In the days when Christ was here on earth there was a division among the people because of Jesus.
There was even a greater division after His death and resurrection in the days of the apostles. There is a still greater division in the world today because of Jesus.
Note the following Scriptures:
“Others said, This is the Christ. But some said, Shall Christ come out of Galilee? So there was a division among the people because of him.” John 7:41 and 43. “Therefore said some of the Pharisees, This man is not of God, because he keepeth not the sabbath day. Others said, How can a. man that is a sinner do such miracles? And there was a division among them.” John 9:16. “There was a division therefore again among the Jews for these sayings. And many of them said, He hath a devil, and is mad; why hear ye him? Others said, These are not the words of him that hath a devil. Can a devil open the eyes of the blind?” John 10:19 to 21. “Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, Nay; but rather division: For from henceforth there shall be five in one house divided, three against two, and two against three. The father shall be divided against the son, and the son against the father; the mother against the daughter, and the daughter against the mother; the mother in law against her daughter in law, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.” Luke 12:51 to 53. “He that is not with me is against me, and he that gathereth not with me scattereth.” Luke 11:23.
In the seventh chapter of John, from which chapter we quoted the first Scriptures, note the statement concerning the division because of Jesus:
“AND THERE WAS MUCH MURMURING AMONG THE PEOPLE CONCERNING HIM: FOR SOME SAID, HE IS A GOOD MAN: OTHERS SAID, NAY; BUT HE DECEIVETH THE PEOPLE.” John 7:12.
“Much murmuring”—“Some said”—“Others said.” This is still going on. Who were right, the some who said or the others who said? Some—“Christ is a good man.” Others—“Nay, Christ deceiveth the people.”
Note in Matthew 27:63 that the “others” continued in their attitude toward Christ:
“Saying, Sir, we remember that that deceiver said, while he was yet alive, After three days I will rise again.” Matthew 27:63.
To them Christ was a deceiver. To them Christ performed miracles by Beelzebub, the prince of demons—Note Matthew 11:19:
“The Son of man came eating and drinking, and they say, Behold a man gluttonous, and a winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners. But wisdom is justified of her children.”
They called Him a blasphemer, because, being a Man, He made Himself God. John 10:33.
Today intelligent Jews join with Christians in declaring that the Lord Jesus Christ was a good Man. How good? Better than all the rest. There was a time when prejudiced and ignorant men declared that Jesus of Nazareth was deluded. They said He was not mentally sound, therefore, He made some false claims. But today, intelligent Jews, Christians, and non-Christian Gentiles are all agreed that Jesus Christ was the most intelligent man that ever lived on earth, as well as the greatest human benefactor that the world has ever known.
What is the verdict then? The “some” who said, “Christ is a good Man,” were right. How about the statement of the “others”: “Nay, He deceiveth the people”? Did Christ deceive the people?
If Christ really deceived the people, did He thereby prove that He was a good Man? In other words; could a man really be both a good man and a deceiver, especially if he continues month after month, and year after year, to deceive the people?
From the beginning of His earthly ministry until His death, and again after His resurrection, Jesus Christ claimed that He was God manifest in the flesh, that He was in the beginning in the God head, that He came down from heaven, that He had glory with the Father before the world was. Christ received worship as God.
Christ proved His claim to Deity by His supernatural power, by His miracles.
If Christ declared that He was God from the beginning, that He had glory with the Father, that He came down from heaven, and if He really was not what He claimed, then surely He deceived the people. Such a deceiver could not be called a good man. We must decide by common sense logic that Jesus Christ was both God and good, or He was not God and good. The Modernists who have crept unawares into the Christian church are far more inconsistent than were the Jews who took up stones to kill Christ when He was here on earth. They stoned Him, “because He made Himself equal with God.” John 5:17 to 20. In John 19:7, we learn why they had Christ crucified. Because He claimed equality with God.
These foolish Modernists among church members, join with religious Jews in expressing great admiration for the man of Galilee, and dote much on the ideal Man, Jesus, with His ideal philosophy and His interpretation of God and true religion. They eulogize Him, quote Him, praise Him, and preach Him to Jews and Gentiles. But with all this they ever seek to make Christ, the Holy Spirit, and all the apostles, liars, by saying that Jesus was a very good man, but that He was not born as the Bible declares He was born; that He did not come down from heaven; that He did not have Divine authority to forgive sins. He was not God, the Son. He was not God’s foreordained sin-bearer. His body was not raised from the dead. He is not now the resurrected Jesus at God’s right hand, as the Bible claims. Salvation is not by faith in the shed blood of the Lord Jesus Christ, but by character, by good behaviour, by imitating Jesus, by trying to live up to the religion of Jesus.
Surely you and I agree that these pretenders, who call themselves Modernists, are only Christianized agnostics. They are far less consistent than were the Jews, who in the first century also denied the eternal Deity of the Son of God, and took a decided stand against Him, declaring that He was worthy of death.
Note this law of the Jews in Leviticus 24:16:
“And he that blasphemeth the name of the Lord, he shall surely be put to death, and all the congregation shall certainly stone him: as well the stranger, as he that is born in the land, when he blasphemeth the name of the Lord, shall be put to death.”
If Jesus Christ was not God, as He claimed time and time again, were not the Jews right when they said to Pilate
“The Jews answered him, We have a law, and by our law he ought to die, because he made himself the Son of God.” John 19:7
Leviticus 24:16 was the law to which the Jews referred when they spoke the words of John 19:7.
Even the thinking Jews today believe that Jesus Christ was too good to have been a blasphemer. They should accept Him then as God: for God He was.
Remember what Thomas said when he was fully convinced “And Thomas answered and said unto Him, My Lord and my God.” John 20:28.
Christ did not say, “Thomas, you are mistaken. I am a very good Man, but I am not Lord and God.” He received the worship. And remember His own words in Luke 4:8:
“And Jesus answered and said unto him, Get thee behind me Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.”
The pseudo-Christians claim to believe in the historical Jesus. The historical Jesus is the Bible Jesus. So when they decide on the authority of the Bible Record that Jesus was a good man, they must, if intelligent and consistent, acknowledge that by the same Record He was and is God.
“JESUS CHRIST THE SAME YESTERDAY, AND TODAY, AND FOR EVER.” Hebrews 13:8.
“And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.”
Note again Luke 12:51:
“Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, Nay; but rather division.”
Look all about on every side, and see not only nations, cities, and communities divided because of Jesus, but families. If we could only know what is going on in homes where some members of the household are for Christ and some are against Him.
Yes, there has been, and there is a division among the people because of Jesus.
In the eternal ages there will be a division among the people, because of Jesus. Some will spend eternity with the Lord and His redeemed in glory. Some will be in perdition suffering the sorrows of the second death. Christ declared, “he that is not with Me is against Me.” Luke 11:23.
IS CHRIST DIVIDED?
“Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.” I Corinthians 1:10. “For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?” I Corinthians 3:3. “For first of all, when ye come together in the church, I hear that there be divisions among you; and I partly believe it” I Corinthians 11:18. “That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another.” I Corinthians 12:25.
Note God’s will; that there should be no “schism”; no “division.”
What a pity! Christ’s Church so divided that the apostles asked “is Christ divided?” Since that day divisions and subdivisions have increased, until today there are more than 300 branches of the Christian Church. The Lord said, “that there be no schism (division) in the Body.”
Note Ephesians 4:3 to 7:
“Endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all. But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ”
Note again Romans 12:4 and 5:
“For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office: So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.”
Note again Christ’s prayer in John 17:21 and 11:
“That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou host sent me.” “And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou host given me, that they may be one, as we are.”
ONE NEW MAN
When we believers reach heaven perfect unity will prevail, and there we shall learn that God’s purpose in this age is expressed in Ephesians 2:15:
“Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace.”
One in Christ. In one Body of which Christ is the Head. Again note Galatians 3:28
“There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.”
Note I Corinthians 12:12 and 13:
“For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ. For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been made to drink into one Spirit” As the unbeliever looks on and beholds the division, sectarianism, and lack of unity among Christians, he is asking, “Is Christ divided?”
THE OMNISCIENT CHRIST
I KNOW MY SHEEP
“I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine.” “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.” John 10:14 and 10:27.
We read these words in II Timothy 2:19:
“Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.”
The Lord knoweth them that are His. The good Shepherd knows His sheep. He said “I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.” “As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep.” John 10:11 and 15. “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.” John 10:27 and 28.
The Lord Jesus knows who is saved and who is unsaved. But God wants the believer to know that he is saved “These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; THAT YE MAY KNOW THAT YE HAVE ETERNAL LIFE, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.” I John 5:13.
We read something more about Christ the Shepherd in Hebrews 13:20 and 21:
“Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is well pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.”
and in I Peter 5:4:
“And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.”
So we learn that Jesus Christ is the good Shepherd, the great Shepherd and the chief Shepherd.
JESUS KNEW ALL
“But Jesus did not commit himself unto them, because he knew all. And needed not that any should testify of man; for he knew what was in man.” John 2:24 and 25.
To know all is to be omniscient. Let us read Peter’s words to the Lord Jesus, “And he (Peter) said unto Him, Lord Thou knowest all things.” John 21:17. The woman at the well said to the Lord Jesus, “. . . . . . I know that Messias cometh, which is called Christ: when he is come, he will tell us all things.”
John 4:25.Note Christ’s reply,
“ . . . . .. I that speak unto thee am he.” John 4:26.
That sinful woman learned that day that Christ needed not that any should testify of woman; for He knew what was in woman.
Christ saw Nathanael under the fig tree. But because it was not with physical eye-sight, Nathanael cried, “Rabbi, Thou art the Son of God.” Christ assured Nathanael that He would see greater things. John 1:46 to 51. In John 13:1, Jesus knew that His hour was come that He should depart out of the world.
“Now before the feast of the passover, when Jesus knew that his hour was come that he should depart out of this world unto the Father, having loved his own which were in the world, he loved them unto the end.”
JESUS KNEW FROM THE BEGINNING
“But there are some of you that believe not. For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that believed not, and who should betray him.” John 6:64. “For he knew who should betray him; therefore said he, Ye are not all clean.” John 13:11.
THE CHIEF SHEPHERD AND SIMON PETER
“This is now the third time that Jesus shewed himself to his disciples, after that he was risen from the dead. So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee, He saith unto him, Feed my lambs. He saith to him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? He saith unto him, Yea Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my sheep. He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep.” John 21:14 to 17. Here the chief Shepherd was instructing one of His undershepherds to feed and tend His lambs and to feed His sheep. The Lord’s pastors are expected to feed the Lord’s sheep and lambs. Those who are faithful in this will receive a crown of glory when the chief Shepherd shall appear.
Then the shepherd has another duty; he is to keep the wolves out of the flock.
“Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock.” Acts 20:28 and 29.
The Lord Jesus pictures Himself as the good Shepherd in Luke 15:4:
“What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it?”
Then remember the words of the Shepherd-King in Luke 12:32:
“Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.”
Simon Peter became a faithful shepherd. He was faithful unto death. John 21:18 and 19:
“Verily, verily, I say unto thee, When thou wast young, thou girdedst thyself, and walkedst whither thou wouldest: but when thou shalt be old, thou shalt stretch forth thy hands, and another shall gird thee, and carry thee whither thou wouldest not This spake he, signifying by what death he should glorify God. And when he had spoken this, he saith unto him, Follow me.”
WHAT CHRIST KNEW ABOUT THE WOMAN AT THE WELL
In John 4:5 to 26 is recorded a most interesting story of a sinful woman of Sychar of Samaria. Before the story, we read in John 4:4:
“And he must needs go through Samaria.”
Now we see why He must needs go through Samaria. The Saviour was wearied with His journey and He sat at noontime on Jacob’s well.
“There cometh a woman of Samaria to draw water: Jesus saith unto her, Give me to drink.” John 4:7.
The woman was surprised that Jesus should have asked her for a drink “for the Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans.” John 4:9:
“Then saith the woman of Samaria unto him, ‘How is it that thou, being a Jew, askest drink of me, which am a woman of Samaria? for the Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans.’” Then the Lord Jesus talked to that poor sinful woman about water that would satisfy her soul. He called it “living water.” John 4:10.
“’But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.’ The woman saith unto him, ‘Sir, give me this water, that I thirst not, neither come hither to draw.’” John 4:14 and 15.
Here we think of I Timothy 1:15:
“This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.”
Note also Luke 19:10:
“For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.”
The Lord Jesus Christ came to be the Shepherd seeking lost sheep. He came into the world to save sinners.
Almost any person will say, “I am a sinner,” because all of us are sinners. But only the Lord Himself can convince the individual that he is not only a sinner, but a lost sinner. The sinner will not be much concerned about salvation until he realizes that he is lost. The Lord went right to that woman’s conscience after He had her interest and attention.
He will now get right at her sin.
