“Then Jesus said unto the twelve, Will you also go away?”
The earthly ministry of the Elect Servant of God had drawn considerable attention from the people of the land as He walked through the countryside. He had come for one purpose and everything He did was commensurate to that purpose. Many were astonished as this presumed son of a carpenter taught as no man ever taught. His words were not His own for as ‘that prophet who should come’ He spoke only the Word of Yehovah God, testifying and confirming those things which were written of Him. He made an open manifestation of the fulfillment of the words of the prophets and a demonstration of the truth in the Law of God in everything He did that all things written might be fulfilled.
The ministry of Jesus was, according to the eternal decree of God, in the fullness of time. He came in the ‘end of the world’ born of a woman and made under the Law. He could not have come at another time for this was the moment in history when all things were made proper for His work and His teaching. He came to a people embroiled in customs and traditions who had been indoctrinated in the popular or ‘correct’ interpretation of the scriptures. The common man sought out the opinion of the elders and the teachings of the elite class and as each was given to believe they followed these men faithfully. This sociology-religious climate was ordered and prepared as the setting for the Lamb of God to come and teach the things concerning the kingdom of God for this indeed was Babylon (confusion by mixing).
Jesus was confronted on all sides as He walked upon the earth. The ‘god’ of this world and his evil spirits were given to confront Him often as they cried out and afflicted those they had been sent to possess. He rebuked them for their testimony and cast them out into utter darkness as He restored the possessed unto calmness of mind and wholeness of body; many of these followed Him. He was confronted by those with the frailties and limitations of Adam and diseases inherent to the flesh. He manifested His authority over these sicknesses and deformities by restoring the afflicted to health in the presence of many onlookers and skeptics; these also followed after Him. He demonstrated His power over the elements of this world as He rebuked the winds and the waves and many who followed Him were amazed at His majesty. Many more followed after Him to see what he might do or to hear what He might say for He spoke as one with authority. There were even more following Him hoping to catch Him in error and condemn Him before the authorities. These Jews saw Him as a threat to their life-styles and a challenge to their fame and fortunes. Then there were the Pharisees and Scribes who judged Him according to their interpretations of the Law and the customs of the father; these also followed after Him.
He, who knew no sin, endured the contradiction of sin against Himself, the inability of His people in Adam to keep the Law of God or walk in His perfect ways. He came into the world for the purpose of manifesting the deliverance of His people from their sin; though all these works were finished from the foundation of the world. He also came to fulfill the Law in all righteousness and to bear record of the Father. Every word He spoke and every deed He performed was the manifest testimony of the finished work. For this He came to call the sinner unto repentance, to seek and to save that which was lost and to declare His generation; these, His sheep, followed after Him in fear and hope.
The crowds that were following Him had grown to the point of being described as ‘multitudes’. They were of varying factions and understandings and yet He had compassion of them all. After He had healed a man on the Sabbath and the Jews sought to kill Him, He openly rebuked them as He declared Himself to be one with the Father. He caused this section of the crowd to be furious yet He was in complete command of the multitude. Never was there a moment in which there was a misspoken word, an unplanned encounter or an improper action on the part of anything in the creation of God. The stage was set and the fullness of time had come for the Son of God to reveal His salvation for all flesh to see (Is. 40:5).
“After these things, Jesus went over the sea of Galilee, which is Tiberias” (John 6:1)
Some well meaning theologians have suggested that Jesus needed to rest and therefore He left the crowds and went over the sea. This is pure speculation and an insult to the power of the fullness of the Godhead which dwelt bodily in Him. He left the crowds and went across the sea in order to arrive at the predesignated location where He would feed the five thousand. The “great multitude followed Him because they saw the miracles, which He did on them that were diseased” (2). Jesus was seated with His disciples on the mountainside and this throng of people came to Him because he drew them to this place for a specific reason. Once all were assembled He spake unto them of the kingdom of God and healed such as were in need of healing (Luke 9:11). Then He took the five barley loaves and two small fish and He fed the five thousand that sat before Him. The people were all filled and satisfied and His disciples were amazed as they gathered up twelve baskets full of ‘left-overs’ (signifying the twelve tribes of the Israel of our God)./p>
When this magnificent display of the power of the sovereign of the universe was ended, He sent His disciples away to cross the sea again and come to Capernaum; “and the sea rose by reason of a great wind that blew”. He had caused this wind to come up upon these experienced fishermen who were well accustomed to being on the sea all night fishing. He took away their confidence in their maritime abilities and caused them to fear as they saw Him walking on the water. Yet He also gave them to hear His voice and, believing, to willingly receive Him into the ship “and immediately the ship was at the land whither they went” (6:21).
