The Continual Observances and the Keeping of the Lord's Supper

by Dr. Ken Matto

Let us do an inclusive search on some of the words which denote continuity, even eternity which would be a stronger word than continually.

Let us start with "Olam." This word is used to denote "eternity or something everlasting." It is used 438 times in the Old Testament. In fact one of the names for God is "El Olam." The following are representative verses but all the other ones can be looked up.

(Gen 48:3-4 KJV) And Jacob said unto Joseph, God Almighty appeared unto me at Luz in the land of Canaan, and blessed me, {4} And said unto me, Behold, I will make thee fruitful, and multiply thee, and I will make of thee a multitude of people; and will give this land to thy seed after thee for an everlasting possession.

This is a key verse concerning everlasting. God is going to give the land to the descendants of Jacob forever. Is there not a future destruction of the earth and heavens declared in the Bible? Yes there is, so then how could there be an everlasting possession of land when the earth is going to be destroyed? The everlasting possession of land is speaking of the inheritance of the believers who will receive eternal life in Christ.

(Exo 12:14 KJV) And this day shall be unto you for a memorial; and ye shall keep it a feast to the LORD throughout your generations; ye shall keep it a feast by an ordinance for ever.

Here is the command for the children of Israel to keep the Passover Eternally! How could they do that? (1 Cor 5:7 KJV) Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us:

(Exo 29:9 KJV) And thou shalt gird them with girdles, Aaron and his sons, and put the bonnets on them: and the priest's office shall be theirs for a perpetual statute: and thou shalt consecrate Aaron and his sons.

Here is another use of Olam denoting an eternal priesthood of Aaron. How could this be an eternal priesthood if eventually the Aaronic priesthood is going to be done away with when salvation by Grace enters the picture more fully, plus the destruction of the temple where the place of sacrifices were done? The eternal statute of the priesthood is fulfilled in the Lord Jesus Christ.

(Exo 31:16 KJV) Wherefore the children of Israel shall keep the Sabbath, to observe the Sabbath throughout their generations, for a perpetual covenant.

Here is another use of Olam which commands the people of Israel to keep the Sabbath eternally. Wait a minute, the Sabbath was changed from the 7th day to the 1st day on Resurrection Sunday. How were they to keep the Sabbath eternally? The Sabbath is kept in Christ eternally.

(Lev 6:17-18 KJV) It shall not be baken with leaven. I have given it unto them for their portion of my offerings made by fire; it is most holy, as is the sin offering, and as the trespass offering. {18} All the males among the children of Aaron shall eat of it. It shall be a statute for ever in your generations concerning the offerings of the LORD made by fire: every one that toucheth them shall be holy.

This passage of Scripture speaks of the trespass and sin offering which the males shall eat eternally. Now it says that anyone who touches it shall be holy. What eternal sacrifice makes us holy? That of the Lord Jesus Christ. Now this is to be a statute throughout eternity.

We have looked briefly at the word Olam and saw that all the references point to the eternal covenant in the Lord Jesus Christ. Ceremonies which were to be perpetual among all generations, were only a type or foreshadow of the Lord Jesus Christ, to be fulfilled in Him and that is when they were to cease. The Lord Jesus is at the center of the foreshadows and any other application represents a contrived error.

(Psa 40:7 KJV) Then said I, Lo, I come: in the volume of the book it is written of me,

(Heb 10:7 KJV) Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy will, O God.


Now let us look at the word "Tamidh" which is translated "Continual and Continually." The word "Olam" is a synonym of this word. The word "adh" is also a synonym which carries the meaning of "forever and unspecified time." (Ex. 15:8) The word "alam" is also a synonym which carries the meaning of "forever or eternity." (Daniel 4:3) The word "tamidh" is then understood in the Hebrew to have an association with things eternal. When we look at the word "continually," it means continuing indefinitely without interruption. We saw with the word "Olam" that it spoke of eternity which means the ceremonies were fulfilled in the Lord Jesus Christ and that is when they were to cease, not a time before. This gives us reason for the 5 post-babylon books. The ceremonies of Israel were to be completed in the Lord Jesus. The Synagogue system was set up in Babylon during the Captivity, which means assembly did not cease, even during the time of the captivity. If the ceremonies and the assembling of the Israelites ceased permanently during the captivity, then why was a High Priest anointed and the Temple re-built? It was to continue until the time of the Lord Jesus Christ, when all would be fulfilled in Him.

