JOHN - Chapter 8 - The Seed of Abraham Print E-mail

JOHN – Chapter 8 – The Seed of Abraham

Tuesday Morning Bible Study

April 18, 2017, the Year of Our Lord

Pastor Carolyn Sissom

 

The feast is over.  But few pilgrims leave for their villages.  Too much excitement---Messiah is at hand.  Jesus makes His way to the Mount of Olives.  The Mount was in the truest sense his home during his ministry.  We never read of Him spending a night in Jerusalem.  When every man went unto his own house, Jesus went unto the Mount of Olives. 

 

Luke 21:37: In the daytime he was teaching in the temple, and at night he went out and abode in the mount called the Mount of Olives.

 

Ezekiel spoke of this day as well as the Presence of the Divine Majesty (Shekinah Glory) dwelt three and a half years on the Mount of Olives, to see whether the Jewish people would or would not repent, calling, Return unto me, and I will return unto you; (Mal. 3:7) Seek ye the Lord while he may be found, call upon him while he is near;(Isa. 55:6) and then, when all was vain, returned to its own place.

 

Ez. 11:22-23: Then did the cherubims lift up their wings, and the wheels beside them; and the glory of the God of Israel was over them above.  And the glory of the Lord went up from the midst of the city, and stood upon the mountain which is on the east side of the city.

 

Jesus Christ is the true Shekinah Presence.  The time of His public ministry was three and one-half years.  During that time, Jesus made Olivet His place of resort.  From its grassy knolls and green slopes, as from a throne of emerald confronting His own Zion, He pleaded in words of stern majesty and tearful tenderness, ---Turn ye, turn ye, why will you die, O house of Israel?

 

When Jesus’ divine mission was terminated, it was from the Mount of Olives that He ascended in the Shekinah-cloud---“a cloud received Him out of their sight.”

 

Chapter 8 begins with the rulers unable to try Jesus privately, so they begin a new scheme for their attempts against His life.  Next they will try to discredit Him before the public or catch Him on the horns of a dilemma, hoping to create grounds for charges against Him.  From now on they will seek to trap Him openly with words, that is; get Him to disqualify Himself no matter how He defends against their questions.  They will use this device continually during the last days of His ministry.

 

 He is six months away from the cross.

 

Do not doubt these same wicked schemes are at work today against the true ministers of God.

 

In studying the section about the woman caught in adultery, I discovered that these twelve verses were not included in manuscripts written in the 11th century which is when Bl. Theophylact wrote his teaching.  The Eastern Church fathers do not comment on these twelve verses.  However, the western Church fathers do so.  Despite these uncertainties, it is accepted by the Church as authentic New Testament text.  The story of the woman caught in adultery is found in varying locations in the Gospels. 

 

In studying the Church fathers in the 10th and 11th Century, I find there are many scripture references which do not contain chapter nor verse numberings; or if they do, it is sometimes different than our Bibles.   It was not until 1551, that chapter and verse were added.

 

8:1-2: Jesus went to the Mount of Olives.  And early in the morning He came again into the temple, and all the people came to Him; and He sat down, and taught them.  The scribes and Pharisees brought to Him a woman taken in adultery; and when they had set her in the midst, they say to 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 say You?  This they said, tempting Him that they might have to accuse Him.  But Jesus stooped down, and with His finger wrote on the ground, as though he did not hear them.  They continued asking Him.  He lifted up Himself, and said to 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.  They which heard it, were convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even to the last; and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst. 

 

Probably the case had already been before a local Jewish court.  They think they have him trapped.  The Lord repeatedly announced that He had come to save, not condemn.  They would impale Him on His own words.  Will He minister mercy or justice?  If He says, “Release her,” he breaks Moses’ law.  If He says, “Stone her;” he condemns her, violating His stated purpose in coming. 

 

The finger that wrote on the ground is the finger of God; the same finger that etched Moses’ tablets and Belshazzar’s walls.  What did he write?  Doodling in the dust was an oriental custom one used to show contempt or indifference to people around him.  Others presume he wrote out the sins of the elders.

 

They are persistent.  Jesus’ rises.  Words from Jesus are “spirit and life,”   and have power---power sufficient to paralyze the Pharisees.  “Never spoke a man like this man.”

 

Let us keep in our mind as we study the Gospel of John that he is revealing Jesus to us as the WORD of God.

