The Mystery of the
The Bread of Liberty
The Mystery of the Eucharist
The Bread of Liberty
What is the Eucharist? In modern dictionaries we can find several definitions.
Eu·cha·rist. n. A sacrament and the central act of worship in many Christian churches, which was instituted at the Last Supper and in which bread and wine are consecrated and consumed in remembrance of Jesus's death; Communion.1
In Webster's Revised 1998 Unabridged Dictionary, we see the first definition in a different light:
Eucharist... n. [L. eucharistia, Gr. ... lit., a giving of thanks; e'y^ + cha`ris favor, grace, thanks; akin to chai`rein to rejoice, and prob. to yearn: cf. F. eucharistie.] 1. The act of giving thanks; thanksgiving. [Obs.]2
In the Bible ‘eucharistia’is not always translated the same way. Nine times it appears as thanksgiving and six times as giving of thanks, thanks or thankfulness. Often when the word appeared in the early writings of those who did the work of the Church for the kingdom appointed by Christ it was not translated but remained in the Greek form which we have come to call the Eucharist. If we examine the written text of the early Church ministers we may find another and more unique answer to its meaning and God’s revealed kingdom of righteousness and the perfect law of liberty.
Justin Martyr (A.D. 148-155).
There are two things to keep in mind when reading the Apology of Justin the Martyr. First, Justin was writing a foreign government leader, the Emperor of Rome, as an official of a Kingdom of God, and a minister of the Church who had been “called out”. He was explaining that they, the Christians, were a different kind of government and that they considered the matter of their sovereignty settled and also quoted the Acts of Pontius Pilate, the Procurator of Rome, for part of that proof.
Secondly, we should note that the word Eucharist is simply the Greek word for “thanksgiving”. It is about giving life to others not saving our own and being thankful for the opportunity to do so. God gives life and we were originally made in the image of God. We should be thankful that we can give our lives for our king and His kingdom by investing in the honest needs of our brothers and sisters.
Justin Martyr wrote in defense of the Christian faith to the Roman Emperor Antonius Pius makes mention of a written account of Pontius Pilate of the event of Christ's death that were known to the Emperors of Rome:
“And after He was crucified they cast lots upon his vesture, and they that crucified Him parted it among them. And that these things did happen you can ascertain from the Acts of Pontius Pilate.”
And in another place he says:
“That he performed these miracles you may easily satisfy yourself from the ‘Acts’ of Pontius Pilate.” Justin Martyr, Apology, 1.48
In Justin's First Apology he writes not about rituals and Church services, but the service of the Church to the people. The Church’s ways were contrary to the ways of the Roman governmental services which were Nicolaitan3 in nature from the point of view of Christians. Rome had a welfare system that all were expected to take part in called Qorban. Its contributions like that of the Pharisees were dependent upon compelled contributions. It had not always been that way.
Roman society was based on a network of independent "familia" (plural: familiae). "Familia" is the root of the modern English word "family," but the ancient Roman familia included those related by blood - mother, father, children, grandparents, aunts, uncles, etc. - as well as the domestics of a household: slaves, employees, clients, even animals.
The Roman familia was ruled by the paterfamilias, the Father of the the whole household.
In the early days of the Roman Republic, familiae comprised the basic unit of its society and political organization. This was much like that society of the early Israelites. Familiae gave a covering to all its members much like the tents or tabernacle of the congregation, were grouped together in the early Mosaic republic. The Familiae was organized into 30 curiae (a company of men), which served two purposes:
- To ensure a organized political structure at public assemblies with at one time in the history of the republic allowed one vote per familia.
- To support a tight Roman military organization with 100 infantrymen and 10 cavalrymen to defend the Republic.
This vote was merely to come to a consensus of record since this was a republic and not a democracy. It was also through this network that justice was served. Most welfare was managed through the free charity of the Familae since cooperation and social bonds were essential in the maintenance of any republic. Originally Rome prided itself on the support of the truly needy of their society based on freewill offerings through their network of hearths. But by the time of Christ it had moved to a more socialist state, providing benefits through their tax supported Qorban.
Jesus who was the rightful King of Judea from the Roman and eventually Christian's point of view had made it clear that such system, which were like the Corban of the Pharisees,4 made the word of God to none effect. Justin explained how Christians provided the same welfare services without force:
“And we afterwards continually remind each other of these things. And the wealthy among us help the needy; and we always keep together; and for all things wherewith we are supplied, we bless the Maker of all through His Son Jesus Christ, and through the Holy Ghost.” Justin Martyr, Apology, Chapter LXVII
In explaining the way the Kingdom worked he does not make reference to social insurance or entitlement programs that take from those who have and give to those who claim they have a need. He speaks of freewill charity, which even Rome depended on in the early days of the Republic. This was certainly true amongs the Israelites who depended on free will offering until Saul did a foolish thing and forced a sacrifice of the people [1 Samuel 13:12-13].
