Book: God's Plan for Mankind

January 10, 2004

This will be number 27 in the series of Hebrews that we’ve been going through. And this is going to be a different kind of sermon from the point of view of trying to uncover and understand even more the Word of God. See now we’re told in Isaiah 28 that the Word of God is understood “line upon line, precept upon precept, a little here and a little there.” And that it has to be put together rightly, as Paul told Timothy, “Rightly divide the Word of God.” And also there are degrees of understanding. This will be number 27 in the series of Hebrews that we’ve been going through. And this is going to be a different kind of sermon from the point of view of trying to uncover and understand even more the Word of God. See now we’re told in Isaiah 28 that the Word of God is understood “line upon line, precept upon precept, a little here and a little there.” And that it has to be put together rightly, as Paul told Timothy, “Rightly divide the Word of God.” And also there are degrees of understanding.

Let’s take one verse in particular—John 3:16, and let’s look at this for just a minute. There are degrees of understanding that people have concerning this verse depending upon their involvement with God; depending upon what they’ve been taught in whatever church that they go to; and depending upon their personal relationship with God; depending upon the experiences that they have gone through.

Now John 3:16 says: “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth [believes] in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Now some people read that and they think, “Well, we’re going to heaven.” Some people read that and say, “All you’ve got to do is believe” and they don’t understand much more beyond that. But how is it that God loved the world; and how is it that He gave His only begotten Son; and how did it come about the way that it came about? Well, the only way we’re going to understand this is to realize that in the Word of God, since it’s inspired by the mind of God, that there are certain things that come along that God reveals to give us a deeper understanding of it.

Now Paul wrote of that. Let’s come to I Corinthians 2. It’s not something that anybody can pick up like a book and just read it. It isn’t understood that way. Yes, it can be read that way, but whether it is understood that way or not is another whole question. And it’s interesting with the commentary that we have with the coming New Testament where we show, not only from the Scriptures themselves but also from history and from the textural criticism, that all the words in the Bible are Godbreathed. Now this comes out at a time when the world is saying, and even those who are supposed to be ministers—or I should put it this way: Who are what the world calls “men of the cloth.” And if you want some real shocking things and you are online, go to Dr. Spong [John S. Spong] and look at some of the things that he has written, because there is a vast movement, not only out in the world to get rid of God and have a Christianity without God, but there is also a vast movement of lying men of the cloth within what is called the church establishment of the world, if I could use that, and they are preaching directly against God; directly against the inspiration of the Word of God. And when you read some of the things that they have it’s almost like reading the myth of the story of evolution. They have a story that they tell, and the substance of it is this: That those who said in the New Testament or the Old Testament who wrote it, [that] they didn’t write it. But their disciples, they told the story verbally and it was gradually formed together, and then they lay it all at the footsteps of the Roman Catholic Church that they created the New Testament. And so this is the commonly perceived thing that’s in the world.

What we show is the exact opposite: God intended the New Testament to be written; and it was written by the ones who said they wrote it; and it is the inspired Word of God; and it is the Word of God that is only understood by the Spirit of God.

Now here in I Corinthians 2:6: “Now we speak wisdom among the spiritually mature; however, it is not the wisdom of this world, nor of the rulers of this world, who are coming to nothing.” And I think Saddam Hussein is a good example of that, right? Did he not come to nothing?

“Rather, we speak the wisdom of God…”, which is different. That has to be with the Word of God. “…We speak the wisdom of God in a mystery…” That is a mystery to the world. And even a mystery to religionists who do not read the Word of God as it is the Word of God. “…Even the hidden wisdom that God foreordained before the ages unto our glory…” Now what Paul is saying here is that the understanding of the plan of God and the Word of God was foreordained before the ages for the very purpose that we be born into the Kingdom of God. Now that’s quite a statement, isn’t it? Now this means that God calling the weak of the world, which we all are, and as he says over here in Chapter 1 that we are nothing to bring to nothing the things that are. You see, God has given us a high calling and a great mission according to His plan and His purpose and His will in His timing. Not that we go out and we take over the reins of government now, but when we do all those things that have infuriated you when you watch the news and watch the government speakers speak their doublespeak and all this sort of thing, and the things that are going on—guess what? Christ is going to give us the authority to straighten it all out. So you see, salvation is more than just people living a good life; people have some understanding of the Word of God. It is a fantastic and a tremendous calling which was set forth before the foundation of the world, and today we’re going to see some of the deep things that Paul talks about here of the things between God the Father and Jesus Christ.

So let’s continue here now. Verse 8: “…Which not one of the rulers of this world has known (for if they had known [it]…” So you know, it’s no surprise that when you hear the rulers of the world speak they don’t know anything. See, the Bible tells us they don’t. “…(For if they had known, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory); but according as it is written, ‘The eye has not seen, nor the ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.’ ” See, now that’s a key thing that’s important. And you can put in your margin there Romans 8:28 that all things work together for good to those who love God and who are called according to His purpose. All things. Not one thing excluded. Even the difficult things. Even the problematic things. Even the disappointments. And yes, even death. That’s the whole point and the purpose of Jesus’ coming.

