COMMENTS YOU WILL NOT HEAR AT THE 4-6-03 WT STUDY
FEBRUARY 15, 2003 WT PAGE 17Quotes from the WT will be in red ; reviewers comments in black and parentheses
WHAT DOES THE LORD’S EVENING MEAL MEAN TO YOU?
1 Corinthians 11:27
1 Corinthians 11 (NIV)
27 Therefore, whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord.
This year would have been the 47 th Memorial I have attended. I remember people talking to me that had ignored me the rest of the year. I remember seeing people I hadn’t seen since the last Memorial. I saw that many sisters had on new dresses that made be feel sad because my family could only afford new clothes at the beginning of the school year. So I would wear my favorite dress from September, one of 3 my mother would get me for the whole year. I can remember my mother instructing me in strong words that I was not to eat the bread nor drink the wine. That just made it all the more enticing. I can remember thinking that the bread looked like the crackers my grandfather put his sardines on. I remember the rich aroma of the wine as the glass passed under my nose. I loved Jesus; I prayed every day; I attended the meetings when my mother went and spoke about God every day. Why wasn’t I worthy to partake?
As the years went by, I wondered why Paul’s account of the Memorial was used and not one of the Gospel accounts? I realized it was because Jesus did not spend his time talking about who could not partake. Here are 3 accounts from the NWT.
26As they continued eating, Jesus took a loaf and, after saying a blessing, he broke it and, giving it to the disciples , he said: "TAKE, eat. This means my body." 27 Also, he took a cup and, having given thanks, he gave it to them, saying: "Drink out of it, all of YOU; 28 for this means my ‘blood of the covenant,’ which is to be poured out in behalf of many for forgiveness of sins .
22And as they continued eating, he took a loaf, said a blessing, broke it and gave it to them, and said: "Take it, this means my body." 23 And taking a cup, he offered thanks and gave it to them, and they all drank out of it. 24 And he said to them: "This means my ‘blood of the covenant,’ which is to be poured out in behalf of many.
19Also, he took a loaf, gave thanks, broke it, and gave it to them, saying: "This means my body which is to be given in YOUR behalf . Keep doing this in remembrance of me." 20 Also, the cup in the same way after they had the evening meal, he saying: "This cup means the new covenant by virtue of my blood, which is to be poured out in YOUR behalf.
From this do we conclude that Jesus meant that his body would be given only in behalf of 144,000 people? Was his blood to be poured out only in behalf of a select few?
The WT article this week is designed to warn off JWs from partaking and to scare any that have been partaking into ceasing. The number of partakers rose by 30 last year that does not coincide with the sixth evidence that we are in the last days that the WTS espouses.
SOME OBSERVED IT UNWORTHILY
The WTS uses the 1 Corinthians 11 account of the Memorial because it concentrates on partaking unworthily. Now this was not because they weren’t of the anointed because every baptized Christian then was of the anointed. There was not "other sheep/great crowd" class. So how were they unworthy?
"There were divisions among them, and at least for a time, some brought their supper and ate it before or during the meeting, often eating and drinking excessively. They were neither mentally nor spiritually alert. Those who had no supper were hungry and became distracted. Yes, many partook without respect and full realization of the seriousness of the event."
I hope the WTS is not suggesting that JWs today have been bringing their dinner to the Memorial and are not worthy. Or that some sister or brother who missed dinner rather than be late to the Memorial is unworthy. It would be an unhealthy person who is distracted by missing one meal.
The WTS brings out that the partakers must scrutinize themselves (this scrutinizing is not done by the elders or anyone else in the congregation) to make sure they are "in a healthy spiritual condition." Does that mean they must attended a certain number of meetings each week, spend a certain number of hours in the ministry, and donate monetarily in the appropriate amount?
ATTENDING AS RESPECTFUL OBSERVERS
Now without any lead in the WTS says:"Should those now doing good to the remnant of the 144,000 brothers of Christ partake of the Lord’s Evening Meal? No." "God has reserved that privilege for individuals he has anointed with holy spirit to be ‘joint heirs with Christ.’" "What, then, is the position of those who hope to live forever in a global paradise under Kingdom rule? Since they are not Jesus’ joint heirs with a heavenly hope, they attend the Memorial as respectful observers? This is one of better examples of circular reasoning I have ever seen. Now how do "true Christians" know they are anointed? The WTS reasons this way: In the first century, "many of them were able to use one or more of the miraculous gifts of the spirit such as speaking in tongues. Therefore, it would not have been difficult for such individuals to know that they were spirit-anointed" But what the WTS fails to emphasize is that many of the Christians then did not have these abilities. So how did they or others know they were anointed? Now the WTS tries to quickly say that there have been anointed Christians from 33 CE until 1870 CE. "Over the centuries, genuine anointed ones grew as ‘wheat’ in a field of ‘weeds,’ or false Christians. Since the 1870’s, the ‘wheat’ became increasing evident, and some years later anointed Christian overseers (everyone was anointed then) were told: ‘set before those who assemble themselves…invite all who are thus minded (faith in the blood of Christ; consecrated to the Lord and his service until death) to join in celebrating (Studies in the Scriptures, Series VI, The New Creation, page 473)SEARCHING FOR "OTHER SHEEP"
Without much explanation the WTS now segues into the 2 classes."In time, Jehovah’s organization (translation: JF Rutherford) began to focus attention on others in addition to Christ’s anointed followers (50,000 anointed and increasing meant that the 144,000 ceiling would quickly be reached; JFR had to come up with an explanation)."
