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Passover Lessons from the Gospel of John #3

Sin and Mercy and Seeing!

PASSOVER LESSONS FROM THE GOSPEL OF JOHN #3

                                    by

                                Keith Hunt

     Jesus was in the Temple teaching, about half way through the
Feast of Tabernacles (John 7:10-15). He said: "My doctrine is not
mine, but His that sent me. If any man will DO His WILL, he shall
know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of
myself. He that speaks of himself, seeks his own glory: but he
that seeks His glory that sent him, the same is true, and no
unrighteousness is in him" (verses 16-18).

     There is one sure way to KNOW the doctrines of God, and to
know who speaks the truth of God, and that is for that individual
to be DOING the WILL of God. Now you may not fully know all the
will of God, but if your heart is right, and you continually want
to do God's will, then you will be led into MORE truth (see John
16:13) and you will be led to know, among all those who go out
preaching and teaching the word of God, who it is that teaches
the correct doctrines of the Father. If your attitude is to not
DO the will of God, then you will continue in your deception.
     There are far too many preachers and teachers out there that
SEEK their own glory. They love to write, and write more and more
books about God, they love to preach to huge audiences, have the
acclaim of people, even be respected by the world as some great
teacher of Christianity. But they have forgotten what Jesus said,
"Woe unto you when all men speak well of you, for so did their
fathers to the false prophets" (Luke 6:26). Those who speak the
truths of God, who seek only the glory that belongs to the
Father, they will not be popular, they will not have people
flocking to be taught by them, they will have no popularity with
the masses of those who call themselves "Christian."
     This Website of mine is not to gather a huge following and
be praised among the Christian world. It is here to teach the
truths of God, and to warn the nations of what will come upon
this earth before Jesus returns. It will be a small few I know,
whom the Father will call to see His truths and to DO His WILL,
as proclaimed here. I seek no glory, only the glory of the Father
that has granted me the open door of the Worldwide Internet to
teach His word to those near and those far away.

     The Jews got angry with Christ for making a man whole on the
Sabbath day (verse 23) but He told them to "Judge not according
to appearance, but judge righteous judgment" (verse 24). There
are times, many times in fact, where we need to judge what is
right and correct and what is incorrect and sin. I have given you
a full in-depth study on this Website called "Righteous Judgment"
- you need to study it and find another truth of God.

     Jesus told them that in a little while He would be gone,
they would seek Him, but would not find Him - they could not
understand that either. To them this Jesus guy was a pretty mixed
up fellow (verses 32-36).
     
     It was now the LAST DAY of the Feast of Tabernacles, the day
called "the great day" - not the 8th or Octave day, as some have
mistakenly thought, but the 7th day of the Feast of Tabernacles.
The truth of that question is on this Website also, called, "The
Truth of John 7:37."
     Jesus stands up and cries, saying, "If any man thirst, let
him come unto Me, and drink. He that believes on Me, as the
Scripture has said, 'Out of his belly shall flow rivers of
water'" (verses 37-38).
     He was as the next verses tell you, speaking of the Holy
Spirit which they who would believe on Him would receive, after
His glorification.
     That Spirit friends is not only the seed of eternal life but
it is the Spirit that will guide you into all truth - John 16:13
- maybe not all at once, in fact usually not, but over time, as
much time as God allows in your life, that Spirit will guide you,
if you do not prevent it by a hard heart; for you do have your
part to play, the Father has made you with free choice, to choose
right or to choice wrong. Jesus said, "Blessed are they which
hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be filled"
(Mat.5:6). Did you notice YOUR part?

