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GRACE BIBLE CHURCH
Robert R. McLaughlin Bible Ministries
The Tree of Life is a weekly teaching summary.
The Tree of Life from the week ending 02/13/05
What it means to be initiated into the secret of the mystery. Part 4.
Now the angelic conflict intensifies. John 13

We continue our study in JOH 13:27, And after the morsel, Satan then entered into him. Jesus therefore said to him, "What you do, do quickly”

The first Greek word for do is a pres-act-ind of poieo which means what you have been doing. The next do is an aor-act-imp of poiei which means do it now. The Greek adverb tachion means do it quickly, or swiftly.

Jesus commands Judas, who is now under the personal control of Satan, to act more quickly than he had originally planned. Even though he now possesses a member of the human race, Satan cannot hinder the timing of the cross because it is the plan of God. Satan is going to be removed from the picture so that he will not hear the first announcement of the Church-age, the doctrine of the mysteries.

JOH 13:28-29 illustrates TLJC respecting the privacy of the traitor, just as our Lord in offering the morsel to Judas respected his freedom. If TLJC can respect the privacy of a traitor, one who will betray Him, then it should be obvious to us that we should respect the privacy of the believer-priest who has been established by God. We have no right to intrude upon the privacy and the priesthood of another believer.

JOH 13:28-29, Now no one of those reclining {at the table} knew for what purpose He had said this to him. For some were supposing, because Judas had the money box, that Jesus was saying to him, "Buy the things we have need of for the feast"; or else, that he should give something to the poor.

This is one very dramatic meal. Satan has possessed Judas and is tempting Jesus Christ to sin in order to stop the work about to take place on the cross. If He had ever committed one sin, there would be no salvation. 1PE 2:22-23,He committed no sin, nor was any deceit found in His mouth; and while being reviled, He did not revile in return; while suffering, He uttered no threats, but kept entrusting Himself to Him who judges righteously;

In JOH 13:30, we have the departure of Judas, And so after receiving the morsel he went out immediately; and it was night.

The events of the afternoon in the upper room have been terminated, and Satan who is indwelling Judas has been removed; Jesus can now unfold the plan of God. The first thing that Jesus discusses by way of doctrine is the intensification of the angelic conflict. Although Satan is not present, there are still a lot of demons who are. Jesus opens up with the doctrine of the mysteries, which is divided into 2 parts: The upper room discourse (the rest of John 13, and 14). Following are Chapters 15 and 16 which are a separate discourse where Jesus will leave the upper room with his disciples to walk through Jerusalem to the brook of Kidron. He's going to take Peter, James, and John and go deep into the garden for a prayer meeting where Peter's going to fall asleep. In chapter 17 we have the prayer which Jesus prayed, the true Lord's Prayer, a prayer for us, the disciples and for the Church-age. Then in Chapter 18, we have the trials and the crucifixion.

The first item on the agenda for the upper room discourse is the intensification of the angelic conflict, JOH 13:31-35,When therefore he had gone out, Jesus said, "Now is the Son of Man glorified, and God is glorified in Him; if God is glorified in Him, God will also glorify Him in Himself, and will glorify Him immediately. Little children, I am with you a little while longer. You shall seek Me; and as I said to the Jews, I now say to you also, Where I am going, you cannot come. A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.

The term Son of Man emphasizes the humanity of Christ, He's the God-man, and His humanity will be glorified. Remember that Jesus Christ is 100% God and 100% man united in one Person forever. As deity, He is immutable, meaning He is always glorified, there never was a time when He wasn't, but His humanity will also be glorified. He will go to the cross and die for our sins, then He will be resurrected, He will ascend, and it is when He is seated at the right hand of the Father that the Lord Jesus Christ will be fully glorified, and this glorification triggers the intensification of the angelic conflict. It is divided into 2 parts: The Church-age, which is the hidden stage, and the Tribulation period which is the overt stage.

