Worship, War of words and the Word

John 4:13&14, et al

“Jesus answered and said to her, ‘Everyone who drinks of this water shall thirst again; but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life.‘”

It was not a coincidence that Jesus met the Samaritan woman at Jacob’s well around noon. It’s not a coincidence that John the apostle uses the words that he does. It’s not a coincidence that John the apostle uses the structure he does in his gospel composition. John the apostle reminds the reader that “there are also many other things which Jesus did, which if they were written in detail, I suppose that even the world itself would not contain the books which were written.” Therefore we can be sure that John’s words are intentional and important and that we should pay attention to the themes of which John offers up to the reader.

How does one understand the themes established by John? I would suggest that one should utilize a hermeneutical tool such as the CAGED method of Biblical hermeneutics, where; context is king, author’s aspirations to his audience are apex, genre is the general, expository exegesis of examples enlightens and dividing rightly the word of truth either confirms or cancels our preconceived notions and presuppositions.

I would also suggest that one should shut off the television so that one’s study is not clouded by the likes of Sid Roth, who proclaimed a landslide victory for Donald Trump, claiming to be inspired by God. Regardless of the ultimate outcome of the U.S. elections, there was no landslide. Most likely, Biden’s election will stand regardless of any lawsuits. It’s high time to fire Sid and his incompetent cronies of the purported prophecy pundit persuasion. They were wrong and a alleged prophet that is wrong, is by definition, a false prophet. We can’t let these people off the hook but must hold them accountable. One cannot claim to have a clear word from the Lord only to discover that the word was wrong, therefore not from the Lord. They have broken not only the commandment not to bear false witness but have trampled upon the purpose of prophecy. Prophecy points to Jesus, not Israel and certainly not Donald Trump. Here is a hypothetical, satirical, rhetorical, unanswerable question used to make us think: will we have the hologram of Joe Biden as president for no reason other than the Lord wants us to stop listening to televangelists and prophecy pundits, in favor of reading the Bible for ourselves, for all its worth, considering the context?

I hate to harp on this, beating the proverbial dead horse, but the horse is far from dead. After clearly lying, telling us a false prophecy concerning not only President Trump, predicting–actually promising a landslide for Republicans, 650,000 people tuned in to Sid Roth’s YouTube channel. And we wonder what’s wrong with America?

If you have stumbled upon this blog for the first time or have not read a missive in a while, or are reading in the future, let me explain. A week or so before the United States’ election in 2020, Sid Roth and his esteemed guests on his program, claimed a word from the Holy Spirit which said that Donald Trump was going to win reelection in a landslide. Furthermore they claimed that Republicans would make great gains in the Senate and house of representatives. Wrong. Far from a landslide, it appears that Donald Trump has not been reelected. Super wrong. And while Republicans have made some minor gains in the House, it is not enough to shift the balance of power and is anything but remarkable. For now I won’t get into any conspiracy theories concerning ballot harvesting or voter fraud because even if these things were a factor in the outcome of the election, should not the prophets of God have seen this? That is, even if computers counted ballots erroneously and Trump actually did win in a landslide, shouldn’t the prophets have perceived this as well?

The polls were wrong and the “prophets” were wrong no matter the ultimate outcome. Therefore, may I humbly suggest that we stop listening to pollsters and “prophets?” It is time to wake from our slumber and dedicate ourselves to devotions– to actually reading the Bible for all its worth and stop looking out the window for the Bible in our headlines. Look for the Head, not the headlines. We can start right now, watching the way in which John portrays Jesus–and even Israel.

Read the actual, inspired words of God: “There was the true light which, coming into the world, enlightens every man. He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. He came to His own, and those who were His own did not receive Him. But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, who were born not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.”

Do you see the theme? John’s preamble, which alternates between John the Baptist and Jesus, highlights and foreshadows where, and at what, John intends to go and convey to his readers. We call this attempting to ascertain and understand the author’s aspirations to his audience. When reading John’s gospel account, one should not read their presuppositions into what was written (eisegesis) but understand the intent (exegesis).

In criminal justice, intent follows the bullet. If a man points a gun at another man with the intent to kill him, and he squeezes the trigger at the same time the victim jumps out of the way and into an oncoming bus which kills him, the man is guilty of homicide even though the bus not the bullet killed the victim. His intent was to kill and his actions resulted in the death of the victim. The prosecution would point to the intent of the man who brandished the firearm. Even though the man didn’t directly kill the victim, his intent caused the death of the victim.

In the same way people are accusing election officials of locking them out from overseeing election ballot tabulations. Why would those counting ballots not want to be watched? What was their intent by locking out observers? I said that I wouldn’t get into conspiracy theories and I won’t but I want to use current events to jog our minds so that we understand the importance of intent. What was John’s intention of writing, very early in his gospel account, “He came to his own, and those who were his own, did not receive him?” By considering the continuing context we see that John’s preamble is to establish this theme.

