Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of devils: ye cannot be partakers of the Lord's table, and of the table of devils.--1 Corinthians 10:21
The Two Tables
A single little boy sits at a table in a huge room. The boy couldn't be older than 5 or 6 years of age. He sits in a high-back chair, and with his hands folded in his lap he looks at the table before him. The table is as one would see in a king's castle, fit to feed at least a dozen people. The little boy is sitting at the head of the table, and looking at the empty chairs before him. Five chairs on each side, and another straight across from him. Each chair was exactly as his own--scarlet red with an intricately carved framing for the head, arms, and feet for each chair. The long table was covered with a white table cloth and had nothing but a group of candles in the center, all lit and giving a dim glow.
The boy sat wondering where he was, and why he was alone at this table. His eyes wandered about the room. The high, domed ceiling showed beautiful art--as did the walls. It seemed as though this dome-shaped room was let loose to many wonderful artists throughout time, and each left his or her beautiful work on the walls and ceiling. Though the art seemed to comfort the boy, the magnitude of the room seemed ominous to him. He did not see any other person in the room, nor was there anything but the table occupying it. This made the room seem even larger, emptier, and more ominous to the little boy.
The boy slowly turned his gaze toward an arched doorway in front of him, maybe 20 feet from the other end of the table. It seemed that doorway was the only entrance--and exit--to this room. As he looked upon the opening, he was startled at the sudden sight of a man. The man was dressed very formally in a black tuxedo and white undershirt with a black tie. The man came into the room with a platter and quickly walked straight to the table. He stood before the boy and said not a word to him, but merely looked at the boy and smirked. He then quickly set the platter before the boy. He let the boy stare at his reflection on the lid of the platter for a few seconds. Then, looking at the boy, he lifted the top off the platter and revealed a turkey, glistening with gravy. Food was the last thing on the boy's mind, until he laid eyes on what was placed in front of him. The boy then picked up a knife and fork beside the turkey, and started to cut away at that feast, hastily shoving forkful after forkful into his mouth.
After seeing the effect the turkey had on the boy, the man quickly left as silently as he came in. Shortly after, he returned carrying another dish, this time uncovered. This one had a fatted hog on it, glistening in its own moisture, looking delicious. The man never spoke a word to the kid, but set the dish next to the one with the turkey on it and quickly left again. The man continued to make his silent entrances, one right after the other, carrying more and more goodies for the little boy to gorge himself on. As the boy would finish one dish, he moved on to the next, and the next, and the next. And the man kept bringing him more, and more, and more. The table was completely covered with dishes full of gorgeous meats and wondrous sweets.
Years went by and the boy was rarely found not eating of those delectable appetizers. The boy seemed to always be hungry for more and more. As time went by, the boy's appetite grew more ravenous, and it took more fatted hogs, more turkeys, more cakes, more ice cream to satisfy him. And the man was always there to bring him more, never uttering a single word to the boy. Not that the boy would hear him, for the boy's focus seemed to be on the food only. He was oblivious to all else--even the fact that, though the years went by, and the food never ceased, the boy never grew. He never seemed to gain a pound . . . he never seemed to age. He remained no older than the age when he found himself sitting at the table in the magnitude of the room.
Then one day, as the boy started to grab for another forkful of cherry pie, he heard something. It sounded as a waterfall sounded. His hand stopped short of the pie, just for a moment. The boy was listening, trying to figure out what he heard. Yet he heard nothing. So the boy gathered some of the pie onto the fork and led it to his mouth. Just as the fork was about to enter his watering mouth, he heard it again. Once again, it was the sound of a waterfall. It drowned out all other noises, yet it seemed to have a calming effect. It sounded peaceful. The boy looked at the arched doorway to see if the noise was coming from there, or the man, but, to his surprise, the man was nowhere in sight. He waited, expecting to see him enter the room again with another plate full of goodies for him, but the man never entered.
The little boy then slowly put the fork down in front of him. With his eyes wide open, the boy suddenly noticed a light shining from the right. He slowly turned his head to see from where this light was coming. That is when the boy suddenly noticed another table. This table was covered with a white tablecloth, just as the one he at which was sitting. However, the chairs were different--instead of a scarlet red color, these chairs were golden, with a magnificent border of a pure white wood. The boy sat in awe at the beauty of the chairs when he heard the sound once more. This time the boy heard it more clearly, and understood it. He also saw where it came from. He saw near the table a bright shining light that lit the entire room with a radiant, warming glow. The sound again. The boy understood it; from in the light, Someone was calling him by name.
