PASSOVER PREPARATION  I
Fred R. Coulter—February 22, 2003

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In this study of the words of the New Covenant, which we have agreed to live by, are contained in John 14, 15, 16, and 17. These are the words that Jesus spoke to His apostles on the night of the Passover. This becomes very important and also quite profound; because the night of the 14th is what you would call the covenant night for the New Covenant, but also it was the night that God began His covenant with Abraham.

Let's go back to Genesis 15 and let's review that. If you have The Christian Passover book you can go through in great detail that I have there, showing that the occasion in Gen. 14 is very important in relationship to the Passover; that this actually took place on the 14th day of the first month, on the night of the 14th day of the first month. I won't go through all of the proof of that, I will leave that up to you to read in The Christian Passover book. I also have a chart there that shows the timing of it.

Genesis 15:4: "And behold, the Word of the LORD came to him saying, 'This man shall not be your heir; but he that shall come forth out of your own loins shall be your heir.' And He brought him… [God brought Abraham] …outside… [that is, took him out at night] …and said, 'Look now toward the heavens and number the stars—if you are able to count them.'… [this had to be at night; you can't see the stars unless it's night] …And He said to him, 'So shall your seed be'" (vs 4-5). What we have here are two promises:

  1. the promise of physical seed, which would then be Isaac, and from which then later came the children of Israel
  2. the promise of spiritual seed, a foretelling of the covenant that Abraham entered into, which God proposed to him; and this was a unilateral covenant.

God is the One Who gave all the information here. It is also a foretelling of the spiritual sons and daughters of God—who when they enter into the Kingdom of God—will shine as the sun. This was given on the night of the 14th.

He told him: "…'So shall your seed be.' And he believed in the LORD. And He accounted it to him for righteousness" (vs 5-6). This kind of righteousness means that you are put into right standing with God because you believe Him! That's the righteousness that Paul is talking about when we come to the book of Romans. You can't have any greater righteousness than this, where then God counts it to you or imputes it to you so that you are in right standing with God. This has nothing to do with relieving people from the obligation to keep the commandments of God.

Now then, on the day portion of the 14th—because the days begin in the Bible at sunset—sunset came, God talked with Abraham. God said, 'Eleazar of Damascus is not going to be your heir, but one that shall come forth from your own bowels shall be your heir.' God took him out and showed him the stars at night. Now then, on the day portion of that day, here's what took place:

Verse 8: "And he said, 'Lord GOD, by what shall I know that I shall inherit it?'…. [because God said, 'You're going to have all this land'] …And He said to him, 'Take Me a heifer of three years old, and a she-goat of three years old, and a ram of three years old, and a turtledove, and a young pigeon'" (vs 8-9).

Then was performed a very unusual sacrifice. This sacrifice and this offering was not an ordinary sacrifice. There was no altar built, there was nothing burned upon it, but rather this was done upon the ground. This was most unusual because what he had to do was to kill the animals and cut them down the middle. In other words, take an ax—and if you've done any butchering you know what I mean—you just cut down the middle of the spine. That would be a very bloody, sordid affair; and, of course, all the intestines would be there and everything. So, what he did, he laid them back-to-back with a path coming down between the animals. The reason he did that was because God was going to perform an oath to Him and a pledge of His death. This is actually a foretelling of the crucifixion of Christ on the 14th day of the first month.

Verse 10: "And he took all these to himself, and divided them in the middle… [cut them down the middle] …and laid each piece opposite the other; but he did not divide the birds." He put one on one side and one on the other side. How long this took to do it, we don't know.

Verse 12: "And it came to pass, as the sun was going down…"—which then ends that day—does it not? If it begins at sunset the day before, then this begins to end the day with this.

"…that a deep sleep fell upon Abram. And, behold, a horror of great darkness fell upon him!" (v 12). This would have to be God showing Abraham the death that God Himself was going to experience as symbolized by this sacrifice. In The Christian Passover book I have it laid out that this probably took place at the same time that Jesus died, at the ninth hour—3:00 p.m. in the afternoon. Then with the great darkness coming upon him, that shows the literal death of Christ.

Verse 13: "And He said to Abram, 'You must surely know that your seed shall be sojourners in a land that is not theirs, (and shall serve them and afflict them) four hundred years. And also I will judge that nation whom they shall serve. And afterward they shall come out with great substance. And you shall go to your fathers in peace. You shall be buried in a good old age. But in the fourth generation they shall come here again, for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet full.' And it came to pass—when the sun went down and it was dark—…" (vs 13-17).

Notice: we have the going down of the sun, then we have the sun went down, and it was dark so we begin the 15th day of the 1st month. That's why the Passover and the Night To Be Remembered and the day portion of the 15th day of the 1st month are all tied together in the events that God has laid out; that we understand the 14th is the Passover, and it's the Passover night.

The day portion of the 14th—Christ was crucified, died at three in the afternoon, and was put into the tomb. When it says the 'sun went down and it was dark,' we're dealing with the time that Christ was in the tomb. This also has significance for the children of Israel when they came out of the land of Egypt, because they came out on the 15th day.

