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I have a little word to say, a little sharing that is very timely. I should say it is for this hour, even in the life of our body, because we are the Body of Christ. I also included this on page 212 of the book (“Open Letter”) where I am referring to Mark 6:45 and we would go to this part of the Word. Now, in this book it is only included at the end, in fact, it is only included for them who dare to kneel before the Lord. Now, do not ask me why I wrote certain things there which I wrote. Perhaps the time will come when even I will understand certain things which I wrote there.
In Mark 6:45 it says: “Straightaway He (meaning Jesus) constrained his disciples to get into the ship and go to the other side before unto Bethsaida, while He sent away the people. And when He had sent them away, He departed into a mountain to pray. And when even was come (or rather night), the ship was in the midst of the sea, and He alone on the land. And He saw them toiling in rowing; for the wind was contrary unto them; and about the fourth watch (which is between 3 A.M. and 6 A.M.). He comes unto them walking upon the sea, and would have passed by them. But when they saw Him walking upon the sea, they supposed it had been a spirit, and cried out: For they all saw Him and were troubled. And He immediately talked with them and saith unto them, Be of good cheer: it is I; be not afraid.” He usually spoke like that to people who were afraid of Him. “And He went up unto them into the ship; and the wind ceased: and they were sore amazed in themselves beyond measure, and wondered. For they considered NOT the miracle of the loaves: for their heart was hardened.” Now, what I would like to say tonight is something spontaneous what is in my heart. I have not studied this thing ... I meditated on it. I would be very glad if I would know later on that you agree in spirit with what I am about to say. This is important to me, too.
I want to proclaim that we are a boat! We are a ship! And the Lord constrained us to get into it. He only constrained His disciples... and the other people He sent away. I would like to bring to your attention two things here: in the ship there were only the disciples. Now, the disciples are those and those alone who continue in his Word after being saved. Go to the Gospel of John 8:31: “Then said Jesus to those Jews that believed on Him: If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed.” He said IF... He said it to them who believed on Him, which means to the first Christians. He tells them: IF ye (Christian) believers continue in my word then you are my disciples indeed. Which means that there are plenty of those who do not continue! And this very thing here—this fact—this verse, is synonymous with Hebrews 6, and I want you to turn there and see for yourselves... there in Heb.6:1 Paul writes (because I believe that Paul wrote Hebrews) “Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ (we ought to leave them) let us go on...” which means ‘continue’, go on, the word ‘continue’ means to go on unto perfection... and those who do leave the principles of the doctrine of Christ, which means `they go on unto perfection' continuing in His Word, they are His disciples indeed. And they alone are constrained to enter the ship. And so, now we are coming to the second fact which is ‘constrain’. None of them wanted to go in. Why? I don't think we have to think very hard... they saw a ship, it was getting dark, it was getting windy, it was getting choppy on the Sea of Galilee... and they were supposed to row across it. Now, who in their right mind would do that? So they were `fooling around' looking for a place to lie down and fall promptly asleep... and in the morning they would think about it. Right? This is normal. So we also like to go to a church, sit in the last pew and fall asleep. Now, the Lord had to constrain them. He did not tell them: "Would you be so kind as to drop into the boat." He constrained them. They had to go! And they started to row. In verse 48, Mark 6: “He saw them toiling in rowing.” The Lord Jesus, who was the only one who remained on the land saw them toiling in rowing, for the wind was contrary. Obviously, here the sea is the wicked world and the wind means the pressure of the powers of darkness which is constantly blowing against us.
Now, we are different; even though we are in the last days, we are different from Noah's ark because Noah's ark did not have oars, it did not have a rudder, it did not have a bow, it did not have a stern. It did not have sails... did not have a propeller, it did not have anything. It did not have captain, did not have helmsman, it did not have oarsmen. Why? Because it went nowhere! Because it was not supposed to go any-where. Now we are a ship because we are supposed to go somewhere. We are supposed to cross the sea to the other side. The other side is the Kingdom of Heaven. So we need a bow, a stern, a rudder, we need oars. And it is good to have a helmsman who knows what he is doing. Because if you were in a boat, whether it would be a 12 footer or 24 footer, just on Lake Champlain with 4 foot waves, you know what it means to know what you are doing ... because you can capsize pretty easily. And the task of the helmsman is to keep the boat constantly against the waves and against the wind! And if you don't keep it so, you know what can happen.
