Bread of Life
by Pastor Mark Downey
Most of my messages are preaching to the choir, but today I’d like to address the friends and relatives of the choir, the outsiders to the Christian Israel truth; and I’m sure you’ll find some food for thought as well. Sometimes I write for the purpose of helping Christians find the purpose of their lives in Christ. Jesus said, “I have come that you may have life, and that you may have it more abundantly” (John 10:10). This has profound implications. Bread… something used to hold the main part of a sandwich together; a side item to go along with the main meal; something children tear the crust from before eating. Bread in our modern culture is really not a necessity. One could function quite easily without bread. Well, not so in biblical days.
At the very center of life during the times of Jesus and earlier, stood the stalks of grain that carried man from day to day. Without bread, there was no life. It is no accident that the most famous prayer in the Western world begins with, “Our Father, Who art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Give us this day our daily bread.” Daily bread – life - one day at a time. The simplest things in the Bible often offer the deepest truths. It is those very things which man often quickly writes off as insignificant or secondary that can open the door to the great spiritual truths of which Jesus spoke of.
Hebrew and Aramaic contain only a fraction of the number of words found in Greek and English. As a result, each word in those languages has to serve more meanings than in languages that contain more words. Even in English, which contains hundreds of thousands of words, words often have more than one meaning. In Aramaic, the primary spoken language in Jesus’ day, each word often had many different meanings. It was crucial that the listeners hear the heart of the speaker. A Semite would automatically reach beyond the literalness of a sentence and seek for meaning, intent, and spirit, rather than holding the speaker to a scientific scrutiny of exactness. Generally, they listened with much different ears than modern man.
These languages also required paying attention to facial expressions and body language in order to determine which meaning one was attaching to their words. Another peculiarity of these two languages is their lack of words describing abstract concepts. If they wanted to express God’s omnipresence, they would associate Him with the wind. If they wanted to show His quick judgments, they gave Him the wings of a swift bird or made reference to lightning. Surely, they knew He did not have or need wings or send lightning bolts every time He had something to say that was urgent. It was their limited vocabulary, and the poetic nature of these languages, that caused them to attach abstract concepts to words normally describing physical objects of nature.
Uninspired literalism has been a leading downfall of many English Bible translations. Translating literally “She’s a hot tomato” into another language would not convey the true meaning of those words. An example of the importance of conveying meaning, rather than employing a literal word-for-word approach, can be found in the following example. The KJV renders Psalm 26:2 as: “Examine me, O Lord, and prove me; try my reins and my heart.” The New KJV has: “Examine me, O Lord, and prove me; try my mind and my heart.” The “reins” have become the “mind”. The Hebrew word under examination here is ‘kilyah’ (#3629) and literally means “kidneys." The Semites had no problem determining the meaning of this passage of Scripture, even though they knew the word’s primary meaning was “kidneys." That the Biblical languages frequently employed figures of speech really should not bother us that much. We use them in English all the time. “You’re pulling my leg." “Don’t pull the wool over my eyes." “Cat got your tongue? "That’s a hot chick." “It’s raining cats and dogs” etc. These are only a few of the many thousands of other examples of idiomatic usage of words found in the English language. The point is that a bible or a concordance will sometimes fall short of giving us the divine intent.
If these expressions were brought into another language literally, they would not convey the true “meaning” behind the expressions. E.W. Bullinger in his book, Figures of Speech in the Bible, cites for us over two hundred different types of figures of speech found in the Greek New Testament! Within each type could be hundreds of different expressions. The Roman Catholic Church for centuries had held the Latin Vulgate (Jerome’s translation of the Bible into Latin), as irreproachable and untouchable. Many of the Protestant denominations of Christendom maintained (and many still do), that the early English translations are “inerrant” and therefore there is no need for new English translations. There are some Christians who insist the KJV is the only “authorized” Bible in the world. When they use the word “authorized,” they mean that God has ordained this particular translation as His final Word to mankind.
Unfortunately, too few Christians are willing to take the time to study this out for themselves. The fact is, early English translations were far from perfect. God has, however, preserved the true meaning of the original languages of our Bible. Along with the many artifacts and ancient manuscripts buried beneath the sands still waiting for the proper moment to tell their story, God has also preserved a people who still speak an Aramaic very similar to the Aramaic which Jesus spoke. George Lamsa is a Bible scholar who has dedicated his life to this area of study as reflected in the Lamsa Bible.
A sense of the importance of bread to the ancient, thought of bread as possessing a mystic sacred significance; something more than mere matter; inasmuch as it sustained life, it was God’s own life made tangible for His children, Adamic man, to feed upon. The Most High Himself fed our hunger. Everything these Semites did, they did in the name of God. In the name of God, they would plant the seed. As they harvested, they would thank God for the yield. As they ground the grain, the name of their God would be on their lips. When the wife kneaded and baked the bread, blessings would pour forth from her mouth. Is it any wonder then, that when Jesus taught His disciples how to pray, He began with “Our Father who is in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Give us this day our daily bread”? Imagine, the most famous prayer, perhaps in the entire world and after calling on His and our Father, Jesus prayed for “our daily bread." Truly the traditions of many of our modern nations who claim their traditions go back to the biblical period is clearly reflected in Jesus’ own words.
