Taking apart the Memorial

by jgnat 77 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • jgnat

    A new poster inspired me to take a look at the Memorial talk and the way that the Witnesses honor (dishonor) Jesus' memory. I had mentioned that the form is, from this Christian's point of view, an abomination. The participant is encouraged to look and not partake. This results in the vast majority of Witnesses and visitors to be passive observers in the memory of Christ, rather than active participants. The implicatons of this passivity horrifies me. It separates the regular observer from communion with Christ. How does the crowd come to this conclusion? Well, the memorial talk steadily outlines the reasons.

    Are those reasons valid?

    I suggest that there are a steady string of false assumptions leading up to the passing - but not tasting - the bread and the wine. And I invite you all to participate as we take a careful look at the outline.

    I'll post the complete Memorial outline, as well as the specific scriptures regarding communion.

    Then we can check some basic assumptions by the Witnesses.

    - Are there two classes of Christians?
    - Must only the "Anointed" partake? Are there only 144,000?
    - Has Jesus come back as the Witnesses proposed, and is he enthroned in Heaven as we speak?

    We can finish up on the various styles of communion in the churches, and if they are "wrong".

  • jgnat

    The memorial talk:


    Song No. 87. Opening prayer


    The Memorial is a meal commemorating the death of Jesus Christ (1 Cor. 11:26)

    It is fitting to memorialize Jesus’ death because of all it accomplished in the outworking of Jehovah’s purpose, namely-

    (1) The vindication of Jehovah’s name

    By his faithfulness to death, Jesus proved that a perfect human could keep perfect integrity under severe pressure, thus showing that Jehovah was just in requiring perfect obedience from Adam

    (2) The sacrificial basis for the new covenant (Luke 22:20)

    Those who are brought into new covenant are to be with Christ in heavenly Kingdom (John 14:2, 3; Hebrews 9:15)

    (3) The ransoming of Adam’s offspring, making it possible for a "little flock" to rule with Christ in heaven and for other faithful humans to live forever in paradise on earth (Matt. 20:28; Luke 12:32; John 3:16; Luke 23:42, 43)

    Why should commemoration of his death be observed annually?

    Died on occasion of annual celebration of Jewish Passover

    Passover came on Nisan 14 of ancient Hebrew calendar

    So, Memorial is held after sundown, Nisan 14 {about full moon)

    Unleavened bread and wine are symbols to be used in remembrance of Christ’s death Last year __ attended around earth, but ___ partook

    Why so few partakers? How does this relate to your hope?


    Jesus’ ransom sacrifice provides for two destinies (1 John 2:2)

    A limited number, 144,000, go to heaven (Rev. 14:3, 4)

    These are ones taken into new covenant

    They are also in a covenant that Christ makes with them to rule in his heavenly Kingdom (Luke 22:29, 30)

    Anointed with spirit, so know they are called ones (Rom. 8:16, 17, 30)

    Apostle John was of that special group-"our sins" (1 John 2:2a)

    Jehovah will also have worshipers living forever on earth

    Spoken of as "other sheep"; not in "little flock" (John 10:16; Luke 12:32)

    These benefit from the new covenant, but me not in it; therefore they should not partake as anointed ones do.

    They are repentant part of the world of mankind who accept Jesus’ sacrifice and have their sins covered (1 John 2:2b; Rev. 7:14)

    Al1 in attendance need faith in Jesus’ sin-atoning sacrifice to get life


    Beneficial to examine events when this celebration instituted

    Matthew 26:17-19:

    Disciples prepared for Passover meal

    Obtained needed unleavened bread, wine, arranged for lamb (John 13:21-30)

    Matthew 26:20-25:

    Jesus celebrated last valid Passover, after which he dismissed unfaithful Judas (John 13:21-30)

    Matthew 26:26:

    Instituted new celebration-Memorial of his death

    He, the Lamb of God, used bread and wine then present (Luke 22: 17, 18) Jesus gave unleavened bread to eleven faithful apostles

    Stood for fleshly body, uncontaminated by sin (1 Cor. 5:6-8; Heb. 7:26)

    Bread was of whole grain flour and water, with no additives or leaven table

    Christ's bones not to be broken, so his 'breaking' bread was just to pass it to disciples around the table.

