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BELIEF & DISCIPLESHIP

 

 

HOW TO BELIEVE AND BECOME A DISCIPLE OF CHRIST JESUS

 

 

In this next section of God's Word Jesus teaches us that discipleship starts first with a mortal being drawn by the Father, and then continues with the mortal making a personal commitment to start a new mental diet, a diet based upon "eating" the knowledge of God's Word to gain understanding and belief in God and His son Christ Jesus.  Jesus Christ uses three specific verbs, gnaw, eat and drink as the principle "work" disciples must do to gain the life-giving health benefits from the true "bread", the true "manna" which has come down to us from heaven (John 6:54-58).  Jesus uses the verbs gnaw, eat and drink as metaphors for specific mental activity a disciple must perform in their minds to gain the life-giving health benefits coming to mortalkind in God's new covenant through the redemption in Jesus' broken body and shed blood.  Gnawing, eating and drinking the knowledge of God's Word, especially about the prophecies of the promised coming redeemer, and then Jesus' fulfillment of them, and then God's new covenant, causes a disciple of Jesus to grow up into a complete new creation, to growth up into the measure of the fullness of the maturity of Christ (Eph. 4:13).

 

Following the holy scriptures, the goal of any disciple is to learn and do the same works as your master (John 13:16, *14:10-12;  Eph. 4:13-15).  The relationship between Jesus Christ and his disciples was that of teacher and pupil, mentor and protégés, and finally as brothers.  The commitment of a disciple is to learn all the knowledge and skills of his teacher, so that he can carry on the work of his teacher, which work in this case, as apostle Paul defines it, is to do the Ministry of Reconciliation through giving out the word of reconciliation, which word is the evangelism of Jesus Christ.  The cycle of teacher and pupil was intended to be passed along, the pupils, Jesus' twelve, eventually becoming teachers of others, and so on (2 Tim. 2:2; Heb. 5:12).

 

The "Christianity" defined by God's Word, by Jesus Christ himself, is discipleship to the Lord Jesus Christ.  Jesus and his apostles didn't refer to Jesus' committed followers as Christians, unless they said it in reference to the scornful usage of it against them by unbelievers.  But they considered the committed followers of Jesus as disciples, saints, brothers, followers of the way.  Therefore the proper God-given term in God's Word to refer to committed followers of the Lord Jesus Christ is disciple, not Christian. 

 

Robertson (Roberton's New Testament Word Pictures) gives us a bit of history of the origin and character of the word Christian:

 

"The name (Christian) was evidently given to the followers of Christ by the Gentiles to distinguish them from the Jews since they were Greeks, not Grecian Jews. The Jews would not call them Christians because of their own use of cristos the Messiah. The Jews termed them Galileans or Nazarenes. The followers of Christ called themselves disciples (learners), brethren, saints, those of the Way. The three uses of Christian in the N.T. are from the heathen standpoint (here, Acts 11:26), #Ac 26:28 (a term of contempt in the mouth of Agrippa), and #1Pe 4:16 (persecution from the Roman government)."

 

Discipleship to the Lord Jesus Christ isn't about looking like a disciple, using outward iconic displays, tattoos and crosses, or carrying the "latest and most accurate" translation, but actually doing the works of a disciple, actually being one.  Discipleship is all about becoming Christ-like; first knowing God's Word in depth like Jesus knew it, and then believing God's Word like Jesus believed it, and then doing God's Word like Jesus did it.  This was and still is the solemn commitment a disciple of our Lord Jesus Christ must make.  It's a life-long, no turning back commitment.  Because how can anyone turn back on their own true belief?

 

If Jesus truly is our Master, Teacher and Mentor, then let us truly become his servants, pupils and protegés.

 

Some of the people who were present and were fed with the five loaves of bread and two fish, followed Jesus to Capernaum.  Some among those followers may have understood that the miracle of being fed by Jesus of the bread he gave them, was an object lesson in being fed and eating spiritual bread.  However, this record doesn't particularly identify anyone who understood it at this time.  However, it does identify some followers who didn't understand it because they didn't believe in Jesus Christ.  Some of the followers that were fed at the feeding of the multitude with only five breads, followed Jesus toward to Capernaum and began to engage him.  These Judean followers clearly neither believed in Jesus, nor understood his object lesson.  So then Jesus taught them how to become his disciples.

 

I'll start at the point in the record just after the multitude was fed miraculously.

 

John 6:24 (LIT/UBS4) Therefore (oun) when (hote) the (ho) crowd (ochlos) saw (eiden) that (hoti) Jesus (Iēsous) is (estin) absolutely not (ouk) there (ekei), but absolutely not (oude) the (hoi) disciples (mathētai) of him (autou), they (autoi) embarked (enebēsan) into (eis) the (ta) small ships (ploiaria) and (kai) came (ēlthon) into (eis) Capernaum (kapharnaoum) searching (zētountes) for the (ton) Jesus (Iēsoun)!

 

"searching for the Jesus" - Some of those in the crowd were not searching for Jesus because of who he was, but for other reasons, selfish reasons.  Some of those in the crowd following Jesus were genuine, believing disciples of Jesus Christ, who had made a level of commitment to God to repent from their own ways and learn God's ways.  Some in the crowd even believed that Jesus was the promised coming messiah, and had even a higher level of commitment, both to God the heavenly Father and His son Jesus Christ, to disciple themselves to Jesus Christ.  Today in modern Christianity we find the same thing, followers of Jesus Christ with varying levels of commitment to God the heavenly Father and His son Jesus Christ.  We even see those who claim to be followers of the Lord Jesus Christ, wearing the icon of his death, the cross, but have no commitment whatsoever, and virtually no genuine knowledge of God's Word concerning Jesus Christ the prophesied coming messiah.  

 

John 6:25 (LIT/UBS4) And (kai) having found (heurontes) him (auton) [on the] other side (peran) of the (tēs) sea (thalassēs), they enunciated (eipon) to him (autō), “Rabbi (rhabbi), when (pote) have you become (gegonas) here (hōde)?”

 

"on the other side of the sea" - John tells us in verse 59 that Jesus taught the things in this record in a synagogue in Capernaum, where Jesus came after the feeding of the five loaves and two fishes.

 

"enunciated" - To enunciate means to announce and express formally and distinctly in a systematic way (Webster's).  Enunciate (epō) has a distinct meaning different from legō, to say, literally to construct a sentence through laying one word after another, or laleō, to speak, meaning simply to employ the organ of utterance. Enunciation uses specific communication techniques which emphasize HOW something is said. I believe enunciation refers to a specific style of communication used for delivering prophecy, giving orations, and especially teaching.  From many examples in God's Word, especially examples of Jesus enunciating, it is most often speaking short and simple sentences which speak directly to the point.  This can be seen through examining the contexts of all 977 usages of epō in God's Word.  It is a style of speaking which is designed to remove all possibility of ambiguity so that a point can be made as simple and crystal clear as possible.

 

"Rabbi" - The Judean's enunciations with Jesus began nice enough, with a term used in greeting which is supposed to imply respect.  It was a title of distinction, and literally means Master, or Teacher.  With the greeting, these Judean followers were suggesting they would like to be taught something from Jesus.

 

"when did you begin to come here?" - Apparently these Judean followers were surprised to discover that Capernaum was on Jesus' teaching tour list.

John 6:26 (LIT/UBS4) The (ho) Jesus (Iēsous) was caused to make a decision (apekrithē) for them (autois), and (kai) he enunciated (eipen), “Truly (amēn), truly (amēn) I say (legō) to you (humin), you search (zēteite) for me (me) absolutely not (ouch) because (hoti) you saw (eidete) signs (sēmeia), BUT (all’), because (hoti) you ate (ephagete) out (ek) of the (tou) loaves of bread (artōn) and (kai) you were pastured5526 (echortasthēte)!

"was caused to make a decision" - He reflected on God's Word and Will before he spoke, to be sure he said to them the things God his Father wanted him to say to them, in the way God wanted him to say them.  

 

"and enunciated" - Jesus enunciated back to the crowd of Judeans having followed him to Capernaum.  I believe Jesus suspected something, and his intention was not to make casual conversation with these Judean followers, but to put God's Word to them in such a way as to give them every opportunity to here it clearly and accurately, and then to give them the most important opportunity in their lives, to choose to believe it.  What Jesus Christ was saying, he wanted them to get it into their heads.  

