This article is written to give light to the old questions: Why do some churches used many cups during communion and why some are only using one cup? What is the correct and the Biblical way? What does “Drinking in One Cup” really means?
Mark 14:23 “And he took the cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them: and they all drank of it.”
IT ALL STARTED WITH A FAKE NEWS
The date was October 7, 1894. Parishioners filled the Bedford Avenue Baptist Church of Brooklyn, New York in anticipation of experiencing “new communion service”. About 2 weeks prior to it, on September 27, 1894, their pastor J. H. Gunning announced what The New York Times termed as a “novelty in communion service”. The New York Times speculated that the pastor meant to use individual or many cups during their next communion service which can be read on their September 28, 1894 issue. But it turned out that Gunning didn’t mean that. Attendees who arrived that day expecting the individual cups “were disappointed” to see the same one old silver goblet in partaking their communion. Gunning, however, had had his first taste of fame, and he wasn’t about to give it up now—as soon as the service was over, he called a business meeting for the purchase of tiny little gold-and-silver shot glasses. A majority voted, by standing, to purchase 200 three-inch tall silver cups lined with gold at a cost of thirty-five cents per individual. And so, the use of many cups during their communion was approved.
From that moment on, a brand-new communion tradition was born, ready to take its place among many churches even in the Endtime Message churches today which proclaimed to follow the whole Word of God and not the tradition of men.
The question is: Is the church you are attending to practicing the communion service which is started by a fake news and supplemented by the tradition of men or is it practicing what the Bible is teaching?
Here is a fact: There’s not a single verse in the Bible that says that they partake the communion using many cups. Nothing. Not even a single one. The original practice of communion in the Bible and of the early Christians before was by using only one cup until it was changed in 1894. And there are many verses that states that they partake the communion using only one cup. Here are some of those verses:
1. And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it (Matthew 26:27).
2. And he took the cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them: and they all drank of it (Mark 14:23).
3. Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you (Luke 22:20).
4. The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ (1 Corinthians 10:16)?
5. After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it in remembrance of me (1 Corinthians 11:25).
6. For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come (1 Corinthians 11:26).
7. Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord (1 Corinthians 11:27).
8. But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup (1 Corinthians 11:28).
Thus, in summary, never do we find in the Bible the used of many cups during the communion. It is therefore so clear at this point that this tradition is without foundation in the Word of God and therefore is built on sinking sand and not on a Rock. Any practice that is not founded in the Bible is a tradition of men. So if you think that the church you are attending to is doing the whole righteousness of God but is practicing this tradition started by men, then think again.
If you are a true Bride of Christ, why would you practice something that is not found in the Bible? Why would you preached or worst, why promote it? Why would you practice something without scripture foundation?
As I have stated above, this tradition of using many cups has started in the late 19th century by fake news. But what really is the practice of early churches in partaking their communion before it was changed by fake news? Are they using one cup or many cups?
