JOHN 16 – THE DEPARTING JESUS’ FINAL TEACHING
John 16:John 15:12-16:4 – Prepared for Persecution
John 16:5-33 – Prepared for Advantage
A. More on the work of the Holy Spirit.1. (1-4) The reason for Jesus’ warning: certain persecution.
'These things I have spoken to you, that you should not be made to stumble. They will put you out of the synagogues; yes, the time is coming that whoever kills you will think that he offers God service. And these things they will do to you because they have not known the Father nor Me. But these things I have told you, that when the time comes, you may remember that I told you of them. And these things I did not say to you at the beginning, because I was with you.”
a. They will put you out of the synagogues: Jesus warned His disciples of coming opposition because He did not want them to be surprised and stumbled by it. He also did not expect that His disciples would immediately leave the synagogues, or leave them by their own choice. They would be forced out of the synagogues for Jesus’ sake.
i. Stumble: “A skandalethron was not a stumbling-block which might trip you up… It is used of the spring of a trap which might ‘go off’ when you were least expecting it.” (Tasker)
ii. “At the time when the Gospel was written these words had acquired a special relevance from the inclusion in the synagogue prayers of a curse on the Nazarenes, which was intended to ensure that the followers of Jesus could take no part in the service.” (Bruce)
b. The time is coming that whoever kills you will think that he offers God service: That time quickly came, as the life of Saul of Tarsus before his conversion showed (Acts 8:1-3, 22:3-5, 26:9-11). Since then there have been many who persecute and kill the true followers of Jesus because they think God is pleased.
i. Offers God service: “The word Jesus uses for service is lateria, which is the normal word for the service that a priest rendered at the altar in the Temple of God and is the standard word for religious service.” (Barclay)
ii. In the 20th Century most Christian martyrs were victims of the atheistic, communist state. Historically, this was unusual. Through most of history, most Christian martyrs were targets of those from other religions or even sects within Christendom.
c. When the time comes, you may remember that I told you of them: Jesus did well to forewarn, because it comes as a great shock that a gospel so glorious is hated so passionately. He did not tell His disciples these things at the beginning, but He certainly told them.
i. “During the earlier part of His ministry Jesus had spoken comparatively little to His disciples about the persecution which awaited them, because He had been in their company, and as long as He was with them the world’s hatred must inevitably be drawn to Himself.” (Tasker)
ii. “While He was with them they leant upon Him and could not apprehend a time of weakness and persecution.” (Dods)
2. (5-7) Jesus explains the benefits of His departure.“But now I go away to Him who sent Me, and none of you asks Me, ‘Where are You going?’ But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your heart. Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you.”
a. None of you asks Me, “Where are You going”: Peter had asked this question earlier (John 13:36) and Thomas asked a similar question (John 14:5). Therefore Jesus must mean not only the words of the question, but the heart of it. Their previous asking was in the sense, what will happen to us when You leave, not in the sense Jesus meant here – what will happen to You when You leave.
i. “A difficulty is posed by His statement that nobody asks, ‘Whither goest thou?’ in the light of Simon Peter’s earlier question, ‘Lord, wither goest thou?’ (John 13:36). But that question had not really indicated a serious inquiry as to Jesus’ destination. Peter was diverted immediately and he made no real attempt to find out where Jesus was going. He had been concerned with the thought of parting with Jesus, not with that of the Master’s destination. He had in mind only the consequences for himself and his fellows.” (Morris)
b. But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your heart: Jesus excused their lack of interest in His fate, knowing their great sorrow. They had sorrow at the moment, but their future was brighter. The disciples could only see the sorrow of Jesus leaving; but Jesus’ departure was an essential step in their growth as disciples.
c. It is to your advantage that I go away: This had to be difficult for the disciples to believe. When a loved one is near death we often think it is the best to let death take its course. We say, “It will be better for them to go, and to stop the suffering. It is to their advantage to go away.” But when someone we love is near death, we usually don’t think that it is to our advantage that they go. Yet Jesus here said that it wasn’t for His advantage, but to your advantage that I go away.
i. If the disciples really understood what was about to happen, it would be even more difficult for them to believe.
· To your advantage that Jesus is arrested?
· To your advantage that Jesus’ ministry of teaching and miracles is stopped?
· To your advantage that Jesus is beaten?
· To your advantage that Jesus is mocked?
· To your advantage that Jesus is sentenced for execution?
· To your advantage that Jesus is nailed to a cross?
· To your advantage that Jesus dies in the company of notorious criminals?
· To your advantage that His lifeless body is laid in a cold grave?
d. Nevertheless: This word meant a challenge to their sorrow and even their unbelief. Nevertheless is one of the great words of the Bible, meaning despite all of that. Jesus knew they were filled with sorrow because of what He told them. But, despite all of that He wanted them to know that it was to their advantage.
i. “It is expedient for you, implies that the dispensation of the Spirit is a more blessed manifestation of God than was even the bodily presence of the risen Saviour.” (Alford)
e. I tell you the truth: Jesus didn’t say this because He lied most of the time. He said this because He wanted them to make a concerted effort to trust Him at this point. Jesus knew this was difficult to believe.
f. For if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you: Jesus had a plan, but they couldn’t understand it. With 2,000 years of hindsight we see that when Jesus went away He then sent the Spirit of God, which had and has a broader and more effective ministry in the entire world.
i. “The withdrawal of the bodily presence of Christ was the essential condition of His universal spiritual presence.” (Dods)
g. I will send Him to you: Jesus promised to send the Holy Spirit to His disciples when He departed. This is what would make it to their advantage that He departed from them. Jesus meant that the presence and work of the Holy Spirit would actually be better for believers than the physical, bodily presence of Jesus.
i. It was better because Jesus could be with every believer all the time. Jesus promised, For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them (Matthew 18:20). That was not a promise He could keep after flesh, but only after the Spirit. He had to go away for that promise to be made true. If Jesus were present bodily on this earth, there would be some Christians who would be overjoyed – those in His immediate presence. But for most Christians, they would have the overwhelming sense that Jesus was not with them. Truly, it was all to your advantage.
ii. It was better because now we can understand Jesus better. If Jesus were present bodily on this earth, there would be no end to His words for us. We wouldn’t have a Bible; we would have the library of congress. Secretaries would follow Him constantly to record His every word. It would all be written down and preserved. We would have all of it, and the mass of it would be just plain unmanageable. Truly, it was all to your advantage.
