Classic Christianity – Book of John Part 37 (06-25-19)
Bob George explains how truth is accepted in the hearts of man, but also rejected by many. Bob shares what attitude a person should have in their heart in order for truth to be made known to them. Do you have the desire to do God’s will? If you do, then when you hear the teaching of Jesus, then you will know the truth when you hear it. No one can do God’s will in the energy of the flesh, but when our desire is there, to do God’s will, the moment we hear truth, we readily accept truth and that truth sets us free. That is why when Jesus asked his disciples, “Do you want to leave too?” that Peter said “Where shall we go? You have the very words of eternal life.”
But what keeps people from receiving truth? We have such a tendency to only see things in the natural realm. How do we understand things of the Spirit when we have never seen Spirit, never came from heaven, and were born spiritually dead. Someone from heaven has to teach us truth for only he came from heaven and came from there to tell us who God is. That man’s name is Jesus. Truth has to be revealed to you by the Spirit of God. The real question is, “Are you willing to listen to truth?”
When you have also been taught false teaching and then hear something contrary to what you have been taught, what is your natural tendency, the natural tendency of all men? Is it not to rebel against that truth? How important is it for you to study the word of God for yourself and not simply believe something because that is what some denomination or organization or teacher has taught you. How foolish would it be to say, “I believe what ‘whatever’ denomination because that is what they teach? How would you know if they are not leaning on their own understanding? How would you know if Calvinism or Armenian or any such teaching is true? We are not to lean on our understanding but are to lean on the Spirit of God to teach us truth. The way you learn it spiritually is to allow the Spirit, who alone can discern spiritual truth, to teach it to you. Everyone who has the Spirit of God living in them has the ability to learn from the Spirit of God. They have the ability to participate in the divine nature. God wants you to believe something because you believe it to be true.
Teachers may amplify the meaning of God’s word to you but they could also be in error. When they teach truth that has been revealed to them by the Spirit of God then they are there as a gift to you to amplify the meaning of God’s word to you but are not a substitute of the Spirit of God, who alone is your teacher. But how would you know if any man is telling you the truth? Do you want to do God’s will? Do you study God’s word for yourself, not through techniques of men, such as hermeneutics or study of Greek or Hebrew, but by allowing the Holy Spirit, living in you, to teach you?
Bob George is teaching from John 7, and is at the point in the ministry of Jesus on earth where many people stopped listening to Jesus, and the Jewish leaders, after hearing much truth, and even seeing many miracles by Jesus, rejected truth, and then sought to kill Jesus.
25 At that point some of the people of Jerusalem began to ask, “Isn’t this the man they are trying to kill?
We talked about people coming to Jesus after he did certain miracles. Christ came down and gave a spiritual illustration they did not understand, telling us that he is the bread of life, that he came down from heaven, and that unless you eat of this bread and drink his blood you cannot inherit the kingdom of God. They did not understand that because we have the tendency to think at a natural level instead of at a spiritual level. They did not understand at all what he was saying. Therefore some of the people decided to leave him. Then he turned to his disciples and asked them if they are going to go too. Then Peter replied, “Where are we going to go? You have the words of eternal life”.
Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.
In this presentation of the gospel, we get several responses to it. You can talk about God all day long, and people have no problem talking about that at all. People can say, “good Lord” or “the man upstairs” but once you talk about Jesus then they gag and do not want to hear anymore.
Many times Jesus presented himself to the world saying that he is God.
Jesus answered: “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?
I and the Father are one.
All that God wants you to know about Himself has been revealed in Christ Jesus. When you come to Christ Jesus, there is nothing else to seek. You do not seek the Father. You are not seeking the Holy Spirit. You are seeking who God revealed to us in the person of Christ Jesus.
Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
There is no one else to seek and no one else to worship except Christ Jesus. Not all people believed that. His own family did not believe that.
For even his own brothers did not believe in him.
2 But when the Jewish Festival of Tabernacles was near, 3 Jesus’ brothers said to him, “Leave Galilee and go to Judea, so that your disciples there may see the works you do. 4 No one who wants to become a public figure acts in secret. Since you are doing these things, show yourself to the world.” 5 For even his own brothers did not believe in him.
His own brothers were encouraging Jesus at the feast of tabernacles, to make himself known. What they were essentially saying is, “Go get yourself killed, since you are such a big guy and you are so smart”. They did not understand Jesus. What he taught was totally contrary to what they have been taught from their Jewish culture of tradition and law, undoubtedly hearing much from the rabbis in their day, such as from the Pharisees and customs of men.
So it is so important to be taught properly, for if you are taught error, and you hear truth, then you are going to rebel against truth. That is why it is important that you know truth. That is why it is important that you do not get your truth just from a teacher. God will use a teacher to let you know, hopefully, what God has revealed through him. But a teacher could also be teaching in the flesh, teaching what he has not learned from God, but what he has learned by leaning on his own understanding.
5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; 6 in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight
If I do not know God is living in me, teaching me, then I am up to my own to study Hebrew, Greek, theology, Calvinism or Armenian, and say, “What do they believe?” Then, I unwisely think, “They tell me so I can believe the same thing”. You have to be brain dead to do that? God never intended for us to believe something because somebody else believed it.
Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.
He wants you to believe because you believe it. He gave us His Spirit living in you so that the Spirit living in you can teach you truth and let that truth set you free.
But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.
You do no have to go to seminary (or cemetery, as Bob jokingly said) in order to understand the bible. Nine times out of ten it is a detriment to understanding because there is no leaning on the Spirit of God to teach you. The leaning is on learning Greek, Hebrew, theology, hermeneutics or names man comes up with and say, “this is how you learn the bible”. Nonsense. That is how you learn it humanly. But the way you learn it spiritually is to allow the Spirit, who alone can discern spiritual truth, to teach it to you. Everyone who has the spirit of God living in them has the ability to learn from the Spirit of God.
1 John 2:27
As for you, the anointing you received from him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about all things and as that anointing is real, not counterfeit—just as it has taught you, remain in him.
The bible says you do not even need teachers. What is he saying?
11 So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, 12 to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up
God has given you people, such as teachers or pastors, as gifts to help you, by amplifying the meaning of God’s word to you. They supplement your effort but are not to substitute for it.
We have a lot of people today saying, “if you do not believe what we believe then …” and people respond, “Okay, then tell me what you believe and I will believe it”. That is why Christianity is in such bad shape today, with every hair-brained theology under the sun. So leaders put control on people, “you better not believe something than what I tell you”. You need to have legalism to do that. That is why legalism is taught, to control people. If you are free in Christ, you cannot be controlled by anyone but the one who wants to control you, and that is the one who lives in you, the Holy Spirit of God. That is why grace is taught.
5 For even his own brothers did not believe in him.
6 Therefore Jesus told them, “My time is not yet here; for you any time will do.
His brothers said, “Go down to the village and make yourself known”, and Jesus kept saying, “my time has not yet come”. Jesus knew why he had come to this earth. He was heading to the cross, to take away the sins of the world by his death only to be raised from the dead, in order for new life to be offered to men, who were born dead. Jesus knew where he was going. That is why he did not go down when they told him to, for if he did, he would likely have been killed. His time to die had not yet come.
16 Jesus answered, “My teaching is not my own. It comes from the one who sent me. 17 Anyone who chooses to do the will of God will find out whether my teaching comes from God or whether I speak on my own.
There is a criteria for understanding the teaching of Jesus, to have the desire in your heart to do God’s will. In the heart is where attitudes are formed. In the mind is where thoughts are formed. The criteria for understanding Jesus is to find out if you want to do God’s will. I am not sure what God’s will is, but whatever it is, I want to do it. There is a desire there. Now we cannot pull it off in the energy of the flesh, but when the desire is there, then when you hear the teaching of Jesus then you will know it is true.
18 Whoever speaks on their own does so to gain personal glory, but he who seeks the glory of the one who sent him is a man of truth; there is nothing false about him.
