THE HUMANITY AND THE DEITY OF JESUS CHRIST IS A SUBJECT OF SUCH A VAST SCOPE, WE COULD EASILY FILL A HALF DOZEN ISSUES OF THE CONTENDER AND STILL NOT SAY ALL THAT COULD BE SAID ON THE SUBJECT, BUT WE WILL ENDEAVOR TO SAY ENOUGH IN TWO ISSUES TO HELP ALL THOSE WHO LOVE TRUTH, AND DESIRE TO HAVE THEIR REVELATION LINE UP WITH THE SCRIPTURES. FAR TOO MANY WHO ACTUALLY BREAK TIES WITH DENOMINATIONAL CHURCHES, JUST CARRY MOST OF THEIR TRADITIONS RIGHT ON WITH THEM WHEREVER THEY GO. IT IS LIKE SOMEONE SAID, WE HAVE COME OUT OF BABYLON, BUT WE STILL HAVE TO GET BABYLON OUT OF US. BABYLON IN THIS SENSE SPEAKS OF CONFUSION, AND THEREFORE, THE ONLY WAY TO GET RID OF CONFUSION IS TO LEARN THE TRUTH, SO THAT IS WHY WE FEEL LED TO PUBLISH THIS ARTICLE. MAYBE IT WILL GET RID OF SOME BABYLONIAN TRADITIONS THAT GOD’S PEOPLE HAVE BEEN HANGING ON TO.
TRUTH OR TRADITION
Many of you who have come in the knowledge that there is no such thing as a trinity in the Godhead, still have a tendency to lean toward extreme oneness which in most cases is just as (pic. Of John baptizing Jesus) detrimental to spiritual growth as the former. Neither trinity nor extreme oneness ever leaves any room for revelation truth to penetrate their denominational walls, simple because they already have their articles of faith written, and that is all they are going to believe. That is why we say, God is not going to revive those places; instead He is just pulling His foreknown children out of those places; so, He can deal with them apart from their former traditions. Actually all of the spiritual perversion you could ever find in the world today can be traced right back to the Catholic church. They say that tradition is the word of God. But Jesus pointed his finger at the scribes and Pharisees, and said, You teach for doctrines the commandments of men, and we know that what they were teaching was their traditions. Of course they called it the law of Moses, but what it really was, if you will examine it closely, was a little of Moses commanded, and a lot more of what they had added to it. That made it the traditions of men, rather than the word of God. Men’s interpretations of the Bible have produced hundreds of different religious organizations, or denominations in the world, but have you ever stopped to realize that if all men actually received a revelation of the scriptures there could not possibly be more than one? True revelation of the word of God will point all that receive it in the same direction. Now, How many of you actually know what I am getting at? It is simply this, Just having the same Spirit that the early church had is not enough; we have to have the same doctrines, the same motives, and the same yielding to that Spirit for leading in all the affairs of our lives. This is what holds the body of Christ together. This is how we are perfected. You will never take on any of the stature of Jesus Christ as long as you continue to make your own plans and go your own way. Therefore if you are persuaded by the scriptures that you are called to be in the bride of Christ, then let those same scriptures teach you how to be led by the Spirit, just like He was. The voice from heaven which said, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased,” did not come just merely because Jesus was baptized; it was spoken to Him because His whole life had been led by the Spirit of the Father. He did not just start letting the Spirit lead Him when He was thirty years of age, He had always been subject to that perfect will of the Father. Now some may say, How do you know that? Well, you read the message, for that is what we are dealing with, as we look at the human as well as the divine side of Jesus Christ.
HARMONY OF THE SCRIPTURES
We concluded part one speaking along the lines of what was involved in the apostle Paul’s statement to the Colossians when he wrote, “For in Him (Jesus Christ)dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily.” Naturally the human mind has a tendency to look at scriptures as though God just dumped all of Himself into that little vessel of clay and left the heavens vacant. But that is not the case at all. It simply means that He was incarnated with all the fullness of the Father to fulfill His office work upon earth as prophet. He did not exercise Himself in the role of Priest, nor King, at that time, even though it was prophesied that He would fulfill every prophecy that included these offices. I think most of you understand that, but let me just say once again, he has now been exercising Himself in the High Priest’s office for almost two thousand years through this age of grace, and it is drawing nigh to the time when He will come back to earth as King of kings. But there was no way for Him to fulfill every prophecy that was spoken of Him, all at the same time. In studying the scriptures, what we really need is an understanding of the various writers, and especially so in the New Testament, for God did not write these various epistles on the wall so they could just copy it down; He impressed their minds, but they had to use their own words and terms to describe what they saw in the Spirit. That is why we find terminology in some epistles that we do not find in others; it is because of the difference in the makeup of the writers. But there is one thing we can depend upon; they all had the same doctrine. You will not find anything in Peter’s teaching, that is contrary to what Paul taught, nor any of the others. But you will find that they each had their own way of expressing what they believed concerning the common faith. Now the Old Testament prophets spoke, “Thus saith the Lord,” by the unction of the Spirit that was upon them, which was quite different than what we read in the New Testament epistles, but we still have to realize that God did not cause them to speak words that were foreign to their own particular dialect and terminology. That would have created confusion, and it has never been the will of God for His people to be confused. It is only what carnal minded men do with the word of the Lord, that causes confusion. They get their minds upon one particular thing, and read right over many of the great details that actually put the picture together. Just like we said in part one. The Catholics teach that Jesus (as a boy growing up) was out creating birds and so forth, but if they would read the scriptures closely, they would discover that His first miracle was when He turned the water into wine, at the marriage feast in Cana of Galilee. I know that there are a lot of people who do not want to hear this, but it is the truth anyhow. Like I have said already in this message, If we have a genuine revelation of the scriptures, ourselves, we do not have to be afraid to speak the truth, for God Himself will vindicate it in due season.
Let me go now, to the 3rd chapter of John’s gospel, where we will pick up the testimony of John the Baptist, concerning Jesus the Christ whom he had recently baptized. In the first half of this chapter we read where Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews came to Jesus at night for fear of being seen by persons he did not want to know what he was doing. But in the conversation with him, we find Jesus using a term that has become so very common in our day, “born again.” Many people think a person is born again just by shaking a preacher’s hand, and becoming a member of their organization, but that is a far cry from what Jesus meant when He said to Nicodemus, “Except a man be born again, he cannot see the Kingdom of God.” It takes a son of God, or a daughter of God to see the kingdom of God, for it is a spiritual kingdom, and just merely joining some man made organization does not qualify you. As we have said many times, To be born again is to be baptized into the body of Christ, and this is the very act that seals a person into that body and gives them the eternal security that so many people fight so hard against. That is the reason Jesus went ahead and said to Nicodemus, “Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God,” simply because that is what puts us into that great spiritual kingdom. Everyone likes to use verse 16, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life,” But it seems that so very few people who quote that verse, actually have a spiritual revelation of the depth of those words. Just merely believing Bible stories about Jesus will never gain you that promised everlasting life. You have to get it the same way those three thousand Jews in Acts 2, got it, by believing with the heart and obeying from the heart. Verse 19, lets us see where the real key to Bible salvation lies, for unless we recognize and follow that light, we remain in our sins condemned and unclean. Notice, “And this is the condemnation, that LIGHT is come into the world, (That light was in Jesus,) and men loved darkness rather than light, (why?) Because their deeds were evil.” Our deeds were evil because of an inherited nature to sin, but all who recognize and follow that true light, have their nature changed so that their deeds are no longer evil, but righteous. Actually though, if you would go to the Greek, and check this particular usage of the word evil, you would find that in this case, it applies only to those who are beyond all hope of believing, those ungodly men who actually hate God. That is what Jesus was saying in verse 20 and 21. But now we want to pick up verse 22, where the setting changes, and hear what John the Baptist had to say about this one he was sent to forerun and introduce to the nation of Israel.
