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The No-Name God

A Bible Study by Fred Kenison

 

14  John


The mysterious Jesus

 

 

Summary Highlights of Chapter 14

 

 

The book of John contains much information about the manner in which Jesus sought to reveal himself. We will comment only upon those portions which add to what was reported in the first three gospels, plus any peripheral subjects considered important to this study.

 

The gospel of John was written by the "beloved disciple."  John was the youngest son of Jesus’ cousins. He was also the youngest of the apostles, and was often close to Jesus. He seems to have had insights into the life of Jesus which others lacked, and he wrote about things that the other writers failed to mention.  [For a verse-by-verse commentary, see our book, The Gospel of John: Revealing the Invisible God.]

 

John indicates that Jesus revealed more about himself than did the other gospels. Many believe that John’s gospel was the last to be written; so, perhaps John, having read the others, added more about those things because they had omitted them.  Or, maybe he was given additional insights through holy spirit.

 

John 1:29-30 quotes John, the Baptist, as saying,

"Behold the lamb of the god, who takes away the sin of the world. He it is of whom I said, After me comes a man who has precedence of me, because he was before me."

 

When John used the term "the god," he probably intended Jehovah, "the god" of Israel. The words taketh away come from airon, which, according to Thayer (p. 17), means

"To remove the guilt and punishment of sin by expiation, or to cause that sin be neither imputed, not punished."

 

Either Jesus expiated, or atoned for, all the sins of the whole world, or he did not. This verse states unequivocally that he did. Nothing else is needed to remove the judicial sense of guilt and punishment completely. It has been done! Never again will any person be judicially judged for their sins. This means that The God, who judged their sins by the death of Jesus, the messiah, should be approached only as a father, not a judge.

 

Notice, too, that John, the Baptist, referred to Jesus as a man. He does not call him a "god-man," but simply a man. When Jesus lived on this earth, he was wholly and completely human.

 

John 1:45-52 gives a fuller account of Nathanael’s calling to be a disciple.

"Now Philip was from Bethsaida, of the city of Andrew and Peter. Philip finds Nathanael and says to him, We have found [him] of whom wrote Moses in the law and the prophets, Jesus the son of Joseph, who [is] from Nazareth. And Nathanael said to him, Can any good thing be out of Nazareth? Philip says to him, Come and see. Jesus saw Nathanael coming to him, and says concerning him, Behold, truly an Israelite in whom guile is not. Nathanael says to him, Whence knowest thou me? Jesus answered and said to him, Before that Philip called thee, I saw thee, [thou] being under the fig tree. Nathanael answered and says to him, Rabbi, thou art the son of the god, thou art the king of Israel. Jesus answered and said to him, Because I said to thee, I saw thee under the fig tree, thou believest? Greater things than these thou shalt see. And he says to him, Verily, verily, I say to you, Henceforth ye shall see the heaven opened, and the angels of the god ascending and descending on the son of the man.."

 

Philip recognized two things about Jesus. First, he was the son of Joseph, which was only partially true. Second, he recognized that Jesus was the messiah, the one Moses wrote about. That was shown by his use of the phrase "the son of the god."  Philip would have understood "the god" to mean Jehovah, the only god he knew. As with the others, Philip had only a partial understanding.

 

Nathanael was a person who spoke his mind, which is why Jesus said he was an Israelite "in whom guile is not."  Evidently, Jesus admires straight-forward speech with no hidden agendas. Jesus used no subtlety in his talk, preferring to be open and direct, except when he chose to speak in parables.

 

Jesus told Nathanael he would see "angels of the god ascending and descending upon the son of the man," which is reminiscent of Jacob’s vision in Genesis 28:12:

"And he dreamed, and behold a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven; and behold the angels of god (‘elohiym:H430) were ascending and descending on it."

 

Note the order Jacob observed. First, the angels ascended, then they descended. Angels begin on the earth, then they ascend. If they are given a special mission, then they descend. This is exactly opposite to what we would expect if angels were created as heavenly beings.

 

Jesus was equating himself with the ladder seen by Jacob, and he was revealing that what Jacob actually saw was the means for those who die to ascend to heaven as angels. Then, they descend for service. All of this was made possible by Jesus, who we discover later opened the way for these angels.  [For a detailed discussion on angels, see our article, A Study of Angels.]

 

John adds an important note to the episode of Jesus running the money changers out of the temple. John 2:19-22 says,

"Jesus answered and said to them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up. Therefore said the Jews, Forty and six years was building temple, and thou in three days wilt raise it up? But he spoke concerning the temple of his body. When therefore he was raised up from among [the] dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this to them, and believed the scripture and the word which Jesus had spoken."

 

The disciples did not understand what Jesus meant until after his resurrection.

 

John 4 relates the story of Jesus’ meeting with the Samaritan woman at Jacob’s well. Jesus was resting beside the well, while his disciples had gone into the city to buy provisions. Jesus asked the Samaritan lady to give him water to drink, which was something unheard of in that day.

 

John 4:9 says,

"Therefore the woman Samaritan says to him, How dost thou being a Jew ask to drink from me, being a woman Samaritan? For Jews have no intercourse with Samaritans."

 

The Samaritans were a mix of the low class Jews left in the land when Judah was taken captive. When other people were moved in to take the place of the exiled Jews, the two groups intermixed. They also developed a synergistic religion which was greatly scorned by the orthodox Jews who would not even speak to Samaritans.

 

This background prompted her question to Jesus. In response, Jesus told her that if she knew who he really was, she would have asked, and received, living water. Living water was a term for running water, such as a stream, not in a well.

 

Jesus, of course, was speaking of that which would lead to eternal life. Jesus also told her things about herself that he should not have known, which convinced the woman that he was a prophet.

 

John 4:21-27 indicates that Jesus revealed a great deal to this Samaritan woman.

"Jesus says to her, Woman, believe me, that an hour is coming when neither in this mountain nor in Jerusalem shall ye worship the father. Ye worship what ye know not; we worship what we know; for salvation is of the Jews. But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the father in spirit and truth, for the father also seeks such who worship him. The god [is] a spirit, and they that worship him must worship in spirit and truth. The woman says to him, I know that messias is coming, who is called christ; when he comes he will tell us all things. Jesus says to her, I am [he] who am speaking to thee. And upon this his disciples came, and wondered that he was speaking with a woman; however, no one said, What seekest thou? or, Why speakest thou with her?"

 

This was unusual since Jesus did not conceal the truth that he was the messiah from this "hybrid Jew."  John does not indicate whether this occurred at the beginning or end of his ministry. According to the trend in the other gospels, it probably took place later in his ministry.

 

After the woman told about her experience, the Samaritans came to Jesus, listened to him, and then declared,

"No longer because of thy saying we believe, for ourselves have heard, and we know that this is truly the savior of the world, the christ." (John 4:42).

 

Their religion may not have been orthodox, but they were able to recognize and accept the truth that Jesus presented, which was more than the privileged Jewish people had done.

 

When Jesus healed a crippled man on the Sabbath, the Jews sought Jesus to kill him. John 5:17-20 says,

"But Jesus answered them, My Father until now works, and I work. Therefore, because of this, the Jews sought the more to kill him, because not only did he break the sabbath, but also called the god his own father, making himself equal to the god. Therefore Jesus answered and said to them, Verily, verily, I say to you, The son is able to do nothing from himself, unless anything he may see the father doing; for whatever he does, these things also in like manner the son does. For the Father loves the son, and shows all things to him which he himself does; and he will show him greater works than these, that ye may wonder."

