(12-02-2015, 08:36 AM)Axiom Wrote: What is your interpretation of such passages as John 6:53-56, I Corinthians 10:16-18 and 11:23-28, Revelation 19:17-18?
All these passage clearly have something to do with eating bread and drinking blood, which is where the accusation of cannibalism came from for the early believers.
53 So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in yourselves. 54 He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day. 55 For My flesh is true food, and My blood is true drink. 56 He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him. (NASB)
First thing is that the word eternal isn't "eternal". It's "eonian" or age-long. It's a period of time (maybe quite long) with a beginning and an ending. It's impossible for this word to mean "eternal" for a whole bunch of reasons, which I'm happy to go into in more detail if asked. One example of why it can't mean "eternal" is 2 Tim 1:9 "given to us in Christ Jesus before times eonian". Of course "before times eternal" makes no sense whatsoever, seeing as eternity has no beginning or ending.
The passage takes place after Jesus fed a load of people from nearly nothing, walked on water and then talked to the people about Moses, manna and bread from heaven. Verse 48 Jesus tells them he is the bread of life, which is a contrast with the bread from heaven (manna) which their ancestors had in the wilderness. The contrast is with eating manna and still dying, with eating "the bread of life" and living. He tells them that he is the bread of life, and that his flesh is this bread of life. So they understood all about bread, how it had to be eaten to get the nourishment, and he tells them they therefore have to "eat" him. Clearly he's talking in metaphors. But in verse 52 we see that the Jews didn't pick up on it and thought he was literally talking about his own physical flesh. Of course, they couldn't see it, since God caused them not to (Mk 4:12 and Mt 13:13).
Obviously knowing they weren't getting it, but still speaking in parables (Mt 13:13), he pushes the analogy and tells them that not only do they need to eat his flesh, but also drink his blood. But the key is that if they don't eat his flesh and drink his blood, it's not "eternal life" they miss out on, it's "eonian life". In other words, they won't enter the kingdom, the looked-forward-to kingdom on the earth with the messiah ruling.
So if they "partake" of Jesus, who is the "true food", he will raise them on the last day in order that they can enter the kingdom. So even though they die, they have that hope that they'll be raised to enter the kingdom. It's a faith thing. And it's also got nothing to do with so-called eternal life.
I Corinthians 10:16-18
16 Is not the cup of blessing which we bless a sharing in the blood of Christ? Is not the bread which we break a sharing in the body of Christ? 17 Since there is one bread, we who are many are one body; for we all partake of the one bread. 18 Look at the nation Israel; are not those who eat the sacrifices sharers in the altar? (NASB)
Interesting that early on in chapter 10, we have the same reference to Moses, the spiritual food, and the spiritual drink. Again, there's the "partaking" of food and drink. The passage is about the union of the "body of believers" with Christ. Verse 18 is an illustration, saying that the nation of Israel, although many individual people, is one nation, and if you're a part of the nation, then you're in union with the altar. You receive the benefits by partaking in the sacrifices at the altar. Similarly, individual believers are part of one body, and as such, receive the benefits of union with Christ by partaking not in actual sacrifices (since Christ's sacrifice did away for the need for any further sacrifice) but in some physical bread, which is a symbol of the body of Christ, given up for us. This is fleshed out (excuse the pun) in the next section.
1 Cor 11:23-28
23 For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus in the night in which He was betrayed took bread; 24 and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, “This is My body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” 25 In the same way He took
the cup also after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood; do this, as often as you drink it
, in remembrance of Me.” 26 For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes.
27 Therefore whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner, shall be guilty of the body and the blood of the Lord. 28 But a man must examine himself, and in so doing he is to eat of the bread and drink of the cup.
I'm not sure what exactly you're wanting comment on here, apart from the continuing reference to body and blood. Breaking the physical bread is a symbol of Jesus' body being broken and his blood poured out for us. When believers do this, they proclaim the Lord's death until he comes. Again, it's a union thing. It's saying "yep, I'm part of all this". It's a symbol that believers are in union with Jesus. Partaking in "communion" doesn't cause anyone to be in union. It's got nothing to do with works. It's just showing something that's already true (union with Christ).
17 Then I saw an angel standing in the sun, and he cried out with a loud voice, saying to all the birds which fly in midheaven, “Come, assemble for the great supper of God, 18 so that you may eat the flesh of kings and the flesh of [g
]commanders and the flesh of mighty men and the flesh of horses and of those who sit on them and the flesh of all men, both free men and slaves, and small and great.”
Totally different context and nothing whatsoever to do with the previous passages. The book of Revelation is about how God gets the Jews to look upon the one they pierced, to see that Christ is indeed their messiah. Of course, they need lots of bad stuff to happen before they'll accept this. The book is all about, to and for Israel and has nothing to do with non-Jewish believers. Everything needs to be read in this context. The "bride" is Israel, not the church (which is the body of Christ). Bride and body are totally separate. Despite popular opinion, the "bride of Christ" doesn't exist. The "saints" in Revelation are Jewish saints.
So I think verses 17-18 are describing something which will literally take place: birds will come and eat the flesh (the literal bodies) of the dead, from the armies that assemble to fight against God. In verse 19 we see all the armies assembled and ready to fight. This fight never happens. In verse 20, the beast and false prophet are thrown into the lake of fire (there's a whole separate discussion on that, but suffice to say the lake of fire is not, and cannot possibly be "hell". Happy to expand on that if desired.) But notice that "the rest" (verse 21) are not thrown into the lake of fire, they're killed. And what happens? The birds are "filled with their flesh". In other words, it confirms the literal reading of verses 17-18.