Insights into the Gospel of John: Chapter 7

By Lloyd Ellefson

"After these things Jesus was walking in Galilee, for He was unwilling to walk in Judea, because the Jews were seeking to kill Him. Now the feast of the Jews, the Feast of Booths, was near." (vv.1-2) All the males in Israel had to present themselves to the Lord in Jerusalem yearly at the three major feasts: Passover, Pentecost, and the Feast of Booths. So people came from far and wide to celebrate, as illustrated in Acts 2 at the Feast of Pentecost. The third feast, the Feast of Booths, was being celebrated in this seventh chapter of John.

At the present time we celebrate these feasts inwardly; actually appearing before the Lord is a constant and an inward thing. The initial experience of entering into a deeper relationship with our Lord at each of these phases is a celebration! We present ourselves to God during the three great phases of our lives, and then we walk and grow in that which we have received. First of all, we present ourselves to God when we come out of the huge sea of humanity, then when we come out of our earthy conception of God, and next, when we come into oneness with Christ, realizing that we are truly sons of God - children of the Spirit! Even as we eat natural food at feasts, so we eat spiritual food at these celebrations now. Christ is our food from heaven. As we partake of Christ we grow in these things. All the feasts come together in Him.

These feasts are fulfilled in Christ! If you are in Christ, you have the fulfillment. Christians say they have celebrated the Passover, which is their salvation experience; they have also celebrated Pentecost, or the baptism in the Holy Spirit, which originally occurred fifty days after Pentecost; but now, two thousand years later, they are still waiting for the Feast of Tabernacles! Satan certainly enjoys this kind of deception! We have to realize that all these things have their fulfillment in Christ; they are not in a prophetic state anymore!

These Old Testament feasts lasted a certain number of days, some being more important than others, but they were all holy days; they were Sabbaths. And feasts consist of food! Symbolically, these people appeared before the Lord to receive food to sustain them in a new phase of life; this is true for us too. In Lev. 23:4 these feasts were called feasts of the Lord, or appointed times of the Lord and holy convocations, but they had deteriorated to the extent that they were now called the feasts of the Jews. At this time Israel had been set aside by God in favor of the new generation that comes in Jesus Christ.

The knowledge of God degenerated in Israel after the time of David. His son Solomon was given tremendous natural wisdom, yet in all that wisdom he just accumulated gold, amassed chariots, manpower, wives and concubines; he built high places and temples for his pagan wives and concubines to worship in, thus contaminating the purpose of God for Israel. In spite of Solomon's great wisdom, he lost the kingdom and undid the wonderful things David had done. God knew this would happen. His message to us is that even though we may have the greatest natural wisdom, we will nevertheless lose the kingdom of God if we rely on our natural wisdom. We cannot build the kingdom of God. We cannot build for ourselves. Our hope is not in natural wisdom.

Israel was not divided during Solomon's time because of God's regard for David; but when Solomon's son took over, that was it. That was when the kingdom was divided into two parts: the ten northern tribes (Israel), and Judah (which consisted of Benjamin and Judah). God's holy city was in Benjamin's province, so God kept Benjamin for the sake of His holy city, and He kept the tribe of Judah because it was the tribe through which the Shiloh, the Christ, would come. These two tribes were amalgamated into one tribe called Judah.

At the time of Christ, living in the land together with the tribe of Judah, was a sprinkling of Levites and a few other people who had never left the land. We know that Paul was of the tribe of Benjamin, and Jesus was of the tribe of Judah. Jesus basically spoke to the two tribes and the remnant which was there because of the promise of God. The ten tribes were lost among the Gentile nations. In Romans we read that those who had a true heart for God became Christians when the gospel came.

"Therefore His brothers said to Him, `Leave here and go into Judea, so that Your disciples also may see Your works which You are doing. For no one does anything in secret when he himself seeks to be known publicly. If You do these things, show Yourself to the world.' For not even His brothers were believing in Him." (vv.3-5)

Luke, a co-worker with Paul, and James, the writer of the book of James, were not included with the twelve apostles. The apostle James had been beheaded, and the church was afraid that the same fate was awaiting Peter when he was imprisoned; but God rescued Peter out of prison. The church had to be scattered, for had it remained in Jewry, it would have come under the law; and the law would have crucified the gospel. God knew that, so He raised a great persecution, and many of the disciples of Christ fled into Asian countries where they preached the gospel among the nations. Those who remained in Judea were shackled by the law. Obedience to the law was emphasized even for those who had Christ. They thought Christ did not do them any good if they did not obey the law.

