The True Communion (Conclusion)
What does this all have to do with Communion?
Since the manna-bread-flesh was referring to Jesus words and since the blood-wine was referring to Jesus’ Spirit then apply this interpretation to the following passages referring to the Last Supper:
Mat 26:26-29 - And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and broke 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.
Mar 14:22-25 - And as they did eat, Jesus took bread, and blessed, and broke it, and gave to them, and said, Take, eat: this is my body. And as they did eat, Jesus took bread, and blessed, and broke it, and gave to them, and said, Take, eat: this is my body. And he took the cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them: and they all drank of it. And he said unto them, This is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many. Verily I say unto you, I will drink no more of the fruit of the vine, until that day that I drink it new in the kingdom of God.
Luk 22:14-20 - And when the hour was come, he sat down, and the twelve apostles with him. 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 broke 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.
Look at John 13-17.
Parallel passages – different gospels speaking of and recording the same event.
It has been said that,
“When Jesus didn't want the multitudes to understand he spoke in parables. Jesus did not do this when he spoke about his body and blood. He said ‘This is.’ He said the wine in the cup was the blood of the new covenant.”
John 16:25 KJV - These things have I spoken unto you in proverbs: but the time cometh, when I shall no more speak unto you in proverbs, but I shall shew you plainly of the Father.
The Greek word for “proverb” here is as follows (Strong’s):
specifically an enigmatical or fictitious illustration: - parable, proverb.
It is also the same word translated in John 10:6 as parable.
1) a saying out of the usual course or deviating from the usual manner of speaking
2) any dark saying which shadows forth some didactic truth
2a) especially a symbolic or figurative saying
2b) speech or discourse in which a thing is illustrated by the use of similes and comparisons
2c) an allegory
2c1) extended and elaborate metaphor
Jesus said in John 16 that He spoke to them in proverbs, “parables”. This seems to contradict
the quote above because Jesus explicitly stated in John 16 that He did speak to them in parables. This statement referred to many things from John 13 to John 16, and probably further back.
Matthew, Mark, Luke are the only gospels that speak of the actual Lord’s Supper. But Luke’s is the only account that says, “Do this in remembrance of me.”
Do I believe this was a life and death command? In other words is our salvation dependent upon this literal interpretation to eat bread and drink wine?
No, I don’t believe so.
We are to simply partake of this “in remembrance” of him, like the Israelites took part in the Passover in remembrance of God passing over the people of God and killing all other first born’s during their bondage in Egypt.
Some have said,
“I do believe in taking literal communion. I believe that Jesus was setting up a ritual for the church.”
I agree to an extent. However, I don’t agree with others that say this is a “salvational” issue. It was simply to be done in remembrance of Him, His sacrifice, and His work of the cross.
This reminds me of a study by Bro. Mike Blume, entitled Phylacteries of Hell. He notes that the Jews literally tied themselves up with leather straps on their forehead and arm.
The natural interpretation of what God was saying in Exodus 13:1-16, Deuteronomy 6:4-9 and 11:18 -21 led them to do that. Bro. Blume noted that what it ended up doing was exalting self, which is what I see happening with the natural and literal interpretation of communion.
However, if we partake of the communion with the spiritual understanding – the understanding that was shown of eating the “manna/bread/flesh” (His words) and drinking the “blood/wine” (His Spirit) then it does become a salvational issue.
Remembering His sacrifice and having that be our motivation to hear Him, obey Him, and be led by His Spirit is supremely important.
I think we would all agree that if we don’t hear and obey His word, if we don’t walk in the Spirit, His light, His revelation, that given enough time and disobedience, it could very well lead to our death, both physical and spiritual.
But simply eating or not eating natural bread that perishes and drinking natural wine is not going to save or kill you.
Let us not be as natural men (the Israelites of the O.C.), but spiritual men discerning His word spiritually. If we simply eat bread and drink wine, we miss the greater spiritual significance of eating His word and drinking His Spirit.
Looking at what Paul said regarding communion, he even quoted Luke by saying when the bread is eaten and the wine is drunk, do it “in remembrance” of Him.
1 Corinthians 11:20-34 KJV - (20) When ye come together therefore into one place, this is not to eat the Lord's supper. (21) For in eating every one taketh before other his own supper: and one is hungry, and another is drunken. (22) 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. [Emphasis added are mine]
The issue is NOT about partaking of the Lord’s Supper for one’s continued salvation.
(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: (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. (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. (26) For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord's death till he come. (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. (28) But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup. [Emphasis added are mine]
The following is the issue Paul was addressing to correct.
(29) For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body. (30) For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep. [Emphasis added are mine]
Again, the issue here is not the taking of the bread and the wine for one’s salvation. Paul was using the story of the Lord’s Passover to explain a spiritual principal. Paul, like Jesus, wanted them to spiritually discern what they were doing or were supposed to be doing. They were not discerning the Lord’s body – their brethren. They were not loving one another. They were not caring for each other. Some brethren were shaming others who did not have.
Were they taking of the bread and the wine naturally? Yes, but so what!
When the Corinthians came to meet together some were already full (drunken) and others arrived hungry and in need! And for this reason many of the brethren were weak and sick, and had slept. This is the true issue Paul was dealing with – the lack of love for one another.
In John’s record of events of the night of the Last Supper (chapters 13-18), notice John makes no mention of the bread and the wine. However, there are repeated references to His Spirit (“the wine”) coming and the necessity to love one another (“the bread”):
The Spirit references –
John 14:15-17 KJV - If ye love me, keep my commandments. (16) And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; (17) Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. [Emphasis added are mine]
Remember we previously touched upon this phrase “dwelleth in me, and I in him”?
