Feed My Lambs


Since Jesus loves little children, and Jesus is the Great Shepherd, our little children must therefore be His lambs.

About whom was Jesus speaking  when He asked Peter to feed his “lambs”? John 21 is used in support of the practice of paedocommunion, but such an argument sees only what it is looking for. If we allow the passage to speak for itself, what is it saying?

Tim Gallant, a friend and scholar who is the author of Feed My Lambs: Why The Lord’s Table Should Be Restored to Covenant Children, writes:

Paedocommunion is the practice of giving the Lord’s Supper to baptized children. Such children participate apart from a coming-of-age ritual such as confirmation or profession of faith…

Rather surprisingly, many who hold to infant baptism reject paedocommunion. They suggest that baptism and the Lord’s Supper are radically different in kind. Biblically speaking, however the two are tied very closely together. Baptism incorporates one into Christ and His Church (1 Corinthians 12:13). Meanwhile, the Lord’s Supper is precisely the meal of the Church. The Church is the one body together precisely because it partakes of the one bread together (1 Corinthians 10:16–17).

Tim is correct in his statement that the sacraments, baptism and table, are not radically different in kind. Paedobaptists who do not allow their baptised infants access to the table have a lot of explaining to do. While I agree with their reasons for refusing access to young children, they are not being consistent since they give them access to baptism. Baptism and table do belong together. The problem with paedocommunionists is that they unite the sacraments at the wrong end of the process of conversion.1More on this “process” in the next post.

Since there is no support for paedobaptism in the New Testament (despite some wishful claims to the contrary), its proponents make their arguments from the Old Testament. The problem is that they only see what they are looking for, and all the evidence to the contrary in the Old Testament Scriptures is overlooked or ignored. Rather than allowing the texts to speak to them, they do what the worst Bible teachers do and pick out support for what they already “know.”

Beginning with Jesus, baptism painted a big red target on the one baptised, placing the baptizand directly in the cross hairs of the world, the flesh and the devil.

What is a lamb?

Since Jesus loves little children, and Jesus is the Great Shepherd, our little children must therefore be His lambs. We can imagine nothing more comforting than our infants safe in the arms of Jesus. But nothing could be further from the truth. Beginning with Jesus, baptism did not put anyone in safe arms. Instead, it painted a big red target on the one baptised, placing the baptizand directly in the cross hairs of the world, the flesh and the devil.

Paedobaptists see Jesus’ blessing of children as proof for paedobaptism, but it is in fact the opposite. Jesus was the baptised one because He was not a ravenous wolf like Cain but a lamb like Abel. Jesus could bless the children because He would bear the curse coming upon them as their guardian. What does He say?

“See that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I tell you that in heaven their angels always see the face of my Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 18:10)

This verse does not say that the children of Israel were “sons of God.” Paedobaptists will twist any text that involves children to fit their paradigm, and miss what the text is actually saying. He is threatening those who would harm even infants in their quest for power, noting that these were under the protection of angelic guardians like the Angel of Passover who took vengeance upon Egypt for the slaughter of the Hebrew children. It is not the infants who see the face of God, but the sons of God, those invested with authority to represent heaven on earth. The lost sheep on earth are not the sacrificial lambs which ascend to heaven. The sons of Abraham (or you) are not the sons of God. Circumcision of flesh only pictures circumcision of heart. Any claim otherwise is Judaistic and potentially demonic.

Jesus blessed the children because He was not a king like the Herods. He was a priest-king, and His baptism was a sacrificial washing, preparing Him to be offered. It was His baptism which set Him on a path to depose the Herods, and it would result in bloodshed that would touch every Israelite. True baptism is about an authority which comes only after humiliation, the only kind of authority which comes from God. All else is a demonic grasp for power like that committed in Eden.