So we are not a group which is studying the Bible because it is a fashionable thing to do, or because it is an interesting thing to do. We are not even a group just to praise God because it is the only thing we are supposed to do. And we did not come here even tonight because we planned it 10 years ago. We were constrained to get into a ship. And you may not feel that you are any great disciple of the Lord, but the Lord knows that you are because He chose you! Peter did not plan to become His disciple. None of them planned it, in fact. After they were going with Him for about one year, I am sure they were wondering: what on earth are we doing here. Sleeping somewhere in the middle of the night with that ‘strange man’... with that `carpenter from Nazareth.' Is this really an illusion? Or do I have to pinch myself to know whether I am really alive. And if we think these things did not go through their minds we are all wrong.
And this sharing... one reason for it really is... because recently we were talking about other people interested in joining us or just coming in. Well, I believe I spoke for all of you, that we are open to any-body. This boat is open to any Christian ... this boat is open even to a pagan if the Lord brings him in—because He will save him; you can't jump into the boat unsaved.
But I expressed my concern about these people who would like to join us and the only concern is: do they know what they want? What are they looking for? Are they the disciples or are they not? Because if we have never said it, it is time to say it now that we are a ship and we know where we are going! And we have a goal, and it is a unique goal, we are not only seeking the Kingdom, we are getting there in reality! It would be ‘tough luck’ to study this Bible for years and seek the Kingdom, and seek the Kingdom ... and seek the Kingdom ... until we are 95 and finally we miss even the Rapture, we never get in. It is like studying the Honda (car) manual for 50 years and never being able to repair one single part! We must get there in practice, we must GET into this Kingdom - not read about it, not just seek it—but get in!
And so I said some time ago ‘I am in the Kingdom already ... I don't have to strive to get in. Unfortunately, I am there only in faith and in the spirit.’ Now, it's better than nothing but mind you I've got to get there whole and I don't want to leave one finger behind me and that is why I am in that ship and rowing. And I am determined to row. I don't care about that wind, I don't care about the waves. Because He is seeing us, because He is watching us how we are toiling in rowing—verse 48. The Lord is not sleeping on that mountain, He is seeing us and He knows when He is supposed to come walking on the water—which means the world presents no problem to Him—He walks right on it whether there are 50 foot waves or not. He walks effortlessly.
So we are a ship with a goal and we are going to reach that goal. In fact, we shall not permit any man to turn this boat around! Now, if Christians would understand what this is all about and where we are going, there are perhaps some of them who may join us (in rowing) and we would say "Praise God"! We would say "Praise God"!
Matthew 14:22 ...now, that is the same story... “And straightway Jesus constrained his disciples to get into a ship and to go before him unto the other side while he sent the multitudes away.” Then you have the experience of Peter from verse 28... how Peter walked on the water. He did not plan to do it either. He did not dream about it that day... that he would be walking on water that same night. And it took courage, we ought to understand that. Then he began to sink there ...well, I would like to see us there. How far would we have gone? Now, notice in verse 32: “And when they were come into the ship, the wind ceased.” Which means that was the end of the pressures of those powers of darkness. “Then they that were in the ship came and worshipped him (worshipped the Lord Jesus) saying: Of a truth thou art the Son of God.” This is worship in spirit and this is how you recognize a disciple, a true disciple. `Thou art the Son of God'...because if you just go over the leaf to chapter 16, verse 16: “And Simon Peter answered and said: Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God” ... these are the very same words. He was not just proclaiming truth, or The Truth, he was worshipping Him at the same time. And when the Lord answered: “Blessed art thou Simon Barjona, for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee” —which means ‘you were not praising Me in your soul, with your good feeling and with your brains... my Father which is in Heaven has revealed this unto you and the Father is Spirit.’ God is Spirit - they that worship Him MUST worship Him in Spirit and in Truth!
