the-passover-bread-and-wine-the-meaning-of-the-passover-symbols.jpg.crop_display

Today’s practice of taking Communion, or “Holy Communion” carries with it many different perceptions and rituals. Some churches put out trays of broken up unleavened bread and cups of wine or grape juice. Some churches have everyone take a piece of bread and they all drink from the same cup of wine. Yet others have wafers representing the bread and wine of the New Covenant. Many Christians week after week seek to partake in this practice of Communion, and rightfully so. This practice was instituted by Jesus himself, and it carries with it a deep meaning, but what is it’s meaning? Some today believe that they receive forgiveness of their sin by partaking in the ritual of Communion. Is this biblical? You will find in a deep study of the scriptures, that there is no link between these two things, and the fulfillment of these two things is separate and distinct. It is so important to understand what Communion is all about, as it can be extremely beneficial to your walk with Christ, or it can be extremely harmful depending on the condition of your heart. This idea of eating the actual body and drinking the actual blood of Christ sounded horrific to the disciples of Christ when Jesus first presented it, so much so that many of the disciples left because they didn’t understand. What was Jesus meaning when he established this odd sounding practice? To understand all of these things takes a long examination of scripture line upon line. In looking at the Word of God, this concept of “eating” comes from the very beginning. We know that Adam and Eve were permitted to eat from everything in the Garden of Eden, except for the tree of knowledge of good and evil:

“And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.” ~ Genesis 2:16-17

We also know that the Tree of Life was in the garden, and that Adam and Eve were permitted to eat of this tree. Eating of the tree of life, granted a person eternal life, and this is what Adam and Eve had access to in the garden. Had they obeyed God, they would have remained in the garden and lived forever:

“And the Lord God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever: Therefore the Lord God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken. So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life. ~ Genesis 3:22-24

Tree of Knowledge

God cast them out of the Garden to guard the tree of life, this tree that if one would eat of it, they would live forever. Then Adam and Eve were cursed. Part of this curse had to do with what they would now be permitted to eat:

“And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return. ~ Genesis 3:17-19

No longer were Adam and Eve permitted to eat of the good food in the Garden of Paradise. Rather they were cursed to eat of the food of the earth, a type of food that didn’t provide eternal life, but rather led to death. This is the curse that we all are born into as men with the Spirit of Adam. To this day, we eat of food that cannot give us eternal life. So we know that what we choose to eat is important. Many years later, God provided His own food for the Israelites in the desert as they fled from being slaves in Egypt:

“Therefore the Lord heard this, and was wroth: so a fire was kindled against Jacob, and anger also came up against Israel; Because they believed not in God, and trusted not in his salvation: Though he had commanded the clouds from above, and opened the doors of heaven, And had rained down manna upon them to eat, and had given them of the corn of heaven. Man did eat angels’ food: he sent them meat to the full.” ~ Psalm 78:21-25

manna

Here God rained down manna from heaven and as we see, this was angel’s food. You’ll see further in this article, that even this angel food from heaven given to sustain the Israelites would not grant them eternal life, though it was like nothing they had ever seen before and it was from heaven. Man still lacked the ability to eat from the tree of life. Though they had received manna from heaven, they continued to turn to their idols and their bondage/slavery. Man continued to err in choosing the wrong “food.” These people after several hundred years of slavery had forgotten the ways of their fathers- Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, a way marked by obedience to the commandments of God. They were oppressed, and were surrounded by Egyptian idolatry. God basically had to take a group of Egyptian slaves who only knew slavery, and begin the process of teaching them who He is all over again. In the time of Moses when God began to sanctify the Israelites unto himself, he gave them “Food Laws” to cause them to think constantly about what they ate and consider carefully their choices. Also notable in the law of Moses, is the fact that under the sacrificial laws, many of the sacrifices, including the meat sacrifices for the sin of the people, were eaten by the Levitical priests of God. So you can see the interesting dynamic that came from the Law of Moses when it came to what to eat. The people were restricted from eating certain foods, yet were instructed to eat of many of the sacrifices that were brought to God. The Israelites were once again becoming conscious as to what was good food (permissible to eat) and what was not good food (not permissible to eat). Here we see that God is teaching His people over many, many years, to discern what they were putting into their mouths/consuming. Why? Because original sin had to do with food! It had to do with Adam and Eve eating what was forbidden to eat. How better to teach and sanctify a people that had fallen by this sin, then by the OT food laws- how deep are God’s ways, beyond all of our understanding. Continuing on, the prophets were sent to warn the people of many things, especially their disobedience to God. We can see in the book of proverbs many mentions to this concept of “eating”:

“For that they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the Lord: They would none of my counsel: they despised all my reproof. Therefore shall they eat of the fruit of their own way, and be filled with their own devices.” ~ Proverbs 1:29-31

“Enter not into the path of the wicked, and go not in the way of evil men. Avoid it, pass not by it, turn from it, and pass away. For they sleep not, except they have done mischief; and their sleep is taken away, unless they cause some to fall. For they eat the bread of wickedness, and drink the wine of violence.” ~ Proverbs 4:14-17

download (17)

Come, eat of my bread, and drink of the wine which I have mingled. Forsake the foolish, and live; and go in the way of understanding. He that reproveth a scorner getteth to himself shame: and he that rebuketh a wicked man getteth himself a blot. Reprove not a scorner, lest he hate thee: rebuke a wise man, and he will love thee. Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be yet wiser: teach a just man, and he will increase in learning.  The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.” ~ Proverbs 9:5-10

When thou sittest to eat with a ruler, consider diligently what is before thee: And put a knife to thy throat, if thou be a man given to appetite. Be not desirous of his dainties: for they are deceitful meat. Labour not to be rich: cease from thine own wisdom. Wilt thou set thine eyes upon that which is not? for riches certainly make themselves wings; they fly away as an eagle toward heaven. Eat thou not the bread of him that hath an evil eye, neither desire thou his dainty meats: For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: Eat and drink, saith he to thee; but his heart is not with thee.” ~ Proverbs 23:1-7

“Such is the way of an adulterous woman; she eateth, and wipeth her mouth, and saith, I have done no wickedness.” ~ Proverbs 30:20

Over and over again, the prophets spoke about “good food” and “evil food.” So much so that eating is mentioned 734 times in the Bible. This concept of discerning what goes into your mouth is so overwhelming in the Old Testament Scriptures that we would be fools to ignore it. We can see here that eating of the bread of God has to do with being filled with godly wisdom, receiving loving rebuke and correction, fearing God, and having knowledge of holiness and understanding. We can also see that eating of the “fruit of wickedness” has to do with us rejecting the reproof and correction of God and depending on our own wisdom and devices. Then enters Jesus, the Savior of the world. Jesus also comes talking about food. He declares “I am the bread of life!”:

ben_4

“For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world. Then said they unto him, Lord, evermore give us this bread. And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst. But I said unto you, That ye also have seen me, and believe not.” John 6:33-36

“Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life. I am that bread of life. Your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness, and are dead. This is the bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die. I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.” ~ John 6:47-51

“Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you. Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him. As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me. This is that bread which came down from heaven: not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead: he that eateth of this bread shall live for ever.” ~ John 6:53-58

This was a bold declaration coming from Jesus! You can see his emphasis on this message as he repeats himself over and over. He tells us that anyone that eats of this bread (Jesus) shall live forever. Remember from Genesis, there is only one tree in the Garden that if you eat of it will grant eternal life- that is the Tree of Life! Jesus is basically telling us that HE IS THE TREE OF LIFE! If we eat of his body and drink of his blood we will live forever. There is another component, and that is that WE MUST BELIEVE that he is who he said he is. He says “he that believeth on me hath everlasting life.” We know that a huge part of partaking in the body and blood of Jesus is that WE BELIEVE!!! Jesus again preached about the “Bread of the Kingdom of God”:

“And when one of them that sat at meat with him heard these things, he said unto him, Blessed is he that shall eat bread in the kingdom of God. Then said he unto him, A certain man made a great supper, and bade many: And sent his servant at supper time to say to them that were bidden, Come; for all things are now ready. And they all with one consent began to make excuse. The first said unto him, I have bought a piece of ground, and I must needs go and see it: I pray thee have me excused. And another said, I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to prove them: I pray thee have me excused. And another said, I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come. So that servant came, and shewed his lord these things. Then the master of the house being angry said to his servant, Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in hither the poor, and the maimed, and the halt, and the blind. And the servant said, Lord, it is done as thou hast commanded, and yet there is room. And the lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled. For I say unto you, That none of those men which were bidden shall taste of my supper.” ~ Luke 14:15-24

download (12)

Here He makes known that if we are preoccupied with all of the things of life so much so that we don’t come to Him and put Him first in all things, we will not be able to taste of “His supper.” He lets us know that we are to put Him and the Kingdom of God FIRST, in order to partake of this “bread of the Kingdom” of which if we eat of it, we will live forever. The condition of our heart must be that we lay every worldly thing aside in our life to follow Jesus and partake of his body and blood. Jesus then establishes the ordinance:

“And he took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me. Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you.” ~ Luke 22:19-20

Communion is about sharing in the body and blood of Christ as a reborn believer, in full belief, knowledge and understanding of who He is, and what He did. A reborn believer is one that has truly repented for their sin being reconciled to God, baptized in the name of Jesus, and baptized in the Holy Ghost. This meal is only for those that take part in the New Covenant. The word “testament” above comes from the Greek word “diathéké” meaning properly, a set-agreement having complete terms determined by the initiating party, which also are fully affirmed by the one entering the agreement. To partake of the cup of communion, requires the taker to be in agreement with the covenant, and we encourage you to read about what this New Covenant is all about in detail at the linked page. Communion has nothing to do with forgiveness of sin, and nowhere in scripture are the two linked. “Forgiveness of sin” via true repentance is the first step to the rebirth process, also known as becoming reconciled to God. We encourage you to read further about what exactly is involved with forgiveness of sin, and who is able to forgive sins. Biblical communion has nothing to do with the reconciliation of the partaker, because a true believer has already become reconciled to God via the rebirth. Biblical communion is about spiritual fellowship with Christ as a reborn and reconciled believer that understands the New Covenant. Worthy partakers of Communion are ONE WITH CHRIST in their thoughts, actions and deeds. They commune with Him! Before partaking we are to PROVE that we are one with Christ inwardly! Doctrines today that have linked the forgiveness of sin with Communion- have created a revolving door to forgiveness in the churches (something completely foreign to the first church). Believers continue in their sinful lives committing the same sins over and over again with the expectation that they can come every week to the church to receive what they know as “forgiveness of sin through Holy Communion.” These false doctrines cause people to continue in sin, without truly repenting and transforming into the reborn new creation. These false teachings are a creation of man, a doctrine of devils. To partake of the Lord’s supper with a heart that isn’t truly reconciled to God through true repentance (an actual change in who you are to the new creation) and the true rebirth, is the same as drinking ourselves into judgment and damnation- Paul warns:

download (18)

“When ye come together therefore into one place, this is not to eat the Lord’s supper. For in eating every one taketh before other his own supper: and one is hungry, and another is drunken. What? have ye not houses to eat and to drink in? or despise ye the church of God, and shame them that have not? what shall I say to you? shall I praise you in this? I praise you not. For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, that the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread: And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. 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. For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do proclaim the Lord’s death till he come. Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup. For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily (doubtfully in the greek), eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body. For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep. For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged. But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world. Wherefore, my brethren, when ye come together to eat, tarry one for another. And if any man hunger, let him eat at home; that ye come not together unto condemnation. And the rest will I set in order when I come.” ~ 1 Corinthians 11:20-34

Here we can see people were coming together to eat the bread and drink the wine, without understanding why they were doing it. Because of this, they would treat it like any other meal- one was hungry, another was drunken. They didn’t wait for one another, and were practically stomping on each other to get to the bread and wine. Do you hear Paul saying here anything about the forgiveness of sin? Of course not! Eating of Jesus, the Bread of Life, the Bread of Heaven, The Bread of the Kingdom, is not for someone living in sin, nor is it for someone that doesn’t truly believe in Jesus. It is ONLY for the “Body Of Christ”, those that have already repented for sin, have been reborn out of water and the Holy Spirit, and are in agreement with the New Covanant. To partake of this in any other condition, is drinking damnation to yourself. He admonishes them to “Examine Themselves” and then let them eat of the bread and drink of the cup. In the Greek, the word “examine” comes from the word “dokimazo” meaning “properly, to try (test) to show something is acceptable (real,approved); put to the test to reveal what is good (genuine).” When we partake in the body and blood, we must put to the test our faith in Jesus and our belief in this New Covenant. Ask yourself, do I really believe? Is Jesus and his character and nature truly living insidedownload (19) of me? Is the Spirit of God active in my every decision? Am I truly reborn? Is the law of God truly written in my heart? Once you examine/prove yourself, and prove that you believe in Jesus Christ and that you whole heartedly believe that what you are about to partake of is His body and blood, then partake! The Corinthians weren’t doing this, and we see the result was that they were “weak, and sick, and many were dying (falling asleep).” Sickness in the New Testament is for the most part the result of sin, or unbelief in the examples presented. It is probably a fair statement to say that these Corinthians were partaking while still in some form of unbelief, or they didn’t fully understand the Jesus that they worshiped. They weren’t taking the time to prove their faith inwardly, before partaking in the bread and wine. Because of this they weren’t healed, rather they were sick, weak and dying. The body and blood of Christ carries with it healing power! If you partake of it worthily, you will not have sickness. You’ve been redeemed by His blood and by His stripes, you’ve been healed of all infirmity. You have to BELIEVE! This is what worthy partaking is about- Believing in Jesus, believing in YOUR REBIRTH, and believing in the New Covenant! It is a proving of who you are as a NEW CREATION! It is a proving that you are FREE FROM SIN! Worthy partaking of the body and blood of Jesus leads to eternal life! Unworthy partaking of the body and blood of Jesus leads to judgment and damnation! If you remain a slave to sin, STOP PARTAKING! You cannot be in communion with the world, and in communion with God at the same time. Hear the gospel first, repent of your sins and be reborn!

