Pride and Vanity
(John 8 & 9)

Fred R. Coulter—October 3, 1985

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[Transcript begins at 1:33]

Let's review part of the confrontation that they had in John 8:41: "'You are doing the works of your father.' Then they said to Him, 'We have not been born of fornication. We have one Father, and that is God.' Therefore, Jesus said to them, 'If God were your Father, you would love Me, 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'" (vs 41-43).

This shows how that that has to do with whether people are willing to listen or not, and how the most important thing for us is that we always be willing to listen to what God has to say to us. Let's not be hard-hearted like the Israelites and the Jews were.

Then Jesus said, v 44: "You are of your father the devil, 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." Satan is the adversary; he is the great deceiver. What is one the ways to deceive?

Note these Scriptures:

  • Rev. 12:9—Satan is deceiving the whole world
  • Isa. 14—Lucifer was cast down because he said, 'I will exalt my throne; I will become like the Most High; I will be above the stars of God
  • Ezek. 28—Satan was sinning because he got lifted up in his pride because of his beauty

Lies come from pride. I think we're going to see when we do a little more on human nature that much of human nature comes because of pride. Let's look at what Satan told Adam and Eve, and maybe we can learn a little more out of it.

Genesis 3:1: "Now, the serpent was more cunning than any creature of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said to the woman, 'Is it true that God has said, "You shall not eat of any tree of the garden?"'" Here is the beginning of his lie and his deception. Here's one thing to note and realize: Whenever a lie is told, as much of the truth as possible is put in there so it's more acceptable until a person gets to a point that they will believe anything that they are told!Think about that for a minute.

Every time we deal with something with our children they try and cover up something that they have done, first of all by telling us something that is basically true, but it's meant to get our mind off the track. When we tell lies we do the same thing—don't we?

Here Satan was challenging Eve and he said that God said, 'You shall not eat of every tree of the garden.' Well, what's the first thing that you're going to do when someone tells you something like that? You're going to respond right back! This is how he got Eve to respond back.

Verse 2: "And the woman said to the serpent, 'We may freely eat the fruit of the trees of the garden…'" That's exactly what he wanted her to do; he wanted her to begin talking. Then he could trap her.

Verse 3: "'But of the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden, God has indeed said, "You shall not eat of it, neither shall you touch it, lest you die."' And the serpent said to the woman, 'In dying, you shall not surely die!'" (vs 3-4). In a sense that was a true statement; if you want to be technical. That's exactly how Satan is; he gets very technical and he takes a point, which is true temporarily, and says, 'No, that isn't the way it is.'

We know that in Gen. 5 that it says that Adam lived to be 930-years-old. He didn't die when he ate the fruit, neither did Eve. So, Satan's statement here was temporarily literally true.

When God said, Genesis 2:17: "But you shall not eat of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, for in the day that you eat of it in dying you shall surely die." Analyze that statement carefully. He said that "…in the day that you eat of it in dying you shall surely die."

It does not mean in the very day that they ate the fruit that they would die that day. But 'the wages of sin is death.'When you sin, you are as good as dead! That's why God said it the way that He did. Satan comes along and says:

Genesis 3:4: "…you shall not surely die! For God knows that in the day you eat of it, then your eyes shall be opened…" (vs 4-5).Was it a true statement that their eyes were opened. That is a true statement, their eyes were opened! God knew that they would. See how cleverly Satan brings this about.

"…and you shall be like God, deciding good and evil" (v 5). There is the lie! They would know good and evil, but they would not be as God.

There are several ways of looking at this:

  • The Hebrew word for God is 'Elohim'; the same word for 'in the beginning God [Elohim] created the heavens and the earth.'
  • The other way of looking at it is: you shall be as gods—the same word as used in Exo. 20, which says 'You shall have no other gods before Me.'

Did Satan consider himself God? That was the whole purpose of his rebellion, that he was to become God. So, in fact:

  • could it be that Adam and Eve would have their eyes opened to become as a god, as Satan considered himself a god, to know good and evil?

I just leave that with a question mark! You can't dogmatically say that, but obviously, they were not as God with character so that they could never do anything that was evil.

