Jesus Kept the Feast of Tabernacles
(John 7)

Fred R. Coulter—September 20, 1985

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John 7-9, and possibly the first part of chapter 10 is where Jesus kept the Feast of Tabernacles. I wanted to cover those chapters during the Feast of Tabernacles, as they applied to the Feast.

John 7:1: "After these things, Jesus was sojourning in Galilee, for He did not desire to travel in Judea…" That's an interesting term in the way that it has been translated, because John makes a distinction between the people—who obviously were all Jews—and the Jews referring to the leaders. I'm sure that we'll find that pretty much the same when we go through the book of Acts. Whenever it's talking about the Jews, it's talking about the Jewish leaders. Obviously, all the Jews did not feel as the Jewish leaders. We'll see that very clearly here.

It's like anything else, once you find something that someone has done that is not right, just like this one from India; you can't condemn all Indians from what he's done. They're not all like that. Likewise, you can't condemn all Jews because certain Jews do things that are not right.

Jesus would walk there "…because the Jews were seeking to kill Him…. [they sought to kill Jesus quite a few times] …Now the Jews' Feast of Tabernacles was near. For this reason, His brothers said to Him, 'Leave this place and go into Judea, so that Your disciples may see the works that You are doing'" (vs 1-3).

Here's a very simple Scripture to show that Jesus had brothers and sisters. I'm sure we all know that, but there is a Catholic doctrine that says that whenever you read 'the brethren' of Jesus, it's talking about His disciples. But here it's talking about 'brethren' that are his own brothers, and the disciples.

His brethren can't tell Jesus, 'You go to the Feast so your brethren can see You'; or you can't have the disciples saying, 'Jesus, you go to the Feast and Your disciples will see you.' It wouldn't make sense that way.

One of the things that the Catholics have is the 'doctrine of the immaculate conception' of Mary, as well as the 'immaculate conception' of Jesus. Yet, when you get right down to the Truth of the Scriptures people don't like to believe it. I've shown them right in the Bible, and they say, 'We believe the Bible insofar as it is accurately translated. Then you ask them: Who is to say that it's accurately translated or not? How do you decide? 'Well, if it doesn't conform to the doctrine of our church…' That is not the criteria. The doctrine of the Church has to conform to what Jesus teaches!

Mark 6:2: "Now, when the Sabbath Day came, He began to teach in the synagogue; and many of those who heard Him were astonished, saying, 'From where did this Man get these things? And what is this wisdom that has been given to Him, that by His hands many miracles are done also? Is this not the carpenter, the Son of Mary…'" (vs 2-3). This tells us several things: Jesus was a carpenter and Joseph was a carpenter.

"'…and the brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon?'" (v 3). The book of Jude was written by Judas, one of the brothers of Christ. James was the one found in Acts 15.

"'…And are not His sisters here with us?' And they were offended in Him" (v 3).

Mark 3:31: "Then His brothers and His mother came and were standing outside; and they sent to Him, calling Him." I did figure out by the Scriptures approximately when Joseph died. He died right during the first part of when Jesus' ministry began. All these instances we find that it talks about Mary and the brethren. It says 'The Son of Mary,' and in another place it says 'the Son of Joseph.' Right in that timeframe is when Joseph died.

They were out calling for Him; in other words, they sent a message in, v 32: "And the multitude sat around Him; and they said to Him, 'Behold, Your mother and Your brothers are outside; and they are seeking You.' But He answered them, saying, 'Who is My mother and who are My brothers?' And He looked around at those who were sitting in a circle around Him, and said, 'Behold My mother and My brothers'" (vs 32-34). This is a teaching that in the Kingdom of God it is going to be as the Family of God.

Not only was it just His mother and His brothers out there, but then everyone who was with Him were to become the same. We'll see how He defines it here.

Verse 35: "For whoever shall do the will of God, that one is My brother, and My sister, and mother." This ties in with what Jesus said, that we are to follow God in spite of anything that comes along.

John 2:12—this is after the wedding feast they had in Cana: "After this He went down to Capernaum, He and His mother and His brothers and His disciples… [this clearly shows the distinction of all of them] …and they remained there not many days."

John 7:4: "'Because no one does anything in secret, but seeks to be seen in public. If You do these things, reveal Yourself to the world.' For neither did His brothers believe in Him" (vs 4-5). Later, obviously, some of them did. I don't know what happened to Simon or the other brother, but they didn't believe in Him at that time.

Verse 6: "Therefore, Jesus said to them, 'My time has not yet come, but your time is always ready. The world cannot hate you; but it hates Me because I testify concerning it, that its works are evil" (vs 6-7).

John 3:18: "The one who believes in Him is not judged, but the one who does not believe has already been judged because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the judgment: that the Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness rather than the Light because their works were evil. For everyone who practices evil hates the Light…" (vs 18-20). It's interesting what He said here: the world cannot hate you, but it hates Me.

