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Unleavened Bread - Fruit of the Vine
|Passover and Your Future|
Passover is a monumental event that took place in Egypt long ago when the Israelites were being oppressed by slavemasters. It foreshadows a yet future event that has very similar circumstances. Yahshua the Messiah spoke of a coming fulfillment of the Passover.
Passover is a culmination of 10 plagues Yahweh brought on Egypt. Moses was sent to deliver the children of Israel to a land "flowing with milk and honey." Pharaoh repeatedly refused to allow the Israelites to leave. Yahweh brought increasingly severe plagues of which the Passover was the most severe.
Progressive Severity of the Plagues
The first plague was turning the water into blood. This was an inconvenience, as the Egyptians could find water by digging wells. Next came a plague of frogs, which was again rather more of a nuisance than a calamity. This was followed by a plague of lice or sand fleas, then flies. When the plague struck the cattle the Egyptians began to worry.
Later, the Egyptians received body boils. Next, their crops were ruined by hail, wiping out the spring harvest. A plague of locusts ate the remaining crops. The ninth plague was three days of total darkness. The Egyptians were not able to leave their houses. All industry and commerce stopped. The tenth plague was the Passover.
At the fourth plague Yahweh distinguished His people Israel from the Egyptians. The Israelites living in the land of Goshen were spared any future plagues. Yahweh told His people what they must do to avoid the terrible judgment that was coming upon the Egyptian nation. He passed over His obedient people but sent judgment on the Egyptians living about them.
Moses related to Pharaoh what was about to happen. All the firstborn of both humans and cattle were to die, from those of Pharaoh down to the slaves,
And Moses said, Thus saith Yahweh, About midnight will I go out into the midst of Egypt: And all the firstborn in the land of Egypt shall die, from the firstborn of Pharaoh that sitteth upon his throne, even unto the firstborn of the maidservant that is behind the mill; and all the firstborn of beasts, Exodus 11:4-5.
Yahweh's people were to identify themselves by killing a lamb and taking the blood and applying it to their doorposts and lintel. They were then to roast the lamb with bitter herbs and eat it that night, making sure that which was left over was burned the next morning. If a household were too small to consume the entire lamb, two families were to keep Passover together.
And ye shall keep it (sheep or goat) up until the fourteenth day of the same month: and the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it in the evening. And they shall take of the blood, and strike it on the two side posts and on the upper door post of the houses, wherein they shall eat it. And they shall eat the flesh in that night, roast with fire, and unleavened bread; and with bitter herbs they shall eat it. Eat not of it raw, nor sodden at all with water, but roast with fire; his head with his legs, and with the purtenance thereof. And ye shall let nothing of it remain until the morning; and that which remaineth of it until the morning ye shall burn with fire. And thus shall ye eat it; with your loins girded, your shoes on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and ye shall eat it in haste: it is the Yahweh's Passover, Ex 12:6-11.
At Passover, Yahweh executed judgment against the false religions of the Egyptians. Yahweh was showing that He is in complete control and that His worship is distinctly different from the pagan deities of Egypt,
For I will pass through the land of Egypt this night, and will smite all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the idols of Egypt I will execute judgment: I am Yahweh, Exodus 12:12.
Most of the plagues in some way upbraided an Egyptian deity. For instance, they worshiped the Nile, frogs, cattle, and insects.
Passover was to be observed by entire families. It is to teach us and our children that His judgment will soon come upon this world's false religions. The word “Passover” refers to Yahweh's "passing over" those homes that had been marked with blood. The people were eating the lamb in fear of Yahweh's warning that they should stay inside for protection.
Many today do not believe that Yahweh would smite with death animals and people. They picture Him as a kindly, doting grandfather who puts up with the whims of His spoiled children and does nothing to punish them. The truth is, Yahweh punished even believers with sickness and death for careless observance of the Passover,
For I have received of Yahweh that which also I delivered unto you, that the Master Yahshua the same night in which He was betrayed took bread: and when He had given thanks, He brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is My body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of Me. After the same manner also He took the cup, when He had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in My blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of Me. For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Master's death till He come. Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Master, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Master. But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup. For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Master's body. For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep. For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged. But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Master, that we should not be condemned with the world, 1 Corinthians 11:23-32.
