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1, Sermon 2 - John 8:6-8,20 But Jesus
stooped down, and with his
wrote on the ground...
I am the light of the world: he that
followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of
Jesus said unto
her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin
when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto
them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at
again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground.
words spake Jesus in the treasury, as he taught in the temple: and no
man laid hands on him; for his hour was not yet come.
is the situation:
John 7, Jesus had returned to Galilee. Not long afterward the
Jews' feast of tabernacles drew near. Three times a year families
usually journeyed together to Judea and Jerusalem for such holy
festivities, as God instructed in the Mosaic Law. Therefore, Jesus'
brothers sought him out so that the family could journey together.
Yet, Jesus said to them (thus, to the whole family) to go on without
him. For God's Plan of the Ages was now going to separate the New
from the Old. That is, Jesus was now going to separate himself from
his earthly family and from the Mosaic Law. Indeed, the New was
beginning even as the Old was near wearing out.
All that Jesus shall be doing from this point on
cannot be accomplished (i.e. making New Wine) in the old wineskin of
the law. Doing it in the old wineskin of the law would burst the law
(i.e. destroy it) and spill out the New onto the ground. Jesus had no
intention or interest in destroying the righteous Mosaic Law.
At this point in time, then, the separation of the
Old and the
New begins. 'Separation' is the apostle John's theme in chapters 7
and 8. 'Separation' is the main concept which he wants us to focus
upon, and John begins by telling us (as far as 'separation' was
concerned) that Jesus here is initiating it with his family and he
would continue it from now on.
In chapter 7, then, Jesus arrives secretly in Jerusalem during the
festival. Soon after, in the large room called the treasury, he
begins teaching the people. At this time Jesus begins to make a very
clear distinction between himself and the Jewish leaders; and he
knows that they are considering the need to kill him. Read chapter 7
to see how the (separating) arguments were building both between
individuals and among some of the Jews. Some of the people gathered
there had begun already to believe he was the Messiah (i.e. the
action of faith
working in them). At the close of that day 'every
man went to his own house'. And
Jesus went unto the mount of olives (8:1). (I like to call such
to be “faithing” which, though the word is not in our dictionary,
actually is what was happening.)
8:2 And early in the morning he came again into the temple, and all
the people came unto him; and he sat down, and taught them.
spending the night with his Father, Jesus arrived early to continue
what he had begun the day before.
And the scribes and Pharisees brought unto him a woman taken in
adultery; and when they had set her in the midst [of
the people and in front of Jesus], They say unto him,
Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act. Now Moses
in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest
thou? This they said, tempting him [i.e.
testing him as regarding the law], that they might have to
accuse him [by means of the
the night (while Jesus was with his Father) the scribes and Pharisees
had been meeting together and making their plans for the next day's
[instead of responding]
Jesus stooped down, and with his
wrote on the ground, as though he heard them
floor in the entire temple was stone, but a thin layer of dirt lay on
the stone. Beneath the stone floor was the very foundation of the
temple. Therefore, upon the temple's very foundation Jesus was
perhaps writing symbolically the beginning of
the New Covenant in the dirt (and this covenant, among many other
things, would judge
the Mosaic Law). Jesus stooped and wrote only after he had been
challenged regarding the judgment of this woman.
The making of New Wine had begun.
So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said
unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a
stone at her.
again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground.
– perhaps Jesus was writing heavenly words... as he and the Father
had been communicating and were continuing in their communicating at
that moment about the situation of these Jewish leaders and about
judgment of the woman.
And they which heard it [i.e.
the scribes and Pharasees of the law that had charged the woman],
being convicted by their own
went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even
the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the
[of the people].
was happening with Jesus, he responded within the normal Jewish-law,
but within his new Messiah-judgeship
that worked according to the New Law of (i.e. pertaining to) Christ
That is, Jesus had separated himself from the Mosaic Law and passed
over to the New Covenant, which his Father at the moment was ushering
this moment, then, the New Law in Christ operated from heaven by
God's Spirit individually
in each of these man. During the night each had agreed in loyalty to
God and to the Mosaic law to defend it; and so they wanted to know if
Jesus would honor Moses' commandment in the law, or would he stand
accused by the law before all the crowd.
When Jesus had lifted up himself [back
into the sitting position for teaching],
and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those
thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee? She said, No man, Lord.
And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin
but now, each man became convicted by his loving God. Each man obeyed
that conviction. This was not a matter of shame on
their part, but a matter of conviction within a good heart that they
were not worthy to
judge that which God at this moment was reserving unto Himself.
