Category Archives: Eucharist

Understanding the Eucharist! Fellowshipping with the Body and the Blood of Christ! Part 2

Communion4(Ver 1.1) This is Part 2 in a Bible study series on the subject of the Eucharist.  This subject is also commonly called receiving “communion” in many church services.  Other common terms used to describe the Eucharist are the “Lord’s Supper”, the “Lord’s Table” and it is even mistakenly called the “Last Supper” by some.  Other preachers call it the “meal that heals” but that will not be my focus today.  I did a Bible lesson a long time ago on this subject and received another question concerning it and this will be a follow-up to that initial lesson with new details that requires your understanding.   If you have not read the first lesson in this series, I would suggest that you go back and start with “Part 1” first and then continue with this lesson to get the full impact of the teaching message.   Lesson 1 presented a radical new spiritual perspective on the subject of communion and the Eucharist.  The primary emphasis of that lesson was for us not to focus on just the natural elements or eating or drinking something physical in an ignorant religious ritualistic way to satisfy or appease the works of the flesh or the views of others around us using peer pressure to get us to participate.  We should rather find out what the elements and the actions represent and then learn why we are doing them in order to derive any spiritual benefits from acting in faith to God’s Word.  I know there are many that struggle with that belief and these still do not understand how to combine the act of partaking with the reason for doing the act and that is why I am teaching in this manner.  People need to learn that doing right things without right motivations, understanding and reasoning will be vain religious attempts to please God with no value or rewards.   I’d like to give you a definition from the dictionary of the term Eucharist to begin this lesson:

  • Eucharist: The Christian ceremony commemorating the Last Supper, in which bread and wine are consecrated and consumed.

As you can read from this definition the Eucharist is said to be a Christian ceremony.  Christians perform this ceremony but we will soon discover that this act is also imitated and perverted by the devil in many other false religious types of ceremonies.   A ceremony is defined as a formal occasion typically one celebrating a particular event or anniversary.   What we learn from this definition is that this is a planned occasion using planned items (bread and wine), planned actions (drinking and eating) and that this event involves willing planned participants that are present.   It is also interesting to note that this event is stated to be a ceremony that commemorates the “Last Supper” and that is true and simultaneously not true depending upon your point of view and application.   What I will say is that there is a connection between the two even though they are not the same events.   I guess I should stop and give you the definition for “commemorate”.  This word means “to recall and show respect for something or someone in a ceremony”.   That definition actually has great merit to what the rest of this lesson will be focused on.  But I do want to still stress that the Eucharist or the communion is not the Last Supper but rather just a recollection or memory celebrating its fulfillment.  The “Last Supper” and the “Eucharist” are actually two different suppers within two different covenants as we will discover as we continue to research these subjects in the Bible.

DISCOVERING COMMUNION VERSES

I would like to emphasize that the word “Eucharist” is not technically found in the Bible.   It is a theological term used to label an event described in the Bible much like the theological term “rapture” is used to define another stated event described in the Bible.   Please do not get caught up or distracted with finding or not finding a theological term and miss the lessons found in the Bible about the term.   I will tell you that the English term “Eucharist” has its roots in the Greek word G2169 EUCHARISTIA.   This word is used in 15 verses in the N.T. and was usually translated as a form of “thanksgiving” or “giving thanks”.   That seems to teach us that Eucharist participation should contain the attitude of “thankfulness” to God.  I firmly believe that and I hope that you will take hold of that and plant it within your heart going forward.

There are several ways to find scriptures on this subject and I will go over a few to help you get started.  One method of finding verses is to search the Bible for key words of the elements of the event.   For example we should be able to find “unleavened”, “bread”, “wine” or even a “cup” that holds the wine.   We could also search and try to find the direct word “communion”.   However, I want to teach you that the term “communion” is only found in the KJV Bible a limited number of times concerning this same event.   This English word “communion” comes from the Greek word G2842 that literally means “partnership”, “participation”, “communication” or “social intercourse”.    This Greek word is also translated as “fellowship”.  For example in this verse in Acts it was translated as fellowship with a direct connection next to the partaking of bread within the church:

  • Act 2:42  And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.

The English term “fellowship” is the Greek word that is also translated as “communion” in other N.T. verses.   As you can see this term appears to be separate from the breaking of the bread by the inclusion of the word “and”.  However this word is still immediately followed with the partial description of the Eucharist where bread is broken and passed among the church members.   God appears to me to be linking these two things together for a reason.   Please notice after the description of “breaking of bread” there is an additional connection with “prayers”.  I would like you to consider that prayer should be a linked fellowship (communion) with God according to this verse.  What I can see being developed in this verse is that taking the bread and wine should be done with the same reverential attitude of fellowship (communion) with God as in our time of prayer.   Does prayer have anything to do with being thankful?   If you believe like I do that it does then this links us back into the subject of “Eucharist” again.  I hope that you can see how God linked these three subjects intimately together.  We will arrive at a better description of this “communion” as we continue.  Let’s move to another verse found in the New Testament that further helps to confirm what I have just alluded to:

  • 1Co 10:16  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?