The Church-age (the hidden stage) is the most intensive part of the angelic conflict where the life of every believer is a target, in contrast to the Old Testament dispensation where only Christ and the line of Christ were targets. As a believer you are a personal target of Satan (GAL 3:26-27), and because of this, divine provision is also intensified. This is why you now possess more powerful assets that believers previous to this age did not. For instance, as a part of the mystery doctrine of the Church-age, you are an ambassador for Christ who is in heaven, and while He's absent from the earth, you are an ambassador representing Him on the earth. As a believer you are also your very own priest, representing yourself before God, this was never true before. These are new functions for every believer. In addition, every believer is in union with Christ by means of the baptism of the Spirit, which never occurred in Old Testament times. Every believer is indwelt by Christ. Abraham, Moses, Elijah and Isaiah, as well as all the great believers of the past were not indwelt by Christ. Every believer is also indwelt by the Holy Spirit; this is new. We have a brand new set of powerful, intensified provisions for an intensified conflict.

So back in JOH 13:31, When therefore he had gone out, Jesus said, "Now is the Son of Man glorified, and God is glorified in Him;”

The Father is perfect, His plan is perfect, and His plan calls for the betrayal by Judas Iscariot. However, Satan and God have two different ideas. At this point, Satan understood, from Old Testament scriptures, that Jesus was going to bear the sins of the world and he understood that if he could just get the Jews to put Jesus under a pile of rocks, then He would miss that opportunity. Satan has his plan centered in Judas Iscariot who has also influenced the disciples, and of course, Jesus knew this. However, at the last minute Judas Iscariot is getting cold feet, he's a coward and so, Satan has to give him some personal attention by getting inside of him and giving him some backbone. But God the Father has another plan: Jesus is going to go to the cross, and while He is on the cross, the sins of the world will be poured upon Him and judged. Isa 53:10, But the Lord [God the Father] was pleased To crush Him [God the Son], putting Him to grief; If He would render Himself as a guilt offering,

Even though Satan is the god of this world he cannot control the human race, and the Jews are so religious and legalistic, that they will not kill Jesus on a Saturday, the day of the Jewish feasts. They will not kill Him on the Passover, the feast of unleavened bread or on the feast of the firstfruits. They simply can't do it because of their dedication to religion.

The Jews therefore turn Jesus over to the Romans, just as God's plan said it would happen, and the Romans crucify TLJC because Jesus is not a Roman citizen, He is a Jew. It is interesting that crucifixion is the one execution where there is plenty of time to bear the sins of the world. It's a very painful type of physical death and added to it is the most horrible thing that He had to do: Suffer a spiritual death (separation from the Father) and bear our sins in His own body.

Satan's thinks he's got it all figured out but he is going to realize the lesson again; PSA 33:10, The Lord nullifies the counsel of the nations; He frustrates the plans of the peoples.

Satan’s plan didn't work, so he had to get back with those Jews in a hurry and get them cranked up and say to our Lord while on the cross; MAT 27:40, You who are going to destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days, save Yourself! If You are the Son of God, come down from the cross. This is another attempt to hinder our Lord from bearing our sins and receiving judgment for us by tempting Him to step outside the plan of God the Father.

So, while Satan is out of the upper room, the big announcement of the mystery comes, and can’t you imagine the demons scrambling over to Satan saying, you missed the greatest talk He ever gave, you missed the whole thing. In fact, later, the apostle Paul will be followed around by Satan and the demons to get everything that Jesus was teaching in the upper room discourse. He was the 12th disciple, the one who replaced Judas and knew the most about mystery doctrine. Satan wouldn't really know how to attack us today if he hadn't heard the doctrine of the mystery as the apostle Paul taught. Paul himself said in his letter to the Ephesians in chapter 3, that one of the purposes of the apostle and the pastor is to teach angels, to teach principalities and powers. EPH 3:10, in order that the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known through the church to the rulers and the authorities in the heavenly places.

By the time Judas betrays Jesus with a kiss, in John chapter 18, Satan missed the entire discourse in chapters 13–17. But once he caught on he really sprung to action. He regrouped and reorganized. Eph 6 tells us about his reorganization.

EPH 6:10-16, (corrected translation) Finally, be strong in the Lord, and in the strength of His might. Pick up and put on the full armor from God, that you may be able to hold your ground against the schemes or the strategies of the devil. Because our struggle is not against blood [people's souls] and flesh [their old sin nature], but against the rulers [these are the archons like Abaddon and Beelzebub], against the powers [demon officers who have phenomenal authority], against the world forces of this darkness [kosmokratoras meaning demons who specialize in possessing or influencing the cosmos or world rulers] against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places or against the spiritual forces of evil in the atmosphere around the earth, the stellar universe and in the presence of God. Because of this, pick up and put on the full armor from God, that you may be able to hold your ground in the day when evil attacks you, even after you have achieved or accomplished everything, hold your ground. Because of this, hold your ground, [after you] have buckled on your combat gear around your waist by means of doctrine, and [after you] have put on the breastplate of righteousness, [hold your ground] after you have put on your combat boots on your feet with readiness, preparation, or the equipment of the gospel of peace. In addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming missiles of the evil one.

