CHAPTER FOUR
HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVES



4.1 HISTORICAL REENACTING AND FESTIVALS AND RITES OF INTENSIFICATION
 

The Lord's Table is a renenacting of Lord's Last Supper in the Upper Room. Further it was an ordinance regarding the historical fact of the Avtar of Jesus and his final accomplishments through his death on the Cross of Calvary and of his Resurrection and of his Second Coming in Glory for his Church. In this sense it is a full restatement of our full faith. In most Episcopal and liturgical services reciting of the Creed of faith ( the Nicene and Constantinople Creed) is an essential part. The church services and fellowship meetings are sociologically Rites of Intensification. Rites of intensification is aimed at reaffirming our faith over and over again. This is done through the means of symbols. Christian life is a process of sanctification. This is achieved through a continuous reminder of what Jesus did. It is this what keeps the sancitification process on the go and enable the believer to open up and surrender their various facets of life to the control of the Holy Spirit.
 

Historical renactment and festivals were used in all cultures for intensification purposes. Celebrations of Liberations are part of every country's calendar. All nations celebrated their independence, victory and even penance for failures as a constant reminder of the lessons of history. Celebrations therefore are a necessary part of any community. Every religous community follows this method. Festivals are important. We see this in the Old Testament through out.

Main Feast for the Jews was the feast of the unleavened bread - the Independence Day.

Exod. 12:17 "Celebrate the Feast of Unleavened Bread, because it was on this very day that I brought your divisions out of Egypt. Celebrate this day as a lasting ordinance for the generations to come.

Another later addition was the festival of Purim- the day when Jews were saved from the hands of the enemies.

Esth. 9:19 That is why rural Jews --those living in villages --observe the fourteenth of the month of Adar as a day of joy and feasting, a day for giving presents to each other.

Esth. 9:22 as the time when the Jews got relief from their enemies, and as the month when their sorrow was turned into joy and their mourning into a day of celebration. He wrote them to observe the days as days of feasting and joy and giving presents of food to one another and gifts to the poor.
 

The festival of Lord's Table is to be day of rejoicing celebrating the liberation of every Christian. A constant renewal of the ceremony is important for the effective sanctification process for holiness.
 

4.2 ORDINANCE OF THE MELCHIZEDEKIAN ORDER.
 

Gen. 14:18-20 Then Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine. He was priest of God Most High, and he blessed Abram, saying, "Blessed be Abram by God Most High, Creator of heaven and earth. And blessed be God Most High, who delivered your enemies into your hand." Then Abram gave him a tenth of everything.
 

Hebr. 7:1-3 This Melchizedek was king of Salem and priest of God Most High. He met Abraham returning from the defeat of the kings and blessed him, and Abraham gave him a tenth of everything. First, his name means "king of righteousness"; then also, "king of Salem" means "king of peace." Without father or mother, without genealogy, without beginning of days or end of life, like the Son of God he remains a priest forever.

Hebr. 7:16-17 one who has become a priest not on the basis of a regulation as to his ancestry but on the basis of the power of an indestructible life. For it is declared: "You are a priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek."
 

The first bread and wine table of communion was set by Melchizedek before Abraham. Abraham was called out by God. But there existed a tribe and a priesthood for the God Most High even before that, outside of the tribe of Abrham and his lineage. The culmination of that lineage was in Mechizedek. He was the King of Jerusalem and of the tribe of Phillistines. Phillistines were called into Kingdom, before Abraham was. They were given the land of Canaan. They occupied that area at Abraham's time. We have evidence in the Bible that they were brought into this land from the island of Caphtor over the sea by mighty deeds, most probably by the intervension of some huge fish.
 

Deut. 2:23 And as for the Avvites who lived in villages as far as Gaza, the Caphtorites coming out from Caphtor destroyed them and settled in their place.)

Jer. 47:4 For the day has come to destroy all the Philistines and to cut off all survivors who could help Tyre and Sidon. The LORD is about to destroy the Philistines, the remnant from the coasts of Caphtor.
 

Amos 9:7 "Are not you Israelites the same to me as the Cushites?" declares the LORD. "Did I not bring Israel up from Egypt, the Philistines from Caphtor and the Arameans from Kir?

The God Philistines was Dagon.