iii. It was better because now we can have a more trusting relationship with God. If Jesus were present bodily on this earth, there would be a great challenge to our walk of faith. Paul said, Even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him thus no longer. (2 Corinthians 5:16) God wants us to walk by faith, and not by sight, and if Jesus were here bodily, there would be great temptation to walk by sight, and not by faith. Truly, it was all to your advantage.
iv. It was better because Jesus’ work is better understood as He is enthroned in the heavens. If Jesus were present bodily on this earth, it would be confusing to us. Jesus does not continue to suffer; He finished His work on the cross. Yet it might be difficult for us to see a Savior who never suffered when we are in distress; it might make us think that Jesus was unsympathetic. God didn’t want us to struggle with this dilemma, so Jesus is no longer bodily on this earth. He is enthroned in the heavens. Truly, it was all to your advantage.
v. Before Jesus left the disciples were confused, thick headed, afraid, selfish and self-centered. After Jesus left and after the Helper had come they were wise, surrendered, bold, and giving. Truly, it was to your advantage that Jesus left.
3. (8-11) The work of the Holy Spirit in the world.“And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: of sin, because they do not believe in Me; of righteousness, because I go to My Father and you see Me no more; of judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged.”
a. He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: Sin is the truth about man, righteousness is the truth about God, judgment is the inevitable combination of these two truths.
i. “Each man’s conscience has some glimmering of light on each of these; some consciousness of guilt, some sense of right, some power of judgment of what is transitory and worthless; but all these are unreal and unpractical, till the convicting work of the Spirit has wrought in him.” (Alford)
b. He will convict: The ancient Greek work translated convict has a broader range of meaning than simply our word convict, especially as it is understood in a legal sense. It also carries the ideas to expose, to refute, and to convince (Bruce). This is the work of the Holy Spirit in the world and in individual hearts; to convince and convict of these truths.
i. He will convict: “Or undeceive the world, by refuting those odd conceits and erroneous opinions, that men had before drunk in, and were possessed of.” (Trapp)
ii. It is a serious thing to resist and reject this work of the Holy Spirit, which is especially prominent and powerful in seasons of great spiritual advance (sometimes called revival or spiritual awakening).
iii. Before the convicting work of the Holy Spirit one may say, I make a lot of mistakes. Nobody’s perfect. After the convicting work of the Holy Spirit one may say, I’m a lost rebel, fighting against God and His law – I must rely on Jesus to get right with God.
iv. “The Spirit does not merely accuse men of sin, he brings to them an inescapable sense of guilt so that they realize their shame and helplessness before God.” (Tenney)
v. “The Spirit is the ‘advocate’ or helper of those who believe in Jesus, their counsel for the defence. But in relation to unbelievers, to the godless world, he acts as counsel for the prosecution.” (Bruce) It’s important to have the Spirit of God to defend rather than to convict.
vi. In the great awakening of 1860-61 in Great Britain, a high-ranking army officer described the conviction of sin in his Scottish town: “Those of you who are ease have little conception of how terrifying a sight it is when the Holy Spirit is pleased to open a man’s eyes to see the real state of heart. Men who were thought to be, and who thought themselves to be good, religious people… have been led to search into the foundation upon which they were resting, and have found all rotten, that they were self-satisfied, resting on their own goodness, and not upon Christ. Many turned from open sin to lives of holiness, some weeping for joy for sins forgiven.” (J. Edwin Orr, The Second Evangelical Awakening in Britain)
c. Of sin, because they do not believe in Me: It is unbelief, the rejection of Jesus, which ultimately proves one to be guilty. The Holy Spirit will tell the world of the importance of trusting in, relying on, and clinging to Jesus to avoid this sin.
i. “The essence of sin is unbelief, which is not simply a casual incredulity nor a difference of opinion; rather, it is a total rejection of God’s messenger and message.” (Tenney)
ii. “The basic sin is the sin which puts self at the centre of things and consequently refused to believe in Him.” (Morris)
iii. “A sinner is a sacred thing: the Holy Ghost hath made him so. Your sham sinner is a horrid creature; but a man truly convinced of sin by the Spirit of God is a being to be sought after as a jewel that will adorn the crown of the Redeemer.” (Spurgeon)
d. Of righteousness, because I go to My Father: The ascension of Jesus to heaven demonstrated that He had perfectly fulfilled the Father’s will and had proven Himself righteous – and exposed the lack of righteousness in the world that rejected Him. The Holy Spirit shows the world the righteousness of Jesus and its own unrighteousness.
i. Many people today – even secular people – take the righteousness of Jesus as a given. Yet during His life Jesus was reviled as an imposter, as demon-possessed, as a wicked destroyer of the law, as a glutton, a drunk, and as illegitimate. The Holy Spirit persuades the work of the righteousness of Jesus.
ii. “Whereas righteousness had previously been defined by precepts, it now has been revealed in the incarnate Son, who exemplified it perfectly in all his relationships.” (Tenney)
e. Of judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged: The judgment of Satan himself means that there will be a final reckoning between God and His rebellious creature. The Holy Spirit warns the world of this coming judgment.
i. Normally conviction is followed by judgment. When the Holy Spirit works, there is an in-between step: the revelation of the righteousness of Jesus Christ, which can satisfy the judgment for the convicted person.
ii. “The world, the prince of it, is ‘judged’. To adhere to it rather than to Christ is to cling to a doomed cause, a sinking ship.” (Dods)
4. (12-15) The work of the Holy Spirit among the disciples.“I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come. He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you. All things that the Father has are Mine. Therefore I said that He will take of Mine and declare it to you.”
a. I still have many things to say to you: Jesus frankly admitted that His own teaching was incomplete, and anticipated the further instruction of the church by the Holy Spirit. This statement of Jesus leads us to anticipate the formation of the New Testament.
i. Here Jesus answered those who say, “I’ll take what Jesus taught, but not what Paul or the others taught.” Paul and the other New Testament writers taught us the many things that Jesus spoke of.
· For example, they didn’t know that some of the customs and commands among the Jews would be fulfilled by the person and work of Jesus, and no longer be binding under the New Covenant.