Follow with John in a super-short summary: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God… All things came into being by Him… In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not ccomprehend it. There came a man, sent from God, whose name was John. He came for a witness, that he might bear witness of the light, that all might believe through him. He was not the light, but came that he might bear witness of the light. There was the true light which, coming into the world, enlightens every man. He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. He came to His own, and those who were His own did not receive Him. But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, who were born not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth…”Now there was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews; this man came to Him by night, and said to Him, ‘Rabbi, we know that You have come from God as a teacher; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him.’ Jesus answered and said to him, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.’ Nicodemus said to Him, ‘How can a man be born when he is old? He cannot enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born, can he?’ Jesus answered, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit…Are you the teacher of Israel, and do not understand these things?'”

Notice how John’s intent in his preamble emerges in the ministry of Jesus. Nicodemus was a Pharisee and didn’t understand, yet. The wedding in Cana was not worth mentioning in Matthew, Mark or Luke but John took the time to record it because it followed his theme and the imagery alludes to John’s intent. That is that the creator himself, condescended to his own but as his own rejected him, he rejected them. Jesus brought a better sacrifice and a better system. This is the intent of Jesus to the woman at the well.

It’s important to note that which the woman at the well knew and that which confused and confounded her. She was confused concerning the proper place to worship. Was it on the mountain in Jerusalem or the mountain in Samaria? Notice her statement after changing the subject concerning her relationships with men.

“The woman answered and said, ‘I have no husband.’ Jesus said to her, ‘You have well said, “I have no husband;” for you have had five husbands, and the one whom you now have is not your husband; this you have said truly.’ The woman said to Him, ‘Sir, I perceive that You are a prophet. Our fathers worshiped in this mountain, and you people say that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship.'”

Before we look again at the response to the woman from Jesus, notice that of which the woman was sure. “I know that Messiah is coming; when that One comes, He will declare all things to us.” Let’s examine this for a moment. She, being a double outcast as a Samaritan woman and probably a prostitute because she came to the well at noon, was wondering about where to worship based upon taught traditions but knew that the Messiah was coming and that he would declare all things. While where one was to worship was hotly debated between the Jewish people and the Samaritan people, her understanding was that the Messiah would come to establish where one ought to worship. Ironically enough, Jesus already told her where worship would be. More precisely he promised where it wouldn’t be.

“Woman, believe Me, an hour is coming when neither in this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, shall you worship the Father.” Question; was Jesus being literal or figurative? Because I have to admit that I have been to Jerusalem, and while I was a sophomoric student steeped in sophistry, I worshiped the father there. I have also passed through what was then called, “Samaria,” and I worshiped there as well. However I didn’t offer a sacrifice on an altar or burn incense.

This is where I divert from the prophecy pundits’ narrative and rely rather on what was written. I see a Biblical return of Israel to the Lord, Jesus but not the way in which it is portrayed by the prophecy pundits. Jerusalem is not Jerusalem anymore, Spiritually speaking. True Jerusalem comes down out of heaven. Jesus offers this spiritual Jerusalem as living water to the woman at the well. He calls it being born again to Nicodemus. It is represented by worthless water becoming wine in the first miracle of Jesus at the wedding in Cana. It is represented by the imagery of the heavens being opened, the light in the darkness and the destruction and rebuilding of the temple of the body of Jesus. It is all imagery following the intent of John to his audience. We look for Jesus in the Old Testament but do we look for Jesus in the ministry of Jesus? We must also look for the Old Testament in the ministry of Jesus. Rather than assume that earthly Jerusalem is part of prophecy, we must examine examples of the ministry of Jesus through the lens of the Old Testament law and prophets. We see the juxtaposition is disjointed between Jeremiah and Jerusalem, while synchronicity is seemingly seen, it is because verses are ripped out of context and the author’s intent and aspirations are ignored.

We don’t want to formulate theories about our times based upon verses clearly ripped out of context. For example it is repeatedly reported on rapture-rescue radio that the church is in apostasy in our days because Paul promised this to Timothy. The problem is that Paul promised it to Timothy, not us. I believe that the church is in apostasy because of the people who percieve that the church goes into apostasy– one usually hits that at which one aims. Remember that Jesus promised the woman at the well that true worshipers would worship in Spirit and truth. It’s a combination of synonymous statements which cannot stand alone. Unfortunately for my friends in a certain communist country in the Caribbean, they don’t see this or understand, but it is not their fault, alone. It was shipped to them from our shores. When hundreds of thousands of people continue to listen to mega-church pastors and televangelists who wrongly claim a word from the Lord, what chance do churches in their infancy have?

