- Christogenea Internet Radio
On the Gospel of John, Part 21: Criminal Enterprise
There are men who sin, and there are men who are inherently sinners. Men who sin may be forgiven, but men who are inherently sinners have no chance for forgiveness, as Christ Himself had said, as it is recorded in Matthew chapter 7, “16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? 17 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. 19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. 20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.” Likewise, when John the Baptist was announcing the coming of the Christ, he said, in Luke chapter 3, “10 And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.” The allegorical trees of Scripture are not typically individuals, but instead, they are family trees, they are genetic lines of people.
So in others of His parables, Christ described wheat and tares, the tares having been sown in the beginning of the world by the devil, and sheep and goats, the goats having the same destiny as the devil and his angels, and good and bad races, or kinds, of fish, the bad kind of fish being destined to be burned in the fire. One group is always collectively destined to be saved, and the other group is always collectively destined to be destroyed, based not upon their mere behavior, but upon their character and origin. If the tree is bad, it cannot possibly produce good fruit. Christ had called Judas a devil not for anything which Judas had done, but because it was his inherent nature, and that nature was the ultimate reason why he had later betrayed Him.
The officials of the temple and rulers in Judaea wanted to kill Christ not because He did evil, but because He did good, and they interpreted the law in a manner which made His good appear to be evil. These men were not mere sinners. Christ never actually expected them to repent. Later, in John chapter 10, He told them “ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep”. Their evil deeds were beyond anything which is even described in the New Testament. For example, as it is recorded in Matthew chapter 23, Christ chastised them even for filling the vessels of their tables with wickedness: “25 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess. 26 Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also.” But how they did this, how they filled their cups and their platters with “extortion and excess”, we do not know the full extent of from Scripture, although it was certainly something more than merely pillaging the houses of widows.
Annas and Caiaphas were the high priests of the time, they were related by intermarriage, and their progeny were still the high priests perhaps two dozen years later, at the time of the Roman procurator Marcus Antonius Felix, and his successor Porcius Festus. Of them Josephus wrote, in Antiquities Book 20: “181 And such was the impudence and boldness that had seized on the high priests, that they had the hardiness to send their servants into the threshingfloors, to take away those tithes that were due to the priests [the true Levitical priests], insomuch that it so happened that the poorest sort of the priests died for lack of food. To this degree did the violence of the seditious prevail over all right and justice.”
Then, speaking of the time of the procurator Lucceius Albinus, the successor to Festus, Josephus wrote a little later on: “204 Now, as soon as Albinus had come to the city of Jerusalem, he used all his endeavours and care that the country might be kept in peace, and this by killing many of the Sicarii ; 205 but as for the high priest, Ananias he increased in glory every day, and this to a great degree, and had obtained the favour and esteem of the citizens in a signal manner; for he was a great hoarder up of money: he therefore cultivated the friendship of Albinus, and of the high priest Jesus, by making them presents; 206 he also had servants who were very wicked, who joined themselves to the boldest sort of the people, and went to the threshingfloors, and took away the tithes that belonged to the priests by violence, and did not refrain from beating such as would not give these tithes to them. 207 So the other high priests acted in the like manner, as did his servants, without anyone being able to prohibit them; so that [some of the] priests, who were supported in olden days by those tithes, died for lack of food.” In the interim period between the death of Felix and the arrival of Albinus, the apostle James was killed by the same party, something which Josephus had also recorded.
But a little earlier than these events, in the time of Claudius Caesar and perhaps only twenty years after the passion of the Christ, the Jews were plundering and burning the villages of the Samaritans, and Josephus wrote in Antiquities Book 20 that when they were found out, Ummidius Quadratus, the Roman governor of Syria, went into Judaea and executed one of the principle men of Jerusalem, “whose name was Dortus, and some other innovators with him,” and then Quadratus had “sent away Ananias the high priest, and Ananus the commander [of the temple], in bonds to Rome, to give an account of what they had done to Claudius Caesar.” Ananias and Ananus are from the same family as the Annas and Caiaphas of the Gospel accounts. For all this time, the Sadducees were managing their office as a criminal enterprise, and required the help of at least some of the Pharisees in league with them to maintain it, as we shall see Josephus explain that they could not control things on their own, and they were only impeded by the Romans when a significant enough portion of the people rose up in agitation in resistance to their oppression.
While Josephus does not recount many of the sins of the high priests who were before his own time, as he was not even born until about 5 years after the conclusion of the ministry of Christ, he does describe the sudden removal and replacement of many high priests by either the Romans or by one or another of the Herods who were in power at any given time, for reasons which are not often explained. But nevertheless, members of the families of Annas and Caiaphas, who were the core of the sect of the Sadducees, had held the high priesthood for most of the time from the death of the first Herod to the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem. With this, it is evident that from the words of Christ, and from the deeds of these high priests which Josephus did record in the decades subsequent, they had rather consistently managed their office as crime lords ruling over and oppressing the people.
As a digression, under the Borgia, de’ Medici and other popes allied with those families, the medieval Roman Catholic Church followed that same pattern, which ultimately sparked the Reformation and the related wars in Europe. There is good reason to believe that those medieval popes were ethnically, as well as ethically, more closely related to the Sadducees than to Christ.
These high priests oppressed the people, and they profited greatly by that oppression, all under the pretense of religious authority. When Christ consistently challenged the morality of their deeds on the basis of Scripture, He became their enemy, and He could no longer speak freely in Judaea “for fear of the Jews”. Notice that Christ never challenged the authority of their office, even if it was not legitimately acquired by them, since they were not of the hereditary Levitical line of Aaron. As we had explained when we discussed this in our last presentation, in Matthew chapter 23 Christ had said “2… The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses' seat: 3 All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not.” They were imposing their own interpretations of the law upon the people, in order to control them. But they themselves were not keeping the law which they were imposing. Thankfully for us, Moses’ seat is now gone, so the Jewish rabbis can no longer occupy that station of authority. However to this day they continue to operate as a criminal enterprise under the pretense of religion.