It is most probable that Yahshua was taken captive at about the same night the ancient Passover took place. His doom was sealed from that time until He was impaled the following afternoon. He was as good as dead from the time He was apprehended.
Passover – Once a year
The Passover and feast days are all listed in Leviticus 23. These are annual observances to be kept as "a statute forever," according to Yahweh's Word.
In the first month, in the fourteenth day of the month, ye shall have the Passover, a feast of seven days; unleavened bread shall be eaten, Ezekiel 45:21.
This Scripture tells us that the Passover is to be kept on the 14th of the first month. This chapter 45 of Ezekiel begins with a new dividing of the land, with a special section for the temple. Therefore we know this is a time yet future because the divisions of the land are not the same as they were under Joshua.
We also know from Zechariah 14 verse 16 to the end of the chapter that the Feast of Tabernacles, an annual observance, will be kept:
And it shall come to pass, that every one that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, Yahweh of hosts, and to keep the Feast of Tabernacles. And it shall be, that whoso will not come up of all the families of the earth unto Jerusalem to worship the King, Yahweh of hosts, even upon them shall be no rain. And if the family of Egypt go not up, and come not, that have no rain; there shall be the plague, wherewith Yahweh will smite the heathen that come not up to keep the Feast of Tabernacles. This shall be the punishment of Egypt, and the punishment of all nations that come not up to keep the Feast of Tabernacles. In that day shall there be upon the bells of the horses, HOLINESS UNTO YAHWEH; and the pots in Yahweh’s house shall be like the bowls before the altar. Yea, every pot in Jerusalem and in Judah shall be holiness unto Yahweh of hosts: and all they that sacrifice shall come and take of them, and seethe therein: and in that day there shall be no more the Canaanite in the house of Yahweh of hosts.
Isaiah 66:23 tells us that all mankind will come to worship Yahweh on His Sabbaths:
And it shall come to pass, that from one new moon to another, and from one sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before Me, saith Yahweh.
Notice that "sabbath" is plural. It means more than merely the weekly Sabbath and includes all of the other annual sabbaths as well.
Yahshua Himself said in the New Testament that He would be keeping the Passover again in the Kingdom. This can be found in Matthew 26:28-29, Mark 14:25, and Luke 22:15-18. It is obvious from both the Old and New Testaments that the Passover will be kept when the Messiah returns to rule. And it will be kept with a new and deeper understanding.
Must One Wait to Learn?
There is no place in Scripture telling us to sit and wait for perfect instruction. There are many places, however, admonishing us to prepare ourselves and become righteous to be accounted worthy to be part of that first resurrection. If we don't obey now, we will not even be in that first resurrection.
Scriptures like 2 Corinthians 11:1-2 and Revelation 19:8-9 admonish the bride to prepare herself for the marriage. Her linen is made of the good deeds of the saints. Ephesians 5:26-27 commands us to be converted and motivated by Yahweh's Word so that we might become a glorious assembly, having neither spot nor wrinkle, holy and without blemish:
That He might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, that He might present it to Himself a glorious assembly, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.
Passover Meaning For Us Today
The plagues brought upon the Egyptians are similar to those mentioned in the Book of Revelation. Revelation 16 significantly points out the similarities of the plagues in Egypt with those that will be brought upon this earth. Just as the Egyptian plagues were directed at pagan deities, so the future plagues will be directed against false worship. Colossians 2:16-17 tells us the sabbaths are a shadow of things yet to come:
Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days, which are a shadow of things to come; but the body of Messiah.
|First Passover Portrays Future One
1 Peter 1:13-21 speak of exactly this. Verse 19, especially, says that we are redeemed “with the precious blood of Messiah, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot. “
Romans 5 also brings this fact to our attention, especially in verse 9: Much more then, being justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. Here again, it is the blood of the greater Lamb that will save us from Yahweh's anger. Revelation 18:4-5 alludes to this greater Passover,
And I heard another voice from heaven saying, “Come out of her My people that you be not partakers of her sins, and that you receive not of her plagues. For her sins have reached unto heaven and Yahweh has remembered her iniquities."
Only after you realize the necessity of observing Yahweh's commanded days like Passover and Feast of Unleavened Bread, casting off the false worship of modern Egypt, will Yahweh's blessing and protection come to you, just as they did for the Israelites thousands of years before.
