NEW TESTAMENT - LESSON 15
- Jesus attends the Feast of Tabernacles and teaches in the temple.
- A woman taken in adultery is brought to Jesus.
- Jesus declares, "I am the light of the world."
A study of this lesson should strengthen our testimonies that Jesus
Christ is our Savior and that by following him we can gain true freedom.
The Feast Of Tabernacles
- John 7 states that Jesus' "brethren" invited Him to
go up to the Feast of Tabernacles in Jerusalem.
V10: "But when his brethren were gone up, then went he also
up unto the feast, not openly, but as it were in secret."
- The footnote reference in verse 3 refers back to Matthew 12:46: "While
he yet talked to the people, behold, his mother and his brethren stood
without, desiring to speak with him."
- Talmage refers to His "brethren" as his kinsman.
- Jesus told his brethren to go on up to the feast.
- He said, "I go not up yet unto this feast; for my time is not
yet full come." (John 7:8)
- In v1 it says that Jesus would not walk in Jewry "because the
Jews sought to kill him."
WHAT IS THE FEAST OF TABERNACLES?
- WHY DID JESUS DELAY GOING UP TO THE FEAST?
- It would give his brethren time to speak of the great works of the
Lord among the people.
- It would not allow the wicked Jews time to put their conspiracy into
effect with Jesus appearing suddenly on the scene.
John 7:11-12: "Then the Jews sought him at the feast, and said,
Where is he? And there was much murmuring among the people concerning him:
for some said, He is a good man: others said, Nay; but he deceiveth the
- The third of the three great feasts. It was considered by the Jews
the greatest and most joyful of the feasts.
- The feast commemorates the Lord's blessings to the children of Israel
during their travels in the wilderness.
- It was held in the fall, six months after the Feast of the Passover.
It was a time for thanksgiving at the end of the harvest.
- Bruce R. McConkie: "Coming five days after the Day of Atonement,
it was thus celebrated when the sins of the chosen people had been removed
and when their special covenant relation to Jehovah had been renewed and
restored. Above all other occasions it was one for rejoicing, bearing testimony,
and praising the Lord. In the full sense, it is the Feast of Jehovah, the
one Mosaic celebration which, as part of the restitution of all things,
shall be restored when Jehovah comes to reign personally upon the earth
for a thousand years. Even now we perform one of its chief rituals in our
solemn assemblies, the giving of the Hosanna Shout, and the worshipers
of Jehovah shall yet be privileged to exult in other of its sacred rituals."
(Promised Messiah, p426)
READ JOHN 7:14-17. Jesus appears at the temple
and begans to preach.
- WHAT SIMILAR REACTIONS TO THE GOSPEL AND PROPHETS DO WE SEE TODAY?
- We see the whole range of opinion from the praise of the world regarding
such things as emphasis on the family, the welfare program, and health
standard to being led astray by the devil or even in conspiracy with Him.
- WHY DO PEOPLE HAVE SUCH OPPOSITE OPINIONS ABOUT THE TRUTH?
- Those that have negative feelings about the truth are often influenced
by Satan. He always strives to put the powers of the priesthood in a bad
- People may feel threatened by the Church and its growing influence.
- HOW CAN ONE KNOW THAT JESUS' TEACHINGS, OR THE TEACHINGS OF ANY PROPHET,
COME FROM GOD?
- Do what he teaches. The key word is "DO".
- As Alma taught the Zoramites (see Alma 32), we need to try an "experiment"
on the word. During the years of our schooling, we have all taken science
and tried different experiments. The Lord is asking us to do the same.
Try the experiment and check out the results.
- John K. Carmack of the Seventy: "In other words, as you try
it you can know it is true. This requires faith to try, but it yields spiritual
evidence. To the disciple who tries the experiement will come conviction,
knowledge, and light." (Ensign, Nov. 1988, p26)
- Bruce R. McConkie: "In the final analysis the truth of doctrine
can only be known by revelation gained as a result of obedience."
( Mormon Doctrine, p205)
- Brigham Young taught, "More testimonies are obtained on the
feet that on the knees."
- WHAT DOES PRESIDENT YOUNG MEAN BY THIS STATEMENT?
- HOW WAS YOUR TESTIMONY OF A GOSPEL PRINCIPLE STRENGTHENED AS YOU LIVED
- By far, the most profound demonstration of this truth in my life occurred
during my mission. I grew up in Utah and attended Church my whole life.