"…and does not come to the Light, so that his works may not be exposed; but the one who practices the Truth comes to the Light, so that his works may be manifested, that they have been accomplished by the power of God" (vs 20-21).

In 1-John 4 is something else about the world. Sooner or later, when people get to know you and they find out that you're in this Church and you have a 'religion'—'Oh, that's fine, what church do you go to on Sunday.' I don't go to church on Sunday, I go on Saturday. 'Why do you go on Saturday?' Well, that's the Sabbath. Then you can see something comes right across their eyes. 'Are you Jewish?' No, I'm not Jewish. Then you have to begin explaining all of these things.

If we really told them, as Jesus told them—and He told them very plainly—because we're going to see in John 7-9 that these are the most combative chapters in the whole book of John. It gets down to real mud slinging.

If you tell people who do great, 'good' works that they're evil; even Jesus said that of His disciples. He said, 'You who are evil know how to give good gifts to your own children. How much more the Father will give to you.' So, He even called His own disciples evil.

1-John 4:1: "Beloved, do not believe every spirit…" This is talking about spiritual kinds of revelation and things that come along. I don't know what sort of spiritual things are behind this guru up here, but it seems that the spirit power has left. They've gone other places.

"…but test the spirits whether they are from God… [notice how these spirits come along: Who do they follow? Who do they go with?] …because many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this test you can know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God" (vs 1-2). He was an ordinary human being.

Verse 3: "And every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not from God. And this is the spirit of antichrist, which you heard was to come, and even now it is already in the world. You are of God, little children, and have overcome them because greater is He Who is in you than the one who is in the world" (vs 3-4). That's an interesting statement.

  • Who is in the world?
  • Who is the god of this world?
  • Satan is the god of this world!

We will see what Satan does to people's mind and how he does it. He does it by:

  • false teaching
  • false preaching
  • demon spirits
  • false prophets

Verse 5: "They are of… [Greek: 'ek'—from, originating from] …the world…" Why aren't we of the world? We live in the world, but why aren't we of the world? There are many things:

  • we're baptized
  • we have God's Spirit
  • we're sanctified by the Truth
  • we live by every Word of God
  • we're not trusting in the politicians and things of this world
  • we're trusting in Christ in everything we do

"…because of this, they speak of the world, and the world listens to them" (v 5). That's why you have a Christianity in the world that people accept. They make it easy for them, but actually it becomes hard.

Verse 6: "We are of God; the one who knows God listens to us…" What is it that we judge it by? What do we judge any message by? There are people who have varying degrees of Truth. But varying degrees of Truth can also be varying degrees of counterfeiting.

It's like the counterfeit money that looks so good, it's almost real, but it wasn't. What do we judge it by? When you hear someone say something, what do you judge it by? We're all here because we had to judge something, otherwise we wouldn't be here. What do we judge everything by? We judge it by the Word of God!

In Isaiah 8:20: "To the Law and to the testimony! If they do not speak according to this Word, it is because there is no light in them." That comes back to John 3:19-20. I think you will notice how many things come right back, time and again, to that one place.

1-John 4:6: "…the one who is not of God does not listen to us…."  I'll tell you how quickly you would know that: If you had to go stand in some church, and I don't care what kind of church it would be—Indian guru, Jewish synagogue, Catholic church, Protestant church, the metropolitan church (the church of homosexuals)—and relate all of their sins…

There are those who feed the poor and are recognized politically and all this sort of thing, what if you said, 'You're hypocrites feeding all of these poor.' They wouldn't listen to you five minutes. That's why they hated Jesus. That's why He didn't go up to the Feast at that time; they hated Jesus.

"…By this means we know the Spirit of the Truth and the spirit of the deception" (v 6). The Spirit of Truth comes from God. The spirit of error comes from Satan.

Verse 7: "Beloved, we should love one another because love is from God; and everyone who loves has been begotten by God, and knows God. The one who does not love does not know God because God is love" (vs 7-8).

1-John 5:5[transcriber's correction]: "Who is the one who overcomes the world? Even the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God." That's part of overcoming the world.

Verse 19: "We know that we are of God…" Do you know that? Do you know that we are of God? By the things that we've gone through, yes, we know we are of God! We have to be of God whether we're all together as a group, or whether we're separated as individuals, wherever we are, we have to know that we are of God! That's not a boastful statement!

"…and that the whole world lies in the power of the wicked one" (v 19). That's where that fight and that competition comes from. It's because of the human nature of pride, vanity, covetousness and so forth.

Galatians 1:3: "Grace and peace be to you from God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ, Who gave Himself for our sins, in order that He might deliver us from the present evil world…" (vs 3-4). Quite a statement! We have to be delivered in many ways:

  • from Satan
  • from ourselves
  • from the society
  • from those who hate us

"…according to the will of our God and Father" (v 4).