After the ascension of the Christ, we see that the high priests began to persecute the apostles, and we read in Acts chapter 4: “1 And as they spake unto the people, the priests, and the captain of the temple, and the Sadducees, came upon them, 2 Being grieved that they taught the people, and preached through Jesus the resurrection from the dead. 3 And they laid hands on them, and put them in hold [or, in jail] unto the next day: for it was now eventide. 4 Howbeit many of them which heard the word believed; and the number of the men was about five thousand. 5 And it came to pass on the morrow, that their rulers, and elders, and scribes, 6 And Annas the high priest, and Caiaphas, and John, and Alexander, and as many as were of the kindred of the high priest, were gathered together at Jerusalem. 7 And when they had set them in the midst, they asked, By what power, or by what name, have ye done this? ” That word kindred is γένος, which is race, stock, or family, referring to an extended family. Here the King James translators could not write generation, as they usually misrepresented the word. If the high priests were of Israel, it seems unlikely that they would have been described in this manner, and it can be told from the pages of Josephus that these priests were indeed related in such a manner.
Josephus wrote in Antiquities, Book 20, of the elder Ananus, who was indeed the Annas of the New Testament: “198 Now the report goes, that this oldest Ananus proved a most fortunate man; for he had five sons who had all performed the office of a high priest to God, and who had himself enjoyed that dignity a long time formerly, which had never happened to any other of our high priests; 199 but this younger Ananus, who, as we have told you already, took the high priesthood, was a bold man in his temper, and very insolent; he was also of the sect of the Sadducees, who are very rigid in judging offenders, above all the rest of the Jews, as we have already observed…” Caiaphas was the son-in-law of the elder Ananus, as we learn in John chapter 18. In the New Testament, they are both called after the title of high priest because those who were removed from the office retained the title and much of the dignity. It was indeed “all in the family”.
Then in Acts chapter 5, where they are once again persecuting the apostles, we read: “17 Then the high priest rose up, and all they that were with him, (which is the sect of the Sadducees,) and were filled with indignation, 18 And laid their hands on the apostles, and put them in the common prison.” These high priests were the Sadduccees. During His ministry, while Christ often dined with and preached among the Pharisees, He generally only addressed the Sadduccees on the few occasions where they had accosted Him, and He mentioned them on very few occasions.
Flavius Josephus described the Sadducees, first in Antiquities Book 18 where he wrote: “16 But the doctrine of the Sadducees is this:– That souls die with the bodies; nor do they regard the observation of anything besides what the law enjoins them, for they think it an instance of virtue to dispute with those teachers of philosophy whom they frequent; 17 but this doctrine is received but by a few, yet by those still of the greatest dignity; but they are able to do almost nothing by themselves; for when they become magistrates, as they are unwillingly and by force sometimes obliged to be, they addict themselves to the notions of the Pharisees, because the multitude would not otherwise bear them.” So the Sadducees were willing to agree with the Pharisees only as a pretense so they would be more acceptable to the people, but in reality they were far more worldy and materialistic and judgmental than even most of the people could tolerate. Furthermore, they needed the help of at least a significant portion of the Pharisees in their actions, so that they could get away with their crimes.
This aspect of their nature, their worldiness and materialism, is even more evident where Josephus described them again in Wars, Book 2: “164 But the Sadducees are those who compose the second order [he had already described the Pharisees], and take away fate entirely, and suppose that God is not concerned in our doing or not doing what is evil; and they say, that to act what is good, or what is evil, 165 is at men's own choice, and that the one or the other belongs so to everyone, that they may act as they please. They also take away the belief of the immortal duration of the soul, and the punishments and rewards in Hades.” So the Sadducees had no fear of God, and they pretended to be their own arbitors of righteousness. In this same tradition, the Jews who wrote the Talmud reflected the belief that the wisdom of their rabbis was greater than the wisdom of the God of Moses, and that they would also ultimately be their own Messiah. They still hold to those same beliefs today.
But the systems of the two parties cannot be painted entirely black and white. Discussing elementary differences between the Sadducees and Pharisees, Josephus wrote in Antiquities Book 13 that “297… What I would now explain is this, that the Pharisees have delivered to the people a great many observances by succession from their fathers, which are not written in the laws of Moses; and for that reason it is that the Sadducees reject them, and say that we are to esteem those observances to be obligatory which are in the written word, but are not to observe what are derived from the tradition of our forefathers. 298 And concerning these things it is that great disputes and differences have arisen among them, while the Sadducees are able to persuade none but the rich, and have not the populace favourable to them, but the Pharisees have the multitude on their side….”
So the so-called “traditions of the elders” which Christ condemned had belonged to the Pharisees, and the Sadducees rightly rejected it. But we must ask, what was the motive for their rejection? I would assert that they rejected the tradition so that they could get away with justifying anything which was not explicitly written in the law. So we see justifications in the Talmud for sexual relations with children, and other wicked deeds which are not expressly forbidden in the law. What is more important to note here is that the Sadducees were the party of the wealthy, which is how they retained power in spite of the fact that they were rejected by most of the people, and greatly outnumbered by the Pharisees. Later, as we have already cited here from Antiquities Book 18, Josephus had explained that the doctrines of the Sadducees were accepted only “by those still of the greatest dignity”, by which he means to describe the wealthiest of the people once again. There he explained that the Sadducees had to cooperate with the Pharisees on account of their numbers and popularity with the general population, but nonetheless were they able to retain the office of high priest, the offices in the temple, and operate their criminal enterprise. On the other hand, the Sadducees needed a sufficient number of Pharisees to ewnsurte they could continue in their crimes.
This situation described in John chapter 7 is the same predicament which men find themselves in again and again, at the hands of these same tyrants, who have, since the days of John Hyrcanus, become known as Jews. Therefore, when we first presented the opening portion of John chapter 7, For Fear of the Jews, we could not help but to compare it to the circumstances which we Identity Christians find ourselves in today. Even though we do not directly challenge the authority of the current government, which is indeed dominated by Jews, and we do not advocate breaking its laws, we are nevertheless described and labeled as haters, as a “hate group”, and we are ostracized as if we are evil, even being treated as terrorists, simply because we love our God and His Word and seek also to keep His commandments, so that we cannot accept their evil deeds.
There is one more thing we must reiterate in regard to this. Christ was correct, even if He may have been premature in the eyes of at least most of the people, where He asked, as it is recorded in John 7:19, “Why do you seek to kill Me?” The people were incredulous, and responding they said “You have a demon! Who seeks to kill You?” Today, Identity Christians understand that world Jewry seeks to destroy the entire White race, and Christianity along with it, by flooding White nations with aliens and ultimately displacing Whites with the mixed races that naturally result from the false pretense of ethnic diversity. So in this manner they seek to kill us, and they also respond incredulously and say “You have a demon! Who seeks to kill You?” There is nothing new under the sun, and there is nothing new under the Son, as Christ Himself had said, later in John chapter 15, “The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you…”
And so it is to this very day, but only since the emancipation of the Jew in White Christian society. For the first three hundred years of Christianity, the Jews were free in Roman society, and Christians were persecuted. Now for the last three hundred years the Jew has once again become free in European society, and has slowly worked himself into a position where Christians can once again be persecuted. This is not coincidental, and it is not accidental. Rather, it only proves the truth of the words of Christ, that the tree is indeed known by its fruit. The diversity agenda, the gay agenda, now it is the pedophile agenda and there are many other such agendas, they are all promoted by Jews and they are all detrimental to and incompatible with Christian society. Now we can only await the time when that tree is cut down and cast into the fire, and the day cannot be far off.
Christ did not challenge the authority of the office held by the Sadducees, but He challenged the presumption of spiritual authority by which they controlled the conduct of the people. Without being able to control the people, the Sadducees were afraid of another sedition and the possibility that the Romans would replace them in their office, where they could no longer operate their criminal enterprise. This we shall read again later, in John chapter 11, where it says “47 Then the high priests and the Pharisees gathered a council and said ‘What do we do, seeing that this man makes many signs? 48 If we should leave Him thusly, they shall all believe in Him, and the Romans shall come and they shall take both our place and our nation!’” Of course, the nation itself would not necessarily disappear, and Christ never advocated sedition against Rome, but the high priests were concerned for their own position of authority in Judaea.
Today Jews have a presumption of authority throughout Christendom, and its origin is found in the supposedly Christian churches. Through their infiltration of Christian institutions and the development of false doctrines over nearly a thousand years, they have subverted Christians into worshipping Jews instead of Jesus. Their success in the political process in Europe, and to an even greater degree, in America, depends on this contrived religious authority as much as it does on their control of the media and the world of finance. Once again, Identity Christians challenge the basis of that authority, and for that they say “You have a demon!” They convince their church-goers that we are devils with their cries of “racism” and “antisemitism”, yet they themselves are the true devils who continue to deny Christ unto this very day, even while claiming the authority to define Christianity.
Now that we have discussed what we can of the historic evidence illustrating the criminal nature of these adversaries of Christ, we shall commence with John chapter 7. Yahshua Christ, close to being condemned for the mere act of healing a man on the Sabbath, a man who had been lame and hopeless at the side of the pool of Bethesda for thirty-eight years, now responds to the claim of His adversaries, that He had a demon because no one sought to kill Him:
21 Yahshua replied and said to them “I have done one deed and you all [D wants “all”] marvel.
Thus far in John’s account, He had performed one publicly manifest miracle in Jerusalem, which was the healing of the lame man described in John chapter 5. The other miracles which He did and which John had recorded, were done in Galilee. The reply continues:
22 For this reason Moses gave you the circumcision (not that it is from Moses, but from the fathers) and you circumcise a man on the Sabbath.
The Nestle-Aland Novum Testamentum Graece, 27th edition, notes an alternate punctuation for this passage, placing “for this reason” in the sentence in verse 21 which ends here with “marvel”, and starting a new sentence with the mention of Moses. If we followed that, then “for this reason” may be rendered “on account of this”. The Codex Sinaiticus (א) wants the phrase entirely.
The parenthetical remark here seems to be a clarification offered by John himself. Circumcision of a male child on the eighth day of his life first appears in the commandment of Yahweh to Abraham in Genesis chapter 17, which is verified in Acts chapter 7. It is repeated in the law in Leviticus chapter 12: “2 Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, If a woman have conceived seed, and born a man child: then she shall be unclean seven days; according to the days of the separation for her infirmity shall she be unclean. 3And in the eighth day the flesh of his foreskin shall be circumcised.” Ostensibly, and counting the days inclusively, whenever a child was born on a Sabbath, he was to be circumcised on the eighth day, although that day was also a Sabbath, so that the law of circumcision would not be broken. So Christ continues:
23 If a man receives circumcision on the Sabbath in order that the law of Moses would not be broken, [D inserts “how”] are you angry with Me that I have made a man entirely healthy on the Sabbath? 24 Do not judge by sight, but judge a righteous judgment.”
The example here is that the priest must work even on the Sabbath in order to fulfill the law of the circumcision. So if the law requires a child to be injured on the Sabbath, why can’t a man be made whole on the Sabbath? In righteous judgment, men would glorify God for the miraculous healing of the lame man, regardless of the day upon which it occurred. If the law is of God, and if healing is of God, then God healed a man on the Sabbath, and it must therefore be permissible to heal a man on the Sabbath, so these men are misconstruing the purpose of the law. In any event, as we discussed when we presented John chapter 5, it was Yahweh God Himself who must have done the healing. But Christ, being God, can take credit for the act without lying or blaspheming, and He does take credit for it, so His lack of an argument in that respect also serves to help prove that He is indeed God incarnate.
25 Then some of those from Jerusalem said: “Is this not He whom they seek to kill? 26 And look, He speaks freely and they say nothing to Him! Perhaps the rulers really know that this is the Christ!
The King James Version has the last clause here as a question, as the Nestle-Aland text also reads it, “Perhaps the rulers really know that this is the Christ?” Either way, the only conclusion is that at least some of the people were aware that the rulers did want to kill Him, and that even if they were certain that He was the Messiah, they would still want to kill Him, thereby confronting God Himself. So by this testimony the apostle implies that at least some of the people must have understood the wicked character and iniquity of the high priests and rulers.
But while some of the people knew that the Sadducees and at least some of the Pharisees sought to kill Yahshua, the people in general could not have known that openly at this point. It is first mentioned in John’s Gospel in connection with the account of the healing of the lame man in chapter 5, where John had written that “18 Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he not only had broken the sabbath, but said also that God was his Father, making himself equal with God.” But there is no evidence that their desire was made public at that point. Of course, nothing of which they accused Christ wase by itself actually a transgression of the law. If the Sadducees were judged by their own doctrine, that only the things expressly forbidden by the law were actually unlawful, as Josephus had described, then their hypocrisy is all the more evident. John continues with his record of the response of these people:
27 But we know where this man is from, yet [א wants “yet”] when the Christ should come, no one knows where He is from.”
It is another false supposition, that no one would know from where Christ would come, as in Micah there is a prophecy which the apostle Matthew in his gospel had associated with Christ: “2 But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.” An account is found in Matthew chapter 2, where upon the appearance of the Magi seeking the Christ child, “3 When Herod the king had heard these things, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. 4 And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he demanded of them where Christ should be born. 5 And they said unto him, In Bethlehem of Judaea: for thus it is written by the prophet, 6 And thou Bethlehem, in the land of Juda, art not the least among the princes of Juda: for out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel.” So it is evident that the people did know from where the Messiah would come.
Furthermore, if the Messiah were to be ruler in Israel, then He must be of the House of David, as it says in Jeremiah chapter 32, “ 17 For thus saith the LORD; David shall never want a man to sit upon the throne of the house of Israel…” Of course, many other passages also attest to this, and while members of the House of David were among those who returned from Babylon to Judaea, none of them ever sat as rulers, as until the time of Herod the Edomite, the nation was ruled by the priests, even in times when it was under foreign rule. In Luke chapter 2 we read: “4 And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:) 5 To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.”
Some commentators claim that Mary must have been a Levite, because her cousin Elizabeth was married to a priest. The association is not necessary, and Mary could very well have been of Judah even though her cousin was married to a Levite. For the prophecy to be literally true, Mary must have been of the house of David, but for Christ to be the lawful heir, Joseph’s accepting and adopting Him as his son made Him of the house of David by law because that act made Him Joseph’s heir.
Again, from Jeremiah chapter 23: “5 Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth. 6 In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is his name whereby he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.” This was written on the verge of the Babylonian deportations, when the kings of Judah were being scourged by Nebuchadnezzar. By the genealogies which were kept from the time of Ezra and Nehemiah, the people must have known that elements of the House of David were present in Judaea, even if the reports are true, that according to Eusebius of Caesareia, who wrote in the fourth century, Herod had destroyed the genealogical records, at least those that were kept by the priests in the temple (Ecclesiastical History 1.7.13). The general knowledge of this was retained in the Scriptures in Ezra and Nehemiah. In Nehemiah chapters 11 through 13 there are references to “children of Judah”, “princes of Judah” and “nobles of Judah” contemporary to his own time.
However anyone in Jerusalem exclaiming that “when the Christ should come, no one knows where He is from” does demonstrate that the people were not learned in the Scriptures, as one may suppose was the purpose of the synagogues, since the Scriptures do indeed indicate from where the Christ would come. But later on in this same chapter we read “42 Hath not the scripture said, That Christ cometh of the seed of David, and out of the town of Bethlehem, where David was?” So evidently there were divergent opinions among the people, which may even reflect their diversity of backgrounds and origins. Now Christ responds to the conjectural exclamations of the people:
28 Then Yahshua cried out teaching in the temple and saying: “You not only know Me, you also know where I am from!
If they did know where He was from, they should have examined the Scriptures and at least admitted that He was born according to the criteria of the prophets for the Messiah, which the apostles had understood and had later explained in their gospel accounts. Evidently, as we shall also see later in the chapter, they only thought that He was from Galilee, and for that reason they despised Him.
And I have not spoken by Myself, but He who has sent Me is truthful [P66 and א have “true”], whom you do not know! 29 I [P66, א and D have “But I”] know Him, because I am from Him and He has sent Me!”