Here God completes the covenant that He began on the night of the 14th. He completes that covenant on the night of the 15th and He guarantees this, v 18: "In the same day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying, 'I have given this land to your seed, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the river Euphrates." Then He lists all of the Canaanite tribes.

Now let's go to Exodus 12 and see the literal fulfillment of the children of Israel coming out of Egypt on the 15th day of the 1st month. That's how we established that the first one was on the 14th day of the 1st month, because of what we find here in Exo. 12 on the 15th day. It's easy to count one day backwards—isn't it?

Exodus 12:40: "Now, the sojourning of the children of Israel in Egypt was four hundred and thirty years, and it came to pass at the end of the four hundred and thirty years, it was even on that very same day…" (vs 40-41). What do you mean the 'same day'? This is the same day that God passed through those parts, as Abraham was able to see, with the smoking furnace and the burning lamp, and He passed between the parts. That was the day that He said that the children of Israel would be brought out from Egypt. So the 'same day,' being the 15th day of the 1st month, goes back 430 years before, and you are at the time of Abraham when this occurred. Then you go back one more day and you find the proposition of the covenant given to Abraham on the night of the 14th.

So, we will find the same thing for the New Testament. The words of the New Covenant that Christ gave to His apostles—and by the way, please understand this: The apostles were the only ones who kept the New Covenant Passover on that Passover because only the apostles were with Him! They had to teach the rest of the disciples for the next Passover what they should do. So likewise, the words of the New Covenant that Christ spoke to His apostles, to fulfill the promise given to Abraham, we find given on the same night, the night of the 14th.

Now let's look a little bit concerning the New Covenant. The New Covenant is a covenant of love and grace, which is very important for us to understand. God pledged His death back there to Abraham. When Christ died on the cross, was put in the tomb, there were three days and three nights, that fulfilled the promise that God gave to Abraham. It was for us.

Romans 4:17 ties it all together: "(Exactly as it is written: 'I have made you a father of many nations.')…. [physically and spiritually] …before God in Whom he believed, Who gives life to the dead, and calls the things that are not as though they are; and who against hope believed in hope…" (vs 17-18). Abraham believed God; we are to believe, and the very first thing that Jesus tells His disciples on the night of the 14th is to believe.

"…believed in hope, in order that he might become a father of many nations, according to that which was spoken, 'So shall your seed be.' And he, not being weak in the faith, considered not his own body, already having become dead, being about one hundred years old, nor did he consider the deadness of Sarah's womb; and he did not doubt the promise of God through unbelief; rather, he was strengthened in the faith, giving glory to God" (vs 18-20).

That's why it was counted as righteousness. If you believe God you will believe what He says and you will do what He commands. It's that simple.

Verse 20: "And he did not doubt the promise of God through unbelief; rather, he was strengthened in the faith, giving glory to God; for he was fully persuaded…" (vs 20-21). I gave a sermon on that one time: Are You Fully Persuaded? Like Festus or Felix, after Paul was talking to him, he said, 'Paul, you almost persuade me to be a Christian.' And there are a lot of people who are almost persuaded. We need to be like Abraham, wholly, fully persuaded.

"…that what He has promised, He is also able to do" (v 21). That's profound, because we're dealing with God Who cannot lie:

  • God of Truth
  • God of love
  • God of faith
  • God of hope

Here is a very basic, profound thing to understand: you cannot worship the God of Truth with lies. And that one statement alone answers everything concerning Sunday and Christmas and Easter and anything else—doesn't it? Yes, it does! That's why he was 'fully persuaded.'

Verse 22: "As a result, it was also imputed to him for righteousness…. [We just read that, didn't we? Yes!] …But it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him; rather it was also written for our sakes, to whom it shall be imputed—…" (vs 22-24). So, we are here because of the blessing of Abraham, and we're here because of the calling of God. If

The world has it backwards. The world has it: 'Well, God, I'm going to do this ifYou will do so and so.' It's the other way around; God says, 'I am here. I love you. I'm constant. I don't lie. If you will love Me and keep My commandments…' The if never applies to God, it always applies to us.

"…to those who believe in Him Who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead; Who was delivered for our offenses and was raised for our justification" (vs 24-25). This justification means to be put in right standing with God the Father in heaven above. That means on an individual, one-to-one basis. The series in the book of Hebrews will dovetail with this quite a bit because it talks about how we have access directly to God the Father in heaven above.

Romans 5:1: "Therefore, having been justified by faith… [not by offering, not by sacrifice, but belief in the sacrifice of Christ] …we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ… [We're no longer fighting God. We are no longer telling God what to do. We're no longer telling God, 'Yeah, but…'] …Through Whom we also have access by faith into this grace…" (vs 1-2).

I'll explain a little bit more about grace, but I'll just briefly summarize it here: Grace is the first extension of God's love toward His people. Grace covers all lot of things.

