Turn in your Bibles now to the 14th chapter of John and we will continue our study of John. We've been having a great time for a long time now, in the gospel of John. Our hearts have been enriched and we've been a long time in the 14th chapter. It keeps getting longer and longer. It started out as one message on these verses, and this is the third one. This is really the third part of the same message. But these are tremendous truths.
And this morning we're going to talk about a subject, eventually, that is really the key to everything in the Word of God. Very, very basic and very, very strategic, and we'll see that in reference particularly to verse 26 as we come to it in a few moments.
Now this then is the third and final part of this message, "The Comforter is Coming." It deals with the legacy of the dying Christ to His beloved eleven disciples and to all those who love Him through all the church age. You'll remember that this is the night before the death of Christ; He is, at this point, comforting His sorrowing disciples who are baffled and bewildered by all of the events that are going on. They don't understand the denial of Peter that is about to take place. They don't understand the betrayal on the part of one of their own. They don't understand how Jesus can be the Messiah of the world and be killed. They don't understand how He can be the Christ of God and suffer at the hands of ungodly men. And so they're confused. And they're lonely already in anticipating His leaving.
In view of this, from verses 15 to 27, He gives them five supernatural promises to comfort them in their sorrow. Now these are promises that are the possession of everybeliever by faith in Jesus Christ. They are great and precious promises. They belonged, not only to these eleven who received them, incidentally, not until the day of Pentecost, but they also belong to all of us as well. And they are ours now, this is not the inheritance that is laid up for us, this is the inheritance that is given us at the moment of salvation. It is the richest legacy in the universe and it is all theirs and it is all ours by the promise of Jesus Christ.
Now we've seen already in chapter 14 that the whole chapter is a comfort chapter. He is endeavoring to comfort them by telling them He'll soon come back to get them. He's only going to prepare a place for them. He's endeavoring to ... to comfort them also by telling them that even when He's gone they'll do greater things than even He did. Not only that, anything they need they can ask in His name and they will receive it. And then He goes into these five supernatural promises. And you'll remember that we said that these promises are given to those who love Jesus Christ. Verse 15 indicates that. Verse 21 repeats it. And verse 23 repeats it for a third time. Three times this passage tells us that these promises are for those who love Christ and whose love is visible by obedience. And we've tried to stress that the only genuine test of love is obedience ... obedience.
Now what were these five supernatural promises? And we're still reviewing for the first three of them, the first one, as you remember, was He promised them a supernatural Helper in verses 16 and 17. Verse 16: "And I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter, that He may abide with you forever." The problem with Jesus Christ who was the first Comforter was that He was only there for a few years. And Christ says ‑ I'm going to go away and send you a Comforterwho will abide with you forever. And you'll remember that I told you that the two words that are the key are the words another and Comforter. Comforter ... paraklētŏs, a helper, one called along side to help. He says ‑ I'm going to send you a Helper. Then He uses the word another, and the word another is the word allōs and it means another of the exact, identical kind as Myself. So He says ‑ I'm going away but I'm going to send you one exactly like Me to do for you exactly what I did only this time it will not be done with you it will be done in you, and that's in verse 17: "Even the Spirit of truth," so‑called because He leads them into truth, "whom the world cannot receive because it seeth Him not, neither knoweth Him, but ye know Him for He dwelleth with you and shall be ... what? ... in you."
Now He says ‑ I'm going to send you another Helper, a supernatural Helper exactly like I am. My own Spirit, the Spirit of truth, the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Christ, all the same. And He will dwell in you and He will help you and He will be a forever helper. And so the first supernatural promise is of a supernatural Helper, one to live in them and to do everything in them that Jesus Christ could do with them, to fulfill every ... every single need, to empower them for every kind of work, to minister to them in every possible way, and He will dwell within them. A tremendous promise.
Then, secondly, He promises to them, not only a supernatural Helper, but we saw, He promised them a supernatural life, verse 18: "I will not leave you orphanos, comfortless orphans, I will come to you." Verse 19: "Yet a little while and the world seeth Me no more but ye see Me, because I live, ye shall live also."
Now Jesus says in verse 18 - Not only am I going to send the Spirit but when the Spirit comes it will be Me coming as well. I will come to you. And on the day of Pentecost when the Holy Spirit came into the hearts of that group of believers in Jerusalem, and later on in the book of Acts into Gentile believers and then finally every believer the moment you're born into salvation, experiences the presence of the Holy Spirit at a forever basis. Well, when that finally happened that was not just the Holy Spirit isolated, that was Christ coming into the life as well. And it is accurate to say the Spirit dwells within me, it is just as accurate to say Christ dwells within me, for both of them are there. And so, Jesus says ‑ One step further than sending you another Helper ‑ I will come to you. And the world, He had said, in verse 17 won't know it, they won't see it, they have no organ to perceive this.
Verse 19, it says, again repeating almost the same thought as verse 17: "Yet a little while and the world seeth Me no more." And once Christ left this world physically, the world then stopped perceiving Christ. And the unsaved individual, the world as such, cannot see Christ. They cannot see the ministry of the Holy Spirit. They cannot discern what Christ is doing. They have no way to understand the dimension in which God operates. We, however, do know that. You see Me why? Because I live, ye shall live also. What does that mean? It is because we have been given spiritual life that we see God's work and we see Him move. Jesus says ‑ I'm going to make you alive spiritually, and when you're spiritually alive you'll be sensitive to God's operations, you'll be living in God's dimension. And the world won't. And you know, that's the truth. We sense God, we see Him move, we evaluate things on the basis of what the Lord is doing whereas the natural world has no concept of such things. We live in a totally different sphere all together. And so He says the world's not going to know what's going on, they're not going to have the faintest idea, they're not going to see Me move, they're not going to see the Spirit of God move, but you will because you have spiritual life, you're alive to the supernatural dimension.
