Insights into the Gospel of John: Chapter 6

By Lloyd Ellefson

The historical accounts of the gospels contain great truths! In our study we will ferret out some of these life-giving truths and share them with you.

The first 25 verses of this chapter relate two miracles. The first one describes a hungry crowd of 5000, and a very generous boy who willingly gave his lunch to Jesus. Then Jesus multiplied that lunch to feed this great company of people! In the next miracle Jesus walked on water. The rest of the chapter is devoted to a discourse on the food which does not perish. The miracle of the food and drink He gives is that it endures to eternal life!

"Jesus answered them and said, `Truly, truly, I say to you, you seek Me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate of the loaves and were filled.'" (v. 26) The word SAW here means perceived. They had not perceived the purpose of the miracle! They followed Him only because they were interested in having their stomachs filled.

"Do not work for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you, for on Him the Father, God, has set His seal." (v.27) Where are our priorities? Are they for perishable things or imperishable things? Jesus wants us to have the right priorities! He told us to seek first His kingdom and His righteousness. In so doing, other things, like food, clothing and the things we need, will be added to us. God wants us to work, but we are not to seek material wealth. The Jews were following Jesus because they were seeking free handouts! If we seek these material things, and are satisfied with only God's material blessings and a coming millenial kingdom, we have everything backward. We are to work for a different food than the kind the world provides! Only the Son of Man can give us true food!

God has given us Christ, and in Him and through Him we overcome the rebellion which is ours in the natural man. In following Christ, our priority lies in seeking the kingdom of God and having His rule in our hearts and minds! If He rules us, everything will be in the right order! Christ did exactly what God wanted Him to do because God ruled Him!

Natural problems, which often loom large to us, like car troubles, house problems, lack of food, etc., will remain with us. However, those who live in the kingdom will not be ruled by them; nor will they be upset, at least not for long, when they do happen. They recognize that natural things do not give peace.

In Genesis we see that man is an image. Our first experience as an image of God is in the earthy realm, and it has to be put away. That image was crucified with Christ; we have been resurrected together with Him, and have been made a new and living heavenly image! As we have birthed the natural (the physical, the earthy), we will also birth (or bear) the heavenly image! As we were at home with the natural, so the heavenly will become natural to us!

Religious Christianity does not understand this. They are satisfied with bearing the natural image of God and want that image to have a permanent place in this body. They want this body to be glorified to fit into heaven and eternity. They want a physical Christ to return and deal with all the sin in the earth; they want a restoration of the natural nation of Israel; they want a millenium of peace on earth. Their whole understanding is in the natural realm because they do not know that spiritual realities have to remain in the spiritual realm.

In Christ we understand that we are a new spiritual creation! This changes our hope and our concept of self and God! We see Christ Jesus in a new light. We see that He has come to us in the Holy Spirit; that all the natural things which pertained to the tabernacle are symbolic of the true spiritual tabernacle!

In Galatians 4 it says that those who are born of the promise (typified by Isaac), will always be persecuted by those who are born of the flesh (typified by Ishmael). Even as God told Abraham to cast out the bondwoman and her son, so we are to cast out the natural, the law, the legalism, the flesh, the earthy concepts and the carnal mind. These things do not receive an inheritance, so we must not hang on to them. The inheritance belonged to Isaac!

When I saw that Jesus usually referred to Himself as the Son of Man, it became of prime importance to me to learn who the Son of Man is. Very little teaching is available on this subject because people have not identified with the Son of Man. By identifying with the Son of Man we are identifying with the spiritual image of God.

Jesus called Himself the Son of Man because He appeared on earth in a natural image. This was necessary in order to produce a spiritual image and to show us who man really is. The Son of Man is a spiritual humanity. Jesus was manifested physically in a human body, and spiritually as the Son of Man - the new humanity, the new creature, the new man, the second man who is from heaven.