  • you are standing in this grace
  • it gives you access to God the Father
  • you receive the Holy Spirit of God
  • you can trust God
  • you can believe God
  • you are in right standing with God, and all of that is grace

It even goes further than that. By the fact that you have the Holy Spirit of God in you and Christ is dwelling in you by faith, and with the Holy Spirit in you, then God is dwelling in you and you are a temple of God.

That summarizes quite a few other Scriptures in the New Testament. That's why we don't 'go to church,' though we assemble together. We arethe Church, the Body of Christ, and there's a distinct difference. There are a lot of people who 'go to church.' But as I gave in the sermon, Christianity Without Christ, they don't find Christ there because they're 'going to church.' Christ goes where there are those who are His,

  • that He has called
  • that He has chosen
  • that He has selected.

God is not going to make any mistakes in saving the world. He's got a time plan, which most of the world doesn't know. But right now we stand in this grace. We have the Spirit of God as a begettal in us. That's a tremendous thing, brethren; and with that, God puts us in this right standing with Him, the righteousness of Jesus Christ by faith.

"…we also have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we ourselves boast in the hope of the glory of God" (v 2). What is this 'hope of the glory of God'? This is the hope of the resurrection—isn't it? We are going to share in the glory of Jesus Christ at the resurrection—aren't we? That's why God told Abraham, 'Look at the stars, number them if you are able. So shall your seed be'—the glory of God! With this hope, then, though we have difficulties and troubles and trials, which he speaks of next. I haven't come to the point that the Apostle Paul did, because obviously he was taught directly of Christ. But hopefully we are inching closer toward this position.

Verse 3: "And not only this, but we also boast in tribulations…" I don't know anyone of us who glory in tribulation today. But he understood it. What we need to do is understand the purpose of trials and difficulties that come, and to realize that there are things that only God can work out. God will work them out, provided we have faith, provided we hold to that hope.

"…realizing that tribulation brings forth [patience] endurance, and endurance brings forth [experience] character, and character brings forth hope… [hope comes full circle then—doesn't it? This shows the whole process of hope.] …And the hope of God never makes us ashamed because the love of God has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, which has been given to us" (vs 3-5).

With this background let's go ahead and begin to study the words of the New Covenant and see how they apply to us and see what we agree to.

John 14:1: "Let not your heart be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in Me." There are two believes there—right? Yes! In Greek the verb for to believe is 'pisteo'—and the noun is 'pistos.' The noun really means tofaithize.

To show you how important this is, just in the Gospel of John alone, he uses the word believe 77 times; and believe with believe not 24 times. In this very first verse of the words of the New Covenant it starts out with belief or faith—doesn't it? What we're going to do as we go through this study we are going to see the progression of John 14, 15, 16 and 17. The first part of John 14 you could write it out this way: faith and love. Later we will see that we will get to hope and love; and then later when we come to John 17 you could have that love and love. Put it all together so you have faith and love, hope and love, love and love. You have to start out with belief. That's why the Word of God is so profound. That's why God did not leave the canonization of the Bible to other people 400 years later that never knew Christ. Now then, He begins telling you some very important things.

Verse 2: "In My Father's house are many dwelling places..." There is a reward for you. There is a place for you. You need to understand that God's plan is so profound and important that He is making a place for you. When you have all of these things together it really makes the plan of God, the purpose of God and our covenant with God all that much greater.

"...if it were otherwise, I would have told you. I am going to prepare a place for you…." (v 2). Isn't that something? Christ is preparing a place for you! What is that going to be like? I don't know, but I want to make it to the first resurrection so I'll be able to see what it's like!

Verse 3: "And if I go and prepare place for you, I will come again and receive to Myself…[ Christ is coming again] …so that where I am, you may be also." We know that's going to be on the earth. This is quite a way to open the covenant—isn't it? This is quite a thing!

Now let's look at some other things concerning the belief of God, how important that is. Let's look at some things in the Gospel of John. When you read the words of Christ, it's quite interesting what He says here to the Pharisees. Just like it is today, remember, Jesus said many times, 'Have you never read?' And they were the ones who had the Bible. Those who have the Bible don't read it. So He says to them:

John 5:39: "You search the Scriptures, for in them you think that you have eternal life; and they are theones that testify of Me. But you are unwilling to come to Me, that you may have life…. [you've got to come to God] …I do not receive glory from men" (vs 39-41). We could also put that another way: you never worship God by men's devices, because that's man's honor to God. You worship God with His devices in Spirit and in Truth!

Verse 42: "But I have known you, that you do not have the love of God in yourselves." Let's understand something, brethren: the New Covenant is based upon the love of God. The New Covenant shows the verse that is often quoted:

John 3:16: "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, so that everyone who believes in Him may not perish, but may have everlasting life." This shows it; and the whole covenant that we are dealing with in the New Covenant is based upon the love of God.