I know that we think of these men as “bad”,
but they were actually good men with good hearts toward God and
toward His law. God's Spirit spoke to each separately, redirecting
his good heart from the requirement of the law toward what God wanted
now... which was for him to step back and to allow God to handle the
situation. I repeat: Each man responded well to his God, for the law
was never to supersede God Himself.
see here the new Christ-law: though Jesus is Judge in the New
Covenant, he was little interested within his judgments to be
condemning, but rather to be setting free.
in the Greek means 'to
miss the mark'
from what? 'Err'
from the Mosaic law; in that, the woman had yet to know of the new
the Law of Christ Paul wrote similarly to the churches imploring
Christians not to 'err'.
Among Christians Paul dealt with the same 'err'
as the woman under the Mosaic law. Yes, the lesser law gave way to
the greater law; nevertheless, God is ever the same and so are His
we shall see the word 'sin'
as translated from a different Greek
Then spake Jesus again unto them [i.e.
of the crowd],
saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not
walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.
Mosaic law was not of darkness; rather it was of righteousness.
Yet, through their lack of faith towards the
righteousness in the law,
by their own working of the law in human ability instead of walking
in the law by faith, a great many of God's people had fallen into
darkness; indeed the nation had fallen into darkness. In other words,
they had come to consider their law as their light,
and so they were busy working in their
own light of the law.
But light was in the
law only as they
walked in the law in faith, as pleasing unto God.
(We Christians too often consider our doctrines as
light and we are
faithful to them. But righteous doctrines and righteous law in
themselves is not
light. Only Jesus is the Light
... Not doctrines about Jesus.)
the time of Jesus, the leaders of the people had been greatly
stumbling in trying with a heavy hand to use the law as a
stick to keep God's people morally in line.
Therefore, the Son was sent in due season according to God's Plan of
the Ages in Christ.
(We of the Church have
much the same problem in that we focus on a churchy
walk, a moral
walk, and a withdrawn
from the world walk.
That is why Paul said to the church, “Do all these things, but
please do them as activated-and-motivated
Otherwise you are not pleasing unto the Father. Instead you are
pleasing unto each other as satisfied-with-ourselves
As Judge in the New Covenant and as Light sent
from above, Jesus had the authority to forgive the woman, to make
this claim of himself, and to make this claim of those that would
follow him. In doing these things, then, he 'separated' himself from
the Jewish leadership. And by this he changed (i.e. controlled) the
topic of the argumentation.
The Pharisees [i.e. other Pharisees who had not charged the
woman] therefore said unto him, Thou bearest record of thyself;
thy record is not true [i.e.
referring to the law's requirements regarding testimony].
Jesus answered and said unto them, Though I bear record of
myself, yet my
record is true: for I know whence I came, and whither I go; but ye
cannot tell whence I come, and whither I go. Ye judge after the
flesh; I judge no man.
yet if I judge [as
just now with the women],
my judgment is true: for I am not alone, but I and the Father that
judgment among Christians must be with Jesus and the Father present.
If not then we are straying into dangerous territory. Better not to
judge than to judge by human understanding of doctrines... when God
and His Son should be doing the judging.
note that Jesus had said that he was not (and is not) in the judging
season, which he will do later in its own season.
is more of
the 'separation' between Jewish leaders and Jesus, with Jewish
leaders being the lower and Jesus being the higher. How much did that
upset the Jews?
also Jesus was making clear the 'separation' between judging
according to human understanding of the law and Jesus
working within the new Christ-law.
God gave the Mosaic law as a righteous
commandment to his
people. Even so, now in this encounter, the new Christ-law began
working (as seen in verse nine). Thus, in these arguments Jesus and
the Jews were at loggerheads (just like America's political parties
in the struggle about which way America shall proceed in the years
ahead). These Jews were trying to be righteous in the law by
defending the righteous law.
Many through the ages and today are trying to
be righteous in Christ by
defending Christ, and
their best way to it is by defending their church doctrine. God and
His laws do not need defending. Nor do His Covenants need defending.
Here is man's righteousness within his works
versus God's righteousness working compassionately through His Son.
It is also written in your law, that the testimony of two men is
emphasizes ( i.e. 'in
that the Mosaic law is their light...
and so it was left to them within the law to discern what was true.
but God in heaven knows all truth. As He desires, He can by His
Spirit reveal truth at the time of need... and it is this very fact
which Paul teaches and implores the churches regarding judgments by
the leaders among the brethren. They are to be far more
compassionate: that is, the
Spirit revealing and convicting more
than using church doctrines as
a stick of guilt and chastisement (even
as the Jewish leaders used the Mosaic law in this passage).
