The Hebrew Love Story
The Hebrew Love Story is comprised of several articles all having a common thread, that being the thread of covenant. The opinions expressed throughout the series are outside the box but thoroughly Scriptural, I don’t know of anyone saying the things I’ll be saying in this article as well as the other articles I’ve written in this series. In my mind, when it’s all tied together via this series of articles it makes for a thoroughly amazing panorama of the Scriptural message, a love letter from YHWH you can actually understand! The Hebrew Love Story consists of…
The Hebrew Love Story ~ The Introduction
Part One - Abram the Hebrew
Part Two - The Book of the Covenant ~ Mount Sinai
Part Three - The Divorcement of Israel ~ Numbers 14 ~ The Sefer Keritut
Part Four - The Book of the Covenant ~ Mount Sinai Amended!
Part Five - THE NEW COVENANT ~ What Is It?
Part Six - THE MASTER’S TABLE ~ The Entry Rite Into THE NEW COVENANT!
Part Seven - Yom Kippur ~ The Consummation
Part Eight - The Marriage Supper of The Lamb!
Having laid a foundation in my article 'THE NEW COVENANT ~ What Is It?' making the case for what The New Covenant is and where its terms can be found, all of which is foundationally important to this topic and all of our eternal welfare, we can continue on with the 'main event', The Master's Table.
What is ‘The Master’s Table’ and why is it important to you?
I am writing to document a very provocative and profound belief that the Last Supper was not a Passover Seder but was in fact something very different; it was The Master’s Table, a covenantal meal by which a person enters into The New Covenant! To me this is extremely exciting and it is my hope that in the end of days, certainly in the greater exodus, The Master’s Table will be restored to the practice of our faith.
If it can be shown that it was in fact impossible for The Last Supper to have been a Passover Seder then we are faced with the obvious question,
"What do we do with the Last Supper?"
It is clear from the text there is no mention of the three elements of the Passover Seder, no lamb, no bitter herbs and no unleavened bread. There is mention of a cup but not four cups; there is mention of bread but not unleavened bread. There are many other objections to this meal being the Passover Seder that I won’t mention here but are contained in the materials which I have provided the links to. To claim this meal Messiah shared with His disciples the night He was betrayed is a Passover Seder is simply grasping at straws!
So then, if The Last Supper is not the Passover Seder, what is it? That's the point! What is it? It must be important; John invests 5 chapters on the meal and discourse afterwards. I think the articles of Bryan T. Huie (listed below) do a very good job of chronicling the Exodus from Egypt as well as explaining what 'Between the Evenings' means and what those conclusions force us to consider when dealing with The Last Supper, i.e. The Master’s Table. But please realize that the written articles do not reach as far as I do in my own personal views which I will share a bit later, they only set the stage.
My conclusion is simply this, because we are so confused about the timing of the Passover Seder we have been robbed of a 'fundamental element' of our faith, 'The Master's Table'! Because we ascribe to The Last Supper as being the Passover Seder we have completely lost The Master's Table!
If The Last Supper wasn't the Passover Seder but was in fact The Master's Table what do we do now? We need to define just exactly what The Master's Table is, in doing that we can begin to get back to the faith that was practiced by the early disciples of Messiah. If you can imagine the faithful, Torah pursuant believers, sitting at a full meal discussing the Torah, invoking the elements of bread and wine which represent His marriage proposal and our acceptance of that proposal then you can begin to know the beauty and wonder of The Master's Table, but also the fundamental, foundational and indispensable value of The Master’s Table in our New Covenant faith.
We have been robbed of this indispensable facet of the faith simply because Sunday keeping Christianity and now the Messianic/Hebrew Roots Movement have so completely missed the mark in this area of our faith. Sunday keeping Christianity has thrown out the Torah which is the very foundation of The Master’s Table. They have also removed the bread and wine from the context of a full meal over which Torah is discussed and they changed the bread from leavened to unleavened bread in a real act of confusion. The Messianic/Hebrew Roots Movement hasn’t done any better by teaching The Last Supper was a Passover Seder, totally losing sight of what The Last Supper actually was, The Master’s Table. It truly is time to get back to the faith once delivered unto the saints. I should mention at this point as a bare minimum requirement for those who participate in The Master’s Table a person should have been immersed in an immersion of repentance and by that I mean that they understand the Torah is valid and applicable to their lives in the sense there are many laws that can be kept today, i.e. The Ten Commandments and there are many laws that cannot be kept today but will be kept in the future when we enter into The Promised Land of Israel. They need to acknowledge that fact before their immersion and then ‘in my opinion’ they would be qualified to participate in The Master’s Table as members of the Abrahamic Covenant, i.e. The Everlasting Covenant. In Acts 15 the big debate is understood by most to be circumcision but truly that is only a pretext for the larger issue which was at hand, namely table fellowship! I think it is interesting to note, knowing the real issue to be table fellowship, that having been immersed in an immersion of repentance was never spoken of as a matter of contention. But as we read the Apostolic Writings we see time and again when people were witnessed to about Messiah Yeshua they believed and they were immediately immersed. This of course was a people group who were well aware of the Torah. When convicted of who the Messiah was they were ready for the immersion of repentance, they were ready to turn back to the Torah!