The little boy was calmed by the sound, which he realized was a voice. A voice that overcame all and set a peace and joy in the boy. That lingering fear of the ominous room no longer was found in his thoughts, and the boy slowly rose from the table. He started to walk slowly toward the other table . . . and that shining light--the source of that wonderful voice. As he neared the light, the little boy began to see the One who called him by name. He began to make out the outline of a body--and a Man's face. As the boy neared the Figure, the Figure became clearer to the boy. The little boy then reached the end of the table, with the Man standing just a few feet away, still clothed in the radiant light--though now clearly seen by the boy. The Man clothed in glory just looked at the boy with loving eyes, and a smile showing love unsurpassed. The boy looked upon the Man, and was filled with awe of the Man's glory, love, and power.
The Man then spoke to the little boy, His voice drowning all else out, but giving the boy a peace that he never felt before. The Man told him His name: The Amen. The boy was suddenly overcome with a sense of humbleness and fell to the feet of the Man clothed in glory, and started weeping. The boy realized that The Amen was always in the room, but he never listened, or saw Him. The Amen reached down to the boy and lifted him, saying, "Come, eat with Me at My table, and listen to My words."
So the boy sat down in a chair at this new table, and The Amen sat right next to him, each facing the other. In front of the boy was a simple plate full of grapes. The grapes were the juiciest any had ever seen! The boy saw how pleasing they were, and took one into his mouth. This taste was completely new to the boy. It was very pleasurable, but at the same time there was a pure taste to them. The boy loved it, though he did not gorge on it as he did the food at the other table. The boy would pick one grape off, and eat it, and continue to do so pleasurably, yet the grapes never exhausted from his plate. They were always there for him.
As the boy sat at this table, and calmly ate of the grapes, The Amen started to talk to the boy. As The Amen spoke, the boy listened intently, gingerly putting grapes into his mouth, one at a time. The Amen started to speak of a wonderful paradise filled with all the animals ever created. The Amen spoke of two people, the very first people ever created. He continued to weave a tale of their lives, and their children, and how they multiplied and filled the earth. The boy listened intently, but as he listened, his eyes wandered from The Amen's eyes, over to the table he once sat at. He saw the delicious foods still on the table, and his mouth began to water. Soon his thoughts left the words of The Amen, and he thought of how wonderful things looked at the other table. Soon The Amen stopped talking, and His eyes began to tear. The boy, who He invited to eat with Him, was no longer listening to His sweet words. The little boy's mind was now on the other table.
As the little boy looked on at the wondrous foods covering the other table, he started to stand up. Unnoticed by the little boy, The Amen's eyes were flowing with tears as He watched him walk over to the other table. The little boy sat and began to place forkful after forkful once again into his watering mouth. The Amen looked at the boy, weeping.
After a few minutes, the little boy glanced over to The Amen's table. The boy's hand stopped feeding his mouth, and he looked upon the tears of The Amen. He saw the pain in The Amen's face, and realized that each bite he took, must have caused another tear to flow from The Amen's eyes. He heard The Amen's distinctive voice saying, "Come back." At the sound of His voice, the little boy dropped the fork, and with tears in his own eyes, jumped up and ran back to The Amen's table. The little boy realized the hurt he caused The Amen by eating from that other table once again, and wept for forgiveness.
Once the boy was sitting at The Amen's table, The Amen's eyes stopped weeping, and there was exceeding joy in His face. He said to the boy, "I forgive you. You must promise Me that you will not go back and eat from that table."
The little boy was confused at that statement, and asked, "But why?"
"Listen to My words, and you will know." And The Amen started to speak once again to the little boy. He told of a great people under persecution, in slavery. He spoke of how they were all brought out of bondage and set free, to live in a great land of their own. As The Amen spoke, the boy ate of the grapes. The grapes truly were satisfying to the boy, and they filled him. However, it was truly the Words that The Amen spoke to the little boy that sustained him and nourished him. The boy began to grow. Muscles began to form on the little boy, and the boy seemed to show signs of aging, growing more mature.
