DISSECTING THE SCRIPTURE STUDY – No. 6
BY: DAVE and SHEILA GARNER
DECEMBER 14, 2007
THIS IS SUMMERY OF THE LAST FIVE SCRIPTURE STUDIES.
We want to bring your attention to the sequence of events which have taken place thus far in the Gospel of John. As we began looking at the whole picture we concluded these events were with purpose and sequential and not just a haphazard journey Jesus inadvertently embarked upon. From the time John describes Jesus’ baptism to his description of His crucifixion and resurrection; he describes His steps as deliberate and filled with purpose as He focused on fulfilling that which He was sent by His Father to do.
The events thus far go as follows:
1.John was sent to proclaim the message of repentance and announce the coming of the Word of God in
2.The Word comes in the form of Jesus Christ. John baptized Him in the river of Jordan.
3.Jesus, the Living Word in flesh, begins to call out disciples to follow Him.
4.Jesus, the Living Word in flesh, and His disciples go to a wedding where He turns the water into wine.
5.Jesus, the Living Word in the form of a man, cleanses the temple.
6.The scribes and Pharisees demand a sign from Jesus the Living Word, to show He had the right to
cleanse the temple.
7.Nicodemus came and asked the question (using our words), “How do I cleanse my temple?” Jesus’
answered, “You must be born again!”
1. When we truly repent, we stop wandering aimlessly in the desert of our own ignorance and turn around and go toward the light.
2. When we are baptized in the Jordan we wash away all of our connections to and dependence upon the past. We come out of the baptism seeing Jesus (the Living Word of Salvation) as the new and living way and focus our attention upon Him. We see that He is the only entrance into the land flowing with abundance (land flowing with milk and honey). It was no coincidence Jesus was baptized in the Jordan River (Joshua 1:2).
3. Before we turn toward Him and separate ourselves from the past, we hear Him calling us to Him, “Follow me and I will make you fishers of men.”
4. As we listen to and hear the word, hunger for it, seek for it, investigate it and learn to trust in it, we become joined (merged) together with Him. As we are united by the Holy Spirit, the water is turned into new wine to be served out, so all may enjoy the celebration.
5. We are the dwelling place, the temple of the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Truth, and it is the Living Word of Truth as we (actively) follow Him, which cleanses our thoughts and transforms our heart.
6. As the dwelling place of His Spirit, His Word cleanses us and chases out the sacrificial beasts, and turns over the money changer’s tables. We cannot buy the sacrifice for our redemption, nor can we find justification through the traditional religious system of the past. The religious ritualistic mindset of the scribes and Pharisees could not (cannot) see the manifestation of the Word of God, the Living Word, for they cannot comprehend God moving outside their pre-prepared traditional box. Traditional theology will always challenge the authority of the Spirit of Truth.
7. You must be born again by the Holy Spirit of Truth.
We think it awesome that a closer examination of the scriptures opens to view the whole pathway of salvation, if one is willing to open their eyes and receive it. In this particular study we want to show that the previous five studies are one continuous flow, representing the purpose and salvation plan of God through the appearance of His son, Jesus Christ (the anointed one).
REPENT: 3340 metanoeo (met-an-o-eh’-o); to think differently or afterwards, i.e. reconsider (morally, feel compunction): Matthew 3:2, 4:17; Mark 1:15, 6:12; Luke 13:3-5; Acts 2:38, 3:19, 17:30, 26:20; Revelation 2:5, 2:16, 2:21-22, 3:3, 3:19.
We do not believe it was an accident that John the baptizer began to teach his message of repentance in the wilderness (desert). It was when we were in our spiritual desert that we ourselves first heard the message of repentance. Oh, that all men could really hear the message of repentance in clarity, instead of hearing it as it is filtered through a preconceived doctrine which confines it to the dictates of a vast array of false religious rituals. Repentance is an action of the heart, to turn away from one way of thinking, being and living, to direct it toward another way of thinking, being and living. It is not saying “I am sorry for doing this or that Lord,” and asking repeatedly for forgiveness. A repetitive cycle of continually falling down and getting up again is not repentance. It is not continually going to the Father asking for forgiveness, for He has already forgiven you through the shed blood of the cross. The pathway to restoration has been provided for us by the agreement we made between us and God when we repented saying, “Lord I am no longer doing it my way, for I have determined to turn and go with (follow) you and do things your way!” The essence of repentance is turning around and truly accepting and believing that He has forgiven us and following Him. If all we do is go to the altar and ask for forgiveness, only to return to the same condition we were in before, we did not repent. Repentance is more than words, it is an intentional act of our will to cease from our old way of thought and action, our past condition, and through baptism, a type of washing away the past, to turn and follow the Word of God and receive Him into our heart.