Galatians 6:14: "But as for me, MAY IT NEVER BE that I boast, except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through Whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world." That's quite a statement when we look at that way. How loyal and dedicated should we be to God? Just that way!

Luke 14 is another verse that may present some kind of contradiction where Jesus said, 'Take my burden for it is easy and it is light.' But here we have something that almost looks like a contradiction of it. When we were baptized we should have gone over this and known that this is exactly what God wants us to do, and that we count our lives this way:

Luke 14:25 "And great multitudes were going with Him…" They saw Him healing the sick, casting out demons, curing he lepers. You can attract a big following that way. The multitudes were following.

Even one time He was calling the disciples and one of them said, 'I'll come with You, Lord, just as soon as I bury my father and mother,' and Jesus said, 'Let the dead bury their dead.'

What does it mean? If you have 'the law of sin and death' in you and have not been baptized and do not have the Spirit of God in you, you are as good as dead! The 'wages of sin is death!' So, the multitude coming along, sure they wanted that. Remember when they got fed with the manna?

They sat down right by the Sea of Galilee; just picture it with nice grassy knolls and hills and Jesus fed the 5,000 and they were all excited and they wanted to have this food. They followed Him, even clear across the Sea of Galilee so that they could have this food. You would want that.

Where there is something good that people want, they will flock to it. Just like with a lottery. They make it sound real nice. It sounds so good, and people are going to come and buy their tickets, because they're going to get something for nothing. This is what was happening here with following Jesus. I wonder how many converts they would have if the Billy Graham campaigns would be run like this.

"…and He turned and said to them, 'If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father…'" (vs 25-26). That's not a contradiction of the Bible. It says that you're to love father and mother, but this means you're to love God more in comparison to.

"'…and mother, and wife, and children, and brothers and sisters, and, in addition, his own life also, he cannot be My disciple'" (v 26). That's a strong saying.

I don't know how many of you have had situations where your friends, relatives, father and mother sit there crying and begging and boo-hooing for you not to do this, and 'why are you wrapped up in this religion?' You just somehow can't communicate to them what you're doing; you just can't communicate to them. You try everything that you can, and they feel real offended. What is one of the last things they will say, 'Well, you don't love me anymore.' Same thing right here.

We're to hate the evil, the sin, and we are to love God more. How is that to be? With all our heart, mind, soul and being! "…father and mother, and wife, and children, and brothers and sisters, and, in addition, his own life also…" Jesus said in another place that if you 'hate your life in this world, you will save it in the world to come.' And once you get to that point:

Verse 27: "And whoever does not carry his cross… [crucified to the world, as Paul said (Gal. 6:14)] …and come after Me… [Christ isn't going to be coming after us all the time and saying, 'Oh please, won't you…? No! We have to go after Christ] …cannot be My disciple." Those are pretty strong statements.

One of the things about the Feast of Tabernacles is that we have seven days and then one more in which everyday we get together and go through the Word of God, and that really invigorates us spiritually and charges us all up and gets us ready to say:

  • yes, God, that's what we wants
  • yes, this is what You require
  • yes, we'll stick with it the way we should

That's great that we can have that!

Verse 28: "For which one of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has sufficient for its completion." There is a building near Hollister but one time we were curious and we went there to look at it. There's a house that has a foundation, it's all framed up and the roof is on it, and that's all the further they were able to go in finishing that house. There it's sitting, and you know there are going to be termites, it's rotting and falling apart.

What Jesus is telling us is the same analogy. If we're going to build the Christian life, we have to count the cost so that we know exactly what it's going to take to finish it.

Verse 29: "Lest perhaps, after he has laid its foundation and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, saying, 'This man began to build, and was not able to finish'? Or what king, when he goes out to engage another king in war, does not first sit down and take counsel, whether he will be able with ten thousand to meet him who is coming against him with twenty thousand?" (vs 29-31).

Isn't it true that whenever you make a proposition to someone you always try to make it as good as you can for you. Spiritually speaking, we have to be able to say, 'Is the battle worth it?' I would have to conclude that, yes, the battle is worth it. Whatever the cost may be, that's what God wants us to do.

Verse 32: "But if not, while his enemy is still far off, he sends ambassadors and desires the terms for peace." Of course, we have to make our peace with God. That's what Paul said, 'Grace and peace to you from God our Father and Lord Jesus Christ.'

Verse 33: "In the same way also, each one of you who does not forsake all that he possesses cannot be My disciple." Then you have the analogy of the young rich man who, when he heard that he had to sell all of his goods and follow Christ, he was very sorrowful and went away.

If he would have followed Christ and said, 'Hey, these things don't amount to too much to me, I'm going to follow You, he probably could have kept them anyway. God wants your heart and mind, and that really is the sum total of what you are. People can take your goods….

