Call-In Classic Christianity Radio – Bob George P511 (02-13-20)
The Jews have been taught all their life from the Old Testament scriptures by the rabbis, but many of the religious leaders in their day did not understand the purpose of the law. They taught the laws as a means of righteousness. They also added traditions of men, which God never approved, and which Jesus pointed out their error. How hard it is for people today to receive truth, when they have been taught wrong from their religious traditions, whether Catholic, Protestant or Jewish. You do not know you are taught wrong. You hear an explanation from a Protestant or Catholic religious leader, but you do not know why Jesus died, was buried and rose again, for you.
Listen, as Bob George, through simply reading the scriptures in its entirety, and in its context, explains what Jesus meant when he said, in John 6:52 and following, “you must eat my body and drink my blood”. This is such a passage of scripture that has been reinforced by those who have been raised Catholic that at the communion mass, when the priest raises the wafer, that it becomes the literal body and blood of Christ. That is simply ridiculous when you simply read the scriptures in its entirety, and understand that Jesus is speaking allegorically.
How do you explain truth to people who are born dead spiritually, who have no means to understand spiritual things? You explain spiritual truth in terms people can relate and understand. The natural man knows that bread and water are necessary to sustain physical life. So, in the spiritual realm, Jesus is the bread of life. His Spirit must be placed in you so that you can live forever. That is also what Jesus was explaining to Nicodemus in John 3, when he told Nicodemus that unless a man is born again he cannot enter the kingdom of God. At that Nicodemus could not understand what Jesus was saying, for he replied, “How can someone be born when they are old?” Nicodemus asked. “Surely they cannot enter a second time into their mother’s womb to be born!”
It is so true today. The natural man cannot discern the things of God. But God speaks truth into the hearts of men. There are those who are not ready to receive truth, but they will later. Others never receive truth, for their hearts are so hard, and they will not humble themselves. They will not come to Christ for life for fear their deeds will be exposed. Or they rely on their church traditions rather than believing what God has said. Jesus said to the Pharisees, and many of those who followed their teaching, that you diligently study the scriptures, because you think that by them you have eternal life, but you fail to come to me for life.
The reason it is a hard teaching is because it goes against all that your forefathers taught you. To be in a position to receive truth, and to want it, you must first recognize you are a sinner, and that sin is what caused your spiritual death. Then you are now in a position to want life, because what you are currently doing is not working. Then, when you hear truth, you readily receive it as truth, and let Jesus come into your heart, to be your life, your eternal life, your sustenance for daily living. For Christ in you is your only hope of glory.
John from Nashville, Tennessee
John: I appreciate you taking my call. My question is really along the same line. I was listening on television to a man who was saying some disturbing things to me. He said he really cringed when your dad has gone onto heaven because that is just not the case. I have heard you say, many times, that true Christians who die go into the presence of the Lord. To me that means heaven. You are eloquent on this. You can go on with that. He said that even Elijah, when he was taken in the whirlwind, did not go to heaven. I do not think he knew where he went, but he did not think he went there. He made mention of one of the gospels, where Jesus said that no one has yet gone to heaven. That is how he was basing that. Can you elaborate on that a little bit? Maybe you can give me some scriptures I can work with and read on.
Bob: Well, John, the passage of scripture that is clear as any is the scripture that says absent from the body and present with the Lord.
2 Corinthians 5:8
8 We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.
Bob: You heard that from me numerous times. That did not come from me. That came from the bible. If anyone who says that is not true is just violating the clear teaching of the bible. I do not know what denomination this guy came from. Did he believe in soul sleep that you did not go to heaven until the end times? I have no idea. If he is Seventh Day Adventist, for example, that is what he would be teaching. I have no idea, but that kind of a teacher, he may think he is teaching right, but what he is teaching is contrary to scripture, as I can think of.
43 Jesus answered him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.”
1 Peter 3:18-21
18 For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive in the Spirit. 19 After being made alive, he went and made proclamation to the imprisoned spirits – 20 to those who were disobedient long ago when God waited patiently in the days of Noah while the ark was being built. In it only a few people, eight in all, were saved through water, 21 and this water symbolizes baptism that now saves you also – not the removal of dirt from the body but the pledge of a clear conscience toward God. It saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ
Bob: You do not go back to the Old Testament to find out where people went when they die. Those who died in the Old Testament went to a place called paradise (Luke 23:43). They were saved like it were, on a credit card.
