Thu, Nov 02, 2017

John 14

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JOHN

            Please turn in your Bibles to John chapter 14 as we continue our study through the Word of God. As we move into John chapter 14 keep in mind that Jesus has said some pretty difficult things. He told them that one of them would betray Him. He told them that Peter would deny Him not once, not twice, but three times! And He told them that not only would Peter deny Him, but they all would!

            And in John 13:33 Jesus said, Little children, I shall be with you a little while longer. You will seek Me; and as I said to the Jews, ‘Where I am going, you cannot come,’ So now I say to you.

            Jesus is telling them, as He already told them, that He was going away and where He was going they could not come. And what Jesus was speaking of with this departure, was His death!

            Now, in saying all that, can you imagine how they felt at this point? They were discouraged, their hearts were troubled. And you may wonder how I came to that conclusion but as we open up here in John chapter 14 you will see the condition of these men.

            In saying all that, what can Jesus possibly say to lift their spirits and yours? That is what we will see this evening.

            So, with that said, let’s read beginning in John chapter 14, starting in verse 1, and see what the Lord has for us this evening as we study through His Word.

 

JOHN 14

VERSE 1

            Their hearts were troubled, they were overwhelmed by what Jesus was telling them, especially that He was going away or that He was going to die. And that is why Jesus told them Let not your heart be troubled . . .

            This was in some sense a command. “The form of the imperative me tarassestho implies that they should ‘stop being troubled.’ ‘Set your heart at ease’ would be a good translation.” (Tenney)

            The solution to our hearts being troubled is to believe. And not just to believe but believe in God the Father and believe in Jesus. Continue believing is the idea!

            This is an active faith, it is just not that you believe something but that belief leads to action on your part. It speaks of trust.

            Think about it like this. You have this wonderful new car and you believe with all your heart that it will take you home. Is that a fact? I guess so. But if that is all you do, just believe the car will take you home, you will never get home. What do I mean by that?

            You must get into the car. You must start the engine, you must put it into drive and then you can drive home.

            That is faith. It is not empty faith but it is a faith that is lived out and that is what Jesus is calling His men to do. They believe in God the Father, they believe in Jesus, now, with all that is coming down upon them, they need to live what they say they believe!

            Where are you at this evening? Is your heart troubled? Listen to these words of Jesus once again, Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. John 14:1.

            And this statement by Jesus is showing that He and the Father are One, that they are equal. Believe in both of them! Jesus is equal with the Father!

            And I guess you can say that we need to be responsible for our hearts. God has done His part, and now it is up to us to believe. 

            You see, when we don’t trust in Him is when we get anxious, our heart is troubled, it is stirred. When you begin to go down that path, believe in God, believe in Jesus, and rest in the Lord.

            It is as Proverbs 3:5-6 says, Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths. 

            Think about that for a minute. If I am trusting in the Lord with all of my heart, then there is no room for my heart to be troubled over the situations that I am facing, that you are facing. And the reason is simple. My understanding of the situation is limited and thus, I need to trust the direction the Lord is leading no matter how difficult that may be.

            In other words, Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. John 14:1. I know I have read that a few times already, but we need to understand that and apply that to our lives!

 

VERSES 2-4

            First of all, we need to understand that Judas is not present at this time. He already departed to betray Jesus. You see, Jesus was not preparing him a place in heaven; he rejected the life that Jesus offered him.

            But for all believers, Jesus is preparing for us a mansion, not a literal building to dwell in, but a new body.

            Let me also say this. Some feel that this is speaking of a literal home that Jesus is preparing for us. It is possible, but as you look at what the rest of the text is saying, I think He is speaking of a new body for our spirit and soul to dwell in. And that will happen at the time of the Rapture of the Church.

            Remember, to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord, and thus, our spirit and soul go to be with the Lord at the time we die and we are with the Lord awaiting our new bodies, which, like I have said, takes place at the time of the Rapture.

