Fred R. Coulter—January 19, 2013

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Let's continue on concerning the Father. Let me add something also very important that in addition to the Father, My Father is mentioned 36 times in the book of John. That's out of the 135 that are there. It shows that God is a family. It also shows the direct connection that we have between God the Father, Jesus Christ and each one of us as individuals.

I was watching the Story of Mankind on the History Channel. If you have a chance to see it, that's pretty interesting. They were showing the saga of mankind that has always been death, killing, and all of that with war. But once we got mechanized and could produce more food and so forth, then the population really multiplied.

Now we're over 7-billion people on the earth. I think it was interesting because it said that with the nuclear power and all of the—still somewhere over 10,0000—nuclear warheads available that man has within his grasp the power to destroy all life. That is just exactly as Jesus said it would be. But the other thing that is very interesting, when you're one of 7-8-billion people out there in the ocean of humanity you can tend to feel alone, unwanted, especially when all of the important people are up there doing their thing all the time.

What you need to understand is this: God the Father and Jesus Christ are personally involved in our lives! That's what to keep in mind. I know when they saw the overfly of all the cities—in all the cities everywhere in the world—they look almost identical. That's why the whole world system in the Bible prophecy is called Babylon the Great, that great city, because everyone's living in cities; 60% of humanity lives in cities.

I said the more advanced we get technologically, the more vulnerable we become, so we had this little fire down below one of our offices there and the telephone and Internet went off. Out! Nothing you can do. That's the way that it is with humanity today. There are so many of us that when some of these things strike it is going to be just unreal how quickly these things are going to come together.

Remember, God has called you. You have answered the call. For all who have been baptized and received the Holy Spirit, you have the begettal from the Father. Let's see how Peter wrote of this so that we know exactly what God is doing with us. God prepares ahead of time, but the world doesn't know that God is preparing for the return of Jesus Christ through His Church and through His saints and through His people, because we're kind of like the unseen, the unknown, the neglected—as far as the world is concerned we are. I think that's one reason why God has scattered us. But nevertheless even with that God is going to be calling more and more people.

I talked to a woman yesterday from New Jersey. She said, 'You won't believe how many churches I've gone to and I go there and, lo and behold, they don't tell the truth, they don't use the Bible.' She said she was really getting frustrated and even got frustrated with a couple of Churches of God because they wouldn't call her back. She said, 'I found Church at Home.' I think there will be more and more that way. Church at Home is the way that God is going to finish His work, not because of what we are doing, but because of what God is doing. If we don't do what God wants us to do, then what have we done? Are we any different than anybody else? No!

This is why we have to understand that personal connection with God's Spirit between each one of us and God the Father directly. The only one between is Jesus Christ at the right hand of God as our Mediator. There is no man in between!There's no hierarchy in between! We all have to come to develop the mind of Christ and we have all the tools today to do it if we can control the TV. We have everything that has not been in other generations, even in the generations leading up to our time.

God has always had men, regardless of where they are. I was reading the account of Balaam this morning and I thought there's a perfect example. Here he took money from Balak to come and curse the children of Israel and God wouldn't let him curse. He had to bless. He kept telling Balak. Balak said, 'I hired you to curse.' He said, 'Didn't I tell you, I can't go beyond what the Lord will let me do.'

Stop and think of it for a minute: This is how God preserved His Word. There were the few faithful men down through history who were following God, who were honest with the Word of God, who loved God, who feared God, who were directed by God and through all the maze of confusion of 'churchianity' and Catholicism and orthodoxy and now with all the other religions of the world, God brought His Word forth so that we could know.

Now with the things that we understand concerning the Bible and translation and things, this is why we have done the Bible in its original order. It's not something that I have done. It's something that many, many other people have done leading up to this point, but with the Spirit of God to put it together with the right and correct translation and learning of it so that people can learn and know. Some people out there say, 'Fred Coulter has his Bible. Yeah, it says follow Fred Coulter.' No, it doesn't! So, the lesson is: Are we going to do what God wants us to do? or What is it that we're going to do?

Whenever there is free course of preaching the Gospel, there is free course for disseminating evil. So it's all out there and what does it come back to? It comes back to the very basic thing that God originally told Adam and Eve and what was that? Do not eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, but you must choose! What did He tell Israel? He said, 'I've set before you life and death, blessing and cursing, therefore, choose life that you and your seed may live; that you may love the Lord your God.' That's what God wants. That's what it's out there. Choice is set before every human being. We have to exercise that with truth, dedication and love.

1-Peter 1:1: "Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ… [Don't they wish that it would have said, 'And the first pope'? It doesn't!] …to the elect strangers scattered in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia; who have been chosen according to the predetermined knowledge of God…" (vs 1-2). When you answer the call of God, He has a predetermined plan that He worked out before creating the earth. You become personally a part of that plan!

Since we're all scattered and we all have our human weaknesses and everything, it seems to be somehow way out there, afar off, but it's not, it's right close. You have the Spirit of God. Just like He said to the Israelites, you don't have to go to heaven to find it. You don't have to go under the earth to find it. You don't have to go to the center of the earth to discover it, it is right there in front of you, the very Word of God.