Did the Pharisees understand about law? Oh yes! Yes!—and made thousands more. If you don't have love then all the law in the world will do no good, because it will be used for destructive purposes. But you must have the love of God in such a way that it is, as Jesus said, 'You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, soul, being and strength; and your neighbor as yourself. And on these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.' You have to see the love of God through those laws. If you have law without love you end up with the dictatorial, letter of the Law, killing society. That's what it does. That's why it says the letter of the Law kills, because it does. We're under grace, but we will show you how we're to keep the commandments a little later on.

John 5:42: "But I have known you, that you do not have the love of God in yourselves. I have come in My Father's name, and you do not receive Me; but if another comes in his own name, you will receive him. How are you able to believe, you who receive glory from one another, and do not seek the glory that comes from the only God?" (vs 42-44). What is that honor that comes only from God? How do you receive that honor? You receive that from repentance and baptism and the Holy Spirit! That's the honor that comes from God. It doesn't come any other way.

Verse 45: "Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father. There is one who accuses you, even Moses, in whom you have hope [trust]. But if you believed Moses, you would have believed Me; for he wrote about Me…." (vs 5-46). Here's a key. This is Jesus' own teaching. This adds to the other Scripture that Jesus said, 'Think not that I've come to destroy the law.' This adds right to it. {put in your margin there John 5:17-18.}

Speaking of Moses, v 47: "And if you do not believe his writings, how shall you believe My words?" Very interesting! There's a key to understanding the New Testament. You can't understand the New Testament unless you believe Moses, and unless you believe the Prophets. That's quite a thing there—isn't it?

The covenant that God has called us to is a covenant of eternal life based upon love, faith and hope. People always like to do things though—don't they? John 6:26: "Jesus answered them and said, 'Truly, truly I say to you, you do not seek Me because you saw the miracles, but because you ate the bread and were satisfied."

I tell you one thing, if you want to get a real good following today, you go somewhere and you feed 5,000 people from that little bit of fish and little bit of bread. Of course, they saw that every time the disciples broke the bread it grew. Every time they broke a fish, it grew. They kept taking from these little fish and these little loaves and they fed 5,000. So they said, 'This is what we really want.' Jesus said, 'That's why you're seeking Me.' And they did all this chasing around to try and find Him.

Verse 27: "Do not labor for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures unto eternal life, which the Son of man shall give to you; for Him has God the Father sealed.' Therefore, they said to Him… [notice very carefully and maybe you can let these words kind of ring in your ear a little bit]: …'What shall we do, in order that we ourselves may do the works of God?'" (vs 27-28). Have you ever heard "…the works of God?" The Work, the Work, the Work? Everyone wants to do a work. But let me tell you something, you can't do anything unless you believe in Christ.

Now hold your place here, and let's just show you an example in Matt. 7. There are people who did work, and they did a lot of work. This is the result of using the name of Christ and doing a work, but not believing in Christ. You can never say that you believe in Christ if you don't obey Him. You can profess belief, but that is not belief in Truth and in deed, but that is a profession. There are a lot of people who ask, 'You believe in Christ?' Yes, I believe. I'll show you what Jesus did to some people who believed in Him.

Matthew 7:21: "Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter into the Kingdom of Heaven; but the one who isdoing…" That's a very interesting word; it is a present tense participle. You don't need the parts of speech to understand it, it means, the one who is doing. So every time you read in your King James Bible and you see the 'eth' just let your mind translate that into 'ing,' the one who is doing; the one who is believing; the one who is hoping, and so forth. What is the will of the Father in heaven?

  1. to believe in Christ
  2. to keep His commandments.

That's the will. You can do a lot of things.

Verse 22: "Many will say to Me in that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy through Your name? And did we not cast out demons through Your name? And did we not perform many works of power through Your name?' And then I will confess to them, 'I never knew you. Depart from Me, you who work lawlessness'" (vs 22-23). There are a lot of people that have 'works,' but they don't believe.

John 6:29, "Jesus answered and said to them, 'This is the work of God: that you believe in Him Whom He has sent.'" Very interesting. The Greek word for in is 'eis'—means into. Your belief goes out from you and toward God, and God's Spirit and faith comes back into you. So, it is a continuous exchange, from you to God, and God to you. That's the kind of faith and belief that He wants. You are to believe on Him. Then He explains about the bread that came down from heaven. Our whole commitment, faith and trust to God is that we believe in Jesus Christ and everything about Him!

Now look at a belief that is superficial and not conversional. There is a belief unto conversion; there is a belief in seeing something happen, that you saw it happen, but you don't believe in the way that is unto salvation, or conversional.

John 2:23: "Now, when He was in Jerusalem at the Passover, during the Feast, many believed on His name, as they observed the miracles that He was doing. But Jesus did not entrust Himself to them… [It's very interesting, because the root of this verb is 'believe,' which really means]: …that Jesus did not entrust Himself to them, because He knew all men; And He did not need anyone to testify concerning man, for He Himself knew what was in man" (vs 23-25).