The Meaning of Leavening
Because we live in a physical world, Yahweh impresses lessons upon us that we learn only through physical activity. Our minds do not always retain many of the spiritual truths we have learned because of our fallibility. We often cannot recall the dates of some of the most memorable occasions in our lives. How many husbands forget such an all-important event as their wedding anniversary?
When Yahweh gave Israel His special holy days, He prescribed their observance with some acts to perform to make them more memorable. Before the death and resurrection of the Messiah, animal sacrifices were a part of worship even on the Sabbath day,
This is the burnt offering of every sabbath, beside the continual burnt offering, and His drink offering, Numbers 28:10.
However, these sacrifices pointed to the great sacrifice by Yahshua and are done away in Him, Hebrews 10:1-10.
While the way a holy day is observed may be changed, the observance of the day itself continues. The weekly Sabbath and annual holy days (Unleavened Bread) will also be kept even after the Messiah returns to rule, Isaiah 66:23, Ezekiel 45:21.
Unleavened Bread Follows Passover
Immediately following the Passover observance, Yahweh commanded the Feast of Unleavened Bread,
Seven days shall ye eat unleavened bread; even the first day ye shall put away leaven out of your houses: for whosoever eateth leavened bread from the first day until the seventh day, that soul shall be cut off from Israel. And in the first day there shall be an holy convocation, and in the seventh day there shall be an holy convocation to you; no manner of work shall be done in them, save that which every man must eat, that only may be done of you. And ye shall observe the Feast of Unleavened Bread; for in this selfsame day have I brought your armies out of the land of Egypt: therefore shall ye observe this day in your generations by an ordinance for ever. In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month at even, ye shall eat unleavened bread, until the one and twentieth day of the month at even. Seven days shall there be no leaven found in your houses: for whosoever eateth that which is leavened, even that soul shall be cut off from the congregation of Israel, whether he be a stranger, or born in the land. Ye shall eat nothing leavened; in all your habitations shall ye eat unleavened bread, Exodus 12:15-20.
The Days of Unleavened Bread were also a part of the Old Covenant,
Three times thou shalt keep a feast unto Me in the year. Thou shalt keep the Feast of Unleavened Bread: (thou shalt eat unleavened bread seven days, as I commanded thee, in the time appointed of the month Abib; for in it thou camest out from Egypt: and none shall appear before me empty:),Exodus 23:14-15.
What is the meaning of these days, and what is the New Testament believer supposed to do during this time?
Ancient Israel was told to keep the Passover as a day of remembrance and to celebrate it as a Feast in Yahweh's honor forever,
And this day shall be unto you for a memorial; and ye shall keep it a feast to Yahweh throughout your generations; ye shall keep it a feast by an ordinance for ever, Exodus 12:14.
It commemorated the deliverance of Yahweh's people from the destroying angel because they had applied the blood of the lamb to their doors and lintels.
Immediately following that, they were to keep seven days during which they were to eat no leavened bread, nor were they to have any leaven in their houses, Exodus 12: 15-20. Verse 17 says it is to be kept from age to age as an irrevocable ordinance. Anyone eating leavened bread during this time was to be cut off from the community of Israel.
The Assembly at Corinth was undoubtedly the most worldly and paganized of all the groups Paul worked with. They were very cosmopolitan, and proud of their liberal and enlightened attitude of humanistic tolerance. Most Bible scholars contend they were not Israelites, but were of Gentile origin. They had just come out of heathenism, but carried some pagan, idolatrous ways into the Corinthian Assembly.
There was incest, and Paul scolds them for their obvious pride in tolerating a man having his father's wife. He tells them to remove such a man from among them so that he will come to his senses and repent. But the interesting point is that Paul makes an analogy to the leavening power of yeast working in the Assembly.
He uses it here in a bad sense,
The pride that you take in yourselves is hardly to your credit. You must know how even a small amount of yeast is enough to leaven all the dough, so get rid of all the old yeast, and make yourselves into a completely new batch of bread, unleavened as you are meant to be. Messiah, our Passover, has been sacrificed; let us celebrate the feast, then, by getting rid of all the old yeast of evil and wickedness, having only the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth, 1 Corinthians 5:6-8, Jerusalem Bible.
Is Leaven Sin?
Exactly what is the meaning of leaven? Is yeast representative of something bad? Does it stand for sin, wickedness, and corruption? Or does it represent being "puffed up" as some teach?