Verse 6: "And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food…" Tie that in with

  • 1-John 2:16[transcriber's correction]—the lust of the eyes, lust of the flesh
  • Eph. 2:3[transcriber's correction where the desires of the mind and flesh…

Lots of times people can define lust as you're lusting after something in a passionate way, but sometimes just the lust of the mind and the desires of the mind also become what we would call lust or covetousness. She saw that the tree was good for food, and I imagine that she thought that if this isn't good for food then it would probably taste bad.

It's like everything else, something that looks bad, you think it's going to taste bad. You see something that looks good, you think it's going to be good; but it isn't! That's just the way that this world's system is.

For example: Here's all this beauty that God has created out here, and then you think about all the evil that goes on with all the people that are out here. You go over here to Reno, Nevada, and I am absolutely amazed how people are hypnotized by those gambling machines; they just sit there one after the other. It's really mind-boggling, and they think it's really good.

We went over to one of the restaurants and there was an older couple walking in ahead of us and the wife says to the husband, 'You just got to win this time.' So, it makes you wonder what happened before. People look at that and they think that is good. Some of those people are pushed around in wheelchairs so they can go pull the arm and gamble away their money.

Looks good! But it isn't good! All that looks good is not good. Evil sometimes looks good, and good sometimes does not look good. That's why we need God's commandments to define it for us.

"…and that it was pleasing to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise…" (v 6). That's the whole secret of the occult. Everything of these secret organizations and the occult is to make you wiser and wiser and reveal more and more. It's exactly the same premise here.

"…she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate. And the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves" (vs 6-7). You know the rest of the story and what happened.

Satan—who is the father of liars—took something that was wrong, took something that was true but with a different application than what God meant. That's how Satan was able to deceive.

Job 41 talks about the leviathan, and in part that has to do with Satan. Obviously, it comes down to Satan in the 34th verse. It seems so much like the Chinese dragon that the Chinese depict with smoke and fire coming out of his nostrils and so forth. This doesn't look like a whale, you can't say it's a whale, but is typical of a dragon. When you think of a dragon going through the oceans, or water, then you recall in Rev. 17 where it says that the 'woman who sits on the beast, sits on many waters and these are people, nations and tongues. There can be quite a few parallels and spiritual analogies.

Job 41:34: "He beholds every thingthat is high… [above human intelligence] …he is a king over all the children of pride." Lies work because of lust, covetousness and pride.

It says in Proverbs that 'pride goes before a fall.' When there is pride you can be setup to be deceived. Who is the king over all the children of pride? Satan! When there is pride then there is something you want, or something to defend, or something to appeal to—all the avers of human nature.

But notice here it's talking about Edom, Obadiah 3: "The pride of your heart has deceived you…"

  • if Satan is the father of lies—which he is
  • he fell because of his own pride—which he did
  • when Adam and Eve ate of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil and it opened their eyes so they could know good and evil—which it did

Then apparently, when that law of sin and death was passed on to them, part of the law of sin and death then is pride! That is how Satan is able to deceive people.

Let's take a look at two countries during WWII, the Japanese and the Germans. The Japanese worshiped the emperor. They would do just incredible things out of pride. They would not surrender, but they would commit suicide. That's why when Douglas MacArthur went in there that he told everyone not to wear suits and ties, just kakis and open collar because 'the do not deserve any honor.' He did that to break their pride. He said, 'We will execute your emperor unless he renounces his authority as god, and you change your religion that you do not worship the emperor, and you renounce war altogether. So, they put quite a few conditions on the Japanese.

How are the Japanese getting back at us? Through trade! I don't believe for one minute that it's out of the goodness of their heart that they're doing it. They will conqueror us by that. They really will do it. I think they sat down and said, 'They beat us with war, let's beat them with trade.' Of the top ten banks in the world, six are in Japan.

The thing I want to emphasize is that "The pride of your heart has deceived you…" Let's see how pride is a tool of Satan. 1-Tim. is talking about anyone who is to be an elder.

1-Timothy 3:6: "Not a novice, lest he become conceited [pride] and fall into the same condemnation as the devil." What was the condemnation of the devil? Because of pride he was lifted up! This is why God brings upon us the trials and difficulties we go through.

Maybe if we can learn the lesson on overcoming pride and overcoming sin where it starts, we won't have so many difficult lessons to go through. Every once in a while you've got to say, 'God, please! Enough!'