 

Please keep in mind that the words "the god" meant Jehovah, the god of Israel, not the god Jesus would reveal later. When Jesus referred to his father, he was speaking of the invisible god of heaven, whom he would later reveal.

 

John 5:25-29 says,

"Verily, verily, I say to you, that an hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the son of the god, and those having heard shall live. For even as the Father has life in himself, so he also gave to the son life to have in himself, and also gave to him authority to execute judgment, because son of man he is. Wonder not at this, for an hour is coming in which all those in the tombs shall hear his voice, and shall come forth, those that practiced good to a resurrection of life, and those that did evil to a resurrection of judgment."

 

How can an hour be both coming and now? The key to reconciling this requires understanding the two kinds of time mentioned in the scriptures. One is chronological time, chronos, and the other is qualitative time, kairos.  Measured time (chronos), once it comes, immediately turns into history.  Kairos time, however, is a constant now time, or the kind of time in which The God exists.  [For more on these two kinds of time, see Part I, Monograph 2, in our book, What Scripture Says About Salvation.]

 

Jesus also told them about the coming resurrection when he will be the judge of both the good and the evil. The word evil comes from phaulos, which, according to Thayer (p. 650), means,

"easy, slight, ordinary, mean, worthless, of no account."

 

What this means is that our work should not be ordinary, easy, or worthless, insofar as The God is concerned. This is not what we normally consider as evil. There are other words translated as evil which come closer to what we normally mean today.

 

Many who live an ordinary life, with no thought of whether or not they are pleasing to God, actually do evil, even though others may consider what they do as good. This is the difference between humanism and godliness. For works to be godly works, they must be on a foundation of faith and commitment to The God on the part of those doing the works.

 

John 5:36 says this about Jesus and his works.

"But I (Jesus) have the greater witness than John’s, for the works which the Father gave me, that I should complete them, the works themselves which I do bear witness concerning me, that the father has sent me."

 

John’s gospel often indicates that the Father sent Jesus, or that Jesus came out of the Father. Such occurrences make it impossible to maintain that Jesus is the invisible god of heaven, as taught in the nonsensical doctrine of the trinity.

 

In fact, the doctrine of the trinity has been the greatest cause for scripture being interpreted wrongly. Yet, millions accept this illogical doctrine as biblical truth and never question it. Jesus said that the miracles he performed show conclusively that the "father has sent me."

 

John 5:37-40 reveals still more about Jesus.

"And the father himself who sent me, has borne witness concerning me. Ye have neither heard his voice at any time, nor have ye seen his form. And ye have not his word abiding in you, for whom he sent, him ye believe not. Ye search the scriptures, for ye think in them to have eternal life, and they are they which bear witness concerning me; and ye are unwilling to come to me, that ye may have life."

 

Those listening to Jesus translated what he said into the terms of what they believed. It was only after his death that they would truly understand what he said. Therefore, according to their beliefs at the time, Jesus had to be wrong!

 

Jesus always used the terms "the god" and "the father" in the light of what he knew. Jesus knew that he, himself, was Jehovah, the god they thought he was talking about. Later, after his resurrection and ascension, it became quite clear that he spoke not of Jehovah, the god of Israel, but of the invisible god, of whom Jehovah was the spokesman in the Old Testament, even as Jesus was that spokesman in the New Testament. However, the people did not comprehend this at the time.

 

Although the people had the Old Testament scriptures to guide them, their religion had so submerged the truth that they did not recognize what the scriptures actually foretold. Otherwise, they would have recognized what Jesus was openly telling them. He was both the historical and the present word of the invisible god. They had neither heard his father’s voice, nor seen his form.

 

This information would have ruled out Jehovah as being the only god, because the scriptures taught that Jehovah had both been seen and heard. But, it seems that they did not even wonder at what Jesus was telling them.

 

Tradition and doctrine can deafen people to spiritual truth more than any other elements. Jesus told them that they did not have his word abiding in them, or they would have believed him, whom the father had sent. Even though they had the scriptures, they did not know the truth.

 

How easy it is to read the scriptures without understanding, especially if they are approached from the viewpoint of organized religion, and interpreted through its bias and doctrines.

 

Jesus told them, "ye search the scriptures, for ye think in them to have eternal life."  The Jewish people expected to gain eternal life through keeping the law. Jesus said that although their bible testified about him, they must come to him to have eternal life.

 

The entire Old Testament was a gradual revelation of the invisible god, to bring people to the knowledge that he not only exists, but that he loves them. In the Old Testament, the invisible god had spoken to them through Jehovah, whom they had mistakenly assumed was the only god. The invisible god then continued to speak through, Jesus, or Jehovah made human, who gradually brought the people to a greater revelation of the unknown god.

 

John brings a great deal more clarity to the reality of Jesus. John 6:31-36 says,

"Our fathers ate manna in the wilderness, as it is written, Out of the heaven he gave them bread to eat. Therefore Jesus said to them, Verily, verily, I say to you, Moses has not given you the bread out of the heaven, but my father gives you the true bread out of the heaven. For the bread of the god is he who comes down out of the heaven, and gives life to the world. Therefore they said to him, Lord, always give this bread to us. And Jesus said to them, I am the bread of life, he that comes to me in no wise may hunger, and he that believes on me in no wise may thirst at any time. But I also said to you that ye have seen me and believe not."

 

Jesus was plainly teaching them that the bread, or manna, of the wilderness journey was only a foreshadowing of him. That bread, manna, sustained physical life, but the bread he brought would sustain spiritual life.

 

Many of the Old Testament scriptures foreshadow Jesus. Since the life, death, and ascension of Jesus, these should be easily seen because we have not only the revelation brought by Jesus, but also the explanation by his apostles. May God forgive us for how little we understand even now!

 

When Jesus said that he was the bread of life, this caused great consternation among the Jews because they did not understand him. John 6:43-51 says,

"Therefore Jesus answered and said to them, Murmur not with one another. No one is able to come to me unless the father who sent me draw him, and I will raise him up at the last day. It is written in the prophets, And they shall all be taught of the god. Therefore everyone that has heard from the father and has learnt, comes to me; not that anyone has seen the father, except he who is from the god, he has seen the father. Verily, verily, I say to you, He that believes on me has eternal life. I am the bread of life. Your fathers ate the manna in the desert, and died. This is the bread which comes down out of the heaven, that anyone may eat of it and not die. I am the living bread, which came down out of the heaven; if anyone shall have eaten of this bread he shall live forever. And also the bread which I will give, is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world."

 

This statement, which is clear to us today, further confused the Jews. They wondered how Jesus would be able to give his flesh for them to eat? Jesus explained further,

"He that eats my flesh and drinks my blood, abides in me, and I in him. As the living father sent me, and I live because of the father, also he that eats me, he also shall live because of me. This is the bread which came down out of the heaven. Not as your fathers ate the manna, and died; but he that eats this bread shall live for ever" (John 6:56-58).