            Paul put it this way when he said, For we know that if our earthly house, this tent, is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed with our habitation which is from heaven, if indeed, having been clothed, we shall not be found naked. For we who are in this tent groan, being burdened, not because we want to be unclothed, but further clothed, that mortality may be swallowed up by life. Now He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who also has given us the Spirit as a guarantee. So we are always confident, knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord.  For we walk by faith, not by sight. We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord. II Corinthians 5:1-8.  

            You see, now our spirit and our soul resides in this body, a tent, a temporary dwelling place, but one day, when this body goes back to the dust of the earth, our spirit and our soul will inhabit a mansion, a new body at the time of the Rapture!

            Now we may miss what is going on here, the picture that Jesus is trying to paint for us. I think He is borrowing from the Jewish marriage traditions.

            Keep in mind that the engagement was usually arranged by the fathers of the bride and groom, many times while they were still very young.

            The Bible tells us, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved. Ephesians 1:4-6.

            In other words, we have been promised to the Son by the Father from the foundation of the world!

            Next, there is the betrothal period. At this point the couple is considered married and their relationship can only be broken by a formal divorce. In fact, if the husband would die during the betrothal period the bride was considered a widow. They have exchanged vows but the marriage was not consummated, they did not live together yet.

            We are betrothed to Christ as soon as we repent of our sins and ask Jesus to be Lord and Savior of our lives.

            Now, for the next year or so the groom would be preparing a place for his bride to live and it was usually on his parent’s property because that is where his inheritance and land would be. And this would be an addition to his parent’s house.

            Remember what Jesus said in John 14:1-3, Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.

            Now, once the addition was completed, the groom did not have the right to go and get his bride. That was reserved for the father, he had the authority to say when the bridal chamber was finished and his son can go and get his bride.

            Thus, he could not give her a date when he was coming because that was reserved for the father to set.

            And when the father was ready, many times in the middle of the night, he would awaken his son and say, “Son, it is time. Go get your bride!”

            And that is what Jesus is saying in verse 3 of John 14. He is coming back for His bride, the church, we call it the Rapture! And at that time, the dead in Christ and all who are alive and remain will be caught up to meet the Lord in the air. (I Thessalonians 4:13-18, I Corinthians 15:51-58)

            Right now He is preparing a place for us, a mansion for our spirit and soul to dwell in. But don’t forget He is coming back for His Bride, the Church and He is awaiting the Father’s command to go and get His Bride!

            And then, in John 14:4 Jesus said, And where I go you know, and the way you know. In other words, they had all the information, they just needed to put it all together. Did they do that? Did they get it? Let’s read on and see.

 

VERSE 5

            Now think about this for a minute. The cross is just hours away and Jesus has spent some three plus years with His men teaching them. They had all the information but they couldn’t put it all together yet. 

            In fact, they would not put it all together until after the death and resurrection of Jesus!

            Talk about frustrating. I would have said to him, “Thomas! What do you mean show you the way? You still don’t get it? You’re out buddy!” But not Jesus, He doesn’t put us down, He teaches us.

            Spurgeon wrote, “Thus we notice how they speak to him with a natural, easy familiarity; and he talks to them in full sympathy with their weakness, teaching them little by little as they are able to learn. They ask just such questions as a boy might ask of his father. Often they show their ignorance, but never do they seem timid in his presence, or ashamed to let him see how shallow and hard of understanding they are.”

            I am so glad that the Lord does not get tired of our questions, or not understanding things. He is patient with us and desires to teach us and I am so thankful for that.

            And if you doubt that, just listen to how Jesus answers Thomas and really the rest of the men who were listening.

 

VERSE 6

            I think the words of Jesus are pretty clear here and very controversial because He is saying that He is the only way, He is the only truth and He is the only life and if you want to get to the Father, you must come through Him!

