April 3, 2001

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I was visiting with a pastor today and he said something that has stayed with me. I'll give you a paraphrase, for he was making a point that in many churches today, there are little nuggets of what God is saying, accompanied by lots of man's philosophy and opinions, that really profit very little. God had told that pastor, as he was being raised up, to focus on the nuggets of what God was saying and cast aside the philosophy and opinions. You see, this pastor said, when God speaks, he usually quickens the word within you, but if the word is not in you, what can the Holy Spirit quicken?

I have always been very devoted to study of the word of God. I know that we must continually study the same passages and books over and over, praying for more light, because I have learned that the wisdom and understanding of the word is revealed line by line and precept by precept. You may have read John 7 ten times or even a hundred, and yet not yet have everything from it that God eventually wants you to have.

Until you have the full understanding from the word, you do not have in you all that you need. I'll give an example. For the first 3 and 1/2 years of my walk as a Christian, I was bound by the Mormon spirit. I had been shown that the Mormon church was a cult, but the spirit that empowers the Book of Mormon still had a hold on me. I had read John 7:39 many, many times in that 3 and 1/2 years, but it wasn't until I had the understanding from it, that I was delivered from that Mormon spirit.

For, you see, that scripture clearly says that the holy spirit was not yet given because Jesus was not yet glorified. I have previously discussed with many of you the revelation the Lord gave me, regarding the underlying Greek, and about just what is meant by this statement. The literal Greek renders it in this fashion: "the spirit was not yet holy because Jesus was not yet glorified." You see, this eliminates doctrinal arguments and brings clarity, for we are really talking about man's spirit here, which was not yet holy, until Jesus was glorified. It is easy then to see why the Holy Spirit of God could not indwell and be united with man's spirit while it was still unholy. It then becomes easy to see that the Mormon claim that people were baptized with the Holy Spirit in the Americas 350 years before the birth of Jesus is a lie and is totally antibiblical.

Whichever way you take this scripture, it was proof to me of the falsehood of the book of Mormon, and the correct understanding of it set me free from bondage and I was instantly delivered forever from the mind blinding power of that spirit. God used His word to do it, and that word had to be in me first.

I was reading closer in John 7 and noticed a few other things of note. For instance, verse 27 indicates that some who were following Jesus had some type of perverted understanding of prophecy in that they believed that when the Christ would come, no man would know from whence he came. I have never met anyone who can tell me what OT prophecy that belief came from. They needed truth, but someone had filled them with a philosophy, and so, they rejected Jesus, not based upon the word of God, but because of some opinion that someone had filled their heads with. Be careful what you listen to!

Verse 42 reveals knowledge, but held incompletely. They had not fully inquired of the Lord to discover that he HAD been born in Bethlehem. They knew that the messiah must come from Bethlehem, but their study had been incomplete, and therefore, they still fell short of a revelation of the truth. They too, missed the hour of their visitation because of inadequate inquiry.

Look further at Verse 52. Some supposedly learned pharisees made the arrogant and ignorant statement that "out of Galilee ariseth no prophet". Now, I wonder, just what did those pharisees think that Isaiah 9 was talking about. It seems rather clear there that great light was prophesied to come out of Galilee, but they either did not know the truth, or had been blinded to it. Furthermore, were they simply absentmindedly forgetful about the fact that Jonah had come from Galilee?

And so, we must continue to look into the word of God, praying all the while that God may open our understanding and deliver us from blindness, for Isaiah also has said that "there is none blind like my servant". We have either learned some things incompletely, or we have been blind to the fulness of the truth, and since we can only receive from our Lord line by line, and feed on enough manna from heaven for the day at hand, we must continue to study ourselves approved, until the day when we see our Lord: face to face.

Stephen L. Bening
a servant and prophet of our Lord Jesus Christ

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