For example: Today they can take your house, they can take your car, they can take your clothes, but they can't take your mind. That's what has to be committed to God. If we're willing forsake and leave those things, then we can be His disciples. All of that has to do with part of the world, the world hating us.

We can go out here and people will treat us nice. It's not that they're going around, 'Oh, that guy is a Christian and I hate him.' That isn't the kind of thing we're running into, but it means that when it gets down between you and God, and you and the world, the world and the people of the world are going to hate you and God.

John 7:8: "'You go up to this Feast…. [Jesus did command them to keep the Feast of Tabernacles] …I am not going up to this Feast now, for My time has not yet been fulfilled.' And after saying these things to them, He remained in Galilee" (vs 8-9). It doesn't say how long He stayed there, but I imagine that He could get up there a whole lot quicker traveling alone than He could with a whole entourage. They would go by families and caravan.

Remember the account of keep the Passover in Jerusalem, and how they got two days journey away and they found that Jesus wasn't there. So, the whole family would travel in a caravan. They'd line up their donkeys and camels and put everything on them, and the live ones they had dedicated for the sacrifice, they'd take those along. It was quite a thing to go to the Feast.

Jesus stayed back, and v 10: "But after His brothers had gone up, then Jesus also went up to the feast, not openly, but as it were in secret. As a result, the Jews were seeking Him at the Feast…" (vs 10-11). Notice the word Jews. Don't, when we read that, keep in mind that every Jew that has ever been. This is talking about the leaders of the Jews.

Sometimes it will talk about the Pharisees specifically or the scribes specifically, or the lawyer specifically or the scribes, Pharisees and lawyers together. And then when it's just in general, and He says, 'Jews,' that's referring to the leadership of the Jews. You can go out here and find many good and upstanding Jewish people today. They'll be nice and generous and kind. When you read this it's not talking about those Jews. Those kinds of Jews would be the people.

"…and said, 'Where is He?' Now, there was much debating about Him among the people…." (vs 11-12). Almost all the people were Jews, so it shows the difference between the Jewish leaders and the people.

"…Some said, 'He is a good Man.' But others said, 'No, but He is deceiving the people.' However, no one spoke publicly about Him for fear of the Jews" (vs 12-13). That clearly shows that has to do with the Jewish leadership at the time.

Verse 14: "But then, about the middle of the Feast, Jesus went up into the temple and was teaching. And the Jews were amazed… [the leaders] …saying, 'How does this Man know letters, having never been schooled?'" (vs 14-15). In other words, 'He's not of our circle, He didn't graduate from our rabbi school, no one ever signed his diploma; how does He know all these things?'

You have the same situation today, almost exactly the same situation. When you come out with something that is so strong and true, they say, 'Who are you to say this?' The human mind is devious, and you can see it in your own children.

Verse 16: "Jesus answered them and said, 'My doctrine is not Mine, but His Who sent Me.'" Doctrine is from the Greek 'didaskalia'—teachings. That's all a doctrine is.

Verse 17 is a key to everything we do concerning the Bible. The best way to understand the Bible is to follow what you find in it.

Zig Ziegler is supposed to be one of the great salespeople in the United States, and he's somewhat 'religious' in his own way. On one of his lectures he mentions that on selling something it's just like the objections of people with the Bible. They say, 'We don't understand it. Ziegler says, 'I'm sure that it's not the hard things that they don't understand; I'm sure that they're saying they don't want to keep the simple things.' Of the Ten Commandments, he says, 'These are not the suggestions of God, these are the commandments.' That's what the people don't like.

Verse 17: "If anyone desires to do His will…" That's the only way you're going to understand the Bible, doing the will of God! That's why an atheist can never understand the Bible.

  • they're not doing the will of God
  • they're not believing

They can sit down and read the Bible and they couldn't understand it. It's amazing how God has created and made the Bible! You only understand it as you do it, and you only understand it as you believe, and you believe with the simple things and you go from there. That's the key that God has for understanding the Bible. "If anyone desires to do His will…"

Why would anyone say this? Remember who Jesus is talking to. He's talking to the Jewish leaders.

"…he shall know of the doctrine, whether it is from God, or whether I speak from My own self. The one who speaks of himself is seeking his own glory… [He's talking about them] …but He Who seeks the glory of Him Who sent Him… [talking of Himself] …is true, and there is no unrighteousness in Him. Did not Moses give you the Law, and not one of you is practicing the Law?…." (vs 17-18-19).

  • Weren't they keeping the Feast of Tabernacles?
  • Is that not part of the Law of God? Yes, it is!
  • What is God interested in?

Just like everything comes back to John 3:19-20, every comes back to the heart. You can keep them in the letter; you can keep the Sabbath. Do the orthodox Jews keep the Sabbath today? Sure they keep the Sabbath! Yes, they do! But do they know God? No!

