The Lord’s Supper and the New Covenant

by Pastor J. C. O'Hair

For more articles by Pastor J. C. O'Hair, visit the J. C. O'Hair Online Library.

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A further word concerning the teaching that the members of the Body of Christ are not to observe the Lord’s Supper during this dispensation of grace, because of the words of the Lord Jesus, in Matthew 26:28, and the word’s of the Apostle Paul, in I Corinthians 11:25, first we quote these two verses

“This is my blood of the New Testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.”

“After the same manner also He took the cup, when He had supped, saying, This cup is the New Testament in my blood; this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me.”

Now the argument of these teachers is, that the New Covenant of Jeremiah 31:31 to 35 and Hebrews 8, is for the house of Israel, and not for the Church, designated “the Body of Christ” in Colossians and Ephesians, which Body cannot be scripturally called, “The New Testament Church”. Therefore, the members of that Body have no obligation to the Lord’s Supper which is strictly a New Testament ordinance.

We have called attention to the fact that water baptism for Israel, as preached and practiced by John the Baptist and the disciples of the Lord while He was on earth, was unto repentance for the remission of sins; and that Christ might be made manifest to Israel. Mark 1:4, John 1:31. This water ceremony was taught and practiced with the proclamation of John the Baptist and the disciples of Christ; “the kingdom of heaven is at hand”. After Christ spoke of His rejection, in Luke 12:49 to 52, and referred to His death as a “baptism”, He instructed His apostles to tell no man that He was the Messiah. Matthew 16:20. After the twelfth chapter of Luke there is no record of the practice of water baptism until the day of Pentecost, at which time God began anew with Israel, because of Christ’s prayer. Luke 23:34. This rescinded the orders of Matthew 16:20. Read Acts 2:36. But water baptism was still linked with faith as a pre-requisite for salvation and the Holy Spirit; Mark 16:16 and Acts 2:38; whereas the Lord’s Supper speaks of Christ’s finished work called a baptism.

It was after Christ was rejected as King of Israel and referred to His death as a “baptism” that He sat at the table with His apostles and said, “this is the New Covenant in my blood: Luke 22:20. Paul preached in his grace message to Gentiles the “death baptism” of Christ and the believer. Romans 6:3. But Christ sent Paul not to baptize with water. I Corinthians 1:17.

In the Epistle to the Hebrews the benefits and blessings, belonging to the people of God, are all because of the blood of the New Covenant. Therefore, if one teaches that members of the Body of Christ are not to partake of the Lord’s Supper, because it is associated with the blood of the New Covenant, to be consistent, he must teach that no member of the Body of Christ is a partaker of any of the spiritual blessings in the Epistle to the Hebrews. Therefore, the believer who is in the Body of Christ cannot draw nigh to God in full assurance of faith; Christ has not opened up for him the new and living way; Christ is not appearing in heaven in the presence of God for him; Christ is not saving him to the uttermost for He is not living to intercede far him; the believer is not a partaker of Christ or His holiness; for all of the ministry of Christ, and all of these blessings for the believer, in Hebrews, have to do with the blood of the New Covenant;

On the same exegesis, offered for the elimination of the Lord’s Supper for this age, the believer today cannot claim for himself anything in the tenth chapter of Hebrews, because there we have the climax of the arguments for the better things of the New Covenant. “By the which will we are sanctified by the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all”; and our sins and iniquities remembered no more forever.

This is only the beginning of the far-reaching damage that is done by the fanciful and unsound exegesis employed by some very godly men in trying to get out of the spiritual program of the Body of Christ this Christ-given memorial which they call a “Jewish ordinance.”