 

Some people believe that this refers to the lord’s table, and that through some kind of magic, the bread and wine of that rite is actually turned into the flesh and blood of Jesus. However, that is not the point. Jesus was referring to those who would believe in him, saying that the rending of his flesh and the spilling of his blood on the cross purchased a full salvation for them, enabling them to live forever. It is faith in this truth that causes people to abide in Jesus, the messiah.

 

About this time, many of the disciples departed, and Jesus asked the 12 if they, too, would leave. Peter replied,

"Lord, to whom shall we go? Thou hast words of eternal life; and we have believed and have known that thou art the christ, the son of the living god." (John 6:68).

 

Peter’s response, although accurate, is couched in Old Testament terminology. He believed that Jesus was the anointed one of Jehovah, the god of Israel, who would deliver Israel from the domination of their enemies, the Romans. Peter did not yet realize that Jesus actually was Jehovah of the Old Testament, the god of Israel in the flesh.

 

John 7:2-13 relates the story of Jesus and the feast of tabernacles. At that time, Jesus had not gone to Judea because the Jews there sought to kill him. His disbelieving brothers taunted him, saying that if he really could do miracles then he should go to Judea so the crowds could see him perform.

 

Jesus replied,

"My time is not yet come; but your time is always ready. The world is unable to hate you; but it hates me, because I bear witness concerning it, that the works of it are evil. Ye, go ye up to this feast. I am not yet going up to this feast; for my time has not yet been fulfilled." (John 7:6-8).

 

What he meant was that it was not yet time for his crucifixion, but they could change their mind about him at any time. After his brothers left, Jesus did go secretly to Judea, and found that the Jews were searching everywhere for him.

 

Later, Jesus openly taught in the temple, and the Jews who heard him wondered, and said,

"How knows this one letters, not having learned?" (John 7:15).

 

Jesus replied that,

"My teaching is not mine, but his who sent me. If any one desire to practice his will, he shall know concerning the teaching whether it is from the god, or from myself I speak" (John 7:16-17).

 

People who sincerely seek the truth will find the truth. Many people today still question whether or not the scriptures are actually the word of God. Perhaps, like these Jews, they do not wish to do the will of God, but only to masquerade as godly people.

 

Jesus spoke bluntly to the Jewish leaders. John 5:45-47 says,

"Think not that I will accuse you to the father; there is [one] who accuses you, Moses, in whom ye have hoped. For if ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me, for he wrote concerning me. But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe my words?"

 

Of what or whom did Moses write? The first five books of the Old Testament were written about Jehovah. Therefore, the key is not to look for prophecies, but for the main focus of what Moses wrote. The main focus was on Jehovah, who was now speaking to the Jews as Jesus. He told them that when Moses wrote about Jehovah, he was actually writing about him, Jesus.

 

Many of the common people believed that Jesus was the messiah, which greatly disturbed the Pharisees and chief priests. John 7:32-36 says,

"The Pharisees heard of the crowd murmuring those things concerning him, and the Pharisees and the chief priests officers sent that they might take him. Therefore Jesus said to them, Yet a little time I am with you, and I go to him who sent me. Ye will seek me and shall not find [me], and where I am ye are unable to come. Therefore the Jews said among themselves, Where is he about to go that we shall not find him? Is he about to go to the dispersion among the Greeks, and teach the Greeks? What is this word which he said, Ye will seek me and shall not find [me], and, Where I am ye are unable to come?"

 

The Jews did not understand what he meant, because he was speaking of his resurrection and ascension to the heavenly father.

 

John 7:38-39 contains another prophesy which still generates a great deal of misunderstanding today.

"He that believes on me, as the scripture said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of water living. But this he said concerning the spirit which those believing on him were about to receive; for holy spirit was not yet, because Jesus was not yet glorified."

 

The definite article does not appear in the Greek manuscript; therefore, Jesus was not speaking of "the holy spirit," but of a characteristic, or quality of it, which becomes "holy spirit," thus signifying that believers shall, in the future, receive a portion of "the holy spirit."  This would be in the future because Jesus had not yet ascended to the Father, and had not yet regained full control of the spirit. The fulfillment of this prophecy was described in the second chapter of Acts.

 

The Jews often argued with Jesus about who he was. John 8:25-27 says,

"Therefore they said to him, Who art thou? And Jesus said to them, Altogether that which also I say to you. I have many things to say and to judge concerning you; but he who sent me is true, and I, what I heard from him, these things I say to the world. They knew not the father he spoke of to them."

 

The Jews may have assumed that Jesus was speaking of his earthly father, Joseph, and not the heavenly father who, to them, would be Jehovah. Jesus went on to tell them that if they were not of this world, that they would know of whom he spoke. John 8:47 says,

"He that is of the god hears the words of the god; therefore ye hear not, because ye are not of the god."

 

Those were very plain words.

 

Later, Jesus became even more explicit, and his words caused the Jews to increase their efforts to capture him. John 8:56-59 declares,

"Abraham your father exulted in that he should see my day, and he saw and rejoiced. Therefore the Jews said to him, Thou art not yet fifty years [old], and thou hast seen Abraham? Jesus said to them, Verily, verily, I say to you, Before Abraham was, I am. Therefore they took up stones that they might cast at him; but Jesus hid himself, and went forth out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and passed on thus."

 

This statement was very clear, and the Jews now recognized that Jesus was claiming to be their god, Jehovah. It was bad enough that he said he was older than Abraham, because that meant he was not a normal human being, but must be a god. But, the final blow came when Jesus used the term "I am" to describe himself. Any Jew would recognize that this title belonged to Jehovah, the god of Israel.

 

Exodus 3:14 states that those were the same words Jehovah used to identify himself to Moses.

"God (‘elohiym:H430) said to Moses, I am who I am; and he said, Say this (thus) to the people of Israel: I am has sent me to you."

 

Anyone could now grasp who Jesus claimed to be, and the leaders of Israel were not about to admit that this lowly fellow, Jesus, was their god. If Jesus were Jehovah, as he said, then who was the god that Jesus kept calling "his father?" 

 

Everyone knew there was no god besides Jehovah, or so they thought. This declaration gave them the fuel they needed to get rid of him once and for all. By making this claim, Jesus was also asserting that he was the king of Israel, and this charge, if proven, would mean a death sentence from the Romans.

 

The Jews continued to hound Jesus, even to the point of trying to stone him to death. John 10:31-39 says,

"Therefore the Jews again took up stones that they might stone him. Jesus answered them, Many good works I shewed you from my father; because of which work of them do ye stone me? The Jews answered him, saying, For a good work we do not stone thee, but for blasphemy, and because thou being a man makest thyself god. Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said, ye are gods? If he called them gods, to whom the word of the god came, (and the scripture cannot be broken), [of him] whom the father sanctified and sent into the world, do ye say, Thou blasphemest, because I said, I am son of the god? If I do not the works of my father, believe me not; but if I do, even if ye believe me not, believe the works, that ye may perceive and may believe that the father [is] in me, and I in him. Therefore they again sought to take him, and he went forth out of their hand."

 

John 11:1-5 begins the story of Lazarus.

"Now there was a certain [man] sick, Lazarus of Bethany, of the village of Mary and Martha her sister; and it was Mary who anointed the lord with ointment and wiped his feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick. Therefore the sisters sent to him, saying, Lord, lo, he whom thou lovest is sick. But having heard, Jesus said, This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of the god, that the son of the god may be glorified by it. Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus."