To make sense of the following chronology of the passion of Messiah you will need to know I no longer believe in the day beginning at sunset. On the one hand there is no Scriptural evidence which straightforwardly proclaims the beginning of the day to be sunset while on the other hand there are many verses which do clearly proclaim the beginning of the day to be at sunrise. Acknowledging that fact clears up the chronology of events which take place in the days surrounding the crucifixion so perfectly that it is hard to ignore. So then as you read the following summarization please understand that I am proclaiming dates that begin at sunrise.
To summarize my position up to this point let me say this;
1) The Passover Lamb was slaughtered on the afternoon of the 14th of the first month, i.e. 'between the evenings’; it is an 'appointed time', it cannot happen at any other time than the 'appointed time’; it is an event, not a day. The slaughter of the Lamb on the afternoon of the 14th was part of the 'Preparation Day' for the Feast of Unleavened Bread and is spoken of inclusively in the term 'Passover', i.e. Passover = the preparation day + The Feast of Unleavened Bread.
2) In order for Messiah Yeshua to actually be the Lamb of YHWH and to be recognized by the people of Israel as The Lamb of YHWH Messiah Yeshua had to die at the 'appointed time' of YHWH and the people had to be keeping the Pesach (slaughter) at that 'appointed time'. There is no other possible circumstance by which Yeshua could actually be the Lamb of YHWH and the people of Israel could recognize Yeshua as YHWH's Passover Lamb! The Jews were keeping the right day and hour for the Pesach slaughter! The Pesach slaughter was to be carried out ‘between the evenings’ (beyn ha'arbayim) which is the exact same phrase used to describe the timing of the second daily sacrifice in the Temple of YHWH, i.e. the ninth hour or 3pm our time. It would be impossible for Yeshua to both eat the Passover and be the Passover in the same year. To believe that you have to reconcile yourself to the fact that either Yeshua ate the Passover on the wrong night or Yeshua was slaughtered as The Lamb of YHWH at the wrong hour of the day. That is an inescapable conclusion as both the Pesach slaughter and the eating of the Pesach slaughter are ‘appointed times’ and therefore neither of those scenarios is acceptable.
3) The Passover Seder begins in the early hours of the night of the 14th. The actual 'Passover' of Exodus, when the 'first born' are spared, takes place sometime after the meal is eaten on the night of the 14th.
4) The Feast of Unleavened Bread begins at sunrise of the 15th and carries on to the end of the 21st (i.e. sunrise of the 22nd).
5) The Last Supper which Messiah shared with His disciples the night He was betrayed (the 13th NOT the 14th, remember, the day begins at sunrise) was The Master's Table which is discussed in 1 Corinthians chapters 10 and 11 in which the Apostle Paul doesn’t even refer to Passover; it most certainly was not the Passover Seder. The Master’s Table is a ‘covenantal meal’ by which believers enter into The New Covenant via the ritual ‘entry rite’ of eating the bread and drinking the cup of The New Covenant. The Master’s Table is not an annual event but can be participated in ‘as often as’ is necessary to bring new converts into The New Covenant.
