Church, New Testament, Sunday School

The Last Supper~The Lord’s Supper ~ Sunday School Lesson ~ 11-16-14

Last Supper

These are my notes from my ladies’ Sunday School class this morning. I’ll be posting the notes from my class here each week. Click here for last week’s lesson.

Through the Bible in 2014 ~ Week 46 ~ Nov. 9-15
Matthew 26-28, Mark 14-16, Luke 22-24, John 13-21
The Last Supper ~ The Lord’s Supper

Last week we took a look at the last act of Jesus’ public ministry, the woes to the Pharisees. Today, we’re studying the last act of His private ministry to His disciples–the Last Supper, and with it, the institution of the Lord’s Supper for the church.

Mark 14:12-16
It was time for the annual celebration of Passover. As you will recall, the Passover pointed to Christ and was fulfilled in Christ. As the Passover celebrated God’s people being released from the bondage of slavery to Egypt, the Lord’s Supper celebrates Jesus releasing the Christian from bondage to the slavery of sin. As the Passover lamb was slaughtered and the blood applied to the wooden doorposts so death would not come to that house, Jesus, the Lamb of God, was slaughtered and bled on a wooden cross, so that if His blood is applied over the doors of our hearts, we will not suffer eternal death.

That’s why, as Christians, we now observe the Lord’s Supper instead of the Passover. For us, the Passover has been fulfilled in Christ. But for the disciples, on that night, it had not yet been fulfilled. So they began by celebrating the last Passover and ended by observing the first Lord’s Supper. It was a bridge between the old covenant and the new.

Peter and John (they’re mentioned by name in Luke 22:8) went into town, found the man whose house they were to use, and began to prepare the Passover meal. From the notes on verse 12 in my MacArthur Study Bible*:

After the lamb was slaughtered and some of its blood sprinkled on the altar, the lamb was taken home, roasted whole, and eaten in the evening meal with unleavened bread, bitter herbs, charoseth (a paste made of crushed apples, dates, pomegranates, and nuts, into which they dipped bread), and wine.

Luke 22:14-20
The end of the Passover (14-18)
This passage begins with the last Passover. Jesus will not partake of the Passover again until Heaven, after His death, burial, and resurrection have fulfilled it. Here, Jesus brings the old (Law) covenant and Passover to a close. For the last time, the first of the four cups of Passover, the cup of thanksgiving, is passed around. It is an appropriate time for the disciples to look back and give thanks to God for His good Law, and His love, kindness, care, and patience with His covenant people. It is also a time to look forward and give thanks -although the disciples don’t yet understand it- for the sacrifice Christ is about to make to atone, not only for their sin, but for the sin of all those who will come to trust in Him.

A New Meal (19-20)
With the breaking and blessing of the bread, a new ordinance is born for the church, the Lord’s Supper. The bread represents Christ’s body. (It does not actually or materially become Christ’s literal flesh, and the wine does not become His literal blood, as the false teaching of transubstantiation posits. Christ’s words are a metaphor, the same as when He said, “I am the door,” or “I am the bread that comes down from Heaven.”) He breaks it, as his physical body will soon be broken. He breaks it for his disciples, as his physical body will be broken for all future disciples. He gives the broken bread to His disciples -they did not take it themselves or earn it- as Christ gives life to Christians without any work on our part to earn or merit it.

In verse 20, Jesus likewise gave His disciples what had been the third cup of Passover, the cup of blessing. And what a blessing it was! Christ’s blood, shed for the remission of our sins. It represented the new covenant of grace– trusting in Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection as payment for our sin for right standing with God, rather than looking ahead to Messiah with the keeping of ceremonial Law.

1 Corinthians 11:23-34
Flash forward a couple of decades from the upper room to the church at Corinth. This church had allowed sin to corrupt their observance of the Lord’s Supper so much that Paul said (20) could no longer rightfully be considered “the Lord’s” supper. In verses 23-34, he sets about to instruct them on the proper way to come to the Lord’s table. Because this is an instruction to the church, we also draw upon this passage to learn how we should conduct the Lord’s Supper today.

