Speaking the Words of God Faithfully (John 3)
& The Samaritan Woman at the Well (John 4)

Fred R. Coulter—May 4, 1985

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We are in John 3 and that fits in with the series: Grace of God. We have found some very intricate things in the book of John, bringing so many things to bear that the other Gospels and some of the Epistles of Paul do not necessarily bring together. The writings of John are very much that way.

Take the book of Revelation, the last book of the Bible, and it brings everything together. It reaches back into all parts of the Bible, going clear back

  • to creation
  • to Abraham
  • to the children of Israel
  • to the prophecies
  • to things concerning the end of the world

It brings it all together in the book of Revelation.

The Gospel of John brings so many things together. It is a very deep book. That's why it will take us a while to get through it. There are some tremendous things in it, and obviously, when we came to John 3:16 we had to take the time and go through and explain how God is going to save the world through the grace of God and through God's great sacrifice and love for the world by giving His only begotten Son Jesus Christ.

John 3:16: "For God so loved the world…" We tie that together with the sacrifice of Christ and the meaning of that; what Christ did and what God did.

"…that He gave His only begotten Son, so that everyone who believes in Him may not perish, but may have everlasting life. For God sent not His Son into the world that He might judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him" (vs 16-17).

Why Jesus Christ does not have to come and condemn anyone, v 18: "The one who believes in Him is not [condemned] judged… [What is the condemnation?] …but the one who does not believe has already been [condemned] judged…" There's an ongoing, in motion condemnation because of not believing in Jesus Christ.
"…because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God" (v 18). Let's see what this condemnation is talking about. What do you think is the worst condemnation possible? When we are talking condemnation vs salvation? What are we talking about? That would obviously be the condemnation to the second death for sin!

So, those who believe on Jesus Christ are not condemned to the second death. Those who do not believe on Jesus Christ and accept the salvation of God are already condemned. We will see that there is an ongoing thing that happens.

Romans 8:1: "Consequently, there is now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who are not walking according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit." Of course, that is a condemnation because of the law of sin of death that we have in us. So, there is no condemnation, but you must believe in Jesus Christ.

I think we can see part of the reason why the Jews have had so much trouble down through the centuries. They present themselves to the whole world as perfect. That has been their problem from the days of Jesus Christ, where He brought out all the sins that they were doing, all the things that they were doing wrong. They would rather kill Him than admit any of the wrongs that that they have.

It's the same attitude that the Jews have today. They would rather do in other people than admit they're wrong. That may sound like a harsh condemnation, but that's the way it always seems to appear. A Jew is a Jew first, and whatever country he is in he is a citizen of that country secondarily. Anything to further the Jewish cause is what the Jews will do. It's the same attitude that the Jews had during Jesus' day. Anything to further the Jewish 'religion' they would do and come under condemnation if you didn't. To believe in Christ lifts that condemnation, which then would ultimately result in being cast into the Lake of Fire because of not repenting of your sins.

So, there's no condemnation for us. This is why 1-John tells us 'when we sin we repent and He will forgive us.' We don't have to go around with a condemned attitude or a guilty conscience. What we need to do is repent and call upon God's greatness, mercy and grace through Jesus Christ. After all, that's why Jesus Christ came, for the forgiveness of sin. That's why we need to repent of our sins, so they can be forgiven. There's no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus.

Verse 2: "Because the law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus has delivered me from the law of sin and death. For what was impossible for the Law to do…"—to make anything perfect. Why cannot the Law make anything perfect? Because it's only designed to point out sin and error! That why the Law cannot make anything perfect. It points out the imperfections. The Law could not do it.

"…in that it was weak through the flesh… [because of the law of sin and death that is in human beings] …God, having sent His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh" (vs 2-3).

That's why if we believe on Jesus Christ, into His name, into Him as the Greek gives us the indication—'eis,' into—then there is no condemnation. If you don't believe in Him you're condemned already.

  • How would a person be condemned for not believing in Jesus today?
  • Are they going to die the second death right now?

No!

  • they're cut off from God
  • they live in their sins
  • they suffer the consequences of it
    • whether for good
    • whether for evil

However it comes in their life they live in this ongoing condemnation. When it comes time for God to call them, if they do not repent, then it will be the final condemnation.

John 3:19: "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." That is so true. Anytime there is any kind of reproof…

I heard a man say one time that people get upset at things in the Bible and say they can't understand it. It's not the things that they don't understand that they get upset about; it's the things they understand that they get upset about, because the commandments are not the ten suggestions! They are the Ten Commandments and it is very clear.

Men don't like to come to the Light. Men don't like to have their deeds exposed as being evil. This is why, in particularly with the Jewish situation, they've gone through so much. They just continually walk in that condemnation, and in turn they condemn other people and actively do all they can to put themselves over other people and put down all other religions and other people, in particularly Christians. I think I can answer the question why a movie like The Ten Commandments came out so good: it was all Old Testament and it was done by a Jew. They didn't have to change anything and why you can't get a decent movie about Jesus Christ out of Hollywood because all the Jews run it and they don't want to portray Jesus Christ for exactly what He is. They will portray Him in the way that they want, in a condemning way.

Verse 20: "For everyone who practices evil hates the Light…" That's why you end up with so many arguments. They hate the Light; they don't want to come to the Christ.