The way that I think we can accomplish that is not figuring how smart and good we are, but getting closer to God and figuring out what God wants us to do. There's a difficult way and a there's an easy way. I prefer the easy way, but somehow human nature just doesn't want to go along with that. So, let's hope that somehow we can get it somewhere in the middle.

Verse 7: "It is mandatory that he also have a good report from those who are outside the Church, lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil." That's the traps that he will setup; obviously, that's the blackmail kind of information that will come along later to haunt a person, and so forth—all of those based upon pride!

2-Thess. 2 talks about the one who is coming, the wicked one, the mystery of iniquity. 2-Thessalonians 2:9: "Even the one whose coming is according to the inner working of Satan, with all power and signs and lying wonders." The wonders are going to take place, you're going to see them. But for what purpose?

You see some of these magician shows and the hand is truly faster than the eye. Sometimes they will be doing these things and if you have a camera that takes pictures at a very fast speed then you can catch them in all their little tricks and see what they're doing with their hands.

There are going to be these "…signs and lying wonders," and people are going to look at them and say, 'Yes, it did take place!' Satan is the father of liars (John 8:44).

Verse 10: "And with all deceivableness…" That means there's going to have to be a great deal of true premises that are involved. Just remember the temptation of Satan the devil with Christ. He came and said, 'If You're the Son of God, change these rocks into bread.' Did Jesus have the power to change it into bread? Yes, that was a true statement!

Then Satan said, 'If you be the Son of God cast Yourself down from this pinnacle and the angels of God will hold You up' and he properly quoted the Scripture. But was it wrongly applied for lustful means? Yes! Jesus said not to tempt God! This is going to be something, spectacular:

"…of unrighteousness in those who are perishing because they did not receive the love of the Truth, so that they might be saved. And for this cause, God will send upon them a powerful deception that will cause them to believe the lie" (vs 10-11). Just exactly what is going to come about, I don't know. We've speculated and said many, many different things. But I've learned over the years that many of these speculations may only have a degree of Truth in them, or it may not come out exactly as we have thought. But it's going to really be something!

Let's consider for a minute some things that Satan did. We don't have it in Scripture, but we know that Satan obviously had to inspire some of these things.

John 8:45—Jesus said: "And because I speak the Truth, you do not believe Me." We just read that where if you don't have a love for the Truth, you're going to be given over to a lie.

Verse 46: "Which one of you can convict Me of sin? 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 46-47). Here were the Jews who were supposed to be the people of God. Here were the leaders, the Pharisees who sat in the seat of Moses, and Jesus said, "…you are not of God."

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?'" Let's think about all of the things of apparent truth that could be said about Jesus by the Jews to reject Him as the Messiah. Obviously, you're not going to read the Scriptures that say:

  • He was smitten for our sins
  • He was marred more than any other man

What you're going to do, if you're Satan inspiring this, you're going to say 'that applies to another thing, that applies to another time.

I've read some of the Soncino Commentaries of the Old Testament that the Jews put out, and Soncino is supposed to be the best commentaries that the Jews have. When it gets down to anything that even looks like it's telling about Christ, they just completely avoid it.

  • they knew that it was a virgin birth, only they said it was 'fornication'
  • they knew that He was born in Bethlehem, but they said, 'We don't know where You're from'

Then Satan comes along. Remember that I said that the best way to tell a lie is to tell as much truth as you can. How can you convince the Pharisees that Jesus was not the Christ? Well, if Christ comes He's going to be a conquering hero! He's going to relieve us from all of our enemies!

He did not do it. If Christ comes—if He is the Christ—then He is going to follow the Law of Moses, because we are the ones who are the recipients of the Law of Moses. They're not telling you that they have their tradition over here, which is contrary to the Law of Moses. They're convinced that whatever they do is the Law of Moses.

  • Are they the seed of Abraham? Yes, the are!

That's true point, they can claim that.

  • Were the people of Israel chosen of God?

Yes, they were!

They didn't choose God, God chose them! They can say, 'We are the chosen of God.' And what a lot of deception you can through with that.

  • because we sit in the seat of Moses
  • because we are the chosen of God
  • anything we say or do comes with the authority of Moses, which then is the authority of God

All the other people are rejects.

