Starving to Death

For the Body of Messiah

 For Loaves & Fishes

For Bread, For Wine

 

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A Communion Service

So you think communion is a pagan ritual? 
Think again!
  Look here.

 

Matthew 14:13-2113. Now when Yahshua heard this, he withdrew from there in a boat to a lonely place apart. But when the crowds heard it, they followed him on foot from the towns. 14. As he went ashore he saw a great throng; and he had compassion on them, and healed their sick. 15. When it was evening, the disciples came to him and said, "This is a lonely place, and the day is now over; send the crowds away to go into the villages and buy food for themselves." 16. Yahshua said, "They need not go away; you give them something to eat." 17. They said to him, "We have only five loaves here and two fish." 18. And he said, "Bring them here to me." 19. Then he ordered the crowds to sit down on the grass; and taking the five loaves and the two fish he looked up to heaven, and blessed, and broke and gave the loaves to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds. 20. And they all ate and were satisfied. And they took up twelve baskets full of the broken pieces left over. 21. And those who ate were about five thousand men, besides women and children.

 

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Codex Sinaiticus

New Testament:

from the famed discovery

 

The earliest, oldest New Testament text has finally been released to the public.  You may read the Codex Sinaiticus online - but only if you know Greek!  To read it inCodex Sinaiticus New Testament H T Anderson English English, you need the only English translation we know.  The H. T. Anderson English Translation of the Codex Sinaiticus, with the three extra early New Testament books and the Sonnini Manuscript of Acts 29 included, and the original absences of certain verses (put in there later by the 'church') is now available only at here.  

THIS IS NOT A CHEAP, SCANNED-IN FACSIMILE. This is a first edition of the text published in easy-to-read Georgia font with plenty of room between verses for your notes.2 points between verses, hard or soft cover.

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The Nazarene Acts
of the Apostles

Also known as
The Recognitions of Clement

Ever wonder why PAUL and not PETER received the mission to the lost tribes?  Wasn't Peter the stone upon which the "church" was to be built?  In this new translation of the Nazarene Acts, we follow Kefa (Peter) as he itinerates from Jerusalem and up the Mediterranean coast up to Tripoli, as recorded in the journals of his successor, Clement of Rome (Phi 4:3).  Every message Kefa preached, the company he kept, and the great works of faith the the Almighty accomplished through him are herein recorded.  This 300 page volume has been 'hidden' in the back of an obscure volume of the "Church Fathers" all this time.  Could it be that, in establishing the Gentile 'church' by pushing away from Judaism, this history was purposely hidden?

The Story of the Loaves and Fishes Begins

   Yochanan the Baptist was dead, executed by Herod, the king.   Yochanan was Yahshua’ forerunner and mentor, and Yochanan had baptized Yahshua.  They were kin; they were each other’s disciples while yet in the womb.  The close followers of Yahshua had also known Yochanan and had followed him before Yahshua took up the mantle of the prophet himself.  So they were boating to the far side of Galilee Lake, out to the country to grieve and maybe even hide out.  They had but a little time before the crowds of people, who had watched him embark, walked around the shore to reach him. 

   As to why they followed -- most followed to be healed or delivered of demons or to carry people there.  Others just followed to watch the show.  In that day and place, there was little in the way of medical miracles or entertainment, so when the Father sent a healer to Galilee, people from all over would follow him to receive something.  Such gatherings were also risky because they were illegal; the ruling class, called “Herodians” after the king, wouldn’t have stood for religious meetings, especially right after Herod murdered a prophet.

   Here was a multitude.  Even though Yahshua wished to be alone, he had compassion on the sick folk -- which is a way of saying that he felt an anointing to heal.  After a while, the disciples came to Yahshua under a false pretense.  Because it was past their dinnertime, they asked Yahshua to send the crowd away so they could eat.  They phrased their pleas to sound like they were concerned for the hungry, but they themselves were hungry -- can’t blame them.  So Yahshua tells them to take their food and pass it out to the group.  Imagine what they thought about that idea.  “We don’t have that much,” was the reply.  But he said to share what they had regardless of whether it was enough or not, because he was under an anointing not only to heal, but to feed. 

