4. The Significance of Eating and the Defeat of Death
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  • 07-28,
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Scripture Reading: Lev. 11; John 6:53-57; 11:25; Heb. 2:14-15; 2 Tim. 1:10
I. In order to know the real meaning of eating in Leviticus 11, we need to know the significance of eating:
A. To eat is to contact things outside of us that could affect us inside—vv. 1-23:
1. Eating is not merely contacting something but also receiving something into us—Jer. 15:16.
2. Once a thing is received into us, that thing can be digested inside to become our constituent, that is, our being, our constitution.
3. We all are a constitution of the food that we eat and digest; what we digest becomes our constitution—John 6:53-57.
B. Taking in the Lord to digest and assimilate Him so that He may become life to us is signified by our eating the bread of the Lord's table—vv. 50-51, 57; Mark 14:22:
 

1. Eating the bread of the Lord's table indicates that the Lord comes into us as our life supply, and then the bread becomes us, the food becomes us, and we become the bread—1 Cor. 10:17.
2. There is not only an organic union between us and the food that we eat, digest, and assimilate; we are also mingled with the food that we assimilate into us:
a. In a similar way, when we take Christ as our food, we are mingled with Him—John 6:53-57.
b. Eating, digesting, and assimilating food involve an intrinsic mingling of the food with our being; eating, digesting, and assimilating also involve a becoming, for the food that we assimilate becomes our very being—Ezek. 3:1-3; John 6:57, 63.
C. God wants us to eat, digest, and assimilate Him so that we become God in life, nature, constitution, and expression but not in the Godhead—1:1, 14; 6:57:
1. The Lord Jesus is the bread of God—the bread of life, the living bread, the true bread out of heaven—vv. 32-33, 48, 51.
2. God wants to be digested and assimilated by us so that He can become the constituent of our inward being—vv. 53-57.
3. Because we are what we eat, if we eat God as our food, we will be one with God and even become God in life and in nature but not in the Godhead.
D. The way for us to become the reality of the kingdom of the heavens is to eat Christ as the all-inclusive bread—Matt. 15:26-27, 32-37:
1. God's economy is not a matter of outward things but of Christ coming into us inwardly; for this, we need to take Christ by eating Him—Eph. 3:17a; John 6:57.
2. The reality of the kingdom of the heavens is Christ Himself—Luke 17:20-21.
3. As the heavenly King and the kingdom itself, Christ rules over us by feeding us with Himself as bread—Matt. 15:26-27:
a. We can be the reality of the kingdom of the heavens only by being nourished with Christ as our food—vv. 26-27, 32-37.
b. The more we eat Christ as the all-inclusive bread, the more the royal ingredients are constituted into us to become the ruling element within us and to cause us to become the increase of Christ as the reality of the kingdom of the heavens—Dan. 2:34, 35b, 44-45.
4. By eating the kingly Christ as the all-inclusive bread, we are cleansed inwardly—Matt. 23:25-27; 15:1-2, 18, 20, 26-27:
a. In order for us to be cleansed in our inner being, something must get into us, and the only way that this can take place is by eating—23:25-27.
b. As our food, Christ is the best cleansing element; He washes our inner being, and we thereby experience the washing of our disposition.
c. We all need an inward cleansing from the Lord—the cleansing that comes from eating Jesus.
E. Eating Jesus is the secret of overcoming; the unique way to be an overcomer is to eat Jesus—Rev. 2:7, 17; 3:20; John 6:57.
F. The fact that Leviticus 11 speaks of death in relation to diet indicates that our diet, our eating, is a matter of life or death—vv. 2-4, 9, 24-25, 39, 47.
II. Leviticus 11 is concerned very much with death—vv. 24-25, 27b-28a:
A. Death is abominable to God; in His eyes death is the most ugly thing, whereas life is the most precious thing—Rom. 5:10, 12, 17; John 10:10b; 11:25.
B. From Eden onwards, God's controversy with Satan has been the issue of death and life—Gen. 2:9, 16-17; 3:22; John 5:25; Rom. 6:9-10; 1 Cor. 15:26, 54-55.