There are those who work for the honor of those who sent him. When we work for the honor of God, then he is a man of truth and there is nothing false about him.
Then we read the responses of the people.
19 Has not Moses given you the law? Yet not one of you keeps the law. Why are you trying to kill me?”
20 “You are demon-possessed,” the crowd answered. “Who is trying to kill you?”
Can you imagine someone saying in from of the most loving human being who ever walked on the face of the earth, who walked on water, fed five thousand with five loaves and two fish, and if that is not good enough, say to him, “You are demon possessed”!
21 Jesus said to them, “I did one miracle, and you are all amazed. 22 Yet, because Moses gave you circumcision (though actually it did not come from Moses, but from the patriarchs), you circumcise a boy on the Sabbath. 23 Now if a boy can be circumcised on the Sabbath so that the law of Moses may not be broken, why are you angry with me for healing a man’s whole body on the Sabbath? 24 Stop judging by mere appearances, but instead judge correctly.”
In other words, since circumcision is on the 8th day of birth, you circumcise the baby. If that day occurred on the Sabbath, you still circumcise the baby. Yet, if you circumcise a baby on the Sabbath, and you consider that work, then why do you judge me (Jesus) for healing the whole man on the Sabbath.
They make stuff up with no rational sense to it. Jesus is right in the face of people who were making judgments that did even make common sense.
25 At that point some of the people of Jerusalem began to ask, “Isn’t this the man they are trying to kill? 26 Here he is, speaking publicly, and they are not saying a word to him. Have the authorities really concluded that he is the Messiah? 27 But we know where this man is from; when the Messiah comes, no one will know where he is from.”
This ties into the teaching of Melchizedek, having no beginning and no end, and the Messiah will be someone like Melchizedek. So they were repeating what they had been taught. Although they could find out where he was from physically, they had no clue where he came from spiritually.
28 Then Jesus, still teaching in the temple courts, cried out, “Yes, you know me, and you know where I am from. I am not here on my own authority, but he who sent me is true. You do not know him, 29 but I know him because I am from him and he sent me.”
That hacked off people. The crowds were saying, “You tell me I do not know God. Do you not see how much I pray and do all these things.” Jesus replied, “You do not know me, for if you knew me, you would know Him for I know where I have come.”
That angered them so much that he claimed to know something they did not know. The people are saying, “We have been through the training. We have all our laws down and you are telling me you know more than I know”. They failed to realize or understand Jesus established the Old Testament and came to fulfill it. The law was added so people may recognize their state of sin and death and come listen to the promised Messiah to receive life.
All the prophets testify about him that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.”
30 At this they tried to seize him, but no one laid a hand on him, because his hour had not yet come.
31 Still, many in the crowd believed in him. They said, “When the Messiah comes, will he perform more signs than this man?”
Many in the crowd put their faith in him. Why did they believe? Because they wanted to know the will of God. When you want to know the will of God, you will find out that the teaching of the gospel is true.
Many put their faith in him. Why? They asked, “When Christ comes will he do more miraculous signs than this man?
In Jewish orthodoxy they believe the Messiah is going to come. They believe that. If you were ever to ask a rabbi, “Do you believe the Messiah is going to come?”, he would say yes. Then you ask him, “How are you going to know who he is when all the genealogy is gone?”. You do not have any genealogy to prove that point. Then ask, “How many more miraculous signs, that you say he is going to come, than what Jesus did? How many more miracles will he have to do than Jesus did?” Then you ask the rabbi, “What if the day comes when the Messiah shows up and happens to be Jesus?” He looked at me, and said, “it would not surprise me one bit”. Wow! Willfully blind!
You have to tell yourself to either forget the Messiah or say that if he does come, how much more miracles will he do?
32 The Pharisees heard the crowd whispering such things about him. Then the chief priests and the Pharisees sent temple guards to arrest him.
Now they are going to take action!
