Seeing The Resurrected Lord At the Table (4.1.15)
"After that He appeared in another form unto two of them." Mark 16,12
"Jesus must appear to your friend as well as to you, no one can see Jesus with your eyes. Severance takes place when one and not the other has seen Jesus. You cannot bring your friend unless God brings him. Have you seen Jesus? Then you will want others to see Him too. 'And they went and told it unto the residue, neither believed they them.' [Mark16,13] You must tell, although they do not believe."
Oswald Chambers "My Utmost For His Highest" Barbour 1991 p. 72 "Have I Seen Him?"
The Lord repeatedly encouraged the prophet Ezekiel when something amazing was being shown to him by God with the words "Don't you see Son of man?" This would sort of like the Red Sox manager saying to Big Papi "Don't you see, Papi, now is the time to see, I mean hit it out of the park."
But when it comes to faith not everybody has the confidence of Big Papi. So it was often the case that revelations and visions only could be seen by the prophets at least before the Holy Ghost was distributed freely to everyone since the the day of Pentecost.
Only John The Revelator saw Jesus standing amidst the churches (Revelation2,1).
Only Caleb and Joshua, men of a different spirit, of the twelve scouts sent into the promised land saw the grace and opportunity of taking it by faith as commanded by the Lord (Numbers14,24).
Jesus only appeared unto two of the apostles under another form (Mark16,12).
Only the two Emmaus disciples recoginized the risen Jesus in the breaking of the bread (Luke24,30). Whereas the eleven apostles were startled at His physical-"ghostly" presence (Luke24,37) at their meal and were rebuked at table by the risen Jesus "for their lack of faith and their stubborn refusal to believe those who had seen him after he had risen." (Mark16,14)
But just because we all don't see all that God would show us, doesn't mean God plays favorites (Acts10,34). He wants us all to see and receive the fruits and blessings of all his revelations.
Would that we all were prophets (Numbers11,29). Would that we we all were seers.
Would that we all see the fruits and revelations of Jesus two main ordinances, the Lord's Supper and adult water baptism.
Telling The Story Of A Revived Lord's Supper
I've been telling this story of a revived and biblical Lord's Supper for several years now- 37 written teachings and at the end of about 150 episodes of "The Preaching Hour." I now fully know what Oswald Chambers means when he says "You must tell, although they do not believe." (Ibid supra)
We must tell the gospel.
We must tell the gospel of the supper too, again and again, according to the word of God, even if so few believe.
The revival of the supper is built on the breakthrough that Jesus' risen presence comes down into the bread and wine by way of our blessing (1Corinthians10,16). This blessing asks, and with faith receives, His blessing. Our mutual blessing either has it's effects or it doesn't. Jesus' blessing hand can't be forced into the blessing of this spiritual memorial (1Peter2,5, Luke22,19 and 1Corinthains11,24) anymore than it could be forced to accept a physical sacrifice under the Hebrew cultic dispensation.
Just as one is either blessed with Holy Ghost baptism or not, the bread and wine are blessed with Jesus' supernatural presence, or not. But when 1Corinthians10,16 says "the cup of blessing which we bless...", this is our biblical norm in how we celebrate the supper.
Yes what we say and do at the Lord's Supper matters some. We must do our part, which gives way to the weightier stuff of what He says and does.
If we bless with faith, and Jesus chooses to bless as well, the bread and wine now have His risen supernatural presence, the presence of Him who said "I will be with you always, even unto the end of the age." Matthew28,20 Jesus' post resurrectional meal apparitions underscore this promise to be with us always. It is no mistake that Jesus, the bread of life, showed his very real presence at meals. He was saying and showing by his presence at these meals and by commanding the supper that that He would always feed us with the supernatural food of His risen body and blood.
This risen presence among us and in the bread and wine provide real food and drink (John6,55, 1Corinthians10,3-4), namely his risen flesh (John6,52) and his everflowing eternal blood (John6,52, and John19,34, the "blood" still flows, Revelation5,6, a risen heavenly lamb still has some sort of non physical blood).
This focus on the blessing-consecration, frees us from the fruitless polemical circle of adherents of dogmas that claim His presence is guaranteed at every supper by the repetition of certain words by certain people, with or without faith. This is to claim too much. Whereas, adherents to symbols won't even bless the bread and wine or juice, and thus claim too little. The latter are left bringing to the table no discernable expectation other than consuming a symbol and a mental remembering of Calvary.