James, a half-brother of Jesus, was one of these law people. His relationship to Jesus may have given him certain advantages and put people in awe of him. James did not like the idea of mixing with the Gentiles because they were considered as dogs by the Jews. The Jews had to obey the law, and the Gentiles never had the law. So he sent a delegation to Paul and Peter to investigate the work they were doing in Galatia. There Paul and Peter were having a good time together with the Gentiles. When this delegation arrived, Peter was embarrassed over the fact that he had Gentile Christian friends. So he withdrew from them and from Paul, in favor of being with those who were still anti Gentile - who insisted on obedience to the law and kept themselves separate from the Gentiles. This angered Paul and he called Peter a hypocrite.

This incident shows us how strong this legalism was! This ministry of self-works, self-righteousness, and self-endeavor would swallow up the gospel if given an opportunity. Therefore it needed to be taken out of the place where this legalism was anchored, namely in Jerusalem and Judea! This strong adherence to the law motivated the Jewish hierarchy to kill Jesus, and later, to mix it with Christianity! The Jews had a carnal mind and could not understand the concept of God that Jesus presented to them, so they were incensed with Him. Since it differed from theirs, they did not like it. It was very evident that they were antiGod and antiChrist.

Jesus proved that the Jews, like the Gentiles, operated in the Adamic nature. Death passed upon ALL men, not only upon the Gentiles! Both Jews and Gentiles only had the capacity to understand natural things. They rejected Christ because they could not understand a spiritual relationship with God. So they were actually worshiping a god of their own imagination. They proved they were antiChrist by crucifying Him.

We notice that the cross had two different aspects to it. Man crucified Christ's concept of God, while God crucified man's image or concept of who God is.

Back to John. The brothers of Jesus wanted Him to go to Judea. "So Jesus said to them, `My time is not yet here, but your time is always opportune.'" Since Christ was not living under the law, He did not have to be in Jerusalem at a specific time. He was being led by the Spirit and His time was under the Spirit's direction. The Jews went to the temple to attend the feast of Booths because they were under the law. It was to be their tutor to bring them to Christ. After they had been properly taught by the law, God would give them to Christ. But at that time they were still living in the dispensation of the law, so the law still directed their activities, and their time had already come.

But Christ's time to receive people in the Spirit had not come yet, because He had not yet died, nor had He been resurrected. Jesus had not yet accomplished His complete work on earth of redeeming man, nor had He yet made provision for sending His own Spirit, His own life, His own consciousness to us!

Jesus said, "The world cannot hate you, but it hates Me because I testify of it, that its deeds are evil." (v.7) The world could not hate His brothers because they were of the world, but He was not of the world. The world had no reason to hate them because they thought the same as it did; but it didn't like Jesus because He testified that its works were evil.

People divide themselves and others into categories of good and evil. They do not realize that in Adam everyone is underneath the same tree, partaking of the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil. Regardless of whether they consider themselves good or evil, they are operating in the Adamic man who ministers death.

"Go up to the feast yourselves; I do not go up to this feast because My time has not yet fully come." (v.8) They were about to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles. This feast symbolizes that God has come to tabernacle with us in Christ. We learn more about that in John 14-16, where Jesus tells us to abide or live in Him. The place He has gone to prepare for us is a place in the Father's house. This could only be accomplished through Christ's death, resurrection and the pouring out of the Holy Spirit. So our abiding place is Jesus Christ! But as He spoke these words, His time to go to the feast had not yet fully come.

"Having said these things to them, He stayed in Galilee. But when His brothers had gone up to the feast, then He Himself also went up, not publicly, but as if, in secret. So the Jews were seeking Him at the feast and were saying, `Where is He?' There was much grumbling among the crowds concerning Him; some were saying, `He is a good man'; others were saying, `No, on the contrary, He leads the people astray.'" (vv.9-12) This illustrates how natural man is always preoccupied with assessing everything as either good or evil. Those who consider themselves good, look down on those they consider evil and are offended by the evil they do. They are blissfully unaware of the fact that they are both eating from the same tree and living in the same consciousness.