· For example, they didn’t know that God would bring Gentiles into the New Covenant community as equal partners, without having to first become Jews.
b. He will guide you into all truth: In one sense, this was fulfilled when the New Testament writings, divinely inspired by God, were completed. In another sense the Holy Spirit continues today to personally lead us into truth, but never in opposition to the Scripture, because God’s supremely authoritative revelation is closed with the New Testament.
i. Into all truth: “The Greek means ‘all the truth’, i.e. the specific truth about the Person of Jesus and the significance of what He said and did. The New Testament is permanent evidence that the apostles were guided into truth about this.” (Tasker)
ii. He will tell you things to come: “The promise must therefore refer to the main features of the new Christian dispensation. The Spirit would guide them in that new economy in which they would no longer have the visible example and help and counsel of their Master.” (Dods)
c. He will not speak on His own authority… He will glorify Me… He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you: The Holy Spirit’s ministry is revealing Jesus to us, to bear testimony of Jesus (John 15:26). He uses many different ways and many different gifts to accomplish this, but the purpose is always the same: to reveal Jesus.
i. One may speak of dream, visions, experiences, revelations and say they came from the Holy Spirit, but many of those supposed revelations of the Spirit say nothing or almost nothing about Jesus Himself.
ii. “This verse is decisive against all additions and pretended revelations subsequent to and besides Christ; it is being the work of the Spirit to testify and to declare the THINGS OF CHRIST; not any thing new and beyond Him.” (Alford)
iii. All things that the Father has are Mine: “If Christ had not been equal to God, could he have said this without blasphemy?” (Clarke)
B. Jesus prepares the disciples for His coming challenge on the cross.1. (16-18) Jesus tells them of His immediate, brief departure.“A little while, and you will not see Me; and again a little while, and you will see Me, because I go to the Father.” Then some of His disciples said among themselves, “What is this that He says to us, ‘A little while, and you will not see Me; and again a little while, and you will see Me’; and, ‘because I go to the Father’?” They said therefore, “What is this that He says, ‘A little while’? We do not know what He is saying.”
a. A little while, and you will not see Me: The disciples didn’t understand that the arrest of Jesus was only an hour or two away, and then His crucifixion would follow. Yet because He must go to the Father, they would seeHim again as He rose from the dead.
i. You will not see Me: “During the interval between His death and resurrection the disciples lost their faith and spiritual vision, and no more beheld Him than did the world.” (Trench)
ii. You will see Me: “‘And again a little while shall elapse, and then ye-shall-seeMe (ὄψεσθέμε), i.e. with bodily eyes.’ When the short interval between His death and resurrection had elapsed, then they should see Him with their bodily eyes.” (Trench)
b. We do not know what He is saying: The disciples were both troubled and confused. They probably thought Jesus spoke with unnecessary mystery about where He was going and what He would do. They didn’t understand what He meant about not seeing Him and then seeing Him.
i. We do not know what He is saying: “A different word is used here in the Greek for saith from that used in the first part of the verse. Hence, RSV, rightly, ‘we do not know what he means’.” (Tasker)
ii. “The use of the imperfect tense in ‘kept asking’ [they said] (elegon) shows that they must have held a consultation among themselves about it and that the discourse did not proceed as an uninterrupted lecture.” (Tenney)
iii. “Where for us, all is clear, for them all was mysterious. If Jesus wishes to found the Messianic kingdom, why go away? If He does not wish it, why return?” (Godet, cited in Morris)
2. (19-22) Jesus explains of coming sorrow being turned into joy. Now Jesus knew that they desired to ask Him, and He said to them, “Are you inquiring among yourselves about what I said, ‘A little while, and you will not see Me; and again a little while, and you will see Me’? Most assuredly, I say to you that you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice; and you will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will be turned into joy. A woman, when she is in labor, has sorrow because her hour has come; but as soon as she has given birth to the child, she no longer remembers the anguish, for joy that a human being has been born into the world. Therefore you now have sorrow; but I will see you again and your heart will rejoice, and your joy no one will take from you.”
a. Jesus knew that they desired to ask Him: Jesus understood that the disciples wanted more clarity; but He also knew that they needed more than information. They needed their hearts and minds prepared to endure the coming crisis.
i. “Jesus, perceiving their embarrassment, and that they wished to interrogate Him, said to them: ‘Are you inquiring among yourselves?’” (Dods)
b. You will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will be turned into joy: Jesus knew they would be plunged into deep and dark sorrow in the next few hours. He also knew that God would, by His power and grace, turn their sorrow into joy.
i. The words, you will be sorrowful were certainly true.
· Sorrowful at the loss of relationship.
· Sorrowful at the humiliation of their Master and Messiah.
· Sorrowful at the seeming victory of His enemies.
· Sorrowful because all they hoped for was taken away.
ii. The crucifixion and all that went with it was not a bump in the road on the way to fulfilling God’s plan, as if it were an obstacle to overcome. It was the way the plan would be fulfilled. That sorrow would turn into joy.
iii. God’s work was not to replace their sorrow with joy, but to turn sorrow into joy, as He often does in our lives. The sorrow would be directly connected to their coming joy, even as the sorrow of a woman in childbirth is directly connected to her joy that her child has been born into the world.
iv. “It is most remarkable and instructive that the apostles do not appear in their sermons or epistles to have spoken of the death of our Lord with any kind of regret. The gospels mention their distress during the actual occurrence of the crucifixion, but after the resurrection, and especially after Pentecost, we hear of no such grief.” (Spurgeon)
c. I will see you again and your heart will rejoice: They didn’t fully understand the separation, so they could not fully understand the joy of the coming reunion. Yet when it happened, no one could deny their joy-filled testimony of the resurrection. It was testimony so sure that they endured death because of it. It was joy no one will take from you.
i. Your joy no one will take from you: “Our Lord’s meaning appears to have been this: that his resurrection should be so completely demonstrated to them, that they should never have a doubt concerning it; and consequently that their joy should be great and permanent.” (Clarke)
ii. “That he should suffer was cause for grief, but that he has now suffered all is equal cause for joy. When a champion returns from the wars bearing the scars of conflict by which he gained his honors, does anyone lament over his campaigns?” (Spurgeon)
3. (23-27) Jesus promises greater joy regarding their coming access to God after Jesus’ departure.“And in that day you will ask Me nothing. Most assuredly, I say to you, whatever you ask the Father in My name He will give you. Until now you have asked nothing in My name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full. These things I have spoken to you in figurative language; but the time is coming when I will no longer speak to you in figurative language, but I will tell you plainly about the Father. In that day you will ask in My name, and I do not say to you that I shall pray the Father for you; for the Father Himself loves you, because you have loved Me, and have believed that I came forth from God.”
