The Lasting Value and Power of Communion
In this hour, the Government of God is being established in the earth. There is a solidifying process taking place in the body of Christ. We are being cemented into Christ—His nature in our nature. From this place of Oneness, there is a remnant of believers rising to a new level—a people of great faith, a Rising Glory Generation emerging from the desert, a people who know their God and do great exploits (see Daniel 11:32). In order for us to move into the next season, we must first come to know and practice The Lasting Value and Power of Communion.
People often receive communion in a ritualistic manner—taking the body and blood of Jesus out of routine and tradition. In order for us to taste the richness of communion, there must be a time of preparation where we are lifted into the Glory of His presence through the worship of who He is. Just like it's not possible for us to effectively wait in the presence of the Lord until we have passed from the natural realm into the spiritual, so we cannot effectively receive the value and substance of the body and blood of Jesus until we first exchange realms—earth for heaven.
The word communion has to do with communication—Jesus speaks and we listen; we speak, He listens. As we enter into communion with Jesus we become One with Him. We actually become partakers of life because He is Life.
"Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death." -Romans 8:1
This condemnation is the judgment (death) which was given Adam for his transgression, in turn being passed on to each of us. However, we are set free from the law of sin through our identification with the shed blood of Jesus on the cross. We are set free from the law of death by the Spirit of Life, through our identification with the resurrection and ascension of Jesus.
Jesus is a Life-Giving Spirit
"The Scriptures tell us, 'The first man, Adam, became a living person.' But the last Adam—that is, Christ—is a life-giving Spirit." -I Corinthians 15:45 NLT
Jesus said that He came that we might have life, and have it more abundantly (see John 10:10). We become partakers of the law of the Spirit through our identification with Him as a life-giving Spirit. When this happens we don't just receive life in our spirits and minds, but in our physical bodies as well. In John 6, Jesus multiplied five barley loaves and two fish, feeding over 5,000 men; yet when they became hungry again they came back to Jesus looking for more food. But Jesus told them He had something better for them saying, "'...unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in yourselves.... This is the bread which came down from heaven; not as the fathers ate and died; he who eats this bread will live forever'" (John 6:53, 58). Jesus was offering them a higher life in which they would not die. He was showing them that another serving of barley loaves and fish wouldn't suffice, but rather only His flesh and blood—bread from heaven that gives eternal life.
Experiencing Eternal Life in the Now!
When Jesus said we would live forever, we know He was talking about eternal life in God's Kingdom. However, we can receive this eternal life now as we abide in His presence here on the earth.
"'Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me. I am the vine....'" -John 15:4-5
When a strip of bark is completely cut around a tree and removed, the process of death begins. The tree can no longer receive the life and nourishment that is drawn up from the root system and passes through the bark—the tree will soon die. Similarly, the life of Jesus must flow into us. We are the branches and He is the Vine. We only receive the power of endless life if we are rightly connected to Him.
"...who has come, not according to the law of a fleshly commandment, but according to the power of an endless life." -Hebrews 7:16 NKJV
Eating food to sustain our natural body is not an option; it's something we need to do to stay alive. Likewise, partaking of the Lord is not an option; it's necessary to stay wholly alive: spirit, soul, and body. Receiving the body and blood of Jesus is more than taking communion once a month at church—we must partake daily from the table He has set before us. If we don't we will suffer loss spiritually and naturally.
I used to think Adam had eternal existence built within him when he was created; however, Adam was created when the life and breath of God was breathed into him. In order for him to stay alive, though, he had to continually come to the Tree of Life and eat from it. He was dependent on God and needed to dine on His life. After Adam sinned, he was not allowed to eat from the Tree of Life.
"Then the LORD God said, 'Behold, the man has become like one of Us, knowing good and evil; and now, he might stretch out his hand, and take also from the tree of life, and eat, and live forever....' So He drove the man out; and at the east of the garden of Eden He stationed the cherubim and the flaming sword which turned every direction to guard the way to the tree of life." -Genesis 3:22, 24
After Adam transgressed he was cut off from communion, from eating from the Tree of Life. If he had continued eating, he would have continued living. But the judgment was not being allowed to eat from the Tree of Life resulting in spiritual and physical death.
The Right to Eat from the Tree of Life
"'...To him who overcomes, I will grant to eat of the tree of life which is in the Paradise of God.'" -Revelation 2:7
Those who overcome have access to eat from the Tree of Life in the Paradise of God. Once again we see that we have access to the Tree of Life, to the Bread of Life, to abundant life, to eternal life through the broken body and shed blood of Jesus Christ. When we partake of communion, the way to the Tree of Life is opened to us—we have access to His resurrection power and life.