"Yet no one was speaking openly of Him for fear of the Jews. But when it was now the midst of the feast Jesus went up into the temple, and began to teach." (v.13) A number of temples have been built by the Jews. After the tabernacle of Moses and the tabernacle of David, Solomon built a very ornate and costly temple, rich with its gold furnishings! However only the two tablets of stone were left in the ark of the covenant. Almost everything else had been lost. After that temple was destroyed, it was rebuilt in the time of Ezra. By that time there was nothing of spiritual significance left to be put into the temple. Subsequently, the ruling family of Idumea, descendants of Ishmael, had added to the temple in order to beautify it. Pagan Ishmaelite people of the Herod family did this!

The temple complex was large and had various courts - one for the Gentiles, one for the Jewish women, one for men and one for priests. In the outer court the Jews and Gentiles could mix freely. But no commoner could enter the temple proper. Only the ordained priests of the sons of Aaron could go past the veil into the first holy place, and only when it was their turn to serve. The high priest alone was allowed to enter the second holy place once a year, and not without blood. In Hebrews we read that if Jesus were on earth, He would not be a priest. His genealogy did not qualify Him for the priesthood. So He would be disqualified according to their law.

Jesus was not allowed into the holy place nor into the holiest place. He was only allowed to go where the Jewish men could go. The outer court was the place where the sacrifices and the washings took place. Only the blood of the sacrifices could be taken into the temple, and once a year the blood was taken into the holiest by the high priest.

Since the soul is in the blood, this is an indication that Christ's soul (His awareness, His sense of being) brings us into the place of union with God. This is what we are redeemed by. It's the blood that goes in. And the high priest could not go in without the blood!

In Leviticus, the word "nephesh" has been mistranslated and this has caused a great deal of misunderstanding. In Lev. 17:11 it says: "For the life of the flesh is in the blood." We are not to eat or drink the blood of an animal because its life is in it. That word, correctly translated, is not life, but soul, and in many other places it is translated soul. In Genesis, when God breathed into Adam, the word "naphach" is used. It means to breathe out.

Jesus breathed on His disciples after He had risen from the dead, and they became conscious of the fact that their sins were forgiven and that they had received the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit takes the things of Christ and brings them to us. This is food for us! The things of the Spirit are not the things we have memorized and stored in our minds. They are the words Christ speaks to our spirit. They always deepen us, help us, and cause us to grow. At that time the Holy Spirit had not yet been poured out, so He could only give them the fruit of that which Jesus had accomplished in His death and resurrection. This was justification and a release from sin.

On the day of Pentecost the Holy Spirit was poured out and the disciples were baptized in the Holy Spirit! He brought a new law - the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus. Just as the old law was given fifty days after the first Passover was celebrated (Exodus 12), even so a new law was given fifty days after Jesus, the true Passover Lamb, was slain. Thus we see that Pentecost includes the giving of the law.

At the first Passover (a type of Christ's crucifixion), after the people had eaten the lamb, they left Egypt - they left the bondage of the sense mind. They began their trek to the promised land, and came to Mt. Sinai, where they received the law fifty days later. The law of Moses is a revelation of our being, revealing that we are sinners, unable to keep the commandments, unconscious of who God is, and under the law of sin and death. The first Pentecost was only a form of truth since it was limited in its revelation.

With the giving of the law and the various ordinances, Moses received the commission to build the tabernacle. In all these things we see a progression. All these types of Passover, Pentecost and Tabernacles are for us, that we may find a dwelling place in God - that our relationship may be that of a son who dwells with his father!

The law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus gives us a new sense of being, and instructs us in our new relationship as children of God. It tells us that God is our Father, that we are spiritual beings, and that Christ is our brother. This cannot be received by the flesh, nor is it for the flesh. The flesh is only interested in receiving greater prosperity and greater power over people. The anointing which we have received teaches us the truth and leads us into all truth! That is what we really need. We don't need a greater anointing for Christ is our anointing! But we do need to grow in the anointing we have received by submitting ourselves completely to His will!

