And greetings friends. This is Herbert W Armstrong with the Good News of the World Tomorrow.
And once again I want to tell you that we could have good news today if we knew the way. But humanity long ago lost its way and it doesn't know the way to everything it wants; to peace, to happiness, to prosperity, to all of the really good things of a really well filled interested and abundant life. We don't find much of that on the earth today.
God Almighty revealed the Truth and the true way to our first parents. He revealed it to the antediluvian world through Noah. He sent the Message to His nation Israel, they rejected it, they killed the prophets. He sent it by His own Son and they rejected Him; they crucified Him. They accepted later His name but they rejected His Message. And then they also martyred the apostles.
And men have rejected that message ever since. Although they have accepted Christ and they have deified Him; they have lauded Him. My friends, is it possible to accept Christ; is it possible to worship Him and all in vain and still be lost? I tell you today the average minister, I imagine, would say, "Oh it isn't possible to accept Christ as your personal Savior, to worship Him and be lost at the same time." But I'm going to show you what Jesus Christ Himself said why don't we believe what He said?
Now here we are. We had seen how in the preceding programs, and by the way, get your Bible while you're there, I want you to see some things with your own eyes that you probably haven't noticed before in your own Bible, and how it is that Jesus proclaimed exactly the opposite of that which people believe and proclaim today. Why? I'm afraid most of you just don't know.
Well, you know that Jesus had stopped to get away from the crowd. He'd gotten in a boat; they'd gone up the shore of the lake a little ways to get away from the crowd. The crowd saw them going and then went on shore afoot and arrived at the place where Jesus and the disciples came ahead of them and it was late in the evening on a Friday afternoon; and Jesus then had, had compassion on them. The disciples said "Well, why don't you send them away so they can go into town and get something to eat?" But Jesus performed the miracle of turning the few little loaves and fishes into the five loaves and two fishes it was into enough to feed the five thousand men beside the women and children (Mark 6:32-44). There might have been ten or fifteen or twenty thousand people there the exact total number, of course, is not given.
Well then they left again and the people found them here the next day in the synagogue at Capernaum. And then when Jesus began to tell them a lot of truth that is exactly the opposite of what you hear today, the people became very much offended, and they figuratively speaking began to bite the hand had that fed them the night before. Now we've come down in John the sixth chapter to verse 60, let's pick it up there:
"Many therefore of his disciples..." (John 6:60)
Now not only of the crowd that came but even disciples; now disciples are students or learners and His disciples were those that followed Him to learn what He was teaching. Now He had only called the 12 and at least two alternates as we might call them today as we would call them on a jury today, we have juries of 12 people and usually they will have two alternates. That is a precaution so that in case one or two of the members of the jury are taken ill or something happens to them in the course of a trial, there will be at least two substitutes each of whom has been there for the entire trial; has heard all of the testimony and then one of those steps in and takes the place and becomes an official juror. Well in the same way Jesus had called not just alone the 12 but at least two others that we find over in the first chapter of the book of Acts had been with them ever since Jesus began His ministry and His teaching with them.
But there were a great many others and at the close of His ministry there were still about a 120 people following Him. About ten times as many as He had called. So there may have been several hundred that had been following Him by this time out of the crowds that had followed after Him and gathered where ever He was as a matter of curiosity, usually.
People Offended at Christ's Message But now notice here in verse 60, John 6:
"Many therefore of his disciples, when they heard this [the things that He'd been saying that we've seen the last two broadcasts] said this is a hard saying; who can hear it? But Jesus, knowing in himself that his disciples murmured [that is they grumbled, they complained] at this, and said unto them, Doth this cause you to stumble? [well it causes many people today to stumble when they hear the same truth, the same message my friends. So He asked them]; "Does this cause you to stumble? What then if you should behold the Son of Man ascending where he was before." (John 60:6 American Standard Version)
Now that meant that He'd come from heaven. And you know that's just a little more than they could take; the fact that He was the Messiah that He'd come from heaven. To them He was just an ordinary human man He looked like any other man they said, "Well, don't we know who He is? We know His father, His mother [actually Joseph was not His father but the people thought he was] and we know His brothers and sisters, we've seen Him grow up from a little boy, well who could He be?"
Now they expected the Messiah to be someone that would come in all the splendor and power and glory from heaven striking awe and fear into the hearts of men and rescuing them from their Roman captors and establishing them as the greatest nation on earth so they could lord it over other nations and other people. That's what they expected.
And even though the Old Testament scriptures that they had, had given them all of the prophecies about their Messiah coming as a tender plant and being born of a virgin and growing up from a baby and also being rejected and despised by them; they had turned their eyes away from those passages in their own scriptures, they didn't recognize them and consequently they wouldn't recognize Him when He came. And so they looked on Him as an ordinary man.
