FEEDING THE MULTITUDES
Twice Jesus fed the multitudes with loaves of bread and fishes. When observed from the natural perspective these were major fetes; multiplying the provisions to feed thousands and having remnants remaining. Now take a look from within the veil as we understand Jesus’ testimony (ministry) was the spirit of prophecy (REV. 19:10). Here we see a new reality taking place in the Spirit realm. As Jesus never spoke unless He heard the Father speak, and He never acted unless He saw the Father act – His actions were prophesying – literally creating – the future. As His ministry began on the third day (our day, in the millennial or spiritual sense) He was literally speaking this, the third day – our day – into existence.
Five loaves and two fishes were all Jesus needed to feed a multitude of five-thousand men, not counting the women and children.
There is much significance in the numbers associated with this miracle – five and two. On this occasion the “five loaves” speak to us of the five-fold ministry of the Spirit. These ministry gifts, or bread of life, operate through Jesus’ disciples as He blesses and breaks the bread and the fishes giving them to His disciples to spread among the multitudes. Thus the five loaves are speaking to us today of the ministry of the Spirit operating through His anointing upon the believers in whichever capacity the moment requires for the edification of the body.
The fishes are the meat in the water of the word. There are two testaments, one which we commonly call the Old Testament, which was God’s communication with mankind while he was dead in his trespasses and sins. In that state man could not comprehend the things of the Spirit and the only form of communication fallen man could relate to were things in the natural or carnal realm. When Jesus came speaking parables, the language of the Spirit, so that seeing they would not see and hearing they would not hear. He was telling us than only by the enlightenment of the Spirit, only those who observe the Feast of Pentecost, can comprehend the truth of His ministry. Without the observance of Pentecost the most any man can do is marvel at the accounts of Jesus’ ministry. But by the enlightenment of the Spirit, which begins with experiencing Pentecost, man can begin to understand that the New Testament is really just an illumination of the Old Testament; for the entire purpose and plan of God are revealed in the Old Testament.
Thus the two fishes of this miracle speak to us of both the New Testament and the Old Testament for Jesus told His followers: Every scribe who has been trained unto the Kingdom, brings forth from his treasure things both new and old (MATT. 13:52). The New Testament is shining the light on, and giving life to the Old Testament accounts.
Again we get to deal with the number five. The multitude He fed on this occasion consisted of five-thousand men, not counting the women and children. Here the number five speaks of God’s Grace. Five is the number of grace. The “five-thousand” speaks to us of the masses who experience God’s grace through accepting Jesus as their savior and worshiping God in Spirit and in truth.
We can rejoice with this understanding, but we also get a bit of heart break for the many that become complacent with their salvation and do not realize they have been called out of darkness for a greater purpose than to gain some mystical realm of bliss in an after-life. The many promises of glory, abundant blessing and ruling and reigning with Him are directed toward the “Overcomers” (REV. 2 – 3). The overcomers are those who diligently seek the pearl of great price – the hidden gem buried within them, for the Kingdom of God is within you (LUKE 17:21).
The next occasion of Jesus feeding the multitude demonstrates this truth. Once again He feeds the multitude with bread and fishes, but the size of the multitude has shrunk.
The setting for this event is quite striking. First, Jesus leaves the region of Tyre and Sidon on the Mediterranean coast and arrives at the Sea of Galilee through the coasts of Decapolis which is on the eastern side of the Sea of Galilee (MARK 7:31). Decapolis was a region of ten cities, none of which remain at this time. Upon His arrival they bring unto Him a man who is deaf and has a speech impediment. In the spirit realm this man was spiritually deaf and unable to speak.
The first thing Jesus did was to place His fingers into the man’s ear. He then took some spit and touched the man’s tongue and loosed it so he could speak. In the natural realm this seems like a rather gross act, but in the Spirit realm, Jesus was taking the water of life, the word of God, or the Waters Above, and placing upon the man’s tongue. With these acts, the man could now not only hear by the Spirit, but he could also speak the things he was hearing.
In the Spirit realm, this man is a part of the multitude of five-thousand who have been saved by His grace. While born-again he still had the carnal mind set, and thought and spoke according to that which he perceived by his natural senses.
The circumstances of this event become more dramatic as the entire account unfolds. After three days, Jesus sensing the multitude was hungry, instructed His disciples to feed them.
They had seven loaves. Seven is the number of the perfection of God. He would feed them with the bread of Life, the perfect word of God. This word is not be tainted with man’s carnality, but would come forth from the Father. This is a select multitude, for the multitude was no longer five-thousand but four-thousand. Four is the number of testing. The members of this multitude are those who have persevered and pressed through to overcome the religious traditions and come to know the Father and the Son, which is eternal life (JOHN 17:3). These are those who have overcome so as to eat of the tree of life which is in the paradise of God (REV. 2:7).
When Jesus fed this multitude He had “a few small fish” – the meat in the waters of life. This signifies to us that each one has a small portion of the sum, no one individual has it all.
Jesus leads us by example and His next action – sailing across the Sea of Galilee to Dalmanutha – is a lesson each disciple must learn.