 

"Truly, truly" - An ancient idiom of sincerity through stating a double positive.  As used by Jesus, not only an idiom of sincerity, but a personal pledge that what he says is truly God's Word, and a matter of fact.  A similar Western idiom, which may be a direct descendant of this ancient idiom, is in the usage of the term honestly, as in answering another person's question; "Honestly, I don't know", or, "Do you want me to tell you honestly what I think?"  One must be careful in using this Western idiom too much, since it's usage implies that you normally may lie, but only upon special occasions you are honest and tell the truth.

 

"[you] search for me absolutely not because [you] saw signs" - These "followers" of Jesus were fed with the breads when Jesus fed the multitude with only five breads, but they didn't notice it was a sign.  Their sound, rational minds, quintessential specimens of the best of sin nature-based mortals, couldn't believe Jesus could have done an authentic spiritual sign in their very presence, and he fed the multitude with only five breads.  The only reason they were searching for Jesus now was to get more free food.   

 

John 6:27 (LIT/UBS4) Work (ergazesthe) not (mē) [for] the (tēn) food (brōsin), the (tēn) [food] you yourself are losing (apollumenēn).

 

BUT (alla), [work for] the (tēn) food (brōsin), the (tēn) [food] staying (menousan) into (eis) ageless (aiōnion) life (zōēn), which (hēn) the (ho) Son (huios) of the (tou) Mortal (anthrōpou) shall give (dōsei) to you (humin)!  

 

Because (gar) this (touton) [food] the (ho) Father (patēr), the (ho) God (theos), sealed (esphragisen).”

 

"Work not for the food..." - Work (ergazesthe), to labor, to put forth an effort to gain something.  Jesus suggested to these followers that instead of following him around for free physical food, they should start working to obtain spiritual food!  They didn't recognize that Jesus did a sign of who he was, through feeding the multitude with only five breads.  Because they didn't believe that Jesus was the promised messiah, the Son of the God, they didn't look any deeper into any possible meaning into Jesus' demonstration.  They didn't understand that it was an object lesson about BELIEF in him, because they didn't believe.  The sign Jesus did through feeding the crowd, didn't register with them.  They didn't notice anything going on out of the ordinary, because they were spiritually blind.  They were believers, going along in the crowd with the true believers, an example of the grain and the tares together.  

 

"the food you yourself are losing" - Physical food is put in the mouth, chewed and swallowed, and as it is digested it's nourishment value is passed on into the body, and what remains comes out in the draft. It serves its purpose and perishes. Physical food gives it's limited life-sustaining benefits, which add only a few more moments of life to the one eating it. The mortal has to keep on eating physical food, to keep on adding more moments of life to his physical life. The point is that physical food has only a vary small and very temporary ability to sustain life. The food, i.e. bread, Jesus is beginning to explain to these unbelieving followers imparts an abundant life now, and eternal life.

 

"the food, the [kind] abiding into ageless life" - Jesus begins to explain to these unbelievers about spiritual food, a totally new concept for them. That whomever eats this food eats a food which gives ageless life-sustaining benefits, a food which adds ageless life to the eater. This kind of food cannot become destroyed, and does not go out in the draft.  

 

"because this [kind] [of food] the Father, the God has sealed." - Sealed here means to signify, as one does with a signet ring. A common example would be for a benefactor to put a valuable gift into a chest, close the lid, lock the chest and then pour a little pool of red wax on the lid where it meets the chest to seal the container closed with the contents safely inside, not to be opened by anyone but the beneficiary at the appointed time. Then with the signet ring, while the red wax is still hot, put an imprint into the wax with the ring, which icon signifies the identity and authority of the ring-holder, and the power of the ring-holder to make certain the delivery of the gift to the beneficiary.  At this time Jesus knew for a certainty that God would send His gift, the Promise of the Father (Joel 2:28-32), the gift of holy Spirit into anyone who believed, because Jesus was determined to shed his blood for all mortalkind, which would seal God's promise.

 

God the heavenly Father had sealed the delivery of the Promise of the Father with His plan for the redemption of mortalkind, and Jesus would finalize the seal with his own blood. Jesus Christ is the food and the seal through which God the heavenly Father has sealed His promise (Joel 2:28-29). Jesus Christ shall baptize in holy Spirit all those who believe in him (Mat. 3:11), giving them the new birth above, the gift of holy Spirit. This is the life-giving ability of the true bread, the food which Jesus provides for his believers. This shall seal us to eternal life (2 Cor. 1:22).

 

John 6:28 (LIT/UBS4) Therefore (oun) they enunciated (eipon) to (pros) him (auton), “What (ti) may we do (poiōmen) in order that (hina) we may cause ourselves to work (ergazōmetha) the (ta) works (erga) of the (tou) God (theou)?”

 

"in order that we may keep on working the works of the God." -  These unbelievers already considered themselves as keeping the works of the law of Moses.  Now they wondered to what other works could Jesus refer.  It was obvious to Jesus, as it should be to the reader, that these unbelievers couldn't see spiritually at all.

 

The unbelievers now ask Jesus to clarify himself, by explaining to them exactly what other works they must do, besides the works of the law, to obtain the food, the [kind] abiding into ageless life. These unbelievers now play along with Jesus, trying to seem as though they're truly interested in him and what he says. But they still don't understand what Jesus means. They sound as though they may consider becoming Jesus disciples, but if they do, they need Jesus to lay out for them exactly the next steps they must take, exactly what work do they need to do. Their sincerity seems to me a bit unconvincing, especially in light of their thoughts toward Jesus identity, which they reveal in verse 42.

 

John 6:29 (LIT/UBS4) The (ho) Jesus (Iēsous) was caused to make a decision (apekrithē), and (kai) he enunciated (eipen) to them (autois), “This (touto) is (estin) the (to) work (ergon) of the (tou) God (theou), that (hoti) you may believe (pisteuēte) into (eis) whom (hon) that one (ekeinos) sent (apesteilen).

 

"This is the 'work' of the God..." - In verse 27 Jesus told the unbelievers to work for the "food", the kind abiding into ageless life.  Now Jesus further defines for them what their work should be if they want to do the works of God.  Jesus says the work of the God is getting them and all Israel to believe in whom God has sent!  Therefore if they want to do God's work, then likewise, they also can start working to help themselves to believe into whom God has sent, who is Jesus Christ.  The unbelievers are to start working to help themselves believe into Jesus Christ.  That's the "work" they must do.  That's the work God's been doing.

 

All the signs, miracles and wonders God, His prophets, and His son Jesus Christ have done, are doing, and shall do, were and are all to help mortalkind determine who to believe.   The prophesied coming redeemer would be in the grave 3 days and 3 nights, as Jonah was in the belly of the whale.  The coming redeemer would heal the blind, and the lame would walk.  These are some of the things which would indicate the presence of the promised redeemer when he came.  Now the promised coming redeemer, Jesus Christ, was standing before these unbelievers, face to face, trying to help them become true disciples of him, instead of false believers who are only interested in him for hand-outs, and as a possible food source! 

 

Their starting place to start learning to do the work of God is to "work" at getting the food, the bread, the kind of bread which abides into the ages, which will help them to believe.  That "food" is the knowledge and understanding of God's Word (Rom. 10:17), especially about Jesus Christ (John 6:54-58).  They are to work at getting this food which will help them believe in the one whom God has sent, Jesus Christ.  Keeping and doing all the works of the law is meaningless, if the children of Israel don't learn the lesson which the repetitive works of the law were meant to teach as a pedagogue (Gal. 3:24-25), which is belief in God to be their sufficiency in all things.  Because without belief in God it is impossible to please God (Heb. 11:6).

 

Jesus was giving the unbelievers the starting point at which to start "working" to build their belief in him. Jesus was telling them that they should start searching for him, the true "bread" of everlasting and eternal life!  What Jesus teaches in this record is how anyone should properly become a disciple of Christ Jesus, searching for him.  This is the way to do it.  This is the pattern, the model for becoming a disciple of Christ Jesus.  Jesus teaches one and all, right now, right here in this record in God's Word, how they should properly search for him to become a disciple of him. 