            Now, in saying that, listen to what Tony Campolo, an Emergent Church leader has to say and you see if it matches what Jesus is saying. He wrote,

 

            “I am saying that there is no salvation apart from Jesus; that’s my evangelical mindset. However, I am not convinced that Jesus only lives in Christians”

-Tony Campolo, (National Liberty Journal, 8/99)

           

            “Jesus is the only Savior, but not everybody who is being saved by Him is aware that He is the one who is doing the saving”

-Tony Campolo, EP News Service, Oct. 4, 1985

 

            “. . . Isn’t God’s message to sinful humanity that He sees in each of us a divine nature of such worth that He sacrificed His own Son so that our divine potentialities might be realized? . . . The hymn writer who taught us to sing “Amazing Grace” was all too ready to call himself a “wretch” . . . Forgetting our divinity and over-identifying with our [Freudian] anal humanity . . . Erich Fromm, one of the most popular psychoanalysts of our time, recognized the diabolical social consequences that can come about when a person loses sight of his/her own divinity . . .”

-Tony Campolo, “Partly Right” 1995

 

            “going to heaven is like going to Philadelphia . . . There are many ways . . . It doesn’t make any difference how we go there. We all end up in the same place.”

-Tony Campolo, “Carpe Diem: Seize the Day”, 1994, pages 85-88

 

            Think about some of the things he has said. You are saved but you do not know that it is Jesus who saved you. How crazy. We are gods, we have divinity in us. But then, if we are gods, why did Jesus need to come? And he is saying that all roads lead to heaven, really?

            We see here in John 14:6 that Jesus begins with the sixth of the “I AM” statements that are found in the Gospel of John.

            And the first point that Jesus makes is that He is the way not “a way” or “one of the many ways.”

            You see, you can take Buddha out Buddhism. You can take Confucius out of Confucianism. You can take Mohammad out of Islam. And in each one the religion would remain. 

            But you can’t take Jesus out of Christianity because it is based upon Him. Jesus very clearly tells us that there is no other way to heaven except through Him; it is not a debatable issue!

            People may say that I am being intolerant or narrow minded but if it is the truth then that does not apply. In fact, because it is the truth you don’t want to water it down or ignore it or reject it!

            Jesus said in Matthew 7:13, Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.

            Paul said in I Timothy 2:4-6 regarding Jesus being the One who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.  

            HE IS THE WAY – THE ONLY WAY!

            Next, we see Jesus say that He is the truth! Again, some see this as being intolerant or narrow minded but that is not the issue. It is an issue of truth and error. Who are you going to listen to? Are you going to listen to Jesus, who is the truth, who will not lie, or to the Devil who speaks lies, it is his natural language? And if you are not listening to Jesus then you are listening to the Devil.

            HE IS THE TRUTH – THE ONLY TRUTH!

            And lastly, Jesus says that He is the life, that abundant life that is only found in Him and that one day we will be with Him. Yes, there is much hardship in this life but it is this life that is leading us home.

            Dr. James M. Gray wrote a song years ago that said, “Who could mind the journey, when the road leads home?” Amen to that! This is the worst it will get for us and when we go to be with Him, eternal joy, peace and so on!

            HE IS THE LIFE, ABUNDANT LIFE!

            So, if you don’t know where to go, JESUS IS THE WAY!

            If you are confused, if you don’t know what to think, JESUS IS THE TRUTH!

            And if you are feeling dead inside, if you don’t think you can go on, JESUS IS THE LIFE!

            You see, there is no neutral ground here in what Jesus says, you can believe it or reject it but it doesn’t change the truth of what He has said!

            Think of it like this, “Without the way there is no going; without the truth there is no knowing; without the life there is no living. I am the way which thou must follow; the truth in which thou must believe; the life for which thou must hope.” (a’ Kempis, cited by Bruce)

            Listen to the words of Jesus and not the words of men who are leading people away from God!

 

VERSES 7-9

            We started out with Thomas not knowing where Jesus was going, he did not know the way. And Jesus told him that He is the way and there is no other way to get to the Father.