Here we find one of the primary reasons why this formal church ceremonial practice is often called “communion”.   Here in this verse God associates two different things that are present during the ceremony together with two other things that are not physically present during the ceremony.   I’d like you to take note of what this verse is teaching.   God is saying when you take the cup of wine (physically present) it is representative of you participating with the shed blood of Christ (not physically present).   I emphasize the fact again that I said “representative” because we do not literally drink His blood.  I know there are many people who believe that as we drink the juice or wine that it is transformed miraculously into the blood of Christ but that is not what the Bible teaches us as you should have learned this from the first lesson but this will be further confirmed with other witnesses as we continue.  Bread is the second element being emphasized by God to be broken and this bread (physically present) was representative of the body of Christ (not physically present).  What God is doing is taking naturally seen elements and using them to symbolically teach us about unseen spiritual elements and I seriously hope you comprehend the differences between physical and spiritual realities.

I could do a long lesson on what the specific elements represent today but that is not my primary emphasis.  I will introduce the fact that the bread is always stated to be unleavened.   Unleavened bread is simply a basic pure wheat cracker.  Unleavened bread is considered to be unadulterated bread and not bread that has been corrupted with other additive ingredients.  Leaven is a form of bread additive that according to Jesus causes the whole pure substance to become tainted.   Jesus taught us a lot on this subject in the Gospels.  Jesus warned the disciples to beware of the “leaven” of the Pharisees (Mat 16:6).   Jesus explained this leaven to be symbolically a substance of false teachings and hypocrisy.  If I had more time I would explain this in more depth and perhaps that will come in a future lesson.   The wine is always based on the fruit juice coming from the crushed grape and that is all symbolic of the blood of Jesus coming from the body of the Lord Jesus Christ.  Grape juice is even called the blood of the fruit in Genesis 49:11 and Deuteronomy 32:14.   Both of these are natural elements that symbolize and point us to the greater spiritual truths found in Jesus and if you want to learn more about them you can search your Bible for their keywords and read what they say.   If you do not understand any of these verses you are free to ask questions about them.

I want to highlight that in this verse in 1 Corinthians God says that when we eat and drink these two natural physical items (bread and wine) that we are “communing” with two unseen spiritual realities.   As I have repeatedly said this communing should be done with an attitude of thankfulness to God for giving to us what we did not deserve to receive.  These unseen gifted items clearly represent the resurrected eternal body of Christ and the shed blood poured out from His mortal body (John 3:16).   How can we commune with the blood of Jesus by physically drinking literal wine from a cup?   How can we commune with the body of Christ by eating a piece of literal bread?  You see those are excellent questions to consider and we need to learn that the only way we can do this is by gratefully setting our mind upon His shed blood and His body as we drink and eat.   Correct reflection and recollection are the keys for spiritual participation to occur.  This is exactly why God instructs the church in Colossians 3:2 to set their minds on things above (blood and body of Jesus) and not on the things down here (bread and wine).   Jesus Christ is above in heaven and the bread and wine are literally here on the earth.  Which ones do you believe are more important now?  This is all critical information to understand.   Let’s proceed to another verse in the N.T. concerning communion:

  • 1Co 10:21  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.

Here is a verse that compares the church’s participation with eating and drinking the communion to be the antithesis or opposite of eating from the “table of devils”.    What we discover is that the church communion is called us eating from the “Lord’s Table” and that is the first major point to understand.   This is another reason why some churches call the Eucharist the “Lord’s Table”.   Can we literally sit at the Lord’s Table?   Stop and ask yourself where the Lord is right now?   Isn’t Jesus the Lord seated in heaven right now?   How then can we sit at the Lord’s Table up in heaven to eat and commune with Him?   I think you can see what I am doing by asking basic questions that need to be answered.