The Feast of Tabernacles was symbolic of believers receiving a dwelling place in God. Christ taught us that He is in us and we are in Him, and God is in us and we are in Him. We are dwelling with Christ in God; Jesus is the vine and we are the branches. As the branches live out of the vine so we live out of Christ! God has come to us in Christ to tabernacle with us! Our tabernacling together with God was symbolized by this feast. All the Feasts are complete in Christ; they are all fulfilled in Him! As we grow in Christ, the fulfillment of all these things becomes more real to us; we become more conscious of dwelling in the Father and of the redemption of our soul.

"But when it was now the midst of the feast Jesus went up into the temple, and began to teach. The Jews then were astonished, saying, `How has this man become learned, having never been educated?' So Jesus answered them and said, `My teaching is not Mine, but His who sent Me. If anyone is willing to do His will, he will know of the teaching, whether it is of God, or whether I speak from Myself.'" (vv.14-17) Jesus did not claim any honor for Himself; even His teaching had come from the Father who had sent Him!

A wonderful principle is revealed in these verses! Those who have received inspiration, understanding and revelation in the Spirit, can testify to it. Only if we, the listeners, are willing to do God's will, are we able to discern whether the teaching is from God or not - whether it is true or false. If this desire is not present, we have no way of knowing. If our hearts are willing to do the will of God, we will be able to benefit by the truth when it is spoken by someone who has more understanding of the will of God than we have.

When people make their own decisions instead of receiving the enlightenment and guidance of the Holy Spirit, it results in doctrines, baptisms, divisions, and churches. God's truth lifts us out of our wrong ideas; as people are lifted up, they become closer to one another. When we are enmeshed in doctrines, the resulting division can only be overcome by being raised in our spiritual understanding. It's important to know that we are unable to correctly judge a speaker unless we want to do the will of God! Only then can we hear what the Spirit is saying.

The Jews did not want to do the will of God, so they could not receive His teaching. God had not yet given them the desire to will and to do of His good pleasure, so they were not receiving Christ's teaching. We first have to receive the Christ who wants to do the will of God, for he said, "I have come to do Thy will, O God". As He becomes our life, we will also delight in doing the will of God! The natural man cannot will to do the will of God. It is the Christ in the spiritual man who desires to do the will of God. The natural man doesn't have any good desires of his own, as Romans three so aptly teaches us. Everyone has gone his own way, nobody seeks God, and nobody wants God!

"He who speaks from himself seeks his own glory; but He who is seeking the glory of the One who sent Him, He is true, and there is no unrighteousness in Him." (v.18) If we speak from ourselves, from our own thoughts, we are seeking our own glory. Testimonies which emphasize their own works, their fastings, prayers, repentance, or the healings they have performed, are seeking their own glory. You know, it is possible to do all these wonderful works of healings and miracles without having a relationship with Christ. Jesus said, "Many will say to Me on that day, `Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?' And then I will declare to them, `I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.'" (Matt. 7:22-23) These are people who have depended upon their own works for righteousness instead of on the righteousness of Jesus Christ.

God's truth is Christ! And Christ does not come to us externally. He will not come to deal with sin again because He has already dealt with it! He comes again in the Spirit in the kingdom of God and in the rule of God. A kingdom consists of people. So God's kingdom consists of people who are submitted to His rule! His rule is within us and His kingdom is within us! God's rule is not the rule of this world; that's why His kingdom is not of this world. His presence is here now and He never leaves us!

Christ is omnipresent; He is everywhere all the time, day and night. So the only way He can come again is in our consciousness. He comes to us again and again and brings us a greater awareness of Himself! Since He is spirit, our awareness of Him has to be in our spirit. We cannot see Him with our physical eyes. If we could, we would only see a form of Him - not the real Christ. We would not see Him in His essence, because His essence is invisible to physical eyes. What we see with our eyes is only temporal. The people in Jesus' day did not see the real Christ; they only saw a sign. His body veiled the Christ within Him. So we must not expect truth to come to us externally, i.e., from what we experience with our natural senses. It comes from the Spirit of God within us!