Before true repentance can happen there must be a willing desire within us to change and a determined effort to think differently toward our former desires and actions. We must turn completely away, repent from holding onto our old desires, thoughts, and emotional attachments, and turn our focus upon going in a different direction by seeking, knocking and asking after Him. If all of my thoughts are focused upon me and I stubbornly and ignorantly determine to follow my own will, I am not following or going after Him. Think about it, if a person refuses to humble himself to think differently, how can he live two ways of thinking which takes him in two totally opposite directions? If I am traveling west on a road, but the final destination I want to arrive at, is actually in the easterly direction, I must look for and take the first road that turns east in order to reach my destination. The act of turning around is repentance. When I do turn around, I am no longer going west; I am going east, for my direction has completely changed. If I truly repent, I am not going in the same direction I was going, I have turned around and am taking my life in a completely different direction.
Repentance is completely changing directions in our thinking and in our desires. We no longer look or search for the old landmarks which were comforting to us in the past, for we have chosen to travel in a different direction. The only way we can get mixed up is if we turn around again and go back the opposite direction, the same way we came. Anyone at any time can stop going in the right direction by just turning their thoughts away from the road ahead. If we do turn around, we are still going one direction or another, for it is impossible to go both ways at the same time, as we are either flowing with the Word of Truth and allowing it to inwardly transform us, or we are running away from it, in rebellion, thus remaining separated from the life of God. Life can only be found by accepting the Living Word of Truth, the light of God into our heart. If we desire to see the sun rise and we are facing west, we must turn completely around (repent) and face east. If a man continues on his own self designed path (his own way) he is going away from the life of God, for God’s way never will be conformable to man’s way. Before natural man can receive from God, he must repent and turn around, for God is in the opposite direction. Jesus Himself said, a house divided against itself cannot stand. If a man does not turn away from his own way of thinking, and submit himself to the Word of Truth, he cannot even see the kingdom of God.
Again, Jesus was, is and always will be way, the truth, and the life, the Anointed One of God. He alone was, is and always will be the Living Word of Truth manifest in the flesh. The Word of Truth displayed before all men in the form of a man, was as one seed planted into the ground, the earth, or into the heart (feelings and thoughts) of man, which came forth out of the earth as the living, life giving, Spirit Word of Truth. When we turn around and begin to follow after Him, the Word of God comes alive within us and it becomes a creative force which begins to form and shape us into a new creation. We by our own efforts, try as we might, cannot change anything about ourselves or anyone else by going in our own direction away from God. We cannot add one inch to our spiritual height or anyone else’s, for it is only by the Living active Word that new life is produced within us. Only as we are immersed (baptized), cleansing ourselves from who we were in our past and turning our hearts and inner desires toward Him, that we truly experience repentance.
We must join ourselves entirely to the Word of God. We must allow the Word to swallow us up as we join ourselves to Him. It is only when we are bound together and completely committed to Him with all of our heart, souls, and mind that He can change the everyday water into the new wine of the Holy Spirit. We cannot share in the new wine if we are unwilling to attend the wedding feast. The water in the water pots was used for washing (purification) that which is on the outside, but it could not cleanse anyone on the inside. The water which was put into the water pots was turned into new wine, and only the water that is turned into new wine is able to cleanse and produce new life on the inside. It is only when we are reborn by the power of the Holy Spirit that His Word becomes alive and we become productive members of His body. Unless we turn around and follow the Word of Truth, we will never partake of the new wine available to us. Jesus said that unless we repent and be born again (anew, from above) we cannot even see the reigning realm of God, much less walk in the authority of the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit.
JOHN No. 6 [Dave-Sheila Garner] 12-14-07 ~ BIBLE STUDY 1