Let us proclaim:
“Japan belongs to the Lord! The world belongs to the Lord!”
Today we will be conducting the Lord’s Supper. What is the meaning of it?
I am always saying this, because some people seem to think it is a time to clear off sin, (because the word for “clear” and “supper”, though written differently, sounds alike). The Lord’s Supper is about receiving what is holy, as we know by its written character. The Lord’s Supper was established after Jesus resurrected. It did not exist prior to that. And there is a meaning to it.
We confess of our sins. And then we are forgiven.
We are not taking part in the Lord’s Supper today because we had sinned since the last time we took part in it, and that we are in the minus. Because we are receiving blessing over blessing, we are not taking part in the Lord’s Supper in order to have our sins forgiven, nor is it only an occasion for repentance. What is the meaning of us taking part in the Lord’s Supper?
We are within a tremendous blessing. In Old Testament, it was only the priests who were allowed to go before God, but even they were not permitted to go beyond the curtain. Taking part in the Lord’s Supper did not happen in the Old Testament’s tabernacle of Moses.
What is the meaning of us being able to receiving the Lord’s Supper? First, it is about our being forgiven of our sins. In the Old Testament, when standing before God, the priests were wearing the ephod, weren’t they? Today we are living in wearing Jesus Christ. We learned previously that because Jesus is holy, in wearing Jesus, we are able to draw near God. The priests also had with them the blood of the animal. We have with us the blood of Jesus. The blood of the animal brought one before the curtain. The blood of Jesus brings one beyond the curtain. The priests had to purify themselves with water, we, are able to go before God by the Word, by being purified by Jesus.
At the Lord’s Supper, surely we confess of our sins because we are going to be receiving of what is holy. At Corinth there were many problems happening. In the 1st Corinthians Chapter 11, there were people taking part of the Lord’s Supper in an unworthy way, whereby there became an increase in the weak and sick, and there were many that died. That goes to show that this is not just a ceremony, but that it is something very important. It is not about taking the bread and the grape juice just because it is there.
1 Corinthians 11:27-31
“Therefore, whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord. A man ought to examine himself before he eats of the bread and drinks of the cup. For anyone who eats and drinks without recognizing the body of the Lord eats and drinks judgment on himself. That is why many among you are weak and sick, and a number of you have fallen asleep. But if we judged ourselves, we would not come under judgment.”
1 Corinthians 11:23, 24
“For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you: The Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, 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.’”
It is written here that in taking the Lord’s Supper without duly repenting of one’s sins, awful things started to happen. Only the purified can participate in the Lord’s Supper. If someone who does not believe in Jesus comes, we cannot say to him please eat. Only the pure can receive of it. Only the pure can go before God. The partaking of the Lord’s Supper is something that did not exist in the Old Testament. In the New Testament, because of the resurrection of Jesus, we are able to take part in the Lord’s Supper.
We are going to be repenting now, and in becoming pure, we will go before God, as the priests go before God by being purified with water.
The bread is the body of Jesus. The body of Jesus was whipped, and that whip tangled on his body, and as it was pulled off it snatched His flesh and scattered it. The Bible says Jesus rejoices as He sees His own rib bones. (Isaiah 53:11) He is rejoicing that He is being the sacrifice.
When we take part in the Lord’s Supper, surely, it is necessary to have the feeling of, “how painful it must have been for Jesus, what suffering it must have been, thank you Jesus. Since the last Lord’s Supper I took part in, I have committed many sin. Please, Lord, forgive me.” And we give thanks that because Jesus was hung on the cross, we can take part in the Lord’s Supper. Is it the will of God that we take part in the Lord’s Supper with such feelings?
When the prodigal son returned to God’s kingdom, he returned in thinking, “I am not worthy to be your son. I will be happy as a servant.” However, Father God is thinking, “this son had come alive and returned renewed!”
Therefore, I would like for you to truly understand the true meaning of partaking in the Lord’s Supper. We are able to go before God, to heaven. In other words, those who are able to participate in the Lord’s Supper are those who have received the privilege of entering the kingdom of God. ”My being able to receive the Lord’s Supper means that I have the conditions satisfied in order to go to the kingdom of God! That I am being accepted in that way!” I believe it is alright to receive the Lord’s Supper with such impression.
As the father was planning to embrace the prodigal son when he returned, though we may have sinned, if we are to be forgiven by the blood of Jesus and return, God will embrace us.
Yes, we must repent, however.
Now that we have received the permission to enter heaven, and by the precious blood of Jesus we have been forgiven of our sin, we can say, “Cheers! Really, because of Jesus, we have received the qualification to enter heaven. Thank you!”
Today I would like for this Lord’s Supper to be like that, I hope you will allow me.
What are the things that we must be mindful of when we take part of the Lord’s Supper? Though we are able to receive the Lord’s supper, there are people who do not want to take part in it, perhaps due to a strong sense of guilt within or due to not having the realization that they have been forgiven. But that is not so, we are forgiven by God. Then why is that person reserved? Maybe he feels that his sin is grave. Or to say further, maybe he does not know what Jesus had done for him, or maybe he is not ready to receive this privilege yet.