In John 3:13 we read, "No one has ascended into heaven, but He who descended from heaven: the Son of Man." This means that Jesus was a man in heaven before He came to this earth. Jesus said that the Son of Man gives us bread from heaven - this refers to truth, for it is our spiritual bread! Truth came by Jesus Christ being manifested as the Son of Man, bearing both humanity's image and a spiritual image.

The natural man lives under the law. In scriptural language, coming out of the law is called adoption. Jesus was living under the law during the first thirty years of His life. After He was baptized in the Jordan, He received the seal of the Holy Spirit - "for on Him the Father, God, has set His seal." (v.27) A seal is an identification. God has sealed Jesus Christ as an image of Himself, an image that is spiritual and unadulterated! Jesus Christ came to put to death the image of the natural man.

"Therefore they said to Him, `What shall we do, so that we may work the works of God?' Jesus answered and said to them, `This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent.'" (vv.28-29) Believing in Jesus sounds so easy, doesn't it? So often we only believe with our minds what we have heard about Jesus. But when we hear the voice of the Son of God we receive life! Hearing His voice brings us into resurrection! This has been discussed previously.

Jesus taught us to pray, OUR Father. Isn't His identification with us amazing?! We have to be sons in order to call someone "father". As we pray OUR Father, we are identifying with Christ and our union with Him. In John 17 Jesus prayed that we might be one! It is not Jesus and I, or God and I; it is Christ as I. Paul understood this, for he said, "I am crucified with Christ." This does away with trying to put ourselves to death and thereby committing suicide. Nor does self put anything to death! By faith, Paul realized that he was crucified with Christ; his old nature no longer had any life! Christ in Him was His life!

Paul wrote, "So now, no longer am I the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me...and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me." ((Romans 7:17; Gal. 2:20) Christ was his life! Paul so completely identified with his new life in Christ that he saw sin as an alien in his life, working things that he did not want to do. At the same time he was confessing that Christ was his life, and that sin was not his life. His new self in Christ was not responsible for his sin, but he had not depended on his identification with Christ to overcome it - he had depended upon himself.

"So they said to Him, `What then do You do for a sign, so that we may see, and believe You? What work do You perform? Our fathers ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written, "He gave them bread out of heaven to eat." Jesus then said to them, `Truly, truly, I say to you, it is not Moses who has given you the bread out of heaven, but it is My Father who gives you the true bread out of heaven.'" (vv. 30-32) In essence the Jews told Jesus that Moses had given them the bread from heaven - a tremendous miracle! They asked Jesus whether He could perform a miraculous deed on par or even greater than what Moses had done. They wanted Jesus to prove Himself! They did not realize that the manna did not come from Moses. Jesus countered by saying that His Father gives them the true bread! This meant that the bread in the wilderness was not true bread; it was a sign or type of the true bread that comes down from heaven!

"For the bread of God is that which comes down out of heaven, and gives life to the world." (v.33) As long as we see Christ as a person, He remains a separate entity from ourselves. Then it will always be Christ and me. A true identification of oneness with Christ comes in seeing Him as the Word, the truth and the life! This is the only way we can be one with Him! As long as we have two persons, two identifications or two images, we will be double-minded.

In order to truly pray "Our Father", we have to recognize our oneness with Jesus Christ. When people pray to Jesus, they indicate that they do not know this oneness. To them He is an entity far removed from them, a separate being to whom they can pray. In John 16 Jesus said, "In that day you will ask Me nothing." "That day" refers to the coming of the Spirit. The Spirit brings us this oneness! He makes us one with Christ so that we can speak to the Father as "Our Father".

"`For the bread of God is that which comes down out of heaven, and gives life to the world.' Then they said to Him, `Lord, always give us this bread.' Jesus said to them, `I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me will not hunger, and he who believes in Me will never thirst.'" (vv.33-35) That is a wonderful statement, but many find it difficult to embrace. Everything Christ gives us and works in us, is good! We're satisfied with what He has given us, but we know that He has more for us. If our expectation is of ourselves, rather than of God, we will be disappointed; God will not fulfill that expectation! He won't do anything that originates in our own desires and mind; He will only do what He has desired and planned to do. Knowing that God is love and full of compassion and mercy, gives us the confidence and assurance that He will do what is best for us!

