“Therefore many of His disciples, when they heard this, said, ‘This is a hard saying; who can understand it?’ When Jesus knew in Himself that His disciples complained about this, He said to them, ‘Does this offend you? What then if you should see the Son of Man ascend where He was before? It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life. But there are some of you who do not believe.’ For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were who did not believe, and who would betray Him. And He said, ‘Therefore I have said to you that no one can come to Me unless it has been granted to him by My Father.’ From that time many of His disciples went back and walked with Him no more. Then Jesus said to the twelve, ‘Do you also want to go away?’ But Simon Peter answered Him, ‘Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. Also we have come to believe and know that You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.’”
Many people knew that the Lord satisfied the physical hunger by performing the miracle of two fishes and five loaves of bread in the wilderness and followed the Lord physically. As you know, the miracle of five loaves of bread and two fishes is the story of Jesus feeding more than five thousand hungry people with two fishes and five loaves of barley. They liked Him so much because of that event. They might think, “Wow! The king of Jews! The King of Jews! He is our king. He is the King of our country. We would have things to eat with just one prayer of blessing if we make Him our king” and shouted out His name “Jesus, Jesus” and followed Him. They might have been so excited that some of them would try to wiggle through in front of Him and in the rear as they carried Him on their shoulders. Jesus would never have ridden on their shoulders no matter how they lifted Him up as the king. But people would have prayed with expectations of another miracle.
But then Jesus suddenly said, “I am the bread of life. Eat this bread.” People thought it strange because He said this after performing the miracle of five loaves and two fishes. They probably were awestruck, because after giving them food to eat by performing the miracle of five loaves and two fishes, He suddenly told them to eat His flesh and blood instead of giving them the real food for their flesh. They probably thought it was strange as Jesus said, “My flesh is your food. Eat it.” And when He said, “My blood is your drink,” they probably were shocked and thought, “Wow, This is too much. He’s gone mad. He was all right just a while ago. But why is He suddenly saying such a strange thing? How can He say that He is the bread and drink? Wow. This is really too much.”
Eat the Flesh and the Blood of the Lord with Spiritual Faith
But the Lord said clearly, “The bread that I shall give is My flesh” (John 6:51). Then Jesus said, “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. Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. For My flesh is food indeed, and My blood is drink indeed” (John 6:53-55).
Apparently, it seemed like He’s begging for them to eat Him. How terrible Jesus must have looked to the physical eyes of the crowd? They thought Jesus was someone they could admire, but how terrible it must have been know that He was telling them to eat Him. They were probably very astonished and shocked when Jesus told them to eat Him like fried chicken before them that says, “Eat me.”
But people who understood this knew the meaning of this and thought, “Oh! The Lord is not telling us to eat His physical body. He is telling us to believe that He came to this world and took all the sins of humanity, the sins of the world, by receiving the baptism and shedding His blood on the Cross for us.” Eventually, many people who could not believe that Jesus Christ was the Messiah promised in the Old Testament, the Son of God, the Savior, and the little Lamb of God, left Him.
After all the people left Him, Jesus asked the twelve disciples, “Do you also want to go away?” Probably, everyone left Jesus except for His twelve disciples. There were 5,000 men, so there might be about 20,000 altogether if we were to count the children and women that were probably there. But all those people left Jesus and only twelve remained. When Jesus asked the disciples, “Do you also want to go away?” Peter came forward as the representative and answered. It was Peter who also answered correctly saying,” You are the Christ, the Son of the living God” when Jesus asked the disciples, “But who do you say that I am?” Then, Jesus said, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven.” And now that Peter answered Him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life” (John 6:68).
How did the disciples of Jesus think about Jesus? They thought of Jesus as the Messiah and the Savior promised in the Old Testament. They thought of Jesus as God who came to this world in the flesh of man, the Savior who would save them from their sins, and as the Son of God. Do you also believe this? Who has the Word of eternal life? Our Lord has. Who gives the life to us? Our Lord gives it to us. The Word of eternal life is in our Lord. We have to profess our faith like Peter saying, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.”
We can exist in His life because we eat God’s Word. We would not be able to live if it were not for God’s Word. Our souls cannot live even for a moment without the Word. There would be no one who could survive if it were not for God’s Word of the Truth if there wasn’t this Bible that recorded God’s Word in this world. No one could sustain his life without the Church that preaches God’s Word correctly. We live because of God’s Word; because we eat the Word. We attain eternal life by eating the flesh of Jesus and drinking His blood through God’s Word. We eat the flesh of Jesus and dwell within the Lord by believing in God’s Word, and the Lord also dwells within us. The Lord does not dwell within us if we do not eat the flesh of the Lord.
There are many Christians these days that put aside the baptism Jesus received from John the Baptist and just believe in Jesus’ blood on the Cross. This is just like having something to drink and not having any bread to eat. As you can develop ulcer when you just have drinks and never eat anything solid, we cannot be cleansed of sin by just believing in the blood on the Cross spiritually in regards to salvation. People must eat solid food and have drink. Otherwise people will die if they just drink every day.
We eat the flesh of Jesus and drink the blood of Jesus by believing that Our Lord blotted out all our sins by receiving the baptism and dying on the Cross. We live without sin because we believe that our Lord made all our sins disappear by offering His body as our propitiation. The gospel of the water and the Spirit is the bread of life for us.
Jesus Became the Bread of Life for Us
Our souls that have received the food by believing in the work Jesus has done goes on living for His righteousness. What kind of people would we be if we didn’t believe in the righteousness of God? We would lead a dissolute life if we didn’t believe in the righteousness of God. I would have already been dead. I confess that I would have been a person that has no more reason to live if I had nothing to do with the Lord. A life that has not received the salvation from sin through the righteousness of the Lord is meaningless, and it would make no difference whether such a meaningless life ended now or a few years later. Now, I am in my 50’s, and this world means that I have lived more than half of my life. That is too long to live if I don’t have much passion for life. What is the purpose of living more if we are going to die anyway? I think it would be better to die, instead of muddling through the bitterness of life. Therefore, I want you to know that only the life of sharing the gospel of the water and the Spirit is worthwhile and adds meaning to our existence.
I believed in Buddhism before I met the Lord. Until the 1980’s, there were many people who distributed fliers and other booklets of the gospel, but I refused and just walked by when someone handed me the booklets of the gospel and such things, because I was a Buddhist. Then one day I found a book that contained only the Gospel of Luke on the street. I just picked it up because it was a book and I started reading it. But then it touched my heart so deeply that there were tears in my eyes after reading it and understanding that Jesus died for people like me. I could not resist the overwhelming impression in my heart with the realization, “You died for such an evil person like me when I am so evil and I don’t even believe You?” From then on, I always carried that book and read it whenever I had time.
After that I received another small Bible booklet that contained the whole New Testament when I went to military reserve training, and I read it all within 2 or 3 days. I read it again and again. After reading it over and over again, I realized that the Bible was filled with the Word that Jesus died for such an evil person like me, and I also came to know that Jesus was resurrected from the dead. After realizing that I could receive salvation if I believe this Truth, I even thought, “Oh really. Should I believe this too?” But there were too many stumbling blocks in my heart for me to do that. Thoughts like, “What can I do since I have believed in the Buddhism? What can I do since I drink alcohol and smoke? Then I can’t do this. Should I still believe? But then what would people say if I tell them that I believe in Jesus?” It felt ridiculous as I thought it over. Therefore, I gave up believing in Jesus, because I thought people would laugh at me if I told them that I believed in Jesus.
But God did not give up on me. My sickness became worse. I finally believed in Jesus when my body and mind became weak. I heard the church bells ringing as I was thinking about putting an end to my life. I went to the church at about 11pm thinking, “I’ll just go to church once before I end my life.” Most churches during those days did not lock the doors. I went into the dark church and sat down. I did not know how to pray so, I just sat down there and just prayed, “Jesus, the Bible says that You died for a person like me. You said that you would forgive all my sins if I believed in You before I died, right? I want to believe in You. I believe in You now. I will be very thankful if You would blot out all my sins before I died.”
Then, there gradually arose a desire in my heart to live. Then I saw myself making a wager in sort of a gamble with God. “Jesus, I will believe in you if you heal my body from this sickness.” I came out after praying to God with this sort of wager. My heart became warm and began to have a ray of hope the moment I was coming out from the church after praying.