            Now Philip jumps in and wants to see God the Father. You would think that after some three plus years they would get it, but they still didn’t! And Jesus is still teaching them the basics of the faith!

            And Jesus tells Philip, . . . He who has seen Me has seen the Father . . . In other words, if you want to know what the Father is all about, look to Jesus, He is the prefect representation of the Father! To know Jesus is to know God!

            In fact, in Revelation 1:5 we are told that Jesus is the faithful witness of the Father. 

            Also, in Hebrews 1:1-3 Paul tells us, God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds; who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high. 

            Paul tells us here in Hebrews that He is the express image of His person or that He is an exact likeness to God the Father. In other words, Jesus is God!

            Look at how a few Bible versions translate this thought:

            NEW KING JAMES VERSION - the express image of His person

            NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION - the exact representation of His nature

            AMERICAN STANDARD VERSION - the very image of his substance

            TODAY’S ENGLISH VERSION - the exact likeness of God’s own being

            COMPLETE JEWISH BIBLE - the very expression of God’s essence

            As clear as that is I think the Greek makes it even clearer to us. First of all, the Greek word for express image is CHARAKTER, (khar-ak-tare’) and this word is used “of an engraver, one who mints coins, a graving tool, a die, a stamp, a branding iron, a mark engraved, an impress, a stamp on coins and seals.”

            In other words, Jesus Christ is the exact imprint or image of God the Father in His essence or core, His attributes and His character. The idea is of an exact likeness as made by a stamp. Jesus exactly represents God to us because Jesus is God!

            Paul put it like this in Colossians 2:9, “For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily. If you want to know what the Godhead is all about, not just God the Father, then look to Jesus! 

            And please understand, we are not talking about three Gods, but One God manifested in three distinct persons! Jesus is going to continue expounding on this, that if you have seen Jesus you have seen the Father!           

 

VERSES 10-11

            Jesus starts out speaking to Philip here in John 14:10. And the way the Greek is written here, the Lord expected a “Yes” answer from Philip. That Philip believed that Jesus was in the Father and the Father in Him.

            In saying that, Philip should have realized that the Words of Jesus and the works of Jesus came from the Father and revealed the Father!

            And that is something that we see in the Gospel of John. That Jesus lived and spoke in constant dependence upon God the Father and He did nothing apart from His authority and guidance.

            Let me show you what I mean. In John 5:19 we are told, Then Jesus answered and said to them, ‘Most assuredly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do; for whatever He does, the Son also does in like manner.’

            Also, in John 8:28 we read, Then Jesus said to them, ‘When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am He, and that I do nothing of Myself; but as My Father taught Me, I speak these things.’

            So, we not only have the Words of Jesus that show that He is God, sent from the Father, but we also have the works that He did, the miracles testify of who He is and who has sent Him, the Father!

            That is what Clarke tells us, “We are not only one in nature, but one also in operation. The works which I have done bear witness of the infinite perfection of my nature. Such miracles as I have wrought could only be performed by unlimited power.”

            Now, the idea with this word, believe, is to go on believing or let your faith grow. That is what the Lord is doing with us or desires to see in us. He wants our faith to grow!

            As we read on Jesus says some words that may confuse you or trouble you, but they shouldn’t. Listen to what He says.

 

VERSE 12

            So, the big question is, “What does Jesus mean when He says that we will do greater works than Him?”

              He raised the dead, how can you do greater than that? 

            He is not speaking in doing greater works in magnitude, what can be more sensational than raising the dead? 

            I believe what Jesus is saying is that the works we do will be greater in scope. You see, in His earthly ministry Jesus was limited to being at one place at one time. But now as He works in all believers He can work throughout the world and thus, we will do greater in scope than He did in His earthly ministry.

            And we see this played out for us in the book of Acts. Remember what Jesus said in Acts 1:8, But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.The work we do is a result of the Holy Spirit empowering us and since believers are all over the world, there is that greater scope!