If leaven is used in Scripture as evil, then we should never eat it, but avoid it entirely. Neither would it ever be allowed in any offering to Yahweh. Yet, we find that in Leviticus 23:17 leaven is to be placed in the two wave loaves offered at Pentecost:
Ye shall bring out of your habitations two wave loaves of two tenth deals: they shall be of fine flour; they shall be baken with leaven; they are the firstfruits unto Yahweh.
Also, Leviticus 7:13 shows leaven used in the cakes of the praise offering to Yahweh:
Besides the cakes, he shall offer for his offering leavened bread with the sacrifice of thanksgiving of his peace offerings.
Yahshua spoke to His disciples in a parabolic discourse in Matthew 13, using many extended metaphors about the Kingdom. In verses 31-32 (Another parable put He forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is like to a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and sowed in his field: which indeed is the least of all seeds: but when it is grown, it is the greatest among herbs, and becometh a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in the branches thereof.)
He likened the mustard seed to the Kingdom. In verse 33 He said, The Kingdom of Heaven is like the yeast a woman took and mixed in with three measures of flour till it was leavened all through, Jerusalem Bible.
If leaven or yeast is representative of sin, wickedness, and corruption, then how could Yahshua say the Kingdom of Heaven is like leaven? Do we not read in Scripture that the Kingdom is righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit, Romans 14:17?
For the kingdom of Yahweh is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit.
The Pharisees and Sadducees came testing Yahshua and asked for a sign from heaven in Matthew 16:1. Rather than exercise His supernatural power for their benefit, Yahshua upbraids them for not observing the signs of the times. Then adds that there will no sign be given except the sign of Jonah, Matthew 16:4. He abruptly left after that exchange and went on to the other side of the lake. Yahshua then says to be aware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees, Matthew 16:6.
The disciples reason that He was chiding them for not bringing along any bread. He plainly reminds them of the feeding of the 5,000 and the later feeding of the 4,000 with baskets of surplus bread remaining. Plainly He tells them, Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees, verse 11. Then it dawns on the disciples. Yahshua is speaking about the doctrine or teaching of His critics.
Leaven—Both Kinds of Doctrine
If we understand leaven to mean a doctrine or influence, we will be on safe ground. It can be an influence for good or for evil. Matthew 15:14 (“Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch.”) shows that the perverse doctrine of the religious leaders threatens to misguide those for whom they are responsible. This Yahshua tells His disciples to watch for.
Note the three types He specifically calls attention to: 1) Religious hypocrisy in external ceremonialism was evident with the Pharisees, Matthew 23:14, 16, and 28; 2) A skeptical attitude toward the spirit realm was the leaven of the Sadducees, Matthew 22:23, 29; and 3) The spirit of worldly compromise, political guile, and formalism was the leaven of the Herodians, Matthew 22:16-21, Mark 3:6.
In the warm countries around Palestine, leaven would spring up spontaneously in a lump of dough. In the tepid climate of Syria, 24 hours was sufficient for a mass of dough to become thoroughly leavened, according to Hastings' Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics.
Leaven is that which produces fermentation in a mass of dough. In Hebrew it is seor. From this we get our word "sour." Physical leaven putrefies. It breaks down flour, causing decay or disintegration in the dough. Rabbinical writers often used leaven as a symbol of man's hereditary corruption.
There are, however, two verses in Leviticus stating that the showbread contains leaven (23:17) and the praise offering already mentioned (7:13).
An interesting comment is made in the New Testament where Yahshua speaks of the Kingdom of Heaven as being like leaven that a woman took and hid in three measures of meal,
Another parable spake He unto them; The kingdom of heaven is like unto leaven, which a woman took, and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened, Matthew 13:33.
These verses show that leaven has a more symbolic meaning, as revealed by Yahshua in alluding to the pervasive character of leaven as it works slowly and surely until the whole lump is leavened. Paul stated the same in Galatians 5:9:
A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump.
Patrick Fairbairn in The Typology of Scripture observes, "There can be no doubt that leavened bread was used in ordinary life by the covenant people, without apparently suggesting any idea of corruption. It is thought to be more natural and altogether more in accordance with the original prohibition of leaven, to understand by it simply the old, that which savored of the state of things to be done away, whereas the unleavened was the new, the fresh, the unmixed, consequently pure," p. 312.
