PART 4 FAVOR WITH GOD AND MAN

Thu, 11/26/2020 - 7:45am

PART 4 FAVOR WITH GOD AND MAN

CHAPTER 5                                                     

AT COMMUNION IS THE CHANGING OF THE BREAD AND WINE INTO THE LITERAL BODY AND BLOOD OF CHRIST SUPPORTED BY THE SCRIPTURES THAT RELATE TO THE TIME WHEN CHRIST LIVED ON THE EARTH?

While there might not many Scripture sections to look at during the Incarnation of Christ concerning this topic every additional section hopefully will provide for us further insight into formulating an opinion as to whether the elements of the bread and wine change into the literal body and blood of Christ at communion. Don’t you agree that we should know the “WHY” behind what we believe unless if we believe that everything, we are taught from the leadership of the church is from God and therefore there is no need to question it?

Even if we were to believe that everything, we hear from the pulpit is from God, are there reasons to still question what is being said?

I will say it this way. If this teaching on this subject of communion causes you to seriously reconsider your view on this topic, then what else have you been taught that might be needed to be further looked into? I’ll leave you with one question to consider before we continue on in this study. If you were to die right now would you know that you know that you know beyond a shadow of a doubt that you would go to heaven? Well, if you were to answer I hope so, I would respond by saying this would be another topic of study for you to take a look at, at another time. Let’s see what the following Scripture sections unveil to us on the subject of the partaking of the elements of communion.

We’ll begin in the book of Matthew.

When Jesus said that the bread was his body and the wine was his blood, was this to be taken literally?

Suggested Reading: Matthew 26:17-29

Jesus and his disciples were preparing for Passover, one of the 4 main Jewish feasts, which was to be observed on the evening of the 14th day of the first month Nisan. It was kept in remembrance of the Lord's passing over the houses of the Israelites (Exodus 12:13) when the first born of all the Egyptians were destroyed.11 That same night an angel of the Lord passed by, and the houses marked with blood were spared the death of the firstborn son and animal while those houses without blood experienced the death of the first-born son and animal. This event, also known as the 12th plague, caused Pharaoh to finally allow God’s people to leave Egypt.

And the disciples did as Jesus had appointed them; and they made ready the passover. And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body. And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. But I say unto you, I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father's kingdom. (Matthew 26:19, 26-29)

At Jesus’ last Passover celebration, He offered bread and wine to His disciples, saying that the bread was His body and the wine was His blood. The unleavened bread, which was consumed, is analogous to Christ as the sacrificial lamb on the cross without spot or blemish who suffered in our place; and the wine represented His blood atonement for the remission/forgiveness/pardon for sin. Here are a couple of questions to consider.

When Jesus said to His disciples eat the bread for it is my body, was He saying that it would become His literal flesh, or was He saying that it would symbolize (represent) His sacrifice of suffering for us on the cross?

When He spoke of the wine, was He saying that it would literally become His blood, or that it would symbolize what it is was shed for, that being for the remission (forgiveness) of sins?

At Communion Are the Elements of Bread and Wine Changed into Christ’s Literal Body and Blood?

  • No
  • The bread symbolized Jesus as the sacrificial lamb on the cross without spot or blemish, suffering in mankind’s place, both physically and spiritually.
  • The wine symbolized Christ’s blood, which was the ransom paid to God the Father for the release of mankind from being a prisoner to the debt of sin, along with providing forgiveness (the wiping away; erasing the record of the debt; to cancel a debt) for the sins of the whole world.

At Communion Are the Elements of Bread and Wine Changed into Christ’s Literal Body and Blood?

  • Yes
  • The bread is changed into Christ’s literal body at communion.
  • The wine is changed into Christ’s literal blood at communion.

Where we will go next is the book of Luke.

Is the purpose of partaking of the elements of communion for an increase in Christ-likeness or is it for remembering what took place on the cross?

Suggested Reading: Luke 22:7-20

And he said unto them, With desire I have desired to eat this passover with you before I suffer; For I say unto you, I will not any more eat thereof, until it be fulfilled in the kingdom of God. And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and said, Take this, and divide it among yourselves: For I say unto you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine, until the kingdom of God shall come. 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 22:15-20)

At the last supper, Jesus told His disciples that He would not eat the Passover again until that of which the Passover is a type was fulfilled by His death, through which the kingdom of God, or heaven, is established among men.12 After this, he gave each of them the bread and wine and told them to continue this tradition in remembrance of Him.

At Communion Are the Elements of Bread and Wine Changed into Christ’s Literal Body and Blood?

  • No
  • When Jesus said, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me, he meant that the bread represented the sufferings in his body, both physically and spiritually.
  • To continue to break bread and drink wine in remembrance of Him means to recall what He accomplished for us on the cross—i.e., redemption (to no longer be a prisoner to the debt of sin; to let one go free) through His blood and the forgiveness of sins. 

