G. S. Ritchie, 11 Guernsey Road, Leytonstone, London E11 4BJ, England, Tel: 081-558-2927
25 Columbia Heights
New York, N.Y. 11201 USA
Nisan 3, 1994
Dear Brothers of Christ,
Re: The Memorial:
As regards my own position, I for my part release you from any bloodguilt associated with my problems at the imminent memorial. Do as you think fit. My plan was to put pressure on you to force you into a corner so that you would either have to effectively kill me or acknowledge publicly the possibility that I was anointed in a new baptism. That plan however was more likely to have been the work of Gordon Ritchie, than the work of our loving God. Nevertheless in my considerations of the various cleanliness problems associated with this festival, something good has appeared. And this one is more likely to have been from God than from Gordon Ritchie, for his ways are higher than mine and his thoughts are higher than my thoughts.
Please therefore, give your consideration to this question from a reader in the heavens:
Is a man who is dead judicially, dead in the sense of Rev 20:5, i.e. a man who is not anointed, a man who has not been sanctified in the blood of the Christ, a man who is not baptised in holy spirit..... Is such a man clean to say a blessing on the wine at the memorial?
Is a man whose blood, his life, is dead, clean to bless a cup of wine in such a way that the true God then regards it as being or as symbolising the holy and living blood of the Christ?
Can a man who himself is not holy, ask a blessing on a cup, thereby making it holy?
Can a man who has no inheritance among the sanctified ones, sanctify anything to the extent of a cleanliness that he does not have?
Can a man who himself is not holy, enter into the holy and living sanctuary of God, the anointed remnant, once a year, with the blood not of bulls, but rather with the blood of the living Christ?
John is saying:
Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, you have no life in yourselves (John 6:57).
He that feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood remains in union with me and I in union with him (John 6:57).
So at the memorial, those who have life in themselves, those who are judicially alive, those who are not dead in the sense of Rev 20:5, those who are indeed brothers of the Christ, being united into his baptism into death, do drink his blood.
The 'blood' that they drink is of course red wine. Brothers I am not arguing transubstantiation here. I do not care whether the wine is regarded by men as actually being Jesus' blood or as merely symbolising Jesus' blood. In order for the celebration to succeed, the true God needs to regard the wine as being Jesus' blood. For if he doesn't, then the memorial fails, the covenant is broken, and the whole celebration has become a booze up. Now at what point in the memorial does this red wine 'become' Jesus' blood?
As 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 is my body (literal).
Also he took a cup, and having given thanks, he gave it to them saying: Drink out of it all of you, for this is my blood of the covenant which is to be poured out in behalf of many, for forgiveness of sins. But I tell you, I will by no means drink henceforth any of the product of the vine until that day when I drink it new with you in the kingdom of my father (Matt 26:26-29).
Incidentally, the product of the vine, is not neccessarily literal wine (RS 262-3), because Jesus himself said: 'I am the true vine' (John 15:1).
And as they continued eating, he took a loaf, said a blessing, broke it, and gave it to them and said: Take it, this is my body (literal).
And taking a cup, he offered thanks and gave it to them, and they all drank out of it. And he said to them: This is my blood of the covenant, which is to be poured out in behalf of many (Mark 14:22-24).
Also he took a loaf, gave thanks, broke it, and gave it to them, saying: This is my body (literal), which is given in your behalf. Keep doing this in remembrance of me.
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 (Luke 22:19,20).
The Lord Jesus, in the night in which he was going to be handed over, took a loaf, and after giving thanks, he broke it and said: This is my body (literal) which is in your behalf. Keep doing this in remembrance of me.
He did likewise respecting the cup also, after he had the evening meal, saying: This cup is the new covenant by virtue of my blood. Keep doing this as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me. For as often as you eat this loaf and drink the cup, you keep proclaiming the death of the Lord, until he arrives (1 Cor 11:23-26).
Keep doing what as often as you drink it? Well the holy spirit has given us the clue by twice ommitting to mention, explicitly, the blessing on the wine. Once in Luke's account and once in the account of Paul. They just say 'he did likewise' or 'in the same way'. But what did he do likewise or in the same way? Well, he also blessed the wine. [Keep doing this as regards bread and keep doing this as regards wine, two memorials, two covenants - Ed.] Paul is therefore exhorting us to keep blessing the wine or giving thanks over the wine, as often as you drink it. This of course we do, or at least we have been attempting to do it!
