Harold S. Paisley
Question: In speaking of the Lords Supper being celebrated, how should such a gathering be termed?
Answer: It has been designated as "the worship meeting," "the Feast of Remembrance," and "the "meeting for the breaking of bread."
It is a safe guide to consider such a gathering recorded at Troas. In Acts 20:7, we read that "Upon the first day of the week...the disciples came together to break bread." It follows therefore that it would be Scriptureal language to speak of "The Breaking of Bread meeting." It is indeed a worship meeting, as with the bread and cup before us on the table, hearts are drawn to the cross to consider in our souls the sufferings endured by our blessed Lord on our account, and His willingness to offer Himself without spot to God. This is an occasion above all others, when our hearts moved by His love, go out to God in true adoration, praise and worship. But all the gatherings of saints should have worship. For instance when gathered to pray for the many needs of the assembly, the gospel, the sick, the aged, our families and special needs, our souls have first of all approached the Father of mercies with thanksgiving for His grace and kindness from conversions happy day and our hearts have ascended to Him in overflowing praise, producing worship. It is therefore evident that all gatherings of the assembly should have times of worship, so to designate any as "the worship meeting" would not be correct.
Regarding describing the Breaking of Bread as a feast, such is never found in Scripture. It would seem otherwise to some readers of 1 Cor. 5:8, "Let us keep the feast" applying the statement to the Lords Supper. The feast here however, has reference to the believers life, which is to be kept free from leaven of sin, a cast back to the Feast of Unleavened Bread (Lev. 23:6). Some excellent hymns refer to the Lords Supper as a feast but it is only in hymnology we find this suggested, without sanction from the Word of God.
Question: Are the words "wake or sleep" in 1 Thess. 5:10 describing the two classes of believers "the dead in Christ" and those that are "alive and remain" (1 Thess. 4:16,17)?
Answer: It is evident that the word "sleep" in the first verse mentioned in the question, is a different word from that which is used of the "falling asleep" of the believer at death (Acts 7:60, 13:36, I Thess. 4:13). The meaning of the term "wake or sleep" is "watch or slumber." Paul is teaching that all living believers in Christ will share alike in being with Him in the Glory, and none will be left for wrath, as some assert unwatchful ones may be. "For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ" (I Thess. 5:9).
Question: Help would be appreciated to understand the term "Quench not the Spirit" (I Thess. 5:19). Is this one of the causes of spiritual poverty in assembly gatherings today?
Answer: The connection in which these solemn words are found, followed immediately by another short expression "Despise not prophesyings," indicate that it is in the assembly of the Lords people, when gathered together, where such a thing is possible. The Holy Spirit may be quenched by withholding what the Lord would have us contribute, and in others, by criticizing or despising a God-given ministry. We do believe that such a spirit produces spiritual poverty, lack of freshness in ministry, and manifested barrenness.