Here's another one why they reject Christ: because there is only one God! And that argument is still one that the Jews use today. They say, 'How can Christ be the Messiah when there is only one God? You say there's the Father and the Son, and there cannot be the Father and the Son because there's only one God. How can there be one God when there are two? So, obviously anything you're teaching us as Christianity has got to be wrong, because it doesn't agree with us.'

See, that's the perfect kind of closed-mindedness that is based on a premise of truth that you can use to deceive. Very, very clever how Satan has done that.

Another one: If Jesus is the Messiah He wouldn't have allowed Himself to be crucified, because it says, 'cursed is everyone who hangs on tree. If the Messiah is from God He wouldn't be cursed.

Would He be cursed? You'd have to say, of course not, He wouldn't be cursed; He would be blessed! But that isn't true. If He bears the sins of the world, He actually takes upon Himself a curse. So, you can see that if you have a satanic inspiration behind this, how you can just lock those minds in. Their pride will deceive them. Do you think they were willing to give up? That t6hey would be willing to give up their authority?

Now you know why Christ didn't chose any of the Pharisees to become apostles. Can you imagine what Christianity would have been like? That's why He went down on the Sea of Galilee and He chose fishermen. He chose those who weren't 'religious' so they wouldn't get all hung up on these things.

The only one He called who was a Pharisee was Paul. He had to take Paul out in the desert for three years to get all this nonsense out of his mind. Jesus had to let him go so far as to be killing people who were true Christians in order to soften his heart enough so when He started dealing with Paul he would repent.

Then God went one step further, and the Jews say it to this day: 'Jesus we can understand, but Paul we don't forgive.' Paul taught that circumcision did not have to be for salvation. I tell you, if there's any one thing that you can get a hold of as Satan, just put the screws to that and make a convincing case. In a court of human law, Satan would win his case, because they do not deal in spiritual Truth, they only deal in carnal facts.

  • Did not God tell Abraham that everyone who was not circumcised would be not a part of the seed of Abraham?
  • Didn't God say that no one could partake of the Passover unless they were circumcised?

If you don't accept Christ and you don't accept Paul, you have won your case hands down that Judaism has got to be the one and only religion; 'We are the chosen people, we are the seed of Abraham, and anybody else is an upstart. Therefore, this Jesus is a Samaritan and has a demon.'

We've known these things all along, but maybe we haven't focused in on them like that to see how subtle that Satan can be.

I hope from this that I can learn some lessons with discussions with people, because they will do the same thing. They will bring up a point which is true, or sounds true, for the purpose of doing something else. That means I'm going to ask a whole lot more questions and I'm going to be thinking a whole lot more, and as the Scriptures say, consider the end of the matter.

Now you'll understand why John 8:48: "Then the Jews answered and said to Him, 'Are we not right in saying that You are a Samaritan…'" They could make a case that Jesus was a Samaritan, because he came from Nazareth, not too far from Samaria. That was where the Galileans were. After all 'we Jews of any note are here in Jerusalem.'

I think it's interesting that the only one whom Jesus chose out of Judea was Judas. What significance that has, I don't know, but I'm sure that there's some significance to that.

"'…and have a demon?' 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'" (vs 48-50)—which then is God the Father. Of course, they didn't understand that at all.

Verse 51: "Truly, truly I say to you, if anyone keeps My words, he shall not see death forever." If you think about it, you can die, but you won't be dead forever.

Verse 52: "Then the Jews said to Him, 'Now we know that You have a demon. Abraham and the prophets died…'" The Pharisees believed in the resurrection; the Sadducees did not. [transcriber's correction; see Acts 23:8]

"'…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? Who do You make Yourself to be?'" (vs 52-53). That's exactly the same thing that the Jews say to this day. This is a true statement to this day.

Matthew 28:11: "And as they were going, behold, some of the guard went into the city and reported to the chief priests all the things that were done. Then, after gathering together with the elders… [they always have an assembly and counsel and have it all planned out and get their stories straight] …and taking counsel, they gave a large sum of money to the soldiers, saying, 'Tell everyone…'" (vs 11-13). Here's manipulation behind the scenes. They would get out and say, 'We say…' NO! They'll figure it out and have someone else do it and 'we'll pay you but don't tell anyone we pay you, and you say…'

"…'Tell everyone that His disciples came by night and stole Him while you were sleeping. And if the governor hears of this, we will persuade him to release you from responsibility'" (vs 13-14). So they won't be court martialed.