"…predetermined knowledge of God the Father… [it's His plan] …by sanctification through the Spirit…" (v 2). Sanctification means set aside and also the process of being made Holy. So, when we come to Unleavened Bread we're going to see that what God wants is the change in your heart and mind.] …through the Spirit… [you can't do it without the Spirit] …unto obedience…" (v 2). Oh, oh, there is that nasty word that the Protestants don't like. Obedience to what? God the Father, Jesus Christ, commandments of God, all of those things as we have covered.

"…and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ…" (v 2). It's only through the Passover and only through Jesus Christ that this can be done. Men can't come along and say, 'Oh, God, I've got a great idea.' I think Huckabee had one on his show that they've got a new way they're going to preach the Gospel and they're going to straighten out this world and they're going to have it all nearly perfect and then Jesus will return. I wonder what Bible he's reading?

Here's what God wants for us: "…Grace… [our standing with God] …and peace… [peace with God, peace with each other] …be multiplied to you" (v 2). That's just the introduction for what he's going to say here:

Verse 3: "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Who, according to His abundant mercy, has begotten us again…" The Greek there is 'ana gennesas' and it lonely means begotten again. The truth is, just like in a human birth, you can't be born until you've been begotten and grow and develop until the time of birth. The time of birth is the resurrection where in Isa. 66 it says, 'The whole earth brings forth.' Can a nation be born at once? Yes! That's going to be quite a day—isn't it? Fantastic!

"…begotten us again unto a living hope…" (v 3). That's why we need to understand our relationship with God the Father and Jesus Christ every day. It's direct and it's personable and there is no encumbrance between you and God except if you allow sin to take hold of your life. No man, no law, no government can take that away from you. That's why Jesus said, 'Don't fear the one who can kill the body but can't kill the life. Fear God who can kill both body and life in Gehenna.'

"…living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead" (v 3). I've often thought about this when you go through and see the account of what the apostles went through after they saw Jesus alive. Remember, He appeared to all the apostles the evening of the first day of the week, which was the first day of the count toward Pentecost. They were in a closed room and all of a sudden there He is. I wonder what they thought. You talk about an adrenalin attack. He said, 'Peace to you.' They wanted to make sure it was Him.

He said, 'Do you have anything to eat?' So they gave Him some fish and honey and watched Him. But Thomas was not there. Thomas later—when they said Jesus was here—said, 'I won't believe it until I see Him and I put my finger in His hands and my hand in His side.' Eight days later they were all together and Thomas is there and Jesus shows up again. 'Thomas, come here.' He quickly had a change of heart—right? Yes! What must have they thought when that was actually so? Then He was with them 40 days and 40 nights.

Verse 3: "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Who, according to His abundant mercy, has begotten us again unto a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead."

Who has He called of this world? I know of no congregation. that I'm aware of, that there's a billionaire or a millionaire or a half-millionaire. There might be some $200-thousand or $100-thousand heirs, whatever. He's called the weak, He's called the poor. He's called those who are humble and yielded to God—to what?

Never, never, never—because we'll cover some of this as we get to Unleavened Bread here a little later—look at the world and wonder, 'Why didn't I get any of that?' Because you have something better! You have something worth more! You'll understand that the day the dollar fails, because it's coming.

Notice what you have personally, v 4: "Unto an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and unfading, reserved in heaven for us." Where Jesus said, 'Thieves don't break through and it doesn't rust and the moths can't get at it.'

Verse 5: "Who are being safeguarded by the power of God through faith, for salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time." Isn't it true, one of the things that always happens, there are enough events that take place that it looks like the return of Jesus Christ is just around the corner?

Think of what they were going through when things started heating up toward about 62A.D. between the Jews and the Romans and the armies and the fightings and all of the things that were taking place. They were thinking: 'Jesus' return is just around the corner. James was martyred in 61A.D.' Rebellion started in about 65-1/2A.D. Gathered steam. Jerusalem surrounded by Roman armies. The Christians fled, they went to Pella. Some even went clear up into Asia Minor. I imagine a lot of them were thinking, 'This is going to happen. The resurrection is around the corner.' It didn't happen. The temple was destroyed. The Romans took over Jerusalem and by 135A.D. it was plowed to where it was just a farmer's field.

Then, of course, the Apostle John wrote the rest of the New Testament with Revelation. Then he died and all the brethren who had the false hope, 'Jesus said he would live till He came'; that faded away and there they were; likewise with us. We cannot let any disappointments take us down.

Let's come back to John 8 because here Jesus shows us a couple of things that are important for us to really realize in relationship to Him and the Father. We saw that they came after Jesus because He healed that man, and then we have in the first part of chapter eight the woman caught in adultery. We've already covered that, but the key is this: I was reading from a Protestant and he says, 'Oh, the grace of God with the woman who was caught in adultery.' No, there was no grace! This was a matter of righteous judgment because adultery cannot occur with just a woman without a man. There is no way that even if they would have brought her to be sentenced under Moses that she could have been convicted because they didn't bring the man. The big question remains for the prosecuting attorney—who was Jesus—where was the man? How did you catch her?

