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The Lasting Value of Communion
WADE TAYLOR

Wade Taylor Ministries

http://www.wadetaylor.org/

As the "facets" in a diamond are viewed, some appear as being opposite other facets, but rather, the beauty of the diamond is because they "complement" each other. So also, the partaking of "communion" with our Lord has many different ways in which it may be understood and experienced.

Many receive communion in somewhat of a ritualistic manner, partaking religiously, rather than first being lifted into the presence of the Lord.

 

There must be a time of preparation for us to truly partake of "communion" with the Lord.  Just as it is not possible for us to "wait on the Lord" or to "worship Him" until we have passed from the natural into the spiritual realm, it is not possible for us to "receive" the body and blood of the Lord, until we exchange realms. The necessary change is in us, not the bread and fruit of the vine.

The word "communion" has to do with communication. He speaks and we listen. We speak and He listens. Intimate communion is birthed out of intimate relationship and fellowship. Thus, as we enter into communion with Jesus and become "one" with Him, we are able to partake of His very life.

Set Free from the Law of Death

There are foundational principles that are established in the Word of God, which apply to our partaking of communion.

"There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus. . . For the law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death." -- Romans 8:1a, 2

This "condemnation" is the judgment (death), which was given to Adam for his transgression (sin). This process of death has been handed down to each of us.

We are set free from "the law of sin" through the shed blood of Jesus on the cross. We are set free from "the law of death" through the resurrection of Jesus as a quickening, life-giving spirit.

"And so it is written, 'The first man Adam was made a living soul'; the last Adam (Jesus) was made a living (quickening, life-giving) spirit." -- I Corinthians 15:45 (comments added)

Life More Abundantly

Jesus said that He came that we might have life and have that life "more abundantly." This includes divine health and longevity of life. Those who receive this gift of "life" from Jesus will stand out from all others in the quality and length of their life span.

Jesus fed the multitude with five loaves and two fishes, but when they became hungry and returned to ask for more, He told them that He had something better for them and said:

"Except you eat the flesh of the Son of Man, and drink His blood, you have no life in you." -- John 6:53b

He also said: "Your fathers did eat manna and are dead: he that eats of this bread shall live for ever." -- John 6:58b

Jesus is offering them a higher life in which they will not die. The condition being that they eat, not a second serving of loaves and fishes, but rather, His very flesh and blood. This word concerning our "living forever" primarily applies to our eternal life in heaven, but there is an application that affects us in this present life.

"Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the Vine; no more can you, except you abide in Me. I am the Vine, you are the branches." -- John 15:4, 5a

A branch can only receive its life from the vine; thus, it must be properly connected to the vine. If a strip of bark is totally cut around a tree and removed, the process of death will begin. The tree can no longer receive the life that is drawn up from the root system and will soon die. So also, the life of the "Vine" (Jesus) must flow into us, as being a branch. For this to take place, the branch (us) must be properly connected to the vine. Only then can His life, as the "power of an endless life," flow into our lives.

"Who is made, not after the law of a carnal commandment, but after the power of an endless life." -- Hebrews 7:16

Partake of the Tree of Life on a Regular Basis

Our eating food to sustain our natural body is not an option; rather, it is a necessity. Also, our "partaking" of the life of the Lord is not an option. This partaking of the "body" and "blood" of our Lord must take place more often than partaking of His Life through communion on the first Sunday of each month. Rather, we must partake on a regular (daily) basis, or we will suffer loss, both spiritually and naturally.

After Adam transgressed: "The Lord God said, 'Behold, the man is become as one of Us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever.'" -- Genesis 3:22

I once thought that Adam had eternal existence built within him and would have lived forever if he had not transgressed, but Adam had been formed from dust, which speaks of a created dependency. It is impossible to form anything from dust. It will take the moisture, the very Life of our Lord Jesus Christ -- that which flows from the Vine into the branch, for that dust to have form, shape, and purpose. Thus, Adam had to come to the tree of life on a regular basis in order to maintain his life.

"Lest he put forth his hand and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever." Suddenly, I saw what was being said: when we take communion, we "put forth our hand and take and eat." Adam came regularly and partook, and as a result, he continued to live, but when he transgressed, he was hindered from partaking of the Tree of Life (taking communion), and he began to die.

Had Adam been able to continue to eat, he would have continued to live, but the judgment for transgression was death. Therefore, all the Lord needed to do was to prevent Adam from taking communion (put forth his hand. . . take ... and eat, and live). Therefore, the Lord placed the angel with a flaming sword before the Tree of Life to prevent Adam from partaking.

The Tree of Life is Opened to Us

On the day of Pentecost, this "flaming sword" was removed as a hindrance and became a means of access. It descended and sat upon the head of each of the one-hundred-twenty who were present, as a tongue of fire. It stopped there because it had to be invited to come within. Israel had been offered the "manifest glory" of the Lord and rejected it. Therefore, Jesus is seeking an invitation from us: that He is welcomed in His resurrection glory as a life-giving spirit (tongues of fire), to come within our lives to abide with us.

"To him that overcomes will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God." -- Revelation 2:7b

As we partake of communion, the way of entrance to the "Tree of Life" is opened to us, and we can partake of His very life, as Jesus is the Tree of Life.

When the multitude, who came to see miracles, became hungry, Jesus multiplied five loaves and two fishes, and they were fed to the full (John 6:1-26). Later, they came back for more, and when Jesus told them that they were to eat His flesh and drink His blood, they ridiculed Him and left. He could not, at that time, explain how to partake of His flesh and drink His blood as He had yet to fulfill His preparation to die upon the cross for our sin, and then in resurrection, He become a quickening, life-giving spirit.

When His ministry was completed, the evening before He was to give His life on the cross, Jesus was now able to speak.