What was given amongst the faithful Christians was given by the Holy Spirit acting in the midst of each individual. In our hearts and mind of everyman and woman is where the kingdom begins. It has been written that "The Eucharist, which was both a meal and prayer, is also a sacrifice and linked to the sacrifice of Christ." The Eucharist of the Early Christians attributed to Victor Saxor Tertullian. Prayer is an application for benefits provided by the christian people, a sacrifice. And his text is translated:
"We recieve the Sacrament of the Eucharist command by the Lord to be received at the times (our love Feast) meals (in the evening) and at all times, in our (morning) assemblies before day, but we receive it rom the hands of none but of the bishops." Tertullian's De Corona Militis
The Latin reads:
"Eucharistae Sacramentum, et in tempore victus, et omnibus mandatum a Domino, etiam antelucanis caetibus, nec de aliorum manum quam praesenditium sumimus."
And is more literally translated:
"The Sacrament of the Eucharist, and in the time of life [victus (genitive victus); m, fourth declension living, way of life nourishment, provision, that which sustains life], and to all a command from the Lord, is also the rest, before dawn, or for any of the other hand, which we take to praesenditium."
The Latin praesenditium is from praesidium meaning protection or defense which could produce the translation into bishop and also overseer or even president although that word is often from principas.
What sustains life but love for one another in Christ? What was the early Church doing? Clearly there were ministers who cared for the people through the provisions sacrificed by the people out of love through charity.
Those who got the baptism of Christ would have to care for the needy of their society in some other fashion than that offered by Herod and Rome in their systems of Corban. The word of God gives life but the Corban [Corban is also translated treasury] of the Pharisees made the word of God to none effect.
To no longer apply to the corban of the Pharisees or Rome for free bread, welfare, meant they would have to take on that responsibility in love for one another, in the way of Christ, who shared His life, gave His life for us. If we love Christ would we not do the same for one another?
In ancient Roman religion and law, the sacramentum was an oath or vow that rendered the swearer sacer, "given to the gods." Sacramentum also referred to a thing that was offered as a sacred bond that even Augustus guaranteed for any religion. Both forms imply an underlying sacratio, act of consecration.
Anything given as a pledge or bond, in Roman law, was a sacramentum. The sacramentum legis actio was a sum of money deposited in a binding procedure to affirm that both parties to the proceedings were acting in good faith. If the giving was a pledge the person was bond but if the giving was in fact then only the thing was bound or made sacred. The same was true of the congregations of the Church who gave freely but completely on the day of giving. Like the ancients they did not give a pledge but a "burnt offering", something given up entirely in the moment of giving.
Justin Martyr wrote to the Emperor of Rome to explain Chirsitian free government of the people in his Apology:
“And on the day called Sunday, all who live in cities or in the country gather together to one place, and the memoirs of the apostles or the writings of the prophets are read, as long as time permits; then, when the reader has ceased, the president verbally instructs, and exhorts to the imitation of these good things. Then we all rise together and pray, and, as we before said, when our prayer is ended, bread and wine and water are brought, and the president in like manner offers prayers and thanksgivings, according to his ability, and the people assent, saying Amen; and there is a distribution to each, and a participation of that over which thanks have been given, and to those who are absent a portion is sent by the deacons.” Justin Martyr, Apology, Chapter LXVII
In their gatherings there is first a reading and speaking about the gospels and what they mean. The Gospel or Good News, was the fact that the Kingdom of God was at hand, within your reach. It was even called the “Gospel of the Kingdom”. At Pentecost its ministers had gathered in one accord under the perfect law of liberty with only Christ as king. Christ had redeemed the people and appointed the Kingdom to men5 who called themselves bondservants. They intern appointed other men chosen by the people to handle the daily ministration6 of that Kingdom. All sacrificed in love and many worked daily in the temple7 going house to house rightly dividing bread in the truth of Christ, in love.
Everyone in Judea who got the Baptism of Jesus Christ instead of the Baptism offered by Herod's Scribes8 were cast out of their government controlled welfare system.9
When the Christians met they did not read from what we call the Bible for it would not be compiled for another century or more. They read from what Justin calls the memoirs of the apostles. There is no reason to believe that such texts were limited to the four Gospels commonly read today. These early Christians were closer to the original teachings of the Gospels and were not yet burdened with centuries of apostasy, internal and external persecutions nor inquisitions and book burning. Many of these men were taught in their youth by the apostles themselves. They knew what the kingdom looked like and how it worked in liberty10 and love for one another11 from first hand knowledge.