This was yet another manifestation of His sovereign control over all things as He caused the multitudes to seek Him and to follow Him. They did not need any help from the wisdom of abilities of Adam as the power of God drew them along every step of the way along the path afore ordained for them to walk. Not everyone followed after Him and not one who was so predestined failed to follow after Him in the designed manner was left behind, yet when this wandering troop came and found Him again on the other side, He did not reward them nor commend them for their actions. Quite the rather, the man whom the theology of the world accuses of ‘loving everyone’, sternly rebuked them for following Him; “You seek Me not because of the miracles which you saw but because you did eat the loaves and were filled”.
Jesus does not mince words or compromise the truth as He proclaims judgment upon the people who stood before Him. These had been created in Adam to labour and be heavy ladened all their lives. They had been raised up under the tutelage of a works system which they believed would find favour with God. They inquired of the Lord for His direction on the matter of their duty when they said, “What shall we do that we may work the works of God?” Such arrogance to think that the creature could perform the work of the creator! The work of God is effectual through the gift of faith to those who have been born from above, therefore they believe. This is His work alone. He needs no assistance in the matter and there is none who may stay His hand or ask, ‘What are you doing’? Yet this is the mindset of the pride of the heart of Adam wherein he is deceived to think that he should “dwell in the clefts of the rock, whose habitation is high and has said in his heart, Who shall bring me down?” (Ob. 3). It is the presumptuousness of the carnal mind that causes one to conclude that he is one of the chosen few and that he can save souls or bring prospective converts to Jesus. It is the impudent nature of Adam to think he knows the mind and ways of God. This again is not a condemnation against the Jewish people, the nation of Israel of the ignorant people of the day. It is a witness of the scriptures, wherein the children of grace find hope and comfort in the testimony, that they are dwelling in earthen vessels which are vile, wretched, weak and blind. The stern rebuke of Jesus to this mass of people serves to incite them and turn them against Him.
The logic and practice of the modern neo-evangelical religionists would be ready to stand and rebuke the Lord of Glory for His handling of the crowd. He did not open up to them and share His testimony with them nor did He welcome them into the fold with open arms. His Word is “alive and full of power, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart” (Heb. 4:12). This word instead, incited the passions of the flesh to ask for a sign from Jesus even when ‘The Sign’ was standing before them; “Therefore he Lord Himself shall give you a sign; behold a virgin shall conceive and bear a son and shall call His name Immanuel” (Is. 7:14).
They could not see the signs and wonders which God was giving them as testimony of the end of the world and the coming of His kingdom yet they were desirous of seeing a sign of Jesus. They knew of the legion of the ‘Manna’ which came from heaven and praised Moses for giving it to the fathers. Jesus told them that Moses did not give the Manna to the fathers in the wilderness but that it came from God in heaven, thus offending this highly venerated and revered man. He then told them that the Father had sent the true bread which is “He which is come down from heaven and gives life unto the world” (33). This caused the crowd to cry out, “evermore give us this bread”. Yehovah God had aroused the people and orchestrated the conversation to the place where He would say, “I am the bread of life” and instruct His captive audience that “he that comes to Me shall never hunger and he that believes on Me shall never thirst; but I say unto you that you also have seen Me and you do not believe” (36).
They could not do the work for it belonged to God and this work had not been done to them. If ever there was a time to give an invitation or an altar call for these people to ‘come to Christ’ now was the time. Jesus had them right where He needed them and all they had to do was to exercise their ‘free will’ and accept Him. This is the atrocious teaching that is presented today by every work-monger and duty faith professor as they furiously strive to fill the banquet house lest there be empty chairs at the wedding feast. They have not been given to believe in an all powerful God who performs all things by the power of His will nor do they desire a God who speaks and all things come to pass. Jesus however is that very God and He continues His discourse of life and truth and bluntly proclaims; “I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live forever and the bread that I give you is My flesh which I will give for the life of the world” (51). He did not mean to infer that His flesh was available to everyone or whosoever will come and take it in some mystical ceremony. What He said was an affront to the Zionisms of the day that taught deliverance was for the chosen nation of Israel and all heathen nations were excluded. He is the Lamb of God and the sacrifice of His body is for an innumerable host of people from every kindred, nation, tribe and people. He also was not speaking of taking a bite or having His flesh for a meal. Rather He spoke of those who are sustained by ‘chewing’ upon His flesh and have their thirst quenched by drinking His blood; “Verily I say unto you, Except you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink His blood you have no life in you. Whosoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life and I will raise him up at the last day. For My body is meat indeed and My blood is drink indeed. He that ‘is chewing’ upon My flesh and ‘is drinking’ My blood dwells in Me and I in him” (53ff).