Please consider this as you study 1 Corinthians 10 and 11 as well as the Gospel accounts of the night Messiah Yeshua was betrayed, note the order in partaking of the bread and the wine. It’s reversed from the order of 'Kiddish'. In Kiddish the wine is first and the bread second, in The Master's Table the bread is first and the wine is second. Why? I would suggest you visit this URL and let the Rabbis tell you themselves;
From the article 'Why is the challah on the Shabbat table covered with a cloth?' which is what you’ll find in the link above, I think you will discover 'Kiddish' to be a bunch of 'Rabbinic nonsense'! It's a bunch of rabbinic nonsense that blesses no one, certainly not Yehowah. It is one oral law built upon another. First they develop an oral law with a hierarchal system of foods, secondly they add another oral law by manufacturing the need to ‘sanctify’ the Sabbath with a blessing over a cup of wine but realize in doing so they violate their own oral law with the hierarchal position of the bread they developed and then thirdly in their own minds they fix the problem they’ve created with yet another oral law by covering the bread with a cloth thereby in essence removing it from the table keeping the bread from being offended! It’s all nonsense! My guess is we would be amazed at how many Messianic/Hebrew Roots Movement believers see some kind of connection between Kiddish and the bread and wine of Sunday keeping Christianity’s communion. What I see is a false system of worship, a deception, which is meant to detour people from the truth. People are totally confused. Participation in The Master's Table has you taking the element of bread first and the wine second. Why? In my opinion it is because Messiah is the Living Word, the Living Word is the Torah, the Torah is the ‘Bread of Life'. The ‘Bread of Life’ is His marriage covenant proposal! The bread must come first! Then and only then can we drink of the cup. In drinking from the cup of wine we are accepting His marriage proposal, His ketubah, His Word the Torah, even Messiah Himself the Bread of Life! In participating in The Master's Table and partaking of the bread and wine we are constantly keeping Him before us in remembrance. He said, "If you love me, keep my commandments." The bread symbolizes His commandments, specifically ‘The Book of the Covenant’, and the wine symbolizes our acceptance of His commandments upon our lives. The Master's Table is a 'fellowship meal' for the rich and the poor, the small and the great over which the Torah is discussed and the 'bread and wine' are invoked as elements of our betrothal to Messiah. These elements and this ritual is the very ‘entry rite’ into The New Covenant! That leaves us with three choices, we can choose not to participate and thereby never enter into The New Covenant or we can repent of our ways and accept His wedding proposal by eating the bread and drinking from the cup and in doing so enter into The New Covenant or… if we come to this meal and proclaim the Torah and eat the bread and drink from the cup and then go out from the table and live lives of lawlessness and come back to The Master's Table once again we eat and drink judgment upon ourselves. We will have deceived ourselves into thinking there is no price to pay for our harlotry. We will think we’ve been accepted into The New Covenant and in the end we’ll knock on His door and cry Master, Master as He speaks to us, “Depart from Me, I never knew you!”
When I consider Kiddish with the wine being drank first and then the bread being eaten it reminds me of what happened at Mount Sinai. Israel was scared to death by the thunderings of YHWH from the mountain and they said they would do all that YHWH said to do without ever actually knowing what He had said! They accepted the proposal before they knew what the proposal was. In essence they drank the cup first! Just as is done today in Kiddish!
I continue to look into just exactly what the Last Supper was and is and continue to be astonished by what we've missed in the Apostolic Writings. According to the research done by Dennis Edwin Smith in his book "From Symposium To Eucharist: The Banquet in the Early Christian World", discussing the Torah over a meal was a common thing. He also associates this practice with the Messianic Banquet through his documentation of ancient historical writings. Mr. Smith’s book is available to be purchased at...
Mr. Smith quotes from Ben Sira which is an apocryphal book from approximately 200 to 180 B.C.E. and thought to have been written in Jerusalem. On pages 139-140 of Mr. Smith’s book ‘From Symposium To Eucharist’ we read as he quotes Ben Sira;
“Here we find the testimony of a scholar in Judaism from the wisdom tradition who is engaged in training the well-to-do young men of his society in the rules of ethical living… In this regard, it is notable that a significant part of the instruction concerns meal etiquette.”
“Wise conversation is especially concerned with the law (39:8). So also the wise man is to seek out righteous men as his table companions so that the conversation may be centered on “the law of the Most High”: “Let your conversation be with intelligent people, and let all your discussion be about the law of the Most High. Let the righteous be your dinner companions, and let your glory be in the fear of the Lord. (9:15-16)”
“Other references suggest a social context in which formal meals are eaten at the home of someone within the circle of the sage. Thus at 9:14-16, the sage advises to seek out wise men as one’s dinner companions so that the conversation will be centered on “the law of the Most High.”
In regard to the communal meal and discussion of the law held by the Essenes at Qumran Mr. Smith writes on pages 153-154:
“The importance of the communal meal at Qumran is indicated in this summary statement from the Rule of the Community regarding community life: “They shall eat in common and bless in common and deliberate in common” (1QS 6:2-3).
Although the scrolls do not indicate how often the communal meals were held, Josephus notes that the Essene’s meals took place twice a day: once in the late morning, when they took a break from their morning labors, and once in the late afternoon, when they finished their labors for the day. Before each meal, Josephus notes, they would purify themselves with a bath and put on special garments. The scrolls also connect purificatory ablutions with entrance to the “pure meal” of the community (1QS 5:13-14).
The Rule of the Community describes the common meal as follows: Wherever there are ten men of the Council of the Community there shall not lack a Priest among them. And they shall all sit before him according to their rank and shall be asked their counsel in all things in that order. And when the table has been prepared for eating, and the new wine for drinking, the Priest shall be the first to stretch out his hand to bless the first-fruits of the bread and new wine” (1QS 6:3-6).