3 What does Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.”
Bob: As I say, the Old Testament saints were saved on a credit card, where you get to enjoy the furniture but it hadn’t been paid for yet. That is precisely when Jesus went to the cross and paid the price for the forgiveness of man’s sins. He was able to then enter into that holding pattern, announcing the fact that it has now been paid (1 Peter 3:19), and then led them to the presence of God. From that point on, when we die, we are absent from the body and in the presence of the Lord. Why? There is not anything left for God to do. He paid the price for the forgiveness of man’s sins and was raised from the dead in order to give life to us. Jesus said where I go they will go also. It does not say “will some day” or “in the future”. He said they will be with me in heaven.
3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.
John: I have some friends who have a problem believing ghosts. It is beginning to get to me. It cannot be the case, in my opinion. Do you have a feel for that?
Bob: I have never seen one. If you have lived seventy years and haven’t seen one, then you are probably not going to.
John: I think they have.
Bob: If they think they have, that is there prerogative. I do not know what planet they are coming from. There is nothing in the bible about seeing ghosts. So what! What if you thought you saw a ghost? What is that going to do for you? Is that going to save you? Or, does it create fear in you?
John: The problem is they are very close to it and they scare my children.
Bob: Of course. Does fear come from God?
John: When I try to explain to my children, this is not true. In our bible we read that this is not the case. I do not want to tell them, that if there was something in the bible, then it could be something called a familiar spirit. I think that would scare them worse. The bible only references something like that.
Bob: You do not have to be familiar with it, John. God does not give us a spirit of fear. If something is told that is giving us fear then it is not of God, period. That is the answer to the people teaching.
2 Timothy 1:7
7 For God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
John: Thank you very much.
Bob: Okay, John. God bless you, my friend.
John: You too. Bye.
Kevin from Indianapolis, Indiana
Kevin: Good to talk to you guys again. I have not talked to you for a long time.
Bob: It is good to hear from you, pal.
Kevin: The reason I called. I have been talking to these people. They claim they are associated bible students. One of the things we have been talking about. They believe when Jesus was raised from the dead, he was raised as a Spirit being instead of bodily raised. The scripture used for their argument is 1 Corinthians 15:40-44. I know that is crazy. Can you give your insight on that?
1 Corinthians 15:40-44
40 There are also heavenly bodies and there are earthly bodies; but the splendor of the heavenly bodies is one kind, and the splendor of the earthly bodies is another. 41 The sun has one kind of splendor, the moon another and the stars another; and star differs from star in splendor.
42 So will it be with the resurrection of the dead. The body that is sown is perishable, it is raised imperishable; 43 it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; 44 it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body.
If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body.
Bob: It is not talking about Jesus. It is talking about us. It said, “So will it be with the resurrection of the dead”. That is not Jesus, that is us. When it says, “The body that is sown is perishable”, then that cannot be the body of Jesus. Jesus body was not sewn imperishable.
1 Corinthians 15:43-44
The body that is sown is perishable,it is raised imperishable; 43 it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; 44 it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body.
Bob: There is a natural body. There is also a spiritual body. Was Jesus raised with a body? Of course he was. He ate fish with the people (Luke 24:36-43; John 21:1-14; ). He met them on the shore (John 21:4). He talked to people. He was seen by people (John 20:11-29; Luke 24:13-33; 1 Corinthians 15:1-8). He was identified with people. He came back in his glorified body (John 20:24-29). That is what his is called, a glorified body. As far as we are concerned, we have a natural body. And, He says, there is also a spiritual body.
1 Corinthians 15:45-46
45 So it is written: “The first man Adam became a living being”[Genesis 2:7]; the last Adam, a life-giving spirit. 46 The spiritual did not come first, but the natural, and after that the spiritual.
