What About Those Not Partaking?
1. When did Jehovah’s witnesses celebrate Memorial last year, how many attended it and how many partook?
THE Memorial or Lord’s evening meal is celebrated by Jehovah’s witnesses each year on its anniversary date with the understanding given above. Last year at the Memorial celebration 623,760 of Jehovah’s witnesses and kindly disposed persons attended, but only 21,619 partook of the emblems. Why did so many not partake of them?
2. How many attenders did not partake, and why not?
2 The Memorial emblems were passed around for everyone to partake of and each one was at liberty to do so if he wished. Why did 602,141 not do so? Because, by self-scrutiny and after their hearing the Memorial discourse, they honestly acknowledged to themselves and to others that they were not members of Christ’s body, which the Scriptures show is made up of only 144,000 members under Jesus the one Head. Those not partaking may all have been dedicated to Jehovah God through Jesus Christ. But they had no proof within themselves that they had been begotten by God’s spirit to a spiritual resurrection and to spirit life in heaven. They had no proof that they had been anointed with God’s spirit to a place with Jesus in his heavenly throne. So they had no hopes of reigning with him and being priests of God for a thousand years. They had not sacrificed their human hopes of an earthly paradise for spiritual, heavenly hopes. They did not expect to be baptized with Jesus in his death and drink the cup of such an experience with him. As all that is what taking the Memorial emblems would have symbolized, they did not do so.
3. Though one flock with the remnant, what could they not say respecting the Lord’s body?
3 Those 602,141 nonpartakers could not say to themselves in clear conscience: “Because there is one loaf, we, although many, are one body, for we are all partaking of that one loaf.” (1 Cor. 10:17, NW) They knew they were associated with the small remnant (the 21,619) of Christ’s body, but they could not say to themselves that they are “one body” with that remnant nor with the entire 144,000. True, they have been brought into touch and unity with the remnant so that they are now “one flock” with them under one Shepherd, as Jesus Christ once prophesied concerning our day: “I have other sheep, which are not of this fold; those also I must bring, and they will listen to my voice, and they will become one flock, one shepherd.” (John 10:11, 14, 16, NW) But this does not mean that all those sheep are of Christ’s body, abiding in union with Jesus the Head. For the “other sheep” who are outside of Christ’s body to eat the Memorial bread and drink the Memorial wine at the Lord’s evening meal it would mean to say the bread and wine represented merely Jesus’ personal flesh and blood which he sacrificed as a ransom. They would take Christendom’s view of the matter which has resulted in such confused sectarianism, vicious strife and sanguinary conflict among professed Christians.
4. If the other sheep took the Memorial emblems, what would it be symbolizing and why would it misrepresent their case?
4 If the other sheep took the Memorial emblems, they would in actuality be symbolizing that they were eating Christ’s flesh as well as drinking his blood and thus they were in union with him and he with them. This would mean they would have life in themselves as the heavenly Father has life in himself and as he has granted to his beloved Son to have life in himself. (John 5:26; 6:53-57, NW) But it is not true of the “other sheep” that Jesus and they are mutually in union with one another as members of his body. One flock they are indeed with the present-day remnant of Christ’s body, but they do not share the same hopes with the remnant and will not share the same destiny with them. They do not feed on all the Bible promises that the remnant do, but they recognize only the earthly promises as reserved for them in the righteous new world. So they do not partake of the Memorial emblems, for they are not commanded by Jesus Christ the Right Shepherd to do so. They do not want to misrepresent themselves and eat and drink judgment against themselves because of sinning against what the body and blood of the Lord signify. They let those who are worthy eat and drink.
5. Why is that no excuse for debarring them from attending?
5 That is no excuse for debarring them from attending the Memorial celebration. The Catholic clergy used to dismiss from the church assembly the new converts or catechumens and penitents before the worthy ones of the congregation partook of the communion bread and wine. But this practice does not befit the “one flock” of the Right Shepherd. Each sheep must himself determine whether he is worthy to partake of the emblems, and so he must be present and be given the opportunity to partake when they are passed. Even if he does not partake, he honors the occasion by his presence and does so in commemoration of Jesus Christ.
6. Why do they not fight with the remnant as though being deprived of something rightful?
6 The remnant of the “little flock” of heavenly heirs properly discern the body of Christ and their membership in it. Consistently with this they take the emblems. The great crowd of “other sheep” present also discern the body of the Lord and their not being members in it, and consistently they do not take the emblems. They do not fight with the remnant over it as though they were being deprived of something rightful. Certainly during Christ’s thousand-year reign when this remnant will be glorified with him in heaven these other sheep on the paradisaic earth will not feed on the same spiritual food that the remnant do now. So what hurt is there to the other sheep if they are not fed on all the promises of God now, including the Memorial? None.