Judg. 16:23 Now the rulers of the Philistines assembled to offer a great sacrifice to Dagon their god and to celebrate, saying, "Our god has delivered Samson, our enemy, into our hands."

Dagon was a fish God - the God of the Sea. Most probably the memory of the great sea deliverance degenerated into idol woship of Dagon, just as Dan degenerated Yahweh worship into bull worship. Yahweh was a mountain God to Israel. If it were not for the constant presence of the prophets Israel also would have fallen under idolatry.

Gen. 20:9 Then Abimelech called Abraham in and said, "What have you done to us? How have I wronged you that you have brought such great guilt upon me and my kingdom? You have done things to me that should not be done."

Gen. 10:14 Pathrusites, Casluhites (from whom the Philistines came) and Caphtorites.

Deut. 2:23 And as for the Avvites who lived in villages as far as Gaza, the Caphtorites coming out from Caphtor destroyed them and settled in their place.)

1Chr. 1:12 Pathrusites, Casluhites (from whom the Philistines came) and Caphtorites.

The descendant of Melchizedek, the King of Jerusalem was Abhimelek. He definitely knew the ways of the Lord. This is displayed in his dealings with Abraham and Issac. Abhimelk respected Abraham and Issac. Did he realise that his predecessor has handed over the Kingdom to them in the sacrament of bread and wine? But he was no more the priest of the High God. With the disappearance of Melchizedek, priesthood left Phillistine Caphtorites. The next generation king was Adoni-zedek. He had the zedek prefix but was an enemy of God.

Josh. 10:3 So Adoni-zedek king of Jerusalem appealed to Hoham king of Hebron, Piram king of Jarmuth, Japhia king of Lachish and Debir king of Eglon.

Joshua fought with him.

After the death of Joshua the next king of Jerusalem was Adoni-bezek. But then the city of Jerusalem was taken over by the Jebusites the hilly -billies of the time from whom David won it.

Judg. 1:5-6 It was there that they found Adoni-bezek and fought against him, putting to rout the Canaanites and Perizzites. Adoni-bezek fled, but they chased him and caught him, and cut off his thumbs and big toes.

Jer. 47:4 For the day has come to destroy all the Philistines and to cut off all survivors who could help Tyre and Sidon. The LORD is about to destroy the Philistines, the remnant from the coasts of Caphtor.
 

This whole story therefore indicates that the ceremony of the bread and wine was an official handing over ceremony where Melchizedek handed over

1. the Election and the Kingdom to Israel.

2. Royal priesthood to Israel.

The ceremony of the bread and wine which our Lord made was to take the Royal Priesthood and the Kingdom from the Israel and hand it over to a new people - the Church. Hence Peter could boldly announce that

"You are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God's own people, that you may declare the wonderful deed of him." 1 Peter 2:9

This he could do, because he, like Melchizedek, was a High Priest to the most Holy God and also legally and by lineage the King of the Jews. In that process Israel lost its Kingdom and Church became the heir.

Luke 12:32 "Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom.

In the repetitive act the elders of the church is simply reconfirming your election.
 

With the sacrifice of separation and consecration through the Baptism outside of Levitical Order in the Mechizedekian order Jesus started his Ministry and ended up with a second sacrament - the passover where he gives himself up. Overlapping this we have the beginning of the new liberation from bondage in the passage into the Kingdom of God. This is also of the Melchizedekian Order.
 

 

4.3 A MILLENIAL SUPPER
 

When God created man God said, "Behold I have given you every plant yielding seed which is upon the face of the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit, you shall have them for food. and every beast of the earth, and to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has breath of life, I have given every green plant for food." Gen 1:29-30
 

Thus originally all animals were vegetarians not meat eaters. Meat as food was introduced only after the flood where God ordained that "Every moving thing that live shall be food for you; and as I gave you green plants, I give you everything" Gen. 9:3-4 This was to compensate for the drastic changes in the earth's protective layers following the fall of the waters from above the firmament (the ice layer above the stratosphere).
 

Gen. 1:7-8 So God made the expanse and separated the water under the expanse from the water above it. And it was so. God called the expanse "sky." And there was evening, and there was morning --the second day.

