Miracles from God
(John 6:14-70)

Fred R. Coulter—June 15, 1985

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That Prophet {# 15 this series} is based on this Scripture, John 6:14: "Now, when the men saw the miracle that Jesus had done, they said, 'Of a truth, this is the Prophet Who was to come into the world.'"

We'll see what Moses said about That Prophet, and we will see that the Jews knew that Jesus was coming at that time. I think we need to realize more and more that that segment of that generation was a whole lot more liable for the knowledge of the things that were done than we, looking back, can understand. I will bring the Scriptures all together that they knew that this was the Messiah, that they knew this was the Son of man, they knew that He was the Prophet spoken of by Moses, etc.

Verse 15: "Because Jesus perceived that they were about to come and seize Him, so that they might make Him king…" This is what Jesus meant that He was not a part of this world, though He came and did not deny that He was King of the Jews. We will see that they were looking for a political leader that they could follow. They were looking for a modern type of human savior and so forth. If He would have submitted to that, then all of God's plan would be lost. I just want you to know how similar that some of these things are, as we go through—with the people coming to Him and saying, 'do this, do that or do the other thing'—to the attitude that Satan had when he was tempting Jesus.

You might go back and read that section of Matt. 4 and Luke 4 about the temptation of Jesus Christ, as we parallel this along.

"…He withdrew again to a mountain by Himself alone" (v 15). We know in other accounts that He went up there to pray. These were times when He would get up there and pray to God the Father and stay close to God the Father. We'll see some of the miracles that He was able to do after that as a sign to His disciples. As we go through here, let's sort of mentally visualize:

  • what it would be to be some of the people who saw the miracles
  • what it would be to be the disciples

in the case of when it what when Jesus left them

  • what it was when the people discovered Jesus on the other side of the lake

Verse 16: "Now, when evening came, His disciples went down to the sea; and they went into a ship and were crossing the sea to Capernaum…" (vs 16-17). They were on the east side of the Sea of Galilee and were going across to the west side of the Sea of Galilee.

"…for it had already become dark, and Jesus had not come to them. But the sea was tossing because a strong wind was blowing. And after rowing about twenty-five or thirty furlongs, they saw Jesus walking on the sea and approaching the ship; and they were afraid. But He said to them, 'I AM…'" (vs 16-20)—Greek—'ego eimi'

Faith:

Note sermon: I AM; showing all the phrases where Jesus said:

  • I AM the Truth
  • I AM the Life
  • I AM the Way
  • I AM the First and the Last
  • I AM the Light of the world

"…'I AM He. Do not be afraid.' Then they willingly received Him into the ship; and immediately the ship was at the land to which they were going" (vs 20-21).

Let's see the parallel accounts in Matt. 14 and Mark 6. When we tie all of these events in together, we'll see a little bit more of the impact that was there.

Matthew 14:22: "And immediately Jesus compelled His disciples to enter the ship and go before Him to the other side, while He dismissed the multitude. And after dismissing the multitude, He went up into the mountain apart to pray…" (vs 22-23). I imagine some of these prayers are really something, and I imagine that when Jesus prayed it wasn't like it is when we pray.

When we pray, lots of times we have to get out the Bible and read a Psalm and get our mind all cleaned out and try and keep all of the mental deviations from happening when we're praying. But I'm sure that when Jesus prayed He could more visualize God the Father and it was a very direct interlocking type of prayer between God the Father and Jesus Christ. I'm sure that when He had His public prayers they were very short. You can read the public prayers of Jesus and they were very, very short.

Jesus said when they resurrected Lazarus that He prayed only for their sake (John 11). That's the only reason He prayed out loud so they would know that it was God the Father Who did it. But I imagine that when Jesus went apart to pray by Himself it was more like direct contact with God the Father than we could ever imagine.

"…and when evening came, He was there alone. But the ship was now in the middle of the sea, being tossed by the waves, because the wind was contrary…. [to the way that they were going] …Now in the fourth watch of the night…" (vs 23-25)—between 3 & 6 in the morning; consider that there are 12 hours at night and 4 watches at night; each one would be 3 hours, and this one would be between 3 & 6 in the morning.

"…Jesus went to them walking on the sea" (v 25)—right after He was praying to God the Father. I still, in my mind—when we get through this to see—I wonder what it would be like to walk on water. That would be quite a sensation, and the only one to do besides Jesus was Peter for a very short period of time.

Just imagine yourself as one of the disciples rowing; you've been rowing all night and the wind has been against you, and you're tired and worn out and here's this storm and all of a sudden you see this person walking on the water toward you.

Verse 26: "And when the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were troubled and said 'It is an apparition!' And they cried out in fear. But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, 'Be of good courage; it is I. Do not be afraid.' Then Peter answered Him and said, 'Lord, if it is You, bid me to come to You upon the waters.' And He said, 'Come.' And after climbing down from the ship, Peter walked upon the waters to go to Jesus" (vs 26-29).

It took a certain amount of courage to do that, and it took a certain amount of believing, and that is the whole key of John 6: to believe in Jesus Christ and the One Who sent Him! Peter believed and he walked on the water to go to Jesus.

Verse 30: "But when he saw how strong the wind was, he became afraid; and as he was beginning to sink,he cried out, saying, 'Lord, save me!'" There are many different lessons we could learn in this. Jesus gives us one that we will see.

Verse 31: "And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and took hold of him, and said to him, 'O you of little faith, why did you doubt?'" There's the lesson of faith! What did Jesus say about faith? If you have faith the size of a grain of mustard seed!

When we were at Ambassador College we had little clear packets of mustard seed. That was up on the bulletin board, and every day when we went into lunch that was up there. If you have faith as the grain of a mustard seed. Mustard seed is just a pinprick size. If you took a pin and push into some paper and the size of the hole that was left would be about the size of a mustard seed. Every time I saw that, I will never forget that, it just reminds us IF you have the faith of a grain of the mustard seed, which tells us we all have very little faith!It also tells us that that faith can only come from God the Father and Jesus Christ!

He told Peter, "…'O you of little faith, why did you doubt?'" This is the whole thing that keeps coming back on human beings, is really having that constant surging faith.

Whenever everything is going fine, great, grand, glorious and good, yes, we can have faith. But when things get tough—like Peter out there walking on the water and the waves coming around all the circumstances against you—your faith begins to waver and you begin to sink! That's one aspect of it. One of the lessons is the lesson of faith!

Verse 32: "Now, when they went into the ship, the wind ceased. And those in the ship came and worshiped Him, saying, 'You are truly the Son of God'" (vs 32-33). That was a very powerful and moving experience.

  • I wonder what it would have been like to be one of the 12 disciples after they had received the power of the Holy Spirit and were sent out to preach?
  • I wonder what it would have been like to stand up and narrate this story as one who had done this?
  • I wonder what it would have been like to stand up and relate this story as one who had seen it?
  • I wonder what it was like in Peter's mind?

It was a very exhilarating experience, but it was also a very humbling experience, because he had to be shown that he didn't have the faith. I imagine that was a perpetual lesson that he would teach and preach.

In Mark 6:46 we get something just a little bit different: "And after He had sent them away, He departed to the mountain to pray." If you've never had that experience, or you've never been in a situation where you can get into a high hill—I'm sure it was like a high hill—that's a good place to pray. Just get up there and no one is around and you kneel and pray to God; there's nothing up there except the wind, the birds, whatever; you pray and get close to God. That's why Jesus did that.

Verse 47: "Now, when evening arrived, the ship was in the middle of the sea, and He was alone on the land. And He saw them laboring in their rowing…" (vs 47-48).

I don't know how far it was from where Jesus was praying down to the sea, but it just makes you wonder if this was kind of like the supernatural vision that He told Nathaniel when Peter and Andrew brought Nathaniel to Jesus, and Jesus said, 'I saw you sitting under the tree.' I wonder if this was something like that. He had that supernatural vision to look down off the top of the hill, clear across the Sea of Galilee. It shows that they were at least two-thirds of the way across by that time, and just to see them out there working at rowing and toiling.

Verse 48: "And He saw them laboring in their rowing, because the wind was contrary to them. And about the fourth watch of the night, He came to them, walking on the sea, and would have passed by them." That would have been even more startling! For the disciples to work all night rowing to get to the other side of the Sea of Galilee and when they get there Jesus stands and meets them. He would have passed them by.

Verse 49: "But when they saw Him walking on the sea, they thought it was an apparition; and they cried out, because they all saw Him and were alarmed. And immediately He spoke to them, and said to them, 'Be of good courage; it isI. Do not fear.' Then He went up to them into the ship, and the wind ceased…." (vs 49-51).

Can you imagine if you were out there rowing for nine hours, as hard as you could and the wind against you, and as soon as Jesus got in the ship not even a breeze! That's would be a tremendous experience.

"…And they were amazed in themselves far beyond measure, and wondered" (v 51). Can you imagine how you would feel there with Jesus climbing in the ship? I don't imagine the ship was too big; kind of like one of these 8-10 place rowing ships they had for fishing. As soon as He got in and stood up, the wind stopped! Talk about something to tell your children and grandchildren for a long time! "…And they were amazed in themselves far beyond measure, and wondered."

Verse 52: "For they did not understand the miracle of the loaves, because their hearts were hardened." It really makes you wonder how hard human nature is. After all that, they believe and were thrilled, and still "…their hearts were hardened." It's really something what the Bible talks about with human nature. I don't think we fully comprehend, and I think one of the reasons we don't fully comprehend is because in order to understand how bad human nature really, really is, you have to be so tremendously spiritually minded to handle it. We get glimpses of it.

"…their hearts were hardened" (v 52). That makes you recall when Jesus told Peter after he would deny Him three times, 'When you are converted, strengthen the brethren.' I imagine if Peter could really write his own story it would be quite a little bit different, from that internal experience, than what he was inspired to put down here on paper for us.

Let's just keep in mind that all of these people were looking for Jesus. Jesus snuck away from them. The disciples rode to the other side of the Sea of Galilee, to the land of Gennesaret.

John 6:22: "On the next day, the multitude standing on the other side of the sea, who had observed that no other small ship was there besides the one into which the disciples had entered, and that Jesus had not gone into the small ship with His disciples, but that His disciples had departed alone." There were down here trying to figure it out. If you got one free meal, two would be better and three would be far better. So, they were down there wondering what would happen.

Verse 23: "(But other small ships had come from Tiberias near the place where they had eaten the bread, after the Lord had given thanks); accordingly, when the multitude saw that Jesus was not there, nor His disciples, they also went in the ships…" (vs 23-24)—their row boats, sailboats; picture all these boats leaving the eastern side of the Sea of Galilee going over toward Capernaum.

"…and came to Capernaum, looking for Jesus. And after finding Him on the other side of the sea, they said to Him, 'Rabbi, when did You come here?'" (vs 24-25). Notice that He didn't answer them:

Verse 26: "Jesus answered them and said, 'Truly, truly I say to you, you do not seek Me because you saw the miracles, but because you ate the bread and were satisfied…. [they just wanted the food] …Do not labor for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures unto eternal life, which the Son of man shall give to you; for Him has God the Father sealed'" (vs 26-27).

Sealed of God:

Who is sealed? We know that Jesus was because He said so. God the Father has sealed Him! That means with God's Spirit! He was set aside of God.

Ephesians 1:13: "In Whom you also trusted after hearing the Word of the Truth, the Gospel of your salvation; in Whom also, after believing, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise." So, the same thing happens to us: sealed, set aside, a sign of God put upon us. What is the sign of God that is put upon us today? Let's look at the various things that show that we are sealed with the Holy Spirit

Verse 14: Which is the earnest… [the beginning] …of our inheritance..."

2-Corinthians 1:21: "But He Who establishes us with you in Christ, and Who has anointed us, is God, Who has also sealed us and has given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts" (vs 21-22). It shows that when you are sealed—receiving God's Spirit—it is the earnest of the inheritance, which is in our heart: in our mind, our emotions, inward parts. That's what the term 'heart' means.

What are the signs that we have the Holy Spirit?

  • Love One Another

The Christian sign is that 'all men would know that we are the disciples of Jesus (John 13). Too often people fall short of that and take into their hands the prerogative of God to execute judgment and law against other people.

John 13:34: "A new commandment I give to you: that you love one another in the same way that I have loved you, that is how you are to love one another."

That's a tremendous thing we all need to be striving for, continually working toward and doing, and to keep that kind of attitude. This is something we need to always be continually working at: to love one another! What does it say about love? Bears all things, hopes all things, believes all things, seeks not its own!

Lot's of times the things that we perpetrate against other people is just seeking our own judgment upon them. I'm sure that's why it says, 'The letter of the Law kills.' But this is what we need to continually strive for. This is what I hope and pray that God continues to bless us with, that we do love each other, we're concerned for each other, with the same love that Jesus has for us.

Verse 35: "By this shall everyone know that you are My disciples—if you love one another." That is the sign that we are sealed with God's Spirit!

  • Keeping the Sabbaths

Exo. 21:13 and Ezek. 20, that whole chapter talks about the sign of the Sabbath and the Holy Days and the obedience that we need to do. It is together.

Lots of times people like to take one doctrine, or one tenet and try and make that their champion tenet. There's a great controversy among Jews:

  • What does God require?
    • Does He require the Ten Commandments of Moses?
    • Does He require the eight conditions of Psa. 15?
    • Does He require the one condition found in the book of Micah, to seek God and walk humbly with your God?
    • Does He require—as with the Rechabites—not be drinking any wine?

God accepted that!

      • What is it that Got requires?

All of those go together, brethren! You can't just take one and then build a theology on it, and then have everything the way that God wants. It's more than just one.

The main umbrella is the love toward each other and the love toward God; everything else fits in under that.

John 6:28: Therefore, they said to Him, 'What shall we do, in order that we ourselves may do the works of God?'" What was the end result that they wanted to get? Food! Isn't this the question that people always ask? What is it that God wants me to do? That's the one that they always ask! What work? What can I do? Jesus gives them what they should do, and it was hard for them to handle!

  • Belief:

Verse 29: Jesus answered and said to them, 'This is the work of God: that you believe in Him Whom He has sent.'" Notice that He did not give a set formula/prescription of laws and commandments to keep. Those are basic and understood.

Why is commandment-keeping alone is unprofitable? Because there's something greater than just doing a work of a law! It is the hardest thing to do, and this is the whole key and the crux. "…'This is the work of God: that you believe in Him Whom He has sent.'" I've also seen this Scripture perverted. That you better believe 'our one and only apostle, because this is the one whom God has sent and you better believe on him.' That sets the man up as Christ!

This Scripture means that you believe on Christ! What is the hardest thing for people to do? To believe! This kind of belief implies more than just saying:

      • yes, I believe He existed
      • yes, I believe He was a good man
      • yes, I believe He is the Son of God

It means belief that you act upon and live upon that belief! That you're believe into. Verse 29: "Jesus answered and said to them, 'This is the work of God: that you believe in… [Greek: 'eis'—into, that involving belief!] …Him Whom He has sent.'" John preaches this all the way through, that you can believe, and that belief goes right into. That belief becomes a spiritual meeting of the mind, with your spirit, with God's Spirit, with the way that you live, the way that you act and everything combined. That is the hardest thing for them to believe! To believe!

Verse 66: "From that time, many of His disciples went back and walked no more with Him. Therefore, Jesus said to the twelve, 'Are you also desiring to go away?' Then Simon Peter answered Him, 'Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life; "And we have believed and have known that You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.' Jesus answered them, 'Did I not choose you twelve, and one of you is a devil?'" (vs 66-70). These were the ones that were right with Him.

Verse 29: "…'This is the work of God: that you believe in Him Whom He has sent.' Therefore, they said to Him, 'What sign will You perform, that we may see it and believe You?….'" (vs 29-30). That's always the way human nature is. It taunts you. What are you going to do? Prove it to us? And He just did!

"'…What work will You do?….'" (v 30). Notice how this attitude is so similar to the temptation of Jesus by the devil: 'If you be the Son of God, command that these stones be made into bread. If you be the Son of God, cast Yourself down and prove it to me.' This is what they were saying here:

Verse 31: "'Our fathers ate manna in the wilderness, as it is written: "He [God] gave them bread to eat that came down from heaven."'" We are following God, but we don't know about You, so what are You going to do to show that you are God, or from God. God gave our forefathers manna in the wilderness, gave them bread from heaven.

Verse 32: "Then Jesus said to them, 'Truly, truly I say to you, Moses did not give you the Bread from heaven; but My Father gives you the true Bread from heaven.'" So, He didn't even answer the question again. That is not the question when you view it from God's point of view; the physical things are not the question. That's awfully hard for us physical minded people to really, really comprehend. We do think in physical terms—don't we? We do think:

  • What are we going to eat?
  • What are we going to drink?
  • What are we going to clothe ourselves with?
  • Where are we going to live?
  • What are we going to do?

We worry about

  • heat and cold
  • sleep and awake
  • life and death

—all these physical things. It's kind of hard for the human mind to put it in the perspective of God's mind, that He can always take care of those things. That He will always provide!

Let's see the lessons that were taught in the Old Testament concerning these things:

Exo. 16 is the beginning of the giving of manna. God the Father was the One Who gave it to them. They went out everyday and gathered the manna. On the sixth day they were to gather twice as much, and they could keep it over for the Sabbath and it wouldn't breed worms and stink—that's one miracle. If you got more than what you should on the other days of the week then it would breed worms and stink—that's the other miracle.

God is able to provide under all circumstances!There's a lesson there that God will provide for us if we honor Him and keep the Sabbath. Remember that when one went out on the Sabbath to see if there was manna, and God said, 'How long refuse you to keep My commandments.'

They had all this manna all that time. You would think they would be grateful. Human nature is never satisfied; human nature is never grateful. All they did was complain. They complained when they were in Egypt: 'Oh, would that God would get us out of this slavery.' Then they get out there and it's a little hot: 'Oh, would that God have left us in Egypt so that we could die.' They walked through the Red Sea and they praised God: 'Thank God, hallelujah, wonderful, and they walk three days in the wilderness: 'Oh, would God that we would have something to drink.'

Numbers 11: "And the troublemakers in their midst lusted with great lust. And the children of Israel also turned and wept, and said, 'Who shall give us flesh to eat?'" I know exactly how they felt:

We drove though the blistering heat of the Sacramento Valley with no air-conditioning and the windows were rolled down. Where are we going to get something to drink? Oh, that we could have something cold to drink! What would taste really the best? Beer wouldn't take good. Pop? No! We got some mineral water! I tell you, on a hot, hot day, if you want something that's real thirst-quenching and not leave an aftertaste, drink a little bit of mineral water. We got that and that tasted so good.

I can understand how these people would be in the Sinai. All there was to see was sand and rocks; and the heat. The sun comes up and it's not very kind, it just blisters down on you. And the people said, 'Oh, who is going to give us flesh to eat?' Someone piped up and said:

Verse 5: "We remember the fish, which we ate freely in Egypt…" Just through a net in the Nile River and come out all these fish.

"…the cucumbers, and the melons, and the leeks, and the onions, and the garlic. But now our soul is dried away. There is nothing at all besides this manna before our eyes" (v 5-6).

Why does God call that lusting? Because God was right with them, leading them, and God would have given them anything that they wanted!