Anytime we sit at the “Lord’s Table” we are expecting to partake of His meal and food.  If we are seated at the Lord’s Table then we are in His presence and that means we are supposed to be communing with Him.   If God is a Spirit, is this a natural meal or a spiritual meal?  These are obviously symbolic figurative expressions and they are not to be taken literally while we are still physically present on this earth during the church age.   In order to fully understand these statements we need to examine the context more closely.   Reading in the preceding verses you should find that God was speaking of the natural people of the earth who were sacrificing their eatable offerings to idols.   This is a common practice in many foreign religions still today.  For example Buddhism still offers food to their statue gods.  God is basically synonymizing this eating of sacrificed idol food with eating from the table of spiritual devils.   Devils are real beings but they are clearly revealed to be unseen spiritual entities.   It is plain to me based upon this information that partaking of communion is the positive antithesis of the negative of eating natural elements sacrificed to devils.   This is a fascinating chapter to consider and learn from.  God basically says within the context that natural things are not the things that are important.  It is the spiritual forces behind the natural things being worshiped that need to raise the level of attention and concern for the participant.   This was one of the main points from lesson one and I just tried to show you that there are other witnesses in the Bible to what I taught previously.

Also within the context of this verse is a description of the priests of Israel which ate from the sacrificed items within the temple of Israel.   What we are learning from these repeated patterns is that the natural food items are insignificant but the focused attention of the spirit or spirits that they are being offered to is very significant.   Have you ever considered partaking of the “communion” or the “Eucharist” to be eating a sacrificial offering to God?   I believe after reading this context you should reevaluate your reason for your participation.   If it is not for the praise and worship of God then it could be misdirected.

DIRECTIONS OF CORRECTION

We will now shift our focus to a few new subjects and go through scriptures starting with God’s directions of correction written to the church at Corinth.   In this letter written to the church we are informed and firmly warned about acts of participating in the breaking of bread and the drinking of the wine that are very direct and to the point.   What we will soon observe occurring in this church was the mishandling of an intended righteous action.  Any good act or truth can be perverted into error by the human application of unbalanced extremism.   What you will find that was occurring in this warning was an example of combined human extremism with their human ignorance bringing God’s condemnation, rebuke and judgment upon their own heads.    You should be able to quickly recognize this as you read the verves:

  • 1Co 11:23  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:
  • 1Co 11:24  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.
  • 1Co 11:25  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.
  • 1Co 11:26  For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come.
  • 1Co 11:27  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.
  • 1Co 11:28  But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup.
  • 1Co 11:29  For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body.
  • 1Co 11:30  For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep.
  • 1Co 11:31  For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged.

The context here is rich with valuable information.   I included several verses that are not usually included because they must not be ignored.   For example, the final verse that I gave you was where God writes through Paul “If we judge ourselves, we should not be judged”.   These are much ignored statements in the modern extreme Grace message.   I rarely hear any modern Grace preachers teach that we need to judge our own thoughts, motivations, spoken words and actions in order not to be judged by God.   But, that is clearly the Word from God for us right here and right now!   I know this because God speaks of us judging ourselves within the context of us partaking of the communion in church.   Clearly these are warnings written to saved church people.  Perhaps your church has eliminated communion along with the personal judging and that would be a clear sign to me that you are in the wrong church.  Perhaps your church still takes communion but has eliminated the context message of being a self-judge of your own actions.  You cannot separate one subject from the other simply because you do not want to view them together.  Believe in the whole of scripture or die with the selective part; it is your choice to make.

You can clearly read the context before these scriptures and see that Paul was rebuking the church in Corinth for getting drunk and having a party with the bread and wine in church.  They are rebuked and asked “Don’t you have a house to eat and drink in?”   In other words God’s communion was not there in church to fill your natural belly to eliminate your physical hunger or thirst.  This church was abusing the purpose for the whole ceremony being present.   God gives us a prime example of wrong human motivation for participating in communion.  This church has clearly misapplied wrong reasons and neglected the purpose for the communion.  This plainly proves to us that wrong motivations do not make right actions correct.   This again was what I have been attempting to teach in these lessons and God continues to place additional emphasis from His Word to confirm it.   Let’s go back and look at the first verse that I gave you and go through them verse by verse.

  • 1Co 11:23  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:

Paul starts out by telling the Corinth church in verse 23 that what he gave to them was what was given to him from the Lord.  Paul was not speaking of any literal bread or literal wine.  Paul was referring to spiritual things and the revelation of God’s Word that Jesus had personally given to him.   If you do not understand that you will soon be lost in the rest of the discussion in the chapter.   Let me give you another statement of rebuke written to this church:

  • 1Co 14:36  What? came the word of God out from you? or came it unto you only?

You can obviously see that Paul told them the Word of God came unto them and did not come through them.   This is normally God’s methods.  God gives to a teacher His word and tells him or her to go and tell my people what I have said.  This pattern is established repeatedly in the Old Testament and this pattern is continued in the New Testament.  Not everyone is gifted to teach, not everyone is gifted to preach, not everyone is gifted to prophesy and not everyone is gifted to evangelize.    Let’s continue with the rest of the first verse.