This passage, in John 14:15-17, supports the understanding that for this to take place we must keep His commandments and receive His Spirit.
More references of the Spirit in John 13-17:
John 14:26-28 KJV - But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. (27) Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. (28) Ye have heard how I said unto you, I go away, and come again unto you. If ye loved me, ye would rejoice, because I said, I go unto the Father: for my Father is greater than I. [Emphasis added are mine]
John 15:26-27 KJV - But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me: (27) And ye also shall bear witness, because ye have been with me from the beginning. [Emphasis added are mine]
John 16:6-16 KJV - But because I have said these things unto you, sorrow hath filled your heart. (7) Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you. (8) And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: (9) Of sin, because they believe not on me; (10) Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more; (11) Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged. (12) I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. (13) Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. (14) He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you. (15) All things that the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, that he shall take of mine, and shall shew it unto you. (16) A little while, and ye shall not see me: and again, a little while, and ye shall see me, because I go to the Father. [Emphasis added are mine]
The blood of the cup is His Spirit. Even though John didn’t mention the bread and the wine in his gospel account, these chapters above are expounding on the references to the wine mentioned in Matthew, Mark, and Luke’s account of the Last Supper.
Well, what’s love got to do with anything?
Love references –
John 13:6-17 KJV - Then cometh he to Simon Peter: and Peter saith unto him, Lord, dost thou wash my feet? (7) Jesus answered and said unto him, What I do thou knowest not now; but thou shalt know hereafter. (8) Peter saith unto him, Thou shalt never wash my feet. Jesus answered him, If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me. (9) Simon Peter saith unto him, Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head. (10) Jesus saith to him, He that is washed needeth not save to wash his feet, but is clean every whit: and ye are clean, but not all. (11) For he knew who should betray him; therefore said he, Ye are not all clean. (12) So after he had washed their feet, and had taken his garments, and was set down again, he said unto them, Know ye what I have done to you? (13) Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am. (14) If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another's feet. (15) For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you. (16) Verily, verily, I say unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him. (17) If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them.
Do we really believe that God came in the flesh to tell us simply to wash each other’s feet in the natural?
Think spiritually! Wasn’t Jesus using this natural example to teach us to love one another as He loved us and allow our love for one another to cleanse each another? Peter speaks of this by saying, “…for charity shall cover the multitude of sins” (I Peter 4:8).
If you continue reading the chapters 13-17 of John, this is elaborated and encouraged by Jesus Himself.
John 13:34-35 KJV - A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. (35) By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another. [Emphasis added are mine]
John 15:7-17 KJV - If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. (8) Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples. (9) As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love. (10) If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love. (11) These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full. (12) This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you. (13) Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. (14) Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you. (15) Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you. (16) Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you. (17) These things I command you, that ye love one another. [Emphasis added are mine]
John 16:27 KJV - For the Father himself loveth you, because ye have loved me, and have believed that I came out from God. [Emphasis added are mine]
John 17:23,26 KJV - I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me…
And I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare it: that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them. [Emphasis added are mine]
In these passages, as they culminate into what we read in chapter 17, the love of God is primary. The love of God is manifested through us as we hear and obey Him. Therefore love and truth are two sides of the same coin.
Romans 5:5 KJV - And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.
The love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost. We NOW have the capacity to love others with the very love of God.
Our love for one another does not cover each other’s sin by being “lovey-dovey” with each other, especially when one or both of the parties is unclean. It's when we help one another repent of our sins and return back to the Lord.
James 5:19-20 KJV - Brethren, if any of you do err from the truth, and one convert him; (20) Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins. [Emphasis added are mine]
Paul spoke to the Galatians to walk in this kind of love for each other:
Galatians 6:1-2 KJV - Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted. (2) Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ. [Emphasis added are mine]
We cover one another’s sins - we wash each others feet - when we help our brethren who stumble and get lost along the way, find their AND carry their burdens as our own. We save each other’s souls from death. That is how our love for one another cover’s a multitude of sins.
How do we partake of the spiritual bread and wine?
Revelation 2:7 KJV - He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God. [Emphasis added are mine]
Revelation 22:17 KJV - And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely. [Emphasis added are mine]
You eat from the tree of life and drink from the Spirit of God – hear the Word of God, do it, and be led by the Spirit.
These references above I believe are true communion with Jesus Christ.
1 Corinthians 10:16 KJV - (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?
The Greek word for “communion” is as follows:
1) fellowship, association, community, communion, joint participation, intercourse
1a) the share which one has in anything, participation
1b) intercourse, fellowship, intimacy
1b1) the right hand as a sign and pledge of fellowship (in fulfilling the apostolic office)
1c) a gift jointly contributed, a collection, a contribution, as exhibiting an embodiment and proof of fellowship
Part of Speech: noun feminine
A Related Word by Thayer’s/Strong’s Number: from G2844
Citing in TDNT: 3:797, 447
We have true communion, fellowship, joint participation, intercourse (if you will), and intimacy with Jesus when we hear and obey His word (eating His flesh-bread-manna) and partake of His Spirit (drinking His blood-wine).
We have fellowship, association, community, and joint participation with each other when we love one another according to His commandment, by His Spirit.
We don’t have that because we simply eat bread and drink wine together.
It’s just a natural illustration of what God is looking for amidst His people spiritually – love and obedience – toward God and each other.
The true communion is truly about the first and second commandment of the Lord.
Mat 22:37-40 KJV - Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.
© copyright 2003 Jesus M. Ruiz