The Sign of the Covenant
“This cup is the New Diatheke (Covenant and Last Will and Testament) in My Blood.” - Messiah (Luke 22:20 and 1 Corinthians 11:25).
When God made a covenant with His people that He would not destroy the world again by water, as He did “in the days of Noah,” He put “the bow in the clouds” as “the sign of the covenant,” saying to the people:
“And there shall come to be the bow in the cloud, and I will look upon it, to remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living soul in all flesh that is upon the earth. And Elohim (God, the Creator) said to Noah, ‘This is THE, SIGN OF THE COVENANT which I establish between Myself and all flesh which is upon earth’.” (Genesis 9:16-17).
The word “covenant” here is a translation of the Hebrew word Berith and the Greek Diatheke is the word used by the Septaugint as its equivalent. It means a covenant, or agreement, between two parties. Sometimes it has the extended meaning of Last Will and Testament.
So, when we see the “bow in the cloud,” after a rain, it is a sure indication that Yahweh (the Deliverer) will not destroy us by water, as He did the disobedient Antedeluvians. Truly, then, “the bow in the clouds” is “the sign of the covenant.” The New Covenant, or Testament, was ratified by the “blood of the Lamb” (Revelation chapter 7). Of the wine fin the “cup of blessing” (1 Corinthians 10:16), Christ says, “This is My blood which ratifies the agreement” (Matthew 26:28. See Goodspeed and Thayer). Of the cup, containing the wine, Jesus says:
“This cup (touto poterion) is the New Testament in my blood” (Luke 22:20 and 1 Corinthians 11:25).
The clause “this cup”, as noted above, is from totou poterion in Greek, and the demonstrative touto shows the reference to be to a definite literal material cup, or drinking vessel.
The verb “is” is a coupla, and is a translation of estin in Greek, and denotes a metaphor. The Hebrew and Greet substantive, to be, is not expressed when dealing with matters of fact. So “the cup” on the communion table containing the wine is a “sign”, or token, of the New Covenant, while the wine in the cup is said to be Christ’s “blood which ratifies the Covenant.”
Bishop Lightfoot’s observations on this are worthy of very serious consideration. He says (Works, vol. 2, p. 260): “The confirmation of the Old Covenant was by the blood of bulls and goats (Exodus chapter 24 and Hebrews chapter 9), because blood was still to be shed: the confirmation of the New was by a cup of wine, because under the New Covenant there is no farther shedding of blood. As it is here said of the cup, This cup is the New Testament in My blood; so it might be said of the cup of blood (Exodus chapter 24), That cup was the Old Testament in the blood of Christ: there, all the articles of that covenant being read over, Moses sprinkled all the people with blood, and said, This is the blood of the covenant which God hath made with you; and thus the Old Covenant or Testimony was confirmed. In like manner, Christ, having published all the articles of the New Covenant, He takes the cup of wine, and gives them to drink, and saith, This is the New Testament in My blood; and thus the New Testament was established.”
The word “communion” means, literally, a joint participation. By all drinking out of the one cup (Matthew 26:27) we have a communion, or joint participation, and thus we signify, not only our covenant relationship with Messiah, but, also, our fellowship with each other.
“Blest be the tie that binds
Our hearts in Christian love;
The fellowship of kindred minds
Is like to that above.”
So, then, as the wine-cup is passed from the lips of one saint to those of another, we “proclaim the Lord’s death”, and signify our covenant-relationship with Him, and with each other. “There is one cup for the uniting of His blood” (Ignatius, Ad Philad, First Century).
J. D. Phillips
Old Paths Advocate
I am delighted with the above title for our paper. For about thirty-six years I have, in my freebie way, been trying to point out the Old Paths to my fellowmen. The Old Paths mentioned by the prophet in Jeremiah 6:16, Jeremiah 18:15, are evidently the Paths (commandments) as given by Moses to the children of Israel. See Malachi 4:4.
Moses gave the first covenant, and the subsequent prophets were teachers under that covenant, and as such, were exhorting the Jews to faithful obedience to it. The Jews were like many people of today - some faithful and many unfaithful.
We are under the covenant of Christ, as revealed in the New Testament. We, too, are to be faithful to Christ, and the only way to do this is to be faithful to His teachings and the teachings of the apostles. Paul, an apostle, says, “Those things which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.” (Philippians 4:9).
Considering the conversions as recorded in the Book of Acts, which occurred as the result of the preaching of Peter, et. Al., we learn that faith, repentance, confession of Christ before men, and baptism into the name of the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit, for the remission of sins; were the conditions of salvation to those who came to Christ. Hence, we are to preach this apostolic plan to the alien sinner, and are to exhort him to faithfully obey the same, for obedience to these commands puts one into covenant relationship with Christ - makes him a child of God - a member of the Church of Christ, and an heir of salvation eternal.
But let it be remembered, that when one has obeyed the above, he has but enlisted in the army of the Lord. All of the battles with Satan and sin are ahead of him, as also are the victories to be won. The number of victories won depends on his faithfulness and zeal in the cause of Christ. Revelation 11:1, we have:
“Rise and measure the temple (church) of God and the altar (worship) and them that worship therein.”