So He promised them a supernatural Helper, and a supernatural life, and we've seen these in great detail.
Thirdly, He promised them a supernatural union. Not only wouldthe Spirit of God dwell in them, not only would He come to dwell in them but they would be united together as one in mystical kind of union. Not just two objects existing together but blended together into one, so that my life is no more mine but it's His that lives in me, Galatians 2:20. So that the things I do, I do not do on my own for I have the mind of Christ. I am inextricably woven together with Christ Himself in a union.
Verse 20 introduces that to us: "At that day," that is at the day of Pentecost when the Spirit comes, "ye shall know that I am in My Father and ye in Me and I in you." And there's a classic dispensational statement that deciphers for us the distinction of the church age, which is Christ in us, and us in Him. That's the mystery of our union. So, He says ‑ You're not going to understand that until the day of Pentecost when the Spirit comes within you, you get instant understanding, and you'll know that you're in Me and I'm in you.
We're in union with Christ. You remember I showed you Revelation 3:21, to show you how we are together with Jesus Christ? ‑ Christ says in Revelation 3:21, that to us who overcome, that is to those who love Christ, we shall sit with Him on His throne as He sits with the Father on His throne. That's how we're united with Christ. So much so that we sit on the same throne with Him for eternity. We're one with Christ.
Verse 21, again reminds us of how this union is possible. How do you come into such a union with Christ? "He that hath My commandments and keepeth them, he it is that loveth Me, and he that loveth Me shall be loved of My Father and it is to him that I will love and manifest Myself." See? How is it that you come into a union with Christ? To whom does He manifest Himself in such a union? To the one who loves Him, and obeys His commandments.
In verse 22 Judas asks the question ‑"Lord, how is it that Thou wilt manifest Thyself unto us and not unto the world?" He's thinking about a physical manifestation. How is it that You're going to come back, show Yourself to the wor ... to ... to us, but the world won't see You? But he doesn't understand. He doesn't understand that this is a spiritual manifestation. I've never seen Christ but He's manifested Himself to me and He lives with me. Judas thought He was talking about returning physically. Christ wasn't talking about that at all. And Judas also couldn't figure out why it was, this is Thaddaeus incidentally, another name for him, or Lebbaeus, he couldn't figure out why it was that Jesus, if He was going to be the Savior of the world, wouldn't want to manifest Himself to the world. Jesus gives the answer in verse 23: "Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me he'll keep My words, and My Father will love him and We will come unto him and make our abode with him. He that loveth Me not, keepeth not My sayings."
Now you know what He's saying there? He's saying ‑ If a man loves Me and obeys My word that is the requirement for Me to manifest Myself. Verse 24, ‑ If he doesn't love Me and doesn't keep My sayings then I can't manifest Myself to him. And the reason the world will never perceive Me and the reason the world does not know Christ is because they do not love Him and they do not keep His sayings. Consequently, He cannot manifest Himself to them.
You'll notice in verse 23 He adds the fact, also, that the Father will be manifest as well and make His abode. So by the time you come to verse 23 the Holy Spirit is in you, the Son is in you, and the Father is in you as well. The whole trinity resides within the believer. And it's all predicated on the fact of loving Christ and the validity of that love indicated by obedience. And Christ says ‑ I can't come to those who don't love Me and keep My words. And incidentally, He adds at the endof verse 24, "The word which you hear is not really Mine, it's the Father's who sent Me." I speak God's truth.
What an indictment that was of the Jewish population. Because they prided themselves on the fact that they were the ones who possessed the oracles of God, Romans 9. They were the ones, in Romans 3 also, they were the ones who held on to the truthof God, supposedly adhering to it legalistically. And yet He says ‑ They don't hear My word, and it's really the Father's word, they're deaf to that. And so they rejected both.
So we see then that Christ promises to those who love Him that He will personally bring about a union with Himself and the Father in their lives. What a tremendous thing that is to realize. And we talked last week, you remember, about if we are one with Christ and one with the Father that lays some heavy, heavy responsibility on us, doesn't it?
All right, now number 4 ... the fourth supernatural promise is a supernatural Instructor, or a supernatural Teacher. Now this is tremendous and we'll just consider this in verse ... well, verse ... really verse 25 through 27, this morning. And that will be it. But He promises, fourthly, to give them a supernatural Instructor, or a supernatural Teacher. Now this is a tremendous promise. And it really involves again the Holy Spirit. He says
Since the Holy Spirit is living in you, you have a resident teacher of truth. Now there's so much in this and I want you to really stay with me this morning, 'cause I want you to get this. This is absolutely basic.
Now in the Old Testament time the men of God, at that point, did not have the resident Holy Spirit. The Jews in Israel did not have the indwelling Holy Spirit. That belongs to the church. He was with them, He is in us. That's the distinction of the Old age and the New ... the old dispensation and the new. And because they did not have a resident teacher of truth, all kinds of problems took place.
Hosea said in chapter 4, "Hear the Word of the Lord, ye children of Israel, for the Lord hath a controversy with the inhabitants of the land because there's no truth, nor mercy nor knowledge of God in the land."