 

"that you may believe into whom that one has sent." - This may have surprised Jesus' disciples to learn that all of God's signs, miracles and wonders, and those done through Jesus also, have all been to try to get the children of Israel to decide who to believe.  This has been the work of God with the law dispensation, and before, and since, to get mortalkind to believe God and His Word whom He has sent, Christ Jesus.  This has been God's work, and He's been working at it hard.  If Jesus' followers still want to do the "work" of God, then they can start working by eating the "food" which will help them to build their belief in God's Word.  This is the starting place for these unbelievers who were following Jesus for food.

 

There is not one person who has ever lived, besides those with obvious and serious mental health defects, who has not believed because they didn't have enough intelligence, brain power, intellect, IQ, or whatever. Mortals don't believe, not because they haven't been given the chance, BUT, because they chose not to believe!  When the judgment day comes, the God and His son Jesus Christ shall absolutely not be on trial for not doing their best to work hard at helping mortalkind to believe, but each and every mortal shall give an account for him or herself as to why they chose not to "work" to help themselves believe.  If salvation comes through belief and absolutely not through works, then the reading and studying of God's word by someone to build belief in his heart cannot be considered as work of some kind, according to God's word.

 

On behalf of his Father God, Jesus Christ is offering these unbelievers a chance to go from rags to riches, literally.  Jesus is giving them directions about how to become disciples of him; and thereby subsequently obtain the belief to receive the new birth above in God's gift of holy Spirit; and thereby subsequently become partakers in God's new covenant; and thereby subsequently to receive any and all of those great and precious promises of God offered to us through that new covenant in Jesus shed blood!  This record is about God bending over far to offer His gracious wholeness to these unbelievers who are living from hand to mouth each day, not knowing from where comes there next meal.  This is a record about the love and caring of God for all of His creation, especially those of us who are not so well off.  Jesus Christ said that those who are whole do not need a physician.  These unbelievers do.

 

Jesus, on behalf of his Father, is offering these unbelievers the best advice that anyone could ever hope to receive, which demonstration of love and compassion of our heavenly Father is part of the great glory of Him.  Jesus Christ is advising these unbelievers about how to become disciples of him, and then be led by him into the wonderful new covenant of God and all that God offers to us through it!  if there was ever a good time to listen closely at what someone was saying, now is that time, to listen very closely to all that Jesus says in this record to these unbelievers. 

 

Jesus is telling them to "work" to get the knowledge and understanding of God's Word about who Jesus is, starting with "eating" the knowledge of the prophecies of the promised coming redeemer in the writings of the law, psalms and prophets, and then "eat" the knowledge in the gospel records of how Jesus began and continued to fulfill all of those prophecies.  And then, based upon that scriptural evidence, believe that Jesus truly is the promised messiah of the God.  And then become disciples of Jesus Christ, and follow him as he leads you into receiving the new birth above in God's gift of holy Spirit, and thereby subsequently into the new covenant, which is the "Kingdom of the God", or the "Kingdom of the Heaven" as it is called also. 

 

The "food" which lasts into the ages (not the kind which goes into one end and comes out the other!) is the knowledge of God's Word, which builds belief, which belief leads to wholeness, salvation, and participation in God's new covenant; wherein are all those great and precious promises to quench all needs, and which promises supply abundance (Mat. 6:33; John 10:10; Luke 6:38)!  The knowledge and understanding of God's Word stays in you, and it keeps feeding you; it keeps giving you guidance and direction, and it keeps building your belief to receive more and more of God's great and precious promises into a living reality in your life!

 

John 6:30 (LIT/UBS4) Therefore (oun) they enunciated (eipon) to him (autō), “Therefore (oun) what (ti) sign (sēmeion) do you do (poieis su), in order that (hina) we may see (idōmen) [it], and (kai) we may believe (pisteusōmen) you (soi)?

 

What (ti) [sign] do you cause yourself to work (ergazē)?

 

The unbelievers, so far, apparently do not have any knowledge of the law, the psalms and of the prophets to have a clue as to who is this Jesus, and the things the promised redeemer would do when he finally came.  And so they totally missed the sign he did feeding the multitude with only five loaves and two fish (John 6:8-9).  But now they want to see a sign.  They think that seeing a sign will cause them to believe

 

The Word of God says that belief comes through "hearing", i.e. learning and understanding the knowledge of God's Word (Rom. 10:17), not through seeing signs.  Signs are only pointers to get people steered into the right direction to go.  Signs are done by God through individuals to point out to others that the one through whom God is doing a sign is the one the others are to listen to and believe.  When God does a sign through someone it's God pointing that one out to others as him being his disciple, or his apostle, or His agent, that he or she is the one to whom the people should pay attention and listen, and follow.  

 

Those working for the devil can do lying signs and wonders, and they have done them, and they are still doing them.  But only those with an in-depth knowledge and understanding of God's Word can and will be able to discern spirits, to determine whether the signs someone does are from the devil or from the one true God, thusly determining the identity of the one doing them.

 

"what sign do you do - what do you work?" - God confirmed Moses' mission as being divinely sent from God, through empowering Moses to do signs before the eyes of the children of Israel.  These unbelievers  just followed Jesus from the other side of the sea of Galilee where they were miraculously fed by God, through Jesus, with the five breads and two fish.  But they didn't notice then that the feeding of them was a sign to identify Jesus as the promised one God has sent, to whom they should listen and believe.  They didn't notice or believe that Jesus did a sign then, and so now they want to know if he can do a sign for them right now, on the spot, and what will it be. 

 

A time or two, or three, comes in the life of every mortal when the God and His son Jesus Christ will come into a mortal's life at a key moment and save the day for them by doing a sign and/or a miracle for them.  Thereby mortals are given the opportunity to either disavow those signs as coincidences, or choose to believe them as acts of grace from the God.  It is the benevolence of God which leads a person to repentance, and subsequently to wholeness (Rom. 2:4).  The very ones who are saying, "Show me God", or, "I don't see any proof of God", are the same one's who have refused to acknowledge any sign or miracle ever done for them in their lives.

 

"that we may see and believe" - Now, right now, these unbelievers want Jesus to perform for them, to do something which will "register" with them as a sign.  Back in the days of Moses, God did signs and miracles, one after another, before the eyes of the children of Israel, which they could see and believe.  But yet they wandered in the wilderness for 40 years because of their unbelief!  Why, many times, did they choose not to acknowledge, and not to believe?  They chose unbridled fulfillment of the lusts of the sin nature-based flesh (liberalism) of them over the greater treasure of belief in God's Word.  Don't forget that little "C" word, for choice.  This is the bottom line reason for all mortalkind who choose not to believe.  Those who choose not to believe, choose not to believe because they desire to do things contrary to God's Word.  We always have a choice between God's way or our own way.

 

John 6:31 (LIT/UBS4) The (hoi) fathers (pateres) of us (hēmōn) ate (ephagon) the (to) manna (manna) in (en) the (tē) desolate place (erēmō), down as (kathos) it is (estin) having been written (gegrammenon), ‘He gave (edōken) to them (autois) bread (arton) out (ek) of the (tou) heaven (ouranou) to eat (phagein).’”

 

"The fathers of us ate the manna in the desolate place" - These unbelievers now demonstrate they have some knowledge of the history of the children of Israel; how God fed them "bread", manna out of heaven in the wilderness.  They couldn't understand what kind of bread it was that Jesus was telling them about.  But what Jesus said sparked a remembrance in them of what they heard at some time about God giving the children of Israel manna in the wilderness.  To them, Jesus seemed to be talking about a kind of mystery bread, which they weren't certain what it was.  The children of Israel also didn't know what it was that God gave them to eat in the wilderness, which is why they called it manna.  Manna in Hebrew, means "What is it?"

 

Now Jesus has an invitation from them to teach them about the manna, and that it was a prophetic metaphor and type of himself, the one who is the true manna from heaven.

 

 

JESUS IS THE TRUE BREAD OF LIFE

 

John 6:32 (LIT/UBS4) Therefore (oun) the (ho) Jesus (Iēsous) enunciated (eipen) to them (autois), “Truly (amēn), truly (amēn) I say (legō) to you (humin), Moses (Mōusēs) has absolutely not given (ou dedōken) to you (humin) the (ton) bread (arton) out (ek) of the (tou) heaven (ouranou)!