    Apostles could partake, for they accepted his sacrifice and looked forward to place in heavenly Kingdom (2 Tim. 2:12)

    Matthew 26:27, 28:

    Circulated cup of red wine among apostles

    Plain red wine, without spices or drugs, represented his blood

    Was "precious blood," for it made possible "forgiveness of sins" and provided sacrificial basis for new covenant (1 Pet 1:19)

    Apostles could partake, for were to be in new covenant with prospect of being co rulers in heaven with Jesus

    As they kept celebration each year, the wine would remind them of Jesus' sacrificial death

    Matthew 26:30:

    Ended commemoration with song

    Most here, if not all, are not in new covenant with heavenly hope, but look for everlasting life on a paradise earth

    Appreciate the value of Jesus' sacrifice (body and b1ood)-a ransom for all (Matt. 20:28; 1 John 2:2)

    Even though there may be no one partaking of emblems locally, it is right that those with earthly hopes be here and observe commemoration


    Read 1 Corinthians 11:23, 24:

    Qualified brother (of anointed if available and able) offers prayer and then the bread is passed

    Read 1 Corinthians 11:25, 26:

    Another qualified brother (preferably of anointed) prays and then the wine is passed

    [Optional whether speaker comments during serving of emblems]


    Reminds us: A privilege to honor Jehovah as Universal Sovereign, and Jesus (John 522, 23)

    We can be grateful to God for providing Jesus as his Vindicator and as our Ransomer.

    Many here have proved gratefulness by becoming active Christian Witnesses; others can work toward that goal

    Regularly associating at Christian meetings is a means of growing spiritually (can mention other meetings)

    If you are not yet a baptized Witness, we will be happy to help you to progress so you can show that you do not forget the meaning of Jesus' blood and body

    Invite qualified Christians to share in field service this week

    All of us need to be faithful to the end, as Jesus was

    Those anointed with spirit and called to heavenly life must keep that reward in mind, not tiring

    Other faithful ones will receive reward of life on earth, possibly without ever dying (Rev. 7:9, 10, 14)

    Trust God to help us conquer and gain reward (John 16:33)

    Concluding song, No. 105.

    Final prayer

    [For further helpful information, see The Watchtower, February 15, 1985, pages 10-21, and Reasoning From the Scriptures, pages 266-269]

    TO BE COVERED IN 45 Minutes

  • reniaa

    This is a thorough post jgnat thank you i just wondered if it would be useful to post an alternative mass the way another christian faith would do it for comparative study?

    I'm going to look up memorial and post later tonight with my thoughts :)

  • JCanon

    Interesting topic:


    - Are there two classes of Christians?

    Yes. The temple organization, which is JWs is Biblically prophesied to be of two classes. This is illustrated in the parable of the vineyard workers, where the 1st-hour workers know ahead of time they will get the "penny", representing heavenly life. But from the third-hour workers to the 11th, they are not sure and expect "whatever is fair", which is certainly less. An hour is 7 years in the Bible so this is the 77-year period from 1914 to 1991. But the appearance of the third-hour workers after 21 years links to 1935, the official year the "other sheep"/earthly class were recognized. So YES, there are two classes, with the first workers, the earliest witnesses all being anointed, then the appearance of some thinking they were not anointed in place by 1935. That is the actual circumstance we generally see with the witnesses. That is the anointed being the older original Bible students, etc.

    - Must only the "Anointed" partake? Are there only 144,000?

    Technically, yes. The partakers are partakers of the body of Christ representing the heavenly class. But there are more than 144,000. Isa 6:13 speaks of a tree that is chopped down but 10% root is left remaining:

    13 And there will still be in it a tenth, and it must again become something for burning down, like a big tree and like a massive tree in which, when there is a cutting down [of them], there is a stump; a holy seed will be the stump of it.”

    Reflect on the concept that the gentiles are considered wild olives grafted into the main tree. Unfortunately, JWs and other Christians forget that the Jews are the "root" and they imagine all the Jews were lopped off and now the tree is 100% gentiles and Christians. Not so. True 90% was lost to the gentiles, even partly due to God's design so that the entire heavenly class represented all nations and tongues and peoples, but the Jews would not be forsaken. They would have a guaranteed 10% which makes up the root. Thus the root is the 144,000; 12,000 from each tribe. If we presume that, then the entire number would 1,440,000 total. So there is a limited number, the 144K represent the Jewish root, but the entire potential number is 1,440,000.