Like other gatherings of the community, the meal required at least “ten men” and the presence of a priest. No mention is made of women participating in the meal, a point also made by Josephus. When they arrived in the dining room, the men were to sit “according to rank,” which corresponds to Josephus’s note that they were served “in order.” The meal began with a benediction by the priest, also emphasized by Josephus, who adds: “none may partake until after the prayer.” Josephus also mentions a prayer by the priest at the end of the meal, a practice not referred to in the scrolls.
Apparently, at the same gathering, there was to be the study of the law: “And where the ten are, there shall never lack a man among them who shall study the Law continually, day and night, concerning the right conduct of a man with his companion. And the Congregation shall watch in community for a third of every night of the year, to read the Book and to study Law and to pray together” (1QS 6:6-8). It is notable that the study of the law is here connected with the assembly for the meal, corresponding to similar references in Ben Sira and the Mishnah, and in Philo’s description of the meals of the Therapeutae…”
I would be willing to bet my last dollar the reference to 'the Book' in the second to last sentence is a reference to 'The Book of The Covenant'! Remember, from the treasure trove of Dead Sea Scrolls discovered in the caves of Qumran there have been 25 copies of the book of Deuteronomy which far exceeds the number of copies of any other book of the TaNaK which they had. Please remember it is in the book of Deuteronomy that 'The Book of The Covenant' is amended. I would also like to remind the reader that according to the research of Dr. Raymond Robert Fischer the Essenes believed Messiah was 'present' with them as they ate their communal meals which certainly reminds me of Matthew 18:20...
"For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them."
What would be the factor in deciding ‘when’ to participate in this meal? The Greek word ‘hosakis’ (Strong’s G3740) is being translated properly as ‘as often as’ in 1 Corinthians 11:25-26. ‘Hosakis’ literally means ‘an event of variable yet frequent occurrence’.
In the same manner He also took the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.” For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death till He comes. (1Corinthians 11:25-26)
So then what is the deciding factor in how often the believers of Messiah Yeshua partook of The Master’s Table?
I am more and more coming to the conclusion that the early believers were meeting for the very purpose of participating in The Master's Table, The Agape or Love Feast which is what I believe The Last Supper was. It was not an annual event but something they participated in ‘as often as’ they sought to bring new converts into The New Covenant. It also was not a side issue, it was the main event! It was the very purpose of their gathering together, breaking bread from house to house.
It makes sense to me that they were participating in The Master's Table as a means to enter new converts into the faith! ‘As often as’ there was a new convert to the faith in Messiah Yeshua, who had been immersed in an immersion of teshuvah (repentance), and desired to ‘enter into’ The New Covenant, the assembly of believers in Messiah Yeshua would then gather together to initiate the new converts into The New Covenant via The Master’s Table!!!
If so, then how far removed are we from that precedent? They weren’t coming together to hear someone get up and preach a sermon or listen to praise and worship songs as we do today, no, they were coming together to participate in The Master’s Table. If such is the case then our reading of passages such as Luke 13:23-30 may take on a little more significance. Please note this is talking about a 'narrow gate' and there are ‘few who find it’, and then note verse 26. When have we ate and drank in His presence? Where would we do such a thing? These people who are being turned away from Yeshua's door seemed to think it was important enough to remind Him that they had indeed eaten and drank in His presence, knowing the significance of having done so, only to be turned away. Was it because they had participated in The Master's Table, proclaiming the Torah, eating and drinking the bread and the cup and then lived their lives in lawlessness?
Luk 13:23 Then one said to Him, "Lord, are there few who are saved?" And He said to them,
Luk 13:24 "Strive to enter through the narrow gate, for many, I say to you, will seek to enter and will not be able.
Luk 13:25 "When once the Master of the house has risen up and shut the door, and you begin to stand outside and knock at the door, saying, 'Lord, Lord, open for us,' and He will answer and say to you, 'I do not know you, where you are from,'
Luk 13:26 "then you will begin to say, 'We ate and drank in Your presence, and You taught in our streets.'
Luk 13:27 "But He will say, 'I tell you I do not know you, where you are from. Depart from Me, all you workers of iniquity.'
Luk 13:28 "There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when you see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, and yourselves thrust out.
Luk 13:29 "They will come from the east and the west, from the north and the south, and sit down in the kingdom of God.
Luk 13:30 "And indeed there are last who will be first, and there are first who will be last."
With Abraham, Isaac and Jacob being mentioned in the above verses there is no doubt in my mind that this is a covenantal issue and eating and drinking in His presence is somehow connected to that covenantal issue, let’s not lose sight of that! Nor should we loose sight of the fact that the people who are rejected are workers of iniquity, lawlessness. The Master’s Table is conditioned upon people being Torah pursuant believers.
We also should consider Luke 16:19-22.
Luk 16:19 "There was a certain rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen and fared sumptuously every day.
Luk 16:20 "But there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, full of sores, who was laid at his gate,
Luk 16:21 "desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man's table. Moreover the dogs came and licked his sores.