What kind of president?
It may also be of interest to note that they call the presiding minister a “president”. He is sitting in the place of instructor or possibly a moderator, but not a ruler who exercises authority over the people.
He conducts or supervises the prayer or application of the people as well as oversees the distribution of the offerings. This form of thanksgiving was called eucharistia. They even send some of these supplies by what was called a “deacon” from diakonos often translated minister. This was the government of, for and by Christians called the Kingdom of God, ministered by men called out for that task of public service.12
“And they who are well to do, and willing, give what each thinks fit; and what is collected is deposited with the president, who succours the orphans and widows and those who, through sickness or any other cause, are in want, and those who are in bonds and the strangers sojourning among us, and in a word takes care of all who are in need.” Justin Martyr, Apology, Chapter LXVII
With this system there was no need to apply at the civil altars of Antonius Pius, Emperor of Rome, or any other president or government authority. There was no need for insurance companies either for each member of the congregation was intimately bound to the other by faith, hope and charity. The rich and poor did not drift apart but grew closer together as we see in the paragraph above. Society remained whole and strong, blessed and nurtured by the Spirit of God in everyman.
What Justin describes is no different than what John the Baptist explained more than a century before in Luke 3:11:
“He answereth and saith unto them, He that hath two coats, let him impart to him that hath none; and he that hath meat, let him do likewise.”
Both Herod and John had ministers who would baptize you into the kingdom of Heaven.
"Herod's scheme of initiation into a new form of Judaism was immensely successful. Jews everywhere were willing to join the worldwide society ... Entry was for members only; they had to show at the door an admission token in the form of a white stone from the river Jordan which the missionaries gave them at baptism." "The missionaries... with their leather wallets full of white stones, would come back with the same wallets full of money, in foreign currency. Once put into Jewish currency by the money-changers, it would be stored in vaults, ready to be used by Herod for his vast building projects, or any subsequent causes."13
John’s plan was not based on a central treasury nor an authoritarian government with scribes acting as accounting agents. Christians did not take from their neighbor nor even covet what was their neighbors but relied upon a network of fellowship based on the perfect law of liberty.14 It was a self disciplined republic that flourished in the heart of the decaying and corrupt Rome Empire. There was no need for the faltering commercial temples such as the one at Ephesus15 because men began to invest in one another as they followed the way taught by Christ which turned the world right side up.
A work day in the kingdom
What day did they meet? Was in Sunday or Sabbath? The Sabbath was originally a day of rest.
“But Sunday is the day on which we all hold our common assembly, because it is the first day on which God, having wrought a change in the darkness and matter, made the world; and Jesus Christ our Saviour on the same day rose from the dead. For He was crucified on the day before that of Saturn (Saturday); and on the day after that of Saturn, which is the day of the Sun, having appeared to His apostles and disciples, He taught them these things, which we have submitted to you also for your consideration.” Justin's First Apology 65-67.
The reference to Sunday is not a violation of the Sabbath but a keeping of it. This is not saying that the Sabbath was moved to the first day of the week. The Sabbath16 was a day of rest17 not a day of business and what we see at this meeting was the business of the Church and Kingdom.
Food and drink was brought in, needs applied for and met, distributed amongst those who were there and those who were at a greater distance.
Here is a another quote from Justin Martyr:
"We call this food eucharist (thanksgiving), and no one else is permitted to partake of it, except one who believes our teaching to be true and who has been washed in the washing which is for the remission of sins and for regeneration [baptism] and is thereby living as Christ enjoined.” (First Apology, 66:1-20)
Understanding the purpose of rituals like the Feasts, Sabbaths, Eucharist and Baptism is important in comprehending the purposes of God and His ways. Baptism was not just the idea of being dunked or washed in water with the recitation of specific words. The outward symbol was evidence to a personal commitment to a particular way of life, of being submersed in the precepts of the Gospel of the Kingdom of God as opposed to the schemes of Herod. It was about changing your ways and actually living as Christ proscribed us to live.
Bishop Ignatius of Antioch, a student of John the Evangelist, was born in Syria about 20 years after the crucifixion. Around the turn of the century, he was arrested and sent to Rome to be thrown to wild beast at the games. During his journey he wrote seven letters to churches and individuals, warning against heresy and giving summary of his beliefs. He speaks of a strong organized network of the Church around bishops18 with a system of presbyters and deacons;19 and the joy of thanksgiving and sharing amongst Christians.
