John 6:61, When Jesus knew in himself that his disciples murmured at it, he said unto them, doth this offend you?
The key scripture for this message is John the whole Chapter 6.
The passage above suggest that Jesus knew that what He had said would and had cause offense in His own disciples. He knew in order to be a true Christian one would have to transcend the very things that would work against the fleshy beliefs and philosophies which work as an enemy to God. He also knew that those who profess to follow Him were very ignorant of the things of God.
What was it Jesus said? Why did His disciples get offended? Why did many of them turn away after this event and never follow Him again? Why had they chosen to follow Him in the first place? This message is to answer these questions specifically and to prepare your heart for the truth that must take place before one can truly pick up the cross and run the race of life.
Please Read John Chapter 6
In this chapter we can see the incredulous miracle filled ministry of Yeshua the Messiah. We read in verse 2 “and a great multitude followed him, because they saw his miracles which he did on them that were diseased”. You see the people had a need and through Jesus they were healed. The people who followed saw that here was a genuine leader with real godly influence in the lives of men and women of the day.
In verses 4 through 14 we see Jesus fulfilled the Passover “Feast” by miraculously providing 5,000 people food from just 5 loaves and 2 small fish. To those watching He was definitely adding up to be the prophetic Messiah and they were very interested in what they thought He would do for the nation of Israel.
The desire to have Him fulfilled their wishes was so strong that in verse 15 He read their minds, and hearts and knew that they were about to come and by force “make” Him their “king.” This shows how ignorant of His true purpose they truly were for He was already the “King of Kings, and The Lords of Lord.”
The people who followed Jesus in this day were just like the people in our day who follow Jesus ignorantly because of their physical needs, but reject the truth which He spoke. In Luke 6:46 we see Jesus pose a poignant question to His disciples. He asked, “And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?”
The sad truth many people are filled with a belief in Jesus but lack any real substantive foundation as to what His real purpose was in coming to earth in the flesh. They often have no idea of who He was in His heavenly personage.
In the book of Matthew, chapter 16: verse 13- 20 we see Jesus posing a question to his disciples. The question He ask was, who do men say that I the Son of man am?
Most of the disciples began to answer Jesus’s question with what others thought about him. Some said John the Baptist, some said Elias, and yet others said Jeremiah the prophet.
The disciples of Jesus day were very much like the disciples in the church today. They attribute to Jesus the Christ the power of the dead, the power of religiosity, which is the power associated with human beings.
Jesus then shakes them up by asking them the most important question of their lives:
But who do you say that I am? As we read the text we can imagine the shock on the disciples face. They had been living with Jesus for about 3 years now and could not answer the question.
Today many disciples can only repeat what they have been told or read. They have not developed a personal relationship with God, nor does His word hold any value or veracity by which they can learn to live.
The truth is the subject of the message Jesus The Offender can be seen as one who doesn't understand the word of God and can only see God through the mind of premeditated expectations. They only follow Jesus because of the flash and the bling they see or expect. They know nothing of the spiritual acts against their human will which causes them to confront themselves and grow spiritually.
They cater to a watered down message filled with "feel good “half-truths, and no condemnation/conviction of sins for their lives. Those who accept Christ are not accepting the "Christ" revealed in the blessed word of God, but rather a false Christ, a Christ of grace and love ONLY, and not of JUDGEMENT, LORDSHIP, and KINGSHIP, who lives to meet their needs and heal their lands IF they adhere to His Word.
Jesus has now become THEIR SERVANT rather than THEY being a servant of HIM. In the case of 'CONVERSION" most people are led to just say a PRAYER and there is nothing mentioned of what is stated biblically in Acts 2:38 which reads, “Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit."
When the church began in Jerusalem it was a movement, in Greece it became a philosophy, in Rome it became an Institution, in Europe it became a culture and in America it has become a business, a very lucrative business, but Jesus Christ is coming back for a movement. His very Holy presence today is the greatest OFFENSE and has cause many to forsake His message for one of convenience and conviviality.
Now let’s go back to our Key Scripture John Chapter 6. As you can see this chapter is power packed with miracle after miracles. As we mention in the above text we have seen Jesus heal the sick and diseased. We also saw Him feed 5,000 with 5 loaves and 2 fish. These miracles would have been enough to convince a normal person to think, listen and ask question about what was being said by Jesus, but the miracles did not stop there. After retreating to the mountains to be alone and in the evening going by ship to Capernaum, there arose a terrific storm so fierce that even the weathered tested fisherman Peter was very afraid. This miracles concluded with Jesus Himself walking on the water, calming it and the ship arriving at the shore.