Luk 16:22 "So it was that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels to Abraham's bosom. The rich man also died and was buried.
If the bread symbolizes the Torah what then do the crumbs symbolize? Every bit and piece of the Torah that Lazarus could get his hands on, that’s what! In the end for the beggar it was accounted to him for righteousness and was taken as one who belonged to the Abrahamic Covenant (Abraham's bosom).
It is well understood that the meeting places for the early assemblies were at the rich people’s homes and we know that the Apostle Paul chastised the rich Corinthians for their treatment of the poor believers. The rich ate and drank early and the poor had to make do with their own scanty fair. Here again putting the above narrative from Luke 16 together with 1 Corinthians 11, eating and drinking are associated with the Abrahamic Covenant (Abraham’s bosom). You may be thinking to yourself, “Yes this may involve the Abrahamic Covenant but we’re dealing with The New Covenant.” Let me remind you of Galatians 3:29 which reads,
“And if you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.”
No one will be of The New Covenant without also being of The Abrahamic Covenant. Consider this as well, Matthew 15:21-28.
Mat 15:21 Then Jesus went out from there and departed to the region of Tyre and Sidon.
Mat 15:22 And behold, a woman of Canaan came from that region and cried out to Him, saying, "Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David! My daughter is severely demon-possessed."
Mat 15:23 But He answered her not a word. And His disciples came and urged Him, saying, "Send her away, for she cries out after us."
Mat 15:24 But He answered and said, "I was not sent except to the lost sheep of the house of Israel."
Mat 15:25 Then she came and worshiped Him, saying, "Lord, help me!"
Mat 15:26 But He answered and said, "It is not good to take the children's bread and throw it to the little dogs."
Mat 15:27 And she said, "Yes, Lord, yet even the little dogs eat the crumbs which fall from their masters' table."
Mat 15:28 Then Jesus answered and said to her, "O woman, great is your faith! Let it be to you as you desire." And her daughter was healed from that very hour.
Here again, crumbs falling from a Master’s Table are associated with faith and Yeshua’s favor in that her daughter was healed.
Here is a verse that gets thrown around quite a bit but do we really understand it in its historical context? Where would two or three be gathered so that Yeshua would be in their midst, a prayer meeting? Well maybe but having considered the evidence that the early believers were meeting for the express purpose of participating in The Master’s Table could it be that the context of the verse is The Master's Table?
Mat 18:20 "For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them."
Don't forget the Essenes who believed Messiah was present with them as they ate together at their 'communal meals'!
Then I would be remiss not to mention Revelation 3:20-22 which reads,
Rev 3:20 "Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.
Rev 3:21 "To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.
Rev 3:22 "He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches."
It seems we need to overcome the false teachings associated with The Last Supper which is what The Master’s Table is! Notice the train of thought here; dining with Messiah Yeshua is very clearly connected with ruling and reigning with Messiah, i.e. becoming His Bride. I’m telling you, The Master’s Table is a covenantal meal; we will not be His Bride who sits on the throne with Him without having participated in The Master’s Table!
At this point I am reminded of what Yeshua said after presenting the cup to His disciples in Matthew 26:29 which reads,
Matt. 26:29 "But I say to you, I shall certainly not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on till that day when I drink it anew with you in the reign of My Father."
I hope you can see the bookends of the covenant in our drinking of the cup here and now and Yeshua's drinking of the cup there and then. Surely the verse above is a reference to the Marriage Supper of the Lamb referred to in Revelation 19:7-9. We drink the cup as our acceptance of the covenant terms here and now thereby initiating the covenant (betrothal) and then at the Marriage Supper of the Lamb Yeshua drinks the cup as He accepts us as His Bride there and then thereby ratifying the covenant (bond of the covenant). Truly, it is a beautiful thing!
That of course is all well and good but it’s all from the Apostolic Writings too. How about something from the Torah, is there precedence for The Master’s Table from the Torah that can be quoted? Yes, I believe there is and it comes directly from the Mount Sinai marriage proposal that Messiah Yeshua made with Israel when He brought them out of bondage from Egypt. In Exodus 24:9-11 we read,
Exo 24:9 "Then Moses went up, also Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel, and they saw the God of Israel.
Exo 24:10 And there was under His feet as it were a paved work of sapphire stone, and it was like the very heavens in its clarity.
Exo 24:11 But on the nobles of the children of Israel He did not lay His hand. So they saw God, and they ate and drank.”
Now then, anyone who knows anything knows this is a ‘big deal’! There is something phenomenally important going on here. Men from the Nation of Israel are sitting down to a meal with YHWH! But who is YHWH? He is none other than Messiah Yeshua, The Master! The men who ascended Mount Sinai from the House of Ya’aqob ate and drank in the presence of The Master at The Master’s Table!!! Isn’t that clear? What is this account associated with? The marriage covenant of Mount Sinai!!! What was The Last Supper account associated with? The marriage covenant that comes to us through The New Covenant just as Yeshua said in Matthew 26:27-28 which read;
Mat 26:27 Then He took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, "Drink from it, all of you.
