The World Tomorrow

The 5,000 Wanted More Physical Food

by Herbert W Armstrong


...fed these 5,000 thousand men and a lot of women and children; the number of women and children was not numbered. The very next day in the synagogue over in Capernaum across the sea; that very same crowd that had taken the loaves and the fishes from the hand of Christ - and by the miracle that He performed out of compassion for them - rejected Him and turned away from Him when He offered them really spiritual food, instead of just material position.

They wanted Him to be a political Messiah that would free them from the Roman yoke right then and there. They didn’t want anyone that would give them eternal life; they didn’t want anyone that would show them the way to live. Men have always rejected the Message that God sent and God sent this Message by Jesus Christ, as He had sent the Message by all of His prophets. As He had proclaimed it in the antediluvian days by Noah; as He had told it Himself to Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden.

Well later of course, they crucified Jesus Christ and because of what He said and because of His Message, not because of what He was or what He did. Why is it then that men will not accept His Message even today? Why is it that it isn’t popular to preach it? Why is it that if you dare to preach the same thing that Jesus Christ did that people will persecute you; that they will hate you; they will despise you; they will try to discredit you. They will do everything they can because they are not fighting me, they are fighting God Almighty. They are fighting Christ; because they don’t love Christ, they don’t love His 'way,' they don’t love the Message that He brought; the 'way' that He proclaimed which is the 'way' into everything that everybody wants.

Well, you’ve heard of the dog biting the hand that fed it? You don’t read of that very often. But it’s a saying that has been going around – although I don’t think dogs do that very often – but human beings will do it. Yes they will do it.

And here’s exactly where that happened. Now it was on the next day after Jesus Christ had fed these. And you know as He... the disciples got on the boat to cross the sea, and the - Jesus was not with them. And then they saw Him walking on the water and you remember how Peter asked Him if he could walk on the water? Jesus said, "Come." And Peter looking straight at Christ got out and he walked on the water too.

So it wasn’t merely Christ who was doing the miracles, He did nothing we couldn’t do, He said that of Himself He could do nothing, it was the Father that dwelt in Him, that did all of the works. And if we let the Father through His Holy Spirit dwell in us to the extent that He did in Jesus Christ we could do the same things today. And even Peter was able to walk on the water as long as he kept his eyes on Jesus. But then he began to look down, he saw the troubled waters, he saw the storm, and the minute he saw that, that was on his mind and as soon as the material circumstances and the troubles were on his mind his faith left him. (Matthew 14:29-30)

Even today we look at the material circumstances. We just look at the possibilities of everything going wrong; we can’t get our eyes on God and keep them there and trust Him; we just can’t do it, can we?

So now the next day the multitude which stood on the other side of the sea where He had been – and remember He didn’t seek this multitude. You remember that He was trying to get away with His disciples for a little rest. He was tired, and they were all tired - they had been working so hard - the physical body will get tired. And they were getting in a boat to go away by boat up the shore to a place farther up where they would get away from the people. But the crowd saw them going and they went up the shore on land; they beat them there; arrived ahead of Jesus and the disciples in the boat and that’s where He fed them because they had just run up there without thinking.

People don’t seem to think these days any more than they did then; I guess people never did think very much – most of them – it seems they let a few people do the thinking for all the rest of them; and they don’t want any of God’s thinking, they just want a little human thinking. Well anyway, they arrived up there and out of compassion He performed this miracle and fed them all.

And then again He was walking on the water and the disciples were crossing the sea - the Sea of Galilee up there in the northern part of Palestine – and now they had come across to accompany Him.

Jesus Speaks to the Multitude (Play from 04:43)

But here was the multitude which stood on the other side of the sea:

"They saw that there was none other boat there – save one – and that Jesus had not entered with his disciples into the boat, but that the disciples went away alone; (howbeit, there came boats from Tiberius nigh unto the place where they ate bread after the Lord had given thanks:) But when the multitude therefore saw that Jesus was not there, neither his disciples; they themselves got into the boats and they came to Capernaum, seeking Jesus. And when they found him on the other side of the sea [and now in Capernaum] they said unto him, Rabbi when camest thou hither?" (John 6:22-25 American Standard Version paraphrased)

They didn’t know He got there, He hadn’t gotten into the boat; well of course they didn’t know He’d been walking on the water until He came to the boat where the disciples were. So they asked Him, "When did you come here?" And Jesus answered them and said:

"Verily, verily, I say unto you, you seek me not because you saw signs but because you ate of the loaves and were filled. Work not for the meat..." (John 6:26 KJV paraphrased)

And 'meat' in the King James or the old Revised Version from which I am reading here - not this modern revised version - but the older one is the one I happen to have. The word meat there really means food; it doesn’t mean animal flesh necessarily, it might include that of course, but it also might mean fruit, vegetables, bread; it is referring to food.