I think He was writing that on the ground. It says He stooped down and wrote on the ground. Where is the man? How do you catch a woman in adultery in the very act without a man? Perverted judgment! We've got a lot of that today, too—don't we? So then, they really got angry at Him for that.

John 8:18—there's an awful lot in here and it shows us this, the primary thing that we need to understand: You must have the Father and the Son! You can't claim just the Father for the Old Testament, as the Jews like to claim, or just Jesus, as the Protestants and Catholics like to claim for the New Testament. The Catholics are one step further removed because they say they could preach their doctrines without the Bible, which is true. Scripture is only laced in there to make it look good.

John 8:18, Jesus says: "'I am One Who bears witness of Myself, and the Father, Who sent Me bears witness of Me.' Then they said to Him, 'Where is Your Father?' Jesus answered, 'You know neither Me nor My Father. If had known Me, you would also have known My Father'" (vs 18-19).

My Father, that's important. What was the relationship between Jesus Christ and God the Father? Direct and personal, 24/7, His whole life! We find in Isa. 50 that He was awakened every morning as an infant to be taught by God the Father. I want you to mark that and go through the whole book of John and look at all of the places where it talks about 'My Father, the Supreme Ruler of the universe,' and how that has to do with us.

Verse 20: "Jesus spoke these words in the treasury while teaching in the temple; but no one arrested Him because His time had not yet come. Then Jesus said to them again, 'I am going away; and you shall seek Me, but you shall die in your sin. Where I am going, you are not able to come.' Therefore, the Jews said, 'Will He kill Himself? Is that why He says, "Where I am going, you are not able to come"?' And He said to them, 'You are from beneath… [That means on the earth, beneath the heavens.] …I am from above…" (vs 20-23). 'I came from heaven.'

There are some people who don't believe that Jesus even existed until He was conceived in the womb of the virgin Mary, then how do you answer this: "'…I am from above… ['I go back where I was before'.] …You are of this world; I am not of this world'" (v 23).

God has called us out of this world's system. Jesus was not part of the world system. He was not taught by the Jews, their rabbis, He was taught by the Father. He didn't join their political parties. He didn't come to uphold the Roman government. He came to preach the Kingdom of God and the good news of its coming to the earth.

Verse 24 is more important than the one before. As we go through John 8 we're going to see how important that this whole verse is because this turns Christianity and Judaism completely on their ears, upside down. Verse 24: "'That is why I said to you that you shall die in your sins; for if you do not believe that I AM…" The Jews understood that because when Moses asked God, 'Who shall I tell the children of Israel sent me?' God said, 'Tell them I AM have sent you.'

"'…for if you do not believe that I AM… [that He was the Lord God of the Old Testament now manifested in the flesh] …you shall die in your sins.'" No forgiveness. They may qualify for the second resurrection, but that's a different story.

Verse 25: "Then they said to Him, 'Who are You?'…. [that's a pretty startling thing] …And Jesus said to them, 'The one that I said to you from the beginning. I have many things to say and to judge concerning you; but He Who sent Me is true, and what I have heard from Him, these things I speak to the world'" (vs 25-26). That's what we also need to do too, proclaiming the Gospel as God opens the doors for it.

Verse 27: "But they did not know that He was speaking to them of the Father. Then Jesus said to them, 'When you have lifted up the Son of man… [He knew how He was going to die, by crucifixion.] …then you yourself shall know that I AM…'" (vs 27-28). How were they to know that He was the I AM? Because of the prophecies in the Old Testament that prophesied of His death, particularly two very important chapters: Psa. 22 and Isa. 53. There is no escaping those two chapters in the Bible that show the crucifixion of Christ. No escaping it.

"'…and thatI do nothing of Myself….'" (v 28). This is very important to do, because He took on human flesh, He took on human nature. What is the most grievous sin that human beings do? They add to and take away from the Word of God because they have better ideas. If God is perfect and His law is perfect and His Word is true, and men are sinful by nature, deceitful by nature, how can men improve upon God Who is perfect? Can't do it! It's like trying to take a part from a Model-T and repair God's cherubim. Never work!

"'…thatI do nothing of Myself…" (v 28). The Greek here is very expressive. The word of comes from the Greek 'ek'—which means out from within.

"…But as the Father taught Me, these things I speak. And He Who sent Me is with Me. The Father has not left Me alone because I always do the things that please Him'" (vs 28-29).

  • Can we?
  • What pleases God?
  • When we love God and love each other!
  • Can you please God? Yes!

When you're led of the Holy Spirit of God, you do the things of God. Says so explicitly right here 1-John 3.

When God looks down upon the world and sees everything that's going on and all the evil and all the sin and how people are carried away by the things of the world and there are His people who are loving Him, studying His Word, walking in the Spirit of God, praying daily to Him, don't you think He's pleased with that? Yes, indeed!

