FLESH AND BLOOD
BY: LLOYD ELLEFSON
In John 6:51, Jesus made this statement, “The bread that I give for the life of the world is my flesh because no man can receive my spirit. My life is given for death.” That death means that we would cease to be the I, the me, the self that can’t hear God. In the typology of the tabernacle, the outer court, which is dealing with the flesh, was given over to the world, to the gentile, and to the nations. Jesus’ body was the demonstration of the word of God made flesh, to man who could not hear the Spirit. Man does not receive the message of the Spirit. His first introduction is, of necessity, a manifestation of God’s word as flesh. He is one who came amongst us to harvest his Sons out of the field of tares in the world. No one understood the words of Jesus when he spoke of God as Father, of worship in the Spirit, of things unseen, of resurrection, and of truth and life. These were in the form of a testimony, in a prophetic sense, and they were also a demonstration of God’s ability to change material conditions.
The flesh is also more than material. There is a body of death, the man of sin, a spiritual body, and the mind of the flesh. Jesus told Peter that what he heard (Matthew 6:17) was not revealed to him by flesh and blood. There is the will of the flesh (John 1:13). The saints are not in the flesh (Romans 8:9). In Luke 22:19, he took bread and said, “This is my body.” He said this as the son of man - to be betrayed and killed. This is what we call the Lord’s Supper. The rejection of Jesus’ testimony was a rejection of the bread of life. This is a far cry from the communion table of bread and wine or crackers and grape juice.
The body of Jesus was to be taken, beaten, and crucified. His blood, in the same material sense, was to be drunk (Luke 22:14-23). This cup that he took was not to be shared with man until it was fulfilled in the kingdom of God. The body was given to the world. His flesh first was given to the world to be a testimony that man could hear and understand. The blood was something that man couldn’t get until it was fulfilled in the kingdom. The pouring out of his Spirit, that sense of being (Christ’s soul or Christ’s understanding of who he was) was given in the Holy Spirit. Until then, man could not in his natural mind receive it.
For those who have received the kingdom, you have also then first of all received the bread of life because of his verbalizing the truth that came from God. Secondly, having received the Spirit, you understand the fulfillment of what the blood really is. The blood redeems us from our carnal mind to renew our mind in the spirit of the things that are in Christ’s mind.
Things are because we are the Sons of God, that we are spiritual beings, that we have died and been resurrected, and we are presenting ourselves to God as those that are alive from the dead. The soul and the spiritual understanding is Christ’s sense of being. The life is not in the blood. It is the soul that represents the blood. After the Jordan, Jesus did not live in subjection to the law, or the mind of the flesh, or the will of the flesh. All manifestation of sons was withheld until the fulfillment was unveiled in the kingdom. Now we can drink of his blood, which is the cup of identification. This can happen to us when we still are in the material realm of the tabernacle of flesh.
We are dead to the law by the body of Christ (Romans 7:4). We are saved by his life. The giving of his body was a typical identification that we who have received this have also received the sentence of death to the old man and the accomplishment of it. The penalty of sin is death. Paul wrote, “If one died for all, then all are dead.” This was not because Jesus sinned, but because of man who sinned and had received the penalty of sin, which is death. Jesus died to sin so that we who have been placed into Christ are a partaker of his death. For in that he died, he died to sin. The death then destroys sin. Dealing with sin is not sufficient. We are to reckon ourselves dead to sin and alive to God, as it says in Romans 6:2-11.
Many have given themselves to their own fleshly conception of God’s love. Is that wrong? Yes. That again is sin. What a man yields to becomes a power over him. Paul explains this in Romans, “To whatever a man gives himself to, it becomes a power over him.” If you give yourself to the Bible, you become a slave or a servant of the Bible. If you give yourself to Christ, you become a servant or a slave of Christ. If a man yields to something and it has power over him, it can be missing the mark, which is iniquity. Or, if it is to Christ, then it is righteousness (Romans 6:16).
Is then the Gospel a conclusion that all men are to be made alive now? Or later? No difference? Does death have a power over man without having a resurrection? Is the result of the Gospel that it has nothing to do with overcoming the flesh in this world system, but everything will be peace and righteousness after the physical death comes? Can physical death can do anything for man? Are we baptized into Christ’s death after our body has returned to the dust? No. Will then you be the son of man at that time? In the ether waves of eternity or after death? No. The son of man is a physical representation of Christ in the earth. Will there be any need of reconciling if you just die physically? Is there something yet to be reconciled? Does the old man need judging when he’s already judged? I don’t think so.
