THIS IS MY BODY
IN ONE HOUSE
"Jesus took bread, and blessed, and BRAKE IT, and gave to them, and said, Take, eat: THIS IS MY BODY" (Mark 14:22).
There is not one Christian religion that has not haggled over the issue of Christs body. It has been going on since the initiation of the Roman church, and they are not any closer to the truth than they ever were. What they hold to so dearly has been clad in steel, and only by a miracle will people be freed from their theological prisons. But we serve a miraculous God, a God whose Word will swing wide the gates of hell and free its malnourished captives.
We will not speak too much on the various concepts the churches have concerning the Passover feast, or Communion, as it is usually called. Suffice it to say, they have replaced a living reality with a lifeless ritual that serves little purpose. It may ease ones conscience; but as far as there being any magical mandate or an appeasement to God, it is not there.
It goes without saying that this is a very sacred’ ordinance to many, but if any worth is coming from it at all, it is due to our awesome God who often meets people in unusual places. I will, therefore, not say the ritual has served no benefit in peoples lives altogether. If God chooses to meet people on that realm, this is between Him and the ones who eat and drink the perishable bread and wine. I have no contention with this; but I will say there is a better communion.
Most of you probably have it settled in your own minds what communion is, and no doubt, you are satisfied with it. But please read on, for the Spirit is adding things we may have never considered before.
The first mention of the Feast of Communion (Passover) was at the preparation of Israels deliverance from Egypt and the oppressions of Pharaoh. It was the night when the lamb was slain and eaten: "...They shall leave none of it unto the morning, NOR BREAK ANY BONE OF IT: according to all the ordinances of the PASSOVER they shall keep it" (Exo 12:46 & Num 9:12). And, "HE KEEPETH ALL HIS BONES: NOT ONE OF THEM IS BROKEN" (Psa 34:20).
It is no mystery that the fulfillment of the Passover ordnance was found in Jesus. Everyone agrees: "For these things were done, that the scripture should be fulfilled, A BONE OF HIM SHALL NOT BE BROKEN" (John 19:36). However, when we look a little more closely, there seems to be a problem with the scriptures harmonizing. The following verse speaks of the body being broken, while the above scripture says that it is not broken: "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." (1 Cor 11:24).
Our dear friend and co-laborer of many years, Ella Arvizu, first shared this mystery with us in January of this year (1997). She brought out that the key to unlocking the apparent paradox of Christs Body being broken, and yet not being broken, is found in other verses written by Paul. With the anointing of the Spirit, she then wove the following words into this beautiful tapestry of truth:
"...The BREAD which we BREAK, is it not the communion of THE BODY OF CHRIST? For WE being MANY are ONE bread, and ONE body: for WE are ALL partakers of that ONE bread." "...We have MANY MEMBERS in ONE body..." "For as THE BODY IS ONE, and hath MANY MEMBERS, and all the members of that ONE BODY, being MANY, are ONE BODY: so also is CHRIST." (1 Cor 10:16-17, Rom 12:4. & 1 Cor 12:12).
Ah, it is beginning to clear up, isnt it? The O-N-E BODY of the Passover Lamb (Jesus) had no bones broken; but the O-N-E BODY of MANY MEMBERS (you and me, brethren) are broken. David spoke of times when he was overwhelmed by having his bones broken. He was most likely speaking metaphorically rather than saying his bones were literally broken; but the point is made his pain was immense. He wrote: "Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Make me to hear joy and gladness; that the BONES WHICH THOU HAST BROKEN may rejoice." (Psa 51:7-8).
Klao is the Greek word for break, breaking, broken, and brake in the KJV of the New Testament. It is used fifteen times in fourteen verses, and in every case it refers to one thing BREAKING BREAD. Breaking bread is more than the act of eating bread. Eating bread comes after it is broken.
We all are blessed at times by a good word we hear in meetings, or perhaps while sitting over coffee in someones kitchen and sharing the Christ within. It is not unusual for us to say, "What a word of Life! This has been real communion." Such gatherings and impartations of the living word are indeed communion. It is the table prepared by the Spirit of our Lord; but please note it is the secondary part of the communion. The bread that we are must first be broken before it can be eaten. We see the same thing with the cup. Before the drinking of the wine, the fruit must be crushed.
