Whose Word Do YOU Believe? John 5:38-40

Text:  “To the Law and to the testimony; if they speak not according to this Word, it is because there is no light in them."
Isaiah 8:20.

Good morning, well established Christian!  Not for you some wavering on sinking sands of ’religious’ belief.  You are not ‘…tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive…’.  You are, praise God, standing firmly on the Rock of Salvation in Christ Alone, and what’s more, you have God’s own Word to prove it!  Hallelujah!  Praise God for such Scripturally informed, and totally committed Christians!  (Ephesians 4:14)

The people that the Lord Jesus was speaking to in today’s selected verses from John’s Gospel above were being rebuked by the Master for their faithless unbelief.

“And ye (the unbelieving Jews who sought to kill Jesus in verse 18) have not His Word abiding in you; for Whom He hath sent, Him ye believe not.” (John 5:38)

These people were the most RELIGIOUS people in the Jewish society of the day; outwardly they seemed to practice what they said they believed RELIGIOUSLY!  Yet, the Lord is rebuking them for their total unbelief in Himself as the well-heralded coming Messiah! 

Religion is the curse of modern societies today in this 21st Century!

True Christians preach Christ, and Him Crucified, as the only way of Eternal Salvation for the souls of genuinely repentant sinners.

“Jesus saith…, I am the way, the truth, and the life; no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me.  If ye had known Me, ye should have known My Father also; and from henceforth ye know Him, and have seen Him.”  (John 14:6-7)

In other words, Christ is saying:  ‘I am the only means of your soul’s Salvation, for I alone can redeem you from your sins.  If you are truly looking for God My Father, then look at Me, for this is the only face of the Lord God you shall see this side of Eternity.’  (See the preceding Bible Lesson: Seeking the Face of God)

The religious Pharisees and leaders of the day revered the written scrolls of Holy Scripture, treated the physical scrolls of Scripture as objects of utter devotion.  Yet, had not one iota of true God-given faith to believe what was written therein! God’s Word did not ’abide’ in their hearts through true faith.

They had the ‘fig leaves’ of religion, but no saving faith.

“And ye have not His Word abiding in you; for Whom He hath sent, Him ye believe not.”  (John 5:38)

Can you identify this same trait within what is, foolishly, called Christendom today?  Can you see with your own eyes many ‘…in the shadowy branches…’ of Christ’s church, who are totally sold out on their strict form of RELIGIOUS ENTERTAINMENT, yet will not believe nor practice Christian and Biblical principles?  I do, and the sight sickens my regenerate heart.  (See the Bible Lesson ‘Beware! Fowl Birds Roosting’ on our website)

“Know this also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.  For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection (homosexual), truce-breakers, false accusers, incontinent (lacking self-restraint sexually), fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady (affecting the brain; intoxicating; inflamed; rash; violent; exciting Chambers Dictionary p.739); high-minded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; having a FORM of godliness, but denying the power thereof; FROM SUCH TURN AWAY.”   (2 Timothy 3:1-5)

Today, in this 21st Century, we are continually bombarded with whipped up religion ‘roosting’ under the auspices of what is loosely defined as Christianity.  Professing Christians - those who seldom read their Bibles in most cases - seem to be ever looking for a new showman; a big ‘movement’ ministry; a circus of psycho-babble entertainment to attend and, inevitably, financially support.  How pathetic!  What faithlessness!  What a SICK church we have  world-wide today.  Take heed, established Christian!

“…Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light.  See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise.”  (Ephesians 5:14-15)

Christ was here rebuking the faithless Jews of his day, as you and I should be rebuking all faithless Christians today - in His Name and for His sake.  Let us arise and do so - all religious charlatans must be openly denounced.

Thought:  ‘Let all things be done decently and in order…’ in the Church!  (1 Corinthians 14:40)

Seeking the Face of God? Exodus 33:18-23

Text:  “And the Father Himself, which hath sent Me (Christ Jesus), hath borne witness of Me.  Ye have neither heard His voice at any time, nor seen His shape.”
John 5:37.

                    “And He, (God the Father) said, Thou canst not see My face; for there shall no man see Me and live.”
Exodus 33:20.

          “No man hath seen God (the Father) at any time; the only begotten Son (Christ Jesus), which is in the bosom of the Father, He hath declared Him.”
John 1:18.

Good morning, God-seeking Christian!  You have sought the face of God, found Christ Jesus; and been graciously SAVED - as the Scriptures promised you would.  Now, it is your daily duty, and mine, to continue to seek the face of God Almighty, find it in Christ Jesus alone, and glory in His Presence.  Let me ask you, let me ask myself also - are we seeking God’s face continually?

“When Thou (the Lord) saidst, Seek ye My face; my heart said unto Thee, Thy face, Lord, will I seek.  Hide not Thy face from me; put not Thy servant away in anger; Thou hast been my help; leave me not, neither forsake me, O God of my Salvation.”  (Psalm 27:8-9)

“Seek ye the Lord while He may be found, call ye upon Him while He is near; let the wicked forsake his/her way, and the unrighteous man his/her thoughts; and let him/her return unto the Lord, and He will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon.”  (Isaiah 55:6-7)

Old Augustine, one of the early church worthies, said something like this:  “Mankind has a God-shaped hole in his heart, that only Christ can fill.” (paraphrased)

And you know what, dear friend?  I have personally proven that he was correct in his profound assessment.  All mankind have an innate need to seek the face of his/her Creator Lord God.  Praise God, some of us find Him.

