THE BREAKING OF BREAD MEETING BEING THE LORD’S FEAST
Why do we have the breaking of bread meeting frequently? What does it mean to break the bread? Notice the phrase in 1 Corinthians 10:21, the Lord’s table. The breaking of bread meeting is our coming to the Lord’s table, the Lord’s feast. At this table, in this feast, we eat the Lord’s body and drink the Lord’s blood. In other words, we eat and drink the Lord. At the same time, when we break the bread, we also declare and testify to the whole universe that we are a group of Christians who live a life of daily feasting on Christ, daily eating Christ, and daily enjoying Christ. Whenever we break the bread, it is an exhibition of our daily life. In our normal living we eat the Lord, drink the Lord, and enjoy the Lord. Then on the Lord’s Day we come together to have an exhibition for everyone, for all creation to see, declaring to them that our life is a life of enjoying the Lord.
Brothers, in our Lord’s table meetings in the past, we still held some traditional concepts in paying attention to how to praise the Lord and how to worship the Father. We learned these things from the Brethren. Although these things are not wrong, they are merely traditional. Actually, the important thing at the Lord’s table is not whether to praise or not to praise. Rather, it is to open up our spirit and exhibit once again for the angels and Satan to see how we receive Christ into us. At that time we may praise or not praise.
I believe that the Brethren truly saw the light, yet the light they saw was still limited by natural human concepts. Therefore, we cannot take that way any longer. If we continue following the old way of the Brethren, our spirit will become lame. Therefore, the emphasis of the Lord’s table is once again on opening ourselves to receive and enjoy the Lord!
For example, two brothers may come to the Lord’s table. One of them is a well-behaved, good brother. Before he comes to the meeting, he examines himself to see if he has offended anyone or if he has committed any sin. After he sits down in the meeting hall, he behaves properly and strictly. When others sing, he sings along; when others pray, he says amen; when the bread is passed to him, he takes a piece; when the cup is passed to him, he drinks a little. He also praises the Lord and worships the Father. However, there is not a bit of change in him. When he leaves, he is the same as when he came in. However, it may not be so with the other brother. This second brother may be one who is usually quite naughty and mischievous, and he may have had a big quarrel with somebody the previous day. However, when he comes to break the bread, he touches the Spirit, and he opens himself completely. He does not care for praising or not praising, but he once again simply receives the Lord at the Lord’s table. When he receives the Lord, his whole being turns, and he shouts, “Hallelujah!” At that moment he is soaring to the clouds. There is no need for you to talk to him about sins or about the things on earth. There is no dust in the clouds. If you tell him not to lose his temper with others, you bring him down from the cloud. Once he opens up from within and receives the Lord, he soars to the skies. On the other hand, the well-behaved brother is like a crawling insect on earth; he is still climbing the mountain. This is the difference between one who enjoys Christ and one who does not.
Forgive me for saying this. Some among you may have been coming to the Lord’s table meeting every Lord’s Day for eighteen years already, and you are still a well-behaved “crawling insect.” You have been a Christian for eighteen years and have always behaved properly. Your wife says that you are very good, and your friends say that you are good-natured. No one criticizes you, yet you remain a crawling insect on earth. Everyone falls, but you never fall. You just keep crawling, slowly and steadily.
Someone may have been naughty before, yet in one of the meetings he touches the Lord. After he has touched the Lord, he comes again the next Lord’s Day to touch the Lord. He does not come to receive the so-called Holy Communion or to behave himself or to worship the Father. He comes simply to touch the Lord. He is like a 747 jumbo jet stopping to refuel when the fuel runs low. The Lord’s table is his refueling station. After being fueled up, this brother can run for another week, and then he returns the next week to refuel.
Therefore, to come to the Lord’s table is to come to a feast, and it is also to come to refuel. It is not a matter of receiving outward teachings, outward corrections, or outward exhortations; instead, it is a matter of meeting the Lord inwardly. Thus, our meeting does not need any regulation. What is the use of regulations? What is their value? It is good enough to touch the Lord within. As long as we are fueled up within, it is not a matter of whether we behave or we do not behave, whether we shout, roll on the floor, or jump; everything will be all right.
However, I do not encourage you to invent some gimmicks; that would be meaningless. To be clever is one thing, but to touch the Lord is another. We do not want regulations because we do not want them to limit people from touching the Lord. However, if we turn this liberty into engaging in gimmicks, that is meaningless. The important thing is that you are not bound, but rather that your whole being is open, free, and released so that you have easy access to the Lord.
Since the Lord’s table is a declaration, this declaration must have the life as its backing. If your private life is not the same as what you declare, then what you do at the meeting is not a declaration but a performance, a show. If your private life is not a life of enjoying Christ and you come just to perform at the meeting, that is false. Our Lord’s table is not a performance or a show; it is a testimony, a declaration, telling the whole universe that this is the way we live. We daily eat the Lord, drink the Lord, and enjoy the Lord; therefore, we now come together to testify to the whole universe that we are a group of people who eat, drink, and enjoy the Lord.
Now I believe that when you come again to the Lord’s table, your concept will be changed. You will not come to keep any regulation. In fact, there is no need to keep any regulation. Your spirit is open, and you contact the Lord and touch the Lord in your spirit. There is no regulation or restriction upon you. This is the way you live every day—without rituals or regulations but opening to the Lord in your spirit to eat and drink Him continually. Then when the Lord’s Day comes, we all come together to make a declaration once again that this is the way we spend our days. We keep the feast every day. How long should we keep the feast? The Lord Jesus told us we should do this “until that day when I drink it new with you” (Matt. 26:29). One day we will feast with Him face to face. Today we start feasting until the day when we will dine at the new feast.
THE CHURCH BECOMING DEGRADED BECAUSE OF NOT ENJOYING THE LORD
Look at the degradation of the churches in Ephesus and in Laodicea. They became degraded in that they fell away from the enjoyment of the Lord. They merely worked and labored and paid attention to doctrines and teachings. They degraded to such an extent that even though they knew and understood all the doctrines, the Lord seemed to say, “Since you are neither hot nor cold, you have been removed from My feast. I am outside your door knocking. You need to open up yourself to Me that I may come in to you and dine with you and you with Me. You were at the feast when you were first saved, but you abandoned the feast and fell into degraded Christianity. I am calling you to be an overcomer and to be delivered from the condition of not feasting. Open yourself and let Me come into you so that you and I may feast together.” This feast will continue until the marriage feast of the Lamb in Revelation 19. At that time blessed will be those who are invited to the feast. Hallelujah!
(Eating the Lord, Chapter 3, by Witness Lee)