 

In Hebrew, the word lazar means leper, so according to his name, Lazarus was more than likely stricken with leprosy. After delaying for two more days, Jesus finally went to Judea, and called Lazarus out of the grave (see John 11:6-46).

 

An interesting thought arises from the disclosure that, "It was Mary who anointed the lord with ointment and wiped his feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick."  The common understanding is that Mary, the Magdalene did this.

 

Some insist that Mary, the Magdalene, the sinner, was a different person than that of Mary, the sister of Martha. However, the scriptures note that this episode occurs in the town of Bethany, the home of Mary, Martha, and Lazarus. If it were Mary, the sister of Martha, how then could she be known as Mary, the Magdalene?

 

There was a town named Magdala, from which the name Magdalene was supposedly derived. However, there is an alternative explanation. The word madala means a person who plaits hair. Mary, Martha’s sister, could easily have been known as Mary, the hair plaiter, or the magdalene. If this is the case, it is little wonder that Mary sat at the feet of Jesus while Martha did the house work!

 

John 12:1-8 provides a fuller rendition of the supper where Mary anointed Jesus with the expensive ointment. Two elements stand out in John’s version. First, Lazarus who had been raised from the dead, attended the supper. That would mean that when he came out of the grave, he was no longer a leper because a leper would not be allowed at a public gathering. If this story says anything about the resurrection, then this should give millions of people hope for the condition in which they, too, will come forth from the grave.

 

Second, it was Judas Iscariot who complained that the ointment should have been sold and given to the poor. This was not because of his concern for the poor, but because he kept the money bag, and he was a thief. Using the money prevented him from stealing it.

 

When the Greeks who had come to Jerusalem to celebrate the Passover heard of Jesus, they asked Philip how they could see him. Philip came to Andrew, and Andrew went to Jesus about it. John 12:23-26 says,

"But Jesus answered them saying, The hour has come that the son of the man should be glorified. Verily, verily, I say to you, unless the grain of wheat falling into the ground should die, it abides alone; but if it should die, it bears much fruit. He that loves his life shall lose it, and he that hates his life in this world shall keep it to life eternal. If anyone serve me, let him follow me; and where I am there also shall my servant be. And if anyone serve me, the father will honor him."

 

Only those who "hate their lives in this world," or count their lives here as less than "life eternal," will be honored by the Father. It is a matter of choice: choose the worldly way, or choose to serve The God.

 

When Jesus spoke about this world, he was not necessarily speaking of material things. Worldliness also refers to a religious system in which men believe they can do something to cause The God to save them. With this attitude they have lost the sense of awe that the invisible god would, of himself, love them and give them the salvation.

 

If men were a party to causing their salvation, then it would become tainted with the works of man, and people would rely on what they did, instead of relying on what was done for them. However, convincing churched people of this today is as difficult as it was for Jesus to convince the church people of his day that he was their god, Jehovah, become flesh.

 

By this time, Jesus was often teaching the disciples about his coming death. John 12:27-38 says,

"Now my soul has been troubled, and what shall I say, Father, save me from this hour? But on account of this I came to this hour. Father, glorify thy name. Therefore came a voice out of the heaven, I both glorified and will again glorify [it]. Therefore the crowd which stood [there] and heard said, There has been thunder; others said, An angel has spoken to him. Jesus answered and said, This voice has not come because of me, but because of you. Now is judgment of this world; now the prince of the world shall be cast out, and I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all to myself. But this he said, signifying by what death he was about to die. The crowd answered him, We heard out of the law that the christ abides for ever, and how sayest thou that the son of the man must be lifted up? Who is this son of the man? Therefore Jesus said to them, Yet a little while the light is with you. Walk while ye have the light, that darkness may not overtake you. And he who walks in the darkness knows not where he goes. While ye have the light, believe in the light, that ye may become sons of light. Jesus spoke these things, and going away was hid from them. But [though] he had done so many signs before them, they believed not on him, that the word of Esaias the prophet might be fulfilled, which he said, Lord, who believed our report? And to whom was the arm of [the] lord revealed?"

 

In this reference to Isaiah 53:1, Jesus was saying that the word of HERE is a two-edged sword. When it cuts one way, it produces a blessing; but when it cuts the other way, it produces judgment. Would they believe him and be blessed, or would they disbelieve and be judged for it? Unfortunately, they did not believe.

 

When Jesus said ,"and I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all unto me," he was speaking of his crucifixion. This does not refer to "lifting up" Jesus through "witnessing," as many evangelicals claim. The people who heard Jesus, understood it for what it was: crucifixion.

 

However, they could not understand how the messiah could die; they thought he would live forever. At that time, they did not understand what the sacrifice of Jesus meant, even though he had told them. It was through his crucifixion that he would draw all people to himself. When he died, he reconciled the entire world to the invisible god, and to himself.

 

Many members of the Sanhedrin believed on Jesus, but they refused to speak publicly for fear of losing their seat in that body of rulers. John 12:42-43 says,

"Although indeed even from among the rulers many believed on him, but on account of the Pharisees they confessed not, that they might not be put out of the synagogue; for they loved the glory of men more than the glory of the god."

 

Jesus was quite explicit when he stated,

"And if anyone hear my words and not believe, I do not judge him, for I came not that I might judge the world, but that I might save the world. He that rejects me and does not receive my words, has him who judges him: the word which I spoke, that shall judge him in the last day. For I spoke not from myself, but the father himself who sent me, gave me commandment what I should say and what I should speak; and I know that his commandment is life eternal. What therefore I speak, as the father has said to me, so I speak." (John 12:47-50).

 

Notice that Jesus said that the word is a judgment because it is the word of the invisible god who sent him. Without question, the Jews now knew that he was claiming to be the christ, as well as Jehovah. He also made it quite clear that there was another god besides him.

 

The Jews who rejected Jesus said they were doing so because of Moses, but Jesus told them that if they had believed Moses, they would also believe him.

 

The Old Testament scriptures had been almost completely misconstrued by the religious leaders of Israel. They had so surrounded it with their own doctrines that they could no longer understand it. Even now, as Jesus explained it to them, they interpreted what he said in line with their traditional misunderstanding.

 

This is still true of organized religion today. Anything that opposes denominational doctrine is simply interpreted in a manner to fit what they already have decided to believe. They are still following a pattern set by the disbelieving Jews, and they do not hear the word of The God.

 

Please keep in mind that this portion of John’s gospel describes Jesus’ instruction of the 12 disciples. It would be a great error to assume that many of the promises Jesus made to them apply to everyone; they do not, and they were not so intended! These 12—actually these 11, plus Paul—are the ones who would go forth to preach the gospel of the kingdom of God in terms of the light revealed by Jesus.

 

John 13:31-36 says,

"When he [Judas] had gone out, Jesus says, Now the son of the man has been glorified, and the god has been glorified in him. If the god has been glorified in him, also the god shall glorify him in himself, and immediately shall glorify him. Little children, I am with you yet a little while. Ye will seek me; and, as I said to the Jews, That where I go, ye are not able to come, I also say now to you. A new commandment I give to you, that ye should love one another; according as I have loved you, that ye also should love one another. By this shall all know that ye are disciples to me, if ye have love among one another. Says to him Simon Peter, Lord, where goest thou? Jesus answered him, Where I go thou art not now able to follow me, but afterwards thou shalt follow me."