And one more thing I would like to read... and this is in the Gospel of John 6, it starts from verse 16. Again, the same story described from a different view-point, from a different angle... by John who was one of them who was in the ship. In verse 21: “Then they willingly received him into the ship: and immediately the ship was at the land whither they went” —which means this is the Rapture. This boat shall be in the Kingdom immediately the moment the Lord steps in. That's what it means. And the wind ceases at that moment, no more spiritual pressures... no more rowing... and it does not matter how far you are. You may have started and you are only 100 yards from the shore or you may be 100 yards from the other side. It does not matter where (how far) you are, when the Lord enters your ship, you are there! That's what it means.
So for anyone we ought to declare: Everyone is welcome in the Name of the Lord but they had better understand who we are, where we are going, and why... even. Maybe if people know exactly, there may be such who would join. They have a picture, they have an understanding... because if you go to a church, you sit there in a pew, you may never know after 20 years what is going on, where you are going and where everybody else is going... because it seems nobody is going anywhere. It is a merry-go-around which has somehow started and nobody wants to stop it.
Now, what is the difference between, say, churches and congregations or any other gatherings—and ships? Because I believe we are not the only ship. The difference, I believe, is this—that may not be the only difference... but the basic difference that I feel should be mentioned and understood involves the following: It is good always to meet other Christians, to fellowship, to sing, to hear truly the Word, to be encouraged in soul which is so many times beaten down, to be refreshed, to pick up new hope, new courage, new faith, to feel good; there is nothing wrong with feeling good, we may be carrying our cross and feeling good. There is nothing wrong with these things and we experience them many times and it is many times very, very good just to cater to our soul. That soul is not cut out of stone or a piece of maple tree, it has its own needs too; so if someone sings a real nice song... I enjoy it, my soul rejoices. Just as our body has needs and we try to supply them, our soul has needs we try to supply. But that's about it!
Now, in the ship, there is far more than that. If we were just gathering to feel good in our souls, we would be in trouble. In a ship like that, when the Lord constrains you and tells you to row to the other side, you have to learn how to row. And you have to learn how not to get soaked every time the wave comes, and you have to learn how to keep your boat, how to operate your rudder. And you have to know how to co-operate with your next oarsman, so that you don't brake those oars in the first two minutes. Imagine the old Roman galleon, they had maybe 150 oarsmen–slaves, they had to row to a beat... and they had to learn it. Imagine if everybody started to row when he wanted. That would be a disaster. They would first break all the oars and then they would go nowhere, they would turn in circles.
There are things to learn. What is necessary is the work in the spirit which is so missing in those places like churches, congregations, groups, what have you... Bible study groups. The work in the spirit is missing! It is only a question of degree. I am not saying there is nothing done in spirit, I am saying the work in the spirit is not done as the Lord would like to perform it! So finally after some years, you see no fruit, you see no change, you see no progress and everyone who is at least honest with himself or herself must start wondering about many things. So these are NOT ships, these are Noah's arks which go nowhere! These are arks which go nowhere. They have not sunk... because the gates of hell shall not prevail against the Church, yet they go nowhere. And I think this is important to say for us and that's why I felt I should testify in my (opening) prayer that we have made a grand progress! In fact so much progress that we don't see the shore that we left! And I am not interested in it anyway. And we may be now in a position that I am looking forward... because land may appear on the horizon at any time. I know... and the fruits are measurable and the progress is vivid and is measurable. Also the signposts which we are passing—or the buoys maybe, because on the water there are no road signs—the Lord had written all over them: “This is the way.” While you see the buoys you know you are on the right path. Do we see them? You bet we see them! Your spirit testifies of things—never mind how rotten your soul is, how it cries...oh, your soul can play all kinds of games with us. You know, in fact, we play games with ourselves. But our spirit testifies and that voice you cannot bribe, you cannot change—this is it! Period. Just as the Lord speaks something, it is Truth and this is it! And the people were always speechless... there was nothing to add to it, there was nothing to subtract... this is it. This is the same thing whatever the spirit testifies—this is it. And so we walk by faith which is of the Spirit and not by sight, because by sight, boy, everything is terrible and rotten and confused. And so if I should walk by what I see or how I feel ... I would be the most miserable man on earth. I can just as well jump overboard and sink to the bottom of that sea. But I know where I am going ... and I know I am not the only one.
