Does the Bread and Wine Change into the Substance of the Literal Body and Blood of Christ During the Age of the Gentiles?

Self-ImprovementSpirituality

  • Author James Rondinone
  • Published February 16, 2024
  • Word count 2,215

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At Communion, Is the Supposition That the Bread and Wine Change into the Substance of the Literal Body and Blood of Christ Supported by Old Testament Scriptures During the Age of the Gentiles?

Anyone who has read any of my books knows I don’t believe that a perspective on a biblical topic taken from a particular dispensation should impact the view of the same subject in a different dispensation. However, the reason why I’d like us to take a look at specific passages of Scripture from the Age of the Gentiles, i.e., a period of time from Adam and Eve to the Exodus of the Jews from Egypt is that certain of those who were called by God had to abide by particular food and drink restrictions. All I want us to do is look at these and see if any prohibitions might bring about a particular response to the declaration made by Jesus in John 6:53.

Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you.

Besides this, we’ll introduce anything else that might help us to distinguish between what is literal and what is figurative.

Let’s begin by turning our Bibles to the book ofGenesis and we’ll take a look at a story where bread and wine was used. Here’s the question that we’ll consider next.

When Melchizedek brought forth, bread and wine, was this prophetic of the elements of bread and wine involved in Christ’s last supper?

Suggested Reading: Genesis14:1-24

14, 17-18 … Abram … And the king of Sodom went out to meet him after his return from the slaughter of Chedorlaomer, and of the kings that were with him, at the valley of Shaveh, which is the king's dale. And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine: and he was the priest of the most high God.

After four Mesopotamian kings had taken Lot, Abram’s nephew, captive along with all the goods of the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah, Abram and his armed servants followed after and attacked them, recovering Lot and all of the booty. Upon his return, the king of Sodom and Melchizedek, who was both the King of Salem and a priest of God, came out to meet him. Melchizedek brought forth some bread and wine and blessed him. After which, Abram gave Melchizedek tithes of everything and returned the remainder of the spoils over to the King of Sodom. Here’s a question for you to consider.

Is there any significance of the bread and wine?

There are three views concerning this.

●The bread and wine were served as refreshments to Abram and his weary and famished army.

●The bread and wine indicated a peaceful agreement between Abram and Melchizedek.

●The bread and wine are prophetic of the elements involved in Christ’s last supper, establishing this duty as an ordinance.

While some might infer that the bread and wine are prophetic of the elements involved in communion, there doesn’t appear to be any confirmation of this anywhere else in the Scriptures relating to the Age of the Gentiles. So, I wouldn’t support this as being substantiated.

Next, I’d like us to look at Scriptures that have to do with the restrictions concerning consuming blood. These began in the book of Genesis with a well-known Bible character named Noah. The following is a question that we’ll seek to answer.

Did God prohibit Noah and his family from not eating animals with blood remaining in them?

Suggested Reading: Genesis 6:3-8; Genesis 8:13-18; Genesis 9:1, 4

Genesis 7:4 I will cause it to rain upon the earth forty days and forty nights; and every living substance that I have made will I destroy from off the face of the earth.

Genesis 7:21 And all flesh died that moved upon the earth, both of fowl, and of cattle, and of beast, and of every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth, and every man…

Genesis 8:13 And it came to pass in the six hundredth and first year, in the first month, the first day of the month, the waters were dried up from off the earth: and Noah removed the covering of the ark, and looked, and, behold, the face of the ground was dry.

Genesis 9:1 And God blessed Noah and his sons, and said unto them…

Genesis 9:4 But flesh with the life thereof, which is the blood thereof, shall ye not eat.

Because of the rampant unchanging wickedness of humankind, God told Noah to build an ark that would provide safety for himself, his family, and a certain number of animals from the impending flood that would destroy everyone and everything. Following the complete devastation of the earth by this flood, the waters subsided, and God spoke to Noah, telling him that his family was not to eat the flesh of animals with blood remaining in them.

The prohibition didn’t require that no blood could be consumed, only that it must be drained. Draining the blood before eating the meat was a way of returning the life force of the animal to the God who gave it life, offering recognition they had taken the life with permission and were partaking of God’s bounty as his guests.8 This mandate would later apply to the sacrifice of animals under the Mosaic Law in the next dispensation, the offering signifying the surrender of its innermost life.

The belief that the eating of the bread and wine at communion is literal, i.e., it involves the partaking of Christ’s actual body and blood would signify that the blood in the cup or host wasn’t drained or removed, which would be in direct opposition to the constraint set forth here. This is simply something to consider.

Where we’ll go from here is take a look at verses that pertain to food and drink during the Age of Israel, i.e., the time when Moses led the children of Israel out from their captivity in Egypt to the birth of Christ. But before we do, let’s see what else we can find out that might help us discern whether the consumption of the bread and wine at communion is to be taken literally. This pertains to an article about the person named Melchizedek. Here is a brief narrative about him before reading such.

Hebrews 7:1-2 For this Melchisedec, king of Salem, priest of the most high God, who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings, and blessed him; To whom also Abraham gave a tenth part of all; first being by interpretation King of righteousness, and after that also King of Salem, which is, King of peace;

Scripture tells us that he was without father, without mother, without descent. Was this to be taken literally? And if so, who is he? This is a mystery that has been debated for many years.