"Work not then [let me just use that correct word in modern English... work not] for the food that perishes but for the food which abideth unto - eternal life, which the Son of Man shall give unto you: for him the Father, even God hath sealed. They said therefore unto him, What must we do that we may work the works of God?" (John 6:26-27 ASV)

Now here is the work of God and the works of God; there’s a great deal in the Bible incidentally about God’s work, and the work of the Eternal and the work of God that is to be done on the Earth. Yes, God has His work that He does through His own human instrumentalities. And now the work of God was something that they were to lend themselves to if they were God’s children, if they were submissive to Him.

Well they were asking the question what they would have to do, not that they’re hearts were as willing as their curiosity, but they were at least curious to know. And so we’ll see a little more about that as we go on. So they asked Him "what must we do that we may work the works of God?" (John 6:28 ASV)

"And Jesus answered them and said unto them, this is the work of God that ye believe on him whom he hath sent." (John 6:29 ASV)

Now, men may have believed on the person of Christ but never did they accept His message, except the very few.

"They said therefore unto him, What then doest thou for a sign that we may see and believe thee?" (John 6:30 ASV)

They wanted some proof. Now a sign in Bible language, remember, is a miracle that identifies and they wanted a sign now to identify that He was the Messiah. Even though He’d performed that great miracle and fed all of them by a miracle. They still wanted another proof - a miraculous proof – of His identity and who He was.

"What then doest thou for a sign, that we may see and believe thee? What workest thou? Our fathers ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written; He gave them bread out of heaven to eat." (John 6:30-31 ASV)

Now Jesus had just performed a miracle to give them bread to eat, and notice how they are now, they’re human.

Jesus the Bread of Life (Play from 08:25)

"Jesus therefore said unto them, Verily, verily I say unto you, it was not Moses that gave you the bread out of heaven but my Father giveth you the true bread out of heaven. For the bread of God is that which cometh down out of heaven and giveth life unto the world." (John 6:32-33 ASV)

Now He’s talking about bread in a spiritual sense, not material bread that is made from actual wheat that grows out of the ground. He is talking now of the spiritual food that will feed us and develop in us the very character of God, and the nature of God. Which of course God must instill, but will develop the nature of God and build the very character of God until we are less human and more God-like all the time. And then of course, if we are now begotten and if we grow in that begettal state and are more like God by feeding on the spiritual bread; and that comes by the study of the word of God and obedience to it and through a great deal of prayer and communion with God; fellowship with God’s own people. Withdrawing from the world; except that we must go into the world to do the Work of God and to proclaim His message; but not fellowship with the world.

And if we grow in that way God will then change us instantly at the Second Coming of Christ – if we are alive at that time – or resurrect all of those who have died in that condition to immortal life into the very Family, the Kingdom of God.

"Jesus therefore said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you it was not Moses that gave you the bread out of heaven, for my Father giveth you the true bread out of heaven. For the bread of God is that which cometh down from heaven and giveth life unto the world. They said therefore unto him, Lord, evermore give us this bread." (John 6:32-34 ASV)

Now they just wanted to receive it, but they didn’t want to do anything about it. They didn’t want to repent; they didn’t want to obey; they just wanted to go on with their stubborn rebellion in their own way, doing the thing that seemed right to them, following the appetites and the lusts of the flesh, and just have God, or have Jesus here give it to them.

[And] Jesus said unto them "I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall not hunger, and he that believeth on me shall never thirst. But I said unto you, that you have seen me and yet believe not. All that which the Father giveth me shall come unto me; and him that cometh unto me I will in no wise cast out. For I am come down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me." (John 6:35-38 ASV)

You know today everyone wants to do his own will, he doesn’t want to do the will of God. Well now if Jesus couldn’t do His own will how do you think that you’re going to get away with it and still be converted and share with Jesus all of the inheritance that is His?