Verse 15: "And they took the money and did as they were instructed; and this report has been spread abroad among the Jews to this day." That was a true statement when Matthew was written, but it was prophetically true even down to our day, and they still believe it.

John 8:54: "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. But I know Him, and I keep His Word. Abraham your father… [Jesus acknowledge that Abraham was their father] …was overjoyed to see My day; and he saw it, and rejoiced.' Then the Jews said to Him… [now they had the evidence] …'You are not even fifty years old, and You have seen Abraham?'" (vs 54-57). Then Jesus laid a heavy one right on them. This one here just really got to them.

Verse 58: "Jesus said to them, 'Truly, truly I say to you, before Abraham was born, I AM.'"—'ego eimi'—I AM that I AM! I existed!

About that time, you know what they did, v 59: "Then they picked up stones to throw at Him…. [they were mad!] …But Jesus concealed Himself and went out of the temple, passing through the midst of them, and in this manner departed."

We'll see some other things about this kind of attitude and blindness and so forth in just a minute.

John 9

John 9:1: "Now, as Jesus was passing by, He saw a man who was blind from birth. And His disciples asked Him, saying, 'Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?' Jesus answered, 'Neither did this man sin, nor his parents; rather, this blindness came so that the works of God might be manifested in him'" (vs 1-3). Let's just stop here for a minute and think about a couple of things:

If we liken the woman who was caught in adultery in type to Israel sinning—in spiritual adultery and going away from God—then Jesus' forgiveness of her caught in adultery is a type of forgiveness that God is going to give to Israel at the second resurrection.

  • What else is going to happen on the Last Great Day?
  • Are not all the other nations going to be resurrected?
  • Were they blinded?
  • Whose fault was it that they were blinded?
  • What if you're born into the society—any society—and never knew about God?
  • Never understood about God?
  • Never heard about God?
  • Never heard the Truth?
  • Then you were resurrected to a lake of fire?

God looked down and said, 'I'm going to throw you into the Lake of Fire and you're going to burn up because you're sinners.' But, Lord, I never knew You! No one ever told me!

  • That would surely be unjust, wouldn't it?

God has allowed this world to be blinded by Satan the devil and it is not the people's fault, necessarily. That's part of Satan's sin where all those are put on the Azazel goat; all of Satan's sins are put on him. Now what are you going to do? That's why there's a second resurrection, to give them an opportunity for life!

If the woman caught in adultery could be symbolic to Israel, then could not this man who was born blind be symbolic of all the rest of the nations? Could very well be!

  • Was it their fault?
  • Was it their parents' fault? No!
  • Were they blinded? Yes!

(go to the next track)

2-Corinthians 4:1: "Therefore, having this ministry, according as we have received mercy, we are not fainthearted. For we have personally renounced the hidden things of dishonest gain…" (vs 1-2). It gets back to the mental attitude, the pride, the covetousness and the lust of human nature.

"…not walking in cunning craftiness, nor handling the Word of God deceitfully…" (v 2). That's a profoundly interesting statement. It is possible to take the Truth of God and handle it deceitfully and preach a false gospel. That's how clever and fantastic that Satan is. That's really something!

  • Is Judaism a false religion?
  • based upon substantially the Truth of God?
  • based upon a false premise that says that anything you do in the seat of Moses is right?
    • Is not Catholicism based upon the Word of God but handled deceitfully?
      • we have a pope who has authority to do exactly the same thing that the rabbis do
      • they where the same kind of hat

"…handling the Word of God deceitfully…" That is absolutely astounding when you realize that. You can deceive by improperly applying the Truth.

I think a good example is how a judge dealt with the fact that he overlooked the implication of everything involved. That is handling something that is true in a way that turns out false.

You have to be really spiritually mature to understand that. There wouldn't be too many Churches of God that I could make a statement like that to, without having someone gnash their teeth out in the audience. Because Truth is truth, but the one handling it is the question, not the Word of God.

"…but by manifestation of the Truth, we are commending ourselves to every man's conscience before God. But if our Gospel is hidden, it is hidden to those who are perishing; in whom the god of this age has blinded the minds of those who do not believe…" (vs 2-4).

