Christ: the Great Separator! John 7:40:43

Text:  Think not that I (Christ Jesus) am come to send (bring) peace on earth; I came not to send peace, but a sword (of separation).
Matthew 10:34.

Good morning, Spiritually separated Christian!  When the Lord Jesus, by His good grace and gift of saving faith, Redeemed us by His sinless Blood Sacrifice - He took us out of the power of darkness and translated us into His Kingdom of light.  By doing so, Christ separated us from the world, the flesh, and the Devil.

We are now children of God, through faith in Gods Son, Christ Jesus.  We are Eternally SEPARATED from Gods wrath against sin, and unto Eternal life with Him.  Praise God it is so, we are a separated and most peculiar people.  Thanks be to the Lord God!     (1 Peter 2:9-10)

We who where once worldly goats are now Christs sheep!

But as many as received Him (Christ Jesus), to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe (trust) on His Name; which were born, not of blood (natural human blood), nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.           (John 1:12-13)

Christ, and Christ alone could determine and achieve this Eternal separation for us.  Christ Jesus is, therefore, the Great Separator.  Glory to His Name.

As Thou (God the Father) hath given Him (God the Son) power over all flesh, that He (God the Son) should give Eternal life to as many as Thou hast given Him.  And this is life Eternal, that they (sinners) might know Thee (God the Father) the only true God, and Jesus Christ, Whom Thou hast sent.   (John 17:1-3)

The Eternal purpose of God the Father was, is, and shall be, perfectly fulfilled by His only begotten Son, Christ Jesus.  Christ was sent to save all those that the Father had determined to save ‘…from before the foundation of the world…’.  Christ came, in obedience to His Fathers Eternal will, to save all those whom God the Father had ordained to receive Salvation - and that is what He continues to do today.  Christ causes this Eternal separation.

I pray for them (Gods elect children); I pray not for the world (those that will not be saved), but for them which Thou hast given Me; for they are Thine.  And all Mine are Thine, and Thine are Mine; and I am glorified in them.  And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to Thee (in Heaven).  Holy Father, keep through Thine own Name those whom Thou hast given Me, that they may be ONE, as We are.  (John 17:9-11)

Todays selected verses from Johns Gospel that we are seeking to expound, show clearly this concept - this Christian doctrine of Separation - at work among the gathered multitude.  Christs Presence brought immediate social and Spiritual divisions among the people that encountered Him!

So there was a division among the people because of Him.  (V.43)

Preach the Gospel of Salvation by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ Jesus and His Cross alone, and to His glory alone - and you WILL cause instant division; instant opposition; immediate social and Spiritual conflict!

People will throw Christian Gospel tracts back in your face when you seek to freely give them out on a street corner.  Christ-rejecters will threaten, oppose, and condemn you when once you and I bring Jesus into a conversation.  Family members will even turn on us when once Christ saves us from our sins and separates us from the world, the flesh, and the Devil.  FACT.

For I (Christ Jesus) am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.  And a mans foes shall be they of his own household.  (Matthew 10:35-36)

These are realistic and practical promises from God for you and for me!  If you are a true Christian, you already KNOW these things!  Yet, our love for Christ encourages us to suffer all this and more for Him.

He that receiveth you receiveth Me, and he/she that receiveth Me receiveth Him (God the Father) that sent Me.  (Matthew 10:40)

The ‘…division…’ Christ causes in this world and between ourselves and those whom we meet day to day in this life, is a Spiritual division that affects all social aspects of our lives - IF we are trying to live the Christian life!  Yet, the apparent division also encourages us that we are indeed the children of God.  ‘…Ye shall be hated of all men for My Names sake.. - ENDURE!

Thought: What a privilege to suffer such petty sufferings for One Who suffered so much for us upon that cruel Cross!  Bless the Lord!