THE SPIRIT WITHOUT MEASURE
Jesus is no longer in Jerusalem where He encountered Nicodemus, for verse 22 says, “After these things came Jesus and His disciples into the land of Judea; and there He tarried with them; and baptized. And John (the Baptist) also was baptizing in Aenon near to Salim, because there was much water there: (All of those people wanted enough water to bury those who came for baptism, for the Catholic’s had not yet come into the picture with their sprinkling.) And they came, and were baptized. For John was not yet cast into prison. Then there arose a question between some of John’s disciples and the Jews about purifying.” In other words, some of those fellows who had failed to catch a revelation of what was taking place were still hanging onto John. That would be just about the same thing as trying to be a good Baptist after having received a revelation of the Godhead and the baptism of the Holy Ghost. When John introduced Jesus, the spiritual one’s left John to follow Jesus. That is as it should be, for God expects us to follow all the truth we have. If we try to lag behind, we will always be in some kind of squabble, just like these disciples of John. “And they came unto John, and said unto him, Rabbi, he that was with thee beyond Jordan, (They are referring to the baptism of Jesus, and the phenomena that followed it.) To whom thou bearest witness, behold, the same baptizeth, and all men come to him.” What they said makes it sound like they were really feeling sorry for John, because the large crowd that once followed him was now following Jesus. From a human standpoint you can see how they must have felt, at least they ought to give John a little credit for what he has been doing, John did not feel like that though, for notice verse 27, “ John answered and said, A man can receive nothing, except it be given him from heaven. Ye yourselves bear me witness, that I said, I am not the Christ, but that I am sent before Him.” John knew that it was the will of God for those who had followed him, to follow Christ (the anointed One) when He had introduced Him, so this did not disturb John at all, at least not at this time, for he went ahead to say, “He that hath the bride is the bridegroom: but the friend of the bridegroom, which standeth and heareth him, rejoiceth greatly because of the bridegroom’s voice: this my joy therefore is fulfilled. He must increase, but I must decrease.” In other words, the best man is happy, because the groom is happy about getting a wife. John’s terminology fits the occasion perfectly, and John is happy, because he knows he is on the right track, and doing the right thing. He knows that he is to fade out of the picture and allow the one he was sent to introduce to get the attention of the people, so he goes ahead speaking, and says, “He that cometh from above is above all.” Now, Brothers and sisters: This is really the verse we have been building up to. All these others were just for a background setting, to allow you to see why John made such a statement. But the statement itself is what falls right into the scope of what we are dealing with in this message on the humanity and the deity of Jesus Christ. Because of the many statements like this, made by Jesus and others, a lot of people have the idea that Jesus, the flesh Son of God, had a former existence with the Father, and then left that place somewhere in the heavens, to come down to earth to suffer and die for the sins of lost mankind. I hope we are able to convince you, from the scriptures, that all such thinking is strictly man’s ideas, and certainly not revelation from the scriptures. Therefore let me say it once again, That human physical body of a man, that walked out into the water, and was baptized by John, did not come down from heaven any more than any other fleshly body. It was made of the very same elements of the earth that your body, and my body are made of. Is that understood? It was the life of that body that came down from above. We are dealing with two different substances, one flesh, and the other spirit, so it is the spirit which is the life of that body that came down from heaven, and John knows that, so listen to him. “He that is of the earth is earthly, and speaketh of the earth: he that cometh from heaven is above all. And what He hath seen and heard, that he testifieth; and no man receiveth His testimony. He that hath received His testimony hath set to his seal that God is true. For He whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God; for God giveth not the Spirit by measures unto Him.” The Father in Him has opened up an unlimited flow of revelation and authority and He is now a walking voice that the omnipresent Spirit is speaking to man through. When John said, He is testifying of all that He has seen and heard, it simply meant that whatever the Spirit of the Father in Him desired for men to hear, that He spoke, for He was completely one with the Father., Therefore that which He spake was the true unadulterated word of God, and there would never be any need for anything that He spoke to be changed, nor ignored. Let me read that 34th verse again. “For He whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God: for God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto Him.” As we read the New Testament we are made aware of the fact that what we receive as a seal, to seal us in the family of God until the day of our redemption, is a measure of the same Spirit that Jesus Christ had without measure. The Holy Ghost we receive is the same Spirit that was in Him, but just not in the same measure. That is the earnest, or first installment of our promised inheritance. But it is more than sufficient to enable us to overcome all the forces of evil that are forever trying to destroy us. In one place Jesus said, “As my Father hath sent me, so send I you.” How did the Father send Him? By getting inside of Him. That is the very same way Jesus sends us out into a lost and dying world of sinful mankind with a message of redemption. By getting inside of us. When He sends us he will do the talking, and we will never have to arm wrestle anyone to an altar to pray. What man needs to realize, is that the efforts of our fleshly zeal are vain, as far as having any spiritual benefit. God does not need our help as some people foolishly claim, for surely we ought to realize that a God who could create by His own word, would not have to depend upon that which He had created, to the extent that He would be helpless if we fail to do certain things. He allows His redeemed children to be partakers of His great work of redemption, but that is a privilege for us, and it is by His own choice, and if we fail to do what we have opportunity to do, that will not defeat the plan and purpose of God, for He will just get someone else. These feelings of desperation are prompted by those who try to serve God without a revelation of His word. We know assuredly that this apostolic revelation did not originate in a theological seminary, and we should know by now that God is not working through those schools of religious theology to straighten out the mess that Gentiles have made trying to teach His word. It is being straightened up by the Holy Ghost working through some men who will no try to run ahead of Him in an effort to make a name for themselves. Yes, Even though we only have the Spirit by measure, that measure is all we need in order for God to give us a revelation and work through our lives for the benefit of other hungry souls.
PERFECT LOVE IN ACTION
Let us continue reading here in John 3:35, where John is bearing witness to the fact that God’s only begotten Son had received the Spirit without measure, therefore he says, “The Father loveth the Son, and hath given all things into his hand.” As we have already stated, that simply meant that all things pertaining to the redemption of lost mankind had been committed unto Him. Verse 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.” John knew that everything they had been doing through the Law age was coming to a close. All those sacrifices and religious observances had been pointing to the very One that God had sent him to introduce. Therefore anyone who would come to God from this time on would have to come to Him through this Son, and those who refused and rejected Him would have no part in the eternal life He would impart to those who believed. That is the reason the apostle Paul said in Colossians 3:27, “And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by Him.” From now on this is the only name that God will recognize. Why? Simply because the name JESUS is a compound name that identifies God with His people. “Thou shalt call His name JESUS: for He shall save His people from their sins.” In Acts 4:10-12, we find Peter speaking under the anointing of the Spirit to the elders and rulers of Israel, and saying, “Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by Him doth this man stand here before you whole. (This was the lame man that lay at the gate of the temple daily, begging.) This is the stone which was set at naught of you builders, which is become the head of the corner. (Speaking of Jesus) Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” Is that not exactly what John the Baptist was saying as he stood there that day with a bunch of Jewish religious leaders listening? Those Scribes and Pharisees could only see Jesus as Joseph the carpenter’s son, but to those who believed Him to be the Son of God, was granted everlasting life. I have heard people (and you have too) with the same spirit on them that was on those Scribes and Pharisees, say, I do not see how anyone could believe that Jesus was God, when the Bible plainly states that He was the Son of God. You see, they are without revelation. They believe that Jesus is the second person of a trinity. They cannot catch the true revelation from scriptures that serve as keys to this great revelation of the Godhead. Take John 14:26, where Jesus said, “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, and read it with John 17:6, where Jesus was praying to the Father, and notice what the redemption name of God the Father is. He says, I have manifested THY NAME unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world.” In other words, in one place you will find Jesus saying, It is my name, and then in another place He says, it is the Father’s name. So I ask you, Which is it? Is He confused? Should we be confused? Absolutely not. We should simply recognize the compound quality and scope of that name, and realize that the flesh man to which this name was given, was a walking, talking vessel in which the omnipresent, omnipotent, omniscient God of all creation walked among His people. Those Scribes and Pharisees could not see Him as the anointed Messiah, the incarnate God, the Son of God, the perfect man upon whom was laid all the sins and iniquities of the whole human race, but, Praise God! There, were some that did. Hallelujah! He carried that old cross up Calvary’s hill, hung there on it, and died like any man would, but on the 3rd day, He arose from that tomb of death, in the power and authority of the eternal God of all ages. Did He not say, No man taketh my life, I lay it down? Brother, when the hour arrived for that obedient Son of God to die like a lamb, then brother, He could not rely on those deity powers, He laid them aside and submitted unto death willingly, but not without some human feelings. Yes it is true, He could have called angels of heaven to save Him, but then, He would have ceased to be that perfect and obedient Son that had a mission to accomplish, and we would all still be lost in our sins, and without hope of salvation. When you read John 3:16, the next time, do not look at it from the standpoint that the Father as a person, sent His Son to give His life a ransom for man’s sins, simply because the Father loved us. You should also see the love of the Son of God who willingly took upon Himself our sins and our iniquities, that we might be set free and enter into the joy of eternal life. Now in 1 Corinthians 15:56, Paul said, “The sting of death is sin,” and Jesus had no sin of His own, but when He went to that old cross He had the weight of all the sins of the whole world upon Him, so you can believe me; It was an act of love on His part, love for the Father, and love for those whom the Father had given Him out of the world.
TWO MINDS—- BUT ONLY ONE SPIRIT
Now let us go to John 5:17, where we find Jesus Himself doing the talking. He had healed a man on the Sabbath day, and in verse 16, we read, “And therefore did the Jews persecute Jesus, and sought to slay Him, because He had done these things on the Sabbath day.” It looked to them like He was just deliberately trying to cause trouble. It seemed that just about everything He did was just the opposite of what they expected out of the Messiah of the Jews. They looked for the Messiah that was to come, but they sure never expected Him to act like this man did. Jesus knew full well, that He was fulfilling everything that their Sabbath, and their sacrifices and holy days pointed to, but to them, it was a reproach. They thought the world would be better off without such a troublemaker as this, so they tried to kill Him. That same spirit is present in denominational religion yet today. You just let some fellow stand up and preach something that is a little contrary to their hand-me-down traditions, and they will cry out, Get him out of here; we don’t need that kind of preaching around here. They will say, That is of the devil, simply because it is contrary to their traditions, even if he is the most Holy Ghost anointed man that has ever walked in shoe leather this side of the Dark Ages. Brothers and Sisters: That is why you have heard me say, Do not be too quick to call something of the devil, just because you have never heard it before. W e are living close to the hour when the true bride of Jesus Christ is going to hear a number of things that she has never heard before. We are living close to the hour when the true bride of Jesus Christ is going to hear a number of things that she has never heard before, but you can count on this one thing, No man that is anointed of God to speak on His behalf will ever speak anything that will be contrary to what God has inspired other men to speak, and He will never go contrary to His written word. I will say this though, You will certainly have to have the Holy Ghost yourself to be able to know what is Thus saith the Lord. Those scribes and Pharisees could not recognize who Jesus was, because they had the wrong spirit, therefore they sought to slay Him, and get Him out of their way. But notice here in verse 17, what Jesus says to them. “But Jesus answered them, My Father worketh hitherto and I work.” Now what did He mean by a remark like that? My Father is showing me something to do, and I am doing it. That is the best I can explain it, for the Father was in Him, showing Him to do these things. He never did just go around looking for something to do. Everything He did was something that was designed by the Father to accomplish a specific purpose. That is why He could say, It is not I that do these works, yet He could turn right around and speak of the works that the Father had given Him to do, saying, “That I do”. All through the gospels we will find Jesus speaking in such a way that the natural mind cannot receive it, for in one place He will speak as the Son of God, and then turn right around and speak something as though He were the Father. In other words, As the Son, He would say, I will pray the Father, and He will do so and so. Then He would say something like, Ask what you will, and I will do it. Do you see the difference? One is from the human side, and the other from the divine Spirit of the Father that in dwelled Him, yet both statements came out of the same mouth, and by the use of one set of vocal cords. Alright now, verse 18, “Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill Him, because He not only had broken the Sabbath, but said also that God was His Father, making Himself equal with God.” To those pious Jews that sounded like blasphemy, but are we not encouraged by the apostle Paul to think the same way? Notice Philippians 2:5-8, “ Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God.” What form was he referring to? Spirit form of course. He was a true, sinless Son of God, and of the same substance as the Father. You have to look beyond the flesh to see that, for the Father did not Himself have a fleshly body to make the Son like unto. So Paul says that, being in the form of God, He thought it not robbery to be equal with God; but what did he say next? “But made Himself of no reputation; and took upon Him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men.” That shows He did not come to be a King at that time, or He would not have assumed the role of a humble servant. Instead of riding white horses as a kingly type would do, He chose to be a servant to lost mankind. In other words, He never used any of the deity power and authority for Himself, it was always to portray the Father to the sea of lost humanity around Him. “And being found as a man, He humbled Himself, and because obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.”
FROM MORTAL TO IMMORTALITY
Now to those who always say, If Jesus had been God, He could not have died, let me say this. When you speak of death, what are you thinking of? The death that Paul was speaking of is simply a time when the Spirit of life leaves the body of flesh. The moment this occurs, the body is dead, for the spirit is the life of the flesh. The part of Him that was God could not die any more than that part of you and me could die. When we receive the Holy Ghost, we have something within us that can never die, our spirit. But I can promise you this, If time stands long enough, that eternal spirit of life will withdraw itself from our old bodies of clay for a season, and that fleshly body will be dead, and rot, and return back to the elements from which it came, and remain so until time for the resurrection of those who died with the hope of Christ in them. That brings us to Romans 8:11, where Paul said, “But if the Spirit of Him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, He that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken (give life to) your mortal bodies by His Spirit that dwelleth in you.” Naturally those who do not have the Spirit of God indwelling them when they come to the hour of death, will have to remain in the earth until after the Millennium, when the wicked dead are raised up, and judged, at the great white throne judgement of Revelation 20:11. There is where the term, the second death, is applied, for all the righteous ones that are rejoined to their bodies in the resurrection before the Millennium, will never be separated from them again. Our resurrected bodies will be given immortality. That simply means that they are no longer death doomed. The spirit of life will never leave them again.
THE EYES OF THE FATHER
Let us return to the 5th chapter of John now, where in verse 19, we find Jesus speaking these words, “Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He seeth the Father do; for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise.” This is a confirmation of the fact that before His baptism, He never did perform any miracles, for that is when the Father incarnated Him. From that time on, the Father would show Him a vision of what He should do. That is why He could say, What the Son seeth the Father do, He does likewise. That is how He saw Nathaniel sitting under the fig tree, a far distance away. The natural eye of the Son was limited to a certain distance of straight vision, just like the rest of us, but you have all read the account there in the 1st chapter of John, where, after Jesus had called Philip to follow Him, Philip went to find Nathaniel, and said unto him, “We have found Him, of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets, did write, Jesus of Nazareth, the Son of Joseph.” Nathaniel replied, “Can there any good thing come out of Nazareth? (That little town did not have a very good reputation in those days.) Philip said unto him, Come and see.” As they approached Jesus, He said, “Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom there is no guile!” (No deceit) That startled old Nathaniel, and he said, “Whence knowest thou me?” (We would say, How did you know me?) “Jesus answered and said unto him, Before that Philip called thee, when thou was under the fig tree, I saw thee.” How did He see him? It wasn’t with natural vision or Nathaniel would not have responded as he did. It was by a vision of the Spirit of the Father that in dwelled Him, and Nathaniel knew that he was standing in the presence of someone that was not just another man. He recognized the source of what had been displayed, and answered Jesus, “Rabbi, thou art the Son of God; thou art the King of Israel.” Nathaniel received a quick revelation. Not only that Jesus was the Son of God, but that He was the King that all Israel had waited for, even though His role as King would be more than two thousand years off yet. “Jesus answered and said unto him, Because I said unto thee, I saw thee under the fig tree, believest thou? Thou shalt see greater things than these. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Hereafter ye shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man.” What did He mean by that? What greater things was He speaking of? This same Spirit that had manifested this through the only begotten Son of God would one day dwell in some other sons, redeemed sons, and manifest the same things through many sons that was at that time being manifested through only one. Furthermore, I believe what He said about the angels of God ascending and descending, give more proof of the fact that angelic beings work in the realm of the spirit, executing the divine plan of God among mankind. But above all that we could see, or say about the depths of such a statement, Nathaniel as well as the rest would see greater things than this, manifested through Jesus a little later on. Was it not a greater thing, when He took a little boys lunch and multiplied it to feed thousands of hungry souls that had been following them for days without eating? Was it not a greater thing when He defied the law of gravity, and walked upon the water? I believe so.
AUTHORITY RELEASES POWER
In verse 20, of John 5, Jesus says, “For the Father loveth the Son, and sheweth Him all things that Himself doeth: and He will shew Him greater works than these, that ye may marvel. For as the Father raiseth up the dead, and quickeneth them; even so the Son quickeneth whom He will.” (He is speaking of spiritual quickening in this particular instance, for He has been invested with the authority to do so.) “For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgement unto the Son: (Brother and Sister: As we study the three judgements of God, the judgement seat of Christ where saints are judged for rewards, the judgement of the nations where Millennial subjects are chosen, and the judgement of the great white throne where all ungodly mankind is judged and condemned to final destruction, that is exactly how it is; Jesus is in control of the judging.) That all men should honor the Son, even as they honor the Father. He that honoreth not the Son, honoreth not the Father which hath sent Him.” You have to realize He was speaking to Jews that had always been accustomed to worshiping the great eternal Spirit. (The Father) and only Him, for that was according to the commandments, but notice what Jesus says in that next verse; things are going to be different from now on. “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on Him that sent me, HATH EVERLASTING LIFE, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.” This passing from spiritual death unto spiritual life is the quickening that He was referring to in verse 21, so notice verse 25 now. “Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God; and they that hear shall live.” (They will come alive with and through a revelation of what God is doing through His only begotten Son.) “For as the Father hath life in Himself; (He is the source and fountain of all life) so hath He given to the Son to have life in Himself; and hath given Him authority to execute judgement also, because He is the Son of man.” We need to pay close attention to this word AUTHORITY, for many times the word POWER, is used, when actually it should be rendered authority. It just makes good spiritual sense to realize that if the very Son of God could do nothing except by the authority of the Father, then no other one has any supernatural power other than what is hinged upon the authority of the Father. You say, What about the devil and his gang? Well, what about them? Those demons that serve the purpose of Satan, are actually serving a purpose of God while they are doing what they are doing, and they cannot do any more than what God allows them to do. God has authorized them to deceive people who have no love for the truth. God has authorized them to chasten the flesh of those who go astray from the right path. Surely you must realize by now, There is no power but of God, for He has created everything there is. Satan has perverted God’s creation, but even that was allowed by God the Father who knew that it would happen even before He ever created the first angel or anything else. There are no surprises with God, he already knows about every idle remark that you will ever make in your whole lifetime, and He has already purposed to forgive you when you repent of it.
SEARCH THE SCRIPTURES
In verse 28, Jesus finally comes to the resurrection of the bodies of those who have suffered physical death for one reason or another. Listen to Him. “Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear His voice, and shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; (all these will be raised in the three phases of the first resurrection, before the Millennium) and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation. (These will be raised and judged, after the Millennium, and cast into the lake of fire.) I can of mine own self do nothing: (This is the Son speaking.) As I hear, I judge: and my judgement is just: because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me.” Just as Jesus always did that which He knew to be the will of the Father, so should we likewise endeavor to do the will of the Father in all things. That is the reason the apostle Paul said, Whatsoever is not of faith is sin. (Romans 14:23) He was dealing with the problem some of them were having about eating meat that had been offered to idols when he said that, but it simply means that we should examine everything we do, say, or allow, in the light of the scriptures, and be fully persuaded in our minds that we are not going contrary to the will of God. Our love for Jesus is tested by whether we keep His commandments or not, and His commandments are the commandments of the Father. Now let us skip down to verse 36, where He again confirms the fact that what He does is what the Father has sent Him to do. “But I have greater witness than that of John: for the works which the Father hath given me to finish, the same works that I do, bear witness of me, that the Father hath sent me.” Please notice that the word works, appears in the verse we have just read. That speaks of all the miracles He would perform during the entire 3 ½ years of His earthly ministry, from the time right after His baptism when He turned the water into wine up to the time after His resurrection, when He already had the fish on the fire to feed His hungry disciples that had fished all night. Every one of those miracles were performed at the will of the Father who desired to bear witness to the fact that He was the very God of creation, and therefore could do with that creation any thing that He purposed to do. The natural man Jesus, was not put here on earth to walk on water, nor to turn water to wine, nor to raise the dead, nor any other of the miracles that were performed during His ministry, except to bear witness of the Father that was in Him, and that the Father in Him might bear witness of the Son, for everyone knew that only God could do those things. Verse 37, “And the Father Himself, which hath sent me, hath borne witness of me. (Notice this) ye have neither heard His voice at any time, nor seen His shape.” (An omnipresent Spirit does not have a shape.) John the Baptist, one day when he was preaching, said, “No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, He hath declared Him.” It is written in the scriptures, that Moses was allowed to see the hinder part of God, but certainly we all know that what Moses saw was not the permanent form of the eternal God which is Spirit.
WHAT DID MOSES SEE?
That was only a temporary manifestation of His presence, to convey a message to an earthly recipient. Now in verse 38, notice what He (Jesus) said to those Jewish religious leaders who thought they were the only ones who had the word of God. “And ye have not His word abiding in you: for whom He hath sent, Him ye believeth not.” This next verse is one that has been long debated by many, but its meaning is very clear, for Jesus is speaking to men who pride themselves upon the fact that they know the law of Moses. You could compare them to a lot of people in our day that take such delight in being able to quote scripture, chapter after chapter, without ever missing a word, so let us hear what He said to them, “Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.” Now allow Me to paraphrase that verse for you. Go back and search the scriptures, for if you truly understood those scriptures you trust in, you would surely recognize me, for I am the one they are pointing you to. The types and shadows throughout the Old Testament continually pointed forward to the time they were then living in, and they failed to recognize what they had been looking for, when it came walking down the road. Do you know why? Simply because He did not come like they wanted Him to. It is the same with people who seek the Holy Ghost year after year. They have a picture in their mind of how they should receive, and they will not settle for anything else. If they believe they can only receive by speaking in tongues while lying under a pew somewhere, they will run to every prayer line they can get to, always looking for that particular experience, and God is not obligated to fill any such order as that. If you want the Holy Ghost, you just obey the word of God from your heart, repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and God will do the rest . He will give you the Holy Ghost, but the manifestation will be according to His choosing. Those Jews wanted their Messiah to come riding a great white horse, smiting their enemies with a sword, and solving all their problems; therefore when He came riding in on a donkey one day, those theologians knew immediately that He was not what they were looking for, so they just waited for the right opportunity to get Him out of the way forever. But their scheme backfired on them; He didn’t stay in that tomb. Three days later, He was right back with His disciples. He was raised by the power of the very same Spirit that caused the waters of the Red Sea to open up, so Moses could lead the people of Israel across the dry ground.