There are two basic realms of topic being discussed in this chapter 11 of 1 Corinthians.   The first and primary focus is upon spiritual things and the other secondary focus is upon natural things.   In order to distinguish which is which you must read, study and rightly divide each and every statement.   For example in verse 23 Paul starts out speaking of spiritual things from the Spirit of God and the Word of God and then at the end of the verse he finishes with a natural example of Jesus Christ partaking of the literal unleavened bread at the Passover meal which often called the Last Supper.   This is an excellent time to consider a new fact.   The Jewish Passover meal was often called the “Feast of Unleavened Bread” (Exo 12:17) and this was the forerunner for the communion/Eucharist in the modern church.  You see I do not believe that Christians are called to revert backwards to become Jewish in the natural flesh by observing the description or application of the letter of the O.T. law.   Therefore what the Jewish people did to observe the Passover is not for us in the church today.  However, I do believe that most of the Jewish feasts and festivals were designed by God to point us to Jesus Christ and therefore we should at least learn about them even if we do not participate in them.

The number one problem that I found with the O.T. Jews observing the Jewish Passover feast was the fact that almost everyone did it blindly without asking God or searching to find out why they were doing it and what it all meant.  Don’t get me wrong they did know that they were celebrating God’s deliverance of the people of Israel from Egypt when they observed the Passover.  But there was so much more than that linked to the ceremony in typology and symbolism than only a natural deliverance from a natural oppressor.   Like I have said in many other lessons, God’s O.T. typology points us to Jesus our spiritual deliverer that has freed us from satanic spiritual oppression and captivity.  If I had the time to teach the Passover today we would see how Jesus is found in almost every action and every element in some hidden form.

  • 1Co 11:24  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.

You can clearly begin to understand in this statement how the Passover symbol of bread in verse 24 represented Christ’s body that was broken for us.  Wow, Jesus makes it very self-evident to me that we need to take a closer look at all of the items found in the Passover supper and see how Jesus can be seen in each of them.    That would probably be a good future Bible lesson for me to do work on.  I want you to notice in verse 24 the reason Jesus states that we should eat the bread in the church today.   Jesus says explicitly that when we eat it we need to “remember” Him and what the bread represents.   The emphasis is placed upon the “remembrance” of Christ and not the natural bread eating alone.  In other words the greater priority is for our mind to be exercised to intentionally recall what was done for us by the broken body of Jesus.   This literally means to place the work of Jesus in the forefront of your mind and your thoughts while eating.   What God implies is what I have been repeatedly emphasizing.  When there is no mental recollection or reflection of Christ then the eating of the bread is worthless.   Do you understand the importance of what we are thinking when we do something in church?   What if you were thinking of your schedule tomorrow at work?   What if you were thinking of your boyfriend or girlfriend?  You could be thinking of a million different things that take away from any benefits of participating in the communion.   Jesus basically said it matters what your mind is focused on.

  • 1Co 11:25  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.

Let’s look at verse 25.   Here God describes the cup but more importantly was the wine in the cup.   Jesus was again informing us that the wine and the cup represent greater spiritual truths.   Do you remember what we are talking about here?   God is describing the Last Supper again when Jesus takes the cup at the end of the table that was reserved only for the coming prophet and says this is the New Covenant in my shed blood.   Wow, that is an awesome bit of information often ignored.   You see in the traditional Passover meal there was always one very special cup that was filled with wine but was never touched by anyone participating in the ceremony.  The cup is filled with wine and the door of the house is opened to allow the prophet Elijah to come in to take the cup.  This cup was a designated symbolic reference for the one that was to come announcing the final deliverance.  It was very clear to me that the Jewish people knew that they expected someone to come by this act but yet when He actually arrived on the earth they killed Him not understanding their Passover meanings.    I could spend a lot of time on the subject of Passover but yet that is not my goal so I will continue to talk about how these two elements of bread and wine from Passover were passed on to Christians to do a better job at discovering and remembering what they meant.

  • 1Co 11:26  For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come.

This is what I take away from what I have read so far.  Nowhere in the N.T. is the church instructed to participate in the Old Testament Passover meal going forward.   This old Passover supper was a meal that pointed the people of Israel to their coming Messiah.  Since Jesus has already come, died and was raised from the dead that meal has been fulfilled and the only two parts of that meal that were carried forward into the church was the partaking of the blood and the body of Christ for us to remember what He has already done for us in the past.   One meal in the Old Covenant was a forward prophetic symbolic supper and the other meal in the New Covenant is a reversal backward symbolic supper in remembrance of the death that has previously been accomplished by Jesus.  This was pretty clearly stated here at the end of verse 26.    Supper methods and elements have changed dramatically and a new perspective of looking at them was modified between the old supper to the new supper, but yet the bread and the wine elements remained true and constant and even unchanging symbols for both experiences and these represented the body and the blood of Christ the central figure of each.  You may recall that Jesus is described to be the unchanging one that is the same, yesterday, today and forever (Heb 13:8) and this is revealed to us by the same unchanging elements being passed forward from the O.T. to the N.T. even though they are two different meals.   Are you learning anything today?  I hope that you are.