 

BUT (all’), the (ho) Father (patēr) of me (mou) gives (didōsin) to you (humin) the (ton) bread (arton) out (ek) of the (tou) heaven (ouranou), the (ton) true (alēthinon) [bread]!

 

"Moses has absolutely not given to you the bread out of the heaven." - Moses didn't give the manna to the children of Israel to eat, God did. Jesus suggests to these false believers that if they want to see a sign in their lives, as to why they should believe in Jesus, that they must try to see beyond the fives senses-based physical "bread", the manna with which God fed the children of Israel while they wandered about in the wilderness for forty years during their sojourn out of the bondage of Egypt toward the promised land flowing with milk and honey.  

 

"BUT, the Father of me gives to you the bread out of the heaven, the true [bread]!" - Jesus says his Father, God is giving them the true bread out of heaven, which Jesus says is himself.  This implies that the manna which God gave to the children of Israel daily to eat, was a false, or pseudo bread. It was not false bread in the sense that it wasn't bread, but it was false in the sense that it didn't give the eaters of it eternal life as shall the true bread/manna God sent down from heaven.  Jesus' statement that the manna was not the true bread out of heaven implies also that it was a type (Gk., tupos), and a foreshadowing of the true bread, Jesus, the promised messiah, who was to come in the future (1 Cor. 10:1-17).  As the disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ live in this wilderness of a world, Christ in us (Col. 1:27) is the true manna, and our daily bread.

John 6:33 (LIT/UBS4) Because (gar) the (ho) bread (artos) of the (tou) God (theou) is (estin) the one (ho) stepping down (katabainōn) out (ek) of the (tou) heaven (ouranou) and (kai) giving (didous) life (zōēn) to the (tō) cosmos (kosmō).”

It's important for the disciple to understand the ancient Middle Eastern culture, specifically the importance of the role of bread within their social structure.  Bread was and still is the main staple of food to the Middle East like rice was and is to the Far East.  The distinguished Aramaic scholar and translator George M. Lamsa, who gave us the wonderful Aramaic translation, was a native Assyrian, born and reared in that part of the land from which Abraham migrated to Palestine. Many of the very ancient customs and cultural aspects of that region are still preserved in the culture of those people still living there, which instilled in Dr. Lamsa a unique and precious ability to skillfully understand and incorporate into his translation, all the various colorful cultural idioms in a way most advantageous to be understood by our alien Western culture.

 

In one of Dr. Lamsa's works, a commentary, Gospel Light, he explains to us the highly important social role bread holds in the present and ancient regional culture:

 

"No matter how abundantly other food is offered, bread is the main food and essential to an Eastern meal. While a family having other food but no bread is considered poor, the men of other families become famous and are spoken of highly because of their plentiful bread. Very little is known about the raising of vegetables and when the wheat crops fail, the people face starvation.

 

To Easterners bread is sacred. They take oaths by touching and kissing it. Bread is a sacred bond between friends and the sign of intimate relationship. It is often said, 'I have eaten his bread. I will die for him.' Enemies are reconciled by breaking bread together. Bread is also the bond of protection. When a man takes refuge in another's house and eats his bread, the owner of that house must defend his guest at any cost, even with his life." (Gospel Light, George M. Lamsa, 1936, A. J. Holman Co., pg. 342)

"Because the bread of God is the one coming down out of heaven" - Jesus explains that what the manna was, to give temporary sustenance the children of Israel's temporary physical lives in the wilderness, Jesus is to those who believe upon him, not only to give sustenance to their physical lives now, but to give them eternal sustenance, ageless life.  When Jesus said he was the bread of God, the people of that culture understood how sacred, important and vital bread was to them, and understood that Jesus was telling them that they must consider him not only as sacred, important and vital as their physical bread, but more so, because the bread he offers them, himself, shall sustain their life eternally.  How Jesus, the bread of God, came down out of heaven is witnessed to through the record of the apostle Luke, the physician, that holy Spirit would come upon Mariam, and she would become overshadowed by holy Spirit, and she would give birth although she does not experientially know a man, and his name should be called Jesus (Luke 1:26-38).

"and giving life to the cosmos" - This isn't only one of the purposes for Jesus Christ's coming, but the main purpose (John 10:10).  According to all the promises in God's Word for the wholeness of mortalkind in every category of its need, the life this bread shall give must refer to all categories of life which mortalkind can possibly experience, spiritual, mental and physical abundance of life, both now and into the future, for all eternity.

 

John 6:34 (LIT/UBS4) Therefore (oun) they enunciated (eipon) to (pros) him (auton), “Lord (kurie), always (pantote) give (dos) this (touton), the (ton) bread (arton), to us (hēmin).”

 

"Lord, always give us this bread" - Based upon the evidence for the character of these unbelievers given in verse 26 where Jesus emphatically accused them of searching for him only to feed their bellies, and in verse 42 where the unbelievers reveal their true character as antichrists, for suggesting that Jesus could not be the promised redeemer who has come down from heaven because he is in the flesh (1 john 2:18-23; 4:1-5; 2 John 7), leads me to believe their statement here is intended to mock Jesus.  These unbelievers obviously don't believe who Jesus is, and they obviously don't understand the kind of bread about which he speaks.  But for some reason Jesus is loving and gracious enough to keep on explaining about the true bread, the true manna from heaven, himself, the kind of bread which gives the eater of it ageless life.

 

According to verse 42, these unbelievers apparently know Jesus and his family, and perhaps some of them are from the area of Jesus' home town, Nazareth.  

 

John 6:35 (LIT/UBS4) But (de) the (ho) Jesus (Iēsous) enunciated (eipen) to them (autois), “I (egō) am (eimi) the one (ho), the (tēs) bread (artos) of life (zōēs)

 

The one (ho) causing himself to come (erchomenos) to (pros) me (eme), no (mē), absolutely not (ou) may [that one] pine (peinase)!

 

And (kai) the one (ho) believing (pisteuōn) upon (epi) me (eme), no (mē), absolutely not (ou) shall he thirst (dipsēsei) ever, at any time (pōpote)!

 

"I am the one, the bread of life." - If any children of Israel knew any of the prophecies about the coming redeemer and the Promise of the Father, about what signs to look for which would identify the coming redeemer and the fulfillment of those prophecies, then they would have been able to correspond Jesus as the one fulfilling those prophecies.  It's just that simple.  The assumption by some unbelievers and antichrists that the prophecies were too difficult to understand, which made it too difficult to determine the real redeemer when he arrived, is first class excuse-making, to try and throw others off the truth that they simply didn't care enough about God and His Word to notice.  It's more an excuse used by antichrists, because simple unbelievers are not that adamant about their unbelief.  Unbelievers are simply caught off guard through their own apathy and ignorance, while antichrists are adamantly busy making excuses why they don't believe that Jesus is the son of God, the promised coming redeemer.

 

Those unbelievers and antichrists who continue to complain that God's Word, or the prophecies of the coming redeemer is all too complicated for them, who are too lazy to put the time and effort into understanding God's Word equivalent to the time and effort they put into doing their secular jobs to earn a paycheck to feed their bellies, shall have a brief moment to reflect on the profit of their decision, while on their way to the lake of fire.  According to the holy scriptures, the point blank, rude, bold truth is either choose eternal life through Jesus Christ, or get the default, eternal death.  To believers of God the heavenly Father, and the disciples of their Lord Jesus Christ, all the evidence points to Jesus as the one promised, the promised seed (Gen. 3:15) of God and redeemer of mortalkind.

 

"shall absolutely not become hungry" - Hunger to enjoy life.  Jesus doesn't speak of physical hunger, but of spiritual hunger for life, hunger for the ability, the strength, to go on living; through drought, when the crops don't come in; through plagues and diseases which may cover the land; through sicknesses like pneumonia or polio or cancer.  Jesus promises that we shall absolutely not become "hungry", i.e., we shall not come into life-threatening circumstances.  We either believe God's word here and now, or we don't.  God shall not allow us to hunger to live!  God shall make certain our lives shall always be abundant and satisfying (John 10:9-10), now, while we wait for Jesus' return for us.  This record we're examining in detail, right now, is Jesus' teaching these unbelievers how to believe in Jesus, and become disciples of him.  For these unbelievers this moment is the most important moment in their lives thus far.  Jesus is addressing their hope for life itself, not just about finding another meal to fill their bellies.  