Jesus continues to distinguish himself from
the Jewish leadership.
am one that bear witness of myself, and the Father that sent me
beareth witness of me.
Then said they unto
him, Where is thy Father?
Jesus answered, Ye neither know
me, nor my Father: if ye had known me, ye should have known my Father
also. These words spake Jesus in the treasury, as he taught in the
temple: and no man laid hands on him; for his hour was not yet come.
continues to introduce the 'separation' of ways, by which he is
different from and is above them.
Then said Jesus again unto them, I go my way, and ye shall seek me,
and shall die in your sins: whither I go, ye cannot come. Then said
the Jews, Will he kill himself? [as
they were thinking to do that very thing]
he saith, Whither I go, ye cannot come. And he said unto them, Ye are
from beneath [i.e.
I am from above [i.e.
ye are of this world; I am not of this world. [So]
said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins:
for if ye believe not that I am he [i.e.
'I exist' from heaven, as I am telling you],
ye shall die in your sins.
continues making the 'separation' that he is not of this world. Note
that the topic is switched to from
whence he came and whence they came (i.e.
the source of each). They believed that they worked for heaven.
Jesus claimed that he was of heaven.
consider that the Greek word 'sin'
in this verse is different from the word 'sin'
with the woman in verse 11. And here as well is 'separation'. But
here the Greek word means 'offense'.
Jesus says that they shall die in their 'offense';
and he states it as a fixed condition.
is, it is in their offensiveness (i.e. sinfulness) as
they continue using the Mosaic law against God's
people instead of for their up-building.
As shepherds of the people, God shall hold them accountable.
verse 11 the Greek word means to
err from God ways for the people.
But in this verse the word means that
offenses were being committed by the Jewish leaders against the
people and against God.
verse 11, though the 'sin'
was against God's good intent for woman, nevertheless the woman's
was even more of a hurt unto herself, which is why Jesus said, “Go
and sin no more”. Ah, but 'offense'
against God is by far the greater 'sin'
with greater consequences. Too many “shepherds” today use the
Word to keep the flock in moral line, even as did the Jewish leaders.
The Righteous Law and the Word both are for up-building in the Spirit
and not breaking of the spirit.
the Law was the means from God for forgiveness when an Israelite
from the law (as the woman had done in verse 11), and when done in
faith it was pleasing ton the the Israelite's God. However with this
women and with the men who accused her Jesus dealt with them by means
of the New Covenant in Christ.
Then said they unto him, Who art thou?
Jesus saith unto them, Even the
I said unto you from the beginning
the beginning of their debate].
let us consider the beginning of the debate which began the day
7:15 And the Jews [i.e.
men of letters]
saying, How knoweth this man letters, having never learned [at
Jesus answered them, and said, My doctrine is not mine, but his that
we see that Jesus had begun to make 'separation' regard their
different doctrines. Doctrine is where 'separation' always begins.
They taught about God and about God's ways for the people in the Law.
This was all well and good with one exception: they used the Law,
adjusted from its original by tradition, to keep the people morally
in check. The many churches today with their many varied doctrines do
Where God in the Son differed then
and now in their doctrine is that Jesus Christ is the I am (i.e. 'I
exist') from heaven to earth for salvation to the world. Salvation to
Israelites was always by faith in the Messiah-to-come (and he shall
come again). Salvation to Christians is always by faith in the
Savior-who-did-come (and he shall come again). What was taught then
and now about this One to come does not save. Only God through His
Messian-Son (then and now) saves.
This is what
Jesus meant in saying, 'My
doctrine is not mine, but His that sent me'.
It is where he began the Two Day Argumentation.
Ah, but true and real 'separation' goes well beyond the 'source
of the doctrine'.
If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether
it be of God, or whether I
speak of myself.
here is the crux of the matter... the Source... not the source of
mental or spiritual teaching... but rather whether at
any given moment it
is initiated and is coming from man or from heaven. That is, is the
Spirit at work or is man trying his best... whether or not the person
is studied or
He that speaketh of himself [even
his own glory: but he that seeketh his [i.e.
that sent him, the same is true, and no unrighteousness is in him.
is the problem of many with
for God today. The questions should be 1) is he or she 'sent';
and 2) if 'sent',
is he or she silent of God's words until the Spirit truly is working?
and 'not sent')
ones have simply arrived.