WHAT WILL YOU DO WITH JESUS CHRIST?
Denominational people through the years have pictured what they refer to as God the Father as an old white haired man, with a long white beard, sitting on a throne somewhere up in heaven, with His Son Jesus sitting upon another throne at His right side. Is that not right? Most of you have come out of those systems just like we did, and you know what I am talking about. But, Hallelujah! We now know that the Father is a Spirit, and had never had any permanent form, yet He had manifested Himself in theophany form on various occasions through time, like in Genesis chapter 18, where He appeared to Abraham in the form of a man. But Jesus the Christ is the only man that He ever incarnated to demonstrate His power, His nature, and His purpose and through which He would reveal His redemption name, His word and His works. No wonder Paul wrote what he did to Timothy, concerning Jesus Christ whom he had come to know personally after being struck down on the road to Damascus where he was going, to persecute Christians. Listen while I read a few verses starting in 1st Timothy 6:13, “ I give thee charge in the sight of God, who quickeneth all things, and before Christ Jesus, who before Pontius Pilate witnessed a good confession; That thou keep this commandment without spot, (you can read the prior verses to get the commandment.) unrebukeable, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ: Which in His (Jesus) times He shall show, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords; ( Jesus) Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; (Now that light which no man can approach unto is the present Spirit which is the Father) whom no man hath seen, NOR CAN SEE: ( You cannot see a Spirit) to whom be honor and power everlasting.” John said, “In Him was life; (eternal life) and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.” All those religious Jews could see, was the son of a man named Joseph, claiming himself to be the Son of God, and it so provoked them, there was no possible way for them to see that light of the Father radiating from Him. Just about 90 percent of the time, He was doing things contrary to what they believed, and I will say this, If Jesus Christ came walking into our present day society, as He did that Jewish society, two thousand years ago; almost everything He would do, would be contrary to modern day church formalities, simply because church formalities are mostly just a bunch of manmade traditions, like theirs were. Those first century Jews were privileged to have the very God of all creation walk with them, and talk with them, and they were so wrapped up in traditions, they called Him a devil. He gave sight to a blind man on the Sabbath day, and the Jews said. “This man is not of God, because he keepeth not the Sabbath day.” The blind man that was healed, said to them, “Now we know that God heareth not sinners: but if any man be a worshiper of God, and doth His will, him He heareth. Since the world began was it not heard that any man opened the eyes of one that was born blind. If this man were not of God, He could do nothing.” Do you know what they said to him? You were altogether born in sins, and now you are trying to teach us. So they cast him out. They did not want to hear such talk. Now it was the natural hands of Jesus that anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay, but it was done by the authority of the invisible Spirit of the Father that dwelled in Him. On the other hand, when He kneeled there in the garden to pray before Judas betrayed Him, that was not the mind of the Father that cried out, “If it be possible, let this cup pass from me. Nevertheless not my will, but thine be done.” That was the mind and emotions of the Son, reacting to what He could see just ahead. He had all the physical senses, nerves and emotions in His human makeup that any other human has; therefore He could react to death as any man would.
SCRIPTURE BEING FULFILLED
Let us go the 10th chapter of John’s Gospel, and notice verse 15, where Jesus is speaking of a certain relationship between Himself and the Father. “As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep.” Jesus is actually saying to them, I am going to have to give my life. Naturally that statement came from the mind of the Son, for as we said earlier, The Father dwelling in Him could not die. It simply means that the spirit of life in the Son will leave the body of flesh, and the body will be as dead as any other body that the spirit of life goes out of. From the standpoint of the Spirit substance of Jesus Christ, you need to realize that there were not two spirits in Him, for that which was the Father was so blended with that which was the Son, that as far as Spirit substance, they are only one Spirit, yet we do have to remember that there was two minds involved. But even though there was two minds involved, they were in such perfect unity, they operated as one. Brothers and sisters: I know this is hard for us to visualize with our natural mind, for we were all born in sin, and we all had a mind of our own, that we exercised to do our own will, but I want you to know for sure, that God is going to have some people upon this earth, and I believe it will be in our generation, that will take on the mind of Jesus Christ and be subject to all the will of God just like He was. The Bible tells us that He is going to present to Himself a glorious church, that will be without spot, or wrinkle, and that will be holy and without blemish. Brother, let me tell you something, That church will not be any of the denominational churches of this world; it will be one universal body of believers that has cast off all their denominational traditions, and allowed the Holy Ghost to wash them clean with the waters of the pure unadulterated word of God. Naturally Jesus was speaking to Jews when He said , I lay down my life for the sheep; so when He said, “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,” that included us Gentiles, which before then were without God, and without hope in the world. “Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. No man taketh it (His life) from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power (authority) to lay it down, and I have power (authority) to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.” Now what this really boils down to, is that He has this authority of revelation from the Father, but He will not go through with it until the mind of the Father says, Now is the time. He knew exactly when to go up to Jerusalem for this occasion, and He knew exactly how to present Himself. As the time approached for these things to be fulfilled, Jesus left Galilee with His disciples, to journey to Jerusalem. He went through every town and village along the way, preaching the gospel, and healing the sick, during which time, He told His disciples, The Son of man goeth to Jerusalem, and shall be delivered into the hands of wicked men, or cruel men, and shall suffer many things, and be crucified, and on the 3rd day He shall arise from the dead. Then He told them, I will meet you in Galilee. Why was He talking like that? Because the mind of the Father, which is omniscient, is causing all the scriptures that foretold this event, to become activated. This is what made Jesus Christ, the living Word of God. As long as those prophecies were just on paper, that is all they wee; but once they were spoken from a mind that had been invested with a pure revelation, and authority to speak them, they became the living Word. From the human side, the Son knew full well that He was speaking like this, because He had been invested with the full understanding from the mind of the Father, of these things, and He was completely yielded to the mind of the Father, so He did not speak out of turn, nor speak amiss. Therefore as the mind of the Father flowed into, or through Him, that is what made Him the living Word of God. To the average Jew standing there, what Jesus said just set his head in a spin. His mind became so clouded with questions and confusion, he could not catch a thing Jesus said, so notice verse 19. “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?” He was speaking truth, but it was contrary to their traditional ways, so all they could think of was, He has a devil in him; why do you even listen to what he is saying? It is no different today, You let a man get anointed by the Holy Ghost, and start preaching revealed truth from the word of God, and you will hear those very same words spoken, that were heard that day. Natural minded men will always speak evil of that which they do not understand, in the realm of religion. But there were some others listening to Jesus that day. Maybe they did not claim to know very much themselves, but they could recognize that this man was speaking with authority. He sounded like a man that knew what He was talking about. Furthermore, what devil could restore sight to eyes that were blind?
THE SPIRITUAL REALITY OF BEING ONE
Now go with me back to the 14th chapter of John. This time, we will start with verse 1, where Jesus is speaking to His disciples as He approaches the closing weeks of His earthly ministry. “Let not your heart be troubled; (He was speaking to Jews, and the Jews had always believed in God. They believed that He was a Spirit that could come upon men like Moses, Isaiah, Jeremiah, and men like that, and they also believed that He would be upon their Messiah when He came, but they had their own interpretations of the scriptures that gave them such a promise, and the plain truth of the matter is, What they thought He would do, and what He actually did, were almost completely opposite. Even His disciples still had a lot of those old Jewish ideas in the back of their mind, so that is why He spoke to them as He did.) ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you into myself: that where I am, t here ye may be also.” Oh how you hear this passage of scripture used at almost every Gentile funeral. They speak of it as though they believe God actually lives in a house. Brother! Listen to me! God is a spirit. He doesn’t need a house. Heaven is His throne, and the earth is His footstool. God’s house is His true people; He dwells in them. A child of God could get into a space vehicle, and travel a million light years into space, but, do you know what? God would still be right there in Him. This earth is only a very small speck in God’s domain. That man out there in space could say, God, Do you see me now? The answer would be, “The eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous, and His ears are open unto their cry.” Bro. Jackson: If God is a Spirit, how can He have eyes and ears? Saints: these words were written to humans that need to hear something they can identify with. That is the very thing we are dealing with here in John 14:1-3. David also said in Psalms 34:16, “The face of the Lord is against them that do evil, to cut off the remembrance of them from the earth,” but that does not give God a face in the sense that you and I think of a face. It is simply an expression that declares a fact, and allows our human mind to grasp what is meant. When Jesus said, I go to prepare a place for you, He could just as well have said, I am going to intercede for you, that you may have a portion of the same substance that I am, that I have of the Father. For He is in me, and I in Him, and I will prepare the way for you to be as I am with the Father. That place is prepared for us, but I can tell you for sure, It is not a great mansion in the heavens, or as some might say, next door to Jesus. That is a carnal picture of a beautiful spiritual reality. He has prepared the way for us to have a place in His Father’s great domain, free of sin, and of spiritual darkness. Through His intercession, we are reconciled back to that great eternal Spirit, so that we can have a spiritual dwelling place in the domain of Him who fills all of His creation. One day, when redemption is completed, every redeemed child of God will walk the face of this earth in a body that is immortal. In that day, every one will be invested with all the eternal authority and glory of the indwelling Father. God will again be in all His people in the fulness of Himself. In that day, there will be no need for the sun, nor the moon, for the glory of God will be the light that shines so bright, the sun and the moon cannot be seen, but they will still be there. They were out there before Adam and Eve ever sinned, and God is in the process of redeeming the earth back to what it once was. That is when Jesus will take his place at the head of the family, as our elder brother. But for the present time, He is still active in His intercessor’s office, interceding for all those that God foreknew from before the foundation of the world. That is the reason he could say, “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.” The Father and the Son were of the same substance on the Spirit side; therefore when redemption is completed, and we are blended (by His Spirit) into that same substance, then, what Jesus said in John 17, will be a completed reality. The Father in Him, and He in the Father, and all the redeemed children of God in Him, and all blended into the same Spirit substance that the Father is; that is what makes it like that. When He said, “That where I am, there ye may be also,” it actually has a compound meaning. He is truly coming again to catch us away from this old earth for a little while, but the spiritual depth of His statement pertained to the completed mediatorial work that makes us all of one Spirit. He went ahead to say, “And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know.” But Thomas, one of His disciples evidently thought He was speaking of a journey around the world, or something like that, and he said, “Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way? Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life; no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” Now I ask you, Saints, Is Jesus speaking of a literal trail that a person could follow? Of course not. These are parabolic, spiritual terms, that He is using. “I am the way, the truth, and the life; no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” What is the Father? He is a Spirit, What is the Son? He is a spirit also, but He has a physical body, and when the Spirit which is the Father, actually incarnated the physical body of the Son, the Spirit of the Father, and the spirit of the Son became blended into one Spirit; therefore there will come a day, when because of the shed blood of the Son, and His mediatorial work since then, that same Spirit will blend into every individual one of His redeemed children, and that will complete the process that makes us all one in Jesus Christ, and one with the Father. You just simply have to clear your head of all natural interpretations of these scriptures, in order to truly see the beautiful reality, and spiritual benefit of them.