A few implicit things to understand
First Corinthians is a letter to the church at Corinth. The church consisted of baptized Believers. Paul was not instructing lost people on receiving the Lord’s Supper. Lost people partaking in the Lord’s Supper would not have made any sense (then or now) because it was the celebration of the new covenant between God and His new covenant people, Christians. Lost people are not part of that new covenant. Their participation in the Lord’s Supper is sort of like an unmarried man and woman hooking up and having sex versus a man and woman getting married and then celebrating and consumating their marriage covenant by having sex.

The Lord’s Supper is not a lucky charm or magic wand that takes care of spiritual problems. Partaking of the bread and wine (or juice) will not save anyone who is unsaved. It is also not some sort of spiritual “booster shot” that imparts righteousness, grace, forgiveness, or holiness to the person who partakes, nor does it somehow supernaturally protect a person from demons or life’s negative circumstances. Neither does it prove that a person who claims to be a Christian is actually saved. It is simply an outward celebration of salvation by those who have already been saved.

Because the Lord’s Supper is a church ordinance, it is to be celebrated by the gathered body of the church (not at home {unless the church is meeting in a home} or somewhere else by individuals, families, groups of friends, etc.) and presided over by the pastor and elders or deacons of the church. Since it is not salvific and does not impart any kind of spiritual “good luck” there is no need to partake of it outside the meeting of the church body. It is a church celebration.

23-26– Paul sums up the gospels’ accounts of the institution of the Lord’s Supper by Jesus, relating that it commemorates Christ’s death for His people, and reminding us that it is a celebration of the new covenant of God with Believers through Jesus. He also says that when we, as a body of Believers, celebrate the Lord’s Supper, it is a picture of the gospel to the lost, so that they might come to know Christ as Savior.

27-32– We are not to underestimate the seriousness and solemnity of the Lord’s Supper. Once again, I think the notes on these verses in my study Bible* say it better than I could:

“In an unworthy manner” means ritualistically, indifferently, with an unrepentant heart, a spirit of bitterness, or any other ungodly attitude.

To come to the Lord’s Table clinging to one’s sin does not only dishonor the ceremony, but it also dishonors His body and blood, treating lightly the gracious sacrifice of Christ for us. It is necessary to set all sin before the Lord, then partake, so as not to mock the sacrifice for sin by holding on to it…

When believers do not properly judge the holiness of the celebration of Communion, they treat with indifference the Lord Himself- His life, suffering, and death…The offense was so serious that God put the worst offenders to death, an extreme but effective form of church purification. (Keep in mind, these are Believers, not lost people, we’re talking about, here.)

Believers are kept from being consigned to hell, not only by divine decree, but by divine intervention. The Lord chastens to drive His people back to righteous behavior and even sends death to some in the church to remove them before they could fall away.

The Lord’s Supper is a big deal. We are not to be flippant about it. Christians are to approach His table in reverence, awe, and gratitude for the extreme sacrifice God made through Christ to rescue us from hell. While it is not for unbelievers to participate in, it is a beautiful picture of the gospel to them, and a reminder to us -as individuals and the body of Christ- of just how much our sin and reconciliation to God cost Jesus. As often as we do it, let’s do it in remembrance of Him.


If you’d like to read more about the Lord’s Supper and the ins and outs of observing it in the church today, check out Joe Thorn’s excellent series of articles (they are brief and easy to understand), The Lord’s Supper:

For Sinners
Open or Closed?
Fencing the Table
A Means of Grace
Only in the Assembly
Sip It, Don’t Dip It
How Often?
Wine or Welch’s?

*Quotes taken from The MacArthur Study Bible, English Standard Version, Crossway Publishers, Wheaton, Illinois, 2010.