The miracles which He performed by themselves should have been ample testimony of the truth of His words, yet the men in the temple were vexed by them instead, and became agitated against Him. When an organized criminal enterprise gains control of a people, it corrupts their religious teachings, their history, and their institutions in order to maintain that control which through treachery they have acquired, and will hold onto at any cost, even in spite of signs from heaven.
30 Then they sought to seize Him, yet no one laid a hand upon Him, because His hour had not yet [P66 has “not as yet”] come.
Christ came into Jerusalem privately so that He would not create a spectacle, and in spite of that He still created a spectacle. Yet Yahweh Himself determines what men may be able to do, whether for good or for evil. In other words, evil men can only act against the good if perhaps Yahweh permits them to do so, as we see in the opening chapters of Job and the petitions which the devil had made to God. For that same reason, Christ had later said to Pilate that “Thou couldest have no power at all against me, except it were given thee from above: therefore he that delivered me unto thee hath the greater sin.”
31 Then many from the crowd believed in Him and they said “When the Christ comes shall He do greater signs than those which this man has done [א has “this man does”]?”
There is a negative particle, μή (Strong’s # 3361), in this last clause which is left untranslated. According to Joseph Thayer (μή, III.) the word “As an Interrogative particle it is used when a negative answer is expected”, with which in their Intermediate lexicon Liddell & Scott agree (μή, C). So the answer to this question was expected to be negative, indicating a belief among some of the people that Yahshua must indeed be the Christ.
This same argument is repeated among the people, as it is recorded in John chapters 9, 10 and 11. Christ Himself indicated that He was indeed the Messiah when He spoke in Galilee, in an event which had occurred long before this, which is recorded in Luke chapter 4. There He said in part: “18 The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised”. There He had cited Isaiah chapters 58 and 61.
There is another prophecy in Isaiah chapter 35: “4 Say to them that are of a fearful heart, Be strong, fear not: behold, your God will come with vengeance, even God with a recompence; he will come and save you. 5 Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped. 6 Then shall the lame man leap as an hart, and the tongue of the dumb sing: for in the wilderness shall waters break out, and streams in the desert.”
The people seeing these things: the healing of the lame, blind, and deaf, should have known that their Messiah was among them, and here it is evident that some of them did know it. While these acts of healing all had a transcendental significance relating to the whole house of Israel in captivity, in their immediate sense they are also plainly indicative of the presence of the Messiah. Later in this chapter, Christ will announce in a different way that He is indeed the Messiah. In John chapter 5, after he healed the lame man in Jerusalem, He had told them asa much in other ways.
32 The [P66, א and D have “Now the”; the text follows P75, B, T, W and the MT] Pharisees heard the crowd murmuring these things [D wants “these things] concerning Him, and the high priests and the Pharisees sent deputies that they may seize Him.
The struggle between Yahshua and His adversaries is prophesied in Zechariah chapter 3, where the high priest of the time of Zerubbabel, whose name was also Yahshua, or Joshua, and the building of the second temple stood as a type for the Messiah: “Zechariah 3:1 And he shewed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the LORD, and Satan standing at his right hand to resist him. 2 And the LORD said unto Satan, The LORD rebuke thee, O Satan; even the LORD that hath chosen Jerusalem rebuke thee: is not this a brand plucked out of the fire?” In the time of Joshua the high priest, Satan was represented by the people of the surrounding tribes who attempt to prevent the building of the temple. These are the same tribes whom Hyrcanus had forced to convert to Judaism in the second century BC, who filled the role of Satan in the time of Christ. This is a type for the ministry of Christ, as His enemies attempted to prevent Christianity from reconciling the body of His people, which is the true temple of God.
Zechariah continues: “3 Now Joshua was clothed with filthy garments, and stood before the angel. 4 And he answered and spake unto those that stood before him, saying, Take away the filthy garments from him. And unto him he said, Behold, I have caused thine iniquity to pass from thee, and I will clothe thee with change of raiment. 5 And I said, Let them set a fair mitre upon his head. So they set a fair mitre upon his head, and clothed him with garments. And the angel of the LORD stood by.” This transformation represented the change in Joshua’s life as a high priest without a temple and duties to one who is returned to the glory which his fathers once had in Jerusalem. This is also a type for Christ, who was transformed in the Resurrection to the glory of the perfected spiritual body. Then He assumed His role as priest after the order of Melchizedek.
Again continuing with Zechariah: “ 6 And the angel of the LORD protested unto Joshua, saying, 7 Thus saith the LORD of hosts; If thou wilt walk in my ways, and if thou wilt keep my charge, then thou shalt also judge my house, and shalt also keep my courts, and I will give thee places to walk among these that stand by.” This same message was taught by Christ to His disciples, and is evident in John chapters 14 and 15 and elsewhere.
Continuing with Zechariah chapter 3: “8 Hear now, O Joshua the high priest, thou, and thy fellows that sit before thee: for they are men wondered at: for, behold, I will bring forth my servant the BRANCH.” And if the people of Judaea understood the significance of this prophecy, Christ was called by them a Nazarene, and Nazareth was named from a Hebrew word which means branch, netser, Strong’s # 5342.
Now concluding Zechariah chapter 3: “9 For behold the stone that I have laid before Joshua; upon one stone shall be seven eyes: behold, I will engrave the graving thereof, saith the LORD of hosts, and I will remove the iniquity of that land in one day. 10 In that day, saith the LORD of hosts, shall ye call every man his neighbour under the vine and under the fig tree.” The building of the second temple made possible the later reconciliation of Christ and His people Israel. Only His passion removed the iniquity of Israel in one day. By the provenance of God, a criminal enterprise – the synagogue of Satan – has come to rule in Jerusalem in order to effect that, and to this day they are still known as Jews.