"…Why do you seek to kill Me?" (v 19). What good does it do to keep the Sabbath if you're a murderer? Unless you repent of being a murderer, it doesn't do you any good!

The Pharisees were the inheritors of the 'religion' of Judaism, and in the book of Malachi they were the ones who came out of the captivity from Babylon. And for about 100 years they really did what was right, when it was under Ezra, Nehemiah and Haggai. You can read in Josephus it was called The Golden Age of Judaism. At that time it was not Judaism as we know it today, but it was more following the commands of the Bible. Remember that during the Feast of Tabernacles they stood up there and read out of the Law and they made sense to the people so they could understand it. Most of the people coming back had the Aramaic or the Babylonian version of Hebrew, so only Ezra could read out of the Hebrew and tell them what it meant.

Later, just like everything else, all human societies corrupt! Isn't that true? It just seems to go that way, every human society corrupts.

When we come down to the time of Malachi we find that they were doing the things they shouldn't do. God says for the offering, 'Bring the perfect, the ones without any blemish.' What were they doing? They were bringing the blind, the blemished! God said, 'Take it to the governor and see if he'll accept it of you.

If someone brought an old dilapidated cow to you and said, 'Here I'm giving you a gift of this wonderful cow.' Don't go up and pat it on the back, it might fall over. You would say, 'No, I really don't want this.' That's what God was telling them here.

Malachi 2:1: "And now, O priests, this commandment is for you." This is the same timeframe, just before the days of Jesus, about 250 years before Jesus. The Jewish leaders were the ones who inherited the system and notice what they inherited.

Verse 2: "'If you will not hear, and if you will not lay it to heart to give glory to My name,' says the LORD of hosts, 'then I will send a curse upon you, and I will curse your blessings. Yea, I have indeed cursed them already because you do not lay it to heart." There again, God is interested in the heart. That's why He said to them, 'If you do the will of God, you'll know whether it is the will of God or not.'

Verse 3: "Behold, I will rebuke your seed; and I will spread dung upon your faces, even the dung of your appointed feasts…."

Think about the dung upon the solemn feasts of the Jews. The first dung that they had was the crucifixion of Christ, though it was even prophesied to be. They could have repented of that if they wanted to.

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Verse 3: "Behold, I will rebuke your seed; and I will spread dung upon your faces, even the dung of your appointed feasts And one shall carry you away with it. And you shall know that I have sent this commandment to you, so that My covenant might be with Levi,' says the LORD of hosts" (vs 3-4).

We just take the same things today; what is our covenant with? Christ and with the Melchisedec priesthood! We can draw the analogy out of this with ministers today who are ministers of Christ, and we can see many of the same things apply. I want to put this in context to the Jews who were the scribes and Pharisees during Jesus' time. 

Verse 5: "My covenant with him was one of life and peace, and I gave them to him for fear; that he might fear Me, and he was in awe before My name. The Law of Truth was in his mouth, and iniquity was not found in his lips. He walked with Me in peace and uprightness, and turned away many from iniquity, for the priest's lips should keep knowledge, and the people should seek the law at his mouth; for he is the messenger of the LORD of hosts" (vs 5-7),

The word Malachi means the messenger of God! The priest was to be the messenger of God. Ministers today are to be the messengers of God.

Verse 8: "'But you have departed out of the way; you have caused many to stumble at the Law. You have corrupted the covenant of Levi,' says the LORD of hosts." Isn't that what Jesus just told them (John 7:19)? Yes!

How can they say, 'We represent God! Let's hold a council over here and figure out how we're going to kill this Guy.' Plan it!

Verse 9: "Therefore, I have also made you contemptible and base before all the people, just as you have not kept My ways but have been partial in the Law." Nothing could describe the Jewish religion, even today, more than that. Most people hold everything they do in contempt.

Even many of the Jews do. That's why there's the Orthodox, the Conservative and the Reformed. The Reformed possibly, at heart, more like Christians ought to be in relationship to the Old Testament than the Orthodox are. Everything has to be just exactly right with the Orthodox religion.

Verse 10: "Have we not all one father? Has not one God created us? Why do we deal treacherously, each man against his brother, by profaning the covenant of our fathers?" We can say the same thing today with the New Covenant. How can we, as people or ministers, deal treacherously one with another and say, 'We're God's Church, we're God's people'; deal treacherously with one person and turn around the other way and try and smooth it all over with love and kindness when the heart hasn't changed. Putting on love on the outside does not change the heart.

We're talking about the Law of Moses and Jesus is talking to the Pharisees, and they sought to kill Him, John 5:39: "You search the Scriptures, for in them you think that you have eternal life; and they are theones that testify of Me. But you are unwilling to come to Me, that you may have life. I do not receive glory from men; but I have known you, that you do not have the love of God in yourselves" (vs 39-42).