There is even a belief without obedience. And this is the kind of belief that many, many people have. I was talking to a man one time and we were talking about Sabbath/Sunday, and he was a Sunday-keeper. I said, 'Well, I go to church on the Sabbath.' He says, 'Oh, I know that the Sabbath is the seventh day. I go to church on Sunday, and the Lord knows my heart.' Let's understand, as I told him: Sincerity does not necessarily equal Truth!
James 2:17: "In the same way also, faith, if it does not have works, is dead, by itself…. [Faith is the word which means faithize or believe.] …faith, if it does not have works, is dead, by itself. But someone is going to say, 'You have faith, and I have works.' My answer is: You prove your faith to me through your works, and I will prove my faith to you through my works" (vs 17-18). What it really means in the Greek is this: You show me your faith with your works, and I will show you my faith by my works!

In other words, if you don't have works, you don't have faith. We'll see that as we go along. Here's a kind of belief coupled with disobedience:

Verse 19: "Do you believe that God is one? You do well…" A lot of people say, 'I believe in God.' The truth is, God expects every human on earth to believe that He is Creator. You have done nothing if you say, 'I believe in God.' Maybe you've taken a step away from atheism.

"…you believe that God is one? You do well to believe this. Even the demons believe—and tremble in fear…." (v 19). Why do they tremble? Because they were disobedient and sinned and were cast down! So, here is a kind of empty belief that results in death, not the kind of belief that results in conversion.

Verse 20: "But are you willing to understand, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead?" He talks about Abraham here. And the key is this: there are two instances that are being referred to. The one we covered in John 4 relates to Gen. 15 where God said, 'Count the number of stars,' which he couldn't. He believed God; that was imputed to him for righteousness.

This account that James is talking about iswhen God said, 'Abraham, you take your son, your only beloved son, and you take him to one of the mountains I will show you, and you offer him for a burnt offering there.' He believed God; he obeyed God! He took Isaac, he took the wood, he took the coals for the fire, he took a couple other men to help them go to one of the mountains of Moriah; and there he offered Isaac for the burnt offering. Of course, God provided the ram as a substitutionary sacrifice. Where it requires works—believe God, and it requires works—you do what God says. God told Abraham to 'take your son'—he believed Him.

James says, v 21: "Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered up Isaac, his own son, upon the altar? Do you not see that faith was working together with his works, and by workshis faith was perfected" (vs 21-22).

If you believe and don't have the works and obedience to God which show that belief, you only have half the formula. Now then, if you only have half of it, how are you ever going to get the whole? Here's an example: if you have one-half of water, which is oxygen, and the other half of water which is hydrogen, separate, you have gases which go off into the atmosphere, and both of them are very flammable. You put them together and have H2O—water. Now you've got the whole thing, and that puts out fire. So, can you imagine that God is so absolutely magnificent and profound that He can take two flammable materials, combine them together and have one that puts out fire—water? So likewise:

  • If you don't have faith and works, your faith is dead.
  • If you have works and have no faith, your works are dead.

You have to have both!

Now let's come back to John 14:15 "If you love Me... [we know God unconditionally has loved the world: 'For God so loved the world…' He's already shown and expressed His love.]: …If you love Me, keep the commandments—… [and I've given the correct translation from the Greek] …namely, My commandments." If you love God you are going to keep His commandments,. the two go hand in hand.

Verse 3: "'…so that where I am, you may be also. 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 gives them the answer. And this is one of the very basic, absolute, fundamental belief verses in the whole Bible]: …Jesus said to him, 'I am the Way, and theTruth, and theLife; no one comes to the Father except through Me'" (vs 3-6). And that's why all other religions hate true Christianity because they must give up theirs in order to get to God.

It's very profound when He says, I am the Way! There is no other way. This whole thing, which is comforting to world, 'There are many ways to God. We're all just traveling different paths.' NO! The Way can actually also mean the road, the path.

He is the Truth. There's no such thing as truth of Hinduism, or the truth of Mohammedism. What they call the truth of what they believe is only the apparent reality of what they have created. It is not the Truth because it rejects Christ. In the covenant that we have with God and the words that He spoke of the New Covenant for us, we understand that we are to live the way of God; Christ is theTruth

He is the Life!There is no other way! You can't come around some other way. There are not many doors, there are not many ways, there is one way!
Let's see what Jesus said about this in John 10. He makes it very clear. And again, we see over and over again why God does not want to have a hierarchy imposed upon His people. This is a very importance section of Scripture here.

John 10:1: "Truly, truly I say to you, the one who does not enter the sheepfold through the door, but climbs up some other way, that one is a thief and a robber…. [If you go any other way, coming in through another door is a thief and a robber.] …But the one who enters through the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice..." (vs 1-3).

How do you hear the voice of God? How do you know the voice of Christ? By knowing the Scriptures, by understanding what He said! If someone else comes along and says, 'Thus saith the Lord,' and you know the Lord did not 'thus saith,' then you know that's not the voice of Christ. That's why anyone who is going to be teaching has to teach the Word of God. Any other teaching then is another voice! We could all take comfort in the fact that none of us created the Word of God. God did! It's His Word. We hear His voice.