Verse 10: “But God has revealed them to us [first to the apostles and then to the brethren] by His Spirit…” And that’s the whole important thing concerning the calling of the apostle Paul who was what? A very high muckymuck in Judaism, right? And what did he know about God? Very little. What did he understand though he was one of the most righteous of Pharisees that could have been, and the son of a Pharisee? What did he say of all of that? “I count it by dung, to win Christ.” So God had to reveal it to him. God had to reveal it to the apostles. God has to reveal it to us by His Spirit, as we study His Word, as we hunger and thirst after righteousness, as we yield to God to understand. “…God has revealed them to us by His Spirit, for the Spirit searches all things—even the deep things of God.” Now today we are going to understand, hopefully, a little bit more about one of the deep things of God.

Verse 11: “For who among men understands the things of man except by the spirit of man which is in him? In the same way also, the things of God no one understands except by the Spirit of God.” And to whom does God give His Spirit? To those who obey Him.

Verse 12: “Now we have not received the spirit of the world…” And I know Robert Martin gave me a tape from the Jesus Seminar concerning the Nag Hammadi Gnostic gospel of Mary Magdalene. And I tell you it was so evident—that made this verse just stand out. Here they are intelligent, studied for years and years—you know, Dr., Dr., Dr., Ph.D., Ph.D., Ph.D.; study all these languages, know all of them, be able to read the fragments of the Nag Hammadi Library and all of that and they don’t have a clue. They’re all wandering out here in the mist of their superintellectual thoughts and emotions. And it was awfully hard getting through that tape, but I got through that tape. But nevertheless that’s the spirit of the world.

“…But the Spirit that is of God [is what we have received], so that we might know…” Now God wants us to know but He wants us to search for it. And He wants us to search for it in the right way: “…that we might know the things graciously given to us by God; which things we also speak, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in words taught by the Holy Spirit in order to communicate spiritual things by spiritual means. But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God; for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them because they are spiritually discerned” (I Cor. 2:614). And some of what we’re going to cover today falls exactly in that category, and falls in that category because you go along and you study and you grow in knowledge and understanding and all of these things come together bit by bit, step by step, week by week, month by month, year by year, decade by decade. Now if we look around and see all of our gray heads, and yet there is still more to learn. And the way that we learn these things is because we still ask questions. So let’s come to Hebrews 10 and let’s pick it up where we left off and let’s see what we can learn here.

Now I preached on this once some years ago, but what we’re going to do is examine the covenant between God the Father and Jesus Christ. A lot of people claim that Jesus was under the Old Covenant. No, He was not under the Old Covenant. If He were under the Old Covenant then He would have offered sacrifices, correct? Jesus was not under the New Covenant because the New Covenant hadn’t been given. But what we are going to see is that Jesus was under a special covenant between Him and God the Father.

Where do we find this? Well, Paul leads up to it. Let’s begin here Hebrews 10:1: “For the Law, having only a shadow of the good things that are coming, and not the image of those things, with the same sacrifices which they offer continually year by year, is never able to make perfect those who come to worship. Otherwise, would they not have ceased to be offered? For once those who worship had been purified, they would no longer be conscious of sin.” See, so that’s part of our repentance and coming to God and asking God to cleanse our heart and mind and conscience, and to get rid of the sin within. That’s the whole goal of overcoming, you see.

I’m reading from the new translation. Verse 3: “On the contrary, in offering these sacrifices year by year, there is a remembrance of sins because it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.” Now why is that even though it was, as we saw, for the removal of sin to justify them to the temple? Because it requires something greater than a human being to forgive human sin. And it’s also true that no animal is even equal to a human being let alone greater. So that’s why this was given to show that there has to be something greater than that.

Now verse 5: “For this reason, when He comes into the world, He says, ‘Sacrifice and offering You did not desire, but You have prepared a body for Me.’ ” Now this is talking about Christ. And we’ll got back and we’ll look at the psalm concerning this and where it came from and we will see that this is accurately quoted from the Septuagint. We’ll see in the King James it’s just a little bit different. And by the way, I might mention, someone sent me a study using the latest Tanakh, and the Tanakh is the Hebrew publication of the Old Testament. Well, what do you suppose they’ve done in the latest ones? They’ve gone through and sanitized all of the prophecies concerning Christ to make them read slightly different. So if you want to study the English translation by the Jews of the Hebrew Old Testament, what you do is this: You go back and you get a 1908 or 1905, something like that (I have one of those) and you compare that with the newest Tanakh.

So anyway, here’s quite a thing: “ ‘…You have prepared a body for Me.’ ” A physical body for Christ. And we will see there were certain things that God promised in doing that. And also this has to do with the church, because the church is the body of Christ of which He is the Head, correct? So we can get many things out of this.

Now then again he repeats it: “ ‘You did not delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin.’ ” Now here’s a key verse, verse 7. Verse 7 becomes the important verse: “ ‘Then said I, “Lo, I come (as it is written of Me in the scroll of the book) to do Your will, O God” ’ ” (Heb. 10:1-7). Ok, now we’ll examine this in just a little bit here.