Fearless Jesus! John 7:37-39

Text:  In the last day, that great day of the feast (the feast of Tabernacles), Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto Me, and drink.  He that believeth (trusts and keeps right on trusting) on Me, as the Scriptures hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.
John 7:37-38.

Good morning, continually trusting Christian!  The Divine gift of saving faith that the Lord God has given you and the author, keeps us trusting or believing continually - through the hard times and the good times - because the decision to save us was not one of our own making, but of our Sovereign and gracious Lord God.          (John 15:16)

Therefore, nothing can pluck us from His hand!  We are saved for time and Eternity,!  We possess Eternal life right NOW!  Hallelujah! 

And I give unto them Eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man (not even ourselves!) pluck them out of My hand.  (John 10:28)

For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God; not of works, lest any man should boast.  (Ephesians 2:8-9)

Look again at the scene we have been studying these past few weeks in our Journey In Johns Gospel.  See the scene unfold before our faith-filled eyes.  Let us use our sanctified imagination to make these Scriptures live:

Jesus wisely chose His time to go up to the feast, not as some arrogant act of bravado - displaying signs and miracles as He went - but as the all-knowing and Sovereign Messiah Lord God that He was and is today. What a Lord!  We serve a fearless Jesus.  Praise His wonderful Name! (Revelation 5:11-14)

Many of the people that followed after Him only followed Him to gain food or healing, or just to witness His miraculous works.  The Jewish leadership detested Him and had already sought to have Him arrested.  The so-called Spiritual leaders, especially the Pharisees, had actually ‘…sent officers to take (arrest) Him. (V.32) 

Yet, in the face of all this dangerous opposition, Jesus remained fearless in His intentions and God-sent purpose.  ‘…Jesus stood and cried…‘ out His message of Salvation in the midst of the dangerous crowd.  Wow! (V.37)

I wonder, dear Christian friend, would you and I be as fearless in such perilous circumstances; or would we just keep quiet and blend in with the unbelieving crowd?  Christ needs us to be fearless in this apostate day. 

Precious souls are perishing due to our reluctance to bear public witness of our faith and trust in Christ for Salvation.  Speak up, Christian!

The word translated into our English language as ‘…believeth…’ in verse 38 of John chapter 7, would be much better translated TRUSTETH - trust and keep right on trusting continually.

Furthermore, to those of us who are granted faith to trust and to keep right on trusting continually in Christ Jesus and His one time, for all time, Atonement Sacrifice at Calvarys Cross - there is a definite promise from God given.

He that believeth (trusteth) on Me (Christ Jesus), as the Scripture hath said, out of his/her belly shall flow rivers of living water.           (John 7:38)

But what exactly is the Lord Jesus referring to here?  What is this ‘…living water…’ that shall flow from those of His believers?  Ask the questions during Bible Study, try to seek the answers; gain wisdom and faith afresh.

Scripture is the best interpreter of Scripture.  Thus, verse 39 interprets verse 38 so as we are left in no doubt as to Christs meaning.  Praise God it is so.

Therefore, it is clear that when we trust Christ and continue to put our trust in Him, we shall be granted great fillings of God the Spirit and, receiving such fillings, we shall be enabled to outpour Spiritual blessings on all who we speak to and live before daily.  The blessings of Salvation that the Lord has given us by His grace, shall be shared with many others and they too shall be truly and Eternally blessed in Christs Salvation.  Hallelujah!

And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit; speaking to yourselves in Psalms and hymns and Spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ.     (Ephesians 5:18-20)

See how smoothly Scripture dove-tails into other Spirit-inspired Scripture?  Go forth then, continually trusting Christian, speak a word for Jesus, and the Spirit within you will do the rest.  The Lord bless your victorious day.

Thought:  ’…Open thy mouth wide, and I (the Lord) will fill it. 

Spiritually Blind Leaders! John 7:31-36

Text:  Let them alone; they be (Spiritually) blind leaders of the blind.  And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch (the pit of Hell).
Matthew 15:14.