In many, if not most, of the churches in this country in the Caribbean, the Holy Spirit is allegedly invoked by weeping, leaping, heaving, dancing and prancing, but is this truth? Do we see this sort of thing in the New Testament? They also rely heavily on words from “prophets” who are not always correct. I would suggest that if one speaks words that are not correct, they by definition are false. And if not correct but false, it is not truth and therefore didn’t come from the Spirit and therefore are worthless for worship.

Bear with me in my sophomoric reasoning. Jesus doesn’t tell the Samaritan woman that true worshipers will worship in Spirit and falsehood. He doesn’t tell her that true worshipers will worship with Spirit and a sprinkle of truth. Jesus does not advocate prophets or even pastors here. Rather than focus on what Jesus doesn’t say, it is best to grasp what he does say and then we can understand his intent.

“An hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers shall worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers. God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”

Three times Jesus tells the woman at the well that true worshipers must worship in Spirit and truth. He never separates Spirit from truth but rather keeps them together with the conjunction “and.” They are intrinsically linked together, three times. It appears that the intent of Jesus is to demonstrate this clearly. Neither in Jerusalem nor in Samaria but in Spirit and truth are people to worship. Jesus’ intent is not necessarily that one can never worship in Jerusalem again because we see the Spirit come in fullness in Jerusalem. But we understand the metaphorical meaning, that God is worthy of worship apart from Mosaic Law and taught traditions. Simplified; The Old Covenant is all but obsolete and the New Covenant has come.

As a youth director I would be hypothetically and gallingly dogmatic at times when teaching, in order to point out dubious dogmas in our taught traditions. For example; I would point to worshiping in Spirit and truth in John, chapter four and then tell the teenagers that we shouldn’t sing, Hark, the Herald Angels Sing! Shocked and dismayed they would ask me why. I told them, “because no where in the Bible do we read of angels singing.” (This is an argument for another day.) Even more shocked by this statement, they would respond by saying things like, “of course they do, it’s in Luke 2!” Except that it isn’t, accept that it isn’t. I have covered this territory before and won’t belabor it now; it is easily verifiable by reading Luke 2:16’s last word. Praise and worship does not have to be in song. I digress; somewhat; the point I tried to make but didn’t then and probably am not making now is that “Spirit and truth” only suits us when it’s the Spirit and truth of which we believe. Somehow Sid Roth will explain away his false prophecies. My friends in the Caribbean will do the same concerning their false expressions of the Spirit. But this all goes against the Spirit of Jesus’ statements to the Samaritan woman at the well. It is quite contrary to the intent of Jesus and to John’s aspirations to his audience.

Yet, we don’t want to be overly dogmatic, legalistic or take wording out of context to literal extremes, as I was seen by the overly literal teenagers. Yes, we must worship in Spirit and truth but because Jesus said that it wouldn’t be in Jerusalem doesn’t mean it can’t be in Jerusalem. Jesus’ intent in his argument was for the woman to move on from location and onto vocation. The same way that he changed worthless water for purification into wonderful wine and told the Jewish people present at his temple tantrum, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.”

The woman wisely switched gears from location to the vocation of the Messiah. In the book of Acts, chapter 24, verse 11, we read the words of Paul; “You can verify that it is not more than twelve days since I went up to worship in Jerusalem.” This would be impossible if we took the words to the woman at the well overly literal. There are many more examples but the intent of Jesus is clear by considering the continuing context and the immediate context. It was less about the location and more about the system. And in the new system, Spirit and truth are front and center as is the Messiah, his ministry and his message.

Nevertheless, old Jerusalem, and certainly Samaria, are out. Jerusalem may be on the map but it is not the center of worship and will not be. Jesus is the center of worship for all eternity; this is in the book of Hebrews. In which, the Old Covenant is explained by the New Covenant which is not going to expire like the Old Covenant. Also, to the followers of Sid Roth, John Hagee and Jonathan Cahn, and to my friends in a certain communist country in the Caribbean who think that modern day prophets speak to us in the “end times,” consider; in Hebrews we read, “God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world. And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power. When He had made purification of sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high; having become as much better than the angels, as He has inherited a more excellent name than they. For to which of the angels did He ever say, ‘THOU ART MY SON, TODAY I HAVE BEGOTTEN THEE?’ And again, ‘I WILL BE A FATHER TO HIM AND HE SHALL BE A SON TO ME?’ And when He again brings the first-born into fthe world, He says, ‘AND LET ALL THE ANGELS OF GOD WORSHIP HIM.’ And of the angels He says, ‘WHO MAKES HIS ANGELS WINDS, AND HIS MINISTERS A FLAME OF FIRE.’ But of the Son He says, ‘THY THRONE, O GOD, IS FOREVER AND EVER, AND THE RIGHTEOUS SCEPTER IS THE SCEPTER OF HIS KINGDOM.'”