a. In that day you will ask Me nothing: Jesus probably meant that they would be so overcome with joy and relief at the resurrection that they would be speechless when it came to making requests of Jesus. Yet the pathway to audience with God and answered prayer was more open, not more closed.
i. Until now you have asked nothing in My name: “Ye have not as yet considered me the great Mediatorbetween God and man; but this is one of the truths which shall be more fully revealed to you by the Holy Spirit.” (Clarke)
b. Whatever you ask the Father in My name He will give you: Because of Jesus’ great work, disciples have unlimited, undeniable access to God through Him. The disciples had yet to really pray in the name of Jesus, but He would teach them.
i. “The meaning is that the atoning death of Jesus will revolutionize the whole situation. On the basis of the Son’s atoning work men will approach God and know the answers to their prayers.” (Morris)
c. But I will tell you plainly about the Father: The disciples should trust that in this time of restored joy and open access to Jesus, they would know the Father Himself, and know about Him more than ever.
i. Figurative language: “Used here to cover the cryptic expression ‘a little while’ and the metaphor of childbirth used in verse 21.” (Tasker)
d. For the Father Himself loves you: Jesus makes it clear that the Son did not need to persuade an angry Father to be gracious; but His work would provide a righteous basis for God’s graciousness.
i. “Here Jesus is saying: ‘You can go to God, because he loves you,’ and he is saying that before the Cross. He did not die to change God into love; he died to tell us that God is love. He came, not because God so hated the world, but because he so loved the world. Jesus brought to men the love of God.” (Barclay)
ii. “The reason that Christ will not intercede for them is now given. There will be no need. The Father Himselfloves them. He does not need to be persuaded to be gracious. In this case the ground of acceptance is the relationship in which they stand to Jesus.” (Morris)
e. Because you have loved Me: The Father did not love the disciples on the basis of their love for Jesus, but their love for Jesus was evidence of the Father’s love for them.
i. A pulse doesn’t make the heart pump, but it is evidence of it. Our love for God doesn’t make Him love us, but it is evidence that He loves us.
4. (28-32) The disciples proclaim their faith; Jesus places it in perspective.“I came forth from the Father and have come into the world. Again, I leave the world and go to the Father.” His disciples said to Him, “See, now You are speaking plainly, and using no figure of speech! Now we are sure that You know all things, and have no need that anyone should question You. By this we believe that You came forth from God.” Jesus answered them, “Do you now believe? Indeed the hour is coming, yes, has now come, that you will be scattered, each to his own, and will leave Me alone. And yet I am not alone, because the Father is with Me.”
a. I came forth from the Father: Jesus repeated themes from previously in this great talk with His disciples, telling them again about His departure from this world and unto His Father. John 16:28 is a remarkable summary of the work of Jesus.
· I have come forth from the Father: Jesus is God, having existed in heaven’s glory and goodness before He ever came to the earth.
· And have come into the world: Jesus was born as a man, having added humanity to deity.
· Again I leave the world: Jesus would die.
· And go to My Father: Jesus would rise from the dead and ascend to heaven.
i. “In those sentences we have a declaration of the whole redemptive progress of the Son of God. From the Father into the world; from the world unto the Father.” (Morgan)
ii. “Here is the sum of the Christian Faith in four fundamental propositions, which, with their several why and how and result, form the whole body of Christian verity.” (Trench)
b. Now we are sure that You know all things: The summary statement in the previous sentence made the disciples feel that now they understood. They seem to have been sincere, but more confident in their faith than they should have been.
i. “They declared that their belief in the Divinity of His mission was confirmed. They were perfectly sincere. They felt that they had at last passed beyond the region where it would be possible to doubt. How much better He knew them than they knew themselves!” (Morgan)
c. Do you now believe… You will be scattered: Jesus did not doubt the belief of the disciples, but warned them that their faith would be shaken before it was finally settled upon Him. They would find it much easier to believe on Him in the upper room than in the Garden of Gethsemane, where they would all flee each to his own, and would leave Jesus alone.
i. This wasn’t to make an I told you so moment. “The very fact that He had known and had foretold the course of events, would be something to hold on to, and the memory of it would help them back again to faith.” (Morgan)
ii. “The words Do you now believe? can also be taken as a statement. This is preferable, as it brings out better the emphasis laid upon now in the original. ‘You do now believe, but your belief will soon be shaken.’” (Tasker)
iii. “Jesus read their hearts better than they knew. Not only could he answer their unspoken questions: he could assess the strength of their belief in him. It was sincere and genuine, bound up with their love for him, but it was about to be exposed to a test such as they had not imagined.” (Bruce)
d. You will be scattered, each to his own, and will leave Me alone: The crisis would come soon, and when it did the disciples would think, every man for himself and abandon Jesus alone.
i. “When he did not need their friendship, they were his very good friends. When they could do nothing for him if they tried, they were his faithful followers. But the pinch has come; now might they watch with him one hour, now might they go with him amid the rabble throng, and interpose at least the vote of the minority against the masses; but they are gone.” (Spurgeon)
ii. “There he stands. They have left him alone; but there he is, still standing to his purpose. He has come to save, and he will save. He has come to redeem, and he will redeem. He has come to overcome the world, and he will overcome it.” (Spurgeon)
e. Yet I am not alone, because the Father is with Me: Jesus relied upon His close relationship with God all the way to the cross, and even upon it. In the loneliest moments imaginable, He understood that the Father was with Him.
i. “I remember that passage about Abraham going with Isaac to mount Moriah, where Isaac was to be offered up. It is written, ‘So they went both of them together.’ So did the Eternal Father and his Well- beloved Son when God was about to give up his own Son to death. There was no divided purpose; they went both of them together.” (Spurgeon)
5. (33) The triumphant conclusion to Jesus’ farewell discourse to His disciples and to all of Jesus’ teaching before the cross.“These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”
a. These things I have spoken to you: In a moment Jesus would pray for His disciples. Before He did, He summarized the purpose of the long talk He had with those disciples: to bring them peace and the settled assurance of overcomers.
b. That in Me you may have peace: Jesus offered His disciples peace. He made the offer in the most unlikely circumstances. At that very minute, Judas met with Jesus’ enemies to plot His arrest. Jesus knew that He would be arrested, forsaken, rejected, mocked, humiliated, tortured and executed before the next day was over. We think that the disciples should have comforted Him – yet Jesus had peace, and enough to give to others.