Earlier we talked about how Jesus multiplied the loaves of bread and fish to feed the multitude of people; then the following day, the people sought Jesus looking for more food (see John 6:1-26). Jesus explained to them that they would never be truly filled unless they ate His flesh and drank His blood (see vs. 53). The people didn't understand and some were offended. Then the night before His crucifixion, He took His disciples aside and openly explained in more detail about the power released through His shed blood and broken body.
"He... took bread... and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, 'This is My body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of Me.' In the same way He took the cup also after supper, saying, 'This cup is the new covenant in My blood; do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.'" -I Corinthians 11:23-25
Notice that Jesus said that the bread was His body and the cup was His blood. He didn't say that it was an emblem or a symbol, but it was His very body and blood.
Jesus says in Mathew 18:3—"'Truly I say to you, unless you are converted and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.'" As we take communion, we see bread, but Jesus said it was His body. As we take the cup, we see the fruit of the vine, but Jesus said it was His blood. Having the mind of a child, we simply believe what Jesus said—not what we see.
Jesus is the Mystical Tree of Life
Jesus is the mystic secret of God; all spiritual knowledge and enlightenment are hidden in Christ. Colossians 2:2-3 says, "...that they may know more definitely and accurately and thoroughly that mystic secret of God, [which is] Christ (the Anointed One). In Him all the treasures of [divine] wisdom (comprehensive insight into the ways and purposes of God) and [all the riches of spiritual] knowledge and enlightenment are stored up and lie hidden" (AMP). In His ascension, Jesus opened the way for us to partake of His life-giving Spirit. We have access to Jesus, the mystical Tree of Life, who resides in paradise.
"For He [Jesus] shall grow up before Him as a tender plant, And as a root [Tree of Life] out of dry ground. He has no form or comeliness; And when we see Him, There is no beauty that we should desire Him." -Isaiah 53:2 NKJV
Taking communion by faith gives us understanding—opening our eyes to see Jesus as the Tree of Life. If we partake without believing and knowing that He is Life, we rob ourselves of the life that Christ offers us and all we do is eat the bread and drink the fruit of the vine and it's just another good meal. If we partake with spiritual understanding (worthily), knowing that we are taking in the life of Christ, then by faith we will no longer be weak, sick, or die prematurely. Rather, we will live longer, healthier lives, revived and rejuvenated by the life-giving Spirit of Christ.
"...He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you." -Romans 8:11
We need to ask the Holy Spirit to awaken these truths in our hearts—quickening them, allowing us to identify with the death and resurrection of Christ. When I take communion, I normally speak something to the Lord like this:
"Lord, as I receive the bread, I identify with Your body that was broken. Your body bore stripes, and through the blood that flowed from those stripes, I receive healing. Your body was broken on the cross. I identify with Your broken body and receive forgiveness of sin. Lord, as I take the cup, the fruit of the vine, I identify with resurrection and ascension power released through your blood. It is the cup of a New Covenant—the power of an endless life. I identify with You being the Tree of Life—I release my body from the power of death and receive longevity of life."
Eating in Faith and Living in the Glory of God
When God led the children of Israel out of Egyptian slavery and through the desert, there was not a single feeble person among them. They were supernaturally sustained in the Glory of God. As long as they ate the bread that came from heaven, their bodies, clothing, shoes, and all they possessed did not corrupt or age. The molecular structure of all they owned and possessed was kept new and fresh. As they ate the bread of angels (see Psalm 78:25), they were kept from sickness. Joshua said that he was as strong at the end of the 40 years of walking through the desert, as he was when he left Egypt—over 80 years old! Talk about living in the Glory of God.
Just as Adam needed to come to the Tree of Life to eat and live, we must do the same, or we will progressively die. If we partake of the Tree of Life, we will live the fullness of time that has been given to us. People are looking beyond liturgical religious forms—pressing past routine worship into a spiritual reality. There is a fresh hunger for the living God. By faith believers are pressing through by partaking of the flesh and blood of Jesus—eating from the Tree of Life.
"Lord, help us understand these profound yet simple mysteries of communion. Thank you for opening up a new and living way for us—giving us direct access into Your presence, so we can freely partake of the Tree of Life. By faith we desire to partake of your flesh and blood—receiving all the life, power, and healing within. We identify with Your death, with Your broken body and shed blood—dying ourselves to this world and to its laws—being wholly and unconditionally released from the power and influence of death. All for the Glory of the Lord Jesus Christ, Amen."
"Unless otherwise noted, Scriptures are taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission."