- Christogenea Internet Radio
On the Gospel of John, Part 19: No Friend of the Devil
In the last two presentations of our commentary on John chapter 6, we explained The Parable of the Feeding in the Wilderness, and The Parable of the Bread of Life, as these events in the ministry of Christ certainly served as allegories for the future impact and effect which His ministry and Gospel would have on the so-called “lost sheep” of the children of Israel, “that also he should gather together in one the children of God that were scattered abroad”, as we may read from the apostle himself in John chapter 11. Those “children of God that were scattered abroad” which John had in mind were certainly not Jews.
Discussing the Parable of the Bread of Life, we criticized the mystical ritual and beliefs which the early Roman Catholic Church had developed as the so-called Sacrament of Holy Communion. Defending this, the Church also defends and attempts to legitimize its professional priesthood, a 4th century novelty which was never mentioned or described by the apostles or the first several generations of early Christian writers. To us, the true Christian sacrament is sacrifice on behalf of one’s brethren, and the true communion is what is shared in common among brethren. So now we shall conclude our commentary on John chapter 6 by first offering our translation and some commentary on 1 Corinthians chapter 11, which is arguably the most significant of the passages upon which the Roman Church had based its ritual. Here we are concerned with Paul’s words beginning with verse 20 of that chapter:
1 Corinthians 11:20 However, of your gathering into one place, it is not to eat the supper of the Prince [or Lord].
Roman Catholics, and even many Protestants, often claim that that the primary reason for going to church on Sunday is for the communion, which they also call the “Lord’s Supper”. Popular academic sources, such as the Bible Study Tools website, equate the act of communion to the “Lord’s Supper” and cite this very verse, but they absolutely ignore what Paul of Tarsus actually wrote here. They go on to explain the act of communion and the Roman Catholic mass while ignoring the fact that Paul had said “of your gathering into one place, it is NOT to eat the supper of the Lord.” That this is also the official position of the Catholic Church is fully evident in the archives published on the website for the Vatican itself. But according to the Douay-Rheims translation, even the Latin Vulgate has the verse to read “When you come therefore together into one place, it is not now to eat the Lord's supper”, although the word for now in the original Latin of the Vulgate would have been better translated as ever.
If the Roman Catholic Church could not follow the instructions of Paul of Tarsus, that the gathering “is not to eat the supper of the Lord”, how can they be trusted at all? Catholics also believe in a magical pagan concept which they call transubstantiation. A fitting source to cite for a definition of this concept is Dummies.com (a website knowledge base operated by John Wiley & Sons publishing company), which says: “Of all seven sacraments, the Holy Eucharist, or Holy Communion, is the most central and important to Catholicism. Holy Communion is offered at every Mass, and in fact, the ritual of the Mass is largely taken up with preparing the hosts (wafers made of wheat and water, or gluten-free) and wine to become the body and blood of Christ and the congregation to receive the body of Christ. Transubstantiation is the act of changing the substances of bread and wine into the substances of the Body and Blood of Christ.” The Vatican archives state in part that “It is by the conversion of the bread and wine into Christ's body and blood that Christ becomes present in this sacrament.”
Notice that the congregation does not receive the blood, according to their ritual, but only the imagined body. In John chapter 6, Christ had said “Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you”, yet the Roman Catholics have historically precluded its congregations from sharing in the communion of the wine, which is reserved for the priests alone. They claim to change the wine into the blood of Christ, and then they withhold it for themselves! So if perhaps the rituals are true and have any efficacy in reality, many generations of Christians have been condemned by their actions. However, thankfully, their rituals are not true, and all Israel shall be saved because it is not the Church or any priest or ritual which does the saving.
Paul continues to admonish the Corinthians:
1 Corinthians 11:21 Each beforehand takes his own supper in there to eat, [there is no mention of a priest to dispense that supper] and while one hungers then another is intoxicated. 22 Now do you not have houses in which to eat and to drink? Or do you think contemptuously of the assembly of Yahweh, and disgrace those that have not? What should I say to you? Shall I commend you in this? I do not commend.
Paul's words here inform us that the “Lord's supper” was esteemed to be an entire meal, not just some measly wafer of bread and a small sip of wine. But more importantly, according to Paul, the “supper of the Lord” should be eaten at home, and the Corinthians were wrong for bringing these meals into the Christian assembly, so Paul is scolding them for it. There were evidently poorer members of the assembly who did without as the wealthier members gorged themselves. Referring to the “supper of the Lord” Paul asks “Now do you not have houses in which to eat and to drink?” So it is in this context that we should understand his later statements in this chapter where he wrote in verse 26 that “as often as you may eat this wheat-bread, and you may drink this cup, you declare the death of the Prince, until He should come.” This reveals Paul's perspective that the “supper of the Lord” should be what Christians do every single time they partake of a meal in their own houses, and it is evident that the “supper of the Lord” is not a ritual to be conducted in a church. So here Christians are informed that they should praise Christ every time they eat and drink, and in His commemoration they should partake of all of the blessings and sustenance which they receive from Him. Continuing with Paul’s admonition once again:
1 Corinthians 11:23 For I have received from the Prince that which I have also transmitted to you, that Prince Yahshua, in the night in which He had been handed over, took wheat-bread 24 and giving thanks He broke it and said, “This is My body which is for you; this you do in remembrance of Me.” 25 In like manner also the cup, along with the dinner saying, “This cup is the New Covenant in My blood: this you do, as often as you may drink, in remembrance of Me.”
Here Paul is repeating a description of the events of the Last Supper which are found recorded in the Gospel accounts in Matthew chapter 26 (26-28), Mark chapter 14 (22) and Luke chapter 22 (19-20). In verse 25 we find the phrase μετὰ τὸ δειπνῆσαι, which is literally translated as “along with the dinner”, the verb δειπνέω (Strong's # 1172) meaning “to take the chief meal, to dine”, and there are many other Greek verbs which may mean simply “to eat”. So it is evident that Paul draws a picture of the “Lord's supper” which is far different than what the Roman Catholic Church has practiced.
Paul describes Christ's having taken the bread, a common loaf of wheat bread, and breaking it at a meal with His friends. In the synoptic gospels, it is only evident in Luke chapter 22 that Christ Himself had made the correlation of the broken bread to His body being broken on behalf of His people. This entire portion of the famous Last Supper is not even recorded by John. The cup, representing the New Covenant in His blood, is then taken “along with the dinner”. From all of the gospels it is clear that the dinner which is described is an entire meal, a Passover meal made according to the law, and not merely a piece of bread in some church.
But did Paul interpret the bread and wine to somehow become the literal flesh and blood of Jesus, as the Roman Catholics insist? That is not how he interprets it in the verses which follow, where the bread is still bread. Paul's interpretation of these actions were provided in chapter 10 of this epistle where he wrote “16 The cup of eulogy which we bless, is it not fellowship of the blood of Christ? The wheat-bread which we break, is it not fellowship of the body of Christ? 17 Because one loaf, one body, we the many are, for we all partake from the one loaf.” The bread and wine represent the body and blood of Christ because He is the true sustenance of His people, and therefore every time they partake of fleshly sustenance, they should do so in remembrance of the fact that He is their true sustenance.
The Greek word κοινωνία, which is typically translated as communion, means fellowship, which is a sharing of things in common, and when Christians share their blessings with one another, that is true communion. Paul's perception was that the people sitting around the table were the true body and blood of Christ, and that for that reason, they all being of the same loaf, they jointly partook of the body and blood of Christ and therefore they should be thankful to Him. The bread and wine were not the actual body and blood. They represented the sacrifice which Christ was about to make on behalf of His actual body and blood: the children of Israel. At every act of communion, or sharing of things in common, by commemorating that sacrifice, accepting the gospel along with the acknowledgment, and living not by bread alone but by every word which comes out of the mouth of God, that is how one eats the flesh and drinks the blood of Christ. The life is in the blood, as we read in Genesis chapter 9, the life of His people Israel is preserved by His blood which He shed for them, and for them alone. The bread and wine being shared in that manner represent the fellowship of the body and blood for those who are of that body and blood! So for that reason, Paul says:
1 Corinthians 11:26 Indeed as often as you may eat this wheat-bread, and you may drink this cup, you declare the death of the Prince, until He should come.
In Romans chapter 6, Paul informed his readers that they should be baptized in that death: recognizing that the significance of the death of Christ was so that the children of Israel could be released from the penalty of death under the law to which they were liable, as Paul then went on to explain in Romans chapter 7. Paul has already told the Corinthians that they had houses in which to eat and to drink, and in verse 25 he used the verb δειπνέω, which to the Greeks commonly described the taking of the chief meal of the day, in relation to the description of the “Lord's supper”. Whenever Christians share a meal in common with their brethren, they are having a communion, and upon doing so, every time they share such a meal, they should do so in the praise and memory of Christ. Now Paul continues with a warning:
1 Corinthians 11:27 Consequently, whoever would eat the wheat-bread or drink the cup of the Prince unworthily, will be liable of the body and blood of the Prince.
Saying “unworthily”, Paul does not mean to describe sinners; “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). Christ Himself had professed that He came for sinners, and the apostle John said in his first epistle that “these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous”. Rather, Paul defines what he means here in verse 29 where he refers to a man “not distinguishing the body” and in verse 31 where he says “if then we had made a distinction of ourselves”. This statement relates directly to the final verse of John chapter 6, which we are about to present and discuss a little further on here in this presentation of that chapter. Now Paul continues:
1 Corinthians 11:28 But a man must scrutinize himself, and thus from of the wheat-bread let him eat, and from of the cup let him drink. 29 For he that is eating and is drinking, eats and drinks condemnation for himself, not distinguishing the body.
If Paul was referring to sinners, he would have mentioned condemnation in relation to sin, where instead he mentions condemnation for those who cannot distinguish the body, which is the body of Christ, which he has already explained are the people of Christ, the many who are “one body”. As the apostle Peter had said in chapter 2 of his second epistle, there are “natural brute beasts” among the body of Christ, who “speak evil of the things that they understand not”. They are “spots … and blemishes, sporting themselves with their own deceivings while they feast with you”, and they do so “having eyes full of adultery, and that cannot cease from sin; beguiling unstable souls: an heart they have exercised with covetous practices”, also calling them “cursed children”. Jude talks of these same evil beasts and says that they are “spots in your feasts of charity, when they feast with you, feeding themselves without fear.”
Ostensibly, these are also the men whom Paul describes as condemning themselves for “not distinguishing the body”. These are the tares of the Parable of the Wheat and the Tares. So the Word of Yahweh says in Obadiah “15 For the day of the LORD is near upon all the heathen: as thou hast done, it shall be done unto thee: thy reward shall return upon thine own head. 16 For as ye have drunk upon my holy mountain, so shall all the heathen drink continually, yea, they shall drink, and they shall swallow down, and they shall be as though they had not been.”
Now Paul infers that it is just as much the responsibility of the Christian assembly itself to distinguish the Body of Christ, or they would also suffer for failing to distinguish it:
1 Corinthians 11:30 For this reason there are among you many feeble and sickly, and plenty have fallen asleep. 31 If then we had made a distinction of ourselves, perhaps we would not be judged. 32 But being judged, by the Prince we are disciplined, in order that we would not be condemned with the Society.
As Paul described in Hebrews chapter 12, there are sons, and bastards, and the sons are chastised for their correction.
The King James Version translation of this passage is dishonest. There it says “For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged.” The verb κρίνω is found later in this verse, where we have “judged”, and again in verse 31 as “condemned”, and both of those translations are appropriate. However there are two different verbs here in verse 31 for which the King James Version has judge on both occasions. The first verb is διακρίνω and the second is simply κρίνω. Liddell & Scott define διακρίνω “to separate one from another...to part...to distinguish”. The King James Version had properly translated the related word διάκρισις, which is the noun form of διακρίνω, as discerning here in verse 29 and again in 1 Corinthians 12:10. With that, the text here should have been read by the King James translators as “if then we had discerned ourselves, perhaps we would not be judged.” Paul is actually warning the Corinthians that they shall suffer for having people among them who are not properly of the body of Christ, that the members of the body of Christ should keep themselves apart from others.
Paul’s concluding words in the chapter assure us that our interpretation of what he had said concerning the “Lord’s supper” is true:
1 Corinthians 11:33 Consequently, my brethren, gathering in to eat, you await one another. 34 If anyone hungers, he must eat at home, in order that you would not gather for condemnation; and the other things when I should come, I will set in order.
Here Paul of Tarsus is clearly stating that these Corinthians, whom he identifies as descendants of the ancient Israelites in chapter 10 of this epistle, may not be judged if only they would distinguish the body of Christ and make a distinction of themselves. For that reason, since they are of the body of Christ, they should take care for one another when they do eat, and not assemble for worship solely for the purpose of eating. But having communion, they must also be aware of whom they include in their communion.
In Exodus chapter 23, the children of Israel were warned in relation to the surrounding tribes that “ 32 Thou shalt make no covenant with them, nor with their gods. 33 They shall not dwell in thy land, lest they make thee sin against me: for if thou serve their gods, it will surely be a snare unto thee.” Simply by accepting alien people, the children of Israel served the alien gods. In other words, Christians are commanded to discriminate by properly identifying the body of Christ. The sin and judgment of Christians is directly linked by the apostles to the failure to make a distinction of themselves from the corrupt races, as it also was in the days of Moses. As we shall see here in the balance of John chapter 6, Christ effected His purpose on earth by purposely failing to hold the body of His disciples distinct and apart from all others.
Man should have made a distinction of himself in Genesis chapter 3, but instead he accepted the serpent and the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, when he himself was a branch on the Tree of Life. Man should have distinguished himself again, but failed, in Genesis chapter 6 where they had once again accepted the angels which left their first estate and gave their daughters over to marrying with them. Once more, when the children of Israel took the land of Canaan, they failed to distinguish themselves and as a result they had adopted paganism and the ways of the accursed Canaanites. In Paul's day, the Edomites and others of the Canaanite tribes had become predominant in Judaea, they are the forebears of the Jews of today, but they were also found among the Greeks, where once again they were spots in their feasts of charity.
What I have said to this point I have adapted from my commentary on Paul’s first epistle to the Corinthians, from Part 13: Communion, Ritual vs. Reality, which was presented here in December of 2014. When we deeply consider what things Paul had actually said concerning communion, we can understand what Christ had said about being the Bread of Life on a transcendental level, as well as on a temporal level, and without the pagan mysticism and sorcery which has been perpetuated by the Roman Catholic Church.
Furthermore, the Roman Catholic Church has taught that the ritual of baptism changes one’s nature, whereby one becomes a Christian and one’s behavior is expected to change by that act alone. However the conformance and renewal of which the apostles had spoken was a conformance to the Word of God, to the commandments of Christ, to obedience in Christ who demands that His people keep His commandments. The renewal of the mind comes through hearing the Word of God and introspection, not through any magic ritual.
At the Catholic Answers website we read the following:
Question: Does baptism cause an ontological change in the baptized? If so, what is that change?
Answer: An ontological change means a change of the very essence of a being. Since baptism permanently configures us to Christ, yes, it brings an ontological change. This is why the Church insists there can be only one baptism: once the ontological change takes place it cannot be repeated.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church:
1265 Baptism not only purifies from all sins but also makes the neophyte “a new creature,” an adopted son of God, who has become a “partaker of the divine nature,” member of Christ and co-heir with him, and a temple of the Holy Spirit.
Ontology is the metaphysical nature of being, and the Church believes it can be magically altered through a ritual. The Jews who wrote the Talmud had that same belief of their own converts, and for that Christ told them that their converts were twofold the children of hell. We would insist that the Church has it all backwards. The Gospel was only meant for the lost tribes of Israel, people of a particular genetic nature, and because they are already heirs, because they already bear the divine nature which was inherent in their race as God created them, because they already have the Spirit of God, for that reason they must be baptized in the Word of God, so that they may ultimately assume their proper position as sons and daughters of God. As Paul had also said, the adoption, the law, the covenants and the promises are all for the children of Israel, and they were never for anyone else. They were for Israel long before anyone was ever baptized, and that has never changed. In the same epistle to the Corinthians, Paul himself had said “Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect.”
When I had written my commentary on 1 Corinthians chapter 11, I subtitled it Communion, Ritual vs. Reality, because the Roman Catholic Church catechism had developed in a manner where the alleged power of magical rituals has been favored, while the reality of the inherent nature of the different races of men has been completely disregarded. The errant concept that a ritual can change the inner nature of a man is basically a belief in magic, in sorcery. But the early church turned to magic, intermingled with pagan philosophies, because it was universal in nature and had rejected the racial covenant message of the Gospel of Christ. In some ways, it was forced to be universal in nature because the lies of the Jews concerning history and Scripture had prevailed among Christians from the middle of the 2nd century. But to the contrary, it is evident that the racial covenant message is upheld throughout the epistles of Paul, and the Revelation of Christ, and as we proceed, it shall be upheld in the Gospel of John. Yahweh God created man, but not all men are from Yahweh. He knows who and what they are, and therefore He knows how they shall act.
Now we shall commence with John chapter 6, as Christ has concluded His discourse on the Bread of Life, and the apostle explains that:
59 He spoke these things teaching in the assembly hall in Kapharnaoum [D inserts “on the Sabbath].
We must recall that on the evening when He had fed the multitude in the wilderness, Yahshua crossed the sea on foot on His way to Capernaum. His apostles, following in a vessel, met Him as He had nearly arrived. The next day, where the Bread of Life discourse is given, the people who remained in the wilderness as well as those who returned to Tiberias had come to Capernaum hoping to find Him, and they did. But now He has told them things which, unlike the bread and the fish, they had found quite difficult to digest:
60 Then many of His students listening said “This is a hard saying [literally ‘word’]. Who is able to understand [literally ‘hear’] it?”
Of course it was a hard saying, and especially without knowing the Old Testament Scriptures or the fact that Yahshua Christ was Yahweh God incarnate, fulfilling the words of the prophets and speaking allegorically to His people. The dynamic which Christ had explained, as it is recorded in Matthew chapter 13, is also in effect here, and we read where: “10… the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables? 11 He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given. 12 For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath. 13 Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand. 14 And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive: 15 For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.” But of course, Yahweh in that prophecy of Isaiah chapter 6 was addressing the people of Israel in general, and so is Christ here addressing the people in general. As it was in the time of Isaiah, for their sin the people would remain blind so that the will of God for their chastisement would be fulfilled, so in Christ the will of God for their reconciliation would be fulfilled.
61 And Yahshua, within Himself knowing that His students muttered concerning this, said [P66 has "Yahshua said"] to them: “This offends you? 62 Then if you should observe [P66 has 'you shall observe'; W 'you would see'] the Son of Man ascending where He was before?
We can paraphrase the inference here and interpret this last passage to mean Will you also be offended if you should observe the Son of Man ascending where He was before? Now He speaks in reference to that same thing:
63 It is the Spirit which produces life, the flesh does not benefit anything [literally "nothing"]. The words which I have spoken to you are Spirit and are life.
The flesh is earthly, but it is the Spirit which is from Yahweh, and it is the Spirit through which man has a promise of eternal life, as we see explained in the Wisdom of Solomon, in chapter 2: “ 23 For God created man to be immortal, and made him to be an image of his own eternity.” The Word and truths of God also emanate from the Spirit, and therefore they too are analogous to life. However not all men have that Spirit which is from God. So we read in 1 John chapter 4: “1 Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. 2 Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: 3 And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world. ”
The false prophets are not merely men who lie or who prophesy falsely. Rather, they are men who are not from God and therefore they cannot truly understand the things of God. In the Old Testament, they were often men who purposely sought to undermine the Kingdom of God through their false prophecies. Christ told His adversaries, in John chapter 10, “26 But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you.” The apostle Jude informs us of the origin of the false prophets: “4 For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.” Jude went on to relate these to the “angels that sinned”. Peter also, in chapter 2 of his second epistle, spoke of these where he said “1 But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.” Later he called them “natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed”, where Jude had referred to them as “clouds they are without water, carried about of winds; trees whose fruit withereth, without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots; 13 Raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame; wandering stars, to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness for ever.”
In the Genesis account, the race-mixing fornication of Genesis chapter 6 was said to produce giants, and the Hebrew word is nephilim, which more literally means fallen ones. This term, fallen ones, describes the angels of Revelation chapter 12, those who rebelled against Yahweh even before the creation of Adam, and “that old serpent”, the devil and Satan, are equated whereby we know the serpent that seduced Eve was indeed one of the fallen ones, as were the angels of Genesis chapter 6. The resulting nephilim, who later had been called by other patronymic names such as Anakim and Rephaim, were never wholly exterminated. It is evident from Genesis chapter 15 and from Mesopotamian inscriptions that they were found in areas other than Palestine. But in Palestine they mingled with the Kenites, who are the descendants of Cain, as well as the Canaanites and other tribes.
In the Enoch literature, the spirits of the nephilim are considered to be demon-spirits. They resulted from corruptions of the Creation of God, and therefore they did not truly come from God. So John wrote in his epistle that Christians should “try the spirits whether they are of God”. In his letters to the Colossians and Corinthians, Paul of Tarsus attributes to them the further corruptions of idolatry and the pagan religions.
It is evident from the apocryphal literature which is found in the Ethiopic copies of 1 Enoch and in the Dead Sea Scrolls that demons are believed to have been the disembodied spirits of bastards, especially those bastards produced by the race-mixing which occurred in the time leading up to the flood of Noah. One reference to this is found in the Dead Sea Scroll designated 4Q510, a fragment of what is called the Songs of the Sage, in a part of Fragment 1: “...declare the splendour of his radiance in order to frighten and terrify all the spirits of the ravaging angels and the bastard spirits, demons, Lilith, owls and jackals … and those who strike unexpectedly to lead astray the spirit of knowledge, to make their hearts forlorn.” Another reference is found in the Dead Sea Scroll designated 4Q204, where it says “Exterminate all the spirits of the bastards and the sons of the Watchers...”, the Watchers being another term used to describe the angels, and particularly in this case, the fallen ones, or the fallen angels. It is these, or actually, their descendants, whom Jude and Peter consider to be the accursed children infiltrating into the assemblies of the people of Yahweh and corrupting them, and that is often an underlying theme in the Old Testament in the behavioral patterns and interactions of Israelites, Canaanites and Edomites. This is how the children of devils became a snare to the children of Israel, as they had been warned.
So in this same manner we read here in John:
64 But some from among you are they who do not [P66 has ‘shall not’] believe.” (For Yahshua [א has “For the Savior”] knew from the beginning who they who do not believe are, and [א wants “not”; P66 wants “who they who do not believe are, and”] who it is who shall [P66 and א have “who was going to”] betray Him.)
Among the various ancient manuscripts are several variations in word order and other minor differences in this verse. However more significantly, the King James Version, where it has "But there are some of you that believe not", seems to miss the significance of the definite article which precedes the verb for "believe", which forms a Substantive, a group of words which function as a noun. The Substantive being a noun, the construction indicates a particular type or class of people who do not believe. The context of the subsequent verses helps to establish the veracity of this reading. A particular class of people, “they who do not believe”, are among the disciples, referring to they who had descended from those original interlopers who naturally rebel against God, as they were described by Peter and Jude. They rejected Christ not out of ignorance, but because that was their nature, as they were not His sheep to begin with.
In John chapter 2, where Christ had disputed with His adversaries in Jerusalem, John wrote: “ 24 But Jesus did not commit himself unto them, because he knew all men, 25 And needed not that any should testify of man: for he knew what was in man.” Likewise here, we shall see that Christ knew the inherent nature of each of His chosen disciples, and chose them purposely because of the inherent nature which they each possessed.
There is a Messianic prophecy in the 41st Psalm, which foreshadows the events of the ministry of Christ. There we read: “5 Mine enemies speak evil of me, When shall he die, and his name perish? 6 And if he come to see me, he speaketh vanity: his heart gathereth iniquity to itself; when he goeth abroad, he telleth it. 7 All that hate me whisper together against me: against me do they devise my hurt. 8 An evil disease, say they, cleaveth fast unto him: and now that he lieth he shall rise up no more. 9 Yea, mine own familiar friend, in whom I trusted, which did eat of my bread, hath lifted up his heel against me. 10 But thou, O LORD, be merciful unto me, and raise me up, that I may requite them.”