The Grub - Loaves of Barley

   No doubt the disciples thought this was another of Yahshua’ tricky ways of teaching them a lesson.  They had no idea what was about to happen.  But we can give them credit because they were faithful to part with their little repast, though perhaps without relish, if you’ll excuse the pun.  The loaves were of barley and quite small and coarse.  Although there was the lake nearby and some of the disciples were fishermen, only the rich ate fresh fish.  The poor and common folk ate pickled or dried sardines. Did you ever try to break a canned sardine?  What a mess.

   Yahshua put all the people on the ground like a picnic.  Yahshua didn’t bless the food like we do; he blessed the Father.  Then he passed the food back to his men who broke it and distributed it.  We know the rest -- there was enough to go around with an entire basketful per disciple left over.  That is some lesson in itself.

  

Symbolism and Fulfillment

   Yet there is some wonderful symbolism here.  First, in regards to Yochanan: The Gospel says that he was forerunner to the Messiah.  Yahshua had called him “the coming Elijah who fulfilled prophecy.”  We remember that Elijah’s successor was a man named Elisha.  Elijah and Elisha were nearly opposites in method and ministry, just as Yochanan and Yahshua were very different.  Do you remember Elisha’s sincerity?  He begged Elijah for a double portion of Yahweh’s anointing -- and got it.  Just as Elisha completed the ministry of Elijah, Yahshua, as the New Elisha, completes Yochanan’s ministry and thus becomes the capstone of the Yahweh’s Law and the greatest of Yahweh’s Prophets.  Consider the prophecy of Elisha in 2 Kings 4:42ff:

 

2 Kings 4: 42. A man came from Baal-Shalishah, bringing the man of Elohim bread from the first-fruits, twenty barley loaves and fresh grain still in the husk. "Give it to the company to eat," Elisha said.  43. But his servant replied, "How can I serve this to a hundred men?" "Give it to the company to eat," he insisted, "for Yahweh says this, `They will eat and have some left over.' "  44. He served them; they ate and had some left over, as Yahweh had said.

 

Yahshua’ anointing to feed is in fulfillment of this prophecy. 

    Consider now the numbers in the story in the light of prophecy; for instance, “seven,” as in loaves and fish.  Seven shows completeness, fulfillment or perfection.  Yahshua came to complete, fulfill and perfect the ministry of Yochanan the Baptist.  Do you remember what that mission was?   To call people to repentance; to call people back to the law; to call people back to Yahweh; and to announce the coming of Yahweh’s Messiah.  Look now at the number of souls fed and we find the future mission of the Messiah and his disciples – 5, the symbolic number of the Gentiles, times 1000 years of the Millennium Reign of Christ, equals 5000.  His anointing to feed the multitude is complete and perfect.  The disciples picked up twelve baskets of ‘remnants;’ they gained far more than they gave.  In the light of the future, disciples actually become the remnants, feeding the nations (in a spiritual sense) over the course of the ages, always with plenty left over.

The Deeper Squeeze

   Like a parable, this feeding is to be understood on two levels.  On the top we understand that Yahshua is feeding a bunch of people with a hardly any food.  Underneath the story, Yahshua came in the name of Yahweh as the new Elisha to feed the nations through by the hands of his Apostles through all time.  Far fetched?  Not at all.  These stories are meant to be squeezed.  Like Maxwell House Coffee, they’re “good to the last drop.”  And there is much more.

First Things First

   Yahshua didn’t do any teaching or parable saying at all in this story.  Who’s interested in the whys and wherefores when people are being healed and delivered and the food’s on the picnic blanket?  Through miraculous meals of compassion such as this, Yahshua earned the admiration of folks wherever he went.  It’s ironic to note that later on he would lose most of his admirers because of a meal, including many close friends and supporters.


Eat My Body
  

   Another meal is recorded in Matthew 26:17ff.  The crowd is long gone.  Now there is but a tiny band of diehards huddled into a stuffy attic, sharing a loaf of flatbread and a flagon of wine.  We commonly refer to it as the Lord’s Supper or the Last Supper.  Here again Yahshua takes bread, blesses Yahweh, tears it.  Just as before, he gives bread to his disciples, but this time he tells them, “You eat it; it is my body. Then drink my blood.”  When he said, “eat my body,” he rubbed a really sore spot with these guys.  It was just this saying that had lost them their popularity and sent them into hiding as criminals.