Instead of complaining and griping—which they were doing; that is natural—as a congregation getting together and coming to Moses and saying, 'Moses, we would really desirous of some nice good flesh to eat. We really don't care if it's fish, fowl, whatever. How about if we all get together and we pray and ask God to provide it for us? You go on into the tabernacle and ask God what His desire would be for us?' They could have had a feast set right there in the middle of the desert.

That's why it was lusting! God was with them! God was right there with them, near unto them, with them in the tabernacle, in the pillar of cloud by day and fire by night!

Verse 6: "'But now our soul is dried away. There is nothing at all besides this manna before our eyes.' And the manna was like coriander seed, and the color of it was like the color of bdellium. The people went around and gathered, and ground it in mills, or beat it in a mortar, and baked it in pans, and made cakes of it. And the taste of it was like the taste of fresh oil" (vs 6-8).

So, it was probably pretty wholesome! It would be like having a diet and all there is this liquid protein. You look at it and it has everything in it. Every morning you're going to have this miserable ole protein shake. After about the third week you're choking this rotten chalky stuff down. YUK!

I guess that's the way they looked at it. But, they had God right there. That's why the fell a lusting!

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I'm sure that if God were not there and were there not be the miraculous exodus that was taking place, it would not be the ordinary lusting. It would be what you would call the hungering of the soul more than anything else. But since God was there to provide, then it became one of those things that was lusting.

Many of the Psalms give a review of this. But let's focus in on what those people were trying to get Jesus to do. They were trying to get Jesus to always provide something for them by a miracle, rather than believing in God. They wanted to believe in the physical things that were produced, and they would only believe because He did that.

Same thing as the children of Israel in the wilderness. God was right there; they'd seen all these miracles; God was able to do anything for them. He set them a banquet, sent them water, sent them fowl. I imagine He could even have created a river with fish in it, and they could just all go fishing. There would be nothing impossible for God to do. That would really have been something; create a river in the middle of the desert and say, 'Okay, you want some fish, and your prayer to Me was acceptable, you're not rebellious, you're not seeking your own, you're not lusting; fine, I'll create a lake temporarily and you can all go out there and fish and we'll have a good fish fry.' I imagine God could have done that, just nothing to it.

In Psa. 78 we, again, have belief; and see how this ties right in with the lesson that Jesus was giving:

Psalm 78:22: "Because they did not believe in God…" How close can you get to God and not believe in Him? He was right there and they believed not in God.

"…and did not trust in His salvation, though He had commanded the clouds from above, and had opened the doors of heaven; and He had rained down manna upon them to eat, and gave them of the grain of heaven. Man ate the food of angels; He sent them meat to the full" (vs 22-25). Then David goes through and shows another recounting of the exodus. So, God was able to do it.

  • Why was it lusting?
  • Because they weren't believing!
  • When does desire become lust?
  • Desire becomes lust when you go take your own means to get it and you don't believe that God can provide the things that you really need, and you want something that God is not going to provide for you!

And they want it in an inordinate way, and that becomes lust! That's when desire becomes lust, when you're not believing in God!

Psa. 105 gets right back to the theme of what Jesus was teaching and portraying in John 6 about the Bread of heaven, or the Bread from heaven:

Psalm 105:40: "The people asked, and He brought quail, and satisfied them with the bread of heaven." This ties right in with Exo. 16. The people asked—and at that time they didn't ask in a wrong way—and God sent the quail for them. They didn't choke and they didn't die. But the second time, after they already had it, they choked and died because of their lust and greed. They wanted to do it in spite of God. "…with the bread of heaven."

Notice that phrase, which ties right in with John 6, which we're leading up to now, where Jesus is going to show what is the true Bread from heaven. That's what they were referring to. They were coming up and saying, 'Well now, God did this for us, what are You going to do for us.' Jesus never answered the question because to answer that question would be to miss the whole point about the real reason for Jesus' coming.

John 6:31: "'Our fathers ate manna in the wilderness, as it is written: "He gave them bread to eat that came down from heaven."'…. [that's what we just read] …Then Jesus said to them, 'Truly, truly I say to you, Moses did not give you the Bread from heaven; but My Father gives you the true Bread from heaven. For the Bread of God is He Who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.' Therefore, they said to Him, 'Lord, give this bread to us always.' Jesus said to them, 'I AM the Bread of Life…'" (vs 31-35). Again, He didn't answer the question, because they could not comprehend that life is more than bread, and life is more than raiment, as Jesus said.

What good does it do to have all of those physical things? Sure it's good to have them, everybody would love to have them and enjoy them. But if that's all their worth, what good would it do? It wouldn't do a thing!

Jesus said, "…'I AM the Bread of Life; the one who comes to Me shall never hunger; and the one who believes in Me shall never thirst at any time" (v 35). Quite a statement.

  • I AM—'ego eimi'
  • Bread of Life—referring to eternal life
  • the one that is coming to Me shall in no wise hunger
  • the one who is believing—'eis'—into Me shall in no wise thirst at any time

This is really quite a statement, and this is talking about in this life, and this is also talking about forever. Isn't it far more important

  • to have the keys to live forever
  • than to just have the physical things

I mean, when you really get down to it, we could just take the opposite extreme. What if we were deprived of everything except the bare essentials to live? Like living in the desert? And all we had was manna? But you understood God! You believed in God! You would have eternal life after that! That's far, far more important than anything else.