“Many therefore of His disciples, when they heard said, This is a hard saying, who can hear it?” (60).
Jesus presented many signs and wonders in plain view for all to see. He gave food to eat, wine to drink and strength for their weakened bodies but none of these had any altering effect upon Adam. The natural man indeed has eyes to see and that which he looks upon he reasons and concludes after his carnal mind. Jesus spoke many wonderful lessons about the kingdom of God and yet even John and his disciples did not understand the true nature about that kingdom (Luke 7:19). The mother of the sons of Zebedee desired her sons to sit one on the right and one on the left hand of Christ when He came into His kingdom yet He told her she did not know what she was asking and to grant such a request was not His to give(Mark 10:37). Even after the resurrection the disciples came to Christ and asked if at this time would He restore the kingdom unto Israel to which He said, “It is not for you to know the times and the seasons which the Father has put in His own power” (Acts. 1:7). The kingdom of God is not of this world and is not inherited by flesh and blood neither can the eyes of man see it nor the mind of man comprehend the beauty and splendour of the Israel of our God.
The natural man has ears to hear and, according to the understanding he has been given, he recognizes what he hears. But there is not a natural ear in all of God’s creation that can hear the voice of the Spirit nor comprehend His meaning. Jesus was not talking about some cannibalistic ritual or a mythological transformation of natural elements into a spiritual blessing. He made no attempt to cause those who were not given to believe to see His meaning and come to the knowledge of the truth. He needed no concordance or editorial or systematic teachings because the words which He spoke were not of this world. He spoke truth unto man who is a liar, He spoke rest to a being created for labour and He spoke of a peace that was beyond the understanding of the natural man.
Jesus Himself manifested and confirmed the basis for the teaching of the Spirit of God in everything He said. He made earthly, tangible representations which demonstrated an unseen reality in eternity in the same manner in which Moses built all things after the pattern he was given in the mount. The earthly presentation stood as type and foreshadow of the heavenly reality. The same is true of all prophesy as they present the judgment of God against the ungodliness of man. Many times this judgment was made manifest in the conquest of insurgents into the land of Israel yet they represent a warfare that is not of flesh and blood; “for we do not wrestle against flesh and blood but against principalities and power, against rulers of darkness of this world , against spiritual wickedness in high places” (Eph. 6:12).
“It is the Spirit that quickens; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak unto you are spirit and are life” (63).
The land of Shinar did not disappear after some man made Apostolic Dispensation nor is it irrelevant in the so-called ‘church age’. Even today it is the method which God has decreed for the manifestation of His glory is in His creation. That which is seen evidences that which is unseen (therefore there is hope), even the eternal power of the Godhead. The heavens still declare the glory of Yehovah and the firmament daily shew forth His handiwork. The changing of the times and seasons are all according to the sovereign decrees of the Lord God Omnipotent who reigns over all things. And so the type of the country of two rivers remains; one river is tangible as that which can bee seen, the other is eternal and cannot even be imagined by the sons of Adam.
Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that did not believe and who should betray Him. He knew this because He, being one with the Father, is the fullness of the Godhead and He is the beginning (Alpha – Rev. 1:8). In the beginning He established all things fast and sure that should come to pass as He created all things in Himself, for Himself and by the power of His will. Those who were given this aversion to the words of life were condemned from the beginning therefore they do not believe (John 3:18). These are not born of the God and have not the Spirit dwelling in them; therefore they are none of His. These do not possess the fruit of the Spirit which is faith (Gal. 5:22) and thus since without faith it is impossible to please Him (Heb. 11:6) they cannot worship God aright (John 4:24).
