Religious Deception: Part Two

12 Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world.  He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.”  13 The Pharisees therefore said to Him, “You bear witness of Yourself; Your Witness is not true.”  14 Jesus answered and said to them, “Even if I bear witness of Myself, My witness is true, for I know where I came from and where I am going but you do not know where I come from and where I am going.  15 You judge according to the flesh; I judge no one.  16 And yet if I do judge, My judgment is true; for I am not alone, but I am with the Father who sent Me.  17 It is also written in your law that the testimony of two men is true.  18 I am One who bears witness of Myself, and the Father who sent Me bears witness of Me.”  19 Then they said to Him, “Where is Your Father?”  Jesus answered, “You know neither Me nor My Father.  If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also.”  20 These words Jesus spoke in the treasury, as He taught in the temple; and no one laid hands on Him, for His hour had not yet come.  21 Then Jesus said to them again, “I am going away, and you will seek Me, and will die in your sin.  Where I go you cannot come.”  22 So the Jews said, “Will He kill Himself, because He says, ‘Where I go you cannot come?”  23 And He said to them, “You are from beneath; I am from above.  You are of this world; I am not of this world.  24 Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for if you do not believe that I am He, you will die in your sins.”  25 Then they said to Him, “Who are You?”  And Jesus said to them, “Just what I have been saying to you from the beginning.  26 I have many things to say and to judge concerning you, but He who sent Me is true; and I speak to the world those things which I heard from Him.”  27 They did not understand that He spoke to them of the Father.  28 Then Jesus said to them, “When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am He, and that I do nothing of Myself; but as My Father taught Me, I speak these things.  29 And He who sent Me is with Me.  The Father has not left Me alone, for I always do those things that please Him.”  30 As He spoke these words, many believed in Him.  31 Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed.  32 And you shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free.”  33 They answered Him, “We are Abraham’s descendants, and have never been in bondage to anyone.  How can You say, ‘You will be made free’?”  34 Jesus answered them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin.  35 And a slave does not abide in the house forever, but a son abides forever.  36 Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.  37 I know that you are Abraham’s descendants, but you seek to kill Me, because My word has no place in you.  38 I speak what I have seen with My Father, and you do what you have seen with your father.”  39 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.  40 But now you seek to kill Me, a Man who has told you the truth which I heard from God.  Abraham did not do this.  41 You do the deeds of your father.”  Then they said to Him, “We were not born of fornication; we have one Father—God.”  42 Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love Me, for I proceeded forth and came from God; nor have I come of Myself, but He sent Me.  43 Why do you not understand My speech?  Because you are not able to listen to My word.  44 You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do.  He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is not truth in him.  When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it.  45 But because I tell the truth, you do not believe Me.  46 Which of you convicts Me of sin?  And if I tell the truth, why do you not believe Me?  47 He who is of God hears God’s words; therefore you do not hear, because you are not of God.”  48 Then the Jews answered and said to Him, “Do we not say rightly that You are a Samaritan and have a demon?”  49 Jesus answered, “I do not have a demon; but I honor My Father, and you dishonor Me.  50 I do not seek My own glory; there is One who seeks and judges.  51 Most assuredly, I say to you, if anyone keeps My word he shall never see death.”  52 Then the Jews said to Him, “Now we know that You have a demon!  Abraham is dead, and the prophets; and You say, ‘If anyone keeps My word he shall never taste death.’  53 “Are you greater than our father Abraham, who is dead?  And the prophets are dead. Who do you make Yourself out to be?”  54 Jesus answered, “If I honor Myself, My honor is nothing.  It is My Father who honors Me, of whom you say that He is your God.  55 Yet you have not known Him, but I know Him.  And if I say, ‘I do not know Him,’ I shall be a liar like you; but I do know Him and keep His word.  56 Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw it and was glad.”  57 Then the Jews said to Him, “You are not fifty years old, and have you seen Abraham?”  58 Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM.”  59 Then they took up stones to throw at Him; but Jesus hid Himself and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by.  John 8:12-59

