Eduardo Elizondo—March 2, 2024

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We're going to begin by going to John 1, which is a wonderful chapter where the Apostle John outlines a lot of the things, and summarizes who Jesus was, what He came to do, and so many aspects that are very, very important for us to know and to reflect. There is so much there.

It's almost like a summary of Jesus' entire ministry, of Who He was and the plan, and all of the things that John probably later understood. But obviously when they were canonizing the New Testament, he felt compelled to clarify all of these things right at the beginning of His Gospel.

John 1:11: "He [Jesus] came to His own, and His own did not receive Him."

This is very important because He was from the tribe of Judah. He came to the Jews, but they did not receive Him at all.

We know why they didn't receive Him, because Jesus didn't come to join them. He didn't come to liberate them at that time from the Roman government. He didn't come to do the things that they had in their mind, but they were preconceived ideas of who He was and what He was going to do.

Verse 11: "He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him; but as many as received Him, to them He gave authority to become the children of God, even to those who believe in His name" (vs 11-12).

Obviously there could be a series of sermons made about this topic. We're just going to look at a few Scriptures about believing in the Son of God and what  it means to believe and the impact that that has in our lives and in our walk with God. But it says:

"…as many as received Him, to them He gave authority to become the children of God, even to those who believe in His name; who were not begotten by bloodlines, nor by the will of the flesh, nor by the will of man, but by the will of God" (vs 12-13).

It tells us it's not by bloodline. It's not based on your genes and on your lineage and on your race. That's not the way it is. That's not the way that we were begotten. We were not begotten by the will of the flesh. This is not something that we can do on our own nor by the will of man. We cannot do this.

  • we could never have called ourselves
  • we could have never come into this covenant unless it was by the mercy of God
  • He called us into His wonderful plan
  • He called us to His wonderful way of life
  • He has shown us His plan of salvation

John says that we were not begotten by bloodlines, but we were begotten by the will of God, because this was well-pleasing in His sight that we will all be in His Kingdom, that we will all become born of the Spirit, sons and daughters of God in His Kingdom.

  • we know that we are a new creation
  • we know that we have been begotten
  • we know that now we are the children of God

because John himself says in one of his epistles:

  • we're not born, yet
  • we are begotten
  • we are a new creation

It's just like a baby in the womb of the mother is a new creature, is a new creation, but it's not born, yet. It is a child of that father and that mother, but it's not a born child, yet.

Then it says that He's begotten "…by the will of God," because He wanted to call you and me at this time. He wanted for us to respond to that calling. Then we'll see what He did in addition to all of these things.

Verse 14: "And the Word became flesh and tabernacled among us (and we ourselves beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten with the Father), full of grace and truth."

And they did at the Transfiguration, John was there and he begot the glory, obviously, also in Revelation when He was revealed.

Like the very Throne of God and all of these things. But they beheld His glory. John says, "…(and we ourselves beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten with the Father), full of grace and truth" (v 14).

John says, "…the Word became flesh…" because we know that in the Old Testament that's what it says:

  • and the Word of the Lord came to Jeremiah
  • and the Word of the Lord came to Ezekiel
  • and the Word of the Lord came to Joshua

The Word of the Lord is the same One Who became Jesus Christ! That's why it says 'the Word of the Lord.' Yes, God the Father was also:

  • the God of Israel
  • the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

The fact that He spoke through the Word doesn't mean that He was not involved, that He did not plan, that He was not caring for them. Absolutely He was!  He was their God, because there are two in the Godhead, but it really is the one true God in terms of both being the same:

  • in purpose
  • in mind
  • in spirit
  • in perfect harmony

because of Who They are!

Now He became flesh "…and He tabernacled among us… [that's what He's testifying] …and they beheld that glory…"

But we're going to come back to v 11: "He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him."

We're going to look at some Scriptures to see this very thing happening, because He was talking to the Pharisees and He was talking to His very own people whom He came and they did not receive Him.

We were talking last time about the Sabbath in Christ's example and how the Sabbath is the beginning, a small seed really of the training that God wants for us to carry out in the rest of our lives. That God will come and dwell in us and that we will not speak our own words and not do our own things, but really be focused on God all the time and walking with Him because that's what the Bible said:

  • about Enoch
  • about Abraham
  • about all the patriots
  • they walk with God
  • they were friends with God
  • they had that close relationship with God

But the Pharisees to whom He came, they didn't accept Him. Jesus asked them in:

John 8:43: "Why don't you understand My speech? Because you cannot bear to hear My words."