i. Jesus did not promise peace; He offered it. He said, “you may have peace.” People may follow Jesus yet deny themselves this peace. We gain the peace Jesus offered by finding it in Him. Jesus said, “that in Me you may have peace.” We won’t find real peace anywhere else other than in Jesus.
ii. Jesus made the way to peace with God: Having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. (Romans 5:1)
iii. Jesus made the way to peace with others: For Jesus is our peace, who has made the both one and broken down the middle wall of division between us. (Ephesians 2:14)
iv. This word of peace is especially meaningful set in the context of conflict – tribulation and overcome both speak of battles to fight. “He promises a peace which co-exists with tribulation and disturbances, a peace which is realized in and through conflict and struggle.” (Maclaren)
v. This promise was especially powerful for those eleven disciples. “He predicted their desertion in the very saying in which He assured them of the peace He would give them. He loved them for who they were and despite their shortcomings.” (Morris)
c. In the world you will have tribulation: Jesus also made the promise of tribulation. Peace is offered to us, but tribulation is promised. When we become Christians we may bring fewer problems upon ourselves, but we definitely still have them.
i. Understanding this removes a false hope. Struggling Christians often hope for the day when they will laugh at temptation and there will be one effortless victory after another. We are promised struggle as long as we are in this world; yet there is peace in Jesus.
ii. “There is no avoiding it; it is not a paradise, but a purgatory to the saints. It may be compared to the Straits of Magellan, which is said to be a place of that nature, that which way soever a man set his course, he shall be sure to have the wind against him.” (Trapp)
d. Be of good cheer, I have overcome the world: Jesus proclaimed the truth of His victory. This was an amazing statement from a man about to be arrested, forsaken, rejected, mocked, tortured and executed. Judas, the religious authorities, Pilate, the crowd, the soldiers or even death and the grave could not overcome Him. Instead, Jesus could truly say, “I have overcome the world.” If it was true then, it’s even truer now.
i. When Jesus wanted to comfort and strengthen His disciples, He spoke of His victory, not directly theirvictory. This wasn’t “cheer up” or “try harder.” Jesus knew that His victory would be theirs.
ii. “He overcame the world in three areas: in His life, in His death, and in His resurrection.” (Boice)
iii. “This statement, spoken as it is in the shadow of the cross, is audacious… He goes to the cross not in fear or in gloom, but as a conqueror.” (Morris)
iv. “He overcame the world when nobody else had overcome it.” (Spurgeon)
v. The thought that Jesus has overcome became precious to John. “Nikeo occurs only here in the Gospel, but twenty-two times in the Johannine Epistles and Apocalypse.” (Dods)
vi. “The world conquers me when it comes between me and God, when it fills my desires, when it absorbs my energies, when it blinds my eyes to the things unseen and eternal.” (Maclaren)
vii. Knowing that Jesus has overcome the world brings us good cheer. It is the foundation for our peace in Him. We see that Jesus is in control, we see that although He leaves He does not abandon, we see that He loves, and we see that the victory is His. We can be of good cheer indeed.
-The Destruction of the Temple and Signs of the End Times-
Jesus left the temple and was walking away when his disciples came up to him to call his attention to its buildings. 2 “Do you see all these things?”
he asked. “Truly I tell you, not one stone here will be left on another; every one will be thrown down.”
3 As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately. “Tell us,” they said, “when will this happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?”
------- 4 Jesus answered: “Watch out that no one deceives you. 5 For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah,’ and will deceive many. 6 You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come.7 Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. 8 All these are the beginning of birth pains. ---------
9 “Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death,and you will be hated by all nations because of me. 10 At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other,11 and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people.12 Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, 13 but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved. 14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.
15 “So when you see standing in the holy place ‘the abomination that causes desolation,’[a] spoken of through the prophet Daniel—let the reader understand-- 16 then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. 17 Let no one on the housetop go down to take anything out of the house. 18 Let no one in the field go back to get their cloak.19 How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers! 20 Pray that your flight will not take place in winter or on the Sabbath. 21 For then there will be great distress, unequaled from the beginning of the world until now—and never to be equaled again.
22 “If those days had not been cut short, no one would survive, but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened. 23 At that time if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Messiah!’ or, ‘There he is!’ do not believe it. 24 For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. 25 See, I have told you ahead of time.
26 “So if anyone tells you, ‘There he is, out in the wilderness,’ do not go out; or, ‘Here he is, in the inner rooms,’ do not believe it. 27 For as lightning that comes from the east is visible even in the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. 28 Wherever there is a carcass, there the vultures will gather.
29 “Immediately after the distress of those days
“‘the sun will be darkened,
and the moon will not give its light;
the stars will fall from the sky,
and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.’[b]
30 “Then will appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven. And then all the peoples of the earth[c] will mourn when they see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory.[d] 31 And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other.
32 “Now learn this lesson from the fig tree: As soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near. 33 Even so, when you see all these things, you know that it[e] is near, right at the door. 34 Truly I tell you, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened. 35 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.
The Day and Hour Unknown36 “But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son,[f] but only the Father. 37 As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. 38 For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; 39 and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. 40 Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left. 41 Two women will be grinding with a hand mill; one will be taken and the other left.
42 “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. 43 But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into. 44 So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.
45 “Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom the master has put in charge of the servants in his household to give them their food at the proper time? 46 It will be good for that servant whose master finds him doing so when he returns. 47 Truly I tell you, he will put him in charge of all his possessions. 48 But suppose that servant is wicked and says to himself, ‘My master is staying away a long time,’ 49 and he then begins to beat his fellow servants and to eat and drink with drunkards. 50 The master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he is not aware of. 51 He will cut him to pieces and assign him a place with the hypocrites, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
The Man of Lawlessness
…2not to be easily disconcerted or alarmed by any spirit or message or letter seeming to be from us, alleging that the Day of the Lord has already come. 3Let no one deceive you in any way, for it will not come until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness-- the son of destruction-- is revealed.4He will oppose and exalt himself above every so-called god or object of worship. So he will seat himself in the temple of God, proclaiming himself to be God.…
Berean Study Bible · Download
He will speak out against the Most High and oppress the saints of the Most High, intending to change the appointed times and laws; and the saints will be given into his hand for a time, and times, and half a time.
Through his craft and by his hand, he will cause deceit to prosper, and in his own mind he will make himself great. In a time of peace he will destroy many, and he will even stand against the Prince of princes. Yet he will be broken off, but not by human hands.
Then the king will do as he pleases and will exalt and magnify himself above every god, and he will speak monstrous things against the God of gods. He will be successful until the time of wrath is completed, for what has been decreed must be accomplished.