Mat 26:28 "For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins."
The disciples ate and drank in the presence of The Master at The Master’s Table!!! The New Covenant is being initialized with the disciples exactly the same way Yeshua 'corporately' initialized the old covenant with Isra'el at Mt. Sinai. The Apostle Paul said the old covenant was disappearing, I know that many Messianic/Hebrew Roots Movement believers will balk at that but the Scripture is clear on the subject. The question is, will we as 'individuals' acknowledge the terms of The New Covenant by eating the bread and accept the proposal by drinking the cup? It is this ritual entry rite that enters you into The New Covenant. By now you may be thinking, “Ken you’re raising up hurdles and hoops for believers to jump over and through.” My answer to that is Scriptural, Messiah Yeshua says in Matthew 7;
Mat 7:13 "Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it.
Mat 7:14 "Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.”
There is a narrow gate and there are few who find it, I believe The Master’s Table is a part of that ‘narrow gate’. Now I’m not the brightest star in the evening sky but I have come to understand a few things about the principles of covenants and having that understanding I am now simply following the trail of evidence that leads me down the path toward that narrow gate that few will find. I am using logic. I am using deductive reasoning. I am connecting the dots to see the big picture revealed more clearly. I’m not trying to create obstacles to the faith. Nor am I trying to invent ways to elevate myself and my walk above and beyond that of anyone else. I am devoted to what I call ‘truthquest’; I want to know the truth, nothing more, nothing less. It has been an awesome journey for me so far but like you I’m not home yet.
If the truth be known and it is a sad truth, but truth nonetheless, most Christians and many, if not most, Messianic/Hebrew Roots Movement believers are ignorant about the principles of covenants. Understanding covenants can give us a ‘framework’ by which we can begin to ‘interpret’ the Scriptures correctly. This is vitally important so please focus on the quotes that follow, this could change the way you interpret the Scriptures. In his book ‘The Marriage Covenant’, Derek Prince says,
“I would venture to say that we cannot fully understand our relationship with God unless we understand the scriptural concept of covenant.”
He also says,
“The concept of covenant is central to the whole of divine revelation. If we do not understand the nature of covenant, how far can we hope to understand the real meaning of God’s message to us?”
Still quoting from his book Derek Prince says,
“Essentially, a covenant expresses a relationship which God Himself sovereignly initiates out of His own choice and decision.”
He continues by saying,
“God never enters into a permanent relationship apart from a covenant.”
Furthermore Prince claims,
“Without a covenant there can be no relationship with God; without a sacrifice, there can be no covenant.”
Finally Prince says,
“Covenant represents final, irrevocable commitment.”
Wow! That is a mouthful. No one should get passed the ages of childhood without first having learned these truths about covenants!
A very interesting point is understood once a person has investigated the elements of entering into a covenant. There were terms to be understood, vows to be spoken, rituals to enter into the covenant by and the consequences of keeping or not keeping the terms. What is most central in this case is the element of the entry ritual or entry rite. This is where I go beyond any of the other teachings. In my opinion it is the covenantal element of the entry ritual or entry rite that is being lost in the shuffle to our own demise, we must go back to The Master’s Table and eat The Bread and drink The Cup as Torah pursuant believers in Messiah Yeshua in order to enter into The New Covenant.
There are those who teach that eating the bread and drinking the cup is simply symbology for keeping Torah but that ignores the ritual entry rite that is fundamental to covenants. Let me ask you,
"If Eleazer had not placed his hand under the thigh of Abraham would Abraham have thought that Eleazer had entered into covenant with him to find a wife for his son Isaac?"
Of course not!
So then let me also ask you, "How did you, I or anyone else enter into The New Covenant of Messiah Yeshua?"
Remember now, there is ‘a narrow way and there are few who find it' but the road that leads to destruction is broad. The point I am striving to make is that the Last Supper was not the Passover Seder but was instead The Master's Table, the Agape or Love Feast spoken of throughout the Apostolic Writings. The Master’s Table is vital to our relationship with Messiah Yeshua, we can’t afford to ignore it. It was the main event of the early believer's gatherings.
Via this meal, they fellowshipped together (communion), discussed Torah together and I believe entered into The New Covenant together by participating in the ritual of Breaking Bread and Drinking the Cup of The New Covenant which was always done in the context of The Master's Table which is the Agape or Love Feast.