Let these historical books testify for themselves:
SELECTED WRITINGS OF JOHN KNOX – “In the Lord’s Supper, finally, all do eat of one bread and drink of one cup” (by John Knox, 1550, compiled by Kevin Reed, p. 62)
THE RE-EXAMINATION OF TWO OF THE ARTICLES ABRIDGED – “To drink of one cup representeth fellowship in one common benefit, but not that communication of mutual love and amity which is represented by reaching the same cup to another.”(David Calderwood, 1636, pp. 17)
A DISPUTE AGAINST THE ENGLISH POPISH CEREMONIES OBTRUDED ON THE CHURCH OF SCOTLAND – “Wherefore, as Maldonat observes out of Augustine and Euthimius, there was but one cup; So that, to divide anything among men, is not to take it, but to give it. And who did ever confound parting and partaking, dividing a cup and drinking a cup, which differ as much as giving and receiving. Thus we conclude, that when Christ commanded the apostles to divide the cup among them, the meaning of the words can be no other than this, that they should give the cup one to another; which is so plain that Christ did reach the cup not to each one, but to the one, who would give it to his neighbor, the neighbor to the next one, and so on.” (George Gillespie, 1642, p. 431,432)
THE ECONOMY OF THE COVENANTS BETWEEN GOD AND MAN – “The third action of the guests is, to drink the consecrated wine out of the cup. It is remarkable, that our Lord said concerning the cup, not only “take this, and divide it among yourselves,” Luke xxii. 17, but likewise added a mark of universality, “drink ye all of it” [i.e. drink ye all from it—RPNA], Matt. xxvi. 27. And we are told how they complied with this command, Mark xiv. 24, “and they all drank of it” (Herman Witsius, 1693, p. 456)
THE CHRISTIAN’S REASONABLE SERVICE – “They confess this unity in the Lord’s Supper by eating of the same bread and by drinking of the same cup. For we being many are one bread, and one body: for we are all partakers of that one bread” (Wilhelmus a Brakel, 1700, p. 577)
STILL WATERS REVIVAL BOOK – “The broken bread representing the broken and crucified body,—the wine poured out, the shed blood,—the eating and drinking of them, the participation in Christ’s blessings to nourish the soul and make it glad,—the “one bread” and “one cup,” the communion of Christ with His people, and of them with each other.” (James Bannerman, 1869, p. 133, 134)
THE BANNER OF TRUTH TRUST – “The words eis artos [i.e. “one bread”—RPNA] (1 Cor. x:17) are not correctly represented in the English version. The proper force of the word, as may be seen in Jno. vi:9, is loaf, or more properly, cake; and the Apostle’s idea is, that the oneness of the mass (or loaf – RPNA)of bread, and [the oneness—RPNA] of the cup, partaken by all, signifies their unity in one spiritual body” (Robert Lewis Dabney, 1878, p. 802)
You can also take a look at these books:
1.The First Book of Discipline of the Church of Scotland (1560
2. The Confession of Bohemia (1573)
3. The Dutch Annotations (1637)
4. The Government And Order Of The Church Of Scotland (1641)
5. The Directory For The Public Worship Of God (1645)
There are still many books which testify that the early churches are using only one cup in their communion. This article would be too long if I’ll put them all here. Nevertheless, these historical records are telling us that the original practice by early Christians during the communion is by partaking in one cup before it was changed by a Baptist church in 1894.
WHAT DOES THE CUP AND DRINKING IN ONE CUP MEAN?
Some may argue: “But brother, the cup has actually no spiritual significance since what the Lord is emphasizing and teaching us is the partaking of the wine that represents His blood which contained in the cup and not the cup itself.”
I say: Oh really? Does it have no spiritual significance? These will only be the words of those who don’t know their Bible. We know through the story of Joseph how important and significant what the Cup of the King, Pharaoh or other High ranking officials in Bible symbolizes. When Joseph hid his silver cup in his youngest brother’s sack of grain, that cup became an indictment against Benjamin and a symbol of judgment—certain death, as far as the other brothers could see. They all tore their clothes in horror because they know how important and significant the Cup is.
If the cup has no spiritual significance and the emphasis is only on the wine, why would the Lord commanded his disciples that “they all drank of it” (which means, that they should all drank from that one cup? Mark 14:23, cf. Matt. 26:27) If it’s only for the wine, why would He emphasized to them that they should drink in His Cup? Why would the Lord always emphasized and ask his disciple if they are “able to drink of the cup that I shall drink of (Matt. 20:22)?”
But suppose let’s apply the logic of these people. Suppose the cup also means the blood or it only means the wine, then Matthew 20:22 will mean that the Lord will also drink His own blood! Take a look at this: “Are ye able to drink of the blood that I shall drink of (Matt. 20:22)” See? The meaning of that statement when the word “cup” was change to “blood” became absurd! Why would the Lord drink His own blood?
If the drinking in one cup has no spiritual significance and the significance is only in the wine, why would our Lord ask His Father “saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt (Matt. 26:39)?” Why didn’t He said, “Oh my Father, if it is possible, let this blood pass from me?” If the wine and the cup have the same spiritual meaning then, that will only mean that His own blood will pass from Him! Isn’t that absurd? Why would be His own blood be given by His Father when its already in Him and why would He want it to pass from Him?