Yahshua Christ is the Branch, the servant prophesied in Zechariah chapter 3, and again in chapter 6, where we read another Messianic prophesy: “11 Then take silver and gold, and make crowns, and set them upon the head of Joshua the son of Josedech, the high priest; 12 And speak unto him, saying, Thus speaketh the LORD of hosts, saying, Behold the man whose name is The BRANCH; and he shall grow up out of his place, and he shall build the temple of the LORD: 13 Even he shall build the temple of the LORD; and he shall bear the glory, and shall sit and rule upon his throne; and he shall be a priest upon his throne: and the counsel of peace shall be between them both.” Josedech is from a Hebrew name which means Yahweh is Righteous, and Yahshua Christ is also the son of Yahweh. As the Joshua of Zechariah chapter 3 was a historical figure of the time of the building of the second temple, Yahshua Christ would build the true temple, the body of His people Israel, and He would become the true high priest, after the order of Melchizedek.
While Zechariah’s prophecy had an immediate application for its own time, it had a transcendental meaning in reference to true salvation found in the coming Messiah. So Peter wrote to his Christian readers, in chapter 1 of his first epistle: “5 Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.”
Now Yahshua responds once again to the people:
33 Then Yahshua said: “I am with you for a short time yet, then I go to He who has sent Me.
All along He has testified that He was sent by God, so that must be where He knows that He is going to shortly return. He continues to address the people, virtually speaking in parables:
34 You shall seek Me, and shall not find Me [P66, א, D, W and the MT want “Me”; the text follows P75, B, and T], and where I am you are not able to come.” 35 Therefore the Judaeans said to themselves “Where is He about to go that we shall not find Him? Is He about to go to the dispersion of the Greeks and teach the Greeks?
Here the King James Version reads “will he go unto the dispersed among the Gentiles, and teach the Gentiles?” However in the manuscripts, the Greek word is on both occasions Ἕλλην, which is Greek, and not ἔθνος, which is nation, or as the King James Version usually mistranslates it, Gentile.
As we have explained at verse 31, at the beginning of the final question here, the negative particle μή is found once again, which indicates that the people who asked the question expected a negative answer. That infers that they thought the proposition to be ludicrous in the first place, that Christ would have no reason to teach the Greeks.
The dispersion referred to is “of the Greeks”, and not “among the Greeks”, as the King James Version and other translations also errantly suggest. There was indeed a historical dispersion of the Greeks, since during the Hellenistic period, beginning from before the time of Alexander the Great, when they were at the peak of their political power, the Greeks had come to rule and to settle as far as from Italy and the coast of France in the west, to the Indus river valley in the east, and from Ethiopia in the south to the Danube river valley and coasts of the Black Sea in the north.
The people continue to speculate:
36 What is this word which He said, [P66 inserts “that”] ‘You shall seek Me, and shall not find Me [once again, P66, א, D, W and the MT want “Me”; once again, the text follows P75, B, and T], and where I am you are not able to come’?”
Christ tells his adversaries this same thing once again in John chapter 8, and they respond “Will he kill himself? because he saith, Whither I go, ye cannot come.” There He explains just why they cannot follow Him, which is because they were not born from above. Even later, in John chapter 13, He tells His disciples that “Ye shall seek me: and as I said unto the Jews, Whither I go, ye cannot come; so now I say to you.” At that Peter had wondered, and subsequently we read: “Simon Peter said unto him, Lord, whither goest thou? Jesus answered him, Whither I go, thou canst not follow me now; but thou shalt follow me afterwards.” They would indeed follow Him afterwards, but not until they themselves had died, as Paul, speaking of the prospects of his own death, had said in 2 Corinthians chapter 5: “8 We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.” The Jews, being bastards, have no such expectation, as only true Adamic men and women are born from above, only they shall enter into the presence of Yahweh.
37 Then on the great last day of the feast Yahshua stood and cried out saying “If one thirsts he must come to Me [P66, א and D want “to Me”] and drink! 38 He believing in Me, just as the writing says, rivers of living water shall flow from his belly!”
An alternative punctuation of these verses is plausible, as the Nestle-Aland text also notes: “37… If one thirsts he must come to Me and He believing in Me drink! 38 Just as the writing says, rivers of living water shall flow from his belly!”
Here Yahshua once again proclaims to be the Messiah. As He had told the Samaritan woman in John chapter 4, “If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water.” But these words which Christ had uttered here are not found verbatim in Scripture as we know it, so we can only imagine that Christ is expounding upon meanings which are found in the Scripture. So we read in Proverbs chapter 18: “4 The words of a man's mouth are as deep waters, and the wellspring of wisdom as a flowing brook.” Of course, the wisdom spoken of in Proverbs is that wisdom which comes from God. So essentially, Christ is asserting that He is the Wisdom of God. John had already informed us that He is the Word made flesh.
Of that same wisdom, we read from the Wisdom of Sirach, chapter 24: “ 24 Faint not to be strong in the Lord; that he may confirm you, cleave unto him: for the Lord Almighty is God alone, and beside him there is no other Saviour. 25 He filleth all things with his wisdom, as Phison and as Tigris in the time of the new fruits. 26 He maketh the understanding to abound like Euphrates, and as Jordan in the time of the harvest. 27 He maketh the doctrine of knowledge appear as the light, and as Geon in the time of vintage. 28 The first man knew her not perfectly: no more shall the last find her out. 29 For her thoughts are more than the sea, and her counsels profounder than the great deep. 30 I also came out as a brook from a river, and as a conduit into a garden. 31 I said, I will water my best garden, and will water abundantly my garden bed: and, lo, my brook became a river, and my river became a sea. 32 I will yet make doctrine to shine as the morning, and will send forth her light afar off. 33 I will yet pour out doctrine as prophecy, and leave it to all ages for ever. 34 Behold that I have not laboured for myself only, but for all them that seek wisdom.”