Bob: That shows that no one was alive spiritually before we were alive naturally. The only person that is true of is Christ Jesus, who as God, is Spirit, so He was always alive spiritually. But he took upon himself our flesh and blood and found himself in appearance as a man and then became obedient to death on a cross.
7 rather, he made himself nothing
by taking the very nature of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
8 And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
by becoming obedient to death –
even death on a cross!
9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
and gave him the name that is above every name,
1 Corinthians 15:45-46
47 The first man was of the dust of the earth; the second man is of heaven.
Bob: That showed He was alive spiritually before He came here physically.
1 Corinthians 15:45-46
48 As was the earthly man, so are those who are of the earth; and as is the heavenly man, so also are those who are of heaven. 49 And just as we have borne the image of the earthly man [Adam], so shall we bear the image of the heavenly man.
50 I declare to you, brothers and sisters, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God,
Bob: Our body is not going to inherit the kingdom of God. It is going to be sewn a perishable body. It is going to return to the dust. Or if we died in the ocean, it will go into the ocean and be consumed by the ocean or the fish in the ocean. It is raised imperishable. It is sewn in dishonor. As we get older, our bodies, in my opinion, at least my body, is dishonorable.
Kevin: Mine too.
Bob: But it is going to be raised in glory. It is sewn in weakness. We realize how weak these bodies really are. But it is raised in power. It is sewn a natural body. That is going to go, where it came from, into the earth. And it is raised a spiritual body. So flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God.
1 Corinthians 15:51-54
nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. 51 Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed – 52 in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. 53 For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality. 54 When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.”[Isaiah 25:8]
Bob: Wherever those people are coming from, it is basically they are out in left field some place on that interpretation.
Kevin: They were saying. I told them about Jesus with his disciples, with the hand on his side. They were saying he took on the body.
Bob: That is not what scripture says. They are making up nonsense and grabbing a hold of theology that is simply not true. His body did not go into the ground. His body went into a cave and came out of that same cave, and never experienced any kind of destruction.
Kevin: Correct me if I am wrong. Is the belief in bodily resurrection of Christ essential to salvation?
Bob: Absolutely. If he was not raised bodily, then how are we ever going to be raised. In essence they are basically not saved, when they are denying about Christ Jesus. If you are denying His Deity you cannot be saved. If you are denying His humanity as the Gnostic’s did, you cannot be saved. If you do not believe he was raised bodily, how can you be saved because that is not the Jesus of the bible. Sin is the rejection of Jesus of the bible. If you do not believe he died on a cross, how can you be saved? That is not Jesus. If you do not believe in the virgin birth, you cannot be saved. That is not Jesus. You are worshiping a Jesus of your own making rather than the Jesus as He was.
Kevin: Sounds like these people are followers of Russell.
Bob: It could very well be.
Kevin: Alright. Thanks a lot, Bob. Thanks for your help.
Bob: You are sure welcome, my friend. God bless you. Bye bye now.
Ruth from New Orleans, Louisiana
Bob: Hi, Ruth.
Bob: I have a question concerning the gospel of John 6:52 and following, concerning when Christ says, “you must eat my body and drink my blood”. He says this four or five times. At some point, the crowds say, “this is a hard saying”. I am saying they meant to interpret this literally, and they walked away. Jesus did not call them back and said, “Oh, you misunderstood.” Can you explain the difference between the Protestant and the Catholic teaching on these verses?
Bob: Again, Ruth, it certainly is not saying there is anyone who tried to take a bite out of Jesus arm or drink his blood. It is an illustration.
52 Then the Jews began to argue sharply among themselves, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?”
Bob: So let us see what he said here. Let us back up. In verse 34, he claimed to be the bread of life. That certainly does not mean he looked like a loaf.
34 “Sir,” they said, “always give us this bread.”
35 Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.”
Bob: What is he talking about there? In other words, you feed upon me and my word. You are certainly not saying you go eat him or drink him. It is an allegory. I am the bread of life. You have to sustain on bread and water to live. He says that what you need physically, I am to you spiritually. So he claimed to be the bread of life.
“Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.”