download (20)

There is another danger. The nemesis to Communion, is eating meat sacrificed to idols. This concept of eating sacrificed meat originated with the Israelites, where they would perform their sacrifices to God and were instructed by God to eat the meat of the sacrifice. This was holy under the Old Covenant. The present day equivalent to this under the New Covenant is eating of the sacrifice of Jesus, the body and blood/Communion. This is a fulfillment of the shadow, of eating the meat sacrifices. At the time of the early church, Gentiles were sacrificing animals to all kinds of gods and eating the meat of the sacrifices. The early Gentile Christians were instructed not to eat meat sacrificed to idols. Here Paul speaks of this idolatry, and Communion:

“Wherefore, my dearly beloved, flee from idolatry. I speak as to wise men; judge ye what I say. The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ? For we being many are one bread, and one body: for we are all partakers of that one bread. Behold Israel after the flesh: are not they which eat of the sacrifices partakers of the altar? What say I then? that the idol is any thing, or that which is offered in sacrifice to idols is any thing? But I say, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils, and not to God: and I would not that ye should have fellowship with devils. Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of devils: ye cannot be partakers of the Lord’s table, and of the table of devils. ~ 1 Corinthians 10:14-21

Paul admonishes them that they CANNOT eat of the table of God, and the table of devils. The word “Communion” here comes from the Greek word “koinónia” meaning (lit: partnership) (a) contributory help, participation, (b) sharing in, communion, (c) spiritual fellowship, a fellowship in the spirit. If we are having fellowship in the Spirit with Jesus and the entire body of Christ/body of true believers, we cannot partake in idolatry. There are many forms of idolatry today, and that topic is for another article, but please make a spiritual note here. We are in the world but not of the world. If you listen to what the world listens to, watch what the world watches, speak the way the world speaks, act the way the world acts, and enjoy what the world enjoys, YOU ARE OF THE WORLD. You are a transgressor that needs repentance! I say this in complete love. If you truly are Christ’s you WILL NOT FIT IN, IN THE WORLD. You cannot love the things of this world, and have communion with God. Our eternal life goes beyond this world. I encourage you to eat of the bread of life, Jesus’ flesh, and drink of the wine of life, Jesus’ blood WORTHILY! Prove yourself and your faith before God every time, and enjoy the fellowship of the body of Christ in the Spirit. It leads to LIFE and HEALTH. This is the food that holy men thousands of years ago sought to eat, but could not find it. We still have a choice today by free will, to eat of the bread of the world which is sin and leads to death, or to eat the bread of Jesus/the Kingdom which is obedience and righteousness, and leads to life. You must choose one, as God tells us in Revelation that anything lukewarm will be vomited out of His mouth. It is the same to say, that we must choose today whether we will walk in the flesh (a life of sin), or walk in the spirit (free from sin). There is another doctrine of concern today that teaches that whether you have sin or not, or even whether you are a believer or not, that it is good to partake in Communion with Christ. This is a dangerous and false doctrine, and no where in the Bible will you find this teaching or instruction, rather you will find the opposite! DO NOT partake if you have not been reborn, are a slave to sin, or don’t fully believe in Jesus Christ the son of God coming in the flesh to die for our sins, sickness and death. If you do not believe and you partake in this, you will be “guilty of the body and blood of the Lord” according to Paul. In the end, those that have been reborn and have kept the faith of Jesus and kept the commandments of God, will partake in a real treat- the supper of the Lamb with God! This is a meal that you don’t want to miss- because in it is eternal life! Your choice in food today is important. We all must choose between the fruits of life, or the fruits of wickedness and death. We pray that many will choose wisely.

“And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God.” ~ Revelation 19:9

“And I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the fowls that fly in the midst of heaven, Come and gather yourselves together unto the supper of the great God;” ~ Revelation 19:17

Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.” ~ Revelation 22:14

Advertisements