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Who May Partake of the Memorial?

“The Lord’s Supper is not for the world, not for merely nominal believers, but only for those who, (1) accepting of Christ as their Redeemer and Sin-bearer, are, (2) consecrated to him and his service. But it is not for us—nor for any man or set of men—to decide who may and who may not partake. It is our duty to point out from the Word of the Lord what are the proper qualifications for participation in the `cup’ and in the `loaf,’ and then to say as did the Apostle. Let every man examine himself, and then, if he thinks proper, let him partake. (1 Cor. 11:28)

“Now that God’s people are emerging from the errors of the Dark Ages, when this Memorial can be more clearly understood, the judging or examining of one’s self can be more thorough than ever before. Let each ask himself:
(1) Do I believe the Scripture teaching that I, as a member of the human family, was under that condemnation to death which passed upon all because of original sin?
(2) Do I believe that my only hope of escape from that condemnation of sin and death was through the Ransom-sacrifice of the man Christ Jesus, my Lord?
(3) Do I believe he gave himself—his flesh and blood, his humanity—as my Ransom-price, pouring out his soul unto death, making his soul a Sin-Offering (Isa. 53:10,12) on our behalf?
(4) Do I see that the consecration of death, made at Jordan when he was baptized, was fulfilled by his sacrifice of himself for mankind, which, beginning there, was finished on the cross when he died?
(5) Do I see that the rights under the law, which he secured by obedience to it (the right of lasting life and the dominion of earth), were what he through that same sacrifice bequeathed to the fallen dying race—to as many as shall ultimately accept the blessings under the conditions of the New Covenant?
(6) Do I see that his flesh and blood, thus sacrificed, stood for, represented, those blessings and favors which they purchased?
(7) Do I see that the partaking of the bread and wine, symbols of his flesh and blood, signifies my acceptance of those favors which the flesh and blood of my Lord bought for me and for all?
(8) And if I do thus heartily accept the Ransom, do I consecrate my entire being—my flesh and blood, justified through faith in that Ransom—to the Lord, to be broken with him, to suffer with him, to be dead with him?  “If we can answer these questions affirmatively, we clearly or fully discern the Lord’s
body, give credit to his meritorious sacrifice, and may eat—`Eat ye all of it’.” (R5193:5)

The quote below is taken from Volume 6 of Studies in the Scriptures here:

Who May Celebrate?

We answer, first of all, that none should commune who do not trust in the precious blood of Christ as the sacrifice for sins. None should commune except by faith he have on the doorposts and lintel of his earthly tabernacle the blood of sprinkling that speaketh peace for us, instead of calling for vengeance, as did the blood of Abel. (Heb. 12:24) None should celebrate the symbolical feast unless in his heart he has the true feast, and has accepted Christ as his Life-giver. Further, none should commune unless he is a member of the one body, the one loaf, and unless he has reckoned his life, his blood, sacrificed with the Lord’s in the same chalice, or cup. There is here a clearly drawn line of distinction, not only between the believers and unbelievers, but also between the consecrated and the unconsecrated. However, the line is to be drawn by each individual for himself–so long as his professions are good and reasonably attested by his outward conduct. It is not for one member to be the judge of another, nor even for the Church to judge, unless, as already pointed out, the matter has come before it in some definite form, according to the prescribed regulations. Otherwise the elders, or representatives of the Church, should set before those who assemble themselves these terms and conditions–(1) faith in the blood; and (2) consecration to the Lord and his service, even unto death. They should then invite all who are thus minded and thus consecrated to join in celebrating the Lord’s death and their own. This, and all invitations connected with this celebration, should be so comprehensively stated as to leave no thought of sectarianism. All should be welcomed to participate, regardless of their faith and harmony on other subjects, if they are in full accord in respect to these foundation truths–the redemption through the precious blood, and a full consecration unto death, giving them justification.

