"IF" Clauses in John #3

Fred Coulter—November 20, 2010

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Greetings, everyone! Welcome to Sabbath services. This will be IF clauses in the Gospel of John. So let's pick it up where we left off last time in John 10. Of course, one of the reasons why the scribes and Pharisees were so much against Jesus was not only because He wasn't part of them, but because He went by the Scriptures rather than their traditions. He went by what God wanted Him to do, rather than submit to their authority.

One of the things that the scribes and Pharisees and priests were looking for was when the Messiah would come, He would align Himself with them and throw off the yoke of the Romans. The Scriptures were not understood that He would come as a human being, yet He was God; that He would die, yet be resurrected from the dead. And, of course, how many times did Jesus tell them, 'Have you never read'?

They understood this statement very well, John 10:30: "'I and the Father are one.'.... [So they knew this meant that He was making Himself God. Anyone who would say that would be accused of making Himself God.] (So that's why): ...Then the Jews again picked up stones so that they might stone Him. Jesus answered them, 'Many good works I have showed you from My Father. For which of them are you about to stone Me?' The Jews answered Him, saying, 'We will not stone You for a good work, but for blasphemy, and because You, being a man, are making Yourself God'" (vs 30-33). So Jesus really threw them a curveball here, and this was in the Scriptures and yet they didn't understand it.

Verse 34: "Jesus answered them, 'Is it not written in your law...'" In other words, haven't you read it? It's like anything else. A lot of people don't read what they're supposed to read. And how many times have you tried to put together something that you saw the picture on the box and you put it together, but it was wrong and you didn't read the instructions, same way here.

"...'Is it not written in your law... [You have the Scriptures; you have the Word of God.] ..."I said, 'You are gods?'".... [God is calling human beings gods. So that was hard for them to figure.] ...IF He called them gods, to whom the Word of God came (and the Scriptures cannot be broken)'" (vs 34-35). That's the thing that's important to understand, because people come along and say, 'We don't need the Old Testament. We don't need this part of the New Testament.' And like the one I had, if you've heard the sermon, The Evangelical Bible: A Fast Track to Salvation. Remember I did the sermon on that? They believe in two Scriptures: John 3:16; 5:24. That's all they need. So have they never read? And we have the same thing exactly happening today—don't we? When people hear us say that you've been created in the image of God so that at the resurrection you can become an immortal spirit being in the Family of God, they say, 'You're a cult.' Well, let's look at Psalm 82.

Lots of times, people get around and talk about the Bible and never open it. Have you ever been in those conversations? What invariably happens—and this is why it had to be written down—is this: Someone will quote a Scripture not correctly and no one will pick up on it until someone says, 'Well, let's get a Bible and read it.' Okay, that's fine! Then today with so many different translations and problems you have to ask which Bible? So this is why we did the Bible, so that we could have it.

So here's what He quoted, Psalm 82:6: "I [God] have said 'You are gods [Elohim] and all of you are sons of the Most High." Now that one verse is really important to understand. The Old Testament says 'line upon line; precept upon precept; here a little, there a little.' In the Psalms you see this fulfilled this way, because it will go along and talk about something that is happening right now and then all of a sudden, BAM! there's a verse right in the middle of it that refers to something related to the New Testament, related to what's going to happen at the end. "...and all of you are sons of the Most High." That is the whole purpose of why we're here and where we're going.

In Romans 8 we find the same thing. We find our relationship with God goes beyond and above commandment-keeping. It is a covenantal relationship where

  • we stand in the grace of God
  • we have the Spirit of God
  • we are to grow in grace and knowledge

This whole package is called by Paul sonship. The King James says 'adoption.' There's a vast difference between having your own children and adopting a child of someone else. If we're going to be the sons and daughters of God, then we have to have the Spirit of God so that we belong to Him. So it's much, much greater. It is 'sonship,' not belonging to one of the tribes of Israel. All that had to happen to be part of Israel was that your mother and father were Israelites and you were circumcised on the eighth day, and then for a girl when she grew up and was married, then she participated in the circumcision through the conjugal act of husband and wife.

Romans 8:14: "For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are the sons of God. Now you have not received a spirit of bondage again unto fear, but you have received the Spirit of sonship... [A special calling. And God deals with our lives individually. We need to understand that nothing is impossible for God. We will be immortal and if we are going to be the spirit sons and daughters of God, guess what? We will be part of Elohim or gods just like Jesus said.] ...the Spirit of sonship, whereby we call out, 'Abba, Father'" (vs 14-15). The most intimate relationship possible! This is not a formal relationship; this is intimate. This is why for the New Testament the sacred names are God the Father and Jesus Christ. The New Covenant with the sonship goes beyond the sacred names of the Old Testament.

Now notice how he goes further in explaining this, v 16: "The Spirit itself bears witness conjointly with our own spirit, testifying that we are the children of God. Now if we are children, we are also heirs—truly, heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ..." (vs 16-17). Now that's something—joint heir! What are we going to inherit? It'll start with New Jerusalem, because we'll see that Jesus said, 'I go to prepare a place for you and I will come again where you can be with Me.' Just to paraphrase it there.