THE SON DISPLAYING THE FATHER
The Father is the source of all intelligence, and authority, and He has invested in the Son those same attributes, so that when Jesus the Son walked among men upon earth, they could see the Father. He went about demonstrating, or displaying the Father for all humanity to see. Therefore He became the way, the gateway to the Father. We can only see God in the fulness of His love, power, and authority, as our eyes are opened to see Him through the Son. Just imagine what He did in only 3 ½ short years upon earth, exemplifying the attributes of the Father. After John recorded just so many of the acts and deeds of Jesus, he concluded by saying, “There are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be recorded every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that would be written.” We could read every verse here, but there is one particular verse we want to call attention to, verse 11. Maybe we should read verse 10, first, because the disciples were still baffled by His terminology. Philip even said, “ Lord, show us the Father, and it will be sufficient.” But Jesus simply told them, that he that had seen Him, had seen the Father, and in verse 10, we read these words. “Believeth thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? The words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, He doeth the works.” They were looking at Him strictly as a flesh and blood man standing there with them, but Jesus wanted them to look beyond the flesh, and see the actual life of that flesh. Not only were His words in the words of the Father which dwelled in Him, but even all the works that He had been doing among them were the works of the Father. Then to further emphasize His position. He said to them, “Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works sake.” You see, that was just backing up His previous statement. In other words, He could have just said it like this, You have seen me walk upon the water, and certainly you should know that a thing like that is not normal for a man to do. Only He who has all authority could defy His own law of gravity like that. You have seen me feed five thousand men besides the women and children with five little loaves, and two small fishes. Could not only the Father of all creation do a thing like that? Now I will admit, I used to think that little boy had been to the grocery, and was coming home with an armload of bread and fish, and just caught up in that huge crowd of people, but that was not a true picture at all. That little boy had just brought a little lunch along with him when he came out to hear Jesus, something the others had failed to do. But I am fully persuaded that this was all in the plan of God from the very beginning, for He had purposed to show Himself to lost mankind through His only begotten Son Jesus, which was the Christ. I can just visualize this scene out there on a hillside overlooking the sea of Galilee. Here stood 12 disciples of Jesus, 10 of them holding half of a little loaf of bread which was probably not much larger then a hot dog bun, and the other 2 each had a little fish in their hands. Jesus looked toward heaven and prayed a short prayer of blessing upon that food, and then He looked toward the 12 disciples, and said, Go feed the people. Now brothers and sisters, follow my thought for a moment. When He told them to, Go feed the people, all they had in their hands was a little boy’s lunch. It was not multiplying there in their hands, into a great amount of food. They had to step out there by faith, and start breaking off a piece of what they were holding, and hand it to those that came by. But do you know what? That which they were breaking off of never got any smaller. When they would break off a piece and hand it to someone, they would look back and they still had just as much in their hand as they did before they broke off a piece. Do you get the picture? God just kept on doubling the size of what they had left in their hands each time they broke it in half, and He multiplied what they handed the people. Brother Jackson: I always thought Jesus was the one that did the miracle. That is a natural way of thinking, but Jesus said that it was the Father dwelling in Him, that did the works, and we know that is right, but to the natural eye, it was the man Jesus, that did it all. That crowd of people no doubt really enjoyed eating, that day, for they were eating from an unlimited supply. That same omnipotent God that gave the children of Israel manna in the morning, and quail in the evening, for 40 years, was on the scene. Brother, I want you to know, There has never been that many quail in the Middle East since then. But for 40 years they ate quail. Now 1400 years later, the God of that pillar of fire that followed them, or that went before them, was standing there in the form of a man doing the same thing. Only this time, it is the bread and fish, and it was only done that one day, at that particular time, but the miracle was the same, for it fed all those hungry souls from a supply that they did not even know was available. When they were finished eating, Jesus told his disciples to gather up what remained uneaten, and I suppose they probably thought it would just be a few crumbs, and they could just put them in their pockets. But when they each got their hands full, they had to start looking for some baskets to put them in, and they each came back with a basket full of leftovers. Did all those people recognize God in what took place there that day? No. But some of them did, and it was for them, that God did it. It is just like Jesus said about the rain, It falls on the unjust as well as the just. The same rain that waters the wheat, waters the tares also.
THE FATHER’S NAME
Now let us go once again, to the 17th chapter of John, for a closer look at the prayer Jesus prayed. Remember, He is praying to the self existent, omnipresent Spirit, the Father of all creations, and He has perfect understanding that the embryo from which He was born, was created in the womb of Mary His mother by the spoken word of this great eternal Spirit, and He knows that the name Jesus, which was given to Himself at birth, is the redemption name of the Father, and carries a compound meaning that encompasses all the attributes of this great God. Therefore let us notice verse 6, where He says, “I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world: thine they were, and thou gavest them me: and they have kept thy word.” We realize of course, that the only name that was manifested, or put on public display, was the name JESUS, and we also know that the apostle Paul, in his letter to the Ephesian Christians said, that this is the name by which the whole family in heaven and earth is called, and he also said in another place, that there is none other name under heaven, given among men, whereby we must be saved; therefore the spiritual mind will accept the fact that the name JESUS, is the family of the whole redeemed family of God. T his is the name which Jesus revealed, for there was no other name involved in anything He did, or taught. It was not that He went around saying, JESUS is the name of the Father. He just simply impressed upon their minds that whatsoever He Himself did, was the works of the Father, and whatever He said, was the words of the Father, and of course everyone knew that His name was JESUS, and all those of whom He spake, also knew what Isaiah, and also the angel of the Lord said that name implied, “God with us.” The religious leaders did not accept it, but those that the Father had given Him, to manifest that name to, believed, and received that name, gladly. Naturally that brings out another truth that denominational people reject, and argue about, but predestination is an established fact of the scriptures just the same, whether they want to believe it or not. That simply means that only those who were foreknown in the mind of the Father, before the world was ever created, can believe. They believe and accept truth as it is revealed, and all the rest out here in this vast realm of religion are make believers. Do I know who they all are? No. and neither does any other mortal man, but God does. The most important thing though is that God knows every predestined son and daughter of His. That is still locked up behind the denominational walls of those make believers. He knows how to set them free, when the time is right. That is how we got free; it was not by our own doing, for God had to first show us something to get our attention, before we would even consider leaving all of that. Therefore what we are seeing here, (if we could just use a natural term that we all understand) is that Jesus was given a list of names of all the predestined family of God, and He must keep on interceding before the throne of the Father until that last one is born and comes to the hour of accepting his, or her family name. I know some of you do not like to hear this, but I did not write the Bible. I only tell you what is already written therein. Verse 7, “Now they (those predestined ones in that day) have known all things whatsoever thou hast given me are of thee.” In other words, none of this originated from the human nature of the Son of God, but rather from the Father that in dwelled Him. “For I have given unto them the words which thou gavest me: and they have received them, and have known surely that I came out from thee, and they have believed that thou didst send me.” That simply means that those true disciples which followed Him, were beginning to get a revelation that He was not just another prophet, born of sinful conception, like those prophets which were before Him, but that He truly was who He confessed to be.
GOD OR A DEVIL
In verse 26, Jesus says, “And I have declared unto them THY NAME and will declare it: that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them.” Hallelujah! That is why that name JESUS is so important, and that is why the devil works so hard against it. Because it is the redemption name of the Father, which was made known unto the early church in the book of Acts. That is why they only baptized in that name. They knew there was no other name which carried authority to remit sins, except the name of the very God that had been sinned against. That name was given to the Son, and His disciples knew Him by that name. Therefore when they finally did receive the revelation of who He was, they could still meet Him on the street and say. Good morning JESUS, or Good morning Father. With the natural eye, all could behold the acts and deeds of this man called Jesus. But with the spiritual eye, those that were predestined could see beyond the human flesh, and see the Father working through this vessel of clay, to contact His lost children. But Jesus knew that those who received this revelation would not go without persecution. So in chapter 15, we find Jesus warning them of what to expect, and we will pick up in the middle of verse 20. “If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also. But all these things will they do unto you for my NAME’S sake. Because they know not Him that sent me. If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin: (For they were keeping their traditional version of the law of Moses.) But now they have no cloak for their sin (because God has changed the order and they have refused to accept the change.) He that hateth me, hateth my Father also. (Now He re-emphasizes what He had just got through saying.) If I had not done among them the works which none other man did, they had not had sin: but now have they both seen and hated both me and my Father.” What is He actually getting at , by a remark like that? He had healed a blind man that had been born blind, and that just upset the Sanhedrin Court. He healed crippled people, raised the dead back to life, and did all sorts of miracles before them. Yet they still would not believe. They are guilty of unbelief, because He had manifested the works of God before them, and they called Him a devil. God does not send people to hell for drinking, smoking, cursing, and so forth. He sends them to hell because of their sin or unbelief, and all these sinful habits are just merely things that people who are on their way to hell, do while passing through this life. Some of the most religious people that could be found upon the face of this earth, are headed for damnation, because their religion is manmade, and they have rejected the true way of eternal life. That is why I hate to hear people say, I believe exactly what my saintly old grandmother believed, and I know there has never been a more dedicated Christian upon this earth than she was. For the sad truth is, grandmother did not have an opportunity to hear the truth of God’s restored word to this age, so God accepted her for living what she had revealed to her, but people of our day cannot make it in on that. Because new light has been shined upon their pathway that puts them in the same category with those Scribes and Pharisees that rejected Jesus. In John 5:26-27, which we have already read, Jesus said. “For as the Father hath life in Himself; so hath He given to the Son to have life in Himself: and hath given Him authority to execute judgement also, because He is the Son of man.” Therefore by that same authority, He said to Peter, in Matthew 16:19, “I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth, shall be loosed in heaven.” What were these keys? The revelation of how man could be reconciled back to God. Where are they today? Every man of God that holds a true revelation in his heart of God’s plan of redemption, is holding these keys and every man that is called of God to preach His Gospel, has that same authority to bind and loose, that was given to Peter. Therefore when God, by His Spirit anoints a man to preach that gospel to you. It will do one of two things, it will either open the door of eternal life to your, or bind you up with the rest of the tares, to be burned. Not necessarily at the moment you hear it, but that is the final result of rejecting present truth. Whether you die before He returns, or live until He returns is not the important thing; it is whether you accept or reject the revealed truth of God’s word for your particular hour of time. Those who reject truth are judged already, by their unbelief, but those who reject truth, and still remain alive when heaven is opened, and Jesus descends to earth upon a white horse, arrayed in a vesture dipped in blood, smiting ungodly men with the sword of His mouth. I am here to tell you, you are going to see some judgement executed. Naturally these terms are symbolic terms, but there will be no symbolism in the wrath of God that is poured out upon this old earth in that day; it will be literal, and it will be too late to plead for mercy, for there will not be any mercy. That is why the Bible says, Today is the day of salvation. When the Spirit of God calls an individual for salvation, that person does not have the option to schedule it for a future date. God does not operate like that. You just simply do not say, God I want to continue in unbelief for a while yet, but when I am ready, I will be a Christian. NO! Today is the day of Salvation.