Now picture in your mind the excitement that must have been generated by this time. There was talk from town to town. Cities were given the report of this man Jesus of Nazareth, that he was the real deal. He would surely deliver them from Rome and all its occupation.
This is where our story truly begins as Jesus understood their heart and begins to speak to them in a way to teach and also to determine the “Falling Away” which must come as a result of offense by Him.
Matthew 11:6, And blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me.
Matthew 24:10, and then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another.
1 Timothy 4:1 - Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;
Paul also warned in 2 Tim. 4:3, “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables”
We see some of this among so called Christians in our day. Beyond co-existalism, there’s the prosperity gospel that only demonstrates one side of the cross. There’s the grace message that perverts the gospel. These are fables. Billy Graham once filled stadiums with his bold preaching on subjects like hell and holiness. Today, seeker-friendly preachers fill stadiums to hear a motivational message followed by a call to give. Many modern believers would cringe if they had to endure a Billy Graham sermon on hell. Again, some deny the existence of hell.
In returning to our Key Scripture passage we can read in verse 25 that when the people finally found Jesus they ask eagerly of Him where did He come from. Jesus answered and I para- phrase 26 "I tell you the truth, you want to be with me because I fed you, not because you understood the miraculous signs. 27 But don’t be so concerned about perishable things like food. Spend your energy seeking the eternal life that the Son of Man can give you. For God the Father has given me the seal of his approval.”
You see most Christians today are so concern about “things” that they have not sought after the spiritual things of God. They would truly be OFFENDED if Jesus walked up to them and told them the truth. In the preceding verses we see the people’s lack of understanding in who Jesus the Christ really is. They gave Moses the credit for feeding them the Manna from heaven when in fact it was Jesus (Yeshua the Messiah) who was the bread of life who fed them just as He was feeding them presently.
This is where the haughtiness of human emotions begins to take over. The people only followed Jesus because He gave them earthly wants and needs. In verse 35 to 60 we can see the truth begin to unravel within their ideas. We being to see Jesus speak a truth that they are not willing to digest. They begin to murmur because this truth would effectively destroy all that they had believed previously and would radically change their relationship with Yahweh Elohim Himself.
Jesus stated in verse 53 to 58, so Jesus said again, “I tell you the truth, unless you eat (digest and understand) the flesh (word of God) of the Son of Man and drink (accept His death as sins price) his blood, you cannot have eternal life within you. 54 But anyone who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise that person at the last day. 55 For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink. 56 Anyone who eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in him. 57 I live because of the living Father who sent me; in the same way, anyone who feeds on me will live because of me. 58 I am the true bread that came down from heaven. Anyone who eats this bread will not die as your ancestors did (even though they ate the manna) but will live forever.”
Spiritual Bread From Heaven
For the ignorant Jews this was in their mind paramount to cannibalism and made because of the hardness of their heart they could not get past the “leaning to their own understanding” which was blocking them although Jesus had just spoken and said as stated in the above passage “But don’t be so concerned about perishable things like food. Spend your energy seeking the eternal life that the Son of Man can give you. For God the Father has given me the seal of his approval.”
They were unable to make the leap from the bridge of reasoning (human thought) to the shore of faith (the teaching of Yeshua the Messiah).
The cold truth is today many so called professed Christians are OFFENDED when the TRUE gospel is preached. They are OFFENDED at the preaching of repentance. They are OFFENDED at the preaching of sodomy. They are OFFENDED at the preaching of selfishness and self-centeredness. They have used their own MIND MADE SELF GOSPEL to determine the ways and will of God and are unable to reconcile themselves to the TRUE WORD of THE LIVING GOD in HOLY SCRIPTURE. These are those who become OFFENDED at any real message at Jesus who is THE WORD OF GOD.
Many Disciples Desert Jesus
In verse 60 many of his disciples said, “This is very hard to understand. How can anyone accept it?” 61 Jesus was aware that his disciples were complaining, so he said to them, “Does this OFFEND you? 62 Then what will you think if you see the Son of Man ascend to heaven again? 63 The Spirit alone gives eternal life. Human effort accomplishes nothing. And the very words I have spoken to you are spirit and life. 64 But some of you do not believe me.” (For Jesus knew from the beginning which ones didn't believe, and he knew who would betray him.) 65 Then he said, “That is why I said that people can’t come to me unless the Father gives them to me.”