"…and does not come to the Light, so that his works may not be exposed" (v 20). Here's the whole key of active Christianity.

  • vs 16-17—once you accept the sacrifice of Jesus Christ for your salvation
  • v 18—you're not condemned
  • v 19—you're not in the area of not coming to Christ; you're not doing evil

Then v 21 tells us what we need to do: "But the one who practices the Truth…" What is Truth? Jesus said:

  • His Word is Truth
  • He is the Truth
  • the commandments are the Truth (Psa.)
  • the statutes are true
  • the judgments are true

If you're going to be practicing Truth… What is one of the major Truths that we understand? We can only have salvation through Jesus Christ!

"…the one who practices the Truth comes to the Light…" (v 21). We need to be coming to Jesus Christ, walking toward that Light!

"…so that his works may be manifested, that they have been accomplished by the power of God" (v 21). We are continually coming to God. How do we do that?

  • through prayer
  • through study
  • through Sabbath
  • through the Holy Days
  • through all the activities where God is in our life

If we're walking in that Light and asking for the forgiveness of sins, then He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and we continually walk in that Light.

Let's review some of the things that the book of John has revealed to us. In revealing these things to us I think it's very important that we understand that John is telling us an awful lot about Jesus Christ in a very short period of time.

Let's begin with John 1; I think this review will help us get an overview. Sometimes there's an advantage in getting into the details and going down into a subject; sometimes there's an advantage of getting an overview. It's much like flying over a territory or a piece of property. Whenever I have flown and look out the window of the plane, you get an entirely different perspective, because you have an overview; you're looking down on it. Sometimes in going through some of these things we're studying, it's good if we go back, review and get an overview and just touch some highlights.

I have several things listed out that tell us Who Jesus is in many different terms:

  • John 1:1—He is the Word
  • v 4—He is the Life: in Him was life and the life was:
  • the light of men
  • v 9—He is called the True Light

Let's always remember that when John emphasizes something like true or false he's telling us something that is inherent. If you have the Light and it is the only Light then you don't have to say the true Light. By saying the true Light, that means there is a false light. Let's see a place where Jesus talks about the light in you being darkness.

In Matthew 6:22 we find what Jesus says concerning the light of the body: "The light of the body is the eye…." This is the reflector, this tells us what an individual is.

Next time you go to the Post Office walk up to the FBI Wanted List and look at the eyes of the people whose pictures are there. Whenever you see some kind crime being reported on television, and it shows the suspect and it gets a good picture of them, look into their eyes; it is the light of the body! It also tells us certain things about the health and condition of the body. It's a revealer of the body.

"…Therefore, if your eye be sound, your whole body shall be full of light. But if your eye be evil, your whole body shall be full of darkness. Therefore, if the light that is in you be darkness, how great is that darkness!" (vs 22-23).
What we are told is that the opposite of the true Light is the dark light. Who does that dark light come from? Satan, because he comes as one depicting an angel of light, who not giving the true light. Then there is a light that is coming and that light is darkness, and if it fills your heart and mind that's what Jesus said it would be.

John 1:9: "[Jesus is] The True Light was that which enlightens everyone who comes into the world."

  • v 14—Jesus is "…full of grace and Truth."

This is telling us about the characteristics of Christ.

  • v 18[transcriber's correction]—"…the only begotten Son…"

Notice how in John 1 we have the stage being set of all of the characteristics of Christ, one right after the other.

  • v 28[transcriber's correction]—"…'Behold the Lamb of God…'"
  • v 42[transcriber's correction]—Andrew came back and said to Peter: "…'We have found the Messiah' (which is, being interpreted, "the Christ")."

Right away John is revealing all of the things concerning Jesus Christ.

  • v 52—"…the Son of man."

Why did Jesus Christ call Himself, or be revealed as, the Son of man? We find elsewhere, in particularly in the Gospel of Mark, that Jesus is called the Son of man! Whereas, John emphasizes in just a few places the Son of man, he emphasizes the Son of God! The answer is not that Jesus took on the fleshly form, that's only part of it. There's another answer we find in the book of Daniel.

The account in Dan. 3 contains the account of Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-Nego, who refused to worship the tremendous image of gold that Nebuchadnezzar had made. They were given an opportunity at the sound of the music to bow down. They didn't, so they stoked up the furnaces and got them seven times hotter, and they were cast into the fire.

We find in Daniel 3:22: "Then because the king's commandment was urgent, and the furnace exceedingly hot…" This tells us a little bit about their technology just in passing. These were not dumb, ignorant people wandering around the desert if you're going to have a furnace that is exceedingly hot.
"…the flame of the fire killed those men who took up Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego to throw them in" (v 22). That's a pretty hot fire—isn't it? It's like a blast furnace. So, it killed those carrying them in.

Verse 23: "And these three men, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego, fell down bound into the midst of the burning fiery furnace"—which shows there must have been some sort of platform up above with the fiery furnace below. I view this much like one of these big things that they melt iron in that looks like a great huge pot. They fuel it from the bottom, and draw the air from the bottom, and all the flame coming out over the top, with the platform they would drop them down into this.