"I have no taste for corruptible food nor for the pleasures of this life. I desire the bread of God, which is the flesh of Jesus Christ, who was of the seed of David; and for drink I desire his blood, which is love incorruptible." (Epistle to the Romans, 7:3)
The blood of Jesus is incorruptible love, not wine that has been magically changed. And the nature of the bread of God is the joyful freewill giving in thanks or being thankful for the opportunity to give. This thanksgiving is the “eucharist” which is simply the Greek word for “thankful giving”.
"Take note of those who hold heterodox opinions on the grace of Jesus Christ which has come to us, and see how contrary their opinions are to the mind of God....”
"They abstain from the Eucharist and from prayer because they do not confess that the Eucharist is the flesh of our Savior Jesus Christ, flesh which suffered for our sins and which that Father, in his goodness, raised up again. They who deny the gift of God are perishing in their disputes." (Epistle to the Smyrnaeans, 6:2; 7:1)
Christ gave His whole body, His life, for us to teach us to give to one another like He did rather than covet the labor and goods of our neighbor. Have you eaten this spiritual meat of giving of ourselves for the sake of others? Or do you eat the meats of those who must sacrifice to idols?
“And did all eat the same spiritual meat; And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.” 1 Corinthians 10:1-3
What is Paul talking about, meat and drink and that coming from a spiritual rock?
“Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted. Neither be ye idolaters, as [were] some of them; as it is written, The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play.” 1 Corinthians 10:6-7
The people ate and drank but of a common purse of the camp of the golden calf20 where all were compelled to vest their wealth in one purse,21 one treasury.22 This was idolatry not free thanksgiving from and to the body.
“The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ?” 1 Corinthians 10:16
The word ‘blessing’ is ‘eulogia’ which is also translated ‘bounty’. The words "we bless" is ‘eulogeo’ meaning “to invoke blessings... to cause to prosper, to make happy, to bestow blessings on”. If we are the body of Christ we should be bestowing a bountiful blessing of substance in spirit and in truth upon one another in free congregations through the aid of a servant Church.
The word ‘communion’ is from ‘koinonia’ which is translated ‘fellowship’12 times and ‘communion’ only 4 times. It was also translated ‘communication’, ‘distribution’, ‘contribution’, ‘to communicate’ once each. It is defined “1) fellowship, association, community, communion, joint participation, intercourse 1a) the share which one has in anything, participation 1b) intercourse, fellowship, intimacy 1b1) the right hand as a sign and pledge of fellowship 1c) a gift jointly contributed, a collection, a contribution, as exhibiting an embodiment and proof of fellowship.”
It is clear that communion is not just a token wafer of bread but an actual contribution, participation and distribution that exhibits true fellowship. It involves intimate intercourse of sharing and association in joint fellowship in real and practical ways.
The word ‘blood’ is ‘haima’. It does mean blood but we have already seen Paul talking about spiritual drink and meat. Is he also talking about spiritual blood? Is community charity through the ministers of the Church, the giving of ourselves, our sweat, our substance on living altars appointed by Christ.23 Is government by charity a precept of God and the life’s blood given freely by those who seek the righteousness of God? Do those people living by faith form a living body of Christ? If we take from others by any means other than a freewill offering have we taken their sweat and blood? In Leviticus Moses says:
"And whatsoever man [there be] of the house of Israel, or of the strangers that sojourn among you, that eateth any manner of blood; I will even set my face against that soul that eateth blood, and will cut him off from among his people. For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul. Therefore I said unto the children of Israel, No soul of you shall eat blood, neither shall any stranger that sojourneth among you eat blood." Leviticus 17:10 -12
Was he just talking about food laws or a precept of God's law?
Moses tells us:
"For [it is] the life of all flesh; the blood of it [is] for the life thereof: therefore I said unto the children of Israel, Ye shall eat the blood of no manner of flesh: for the life of all flesh [is] the blood thereof: whosoever eateth it shall be cut off." Leviticus 17:14
They are cut off, dead to Israel because they take the life of others. Are we dead to Christ because we take the life of our neighbor? Are we devouring one another by asking governments of power to take from our neighbor so that we shall gain a benefit? If we do this even a little are we biting24 one another? If you choose not to take benefits from your neighbor like free education, welfare or healthcare they desire to force you to take the benefit.25
In legal systems people become obliged by application, law and contract to give into the common purse of the state where everyman is in a civil flesh pot.26. They have made their choice upon applying to or joining the city state or civil powers, who now like the governments of the gentiles exercise authority but call themselves benefactors. If we pray and apply for the benefits of these civic altars of sacrifice and bounty we may not be stealing, but are certainly coveting the life of our neighbor. This is not the thanksgiving of a blessed fellowship but a compelled sacrifice required by the covetous greed of the people, by the people and for the people, making the word of god to none effect.
“Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour’s.” Ex 20:17
Samuel said he was foolish for doing this and he had “not kept the commandment of the LORD thy God” but because he compelled the sacrifice of the people [he taxed them] his kingdom would not continue.
“And Saul said, Bring hither a burnt offering to me, and peace offerings. And he offered the burnt offering.” 1 Samuel 13:9
Saul’s kingdom was counted foolish and his election by the voice of the people had been called a rejection of God. Because of this forcing a sacrifice from the people he should not rule over them. His kingdom's demise was prophesied by Samuel in Chapter 13:13. So is the democratic kingdom of men foolish and condemned when they collectively rule over their neighbor compelling their sacrifice to fulfill their desire for benefits?
“And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not....While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage. For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning.” 2Pe 2:3...20
The kingdom of God depends upon faith, hope and charity. That kingdom and the fellowship it requires is within your reach and with out the exercise of that daily prayer and application, free giving and chosen sacrifice we betray the teachings of Christ. We should not make token ceremonies and superstitious rituals out of simple and basic instructions about fellowship, charity and sharing.
Who are these devils?
“Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of devils: ye cannot be partakers of the Lord’s table, and of the table of devils.” 1 Corinthians 10:21
It is the cup of the Nicolaitan altars of compelled sacrifice that covets the goods of your neighbor. The word ‘daimonion’ is most often translated ‘devil’ but also ‘god’. It is defined “1) the divine power, deity, divinity”
And of course Paul tells us that there are “gods many”27 and what these gods are is simply those who have the power to judge and exercise authority by their own judgment.
So, how does one drink of the cup of devils? Do they have a communion of devils?
“Do we provoke the Lord to jealousy? are we stronger than he? All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but all things edify not.” 1 Corinthians 10:22-23
We often hear about ‘tables’ in the bible. The word translated ‘table’ is also translated into ‘bank’. The tables Jesus turns over in the temple were literally treasury counters where millions of dollars passed each year. Those funds were accounted to the royal treasury for the maintenance of the government services administered by the temple. Those who administered these tables leading to the national treasury received a handsome commission, a ‘porterhouse’ cut of the proceeds.
Jesus said those tables were being administered by thieves and he drove them out with a string whip. As king he simply fired these porters of the temple’s royal treasury so that new porters could be elected by the people.28 He was turning these official positions over to a new crowd.
This idea of tables being deceitful or snares is common.
“Let their table become a snare before them: and [that which should have been] for [their] welfare, [let it become] a trap.” Psalms 69:22
This is repeated by Paul in Romans:
“And David saith, Let their table be made a snare, and a trap, and a stumblingblock, and a recompense unto them:” Romans 11:9
There are two kinds of tables for us to eat at. One is the table of the Lord that is filled with the freewill offerings of the body of Christ. The other is the table of the adversary, the devil, who sets his bountiful table as a snare to entice the people to covet their neighbors goods. It is a table not filled with the life of Christ which is a freely given life but one filled with the blood of the people who are compelled to offer upon it or be punished by lords and benefactors who exercise authority.
So, what is the devils table?
“When thou sittest to eat with a ruler, consider diligently what [is] before thee: And put a knife to thy throat, if thou be a man given to appetite. Be not desirous of his dainties: for they are deceitful meat.” Proverbs 23:1
Like the leeks and onions of Egypt, these are the gratuities of governments that force the people by the sword to give. They offer the benefit of benefactors but that autocratic system foolishly does not wait for the free will offering of the people. They exercise authority as Saul did and fall into condemnation. They have this power because they have called for oaths and pledges and offer entitlements through application or prayer. Such entitlements are a license to eat out the substance of your neighbor, to drink of his sweat and blood, to devour the flesh through covetous acts of the agents of government.
Rituals of Christ and Mithra
A desire to exercise authority over our neighbor in social democracies is an eye for evil. When we call for rulers who can exercise authority we attract men who have an eye for authority over their brother and not to service.
“Eat thou not the bread of [him that hath] an evil eye, neither desire thou his dainty meats: For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: Eat and drink, saith he to thee; but his heart is not with thee. The morsel which thou hast eaten shalt thou vomit up, and lose thy sweet words.” Proverbs 23:6
The free will offerings of Israel and the first century Church had to sustain those in need during severe depressions, extreme inflation, plagues, catastrophes and wars. Christians could not apply for aid at the Nicolaitan altars29 which compelled contribution and coveted their neighbor's goods through authoritarian levy, often eating out their substance.