Verse 6: "My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to Me seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children."
Israel had a problem remembering the truth. And they vacillated back and forth. In the church age the Spirit of God lives within us, to constantly remind us of the truth. Apart from the Holy Spirit there is no way to know spiritual truth. Paul says the world by wisdom knew not God. He didn't say the world by ignorance knew notGod, he said the world at its best doesn't know God. The world at its brilliance doesn't know God. God is revealed by the Holy Spirit. And the world, no matter how wise it is, does not know spiritual truth apart from Christ. For apart from Christ the Spirit is not given and the Spirit is the teacher of truth. Without Jesus Christ a man has not the Holy Spirit and without the Holy Spirit man has no truth. The Holy Spirit is the teacher of truth. And Paul told Timothy that men are ever learning and never able to come to the knowledge of truth. The wisest of them cannot perceive spiritual truth. Godless men on a quest for spiritual truth come up with zero every time. They have no resource to know spiritual truth. And there are people who come looking for truth in this and they try it in Buddhism or they try it in some kind of a ... a yoga, or they try it in an Eastern meditation thing or they try it some kind of cult or occult and they never find it and they never will find it for they have no capacity for it and they have no teacher of truth.
John chapter 8, verse 30, listen to this: "As He spoke these words many believed on Him," Jesus, "then said Jesus to those Jews who believed on Him, If you continue in My word then are you My disciples indeed and you shall know the truth." Only those who knowChrist know the truth.
In I Timothy 2:4, Paul said, "God, our Savior," watch it, "who will have all men to be saved and come to a knowledge of the truth." You don't come to the knowledge of the truth until salvation. And we Christians have the indwelling truth teacher, the supernatural Holy Spirit.
Now, with that in mind, look at verse 24, let's back up to there, just reading it: "He that loveth Me not keepth not My sayings, and the word which he hear is not Mine but the Father's who sent Me." Jesus says ‑ All along I've been telling you the Father's word. Verse 25: "These things have I spoken unto you, being present with you." All these three years that I've been with you I've been telling you God's truth. I've been telling you right out of the mind of God the absolute truth of God.
In John, for example, chapter 7, let me read this to you. Verse 15: "The Jews marveled saying, How knoweth this man letters, having never learned?" How does He know anything when He hasn't been to our schools. "Jesus answered them and said, My doctrine is not Mine but His that sent Me, and if any man will do His will he shall know of the doctrine whether it be of God or whether 1 speak of Myself." Jesus said ‑ I got it straight from God. And it always annoys me when people say that you can know God even if you don't know Christ. That's not so. There is no access to God apart from Christ. And religious people may think they're talking to God but apart from Christ they are not talking to God. You cannot know God apart from Christ. And to reject Christ is to reject God for Christ said everything that God wanted said.
Now all along, according to verse 25, Jesus says ‑ I've been speaking to you since I've been present with you, and everything that I've been saying is the Father's truth. I've been saying to you not My own thoughts, not My own words, not My own ideas, not My own attitudes, but He says, I've been giving you the Father's absolute truth since I've been with you.
Now it's kind of an interesting thing that even these disciples, who were to some degree pretty sharp, didn't really get it. And you go backin John's gospel, for example, let me show you the kind of a problem that Jesus was having with them, just reading you a couple of verses here, John 2:22, don't try to follow: "When therefore He was risen from the dead, His disciples remembered that He had said this unto them, and they believed the Scripture and the word which Jesus had said." Now on this occasion He had talked about the temple, and so forth and so on, and being destroyed and He would raise it again in three days, and all of this. And they didn't get it at all. They didn't get it till post‑resurrection.
Over in chapter 12 we run into the very same thing again. He really had a problem because they couldn't grab these truths. Verse 16: "These things understood not His disciples at the first, but when Jesus was glorified then remembered they these things that were written of Him and that they had done these things unto Him.
Then you go to chapter 16, and probably the most interesting one of all is verse 12: Jesus says to them this, "I have yet many things to say unto you but you cannot bear them now."
They had had so much trouble with what He had already said that He had to call a halt to it. And He turned over the continuing teaching to the Holy Spirit who would dwell in them. And so all these three years since Jesus was present with them He had been telling them the Father's truth. But the never really got it all. It was hard to understand, difficult to bear. They couldn't figure all of it out, it was mysterious to their minds. But Jesus says I'm going to send to you a resident teacher whose going to dwell within you and when He gets inside of you on the day of Pentecost, from then on, you're going to have opened up to you all these truths and many more.
Now verse 25 kind of carries the tone of somebody who is sad about leaving. You almost get the idea of He's kind of lingering there. But in verse 26 He gives them this tremendous promise, listen to it. "But, the Comforter, or the Helper, who is the Holy Spirit whom the Father will send in My name, He shall teach you all things and bring all things to your remembrance, whatever I have said unto you."
Now He says ‑ I know you haven't gotten it all, three years I've been speaking God's truth, your minds are still jumbled, you haven't gotten it all in the right place but I can't tell you anymore, chapter 16, you can't handle it, I'm going to leave now, let the Spirit come get inside of you and reveal all things to you and bring all things to your remembrance whatsoever I've said unto you. And so Jesus promises to them a resident teacher of truth.
