Insights into the Gospel of John: Chapter 8

By Lloyd Ellefson

"But Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. Early in the morning He came again into the temple, and all the people were coming to Him; and He sat down and began to teach them. The scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman caught in adultery, and having set her in the center of the court, they said to Him, `Teacher, this woman has been caught in adultery, in the very act. Now in the law Moses commanded us to stone such women; what then do You say?'" (vv.1-5) The scribes and Pharisees were testing Jesus to see if He would uphold the law given them by Moses. It was their standard of judgment from God! If Jesus were from God, He would surely uphold God's law! They must have sensed His love and forgiving nature, so they hoped to ensnare Him and get proof positive that He did not uphold the law of Moses.

"They were saying this, testing Him, so that they might have grounds for accusing Him. But Jesus stooped down and with His finger wrote on the ground." (v.6) There has been a lot of conjecture about what Jesus wrote. He may have written words which convicted the Pharisees of their own failings. Since there is no condemnation in Christ, He would not write words of condemnation nor accusation. He was not sent to bring condemnation, so maybe He wrote that God is merciful, kind, and forgiving.

"But when they persisted in asking Him, He straightened up, and said to them, `He who is without sin among you, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.' And again He stooped down and wrote on the ground." (vv.7-8) Maybe He wrote that there is now no condemnation, and that God had sent Him to reconcile the world. Who knows? I'm sure that is what He thought, because that was in His heart.

"When they heard it, they began to go out one by one, beginning with the older ones, and He was left alone, and the woman, where she was, in the center of the court." Now Jesus saw that they had gone. "Straightening up, Jesus said to her, `Woman, where are they? Did no one condemn you?' She said, `No one, Lord.' And Jesus said, `I do not condemn you, either. Go. From now on sin no more.'" (vv.9-11)

Jesus Christ did not come to condemn, but to redeem. There is now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus! (Rom. 8:1) The law is written on everyone's heart, and through the law is the knowledge of sin. Jesus Christ did not come to reveal sin; He came to reveal God - and God was not condemning her. He was not sanctioning her actions by any means, but He knew this woman was an earthy, Adamic creature. She was in the same humanity that brought sin into the world. Therefore she couldn't help herself. She could only be changed by the grace of God. She, as well as those who were accusing her, were dead in their trespasses and sins, so it would take an act of God to redeem them. None of them could redeem themselves! She knew she wasn't in a position to do anything for herself since she was under the sentence of death, but her accusers thought they were better! They did not know that they too were under the sentence of death!

In Jesus Christ there is a completely new realm of ministry. This ministry is in conflict with the law and is able to overcome it! It brings us into a greater dimension of understanding that God is our Father! We get to know that we have a Father-son relationship - one of love, union and fellowship! As an earthly father does not want his children to indulge in things which are against his wishes, so God does not want His children to indulge in acts which are contrary to His nature. The Father-heart of God will not treat His children as common criminals, evil-doers or sinners; nor will He create a place of eternal torment for them. We know God's nature because Christ Jesus was the express image of the invisible Father. Jesus came to redeem us out of our wrong thinking.

"Then Jesus again spoke to them, saying, `I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life.' So the Pharisees said to Him, `You are testifying about Yourself; Your testimony is not true.'" (vv.12-13) The Pharisees knew that the law said everything should be established in the mouth of two or three witnesses. In their estimation Jesus was alone in His witness, so His witness was dismissed as being invalid. They could not understand why Jesus had freed this woman of her condemnation and from the responsibility of her sinful act. Humanly speaking, He was all alone in His witness.

"Jesus answered and said to them, `Even if I testify about Myself, My testimony is true, for I know where I came from and where I am going; but you do not know where I come from or where I am going. You judge according to the flesh; I am not judging anyone. But even if I do judge, My judgment is true; for I am not alone in it, but I and the Father who sent Me.'" (vv.14-16) Jesus received His judgment from the Father. He told the people that He was not the only witness, but the Father who had sent Him was also a witness. Notice that it says, "in the mouth of two or three witnesses". There is one mouth, and two or three witnesses, that is, there is perfect agreement among the witnesses. The Jews could not accept the fact that God was the Father of Jesus. It is still hard for many Christians to accept God as their Father.

