Firstborn Sonship of Christ
PARTAKING OF CHRIST, A BIRTH
we have become partakers of Christ
IF we hold the beginning of our confidence
steadfast to the end," Heb 3:14.
"Partaking of Christ" includes two major
areas of progressive activity, productivity, and growth for the
faithful covenant people.
1. Partaking of Christ in this age.
commanded not to be conformed to the world, but to be
progressively transformed into the image of Christ by the
renewing of our minds that we may prove and demonstrate what is
the good, acceptable, and perfect will of God, Rom 12:1-2. This
transformation or metamorphosis of our minds (a firm, steadfast
mind-set on the Word of God) produces a transformation of our
daily character and manner of life (Ps 1:1-3; 119; Jer
we all, with unveiled face, steadfastly beholding as in a mirror
the glory of the Lord, are being constantly transformed into the
same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the
Lord," 2Co 3:18.
With "unveiled face" refers back to the
"veil" that was put over the
face of Moses because his face shown so brightly the covenant
people were unable to look at his face, Ex 34:29-35. This veil on
the face of Moses represented the hardness of heart of the
covenant people – "their minds were
blinded (2Co 3:13-15) by the lusts of the flesh and the
lack of proper faith, Heb 3:12-13. This caused them to depart
from the covenant favor and blessings of God and repeatedly rebel
against God's covenant disciplinary training, Heb 12.
In the New Covenant position
in the body of Christ, if we are faithful we can behold the glory
of God in the face of Christ and be changed into His glorious
image from glory to glory in God's record books and in our
character of life, 2Co 3:17; 4:1-18; 5:1-5.
"From glory to glory" signifies a growth
from one degree of glory to a greater degree of glory. God
requires this to be, as much as possible, a persistent and
conscious endeavor on our part – that every day we be eagerly and
diligently looking into the mirror of God's Word, and thereby
be constantly being progressively transformed into the image of
Christ's glory from one degree of glory into a richer and
greater degree of glory to be revealed in the resurrection.
our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is constantly
working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of
glory," 2Co 4:17.
Observe the progressive
nature and growth of glory promised to each covenant person as
they endure and overcome the covenant training of afflictions,
etc., of this life. For our training, the Lord will continue
adding these trials and afflictions, but promises that He will
increase the eternal glory for each affliction we patiently and
even joyfully endure and overcome by His grace, Ja 1:2-4,12.
"The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and
to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they
may have it more
abundantly," Jn 10:10; 2Co 4:7-12; 1Th
God's pleasure is that we
have life more abundantly, but we must remember that, though for
each act of obedience God credits to us more life, yet with each
sin of commission and omission we are eroding from that divine
life we are trying to build up, and the end result is often
fatal, as it was with Israel in the wilderness, 2Jn 8; Rev 3:11;
Eze 3:20; 18:24; 33:12-13; Mt 13:12; 25:28-29; Mk 4:25; Lk 8:18;
"Now may He who is supplying seed to the sower, and bread
for food, supply and multiply the seed you
have sown and in-crease the harvest of your
righteousness,"2Co 9:10; Mt 5:6; 6:33; 1Ti
6:11; 2Ti 2:22.
God's pleasure is to
increase the harvest of righteousness that each faithful covenant
person will receive, but only IF we
diligently seek ("pursue")
His righteousness. We could further enumerate knowledge, love,
faith, patience, power, etc., and give scripture for the growth
in each with a view to eternal increase and growth of each.
2. Partaking of Christ in the
we have become partakers of Christ if
we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast to the
end," Heb 3:14.
Partaking of Christ when
Christ returns means to literally partake of what Christ became
in His resurrection. Partaking of Christ means to be literally
changed (born again) from this mere flesh and blood (earthy) body
of the first Adam (the old man) into a divine, heavenly, spirit
body as Christ was (as the second Adam) in His resurrection, Col
1:18; Rev 1:5; Act 13:30-33; Heb 1:5-6; 5:5; 1Co 15:44-50; Phi
In His first birth, Christ,
though He was God without beginning, was born into a human, flesh
body as a descendant of the first Adam. But in His resurrection
(His second birth), Christ's earthy first Adam body was born into the full essence of deity, thus
creating a new human race, a "new
man" – a new kind of man.
This is the new birth and it will take place in the resurrection.