And they are
simply working as shepherds as required it of them by the church that
pays their salary.
can remain silent of God's words and at
the same time silently stand where
God has placed him or her. Many of the prophets had to do this until
God gave them (sometimes forced them) to speak or to write. Only God
knows how many such silents ones He has had through the ages. It is
in this that God can silently accomplish many good things in them and
through them. 'Be
silent and know that I am God'
is most precious in His sight. Silently 'separated' unto devouring
the Word is the primary way of it.
but the flesh, even in 'sent'
ones says, “Let's get to work!” God is usually doing things in
and through waiting-ones much more than they know. Patience in the
Lord is a godly virtue.
Did not Moses give you the law, and yet
of you keepeth the law? Why go ye about to kill me?
can be having
But true 'keeping'
and living in it.
The Israelite who was truly 'keeping
would in such Spirit-moments begin to recognize the True Completer of
the Law. Jesus Christ is the true Completer of the Law, and may of
the people (and of the Jews) were faithing on Him even as most of the
Jews were arguing with him.
to Chapter 8
I have many things to say and to judge of you: but he that sent me is
true; and [presently]
the world [i.e.
not just to Jews with 'letters']
things which I have heard of him.
so, says John]
understood not that he spake to them of the Father.
true Christians know Jesus as Savior and many know him as Shepherd;
but how many who speak for God are 'of
(i.e. who know the Father)? Jesus is the True One 'sent
of the Father',
but the Father is the Sending
One – Truth Itself.
continually made this as clear as it could be, but too many could not
said Jesus unto them, When ye have lifted up the Son of man, then
shall ye know that I am he,
do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me, I speak these
things. And he that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me
alone; for I do always those things that please him.
Greek word translated 'taught'
actually means 'caused
These days we think of a teacher as “teaching and that it is up to
the student to learn what is being taught”. But not too long ago in
our own society “teaching” meant that real “learning” was
going on... and if “no learning” was going on... then also “no
teaching” was going on.
Father had 'caused
His Son. Truth is only conveyed to a child of God as God's Spirit
him or her to learn'.
All other good things of knowledge that we have learned and know is 'doctrine'
taught by good men and women and learned by good men, women, and
As he spake these words, many believed on him.
reaffirms that he is Judge and that in some season he will have much
more to say and to judge; but not now. Now he is in the process of
the Father's business of both the 'separation' and the constituting
of the new Christ-law.
Many in the crowd,
having observed what Jesus did in verse 11, were listening to the
debate between the scribes and Pharisees on one side and Jesus on the
other side. Many were being convicted and inspired by God's Spirit
from heaven toward Jesus' side. Within themselves, then, each came to
understand and to decide regarding this man Jesus... that in fact he
is the Messiah. This fact was only the beginning of what they would
Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue
in my word, then are
ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth
shall make you free.
Jesus acknowledges that many of the Jews hearing were also believing.
He encouraged them toward discipleship with truth
and with freedom
from pleasing God with good works of Law and doctrine. It was their
'believing' (i.e. faithing in the Son) what was pleasing unto God.
They answered him [i.e.
responding to what Jesus had just said to the Jews who believed in
We be Abraham's seed, and were never in bondage to any man: how
sayest thou, Ye shall be made free?
this verse is the 'they'
in versus 13 through 29.
Greek word translated here (and in so many places) as 'answered' actually
which is equivalent to 'respond'
to that which one has 'concluded'.
from what Jesus had just said to believing Jews, the arguing Jews
that Jesus was generally confused
regarding Israel and specifically confused regarding their religious
In fact, the arguing Jews were responding and trying to convince
these new believers in Jesus that “they were already free by the
Law”. Ah, but Jesus was in the very process of offering freedom in
a new, better, and higher way. Indeed, Jesus Christ Himself is the
the one hand, Jesus had addressed those who were believing in him;
but on the other hand, it was the scribes and Pharisees arguing who
butted in with continued argument... to which Jesus then 'responded'.
Jesus answered [i.e.
Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the
servant of sin.
the word 'sin'
in this verse means 'offense',
in that, those arguing with Jesus were offenders
toward God the Father.
Indeed, while they were defending
they understood it,
at the same time they were disallowing
faith to take hold of them to
at least listen. We Christians also 'offend'
when we should be
quiet and listen.
It is hard to hear God when we are talking. It is hard to perceive
the beam in our own eye when instructing others.