"Even in your law it has been written that the testimony of two men is true. I am He who bears testifies about Myself, and the Father who sent Me testifies about Me." They could not hear the Father, so they could not understand that Jesus could. "So they were saying to Him, `Where is Your Father?' Jesus answered, `You know neither Me nor My Father; if you knew Me, you would know My Father also. (vv.17-19)

The fact that they did not know God was an indictment against Israel. They knew Him by the various names through which God had revealed Himself in the Old Testament, like El Shaddai (the breasted One, the Almighty), El Elyon (the Most High God), Jehovah Jireh (my Provider), Jehovah Rapha (the Healer), Jehovah-Tsidkenu (Jehovah is our righteousness), etc., but they did not know Him as Father. It was completely strange and absurd to them to think that anyone could be in such a close relationship with God, that would give him the right to call God Father! Jesus knew where they were at spiritually. That is why He could truthfully tell them that they did not really know the Father, neither did they know Him! They did not know Him who had caused Jesus to be born, neither did they know where Jesus came from.

Jesus was well aware that the people, because of their finite judgment, could only see Him as the son of a carpenter - an earthly man just like themselves. But the essence of Christ's consciousness differed from natural man's. He came to take us out of our darkness and unconsciousness of spiritual things, and to change our consciousness to His. He came to bring us into a conscious union with the Spirit so that we can fellowship with Him spiritually! Fellowship requires conversation; it is a two-way street of speaking and listening. Our life now takes on a new direction: it recognizes that the spiritual is reality and that the natural is not! Therefore the natural has to be rejected as reality!

Let's compare this with the popular belief that the organs of our body control our life. Or does life control them? According to what Jesus did, life controls them. For when a person with a withered arm came to Him, He restored it. That showed that in His mind the real life of everything was spirit - not flesh. But we have been placed into a vanity which believes that fleshly things in themselves control our lives, our health, and our well-being. Jesus came to change that concept!

This has been very difficult to believe, because humanity's sophisticated mentality is determined by its fleshly understanding of science and the things that are seen, felt and heard. We may give mental assent to spiritual things having power and being of God, but we do not have the faith to believe it. Therefore the realization and effectiveness of this never becomes evident in our lives.

When God created man, he was the result of the power of the spiritual word of God. We have lost sight of the purpose of our creation, and are now living in our natural reasoning rather than in the spiritual revelation of the word of God. And of course, this is the reason Christ came, and why He had such a confrontation with the religious leaders. His idea of origin, source and power was different from theirs. This brought about a great conflict.

"These words He spoke in the treasury, as He taught in the temple; and no one seized Him, because His hour had not yet come." (v.20) As I have said before, Jesus never entered the temple proper. He was restricted to the part of the temple called the treasury. This is where Jesus taught. In the rebuilding of the temple, changes had been made. Moses' tabernacle just had an outer court of curtains, but this temple had a large outer court with various sections. Since Jesus was not of Aaronic nor of Levitical lineage, He was not qualified to enter the temple proper.

"Then He said again to them, `I go away, and you will seek Me, and will die in your sin; where I am going, you cannot come.' So the Jews were saying, `Surely He will not kill Himself, will He, since He says, "Where I am going, you cannot come?"' And He was saying to them, `You are from below, I am from above; you are of this world, I am not of this world.'" (vv.21-23)

I really wish Christians could see what Jesus' statement, "I am not of this world" means for us. When we are in union with Jesus Christ and are being conformed to His image, we are not of this world's system. We have so often been told that we are an integral part of this world's system, and that it affects everything we do. Jesus said He did not belong to this world's system. He overcame this system and demonstrated that He had overcome it by the things He did. He proved that His source of power was greater. God was His source, and He had control of all things, whether it was sickness, death, or a raging sea! Humanity had never before experienced this.

