Speaking the Truth

Speaking the Truth

Life & Light Community Church

Message from 4/15/2023

Life & Light Community Church began in the early months of 2020. What began as an opportunity for me, my wife and step-kids to continue to worship together, has now evolved into a ministry that has expanded to include close friends, family, and those who are simply hungry for the word of God. You can find us on Facebook, so please, feel free to reach out and join us.

“Why do you not understand what I am saying? It is because you cannot hear My word. You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies. But because I speak the truth, you do not believe Me. Which one of you convicts Me of sin? If I speak truth, why do you not believe Me? He who is of God hears the words of God; for this reason, you do not hear them, because you are not of God.” The Jews answered and said to Him, “Do we not say rightly that You are a Samaritan and have a demon?” Jesus answered, “I do not have a demon; but I honor My Father, and you dishonor Me. But I do not seek My glory; there is One who seeks and judges. Truly, truly, I say to you, if anyone keeps My word he will never see death.”

The Jews said to Him, “Now we know that You have a demon. Abraham died, and the prophets also; and You say, ‘If anyone keeps My word, he will never taste of death.’ “Surely You are not greater than our father Abraham, who died? The prophets died too; whom do You make Yourself out to be?” Jesus answered, “If I glorify Myself, My glory is nothing; it is My Father who glorifies Me, of whom you say, ‘He is our God’; and you have not come to know Him, but I know Him; and if I say that I do not know Him, I will be a liar like you, but I do know Him and keep His word. “Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw it and was glad.” So, the Jews said to Him, “You are not yet fifty years old, and have You seen Abraham?” Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I am.” Therefore, they picked up stones to throw at Him, but Jesus hid Himself and went out of the temple.

                                                                                   John 8:43–59 (NASB95)

In John 8:21-30, the Jews who follow Jesus are confused when He states that He will “go away” and they will seek Him and die in their sins, because where He is going they “cannot come.” This only seems to confuse the Jews more, causing them to think He is going to kill Himself. These Jews do not understand the true identity of Jesus and they miss the fact that He has come as a representative of God the Father. They also miss the fact that Jesus identifies Himself as “I am.” The same name given to Moses as he is sent into Egypt. Like the Jews then, people today do not understand that Yeshua has come as God’s Spokesman and Judge, thus God has Spoken to the World through His Son.

In John 8:31-42, we learned that the True Disciples of Christ will know the truth and the truth will make them free. Jesus is aware that not everyone in the crowds oppose Him, so He begins speaking to those who believe in Him. The Jews are, again, confused, thinking that Jesus says they are slaves to another people group, but in reality, Jesus was talking about being a slave to sin – for everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin. Those who continue, meaning to adhere to, in the teachings of Jesus will direct their life by these teachings. But the Jews immediately claim Abraham as their father. However, these Jews are Abraham’s children in the physical sense only – they thought this guaranteed them a permanent place in the family and household of God. But because they seek to kill Jesus, they are not spiritual children of Abraham – they are thus linked to another father, the devil. This leads us to the final section of John 8 where Jesus continues in His conversation with the crowds. As He continues Speaking the Truth, the Jews continue to do the desires of their father, the devil.

As those in the crowds who oppose Jesus continue to do the desires of their father the devil, they cannot hear the words of God, because they are not of God. The Jews claim Abraham as their father and think Jesus insane for saying those who keep His word shall never see death. Jesus adds to their fury by saying before Abraham was born, I am! And though He is Speaking the Truth they pick up stones to throw at Him.

As Christ followers, we will encounter those who are not standing in the truth, thus we must continue Speaking the Truth to those who are not of God. Because we hold to the words and teachings of Yeshua, we may be accused of having lost our minds or of having a closed mind. However, we must remember this world is being deceived by the father of lies – a liar and murderer from the beginning. But we serve Yeshua, the Eternal King of the Universe.

In this message we seek to answer the following question, “What are the implications of Speaking the Truth?”

In Speaking the Truth, we will face those who are being deceived by the father of lies – the devil cannot stand in the truth!

This section opens with a very simply question, “If I am telling you the truth, why do you not believe Me?” Seems like a straightforward question deserving of a straightforward answer. They do not believe the truth because the truth goes against all they are trying to save – their power, their position, and their prestige. When they testify against Yeshua, they are simply acting as is their nature and the nature of their father – they lie because their father is the father of lies. The Judean Jews in the crowds do not believe because they have already made up their minds about Yeshua, thus they cannot hear and accept what Yeshua has to say.