66 At this point many of his disciples turned away and deserted him. 67 Then Jesus turned to the Twelve and asked, “Are you also going to leave?”
The question I have to ask you today is this. Are you offended at the True Word of God? Do you understand the difference between the MIND MADE SELF GOSPEL of the world, and that which lieth in the BIBLE? Are you willing to submit to what God has to say and walk through the OFFENSE?
Most Christians Act Like They Are Bored with God
"And they worshipped him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy: and were continually in the temple, praising and blessing God. Amen." Luke 24:52, 53
One can only conclude that God's professed children are bored with Him, for they must be wooed to meetings and the church house with sweet syrup like candy in the form of religious movies, games and refreshments.
It is scarcely possible in most places to get anyone to attend a meeting where the only attraction is God!
So we have the strange anomaly of orthodoxy in creed and heterodoxy in practice. The sweet syrup like candy technique has been so fully integrated into our present religious thinking that it is simply taken for granted. Its victims never dream that it is not a part of the teachings of Christ and His apostles.
Any objection to the carrying on of our present golden-calf Christianity is met with the triumphant reply,
"But we are winning them!" My reply is WINNING THEM TO WHAT?
To separation from the world?
To crucifixion of the flesh?
To holy living? To nobility of character?
To a despising of the world's treasures?
To hard self-discipline?
To love for God?
To total committal to Christ?
The obvious answer to all these questions is NO! We are paying a frightful price for our religious boredom. And that price at the moment of the world's complete destruction and it’s inhabitant to eternal life in Sheol (The Lake of Fire).
The Church of no offense (From compromise to capitulation)
In the above Key Scripture to this message we see there was a time during Jesus' earthly ministry when the crowds that followed him grew quite large. He had become what we would call today, a "celebrity" and, by those same societal standards, a "success," even though He had not yet faced the cross for which He came.
The Gospel of John tells about "a great multitude that followed Him because they saw His miracles." When Jesus looked up one day and surveyed the enormous crowd before Him, He knew they needed to eat. So, taking "five barley loaves and two small fishes" that were found among them, He fed His followers. The men alone numbered five thousand.
Considering the seductive tactics many churches use to draw crowds these days, it is important to note that Jesus did not use food or the promise of it to bribe people into following Him. The crowd was already there to see and to hear this "prophet" – and in His compassion, He saw to it they were fed. In other words, He did not entice them with food or anything else – He merely tended to their needs.
"Then those men, when they had seen the miracle that Jesus did, said, this is of a truth that prophet that should come into the world. When Jesus therefore perceived that they would come and take him by force, to make him a king, he departed again into a mountain himself alone." – John 6:14-15
As the scripture verses above reveal, Jesus resisted their efforts to make Him their king because they did not yet understand why He had come. They only knew that as long as He was around, there would be plenty of food. Their concern was not for their souls, but for their stomachs, which the Lord scolded them for the very next day, telling them:
"Verily, verily, I say unto you, Ye seek me, not because ye saw the miracles, but because ye did eat of the loaves, and were filled." – John 6:26
Can you imagine the pastor of a local church today publicly rebuking visitors or even members for such a thing? Most of us would consider a statement like that to be harsh and spiritually counterproductive, wouldn't we? It appears the primary for the church house today is to fill the pews to take enough money in to continue a cycle not mentioned in Bible Doctrine.
Just because someone goes to church and carries a bible with them does not mean that they are a Christian. A counterfeit looks like the real thing but it’s not.
In Matthew 13:25 the Parable of the wheat and the tares: Jesus said, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field: But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way. But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also.
So the servant of the household came and said unto him, Sir, didn't you sow good seed in your field? From where does it now have tares? He said to them an enemy has done this. The servants said to him, shall we go and gather them up? But he said, No; lest while you gather up the tares you up root the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of the harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather together the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn.
How can we tell the counterfeits from the true Christians? This is not always an easy task. I have known church members for years, believing that they were dedicated Christians, only to find out later that they were counterfeits. Just because someone goes to church and carries a bible with them does not mean they are Christians. Remember a counterfeit looks like the real thing, but it’s not.