"…and he calls his own sheep by name…" (v 3). God has a new name that He is going to give you at the resurrection. The thing that we need to understand in our faith and our hope and our love toward God is that He knows us, He loves us, He's called us, He's chosen us. Calls them all by name.

"...and leads them out…. [you are to be led by the Holy Spirit of God] …When he brings the sheep out, he goes before them; and the sheep follow him because they know his voice, but they will never follow a stranger for they will flee from him because they do not know the voice of strangers" (vs 3-5).

That's what happens when churches split. When they're infiltrated by a stranger and starts speaking strange doctrines, and you say, 'I'm out of here.' That's how God keeps His Church pure. Just always remember this: correction always begins with God's own people! God destroyed Jerusalem and the temple, and corrects His own Church in our day; He has destroyed the Worldwide Church of God, taken away the campuses, the colleges, everything that it owns because they didn't obey His voice. That's how profound it is to obey the voice of God. So all the words that we have, all the words that we have learned, everything that we study, we are accountable for—to believe, to understand, to act upon—in our relationship with God and each other. They will flee. It talks about the hireling that flees when the wolf comes, and so forth.

Verse 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." So, any time you get discouraged, any time you get down, any time that you worry, and any time that you begin to waver in faith—like Peter, when he was out there on the water, Christ had to rescue him—remember this:

  • God loves you
  • God has called you
  • God cannot lie
  • God will hear you,

He has promised if you come to Him in repentance and yieldedness to God!

When you're dealing with things that you don't understand, or things that are coming upon you that are too much for you to bear, you tell God, 'I just don't understand. Help me to understand. Help me to realize, help me to grasp what You want me to learn.' Sometimes that answer won't come right away. Sometimes it will come later; then it will dawn on you that God has answered that prayer. God will because He knows you. He has laid His life down for you.

If you get clear down to the bottom of 'the valley of the shadow of the death' that you have to walk through, remember this: Christ laid His life down for you, individually and particularly! And God the Father imputes that sacrifice of Jesus Christ to you for the forgiveness of your sins! Consider this: it was not just a man who died. It was God who became flesh, the Creator Who made you, died for you to give you eternal life! Brethren, there can't be anything greater in anyone's life than to know that kind of love that God has for you. That's why when He makes the covenant here He makes it this way.

Verse 16: "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. No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have authority to lay it down and authority to receive it back again. This commandment I received from My Father" (vs 16-18).

What He's talking about here is the agreement that He and Christ had. They had a covenant with each other before Christ came in the flesh. That covenant is expressed right here, that He had authority to lay His life down and authority to receive it back. This commandment He received from His Father. So, when we are brought into this New Covenant of God it brings us into a new standing. It brings us into a new relationship. That's why Christ said on the Passover night, when He said of the bread, 'Take and eat this. This is My body which is broken for you' and, 'Drink of the wine; this is My blood of the New Covenant, which is shed for the remission of the sins of many.'

Now let's come back to John 14:6—such a profound verse: "…'I am the Way, and the Truth, and the Life; no one comes to the Father except through Me.'" No one goes to Jesus unless the Father calls them; it works both ways. Let's see that.

When God truly begins to deal in someone's life, once you come to the knowledge of some Truth you must act upon it, otherwise you will lose it—because unless you act upon it, it's of no value. But if you act upon that Truth, believe that Truth, accept that Truth and understand that Truth, then God will add more. Then it's a building process from there. He will add more and more, and as He does that, you have to understand that God is the One Who is dealing with you. And, of course, He deals through your mind, which He created and gave to you. He deals with the Spirit to lead you.

So, we have not only can no one come to the Father except through Christ, we also have, John 6:44: "No one can come to Me unless the Father, Who sent Me, draws him…" It's a joint decision by both—isn't it? That is a very humbling thought indeed—isn't it? If you have an opportunity to watch any videos or anything showing the universe, I want you to look at those and to understand that God the Father and Jesus Christ, Who have created the universe and everything that there is, and in Their special plan has called you!

  • He didn't call the mighty
  • He didn't call the rich
  • He didn't call the intelligent
  • He didn't call the leaders of the world

—because God doesn't do things the way men do!

We're the most unlikely group of people to rule the world that you'd ever want to look at. But we're not going to rule the world as we are. We're going to rule the world as spirit beings, with a spirit body and a spirit mind. Know and understand this: "No one can come to Me unless the Father, Who sent Me, draws him..."

  • What compels you to want to understand Word of God? God the Father!
  • Who gives you that desire?
  • Why doesn't someone else down the street, or your neighbor next door to you, or, yea, even your husband and your wife may not have that same desire?

Because there is a special spiritual something that has taken place. There is a special action of God the Father, the Sovereign Ruler of the universe, has done something in your life. He has begun to draw you, and He says, "...and I will raise him up at the last day. It is written in the Prophets, 'And they shall all be taught by God.…" (vs 44-45).

How is it that you understand anything of the Word of God? You're taught of God the Father through the Spirit! You can read the words, but why do those words have the impression upon you that they do not on someone who God is not dealing with? Because they are not being taught of God!