Now various other people may ask all kinds of questions and, of course, they may present a great lack of any faith, or belief ... I don't blame them. Nor do I condemn anyone if people do not believe me or anyone of you here. Nevertheless, the just shall always walk by faith. And everybody has some faith!, necessary and sufficient to take that first step. Always—I know that—because God supplied even our faith necessary for our own salvation ...otherwise we would not be here tonight. We were not saved because we are ‘goodies’... we had exercised the faith the Lord had given us. Now He says: “Are you willing to exercise the other faith that I have given you? To continue in my Word? To go on unto perfection? Well, I'll put you into a boat and I'll teach you how to row and you'll get there—I guarantee that! The Lord says... I guarantee that you will get there! I don't need professional sailors ... I need somebody who is willing.” That's why He said “IF” ... He always speaks to Christians "IF" (Jn.8:31, Jn.15:7, Mat.16:24, etc.) but He does not condemn them either. He is not saying: “Well, if you don't go with Me ...to hell with you” He says “IF you want to follow Me...”, in other words not (to) follow yourselves but Me, then ... The trouble with Christians is they don't want to follow Him—that is even the logical outcome. Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness—no, we are seeking our righteousness and we are seeking our satisfaction—never mind how God feels! What is important is how I feel. “And I feel rotten, Lord!” “Well, of course, you feel rotten—I know that for the past 20 years. Would you like to change your rottenness?” “Yes.” “Good.” And if not, He will grant us another 20 years. Do you see what I am saying ... about us? We are not a religious group, even fanatics who don't want to socialize with anybody. We are disciples of Christ who were constrained into this ship ...and this ship is going into the Kingdom.
When I rowed for a few years, then God said to me “throw your oar into the boat and pick up the rudder.” So today, I am at the rudder ...and you are supposed to row. And I'll tell you something ...that I find it more difficult than to row. I am facing the wind whereas all of you are with your backs to the wind ...and that salty splash gets into my face. But that's good to keep the boat against the wind.
This is a marvelous fact and this is the picture that perhaps we have thus far not realized. And this is the Scripture ... I did not dream about it. The Lord reveals it to us: “Look at this! Do you see that? Do you believe I am still watching you how you are rowing? In fact, I know the hour ...I know when 3 a.m. comes and that's the end of your troubles.”
It is not a question of joining some club of fanatics somewhere in Roxboro. Christians ought to begin to realize the realities of Christ and His Word. And yes, there is some price to be paid. And you do get soaked from time to time by these waters—you might even get a strange fish behind your collar some time. And there are all kinds of experiences—but these don't matter. What is really ...and we should say this also as a testimony ...once we do our part which is mainly “to start willing”, to be willing ... the Lord always does His part which we cannot do. This is a testimony that by far is not only my own but I am sure there are people who can just testify and testify. So when I say ‘I know where I am and where I am going’ it is not my color dream! My color dreams were broken by the Lord ... as I write there (in the book “Open letter...”). And I thank God He broke them. I don't know what else should be added to that except that there seems to be no other way across the sea but by the boat. And as the ship grows ...in fact, it could put up a sail after a time ...and you don't feel every wave. Imagine to set out first on a little dinghy where you feel every little wave, you are blown by this wind around like a beach ball. Now ... then, you have a 12 footer with 8 men in it rowing ...it's a world of difference. Then imagine you end up with the Queen Mary liner. You don't feel any wave! This is what the Church is supposed to be—a Queen Mary steaming to the other shore! But no! There are small boats rowing. This is what the Church would be in the Mind of God—a Queen Mary steaming across this idiotic, filthy, salty sea and against all wind and, in fact, we would not row, we would have a party aboard that Queen Mary. We would have a cruise if the Church would really function as it should. We would have a cruise! Fully stocked ...not a bar but this, how do you call it, ...buffet. A bar would be there too ...I would not specify what items would be there.