I tell you my friend, cup and blood have different spiritual significance in the Bible! Notice this, Christ commanded us to drink of His cup! “They all drank of it” (Mark 14:23). He said DRINK OF THE CUP! Drink on that Cup! We know the wine symbolizes the blood of Christ, shed for the remission of sins (Matt. 26:28). We know we need to remember that it took the blood of the Son of God to forgive our sins, and we certainly partake it during the communion. We know that by drinking the wine, we accept His shed blood on our behalf, forgiving our sins and wiping our sinful slate clean. Thank God for that! BUT DRINKING OF HIS CUP means another thing! Partaking from His Cup is different from partaking His blood. One may partake the Lord’s blood but only those who partake in the Lord’s cup are worthy to be with Him as His Wife.
When the Lord asked his disciple if they are “able to drink of the cup that I shall drink of (Matt. 20:22)” He is not referring to His blood, but to the sufferings that He will undergo – the life that He will experience. Remember: the cup is a vessel holding the wine. It is not the wine itself. Aside from its literal meaning, below are the three (3) spiritual significance and meanings of the word “Cup” and the meaning of “Drinking in One Cup” as can be seen in the Bible:
1. “CUP” MEANS “EXPERIENCES”
Matthew 20:23 “And he saith unto them, Ye shall drink indeed of my cup, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with: but to sit on my right hand, and on my left, is not mine to give, but it shall be given to them for whom it is prepared of my Father.”
During the communion, we are not only partaking the Lord’s body (bread) and His blood (wine) but He also commanded His disciples to partake on His Cup (Matt. 26:27, Mark 14:23) which is His experiences – the vessel of the wine. We shared the Life’s experiences of the Lord when we drank from His Cup. Just like what is written in Matthew 26:39;
“And he went a little further, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.”
The Cup that He is telling here does not mean His blood that He doesn’t want to drink, but the Life of suffering that He will be going to experience. Drinking on that cup means having to experience His suffering. Therefore, if you also drank on that cup which the Lord had drank on, it only means that you are also willing to suffer what our Lord Jesus had suffered. You are willing to experience the Life that the Lord had experienced. This is the reason why He asked His disciples:
“Are ye able to drink of the cup that I shall drink of (Matt. 20:22)?”
Because really, is it not easy to follow our Lord! You will be persecuted in this world just as He had been persecuted also. You will be abandoned just as He has been abandoned by His family and friends. So the question is: Are we able to drink on His Cup? If you can’t, all you need to do is to get another cup and drink from it instead of drinking in one cup during the communion. That means you don’t want to suffer what He had suffered. You don’t want to experience what He had experienced. You don’t want to partake His Life.
But that will also mean that you don’t want to sit with Him in His throne. You don’t want to resurrect with Him from the dead and you don’t want to reign with Him in His Kingdom. So would you still want to drink on your own individual cup during the communion or drink with the Lord’s cup?
The decision is yours! But also remember what Romans 8:18 told us:
“Our present sufferings are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us“
2. THE LORD AS OUR CUPBEARER – OUR SALVATION!
Genesis 14:18-19 “And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine: and he was the priest of the most high God. And he blessed him, and said, Blessed be Abram of the most high God, possessor of heaven and earth.”
Nehemiah 1:11 “O Lord, I beseech thee, let now thine ear be attentive to the prayer of thy servant, and to the prayer of thy servants, who desire to fear thy name: and prosper, I pray thee, thy servant this day, and grant him mercy in the sight of this man. For I was the king’s cupbearer.”
Another meaning of “drinking in one cup” is seen in the verses above. Our Lord Jesus Christ is our Mediator. That means, just like Nehemiah, He acts as our cupbearer! In Genesis 14:18-19, Melchizedek is the cupbearer for He is the One who served wine to Abraham. And Abraham represents the King here, the typology of Bride of the Lord! Being a cupbearer only means that He is the One who mediates between the contents of the cup and the king (which is us). Before the cup be brought to the King, it must first pass through the cupbearer (mediator).