C. According to the Bible, death is more defiling and abominable than sin—Lev. 11:31:
1. Through the trespass offering, any sin could be forgiven immediately, but a person who touched the carcass of any animal was unclean until the evening—vv. 24-25, 27b-28a, 31b-32, 39-40.
2. Our sins are forgiven immediately after we confess them to God (1 John 1:9), but a certain period of time must pass before we can be cleansed from the defilement of spiritual death—Num. 19:9, 11.
D. Death is an exceedingly great power; apart from God, death is the greatest power in the universe—Heb. 2:14-15; John 1:1, 4; 11:25.
E. Death is allied with the devil—Heb. 2:14-15:
1. Since the devil is God's enemy, death is also God's enemy.
2. Death is the last enemy that God will abolish—1 Cor. 15:26.
F. The attack upon the church will come from the gates of Hades, from death—Matt. 16:18:
1. The ultimate weapon that Satan uses to attack the church is death.
2. Only the life of Christ and that which issues from the life of Christ will prevail against the gates of Hades—John 11:25.
3. God intends for the church to manifest the life of Christ; thus, the church must be full of life—Rom. 5:10, 17, 21; 6:4; 8:2, 6, 10-11; 12:4-5; 16:1, 4.
4. In ourselves we cannot overcome death, because Satan has injected death into us; the only One who can overcome death is the Lord Jesus Christ—5:12; 7:24; Rev. 1:17-18; 1 Cor. 15:22.
G. On the cross Christ tasted death, destroyed the devil, and nullified death—Heb. 2:9, 14-15; 2 Tim. 1:10:
1. The Lord Jesus tasted death not only for human beings but also for everything created by God, thereby enabling God in Christ to reconcile all things to Himself—Heb. 2:9; Col. 1:20.
2. Through His death on the cross, Christ destroyed the devil, who has the might of death, and released those who were held in slavery because of the fear of death—Heb. 2:14-15:
a. The Son of God became flesh so that He might destroy the devil in man's flesh through His death on the cross; this was to abolish Satan, to bring him to nought—Gen. 3:15; Gal. 4:4; John 3:14; Heb. 2:14; 1 Cor. 2:6.
b. Since the Lord destroyed the devil, who has the might of death, we who were held in slavery because of the fear of death have been released by Him—Heb. 2:15:
1) Death reigned over us (Rom. 5:14), and we were under its slavery, continually fearing death.
2) Since the Lord destroyed the devil, we now have no more fear of death and are released from its slavery—Heb. 2:15.
3. Through His work on the cross, Christ nullified death—2 Tim. 1:10:
a. Through His devil-destroying death, Christ brought death to nought.
b. To nullify death is not to remove death but to make it of none effect; death will be removed when it is cast into the lake of fire—Rev. 20:14.
c. Although death has not yet been removed, it is nonetheless a fact that death has been nullified through Christ's death on the cross—2 Tim. 1:10.
H. Through His resurrection the Lord Jesus overcame death and broke through death—Acts 2:24; Rev. 1:17-18:
1. The last thing that the devil used to attack the Lord Jesus was death:
a. Christ came to meet His enemy, who has the might of death—Heb. 2:14.
b. The Lord Jesus did not avoid death, because He did not fear it and knew that He would overcome it.
c. The Lord delivered Himself to death, but death had no way to detain Him; rather, death was defeated by Him, and He rose up from it—Acts 2:24.
2. Death could not hold the Lord, the grave could not restrict Him, and Hades could not detain Him; He resurrected; resurrection is the overcoming of death—Rev. 1:17-18.
I. Because the resurrected Christ as the life-giving Spirit dwells in us, we can reign in life over death; the divine life enthrones us as kings to reign in life over death—1 Cor. 15:45b; Rom. 8:10; 5:17.
J. For the building up of the Body of Christ, we need to minister life; we experience and enjoy the resurrection life within and then minister this life by being a channel through which this life can flow into other members of the Body—1 John 5:11-12, 16; 2 Cor. 4:10-12.
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