Book, Jacob



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False Doctrine, False Teachers, New Apostolic Reformation, Top 10

Top 10 NAR* and Seeker-Driven Buzzwords


I study false teachers pretty often. I watch their videos, listen to their sermons, and read their articles. And I’ve noticed that there are some common buzzwords that New Apostolic Reformation* and Seeker-Driven false teachers tend to use over and over again. Naturally, these words are just that: words. Just because you hear your pastor, Sunday School teacher, or favorite Christian celebrity utter one or more of them doesn’t necessarily mean he or she is a heretic. But if you’re constantly hearing these words and phrases, it could be a red flag that you need to vet the person you’re listening to more carefully and see whether or not his or her theology matches up to what the Bible says. So, here, in no particular order are 10 such buzzwords and some of the false teachers who are fond of them:

1. The Glory

Photo Credit: Revival Magazine
Photo Credit: Revival Magazine


“Sometimes as I stand in the glory my hands and feet will begin to drip with supernatural oil, representing the miracle anointing of God.” ~ Joshua Mills




 2. In The Natural

Photo Credit: Awesome God Ministries
Photo Credit: Awesome God Ministries


“I learned that even when we are in a place of obedience, we often have no way in the natural of knowing for sure whether we are right or wrong.” ~ Joyce Meyer




3. Shaking/Shifting

Photo Credit: Apprising Ministries
Photo Credit: Apprising Ministries

“If we continue to pray and call out to God, the nation will shift.”

“There is terror in Tampa, Tallahassee and Miami – a ring of terror; but, God has a ring of fire. Shaking, shaking, shaking.” ~ Cindy Jacobs


4. Decree

Photo Credit: Do Not Be Surprised


“Decree and declare… THE FAMINE IS OVER!” ~ T.D. Jakes





5. Declare

Photo Credit: Amazon
Photo Credit: Amazon


“I declare that I am a ‘no lack’ person and receive every blessing You have prepared for me.” ~ Joel Osteen




6. Spirit-man

Photo Credit: Jennifer LeClaire Ministries
Photo Credit: Jennifer LeClaire Ministries


“Pray always and when you catch your mind trying to reason out a prophetic revelation, let your spirit man rise up and take control.” ~ Jennifer Leclaire




7. Holyspirit


A number of NAR personalities refer to the third Person of the Trinity as “Holyspirit” -as though that were His first name- instead of the Holy Spirit. For example, “Holyspirit said to me the other day…”

It is nearly impossible to isolate a text example of this as a) it is usually verbal and b) search engines always include the word “the” in search results.


 8. In the heavenlies

Photo Credit: The Elijah List
Photo Credit: The Elijah List


“War in the heavenlies. We can battle against the enemy’s strategies through prayer and declaration of the Word. This wins the battle in the heavenlies before it hits the earth.” ~ Patricia King


9. Come into agreement/alignment

Photo Credit: The Elijah List
Photo Credit: The Elijah List


“…the Bible states that God, before time, determined your zip code—that spiritual place and geographical location; when you get into that spot, everything around you will begin to come into alignment.” ~ Cindy Trimm  



10. Cast vision

Photo Credit: FBC Jax Watchdogs
Photo Credit: FBC Jax Watchdogs


“Sure, I cast vision—but it has taken every staff member and volunteer we have to pull it off.” ~ Perry Noble




What are some common words and phrases
you often hear false teachers use?

Evangelism, Faith, Throwback Thursday

Throwback Thursday ~ An Open Letter to My Friends Who Are Struggling…

 Originally published September 10, 2008.


Dear Friend,

I know you have been going through some rough times lately. Perhaps you have recently lost a loved one. Maybe you’re ill with a serious disease. You might struggle with depression. You could be watching a loved one battle cancer or another terminal condition. Your marriage may be close to breaking up. Or maybe, just maybe, you’re simply sick and tired of the way your everyday life is going. That the world is going to hell in a hand basket and you’re getting sucked right down with it.

I’ve listened as you’ve poured out your heart. I’ve walked with you as you’ve struggled. I’ve held your hand and prayed with you. And while my heart breaks for you because of the circumstances you’re going through, what crushes me even more is the despair, the hopelessness I hear in your voice. That there’s no way out. That it’s impossible to deal with the pain. That there’s no one who can really help you.

But there is. And that’s what I desperately need to tell you.

I haven’t told you before, because when everything was going fine for you, you didn’t want to hear it. But sometimes people just get to a point in their lives where things are so bad they’re willing to try anything.

And so, I’m asking you to try, just try, one more thing. If you’ve already tried everything else, and nothing’s working, what do you have to lose?

