Warning Signs | Don't Reject the Heavenly Voice, Day 2
If you know God, you will love God. If you love God, you will obey God.
Verse of the Day
'Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord: ' Hebrews 12:14 NKJV
Do you recognize the Heavenly voice in your life?
Do you tend to lean on your own understanding of God’s Word, or do you lean on God for His divine guidance?
Do we as Christians have the right to condemn others for their sins?
Read John 8:1-11
but Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. Early in the morning he came again to the temple. All the people came to him, and he sat down and taught them. The scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in adultery, and placing her in the midst they said to him, “Teacher, this woman has been caught in the act of adultery. Now in the Law, Moses commanded us to stone such women. So what do you say?” This they said to test him, that they might have some charge to bring against him. Jesus bent down and wrote with his finger on the ground. And as they continued to ask him, he stood up and said to them, “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.” And once more he bent down and wrote on the ground. But when they heard it, they went away one by one, beginning with the older ones, and Jesus was left alone with the woman standing before him. Jesus stood up and said to her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on sin no more.” John 8:1-11 ESV
What does it mean for “those without sin to cast the first stone”?
Jesus was making the point very clear that no person has the right to judge other people.
None of us are without sin, therefore none of us can judge others for their sins.
Are we quick to judge people for their sins and punish them for it?
Have you ever felt like you had the right to cast the first stone?
Have you ever been on the receiving end of a “thrown stone”?
What must we do to receive God’s forgiveness?
Earnestly seek God and repent and He will forgive all your sins.
Read John 8:12
Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” John 8:12 ESV
What does it mean to “walk in darkness”?
To walk in darkness is to live in sin, without repentance, and without the desire to live for God.
To live as a slave to the darkness of Satan and bondage of sin.
What does it mean to “have the light of life”?
Jesus is the light of the world, therefore to have the light is to have a relationship with Jesus through accepting His salvation and being freed from the slavery of sin and darkness.
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Ephesians 6:10-12 ESV
Read John 8:13-18
So the Pharisees said to him, “You are bearing witness about yourself; your testimony is not true.” Jesus answered, “Even if I do bear witness about myself, my testimony is true, for I know where I came from and where I am going, but you do not know where I come from or where I am going. You judge according to the flesh; I judge no one. Yet even if I do judge, my judgment is true, for it is not I alone who judge, but I and the Father who sent me. In your Law it is written that the testimony of two people is true. I am the one who bears witness about myself, and the Father who sent me bears witness about me.” John 8:13-18 ESV
Is it ever for us to judge others or determine whether someone’s testimony is true or false?
“Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven; Luke 6:37 ESV
“Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. Why do you see the speck that is in your brother's eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother's eye. Matthew 7:1-5 ESV
Do not speak evil against one another, brothers. The one who speaks against a brother or judges his brother, speaks evil against the law and judges the law. But if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge. There is only one lawgiver and judge, he who is able to save and to destroy. But who are you to judge your neighbor? James 4:11-12 ESV
Therefore you have no excuse, O man, every one of you who judges. For in passing judgment on another you condemn yourself, because you, the judge, practice the very same things. We know that the judgment of God rightly falls on those who practice such things. Do you suppose, O man—you who judge those who practice such things and yet do them yourself—that you will escape the judgment of God? Romans 2:1-3 ESV
What does Jesus mean when He says “I know where I came from and where I am going”, and how does this relate to us?
Jesus is referring to Him coming from the Father to be with man, and then His impending return to Heaven to be with the Father again.
By remembering that Christ came from the Father, and returned to the Father, we can be encouraged that He made the way for us to also come to the Father and be freed from the slavery of sin.
Read John 8:19-24
In your Law it is written that the testimony of two people is true. I am the one who bears witness about myself, and the Father who sent me bears witness about me.” They said to him therefore, “Where is your Father?” Jesus answered, “You know neither me nor my Father. If you knew me, you would know my Father also.” These words he spoke in the treasury, as he taught in the temple; but no one arrested him, because his hour had not yet come. So he said to them again, “I am going away, and you will seek me, and you will die in your sin. Where I am going, you cannot come.” So the Jews said, “Will he kill himself, since he says, ‘Where I am going, you cannot come’ ?” He said to them, “You are from below; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world. I told you that you would die in your sins, for unless you believe that I am he you will die in your sins.” John 8:17-24 ESV
What does Jesus mean when He says “If you knew me, you would know my Father also”?
Jesus is the only way to the Father. By accepting Christ, we come into a relationship with God. But if we reject Christ, we do not truly know God.
What does it mean that “his hour had not yet come”?
God had a plan and it was not yet time for Jesus to be arrested. There was still work to be done!
What does Jesus mean in John 8:23-24?
Jesus is the Son of God and came from Heaven to be with us.
He was telling the Pharisees that they were of the world, not of God.
Read John 8:25-30
So they said to him, “Who are you?” Jesus said to them, “Just what I have been telling you from the beginning. I have much to say about you and much to judge, but he who sent me is true, and I declare to the world what I have heard from him.” They did not understand that he had been speaking to them about the Father. So Jesus said to them, “When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am he, and that I do nothing on my own authority, but speak just as the Father taught me. And he who sent me is with me. He has not left me alone, for I always do the things that are pleasing to him.” As he was saying these things, many believed in him. John 8:25-30 ESV
How you speak about God’s truth can have an incredible impact on others. You don’t know who is listening and who may need to hear what God has called you to share.
We must lean on God in prayer and His Word to guide us in how to share His truth. We must never lean on our own understanding, or even our own desires when sharing God’s truth.
When we accept God’s gift of salvation through Christ’s holy sacrifice we receive the Holy Spirit and must lean on the Heavenly voice to teach, guide and correct us in all areas of our lives, which also includes how we share the gospel with others.
Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. Romans 8:26 ESV
Read John 8:31-38
So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” They answered him, “We are offspring of Abraham and have never been enslaved to anyone. How is it that you say, ‘You will become free’?” Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who practices sin is a slave to sin. The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son remains forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. I know that you are offspring of Abraham; yet you seek to kill me because my word finds no place in you. I speak of what I have seen with my Father, and you do what you have heard from your father.” John 8:31-38 ESV
How do we “abide in” the Word of God, and how does this qualify us as “true disciples”?
Disciple of Jesus: Someone who accepts and lives according to the views and practices of Jesus.
Strong’s G3101: mathētēs - A learner, pupil or disciple
When we abide in the Word, we are constantly learning how to live our lives according to God’s Word and instructions for us.
In abiding in the Word, we are displaying evidence of our faith in Christ as we learn to obey the Heavenly voice.
God tells us that if we love Him, we will obey Him. He calls on us to abide in His Word.
If we obediently abide in His Word out of love for Him, we are living as He has called us to live, learning and growing in faith and knowledge of Him and His Word, and are therefore His disciples.
When we are slaves to sin, the Word of God does not abide in us and we do not understand His Word nor do we live according to it, therefore if we are enslaved to sin we are not His disciples.
Read John 8:39-47
They answered him, “Abraham is our father.” Jesus said to them, “If you were Abraham’s children, you would be doing the works Abraham did, but now you seek to kill me, a man who has told you the truth that I heard from God. This is not what Abraham did. You are doing the works your father did.” They said to him, “We were not born of sexual immorality. We have one Father—even God.” Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and I am here. I came not of my own accord, but he sent me. Why do you not understand what I say? It is because you cannot bear to hear my word. You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies. But because I tell the truth, you do not believe me. Which one of you convicts me of sin? If I tell the truth, why do you not believe me? Whoever is of God hears the words of God. The reason why you do not hear them is that you are not of God.” John 8:39-47 ESV
In saying they were not born of sexual immorality, they were indicating that Jesus had because of the “rumors” about His mother, Mary.
Even while people claim to be of God, Jesus knows the true heart of all people.
Those who are truly of God will love and accept Jesus and follow Him.
Those who reject Jesus are not of God even if they claim to be a Christian.
Claiming to be a Christian does not make you a Christian. Accepting and following Christ and His salvation is what brings you into a saving faith relationship with God.
When you are truly of God, you will hear and recognize the Heavenly voice.
If you are not of God, you will abide in the word of the Devil because you do not recognize the voice of God and will be enslaved to sin.
Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world. 1 John 4:1 ESV
Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you fail to meet the test! 2 Corinthians 13:5 ESV
Read John 8:48-59
'The Jews answered 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. Yet I do not seek my own glory; there is One who seeks it, and he is the judge. Truly, truly, I say to you, if anyone keeps my word, he will never see death.” The Jews said to him, “Now we know that you have a demon! Abraham died, as did the prophets, yet you say, ‘If anyone keeps my word, he will never taste death.’ Are you greater than our father Abraham, who died? And the prophets died! Who do you make yourself out to be?” Jesus answered, “If I glorify myself, my glory is nothing. It is my Father who glorifies me, of whom you say, ‘He is our God.’ But you have not known him. I know him. If I were to say that I do not know him, I would be a liar like you, but I do know him and I keep his word. Your father Abraham rejoiced that he would see my day. He saw it and was glad.” So the Jews said to him, “You are not yet fifty years old, and have you seen Abraham?” Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.” So they picked up stones to throw at him, but Jesus hid himself and went out of the temple. John 8:48-59 ESV
Do we, as Christians, know the heart of other people?
People should be able to see the fruits of the Spirit pour out of us, but we still cannot know the heart of another person. Only God knows the heart of people.
But Jesus, knowing their thoughts, said, “Why do you think evil in your hearts? Matthew 9:4 ESV
But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a person. Matthew 15:18 ESV
What does Jesus mean by saying “if anyone keeps my word, he will never see death”? Did the Pharisees misunderstand Him?
If we truly abide in Christ and live according to His Word and the Heavenly voice we have a promise of eternity in Heaven with Him.
If we do not abide in Him and instead reject Him, His Word, and His Heavenly voice we will also reject this promise of eternity with Him, trading it in for an eternity separated from God and all that is good and love.
The Pharisees, not being of God, did not understand that Jesus was speaking about their eternal fate. Non-believers do not understand the eternal fate for rejecting Christ, His Word and the Heavenly voice.
How is Jesus’ reaction at the end of this passage an example to us in our conversations with others?
It does not matter what people claim about their own salvation, but only what God says about their salvation.
Instead of continuing to go back and forth with those who would not listen, twisted His words, and denied Him time and again He decided to walk away from the conversation.
We can share the truth, but we cannot force people to listen or to accept God, His Word, or His voice. We must lean on the Heavenly voice to guide every conversation, even when He says to walk away.
We must always be careful to let God guide us at all times, and not get caught pushing our own agendas, views, opinions, or even trying to force people to accept God’s truth.
We must always display the love of God and the fruit of the Spirit at all times. By listening to the Heavenly voice and letting God be our guide every day, we will learn more about how to live as Christ and inherently produce His fruit in our lives and interactions with others.
Do we tend to jump to conclusions about people while coming up alongside them?
How do you tend to respond when someone disagrees with you? How can you lean on God more in these conversations?
Do we tend to attack others when we want to correct them, or do we tend to approach them out of love?
Ask for God to work in the hearts of this community and reveal how we can love and help one another better, and listen for the Heavenly voice better.