ANOTHER COFFEE BREAK: THE TABLE OF THE LORD VIII
Nov 26, '09 4:11 PM
By Regner Capener
Blessings, Revelation and Impartations to you! (Now there's a different greeting for you -- but this one has special meaning.)
Reflecting over this past year and all the years of my life prior (nearly 68 in all), 2009 has easily been the most revelatory of any recent years -- and perhaps of my entire life. I cannot think back to a day in my life when I have not known the Lord Jesus Christ. It's not always true that folks who grow up in Christian homes avoid knowing the depths of sin, but I thank God for the way in which He has led me and kept me from my birth. I can say with full assurance and conviction, and yet in deep humility, that I have not walked a sinful life. That's not to say that I have not committed sin -- there have been times when I failed the Lord miserably, yet He has quickly and readily forgiven me -- but my life has been one filled with the constant presence and awareness of the Lord Jesus Christ.
I have memories that go back to age two, standing in my crib and seeing angel wings overhead. Then there were all those experiences from age four to age seven of waking up in the middle of the night or early morning hours to see angels in my room, capped off with waking up one morning at age seven to see Jesus standing at the foot of my bed. At age nine, He took me to Heaven for what to me was a span of three days (although there was never any nighttime there) for a series of experiences and revelations that are still unfolding for me more than 58 years later.
In the years since, there have been numerous experiences with the Lord, the audible voice of God speaking to me, travels in the Spirit, angelic manifestations and one three-month continuous daily experience with the Lord in which He took me back into the past to witness His development of and foundations for the Bride of Christ, and then to the Cross to witness the crucifixion, and then into the future to see the literal Kingdom of God on earth (during the thousand-year reign); and finally past the thousand years to see the release of Satan from the pit and the final war between Satan and the people of God. Friends have urged me to write about these experiences and share them -- and perhaps that day will come -- but because revelation continues to unfold, I am reluctant to share prematurely.
Meeting folks like Steven L. Shelley, Paul Keith Davis, Bob Jones and Neville Johnson during the past few years has been a real source of encouragement since they share experiences in God similar to those I've had. Steven's recent Day of Atonement visitation brought revelation that is both breathtaking and sobering for believers in Christ, and his willingness to share has been a blessing for Della and me -- and our fellowship as well. (We played a CD of his sharing of this visitation for our fellowship from a meeting where he spoke in Richland, Washington a couple of weeks ago.)
Anyway, I've said all that to say this. Since Della and I began 13 or 14 months ago meeting every morning, Monday thru Saturday, with friends and brethren for prayer and intercession and partaking of the Table of the Lord, the amount of revelation coming from and through the Holy Spirit has been nothing less than astounding. A Messianic Rabbi once said that there are not less than seven layers of revelation and truth hidden in every Scripture; and I believe it! The past months have been a continuous peeling back of layer after layer of truths I'd never seen before despite having been through the Word from cover to cover more times than I can count.
As I shared on my Facebook page, I used to think I knew a few things in God. The longer I walk with the Lord, the more I realize just how little I do know! There is so much that awaits the believer who will contend for the continual presence of the Lord in their life!! As Steven, Paul Keith, Bob and Neville will undoubtedly attest, the experiences we've had in God are not about us; they are for this last generation. I get excited every so often when these things take place, but realize at the same time that it's not because I'm something so special. The apostle Paul recognized the same thing and he describes it like this in his second letter to the Corinthians.
The apostle Paul writes in II Corinthians 4:7, "But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us."
That's it exactly! These experiences are not given so that we receive praise from folks but rather that the excellency of the power may be recognized as of God.
All that is to say that much of what I've been sharing in this series on the Table of the Lord is a part of the peeling away of layers of truth and revelation contained in this command from the Lord. The Table of the Lord is not just a commandment of the Lord Jesus Christ, it is an experience -- a daily experience for those who will see it -- of impartation, intimate communion and the growing sense of the tangible presence of the Lord.
I was sharing something in our Sunday fellowship this past Sunday relative to eating and drinking at the Table of the Lord "unworthily" and thought I'd add to our last discussion on this.
Let’s begin by taking a look at a couple of verses that we never think of in connection with the Table of the Lord. The first one comes from the apostle John as he writes concerning the Revelation:
Revelation 12:10-11: And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night. And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.
The next verse is in Paul’s epistle to the Hebrews:
Hebrews 1:1-3: God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;
These verses may seem to be totally unrelated to this topic but bear with me. The Table of the Lord, as we well know, consists of two things: The Bread (The Word), and The Cup (The Blood).
In previous discussions we’ve already noted the fact that when Jesus rose from the dead and appeared to the disciples, his comment to them was that a “spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have.” He didn’t say to them, “a spirit hath not flesh and blood, as ye see me have,” and the reason was that Jesus had already spilled His blood as part of the act of redemption.
Blood was replaced in Him as the source of life and power by the Spirit.
Consider again the fact that when God breathed first life into Adam, he became (according to the Hebrew context) “a living, speaking spirit.” When Eve was taken from Adam’s side, he said, “This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh.” (See Genesis 2:23)
It is my growing conviction (and I can't prove it yet) that Adam and Eve lived and breathed by the Spirit when they were first created, and that the Spirit was replaced with blood when sin came. Whether that is true or not is debatable, but it is certain that from the moment Adam ate of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, blood contaminated with death was flowing in his veins. Consider now the statement John makes when he says,
“And they overcame him [Satan] by the blood of the lamb, and by the word of their testimony.”
We sit at the Table of the Lord. Each time we eat the Bread and drink the Cup, we take into ourselves the Word. That Word is made alive, energized, put into force and sustained by the same Life Force that raised Jesus from the dead.