But my heart was still troubled even after I came back home like that. I drank so much again because it was so troubling. I drank so much because I was so agonized while trying to end my life. But the turmoil in my heart did not disappear. It is not easy trying to end one’s own life.
But Jesus came to my mind again when I woke up in the morning. Therefore, I decided to go to the church once more that night. I was ashamed to go to church during the daytime. Therefore, I went to the church at night and repeated the same prayer as the day before. I prayed, “Jesus You died for me, didn’t You? I believe in You. Therefore, I do not have sin now, right? Then I will believe You if You could heal my sickness. I will see if I am healed from my sickness after one month.” Then, the strange thing was that my heart started to burn whenever I went to the church. And when I went to the hospital for an examination, they told me that I was really healed from the sickness.
I was so happy that I drank with my friend all night and did not come home that night. I woke up in the morning with my head heavy from drinking, and then I realized the fact that I made the promise to God that I would go to church today. Coincidentally, the church bells started ringing from somewhere and I thought sincerely to keep the promise. Much time passed and I ran so fast to keep the promise because there wasn’t much time. As I was in the bus, I thought I should buy a Bible. So I hurried into a bookstore and asked for any Bible. They handed me a Bible used in the Catholic Church. And because I did not know the difference, I just bought it and ran for the church again. I made it to the church service even though I was a little late. I sat in the back and listened to the sermon, and I just said to myself, “Yes, You are right.” When the pastor said that Jesus had died on the Cross for sinners like me, I could not lift my head up as tears started pouring down. As the pastor pronounced the benediction and everyone closed their eyes, I also got up quickly and closed my eyes. I also attended the worship service the next day, because I thought I must keep the promise that I made with God. I quit drinking from that moment. It took me longer to quit smoking, but I was able to quit smoking after 1 year. By the way, I kept the promise and put my words into practice.
But the sickness was not actually healed after I believed in Jesus. It just went into hiding and later blew up. The sickness that seemed to be healed for a while relapsed and, through the introduction of my trusted friend, I went to a Catholic Church hospital that treated people for free and received the treatment there.
Then something happened there. There was a regulation for everyone who was being hospitalized there to make the sign of the cross on their chests with holy water and bow before St. Theresa. But I remembered that the Bible said I shall not bow to idols, so I told them, “I cannot bow to it because God said not to bow down to any carved image.” Look at my temper now, and it was even worse then. So I told them I couldn’t do that. But they tried to persuade me and said, “Shouldn’t you follow the regulations here since you came here to receive the treatment?” But I told them that I still could not do so, and that they didn’t have to treat me if they didn’t want to. Then they told me that I might not bow to the statue that day and told me to go way over there.
I came to know about the Catholic Church while staying there. I became very enthusiastic while staying at the Catholic sanatorium for 9 months, because of the pity for the souls there, and because they were teaching the Scriptures opposite from the Truth. I was so frustrated because they prayed “the Stations of the Cross” and “Ave Maria” that went, “Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with Thee. Blessed art Thou among women; And Blessed is the fruit of Thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, Pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen.” They also performed the communion based on “the Doctrine of Transfiguration” every day and did other useless things. Therefore, I never went before the statue of St. Theresa and bowed. The priests and the nuns of the hospital did not tell me anything, even though I did not bow to the statue.
But do you think I did not do anything while I was hospitalized there? I did not stop there, but I went to the people who believed in the Catholic Church and argued with them, saying “What do you mean Maria is full of grace? The Lord is full of grace, not Maria. It is right that Maria is the mother of Jesus in the flesh. But Jesus, who put on the flesh of man from the body of a virgin, is God. How can Maria be god? In the hospital were about 200 patients, but there was only me who believed as I did and all the rest were of same faith. But I fought with them, even 200 to 1. I didn’t care if they were going to expel me from the hospital and I thought whatever happens didn’t matter.
I prayed with heart for the first time there. I prayed, “God, I will really preach your gospel if You would heal my body” and I really became 100% healed after 3 months. The director of the department of surgery said, “A miracle really happened to you. You are really a special person.” He told me that the x-rays from one month before and one month after were totally different and said, “You are well enough that you can go out and even do physical labor.”