It is appropriate here to consider the words of the Apostle:

“Whosoever shall eat this bread and drink this cup of the Lord unworthily shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread and drink of that cup. For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh condemnation to himself, if he discern not the Lord’s body.” 1 Cor. 11:27-29

The Apostle’s warning here seems to be against a careless celebration of this Memorial, which would make of it a feast, and against inviting persons to it in a promiscuous manner. It is not such a feast. It is a solemn Memorial, intended only for the members of the Lord’s “body”; and whoever does not discern this, whoever does not discern that the loaf represents the flesh of Jesus, and that the cup represents his blood, would, in partaking of it, properly come under condemnation–not “damnation” as in the common version, but a condemnation in the Lord’s sight, and a condemnation also in his own conscience. Before partaking of these emblems each individual, therefore, should decide for himself whether or not he believes and trusts in the broken body and shed blood of our Lord as being his ransom price; and secondly, whether or not he has made the consecration of his all that he may thus be counted in as a member of that “one body.”

Having noted who are excluded, and who properly have access to the Lord’s table, we see that every true member of the Ecclesia has the right to participate, unless that right has been debarred by a public action of the whole Church, according to the rule therefor laid down by the Lord. (Matt. 18:15-17) All such may celebrate; all such will surely desire to celebrate–will surely desire to conform to the Master’s dying admonition, “Eat ye all of it; drink ye all of it.” They will realize that unless we eat the flesh of the Son of Man, and drink his blood, we have no life in us; and that if they have in heart and mind partaken of the merits of the Lord’s sacrifice really, and of his life, that it is both a privilege and a pleasure to memorialize this, and to confess it before each other and before the Lord.

14 comments to Who May Partake of the Memorial?

  • hank

    When People claim to be believers they should consider a few things. “You believe there is one God, do you? You are doing quite well. And yet the demons believe and shudder.” James 2:19

    Acts 13:50,”But the Jews incited the prominent women who were God-fearing and the principal men of the city, and they stirred up persecution against Paul and Barnabas and threw them outside their boundaries.”

    Questions good to ask for all who claim to be believers. When Mat. 24:14 is being fulfilled right in front of me, do I throw the message right out of my heart and mind?

    How many excuses can each person make for doing so? Now remember these were God-fearing people?

    If you were God would you bless those God-fearing people?

    So lets consider things that change. Did the first witness have a building to worship in? How about Enoch’s 365 years of life? How about Noah and his family? I can’t find one for any of the three.

    How about Shem, Isaac, Levi, Amram, or Moses? With Mose we find a big meeting or congregating take place, but no building. Keep in mind only the last one mentioned, Moses, came into the Law Covenant. All gathered at the foot of Mount Horeb.

    But about 5 hundred years Later Solomon stated building the temple on Mount Moriah. 2 Chron. 3:1 Where? Mount Moriah! Was that where Abraham was told to offer his son Isaac? Gen. 22:2, “Take, please, your son, your only son whom you love, Isaac, and travel to the land of Moriah and offer him up there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains that I will designate to you.” Where? Mount Moriah! That was about 9 hundred more or less years difference was it not?

    What happened about a thousand years after Solomon’s temple was built? “It has been accomplished! and bowing his head, he gave up his spirit.” John 19:30

    Where did it happen? John 19:20, “the place where Jesus was nailed to the stake was near the city.” That’s right, on Mount Moriah! Jehovah’ God’s only-begotten Son.

    So how did that nation respond when a pagan ruler announced, “See! Your king!” John 19:14

    The chief priests answered and said, “we have no king but Caesar.” John 19:15

  • Let me make my last post more clear. God says he holds back the truth from the unbeliever. I take this to mean there are only two kinds of people on this earth. Those who believe, and those who do not. True there are many who say, “I’m not sure?” The I’m not sure people must get in line with those who do not believe.
    I do understand many scriptures in Gods written word, and I believe them. Knowing this, I feel like God has put a big stamp on my forehead which reads, “This one is a believer. Not worth a damn, but he is a believer.” If I am a believer, and can understand almost all the scriptures I read, why would God not allow me to understand the most important scripture in his written word…”Do this in remembrance of me.” If I have this one wrong, than I must also have the rest of the scriptures wrong, which would make me a dead duck, and I will find myself standing in the long line of unbelievers.
    I am a simple person. One thing I know for sure…I know this thing so well, I am ready 24/7 to put my life down for it. I can prove scriptures true. I know which line I stand in. Like I said, I’m not worth a damn, so if I fall with the unbelievers, it won’t be because I am one of them…it will be because I’m not worth a damn.