    - Has Jesus come back as the Witnesses proposed, and is he enthroned in Heaven as we speak?

    Jesus has returned, but not as the witnesses have proposed in 1914, but in 1992 based upon the critical correction of the ancient NB and Persian timelines where the 1st of Cyrus is restored to 455 BCE, That means the fall of Jerusalem occurs in 529 BCE and the second coming based upon the 2520-year prophecy moves from 1914 to 1992.

    However, obviously whenever it is presumed Jesus returns that ENDS the Memorial. Jesus said to keep this as a remembrance until he returns but then once he does return and eats that passover one last time, then he ends it! So technically, even with the wrong date of 1914 the Memorial is a total farce based upon strict Biblical application.

    A Chronology reference is significant to the ending of the Memorial in the prophecy that "gift and sacrifice" would end at mid 70th week. Jesus arrives at both the first and scond-coming during the 70th week. Why not? "gift and sacrifice" end each time, but in different ways. The first time Jesus ends the animals sacrifices and institutes the Memorial. The second time he comes he ends the memorial, a symbolic form of "gift and sacrifice. Through this, we know specifically the Memorial ends when he arrives, but it allows us to date the second coming specifically to the year of the mid-week passover. Thus another way to determine the year of the second coming is the Memorial. We simply count down periods of 70 weeks from 36 CE, which ended the 1st-coming 70th week. 4 x 490 years is 1960. 1960 plus 36 CE gives us the end of another 70 weeks in 1996. Thus the 70th week of the second coming! 1989-1996. The first Memorial after his return would be the mid-week Passover/Memorial which is April 6, 1993. So Christ must arrive sometimes between Passover of 1992 and Passover 1993. Obviously, this is the same 1992 date if Jerusalem falls in 529 BCE when the 1st of Cyrus is correctly dated to 455 BCE.

    ALL THAT TO SAY THIS: Even though, yes, there are two classes among the witnesses, when Christ comes, he gives EVERYBODY the penny. All the workers get the penny. This is a shock to the first-hour workers, the original anointed. Who really are kind of stuck up and don't like it. They are little haughty, like the older brother in the parable of the prodigal son, but they were faithful and don't lose their position. They are also paid the penny they earned. So essentially, after Passover of 1993, everyone in the witness organization as the 3rd through the 11th hour workers are invited into the kingdom and heavenly class. IF, though, they are paying attention to the Bible and not the Watchtower. They have to be awake to accept this invitation! Most wouldn't be though, so they lose out. Even so, one would expect a huge surge in those partaking, right? Wrong. That's because after 1993 Christ would have arrived and the Memorial is no longer significant. So even though many "other sheep" are now of the anointed, they know partaking is no longer significant since they would know Christ would have arrived in 1992, so they don't partake. That is, generally, they don't. Some apparently understanding the invitation and still in the organization still partake to symbolize they are of the heavenly class and understand there has been an increase. That's fine. Maybe Jehovah is permitting that to show on a small scale that other sheep are now becoming anointed, at least in the open class. The private class anointed don't publicly demonstrate they are of the anointed. That is, you have the prodigal son banquet group who are part of the banquet of the messiah when he arrives, and you have the older brother group, which the original anointed are generally associated with. The older brother refuses to enter into the banquet of the younger son messiah! He's upset. Thus he matches with the grumbling, murmuring 1st-hour workers when they only get the penny thought expecting something more. The messiah is among the 11th hour workers basically, the younger brother usurps the glory of the older, etc.

    So there are two classes now in that sense. Those in the private banquet who secretly worship Christ and those public anointed ones. Sometimes some of the anointed end up in the public group and so might partake at the public Memorials of the witnesses.

    So that is what is REALLY happening. ALL witnesses after 1991-1993 are invited into the heavenly class, but many "beg off" and miss the call. Thus they become the sour grapes, the GRAPES OF WRATH, whose blood is so high it reaches the bridles of horses. Because they should have come into the heavenly class but did not, they become the grapes of God's wrath and miss out on the heavenly call. Even among the "10 virgins" only half are expected to get into the kingdom. That is, half the 1st-hour workers originally invited end up in the kingdom. Half are "wise" and half are "foolish." The wise virgins are Biblically oriented, but the foolish virgins are Watchtower oriented. The Bible is the rock mass. The Watchtower, though better than Christendom's teachings which are like the sea, is represented by the SAND. If you build your house on the sand it will stand up but not when a storm comes. That storm is now in progress and the faith of witnesses are collapsing if it is not solidly founded in scripture.