 

"he shall absolutely not thirst" - Thirst to be right in God's eyes, to be able to do what is right, and to be at peace with God.  Believers shall absolutely not thirst after righteousness. God shall teach us via His holy Spirit within us, how to be pleasing in God's sight, what to do and how to do them right for a change.  God shall cause our minds to understand His Word, exactly what He means, if we desire to want to know and to fellowship with Him.  He'll come alongside us and teach us. The knowledge of God's Word which He shall teach us shall give us the answers to life's questions.  He'll teach our minds and make them sound, with the ability to think whole thoughts; He'll give our minds the ability to think through life's situations to come to sound conclusions, on how to deal with life's situations.  God shall not allow us to thirst for answers to life's challenges.  God the heavenly Father shall give us knowledge and wisdom to become more than conquerors in all of life's situations (Rom. 8:37).  He'll give us the knowledge and understanding we need to make right decisions, decisions which keep our feet safely on the path, the way of truth and life, so we can live a life of righteousness and peace (Mat. 7:13-14; Luke 1:79; John 14:6; Rom. 3:15; 2 Pet. 2:2, 2:15, 21).

 

John 6:36 (LIT/UBS4) BUT (alla), I enunciated (eipon) [this] to you (humin) because (hoti) you also have gazed at (kai heōrakate) me (eme), and (kai) you absolutely do not believe (ou pisteuete)!

 

"you" - The ones who don't believe are especially the ones who need to hear about Jesus.  But for these unbelievers, this day in history may be recalled at the day of judgment, the day when Jesus confronted them personally and they still chose not to believe.  These unbelievers now, in Jesus face, have set a precedent for themselves which they only can remove before they go to the grave, to insure mercy for them from God the heavenly Father before the day of their judgment.  

 

"because you also have gazed at me" - Those who have witnessed Jesus first hand, with their own eyes, who have heard him teach, and have seen him do signs, miracles and wonders, would seem to have more opportunity and reasons to believe than those who haven't seen him (John 20:29).  The arrogant, egotistical, prideful and smug unbelief of these unbelievers, which they happily and eagerly but foolishly choose, shall lose for them the possibility of eternal life and an abundant life now.

 

"and you absolutely do not believe!" - These unbelievers "searching" for Jesus from place to place, have absolutely no belief in him.  But they follow along masquerading as believers, to feed their own bellies without having to work for their food.  They absolutely do not believe, because they have no knowledge of the old covenant prophecies about the coming redeemer, therefore they have no ability to distinguish him if he stood before them, because they simply don't care about the things of God the heavenly Father.  They're into the worldly things.  Their master is the world's ability to satisfy their fleshly desires.  If they were to believe in God the heavenly Father and His son Jesus Christ they would have to put forth an effort to think and live for something other than their own fleshly lusts, which would mean taking their focus off from themselves, and their own bellies.

 

John 6:37 (LIT/UBS4) Everyone (pan) whom (ho) the (ho) Father (patēr) gives (didōsin) to me (moi) shall arrive (hēxei) to (pros) me (eme)

 

And (kai) the one (ton) causing himself to come (erchomenon) to (pros) me (eme), no (mē), absolutely not may I throw (ou ekbalō) [that one] out (exō)!

 

"All whom the Father gives me shall come toward me." - It is God the heavenly Father who knows the hearts of all mortals, who searches for those who believe His Word (Acts 1:24, 15:8; Rom. 8:27; Rev. 2:23).  Through God the heavenly Father's acts of kindness He draws mortals unto repentance (Rom. 2:4) toward Him, and draws them toward His son Jesus Christ unto wholeness through the new birth above (John 3; John 6:45).

 

"no, absolutely not may I throw [that one] out!" - Notice the double negative in the Greek to emphasize the absolute certainty of what Jesus says.  Jesus is letting these unbelievers know that at any time in the future should they choose to believe in him, he shall absolutely not throw them out, but accept them.

 

John 6:38 (LIT/UBS4) Because (hoti), I have stepped down (katabebēka) from (apo) the (tou) heaven (ouranou) absolutely not (ouch) in order that (hina) I do (poiō) the (to) desire (thelēma), the one (to) of me (emon), BUT (alla), the (to) desire (thelēma) of the one (tou) having sent (pempsantos) me (me)!

 

"BUT, the desire of the one having sent me!" - Notice the very emphatic adversative conjunction BUT (Gk. alla).  I capitalize it in my translation because it must not go unnoticed, but well heeded.  It introduces the point of everything being said.  It is used to compare very opposing ideas; this is black, BUT, this is white; or, this is wrong, BUT, this is right; or, this stinks in God's nostrils, BUT, this (our belief in Him) is a sweet savory smell which very much pleases Him. 

 

Disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ do the will of the one having sent them, Christ Jesus.  The will of our physical mother or father, of our neighbor, our brother or sister, our boss at our job, our brother or sister in the Lord, our pastor, rabbi, "father", or leader of the local ekklesia, may or may not be the will of God the heavenly Father, or of His son Christ Jesus who has sent us.  In my opinion, most modern "Christian" ekklēsias today are full of unbelievers and antichrists, egotistical controllers; ones who live to have psychological orgasms from controlling every move of every muscle of all others, as though they are Christ Jesus, the head of the one body; ones who speak good words and make fair speeches (Rom. 16:18), but are liars.  Modern "Christianity" in many organizations I've seen, seems to be all about mortals doing the will of other mortals; about mortals pleasing other mortals based upon some kind of totem pole of social hierarchy; about people comparing themselves with one another; about mortals comparing themselves to the standards of mortal-made theological theories instead of the teachings in the holy scriptures.

 

John 6:39 (LIT/UBS4) But (de) this (touto) is (estin) the (to) desire (thelēma) of the one (tou) having sent (pempsantos) me (me):

 

that (hina) everyone (pan) which (ho) He has given (dedōken) to me (moi) I may not lose (mē apolesō) [anyone] out (ex) of it (autou), BUT (alla), [in order that] I may stand him up (anastēsō auto) in (en) the (tē) last (eschatē) day (hēmera)!

 

"I may not lose [anyone] out of it" - Jesus tells the unbelievers, and all who read this passage as well, that whoever wishes to follow him, he is going to do everything he possibly can to insure that they never hunger for life, for a reason to get up in the morning, for a reason to live another day; or thirst for righteousness, for how to think, say and do things right for a change, those things which are pleasing in God's sight, and those things which are beneficial to others around us, and too ourselves.  Jesus is inviting them to follow him, as his disciples.  God worked in and through Jesus to do the sign of feeding the multitude with five loaves of bread and two fishes, to draw their attention to His son Jesus, to point him out to them the he, Jesus is the one to listen to, and the one to follow. 

 

Signs are meant to steer people in the right direction.  Jesus says everyone which the Father gives to Jesus shall arrive toward Jesus.  For anyone  who desires to become a disciple to Jesus, nothing can stop it.  The devil can't do anything to stop it.  Jesus says that if they wish to follow him that no, absolutely not will he throw them out.  They will arrive at no longer being hungry for a life worth living,  They will no longer be thirsty for righteousness, for being able to think, say, and do things right, those things which produce a life of abundance and joy.

 

If you're one who goes to church all of the time, but you're not experiencing having your hunger and thirst quenched, I can think of three of the most likely reasons why it is not happening for you: 

 

1.  The problem lies with you.  You're not sincere in becoming a disciple of Christ Jesus.  Are you willing to make a life-long commitment to learn and do the things Jesus taught?  Are you willing to make Christ Jesus your head, to follow what Jesus says, instead of following the theories, ideas and opinions of everyone else around you?