          And He (Christ Jesus) spake a parable unto them, Can the blind lead the blind?  Shall they not both fall into the ditch?
Luke 6:39.

Good morning, Spiritually-sighted Christian!  God the Holy Spirit has taken the scales from your eyes; quickened you to know your sin; revealed unto you your lost state and pointed you to the Saviour, Jesus Christ. 

God the Father has granted you His free gift of saving faith; called you to trust in His Son, Jesus Christ, and drawn you with His everlasting cords of love to the Cross. 

The Lord Jesus has suffered and died to bear away and to pay the full penalty for your sins and mine - and we have received Spiritual sight and Salvation in Him alone.  Wow!  We are no longer Spiritually blind and ‘…dead in sins and trespasses…’ we are Spiritually-sighted and alive forever.  Hallelujah!  What a Saviour we serve!  Glory to the Lamb, Christ Jesus!  (Acts 4:12)

I the Lord have called Thee (Christ Jesus) in righteousness, and will hold Thine hand, and will keep Thee, and give Thee for a covenant of the people, for a light of the Gentiles (you and I); to open the blind eyes, to bring out the prisoners from the prison, and them that sit is darkness out of the prison house.  I am the Lord (Jehovah); that is My Name; and My glory will I not give to another, neither My praise to graven images.  (Isaiah 42:6-8)

The Supernatural, truly miraculous, deeds that the Lord Jesus Christ did when He walked among men in human form, clearly revealed Him as the long-awaited Christ Who would come to seek and to save His chosen people. 

Among the common people of the time, there was absolutely no doubt that Jesus was that very Christ that was promised of God.  It was clear to see!

And many of the people believed on Him, and said, When Christ cometh, will He do more miracles than these which this man hath done?  (V.31)

However, the religious leaders of the day - the Pharisees and the upper-class Jewish society - were Spiritually blind to His coming, and resented bitterly the affect Christ had on the people.  Envy blinded their eyes.

There is none so blind as he/she who will NOT (Spiritually) see!

The Pharisees heard that the people murmured such things concerning Him (Christ Jesus); and the Pharisees and the chief priests sent soldiers to take Him (I.e. arrest Him).  (V. 32)

This elite group of Jewish religious leaders had, for centuries, been in positions of National leadership.  They allegedly spent most of their time in religious study of the Law and the Prophets, the Old Testament books that pointed and promised a coming Messiah.  Yet, the leadership were Spiritually blind and ignorant of Christs Person when He eventually came! 

What a shameful thing.  Blind leaders always lead their people up a dark alley; devoid of the Light of Christ Jesus.

Now, make the relevant comparison with too many of the religious leadership, world-wide, today in this 21st Century.  Are they any different from those of Christs day?  Or are they still as Spiritually blind to the 2nd Coming of Christ?

What are the activities of many in positions of religious leadership today?  Where is their main focus fastened?  Is their live-styles akin to faithful John the Baptist - or are they consistently seeking to multiply wealth and self-gain?

John the Baptist did not drive an expensive car.  John did not wear thousand dollar suits of clothing.  John did not have a double chin, nor a heavy paunch from over-eating sumptuous food!  John was not continually extorting sums of money on National TV shows.  Are you and I?   Sobering thought, what?

For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.  (Matthew 6:21)

Watch therefore; for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.  (Matthew 24:42)

History repeats itself when the lesson is not learned first time around.  Let us pray that anyone in a position of Bible-believing, Spiritual, Christian leadership might awake from the stupor that seems to have come upon many, and exhort Christs people to prepare for the Lords soon appearing.  Church, AWAKE!  Time is running out!

Thought:  Behold I come quickly; and My reward is with Me…”  Awake!

‘Death-Threats’ ? John 7:25-30

Text:  Then said some of them of Jerusalem, Is not this He, Whom they seek to kill?  But, lo, He speaketh boldly, and they say nothing unto Him.  Do the rulers know indeed that this is the very Christ?
 John 7:25-26.