Exo 29:42 KJV) This shall be a continual burnt offering throughout your generations at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation before the LORD: where I will meet you, to speak there unto thee.

(Lev 6:13 KJV) The fire shall ever be burning upon the altar; it shall never go out.

(Lev 24:2 KJV) Command the children of Israel, that they bring unto thee pure oil olive beaten for the light, to cause the lamps to burn continually.

(Num 28:3 KJV) And thou shalt say unto them, This is the offering made by fire which ye shall offer unto the LORD; two lambs of the first year without spot day by day, for a continual burnt offering.

(Num 28:10 KJV) This is the burnt offering of every sabbath, beside the continual burnt offering, and his drink offering.

These five verses project the same meaning as we saw in the verses which had “Olam.” The offerings and sacrifices were to remain in force till they were fulfilled in the Lord Jesus Christ, then they were to cease. Even though there was a breach in the temple services for the time of the Captivity, the sacrifice system was not done away with because as we see in the Post-captivity books, there was going to be a restoration of them, albeit on a different scale now.

The words “Continual and Continually” are not a threat to truth but are being used wrongfully as many other terms are in these teachings. When Israel went into captivity, the temple ceremonies had ceased for a period of time. The sacrifices were halted. But did this mean that God’s commands to keep them were rescinded? The answer is no! The reason that the sacrifices ceased during that time was because they were atoning for their sins by means of God's judgment on them. The ceremonial system was a system of typed vicarious atonement. So in essence the ceremonies continued but in a different fashion.

This shows us what will happen to those who die with no savior. They have no vicarious atonement to cover their sins, therefore, they must pay for those sins by themselves. This is what Israel was doing, paying for their own sins under the judgment of God. In essence, they became their own vicarious atonement. Then when God's period of judgment on them was over, they were once again returned to the land to continue the typed vicarious ceremonial system. They were paying for their sins themselves so the sacrificial system was still in force. If the sacrifices were paying for their sins, then they would not have too. Same thing the other way, if they were paying for their sins, then the sacrifices would not be needed. It is the salvation story written in the Old Testament. If a person does not have Christ, they pay for their own sins. If a person has Christ, then He has paid for those sins. Vicarious Atonement in the Sacrificial System-The Type. Vicarious Atonement by Christ-The Anti-Type.

Now I said all this to get to the Lord’s Supper.

(1 Cor 11:26 KJV) For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do show the Lord's death till he come. The word “till” is the Greek word “acris” which carries with it the meaning of “until, as far as, or even to.” Now when “achris” is followed by the pronoun “hou” it is used as a time period to mean “as long as” or “until.” Therefore based upon the Greek grammar in the Scriptures, this verse is commanding us to partake in the Lord’s Supper until the Lord returns.

The word “he come” is from the word “erchomai” which means “ come or appear.” So we see confirmation that we must take part in the Lord’s supper until He comes or appears. The Lord's supper is not an atonement of any kind nor is baptism. They are remembrances only. Therefore, they cannot be compared to the ceremonial sacrifices which took away sins. Both of these have absolutely no grace imparting features. The fact remains that the Greek words tell us to do this until the Lord appears. No breach in this remembrance as there was no breach in the OT system.

The two covenants must be factored in. Law and Grace must be factored in. You cannot focus on outward observance of a ritual without bringing to light the covenant it represents. I have given the reason that the sacrifices seemed to have stopped, when in essence they did not. They continually kept the sacrificial system with themselves as the sacrifice for their own sins for a period of time.

When God set up the ceremonial system, the animals were used as sacrifices to cover the sins of the people. In essence, God judged the animal for the sins of the one making the sacrifice but because of the disobedience of Israel, God was now judging them directly, without any intermediary. God was keeping the law by making a judgment for sin, the people were keeping the law by being their own sacrifice for sins.

As Christ paid for the sins of His people, there will be no breach in the keeping of the remembrances in the local church.