1-John 3:18: "My little children… [I suppose at about 94-95-years-old he could call them 'little children.'] …we should not love in word..." This is the toughest thing. We are living in a world that is lacking in love, that is filled with hypocrisy and pretensions and lies.

Just a little sidebar: How about this stupid thing with the Notre Dame football player who lied? It covered the whole news while Satan's taking over more parts of the world, we have to have hours of this stupidity. Blew me away! It's a good thing I don't have a six-shooter, I may have shot the television.

"…nor with our tongues; rather, we should love in deed and in Truth" (v 18). No hypocrisies! Also. in mercy because you can speak the truth hatefully, but in mercy. If we do that, notice what he says, because you can put a little pulse on your behavior.

Verse 19: "And in this way we know that we are of the Truth, and shall assure our hearts before Him." We can have confidence in God. We can assure our hearts before Him, God the Father, if we really grasp and understand what God has done for us.

Verse 20: "That if our hearts condemn us, God is greater than our hearts, and knows all things." Our hearts condemn us because when we sin or we fall short or we do the things we shouldn't do, then we have a guilty conscience and our conscience condemns us. That's when to repent. Ask God to help you and cleanse you.

Verse 21: "Beloved, if our hearts do not condemn us, then we have confidence toward God."

  • we can believe
  • we can have faith
  • we can have hope
  • we can have love

Verse 22: "And whatever we may ask we received… [Whatever God decides is good for us, we will. That's why when we pray we say, 'Your will be done,' not our will.] …we received from Him because… [there's a reason] …we keep His commandments and practice those things that are pleasing in His sight." We can do the things that are pleasing in God's sight. Sometimes it becomes very hard to do:

  • because of human nature
  • because of circumstances
  • because of past experiences
  • because of things that we've gone through.

But nevertheless, God has called us to overcome all of those—right? Yes!

Verse 23: "And this is His commandment: that we believe on the name of His Son Jesus Christ, and that we love one another... [I'm going to have some things to say about loving one another as we get close toward Unleavened Bread.] …exactly as He gave commandment to us." I'll expound on that because that's part of the meaning of the Feast of Unleavened Bread.

Notice how this is done, v 24: "And the one who keeps His commandments is dwelling in Him… [We're going to cover that a little later about God dwelling in us.] …and He in him…" That is, we're dwelling in God the Father through Jesus Christ, and He is us! That's the amazing mystery of God's plan.

The world cannot know that. They cannot look at us and say, 'I know that one. This one has God's Spirit.' They can't know. They can tell by the things that we do, but they look at it differently than we do. They look at and judge what we do compared to what they do. We look at it differently. We do what we do compared with what the Word of God tells us to do—right? Yes!

"…and by this we know that He is dwelling in us: by the Spirit which He has given to us" (v 24). We are to know we have the Spirit of God. This is why the Jews did not understand about Jesus or the Father. The key is right there in John 8.

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What we find here in the book of John, we also find in many, many parts of the Bible, that the meaning of the Scriptures are layered, have many meanings compacted into the different verses. That's what we have here with the Gospel of John. There are going to be some parts of it that, like John 14, 15, 16, that we read every year for Passover.

I have probably read those in my lifetime, I couldn't guess a number, but I'm sure it's close to a thousand. That would be the best I could do. Every time I read it I get more meaning out of it. I get more spiritual feeling out of it and a deeper understanding. This is why it says there in Isaiah, that it's 'line upon line; precept upon precept; here a little, there a little.'—you put it all together.

John 8—remember, Jesus was speaking to the Jews at the temple. This becomes a very important thing for us to understand. The temple does not sanctify anything. It is God Who sanctified the temple. That's why in Matt. 23 Jesus said to the Pharisees, 'You say, He who swears by the altar is nothing, but if you swear by the gift on the altar you're bound by it.' Jesus said, 'The only thing that sanctifies it is God in heaven, Who sanctified everything.' Unless it goes to God, it's meaningless.

You can have something that God gave them the plans for it to build, to use, to bring the offerings, to have the meetings, to have the Feast and everything, then you drift so far from God that you're out there completely on your own and you have forgotten God. You have added layer upon layer of traditions and rules and regulations. Sooner or later, lo and behold, you don't know it, you're serving Satan the devil in the house of God. That's something! I'm just kind of summarizing what we're going to see here and why this is important.

John 8:30: "As He spoke these things, many believed in Him." It's not exactly what you believe, it is how you believe it. James 2 talks about demons who believe. They're scared to death because they don't obey. They've been rebellious.

Jesus gives the criteria, v 31: "Therefore, Jesus said to the Jews who had believed in Him, 'If you continue in My Word, you are truly My disciples…. [Notice what will happen, for everything you do there is also a consequence]: …And you shall know the Truth, and the Truth shall set you free'" (vs 31-32). The Truth comes from God.

  • God is Truth
  • His commandments are Truth
  • His laws are Truth
  • The Holy Spirit is called the Holy Spirit of Truth

"'…the Truth shall set you free.' They answered Him, 'We are Abraham's seed, and have never been in bondage to anyone….'" (vs 32-33). To this very day the Jews claim the same thing. 'We are Jews; therefore, God has to honor us.' How's your 1900 years of honor been? Because you can't have the Father unless you have the Son!