Well, there it is; that’s the teaching of Jesus all the way and He taught that eternal life is the gift of God (Romans 6:23 KJV). We don’t have it, we can only get it as God’s gift and He said "... this is the will of my Father, that everyone that beholdeth the Son and believeth on him should have eternal life [they don’t already have it, but they are to gain it, they are to receive it. Then He said:]... I will raise him up at the last day." (John 6:40 ASV) In a resurrection, to eternal life.

Heirs with Abraham (Play from 12:04)

Now my friends, Christ only hath immortality, so says your Bible. And you turn over here to I Corinthians the fifteenth chapter and we read this, that, in the beginning of the fiftieth verse:

"Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood [that’s what we are; flesh and blood, that’s what you are; that’s what I am, we are all of that... flesh and blood] cannot inherit the Kingdom of God;" (I Corinthians 15:50 KJV)

Nobody has inherited that but Jesus Christ – we’re only heirs – none of us as has yet inherited it; no one who has ever died has inherited it my friends. If you think that some of your loved ones have already inherited the Kingdom of God, well then they had to have inherited it quite a while before Abraham. But, you know the sermon for which Stephen was martyred – he was stoned to death – in that sermon he said that Abraham had not yet received that promise of God. And you know, to the Galatians the apostle Paul said:

"If you be Christ’s then are ye Abraham’s children and heirs according to the promise." (Galatians 3:29 KJV paraphrased)

Now every Christian can become an heir but he is an heir of the promise made to Abraham. Can he then - if he is one of Abraham’s children and an heir of what is Abraham’s, can he inherit it even before his father Abraham? If Abraham becomes his father, and the promise was made to Abraham, and he inherits it because he is in Abraham’s family - or a spiritual Israelite if you please - how is he going to inherit it even before Abraham?

Now let me turn over here to Hebrews in the faith chapter and show you the faith that Abraham had and what it says about him. The eleventh chapter of Hebrews and in the eighth verse:

"By faith Abraham when he was called to go out to a place which he should after receive [for]an inheritance, obeyed [he should after receive this land of Palestine on this earth as an inheritance and he obeyed. How did he obey? By faith, by faith he obeyed. We see how his faith was used to obey and how it was mixed with obedience]. And he went out not knowing whither he went. By faith he sojourned in the land of promise." (Hebrews 11:8-9 KJV )

That’s what God has promised. And if you are Christ’s you are an heir along with Abraham who becomes your father and you’re an heir of it - because Abraham is your father - and because God promised it to Abraham; how can you inherit it before Abraham? Now what about all of our loved ones that have already passed on? They are dead; have they already inherited that promise?

By faith Abraham sojourned in the land of promise with Isaac and Jacob the heirs with him of the same promise (verse 9). And if you’re on of his children you are an heir with him to that promise. Then Sarah is mentioned, and then coming to verse 13:

"These all died in faith [now there’s Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and Sarah; these all died, and they are dead and are buried as other scriptures affirm... they died in faith], not having received the promises..." (Hebrews 11:13 KJV)

Abraham has not yet to this day received that promise. And that’s exactly what Stephen said and they stoned him to death for saying it. And I suppose a lot of people don’t like me very well when I say the same thing but that is exactly what is in the Bible and it’s the only truth of God, it’s the Message of God. Why is that the carnal mind is so averse to God and is enmity against God and is not subject to the law of God and hates it so much?

Now here was Stephen preaching – let me see – in the seventh chapter of Acts, if I can find that particular part of it about Abraham here. He mentioned how Abraham had not received the promise at all. Here where God was saying, "I am the God of thy fathers [this is in verse 32, verse 32] The God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob," (Acts 7:32 KJV) and so on.