Let's understand what this is telling us. If the god of this world—Satan—is the one who is blinding their mind and the Word of God is being handled deceitfully, does that not prove what we just said? Didn't Paul say in Gal. 1 that some are coming preaching another gospel? "In whom the god of this age has blinded the minds of those who do not believe…"

You can take this young man who was born blind as symbolic as the rest of the world who has been blinded by Satan the devil.

"…lest the light of the Gospel of the glory of Christ, Who is the image of God, should shine unto them. For we do not preach our own selves, but Christ Jesus the Lord, and ourselves your servants for Jesus' sake, because it is God Who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, Who shined into our hearts the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ" (vs 4-6).

Those are really some profound statements right there when you just think about it. I think lots of times when we go through and study the Bible we just read it without stopping to think, or meditate. When you study the Bible, stop and think and meditate and ask: What does this mean? How can this be applied? I think we'll be amazed how much we can learn out of the Bible this way.

Ephesians 2:2: "In which you walked in times past according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now working within the children of disobedience; among whom also we all once had our conduct in the lusts of our flesh, doing the things willed by the flesh and by the mind, and were by nature the children of wrath, even as the rest of the world" (vs 2-3). How did we get in this condition? Because we were deceived by this society, which has been deceived by Satan! We'll show how this blindness takes place:

Ephesians 4:17: "So then, I declare and testify this in the Lord that you are no longer to walk even as the rest of the Gentiles are walking, in the vanity of their minds… [getting back to vanity and pride again] …having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardness of their hearts" (vs 17-18).

When that blindness is lifted from these people, when Satan is removed and bound, then when the second resurrection takes place and these people are resurrected into a society where there is no longer Satan to be there, they're given:

    • new bodies
    • new minds
    • spiritual vision
    • physical vision

That's going to be a tremendous thing! The only thing they'll have to contend with is their own pride! Those who continue in their own pride will not make it into the Kingdom of God.

We could go though all kinds of other Scriptures; I'll list them so you can read them:

  • Matthew 15:1-14—how the traditions of the Jews blinded their understanding to the Truth of the commandments of God
  • Romans 11:25—blindness, in part, has happened to Israel
  • Matthew 13:13-17—the blindness happened because they weren't willing to listen and see and they hardened their hearts
  • Luke 4:16-19

Let's show that during the salvation, the Millennium, blindness is going to be taken from all the Gentiles then; and at the second resurrection when all of those who never had an opportunity for salvation are resurrected and God is going to take away the blindness from their hearts.

Isaiah 42:5: "Thus says the LORD God, He who created the heavens and stretched them out, spreading forth the earth and its offspring; He who gives breath to the people upon it and spirit to those who walk in it. 'I the LORD have called You in righteousness, and will hold Your hand, and will keep You, and give You for a covenant of the people, for a Light to the Gentiles; to open the blind eyes…'" (vs 5-7). The other Scriptures that I referred to here were all the spiritual blindness that took place because they were deceived of Satan the devil.

"'…to bring out the prisoners from the prison, those who sit in darkness out of the prison house. I am the LORD; that is My name; and My glory I will not give to another, nor My praise to graven images'" (vs 7-8).

John 9 has got to be one of the funniest parts of the book of John; this is another classic movie thing that you could do:

John 9:3: "Jesus answered, 'Neither did this man sin, nor his parents; rather, this blindness came so that the works of God might be manifested in him.'" That's what's going to happen to all the rest of the people of the world. The glory of God is going to be manifest in them when they have the blindness removed.

Verse 4: "I must work the works of Him Who sent Me while it is still day. When the night comes, no one is able to work." There are certain periods of history when that has happened.

Verse 5: "'As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.' After saying these things…" (vs 5-6). He did it in such a way that obviously it would offend the Pharisees. In Matt. 15 you will see where the disciples came and said, 'In saying that, Lord, you offended the Pharisees.' And Jesus said, 'Are you also without understanding?'

"…He spat on the ground, and made clay of the spittle, and applied the clay to the eyes of the blind man" (v 6). That's not a very sanitary way of doing it, but that's what He did.