 

2.  The problem lies with those whom you've accepted to be your spiritual leaders.  They can't or won't teach you the things out of God's Word, both the milk and the meat, that you need to learn and practice to disciple yourself to Christ Jesus.  In my opinion this is the greatest problem in modern Christianity.  The over-simplicity of the "agenda" of modern Christianity allows no room for pneumatology, angelogy and demonology, which if they are spoken of, it is by a handful of people behind closed doors.  Modern Christianity dismisses these vital subject matters.  The stuff being offered on the general menu of modern "Christianity", for breakfast, lunch and dinner, which is being somewhat taught, hardly rises up to the level of the scriptural bar to qualify as even milk, let alone as the meat of God's Word.  "Let's believe on Jesus Christ for salvation and eternal life in the future. Amen!  Okay, let's turn the lights out and go home."  They come in as spiritual babies, and they go out as spiritual babies.  They do not learn anything about pneumatology, angelogy or demonology, zero!

 

We must ask ourselves, can modern denominationally fractured "Christianity" even lead anyone into being disciples of Christ Jesus?  This must be happening somewhere! Right?  But where?  Is modern Christianity, in any of its denominational fragments, even addressing, directly and specifically, the scriptural mandate of teaching people how to become disciples of Christ Jesus, through presentation of a comprehensive and thorough lesson plan which closely follows the scriptural patterns passed down to us?  I haven't seen it or heard it anywhere, throughout my 60 years of attending churches, watching televised broadcasts, or listening to radio broadcasts.  Where is it?

 

Is being a "Christian", which modern Christianity absolutely does not equate with being s "disciple" of Christ Jesus, based upon exactly what God's Word says, or upon "Christian" oral tradition, and mortal-made theological theories, ideas and concepts?  Is one's belief upon the name of Jesus for salvation what constitutes one being a Christian, or is that only 5% of the required knowledge and understanding the whole truth, and the other 95%, which is required for REAL discipleship, is missing?

 

Maybe, even though you're going to "church" regularly, you still feel lost.  Is it because you're following other sheep instead of following the shepherd, Christ Jesus!  According to the holy scriptures, church leadership should be leading you to Christ Jesus and our heavenly Father, not to themselves!  If you've gone to church your whole life and still have not learned how to have a wonderful and miraculous daily fellowship with our heavenly Father, and His son Christ Jesus, a fellowship with God's Spirit living in you, and working through you daily, then I'd quit eating at that "restaurant", because the spiritual food there is bad (Heb. 5:12-14).  Too much milk, if that, and absolutely not enough meat!  Modern Christianity's presentation of only a handful of subject matters, and in half-truths in meager amounts, can't help a spiritual baby to grow up spiritually into the fullness of the maturity of Christ (Eph. 4:13; Heb. 5:12)!

 

3.  Both!  In this case organized religion aspires to function as only a vehicle to facilitate primarily social-clubbing, while attempting to keep up appearances of conducting real worship toward God; scripting some amount of time which is dedicated to congregational verbal interaction with a shallow presentation of holy scripture, which all attendees hope is enough to appease God for one more week.  Modern Christianity's avoidance of the whole truth of subject matters in God's Word to attract more "numbers" of people certainly leaves believers ignorant and helpless.  The belief of those trying to believe half-truths is doomed to failure.  On the other hand, the majority of the high "numbers" of people do not wish to invest the amount of time it may take to delve deeper into God's Word to get at those whole truths, which whole truths produce belief in a person's heart, which belief apprehends those great and precious promises of God under His new covenant in Jesus' blood.  The majority want to get in and get out on Sunday to allot their time to other things.  And so the depth of the truth of any given subject matter is scaled back into being only an over-simplistic resemblance, only a hint of the depth of the whole truth which should be getting preached in its fullness.  The complete, who, what, where, when and how of any scriptural subject matter is seldom delivered as a complete package, and thereby never received as a complete package. 

 

From what I've seen from attending denominational organizations, listening to radio broadcasts, and from watching televised programming, modern "Christianity" preaches about 5% of the subject matter in God's Word, i.e., belief upon the name of Jesus for salvation, period, and then ignores the other 95% of subject matter as though it doesn't exist.  For example: By and large, modern "Christianity" doesn't teach pneumatology, which subject matter is pervasive in many large passages of the four gospels, and which subject matter consumes most  of the the books from Romans through Jude.  Pneumatology is about the new birth above, in a baptism in God's gift of His holy Spirit, from Christ Jesus, which makes us paternal sons of God?  Why does God graciously give His Spirit  to us?  What does God intend for us to do with it?  How can we use the power of it practically in our daily lives?  How does the power of the gift of holy Spirit relate to the ongoing spiritual battle in the cosmos with the devil and his demon spirits?  (Oh, what spiritual battle!?  Oh, you haven't heard about that?)  How does our new birth above in God's gift of holy Spirit enable us to partake in and harvest the benefits of His new covenant with us, His new covenant in Jesus' shed blood? 

 

You, or I, or anyone could walk into any Christian assembly on any corner in any part of the world and ask these questions to their congregations, and ask to see a show of hands from those who may know the answers, and I believe that scarcely a hand would go up.  Why?  Because the systemic lack of teaching of the knowledge of these things out of the holy scriptures, for about the last two thousands years, has relegated this subject matter into something which is now considered to be so hard to learn and understand that it may as well be rocket science. This knowledge has been missing off the "menu" now for so long that no one even knows what it "tastes" like. 

 

Modern "Christianity" seems content to simply help someone obtain salvation, but then leave them there as helpless little spiritual babies, since it lacks the knowledge and ability to lead them further into the spiritual growth into the fullness of the maturity of Christ (Eph. 4:13)!  Modern "Christianity" leaves them as little babies for the remainder of their lives, they getting their butts kicked daily by the devil and his demon spirits, until they finally give up and quit, and/or walk away from "Christianity", or die!  Hos. 4:6 says "My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge."  I believe this is as true today as in any time.  I blame this on people being deliberately led away from the rest of the subject matters in the holy scriptures, and people being led to mortal-made theological theories also, which are powerless; and to being led to doctrines of the devil, which is God's Word twisted so many ways. 

 

The preachers in the pulpits tell people which books, chapters and verses to turn to, and they are absolutely not asking people to turn to those great passages of meat in God's word, about discipleship, about manifesting God's gift of His holy Spirit in them, which is a Spirit of power (Mat. 10:1; Mark 6:7; Luke 9:1, 10:19, 24:49; John 1:12; Acts 1:8; 1 Cor. 2:5, 4:19-20; 2 Cor. 4:7; Eph. 1:19, 3:20, 6:10; 2 Thes. 1:11; 2 Tim. 1:7)!  Modern "Christianity" is ignoring this entire vital area of subject matter in God's Word, and many others!  Why?  I believe it is because either those spiritual leaders are failures themselves at their own discipleship to Christ in these areas, to both learn and do the scriptural things of true discipleship to Christ Jesus, or they're not working for our heavenly Father, the one true God!  What other answers can there be?  Modern "Christianity" is absolutely not leading people to Christ Jesus, to developing a true one on one relationship with him so believers can become more than conquerors, but deliberately keeping believers as little helpless spiritual babies! 

 

For example demonology: The knowledge of the demon spirit realm, and of the devil, of all of the teaching in the holy scriptures about how the demon spirits operate, their different names which they are named because of the characteristics they demonstrate; what are the indicators of evil being spoken or manifested, based upon the knowledge of the teaching in the holy scriptures; what are the evil symptoms people demonstrate which we can look for to indicate to us whether demon spirit activity is being manifested (this is called discerning of spirits) in others around us.  These are only a couple of examples about the subject matter of demonology, which is totally ignored by modern "Christianity".  Jesus Christ and the apostles didn't burn people at the stake and kill the person when people with demon spirit infestation came to them for help, but rather they saved the person by throwing out the demon spirits using the name of Jesus Christ!  Burning people at the stake is what the devil suggested, because he is a mortal-killer (John 8:44), and the father of it, and his children did what he told them to do (John 8:44).

 

Back to John 6:40 and Jesus witnessing about himself, and explaining belief and discipleship to two false believers, two vagabonds.

 

John 6:40 (LIT/UBS4) Because (gar) this (touto) is (estin) the (to) desire (thelēma) of the (tou) Father (patros) of me (mou):

 

that (hina) everyone (pas), the one (ho) observing (theōrōn) the (ton) son (huion) and (kai) believing (pisteuōn) into (eis) him (auton), he may hold (echē) ageless (aiōnion) life (zōēn)

 

And (kai) I (egō) shall stand him up (anastēsō auton) in (en) the (tē) last (eschatē) day (hēmera).”