In this world there are some things that we have to go through, because the Spirit of God is contrary to the spirit of the world. The plan of God is contrary to the religions of this world. And as we've pointed out on Why Were You Born, From a Speck of Dust to a Son of God, all religions have some kind of purpose that they state. This is the purpose, but none of them have a clue. Some of them in words sound like they're close, but they're really, really not.

So we suffer. "...IFindeed we suffer together with Him, so that we may also be glorified together with Him. For I reckon that the sufferings of the present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that shall be revealed in us" (vs 17-18). So this is the special calling of God to sonship. This is why there is not universal salvation for the world today. God is doing this in a way that the world doesn't know, doesn't recognize, because they're unwilling to believe God and to follow the Scriptures. They could if they would, because God has put the Bible out there for them. They need to take God at His word and repent. But remember what Jesus said, 'The Scripture cannot be broken.' And we know in 2-Peter 3 that Peter equated the epistles of Paul to Scripture. We also find the same thing here in Gal. 4 and this is why the series that we just finished, Grace of God and Commandment-Keeping, that's a long series, but in order to understand the deep things of God, we've got to get into it deeply. You've got to come and understand it.

One of the big problems that we have today in the world, not only the 'Evangelical Bible,' a two-verse salvation—that's the fastest drive-thru in the world—but also within the Churches of God. They have not gone beyond the basics and therefore, they are easily victimized by close-sounding doctrine. We need to have not only

  • the Truth
  • the Spirit of God
  • the Word of God
  • believe and know that it is true
  • prove that it is true

—but we've got to have the conviction which comes from faith so that we have absolutely no doubts.

The thing that is so important in this relationship, since you are called to be and with the Spirit of God in you, a son of God, begotten by the Father, you have direct access to God the Father and Jesus Christ yourself. You don't have to go through a minister. Ministers and teachers are to minister and to teach, but they have to teach themselves from the Word of God. It works like this: If we know and teach the Word of God in truth, in love, and faith and things like that, to uplift the brethren, to build the Church, then God will give more understanding to the teachers and the ministers to teach. It is an automatic, ongoing thing. If we don't, we come to a standstill. And if you come to a standstill, what happens? Pretty soon you're almost in stop position and in that position, then people begin to wonder, 'Well, I don't know about this.' Doctrines can be changed and relationships become strained, and then we see a scattering and division that we've seen quite a few times over.

So right here he talks about the comparison between the Old Covenant and the New Covenant. Galatians 4:1: "Now then, I say, for as long a time as the heir is a child, he is no different from a servant, although he be lord of all.... [He has to be taught the ABC's, everything like that. We're still using the same alphabet that we learned when we first learned what the alphabet was—right? Yes!] ...But he is under guardians and stewards until the time appointed beforehand by the father. In the same way, when we were children... [As little children. Now he's not talking about being children of God here. When we were children, spiritually speaking.] ...we were held in bondage under the elements of the world. But when the time for the fulfillment came... [There's an appointed time for Christ to come.] ...God sent forth His own Son, born of a woman, born under law, In order that He might redeem those who are under law... [Unless you have the Spirit of God. Everyone is under law. Some people may think they're under grace to sin, but they're not, they're under law.] ...so that we might receive the gift of sonship from God" (vs 1-5).

Now that's the greatest fulfillment in our lives. This is the beginning of where Jesus quoted the Scriptures, 'I said you are gods.' This is the beginning of it. The completion of it is at the resurrection and then if you think we have an education that we're going through now, just think of what it's going to be when we're spirit beings.

Verse 5: "In order that He might redeem those who are under law, so that we might receive the gift of sonship from God. And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying, 'Abba, Father'" (vs 5-6). So there he brings it out. This is the key and important thing. Now this is why so many of the teachings of Jesus Christ are based on IF. All of these are qualifications that we have to meet.

Human nature has to be overcome and changed with the Spirit of God. And all of these IF clauses we're going to see fit into what we are told in Matt. 6:33.

Here is what we are to do. Here is what the Holy Spirit of God is going to lead us to do. This cannot be possible without the Spirit of God. This cannot be possible with just knowing the laws of God. You can come so far, just like the children of Israel. They could come so far, but they never had the heart to love and obey God, because the Holy Spirit was not offered to them.

Matthew 6:33: "'But as for you, seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness... [Now you tie that in with loving God with all your heart, with all your mind, with all your soul, with all your being.] ...seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you." Whatever you need in your physical life, God will give to you. But just think of all the spiritual things that will be coming.

So there's an awful lot tied up in John 10:35; all of these give us a guide on how we are to

  • seek the Kingdom of God first and His righteousness
  • grow in grace and knowledge
  • grow in the Spirit of God

and then being prepared through the sonship of God. So this is quite a thing when we put it all together.

John 10:36: "Why do you say of Him Whom the Father has sanctified and sent into the world, 'You are blaspheming,' because I said, 'I am the Son of God'?.... [It's not blasphemy to do that. That's the whole purpose of Christ coming.] ...IF I do not do the works of My Father, do not believe Me. But IF I do, even IF you do not believe Me, believe the works... [Christ did all the works that no other man has done.] ...so that you may perceive and may believe that the Father is in Me, and I in Him. But IF I do, even IF you do not believe Me" (vs 36-38). So there we go, three IFs right in a row.

