Some receive in a ritualistic manner, by partaking of a symbol, or emblem of the Lord’s body and blood. There is no life in a symbol or emblem and these receive only a religious or sentimental satisfaction.
Others recognize that they are partaking of the very life of the Lord, and as they partake, they are receiving His literal body and blood being imparted into them.
There should be a time of preparation so we can effectively partake of “communion.” We must be lifted into the presence of the Lord in order for His life to flow into our lives. Just as it is not possible for us to “wait on the Lord in His presence” until we have passed from the natural realm into the spiritual, it is not possible for us to “receive” the literal body and blood of Jesus, until we exchange realms.
The word “communion” has to do with communication – Jesus speaks and we listen, then we speak and He listens. Thus, when we enter into “communion” with Jesus and become “one” with Him, as being a “branch” that is properly attached to the “vine,” we are able to partake of His life.
There are foundational principles that are established in the Word of God, which apply to our partaking of communion.
“There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus... For the law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.” Romans 8:1-2
This “condemnation” is the judgment (death) that was imparted to Adam for his transgression. This judgment of death has been handed down to each of us. Through our identification with the shed blood of Jesus on the cross, we are set free from the “law of sin.” Through our identification with the resurrection and ascension of Jesus, we are set free from the “law of death.”
We become a partaker of the “law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus” through our identification with Jesus as being a quickening, life-giving Spirit.
“And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam (Jesus) was made a quickening (life-giving) spirit.” I Corinthians 15:45
This includes healing, divine health, and longevity of life. Those who receive this gift of “life” from Jesus will stand out from all others in the quality of their health, and the length of their life span.
Jesus fed the multitude with five loaves and two fishes. Later, when they again became hungry, they returned to ask for more. Jesus told them that He had something better for them, and said:
“…Except you eat the flesh of the Son of Man, and drink His blood, you have no life in you… Your fathers did eat manna, and are dead: he that eats of this bread shall live forever.” John 6:53, 58
Jesus offered them a higher life in which they would not die. The condition being that they eat, not a second serving of loaves and fishes, but rather, His very flesh and blood. This word concerning our “living forever” primarily applies to our eternal life in heaven, but there is a present application of this that can affect us in our present life. Jesus said:
“I am the true vine… Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can you, except you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches: He that abides in Me, and I in him, the same brings forth much fruit: for without Me you can do nothing.” John 15:1-5
Jesus said that He is the “vine” (Tree of Life), and that we, as being a branch, only have life as we partake of His life. Through Adam’s transgression, we were removed from our connection to the Tree of Life, and became attached to the tree of knowledge.
The Lord slew an animal and covered Adam and Eve with its skin, which through the shedding of blood, resulted in forgiveness. Adam and Eve were forgiven, but they still had within them that which they ate from the tree of knowledge, the right to choose for themselves - they lost their abiding state of dependence on the Lord and could no longer partake of the Tree of Life.
Therefore, each one of us was born attached to the tree of knowledge. Through the total victory that Jesus gained in our behalf on the cross, we can detach ourselves from the tree of knowledge and re-attach ourselves to the Tree of Life. Then as we “partake of communion,” we receive the very life of Jesus flowing directly into us.
If we partake of communion as being a symbol or emblem, we are partaking of a dead religious form. Jesus is no longer dead, but He was resurrected from death and has ascended to the throne to be seated on the right hand of His Father.
Thus, the bread is living bread turned into His living body. The cup, the fruit of the vine, turned into His blood, is His living blood. As we partake, His life is being imparted into us, so He can live His life through us.
If a strip of bark is totally cut around a tree and removed, the process of death will begin. The tree can no longer receive the life that is drawn up from the root system, and will soon die. So also, the life of the “Vine” (Jesus) is to flow into us, as being a “branch” that is attached to the “Vine.” For this to take place, the branch (us) must be properly connected to the vine. Only then can the life of Jesus, as being the “power of an endless life,” flow into us.
Therefore, each morning when I arise, one of the first things I do is as follows:
“Lord, I thank you for a good night’s rest. Lord, through Adams transgression, I was born attached to the tree of knowledge. But through your redemption in my behalf, I release myself from being attached to the tree of knowledge, and as being a branch, I humbly come to the true vine, and I reattach myself to the Tree of Life, so your life can flow into my life, as I partake of your living body, and your living blood.”
Eating food to sustain our natural body is a necessity and, we eat several times each day. Also, our “partaking” of the life of Jesus is not an option. This partaking of the living “body” and “blood” of Jesus should take place more often than the Church practice of partaking of communion on the first Sunday of each month. Rather, we should partake daily, or we will suffer loss, both spiritually and naturally.