 

"And I shall stand him up in the last day" - This is the resurrection from among dead ones, and the grave.

 

Just because in this particular record here in John 6:40 Jesus is speaking of eternal life to these unbelievers, doesn't mean that it is all that Jesus ever spoke about in relation to discipleship.  Sure, one of the big carrots being offered on the end of the stick is eternal life.  Eternal life is given with the remainder of our inheritance, at some time in the future.  There's another big carrot on the end of that stick enticing believers into discipleship, a carrot which represents a more than abundant life now, a life now filled with the power of holy Spirit working in and through a believer; a life now of God teaching him His Word, which Spirit and truth makes a disciple more than a conqueror over the devil and all his demon spirits.  That other big carrot on that stick represents an abundant life now (John 10:10), while we're yet here on earth waiting for Jesus return for us, his one body.  Everything under God's new covenant with mortalkind, which covenant Jesus put through for us with his broken body and shed blood, is for both now and in the future.  Do you know anything about that new covenant?  What do you know?  Does the amount you know about it fill only a thimble, or a ten gallon hat?  You can't believe knowledge which you don't have.

 

John 6:41 (LIT/UBS4) Therefore (oun) the (hoi) Judeans (Ioudaioi) were murmuring (egonguzon) about (peri) him (autou), because (hoti) he enunciated (eipen), ‘I (egō) am (eimi) the (ho) bread (artos), the (ho) [bread] having stepped down (katabas) out (ek) of the (tou) heaven (ouranou)’.

 

John 6:42 (LIT/UBS4) And (kai) they were saying (elegon), “Is (estin) this one (houtos) absolutely not (ou) Jesus (Iēsous), the (ho) son (huios) of Joseph (Iōsēph), of whom (hou) we (hēmeis) have seen (oidamen) the (ton) father (patera) and (kai) the (tēn) mother (mētera)!? 

 

Now (nun) how (pōs) does he say (legei) that (hoti), ‘Out (ek) of the (tou) heaven (ouranou) I have stepped down (katabebēka)?’”

 

"Now how does he say that, 'Out of the heaven I have stepped down?'" - Now the Judean unbelievers speak up to try to discredit Jesus' witness to them.   Their statement that Jesus is the son of Joseph, his supposed father, and of his mother Mariam, makes the argument that because Jesus was born in the flesh, as evidenced by the presence of his earthly mother and father, that Jesus cannot possibly be the promised messiah, the son of the God.  They pointing out that Joseph is Jesus' father may be a veiled attempt by them to remind everyone of the lie that Jesus is a bastard child, as most all of the religious leaders said, which the religious leaders, they being imposters themselves as representatives of God, desired everyone to believe.  This is how the devil always works, to discredit the one speaking on God's behalf.

 

The Judean unbelievers slyly insinuate that Jesus should have come down out of heaven another way if he's the son of God.  What other way do they suggest?  They don't!  Liars bet on leveraging a common characteristic of weakness intrinsic in human nature, that is, if you can't figure out why their lie/supposition is wrong, then maybe you'll believe it's right, in lieu of any other plausible explanations.  Anyone without an ounce of knowledge of God's Word may think that the insinuation of the Judeans is plausible, because a lie, especially when it's deliberately introduced as an insinuation, is designed to sound good.  But their sly insinuation is absolutely wrong.  The coming redeemer was prophesied to come in the flesh, to be born of the house of David, of the tribe of Judah.  We can see the Judeans' knowledge of the holy scriptures wouldn't fill a thimble!

 

The prophecies in God's Word enunciate that the coming messiah shall be born in the flesh, and shall come through the lineage of Jesse, the father of king David (Isa. 11:1-).  Matthew records the bloodline of Jesus Christ's lineage, starting back with Abraham, the father of all who believe (Mat. 1:2-5).  Jesse was the twelfth generation from Abraham, and the father of David the king.  You may wish to continue to search out these prophecies for yourself.  All the prophecies in God's Word portray a coming messiah as coming in the flesh.  Luke records for us exactly how the Spirit, the inherent power of the God, came down and caused Mariam, Jesus' mother, to conceive (Luke 1:35). Mat. 1:18 states that Mariam was, "found holding [a child] in the belly, out of holy Spirit."  The argument of the Judeans, with their insinuation, is exactly what identifies them (discerning of spirits) as antichrists working for the devil (1 John 4:3). 

 

If the religious leaders of the children of Israel were REAL preachers and teachers of God they certainly wouldn't have such an obvious great lack of knowledge of God's Word about the promised coming messiah; since what other subject matter in God's Word trumps this subject in its importance?  The promised coming messiah was prophesied and promised to come in Moses' writing way back in Gen. 3:15.  The coming redeemer had to come in the flesh, according to all of the obvious prophecies; because the redeemer had to have blood to shed.  Because without the shedding of blood there could have been no permanent payment and removal of the penalty for sin (Heb. 9:22), and there could have been no closing out of the old covenant of the Mosaic Law, the Law of Works, for the coming in of God's new covenant, the Law of Belief (Rom. 3:27; *Heb. 9:11-22)!  So then, how deep was the ignorance and stupidity of these Judean unbelievers in the time of Jesus' earthly ministry?  On the other hand, how deep was the ignorance and stupidity of the people not to notice the obvious depth of ignorance and stupidity of their religious leaders?  A handful of people did notice who Jesus was, and the deep ignorance and stupidity of the religious leadership, but they were despised by the majority of the people.

 

Let's take a few moments to renew our minds about antichrists, before returning to the record in John 6:42;

 

Anything and anyone who becomes offensive to the one true God, His son Christ Jesus, any of God's children who have received the new birth above in God's gift of holy Spirit, or to the truth of God's Word, is an antichrist, no matter how great or how small the attack.  People who love God's Word don't speak against it.  People who hate God's Word speak against it.  Those who don't care about religious things one way or another, don't speak for or against God's Word, they simply walk away, because they don't care.  The antichrists are those who speak against God's Word, because they hate God's Word, and all the things of God.  The devil, demon spirits, and antichrists all come to steal from, sacrifice (kill), and destroy the things of God (John 10:10); no matter how big or insignificant the stealing and destruction may appear.  These are the metaphorical sons of Ishmael, the son of Hagar the slave woman of Sarah, the son born into slavery and bondage to the devil, who is the father of the ones who pursue after the righteous ones, the lineage of Isaac out of Sarah, the ones who have been generated out of the Spirit of God (Gal. 4:22-31).

 

In Php. 3:3 apostle warns the believers in the area of Philippi to stay vigilant in their discerning of spirits:

 

Php. 3:2 (LIT/UBS4) Look [out for] (blepete) the (tous) dogs (kunas)!

 

Look [out for] (blepete) the (tous) malicious (kakous) workers (ergatas)!

 

Look [out for] (blepete) the (tēn) cut-down (katatomēn)!

 

When you see and/or hear the malicious insult, the cut-down, no matter how large or small it may be, against God, His son Christ Jesus, God's Word , or ones who believe in Jesus' name, that's how you know that person is an antichrist.  What you hear is "bad fruit", and so you know the "tree" is bad (Mat. 7:15-20).  This is a foundational truth of discerning of spirits. 

 

To young, newborn believers who are just getting started as disciples (or not) of our Lord Jesus Christ, because of a lack of knowledge of God's Word, they read this passage about these Judean unbelievers and may take them as only somewhat ignorant, but "harmless", as ones simply questioning Jesus Christ.  That is a huge mistake based upon the lack of comprehensive knowledge of the holy scriptures.  These Judeans were unbelievers to say the least.  Unbelievers usually don't care one way or another about religious issues, and wouldn't even be standing around listening, let alone speaking up.  But these Judean unbelievers, now after being confronted by Jesus and told they absolutely do not believe in him, and that all they care about is feeding their belies, now show their true colors and make Jesus a target of their pursuit, to discredit him.  The fact that they now become offensive, and now pursue after Jesus to discredit him, while he was trying to help them become disciples of him, is what makes them more than simply unbelievers, but what makes them antichrists. 