 

VERSES 13-14

            Isn’t it amazing how our flesh nature gets in the way of what God is saying so often! As some read this they see it as a blank check for us to get anything and everything we want.

            The health, wealth teaching, the prosperity gospel teaching does that very thing with these verses. You know what I mean. Name it and claim it. Blab it and grab it.

            In fact, just put the tag, “In the name of Jesus” on your prayer and God is duty bound to give it to you!

            Isn’t that what Jesus is saying here? Absolutely not!

            When we ask the Father in the name of Jesus we are asking as His representative, as if He were asking. And what is the key to all our prayers? That the Father would be glorified not that we would obtain toys! 

            It is as John tells us in I John 5:14-15, Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.     You see, according to His will so the Father will be glorified! May we remember that as we pray.

            Our prayers are to be in harmony with His character and His personality. You see, the Name speaks of nature.

             Thus, as one writer said, “To ask ‘in His name’ or do anything ‘in His name’ argues a unity of mind with His, a unity of aim and of motive.” (Trench)

            I hope that is clear.

 

VERSE 15

            How do we show our love for Jesus?  By being obedient to Him, by obeying His Word to us! I like the way that my pastor put. He wrote,

            Answered prayer also depends on our obedience to Christ. This promise is given to those who love Him, and the evidence of their love is the keeping of His commandments. Love will be demonstrated by obedience to Christ. An undisciplined Christian cannot say that he loves the Lord Jesus.

            The Lord Jesus was about to leave His disciples, and they would be filled with sorrow. How would they be able to express their love to Him? The answer was by keeping His commandments. Not by tears, but by obedience. The commandments of the Lord are the instructions which He has given us in the Gospels, as well as the rest of the NT. 

- Pastor Phil Ballmaier, John 14

 

            Keep in mind that Jesus said in John 14:1, Let not your heart be troubled . . . In knowing what Jesus said, listen to what comfort He will give to them.

 

VERSES 16-18

            Remember that Jesus has been telling them that He is going away, that He is going to the cross to be crucified and then raised the third day. And their hearts were troubled over all that Jesus was telling them.

            But Jesus gives them these words of comfort as He speaks of this Helper or Comforter. And He is speaking of the Holy Spirit. In the Greek, it is PARAKLETOS.

            This Greek word speaks of “a person summoned to one’s aid.” The Holy Spirit is coming alongside of us to help us and I am so thankful for that!

            Also, Jesus says that He will send us another helper and the word He uses for another in the Greek is important. It is the Greek word ALLOS and it means another of the same kind.

            There is another Greek word that Jesus could have used, HETEROS, but this word means another of a different kind!

            Thus, Jesus is sending His men an exact representation of Himself in the person of the Holy Spirit! 

            Remember in John 10:30 Jesus said, I and My Father are one. The word that Jesus used here for one (HEN in the Greek) does not suggest that the Father and the Son are the same identical person. It speaks of them being one in essence.

            You see, the Father is God, the Son is God, but don’t make the mistake as some do and say that then the Father is the Son and the Son is the Father as the Jesus Only people do. That is not what is being said here.

            Also, Spiros Zodhiates put it this way in his book The Complete Word Study New Testament: “Heis means one numerically while hen means one in essence, as in John 10:30; “I and my Father are one (hen)” (i.e., one in essence although two different personalities). Had it said heis, it would have meant one person.” 

            You see, He is speaking of unity not identity! To me, you don’t even have to understand Greek to get this one. Just read the next verse and you will see the Jews knew exactly what He was saying and they were ready to respond appropriately, at least in their own minds!

            In John 10:31-33 we read, Then the Jews took up stones again to stone Him. Jesus answered them, ‘Many good works I have shown you from My Father. For which of those works do you stone Me?’ The Jews answered Him, saying, For a good work we do not stone You, but for blasphemy, and because You, being a Man, make Yourself God.’