Verse 24: "Then Nebuchadnezzar the king was amazed. And he rose up in haste and spoke and said to his advisers, 'Did we not throw three men bound into the middle of the fire?' They answered and said to the king, 'True, O king.' He answered and said, 'Behold! I see four men loose, walking in the middle of the fire, and there is no harm done to them. And the form of the fourth is like a son of the gods.'" (vs 24-25).

This phrase Son of man tells the Jews Who Jesus really was being God, Daniel 7:13: "I saw visions in the night and, behold, One like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven… [the Jews know that this a direct reference to God] …and came to the Ancient of Days, and they brought Him near before Him." When we find in the book of John that He is called the Son of man, this is a direct reference to this passage in Dan. 7 showing that the Son of man is, in fact, God!

John 3:17: "For God sent not His Son into the world…"

Verse 14: "the Son of man'—used again

John 3:22: "After these things, Jesus and His disciples came into the land of Judea; and there He stayed with them and was baptizing." This gives you an indication that Jesus was baptizing, but we will see in John 4 that it was the disciples who were baptizing.

Can you think of why Jesus did not baptize anyone himself? Knowing all the divisions and things that occurred after Christianity got started, just think what would have happened if someone were able to say, 'I was baptized by Jesus.' No one could say they were baptized by Jesus. What would have happened if a dispute would have come up? 'I was baptized by Jesus, therefore, I have greater authority than you!' OR 'The revelation given to me was really greater than yours.' You know that would happen!

Verse 23: "And John was also baptizing in Aenon, near Salim because there was much water there; and the people were coming and were being baptized." This shows that baptizing takes a lot of water. The Greek word for baptize is 'baptizo'—meaning to immerse or to submerge.

Of course, you know how most of the churches have it today—most of the Protestant churches—whether they either sprinkle, daub or 'christened.' There are quite a few who baptize in water, full immersion: the Seventh Day Baptist and Seventh Day Adventists, and some others.

This shows that they were baptizing where there was a lot of water, and that baptism by it's very word means to be fully immersed in water.

  • Rom. 6 tells about baptism, that you are buried unto His death!
  • Acts 19 is a key place showing that the baptism of John the Baptist did not give the Holy Spirit

Those who were baptized with the baptism of John and did not believe on the One Who was coming; in other words, the time that they were baptized unto John, and when Paul came in Acts 19, was probably a good period of time, so when Paul came and said, 'Have you received the Holy Spirit since you've believed?' They said, 'We don't know if there's such a thing as the Holy Spirit.' Paul said, 'Well, we need to baptize you in the name of Jesus,' and they received the Holy Spirit. This shows that the baptism of John was just a forerunner; it was not a final thing.

Verse 24: "For John had not yet been cast into prison." Why is that a key verse. That is a very key verse because it gives us a time setting.

Mark 1:14—this is a key, pivotal point in the ministry of Jesus Christ: "Now, after the imprisonment of John, Jesus came into Galilee, proclaiming the Gospel of the Kingdom of God."

So, it gives us a time flow of the events that were taking place. We know in John 3 that the first Passover that Jesus kept (John 2) had already occurred. Jesus' ministry began right after the time He was baptized and then He went into the wilderness for His temptation, then the events in John 2 & 3 and almost to the end of John 4. That picks up right there in Mark 1:14-15, after John the Baptist was cast into prison.

What John is doing in the Gospel of John is expanding those areas that are not covered by the other three Gospel accounts. Many people wonder why John is so much different than the other three. Well, you already have three alike, why make the fourth one the same. This one fills in many of the accounts that are not contained in the other three Gospels.

"…Jesus came into Galilee, proclaiming the Gospel of the Kingdom of God, and saying, 'The time has been fulfilled, and the Kingdom of God is near at hand; repent, and believe in the Gospel.'" (vs 14-15). That's quite a key statement. Just think about it and analyze it. How may people preach Christianity where they don't believe the Gospel. That's part of the dark light that we were talking about that comes out and there's all this mixture of evil in it.

John 3:25: "Then there arose a question between the disciples of John and some of the Jews about purification. And they came to John and said to him, 'Rabbi, He Who was with you beyond Jordan, to Whom you have borne witness, behold, He is baptizing, and all are coming to Him.' John answered and said, 'No one is able to receive anything unless it has been given to him from heaven" (vs 25-27). Notice the similarity between John's answer and some of Jesus' answers. John is saying that Jesus can't do anything unless it's given to Him from heaven.

Verse 28: You yourselves bear witness to me that I said, 'I am not the Christ'…" Remember they asked, 'Are you the Christ?' Which shows that they knew when the Christ was supposed to come.

"…but that I am sent before Him. The one who has the bride is the bridegroom; but the friend of the bridegroom, who stands by and hears him, rejoices greatly because of the voice of the bridegroom; in this then, my joy has been fulfilled. It is ordained that He increase, and that I decrease" (vs 28-30).

Of course, I don't think he really understood what he was saying. Lots of times I try and put myself into the shoes of the individual that's in the Bible. I wonder how he would have felt if God would have told him, 'You're going to be arrested, thrown into prison and your head is going to be served up on a silver platter to a bunch of pagans at an orgy.' That would be pretty hard to take—wouldn't it? I'm sure that God didn't tell him.

Verse 31: "He Who comes from above is above all…." He's stating the authority of Jesus Christ. He knew that Jesus came from above. When you have all kinds of religious arguments going on, this is where John is stating the authority. Jesus Christ is above all!