Further, he says, "The putting away of the leaven, that there might be the use only of unleavened bread, may also be regarded as carrying some respect to the circumstances of the people at the first institution of the Feast. And on this account it seems to be called `the bread of affliction' (Deut. 16:3), because of the trembling haste and anguish of spirit amid which their departure was taken from Egypt. But there can be no doubt that it mainly pointed, as already shown in connection with the meat-offering, to holiness in heart and conduct, which became the ransomed people of Yahweh—the uncorrupt sincerity and truth that should appear in all their behavior. Hence, while the bitter herbs were only to be eaten with the lamb itself, the unleavened bread was to be used through the whole seven days of the Feast, the primary sabbatical circle, as a sign that the religious moral purity which it imaged was to be their abiding and settled character."
Accept Blood, Remove Falsity
If we understand leaven to mean doctrine or influence for good or evil, then we can see the fuller meaning of Yahweh's command to Israel to eat unleavened bread for seven days.
Yahweh was redeeming a people for Himself as He brought the 10 plagues upon Egypt. Each of the plagues was directed against a pagan deity worshiped by the Egyptians. As Israel had been redeemed by the blood struck on their doorposts and lintels, they were now to leave the influence of pagan Egypt behind and for seven days eat only unleavened bread. On the last day of Unleavened Bread, Israel marched through the Red Sea and was forever free of the Egyptians.
No wonder Paul said in his letter to the Corinthians that they should purge out the old leaven—that old doctrine of tolerating sin and wickedness right in the Assembly at Corinth.
They were to be a new lump, untainted from the attitudes and influences of the wicked. He adds,
For even Messiah our Passover is sacrificed for us, therefore, let us keep the Feast, not with the old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth, 1 Corinthians 5:7-8.
We also are to keep the Passover as did Yahshua and His apostles once a year. Then we are to take all the leavened products out of our homes and eat unleavened bread each day of the Days of Unleavened Bread:
Seven days shall you eat unleavened bread, Leviticus 23:6.
This is to remind us each year we are to examine all the doctrines we believe and follow, performing a "spring housecleaning" of what we have accepted as truth.
We first accept the shed blood of the Savior and then put out all the false ideas and erroneous doctrines so that we believe and follow the words of Yahweh with sincerity and truth.
Just as newborn babes desire the sincere milk of the word, so we should seek the truth of the Bible without any hypocrisy, without worldly compromising with Scripture, without doubting Yahweh's truth. Each year we become a "new lump" from the bread of life.
|The Passover Cup|
What's in It, What It Represents
The contents of the Passover cup symbolize the blood of Yahshua the Messiah shed for remission of sin. But the New Testament doesn't say specifically what the cup contains, other than "fruit of the vine." Is it simply a matter of conscience, then, whether either wine or grape juice is used during the Passover memorial? Because this fruit of the vine represents the very sinless blood of Yahshua, what is used is very important.
In studying the Old Testament account of the Passover, we find no particular drink is mentioned. The Israelites were simply told to kill a year-old lamb or goat, apply its blood to their doorposts and lintels and roast the animal whole. They were to eat it with unleavened bread and bitter herbs. Only later did the Jews add the custom of drinking wine at the Passover.
To say that the Messiah gave specifically wine to His disciples at Passover simply cannot be proved from Scripture. And there is no command in the Old Testament to use wine in the Passover observance.
When the annual Passover arrived, the disciples and Yahshua sat around the table in an upper room. There they partook of the Passover (Matt. 26:17-25). This was a rather long ceremony because they reviewed the account of the Israelites' exodus from Egypt in addition to partaking of the Passover.
And as they were eating, Yahshua took bread and blessed it, and broke it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, “Take, eat; this is My body.” And He took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, “Drink all of it; for this is My blood of the New Testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins," Matthew 26:26-28.
From Luke we read this account:
And He took bread and gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them saying, “This is My body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of Me," Luke 22:19.
Notice that the last phrase from Luke shows new significance was added to the service. Yahshua was instituting a new commemoration of the old Passover. The old service was observed to commemorate the deliverance of the Israelites from Egypt. However, on this new occasion Yahshua broke bread and asked His disciples to partake of it with new significance. Before that day had ended, Yahshua would die as the sacrifice that would deliver man from the bondage of sin. His body would be broken and His blood would be shed. The emblems of this memorial supper are to be taken to remember this great sacrifice.