This new birth is SYMBOLIZED in
scriptural water baptism because baptism pictures a resurrection
from the dead, and therefore pictures a resurrection birth into a
new kind of mankind. On the basis of this metaphoric and symbolic
relationship initiated by baptism into the body of Christ and
into the New Covenant standing, we now have many rich New
Covenant benefits through the indwelling working of the Holy
Spirit as our all-sufficient helper and earnest of the New
Covenant (new man) inheritance.
Moreover, there is a
progressive growth process in the ages to come. "That in the ages to come He might show the
exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ
Jesus," Eph 2;7.
In the future ages God will
be showing to His covenant people increasingly more of the
monumental work of Christ, which has provided an infinite series
of rich creative treasures yet to come. The Scriptures address
the future as made of ages of ages, which signifies that new
revelations and new activities will be experienced in each age.
Infinite beauty and joy are found in the infinite diversity
within God's divine person, and there will be no end to
God's manifesting His glorious person, especially in
graciously demonstrating such through an endless progression of
One of God's attributes
is creative ability, and it will never grow stale. Creative
ability as one of God's attributes will be given to the
faithful covenant people in the resurrection (Eph 1:22-23; 3:19;
Col 2:10; Jn 17:21-23), and God will obviously utilize that
attribute through the firstborn covenant people in numerous ways
in the ages to come.
EATING CHRIST'S FLESH AND DRINKING HIS BLOOD
part of chapter one is here reviewed with additional
"‘I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If
anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread
that I shall give is My flesh, which I shall give for the life of
52 "The Jews therefore
quarreled among themselves, saying, ‘How can this Man give us His
flesh to eat?'
53 "Then Jesus said to
them, ‘Most assuredly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of
the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you.
54 "‘Whoever is
feeding on My flesh and is drinking My blood has eternal
life, and I will raise him up at the last day.
55 "‘For My flesh is
food indeed, and My blood is drink indeed.
56 "‘He who is
feeding on My flesh and is drinking My blood is abiding in
Me, and I in him.
57 "‘As the living
Father sent Me, and I live because of the Father, so he who is
feeding on Me will live because of Me. 58 "‘This is the bread which came down from heaven
-- not as your fathers ate the manna, and are dead. He who is
feeding on this bread will live forever,'" Jn
1. Jesus Fed Five Thousand.
five thousand of the covenant people on five small loaves and two
small fish. These people were so overwhelmed by this miracle they
wanted to take Jesus and make Him their king. Jesus turned this
great miracle into a profound lesson on spiritual feeding in
order to receive divine life, Jn 6:1-67.
2. Food that Is Enduring Into Divine
"Do not be laboring for the food which perishes, but for the
food which is continuing into divine life, which the Son of Man
will give you, because God the Father has set His seal on
Him," Jn 6:27.
"Then to Adam He said, ‘Because you have heeded the voice of
your wife, and have eaten from the tree of which I commanded you,
saying, 'You shall not eat of it': ‘Cursed is the ground
for your sake; In toil you shall eat of it all the days of your
18 "Both thorns and
thistles it shall bring forth for you, And you shall eat the herb
of the field.
19 "In the sweat of your
face you shall eat bread Till you return to the
ground.....'" Gen 3:17-19.
The language of John 6:27-29
concerns a life long "by grace through
faith" laboring process,
not just one act of faith.
"Then they said to Him, "What shall we do, that we may
work the works of God?"
29 "Jesus answered and
said to them, ‘This is the work of God, that you may keep on believing into Him whom He
sent,'" Jn 6:28-29.
"Note the present active
subjunctive pisteuhte,'that ye may keep on
believing.'" A. T. Robertson.
The work of God is that we
keep on laboring by grace through faith, as we see throughout Heb
11. See also 1Co 15:10; Eph 2:12-13; Mt 10:19-20; Heb 4:16;
12:28; Eph 3:2; 1Pe 4:10, et al. The work of God is that we keep
on believing into Christ in order to receive the divine life
birth in the resurrection, 1Co 15:12,44-50.
3. Eating Christ's Flesh Is Symbolic of
Partaking of Christ.
