Class Notes: 7/15/2012
Celebration of the Lord's Table and the Conclusion of our study of the providence of God in Esther
Today we celebrate the Lord's Table as an expression of our reciprocal love for our Lord as we concentrate on him through the elements of the only ritual for the post-canon period of the Church Age Luke 22:19-20;
He was obedient to the Father's unique plan for His life by enduring the suffering and death on the cross Phil 2:8; that resulted in his humanity being exalted above every created being, such that, every created being will ultimately bow down to him. Phil 2:9-10;
He completely and perfectly fulfilled the directive will of the Father by unilaterally providing a way of salvation for all men. Rom 5:8; as the "lamb slain from the foundation of the world" Rev 13:8; KJV John 1:29;
While we were enemies of God, God demonstrated his love for us by giving his uniquely born Son "monogenes” who entered the world through the virgin birth. John 3:16
As a result, God is free to reconcile mankind from their fallen state of depravity without compromising his perfect righteousness and justice because TLJC willingly laid down his life for us as our substitute. John 15:13; 1John 3:16
This is why believing in TLJC is the only way to a relationship with God John 14:6, salvation Acts 4:12 and eternal life John 3:16;
Anyone can appropriate this Grace gift of salvation which is secured by the Power of God John 10:26-29; simply by believing in TLJC 1Cor 15:3-4 in the same way that Paul and Silas instructed the Philippian Jailer who asked "what Must I do to be saved?"
Their response recorded In Acts 16:31
Anyone, any time, anywhere can become saved in a moment in time simply by believing in TLJC privately in their thoughts only.
TLJC left his friends, the members of The Royal Family of God, this one and only ritual in the church age The Lord's table which we are mandated to observe in remembrance of Him.
The mandate is found in 1Cor 11:24; in the second person plural present active imperative of the Greek word " poieo" that where Paul references TLJC's own instruction found in Luke 22:19-20;
An expanded translation of 1Cor 11:24 taking into consideration the tense mood and voice of "poieo" would be " Keep on doing this in remembrance of me"
As a result of this mandate, the Lord's Table is one and only ritual of the Church Age and it is a test of our capacity to concentrate on our Lord Jesus Christ through the Bible Doctrine that is resident in our soul as we partake of the elements that represent his work on our behalf.
We have these instructions for partaking of the Lord's table from the Apostle Paul starting in verse 26 of 1Cor 11.
1Cor 11:26 For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until He comes.
27 Therefore whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner, shall be guilty of the body and the blood of the Lord.
28 But a man must examine himself, and in so doing he is to eat of the bread and drink of the cup.
29 For he who eats and drinks, eats and drinks judgment to himself if he does not judge the body rightly.
30 For this reason many among you are weak and sick, and a number sleep.
31 But if we judged ourselves rightly, we would not be judged.
We understand from this that we are to evaluate ourselves in the light of the word, privately in our thinking, in the privacy of our priesthood, and when we find we are outside of the word, we apply the first problem solving device, and simply acknowledge the sin as described in 1 John 1:9;
If we acknowledge our sins he is faithful and righteous to forgive our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.
Having examined ourselves, and taken appropriate action, we are then instructed to partake of the elements, the bread and the cup.
The bread which represents his body in which he bore the sins and the judgment for our sins and the sins of the whole world, past present and future.
1Cor 11:23 For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus in the night in which He was betrayed took bread;
1Cor 11:24 and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, This is My body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of Me.
eat the bread
The cup which represents his substitutionary spiritual death on the cross which purchased the freedom from spiritual death and eternal condemnation of everyone who believes in him.
1Cor 11:25 In the same way He took the cup also after supper saying This cup is the new covenant in my Blood do this as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.
In our study of the providence of God in the book of Esther we left off last time where Mordecai had replaced Haman and he sent the decree that would overrule Haman's decree in the third month of the year 474BC that corresponds to our June-July.
Since this was a little over two months after Haman's decree had been sent the Jews had about nine months to prepare themselves for the conflict.
The new decree was dispatched by horsemen throughout the whole empire from India to Ethiopia that was written in the appropriate languages for each province.
The edict gave the Jews the right to protect themselves and the right to annihilate and plunder any group that fought against them.
The Jews could also confiscate the property of those who fought them just as Mordecai had taken away the property of Haman.
Esther 8:15-17; Mordecai wore clothes appropriate of his new position; royal garments, a large crown, and a purple linen robe. We have seen that Blue and white were the Persian royal colors and now held the position and status that Haman had held.
Previously under Haman's edict the city of Susa had been in a state of confusion (Esther 3:15;). Now under the edict of Mordecai the city of Susa held a joyous celebration. Esther 8:16; Net notes 15 and 16
Their rise to power caused many Gentiles to become Jewish proselytes. God's hand was becoming obvious to the world at large. The events were no longer being viewed simply as happenstance; now people were beginning to realize that the God was protecting his people.