What about the spirits that rule men through the flesh now? When a man dies, will they go away? Will these men have peace? Does getting rid of the physical body mean peace? Is the Gospel something that has all its teaching colored with the salvation for all? No. It’s better, as Paul did, to preach Christ. He’s the end of death, not a doctrine.
God planted his seed among many seeds. The true seed brings forth fruit unto God. The true vine of God’s planting will only produce one vine, one fruit, one seed and one offspring. The seed of God is that which will bring forth a reproduction of himself after its kind. All Sons of God have the same purpose, the same nature, and the same calling as the first begotten. They are called, saved and commissioned to give glory to the Father - not to man. This will happen and be accomplished in a rule and a realm of material, visible creation of beings that are in opposition to the true unseen nature of the one true God. Those that overcome the circumstances are the Sons of God. All things are from God and back to God in a like manner, as the first begotten returns to God the Father. It is written about the firstborn that all things are from him, to him, and for him. These things have been reversed. Many today feel that God and Jesus are there for us. It is for man’s glory and that he loves all men. However, everything that God does is expressed through his Son, including love, which is spiritual and has to be understood by the Holy Spirit.
When things go wrong for men, they cry out to God and ask why? Why did this happen? These are good people. Where is God? He should have stopped this. The same thing happened to Israel back in Habakkuk and Amos. They asked, where are you God? Why is Israel going bad? They are a like a fish that are pulled up with a hook and have no control over anything. Then, the prophet said that this vision is for a future time and it’s going to come. The time is here and God has brought forth the manifestation of what the prophets have been saying. Jesus Christ is the fulfillment of the law and the prophets.
I want to say something personal here: What does it mean to be in Christ? The words in Christ are written in the New Testament probably eighty times. As I sit in my living room and look out my window, I see an expanse of lawn, a gravel road, evergreens, an open field, and a grove of trees. I realize I am in this visual, earthly circumstance. When I reflect on this, I realize that it has to come into my body through my eyes, through the things I see, and give me an awareness. What I see out there in this material creation has to be in me before it can register, before I can get an understanding of it, and before I can appreciate it. It is there and I am there. This is what it means to be in Christ.
When our eyes have been opened and spiritual realization comes to us, we believe that we are in a new realm. We understand this. We can’t see it visually, but we know that it has happened because it has happened to us. When we realize that we are in a new circumstance, a new creation in Christ. Then we realize we are in Christ – somewhat in the same manner as the way I described things in the material sense. However, people who don’t give themselves and don’t really hear the Spirit and enter into this, they are looking for some kind of future realization of a creation that still is not accepting the Sons of God. The new creation is already there in Christ Jesus and it is waiting for the Sons of God. When we come into liberty from this realization of creation, then it is the fulfillment of what is written in Romans 8. The manifestation of the Sons of God and the creation is waiting for them to enter in to what it is already in Christ Jesus. We are manifested then in a new creation. This is not things that material understanding can have a concept of. It fails to register in most people who call themselves Christians and are born again, nevertheless, that is the way it is, that is the way God planned, and that’s the way it is happening.
Here is a question: When a man with an evil intent flies a plane into an occupied building and many suffer and die, will he face a fiery judgment from God later? Has he already faced judgment in God’s eyes and his penalty is death? His acts, then, are caused by his delusion of self and the one true God. He has already received his penalty, which is separation from God. What about the innocent people? Pilot mixed the blood of some in his sacrifices. Jesus asked men, “Are these that were put in the sacrifice by Pilot the worst sinners of all?” Are they worse sinners than others to receive a fate like this?
The tower of Siloam fell and killed 18 people (Luke 13:1-5). Jesus asked the same question and he gave the same solution, “Except you repent, you will also likewise perish.” We must not look to another way to escape the corruption that is in the world. Jesus came preaching, “Repent, for the kingdom of God is at hand. Rather than save yourself, disown yourself.” The scriptures used the word “deny” yourself. You can deny yourself many things, including food or personal things. The strength of the word is not deny, it is disown. This is the way to God’s rule over your being. The only place of safety is in his Christ. “He that believeth on me,” Jesus says, “will never die. Believe it thou this?”