“And the Lord God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever.” Genesis 3:22
I once thought that Adam had eternal existence built within him at the time of his creation, and that he would have lived forever if he had not transgressed. However, Adam had been formed from “dust,” which speaks of a created dependency. It is impossible to form anything from dust. It takes “moisture,” the very life of our Lord Jesus Christ - that which flows from the Vine into the “dust” that we are, in order for us to have form, shape, and purpose.
“…Lest he put forth his hand and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever” (Genesis 3:22). Adam came regularly and partook, and as a result, he continued to live, but when he transgressed, he was hindered from partaking of the Tree of Life (taking communion), and he began to die. When we take communion, we “put forth our hand and we take and eat.” Suddenly, I saw what was being said:
Had Adam been able to continue to eat of the Tree of Life, he would have continued to live, but the judgment for transgression was death. All that the Lord needed to do to fulfill this judgment was to prevent Adam from taking communion (putting forth his hand... taking... eating, and living). Therefore, the Lord placed an angel with a flaming sword before the Tree of Life, to prevent Adam from partaking.
On the day of Pentecost, this “flaming sword” was removed from being a hindrance, and became a means of access. This flaming sword descended and sat upon the head of each of the one-hundred-twenty who were present, and they were filled with the Holy Spirit. The veil had been rent, and a way of access made for us to enter the Lord’s presence.
“…To him that overcomes will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.” Revelation 2:7
As we partake of “communion,” the way of entrance to the Tree of Life is opened to us, and we can partake of the very life of Jesus, as He is the Tree of Life.
When the multitude, who came to see miracles, became hungry, Jesus multiplied five loaves and two fishes, and they were fed to the full (John 6:1-26). Later, they came back for more, and when Jesus told them that they were to eat His flesh and drink His blood, they ridiculed Him and left. At that time, Jesus could not explain how to partake of His flesh and drink His blood, as it was not yet time for Him to die upon the cross for our sin, and then in resurrection, become to us quickening life-giving spirit.
When the time of Jesus’ ministry was completed, during the evening before He was to give His life on the cross, He was able to explain how we are to eat His flesh and drink His blood.
“…the Lord Jesus... took bread: and when He had given thanks, He broke it, and said, Take, eat: this is My body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of Me. After the same manner also He took the cup, when He had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in My blood: this do you, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.” I Corinthians 11:23-25
Notice that Jesus said, “This bread is My body; and, this cup is My blood.” He did not say, “This is an emblem, or a symbol of My body and of My blood.” Jesus then said that He would not partake again with us until we partook together with Him, in the Kingdom.
“For I say to you, I will not any more eat thereof, until it be fulfilled in the kingdom of God.” Luke 22:16
The Word says, “Unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 18:3). When we partake of communion, we see bread, but Jesus said, “This is My body.” As we partake of the cup, we see the fruit of the vine, but Jesus said, “This is My blood.” Having the mind of a child, we are to simply believe what Jesus said - not what we see.
Some teach that the “bread,” and the “fruit of the vine,” must first be transformed into the body and the blood of Jesus, and a priest seeks to do this for the believer. Others say that we can do this for ourselves, without the priest.
Rather, we are to believe what Jesus said, and partake of the bread and the fruit of the vine in faith, believing that we are partaking of the literal body and blood of Jesus. The necessary change is in “us,” not in the bread and the fruit of the vine.
“And when He had given thanks, He broke it, and said, Take, eat: this is My body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of Me. After the same manner also He took the cup, when He had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in My blood: this do you, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.” I Corinthians 11:24-25
“… This do you, as often as you drink it….” This word “often” clearly says we can personally partake of communion as often as we desire. We are totally free to partake anytime. We are not limited to communion being served in a church service.
Jesus said that we are to partake “in remembrance of Me.” Rather than referring to our remembering His death on the cross, He is directing our thoughts back to the time when he told the multitude that they were to “eat His flesh and drink His blood.”
“From that time many of His disciples went back, and walked no more with Him. Then said Jesus to the twelve, Will you also go away?” John 6:66-67
At that time, Jesus could not explain how to partake, but now, He could. With this understanding, when we believe what Jesus said, with child-like faith, we are literally partaking of His body and blood. As we partake, we must make a decision - “Lord, I look and I see bread and the fruit of the vine, but I choose to believe, not what I see, but what you said” (this is My body, and My blood).
“And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening (living, life-giving) spirit.” I Corinthians 15:45
In His ascension, Jesus became available to us as a life-giving Spirit, as He is the Tree of Life.