  • If you reject the Son, you can't have the Father!
  • If you reject the Father, you can't have the Son!

So, they are relying on who they are.

I've always found this to be true. Every single time that I meet a Jew for the first time, they have to tell me, 'I am a Jew.' That hasn't happened recently, but the next time it does I'm going to say, 'Why do you have to tell me that? What do you suppose I'm supposed to do, because you say you're a Jew? Maybe you just ought to set that aside and learn about Jesus Christ, Who was the true Jew.' Can't rely on Abraham.

"'…and have never been in bondage to anyone….'" (v 33). Think of this now while they say they've "…never in bondage to anyone…." Here's Fort Antonia up here. Now you can follow along this on television. They had a wide runway coming from Fort Antonia going along. You see the temple with all these colonnades. What did they have all those colonnades for? To hold up that pavement that was the lifted-up pavement, which directly from Fort Antonio right down on the back side, the west side of the temple area and then up over on each side of the temple. All the way around it they had this colonnade because the Jews had so many riots that the Romans, who were their occupiers—now if someone occupies your country, are you in bondage? Yes!

What they were saying was just completely insane. "'…What do You mean by saying, "You shall become free"?' Jesus answered them, 'Truly, truly I say to you, everyone who practices sin is a servant of sin'" (vs 33-34). What is sin? Sin is the transgression of the law! The actual definition is: sin is lawlessness. Lawlessness can mean:

  • the absence of any law
  • anarchy
  • substituting human laws for God's laws.
  • rejecting part of God's law while clinging to other parts of the Law of God.

So, it has many meanings.

"'…everyone who practices sin is a servant of sin. And the servant does not live in the house forever; but the Son lives forever. Therefore, if the Son shall set you free, you shall truly be free'" (vs 34-36). You might take that and analyze all the things that are necessary for this to be fulfilled:

  • you must answer the call of God
  • you must repent
  • you must be baptized
  • you must walk in the way of God

Add over here another column of:

  • you have to believe in the Father
  • you have to believe in Jesus Christ

Combine all of that together and that's how you will be set free from sin!

Verse 37: "I know that you are Abraham's seed; but you are seeking to kill Me, because My words do not enter into your minds."

Remember what Jesus said several times quoting Isa. 6 that 'in hearing they will hear and not understand; in seeing they will see and not understand.' Unless you believe and obey, you're not going to understand! A staunch Sunday-keeper will never understand the Sabbath while he's keeping Sunday and saying, 'All those people over there keeping the Sabbath, they don't know what they're talking about.' However, if he ever began keeping the Sabbath and studied about the Sabbath, he would understand why he should keep it and not Sunday. But as long as he continues in the way that he does, he won't. It won't have an entrance into his mind.

Verse 38: "I speak the things that I have seen from My Father, and you do the things that you have seen from your father…. [these become fighting words] …They answered and said to Him, 'Our father is Abraham.'…" (vs 38-39). What did it say of Abraham? Abraham obeyed My voice, kept My commandments, My statutes, and My charge! (Gen. 26:5). Were they doing that? No!

"…Jesus said to them, 'If you were Abraham's children, you would do the works of Abraham…. [Did he believe God? Was it counted to righteousness for him? Yes, it was!] …But now you seek to kill Me, a man who has spoken the truth to you, which I have heard from God; Abraham did not do this. You are doing the works of your father.' Then they said to Him, 'We have not been born of fornication… [They understood all about His birth, but not the correct part of it.] ...We have one Father, and that is God.' Therefore, Jesus said to them, 'If God were your Father, you would love Me…'" (vs 39-42). That's pretty powerful, pretty simple—isn't it? Yes, indeed!

"'…because I proceeded forth and came from God. For I have not come of Myself, but He sent Me. Why don't you understand My speech? Because you cannot bear to hear My words…. [because of their father] …You are of your father the devil…'" (vs 42-44). Just picture this right there at the temple. All of these Jews beginning to supposedly believe in Jesus so He's telling them the truth and they get angrier and angrier and more and more hardhearted.

"'…and the lusts of your father you desire to practice. He was a murderer from the beginning, and has not stood in the truth because there is no Truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he is speaking from his own self; for he is a liar, and the father of it'" (v 44).

In all the things that they did and practiced, based on their traditions, were not true. They were not from God. Stop and think on this for a minute so we can understand what's going on:

  • How many apostles did Jesus choose? Twelve! One of them was Judas Iscariot who would betray Him.
  • How long was it before the other apostles knew that Judas was going to be the betrayer?
  • They didn't have a clue until after they saw Judas leading the troops up to arrest Jesus!
  • Why did God do that?
  • To show that by human perception and human examination you never know what's in the heart of an individual!

You never know when someone might be sent of Satan the devil who is cleverly worming his way in. We've seen that within the Church—haven't we? Yes, indeed! This is why we always have to stick to the Truth:

  • What did Jesus say?
  • What did the Father say?
  • What does the Bible tell us?