  • What is the love of God? This is the love of God that we keep His commandments!
  • What did Jesus tell them in John 7:19? That you do not keep the Law of Moses!

Verse 43: "I have come in My Father's name, and you do not receive Me; but if another comes in his own name, you will receive him. How are you able to believe, you who receive glory from one another, and do not seek the glory that comes from the only God? Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father. There is one who accuses you, even Moses, in whom you have hope" (vs 43-45).

They say, 'We trust Moses; we have the Law of Moses; we're the children of Abraham.'

Verse 46: "But if you believed Moses…" We have to believe the things that Moses wrote, too. They didn't believe Moses. What do they have? Their own traditions! {Note Mark 7:1-22 where Jesus tells them about their traditions. 'Full well they reject the commandment of God so they may keep their traditions.}

The thing that the Jewish leaders have done have hardened their hearts that they won't open their hearts at all to the Word of God, to the Spirit of God and to Jesus Christ. Of course, that's the basis of Christianity.

"…you would have believed Me; for he wrote about Me. And if you do not believe his writings, how shall you believe My words?" (vs 46-47).

2-Timothy 3:15—Paul is writing to Timothy: "And that from a child you have known the Holy Writings, which are able to make you wise unto salvation through faith, which is in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is God-breathed and is profitable for doctrine, for conviction, for correction, for instruction in righteousness so that the man of God may be complete, fully equipped for every good work" (vs 15-17). Now you know why there was such a battle between Jesus and the religious leaders of the Jews.

John 7:19: "'Did not Moses give you the Law, and not one of you is practicing the Law? Why do you seek to kill Me?' The people answered and said, 'You have a demon. Who is seeking to kill You?'" (vs 19-20). Of course, that's the quickest way to cast doubt and disparagement against someone.

  • oh, he's demon possessed
  • oh, stay away from him

I've heard that used against people, and in many cases it's not true. Was it true of Christ? Of course not!

Verse 21: "Jesus answered and said to them, 'I did one work, and you were all amazed. Now then, Moses gave you circumcision—not that it was from Moses, but from the fathers—and on the Sabbath you circumcise a man. If a man receives circumcision on the Sabbath, so that the Law of Moses may not be broken,whyare you angry with Me because I made a man entirely whole on the Sabbath?'" (vs 21-23). They were angry that He 'broke' the Sabbath. He told the man to pick up his bed and carry it.

John 9:16: "Then some of the Pharisees said, 'This Man is not from God because He does not keep the Sabbath.'…." That was the Jews, and their leaders taught them the Sabbath. That's quite a statement that 'You're not keeping the Sabbath.' He healed a man on the Sabbath.

Remember the time that He healed a man and was angry when He healed him? I imagine that there were some critics back there saying, 'If this is a man of God He shouldn't have that look on His face. If this is a man of God He shouldn't be angry. Why, a man of God is supposed to be kind, nice' and all this sort of thing.

John 7:24: "Judge not according to appearance, but judge righteous judgment…. [Note sermon series: Judge Righteous Judgment] …Then some of those from Jerusalem said, 'Is not this the One Whom they seek to kill? But look, He is speaking publicly, and they are saying nothing to Him. Can it be that the authorities have recognized that this Man truly is the Christ?'" (vs 24-26). He stirred up the whole nation of Judah because of His ministry and everything He did.

Verse 27: "Now, this man, we know where He comes from. But the Christ, whenever He may appear, no one knows where He comes from." They knew!

Verse 40: "Now, after hearing these words, many of the people said, 'This is truly the Prophet.' Others said, 'This is the Christ.' But others said, 'Does the Christ then come out of Galilee? Does not the Scripture say that the Christ comes from the seed of David, and from Bethlehem, the town where David was?' Therefore, a division arose among the people because of Him" (vs 40-43).

But back in v 27 it says that they wouldn't know where He's from. You could ask when you go through here and read about these arguments, whose opinion counts? When it's all said and done, whatever God says or does, His opinion, that's what really counts!

Verse 28: "Then Jesus spoke out, teaching in the temple and saying, 'You know Me, and you also know where I come from; yet, I have not come of Myself; but He Who sent Me is true, Whom you do not know.'" We're setting the stage here for John 8; we're going to see a knockdown, drag out fight that is really something!

Imagine what kind of reaction you would have if you walk up to an Orthodox rabbi today and look him right in the face and say, 'You don't know God!' If you stir up too much trouble he would have a council to kill you. There are Christian groups in Israel, which I'm sure includes mostly the Church of God, who keep the Sabbath and the Holy Days, and they're getting Jewish converts, and the rabbis are angry and seeking to expel them out of the country.