In the context of this Torah pursuant fellowship meal The Bread becomes the symbol of His Torah, even more specifically ‘The Book of the Covenant’, it is the conditions of His marriage proposal and The Cup becomes the symbol of our acceptance of His conditions in His proposal. It is a beautiful thing to consider, may it also be a 'fundamental' thing to consider in regard to our faith in Messiah and our covenantal relationship with Him? That is if our covenant with Messiah yet exists! Is it possible that Christians and Messianic/Hebrew Roots Movement believers by the millions or even billions have never entered into The New Covenant because we have so thoroughly misunderstood the Last Supper? Because we have never participated in the very ritual through which we must enter into The New Covenant with Messiah Yeshua.
If the covenant entry ritual was important to Abraham, the Father of our faith, should we think it is any less important to Messiah Yeshua the subject of our faith?
Of course not!
When we realize that, then maybe we can begin to make sense of the dialogue that took place between Messiah Yeshua and his disciples in the 6th chapter of the gospel of John. Here Messiah Yeshua makes an incredibly conditional statement regarding the eating of His body and the drinking of His blood saying unless you eat and drink of Him you do not have everlasting life. In verse 51 we read,
Joh 6:51 "I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever;and the bread that I shall give is My flesh, which I shall give for the life of the world."
In verses 53-58 we read,
Joh 6:53 Then Jesus said to them, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you.
Joh 6:54 "Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.
Joh 6:55 "For My flesh is food indeed, and My blood is drink indeed.
Joh 6:56 "He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him.
Joh 6:57 "As the living Father sent Me, and I live because of the Father, so he who feeds on Me will live because of Me.
Joh 6:58 "This is the bread which came down from heaven; not as your fathers ate the manna, and are dead. He who eats this bread will live forever."
We’re told to whom Messiah Yeshua is speaking in verse 52 which reads,
Joh 6:52 The Jews therefore quarreled among themselves, saying, "How can this Man give us His flesh to eat?"
So then we know that Messiah Yeshua is speaking to Jews. Do you know of any self respecting Jew that would eat the flesh of another human being or drink the blood of a human being? I don’t either. To do so would be a violation of Torah. So we know that at no level is Messiah Yeshua demanding anyone to eat His flesh and drink His blood in the literal sense. So then what is He demanding of them?
This is obviously talking about The Master’s Table and eating and drinking the elements of The Bread of Messiah (The Book of the Covenant) and The Cup of Messiah (the acceptance of the terms of The New Covenant) as an entry rite or ritual that places you in covenant with Him via The New Covenant. The Master’s Table is the only parallel that matches the dialogue taking place here in John 6. Messiah Yeshua in John chapter 6 is making an extraordinarily conditional statement that says if you don’t participate in The Master’s Table as a Torah pursuant believer in Messiah Yeshua, who is willing to eat The Bread of Messiah and drink The Cup of Messiah, then you have no part of Him. You’re not a member of The New Covenant. You don’t have everlasting life. You won’t be of the first fruits resurrection. You will not be the Bride of Messiah. You’re not saved! What more can be said?
Once again, there are those that take John chapter 6 and dumb it down until eating His flesh and drinking His blood is just symbology for keeping Torah but that totally disregards the fact of the 'ritual entry rite' being an integral element of covenant making. Without the ritual entry rite you can’t have a covenant, it’s that simple. Even though Messiah Yeshua’s statements in John 6 are obviously symbolic in nature they are without a doubt referring to The Master’s Table, the only parallel in Scripture, which is a ritual that is literal. The elements of body and blood, i.e. the bread and wine are symbolic but the ritual in which they are invoked is literal. The ritual itself is not symbolic; it is a literal component of making a covenant. Without the literal ritual of entry rite which uses the symbolic elements there can be no covenant. Just because the Roman Catholic Church has made such a mess of this portion of Scripture doesn’t allow us the right to throw the baby out with the bath water. To throw the baby out with the bath water as the Messianic/Hebrew Roots Movement is doing by claiming The Last Supper was a Passover Seder is just as bad as what the Roman Catholic Church has done. This is clearly a marriage covenant issue! You can’t become the Bride of Messiah without a covenant relationship with Messiah Yeshua via The New Covenant and you can’t enter into covenant without having submitted yourself to the ritual the New Covenant demands of you, namely eating The Bread of Messiah and drinking The Cup of Messiah.
It’s not so much the case today but if you can imagine a time, let’s say 200 years ago, a man’s handshake was his commitment to do what he has said he would do. Let’s imagine you and I were living back in the day and we negotiated an agreement. When we were done with our negotiations you extended your hand to ‘shake on it’ and I turned my back and walked away, ignoring your handshake and snubbing you in the process. Would you be offended? Would you think I had just agreed to commit myself to the terms of the negotiation? A handshake is a remnant of an ‘entry rite’ into an agreement, without it the agreement couldn’t carry forward. How offensive is it to Messiah Yeshua when we ignore The Master's Table or completely reinterpret its function within the faith?