There are certain basic beliefs that may help to determine whether one is a Christian or a counterfeit. The first belief is that one is a sinner and is continuing to be a sinner. The second basic belief is that Jesus Christ is the God man and is the savior of the world. These are basic beliefs, but believing this does not save you. Satan also believes that Jesus is the God man and is the savior of the world.
The main question is where is your faith? What do you trust in for your salvation? I had a friend who was a Lutheran. I was talking to him about Christ when he said, “You don’t have to worry about me being saved. I have been confirmed by the Lutheran church.”
This is a typical example of a person who is trusting in their confirmation for salvation. Another good example is those who believe that the church house will save them. It is important for some people to be a member of a church for salvation.
In the Pentecostal religion, many Pentecostals are trusting in their emotional experiences or speaking in tongues for salvation. Many other religions teach that you must do good works for salvation, so they are trusting in their good works.
Many times when you ask someone how they know for sure that they are saved, they will respond to a place or date that they invited Jesus into their heart or when they made a decision to become a Christian. The problem with this is it was their work that saved them. Anything that we do whether it’s a prayer or making a decision is a work.
We do not become Christians by what we do, we become Christians because of what Christ has done. Many believe that when they were baptized that saved them. Some believe that Jesus is their example and if they follow his example that will make them a Christian. Jesus did not come into the world to show us the way, He is the way.
I have found that many of the above will reject the historical gospel of Jesus Christ for their salvation when it is presented to them making them counterfeits.
If salvation comes to us because of what we do or by what we have become then Christ lived and died in vain. To put your faith and trust in anything other than the work and person of Jesus Christ can make you a counterfeit. Most of the above do not know or understand the gospel that saves nor do they care to know it. According to the bible they are lost and are counterfeits. The apostle Paul said, “If our gospel is hid, it is hid to them that are lost.” 2 Corinthians 4:3.
There is a proper way to believe and have faith and the Lord has revealed the way of salvation in the scriptures. The trouble is that many want to believe what they want to believe regardless of what the scripture says. These people are the counterfeits.
Jesus said, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, he that enters not by the door into the sheepfold but climbs in some other way, the same is a thief and a robber.” John 10:1. Later he said, “I am the door of the sheepfold.”
There is only one way to be saved and there is only one gospel. It is our responsibility to know how we are saved, and we should never trust our souls to the teaching of a man. God has revealed the way of salvation in the bible. Seek it out for yourself and know what you believe. Be sure that it is compatible with the scriptures. There is a way that seems right unto a man, but the end is the way of death. Proverbs 14:12.
In the Old Testament concerning the tabernacle, the holy of holies and the ritual of the sacrifices, the priest had to do everything exactly like they were instructed by the Lord or they died. So we have been instructed about how we should believe and have faith. There is no slip shod method for having faith. There is no question about what the gospel is. Everything is in the book and all one has to do is read it and believe it.
Jesus said, “Enter in at the strait gate for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction. Strait is the gate and narrow is the way that leads unto life, and few there be that find it” Matthew 7:13-14. Jesus is the strait gate. Only by faith in him and his work, (the gospel) can one be saved.
Aaron had two sons named Nadab and Abihu. They were appointed by the priest to make fire offerings to the Lord. This was very serious business and had to be done exactly like they were instructed. The scripture says that they made an offering of fire unto the Lord that was not according to the way that it should be done. It was called “strange fire” and the Lord told them not to do it their way. They did it their way anyway. The bible says that this angered the Lord and that fire went out from the Lord and devoured them both and they died before the Lord. Leviticus 10:1
Strange beliefs, salvation according to your way, strange and false doctrines and strange religions are the same as strange fire. The Lord didn't want it then and he doesn't want it now.
There are many false teachers today that are counterfeits. The apostle Paul said, “For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And it is no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore, it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness whose end shall be according to their works.” 2 Corinthians 11:13-15.
The apostle Peter calls them “false prophets that teach damnable heresies and that many will follow their pernicious ways and with feigned words will make merchandise of you” 2 Peter 1:3.
The counterfeits do not know or understand the gospel of grace that saves so their teaching is usually man centered. 90% of the teaching in the churches today is about the Christian life and how to live it. This is Satanic because it turns people’s eyes into themselves.