A LOAF is O-N-E BODY that is made up of MANY MEMBERS, and it goes without saying this is the body with which we have communion. We partake of Christs life and one anothers life, but also of their dying. Eating a meal with a person was considered a sacred covenant of death and life. The communion of the meal was saying that each person would readily die so the other might live. It was a declaration that the others life was more important to them than their own. When called upon, they would readily lay down their lives for one another.
The meaning of the Greek word (koinonia), from which communion is translated, sheds light on this. It means, "partnership, i.e. (lit.) participation, or (social) intercourse..." (Strongs Exhaustive Concordance). What are we in partnership with? What could it be that we are participating in and having social relationship with? Surely, the relationship is more than with a fragment of bread and a swallow of Welchs grape juice, or at best, Mogan Davids kosher wine. And the relationship is more! It is much more, to be frank.
For one, we are drinking the living blood, the wine of Christs Spirit that flows from His corporate body. We are also eating His flesh, the living word of His substance; but there is more. As mentioned above in order to drink the blood, it must first be poured out; and before the flesh of His body can be eaten, it must be broken. In a word, spilling the blood of Jesus and breaking our bones signifies the death of the whole body. There must be the death of the New man in our lives before we can drink the greater life of the New Wine of the Kingdom.
Bill Gorton, after reading our previous article, THE CRUCIFIXION OF — WHO? said: "I Read the article you sent, and couldn't agree more. Might add, the sacrifice Abraham was required to offer was not Ishmael (flesh, old man), but Isaac (the promise, new man)."
For almost thirty years we have been hearing how we must die to self and in this, we have made every effort to crucify the Old Man. If you think you are trying to kill the old man, the following question may narrow it down whether you are on the right track or not: Do you still desire the things of the past? Do you miss the "good-old days" of the smoke-filled barrooms? Do you miss Egypt and lament that you can no longer do those things you did when you were of that world? Are the Saturday night dances and other worldly gatherings still pulling at your heart? Is the fear of hell, or the fear of merely not pleasing the Lord, the only thing keeping you from slipping back to those sin-filled years of the first Adam, whatever it might have been? Or is your true desire set on the sweet things of Christ and His glorious Kingdom?
I am persuaded the latter question is your answer. Your desire is set on the Lord as the hart pants after a cool brook. It skips over the mountains and hills looking for Him, for He alone can satisfy that great longing. If your spirit is bearing witness to this, then killing the old man is not an issue.
Permit me, please, to pose a couple of more questions: Who are you? Who exactly is your "self"? Is it the Old Man or is it the New Man? Since the only man in you is the New Man, who now, must die? What seed must fall into the ground and die, lest it abides alone? If you say it is the Old Man, then perhaps this is right for you; but it would indicate you have not left either Egypt or the wilderness. For those who have journeyed onward, however, it is the new man who is dying. The fact is, brethren, the old man we have been trying to kill should have died in the wilderness long ago.
We have gone for years with less than a clear view of this death. Our views of communion have largely been a joining to the Lord and His body in the realm of pleasant things. This, however, is not always the case. When we are joined to the Lord, we are participating not only in His life, but also in His death. This is what it is to have true and complete communion with Him.
Communion is not always pleasant, and those many members who are being broken today know what I mean. Whether we understand it or not, it is hard to deny the experience of it. We may struggle in the pain of our broken bones; but once the light of understanding comes, it is much easier to relent and give up the ghost.
Nevertheless, like wayfaring lambs, our bones are broken. You see, as we are told, a good shepherd will break a lambs leg if it keeps wandering away and refuses to stay with the flock. The shepherd will exhaust every effort to keep him with the rest; but if the little fellow is head strong and bent on going wherever he pleases, his master will do something about it. Since wolves and other predators are an ever-present danger, and rather than letting the lamb find out the fatal way, the shepherd resorts to breaking the lambs leg. This is a severe measure, but when ones life is at stake, as well as the good of the body as a whole, severe things are often measured out.
After breaking the lambs leg, the shepherd has to carry the little wayfarer in his protective arms until it heals. Night and day he carries the lamb. Everywhere the shepherd goes, the lamb goes. The lamb no longer has the liberty to go hither and yon as it had in the past. The little creature may have strayed at one time with the wild asses into the wilderness; but now, he remains secure in the arms of his loving master. By the time the leg heals and he can walk again, the lamb grows so fond of his master that when he is released, he will stray no more, not one step. From then on, he follows ever so closely. That little lamb not only learns from the pain of the broken leg, but it comes to have such a deep love for his lord that the two can never be separated.