As Jesus said, 'What would a man trade for his soul, though he gain the whole world and lose his life, what is he?' That's hard for human beings to comprehend. There's always the 'yeah but…: Yeah but, Lord if it's after this….; yeah but, Lord, if it could be that way…' That's just human nature; that's just the way it is.

I know, brethren, that one of the hardest things that will ever be for us is to go without. If you have never had anything, to go without you can survive. But when you come to the point when you have as many things as we do, then it's hard to go without. I do believe that's the story of the Laodiceans—isn't it? Someone asked me recently, 'Do you believe that we're in the age of the Laodiceans?' The only thing I could say was yes! I would have to say that we are in the age of the Laodiceans.

Does that mean that we are Laodiceans? Not necessarily! If we live by the words of God and if we love Christ and do the things that He says then we are not a true, full fledge bona fide Laodicean! But for us to go without… Let's just reverse it a little bit: All of you who can remember the days of the depression, when you truly were without, not quite; you had just enough to get along with from hand to mouth, when you had just enough to sustain your life. The United States was not like Ethiopia, we can be sure of that.

What if everything had to be turned back to that time, how would your attitude be toward God? That's the whole lesson that we need to learn here. As long as you are believing in Christ, as long as you are coming to God the Father, as long as you are eating of the true Bread and drinking of the true Drink—which is Christ—you shall never fail! That's the whole key. We could go through and you can review: Deut. 11:18 and chapters 8-10. Moses was giving the final lesson before they went into the 'promised land' about

  • why God made them go through the wilderness the 40 years
  • why their shoes and clothes didn't wear out and get old
  • why when they came into the 'promised land' know that it is not because of your righteousness

—for it is God that gives power to gain wealth and prosperity and things like that.

Moses said, 'When you build goodly houses, your cattle have increased and your gold and silver have increased, beware lest you forget the Lord your God!

All of those things all tie in with this in believing in Jesus! This is why the book of John is so rich! It's just hard to go through and make progress. Just like with the book of Revelation, you can focus on so many things from all of the Bible in on the book of John. It's just absolutely amazing!

John 6:36: "But as I said to you, you also have seen Me, yet, you do not believe." That's the whole lesson all the way through the Bible. They didn't believe God! Yet, He was right there.

Verse 37: "All whom the Father gives Me shall come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will in no wise cast out." Those who truly want to believe, God isn't going to cast them away.

I'm sure that there are some people in the world today who just know the basic rudimentary things about God's Word, who believe in Jesus Christ; and I'm sure they would understand about the Sabbath and keep the Sabbath—there are Sabbath-keepers everywhere around the world. God isn't going to reject them and turn aside. God is going to work with them and deal with them.

Verse 38: "For I did not come down from heaven to do My own will, but the will of Him Who sent Me." What Jesus was telling these people is that He didn't come down to do His own will or the will of the people to Him. He was telling them that He came down to do the will of God the Father!

If He did the will of the people, who said, 'Oh, let's make You king, provide us food forever. Yes, that would be a good work'; and if He allowed them to make Him king, then He wouldn't be doing the will of God the Father. The will of God the Father is to reconcile everything on earth into His Family.

The Will of the Father:

Now let's see what the will of the Father is, v 39: "And this is the will of the Father Who sent Me: that of all whom He has given Me, I should not lose any…" That's a tremendous promise. There are a lot of people who are still out there trying to reconcile the problems in their life and God. But if they just believe this promise that He has given here, that He will lose nothing. God is going to bring them back. I think there are a lot of people that, in our own self-righteousness, we would judge as unworthy of being in the Kingdom of God. God is going to have them there. Hopefully, when we're resurrected and have the mind of God, that we'll have the attitude of God, the love of God, we can understand and accept this.

There would be too many 'Christians'—if it were true about St. Peter's gate—standing there with St. Peter and saying, 'Peter, don't let that one in. I know them!' Everyone that God the Father gives Christ, He isn't going to lose one—not one! It may be with 2-Cor. 3 that through fire you lose a lot of the frivolous works that have been built, but you are going to be saved. That all ties in with it.

"…but should raise them up in the last day. And this is the will of Him Who sent Me: that everyone who sees the Son, and believes in Him…" (vs 39-40). That takes a lot. They were right there, they saw the Son of God! How many people there said, 'Lord, I believe'? Out of that crowd, how many said, 'Lord, I believe'? Not one! It's not recorded that even one of them said, 'Lord, I believe.'

"'…everyone who sees the Son, and believes in Him, may have eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day.' Then the Jews were complaining against Him because He said, 'I AM the Bread that came down from heaven.' And they were saying… [notice how quickly human nature turns] …'Is this not Jesus…'" (vs 40-42). I imagine it wasn't said too nicely. You know how people are when they don't get their way.

