Question: Can we forbid “outside” brothers from preaching at will in our meetings?
Answer: We should pray and ask God to stop the disenchanted ones in the denominations from coming into our midst. We are not for numbers. We should deal seriously with this matter so that the disenchanted ones in the denominations will not come and express anything in our meetings.
Question: Who should prepare the bread for the bread-breaking meeting?
Answer: According to the Bible, the preparation of the bread should be done by the deacons. There is no difference between a deacon and a deaconess; either a deacon or a deaconess can prepare the bread.
Question: Should the bread and the cup used in the bread-breaking meeting be covered with a piece of cloth, and should the table also be covered with a tablecloth?
Answer:The practice of covering the cup and the bread with a piece of cloth is a Catholic tradition. The Catholics think that if they do not cover them, they will not be holy. But according to 1 Corinthians 11, it is wrong to cover them. The breaking of bread is a display of the Lord’s death; it is for exhibiting the Lord’s death, and it is a testimony. Why then should it be covered? As to the tablecloth, there is complete liberty as to what one wants to do. If the table is not too clean, it is all right to cover it with a tablecloth.
Question: If it is a biblical teaching for the sisters to cover their head, why do we not practice kissing each other with a holy kiss since the latter is also a biblical command?
Answer: The Bible says that we should kiss each other with a holy kiss (1 Cor. 16:20); it does not charge believers to merely kiss each other. The command of the Bible is that if anyone greets another with a kiss, the kiss should be holy. God’s command is that when we kiss, we have to be holy. He has not charged us merely to kiss. Neither have the apostles charged everyone to kiss. Kissing can very easily become unholy; therefore, there is the charge to kiss with a holy kiss. If anyone were to ask me whether we should kiss, I would say we should. But the Bible also tells us that if we kiss, we have to be holy. The emphasis of this command is to be holy and not just to kiss. If one kisses, he should be holy. Provided we are holy, I believe it is right for us to practice this biblical command—to kiss each other.
As to the sisters covering their heads, there are many benefits to the practice. In the meetings, the sisters should have the sign of submission to authority for the sake of the angels (11:10). In the original language, the word authority in 1 Corinthians 11:10 refers to a positional authority. It is a positional authority because Satan was also an angel. The first sin of Satan was his “self”; that was the cause of his fall. When his self was expressed, he overturned God’s authority and rebelled against God. The most amazing thing in the universe is authority. We must see that God works through authority. He upholds the universe with His word. The name of Christ is authority. God has placed Satan under His own authority, yet Satan overturned this authority. The great dragon mentioned in Revelation is the old serpent; he dragged along with him one third of the stars of heaven (12:4). This means that Satan led one third of the angels in heaven to rebel against God and overturn God’s sovereign rule. This is known throughout the universe. This is the story of the first introduction of sin into the universe.
How did sin come into the world the second time? It came in through Eve. God created Eve and ordained that Adam should be the head of Eve. Paul said in 1 Timothy that it was not Adam who was deceived, but Eve (2:14). Therefore, the sin in the garden of Eden was the same sin that Satan committed. This sin came in when the woman rebelled against Adam, the head, and did something before she was approved by Adam. Therefore, sin comes from insubordination to authority; sin is lawlessness.
Because both Satan and Eve fell this way, God ordained that there should be a sign on the head of the woman as a symbol of submission for the sake of the angels. This is a testimony before the angels, showing the angels that we will not do what Eve did at the beginning. Of course, many sisters cannot take this. This is the greatest test to the sisters. If the flesh is willing to be judged, everything is all right. Today, we will mention the head covering only in relationship to authority. There are other aspects of head covering which we will not cover today. In the garden of Eden, the woman refused to remain in her position. Today in the church, our sisters should be faithful to remain in their own position.
Question: Should we tell the sisters who have cut their hair to cover their head?
Answer: These minor questions are a great test to our conscience. First, we should exhort the sisters who want to cut their hair to keep their hair. If they intend to cut it, we do not have to advise them to cover their head anymore because they have clearly given up the glory which God gives to them. There are two coverings for the sisters: One is a natural covering, and the other is a symbolic covering. If a woman gives up her natural covering, the symbolic covering will be completely useless to her. The symbol on the head must be put on willingly.
Question: When a brother prays or preaches on the street, should he take off his hat?
Answer: According to my personal experience, every time I pray, I take off my hat. I feel that if I do not take off my hat, I am shaming my head. But this does not mean that God will not hear us if our brothers pray with their heads covered and our sisters pray with their heads uncovered. Our prayer and prophesying are particularly related to the angels and the spiritual realm. Therefore, personally, I feel that the brothers should not cover their head. Even when we are preaching to someone on the street, it is related to the spiritual realm; as such, it is not that proper to keep our hat on.
Question: What is the difference between preaching and prophesying?
Answer: All those who can preach edifying messages may not be prophets. A prophet is able not only to edify others, but also to foretell. A prophet is able not only to declare God’s will, but also to foretell.
Question: What should we do with the bread and grape juice after the bread-breaking meeting?
Answer: They can be consumed by one or two brothers, or they can be burned in the fire.
Question: In breaking the bread, should we break some off from the whole piece, or can we eat from the crumbs on the plate?
Answer: Both are all right; there is no difference between the two. They are all from the same piece of bread.