Broken bones were often the reward for thieves when they were crucified. It was to speed the process of death. We see this with those who hung beside Jesus that fateful day. It was not necessary for Jesus legs to be broken, for He gave up the Ghost; but the others, even in excruciating pain, hung onto their lives to the bitter end. Their bones were, therefore, broken. It is the same with many today. Regardless of how much suffering they are afflicted with they hang onto their lives as long as possible, to the last breath. They will not willingly give up the ghost, so their legs must be broken lest they remain carnally alive during the holy day in which we are entering.
Perhaps I should not compare us to thieves who need their legs broken; but in retrospect of our past, it may fit very well. Who of us, for instance, at some time in our lives has not stolen and taken for ourselves that which belongs to our Lord alone? The Psalmist wrote: "The earth is the LORD'S, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein" (Psa 24:1). Truthfully, we have laid hold of His gifts to us as though they were ours, thinking we could do with them as we pleased. Let us not get too startled; but our homes, cars, land, bank accounts and annuities dont belong to us they are His. Not only have we taken the earth as our own, but we have usurped the glory and authority of Christ. There are some who have not, we are sure; but for the majority we stand (or hang) guilty, as thieves in Gods Kingdom, and with bones broken.
Hopefully, all this is well in our past, to never be seen again, but I fear we have not seen the end of it. There may still be bones in need of being broken. When merited, God breaks, He wounds, He bruises, and He destroys; but He also heals and says, "Return ye children of men" (Psa 90:3).
IN ONE HOUSE
"IN ONE HOUSE SHALL IT BE EATEN; thou shalt not carry forth ought of the flesh abroad out of the house..." (Exo 12:46). "There is one Body, one Spirit, one Lord, one Faith, one Baptism, one God and Father of all" (Eph 4:4-6). There is also ONE TEMPLE, i.e., ONE HOUSE in Gods Kingdom wherein the Communion of the Lords death is to be eaten. Many call every temple of Baal, and every erected Midianite grove, the house of God but they are not. Must we be reminded that He does not dwell in buildings made by mens hands? "And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for YE are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people" (2 Cor 6:16).
The places where the vast majority drink wine or grape juice and eat wafers have nothing to do with the House of God. Rather than abiding in His house (His Body of many members) they roam and frequent the chambers of Babylon. With such, it is impossible to participate in the death of Christ. They merely go through the motions of a somber religious act. There is no cross. There is nothing that will bring forth His Life in a new and living way.
To participate in the Lords Communion can only be known in one place, in His House, in His Body which ye are. Only His Body of many members can be broken and eaten, and only in His Body of many members will His resurrection-life be known.
We can search the world over for the right church, we can go from house to house in our quest to find the Lords Communion, but let us be quick to know we will not find Him in this place or that place. He is not in the wilderness. He is not in the mountains. And He is not in stained glass cathedrals of mans construction. Steeple-houses are not holy habitations of God. Therefore, quit genuflecting before a pile of sticks and stones, for our Lord and His communion are found in one place alone. That holy place, dear friends, is in His House, which Y-O-U are. He is nigh thee, even in thy mouth and in thy heart, as Paul made clear in Romans 10:6-8.
This communion is the Supper of the Lord. It is eaten upon the Hill of Golgotha, the Hill of the Skull, the place where all evil thoughts are dealt with. It is also the place where the Holy One is unjustly crucified. Jesus showed this when He brake the bread only hours before His ascent to that horrid place of death. In this communion, our bones are broken. This is the communion we eat in remembrance of Him. This is the house wherein we eat His flesh and drink His blood. It is upon the hill of the cross. Our unrighteous bones are justly broken, while the New Man and His glory are crucified unjustly for righteousness sake.
So, we want to have communion, do we? Well here it is. It is not always the Word and Spirit we have so often sought and taught. It is not of necessity the fuzzy feelings of hearing the right word, or the stirring of the Spirits anointing; but rather, it is the death of all those things we hold so dear.
Communion is being one with Jesus. It is identifying with our Lord. It is a partnership, a participation in death and life with our Lord. This is the meaning of eating His flesh and drinking His blood. And as it was once before, when many hear this, they will walk no more with Him (John 6:66).
