Classic Christianity – Book of John P25 (12-05-18)
Bob George continues teaching from the book of John. He is currently in John 7 where the religious leaders are trying to turn the crowd against Jesus and many of the Jews are not understanding and are divided concerning Jesus. Some say Jesus is the prophet. Others say Jesus is the Messiah. Some Jews who knew some facts from scripture lacked full understanding and so doubted Jesus being the Messiah. Jesus clearly explained who he was, that he came from Heaven. Jesus had a message to shared concerning his death, burial and resurrection. But more than than that. He also told them that he will return to His Father so that he can send the Holy Spirit to dwell in men. Bob explains more thoroughly with other supporting scriptures to explain the significance of the Holy Spirit taking residence in the lives of men. The religious leaders, as well as others, could only think in the natural realm. The religious leaders wondered what he meant by saying he is going away. Is he going away to a far away country? Jesus is going to die, be raised again, and return to His Father in heaven. And because of their lack of belief in Him, he told them that where he was going they could not come.
37 On the last day, the climax of the holidays, Jesus shouted to the crowds, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. 38 For the Scriptures declare that rivers of living water shall flow from the inmost being of anyone who believes in me.” 39 (He was speaking of the Holy Spirit, who would be given to everyone believing in him; but the Spirit had not yet been given, because Jesus had not yet returned to his glory in heaven.)
Bob shares that Jesus if going away to make us a part of the body, to make the Spirit of God to live in you. Jesus did not come to help us obey the law but he came to live his life in you and through you. He did not come alongside you, as some people falsely teach, to help you obey the law. He came to live inside you. Jesus came to walk a life of love. He obeyed the 10 commandments by walking in love.
In the Old Testament, the Spirit did come alongside for divine service, such as King Saul and King David. That is why in the Psalms, after David sinned with Bathsheba, and came to his senses through the prophet Nathan, said, “Do not take your Holy Spirit from me”.
Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me.
Do we pray such prayers today? No. Why not? Jesus said that until he goes away the Holy Spirit that dwells in men, to never leave or forsake you, will not come to you. Until Jesus completed the work he came to do, sin could not be taken away and new life could not be given.
God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”
It is a miracle to have the Holy Spirit dwell in you! Scripture also states that the physical body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. In the Old Testament was a temple, a temporary dwelling place for the God of Israel. But in the New Covenant God made with man, Jesus permanently dwells in men. So to meet with the high priest, the Holy Spirit entered the temple, and that without the shedding of blood. But now that Jesus blood has been shed, once and for all, those born again of the Holy Spirit, the Holy Spirit can freely dwell in man since there is no more sacrifice necessary for sin. (All this is explained in the book of Hebrews).
At the time Jesus walked the earth, the Holy Spirit had not yet been given because Jesus has not yet been glorified. Until the time Jesus rose from the dead, and sat down at the right hand of God, the Holy Spirit was not given. That is why one reads in the book of Acts where Jesus walked the earth after having been risen from the dead, walking among men, giving instruction to the Apostles he had chosen. He told them not to leave Jerusalem but to wait for the gift from the Father, the gift of the Holy Spirit as promised in John 7:39.
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. For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.”
So there are two baptisms. When you see the word “but”, then there is a before and an after. Before Christ rose from the dead there was John’s baptism of water. But after there was a spiritual baptism. Why is it, that even today, as it was in their day, people are so caught up in the natural that they miss coming to Christ for life? John’s baptism is closely tied to the ceremonial washing of the Old Covenant system, and is a physical baptism of water to prepare men’s hearts to listen to the Messiah to come who will explain everything. Now Jesus has explained everything. There is distinct spiritual birth, separate from water baptism, without which no one can enter the kingdom of heaven. This concept of being born again was what Jesus spoke to Nicodemus about. When one is spiritually baptized, then he is placed into the body of Christ. This concept of the body of Christ with Jesus as the head is explained in scriptures.