Then He tells them the Truth because this is another aspect of Jesus Christ that He is the Truth and as the Truth, He told them the Truth, as harsh as He was because He tells them:

Verse 44: "You are of your father the devil…"

That sounds, in this world, so tremendous, so vindictive, so accusatory and mean. People can say that that's mean, but that's the truth. That's what happened, He didn't lie, and sometimes the Truth has to be hard. Sometimes for people to know and understand certain things, it's got to be told exactly how it is, and this is what Jesus did.

This is part of the example that we have to tell the truth, because love is not just say nice things. Obviously, we want to be kind. The Bible says to be kind, but it also says to tell the truth.

He told them, v 44: "You are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father you desire to practice. He was a murderer from the beginning, and has not stood in the Truth because there is no Truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he is speaking from his own self; for he is a liar, and the father of it."

He's revealing Truth to them. He's telling them who they're from; He's telling them who their father is and what He has done. The point is that there is no truth in the devil! There is no God whatsoever in him.

Verse 45: "And because I speak the Truth, you do not believe Me."

Meaning: I've told you the truth, but the truth is hard to handle.

Sometimes with us, the same thing happens. It's hard to handle sometimes to see our own mistakes and our own things.

As we're preparing now for the Passover to self-examine, and to see some of the things that we're going through, it's sometimes hard. Sometimes the truth is hard, but we have to take it. If God is showing us something, we have to take it because:

  • it's for our good
  • it's for our benefit
  • it's to cleanse us
  • it's to renew us
  • it's to change us

"And because I speak the Truth, you do not believe Me."

That's the importance, that we have to believe in the Son of God and not only that He existed, but a lot more than that.

Verse 46: "Which one of you can convict Me of sin? But if I speak the Truth, why don't you believe Me?"

See how many times He uses believe and believe Him. Not just believe in Him, but believe Him, believe that what He was telling them is the truth, including that they were of 'their father the devil.'

That doesn't mean that it was His will that they would remain of their father the devil, but it is that they would come into repentance and that they would believe Him, that they would come to Him!

Verse 47: "The one who is of God hears the words of God…." That's why we're here:

  • to hear the words of God
  • to study the Word of God
  • to hear all those words and to take them into our heart and into our mind and to ask God to do that
  • to write His commandments and His laws in our heart

Verse 47: "The one who is of God hears the words of God. For this reason you do not hear, because you are not of God."

He's saying that this is just the reality; this is just a testimony of what's going on. Then when they start answering, it reveals even more that that is true, that:

  • they are of their father the devil
  • they are full of lies
  • they do not believe in Him
  • they don't believe Him

Verse 48: "Then the Jews answered and said to Him, 'Are we not right in saying 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'" (vs 48-49).

Honoring the Father sometimes looks very different than what people think that's honoring the Father. They thought that honoring the father was making these long prayers and wearing these long robes and salutations in the places, important places. That is not what honoring the Father looks like. It says:

"…But I honor My Father, and you dishonor Me."

They were dishonoring Him because they say that He was a Samaritan, that He has a demon. Obviously, He did not have a demon. He was 'full of the Holy Spirit and He was full of Grace and Truth' (John 1).

Verse 50: "Yet, I do not seek My own glory…"

This is amazing because when we stop and think about what Jesus is telling them, and understand His frame of reference, His frame of mind, and learn from Him, learn from His example. Not only believing Him, not only believe Him, but do as He did! That's what he says:

Verse 50: "Yet, I do not seek My own glory, there is One Who seeks and judges. Truly, truly I say to you, if anyone keeps My words, he shall not see death forever" (vs 50-51). He's basically telling them:

  • you're dishonoring Me
  • you're telling Me that I have a demon
  • you're telling Me that I'm a Samaritan
  • you're telling Me these things

And you know, I'm not seeking My own glory! You can say whatever you want, because I did not come here to glorify Myself. I came to glorify the Father. That's what he's saying. 'I honor my Father,' and that is an amazing thing.

That is from the example that we are not to seek our own glory or our own exaltation. We are here to:

  • glorify God
  • honor our Father
  • honor our Lord Jesus Christ and our Savior

because He is now our High Priest; He is the Head of the Church!

Then He still gives them an opportunity; "…if anyone keeps My words… [meaning if anyone believes Me] …he shall not see death forever."