Christ cited this passage in reference to Himself, as it is recorded in John chapter 13, where He said “18 I speak not of you all: I know whom I have chosen: but that the scripture may be fulfilled, He that eateth bread with me hath lifted up his heel against me.” Notice that in the Psalm, the enemies are a collection of individuals, and not just a single individual, although one in particular is singled out as having “ lifted up his heel against me.” Then, where vengeance is mentioned, the reference reverts again to the collective and it says “be merciful unto me, and raise me up, that I may requite them.”
Here in John we read “Yahshua knew from the beginning who they who do not believe are” and in John chapter 10 He had told His adversaries “ 26 But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you.” He did not tell them “ye are not of My sheep because ye believe not”, as the Roman Catholic Church teaches. Rather, He told them “ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep” because they were not true children of Abraham, as He had proved to them in the discourse of John chapter 8. But there is another dynamic here, that not even all of Israel would believe him:
65 And He said: “For this reason I said to you that no one is able to come to Me unless it should be given to him from the Father.”
As we have already discussed in our presentation of chapter 4 of John’s Gospel, in the immediate sense, Yahweh the Father had given to Him certain of the children of Israel, who were for “signs and wonders”, while others would stumble and fall at His appearance. This we read in Isaiah chapter 8 “ 13 Sanctify the LORD of hosts himself; and let him be your fear, and let him be your dread. 14 And he shall be for a sanctuary; but for a stone of stumbling and for a rock of offence to both the houses of Israel, for a gin and for a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem. 15 And many among them shall stumble, and fall, and be broken, and be snared, and be taken. 16 Bind up the testimony, seal the law among my disciples. 17 And I will wait upon the LORD, that hideth his face from the house of Jacob, and I will look for him. 18 Behold, I and the children whom the LORD hath given me are for signs and for wonders in Israel from the LORD of hosts, which dwelleth in mount Zion.” There are three parties distinguished in this prophecy, the houses of Israel and Judah, and the inhabitants of Jerusalem. Jeremiah, for instance in chapter 2, had spoken of the race-mixing in Jerusalem which caused the chief of the people to sin, and in Ezekiel chapter 16 we see the people of Jerusalem described as the children of Hittites and Amorites.
On a transcendental level, Christ being the Bridegroom receives the bride from her Father, which in this case is the children of Israel received from the Father, which we have already discussed in our earlier commentary on John chapter 6, as He had promised in Hosea to be reconciled with them, and to betroth them forever, where we read in chapter 2: “19 And I will betroth thee unto me for ever; yea, I will betroth thee unto me in righteousness, and in judgment, and in lovingkindness, and in mercies. 20 I will even betroth thee unto me in faithfulness: and thou shalt know the LORD.” But in the immediate sense of the prophecy in Isaiah chapter 8, not all of Israel were destined to believe Christ during the course of His ministry. But those who did believe Him were indeed of His sheep, while those who openly opposed Him were not of His sheep. So not all who departed from Him were necessarily devils, some were merely blinded, in a temporary manner, as we read in Isaiah chapter 6, a passage that Christ also cited, so that the will of Yahweh would be fulfilled. While a preponderance of the true Israelites which He had encountered believed Him, a great number who were ignorant did not, they remained blind until the prescribed time, according to Isaiah chapter 6, which we shall describe below.
66 With this [literally “from this”; P66, א and D have “Therefore with this”] many from among [א, C, D, W and the MT have “many of”; the text follows P66, B and T] His students departed for the former things [or "the things past", their old lives] and no longer walked with Him.
Not being able to understand Him, we see the transcendental fulfillment of the words of Isaiah, “9 And he said, Go, and tell this people, Hear ye indeed, but understand not; and see ye indeed, but perceive not. 10 Make the heart of this people fat, and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and convert, and be healed.” In the immediate sense, Isaiah understood this to be a punishment against the children of Israel which culminated in the Assyrian and Babylonian conquests. So we read further in that same chapter: “11 Then said I, Lord, how long? And he answered, Until the cities be wasted without inhabitant, and the houses without man, and the land be utterly desolate, 12 And the LORD have removed men far away, and there be a great forsaking in the midst of the land.” This same thing happened in Palestine in the transcendental sense, where after the ministry of Christ, the land was ultimately laid waste once again by the Romans as punishment for what they had done to Him. For that He had told His adversaries, as it is recorded in Matthew chapter 23: “38 Behold, your house is left unto you desolate.” that is also the transcendental fulfillment of Isaiah 6:11-12, where Jerusalem was shortly thereafter made desolate.
So we see that there are three observable groups of people in Judaea in the time of Christ: those of Israel who believed Him, who were given to Him for “signs and wonders”, those of Israel who did not understand Him who became apathetic, for whom Paul had prayed in Romans chapter 9, and those of His enemies who opposed Him but who were not His sheep in the first place. There were others to whom Christ Himself was apathetic, however they rarely figure in the accounts of His ministry. Later, in John chapter 8, He will explain to those who opposed Him that they rejected Him because they are of the devil. But now He addresses His disciples, trying them, and we read:
67 Therefore Yahshua said to the twelve: “Do you not also wish to go away?” 68 Simon Petros replied [D has "But Simon Petros said"] to Him: “Prince, to what shall we depart? You have the words of life, 69 and we believe and know that You are the Holy One of Yahweh!”