Now, tell me do you believe what I am saying? If the Church should function as It should in the Mind of God and plan of God, which is always His ideal way, we would be like the Queen Mary ...steaming. Now, since we don't have a Queen Mary—we have few Queens around here, but we are a boat. And I don't care how small it is—it will get there! Not only because I am determined, and there are others who are determined, but because God is determined—to bring us over. But He will not suffer that in this boat would be found anybody else but the disciples. It means, it can't be and never will be that there will be 65 folks riding the boat and 3 would be rowing. The Lord says “Perish that thought.” Do you understand that? Now, this is the sharing of my heart ... and if new people come, they express interest, it does not mean much! I don't have great experiences in this area. So many people I met were ‘seeking’ the truth, the Lord Himself, the life, the Kingdom ...when it came to taking one little step they disappeared from the horizon! I don't blame them... I really don't. I am not saying this to condemn them. In fact, I have a compassion for them, because they just can't do certain things. But I am saying that I have had these bad experiences. And so, when somebody says “well, there are six people who expressed their desire” so I say “Praise God, bring them in.” But I would like to see some sailors coming in ...who at least can tell the boat from the sea! And who really desire to do the Word of God, not just to read It! Not just debate It! Not just criticize It!, cut out things that are ‘not good’ - but to live It! “Continue in My Word...”
Now, what is your spirit saying about this? It is all yours—folks. Amen.
DISCIPLESHIP (Part II - Conclusion)
Today is November 20th and I would like to add to this message on Discipleship which is likened to rowing in a ship. And this verse from the Gospel of John which I was about to give you, we will come to it, and in fact it will now be a part of it.
What I would like to add to this second part of this message is found in the Gospel of Mark, chapter 6 and from verse 45 to 52 ...which we read last time as a reference to a scripture to have some basis for it. And then we read the parallel story in John 6 and in Matthew 14. Now let me repeat just one thing ... the basic division of the Church. The Lord, after feeding the Church, (and they ate) sent the multitude away and He constrained His disciples to get into a ship and to get to the other side. Do you remember that? That's what we are constrained to do, to get into the boat and to row against the wind and the waves to the other side, which is the Kingdom. And we know who His disciples are; and who are they, the true disciples of Christ? Do you remember?
My wife should remember and even know where it is written—John 8:31 “then said Jesus to those Jews who believed on Him”, which means that He was not speaking to the unbelieving Jews at all, He was speaking only to those who believed on Him! “IF ye continue in my word, then ye are my disciples indeed” —which means the TRUE disciples— “and ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free” (verse 36). In fact, we read this in conjunction with Hebrews 6:1, about continuing ... going on unto perfection, abandoning the basic principles of the doctrine of Christ and going on unto perfection. This relates to this verse also.
So imagine, these are the disciples... and we consider ourselves to be His disciples, don't we? Yes, is there some disagreement with this? Do we consider ourselves to be His disciples because we continue in His Word and we have decided to go on unto perfection... or should I say HE DECIDED that we should go on... and we just agreed? I have a surprise for you; it is unpleasant, but whatever comes from the Scriptures is good for us, no matter how it sounds. So I want to read something to you. Back in Mark 6, let's go to verse 48 once again – “and he (meaning Jesus) saw them toiling in rowing; for the wind was contrary unto them: and about the fourth watch of the night (which is between 3 A.M. and 6 A.M.) he cometh unto them, walking upon the sea, and would have passed by them.” Now, I do not know what your spirit is telling you about this verse, but as I re-read it again, in fact tonight, or rather this afternoon, it came to me that this may very well mean that He would have passed them—that His walking on the sea was so effortless and quick, that He was walking with greater speed then they were rowing! What if He had not stopped? He would have passed by them and gotten to the other shore just walking on this boisterous and choppy sea, before the disciples in the boat. This is just a sense of what I got out of it recently. It may be one meaning of it; now, in verse 49— “but when they saw him walking upon the sea, they supposed it had been a spirit, and cried out: (and continuing in verse 50) —for they all saw him and were troubled.” His disciples were troubled, do you realize that? “And immediately he talked with them, and saith unto them: Be of good cheer, it is I; be not afraid. And he went up unto them into the ship, and the wind ceased: and they were sore amazed in themselves beyond measure, and wondered” (vs.51). They were sore amazed. And in verse 52 – “For they considered NOT the miracle of the loaves; for their heart was hardened”!
Now folks, realize two things here. In addition to everything that we said about this, and pertaining to ourselves also, realize two things. First, when the Lord enters their ship, that means—their Rapture! Even at the time of their rapture—His disciples had their heart HARDENED! So they were not entering the Kingdom with meek hearts. Do you realize that? We are His disciples ... are we not? Now, I don't know how you take it, it may be a consolation to some that, in fact, they were not much better than we are; because we may be entering the Kingdom with our own hearts not quite as they should be. Now that opens a world of questions, which we are not going to answer now ...basically, because we do not have all the answers as yet, and also because we do not have the time to go into it now, but the Lord will bring us into this.
