AUTHOR: Rev. L. W. Onstead
Compiled and Edited By:
FIRST APOSTOLIC CHURCH
406 Maplewood Lane
Nashville, Tennessee 37216
This document is not written to slander or reproach anyone who honestly and sincerely partakes of the emblems—Bread and Wine—feeling they are obeying what they have been taught from the Scriptures. Our purpose in this document is to help every honest and truth-hungry soul to decide between Scriptural truth and false TRADITION. Please check all Scripture reference in your Bible, don’t rely on TRADITION.
The word ‘TRADITION’ means this: The oral transmission of events, opinions, doctrines, practices, etc. through successive generations without written memorials.
Tradition teaches that Jesus instituted an ordinance called “The Lord’s Supper” the night that He ate the last Passover with His disciples. The Scriptural truth, which is recorded in Matt. 26:17-29, Mark 14:12-25, and Luke 22:7-20, does not mention the traditional words, Lords Supper, but it does say PASSOVER three times in Matthew; four times in Mark; and five times in Luke. The only NEW thing mentioned was what Jesus said would be fulfilled and eaten in the Kingdom of God, and Romans 14:17 tells us what it is.
Tradition says that Bread and Wine represent the Body and Blood of Jesus. By checking the reference in Matthew, Mark, and Luke given above, you will soon discover that the words that Tradition uses—“this represents”—and “this is an Emblem of the Body and Blood of the Lord”—are not used at all. Why use them today? Because Tradition, not the Bible, teaches it.
Tradition says that the first church observed the Lord’s Supper on the first day of the week. But in the Acts of the Apostles, which is a history of the acts of the First Church, nothing is mentioned about the Lord’s Supper, the WORDS do not appear in this Book at all. Look again at Acts 20:7—12. If the breaking of bread here was the Lord’s Supper (as Tradition teaches), and they were gathered together to eat it on the first day of the week, then they broke the order by not eating it until after midnight. Here again it was eaten the second day instead of the first. (Note Acts 20:7-11). An honest look at Acts 2:41-46 will prove that breaking bread here could not have been the Traditional Lord’s Supper being observed on the first day of the week. Here they were daily in the temple and they break bread from house to house.
Tradition teaches that to observe the Lord’s Supper, one must use unleavened bread. If this is truth, then all who use anything that has leaven in it has not observed it properly; and if this is an ordinance, then you are guilty of transgression if you do not use the proper emblems. Therefore, all types of crackers must be ruled out, and also homemade wafers with plain flour, because of the additives used by its manufacturers in producing it. If this seems like hair-splitting, read Exodus 12:15-39.
Tradition is divided on the CUP. What is proper? Wine? If it is fermented or distilled, then too much will intoxicate the person. Besides, the Bible says that wine is a mocker, (see Proverbs 20:1 and Proverbs 23:31). Look not on wine when it is red. Would white wine be the proper kind? If so, no one uses it for this reason—it is white. What about grape juice? Some say it has no life in it, and the Bible says that life is in the Blood; therefore, an emblem without life could not represent the True Blood. To this I agree -- there could be no substitute to the Blood of the Passover Lamb in Egypt, only the Blood of the slain Passover lamb could save Israel, no substitute would do here. Now since we have Christ as our Passover (I. Cor. 5:7), NOTHING but His own precious Blood can atone for sins. This is why Jesus said in Matt. 26:28: “For this is My Blood of the New Testament which is shed for many for the remission of sins.” No chance to even think that Jesus was talking about a substitute here. Why try to find one? The only reason that men cannot agree on what is the proper emblem or emblems is that there is no teaching in the New Testament that any emblems of the Old Testament are to be used now to represent JESUS, who is ready to come unto all who will open the door and let Him come in and sup with Him. (Rev. 3:20) Under the Old Testament, these things were only shadows of things to come. (See Col. 2:14-23 and Heb. 10:1-2.)
Protestant Tradition says that the Lord’s Supper is only a memorial service to be observed as an ordinance to the memory of the Broken Body and shed Blood of Jesus, but the night that Jesus ate the Passover with His disciples, He told them that when the Holy Ghost came, He would teach them all things, and bring all things to their remembrance, whatsoever I have said until you. St. John 14:28. If this is TRUTH, then why should we keep rituals to His memory?
Catholic Tradition says that the Bread, after it is blessed and broken, becomes the flesh and Blood of the Lord. Therefore, they reject the Protestant teaching that it is used to represent the Lord’s Body. They teach that through transubstantiation it becomes the Flesh and Blood of Jesus. If you will read the persecution under the Roman Catholic Church, you will discover that many Protestants gave their lives because they rejected this teaching. (See Foxes Book of Martyrs). Anna Askew said, “I reject the presence of the Lord in the substance of the bread and wine. Nevertheless, in the Spirit I partake of His Flesh and Blood.” To this I say, AMEN and AMEN!