So what does it mean to be a cupbearer or a mediator? In the book of Genesis, Pharaoh’s “chief butler” was actually the cupbearer (Genesis 40:20), a very influential position. Later, Nehemiah had that role as cupbearer to the king of Persia (Nehemiah 1:11). A cupbearer was frequently in the presence of the king, participating in whatever the King did. He is the one who tests (taste) if the beverage or the cup being serve to the King is free from poison.
Now, if the cup or the contents of the cup was poisoned, the cupbearer will die, sparing the king’s life. If it was safe, He shared its refreshing qualities and remained in the king’s presence and confidence. That’s why the cupbearer acts as the king’s Savior! He will be the one to experience what the king is supposed to experience.
So the phrase “drinking in one cup” eventually symbolized sharing the consequences of what was in that cup. It also came to mean accepting what the king dealt out. Since “drinking of the cup” means accepting whatever is appointed for one to experience—both good and bad, joyful or sorrowful—all who drink of the Lord’s cup will experience what the Lord has and will experience.
If the king has no trust to his cupbearer, all he needs to do is not to use the cup that is already been tested by his cupbearer and he just needs to get another cup and drink from it. To drink from another cup aside from the cup which is already being tested by the cupbearer is a great insult to the cupbearer. Because this will mean that you don’t trust what he had done. The same when you drink from another cup aside from the one being drank upon by our Lord, it is an insult to Him. He had offered His life to take all the poison on that cup so that you may have eternal life, but if you won’t drink (accept) the sacrifice He had done for you, that means you don’t want Him as your Savior (cupbearer, mediator).
The same is what is happening during communion. The communion is the exact representation of what our Lord Jesus Christ had done for us as our mediator (cupbearer, savior). This is the reason why He specifically pointed out to His disciples that they should all drink from His cup. Because He had already taken all the poison in it. And His disciples all drank from it (Mark 14:23) because they have the revelation what “drinking in that cup” means. Now, if for example they disobey the commandment of the Lord and they drunk from their own individual cup and not from the Lord’s cup, that will only mean that they don’t want to accept our Lord Jesus Christ as their savior. That will also mean that they don’t trust our Lord, their Master.
If you don’t want the Lord to save you, then don’t drink from His cup of salvation.
So would you still want to drink on your own individual cups during the communion aside from the Lord’s cup despite knowing all these meaning of drinking in one cup? Again, the decision is yours!
3. DRINKING IN ONE CUP AS A WEDDING CEREMONY
The third spiritual significance of what “drinking in one cup” means is can be seen during the Jewish Wedding Ceremony. Let’s take a look at the Ancient Jewish Wedding Ceremony:
After the couple had undergone – Mikveh hwqm (immersion), each separately, they would appear together under the Chuppah – or canopy – and in public they would express their intention of becoming betrothed. While under the Chuppah the couple eats from one bread called the Challa and drinks wine in one cup called Kudish to seal their betrothal vows. The first to drink is the bridegroom and then offered it to his bride. The shared wine is a simcha or joy, at a Jewish Wedding while the Kudish symbolizes the sealing of contract of marriage. When the bride drinks from the cup which her bridegroom had drank upon, it is a sign that she is accepting the covenant he has signed during the Ketubah signing. It is the sign that the bride accepts the marriage. After this, the couple is already considered married – yet they continued to live separately until the end of the betrothal period.
Since the Kudish symbolizes the sealing of contract of marriage, if the bride would not want her married to his groom be sealed, all she needs to do is not to drink on the Kudish where her groom has drank upon. She’ll just have to get another cup, pour wine to it and drink from it. That means she doesn’t what the contract to be sealed and therefore it also means that no wedding had taken place.
Drinking in one cup with your groom/bride symbolizes that the two of you has become one in marriage. Since the cup means life’s consequences or experiences, drinking in one cup only means that the two of you are willing to share the same experiences. That you want to experience that life together. Just like your promise with each other, the two of you want to experience that life for better and for worst, for richer and for poorer, or in sickness and in health! It means that you became one with your husband. It means that you are now part of Him and Him is now part of you!