“But if any man say unto you, This is offered in sacrifice unto idols, eat not for his sake that shewed it, and for conscience sake: for the earth is the Lord’s, and the fulness thereof: Conscience, I say, not thine own, but of the other: for why is my liberty judged of another man’s conscience? For if I by grace be a partaker, why am I evil spoken of for that for which I give thanks? Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.” 1 Corinthians 10:28-31
The word ‘thanks’ here in 1 Corintians is ‘eucharisteo’ which only means thanks “1) to be grateful, feel thankful 2) give thanks”.
Nowhere is the text talking about wafers of bread magically turned into the fellowship of Christ or with Christ by Latin incantations. This is all a part of Mithra deception and delusion. Some claiming to be the Church are found doling out mere crumbs of bread instead of feeding the needy of the congregation and then crowning kings as the authoritarian benefactors of the people.30 This penurious eucharist compels the people to turn to these authoritarian altars of civil sacrifice to aid them in time of need and famine.
The keepers of the authoritarian tables of men serve deceitful dainties. At first the benefits of such rulers look tasty but eventually they lose their sweetness and become sour in the belly.
Tertullian tells us of the historical presence of another false Church and rituals which imitates the true Church:
"He [Satan], too, baptizes some— that is, his own believers and faithful followers; he promises the putting away of sins by a layer [of his own]; and if my memory still serves me, Mithra there, [in the kingdom of Satan,] sets his marks on the foreheads of his soldiers; celebrates also the oblation of bread, and introduces an image of a resurrection, and before a sword wreathes a crown. What also must we say to [Satan's] limiting his chief priest to a single marriage? He, too, has his virgins; he, too, has his proficient in continence." Tertullian, Prescription Against Heretics XI,
He speaks more than once of Satan worshipers who imitate the rituals we call Christian today:
“For washing is the channel through which they are initiated into some sacred rites--of some notorious Isis or Mithras. The gods themselves likewise they honour by washings. Moreover, by carrying water around, and sprinkling it, they everywhere expiate country-seats, houses, temples, and whole cities: at all events, at the Apollinarian and Eleusinian games they are baptized; and they presume that the effect of their doing that is their regeneration and the remission of the penalties due to their perjuries.” Tertullian wrote on Baptism. II. Chap. V.
In Chapter 66 of the First Apology of Justin Martyr of this Eucharist or thanks and giving he states:
“And this food is called among us thanksgiving [eucharistia], of which no one is allowed to partake but the man who believes that the things which we teach are true, and who has been washed with the washing that is for the remission of sins, and unto regeneration, and who is so living as Christ has enjoined.” Justin Martyr, First Apology, 66.
Some renderings of Justin’s Apologia fail to translate the word “eucharistia” into thanksgiving thereby creating a mysterious rite of communion rather than the substantive giving that is true fellowship. Even the word ‘thanksgiving’ does not do the word ‘eucharistia’ justice.
Eucharistos is from the word ‘eu’ which is defined “to be well off, fare well, prosper”. Charizomai is commonly translated forgive but also give and freely give, even deliver or grant. To eu-charistos is to ‘freely give prosperity’ or freely forgive with the grace of our giving.
Justin talks of washing which the ritual appears as baptism, but the substance of baptism is the active repentance of our hearts, minds and souls. This is the washing that allows the entering of God’s spirit within us. When that Holy Spirit truly enters may we covet our neighbor's goods? Could we desire to take from our neighbor? Justin specifically points out that the washing is for those ‘who are so living as Christ has instructed.’
“For not as common bread and common drink do we receive these; but in like manner as Jesus Christ our Saviour, having been made flesh by the Word of God, had both flesh and blood for our salvation, so likewise have we been taught that the food which is blessed by the prayer of His word, and from which our blood and flesh by transmutation are nourished, is the flesh and blood of that Jesus who was made flesh.” Justin Martyr, First Apology, 66.
This sharing of substantive offerings given freely in fellowship which includes bread and drink for all those of the brethren is the Ritual of Christ that nourishes not only our bodies, but also our souls. This charitable sharing with one another is the very flesh and blood of Jesus Christ. Even the word eu-charis-ia is formed from the Greek word ‘charis’ which is commonly translated ‘grace’ but also ‘favor’ and ‘thanks’ and can be defined as “what is due to grace... benefit, bounty”. Although we get the word charity from ‘charis’ when we see the word charity in the Epistles it is translated from the Greek word agape. When Paul says ‘agape’ it is translated ‘charity’ but when Jesus says ‘agape’, it is always translated ‘love’.