33 Jesus said, “I am with you for only a short time, and then I am going to the one who sent me. 34 You will look for me, but you will not find me; and where I am, you cannot come.”
Do you think that after the resurrection of Christ Jesus that the Pharisees and Sadducee’s and all the Jewish leaders were trying to find Jesus? Do you think they were looking for him? The story is he was raised from the dead, so to disprove him, you have to find a body. How did he get out of the tomb and where is he?
35 The Jews said to one another, “Where does this man intend to go that we cannot find him? Will he go where our people live scattered among the Greeks, and teach the Greeks? 36 What did he mean when he said, ‘You will look for me, but you will not find me,’ and ‘Where I am, you cannot come’?”
They are thinking back in the natural realm. Where does this man intend to go? Teach the Greeks. What does he mean when he says, “you will look for me and not find me and where I am you cannot come.”
37 On the last and greatest day of the festival, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. 38 Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.” 39 By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive. Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified.
Jesus had said to his disciples that it is good for you I am going away. When I do go away, I will send the Holy Spirit to live in you and you are not going to see me on the face of earth as you once did.
But very truly I tell you, it is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you
The king is exiled and he lives in us. His church is people. We may belong to some organization but his church is made of only born again people. Only those who came to faith in Jesus by his death, burial and resurrection are members of his body.
1 Corinthians 15:1-4
1 Now, brothers and sisters, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. 2 By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain. 3 For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures,
He is going to live in you. He is not going to live beside you to help you to obey the law. He came to live his life in and through you. The life Jesus lives is a life of love. He obeyed the ten commandments by walking in love. He is coming to live inside you, not alongside, but inside you.
In the Old Testament, the Holy Spirit came alongside people for divine service, such as through the prophets or king David or king Saul. That is why you hear in the psalms of David, “Please do not take your Holy Spirit away from me!”
Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me.
Would we pray that today? No. Prior to the cross, since Jesus did not take away the cause of death, which is sin, there was a temporary provision for sin. That is why God left the sins committed beforehand unpunished so that only together with us are they made perfect.
24 and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. 25 God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement,[propitiation] through the shedding of his blood—to be received by faith. He did this to demonstrate his righteousness, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished— 26 he did it to demonstrate his righteousness at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus.
The punishment for all sin was at the cross. That also means that when someone in the Old Testament sinned, the Holy Spirit could leave a person. There was no permanent indwelling of the Holy Spirit in the days of the Old Testament. The Holy spirit had not yet been given to indwell permanently in man until Jesus completed the work his Father assigned him to do for us.
Jesus is saying, “There is an event going to take place where I am going to send the Spirit to live in you.”
1 Corinthians 2:16
“Who has known the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ.
2 Peter 1:4
Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.
It is a reality and a miracle that Jesus comes to indwell you and me! That is why our body is the temple of the Spirit of God.
1 Corinthians 6:19
Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own;
The Spirit of God is living in you, our only hope of glory. He comes to live in you and to indwell you forever.
He has kept this secret for centuries and generations past, but now at last it has pleased him to tell it to those who love him and live for him, and the riches and glory of his plan are for you Gentiles, too. And this is the secret: Christ in your hearts is your only hope of glory.
39 By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive. Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified.
That is why the Spirit was not yet given. Had the Spirit at that time been given? No. To who will the Spirit be given? You and me and and any person currently living on the face of earth who puts their faith in Christ.
Why? Jesus had not yet been glorified. He has not yet risen from the dead and returned to his Father.
3 After his suffering, he presented himself to them and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive. He appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the kingdom of God. 4 On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. 5 For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.”
So when the Jews asked, “Where are you going where we could not go?”, in Acts we are given more information. They were given instruction to wait in Jerusalem for the gift they were promised to receive. What is the gift the Father promised? The gift is the Holy Spirit to indwell in the hearts of men.
After reading about the gift, “which you heard me speak about”, notice the transition word, “For”. There is a before and an after. Notice the contrast here.
Before the cross, John baptized with water. After the cross, and after the resurrection and ascension of Jesus to his Father, you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.