However, as The Amen still told of the great people, and how they disobeyed their True Master and Father, and how The Father sent many to try to bring them back to obedience, the boy took a quick glance at the other table. This time, the boy's eyes met not only the delicious foods, but also that man in the tuxedo--that man who left, but was now back. The boy's glance turned into a stare. The man in the tuxedo seemed to be smiling, not smirking anymore. He was holding up a big platter full of sweets and pointing at the others all over the table. This made the little boy's mouth start to water once again. The man's enticing seemed to make the food even juicier and sweeter than before!
The Amen once again saw how the boy's attention was drawn back to the old table. His words stopped short, unnoticed by the boy. The boy once again got up from The Amen's table, and went quickly to sit and eat at the other table. The Amen's eyes began to weep once again, pained by the boy's actions. As He looked over to the boy sitting and eating at the other table, He saw the man in the tuxedo. The Amen knew the man very well, and the man knew The Amen as well. The man in the tuxedo was now standing beside the boy, who was gorging himself once again with the foods covering the table. As The Amen looked at the man, the man's cold eyes stared back as a smirk spread across his face. The boy was too busy feeding himself, to notice anything else. He didn't notice how the man's seemingly kind smile now turned into a twisted smirk. The boy didn't notice the tears running down The Amen's face. The boy didn't even notice how, as he ate from this table, his body began to change. The muscles that grew while eating and hearing from The Amen's table, started to shrink, and he started to become as a little kid again. The mature knowledge and wisdom that came while hearing and eating with The Amen, were starting to dissipate from his body.
The Amen suddenly, with tears streaming from His eyes, spoke. "Come back, my beloved." That voice that rang strong, peaceful, and true, was heard by the boy. He suddenly dropped his fork, and looked up. The man in the tuxedo was nowhere in sight. More strongly rang the words, "Come back, my beloved, and partake."
The boy looked at the food, then at The Amen, and the plate of grapes, and saw how the food he was eating was so unfulfilling and not nourishing to his body. He noticed the change that started to occur in his body, how he started to lose what he gained at The Amen's table. Suddenly the boy jumped up and ran back over to The Amen's table. When he got there, he was overcome with tears. He fell at The Amen's feet and wept for forgiveness for causing such pain to Him. The Amen's tears were gone and joy once again shone through at the return of the boy. He spoke to the boy, "I forgive you, beloved. But you must promise Me that you will not go back and eat from that table again."
The boy was slightly confused and again asked, "But why? I don't understand."
The Amen looked lovingly into the boy's eyes and spoke, saying, "You must listen to My words. But don't listen only--eat them, take them into your heart." He continued, "You see, that table over there will only bring to you death. It may look pleasing, but it is only for a moment, and then it begins to kill you. It causes you to engorge yourself in it, and you don't even notice what it does to you. You become weakened, and blinded, and deafened. However, I have set you free from having to stay at that table. I have invited you to partake at My table, with Me. And I give you life; I give abundant life. Here you are nourished by the Words I speak, and you are pleasured by the good fruits you eat. You cannot eat from the table of death, and from the table of Life. You must choose one or the other."
The boy's face shown that he still didn't quite understand completely, "I will promise to not go back to that other table, but I still am not sure I understand."
"Listen, eat, and take into your heart the Words I speak." And the Amen continued to speak to the boy. This time He spoke of Himself, and of the Father's Love. He spoke to the boy of how the Light was come into the world, and set free from bondage any who entered. As The Amen spoke, the boy listened, and took the Words into his heart. And the boy grew. He grew mature, stronger. The Amen spoke, and the boy listened to the Words, and he grew more and more every day. Now there came many times when the man in the tuxedo appeared and caught the attention of the boy. However, the boy, growing strong from the Words of The Amen, withstood the temptations to eat from that table. Instead, the boy listened and focused on The Amen, and the Words being spoken from His wonderful lips. And he grew stronger.
In the end, The Amen finished speaking, and the boy was no longer a boy. He was a mighty man, strong, mature from the Word which was from The Amen. However, that mighty man knew he still needed to hear The Amen, so he and The Amen spoke to each other. Mostly The Amen spoke, and the mighty man listened, and grew more . . .By Christopher Michael Midgett,
GIVEN by God