Where is “the scroll of the book”? Where in the Old Testament is this scroll? Well let’s look where it’s quoted from in Psalm 40 and we will see that this is just a quote. And then we’ll ask some questions concerning “the scroll of the book” and so forth, and see what we can come up with. Let’s pick it up here in verse 6: “Sacrifice and offering Thou didst not desire…” Now instead of saying “You prepared a body for Me,” it says: “…Mine ears hast Thou opened: burnt offering and sin offering hast Thou not required. Then said I, Lo, I come: in the volume of the book it is written of Me…” Now where can you find that? What book? What scroll? “…I delight to do Thy will, O My God: yea, Thy law is within My heart” (Psalm 40:6-8). Now let’s ask another question: Are there books in heaven? Yes, there are. What do we have? We have the book of life, don’t we? And all those who have the Spirit of God, their name is written there. We also have to have a book… And the book of life by the way includes first and second resurrection, would it not? It would have to. And consider this: God says that a sparrow doesn’t fall that the Father’s not aware of it. So God is in close communication with the earth through the things that He has created. A lot of people think that God is way off someplace, but He’s not way off someplace.

Ok, now then there are also because the wicked have to be resurrected and judged, don’t they? Then there has to be a book of those whose names are written in there for the resurrection of the incorrigible wicked.

Now then there are other books aren’t there? Let’s come to Revelation 10. Now here was a special book. Let’s pick it up right here in verse 1: “Then I saw another strong angel coming down out of heaven, clothed with a cloud: and with a rainbow on his head; and his face was like the sun, and his feet were like pillars of fire; and he had in his hand a little book that was open…” So there’s another book in heaven. “…And he placed his right foot on the sea, and his left foot on the earth, and cried with a loud voice, as a lion roars. And when he cried, seven thunders uttered their voices. And when the seven thunders spoke with their voices, I was about to write. But I heard a voice from heaven say unto me, Seal what the seven thunders spoke, and do not write them.” Apparently it’s going to be so devastating that it would be such a horrible thing to write it.

So then: “Then the angel whom I had seen standing on the sea and on the earth lifted up his hand to heaven, and swore by Him Who lives into the ages of eternity, Who created the heaven, and the things in it, and the earth and the things in it, and the sea, and the things in it, ‘There shall be no more delay.’ ” And then it says: “…but in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he is about to sound the trumpet, the mystery of God shall also be completed, according to the gospel that He declared to His servants the prophets. Then the voice that I heard from heaven spoke to me again, and said, Go take the little book that is open in the hand of the angel who is standing on the sea and upon the earth. And I went to the angel, and said to him, ‘Give me the little book.’ And he said to me, Take it, and eat it, and it shall make your belly bitter, but in your mouth is shall be as sweet as honey” (Rev. 10:1-9). So he took the book, he did so, and what he was to do then was to prophecy.

Let’s come back here to Revelation 5 and let’s see that there is what we call the “book of prophecy.” See, the first three chapters are the letters to the seven churches. The fourth chapter is showing the throne of God and where everything is taking place. The fifth chapter, let’s begin here in verse 1 to show that there is a book there. “And in the right hand of Him Who sits sat on the throne I saw a book written within and on the back, which had been sealed with seven seals. And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice,”Who is worthy to open the book and to loose its seals?” And no one in heaven, or on the earth, or under the earth was able to open the book, or to look into it” (Rev. 5:1-3). So here what do we have? What does this book contain? All the rest of the book of Revelation.

Now there were certain things that were done before the foundation of the world. Let’s come to Revelation 13. You see, God had this all planned out before He even began the process. And part of the scroll that it was written in, we are going to see, was a special scroll. Now verse 8, it talks about the coming beast and how the world’s going to worship him and so forth. The only ones who are not going to worship him are those whose names are in the book of life. The ones: “…whose names have not been written in the book of life [so there again we have the book of life here, right?] of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.” So this was planned before the foundation of the world.

Now how did they plan it? How did they work it out? Well, let’s see if we can pick up some clues. Let’s look at one of them: “You have prepared Me a body and it’s written in a scroll of a book” (Heb. 10:5, 7, paraphrased, KJV). Now since God is a covenant God… and what do we have here contained in the Bible? We have the Old Covenant, we have the New Covenant, we have lesser covenants and promises and things given, don’t we? And it’s written. Do you suppose that there was a special book written that contained the agreement of God the Father and Jesus Christ? Now between themselves alone they wouldn’t need it written down, but why would they write it down? So that when all of those who are resurrected enter into the Kingdom of God they can see the record of how it was planned.

Now, let’s look at the body. Let’s come to Psalm 16. Could this have been written in the scroll of the book, because “in the scroll of a book it’s written of Me”? So everything to do with the ministry of Christ was written there.

Now before we get into Psalm 16 let’s just review something we already know. What do we know concerning God in the Old Testament? “In the beginning God…”, and what is the Hebrew word? Elohim. And in studying the Bible and searching it out the Bible reveals that there were two that were Elohim. One became the Father, one became the Son. They had an agreement. We’ll get to Psalm 16 in a minute, come over to Psalm 2 first. Let’s pick it up before the body is formed and we will see what God had to do, what the one Who became the Son, had to do. And there had to be absolute trust and absolute belief and absolute faith in each other—God the Father and Jesus Christ—in order to do what God did. You know today in this world they break every agreement that they have. And if God the Father were not righteous and God Who loves, and if Jesus Christ were not righteous and God Who loves, then the one Who became a human being could have been snuffed out by the one Who didn’t, right? There was a time when the one Who became the Son gave up His power and glory as God to be begotten in the virgin Mary.