What we must grasp is that understanding is not the problem – being willing to hear and accept it as truth is the barrier. Jesus talks to those who believe Him about spiritual death, and yet, the religious leaders misunderstood, thinking He was speaking of physical death – yet even this will one day be overcome! Jesus says those who keep His word will never see death. To keep His word means to hear and obey them. To keep His word includes relying on the character, ability, strength, and truth of all He has promised. Those who have the same Father as Yeshua will understand His teachings and hear His words and open their hearts to what Yeshua teaches.

Satan and those under his control cannot stand in the truth – in fact, they reject the truth outright. It is the nature of Satan and those under his control to lie and deceive. They speak out of their nature – they are at ease and comfortable with lying. Lying comes naturally – you do not need to teach someone to lie. How do we know that Jesus was telling the truth? Because no one was able to prove any wrongdoing, they found no sin – He was sinless! Since He is sinless, why do people not believe Him? The Jews are convinced that only someone who is insane, has a demon, would make such a claim, that someone would never see death. So, they accuse Him of being a Samaritan.

Being accused to being a Samaritan may imply that Jesus was full of heresy, not worshiping the true God but following the false worship of the Samaritans, but one thing is for certain, this is a tit-for-tat accusation after Yeshua accused them of not being true descendants of Abraham. To say He has a demon is to imply He is empowered by an evil spirit that is out to destroy others and true worship of God. These religious leaders dishonor Yeshua who has come only to honor and bring glory to the Father. Jesus was not seeking His own glory but to glorify God and turn people back to the Father. The Father Himself will bring glory to the Son and judgment to those who dishonor Him.

Those who oppose Yeshua really have no excuse. Many will take issue with the sinless nature of Yeshua, and yet, no one, throughout history, including those who walked, talked, and ate with Him, have ever been able to prove any wrongdoing. People behave this way because they cannot hear the words of God. They do not accept them as truth and make no effort to apply them to their lives. People do not believe because they do not hear the word of God. Those who do not believe Yeshua are not of God, they are children of the devil – a liar and the father of lies. It is our task as Christ followers to show those who do not believe and cannot hear God’s words, to be a living example of the power of God’s words and the love of Yeshua for all people.

There will be a time, a soon coming time, when people will seek the Lord, but He will not be found. That means only those who are already sealed by God will be able to pray and be heard by the Father, only those who have already placed their trust in Christ will be kept safe during the coming trials of the end times, only those who have called on the name of the Lord will be saved from sin, death, and the grave.

Questions for discussion/reflection:

What are you doing to show those who do not believe Yeshua, the power of His words in your life? If you are not, why?

What barriers do you think are keeping others from believing Yeshua? How can you correct this?

How are you dishonoring Yeshua in your life during this season of life? What steps need to be taken to correct this?

In Speaking the Truth, we will face those who are being deceived by the father of lies – the devil cannot stand in the truth!

2). The second implication of Speaking the Truth is that we will find opposition from those who are not of God.

We must be simple minded to believe in an eternal God who only grants eternal life to a select few.

Those who hated Yeshua and wanted Him dead, continue to watch His every move, yet they are unable to find anything wrong. They are simply grasping at straws trying to make Him anything, anyone, but what He claims to be. Jesus was speaking the truth, He has proven He is God in the flesh, and yet people still refuse to believe Him. Yes, there are some in the crowds who have already believed Him, they have heard and believed, but many in the crowds remain deaf because they have hardened their hearts against Him. They simply refuse to hear, or obey, the words of God because they are not children of God. As difficult as this is to hear, it is a truth we must grasp. The fact is, these Jews, and many in the world today, do not know the Father who has sent Yeshua, even though some of them may claim to know Him.

Since these Judean Jews have claimed Abraham as their father, Jesus refers to Abraham as their ancestor – in the physical sense. Abraham, like all people, had come into existence at some point in time. But Yeshua has no beginning – He is eternal, and He is God, hence the statement, “I am.” But there is something else here at play that we must understand. A person’s actions reveal what is in their heart. The intent to kill comes from the devil – he was the instigator of Jesus’ murder and the perpetrator behind the lies the Jews believed about Jesus. The attitude and actions of these Jewish leaders clearly identify them as followers of Satan, even though they may not be aware of this. Their hatred of truth, their lies, and their intention to kill Jesus, indicates how much control the devil had over them.