Law Covenant, eating Christ's flesh was symbolically partaking of Christ, precisely what
is taught in Heb 3:14 and throughout the Bible as we shall
continue to demonstrate in the articles that follow. A number of
articles are forthcoming demonstrating this daily and repeated
instruction in vivid symbolic manner under the Law
4. Feeding Our Minds on the Word of God.
Christ's flesh and drinking His blood is done by believing and obeying the Scriptures. This is not
a figure of speech. We literally feed our
minds, our conscience, and therefore our psyche (our
"life," in the sense of
saving or losing our "life")
on the Word of God. "But He answered and
said, ‘It is written, 'Man shall not live by bread alone, but
by every word that proceeds from the mouth of
God.'" Mt 4:4. Not by taking one bite of food,
but by a constant feeding on the Word of God. Not by just one act
of faith, but by constantly believing and obeying "every word proceeding out of the mouth of
5. Constantly Believing Into Christ.
the bread of Life: "And Jesus said to
them, ‘I am the bread of life. He who is constantly coming to Me
shall never hunger, and he who is constantly believing into Me
shall never thirst,'" Jn 6:35.
A. T. Robertson says:
"He that believeth on me o` pisteuwn eis eme). The
continuous relation of trust after coming like pisteuhte (present
tense) in verse 29." Robertson, speaking of o` pisteuwn uses
the word "continuous," describing the present active
participle use in the verse above. The present participle does
not always carry the continuous or constant sense, but in Jn 6 as
indicated in this article, it can be and (for contemporary
theological emphasis) should be so translated. See also
Wuest's translation of Colossians for the use of constant and
constantly with the present participle. The more fundamental
Protestant theology will not normally permit their theologians to
translate the present participle for "believe" with the "believing" progressive intent it should
normally have in these cases.
The word "constantly" is used normally by this
writer for emphasis to express a fixed mind-set, a mental
posture, a characteristic coming to Christ, a lifelong
"believing into Christ" lifestyle. The primary
meaning of "constant" is
unwavering, unchanging, continuous, and although the dictionary
also gives continual as a synonym of constant, the Christian life
should be characterized by constant and consistent acts of faith
according to the Scriptures, producing a lifestyle which portrays
a consistent and daily metamorphosis into the image of
The entire Christian life is
an on-going process of constantly coming to and constantly
believing into the body of Christ – a constant feeding of the
mind on the Word of God so that all we do reflects the death and
life of Christ, as stated in 2Co 4:7-12. Those saved people who
make shipwreck of faith cease to come to Christ and cease to
believe into the body of Christ. They thereby abort the firstborn
sonship of Christ, Gal 4:19-31; 5:1-4; Jn 15:1-6; Rom
6. I Will in No Wise Cast Out.
The one who
is constantly coming to Christ, God and Christ will in no wise
cast out: "All whom the Father is giving
Me will come to Me, and the one who is
constantly coming to Me I will by no means cast
out," Jn 6:37.
God is in the process of
giving the faithful covenant people to Christ. What God did He
did in eternity before the world was! However, among the myriads
of things God did that we know about was to set before the
covenant people a lifetime disciplinary training program in which
each covenant person, by grace through faith, must overcome
severe testing to qualify for the firstborn sonship of Christ.
Through this program (which program in written form is contained
in the Bible covenants), God is in the process of training and
thereby giving (present tense) a special and faithful
(overcoming) covenant people to Christ to be His bride and share
His firstborn sonship together with Him.
Let us remember that during
this lifetime we are in a covenant disciplinary training status
where we are qualifying for the divine firstborn sonship of
Christ. This requires that our faith posture be one of constantly
coming to Christ, which is done by constantly hearing, believing,
and obeying what the Word of God says. If we are constantly
looking into God's Word as into a mirror, we will be as
constantly seeing and meditating on the glory of the Lord and
will be constantly being transformed into that same image of
Christ, 2Co 3:18. Those who are not diligently reading and
studying the Scriptures are not diligently coming to Christ and
are running a very grave and dangerous risk of aborting the
firstborn sonship of Christ, Gal 4:19-31; 5:1-4; Jn 15:1-6; Rom
11:11-22; 1Co 9:27; 10:1-12; Heb 3:6-19; et al.
7. Keep on Believing.
of Christ by constantly eating Christ's flesh and drinking
His blood means we are to be constantly believing into the body
of Christ, and thereby continuously reflecting His image, 2Co
"Then they said to Him, ‘What shall we do, that we may work
the works of God?'