Now let’s come here to Psalm 2:7: “I will declare the decree: [that] the LORD hath said unto Me…” Now this is probably written in that scroll because everything about Christ was going to be written in that scroll. “…Thou art My Son; this day have I begotten Thee.” Now there was a day when that happened. We have that recorded in Luke 1, don’t we? Yes. What did God have to do to do that? What did Jesus have to do, the one who became Jesus Christ? Let’s add a little bit more before we go to Psalm 16. Let’s come back here to Philippians 2, and let’s see what Jesus had to do in order to become a human being. And this is what is so confounding to people in the world, religious people whatever their theology is. And that’s why it’s almost—I don’t know. Some of these religionists, you wonder if you can do anything to get the truth into their heads.

Now the one who became the Son had a body prepared for Him. What does this mean “prepared?” The first thing that had to happen before the body could be prepared—and of course in preparing the body, however Christ reduced Himself down in power and glory, it had to be made compatible with genes and chromosomes, correct, in order for that begettal in Mary to produce a human being. Now with the knowledge we have of science today we can understand that a little bit more.

Ok, Philippians 2:5: “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus [setting the example of humility and giving up]; Who, although He existed in the form of God [and that is the correct translation], did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but emptied Himself…” It means He gave up His power, His glory, His splendor, His rule, His authority and handed it all over to God the Father. It’s going to be interesting…I’m anxious to see if there is that book, which I’m convinced that there is, and to understand what’s in it because this was a tremendous thing for God to do. “…And was made in the likeness of men, and took the form of a servant; and being found in the manner of man, He humbled Himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross” (Phil. 2:5-8). And we’re going to see there are some other things that were promised.

Now let’s come to Hebrews 1 and then we’ll go to Psalm 16. When He was born God commanded that the angels worship Him. Now that’s something. And they did. Remember the account in the book of Luke? The shepherds were out there and all of a sudden the heavens lighted up and here were a host of angels singing “Glory to God in the Highest.” So when Paul writes here beginning right here in verse 1, this is profound: “God, Who spoke to the fathers at different times in the past and in many ways by the prophets, has spoken to us in these last days by His Son…” Now how profound is that when compared to a human being even though He became a human like we are human. “…Whom He has appointed heir of all things, by Whom also He made the worlds…” So the very Creator Who made the heavens and the earth under the authority of God the Father was the one Who divested Himself and became a human being. You can’t have any greater authority and power than that to forgive your sins, can you? No.

Verse 3: “…Who, being the brightness of His glory and the exact image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His own power…” Now you think about that for a minute. The very one Who upholds the universe by the word of His power says that “If you confess your sins, I will forgive your sins.” That’s why you need to believe that that is so. And that’s why we need to have faith and love and all the attributes that God can give us, you see.

“…When He had by Himself…”, since He was the Creator of human beings; since He gave the judgment of the law of sin and death to Adam and Eve and that passed on to all human beings, He alone… And this is why it cannot be that the one who was Jesus Christ was just another man, because this has to save all humanity, see. “…When He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high; having been made so much greater than any of the angels, inasmuch as He has inherited a name exceedingly superior to them. For to which of the angels did He ever say, ‘You are My Son; this day I have begotten You’?” That’s a onetime occurrence. “And again, ‘I will be a Father to Him, and He will be a Son to Me’?” And that was part of their agreement.

“And again, when He brought the Firstborn into the world…” Now the King James says “begotten,” but that’s incorrect—it’s “firstborn.” It means when He was born of the virgin Mary. And remember what he was commanded to call Him? Jesus. What’s another name? Emmanuel. And what does that mean? God with us. “…When He brought the Firstborn into the world, He said, ‘Let all the angels of God worship Him’ ” (Heb. 1:1-6).

Now then we are ready for Psalm 16. Let’s go there. Here’s part of the promise. Now we can pick up a few clues from some of the psalms and some of the other scriptures. Verse 10, this is a promise of the resurrection. Since He was going to become a human being and suffer death He had to have the promise that God would fulfill, right? Here’s part of the promise: “For Thou wilt not leave My soul in hell [that means the grave]; neither wilt Thou suffer Thine Holy One to see corruption.” You can go back to Psalm 2 and see where Peter preached that on the Day of Pentecost concerning Christ. “Thou wilt shew Me the path of life: in Thy presence is fulness of joy; at Thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore” (Psa. 16:10-11). So He promised that He would not let His body corrupt.

Let’s come to Isaiah 9. Now Isaiah 9 is a very profound section of scripture. Verse 6: “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon His shoulder: and His name shall be called Wonderful…” Now look, all of these are names and attributes of God. So here it’s said of this little child that would be born: “…Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God…” As much of God as could be in the flesh, that’s what Jesus had. We’ve also seen that it’s impossible for God in His glorified form to fill a human body. Why? Because it would disintegrate it. That’s what God told Moses. He said, “You cannot see My face and live.” So therefore God had to divest Himself of His glory and power and honor and become a human being to become a child to be born.