This message has been heralded for nearly 2000 years, yet Christians are still being bogged down by the concept that Jesus Christ came to rule and correct this world. Jesus said He was not of this world, and we are not of this world either! Believing this will change us, because it will produce a faith in us which will overcome all our sense knowledge and material understanding! This faith will enable us to resist all the onslaughts of the enemy. None of the attacks in the natural realm will be able to destroy that faith! It enables us to walk in this knowledge and to live in the consciousness of not being of this world.

"Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for unless you believe that I am He, you will die in your sins." (v.24) The correct translation here is, "for unless you believe that I am". The "He" was added. When Jesus said, "I am", He was indicating that He was not of this world system. Unless we believe that Jesus Christ is not of this world, we shall die in our sins. So the great sin is to have a wrong conception of God.

Sin means missing the mark. Our great sin is that we have not had a correct image of God. We have believed Him to be like we are - carnal and natural. This conception of God will not bring us into life! We will die in this wrong conception of God and continue in our sins. We must BELIEVE what Jesus Christ said, namely that He IS and that He is one with the Father! All other sins spring out of this basic root of unbelief. We have tried to comprehend God, but we have not seen Him as He is. So we have been missing the mark!

Christ came to correct this. Our comprehension of God and of ourselves needs to change. This happens as Christ (God's truth) works in us. Christ is the truth of the infinite presence and power of God. He testified that He had God as His Father. He was very conscious of this truth. When Jesus said, "I am the truth", He was saying that God was the Father of His truth.

The Jews, on the other hand, had a different source for what they claimed to be truth, because Jesus told them that they were of their father, the devil. (Jn. 8:44) Christ was not the source of their truth. By opposing what Christ was saying, the Jews were proving they were children of the devil. When Jesus said, "You are of your father the devil", He was saying that what they thought was truth had been fathered by the devil who is a liar from the beginning; therefore it was fathered by deception. More of that later.

Since we are dealing with the spiritual word of God, and not with the letter which kills, these things can bear repetition. The spiritual realization of this word is really the Christ. He is the bread of our life, and He is the drink of our life.

"So they were saying to Him, `Who are You?' Jesus said to them, `What have I been saying to you from the beginning? I have many things to speak and to judge concerning you, but He who sent Me is true; and the things which I heard from Him, these I speak to the world.' They did not realize that He had been speaking to them about the Father." (vv.25-27) We see a wonderful progression here. First of all Jesus heard from God, then He declared the things He had heard! His witness did not originate in Himself, but in God! Therefore His witness was true!

"So Jesus said, `When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am He, and I do nothing on My own initiative, but I speak these things as the Father taught Me.'" (v.28) When the Christ in us is lifted up from this earth into the spiritual realm (the realm He resides in), we will begin to know the things that come from the Father. The Jews did not realize the spiritual relationship Christ had with the Father. As long as we keep Christ in the earthy, natural, physical image in which the Jewish people saw Him at that time, we will never understand the spiritual things the Father was teaching Him!

"`And He who sent Me is with Me; He has not left Me alone, for I always do the things that are pleasing to Him.' As He spoke these things, many came to believe in Him. So Jesus was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, `If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of mine; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.'" (vv.29-32)

Our relationship with Christ is spiritual. Our repentance does not have its source in ourselves; it is granted us from God for He wants all to repent! It marks the beginning of our spiritual life - a life of learning to know Christ who is the truth. There is more to Christianity than forgiveness, going to heaven, and all that God is going to do in the future. All the wonderful promises of God are for now - not only for the future. If we relegate everything to the future, we are not accepting and living in what God has for us now; we are not believing the true God, but a god of our own imagination.

Heaven is where God rules NOW; and the kingdom of God is within us NOW! The old man has been crucified with Christ and has therefore been done away with. Christ has finished His work on earth! We are growing up in Christ NOW! Those who put off their growth for the future, are not allowing the Spirit to change them day by day in THIS life. The Spirit causes us to have our minds and meditations on the things of God day and night. Everything is constantly viewed from the position of the heavenlies in which we are seated, instead of from an earthy concept. If we don't live and grow in this, we are limiting the work of Christ even as those who think Christianity only consists of being forgiven and going to heaven. They are leaving all the wonderful promises of God for a future day, a future millenium, a future age, a future coming of Christ, a future dispensation, and a future manifestation of sonship. Everything is put on hold for the future.