Look at the first part of verse 26 and refresh your mind to what is being said.   The Holy Spirit through Paul writes that we should participate in eating the bread and drinking from the cup but yet God does not give us any indication to the frequency of how often this should occur.   I know some churches that do it once a month.  Others do it every time they meet together.    Therefore, there should be no condemnation for how often it is done as long as it is not ignored and never performed.    This is in sharp contrast to the law of God in the O.T.   The Passover meal was done on specific days of a specific month during the year only once.  This was perpetually performed every year by the Lord’s command.  Only after fulfillment was the Passover to cease for the people in the church.   Since the Passover was fulfilled by Christ this would indicate that this meal should have ceased for Christians but yet by law those in the Jewish religion are still bound to faithfully perform it annually even this year.  I think that is a sad state of lessons to learn from.   It teaches us we better learn as much as we can about why we are partaking of the bread and the wine today while we still can.  If we do it blindly like the Jewish people in ignorance we might be surprised to discover it was a futile religious act.

  • 1Co 11:27  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.
  • 1Co 11:28  But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup.
  • 1Co 11:29  For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body.
  • 1Co 11:30  For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep.

Because of the length of this lesson, I’m going to quickly go though the other verses that I have given you from verse 27 to 30 because they all go together with what was just taught by God.   Verses 27 through 30 are simply ignored by modern extreme grace preachers.   In their ignorance they choose to look over a profound warning given only to Christians in church eating and drinking the elements of communion unworthily.   I know a sinner could come in to visit the church and partake of the symbolic elements in ignorance and yet I do not believe that is what God is referring to, based upon the context.

We can discover the target audience for this warning by observing the statements being made.   For example in verse 30 God says many are sick and weak “among you”.  The target audience of “you” must be the church and not the unsaved world since the entire letter was only written for the church’s benefit.   True the unsaved sinner might be among the church and even read the letter but God would have reworded the statement differently if it was only written about unsaved people.  Keep reading down in the next verse 31 and discover the fact that Paul includes himself in the subject statement with the personal plural pronoun “we”.   We represents a combined reference of union between those previously called “you” in verse 30 with the also “me” (the writer) in verse 31.   I’m going to say that again for some to grasp, Paul places himself in equivalence with those that were previously being spoken as “you” in verse 30.  That fact makes the warning clearly church centered and not unsaved world directed.  What Paul says is that if “We” (you and I) judge ourselves we will not be judged and that takes me back to what God said before.  Those in the church are given the responsibility for judging what they are doing, what they are thinking, what they are saying, eating, drinking and etc. or God plainly states that they will be judged one way or the other.

What is this judgment being spoken of in verse 31 and what are the consequences for being judged?   The answer is clearly stated coming from verses 27 to 30.  Many among you (the church) are sick, weak and sleep.  Sick and weak are physical deficits from being whole, well and strong.   Sleep on the other hand is a symbolic representation for physical natural death.   This is very commonly used in the N.T. to differentiate between the “eternal separation” from God described as the “second death” in Revelation 21:8.   I do not have the time to teach this fact fully about how when the Christian dies the body stays on the earth in a state of dormancy (aka sleep) in the ground but the living spirit of the saved person is found to be present with the Lord (2 Cor 5:8).   Let’s go back up in the verses to learn how they are connected with verse 31.

In verses 28 we are instructed to “examine” ourselves.   In verse 31 we were instructed again to “judge” ourselves.   Both verbs (examine and judge) are synonymous commands from God.  The Greek term examine (G1381) means to test or to try.   To try is a form of the word “trial” where a judge is always present.  If you are the one that is “tried”, God is basically saying that it is wisdom if you become your own judge while you can so that He does not have to do it for you later.   Go back to verse 27 and see how this trial is laid out before you.  In beginning this verse there is the stated crime of participating in the communion ceremony by partaking of the bread and the wine unworthily.   This Greek word (G371) translated as “unworthily” literally means someone who does something lacking any respect or reverence for what they are doing.  These are the acts of a mocker or even a person that mimics or imitates without the correct attitude of worship.  Wow, that is pretty strong if you ask me.   God says these types of people were found guilty.  Uh oh?   Again we see the implied trial being stated.  There is a crime being committed and the verdict of guilt being handed down.  Who is the judge?  There has to be a judge!