Many native peoples in faraway, often uncivilised lands, who have never heard the Gospel of Jesus Christ, go out into the deepest jungle; bow down; and seek to worship some external, unseen power, to try to satisfy this need.

Similarly, a new born baby, as soon as it receives its sight - naturally seeks to gaze up into the face of its nurturing Mother and Father.  Think about it!

This is what Moses, the man made mighty by God, is doing in today’s Scripture passage above.   We can understand to some degree, therefore, what Moses is trying to do when he says the following:

“…I beseech Thee, show me Thy glory.”  (Exodus 33:18)

In a sense, Moses is saying, “Loving Father, let me look into your dear face?”

However, the Lord answers Moses with these words:  “Thou canst not see My face; for there shall no man see Me, and live.”  (Exodus 33:20)

Now, bring this startling knowledge into the context of John’s Gospel account of Christ Jesus, and rejoice in the revelation that Jesus Christ was, is, and forever shall be, the Lord God Almighty!  Hallelujah!  What Truth!

“And the Father Himself, which hath sent Me (as God incarnate), hath borne witness of Me.  Ye have never heard His voice at any time, nor seen His shape.”  (John 5:37)

Why have we never heard the voice, seen the face, nor the shape of Almighty God?  ‘…For there shall no man/woman see Me, and live.’!   Amen.

What Christ is teaching us here is that, He is God incarnate; God Almighty in human bodily form.  The only face of God mankind has ever seen is the altogether lovely face of the Living Lord Jesus Christ.  Glory to His wonderful Name!  You will find a perfect illustration of the face of Christ Jesus in Song of Solomon chapter 5, verses 9-16.  Glory to His Name!

“His mouth is most sweet; yea, He is altogether lovely.  This is my Beloved, and this is my Friend, O daughters of Jerusalem.”  (Song of Solomon 5:16)

When Moses sought God’s face, the Lord showed Moses His great power: “…I will make all My goodness pass before thee and I will proclaim the Name of the Lord before thee; and I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show mercy on whom I will show mercy.” (Exodus 33:19)

The miracles that Christ Jesus did, fulfilled the same function - God the Father bore witness of God the Son, in the power of God the Holy Spirit.

Thought:  True Christians see:  “the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.”  (2 Corinthians 4:6)

Behold the Truth! John 5:33-36

Text:  Ye sent unto John (the Baptist), and he bare witness unto the TRUTHthese things I say, that ye might be saved.
John 5:33-34.
          Sanctify them through Thy TRUTH; Thy Word is truth.
John 17:17.

Good morning, Christian seeker-after-Truth!  You are a true Christian because you have been drawn by Gods Eternal love to seek and find His truth.  You are now therefore, a daily Christian seeker-after-Truth - because you conscientiously determine to seek close fellowship with the One who has redeemed your precious and never-dying soul, Christ Jesus.  Praise God for such seekers-after-Truth!

Jesus saith unto him (Thomas), I am the way, the truth, and the life; no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me.  (John 14:6)

“...Ye shall seek Me, and find Me, when ye shall search for Me with all your heart.  And I will be found of you, saith the Lord; and I will turn away your captivity, and I will gather you from all the nations, and from all the places…”  (Jeremiah 29:13-14) 

John the Baptist was called of the Lord God to go out and prepare the hearts of the Jewish nation to receive their promised Messiah.  John fulfilled his calling, and many were brought to repentance and ritually sanctified from personal sins that they might be made ready to receive Eternal Salvation from Christ Jesus.  (John 3:3-8)

In this manner, therefore, many were inspired of God to come unto John that he might point them to the Truth of Salvation found in Christ Jesus - the predetermined Lamb of God - and be graciously saved.

“Ye sent unto John, and he bare witness unto the truth (Christ the Lamb).”  (John 5:33)

John did not seek to draw souls to himself or to enhance his own personal ministry - he faithfully pointed souls to Christ, the Truth personified, for it was only the Christ who could redeem the souls of sinners who were lost.

John’s message was a simple one, but so very powerful indeed:  “…Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.”  (John 1:29)

The Lord Jesus Christ, God the Son, has come among us for one primary reason - to live and minister for thirty-three and a half years in human form; to suffer on the Cross as an Atonement Sacrifice for our sins; that we repentant sinners ’…might be saved.’

“…These things I say, that ye might be saved.”  (John 5:34)

“So then, faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.”  (Romans 10:17)

“For God so loved the world (sinners from all nations), that He gave His only begotten Son (Christ Jesus), that whosoever believeth (trusts and continues to trust) in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”  (John 3:16)

John was indeed ‘…a burning and a shining light…’ as he fulfilled his God-given vocation in life - to point the souls of sinners to the Lord Jesus Christ, the only One who could save them.