The cross of Jesus is such that, whether you are a prostitute or tax collector, if you believe in Jesus Christ, you are able to enter into the (tabernacle, heaven). That is how it is.
We are going to be receiving the Lord’s Supper. We are essentially saying, “We have been forgiven of sin and made holy, and more than that, by this Lord’s Supper¸ we have been given the permission to return to heaven.”
When we return to heaven, we become joined to those who are marching in triumph. (Colossians 2:15). We will not be returning, thinking, “I barely made it to be forgiven. I am not someone that can enter heaven.” We will go as a great victor.
Yesterday, I was speaking in Tokyo about what was written in the Old Testament. Therein is the account of the sins of many people. God is presenting to people about the ways to solve their problems but things are not being easily solved. You all know the blessing of Abraham. We are receiving the double blessings of Abraham and Jesus. The promise of Abraham is the blessing. But there is something mysterious here. Why did the descendents of Abraham become slaves when God had given Abraham the promise? Wasn’t the promise of Abraham about the blessing? That, which is not happening, is due to ourselves not accepting the blessing as we live our Christian lives. Maybe someone is saying, “Oh, Pastor Joh, you are always blessed, how nice that is, but I am not like you.” The last time I went to Okinawa, I had to transfer on to four buses, and every time the timing was perfect. The buses were running on 6 to 30 minute intervals, all coming at different times, but they arrived perfectly for me. This is because I am saying, “I am blessed.”
For us, in everything, there is the cause and the result. For you to walk the life of triumph, you must clearly know the meaning of the Lord’s Supper, and I would like for you to not refuse what Jesus had done and what God had promised, but proclaim them as they are totally yours.
Let us look into this.
God said He will give this land to Abraham. What does that mean?
It means the people of Canaan will be forced out.
Then why did the people of Canaan have to be force out?
There is the “cause” and the “result”.
Of the lives of Christians, there are those who say they are blessed, and those who say they are sometimes blessed, and those who say they are hardly blessed. Why does this occur? For me, as I carry on my Christian life, everything goes smoothly blessed. There is the “cause” and the “result”. It happens to those who partake in the Lord’s Supper, allowed by the blood of Jesus, that are forgiven of sin and who accept all of the grace. Those who are unable to accept and fully believe this, the blessings stop.
Why did the people of Canaan have to be force out of their land?
When Noah’s Ark landed in Mt. Ararat, Shem, Ham, and Japheth had children,
“When he drank some of its wine, he became drunk and lay uncovered inside his tent. Ham, the father of Canaan, saw his father’s nakedness and told his two brothers outside. But Shem and Japheth took a garment and laid it across their shoulders; then they walked in backward and covered their father’s nakedness. Their faces were turned the other way so that they would not see their father’s nakedness. When Noah awoke from his wine and found out what his youngest son had done to him”. (Genesis 9:21-24).
“He said, ‘Cursed be Canaan! The lowest of slaves will he be to his brothers.’”
Noah cursed the son of Ham, Canaan. So Canaan could not stay in that land. For he had been cursed, the result was banishment. There is the “cause” and the “result”.
Why did the people of Israel have to be forced out of their land when we are to receive the blessings of Abraham and Jesus? But before this, let us confirm once more that we are blessed.
Adam ate the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and the land got cursed. Grace and blessings were gone. God wanted to bless the earth and human beings, and for that He found Abraham and blessed him, in order that that blessing would save and bless all mankind, such was the plan of God.
Today when we receive of the Lord’s Supper, I want to make sure that everyone receives every bit of blessings from God. We are being blessed because we have the qualification to receive the Abraham’s blessing. There is the “cause” and the “result”.
Here, God made the eternal covenant with Abraham, and He also made that contract with the descendants of Abraham. This is Abraham’s blessing. This descendant was not the Jew but Jesus. I believe you all know that this covenant was a covenant with Jesus.
“The promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed. The Scripture does not say “and to seeds,” meaning many people, but, “and to your seed,” meaning one person, who is Christ.”
Therefore, God made a covenant with Abraham, and with Jesus, in Genesis 17:7.
What this means is that, Abraham’s blessing does not stop with one generation, that it is not just to save the Jews, but it was to save the entire mankind. It was for this reason that this covenant was made. Then you should know why we are talking about Abraham’s blessing now. When we believed in Jesus we were put inside of Jesus.
That is why we are within this blessing. There is the “cause” and the “result”.
Today we will be partaking in the Lord’s Supper, and the reason why we can receive this is because we are inside of Jesus.
Galatians 3:28, 29
“ There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.”
In the Old Testament, the high priest enters the tabernacle beyond the curtain once a year. Even they would die should they see God. Jesus Christ died and went to hell, and resurrected and entered heaven. What is this signifying? Only Jesus broke through the curtain and entered the kingdom of God. Even the high priests could not enter. However, our believing in Jesus means that we are put within Jesus, and become His body’s heart, internal organs, fingers and mouth. We become a part of Jesus’ body. That means that as members of Jesus’ body, we have been made as those allowed to go inside of God.