1 Corinthians 12:11-13
12 Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. 13 For we were all baptized by[a] one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink.
There is only unity among people who are plugged into the head, which is Jesus Christ. What unity does righteousness and unrighteousness have? And if Christ is in you, then you have the righteousness of Christ imputed to you with the mind of Christ to discern the things of God. Otherwise, you remain unrighteous.
So when did the Holy Spirit first come to live inside men. In Acts 2, one reads about the day of Pentecost.
2 When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. 2 Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. 4 All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues[a] as the Spirit enabled them.
5 Now there were staying in Jerusalem God-fearing Jews from every nation under heaven. 6 When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard their own language being spoken. 7 Utterly amazed, they asked: “Aren’t all these who are speaking Galileans? 8 Then how is it that each of us hears them in our native language? 9 Parthians, Medes and Elamites; residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia,[b] 10 Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya near Cyrene; visitors from Rome 11 (both Jews and converts to Judaism); Cretans and Arabs—we hear them declaring the wonders of God in our own tongues!” 12 Amazed and perplexed, they asked one another, “What does this mean?”
So what can one discern from reading these scriptures. A tongue is a language like German or French today. The Apostles were speaking in their native tongue, their own language of Galilee. Each person heard them speaking in their own language while the Apostles were speaking only in their own language. Tongue has never meant anything else but a language. In many churches today, the incorrect teaching is to get a second blessing, a second Spirit other than one received when you were born again. When one is born again today, the Holy spirit takes residence in you immediately, and you have every spiritual blessing in Christ.
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.
Now, in this time of transition, when the Holy Spirit was first given at Pentecost, just 10 days earlier all the disciples were fearful like cowards behind closed doors. What happened to Peter? For now he is spoken boldly even proclaiming that the Jews crucified the Lord of glory. What people should be excited about is the preaching of the gospel! There were 3000 people were added to the church that day, not to the local synagogue, that is not the church being referred to here, but new members of the body of Christ, born again with the Spirit of God. Peter was indwelt by the Holy Spirit, speaking the very words the Holy Spirit wanted him to speak. It was the Holy Spirit speaking through him the message of the gospel. Tongues was for communicating truth, an evangelistic gift to go into foreign lands,to fulfill prophecy of the gospel going to the Gentiles and to the ends of the earth.
What role does the Holy Spirit have in your salvation? Was it to forgive sins? No. Jesus death accomplished that. The Holy Spirit was to give life to man, and would not have been given if Jesus had not raised, and would not have been given if Jesus did not return to His Father. The Holy spirit living in you is what saves you. He is the giver of life, God’s life, the very Spirit of Jesus Christ, the same Holy Spirit living in Jesus, who only did what he saw His Father doing, who told him what to say and how to say it. Was anybody regenerated prior to this gift of the Holy Spirit? No. Until Jesus completed the work he came to do, to die on a cross to take away sin in order that he would be raised to new life so that he can offer that same Holy Spirit life, that always was and always will be in him, to all who but put their faith in him. That faith in Him is in His work for us, not deeds of the law, but His gift of righteousness given to us.
Ponder over the meaning of this scripture, in reference to those who lived during the Old Testament and regarded as men of faith who believed in the coming Messiah, to discern what the Lord is saying. If you have the Spirit of God in you, then God will reveal to you what this means.
39 These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised, 40 since God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect.
Now continuing on in John 7, starting in verse 40 to the end of the chapter, we have various people divided over who Jesus is. Some say he is a prophet. Others say he is the Messiah. Other doubted because they had read scripture but had not understood all of scripture that had to be fulfilled concerning Jesus, they so focused on the one thing they did not understand and failed to just think about the miracles Jesus performed. The miracles that Jesus performed was enough for Nicodemus to seek the will of God out and meet Jesus at night, and he was a Pharisee! For Nicodemus had said in his heart that no man can do what he is doing unless God were with him.