 

The disbelieving Jewish leaders did not understand these words earlier, and neither did his disciples understand them. Although Jesus had talked often about his heavenly father, the invisible god, even his disciples were still trying to put new truth into the old truth of Jewish doctrine. Only later will they understand what he had told them.

 

Although Jesus had been teaching the apostles for about three years, they still understood only a little of what he was saying. John 14:1-11 illustrates this point.

"Let not your heart be troubled; ye believe on the god, also believe on me. In the house of my father there are many abodes; otherwise I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you; and if I go and prepare a place for you, I am coming again and will receive you to myself, that where I am ye may be also. And where I go ye know and the way ye know. Thomas says to him, Lord, we know not where thou goest, and how can we know the way? Jesus says to him, I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the father but by me. If ye had known me, ye would also have known my father; and henceforth ye know him, and have seen him. Philip says to him, Lord, shew us the father, and it suffices us. Jesus says to him, So long a time I am with you, Philip, and thou hast not known me? He that has seen me, has seen the father; and how sayest thou, Shew us the father? Believest thou not that I [am] in the father, and the father is in me? The words which I speak to you, I speak not from myself; but the father who abides in me, he does the works. Believe me that I [am] in the father, and the father in me; but if not, believe me because of the works themselves."

 

In order to support the trinitarian doctrine this verse must be misinterpreted in some manner to fit that erroneous doctrine. Again, we note how very difficult it is to take new wine and put it in the old wine skins of some religious interpretation.

 

Jesus, while teaching his apostles, made a number of revelations which were not understood by his followers. First, he told them to believe on him. This was a questionable comment to the apostles since they were already following him because they believed he was messiah. What else did Jesus expect from them?

 

Actually, Jesus was confronting them with the fact that he was more than they presently knew. For three years, Jesus had been teaching them about the new wine of his gospel, and they had constantly attempted to put it in the old wine skins of their religious concepts. Now he was telling them to hear what he was saying about himself.

 

Jesus also spoke to them about events in his future and in their future. He told them he was leaving them to go prepare a place for them in his father’s house. When the proper time arrives, he would come for them so they could be with him. This would occur after his resurrection, something they still did not understand.

 

Jesus also told them that they knew where he was going and the way, but that appeared to only confuse them further. Even though they were his closest companions, they seemed to have no idea that he was speaking of his ascension to the Father. They still presumed that he was referring to some earthly place he was going to next. However, lest we be too critical of them, what would people today assume if Jesus showed up claiming to be the messiah? Would people know what he was talking about? Would they believe him?

 

Jesus’ statement that he was the way, and the truth, and the life must have confused the apostles even more. Each of these three nouns—way, truth, life—are preceded by the definite article. When this occurs in a list it requires that each item be regarded as a separate subject. If only the first had the definite article and the following two did not, then they would be regarded as one subject with different aspects.

 

The point is that Jesus represents three separate subjects. First, he is the way to where they were to come. Second, he is the truth, meaning that what he had taught them about the Father was absolutely true. Third, he is the life, meaning the eternal, spiritual life which would culminate in the next age, the kingdom of God. All three of these concepts were bound up in him.

 

That the disciples did not understand him is made clear by Jesus’ statement, "If ye had known me."  They did not know him as Jehovah, the god of Israel. They knew him only as a savior messiah, whom they supposed would deliver them from the Romans and make Israel the leading nation of the world. They really did not know him!

 

Nor did they know the Father. They had no conception of the Father, the invisible god, of whom Jesus constantly spoke, and whom they interpreted to mean Jehovah. Jesus continually spoke the truth about the new concept of grace, and they just as continually misinterpreted what he said in the context of the religion they knew. Even today, little has changed!

 

When Philip asked Jesus to show them the Father, that further indicated that they did not realize that what Jesus had taught them was for that very purpose: to reveal the Father, the invisible god, to them.

 

When Jesus said "he that hath seen me hath seen the Father," he was not claiming to be the same as the Father (as the trinitarians claim), but simply that he had revealed the Father to them. He mirrored the Father so perfectly, that by seeing him, they were seeing the essence of the Father.

 

No one will ever actually see the Father. It is only later that they would understand that Jesus spoke of the invisible god, not Jehovah.

 

Jesus clarified the difference between himself and the Father when he said, "The words which I speak to you, I speak not from myself; but the father who abides in me, he does the works."  This should settle the issue of whether or not Jesus is the same as the Father; but, unfortunately, it has not.

 

This is a definite denial of the concept of a trinity, yet the concept persists. Jesus identified himself as only a spokesman for the Father, indicating that the Father tells him what to do and say. This is exactly the same office, or relationship, he held as Jehovah: the spokesman for the Father. Later, this will become  very clear to the apostles.

 

John 14:13-14 says,

"And whatsoever ye may ask in my name, this will I do, that the father may be glorified in the son. If ye ask anything in my name, I will do [it]."

 

This promise was not to just any believer, but only to the apostles who would carry the word of his ministry to the known world of that day. This promise would equip them to carry out their mission. Asking "in his name" was the basis for a positive response.

 

Unfortunately, this scripture is commonly taken out of context, placing people under bondage. Today, many people teach that this verse was meant for any believer. Then, when the petition is not granted, the petitioner is blamed for not having enough faith. What a travesty!

 

John 14:16-20 is another passage about future events.

"And I will ask the father, and he will give you another paraclete (comforter), that he may remain with you for ever, the spirit of the truth, whom the world cannot receive because it does not see him, nor know him; but ye know him, for he abides with you, and shall be among you. Yet a little while and the world sees me no longer, but ye see me; because I live, ye also shall live. In that day ye shall know that I [am] in my father, and ye in me, and I in you."

 

Notice that Jesus said he would ask the Father. Like us, he was subject to the Father, through the spirit which was upon him. He had to ask!

 

Jesus has never been more than a mediator between men and the invisible god, and he never shall be more than that. That was his office as Jehovah, and that was his office while on this earth as Jesus. Since his resurrection and ascension to the Father, that is still his office, or ministry.

 

Jesus said he would ask that another comforter beside himself, or the spirit of the truth, be sent to them. This comforter would remain with them forever, or into the next age, or the beginning of the kingdom of The God.

 

Verse 14:17 contains the word "him" three times; however, the word in the Greek manuscript is a neuter pronoun, not masculine. Furthermore, the word translated "spirit" is also neuter, neither feminine nor masculine. Poor translations, such as the KJV, establish and perpetuate the erroneous notion that the spirit is a person. It is not. [For a thorough discussion of holy spirit, see our book What Scripture Says About Salvation.]

 

According to the KJV, Jesus said that the world could not receive the spirit. This is another commonly misunderstood scripture, leading many to claim that the world does not have the spirit.

 

This verse does not say that the world did not have the spirit when it was poured out, but that the world absolutely cannot—the absolute negative ou—"receive" it. Receive is an active infinitive, which means that the people are unable to act, to submit themselves to the spirit given to them. Thus it should be translated as either "to receive, or to take," as it is translated in another place (see Matthew 15:26).