"…The one who is of the earth is earthly, and speaks of the earth…." (v 31). In other words whomever is just born of flesh and blood, regardless of who you are, you're still going to be subject to the physical things, view things from a human point of view. Even with God's Spirit we do that—don't we? Sure we do! But we find that we are not to speak of the earth. What he's really saying is that Jesus is from above. He's not giving his own message; He's not just saying the things that comes to His mind, but what God has inspired Him to do. Then He reiterates again:

"…He Who comes from heaven is above all; and what He has seen and heard, this is what He testifies; but no one receives His testimony" (vs 31-32). It sounds like a contradiction: no one receives His testimony. Then it says:

Verse 33: "The one who has received His testimony…" What is the contradiction? Is there a contradiction? In other words, one could look at this and say, 'He doesn't know what he's talking about.' He says, "…no one receives His testimony." Then he says, "The one who has received His testimony…"

I think it's very simple. He's telling the Jews who came to dispute with him, that 'you are not receiving this testimony.' None of you means those in the immediate group of people questioning John; it does not mean no one on earth. It means no one here in this group of 'you Jews questioning Me.'

Then John went on to say, "The one who has received His testimony…" That's the testimony of Jesus Christ:

"…has set his seal that God is true" (v 33). That's what we do when we repent and are baptized. We set our seal that God is true! To set a seal is like giving the stamp of approval to a document. You've probably seen this, they would have a big ring on their finger and it was a seal ring that they would embed into wax. That is setting your seal! In this case it is setting the seal that God is true!

This means that in our lives everything we look to in the way of what God does is true. There may be some things we don't understand. There may be some things that we have yet to come to an understanding about, but nevertheless, we still set our seal that God is true.

Why do we set our seal that God is true? Because this gives us an absolute firm anchor for our faith! Complete anchor for our faith!

That way it can't be shaken; your faith cannot be shaken if it is anchored on God and you know God is true. Why is that important? Because when a trial of faith comes, what is the most important thing you need to know? That God is true! That God is right!

Heb. 6—the blessing that was given to Abraham by two immutable things that God was saying in blessing that He would bless and in multiplying He would multiply, and that He swore by Himself.

Hebrews 6:17: "In this way God, desiring more abundantly to show the heirs of the promise the unchangeable nature of His own purpose, confirmed it by an oath; so that by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie…" (vs 17-18). That's nice to know that we can depend on God. God does not lie! Yet, what is the greatest premise that most theologians have toward God? That the Bible is not the Word of God!

We're going to see something very interesting concerning the Word of God and what is spoken when we get back to John 3.

"…we who have fled for refuge might have strong encouragement to lay hold on the hope that has been set before us; which hope we have as an anchor of the soul…" (vs 18-19). When you have hope based on something that is true, something that is based on God, something you know that can never, never be denied:

  • that really gives an anchor for the soul
  • it gives you a firmness in your belief
  • it gives you an resolution in your life

All human beings need to have that kind of resolution! You really do. What's missing with people in the world? They don't have that resolution of

  • what is right
  • what is true
  • what is good
  • the hope of life

So therefore, they're out there doing all kinds of things, whatever it may be, and there is no satisfaction in it. There really isn't any satisfaction in it. You can just read the whole book of Ecclesiastes: Vanity of vanities, all is vanity!

We have this for an anchor for the soul. "…both secure and steadfast, and which enters into the sanctuary within the veil… [then it's talking about Jesus Christ as our High Priest] …where Jesus has entered for us as a forerunner, having become a High Priest forever according to the order of Melchisedec" (vs 19-20).

That gives us tremendous courage, and knowing and understanding that that is true. As Paul wrote, 'Let God be true and every man a liar.' That is an absolute true statement.

John 3:33: "The one who has received His testimony has set his seal that God is true; for He Whom God has sent speaks the words of God…" (vs 33-34). He is talking about Jesus Christ. Jesus spoke the words of God. This is also a measure of how you measure a preacher.

Sunday morning you can turn it on and you can see many different ones. I turned on the television and there was Oral Roberts Jr. and he was holding up this little cup with grape juice, like we take at the Passover with the wine, and it looked real nice and sanctimonious.

But those were not the words of Christ! That was not the message that Christ gave! If you set your seal and know God then you know what is true! When you see something like this and someone preaching the things that are not the words of God, you know it is not true!

"…and God gives not the Spirit by measure unto Him" (v 34). Let's expand this Scripture just a little bit more.

  • What did Jesus say would happen? In the latter days there would arise many false prophets!
  • How do you tell one from another? John 3:33-34 gives us the key on how to handle it!

Jeremiah 23 has to do with false prophets. You can read the whole thing concerning the false prophets. After seeing what happened because of the false prophets:

Jeremiah 23:9: "As for the prophets my heart within me is broken; all my bones shake. I am like a drunken man, and like a man whom wine has overcome because of the LORD and because of the words of His Holiness. For the land is full of adulterers. Because of swearing the land mourns…" (vs 9-10).

This is a perfect description of what the country is like today. Why do we have so much evil in the land? Because of false prophets! We know that 60% of all ministers cannot see anything wrong with pre-marital sex between two people who say they're in love. That's the very foundation of building or destroying the next generation.