36 But as I told you, you have seen me and still you do not believe.
Bob: In other words, I told you this, you have seen me, and you still do not believe. Believe what? That he is the Messiah? Yes, that he is the Son of God? Yes. He has not yet gone to the cross, so they could not believe he died for their sins. He has not yet been raised from the dead yet, for he has not even died yet, so they cannot believe that, apart from the fact that that has been prophesied. He is saying “I am here. I am God. Are you willing to believe what I tell you?”
37 All those the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away. 38 For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me. 39 And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all those he has given me, but raise them up at the last day. 40 For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day.”
Bob: So, that is the will of the Father, that everyone who comes to the Son of God, and believes in Him, puts their faith and trust in Him, He gives to us eternal life, and we will be raised at the last day.
41 At this the Jews there began to grumble about him because he said, “I am the bread that came down from heaven.” 42 They said, “Is this not Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How can he now say, ‘I came down from heaven’?”
43 “Stop grumbling among yourselves,” Jesus answered. 44 “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them, and I will raise them up at the last day. 45 It is written in the Prophets: ‘They will all be taught by God.’[Isaiah 54:13] Everyone who has heard the Father and learned from him comes to me. 46 No one has seen the Father except the one who is from God; only he [Jesus] has seen the Father. 47 Very truly I tell you, the one who believes has eternal life. 48 I am the bread of life.
Bob: What is he saying here? Is he saying he is a piece of bread? No. He is not talking about you are suppose to eat me. He is saying he is the sustenance and source of life, spiritual life, just as there is physical bread and water that sustains physical life.
49 Your ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness, yet they died. 50 But here is the bread that comes down from heaven, which anyone may eat and not die. 51 I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats this bread will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.”
52 Then the Jews began to argue sharply among themselves, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?”
Bob: So the Jews were looking at it in the physical realm. The same thing as Nicodemus in John 3. Jesus told Nicodemus that he must be born again.
3 Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.”
4 “How can someone be born when they are old?” Nicodemus asked. “Surely they cannot enter a second time into their mother’s womb to be born!”
5 Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. 6 Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. 7 You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’ 8 The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”
Bob: Jesus was not talking about natural birth, but spiritual birth. Can I climb back in my mother’s womb and be born again? But Nicodemus did not understand that at that time.
53 Jesus said to them, “Very truly I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you.”
Bob: What is he talking about? Go over to Romans 5 for a minute, in regard to this drinking of blood.
9 Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him! 10 For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life! 11 Not only is this so, but we also boast in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.
11 For the life of a creature is in the blood, and I have given it to you to make atonement for yourselves on the altar; it is the blood that makes atonement for one’s life.
Bob: Life is in the blood. You are talking about the blood. You are talking about the life. When you are talking about Jesus shedding his blood for you and me, he is talking about shedding his life for you and me.
54 Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life,
Bob: Jesus is saying, “Whoever comes to me for who I am. I am physical and I am spiritual.” There are many people, Ruth, that absolutely denied the Deity of Christ, and there are people who deny the humanity of Christ. The Gnostic did not think Jesus came on the earth at all, as if he was just an illusion some place. You cannot come to Christ with a half Jesus. You come to him for his humanity and you come to him for his Deity.
54 Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day. 55 For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink. 56 Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in them. 57 Just as the living Father sent me and I live because of the Father, so the one who feeds on me will live because of me. 58 This is the bread that came down from heaven.
Bob: Who came down from heaven? Jesus.
Your ancestors ate manna and died, but whoever feeds on this bread [Jesus] will live forever.” 59 He said this while teaching in the synagogue in Capernaum.
Bob: Now, people have taken that, “well, you are talking about eating flesh and drinking blood.” No, he is not. If you are going to live, the elements of life are bread and water. The life is in the blood. The flesh represented his body. That is all it was. Certainly the apostles did not go around trying to eat him or drink him, and certainly not any of the apostles. So these people say you have to take this literally. So they say that the Eucharist is the literal body and blood of Christ. Quite frankly, that is ludicrous, for that is certainly not the case. That is the difference between Catholicism, their interpretation of scripture, and the Protestants, who do not believe that in any shape and form. But you can read that and you can discern what he is talking about. He is certainly not talking about eating some wafer and drinking some wine.