At Communion Are the Elements of Bread and Wine Changed into Christ’s Literal Body and Blood?

  • Yes
  • When Jesus said, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me, he meant the bread would be changed into his literal body at communion.
  • When Jesus said, This cup is the new testament in my blood, he meant the wine would be changed into his literal blood at communion.
  • When a person partakes of the bread (His body) and wine (His blood) in remembrance of Him, they will become more and more transformed into Christ-likeness.

Where I would like us to go next is the book of John.

When Jesus stood and declared loudly that whosoever believed in Him would have rivers of living water flowing out of their belly, was this to be taken literally or figuratively?

Suggested Reading: John 7:2-53

In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.) (John 7:37-39)

Jesus attended the Feast of Tabernacles (of Weeks), which lasted for 8 days and was celebrated immediately after the harvest of corn, wine, and oil, near the end of September and the beginning of October. The name of the feast came from tents that were erected around the temple, public places, courts, gardens, and on the flat roofs of houses. The Jews lived in them during the eight days to commemorate the 40 years their ancestors lived in the wilderness in booths according to Leviticus 23:43.

When the feast began, all of the people would proceed to cut down branches from palm trees, willow, and myrtle, and tie them together. After this, they would carry these arrangements with them when they entered the synagogue where at times they would pray, and at other times they would walk around the altar singing Hosanna.

On the 7th day of the feast, they would walk around the altar seven times (the Hosanna Rabba).

On the 8th day, a priest would draw water from the pool at Siloam, place it in a golden vessel that contained wine, and then pour it out over the morning sacrifice as the people sang.

On the last day of this feast, Jesus stood and declared loudly that whosoever believed in Him would have rivers of living water flowing out of their belly; this referring to the Holy Spirit who would come inside and indwell after: His work on the cross was completed; He rose again after three days; He had ascended into heaven to be seated at the right hand of the Father. This indwelling of the Holy Spirit occurred for the first time on the day of Pentecost (the Feast of Harvest, the day of firstfruits, or the day of Shavuot), when those who believed in Him, His disciples, received Him into their physical body. Therefore, the expression “rivers of living water” are figurative and refer to the Holy Spirit satisfying the inner person enabling a believer to bear fruit.

At Communion Are the Elements of Bread and Wine Changed into Christ’s Literal Body and Blood?

  • No
  • Jesus said belief in Him would result in the reception of another member of the trinity, the Holy Spirit, who would come and indwell inside the body.
  • The “rivers of living water” coming out of the belly are figurative of the Spirit satisfying the inner person, enabling him/her to bear fruit.
  • Bearing fruit is not determined by how often a believer partakes of the communion elements, but once the Holy Spirit has come in to indwell, it has to do with Him assisting the believer by means of His sanctifying ministry to bear fruit.

At Communion Are the Elements of Bread and Wine Changed into Christ’s Literal Body and Blood?

  • Yes
  • The communion elements are changed into the literal body and blood of Christ, causing the child of God to be in union with Him, withheld from evil, strengthened to do well, and to go forward to renewed growth in virtues and graces.13
  • According to Catholic doctrine, the receiving of the Holy Spirit occurs at Confirmation when the bishop lays hands on the person who has previously become a child of God through water baptism.

~   It is believed that when a person is baptized in water the Holy Spirit shows up and participates, causing the person to become born again, a child of God. However, He is not received at this time.

~   Confirmation is when the Holy Spirit comes into the believer’s life to indwell and strengthen them so that they can confess boldly the name of Christ.  

  • Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. (John 3:5)                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        

What do you think about the partaking of the bread and wine at communion?

Do the elements turn into the literal body and blood of Christ?

Do they cause the child of God to grow spiritually so that they will evidence Christ-likeness to others or are they to be partaken of to bring to remembrance what Christ accomplished for them on the cross?

It’s interesting to consider that if a child of God continues to partake of communion and not grow, then could we deduce that it’s possible that the elements of the bread and wine could be partaken of for a different reason?

If it could be determined that the growth of a child of God could take place in a different manner, then wouldn’t this call into question whether the bread and wine do actually become the literal body and blood of Christ?

This conjecture will be presented in a later chapter. Let’s continue on in this study as we have in the previous two chapters by looking at more Scripture sections in order to gain insight as to whether the elements of communion become the literal body and blood of Christ. The verses that we will look at next are going to be taken from another dispensation or era called the Church Age, which is the age that we as God’s children currently live in. We will look at Scripture sections from the book of Acts, the Epistles, and the book of Revelation.

 

Endnotes

11“Passover”. 29 March 2009 ˂ www.dictionary.reference.com/browse/passover>.

12Adam Clarke’s Commentary Pc Study Bible version 5, 2004, 30 March 2009 ˂http://www.biblesoft.com>.

13Medieval Sourcebook: The Seven Sacraments: Catholic Doctrinal Documents, 1 April 2009 ˂ www.fordham.edu/halsall/sbook.html>.

 

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