Anyhow he mentions back here at the beginning in the fifth verse: And [God] gave him [Abraham] none inheritance in it [in this land] no, not so much as to set foot on [as an inheritance that is] yet he promised that he would give it to him for a possession." (Acts 7:5 KJV)

Must Put on Immortality (Play from 16:32)

That’s part of the message that Stephen preached for which he was stoned to death, the first Christian martyr, the very first Christian to be put to death and martyred. Now Paul says in I Corinthians 15:50:

"...flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption [when a man dies he’s corruptible and subject to decay that is and the body does decay] Behold I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep [that is, let me translate it for you because what he means is we’ll not all be dead; of course people don’t believe it, to sleep today, but that’s the word that Paul used], but we shall all be changed [we’ll all be changed], In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump [now it’s at the last Trump that Christ comes, the second coming of Christ. He says:] for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible ." (I Corinthians 15:51-52)

Now when they died they were corruptible, they were mortal, they were flesh and blood when they died, and they were corruptible, and subject to rotting and decay. But, the dead, even though they died - and this pertains to Abraham, it pertains to Isaac and Jacob, the children with him of the same promise, heirs with him; that pertains to you if you are Abraham’s children, if you are Christ's; that pertains to our loved one who died in Christ. They will be resurrected.

And here "Behold, I show you a mystery; We shall not all sleep [some of us will be alive], but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead [here’s what happens to our loved ones], the dead shall be raised incorruptible [immortal, if they were dead in Christ], and we [we alive] shall be changed. For this corruptible [which is what we human beings are now] must put on incorruption, this mortal must put on immortality." (I Corinthians 15:51-53)

You don’t already have it; you were not born with immortality. He says you must put on immortality, you are corruptible. Jesus preached that which is born of the flesh is flesh. You must be born again, and that which is born of the Spirit, when you’re born again you must be born of the Spirit, and that which is born of the Spirit, He said is Spirit. (John 3:6-7)

I can’t see spirit. You can’t feel, you can’t touch spirit. And so anyone who has become spirit can’t be seen or touched or anything of the kind. But we are born of the flesh and we are flesh, you can see flesh and you can touch flesh and that is what we are. But this corruptible, which is flesh and blood, must put on incorruption; this mortal which we are now - everywhere the Bible says we're mortal not immortal - this mortal must put on immortality.

Jesus Christ brought immortality to light through the Gospel, and it is the gift of God. And He made it possible and He told us to seek for it. And here’s where we put it on.

"So, when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory." (I Corinthians 15:54)

Now, when is it? At the last trump, at the second coming of Christ, when we’re changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye. (I Corinthians 15:52)

Now that’s what Jesus preached, that’s what the Bible says all the way through consistently; and yet people believe just the opposite today. When you were born my friends, I’ve said so many times you didn’t know anything. You didn’t have any ideas that you were immortal or that the soul is immortal or anything like that when you were born. You look at a newborn baby – just born today – and it doesn’t know anything about those things, not a thing.

Now where did you get it? You heard it preached. Where do you get the faith in it? Because you have faith in men and the kind of people that taught it and that believe it. You are having faith in people; you’re believing a lot of false preaching and a lot that is not true. You couldn’t prove it scientifically, you can’t prove it in a chemist’s laboratory, you can’t prove it by any scientific methods and certainly the Bible doesn’t say it; then why believe a lot of pagan lies of the devil? And it’s nothing but a lie and most people believe it today.

Well Jesus said if we believe on Him, and that includes believing His message and you can’t believe it if you don’t obey it and do it, that he should have eternal life and "I will raise him up at the last day" (John 6:39)... when this mortal puts on immortality (I Corinthians 15:54.)

"Now the Jews therefore murmured concerning him because he had said, I am the bread which came down out of heaven. [And of course all this multitude of people there that He had fed, they were all Jewish people because it was a land where the Jews lived at that time]. And they said, is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How doth he now say I am come down out of heaven?" (John 6:40-42 ASV)

Well He’s just an ordinary man, that’s the way they looked on Him. They didn’t believe that He was any Messiah; they didn’t look on Him as any great personage, that He was the Son of God. Well, He was just the son of Joseph and Mary, so they thought. He was not actually the son of Joseph at all but He was the son of Mary but He was also the Son of God.

"Jesus answered and said unto them, Murmur not among yourselves. No man can come unto me except the Father which hath sent me draw him." (John 6:43-44)

We've been taught opposite of the Bible (Play from 22:03)

You believe that today my friends? Oh I tell you, they’ve turned the Bible upside down. You can just continue reading right through the New Testament, any place in the Bible and it teaches exactly the opposite of what you have had stuffed in your mind since the day you were born. Now isn’t that true?