 

Jesus told the disciples that the reason the world would be unable to take, to receive, to submit themselves to the spirit of truth when it was sent would be because the world did not see it, or know it. Part of the apostles’ ministry was to inform the world of the good news that The God, through Jesus, had poured out some of his spirit upon all flesh. People will not realize that holy spirit is there to guide and lead them unless they are told about it.

 

The last part of John 14:17 is another example of confusion due to translator error. The KJV says the spirit shall be "in" you. However, the preposition en should be translated as "among" when associated with a plural, or a group, which is the case here since the word "you" is plural.

 

Therefore, this verse should correctly read, "for he abides with you, and shall be among you." Jesus is so closely associated with the spirit that he can make this statement.

 

The spirit, when it comes, will reveal the things concerning Jesus to the believers, just as Jesus revealed the things of his heavenly father. The life of Jesus here on earth was primarily for the purpose of revealing the invisible god’s qualities and characteristics. The ministry of the holy spirit will be a continuation of that purpose, as it reveals those same things about Jesus. In that manner, Jesus will continue forever revealing the Father.

 

John 14:25-26 says,

"These things I have said to you, with you abiding; but the paraclete, the spirit the holy, whom the father will send in my name, he you will teach all things, and will bring to your remembrance all things which I said to you."

 

Jesus revealed to the apostles that the spirit will be sent in his name by the Father. Sending it in his name means that the holy spirit will be under the power, or authority, of Jesus, the Christ, or messiah. If it is sent in the name of Jesus, then Jesus will again be responsible for bestowing it even as he was in the Old Testament. After he has ascended to the Father as a glorified man, he will regain all the authority he had previously as Jehovah. While on earth, Jesus had to submit to the holy spirit given to him, even as we must.

 

The latter part of this verse is a portion of scripture that is often misused. Jesus was speaking to his apostles when he said "he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you."  Many people would like to believe that this was meant to be for everyone; however, Jesus was not speaking to us, but to the apostles.

 

The apostles greatly needed this assistance since they had understood so little of what Jesus said to them. When we said earlier that they would understand later, this was what we had in mind. The later time would be when holy spirit was poured out upon all flesh. We will have more to say on this point when we discuss Acts 2.

 

John 14:28-31 says,

"Ye heard that I said to you, I am going away and I am coming to you. If ye loved me, ye would have rejoiced that I said, for I am going to the father. My father is greater than I. And now I have told you before it comes to pass, that when it shall have come to pass, ye may believe. No longer will I speak much with you, for the ruler of this world comes, and he has nothing in me. But that the world may know that I love the father, and as the father commanded me, thus I do. Rise up, let us go hence."

 

The phrase "if ye loved me" sounds as though Jesus were accusing the apostles of not caring for him. However, that is not the meaning at all. The word love comes from agapate, which indicates a love based not upon emotion, but upon an act of the will. Agape is the word used when we are told to love our enemies, which means to wish the best for our enemies, not to have an emotional attachment to them.

 

This helps explain what Jesus was telling his apostles. If they wished the best for him they would have rejoiced when told he was to go to his father. Had they understood, perhaps they would have. It was this kind of misunderstanding about his purpose that caused Jesus to call Peter a satan.

 

None of them understood that even though Jesus was the messiah, he must die. But, how could he? He was the messiah, and he had not yet delivered them from the Roman army. Again, Jesus was talking about things before they happened, so that when they did occur, the apostles would believe.

 

Jesus said "my father is greater than I," another statement which makes it very difficult to justify a belief in the trinity doctrine. This statement makes sense only when realizing that Jesus and the Father are two separate entities, with one greater than the other.

 

Verse 14:31 explains why Jesus will not avoid his death, as ordained by his father. He said, "But that the world may know that I love the father, and as the father commanded me, thus I do. Rise up, let us go hence."  He was now heading directly to the events that he knew would bring about his death. Why? So the world would know that he loves the Father.

 

John 15:1-11 contains the parable of the vine, where Jesus was foretelling that the overcoming believers will be his body in the next age. It also teaches that only by abiding in him will the branches produce fruit, what The God intended. Fleshly works will be worth nothing. Only when Jesus lives through us, as the sap does in the vine, will the works actually be his, which will be the fruit intended.

 

Twice in this chapter, verses 14:13 and 14:14, Jesus repeated the promise made earlier, that whatsoever they asked "in my name" they would have it. This is part of their equipping for the work they must do after his ascension. The result of this was seen in the miracles that some of the apostles did which proved to others that they truly were "sent ones," or apostles. This was also repeated in John 15:16, 16:23, and 16:24.

 

John 15:18-19 points out that the world will not love the apostles.

"If the world you hates, ye know that it has hated me before you. If ye were of the world, the world would love its own; but because ye are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, on account of this the world hates you."

 

The world never enjoys nor reacts kindly to being told that their works, if not done on the basis of proper faith, amount to nothing with The God. There are many good people; but, if the works they do are to glorify themselves, instead of glorifying The God, they may remain good people, but not godly people. There is a difference, and the worldly people do not want to hear about it or acknowledge it.

 

John 15:26-27 contains another promise about the coming of the holy spirit.

"But when the paraclete is come, whom I will send to you from the father, the spirit of the truth, who goes forth from the father, he will bear witness concerning me. And also ye bear witness, because ye are with me from [the] beginning."

 

Earlier, Jesus had told them he would send another. Now, he repeats that promise. There are several truths indicated here. First, Jesus will send the spirit "from the father."  Second, he said that this spirit is "the spirit of the truth."  Third, he said the truth this spirit will witness to was the truth about him. Fourth, Jesus said that this spirit "goes forth" from the Father, which indicates a continual going forth, not a one time event. In other words, the truth concerning Jesus, the son of The God, is constantly being sent forth from the Father, given to the son, and then constantly being sent out upon all flesh.

 

In the phrase "he will bear witness concerning me," the word translated he comes from the Greek pronoun ekeinos, which is a demonstrative pronoun. More specifically, this word is an adjective, pronominal, demonstrative, nominative, masculine, singular. This means that it is an adjective, used in place of a noun, a demonstrative such as "that," a nominative typically marking the subject of a verb, masculine, or male, and singular, or one.

 

Again, it should be repeated that this is a masculine adjective, used as a pronoun, because of the close association between Jesus and the holy spirit. It is not because the holy spirit is masculine; in fact, the word spirit is a neuter.

 

John 16:5-7 concerns the grief the disciples felt, and why such grief is wrong.

"But I go now to him who sent me, and none of you asks me, Where goest thou? But because I have said these things to you, grief has filled your heart. But I say to you the truth, it is profitable for you that I should go away; for if I go not away, the paraclete will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you."

 

Jesus was telling his disciples why he had to leave them. He must return to the one who sent him, or he cannot receive the holy spirit in order to send it to be their comforter in his absence. It is only by fulfilling the mission which the invisible god of heaven had given him that Jesus will be returned to the position which he emptied himself of when he came in the flesh. Only then will he have the authority to dispense holy spirit.

 

Jesus also told the disciples the three ministries which the spirit will have when it comes.

"And having come he will convict the world concerning sin and concerning righteousness and concerning judgment. Concerning sin, because they believe not on me; concerning righteousness, because I go away to my father, and ye behold me no longer; and concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world has been judged." (John 16:8-11).