The authority which comes through baptism is Covenantal, but the Old Covenant only gave us types of this kind of power. Baptism is about the authority to bind or loose, curse or bless, not only on earth but in heaven, since it comes from the heavenly Father and not our earthly fathers. Paedobaptism is all about being bound like Isaac under a Covenant made with earthly fathers. Seen in the light of the New Covenant, the practice is carnal, cultic, and exactly the sort of thing which had the apostles spitting fire to preserve the Church from elitist, Judaistic doctrines.

A lamb is not a little child. A lamb was a blameless mediator whose blood would be spilled. When Jesus said “Feed my lambs,” He was not talking about Christian parenting. Jesus was talking about martyrdom, the shedding of the blood of men and women who would testify for Him and die as He did. To take these words and twist them to support paedosacraments is to undermine the entire point of Pentecost and the apostolic witness, and indeed the ministry of all the prophets through the ages, beginning with Abel, the first priest murdered by a godless king.

A New Covenant lamb is a mediator between heaven and earth, that is, a human sacrifice. A paedobaptistic ecclesiology is exactly the kind of kingdom offered by Satan to the Jewish leaders, and by Satan to Adam. It was also offered by Satan to Christ shortly after His baptism, but Jesus knew who His real Father was, and His circumcised heart continued to please Him.

A blameless death

Much commentary on Jesus’ words in John 21 misses the meaning of the passage because it is not taken it in its entirety. Certainly, Jesus lived in a generation where literacy was not enjoyed by everyone, so the teaching of the apostles was crucial. But this teaching was not the end but the means. It is clear from what follows that Jesus is asking Peter to fatten the believers for the coming slaughter, the “tribulation of the saints” which would come before the end of the age, the conclusion of the Old Covenant era with its Temple and animal sacrifices.

Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep. Truly, truly, I say to you, when you were young, you used to dress yourself and walk wherever you wanted, but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will dress you and carry you where you do not want to go.” (This he said to show by what kind of death he was to glorify God.) And after saying this he said to him, “Follow me.” (John 21:17-19)

Both baptism and table are sacrificial in nature, and the institution of these sacraments by Jesus as continued “memorials” of the death and resurrection of Christ was foundational to the end of the Old Covenant. Why is this? Because baptism and table replaced the ministry of the Temple.

The saints indeed did greater works than Jesus, by multiplying the ministry of the cross.

The sacrifice of “blameless” animals was no longer required because there was now a blameless man. Not only that, but those who believed in Him were also considered blameless, without spot or wrinkle, by God, and thus considered to be acceptable sacrifices. Baptism and the table, the water and the blood, were not only for the cleansing of the priests. The sacrificial animals also had “access” to the Laver. The animals stood in for the priests just as the slaughter of animals stood in for Adam. The Laver is only for mediators.

Jesus spoke these words to Peter after His resurrection. When He said “Follow me” He quite obviously required a voluntary response. Moreover, it is Jesus Himself, as the Angel of the Lord, who swings the sickle in Revelation 14, harvesting the saints — those who ate His flesh and drank His blood — as a great body of grain and grapes, flesh and blood. Through the ministry of the twelve, the Lord’s Table was measured out across the entire “four cornered” Land of Israel, and the blood flowed from the winepress like a river and became a sea, up to the bridles of the horses of the Herodian Pharaohs.

As the blood of Christ rent the Veil, so the blood of the prophets would rend not only the Temple, but also the city and the Land. The saints indeed did greater works than Jesus, by multiplying the ministry of the cross.

What is the Table?

The continued need of my Federal Vision friends to explain the meaning of “the table” feels more like a shell game than the Lord’s Supper. It is a nebulous cloud of “meaning” where it is impossible to put one’s finger on the actual meaning. Apparently these is so much going on that it defies a simple explanation. However, the more complex something is, the more likely it is to be contrived. And sacramentalism is entirely contrived.

What is the meaning of the table? We voluntarily, willingly, identify with the death and resurrection of Christ. We eat His flesh and drink His blood so that when we suffer as martyrs, it is His flesh being torn and His blood being spilled. The idea that this Table is for infants and children as “lambs” is an insult to Christians suffering around the world (regardless of whether their traditions commune children or not).

