THE BREAD, THE BODY, AND THE FIRSTFRUITS

The apostle Paul tells us that the Yahweh of the Old Testament was actually the Messiah. This is what he says in 1 Corinthians 10:4: “… that spiritual rock that followed them: and that rock was Messiah.”

 

This is confirmed in John 8:58 where Messiah himself said:  “Before Abraham was, I am.” This reference to “I am” reminds us of what Elohim said to Moses in Exodus 3:14:  “And Elohim said unto Moses, I am, that I am: and he said, thou shalt say unto the children of Israel, I am hath sent me unto you.”

 

Messiah was the Yahweh that created all things as Paul reminds us in Colossians 1:16:  “For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible.”

 

The apostle John also identifies the Messiah as our Creator in John 1:3:  “All things were made by him: and without him was not anything made that was made.”

 

When the apostle Paul says, “all things,” he is referring to all mankind including the firstfruits. In Ephesians 1:4-5, Paul exclusively references the firstfruits:

 

“According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world that we should be holy and without blame before him in love.  Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by YahwehShua Messiah to himself, according to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will.”

 

Messiah YahwehShua, also known as Yahweh Sabaoth, who later became the incarnate Yahshua Messiah, was the Yahweh of the Old Testament. The Yahweh that Moses met face-to-face was the Son. Moses never met the Father. When the translators use the word, “god,” they are mistranslating the Hebrew word, Elohim, which is a collective noun meaning the mighty ones. Elohim refers to both the Father and Son. 

 

Messiah YahwehShua was also the one who gave exacting instructions on how to design, construct, and what to specifically place inside the Tabernacle. You will find this in Exodus 25:40:  “And look that thou make them after their pattern which was showed thee in the mount.”  The apostle Paul confirms this in Hebrews 8:5. He tells us that Moses was “admonished” to“make all things according to the pattern showed to thee in the mount.”

 

Messiah was a perfectionist. He watched over the construction of the Tabernacle very carefully. This would be the same way he created all things. Messiah had been instructed by his Father to create all things after a certain pattern. Messiah tells us this in John 8:28:  “I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things.”

 

Everything Messiah has done, he has done with the instruction and approval of his Father. Nothing is done in a random or disorganized manner.  There is a plan that is carried out as designed and approved by the Father and Son.

 

In previous articles, we have written about the significance of the “pattern” given to Moses for the Tabernacle and to David for the temple. One part of the pattern not previously discussed is the veil between the holy room of the Tabernacle and the holiest room. We find a very specific reference to this veil in Exodus 26: 30 – 33:

 

“And thou shalt rear up the Tabernacle according to the fashion thereof which was showed the in the mount.  And then thou shalt make a veil of blue, purple, and scarlet, and fine twined linen of cunning work: with cherubims shall it be made:  And thou shalt hang it upon four pillars of shittim wood overlaid with gold: their hooks shall be of gold, upon the four sockets of silver.  And thou shall hang up the veil under the taches, that thou mayest bring in thither within the veil the ark of the testimony: and the veil shall divide unto you between the holy place and the most holy.”

 

The most holy place is where the ark of covenant is located. On the ark is the Mercy seat. It is upon the Mercy seat that the Levitical high priest would sprinkle animal blood after entering this most holy place on Yom Kippurim. This Mercy seat is where Yahweh (the Son) would be present. The veil prevented the Levitical priests from having access to Messiah. Only the high priest one time per year was able to be in the Son’s presence. But with the death of Messiah this changed!

 

The apostle Paul gives us a very interesting revelation in Hebrews 10:18-20:  “Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin.  Having therefore, brethren,boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Yahshua.  By a new and living way, which he had consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh.”

 

Every year the Levitical high priest would enter the holy of holies to sprinkle animal blood to cover the sins of the Israelites for the year to come. This was no longer necessary with the death of Messiah. He was the true Passover lamb, and only his blood was able to absorb all the sin of mankind. With his death on the tree, he completed or finished the purpose for which he had become incarnate.

 

It is interesting that in the holy room was a golden table holding twelve loaves of bread. In some translations, this bread is called showbread, while others translate the Hebrew words as bread of presence. These were baked fresh each week by the Levites and consumed on the Sabbath by the priests. When the veil was torn in half, upon the death of Messiah (Matthew 27:51; Mark 15: 37-38; Luke 23:45) that bread was no longer separated from the Mercy seat. What does this mean?

 

Many authors believe that these twelve loaves of bread represented the twelve tribes of Israel. But did they? When the veil was torn at the time that Messiah died, the old covenant was terminated. The cessation of the old covenant would prepare the way for a new covenant that would be initiated on Pentecost. The new covenant is for the firstfruits of this age. These are the 144,000 saints that will be resurrected when Messiah returns. (Revelation 14:1) The firstfruits are the spiritual Israelites, not the physical. The bread did not represent the physical descendants of Abraham, but the saints who are the true children of the promise. (Galatians 3:29)

 

Why is this important? Messiah distributed twelve pieces of bread at his Last Supper on the night he was betrayed. That bread was only for the firstfruits. The disciples represented the forming of firstfruits that would begin on the Pentecost following Messiah’s death. His death would allow the firstfruits to have the opportunity to be properly baptized and begin the formation of Messiah’s Spirit within them. (Galatians 4:19) Through this means, they would be able to be in the presence of Messiah at his return. This perspective adds substance to the translation of the Hebrew as bread of presence, instead of showbread.