“Who is made, not after the law of a carnal commandment, but after the power of an endless life.” Hebrews 7:16
Thus, when we partake of communion, we are eating and drinking the very life of the One who is able to impart life.
“For He shall grow up before Him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground….” Isaiah 53:2
Jesus is a “root” (the Tree of Life) out of a dry ground. Therefore, it can be said that He is the Tree of Life in mystical form, recognizable only to those who have spiritual eyes.
“But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup. For he that eats and drinks unworthily, eats and drinks damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body. For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep.” I Corinthians 11:28-30
Communion is the “mystical form” of the Tree of Life, hidden from the spiritually blind. Jesus said that if we partake unworthily (without understanding that He Himself is the Tree of Life), we are merely partaking of the process of death, receiving bread and the fruit of the vine - another good meal and we are that much closer to death.
But, if we partake with spiritual understanding, knowing what we are doing, we will no longer be weak, sickly, and dying prematurely. Rather, as we rightly partake of communion, we are receiving “quickening life-giving spirit,” and we will be living.
“For as often as you eat this bread, and drink this cup, you do show the Lord’s death till He come.” I Corinthians 11:26
“For as often as you eat….” This tells us that we can personally, privately partake of communion, whenever we choose to do so. Our “showing” the Lord’s death means that we are demonstrating the value of it. If we die the same as other people, we are not demonstrating anything. When we partake of life, we are receiving the life that Jesus came to offer - “Life more abundantly.”
Paul tells us that we have been set free from the “law of sin and death.” As we identify with Jesus in His death on the cross, and then partake of the bread (His body), we receive healing and we are released from the process of death.
We then identify with Jesus in His resurrection and ascension. As He ascended, He became “quickening spirit.” In this identification, we receive the life of Jesus as the life of the vine flowing into us as being a branch. Then, His life can be lived within us.
Thus, we are partaking “worthily.”
The “Tree of Life” relates to life or death. The “tree of the knowledge of good and evil” relates to that which is good or bad, or, right or wrong. In our daily life experiences we often make decisions, or choices that relate to right or wrong, and comment about it being either good or bad. As we do this, we again become attached to the tree of knowledge.
Therefore, as I prepare for communion, the first thing I do is to release myself from this attachment to the Tree of Knowledge. I then reattach myself to the Tree of Life and speak to the Lord words that include the following:
“Lord, I release the totality of my being from the Tree of Knowledge, and through your redemption in my behalf, I humbly come to you and reattach myself to the Tree of Life, as being a branch that can live, only as I receive the life of the true vine, flowing into my life.
Lord, you took bread and blessed it as being your body. Lord, I sanctify this bread that I am holding in my hand, to be what you said it is, your body. As I partake, I receive your living body being imparted into the totality of my being, that you might live your life within my life.
Lord, you then took the cup and blessed it as being your blood. Lord, I sanctify this cup, the fruit of the vine, that I am holding in my hand, to be what you said it is, your living blood. And as I partake, I receive your living blood, the power of an endless life, so you body can actively live within my life.
Lord, in identification with you as being the Tree of Life, I release the totality of my being from the power of death, and I receive healing and longevity of life, that you might live your life through my life.”
Just as Adam, we must come often to the “Tree of Life” in order to continue to live, or we will progressively die. Therefore, when we, in faith, partake of communion as being the “Tree of Life,” we will live the fullness of the time that has been given to us.
Those whom the Lord is calling to become “remaining ones” are discovering the connection between communion and the Tree of Life as a principle that is being revealed at the present time. Paul said, “…We who are alive and remain at the coming of the Lord...” (I Thessalonians 4:15).
Jesus, on the 8th day of His life, was taken into the temple to be dedicated. Two people were there, Anna and Simeon. Anna was old, but Simeon had a “word” that he would not see death until he saw the anointed of the Lord. Anna was “alive,” but Simeon was “remaining.” Thus, two classes of people were present.
Paul said that in the time of the return of our Lord, these two classes would be present; those who are “alive” through the normal course of life, and those who are “remaining” - whose lives have been extended because they have learned the principle of communion.
These are looking beyond liturgical religious forms, into spiritual reality and are partaking in faith, knowing that they are eating the very flesh, and drinking the very blood of Jesus, who is the Tree of Life.
Communion can be taken as often as we desire. The word clearly confirms this - “as often as you eat this bread, and drink this cup, you show the Lord’s death (demonstrate the value, by receiving life), till He come.” (I Corinthians 11:26).
If we realize that we are partaking of healing and life, we will do so, often.