Everything that causes us to grow up spiritually comes to us inwardly. People will not be able to see the growth that takes place as we increase in our spiritual understanding. However they can see the outward changes that take place as the result of an inward experience. They can see when people quit smoking, drinking, swearing, living in adultery, etc. But their inward growth cannot be known except in their testimony of their relationship to God, and in the resulting change in attitudes - in the love and grace they extend to others!

Something that is not understood by us, we call a mystery. Mysteries are upsetting to people. Upon hearing a mystery, our first thought is to judge it - to decide whether we should reject or accept it. Truth first comes to us in a mystery because our natural mind cannot understand it. It has to be revealed to us! The mystery hidden from the ages is "Christ in you". The unfolding and unveiling of that mystery is the spiritual truth of who Christ is!

"Did not Moses give you the law, and yet none of you carries out the law? Why do you seek to kill Me?" (v.19) Moses gave them the law, and Christ said none of them kept the law. If they could not keep the law, why were they judging Him? You see, they could not keep the law and neither can we! We cannot even keep the first commandment! Having no other gods before God means we only have God as our God, and He alone rules us. If we could keep this commandment, we would keep all the rest of the commandments in the law of Moses. However, no one outside of Jesus has ever kept the law. The Jews were unwilling to accept the fact that they did not keep the law and that they did not do what was right.

"The crowd answered, `You have a demon! Who seeks to kill You?'" (v.20) Some of the common people may not have been thinking that, but the hierarchy of Jewry was out to kill Jesus! The common people apparently did not want to kill Jesus physically, yet they were always crucifying the spiritual word in their carnal minds - for the carnal mind is death. A carnal word embraced by the carnal mind bears carnal fruit. Flesh reproduces flesh, for that which is born of the flesh, is flesh. The one who sows to his own flesh, will from the flesh reap corruption! Also, when a spiritual word comes to the natural mind, it will be put to death, for the natural mind always puts the spiritual to death. Once the spiritual is put to death, the word is put into a lower realm and it becomes religiosity. That's why we need the mind of Christ.

Our natural mind and our natural body get along just fine; and our spiritual mind and our spiritual body get along just fine. But if you try to cross them, you will have problems, because they are against each other. "For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another." (Gal. 5:17) This will never change.

"Jesus answered them, `I did one deed, and you all marvel. For this reason Moses has given you circumcision (not because it is from Moses, but from the fathers); and on the Sabbath you circumcise a man. If a man receives circumcision on the Sabbath, that the law of Moses will not be broken, are you angry with Me because I made an entire man well on the Sabbath? Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment.'" (vv.21-24) Jesus did many of His works and miracles on the Sabbath day.

After God had made man on the sixth day, He looked at His whole creation and said, "It is very good". Since it does not look very good to us today, it means something has happened to corrupt it. The original creation was very good. The spiritual man created in Genesis 1 was very good! This man has never been corrupted! The truth is that humanity (Adam and his progeny) has lost its understanding of spiritual realities because death, with its delusions, darkness, lies, and inability to see things spiritually, has come upon all mankind.

Christ came to change that. In Him we become new creatures. All things have become new in those who are in Christ Jesus! This new spiritual creation is identical to, and one with the creation or image of God created in Genesis one - the Son of Man. This spiritual creation is very good! This is how we see that creation is just as God said it was in the first place. As we see spiritually we see that the spiritual creation is, as God said, "Very good". Christ is bringing us into the original spiritual creation which is very good and has remained unchanged.

In Genesis two, God formed man from the dust of the earth, breathed into him, and he became a living soul. He was an earthy man limited in many ways - unlike the man in Genesis one who was not limited. God subjected that earthy man to vanity. God always has a purpose for everything He does, and He had a purpose in doing this. He did it so that He could bring man into Christ, and make him a spiritual being who could become one with Him! This is God's purpose for mankind, and He alone can accomplish this. God could rest after it was all created in the knowledge that everything was very good. Even as God rested from all His works, so we are to enter His rest. (Heb. 4:10) We are to rest from all the works that have been initiated by self - the works that are to be our righteousness. Christ is our righteousness, for His righteousness is the only righteousness there is!