With the new institution of the Master's Supper, it is obvious that Yahshua and the disciples had "the fruit of the vine." The way Yahshua introduced it into the ceremony shows that it had been used with the eating of the Passover. Nothing in the law of Moses regarding wine used in "drink offerings" (or any custom developed for using wine in Passover) has any bearing on our observance of the Passover Yahshua instituted.
It is important that we determine which is the appropriate symbol for His shed blood—the fruit of the vine—for the service.
Wine is the Greek Oynos
This is not to say that Yahshua never mentioned wine to His disciples. In Matthew 9:17 He discusses wine (No. 3631, Strong's Concordance—oynos):
Neither do men put new wine into old bottles: else the bottles break, and the wine runneth out, and the bottles perish: but they put new wine into new bottles, and both are preserved.
He mentions bursting of the wineskins in referring to the strong drink, implying fermentation. This also can be corroborated in Mark 2:22 and Luke 5:37-39. There is no doubt that Yahshua mentioned fermented and intoxicating wine.
Peter, in Acts 2:13, mentioned wine, but a different word is used here. He said that these men that were speaking in tongues were not full of new wine as they had supposed. Here the word "wine" is No. 1098 in Strong's Concordance— gleukos, and means a sweet or new wine or must. Peter's accusation shows that it was an intoxicant.
Oynos Means Fermented Wine
Paul uses oynos in Ephesians 5:18 and implies one could get drunk on it. In 1 Timothy 3:3 and 8, he also admonishes those who aspire to an office in the Assembly should not be given to wine (oynos). In 1 Timothy 5:23, Paul shows that a little wine is helpful to stomach problems. He again brings up wine in Titus 1:7 and 2:3. These passages clearly show that Paul is willing to use the word oynos when speaking of wine.
Messiah Refers to Gennema
But the Messiah never referred to the cup as containing oynos. He simply said "fruit of the vine," gennema in the Greek. In Matthew 26:27b-28 (NIV) the writer refers only to the cup, with Yahshua saying:
Drink all of this, for this is My blood of the Covenant which is to be poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.
No mention of wine. Certainly, if Yahshua wanted us to drink wine for the Passover He would have said so. Gennema literally means "offspring" or by analogy, "produce." It is translated either fruit or generation.
Paul Uses "Cup of Blessing"
In 1 Corinthians 10:14-22, Paul refers to the cup as simply a cup of blessing. He asks, is it not a communion of the blood of Messiah? And the bread we broke, is it not a communion of the body of Messiah? In verse 21 (You cannot drink the cup of the Master and the cup of demons too; you cannot have a part in both the Master's table and the table of demons, NIV.) Paul says that we cannot drink the cup of Yahshua and the cup of demons. We cannot eat at the table of Yahshua and the table of demons. Notice he does not here refer to the cup as containing anything. He simply refers to it as a cup of blessing (thanksgiving – verse 16).
In 1 Corinthians 11:25, Paul refers to the cup after supper and quotes Yahshua, This cup is the New Covenant in My blood. Whenever you drink it, do this as a memorial of Me. Until Yahshua comes, therefore, every time you eat this bread and drink this cup you are proclaiming His death and so anyone who eats the bread and drinks the cup of Yahshua unworthily will be behaving unworthily toward the body and blood of the Messiah.
Paul goes on in 1 Cor 10:28 (But if any man say unto you, This is offered in sacrifice unto idols, eat not for his sake that shewed it, and for conscience sake: for the earth is Yahweh’s, and the fulness thereof.) and says we are to be very careful in our eating of the bread and drinking from the cup because whoever eats and drinks without recognizing Yahshua's body is eating and drinking it to his own condemnation. He explains that this is the reason so many are weak and ill and some have died.
In none of these verses in which Paul mentions the Passover and partaking of the memorial supper does he refer to the cup's contents. He did not use oynos anywhere in referring to the memorial supper. He simply says that it is the cup of blessing or the cup of remembrance. Of the many times Paul referred to wine (oynos), it is quite clear that Paul was not a bit afraid of using that word when he discussed oynos.