I read the Bible a few times and studied it while I was hospitalized. I started to study theology by myself whenever I had time there. I prayed to God for the salvation of those souls that were led into a heretic religion while I was studying theology. Though I began to believe in Jesus, I was not born again back then. However, my heart still burned while reading the Word. The love for the other souls rose in my heart so strongly even though I was not born again. I love the soul, not the body, even now. When the patients’ sickness became worse, when they suffer from hemoptysis, my heart was filled with love for their souls so much that I wanted to embrace them and wash all of them clean.
So, the Catholic priests and the nuns there suggested that I become a priest. A person with a recommendation could study for free at a Catholic seminary, so they told me that they would write a recommendation for me to go and study at a Catholic seminary. But I was firm. I told them that I would become a pastor, not a priest. But they still did not expel me from the hospital. If I had been in their shoes, I would have expelled a person like me without hesitation. But they did not expel me.
I recovered from the sickness like that, but I stayed there 6 more months and studied the Bible. I came to know about the Catholic Church in detail as well. When someone dies, they recite the prayer for the dead that went, “Saint Peter, pray for the dead” and they recite it in hymn throughout the night, and the one leading the litany looked like the messenger from hell.
This Word of the Lord is really the Word of life. I did not know the meaning of eating the flesh of the Lord at that time, but it is true that I was able to live because there was the Word of the Lord. I was always energized when I read God’s Word. After being discharged from the hospital, I enrolled at a theological seminary to study theology, got married, and spent 10 years working for God. I was born again of water and the Spirit when 10 years had passed since I began to believe in Jesus.
I had sinned so much while studying theology. I became disappointed while studying at the seminary and I lost a lot, too. I almost think that my faith might have become stronger if I did not go to the seminary. Of course, that experience helped me to lay down some basis for my faith in some ways, because I came to the conclusion that I really should look at God’s Word only. Why? That’s because my faith in God did not grow and only the knowledge of trivial matters grew as I studied a variety of theological subjects and human sciences. Therefore, I came to the conclusion that I should only read the Word of God and believe in it purely.
When you hear too many things and increase in the worldly knowledge, only unbelief is increased and eventually I began to doubt even the fact that Jesus is the Son of God. During the 7 years of studying theology, the only thing I gained was that I should only read the Word purely. I do not look at the commentary at the bottom of each page of the Bible when I happen to read the annotated Bible because I just want to read God’s Word itself as it is.
I have been so happy within God’s Word. I came to know that I am really a sinner and I came to believe that Jesus blotted out all my sins through His baptism and the Cross. I was awakened to many new things only after being born again through the gospel of the water and the Spirit. After becoming born again by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, I became so happy because I could understand everything I read in the Scriptures and the faith sprang forth like a fountain. I did not know what it meant to eat the Lord’s flesh before I was born again. But I came to understand it clearly after believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, professing, “Oh! Eating the flesh of Jesus means believing that Jesus took all my sins upon Him by receiving the baptism in the Jordan River, and that He removed all those sins from me. I can eat the flesh of Jesus through such faith.”
Therefore, our hearts and souls actually eating the flesh of the Lord is believing that Jesus took all our sins upon Himself by receiving the baptism from John the Baptist at the Jordan River. The sins in your heart really disappear and your soul attains eternal life when you believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
Peter answered Jesus, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life” (John 6:68). Peter responded with a cross-question that went, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.”
Could we depart from God? No, we can’t. When we believe in God, we not only receive the Word of eternal life, but we can also enjoy the blessings that our Lord gives in our bodies and spirits. The Lord bestows the grace upon us, gives the gift of salvation, helps us, and blesses us. The Lord dwells within us and we dwell in the Lord as one body, and we live with God together forever.
The Lord says, “He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him” (John 6:56). Those who eat the Lord’s flesh and drink the Lord’s blood become one body with Him. Those who believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit have become one body with God and call Him, “Abba, Father.” Our Lord saved us and gave us eternal life by blotting out all our sins through His flesh and blood. Do you believe this?
Peter knew this. The disciples of Jesus knew this. Every disciple except Judas knew this. We now know this. We also came to know through faith what it means to eat the flesh of Jesus and what it means to drink His blood.
I praise our Lord who gave the salvation by blotting out the sins of the world with the gospel of the water and the Spirit. He had given us His flesh and blood. I give thanks to God who gave us eternal life with His flesh and blood.