     Early the next morning, which was the 8th day or Octave, the
last annual Sabbath of the year, which was a separate Feast all
of its own, Jesus again comes to the Temple (chapter 8:1-2). The
scribes and Pharisees, they had been busy trying to catch someone
in the act of adultery; they finally found someone; they bring
the woman; why the woman only is not explained to us, maybe the
man was big and strong and so they could not drag him to Jesus. Oh
boy, they thought, do we have Him in this one, we'll see what He
thinks about the laws of Moses. They wanted Jesus to condemn the
woman to death by stoning, as the law on the books, did say could
be done. Did you notice I said "could" be done. A lot of people
do not realize or they forget, that in Israel there were judges,
to judge matters; not always was the penalty given out in its
full force. People forget there was "mercy" under the laws of
Israel. They forget that David committed adultery, but because of
his true and deep repentance, God did not kill him, or have him
stoned to death. The Father does not play favorites, He just
shows MERCY when mercy is deserved.
     Jesus knew their twisted mind-set. He stooped down and wrote
on the ground. "He that is without sin among you, let him cast
the first stone at her." He stooped down again and wrote on the
ground. One by one they slunk out!
     We do not know what Jesus wrote, it is not revealed to us.
But you can be sure He knew their sins, and probably they all had
some pretty BIG ones. 
     "Woman," said Jesus, "where are those thine accusers? Hath
no man condemned you?"
     She said, "No man Lord."
     Jesus said unto her, "Then neither do I condemn you; go and
sin no more" (verses 7-11).

     Isn't that what God showed to David? Yes, it was MERCY!
But with "go and sin no more."

     You need to be careful how you judge. Sin is sin, yes, but
you need to be careful how you handle the sins of others, for
with how you treat others you will be treated also - it is
written - Jesus said that in the Gospels. Every single one of us
has sins we would not want to be broadcasted on prime-time TV
news. We need to be thankful those and all our sins can be
covered with the blood of Christ. We all at times must hang our
head low as the publican did, and say, "Lord forgive me a sinner"
- do you remember that parable Jesus gave? Let's remember at this
Passover season the passage John wrote in his first letter or
epistle, chapter one into chapter two. You haven't read it for a
while? Then now is a good time to read it again friends.

     Jesus went on to say: "I am the light of the world; he that
follows me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light
of life" (verse 12).
     And that is so true. When you have truth, when you are
guided by the Spirit, when you walk with the Lord, you are in
light, truly as Jesus said elsewhere, "You shall have the truth,
and the truth shall set you free!" And that is indeed GOOD
freedom, for it gives you the knowledge that by walking in the
light of truth, you shall gain the first resurrection, which the
New Testament says, is the better resurrection. I guess so, for
you will reign with Christ for one thousand years, bringing
salvation, to countless millions who will live during that age to
come. Those who are raised in the "second" resurrection (Rev.20)
will die in their sins in this lifetime, and will miss that
wonderful age that is to come, that all the prophets of old have
spoken about. Some of Jesus' day MAY have, by not believing Him,
by choosing sin, by turning away God's call, put themselves out
of the first resurrection (verses 14-27). 

     Oh yes, here is the verses about truth setting you free:
"Jesus said to the Jews which believed on Him, 'IF you CONTINUE
in my word, then are you my disciples indeed. And you shall know
the truth, and the truth shall make you free'" (verses 31-32).
     There is a DOING - a PRACTICING - a LIVING - to be the true
disciple of Jesus, and only those will then have the truth, which
will surely make them free!

     Jesus now talks about sin. We think of sin and righteousness
during this feast of Unleavened Bread. "Truly, truly, I say unto
you, whosoever practices sin is the servant of sin. And the
servant abides not in the house for ever ... if the Son therefore
shall make you free, you shall be free indeed" (verses 34-36).
     I use the word "practice" - the KJV uses "committeth" - but
the Greek means "practice" as a way of life. It is the heart
again, it is the mind-set as we call it today. If your mind is
set to practice sin as a way of life, when you know better (and
the Ten Commandments are not too difficult to understand, and
they are the basic definition of sin - 1 John 3:4 - other parts
of Scripture expound more on sin), then you are living sin, you
are its slave, you serve sin. And such a mind-set, if not
repented of, will get you eventually thrown out of the house of
the Lord. But if you take Jesus and all He IS and all He said and
taught, then He can and will set you free indeed!