Since we don't understand who God is and how He does things, we cannot see the greatness of the redemption God has prepared for us. But we receive it by faith! Jesus Christ came to bring us truth! Through the Holy Spirit we can now have a wonderful relationship with God! Therefore we do not demand anything. We know that He knows our needs better than we do, and that He knows the problem before we present it to Him. We don't know how to pray for the solutions unless the Spirit has enlightened us. That is why Paul said we don't know how to pray as we should. (Rom. 8:26)

Let's look at sickness as an example. When we're sick, we think we should pray for healing. But do we know how to correctly pray for healing? We really don't, because sickness is only the evidence that there is a problem. In order for us to find the solution, God has to show us the underlying cause, and reveal to us whether we are believing lies, living in unbelief or in faith.

"But I said to you that you have seen Me, and yet do not believe. All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out." (vv.36-37) Jesus knew that the people didn't really believe He was the bread out of heaven. Then Jesus introduced an important truth, namely, that we can't come to Christ unless the Father gives us to Him! We can't bypass this truth, nor can we negate it. We can't choose to come to Christ. Unless the Father gives us to Christ, we can't come to Him! This is in keeping with the symbolism of the ancient custom of the father choosing the bride for the son. The father always chose the bride. That is the way it was in Israel in typology, and that is also the way it is with us spiritually!

"For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me." (v.38) The Spirit of Christ in us will work that same attitude in us! In the garden Jesus clearly demonstrated that He did not live by His own will but by the will of the Father. As the Holy Spirit works out the will of Christ in us, we won't do our own will either. His reason and purpose for coming on this earth was to do the will of the Father!

Many think Jesus came as a Mediator to act as a buffer zone for the Father's wrath. Jesus did not teach that, nor did He have any intention of teaching that. He prayed that we might all be one - Father, Jesus and us! This causes us to realize that God does not look at us through the blood, and that He is one with Christ and Christ is one with God; they are exactly the same. Here we have the testimony of God in a true and unadulterated form. Humanity is always adulterating the true conception of God.

"This is the will of Him who sent Me, that of all that He has given Me I lose nothing, but raise it up on the last day." (v.39) Jesus did not choose the disciples without consultation with the Father. He was only choosing what the Father had given Him. And He will not lose anyone who has been given to Him by the Father! This is an awesome truth!

"For this is the will of My Father, that every one who beholds the Son and believes in Him may have eternal life, and I Myself will raise him up on the last day." (v.40) The "last day" is not to be confused with the "day of the Lord". The day of the Lord is an eternal day - it has no beginning and no end; it's the light of God and the light of Christ. But the last day is the day when our natural light ends, i.e., when our own light fades and is superseded by the light of Christ. Our own light is discarded as being inferior and declared obsolete. When Peter quoted Joel saying, "This is that", he was declaring this was now beginning to take place. When the sun is darkened, etc., means our natural light is decreasing as spiritual light takes over!

"Therefore the Jews were grumbling about Him, because He said, `I am the bread that came down out of heaven.' They were saying, `Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How does He now say, "I have come down out of heaven?"' Jesus answered and said to them, `Do not grumble among yourselves. No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day.'" (vv.41-44) This is just as true today as it was then! People are unable to come to Jesus Christ because He is the truth, and they are living in the lies of their carnal mind. They cannot understand the truth He is speaking unless the Father gives them understanding.

In Matthew, Jesus said that more will be given to him who has; and he who has not, even that which he has will be taken away from him. He is speaking about the law and its purpose. The person who realizes that the law prepares him for receiving Christ, by bringing him a knowledge of sin, will receive more. But those who do not allow the law to do its work in them, will even lose the little that they have. The Jews to whom He was talking, were an example of the latter.

Jesus will only receive those who have been given to Him by the Father. Because many people do not understand this, there are many deviations from truth. Many people receive a little light, but never get to the place where they bear the image of Christ within them. They go off on a tangent with all kinds of natural ideas of the things God is going to do. Since the church is the bride of Christ, everyone who is given to Christ by the Father, is given to Him as the bride. Spiritually speaking, this enables Christ to reproduce His image and His knowledge of God in us!

"It is written in the prophets, `And they shall all be taught of God.' Every one who has heard and learned from the Father, comes to Me." (v.45) This precludes that God speaks to humanity. If we have heard and learned from the Father, we can come to Christ. The law has to speak to us before Christ receives us. It has to teach us that we can never attain to the righteousness of the law, and that we need help! In this way it brings us to Christ to receive His righteousness!

Jesus was being challenged by a people who had not allowed the law to do its work in them. As the law works in us, it takes away our own righteousness! Natural humanity has its roots in the earth; its life is in the flesh, and its sustenance comes from this earth. The law shows us that we are sinners. Through the coming of Jesus Christ our sense of being is raised to a higher level. Believing on Jesus Christ causes us to realize that we do not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds from the mouth of God!

Our union with Jesus Christ means that we are married to Him. Christ receives the humanity that has repented from the law (for the law was a ministration of death) and brings it into a newness of life. Christ receives the bride, and she reproduces the things that Christ teaches.

God has made the law to be the converting agency. It is not Christ who converts us. Christ receives those who have been converted by the law; those who have repented through the message of John the Baptist. He came when the time was right, when the time was fulfilled, when repentance, the fruit of the law, was ready to be reaped and presented to Christ. When Jesus said, "Do you not say, `There are yet four months, and then comes the harvest'?...look on the fields, that they are white for harvest," it meant the fields were already ripe for harvesting. Repentance means turning away from what our minds tell us about our sense of being, and from our fleshly and earthly attitudes and desires. This creates a change in our desires; a change from our earthy desires to heavenly desires. These are of God, of the Spirit and of the kingdom of God!

"Not that anyone has seen the Father, except the One who is from God; He has seen the Father. Truly, truly I say to you, he who believes has eternal life." (vv.46-47) Birth is not the beginning of life, and death is not the end of life. When a man dies, His conception of life dies. If his conception of life is only natural (physical and earthy), it will return to the dust from where it came. Those who have not been birthed by the Spirit won't have any true conception of God at this present time nor after death.

God's life has no beginning and no end; it is everlasting, eternal! Everything in the universe comes out of God's life. That life cannot begin; it can only begin for us in the sense of consciousness. At the time we were born into the Adamic race, we were born into a sense of being that caused us to believe we had life in ourselves as a separate entity. However, this is not the case, for as we look back, we see that our life really began when God breathed into Adam. Birth is a continuation of life.

When we are born again, we are born of water first of all. (John 3:5) This means that we are birthed out of our natural sense of being, into another sense of being. We leave our natural sense of being when we are born of the Spirit. Christ, who was born of the Spirit, introduced a new concept of life. Coming into this new concept of life constitutes the new birth.

Those who constantly live in the consciousness of God, will have a building from God, a house not made with hands when this body or earthy tabernacle passes away. They have a spiritual realization of God in which they live after this physical idea of birth and life is gone.

"I am the living bread that came down out of heaven; if anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread also which I will give for the life of the world is My flesh." (v.51) Jesus is the truth, the life, the way, the bread, the Word of God. He is the word which we hear, and it produces life! Life comes in both the Word and the Spirit for they are one. Since He is the bread of life, He feeds us His life and truth!

"Then the Jews began to argue with one another, saying, `How can this man give us His flesh to eat?' So 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 have no life in yourselves.'" (vv.52-53) Jesus was speaking about the Son of Man who is spiritual. This is an important concept, because if we don't eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, we won't have any life in us.