Have you ever been in a line of people who have been waiting and waiting for something, and then when they get there they don't get it? How is the attitude? How about when you're at a stop light and the car right in front of you breaks down and you're six inches from the bumper and you can't turn around and get around, and the car aside of you won't move and the one behind you won't move. What is your attitude?

It's kind of like Duffy the Driver put out by Walt Disney. He's a nice pleasant guy until he gets behind the wheel of his car and whooom! When you don't get your way, isn't that what happens? This is what these people did. After Jesus was all done, they said: Who is this guy?
"…'Is this not Jesus the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? Why then does He say, "I came down from heaven"?' For this reason, Jesus answered them and said, 'Do not be complaining among one another.'" (vs 42-43).

If you can just picture a whole group of semi-wild Jews out there raising their hands and arguing back and forth, shouting and screaming at each other, wanting bread. 'Let's make You king. We know You, what are You saying that You're from heaven? Your father is Joseph and Your mother is Mary and You've lived here all Your life and we know You. Who are You, You upstart!'

The Father Calls and Draws:

Jesus gave them the answer that really should have cooled it, v 44: "No one can come to Me unless the Father, Who sent Me, draws him…" That's why God has to have it that way; God the Father has to be directly involved in our lives to draw us.

"…and I will raise him up at the last day" (v 44). This really sent them into a tizzy from then on. It really does, it sends people into an absolute tizzy when you tell them that 'you cannot come to God on your terms.' God the Father has to call you! How man religionists say 'you appropriate Christ to yourself.' Nobody appropriates Christ to himself!

All these people are around and say, 'God gave us manna in the wilderness because we are God's people, the chosen ones.' Then Jesus says, "No one can come to Me unless the Father, Who sent Me, draws him, and I will raise him up at the last day"

Verse 45: "It is written in the prophets, 'And they shall all be taught by God.' Therefore, everyone who has heard from the Father, and has learned, comes to Me. No one has seen the Father except He Who is from God; He has seen the Father" (vs 45-46). That solves the problem: Has anyone seen God the Father? No! No one has seen God the Father! I'm sure that it was not clear like stand perceiving face-to-face.

We can go through the New Testament and see where Stephen saw God with Jesus at His right hand. Did he see God the Father? No! He saw a vision of Him. "No one has seen the Father except He Who is from God; He has seen the Father"

Verse 47: "Truly, truly I say to you, the one who believes in Me has eternal life." Now He's really in the thick of it, coming thick and heavy.

Verse 48: "I AM the Bread of Life." Very profound statement at this point! With all the backdrop here of 'we're the chosen people; God fed us, etc.' He says, "I AM the Bread of Life."

Verse 49:"Your fathers ate manna in the desert, but they died. This is the Bread, which comes down from heaven so that anyone may eat of it and not die." If you are in Christ, how does God look at you, though you be dead? You are asleep until the resurrection! If you are Christ's, though you die in the flesh—because it's give to all me once to die—as far as God is concerned, with your name written in the Book of Life, you are not dead. God can resurrect you any time He wants, and He will at the time He so chooses, at the resurrection.

Verse 51: "I AM the living Bread… [giving eternal life] …which came down from heaven; if anyone eats of this bread, he shall live forever… [into the ages of eternity] …and the bread that I will give is even My flesh, which I will give for the life of the world."

Now, being completely physical-minded, carnal-minded, viewing this just as human beings would do it, cannibalism is the most repulsive thing that there is. For Jesus to say, 'I give My flesh…' that is the bread.

Verse 52: "Because of this, the Jews were arguing with one another, saying, 'How is He able to give us His flesh to eat?' Therefore, Jesus said to them, 'Truly, truly I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink His blood, you do not have life in yourselves'" (vs 52-53). You can imagine the kind of feelings that they had about Jesus saying that you had to 'eat of His flesh.'

When you tie this all together with all the things that Jesus was and is, you can see how very important that it is to really grasp and believe that, and to understand it.

Verse 54: "The one who eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up in the last day; for My flesh is truly food, and My blood is truly drink" (vs 54-55)—the true drink; the true food. In other words, more than just the physical existence, which we all understand. What is that beyond the life in the flesh? That's what He's concerned about. That is the true drink and food!

Verse 56: "The one who eats My flesh and drinks My blood is dwelling in Me, and I in him." That again, ties right in with where we started about being sealed. If Christ is in us! What does it mean to have Christ IN You? Christ in you is the hope of glory! Christ in you is what motivates you, etc.

The whole Passover is tied in with this. We could go back and review all the sermons on the Passover, all the meaning, and the Days of Unleavened Bread, but here it comes down to this one key verse:

Verse 57: "As the living Father has sent Me, and I live by the Father…" How many times did Jesus say that He came 'not to do His own will, or to seek His own will, but the will of the Father'?

"…so also the one who eats Me shall live by Me" (v 57). How are you going to live your life? By Christ! How are you going to have eternal life? By Jesus Christ!

