Reproclaiming the Everlasting Gospel
In a discussion on Bill Carsley's last post, two people have raised questions about how to reconcile George Fox and the apostle Paul concerning the issue of partaking of the bread and wine, which most of Christendom has practiced while Fox and the early Quakers did not. Would it not open an avenue for the rest of Christendom to receive what Fox and the early Quakers had to say if these two positions could be reconciled? The following words have risen in my heart in response.
There can be no reconciliation where there is no division. Paul reminded the Corinthians that Jesus had said, “For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until He comes.” (1 Cor 11:26) We witness the living Christ to be present among us in all His offices. Why should we proclaim his death when He is among us in His resurrected power and glory, where He has bruised the head of the serpent, our adversary of old. If we were to enter into this ritual of proclaiming His death until he comes, we would be denying His resurrected presence among us.
Luke wrote in chap. 22:15-16 “...I have earnestly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer; for I say to you I shall never again eat it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.” We witness the Passover to be fulfilled in the kingdom of God for we have passed from death to life, not by the blood of a sacrificial lamb but by the indestructible power of the life of Christ, who has taken up his abode in and among us.
In a discourse with the Jews, Jesus said, “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 out of heaven; if anyone eats of this bread, he shall live forever; and the bread also which I shall give for the world is my flesh.” (John 6: 48-51) “...He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life; and I will raise him up on the last day. For my flesh is true food and my blood is true drink. He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me and I in him. As the living Father sent me and I live because of the Father; so he who eats me, he also shall live because of me. This is the bread which came down out of heaven; not as the fathers ate and died; he who eats this bread shall live forever.” (John 6: 54-58) Later Jesus explained, “The flesh profits nothing. It is the breath that gives life. The words I speak to you, these are breath, these are life.” (John 6:63, see also Isaiah 55:1-3)
We witness this Word to tabernacle among us. Him do we hear in all things for he has the words of eternal life. “For he whom God has sent speaks the words of God; for he does not give the breath by measure.” (John 3:34)
So the question is, “When did He come?”
When he became the light of the gentiles, enlightening every man that was/is born into the world, when He called out to the captive and to those who sit in darkness, “Show yourselves.” When He became the covenant of the people; then He was come. When He made us dispossed to inherit the desolate heritages, then He was come. When His voice sounded and brought me up out of my grave into His life, then He was come. For the grace of God has appeared to all men bringing salvation, teaching us to deny ungodliness and worldly lusts, instructing us to live sensibly, righteously, and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and savior Christ Jesus; who gave himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds. (Titus 2:11-14) What is this hope? The mystery hid from the ages; Christ in you the hope of glory (Col. 1:27) For it is here, within you, that you must find Christ except you be reprobates. (2 Cor. 13:5) If Christ is in us, then He is come. For we have been made to sit together in Christ in Heavenly places. For by grace you have been saved through faith. (Eph. Chap. 5) What is this grace that brings my salvation, that teaches me? Grace is divine influence upon the heart and its reflection in the life. The law came by Moses, grace and truth come by Jesus Christ who tabernacles among and within us. Then He is come, and this we witness. This truth is that, which being spoken into the heart causes us to abide in the tent of the Lord and dwell on His holy hill. (Psalms 15) Do not deny Him, but show forth His glorious presence. Keep your testimony for Him who is come a redeemer to Zion, the people for God's own possession.
If it would be helpful, I can provide quotes and references from Fox that show how he handled such questions. To do so here, would make this post too long. What I have written above are the words given me from Christ.