Since the Son of Man is the spiritual man, we have to recognize that Christ is speaking spiritually. To our spiritual man, the Word of God is the bread, and the Spirit is the drink. That is why the spiritual man cannot eat physical food. He takes in the Word of God and the Spirit of God, and this constitutes the flesh and the blood of Jesus Christ. Communion services are a picture of what is happening spiritually within us, but they cannot bring us into a spiritual realm. It is a delusion to think that the eating of a wafer and the drinking of wine can cause us to participate in the body and blood of Christ. They are only symbolic of the body and blood of Christ.

"He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day. For My flesh is true food, and My blood is true drink." (vv.54-55) Christ emphasizes the fact that He is the true bread and His blood is the true drink. So eating anything else is not true bread, and drinking anything else is not true drink. Bread and drink sustain our lives, so we need them. We need life. We have the Holy Spirit who only brings us the things of God! So we know that no evil spirits can bring us their delusion, darkness, lies and evil through Him.

In verse 56 Jesus said, "He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him." When we eat natural food and drink natural drink, we know it is assimilated by our bodies and they become part of us. This is necessary to energize us and to sustain life. Food that is on the table, but uneaten, doesn't benefit anyone. It does not give energy nor promote bodily functions. Without natural food, our bodies waste away and die. Spiritually it is the same. We must partake of the Word and the Spirit so that our spiritual life can be sustained.

"As the living Father sent Me, and I live because of the Father, so he who eats Me, he also will live because of Me." (v.57) Christ's life came from the Father. In the same way that He lived by the Father, so we live by Christ. He who partakes of the Word of God and the Spirit of God, has the breath of God in him; that is why eating and drinking of Him sustains our spiritual life. Natural bread and drink are only types of the spiritual.

After God had breathed into Adam, he became a living soul, but he still had to eat in order to survive. In John 20 Jesus breathed on His disciples and said, "Receive the Holy Spirit." The Holy Spirit brings the things which have already been accomplished in Christ. At that time Christ had accomplished our justification by His death, but the Holy Spirit had not yet been poured out. We are justified by His death and we are saved by His life. So when Jesus breathed on the disciples, they were justified. This justification included what they were, what they did, and what they thought.

At Pentecost the disciples received the baptism into the Spirit. In other words, they were placed into the Spirit. The Spirit came as a wind or breath, and brought them into the knowledge of who they were spiritually. At the first Pentecost, fifty days after the first Passover, the law was given to the Israelites at Mt. Sinai. (Ex. 12 and 19) At the second Pentecost, fifty days after Jesus died, the disciples received the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus! So Pentecost represents the giving of the law - the first one being a type of the second! First the natural law and then the spiritual law!

The law of Moses brought the Israelites into the knowledge of who they were in Adam. Through this law comes the knowledge of sin, so it made them aware of their inability to keep the law - the law of sin and death. The law is not made for a righteous man; infractions bring down the wrath of the law. The law reveals the sin that is present. Paul said, "When the commandment came, sin became alive and I died." (Rom. 7:9) The law shows us that in Adam we are in sin and in death. If we don't like that picture, we can repent and get something better! If we don't believe that we are in sin and death, we'll become immersed in legalism, religion, church systems, etc., - everything except a union with Christ.

The new law, the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus, is now working in us, and is giving us a new sense of being! This sense of being is entirely different from the one the law gave us. It brings us into the knowledge that we are children of God, sons of God; we are spiritual beings who are aliens on the earth! We now live by faith because the Word tells us to do so. Just as Jesus lived by the Father, so we live by Him! We all live by the breath in the Word - which is the Spirit of God.

"He who eats me, shall also live by Me." Christ partook of the Father. Having already received the breath of God, He received the Word and the Spirit of God into His spiritual being. In Rev. 3:20 it says, "Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me." The table of the Lord is Jesus Christ. The table that is prepared for us in the presence of our enemies is Christ! We can eat from His table for He is the bread of life. We can drink at His table for His blood (His soul) is the drink of life. In so doing, we receive the consciousness that was in Christ and live in it.

"This is the bread which came down out of heaven; not as the fathers ate and died; he who eats this bread shall live forever." (v.58) This bread is superior to the manna and to natural bread; it gives us life that does not pass away! It is not measured in years, for eternal life has nothing to do with years. It is simply a life that has no death in it; it has no beginning and no end. It is the only true life there is. God is the only source of life!

