Harold S. Paisley
Question: Is the present fixing of dates for the return of our Lord, a new idea introduced by present day professed teachers of prophecy?
Answer: We are aware of the present date fixings concerning future events which are having an impact upon the emotions of those who are anxious to hear or tell some new thing. Fixing dates for the Lords return and the end of the world is an ancient custom. There is nothing new today but a revival of what has already been.
The year 1000 A.D. was first named as the time of Christs return. It was named "the year of terror." History records panic on earth. Estates were sold, lands untilled, thousands took refuge in caves and general chaos was seen throughout Europe. But the last day of 1000 passed and things resumed as before. Many true believers were shaken and sinners increased in iniquity.
Since then, in various centuries men have given dates for the Lords coming, the end of the world and the millennium age, but each in turn have been discredited. And so must all that exist today or arise tomorrow. The rapture of the church, the hope of the Lords coming to take His people into the air is an event which can never be reckoned or tabulated on an earthly calendar. It is a secret which belongs alone to divine persons.
The closing act of this age of grace is a dateless occasion concerning which the Lord has given no time record. It shows the character of professing teachers who would attempt to give the time or to even approximately guess when it will happen. Their ideas must end in confusion. Their actions and words disclose their ignorance of Gods precious word and of the Son of His love. The Lords own word "surely I come quickly" (Rev. 22:17) is the very latest information we possess.
The next event will be His voice in the heavens "come up hither." He will gather in a moment all His redeemed into the midair and upward to the Fathers house, all at home in His presence. "So shall we ever be with the Lord."
We would add the injunction "every one that hath this hope set upon Him purifieth himself even as He is pure" (1 John 3:3).
Question: Should one give thanks for "the wine" or "the cup at the Lords Supper?
Answer: To answer this important question which concerns Godly order in the assembly of the saints, we must consider the actual institution of the Lords supper by the Lord Himself. In Matthew 26:27, we read of the Lord Jesus taking the cup and after giving it to the disciples, saying "drink ye all of it." Here the cup stands by metonym, for its contents, the wine which is the symbol of His precious blood. The cup is (represents) the new covenant and this covenant is ratified and sealed by the blood of our Lord Jesus Christ who gave up His life in atoning sacrifice.
The cup that the Lord took was not identical with the covenant, even as the bread was not identical with His body. Both are but a means of commemoration and remembrance. One might add that the wondrous truth embodied in the new covenant is the free bestowment of eternal life through the death of Gods only Son and granted in response to faith. With these great and important facts before the heart, any exercised brother will desire to follow the blessed example of the Lord Himself and give thanks to God for the cup on behalf of the whole company who can then say "Amen" at his giving of thanks.