There is another allusion to this same thing in Isaiah chapter 12: “2 Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the LORD JEHOVAH is my strength and my song; he also is become my salvation. 3 Therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation.” Then, in Isaiah chapter 43: “18 Remember ye not the former things, neither consider the things of old. 19 Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert. 20 The beast of the field shall honour me, the dragons and the owls: because I give waters in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert, to give drink to my people, my chosen. 21 This people have I formed for myself; they shall shew forth my praise. 22 But thou hast not called upon me, O Jacob; but thou hast been weary of me, O Israel.” Then once more, in Isaiah chapter 44: “1 Yet now hear, O Jacob my servant; and Israel, whom I have chosen: 2 Thus saith the LORD that made thee, and formed thee from the womb, which will help thee; Fear not, O Jacob, my servant; and thou, Jesurun, whom I have chosen. 3 For I will pour water upon him that is thirsty, and floods upon the dry ground: I will pour my spirit upon thy seed, and my blessing upon thine offspring: 4 And they shall spring up as among the grass, as willows by the water courses.”
In Jeremiah chapter 2 we see where the children of Israel are chastised for accepting the Canaanites and it says “13 For my people have committed two evils; they have forsaken me the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water.” Then in Joel chapter 3 there is a promise of reconciliation: “18 And it shall come to pass in that day, that the mountains shall drop down new wine, and the hills shall flow with milk, and all the rivers of Judah shall flow with waters, and a fountain shall come forth of the house of the LORD, and shall water the valley of Shittim.” Another promise in Zechariah chapter 14 reads similarly: “ 8 And it shall be in that day, that living waters shall go out from Jerusalem; half of them toward the former sea, and half of them toward the hinder sea: in summer and in winter shall it be. 9 And the LORD shall be king over all the earth: in that day shall there be one LORD, and his name one.”
The waters of these prophecies are not literal waters, but the waters of the Word and the truth of Yahweh and the reconciliation for Israel found in the Spirit of Yahweh in Christ. So here, on the last day of the feast of tabernacles, Yahshua Christ invites His people to the true tabernacle of God, in opposition to the criminal enterprise of His adversaries, as we also read in Proverbs chapter 10: “11 The mouth of a righteous man is a well of life: but violence covereth the mouth of the wicked.” Now John explains that He was indeed speaking of the Spirit:
39 (Now this He spoke concerning the spirit which those believing in Him were going to receive [W has “were receiving”]. For not yet was the spirit [P66, W and the MT have “the Holy Spirit”; B has “the Holy Spirit given”; D has “the Holy Spirit upon them”; the text follows P75, א and T], because Yahshua had not as [א, B and D want “as”] yet been magnified [or “honored”, the A.V. has “glorified”].)
Essentially, Christ is inviting His people to return to God, in the same manner which we also see in Proverbs chapter 1: “23 Turn you at my reproof: behold, I will pour out my spirit unto you, I will make known my words unto you.” This is also the same promise which is seen in Joel chapter 2, which the apostles also understood to have been associated with the giving of the Spirit at the first Christian Pentecost, as it is explained in Acts chapter 2: “ 27 And ye shall know that I am in the midst of Israel, and that I am the LORD your God, and none else: and my people shall never be ashamed. 28 And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions: 29 And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit.” This is the same blessing promised to Israel which we have just read from Isaiah, “3 For I will pour water upon him that is thirsty, and floods upon the dry ground: I will pour my spirit upon thy seed, and my blessing upon thine offspring.”
So Christ is assuring those of Israel in Judaea who would follow Him, as we read in Isaiah chapter 58: “11 And the LORD shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones: and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not.” This we also read in His Revelation, in chapter 21: “ 6 And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely.” Now the people respond to His words:
40 Then those [P66 has “Many”; the MT “Then many”; the text follows P75, א, B, D, T and W] from the crowd understanding these [W has “the crowd hearing His” but contains a scribal error repeating some words twice; P66, א and D insert “His”] words said [B and D insert “that”; the text follows P66, P75, א , T, W and the MT] “He is truly a prophet!” 41 Others said [D and W insert “that”] “He is the Christ!”
So it is evident that at least some of the people understood at least some of these prophecies that we have recounted here, and perhaps even more than those which we have recounted, and by His words they were convinced. But then, for one reason or another, there were the skeptics:
But some said [P66, א, D and the MT have “Others said”; the text follows P75, B, T and W] “Really, does the Christ come from Galilaia?
This last clause, a question, also begins with the negative particle μή, where once again it is implied that a negative answer was expected. The people could only perceive that Christ came from Galilee because he was raised in Nazareth, and was known to live there, yet the prophets as well as the gospels attest that He would be, and that He was, born in Bethlehem, which means house of bread, as He is also the Bread of Life. Now the same people express an awareness of the words of the prophets, which apparently at least some of them had:
42 Did the writing not say that the Christ comes from the offspring of David and from Bethlehem where David was?” 43 Therefore there was a division among the crowd because of Him.