The more I think about it, the less I would be inclined to take communion at the table of a sacramental church – especially while the murder of Christians around the world keeps me in mind of what this table actually meant for Jesus and His disciples, and what it was intended to mean for us. The call to the Table is not the call to salvation, but a call to those already saved to come and die.

If someone actually finds the pea of “meaning” in this abhorrent shell game, I will be surprised. I think it has rolled under the baptismal font and will never be seen again until some iconoclast rightly tosses that Roman piece of furniture into the trash where it belongs. Baptismal fonts make me angry. What they stand for is against the fundamental tenets of the New Covenant.

But what does it mean to partake of Christ? It is more than the offerer identifying with the sacrifice by leaning his hand upon it. It is more than the priests eating of the sacrifices. It is not a call to come to Christ for salvation. It is to become a sacrifice through voluntary, public identification with Christ.

Now, one might argue that plenty of children of Christians have also been murdered. But is this the flesh and blood of the body of Christ?

What is a son?

The murder of infants is certainly tragic, but there is a reason Adam was created an adult and his willingness to obey God tested. There is a difference between the sons of men (which includes the offspring of Christians), and the sons of God, those who represent heaven on earth. Physical offspring is the “first birth” and spiritual offspring are the “second birth.” Circumcision of flesh concerned physical offspring. Circumcision of heart concerns spiritual offspring. (It amazes me that this must be explained over and over to such people of understanding. I guess that is the power of a corrupted paradigm. Whatever does not fit is rejected, even if Scriptural.) Only the second birth protects one from the second death. Members of my family and your family are not members of the family of God, not without repentance and obedient faith, anyway.2See Children of Heaven.

Thus, our children represent us in history, as God’s children (those who can hear and obey God) represent Him. As Adam represented God to his children, and also represented his children before God, He was a mediator. Thus it is not Christ’s flesh being torn in our children. It is our flesh. The circumcision of Isaac was also the cutting of the flesh of Abraham. This is why the Jews referred to themselves as the children of Abraham. It was a carnal membership, a community of sacrificial flesh protected through animal substitutes.

The baptism of Christ, however, was a step of obedience as a sacrificial washing. Like all baptisms which followed, it was an ordination for ministry, and brought a testimony of acceptance from the heavenly Father, ending the significance of both the Abrahamic lineage and the Aaronic priesthood. Christ was the “son of the herd,” an expression in the Law which is distorted in English translations.3See James B. Jordan, The Lamb of God, Part 1, Biblical Horizons No. 39.

What about Passover?

Paedocommunionists use Passover to support the access of infants and children to the Lord’s Table. The problem is that there was, and is, more than one Table in the book of Exodus.

Jesus ripped a “Levitical tithe” out of the Passover meal and lifted it to God.

The Passover separated the priestly nation of Israel from the kingdom of Egypt. The meaning of this can be traced right back to Noah’s curse upon Canaan the son of Ham.4See Cutting Off Canaan. Passover was the Table of Israel, a national feast which highlighted Israel’s identity as the shepherd nation. The Egyptians despised shepherds. Passover was about the separation of Priesthood and Kingdom, Abel and Cain. However, the Lord’s Table in Exodus 24 was about Prophecy. The architecture measured out in the children of Israel was a replica of the Tabernacle which would soon be built. All Israel was gathered at the base of the mountain and sprinkled with blood, but only Moses (as the Ark) and the elders of Israel (as the Incense Altar) ascended and dined with the Lord, whom they saw walking on a sapphire pavement, the Crystal Sea, which was the heavenly court of the angelic Sons of God.