There are two views about him. The first one is mentioned in Adam Clarke’s commentary: This sense Suidas confirms under the word Melchizedek, where, after having stated that, having reigned in Salem [for one hundred thirteen] years, he died a righteous man and a bachelor.9 Who is Suidas? He was the author of what many consider a very important Greek Lexicon that could be used as a grammatical dictionary or an encyclopedia. He lived during the middle of the tenth century in Constantinople. The second view is contained in the following article, of which only a part will be presented here.

THE MYSTERY OF MELCHIZEDEK SOLVED!

The Mystery Clears

Since God names individuals what they are, that, [then,] is what this man [is,]“King of Righteousness.”

Think of it! King of Righteousness.

[Jesus,] Himself said: “There is none good but one, that is, God” (Matthew 19:17). Human self-righteousness is, before God, as filthy rags. None can be righteous but God—or one made righteous by God’s power — Christ in a person! And [certainly, none but One of the Godhead, the divine Kingdom of God,] would be King of Righteousness. Such an expression, applied to any but God, would be blasphemous. Why?

Righteousness is obedience to God’s Law. Since God made all laws (James 4:12), [He’s] Supreme Ruler or King. He determines what righteousness is. “All thy commandments are righteousness” (Psalm 119:172). When speaking of one of the points of that Law, Jesus placed Himself superior to it. He is Lord of the Sabbath (Mark 2:28). No man is Lord or King over God’s Law. Only God could be! All human beings have sinned and broken that Law of righteousness (Romans 3:23).

To continue with Hebrews 7. Note, too, that this man was King of peace. “Salem” from which Jerusalem was [named,] means “peace.” And remember, Jesus is called the Prince of peace! No human being could be King of Peace. Men know not the way of peace. Read Romans 3:10 and 17: “There is none righteous, no, not one.... And the way of peace have they not known.”

Observe further: Melchizedek was “without mother, without father, without descent,” or as the Phillips translation renders it: “He had no father or mother and no family tree.” He was not born as human beings are. He was without father and mother. This does not mean that Melchizedek’s records of birth were lost. Without such [records, human priests could not serve (Ezra 2:62). But here,] Melchizedek had no genealogy. He must not have been an ordinary mortal. He had no descent or pedigree from [another] but was self-existent. Notice Paul's own inspired interpretation of this fact: “Having neither beginning of days, nor end of life” Hebrews 7:3. [Therefore, He has always existed from eternity! He was not even created] like angels. But [He’s] now eternally self-existing. And that is true only of GOD deity, not humanity!

Not the Father Nor the Holy Spirit

Yet Melchizedek cannot be God the Father. He was the “priest of that Most High God.” Scripture says no man has ever seen the Father (John 1:18, 5:37), but Abraham saw Melchizedek. He cannot be God the Father, but rather, “made like unto the Son of God; abideth a priest continually” (Hebrews 7:3).

And there it is! In the days of Abraham, He was not the Son of God, for He had not yet been born of the virgin [Mary,] but He was made like unto the Son of God in His manifestation to the ancients.

Notice again: Melchizedek, this [Scripture] reveals, abides that is, remains permanently, continually, a priest. God the Father is not the Priest of God, but Christ the Son is! Yet, in the days when the Apostle Paul lived and wrote, shortly after Jesus ascended to heaven as High Priest, the [Scripture] states that even then Melchizedek “abideth” — which means does now abide — “a priest continually.” The Moffatt translation states it: “continues to be priest permanently” even while Jesus Christ is High Priest!

And notice that the order of Christ’s Priesthood is named after Melchizedek. It is the High Priest’s name that is placed upon an [order,] just as Aaron’s name was upon the Aaronic priesthood. [Thus, Melchizedek was then High Priest in Paul’s day, and even now He] will rule forever! And at the same [time,] Christ was, is today, and shall be forever High Priest!

Are there two High Priests’? No! Impossible! The conclusion is inescapable. Contrary to many cherished man-thought-out ideas, Melchizedek and Christ are one and the same! Some people have stumbled on the statement that Melchizedek has no “end of life.” They contend that since Christ died, He had an end of life! If that be [true,] then Christ is still dead! But Christ is not dead. [He’s alive. It wasn’t] possible for Christ to be held by death (Acts 2:24). Melchizedek would never have fulfilled His office of High Priest if He had not died for the sins of the people and risen again. [It’s] the function of the High Priest to lead the way to salvation.

Indeed, Jesus Christ is the author and finisher of our salvation (Hebrews 5:9; 12:2). [He’s] “called of God an high priest after the order of Melchizedek” (Hebrews 5:10).

And no wonder. Melchizedek and Christ are one and the same Person!10

That was interesting. Was Melchizedek simply a man or what some would call a theophany, i.e., an appearance of deity? One thing that might support the latter view is that when reading verses from the Old and New Testament concerning Melchizedek, there seems to be no correspondence between him and the other kings mentioned that confirms they knew him personally.

In like manner, could there any verses from the Age of Israel that might provide some insight as to whether the elements of the bread and wine at communion could be considered in a literal sense? Let’s go forward and find out.

Endnotes

8IVP Bible Background.

9Adam Clarke's CommentaryPc Study Bible version 5, 2004. BIBLESOFT. WEB. 01 February 2023˂http://www.biblesoft.com>.

10Herbert W. Armstrong. “The Mystery of Melchizedek Solved!” 09 March 2023 .

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My name is James Rondinone. I am a husband, father, and spiritual leader.

I grew up in Massachusetts and began my own spiritual journey early on in life.

I attended Bible college, having completed a two-year Christian Leadership Course of Study and graduated as valedictorian (Summa Cum Laude).

Studying and teaching the Word of God has been a passion of mine for over 20 years.

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