In this passage from the gospel of John Jesus is patiently teaching the Pharisees, the religious elite amongst the Jews, the truth about Himself, His Father, His Word and their lost condition.  These men who were the leaders of the Jews and supposed guardians of the Jewish faith we steeped in deception.  They loved following the teachings of the revered Talmud compiled of the opinions of thousands of rabbis.  They had no room in their hearts for the Word of God, the Holy Scriptures of the Old Testament.  Since they followed the traditions and opinions of fallen man, rather than God’s Word, when the Messiah came, Jesus Christ, they couldn’t recognize Him.  The defended themselves as descendants of Abraham, but their works proved they were actually children of the devil.  Jesus Christ rebuked them in no uncertain terms that they belonged to this lost fallen world, were separated from the Father by their sin, were not members of the household of faith and were under the tutelage of their father the devil.  Because this was so they could not receive nor believe Jesus Christ’s words, the very words given to Him by His Father, and they had no capacity to know the truth or the truth teller, Jesus Christ.  The years of receiving honor from one another had made an indelible imprint upon their hearts and minds so that they craved the praises of men rather than the commendation of God.

30 “I can of Myself do nothing.  As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is righteous, because I do not seek My own will but the will of the Father who sent Me.  31 If I bear witness of Myself, My witness is not true.  32 There is another who bears witness of Me, and I know that the witness which He witnesses of Me is true.  33 You have sent to John, and he has borne witness to the truth.  34 Yet I do not receive testimony from man, but I say these things that you may be saved.  35 He was a burning and shining lamp, and you were willing for a time to rejoice in his light.  36 But I have a greater witness than John’s; for the works which the Father has given Me to finish—the very works that I do—bear witness of Me, that the Father has sent Me.  37 And the Father Himself, who sent Me, has testified of Me.  You have neither heard His voice at any time, nor seen His form.  38 But you do not have His word abiding in you, because whom He sent, Him you do not believe.  39 You search the Scriptures, for in them you  think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me.  40 But you are not willing to come to Me that you may have life.  41 I do not receive honor from men.  42 But I know you, that you do not have the love of God in you.  43 I have come in My Father’s name, and you do not receive Me; if another comes in his own name, him you will receive.  44 How can you believe, who receive honor from one another, and do not seek the honor that comes from the only God?  45 Do not think that I shall accuse you to the Father; there is one who accuses you—Moses, in whom you trust.  46 For if you believed Moses, you would believe Me; for he wrote about Me.  47 But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe My words?”  John 5:30-47   

Jesus teaches us a very important principal:  if we are seeking the honor of men, then we cannot know Him.  Seeking human approbation leads to all manner of evil and unbelief.  The Jews opposed Jesus Christ because He did the works that His Father sent Him to do.  He didn’t do the works they expected Him to do based upon their own religious traditions and leaders.  They had their own religious system based upon the revered names of history; Abraham, Moses, but they didn’t believe what these men believed or what they taught. They believed the religious traditions and opinions that had been handed down to them through the ages.  These belief systems had so stymied their hearts and minds they could not understand the revelation of the Savior given in the Scriptures; so that they could not believe in Him and receive Him when He was right in front of them, teaching them and performing miracles.

It is no different today.  Different faith traditions within the scope of Christianity have so mired the truth of the Scriptures with their “theology”, they prefer to defer to and esteem men rather than Christ.  Oh to be sure they have a said belief in the Scriptures, and just like the Jews, they tack on that important name, for our times Jesus Christ, but they don’t believe, know or follow Him, or His Word.  They follow the dictates of their own depraved hearts justified by the teachings of their many preferred teachers who say just what they want to hear.  Watch out!  This is rife throughout the visible church!  Don’t get caught in the trap of man esteem.  Don’t pretend to follow Jesus Christ while you are all along following the teachings of a man dead in his trespasses and sins and leading you astray.  Turn from the abundant lie and instead cling to the truth, Jesus Christ and His Word the Bible.  God bless us.

5 “I am the vine, you are the branches.  He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.  6 If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned.  7 If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.  8 By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.  9 As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love.  10 If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.  11 These things I have spoken to you , that My joy may remain in you, and the your joy may be full.  12 This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.  13 Greater love has no one than this, to lay down one’s life for his friends.  14 You are my friends if you do whatever I command you.  John 15:5-14

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