We see the same two tables at the Last Supper. The Passover was celebrated, but after the meal, Jesus served a second one, and it was only served to these new elders who dined with Him. Just as the Firstfruits followed Passover but occurred during Unleavened Bread, so Jesus ripped a “Levitical tithe” out of the Passover meal and lifted it to God. The Passover animal could be a lamb or a kid, a priestly brother or a kingly brother, an Abel or a Cain, a Jacob or a hairy Esau, but the Firstfruits sacrifice was always a lamb, a priest who would inherit the kingdom by faith.

So what is the significance of the Lord’s supper? It is not about our offspring having Jesus as their sacrificial substitute. By dining with Jesus, the apostles partook of His ministry. Jesus turned the disciples into sacrificial lambs, men who would no longer need sacrificial substitutes, because they themselves would be blameless. For an entire generation, their blood would “fill up” the sufferings of Christ as a testimony to the Jews and then the Gentiles.

What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised— who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written, ”For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.” (Romans 8:31-36)

This leads us to the irony of the final Herodian Passovers, celebrated it seems in spite of the well-known prophecies of Jesus. After the completion of the Temple, millions of lambs were slaughtered every year. Reading the Old Testament prophets concerning Israel’s abuse of the sacrificial system, we can understand the seriousness of the offence of these offerings to God after the murder of His Son.

Post-Pentecostal Judaism adored Passover because it despised Jesus. Passover itself became the leaven of the Herods, and this sentiment is subtly contained in paedocommunion, a rite which appeals to the flesh, a demarcation between “us” and “them.” The idea that we Christians can somehow minister the new birth to our own children in place of the hand of God is exactly what the Circumcision revelled in. It stands in stark contrast to repentance and faith, at least in the godly logic of the New Testament. The Table of paedocommunion is exactly the kind of Table which Jesus turned into a snare for those Jews who cursed Jesus because God had come in the flesh and ended the Circumcision.5See Their Table Made A Snare. The Seed of Abraham had now grown up and exposed their household as a nest of serpents.

Even Abraham understood what paedosacramentalists refuse to believe.

Ironically, this focus on physical, “Passover” offspring turned Jerusalem first into a new Egypt, through Herod’s slaughter of the innocents, and then into a new Jericho. Where Israel was circumcised “a second time” before the destruction of Jericho, it was the murder of Christian Jews in Jerusalem which left the city desolate at last.

Jesus ripped the Lord’s Supper out of the corpse of Passover in the way Yahweh brought Eve from the side of Adam, and the Spirit brought the Bride from the side of Christ. Passover died in Christ, along with the Covenant of earthly sons. The division between Priesthood and Kingdom, Jew and Gentile, Cain and Abel, was consumed in the coming of The Prophet.

When Christ died, the message was the same as that given to Abraham, “Not your son but mine.” The Jews who rejected Christ answered, “Not your Son but ours.” The ministry of the apostles was, “Not your sons but my Sons.” The judgment of AD70 was the final object lesson, the last dark saying. Even Abraham understood what paedosacramentalists refuse to believe.

Sheep Among Wolves

The identity of the New Covenant “lambs” is very apparent in Matthew 10, where Israelites according to the flesh are referred to as “lost sheep” not because they are children but because they have been led astray. As Jesus’ lambs, the disciples are also to be wise as serpents and innocent as doves. The standard for “lambs” is entirely ethical. It concerns spiritual maturity, so Tim Gallant’s use of the word “lambs” to describe paedocommunion is carnal at best and unwittingly anti-Christian at worst.

Jesus describes the treatment of these “lambs” as he later described the manner of Peter’s death. He cannot possibly be speaking about infants or children, or even earthly households. Let the scales fall from your eyes and read the words of Matthew 10 afresh, words spoken to men who would not only die like their master, but rise again as He did. The speech is all about testimony, witness, the martyroi. To consider Jesus’ lambs as anything else is to reject the New Covenant. Is there an infant Jesus on the throne?6No doubt, some will get to the end of passage, and reject the obvious in favour of an errant interpretation of “little ones.” Jesus is actually working His way through a hierarchy based on the Ten Words, ending with the lowly servants of the New Covenant household, the least of His brothers. The New Testament follows the Old Covenant pattern consistently, however, where the Old most often refers to physical offspring and family at Succession, the New always speaks of spiritual offspring. An example would be the greetings to the saints at the end of many of the epistles.