He's still giving them opportunity to acknowledge and understand that He is the Savior, that He is going to save them from death. "…he shall not see death forever."

It doesn't say he will not die because that is the greatest lie of humanity, the lie that Satan told Adam and Eve in the garden. 'Oh, in dying you shall not die.' The religions believe this! Whether it's you go to heaven, you go to hell, you reincarnate, whatever.

But here it's saying, "…he shall not see death forever."

Verse 52: "Then the Jews said to Him, 'Now we know that You have a demon. Abraham and the prophets died; yet, You say, "If anyone keeps My words, he shall not taste of death forever."'"

You see the misconstrued reality in their head! Abraham and the prophets died, how are You saying that he shall not see death forever? But those are not opposed. Abraham will not see death forever either. He's in the grave, but He is going to be resurrected. It's just a matter of understanding and understanding the timeframes. This is how important it is to understand the Plan of God!

They challenge Him, v 53: "Are You greater than our father Abraham who died? And the prophets, who died? Who do You make Yourself to be?"

It's amazing that they're asking Him these things! They did not believe in Him! They didn't want to believe that He was the Messiah, that He was the Savior. They did not believe that. Basically, they're questioning all of that.

Obviously, He's greater than Abraham and greater than all of the prophets, because He was God! He came from God and He was the Son of God and He was also the Son of man.

But they challenge Him, "…Who do You make Yourself to be?" It's coming to a head. It's coming to that point where it's like as a prophet or whatever, like 'You may be saying things that we don't believe in, but Who are You? You're getting into that territory where You're claiming Yourself to be God; which He was, but they did not believe in Him and they did not believe Him!

Then again, an amazing response from Jesus; v 54: "Jesus answered, 'If I glorify Myself, My glory is nothing'"—meaning this is not the reason I'm doing this!

  • I'm doing it to follow through with the plan
  • I'm doing it to honor my Father

"…It is My Father Who glorifies Me, of Whom you say that He is your God" (v 54)—basically He's saying:

  • this is not My glory
  • this is not Who I am
    • I'm not coming of Myself
    • I don't do anything of Myself
    • I don't speak anything of Myself
    • I just come to seek the glory of God

That's what He's trying to relate to them, for them to understand! He's putting it back on them, 'You say that that's your God, but He's the very One Who sent Me'! Then He declares them another thing very hard to hear "

Verse 55: "Yet, you have not known Him; but I know Him…"

That was the truth. It came from the Father, and He understood the Father. He had the perfect communion with the Father. The Father woke Him every morning, taught Him morning by morning (Isa. 50).

All of these things are true. He's declaring all of that. He's declaring the Father. That's one of the things that He came to do, to reveal the Father.

He says, "…but I know Him. And if I say that I do not know Him I shall be a liar, like you…." (v 55).

Again, hard to hear those words, but they are the truth.

"…But I know Him, and I keep His Word" (v 55)

Then He further tells them, 'Okay, you have Abraham as reference; well, let's talk about Abraham':

Verse 56: "Abraham your father was overjoyed to see My day; and he saw it, and rejoiced."

It's an amazing thing because He's basically telling them, 'Yes, I was the one to talk with Abraham,' because He came down; remember Melchisedec? He came and He ate with Abraham!

Before the angels went to Sodom and Gomorrah all of that happened, and He rejoiced to see that day. He saw it and rejoiced. That was what basically got them really upset. We're going to see how upset they got.

Verse 57: "Then the Jews said to Him, 'You are not even fifty years old, and You have seen Abraham?'"

They didn't understand, because they didn't believe Him that He was the Messiah, that He was God in the flesh, that He was the Son of God:

  • He did not have a beginning
  • He was not created
  • He was from everlasting
  • He came in the flesh

But all of these things had not been revealed to them! So, they were thinking just in the carnal terms.

"…'You are not even fifty years old, and You have seen Abraham?'" Because at this point He was closer to 33!

Verse 58: "Jesus said to them, 'Truly, truly I say to you, before Abraham was born, I AM.'"

Those words: "I AM"—'ego eimi'—in the Greek. They're the same thing, to tell them what God told Moses. 'Who do I tell Pharaoh that sent me?' Tell him that, I AM sends you to him.' That's exactly what He's saying, 'I AM.'

He said, 'I AM' with that power, with that conviction and with that Truth, because it was true, He was the 'I AM.'