 

The only sin mentioned concerns unbelief. Righteousness is the righteousness of Jesus, because it is an acknowledgment of the truth that Jesus has fulfilled all righteousness while here in the flesh. Judgment refers to the judgment of the ruler of this world, or satan.  [For a complete discussion of satan, please see our article, A Study of Satan.]

 

John 16:12-15 says,

"Yet many things I have to say to you, but ye are not able to bear them now. But when he may have come, the spirit of the truth, he will guide you into all the truth; for he will not speak from himself, but he will speak whatsoever he may hear; and he will announce to you the things coming. He will glorify me, for he will receive of mine, and will announce to you. All things whatsoever the father has are mine; because of this, I said that he will receive of mine, and will announce to you."

 

Notice that it is holy spirit, not their intellect, which will guide them into all truth.

 

What Jesus has been saying should be crystal clear to us in the light of his death, resurrection, and ascension to the Father. However, the apostles still did not understand. John 16:17-18 says,

"Therefore [some] of his disciples said to one another, What is this which he says to us, A little [while] and ye do not behold me; and again a little [while] and ye shall see me; and because I go away to the father? They said therefore, What is this which he says, the little [while]? We do not know what he speaks."

 

The apostles were still trying to take the teachings of Jesus (the new wine), which were on a different basis than the law, and fit them into the Old Testament economy based on the law (old wine skins). Jesus spoke to them of grace, which is completely different than the law.

 

Finally, the apostles thought they understood, but Jesus knew better. John 16:29-33 says,

"His disciples say to him, Lo, now thou speakest plainly, and speakest no allegory. Now we know that thou knowest all things, and hast not need that thee should ask anyone. By this we believe that thou camest forth from god. Jesus answered them, Now do ye believe? Lo, an hour is coming and now has come, that ye will be scattered, each to his own, and ye will leave me alone; and [yet] I am not alone, for the father is with me. These things I have spoken to you that in me ye may have peace. In the world ye have tribulation; but be of good courage, I have overcome the world."

 

Although their lack of understanding would not allow their faith to withstand the test of his crucifixion, all was not lost! Jesus would pour out some of the holy spirit upon each of them, as well as everyone else then living or yet to be born.

 

John 17 relates a long prayer which Jesus made to the Father. He prayed for himself, as well as for his disciples. He also prayed that he would be glorified, meaning that he would remain faithful to his calling to endure death for the sins of the whole world.

 

John 19:7 describes the charge made by the Jews to Pilate.

"The Jews answered him, We have a law, and according to our law, he ought to die, because he made himself son of god."

 

Earlier, we discussed the three ways in which "son of god" could be written: a son of a god, a son of the god, the son of the god. The Jewish leaders, not wanting to admit anything which would dignify this man they were trying to have crucified, stated the least of the three meanings, a son of a god, which only made Jesus equal to one of the Roman demi-gods.

 

John 20 describes the events of the empty tomb. Just like the other synoptic gospel writers, John tells only of Mary, the Magdalene, going to the tomb. She met the resurrected Jesus, but did not recognize him.

 

Later, Jesus let her know who he was, and as she approached him, he told her,

"Touch me not, for I have not yet ascended to my father; but go to my brethren, and say to them, I ascend to my father and your father, and my god and your god." (John 20:17).

 

Scriptures such as this are quite interesting. Jesus had ample opportunity to declare that he was The God, yet he declared that he was not the invisible god, but was going to him. He also said that his god was also their god. Why is it that so much of the organized "christian" religion insists on the fallacious doctrine of the trinity which equates Jesus with the invisible god?

 

When Jesus ascended to the Father his personal revelation of the Father would be finished. John 20:30-31 says,

" Therefore many other signs Jesus also did in presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book; but these have been written that ye may believe that Jesus is the christ, the son of the god, and that believing, ye may have life in his name."

 

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Summary Highlights of Chapter 14

 

# Either Jesus expiated, or atoned for, all the sins of the whole world, or

     he did not. This verse states unequivocally that he did. Nothing else is

     needed to remove the judicial sense of guilt and punishment

     completely. It has been done! Never again will any person be judicially

     judged for their sins. This means that The God, who judged their sins

     by the death of Jesus, the messiah, should be approached only as a

     father, not a judge.

 

# Note the order Jacob observed. First, the angels ascended, then they

     descended. Angels begin on the earth, then they ascend. If they are

     given a special mission, then they descend. This is exactly opposite to

     what we would expect if angels were created as heavenly beings.  Jesus

     was equating himself with the ladder seen by Jacob, and he was

     revealing that what Jacob actually saw was the means for those who

     die to ascend to heaven as angels. Then, they descend for service.

 

# Their religion may not have been orthodox, but the Samaritans were

     able to recognize and accept the truth that Jesus presented, which was

     more than the privileged Jewish people had done.

 

# How can an hour be both coming and now? The key to reconciling this

     requires understanding the two kinds of time mentioned in the

     scriptures. One is chronological time, chronos, and the other is

     qualitative time, kairos.  Measured time (chronos), once it comes,

      immediately turns into history.  Kairos time, however, is a

     constant now time, or the kind of time in which The God exists.

 

# Many who live an ordinary life, with no thought of whether or not they

     are pleasing to god, actually do evil, even though others may consider

     what they do as good. This is the difference between humanism and

     godliness. For works to be godly works, they must be on a foundation

     of faith and commitment to The God on the part of those doing the

     works.

 

# The doctrine of the trinity has been the greatest cause for scripture

     being interpreted wrongly. Yet, millions accept this illogical doctrine as

     biblical truth and never question it.

 

# Although the people had the Old Testament scriptures to guide them,

     their religion had so submerged the truth that they did not recognize

     what the scriptures actually foretold. Otherwise, they would have

     recognized what Jesus was openly telling them. He was both the

     historical and the present word of the invisible god.

 

# Tradition and doctrine can deafen people to spiritual truth more than

     any other elements.  How easy it is to read the scriptures without

     understanding, especially if they are approached from the viewpoint of

     organized religion, and interpreted through its bias and doctrines.

 

# The entire Old Testament was a gradual revelation of the invisible god,

     to bring people to the knowledge that he not only exists, but that he

     loves them.

 

# Jesus was plainly teaching them that the bread, or manna, of the

     wilderness journey was only a foreshadowing of him. That bread,

     manna, sustained physical life, but the bread he brought would sustain

     spiritual life.  Many of the Old Testament scriptures foreshadow Jesus.

     Since the life, death, and ascension of Jesus, these should be easily seen

     because we have not only the revelation brought by Jesus, but also the

     explanation by his apostles. May God forgive us for how little we

     understand even now!

 

# Jesus was referring to those who would believe in him, saying that the

     rending of his flesh and the spilling of his blood on the cross purchased

     a full salvation for them, enabling them to live forever. It is faith in this

     truth that causes people to abide in Jesus, the messiah.

 

# People who sincerely seek the truth will find the truth. Many people

     today still question whether or not the scriptures are actually the word

     of God. Perhaps, like these Jews, they do not wish to do the will of God,

     but only to masquerade as godly people.

 

# Of what or whom did Moses write? The first five books of the Old

     Testament were written about Jehovah. Therefore, the key is not to look

     for prophecies, but for the main focus of what Moses wrote. The main

     focus was on Jehovah, who was now speaking to the Jews as Jesus. He

     told them that when Moses wrote about Jehovah, he was actually

     writing about him, Jesus.