When we see the word “bread” in our Bibles, we must also bear in mind that the word was used to speak of food in general, not just baked wheat or barley. We hear, even in American, “Man, I earned my bread today!” a figure of speech meaning one worked hard for their earnings or livelihood that day. When reading about bread, I often wanted to put much of the information under the heading “Roman Catholic Eucharist tradition." While the Roman Catholic ritual is a false teaching, the Protestant rejection of transubstantiation has also caused us to miss much truth regarding bread and its symbolism in the Scriptures as seen through the Semitic culture; and hence throwing the proverbial baby out with the bath water. We must remember that God established many types, shadows, rituals, etc., their purpose being to point us to spiritual truths. When Jesus said, “I am the Bread of Life,” He used this term as a Semite would. For us to understand what He meant by being the Bread of Life, we must look at it from the Semites’ mentality, not from the American mind or any other culture’s mind-set. So what is it?
Everything that Moses pointed to as a type, the reality of that type is found in Jesus Christ and His body. Being familiar with the feast days, temple worship and sacrifices, etc., we should understand that they merely served to point to that which was to come in Christ. All the events in the life of Israel would find their true fulfillment in the life of Christ. For example, for 40 years God, through Moses, fed Israel in the wilderness with a food which they named ‘manna.' Considering the fact that the material did not fall on the Sabbath day, it seems quite evident we are dealing with a supernatural provision here (Ex. 16:26-27). It was called “food from heaven." “Then Jesus said unto them, ‘Verily, verily, I say unto you, Moses gave you not that bread from heaven; but my Father giveth you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is He which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world.' Then said they unto him, ‘Lord, evermore give us this bread.' And Jesus said unto them, ‘I am the bread of life: he that cometh to Me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on Me shall never thirst. But I said unto you, that ye also have seen Me, and believe not. All that the Father giveth Me shall come to Me; and him that cometh to Me I will in no wise cast out. For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of Him that sent Me. And this is the Father's will which hath sent Me, that of all which He hath given Me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. And this is the will of Him that sent Me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on Him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise Him up at the last day’” (John 6:32-40).
So then, the manna which came from heaven was not the true bread of life. While it may have been quite miraculous, this miracle was only to serve as a sign pointing to the true Bread of Life, Jesus Christ, also provided by God. Now, in what way was Jesus Christ the true Bread of Life? Jesus once spoke these seemingly gruesome words to a group of Judeans who desired to become His disciples, “Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink His blood, ye have no life in you. Whoso eateth My flesh, and drinketh My blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day. For My flesh is meat indeed, and My blood is drink indeed. He that eateth My flesh, and drinketh My blood, dwelleth in Me, and I in him. As the living Father hath sent Me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth Me, even he shall live by Me. This is that bread which came down from heaven; not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead: he that eateth of this bread shall live for ever” (John 6:53-58). Well, at that point, many would-be disciples left Him. This saying was too hard for them. They thought He had gone mad. Even His inner core of disciples murmured about this saying, but while they didn’t understand it, they didn’t leave. They knew Jesus had the words of Life.
But there is something inside us that Christ will not let us go. His Spirit will not let us go. We know life is only in Him. So where else can we go? No one ever literally ate His flesh and drank His blood. So how is it possible to have this “eternal life”? The Catholics believe they have found it through the Eucharist. They believe, thanks to the priestcraft’s consecration of small wafers, that they are, in fact, eating the very body of Jesus Christ. They have taken away the blood from their ritual and so it has become a “bloodless” sacrifice. Is this the real “food from heaven” as represented by the manna in the wilderness? I don’t think so! All Truth is found in the Messiah Himself.
Let us turn to His life and see if we might be able to find the “hidden manna,” this “true Bread that comes down from heaven.” In the Gospel of John, we find Jesus in Samaria breaking just about every rule in the jewish code of the traditions of the elders, which later became known as Judaism. And that’s because the jews at that time were not racial Israelites, but rather a mix of Edomites and mongrel offspring from the Babylonian captivity who had formally circumvented God’s Laws by way of religion; a sanction, if you will, for sin, found today in their Talmud. We find Him among the Samaritans, a half-breed people transplanted into Israel from Babylon several centuries earlier by the king of Babylon during Israel’s 70 year bondage. Pious jews considered this land “unclean." Devout jews would walk around Samaria going from Judea to Galilee rather than to set foot on “unclean” soil that might contaminate their feet. Then He (Jesus) had the audacity to speak to a woman in public. Even worse, she was a Samaritan. But, what most preachers don’t know is that there was a small remnant of Israelites that didn’t make it into the Assyrian captivity and so the woman was a Samaritan by geography, but an Israelite by race.