This fruitless circle leaves us with claims and counterclaims, entrenched and unopen to further biblical revelation. Biblical revelation has always been progressive in that knowledge and understanding of God's word and revelation increases. Luther built on Paul. Wesley built on Luther. Holiness built on Wesley, Pentecostals built on Holiness. Now it's time for the rest of the church to build on the insights of what it means to study scripture fully aided by a personal and collective experience of Pentecost that is always increasing our knowledge and understanding of God's word. Daniel12,4 and 10.
Yet biblical revelation about the supper is stuck in the polemic Reformational and counter Reformational circle (same for water baptism). And the upshot is so very few people are seeing the risen Jesus in the Spiritually cultic act of the blessing and then breaking of the bread (Luke22,19, Genesis15), in eating his risen flesh and and drinking his risen blood.
The word tells us that God is Spirit (John4,24). Jesus' present body is a Spiritual body (1Corinthians15,44). Jesus is Spirit. His body now has been changed from a physical to a heavenly body (1Corinthians15,48) the only body that heaven could accept (1Corinthians15,50).
Jesus defines his incarnation as "bread that comes down from heaven" (John6,50). He was bread, and God in heaven, prior to his incarnation. This is what he said about Himself. Then Jesus kicks the paradox up a notch and ties the challenge of believing in His incarnation with the similarly difficult challenge of eating and drinking his risen flesh and blood at the supper
"Jesus was aware that his disciples were grumbling about it [apparently eating his physical flesh and blood per the "unless..." commands of John6,53] and asked them, 'Does this shock you? 62 Then what if you see the Son of man ascending to where he was before? 63 It is the spirit that gives life; the [physical] flesh can achieve nothing; the words I have spoken to you are both spirit and life. 64 Yet there are some of you who have no faith [no faith in His incarnation as the Christ and no faith that they must be fed by Him after the miracle of his resurrection]. John6,61-64
Again, Jesus' post resurrectional apparitions to some folks and not others are in no way meant to say Jesus is a snob. He appeared to whomever had the faith to see him. God doesn't play favorites, Acts10,34. Nor is the claim that He is really present at the supper and in the bread and wine make the supper into some sort of esoteric fest. As the song says, what he has done for others He'll do for any of us, so long as we have the faith to see Him in the first place.
The two disciples Jesus met on the way to Emmaus recognized Him in the breaking of the bread. In other words, they recognized that he was the risen Jesus, a man in a form different than the merely physical. A man who could appear and dissapear just like that.
So just like that, he could appear and confirm a blessing upon bread and wine, by way of our faith at the supper. So just like that He enter the soul of a person professing a repentant faith, or being baptized, or just like that, bless someone with the distinct experience of the baptism of the Holy Ghost, and make them into a fitting temple of the same.
Jesus appears to us in many forms in our daily lives. He appears as a presence and voice when we are reading His word. He inhabits the praises of our voices. He shows up as a Spiritual presence when two or three are gathered in His Name. He shows up and lives in us, who are physical flesh and blood, in our body, when the seed of salvation (1Peter1,23), bears fruit unto baptism in the Holy Ghost (Acts2,36-39), then it's "not I who live but Christ who lives in me." (Galatians2,20)
In all these scriptures above it is a surprising fact that Jesus lives in our physical human bodies that have been blessed with Holy Ghost baptism. Many of us have seen and fully realized how true and amazing this is. Why then is it so difficult, or too amazing that Jesus would feed us consecrated real food and drink, that goes into that body?
In other words, once we start to live by faith in miracles like the resurrection, the ascension, being born again unto a temple of the Holy Ghost, why are we so surprised that Jesus appears in many Spiritual forms, and also feeds us in many forms and provides us supernatural drink in many forms, especially at His supper.
If we are indeed looking for Him here, and if we have the faith to see.
For some this seeing may be a "not yet" experience, but as Chambers wisely reminded about the gospel, we "must tell" it anyway.
If you or your church would like coaching as to this revived and biblical Lord's Supper, please contact us.
For a short video of the supper: http://vimeo.com/63572579
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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...