Now I want you to see some things in this verse that are absolutely significant. First of all, notice the phrase ‑ in My name. "The Holy Spirit whom the Father will send in My name." Now watch that phrase. That is a key phrase. Go back, for a moment, to verse 13 of chapter 14, "And whatever ye shall ask... what are the next three words? ... in My name, that will I do that in ... that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you shall ask anything in My name, I will do it." Now when we looked at those verses some weeks ago, we talked about what it means when it says ‑ in My name. Let me review, very briefly. In My name means that the individual is standing in the place of Christ. When you pray in His name you are asking in His behalf. You are standing in the place of Christ, and remember we said you ought to pray this kind of prayer, whatever you pray for ought to be ended by these words ‑ I'm asking this in the place of Jesus because it is for Him that I desire it. I'm asking it in His name. He is the asker and He is the receiver. When you ask in the name of Jesus, that's not slapping on in Jesus' name ‑ zap ‑ on the end of your prayer, that's not it at all. Asking in His name is in His place, in His stead, in His behalf. He's the real prayer, He's the petitioner, He's the beneficiary. We pray only for what is consistent with Christ's perfections, to pray in His name, then, is to seek what He seeks, love what He loves, desire what He desires, and promote what gives Him glory. The very opposite of what James says about praying to consume it on your own lusts.
And so, we are to pray as if it were Jesus praying. We are to say ‑ Father, I'm asking You something because Jesus wants it. I'm asking You in His place. That's what it means. And that ought to eliminate a lot of extraneous petitions.
Now when you find the same phrase over in verse 26, it basically means the same thing. The Father will send the Holy Spirit in My name. What does that mean? In My place, to take over My place. And the Holy Spirit will desire what I desire, He will seek what I seek, He will love what I love, and He will seek My glory. Do you see? The Holy Spirit came in His name. That is, in His place, like an emissary from a king who represents that king and who has all the right and authority of that king because it's been vested in him. The Holy Spirit comes in the name of Christ. He's not on His own; His ministry is to stand in this world in the place of Christ who is absent. He is to desire what Christ desires, to love what Christ loves, to do what Christ would do, to want what Christ would want, and to bring glory to Christ, not Himself. Did you know that the Holy Spirit is not in the world to bring glory to Himself? Did you know that? That is not His ministry. The Spirit's ministry is to take the place of Christ in the life of the believer and to bring glory to Christ, not Himself.
In chapter 16, verse 14, it says this, talking of the Spirit, it says, listen to it, Jesus is talking, "He shall glorify Me." Do you see that? He is here in the place of Christ, to glorify Christ. "For He shall receive of Mine and show it to you." Verse 15, "All things that the Father hath are mine, therefore said I that He shall take of Mine and shall show it to you." Here's how it goes, God gives His things to Christ who gives them to the Holy Spirit who shows them to us. The Spirit receives nothing of Himself, seeks no glory of His own, only desires to manifest the glory of Jesus Christ.
Backing up to chapter 15, look at verse 26. "But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, He shall testify ... what? ... of Me." The Spirit's ministry is to stand in the place of Christ and testify of Christ. And you know, it's a sad thing but you can greatly over‑emphasize the Holy Spirit's ministry. There are many people, and many groups today who are glorifying the Holy Spirit. That's unscriptural. No where does the Holy Spirit receive glory for Himself, and any attempt to isolate the Holy Spirit from the rest of the trinity and glorify the things of the Spirit is unscriptural.
Look at chapter 16, verse 13, "Nevertheless, when He, the Spirit of truth, is come ... watch it ... He will guide you into all truth." Now watch this, "For He shall not speak of Himself, but whatever He shall hear that shall He speak and show you things to come and He shall glorify Me." The Spirit is not concerned with Himself. And so many groups glamorize the Holy Spirit, blow the Holy Spirit's ministry up as if it was some kind of a preeminent isolated ministry, and they bally‑hoo consistently and constantly, the ministry of the Holy Spirit, I think to the great grieving of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit is here to point to Christ, not Himself. And we need to understand that. Christ is the object of the Spirit's ministry. When we preach Jesus Christ, when we go through the gospel of John and preach Jesus Christ we are doing more to expose to you the ministry of the Holy Spirit then if constantly, constantly, constantly we were to talk about the Holy Spirit. And I'm not attempting to minimize the Spirit; I'm only attempting to put His ministry in the right perspective. We are to major on Christ. The Spirit came not so He could major on the Spirit, but to give us what we need to focus on Christ. That's the point of His ministry.
Now going back to chapter 14, we come to the real nitty‑gritty of this verse. "The Comforter, who is the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He shall teach you all things." Now the all things here does not, of course, refer to omniscience.
Immediately when the Spirit comes in you don't become omniscient, and all of a sudden pass all your exams with no problems, already know every truth that's everbeen written in the history of the world, that's not the point. What happens here in terms of all things is it's a relative word, it doesn't necessarily mean everything that ever existed in the area of truth. And you have to watch that in the Bible. For example, you'll hear a phrase that says ‑ All men perceived that John the Baptist was a prophet. That doesn't mean everybody in the world thought he was a prophet. That's a relative use of the word ‑ all. Pantōs, all men did this or all men did that, very often has a relative reference. And here it says all things, it means all things pertaining to sen ... to spiritual maturity. The Spirit of God is going to take the loose ends that are jumbled in these guys' heads and bring them together and coordinate them and teach them the things they know for spiritual maturity.