Now let’s continue on here in Isaiah 9: “…and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father…” And I’ve had a lot of people ask me the question: “Well, when is Jesus going to be the everlasting Father? And what about God the Father? Does this not present a conflict?” Well, no. God the Father is the Father of all of those who are going to be in the first resurrection. He will not be the Father of all those who come into the Kingdom of God during the Millennium. Jesus Christ will be the Father of all of those, and the church ruling with Christ will be the Mother of them. So henceforth then at that time the one that we know as the Father is our Father but will be their Grandfather, if we could put it into human terms. So that’s when Jesus will be the everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

“Of the increase of His government and peace there shall be no end [just like there’s no end to the universe], upon the throne of David, and upon His kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this” (Isa. 9:6-7).

Now when Jesus came in the flesh now you will understand even more Isaiah 50. And understand this: The current thing that is going around about Jesus is this, and if you got tired of watching all the Christmas shows over the Christmas holidays and so forth and you turned on History Channel, you saw a lot of stories out of the Bible. And one of the stories that keeps coming out over and over and over again is Jesus was a Jew born into a Jewish family and He was taught by the Rabbi’s, and Jesus Himself was a Rabbi. Well (and I believe that this is part of the covenant that was written in that scroll), since Jesus gave up everything to become a human being… And you know when a baby is born, outside of just certain functions that God has programmed into the mind of a baby such as responding to love, being able to nurture, being able to have some few rudimentary movements and things like that, the brain is virtually empty of any knowledge. There is no programmed knowledge in there. They don’t come out speaking a language: “Oh, Hi Mom. Boy, I’m sure glad to be here. It was kind of dark and wet in there for all these nine months.”

God could not leave the mind of Jesus Christ to be taught and programmed by liars, because what the Rabbi’s follow is based upon their traditions, which are lies against the Word of God. So He was taught by the Father directly, and I think beginning at a very early age, probably almost immediately. Question: Do newborn babies begin responding to mother and father and the environment around them? Yes, immediately, don’t they? Yes. Well, we’ve covered this before but we will cover it again.

Isaiah 50:4, and this is a prophecy, as we have noted in the Harmony and also in the coming New Testament, of Jesus education. We’ll go there in just a minute (in John 7). Isaiah 50:4: “The Lord GOD hath given Me the tongue of the learned…” And isn’t that what they wanted even at age twelve when He was there at the temple and He was talking to all the teachers and priests. They were [saying], “My, where did he get all this understanding?” See, at age twelve where did He get it? Did Mary teach it to Him? Did Joseph teach it to Him? No. “The Lord GOD hath given Me the tongue…” It came from God, see. The one Who became God the Father taught His Son: “…that I should know how to speak a word in season to him that is weary [which is a prophecy of the Gospel of the good news]: He wakeneth morning by morning [every morning God the Father woke up Jesus], He wakeneth Mine ear to hear as the learned.” That’s how He was taught. God didn’t leave it to sinful men to teach Jesus. He taught Him directly. And we would have to conclude that that is absolutely necessary, otherwise what? Jesus would, as a young child, be led into sin, correct? Yes, indeed. So it couldn’t have happened except this way. “…He wakeneth mine ear to hear as the learned. The Lord GOD hath opened mine ear, and I was not rebellious, neither turned away back” (Isa. 50:45). Then it jumps forward into the things that would happen at the crucifixion.

And you find this in the Old Testament. That’s why the Old Testament is a precept here, a line here, a bit here, and you put it together. Because now here we have verses 4 and 5 are about His first coming and His education. Then immediately it jumps forward to His scourging. And you find that in the Old Testament. When you understand that that’s how the Old Testament is written then you’ll be able to understand it. But what is the key for understanding the Old Testament? The New Testament. That’s what Jesus said: He opened their minds to the things concerning Him out of the Law, the Prophets, and the Psalms. So the New Testament interprets the Old.

Ok, let’s go forward here. Now with this in mind let’s come to John 5. Let’s see what was part of the covenant that Jesus had to respond to, because He had His part. His part was that when He was here as a human being He had an obligation of what He was going to say and what He was going to do. And God the Father taught Him that, didn’t He? Yes. Ok, John 5 and let’s pick it up here in verse 17 when they came to Him because He healed a man on the Sabbath: “But Jesus answered them, ‘My Father is working until now, and I work.’ ” See, they did not understand that there is a spiritual work always going on. And the greatest work that is accomplished on the Sabbath is the spiritual work, which comes through study, prayer, God’s Spirit, fellowshipping with God the Father and Jesus Christ—all come together on the Sabbath day. And it has to be a participation spiritually with those who are teaching and those who are learning that altogether with God’s Spirit, you see, that we all learn. So that’s a spiritual work. And of course on the Sabbath the Jews couldn’t understand that.

“So then, on account of this saying, the Jews sought all the more to kill Him, not only because He had loosed the Sabbath…” Now the King James says “broke the Sabbath,” and as we went through the series on Refuting Sundaykeeping, those who do not understand the Greek nor understand what the New Testament is teaching say, “He broke the Sabbath to set the example that we can keep Sunday.” That’s a carnal mind trying to understand something spiritual. No, He loosed that law which said you can’t carry, as we would say today, a sleeping bag on the Sabbath. He loosed the Sabbath. “…But also because He had called God His own Father, making Himself equal with God.”