The disciples went into the city looking for food. Knowing that Jesus had no food, they offered Him some they had just bought. Just keep in mind this incident occurred in an “unclean” land right after Jesus spoke with an “unclean” woman. Even the woman was surprised at Jesus’ actions. “In the mean while His disciples prayed Him, saying, Master, eat. But He said unto them, ‘I have food to eat that you know nothing about.' Therefore said the disciples one to another, ‘Did someone bring Him something to eat?' Jesus saith unto them, ‘My meat is to do the will of Him that sent Me, and to finish His work. Do you not say, there are yet four months, and then comes the harvest? Behold, I say unto you, lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest. And he that reapeth receiveth wages, and gathereth fruit unto life eternal: that both he that soweth and he that reapeth may rejoice together. And herein is that saying true, one soweth, and another reapeth. I sent you to harvest a crop which you had no hand in planting: other men did that work, and you take the reward’” (John 4:31-38).
Please note that the term “meat” in this passage does not refer to animal flesh. The term “meat” in the King James Bible is a term for food in general. This use of the meaning of “meat” has been removed from the English language except in archaic English Bibles. Here is a good example of why we should always be open to use new translations of the Bible in our studies. Languages are very fluid and word meanings often change dramatically even within as short a time span as a single generation; like the word “gay." Jesus told us that His food was to do the will of the Father and to finish His work. He also told us in the Gospels that He and the Father were one. The Father was in Him and He in the Father (John 4:34, 10:30, 10:38). The high priest of Israel had a mitre (a tall hat) on his head marked with the Hebrew words “Holiness unto the Lord,” meaning, “Separated unto God." Recall that Israel was to bind the Word of the Lord to their foreheads and on their arms. In other words, when a person has the Word of God (the expression of His will) in their minds, it should produce the work of God through their labors, which is what the arms speak of. However, you’ve probably seen pictures of jews wearing a little black box on their forehead, which is nothing more than a mockery of a renewed mind in Christ; and with all the jewish complicity in 9/11, they can’t find the other little black boxes? Jer. 2:3 says, ‘Israel is holiness unto the Lord." That is what God declares us to be in and by Christ.
Jesus had the mark of God in His mind and on His hands. He was the Word of God who would perfectly fulfill the will of the Father in His works and He was not a jew. Most of us, Christian or otherwise, spend large portions of our lives manifesting the mark of the beast. Our minds are filled with vanity and our hands are ever so busy creating nothing of lasting value. Our minds and hands are filled with the will and work of the flesh or carnal nature. Only through receiving and staying in the mind of Christ will we begin to produce the works and fruit of the Holy Spirit. The Bible says we have the mind of Christ (1 Cor. 2:16). Having it is one thing, but staying in it and using it, is quite another. When Jesus said in Mt. 15:24 that He was only, “Sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel,” He is, in essence, disputing the universalist mindset for all time in v.26 by saying that it’s not right to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs. The undeniable context here is the granting of the bread of life to the children of Israel and not to the other races. It is a matter of God assigning to various peoples of the earth their reception and reciprocation towards the divine, as indicated in v.27 to that of crumbs of mercy. To non-Israelite cultures of the earth, bread is simply an alien food to them and hence the biblical analogy. Likewise, we are admonished to, “Learn not the way of the heathen” (Jer. 10:2), by eating their foods which God deems unclean; the analogy also being made to their gods.
The driving force of Jesus’ life is not mere survival of self. His driving force, His passion for living, was towards God. In that action, in that energy directed toward the Kingdom of God, He received His strength, direction, motivation and His passion for living. It was a two-way street; a hunger towards the things of the Father that culminated with the Son fulfilling that hunger. His hunger for righteousness was satisfied by His Father. Ask yourself, “What am I hungry for? Am I really hungering after the fruits of Holy Spirit? Do I seek to walk in justice, truth, and mercy or do I play mind games with my God, those around me and myself? Am I delusional? Am I deceiving myself? Have I been deceived about God? These are important questions, which, when asked with sincerity, will draw the Holy Spirit to you!
I have read that the word ‘sincere’ comes from the Latin and means “without wax." Dishonest clay jar merchants would often take a vessel in which there was a crack, fill the crack with wax and then cover the surface with ground clay, making the vessel appear to be perfect. In the heat of the sun, the wax would melt thus revealing the defect. Should the heat from the Son of God shine on us and will we come through sincere (without wax)? Remember, the Son may show up in our lives in the form of an enemy, an ex-friend, a beggar on the street, a messenger that we’re unaware of. When the heat strikes, what kind of spirit comes forth?
There is a work prepared from the foundation of the world for each of us to walk in. “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is a gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them” Eph. 2:8-10. Most of Christianity has abandoned the message of grace through faith and has entered into some kind of system in which they are again earning their salvation. That includes just about every denomination. Please note that we are saved unto works prepared beforehand that we should walk in them! They are God’s works given us before we were born! We are His workmanship. He is the author and finisher of our faith and He is faithful to complete that which He started (Heb. 12:2). He is not a builder who started to build and did not foresee certain difficulties that would prevent Him from completing His work. No, the Master Potter knows how to mold us like clay into His image and no power in the world will prevent Him from succeeding. Amen?