Before the 1930’s, "God’s people viewed the ‘great crowd’ of Revelation 7:9 as a secondary spiritual class that would be associated with the 144,000 resurrected anointed ones in heaven, like bridesmaids."
But when this was explained in 1935 to refer "to the ‘other sheep’ who live during the time of the end" the WTS points out "some who had previously partaken of the Memorial emblems stopped partaking because they realized that their hope was earthly, not heavenly."
Can you see where the WTS is leading the reader? Yes, that some now should stop partaking.
Previously, the WTS called this a privilege only the anointed had. But to make those earthbound followers not feel bad they say:"These other sheep hope to live on earth forever, but in all other respects, they resemble the present-day remnant of Kingdom heirs."
The WTS points out that alien residents could not become kings or priests in Israel but neglects to point out that they were able to become Israelites. Yet the WTS says that only the anointed are the "Israel of God" at Galatians 6:16. How is that possible?
Then without explanation or proof, the WTS says:"By the 1930’s, then, it was becoming clear that, in general, the heavenly class had been chosen (actually the WTS—that is, Charles Taze Russell—said that the choosing of the heavenly class ended in 1881)."
And the WTS then reasons:"If an anointed one proves unfaithful, it is most likely (yes let’s not get too presumptuous and make a judgment that belongs to God) that a person who has long served God faithfully as one of the other sheep would be called."
I wonder how long Herd, Lett, Splane, etc., (the newest members of the GB) had served when they received the call?WHY MISTAKEN ASSUMPTIONS
Before going into any explanations, the WTS makes some flat statements:"Anointed Christians are absolutely sure that they have the heavenly calling."Absolutely sure by whose judgment?"But what if some individuals who lack this call have been partaking of the Memorial emblems?
"Lack this call" based on the mind-reading elders who will pester you over and over and over to make sure you know what you are doing. Too bad they aren’t as thorough when approving baptismal candidates and selecting elders and ministerial servants."Their conscience will compel them to stop partaking."
The WTS finally made an accurate call because it will be the elders, your conscience, that will "compel them to stop partaking."
Why does the WTS think people partake "unworthily"?
One, for prestige, like Korah. Now that one I can understand. I’m sure the 4 new brothers on the GB made quicker upward progress on the "privilege" gravy train after declaring their anointed status.
Two, having lost a mate or some other tragedy, they "lose interest in life on earth." Now I can understand that this event might make you want to kill yourself, but since your mate will be resurrected to life on earth, it would only make matters worse to want to be in heaven when you die. Then you will be separated eternally.
Three, "desire the same destiny as a close friend who professes to be an anointed Christian." Come on, who has such a close friend that they would give up sex forever.
Four, hearing God’s voice selecting you for heavenly duty. Yes, it you think God has chosen you, you must be nuts. The only voice you should hear choosing you are the elders’ voices.
Five, still hanging onto the false religious idea that all good people go to heaven. Yes, new ones at the Memorial have to be watched like a hawk. I would think after studying 2 WT books, going through over 120 questions with the elders, these newly baptized ones would have gotten that idea out of their mind.
Six, "Do I use medications that affect my emotions? Am I inclined to have deep emotions that I could misjudge?" Do I see women as the target of these questions? Yes, I was PMSing Memorial night, Brother Judge the Partakers. I started a new antidepressant last week, Brother Judge the Partakers, and just knew I had to drink and eat.
Seven/One, "Do I want to be prominent? Am I ambitious for authority now or as a future joint heir with Christ?" This is the only way any sister will ever get a crumb of authority while on earth.
Eight, "Some may have concluded that they have the heavenly calling because they have acquired considerable Bible knowledge. But spirit anointing does not bring extraordinary understanding?" If this is the case, how can the WTS/FDS/GB call themselves a prophet and the only channel through which we can understand the Bible?WHY ARE THEY ARE SURE "The witness of God’s spirit convinces anointed Christians that they have heavenly prospects."
Yes, "they are willing to sacrifice all earthly attachments and prospects."
I always wondered about this. Evidently, these are people that would have not made a bargain with God by saying, "I will serve you if you give me what I want, everlasting life on earth." How many JWs do you know, that would leap with joy if God suddenly through his spirit said, "I know you want to be on earth forever with your family, but I need you up here." The ones I know would not be joyful because they won’t even change to a new book study and be separated from their family and close friends because they are not willing to do anything God asks. Jesus didn’t bargain with God, he died a painful sacrificial death, a humiliating event for Jesus as well to be branded a blasphemer, put along criminals, deserted by family and friends, even God at the end. Jesus did exactly what his Father asked of him. That is what all "real" Christians should be willing to do. Not bargain with God.Conclusion
I will be celebrating at home this year with my wine and Jewish matzos. We will be reading the events of that day and the Gospel accounts, not Paul’s account to weed out the unworthy. We will be concentrating on how Jesus showed love to his disciples and to try to be more like him in the year to come.
Blondie (and Irreverent)