Now verse 19. Here’s part of what was Jesus’ responsibility. “Therefore, Jesus answered and said to them…” What I want you to do is also keep in mind what the scriptures tell us of Lucifer and Satan, who rebelled and went against God and said, “I will be like God,” and “I will exalt my throne above the stars of heaven,” and all of that. Now compare that with the attitude of what Christ had here. And of course this had to be because also Christ has to judge Satan the devil. And in order to judge Satan the devil, that’s part of the reason He came in the flesh so that He could overcome him as a human being, which is a lesser existence than God, a lesser existence than an angel. God can overcome Satan any time, can’t He? Angels fight back and forth—the good angels and the evil angels, don’t they? You can read that in Daniel 9 and 10. But to overcome Satan as a human being (Which, who did not do [it]? Adam and Eve.), He had to do it.

So He had an obligation. Now keep that in mind when we read verse 19: “Therefore, Jesus answered and said to them, ‘Truly, truly I say to you, the Son has no power [dunamis] to do anything of Himself…’ ” That was His agreement. He would take no power to Himself to do anything of His own. “ ‘…But only what He sees the Father do.’ ” Does that not verify Isaiah 50, that He saw the Father? Yes, indeed. “ ‘For whatever He does, these things the Son also does in the same manner. For the Father loves the Son, and shows Him everything that He Himself is doing’ ” (John 5:17-20). So what I want you to do is think of the tremendous spiritual relationship that Jesus Christ had with God the Father all during His life while this was going on, you see. [That’s] something, I mean really something. So then that’s why He was given authority as the Son of man and so forth.

Now let’s come back here to John 3:31. This was also part of it and this also verifies it: “ ‘He Who comes from above is above all. The one who is of the earth is earthy, and speaks of the earth. He Who comes from heaven is above all;…’ ” Isn’t it interesting—people wonder where Jesus came from. And here it is—He comes from heaven. Verse 32: “ ‘…And what He has seen and heard,…’ ” Now that’s what the Father taught Him, right? Had to be. “ ‘…This is what He testifies; but no one receives His testimony. The one who has received His testimony has set his seal that God is true; for He Whom God has sent speaks the words of God;…’ ” That was Jesus’ obligation under this covenant.

You see, just like when we are baptized and put into the watery grave and we enter into that covenant relationship with God, it is a covenant relationship unto death (that’s why it is a burial) and we are cojoined to the death of Christ Who paid for our sins. Now then, when we come out of that watery grave we have an obligation to do, based upon the terms of the covenant, don’t we? Yes, indeed. We are to obey God, we are to love God, we are to believe God, we are to trust in Him. All of those things are our obligation. Just like with the covenant that Christ had between Him and God the Father, He had an obligation, didn’t He. His obligation was to speak what God told Him to speak. Whatever the commandment was He told Him to speak, He spoke. And so that we understand, and then this becomes much more profound, you see, that these words are the words which God the Father has given. So when anyone rejects Christ they reject the Father. That’s why John said, “He who has not the Son has not the Father.”

Verse 34: “ ‘For He Whom God has sent [now that’s referring to Christ] speaks the words of God; and God gives not the Spirit by measure unto Him. The Father loves the Son and has given all things into His hand. The one who believes in the Son has everlasting life; but the one who does not obey the Son shall not see life, for the wrath of God remains on him’ ” (John 3:31-36).

Now let’s come to John 7. Isn’t it interesting that a lot of these things that we’re picking up, which had to be part of that covenant that was written in the scroll of the book, we find in the Gospel of John. John 7. Now we’ve covered this before but let’s look at just a couple of things that are important here. Let’s just talk about the Feast of Tabernacles for a minute because this is what John 7 is talking about. Let’s ask a question: Would Jesus command His brothers and mother to sin? No. Did He tell them to go up to the Feast? Yes, He did. So therefore anybody who says that keeping the Feast of Tabernacles is a sin is accusing Jesus of commanding sin. They don’t think of it that way, but that’s what they’re doing.

Now His brothers said, “Go up and show yourself to the world.” Let’s come here to verse 6: “Therefore, Jesus said to them, ‘My time has not yet come, but your time is always ready. The world cannot hate you; but it hates Me because I testify concerning it, that its works are evil. You go up to this feast.’ ” There it is, He said go to the Feast, the Feast of Tabernacles. “ ‘I am not going up to this feast now…’ ” What He wanted to happen was for them to leave and be on their way then He would come up privately, because He was going to the Feast but He had a plan in mind that He was going to do when He got there, and He couldn’t do it if He went with them. Because what would happen? Now I’m sure they didn’t have binoculars in those days, but I’m sure they had everybody up there looking: “Well, there’s Mary and James and Joseph, and so forth. There they are. Where’s Jesus? We don’t see Him.” See, so that’s why He said (He had a plan in mind, we’ll see what it is). He says: “ ‘You go up to this feast. I am not going up to this feast now [that means at this present minute], for My time has not yet been fulfilled.’ And after saying these things to them, He remained in Galilee. But after His brothers had gone up, then Jesus also went up to the feast, not openly, but as it were in secret. As a result, the Jews were seeking Him at the feast, and said, ‘Where is He?’ Now there was much debating about Him among the people. Some said, ‘He is a good man.’ But others said, ‘No, but He is deceiving the people.’ However, no one spoke publicly about Him for fear of the Jews.”