            So, we see in John chapter 10 that Jesus taught that He and the Father were God and here in John chapter 14 we see that the Holy Spirit is God! And please understand that we do not worship three different Gods! We worship One God who is manifested in three distinct Persons; God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit!

            Now David, in Psalm 51:11 says, “Do not cast me away from Your presence,

And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me. That can never happen to us today. Once we come to Christ the Holy Spirit is with us forever. Yes, we can quench the Spirit, grieve the Spirit, even hinder the Spirit from working in our lives, but He will never leave us!

            How do I know that the Holy Spirit will never leave us? Because Jesus said in John 14:16, . . . He may abide with you forever. I think that is clear!

            Now I need to deal with this other issue and it is important. Here in John 14 we see that there are two Greek prepositions used here regarding the Holy Spirit. First, the Holy Spirit was with them, the Greek word PARA, because Jesus hadn’t died and rose from the dead yet. 

            Today, the Holy Spirit is with people drawing them to Jesus and once they receive Jesus then the Holy Spirit comes in them, the Greek word EN.

            Paul said in Romans 8:9, But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His. 

            We see this happen to the disciples of Jesus, the Holy Spirit coming in them in John 20:22, after the death and resurrection of Jesus, where we read, And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and said to them, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit.’

            At this point they are New Testament saints but Jesus told them to wait in Jerusalem until they are endued with power from on high. (Luke 24:49)

            Therefore, there is one more Greek preposition that the Bible uses for the Holy Spirit and that is found in Acts 1:8, But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” 

            It is the Greek word EPI or upon and it speaks of the Holy Spirit coming upon a believer to empower them to be witnesses of Him. 

            You see, the Holy Spirit is with us drawing us to Christ, PARA. Then the Holy Spirit is in us when we get saved, EN. And also, after we get saved the Holy Spirit comes upon us, EPI to empower us for the work!

            And this empowering of the Holy Spirit is to move the Gospel message forward! Think of it like a steam locomotive. The steam in the locomotive is not there to toot its whistle but to move the train forward!

            We see a lot of people tooting their whistle today in Christianity and not moving the Gospel message forward.

            Also, the Holy Spirit is not given to us to work instead of us, but the Holy Spirit is to work through us, empowering us for the work!

            One more thing, and again, this is important as well. The Holy Spirit is the spirit of truth. That is what Jesus said in John 14:17.

            Look at what is infiltrating the church today, the false doctrine that is blowing in and moving the church away from God, and you may wonder why that is happening.

            Yes, we do not know the Scriptures and thus, we are taken in by these things, by these new doctrines you might say.

            But the key is not being led by the Spirit of truth, the Holy Spirit! In I John chapter 4 we see John warn us that we are to test the spirits to see if they are of God. Test the teachings to see if they are of God.

            And then, in I John 4:4-6 we are told, “You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. They are of the world. Therefore they speak as of the world, and the world hears them. We are of God. He who knows God hears us; he who is not of God does not hear us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error.

            We have overcome these false teachings because we have the Spirit of truth in us or He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. We can know what is truth from what is error because the Spirit of truth is in us. Thus, as we read the Word of God and compare it to what the is being spoken by pastors, teachers, leaders, people, we can know if it is the truth or it is error.

            And folks, why hold onto what is error? That makes no sense to me and yet people continue to do it and try to justify it but if it is contrary to what the Scriptures are saying, it is wrong, it is error.

            Remember what Paul told Timothy, All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work. II Timothy 3:16-17.

            That means Genesis through Revelation! And the warning after Paul said that all Scripture is breathed from the mouth of God to us is this, I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom: Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables. But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry. II Timothy 4:1-5.

            Yes, it is not going to be easy, people will not want to hear the truths of God found in the Word of God but you “Preach the Word!”