The 3rd century papyrus P66 has the end of Peter's exclamation to read "You are the Christ, the Holy One of God [Yahweh]!" The Majority Text has "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God!" Tertullian, the late 2nd or early 3rd century Christian apologist, has only "You are the Christ!" The text here follows the 3rd century papyrus P75, the 4th century Codices Sinaiticus (א) and Vaticanus (B), and the 5th century Codices Bezae (D), Ephraemi Syri (C) and Washingtonensis (W).
Simon Peter had realized that with Christ was the Truth, and with that, there were no other objectives worth pursuing. But even with that, there was one of the twelve disciples who acted contrary to his nature, and remained where it may have been expected for him to also depart. Yahshua knew that Judas could not really believe what He was teaching, so He answers in reference to him, but without mentioning him by name:
70 Yahshua replied [א inserts "and said"; D "saying"] to them: “Have I not chosen you twelve? Yet one from [א wants 'one from'] among you is a false accuser!”
Of course, verse 70 may have been read, in part, after the manner of the King James Version: “Have I not chosen you twelve? Yet one from among you is a devil!” Now John, writing this account many years later, is able to clarify the statement in a parenthetical remark:
71 (Now He spoke about Ioudas the son of Simon Iskarioth, for he was going to betray Him, being [B, C and D want “being”; the text follows P66, א, W and the MT] one of the twelve.)
Here some of the manuscripts seem confused as to the name Iscariot. The Codex Sinaiticus (א) has “Karuotos”; the Codex Bezae (D) “Skarioth”. Our text follows the papyri P66 and P75, and the Codices Vaticanus (B), Ephraemi Syri (C), Washingtonensis (W) and the Majority Text.
There is no indication in the Gospels as to exactly when Judas became one of the disciples of Christ. Since there was a Passover mentioned in connection with these events, in verse 4 of this chapter, this is at least one full year before the Crucifixion and Judas has been a disciple for some time already. He is mentioned among the original twelve in all three synoptic gospels where the twelve are first listed, in Matthew chapter 10, Mark chapter 3 and Luke chapter 6. So the foremost question to be asked here is, why was Judas a devil?
There is no indication that Judas Iscariot was a sinner, or that he had done anything wrong, or that he had yet betrayed or wronged Christ in any manner up to the point where He had called him a devil, or accuser. If Christ does not have a sound reason for calling Judas an accuser, then Christ is a slanderer, so the implication must be that it is part of Judas’ inherent nature to be an accuser, and not because of anything which Judas had done. There are two words which the King James Version translates as devil, one, δαίμων or δαιμόνιον, refers to a demon, an evil spirit, and the other, διάβολος, is an accuser, or by implication, one who accuses falsely.
That acting in the manner of this sort of devil is something which is natural to a certain group of people, “the devil and his angels”, we read in Revelation chapter 12: “Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, 8 And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven. 9 And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil [which is accuser], and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.” Upon the casting of the devil out of heaven there is rejoicing, where we next read: “10 And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.” While the word for Devil in verse 9 is διάβολος , the word for accuser in verse 10 is indicative of the nature of that Accuser, or Devil, where it is from the Greek verb κατηγορέω, which also describes one who makes an accusation. So the satanic entity, or serpent, which had seduced Eve and caused the first parents of the Adamic race to sin is the Accuser, or Devil, who is also “the Accuser of our brethren”. The devil lures men into temptation, and then accuses men of their sin once they fall.
Then their nature is further described as being innate in John chapter 8, where Christ had told His Own accusers in no uncertain terms, that “44 Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it. 45 And because I tell you the truth, ye believe me not.” So the descendants of the devil inherently shared the same nature as their father the devil. The only man who can be considered a “murderer from the beginning” is Cain. In the Old Testament, we can trace his descendants, the Kenites, first listed in Genesis chapter 4, into the land of Canaan where they intermixed with the Canaanites, Rephaim and others, in Genesis chapter 15. They are present throughout the Scriptures, and are even seen as infiltrators into the ancient Old Covenant Kingdom.
So for this same reason we see Christ tell those same adversaries, as it is recorded in Luke chapter 11: “47 Woe unto you! for ye build the sepulchres of the prophets, and your fathers killed them. 48 Truly ye bear witness that ye allow the deeds of your fathers: for they indeed killed them, and ye build their sepulchres. 49 Therefore also said the wisdom of God, I will send them prophets and apostles, and some of them they shall slay and persecute: 50 That the blood of all the prophets, which was shed from the foundation of the world, may be required of this generation [race, since the word refers to fathers and sons over a long span of time]; 51 From the blood of Abel unto the blood of Zacharias, which perished between the altar and the temple: verily I say unto you, It shall be required of this generation [race].” It may be argued that Israelites had killed the prophets, but that cannot be established in Scripture. Rather, often where Scripture does inform us of who killed certain priests or prophets, we see Doeg the Edomite, or the priests of Baal hired by Jezebel, who were not necessarily true Israelites. Saul had sought one from among his own to slay the priests of Yahweh, but only Doeg the Edomite had stepped up to volunteer for the task.