"…the pleasant places of the wilderness are dried up, and their course is evil, and they wield power unjustly. 'For both prophet and priest are ungodly; yea, in My house I have found their evil,' says the LORD. 'So their way shall be to them as slippery ways in the darkness; they shall be driven on, and fall in their way; for I will bring evil on them, even the year of their judgment,' says the LORD" (vs 10-12).

Then it talks about that he saw the folly in the prophets of Samaria. In John 4 we'll have something to talk about concerning Samaria.

Verse 13: "And I have seen repulsive things in the prophets of Samaria; they prophesied by Baal and caused My people Israel to go astray. I have also seen in the prophets of Jerusalem a horrible thing; they commit adultery and walk in lies…." (vs 13-14). Contrast that with what we just read: He that receives the testimony of Jesus Christ has set his seal that God is true! and He Whom God has sent speaks the words of God!

It's incredible the thinking of people! Do you think if you said, 'You have the wrong god, and you have the wrong this and that,' what would happen? You would barely escape with your life if you could!

"…They also strengthen the hands of evildoers, so that none returns from his evil; they are all of them like Sodom to Me, and her inhabitants like Gomorrah" (v 14). That's what God thinks about all these false prophets that go around saying the things that they do.

Next time you see some real sweet-talking guy on television, listen to the words and just pick up that ring of deceitfulness that is in every one of them. You'll be able to pick it up.

Verse 15: "Therefore, thus says the LORD of hosts concerning the prophets, 'Behold, I will feed them wormwood, and make them drink poisonous water; for from the prophets of Jerusalem ungodliness has gone forth into all the land.'" That's what's happened because of the religions that we have.

I would have to say that one of the main things behind the profaneness of Christianity…

(go to the next track)

…has been the influence of Jewish scholars who have sought to destroy the knowledge of Jesus Christ. This is what happened back then, very similar to what we see today.

Verse 16: "Thus says the LORD of hosts, 'Do not listen to the words of the prophets who prophesy to you. They make you vain; they speak a vision from their own heart, not out of the mouth of the LORD…. [this fits right in with John 3:33-34] …They still say to those who despise Me.' The LORD has said, 'You shall have peace!'…." (vs 16-17). We will see an reenactment of this, that we're going to have peace in the world and all the prophets will be behind it.

"…And they say to everyone who walks after the imagination of his own heart, 'No evil shall come upon you!'" (v 17). Isn't that the message that's told of liberal 'religion'?

Verse 18: "For who has stood in the counsel of the LORD to see and hear His Word? Who has attended to His Word and heard it? Behold, the tempest of the LORD has gone forth in fury, a whirling tempest. It shall fall grievously upon the head of the wicked. The anger of the LORD shall not return, until He has executed and until He has performed the purposes of His heart; in the latter days you shall understand it perfectly" (vs 18-20).

In other words, in the latter days you will understand what it's talking about here with the false prophets.

Verse 21: "'I have not sent these prophets, yet, they ran; I have not spoken to them, yet, they prophesied. But if they had stood in My counsel and had caused My people to hear My words, then they would have turned them from their evil way and from the evil of their doings. Am I a God Who is near,' says the LORD, 'and not a God afar off? Can anyone hide himself in secret places so that I shall not see him?' says the LORD. 'Do I not fill the heavens and earth?' says the LORD. 'I have heard what the prophets said, who prophesy lies in My name, saying, "I have dreamed, I have dreamed"'" (vs 21-25).

How many Protestant programs do you hear, 'I have had a dream'…'God has spoken to me'…'The voice of God has told me…'? If you can stand it, turn to the 'religious' stations and if you can endure about two hours of it, just listen to what they have to say.

Verse 26: "How long shall this be in the heart of the prophets who prophesy lies and who are prophets of the deceit of their own heart? They scheme to cause My people to forget My name by their dreams which they tell, each one to his neighbor, as their fathers have forgotten My name for Baal" (vs 26-27).

There comes a point that God says this, v 28: "The prophet who has a dream, let him tell a dream." Just leave him alone, let him go ahead and tell whatever his dream is.

"'…And he who has My Word, let him speak My Word faithfully…." (v 28). That's how you can discern between a prophet that God has sent and one that God has not sent.

Isaiah 8:19: "And when they shall say to you, 'Seek unto them that have familiar spirits and to wizards who peep and mutter'—but should not a people seek unto their God? Should the dead be sought on behalf of the living?" This is such a true verse, it just really came to light.

I looking for a bookstore where I could by a book to teach Stephen some German. I have enough knowledge of German to teach him, but I wanted to get a book that was at his level as most of them are at college level. They start out with this complicated verb structure and everything like that. When I walked into the book store guess what I saw: astrology, theosophy, occultism, the levels of living. There was one book on 'out of body experience' and how to do it. All of this demonology that is there!

Then I came home and was watching the news and there was an advertisement: dial for your astrological prophecy for today. You open the paper and there's your astrology chart. "…wizards who peep and mutter…" Some spiritual thing that peeps or mutters, or a haunted house, or something, people flock to it.

There's this demonical creation in San Jose called The Winchester House. The woman heard a voice that said, 'You will live long if you will build this house, but never complete it.' So, she made all these rooms that ended up with something not finished, or a hall that went to nowhere, or a door you open and there's nothing behind it but just a lank wall. It's all this demonism and saying that's how to seek God.