Please try Jesus.

Jesus loves you. He cares about your pain and your struggle. And He’s the only One powerful enough to actually do anything about it.

I’m not talking about simply bowing your head and asking Him to get you out of the horrible situation you’re in. I’m talking about bowing your life to Him. Giving up. Surrendering. Letting this King you’ve been doing battle with all your life conquer you for your own good, sit on the throne that rightfully belongs to Him, and set up His rulership over your life.

This King doesn’t desire to reign over you so that He can tyrannize you. He’s a freedom fighter. He has already made the ultimate sacrifice to set you free from the oppressive regime under which you’ve been living: you. All you have to do is renounce your throne and become one of His subjects.

What does this mean in practical terms? You set aside a little uninterrupted time to talk it out with God. You recognize that He is God and you are not. You admit to Him, and to yourself, that you have sinned.

“Sin” means to break God’s laws. You know the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20), right? At least some of them? Have you ever lied, stolen something (even something small), dishonored your parents? Then you have sinned. And by the way, your opinion on whether or not something should be a sin doesn’t make a hill of beans of difference. When you can create the universe, heal the sick, walk on water, and rise from the dead, maybe you’ll get to make the rules. Until then: God’s turf, God’s rules. And you’ve broken them. All of us have.

What happens when you break a local, state, or federal law? Well, if you get caught, there’s supposed to be some kind of punishment. If you speed, you have to pay a fine. If you steal, you go to jail. If you murder somebody, depending on where you live and whether or not you can get the verdict overturned on a technicality, you get the death penalty.

There’s punishment for breaking God’s laws too. James 2:10 tells us:

For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles in one point, he has become guilty of all.

In other words, if you’ve broken one of God’s laws, you’ve broken them all. So, since we’ve all committed the same crime against God– breaking all of His laws –we’re all destined for the same punishment. Hell.

Yes, there is a hell just as surely as there is a heaven. Once again, your opinion on whether or not hell does exist or should exist matters about as much as your opinion on whether or not the sky is blue or whether or not it should be a different color. Your opinion does not change the facts.

The good news is that God himself, in the person of Jesus Christ, has already taken the punishment for the crime that we committed. Have you ever heard of a completely innocent victim of a crime volunteering to take the death penalty for the perpetrator for no other reason than that he loves him? Me neither. But that’s exactly what Jesus did for you and for me. And believe me, it was cruel and unusual punishment.

But Jesus didn’t just die in our place. He did away with the eternal death of hell by coming back to life after three days in the grave. And He’s willing to share that victory over hell with anybody who wants it badly enough. It’ll only cost you your life. Not your physical life, of course, but your spiritual life.

After admitting to God that you’re a sinner, the next step is to believe with your whole heart that Jesus died and rose again to take the punishment for your sin (Romans 10:9-10). You gratefully tell God that you accept that Jesus did this for you. You ask Him to forgive you, and make a commitment to Him and to yourself that with His help you’re going to turn away from a life of sin and serving yourself and turn to a life of serving and obeying Him. (This turning away is called “repenting”.)

Finally, you put your money where your mouth is and act on what you’ve just committed to. You spend time reading your Bible and praying in order to get to know God better. When opportunities to sin arise, you turn away from them. As you grow in your relationship with God, you discover what He wants you to do with your life, and you follow that path.

This last step is a very important one that, all too frequently, gets left out. Simply mouthing a prayer and then going back to business as usual ain’t gonna cut it. In fact, if you are able to go back to living the way you always have, with no discernable change of heart or behavior, at least a gradual one, you probably aren’t a Christian. If you’ve truly given your life to Christ, you’re going to be a different person. You’re going to have an aversion to sin, and a love for God. Your attitudes towards others will change. Your priorities will change. Your beliefs about right and wrong will change.

Simply SAYING you’re a Christian doesn’t make you one. I could sit here all day long and tell you I’m a doctor. Sure, I’ve taken some biology classes, and I do have some medical knowledge, but I didn’t go through medical school, I’m not licensed, and I don’t treat patients. If I wanted to become a doctor, I’d have to submit myself to the things that are necessary for becoming a doctor. It’s the same way with Christianity. We have to submit ourselves to what God says is necessary for becoming a Christian: true repentance, and trust in Christ.