Verse 7: "And He said to him, 'Go and wash in the pool of Siloam' (which is, by interpretation, "Sent"). Then he went and washed, and came from there seeing." Now here starts the funny part:

Verse 8: "Therefore, the neighbors and those who had seen him before, and knew that he was blind, said, 'Isn't he the one who was sitting and begging?' Some said, 'It is he.' But others said, 'He is like him.'…. [can't depend on eyewitnesses] …He said, 'I am the one.' Then they said to him, 'How were your eyes opened?' He answered and said, 'A Man called Jesus made clay, and applied it to my eyes, and said to me, "Go to the pool of Siloam and wash," and after I went and washed, I received sight.'" (vs 8-11). Just a simple, simple thing.

Verse 12: "Then they said to him, 'Where is He?' He said, 'I do not know.' They brought him who was once blind to the Pharisees. Now it was the Sabbath when Jesus made the clay and opened his eyes. Therefore, the Pharisees in turn also asked him how he had received sight. And he said to them, 'He put clay on my eyes, and I washed; and now I see.' Then some of the Pharisees said, 'This Man is not from God because He does not keep the Sabbath.'…. [it's work; obviously you are mortaring on the Sabbath] …Others said…" (vs 12-16).

He even split the ranks of the Pharisees—there were Pharisees who believed (Acts 15)—and He caused the Church no end of trouble, because they couldn't get rid of all their Pharisaism.

"…'How can a man who is a sinner do such miracles?' And there was a division among them. They said to the blind man again, 'What do you say about Him since He opened your eyes?' And he said, 'He is a prophet.' However, the Jews did not believe this about him, that he was blind and had received sight, until they called the parents of the one who had received sight" (vs 16-18). 'We're not going to believe you.' He said that he was the one, and others said he was the one. The Pharisees said, 'Let's get his parents, they ought to know.'

Verse 19: "And they asked them, saying…" They can probably see the council up there and the multitude in back. Some of the Pharisees were for Jesus and others were against Jesus. They didn't want to be kicked out of the synagogue so there was some fear. I've been before councils like that and I kind of know what that's like.

"…'Is this your son, who you say was born blind? How then does he now see?'" (v 19). Now it's not a matter of fact that he was born blind, but whom "…you say…" that was born blind.

Verse 20: "His parents answered them and said, 'We know that this is our son, and that he was born blind. But how he now sees, we do not know; or who opened his eyes, we do not know. He is of age; ask him. He will speak for himself.'" (vs 20-21). 'We wash our hand so this matter.'

Verse 22: "His parents said these things because they were afraid of the Jews; for the Jews had already agreed among themselves that if anyone confessed Him to be the Christ, he would be put out of the synagogue." When we get into more of this study of the Jews we'll see how in a book by Samuele Bacchiocchi that the hatred of the Jews toward the Christians was that if any man came into the congregation and said that Jesus was the Christ they were thrust out. They were kicked out; disfellowshiped; excommunicated.

Verse 23: "For this reason, his parents said, 'He is of age; ask him.' Therefore, they called a second time for the man who had been born blind, and said to him, 'Give glory to God. We know that this Man is a sinner'" (vs 23-24). Have you ever heard it where someone was asked to come forward and say something to credit somebody and discredit somebody else.

Verse 25: "Then he answered and said, 'Whether He is a sinner, I do not know. One thing I do know, that I was blind, and now I see.' And they said to him again, 'What did He do to you? How did He open your eyes?' He answered them, 'I have already told you, and you did not listen. Why do you want to hear it again? Do you desire to become His disciples, too?'" (vs 25-27). This man really spoke back!

Verse 28: "Then they railed at him and said, 'You are His disciple, but we are Moses' disciples.'" Some of these councils must have been something!

Verse 29: "'We know that God spoke to Moses. As for this Man, we do not know where He has come from.' The man answered and said to them, 'This is truly an amazing thing…'" (vs 29-30). Talk about being inspired of God; I'm sure God just inspired him as the promise was given to the disciples, 'When hauled before councils in the synagogues, God will inspire right then.'

"'…that you do not know where He has come from, yet, He has opened my eyes. Now, we know that God does not hear sinners. But if anyone is God-fearing and is doing His will, He hears him. From the beginning of the world it has never been heard of that anyone has opened the eyes of one who was born blind. If this man were not from God, He could do nothing.' They answered and said to him, 'You were born wholly in sin, and you are teaching us?' And they cast him out" (vs 30-34). They cast him out! They picked him up and bodily carried him out!