Jesus performed many of His works and healings on the Sabbath as signs. He did these things as signs so that people might believe on Him. He was illustrating that those who were ill, needed healing. The blind, the crippled and the dead needed to be restored to normal physical life. He wanted people to see that there is a realm in which maturity and health in the believers' life are normal, for that is the way God intended it to be. Just as the people of that day were not seeing the spiritual significance of His deeds, so it is today.

"So some of the people of Jerusalem were saying, `Is this not the man whom they are seeking to kill? Look, He is speaking publicly, and they are saying nothing to Him. The rulers do not really know that this is the Christ, do they? However, we know where this man is from; but whenever the Christ may come, no one knows where He is from.'" (vv.25-27) They said they knew where Christ came from because they thought He was from Galilee. That is where He had been living with His parents. But they were oblivious of the fact that He was born in Bethlehem in fulfillment of prophecy, and that He was the man from heaven!

"Then Jesus cried out in the temple, teaching and saying, `You both know Me, and know where I am from; and I have not come of Myself, but He who sent Me is true, whom you do not know.'" (v.28) Jesus was emphasizing the fact that He had been sent, but they did not know the One who sent Him!

"`I know Him, because I am from Him, and He sent Me.' So they were seeking therefore to seize Him; and no man laid his hand on Him, because His hour had not yet come. But many of the crowd believed in Him; and they were saying, `When the Christ comes, He will not perform more signs than those which this man has, will he?' The Pharisees heard the crowd muttering these things about Him; and the chief priests and the Pharisees sent officers to seize Him. Therefore Jesus said, `For a little while longer I am with you, then I go to Him who sent Me. You will seek Me, and will not find Me; and where I am, you cannot come.'" (vv.29-34)

Jesus told these people that they could not come to the place where he was at that very moment! At that time it was impossible for humanity to come into the same relationship that Christ was enjoying with the Father! His home was not in the earth; His home was with the Father! Their home was still on the earth. After Christ's death, resurrection and the pouring out of the Holy Spirit, people would also be able to enjoy the same relationship He had with the Father. That is why He told His disciples in John 14 that they could be where He was. But to be where He is, has to happen His way! Many want Christ to do things according to their way of thinking. They want Him to come out of heaven and take on a visible form again, and to take care of the sin He has already died for. This is not His prescribed way! We can be sure that He does things His way!

"The Jews then said to one another, `Where does this man intend to go that we will not find Him? He is not intending to go to the Dispersion among the Greeks, and teach the Greeks, is He? What is this statement that He said, "You will seek Me, and will not find Me; and where I am, you cannot come."?'" (vv.35-36) They could not understand that Jesus was going back into spirit - a place where natural humanity cannot find Him.

"Now on the last day, the great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, `If any man is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said,` From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.'" (vv.37-38) Verse 38 does not refer to ordinary water; living water is the drink Christ gives us; it is His Spirit!

In Acts 1 Jesus told the disciples that they would receive power when the Holy Spirit would come upon them, and they would be witnesses, both in Jerusalem and continuing on even to the remotest part of the earth! So the coming of the Spirit was a commissioning. Before we can receive the Holy Spirit we have to believe in Christ. Believing things about Him is not the same as believing in Him. To receive the commissioning, we have to believe in Him! The anointing would be ineffective if it would fall on our flesh, for that would not help us to recognize the deeper things of Christ. Neither would our preaching and teaching bring spiritual realization. It would only give people a natural hope in a natural heaven, a natural coming of Jesus, a natural rapture out of this world, etc.

Christians are still waiting for the return of Jesus. They do not understand that He has already returned in the Holy Spirit, for they do not believe that the Lord is the Spirit. (2 Cor. 3:17) So they do not acknowledge His coming. Likewise, the Jews are still waiting for the coming of their Messiah who has already come, but they have not recognized Him. Both the Christians and the Jews are waiting because they have not recognized the way He came and the way He comes!

"But this He spoke of the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were to receive; for the Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified." (v.39) On the day of Pentecost Peter stood up and delivered a sermon giving the meaning of what had happened. He told them that God had raised up this Jesus whom they had crucified, and set Him on the throne of David and exalted Him to His right hand. It was He who had poured forth that which they both heard and saw. The Father had given the Spirit to the glorified Christ, so that Christ might pour Him out on those the Father had given Him!