 

They came with the long robes and haughty looks, but they leave not so proud.  Court is out, but no decision has been rendered.  The accusers have all gone without casting a vote.  The disciples are there.  The crowd of pilgrims looks on.

 

So Jesus stood up.  Facing the woman He asked, “Where are all your accusers?  Has no man condemned you?  No one, Lord,” She said.  To which Jesus replied, neither do I condemn you, go and sin no more.

 

Under Jewish Law, without an accuser she was free.  Jesus neither condemns her, nor defies the Law of Moses.  Still He doesn’t approve her sinful act.  She is legally free.  She was tried in a court.  She is freed by the court.  The Judge turns her loose without any statement on His part.

 

John 8:12-14: Then spoke Jesus again to them, saying, I am the light of the world; he that follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.  The Pharisees said to Him, You bear record of Yourself; Your record is not true.  Jesus answered and said to them, Though I bear record of Myself, yet My record is true; for I know from where I came, and where I go; but you cannot tell from where I come, and where I go.

 

The Lord has quoted passages from one end of the Scriptures to the other corroborating His identity during His ministry.   The light of Christ is supernatural and can only be seen by those who walk in that light.  There are saints who walk into a room and there is a light that shines forth all around them.  It is the light of life.

 

Jesus called upon three witnesses:  His Father, His deeds, and the Holy Scriptures.

 

8:15-20:  You judge according to the flesh; I judge no man.  Yet if I judge, My judgment is true; for I am not alone, but I and the Father who sent Me.  It is also written in your law, that the testimony of two men is true.  It is I that bear witness of Myself, and the Father that sent Me bears witness of Me.   Then said they unto Him, Where is your father?  Jesus answered You do not know Me, nor My Father.  If you had known Me, you should have known My Father also.  These works Jesus spoke in the treasury as he taught in the temple; and no man laid hands on Him; for His hour was not yet come.

 

They ask for tangible evidence that God is with Him. 

 

The Treasury hall (court of women) was where offerings were received.  Women did not go beyond this point.  Men stopped here to deposit gifts before proceeding to the altar area.  This was the most public part of the temple.

 

He spoke to them again, I am going away.  You will try to find Me, but you will die in your sins.  Where I am going you cannot come.”  

 

By refusing the Lord, they consign themselves to Satan’s bitter end---that place of eternal punishment.  An impassible gulf exists between Heaven and Hell; hence they “cannot come.”  They expected to go to Abraham’s bosom,* separated by an impassible gulf from Hades.

 

8:23-24:  Jesus said to them, You are from beneath; I am from above; you are of this world; I am not of this world.  I said therefore to you, that you shall die in your sins; for if you believe not that I am He, you shall die in your sins.

 

The new birth is not just a birth.  It is a quickening as we pass from death unto life.  It is a resurrection.  It is a creation.  Once we have been born from above, we are raised up with Him.  We have arisen to walk in newness of life.  This walk, this conversation, this citizenship is in heaven.

 

Christ is above and Adam is beneath.  When we receive Jesus Christ as the Son of God, and believe on Him, our perspective, our point of view is from above.  In Christ, nothing is above us.  Everything else---that which is outside Christ is beneath us, and is a lying vanity. 

 

The Pharisees could not get on top of Jesus because they were from beneath and He is from above.

 

8:25-33: They said to Jesus, Who are you?  Jesus replied, I am the same that I said to you from the beginning I have many things to say and to judge of you; but He that sent Me is true; and I speak to the world those things which I have heard of Him.  They did not understand that he spoke to them of the Father.  Jesus said to them, When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then shall you know that I am He, and that I do nothing of Myself; but as My Father has taught Me, I speak these things.  He that sent Me is with Me; the Father has not left me alone; for I do always those things that please Him.  As he spoke these words, many believed on Him.   Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed on Him, If you continue in My word, then you are My disciples indeed; and you shall know the truth, and truth shall make you free.  They answered Him, We are Abraham’s seed, and were never in bondage to any man; how can you say, You shall be made free?

 

The Seed of Abraham is Jesus Christ; the true Israel of God is made up of Jew and Greek.  Abraham the Chaldean was not a Jew.  Elijah the Tishbite was not a Jew.  In any era, the only thing that matters to God is faith!  The Israel of God is one covenantal people throughout the ages who have come to God by faith (Heb. 11), regardless of nationality. 

 

We are now favored to live in the extremities of that singular covenantal purpose.  The key issue is identity, the nature of the seed.  The seed is not determined by nationality, race, gender, or culture---the seed of Abraham has always been spiritual!