I believed the Church to be true and was determined to serve a mission.
I served much of my mission in Oklahoma and found many people there to
be spiritual and full of faith. Their faith challenged my belief. I wondered
how they could have such faith in their beliefs. As much or more faith
than I had in mine.
After I had been out for several months,
I read the biography of Heber C. Kimball by Orson F. Whitney. I was moved
by the incredible faith of this great man. He was willing to sacrifice
anything for the sake of the gospel. I wondered why I didn't have such
faith. I began to question my own testimony. I even wondered why I was
on a mission. How could I teach people the gospel when my own testimony
In the midst of these spiritual and mental
struggles I was struck with the flu. This only seemed to make matters worse.
But as I lay in bed with a sick body and a sick spirit, I decided what
I needed to do was to do what I had been telling people to do for the past
several months, to read the Book of Mormon and pray about it. Yes, I had
read the Book of Mormon before this time. But I had not seriously followed
through on Moroni's admonition, to "ask with a sincere heart, with
real intent, having faith in Christ".
Over the next few days, as I recovered from
my illness and resumed normal activity, I read the Book of Mormon from
cover to cover. And then I started reading it again. I prayed with sincerity,
intent, and hope. What happened? I came to know that the Book of Mormon
is true. I did not have a miraculous vision. I was not struck in a moment
with a great conviction. Bit by bit, over the next few weeks, I received
an undeniable witness by "the power of the Holy Ghost"
that the book is true.
This witness was carried so deep into my
heart, that some years later when I took a "vacation" from church
activity, it was this testimony of the Book of Mormon that shook me from
my complacency and moved me back to gospel activity. I keep my missionary
edition of the Book of Mormon on top of a cabinet in my bedroom. Whenever
I would relax in bed, I would see my Book of Mormon sitting on the cabinet.
And when I thought of the Book of Mormon, that powerful witness received
during my mission experience, reverberated in my heart. In a sense, it
called to me saying, "You know that I am a true. How can you deny
the faith by refusing to attend church?" Eventually I returned to
church activity. It was my testimony of the Book of Mormon that brought
What the Lord says is true, if we want to
know the validity of his doctrines, we need to do what he has asked. When
we do so, we will receive a powerful witness as I did when I followed the
admonition of Moroni in regards to the Book of Mormon.
- The reverse of this principle is also true. If we do not live the principles
of the gospel, our testimonies will weaken.
- Neal A. Maxwell: "There is today more ecumenicism, but there
is also more shared doubt. More and more people believe less and lessbut
they do believe it together. The fewer the issues, the easier it is to
get agreements. The fewer standards there are, the less there is for congregations
to rebel against. Since knowing is tied to doing, and doing to knowing,
there is an awful cycle in all of this. Jesus said we can know of the divinity
of his doctrines by keeping his commandments and by doing the will of the
Father. Therefore, a slackening of behavioral standards brings more doubt.
(John 7:16-17.) Such doubters will not want to be reminded of the strong,
true doctrines pertaining to human behavior. Standards will grow even more
slack, and true teachings will dwindle even further." (Things
As They Really Are, p48-49)
The Woman Taken In Adultery
- READ JOHN 8:2-11.
- WHY DID THE SCRIBES AND PHARIESEES BRING THE ADULTEROUS WOMAN TO JESUS?
- They attempted to create a dilemma for the Master.
- The Law of Moses required the punishment for this act to be stoning.
- The Law of Rome held the power of punishment by death, and certainly
Rome would not issue a decree of death for the act of adultery.
- The Jews thought they had the perfect opportunity, to get him on the
wrong side of the Law of Moses or the Law of Rome.
- WHY DIDN'T THEY STONE HER?
- Bruce R. McConkie: "No man is without sin in the sense of having
completely avoided the commission of evil acts. (1 John 1:5-10.) All men
are sinners to some degree. Yet these very sinners, who themselves stood
as the witnesses against convicted adulterers in ancient Israel, were obligated
to cast the first stone when the death penalty was imposed by the judges.
Jesus, therefore, could not have meant that penalties are to be imposed
only by persons who are themselves wholly free from sin. Rather, he was
here dealing with men who themselves were guilty, either actually or in
their sin-laden hearts, of the same offense charged against the woman;
that is, they were in effect adulterers worthy of death according to the
terms of the very law they now sought to invoke against the woman."