    • Peter K. (admin)

      Domenici – 
      Thanks for your comments. 

      Romans 3:10 ASV
      There is none righteous, no, not one;

      Although true, the purpose of Jesus’ body members is to have their character’s transformed to be more like Him, to become more righteous.

      Romans 12:1-2 ASV
      I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, And be not fashioned according to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, and ye may prove what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

      For those who have become Jesus’ body members and recieved the Holy Spirit, they may partake of the memorial.

      1 Corinthians 10:16-17 ASV
      The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not a communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not a communion of the body of Christ? seeing that we, who are many, are one bread, one body: for we are all partake of the one bread.

      Notice how those partaking and having communion are described as “one body.”  So it is Jesus body members who partake — those baptized into Christ’s body. (Rom 6:3)

      Jesus body members are going through a character transformation, as New Creatures, to be prepared for the assignment of being earth’s new judges, priests and kings, under Jesus, their head.  Those pursuing this “one hope of our calling” (Ephesians 4:4) are invited to partake.

      Now some who have decided not to be baptized into Christ’s body, have decided they still want to partake of the bread and cup every years. My personal opinion is that if this is done to show respect to Jesus and a desire to be faithful to Him, I respect that.  The bottom line is for each person to follow their own conscience based on their honest understanding of what the Bible teaches.

      You may find this helful.

  • Jaycee,
    I agree…to many words spoken by men in a manner that they consider holy. To me that is like walking on thin ice. Speak it out boldly, or don’t speak at all. Mumbling words makes the subject very hard to understand. God makes nothing hard to understand. What Jesus said at the last supper is not recorded in the Bible for the eleven with him that night. It is recorded for all who came after…you, and me.
    Jesus said, “Do this in remembrance of me.” He gave no questions that qualify who should or should not partake of his body, and blood. I have stated many times over, “I do not want to be in heaven as one of the 144,000. I like being a human as God created me. If Jesus decides I will be of the 144,000, he will raise me up to that. God says we do not know our own hearts. I trust what God says. If we do not know our own hearts, how can we say, we are, or we are not of this, or that class. I follow the command, “Do this in remembrance of me.” I do partake. if any can show a scripture (s) proving who should, or should not partake…please show it.

  • Panto

    Peace. Jacqueline, ty for the comment on my post. If you have watched the video at http://www.theholyeucharist.com you and everyone else will know the answer to the question: Who May Partake in the Memorial? May the Lord Be With You As You Partake!

  • Panto

    i am glad to find a lively conversation concerning the Jehovah Witnesses and their participation in the so-called Memorial. It seems to me over the years of reflecting on the scriptures that Christ himself spoke of himself as the Bread of Life, the Bread of God, His Flesh as True Food, His Blood as True Drink. In context: He states that the Father will give us the manna from Heaven to eat and it will give eternal life. Now the feast of the passover and the manna Jesus promised to be and all contained in the first encounter called the Lords Supper or the Last Supper. So it seems clear Jesus is saying unless you drink my BLOOD you have no life in you. Now we all know from scripture in the law of Moses and the councils of the Apostles in Jerusalem forbid the drinking of blood. How can Jehoval Witnesses participate in the drinking of Blood. even if it as recognized by some as only a symbol? I doubt very much an error was made by the church with the promised holy spirit guiding the church through 2000+ years, that the real presence of the body and blood of jesus are made present as the new passover lamb and as the true manna coming down from the father. it is only the eating and drinking without discerning the body and blood that causes an offence. so when you say it isn’t the body and blood and that it is only a symbol rememberance. it is a failure to recognize that the real truth that from heaven Christ pours out his real food and real drink on the participating church. Now, do Jehoval Witnesses really drink blood symbolically? please visit: http://www.theholyeucharist.com and watch the video and see what you think! The Lord be with you all and peace my brothers searching for him.