This may be a good place to consider the 'law of irreducible complexity'. Michael Behe's most notable idea is what he calls "Irreducible Complexity." This idea theorizes that "a single system which is composed of several interacting parts that contribute to the basic function, and where the removal of any one of the parts causes the system to effectively cease functioning." Take the simple mouse trap for example; there is a board to which everything is fixed via a couple of staples, there is a spring, there is a hammer and there is a trigger. Those are all essential elements which contribute to the function of the mouse trap, removal of any one of them would render the mouse trap useless, it would have lost it's ability to function. To remove any one of the mouse trap elements already mentioned would violate the 'law of irreducible complexity' and the mouse trap would no longer trap mice! So it is with covenants, there are certain elements which are fundamental to the function of the covenant. You must have 'terms, vows, and 'entry rites' or your covenant ceases to exist, it has lost it's ability to function. The premise of this entire article has been that the 'law of irreducible complexity' has been violated in connection to The New Covenant. The 'terms', 'vows' and the 'entry rite' have been removed from the individual believer's practice of The New Covenant and therefore those who have believed they are members of The New Covenant are in for a rude awakening when they find out too late that the function of The New Covenant they had placed their faith in had either lost its function or never existed in the first place. Christianity and the Messianic/Hebrew Roots Movement have removed too many elements of The New Covenant for The New Covenant to continue to function in the lives of believers, it has lost it's ability to enable a relationship with Messiah Yeshua.
Today, living in exile, I can’t legitimately keep The Passover and other moedim of YHWH but there is absolutely nothing that can keep you and me from legitimately participating in The Master’s Table. Think about that, we can’t keep several of the Feasts of YHWH, oh we can rehearse them but that’s about it. But we can keep The Master’s Table which is more important, much more important, to our eternal welfare than any or all of our rehearsals of the Feasts put together! To connect the entry rite into The New Covenant, the very hope that we have to become the Bride of Messiah, to The Passover which we can not keep simply makes no sense! I am reminded of two buck deer that get their antlers locked together as they fight for the dominant male role, eventually one of them dies still caught in the antlers of the living buck. The living buck then has to drag the dead weight of the other buck with him as he struggles to live. Let’s set The Master’s Table free of the dead weight of a Passover Seder we can’t keep!
Today, especially those of us in the West, have lost the significance of what it meant to be invited to eat at another man’s table. In the East, if a man invites another man to eat at his table he is in effect saying he will defend that guest with his very own life. Yeshua the Messiah is inviting us, just as He did His disciples, to dine at His table with the promise that He will defend us with His life. He has fulfilled that promise! He is the sacrifice that enables The New Covenant! His Table, ‘The Master’s Table’, is set, and as Torah pursuant believers, immersed in an immersion of repentance we are invited to come and dine with The Master. He has told us where two or three are gathered in His name He will be there in the midst of them.
Whether it's Moses, Aaron, Nadab, Abihu and the seventy elders at Mount Sinai or whether it's the twelve disciples of Yeshua in Jerusalem in the Upper Room or whether it's you and me sitting down at The Master’s Table today wherever we may be, it is clear, this is how Messiah Yeshua enters into covenant with His people and He will be there in the midst of their fellowship!
I am certain there is much more that can be said and so much more to learn but in my heart of hearts I hope you can begin to see from what I've written, the beauty and wonder of The Master's Table. We have been robbed of this awesome indispensable facet of our faith by Sunday keeping Christianity and now by the Messianic/Hebrew Roots Movement and it is high time to rediscover The Master's Table and take it back as our own heritage. Please don't allow yourself to continue to be robbed of this foundational aspect of the faith known as...
The Master's Table ~ The Entry Rite Into THE NEW COVENANT!
It is a cold, hard fact, covenants have 'entry rites', so what is the 'entry rite' into The New Covenant? If you haven't participated in the 'entry rite' into The New Covenant then you're simply not in covenant with Messiah Yeshua. You're either 'IN' or you're 'OUT", which is it? And what are you going to do about it? This requires 'action' on your part...
"This cup is the New Covenant in My blood; as often as you drink it, do this in remembrance of Me."
(1 Corinthians 11:25 MKJV 1962)
This article should be read in conjunction with the resource materials I am providing even though they don't draw the natural conclusions that I've come to; together they form a personal study for the reader. Below are links to the written articles by Bryan T. Huie which helped me to draw the conclusions that I have in regard to The Master’s Table.
Bryan T. Huie - Was The “Last Supper” The Passover Meal?
Bryan T. Huie - Exodus 12 – When Was The First Passover?
Bryan T. Huie - What Does “Between The Evenings” Mean?
Bryan T. Huie - Should We Eat The “Lord’s Supper”?
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