A Poor Sermon

   Remember when he said, “eat my body,” previously?  Yahshua was in Capernaum then, the lakeside hometown of Peter, James and Yochanan.  He had been allowed to speak in the synagogue one Sabbath.  His sermon went very badly that day.  He preached these words:

 

Yochanan 6: 54. Anyone who does eat my flesh and drink my blood has eternal life, and I shall raise that person up on the last day.   55. For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink.  56. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood lives in me and I live in that person.  57. As the living Father sent me and I draw life from the Father, so whoever eats me will also draw life from me.  53. … if you do not eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. 

 

The disciples couldn’t believe what came out of his mouth there in their home church.  The preachers ripped their clothes and tore out their beards.  The people cried out, “Who can understand this?  How can this man be from heaven and how can we eat his flesh?  Drinking blood is an abomination to Elohim.”  That sermon got around and most of his financial supporters flew the coup.  What few were left over were now hiding out on Passover without even a piece of meat.  Even poor people ate meat that day.  And now here’s Yahshua telling the same story as if to deliberately replay the event that brought them all down.  And he said it again knowing full well that there were betrayers in the room and even a devil.  It wasn’t long after that the devil made his play and had him and all his crazy stories about eating his body and drinking his blood nailed up to the stake.

Revealed in the Bread

   Preachers that tell the truth usually aren’t very popular. 

What they say often flies in the face of established religion.  Though what he said proved to be criminal, Yahshua was telling the truth.  A couple days after his execution, his body and blood appeared to some folks who were present at the feeding of the five thousand, the synagogue in Capernaum and the Last Supper.  These folks began to think about what he said about blessing, bread and wine.  What came to be called Communion started out with a few actually believing what Yahshua said in Capernaum -- that the blessed bread is Yahshua’ body and the blessed wine is Yahshua’ blood.  We know folks believed this because Luke and Paul wrote about it, never actually hearing Yahshua proclaim it. 

   I think that body and blood Communion started up on account of a rumor, which is recorded only in the Gospel of Luke’s last chapter.  After Yahshua’ execution, two men are walking down the road talking about it.  Yahshua, glorified now, catches up to them.  The men are Yahshua’ Uncle and his cousin - but they don’t recognize their kinsman. They know him all right, but are blinded by his glory, which allows Yahshua to look just like any other traveler.  Cleopas and son tell Yahshua about a vision of angels at the empty tomb, but that the body and blood of Yahshua were never found.
   Yahshua reasons with them from the Scripture, but they still don’t recognize him.  He even calls them fools and slow to believe.  They’d heard that before – it should get their attention now.  But they still don’t know him.  I’ll take the rest of the story up from the source:

 

Luke 24:28. When they near the village, he makes as if to go on;  29. but they press him to stay with them saying, "It is nearly evening, and the day is almost over." So he goes in to stay with them. 

 

Now listen closely to the rumor that started Communion.

 

30. As he is with them at table, he takes bread and blesses; then he breaks it and hands it to them.  31. And their eyes are opened and they recognize him.  Then he vanishes.

  

   Friends, I’ve read this passage a thousand times, and every time I do, it blesses me!  These relatives finally recognize him in the blessing, the breaking and the handing of bread.  Whereas the blessed bread from which he fed the multitude was adequate for filling stomachs, the blessed bread now becomes something much more powerful and sacred -- it opens some blind eyes to the reality of Yahshua’ glorious presence.  Since this rumor went out, millions approached his blessed table with faith and glimpse the Savior.  In the blessed bread and wine, they touch him and taste him and consume him.  Again and again and again and again.  He is in the midst of his disciples, revealing himself again and again to the faithful of all nations in his body and blood, for his body is real food and his blood is real drink, and without it, there is no life in us.

   Today I have the privilege of blessing and breaking and pouring.  I long once again to see him in his brokenness for me, to taste his flesh on my tongue, to mingled his blood with mine, to partake of heavenly food and drink that leads to life.  My last meal was one long month ago, so today I come to this place hungry and thirsty for him.  I’m starving to death for him.  Are you hungry?   Say, ‘Yes. Yes, we’re starving to death!’  Well, I’ve got good news for you.  Yahshua is here with an anointing to feed us.  Disciples, let us keep the feast!  Hallelujah.

 

 

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