“Jesus saith unto her, ‘Go, call thy husband, and come hither.’ The woman answered and said, ‘I have no husband.’ Jesus said unto her, ‘Thou hast well said, I have no husband: For thou hast had five husbands; and he whom thou now hast is not thy husband: in that saidst thou truly.’ The woman saith unto him, ‘Sir, I perceive that thou art a prophet.’” John 4:16 to 19. Another moment or two and she learned that she was in the presence of the Messiah, the Christ.
Note what she did:
“The woman then left her waterpot, and went her way into the city, and saith to the men, ‘Come, see a man, which told me all things that ever I did: is not this the Christ?’ Then they went out of the city, and came unto him.” John 4:28 to 30.
Note also John 4:39:
“And many of the Samaritans of that city believed on him for the saying of the woman, which testified, ‘He told me all that ever I did.’”
She knew that the Messiah could tell all things. Now the Messiah had read her sinful heart.
But here we have the confirmation of John 3:17:
“For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.”
and II Corinthians 5:19:
“To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.”
NEITHER DO I CONDEMN THEE
ANOTHER SINNING WOMAN
In John 8:1 to 11 we have another interesting story of Jesus and a sinful woman:
“Jesus went unto the mount of Olives. And early in the morning he came again into the temple, and all the people came unto him; and he sat down, and taught them. And the scribes and Pharisees brought unto him a woman taken in adultery; and when they had set her in the midst, They say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act. Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou? This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him. But Jesus stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground as though he heard them not. So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her. And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground. And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst. When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers, hath no man condemned thee? She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.”
Here we have in action the truth of John 1:17:
“For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.”
and John 3:17 and 18:
“For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he bath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.”
What did the law say? “Stone her to death.” Christ was without sin. He could have thrown the stone that would have meant the woman’s death. The law was the ministration of condemnation and death. II Corinthians 3:7 and 9. Under the law she deserved death. For every one under the law the law meant bondage.
“Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.” Romans 3:19 and 20.
Jesus Christ came to set the captive free. Christ did not come to throw stones at sinners. He came to judge hypocrites and unclothe the self-righteous. But undoubtedly we have noted in the Four Gospels that Christ never said an unkind word to any sinner who was willing to confess and receive pardon.
To another sinful woman, who was very penitent and sought Christ and His pardoning grace, He said, “Wherefore I say unto thee, Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little. And he said unto her, Thy sins are forgiven.” Luke 7:47 and 48. That woman learned the truth of Romans 5:20, that “where sin abounded grace did much more abound.”
Christ never once winked at sin, or condoned sin, or minimized sin in any way. When His enemies wanted to condemn Him, they said,
“And the Pharisees and scribes murmured, saying, This man receiveth sinners, and eateth with them.”
In. reply to this charge, the Lord told one of the greatest stories in all the Bible, the Parable of the Prodigal Son. We shall deal with this in our next book, but read Luke 15:20:
“And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him.”
Now the words of Christ to the prodigal daughter:
“She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.”
Carefully note the words, “Go, and sin no more.”
We say that God saves us first from the penalty of sin and then from the practice of sin.
“God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin live any longer therein?” “What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid.” Romans 6:2 and 15. “My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.” I John 2:1. “Again, a new commandment I write unto you, which thing is true in him and in you: because the darkness is past, and the true light now shineth. He that saith he is in the light, and hateth his brother, is in darkness even until now.” I John 2:8 and 9.
We read in Romans 8:1 to 4, that in Christ Jesus the believer is without condemnation by the law of the Spirit of life. And in Christ Jesus and by the same law he is enabled to walk in the Spirit and fulfill the righteousness of the law.
There is perhaps more said in the Gospel of John concerning the Holy Spirit than in all the thirty-nine Books of the Old Testament Scriptures.
Before we look into the fourteenth and sixteenth chapters of John to study something of the ministry of the Holy Spirit, let us note John 7:38 and 39:
“He that believeth on me, as the Scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)”
“The Holy Spirit was not yet, because that Jesus was not yet. glorified.”
Now note John 16:7:
“Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.”
Again Acts 1:5:
“For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.”
Here we have the information that while Christ was on earth, the Holy Spirit did not begin the work He was to do, as outlined in John 14 and 16. The Lord’s disciples had not yet been baptized in the Holy Spirit when Christ was with them in His resurrection body. Most assuredly the disciples of the Lord Jesus entered into a new experience on the day of Pentecost. About four years before that time some of them had heard John the Baptist say
“I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire.” Matthew 3:11. We learn in John 17:25 that the world knows not the Father. We learn in John 1:10 that the world knows not the Son. And we learn in John 14:17 that the world knows not the Holy Spirit. We quote John 14:16 and 17: “And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.”
In Galatians 3:14 and Ephesians 1:13, we learn that the believing sinner receives the Holy Spirit by believing the gospel, by receiving Christ, by going by faith to the cross of Calvary. As eternal .life is the free gift of God, so is the Holy Spirit.
Note Galatians 3:2 and 3:
“This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?”
We read this statement in Romans 5:5:
“And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.”
Again in II Corinthians 1:21 and 22:
“Now he which stablisheth us with you in Christ, and hath anointed us, is God; Who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts.”
Here we learn that the Holy Spirit is God’s gift. The believer does not have to labor for, or agonize for the Holy Spirit any more than he has to work for salvation, which God declared “not of works,” “it is the gift of God.” Ephesians 2:8 and 9.
We also learn that the believer is anointed. The word “Christ” means “anointed.” The moment the believing sinner receives Christ, he is an anointed one with Christ.
And note in I John 2:27:
“But the anointing which ye have received of Him abideth in you.”
If the Holy Spirit is not in the individual’s heart, he is not saved, he is not a Christian. Strictly speaking it is doubtful if it is Scriptural to ask for a fresh or new anointing.
It is altogether unscriptural to teach that in this reign of grace the believer receives the Holy Spirit with him when saved and in him when he is sanctified by a second definite Divine work.
Let us not try to have an experience similar to that of the apostles, who had to wait for the Holy Spirit more than three years after they were saved. The three thousand who were saved on the day of Pentecost did not have to wait one day. The Samaritans in Acts 8:5 to 16 had to wait several days. Sinners saved by the gospel of the grace of God today do not have to wait three minutes. The very moment the believing sinner accepts Christ he is sealed by the Holy Spirit unto the day of redemption (Ephesians 1:14 and Ephesians 4:30). He is blessed at the same time with all spiritual blessings in the heavenlies (Ephesians 1:3). How foolish for a believer to be looking for a second blessing when he has been blessed with all spiritual blessings in Christ.
The Comforter was to come from the Father to abide in and with the disciples of Christ for ever.
“But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.” John 14:26. “But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me: And ye also shall bear witness, because ye have been with me from the beginning.” John 15:26 and 27.
Jesus Christ, the Son of God, was on earth to bear witness of the Father. The Holy Spirit was to come to bear witness of the Son to testify of Him. He was to teach the disciples all things and to bring to their remembrance the things Christ had spoken to them in John’s Gospel and the others. But undoubtedly the deep things, recorded in John, were less understood by the apostles than His utterances in the Synoptics.
Note again John 16:12 to 14:
“I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you.”
Here we can learn the important work of the Holy Spirit and how helpless would have been the disciples of Christ without Him. Let us note something more of the ministry of the Holy Spirit in Acts and the Epistles. “And we are his witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey him.” Acts 5:32. “As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them.” Acts 13:2. “Save that the Holy Ghost witnesseth in every city, saying that bonds and afflictions abide me.” Acts 20:23. “And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.” Romans 8:23. “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.” Romans 8:14 to 17. “For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.” I Corinthians 12:13. “What! know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.” I Corinthians 6:19 and 20.
THE TWO PARACLETES
THE SON OF GOD AND ANOTHER COMFORTER
In chapters 13 to 16, in John’s Gospel, we have the record of the ministry of the two Paracletes in behalf of the saints of God. Let us note the words of Christ in John 14:16 and 17:
“And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.”
“Another Comforter.” The Greek word translated “Comforter” is “Paracletos (Paraclete)”. Jesus Christ the Righteous is in God’s presence to appear for saints. Hebrews 9:24.
Now note Hebrews 7:24 and 25:
“But this man, because he continueth ever, hath an unchangeable priesthood. Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.”
Christ is in God’s presence in heaven representing the believers. He is the believer’s Priest,. Intercessor and Advocate. Christ ever lives to make intercession for saints.
Now note Romans 8:26 and 27:
“Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought:
but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.”
Here we note the wonderful intercessory work of the other Paraclete. Each Paraclete has a very definite ministry for the child of God.
Note Ephesians 1:13 and 14:
“In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also, after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise, Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.”
The indwelling Holy Spirit is the believer’s guarantee of his inheritance, the earnest, until the redemption of the purchased possession.