We are all sinners. There is no help in and of ourselves. The work of the spirit is to point us to Christ and to glorify him. In John 16:13, the Spirit does not speak of Himself, nor will one who possesses the spirit. Satan wants you to be ineffective and ineffective you will be if you look to yourself for strength, direction or salvation. Christ is our only strength and our only hope.
Twice in the 7th chapter of Matthew, Jesus says, “by their fruits you will know them” (Christians). The counterfeits don’t produce any fruit, how can they? They don’t really teach or know the gospel that saves as they have another gospel or no gospel.
Jesus said, “Every tree that does not bring forth good fruit is cut down and cast into the fire. Not everyone that says to me Lord, Lord, shall enter the kingdom of heaven but he that does the will of my father which is in heaven.” (The will of the father is to believe in Jesus and his gospel) “Many will say to me in that day Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in your name and in your name cast out devils? And in your name done many wonderful works? And then I will say to them, I never knew you: depart from me, you that work iniquity.” Matthew 7:21-23.
The gospel reveals who is a real Christian and who is not. Real Christians embrace the gospel. To them it is the wonderful words of life and freedom. The counterfeits are more interested in what they can do to make themselves more pleasing to God by their good works or by their pious Christian lives. They are under the law and will be judged by the law. In reality they are in denial of the gospel. God does not accept our righteousness because we don’t have any. We are sinners. Jesus is our righteousness!!!
What is the True Gospel and How Do I keep From Offense?
The gospel is about Jesus Christ, his life, his death, his resurrection, and his position at the right hand of God. The gospel calls into question all that we think and do as Christians. It is the deciding factor as to who is a real Christian and who is a counterfeit. There is only one gospel and there is only one way to believe and have faith.
The apostle Paul said, “That if we or an angel from heaven preach any other gospel let him be accursed.” Galatians 1:6-9. There is no room for any kind of strange fire here. We must know beyond a shadow of a doubt how and what the Lord wants us to believe and have faith in for our very souls depend upon this.
The gospel is a very simple message. Christ has saved us by doing for us that which we are not capable of doing for ourselves because we were dead in trespasses and sins. Ephesians 2:1.
By his righteous life, he has offered everything to the Godhead that the law requires. He did this in our name and on our behalf just like we did it ourselves. When Christ lived, we lived in him and our humanity was in him. He is the new Adam and representative of the human race. Romans 5:12-21.
We are saved by his work and not our own. In his crucifixion, he took our old Adamic nature and put it to death. Our old life of failure is buried in Joseph’s new tomb. When Christ died we died with him. The apostle Paul said, “I have been crucified with Christ nevertheless I live.” Galatians 2:20.
The sin problem has been dealt with and Satan has been defeated. Romans 6:1-7. When Christ came out of the tomb we came out with him. Romans 6:5. This is not rocket science but the simple message of the gospel. This is what the Lord wants you to believe and have faith in.
What about my Christian life some ask? Colossians chapter 3:1 says, if you have been risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sits on the right hand of God. In Colossians 3:3-4 it read, "for you are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ who is our life, shall appear, then shall you also appear with him in glory". This is where your Christian life is at.
It is in a very safe secure place. If your life is in heaven with Christ you should act like it. Why? Because we are complete in him. Play your position. Colossians 2:10. Too much is made out of the Christian life. We have nothing to glory in and we have nothing to offer the Lord.
If the apostle Paul, who was the world’s greatest Christian, referred to himself as a wretched sinner, where does that leave you and me? Christ has done it all. Knowing this, how should we now live? The apostle Paul said, “The life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the son of God who loved me and gave himself for me.” The Christian life is a life of rest. We rest in what Christ has accomplished for us. Hebrews 4:5-11.
In closing, the book of Mark Chapter 4 explains exactly why OFFENSE comes to so called professing Christians IN THE Parable of the Sower of Seeds. In verse 17 it clearly states "and have no root in themselves, and so endure but for a time: afterward, when affliction or persecution ariseth for the word's sake, immediately they are offended".
To put it as plain as possible these people have no foundation in the words, ways nor will of God and when they are afflicted or persecuted by the World/Satan (this is normal by the way), they get offended. This is why most so called professing Christians will never speak out against ungodly issues, including abortion, sodomy, same sex marriage, or anything else that is prevalent in this world because they do not want to face the persecution that comes alone with making a stand for Jesus. They are OFFENDED at being a CHRISTIAN!!!
Many Christians and Non-believers fail to see the difference between the world and the church.