They're not going to become instant God when they receive the Holy Spirit, that's not the idea. The all things has to do with all things relative to their spiritual growth. Then it says He shall bring all things to your remembrance, whatever I have said unto you. Now this is true in a general sense of US. Isn't it amazing how very often when you get into temptation situation and Satan is really working hard, that all of a sudden you find yourself being reminded of certain Scriptures? This is the ministry of the Holy Spirit, to bring things to your mind. Many times when you're witnessing, or when you're sharing Christ, when you're preaching or teaching a class, you'll find jumping into your mind, spiritual truths that are placed there by the Holy Spirit. So, in a sense this verse has reference to US. The Spirit of God is going to teach us everything that has to do with spiritual maturity, everything we need to know, He's not going to leave us without some kind of knowledge and still expect us to be mature. And He's going to bring things to our remembrance as we need them. Now that, may I hasten to say, is a secondary interpretation of this verse. It's true but it's secondary. The prime key to this verse, what He's really saying is this ‑ Men, when I go you men are going to have absolute, without error, absolute recall of every word I ever said.
Now you say ‑ Why was that important? Listen, friends, do you know how fast you forget something? I dare say there isn't any of you who could tell me one sentence verbatim that I've said this morning. Really. We forget things as fast as hear them. Now if Jesus is going to preserve His truth in the minds of these men until they can write it down and we can have the New Testament together then He's going to have to give them supernatural instant accuracy, isn't He? And so He says to them ‑Gentlemen, you will learn all spiritual truth that you need and you will remember every single word I said to you. And John, at the end of this gospel, says I could tell you a lot more things but I don't have the space. I don't think the books of the world could hold them.
You see, He is giving them a promise, watch it, of divine inspiration. And I personally believe that not only was it given to the ones who wrote these truths, who wrote the New Testament but it was also given to the others who never wrote a book but who for those early years of the church, as it began to grow after Christ left, had to know those truths verbatim. I believe those early apostles had instant access to the very words of Jesus in perfect accuracy, given them by the Holy Spirit. And, of course, we know that's how the New Testament was written. They could never have reproduced the details, remembered the words of Jesus unless the Holy Spirit did this. Have you ever just thought about that? It's humanly impossible to reproduce ... reproduce correctly even human words when you understand them. But they didn't understand anything. Can you imagine after Christ had left, with no supernatural help, them sitting down and putting together all of this? They didn't even understand it when He said it. And they had to have a supernatural teacher to bring this accurately to the commitment of Scripture and to every succeeding generation through the Word of God.
And so, He says the Spirit of God is going to reveal new truth. And, boy, He did. Look at the Apostle Paul, who said in Ephesians chapter 3, ‑ a new mystery has been revealed to me, the church, Christ in you and the Gentile and the Jew one in this great union. All throughout the New Testament, Peter, John and all of these men revealed new truth to complement what they had heard from Christ, and to give us our Bible. And then He would bring to their minds the words of Jesus and He would bring them accurately. And I think of a couple of examples of that, just let me read you a couple where at ... that actually happened; they remembered exactly the words of Jesus.
Acts 11, verse 15, "And as I began to speak the Holy Spirit fell on them as on us at the beginning," talking about the Gentiles, "then remembered I the word of the Lord how He said," and here he quotes it, "John, indeed, baptized with water but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit." Peter had that instant ability to recall that. Supernatural.
Over in chapter 20 of the book of Acts the same thing occurs in verse 35, this time, I believe, it's with the Apostle Paul. And it says this, "I have shown you all things, how that so laboring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how He said," here's another quote, "it is more blessed to give than to receive." The Spirit of God gave these early men supernatural accuracy. It had to be, my friends, it had to be to preserve the truth of the Word of God. We had to have that. And when you open this New Testament to read it, you are reading the exact words that God wanted to be here. They were given to the authors by the Holy Spirit and there's not a single error in any word in the original autographs. And the promise continued, as I say, to the Now Testament writers and gave them the absolute accuracy to reproduce the New Testament in perfect manner, without error in its original autographs. And this, of course, is a promise that we have, for example, even in the book of Hebrews, chapter 1, verse 1 says, "God who at sundry times and diverse manners spoke in time past unto the fathers." How did He do it? "By the prophets." God literally spoke the very words into the mouths of men who then spoke them out. When a prophet spoke he was speaking the words of God. And I Peter ... pardon me, II Peter 1:21, it says this: "For the prophecy came not at any time by the will of man." That's right. The Old Testament didn't come by the will of man. "Holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit." Second Timothy 3:16, "All Scripture is given by inspiration of God." It is God‑breathed, breath, theopneusta ... and the word also‑breath also means Spirit. My friends, we must maintain the inspiration of the Bible.
A young man came into my office last week and he said ‑ My whole Christian life is in a mess, everything is falling apart. I ... I can't study the Bible. I ... I have these doubts. I have this; I have that and so forth and so on. And I just listened to him for about 20 minutes and I said ‑ I can tell you right now what your problem is. It's obvious. And he said ‑ what? I said ‑ you do not believe in the absolute inerrancy of Scripture. And I said ‑ If you believe there are errors in the Word of God then you are confused and you don't know what to believe and I believe that's your problem. And he said ‑ you know, you hit it right on the nose. He said I don't believe in the absolute inerrancy of Scripture. I said then, my friend, you have no hope of ever being an effective student of the Word of God or ever living an effective Christian life because you can't be sure whether any of it is true.