 

# The definite article does not appear in the Greek manuscript; therefore,

     Jesus was not speaking of "the holy spirit," but of a characteristic, or

     quality of it, which becomes "holy spirit," thus signifying that believers

     shall, in the future, receive a portion of "the holy spirit."

 

# This statement was very clear, and the Jews now recognized that Jesus

     was claiming to be their god, Jehovah. It was bad enough that he said

     he was older than Abraham, because that meant he was not a normal

     human being, but must be a god. But, the final blow came when Jesus

     used the term "I am" to describe himself. Any Jew would recognize that

     this title belonged to Jehovah, the god of Israel.

 

# When Jesus spoke about this world, he was not necessarily speaking of

     material things. Worldliness also refers to a religious system in which

     men believe they can do something to cause The God to save them. With

     this attitude they have lost the sense of awe that the invisible god

     would, of himself, love them and give them the salvation. If they were a

     party to causing their salvation, then it would become tainted with the

     works of man, and people would rely on what they did, instead of

     relying on what was done for them. However, convincing churched

     people of this today is as difficult as it was for Jesus to convince the

     church people of his day that he was their god, Jehovah, become flesh.

 

# When Jesus said ,"and I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all

     unto me," he was speaking of his crucifixion. This does not refer to

     "lifting up" Jesus through "witnessing," as many evangelicals claim.

     The people who heard Jesus, understood it for what it was: crucifixion.

 

# The Old Testament scriptures had been almost completely

     misconstrued by the religious leaders of Israel. They had so surrounded

     it with their own doctrines that they could no longer understand it.

     Even now, as Jesus explained it to them, they interpreted what he said

     in line with their traditional misunderstanding.

 

# This misunderstanding is still true of organized religion today.

     Anything that opposes denominational doctrine is simply interpreted

     in a manner to fit what they already have decided to believe. They are

     still following a pattern set by the disbelieving Jews, and they do not

     hear the word of The God.

 

# Please keep in mind that this portion of John’s gospel describes Jesus’

     instruction of the 12 disciples. It would be a great error to assume that

     many of the promises Jesus made to them apply to everyone; they do

     not, and they were not so intended!

 

# Although Jesus had been teaching the apostles for about three years,

     they still understood only a little of what he was saying.  However, lest

     we be too critical of them, what would people today assume if Jesus

     showed up claiming to be the messiah? Would people know what he

     was talking about? Would they believe him?

 

# The point is that Jesus represents three separate subjects. First, he is the

     way to where they were to come. Second, he is the truth, meaning that

     what he had taught them about the Father was absolutely true. Third,

     he is the life, meaning the eternal, spiritual life which would culminate

     in the next age, the kingdom of God. All three of these concepts were

     bound up in him.

 

# They had no conception of the Father, the invisible god, of whom Jesus

     constantly spoke, and whom they interpreted as being Jehovah. Jesus

     continually spoke the truth about the new concept of grace, and they

     just as continually misinterpreted what he said in the context of the

     religion they knew. Even today, little has changed!

 

# When Jesus said "he that hath seen me hath seen the father," he was

     not claiming to be the same as the Father (as the trinitarians claim), but

     simply that he had revealed the Father to them. He mirrored the

     Father so perfectly, that by seeing him, they were seeing the essence of

     the Father.  No one will ever actually see the Father. It is only later that

     they would understand that Jesus spoke of the invisible god, not

     Jehovah.

 

# Jesus identified himself as only a spokesman for the Father, indicating

     that the Father tells him what to do and say. This is exactly the same

     office, or relationship, he held as Jehovah: the spokesman for the

     Father.  Later, this will become very clear to the apostles.

 

# This promise (John 14:13-14) was not to just any believer, but only to

     the apostles who would carry the word of his ministry to the known

     world of that day. This promise would equip them to carry out their

     mission. Asking "in his name" was the basis for a positive response.

     Unfortunately, this scripture is commonly taken out of context, placing

     people under bondage. Today, many people teach that this verse was

     meant for any believer. Then, when the petition is not granted, the

     petitioner is blamed for not having enough faith. What a travesty!

 

# Notice that Jesus said he would ask the father. Like us, he was subject

     to the father, through the spirit which was upon him. He had to ask!

 

# Jesus has never been more than a mediator between men and the

     invisible god, and he never shall be more than that. That was his office

     as Jehovah, and that was his office while on this earth as Jesus. Since his

     resurrection and ascension to the Father, that is still his office, or

     ministry.

 

# Jesus said he would ask that another comforter beside himself, or the

     spirit of the truth, be sent to them. This comforter would remain with

     them forever, or into the next age, or the beginning of the kingdom of

     The God.

 

# This verse does not say that the world did not have the spirit when it

     was poured out, but that the world absolutely cannot—the absolute

     negative ou—"receive" it. Receive is an active infinitive, which means

     that the people are unable to act, to submit themselves to the spirit

     given to them.

 

# Jesus told the disciples that the reason the world would be unable to

     take, to receive, to submit themselves to the spirit of truth when it was

     sent would be because the world did not see it, or know it. Part of the

     apostles’ ministry was to inform the world of the good news that The

     God, through Jesus, had poured out some of his spirit upon all flesh.

     People will not realize that holy spirit is there to guide and lead them

     unless they are told about it.

 

# The spirit, when it comes, will reveal the things concerning Jesus to the

     believers, just as Jesus revealed the things of his heavenly father. The

     life of Jesus here on earth was primarily for the purpose of revealing the

     invisible god’s qualities and characteristics. The ministry of the holy

     spirit will be a continuation of that purpose, as it reveals those same

     things about Jesus. In that manner, Jesus will continue forever revealing

     the Father.

 

# Jesus revealed to the apostles that the spirit will be sent in his name by

     the Father. Sending it in his name means that the holy spirit will be

     under the power, or authority, of Jesus, the Christ, or messiah. If it is

     sent in the name of Jesus, then Jesus will again be responsible for

     bestowing it even as he was in the Old Testament.

 

# Jesus said "my father is greater than I," another statement which makes

     it very difficult to justify a belief in the trinity doctrine. This statement

     makes sense only when realizing that Jesus and the Father are two

     separate entities, with one greater than the other.

 

# Only by abiding in him will the branches produce fruit, what the god

     intended. Fleshly works will be worth nothing. Only when Jesus lives

     through us, as the sap does in the vine, will the works actually be his,

     which will be the fruit intended.

 

# The world never enjoys nor reacts kindly to being told that their works,

     if not done on the basis of proper faith, amount to nothing with The

     God.  There are many good people; but, if the works they do are to

     glorify themselves, instead of glorifying The God, they may remain

     good people, but not godly people. There is a difference, and the

     worldly people do not want to hear about it or acknowledge it.

 

# The truth concerning Jesus, the son of The God, is constantly being sent

     forth from the Father, given to the son, and then constantly being sent

     out upon all flesh.

 

# The apostles were still trying to take the teachings of Jesus (the new

     wine), which were on a different basis than the law, and fit them into

     the Old Testament economy based on the law (old wine skins). Jesus

     spoke to them of grace, which is completely different than the law.

 

 

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October 2009

 

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