Then all interpretations must be proved by other Scriptures in the Bible by letting the Scriptures interpret the Scriptures. These are the safeguards that God has given us. He's given us the Spirit of Truth so we can understand how to use those safeguards.

Verse 45: "'And because I speak the Truth, you do not believe Me. Which one of you can convict Me of sin?.… [that's quite a challenge] …But if I speak the Truth, why don't you believe Me? The one who is of God hears the words of God. For this reason you do not hear, because you are not of God'" (vs 45-47). Though they were standing right there at the temple. That's pretty powerful.

This then becomes one of the most important chapters in the dividing line between those who are believers and those who are pretenders.

Verse 48: "Then the Jews answered and said to Him, 'Are we not right in saying that You are a Samaritan and have a demon?'" What is Satan's tactic? Always, if you can't refute the message, what do you do? You tear down the messenger—right? Yes! That's why politics are froth with so much trouble. If anyone dares speak the truth, they attack him like there is no tomorrow.

Example: Remember what happened with Hurricane Katrina? They wanted to get Bush politically so the democrat governor of Louisiana would not authorize FEMA to come in. What did all the liars on the sideline do? Say, 'Bush didn't do it on time. Bush didn't get there in time. Bush doesn't care for these people. Bush hates the blacks. Bush hates the people of Louisiana.' Not true! It was their own white governor there who refused to let FEMA come in. 'FEMA is disorganized and can't do anything.' Good example of how with politics.

In religion you have the same thing. 'If you keep the Sabbath, you're Judaizing.' They don't have a clue what Judaism is. 'If you keep the Holy Days you're trying to work your salvation.' Look at the truth of the matter, just like it is here. Protestants are trying to earn their own salvation by Sunday-keeping and all of the holidays—correct? Sprinkling in some Scriptures.

They look at us, who reject the holidays of this world, and we keep the Passover and the Holy Days of God and the Sabbath and they say, 'You're trying to earn your salvation.' Not so! If you walk in the way of God and do the works of God, whose works are you doing? God's works! Isn't that true? Those are God's. Those are not your own. Did you grow up and naturally choose the Sabbath? Naturally choose the Passover and Holy Days? No! Those are the works of God. Yet, in attacking the messenger and the message they turn it all upside down and accuse those who love God and keep His commandments as trying to earn their own salvation. It's utterly untrue! What they are doing is trying to earn salvation through their works by keeping a day that God never sanctified, by saying Jesus did away with the law. This is the same spirit revealed in Jn 8.

Verse 49: "Jesus answered, 'I do not have a demon. But I honor My Father, and you dishonor Me. Yet I do not seek My own glory; there is one Who seeks and judges. Truly, truly I say to you if anyone keeps My words, he shall not see death forever'" (vs 49-51). That's the correct translation. The King James says, 'Will live forever.' That's not correct.

It says here you will taste death, but not forever, because you'll be resurrected. In the translation in the King James, it's completely wrong. We know Christians die and are buried—right? And await the resurrection, so you cannot say they live forever. Why did they have that in there? They had the false notion of the immortality of the soul! So, they mistranslated it.

Verse 52: "Then the Jews said to Him, 'Now we know that You have a demon. Abraham and the prophets died; yet You say, "If anyone keeps My words, he shall not taste of death forever." Are You greater than our father Abraham who died? And the prophets, who died? Whom do You make Yourself to be?' Jesus answered, 'If I glorify Myself, My glory is nothing. It is My Father Who glorifies Me, of Whom you say that He is your God. Yet you have not known Him; but I know Him. And if I say that I do not know Him, I shall be a liar, like you….'" (vs 52-55).

Those are strong words. He's setting up their final deliberation when they decide to arrest Him and take Him, they feel so justified and so right. Just like Satan can take any evil thing and make you feel really good about it because you're right.

"'…But I know Him, and I keep His Word…. [that's what we are to do] ...Abraham your father was overjoyed to see My day; and he saw it, and rejoiced.'…. [When did he see it? Gen. 15!] …Then the Jews said to Him, 'You are not even fifty years old, and You have seen Abraham?' Jesus said to them, 'Truly, truly I say to you, before Abraham was born, I AM'" (vs 55-58) They knew who He was.

But look at how they received Him. "Then they picked up stones to throw at Him… [What a wonderful loving reception that is.] …But Jesus concealed Himself and went out of the temple, passing through the midst of them, and in this manner departed" (v 59).

John 9 is one of my favorites, but we're not going to go through it. He healed a man who was born blind and the Jews couldn't handle that. They kept asking, 'Were you really blind?' Yes! Asked his parents, 'Was he really blind?' Yes! 'Is this your child?' Yes, this is our child. 'Well, how then did he see?' We don't know; you ask him, he's of age. Because they're afraid of getting kicked out of the synagogue. Then the man who was blind after the Pharisees said, 'We know this man is a sinner, but we follow Moses,' he said, 'Truly, it hasn't been heard of since the foundation of the world that someone born blind can see, and yet, you don't know that this Man is of God?' How did they react? 'Oh, you low scum; you try and teach us. We're going to show you. We're going to disfellowship you out of the synagogue!' So then, Jesus found the man later and he worshiped Him.