DALMANUTHA – “A SHORT FIREBRAND”
Firebrand: “Agitator, stirrer, troublemaker, hothead”
Firebrand – one who insists upon creating chaos; time nor space would allow us to expound upon this individual, but we have all observed the characteristic in many. Lest we become smug and self-righteous, an honest evaluation will reveal at least a small amount of this characteristic in all of us. It is part of the soulish nature which must be subdued and submitted to His authority.
When Jesus arrived at Dalmanutha, the Pharisees demanded some sort of sign to prove His authority. Jesus’ response was to rebuke them, telling them: “Why does this generation seek for a sign? Truly I say to you, no sign will be given to this generation” (Mark 8:12). His reaction was simply that of shaking the dust from His feet as a testimony against them and He departed for the other side of the Sea. This is the lesson those who are hearing God’s word today MUST learn. There will be opposition and many will reject what you are saying because it is not in accordance with their “religious traditions.” It is however, God’s word. He gave it to you and you must be faithful with that which He has entrusted you.
As they were sailing across the Sea the conversation became about leaven with Jesus instructing His disciples, “Watch out! Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and the leaven of Herod” (MARK 8:15). Herod was the King. So quite simply He was telling them: beware of the teaching of the religious and the politicians. These elements will so suppress and control an individual that they lose all of their freedom, and the breath of life, Zoe life, God’s life, is sucked from them.
They then arrive at Bethsaida. What a different reception He received and this is all part of how He commissioned His disciples that when they were received at a house they should put their blessing upon that house.
BETHSAIDA: “HOUSE OF FISH”
Jesus had told Peter, “Follow Me and I will make you fishers of men”.
Having been rejected at Dalmanutha He received a warm welcome when He arrived at Bethsaida. They brought a blind man to Him and implored Him to touch him.
When mankind is dead in their trespasses and sins they are swimming around in the waters below, spiritually blind.
Jesus took this blind man out of the city – He had inserted the fish-hook, caught the fish and extracted him from the waters. Once out of the city there were twelve disciples, Jesus and a blind man present. Jesus touched him and asked, “What do you see”?
The man saw Isaiah 61:3 – “That they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD.” For he was looking upon Jesus’ disciples and he responded: “I see men as trees walking.”
This takes us to the first day of creation when the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters and said, “Let there be light” (GENESIS 1:3). When you connect John 1:4 – “In Him was life; and the life was the light of men” you see that Jesus has just drawn this blind man from the realm of darkness where he had been dead in his trespasses and sins and translated him into the kingdom of His marvelous light.
Jesus then touched the man the second time and the man saw all things normally. Which conveys unto us another truth to be manifested in our day: “If the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you” (ROMANS 8:11).
What a glorious day we in which we live! God is tearing down our traditions and making us one with Him. Though many have been invited to the marriage feast Jesus told the parable of how the rich man had invited the many guests and many were too busy to attend (MATTHEW 22:2-9). The shrinking multitude speaks to us of just that. The present hour is one in which, by the ministry of the Spirit, we are partaking of the Feast of Atonement “AT-ONE-MENT” – We are literally being made at one with Jesus our Head. This is the marriage Feast of the lamb, where the conflict between the soul and the Spirit is being done away, and we are bringing our soulish nature into submission to God’s Spirit which dwells within.
As we overcome by the ministry of the Spirit and are allowed to partake of the tree of life we are taking on His divine nature. This is a time of great internal struggle as denoted by the menu proscribed for the Feast of Atonement. You will note in Leviticus 23, which details the menu for each feast, there is no bread proscribed for the Feasts of the Seventh month, simply a massive slaughter of animals. This denotes we are doing away with the beastly nature which has been controlling humanity, and we are replacing the old man (nature) with the mind of Christ as we are being transformed by the renewing of our minds (Romans 12:2).
Note also the local of Jesus’ ministry – Galilee “circle”. He was literally going around in circles. Not to be cute, but to demonstrate the process of God’s plan and purpose. He first opened the spiritual ear and loosed the tongue of a believer. He then feeds the multitudes with the pure unadulterated word of God. He then demonstrated that not all would accept what you are ministering. Note He is not seeking those who are following after the “signs”, but simply those who wish to know Him. Departing from those who rejected Him, He continued to a fish bowl and was warmly received. He took a non-believer from the bowl transferred him into the kingdom of light and the circle begins all over again.
Imagine the massive revival which awaits us. He stated, “If I be lifted up I will draw all men unto myself” (JOHN 12:32). That was partially fulfilled when He hung from the cross. Imagine the response when He arises the next time. He has been commanded to sit at the right hand of the Father until His enemies are made His footstool (PSALMS 110:1; EPHESIANS 1:20). We, His body, are seated with Him (EPHESIANS 2:6). When we overcome so as to fulfill the requirement of our enemies being made our footstool, this double-portion man, the Son of Man – complete with head and body, will arise to His feet. When that occurs, and we are standing at the brink of fulfilling this requirement, a massive revival will occur and we will see the Kingdom of God established right here on Planet Earth. Selah