Greek word for 'committeth'
the process of doing'
and it implies a
Therefore, those arguing with Jesus were in the process
of offense toward
And the servant [these
arguing Jews were servants]
not in the house for ever: but
Son abideth ever. If the Son therefore shall make you [i.e.
these arguing servants]
ye shall be free indeed. I know that ye are Abraham's seed; but ye
seek to kill me, because my word hath no place in you. I speak
which I have seen with my Father: and ye do
which ye have seen with your father.
while Jesus is inviting these men to allow him to make them free, he
is speaking to them and to all present about the reason why they
cannot believe and thus
they will not allow him to
make them free.
often, here is the very essence of the servant's flesh. Jesus was speaking yet
while these Jewish servants were busy doing.
Yes! The flesh of the servant wants to do
But so often God wants him or her quiet so He can speak. Indeed,
often He is speaking and we are busy doing. Sad, that we miss so much
The Father was in control of the situation and the
argumentation. And He was speaking through the mouth of His Son; and
thus in Jesus He was bringing up a number of subjects which He wanted
aired before the people; for these things were leading up to the
Son's crucifixion and Resurrection.
I suggest that if you have time you might read on through the rest of
this chapter, bearing in mind that the process is one of 'separation'
from the Old and ushering in the New.
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
9:1-3 And as Jesus
by, he saw a man which was blind from his
And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin [i.e.
this man, or his parents, that he was born blind? Jesus answered,
Neither hath this man sinned [erred],
nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in
and his disciples had slipped away, and they would have more run-ins
with Jews who wished to capture and kill him, but not yet was the
time. Moreover, the Jews were afraid of the people.
I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night
cometh, when no man can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the
light of the world.
Father was not yet finished.
To make matters worse for the Jewish leaders, the Father through the
Son would make
the blind, born from birth, to see.
In the eyes of the people these things were beginning to convince
them that it was the Jewish leaders who were blind.
Jesus is 'the
light of the world'
while he is in the world, and if Jesus is in the Church in worldly
America, why are the creatures of darkness out and about in broad
daylight parading in the streets of America?
Now we know that God heareth not sinners: but if any man be a
worshipper of God, and doeth his will, him he heareth. [But]
Since the world began was it not heard that any man opened the
eyes of one that was born blind. If this man were not of God, he
could do nothing.
There have always been in America creatures of darkness hiding away
in their dark and dank holes. The whole drug scene, which obviously
is with us, has not been openly with us
for all that many years... only for fifty years more or less. I was
in the Navy in the late fifties through 1961 and I had not even heard
the word “drug” much less heard of the varied assortment of
drugs. I was in college in the early sixties and only then was I
hearing of such words; but not in college, instead in the news
flashing across America about drugs.
about the movies?
What about half-truths and
misrepresentations (i.e. lies) now so common in our society. He who
lies the most and/or lies the best seems to be the winner. Our
society seems to admire those who can go around the law and/or break
the law... And there is much gossip, innuendo, and lies used by some
to bring down others. Our society is cutting itself to pieces.
If Jesus is the light
of the world in churches across America...
why all of these things?
It seems to me that
sometime between the close of World War II and the Fifties that
something changed. God surely had greatly helped the Allies in WWII
to defeat those who would conquer the world. And yes the Free World
was thankful... for a while...
But then in the
booming economy it seemed that we began to think of ourselves as
having saved the world. I was growing up as a teen in the Fifties and
then was in the Navy; and everything seemed very good compared to
later years, but looking back and having studied ancient history and
modern history of the wars I can see that God generally has become
left out of America and that the Church (churches) have had less and
less impact in society and in our neighborhoods. Not only has God
been left out of Government, but Government has been fighting against
God in thinking that it can defeat Him with its foolish laws.
And sadly, we Christians think that we can get God to do our bidding
and make America back the way it used to be as a “good nation”.
For we want our families safe, our neighborhoods safe. And we want
our communities to see our churches as shining lights on a hill. And
we want our neighbors to come to us and let us teach them. And we
will “give God the Glory”... in that “our hands are His hands”;
“our lips are His lips”; “our feet are His feet”; “our
churches are His houses”.
Why without us, we
just do not know how He could do what He does.
it not interesting how so many Christians use such a verse (which
here is applied to Jesus Christ the Son of God) and apply it to
themselves and to their church. We use this and other verses. And we
use many verses where Jesus spoke exclusively to his chosen twelve
disciples whom he was readying for Apostleship, and we think that we
can get God to do our bidding... for Him, of course.
If I do not the works of my Father, believe me not. But if I do,
though ye believe not me, believe the works: that ye may know, and
believe, that the Father is
me, and I in him.