Most of the IFs in chapter eleven have to do with—'IF You [Christ] would have been here, Lazarus would not have died,' and so forth. I just want to cover a couple of verses here. John 11:32: "Then Mary, when she came where Jesus was and saw Him, fell at His feet, saying to Him, 'Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died.'"

People want to know, 'Well, why did God allow this?' We'll just make it easy to understand. Had the Holy Spirit been given yet? No! Did Jesus want Lazarus in the first resurrection? Yes! So He raised him back to life to demonstrate He had the power of the resurrection and life, and also as a witness to the Pharisees and priests, and so forth. That's when they made their final determination to kill Him. So there we have it; that's why He brought him back to life.

Now when you read in Acts 1 there were 120 gathered in the upper room. In one of the commentaries in the Bible, we figure out who the 120 are. You have the 11: Mary and Jesus' brothers; Lazarus; the 70, probably Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus, and some of the others. So you can get up to 120 pretty quick. Nevertheless, the whole ministry of Jesus Christ had a net total of 120—10x12—which then 12 is the number of

  • beginnings
  • perfection
  • government
  • completion

So that's why Lazarus was resurrected.

Now, let's see what else He said here, John 11:40. After they took away the stone and Martha said, 'Lord, he already stinks. He's been in there four days.' Very interesting, because the Jewish law was that you had to be dead three days and three nights in order to be legally dead. So that's why Jesus was three days and three nights in the grave, plus a few hours, when you come to understand it.

Verse 40: "Jesus said to her, 'Did I not say to you that IF you will believe, you shall see the glory of God?'" Then they took the stone away and notice the prayer of Jesus. When you really see the prayers that are recorded in the Bible, like Elijah and here with Jesus, notice this prayer. If someone has a watch, time the seconds. Let me read it.

Verse 41: "…And Jesus lifted His eyes upward and said, 'Father, I thank You that You have heard Me.... [Even before He called out Lazarus.] ...And I know that You hear Me always; but because of the people who stand around I say this, so that they may believe that You did send Me'" (vs 41-42). Then after that He said, 'Lazarus, come forth,' and he came out. I've often wondered what Lazarus thought when he was turned around and saw the tomb and was taking off the napkin wrapped around him and all of the grave clothes. I don't know if anyone can remember that they've been dead. So that was quite a thing! But the key is here—IF you believe, you will see the glory of God.

John 12:23 also becomes the real key chapter. He's speaking of Himself, and I think this is very interesting: "But Jesus answered them, saying, 'The time has come for the Son of man to be glorified. Truly, truly I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies... [He's talking about Himself, but this also has a reference then to what? The Wave Sheaf Offering Day.] ...falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but IF it dies, it bears much fruit…. [here he was talking about His life] …The one who loves his life shall lose it, and the one who hates his life in this world shall keep it unto eternal life.... [A lot of people want to do this—don't they?]: ...IF anyone will serve Me, let him follow Me; and where I am, there shall My servant be also. And IF anyone serves Me, him shall the Father honor'" (vs 23-26). Quite a thing!

A lot of people want to do it and to do it their own way. Let's see what Christ says about this. Let's come back here to Matthew 16; let's see Peter's attitude. Let's see what happened when Jesus revealed some things to them that were about to happen. So this gives us an insight as to how human beings think, in particularly Peter.

Matthew 16:21: "From that time Jesus began to explain to His disciples that it was necessary... [or you could put there ordained or obligatory] ...for Him to go to Jerusalem, and to suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and to be killed, and to be raised the third day. But after taking Him aside, Peter personally began to rebuke Him... [Now here's a good thought. That's why, not all do-good thoughts are good or are they necessarily from God.] (Notice what Peter did): ...Peter personally began to rebuke Him, saying, 'God will be favorable to you, Lord. In no way shall this happen to You'" (vs 21-22). 'We're here, Lord, we're going to save You.' Well, only God the Father is going to save Jesus Christ. But notice what Jesus said, because this gives us an insight into a lot of human thinking that appears good on the surface, but where is the inspiration coming from? Sounds like the Obama-care bill—doesn't it? 'Well, you'll find out what's in it after we pass it.'

Verse 23: "Then He turned and said to Peter, 'Get behind Me, Satan!...." Now that's an interesting statement—isn't it? Because what happened just before this? You go back to v 16, where in answering the question that Jesus asked His disciples 'whom men say I am,' Peter answered and said, 'You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.' Quite a different thing when you come over here to v 23.

"...'Get behind Me, Satan! You are an offense to Me, because your thoughts are not in accord with the things of God, but the things of men.'…. [Key important thing to understand. You cannot accomplish spiritual things by human means. That's why you cannot solve spiritual problems with political means. It won't work.] (Then notice what Jesus said. Here's a big IF right here): …And Jesus said to His disciples, 'IF anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself..." (vs 23-24).

