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19 April 2021

John 8 - Part III
Disciples of Christ


John 8:30-37: 30. As he spake these words, many believed in him. 31. Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed him, If ye continue in my word (g3056), then are ye my disciples indeed; 32. And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. 33. They answered him, We be Abraham's seed, and were never in bondage to any man: how say you, Ye shall be made free? 34. Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever commits sin is the servant of sin. 35. And the servant abides not in the house for ever: but the Son abides ever. 36. If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed. 37. I know that ye are Abraham's seed; but ye seek to kill me, because my word (g3056) has no place in you.

Likely you have heard the altar calls in a church before. How does a person come to Jesus? Believe in him and continue in his word (g3056). Logos (g3056) is a spoken saying, concept and can be written. And he believed (h539) in the Lord; and he counted it to him for righteousness (Genesis 15:6). The Hebrew word for believe is a concept carrying the idea of trust and nourish. Numbers 11:12: Have I conceived all this people? have I begotten them, that you should say unto me, Carry them in thy bosom, as a nursing father (h539) bears the sucking child... Just as Abraham was nourished by, and trusted in what the Lord told him, so are we spiritually nourished when we believe the impressions of the heart. We show our trust in what Jesus says by doing the word and following our conscience. Romans 2:12-15: 12. for as many as without (understanding of) law did sin, without (understanding of) law also shall perish, and as many as did sin (resting) in (the) law, by (the) law shall be judged, 13. for not the hearers of the law [are] righteous before God, but the doers of the law shall be rendered righteous: 14. For, when nations having not a law, by nature may do the things of the law, these not having a law, are a law to themselves; 15. who show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also witnessing with them, and between one another the reasonings accusing or else defending.

What keeps us in bondage to sin? The Jews who were believing his teaching, took Jesus to mean “literal bondage” to man. The bondage, however, is inward, the perverted understanding dwelling in the heart of man. To commit sin is the outward action of corrupted thinking which manifests a servant of sin, and a servant does not abide in the household of God forever. If a servant of sin does not understand to apply the law to the heart spiritually, he will eventually leave the truth out of his life, even though he may still be going to church.

The bondage can also be outward to others. Paul addressed this issue in one of his letters: Galatians 2:2-4: 2. And I went up by revelation, and communicated unto them that gospel which I preach among the Gentiles, but privately to them which were of reputation, lest by any means I should run, or had run, in vain. 3. But neither Titus, who was with me, being a Greek, was compelled to be circumcised: 4. And that because of false brethren unawares brought in, who came in privily to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage: False brethren, to which Paul refers, concerns believers he encountered that taught that Gentiles coming into the church must be circumcised and keep the law of Moses (Acts 15:5) - i.e. there were Jewish believers who were putting people under the law according to their understanding. The truth will both, set us free from sin and the mental bondage brought by the teaching of others.

How does putting people under the law put them in bondage to man? Jewish leaders knew that most people who read the law would not understand it. In Jesus’ day, and today, they have separate books (the Talmud, which has two parts: Mishnah and Gemara). to explain how to keep the law. The people look to those who study these books to explain the law to them - i.e. men’s opinion of how to keep the law. The Talmud is the handwriting of ordinances (man’s dogma) nailed to the cross (Col 2:14, 20, 22). It is a type of men’s opinions being nailed to the cross. The Christian church is similar today - people look to the pastors and theologians to explain the Bible, and creeds are written by most to govern the body. The church needs pastors who look to God for explanations, and not others. Jesus told Pilate: ...Every one that is of the truth hears my voice (John 18:37). Truth will be confirmed by the spirit to everyone with ears to hear. Proverbs 16:22, 25: 22. Understanding is a wellspring of life unto him that has it: but the instruction of fools is folly.... 25. There is a way that seems right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.

John 8:38-43: 38. I speak that which I have seen (g3708) with my Father: and ye do that which ye have seen (g3708) with your father. 39. They answered and said unto him, Abraham is our father. Jesus saith unto them, If ye were Abraham's children, ye would do the works of Abraham. 40. But now ye seek to kill me, a man that hath told you the truth, which I have heard [from] God: this did not Abraham. 41. Ye do the deeds of your father. Then said they to him, We be not born of fornication; we have one Father, (even) God. 42. Jesus said unto them, If God were your Father, ye would love me: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I [by] myself, but he sent me. 43. Why do ye not understand my speech? (even) because ye cannot hear my word. i.e. you are unable to perceive my word (g3056). They were hearing the sayings of Jesus, but would not look into the scriptures to consider what Jesus said. The Greek word horao (g3708) carries the Hebraica idea of “to see by experience.” One example of this can be seen in Proverbs 24:30-34. How many today are walking in a way that seems right, when it actually leads to death? It seems that the words of Jesus are holding true - few there be that find the narrow gate (Matthew 7:14).

John 8:44-47: 44. Ye are of your father the devil (prone to slander, false accuser g1228), and the lusts of your father ye will do. [The same] was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks [out of] his own (self): for he is a liar, and the father of it. 45. And because I tell you the truth, ye believe me not. 46. Which of you convinces me of sin? And if I say the truth, why do ye not believe me? 47. He that is [from] God hears God's words: ye therefore hear them not, because ye are not [from] God.