“For the apostles, in the memoirs composed by them, which are called Gospels, have thus delivered unto us what was enjoined upon them; that Jesus took bread, and when He had given thanks, said, ‘This do ye in remembrance of Me, this is My body;’and that, after the same manner, having taken the cup and given thanks, He said, "This is My blood;” and gave it to them alone.” Justin Martyr, First Apology, 66.
When Jesus said these words they were not magical incantations, but it marked the fulfillment of the promise of the Passover meal prior to the Exodus from Egypt when God freed the people from the that government.31 Now Jesus was setting the captive free in the Kingdom of God at hand.
At Pentecost everyone who got the Baptism of Christ would be cast out of the welfare system of Judea.32 True followers of Christ the king, who would some day be called Christians, would no longer be bound in that system of welfare and Corban set up by the Hasmoneans, the Sanhedrin and Herod. But they now had their own system of welfare at their own table33 set by John the Baptist, Jesus Christ and the apostles through the charity and love of the people for one another.
His Kingdom's offerings were again by freewill giving to others. By them we become habitation for His Holy Spirit. Freely giving and receiving marks the character of Christ in us. This Passover meal was a symbol of the sharing of our sacrifices. The body of the lamb that laid upon that Passover table and the blood of the lamb upon the lentils which guarded those who took refuge with the Lord of that household was passing from the kingdom of God established by Moses to the kingdom of God established by the highest son of David, Yeshua, the Anointed King, the Christ. His redemption of us provided for the day of Pentecost which was a new Exodus from an alien dominion.34
This sharing was the body and blood of the nation of Israel. Christ gave himself as a holy paradigm of what we must be to be blessed in the abundance of His Kingdom. Those who give up their life for Christ and his sheep may have life more abundant.
“Which the wicked devils have imitated in the mysteries of Mithras, commanding the same thing to be done. For, that bread and a cup of water are placed with certain incantations in the mystic rites of one who is being initiated, you either know or can learn.” Justin Martyr, First Apology, 66.
There was another group that imitated the liturgy of the kingdom but like the Pharisees they put more emphasis upon the ritual and rite than upon the righteous meat of God’s blessed table. They served deceitful dainties through the altars of the kings they crowned, deluding the people with their lavish ceremonies and tickling their ears with vanities while delivering them into bondage. Their chanting and mysterious dogmas mesmerized the people in a false piety and pomp offering a form of godliness but denying the power thereof.
When the Bible speaks of piety it uses the word ‘eusebeo’ which is from ‘eusebes’ meaning devout, dutiful. The duty of society is to feed the body of Christ ‘who are so living as Christ has instructed’ “from which our blood and flesh by transmutation are nourished” in our thanksgiving.
From the Didache
In several excerpts from the Didache which is called the “The Lord's Teaching Through the Twelve Apostles to the Nations” and was considered an early Church polity we see several points of interest concerning the practice of the Eucharist, or thanksgiving.
Chapter 9. The Eucharist. Now concerning the Eucharist, give thanks this way. First, concerning the cup:
And concerning the distributed bread:
“We thank Thee, our Father, for the life and knowledge which You madest known to us through Jesus Thy Servant; to Thee be the glory for ever. Even as this broken bread was scattered over the hills, and was gathered together and became one, so let Thy Church be gathered together from the ends of the earth into Thy kingdom; for Thine is the glory and the power through Jesus Christ for ever.” The Didache Chapter IX
We do not scatter bread over the hills nor do we cast it upon the waters. These are metaphors for a deeper meaning. The bread is the substance of our Being, the product of our sweat and toil, and the hills are the people of the kingdom scattered in the world. As we gather together in faith, hope and charity rather than fear, desire and compulsion we enter the better rest of the kingdom of God.
The Greek word ‘eucharistia’ in the Bible is translated “thanksgiving” 9 times, “giving of thanks” 3 times, “thanks” 2, “thankfulness” once. It means 1) thankfulness 2) the giving of thanks
There is nothing confusing about this unless you leave the word in the Greek so that people do not know what you are saying. Some capitalize the word Eucharist and began to change sharing our substance with each other in the Kingdom of God to handing out wafers of bread on Sunday while we make our real prayers and offerings at the altars of Caesar, or the civil State the rest of the weak.
The transition of the Biblical text from something about a formula to go to heaven after you die to something that guides us in how we live is more than most people want to accept.
The Eucharist of Christ is seen in the Gospel and in Acts:
“Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give.” Matthew 10:8
“He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?” Romans 8:32
“For the administration of this service not only supplieth the want of the saints, but is abundant also by many thanksgivings [the eucharist] unto God;” 2 Corinthians 9:12
If you want to receive communion of the blood of Christ start giving to the sheep of the kingdom and its shepherds. Give service so that you may be served, forgive that you may be forgiven.