Peter was pushing himself forward. Peter was making himself something. 'We're going to save you, Lord. I'll be there.' Remember: Who was the one who took out the sword and cut off the ear of the servant of the high priest? It was Peter. Peter's right there. Well, it's good to be a fighter, but you have to fight for a good thing in a right way. "...'IF anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and let him take up his cross and follow Me'" (v 24).

Now that's quite a statement. Doesn't that also tie in with the things of Rom. 8, that if we're going to reign with Him, we're going to suffer with Him. We have to deny ourselves

  • not placate ourselves
  • not serve ourselves
  • not put ourselves forward as if we're the savior for Christ, to do something for Him

He is the one Who has to do something for us. Yes, we are to return and do what Christ wants us to do, but we're not the initiator of it, God is.

Then He says, v 25: "'For whoever desires to save his life shall lose it; but whoever will lose his life for My sake shall find it. For what does it profit a man IF he gains the whole world, but loses his life?... [Now the King James says 'soul,' but that's because they believe in the immortality of the soul, so wherever they could put in soul, they put it there. But 'lose his life.'] ...Or what shall a man give in exchange for his life?'" (vs 25-26).

Now, how many rich people have tried to live forever? Spend all kinds of money. This whole thing, what do they call that where they freeze the bodies and then thaw them out later on—cryogenics. All you have to do is just take a steak and thaw it out and you know, it's good to eat, but it's not alive. So there's a good IF right there.

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Here's what happens when people don't study: People then begin to slack off. Our minds are geared in such a way—and this is why we have the Sabbath every week—that they have to be renewed and we have to go over the things, over and over and over. There is something that's really important when we do; Jesus said, 'The words that I speak to you, they are spirit and they are life.' So when we read these—with the Spirit of God, and with our minds—then we have God's way in our minds and in our hearts and we have spiritual life in us.

As we were discussing and it referred to last week about when I talked about how it's recorded there in 2-Chron.32 that God said that He left Hezekiah to test him, to know what was in his heart. So if we're not coming to God on a continual basis through study and prayer, then God will not continue being with you in the same way. We're to seek first, that means keep on seeking, the Kingdom of God and His righteousness.

Let's continue on in John 12:37: "Although... [which is a statement of conclusion that He did many things] ...He had done so many miracles in their presence, they did not believe in Him." Why? Because it required something of them they were not willing to do. That's why it all starts with repentance and, yes, everyday we have repentance—don't we? Because

  • we're imperfect, growing to perfection
  • we're carnal, growing to spiritual

Here's an automatic thing that happens. If you don't believe, it's just like the law of gravity. If you drop something it'll hit the ground. So if you don't believe, here's what happens.

Verse 38: "So that the word of Isaiah the prophet might be fulfilled who said, 'Lord, who has believed our report? And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?' For this very reason they could not believe because Isaiah said, 'He has blinded their eyes and hardened their hearts so that they would not see with their eyes and understand with their hearts, and be converted, and I would heal them'" (vs 38-40). That's quoted several times in the Gospels, which is really quite a tremendous thing. We know the hope of the Last Great Day, where God is going to take care of this. However, it shows the process of what happens when we don't believe, when we don't have faith. It's working just like the law of gravity, for good if we believe and keep on believing; if we seek and keep on seeking, then it grows. If not, it's withdrawn.

Verse 41: "Isaiah said these things when he saw His glory and spoke concerning Him. But even so... [here is another big problem]: ...many among the rulers believed in Him; but because of the Pharisees they did not confess Him, so that they would not be put out of the synagogue" (vs 41-42). This is the pressure that is exerted upon people to continue in the way of error. Happens all the time concerning many different things—Sabbath, Holy Days, clean and unclean meats, holidays of this world. How can you deny that it's going to be so good for all these people? Yeah, but it starts out with a lie. 'Well, that doesn't make any difference, look at all of the good'—and on and on and on. Then sooner or later you get into the things of men, like Jesus said, 'You savor the things of men rather than the things of God,' and you become more and more and more distant from God and He becomes more and more distant from you.

"For they loved the glory of men more than the glory of God. Then Jesus called out and said, 'The one who believes in Me does not believe in Me, but in Him Who sent Me.... [you're dealing with the Highest Authority in the universe] ...And the one who sees Me sees Him Who sent Me. I have come as a light into the world so that everyone who believes in Me may not remain in darkness…. [Very important! That is a subjunctive tense, meaning there are conditions. So then how do you come out of that darkness?] (Tells you v 47, how you either remain or come out): …But IF anyone hears My words and does not believe, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world, but to save the world.'…. [Yes, at that time He came to save it.] …The one who rejects Me and does not receive My words has one who judges him; the word which I have spoken, that shall judge him in the last day'" (vs 43-48).

Now that's very interesting in the Greek, because this is 'logion'—which means the whole message. Where you have 'words,' that means basically what has just been said. 'Word' means everything I have said—the whole message. When people don't believe, or they want to accept the things that they want, and insert them as something that comes from the Bible—which it doesn't—then you end up with the Christianity we have in the world. So you look at a situation, just like with our little group here, how can this be of God when it's so small? That's probably one of the reasons why it is of God.