In the N.T. the serpent is called diabolos (g1228) and satanas (g4567) (transliterated from Hebrew (h7854)) in Revelation 12:9. Therefore, Jesus is referring to the serpent as their father. Our literal father gave to us our beginning, and so, in the beginning the spiritual serpent was our father and gave to us a sin-nature. If view outwardly, the first murder is that by Cain. That however did not happen at the beginning of time (time was created). If viewed inwardly Eve was the first to be murdered, or slain. The Lord told Adam, Genesis 2:17: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that you eat thereof thou shalt surely die. The Hebrew reads: In the day of your eating from it (the tree) dying you will die ( cf KJ margin). The serpent told Eve, you will not die (Genesis 3:4) - i.e. you will not die by following your own decisions. The serpent lied and Eve died spiritually and later died physically. The serpent was not an external being tempting her, but herself was doing it (James 1:14). Look at Psalms 58:3-4: 3. The wicked are estranged from the womb: They go astray as soon as they are born, speaking lies. 4. Their poison is like the poison of a serpent: They are like the deaf adder that stops her ear (ASV). In a spiritual sense, the serpent became Eve’s father, as the serpent birthed her into sin, making her a false accuser (cf Genesis 3:13).

John 8:48-52: 48. Then answered the Jews, and said unto him, Say we not well that thou art a Samaritan, and hast a devil (g1140)? 49. Jesus answered, I have not a devil (g1140); but I honor my Father, and ye do dishonor me. 50. And I seek not mine own glory: there is one that seeks and judges. 51. Verily, verily, I say unto you, If a man keep my saying, he shall never see death. 52. Then said the Jews unto him, Now we know that thou hast a devil (g4567). Abraham is dead, and the prophets; and thou say, If a man keep my saying, he shall never taste of death. In newer versions of the Bible, daimonion, daimon (g1140, 1142) are transliterated as demon. The word is defined as an unclean spirit. Luke 4:33-34: 33. And in the synagogue there was a man, which had a spirit (g4151) of an unclean (g169) devil (g1142), and cried out with a loud voice, 34. Saying, Let us alone; what have we to do with thee, thou Jesus of Nazareth? art thou come to destroy us? I know thee who thou art; the Holy One of God. Why would a rebellious angel acknowledge in front of all the people that Jesus was the Holy One of God?

As you have understood, or currently understand, would a demon fall down and worship Jesus? Does Jesus force anyone to worship him? Mark 5:2, 6-8: 2. And when he was come out of the ship, immediately there met him out of the tombs a man with an unclean (g169) spirit (g4151) .....6. and when he saw Jesus afar off, he ran and worshipped him, 7. And cried with a loud voice, and said, What have I to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of the most high God? I adjure thee by God, that thou torment me not. 8. For he said unto him, Come out of the man, thou unclean (g169) spirit (g4151). You will not find in the O.T. the concept of demons that prevails in the church today. But you will find the concept of an unclean spirit: Hosea 4:12: My people ask counsel at their stocks, and their staff declares unto them: for the spirit of [adultery] hath caused them to err, and they have [committed adultery] from under their God. Here is the NIV: My people consult a wooden idol, and a diviner's rod speaks to them. A spirit of prostitution leads them astray; they are unfaithful to their God. A demon is an unclean spirit internal to mankind, and not a supernatural being external to him. And God will deliver us from our demons: Zechariah 13:2: And it shall come to pass in that day, saith the Lord of hosts, that I will cut off the names of the idols out of the land, and they shall no more be remembered: and also I will cause the (false) prophets and the unclean spirit to pass out of the land. (cp Ezekiel 36:25-27 God will give us His spirit).

John 8:53-59: 53. Art thou greater than our father Abraham, who is dead? and the prophets are dead: whom do you make yourself? 54. Jesus answered, If I honor myself, my honor is nothing: it is my Father that honors me; of whom you say, that he is your God: 55. Yet you have not known him; but I know him: and if I should say, I know him not, I shall be a liar like you: but I know him, and keep his saying. 56. Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it, and was glad. 57. Then said the Jews to him, You art not yet fifty years old, and have you seen Abraham? 58. Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am. 59. Then took they up stones to cast at him: but Jesus hid himself, and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by. When did Abraham see Jesus’ day? Hebrews 11:17-19: 17. By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son, 18. Of whom it was said, That in Isaac shall thy seed be called: 19. Accounting that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead; from whence also he received him in a figure (or, parable, type).

The Jews understood that it was the One God who spoke to Moses at the burning bush. They saw Jesus as claiming to be God when he used the term I AM, referring to Exodus 3:13-15. Many today take the phrase to mean the self existent One. However, the Hebrew term means I am become, which I understand to mean Jesus saying I am become what I have too, in order to save you. Jesus has become a man, a comforter, a savior, a deliver to those who trust him. Amen.

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