get the same look as a kangaroo in the highbeam lol
Memorial is like a ritual every year, invite as many as possible family friends, studies return visits, to come to the remnant event and to listen as to why you shouldn’t partake, listen to the stories of paradise and cuddly animals and this is your reward for refusing the blood and body of the lamb that takes away the sins of the world. Tradition they follow of judge Rutherford. Instead of rejoicing that Christ has risen and is alive and is drawing ones to a relationship as mediator to the Father to come into his family as sons and daughters,… Read more »
I hope that you are kidding with this last statement of yours here. “but we are so grateful to you that you have given us the FDS to give us the truth meat in due season, all those pagan teachings we alone are free of the trinity, hell fire, immortality of the soul, the cross, xmas, birthdays, mothers days and all the pagan celebrations, we have the truth.” The “Truth” is still “out there” and “way out there” in our “cosmos”. Meanwhile we have to content ourselves with the limited information that we now posses in our books such as… Read more »
Hubby and I enjoyed a lovely memorial tonight at home. Just the two of us. It was joyful, emotional and humbling to know deep in our hearts that we are the beloved son and precious daughter of a loving God.
Let’s partake in the Kingdom halls too. Who knows what the new light will be when Jw partakers exceed 144000. If I remember correctly Rutherford based the great crowd teaching -amidst other reasons-on the large numbers who profess not to be anointed and were not partaking during the early 1930s. If anyone ask about our partaking the following from Question from readers W07 1/15 Will help. “Thus, it appears that we cannot set a specific date for when the calling of Christians to the heavenly hope ends. How should a person be viewed who has determined in his heart that… Read more »
@3.5 weeks,great idea what a conundrum that would create!
For me personally I can no longer support the framework that the GB is trying to build,the memorial talk last night went straight into mysticism when it came to who partakes,some kind of mystical revelation,such a lie!
Doesn’t anyone read the bible?
To the others who had their own ceremony,may Jehovah bless you and I hope to see you all in the everlasting dwelling places
Peace to all.
So they just change their ways again … It doesn’t matter as long as one hasn’t followed the Anointed Jesus OUTSIDE the gate of the city … Heb 13:13 ..
@BN,what a beautiful verse! One could almost substitute the word organization for camp and see where they should be ,thank you so much!
Other sheep – gentiles – equal status absolutely – one international church. (John 10:16)
Alex….its so clear but so hard to understand it before since we are told not to participate- Your summary clearly and intelligently refutes previous erroneous understanding about not participating. The bible is clear! I am saving this and sharing with as many as I can. Thank you for your effort and time to post this information- its wonderful!
I don’t think I have ever seen a watchtower article or heard a public talk encourageing the bretheren to become “worthy ” of the heavenly call,attention has only been drawn to why they shouldn’t partake not why they should. On the memorial this year I will have my own private ceremony at home afterwards,I think it will be the last time I go to the memorial at the kingdom.
Good for you, Wild Olive–and what a good alias by the way. Not counting those I know of through this site, but only those friends I know through my personal life, I’m aware of 20 individuals who will be partaking privately tonight. The numbers of those who worship the Father in Spirit and Truth continues to grow as the truth sets us free.
For the first time since 1991 when I got baptized as JW, last night at around 9pm,we did in our private home a simple re-enactment of Christ’s last supper or memorial. There were 4 of us – my wife, 2 kids and myself. We read several scriptures to honor Jesus. We then shared the unleavened bread which I cooked that afternoon, then the grape juice to represent the wine. It was such a liberating experience. We watched in Youtube the washing of the feet of the apostles, discussed the lessons to learn from it. We ended up closing the occasion… Read more »
Mailman how encouraging to know that there is another family like us.
Mailman how encouraging is to know that there is another family like us observing the memorial at home.
Great to know that Anonymous and CP. Finally last night, our family attended the Memorial in our local Kingdom hall. I just did my job as one of the servers. The Society has changed the memorial outline which was delivered to us by a former CO. I was hoping there would be more verses to be read that would glorify and honor Jesus, recount his life and service to his Father, or at least verses that would focus on him as our Savior. But other than Luke and Corinthians, the speaker narrated 3 verses that point to blessings in paradise… Read more »
Your articles have been an eye opener for me Meleti/Alex. Maybe I’ve understood it wrong all these years but I’ve always been lead to believe according to those that go with “the society says” way of thinking that to eat & drink unworthily was to partake if you aren’t really anointed. This site has really encouraged me to examine what I believe not just accept what I’m told.
Thank you, and welcome to the site! Please read the following two verses: Acts 2:38 “And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 8:15 “The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, [b] Father.”” Question: 1) Were you baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the… Read more »
I had a discussion about this with my wife, or should I say tried to have a discussion about this with my wife. To her the GB is the be all & end all of truth from Jehovah. It ended up with her getting grumpy at me & declaring that I was just looking for a way out of doing wat I should be doing, meaning blindly agreeing with everything the society says & spending far more time witnessing. Now I have discovered so many things I disagree with I find it hard to tell others about “The Truth” according… Read more »
And I got the “So you think you know more than the GB who are anointed do you?” I used the example of how I believed, even when I was in Christendom, that the sheep & goats were separated when Christ returns to execute judgement. If I insisted on that when they previously believed the separating was happening at the time by the witnessing work then I’d be going against Jehovah. Then they changed & now teach what I believed in the 1st place, even when I was an evil member of Christendom. The reply, well they’re just imperfect men… Read more »
It is absolutely okay to post about this here. There are not may places for us to open up and talk about the things that trouble us. Yet we all need to vent from time to time. We need it like a steam engine needs a safety value. Unfortunately, freedom of speech is not something that is honored in the congregations of Jehovah’s Witnesses.