Verse 48: "'The one who rejects Me and does not receive My words has one who judges him; the word which I have spoken, that shall judge him in the last day. For I have not spoken from Myself... [Think of all of Jesus' words this way.] ...but the Father, Who sent Me, gave Me commandment Himself, what I should say and what I should speak…. [That's why He said back there in John 5, 'I do nothing of Myself. I of My own self can do nothing.' Why would He? Why would He want to do something motivated from human nature, which He had?] …And I know that His commandment is eternal life. Therefore, whatever I speak, I speak exactly as the Father has told Me'" (vs 48-50).

Now come back here to Deuteronomy 18, because this fulfills the prophecy of Jesus given by Moses. Now there's one supposed minister in a supposed Church of God who says that he is 'that Prophet.' Hmmm! Well, I read in Acts 3 Peter said that Jesus was 'that Prophet.'

Deuteronomy 18:18: "I will raise up a Prophet from among their brethren, One like you... ['You don't want to hear the voice of God, you don't want to obey God because you heard it, but you told Moses we'll obey you, so okay, I'm going to accommodate you even more. I'm going to send one like you, Moses, and will put My words in his mouth.' That's what Jesus said. 'I say and speak what the Father has commanded Me.'] ...And He shall speak to them all that I shall command Him."

There's the prophecy of what Jesus would do. And I also wrote in the commentary, Why the New Testament. And the basic sum of it is this, because some people would say, 'Well, if God would come down from heaven and speak to me, or if I could hear from God in heaven directly, then I would believe Him.' But, no, God did that for the children of Israel and they didn't believe Him! So God says okay, 'I'll come as a human being. Do you want to listen to a human being? All right. Listen to Him.'

So what the New Testament is—especially the Gospels—answers all the questions you would ask God if you could sit down with Him and talk to Him. There it is. And then you will learn, 'Well, you've got to believe Moses and all the things that we've covered earlier.'

Now notice what'll happen here, v 19: "And it shall come to pass, whatever man will not hearken to My words which He shall speak in My name, I will require it of him….. [without a doubt] …But the prophet who shall presume to speak a word in My name which I have not commanded him to speak... [Now just put in your notes right there, 2-Tim. 4:1, commanded to preach the Word. So every minister needs to listen. What is your message? What are you teaching? Are you following the Word of God?] ...But the prophet who shall presume to speak a word in My name which I have not commanded him to speak or who shall speak in the name of other gods, even that prophet shall die" (vs 19-20). Not right away; 'the wages of sin is death.' Talking about Christ.

Let's come back here to the Gospel of John again, and let's look at chapter thirteen. There's some pretty important IFs in John 13. There are several IFs here, very important ones, but when we get into John 14, 15, and 16, we have very important ones concerning the New Covenant. This has to do with foot-washing, and this becomes very important. We'll just go through it, because it's so important and the IFs then will become much more important in our understanding when we take the whole context.

John 13:1: "Now before the feast of the Passover, knowing that His time had come to depart from this world to the Father, Jesus, having loved His own who were in the world, loved them to the end. And during supper..." (vs 1-2). The King James says 'after supper,' and we've got an appendix that covers that because this is not a past tense participle. This is a present tense particle 'during supper.' What was taking place here?

  • They were keeping the Passover of the Old Testament first

That Passover had to be finished to end the Old Covenant as far as the disciples were concerned and as far as Christ was concerned.

  • He was going to introduce the New Covenant

which then is the covenant of eternal life and we'll get into that more as we get toward Passover time.

"And during supper (the devil having already put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, that he should betray Him)" (v 2). Not all thoughts come from God. Need to understand that. What did we find out at the beginning, what did Jesus say to Peter, 'Get you behind Me, Satan.' Then later Jesus told Peter, 'Satan has desired to have you to sift you as wheat.' He said, 'I'll never deny you.' What did Jesus say? 'You're going to deny Me three times before the cock crows.'

Verse 3: "Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He had come from God and was going to God." Yet, somehow people can't figure out where did Jesus come from and the book of John makes it very clear. Yet we still have some who profess to be ministers of God who say that Jesus didn't exist until He was conceived in the womb of the virgin Mary, when Jesus said, 'I came down from heaven.'

"Rose from supper and laid aside His garments; and after taking a towel, He secured it around Himself. Next, He poured water into a washing basin and began to wash the disciples' feet, and to wipe them with the towel which He had secured. Then He came to Simon Peter; and he said to Him... [That is, Peter said to Him, the Lord.] ...'Lord, are You going to wash my feet?' Jesus answered and said to him, 'What I am doing you do not understand now, but you shall know after these things.' Peter said to Him, 'You shall not wash my feet, not ever'... (vs 4-8). Peter was a pretty stubborn guy—wasn't he? Yes, indeed!

But notice Jesus' answer. Here's a big IF And I thank Harry Curley for doing this. He put all 1,540-some verses with IFs and capitalized andbolded. "...Jesus answered him, 'IF I do not wash you, you have no part with Me'" (v 8). We need to keep that in mind, because 'part' here talks about apostleship, but also 'part with Me' has to do with us, eternal life—correct? Yes, indeed!