What God is doing is sandwiching the consequences for not being our own judge in between the commands to do it or else.   This is not rocket science but yet churches and preachers explain it away as being inconsequential and unimportant.   However, I will repeat the warning for the slow to learn.    Do not eat or drink of the symbolic blood or the body of Christ Jesus without first examining and judging your own past actions, intentions and motivations and then if there is found anything that is not worthy to participate that would be a good time to ask God for forgiveness according to 1 John 1:9.   I am not going to debate ignorant Christians that try to teach 1 John 1:9 was not written to Christians and that Christians do not need to do this.   If you can read the verse and the context you will see plainly that this is not true.  John the writer includes himself in the personal pronoun “our” again being a “you and I’ designation.   If John was required to confess his sins before God then you and I are also required to do the same.  If you do not believe me that is not my problem.  I tried to teach you and you rejected it.

CONCLUSION

I believe that I have covered many new things that are rarely taught in modern churches.   I have tried to teach you about the constant “bread” and “wine” that did not change moving from the Old Testament to the New Testament.  I have alluded to the fact that this constant will not change nor ever cease even in the heavenly meal that is to come.  I have not addressed this meal yet but these two elements will be found present when we are gathered to partake of them at the Marriage Supper of the Lamb.   So far I have mentioned three different meals all referred to as a supper in the Bible.  All of these are similar but all are completely different with increasing greater spiritual meanings.      One old Passover supper pointed us forward to the coming Messiah and the current Lord’s Supper within the New Covenant causes us to reflect backwards to what God did in Jesus Christ.   The future Supper to come is an entirely different subject and that will probably not be covered in this lesson series but may in a different new one.  I ended this lesson with God’s warning for doing something good and right with wrong reasons and I pray that you have learned this and take it to heart.    Thank you for taking the time to read and study the Bible and share what you have learned with your friends to help me spread the Good News of Jesus Christ.  God Bless!

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Understanding the Eucharist! What is the Eucharist and Why do we Receive it? Part 1

(Ver 1.3)  This is a difficult question to answer and a much more difficult subject to understand than many people give it credit to be.    I had a reader ask me a question about why Catholics receive the Eucharist at every Mass?  He said that the Eucharist is given out every day in thousands of languages.  Do we have any scriptural basis for this and why would we do it so often?  This is Part 1 of a series of lessons on the subject of the “Eucharist”.  We will discuss; what it is, why we do it and how it applies to the modern church from a Bible perspective.    I will explore many different aspects of this subject and give you quite a few new perspectives on this subject.  I challenge you to read the entire series before you become a critic of any small part of the lessons.  I will definitely warn you up front what I teach you will be different than what you might expect me to say on the subject, but yet I will only use the Bible to explore this subject and I will do my best to keep my opinions completely out of the discussion.  What I am interested in is what God thinks about the subject and not what you or I think about it.  I find that God’s opinion is much more important to me than your opinion.

In asking Catholics why they participate in receiving the Eucharist, I found that a vast number of answers to that question was “I don’t know”.   Not one could give me a Bible verse or a Bible reason for receiving the elements of the Eucharist.  Some knew that the bread and the wine represent the Body and the Blood of Christ.  But why we receive it and participate in the ceremony, they could not tell me.  Is there any benefit to participating in this ceremony?   Is there a blessing attached to it?  Or do we do it just because it is the right thing that we should do?  What makes it the right thing to do?  This might become a widely controversial subject before I’m through, so if you are interested in learning the truth keep reading, otherwise you might want to stop here and go to another website or blog.

So now I will begin to teach you some of the things that I know from the Bible about this subject of the “Eucharist”.  There is absolutely no way I could tell you everything I know about this without writing a small book, so I will not be doing that.  So today is just the introduction to the subject and like I said, it will probably be totally different than what you might expect.   The Bible says that God is a Spirit (John 4:24).  God existed throughout all of eternity, outside of the dimensions of time and space limitations that we exist within right now.  The Bible says that God created the heavens and the earth (Gen 1:1).  So God existed prior to the existence of this physical universe.   We therefore know that the physical universe had a specific point of origin.  When God created man in this world, God breathed the breath of life into him and this was Adam’s spirit which came from God’s Spirit (Gen 2:7).   Hebrews 12:9 says that God is the Father of all spiritual beings.  Therefore, man is technically a spiritual being that lives within a physical natural body (1 Th 5:23).  Why is all of this important?   Sometimes I just need to state the Bible basics before I try to introduce you to more advanced spiritual subjects found in the Bible and I do this to help refresh your memory.  If you disagreed with anything that I have said so far, you will have greater difficulty with the remaining things to come.   Let’s take a look at a verse that is not directly about the Eucharist but yet applies indirectly by the stated application.

2Co 4:18  While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.