CHRIST WASHING HIS DISCIPLES FEET
Now let us note the word of the believer’s Advocate in John 13:1 to 11:
“Now before the feast of the passover, when Jesus knew that his hour was come that he should depart out of this world unto the Father, having loved his own which were in the world, he loved them unto the end. And supper being ended, the devil having now put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray him; Jesus knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he was come from God, and went to God; He riseth from supper, and laid aside his garments; and took a towel, and girded himself. After that he poureth water into a basin, and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel wherewith he was girded. Then cometh he to Simon Peter: and Peter saith unto him, Lord, dost thou wash my feet? Jesus answered and said unto him, What I do thou knowest not now; but thou shalt know hereafter. Peter saith unto him, Thou shalt never wash my feet. Jesus answered him, If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me. Simon Peter saith unto him, Lord, not my feet, only, but also my hands and my head. Jesus saith to him, He that is washed needeth not save to wash his feet, but is clean every whit: and ye are clean, but not all. For he knew who should betray him; therefore said he, Ye are not all clean.”
“He loved them unto the end.” With this let us read Philipians 1:6
“Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.”
We call your special attention to two statements of Christ in connection with the washing of His disciples’ feet:
“Jesus answered and said unto him, What I do thou knowest not now; but thou shalt know hereafter.”
John 13:7. “Jesus saith to him, He that is washed needeth not save to wash his feet, but is clean every whit: and ye are clean, but not all.” John 13:10.
“Thou knowest not now.” “Thou shalt know hereafter.” Two different Greek words translated “know.”
The second one means to understand, that is, after Christ’s resurrection from the dead His disciples would understand the real meaning of the washing of their feet. This cleansing spoke of Christ’s work as the believer’s Advocate. “If we sin we have an Advocate with the Father.” I John 2:1.
“He that is washed needeth not save to wash his feet, but is clean every whit.” Again we have two different Greek words translated “wash.” The first has the meaning of a washing all over; the other a subsequent cleansing. First the believer comes to Christ on the cross, the propitiation for the sins of the whole world. There the believer is cleansed all over and there he becomes the child of God. His relationship is established by the once-for-all work of Christ. At God’s right hand Christ continually intercedes for the redeemed and maintains their fellowship.
Let us remember His words in Luke 17:3 and 4:
“Take heed to yourselves: If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him. And if he trespass against thee seven time in a day, and seven times in a day turn again to thee, saying, I repent; thou shalt forgive him.”
and Matthew 18:21 and 22:
“Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.”
Certainly Christ would not expect one of His disciples to do more forgiving than He Himself would do.
Let us remember that John’s First Epistle was addressed to believers and that I John 1:9 is for God’s children
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” I John 1:9.
Now carefully read and study the seventeenth chapter of John, for it is one of the greatest chapters in all the Bible. There we have Christ as Priest, interceding.
Note John 17:9:
“I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine.”
Now note Hebrews 9:24:
“For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us.”
Christ, in heaven, appears, not for the world of unbelievers but for those who have been washed by His precious blood.
Note John 17:15 to 18 and 20 and 24:
“I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil. They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth. As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world.” “Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word.” “Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world.”
If these petitions of the Son of God speak of the present intercessory work of the Lord Jesus Christ in heaven, we can understand the why of the uttermost salvation in Hebrews 7:25, and we can understand Hebrews 6:19 and 20.
“Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.” Hebrews 7:25. “Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which entereth into that within the vail; Whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made a high priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.” Hebrews 6:19 and 20.
CHRIST AS PRIEST IN JOHN 17
John 17:11: “And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to Thee. Holy Father, keep through Thine own name those which Thou hast given Me, that they may be one, as We are.”
John 17:14: “I have given them Thy Word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.”
John 17:15: “I pray not that Thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that Thou shouldest keep them from the evil.”
Christ said, “I pray not for the world.” John 17:9.
The believer is in the world but not of the world.
In John’s First Epistle are found these words: “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.” “And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.” I John 2:15. Christ’s desire for His disciples was that they would touch the world but that the world would not touch them.
Note again John 16:33:
“These things I have spoken unto you, that in Me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.”
We read in Hebrews 11:38 concerning God’s men of faith: “Of Whom the world was not worthy.”
“Nor consider that it is expedient for us, that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation should perish not. And this spake he not of himself: but being high priest that year, he prophesied that Jesus should die for that nation; And not for that nation only, but that also he should gather together in one the children of God that were scattered abroad.” John 11:50 to 52.