And we've seen how many times, the first thing that they do is eliminate foot-washing. Now some churches do it, but they don't really realize what they are doing. Nevertheless, they do it. Now notice Peter's answer, because here it is classic again wanting to be better than Christ. But also he probably knew that the Old Testament said that the priests had to have their hands and their heads washed as well.

So he answers v 9: "Simon Peter said to Him, 'Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head.' Jesus said to him, 'The one who has been washed... [Now that refers to the washing of baptism. The exact same word where Ananias told Paul, 'Arise, and be baptized and have your sins washed away.' The foot-washing has to do with renewing of baptism.] ...The one who has been washed does not need to wash anything other than the feet, but is completely clean; and you are clean, but not all'" (vs 9-10). We've got a full explanation of that in the Harmony of the Gospels and The Christian Passover and also in The Day Jesus the Christ Died, which is the shortest and easiest one to read of that. There's a great meaning in everything that Christ has us to do.

"'...but is completely clean; and you are clean, but not all'.... [Because He knew who was going to betray Him. That's why He said, 'You're not all clean.' Now v 12 becomes the focal point where then in v 14 we pick up the IF.] ...Therefore, when He had washed their feet, and had taken His garments, and had sat down again, He said to them, 'Do you know what I have done to you? You call Me the Teacher and the Lord, and you speak rightly, because I am. Therefore, IF... [condition] ...I, the Lord and the Teacher, have washed your feet, you also are duty-bound to wash one another's feet.... [That's what it means in the Greek. King James says 'ought,' but ought does not have the same force as the Greek. 'Duty-bound' really conveys it better.] ...For I have given you an example, to show that you also should do exactly as I have done to you…. [Very important!] …Truly, truly I tell you, a servant is not greater than his lord, nor a messenger greater than he who sent him. IF you know these things, blessed are you IF you do them'" (vs 10-17).

Now let's stop and think about this as Jesus said. "For I have given you an example, to show that you also should do exactly as I have done to you" (v 15). What did Peter say when he understood that Jesus needed to wash his feet? He said, 'Oh, not my feet only, but my hands and my head.' What does this tell us? Jesus said, 'No, the feet only.' This shows that we are not to add to what Jesus said or take away from what He said—correct? If we're going to do it exactly as He did it, is that not how we should do it? Yes, indeed!

And also v 16 tells us that if you presume to do something different than what Jesus said, what are you doing? Making yourself greater than Christ. "Truly, truly I tell you, a servant is not greater than his lord, nor a messenger greater than he who sent him" (v 16). What did Jesus say of the things that He spoke? He spoke what the Father commanded Him. That's what He spoke. He didn't speak anything of Himself, so there's an awful lot tied up in all of these words when we put it together.

All of the words of the New Testament all fit together just like a sphere. And the Bible agrees with itself so much that you could take a sphere and run an infinite number of lines all the way through it and it would intersect at different points and this is where the Word of God agrees with itself over and over and over again. The way the world does, they part of it and say, 'Well, now they did that back then, but today we don't do that.' What if it's what Jesus said, 'Do exactly as I have done to you.' How are you going to handle that? And then if you do it exactly as it was done to them, on which day was it done? Any day they decided? No! What was the day? Passover day, Nisan 14! That's when it was, not any other day.

So if we go beyond that then, we're making ourselves greater than the Lord and greater than the messenger, Christ, Who was sent. So this is why human nature—and you go back and remember the first verse we started with the IF clause? Genesis 4:7, to Cain! 'IF you do well, shall you not be accepted. But IF you do not well, sin lies at the door.' That's the summation of the whole Bible going forward from Genesis to Revelation. Here we have it here exactly the same thing.

Verse 17: "IF you know these things... [All right, you know them.] ...blessed are you IF you do them." All right, back up and say, 'IF you don't do them, how can you expect to receive the blessing of God? And the ultimate blessing is eternal life. Is that not correct? Yes, indeed!

Let's look at another IF here. Let's come down here to v 32 and this is after Judas went out, v 32, Jesus said: "IF God has been glorified in Him, God shall also glorify Him in Himself, and shall immediately glorify Him." Now that's an exchange between Christ and referring to God the Father and what was going to happen here.

Verse, v 34: "A new commandment I give to you: that you love one another in the same way that I have loved you... [And He laid His life down for them—right? Yes! That's the goal for loving each other.] ...that is how you are to love one another. By this shall everyone know that you are My disciples—IF you love one another" (vs 34-35).

Let's put all this in perspective then. IF we love God with all our heart and mind and soul and being, which we are to do; IF we love our neighbors as ourselves; and IF we love each other as Christ loved us, doesn't that bring:

  • peace, when we assemble together? Yes!

Doesn't that also give us

  • strength and protection?

that if someone's going to bring in something that's not correct, you're not going to let someone disturb the love of God nor the love for each other as we need to have?

What happens when someone comes in that is not of God? First thing to do is cause confusion! That causes worry and that causes doubt. Then you have distrust. Then you can't like this person because someone is being led away and then trying to lead you away. And how can you love that person? How can you have the love toward each other unless you live by the words of Christ? You can't do it! Now there is a human love that's a substitute for it. Even Jesus said sinners love each other. So all of this all ties up together here.