Gen. 7:11 In the six hundredth year of Noah's life, on the seventeenth day of the second month --on that day all the springs of the great deep burst forth, and the floodgates of the heavens were opened.
 

Consequently man's life span fell drastically and God permitted meat eating for man and animals. Before the flood man's life span was 912 with standard deviation of 57 while after the flood it became 329 with sd of 156. (Taking out Shem who lived through the transition 285+/-127) The life span after flood slowly decreased. This explains the large standard deviation. The maturity level as assessed by the birth of the first level was 117 with sd of 50 before flood and 43 with sd of 25 ( without Shem 31+/-3)after the flood.

But this process is going to be reversed in the millennium.

Isa. 11:6-7 The wolf will live with the lamb, the leopard will lie down with the goat, the calf and the lion and the yearling together; and a little child will lead them. The cow will feed with the bear, their young will lie down together, and the lion will eat straw like the ox.

Isa. 65:20 "Never again will there be in it an infant who lives but a few days, or an old man who does not live out his years; he who dies at a hundred will be thought a mere youth; he who fails to reach a hundred will be considered accursed.

Isa. 65:25 The wolf and the lamb will feed together, and the lion will eat straw like the ox, but dust will be the serpent's food. They will neither harm nor destroy on all my holy mountain," says the LORD.
 

The cancellation of meat offerings and sacrifices and the feasts with bread and wine is simply a foretaste of the millenial period when Jesus will be reigning. Look forward to this great event says Jesus. This then is a celebration of hope and the confession of our faith in Jesus' second coming and his Kingdom.
 

Mark 14:23-25 Then he took the cup, gave thanks and offered it to them, and they all drank from it. "This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many," he said to them. "I tell you the truth, I will not drink again of the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it anew in the kingdom of God."
 

Luke 22:17 -18 After taking the cup, he gave thanks and said, "Take this and divide it among you. For I tell you I will not drink again of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes."

1Cor. 11:25 -26 In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me." For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until he comes.
 

4.4 THE BRIDEGROOM'S PROPOSAL
 

One of the main themes of our Lord's explanation of the relation between the Church and himself was that of a bride and the bride groom. This analogy was always in his mind. At the time when he was going on to the cross where Church was to be separated from him into a separate entity continuing to exist on the earth while he went on to heaven, he probably wanted to stress this aspect. Just as Eve was separated from Adam by God after putting him through a deep sleep; Church was separated from Jesus as a living being outside of Jesus on the cross. A spear was pierced into the place where Adam was operated upon and out it flowed blood and water. It is out of this blood and water the Church arose.

Gen. 2:21 So the LORD God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man's ribs and closed up the place with flesh.

Gen. 2:22 Then the LORD God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man.

Gen. 2:23 The man said, "This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called `woman, ' for she was taken out of man."

As eve was the mother of all men, so the church is the mother of all recreated new men
 

One of the methods of proposal for a gentleman to a girl is to walk into her house in the presence of the family and pull out skin of wine and a cup and pour the wine into the cup, sip it and then lay it before the girl. If the girl is interested and willing to accept the offer, she will take the cup and drink of it. There will be great festivities following it. This is the procedure for betrothal. Betrothal in the Jewish custom was as binding as the marriage. Marriage itself will take place later. The man will have to work hard to make a home. Often he will build the house with his friends with his own hands. The beauty of it is determined by his affection to his girl. During the period he may send gifts through his friends. But when he is ready he will come and take his bride away.

John 14:1-4 "Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. In my Father's house are many rooms(places); if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going."

Matt. 24:36 "No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.

Acts 1:7 He said to them: "It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority.
 

This is done stealthily. It is a stealing away, often in the middle of the night. The day and the time no one knows. No Not even the son. This is because, the son will have to complete his house and his father will have to approve it. If the father is not satisfied with the house the son will have to modify or rebuild it. So the time is decided by the father when the house is ready. Until the fulness of the redeemed is completed the second coming cannot take place. Then he will come to take his bride to be with him.
 

When Jesus offered the cup of wine it was a proposal to church. The apostles as part of the body of Church took the cup and accepted the offer. In every generation the cup is offered as an on going process. The fact that you come forward and take the cup and drink from it is an acceptance of Jesus's offer and declares to the world that you are part of the waiting bride - the Church.