They are Satan’s tool to carry out his plans – they spoke the very same language of lies. Satan continues to use people, even today, to obstruct the work of God. Human sin and evil are due to the nature of an evil spiritual father – Satan, the devil. People sin because they are in the likeness of their father, their nature is sinful. It is people’s works that reveal their father. People’s sinful behaviors and evil works prove that their father is not the Father of Yeshua. Sinful behavior and evil deeds are not from the Father in heaven – they are from the father in hell.

Jesus did not have an evil spirit, though the Judean Jews have accused Him of such a thing; this would imply that Jesus as been empowered by an evil spirit, but in sharp contrast to this accusation, Jesus says He has come to bring glory and honor to God the Father. It is here that Jesus tells these religious leaders that it is they, not Him, who do evil to God – they have just dishonored the Son of God. Why do I mention this again? Because this is further proof that these religious leaders do not belong to the One they claim as their God. Jesus knows God personally and He refuses to lie and say He does not know God, for this would make Him just like these leaders – a liar. Jesus kept God’s word which meant He had to tell the truth, thus proving that Yeshua belongs to God the Father.  

This section of John has some very difficult truths to hear but they are truths that we must be aware of and face head-on. They are true, first, to those in the crowds pressing around Yeshua, but then they are true, by extension, to us today. Sometimes it gets a little fuzzy in knowing exactly who Yeshua is addressing. Those who commit sin are by nature sinful. This included us at one point in time. But here is the good news we can share with others. We are no longer included in that group, not because of something we have done, but something that has been done for us – the death of Christ and the forgiveness of sin He has offered to all people.

The difference in those who continue to live a sinful lifestyle and us, who commit sin, is that we have turned to Christ and acknowledge sin in our own lives. He has been the One to break the power and grip of sin in our lives, not us, we simply turned to the One who has the power to set us free from sin. Even still, at times, the enemy exerts pressure on us and influences our thoughts and actions – he is still the prince of the power of the air and the ruler of this world, for a short time at least. But those who have continued in a sinful lifestyle are still under the control of Satan. Until they can hear the words of God and accept them as truth, they will remain under Satan’s control.

Fortunately, we still have the greatest news of all time, and those who will hear our story in Christ, can be set free from the power and grip of sin. I still firmly believe the best witness is not your words alone, but the power of the evidence of a life lived in obedience to Christ and His teachings. People can and will try to refute the Bible, but it is much more difficult to refute your story, it is etched in history, and you have been called and changed by the power of Christ and His work on the cross.

Questions for discussion/reflection:

How do you sense people trying to “kill” Christ today? What can you do to change this mindset?

How do you sense Satan trying to use you as a “tool” to carry out his plans? What can you do to keep this from happening?

How does your life “refute” objections, to the Bible or Christ, presented by those around you? If it does not, what steps do you need to change this?

In Speaking the Truth, we will face those who are being deceived by the father of lies – the devil cannot stand in the truth!

As I was studying this passage, I found that there were many Christian commentators who, like the Judeans Jews, do not understand what Jesus meant when He said Abraham met Him and rejoiced. Most tried to find the “Christianese” answer and make it a spiritual meeting or tried to find the appropriate spiritual answer to the statement. But this is what I have come to understand, Yeshua and Abraham literally met. In Genesis 18:1-33 it is recorded that three visitors came to Abraham. Two of those visitors were angels, the third was the Lord, Yeshua Himself, for verse one says, “the Lord appeared to Abraham.”

Yes, we could easily make this a spiritual meeting or a vision, but these three visitors truly came to Abraham. And there are other occasions when God would appear in human form to man, Jacob wrestling with God immediately comes to mind. The point is this, God really did come in human form to the world He created, not just one but several times. We can build on this for those who do not believe Yeshua and cannot hear the words of God. We must do all we can to keep people from shutting their hearts to the teachings of Christ, for once a person has shut their heart to the teachings of Yeshua, they show they have a different father than the Father of Yeshua. Those who keep the words of Yeshua will never see death.

This means they must hear and obey the teachings of Yeshua. This is, of course, speaking of spiritual death – those who hear and obey the teachings of Yeshua will never be spiritually separated from Him. Because Jesus personally knew God, He had to proclaim the word of God to the world. And now we must do the same. We must proclaim the word of God to the world, first through our lives lived in obedience to Yeshua, and then through the telling of our story in Christ. We only need to speak the truth and allow the Holy Spirit to work with the seeds of truth we have planted.

We do all things for the glory of God, through Christ our Lord,

Amen and amen.

Next Week: John 9:1-12

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