Tradition teaches that a new ordinance was instituted at the last Passover Supper, but Jesus said an old ordinance was fulfilled. (See Luke 22:15-16—“With desire I have desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer. For I say unto you, I will not eat anymore thereof until it be fulfilled in the Kingdom of God.”) And we know now that the Kingdom of God is NOT meat and drink, but righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Ghost. The word, “fulfill”, means to complete, accomplish, execute, or carry out that which has been promised or foretold. Therefore, Jesus was telling the disciples that all the Passover represented to them was now to be completed, accomplished, and carried out to its fullest, in the New Realm of Spiritual Realities. (The Holy Ghost.) This is why Paul said in I. Cor. 5:7-8, “Purge out therefore the Old Leaven (the old doctrine) that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ, our Passover, is sacrificed for us. Therefore, let us keep the feast, NOT with the old leaven (doctrine), neither with the leaven of malice or wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of SINCERITY and TRUTH.’ This Sincere True Bread is revealed in the words of Jesus Himself in St. John 6:32-35. Read it and believe it.
Most churches that practice the TRADITION of bread and wine eat it in the morning. Why they do this is not explained. Yet, if it is an ordinance, as they teach it, then it should be observed just as Jesus did, and we know that Jesus ate the Passover in the evening. So did all Israel in Egypt. (See Exodus 12:6—14)
Tradition has modified the CUP. This in itself is a transgression if Jesus did institute an ordinance at the Last Passover because an ordinance is an established rule, or rite, or law. Therefore, to change it by the use of individual cups used in the modified version of most churches’ communion sets (which vary in price from a few dollars up into the thousands, depending upon how much money or how much outward glamour they choose to display in keeping the ritual) would be in error. Mark 14:23 says, “And He took the CUP (not cups) and when He had given thanks, He gave IT to them, and they all drank of IT.” Now, if this was the rule then and the way that Jesus did it, if you or your church change the manner and use many cups, then you have not kept the ordinance but have broken it. Unworthily means manner in which something is done. If Paul was talking of bread and wine in I Cor. 11:27-29, then you, too, can expect the damnation (judgments) of God when you use many cups instead of one cup. You cannot change an ordinance set by Jesus Himself for sanitary reasons. If you must partake of bread and wine to obey an ordinance Jesus set up, then do it like He did. You can then use the money for costly and glamorous communion sets to send some God-called missionary to the lands that have not yet heard of the True Blood of Jesus. Remember, nothing but the Blood will answer their need. A type or a shadow won’t answer.
Tradition says bread and wine should be received by the church as a memorial to the death of the Lord. Yet, there is no record in the New Testament where the Apostles ever ate bread and drank wine in memory of the Lord’s death. The Bible does teach in St. John 14:26 that the Holy Ghost would teach us all things and it would bring all things to our remembrance whatsoever He has said. This is a spiritual revelation from God and the work of the Holy Ghost. When Paul wrote the church at Corinth about eating bread and drinking wine, it was natural bread they were eating which filled hungry stomachs and natural wine which made them drunk. Paul said, “Shall I praise you in this? I praise you not.” (See I Cor. 11:22). I know that TRADITION teaches they were doing the right thing the wrong way, but Paul said in the second verse of this chapter, “Now I praise you brethren that you remember me in all things and keep the ordinances as I delivered them unto you.” If Paul was not joking here or trying to flatter this already confused and carnal church, he was telling them this -- the things I told you to do, you do it just as I told you, but in verse 17 he said, “Now in this I declare unto you I praise you not.” And he said there must be some heresies (wrong teaching) among you. What was the wrong teaching? It is very clear someone was teaching they were to eat natural bread and drink natural wine to show forth the Lord’s death. Paul taught them that as often as they eat THIS BREAD and DRINK THIS CUP you do show the Lord’s death until He come. If Paul were speaking of natural bread and natural wine here, then this is what they were doing. But, if you will look at I. Cor. 10:16, you will find this—read it carefully—“The Cup of Blessing (not wine) which we bless, is it not the COMMUNION (or fellowship) of the Blood of Christ? And the Bread which we break is it not the COMMUNION (or fellowship) of the Body of Christ?” This we know was not natural bread because in verse 1, Paul said—“for we (the church) being MANY are ONE BREAD and ONE BODY for we are all partakers of that ONE BREAD.” Therefore, as often as we eat THIS BREAD, which is partaking of the fellowship of the Body of Christ (the church), and drink of THIS CUP, (which Paul said was the Cup of Blessing), you do show (not show forth, which is an outward display to be looked upon), but YOU DO SHOW (which means to proclaim, prove, or manifest) the Lord’s death until He comes.
THESE ARE BIBLE FACTS, not church TRADITIONS