Keeping the Feast as Often as Prescribed

I read a Tabletalk devotional the other day on “The Taste of Worship,” which regarded the Lord’s Supper. One of the passages in the “For Further Study” section included the following passage which I thought contained some rich parallels to Gage’s and my current efforts to encourage “all Israel and Judah” to consider the frequency with which they are observing the Lord’s Supper, for it is our conviction, along with the ancient apostolic and postapostolic church that “they had not kept it as often as prescribed.” Take special note of how when the people of Israel observed their feast, it motivated them to rid the church of its idols of various kinds. May the Lord use this passage to enrich your understanding of the issues involved in the issue of the most God-glorifying way of participating with the body and blood of our Savior as the sign of the New Covenant given to seal the truths of the gospel preached to his people.

2 Chronicles 30, Passover Celebrated
30:1 Hezekiah sent to all Israel and Judah, and wrote letters also to Ephraim and Manasseh, that they should come to the house of the Lord at Jerusalem to keep the Passover to the Lord, the God of Israel. 2 For the king and his princes and all the assembly in Jerusalem had taken counsel to keep the Passover in the second month— 3 for they could not keep it at that time because the priests had not consecrated themselves in sufficient number, nor had the people assembled in Jerusalem— 4 and the plan seemed right to the king and all the assembly. 5 So they decreed to make a proclamation throughout all Israel, from Beersheba to Dan, that the people should come and keep the Passover to the Lord, the God of Israel, at Jerusalem, for they had not kept it as often as prescribed. 6 So couriers went throughout all Israel and Judah with letters from the king and his princes, as the king had commanded, saying, “O people of Israel, return to the Lord, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, that he may turn again to the remnant of you who have escaped from the hand of the kings of Assyria. 7 Do not be like your fathers and your brothers, who were faithless to the Lord God of their fathers, so that he made them a desolation, as you see. 8 Do not now be stiff-necked as your fathers were, but yield yourselves to the Lord and come to his sanctuary, which he has consecrated forever, and serve the Lord your God, that his fierce anger may turn away from you. 9 For if you return to the Lord, your brothers and your children will find compassion with their captors and return to this land. For the Lord your God is gracious and merciful and will not turn away his face from you, if you return to him.”

10 So the couriers went from city to city through the country of Ephraim and Manasseh, and as far as Zebulun, but they laughed them to scorn and mocked them. 11 However, some men of Asher, of Manasseh, and of Zebulun humbled themselves and came to Jerusalem. 12 The hand of God was also on Judah to give them one heart to do what the king and the princes commanded by the word of the Lord.

13 And many people came together in Jerusalem to keep the Feast of Unleavened Bread in the second month, a very great assembly. 14 They set to work and removed the altars that were in Jerusalem, and all the altars for burning incense they took away and threw into the Kidron Valley. 15 And they slaughtered the Passover lamb on the fourteenth day of the second month. And the priests and the Levites were ashamed, so that they consecrated themselves and brought burnt offerings into the house of the Lord. 16 They took their accustomed posts according to the Law of Moses the man of God. The priests threw the blood that they received from the hand of the Levites. 17 For there were many in the assembly who had not consecrated themselves. Therefore the Levites had to slaughter the Passover lamb for everyone who was not clean, to consecrate it to the Lord. 18 For a majority of the people, many of them from Ephraim, Manasseh, Issachar, and Zebulun, had not cleansed themselves, yet they ate the Passover otherwise than as prescribed. For Hezekiah had prayed for them, saying, “May the good Lord pardon everyone 19 who sets his heart to seek God, the Lord, the God of his fathers, even though not according to the sanctuary’s rules of cleanness.” 20 And the Lord heard Hezekiah and healed the people. 21 And the people of Israel who were present at Jerusalem kept the Feast of Unleavened Bread seven days with great gladness, and the Levites and the priests praised the Lord day by day, singing with all their might to the Lord. 22 And Hezekiah spoke encouragingly to all the Levites who showed good skill in the service of the Lord. So they ate the food of the festival for seven days, sacrificing peace offerings and giving thanks to the Lord, the God of their fathers.