     There were times when Christ pulled no punches, He just
opened up with both barrels a blazing as we say. He laid the
cards on the table. He called it like it is. Shocking to some
people, but Jesus actually called some people the children of the
Devil, or "You are of your father the Devil" - same thing (verses
39-44). Satan was a "bad guy" from the beginning. Some have
wondered if Jesus is here teaching that God created an evil
spirit being. No, such is not the case. The term "beginning" can
have various meanings, the beginning of what? The beginning of
creation? The beginning of this world as it came into the
creation as outlined in Genesis chapter one and two? The latter
is the correct understanding, for other Scriptures tell us about
the creation of the being whom BECAME the Devil or Satan. All of
that truth is found in studies on this Website. Satan was a
sinner from the beginning of the creation of mankind. He was
already a liar and murderer. Look how he was there to lie to man
from the very start in the garden of Eden. He was the father of
lies. That's how he got one third of the angel (stars) of heaven
to follow him in rebellion against God (Rev.12). He lied to them
that he and they could be the rulers of the universe. He was
indeed the father of lies (verse 44).

     But as Jesus went on to say, he that is, has the right mind-
set, he that truly hears God's word, is of God. The true people
of God KNOW it is from God, for they are of God. They have the
heart and mind in the right condition so God gets through to them.
Those who cannot hear God, cannot because they are not of God,
they are as blind as a bat (which aren't really so blind at all),
they cannot see the light, and in part, that is perhaps because
they do not WANT to see the light. We do have our part to play in
God's calling, we must be of God to hear God's word. Jesus put is
pretty simple at times; you do not hear God because you are not
of God (verse 47).

     Christ was trying again to tell them that He came from the
Father, that He was sent by the Father, gave honor to the Father,
who also honored Him. He told them that their father Abraham
rejoiced to see "my day, and he saw it, and was glad" (verses 54-
56). Now they really got on His case; they knew exactly what He
was saying, that He had seen Abraham (verse 57).
     Jesus now says a few words that hit them like a "4th of July
fireworks, at the White House, for effect." "Truly, truly, I say
unto you, before Abraham was (living) I AM!" (verse 58). Here
Jesus was telling them that He was the "I AM" of Moses's day! Yes,
that's exactly right. And it was so, many NT Scriptures make it
plain that Jesus before His human birth as a flesh and blood
person, was the God, I AM, of the Old Testament. The God that
spoke and dealt with Moses. The truth of the Godhead - two
eternal beings - making ONE God, is indeed all over the New
Testament. We have seen at the very beginning of this Gospel,
John was inspired to write that the Word was God, and the Word
was with God, and the Word became flesh. The Bible makes clear
the truth of the Godhead. That truth can be found in many studies
about God on this Website.
     The Jews knew EXACTLY what Jesus was meaning by uttering
those words "I AM" and took up stones to cast at Him. They knew
He was telling them that He was God, and to them that was
blasphemy, which in their law could put a person to death (verse
59).

     Jesus heals the BLIND man - blind from birth in chapter 9.
It was still "sabbath" day - the word "the" is not in the Greek
in verse 10. It was still the 8th, Octave Sabbath day, the 8th
day of Leviticus 23 that is right after the Feast of Tabernacles,
and which is its own individual Feast. The Pharisees got
themselves in a pretty hot stew over this - doing such a miracle
on a Sabbath day was breaking the Sabbath as far as they were
concerned. Oh there was a division all right among them all -
some saying He broke the Sabbath, others that how could He be a
sinner (sin in their eyes) and still do such a miracle (verse
16).
     Then "politics" entered the scene. The Pharisees, (Jews as
John wrote it) who were in charge of the local synagogues, had
decided to agree that if any man did confess Jesus was the
Christ, they would ban them from the synagogue (verse 22). Oh,
how much "politics" has been in the church - yes even the Church
of God at times. I have seen it happen, literally, to a number of
"church" organizations in my lifetime. The SIN of politics -
power gasping  - is nothing new to churches and places of
worship, nothing new because carnal power-hungry human nature has
been around a mighty long time. The stories that could be told,
some of them have been told in books like "Churches That Abuse"
by Ronald M.Enroth, a book that might still be available
(published in 1992 by Zondervan), and which I recommend to you.
It will make the hair on your head stand up, so shocking it is.
Yes the SINS of church organizations is something that can be
horrid. I say "church organizations" but most of them are "cult
organizations" based on power and guilt and mind-control. Some
are cults from the beginning and some BECOME cults over time, as
power and brain-washing takes more and more hold. A classic
example for that would be the Jim Jones church/cult; you can
probably read about it on the Internet, if you Google "Jim
Jones."