While I was with them, I protected and preserved them by Your name, the name You gave Me. Not one of them has been lost, except the son of destruction, so that the Scripture would be fulfilled.
Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things the wrath of God is coming on the sons of disobedience.
2 Thessalonians 2:8
And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will slay with the breath of His mouth and annihilate by the majesty of His arrival.
1 Timothy 4:1
Now the Spirit expressly states that in later times some will abandon the faith to follow deceitful spirits and the teachings of demons,
Treasury of ScriptureLet no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;
And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you…
1 Corinthians 6:9
Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,
Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience.
1 Timothy 4:1-3
Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; …
2 Timothy 3:1-3
This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come…
2 Timothy 4:3,4
For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; …
2 Thessalonians 2:8-10
And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: …
And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time.
1 John 2:18
Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time.
While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled.
The beast that thou sawest was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition: and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is…
THE BIBLE’S UNIQUE DESIGN
Ten Reasons to Trust the Bible –
The Bible has a “unique” design. Indeed, it is one-of-a-kind — like no other book that has ever been written. There is nothing like it and it has no equal. This can be seen in a number of ways:
1. It Was Fifteen Hundred Years in the Making
From the composition of the first biblical book until the last, a period of about fifteen hundred years elapsed. The Old Testament was written between 1400 and 400 B.C. The books of the New Testament were written from approximately A.D. 40 to A.D. 90.
Thus, we have about fifteen hundred years from the writing of the first book to the composition of the last book.
2. The Bible Was Written by Many Authors from Various Occupations
Thousands of years ago, God chose certain men to receive His divine Words and then record them for humanity. In total, over forty different human authors wrote the books of the Bible. These writers came from a variety of backgrounds and occupations.
These people included shepherds, Hosea and Amos, fishermen Peter and John, a former tax collector, Matthew, a doctor, Luke, and a military general, Joshua. At least four of the writers lived in the royal household: the kings, David and Solomon, a prime minister, Daniel, and a cupbearer, Nehemiah.
Only a few of them, such as Paul, Luke, Daniel and Moses, received the finest education of their time. In sum, each of these authors had unique experiences and each one of them was different in their character or makeup.
3. Scripture Was Written in Different Literary Forms with Different Writing Styles
The Bible consists of a number of different literary forms. Scripture is a collection of letters, sermons, laws, poetic descriptions, narratives of historical events, prayers, praise, practical sayings and the warnings of the prophets.
The sixty-six books also contain a wide array of writing styles that express the entire range of human emotions.
Therefore, what we find in the Bible is a wide range of literary forms as well as different literary ability on the part of the authors.
4. The Biblical Books Were Written upon Three Continents
The books of the Bible were composed upon three different continents—Africa, Asia and Europe. For example, the writings of Ezekiel were composed in Babylon (Asia); Moses wrote the first five books of the Bible in the Sinai desert (Africa); and the Apostle Paul wrote the letter to the believers in Philippi while in Rome (Europe).
5. Scripture Was Composed in Different Physical Circumstances
There were a variety of circumstances in which the Biblical books were composed. Moses, for example, wrote while leading the children of Israel through the wilderness. Jeremiah penned his book while in a dungeon in Israel. Ezekiel composed his work while a captive in Babylon.
The Apostle Paul wrote several of his letters while in a Roman prison. John the evangelist wrote the Book of Revelation while banished to the island of Patmos. Obviously, there was not one particular place or circumstance in which all of the biblical books were composed.
Though many other religions had a certain place where the ‘divine word’ was revealed, this is not the case with the Bible. The God of the Bible was able to reveal Himself in many different places and over an extended period of time.
6. Three Different Ancient Languages Were Employed in the Writing of Scripture
The Bible was written in three different ancient languages. The Old Testament was written mostly in Hebrew with some parts composed in Aramaic—a language similar to Hebrew. The New Testament was originally written in Greek.
7. There Are Many Different Subjects Covered in the Bible
The Bible also covers a variety of diverse subjects. Some of these subjects were historical, what has happened in history, while some of the subjects were prophetical, what will happen in the future. These subjects include such things as: the existence and nature of God, the creation of the universe, how human beings originated, the meaning of human existence, the purpose of our existence, the final destiny of humankind and the planet earth.
8. They Wrote about the Unknown Future
Many of the biblical writers wrote about events that were to happen in the future. These events were unknown to humans, but known to God. While not every biblical author addressed events in the future, many of them did. Therefore, the Bible is a book that contains a number of different predictions of future events from a variety of different writers.
9. The Biblical Writers Received Their Message in Different Ways
There is also the fact that the writers of Scripture received their messages in different ways. God directly told some writers what to say. Others were given their message in visions and dreams. Still others were given divine inspiration when they wrote.
And finally, there were others whom God directed to record historical events as well as God’s interpretation of the events. The point is this: the writers of Scripture received God’s Word in a number of different ways.
The writer to the Hebrews noted this when he wrote:
In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom also he made the universe. (Hebrews 1:1-2)
God spoke at different times, in different ways and to different people.
10. Most Authors Did Not Know One Another
Because the Bible was written over a period of fifteen hundred years, most of the writers did not personally know the other writers of Scripture. Neither were they familiar with their writings. For example, the Old Testament authors would have been unfamiliar with the New Testament writers and writings. Indeed, it was not composed until 400 years after the Old Testament was completed.
Therefore, since most of the writers were separated from one another by both time and space, and were not personally acquainted with each another, there is no chance that they could have conspired together.
We Would Expect Chaos to Result from These Diverse CircumstancesHence, the Bible was written over a period of fifteen hundred years by forty different human authors from various backgrounds who wrote in different languages, upon different continents, in different circumstances, upon different subjects, including the unknown future, and in different literary forms. These authors, for the most part, did not know each other. With all of these contrasts, one would expect something chaotic and disjointed when their writings were assembled into one book.
The Amazing Thing: There Is One Unfolding Story in Scripture
Yet the Bible is a unity; one unfolding account from beginning to end in complete harmony and continuity.
The Old Testament is incomplete without the New Testament, and yet the New Testament does not make sense without the Old Testament. Together the two testaments give a harmonious account of the dealings of God with humanity without any contradiction. Jesus made this clear when He said the following:
Scripture cannot be broken. (John 10:35)
There is one system of teaching, and one plan of salvation.
