House Assemblies, and the Breaking of Bread

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Recommended before reading this study,

Humility and Sell All Your Possessions and Properties

The assemblies in the time of the apostles sold all their possessions and properties,

They sold their property and possessions and shared the money with those in need. (Acts 2:45 [NLT])

that there were no needy persons among them. For from time to time those who owned land or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales and put it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to anyone who had need. (Acts 4:34-35 [NIV])

Because it coincided with these sayings of Jesus Christ,

Jesus answered, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” (Matthew 19:21 [NIV])

When Jesus heard his answer, he said, “There is still one thing you haven’t done. Sell all your possessions and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” (Luke 18:22 [NLT])

Looking at the man, Jesus felt genuine love for him. “There is still one thing you haven’t done,” he told him. “Go and sell all your possessions and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” (Mark 10:21 [NLT])

For selling all possessions and properties is the ultimate act of humility,

Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you. (James 4:10 [ESV])

if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land. (2 Chronicles 7:14 [NIV])

For the LORD, who is high and lifted up, looks upon the humble, but the proud he does not know.
(Psalm 138:6 [JB2000])

That is required for anyone to become a follower of Jesus Christ,

So therefore every one of you who does not give up all that he himself possesses, is not able to be My disciple. (Luke 14:33 [BLB])

And after selling all properties, those in the assemblies either went city to city to proclaim the gospel in synagogues and public squares, to eventually teach in the houses of whoever favorably received them,

Whatever house you enter, first say, ‘Peace be to this house!’ And if a son of peace is there, your peace will rest upon him. But if not, it will return to you. And remain in the same house, eating and drinking what they provide, for the laborer deserves his wages. Do not go from house to house. Whenever you enter a town and they receive you, eat what is set before you.  (Luke 10:5-8 [ESV])

As was his custom, Paul went into the synagogue, and on three Sabbath days he reasoned with them from the Scriptures, (Acts 17:2 [NIV])

While the man held on to Peter and John, all the people were astonished and came running to them in the place called Solomon’s Colonnade. When Peter saw this, he said to them: “Fellow Israelites, why does this surprise you? Why do you stare at us as if by our own power or godliness we had made this man walk? (Acts 3:11-12 [NIV])

When Apollos wanted to go to Achaia, the brothers and sisters encouraged him and wrote to the disciples there to welcome him. When he arrived, he was a great help to those who by grace had believed. For he vigorously refuted his Jewish opponents in public debate, proving from the Scriptures that Jesus was the Messiah. (Acts 18:27-28 [NIV])

Or lived in temporary houses, which is evidenced with Paul renting a house for a time,

And Paul stayed a whole space of two years in his own hired house, and gladly received all the ones entering to him, (Acts 28:30 [ABP])

And because no other place of worship has been specifically designated by God for worship, other than the tabernacle after the deliverance from Egypt, or the temple in Jerusalem,

then to the place that the LORD your God will choose, to make his name dwell there, there you shall bring all that I command you: your burnt offerings and your sacrifices, your tithes and the contribution that you present, and all your finest vow offerings that you vow to the LORD. (Deuteronomy 12:11 [NIV])

Our ancestors worshiped on this mountain, but you Jews claim that the place where we must worship is in Jerusalem… “Woman,” Jesus replied, “believe me, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem… Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks.
(John 4:20-24 [NIV])

Our ancestors had the tabernacle of the covenant law with them in the wilderness. It had been made as God directed Moses, according to the pattern he had seen. (Acts 7:44 [NIV])

Then he called for his son Solomon and charged him to build a house for the LORD, the God of Israel. (1 Chronicles 22:6 [NIV])

The assemblies did not construct buildings specifically for the assembling of the brethren, especially after selling their own properties to humble themselves, which is why in relation to the command that the Passover must be observed in houses,

Speak unto all the congregation of Israel, saying, In the tenth day of this month let each man take a lamb according to the families of the fathers, a lamb per family; and if the household is too small and is not able to eat the lamb, let him and his neighbour next unto his house take it according to the number of persons; each one according to his eating shall make your count for the lamb… it is the LORD’s passover. (Exodus 12:3-11 [JB2000])

The brethren thus assembled in their houses,

and Apphia the beloved, and Archippus our fellow-soldier, and the assembly in thy house: (Philemon 1:2 [YLT])
 salute ye those in Laodicea — brethren, and Nymphas, and the assembly in his house; (Colossians 4:15 [YLT])
and the assembly at their house; salute Epaenetus, my beloved, who is first-fruit of Achaia to Christ. (Romans 16:5 [YLT])
Salute you do the assemblies of Asia; salute you much in the Lord do Aquilas and Priscilla, with the assembly in their house; (1 Corinthians 16:19 [YLT])

Because since Jesus Christ became the actual true Passover lamb that the command of the Passover foreshadowed,

Get rid of the old yeast, so that you may be a new unleavened batch–as you really are. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed. (1 Corinthians 5:7 [NIV])

And instituted the “breaking of bread” in remembrance of him, otherwise called “Lord’s Supper”,  at the final Passover he observed,

And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.” (Luke 22:19 [NIV])

For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes. (1 Corinthians 11:26 [NIV])

The Passover that was once observed in houses, then became the breaking of bread that was subsequently also observed in houses, whereas as opposed to an annual observation of the Passover, the breaking of bread was then observed every time the brethren assembled, which was daily or as often as they could, hence,

Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, (Acts 2:46 [NIV])

They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. (Acts 2:42 [NIV])

And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near. (Hebrews 10:25 [NLT])

Which is why Paul gave specific instructions that when bread was broken every time they assembled, which was done in their houses, that they should all wait for one another to eat together,

When therefore you assemble yourselves together, it is not the Lord’s supper that you eat. For in your eating each one takes his own supper first. One is hungry, and another is drunken.
 (1 Corinthians 11:20-21 [WEB])

Therefore, my brothers, when you come together to eat, wait for one another. But if anyone is hungry, let him eat at home, lest your coming together be for judgment. The rest I will set in order whenever I come. (1 Corinthians 11:33-34 [WEB])

Where the bread must be one loaf of unleavened bread that is broken for each in the assembly,

The bread that we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ? Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body, for we all partake of the one bread. (1 Corinthians 10:16-17 [ESV])

And the wine must be in one cup that each in the assembly drinks from,

The cup of blessing that we bless, is it not a participation in the blood of Christ?… (1 Corinthians 10:16 [ESV])

As such, the assembling of the brethren ought to be done in houses, assembling daily or as often as possible, with the breaking of bread observed at every assembling, as was originally done at the assemblies of the apostles. Every assembling should also be accompanied by the washing of feet, as a sign of humility,

Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. (John 13:14 [NIV])

and having a reputation for good works: if she has brought up children, has shown hospitality, has washed the feet of the saints, has cared for the afflicted, and has devoted herself to every good work. (1 Timothy 5:10 [ESV])