We again call your attention to the two statements of Paul recorded in I Corinthians 11:23 and in I Corinthians 1:17. And remember these words in I Corinthians 12:2, “ye were Gentiles.” Just the same statement found in Ephesians 2:11. In I Corinthians 11:23, Paul explains how Christ, by revelation, gave him the “Supper”. In I Corinthians 1:17, Paul explains that he was not sent to baptize. This should convince any student of the Word of God concerning the difference between baptism and the Lord’s Supper in the ministry of Paul; the difference between these so-called ordinances in the spiritual program of Gentiles which believed. We have called attention to the likeness of the language of I Corinthians 11:23 and 15:3. Paul received the Gospel, with signs, by revelation. He likewise received the Lord’s Supper, with signs, by revelation. I Corinthians 11:23 to 32. If the Lord’s Supper ceased to have a place in the program of the Body of Christ, after the “Acts” period closed, because the “judgment signs” ceased, by the same argument, the Gospel ceased at the same time, because of the cessation of the signs mentioned by Paul in Romans 15:19 Galatians 3:5 and I Corinthians 12:8 to 11. The brethren, to whom we refer, teach that the signs which accompanied the “grace” message during the “Acts” period ceased with the close of that period, but that Paul continued to preach the same gospel, without signs. Then the Lord’s Supper did not have to cease because the signs of I Corinthians 11:26 to 31 were no longer manifested.

By comparing II Corinthians 3:6 with II Corinthians 4:4 and II Corinthians 5:17 to 21, we learn that Paul, the able minister of the New Covenant was, also during the “Acts” period, the preacher of the “gospel of glory” and the “gospel of reconciliation”, both of which are mentioned in connection with “the mystery” of the “post-Acts” period. I Timothy 1:11 and Colossians 1:20.


We have mentioned two reasons offered by those who would rule the Lord’s Supper out of the spiritual program of the Body of Christ as “undispensational”; namely, because they say it was instituted as a New Covenant ordinance, which Covenant is for Israel, and because the Divine judgments of Corinthians 11:26 to 32 have not been visited upon unworthy communicants since the, close of Acts. The reason offered by a few men is that the exact manner in which the bread and cup are to be served and by whom is not clearly stated; therefore, the socalled ordinance is not for us. This is too absurd for comments. By the same argument no group of Christians would have any Scriptural authority for any order of Sunday “church” services, the employment of a pastor, the organization and administration of a Sunday School or government of an assembly by a “church” board, But we continue to open with hymns and prayer and then proceed to read the Word and, preach or teach. What Scripture gives this order?

But the two other reasons presented are; first, because of the meaning of “till He come” of I Corinthians 11:26, and second, the relation of Church-members of the “Acts” period to the Abrahamic Covenant.

Just a line or two concerning “till He come.” These brethren claim that members of the Body of Ephesians and Colossians were not to expect the Lord to come; for they had no such hope. They differentiate between the coming of the Lord, the hope during the “Acts” period, and the “appearing in glory with Christ”, the hope of the “Post-Acts” Church. We showed in a former message that the two Churches were waiting for the same day of the Lord Jesus. I Corinthians 1:7 and 8 and Philippians 1:6.

Now concerning the “Post-Acts” Church, the Body, and the Abrahamic Covenant, the claim is that Abraham is not the father of members of the Body, of Ephesians and Colossians, as he was of the church-members of the “Acts” period. Romans 4:14 to 17. They claim that the hope of that Church was “celestial” whereas, the hope of the “Post-Acts” Church, of which we are members, is “super-celestial”. The Abrahamic Covenant covered Gentile salvation and Gentile membership, with Israel, in the “Acts” Church until Israel was set aside, with the Divine judgment of Acts 28:25 to 28.

These brethren, who follow the teachings of Mr. Charles Welch, state that members of the Church of God, during the “Acts” period, were the children of Abraham, blessed with faithful Abraham; and that their hope was linked up with Abraham’s and Israel’s hope. Galatians 3:7, Galatians 3:9 and Galatians 3:29. Abraham’s hope, according to Hebrews 11:10, Hebrews 12:22, Hebrews 13:14, Galatians 4:21, was the heavenly city which is to descend according to Revelation 21:10. This city is for Covenant people. Inasmuch as the members of the Body of Ephesians and Colossians had been strangers from the covenants of promise, they were not blessed under the terms of the Abrahamic Covenant, with father Abraham, or under any other covenant, but were blessed according to the eternal purpose of God in Christ. Ephesians 2:11, Ephesians 3:11. Eternal life, according to God’s grace and purpose, was given, before Abraham or Adam, to members of the Body: hence “the mystery”. II Timothy 1:9, Ephesians 1:4, Titus 1:2, Ephesians 3:3 and Colossians 1:24 to 27. These saints, whose citizenship is in heaven, have more than the “heavenly city” hope of Abraham. Their citizenship is in heaven and they are not to reach the New Jerusalem with Abraham and Israel, but have already a super-heavenly position in Christ, “far above”, with the promise of appearing with Him in glory. They are to reign in glory with Christ, in a super-heavenly realm. The rapture of the Church of God which is to reach the New Jerusalem, is in I Thessalonians 4:13 to 18 and I Corinthians 15:51 to 54. The hope of the members of the “Post-Acts” Church is an “out-resurrection from among the dead”, the blessed hope. Philippians 3:11; Titus 2:13, Philippians 3:20 and 21. This may, or may not, be called a rapture: the brethren are divided.