It was expedient that Christ should die for His own Nation Israel and also that the children of God should be gathered together.
Note the words of Christ in John 10:16:
“And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.”
Also note Christ’s words in John 12:31 to 33:
“Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out. And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me. This he said, signifying what death he should die.”
Also note Christ’s words in John 3:14:
“And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up.”
Christ must be lifted up. He came to be the rejected King and the Corn of Wheat. “For this cause came I unto this hour.” John 12:27. As Moses lifted up the brazen serpent in the wilderness (Numbers 21:6) that the Israelites who were dying with the bite of the serpents might look, believe and live, so the Lord Jesus Christ was lifted up and nailed to Calvary’s cross, that Jews and Gentile descendants of the first woman and man beguiled by the serpent in Eden might be saved from sin.
“I, if I be lifted up”—“Signifying what death He should die.”
ISRAEL’S BLINDNESS AND UNBELIEF
THE GENTILES OBTAINED MERCY
We learned in John 1:11 and 12, that Christ’s own rejected Him, but as many as received Him and believed on Him were born of God.
We learn a most important truth in Romans 11:30:
“For as ye in times past have not believed God, yet have now obtained mercy through their unbelief.”
Note again Romans 11:15:
“For if the casting away of them be the reconciling of the world, what shall the receiving of them be, but life from the dead?”
Here we learn that the unbelief and casting away of Israel brought mercy and reconciliation to the Gentiles. After this Divine truth is stated, note the words of the Holy Spirit in Romans 11:33 and 34:
“O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out! For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counsellor?”
What shall we Gentiles say?
“Thou wilt say then, The branches were broken off, that I might be graffed in.” Romans 11:19.
Before we quote again from John 12, let us note Romans 11:7 and 8:
“What then? Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded (According as it is written, God hath given them the spirit of slumber, eyes that they should not see, and ears that they should not hear;) unto this day.”
Now note John 12:37 to 40:
“But though he had done so many miracles before them, yet they believed not on him: That the saying of Esaias the prophet might be fulfilled, which he spake, Lord, who hath believed our report? and to whom hath the arm of the Lord been revealed? Therefore they could not believe, because that Esaias said again, He hath blinded their eyes, and hardened their heart; that they should not see with their eyes, nor understand with their heart, and be converted, and I should heal them.”
And here we might say again the words of Romans 11:33 and 34:
“O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out! For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counsellor?” Therefore Israel could not believe.
Here we think again of Acts 2:22 and 23:
“Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know: Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain.”
When Israel, with wicked hands, slew Jesus of Nazareth, when the rulers crucified the Lord of glory (I Corinthians 2:6 to 8) when Israel’s rulers killed the Prince of Life (Acts 3:14 and 15) the Son of God was delivered according to the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God.
If Christ was God’s spotless Lamb foreordained before the foundation of the world (I Peter 1:18 to 21), and if His death was in fulfillment of Scriptures (Acts 13:29) then we say that Christ’s death was not only inevitable but Christ had to die at the time that He died and in the manner that He died by the hands of His own Nation.
But even so, God did not minimize or excuse the guilt of the men who had Christ put to death.
Note Acts 7:51 and 52:
“Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye. Which of the prophets have not your fathers persecuted? and they have slain them which shewed before of the coming of the Just One; of whom ye have been now the betrayers and murderers.”
and I Thessalonians 2:14, 15, and 16:
“. . . of the Jews: Who both killed the Lord Jesus, and their own prophets, and have persecuted us; and they please not God, and are contrary to all men: Forbidding us to speak to the Gentiles that they might be saved, to fill up their sins always . . . . “
By carefully reading Acts 3:12 to 26, we learn that God was willing to forgive Israel for their terrible crime if they would repent. To those murderers the message was, “I know that through ignorance ye did it”
(Acts 3:17). But when they refused to repent the crime was charged against them.
But note what they did when they killed Christ
“For to do whatsoever thy hand and thy counsel determined before to be done.” Acts 4:28.
THE KING AND THE CORN OF WHEAT
“On the next day much people that were come to the feast, when they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem, Took branches of palm trees, and went forth to meet Him, and cried, Hosanna, BLESSED IS THE KING OF ISRAEL THAT COMETH IN THE NAME OF THE LORD. And Jesus, when He had found a young ass, sat thereon; as it is written, FEAR NOT, DAUGHTER OF SION: BEHOLD, THY KING COMETH, SITTING ON AN ASS’S COLT.” John 12:12 to 15.