            And let me close this section dealing with the Spirit of truth guiding us in the truths of God found in the Word of God with this. IF IT IS NEW, IT IS NOT TRUE. AND IF IT IS TRUE, IT IS NOT NEW! God has given to us everything we need in His Word and He has given to us a Helper, someone to come alongside of us and guide us, THE SPIRIT OF TRUTH! Amen to that!

 

VERSES 19-21

            Yes, Jesus will no longer manifest Himself to unbelievers like He does to those who love Him and obey His Words. In the Incarnation both believers and unbelievers saw Him. But now, after His death and resurrection believers see Him.

            What I mean by that is God dwells on the throne of our hearts and His truths are manifested to us by His Spirit! We see Jesus with our eyes of faith and one day, face to face as we go to be with Him! (I John 3:1-3)

            And here is a glorious truth, because He lives, so will we. Death has no more sting upon our lives. 

            Peter put it this way in I Peter 1:3-5, Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. 

            And Paul said in I Corinthians 15:20-22, “But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive.” 

            You see, what a glorious promise God has given to us and it is all based upon His death and resurrection!

            It is as Spurgeon said, “A man is saved because Christ died for him, he continues saved because Christ lives for him. The sole reason why the spiritual life abides is because Jesus lives.”

 

VERSES 22-23

            You see, God will dwell with those who not only love Him and His Word, but are also obedient to Him, our obedience shows our love for Him!

            In Ephesians 3:17 Paul tells us, that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love. The idea here with dwelling in our hearts is that Christ will settle down and feel at home in our lives!

            Let me give you this example and I think you will see what I mean. In Genesis chapters 18 and 19 we see the story of Sodom and Gomorrah.

            In Genesis 18 we see the pre-incarnate Christ and two angels come into the tent of Abraham. I guess you can say that He felt at home there. Not only did Jesus enter his tent but had a meal with him and a private talk with Abraham.

            Then, in Genesis chapter 19 we see that Jesus did not go to visit Lot but sent two angels. I think the picture is that He did not feel at home there.

            We love the Lord and it is out of that love that we serve Him, we are obedient to Him. I love my wife dearly and that love is not manifested by some laws I obey but it is seen in the things that I do and the things that I say. That is how it should be with the Lord!

 

VERSES 24-25

            Jesus speaks very clearly on who are His and who are not and it is all linked to obedience. Why people try to negate God’s Word and yet say they love the Lord is beyond me and they will be surprised when Jesus says, “I NEVER knew you!” (Matthew 7:21-28)

            And please understand that approaching God through works will never happen. In fact, the Bible tells us that all our righteousness, all the good things we do are like filthy rags before Him.

            Then what is Jesus talking about here? He is talking about love. In fact, the word love or loved is used some eight times in 10 verses here in John chapter 14, (verses 15-23). Our obedience to the Lord and His Word is based upon love and if it is not, then we will be like the Ephesian church who did many good works but left their first love, Jesus!

 

VERSE 26

            Who was going to help these men after Jesus was gone? Who was going to teach these men after Jesus was gone? You see, Jesus taught His men all He could, they could take no more. So now what is going to happen to them and to us? The Holy Spirit is the One who has come to teach them and us all we need to know and that teaching continues on until we go to be with the Lord!

 

VERSE 27

            Trying to comfort their troubled hearts once again, Jesus speaks of giving them His peace, which is far different from the peace that the world tries to give. 

            The world’s peace is an absence of war, trouble, which is very rarely seen. Thus, what the world gives to help us find peace are the numbing of our lives through drugs and alcohol. Let’s face it, to find an absence of trouble or adversity in this world is very difficult and it doesn’t last. Thus, “Numb me so I don’t feel any more pain, any more hurt” and they think this is peace, it is not!

            You see, the peace that Jesus gives to us is a peace through the storms as we rest in Him. The problem is, we don’t want to obey His Words and we still want His peace. Thomas a’ Kempis said, “All men desire peace, but very few desire those things that make for peace.” The cure for troubled hearts is the peace that Jesus has for us!