Verse 20 tells the concrete thing that you can always rely upon to discern the right from the wrong; the prophet who speaks the Word of God and the one who doesn't.

Verse 20: "To the law and to the testimony!… [we can say the Old Testament/New Testament] …If they do not speak according to this Word, it is because there is no light in them." They are not walking in the light of Christ. They are the walking in the light of their own 'religion.' They may take the name of Christ. They may sprinkle it in with it, but that's not the true religion of God.

John 3:34: "For He Whom God has sent speaks the words of God…" That's the key measurement; measure everything by the Word of God; check it out in the Bible.

You've heard before, 'Don't believe me unless you see it in your Bible. Don't follow me unless I follow Christ.' Believe those words as long as they live by them. But I have experienced—and so have you—that those things have been twisted and turned to where it comes out just the opposite.

"…and God gives not the Spirit by measure unto Him… [Jesus; and John was giving this testimony here] …The Father loves the Son and has given all things into His hand. The one who believes in the Son…" (vs 34-36). Belief is very important. It's not just to believe as the demons do, that there is one God and they tremble, but to believe, to act upon that belief; meaning in the Greek is to be 'faithizing.' If you have enough belief, then you act upon that belief in faith, and this causes proper action in your life, so it is faithizing; you are believing on or into. You are believing on the Son of God. The Greek word for on is 'eis'—into.

"…has everlasting life; but the one who does not obey the Son shall not see life…" (v 36). Quite different from what people believe today, that 'many people are going to heaven,' as they would say; many different ways. That heaven may not necessarily be an escalator upstairs; they may find out that the escalator goes downstairs. They won't see St. Peter there either.

"…for the wrath of God remains on him' (v 36). Those are very strong words. God is not going to be judged by any man! How many people say, 'I don't think that God would'…. 'I don't think God is a God of love'…. What are they doing? Judging God! God isn't going to be judged of any man; it just won't be!

JOHN 4

The first part of John 4 tells about the disciples baptizing and Jesus not baptizing.

John 4:1: "Therefore, when the Lord knew that the Pharisees had heard that Jesus was making and baptizing more disciples than John, (although Jesus Himself was not baptizing, but His disciples) He left Judea and departed again into Galilee. Now, it was necessary… [ordained, obligatory] …for Him to pass through Samaria" (vs 1-4).

  • Why is there this account of the woman by the well in Samaria?
  • What is the message to us concerning this?

It's a rather strange account.

  • Why would John take almost a whole chapter to explain about this woman at the well in Samaria?

Remember, Jesus told His disciples when He sent them out two by two—the 70 in groups of two—and Jesus said, 'Preach the Gospel, heal the sick, raise the dead and go to the lost sheep of the house of Israel and go not in the way of the Gentiles nor into Samaria' (Matt. 10). Yet, Jesus Himself went into Samaria.

  • Why?
  • What is the significance of it?
  • Why a woman at Samaria?
  • What is the significance of that?

Verse 5: "And He came to a city of Samaria called Sychar, near the land that Jacob had given to his son Joseph." Just like everything that comes along, you have to have an historical tie-in.

If you have the book of Josephus look in the index where it talks about Samaria and the Samaritans; just do a little reading and see the flavor of it, especially at the time when they came back from the time of the Babylonian captivity with Sanballat and that whole group that was against Zerubbabel and so forth. Josephus has a good account of it where he shows the Samaritans—when it's to their advantage—say they're Jews. 'We're related to them; we have the same religion.' Where it's not to their advantage they say, 'We have nothing to do with the Jews.' Josephus will give you a good background and help you understand John 4 a little bit more.

Jacob's well was there; did Jesus know where Jacob's well was? Certainly! As the Lord God of the Old Testament He probably made sure that He found water at that place. Maybe even had been there and talked with Jacob at that very same well.

Verse 6: "And Jacob's fountain was there; Jesus, therefore, being wearied from the journey, sat there by the fountain. It was about the sixth hour." This means approximately 6 pm our time, being a sunrise to sunset type of situation. They do not go out at noon time to gather water from the well. They would always go out when it started getting cool in the afternoon.

The time period was much that we have here. It was after the Passover, but before Pentecost, apparently, which means that sundown was a whole lot later and so forth. So, the sixth hour would give you 2-2-1/2 hours of sunlight, but it would be getting cooler.

Verse 7: "A woman came out of Samaria to draw water. Jesus said to her, "Give me some water to drink.'" Was it just any woman? Did it just happen to be any woman that came along? or Is this not in the same category when Jesus told Nathaniel that 'I saw you sitting under the tree'; when Jesus knew things before hand. I would have to say that with the encounter here that Jesus knew that she was going to come. He knew:

  • where to go
  • where to sit down
  • that she was going to come
  • who it was that was coming

Verse 8: "For His disciples had gone away into the city, so that they might buy provisions. Therefore, the Samaritan woman said to Him, 'How is it that You, being a Jew, ask me, a Samaritan woman, to give You water to drink? For Jews do not associate with Samaritans'" (vs 8-9). Quite and interesting statement, but we'll notice later what she says about Joseph and the well, showing the same thing that Josephus recorded for us.