Let's come to John 14:1. We have a whole Passover preparation series that goes through all of John 14, 15, and 16, because John 14, 15, 16 and 17 are the words of the New Covenant. In this we will see

  • promises
  • prophecy of future behavior that will take place
  • how that Christ gave everything so that we can be and fulfill the sonship of God

John 14:1: "Let not your heart be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in Me. In My Father's house are many dwelling places; IF it were otherwise, I would have told you. I am going to prepare a place for you" (vs 1-2). Isn't that something? That's New Jerusalem! We're going to have:

  • a new name
  • a new life
  • new garments
  • we're going to rule with Christ

That'll be our place. That'll be our part.

"And IF I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; so that where I am, you may be also" (v 3). IF He's on the earth, where are we going to be? On the earth! Yes! So He's telling them a lot of things here in this fourteenth chapter. This is really quite a thing! So we have right here:

  • believe in God
  • then He speaks of 'in My Father's house,' which is New Jerusalem
  • many dwelling places. We'll have a place there, we'll have a part there
  • He's preparing it
  • How He's preparing it, we don't know

We know that He is a builder. That's what He was when He came to the earth—right? A builder! Carpenter is not quite in the sense of today's explanation of a carpenter, but He's a builder, meaning He dealt with stones, He dealt with timbers, He dealt with brick, He dealt with all of those other things.

If you don't have the book, Jesus and the Forgotten City, that's quite a book. There was the city of Sepphoris, which was the capital city of Herod Antipas. That was located six miles from Nazareth. It was built during the lifetime of Jesus. And the professor who wrote this book brings out: if it's so close and Jesus was a builder, so was His 'supposed father,' Joseph, did they go over and build some of those buildings? And it's amazing what they found. Paved streets, a city center, fountains, running water, four-story apartments, the whole thing. And we think today, 'Oh, we're so modern.' Not so!

So think what He's building for us in New Jerusalem. What is that going to be like? Like I explained before and we'll do it again. Just take your pen and make a little pinpoint. That's what you were when you were conceived. That's the size you were. Now take that point again and what we are now is like that little point compared to what it's going to be like to be a spirit being and to live in New Jerusalem.

They didn't understand all of this at that time. We have the whole Bible, we have the New Testament; we have the book of Revelation. They had none of this when Jesus was speaking these words. So He's going to come again. When is He going to come? What did Jesus say, 'The Father has put it under His own authority'—correct? How many 'hurry up, the end is coming' sermons we've heard and it hasn't come, because it's going to be on God's time and His way. I think if we understand correctly what's going to happen in Asia and China and then on over to Palestine, it's going to be some time before Christ returns. I'm going to bring a sermon on more about China and what they are doing. It's going to be something. That's what the Chinese are preparing.

Verse 4: "'And where I am going you know, and the way you know.' Thomas said to Him, 'Lord, we do not know where You are going; how then can we know the way?'.... [Then He explained it to them. This is one of the central, basic verses in all the New Testament.] ...Jesus said to him, 'I am the Way, and the Truth, and the Life...'" (vs 4-6).

The Way:

  • the way to life
  • the way to walk
  • the way out of sin
  • the way to God
  • the way that we are to live

—everything like that!

the Truth: This is what we must constantly be seeking not only in our Bible study but in our lives and overcoming the deceitfulness the human nature and overcoming the thoughts of human beings as we saw with Peter.

the Life: You're not going to get eternal life any other way except through Jesus, through Him and Him alone, no one else.

He says: "...no one comes to the Father except through Me" (v 6). So that's quite a statement—isn't it? That is very defining; also very limiting. That's why Jesus said, 'Enter at the straight gate, for narrow is gate and difficult is the way that leads to life. And broad is the way and broad is the gate which leads to death and many go in that way.' That's the way of the world! There we have it. You have to come through Christ. Now, isn't that going to make all the Muslims—once their minds are opened, I wonder what's going to happen. Goodbye, Allah; hello, Father.

Verse 7: "IF you had know Me... [Isn't that interesting? They were with Him all the time. And even after the resurrection when He appeared to them for forty days and forty nights, who was one of them that doubted? Thomas!] ...IF you had known Me, you would have known My Father also. But from this time forward, you known Him and have seen Him.'…. [So, here this is difficult for them to understand. They've never seen the Father. Who is the Father?] …Philip said to Him, 'Lord, show us the Father, and that will be sufficient for us.' Jesus said to him, 'Have I been with you so long a time, and you have not known Me, Philip? The one who has seen Me has seen the Father; why then do you say, "Show us the Father"?'" (vs 7-9). He's the very image of Him.

Come back here to Hebrews 1; the image and the character of the Father. It wasn't till the Apostle Paul wrote the book of Hebrews that really explained a lot of things concerning the New Covenant. Let's see what it says about Jesus, having to do with the Father.