Now He said; "...what then if you should behold the Son of man ascending where he was before?" (John 6:62 ASV)
You know that really did get them when He said things like that because they wouldn't accept the fact that He'd come from heaven.
It is the Spirit That Quickens He said: "It is the Spirit that quickeneth" (John 6:63); that is, quickeneth means to give you immortality, to impart immortality, to make alive, spiritually alive, eternally alive. The flesh profiteth nothing: the flesh can't give you anything. The Spirit of God can impart to you eternal life and can give you all power, all knowledge, all love, all peace, all patience; all of everything that is good, all of everything that is of the nature and of the character of God. But the flesh can't give you anything except, well, trouble and sickness and disease and death and unhappiness.
And a lot of people don't realize that today; they don't realize the way to peace and happiness it isn't the way of the flesh it's the way of God, the way of the Spirit of God the way of God's character if you can only find it.
"...the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I have spoken unto you are spirit, and are life." (John 6:63 ASV)
Now His words are spirit. What is it then to be spiritual? You know today most people think, well, a spiritual person is one who is sort of sentimental and emotional in a religious way; one who can use religious phraseology and can say; "Bless the Lord and praise the Lord and praise God" and words like that all of the time that appears very emotional. Oh aren't such people spiritual? Well, not always my friends.
You know, you can be very sentimental in your manner, very sanctimonious; you can use a lot of spiritual phraseology, so to speak. But my observation is that the people that are the most spiritual really, don't use a lot of that sort of thing; they only do it when it really comes from the heart in all sincerity. They don't do it to just spread it on and put it on and to influence and impress others so that others will think they are spiritual.
You know all that is? It's just a lot of pride; people want others to think that they're spiritual so they put on a sanctimonious attitude and they act in a sanctimonious manner; they use a lot of these spiritual phrases. They say; "Well praise the Lord brother," whenever they meet anyone and they're always going along using God's name to no good effect and actually it's profanity but they don't seem to realize it, because the commandment is; "Thou shalt not take the name of the [Eternal] thy God in vain" (Exodus 20:7).
And in vain means to no good use or purpose; and if you take God's name unnecessarily or to no good use or purpose you're taking it in vain. And that is breaking one of the commands of God and it is a sin although I think most people that commit that sin in that manner are not conscious of it and since God looks on the heart He may not hold them accountable until they've had a chance to recognize it and repent of it and have it forgiven. But nevertheless if we know the truth we should avoid that sort of thing.
"It is the spirit that quickeneth [that is it can impart eternal life to us. Now the flesh can't give you anything, as I say, but a lot of headaches and troubles]. The words that I have spoken unto you are spirit and are life." (John 6:63 ASV)
The Bible Is The Inspired Word of God Now, if those words are in us, if we are living by every word of God and the words that Jesus spoke are recorded in the Bible. They are in the scriptures, Jesus is the Word, He is the real Architect, the real Author of the whole Bible. He is the One who through the Holy Spirit inspired the various writers of the Bible, the prophets of old, the Apostles and so on, to write the books of the Bible. They were merely like secretaries or stenographers, so to speak, they merely were inspired to receive these words and put them down. Actually, God through the Holy Spirit used the vocabularies, the style of writing of each human writer, but even the very thoughts were inspired and even the very words were inspired by God and there is ample evidence and proof of that. But He took the words and phraseology of each man who wrote one of the books of the Bible, that is, who was called of God and inspired in the writing, and used that man's phraseology and that man's vocabulary and that man's style of speech but God Himself selected every word and inspired every word except, you know there is an exception or two.
The apostle Paul was inspired to record in one portion of his letter to the Corinthians for instance, that some of the things that he was writing right there were not inspired of God (I Corinthians 7:6). And yet he was inspired even to write that, so that in a sense is inspired, and what is inspired is that what he had just said was not from God but was his personal opinion. But even there it's made very plain so that you can accept the scriptures as absolutely and literally inspired of God; that is of course, in the original languages and we have plenty of copies, at least a thousand copies in the original language available. And while there may be a few errors or mistakes in a single copy here and one there, with so many we can arrive at the exact correct original text. There are mistakes in translating but even then we can overcome that and we can easily find the truth if we want it.
And we have the time, we have all the time there is, God has given us each a lifetime of twenty-four hours in every day and one person has as much time as another, we just don't want to spend the time that way and so, so many of us think we don't have the time.
Jesus The Living Word Now notice, Jesus is the Word, He had inspired the words of the Bible. He said we should live by every word of God, the words He spoke which are the words of the Bible, and that means simply that the words you read in the Bible, they are life. And they are spirit; they are spirit that can impart life.