When it was convenient then they were with the Jews. When it was not convenient, they weren't. But here's what the Jews felt toward the Samaritans:

Verse 10: "Jesus answered and said to her, 'If you had known the gift of God, and Who it is that said to you, "Give Me some water to drink," you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.'" She didn't understand what He was saying there when He said, "…living water."

Verse 11: The woman said to Him, 'Sir, You have nothing with which to draw water, and the well is deep; how then do You have the living water? Are You greater than our father Jacob…'" (vs 11-12). That's really speaking out of both sides of your mouth.

"'…who gave us the well, and drank from it, and his sons, and his cattle?' Jesus answered and said to her, 'Everyone who drinks of this water will thirst again; but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall never thirst; rather, the water that I will give him shall become a fountain of water within him, springing up into everlasting life'" (vs 12-14).

Obviously, He's talking about the Holy Spirit (John 7:38-39). if they believe on Jesus then out of His belly shall flow rivers of living water, which He spoke of the Spirit.

Verse 15: "The woman said to Him, 'Sir, give me this water, so that I will not thirst or need to come here to draw water.'" She didn't understand what He was saying. She thought that maybe He was going to give her a bottle that had 'magic' water in it. All you do is take this home and keep pouring and there's always water in the bottle. She didn't want to come out here and draw the water. It's hard for us to conceive of this kind of thing.

They didn't have hand-pumps, they had to take the buckets and drop it clear down into the well and pull it up. That was a lot of work, so I imagine they thought this would be a labor-saving device; 'Give me this jug of everlasting water.' She didn't think of in terms of her living forever or the Holy Spirit that would give life forever. She thought of this everlasting water as an endless supply of water so she wouldn't have to go back and draw it out. That why she said, v 15: "…'Sir, give me this water, so that I will not thirst or need to come here to draw water.'"

Verse 16: Jesus said to her, 'Go, call your husband and come back here.' The woman answered and said, 'I do not have a husband.' Jesus said to her, 'You have spoken well in saying, "I do not have a husband" (vs 16-17).

Verse 18 is why I think, with the encounter here, Jesus knew it was going to happen with this particular woman, and why John recorded it.

Verse 18: "For you have had five husbands, and the one whom you now have is not your husband. This you have spoken truly." This teaches us that Jesus is upholding the Truth about divorce and re-marriage. There are a lot of people, over a period of time, because of difficulties and problems they have in a marriage, they look back and can't remember what it was like when they were in love and the romance and things like this, and they say, 'I never loved that individual.' The obvious question is why did you marry them?

It shows, aside from that, that Jesus is upholding what God has taught that there should be no divorce except for the cause of fornication (Matt. 5:32)—sexual uncleaness. Obviously, this woman had all kinds of sexual uncleaness, because she had five men who were supposed to be her husbands.

Let's get the full background and flow of everything that's going on, v 19: "The woman said to Him, 'Sir, I perceive that You are a prophet. Our fathers worshiped in this mountain…'" She's going back again to the difference between the Samaritans and the Jews. What mountain is she talking about? Mt. Gerizim in Samaria!

"'….but you say that the place where it is obligatory to worship is in Jerusalem.' Jesus said to her, 'Woman, believe Me, the hour is coming when you shall neither in this mountain nor in Jerusalem worship the Father. You do not know what you worship. We know what we worship, for salvation is of the Jews'" (vs 19-22). That's really quite a statement!

John is telling us that salvation has got to come through Jesus Christ—that's the whole story of the book—and it can't come through any Gentile successor. That's clear! It cannot! It must come through Jesus Christ! He told her, "…You do not know what you worship…."

What was it that they were worshiping? When John wrote his Gospel account of the life of Jesus Christ, the book of Acts was already written. So, if we insert the Samaria incident in with what we have in Acts 8, then we can understand what they were worshiping.

Note that 2-Kings 17 shows that God carried away the northern ten tribes whose capital was Samaria. Why did He carry them away? Because of all of their sins and commandment-breaking: idolatry, adultery, all the secret sins they had, worship of Baal. What did the king of Assyria bring into the area where the Israelites were? The king of Assyria took all of the Israelites away, lock, stock and barrel; gone! He brought in those from Babylon. You'll read about all the different gods that they had and they setup a religion where they used the name of the Lord but worshiped their own gods.

This was in 521-518B.C. when this occurred. Then when we come to the time of Jesus Christ and a little beyond:

Acts 8:8: "And there was great joy in that city." When Philip went down to the city of Samaria and preached Christ to them.

Verse 9: "But there was a certain man named Simon, who had from earlier times been practicing sorcery in the city and astounding the nation of Samaria, proclaiming himself to be some great one. To him they had all given heed, from the least to the greatest, saying, 'This man is the great power of God'" (vs 9-10).

  • What were they worshiping?
  • Who was the religious leader there?
  • This certain one called Simon! Simon Magus!

Verse 11: "Now, they were giving heed to him because he had for a long time bewitched them with sorceries." So, when Jesus said, 'You worship you know not what,' He was clearly showing that here is Simon the Magician who was the leader of their 'religion' in Samaria. They didn't know what on earth they were worshiping.

  • They may have thought they were worshiping God, but they weren't!
  • They may have claimed the bases of the religion was from Joseph and Jacob, but it wasn't!