Christ will never change; He will be the same tomorrow as He is today! He is the same yesterday, today and forever! We don't have yesterday, and we don't have tomorrow! Tomorrow will become today again. Christ, who is God's manifestation of truth, has to constantly keep on teaching us truth, so we live in truth every day. Our prayer is, "Give us this day our daily bread." That bread is the spiritual truth, the truth of God, which is the Christ.

It is this truth which makes us free! Notice that it does not say, set us free. For example, if someone has been in jail for a while, he may be set free; but this freedom will not change him inwardly. When we are made free, a change takes place inwardly, and we are able to live in this freedom.

"They answered Him, `We are Abraham's descendants and have never yet been enslaved to anyone; how is it that You say, "You will become free"?'" (v.33) How could these people say they had never been enslaved by anyone? Not only were they in bondage to the Romans, but also to their natural self and to their sin-consciousness. They were truly in bondage!

"Jesus answered them, `Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is the slave of sin. The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son does remain forever. So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed.'" (vv.34-36) Jesus was the Son, and He was actually the only one at that time who was proclaiming sonship. He was the only one who identified with sonship, or had the faith of sonship. Everybody else was in the realm of servanthood.

It is the law which makes us servants. If we can discern the message of the scriptures correctly, we will see that the law places us into a position of servanthood to God; but when we are taken out of the law by the Holy Spirit, we are placed as sons in the household of God. This produces a relationship with God. When Jesus was baptized in the Jordan, a change in position took place. No longer was He under the law as a servant, but He was now placed by the Father into Sonship. If we are no longer under the law, then we are no longer servants; therefore we have to be careful we do not DO the law. We are either in the law or in sonship; if we are not under the law, we are in sonship.

Jesus said that we should serve one another, but this does not negate our Father-son relationship. As sons we serve. This is service is not performed under the bondage of the law, but through the love God has poured into our hearts.

"I know that you are Abraham's descendants; yet you seek to kill Me, because My word has no place in you. I speak the things which I have seen with My Father; therefore you also do the things which you heard from your father." (vv.37-38) Jesus agreed that the Jews were the physical progeny of Abraham, but He made a distinction between the physical and the spiritual progeny. They were not his spiritual progeny. Jesus saw Abraham in a spiritual light. In Romans Paul tells us that the children of the flesh are not the children of God. So the physical progeny of Abraham (or of any other person) do not have God as their Father. Since the Jews did not have any understand of spiritual things, they were continually seeking to kill Jesus.

"They answered and said to Him, `Abraham is our father.' Jesus said to them, `If you are Abraham's children, do the deeds of Abraham. But as it is, you are seeking to kill Me, a man who has told you the truth, which I heard from God; this Abraham did not do." (So they couldn't be Abraham's children.) "You are doing the deeds of your father.' They said to Him, `We were not born of fornication; we have one Father: God.'" (vv.39-41)

Jesus took issue with their statement that Abraham was their father. He said if they were Abraham's children, they would also do the works of Abraham. Jesus had the nature of His Father, and the Jews had the nature of their father. In this conversation the Jews pretended to become more spiritual. Notice the progression. First they claimed to be Abraham's seed, then they adamantly claimed him as their father. Finally they claimed God was their Father. Jesus agreed that they were of the seed of Abraham, but He did not agree that Abraham was their father. The fact that they were trying to kill Him, proved that Abraham was not really their father. So He differentiated between being of the seed of Abraham and having Abraham as their father. They were of the natural seed of Abraham, but their thoughts and words were not fathered by Abraham; they were fathered by someone else. Jesus was pointing out the difference between them and Himself; the source of Christ's thoughts was God, and the source of their thoughts was the devil.

"Jesus said to them, `If God were your Father, you would love Me, for I proceeded forth and have come from God, for I have not even come on My own initiative, but He sent Me. Why do you not understand what I am saying? It is because you cannot hear My word. You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar, and the father of lies.'" (vv.42-44)

Jesus, who is the truth, was engaged in a conversation with people who thought they knew truth. A conflict arose between those who thought they knew truth and Him who is truth. As I said before, Jesus Christ is the truth of the eternal and infinite presence and power of God! The Father had fathered the truth in Him!

