Aug 7, '09 2:41 PM
By Regner Capener
Neville Johnson is a former pastor of one of the largest churches in Australia and currently travels the world sharing foundational teaching with the body of Christ. He has a strong prophetic anointing and has a real sense of what God is doing and saying to His people now.
A couple weeks ago or so, Neville's wife had a vision of the American flag dripping in blood and puzzled over its meaning. The Lord spoke to Neville and warned of an assassination planned on Barack Obama, saying that this would result in such race riots and chaos across the country as to result in unprecedented bloodshed. He counseled believers to pray for Obama and to pray that the wind of the Spirit would sweep through the White House bringing change and agreement with God's purposes for this nation.
I agree. And that's exactly how Della and I have been praying every morning. No Spirit-filled believers whom I know feel any sense of agreement with the direction and agenda Barack Obama has been pursuing since he became President. All of us grieve over his abortion and homosexual agendas. The active pursuit of efforts to silence Christians in literally every branch of government and in the public arena flies in the face of more than 230 years of American history.
The creation of more new debt upon this nation in the first six months of the Obama administration than George W. Bush saw in all eight of his years in office has created deep concern in our financial markets. Let's face it folks. Obama was elected and put in office because of great division among Christians in this nation. Had believers been unified and listening to the Holy Spirit it could never have happened. We have no one to blame but ourselves.
You may not be familiar with a man who is becoming more and more prominent in the prophetic community by the name of Sadhu Sundar Selvaraj but he had an experience recently that is very telling. Because of the strong anti-Christian bias that has existed in India for decades, Christians all over the nation began to fast and pray over this year's elections. The body of Christ in India -- regardless of church affiliation, denomination or doctrinal bent -- began to come together to pray with one mind and one focus: that God would place in office a new Prime Minister and a government that would be pro-Christian.
Despite the fact that polls showed overwhelmingly that the party in power would be reelected, a pro-Christian government and leadership was elected for India. Sadhu began to ask the Lord if India could see such a turnaround in its elections why America couldn't have done the same and elected the McCain-Palin ticket (who, despite obvious faults and shortcomings, were decidedly in support of traditional Christian values).
God spoke to Sadhu and said, "The Christians in America were divided. Too many of them were looking at the man and the party instead of asking me what My Will was for the nation. Because of their division, I gave them Barack Obama."
Got the picture, folks? God gave us Obama -- like it or lump it! The situation is not irreversible, and America is not beyond redemption despite the chaos that reigns. There are a number of folks to whom God has given a picture of Obama having a real awakening to the Lord Jesus Christ and reversing course.
Unless Christians begin to lay down their political and partisan differences and agendas and begin to pray in agreement for the moving of God's Spirit across this nation -- and particularly throughout every branch of government -- we are dooming this nation to such chaos as cannot be imagined.
We have both the authority AND the power to effect change -- righteous change -- but unless we stop praying against Barack Obama, Joe Biden, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reed, et al, and begin praying for a true awakening to the Lord Jesus Christ throughout every branch of government, along with the cities and towns that dot this nation, we're just participating in the same witchcraft that plagues America now. Whenever we engage in negative prayers against individuals, we are seeking to manipulate their minds and wills -- and that's witchcraft, pure and simple.
As the apostle Paul wrote, "I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth." (I Timothy 2:1-4 -- emphasis mine)
Understand? Our prayers must be for Barack Obama, NOT against him -- and our prayers must be for his having a genuine visitation from the Lord Jesus Christ. The same applies to the Vice-President, the Cabinet, and both houses of Congress. Nothing else will bring the change this nation must have in order to avert a monumental catastrophe. There MUST be agreement in the body of Christ!
Sorry to be so windy on this instruction for prayer before we start this series, but it is something I can't get away from.
Isaiah prophesied, "So shall they fear the name of the LORD from the west, and his glory from the rising of the sun. When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the LORD shall lift up a standard against him." (Isaiah 59:19 KJV)
We are that standard God is raising up! God is raising up an army of prayer warriors who know Him and His heart's desire; and they are praying in His will for this nation and other nations of the earth.
Had to start that way today. Didn't mean to spend so much time on it but it's been burning in me; and I just needed to encourage you to join this army.
Anyway, GOOD, GOOD MORNING and the Blessings of the Lord to you! Coffee's on! I made coffee today using the Espresso machine. Got a triple shot of very dark-roasted French Roast in my 16-ounce cup. Mmmmm.....Hmmmm!!