The Bible says that we need to focus our attention away from the natural physical things that we can perceive with our senses in the world and instead focus on the things that we cannot see.   This is a contrasting verse that is comparing the natural dimension to the spiritual dimension.   The Bible tells us clearly that those things that are natural and physical are just “temporal”.  The English word temporal is translated from a Greek word (G4340)  that means “temporary”.  Anything that is considered temporary is not eternal.  What God is saying is that this world is disposal and will change to the permanent some day in the future.   Therefore, physical things can be viewed as being “here today and gone tomorrow” or “easy come and easier go”.   What God is saying to us is that there exists nothing in this physical world that is visible that we can call “permanent”.  Do you understand this?  Only your unseen spirit which is present inside of your body right now will exist forever after your death and this existence will be either in heaven or in hell depending upon what you have done in this life to receive or reject the finished work of Christ Jesus.  Of course God will create a New Heaven and a New Earth someday and these will exist forever and we who have received salvation will live there (Rev 21:1).

So I have probably just confused you up to this point.  I have not even mentioned the “Eucharist”, or have I?   Let me ask you this, can you touch the “Eucharist”?  Can you smell the “Eucharist”?   Can you taste the “Eucharist”?   If you answer yes to any of these questions then they are natural physical things.  These natural and physical elements according to the verse that we just read in 2 Cor 4:18, these are just more temporary things that God says we should not be focused on.  Uh oh?  I warned you that this was going to be controversial, didn’t I?  That may make it sound like I am saying we should ignore them, but that is not what I’m saying at all.  What I am saying is that we should be focused on the eternal spiritual objects represented by these natural symbolic elements that are only temporary physical things used to teach us.  I am definitely not saying not to partake of these; I am just asking you to figure out why you are partaking of these and focus on the meaning behind partaking of them and not to focus on the physical bread or wine.  You see after you die, you can take the meaning with you into eternity, but the physical bread and wine will remain here on the earth and turn to dust.  Do you understand the difference between what I just said?  What I am attempting to do is to change your perspective from a physical viewpoint to a far greater spiritual viewpoint.  Let’s see what Jesus says about the Eucharist:

Mat 15:11  Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man.

Uh Oh?  Jesus didn’t even mention the Eucharist, did He?  As you should be able to clearly see He did talk about the Eucharist in an indirect reference.  Jesus is talking about something going into your mouth as natural food.  Unleaved bread and wine (grape juice) is normally used in the Eucharist church ceremony.   What exactly is Bread and Wine?  Here is another verse of scripture that is difficult to understand for many people.  Jesus is speaking about the difference between natural things and spiritual things again.  Jesus is saying that anything that you eat naturally and put into your mouth does not cause you to be “defiled”.  To defile something is to cause it to be “unclean”, “polluted”, or to be “profane”.  You can clearly see that Jesus is saying that it is not what you physically eat that causes you to sin and to become spiritually unclean.  What would be the opposite truth (antithesis)  to this statement that Jesus just made?  I believe that it would be “There is nothing that you can physically eat that will make you “clean”, “pure” and “undefiled”.   So what am I saying?  I am saying that the “Eucharist” is a physical representation of something that is a spiritual truth that is more important than the physical pieces that you handle with your natural hands and put into your natural mouths.  Jesus continues in this context to describe the things that you physically eat as being only natural things that are processed by the physical body and expelled down the toilet (Mat 15:17).   So what makes the Eucharist elements any different?  I think that is a very excellent question to consider.  It would only be different if you knew what it all meant and how it all applied to your life as you partook of these elements.  Without the knowledge and the reason for the action the action seems to be worthless to me based upon what Jesus just taught us about eating physical food.   What we are seeing now in the Bible is a pattern of truths being revealed to us.  There is a major difference between natural things and spiritual things.  The natural things are placed here as temporary teaching tools and the spiritual things are the eternal things to be focused upon.  Doing natural things without understanding the spiritual things behind them actually does you no good physically, emotionally or spiritually.  I pray that you are grasping these important concepts.

What I am trying to say is DO NOT do things just because you are told to do them or asked to do them by a preacher or a priest.  Do not do something just because others around you are doing them and you want to fit in.  People have been poisoned and died by following that type of reasoning, simply because the cult leader that they were following determined it was time for everyone to die.  What I am saying is find out why you are doing something in the natural realm using the Word of God and what it means and then use that information to determine if this what you should be doing.  Follow God’s Word and not any man, any priest, any preacher, any denomination, group or whatever.  Let God be True and every man a liar (Rom 3:4).   I am attempting to teach the difference between religion and a real relationship with Jesus Christ.  Religion is anyone partaking of a ritual set of elements without any knowledge of why they are participating.  Relationship with Christ is worshipping the God in the knowledge of the one that offered His body and His blood so that we could be saved while we remember Him through partaking the elements.  Let me give you another example of what I am trying to say from the Words of our Savior Jesus:

Mat 23:25  Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess.

