December 20, 2013
Since this will be the last Coffee Break prior to Christmas, let
me first wish you all a very blessed and revelatory Christmas season. In an
email sent out earlier this week to some friends, I noted that we do not
celebrate Jesus' birth on Christmas day, despite the centuries-old traditions.
We celebrate Christmas because this was the day on the Hebrew calendar when the
angel Gabriel appeared to Mary. This is the day when the Word became flesh and
Mary spoke those fateful and faith-filled words, "Be it unto me according
to Thy Word."
we left off last week, we were talking about the fact that when Jesus broke
bread with His disciples, he first breaks matstsah (flat, unleavened)
bread, showing Himself to be the Passover Lamb. Jesus
again takes bread, and as He did when feeding the 5000 (and the 4000), he
breaks it and begins to serve the disciples. (See verse 26.)
The Greek word in this instance is not azumos (or matstsah), but artos: raised
bread. These two Greek words exactly parallel the two Hebrew words which
describe both the unleavened bread (matstsah) of
Passover, and the raised bread that was on display on the Table of Shewbread (lechem). Jesus
became the bread of Passover, fulfilling its purpose, and the
bread of provision -- the Table of Shewbread -- that
He promised in Matthew 6:33 and Philippians 4:19.
I know that many folks have questioned the idea that Jesus would
have broken leavened bread with the Disciples, but there seems to be a
fundamental misunderstanding of the picture of leaven. Leaven can either
be good (as it was in representing the wholeness of Jesus, His makeup, His
character, and the essence of who He is), or it can be representative of sin
and corruption (as it was in the case of the Pharisees and Sadducees). Leaven
is simply a picture of something which expands and grows the loaf.
Jesus made the statement to the Disciples (see Matthew
16:6), "Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of
the Sadducees." That's one example. But He also said (in Matthew
13:33), "The kingdom of heaven is like unto leaven, which a woman
took, and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was
leavened." In this instance, leaven represents the expanding power of the
Kingdom of God."
Is that clear enough? Good! Let's move on.
statement caused such great consternation among the people who heard him. They
only saw his comments within the framework of the Law of Moses, or from a
purely physical standpoint, and because they treated His Word that way they
were repulsed by them.
"This is the bread which cometh down from heaven, that a
man may eat thereof, and not die. I am the living bread which came down from
heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live forever: and the bread that
I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the
world...... Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of
the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you. Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my
blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day. For my
flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. He that eateth
my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth
in me, and I in him. As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the
Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by
me. This is that bread which came down from heaven: not as your fathers did eat
manna, and are dead: he that eateth of this bread
shall live forever." (John 6:50-51, 53-58)
we have John's observation of Jesus:
"And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us,
(and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,)
full of grace and truth." (John
wonder how "the Word was made flesh" as John declares? Consider the
picture that unfolds in Luke 1:26-38. The angel Gabriel appears to Mary and
tells her that she is blessed and highly favored of God, and that she will
conceive and bear a son who in fact will be the long-promised and prophesied
Messiah. Mary does not doubt the word that she is hearing but asks, "How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?" The angel Gabriel responds, "The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the
Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be
born of thee shall be called the Son of God."
in mind that the angel is simply a messenger of God sent with God's Word to
her. Here is how -- and when -- the Word is made flesh. "And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be
it unto me according to thy word." (Luke 1:38)
it? Mary agrees with the Word of the Lord and speaks that agreement by saying
"Be it unto me according to thy Word:" the Word of the Lord. She is
effectively speaking the same creative Word that God spoke when He decreed in
Genesis 1:3, "Light be" (or as the KJV reads, "Let there be light!") Thus the Word came into being
instantly within her womb. Sure, she had to carry Jesus for the normal
nine-month term before He was actually born but He was instantly conceived when
she spoke the Word herself.
you beginning to get the picture? The Word, spoken by Mary in agreement with
the Word of the Lord which had been delivered to her, became flesh in her womb.
It was living. It was eternity, invading time and space with the reality of God
Himself! Thus, the Word -- Jesus -- became flesh. And John witnesses, "and dwelt among us (and we beheld His Glory, the Glory as
of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth."
walked and talked with His disciples. He preached to the multitudes. He broke
bread with them, and He did it in a manner that would testify to them (and they
would also be witness to) that He was the Word!
the event that had unfolded (see John 6) just prior to Jesus' statement "Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink His blood,
ye have no life in you."