 

Prior to this new understanding, it was my belief that when Messiah broke the bread at the Last Supper, the bread represented his broken physical body. However, the Greek grammar does not support this. In Luke 22:19 we are told: “And he took the bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, this is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me.” The demonstrative pronoun, “this” must agree in gender with the noun it is referring to. Traditionally, “this” was thought to refer to the bread. However, “this” has a neuter ending, while the word “bread” is a masculine noun. The Greek word for body is a neuter noun. Messiah was not referring to the bread. He was actually referencing his body. This was not his physical body he was talking about, but his spiritual body. Each firstfruit would receive a portion of his spiritual body, which would then mature into a fully formed spirit and allow them to be like him. (1 John 3:2)

 

When a firstfruit receives the Spirit of the Father, they also receive the down payment of the Spirit of Messiah. This down payment is a part of the Spirit of Messiah that has the capability of maturing within the firstfruit. It is the fully matured spirit of Messiah that allows the firstfruit to be resurrected just as Messiah was also resurrected. 

 

Why do we conclude that the bread represented Messiah’s spiritual body? As the tabernacle is the physical example of the spiritual, the veil is the physical example of His physical body.  The bread is the example for his spiritual body.  The twelve loaves of showbread, or the bread of presence, and the twelve pieces of bread distributed by Messiah to his disciples all represent the firstfruits. The firstfruits were already part of the plan or pattern before the creation of the world. Messiah, the Creator, knew the firstfruits from the foundation of the world. (Ephesians 1: 4) He knew from the beginning that it was not the physical Israelites that would become the firstfruits.

 

I have mentioned in previous articles that Messiah revealed the truth about the firstfruits in Genesis 1: 1. The King James Version translates the Hebrew of this verse in this manner:  “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” First of all, the Hebrew does not say God. The Hebrew word is actually Elohim, which means mighty ones. The first Hebrew word in this sentence is bereyshith. This word is a combination of a preposition and noun. The preposition, be, may be translated in a variety of ways such as in, for, or even for the sake of. The noun is Strong’s number 7225, which also means the firstfruit. Hebrew scholars have proposed that the preposition could mean for the sake of. When you combine these linguistic options, a better translation is:  “For the sake of the firstfruit Elohim created the heavens and earth.” From the beginning it has all been about Messiah, the firstfruit, and those who would become firstfruits by receiving a portion of his Spirit.    

 

It is also interesting to note that the apostle Paul wrote extensively in 1 Corinthians 12 about the body of Messiah. In chapter 11, he referred to the bread and fruit of the vine. At no time did he call this event Passover, but referred to it as the Last Supper. The body of Messiah is formed from the distribution of the portions of Messiah’s spiritual body. It required the shedding of his blood to absorb all of mankind’s sin. To shed that blood he had to die. Once his blood covered all sin, the way was open to share his Spirit with those he knew before the foundation of the world, the firstfruits or saints.

 

We are told in Leviticus 23:17 that the bread representing the firstfruits is leavened bread. With this insight, we are able to understand that any time bread represents the firstfruits, it must be leavened. The Pharisees changed the showbread to unleavened bread when they took control of the temple. This was a significant change implemented by the Pharisees, which allowed for a false understanding of what that bread meant. Messiah warned us in Luke 11:52 that the Pharisees were taking away the key of knowledge. They continue in this effort today!

 

It is also correct that the bread Messiah gave to his disciples at the Last Supper before he was betrayed was leavened. That was not a Passover meal. That Last Supper occurred 24 hours before the Jews’ Passover meal on the 15th. An excellent reference that supports this understanding is a book by T. Alex Tennent, the Messianic Feast. While his book contains some significant errors on other topics, his scholarship pertaining to the understanding of what the Last Supper really was is excellent. 

 

The body of Messiah is poorly understood and not emphasized enough. The body of Messiah is a very special assembly of those who have the spiritual body of Messiah being formed from within. It is only by being baptized in the name of YahwehShua that one is allowed to become a functional member of the body of Messiah. The birth name of Messiah, in any form, is not valid. It is the name of Yahweh that provides salvation. Messiah inherited the more excellent name of his Father after he died. (Hebrews 1:4; Psalms 148:13) The firstfruits will be resurrected in the name of the Father and Son, YahwehShua.  (Revelation 14:1)

 

The correct understanding of the Last Supper is exciting and necessary. Firstfruits are commanded to remember Messiah on the night of the 14th of Abib. Now you are able to know why. The bread he distributed was consistent with the pattern established by Yahweh before the foundation of the world.

 

The spiritual body of Messiah is not based on race, gender, or social status. (Galatians 3:28) The calling comes from the Father. (John 6:44) You are able to reject His calling. But, should you choose to accept that calling and be baptized in the name of YahwehShua, you must then overcome to the end. An important aspect of overcoming is becoming a fruitful member of the body of Messiah.  Firstfruits are commanded to assemble together and encourage each other. (Hebrews 10:25) Loving the other members of the body is necessary and the lack of that love is a significant warning sign. (1 John 3:14)

 

There is more to being in the better resurrection than just being baptized. Your participation in the body of Messiah is an important opportunity for growth and is a gauge of your success in the process of overcoming. The body of Messiah is where you can practice love as revealed in 1 Corinthians 13. This is also where you can demonstrate the fruit of the Spirit. (Galatians 6:22)

 

If this article and this website is of interest to you, this may indicate that you are being called. Please contact us to find out if we can be of assistance in your desire to become a firstfruit. Once you are a firstfruit, you will have the mind of Messiah being formed within you. This will greatly increase your understanding and allow you to more effectively search the Scriptures.  You must overcome your carnality and take on the Spirit of Messiah. (Romans 8:7-10)