Jesus and the Jews were speaking from different points of reference. Jesus had a different consciousness, a different awareness of self and of God than the Jews had, so He spoke from a different perspective. And He was saying that their thoughts and words were coming from another father - from their father the devil, while His words came from His Father - God.

Humanity has the same contention with Jesus Christ. Its thoughts are not fathered by the God who is the only power and authority in the whole universe, but by the conception that springs out of earthiness, natural things, and human consciousness. This is the big contention between Christ and the humanity which comes from Adam. One realm of thinking comes out of the life of God and the other comes out of the death that is in Adam.

The Jews had the same natural lusts as everybody else. They indulged in fornication, evil, drunkenness, fighting, etc. They resisted God, corrupted the Sabbath, distorted the Word of God and the commandments to suit their own pleasure. All humanity is the same! There is no difference - all have sinned, and the Jews were no exception!

"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) People's opposition to Christ occurred because the flesh always lusts against the Spirit. The father of their lusting was a murderer from the beginning. The devil never lived in the truth because there is no truth in him. This means Satan was never good. He did not become bad; he was a liar from the beginning and there never was any truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks of his own self, for he is a liar and the father of lies!

Since he is the father of all lies, he is also the father of the delusions and lies these Jews had about Jesus Christ. They were contending with Jesus, speaking lies, yet thinking their lies were truth. The natural Adamic man's truth about spiritual things is a lie. The more secure and legalistic a person becomes in his natural mind, the more bound up he becomes in the lie. This was the reason for their contention.

"But because I speak the truth, you do not believe Me. Which one of you convicts Me of sin? If I speak truth, why do you not believe Me? He who is of God hears the words of God; for this reason you do not hear them, because you are not of God." (vv.45-47) What an indictment! Of the twelve tribes of Israel, only a few Israelites were left, and they were so proud of the law of Moses that they called the Gentiles dogs! What a blow to their pride to be accused of not hearing Moses nor believing him! Had they believed Moses, they would also have believed Jesus. They did not believe because the word of God was not dwelling in them. They were not of God so they were not hearing His word. Instead, they were hearing from their father - but their father was not God - it was a different father!

To repent means that we receive a change of mind. This is necessary because our minds are believing what they are hearing from a father other than the true Father. That is why we have to repent! Since our minds are the receptive agency, they have to be changed from believing lies to believing truth. This requires a submission to the Spirit of God so that we can hear spiritual truth.

Christ came as the truth of God - truth fathered by God. This gives us a new relationship with our Father and brings us into a new consciousness and a new awareness, because our thoughts and understanding are now fathered by God, and not by the devil. In speaking of thoughts fathered by the devil, we are not referring to natural thoughts such as gardening procedures, how cars function, etc. We are referring to the thoughts the devil fathers. They are the ones that portray God as being other than He is, as Christ being other than He is, and as us being other than we are. Christ came to do away with those thoughts and to bring us truth!

The conflict that exists in our minds regarding truth and God is called the battle of Armageddon. We are constantly tempted to think too highly or too lowly of ourselves. All kinds of deceptive thoughts flow through our minds. Unless we learn to hear from God, we will be like many Christians who have only come to know forgiveness. They think people can be changed by simply receiving forgiveness. This leads them into a pathway where no growth takes place. They are only taught that they are sinning again and again and being forgiven again and again! This teaching does not get us into maturity; it bogs us down. We need to be introduced to the Christian message where we hear spiritual realities, so they can bring us life and change. As we obey God's words we will be kept from sinning.

Christ is the truth of God expressed in humanity in a form that we can hear and understand. It brings us into a new dimension; it sparks life into us and changes us!

