Seven Biblical Times When Bread and Wine Correspond With Actual Communion Between God And Faithful Humanity
"Simeon and Levi are brothers. Their spades became weapons of violence. My soul shall not enter their counsel, my heart shall not join their company; for in their anger they killed men," Genesis 49,6-7, Jacob prophesies the end of earth based priesthoods after Levi and Simeon used circumcision for mundane gain. (Exodus34,25-31)
We have not wasted any words in our prior twenty-nine Table Of The Lord Meditations.
But then again, we have not necessarily spared them.
So, in this thirtieth meditation we'll try a schematic whereby with a short study, and a fixed glance, we can see the reality and importance of actual communion with God as taught from the very begining to the very end of the sacred scriptures.
We use the word "communion", Greek koinonia, or fellowship, as it is used in 1Corinthians10,16-17 and 1John1,3: "our fellowship is with the father and with His son Jesus Christ."
Communion happens according to 1Corinthians10,16-17 by faithfully drinking the cup of blessing (a blessed cup = supernatural contents, not by "transubstantiation" but by blessing), and by faithfully breaking the bread and eating it too.
This breaking is akin to the covenantal sacrifice of Genesis15,9ff whereby Abraham's sacrifice was divided in two, one side representing God and the other man, and their communion was depicted by the fire of the Holy Ghost uniting the two sides of the sacrificial offerings.
At the table faithfully eating the supernaturally blessed bread-his risen body- and drinking the supernaturally blessed wine- his risen "blood"- brings a similar communion. The only blood the risen Jesus could even have after entering heaven, according to 1Corinthians15,50, is risen "blood."
Praise God we are totally fit to eat this real food and drink (cf 1Corinthians10,3-4) as temples of His Spirit.
Here are seven bible instances of bread and wine leading to actual Spiritual communion between God and faithful human beiings:
1. The Lord God made trees spring from the ground, all trees pleasant to look at and good for food." (Genesis2,9)
There were two principal trees in the center of the garden- "the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil." (Genesis 2,9).
These two trees were Jesus and Satan (Branham).
Then and now, both spiritually feed folks.
At some point after eating from the tree of life, Eve also ate from Satan's tree.
These two trees here are not just trees.
And trees are not just symbols of people.
Eve sought communion with Satan by eating the fruit of the wrong tree, as enticed by the lies of the serpent.
Prior to this, Adam and Eve only had actual communion with God. He was there in the garden. Both knew his voice in that he had told them which tree they could eat of and which they couldn't (Genesis2,15 for Adam and 3,3 for Eve). To know God's voice is also to know his presence. So, they had communion with him in the garden, especially when going to the tree of life for food.
2. Immediatly after Abraham defeats the native Canaanite chieftans, and thus controls the land God gave his people, a mysterious priest and king, "Melchisedek", king of Salem, appears offering a thanksgiving meal of bread and wine, and he blesses Abram. In so doing, he crowns their joint achievment with a celebratory meal so to speak. (Genesis14,18).
Melchisedek, the book of Hebrews takes pains to emphasize at 5,10; 6,20; 7,1 and 7,11, is the forerunner of an eternal heavenly and non tribal-based order of priesthood, of which the risen Jesus is the final successor.
The Hebrew bible is against the fleshly Canaanite ways of Baal, Asherah (fertility cults) and Molech (baby sacrifice), yet Melchizedek is the head of an exceptional and mysterious order of priesthood.
It's not too great a leap of faith then to say in faith then that either Melchisedek is some sort of heavenly angel-priest-king representative of the God of Israel (remember God is determined to have a priestly people in israel in the end Exodus19,6) , or the pre-incarnate messiah and priest Jesus, ensuring that his chosen people remember the victory and gift and holiness of the land.
3. The show bread, or bread of presence (of "proposition" are you hungry God?, cf. Dictionary of Biblical Theology, Pauline, Harper, 2nd ed. Dufour "bread", 1982, 59), is "to be always before me." Exodus 25,30.
When the bible says that the bread is always before God, it means that God is personally there in the temple, as he was in his blessed bread.
The idea here is that God, by his Spiritual presence in His temple, in his house, "sat" at his own table, and therefore the bread and wine offerred on it became holy by his presence:
"You shall take flour and bake it into twelve loaves, two-tenths of an ephah to each. You shall arrange them in two rows, six to a row on the table, ritually clean, before the Lord. You shall sprinkle pure frankincense on the rows, and this shall be a token of the bread, offered to the Lord as a food- offering. Sabbath after sabbath he shall arrange it regularly before the Lord as a gift from the Israelites. This is a covenant for ever; it is the privilege of Aaron and his sons, and they shall eat the bread in a holy place, because it is the holiest of holy-gifts. It is due out of the food-offerings of the Lord for all time." Leviticus24,5-9.
God is Spirit (John4,24).
God's Spirit gets into us humans as physical beings, by his blessing, by his holy Ghost baptism, by his Spiritually rendering us new creations, temples of the Holy Ghost.
So if the Spirit of God can get into bucking and braying and occasionally faithful physical humanity, why not into the unresistant physical bread offered to God, and blessed in and by his presence?
The number of the loaves -12- was symbolic.
But when the priests ate the blessed bread week by week they were not eating symbols of communion, but blessed and most holy bread, bread with God's Spirit in it, bread from heaven so to speak, John6, consecrated bread.
This bread was both physical and Spiritual, just like the manna (Exodus16,31), that actually fed and fortified Israel for forty years in the desert, until they could reap the blessings of the promised land.