Bride of the Lord Jesus Christ, when we partake of our Lord’s communion, we are not just doing it to remember His body and blood, but to actually reenact the wedding vow (covenant) He had instituted for us (His Bride) during that first communion with His disciples. Just like in the natural wedding ceremony, before the Bridegroom left to go to His Father’s house, He will make sure first that He had already betrothed (wedded) to His Bride. And when this betrothal period is consummated, He will return to take His Wife for the Marriage Supper (Marriage Feast) on His Father’s house (Rev. 19:7-10)! Remember that in Jewish wedding, this ceremony of drinking wine in the same cup happens twice – first at the betrothal and once again when the bridegroom came and took his bride home for the marriage ceremony. This is the reason why the Lord had said to His disciples in Matthew 26:29:
“But I say unto you, I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.”
Hallelujah! Glory be to the Lamb! This is the promised of our Lord that will never fail. Someday, we will drink again with Him when He returns and take us to His Marriage Supper. When we drink again with Him, those who are having their communion using many cups here on earth will be disappointed, for they shall see only one cup during that communion (Marriage Supper).
This ceremony of drinking in one cup in the Jewish Wedding has been copied by many nations. Only that, the true essence and meaning of this ceremony have deteriorated. Here in the Philippines for example during the wedding, instead of using one cup for wine drinking, they used two glasses, one for the groom and wine for the bride. The meaning and the symbolism had vanished. Just like what happened during the partaking of the communion in many Endtime churches today. Instead of using only one cup, they used many cups. They are only following the tradition of men and are ignorant of the true meaning of communion.
So if you don’t want to be one with the Lord, if you don’t want to be a family with Him, If you don’t want to experience life together with Him for better and for worst, for richer and for poorer, in sickness and in health then go, don’t drink from His cup. Follow the tradition of denominations and use your own cup and drink from it when you take the communion.
If you don’t want to get married to our Lord, all you need to do is not to drink on His cup.
PARTAKING THE COMMUNION UNWORTHILY IS WORTHY OF DEATH
Unlike the Baptism of water, there is no warning that says that one one is guilty by the body and blood of the Lord if he partakes the Baptism of water wrongly or unworthily. But there was a warning that if one is not worthy to take the communion, he/she is guilty by the body and blood of the Lord:
1 Cor. 11:27-30 “Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup. For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body. For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep. ”
The reason why some believers in Corinth are weak, sickly and some have even died, is because they are taking the communion “unworthily.” The word “unworthily” here came from the Greek word “an-ax-ee’-oce” which means “irreverently” or the act of not showing the expected respect. Anyone who is partaking the communion incorrectly or unbiblically is one reason for disrespect and therefore, that person is unworthy. This is the reason why many Christians today are weak, sick and some even died. Partaking the communion incorrectly is a sin worthy of death. This is why you need to be sure you are partaking it correctly or with reverence especially if you are the minister officiating it. You don’t want that you are the reason why your brothers and sisters are weak, sick and have died. Do you now see the importance why you need to do the communion biblically?
In the Bible, there are no instances that a person died because of incorrectly partaking the water baptism. BUT THERE ARE INSTANCES THAT PEOPLE DIED BECAUSE OF INCORRECT COMMUNION. That’s why we must be careful in partaking the communion. We must first examine ourselves if we are partaking it in a Biblical manner because if we are giving importance to water baptism about the use of the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ instead of the titles, how much more important it is to partake the communion in a Biblical pattern also. In order to put on the whole righteousness of God, we must follow His whole Word. We are called “Bible believers” and “Christians” because we believe and we follow Christ and His Word. Now, if we are using many cups during the communion, do you think we are following Him and His Word? Remember: drinking in many cups are institutionalized by men and can never be found in His Word.
EXCUSES, EXCUSES, EXCUSES
One of the first excuses of many is sanitation. Some may argue: But it’s so unsanitary if we all drank in one cup. We might get some communicable disease!