Verse 29: "'But I know Him because I am from Him, and He sent Me.' Because of this saying, they were looking for a way to take Him; but no one laid a hand on Him because His time had not yet come. Then many of the people believed in Him, saying, 'When the Christ comes, will He do more miracles than those that this Man has done?' The Pharisees heard the crowds debating these things about Him, and the Pharisees and the chief priests sent officers to arrest Him" (vs 29-32).

The officers were the guards at the temple. They had shifts of guards that were all around the temple and they were to protect it and so forth. So, they sent out the guards to arrest Jesus.

Verse 33: "Then Jesus said to them, 'I am with you yet a little while, and then I go to Him Who sent Me. You shall seek Me, but shall not find Me; and where I am going, you are not able to come'" (vs 33-35).

Here's a good Scripture to remember that no one can go to heaven. Did Jesus ascend into heaven? Yes, He ascended into heaven! Jesus said that when He goes "…you are not able to come." He said that even to His disciples. "…where I am going, you are not able to come." He said, 'When I come again, I will receive you unto Myself.'

Verse 35: "Therefore, the Jews said among themselves, 'Where is He about to go, that we shall not find Him? Is He about to go to the Diaspora among the Greeks, and teach the Greeks?'"

We'll look at one Scripture that shows us that the Jews knew where all the 12 tribes of Israel were at that time. You can read the book of Josephus and he will acknowledge that even during his day they knew where the other ten tribes were. These are the ones who were dispersed among the Gentiles.

James 1:1: "James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes, which are in the dispersion: Greetings!" If you're going to write a letter, you're surely going to know to whom you are writing, and you're surely going to know that it's going to get there. He's writing to the 12 tribes and this went out to the 12 tribes.

John 7:35 shows that they knew where the 12 tribes were. Not only just the Jews there. In thinking about this whole thing with the Jewish question, it's kind of my opinion that the really tremendous musicians who are Jews—and they are absolutely fantastic in music—that they have made and created some of the players of instruments and so forth. They are really outstanding. I wonder if they are not mostly from the tribe of Levi, because the Levites were the ones at the temple: singers, priests and so forth to differentiate them from the 'religious' leaders of the Jews. It's kind of hard to sort out where all the 12 tribes are, but it just makes me wonder about that.

John 7:36: "'What is this saying that He said, "You shall seek Me, but shall not find Me"; and, "Where I am going, you are not able to come"?' Now, in the last day, the great day of the Feast…" (vs 36-37). Whether this is the Last Great Day or the last day of the Feast it doesn't make it clear one way or the other. I would assume that it would mean The Last Great Day, because it says, 'Seven days you shall have the Feast of Tabernacles and the eighth day shall be a Sabbath unto you.
I do know that on this day there was the Jewish ceremony called The Festival or The Ritual of Water, where they would take water in a certain area of the temple and they would pour this water in acknowledgement of God sending water for the crop and acknowledgment of God giving them the water that they had. Of course, when you live in a desert area, water is very important. It's a very, very needed thing!

So, when Jesus came and started preaching on this Last Great Day, "…Jesus stood and called out, saying, 'If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink'" (v 37). Immediately we should think of some Scriptures: John 6:63—the words of Jesus are Spirit and Truth.

John 6:35: "Jesus said to them, 'I AM the Bread of Life; the one who comes to Me shall never hunger; and the one who believes in Me shall never thirst at any time.'" Here the teachings of Jesus follow right along with "…Let him follow Me and drink" (John 7:37). Here's the prophecy of what He was teaching here:

Isaiah 55:1: "Ho, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and he who has no money, come, buy and eat. Yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price." Referring to the true spirituality of God, not just the physical things alone.

Verse 2: "Why do you spend money for what is not bread? And your labor for what never satisfies? Hearken diligently to Me, and eat what is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness. Bow down your ear, and come to Me; hear, and your soul shall live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David" (vs 2-3).

Verse 5: "Behold, you shall call a nation that you do not know; a nation that did not know you shall run to you because of the LORD your God, and for the Holy One of Israel; for He has glorified you." That's concerning a direct prophecy of Christ; that the nations would come to Christ.

Verse 6: "Seek the LORD while He may be found; call upon Him while He is near. Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; and let him return to the LORD, and He will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon" (vs 6-7). Where do you overcome sin? Right in the mind! That's the first place to overcome sin!

Verse 8: "'For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor your ways My ways,' says the LORD. 'For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts. For as the rain comes down, and the snow from the heavens, and does not return there, but waters the earth, and makes it bring forth and bud, and gives seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall My Word be which goes out of My mouth; it shall not return to Me void, but it shall accomplish what I please, and it shall certainly do what I sent it to do. For you shall go out with joy, and be led out with peace; the mountains and the hills shall break out before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands. Instead of the thorn, the fir tree shall come up; and instead of the brier, the myrtle tree shall come up; and it shall be to the LORD for a memorial, for an everlasting sign which shall not be cut off'" (vs 8-13).