Now, what is a spiritual man? Well, one definition, one definition is: one who has actually received the Word of God. Now just above the verses ahead of this that we were discussing yesterday and in the broadcast just ahead of that, Jesus had been saying that He was the Word and He'd been speaking about bread and He said He was the living Bread that came down from heaven, and if we ate His flesh and drank His blood we should have everlasting life (John 6:48, 50, 51, 54).
Now actually, He was speaking of food and drink, He was speaking in a sort of a manner, like a parable or in a symbolic manner. And symbolically He was comparing His flesh and blood to actually eating the Word of God and receiving the Spirit of God. And often the Spirit of God was compared to the living waters, and if we drink that water we shall never thirst, and we shall have eternal life. And now He had said if we eat of Him, He is the Living food, the Living Bread and if we eat of Him His words in other words because He, what is He? He is the Word of God; He is the Mouthpiece, the Spokesman
.the One through whom God speaks to us. The One whom God used in inspiring the scriptures through the Holy Spirit to be written by the prophets and the apostles and those that God called that you and I can read them today.
Now, we eat His flesh actually by just simply absorbing the Bible. By reading it and absorbing it within us, it is spiritual food. And if we live on it, if it becomes a part of us; that means then we live according to it; that means that when it corrects us we accept the correction and admit that we have been wrong. We let the Bible correct us and reprove us and rebuke us; and we let it instruct us and we receive instruction and when the Bible reproves us we don't say, "Oh well, now this is the way I look at it; I know the Bible says so and so but then you know, I don't want to believe it so this is the way I look at it." Or, "this is the way my church teaches, or this is the way my crowd believes."
Being Spiritual If we're really spiritual and really eating and digesting the Word of God we won't speak like that. Rather we'll say; "Well that shows me that I've been wrong, or, that shows me something I didn't know before, and I see now that according to this instruction in the Bible I should live a little differently or I should think differently, or act differently than I did," and then you begin to do it. And you're obedient to it.
Now my friends, the one who is spiritual is the one who is surrendered to God. The one who like Jesus said, "...not my will but thine [oh God] be done" (Luke 22:42).
The one who has come to have the good sense and the sound mind to know that God's mind is more capable than our minds and that God knows better than we do and that just once that great wisdom and that knowledge of God because we want more knowledge, more wisdom, more understanding than we already have we want to know better than we know; we realize and recognize human incapacities and human limitations. And so we know that God is unlimited and God has all capacity and so we go to Him and drink in of His great wisdom; of His great knowledge; and instead of being offended when God shows us something contrary to what we have believed, what our crowd follows, what our church does, we praise God for it because we found some truth and it is the truth that is to make us free. It is error which has shackled us as slaves, slaves to passion, slaves to all of these things that have brought on heartache and headache and fears and worries and empty lives and every unhappiness that we are suffering.
Now then, the words that Jesus spoke are spirit and life and we receive eternal life that way. Of course you receive it literally by being impregnated by the Spirit of God. But we have to grow spiritually and once that you are a begotten child of God just like the begotten child of human parents, still in its mother's womb, it must be nourished and fed and protected by the mother, and in a sense the Bible teaches that the Church is the mother of us all (Galatians 4:26). The Church is the Jerusalem that is above, that is free, and is the mother of us all and the function of the Church is to nourish and to feed and to protect the spiritual infants that have been begotten of God, that are not yet really born, only begotten at this time. To feed them on the Word of God, to nourish them on the spiritual manna and to protect them from the wolves and the false prophets on the outside.
And that's why when the false prophets come even into the Church congregation that the ones that God has set in authority in His Church are to mark them and to have nothing to do with them, not to admit them even into the house. And God has given authority in His Church but most churches don't run their churches according to God's authority or God's way but according to man's ideas.
Well there you are, and the words of Jesus "...they are spirit and they are life [but, Jesus continued]: There are some of you that believe not." (John 6:64 ASV)
Believe not what? Believe not what He'd been saying; believe not the Word; believe not the message. Today my friends they try to preach to you that all you believe is just believe in Christ; you don't believe what He said, you can disagree with that but just believe on Christ, just accept Christ, call Him your Savior and hocus pocus you're saved, so they tell you.
I say tommyrot! I say it's time that we get rid of all this kind of superstition that has been taught and come to the truth. Jesus said, preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom of God, He said; "...repent and believe the Gospel" (Mark 1:15). And here He's speaking about people that don't believe what He had been teaching, what He had been proclaiming. He was sent as a Messenger, the Word of God bearing the Message of God.
I want to tell you my friends; it is not of my making. I've had nothing to do with it but anyone can see this who is willing to open his mind and is willing to receive the truth as it really is. That the true word of God, the true Gospel that Jesus proclaimed, the message that God sent by Him, has not been proclaimed to the world publicly for some 1850 years. But I want to tell you that it is going forth to the whole world again on this program.
Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that believed not, and He's not speaking about believing on Him but believing His words, His message that He taught. He knew who believed not and who it was that should betray Him now there He is speaking directly of Judas Iscariot and Judas Iscariot didn't believe, and he's the one that betrayed Him. Yes, He had a false Judas even in His own 12 that He selected. Now apparently He did not Himself call or select these other disciples. How many there were is not even numbered or mentioned in any way. We do find that there were a 120 after His ascension to heaven (Acts 1:15).
That's all that was left and the inference is that there were at least many hundred if not a few thousand at least who followed Him and who did believe Him to some extent but when the Truth got a little too hard and too different from the teaching of their church denominations and the teaching that they were accustomed to well, they couldn't follow Him any longer.
Well let's read on, I want you to get it.
Not Just Anyone Can Come To Christ "And he said; For this cause have I said unto you, that no man can come unto me except it be given unto him of the Father." (John 6:65 ASV)
I know that possibly when I mentioned that in the preceding broadcast or two a few people got disgusted and tuned out. People don't want to believe that, today they preach entirely the opposite and people want to believe what human beings preach not what Jesus Christ the Son of God taught. And He said that "no man can come to Him" (John 6:44), and He is the only way to eternal life, He is the only door by which we can get into the Kingdom of God (John 10:7) and no man can come to Him except the Spirit of the Father draw him; except it be given to him of God the Father.
People today don't want to believe that, why they say, well anybody can come to Jesus that wants to, anybody can say I accept Christ. I tell you nay, that is not what Jesus Christ said. Let's read what He said. I ask you to open your own Bible to John the sixth chapter and the sixty fifth verse, John 6:65 and read it with your own eyes. And my friends don't be offended with me because it's the word of God and its God at whom anyone is offended if they don't like this truth. This is the truth.
No man can come to Jesus Christ no person can have salvation except he be called of God and except it be granted of God and given to him of God.
I will say this much; I will qualify that statement to this extent, that I believe that it is scriptural. And that is, if a man has not been previously called of God, but if he really does hunger and thirst for the truth, and if he wants it and if he will seek God as God says; and how does God tell you to seek Him? He tells you that through one of the prophets and you know the Church is built on the foundation of the apostles and the prophets (Ephesians 2:20), and one of the prophets is Isaiah. And Isaiah tells you how to find God. "Let the wicked forsake his way" (Isaiah 55:7) His own way and let him find God and God's Way and obey God.
Now if you want to do that and you want to seek God and find Him and you want to come to Christ badly enough, and if you will strive hard enough and be willing to give up, I tell you I think God will call anyone that will do that. Now perhaps someone else would reason it around a different way and say well He wouldn't want to if God hadn't called him in the first place anyhow and that probably is the truth.
Well there it is, no one can come to Jesus though, that is a statement of fact. No one can come to Him except it be given unto him of the Father. Jesus had been repeating that a number of times through here. Now back here in verse 44 it's there again, read back in this forty-fourth verse the same chapter where He said:
"No man can come unto me except the Father which sent me draw him." (John 6:44).
And in another place it is except the Spirit of the Father draw him.
Now listen; that really upset the people in day, the next verse says:
"Upon this many of the disciples went back and they walked no more with him. Jesus said therefore unto the twelve [now it shows that the ones who deserted were not the twelve, there were other disciples, so He said to the twelve whom He had called, whom the Father had drawn, He said]; Would you also go away? Simon Peter answered him; Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life." (John 6:66-68 ASV)
You know my friends, once in a while someone who has seen the truth; they've sent their tithe money in to make it possible for us to give the Gospel free and we don't beg for money on this program. We never ask you for money on this program. When you write in for our literature it is free; there is no subscription price and there is no request for money; directly or indirectly in it. But there are people who have been sending their tithe money in and they'll ask me a question. And I try, I get the letter, and I hold it trying to get time to answer it and I don't find it and they write again and again and again. And finally they get so upset and they say well I certainly won't have anything to do with that anymore. Well I say to you people I've been so busy day and night wearing myself out trying to get to your letters and to answer them and I can't. I am burdened with thousands and thousands and thousands of letters and a man can't answer them and you become offended, I say to you; just as these people said, the disciples; Jesus said, "Would you go away [and some people go away from the truth and] Simon Peter answered and said, Lord, to whom shall we go? Thou hast the words of eternal life." (John 6:68 ASV).
I say to you, where will you go and find the words of life? And some went away, but where did they go, into death and to destruction. God wake us up, this is not a ministry and I am not in receiving money from anyone that might contribute to this work and our co-workers to minister back to them. You don't pay for what you get; anyone that sends money in for this work is giving it in order to make it possible for us to give the gospel to others and we're wearing ourselves out in the service and doing the best we can and we can't do more.
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