            Barclay gives to us the contrasting views of peace from Jesus and from the World. He wrote, “In the Bible the word for peace, shalom, never means simply the absence of trouble. It means everything which makes for our highest good. The peace which the world offers us is the peace of escape, the peace which comes from the avoidance of trouble and from refusing to face things.”

            You see, the peace that Jesus gives to us surpasses all understanding (Philippians 4:6-7).   But before you can enjoy that peace OF God you must make peace WITH God and that will only happen as you repent of your sins and ask Jesus to be Lord and Savior of your life! (Romans 5:1)

            And this is so important for us today as Christians. The peace of God or as Morgan put it, “He carefully described the peace as ‘My peace.’ His peace was a heart untroubled and unfearful in spite of all the suffering and conflict ahead of Him.”

            Now why was Jesus trying to comfort their hearts? Let’s read on and I think you will see.

 

VERSES 28-29

            Their hearts were troubled because Jesus spoke of His death, His departure! And how could they rejoice in the departure of Jesus? Because of what He did they can live and so can we! Before glory there was death and without it we would still be dead in our trespasses and sins.

            Now what does Jesus mean when He says, For My Father is greater than I? Some would say that Jesus is lesser than God the Father, as the Jehovah Witnesses do, He was a created being.

            That is not what Jesus is speaking of, not at all. Jesus is not speaking in essence or being because over and over again we have seen John show us that Jesus is God, equal to the Father.

            So, then what does He mean? He is saying that when He became flesh He emptied Himself of some of His Godly attributes and freely submitted Himself to the Father. It didn’t make Him a lesser God, but He freely submitted to the Father. 

            Paul, in Philippians 2:5-11 put it this way, Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.Now He has been received up in glory with the Father once again!

            Now, in verse 29 Jesus speaks of telling them beforehand all that was going to happen. Thus, we might ask ourselves, “What is the purpose of prophecy?” And Jesus answers that for us as He said that, you may believe.

            It is as Isaiah 44:6-8 tells us, Thus says the LORD, the King of Israel, And his Redeemer, the LORD of hosts: ‘I am the First and I am the Last; Besides Me there is no God. And who can proclaim as I do? Then let him declare it and set it in order for Me, Since I appointed the ancient people. And the things that are coming and shall come, Let them show these to them. Do not fear, nor be afraid; Have I not told you from that time, and declared it? You are My witnesses. Is there a God besides Me? Indeed there is no other Rock; I know not one.’” 

            Thus, our hearts should not be troubled over the days we are living in because God has told us what these days would be like. And in knowing what God has said, we should be witnesses to the world, we should declare these things to the unsaved so that they may come to that saving faith!

 

VERSES 30-31

            Now when you look at all that is shortly going to take place you might come to the conclusion that Satan is in control. That is not true. Jesus freely went to the cross and in reality; Satan was just a pawn in God’s plan to redeem man!

            And when Jesus says that Satan has nothing in Me the idea here is that Satan could make no claim on Jesus. He could not charge Him with any sin, which would have disqualified Him from being our Savior! He can make many claims upon our lives, but not upon Jesus, He was without sin!

            And now supper is finished. The discussion and instruction around the table or triclinium is over and they are going to be heading through the Temple and out the eastern gate to the Garden of Gethsemane. 

            Mark 14:26 tells us, And when they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.Now as they came to the Temple area they saw the beautiful golden branched vine and I believe it is out of that we see Jesus give them instruction regarding the vine and its branches that we read about in John chapter 15, and we will look at that next time.

            Let me leave you with this to think about as you understand all that was before Jesus this night. We are told, “One would have thought that on such a night as that, the deepest craving of Jesus would have been to be alone . . . He could not leave them to go out alone. He loved them far too deeply for that. They might forsake Him, as they were soon to do. It was impossible for Him to forsake them.” (Morrison)

            Amazing grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me!

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