There needs to be teachers in the Church, but what should they do? They should teach the words of God so that you are taught of God! That's why when you read and study the Bible and you go along and all of a sudden youknow, you have a spiritual understanding and a spiritual connection with the words of God, what is said and whatever you are reading or studying, and you get a tremendous value out of it, that is the Father teaching you through His Word! Now that's something!

"...Therefore, everyone who has heard from the Father, and has learned, comes to Me" (v 45). That's quite a spiritual operation. Then He calls you into covenant. Isn't that something?

John 14:7: "If you had known Me..." They were with Him three and half years and they still didn't know Christ. Of course, He's talking to Thomas here—isn't He? 'Doubting' Thomas!

"…If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also. But from this time forward, you know Him and have seen Him.' Philip said to Him" (v 7). Phillip was one of the first ones to see Christ, because Philip was one of the disciples of John.

Verse 8: "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 8-9).

Now we've got a very interesting little four page article called 90 Facts About God. As I mentioned, the very first thing they try and do when they have false prophets and false doctrines is they change the nature of God. To believe in God the Father—Who has bodily form—is anathema to 'Christians' in this world. When you read the Bible you find God has a head, He has a face, He has eyes, He has a nose, He has a mouth, He has hands, He has feet, He has a body. If you've seen Christ… Was Christ there in a body? Did He have a body? Yes, He did! He looked just like His Father. So, "…The one who has seen Me has seen the Father…"

I did a sermon, Is Your God a Glob? when they began to change the doctrine within the Worldwide Church of God, where it says, 'God doesn't need ears, and God doesn't need hands, and God doesn't need a nose. God is everywhere and in everything.' That's pantheism, 'God is in everything.' That's not the way God is.

God is a personal being. You can't have love with a glob—can you? If you've got a great big, huge pillow at home, just grab it and see if you can have a relationship with it. No you can't. It's just a glob. We're made in the image of God so that we can become like He is! That's the whole plan and the whole purpose.

"…'The one who has seen Me has seen the Father; why then do you say, "Show us the Father"? 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 Who dwells in Me does the works'" (vs 9-10). These are the kinds of works that we need to have that are inspired of God.

Let's see how Jesus fulfilled the will of God, John 5:19: "Therefore, Jesus answered and said to them, 'Truly, truly I say to you, the Son has no power to do anything of Himself, but only what He sees the Father do. For whatever He does, these things the Son also does in the same manner." Jesus did the will of God the way God wanted the will of God done. That also sets us an example of how we need to fulfill the will of God—correct? Yes!

Verse 20: "For the Father loves the Son, and shows Him everything that He Himself is doing.  And He will show Him greater works than these, so that you may be filled with wonder." Then He talks about the resurrection.

Verse 30: "I have no power to do anything of Myself…" That didn't mean He was not capable of doing something. Every human being is capable of doing something on their own—aren't they? Yes! But this means that He did nothing from Himself. In other words, whatever He did, did not come from Him as a human being, but it was inspired and motivated and according to the commandments of God.

"...but as I hear, I judge; and My judgment is just because I do not seek My own will but the will of the Father, Who sent Me" (vs 30-31). The will of the Father is that we enter into the Kingdom of God! That's how Jesus did it. So, when He said, 'I don't speak of My own; I don't speak My own words, but it's the Father Who dwells in Me, He does the works.'

John 12:42. "But even so, many among the rulers believed in Him... [here comes a little bit of politics mixed in with belief]: ...but because of the Pharisees they did not confess Him, so that they wouldnot be put out of the synagogue… [they didn't want to lose their standing] …for they loved the glory of men more than the glory of God" (vs 42-43).

There are a lot of people that are that way. That's why we have a very unique thing with those who are truly converted and have the Spirit of God:

  1. they must stand on their own two feet before God alone
  2. when we assemble together and love each other it's because we love God the Father first

And that being the relationship that we have with God the Father and Jesus Christ, then we ought to love one another even that much more when we come together. That's why God does not like politics within His Church.

Jesus made it even more clear, v 44: "Then Jesus called out and said, 'The one who believes in Me does not believe in Me, but in Him Who sent Me. And the one who sees Me sees Him Who sent Me…. [your true belief, you believe in Christ, that's in the Father] …I have come as a light into the world so that everyone who believes in Me may not remain in darkness. 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. 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 44-48).

Isn't that a profound judgment? Those who come along and reject the words of Christ, those are the very words that are going to judge them. Likewise, if you believe the words of God—and you love God, and you have faith in God—then the very words that God has spoken that He gives you eternal life will come to pass. Tremendous thing!

Verse 49: "For I have not spoken from Myself; but the Father, Who sent Me, gave Me commandment Himself, what I should say and what I should speak. And I know that His commandment is eternal life. Therefore, whatever I speak, I speak exactly as the Father has told Me" (vs 49-50). So, the bottom line is this: if anyone rejects Jesus Christ, they're rejecting God the Father.