If you’ve stuck with me this far through this seemingly interminable article, you’re probably thinking back to my very first paragraph and saying to yourself, “This ‘giving your life to Jesus’ stuff is all well and good, but my husband is dying/I can’t find a job and my house is about to be foreclosed/my mother just died/I’m on the brink of divorce/etc. That’s all I care about, all I can think about right now.”

That’s precisely why I told you about Jesus. When (and ONLY when) you give your life to Him, He helps you through your problems. You want peace when you’re struggling with a rebellious child? Comfort after the death of a loved one? Strength when your body is in pain? Joy instead of sadness? These things, and many others, are just some of the “fringe benefits” you get from being a Christian. But you only get them as a result of giving your life to Christ. There is no other way.

Thanks for allowing me to get this off my chest, Friend. I just couldn’t go one more day telling you that I’m praying for you to have peace or strength or healing without telling you how to get those things. And so I’ll urge you just once more: try Jesus. Or as the Bible puts it (Psalm 34:8):

O taste and see that the LORD is good;
How blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him!

Wednesday's Word

Wednesday’s Word ~ Revelation 21


Revelation 21

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. 2 And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. 4 He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”

5 And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” 6 And he said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give from the spring of the water of life without payment. 7 The one who conquers will have this heritage, and I will be his God and he will be my son. 8 But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.”

9 Then came one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls full of the seven last plagues and spoke to me, saying, “Come, I will show you the Bride, the wife of the Lamb.” 10 And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great, high mountain, and showed me the holy city Jerusalem coming down out of heaven from God, 11 having the glory of God, its radiance like a most rare jewel, like a jasper, clear as crystal. 12 It had a great, high wall, with twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and on the gates the names of the twelve tribes of the sons of Israel were inscribed— 13 on the east three gates, on the north three gates, on the south three gates, and on the west three gates. 14 And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them were the twelve names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.

15 And the one who spoke with me had a measuring rod of gold to measure the city and its gates and walls. 16 The city lies foursquare, its length the same as its width. And he measured the city with his rod, 12,000 stadia. Its length and width and height are equal. 17 He also measured its wall, 144 cubits by human measurement, which is also an angel’s measurement. 18 The wall was built of jasper, while the city was pure gold, like clear glass. 19 The foundations of the wall of the city were adorned with every kind of jewel. The first was jasper, the second sapphire, the third agate, the fourth emerald, 20 the fifth onyx, the sixth carnelian, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth chrysoprase, the eleventh jacinth, the twelfth amethyst. 21 And the twelve gates were twelve pearls, each of the gates made of a single pearl, and the street of the city was pure gold, like transparent glass.

22 And I saw no temple in the city, for its temple is the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb. 23 And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and its lamp is the Lamb. 24 By its light will the nations walk, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it, 25 and its gates will never be shut by day—and there will be no night there. 26 They will bring into it the glory and the honor of the nations. 27 But nothing unclean will ever enter it, nor anyone who does what is detestable or false, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s book of life.

The Holy Bible, English Standard Version Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers

Questions to Consider:

1. What is the purpose of the book of Revelation? Which genre(s) of biblical literature (prophecy, epistle, narrative, wisdom, etc.) is the book of Revelation? What is the historical backdrop for this book?

2. What is the final, eternal dwelling place for Believers? (1-3) Compare and contrast the eternal reward of Believers (1-7) with the eternal punishment of unbelievers (8).

3. Study the verses that talk about the new heaven and new earth (1-7) and the new Jerusalem (10-27) and, in your own words, write a description of each, including both their physical appearances and characteristics.

4. How could verse 5 serve as a theme verse for this chapter? What is the significance of…

  • The new heaven, earth, and Jerusalem
  • God wiping away all tears, etc. (4)
  • God making His dwelling place with man
  • The glory of God giving light to the city

…and all the other elements of this chapter, to the theme of God making “all things new”?

5. Which aspect of the new heaven/earth/Jerusalem described in this chapter is most moving to you, and why?