"He. . . took bread. . . and when He had given thanks, He broke it, and said, 'Take, eat: this is My body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of Me.' After the same manner also He took the cup, when He had supped, saying, 'This cup is the new testament in My blood: this do you, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.'" -- I Corinthians 11:23b-25

Notice that Jesus said, "This bread is My body, and the cup is My blood." He did not say, "This is an emblem, or symbol of My body and My blood." Then Jesus said that He would not partake again with us, until we partook together with Him, in the Kingdom.

"For I say to you, I will not any more eat thereof, until it be fulfilled in the kingdom of God." -- Luke 22:16

The Word says, "Unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven," (Matthew 18:3). As we partake of communion, we see bread, but Jesus said, "This is My body." As we partake of the cup, we see the fruit of the vine, but Jesus said, "This is My blood." Having the mind of a child, we simply believe what Jesus said, not what we see.

In Remembrance of Me

The Catholics teach that the "bread" and the "fruit of the vine" must first be transformed into the body and the blood of Jesus. The priest seeks to do this for the believer. Martin Luther said that we can do this for ourselves, without the priest.  However, both are wrong, as we do not need to first "transform" the bread and fruit of the vine. We are to simply believe what Jesus said, and partake of the bread and the fruit of the vine in faith, believing that we are partaking of the body and blood of the Lord.

"And when He had given thanks, He broke it, and said, Take, eat: this is My body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of Me. After the same manner also He took the cup, when He had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in My blood: this do you, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me." -- I Corinthians 11:24-25

Jesus said that we are to partake "in remembrance of Me." Rather than referring to our remembering His death on the cross, He is directing our thoughts back to the time when he told the multitude that they were to "eat His flesh and drink His blood." At that time, He could not explain how to partake, but now, He can.

With this understanding, when we believe what Jesus said with child-like faith, we are literally partaking of His body and blood. In His resurrection, Jesus became a life-giving Spirit, as He is the Tree of Life.

"And so it is written, 'The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening (living, life-giving) spirit." -- I Corinthians 15:45 KJV (comment added)

Thus, when we partake of communion, we are eating and drinking the very life of the One who is able to impart life. He is a "root" out of dry ground.

"For He shall grow up before Him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground." -- Isaiah 53:2a

Therefore, it can be said that Jesus is the Tree of Life in mystical form, recognizable only to those who have "spiritual" ears and eyes.

"But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread and drink of that cup. For he that eats and drinks unworthily, eats and drinks damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body. For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep." -- I Corinthians 11:28-29

Life More Abundantly

Communion then is the "mystical form" of the tree of life, hidden from the spiritually blind. Jesus said that if we partake unworthily or partake without understanding that He Himself is the Tree of Life, we are merely partaking of the process of death (eats and drinks damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body). We are simply receiving bread and the fruit of the vine -- another good meal -- and we are that much closer to death.  But, if we partake with spiritual understanding, knowing what we are doing, we will no longer be weak, sickly, and dying prematurely. Rather, as we rightly partake of communion, we are receiving quickening, life-giving spirit, and we will be living.

"For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you do show the Lord's death till He come." -- I Corinthians 11:26

As often as we do this, we are "showing" the Lord's death. This means that we are "demonstrating" the value of it. If we die the same as other people, we are not demonstrating anything. When we partake of Life, we are receiving the life that Jesus came to offer: "Life more abundantly."

Paul tells us that we have been set free from "the law of sin and death." As we partake of the bread (His body) and identify with Jesus in His death on the cross, we are forgiven through the blood that He shed on the cross on our behalf. As we identify with the stripes that Jesus bore in His body, we receive healing. Thus, we are partaking "worthily."

We then identify with Jesus through the cup (His blood), as life is in the blood. In His resurrection, Jesus became a "quickening spirit," and in this identification, we are released from the process of death.

I speak to the Lord words, that in varied forms, include the following: "Lord, as I receive the bread, I identify with Your body; for in Your body, You bore stripes. And through the blood that flowed from those stripes, I receive healing. You died upon the cross, and in identification with You and the blood You shed in Your death on the cross, I receive forgiveness of sin.

"Lord, I partake of the cup, the fruit of the vine, in identification with You, in Your resurrection blood -- the power of an endless life. In identification with You as being the Tree of Life, I release my body from the power of death, and I receive longevity of life."

The "Remaining" Ones

As we do this often, we should no longer be sick and dying but living in health and strength.

Just as Adam, we must come to the "Tree of Life" in order to continue to live, or we will progressively die. Therefore, if we understand that communion is the Tree of Life, and then we, in faith, partake of communion as being the Tree of Life, we will live the fullness of the time given us and not die.

The Lord is beginning to reveal the connection between communion and the Tree of Life to those whom He is calling to become "remaining" ones. This is an end-time principle that is being revealed at this present time.

Paul said, "We who are alive and remain at the coming of the Lord..." (I Thessalonians 4:15b).

Jesus, on the 8th day of His life, was taken into the temple to be dedicated. There were two people there: Anna and Simeon. Anna was old, but Simeon had a "word" that he would not see death until he saw the anointed of the Lord. Anna was "alive," but Simeon was "remaining." Thus, two classes of people were present.

Paul said that in the time of the return of our Lord, these two classes would be present: those who are "alive" through the normal course of life and those "remaining," whose lives have been extended.

These "remaining ones" are those who, in the time of the return of the Lord, are living beyond their normal span of life. These have learned the principle of communion. They are looking beyond liturgical religious forms into spiritual reality and are partaking in faith, knowing that they are eating the flesh and drinking the blood of Jesus, who is the Tree of Life. And if we partake of the source of Life, Jesus, we will live.

The word says, "as often as you partake." Communion can be taken as often as we desire. If we realize we are partaking of healing and life, we will do so often.