I am a food technologist and I tell you brothers and sisters, there have been numerous scientific studies conducted regarding the possibility of spreading germs and diseases by means of the common cup during communion. They all reach the same conclusion: The possibility is extremely low – almost nonexistent. The high-content alcohol of wine provides a powerful antiseptic which kills germs on contact. You are actually more susceptible to sickness shaking hand with other people than drinking wine in a common cup. Furthermore, these same studies suggest that the use of individual cups does not lessen the already nearly nonexistent threat to contract germs and diseases. In fact, the opposite is true. The use of individual plastic or glass cups actually poses a greater threat. This is because if you are for example using a metal cup-like the metal Chalice during communion, the combination of the metal with alcohol of the wine provides a powerful antiseptic germ-killing effect. Plastic or individual glass cups do not offer the same protection. The high-content alcohol still serves as a powerful antiseptic on its own, but not as powerful as when it is combined with metal.
It is indeed, ironic that those who introduced the individual cups into practice did so for hygienic concerns and actually created more hygienic problems than what has existed before. In fact, it is these Baptist churches who employ grape juice in individual cups who are at the greatest risk, for the lack of alcohol and metal greatly increases the possibility of spreading germs. In summary, the often used argument that individual cups are preferred to avoid health risks is completely unfounded and cannot possibly be used as a basis for our continuation of this practice.
The bottom line is: Come on Christians, you call yourselves Christians and you believe that the Lord Jesus Christ is a great healer and yet, you are afraid to do what He had commanded because you are afraid you might get sick? Oh come on. You know that unless the Lord will allow it, you can’t be sick right? Our health is totally in the hand of our Lord! Do you think He will allow you to get sick by doing what He has commanded us to do? I have done research if there are really people who got sick by drinking in one cup during the communion, but I have not found even a single one.
The church in Sogod, Leyte ministered by bro. Edgar Resos has been doing their communion using only one cup for about 6 years now, and yet, none of them have gotten any disease of sickness from practicing it. The church in Leon, Iloilo is also practicing the same for many years now, and like in Leyte, not a single brother or sister had been diagnosed with sickness brought by drinking in one cup. Much more the church in Butuan ministered by bro. Orsel Vicente Dumanon, they are practicing it almost 40 years now! Yet, no one got any sickness by doing it!
My observation is, most churches in Visayas and Mindanao are practicing communion using one cup and yet here in Luzon, mostly are practicing the opposite. What churches have more faith then?
2. They Might Get Drunk
Another hilarious excuse of many Christians here is that: The drinkers might get drunk, so we used individual shot glasses to avoid it instead of using one big common cup. They will cite what happened to 1 Corinthians 11:20-21 where some got drunk:
“When ye come together therefore into one place, this is not to eat the Lord’s supper. For in eating every one taketh before other his own supper: and one is hungry, and another is drunken.”
First, let’s take a look at what really happened here to really know why some got drunk. In verse 18 of the same chapter, Paul said:
“For first of all, when ye come together in the church, I hear that there be divisions among you; and I partly believe it.”
We see that there are divisions among the believers here which Paul partly believe. Because of this, according to the advice of Paul in verse 28, if they will examine their selves, these believers are already not worthy to partake the communion. And so what did they do? Since they are against their other brothers and sisters (division), they all drink the wine and eat the bread without thinking of the others! That’s why they got drunk. They drink and eat for themselves only. And so Paul rebukes them in verse 22 saying:
“What? have ye not houses to eat and to drink in? or despise ye the church of God, and shame them that have not? What shall I say to you? shall I praise you in this? I praise you not.”
But after what happened to them, did Paul change the practice of drinking in a common cup to drinking using many cups? Did Paul suggest to them what the other ministers today are suggesting to their congregation that: “Because you might get drunk, lets used individual cups instead of one common cup.” Did the Apostle Paul suggest that? Did he change what was taught by the Lord? The answer is No! In fact, in verse 24 and 25, Paul still taught them what the Lord had taught to His disciples. That is to partake of one bread and one cup! He did not change anything from it! And in verse 33 to 34 in order to solve the problem, he said to them:
“Wherefore, my brethren, when ye come together to eat, tarry one for another. And if any man hunger, let him eat at home; that ye come not together unto condemnation. And the rest will I set in order when I come.”