This is the plan of God, that through Jesus, Jews, Greeks, Japanese, Koreans, and all the peoples of the world are to be saved by being put inside the body of Jesus. Jesus was hung on the cross, Jesus shed His blood, He went to hell, resurrected, then ascended to heaven. And these occurrences are made alive in the Lord’s Supper.
The meaning of partaking in the Lord’s Supper is that we are being put in the body of Christ who went to hell because of our sin, solved it, and ascended to heaven. We are being put inside of this Christ. Therefore, we have the qualification to enter heaven. What a blessing. All you need to do is accept, regardless of what kind of a person you are.
Now is the end time. In order to be used from now, it would be too late if we took 40 years for training as it did for Moses, in order to really know about God and become obedient. The Bible teaches us to become obedient. Unlike Joseph who endured hardship for 13 years, we must be readied more quickly. The Bible is saying to us to receive the blessing that God is talking about as is.
Now let us return.
Abraham received the blessing, but why was Abraham’s descendants told to be slaves?
Abraham believed and he was made righteous.
Genesis 15:5, 6
“He took him outside and said, “Look up at the heavens and count the stars–if indeed you can count them.” Then he said to him, “So shall your offspring be.” Abram believed the LORD, and he credited it to him as righteousness.”
He believed about his children.
Next, this is what Abraham did not receive.
Genesis 7, 8
“He also said to him, ‘I am the LORD, who brought you out of Ur of the Chaldeans to give you this land to take possession of it.’ But Abram said, ‘O Sovereign LORD, how can I know that I will gain possession of it?’”
God said He will give to him the land of Canaan. For the promise of offspring, he believed and he was made righteous. Regarding land, he did not receive. God gives, but if you do not receive, it does not become yours.
Joseph went through his training, but while he was depending on people and worrying, he was not receiving the becoming of governor. Now everyone, we are not to think like, how much hardship must I go through in order to succeed in everything and be free of financial trouble, free of sickness? Trials are there to train us. If Joseph had known that, he would have been governor right away, without going through hardship. When God said He is giving the land of Canaan, had Abraham said “Amen“, the period of slavery (Genesis 43~Exodus ) did not exist. This is due to not having received.
Furthermore, the people of Israel return to Canaan after being released from Egypt. (Exodus) It is a distance that could be reached in about 40 days, yet it took them 40 years. Why? It is due to not having received.
By the cross of Jesus, and by this Lord’s Supper, there are plenty of blessings to be had. But for those who are still saying that these blessings are not for them, and like Abraham saying, “O Sovereign LORD, how can I know that I will gain possession of it?”, then while speaking in this way, those blessings would not happen.
We would like to come to know this.
What did happen to Abraham? The covenant of Abraham was blessed. But after that it was dark.
“So the LORD said to him, ‘Bring me a heifer, a goat and a ram, each three years old, along with a dove and a young pigeon.’ Abram brought all these to him, cut them in two and arranged the halves opposite each other; the birds, however, he did not cut in half. Then birds of prey came down on the carcasses, but Abram drove them away. As the sun was setting, Abram fell into a deep sleep, and a thick and dreadful darkness came over him.”
Abram had made a covenant with God. Then why did thick and dreadful darkness come over him?
That happened because he did not receive.
“Then the LORD said to him, “Know for certain that your descendants will be strangers in a country not their own, and they will be enslaved and mistreated four hundred years.”
“But I will punish the nation they serve as slaves, and afterward they will come out with great possessions.”
In the end, they were able to return to their land because they have come to fully believe: “That is mine! Canaan is mine!”
We have been released from all curses by the covenant of Abraham. Is there someone who is ill? That has been loosed. There is no need to be in financial trouble. Is there anyone who is self employed? If you will believe, Abraham’s blessing is yours.
“Sickness, finances, second death, I am released from all curses. That is mine!” Those who can confidently state this will receive it.
We are to accept what our God is saying. At that time, we will receive the blessing.
The Bible is teaching us to receive. Let us come to realize this.
Galatians 3:13, 14
“Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: ‘Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree.’ He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit.”
Jesus died hung on the cross. By believing in Jesus we are put inside of Jesus and we are receiving the blessing of Abraham. We are released from the curses of the law that is poverty, sickness, second death.
Let us proclaim:
“Because I have been put inside of Jesus, I have nothing to do with poverty, sickness and second death. I have the blessing of Abraham. I am made to receive a life that is not of anxiety, but of peace, future and hope. (Jeremiah 29:11)
In the name of Jesus, Amen.
I am blessed. I am blessed in the highest. I am in best of health. I will prosper no matter what I do. My family will all be saved. It is written, ‘Believe in Jesus. For if you do, you and your family will be saved’, therefore, I accept. I have received all your promises.
In the name of Jesus, Amen.”
Glory be to the Lord.