True Bread, then is the Word, Will, and Work of God the Father. This is Jesus Christ! “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it” John 1:1-5. “Behold, I have come; In the volume of the book it is written of Me; to do Your will, O God’” Heb. 10:7. “I have come down from heaven, not to do My will, but the will of Him who sent me” John 6:39. “My food is to do the will of Him Who sent me and to finish His work” John 4:34. It should be quite clear by now what Jesus’ food was while here on earth. In Him, was the embodiment of the Father’s Word, Will, and Work. Fulfilling these three required the crucifixion of His flesh. He brought it to perfect obedience to the Father’s plan for the ages.
When Jesus told the Judeans that unless they eat His flesh and drink His blood they cannot receive life, they choked. The natural flesh (the carnal mind) couldn’t comprehend what He was saying. We must remember, according to the Law of Moses, which they were commanded to keep, drinking or tasting of blood of any kind was unlawful. Jesus’ command was truly a hard saying. They did not understand even as many Christians today still do not understand the true meaning of those words. It is this bread that sustained Jesus throughout His ministry. Jesus was the embodiment of the Father’s Word, Will, and Work. Through Jesus’ Crucifixion and resurrection, He then became the Way to this Life. Jesus said His body is our bread. Can we not see that this is an invitation to partake of His Word, Will, and Work which His Father gave Him? We become what we eat. It is the living Word of God that sustains us, not a wafer, a piece of bread, or a cracker or any other ritual.
I’m afraid too many of us are eating bread with no nutritional value in it. Wonder bread isn’t so wonderful. Memorizing Scripture may seem like a noble enterprise, but it is not eating the Word of God. Many people have fallen into customs, creeds, rituals, traditions, dead religious forms with no substance and have done it thinking they are pleasing God. God is not interested in dead works. Partaking of this kind of food is like cannibalism! The word ‘cannibal’ is a contraction of Canaan and Baal. When we follow religious leaders and enable them to build their own kingdoms instead of Christ’s, then we are eating of that minister and not of Christ. “Come out of her My people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues” Rev. 18:4.
I believe people get sick, because they eat things that God never intended for them to eat. By the same token there are spiritual toxins that act as a sorcery, an opiate to deceive the nations. As of 6/8/11, Europe has been going bonkers over an outbreak of ecoli in organic vegetables, but do they recall the Black Plague was caused by jews poisoning wells? The jewish kabalah is a book of black arts, a how-to book to kill the goyim without their knowledge. Do you think there’s tight security with these organic farmers? None dare call it conspiracy.
The big food processing corporations today, during the processing, often take out the natural nutrients and replace them with artificial ones because it’s easier and more profitable for them. I have found many religious organizations have taken out the true life found in the gospel and replaced it with man-made imitations devoid of any real spiritual substance. Race has been taken out of the pulpits and we wonder why there’s a racial problem? The Bread from heaven is not hidden in the church, it's hidden in you! Christ in you, the hope of glory! It’s laid out just right - for you personally. No one else can eat it. It has been reserved from the foundation of the world specifically for you. God loved you so much before He even set Creation in motion, that He took great care in laying out everything to bring you to the fullness of the stature of Christ. Oh, what a Father who has given us our daily bread. And we’re not talking about a stale cracker. Bread speaks of the very life of God Himself.
I do not wish to belittle those who came out of the old religious order or Babylon, whereby the pendulum swings the other way and they have little to no fellowship with other believers. God brings us out, that He may bring us into something better. There may be a time of isolation during this processing, but that time is only temporary. We must learn to put off the “commandments and ordinances” we received as slaves to false religious systems and begin to learn to take orders from our new Commander-in-Chief. This is often a long and frustrating experience for many of us, because the false religious systems we must be delivered from were under the banner of the Cross. It was God who placed Israel into Egypt for a long season, and it was God who eventually brought them out, after His purposes were accomplished in them. So too, God may have put you into certain denominations for a season, but don’t be surprised when He makes things so difficult for you there, that you will either willingly leave or be thrown out.
The story of Moses and Pharaoh graphically illustrates a part of the walk every child of faith will experience in their own lives. God put Israel in Egypt and then He took them out. He then isolated them for 40 years in the wilderness before He brought them into the Promised Land. Children of faith, this is the story of our lives here on earth perfectly laid out for us by our heavenly Father. God may separate us for a season, and that season may be a long time. Moses spent forty years before he was humble enough to go back and lead Israel out of Egypt. David spent many years separated from his brethren in Israel living in caves and among the Philistines. Elijah also spent a great deal of time in the wilderness. Paul spent a great deal of time separated from both Israel and the church. God brought about those separations.
