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What is "Going to Church" All About

Jul 10, 2019

21 Katselua
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What do you think coming together to worship every Sunday is all about? Or every Saturday if you are a Sabbatarian? Why do you do it? Is it just for the fellowship? That’s good, we should all have fellowship. Do you come to church to sing hymns of praise to God? We should do that at every worship service too, and in our home. Maybe you think coming to church is about receiving a good teaching from the Holy Bible, from a man of God. You’re absolutely right. That has been a core purpose of corporate worship in the people of God since centuries before Yeshua. Yet if that is all you think corporate worship is about, you are lacking part of the spiritual life of the Church and are missing out on one of its core elements?

What part of the living Assembly are you missing? Well, let me give you a clue. It’s something that Jesus gave to us shortly before he prayed in Gethsemane, and then gave up His life on the cross. It’s a gathering and a meal that Jesus commanded us to keep, even before He had offered up the sacrifice for our sins that brings us peace with God, and then rose up from the grave, to forever live and intercede for us. What you’re missing comes from what many would call the founding of Christ’s Church itself. That is the New Covenant meal, and the body and blood of Christ.

You see, coming to Church is not just about singing hymns and hearing some good preaching, which explains the Bible and helps us in life. It is also about receiving Communion with the Most High God, through receiving the body and blood of His Son. We receive our Lord into our very being and unite with Him through it. There is singing at the assembly. There is teaching. And there is a supernatural, divine meal. If you are missing that last part, you are missing a major organ that gives life to the Church Jesus founded.

While I’ve written elsewhere in detail about how we can know that Jesus left us with His body and blood, as well as defended the doctrine, I’ll simply recount this right now: His plain teaching in John 6 is that we must eat and drink His body and blood, (John 6:51) and when the hearers objected to that difficult teaching, He only stated it again, MORE strongly than before, saying “Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. “For My flesh is food indeed, and My blood is drink indeed.

 “He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him.

(John 6:54-56)

At His Passover, what I have called the founding of the Church, the Lord said – this is My body – and – this is My blood of the new covenant (Matthew 26:26-28, Mark 14:22-24) – and then commanded the apostles to take this meal in His memory. Do this in remembrance of Me. (Luke 22:19) The apostle Paul, in retelling this teaching for the Church, greatly magnifies its importance, saying that if we do not receive it with reverence, we eat and drink judgment on ourselves, and by not honoring it, believers have indeed fallen sick and died. (1 Corinthians 11:27-29) This is the New Covenant meal brothers. It is of the greatest importance, and is rightly called supernatural.

It is hard to imagine that Yeshua, in leaving His special people with a new Passover, basically left us with another symbolic meal, as Jews of Temple Israel already had. As many unbelieving Jews since then have had, adding more and more symbolism to it throughout the Jewish ages. If that’s all He left His chosen bride with, He did little different than the Pharisees in their version did, or than Orthodox Jews do today. He simply added symbol to food. But this is not the case. Jesus left His chosen people not with only a meaningful supper, but with His very being. He left us with His divine Person in the Passover. He gave us a way to receive Him into our own being, which is not just mystical, but is physical as well. We receive the Lord’s body and blood into our own body and blood. We unite with Him through it in what can only be called a miracle.

This truth is fitting in the He has given us a greater Passover than mere symbol. It is further fitting in that He has given us a greater manna than Israel ate in the wilderness. That manna, Jesus said, left those Israelites who ate it to die. But HIS manna would bring those who ate it life. (John 6:49-50) If this new bread from heaven is nothing but a symbol, it is not only not greater than the miraculous food Israel ate in the wilderness, but is actually LESS incredible and LESS amazing. The manna Israel ate may not have brought everlasting life, but it WAS an incredible miracle, and it fell every day until Israel entered the land. That is awe inspiring. I think a lot of us have a deep desire to see what this was like, or to experience a miracle of its caliber. If Jesus’ bread is a symbolical snack, He hasn’t just failed to bring greater glory to the New Covenant manna, but has brought far less glory. You see, that is not the bread Jesus gave us. The bread Jesus gave us is supernatural, and miraculous, like the manna in the wilderness, except at the same time is even greater. It is the being of the divine Son of God and brings us life.

As a Christian, you and I do not need a symbolic food. If I wanted a mere picture of Jesus’ sacrifice, I’d be more interested in a good painting of the Lord, than a symbolic cracker. You and I don’t need that. We need the life of the eternal Son of God in us. We need a supernatural unity with Him. That is what Communion brings – a unity with the Son of God. That is one of the central reasons why we join together in corporate worship; why we “go to church.” We are coming together as one to receive our Lord into our being; body and soul. We are coming to receive Christ.

That is not to say there is no symbolism in the act of Communion. Of course there is. We cannot fail to see in the bread of Communion being broken, the body of our Lord, broken and crucified. We cannot miss in the cup that we drink of, the life and blood of our Lord pouring out for us, that that we may live. The apostle Paul even compares his own life as a servant of God to a drink offering being poured out. (Philippians 2:17) Likewise, all of us in imitation of our Lord, ought to pour out our life for the glory of God and to serve man. Therefore, we could never have a Communion without layers of beautiful symbols. However, much like the memorial meal of Israel called the Passover, this is not a mere memorial. It is a real meal and there is a lamb present. There is a Lamb which is consumed by our community, not the lamb of the sacrifice proscribed in Exodus and elsewhere, but the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. We must not miss in the midst of a memorial, the whole reason that we do it: our New Covenant sacrifice, whom we receive within us; body and soul.