The subject of inspiration is the key to everything. You give up the inspiration of the Bible and you've given up the basis of Christianity. And that's what's happened across America. As soon as a seminary or a Christian college, quote/ unquote, lets go on inspiration, that opens the flood gate to everything ... everything. And the legacy of liberalism today is a sick church. And the reason we have a sick church is because the church gave up inspiration. And when the church gave up the inspiration of the Word of God, that church became sick and it is that church that's going to someday populate hell. You cannot let go on inspiration. Rationalism, liberalism decided that the Scripture was full of mistakes. They decided that the Scripture was full of errors. And that all the miracles and all the supernatural things in the Bible had to be taken out. So under the guise of Biblical criticism during the time of the German rationalists, they emasculated Scripture and tore out everything that was supernatural, all miracles. They wanted a logical, rational Bible. Well, in tearing out everything that was supernatural and tearing out everything that was miraculous, they also eliminated Jesus.
They were followed immediately by a great theological drive to rediscover Jesus. You see, once you've eliminated all the miracles and gotten rid of Jesus Christ, you don't have a whole lot left. And they realized that. So, there was a great surge among theologians to rediscover Jesus. And we had what we call the quest for the historical Jesus. Let's find Him again since we've torn Him out of the Bible. And the search for the historical Jesus, my friends, is still going on. It's still going on.
You see, that's what modern man did. He eliminated inspiration, the Word of God isn't all true, there's errors here and there. Then who decides where they are? Well, I do. Then I become the ultimate authority, I'm God and I decide what's true and what isn't. Then I really can't believe anything 'cause I don't trust myself too well. So how do I know what's true and what's not true? I don't like that ‑ I'll put it out ‑ I'll cut this out. One German theologian eliminated everything but 27 verses, and they were all geographical.
That's the problem. And once that goes you can't trust anything. And as Francis Schaeffer said, "Modern man ... modern theological man is trapped between his brain and his heart." See. Let me show you his dilemma. He has denied the total inspiration of the Bible. It's not ... every word is not inspired by God. Every word was not put there by God using a human mind to do it, and we'll explain that in a minute. But we don't ... he says ‑ Man doesn't believe that every word is inspired by God. So here's what happens ... he says to himself Well, now which words were ... well, I don't know where to stop ... what's in and what's out ... who's Jesus ... who am I ... who's God ... what's where? There's no way to know anything. His mind becomes the ultimate judge and wanting to be rational and wanting to be logical he therefore eliminates everything that's illogical.
Well, my friends, the Bible is absolutely, from a human standpoint, illogical from beginning to end. The Bible is irrational. It does not make sense that axe head float, that people walk on water, that Jesus stands on a mountain and says good‑bye and takes off. It does not make sense that you go into the grave and come out. It does not make sense to study two doctrines in the Bible that seem to be opposites and yet are united in God'smind and not in ours. The Bible is crammed with illogical, irrational conclusions. And man, since he's decided his mind is ultimate, wants his mind to be logical, so eliminates all supernatural things. And he winds up with zero. And he winds up in total despair, doesn't know who he is, who God is, who Jesus is, he's driftwood, helpless, hopeless, wandering around, he can't find out any answers, he has no sources anymore. Where does he go to find out truth? He has no idea.
So, what does he do? He starts a welfare program and he starts a social gospel and he tries to minister to peoples' physical needs 'cause he hasn't got A‑1 idea about spiritual things.
Now this man can only exist so long like this and he gets frustrated. Because he's sacrificed and slaughtered his soul. He's living on his brain. So he has one hope, he can reject totally his logic and make what theologians today call the "Leap of Faith." Now the "Leap of Faith" means you just make an irrational, illogical jump into an unreal world somewhere. I mean, you ... you just come along and say ‑ I know I'm a scientist, I know I've got three PhD's, I know I'm brilliant, but I still believe in the Easter bunny. See. I mean, it could be ... it doesn't matter what it is, but, you see, man has this kind of a ... he has this kind of a longing in his heart, he has this kind of need in his heart to believe in another world. He can't exist in his logical world because the end of it is despair. The end of it is pessimism. Where is it going? It's going no where. I've got to believe there's something else. And since he doesn't have any source to know what that is, he's emasculated Scripture, the only source, he just jumps into any kind of leap of faith. And he doesn't have to articulate it, that's the greatest error you canever have with a liberal theologian is to ask him to articulate his leap of faith. No ... no, that's for him. See. It's an irrational, non‑logical: jump into nothing.
But, you see, he's got a dilemma. He either sacrifices his brain or he sacrifices his heart. And that's where he's trapped. And he's trapped there because he's refused to believe in the absolute verbal inspiration of the Word of God. And that's the legacy that liberalism has left the church today. And these people are the leaders of theology, and they are the leaders of Christian denominations all across the world and their results are sick.
This hasn't happened for the first time, incidentally. Eight centuries before Christ was ever born the Northern Kingdom of Israel was in a confident mood. They were really thinking things were going well. Moral standards had crashed. There was no honesty left. They were abusing poor people. But from an economic standpoint, everything looked pretty rosy. And they were just kind of moving along, money was flowing, society was pretty well affluent. And Israel had kind of a national faith, attendance was real high at worship, no sermons, however, were allowed, Amos 2:12 tells us that. They didn't want to listen to sermons but they liked to go there. And Israel was sure that God was really, really on her side. And then into this kind of complacent community God dropped a little bomb shell a farmer by the name of Amos. And he hit that thing and exploded. He came storming in there as a prophet of doom. And he announced that soon the whole nation would be enslaved and deported, and it happened 50 years later and they never came together again.
