227 – BREAD FROM HEAVEN
The proverb says: “Not everything that shines is gold.” The first banquet from which men participated was served by the devil. Jehovah forbade Adam to touch the tree of science, but he ate of the forbidden fruit as the woman associated with Satan seduced him, and he died. Jehovah was not responsible, for he forbade Adam to eat from the fruit. Jehovah can be blamed for leaving the door of the Garden opened to Satan. The consequence was inevitable and cruel. This dire story is found in Genesis 3:1-6 and3:22-24. That was the supper of death. If anyone thinks that this scene does not happen again, he is deceived, for the apostle Paul reveals in the church of his time: Many Christians feasted in the table of Jesus, in their meetings, but when they went away, they sat at the table of Satan. “You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons; you cannot partake of the table of the Lord and the table of demons” (1 Cor. 10:21). The truth is that many Christians nowadays follow the example of Adam, not the example of Jesus Christ. The example of Adam was so widespread that it culminated in the condemnation of all the flesh, in the flood (Gen. 6:2-7). It is possible that this is happening again in our days.
Jehovah formed a people to serve him, adore him, and glorify him. “Every one who is called by My name, and whom I have created for My glory, whom I have formed, even whom I have made” (Is. 43:7). The people of Israel were captive in Egypt, and Jehovah delivered them with his ten plagues, an instrument used for breaking the pride of Pharaoh. The people, as they left Egypt, were faced with the Red Sea. The passage through the sea was the way of salvation wrought by Jehovah. The Passover was instituted at that time—in the Hebrew PESAH, which translated is PASSING. At Passover, the blood of the lamb, or the goat, was spread on the doorposts of the Israelites, so that when Jehovah came through Egypt killing the first-born, he would spare the people of Israel. For this reason, Passover means passing.
The paradox is that, when the people of Israel left Egypt, they passed through death without dying, but before they entered Canaan, they died in the desert (Num. 14:29).
The second supper that Jehovah served to his people was the manna. The people were under a feverish heat, without water, seeing their children cry. They grumbled for food. Jehovah, filled with compassion, caused to rain bread from heaven; and this is the manna. This manna, the bread from heaven, which Jehovah gave, would rot from one day to another (Ex. 16:20). Jesus, referring to the bread of heaven from Jehovah, said, “It is not Moses who has given you the bread out of heaven, but it is My Father who gives you the true bread out of heaven” (John 6:32). This reference to Jesus is saying that the bread of Jehovah was false. It was false because it did not give life. Jesus continues to say, “I am the bread of life. Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died. This is the bread which comes out of heaven, so that one may eat of it and not die. I am the living bread that came down out of heaven; if any one eats of this bread, he shall live forever” (John 6:48-51). It is important to remember that, just after the manna, Jehovah caused meat to fall down from heaven, because quails fell down as the sand of the sea. And they began to eat, and they were still eating when death caught up the chosen of Israel (Ps. 78:24-31).
It is very true that the people of Israel were sinners and very prone to disobeying. But they were human and rough. Jehovah considered himself to be merciful and pious (Ex. 34:6), but Jehovah lowered the level of his supper. He sent his people to captivity, saying, “Thus shall the sons of Israel eat their bread unclean among the nations where I shall banish them” (Ezek. 4:13). Poor Ezekiel refused to eat it. The ones who protect Jehovah insist to say that dung served as fuel for the fire, not to knead the bread dough. When Ezekiel complained, Jehovah said, “See, I shall give you cow’s dung in place of human dung over which you will prepare your bread” (Ezek. 4:12-15). It seems like the advocates of Jehovah are mistaken. Jehovah had a certain predilection about serving a supper of manure. Jehovah sent the people to captivity to eat filthy bread, that is, manure. The prophet Isaiah prophesies on the subject, “Rouse yourself! Rouse yourself! Arise, O Jerusalem. You who have drunk from Jehovah’s hand the cup of His anger; the chalice of reeling you have drained to the dregs” (Is. 51:17). It is written in the Psalms, “For a cup is in the hands of Jehovah, and the wine foams; it is well mixed, and He pours out of this; surely all the wicked of the earth must drain and drink down its dregs” (Ps. 75:8). Frankly! Jehovah uses the type of language that would fit the mouth of a human father, a cruel father. Let us say that a father, nowadays, would have a rebellious, irresponsible, and disobedient son of 14 or 15 years of age. As a punishment, his father says to him, “I am going to give you dregs to eat until you learn to obey. What would the son think of this father? But consider that this language of the father has a figurative meaning? This son would at least be revolted, first, and then, when he had a dislike for someone, he would do as he had learned from his father, and give him dregs to eat. If human Psychology and Pedagogy condemn this treatment in men, why Christians consider natural this method in a god who calls himself just, righteous and perfect? This escapes from any rational analyses (Deut. 32:4). If this behavior is condemned in men, whom Jehovah compares with worms (Job 25:6), in a God who is considered just, true and righteous, this behavior is abominable, and these same men condemn him, if it is true that they think and compare things and facts.
Jehovah, though, keeps engendering evils to torment men (Jer. 18:11), and Jeremiah, the prophet, tells us of the delicacies that Jehovah prepares and serves. “Therefore thus says Jehovah of hosts, the God of Israel, ‘behold, I will feed them, this people, with wormwood and give them poisoned water to drink” (Jer. 9:15). What is wormwood? It is a plant whose roots are bitter as the absinth, which is also a very bitter plant. Bile is a bitter liquid segregated by the liver of man and of some animals: the spleen contains this liquid, an extremely bitter thing. Jesus accepted all kinds of scourging for the love he had for the lost souls, but when they wanted to give him bile mixed with wine at the cross, this he did not stand (Matt. 27:34). The worst meal, or the best supper that Jehovah served was prepared with the flesh of innocent little children, for there is not a worse torment. One of the curses of Jehovah was that. “Then you shall eat the offspring of your own body, the flesh of your sons and of your daughters whom Jehovah your God has given you, during the siege and the distress by which your enemy shall oppress you” (Deut. 28:53-58). During Jehoram’s kingdom in Israel, 780 years later, Jehovah fulfilled this dreadful prophecy, (2 Kings 6:24-30). After the division of the kingdom in the days of Reoboam, son of Solomon, the feast of cannibalism is repeated in the Babylonian captivity, according to Jeremiah. “Better are those slain with the sword than those slain with hunger; for they pine away, being stricken for lack of the fruits of the field. The hands of compassionate women boiled their own children; they became food for them because of the destruction of the daughter of my people” (Jer. 4:9-10).
Jesus, seeing from heaven such atrocities committed against Israel, conceived the plan of redemption. He said to the Father, “Father, let me go down among the people of Israel, taking the human form (John 1:14); I am going to pay the highest price to redeem them for you. I am going to serve my flesh and my blood at a supper of love and mercy. Whoever eats of my flesh and drinks of my blood will have eternal life.” The Father said to him, “Go, son, I approve of your plan; all those who believe in you I will receive as children of my love.” A little before the crucifixion where he was to atone for the sins of all, Jesus gathered the disciples and said at the supper, “I am the bread of life. Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died. This is the bread which comes down out of heaven, so that one may eat of it and not die. I am the living bread that came down from heaven; if any one eats of this bread, he shall live forever; and the bread also which I shall give for the life of the world is My flesh” (John 6:48-51).
By PASTOR OLAVO SILVEIRA PEREIRA