Today's Coffee Break may run a bit long because of the introduction, so bear with me. For the better part of this past year, we have been sharing Sunday after Sunday after Sunday after Sunday on the Table of the Lord. Just when I think we've about gotten the full revelation of what is taking place, the Holy Spirit downloads a whole new picture. Hence, for some 40 weeks or so in succession, the Lord has peeled layer after layer after layer away so that we are seeing and hearing an entirely new (for us) and expanded dimension of this covenant act.
If you've grown up in and around the church, you've likely had pretty much the same routine I've had where we would take Communion the first Sunday of every month. Frequently you will hear the pastor or church leader say something like the following -- particularly after reading the passage of Scripture from I Corinthians 11 that reads like this:
"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. But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup. For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body. For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep." (I Corinthians 11:27-30)
You've likely heard something like this: "Now be careful! Examine yourself! If you have sin in your life, don't partake of Communion -- not until you repent and make things right with God. If you do, you could be eating sickness and death to yourself."
What gets missed in the translation is the last phrase of Paul's admonition, "not discerning the Lord's body."
Now if you were part of the Charismatic Renewal, you likely did something like I did. I would try to discipline my thoughts and imagination and try to imagine Jesus' body hanging on the Cross; and I would say, "Oh, Lord, I see you. I see you hanging on the Cross. I see your body. I see what you did for me."
Nice.......but stupid! That was NOT the body Paul was speaking of! He didn't expect us to screw up our willpower and try to imagine Jesus hanging on the Cross. That word "discerning" in the Greek text is diakrino, which means: to make a distinction, to discriminate, to separate thoroughly.
But Paul uses an interesting Greek word in the statement, "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." That word "unworthily" is translated from the Greek anaxios, which literally means: to treat irreverently, to treat as commonplace.
The use of those two words greatly affects how we understand this command. Let me explain.
When we treat the Table of the Lord as a ritual, a once-a-month event we are required to keep (and we do it as a religious duty), we've totally lost sight of what Jesus commanded, and we are treating this as "commonplace," as "ordinary." Once the Table of the Lord, or partaking of Communion becomes a religious duty and not a covenant act with revelation and understanding of what is taking place, it simply becomes "another thing to do" for us as Christians. We waste our time, we waste God's time, and....worse....our treating this Table so cavalierly results in our opening a door of opportunity to Satan to afflict us with disease, steal from us and even take our lives prematurely (more on this in a later Coffee Break).
The "discernment" Paul is speaking of refers to discerning -- understanding with true revelation -- all that Jesus' body represents at the Table. This is not eating of a wafer and drinking an ounce of grape juice. This is not crackers and juice, or a piece of bread and wine. This is the body and blood of the Lord Jesus Christ. Yes, it is!
That said; let me take you to a few foundation scriptures that will unfold the covenant nature of the Table of the Lord.
Before I do, however, let me say something that might surprise you. Literally everything that Jesus said, every miracle He performed (that we have recorded in the Gospels), everything He demonstrated to the disciples was rooted and founded in His Table. In the coming weeks, my objective is to help you see this unfold and radically change your understanding of what takes place each time you break bread and drink of the cup.
"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made." (John 1:1-3)
"But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. 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 1:12-14)
"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 for ever: 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 for ever." (John 6:50-51, 53-58)
You may not see the foundational aspect of these Scriptures, yet, but stand by. It will become clear as we progress.
Jesus' statement caused a great stir -- both in the Jews generally, and amongst those that considered themselves His disciples (not the twelve) and followed Him. It was a statement that was designed to separate those who could only see and hear in the natural realm from those who understood the spiritual significance of what He was revealing. For those whose reference point was the Law of Moses, it created consternation and even nausea. John tells us (see John 6:66), "From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him." It was simply more than they could handle.
They were only seeing things through legalistic eyes. God had made some very specific and direct commands concerning the drinking of blood as we see in the following references.
"Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you; even as the green herb have I given you all things. But flesh with the life thereof, which is the blood thereof, shall ye not eat." (Genesis 9:3-4)
"Moreover ye shall eat no manner of blood, whether it be of fowl or of beast, in any of your dwellings. Whatsoever soul it be that eateth any manner of blood, even that soul shall be cut off from his people." (Leviticus 7:26-27)
"And whatsoever man there be of the house of Israel, or of the strangers that sojourn among you, that eateth any manner of blood; I will even set my face against that soul that eateth blood, and will cut him off from among his people. For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul. Therefore I said unto the children of Israel, No soul of you shall eat blood, neither shall any stranger that sojourneth among you eat blood." (Leviticus 17:10-12)
And that's just a drop in the bucket. There are a host of Scriptures which emphasize the fact that one does not eat (or drink) blood because all life is in the blood. But Jesus wasn't talking about eating His literal flesh or drinking His literal blood. He was referring back to the prophecy all Jews should have been well aware of -- the prophecy of Passover.
I won't recount the entire portion of Scripture here that relates to the Passover (you can read it in Exodus 12), but to summarize, God was preparing to bring Israel out of centuries of bondage in Egypt and take them to the Land of Promise He had covenanted to give to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. The Egyptian Pharaoh wouldn't release the Israelites, despite the fact that God had given him sign after sign after sign, so God was going to send the Angel of Death across the land.
For Israel (living in Goshen) to be free from the death angel's power enabling him to "pass over" them, they needed to eat from a Table that God was going to prepare especially for this event. They were commanded to take a yearling lamb from their flocks, kill it, collect its blood and apply it to the lintels and doorposts of their dwelling places, roast the lamb and eat it along with cakes of unleavened bread. Once again, they were not to drink of the blood; they were to apply it to the lintels and doorposts of their homes.
God's promise to Israel was, "And the blood shall be to you for a token upon the houses where ye are: and when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy you, when I smite the land of Egypt." (Exodus 12:13) But it didn't stop there.
"And this day shall be unto you for a memorial; and ye shall keep it a feast to the LORD throughout your generations; ye shall keep it a feast by an ordinance for ever. Seven days shall ye eat unleavened bread; even the first day ye shall put away leaven out of your houses: for whosoever eateth leavened bread from the first day until the seventh day, that soul shall be cut off from Israel.
“And in the first day there shall be an holy convocation, and in the seventh day there shall be an holy convocation to you; no manner of work shall be done in them, save that which every man must eat, that only may be done of you. And ye shall observe the feast of unleavened bread; for in this selfsame day have I brought your armies out of the land of Egypt: therefore shall ye observe this day in your generations by an ordinance for ever." (Exodus 12:14-17)
I can see the wheels turning for some of you. OK, so where is there a prophecy in this? you ask. Glad you asked. I can't take the time in this series to deal with all of the feasts Israel was commanded to keep, but each of these feasts -- beginning with Passover -- was a prophecy, a picture of a future event in time -- to be fulfilled by and for the coming Messiah.
Notice that this very first feast (as was every feast Israel kept) began with the eating of a specific meal. They didn't have a drink specified at this meal/table (that came later as God spelled out the various offerings to Moses) because of the specific application of the blood. However, wine was later specified in the place of blood as an offering to the Lord (Exodus 29:40) and whenever the covenant Table was kept in Israel, wine became the substitute for, and symbol of, blood.
Israel would have the picture of the Table of the Lord continually before them once the Tabernacle of Moses was established. What we know as the "Table of Shewbread" was established as a permanent part of the furnishings of Moses' Tabernacle, and God's promised provision was constantly on display as twelve prophetic loaves.
Passover was the promise of what was to come. Jesus fulfilled that promise. And just as Jesus ate of the Passover meal with the disciples on the night He was betrayed -- becoming the once-and-for-all sacrificial "Lamb that was slain before the foundations of the world" (and forever completing the prophecy and picture of Passover) -- He also became the bread of provision displayed on the Table of Shewbread.
Take a quick look at Matthew 26 where we have a picture of the Last Supper. In verses 17-20 we see them eating of the unleavened bread. The Greek word which describes unleavened bread is azumos. But following the final celebration of Passover, 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, 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.
Yet the Table of the Lord was actually manifested centuries before with Abraham. Remember when Melchizedek came out to greet Abraham after the slaughter of the kings' armies when he went to retrieve Lot following his capture? He came out with bread (lechem) and wine, and declared the Blessing upon Abraham.
This may seem a bit heavy, but I wanted to get these foundations laid in your understanding before we really begin to see and understand just how significant was the Table of the Lord. We should be able to resume this discussion again within a very few days.
The only way true change will come to us, then to the body of Christ and finally to the world, is when we stop setting our own agendas and begin to agree with everything God says. We must respond to what He desires to do in us -- no matter whether it crosses our doctrinal understanding or not.
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