While the Lord does want us to distinguish between the things that differ and we do want to carry “dispensationalism” as far as the Holy Spirit has carried it in the Scriptures, yet we want to stop short of fantastic speculation. There is a difference between the counsel of God connected with the Abrahamic Covenant and the eternal purpose of God in Christ. Hebrews 6:17, Acts 20:27, Ephesians 3:11. We should distinguish between this counsel and purpose. And certainly, any honest, intelligent, spiritual, student of the Scriptures will distinguish between the “sign” program of “Acts” and the “signless” program thereafter and should easily see the change in “administration” after Acts 28:25 to 28. But because the “parousia” (presence), of Christ did not take place before Acts 28:25 to 28, there is no Scripture to prove that the “coming” of Christ has no meaning to the Body of the “Post-Acts” period. “Till He come”, we are to show forth His death. This word come is not “parousia”. Both at the “parousia” and the appearing the Lord is to judge the living and the dead. II Timothy 4:1, Acts 10:38 to 44, I Peter. 4:5.

We are told also that we have no responsibility concerning the Lord’s Table, because Israel will eat at that Table in the Kingdom. That will not be “till He come”, but after He has come. Hence this has nothing to do with the instruction to believers in I Corinthians 11:23. If I Thessalonians 4:13 to 18 is the rapture of tribulation saints and is, the coming of Christ, referred to in I Corinthians 11:26, “till He come”, then we should be able to find in the Scriptures where Israel and Gentiles will be partaking of the Lord’s Supper during the tribulation, while waiting for the rapture. But, where is such information? Eating at a table in the coming; kingdom is not shewing the Lord’s death “till He come.”

Whatever interpretation and application: we may give to Galatians 3:9, as to how members of the Body of Christ may, or may not, be blessed with faithful Abraham, it is note worthy and significant that the blessings of saved Gentiles, mentioned in the Epistle to the Galatians, had to do with uncircumcised Abram, the Gentile, and not with circumcised Abraham. The Holy Spirit calls our attention to the 430 years from the call of Abram, in uncircumcision, to the giving of the law.

Again we say, if we are to eliminate the Lord’s Supper because we have no relations whatever to Abram, then it is optional with us as to any obedience to the instructions to the Body of Romans contained in the Epistle of the Romans, because the members of the Body, in Romans 12:5 were linked up to Abraham and we are not. By such reasoning, or lack of it, we could relegate to the “Acts” dispensation, to a Church that has ceased to be, such truths of Galatians, Thessalonians, Corinthians and Romans as we elect. And as there is uncertainty concerning Timothy, since there is a Mediator between God and men, that Epistle might likewise be ruled out of this dispensation. The exegesis that rules out the Lord’s Supper, because of, its, relation to the blood of the New Covenant and the Abrahamic Covenant, rules out Christ as Advocate for members of the Body of Christ. This same unsound exegesis rules out of John 17 any benefit for members of the Body in the prayer of Christ; No High Priest, no Advocate, no Intercessor, no message from John’s Gospel. Peter’s Epistle’s are not addressed to us. The Body of Romans is not the Body of Ephesians and where shall we end? Better go slowly, brethren. You might find yourself with only a dozen chapters left.

The brethren who are going to these extreme views are but hindering the already difficult task of getting believers to obey Ephesians 3:9.

For more articles by Pastor J. C. O'Hair, visit the J. C. O'Hair Online Library.