    • Jacqueline

      Panto, how insightful on the blood issue!! The pouring out of blood was when an animal had died, out of respect for the life of that creature of God. No one dies to give a blood transfusion. In fact as you said, Jesus poured out his blood to save. Blood was sprinkled on the doorposts in Egypt, it saved. Br. Franz wanted something new to institute as is the format of JW religion. I wonder if he thought about the ramifications.

  • Richard

    Every article I read gives me new understanding of the Scriptures,or at least some aspects I have not considered before. Sometimes my traditions kick in and send up a red flag,but when I really meditate on what is said,and the Scriptures that are used,I can see the beauty of pastor Russell’s teachings.
    Churchianity has made such a mockery of the Lord’s Supper down through the ages.If those claiming to be Christians would really examine themselves,as suggested in the above treatise,and by the blessed Apostle Paul,how much stronger,spiritually,we would all be.
    Praise HIS HOLY NAME!

  • dancingmoonlite

    You grossly take the scriptures out of context. God forgive you for denying him every year. You are almost as bad as Satan worshippers.

    • Peter K. (admin)

      dancingmoonlite – Thank you for your warning. Here at the Friends of Jehovah’s Witnesses we certainly do not want to take the scriptures out of context. Nor do we want to deny God or worship Satan. Please help us. Can you specifically give us an example of one or more scriptures we are taking out of context. If you can demonstrate an error on our part, we would like to correct it. Thank you for your concern.

  • What is the memorial of Christ’s Death?

    The Memorial is when Jehovah’s Witnesses remember the death of Jesus Christ. It is their most important meeting and is held on the evening of the Jewish month of Nisan 14. This year the Memorial of Christ’s death will be held on APRIL 17th 2011. You are warmly invited to attend this special memorial celebration. Contact your local KINGDOM HALL of Jehovah’s Witnesses for details.

    • Jacqueline

      Thank you so much for visiting our site and commenting. We sincerely hope you are enjoying the other articles on this site. And feel free to post us as a site of interest on your website.
      In Christian Love and In Christ, Jacqueline

  • Peter K. (admin)

    Jaycee – Through faith in Jesus’ blood we have remission of sins. “Without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sins.” (Heb 9:22) We were redeemed, with the precious blood of Christ. (1 Pet 1:19; Eph 1:7) It was necessary that Christ should die for our sins. Our sins could never have been forgiven by divine justice except through the divine arrangement by which Jesus paid our penalty. There is no other way to attain eternal life except through accepting the blood once shed as the ransom price for the sins of the whole world.

    Partaking of the bread and cup is a serious matter (1 Cor 11:27) and each person should carefully examine themselves before partaking (1 Cor 11:28).

    Partaking of the bread illustrates our receiving justification from Jesus’ ransom sacrifice (John 6:51). Partaking of the cup also symbolizes our participation with Christ in sacrifice (Matt 20:22; John 18:11).

    Rom 6:3,4 shows that the Anointed are baptized into Christ’s death. Those who have not been baptized into Christ may observe, but should not partake. Partaking is only for Christ’s body members, those anointed with the Holy Spirit. This is a difficult topic since most JWs are taught that they are not anointed with the Holy Spirit. But if you have totally sacrificed your earthly life and interests (Rom 12:1,2) in pursuit of serving Jesus, and if you feel the indwelling Holy Spirit is guiding you, I believe that you may partake.

    In Matt 26:28, it is the “blood of the covenant” in the sense that covenants can only go into operation after being ratified by a sacrifice. In this case, the New Covenant will go into operation for the nation of Israel and the world of mankind only after it has been ratified by the sacrifice of Christ and His body members (in part, symbolized by drinking the cup). This is a very involved topic, requiring hours of study. I can email detailed notes to anyone privately requesting it with their email address under ABOUT/CONTACTS.

  • There was so many words that the above was confusing to me. Does it mean that the Church is under the New Covenant now? Or does the Church refuse the blood of the New Covenant for the forgiveness of sins? Matt. 26:26-27 To me, it would be important to accept the blood of the New Covenant for the forgiveness of sins in order to take of the bread and wine at the Memorial of what Jesus did for us all? The Memorial is for Jesus alone not the Church as I see it. Not what anyone else has done. It is in remembrance of what Jesus alone has done. Just my thoughts.

    Thank you

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