Verse 35: "Jesus heard that they had cast him out; and when He found him, He said to him, 'Do you believe in the Son of God?' He answered and said, 'Who is He, Lord, that I may believe in Him?' And Jesus said to him, 'You have seen Him, and He is the One Who is even now speaking to you.' Then he said, 'Lord, I believe.' And he worshiped Him" (vs 35-38).

Can you imagine how he felt right there at that point, looking Jesus right in the face? That must have been something! You talk about having an experience that would stand the hair up on the back of your neck straight up. That must have been one of those experiences. "…And he worshiped Him."

Verse 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.'" How were the Pharisees made blind. They were deceived by their own pride and vanity!

  • Who was the king over them? Satan the devil!
  • Who was the father of their diabolical religion? Satan!

They have the Truth of the Scriptures, and inasmuch as they apply the Truth of the Scriptures to their lives, they're following God. I don't want anyone taking this as a blanket condemnation of all Jews; it isn't! It's the Jewish leaders who developed all of these things.

Verse 40: "And those of the Pharisees who were with Him heard these things… [they knew the whole thing that was going on] …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).

Quite a lesson, that whole chapter of John 9!

Questions:

Review of John 9:41: "Jesus said to them, 'If you were blind, you would not have sin.'" In other words: Did they have the Word of God there? Yes, they did! He's telling us that they saw, they knew and understood, and they refused. They refused, but they knew. They said, 'We don't know,' but they really knew.

They were supposed to be the ones who said, 'We see.' If a person were truly blind, if they were truly spiritually blind, not from just their own determination alone, but through no fault of their own then they would have no sin imputed to them in the same way. In other words, the one who knows to do good and does it not, to him it is sin!

Jesus said to the servant who sins, and knows he sinning, 'shall be beaten with many stripes.' The one who sins and does not know it is sin, 'shall be beaten with few stripes.' This is what it is talking about.

I hope that I clarify that a little bit more in the sermon: That Prophet. Knowing that Christ was the Christ and knowing that He was coming:

  • they knew
  • they understood the prophecies
  • they were looking for Him

When they went out to John the Baptist and asked, 'Are you the Christ? Are you the Prophet?' Why would they ask John unless they didn't understand certain things?

So, "…If you were blind, you would not have sin…." We could also take another part: if they were physically blind and had not seen all the things that they had seen; then obviously, they would not have sinned. They knew!

"…'But now you say, "We see." Therefore, your sin remains'" (v 41). In other words they're saying, 'We see because we're Moses' disciples. We see because we keep the Law of Moses.' Which, in fact, was not really keeping the Law of Moses, as Jesus pointed out to them.

'We know that this Man is of the devil,' referring to Christ, that He's demon possessed. 'Didn't we say truthfully that You are a Samaritan?' They knew better.

I would have to say that that's what that is referring to there. If it were a matter that they truly blind, but they weren't. A person can blind himself to something, but he's not truly blind. You can hide your eyes from something, but you've already seen it. Even if you hide your eyes you know where it is. That's what the Pharisees were doing here.

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

Scriptural References:

  • John 8:41-44
  • Genesis 3:1-4
  • Genesis 2:17
  • Genesis 3:4-7
  • Job 41:34
  • Obadiah 3
  • 1 Timothy 3:6-7
  • 2 Thessalonians 2:9-11
  • John 8:45-53
  • Matthew 28:11-15
  • John 8:54-59
  • John 9:1-3
  • 2 Corinthians 4:1-6
  • Ephesians 2:2-3
  • Ephesians 4:17-18
  • Isaiah 42:5-8
  • John 9:3-41

Scriptures referenced, not quoted:

  • Revelation 12:9
  • Isaiah 14
  • Ezekiel 28
  • Genesis 5
  • Exodus 20
  • 1 John 2:15
  • Galatians 1
  • Matthew 15:1-14
  • Romans 11:25
  • Matthew 13:13-17
  • Luke 4:16-19
  • Acts 15

Also referenced:

Commentaries: Soncino Commentaries
Sermons:

  • I AM that I Am
  • That Prophet

FRC:bo
Transcribed: 11-12-14
Corrected: 12-29-14

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