 

In the world we live in today, newborn babes in Christ still can't see antichrists or distinguish antichrist activity.  Why?  Because modern "Christianity" doesn't teach them out of the holy scriptures what to look for, and to compare what's taught in the holy scriptures to what they see and hear.  Passages about discerning of Spirits such as Jesus taught in Mat. 7:15-20, about how to distinguish a "bad tree" by the "bad fruit" it produces, and passages like 1 Cor. 12:1- which list the nine manifestations, nine ways a child born of God's Spirit can activate God's power in their lives, and passages like Gal. 4:22-31 about antichrists, are all ignored in modern "Christianity". 

 

There's a huge difference between simple and ignorant unbelievers and antichrists.  Antichrists, through the spiritual nature within them, actively desire to pursue after and steal from believers, destroy believers, and kill believers (John 10:9-10), to destroy ones who show a desire to love and believe God's Word, to believe upon the name of God's son, Jesus.  And these antichrists in this record here in John 6 want to stop Jesus' witness, to stop others among them from becoming believers in Jesus, and from becoming his disciples.

 

Now please allow me to ask you a few important questions. These are purely rhetorical, for you to answer for yourself, and only to yourself.  I ask these questions only to provoke the reader to think for a moment in certain ways which may be outside of their regular thought patterns. I've asked hard questions like these of myself many times, and trying to answer them for myself has revealed to me things which were holding me back from the liberty wherewith Jesus Christ has made me free (Gal. 2:4, 5:1; 2 Cor. 3:17).

 

Q1.  Can you recognize any antichrists in the world today, in the news, around you, or wherever?
 

Q2.  Do you know anyone who can recognize an antichrist, or who has ever seen one?
 

Q3.  In your church or religious institution do you find yourself waiting to be given permission to think about, and/or talk about, and/or believe certain things which seem right and truthful to you, according to your own studies and knowledge of God's Word?
 

Q4.  Do you feel pressure on you which causes you to be hesitant or even fearful to speak up for yourself, to ask about or speak about certain doctrinal subject matters?
 

If your answer to Q1 is "no", or you're not sure, or you don't know, then that's because your Christian religious institution is failing to preach and teach to you that abundant subject matter in the holy scriptures of God's Word.  Why the failure?

 

If your answer to Q2 is "no", or you're not sure, or you don't know, then that's because your Christian religious institution is failing to preach and teach to you that abundant subject matter in the holy scriptures of God's Word.  Why the failure?

 

If your answer to either Q3 or Q4 is "yes", then the antichrist's are having an oppressive effect upon you, and they are much closer to you than you may think!  They are in the spiritual leadership of your church or religious institution!  If free and open discussion of scriptural issues and subject matters are not allowed by you religious leaders, then you are under spiritual oppression, and are deliberately being kept as a spiritual babe in Christ, if even that; being kept controlled, being corralled in your mind from certain subject matters in God's Word, being kept defeated, and being kept sidelined from the spiritual battle in the world, and being kept from growing up into the fullness of the maturity of Christ in your own personal discipleship to Christ (Eph. 4:13).  Being kept from knowing and understanding discerning of spirits, and being kept from learning to recognizing antichrists is being kept in spiritual bondage and defeat.  You're being kept a victim instead of being more than a conqueror, through being kept ignorant and stupid.

 

If your answer to Q1 is "no", then this indicates that you have a low level of spiritual knowledge, understanding, and insight in discerning of spirits.  If so, then ask God for more ability in this area (Luke 11:13), who shall give you belief to manifest this with your gift of holy Spirit, for the very purpose for which you desire it (James 1:5, haplōs; Mat. 7:7).  Why wait to be given permission from someone to learn about how to recognize antichrists, and other demon spirit-based activities in the world?  They are the enemy!  For what reason should we not put on the whole armor of God (Eph. 6) if not to defend ourselves from them, and defeat them!?  The "armor" of God is the knowledge of God's Word in these areas of subject matter!

 

You already have the permission from God the heavenly Father and His son Jesus Christ to learn to recognize antichrists working in the world.  We have more than permission, we're commanded to cause ourselves to drop into the whole armor of God (Eph. 6:11, endusasthe, imperative mood) in order that we can quench ALL of the missiles of the evil one (Eph. 6:11-18).  The first piece of armor is the truth of God's Word (Eph. 6:14), which includes the knowledge of what are antichrists and how to discern them, which we are to have strapped (girt) around our waist (loins).  We're to "drop ourselves into" the exact, specific and in-depth knowledge of God's Word on all of these subjects to equip us to become the victors in any and all spiritual battles!

 

If your answer to Q2 is "no", then you may want to question whether the level of the quality of discipleship to the Lord Jesus Christ taught in your organization or denomination is up to the level of the bar set in God's Word.  Maybe it is not preached or taught at all.  I've never found it anywhere.  Does anyone know any Christian organization which teaches the whole truth in God's Word about any given subject matter, especially about our personal discipleship to Christ Jesus, all as parts of his one body? 

 

One of the first, and most important things Jesus taught his disciples before he sent them out to witness about his heavenly Father, about himself, and about the coming gift of holy Spirit, the promise of the Father, soon to come on the day of Pentecost, was discerning of spirits, and to throw them out of people in his name!  Do you think that discerning of spirits and throwing them out of people in the name of Jesus may be important to us today, in our own personal ministries as disciples of Christ Jesus, as we go out and witness about the new covenant gracious things of God which Jesus made available through his own shed blood?  We who have believed upon the name of Jesus have been given the Ministry of Reconciliation, to speak the Word of Reconciliation (2 Cor. 5:17-20), the exact same life-long assignment Jesus gave to his twelve, and all of the other disciples which followed Jesus!  We've been given the exact same ministry, to speak the exact same things, for the exact same reasons!!!  We're not here on a holiday vacation.

 

If your answer to Q2 is "no", then either you've always been asleep or your organization doesn't preach or teach the things Jesus Christ taught his disciples, and they in turn taught their disciples, which is a true Christian tradition according to the holy scriptures.  Then tear the four gospels out four Bibles; why carry around that needless weight?  Okay, if you don't like that idea, then sit down with your religious leaders and go through the gospels records together, very carefully, and mutually decide between the two of you exactly which subject matters of God's Word, which Jesus taught to his disciples, they will teach to you, and exactly which ones do they refuse to teach, and why?  It's hard to find good restaurants to eat at, ones where you can get meat, instead of simplistic "Mary had a little lamb", over and over in so many recipes.

 

But why wait for them?  Disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ are supposed to actually be learning and gaining detailed and accurate knowledge and spiritual skills through their own studies of God's Word, and the power of the new birth above in God's gift of His holy Spirit working in you, NOW!  God's Spirit in you is supposed to be teaching you, first and foremost (Isa. 54:13; Jer. 31:31-34; John 6:45; Heb. 8:8-12, 10:16-17)!  Hasn't anyone ever told you this, and shown it to you out of God's Word, the holy scriptures?  Why not?  Maybe antichrists are closer around you than you may think!

 

Antichrists are walking around all over the place!  Any believer can learn how to spot them, through learning the knowledge of God's Word, and through the power of the gift of holy Spirit at work within him (2 Cor. 13:5).  According to the holy scriptures there is a devil making war with the believers in Jesus Christ (1 Pet. 5:8), and there are demon spirits under his command (Acts 20:29), and other mortals can become possessed and/or heavily influenced in their thoughts, words and actions (Luke 9:42; John 8:44), and the devil comes only to steal, kill and destroy (John 10:9), and that they are referred to also as antichrists (1 John 4:3; 2 John 1:7), and that they have definite distinctive characteristics which can be easily recognized, and that we are to fight against them spiritually, etc., etc., etc., is all foundational learning, and part of the milk of God's Word! 

 

These things should be some of the first things newborn babes in Jesus Christ learn, according to the examples given to us in the holy scriptures.  Learning these things and doing them is the milk of God's Word, and is discipleship 101 according to Jesus Christ! 

 

Are you believing to grow up into the fullness of the maturity of Christ (Eph. 4:13)?  Are you interested in joining into the ongoing spiritual battle in the world to at least keep your own butt, and the butts of your family, from getting kicked over and over daily?  What do you know out of the holy scriptures (not oral tradition!), and what do you believe!