Then Jesus said, John 9:39: "And Jesus said, 'For judgment I have come into this world so that those who do not see might see, and those who see might become blind.'"
Notice another confrontation with the Pharisees, v 40: "And those of the Pharisees who were with Him heard these things; and they said to Him, 'Are we also blind?' Jesus said to them, 'If you were blind, you would not have sin. But now you say, "We see." Therefore, your sin remains'" (vs 40-41).

You look at all the confrontations that Jesus had with them and you know they communicated with each other. This thing was building, building, building all during His ministry right up to the time of the crucifixion.

John 10 is also very important because it has to do with the Father as well. There are a lot of lessons here for us as well. John 10:1: "Truly, truly I say to you, the one who does not enter the sheepfold through the door, but climbs up some other way, that one is a thief and a robber. But the one who enters through the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice; and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out…. [God is dealing directly with you] …When he brings the sheep out, he goes before them; and the sheep follow him because they know his voice. But they will never follow a stranger for they will flee from him because they do not know the voice of strangers" (vs 1-5).

Verse 8: "All who ever came before Me are thieves and robbers…" This is why God let all the false prophets come first, the false messiahs, the false religions, all of those things out of Babylon. They all came first out of Egypt and Babylon. Nothing has changed. Why did He do that?

Same way with Elijah. Remember what happened with Elijah and the prophets of Baal? They wanted to have the confrontation to prove who God is. So Elijah said, 'Since there are 450 of you, you go first.' Let them go first. They shouted and yelled and screamed. That didn't do any good so Elijah said, 'Now Baal is a god, but maybe he's sleeping or maybe he's gone on a journey far off.' From noontime after that they got up there and they cut themselves and jumped up and down and shouted and yelled and screamed. Not a word, not an answer. What Elijah was doing, same thing God did with allowing all these false messiahs first, to prove they were false.

So then, when it came time for Elijah to set up his offering, he made it even more difficult. Imagine this: in the middle of a drought, soak it down with water three times. Compared with all the shouting, yelling and screaming, you talk about a Pentecostal party. You talk about one that was 'hallelujah, praise Baal; answer us, where are you, Baal?' All the blood gushing. Took them all day. Then when Elijah got ready, had it all set up, soaked it all down. We timed that prayer one time—didn't we? The whole prayer was less than 30 seconds. Then God answered with fire because the One Who answered with fire was the true God.

Today it's different. How do you know the voice of Christ? By the words that are written, the words that He spoke! That's how you know what it is in the Old Testament as well. You hear the words of Christ because any minister or teacher who teaching the Word of God that's what he's going to preach. Not the ideas of men, not the traditions of men, etc.

Verse 7: "Therefore, Jesus again said to them, 'Truly, truly I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. All who ever came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them" (vs 7-8). That can happen.

It's like this woman I talked to you who is searching out the Truth. It's evident God is working with her. She went to this church, that church, the other church. She said, 'You don't know how many I went to and I would sit there and I'd listen to something and lo and behold they came up with a doctrine of the rapture. I researched it out and you know, that did not exist until 1921, so I knew that couldn't be right.' So she's doing exactly what God says: 'Prove all things; hold fast to that which is good.'

Verse 9: "I am the door. If anyone enters through Me… [Remember, 'no one can come to the Father unless He comes through Me.' And no one can come to the Father unless you go through Christ. It's a two-way door.] …he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and shall find pasture." What is pasture? The Word of God! 'Taste and see that the Lord is good.'

Verse 10: "The thief does not come except to steal and kill and destroy. I have come so that they may have life, and may have it more abundantly. I am the good Shepherd. The good Shepherd lays down His life for the sheep" (vs 10-11). That's the separating thing. This is what Christ did.

Verse 12: "'But the one who is a hireling, and who is not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep, and flees. And the wolf seizes the sheep and scatters them. Now the hireling flees because he is a hireling and has no concern for the sheep. I am the good Shepherd, and I know those who are Mine, and am known those who are Mine. Just as the Father knows Me, I also know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep" (vs 12-15). I'll leave the rest of that for a message before Unleavened Bread concerning how Jesus laid His life down.

Interesting, isn't it? I was thinking the other day, having been in the Church now going on 53 years, we saw when the Church followed the Words of God, preached the Truth, and God blessed. We saw those men who were honest and true and were good ministers. Then over time things changed. You began to hear some strange things. What happened? Everything got changed and upside down. I have a picture right up on the wall at home, shows a graduating class of 1964 where I graduated from Ambassador College. I looked at just that one class, all those men who were supposed to be the real 'razz-ma-tazz,' the speakers and all this sort of thing. Noneof them have remained faithful except two, out of all of them. I think the graduating class was about 27-28 men and I think about 12 women.