Esther 9:1-4; When the appointed day of the battle came, the tables were turned on the enemies of the Jews. As the Jews assembled in various cities to face their attackers, the Gentiles became afraid of them. In fact even the government authorities helped the Jews.
The people who attacked the Jews had seen this as an opportunity to get rich at their expense. However, since they had no longer had the backing of the office of Haman they could not win.
By God's sovereign intervention Mordecai was now in a position of authority. He became more powerful and enjoyed a good reputation.
Esther 9:5-15; On the day of the battle (13th day of the 12th month, that corresponds to March 473BC in the citadel of Susa the Jews killed 500 men plus Haman's 10 sons.
When the king asked Esther what she wanted, she requested that the Jews in Susa be given one more day to carry out the task of rooting out those who were trying to destroy them and that Haman's 10 slain sons be hanged on gallows.
On the second day the Jews killed an additional 300 men. The Jews were not doing this for plunder, as Haman had hoped to do (Esther 3:13;), it is stated three times that the Jews did not lay their hands on the plunder (Esther 9:10, 15-16;).
Esther 9:16-19; In the outlying provinces 75,000 individuals were killed by the Jews in one day, but there, as well as in Susa, they did not take any plunder from the victims. Only in Susa did the fighting last for two days.
For that reason Jews in Susa celebrated on the 15th day of the 12th month (after the slaughters on the 13th and 14th), whereas Jews in the villages celebrated on the 14th (after the slaughter on the 13th).
Esther 9:20-22; The Feast of Purim was not established as one of God's Holy Days in the Mosaic Law. It was established by Mordecai and Esther. The two-day feast was for remembering the goodness of God working through circumstances to protect His people from annihilation. Mordecai wrote a proclamation that the Jews were to celebrate the event annually with eating, rejoicing, giving food, and sharing with the poor.
Esther 9:23-32; The feast was called Purim (v. 26) because of Haman's use of the "pur" ; the lot that was cast to determine the time of the annihilation of the Jews. (Esther 3:7;).
The pur became a symbol of God's providence in causing the chaos of the cosmos to deliver His people. Esther along with Mordecai, wrote a second letter confirming that the Jews were to celebrate the feast.
Unlike Haman's decree for evil, her words were for good will and assurance. A copy of her letter was included in the royal archives.
Esther 10:1-3; The book closes by speaking of King Xerxes' power; but more importantly the closing verses extol Mordecai, who was once a hated because he was a Jew.
He was promoted by Xerxes and revered by the Jews. He was a great patriot because he worked hard for them and spoke up on their behalf to Xerxes. However, it is noteworthy that the Book of Esther nowhere states that Mordecai was a righteous individual or that he was careful to follow the Law.
Some have doubted that a Jew could have such a high rank in the Persian Empire but it was not unprecedented. Daniel was promoted in the Babylonian empire. Dan. 5:29; and was promoted by Darius the Mede who took over the Babylonian empire. Dan 6:1-3;28;
As the initial Jewish readers read this account they would have been struck by the way God was sovereignly protecting them, even when they were unaware of it.
Many things that happened in the Book of Esther were beyond anyone's control except that of God, who oversees history. And the Book of Esther is filled with irony, with ways in which events turned out unexpectedly and in favor of God's people.
Queen Vashti, a Persian, was deposed so that Esther, a Jew, could become queen and save her people.
Haman, was promoted and then destroyed because of his anti-Semitism, and Mordecai and the Jews, who were once hated, were promoted by God.
The decree that would have massacred the Jews was overruled and that led to the destruction of nearly 76,000 of the Jews' enemies. It is no wonder that Purim was celebrated yearly with rejoicing as a reminder of the fact that God is in control and that people should faithfully worship and serve Him.
Jesus Christ controls history.
In spite of evil, Jesus Christ continues to control history in three ways.
Direct control from His own divine sovereignty which will be more evident after the Second Advent.
Indirect control occurs through the laws of divine establishment and the client nation. Destroying the laws of divine establishment results in anarchy, tyranny and revolution.
Any people who have employed violence have never found the answers to their problems. Violence and revolution has never been the answer. God will demonstrate this once and for all at the Gog and Magog Revolution at the end of the Millennium.
Permissive control is where God permits evil to run its course to the maximum during the angelic conflict.
Prov 16:3-4; summarizes this principle. Therefore, evil is going to run its course in human history, but evil should not be a deterrent to believer's spiritual growth.
You are to advance spiritually in spite of evil. In other words, you don't throw up your hands and say "It's useless!"
Isa 45:7; "The One forming light and creating darkness; net note 14; the One who brings peace and creates calamity; net note 15; I am the Lord who accomplishes all of these things."
No matter what happens, no matter how strong and seemingly overwhelming the evil becomes in the world, always remember that Jesus Christ controls history and all things will be brought into subjection to him. Heb 10:12-14;
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