Just as He said to them in verse 24, He may also have said to them here, “Do not judge by sight, but judge a righteous judgment.” He had admonished them to consider His works, which testified for Him that He is true. But they refused, so they condemned Him in their ignorance. If they had considered His works, they would have learned the truth of the matters. So they condemned Him rashly:
44 Then some from among them desired to seize Him, but no one laid the hands upon Him.
At this point, the deputies which the Pharisees had sent also failed to seize Him, being astonished at His words, and they returned empty-handed:
45 Then the deputies went to the high priests and the Pharisees, and they said to them “For what reason have you not brought Him?” 46 The deputies replied: “Not ever has a man spoken in this way!”
Here the 3rd century papyrus P66, the 4th century Codex Sinaiticus (א) and the 5th century Codex Bezae have the exclamation of verse 46 to read “Not ever has a man spoken in this manner as this man speaks!” The Majority Text agrees except that it wants the final word, “speaks”, and the King James Version follows that reading. The text here follows the 3rd century papyrus P75 and the Codices Vaticanus (B), Borgianus (T) and Washingtonensis (W).
The deputies must have found Yahshua to be credible, so their superiors are offended by their profession:
47 Therefore [א and D want “Therefore”] the Pharisees replied to them [B wants “to them”]: “Are you also deceived?
Once again, this question begins with the negative particle μή, where a negative answer was expected. So does the question which follows:
48 Has anyone from among the rulers or from among the Pharisees believed in Him?
This is also a reflection of the criminal mind operating a criminal enterprise, which creates an agenda for itself, fabricates a foundation for that agenda, and then appeals to itself as a legitimate authority upholding the truth of its own fabrications.
We live in this same situation once again today, where good nations that have been destroyed in unjust wars are demonized, and new religions are contrived, such as the so-called Holocaust, in order to uphold the demons who destroyed good nations. In turn, all good men who oppose their agenda are also destroyed. By this, they continue their oppression of people which they have subjected by their own fabricated deception.
Of course there were Pharisees and some men among the rulers who believed on Christ, but they would not admit it “for fear of the Jews”. They believed on Him, but they would not risk being ostracized for their belief. So John wrote later, in chapter 12 of his gospel: “42 Nevertheless among the chief rulers also many believed on him; but because of the Pharisees they did not confess him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue: 43 For they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God.”
Have you seen it on CNN, Fox News, or read it in the New York Times? If not, then can it be true? What does Wikipedia say? The same appeals to worldly authorities which are often heard today indicate that those making such appeals worship the gods of this world, rather than inspecting the evidence and judging matters with righteous judgment.
So they continued:
49 But this crowd, not knowing the law, they are accursed!”
The leaders of the criminal enterprise claimed as a pretense of their authority a special knowledge of the law. Yet Yahshua Christ had often reprimanded them with an admonition to “search the Scriptures” because they did not know the law as they claimed. An example where He did this to the Sadducees is found in Matthew chapter 22 where it says: “29 Jesus answered and said unto them, Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God.” In John chapter 5 He told some of those who opposed Him “39 Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.”
Today the same Jews pretend to be authorities, and they pretend to be able even to explain Christianity to Christians better than Christians may understand it themselves, under the pretense of having some special knowledge. But it is they who are accursed, and who do not understand the Scriptures. If they were not accursed, they would have accepted the Christ, and their rejection proves that they are accursed, being bastards born of fornication. This is a subject of John chapter 8.
50 [P66 and א insert “Then”] Nikodemos says to them (he having come to Him earlier, being one of them): 51 “Does our law judge a man unless it first hears from him and would know [D has ‘discover’] what he does [D has ‘has done’]?”
The Codex Sinaiticus (א ) wants the words “he having come to him earlier”, where the phrase “being one of them” would be interpreted along with the main narrative, rather than as a parenthetical remark. Perhaps this would make Nicodemus a conspirator, rather than a secret disciple as John indicates elsewhere. The Codex Bezae (D) has the parenthetical remark to read “he having gone to Him earlier,at night at first, being one of them”; the Majority Text has “he having gone at night to Him earlier, being one of them”; our text follows the papyrus P75 and the Codices Vaticanus (B) and Borgianus (T), as well as the papyrus P66 and Codex Washingtonensis (W) which vary slightly.
Perhaps Nicodemus was one of those men whom John had in mind when he said in chapter 12 that “many believed on him; but because of the Pharisees they did not confess him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue”. John had recorded the words of Nicodemus, in chapter 3 of his gospel, where he professed that “we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him.” Here Nicodemus found an innocuous way to defend Christ, without actually betraying himself as a believer in Him. His question also contained the negative particle μή, where he expected a negative answer. Yet even though Nicodemus was correct about the law, the defenders of the criminal enterprise had mocked him:
52 They replied and said to him: “Are you also from Galilaia? Enquire [D and W have ‘Investigate the scriptures’], and see that a prophet has not arisen out of Galilaia!”
Some scholars insist that the name Capharnaum means “village of Nahum”, referring to the prophet. But the name Nahum itself is from a Hebrew word which means comfort, so Capernaum may just as readily mean “village of comfort”. It is only conjecture that the village was named for the prophet who shared its name. Other arguments are made that Jonah, Hosea, Elijah or Elisha were from Galilee, with varying degrees of credibility.
Demonstrably, Jonah was indeed from Galilee, being from Gath-hepher in the land of Zebulun. So one exception makes the adversaries of Christ into liars. But the fact is that even this is immaterial, because Christ was not born in Galilee, and his father was from the house of David in Bethlehem of Judah, where He was born. Yet as He Himself often said, His adversaries the Jews did not know the Scriptures.
As we shall explain when we present John chapter 8, verse 53 of John chapter 7, as it is in the King James and most other popular versions, does not belong to the original manuscripts and for that reason it is not provided here.
This concludes our commentary on John chapter 7.