I feel for you, my brother. She is being forced to confront issues that challenge her worldview. She has lived for so long with the comforting idea that she is saved, simply be being a member of the organization. I once experienced an earthquake. It was mild and there was no damage, but it was very unsettling to feel the ground, the symbol of all that is stable, move under my feet. I hadn’t realized until that moment how I had come to rely upon the ground not to move. Seems silly now, but it was something I counted to… Read more »
I’m going through the same struggles with my wife Ray. The only thing we can do is be patient, continue to show Godly love, and pray their eyes are opened. It’s hard to convince someone that the beliefs they have cherished from youth are false. Continue to show love and it’s possible that she’ll come around
Agree Ray. When Paul warned his fellow Christians of partaking in an unworthy manner, the earthly hope was not even an issue nor something they had in mind. WT is imposing a criteria which was never ones a barometer for determining if one is worthy to partake of the emblems (e.g. evidence of the spirit). This is sad because they have added unnecessary burden or qualifications to deter – if not to sow fear on – our brothers from responding to Christ’s invitation.
Beautiful reminders. Thanks for sharing, Alex. The Beatitudes (Mt 5:1-11) describe Christ’s meek sheep, who will be called children of God, see God, be satisfied, shown mercy, comforted, and will inherit both heaven and earth. Amen. We need the shelter, the covering of Jesus’ ransom NOW. Not just at some point in the far future, after a thousand years, but NOW. How precious your loyal love [loving kindness, bond of love] is, O God! In the shadow of your wings, the sons of men take refuge. (Psalm 36:7, NWT) Be gracious to me, God, be gracious to me, because my… Read more »
Thank you for your beautiful comment!
Beautifully written, and very well said. I would like to print this out and keep it as a reminder whenever the negativity of the ‘Watchtower Years’ come up into my mind. Again, Thank you for such a beautiful comment.
Why do JW’s have a funeral/ memorial for Christ every year? Is that in anyway what Christ had in mind the night of the evening meal? If I remember correctly Jesus raised the subject of him dying during the evening meal but the focus IMO was not on memorializing his death . Christ lives !!! He is not dead.
“Keep doing this in remembrance of me.”
We want to remember Christ and all that he did for us. He died so that we may live. But we don’t just remember his death. We honor him by remembering his teachings and following his example in our lives.
PS: Great post, Alex!
thank you meleti.
same for your series part 1 & 2
Partaking is NOT something we do to acknowledge that we are worthy, for none of us are. Partaking is something we do to acknowledge that we are unworthy; in need of Christ’s redemption through the gift of his perfect body and life. We should not think that Paul’s admonition against partaking unworthily means that only the worthy may partake, for that would exclude all of us. What Paul is warning against is a callous disregard for the value of Christ’s sacrifice. An unrepentant sinner would be partaking unworthily. But we are all sinners, so it is not the sin that… Read more »
Alex, You said, “The Beatitudes (Matt 5:1-11) describe Christ’s meek sheep, who will be called children of God, see God, be satisfied, shown mercy, comforted, and will inherit both heaven and earth.”
Can I ask you please, in what sense do you think we will inherit heaven?
Hi, I am really referring to the “kingdom of heaven”, the heavenly inheritance. Mat 25:34 KJV “Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world” Mat 5:3 “the kingdom of heaven belongs to them.” All things in Heaven and Earth were made for Christ and through Christ. Col 1:16 KJV For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all… Read more »
Alex, I understand, thank you. Skye
Hi Alex Rover. By this quote “God’s promises to Israel have not become invalid by the new covenant” do you mean the nation of Israel is in position today as a fulfilment of Gods promises to them of old?
The promises to Israel of old carry on today in the “Israel of God”. The diverse nation of modern Israel has little to do with the natural Israel of old, yet those who trace their lineage to natural Israel and practice the Law of Moses but reject Christ today are like natural branches of the olive tree that are cut off. Israel has not been deleted and replaced – in the sense it is uprooted and substituted all together. All Jehovah’s promises to Israel of old will come true, because the Israel of God, the nation to whom we are… Read more »
The days are coming,” declares the LORD, “when it will no longer be said, ‘As surely as the LORD lives, who brought the Israelites up out of Egypt,’ but it will be said, ‘As surely as the LORD lives, who brought the Israelites up out of the land of the north and out of all the countries where he had banished them.’ For I will restore them to the land I gave their ancestors” (Jeremiah 16:14-15). Unless I’m not getting the picture my ancestors are not of Israel. So this test is referring to natural israel. Who do you think… Read more »