In the first section of Chapter 10, Jesus likened believers to sheep. He said the only way to be saved and enter into the fold was through Him, the Door of the sheepfold (v 9). This week, Jesus continues with this analogy, explaining to the elite religious leaders who rejected Him that they do not understand because they are not his sheep.
Father, give us understanding as we read thy word. Help us to properly apply it to our lives as we walk with your Son. We love You and trust You, Father. We know that along with the judgment that is falling on this world, You are at the same time preparing a mighty deliverance for your people. We know and believe that just as the judgments on Egypt prepared the way for the Exodus, You are likewise preparing to deliver us into the new millennium of peace, when the wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them. Thank You in advance for delivering us Father, in Jesus’ name. Amen.
22 ¶ And it was at Jerusalem the feast of the dedication, and it was winter.
Solomon’s temple was dedicated during Sukkot (2 Chron 5:3), but Sukkot (the Feast of Tabernacles) takes place during the fall. Hanukkah on the other hand, which means dedication in Hebrew, takes place in the winter. Hanukkah commemorates the victory of Judas Maccabeus and his mighty freedom fighters over the Seleucid Empire and their leader, Antiochus Epiphanes (a type of the Antichrist). After the Temple Mount was liberated from Seleucid occupation circa 166 BC, God performed a miracle. As they were rededicating the Temple, which was necessary because it had been horribly defiled by Antiochus Epiphanes, God multiplied one day’s supply of oil to keep the Temple menorah (a type of Christ) lit for eight days until more oil could be made. This is why Hanukkah is also called the Festival of Lights. In other words, the light of the world is preaching in the Temple during the Festival of Lights.
23 And Jesus walked in the temple in Solomon’s porch.
24 Then came the Jews [ie the religious leaders] round about him, and said unto him, How long dost thou make us to doubt? If thou be the Christ, tell us plainly.
25 Jesus answered them, I told you, and ye believed not: the works that I do in my Father’s name, they bear witness of me.
26 But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you.
27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:
28 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.
29 My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.
Not only does Jesus have us in his hand, but so does his (our) Father. In other words, we are in good hands.
30 I and my Father are one.
This statement by Jesus is similar to what the Bible says about a man and a woman being one through the marriage covenant. A man and wife are two different persons, yet one and the same as far as their marriage relationship is concerned. Jesus and his Father are two different persons, yet one and the same as far as the Godhead is concerned. That may be an oversimplification, but I think it is a good starting point for understanding the Trinity as best we can with human minds. Someone may protest and say that the Shema (pronounced SHMAH) says God is one LORD (Deut 6:4), so Jesus and the Holy Spirit cannot be God because that would be three, not one. However the word used in Deuteronomy 6:4 is echad, which can mean one thing composed of two or more things. God used this same word, echad, to say that Adam and Eve were one in Genesis 2:24. If God was being literal in Deuteronomy 6:4, He would have used the word yachid, which means one and only one.
31 Then the Jews took up stones again to stone him.
Those to whom Jesus is speaking understood full well that He was claiming deity. To them, that was blasphemy. They would have been right if it was not true, but it is. Jesus is JEHOVAH.
32 Jesus answered them, Many good works have I shewed you from my Father; for which of those works do ye stone me?
33 The Jews answered him, saying, For a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God.
34 Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods?
It is often assumed that Jesus is referring to Psalm 82:6 here, but Jesus said He is referring to the law, ie the first five books of the Bible known as the Torah. Jesus is citing the same passages that the Psalmist was citing in Psalm 82. Ie, the word elohim (lit gods) is sometimes used in the Torah to refer to the judges in Israel (eg Ex 21:6). Being in a position to pass judgment on others and mete out capital punishment is in some ways godlike. Jesus is saying that if even they were called gods in their own Scriptures, how much more is He justified in being called the Son of God (v 36)?
35 If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came, and the scripture cannot be broken;
Verse 35 is one of the many places in Scripture where we are assured that we still have the pure word of God today. We do not have to worry about whether men did a good job of preserving the word of God. Jesus promises us that the scripture cannot be broken.
36 Say ye of him, whom the Father hath sanctified, and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest; because I said, I am the Son of God?
37 If I do not the works of my Father, believe me not.
38 But if I do, though ye believe not me, believe the works: that ye may know, and believe, that the Father is in me, and I in him.
These are key points; we must know and believe that the Father is in Jesus, and Jesus is in the Father. Once we understand this, and understand that the scripture cannot be broken, we are on our way to being soldiers. (More on this below.) That is why the enemy does not like hearing these things:
39 Therefore they sought again to take him: but he escaped out of their hand,
40 And went away again beyond Jordan into the place where John at first baptized; and there he abode.
41 And many resorted unto him, and said, John did no miracle: but all things that John spake of this man were true.
42 And many believed on him there.
In this chapter, Jesus imparted some essentials that we need to keep in mind in times like these. Our Good Shepherd is watching over us. He is leading us. He and his Father have us in their hands. His word, with all of its precious promises, cannot be broken. It is important to remember that as sheep we are no match for Satan and without our Shepherd we would be in big trouble, but another metaphor Scripture uses to describe Christians is soldiers. To be soldiers, we need to know our Bibles. This is why Jesus told Peter that if he truly loved Him, he would feed his sheep (John 21). J Vernon McGee tells the story of a rancher who explained that he did not need much help with his 200 head of cattle, but he had to hire a pretty substantial crew to care for his 200 head of sheep or they would all die. Sheep have no claws, no fangs, and no brains. If a wolf attacks a sheep, the other sheep will just sit there and bleat (baa). They will not even try to run away. Can you see how accurate this analogy is? Christian sheep who have not matured go along with the mandates. They do not bother fact-checking the talking heads who tell them the ‘science’ is settled. Contrariwise, those who are refusing the vaccine mandates are by and large Christians as well — Christian soldiers.