We are 'not
sinners', and we
and we 'do His will',
and so we surely know that 'He
hears us'. Jesus is
the Light and he is in heaven; but we are here on earth for him. Are
we not “the light” for God?
But are our
works as the works of The Light? The world feared Jesus. The world
laughs at us.
Presently governments and
societies think that if they can limit God to be only in His churches
then that is good, for they know that there is no power in the
churches. Yes, the world still fears Jesus, but it has no fear of us
our works the works of Jesus... 'of
my Father'? No. And
that is why the world fears us not, but the world surely fears Jesus.
It even kills some of us Christians, thinking that it is hurting God.
But those killed for Jesus'
name simply go
to sleep in Christ,
awaiting their just awards and awaiting the number of the martyrs to
be completed (Revelation 6:9-11).
verse should make it clear to us Christians that by Jesus and Jesus
alone can a person 'know,
and believe, that the Father is in me, and I in him'.
they sought again to take him: but he escaped out of their hand, And
went away again beyond Jordan into the place where John at first
baptized; and there he abode.
many resorted unto him [i.e.
took time off from their jobs and housekeeping to spend time with
and said, John [the
no miracle: but all things that John spake of this man were true. And
many believed on him there.
Jesus and his disciples left Judea and entered the region east of the
Jordan River (i.e. north and across the river from Galilee) so as to
But some of them went their ways to the Pharisees, and told them what
things Jesus had done. Then [in
the chief priests and the Pharisees a council, and said, What do we?
for this man doeth many miracles. If we let him thus alone, all men
believe on him: and the Romans shall come and take away both our
place and nation.
the Father was not finished with
His 'separating' the Old from the New, for now he is going to raise
the dead. And He is going to do it back close to Jerusalem. And He is
going to do it in a family that was popular and well-respected in the
local area of and near Jerusalem. And many people, including some
low-level Jewish leaders and their wives, would witness it.
Jesus and his disciples were busy as described in this verse. Then
God the Father took Lazarus from among the living. A couple of days
later Jesus received word of it and the Father told him to go to
raise Lazarus from the dead. The Father was ever-arranging things for
Jesus, as Jesus constantly told all of the people who could hear him.
Some would 'believe'
Jesus' words and some would 'believe
Then from that day forth they took counsel together for to put him to
even the 'the
chief priests and the Pharisees'
therefore walked no more openly among the Jews; but went thence unto
a country near to the wilderness, into a city called Ephraim, and
there continued with his disciples.
you remember when God worked in such a manner as to harden (and
continue hardening) Pharaoh's heart before He 'separated' His people
from Egypt? God was doing the very same thing with the Jewish
leadership and their administration; yet, they suspected that many in
their own midst were becoming believers in Jesus as the Messiah.
Pharaoh believed that if his slaves escaped he would appear as weak
to the nations north of Egypt. And so he feared that some of those
nations would attack and take over his conquered northern
territories. Similarly the Jewish leaders feared losing control of
the people in Judea, and that the Romans (who ruled the region that
contained Judea and Jerusalem) would then take their rulership from
them. And if that happened they feared that God's Kingdom on earth
would disappear because their rulership was what was keeping God's
This kind of egotistical
thinking throughout history is what has driven the Church to do very
foolish things. This kind of egotistical thinking continues with us
Before the time of the
Mosaic Law, God was 'separating' His chosen people Abraham, Isaac,
and Joseph (and their developing families) from all other peoples and
people groups. And even for 400 years in Egypt He kept them
'separated'. Then during the time of the Mosaic Law God continued
'separating' His people Israel. Up until the time that Jesus began
his ministry this was true, and in fact, Jesus grew up in it and
believed in it and he kept it so as to obey and honor his Father.
Albeit, even from Adam
and Eve, God was 'separating' individuals.
The Bible refers to it as 'chosen
ones'. This does not mean that only
chosen ones believe in God, rather that out of the whole God chose a
few for His own reasons. Obviously we see this in the prophets of
old, but one can read through the scriptures and see many many many
names given and what God did in them and for them as He used them.
Yet, the world could not contain all of the books that it would take
for the stories of the multitude of unknown chosen ones. In fact, I
suspect that we'll hear much of this in heaven when we have time for
However, with the
beginning of Jesus' ministry, God the Father began 'separating' on a
larger scale. We know this because the New Testament (which God
developed for Christianity) shows us this. Let me emphasize that it
was individuals, one by one, who were being 'separated' from their
work, from their families, from their friends, and their religion,
etc. Though calling but few of his disciples at a time, nevertheless
it was God's Spirit leading Jesus to each one and also leading each
one to Jesus. Notice in the Gospels that each of the twelve disciples
are named and several of them have something of their individuality
described. Also other believers are named and described such that we
can see that God was drawing each believer unto Jesus out of what
they had been.