"Even as this broken bread was scattered over the hills, and was gathered together and became one, so let Thy Church be gathered together from the ends of the earth into Thy kingdom; for Thine is the glory and the power through Jesus Christ for ever." Didache Chapter IX, 1
Again, hills are people and the bread is the substance of their being which was scattered and now should come together. They are not broken apart by the system of men but live in fellowship according to the system of Christ. At least in part the point is that God said not to return to Egypt,35 Jesus said not to take oaths36 of any kind, not to call any man father.37 Jesus told us not to be like the governments of other nations who say they are benefactors but exercise authority one over the other.38 We are to be nation servants under the perfect law of liberty.
“And he said unto them, The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and they that exercise authority upon them are called benefactors. But ye shall not be so: but he that is greatest among you, let him be as the younger; and he that is chief, as he that doth serve. For whether is greater, he that sitteth at meat, or he that serveth? is not he that sitteth at meat? but I am among you as he that serveth.” Luke 22:25
People turn a simple Greek word like “thanksgiving” into a superstitious ritual which allows a violation of the precepts of God under a cloak of false piety in neglect of their duty to one another. If we will not seek to do the will of God we shall be deceived. Sight shall be taken form us.
“And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:” 2 Thessalonians 2:11
If the Church openly violates its mission then it is no longer the Church.
“For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.” 2 Peter 1:11
The entrance of the kingdom is facilitated by doing the will of the Father, by ministering to the free congregations of the people according to the appointment of Christ. There are those who choose who tempt, entice and snare the people to do contrary to God’s will.
“But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in [yourselves], neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in.” Mt 23:13
How could they shut up the Kingdom and not enter into it if it was not real? Was it the same way they make the word of God to none effect? Man has often been tempted in history to participate in schemes of social security, national insurance or common welfare that take from their neighbor by force to provide benefits. Through democracies or placating despots these systems become a burden to the people bankrupting society both economically and spiritually.
“Then answered one of the lawyers, and said unto him, Master, thus saying thou reproachest us also. And he said, Woe unto you also, ye lawyers! for ye lade men with burdens grievous to be borne, and ye yourselves touch not the burdens with one of your fingers.” Lu 11:45
The lawyers wrote new laws and established new systems and laid them on the table of the government leaders to entice the people to sin against the Father in Heaven by coveting the goods and even the life of their neighbor who may do the same in a social contract executed by judges.39
“Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide [is] the gate, and broad [is] the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.” Matthew 7:13
Jesus took the kingdom from the Jews who did not know Christ or the Father, who did not bear fruit nor enter the gate and then he gave it to the gentiles and Jews who followed his ways. What were those ways? His ways were God’s ways, according to His Name: His Character and His Authority.
“Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.” Matthew 7:21
God’s nature is Eucharistic, it is filled with charity and forgiveness and if we are to see and enter His Kingdom we must be filled with the same Eucharistic charity. Such loving bonds once held the nation of Israel and the early Church together in the face of catastrophe and calamity, pestilence and war. Israel successfully sustained itself for centuries with no king, no compelled tax, no central army.
The first century Church survived persecution and prospered during the collapse of the Roman Empire by the exercise of mutual charity not by fatuous rituals. Superstitions plague the people and distract them from the flesh and blood of the kingdom, the hope and charity of His Righteousness.
We are to feed His sheep, and we are His sheep. We are to love and care for one another as much as we love and care for ourselves. We must freely choose to invest ourselves in one another in order to strengthen the spiritual bonds of each other in a system of hope. The congregations of the people is bound together in a network and system of fellowships and love, not force and fear, apathy and greed, i.e. covetousness. That system of charitable self governance under the perfect law of liberty is called the Kingdom of God. It is pure religion.
“Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, [and] to keep himself unspotted from the world.”40 James 1:27
The religion of the gentiles compelled the offerings of the people through membership in a system of corban41 under the exercising authority of Herod. To subvert the living reality of that individual and collective spiritual election to live by charity, hope and love is to bar the entrance to His kingdom and the practice of its righteousness. It is a violation of Religious freedom and the establishment of an authoritarian religion.
“But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” Matthew 6:33
Eucharist in PDF
Other links on this subject
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Religion, NN Video Series:9-10 4:27
Employ vs Enslave, SS Video Series 7-10 7:28
Employ vs Enslave from the book "The Covenants of the gods"
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http://www.hisholychurch.org/study/bklt/cog4enslavebklt.pdf Printable 5" X 8 1/2" Pamphlets
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Chapter 4. of the book The Covenants of the gods
Employ vs Enslave
2Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary, © 1996, 1998 MICRA, Inc.