Nicodemus even challenged the other Pharisees who were making charges against Jesus without even a trial, presuming him guilty before hearing him out. It seemed Nicodemus understand a man is assumed innocent until proven guilty but there is nothing that can be found against Jesus. The Jews logic was on various scriptures concerning the lineage of Christ through the line of David. They knew that Jesus would come from the line of David and did not understand how Jesus would come from Galilee. Nor did they realize Jesus was born in Bethlehem in fulfillment of prophecy. They knew something about prophecy but did not make the connection that Jesus actually fulfilled prophecy.
Still others asked, “How can the Messiah come from Galilee? 42 Does not Scripture say that the Messiah will come from David’s descendants and from Bethlehem, the town where David lived?” 43 Thus the people were divided because of Jesus. 44 Some wanted to seize him, but no one laid a hand on him.
Yet the Old Testament prophets spoke concerning the coming Messiah, where he was to be born, where he was to go, and even about his death, burial and resurrection.
“But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah,
though you are small among the clans[a] of Judah,
out of you will come for me
one who will be ruler over Israel,
whose origins are from of old,
from ancient times.”
Nevertheless, there will be no more gloom for those who were in distress. In the past he humbled the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, but in the future he will honor Galilee of the nations, by the Way of the Sea, beyond the Jordan—
So according to the prophets in the Old Testament, Jesus would be born in Bethlehem and would start his public ministry in Galilee. Indeed, if one were to look into scriptures more closely, his death, burial and resurrection were all prophesied by the prophets. Check out these prophecies (https://www.jesusfilm.org/blog-and-stories/old-testament-prophecies.html).
So they doubted he was the Messiah because of not knowing the scriptures fully or lack of knowledge of Jesus lineage and instead made false assumptions. Even the Pharisees tried to poison the others concerning Jesus and they too replied to Nicodemus that a prophet does not come out of Galilee.
John 7:50-52 (TLB)
50 Then Nicodemus spoke up. (Remember him? He was the Jewish leader who came secretly to interview Jesus.) 51 “Is it legal to convict a man before he is even tried?” he asked. They replied, “Are you from Galilee, too? Look into it, and you will find that a prophet does not come out of Galilee.”
They failed to understand that Jesus was born in Bethlehem and later in life started his public ministry in Galilee. They assumed he was born in Galilee and did not know he was born in Bethlehem, thus failing to understand Jesus to be of the royal line of David. The attitude of the Pharisees is not unlike many wicked politicians today. They never answered Nicodemus question but instead did name-calling and re-focused attention not on the question but false charges.
The question the Pharisees asked is not unlike a lawyer who would say to someone on trial, “So when have you stopped beating your wife?” and insisting on only a yes or no answer so as to incriminate you no matter how you answered. That is the same kind of trap they tried to set for Jesus in regards to the woman caught in adultery. So how did they know she committed adultery? Did they set the whole scenario up so as to trap Jesus? The whole account in scripture is in John 8:1-11.
Bob made a point to mention that not all manuscripts contain John 7:53 to John 8:1-11. You may see a footnote in your bible stating this. Notice that Apostle Paul did not use the King James bible. The original bible was in Hebrew and came by meticulous copying by Jewish scribes. If there just one letter missing, they destroyed the entire scroll and started all over. They had a high regard for preserving the word of God. Consider the fact that the scribes saw the power of God, the parting of the Red Sea and all sorts of dealings of God with the Jews throughout history. For God Himself was at work to preserve His word. The dead sea scrolls were fond in recent history, he earliest dated copy of the scriptures. So is the older better, or the many better? In virtually all translations today there is nothing different in regards to salvation. So why are these certain passages missing in certain passages. In certain manuscripts found, they were not written down. In later ones, they were. A Jewish scribe still wrote down these things at a certain time even though the earlier ones did not have them. Does that make not inspired? No. Do they change any significant doctrine or meaning of God’s word or do they provide greater clarity into the walk of Jesus Christ and his manner of love? I say they provide better clarity or amplification on the life of Christ and into the mindset of the religious Pharisees.