Worse than that, he said the streams of revelation are dried up. The Word of God will be a famine in the hearing of your ears. you will not hear God's truth. As an act of judgment God brings the prophetic ministry to a halt and those who refuse to hear will not be able to hear. And Amos went on to paint the picture of spiritual destitution that Would result ... restless frantic souls wandering around listening to every voice that could be heard, trying to find some spiritual truth but they couldn't find it anywhere cause God had turned it off.
You say ‑ Do you believe God's turned off the truth in the ears of liberals? I believe it. I believe if Hebrews 6 means anything, it means that. That once you've tasted of the good Word of God and you've rejected it, it's impossible to be renewed again to repentance. That's an apostate. And when an apostate knows the truth, rejects the truth, puts the truth out, refuses the truth, that's when God turns off the truth. Those are the dogs who go back to their vomit, as Peter calls it.
And men today are hungry for truth but they can't find it. And, I believe, in many cases God makes it unavailable. They've decided that the book is a book ... the Bible is a book of human documents, erroneous and they're trapped between the illogical leap of faith and the total despair of their intellectual conclusions. And, I believe, as much as it is a willful thing, it has become a judicialthing and God has judged modernism, liberalism and rationalism by removing from then the Word of truth.
Friends, the inspiration of the Bible is everything. It's the absolute key to everything. All Scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works. The Word of God is everything and when you let that go you let it all out. That opens the barn door and they all leave. That's why we want to know about every school we have anything to do with ‑ what's your view of inspiration? If you believe in the verbal, plenary, that is every word and total inspiration of the Bible, that's good. If you believe anything else you're on the way out.
You say well, how did God do it? Did God just take a man and move his arm ... hmm hmm hmm hmm like that and he had no brain? Not at all. God worked through the individual writer using his personality and yet selecting every word. God reached into his brain, took out his vocabulary and reformed it in the things He wanted to say and poured it back through him. So that a man wrote with his own words, his own illustrations, his own ideas, all manipulated by the Spirit of God.
You say ‑ Oh, how could God do that? Listen, could God equally employ a man as well as anything else? He had no problem making a statue speak. He rebuked the ... a man by means of a dumb animal. He used a hand without a body or a mind to write on a wall ... MENE, MENE, TEKEL, UPHARSIN ... you're found ... you're weighed in the balances and found wanting, those terrifying words. Listen, God can use anything He wants to use. He can use a hand without a body, He can use a dumb animal, He can use a statue, He can use anything He wants, He could certainly use a godly man to speak His truth.
What about Caiaphas? Wicked, full of bitterness, political, hated Jesus, abandoned himself to the filth and evil of his own heart. One day he stood up and he made this statement to the Jewish council, he was afraid of Jesus, and they wanted Jesus to die. So he says ‑ ye know nothing at all ‑ to the Jews he says nor consider that it is expedient for us that one man should die for the people. It's better that this guy should die and save us all.
That mouth didn't know what it was saying. Do you know that? He's figuring the Romans would get them all if they didn't get rid of Jesus pretty soon, Held start an insurrection and they'd all get it. It's better that He should die and save us. And the next verse it says, very delicately, "He spake this not of himself, he prophesied that Jesus should die in order that he might gather into one the children of God that were scattered abroad." Who do you think put those words in that mouth? Listen, my friends, if God can put the exact words in the mouth of Caiaphas, I think He could probably put them in the mouth of Paul. And then some harebrain comes along and says Well, it's not really Paul ... it's just Paul's ideas right there. He says it's just ‑ I speak this by, you know, my own thoughts. No ... no, when he says I speak this by permission not of commandment. He means I'm not quoting Jesus, that's all he means. It's just as inspired as anything else.
If God can choose the exact words of a wicked enemy and make them speak for Him, He can choose the words of a godly loving saint and make him speak for Him. He uses human creation to accomplish His purpose. He does it in everything. He does it by His providence; He puts together all kinds of human things. Do you ever realize how it is when something happens how God has coordinated all the wills of thousands of people, both rebellious and cooperative, both intelligent and ignorant to bring about a certain result? Jesus Christ used men.
And you read the Bible and you find that everybody is different, and everybody's distinct, and every writer is distinct and yet every where you go in the Bible, every book you read, you come out with the same author, it's God everywhere. Even though there's a different writer that holds the pen, whether he's a shepherd, a king, a farmer, a... a prophet, a servant, a fisherman, a priest, a publican, whatever he is, it's the same thing, the same author, the same God describing the same kind of man, the same angels, the same future, the same heaven, the same hell, the same judgment. Poet or historian, whatever he is, on the plains of the desert, on the mountain of Jerusalem, in the ages of Pharaoh, in the prisons of Rome, wherever he is it's the same God talking about the same ruin and the same impotency of man, angels with the same praise, the same elevation, and the same innocence. It's heaven with the same purity. It's the God of the same mercy, the same truth, the same righteousness, the same peace.It's the same, the same, the same and yet in each author it's distinct. You see, the abundance of humanity doesn't disprove inspiration. My friend, it just proves it. It proves it. And you go back through the Old Testament and you find the men of the Old Testament wrote the Word of God, they didn't speak of their own.