“But then, about the middle of the feast, Jesus went up into the temple and was teaching.” So He was there keeping the feast all the time but didn’t show Himself till the middle of the feast. Now notice the reaction here, verse 15: “And the Jews were amazed, saying, ‘How does this man knows letters [that means how does He understand the scriptures], having never been schooled?’ ” Now let’s stop here and think for a minute. We have the Sadducees, we have the Pharisees, we have the Essenes, we have all of the Rabbi’s. We have the school of Hillel, we have the school of Gamaliel—those were the two main schools in Jerusalem. So if you wanted to become some muckymuck in Judaism you had to go to one of these two schools. Don’t you think, since this is the Feast of Tabernacles just before His crucifixion, don’t you think that all of the leading Jewish Rabbi’s checked out with one another from the very beginning and said, “Did he go to your school?” “Did he go to your school? Who taught this guy?” Now what do you think they would have done to the Rabbi who had taught Him? Sayonara (good old Japanese phrase). He would have been tried and convicted. “How dare you teach someone to usurp our authority.” You know, whatever you want to add to it.

Now then, verse 16: “Jesus answered them and said, ‘My doctrine is not Mine, but His Who sent Me. If anyone desires to do His will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it is from God, or whether I speak from My own self’ ” (John 7:6-17). There it is—His obligation. This was part of His covenant with God the Father. So the one Who became the Father said, “Alright, I’ll watch over You, I’ll teach You while you grow up, and when the times comes for the beginning of Your ministry,” which we find there in Mark 1, the beginning of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and so forth, “then You are to teach and say only My words.” Which is what He did all the way through.

Now let’s come over here to Chapter 8, verse 28: “Then Jesus said to them, ‘When you have lifted up the Son of man, then you yourselves shall know that I AM, and that I do nothing of Myself. But as the Father taught Me, these things I speak.’ ” How many times did He say that over and over and over again, you see. “ ‘And He Who sent Me is with Me. The Father has not left Me alone because I always do the things that please Him’ ” (John 8:28-29).

Now then, was keeping the Feast of Tabernacles in the manner that He kept it pleasing to God? It had to be. That was part of His obligation: Always speak the words that God the Father taught Him; always do the things that please Him. So you see this is the separate covenant that Jesus was under, and the covenant between Him and God the Father. Now it’s going to be very interesting when we’re resurrected and we meet the Father and we see where these books are written. And I’m sure that they’re going to open them up and say (how ever they keep time in heaven in relationship to the earth), “This was our agreement.”

Ok, now let’s look at another one. Let’s come to John 10:14: “ ‘I am the good Shepherd, and I know those who are Mine, and am known of those who are Mine. Just as the Father knows Me, I also know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep.’ ” That was part of His agreement—to lay down His life. He had to do the hardest thing , [more] than any human being could do—lay down His life into the manner that it was taken. We’ll have more to talk about that when we come down toward Passover time. “ ‘And I have other sheep that are not of this fold. I must bring those also, and they shall hear My voice; and there shall be one flock and one Shepherd. On account of this, the Father loves Me: because I lay down My life, that I may receive it back again.’ ” Now that’s the proper translation. He didn’t take it back. This is passive—receive. Because God the Father had to give it back to Him, didn’t He? Remember what happened when Jesus was on the cross, one of the very last things He said? “Father, into Your hands I commend My Spirit,” and He gave up the ghost—the Spirit. That’s when He died, because He had to be dead. And it’s not docetism where a spirit being called Christ imposed itself into the body of a man called Jesus. And so therefore [they claim] Jesus Christ did not die. The Spirit Christ went back to the Father, and the man Jesus died. That’s not what it was. “ ‘…I may receive it back again.’ ”

Verse 18: “ ‘No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself.’ ” Of His own accord He did it. “ ‘I have authority to lay it down [that’s part of the covenant agreement that they had] and authority to receive it back again. This commandment I received from My Father’ ” (John 10:14-18). So that’s quite a thing. That helps you understand the voluntary choice and will of God to do this. Now think back and go back to the verse we started with, John 3:16, where it says that “God so loved the world”—think what the Father and the Son worked out. Think of what they did. This is a tremendous thing. This is a tremendous covenant that they had.

Now let’s look at some other things concerning this. Let’s look and see and understand when He says “I lay My life down,” let’s see what He knew was going to happen. Let’s come to Isaiah 53. He knew this was going to happen. He gave this prophecy Himself. Did Jesus understand exactly what was going to happen to Him? Yes, He did. Isaiah 53 is a very profound chapter. This is why the sacrifice of Jesus Christ saves all who repent. This is why God alone can help people in these situations because He went through it all.