Paul clearly said in 1 Timothy 3:3 that those aspiring to the ministry should not be given to wine or much wine. He also told Timothy in 1 Timothy 5:23 to use a little wine to help his stomach problems (Drink no longer water, but use a little wine for thy stomach's sake and thine often infirmities.). Evidently Timothy had some digestive problems and Paul recommended that a little wine would be helpful. We find that Paul also admonished Titus in the same manner in the first and second chapters about not drinking too much wine. Paul was not afraid of using the word wine (oynos), when necessary. But nowhere does he say that the cup of the memorial supper contained oynos.
Abuse of Pre-Passover Meal
In 1 Corinthians 11:20 (When ye come together therefore into one place, this is not to eat the Master's Supper.), Paul charged the people with not keeping the Passover in the proper way. At that time the Body met together and evidently had a meal together before they partook of the Passover.
Paul says he is upset because they are not keeping Yahshua's memorial supper! They are keeping something else with an entirely wrong attitude and for this he condemns them. In verse 22 (What? have ye not houses to eat and to drink in? or despise ye the assembly of Yahweh, and shame them that have not? What shall I say to you? shall I praise you in this? I praise you not.), he asks them whether they don't have homes for eating and drinking. He says they are shaming the community of Yahweh and embarrassing the poor.
He, evidently from this example, recommended that the brethren get together without any supper beforehand. Some of the early writers called this "agape supper." Paul soon told them that this was not what they should be doing. Some were eating all they could eat and drink and actually getting drunk. It is obvious that the reason for stopping the people from having the “agape supper” before partaking of the bread and the cup was that they were abusing and misusing what they were given to do.
Grape Juice Preserved 12 Months
There are some who teach that grapes naturally have enzymes that will cause grape juice to ferment to wine. Fermentation is caused by yeast spores that lie on the skins of the grapes. If the grape is left intact with the skin unbroken, it will dry up and turn into a raisin.
However, if the skin is broken the yeast spores may be mixed with grape juice unless the skins are thoroughly washed first. It is possible to keep grape juice for a period of six to nine months without having it ferment.
From the Living Bible Encyclopedia in Story and Pictures, by H. S. Stuttman Co. (Vol. 16, pp. 2088-2089), we read the following interesting comment, "Means for preserving grape juice were well known: Kato, De Agri Cultura CXX has this recipe: `If you wish to have must (grape juice) all year, put grape juice in an amphora and seal the cork with pitch; sink it in a fish pond. After 30 days take it out. It will be grape juice for a whole year.' ”
At the Last Supper, Yahshua spoke of "the fruit of the vine" (Matt. 26:29), as in the Passover liturgy; it may be studied avoidance over the term wine, showing the drink unfermented, as the bread was unleavened. In ancient Israel, the tithe of wine, as well as the other crops, was expected. Notice Deuteronomy 12:17, You may not eat within your gates the tithe of your corn, or of your wine... The word wine here is actually tyrosh, Strong's Concordance No. 8492. It means fresh grape juice, that which is pressed out first. This can be found in Deuteronomy 7:13 and also 14:23, 26, and 18:4, 28:51.
Firstfruit Juice More Pure
When harvested, the grapes were first thrown into a wine vat. The sheer weight of grapes caused some juice to begin flowing. This special juice was collected first. It had fewer yeast spores mixed in because it had not been trampled by feet. (Customarily, after the vat was filled with grapes, one would get in with his bare feet and tread the winepress to squeeze out all the juice from the grapes.) Because of the agitation, much of the yeast from the outside of the skin would be mixed in with the grape juice as it came out of the vat.
The tithe or firstfruits of the winepress would be the fresh juice that came of its own weight after the grapes were piled into the winepress. Therefore, when preserved especially for the Passover usage, it was quite easy to maintain this juice pure and unfermented for a year, plenty of time to remain pure until the Passover season.
Many grape juice processors have confirmed that the juice itself could be kept in ancient Israel even with their primitive methods from one season to another. One company offered the observation that pollution then was nowhere near what it is now. Therefore, grapes themselves would have fewer yeast spores on the skins.
There are some who contend that wine has to be the symbol of the Messiah's blood. However, this gets us into other problems.
The wine would have sugars within the grape juice itself broken down and turned into alcohol and a decomposition sets in. Fermenting is actually a rotting process. It is a decay of a complex molecule. This is true whether of bread or of grape juice.
Yahshua's sinless blood can be represented only by unfermented, pure grape juice.
-Elder Donald R. Mansager
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