"After these things Jesus went over the sea of Galilee,
which is the sea of Tiberias. And a great multitude
followed him, because they saw his miracles which he did on them that were
diseased. And Jesus went up into a mountain, and there he sat with his
disciples. And the Passover, a feast of the Jews, was nigh." (This is an important point in view of
what Jesus is about to do.)
"When Jesus then lifted up his eyes, and saw a great
company come unto him, he saith unto Philip, Whence
shall we buy bread, that these may eat? And this he said to prove him: for he
himself knew what he would do. Philip answered him, Two hundred pennyworth of
bread is not sufficient for them, that every one of them may take a little. (Note: this is roughly equivalent to
seven months' wages in those days) One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, saith unto him, There is a lad here, which hath five
barley loaves, and two small fishes: but what are they among so many? And Jesus
said, Make the men sit down. Now there was much grass in the place. So the men
sat down, in number about five thousand." (Note: By Hebrew tradition this number
represents the married men only, not counting the unmarried men, all the wives,
the women and children. The actual number of those gathered on the hillsides
would have been more on the order of 20,000 - 30,000.)
"And Jesus took the loaves; and when he had given thanks,
he distributed to the disciples, and the disciples to them that were set down;
and likewise of the fishes as much as they would. When they were filled, he
said unto his disciples, Gather up the fragments that remain, that nothing be
lost. Therefore they gathered them together, and filled twelve baskets with the
fragments of the five barley loaves, which remained over and above unto them
that had eaten. Then those men, when they had seen the miracle that Jesus did,
said, This is of a truth that prophet that should come into the world."
we continue with the rest of this picture, let's consider some of the issues
that have already been presented.
John makes note of the fact that the Passover was "eggus": "ready
to begin, at hand." Folks were ready for the seven
day period in which they would eat of the unleavened bread. They would break
this bread and eat of it only -- no leavened bread at all. (Both Orthodox and
Messianic Jews keep this ordinance yet today. They often refer to it as a
"Seder" meal.) With the Passover meal, they would drink water -- not
wine. The practice of wine with the Table of the Lord did not really commence
until after Jesus turned the water into wine at the marriage of Cana in
Galilee, although we see this covenant practice long before the days of Moses.
point I'm making is that the Jews were ready to begin Passover with its
unleavened flatbread (matstsah)
-- symbolic of the fact that there was no leaven of Egypt in what they were
eating. In a parable that Jesus later shared, (and we've already noted this) He
likened the Kingdom of God to leaven and said, "The kingdom of heaven is like unto leaven, which a woman
took, and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened." (Matthew
13:33) In so doing, Jesus was clarifying the fact that the picture of leaven is
that of a spiritual force -- whether for evil or for good.
the miracle that unfolded in John 6 where Jesus fed the 5,000, as noted in the
last Coffee Break, the loaves that Jesus broke and distributed were artos: raised
bread, whole bread -- leavened bread. There was an impartation of His life that
took place which He was demonstrating. There is a multiplying factor in His
life; it is the leaven of the Kingdom of God which multiplies and causes the
Word to grow and expand within us until we reach the place of being fully
"raised" in Him.
Thus as the miracle of the loaves unfolded, Jesus was
demonstrating what He would say to the people shortly thereafter, “I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man
eat of this bread, he shall live forever: and the bread that I will give is my
flesh, which I will give for the life of the world."
many occasions, Jesus made statements such as the following:
"As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the
Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by
me." (John 6:57)
"I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in
me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth
and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou
"I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto
the Father, but by me." (John 14:6)
his first general epistle, John writes, "For
the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and show unto
you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto
us." (I John 1:2)
Table of the Lord -- which took the place of Passover -- provides us with a
daily (or as often as we eat and drink of it) impartation of the life, the
multiplication that comes in that divine life, and we receive for ourselves
healing, health, wholeness, forgiveness and deliverance from, and eradication
of, the bondage and oppression of the past (that's aphiémi), and the abundant
provision of all that Heaven has for us. Consider the event that took place
when the Syrophenician woman came to Jesus.