“And there were certain Greeks among them that came up to worship at the feast: The same came therefore to Philip, which was of Bethsaida of Galilee, and desired him, saying, ‘Sir, we would see Jesus.’
Philip cometh and telleth Andrew: and again Andrew and Philip tell Jesus. And Jesus answered them, saying, The hour is come, That the Son of man should be glorified. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.” John 12:20 to 24.
In the twelfth chapter of John, the Lord Jesus presented Himself to Israel. “Blessed is the King of Israel.” He did not present Himself to the Greeks but sent word to them that like the corn of wheat must abide alone or die, so He must die and be buried to bring forth much fruit.
About twenty years later, note what happened:
“And it came to pass in Iconium, that they went both together into the synagogue of the Jews, and so spake, that a great multitude both of the Jews and also of the Greeks believed.” Acts 14:1.
The few Greeks were not permitted to see the King of Israel, but the multitude of Greeks were saved by believing that the corn of wheat had died and risen again.
WILL DRAW ALL MEN
When Christ said, “I, if I be lifted up, will draw all men unto Me,” He most assuredly was not saying that all men would be saved. The doctrine of universal salvation or reconciliation is repudiated by many Scriptures such as John 3:36:
“He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.”
God’s will in this matter is expressed in I Timothy 2:4 to 6:
“Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto 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.”
When Christ was on earth, He uttered these words,
“And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life.” John 5:40.
And remember His words of warning in John 8:24:
“If ye believe not that I am, ye shall die in your sins.”
1. When there was a division among the people because of Jesus, according to John 7:12, what division was expressed?
2. According to Luke 12:51 to 53, what division was to be found in households?
3. If Christ was a good Man, did He deceive the people when He said, “I came down from heaven?” Why did the Jews want Christ put to death, according to John 19:7 and Leviticus 24:16?
4. How did Thomas address the Lord Jesus Christ in John 20:28? What does that prove?
5. State some of the things the Holy Spirit mentioned in Paul’s Epistles to the Corinthians about divisions among members of the Body of Christ.
6. Why did the Holy Spirit ask the question in I Corinthians 1:13, “Is Christ divided?” What was the prayer of Christ in John 17:11 and 21? What instructions are given concerning the unity of the Spirit in Ephesians 4:4 to 7?
7. What is God’s purpose for this age expressed in Ephesians 2:15 and in Galatians 3:28?
8. Mention several statements in John 10 concerning Christ and His sheep. What verse in II Timothy assures us that God knows who is saved? What verse suggests that God wants the believer to know that He is saved?
9. In what verses do we learn that Jesus Christ is the Good Shepherd, the Great. Shepherd and the Chief Shepherd?
10. Relate the instructions that Christ, the Great Shepherd raised from the dead, gave to Peter, Peter’s response, and what Peter wrote in I Peter 5:1 to 5.
11. Who did Christ meet at the well in Sychar of Samaria? Tell something of the conversation between the two.
12. What did the woman do after Christ told her her sin and she perceived that He was a prophet, the Messiah? What was the fruit of her testimony?
13. Relate the conversation between the sinful woman, her accusers and the Lord Jesus Christ in John 8:1 to 11. What great truth are we taught there?
14. When Christ said to the woman “Neither do I condemn thee,” what else did He say? How does this correspond with Romans 6:2 and 15 and I John 1:8 and 9, and 2:1?
15. Note in John 7:39 and John 16:7, we are told that the Holy Spirit was not yet given because Christ was not yet glorified. What did Christ say in Acts 1:5? How was that fulfilled?
16. How does a believing sinner receive the Holy Spirit today? Does every Christian have the Holy Spirit within? Explain Romans 8:23 and Ephesians 4:30.
17. What Scriptures tell us of the intercessory work of the two Paracletes? What is Christ doing as an Advocate in heaven? Explain I John 2:1 and 2; Hebrews 9:24 and Hebrews 7:25.
18. What prophecy did Caiaphas make? What were the meaning of Christ’s words in John 12:31 and 32: “And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto Me?”
19. Explain the difference between the King of Israel and the Corn of Wheat in John 12. Explain the salvation of the Greeks in Acts 14:1.
20. How did God use the blindness and unbelief of Israel to His glory? Compare John 12:37 and Acts 2:22 and 23; Acts 4:36 to 38 and Romans 11:30 to 33. Explain.
For more articles by Pastor J. C. O'Hair, visit the J. C. O'Hair Online Library.