If we expect to be joint heirs in life with Him we must be joint partners in His death. How else will we obtain all things? Only in resurrected transformation can we hold such high things in our hands.
Jesus was our forerunner. He died and lived for us so we could also die and possess all things in Him. We are one in His death when we eat His pierced flesh and drink His shed blood. It is when we suffer the death of everything good in us that we can enjoy everything better in us. Not only must the profane die, but also the holy. If the profane is a thing of the past, and it should be, then it is the holy that is dying.
Are we worthy of such communion, or are we eating unworthily, as Paul admonished? That which is being crucified in us is it the righteous Son of God, or is it merely a religious act of crucifying self? If we are going through the motion of dying to self, rather than partaking of the dying and living experience of this Bread, then we are unfit and doing it unworthily. One must be a member of that Body in order to be broken and then raised up. This is what constitutes being worthy. Religious rituals, living by the letter, or self-floggings will not justify this worthiness.
Crucifying self has a noble ring to the carnal mind, but please, what man has ever crucified himself? It is simply not done. We are told by Jesus to Take up our cross and follow Him, and this we should do for in doing so, we do not forsake the cross. Taking up our cross, however, and hanging upon it are two different things. Taking it up is a response to what we are compelled to do, while hanging upon is the result of what others or circumstances have done to us. The fact is, we do not crucify ourselves. Religious men with evil intentions will take care of that segment of our journey, and we will know it when the time comes. It will come in the hour appointed of the Father and not before. We dont have to help it along. And if rebellion is still resident in our lives, the crucifiers will justifiably take care of that part of our dying too.
Hopefully my dear friends and fellow participators of the cross COMMUNION will never be looked upon the same. If, however, you still feel good about drinking wine (or grape juice) and eating crackers (or wafers), and taking it as the ordinance of our Lords communion, that is between you and Him. One must do what they believe to be right. But I can say with assurance, if you are called to be a mature son of God, such carnal ordinances will not satisfy. You will be left empty. Furthermore, if you do not presently know what true communion in Christs death is, you shall know. You will despise its naked shame as death wraps her foreboding arms about you. The pain shall leave you breathless and you may want to cry out, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" However, with understanding you will echo the words of Jesus as recorded in the Aramaic, "My God, my God for this was I spared." Whether it is one or the other, take hope you shall be raised up in the last day (John 6:54). You shall surely be a part of the enlarging of His glorious Kingdom.
James and John, the sons of Zebedee, were asked: "...Can ye drink of the cup that I drink of?" And then He declares, "Ye shall indeed drink of the cup that I drink of" (Mark 10:38-39). This bitter cup is placed before His body today, and we too shall drink it as Jesus declared to the Sons of Thunder.
Stay with me, please, for one last question. From which cup did Jesus drink? It was the cup of the crucifixion of SELF, HIMSELF, which of course, was the NEW MAN from the heavens! That is the cup we are presently drinking, and many of us are saying, "Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless not my will, but Thine, be done."
We know so many across the land who are suffering immensely. It could be no worse if they were being literally crucified, thrown to the wild beasts, or burned at the stake. With some it is afflictions in their bodies. They live in constant pain and debilitating weakness. Cancer is ravaging others, with no cure in sight. People are losing everything in the natural world, homes, cars, jobs, businesses, and the list mounts. It is not uncommon for their children to be swept away by the flood of the world. Some of them wind up behind prison bars for years. Lives are being devastated from one end of the spectrum to the other.
Oh, my God, the communion in which we find ourselves eating and drinking is heavy! This communion cannot be feigned or imitated. It is real, and it hurts. It is painful and unbearably shameful to be such public spectacles. While the blind church is waiting to be raptured in glory, the sons are being lifted in shame upon the cross. Those of the church and the world mock us, either in word or thought, saying: "If thou be the sons of God, come down from the cross. Only those who are cursed by God hangs upon a tree." (Mat 27:40, Gal 3:13).
No, dear friends, this communion is not always pleasant; but for the Sons of God to come forth in the manifested glory of their Lord, it is imperative. "Jesus took bread, and BLESSED, and BRAKE IT, and gave to them, and said, Take, eat: THIS IS MY BODY" (Mark 14:22).
Elwin R. Roach
Related study: The Crucifixion of Who?
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