Yes, and that’s the way to solve the problem of drunkenness and hungriness. To tarry to one another in taking the communion and it is the duty of the minister administering the communion to remind the people that “if any man hunger, let him eat at home; that ye come not together unto condemnation.”
Paul did not change anything that the Lord had instituted on the partaking of the communion even those things had happened. That’s because he knows the significance of drinking in one cup. In fact, he just quoted the exact phrase which had been said by the Lord in verse 24 and 25. If the apostle Paul did not change anything in it, then who are these ministers who try to change the original commandment of our Lord by using many individual cups during the communion?
3. Our Church is a “Mega” Church
“But brother, what if our Church is a Mega church? What if it has more than 1,000 attendees? Doing the communion in one cup will take one whole day to finish.”
This is the question always asked to me by those ministers whose church attendees do not even reach 50 people as an excuse not to perform communion using one cup. But this is a valid question. Let’s answer this according to the Bible. According to Acts 2:46:
“And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart.“
After the preaching of Peter in Acts 2:38, many were pricked in their hearts and they want to be Baptized in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ. It was about 3000 converts were baptized during that day (Acts 2:41). Now, according to the verse above, these believers are meeting daily in the Temple for fellowship (one accord) but are doing the breaking of bread (communion) from house to house. Of course, it is only logical to think that you cannot fit 3000 people on a normal house that time. That’s why it is also logical to think that in a medium size house that time, only about 50 people or less are taking the communion in each house.
So the question is: why do they perform the communion from house to house of each believer instead of in a large place when they are meeting together?
The answer: RESPECT AND REVERENCE. These believers wanted to do the communion worthily. And to do it, they are taking extra caution that’s why they perform it in their own houses instead of during their gathering together in a large crowd. For them, communion is a holy act and an intimate ceremony of being one with the Lord. Just like in the wedding ceremony of the Groom and the Bride when they are partaking the wine and the bread. That’s why they are taking extra caution in doing this, so they did it in their houses. These believers are avoiding the mistake made by the believers in Corinth by partaking the communion unworthily (1 Cor. 11:27-30).
Now, I just want to clarify this: I AM NOT SAYING HERE THAT WE CAN’T PERFORM THE COMMUNION IN OUR CHURCH BUILDING. No, no no. That is far from the truth. OF COURSE YOU CAN PERFORM PARTAKING OF COMMUNION IN THE CHURCH ESPECIALLY IF YOU ARE FEW AND IT WILL NOT TAKE THE WHOLE DAY FOR EVERYONE TO PARTAKE THE COMMUNION. But if you have 1000, 3000, 5000 attendees or more, then better perform it in the houses than in the church. Again, RESPECT AND REVERENCE. These two should be your goal in doing the communion. If having a large crowd of believers is detrimental to these two, better perform it in each house. Because it would be better for you not to perform the communion than to perform it unworthily (1 Cor. 11:27-30). It can take the health and the lives of the believers.
The word “Communion” came from the two words “common” which means “one” and “union” which means “being one” or “becoming one”. Now, if we are using many individual cups in partaking it, do you think there’s a “communion” taking place? A Communion can only happen when there’s a common cup and a common bread to partake. Because how can believers say that they are drinking one (common) wine since we cannot quantify liquids? We can only say that we have drunk one wine unless we have one source, say one cup of wine, a bottle of wine or one glass of wine, etc. And that’s how the wine became a common (one) wine.
Bride of Christ, we are already in a time where we are guided by the Holy Spirit into all truth (John 16:13). He is showing and revealing to us the whole truth for it is proper for us to fulfill all righteousness (Matt. 3:15). If we can’t even do the partaking of communion in righteousness, then what is our difference to other denominational churches? Are we just like them who think that the communion is just a ceremony to remember our Lord? Or do we know better for we are founded on the rock of revelation?
Are we practicing the Bible or are we practicing the tradition of men? Is the church we are attending doing the whole righteousness of God or doing the tradition of men?
May the Lord will guide us into all Truth is my prayer.
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