The word of God is the “measuring reed” by which the church, the worship, and the worshipers are to be measured. All three must come up to the standard in order to be true and faithful servants of Christ. We are yet living m that measuring period. Our faith in God’s word is being tested and proved, and I am thankful to know that there are yet a few faithful preachers left, who are demanding “a thus saith the Lord” (command or example) for each item of worship. Hear Paul”
“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works” (2 Timothy 3:16-17). And in the next chapter he exhorts to preach the word, to reprove, rebuke, and exhort, etc.
God’s word being inspired is a perfect guide m the absolute sense, and we as faithful servants must so teach and preach. We dare not change that word, nor the work and worship authorized by it. To do so is to incur the anathema of God. This is my idea of faithfulness. Here I stand; who is with me in this stand? No one can take this stand and advocate the Sunday School women speaking in the public assembly, nor a plurality of cups in the communion service.
W. T. Taylor
Keeping the Record Straight
(Phillips - Hayhurst Debate Number 2)
At the close of the first session of the above debate, some of Bro. Hayhurst’s followers felt so keenly their defeat that they failed to control themselves, manifesting a very ugly spirit, which was a plain admission to all observers that their man was just failing to cope with the situation and to deliver the goods, and thus needed help.
After the first and second sessions of the debate it was to a great extent a repetition of arguments, and I shall try to avoid this in the report.
Hayhurst contended that if Jesus took a literal cup, Matthew 26:27, that the disciples had to drink (swallow) a literal cup, for He told them to drink it, hence it would be impossible to drink the cup of the Lord, if the literal cup has anything to do with it.
Phillips replied, that according to Hayhurst’s reasoning, the Lord took the wine without a vessel, but that the Bible says that He took a cup (Poterion - a drinking vessel), and told them to drink of it, which contained the “fruit of the vine” Matthew 26:29. He further showed that Thayer says, “We drink the cup by drinking what is in the cup.” So says N. L. Clark.
Hayhurst then took up drinking of the rock, 1 Corinthians chapter 10, contending that they could take water away from the rock in vessels, and then drink it, and still be drinking of the rock, hence just so with the cup.
Phillips replied that Paul teaches that the rock spoken of in 1 Corinthians chapter 10, was a SPIRITUAL drink. “The rock followed them, and that rock was Christ. But if they had put some of the water in other rocks, and drank of them, they would have drank of rocks, and just so with taking the wine out of the cup and putting it into cups; it is drinking from cups, hence we should have CUPS of the Lord.
Hayhurst contended that the 3,120 at Jerusalem, all met together in one body to break bread, and that it would take 30 gallons of wine to serve them and that they could not wait upon them in a day, hence they must have used more than one cup.
Phillips showed that the Bible says, “they broke bread from house to house” (Acts 2:46). Hayhurst says they all met together to “break bread” - great men do differ. He further showed that Hayhurst’s Jerusalem assembly would have to have a 30-gallon cup to contain the wine while thanks are given and a loaf of about ten feet square. Furthermore, Paul says, “Ye may all prophesy one by one”. Allowing that 1,200 of the number were men, and that they may all speak one at a time, there being no time limit, each should speak 15 minutes, would make 300 hours. This together with the songs, prayers, speaking in tongues, and the communion, must have caused them to put in quite a BUSY DAY on Sunday. Hayhurst left Jerusalem.
Hayhurst referred to Acts 16:32, where the Jailer and his house is mentioned, as an example of metonymy, contending that the Jailer's house was baptized, while out of the house.
Phillips showed that the Bible teaches thus, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house… And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes; and was baptized, he and all his, (not house, but family) straightway. And when he had brought them into his house, he set meat before them, and rejoiced, believing in God with all his house.” Hence the family, or “his” was spoken of as “house” while in the house, and while being baptized as “his”, or family.
Hayhurst then went to Jacob’s well for refuge, contending that “drink of the cup” and “drink of the well” are parallel, because the same phraseology is used. Reasoning that they took the water out of the well into other vessels, and by drinking from them they still drank from the well.
Phillips showed that if Hayhurst be right in this contention, he would be compelled to take a rope and bucket, draw the wine out of the cup, and then serve it in other vessels, as it would be impossible to drink from the cup for which thanks had been offered. He would be compelled to have two or more cups, for he has one that he cannot drink of. Phillips then showed the difference in “drink of the cup” and “drink of the well” as “he rode the train” and “he rode the stick-horse.” No one would think of picking up the train as he would the stick-horse. Neither, would they think of picking up the well to drink from it, or of drawing the wine from the cup as in the case of the well. Thus, showing that the two cases are not parallel.
Of the wine alone being the "cup of the Lord", Phillips reasoned: Jesus says, "this is my blood" and "this cup is the New Testament". How can wine alone represent both the blood and the Testament? No answer by Hayhurst. If the fruit of the vine alone is the cup, why object to the individual cups? No answer to this.
Homer A. Gay