29 "Jesus answered and
said to them, ‘This is the work of God, that you keep on
believing into Him whom He sent,'" Jn
Robertson says: "Note
the present active subjunctive pisteu-hte, ‘that ye may keep on
"And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who
is steadfastly beholding the Son and is constantly believing into
Him may have divine life; and I will raise him up at the last
day," Jn 6:40.
English has no appropriate
adjective for aionion life. The word "eternal" is not a proper translation
though divine life is certainly eternal. We can translate it
"age life," signifying the
predominate life of the Millennial age, which is very true. And
since that life is clearly "divine
life," for emphasis this writer will often translate
it that way.
"Most assuredly, I say to you, he who is believing into Me
has divine life," Jn 6:47.
Believing into Christ is a
lifetime process which must be our constant faith posture, our
most obvious characteristic. The Word of God, in Its covenant
perspective, must be our meditation day and night, Ps 1:2;
119:97,99. If that is so, we are believing into Christ. If that
is not so, we are in grave danger of being cut off from Christ
(from the body of Christ) and thus in danger of aborting the
firstborn sonship of Christ.
We have shown over and over
that those who are "in Christ," but do not bear fruit
properly will be cut off from Christ, Jn 15:1-6. The branches are
"IN" Christ (Jn 15:1-5) and
have been made "clean" (Jn
15:3; 2Pe 1:9), but those who do not bear fruit will not make the
bride of Christ calling and election sure, 2Pe 1:1-20.
The book of Galatians was
written to saved and scripturally baptized church members who
were being deceived and led to try to keep the Law Covenant along
with the New Covenant, as the Jerusalem church had persistently
been doing, Act 10; 11:1-18; 15; 21:17-26; Gal 1 & 2. Paul
urgently warned them that trying to keep the Law Covenant along
with the New Covenant would bring the curse and condemnation of
the Law Covenant upon them, and would cut them off from Christ,
Gal 5:1-4. This would also result in their being slave sons as
Ishmael was, rather than free covenant firstborn sons as Isaac
was, Gal 4:19-31; 5:1-4.
8. Has Eternal (Divine) Life.
the expression: "HAS eternal life." This
expression is commonly used in the writings of John. Do saved
people have eternal life? The answer is both "Yes" and "No." Even Satan, all demons, and all
unsaved people will live eternally – "The soul of man never dies." Will the
"soul" of man ever die? The
answer is again both "Yes"
and "No." Hell is full of
people who are both alive, and yet dead to God at the same
Saved people in the covenant
position in the body of Christ are only counted (credited,
reckoned) to be crucified, dead, buried, and raised back to life
(divine life) together with Christ in a deified, spirit body.
However, we have never really been crucified, dead, buried, and
raised in a deified body together with Christ. God speaks of
things which be not, as though they were, Rom 4:17; 6:2-13. We
are counted as being "alive to
God" only because we have been baptized into Christ
(a metaphor), and thereby joined to Him in His crucifixion,
death, burial, and resurrection into a divine, spirit body –
still a metaphor, God is speaking of things which be not, as
though they were, Rom 4:17; 6:2-6-13; Gal 2:19-20; 5:24; 1Pe
We have this divine life now
only in that we are metaphorically counted as being the deified body of Christ, and on this basis we
have the Holy Spirit as God's guarantee that we will receive
that divine body (inheritance) in the resurrection, 2Co 1-5,21.
However, there is the ever present "IF" contingency – "if we hold fast to the end," 1Co
15:1-2,44-50; Heb 3:6-19; Phi 3:7-14; Col 1:21-23; Rom 11:11-22;
9. Saved People Do Perish.
"For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten
Son, that whoever is constantly believing
into Him (into His deified body) should not perish but have divine life," Jn
One must be in the body of
Christ and be counted as having been crucified, dead, buried, and
raised together in the deified body of Christ in order to be
counted as having divine life and thereby having the divine
presence of the Holy Spirit in us as a guarantee of that divine
life in the resurrection, 2Co 5:1-5.
However, we must continue
believing into Christ (holding fast by being daily transformed
into the image of Christ) in order to be deified together with
Christ (born again) in the resurrection, Phi 3:7-14; Heb 3:6-19;
4:1-11; Gal 4:19-31; 5:1-5; et al.
Furthermore, saved people in
the body of Christ can "perish" (from the same Greek word,
apollumi) as in Jn 3:16:
"Yet if your brother is grieved because of your food, you
are no longer walking in love. Do not destroy (apollumi) with your food the one for whom Christ died,"
"And because of your knowledge shall the weak brother
perish (apollumi), for whom Christ
died?" 1Co 8:11.