The stakes are getting high. Over the last few decades, the culture has become increasingly polarized, drawing clear dividing lines. This trend has continued to the point where we are at war. There is no longer any middle ground. We must choose between truth and lies, life and death, Jesus or Satan. Not only are we at war; we are in enemy territory. If we are to survive we need to think like soldiers. We need to act like soldiers (Eph 6:10ff). Ie, we need to be wise as serpents, and harmless as doves. Jesus said Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life. He said Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth. Jesus said his sheep hear his voice. Listen and follow. Choose a side. Be a soldier.
Father, make us into Christian soldiers who are studied up and prayed up, approved workmen who rightly divide the word of truth. Give us boldness to stand in this evil day, having done all, to stand. We ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Coronavirus Update: As you probably know, the Pfizer shot has received FDA approval. As expected, the military immediately mandated the shot for the troops. Companies in the private sector are expected to follow suit. A couple of weeks ago, I posted a link for legal help with a religious exemption. The religious exemption is stronger when signed by a pastor. If your pastor will not sign your exemption you can get help with that here.
The US and Israel are ramping up the gaslighting and doubling down on mandates and restrictions. The FDA has now claimed the safe and effective drug ivermectin (safe for humans according to the NIH) should only be used for horses and cows. They say it is killing foolish people who are taking livestock medicine. When I tried to post the NIH link to the comment section of an MSNBC YouTube video trumpeting this nonsense, my post was quickly deleted. This is incredibly criminal behavior and God will hold the FDA, MSNBC, and YouTube accountable, even if the DOJ will not. Meanwhile, the government of Japan halted the use of 1.3 million Moderna doses, when they were found to contain magnetic material. At least two people who apparently did not get the memo have died from the shots. A new study out of Israel that should settle the issue once and for all has shown that natural immunity is 13x more effective than a jab (or jabs), but no word yet on whether the Israeli government will take notice. I am not going to hold my breath, as it seems plain to see that the US and Israeli governments know full-well what they are doing. Press Secretary Psaki even used the term “global plandemic” in a press conference. The shots are clearly being used to bring down the new world order’s boot on the face of humanity. Parents are being restricted from seeing their children because of the mandates. College students are being dragged out of classes by police for not wearing masks (reminiscent of the ‘don’t tase me bro’ incident at the University of Florida in 2007, when students applauded as Andrew Meyer was arrested for asking John Kerry if he was a Skull and Bones member). The only thing propping up the naked COVID narrative of the new world order megalomaniacs like Bill Gates (a man so filled with hubris he is actually trying to block out the sun) is the willing compliance of a slavish and servile electorate. The Greeks had a proverb that ‘those who the gods destroy, they first make drunk with power’. More to the point, despite the funding of foreign governments’ health agencies by the Gates Foundation (not to mention the fact the WHO is virtually run by Red China), their house of cards will fall. According to Psalm 2, God sees their day coming and He is laughing at them. For now, however, considering the horrible results from the lockdowns and mandates in Israel, the most ‘vaccinated’ country in the world; considering how the least restricted and least ‘vaccinated’ countries are doing well, not to mention the results of the new Israeli study on natural immunity, common sense tells us we are under a military biological and psychological assault. God will help us. Thank You Father, for showing us the truth and directing our paths, in Jesus’ name. Amen.
One positive development is that Denmark has decided to scrap restrictions altogether. Hopefully, this will start a chain reaction.
Magog Update: Exactly how or if the failed US withdrawal in Afghanistan will relate to the imminent Magog Invasion remains yet to be seen, but here are some points to consider that seem to fit the biblical scenario. First of all, all of the gains made in the nearly twenty-year-old war on terror have been lost, as the US has just handed over billions in high-tech military equipment to the Taliban, including Blackhawk helicopters (not to mention the world’s largest lithium deposits). The fact that our Sec Def and Joint Chiefs are ‘woke’ shows how the failed withdrawal was not just due to incompetence, but almost certainly willful high treason. (This is the same military, mind you, that is coercing the troops into taking the deadly shots by threatening them with dishonorable discharges.) Afghanistan is poised to become the new training ground for terrorism in the Middle East. The terror has already begun, of course, as the Taliban has reportedly set women on fire for things as trivial as bad cooking. As US troops are leaving Afghanistan, Turkey (Togarmah, Ez 38:6) and Qatar are reportedly going to be in charge of Kabul Airport security. Meanwhile, covert Israeli military action in Iran (Persia, Ez 38:5) is accelerating.
Let’s pause for a moment and consider all the Afghans who have worked alongside US personnel and enjoyed normal freedoms that most of us in the West enjoy, things like being able to go to school or serve in government if you are a female. Things like the freedom to worship if you are a Christian. All that has just been snatched away from them. In the Bible, Joshua defended his allies the Gibeonites from their enemies even though they lied to him (Josh 10). Yet after nearly 20 years of partnership, Biden just threw our allies the Afghans to the wolves. Father, You promise that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. We thank You for this promise, although we cannot always understand it we know it is true. Please make it true for our fellow believers in Afghanistan. Please protect and provide for them by all means. We ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.
On a positive note, despite the betrayal by our top brass, not just of Americans but of Afghans, some retired US veterans got together and helped some of our Afghan allies make it safely out of the country in a covert operation that they put together themselves. Thank You Father for these brave and honorable warriors, in Jesus’ name. Amen.