Now, the second thing we ought to ask ourselves here is: why their hearts were hardened? It's very difficult to answer unless you re-read vs. 52 ...it is written right there— “for they considered not the miracle of the loaves.” Now what was the miracle of the loaves? We know what it was, what the Lord did was to break those five loaves and give them away and He fed how many ...five thousand? And how many baskets were gathered afterward ...twelve? Just an incidental question here: why were there any leftovers? Why? He could have given away exactly what was needed. He knew exactly what was needed. Why did He have twelve baskets left over? And the next time He fed them there were seven baskets left over. Why were there leftovers each time? Sure, the people could not eat any more, they were full. And they were supposed to be sent away ... and you don't give people half a ‘hot dog’ and send them away into the wilderness for I don't know how long. Now, of course I am kidding ...but the main thing is that when the Lord feeds the Church, He does not give us only a morsel to alleviate the hunger pangs for a while ...or just so that we can keep living and going on. He fed them to the degree that they could not eat any more ... so that they produced leftovers. These leftovers signify that the Church were fed up to their brims! You stop eating when you are so full, it does not matter who brings you what. No matter what kind of delicacy, you don't eat because you can't ...period. And what you hold in your hand you put on the table; this is why it was done ... the Church was fed and everyone was filled! Now, on top of that, they were not just filled, including the disciples who were not watching from the sidelines, they were eating also and they were ALL fed with bread.
Now there were five loaves, and five is the number of Grace. That was the Lord Himself—because it came from His own hands— “I AM the bread that came from Heaven” (John 6:48,50). So the Lord was feeding these churches, spiritual churches, through His Grace! He had His five loaves in Heaven and He is multiplying them for the WHOLE CHURCH. In fact, there is so much food that the Church is fed with it and filled. And if you re-read verse 52 you will notice that for some reason it is written— “for they considered NOT the miracle of the loaves”, and the word "fishes" is missing. It does not mention the "fishes" at all ...right? Why not? Because there were two fishes and five loaves of bread in verse 38 and they ate both—the bread and the fishes. And in verse 41 “And when he had taken the five loaves and the two fishes, he looked up to heaven, and blessed, and brake the loaves and gave them to his disciples to set before them; AND the two fishes he divided among them all.” Well ...the Lord never said “I am the fish from heaven” ...He said “I am the bread.” And there were not five fishes only two; and you know what the number two signifies in the Scriptures.
That bread signifies (or typifies) Him as the spiritual food ... for the Church—because these people represent the Church, or at least they are the seed of the early Church. His disciples are the seed of the early church also. Now, the number “two” represents division, strife, disunity ... and they were divided into two— those that were sent away, and His disciples who were sent into the ship. So the main point is that His own disciples came to the Kingdom with their hearts hardened. So how is it that they did not consider the miracle of the loaves? It is written elsewhere later on (and the Lord is, in fact, chiding them or admonishing them, or whatever, as if to say “how come you fellows have forgotten so soon what I did?”) ...because there were other occasions when people had nothing to eat, and the disciples were wondering what on earth they were going to do. So, I believe two things at this point: –1) that ‘they did not consider’ also means that they did not believe what they saw ... and it did not sink into their hearts and minds what the Lord did and who He is! Just as Martha, when Lazarus was dead and the Lord told her “he shall live”, and she said “yes, I know, in the last days.” Then the Lord told her “Don't compare the calendar with Me— I AM THE RESURRECTION!” Not “I will raise him up”, but “I AM THE RESURRECTION” (John 11:25). “I can raise ALL the dead today if I choose”... though He chose to raise only Lazarus. I AM ...the Resurrection!
So by this miracle He wanted to tell His disciples something—I AM your bread! ... and you can be in the midst of the wilderness ... and I can feed you there. But they could not grasp it, they could not believe it, they did not even consider it. And –2) whenever the Lord feeds us with something—we ought to consider it! We ought to accept it, of course, receive it, cherish it, even meditate on it ... and surely believe it! Accept it by faith and receive it by faith. Now, they all ate, and it does not require a great deal of faith to know when you have a piece of bread in your hand—you eat it. But when it comes to spiritual things, you can not ‘eat’ the Lord without faith, because you cannot just ‘grab Him’ and hold Him like a piece of ordinary bread.