The Greek word that Paul uses in Hebrews 1:3 where he writes “upholding all things by the Word of His Power” is phero. This word parallels the Greek energko — the two words having the same root. The word phero means: to carry, to sustain, to bear up, to bring forward, to activate, to move from one place to another, to apply, to endure [in the sense of lasting and lasting and lasting]. Phero also means: to bring forward in or by speaking, to activate by the speaking of a thing. (You probably already are seeing another application, but we’ll come back to this word a bit later.)
Its companion word, energko, means: to energize (we get our English word “energize” from this word), to put into force, to activate, to bring to life.
Again we return to the apostle Paul’s phrasing in Hebrews 1:3: “upholding all things by the Word of His Power.” Notice that he doesn’t say, “upholding all things by the power of His Word.” We know that the Word of the Lord has power, but that’s not the right emphasis.
This is the same power — the same energizing force — that existed at Creation. This is the power that was behind and energized the words, “Light BE!” Light WAS because there was an activating power and force that caused those words to have creative manifestation.
That activating and energizing force was faith. Faith is that creative force. Faith existed as substance before the first words of Creation were spoken.
Thus Paul writes (see Hebrews 11:3): Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.
Faith — in and of itself — is invisible to the natural eye. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t have substance. It does. It is! Faith is a spiritual force, a creative and substantive energizer which brings into this natural realm the reality of that which is spoken.
That’s why Jesus said to the disciples, “Have God’s faith!” (Mark 11:22) Again we go back to Scriptures we used in a previous illustration.
Romans 10:17: So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
The Greek text actually spells it out more clearly. “So faith is (and comes into being) by audible report; but the report is the rhema [the spoken and audibly delivered Word] of [and from] God.”
Are you now seeing the distinction?
Faith IS substance in the same way that the worlds came into being. God spoke. With His spoken Word came the creative substance which caused the earth (and all the planets, stars, galaxies, etc.) to suddenly appear. Behind God’s Word was the power, the energizing force, the activating substance that gave life and impetus to that Word. THAT, folks is what we partake of each time we eat and drink at the Table of the Lord!
We are not eating of the logos — the all-encompassing body of all that God said. We are eating of the rhema — the direct, empowered, activated and placed into force Word by Jesus command! We are eating of His body. We are eating of the very faith substance of the Lord Himself.
The Word is becoming OUR flesh because there is sustaining power and force to make it so! The life force that makes it so is in the Cup. Each time we drink, we bring to remembrance the fact that Jesus shed blood that was filled with death, disease, sickness, weakness and poverty. What we drink of, however, is the Spirit of Life that is in Christ Jesus. (See Romans 8:2)
There is no death in the Cup. There is no disease or sickness in the Cup. There is no poverty in the Cup. There is no weakness or infirmity of any kind in the Cup.
The Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus literally embodies that energizing force which “upholds all things.” THIS is the power — the dunamis (explosive power and force) — that sustains, that makes effective, that puts force to the Word. We are eating of the Word Himself. We are drinking of the power that makes the Word come alive in us. We are being changed from Glory to Glory.
Transformation is taking place. Change is occurring in our spirits. We are metamorphosing into eternity-based beings. We are being restored to the very image in which God first made Adam.
Now we have the ability to overcome Satan “by the Blood of the Lamb, and by the Word of our Testimony.”
THIS IS THE TABLE OF THE LORD!
Here's the issue that gets so many folks in trouble, and the reason why they don't seem to gain any victory in their lives over sickness, infirmity, weakness, disease, poverty or the attacks of Satan.
We've already looked at these verses before, but here they are once again.
"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)
Now let me amplify these verses from the Greek text.
"Therefore, whoever eats of this bread and drinks of this cup of the Lord, treating them as commonplace, ordinary and incapable or unfit, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. But let a man place himself for examination in the crucible by eating of that bread and drinking of that cup, because he that eats and drinks treating the bread and the cup as commonplace, incapable and unfit to accomplish in him [that for which Christ died on the Cross] eats and drinks judgment to himself, not separating or discriminating between that which is ordinary and the Lord's body. For this reason many are weak, sickly, infirm, diseased and poverty-stricken, and many die prematurely."
You see it, don't you? OK, back up for a minute.
The Bread is the Word. Jesus made it clear that He was the Word, and that we are to eat of Him. Paul makes abundantly clear that all things are upheld, energized, made effective and sustained by the Word (rhema) of His [Jesus'] Power. And what is His Power?
Jesus put it like this to the disciples: "And, behold, I send the promise of my Father (the Holy Spirit: see John 14:16-17) upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high."
The Holy Spirit is that power. It is the force which makes the Word alive and effective. It is the energizer of the Word. It is the explosive power of God which causes the Word to blow sin, sickness and disease apart. God's purpose is for that Word to become as much our flesh as it did in Jesus.
When we treat the Table of the Lord as ordinary, as just crackers and juice, as simply bread and wine and fail to recognize what the Word seeks to do in us, we not only do NOT receive the benefits that Jesus made available with His death and resurrection, we effectively crucify Him all over again. And folks wonder why even though they quote Scriptures and talk "faith talk" they fail to see the results. Their "faith talk" is just words. There is no faith at work. There is no discernment of what Jesus really did for them, nor is there any understanding of what and why Jesus was so clear on the importance of eating and drinking of Him.
You can have the right confession from now until Jesus comes, but if you don't believe what you say -- and you know in your heart whether you do or not -- it is impossible for faith to be energized and activated substantively. It requires faith to believe that change takes place, and that Jesus IS accomplishing change in you by means of eating at the Table of the Lord. Without that faith, you're simply treating the bread and the wine as unfit and incapable of change -- just ordinary .... another religious routine.
Chew on that for awhile, my friends. (pun intended) Meditate on this. Let the Word do its work in you.
See you again, soon.
"I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me." (Galatians 2:20)
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