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January 08, 2007
Last year, one issue of Sight Unseen was devoted to the fact that Jesus is God and another issue debunked the myth of soul sleep. This issue, we are going to explore a passage out of the gospel of John that teaches these truths as well as some other truths that can be found at my website www.anunseenworld.com.
Jesus had been teaching His chosen people the Jews in the temple. He had told the Pharisees that they would die in bondage to their sins because they refused to believe in Jesus. Jesus told them that He had come to do the work of His father. Jesus tells the Pharisees, 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." John 8
According to scripture, Abraham is the father of faith. The unbelieving Pharisees claimed that Abraham was their father because they were his physical descendants. Jesus said their father was not Abraham because they had no faith and were not doing the works that Abraham did. Anyone who claims to have faith in Christ would not seek to kill others. Islam is a religion that seeks to kill others. Because of that one simple fact, Islam is not of God.
Jesus said the Pharisees were doing the work of their father which is the same father that the Islamists and other religions have. Who is this 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 no 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. John 8
Those who are in bondage to sin are enslaved by Satan, the prince of darkness. They cannot understand the things of God because they live in darkness. People who practice the religion of Islam do not love Jesus, so their spiritual father is Satan. In fact, the Qur'an teaches that all who believe in Jesus as God will go to hell. Religion is a tool of the devil because all religions reject Christ except for Christianity. Christianity is the most persecuted religion on Earth and it is going to get worse.
We might wonder, why were the Pharisees so stupid? Is is really any different today? Truth is not valued in our world today. The Internet is a reflection of the world. What do we find to be a common black mark against the world wide web? Lies and deceit are prevalent.
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?" John 8
What is man's natural tendency when he can't came up with an intelligent argument? He resorts to name calling. They called Jesus a Samaritan (A race hated by the Jews because they were half Jew and half Gentile.) and possessed of a demon. It didn't bother Jesus to be called Samaritan because all of mankind is valuable to Jesus. He did react to being accused of working with the devil, His arch enemy. I also have been called many names by people who have visited An Unseen World and were offended by the truth.
49 Jesus answered, "I do not have a demon; but I honor My Father, and you dishonor Me. 50 And 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. Whom 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."
Here Jesus was saying that although Abraham had been physically dead for almost 2,000 years, he was still alive. This is just one of many scriptures that debunk the myth of soul sleep. Jesus said if you keep His word you would not see a spiritual death. There are many who have received Christ yet don't keep his word because their flesh has become the master of their lives. There are many who know Jesus but don't know His word because they never look at it. They rely on others to tell them what God wants of them. Wouldn't it be better to hear from God Himself?
By this time the Pharisees were getting really angry with Jesus because they realized He was claiming to be God and Jesus confirmed it. 57 Then the Jews said to Him, "You are not yet 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.
In Exodus 3, Moses asked God what His name was. 3:13 Then Moses said to God, "Indeed, when I come to the children of Israel and say to them, 'The God of your fathers has sent me to you,' and they say to me, 'What is His name?' what shall I say to them?" 3:14 And God said to Moses, "I AM WHO I AM." And He said, "Thus you shall say to the children of Israel, 'I AM has sent me to you.' "
Jesus told the Pharisees that "before Abrahaham was, I AM". Jesus was telling His audience that He was God. If a man claimed to be God and wasn't, then Jewish law required that the man be stoned to death. This is exactly what the Pharisees were intent on doing. They had to decide, is this man Jesus telling the truth or is He a raving lunatic? They chose to believe he was a basket case and proceeded to execute Him. There was a slight problem however. They couldn't find Him.
We are faced with same decision today. Was what Jesus said about Himself really true or was He just a self deceived raving madman? I think a person has to be on the brink of insanity to think Jesus was anything but who He said was.
Copyrigtht 2007 by Gary Goodworth
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