PREVIEW OF JESUS’ FUTURE GLORY
In order to clear up something else that has been a puzzle to a lot of people, let us go to St. Matthew 16:27-28, and then on into chapter 17. Jesus is speaking to His disciples about taking up their cross, to follow Him, and so forth, and in verse 27, He says, “For the Son of man shall come in the glory of His Father with His angels; and then He shall reward every man according to his works.” We know that Revelation 20:12-13, describes what will happen at the great white throne judgement, where the books are opened, and wicked mankind is judged according to what is recorded concerning his works upon earth. The righteous are not judged here; this is strictly for the unrighteous, but this is what Matthew 16:27, pertains to, and that causes many people to wonder about the next verse, where Jesus went on to say, “Verily I say unto you. There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in His kingdom.” Did He mean that some of those disciples standing there with Him would not die before the great white throne judgement takes place? No, that is not what He said, nor what He meant, for as we read right on over into chapter 17, we can see what He was speaking of, for His transfiguration was a little preview given to Peter, James and John, of His future glory that was two thousand years in the future. Nevertheless, though by a vision, they did see Jesus as He will be seen in that day, so let us read a few verses here. “And after six days Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart.” That means, He separated these three men from the multitude, and from the other 9 chosen disciples, that they might witness what was about to take place. The Son had a specific reason for this, but the Son did not make the choice from His own mentality, it was made by divine leadership of the Father which was in Him. He was led to go up to this place to pray, just like He was led into the wilderness to be tested, after his baptism by John. So let us watch what happened after they got up there, Verse 2. “And was transfigured before them: and His face did shine as the sun, and His raiment was as white as the light.” This lets us know that the Spirit of God made a display, or manifestation of the future glory that was to be imparted to, or bestowed upon His Son. Those disciples were allowed to see Jesus as He will appear in His Millennial glory, when the Father has invested in Him all authority to rule and reign, and to execute judgement literally, both physical and spiritual. Not only will He slay wicked men with the sword of His mouth, He will raise them back to life one thousand years later, pronounce their spiritual judgement upon them, and cast them alive into the lake of fire. That will be their second death, which saints will never have to face. Not because we are worth of God’s mercy, but because we believed the gospel, and accepted His Son Jesus, the Christ. According to John’s description, even Jesus’ clothing was changed to display this majestic glory. They were not just white, like a white piece of cloth, they were as white as the light. In other words, If any mortal man ever saw such a light as this, he would be turned stone blind, just like Saul was, when that great light shined down upon him, a light which he describes as being brighter than the sun. Anyhow, no matter what His apparel might have been that day, the majestic glory of the Father that surrounded Him made it appear to be whiter than the light.
JESUS’ PRAYER IN GETHSEMANE
As these disciples watched all this great phenomena, they saw something else. Notice verse 3. “And behold, there appeared unto them Moses and Elias (Elijah) talking with him.” Luke goes a little further with this than Matthew did, and tells what they were speaking of, when Moses and Elijah talked to Jesus there that day. He says they spake of His decease which He should accomplish at Jerusalem. Now Moses and Elijah did not come to talk with Peter, James and John which were caught up in this great vision, and awestruck by what they were witnessing; they came to talk with Jesus concerning the things which He would have to suffer at Jerusalem. Those disciples did hear what was being said though, or Luke would not have written what he did. I believe this was the Father’s way of preparing the mind of the Son for what was ahead. It is yet a few more months before the cross, but to the mind of the Son, has been added the knowledge of what is going to happen. On the way down from the mountain, Jesus instructed those disciples not to tell the vision to anyone until after He was risen from the dead. So now, let us go to the 10th chapter of Mark, verses 32-34, where Jesus is on His way to Jerusalem with His disciples, and tells them what is ahead of Him. ”And they were in the way going up to Jerusalem: and Jesus went before them: and they were amazed: and as they followed, they were afraid. And He took again the twelve, and began to tell them what things should happen to Him, saying. (Now notice what He tells them. You will not find this written in the Old Testament. Neither in the Psalms. This is the details of the events that will transpire when He gets to Jerusalem, and I believe this is what they heard there on the mount of transfiguration.) Behold, we go up to Jerusalem: and the Son of man shall be delivered unto the chief priests, and unto the Scribes: and they shall condemn Him to death, and shall deliver Him to the Gentiles: and they shall mock Him, and scourge Him, and shall spit upon Him, and shall kill Him: and the third day He Shall Rise Again.” Hallelujah! Praise God! He knows the finish of it all, even before it is set in motion. Isn’t it wonderful how everything just falls into place according to the word of God? This was not a man reading scripture, trying to bring something to pass. This was a man speaking with authority. He knows the mind of the Father, and it is the mind of the Father that is to be fulfilled, and He is completely submissive to it. No wonder people would say, Never has there been a man before, that spake like this man, for He speaks with authority, and not as the Scribes and Pharisees, Who has brought Him to this hour? The Father, the great eternal Spirit, the one that caused Him to walk on the water, to turn water to wine, to multiply five little loaves and 2 small fishes to feed more than five thousand hungry people, and the one that caused Him to raise Lazarus from the dead, after he was already stinking. All these things were done that the Father might be revealed through the Son. But now this unusual man is in Jerusalem facing another great hour, so let us turn to the 26th chapter of Matthew, where we will start reading in verse 36. “Then cometh Jesus with them unto a place called Gethsemane, and saith unto the disciples, Sit ye here, while I go and pray yonder.” This garden of Gethsamane was sort of like a public park in those days. It was a place in the valley of Jehoshaphat, or Kidron, which lay right in line with the road worshiping people traveled between two mountain peaks. From Bethany, one would come over the Mount of Olives and descend down into the valley, and across the floor of the valley, and then up the eastern slopes of Zion into the temple gate, to the place where they were to worship the Lord. This little park like place called Gethseamane, was where people would say, Come, and sit under the Olive trees and see the beautiful flowers. It is written that many times Jesus resorted there to pray. So this day, Jesus has come to this place to pray before His betrayal, and He has brought with Him, apart from the others, these three chosen disciples, Peter, James, and John. Let us read verse 37, “And he took with Him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be sorrowful and very heavy. Then saith He to them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death; tarry ye here, and watch with me. And He went a little farther, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying. O my Father, If it be possible, let this cup pass from me? Nevertheless, not as I will, but as thou wilt.” When He said, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death, that word sorrowful, is a word that describes deep depression, inner loneliness, or extreme sadness. Have any of you ever had feelings like that? It is just like there is a great vacuum inside of you. Well that was the human nature of Jesus reacting to this cruelness and death that He soon must suffer. Our emotions react like that when a heavy load is placed upon us. Many times you can just read it on peoples faces when you meet up with them. Some people just simply cannot hide their inner emotions. I believe we could have seen it on the face of Jesus that day, for He had in Him every muscle and nerve that any other normal human would have. The big difference is, here is one man that will not completely submit to all this discouragement, and just give up, saying, What is the use of trying to go on, like so many other people have done. He couldn’t give up in that sense, for He knew what lay beyond all this. He knew what glory would one day be His. Praise God, Saints. We should also take courage likewise. If He could look beyond all that grief and sorrow, and see the glory that lay beyond this great trial, then we likewise should, for the scriptures declare that if we suffer with Him, we shall also reign with Him. Hallelujah!. You will not need a whip, you will rule with authority.. Now Saints, the point I am trying to bring out of this, is that this Son of God must go through the valley of decision, and come out victorious on the other side of the trial, in order to set a perfect example for you and me. He was born perfect, and He lived a perfect life, but He was not a perfect example for us until He had faced and overcome these certain tests in His life.