Once we see that God is the only source of everything, we'll see that God has control of everything, and everything has a place in His purpose. If we have a right relationship with God, nothing can come to us that God has not ordained! With every temptation He will provide a way of escape. We have a very secure place of living when we live in this faith. However, we must eat of the Son, and constantly ask God for our daily bread; we don't live on what we have eaten last week or the week before. We know we can't live for any length of time without food and water.

"These things He said in the synagogue as He taught in Capernaum. Therefore many of His disciples, when they heard this said, `This is a difficult statement; who can listen to it?'" (vv.59-60) To the natural man this message on spiritual food is foolishness, but to the spiritual man it is life. That it is why it is so important to receive the Holy Spirit.

In Acts 2:16-17 Peter said that this is what was spoken of through the prophet Joel, "...I will pour forth of My Spirit on all mankind." This happened back in Acts 2, but humanity doesn't know the difference. We think that when God pours out His Spirit on all mankind some time in the future, things are going to change. However Peter said that this has already happened! Yet the world remains in its corrupt condition because it does not accept the things of God, so it does not change.

Peter tells us that we have escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust, because we have become partakers of the divine nature. Corruption does not inherit incorruption; the perishable does not inherit the imperishable. (1 Cor. 15:50) Things which are corruptible will remain corruptible; they will not become incorruptible. The only way we can obtain incorruption is by being born of incorruptible seed. Then we have an incorruptible life which is sustained by incorruptible food. That is why Jesus said, "You will never die." This is our hope and assurance! Our hope is not in the continuation of the physical, but in a life which has no beginning and no end!

"But Jesus, conscious that His disciples grumbled at this, said to them, `Does this cause you to stumble? What then if you see the Son of Man ascending to where He was before?'" (vv.60-61) Jesus reiterated what He had said in John 3.

The Son of Man came out of heaven. He is the heavenly man. There are two corporate men in Genesis one and two - the man of life and the man of death. When we pass from death to life, we pass from the man who is in death to the man who is in life. This means we have been resurrected. If Jesus Christ is in us, the resurrection is in us, for He is the resurrection!

How could Jesus ascend to where He was before? In order to do that, He would have to disappear from our sight, wouldn't He? He was spirit before He descended into this realm, so He would have to become spirit again in order to ascend to His former dwelling place. This is exactly what happened. Now He is calling us into that unseen, eternal realm!

Everything in the seen realm is temporal. Are you satisfied with temporal things? Are you so in love with temporal things that you want them to become eternal? Do you want to retain what you have now? This is what natural humanity wants! It wants to keep what it has and is. We need to die to every desire of our own. If we don't, we will always want God to fulfill all our natural desires.

Many people think that if they had all the power God has, they could do a better job of running this world than God does. God doesn't care about making the world good. If He made it so good, we'd want to stay here forever. We are passing through this world as aliens. God's holy ones shall live by faith - the faith that there are better things outside the natural, earthy conception of things. Yet we are so concerned about our standard of living, material things, and earthiness. The better things we have are the spiritual things!

"It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life." (v.63) His words are spirit and they give life. The Word became flesh; the Spirit is the drink; and the life is God - that is, God's Word. Christ spoke and people heard Him speak. The Word became flesh and therefore He was able to speak to people audibly through His human body. His words are truth, so as we eat His flesh we are receiving His truth! The words (truth) we appropriate are the equivalent of eating His flesh. They are spirit, that is, they are His understanding, His conception of life in the area of heavenly things. Spirit and life are the essence of God! So the words He speaks contain the essence of God! But if you only receive the letter of the words, you won't know who God is and you won't know who Christ is.

Jesus spoke to many people during His three and a half years of ministry, yet no one understood who He was. The Spirit even revealed to Peter that Jesus was the Christ, yet after Jesus was arrested, Peter swore that he did not know the man! This occurred even after Peter had received this knowledge through a revelation from God; it had not come from his natural mind; it had not come from flesh and blood. This shows that revelation or words given to the natural man do not produce life. It has to be received spiritually because spirit begets spirit!