We will see what Jesus says about the true worship of God! Then we'll get a little bit into the reason why the encounter with the woman who was, as the Bible would say, an adulterous.

John 4:22: "You do not know what you worship. We know what we worship… [the Jews were worshiping the true God] …for salvation is of the Jews. But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers…" (vs 22-23)—which means there are false worshipers.

Remember Matt. 7:22 that 'not everyone that says to Me Lord, Lord shall enter into the Kingdom of Heaven, but he who does the will of My Father Who is in heaven. And won't many say 'to Me in that day, Lord, we've done many wonderful works; we've cast out demons,' and so forth. And Jesus will say, 'Depart from Me you who work iniquity, I never knew you.'

"…true worshipers shall worship the Father in Spirit and in Truth…" (v 23). That not only involves the way you pray and study, but the way you live your life, if you walk in the Spirit and not in the flesh. "…worship the Father in Spirit and in Truth…" What is Truth? Again, we come back full circle:

  • Your Word is Truth
  • Your commandments are Truth
  • Your statutes are true
  • You judgments are true
  • you worship God in Spirit and in Truth

"…for the Father is indeed seeking those who worship Him in this manner. God is Spirit…" (vs 23-24). Not a Spirit in the sense that He is a spirit apparition such as a demonic apparition.

Verse 24: "God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must… [Greek: 'dei'—necessary, ordained, incumbent, absolutely required] …worship in Spirit and in Truth." That's why there are so many schisms in religion.

If we are truly seeking Truth, we're truly seeking to worship God in Spirit and in Truth, then God will lead us where we can do that, because God is seeking those that worship Him in that way. God will call them. Note the account of Cornelius and his household. There was a Gentile who was seeking God, and God called him.

So, a person can seek God. If they're really seeking God in sincerity and Truth, God will call them. I would have to say that is true of everyone if you just sit back and analyze it in your own life.

Verse 25: The woman said to Him, 'I know that Messiah is coming, Who is called Christ…'" Isn't that what they told Peter when they said, 'We have found the One Who in the Scriptures is called the Messiah, being interpreted the Christ.

"'…when He comes, He will tell us all things.' Jesus said to her, 'I Who speak to you am He.'" (vs 25-26)—the Greek: 'ego eimi'—I AM the One!

Then the conversation was ended when the disciples came back, v 27: "Now at this time His disciples came, and they were amazed that He was speaking with a woman; however, no one said, 'What are You seeking?' or, 'Why are You talking with her?' Then the woman left her water-pot and went away into the city, and said to the men, 'Come and see a Man Who told me everything that I have done. Can it be that He is the Christ?'" (vs 27-29). Either there's a lot left out of the conversation that we didn't get, or she is exaggerating a tremendous amount. I would have to say it's probably both.

This makes you wonder about the five husbands. Did Jesus in detail say, 'This was your first husband, and that was your second husband, and this was your third husband, and that was your fourth and fifth, and the one—#6—that you're living with now…' It sounds like He told her a whole lot more than just saying, 'Yes, you had five husbands.'

Verse 30: "Then they went out of the city and came to Him. But in the meantime, the disciples were urging Him, saying, 'Rabbi, eat.' And He said to them, 'I have meat to eat that you are not aware of.'…. [they didn't understand] …Then the disciples said to one another, 'Did anyone bring Him something to eat?' Jesus said to them, 'My meat is to do the will of Him Who sent Me, and to finish His work'" (vs 30-34). Jesus understood clearly what He had to do. That's our meat, too, to do the will of God!

Verse 35: "Do not say that there are yet four months, and then the harvest comes…. [the fall harvest] …I say to you, look around. Lift up your eyes and see the fields, for they are already white to harvest." It has to be in the timeframe of after Passover but before Pentecost, because it's talking about a harvest.

Verse 36: "And the one who reaps receives a reward, and gathers fruit unto eternal life; so that the one who is sowing and the one who is reaping may both rejoice together. For in this the saying is true, that one sows and another reaps. I sent you to reap that in which you have not labored; others have labored, and you have entered into their labor" (vs 36-38).

That is all the labor and preparation of the work of the Prophets leading up to that time. The work of the angels in working out the details of Christ being born and so forth. All of that would have to do with it.

Next time we'll look at some of the possible prophetic significance of the woman, the five husbands and this encounter in Samaria.

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

Scriptural References:

  • John 3:16-18
  • Romans 8:1-3
  • John 3:19-21
  • Matthew 6:22-23
  • John 1:9, 14, 18, 28, 42, 52
  • Daniel 3:22-25
  • Daniel 7:13
  • John 3:17, 14, 22-24
  • Mark 1:14-15
  • John 3:25-33
  • Hebrews 6:17-20
  • John 3:33-34
  • Jeremiah 23:9-28
  • Isaiah 8:19-20
  • John 3:34-36
  • John 4:1-22
  • Acts 8:8-11
  • John 4:22-38

Scriptures referenced, not quoted:

  • John 1:1, 4
  • Romans 6
  • Acts 19
  • John 2
  • Matthew 10
  • John 7:38-39
  • Matthew 5:32
  • 2 Kings 17
  • Matthew 7:22

Also referenced:

  • Sermon Series: Grace of God
  • Book: Josephus

FRC:bo
Transcribed: 9-5-14

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