John, in the spirit of Elijah, spent much time in the wilderness. He called Israel to come “outside the camp” through the wilderness to the Jordan River to get prepared to enter the New Covenant. From the age of twelve to thirty, we have no record of Jesus’ life here on earth. But, in Christian Identity we have a good idea of where He was and what He was doing. When Jesus was 30, He was at the age where a father would take his firstborn son to the city gate where the government sat, and the father would declare him co-equal in their business. The word of the son would be the same as if speaking to the father. They were one. You too, have been given an appointed time to learn your Father’s business. When God prepares a person for His work, He often separates that person so they are fed by Him and not by a religious system. God first starves out the “old leaven,” the poisonous residue of the false teachings he or she has acquired from old institutions. Then, after having fasted from this poison, He begins to feed the person true Bread from heaven. Much of this time is personal! Just you and your heavenly Father through the Spirit of Truth. He wants this time with you alone!! You are a unique child to Him. He wants to spend personal quality time with each of His children. We each need to feel uniquely special. This is a basic need of all of us. He may bring in instructions from other sources, but it will clearly be secondary and in accordance to His personal guidance.
While His instructions may come in many different forms, they will all bear His discernable mark. His Spirit will bear witness. Many religious structures are designed to take this experience away from us. Don’t let them rob you of this most precious intimate time in your life with God. This is more precious than anything in the world and no religious activity can replace this time. For many new people in our movement, this is a time of great discovery. God never purposes to leave the person in the wilderness. The wilderness experience is to prepare that person to go back among people. God’s purpose in us is to unite us and make us one even as Jesus is one with the Father.
Slowly, the fast from toxic religion removed the accumulation of all that poison so that He could then fill us with His Living Word, His Bread, His Life, to know His will, and to walk in His Works prepared from the foundation of the world. There is no room for pride and personal ambition in the work He prepared for us to walk in. For His walk, He will always provide all that is needed. There is no room for bragging about what you’ve done for the cause. He paid the bill fully. There is nothing lacking! Our only contribution is to sing His praises and to declare His mighty works! Wonderful works that fill our hearts with joy! The picture is beautifully portrayed in the Old Testament when Israel went to battle. Go see who it was that prepared the way of battle and what instruments of war they had. These must become our instruments of war. There is indeed a spiritual warfare that is always a prelude to physical warfare. But, we are called the battle axe and given the whole armor of God. I pray you can feel that joy bubbling up within yourself as you contemplate this wonderful life Jesus Christ has prepared for you and in you, that we are more than conquerors (Romans 8:37).
Religious work produces self-righteousness, a chest puffed-up (leavened) with pride, and a stiff neck. Many of our people have been so brainwashed that salvation is only in their denomination or church, and they dare not contemplate looking elsewhere. Therefore, they try to enter God’s work through a man made institution, but this is not possible. Their mouths become full of apologetics defending church law. Many become dogmatic. What they really have become are dogs! In the Bible, a dog was a symbol of those outside the Covenant with God. All one is able to do as a dog is to bark the favorite expressions of a pharisaic heart: “For God so loved the world”, “Judge not, lest thou also be judged”, “God loves everybody." God’s true works fill (expand, enlarge) our hearts with joy that comes forth with great expressions of thanksgiving. The world can tell the difference. It is those caught up in their religious works of the flesh who can’t tell the difference. When all Christians begin to walk in the works of God instead of religious works, the world will change!
The world will come to our gatherings desiring to see Jesus because they have seen Jesus in us. We plant the seed, and set the example. It is in a true corporate gathering of Christ’s body in fellowship that we receive our full nourishment. When we learn to see Christ in each other, we will be able to receive from each other that which God had hidden in them to give us. If, however, we see them after the flesh, we will not open our hearts to receive. There is nourishment our Father gives us when we are in the wilderness and there is nourishment which comes from the City of God, that is, corporate worship and communion. Living in the wilderness beyond the appointed time cuts us off from the fullness of Christ. Remember, to everything there is a season… turn, turn, turn.
In a true corporate expression of Christian fellowship, each person has something to offer. Christ, in the midst of us, will fill in that which is lacking. Insecure people must be encouraged to believe that Christ lives in them and that they are important to the fellowship. They must be made to see they are an expression of Christ. In order for Christ to be expressed fully, they must contribute to the expression. This kind of “assembling” requires a very mature leadership, a leadership that purposes to unite the body and join it unto the Head, Jesus Christ, and not to themselves. Christ is a many-membered body.
We need each other for many reasons. One of those reasons is to see what is really inside us. It is in rubbing shoulders with people that we can test of which spirit we are. Here we can see if we manifest the fruit of the Holy Spirit, the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Assembling is needful for Christians. However, assembling in an unholy and unlawful manner is no better than congregating at the local bar or some sports event. At least those in the bars think they’re having a good time. If we’re not receiving Christ in a real way when assembling, we‘re better off going fishing. How sad it must be for those who go to church, week after week, and find nothing fulfilling. Cry out to your heavenly Father for the true Bread of Life, the hidden manna. Allow Him to bring it to you in whatever form He desires. But test the spirit to see if it is of God.