"But whoever causes one of these little ones who is believing into Me to sin (to be
offended to the extent of falling away), it
would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck,
and he were drowned in the depth of the sea.....
14 "Even so it is not
the will of your Father who is in heaven that one of these little
ones should perish"
(apollumi) Mt 18:6,14.
A weak brother can be caused
to "perish" from the body of
Christ and from the "rest,"
which "rest" is partaking of
Christ – of divine life in the resurrection, promised only to the
faithful covenant people, Heb 3.
10. Saved People Can Come Under
saved person in the body of Christ can again come under
"condemnation." Those under
the Law Covenant were under the ministry of condemnation, even
though they were saved and were God's proper covenant people.
Not all of them were saved, but many times in Israel's
history most of them likely were saved with initial first-faith
salvation. Consider carefully, that, without exception,
everyone under the Law Covenant was
unavoidably under the ministry of condemnation of the Law Covenant, though many of
them (probably most of them), were saved people, including Moses
and all the great spiritual leaders during the Law Covenant
period, Rom 7:7-25; Gal 3:10; 5:3; Ja 2:10.
Also, the Jerusalem church
never did stop trying to keep the Law Covenant. They were
therefore under the ministry of condemnation and the ministry of the curse of the Law Covenant, Gal 3:10; 5:3; 2Co 3:9;
Ja 2:10. Likewise, the Galatian churches were being deceived into
trying to keep the Law Covenant along with the New Covenant. Paul
urgently warned them that this would put them back under the
ministry of the curse and condemnation of the Law Covenant, which
would cut them off from Christ so that Christ as High Priest of
the New Covenant would profit them nothing as far as the covenant
promises, which constitute the covenant inheritance, are
concerned, Gal 3:10; 4:19-31; 5:1-4.
11. From Life Back to Death.
passed from death to life only in God's covenant reckoning.
Based on the metaphor that the church is the body of Christ and
that our bodies are the deified members of the deified body of
Christ (1Co 6:15-16; 12:12-27; Eph 4:11-16), our bodies are
credited as being crucified, dead, buried, raised, and deified
members of the deified body of Christ. We have not really been
crucified together with Christ. We have not really died together
with Christ. We have not really been buried together with Christ
except in water baptism. We have not really been raised from the
dead together with Christ. Our bodies have not really been
deified together with Christ in His deified flesh body.
This is all a metaphor where God is
speaking of things which be not, as though they were, Rom 4:17.
However, based upon God's own metaphoric reckoning, He has
given us His Holy Spirit as an "earnest" of that divine body until the
day of redemption of that body in the resurrection, 2Co 5:1-5;
Eph 4:30; Rom 8:23; Gal 4:1-7. We, as the body of Christ,
received the firstfruits of that adoption on the day of Pentecost
(Gal 4:1-6; Rom 8:23), and will receive the fullness of the
adoption when Christ returns, Rom 8:17-25.
There is the contingency that
we must walk in the Spirit in order to retain the Spirit who is
the earnest of the divine body inheritance. If we do not walk in
the Spirit and thereby put to death the deeds of the flesh, we
will die from the body of Christ, Rom 8:5-6,13; 11:11-22; Col
3:1-10; Jn 15:1-6; Gal 4:19–5:4; 6:7-9; 2Jn 9-11.
In this case, the member of
Christ is cut off from Christ (Jn 15:1-6; Gal 5:1-4), and
therefore dies from God's covenant
reckoning of having been made alive together with Christ in the
body of Christ metaphor. That member of the body of Christ then
passes from life back to death (in the context of the metaphor)
and perishes from the body of Christ – from the covenant
reckoning of being crucified together with Christ, being dead
together with Christ, buried together with Christ, raised
together with Christ, and thereby born again into new divine life
together with Christ. We have failed to recognize the full and
inevitable impact of the metaphor which is a covenant reckoning
where God is speaking of things which be not, as though they
were, Rom 4:17 (13-25); 6:2-13; 7:4-7; 1Co 6:15-17; 12:12-27; Eph
4:15-16; et al.
