By Faith, God's Word, And a Mutual Blessing Lifeless Physical Things Come To Life
At Table Of The Lord Meditation N.29 we taught from Numbers17.
The rebellion of the non priestly sons of Korah against Moses and Aaron in the desert after the Exodus from Egypt led to a a budding staff competion whereby each of the thirteen tribes brought a staff before the Ark of the covenant, and the one that came alive would be the rightful leader.
The staff of the tribe of Levi budded.
I want to just amplify and expand a little upon Table Meditation N. 29 today, about Aaron's rod that budded.
Not By Power Or Might But By His Spirit
Now there is nothing ever wrong with the miraculous power and presence of the Lord. The Lord was ready in and around the the ark, in the holy of holies room of the Tent, and later in the Temple, to make the staff of the tribe of Levi come alive. He could have made the staffs from the other tribes likewsie sprout and bear fruit (almonds), real food (cf1Corinthians10,3), but that wasn't according to his word. His word was that the tribe of Levi Moses and Aaron were His leaders, and that word was confirmed by this contest.
God's Spirit Always Backs Up God's Word.
This contest demonstrates what all scripture demonstrates- the Spirit of Jesus always backs up the Word of Jesus. The word in Numbers 17 was the Levite priests were his leaders. And His Spirit back up that word, the rod budded.
His word to all of us faithful, all priests according to 1Peter2,5, all Levites so to speak, was "Do this [this Spiritual sacrifice 1Peter2,5] in memory of me." That is, do it with faith. It's not a physical sacrifice, so do it with faith, only then is it going to work, going to bud, and bear actual food and drink.
When Jesus enacted His supper he blessed and broke the bread, Matthew26,26. A blessing by anyone filled with the Holy Spirit, by a Holy priesthood, is a mighty powerful thing. We bless the bread because he blessed the bread. This is part of our "do this" in memory of him.
A memory in the Eastern biblical and sacrificial mindset is more than a memory in the Western mindset. We catch a glimpse of the difference between a memorial and a memory on our "Memorial" Day holiday. It's a memorial, a living memorial day, not just a memory day. We make a spiritual sacrifice of time and love and remembernce to remember the fallen heroes.
Likewise at the supper, we make a Spiritual sacrifice, by faith, because Jesus said so, and we bring his Calvary sacrifice to mind, but then we also offer, lift up, and bless the bread and cup.
Aaron's Staff Blessed-Manna Blessed-Tablets Blessed
Aaron's staff was in effect blessed by God's Spirit. It was set apart before God's presence, like our bread and wine is set apart.
Aaron's staff was blessed by the Shekinah glory, the Spirit of God all concentrated there on and in the ark.
The Spirit of God that was not only in the ark, but also in the manna, the bread, too. It was living bread in the ark, bread with God's glory and Spirit in it. It was bread from heaven (John6). Bread, blessed in heaven, set apart bread, like Jesus was for us.
And by our mutual blessing, us first and Jesus confirming, we have Bread blessed by God.
Living Bread-Timely Bread Not Worship Bread
Now in the desert when this sacred origin, edible bread was left on the ground longer than one day, it got wormy [Exodus16,20]. It lost it's Godly blessing. It had to be eaten in a timely fashion.
But in the ark, put there in accordance to the Word, and amidst the Spirit, the bread remained living bread. It was consecrated bread, by a permanent heavenly blessing, or the not-ever-withdrawn-blessing of God.
Just as Aaron's rod was permanently consecrated there, and then permanently put in or near the ark.
So as the staff of the tribe of Levi was still living, a consecrated staff, so us born again Christians are a royal priesthood (1Peter2,9) and so have permanent priestly blessing in or on us.
That staff was put in front of the ark according to God's word before and after it budded. It was put there by faith. It was consecrated there and then sprouted, bore fruit, and bore almonds, real food.
Likewise the tablets in the ark, they were living words. As we know, the Word of God is "living and active sharper than a two-edged sword." This is what was in the ark, his living word. All His "Do this in memory of me" words were in the ark so to speak, consecrated words, living word.
So His a command "Do this" is alive with God's Spirit, up to our present day in the Christian dispensation pf his body the church, the ones called out of unholiness. "This" includes an actual blessing by us of the bread and wine.
1Corinthians10,16, the word, speaks of "the cup of blessing [which we all, all priests, by one Spirit] bless.
Another living word, another tablet in the ark so to speak. So that's what we do at the table: follow the living word. So, according to living Manna in the desert, we eat blessed manna from the table. According to the one cup we set apart and then all bless, we partake of his living ever flowing blood according to the vision of John19,38.
Our new real food, and our new real drink according to 1Corinthians10,3-4.
God did not demand that Israel put dead bread and dead tablets in or around the ark, but bread from heaven, living bread (Exodus16,33), his living word, and his living staff, in or around the ark.
(NB The manna was not a symbol. It was not a memory. It was living bread from heaven.)
First the tablets- the living word (Exodus25,16);
Second, the living bread, manna from heaven (Exodus 16,33, John6);
Then Aaron's staff in front of the ark (Numbers17,10).
We have no physical ark now but 1Corinthians10,4 says that Jesus was the Spiritual rock that followed and protected Israel physically wherever they went.
If Jesus was a risen Spiritual rock then, miraculously providing all Israel's physical needs in the desert, why are we in our Holy Ghost Baptized spiritual bodies and physically (1Corinthians15,44), reluctant at all to allow him to provide us the food and drink of His Spiritual body, a body that enjoys everflowing eternal blood of the vision of John19,38, ie the blessed wine, and an eternal Spiritual body that also provides bread from heaven by way of the blessed bread.
He provides all this by way of His consecration, his blessing, honoring the faith of our blessing at the table, at the Spiritual sacrifice, the memorial sacrifice of His Supper.
The budding of Aaron's staff tells us that His Spirit not only backs up His word, but at the table provides real food.
The cup of blessing, blessed by God and us, at table fellowship in His name, tells that His Spirit provides real drink.
Not just memories.
Living food and drink. Faith food and drink.
From the risen rock of Jesus, that follows us, from faithful table to faithful table, providing for those who taste and see more than physical things, who hunger and thirst for all the Spiritual provisions of His eternal risen body.
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Tobin Hitt is the founder of the Zion Pentecost Mission. He is open to gospel partnership with all, and identifies with Paul's description of our mission as ambassadors for our king, Jesus, urging all to reconcile with God (2Cor.20-21). He resides in Cheshire, Connecticut.read more...