Jesus lived on the Will and Work of the Father. It was this food that sustained Jesus in the wilderness for forty days. Interestingly, it took forty years to prepare Moses before He could lead Israel around the wilderness for a second forty years. Jesus was in the wilderness for only forty days. Jesus, like Moses, would also take His people on a journey. I pray this message stirs someone somewhere to begin this journey with Jesus, others to return to Him and others to be refreshed. Jesus said He was the true Bread who came down from heaven. The manna of Moses was not the true bread. It was a type. I am making this connection between bread, words out of His mouth, and the manna in the wilderness because Jesus makes the connection Himself. When He said that man shall live by, “Every word which proceeds from the mouth of God,” He quoted Deut. 8:3, which also speaks of manna.
Let us see if we can glean something from the type of the manna that sustained Israel for forty years. This manna formed early in the morning. The male head of each household was to do the gathering. This speaks of the spirit (male) rather than the soul (female) doing the gathering. Each male was to collect only enough to sustain his household for that day (daily bread). While God provided the substance, they still had to gather and prepare it for eating. Note God could have simply supernaturally sustained them without their having to gather and prepare food, but He did not do that. Whether they gathered more than their share (hoarding) or whether they gathered too little, no one lacked. Each had their daily allotment met. They were commanded to leave none of it for the next day. If they gathered too much it became rotten and stank. That’s what happens to the work we do for Jesus instead of doing the work He gives us.
They were to eat all of what they had prepared or gathered. On the sixth day, they were to gather twice as much. The extra was to be used on the seventh day on which day there was to be no work. This extra food did not rot and stink. For forty years, Israel’s primary occupation, their work so to speak, was to learn to receive God’s daily bread, which represented the Life of God. They never really learned the principle. However, we shouldn’t chide them too much. After all, have we really come any further than Israel when it comes to truly trusting Him for our “daily Bread? Do we not also grumble and murmur? Israel sometimes tried to gather more than a day’s worth of manna. This speaks of worrying about what will happen tomorrow. It speaks of a lack of trust that He will be there to meet your needs tomorrow. It speaks about hoarding and greed. It speaks about impatience also.
“No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon. Therefore, I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about the body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing?” Mt. 6:24. In Jesus are the will and the work of the Father that will sustain us in our spiritual journey on earth. “He who does my will, the same is my brother, sister, and mother”John 12:50. Jesus is the “head” of our family. It is His responsibility to gather His family’s food. He is the male head (spiritual) of His family. He is a “life-giving Spirit!” (1 Cor. 15:45). It is His responsibility to gather just the right amount of food for each member of His family. He has done that perfectly! However, we must abide in Him in order to have our daily manna. Only in Jesus Christ are the works of God. We must eat Him, trust Him, and hide in Him to receive this daily salvation, this daily bread.
These works are not in the Roman Catholic Church, the judeo-Christian church, the Billy Graham Crusade, or any other man-made institution! The works of God and the strength and resources to fulfill them are only found in the true body of Jesus Christ. The Bible speaks of works prepared from the foundation of the world in which we should walk. Obviously, if they were prepared that long ago, they are not our works that came from our will, but God’s works prepared for us to walk in. Psalm 78:25 calls manna “angel food." An angel is a messenger, whether a spiritual being from heaven or Adamic man with a word from the Spirit of God. Manna, which dropped upon the dew in the darkness of the night, then speaks of a word, a message from above, which will manifest in the life of a believer as the work of God.
This word ‘manna’ sustains His life in us as we walk this wilderness (earth). Jesus is the Word of God. When we are active in the true work of God, prepared from the foundation of the world, we truly are eating or partaking of Jesus Christ i.e. full involvement, not just a preoccupation. The earth represents our flesh. We must rise up to be freed from the curse of Adam. We must enter the spiritual realm. It is Jesus who has already done the work and has provided everything to bring it all to fulfillment. All we have to do is eat, be consumed with His righteousness. Israel spent forty years in the wilderness eating food from heaven, but they didn’t do it right. They complained about the taste, they gathered too much, they tried to gather on the Sabbath. And Moses failed as well. He struck the rock twice, a big no-no, and so died outside the Promised Land.
Jesus, the Rock in the wilderness only needs to be struck once to open the flow of forgiveness of sin to all mankind. Moses was commanded to put a jar of this manna in a pot and place it inside the Ark of the Covenant for a memorial. The book of Hebrews tells us this jar was made of gold. A memorial? Jesus, when speaking of His manna or bread said, “Do this in remembrance of me” (Luke 22:19). Comparing the two terms is rather interesting. Memorial speaks of death, which is what the Mosaic Law came to do, that is to kill us. ‘The wages of sin is death." Moses did not bring them into the Promised Land. He also, as head of this contingency, died and was buried on a mountain overlooking the Promised Land, but not in it. However, when we come to the true Bread of Heaven, we do not hear the word of death (memorial); we hear “remembrance,” as in “reminder." Remember the few loaves of bread with which He fed thousands. Remember, He said, “I am the Bread of Life”, not I was. He instructed Peter, as well as future disciples, to “Feed My sheep."