Hebrews 1:1: "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.... [Remember what we read—'that Prophet,' you will listen to Him. And what Jesus said, 'I have spoken everything that the Father has commanded Me to speak.] ...Whom He has appointed heir of all things... [that is inclusive of the universe] ...by Whom also He made the worlds…. [That could also be translated 'ages'—the ages of time.] Who, being the brightness of His glory... [This is Christ in relationship to the Father.] ...and the exact image of His person... [The exact image means having the same character as the Father.] ...and upholding all things by the word of His own power..." (vs 1-3). Remember, Jesus said, 'All power in heaven and earth is given to Me.' So when you look out and you see the stars at night and so forth, it's all held up by the word of Christ's power, the power of His word.

"...by the word of His own power, when He had by Himself..." (v 3). Now this helps answer the question: why did Jesus say, 'My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?' Because there was the time when He was on the cross, probably during that period of darkness from noon till about 3 p.m. that He had to be all alone down to His very last breath that He would not sin, in spite of the circumstances and the cruelty of the crucifixion. And He had to do it by Himself. Why? Because He made all of us, He made the worlds, as it says here!

"...had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty of high… [Everyone who believes that Jesus is Michael the angel—He isn't.] …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 is in the way that Christ came into the world. Yes, angels are called sons of God in the Old Testament in a few places, but not to become a human being, not to become a Savior of the world.] ...And again, 'I will be a Father to Him, and He will be a Son to Me'? And again, when He brought the Firstborn into the world, He said, 'Let all the angels of God worship Him'" (vs 3-6). So that's quite a thing! So when He says, 'If you've seen Me, you've seen the Father,' there we have really fantastic part of the Scriptures, when we put all of this together.

John 14:10: "'Don't you believe that I am in the Father, and the Father is in Me?.…" It's exactly the same thing with us, brethren, as we will see in the next sermon. The Spirit of God is the Spirit of Christ and the begettal of the Father together, a special, tremendous, fantastic, ultimate thing that can be in our lives today in the flesh. Nothing greater than this. So you can take all the doctrinal things and all the arguments of that and throw it all aside and look at this. This is the greatest!

"Don't you believe that I am in the Father, and the Father is in Me? The words that I speak to you, I do not speak from My own self; but the Father Himself, Who dwells in Me, does the works…. [That's what it has to be with us, too—doesn't it? Being led by the Spirit of God!] …Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me; but IF not, believe Me because of the works themselves" (vs 10-11).
IFs And even the Pharisees and the rulers didn't believe. So here He had to convince His disciples. They didn't know He was going to be crucified on the day portion of the Passover day. They didn't understand that. So this is really quite a message that He is bringing to them here. This is why this is the whole thing concerning the New Covenant, the words of the New Covenant, the promises that we have here.

Verse 12: "Truly, truly I say to you, the one who believes in Me shall also do the works that I do; and greater works than these shall he do because I am going to the Father." Isn't that something? Remember when Peter was walking down the streets of Jerusalem and they would bring the sick? And just his shadow passing over them healed them. No account of that that it happened with Jesus. Not so! That was quite a thing.

Verse 13: "And whatever you shall ask in My name, this will I do that the Father may be glorified in the Son." One thing we need to see in our lives is answered prayer and answered prayer over a long period of time. Not just one of these things, like you put a quarter in a slot machine and out comes the prize. Sometimes we have to continue in prayer and be fervent in it!

Now let me just say this about prayer, which is this: We have twenty-one sermons on the Keys to Answered Prayer. Why so many sermons on answered prayer? There are so many different things to pray about. I don't know about you, but I can look back in my life and see that in our lives, in our family and in the Church, God has answered the prayers that we have prayed His way in His time, so that it would be utilized right. Not every prayer is yes. Some of them are no. We get our own feelings and our own things involved in it and God won't deliver that to us because we don't need it to fill our lust, but God will provide for us.

"And whatever you shall ask in My name, this will I do that the Father may be glorified in the Son. IF you ask anything in My name, I will do it" (vs 13-14). Of course, there are other conditions that come along with it, which has to do with His

  • will
  • faith
  • belief
  • understanding
  • obedience
  • love

and all of those things are all part of how to have your prayers answered.

Scriptural References:

  • John 10:30-35
  • Psalm 82:6
  • Romans 8:14-18
  • Galatians 4:1-6
  • Matthew 6:33
  • John 10:36-38
  • John 11:32, 40-42
  • John 12:23-26
  • Matthew 16:21-26
  • John 12:37-50
  • Deuteronomy 18:18-20
  • John 13:1-17, 15-17, 32, 34-35
  • John 14:1-9
  • Hebrews 1:1-6
  • John 14:10-14

Scriptures referenced, not quoted:

  • John 3:16; 5:24
  • 2-Peter 3
  • Acts 1
  • 2-Chronicles 32
  • Acts 3
  • 2-Timothy 4:1
  • Genesis 4:7

Also referenced:


  • The Evangelical Bible, A Fast Track to Salvation
  • Why Were You Born: From a Speck of Dust to a Son of God

Sermon Series:

  • God's Grace and Commandment-Keeping
  • Passover Preparation
  • Keys to Answered Prayer


  • Harmony of the Gospels by Fred Coulter
  • The Christian Passover by Fred Coulter
  • The Day Jesus the Christ Died by Fred Coulter
  • Jesus and the Forgotten City by Dr. Neil Chadwick

Transcribed: 11-29-10
Formatted: bo—11-30-10