     So these Jews, they called the man in whom Jesus had healed
from blindness, and said, "Come on we know this man is a sinner."
     "Well, I know nothing about that," replied the man, "all I
know is that once I was blind and now I can see."
     That blew their top in anger, "You are His disciple, we are
Moses' disciple. We know God spoke to Moses, we do not know from
where this fellow comes from."
     "Well, well ... this is marvellous," says the man, "you
don't know where He comes from, yet He has opened my eyes. We
know God does not hear those who practice sinning; but those who
do His will and worship Him, He will hear. Since the world began
it was not told that ANY man opened the eyes of someone that was
born blind. If this man is not of God, He could do nothing like
this" (verses 24-33).
     Now their red faced anger turned purple, "You were
altogether born in sins, and do you teach us? And they cast him
out" (verse 34).

     It's an old working of those who can't win the logical
argument; belittle, rise up in vain-glory with pomp and
scholastic self-righteousness, and belittle your opponent, then
cast them out of your flattering social strata of your conceited
religious piety club. 

     Jesus heard what they had done. He seeks out the man, finds
him and says, "Do you believe on the Son of God?"
     "Who is he, Lord, that I might believe on Him?"
     Jesus answers, "You have seen Him, and it is He who talks
with you."
     "Oh yes, Lord, I believe," and the man worshipped Him
(verses 35-38).

     I would think so, indeed! Born blind and be healed, I think
you would have to be willing to believe the man who could do
this, was from God. As the man said, it was never heard that
anyone could do such a miracle. Satan is allowed by the Father,
to have some power, be able to do some miracles, but there is a
limit God puts on him, never has the Devil been allowed to give
sight to a man born blind. And you talk about the HARD, STONE-
MINDED hearts of scribes and Pharisees, who were so BENT and
TWISTED in their sinful minds, as to be not able to put sense
with logic, with facts, with Scripture, and come to acknowledge
that this Jesus was indeed the promised Christ Messiah to come. I
tell you friends, this is an example of the depth of what SIN can
do to your mind. YOU should not want to go there. You should want
to stay as FAR AWAY from that SEARED mind of sin and deception as
you can!

     This Feast is about coming OUT of SIN, and moving always in
the direction of truth and righteousness. 

     Some of the Pharisees heard these words of Jesus, and they
asked Him if they were blind also (verse 40).

     Jesus replied, "If you were blind, you should have no sin:
but now you say, 'we see' - therefore your sin remains" (verse
41).

     What Jesus was saying is this. If you were blind, you would
not know you had sins to change and repent of, you would think
you were just fine. But by saying and asking if you were blind,
means your understanding this whole situation that has taken
place. So therefore you know your sins are seen, you know what is
truth, and hence your sins are there until you decide to take the
next step - REPENT and CHANGE and DO what is right. In the
specific situation they were in, their sins that remained, needed
to be taken away by accepting Jesus as the Christ, the Messiah,
the Son of God, and doing what the once bind man did - BELIEVE
and WORSHIP the "I AM"  -  God in the flesh that stood before
them.

     I hope dear reader that YOU have come to understand WHO the
Jesus Christ of history (yes it was recorded in secular history
and a few times by the Jewish history Pharisee - Josephus of the
first century A.D.) WAS and IS - the Eternal "I AM" of old, the
Immanuel of prophecy - God with us - the person of the Godhead
that was the Word, who became flesh, to conquer sin in the flesh,
to then die for YOUR sins, so if you BELIEVE on Him, you can SEE
spiritual truths and finally inherit eternal life. And that GLORY
friends is MORE glorious than the human mind at this time can
comprehend. I pray Jesus Christ is YOUR PERSONAL Savior!

                          .......................


To be continued


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