The appropriate conclusion is this: only Cain can be liable for the blood of Abel. No descendant of Seth can be held liable for the blood of Abel, as Seth was not even born when Abel was slain. So Christ speaking of a single race, a race of fathers and sons both near and remote, thereby the race of Cain is accounted liable for the blood of all the prophets from Abel to Zechariah, who was most likely the father of John the Baptist, and in plain English, that is all the prophets from A to Z. Esau had taken Canaanite wives, there was a large Edomite presence in Judaea who were all forcibly converted to Judaism from as early as a hundred and fifty years before the Passion of the Christ. The family of Herod had come from those same Edomites, and Herod had appointed his own countrymen, sycophants and relatives into all of the offices of power in Judaea. The sect of the Sadducees had supplied most of the high priests from the time of Herod to the destruction of Jerusalem, and they in turn had filled the temple offices with their own cronies, and had persecuted the Levites, the true priests. Ostensibly, the Sadducees were comprised of Edomites as well, they were the sect favored by the wealthy, according to Flavius Josephus, and they were always in dispute with the Pharisees, who greatly outnumbered them but after the time of Herod the Pharisees had not attained to the high priesthood.
Judas was not necessarily a Galilean, and Christ did not necessarily choose all twelve of His disciples from Galilee. But we can discern Judas’ nature from his surname, Iscariot, which was also the surname of his father, as he must have been an Edomite. This name is apparently derived from the Hebrew words ish, which means man, and Kerioth, which in Old testament times was the name of a town in Moab (Jeremiah 48, Amos 2), and also the name of a town in southern Judah (Joshua 15), in the land that came to be inhabited by the Edomites. So Iscariot is an Anglicized form of the Hellenized Hebrew phrase taken from ish Kerioth, or man of Kerioth. This must be, as his father’s name was Simon, but he was not called Judas bar Simon or Judas ben Simon, after the name of his father.
Judas was not a devil because of anything he had done up to this point in time. Rather, Judas was evidently an Edomite by race, one of those who did not truly believe Christ, but who did not leave along with all of the others who did not believe, which we may have expected him to do at this time. If Judas was an Edomite, he naturally possessed the qualities of those original adversaries of God, since he had descended from them, as Christ had also told His adversaries in the temple, which we have read in John chapter 8.
But if Judas is a devil, he must have had some compelling reason for wanting to remain attached to Christ and His disciples, rather than leaving with all of the others who did not believe Christ. There is a theory that Judas was planted by the high priests as a spy, and that is interesting, but it is mere conjecture because there are no statements in Scripture which support it directly. But a part of his nature is later revealed by John in chapter 12 of his Gospel, where a woman had anointed the feet of Yahshua with very expensive ointment, and we read: “4 Then saith one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, which should betray him, 5 Why was not this ointment sold for three hundred pence, and given to the poor? 6 This he said, not that he cared for the poor; but because he was a thief, and had the bag, and bare what was put therein.” So we see that Judas was the group treasurer, and his ability to pilfer the money they kept may have been enough of a motivation for him to remain with them. That is also quite characteristic of his race.
The presence of Judas Iscariot among the twelve, the fact that Christ kept him as a disciple, the fact that Judas ultimately betrayed him, and the fact that Christ knew he was a devil all along serve to prove to Christians that the inherent nature of a man cannot be changed through thought, persuasion, through what things he sees or what he may profess to believe. This alone refutes the universal doctrines and metaphysical beliefs of the Roman Catholic Church.
Judas Iscariot was a witness to the many miracles and wonderful discourses of Yahshua Christ, but he was still not a believer, and Christ, testing the disciples at this point, singled him out as one who should have departed, and did not. Ostensibly, Christ kept him around knowing he would betray Him, that the scripture would be fulfilled which says “mine own familiar friend, in whom I trusted, which did eat of my bread, hath lifted up his heel against me.” Christ knew how He should die, and even when He should die, so He also knew that Judas would remain in order to betray Him, and in that manner His betrayer was not one of His Own body.
Ostensibly, Judas was baptized by John, along with the rest of the disciples of Christ, but that did not help him, nor did it transform his nature. Clearly, Judas took of the bread and wine, the body and blood of Christ, at the Last Supper, and that did not change his nature. Judas was a devil by nature, and none of the things which he experienced from Christ Himself could change that. So how could Roman Catholic or Orthodox priests pretend to do better than Christ Himself? Christ was truly no friend of the devil, but rather He had used the devil to fulfill His will. The adage, “keep your friends close but your enemies closer”, is true only in this instance, as it fulfilled the purpose of Yahweh God to give Himself up on behalf of His people, and like the prophets of old, the devils were the ones who actually did the deed. But Christians are not Christ, and they must not follow the practice, as Paul of Tarsus had warned, lest they suffer for not distinguishing the body of Christ. As Peter wrote in his first epistle, “your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour”.
After nineteen presentations in this Commentary we conclude our discussion of John chapter 6.