Jesus taught and preached he knew that the Spirit of his Father was
working in each person such that each person would respond to believe
or not to believe (each had a choice). Always God has worked
individually with each person. Whenever missions are emphasized in
church meetings, from all Christians listening that sympathize with
missions only a few are chosen by God to go to the mission field.
Many stay and few go... and God knows the heart of each who
sympathizes with missions. He is very pleased with each, for one's
heart toward God is what counts with Him.
Indeed, it is always the case with each Christian whenever God works
or speaks (whether he or she at the time is in the believing or
not-believing mode. (I.e. listening or not listening; I like to write
this as faithing or not-faithing at the time.) The epistle of James
was written to Christians who were believing mentally in their
doctrines (which was all well and good), but too often they were in
the faith-turned-off mode. Their lips spoke of their faith, but their
actions spoke otherwise. Often they spoke when God was not listening,
but rather was watching.
grew up in church during a time when it was preached that each
Christian was supposed to have an individual walk with God, and then
to come together regularly to worship, fellowship, and share. That
is, the emphasis always was on the individual walk with God, and we
were reminded regularly of it. However, now it seems that a much
greater emphasis is placed upon the church body together.
And as such, each person in the body is supposed to have loyalty to
the group and function properly within the group. We hear, “Together
we can do much more of God's work for Him.”
I will not go into specifics since the reader can
fill in those for himself. Yet, I trust that my message is getting
through. I would never de-emphasize the role of the church for each
child of God as taught and described
for us in Scripture.
Yet, I am attempting to re-emphasize the relationship of each child
of God to the Father... made possible by the Son.
Dear reader, God saved you and expects you to walk
with Him as His child. His relationship to you should not be by means
of the church, but by means of you
being in the Word and on your knees humbly seeking to please Him.
The Mosaic law gathered
together God's people and kept them separate from others. Conversely,
Christ-law 'separates' individuals and draws each individually unto
God. But sadly, many churches have developed a gathered-together-law
where similarity in thought and deed
is the goal. This is true in small
churches and in large churches. The body (in the gathered-together
mode) is the emphasis and not individuals... except as individuals
work harmoniously with other members in the whole body for the common
cause. The common cause is assumed and claimed to be “Headed by
Now let us
look at a picture of what I mean. At Pentecost a unique something
happened to the whole group, but in that process each individual was
'separated' (emphasized) by a flame of fire resting on him or her. We
like to emphasize the togetherness
of that occurrence, yet it was not long before each was individually
(or in small groups) being separated by God for His purpose. In fact
it was not many years later that God brought in the Romans to destroy
Jerusalem (foretold by Jesus), which scattered the believers (nearly
all of them). They were being persecuted and had fled the area.
Often God separates in a fashion not to our
choosing. Indeed, often He moves an individual sheep from the flock
and continues to push him into situations and/or areas where he would
not have gone on his own. If the Christian gives God true permission
to do as He would then often the Christian's will and mind is not
nearly as important. The Shepherd his herds flocks and individual
sheep here and there as he wishes; that is if the sheep are not
about church members being 'separated'
from the people of the community? Are Christians supposed to be
'separated' from non-Christians? Let us consider some passages --
Act 13:2 As they ministered
to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, separate
[unto] me Barnabas and Saul for the
work whereunto I have called them.
these two went out and lived among the heathen. Never were they only
with Christians and excluding the heathen; quite the opposite, they
were constantly with the heathen.
8:35 Who shall separate
us from the love of Christ? shall
or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or
8:39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to
us from the love of God, which is in
Christ Jesus our Lord.
never were they 'separated
from the love of Christ'.
6:14 Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what
fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what
communion hath light with darkness?
6:17,18 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate,
saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing;
and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall
be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.
Paul teaches that “the Christian should be 'separated'
so as not to be 'yoked'
to unbelievers. He is speaking to Christians. Moreover, God would be
a Father unto 'my
Do you know any good father that would love and hold close one son or
daughter above the other sons and daughters? God may choose one son
to do this and another son to do that, etc., and choose one daughter
to do this and another daughter to do that, etc., but he equally
holds dear each one.