So why not His risen presence in the bread at the Lord's supper, by our thanksgiving offering, our holy blessing, and his sacred blessing, ie by his acceptance of our faith offering?
4. At the last supper (Luke22,20ff; Matthew26,26-28; Mark14,22-24; cf 1Corinthians10-11,25) Jesus did not speak of mere symbols. Nor did he institute "transubstantiation," a fancy term and dogma coined in the face of the Reformational exodus in 1560 AD, long after the supper had been well established without any such dogma.
Instead, he built on the idea of the showbread, bread made most holy by His presence, and went further by establishing a new seder meal, a spiritual sacrifice open to all the faithful (led by all who are baptized in the Holy Ghost) that prophesied that the faithful and obedient celebration of His supper (including the sacrificial acts of thanksgiving, ie offering, blessing, and breaking the bread, and partaking) at His table would bring his risen presence into the bread and his risen presence into the wine.
This is how we get to our faith that we partake of his risen body and blood.
We can't eat Jesus' pre-Calvary physical body and drink his pre-Calvary blood. These don't exist anymore.
And the King of the Jews could not have us eat sacrificial meat with blood still in it, or drink his physical blood (Genesis9,4), or have us represent a human sacrifice (Leviticus18,21ff).
But, we're not just eating symbols either.
To say we're eating symbols renders "This is my body..." and "this is the blood..." meaningless, a point that the Reformational plowhorse Martin Luther made, that also fits our Spiritual interpretation of the body and blood. (Link below for comparison of major ideas about the supper including Luther's physicalistic sense, with helpful sources).
The point of the new supper at his table, in his Temple, his church, is to institute a new spiritual sacrifice, that memorializes our new faith-Spirit based covenant. This spiritual sacrifice (1Peter2,5, Acts says Paul's preaching the gospel to the gentile was such a priestly sacrifice, as was Cornelius' almsgiving to Jews) includes, when done as commanded, a thanksgiving offering of the bread and wine, the blessing and breaking the bread (cultic acts), and blessing the cup.
We "do this" but what is "this" we do?
It is a living memorial of our salvation gained by Jesus death and resurrection, and a sacred meal offered to God and blessed by God, and a renewal of our personal and corporate covenant with Jesus, all these are spiritual sacrifices, way more than a memory.
Who needs a table, and bread and wine, and all the rest to just remember the cross?
5-6. 1Corinthains10,16-17 promises the faithful that our partaking of the cup is "communion with the blood of Christ."
If this is a communion with the physical blood of Christ, and part of an actual physical sacrifice, wouldn't our side of the sacrifice necessarily include something physical we ourselves offered, our own blood, our own animal?
But this precisely contradicts the fullness and finality of his last sacrifice of Calvary. Jesus, as God and man, supplied both sides of the new covenant sacrifice.
We bring nothing physically bloody to it, or physical at all, nor do we expect anything physically bloody from it.
We simply bring our repentant faith, to the renewal of our covenant.
If our communion at the table is with the physical blood of Jesus, it has to re-appear somehow.
The blessing of the bread and wine by our risen savior after our blessing doesn't reconstitute his physical body and blood of Calvary, as if by magic or human decree. It brings the prophesied sprinkled Spiritual blood of Isaiah 52,15, the saving blood of Jesus sprinkled upon all nations, to all peoples, the same everflowing "blood" that John saw in vision after Jesus was lanced and proven to be dead, after the physical blood had all drained out of him.
This "blood" prophesied the everflowing water, or Spirit, that His physical blood once and for all purchased, John 19,34.
Now the broken bread as a means of actual faith communion, with His risen Spirit, to our spirit, is perhaps a little easier to understand. Through eating his broken or immolated, but risen body (note the risen and pierced lamb of Revelation5,6!), we have communion by faithfully acknowledging his suffering and death for our sins.
We have a like communion also by bringing our own suffering to the final joy of His cross, all the while taking in our hands, and tasting the victory of his resurrection, by partaking of his risen body and blood.
So this actual communion was there from the table in Corinth.
It is also at every present day faithful celebration of the Lord's Supper.
7. Revelation 2,6-7 (answers Eve eating of the wrong tree):
"Yet you have this in your favor: you hate the practices of the Nicolaitans, as I do. Hear, you who have ears to hear, what the spirit says to the churches! To him who is victorious I will give the right to eat from the tree of life that stands in the garden [paradise] of God."
Only one tree, the tree of life in paradise, is eternal and always will be there to be eaten from by the faithful.
Revelation 19,9: "Then he said to me, " 'Write: Blessed are those who are called to the marriage supper of the lamb!' "
The final supper of the lamb is by invitation only, meanwhile the table of the Lord is now open to all of faith.
Let's Get Some Table Practice In Before The Final Supper
There's a schematic rendering from the bible of seven instances of actual and supernatural communion with God centered on bread and wine.
Would not it bless us all if we revived the table of the Lord with dispatch, and got some practice in partaking of such "spiritual food" and "spiritual drink" (1Corinthians10,3-4) sometime before we find ourselves at the supper of the lamb eating other supernatural victuals?
Various major views of the supper compared:
Short video of supper:
If you or your church would like coaching on a biblically based and revived Lord's Supper, please let us know. Br. Tobin
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Tobin Hitt is the founder of the Zion Pentecost Mission. He is open to gospel partnership with all, and identifies with Paul's description of our mission as ambassadors for our king, Jesus, urging all to reconcile with God (2Cor.20-21). He resides in Cheshire, Connecticut.read more...