What do you hear preached today? They come and say, "I am a minister of Jesus Christ." They come in His name, they use His name; they preach about His Person, and because they tell you He is the Christ, because they exalt Him, and deify Him – which they should – and you say,"Well he is preaching the truth I must believe this man." And then when they tell you that you’re an immortal soul; and when they tell you a lot of these things, why you just swallow that hook line and sinker too because you have faith in the man - because he preached a little truth.

Do you know what we have in this world? It isn’t all error, it isn’t all evil, it is good mixed with evil, it’s a mixture. But good and evil mixed together is a very bad mixture, and that’s what we have in this world. And you have truth mixed with error; and the trouble now is that we don’t search out the truth and extract the error. It’s a case of, for instance, of sifting out the chaff from the wheat.

"Jesus answered and said, murmur not among yourselves. No man can come unto me except the Father which sent me draw him." (John 6:43-44 paraphrased)

People don’t believe that, why they believe that anyone can come to Christ – whoever wants to. The people today believe that no man can become converted. Do you hear much preaching, do you hear a minister today in an evangelistic audience out before a big crowd and say; "Not any of you could possibly come to Jesus, none of you can be saved except the Spirit of God draw you." But you can’t just make up your mind you want to be converted. Did you ever hear an evangelist say that? Why of course not.

Why they tell you, that you can make up your mind and be converted. "Just come on up the aisle here and come up to this altar, shake my hand", or whatever the formula is that he has, and his little group of men.

Do they preach what Jesus did? I tell you nay! When will you wake up my friends? Blow the dust off your Bible. Are you looking in your own Bible to see this with me? This is in the sixth chapter of John - and that, that I just read to you - the forty-fourth verse. John 6:44.

"Jesus answered and said unto them, murmur not of yourselves. No man can come unto me, except the Father which sent me draw him." (John 6:44)

You know Jesus said to His disciples, you haven’t chosen me, I chose you (John 15:16). Jesus picked them out. Now what about others that He didn’t choose? They couldn’t come to Him and they didn’t. His disciples didn’t decide for themselves they wanted to be Christians, they didn’t decide they wanted to be ministers.

How do people get to be ministers today? Well they just decide for themselves they want to be ministers. Do you know why in about nine out of ten cases? Because they think it’s the easiest way and most desirable way of earn a living, because they prefer to do it to anything else. Now I won’t say to what extent the lazy instinct permeates that desire because they think it’s an easier job than some other; but if you’re the kind of minister that God has always made me I tell you, you won’t find it’s a very easy job. It’s been a pretty hard job. I’ve worn myself out in it I know but I believe that through the power of God and the strength – which He and He alone can impart – that I still have another good twenty years left in me I hope; and I feel that perhaps I may have to use it about that much longer but I’ll have to draw on the strength of God.

Do you know you can get strength from God? Read the fortieth chapter of Isaiah, the latter part of it. God is a God of strength and He gives strength to those that rely on Him and I have to call on Him a great deal. And I find that it works, I receive it. Now let’s read the rest of that sentence, I didn’t finish the sentence.

"No man can come unto me, except the Father which sent me draw him [and in another place He says the Spirit of the Father, because the Father does it through the Holy Spirit and - let’s continue the sentence] and Jesus said, I will raise him [who’s that? The one that the Father calls and that comes to Him] I will raise him up in the last day." (John 6:44 ASV).

Now there’s a resurrection and he’s to be raised up in the latter day. People don’t believe that today, you don’t hear that kind of preaching today.

"It is written in the prophets [now He’s quoting directly from Isaiah 54:13] And they shall all be taught of God. Every one that hath heard from the Father, and hath learned cometh unto me." (John 6:45 ASV).

Now get that, everyone that has heard from the Father and learned, does come unto Jesus.

Well not very many have had what we call then 'saving knowledge'. Not many have opened their minds to receive it. And not many who have heard it and understood it, not many have learned it - which means to actually accept it and act upon it - and they will come to Him.

"Not that any man hath seen the Father, save he which is from God [He meant Himself] he hath seen the Father." (John 6:46)m

Well I’m going to have to break off right there, the time is up, and oh my we’re coming to some wonderful truths and it’s exactly the opposite of what everybody seems to believe today and I want to continue on right in this sixth chapter of John. And now finally let me remind you, if you want to really understand your Bible, if you are willing set yourself to devote an half hour or more every day to Bible study, you may enroll now for the 'Ambassador College Bible Correspondence Course.' There is no tuition.

And so, goodbye friends, until tomorrow.