The Shewbread and the Bread of Life explained

“Dear brethren and sisters: As error is fast progressing, we should seek to be awake in the cause of God, and realize the time in
which we live. Darkness is to cover the earth, and gross darkness the people. And as nearly all around us are being enveloped
in the thick darkness of error and delusion, it becomes us to shake off stupidity and live near God, where we can draw
divine rays of light and glory from the countenance of Jesus. As darkness thickens and error increases, we
should obtain a more thorough knowledge of the truth and be prepared to maintain our  position from
the Scriptures.” Early Writings pages 104, 105


“To the Law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word it is because there is no light in them.” Isaiah 8:20
The people of God are directed to the Scriptures as their safeguard against the influence of false teachers and the delusive
power of the spirits of darkness.” Great Controversy p. 593



What does Jesus mean when He says He is the bread of life in John Chapter 6 and verse 35, and is there a connection to this saying and to the Table of Shewbread in the Heavenly Sanctuary?

“…I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger;…” John 6:35

This is Jesus speaking; but what does He mean we shall never hunger?

Note also that He also comments later in John Chapter 6 and verse 53 where He says.

“Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you”


shewbreadLet’s take a look at the table of Shewbread which is found in the Heavenly Sanctuary and see how it relates to John chapter six and verse 53 so that we might better understand what He means.

“Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you.” John 6:53


The table of shewbread contained two stacks of unleavened bread, each with six loaves.


In other words there were twelve loaves of bread.

By this, God wanted to teach that there was sufficient bread to feed each and every one of the twelve tribes of Israel.

This bread was called the “continual bread” (Numbers 4:7) (tamid) because it was available continually to satisfy the spiritual needs of Israel.

“And upon the table of shewbread they shall spread a cloth of blue, and put thereon the dishes, and the spoons, and the bowls, and covers to cover withal: and the continual bread shall be thereon: Numbers 4:7

What is represented by the shewbread in the holy place of the sanctuary?

In the Bible, bread is consistently used as a symbol of the Word of God.

In Isaiah 55:10 and 11 we are told:




“For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.” Isaiah 55:10-11


When Jesus was tempted by the devil to change stones into bread He replied and said;


“It is written, man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” Matthew 4:4


“And he humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know; that he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the LORD doth man live. Thy raiment waxed not old upon thee, neither did thy foot swell, these forty years.” Deuteronomy 8:3-4


shewbreadAfter Jesus fed five thousand men with only five loaves of bread and two fishes, He made this very controversial remark:


“Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you” John 6:53.


Was Jesus teaching that we are to literally eat His flesh and drink His blood like Roman Catholic theology teaches?

Absolutely not!



Notice how Jesus explains Himself in John 6 and verse 63.


“It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.” John 6:63


That is to say, the words of Jesus have power to nourish the spiritual life.

As a literal bread sustains physical life, the Word of God sustains spiritual life.

Speaking spiritually; when we study the Word of God we devour and assimilate the Words written within the pages, and Jesus becomes flesh of our flesh and bone of our bone.

This same idea is presented in Revelation 10 verse 9


“And I went unto the angel, and said unto him, Give me the little book. And he said unto me, Take it, and eat it up; and it shall make thy belly bitter, but it shall be in thy mouth sweet as honey.” Revelation 10:9


And also in Ezekiel 3 verses 1 to 3

“Moreover he said unto me, Son of man, eat that thou findest; eat this roll, and go speak unto the house of Israel. So I opened my mouth, and he caused me to eat that roll. And he said unto me, Son of man, cause thy belly to eat, and fill thy bowels with this roll that I give thee. Then did I eat it; and it was in my mouth as honey for sweetness.” Ezekiel 3:1-3


It is the engrafted Word of God which cleanses our life and gives us victory over sin.

David understood this when he exclaimed:


“Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed thereto according to thy word… Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.” Psalm 119:9, 11.


Jesus agreed with David when He said to His disciples:


“Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.” John 15:3


And the apostle Paul also adds his testimony in his epistle to the Ephesians when he states that the church is sanctified and cleansed with the washing of the water by the word.


“That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,” Ephesians 5:26


What have we discovered so far about the shewbread?

First of all; it represents Jesus as He is contained in the written Word of God.

Secondly, it is continually available to all of God’s people.

And thirdly; if assimilated, it will nourish the life spiritually, and provide victory over sin.

Roman Catholicism has substituted the sure Word of God with traditions of men; and a supposedly infallible magisterium has been set in place above a sure ‘’thus saith the Lord”.

The number of unbiblical, or shall we say, anti-biblical traditions is legion?

Purgatory, limbo, celibacy, auricular confession, an eternally burning hell, lent, processions, the mass, relics, canonization of saints, the rosary, bowing before images, the immaculate conception, the assumption of Mary, baptism of infants by aspersion, novenas, the observance of Sunday, etc.

And what was to be the end result of these traditions of replacing the Word of God?

It would be spiritual malnutrition, and a moral laxity, of like that would make the pagan Roman’s look like saints!

It is no coincidence that the third and fourth seals of Revelation describe this period as one of famine for the Word of God see Revelation 6 verses 5 to 8.


“And when he had opened the third seal, I heard the third beast say, Come and see. And I beheld, and lo a black horse; and he that sat on him had a pair of balances in his hand. And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts say, A measure of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny; and see thou hurt not the oil and the wine. And when he had opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth beast say, Come and see. And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth.” Revelation 6:5-8


shewbreadThe third horse of Revelation chapter 6 and verse 5; in the time of Constantine brings in the unbiblical teachings and practices of the pagans, and the result is realized under the fourth horse, that is of the 1260 years of Papal dominion which brings a life threatening scarcity of bread: In effect, a famine for the Word of God!!

This is also the period of the fourth church of Revelation. Under this church, Jezebel the harlot is in control.

During this period of 1260 years there is no dew or rain, and as a result there is a famine for the Word of God.


“Notwithstanding I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols.” Revelation 2:20



“And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth. These have power to shut heaven, that it rain not in the days of their prophecy: and have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to smite the earth with all plagues, as often as they will.” Revelation 11:3, 6.


“And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days. And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent.” Revelation 12:6, 14.


“Behold, the days come, saith the Lord GOD, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD: And they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east, they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the LORD, and shall not find it.” Amos 8:11-12