  • He was the One Who spoke with Moses
  • He was the One in the burning bush
  • He was One with God the Father

There were instructions from God the Father; They were always in perfect harmony. God the Father was also involved with His people Israel.

  • that's not to deny God the Father
  • that's not to say that He was not involved
  • that not to say He was not there

We know that God the Father was in heaven and everything that He did through His Word; the Word became flesh. But He was the Word of God in the Old Testament, as well. He basically was telling them, "I AM," I exist!

Verse 59: "Then they picked up stones to throw at Him. But Jesus concealed Himself and went out of the temple, passing through the midst of them, and in this manner departed."

But they did not believe in Him, and they did not believe Him!

We talk about belief at the end Heb. 3, because there's something very important here when we're talking about the Old Testament. This is from the people of Israel coming out of Egypt.

Hebrews 3:15: "As it is being said, 'Today, if you will hear His voice, do not harden your hearts, as in the rebellion.'"

That's exactly what the Pharisees were doing, what the Jews were doing. They were hardening their hearts. This can't possibly be the Messiah because instead of delivering us, He's telling us to turn the other cheek and to love your enemies and to all this other nonsense. In their eyes was nonsense. That's not what it was. But He didn't fit their perspective. He didn't check all the qualifications of what they were looking for in the Messiah.

But for us, this is the admonition, "…if you will hear His voice… [and we are hearing His voice] …do not harden your hearts, as in the rebellion.' For some, after hearing, did rebel, but not all who came out of Egypt by Moses. But with whom was He indignant for forty years? Was it not with those who had sinned, whose dead bodies were strewn in the wilderness? And to whom did He swear that they would not enter into His rest, except to those who had disobeyed?" (vs 15-18).

That is how we harden our hearts, when we disobey! That's when we're not believing, because if we truly believe, we will do. That belief has to be so strong that it carries us into action and to obedience!

Verse 19: "So, we see that they were not able to enter in because of unbelief." God said:

You're going to go into this land and it's wonderful and I'm going to give it to you. I'm going to take care of all of your enemies

  • the God Who parted the Red Sea
  • the God Who provided manna
  • the God Who protected them from their enemies

Everything! everything!

All the plagues that they've seen, they did not believe at the end of the day. When it was time to come and take the land, they chose to believe that the ten who brought a bad report about the land and make them afraid and say that 'we cannot take this land.' But with us, it is a warning, it's a lesson!  

Hebrews 4:1: "Therefore, we should fear, lest perhaps, a promise being open to enter into His rest, any of you might seem to come short. For truly, we have had the Gospel preached to us, even as they also did; but the preaching of the Word did not profit them because it was not mixed with faith in those who heard" (vs 1-2).

That is a very, very important aspect of believing in the Son of God, that the Word has to profit us and it has to be mixed with faith in all of us who hear. So, we have to believe, believe in Him, believe Him, have this hearing mixed with faith! Faith so strong that it prompts us into action, into following His example, into do what He did.

This is an amazing thing because we have to believe, we have to believe the words that He says!

John 14:8: "Philip said to Him, 'Lord, show us the Father, and that will be sufficient for us.'"

He was talking about the Father constantly. He basically took that opportunity to say that would be sufficient if You show us the Father!

Verse 9: "Jesus said to him, 'Have I been with you so long a time, and you have not known Me, Philip? The one who has seen Me has seen the Father; why then do you say, 'Show us the Father'?"

This can cause some confusion for some people if they believe there's only one being instead of two, as it is. It says 'Elohim,' plural, and we understand that there's got the Father in this Jesus Christ.

Hebrews 1:3: "Who, being the brightness of His glory and the exact image of His person…"

Verse 1: "God Who spoke to the fathers at different times in the past and in many ways by the prophets, has spoken to us in these last days by His Son."

Verse 3: "Who, being the brightness of His glory and the exact image of His person…"—because we were made in the image of God, but Jesus was, He was literally the Son of God!

He was basically saying that if you've seen Me, you've seen the Father because:

  • We look the same
  • We act the same

The Holy Spirit was given to Him without measure and everything that He did and everything that He said came from God the Father.

Verse 10: "Don't you believe that I am in the Father, and the Father is in Me? The words that I speak to you, I do not speak from My own self; but the Father Himself, Who dwells in Me, does the works."