The structure of Matthew 10 is itself sacrificial, and you will notice that it is the disciples who are now the angels ministering life or death to the households of Israel. They themselves are the lambs at the door. And their martyrdom served as the final warning, the last trumpets, to Old Covenant Israel.


INITIATION (Creation): Animal chosen (named) (Sabbath) – Ark
And he called to him his twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal every disease and every affliction. The names of the twelve apostles are these:first, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother; James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother; Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus; Simon the Zealot, and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him.


DELEGATION (Division): Animal cut (Passover) – Veil
These twelve Jesus sent out, instructing them, “Go nowhere among the Gentiles and enter no town of the Samaritans, but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. And proclaim as you go, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand. ’ Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, cast out demons. You received without paying; give without pay. Acquire no gold or silver or copper for your belts, no bag for your journey, or two tunics or sandals or a staff, for the laborer deserves his food. And whatever town or village you enter, find out who is worthy in it and stay there until you depart. As you enter the house, greet it. And if the house is worthy, let your peace come upon it, but if it is not worthy, let your peace return to you. And if anyone will not receive you or listen to your words, shake off the dust from your feet when you leave that house or town. Truly, I say to you, it will be more bearable on the day of judgment for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah than for that town.


PRESENTATION (Ascension): Animal lifted up (Firstfruits) PRIESTHOOD – Bronze Altar and Table
LAND: Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves, so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves. Beware of men, for they will deliver you over to courts and flog you in their synagogues, and you will be dragged before governors and kings for my sake, to bear witness before them and the Gentiles. When they deliver you over, do not be anxious how you are to speak or what you are to say, for what you are to say will be given to you in that hour. For it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.
WOMB: Brother will deliver brother over to death, and the father his child, and children will rise against parents and have them put to death, and you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved. When they persecute you in one town, flee to the next, for truly, I say to you, you will not have gone through all the towns of Israel before the Son of Man comes.

PURIFICATION (Testing): Holy fire (Pentecost) KINGDOM – Lampstand
A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his master. It is enough for the disciple to be like his teacher, and the servant like his master. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebul, how much more will they malign those of his household. So have no fear of them, for nothing is covered that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known.

TRANSFORMATION (Testing): Fragrant Smoke (Trumpets) PROPHECY – Incense Altar
What I tell you in the dark, say in the light, and what you hear whispered, proclaim on the housetops. And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell. Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.


VINDICATION (Conquest): Pleasing Savour (Atonement) – High Priest and Sacrifices (Mediators)
So everyone who acknowledges me before men, I also will acknowledge before my Father who is in heaven, but whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven.


REPRESENTATION (Glorification): Reconciliation (Booths) – Shekinah
Whoever receives you receives me, and whoever receives me receives him who sent me. The one who receives a prophet because he is a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward, and the one who receives a righteous person because he is a righteous person will receive a righteous person’s reward. And whoever gives one of these little ones even a cup of cold water because he is a disciple, truly, I say to you, he will by no means lose his reward.


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1. More on this “process” in the next post.
2. See Children of Heaven.
3. See James B. Jordan, The Lamb of God, Part 1, Biblical Horizons No. 39.
4. See Cutting Off Canaan.
5. See Their Table Made A Snare.
6. No doubt, some will get to the end of passage, and reject the obvious in favour of an errant interpretation of “little ones.” Jesus is actually working His way through a hierarchy based on the Ten Words, ending with the lowly servants of the New Covenant household, the least of His brothers. The New Testament follows the Old Covenant pattern consistently, however, where the Old most often refers to physical offspring and family at Succession, the New always speaks of spiritual offspring. An example would be the greetings to the saints at the end of many of the epistles.

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