There's another way that He told the apostles to believe. He says, John 14:11: "Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me; but if not, believe Me because of the works themselves." All the works that He did: the healings, the raising from the dead, the preaching of the Gospel, the feeding of the 4,000, the feeding of the 5,000 and all of that. He's talking to His apostles that very night. These words are recorded so that we can have them as the words of the New Covenant by which then we live.

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."

Now let's look and see some of the greater works that were being done after He ascended to the Father and they received the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost. Here's a summary of it. And we have never seen the demonstration like this with an outpouring of the Spirit of God. And remember that it was to the Jew first, because God promised.

Acts 5:12: "And many signs and wonders were done among the people by the hands of the apostles; (and they were all with one accord in Solomon's porch; And none of the others dared to join them, but the people magnified them; And believers were added all the more to the Lord, multitudes of both men and women)" (vs 12-14). They literally turned Jerusalem upside down. Paul caused a riot every time he went into a synagogue, they totally destroyed the power base of the scribes and Pharisees and priests, and everything.

Verse 15: "Insomuch that the people were bringing out the sick into the streets and putting them on beds and stretchers, so that at least the shadow of Peter passing by might overshadow some of them…. [be healed] …And a multitude from the cities round about also came together to Jerusalem, bringing sick ones and those beset by unclean spirits; and they were all healed…. [notice the reaction]: …Then the high priest rose up, and all those with him…" (vs 15-17)—which is the sect of the Sadducees—and ran out and were baptized and believed. NO! They were filled with indignation!

"...being of the sect of the Sadducees; and they were filled with anger…. [they were losing their power base; losing their authority] …And they laid their hands on the apostles and put them in the public hold [prison]. But during the night an angel of the Lord cameand opened the doors of the prison; and after bringing them out, he said, 'Go and stand in the temple, and speak to the people all the words of this life.' And after hearing that, they entered into the temple at dawn and taught. Now when the high priest and those with him came, they called together the Sanhedrin and all the elderhood of the sons of Israel, and sent to the prison to have them brought" (vs 17-21). So, they opened the door and they weren't there.
Verse 22: "But when the officers came, they did not find them in the prison; and when they returned, they reported, saying…[now we know] …'We indeed found the prison locked with all security, and the keepers standing outside in front of the doors; but after opening them, we did not find anyone inside.' And when they heard these words, both the high priest and the captain of the temple, and the chief priests also, were utterly perplexed as to what this could lead to…. [right when they were thinking on this] ...But a certain one came and reported to them, saying, 'Behold, the men whom you put in the prison are standing in the temple and teaching the people'" (vs 22-25).

So, they did greater works—didn't they? Yes, they did! And I tell you, brethren, those greater works will return to the Church at the end again when God is ready and determined to do them. Let me tell you, you don't have to worry about persecution coming upon you. It's going to come! Be ready! How it will come, we don't know. When it will come, we don't know. But we should not do as others do and play politics if it comes. We do need to be wise as serpents and harmless as doves. But when it comes to stand for Jesus and the Truth, that we are to do, regardless of the cost.

John 14:12: "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. 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 12-14)—it must be according to the will of God! That's something we can claim. That's a promise we can claim. God said He would! Of course, it needs to be according to His will!

Not every prayer we pray is an automatic yes. Many of them are no. Some of them are yes, but… However, when you go back and you really examine it you will find that all the prayers that you really pray and have prayed in faith. Some of our prayers are of our own self and kind of in vanity and things like that, because that's the way we are as human beings. Those things enter into it. But what we really ask in faith, you go back and see all those prayers were answered—weren't they? The very prayer that you prayed the first time that there was heresy that you came across and said, 'Oh God, what will I do?' That prayer has been answered over and over again, and you are here this day. That's part of the answer of that prayer.

  • God has called you
  • God loves you
  • God cares for you
  • God watches over you
  • you stand in the grace of God
  • He hears your prayers
  • He wants to give you eternal life

And that's what the covenant is all about.

All Scriptures from The Holy Bible in Its Original Order, A Faithful Version by Fred R. Coulter

Scripture References:

  • Genesis 15:4-6, 8-10, 12-18
  • Exodus 12:40-41
  • Romans 4:17-25
  • Romans 5:1-5
  • John 14:1-3
  • John 5:39-41
  • John 3:16
  • John 5:42-47
  • John 6:26-28
  • Matthew 7:21-23
  • John 6:29
  • John 2:23-25
  • James 2:17-22
  • John 14:15; 3-6
  • John 10:1-5, 14, 16-18
  • John 6:44-45
  • John 14:7-10
  • John 5:19-20, 30-31
  • John 12:42-50
  • John 14:11-12
  • Acts 5:12-25
  • John 14:12-14

Scripture referenced, not quoted:  John 15:17-18

Also referenced:

Sermons/Series:

  • Are You Fully Persuaded

Christianity Without Christ

  • Is Your God a Glob?
  • Hebrew Series

Article: 90 Facts About God
Book: The Christian Passover by Fred R. Coulter

FRC/mds
Transcribed: 02/28/2005
Formatted/Corrected: bo—June/2012

BOOKS