Scripture Is Christ-CenteredThere is more. The main theme of the Bible is the Person of Jesus Christ. Both the Old and New Testaments testify to Jesus Christ as the Lord of Glory.
Jesus Himself told the religious rulers of His day that the Old Testament Scriptures spoke of Him.
The Gospel according to John records Jesus saying the following:
You study the Scriptures diligently because you think that in them you have eternal life. These are the very Scriptures that testify about me... If you believed Moses, you would believe me, for he wrote about me. (John 5:39,46)According to Jesus, Old Testament history is His story.
He is the theme of the Old Testament.
On the day Jesus rose from the dead, He walked alongside two of His disciples on the road to Emmaus. During their conversation, the Bible records Jesus explaining how the Old Testament spoke of Him.
And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself. (Luke 24:27)The resurrected Christ explained that the Old Testament predicted His coming.
Later on that day, Jesus said the following to His disciples:
This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms. (Luke 24:44)
Thus, according to Jesus, the Hebrew Scripture is all about Him.
As we shall see, the evidence demonstrates Jesus’ claim to be true.
The Old Testament—Preparation for the Christ: the Promise of His ComingAfter the creation and fall of humanity, God promised to send a Savior. He established an elaborate system of sacrifices that looked forward to the coming of the Savior or Deliverer.
The Old Testament prepares for the coming of the promised Deliverer—also known as the Messiah. The prophet Isaiah spoke of this. He wrote:
A voice of one calling: “In the wilderness prepare the way for the LORD; make straight in the desert a highway for our God.” (Isaiah 40:3)
The theme that runs throughout the entire Old Testament is the establishment of the kingdom of God through the reign of the Messiah. The Old Testament looks forward to His coming.
The Gospels’ Manifestation of the Christ: the Proof of His ComingThe gospels record the manifestation of the predicted Messiah. The New Testament testifies of the arrival of the One promised in the Old Testament.
We read John saying about Jesus:
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God... The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. (John 1:1,14)
The Messiah came as promised.
John the Baptist testified that Jesus was the One who would take away the sins of the world.
The Bible says:
The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29)
Jesus of Nazareth is indeed the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy regarding the promised Savior.
Acts—the Propagation of Jesus’ Message: His Message Goes Out to the Entire WorldThe Messiah, Jesus of Nazareth, came into the world as had been predicted in the Old Testament. However, Christ was not accepted by His people. The Bible tells us that Jesus died on a cross for the sins of the world and three days later rose from the dead. Forty days after His resurrection, He ascended into heaven.
Before returning to heaven, Jesus told His disciples the following:
But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth. (Acts 1:8)
They were instructed to tell others the gospel, or good news, of His death and resurrection. The propagation of the message of the risen Christ is recorded in the Book of Acts.
Paul—the Explanation of Jesus’ Coming: the Two Comings of Christ Explained
Why did the Christ, or Messiah, have to die when He came into the world?
Was this something that the Old Testament had predicted?
Yes, it was. In his letters, the Apostle Paul, gives the explanation of the two comings of Christ.
He wrote to the Colossians:
I have become its servant by the commission God gave me to present to you the word of God in its fullness-- the mystery that has been kept hidden for ages and generations, but is now disclosed to the Lord’s people. To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. (Colossians 1:25-27)
The “mystery” or “sacred secret” has now been revealed. The Old Testament Scripture actually spoke of two different comings of Christ into the world. The Christ, or Messiah, would come the first time to die. Jesus fulfilled this prediction at His first coming. Scripture records how He died for the sins of the world but then rose from the dead three days later. Later He ascended into heaven.
However, our world will see Jesus again. Indeed, the Bible says that He will come a second time to the earth. The same Jesus who was crucified and rose from the dead will return to our earth to rule over it. This is what the Old Testament also predicted. The Apostle Paul was the man chosen by God to explain these two comings of Christ.
Paul emphasized that Christ now resides in those who believe in Jesus by means of the Holy Spirit. This promise is given to everyone who believes in Him. This includes Gentiles (non-Jews) as well as Jews.
Revelation—the Consummation of All Things in Christ: Jesus Christ Will ReturnFinally, we come to the Book of Revelation, which records Christ coming back to rule and reign upon the earth. The Bible says:
“Look, he is coming with the clouds,” and “every eye will see him, even those who pierced him”; and all peoples on earth “will mourn because of him.” So shall it be! Amen. (Revelation 1:7)
All things that have been predicted in the Old and New Testament will be consummated in the return of Jesus Christ.
To sum up, the Old Testament records the preparation for the coming of Christ while the Gospels record His coming or manifestation. The Book of Acts chronicles the propagation of the gospel (the good news) concerning Jesus Christ and the letters of Paul explain the two comings of Christ as well as the implications of the gospel for our lives. The Book of Revelation describes the Second Coming of Jesus Christ and the establishment of His eternal kingdom. Again, it is all about Him!
The Bible glorifies Jesus Christ and centers on Him. It provides one harmonious message from beginning to end, and this message is all about the Lord Jesus.
A Challenge to Duplicate the Unity of the Bible in Modern Times
Those who do not consider the harmony of the Bible as something amazing should accept the following challenge:
Locate twenty people, all living at the same time, who all speak the same language, who have the same amount of education and come from the same social background. Put them in separate rooms and ask them to write their opinion on only two controversial subjects, such as the nature and existence of God and the purpose of life here on earth.
Would you expect their writings to agree? Would you find one unfolding account from beginning to end with no contradictions or distortions? Not at all! You would expect to get about twenty different opinions.
Then how can we explain the unity of the Bible?
The Bible consists of forty authors, not twenty, writing over a fifteen hundred year time span, not writing at the same time, writing from different educational backgrounds, in different languages, from different cultures and writing on many different subjects (including the unknown future).
Yet, they write with complete unity and harmony. The way that the Scriptures have been composed argues against their unity, yet we find that there is an intelligent design throughout the pages of Scripture.
Conclusion: There Is One Author Who Is Behind All of the Books; God HimselfThe explanation that the Bible gives for its remarkable unity is that God has divinely inspired the process.
The one author of the books of the Bible is God the Holy Spirit. The Bible says the following:
All Scripture is God-breathed, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness. (2 Timothy 3:16)
The claim is that all Scripture is “God-breathed.” This means the authority of God is ultimately behind the composition of each book.
Peter wrote about how all of Scripture is divinely inspired. He said:
Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation of things. For prophecy never had its origin in the human will, but prophets, though human, spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit. (2 Peter 1:20-21)
Ultimately, the Scriptures are not of mere human origin.