Moses said in chapter 4 of Exodus: "And Moses said unto the Lord, O my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither heretofore nor since Thou hast spoken unto thy servant, but I am slow of speech and of a slow tongue. And the Lord said unto him, Who hath made man's mouth? Or who maketh the dumb or deaf, or the seeing or the blind? Have not I, the Lord? Now therefore go and I will be with thy mouth and teachthee what thou shalt say." And He did. And those words that Moses has written for us in the first five books of the Bible are the absolute words of God and nothing less.
And you find it in Deuteronomy 18 and you find it in Isaiah 59 and you find it in Jeremiah. And Jeremiah says this, "Then the word of the Lord came unto me saying, before I formed thee in the womb I knew thee and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations. Then said I, Ah, Lord God, behold I cannot speak for I am a child. But the Lord said unto me, Say not I am a child for thou shalt go to all that I shall send thee and whatever I command thee thou shalt speak." God spoke through the prophets of the Old Testament and He spoke through the men of the New Testament. Paul declared, he said: "I say the truth in Christ, I lie not," Romans 9. He wasn't talking off his own head; I say the truth in Christ. He was talking from God.
In Matthew chapter 5 and verse 18, tremendous ... tremendous statement. Listen to this: "For verily I say unto you, till heaven and earth pass not one jot or one tittle shall in no way pass from the law, till all be fulfilled." That's the littlest character in Hebrew and the littlest character in Greek, little tiny things about the equal of a comma or a dot, not one of them will pass until all if fulfilled. Absolute accuracy in every single word is assured us in the Word of God in its original autographs.
In verse 33 of Luke 21, it says: "Heaven and earth shall pass away but My ... what? ... words," words, "shall not pass away." That's plural ‑the words are the words of God. My professor used to tell me in college ‑Well, it's not the words that are inspired it's just THE word. I said ‑ that's a lie. It's the words that shall not pass away.
In John chapter 10 and verse 35, listen to this, "If he called them gods unto whom the word of God came, and ... watch it ... the Scripture cannot be broken." Did you hear that? It can't be broken ... the Word of God. When you read the Bible you're reading God's truth. When you come to the New Testament you're readingGod's truth.
Let me just take a brief minute and share this with you, very quickly. First Corinthians 2:9, I want you to see something. Don't follow me, just listen. In this section Paul talks about the fact that everything he knows was revealed to him to the Hol ... by the Holy Spirit. First Corinthians 2:9: "Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man the things which God prepared for them that love Him, but God hath revealed them to us by His Spirit." Paul says ‑ I am taught of the Spirit, I speak not off the top of my head.
In II Corinthians 13, verse 2: "1 told you before and tell you beforehand, as if I were present the second time and being absent now I write to them who heretofore have sinned and to all others that if I come again I will not spare, I'm writing you ... why? ... Since you seek a proof ofChrist speaking in me." Paul says ‑ I'm going to write it down so you'll know it's Christ speaking in me, literally the words of Paul were the words of Jesus Christ given him by the Holy Spirit.
In Galatians chapter 1, verse 8, it says: "But though we are an angel from heaven preach any other gospel unto you than that, which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. If any man preach any other gospel unto you than we ... than that ye have received, let him be accursed." Again in verse 9, he says in verse 10, "For do I now seek the favor of men or of God, or do I seek to please men for I yet ... if I yet please men I should not be the servant of Christ." Now watch this, "But I make known to you, brother, that the gospel which was preached by me is not after man, for I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it but by the revelation of Jesus Christ." Direct revelation.
In I Thessalonians chapter 2 and verse 13, "For this cause also thank we God without ceasing because when you received the Word of God which you heard of us you received it not as the word of men but as it is in truth the word of God." When Paul spoke he spoke the Word of God. And that's the absolute key to everything in the Bible ... everything.
And it is still through the Word of God that the Spirit teaches us. He teaches us through the Word.
In II Peter 1:19, "We have a more sure word of prophecy," listen to that, isn't that amazing? More sure than the voice of Jesus Christ on earth. Isn't that something? "Unto which you do well that you take heed in your hearts," skipping the parenthesis there, "knowing this first, that no prophecy of the Scripture is of any private interpretation." Nobody just shouted off their head. "It came by the Holy Spirit," verse 21, "and it's a more sure word than the words of Christ." How could anything be more sure than the words of Christ? It would have to be divine. Rather than those men having to hope that they remembered the Word of Christ, it is more sure that the Spirit of God commits Scripture to them.' We have it better, my friends, having this Bible, it's a more sure word of prophecy than were we to live with Jesus Christ and try to remember what He said.
And so, we find the Word of God is absolutely inspired. And He says to those disciples ‑ He's going to teach you and bring all things to your remembrance.
Sometime today read Matthew 10:16 to 20 ... Matthew 10:16 to 20.
Well, we didn't get through again. So next week we'll talk about verse 27.
Our Father, we thank You, this morning, for this truth. Lord, we've just really been burdened by this particular emphasis. God, we want to stand for the absolute truth and inerrancy of the Scripture. We do not believe it's a human book, we believe You wrote it. And You have upheld it, and preserved it for us. May we realize as we read every word that we're reading it from Thy mouth. Thank You for showing us how You can use men to speak Your truth. And, Lord, we know that asthe Holy Spirit is ours we do not ask for more revelation, there is no more. But we know the Holy Spirit is not to reveal things but to illuminate them. And so we thank You for giving us the Holy Spirit who once was the revealer, who now, to us, is the illuminator that as we have the truth, the revelation in our hands, He may illuminate it to our minds. We ask for nothing more than to be teachable and to be taught by the Spirit. We thank You in Christ's name. Amen.
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