- WHAT DID JESUS MEAN WHEN HE SAID, "NEITHER DO I CONDEMN THEE"?
- According to Elder McConkie:
- The Lord does not condone the guilty act. He condemns all guilty acts.
- He does not condemn her within the meaning of the Mosaic law where
her accuser is obligated to sit in judgment and cast the first stone.
- He does not condemn her because she repented and became clean before
- Elder Marvin J. Ashton: "Jesus did not condone adultery; there
is no doubt about His attitude toward proper moral conduct. [But] he chose
to teach with love--to show the scribes and Pharisees the need of serving
the individual for her best good and to show the destructive forces of
trickery and embarrassment." (Ensign, May 1981, p24)
- WHAT VERDICT TO WE INVITE UPON OURSELVES WHEN WE JUDGE OTHERS HARSHLY
FOR THINGS WE OURSELVES HAVE DONE?
- Refer back to the parable of the Unmerciful Servant.
The Light Of The World
- JOHN 8:12: "Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am
the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness,
but shall have the light of life."
HOW IS JESUS "THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD"?
- Teacher's Manual: "During the Feast of Tabernacles, the temple
in Jerusalem was
illuminated by the flames from four enourmous candelabra. These flames
could be seen throughout the city."
- This is another testimony of the Lord as to who He is according to
Jewish tradition and prophecy. His Jewish listeners knew two things:
- Their Messianic prophecies spoke plainly of a Deliverer who would bring
light to Israel and to all nations.
- Those fonts of Jewish wisdom, the scribes and Rabbis, taught that the
Messiah would be the Light of men.
READ JOHN 8:31-36.
- D&C 84:45-46: "For the word of the Lord is truth, and whatsoever
is truth is light, and whatsoever is light is Spirit, even the Spirit of
"And the Spirit giveth light
to every man that cometh into the world; and the Spirit enlighteneth every
man through the world, that hearkeneth to the voice of the Spirit."
- He brings truth into the world. The only source of truth is light,
or the Spirit of Jesus.
- Every man comes into the world with that light. Unfortunately, many
blow it out.
- See D&C 88:6-13:
- He is the source of all physical light in the universe and the power
by which it was made.
- That same light quickens the understanding of men.
- It gives life to all things.
Read John 8:43-47. Jesus frustrated with the Jews.
Read John 8:52-59.
- WHAT DOES THE TRUTH AND OBEDIENCE TO THE TRUTH FREE US FROM? CONSIDER
- The wages of sin - bondage to sin.
- Word of Wisdom.
- Sabbath Day.
- Service to others.
- HOW HAS A KNOWLEDGE OF TRUTH HELPED FREE YOU?
- TRUTH = LIGHT = JESUS CHRIST.
- HOW CAN KNOWING THE LORD HELP MAKE US FREE?
- Consider the following examples:
- Alma the Younger.
- Saul of Taursus.
- Many believe they have received the truth. They read their Bibles and
say that it is God's word and yet there are many churches and interpretations.
- HOW DO WE RESPOND TO THIS?
- Jesus is the light of the world, light is truth, therefore all truth
emanates from Him.
- Truth is not something that we decide upon after a study of the scriptures.
In all ages God has provided spokesmen to reveal His truth to. It is then
our responsibility to gain a testimony of the words of the spokesman or
- WHY WERE THE JEWS SO UPSET THAT THEY WERE READY TO STONE JESUS?
- He had identified himself as Jehovah.
- Exodus 3:13-14: "And Moses said unto God, Behold, when I come
unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, The God of your fathers
hath sent me unto you; and they shall say to me, What is his name? what
shall I say unto them? And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he
said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me
In today's world we find many philosophies that appear attractive. Unfortunately,
a belief in Christ and a desire and willingness to follow his teachings
are often looked upon unfavorably. Christians are often accused of trying
to force their beliefs on others. In such a climate, an individual can
become confused in his or her search for truth. Jesus provided mankind
with a simple test to discover the validity of His precepts, simply try
them. By doing so, the Lord has promised that we shall learn if they are
from God. And, as the Savior later promised, when we know the truth, we
shall be made free. We will be free of false philosophies. Free of doubt
and uncertainty. As we abide by these precepts, we will be made free of
the bondage of sin. All we have to do is try this simple experiment.
Gospel Doctrine Class
Nature Gone Wild
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