Moses’ manna was hidden in a gold pot that was hidden in the Ark of the Covenant, which was hidden in the Holy of Holies. It was hidden and useless, except as a memorial of times past and as a type. Christ, the true bread from heaven, is also hidden. Christ in you, the hope of glory! However, this Word hid in you is not a “memorial." Oh no, this is a living Bread, a living Word, a life sustaining walk of works prepared by God our Father in which we should walk! The will and the work of our Father Himself dwells in you richly! It is an abundant life! Christ’s work was and is a glorious work, the redemption of our race. He is our Kinsman Redeemer.
Bread also speaks of covenant, a solemn agreement of the highest kind of commitment. The breaking of bread was to be a reminder of that covenant. This is what Jesus was referring to at the Lord’s Supper. Jesus was making a sacred oath, a vow, a covenant, a legal contract. He did not bring in a lawyer and a notary when He did this. What then is our part of this covenant? Eat, remember, and receive full provision because Christ dwells in you. It is sad to say, but true, that the corruption of Western civilization with its hundreds of thousands of laws and contracts and its hundreds of thousands of lawyers who are always trying to find loop holes for their clients, have caused us to lose the sacredness which the Bible attributes to a person being a man of their word. We back our words with lawyers and not a spirit of commitment and integrity. Everywhere we turn we see lies; the advertisers lie; businesses lie; the government lies; educators lie; church leaders lie. We have gotten so good at lying, that we have managed to lie to ourselves and believe we are true to ourselves. God hates lies so much that He will give somebody who has no love for the truth, an abundance of lies, which will make them strongly delusional (II Thes. 2:10-11). But the words of Jesus are real and true.
The Bible is a tool, a road sign, a confirmation of prophecy, but it is not the true Word of God unless the Spirit of God is upon it. The true Word of God for Christians is Jesus Christ Himself, and nothing else will do. To prove this very point, Jesus quoted a Scripture that tells us that we are to live “By every word which proceeds from the mouth of God.” It is the Spirit that gives life. “Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think of anything as being from ourselves, but our sufficiency is from God, who also made us sufficient as ministers of the new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life” II Cor. 3:6. I’ve said for years that anyone can make the Bible say whatever they want. We need something more than just a superficial reading. We need something that animates the Word, for the Word is living, not just ink on paper.
Moses is dead. Now you go get the Life found in the Law. It will not be found in the land of Israel, or the city of Jerusalem, or on stone tablets or sheep-skin scrolls. It won’t even be found in the hundreds of translations of man’s version of Scripture without the living person of Jesus Christ who resides in you. Do you think He was resurrected from the grave just to sit on a cloud looking down on us miserable creatures of earth? There are thousands of different denominations of Christendom that separate from one another due to interpretation of Scriptures. If the Bible is the Word of God, then the Word divides Christians. It does not unite them. The Bible is not the Word of God. It’s a very valuable tool, clearly the most valuable book ever written, but it is not perfect and therefore is not the Word of God per se. There is no sin (error) in the true Word of God. There are errors in every translation of the Bible and in every Greek or Hebrew text we have. The fact that the Christian Bible contains sixty-six books in its present form should tell us something.
Jesus Christ, the true bread from Heaven, is the true Word of God. Anyone who has ever compared ten or more translations of the Bible carefully will find many differences between them, some differences clearly dealing with key doctrinal issues. John 5:39-40 says, “You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life, and these are they which testify of Me. But you are not willing to come to Me that you may have life." The bread of life, the Word of God, is “He Who comes down from heaven” (John 6:32-33). In this very passage Jesus referred to Moses, the Law-giver, as the one who was given the “letter of the law” written by the finger of God. Jesus said that Moses did not give the true bread. How often have you heard someone quote the Law to kill someone through condemnation? One of the reasons God gave the Mosaic Law to Israel was because they were unwilling to let the Living Word come into their midst: “Now all the people witnessed the thunderings, the lightning flashes, the sound of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking; and when the people saw it, they trembled and stood afar off. Then they said to Moses, ‘You speak with us, and we will hear; but let not God speak with us, lest we die’” (Deut. 20:18-19). Surely this condition remains with us to this day. Many Christians would rather have a pastor speak to them than God Himself. If the Holy Spirit is on the words, even the words coming from a jackass can become the words of God. We can always choose a different pastor if we don’t like what we hear. However, when we truly hear from God, there is no resisting the issue. When the shepherds feed the sheep, they can’t feed the baby Christian a T-bone steak and they can’t feed mature Christians milk. Israel did not want the all-consuming fire in their midst lest they be consumed by it. They (like many Christians) want the fire of God to consume their enemies, not themselves. Unfortunately, we have not yet discovered that the greatest enemy of God and ourselves is ourselves! We need that baptism of fire, not so that we will burn to a crisp, but that we may be refined as fine gold, removing the impure dross.