The main point Bob emphasized was that Jesus acted in love. He did not come to condemn but to save. He walked in love and is full of mercy and grace. His attitude is one of how to restore man. When you see someone in a sin, do you look down on them and tell them they deserve to be where they are or do you have pity and a longing in your heart for the person to be set free, to walk in new free freedom, to change their attitude toward sin. Bob says he has no greater joy than to see someone who is on verge of divorce be restored in their marriage. No matter what the other person has done, would it not be better if the person confesses their adultery and shows genuine godly sorrow. Would it not be wonderful to see the spouse totally forgive and welcome back the partner in marriage, knowing the person has cut all ties with the other person with evidence of clearing himself.
Notice also the attitude of the Pharisees even wanting to put Jesus to death, and bothered by the fact the Temple police did not arrest Jesus. Yet the Temple police responded that they never heard anyone speak like this man. Bob shared a story concerning the father of his wife Amy. He was born in Russia under communism. He was raised an orphan, and trained himself to be a lawyer. Yet, communists see those with knowledge as a threat, and falsely charge people with a crime against the state. This could very well happen in America in the future. So Amy’s father was taken to Germany and put in a slave labor camp. Amy thought he was dead. No one has heard from him in 40 years. Later he made it into America. So when Bob heard his wife tell this story, immediately Bob thought of John 7:46.
46 “No one ever spoke the way this man does,” the guards replied.
Bob was saying that Amy’s father never heard words of love before, an orphan and raised under communist Russia and in a slave labor camp!
The Temple police were hearing words of love from Jesus so how could they arrest him. That goes against all logic and reason.
Yet, the Pharisees were like the Communists. The Pharisees are also not unlike many politicians today and rulers of this world or even religious leaders. What religious leaders insist one must be water baptized and only in their church in order to be saved? What religious leaders insist one must participate in a mass in order to have your sins forgiven? What religious leader insists you must believe in Calvinism or Arminianism? In history, one reads about Calvinists persecuting the Armenians? Or Catholics burning people on a stake for refusing to believe that the Eucharist (God in a wafer or loaf of bread) is not necessary for salvation? Is that the way of love? God forbid! What religious people will accuse you today of going against 2000 years of church history?
47 “You mean he has deceived you also?” the Pharisees retorted. 48 “Have any of the rulers or of the Pharisees believed in him? 49 No! But this mob that knows nothing of the law—there is a curse on them.”
Have any religious leaders or theologians told you this? So the Pharisees said in their heart, who is this man who dares think he knows more than us? We were trained under Moses and who is this man to tear down all the ways of Moses? So do we base truth from what we hear from men or from every word that proceeds from the mouth of God, words that are spiritually discerned by the spirit that has been given to you? As Jesus conversed with Nicodemus, “Are you born again? Are you like Nicodemus, even though highly religious, was willing to hear words of truth from Jesus? Do you want to do the will of God? Do you have any sorrow over sin? Then a good start is to listen to truth from scriptures, from the man from heaven. The word of God is like a seed that is sewn, and to those who have the right attitude, who turn from pride, and are willing to listen, then the Holy Spirit will be drawing you unto Himself until the point in time your eyes are opened and you believe and receive the gift of eternal life, God’s Holy Spirit to be placed in you. Then you can see clearly. Let the seed of God’s word be sewn in your heart. Go and read the entire Book of John for yourself. Test and see what is truth from God, asking Him to reveal truth to you. The first time you hear truth you may be like Nicodemus not understanding what born again means. But put yourself in a position to hear truth. Be aware that you might not understand something correctly, having been taught things that are not in accordance with truth from God. Do not let one thing you do not understand blind you to vitally important truth that can save your soul. In due time, God will guide you into all truth. Let the truth of God sink in. If you seek God with all your heart, He will reveal Himself to you.
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