The above four accounts make it clear that it is the blessing on the bread which makes it 'mean' the body of Jesus, and it is the blessing on the wine which makes it 'mean' the blood of Jesus. Before these blessings, the emblems are so much supermarket merchandise. It is as Paul says:
I speak to men with discernment, judge for yourselves what I say:
The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not a sharing in the blood of Christ?
The loaf which we break, is it not a sharing in the body of Christ (1 Cor 10:15,16).
If we have discernment then we see that the cup of blessing is a sharing in the blood of Christ, but a cup unblessed is a sharing in a booze up [If we have discernment we see some other things too - Ed.]
I hope this is all acceptible so far brothers. It is as a result of the blessings that the emblems are regarded by Jehovah as being his son's flesh and blood.
Therefore we now understand that in the case of the wine, the brother giving the blessing is conferring a status on the wine, and furthermore, that such status is, that the wine is the blood of the Christ as far as God and the memorial celebration are concerned. And since Jesus' blood is holy, the cup becomes a holy cup.
Now we are going to apply the dirty water principle, about which I wrote in my last letter. This principle states that a man who is covered in smelly fish is not able to preside over or mediate the application of his wife's perfume on to her body. This is a self-evident principle, and I am not going to waste anybody's time by proving it from the bible here.
This principle prohibits a man with dead blood, a man who is judicially dead, a man who has only been baptised in water, a man who does not have living blood, from conferring any status to do with living blood, the blood of Christ, on any wine. It prohibits a man, who himself is not holy, from presiding over a blessing with the object of asking the true God to make a cup or to regard a cup as being holy or symbolising something holy. It prohibits a man smelling of death from mediating the deliverance of the sweet smelling and living perfume of Jesus' blood on to brothers and sisters who are his very body.
Of course the same argument can be made with the bread. I have argued it all with respect to the wine, not because I personally am clean to bless the wine, but because the situation with the bread is rather more complicated, because angels are involved. In fact, as mentioned above, I realised all of this when I was thinking about my own problems at the forthcoming memorial. but leaving them aside fo the minute, we have now seen that every memorial celebration at which anointed brothers or sisters are present, must have in attendance an anointed brother who will bless the bread and the wine.
Furthemore, the cup should be passed from living brother to living brother, and not via a bunch of dead brothers. Jesus commanded the living disciples to:
Take this and pass it from one to another among yourselves (Luke 22:17).
The apostles were actually sanctified and judicially living before they ate the meal but I do not want to go into this here. Even if they weren't they were certainly covenanters in the heavenly covenant, [and having drunk something being or symbolising Jesus' blood they certainly would have become sanctified during the memorial if they hadn't been beforehand! - Ed.] We are not doing what Jesus commanded. We are passing it from one to another via foreigners. What do Greeks have to do with this cup?
In my congregation we have had for some time a dead (judicially) man blessing the emblems in his attempt to have Jehovah recognise them as representing Jesus' flesh and living blood, in order that these emblems can be consumed by a living (judicially) sister. We have then had half of the dead members of the congregation putting their grubby hands on them before they reached her. The poor woman, it is a wonder she is not roasting already!
Needless to say, it is not the case that such memorials have failed in the past and that we are all consigned to Gehenna for these indiscretions. Because Jehovah is the one who is abundant in loving kindness, and the one who pardons error in the case of those who love him. With him it is not the actions that count it is the spirit in which the actions are taken that counts, thanks to his mercy and wisdom.
But look! It is not difficult to see that a dead man cannot confer a living status on anything, whether this is a symbolic living status or an actual living status. Nor is it difficult to see that an unholy man cannot play a part in making something holy. No witness would countenance an unbaptised brother offering a blessing for the congregation. This is because we all know that the greater cannot be blessed by the lesser. Brothers have to be baptised before they can ask a blessing at the start or end of the meeting on those who have been baptised. Yet although we know this, we are appointing an unbaptised (in holy spirit) brother to say a blessing for the baptised (in holy spirit) brothers and sisters at the memorial meeting. We have been sending Levites who are not sons of Aaron, who are not priests, into the holy sanctuary. Throw them out, they belong in the courtyard.