Then the other classes got even worse as it went down in time. More and more and more it got infiltrated. Then after a while, because of sin, it was completely turned upside down. Lies became truth and truth became lies. Those who were wanting to follow God were labeled as rebellious and dissident when all they did was read the Word of God and say, 'What are you doing?'

It is true about the hireling. When there was a split in the Church, one man bragged. He got his last paycheck from this one Church and left and two weeks later he got his first paycheck with the other Church. If that's not a hireling, I don't know what a hireling is—right? We'll go through experiences like this. That's why we need to do as Jesus does:

  • stand for the Truth
  • preach the Truth
  • follow the Truth
  • always keep at it
  • never take anything for granted

Verse 23: "And Jesus was walking in the temple in Solomon's porch. Then the Jews encircled Him… [I can almost see this in my mind's eye. Here they are.] …and said to Him, 'How long are You going to hold us in suspense? If You are the Christ, tell us plainly'" (vs 23-24). I love these confrontations. This teaches us how to answer when things come up.

Verse 25: "Jesus answered them, 'I have told you, but you do not believe. The works that I am doing in My Father's name, these bear witness of Me.'" They didn't like that phrase: My Father. We're going to see that here.

Verse 26: "But you do not believe because you are not of My sheep, as I said to you. My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; and no one shall take them out of My hand. My Father, Who has given them to Me is greater than all; and no one has the power to seize them from My Father's hand. I and the Father are one" (vs 26-30). They all ran and embraced Him and kissed Him and hugged Him and said, 'Boy, we're sorry for not recognizing this.' NO!

Verse 31: "Then the Jews again picked up stones so that they might stone Him. Jesus answered them, 'Many good works I have showed you from My Father. For which of them are you about to stone Me?' The Jews answered Him, saying, 'We will not stone You for a good work, but for blasphemy, and because You, being a man, are making Yourself God. Jesus answered them, 'Is it not written in your law, "I said, 'You are gods'"? If He called them gods, to whom the Word of God came (and the Scriptures cannot be broken), why do you say of Him Whom the Father has sanctified and sent into the world, "You are blaspheming," because I said, "I am the Son of God"?'" (vs 31-36).

They knew this as well, Psalm 8:4: "What is man that You are mindful of him, and the son of man that You care for him?" In other words, God, why did you make human beings? We know from Gen. 1 that He made them after the likeness and image of God.

Verse 5: "For You have made him a little lower than God… [a little lower than Elohim] …and have crowned him with glory and honor." For what purpose? That we may become the sons of God as the New Testament shows! This is what Christ was bringing out. Now here's a prophecy of it in Psa. 82.

Psalm 82:1: "God stands in the congregation of the mighty; He judges among the gods. How long will you judge unjustly and respect the persons of the wicked? Selah. Defend the poor and fatherless; do justice to the afflicted and needy. Deliver the poor and needy; save them out of the hand of the wicked" (vs 1-4). Is that not the purpose of the Gospel? Yes, it is!

Verse 5: "They do not know, neither do they understand; they walk on in darkness; all the foundation of the earth are shaken out of course."

  • When will that happen? At the return of Christ!
  • What's going to happen at the return of Christ? The resurrection!
  • What is that going to mean? We're going to be changed from flesh to spirit to be the sons and daughters of God, to be as God!

When that happens, v 6: "I have said, 'You are gods; and all of you are sons of the Most High.'" How about that? The Scriptures cannot be broken and Jesus was the first one.

John 10:34: "Jesus answered them, 'Is it not written in your law… [we just read it] …"I said, 'You are gods'"? If He called them gods, to whom the Word of God came (and the Scriptures cannot be broken), Why do you say of Him Whom the Father has sanctified and sent into the world, "You are blaspheming," because I said, "I am the Son of God"?'" (vs 34-36). He said it very plainly—didn't He? Very clearly, no more mystery.

Verse 37: "'If I do not do the works of My Father, do not believe Me. But if I do, even if you do not believe Me, believe the works; so that you may perceive and may believe that the Father is in Me, and I in Him.' Then they again sought to take Him; but He escaped out of their hands." (vs 37-39). So, He went and hid from them. These confrontations are really something—aren't they? Yes, indeed!

Now we'll continue on with the Father because what we will see next time it talks about the Father Himself loves you. Didn't say us, it says you. Then we will see that Jesus Himself does other things for us.

So the whole purpose in this is to understand our direct connection with God the Father and Jesus Christ and that it is the epitome of the grace of God and the most important thing that can happen in our lives!

Scriptural References:

  • 1-Peter 1:1-5
  • John 8:18-29
  • 1-John 3:18-24
  • John 8:30-59
  • John 9:39-41
  • John 10:1-5, 8, 7-15, 23-36
  • Psalm 8:4-5
  • Psalm 82:1-6
  • John 10:34-39

Scriptures referenced, not quoted:

  • Isaiah 66; 50
  • Psalm 22
  • Isaiah 53
  • John 14-16
  • Matthew 23
  • James 2
  • Isaiah 6
  • Genesis 26:5; 15; 1

FRC:lp
Transcribed: 1-30-13
Formatted: bo—1-31-13

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