ANOTHER COFFEE BREAK: THE TABLE OF THE LORD X
Reprinted February 24, '23 8:05 AM
By Regner Capener
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, folks! Barring a little more free time before this next week comes to an end this will likely be the last post of this sixth year of publication. I'll be doing another couple articles in this series before taking a break from it to deal with several other topics -- some of a highly controversial nature. We will return to this subject, however, in a few months to deal with more revelation concerning the Table of the Lord.
Have you ever considered the significance of the Syrophenician woman who came to Jesus, and the response that Jesus gave her? (This event is recounted in Matthew 15 and in Mark 7.) Jesus gives us a picture of the Bread of Life like no other. (I originally meant to move on to the power in Jesus' blood today, and maybe we'll get started with it yet, but there are some fascinating pictures in the Word concerning the importance of the Bread that are important for us to consider.)
Take a quick look at the account recorded in Mark's gospel.
"But Jesus said unto her, Let the children first be filled: for it is not meet (kalos) to take the children’s bread, and to cast it unto the dogs." (Mark 7:27)
This word in the Greek translated "meet" is the word kalos. We can translate it more effectively as: appropriate, honest, valuable. Thus, "It is not honest to take the children's bread, and to cast it unto the dogs." Or, we can render it, "It is not appropriate to take the children's bread, and to cast it unto the dogs."
Hey! Children's bread? What are we talking about?
OK. Let's revisit a couple of Jesus' statements.
"For the bread of God is He which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world. And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst." (John 6:33, 35)
"Take, eat; this is my body which is given for you." (Luke 22:19)
Are we not the children of God? Are we not heirs and joint-heirs of the Kingdom with the Lord Jesus Christ?
Then folks, healing and deliverance are "the children's bread."
Why do you think that Jesus refers to it this way? Think about it for a minute! Jesus is the "Bread of Heaven." He is the "Bread of Life." In Him there is no sickness or disease. In Him there is no weakness or infirmity. In Him there is no death, no dying, no affliction from evil spirits, no addictions, no fears ....... you get the idea!
Jesus said, "Take, eat....." Why? Because His objective is to rid us of the contamination of sin, the contamination of this world, the contamination of Satan and -- most importantly -- the contamination that comes from eating of the wrong diet: the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.
Jesus served Himself at the Last Supper with His disciples, but He wasn't cutting pieces of His flesh off; He was giving the disciples the Living Word. When He said, "This is my body which is given for you," He wanted to ensure that they understood that He was giving them all that He was.
For the sake of some who are confused by seemingly synonymous terms like "The Table of the Lord," or "The Last Supper," or "The Table of Communion," lets clarify this. The Table of the Lord has existed virtually from the very beginning of Creation. Adam and Eve had the Table of the Lord from which to eat while they were in the Garden, and it was exemplified in the Tree of Life.
The "Last Supper" was the last Passover. How do we know this? Because while they were all eating of the unleavened bread (azumos) and the Passover lamb, Matthew (26:26) records the following:
"And as they were eating, Jesus took bread (artos), and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples..." Mark records virtually the same thing (14:22), and in Luke 22:20, Jesus takes "likewise also the cup after supper.."
Jesus was the Passover Lamb! This would literally be the complete fulfillment of the Passover which had been kept (up to this time) for some 1400 or so years. With Jesus being the Passover Lamb -- "the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world" (Revelation 13:8) -- He finished all that Passover had prophesied when God commanded Moses to institute this as a commemorative and prophetic feast.
Passover -- the original when God delivered Israel from the death angel as he struck down the firstborn of Egypt -- became a feast. It commemorated Israel's deliverance from death and from bondage in Egypt. It also looked forward prophetically to the coming of the Messiah Who would deliver Israel and the entire human race -- that's to say, whosoever will accept Jesus' as the Passover Lamb, His once-and-for-all sacrifice, and His cancellation of the sentence of death.
The Table of the Lord, however, has become what we more often refer to as "Communion" or "The Table of Communion" since it is an intimate time with the Lord Jesus Christ. We eat, we partake, we share agape Love together in this act of Communion. When Jesus spoke to His disciples as He instituted the Table of the Lord and Communion as the replacement for Passover, Luke tells us the following:
"And he said unto them, With desire (epithumia) I have desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer." (Luke 22:15)
That word, epithumia, translated "desire" in our English translations, denotes great passion, a longing, a thirst in one's being. This word is an intimate word. There was nothing casual about Jesus' Last Supper with the disciples, and -- by the same token -- there is nothing casual or ordinary about our sitting to eat with Him at His Table. He gave Himself totally for us. He held nothing back. All that He was, is, and is to come He has made available to us. Let's see if I can illustrate this another way.
Ever notice how different things are when you sit with someone at a table and eat together? There's a level of fellowship you can't quite put into words. Conversation takes on a different dimension. There's a place of sharing together that really is very personal, very close and intimate -- a level of communication that surpasses the actual words exchanged.