It is like Paul said: respecting Abraham and Melchizedek:
Now without any dispute the less is blessed by the greater (Heb 7:7).
This statement is implied by the dirty water principle. The man who himself has not been sanctified in Jesus' blood, cannot mediate a sanctification of the cup to be or to represent Jesus' blood.
Of course in the archetypical last supper, Jesus gave both blessings, and he certainly was in possession of his own living blood and his own flesh. The example is there. The brother blessing the blood must likewise be in possession of this, having had it applied in his case. He must therefore be not just a brother, but a brother of Christ, even a blood relative of that one, even a part of the same body, the wife-to-be, the same flesh, the heavenly temple. I am not clean to ask for a blessing on the bread at the memorial.
This section is not really for me to determine it is for you to consider. I hope I have made it clear that what has happenned in the past is the subject of God's mercy, and he has overlooked such time of ignorance as Paul said to the men of Athens. But it is apparent that we do not have enough time before Nisan14 to arrange for an anointed brother to be present at every memorial where there is going to be a partaker. It is further apparent that it is not acceptible for anointed women to speak in the congregations, and so they cannot bless the bread or wine. We are therefore faced with a logistical problem of some complexity.
Fear not however, because this whole predicament, and its solution, are prophetically recorded in advance in 2 Chronicles 30:1-27. For this is not the first time that God's people have had logistical problems involving the cleanliness of priests and the location of the congregations for the passover celebration:
For they had not been able to hold it at that time, because not enough priests on the one hand had sanctified themselves, and the people, on the other hand had not gathered themselves to Jerusalem (2 Chron 30:3).
A sancto-logistical problem if you will. The solution in the present day fulfilment will require some serious computation, it is as Jehovah said to Moses and Aaron:
But if the household proves to be too small for the sheep, then he and his neighbour close by must take it into his house, according to the number of souls. You should compute each one proportionate to his eating as regards the sheep (Ex 12:4).
Now this is the provision made under the law for the small household of the physical Jew. But today we have another small household, namely the house of the remnant of spiritual Jews. As you well know there are precious few male brothers left on earth. Translating this into the current situation:
Congregation with too few anointed sisters to justifygetting their own anointed brother
|Neighbour's house close by
Nearby congregation containing a few more anointedsisters
Anointed brother, a male, a sound one, part of theboy of Jesus, the lamb
The nearby congregations, at least those anointed members of them, should gather together into a number of congregations equal to the number of brothers who can reasonably by flown all over the planet to arrive on the 10th of the month to be ready for the 14th, 'A sheep to a house' to bless the emblems for them. Thereby ensuring that one anointed brother is available to each congregation containing (hosting) all of the anointed sisters from all of the neighbouring congregations from miles around:
On the 10th day of this month, they are to take for themselves each one, a sheep for the ancestral house, a sheep to a house (Exodus 12:3).
This will be rather like a circuit visit. Compute, compute, 'according to the number of souls', 8600 odd isn't it?
Go on! Save their lives. Show Jehovah how much you care about your brothers and sister. Is any effort too great? Is any cost too much? Even if you had to fly the whole lot to Brooklyn on concorde would that be too high a price to pay yo keep the requirements of the true God and to celebrate his festival in such a way as to bring him great delight? Although of course you do not have to do that. The 'neighbour close by' solution was the one that he propounded to Moses. But even if you were to choose the Concorde option at great cost, misguided as that would be, would the true God not respond with an even greater blessing involving an even greater expenditure by him in return? Truly your coffers would overflow, and you would reap in a way that you have never reaped. Certainly then it would be true to say that:
Finally the priests, the Levites, stood up and blessed the people, and a hearing was granted to their voice, so that their prayer came to his holy dwelling, the heavens (2 Chron 30:27).
The anointed brothers, the holy nation, these are the ones who should bless the emblems. For those who are not holy themselves can sanctify nothing and they have no place in the holy sanctuary of the true God. As Jesus said: 'Let the dead bury the dead'. And I say let the dead not bury the living along with them. Perhaps then a hearing will be granted by the one whose dwelling is soon to be their home too. For Jesus himself and his family had to travel quite some distance to celebrate the passover. Should his brothers today not be willing to do the same?
And if the true God, in his mercy, is prepared to fly these precious living stones to the very heavens themselves, then where is the place, on this his footstool, that is too far away for you to be able to fly them there??