Jesus is again contrasting the differences between temporary natural things and far greater spiritual things.  Jesus is telling those that He was speaking to, that they were hypocrites.    Why were they this way?  Jesus said they were focused only on the outside of the cup (body) and not the inside of the cup (spirit).  This was of course more symbolic representations for the temporary natural things of this world and the eternal spiritual things.  Being focused just upon the taking of the “Eucharist” without knowing the reason why you are taking it would be an example of this type of hypocritical religious behavior.   If you do something lacking any knowledge about why you doing it, the act becomes a pagan ritual or a religious rite that is attempting to please a god that you do not know and these are what Jesus was calling the actions of ignorant hypocrites.   By only doing something externally while not knowing the reasons why you are doing it internally, you could be falling into a deceptive pattern found within any godless religion in the world.  Do you understand that?    What would make the taking of the Eucharist in a church any different than participating in an Islamic temple rite?   I can literally see no difference between the two if they are both done in religious acts of ignorance.   This is another statement Jesus said about these hypocrites:

Mat 15:9  But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.

Jesus is clearly saying that these men worship God in vain, because they were teaching the “doctrines” and “commandments” of men.  So when you do something that you do not have any reasons for why you are doing it, how do you know it is not a humanly created doctrine of man?  Perhaps it could even be something that was designed by Satan to deceive you into a lie?   Jesus said by adding your thoughts on top of the Word of God, you render the Word of God to be of No Effect! (Mat 15:6)  These are all very strong words of warning to all those who practice religion and do not know God.  Your religion will not save you.  The partaking of the elements will not saved you.  Going to church will not save you.  Becoming a member of the church will not save you.  Being baptized in water will not save you.  I could go on and on but you get the point, I hope.

In these verses Jesus is talking about a strongly religious group of people of the Jews called the “Pharisees”.  These men came up with their own set of rules and outward traditions that they thought made them righteous in the eyes of God.  What you must know is God is much more concerned with the eternal spiritual you than He is with the temporary physical you.  What I am attempting to teach you today is that doing things in the natural are worthless if you are not aware of the reasons why they are to be done.   The Pharisees clearly did many good looking things externally in this world but internally they were corrupt and this was their downfall.  If we die physically and know Jesus Christ the Bible says that we will go to be with the Lord (2 Cor 5:8).  However, if you die physically and do not know Jesus Christ, then you are eternally lost in hell. Physical things done in your natural body are just temporary things and God is much more focused upon your eternal spirit and your soul that is inside your physical body that you cannot see.  Real salvation always starts on the inside in your spirit and shows up on the outside in what you do and say.  God changes your heart inside of you and this will always show up in the things you do on the outside later.  The opposite of this is Religion which is man’s attempt to change himself to please God and God said this will never work. (Gal 2:6)

Any Christian who can not give a scriptural reason for why they are participate in the “Eucharist”, do you now see why it might be important to find that information before the next time you blindly participate?   Does it make a difference if you do something with our without knowledge?  Is it just the fact that we did something that makes it right?  Is the fact that someone blindly participates in something that causes them to be in God’s favor?   I do not think that God would have written the Bible, if He wanted you to blindly parrot and monkey religious rites.    What makes Christianity different than any religion in the world?   It is the fact that we have a personal relationship with God and in other religions they are trying to just please a god that they do not personally know or understand.  So I’ll ask you again, does blindly following a ritual cause you to derive any benefit from what you did?  Not according to what Jesus just said in Matthew 23.  Jesus told us these were just the action of religious hypocrites.  Please do not be offended at what I just said.  I am not naming names and I did not call anyone this by name.  I’m just reading the Bible and people need to decide if the Bible applies to them or not.  I’m not your judge, so I will not judge you or whatever you do.

I think I will stop this introduction to the subject of Eucharist right here for now.  I know I did not attempt to define the term or explain what it is or how it applies to us today.  I think these will have to be future topics that we discuss as we continue to learn.  Today I wanted to get you to think afresh and I wanted to shift your focus off of physical natural things and get you to start focusing on lasting spiritual things.  Quit being a person who does something and does not know or understand why they are doing it.  There is a major difference between natural and spiritual things and it is time for the Church to realize it.  Are the temporary things in the world more important to you than the eternal spiritual things of God in you?  If they are God and anything else that I tell you from the Bible can’t help you.  Be blessed in the knowledge of Him that is Faithful and True.  If you have any specific questions or comments please feel free to share them with me.   If you have any experience with participating in religious rites without understanding the reasons why you are doing them, please share those also.  Until next time, God Bless!

If you would like to continue reading the next lesson in this series, you may go to “Part 2” now.