7. What shows whether the other sheep will partake of or celebrate the Memorial during the Millennium?
7 The Memorial will not be in vogue on earth throughout the Millennium and forever, for the apostle Paul wrote to the congregation of Christians who are sanctified in union with Christ Jesus this Memorial instruction: “As often as you eat this loaf and drink this cup, you keep proclaiming the death of the Lord, until he arrives.” (1 Cor. 1:1, 2; 11:26, NW) So, when the Lord Jesus takes the remnant from earth to Kingdom glory in heaven, then the Memorial celebration on earth will cease. The “other sheep” will not partake of it then any more than they do now.
8. Did the faithful ones of ancient times enjoy the same spiritual food as the remnant does now, and do the other sheep now suffer spiritual famine? Why your answer?
8 The faithful men and women of ancient times before Christ did not celebrate the Memorial, not even Melchizedek, who refreshed the battle-worn Abraham with bread and wine. Nor did they enjoy the spiritual food and promises that the remnant do now. Yet those ancient ones are to be resurrected to human life on earth under the Kingdom and to become part of the Right Shepherd’s “other sheep”. Despite their not partaking of the Memorial and of the heavenly promises with the remnant of the “little flock”, the great crowd of other sheep are suffering no famine for hearing the Word of Jehovah and they are not starving. They are satisfied with the Scriptural food and privileges which the Right Shepherd gives them through his “faithful and discreet slave” class. It is the “evil slave” class that claims too much attention is being paid to the other sheep and not enough spiritual food being served to the spiritual class for their exclusive selves. Not only are the other sheep satisfied, but they prefer their particular diet. The things which the righteous men of old wanted to see and understand but did not, the other sheep now see and understand and they rejoice and grow spiritually strong. They hunger and thirst no more, for the Lamb of God has guided them to green pastures and to “fountains of waters of life”.—Luke 12:32; Amos 8:11, 12; Matt. 24:45-51; Rev. 7:9-17, NW.
9. Why are those of the “one flock” now spiritually healthy in contrast with Christendom, thanks to Paul’s instruction?
9 As a result of this Scriptural discernment of the Lord’s body at Memorial time all the sheep, the remnant and the great crowd of other sheep, are vigorous, healthy and energetically alive to God’s service as witnesses to the universal sovereignty and name of Jehovah. Because of the correct discernment of the body they are at peace and harmony with one another even though dwelling in worldly nations that are at war with one another for the domination of the earth. If the hundreds of millions of so-called “church members” and clergymen of Christendom discerned the body of the Lord and conducted themselves accordingly as Jehovah’s witnesses have done during the past two world wars, there would have been no such global conflicts nor would there be the nightmare of a third one plaguing all peoples now. It was to correct the disunity, the immorality and the sectarianism of the early congregation of Christians at Corinth that the apostle Paul wrote his first letter to them and brought up the subject of the Lord’s supper or evening meal. It was in order to help them discern the Lord’s body and to promote peace and unity among those Corinthian Christians that Paul drew lessons from the meaning of the Memorial emblems.—1 Cor. 1:11-13; 3:3, 4; 5:1-13; 11:17-22; 2 Cor. 12:20, 21; 13:10.
10. (a) In harmony with what illustration do the members of the remnant not fight with one another? (b) How do they and will they yet get along with the other sheep?
10 The members of the human body do not fight with one another but work unitedly for the body’s physical health and preservation. The true members of Christ’s body do not succumb to the selfish, disunifying influence of Satan and this world and fight among themselves. Nor do they fight the other sheep of the Lord. As the remnant today partake of the one Memorial loaf, they discern that they are one body under Jesus Christ the Head and are dying the one death with him in vindication of Jehovah. So they keep filled with the unifying spirit of God and together they hold fast to their Head Jesus Christ and so worship, study and serve God in unbreakable unity and peace and mutual love. They recognize the other sheep whom their Lord Jesus Christ has now made one flock with them, and they lovingly serve the interests of his earthly sheep. The other sheep respond to such loving-kindness. Together, they and the remnant work to keep it “one flock” under the one Right Shepherd. Under the Shepherd’s protection and guidance they will pass through the final war of Armageddon together and enter upon the eternal destinies which await them in the radiant new world of clean, everlasting living. It is with this bright prospect in view that they come together this year on Thursday, April 10, after 6 p.m., Standard Time, for the celebration of the Memorial meal.