What was the author’s intent by comparing Jesus to angels? Satan is an angel, albeit an evil angel. Michael is an angel, as is Gabriel. Yet Jesus is far superior to them. In fact, John and the author of Hebrews tell us that Jesus created the angels. Angels announced the coming of Jesus by saying, not singing (sorry), “Glory to God in the highest.” Yet while we have seen angels in Scripture, as well as prophets, and even the Law, the point is that they all pointed to Jesus and not Sid Roth. In other words, Jesus has instructed us through himself and even the apostles point back to Jesus as the Law and prophets pointed forward. And while most of Israel missed this, as do the majority of churches, the outcast, Samaritan, woman at the well knew that the Messiah would explain all things. His words would be reliable and truthful. And to beat the proverbial dead horse that won’t die, Trump winning by a landslide was obviously not a word from Jesus. But it was proclaimed to be a word from Jesus by numerous people, claiming to be prophets, consequently they are liars and false prophets, worshiping falsely.

Personally I thought that Trump would be reelected in a minor, electoral-college landslide, with the “battleground” states of Michigan and Pennsylvania but never with the popular vote because of California and The North East. Too many people in these places are indoctrinated into their political beliefs, not paying attention to the racist, misogynistic, oppressive actions of their political party. In the same way, the prophecy pundits are indoctrinated into their own historically ignorant ideals.

The Holy Spirit did not come to me to reveal a Trump landslide, that was something I came to on my own based upon finite information. Rather, the Holy Spirit held Himself to his vocation and convicted me of my sins. You’ll get no such confession out of Sid Roth. The Hologram of Joe Biden is not God’s indignant judgement against America–he is no Nero Caesar. Yet it is time to examine where and how we get our information. Before we look at current events we should study the Bible for all its worth, letting Scripture interpret Scripture because it is the only verifiable source of inspired words. Can we trust prophets who are wrong? What if they are mostly right? We don’t need prophets– it is that simple. Here are the two reasons why. 1, God spoke to us through his son and it was recorded. 2. (Sarcastically) If prophecy points to our days and Israel is the prophetic time clock, for 1,907 years people lived without prophets; we can as well. That is, if Revelation and Matthew 24 apply to our generation, nothing prophetic happened in the meantime besides a few rumors of war. While the prophecy pundits love to point out the similarities between us and Matthew 24 and Revelation, how many of them would last an hour in Nero’s garden? It’s time to wake up. It’s time to know our history and the blood of the Martyrs that gave us a cushy life free from persecution. If God judged us by our merits, we’d have much worse than a hair-smelling president.

90 miles off of the coast of the United States lays our future. Persecution is real in this communist county nevertheless their prophets are false but God is there. As the woman at the well was an outcast, she had a divine date with destiny. This woman who was set aside from society met the Messiah face to face. Hated and despised by not only the Jews but also the Samaritans, this woman had a divine date with the Messiah, although she was fairly ignorant and stained with sin; think about this. We are told to be followers of Jesus and we flock around Israel, because that is clearly the theme in the gospel according to John. Temple worship, sacrificing bulls and goats, red heifers and golden utensils leap forth from the pages of John. That’s not sarcasm because they do. However they find their fulfillment in what the woman perceived to be true, which was true, that the Messiah would come and explan everything, which is confirmed by Jesus saying, “I who speak to you am He.”

Remember that John’s preamble says, “No man has seen God at any time; the only begotten God, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has explained Him.” Jesus explained everything, progressively but he is also the fulfillment. The Law and prophets point to Jesus. Jesus points to Jesus, the Holy Spirit points to Jesus and they all point us to the Father.

“Jesus answered and said to her, ‘Everyone who drinks of this water shall thirst again; but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life.'”

Jacob’s well was nothing more than water for man and beast but what Jesus brought to the well was eternal. This holds fast to the themes found in John’s gospel account. It isn’t Israel, it isn’t Judah, it is not Moses, David, the Law or prophets. These were merely shadows to the substance of Christ, as Paul wrote to the Colossians. The eternal truth, signified by the Spirit is that Jesus is the only remedy for Israel, Samaria, The United States, Kenya, Somalia, Canada, Cambodia, China, Cuba, Russia and every other nation, not Sid Roth, Joe Biden or Donald Trump.

The Bible is not about earthly Israel or Jerusalem but the Jerusalem which comes down from heaven, made up of every people, tongue and tribe, purchased by Jesus. This is not only the theme of Revelation but John’s gospel account as well. Lord willing, we will continue to watch it develop.

Update: I was prevented from posting everything I originally wrote; banned before being shadow banned. Read into this whatever you want. We must be grassroots, gospel gatherers.

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