23 Then the whole assembly agreed together to keep the feast for another seven days. So they kept it for another seven days with gladness. 24 For Hezekiah king of Judah gave the assembly 1,000 bulls and 7,000 sheep for offerings, and the princes gave the assembly 1,000 bulls and 10,000 sheep. And the priests consecrated themselves in great numbers. 25 The whole assembly of Judah, and the priests and the Levites, and the whole assembly that came out of Israel, and the sojourners who came out of the land of Israel, and the sojourners who lived in Judah, rejoiced. 26 So there was great joy in Jerusalem, for since the time of Solomon the son of David king of Israel there had been nothing like this in Jerusalem. 27 Then the priests and the Levites arose and blessed the people, and their voice was heard, and their prayer came to his holy habitation in heaven.
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2 responses

  1. AAAh,

    let’s see, none righteous, no not one!!!

    AAAh, conjoined to Christ by the Hand of God.

    Col 2:13 And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses,
    Col 2:14 by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross.

    The Greek word there for “MADE ALIVE TOGETHER” is:::>

    συζωοποιέω
    suzōopoieō
    sood-zo-op-oy-eh’-o
    From G4862 and G2227; to reanimate conjointly with (figuratively): – quicken together with.

    God grants that I, an unrighteous wretch can now have FULL TIME FELLOWSHIP WITH THE PRINCE OF PEACE AND THE GOD OF HEAVEN IN THE POWER OF THE HOLY GHOST and I want to debate how often I can come and sit and dine with Them?

    Hmmmmm, am I dense and missing something here?

    LIKE, DAH, DIG IT?

    Why is this a debate anyway?

    Is it some ones wanting to be more important than God the Father, Who has shown us MERCY? Is it some ones wanting to just check in with JESUS once in a while? Is it some ones putting forth GREATER wisdom than God the Holy Ghost?

    I just cannot seem to get my head around this one!

    I want to sit down and dine with Jesus Christ.

    I am conjoined to Him now, ah, like a conjoined twin who does not want to be medically separated from HIM!!!

    Why would anyone want to be separated from Who God conjoins them too?

    Unless they are of that Rebel Satan!!!

    Here is Paul’s stand against that Rebel. Consider it in light of what you are posting and those verses from 2 Chronicles and my own posting of verses:::>

    2Ti 4:17 But the Lord stood by me and strengthened me, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed and all the Gentiles might hear it. So I was rescued from the lion’s mouth.
    2Ti 4:18 The Lord will rescue me from every evil deed and bring me safely into his heavenly kingdom. To him be the glory forever and ever. Amen.

    What is communion then all about?

    Is it not that there that Paul writes Timothy?

    Communion is thee source of RESCUE for me from every evil deed and it brings me safely into His Heavenly Kingdom!!! Who would not want that?

    The devils perhaps? Any encouragement you can give to direct me away from the lion’s mouth is just fine and dandy for me!

    Thanks John and Gage for not tiring with this toil for rightly dividing the Word of God and representing it correctly!

  2. John D. Chitty | Reply

    You’re welcome, Michael; it’s what we live for.

    I take it that your question, “Why would anyone want to be separated from Who God conjoins them too?” is asking the question why would anyone want to receive the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper less frequently than they otherwise could. My first answer is always that those who believe the church should receive the Lord’s Supper less frequently than weekly–for example, monthly, quarterly, or, as at my own church two or three times per year, do so out of a fear of ritualism. These brethren of ours who are so persuaded also resort to an interpretation of Christ’s words in 1 Corinthians 11:25, which read, “Do this, AS OFTEN AS YOU DRINK IT, in remembrance of me.” The clause in all caps is appealed to as a basis for liberty in reducing the frequency of the Lord’s Supper based on the convictions and/or circumstances of the particular pastor or congregation.

    Those of us who advocate weekly communion as the biblical pattern of worship contend that the fear of ritualism is based, not on Scripture, but on unbiblical tradition. In the medieval era prior to the Reformation, the Roman Catholic Church was receiving the Lord’s Supper only once a year, and when Calvin began pressing for reform on this practice, the Geneva City Council overruled his leadership toward weekly communion, using this very kind of logic. Unfortunately, the subsequent Reformed tradition carried this practice of monthly or quarterly observance on, retaining this faulty logic that the Lord’s Supper is so special we shouldn’t do it very frequently at all, lest we receive it unworthily and demean the precious Supper by observing it half-heartedly.

    But this is to say that we would rather forego God’s placing his seal on the good news of Christ’s death and resurrection for us, because of our own man-centered concerns.

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