EATING AND DRINKING IN THE EPISTLES AND REVELATION
The thought and the concept of eating and drinking is not only in the Gospels, but also in the Epistles of the Apostles Paul and Peter and in the book of Revelation. In 1 Corinthians 3:2 Paul said, “I gave you milk to drink.” On the one hand, milk is drink, and on the other hand, it is food. Milk is food and water together. It is water with food. In 1 Corinthians 10, Paul also spoke about drinking and eating, applying the type of the children of Israel to us (vv. 3-4, 6).
In Hebrews 5, Paul told the saints that they had need of milk and not of solid food because milk is for the babes, while solid food is for the mature (vv. 12-14). To drink is to take liquid food, and to eat is to take solid food. The weaker you are, the more you need to drink, and the stronger you are, the more you need to eat. Furthermore, when we are sick, we drink more than we eat. When we are healthy, we eat more than we drink. In 1 Corinthians 3, Paul indicated that the saints in Corinth were still very weak. Therefore, he could not feed them with solid food. He could only feed them with milk, liquid food. First Peter 2:2-3 says, “As newborn babes, long for the guileless milk of the word, that by it you may grow unto salvation, if you have tasted that the Lord is good.”
Finally, in Revelation, the promises to those who overcome are to eat the tree of life (2:7), to enjoy the hidden manna (2:17), and to dine with the Lord (3:20). The mention of the tree of life refers back to Genesis 2, and the hidden manna refers to the entire history of the children of Israel in the wilderness. For forty years they ate manna (Exo. 16:35); therefore, manna was the central point of their history. In Revelation 3:20, the Lord Jesus said, “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.” To dine is not merely to eat one food but to eat the riches of a meal. This may refer to the eating of the rich produce of the good land of Canaan by the children of Israel (Josh. 5:10-12).
In Revelation 7 the redeemed saints who have been raptured to the heavens, to the presence of God, will enjoy the Lord Jesus as the Lamb and Shepherd, who guides them to the springs of waters of life (v. 17). Shepherding includes feeding; therefore, we will eat as well as drink. I do not fully know what we shall do in eternity, but I do know that we will do at least three things—eat, drink, and praise. In eternity eating, drinking, and praising will be our living and our life. Our life in eternity will be an eating, drinking, and praising life. In the local churches we have a foretaste today. We must eat, drink, and praise. When we say, “O Lord, Amen,” this is our eating. To say “Hallelujah” is our drinking and praising. Praise the Lord! We are the eating, drinking, and praising people.
Ultimately, in Revelation 22, we are invited to freely drink of the water of life (v. 17). The Spirit and the bride together say to come and drink of the water of life freely. In the entire Bible, Revelation 22:17 is the last call given by God to the human race. This last divine call is to come and drink. If you come to drink, you will surely eat. In the water of life grows the tree of life (22:2). When we come to the water, we have the tree. When we drink the water, we eat the tree of life. Eating and drinking is the central thought in God’s economy. We all must learn how to enjoy the divine life by eating and drinking Christ.
(The Crucial Revelation of Life in the Scriptures, Chapter 8, by Witness Lee)