5:9 I wrote unto you in an epistle not to company with fornicators:
In 1Corinthians Paul
so here Paul speaks of individual Christians in the body whose sins
(i.e. lifestyle) can infect other brothers and sisters when regularly
gathered together in the body.
speak of] not altogether
[about being] with the
fornicators of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or
with idolaters; for then must ye needs go [entirely]
out of the world.
now I have written unto you not to keep company [with],
if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or
an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such
an one no not to eat [i.e.
For what have I to do to judge them also that are without
church in the world]? do not
them that are within [inside
will have nothing to do with judging people outside of Christianity.
He leaves such judgment completely in God's hands. In fact, he trys
to fit in to their world-situations, hopefully 'to
win a few'.
He says that logically (in the spirit) 'do
not ye [should
them that are within [the
But them that are without God judgeth. Therefore put away from among
separate from you] that
wicked person [in
Paul tells us that we are individual children of
God who should deal individually with our God... And recognize other
individual children of God within the assembly. Moreover, we should
treat each honorably as a brother or sister and let him or her walk
his or her path individually before the Lord.
And then, when we come together each should act
pleasing unto the Lord. And when needed, we should 'separate' from
the assembly any child of God that has become poison. While we think
of “safety in numbers” Paul tells us that there can be danger
in numbers. Thus, one should walk
closely with his God, for there is true safety whether he or she is
gathered together with Christians or is elbow to elbow with
like Paul, each Christian should never judge a person to be an
for only God knows the person. And each Christian should not judge
his brother or sister except in the case when a fellow Christian has
deviated to the point of being a 'wicked
person'. Such a one is not to be
but rather 'separated' ('put away
from among yourselves that wicked person'),
for he is a brother saved by grace.
And, Jesus and the Father will judge their own children in the season
set for it. Each Christian has no business judging any other person,
and Paul says that he does not even judge himself, but leaves that
totally in the Lord's hands.
Heart of David
119:129 Thy testimonies are
therefore doth my soul keep [i.e.
The entrance [i.e.
opening or disclosure]
thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding [i.e.
a dividing, discernment]
I opened my mouth, and panted [i.e.
eagerly inhaled as to breath in]:
for I longed for thy commandments. Look thou upon me, and be merciful
unto me, as thou usest to do [i.e.
a favorable verdict]
those that love thy name. [And]
my steps in thy word: and let not any iniquity have dominion over me.
is better translated as 'vertical
or 'hammer blows'. Therefore, adding to it 'in
would be better translated in the total as 'vertical
blows of thy word'.
Deliver me from the oppression of man: so will I keep thy precepts.
has to do with construction:
the vertical blows of the word conforming one into God's desired
image for His desired purpose.
Make thy face to shine upon thy servant; and teach me thy statutes.
Rivers of waters run down mine eyes, because they keep not thy law.
O LORD, and upright are
judgments. Thy testimonies that
hast commanded are
and very faithful. My zeal hath consumed me, because mine enemies
have forgotten thy words.
Thy word is
pure: therefore thy servant loveth it. [Though]
and despised [i.e.
counted of little value by others]:
not I forget thy precepts. [For]
everlasting righteousness, and thy law is
Trouble and anguish have taken hold on me: yet
The righteousness of thy testimonies is
give me understanding, and I shall live.
of God are the Old Scriptures of how God deals with His people in
many varied circumstances and how different people responded to God.
David is greatly encouraged by reading about the men and women who
have gone before him who lovingly walked with the Lord and received
that which David earnestly seeks in faith.
know that the Spirit of God is as the Wind and one knows not from
whence it comes nor whither it goes. Ah, but the faith of heaven
placed in each child of God is ever residing, ready to respond toward
God's will even when the will is unknown. I repeat, it is steadfast
and ready to respond. If the Christian's prayer is steadfast as
David's prayer then the Father will use His words as hammer-blows in
His ongoing construction.
One cannot control
the Spirit, but he can be ready with his ever-ready faith. The ways
of the world in which we live and walk continually and successfully
strive for one's attention. It is David's attitude and prayer within
an individual walk with the Lord that so pleases God that He will
complete that which He has started.
walked in the light of the Lord. The Lord in the form of the man
Jesus said, “I am
the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in
darkness, but shall have the light of life.”
You walking in the light of Christ is you
walking by faith as did David. How do you get to that place? It is
impossible... but with God all things are possible. Ask Him for a
humble heart and attitude and keep asking. In His time you will
become humble before Him. Then you are on your way.
6:8 He hath shewed thee, O man, what is
and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love
mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?
can also download this study as a pdf file.
C. Ronald Johnson at Christian Wilderness Press -
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