Many were most ‘…willing for a season to rejoice in his (John’s) light…’ (John 5:35)  However, as we see it so often in latter times, while many are ‘…willing to rejoice…’ in the limelight of some charismatic minister - when the promised persecution and Satanic testing comes, such ’limelighters’ very quickly leave the scene and go off into comfortable obscurity

“Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.  But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.”                    (2 Timothy 3:12-13)

John the Baptist suffered cruel martyrdom for his witness to the truth in Christ Jesus.  The Master Himself suffered and was ’…marred more than any man…’ because He was in fact ’the Truth’; and we who dare to love Him enough to stand in defence of the Truth shall be ’…persecuted for righteousness sake…’  These are the plain facts of our calling.  (Isaiah 52:14)

Yet with all obstacles in mind, Christ Jesus proved He was the God-sent Truth; the only way to Heaven; and the only giver of Eternal life - by the Supernatural ’…works that the Father hath given Me to finish…’ (John 5:36)

Thought:  Let’s you and I seek to cry out with John, “Behold the Lamb…”. Let us cry out ’Behold the Truth and live forever!  Glory to the Lamb!’

Doing God's Will John 5:30-32

Text:  I delight to do Thy will, O my God; yea, Thy law is within my heart.  I have preached righteousness in the great congregation; lo, I have not refrained my lips, O Lord, Thou knowest.
Psalm 40:8-9.

Good morning, willing Christian servant!  We who profess to be Christians must necessarily seek to emulate - to some serious degree - the thoughts, words and deeds of the Christ Whose Name we bear.  Otherwise we are found to be false professors; blatant hypocrites; and deceivers of men.  What a sobering thought to commence our Bible study with today!

Follow peace with all men, and HOLINESS, without which no man shall see the Lord.  (Hebrews 12:14)

Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in Heaven.  (Matthew 5:16)

The three small verses in todays journey in Johns Gospel clearly reveal a prudent pattern for each of us to try to maintain in our own personal service to the Lord. 

As Christs great mission was to do the will of God His Father at all times, in a similar manner - and in spite of all our natural human weaknesses, faults and failings - we Christians must also seek to do the will of our Heavenly Father, as it is revealed in His Word.  Gods will MUST be obediently done!

Empowerment for Gods Will:  (V.30)  Christs Words here in verse 30 are most relevant to us His followers in this latter day 21st Century of increased apostasy and watering down of ‘…the faith once delivered unto the saints…’  (Jude 3)

Of ourselves alone, we can nor will achieve nothing.  We are weak.  We are most foolish.  We are so very prone to temptation and sin.  We get weary too quickly in well-doing.  We fall, we fail, we falter in many areas of our Christian lives.  However, praise God, that is not the end of the story!

I am the Vine, ye are the branches; he that abideth in Me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit; for without Me (Christ Jesus) ye can do nothing.      (John 15:5)

Therefore, when we seek to do the will of our Father in Heaven, we are promised Divine empowerment to achieve whatever the Lord desires or allows us to achieve in the service of His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.  Hallelujah!

But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you; and ye shall be witnesses unto Me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.  (Acts 1:8)

Now therefore go, and I will be with thy mouth, and teach thee what thou shalt say.  (Exodus 4:12)

When we Christians are truly seeking to do our Heavenly Fathers will, we are confident of the power of God the Spirit to achieve His purpose.  Thats a fact!  God says it - we believe it - end of story!  Praise God.

Discernment to Do Gods Will:  (V.30)  In todays Bible verses Christ says these profound words, “…As I hear, I judge; and My judgement is just…”

Christ Jesus, as an integral Person of the Almighty Godhead - Father, Son and Holy Ghost - had a truly Divine and infallible communication with the will of God the Father. 

As born again Christians, we have a wonderful means of communication with our Father in Heaven, through our Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ.  We speak to our Father in prayer, and He speaks to us through His written Word.  We have a truly unique means of constant communication with God IF we are prepared to use it!

Call unto Me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.  (Jeremiah 33:3)

Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. (Psalm 119:105)

If we suddenly FEEL within ourselves that we are being led to do, say, achieve, something in the service of Christ Jesus - then we must ‘…test…’ this feeling, and we test this type of inner feeling by the truth contained in Gods written Word. 

The Spirit of God will not lead you and I in something that is contrary to His own inspired Word.  Thats a fact!

Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try (test) the spirits whether they are of God; because many false prophets are gone out into the worldWe are of God; he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us.  Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error.  (1 John 4:1-6)

Motivation of Ministry:  (Vs 31-32)  The true motivation for any Christian ministry or service is to ‘…bear witness…’ of the reality of our Saviour, Jesus Christ; of seeking at all times to do our Fathers will; and to reach out Christs love and truth in a fine balance to all precious souls in need of the Salvation that Christ alone can give.

The empowerment, discernment, and motivation therefore, to do Gods will are given of the Lord to us, His servants, in order to fulfill our Sovereign Lords will and not our own.  Let us be diligent and consistent in seeking Gods will in our ministries to all others.

Thought:  Dont say I wont to Gods will!