God is not working on the Adamic man; He is not trying to conquer our flesh by speaking spiritual words to it. He is giving us a new nature, a new life, a new being! Words become meaningful to us when they are spoken to our spirit. They produce growth in our understanding. We live in the knowledge that God has done enough, and that He does not have to do more. Jesus put the old man to death at Calvary; He is finished with him!

By putting the old man to death, He brought forth a completely new relationship. This was accomplished by His life, resurrection and ascension. Our new birth is a spiritual birth and makes us spiritual beings. God speaks to spiritual beings by the Spirit. Those who are not born again, remain in their natural state. They are in confusion and antiChrist - the state of every man born in Adam. This was demonstrated by Israel. They had the scriptures and had experienced so many miracles! He had shown them His supernatural wisdom and strength, yet when Christ came they didn't know Him and they didn't know God! In fact, they were against Christ - they were antiChrist!

"`But there are some of you who do not believe.' For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were who did not believe, and who it was that would betray Him." (v.64) Many agree outwardly with spiritual truth, but their reception is not spiritual. If we have the Spirit of Christ and have grown in spiritual understanding, we will be able to discern when people do not really believe. People can use the same words but have different conceptions of spiritual realities, because their understanding is in the natural realm. Until they believe, it will remain there. They receive the conceptions of their natural mind as truth, and only believe what they have always believed. The Adamic man's conception of truth is always a lie; and the more he believes it, the deeper he becomes anchored in the lie. Jesus knew this from the beginning.

"And He was saying, `For this reason I have said to you, that no one can come to Me unless it has been granted him from the Father.'" (v.65) Let's remember this. After we have grown in spiritual understanding, we can easily discern whether people understand spiritually or not. If they do, we have a foundation to build on. If they don't, they will remain with their religion, gifts, and emotionalism, but they won't grow beyond that into the knowledge of Christ. Thousands of people have been involved in spiritual things and in spiritual gifts, but they do not know the Christ.

"As a result of this many of His disciples withdrew and were not walking with Him anymore." (v.66) This is the result of spiritual teaching - teaching things the natural man does not understand. They cannot walk in that, neither do they want to, so they walk away.

"So Jesus said to the twelve, `You do not want to go away also, do you?' Simon Peter answered Him, `Lord, to whom shall we go? You have words of eternal life.'" (vv.67-68) At that time Peter did not know that he would later deny Jesus. He did not realize that Jesus would be arrested, and that he would deny having known Him, having been with Him, and that he would even curse and swear to that effect.

"`We have believed and have come to know that You are the Holy One of God.' Jesus answered them, `Did I Myself not choose you, the twelve, and yet one of you is a devil?' Now He meant Judas the son of Simon Iscariot, for he, one of the twelve, was going to betray Him." (vv.69-71) Jesus knew exactly which disciple would yield to the work of the adversary, namely, Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon.

When Christ died on the cross, He forgave everyone! He did not overlook anyone! He said, "Father forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing." Not only were the Pharisees, Sadducees, priests, and those who crucified Him guilty, but also those who denied Him, those who would not identify with Him, and the one who betrayed Him. Not one of them knew what he was doing. They were all ignorant! In Acts 17:30 we read that God has overlooked the times of ignorance, and is now declaring to all people everywhere to repent. The whole world is to repent of its ignorance, because it should not be ignorant any longer. It should now know who Jesus is and what He has done for us!

Since Jesus forgave everyone, He does not have any condemnation for anyone - and neither should we. If we speak in the Spirit of Christ, we will freely forgive! His purpose is to receive the people who have already been condemned by the law, who have repented, and have been given Him by the Father. It is Christ in us who causes us to understand that we have the awesome task of teaching them! God's purpose for us is to mature, to enlighten the ignorant, and to help others mature!

God bless you. Amen.

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