By missing this act of Communion, much of the Church has cut itself off, not just from a unity with the Savior, but from the history of its own faith. The Church from the earliest era after the apostles gave Communion regularly, and believed that it was the body and blood of our Lord. The theological wording may have taken time to develop, but the doctrine that it is Christ’s body and blood has been present in the Church for 2,000 years. It is this history, tradition, and lifeblood of the Church that countless Protestant believers cut themselves off from. Listen to what the leaders of the early Church had to say about Communion, in this small, and partial collection.

 

St. Ignatius wrote: I have no taste for corruptible food nor for the pleasures of this life. I desire the Bread of God, WHICH IS THE FLESH OF JESUS CHRIST, who was of the seed of David; and for drink I DESIRE HIS BLOOD, which is love incorruptible.

And elsewhere he said: They [i.e. the Gnostics] abstain from the Eucharist and from prayer, because they do not confess that THE EUCHARIST IS THE FLESH OF OUR SAVIOR JESUS CHRIST, flesh which suffered for our sins and which the Father, in his goodness, raised up again.

Justin Martyr wrote: For not as common bread nor common drink do we receive these; but since Jesus Christ our Savior was made incarnate by the word of God and had both flesh and blood for our salvation, so too, as we have been taught, the food which has been made into the Eucharist by the Eucharistic prayer set down by Him, AND BY THE CHANGE OF WHICH our blood and flesh is nourished, IS BOTH THE FLESH AND THE BLOOD OF THAT INCARNATED JESUS.

St. Irenaeus wrote: He has declared the cup, a part of creation, TO BE HIS OWN BLOOD, from which He causes our blood to flow; and the bread, a part of creation, HE HAS ESTABLISHED AS HIS OWN BODY, from which He gives increase to our bodies.

And elsewhere he said: When, therefore, the mixed cup and the baked bread receives the Word of God and BECOMES THE EUCHARIST, THE BODY OF CHRIST, and from these the substance of our flesh is increased and supported, how can they say that the flesh is not capable of receiving the gift of God, WHICH IS ETERNAL LIFE - flesh which is nourished BY THE BODY AND BLOOD OF THE LORD…receiving the Word of God, BECOMES THE EUCHARIST, WHICH IS THE BODY AND BLOOD OF CHRIST

Brethren, if I desired to make this list longer, it could go through nearly all of prominent early leaders of the Church for many centuries. This practice and this teaching have been with us through the entirety of Church history. To ignore it is to depart from faith and to create a novel and man-made doctrine. It is to put the inventions of men over the Word of God, and demand others accept that. Protestantism, with the exception of Lutherans and a few very small groups, has given us a set of false traditions.

Perhaps that is why so many Christian churches choose to only have Communion a few times a year. Perhaps they want to manufacture a kind of artificial importance around the act that mere symbolism cannot muster. They feel a need to create some aura around Communion, since there isn’t much of an aura around a cracker being a symbol. However, if you realize what Communion really is, if you realize it is the body and blood of our Lord, you don’t need to manufacture any sense of importance. You don’t have to make it rare to make it seem special. A Christian could take Communion every single day and it would NEVER become a common thing. No. The life of Christ can never be profane, and ordinary. Even if we take it every day, as some devout believers do, we know it is priceless and superb and beyond compare. That’s because we know it is our Lord. We know He is priceless. The act could never be common.

If you are reading this or hearing this and it is totally outside of what you have been taught, know that the Holy Spirit can lift us beyond what we’ve been taught, previously learned, or seen. If you are a minister and have taught the flock something very different, know that the Holy Spirit does not limit you to what you have previously taught, been trained to be, or experienced all around you. The Holy Spirit is supernatural and eternal and leads us to all truth. He fills up the Church with divine life and makes false traditions fade away in their emptiness. He brings the power of God within us. Pastors need to return to the fold regarding Communion, brethren. That is the Christian fold that’s been with us for 2,000 years. They need to restore the New Covenant Passover, and make it a part of regular corporate worship. It takes a humble man to admit they’ve been wrong, and that’s just what the bulk of Protestantism needs to do. Humble themselves. Admit this historic error, admit the falsehood of calling Communion a mere symbol, and then take care of the flock. Feed His sheep. Provide them the food which Jesus gives them. That is the essence and lifeblood of the Church.

 

The Real Presence in the early Church fathers: http://www.the realpresence.org/eucharst/father/fathers.htm

 

Note: When I say “Protestantism” I do not just refer to those churches that identify as Protestant. I refer to an entire area of doctrinal understanding, which naturally includes major historical Protestant groups, along with others like Baptists, Anabaptists, Messianics, and more. I use Protestant as a broad and general term.

 

I’ve been working for holiness and reform in the Church at this website: https://www.holinessofthebride.com/ 

 

 You can find my marriage book Get Married and Save the World right here: https://www.xulonpress.com/bookstore/bookdetail.php?PB_ISBN=9781 545659052&HC_ISBN= 
 
Contact me anytime at: kodeshkallah@yahoo.com