Hence, the harmony of the Bible can be understood by realizing that the ultimate author behind the books is God. This fact puts the Bible in a class by itself.
It is evidence like this that led the great archaeologist, W. F. Albright, to make the following conclusions with respect to the Bible:
The Bible towers in content above all earlier religious literature; and it towers just as impressively over all subsequent literature in the direct simplicity of its message and... its appeal to men of all lands and times.
(W.F. Albright, The Christian Century, November, 1958)
Therefore, the unique design of the Bible is truly a wondrous thing. It is different from all other books that have ever been written. Throughout its pages, it clearly shows that an Intelligent Designer is behind each and every Book.
Summary – Reason 2
The Bible’s Unique DesignThe Bible has a unique makeup. It is different from any other book that has ever been composed. Over forty different authors wrote the various books over a period of fifteen hundred years. These authors came from all walks of life with different experiences, different levels of education and different personal makeup. They include fishermen, shepherds, a doctor and a former tax collector. These differences are reflected in their writing styles.
The biblical authors lived on three different continents—Africa, Asia and Europe. They also wrote under a number of different circumstances—including persecution and prison. The authors of Scripture wrote in three different languages—Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek. The Bible was written in a number of different literary forms such as narrative, poetry and law.
The writers of the various books cover many different topics such as the existence of God, the creation and purpose of humankind, the explanation for the origin of evil and the coming of the Savior. They also wrote about the unknown future.
In addition, the writers received their messages in a number of different ways including dreams, visions and direct revelation. Also, the writers of Scripture, for the most part, did not even know one another.
Yet when their writings are put together there is one harmonious account from beginning to end with Jesus Christ as the main character. What is the best explanation for this feature? It is the one that the Bible gives about itself—it is the Word of the living God.
In fact, Jesus Himself testified to the unity of the Scripture. He said that the Old Testament was all about Him. While it looked forward to His coming, the gospels record the fulfillment of these promises.
The Book of Acts records the message of Jesus going out to the world. The New Testament letters provide the explanation of the two comings of Christ while the Book of Revelation records the consummation of all things in Christ.
Consequently, when we examine the Scripture, we find clear evidence of intelligent design from beginning to end. This unique design of the Bible is a true wonder.
The second coming of Christ is a major tenet of Christian theology, and we eagerly look forward to our “blessed hope” (Titus 2:13). But the knowledge that the Messiah would have two comings came to humanity gradually, as God’s revelation to mankind was progressive.
Sin isn’t such a bad word- it simply means, “Separation from God.” We ALL sin- everyday. Thats the point- god wants us to find him, unite, and be fulfilled in his grace- so that he compensates our adversities and inequities, because man cant. verse 1 states that Micah is from Moresheth-Gath, a village located near the border of Israel/Philistia. It would have been considered ‘in the country’ in this time, it was an agricultural area not near any major cities. This puts him in good company with the prophet Amos, who “was a shepherd who took care of sycamore-fig trees.” The echoes of Micah’s effective ministry can be felt throughout the OT and New. He is also mentioned by the prophet Jeremiah as laying the foundations for the spiritual #reforms undertaken by Hezekiah: “Micah of Moresheth prophesied in the days of Hezekiah king of Judah. He told all the people of Judah, ‘This is what the LORD says: “Zion will be plowed like a field, Jerusalem will become a heap of rubble, the temple hill a mound overgrown with thickets’” (Jeremiah 26:18). Micah is known for bringing a #message of judgement and *restoration that would spur a *revival in the land of Judah. Among the prophets of the Old Testament, he is perhaps the most vocal in his demands of justice for the poor. He lashes out at greedy judges, who make money from unjust bribes while ignoring true justice and mercy. He starts his book by speaking of the coming judgement of God, and makes clear that this judgement is a response to the transgressions of the people (Micah 1:5). In Micah 6:14:16 we see that the judgment will be harsh, and that it will be unavoidable. Yet the beauty of Micah’s #prophecy is that it #assures us God will not end the story there. In fact, some of the most #powerful #promises of #restoration, #hope, and a #coming #Messiah are spoken by Micah. Justice. Love. Mercy. Humility. The overarching message of Micah is that God is Holy, and as a Holy God we should #seek to act in a way that is becoming His holiness. Because He is holy, here are consequences to sin, yet there is hope for those who turn to Him. In the midst of crooked and depraved leadership, Micah 6:8 gives us a #path to seek holiness.
Throughout the Hebrew Scriptures, the promise of a Messiah is clearly given. These messianic prophecies were made hundreds, sometimes thousands of years before Jesus Christ was born, and clearly Jesus Christ is the only person who has ever walked this earth to fulfill them. In fact, from Genesis to Malachi, there are over 300 specific prophecies detailing the coming of this Anointed One. In addition to prophecies detailing His virgin birth, His birth in Bethlehem, His birth from the tribe of Judah, His lineage from King David, His sinless life, and His atoning work for the sins of His people, the death and resurrection of the Jewish Messiah was, likewise, well documented in the Hebrew prophetic Scriptures long before the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ occurred in history.
Bible Cross References 🕊❤️🙏❤️🕊
God is the creator of the universe- the constellations are all part of the #intelligent #design that #points #toward #God. Man did not create the concept of God- God created this system we live in. Its easy for man to believe the stars of the universe are speaking to mankind about the mysteries of human nature and parallel universes, the truth is, we are among the creators design, all designed to point us toward the creator- constellations included. People are often misguided by thinking they have to live in a christian worldview- in the true sense- its the #essence of reality in the #created #order that is #designed by our #creator.
In John 4, Jesus meets a Samaritan woman, and they had a conversation about God, #truth, and worship. She said to Yeshua, not -knowing who he really- was,
“I know that #Messiah is coming (He who is called the Anointed One.) When He comes, He will explain everything to us.”
“I, the One speaking to you, “ani Hu” (I AM).”
In chapter 8, Yeshua had got caught up in a controversy with the religious leaders. Frustrated and confused, they demanded to know,
“Who are you?”
Yeshua replied, “What have I been telling you from the beginning?”
…“Abraham and the prophets died. Yet You say, ‘If anyone keeps My -word, he will never taste death.’ You are not greater than our father Abraham who died, are You? The prophets also died! Who do You make Yourself out to be?”
…Yeshua answered, “Amen, amen I tell you, -before- Abraham was, #I #AM