Ruth: When they heard Jesus say this, thinking he was speaking literally, and they walked away, why did he not call them back and say, “Why did you misunderstand me?”?
Bob: Let us look what it says.
60 On hearing it, many of his disciples said, “This is a hard teaching. Who can accept it?”
61 Aware that his disciples were grumbling about this, Jesus said to them, “Does this offend you? 62 Then what if you see the Son of Man ascend to where he was before! 63 The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing.”
Bob: He is saying, this flesh of ours, that you are so interested in, counts for nothing, but the Spirit is what gives life. That is what Christ came to give us, Ruth, is life. The only way we can receive life is through the resurrected life of Christ Jesus. When we enter into that relationship by faith, we literally become indwelt by the bread of life, by Jesus Christ. He lives in you. Christ in you your hope of glory. Who does not do that? The food counts for nothing. That is flesh stuff. That is earth stuff. Everything that Jesus did for us is spiritual. Earthly things do not have a thing to do with it.
The words I have spoken to you – they are full of the Spirit and life.
Bob: Jesus came to speak to us spiritual truths. Those are what produce spiritual life. Your mom and dad gave you physical life. Only Christ can give you spiritual life.
64 Yet there are some of you who do not believe.”
Bob: There are those who do not believe in the Spirit.
Ruth: Are you saying those who walked away did not accept what Jesus was saying? Or was it that they heard him literally and did not accept that?
Bob: They did not understand what he was saying. It sounded very strange, especially in Jewish custom, where you get stoned for drinking blood. The laws were there. You could not do such a thing. That was such foreign teaching.
27 Anyone who eats blood must be cut off from their people.
60 On hearing it, many of his disciples said, “This is a hard teaching. Who can accept it?”
61 Aware that his disciples were grumbling about this, Jesus said to them, “Does this offend you? 62 Then what if you see the Son of Man ascend to where he was before!”
Bob: Jesus is saying, “I am speaking spiritual truth to you. I am not talking about eating bread and drinking blood. I am talking about spiritual things to you that you can do. You are not going to be born again by what you eat and drink. You are going to be born again by the Spirit, period.” That was new information. They never heard anything like that before. Even today, there are some people who think you are going to be born again by eating a wafer, drinking wine, or being baptized or speaking in tongues. There is not one thing you can do that is going to add to salvation. Salvation comes from God, by the one who came from above. Not anything to do with anything down here. They just did not understand.
For Jesus had known from the beginning which of them did not believe and who would betray him. 65 He went on to say, “This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless the Father has enabled them.”
66 From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him.
67 “You do not want to leave too, do you?” Jesus asked the Twelve.
68 Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. 69 We have come to believe and to know that you are the Holy One of God.”
Bob: That is what Jesus was trying to communicate to them.
70 Then Jesus replied, “Have I not chosen you, the Twelve? Yet one of you is a devil!” 71 (He meant Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot, who, though one of the Twelve, was later to betray him.)
Bob: That is all it talks about. It does not talk about them walking away, or anything else in this passage of scripture. This is a tough teaching, who can accept it? Some were walking away, and then he asked Peter, “Do you want to leave too?” He asked the twelve. He did not ask the average person. These are the very people on whom the entire Christian faith is going to be based upon. Peter said, “Where shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.” Why did he not say you had the method of eternal life? No, he said you have the words. That is what Jesus said, “You must feed upon the word of God and you drink in the life of Christ Jesus. You do not get life by sitting in a pew. You do not get life by being a Catholic or being a Protestant. Either one. You get life, at a time in history in your life when you say “Lord Jesus, I believe you with all of my heart and I am putting my faith that when you went to a cross, and took away the sins of the entire world, that you took mine away, and I thank you for that. I ask you to come into my heart and to give me spiritual life. I got physical life already. I need your spiritual life.” To any person on the face of the earth, man and woman, boy and girl, who does that, they are born again. That is what Jesus was trying to get across, just like to Nicodemus in the conversation on what it means to be born again.
Ruth: Thank you very much. Thank you for your program.
Bob: Thank you, Ruth. Thank you for your question. That was a good question.