Now, let's go to John 6, which is where we intended to go in the first place but because we were near that place, I decided to add this little sharing here ... because there is something else I want to mention. There will be two categories of questions opened to us: one about us and in what state we are entering the Kingdom. And secondly, in what state and when will the multitude enter the Kingdom. And we will come to that in a moment. So the disciples did not believe, and did not consider certain miracles which He did, and that's why their hearts were hardened towards these things. Even though they believed in Him as such ... but they did not consider His miracles through which they had an opportunity to know Him, who He really is. And I myself was either wrong or deceived in the belief that if I could raise somebody from the dead, then my ministry would have a great chance, in that multitudes would follow. But it is not so! In fact, I do not desire anything of that nature. You may wonder why not. Okay, so we are in John 6 ... you have it right there in verse 35—Jesus said: “I am the bread of life; he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.” That also means that he who does not believe on Him SHALL hunger, and that he who does not come to Him SHALL thirst! And in verse 36 He said: “But I said unto you, that ye have seen me, and believe not.”
Now, just to show you a little bit about the disciples; when He started to talk to them about “I Am the living bread”, and in verse 54 – “whoso eateth my flesh and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life”, then in verses 59 and 60 – “These things said he in the synagogue, as he taught in Capernaum. Many therefore of his disciples, when they heard this, said: This is a hard saying; who can hear it?” And I would underline His disciples, who continued in His Word. And in verse 61 – “When Jesus knew in himself that his disciples murmured” ... we are not talking about Pharisees or Jews, we are talking about His very own disciples! ... they murmured! And “He said unto them: Doth this offend you?” And in verse 64 – “But there are some of you who believe not.” Which means there are some of you ‘My disciples’ that believe not. “For Jesus knew from their beginning who they were that believed not, and who should betray him.” Even from the twelve He chose, one was a devil, namely Judas Iscariot. Now notice in verse 66 – “From that time many of his disciples went back and walked no more with him. Then said Jesus unto the twelve: Will ye also go away?” (vs.67). He was in a very ‘enviable’ position—the Lord of Heaven abandoned by everybody! “Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life. And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the Living God” (vs.68,69). Go back to verse 28 of this same chapter – “Then said they unto him: What shall we do that we might work the works of God?” They wanted to DO something ... “Jesus answered and said unto them: This is the work of god, that ye BELIEVE” ...to believe means WORK, folks, and it is a hard work, it is a SPIRITUAL work! This is the work through which we have come thus far. It is work ...to believe, to exercise your faith is work. And this is the chief work that is desired from us by the Lord ... “This is the work of God that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.” (vs.29).
So look at the picture of His disciples as they are pictured here. I don't think it is very attractive. Oh, and a second thing which I would like to add, and it opens another world of questions, and it is here in John chapter 6:21. Again the same thing—when he went into the ship, He said: “It is I; be not afraid (vs.20). Then they willingly received him into the ship: and immediately the ship was at the land whither they went” (vs.21). This is the Rapture. Now from verse 22 it should describe the Millennium – “The day following ...” means the seventh day of the week, the seventh Millennium and the beginning of the Kingdom. This is what it means, or that is what it typifies. It means the time after the disciples are taken. This is not necessarily the first day of the Kingdom (of heaven on Earth), but it is the beginning of the era after the disciples are taken. So we are not talking about a twenty–four hour day, of course, as John describes the happenings, but in the spiritual sense it typifies the era which comes after the disciples are taken. “The day following when the people, which stood on the other side of the sea, saw that there was none other boat there, save that one whereinto his disciples were entered, and that Jesus went not with his disciples into the boat, but that his disciples were gone away alone (vs.22). When the people, therefore, saw that Jesus was not there, neither his disciples, they ALSO TOOK shipping” (vs.24). You see ...everybody has to cross that sea at one time or another. Everybody has to overcome. Doesn't it show that? The people (the rest of the people) also took shipping, in fact, they were not constrained to get into the ship, as were the disciples, but they willingly jumped into them and were rowing like mad ... because they were seeking the Lord (the Kingdom). And why? – “And when they had found him on the other side of the sea (they did find Him) they said unto him: Rabbi (Master) when camest thou hither?” (vs.25). They wanted to know how He got there .. they could not figure it out. They didn't even know that He was on earth and took the disciples. “Whence comest thou?” they wanted to know ... we missed the Rapture. “Jesus answered them and said: Verily, verily, I say unto you, You seek me, not because ye saw the miracles, but because ye did eat of the loaves, and were filled.” (vs.26).