THE FATHER NEVER LEFT JESUS
After He submitted completely to the will of the Father, Jesus came and found those three disciples asleep, and said to Peter, What, could ye not watch with me one hour? He did that three times, and each time prayed that if the cup of death could not pass from Him, then let the will of the Father be done. In Mark 14:36, it is expressed like this, “And He said, Abba, Father, all things are possible unto thee; take away this cup from me: nevertheless not what I will, but what thou wilt.” What a beautiful picture. You say, What is He crying about? Death is just ahead. Is He afraid to die? Yes, Death is a fearful thing. Remember: This man was not born to die for you and me. In other words, He had no death reigning in Him. In the mind of the Father, He was as a Lamb slain from the foundation of the world, but from the standpoint of perfect human, He was not born to die. For the sake of illustration, let us just suppose He had never come to the Jordan to be baptized, and had just continued on as He had for the previous 30 years. He would have lived a perfect man through out all eternity, but you would never have seen any miracles from Him? He would have just been a perfect man to live, live, live, never to die. It is hard for us to imagine anyone living, and never having to worry about tuberculosis, heart trouble, arthritis, cancer, and all those diseases of the whole human race, but I assure you, He would never have had any trouble like that. In the 41st verse, of Mark 14, it says, “And He cometh the third time, and saith unto them, Sleep on now, and take your rest: it is enough, the hour is come; behold, the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. Rise up, let us go; lo, he that betrayeth me is at hand.” He had prayed three times, and now His mind was made up. He knew what must happen, and He was now ready to face it. Now you have heard me say many times, You need to read all the Gospel accounts of these various events, in order to get a more complete picture of what actually took place, for each writer brings out some little detail that the others did not put in. Therefore let us go to Luke’s account for a verse or two. In verse 43, chapter 22, Luke says that while He was praying, “There appeared an angel unto Him from heaven, strengthening Him. And being in agony He prayed the more earnestly: and His sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.” Do you see why I wanted to include Luke’s account of this event? Do you really see? Let us look at it like this, If God the Father is omnipresent, omnipotent, and omniscient, why did He need to send an angel to minister to His grieving, sorrowful Son? To me, it is further proof that angelic beings, are helpers with God in all of His works upon earth. Luke says, in verse 45, “And when He rose up from prayer, and was come to His disciples, He found them sleeping for sorrow, and said unto them, Why sleep ye? Rise and pray, lest ye enter into temptation. And while He yet spake, behold a multitude, and he that was called Judas, one of the twelve, went before them, and drew near unto Jesus to kiss Him. But Jesus said unto him, Judas, betrayest thou the Son of man with a kiss?” He was taken from the garden to Caiaphas’ judgement hall, where all night long they ridiculed Him, struck Him, and blasphemed. Had the Father left Him? Absolutely not. Did He not put the ear back on the servant of the high priest, when one of His disciples cut it off with a sword? That was still the works of the Father which was still in Him. The Father could not leave Him: they were now one Spirit. The Father just did not exercise His mind in this matter; He left Jesus to do the choosing from His own human mind. It was the human that faced Caiaphas; deity remained silent. Yet Jesus said to them, “Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and He shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels? But how then shall the scriptures be fulfilled, that thus it must be?” He could have done that, but if He had, that would have ended the whole process. That would have been as far as He could have went, for once He gave in to the demands of the flesh, He could never have finished the redemption work that was given Him to do. You see my point, do you not? He could not call angels to rescue Him from this situation, lest He kill the whole process, but that did not keep the Father from sending angels to comfort Him during His hour of great suffering. You must see though, that the angels just ministered to His Spirit. It is your spirit that works through your physical mental makeup. That mental part of you is like, we will say, your communication board between your flesh and your spirit, because your spirit is the very origin of intelligence. Therefore the angel came and strengthened His spirit, and encouraged Him. But through it all, the Father was still just as much in Him as He had ever been. Even when Jesus cried out from the cross, “My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me?” The Father had not forsaken Him; He was still right there. As long as the spirit of life remained in that body of flesh, the Father was still right there in Him. But when the spirit of life left the body, and went down into hell, where was the Father? They were one Spirit; they never were separated. Do you catch my point? Down in the corridors of hell, He preached to those imprisoned spirits by the authority of that same commission, and He had the authority to set those captives free. Then on the third day He was raised from the dead by the authority of that same omnipresent, eternal Spirit that was one with Him. That is why the apostle Paul could use words like, Jesus Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father. The only thing that kept that body in the tomb for three days, was the fact that it had to be that way to fulfill the scriptures; therefore when the time was right, He who has complete control over all creation, just simply raised it right up from that tomb and rejoined body and Spirit, and it will not be one bit harder to do the same for every other person that has ever died having that eternal Spirit in them, when the time arrives for it to be done.
HE IS NOT HERE: FOR HE IS RISEN
Now before we bring this message to a close, we want to look at some scriptures that deal with what happened after the cross. If you will open your Bibles to the 28th chapter of Matthew, verse 5, where the angel that rolled back the stone from the entrance of the sepulchre is speaking t the women that came early to the tomb on the 1st day of the week. “I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified. He is not here: for He is risen, as He said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. ( The angel is inviting them to come on over and take a look for themselves.) And go quickly, and tell His disciples that He is risen from the dead; and behold, He goeth before you into Galilee; there shall ye see Him; lo, I have told you. And they departed quickly from the sepluchre with fear and great joy; and did run to bring His disciples word. And as they went to tell His disciples, behold, Jesus me them, saying, All hail. And they came and held Him by the feet and worshiped Him.” In this particular setting we have something that sounds like a contradiction. But we need to try to see what is portrayed here. For as this moment they hold Him by the feet and worship Him. “Then said Jesus unto them, Be not afraid: go tell my brethren that they go unto Galilee, and there shall they see me.” Remember now, They were to go back to the disciples and tell something. Let us go to the 20th chapter of John, and notice the very first verse. “The first day of the week cometh Mary Magdalene early, when it was yet dark, unto the sepulchre, and seeth the stone taken away from the sepulchre. Then she runneth, and cometh to Simon Peter, and to the other disciples, whom Jesus loved, and saith unto them, They have taken away the Lord out of the sepulchre, and we know not where they have laid Him. Peter therefore went forth, and the other disciple, and came to the sepulchre. So they ran both together: ( Peter and John) and the other disciple did outrun Peter, and came first to the sepulchre. (John was in a hurry to get there, but he did no to inside.) And he stopping down, and looking in, saw the linen clothes lying; yet went he not in. Then cometh Simon Peter following him, and went into the sepulchre, and seeth the linen clothes lie, And the napkin that was about His head, not lying with the linen clothes, but wrapped together in a place by itself. Then went in also that other disciple, which came first to the sepulchre, and he saw and believed. (John just refers to himself as that other disciple in his gospel account of what happened.) Verse 9, For as yet they knew not the scripture, that He must rise again from the dead. Then the disciples went away again unto their own home. But Mary stood without at the sepulchre weeping: (This lets us know that she had followed Peter and John back there, but had been a little slower arriving.) And as she wept, she stooped down, and looked into the sepulchre. (This was her second visit here.) And seeth two angels in white sitting, the one at the head, and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain. And they say unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? She saith unto them, Because they have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have lain Him. And when she had thus said, she turned herself back, and saw Jesus standing, and knew not that it was Jesus. Jesus saith unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? She, supposing Him to be the guardner, saith unto Him, Sir, if thou have borne Him hence, tell where thou has laid Him, and I will take Him away. ( This lets me know that Jesus was speaking in a different voice than what they had become accustomed to hearing, or she would recognized Him immediately.) Jesus saith unto her, Mary. She turned herself, and saith unto Him, Rabboni: which is to say, Master. (When He spoke her name, she recognized Him, But we know that He also walked along the road to Emmaus with two disciples, talking to them, and they only recognized Him by the way He brake the bread later.) Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them. I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God.” This lets me know, that somewhere between His early arrival from the tomb, and the time when some of His disciples saw Him later, there must have been a transition of His person whereby His role as high priest was fulfilled in its first stage. He offered Himself on the cross; His blood was shed for the sins of lost mankind, but that did not complete the offering. The type is in the Old Testament. After the blood is shed from the sacrificial animal, out on the altar, the blood had to be conveyed by the high priest into the holy of holies, to make it a finished work for atonement. There, in the holy holies, is where the acceptance took place. Therefore Jesus, from this standpoint, after being the blood, and now being risen from the dead, He must assume the duties of the high priest, and cannot be touched until first , He has presented Himself unto the presence of the Father for the purpose of conveying this shed blood into the heavenly holy of holies. He was not yet going there to be the eternal high priest, but this part had to be finished before He could present Himself tot his disciples, and allow them to touch Him. That part should not be to hard to understand, knowing how the earthly high priests had conducted themselves fulfilling, or should I say, setting the type of that which Jesus was to fulfill with His one offering. That is the only thing you can get out of what He said to Mary, knowing that this part had to be fulfilled, and also, knowing that, in the other accounts, we read that they held Him by the feet, and worshiped Him. Now there certainly should be no contradiction, since we know the process by which this offering should be made, and knowing that none of these Gospel writers were obligated to give every detail that the others included in their record. I hope that is understood, for only carnal, argumentative minds go around looking for contradictions in the scriptures without ever trying to place them in proper context.
THE GREAT COMMISSION
Now, let us go back to the 28th chapter of Matthew for what I want us to see next. Jesus has sent word to His disciples, that He will meet them in Galilee, and those that guarded the tomb have gone into the city and made their report, and there is much confusion about what has really happened, so let us go to verse 16, and start reading. “Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, into a mountain where Jesus had appointed them. And when they saw Him, they worshiped Him: but some doubted. And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power (Watch these words here, Something has happened. A transition has taken place, for now He is saying, All power.) Is given unto me in heaven and in earth.” What kind of power could this be? What is He talking about? Brother, those words He spoke earlier, “Father, glorify thou me,” have been fulfilled. That could not be granted unto Him until after He had hung on that old cross and fulfilled all of that part. Can you see that? That power, or authority lay in Him giving Himself as a finished work of sacrifice for the sins of man. Now He has been granted that which He prayed for, and that brings us down to the great commission in verse 19. “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and the Son, and of the Holy Ghost,” and so fourth. But I want you to know for sure, that the name which He was referring to, was the only name that has any redemption authority, the name JESUS. Let us go back to John 20:19 now, so we can see that these words were all spoken at the same time, and not at two different times. It is in this chapter that He said, Touch me not, when He was actually referring to what He must do in order to complete the sacrifice. Then in verse 19, it is now evening time, not early in the morning, so something had definitely taken place during the day, that has changed the picture. Watch what happened that evening. “Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them. Peace be unto you. And when He had so said, He showed unto them His hands and His side. Then were the disciples glad, when they saw the Lord.” This was in the evening, but it was still the 1st day of the week, the day He arose, so after they recognized Him, He again says, “Peace be unto you: (and adds) as my Father hath sent me. (That would be pointing back to His earthly ministry.) Even so send I you.” That links right up with Matthew 28:19, “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations.” What actually is He commissioning them to do? They are to go forth into all nations and continue doing the works of the Father among mortal mankind, even as He has been doing for the past 3 ½ years. That is why He said, “These works that I do shall ye do also, and greater works than these shall ye do, because I go unto the Father.” Now He certainly did not mean for anyone to think He would be defused, and cease to exist in bodily form as some believe. He has gone into the heavenlies, into the presence of the omnipresent, eternal Spirit, to mediate between God and man, but He still has His bodily form, and we shall see it when He comes for us, but in the meantime we walk by faith. Now notice John 20:22, what He said, after saying, “As my Father hath sent me, even so send I you. And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost. Whose so ever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose so ever sins ye retain, they are retained.” The Catholic church really leans hard upon that verse of scripture, but I assure you, Saints, that does not authorize the pope to forgive sins. Jesus was simply authorizing His disciples to perform the rite of scriptural baptism in water for the remission of sins of the flesh upon repentant sinners. Therefore if they had some reason to refuse to baptize a man, then it just stands to reason that his sins would be retained. But please keep in mind the fact, that baptism does not remit the SIN of UNBELIEF, the blood of Jesus Christ takes care of that the very moment we believe. You simply cannot be a believer, and an unbeliever both at the same time. So water baptism is for the purpose of remitting the sins of our flesh, and that can only be properly administered after we repent and believe the Gospel. Therefore let it be understood, that the disciples, at that particular time, did not receive the Holy Ghost. This was only a preparatory command, preparing their understanding, so they would accept the great commission, but keep everything in its proper perspective. The Father sent Him (Jesus) by getting inside Him, and leading Him, and that is the very same way Jesus was going to send them, but first they would have to have that experience of receiving the Holy Ghost, up there in that upper room where they were waiting. He prepared their minds for what was to be expected of them, and then He ascended into heaven, and left them standing, looking up, watching Him go from them. Since that time, He has been fulfilling the 110th Psalms, “Thou art a priest forever, after the order of Melchizedek.” But the word forever does not apply to time without end, for we do certainly know that there will come a time when He will cease to function in His office as high priest, for He cannot be high priest and King both at the same time.