This is an amazing thing, an amazing example, a wonderful example of what our lives are supposed to go toward. We go toward that:

  • that we're closer to God
  • that we are more full of His Holy Spirit every day
  • that we can be guided
  • that we can be full of faith
  • that faith leads us to that action
  • that we don't speak our own words

as we were talking the other time about the Sabbath—The Sabbath and Christ's Example—and saying,

We don't speak our own words; we speak the words of God. We don't do our own works; God works the works through us.

This is by "…but the Father Himself, Who dwells in Me, does the works" (v 10). The Father was working through Jesus Christ—They are two beings—through the Holy Spirit, but Jesus reflected Him perfectly:

  • in the character
  • in the way of thinking
  • in the way of talking
  • in the way of conducting Himself

everything was in perfect alignment!

Then the key word again; v 11: "Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me… [through the power of the Holy Spirit] …but if not, believe Me because of the works themselves."

What greater testimony than what Jesus came and did. Not only

  • giving sight to the blind
  • lifting up the lame
  • curing the lepers
  • every disease
  • every uncleanness
  • forgave sins
  • cleansed everybody

There's so many more people that He healed that are not recorded in the Bible.

The ultimate, the resurrection of Lazarus! I mean, it's an amazing thing, those works!

"…but if not, believe Me because of the works themselves"—because you have seen those works! And we have seen those works, also, in our lives. And this is a promise

Verse 12: "Truly, truly I say to you, the one who believes in Me shall also do the works that I do; and greater works than these shall he do because I am going to the Father."

And with Peter and John, even with their shadow people were healed. It was not recorded that even with the shadow of Jesus somebody was healed, but this is one example, one physical explanation, physical example of what greater works that He did is because Jesus went to the Father.

That was the power that God gave to them to heal all diseases. But it is that belief in the Son of God, that belief in Jesus Christ and belief in His words is so powerful and we have to do that. And not only do that, but believe it.

Verse 13: "And whatever you shall ask in My name, this will I do that the Father may be glorified in the Son."

Meaning, 'I'm going to bring glory to My Father by doing these things for you when you ask of them.' And obviously, if they're in accordance with the will of God, of course, because that's one of the first things that we pray: 'Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.'

Not to seek our own benefits for our own lust and all. That's not what He's talking about. He's not going to do those things if He doesn't want to. He doesn't have to do those things. He's going to do the things that we ask Him that are in accordance to His will. He will do that to glorify the Father in us!

"…I do that the Father may be glorified in the Son"—because He's the One Who did it. So that when we are able to say the same thing!

He said in v 10: "…but the Father Himself, Who dwells in Me, does the works." So that we are able to say the same thing and say:

But the Son of the living God, Jesus Christ, who dwells in Me through the Holy Spirit, does the works.

That's what that means! And that's what He wants for us to ask Him, to ask Him in accordance to His will.

So, for us to always be seeking Their will, the will of the Father, the will of the Son!

Verse 14: "If you ask anything in My name, I will do it." He will do it! He will do it!

But this belief is so amazing because how is it expressed? He tells us we don't have to wait long:

Verse 15: "If you love Me, keep the commandments—namely, My commandments."

This is more than just believe Him, it's loving Him. Not only believe, but love! "If you love Me, keep the commandments—namely, My commandments."

They are His commandments, because He spoke them in the Old Testament. But He is telling us that we are to believe so that we can be one with Him. How do we become one with Him? It's through this exact process!

But the point that we're studying here is that belief in the Son of God! That belief in the Son of God the Father; in Jesus Christ:

  • our Lord
  • our Savior
  • our Master
  • our High Priest

Because this is what the promise that He made!

Verse 16: "And I will ask the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter, that it may be with you throughout the age."

This is how we can be one with God; v 17: "Even the Spirit of the Truth, which the world cannot receive because it perceives it not, nor knows it, but you know it because it dwells with you, and shall be within you."

We know that it is within us, that we have the power of the Holy Spirit. That we do believe, because we received Him.

He has given us—as we read at the beginning—authority to become the children of God.

  • not by our own will
  • not by anything of the lines of blood
  • not by the will of the flesh or the will of man

but by the will of God!

That is His will, that we believe in the Son of God!

Scriptural References:

  • John 1:11-14, 11
  • John 8:43-59
  • Hebrews 3:15-19
  • Hebrews 4:1-2
  • Hebrews 1:3, 1, 3
  • John 14:8-13, 10, 14-17

Scripture referenced, not quoted: Isaiah 50

Also referenced: Message:
            The Sabbath and Christ's Example

Transcribed: 3/6/24

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