Every single morning, Monday through Saturday, Della and I gather with a small group of folks for prayer and intercession. But we don't limit our getting together to just prayer and intercession. We break bread together and drink of the cup of Communion.
Every Wednesday night following our time of Bible Study, our family of believers here at River Worship Center break bread together and drink of the Cup. Every Sunday following our time of teaching and sharing together, we gather at the Lord's Table to break bread and drink of the cup. There is something that is happening in our midst that defies rational explanation.
There is a level of impartation that takes place, revelation that flows by the Spirit into our spirits. There are times when we visually see angels in our midst. There are times -- actually quite frequently -- when people have visions of the Lord Himself, or the Spirit of God speaks to them things that change their lives.
George, you won't mind if I share what's happened to you, will you?
George Roberts is and has been a Coffee Break reader for most of the past six years. I'll never forget the day he called me on the phone some 5 1/2 years ago in such a state of depression and heaviness as to border on suicide. George and Vivian had just lost their only daughter at age 23. It was a crushing blow. There's a lot to this story that I don't have and won't take liberty to share, but suffice it to say that George needed deliverance from the spirit of the Fear of Death. We ministered that deliverance and continued our sharing and counseling throughout the years over the telephone. George was living in Stillwell, Oklahoma at the time (he's since moved to Tulsa) and Della and I were living in Mission, Texas.
We've yet to meet George and Vivian in person, but there is a bond of love and fellowship that has grown between us -- and Mary Ellen Olnick (who participates with us daily from Red Deer, Alberta) and Warren Bogart who lives next to us and is part of our ongoing fellowship. Depending on Robert's (Storer) work schedule, he and Sandy join us as often as possible for the time of prayer, intercession and eating and drinking at the Table of the Lord.
When George moved to Tulsa, his work schedule changed so that he was able to participate with us in our early morning prayer and intercession. For much of the past year he has been with us on the telephone every morning, but not just praying and interceding. He's also been breaking bread and sitting at the Table of the Lord with us. The change that has taken place in him is nothing short of dramatic! The impartations and revelations are flowing almost daily. And that's true for each of us. There's not a one of us who haven't changed -- and changed so much that you'd scarcely associate us with who we used to be in years gone by.
Life is flowing into us as we eat of the Lord, eat of His Word, and drink of His Spirit. The Cup is not blood, but typifies the life that was in Jesus' blood; and that blood was exchanged for the Spirit when God raised Him from the dead. Thus, we drink of the wine of the Spirit -- both by drinking of the Cup, and also by allowing the Holy Spirit to flow through us in other tongues.
That may seem like a contradiction in terms, and it is paradoxical. We drink of the Cup, but we also drink by virtue of the Holy Spirit using our mouths and our tongues to glorify God and to magnify the Lord Jesus Christ. The more we speak in tongues, the more we drink. Strange, I know, but does it ever work!
One last thing and I'll quit for today.
We talk about the Table of the Lord often in a commemorative fashion -- and there is that element to it -- but I've come to the conviction that we've made it more commemorative than life-giving and life-transferring. That, more than anything else, is a byproduct of the phrasing that our KJV and other English versions use in translating Paul's first epistle to the Corinthians (see I Corinthians 11:26).
"For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do show the Lord’s death till he come."
That word, "show," comes from the Greek, katangello: to promulgate, to praise, to proclaim publicly, to demonstrate, to teach, to declare.
Katangello is a contraction of two Greek words: kata and angellos. The word, kata, means to lay down, to set forth -- often in the midst of opposition or resistance. Angellos, of course, is the same word for angel, heavenly messenger, one who declares and shows the Word of God.
Perhaps you are seeing the significance of this compound word. In the face of opposition, in the face of resistance, we are demonstrating and showing forth the fact that Jesus Christ kept our appointment with death. He died in our place. We no longer have to die. We no longer have to suffer from the death-process in our bodies; and that means disease, sickness, infirmity, ill health, etc., etc., etc.
The resistance and opposition to this demonstration comes within our own beings as much as it does from without. We've grown up in a society and culture that breeds death, thinks death, is afraid of death and focuses its existence on avoiding it or putting it off as long as possible. The battle is in our own minds -- as much as anywhere! The Table of the Lord is as much for our benefit as it is the world's. We eat and drink at the Table constantly in order to remind ourselves that we eat health, we eat life, we eat eternity; we drink of the life, the authority and the power of the Holy Spirit.
OK, let me put it another way. We are eating of the Word and we are drinking of resurrection life! Understand? Resurrection Life! That same power that raised Christ from the dead.
But we have to do it by faith. Once again, there is nothing common, or ordinary, or casual about this. The Table of the Lord is transformative -- and we are shouting it from the housetops!
One more time: if you aren't already, begin eating of the Lord Jesus Christ daily at His Table. Eat of His Word. Drink from the Cup of Blessing. Drink of Resurrection Life! Receive the life-changing and metamorphosing Bread of Heaven: the rhema!
"Power in the Blood." Almost all of us have sung that old hymn. That's where we'll go next.
"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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