Actually, the Spirit has been poured out on all mankind! This is what Peter said as he quoted Joel 2:28-32 and said, "This is that" which Joel was saying. Although this has happened, humanity does not know it. And it will never know it because humanity cannot conceive the things of the Spirit. It does not understand what the Spirit is doing. Jesus said that everyone who is born of the Spirit is like the wind; we don't see the Spirit, but we see the activity. (Jn. 3:8) People keep predicting what God is going to do instead of acting on what God has done.

What will happen when the knowledge of the Lord covers the earth as the waters cover the sea? Christ in the Spirit is omnipresent, but people are unaware of His presence. God has ordained that the law is to be the converting agency. (Ps. 19:7) The law brings us to repentance, and Christ receives us because the Father gives us to Him. We are given to Him in marriage as a bride so we can reproduce.

The day of Pentecost arrived after the people had been prepared to receive the baptism in the Holy Spirit. Before they could receive the Spirit they had to have their sins forgiven, otherwise the Spirit would just fall on the flesh. This preparation took place in John 20, when Jesus breathed on the disciples, gave them the Spirit and remitted their sins. Not only did He forgive their sins, but He told them they could forgive or retain the sins others have committed against them.

"Some of the people therefore, when they heard these words, were saying, `This certainly is the Prophet.' Others were saying, `This is the Christ.' Still others were saying, `Surely the Christ is not going to come from Galilee, is He? Has not the Scripture said that the Christ comes from the descendants of David, and from Bethlehem, the village where David was?' So a division occurred in the crowd because of Him. Some of them wanted to seize Him, but no one laid hands on Him. The officers then came to the chief priests and Pharisees, and they said to them, `Why did you not bring Him?' The officers answered, `Never has a man spoken the way this man speaks.'" (vv.40-46)

The Pharisees and priests as well as the people in government, always spoke of an authority higher than their own. The Jews were always quoting Moses as their higher authority. But when Jesus came, He spoke as one who had that authority - and He did! They said no one had ever spoken like this man. He spoke out of His union and oneness with God. This spiritual union was His life and nature.

He did not go around prophesying, "Thus says the Lord" or "I, the Lord God say unto Thee". It is a perversion to think that one must prophesy in King James English and speak in the first person. Jesus never spoke like that and the Spirit of Christ does not prophesy that way. You will prophesy by simply making a statement of knowledge. Jesus spoke as though it was He speaking, and God was He, and He and God were one. He just spoke normally and naturally.

In Hebrews 1:1-2 we read, "God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, in these last days has spoken to us in His Son..." God speaks to those who have the Son. It is the Son who brings forth the ministry; it is the Son in us who has the words of life; it is the Son in us who brings a revelation of the Father. It is not necessary to prophesy as though we are separate from God and Christ, by saying, "Thus says the Lord", etc.

Prophecy is a testimony to things that are going to happen in the kingdom, because prophecy is a testimony of Christ. (Rev. 19:10) We have more false prophets than true ones, and it has always been that way. Jesus Christ is the one true Prophet! We only reveal what Christ has revealed to us. This comes as a prophecy to those who have not received this revelation and an affirmation to those who have. This is true fellowship.

"The Pharisees then answered them, `You have not also been led astray, have you? No one of the rulers or Pharisees has believed in Him, has he? But this crowd which does not know the Law is accursed.'" (vv.47-49) The Pharisees thought the multitude did not know the law, but Jesus said the Pharisees didn't either. They mistakenly thought that everyone should adhere to what the leaders believed and look to them instead of to Jesus.

"Nicodemus (he who came to Him before, being one of them) said to them, `Our Law does not judge a man unless it first hears from him and knows what he is doing, does it?' They answered him, `You are not also from Galilee, are you? Search, and see that no prophet arises out of Galilee.' Everyone went to his home." (vv.50-53) Their inadequate information about Jesus led them to a false conclusion. Jesus actually was from Bethlehem but these people did not know that. They did not know they lacked information. We may have experienced the same thing. We lacked knowledge and information, yet were very sure that our beliefs and conclusions were correct, even when they were not. That is why we need to receive revelation in the knowledge of Christ! (Eph. 1:17)

God bless you! Amen.

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