The message of Christ has been misinterpreted. Christ Himself is the most maligned authority that ever existed! His words have been twisted and perverted more than any man's. Even well-meaning people have either rejected them or placed them into a wrong context. Because His message has been so maligned the truth has been obscured, causing His image to be so marred that it has become unrecognizable. No wonder it says in Isa. 52:14 that His appearance was more marred than any man, and His form more than the sons of men. He was beaten and mistreated physically to the extent that He was unrecognizable. However, at present it is not a case of physical abuse - it is a case of misrepresenting the image of who He is - the express, perfect, unadulterated image of who God is. This is exactly what people have been doing, and are still doing. By this misrepresentation they are crucifying Him today, just as if they had been present at that time, giving their assent to having Him handed over for crucifixion to the authorities of that day. This is happening to Christ spiritually today.

Although the Jews were not of God at that time, that was not to be a permanent condition! A time would come for them to be changed! The message of the law was to teach them how wrong they were in God's eyes, and how they were unable to do the things they should. It was to bring them into a consciousness of their sin and wrongdoing. This message is also for us! The true understanding of the law prepares us to welcome Christ into our lives. Recognizing evil, sin, delusion, wrong, and our own inabilities, is a preparation for receiving Christ.

We are called to repentance because we are living in deception, for our so-called "truth" is not fathered by God, and our thoughts are not of God. This message is not reaching people today, for many still cling to the same ideas about God that the Jews had. They still claim they are better than the world, just like the Jews claimed they were better than the Gentiles. Many, many false prophets have gone out into the world. There is only one true prophet who is prophesying the truth of God, and that is Jesus Christ! When He comes to us in the Spirit, He brings us the spiritual truth that is fathered by God. As we receive His truth we are hearing from Him!

When our truth is fathered by God we become like Christ! This truth is not fathered by man; it does not come from the human conscience. The conclusion of our biblical research - of reading the Bible, seeking spiritual realities, getting out the Hebrew and Greek texts and trying to perfect the translation - has to be fathered by God! Otherwise we will also be rejecting Christ!

Repentance is a change of mind. It does not mean that our old mind is changed, but that we receive a NEW mind - a new receptivity in the spirit. The same difference that existed between Jesus and the world, now exists in us. We hear things differently now. Our thoughts and words come from a different source. The world will not understand what we are saying, so a contention will develop.

"The Jews answered and said to Him, `Do we not say rightly that You are a Samaritan and have a demon?'" (v.48) The Samaritans were a crossbreed. The pure Israeli or Jewish stock was forbidden to be contaminated with Gentile stock; but in Samaria this had happened. Therefore the Jews looked down upon the Samaritans.

"Jesus answered, `I do not have a demon; but I honor My Father, and you dishonor Me.'" (v.49) Jesus was honoring His Father God by receiving the thoughts that came from Him. Since the Jews did not realize nor believe that, they were dishonoring both Jesus and His Father.

"But I do not seek My glory; there is One who seeks and judges." (v.50) What a wonderful statement - "I do not seek my own glory"! We are all acquainted with famous individuals who have set themselves up as great leaders and preachers. They are happy in the glory and accolades humanity showers upon them. They enjoy their doctorates and being addressed as Dr. So and So. They enjoy the honor of being called Reverend. They like high positions; they like to be regarded as the religious leaders of the day. They like to wear their phylacteries and gowns. Leaders accept this glory because they believe that it brings greater credibility to what they say. They say they want to lift people to their level of thinking that the people may receive the same glory of God that is in themselves. This type of thinking is a perversion and does not work. People need to learn to hear what the Spirit is saying to the churches!

Jesus said, "I don't seek My own glory." If we want to be like Christ, we will not try to impress people with our doctorates and titles. Never did Christ grasp for position! He divested Himself of His heavenly glory; He emptied Himself, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death! He just called Himself the Son of Man. He called God His Father, but He didn't boast about being the Son of God. He didn't boast about being a great prophet or the great Shepherd; He just taught the things that God told Him to teach and gave all credit and glory to God! God fathered His thoughts, and God is to father our thoughts. When our thoughts are fathered by the Spirit of God, the spiritual truth in us will be Jesus Christ. That is when we portray the nature of Christ - the sign of a true Christian.