GENTILES HEAR THE GOSPEL PREACHED
Let us go now to Acts, chapter 10, and see how the disciples preached this great revelation. We find the apostle Peter in the house of Cornelius, preaching to Gentiles. This is the first time Gentiles have had the Gospel preached to them. Listen, as we start reading here in verse 34, “Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respector of persons: But in every nation he that fearth Him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with Him.” Brothers and sisters: Peter had walked with Jesus. What he knew, he had received first hand. He was the spokesman on the day of Pentecost, when the disciples were accused of being drunk on new wine. It was to Peter, that the keys to the kingdom, were committed. He had the authority to unlock the great mystery of the kingdom of God, and here he is, preaching to Gentiles, something he never would have dreamed of doing, but he is being led of the Spirit of God. (You can read it, in the previous verses here.) “The word which God sent unto children of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ: (He is Lord of all) That word, I say, ye know, which was published throughout all Judea, and began from Galilee, after the baptism which John preached: (He is just pinpointing the time when Jesus Himself first began to preach. Not until after He was baptized by John.) How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: (authority) who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with Him.” (He was in Him.) Peter was a Jew, and he had a perfect understanding of the Godhead. Would you not agree? He is really saying these things as only a Jew would say them. I have always said, It takes a revelated Jew, to really tell the story. That is why God has ordained that two Jewish prophets go, and preach to the nation of Israel when the Gentile dispensation is completed. You can be sure of one thing, No Trinitarian is ever going to convert that Jewish nation, no matter how hard they may try. Listen, “And we are witnesses of all things which He did both in the land of the Jews, and in Jerusalem; whom they slew and hanged on a tree: Him God raised up the third day, and showed Him openly; Not to all the people, but unto witnesses chosen before of God, even to us, who did eat and drink with Him after He rose from the dead.” Praise the Lord, old Peter knew how to tell it. He should have, he stood right there and watched it all.
PAUL REVEALING THE UNKNOWN GOD
Let us go quickly to chapter 17, where Paul can be heard. He is on Mars’ hill, preaching to a bunch of Greek philosophers. (The world is full of this kind today.) They were always looking to hear something new, and they were pagan worshipers, but listen to Paul tell them about the God He knows. Verse 22, “Then Paul stood in the midst of Mars’ hill, and said, ye men of Athens, I perceive that in all things ye are too superstitious. For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, Him declare I unto you.” He had viewed that great shrine with all its garnished work, and faces of all kinds of deities, (gods). Those Greeks had dozens of gods they worshiped. Paul had viewed all those many faces and forms of their gods, and then he had seen this sign they had erected just to be on the safe side, and not neglect any god. It was to the UNKNOWN GOD, and that was all Paul needed, to get himself a sermon topic. He said, (just to paraphrase) I am going to tell you something about this UNKNOWN GOD, that you have been ignorantly worshiping, Listen to him, verse 24, “God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that He is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands; Neither is worshiped with men’s hands, as though He needed any thing, seeing He giveth life to all, and breath, and all things; and hath made of one blood (Noah’s all nations of men for to dwell on the face of the earth, and determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation; That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after Him, and find Him, though He be not far from every one of us: For in Him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, He was even familiar with their poetry.) For we are also His offspring. Forasmuch then as we are the off spring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man’s device. And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men everywhere to repent.” Brother, here was another Jew that could really tell the story, and he had not even walked with Jesus, as all the other apostles had. I assure you of this one thing though, When he spoke, those who heard him, knew they were hearing a voice of authority. He spoke of the Godhead, and also of the fact, that God in reality has no need of anything that man can do for Him. A sovereign Spirit has no need of man’s hands, yet He will use them, when they are dedicated to following His perfect will.
In Hebrews, chapter 1, we find Paul again speaking. Actually this is his epistle to the Hebrew Christians, but I just want you to see how those early disciples spread this good news around the world. Verse 1, “God who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, (In chapter 2, we are made to understand that God used angelic beings to convey that word to them. 2:2-3) Hath in these last days spoken unto us by His Son, whom He hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also He made the worlds; Who being the brightness of His glory, and the express image of His person, (for we know that the only person involved here is the person of the Lord Jesus Christ.) And upholding all things by the word of His power, (authority) when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high.” He walked upon the earth demonstrating the attributes of the Father, and then went into the garden and cried like a man. He walked up Calvary’s hill and died like a man. But then He went into hell, and said something that no other man could say, and three days later, His body was out of that tomb, and He is alive for ever more. He had been in His prophetic office for 3 ½ years. Now he has been in His high priest’s office two thousand years, and He will soon come back to earth to rule and reign in His Kingly office for another one thousand year period of time, but between now, and then, He will call His little bride away from this old earth for a little season, and when He returns to rule and reign, she will be right with Him. Revelation 19 shows Him returning to earth with His wife, and crowned, and robed, and smiting the nations with the sword of His mouth. What is He now? King of Kings, and Lord of Lords. The great tribulation has run its course, all the martyrs have shed their blood, and it is now time for them to be resurrected, to reign with Christ and His wife through this one thousand year period of restoration, while the earth is being returned to its former state as it was before the fall of man. This only begotten Son of God has been faithful to perform all the perfect will of the Father, and now He is back on earth, in power and glory. God’s oneness has been displayed all the way through the Bible from Genesis to Revelation, and this Son has put the AMEN, to every prophecy that has ever been spoken of Him, and yet multitudes have perished without ever seeing God in any of this. Has God been surprised by any of it? Absolutely not, He knew every bit of it, before there ever was a star.
LOOKING TO THE END
Let me just sort of conclude this message by calling your attention to a few important points. We have dwelt on showing both the humanity and the deity of Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God, but many have asked, What was the difference between Adam and Jesus? Were they both Sons of God? Yes, the first Adam (as Paul describes them)was God’s only created son. But please remember, God is one Spirit, not two. He has displayed His oneness in every bit of this. To portray the beauty of His oneness, He gave Himself only one creation, one created son, one created earth, and so forth. He gave His created son a commission to replenish and subdue the earth. But in the very beginning, that commission was altered by sin. Sin brought death both physically and spiritually to His created son, and that death sentence was passed through God’s hereditary law upon all men, causing a separation from God, yet it was, and is, the purpose of God to have a family of people that He can dwell in, and fellowship with, as He did with Adam, in the beginning. Every living thing received its life from God, but it was utterly impossible for any man to begat a son free from the penalty of sin and death, and yet it would take such a Son of God to undo what had been done. What was God to do? He could not create another son, that would have marred the beautiful testimony of His oneness. (He knew what He would do all along, but mankind did not.) Nevertheless, there had to be a Son that would fulfill the will of the Father, and fill the earth with sons and daughters that God could have this desired relationship with. Therefore in process of time, He gave Himself one begotten Son. His name was JESUS. He merely created an embryo in the virgin womb of a young Jewish girl, and allowed His Son to be born of a woman through the same process of birth that all other babies pass through, only the conception was different. That made this Son not only the Son of God, but also the seed of woman, and you will recall that it was the seed of the woman that was to bruise the head of the serpent. When did He do that? Mainly, and most importantly at Calvary. Was the Father truly in Him? Absolutely. But not until after John baptized Him, when He was about 30 years of age. ( I would say, when He turned 30.) Who is the Father? The omnipresent, omnipotent, omniscient Spirit that created all things. When the Father incarnated the Son, it was not to give the Son more life, but rather to embody Him with all the attributes of His Father. Did the Father ever leave the Son? Never, He and the Son were completely blended into one Spirit, just like smoke from two fires close to each other. Once that smoke from those two fires mixed together, they are from then on one smoke. That is exactly how it was with the Father and the Son; they were most emphatically, one Spirit. Yet that did not keep the Son from being able to exercise His own mind, as is evidenced in His prayers, and in much of His talk with His disciples, or maybe we should say, most of His talk. Yes the Father and the Son were one Spirit, even to the very moment that the Spirit left the body, there at Calvary, and went into Hell, to free imprisoned saints, and convey them into a heavenly paradise, and they were still one Spirit 3 days later, when by the authority of the Father, Jesus slipped back into that body, and presented Himself to His disciples who were waiting in Galilee. What was it all done for? To conquer death, hell, and the grave, and set redemption in operation. It is very evident that Satan is still loose in the earth today, but he is soon to be bound up for one thousand years, while this glorified Son of God completes the final phases of the process of redemption and restoration. That will bring us out, over in chapter 20,of the book of Revelation, and when that great white throne judgement is completed, and all the wicked and ungodly are cast into the lake of fire, we will be right on the threshold, ready to enter back into the garden of Eden. What you see pictured there in Revelation 22, is exactly what Adam and Eve fell from, when they disobeyed God. That holy city, the New Jerusalem seen coming down from God, out of heaven, in chapter 21, is none other than the redeemed bride, all having the eternal light of God shining forth from them. It is a beautiful picture Saints, and it thrills my soul just to think about it, and even more, when I realize how close we are getting to the next major phase of this great plan of God. May we keep our spiritual eyes and ears open and be very sensitive to the Spirit of God in these days ahead, is my prayer. Praise the living God! Amen.