 

Ro. 11:23: If they do not persist in unbelief, they will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again.

 

The truths of Romans 11 are unlocked by the understanding that the “olive tree” is the tree of faith, our new nature in Christ.  The “olive tree which is wild by nature” is the tree of unbelief, the untamed, Adamic nature.

 

Salvation is by Jesus Christ or not at all.  Men who are offended by these truths are offended by His cross.  When the Jews are grafted in again, it will be by the Blood of Christ.  God is raising up key ministries with a special burden for the Jewish people.  Not to come in to agreement with them, but to declare as Christ did, You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

 

The Church is not an after thought in the back of God’s mind, but is His eternal purpose and program.  God’s chosen people are Christians, who, If you continue in My word, then you are My disciples indeed…

 

Rom. 2: 28-29:  A man is not a Jew if he is only one outwardly, nor is circumcision merely outward and physical.  No, a man is a Jew if he is one inwardly; and circumcision is circumcision of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the written code.  Such a man’s praise is not from men, but from God. 

 

Rom 9: 6-8. The children of the promise who are counted for the seed:  It is not the natural children who are God’s children, but it is the children of the promise who are regarded as Abraham’s offspring.

 

So we come to the crux of the ages.  When we preach the pure gospel of Jesus Christ, Scripture cannot be broken or compromised.  The crux is the Cross! 

 

8:34-40:  Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say to you; whosoever commits sin is the servant of sin.  The servant abides not in the house for ever; but the Son abides ever.  If the Son therefore shall make you free, you shall be free indeed.  I know that you are Abraham’s seed; but you seek to kill Me, because My word has no place in you.  I speak that which I have seen with My Father; and you do that which you have seen with your father.  They answered and said to Him, Abraham is our father.  Jesus said to them, If you were Abraham’s children, you would do the works of Abraham.  But now you seek to kill Me, a man that had told the truth, which I have heard of God; this did not Abraham.

 

Everything said about Jesus Christ with regard to His being the Seed of Abraham can be applied to the Church (Ro. 4: 13-16).  Jesus is the true Vine and we are the branches (Jn. 15:1-5).  We are his off spring.  1 Jn. 4:17:  Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as he is, so are we in this world.

 

The word Hebrew is a man-given term, and it refers to one who is a descendant of Eber (Gen. 10:21-25; 14:13).   The word Jew is a man-given term, and it pertains to one who is a descendant of Judah.  But the word Israel is a God-given word, and relates to any person in any age who has met God face-to-face, overcoming himself by experiencing a change of name or nature---an Israelite indeed (Jn. 1:47). 

 

Rom 9:6, AMP:  “…for it is not everybody who is a descendant of Jacob (Israel) who belongs to (the true) Israel.

 

Have you met God? Has he touched you?  True Israelites are betrayed by their walk (Gen. 32:31).  There is a familiar limp in the life and ministry touched by the Lord.  Made patient through tribulation, we are not so quick on the trigger.  The sun has risen upon us as we walk in the light of His countenance.  It is better to go into the Kingdom maimed than not to go in it at all.  He must cripple our desires.  An Israelite indeed has experienced this change of heart, having been delivered from hypocrisy and brought into the reality of the overcoming life. 

 

To be continued

 

Carolyn Sissom, Pastor

Eastgate Ministries Church

www.eastgateministries.com

Scripture from K.J.V. unless otherwise noted.  I entered into the labors of Whose Right It Is by Kelly Varner; C. S. Lovett’s Lights on John; Memories of Olivet by John Ross MacDuff.  Comments and conclusions are my own and not meant to reflect the views of those who I entered into their labors.

 

*The Bosom of Abraham occurs in only one New Testament passage, the parable of the rich man and Lazarus, which is only in the gospel of Luke (16:19–31; see Luke 16:22 and Luke 16:23). Leprous Lazarus is carried by the angels to that destination after death. Abraham's bosom contrasts with the destination of a rich man who ends up in Hades. The account corresponds closely with documented 1st century AD Jewish beliefs (see above), that the dead were gathered into a general tarrying-place, made equivalent with the Sheol of the Old Testament. In Christ's account, the righteous occupied an abode of their own, which was distinctly separated by a chasm from the abode to which the wicked were consigned. The chasm is equivalent to the river in the Jewish version, but in Christ's version there is no angelic ferryman, and it is impossible to pass from one side to the other.

 
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