Until the resurrection, only
Christ's body has been born again into divine life. With us
it is a reckoning until the resurrection, conditioned on whether
we are approved (dokimos) in God's covenant disciplinary
training program. If we should be disapproved (adokimos), we will
be put out of (die from, perish from) the firstborn sonship of
Christ, and will not receive the new birth of the body in the
people outside the body of Christ and therefore outside
the covenants are NOT counted as being
"alive to God." They are
saved and will be among the nations on the new earth, but they
are not counted as being deified members of the deified body of
Christ and will not share in the deity of Christ in the
resurrection or thereafter. We must keep on constantly believing
into Christ in order to share His divine firstborn sonship in the
resurrection, 1Co 15:1-2,44-50.
12. The One Feeding on Christ Will Never
said to her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life. He who is
constantly believing into Me, though he may die
(physically), he shall live (he will
continue to live in God's reckoning, and his name will remain
in the book of life in heaven).
"And whoever is living and is constantly believing into Me
shall never die (from the book of life). Do you believe this?'" Jn 11:25-26.
Whoever is living physically
and is in a true church has his name written in the book of life,
and he shall never die spiritually (his name will not be blotted
out of the book of life) as long as he is constantly believing
Those who stop constantly
believing into Christ and thereby stop bearing the proper fruit,
(Jn 15:1-6), will be cut off from Christ (from the body of
Christ). They will thus die from the body of Christ according to
the metaphor (Rom (8:5-6,13), and will lose the indwelling of the
Holy Spirit as a further inevitable result. They will die a
The church being called the
body of Christ is a metaphor. Our bodies being the members of the
body of Christ (1Co 6:15-17) is a metaphor. Therefore, we, as the
members of the body of Christ,were metaphorically crucified
together with Christ, metaphorically died together with Christ,
were metaphorically buried together with Christ, and
metaphorically raised (made alive into deified life) together
with Christ – as the members of His body. The whole crucifixion
cycle is concretely set in the context of a metaphor, where God
speaks of things which be not, as though they were, Rom 4:17;
6:2-13; 7:4-7; et al.
A metaphor is a figure of
speech. God is calling things which be not, as though they were,
Rom 4:17. Observe that bringing the dead back to life is the
theme of this passage, Rom 4:17 and its context. God brought
Abraham's and Sarah's bodies back to life so they could
give birth to Isaac. Bringing their dead bodies back to life was
God's major work in their entire
lives, Rom 4:16-25. This is what justification is all about, Rom
4:16-25. This is what the new birth is all about, 1Co 15:44-50;
Rev 19:7-8; Phi 3:9 (7-14); Gal 5:5; 2Co 5:16-21; Mt 6:33; et al.
This is what being "children of
promise" and the firstborn sonship of Christ are all
about, Gal 4:19-31; 5:1-5.
We are dead to the Law
Covenant, to sin and death, and to the mere flesh (earthy) body
of the first Adam, by the divine body of Christ who is the second
Adam, that we may be married to Him who is the heavenly (from
heaven, born from above) second Adam, Rom 7:4-6; 1Co 15:44-50;
13. Feeding on Christ's Flesh.
We are to
feed on Christ, and we do this by
feeding on the Word of God constantly every day, and thereby
being constantly transformed into the image of Christ.
"I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If
anyone is eating of this bread, he will live forever; and the
bread that I shall give is My flesh, which I shall give for the
life of the world," Jn 6:51.
We will see this "giving of His flesh" vividly and
constantly demonstrated throughout the Old Testament as well as
the New Testament in continuing articles on this firstborn
sonship theme. It is the major theme of the Bible, resulting in
the new birth in the resurrection.
"The Jews therefore quarreled among themselves, saying, ‘How
can this Man give us His flesh to eat?'
53 "Then Jesus said to
them, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless you eat the
flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in
you," Jn 6:52-53.
Jesus did not intend for the
covenant people to literally eat His flesh and drink His blood;
but, as stated in verse 29:
"Jesus answered and said to them, ‘This is the work of God, that you may keep on believing
into Him whom He sent,'" Jn 6:29.
These people to whom Jesus
spoke were already disciples (saved covenant believers), and He
urged them "to keep on believing into
Him." However, many of them were offended and
"went back and walked with Him no
more," Jn 6:66. These people, like those whose
carcasses fell in the wilderness (Heb 3) will not share in the
divine life of the firstborn birthright of Christ in the
14. Munching on Christ's Flesh.
"Whoever is feeding on My flesh
and is drinking My blood has eternal
life, and I will raise him up at the last day."