John 7:38: "'The one who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said…'" How does the Scripture say we're to believe in Him? With all our heart, mind—repent to God!

"'…out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.'" (v 38). Again, this is symbolically speaking of out of His innermost being will flow the Holy Spirit of God.

Verse 39: "But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, which those who believed in Him would soon receive; for the Holy Spirit was not yet given because Jesus was not yet glorified."

That's a tremendous thing! I hope that we can all come to it. It's a hard point in life to come to, but I hope we can all come to that point in life that we can say that God's Spirit is sufficient; God's grace and Spirit is sufficient! God can take care of everything else! We don't have to worry about anything else. God can take care of everything else.

That doesn't mean that we all just quit working or give up and do nothing and run off to some commune and get long-haired, long-bearded, dirty and disheveled. It doesn't mean that at all.

It's kind of like the thing that we ask God to bless us and do something, then we sit back and we don't do anything so God can't bless us. We have to get out and do, follow through on that faith. In order to come to this point that we can really have, spiritually speaking… Jesus gave the promise that 'he who comes to Him shall never hunger and never thirst.' That is the one who is believing!

Verse 43: "Therefore, a division arose among the people because of Him. Now some of them desired to take Him… [some would have taken him… [that is the officers sent to arrest Him] …but no one laid hands on Him" (vs 43-44). I just wonder what sort of spiritual restraint was there, how many angels were there just putting into the minds of these people, 'Don't you dare lay a hand on Him.' It wasn't time!

Verse 45: "As a result, when the officers came to the chief priests and the Pharisees, they said to them, "Why did you not bring Him?" The officers answered, 'Never has a man spoken like this man.' Then the Pharisees answered them, 'Are you also being deceived?'" (vs 45-47). I see so many parallels in that:

  • if you don't agree with the hierarchy you're deceived
  • if you try and do something that doesn't agree with them, you're demon possessed

Verse 48: "'Has even one of the rulers or of the Pharisees believed in Him?…. [Nicodemus did] …But these people who do not know the law are accursed.'" (vs 48-49). Doesn't that sound like some of the things that the leaders hold the people in contempt? Yes! It did then!

Verse 50: "Then Nicodemus (being one of them, the one who came to Him by night) said to them, 'Does our law judge any man without first hearing from him in person, and knowing what he does?' They answered and said to him…" (vs 50-52). Here's the 'gang attack'; if you don't agree with the majority, sic 'em!

Verse 52: "They answered and said to him 'Are you also from Galilee? Search and see, for no prophet has ever come out of Galilee.' And each one went to his house" (vs 52-53).

Let's see what Nicodemus admitted concerning the Jews and the rulers of the Jews.

John 3:1: "Now, there was a man of the Pharisees, Nicodemus by name, a ruler of the Jews. He came to Jesus by night… [for fear of the Jews] …and said to Him, 'Rabbi, we… [Pharisees] …know that You are a teacher Who has come from God; because no one is able to do the miracles that You are doing unless God is with him.'" (vs 1-2).

Then they turned around and said that He does these by the spirit of Beelzebub. Now you know why Jesus warned them of committing the unpardonable sin. If you know that He's from God and you turn back from Him, are you responsible for your knowledge, your thoughts and your actions? Sure you are!

  • Is Jesus the Just Judge? Yes, He is!
  • Is He going to make any condemnation to someone without really knowing that it is true? No, He's not!

So, when we come to some of these hard statements, especially in John 8, we'll see what He did with the situation with the woman who was taken in adultery, and then the man who was born blind. There are several spiritual parallels that we can draw on those.

All Scriptures from The Holy Bible in Its Original Order, A Faithful Version by Fred R. Coulter

Scriptural References:

  • John 7:1-3
  • Mark 6:2-3
  • Mark 3:32-35
  • John 2:12
  • John 7:4-7
  • John 3:18-21
  • 1 John 4:1-6
  • Isaiah 8:20
  • 1 John 4:6-8
  • 1 John 5:5, 19
  • Galatians 1:3-4
  • Galatians 6:14
  • Luke 14:25-33
  • John 7:8-19
  • Malachi 2:1-10
  • John 5:39-47
  • 2 Timothy 3:15-17
  • John 7:19-23
  • John 9:16
  • John 7:24-27, 40-43, 28-35
  • James 1:1
  • John 7:36-37
  • John 6:35
  • Isaiah 55:1-3, 5-13
  • John 7:38-39, 43-53
  • John 3:1-2

Scriptures referenced, not quoted:

  • Acts 15
  • Mark 7:1-22
  • John 6:63

Also referenced:

  • Book: Josephus
  • Sermon Series: Judge Righteous Judgment

Transcribed: 11-12-14 | Corrected: 12-28-14