Whenever we study the types and shadows contained in the Bible, when properly interpreted, they always point to Jesus Christ. The reality of all the symbols, rituals, covenants, prophets, etc everything is summed up in the Living God Who broke His body for you. He broke bread with His disciples. He has reserved a portion for you. In Him is life abundant. Taste and see that the Lord is good. Use all five senses. It is not the bread of the Pharisee mixed with malice and wickedness, the bread of hypocrisy. It is the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth. It is not puffed up with pride. This bread is flat, which speaks of humility. When unleavened bread is made, they cut lines into it and pierce it to help prevent it from rising. Recall that Jesus was “bruised” and “pierced” for our transgressions. Unleavened bread was called sweet while leavened bread was called sour since the yeast added a sour taste to the bread. This sour bread has dead organisms in it, a symbol of impurity. A pure life is one that feeds on unleavened bread. The High Priest after the order of Melchizedek is still offering the bread and wine to the sons and daughters of faith, the children of Abraham. The key issue in the whole tragic fall of the Adamic race is the subject of sufficiency. God is self-sufficient. He is neither created nor requires an outside force, energy, food, nor provision of any kind in order to keep functioning. Adam was not made like that. The very fact that he was made reveals the fact that his very existence depended upon the Creator. God made it plain to Adam that he was dependent upon Him for his very life.
Jesus said the Father was in Him and He was in the Father. They were one. We speak of Christ within us, yet the Scriptures also tell us “In Him we live, and move, and have our being” (Acts 17:28). This must be more than mere words. This must become our reality. This must not be something on the other side of the grave, or in a future age. There is a city, a kingdom and we must receive our strength, our orders, and our food from this dimension. The kingdom of God is a spiritual kingdom. One’s physical location does not prevent one from receiving the strength, the protection, the wisdom and the life of that kingdom. So then, Christ, our food, His will and work must dwell in us, and we must dwell in Him. The two must become one even as Jesus and the Father were in each other.
There is a deep design in God’s plan for the ages. Paul wrote that if any man be in Christ he is a New Creation. Not only is he himself new, but he now lives in a new world; people ask the Christian zealot, ‘what planet are you from buddy?’ And we can respond with all confidence, ‘Well sir, I am from the Kingdom of God.' We can no more live and grow into the image and likeness of God without a daily and constant union with Christ, any more than a fish can live without water. The most common error in the lives of many of the Lord’s people is the attempt to live without assimilating Christ as their environment, failing to make Him the absolute center of their existence.
And so we return to where we started... simple things which children can understand. “Unless you become as little children, you will not enter the kingdom of God.”We return to simple prayers and expect mighty answers. “Father... give us this day our daily bread." “Ask and it shall be given unto you”. “Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is he who takes refuge in Him.”
In summary, the word ‘bread,’ as used in the Bible speaks of many things. Humility, sacredness, covenant, nourishment, strength, sacrifice, enlightenment, and much more are all wrapped up in the simple word bread. Eating, in Scripture, is often associated with seeing and hearing. “Taste and see that the Lord is good” Ps. 34:8. What we take in through these senses is what we become. The images, sounds, and words we consume from the jews media vs. the pulpit will one day manifest in our lives for good or evil. We must be careful what we eat. Some foods can cause cancer. Some foods open the eyes of understanding and enlighten the soul. Our hands can turn off the TV. Our feet can walk out of a church where the body of Christ is not broken in the real way. After a good healthy meal, the body wants to just relax for a while. Eat the Bread of Christ. He will give rest to your weary soul. He will settle your soul into a peace that passes all understanding.
For years I have heard preachers in our movement mock the idea of letting Jesus into your heart. I don’t get it. Perhaps it’s in response to the empty rhetoric of churchianity. But I see nothing wrong in taking a moment away from the trappings of the world out there, leaving all the distractions behind, and invite the Holy Spirit to lead you to the throne of grace. It is hidden deep within your very own heart. Let God take you to the deepest place of your being. There you will find the Holy of Holies, as foreshadowed by the tabernacles and temples of the Old Covenant. Our body is now the temple of God (I Cor. 6:19). Truly the way to this place has been opened for you by Jesus Christ Himself. The way is purified by His own blood (Life). Here is a place of true communion and fellowship with the Creator of the entire Universe. The King of Righteousness resides in your very heart. He is your Father. This Almighty One has prepared for you a life overflowing with joy! This Holy One has prepared a life for you created from the foundation of the world. This One God has given you His very own Life. Enter into the throne room of your heart and receive daily His Word, His Work, His Will, and yes, His very own Life. It is a rich life, full of grace, mercy, love, joy, peace, humility, wisdom and understanding, glory, honor, and power. Allow the Holy Spirit to break away the chaff covering your heart. Allow Him to strip away those carnal religious layers of pride, self-righteousness, and all manners of uncleanness. As these come off, our eyes will be opened to what has always been there...true life!
When someone designs something, its purpose is found in the designer, not in that which is created. We have not created ourselves. We have been designed, formed, fashioned by the Master Designer of all things. We must find our purpose, not in our own expectations or the expectations of those around us on the earthly plane, as Jesus proclaimed, “I am not of this world." We will find our purpose from the New Jerusalem from above. Here we find the hidden manna, the Bread of Life.