Now, what does that mean? To see a miracle means nothing, nothing at all! People are overwhelmed and their eyes bulge out for a while ... and they forget all about it—and it gives them NOTHING ... and in fact it does not even build their faith! Go to John 12:37, for example – “But though he had done so many miracles before them, yet they believed NOT on him.” Now, that verse caused a profound change in my belief and action. When I realized the truth of it, I said “Lord, I am not yearning any more to give anyone a sign that I am your servant! In fact, I don't care.” Because my faith at the time was that if you give them a sign, then they had better believe ... because you do something that men don't normally do. But this is not good (what I believed formerly). You can raise up the whole cemetery on Mount Royal—and they would still condemn you! This is the truth.
So, the Lord in chapter 6, verse 24 tells them that they were not seeking Him because they saw the miracles. In fact, ‘My disciples saw them also, and it made no difference to them’, but because “ye did eat of the loaves and were filled.” Which means (and remember that it does not say ‘of the loaves and the fishes’— the fishes do not enter the picture) “ye did eat of the loaves” —five loaves, which means: My Church, My Church, you were filled ... you were eating of My Grace. You were absorbing My Grace and you were filled ... and were satisfied with it. And it brought you to the point where you began to seek for Me.
When I was converted, I received a good portion of His Faith and of His grace. And I remember it as though it were yesterday. And I was filled and I was satisfied, ... and it was sweet, and from that day I began to seek Him—because I ate of that Loaf which is Grace, which is food from Heaven. Isn't it so? Do you agree with that? This is what it typifies in my heart. When I read that, this is the understanding that I get.
Now, the world of questions that is being opened here is: When did the people ‘take shipping’, when did they get to the other side and find Jesus and His disciples? It was AFTER they (the disciples) were raptured. And in what condition were they? I don't know—but in verse 27 the Lord is telling them— “Labor not for the meat which perisheth, but for the meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of Man shall give unto you; for Him hath God the Father sealed.” So, if you really want some food for thought and meditation, you have it here for the next twenty years. Eventually, I would have shared it with you ...but I found this day suitable, so I am sharing it now.
Someone has asked me what the ‘fishes’ signified; so let me briefly say this: Actually, it is a creature from the sea—and the sea represents the sinful world. So it is a food that grows in the world, the sinful world, and we usually eat it also. I am going to leave it at that because it really has no bearing on what I have been sharing. I mentioned this thing simply to bring your attention to notice what is missing (in the Word of God) and why. And also notice what the loaves mean, and why there were five of them and not seventy–two, for example, and not any other figure. And to try to discern what the Spirit is saying by these things—that is the point!
And now we have lots of time to meditate on it, and these are extremely interesting things. And to realize that they have a practical bearing on us and on our future—because you may start asking questions like “When I get to the Kingdom (of Heaven), will I be perfect? Will I be perfectly holy, ... perfectly righteous?” Oh yes, the Lord said – “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in Heaven is perfect” (Mat.5:48), but He didn't say how ... and He didn't say when. But, since He said that, we can be sure that we will be perfect too; no evil, no darkness, no filth ... nothing. That, I would call perfection in holiness and in righteousness. There would be no reason to be unrighteous, no reason and no way to be. But the question for us now is not so much how, because we now have some experience as to how he is doing it, but—when! And so I have a little sensing in me that we may have to be de-programmed in other areas also (of our previously obtained knowledge). And our ‘color dreams’ (about Christianity) will have to be adjusted also—as to the Rapture, the Kingdom, and many other things. But this does not take anything away from the truth which is that—this is a ship which is going to the Kingdom (of Heaven)! The Lord does not mention the cargo so much as the principle. AMEN!