Good morning, bold Christian!  Not for you the way of the would-be secret Christian.  Not for you the hiding of your Christian light - you are the salt of the earth; born again of the Spirit of God; washed in the precious Blood of the Lamb - and nothing can ever quench your witness for Christ.  Hallelujah!  Thank God for bold Christian witnesses!  (Acts 1:8)

Bold Christian witnesses shall suffer for their boldness; we shall receive the persecutions promised in Gods written Word - but still, ‘…nothing can pluck us from His hand…’  Hallelujah!  Bring it on, world, flesh, or Devil!  We have our God-given armour firmly on!  Glory and Victory in the Lamb!

Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.    (2 Timothy 3:12)

Blessed (blessed with blessings) are they which are persecuted for righteousness sake; for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.  Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for My sake.  Rejoice, and be exceeding glad; for great is your reward in Heaven; for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.  (Matthew 5:10-12) (Luke 6:26)

I wonder, dear Christian friend: Have you ever received a serious death-threat?  Has the local police or Government authorities ever come to your home and informed you, in writing, that you were personally being targeted by terrorists?  Have you ever received letters from terrorists in the post inviting you to your familys funerals?  Have you ever survived the blasts of terrorist guns being fired through the windows of your home - as the servants of Satan seek to shoot you to death?  I have.  Praise God, I have!

No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue (a very dangerous weapon) that shall rise against thee in judgement thou shalt condemn.  This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is of Me, saith the Lord.           (Isaiah 54:17)

No one in their right mind would say that they enjoyed living under such levels of ever-present danger and threat to their lives and the lives of one’s family.  Such long-term pressures do debilitate mentally, in spite of our faith.

However, during such times of grave danger and threat - my family and I have never felt the Presence of the Lord God more real and near; nor known with absolute certainty His protective hand around us.  What a Lord God we serve!  Glory to the Living Lord God Jehovah - Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  He will NEVER leave us, nor forsake us in time of danger.  (Hebrews 13:5-6)

Todays Bible passage from Johns Gospel clearly shows the Saviour, Jesus Christ, the Son of the Living Lord God, Himself living under such perilous death-threats.  The question was on everyones lips: ‘…Is this not He, Whom they (the religious rulers) seek to kill?  (V.25)

The reasoning of the common people is thus proven:  If the rulers seek to kill this man, and He is here speaking ‘…boldly, and they say nothing unto Him…’ - then the rulers must know that this is indeed the very Christ Who it is prophesied must come!  Are the rulers actually afraid to kill this man, because they fully realise that He is indeed the promised Christ?

A pattern then becomes clear from Scriptures that has been followed by the world, the flesh, and the Devils anti-Christian forces ever since - it is the pattern of first slandering and smearing the intended target then, when socially smeared - executing them without too much fear of public outcry.

Over the period of the past 40 years of political terrorism and counter-terrorism here in Ulster (Northern Ireland, UK); we have witnessed this vile pattern being practiced by all factions - Government as well as terrorists - time and time again.  The slanderous writings go up on a gable wall, then some time later, the target of such slander is shot dead, or blown to pieces in a car bomb.  When the dirt of slander is thrown - some of it always sticks.  Few but close relatives raise much outcry over the death of publicly slandered persons.  Doubt must be placed on the targets character before death can be dispatched without public uproar. What a dirty, deadly, world indeed!

Howbeit we know this man (Jesus) whence He is; BUT when Christ cometh, no man knoweth whence He is. (V.27)  The slandering had begun.

Then they sought to take Him; but no man laid hands on Him, because His hour (of death) was not yet come.  And many of the people believed on Him…”  (V.30)   ‘…it is appointed unto men once to die…’   (Hebrews 9:27)  We die according to God's Own Eternal appointment time.  Our God is in full Sovereign control of all things.

Thought:  For the true Christian, death is never a threat, merely a shadow.