Verse 58: "'This is the Bread, which came down from heaven; not as your fathers ate manna, and died. The one who eats this bread shall live forever.' These things He said in the synagogue as He was teaching in Capernaum" (vs 58-59). Can you imagine what kind of synagogue that was? and What kind of reception that must have been?

Verse 60: "Therefore, after hearing these words, many of His disciples said… [the ones that followed Him; the students that were following
Christ] …'This is a hard saying. Who is able to hear it?'" Who can bear to hear this kind of message, because they didn't have the spiritual understanding.

Verse 61: "But Jesus, knowing that His disciples were complaining about this, said to them, 'Does this offend you? What if you shall see the Son of man ascending up where He was before?'" (vs 61-62). That's exactly what happened:

They were standing there talking to Him and all of a sudden He ascended up into the clouds (book of Acts). I don't know how low the clouds were, but we can put them even at a very low station and if He's up 150 feet He's just getting to be kind of a small speck, then the angel standing there said, 'What are you gawking into the heavens for? Go do what Jesus said.'

Verse 62: "What if you shall see the Son of man ascending up where He was before? It is the Spirit that gives life…" (vs 62-63). It is the spiritual things that bring life, not the food and drink of this life.

"…the flesh profits nothing…." (v 63). That's the whole lifelong history of everybody's individual life! Kids grow up and the boys are strong and muscular, and they lift weights and things like this. Nothing phases them. Girls grow up and they all want to know if they're beautiful and how they look and all this sort of thing.

Then go to the other end of it, clear to the end of life and take a look at it and say, 'Where was it all?' That's why God has us live a life, and we go through all these different stages of life and of living, so we can understand when we come to a certain point of life, that if there is not something greater and better and of God and beyond this, what good is it all? What has been profited?

"…The words that I speak to you, they are Spirit and they are Life" (v 63). That's why when you read and study the Bible and hear the Word of God, with God's Spirit in you, it does something for you. It really does! It brings that spiritual understanding and that life, that spiritual life.

Of course, these words are just on printed paper. Isn't it amazing! Here's a cardboard box that has printing on it, but these words are not Spirit and Life because they weren't inspired of God. Wherever God's Word is that has been inspired by Jesus Christ and is the Word of God. When you read it and it's understood there is a spiritual reaction taking place. It's not just a book with letters and words in it. It's a whole tremendous thing that God has committed Himself to do.

Remember Isa. 55 where God says that He 'casts His bread upon the water and it won't come back to Him void'? Wherever there's a Bible. Whenever someone picks it up to read it. Whenever someone wants to know about Christ. They can if they follow the things that Christ has said. These words are Spirit and these words are Life!

Verse 64: "'But there are some of you who do not believe.'…." After all that they went through—just in this one chapter:

  • feeding of the 5,000
  • the remnant of the food that was left over
  • going across the sea
  • the walking on the water

Then Jesus said, "…there are some of you who do not believe." What did they all say in the boat? We believe You are the Son of God!

"…For Jesus knew from the beginning who were the ones that did not believe, and who would betray Him. And He said, 'For this reason, I have said to you, no one can come to Me unless it has been given to him from My Father.'" (vs 64-65)—no one—ties in with v 44.

Verse 66: "From that time, many of His disciples went back and walked no more with Him. Therefore, Jesus said to the twelve, 'Are you also desiring to go away?' Then Simon Peter answered Him, 'Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life; and we have believed and have known that You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.' Jesus answered them, 'Did I not choose you twelve, and one of you is a devil?'" (vs 66-70).

He's really saying, 'No, Peter, you really don't quite believe, yet.' We can look at in retrospect and say: How could they walk with Christ, eat with Christ, talk with Christ, and still not understand? We're not viewing it from the point of view that the Holy Spirit was not yet given. I don't think we really fully comprehend the blessing and miracle of the Holy Spirit that changes our minds; that we read it and believe it! That's tremendous!

Verse 71: "Now, He spoke of Judas Iscariot, Simon's son; for he was about to betray Him, being one of the twelve."

All Scriptures from The Holy Bible in Its Original Order, A Faithful Version by Fred R. Coulter

Scriptural References:

  • John 6:14-21
  • Matthew 14:22-33
  • Mark 6:46-52
  • John 6:22-27
  • Ephesians 1:13
  • 2 Corinthians 1:21-22
  • John 13:34
  • John 6:28-29, 66-70, 29-32
  • Numbers 11:4-8
  • Psalm 78:22-25
  • Psalm 105:40
  • John 6:31-70

Scriptures referenced, not quoted

  • Matthew 4
  • Luke 4
  • John 11
  • Exodus 21:13
  • Ezekiel 20
  • Exodus 16
  • Deuteronomy 11:18; 8-10
  • 2 Corinthians 3
  • Isaiah 55

Also referenced:

Sermons:

  • That Prophet
  • I AM

FRC:bo
Transcribed: 9/22/14
Corrected: 12-29-14

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