Jesus changed the Greek word
to trogon instead of phagete which we would expect to be used.
Trogon originally meant to chew or feed as animals grazing in a
pasture. This appears to add emphasis to the continuing process
of feeding on the flesh of Christ already being emphasized.
"For My flesh is food indeed, and My blood is drink
56 "He who is feeding on
My flesh and is drinking My blood is abiding in Me, and I in
Eating Christ's flesh and
drinking His blood is synonymous with abiding (continuing) in
Christ and Christ abiding (continuing) in us, which requires
faithfulness in bearing the proper fruit. Observe also that
abiding in Christ and Christ abiding in us is synonymous with
being "one" with the Father
and with the Son and thereby possessing their divine nature, Jn
10:30-36; 14:8-11; 17:21-23.
If saved people outside the
body of Christ were eating of Christ's flesh and drinking of
His blood, they would have a right to partake of the Lord's
Supper. We will later discuss in detail that they are not eating
Christ's flesh and are not drinking His blood, and therefore
have no right to take the Lord's Supper.
"As the living Father sent Me, and I live because of the
Father, so he who is feeding on Me
will live because of Me."
Those who continue to feed on
Christ's flesh and drink His blood will live because they
continue to feed on Christ's flesh and drink His blood, which
is done by continuing to feed our minds on the Word of God, by
continuing to constantly study, believe, and obey the Word of
God. Christ was raised and lived in divine resurrection life
because he obeyed the Father, and we will be raised in divine
life only if we continue to believe and obey God, Heb 5:8-9.
"This is the bread which came down from heaven -- not as
your fathers ate the manna, and are dead. He who is feeding on this bread will live
forever," Jn 6:54-58.
The one who continues to feed
on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God (Mt 4:4) will
continue to live into the golden age of the Millennium with
Christ and the deified saints. His name will not be blotted out
of the book of life registry, Ex 32:32-33; Ps 69:28; Lk 10:20;
Heb 12:23; Rev 3:5.
participle for continual or habitual eating like pisteuete in
verse 29. The verb trwgw is an old one for eating fruit or
vegetables and the feeding of animals......No distinction is made
here between efagon (48,50,52,53,58) and trwgw
(54,56,57,58)," A. T. Robertson. However, the added emphasis
on munching is obvious.
It may be true that
Jesus meant no "distinction"
be made between these two words, but it appears that the use of
this old word in this context lends emphasis to the
"continual or habitual
eating" which the Lord Himself strongly emphasized in
this same context and therefore desires it to be keenly embedded
into our understanding. We must be literally and constantly
feeding our minds on the Word of God, so that our affections are
constantly set on heavenly things and not on earthly things, Col
3:1-25; Heb 3:1-19; 10:25-39; 12:1-29. Feeding on the flesh and
blood of Christ is a symbolism drawn from the Old Testament,
which we will demonstrate in articles to come.
QUESTIONS AND WORK TASKS FOR CHAPTER TWO
1. What did the veil over Moses face signify?
See 2Co 3:13-16 and Isa 6:9-10.
2. Explain what the "unveiled
face" or "open
face" of 2Co 3:18 means.
3. Define the metamorphosis of the mind from an unsaved person to
a dedicated Christian, or from an unfaithful Christian to a
4. Describe what is necessary for us to be changed into the image
of the Lord from glory to glory.
5. Indicate the far reaching results of being progressively
changed from glory to glory.
6. There are two major ways that the faithful covenant people
will partake of Christ. Define what they are.
7. We must eat Christ's flesh and drink His blood to gain
divine life. Describe how we should be daily eating Christ's
flesh and drinking His blood.
8. The Jews said, "What shall we do,
that we may work the works of God?" Jn 5:28. Explain
Jesus' answer in the proper imperative tense.
9. Examine Jn 6:37 and explain the proper meaning of the verse
using the proper translation. What kind of saved person will God
10. The church is not really the flesh and bone body of Christ.
Describe the metaphor of the church as the body of Christ and the
members of the church as the members of the body of Christ.
11. A saved person can perish, Rom 14:15; 1Co 8:11. Explain the
end result of perishing.
12. A saved person can come under the curse and condemnation of
the Law Covenant, Gal 3:10; 4:21 thru 5:4. Describe the end
result of such cursed and condemned saved people.