Isaiah 53:1: “Who hath believed our report?” How many people really believe God? “And to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed? For He shall grow up before Him as a tender plant [that’s Christ’s childhood], and as a root out of a dry ground: He hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see Him, there is no beauty that we should desire Him.” So He’s just an ordinary looking man. Notice what kind of life He lived. You think you’ve got troubles, this is what God had to suffer in the flesh among His own. It says there in John 1 He created the world and the world didn’t know Him and He came to His own and His own didn’t receive Him. So if you’re down and out, if you’re alone, if you think nobody likes you, no one loves you, no one cares for you—look up, pray to God. Look to Jesus Christ, He’ll help you. “He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief…” And this has to do when they saw Him on the cross: “…And we hid as it were our faces from Him; He was despised, and we esteemed Him not.”

“Surely He hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows…” That’s why it says in Matthew 11, “All you who are heavy burdened, come unto Me for My yoke is easy and My burden is light” (Matt 11:28-30, paraphrased), because you can put all of those on Christ. “…Yet we did esteem Him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.” Yeah, they came by and said, “Well…” And even one of the two robbers said, “Well, if You’re the Christ save Yourself and save us.” The other one said, “You don’t even know what you’re talking about. We’re here because we did it. We’re here justly, but He not justly.” Then he said, “Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom.”

“But He was wounded for our transgressions [not for anything He did], He was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon Him…” In other words in order for us to have peace with God, the penalty of our sins had to be slashed upon His back with the scourging of crucifixion to bring peace. “…And with His stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all [because He was responsible]. He was oppressed, and He was afflicted, yet He opened not his mouth: He is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so He openeth not His mouth. He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare His generation? for He was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of My people was He stricken. And He made His grave with the wicked…” See, all of this was there. All of this had to be written in the scroll that is all about Christ and the covenant that God the Father and Jesus Christ had, and then we are given some of it here and some of it there and put all together. And the key thing that really got me started on this was there was no place where that part which says “it’s written of Me in a scroll of a book,” there’s no place in the Bible where you can find what was written, except you get a bit here and a bit there.

“And He made His grave with the wicked, and with the rich in His death; because He had done no violence, neither was any deceit in His mouth. Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise Him…”, even though He did. And that goes back to Genesis 3:15, doesn’t it? Yes. Even though it pleased God to do it to solve the problem of sin and His creation of human beings, it still was so gruesome that when it came down to the final three hours of Christ on the cross, it became dark and Jesus had to do it alone. So that was something. That’s why they had this covenant. That’s why this agreement was there.

“…He hath put Him to grief: when Thou shalt make His soul an offering for sin…” Now then out of that: “…He shall see His seed…”, because as it is in the great congregation (as it says back there in Hebrews 2, “I will declare Your name unto My brethren in the great congregation.”) That, brethren, has got to be at the resurrection. Here is Christ, all of us are resurrected and we meet Him in the air, and He turns to God the Father and says, “Here are the children that You have given Me.” And He’s going to go right down the line and give everyone a new name. We’ll have to save that for Pentecost. We’ll go on.

“…He shall prolong His days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in His hand. He shall see of the travail of His soul, and shall be satisfied [takes care of all sin]: by His knowledge shall My righteous servant justify many; for He shall bear their iniquities.” Only God can do that. No human being, no animal. This had to be carefully prepared and worked out well ahead of time. “Therefore will I divide Him a portion with the great, and He shall divide the spoil with the strong [that’s giving a reward to all of us]; because He hath poured out His soul unto death: and He was numbered with the transgressors; and He bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors” (Isa. 53:1-12).

Now let’s come back to Hebrews 10 and let’s read that again. Maybe this will give us more understanding. And is one of these things that we come to realize after we’ve been converted a long time and have really studied the Word of God. Let’s come back here and read it, verse 5: “For this reason, when He comes into the world, He says, ‘Sacrifice and offering You did not desire, but You have prepared a body for Me. You did not delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin. Then said I, “Lo, I come (as it is written of Me in the scroll of the book [the covenant between God the Father and Jesus Christ]) to do Your will, O God” ’ ” (Heb. 10:5-7).

So that’s something brethren, and we’re part of it, and here we’re living right at the end of the age and it’s going to be really profound to see what God is going to do. So that is a covenant (since God is a covenant God) that God the Father and Jesus Christ made when He came to the earth.

(End of Sermon)

Transcriber Carolyn Singer

The Special Covenant Between God the Father and Jesus Christ
January 10, 2004
Scriptural References

  1. John 3:16
  2. I Corinthians 2:6-14
  3. Hebrews 10:1-7
  4. Psalm 40:6-8
  5. Revelation 10:1-9
  6. Revelation 5: 1-3
  7. Revelation 13:8
  8. Hebrews 10:5,7
  9. Psalm 2:7
  10. Philippians 2:5-8
  11. Hebrews 1:1-6
  12. Psalm 16:10-11
  13. Isaiah 9:6-7
  14. Isaiah 50:4-5
  15. John 5:17-20
  16. John 3:31-36
  17. John 7:6-17
  18. John 8:28-29
  19. John 10:14-18
  20. Isaiah 53:1-12
  21. Matthew 11:28-30
  22. Genesis 3:15
  23. Hebrews 10:5-7

BOOKS