These sons of Adam ate the food which the Son of man gave them and they were sustained by His hand. His purpose demands that these people be attended to in order for them to fulfill the assignments He has given them in His creation. They being dead in trespasses and sin are essential elements in His design of the time of the habitation of His people in these earthen vessels. He shows forth His grace and mercy to them as His children walk through the barren land of this present evil generation en route back to their Father’s house. Adam cannot hear His words though he is drawn along according to His will and performs his assigned works. Even they who work the works of their father, the Devil, are intricate parts in the perfect plan of God’s purpose.
“From that many of His disciples went back and did not walk with Him”. Jesus was not interested in the numbers for He knew them that are His. He was not concerned with public opinion or the approval of the masses; He had come to do the will of the Father which was to save His people form their sin. He knew whom He had appointed to be the one who would betray Him and to this one was given the deception to remain, without the inner testimony, among the twelve. Judas did not leave and follow after the crowds or the money though both ordained to be contributing factor to his course of action. He stood there with Simon Peter as he answered the Lord and said, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life and we believe and are sure that You are that Christ, the Son of the living God” (68).
God had raised Judas up to be numbered among the twelve and Jesus chose him at the beginning of His ministry. He was given the same authority and power of the Spirit that the others had as he went forth preaching that the kingdom of heaven was at hand. He healed the sick, cleansed the lepers, raised the dead and cast out devils just as the others and when they returned rejoicing there is no indication that he had not been granted to perform like unto the rest (Mark 6:30); but he was different. He was a devil from the beginning and the one who should betray the Christ. He was predestinated to deliver Him into the wicked hands that had been afore ordained to take and slay Him. Jesus both knew him and what he was to do and he kept Judas with Him unto the end; until the time He said, “That which you do, do quickly” (John 13:27).
The testimony of Peter is not unique to this man for it is the cry of every child of grace. Once the Father has revealed Himself dwelling in His children, they desire nothing but to be with Him. They do not hear another’s voice and the stranger they will not follow (John 10:5). They cannot give the great doctrinal discourse that the theologians of Adam can give for the things of glory are “unspeakable words which it is not lawful for a man to utter” (II Cor. 12:2). The glory and splendour of this testimony is foolishness unto them which believe not “but unto us which are saved it is the power of God” (I Cor. 1:18).
Peter was once again blessed to be the mouthpiece of the Lord to speak the truth of the testimony of the Spirit. His answer was afore prepared for him to speak and for the others to hear. He was given to profess the desire of the inner man in evidence of life within. The question which Jesus asks is very basic; ‘Does the truth offend you’? Are you offended because God is sovereign over all things and the inhabitants of this world are counted as nothing? Does the fact that God has created man incapable of obedience, faith and good works seem unfair and cruel to you? And does the fact that those born from above are sustained by the body and blood of Christ cause you to seek another? Are you repulsed because “in Him we live and move and have our very being”? This truth is sweetness to the palate of the children of the kingdom who hunger and thirst after righteousness. They are the constant nourishment to their souls as the outward man perishes and the inward man is renewed day by day for He is the Word of life.
The foundations of the kingdom of God are sure because He knows them that are His. He supplies their every need as they walk the path and run the race with patience, “looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Heb. 12:2).
The world of the natural man is offended by the truth. The Rock of salvation is a stumbling block to anyone not taught of the Spirit. The Word of God is offensive and completely irrelevant to this present evil generation and that which is highly esteemed of man is abomination before Yehovah. The natural Adamic man lives within the parameters of his carnal existence therefore he does not know the Spirit and cannot receive His Word. The inner man delights to hear the testimony of the Father’s voice saying, “I AM GOD THERE IS NONE OTHER”
The friends of Job have the ‘gray-headed and very aged men. Man searches the world to satisfy the itching ears of Adam which desire to hear something new and Jehu has his zeal for Yehovah. These all look good as an outward sign to an evil and adulterous generation and ‘proof’ that they have the truth and are the blessed of the Lord. The children of the Kingdom of God are saved by grace through faith and that not of themselves, it is the gift of God. They live by the faith of the Son of God who loves them and gave Himself for them, as they walk through this barren wilderness. They are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time (I Pt. 1:5) for they are sanctified by God the Father and preserved in Jesus Christ (Jude1). They have the eternal love of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords and none can separate them from that love. They cannot deny the Father because He cannot deny Himself and they are one in Him as He is one, therefore, “Lord to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life and we believe and are sure that You are the Anointed, the Son of the living God”.
Your servant in Christ,
(Elder) Chet Dirkes
October 18, 2015