    The number has now been sealed. But that doesn't mean YOU haven't been sealed. Many are sealed into the kingdom and don't know they are sealed into the kingdom. They might not find out until the millennium begins, in fact. So if you think you are of the anointed, you may indeed be. But you don't need to sweat partaking, especially now since the WTS is now considered officially APOSTATE as far as the GB is concerned. So I'd just keep it to myself and wait if you are still an active witness. Which is okay, as long as you are a spiritual "wise virgin" and not foolish. It's a spiritual thing, not physical thing who is in the kingdom and who isn't.

    We can finish up on the various styles of communion in the churches, and if they are "wrong".

    The easiest way to explain this is that Christ sent out TEN SLAVES to do work from 1914 until he arrived. They have their own commission and focus, apart from what the WTS has. So its as if God has a different arrangement and requirement for them to get into the kingdom than for witnesses. So not to worry about those in Christendom. Their rituals, of course, are not signficant in direct relation to the 1,440,000. But obviously individuals will be chosen out of all these religions as part of the kingdom based upon their individual merit, not their religion. So their ritual neither helps nor hinders them if they are chosen. So it just doesn't matter.

    Hope I wasn't too verbose but this should give you some reference as to the Biblical reality of the Memorial in relation to the WTS. Technically, God has not excluded them from the kingdom. They all were invited as of 1993 if they were paying attention. Thus from 1993 forward you should have had 100% partakers. But since 1993 was when Christ arrived and he ended the Memorial at that time, the partaking is no longer necessary and neither is the Memorial. In fact, speaking of insult, it might be insulting to claim you believe the messiah returned on a certain date and then still keep celebrating the memorial as if he is yet to arrive. He did say, keep this in remembrance of me UNTIL I return. Why are they commemorating his leaving when he's back?!!! So partaking is rather sacreligious at this point.

    I'm of the anointed and thought about attending the memorial and partaking just to show I'm of the anointed, even though I'm disfellowshipped, but it's beyond ridiculous. The WTS is too broken to fix. Thus Jesus and Jehovah has cast it out and scheduled them for the lake of fire.


  • Finally-Free

    The JWs attend the memorial as "observers" but the only thing they are "observing" is other JWs "observing". They can't help it. There aren't enough annointed ones™ to go around to all the congregations, so there is nothing to observe other than one anothers non-participation.

    If someone did dare to partake™ they would be the subject of gossip, most of it malicious, for the rest of the year until the next memorial™ came around. I remember one guy who started partaking™ and people openly started giving him a hard time at the meetings from then on, asking him, "Who do you think you are presuming you're annointed?"

    Two others I knew who started partaking™ were (supposedly) later diagnosed with mental illnesses, and some JWs held the opinion that the illness was a "punishment from Jehovah for partaking unworthily".


  • WTWizard

    In effect, it is a total waste of time. You go there to hear about why you should be there, and how to benefit (that is, by going to all the boasting sessions and out in field circus). Which totally begs the question--going there to hear that you benefit from going there. I still can't actually find out how you actually benefit from going.

  • jgnat

    I do intend to get there, reniaa, but I want this to be a complete study, berean style. We'll start with the bible and work outward. The next text I will be including is what the scriptures say, and if the Witness version has captured the intent and meaning of the memorial.

    The very last thing I would do is look at what other churches are doing.

    Let's be sure of our foundation first.

  • carla

    Thanks jgnat!

  • undercover

    I've listened to the Memorial talk closer the last two or three years than ever in all the years before.

    When you really listen and think about why you're there to begin with, you have to ask, "I thought this was supposed to be about Jesus?" Instead, it skims over the events leading up to his final night on earth (as purported by the Bible) and then it spends the rest of the time rationalizing the importance of the 144,000 and their remnant on earth.

    It ends up being a 45 minute info-mercial about the Faithful and Discreet Slave using Jesus as a marketing ploy to keep people tuned in.

  • yesidid

    It ends up being a 45 minute info-mercial about the Faithful and Discreet Slave using Jesus as a marketing ploy to keep people tuned in.

    Wow, Undercover, that was so well said.

    Thank you Jgnat, I look forward to your "Taking apart the Memorial".

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