"And, behold, a woman of Canaan came out of the same
coasts, and cried unto him, saying, Have mercy on me, O Lord, thou Son of
David; my daughter is grievously vexed with a devil. But he answered her not a
word. And his disciples came and besought him, saying, Send her away; for she crieth after us. But he answered and said, I am not sent
but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel. Then came she and worshipped
him, saying, Lord, help me. But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto
the lost sheep of the house of Israel. And she said, Truth, Lord: yet the dogs
eat of the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table. Then Jesus answered and
said unto her, O woman, great is thy faith: be it unto thee even as thou wilt.
And her daughter was made whole from that very hour." (Matthew 15:21-28)
the picture? Are you understanding just how powerful the bread of life really
is? This woman was not even of the house of Israel. Yet she understood the
significance of the Table of the Lord. She understood the picture of the Bread
of Life, and she realized that just a dried-out crumb of that bread that had
fallen under the Table would bring healing and deliverance to her daughter.
I sometimes marvel that the body of Christ -- who is supposed to have a grip on
what it means to be seated at the Table of the Lord -- has yet to understand
what it means to eat of the Bread of Life. David certainly had the picture.
Remember the 23rd Psalm?
"Thou preparest a table before me
in the presence of mine enemies." Who is preparing this
table? Hello!?! The Lord Jesus Christ, of course. And what are the enemies in
whose presence this Table is spread? Hmmmm ........
Let's see, now ....... Sickness, disease, infirmity, death, poverty, bondage of
every kind, demonic oppression, fear, doubt, unbelief ..... shall we go on?
for the most part, the body of Christ today still treats the Table of the Lord
as anaxios: to
treat irreverently, to treat as commonplace and ordinary. There is
nothing, and I do mean NOTHING about the Table of the Lord that is commonplace
or ordinary. This is not a ritual. This is not some duty to keep. The Table of
the Lord is a way of life, a manner of living. Eating of the Table of the Lord
takes a person out of this time-space, sin-and-sickness-based, death-imposed
realm and transports them into the eternity of eternities -- the Kingdom of
we eat of the Bread of Life, we are eating of the Word Himself. But we have to
do it with revelation and understanding. Otherwise it becomes just another
"thing to do" as a Christian. Personally, I dislike -- no, I'll make
it even stronger than that -- I detest the form and ritual that has turned our
sacred Communion at the Table of the Lord into crackers or wafers and dinky
little "communion cups" (so that folks don't transmit or catch some
disease by drinking from a common cup).
Dwain and I were still at Long Beach Christian Center back in the 1970's, we
stopped the "crackers-and-grape juice-in-communion cups" ritual and
went to breaking a whole loaf of bread and drinking from a common cup or
chalice. It began the transformation of my understanding of what it means to
partake of the Lord's Table. That was some 40 years ago, and you couldn't pay
me to go back to the old ritual! I've yet to see someone "catch
something" by drinking of a common cup at the Table of the Lord. It just
doesn't happen! That would make the Table of the Lord a lie -- and there is
nothing but truth that emanates and is imparted when we eat and drink with
Wheww!!! We've just begun
to scratch the surface. There's a whole lot more to go just dealing with the
covenant picture of the Table. Let me wrap up with this observation:
The Lord has set a table before us that is fit for kings and
priests -- and we are both in Him! We have a feast set before us designed to
help us function as kings who rule and reign, and priests who worship and come
before God's presence in boldness and joy. Health, wholeness, strength,
healing, restoration, deliverance, prosperity -- they are all set before us on
Christmas and Blessings on you!
Sunnyside, Washington 98944
Coffee Break articles are copyright by Regner A. Capener, but authorization for
reprinting, reposting, copying or re-use, in whole or in part, is granted
–provided proper attribution and this notice are included intact. Older Coffee
Break archives are available at http://www.RegnersMorningCoffee.com. Coffee Break
articles are normally published weekly.
If you would like to have these articles arrive each morning in your email, please send a blank email to: Subscribe@AnotherCoffeeBreak.com.To remove yourself from the mailing list, please send a blank email to Unsubscribe@AnotherCoffeeBreak.com.
MINISTRIES is a tax-exempt church ministry. Should
you desire to participate and covenant with us as partners in this ministry,
please contact us at either of the above email or physical addresses, or