Jesus is the Word; He is in us as a spiritual word that has been fathered by God! This word will always bring us into truth, for Christ is the truth. The various things that Christ did were not an end in themselves; they were forms God produced that we might see the reality. We were to learn who God is in an observable human form. This was necessary so that humanity might be able to grasp spiritual realities. The things He did, reveal the progression of God's program and purpose. They were to open up our consciousness to spiritual things, and to take away the thoughts fathered by natural things and by Satan.

"Truly, truly, I say to you, if anyone keeps My word he will never see death." (v.51) Jesus was not referring to physical death, but to spiritual death which is a complete unconsciousness of God and who He is. If we keep His word, we shall never become totally unconscious of God.

"The Jews said to Him, `Now we know that You have a demon. Abraham died, and the prophets also; and You say, "If anyone keeps My word, He will never taste of death." Surely You are not greater than our father Abraham, who died? The prophets died too; whom do You make Yourself out to be?'" (vv.52-53) The Jews understood everything Jesus said from a natural viewpoint, because their thoughts were fathered by the one who does not know spiritual realities.

In Matthew 16:23 Jesus said to Peter, "Get behind Me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to Me; for you are not setting your mind on God's interests, but man's." Satan is restricted to the same type of thoughts he generates in man; thoughts which are earthy and natural; they are darkness and lies. Satan cannot do otherwise, for he cannot receive spiritual revelation! He cannot operate in truth! If the rulers of this age had understood the wisdom of God, they would not have crucified the Son of God. (1 Cor. 2:8)

"Jesus answered, `If I glorify Myself, My glory is nothing; it is My Father who glorifies Me, of whom you say, "He is our God"; and you have not come to know Him, but I know Him; and if I say that I do not know Him, I will be a liar like you, but I do know Him and keep His word. Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw it and was glad.'" (vv.54-56) Jesus was declaring truth; He was not honoring Himself! Any honor He received came from His Father who the Jews claimed as their God.

"So the Jews said to Him, `You are not yet fifty years old, and have You seen Abraham?' Jesus said to them, `Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I am.' Therefore they picked up stones to throw at Him, but Jesus hid Himself and went out of the temple." (vv.57-59) The Jews thought Jesus would have to be hundreds of years old in order to have seen Abraham because their understanding was limited to earthy, finite ideas.

In this controversy we see Jesus speaking on a spiritual level, while the Jews, in their limited carnal understanding, vehemently opposed Him. Jesus said He knew who Abraham was, but they didn't know Abraham. Their only relationship with Abraham was physical; they did not have his nature. Jesus struck at the heart of their pride when He told them Abraham was not really their father! Furthermore, He told them their testimony of Abraham and of Himself was fathered by the devil. If they were really of Abraham, they would not want to kill Him, because Abraham rejoiced to see His day! If they had the nature of Abraham, they too would be rejoicing at His coming!

To see this situation as Christ saw it, we have to look at it through His eyes. We must not be a third party, looking on as spectators, and judging between Christ and the Jews. We must identify with Christ in His thoughts. As God fathers our thoughts, we will see the situation as Christ saw it. This identification can only take place when we have passed from death to life - from the Adamic man who is receiving thoughts from Satan, to the spiritual man who is receiving thoughts from his Father God. This is what we have been called into, and this is what Christianity is all about.

If we relegate all the promises of God to the future, or say they are on the horizon, we'll never get them. The horizon keeps moving as we walk. It's as though we are looking at a set of railroad tracks. They look as though they come together in the distance, but they don't. If we procrastinate in appropriating what Christ has accomplished for us, we are not truly believing that He has completed the work! God's work in us is a continuing work and He wants us to receive it NOW! He wants us to walk in it NOW, for NOW is the only time we have! If we just look to what God is going to do, the things He is going to do keep moving into the future as we walk along, and we never get to walk in them!

If we are going to walk as Jesus walked, we have to walk in the reality of who God is, and who we are, and who Christ is, right now - today! That reality comes to us in the Christ! Christ is the spiritual truth that comes to us from the presence of God. That is who He is! He is not an individual, a human being, a person sitting up in heaven. He is not a doctrine. Christ is the truth of the infinite presence and power of God. He testified that His truth and consciousness had God as its Father. This is the realization into which He is bringing us, that we might be conformed into His image!

God bless you. Amen.

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