So back in JOH 13:31, When therefore he had gone out, Jesus said, "Now is the Son of Man glorified, and God is glorified in Him;"

In the Greek this says that the Son of Man receives glorification and then the Father is glorified. It refers to the entire time that God the Father led Jesus Christ from Judas’ betrayal to the cross and to glory. With the glorification of Christ, the angelic conflict shifts gears and enters into an intensified stage.

The intensified stage is the reason that, for the first time in history, every believer needs unusual assets and every believer has them. Believers learn these assets and learn how to use them by means of the gift of pastor-teacher —EPH 4:11-12, And He gave some apostles, some prophets, and some evangelists, and some pastor-teachers. for the equipping of the saints, for the vocation of the ministry, for the building up of the body of Christ.

The three-fold purpose of the pastor-teacher is to equip and train the Royal family for combat, and for the vocation of the ministry, i.e., training future pastors, and finally for the edification of the body which is to teach and encourage the body of Christ through doctrine.

You are in full-time Christian service; you have been baptized by the Spirit; you have the unique pre-designed plan of God taking its precedence from the dispensation of the Hypostatic union. You also have your very own portfolio of invisible assets, prepared for you by God the Father in eternity past. You are a royal priest, in which you represent yourself before God and you are a royal ambassador, in which you represent our Lord to the world.

You also have the unique mystery doctrine of the Church age, the indwelling of all three persons of the Trinity, the unique availability of divine power, the omnipotence of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. You have all of your instructions in writing and you have a spiritual gift.

Once Jesus Christ says "It is finished" He will then die physically, and from that point on, His glorification actually begins. When Jesus Christ is on the cross, it is His lowest point; the moment He says, "It is finished," our sins have all been judged. His human spirit goes into the presence of the Father (LUK 23:46), His soul goes to Paradise (1PE 3:19), and His body went into a beautiful tomb (MAT 27:59-60). The three days later, His soul and spirit came back to join His body, and His body walked right through the stone. That's glorification! Angels rolled back the stone, not to let Jesus out, but to let the humanity in. He made appearances over a period of 40 days; then He ascends, and is seated at the right hand of the Father, and that's glorification. It is His humanity that is seated, and that is the epitome of glorification. And that begins the intensification of the angelic conflict, because Jesus Christ is seated as a member of the human race. As God He is omnipresent, but as a member of the human race, He is now above angels, this is the story of Heb 1.

The Father's response to the work of Christ is given in JOH 13:32, if God is glorified in Him, God will also glorify Him in Himself, and will glorify Him immediately.
If is a first class condition meaning if and it is true. God has a plan that is going to end up with both the Father and the Son being glorified together. JOH 5:23, in order that all may honor the Son, even as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him.

Everything we have in Joh 13-17 took place within a couple of hours. Now, we have a new stage of the angelic conflict. JOH 13:33, "Little children, I am with you a little while longer. You shall seek Me; and as I said to the Jews, I now say to you also, Where I am going, you cannot come.”

This means our Lord will not be on earth much longer, actually 43 days (3 days in the ground and 40 days in His resurrection body). The disciples will not be able to go to heaven. They, like us, are to represent Him on earth.

At this point, the Lord will begin to teach some of the doctrines of the mystery age in which we live. He is going to teach that the Old Testament saints, both Jews and Gentiles are called friends of the Groom. The Church, the New Testament believers, are to be called the body of Christ, then, the bride of Christ. The analogy of Christ as the groom and the Church-age believer as the bride is taught in many passages, such as 2CO 11:2, EPH 5:25-33, REV 19:6-8.

EPH 5:28-32, So husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies [love for self or S.S.E.]. He who loves his own wife loves himself; for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ also does the church, because we are members of His body. For this cause a  man shall leave his father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife; and the two shall become one flesh. This mystery is great; but I am speaking with reference to Christ and the church [or the mystery of Christian marriage as a witness in the angelic conflict and the spiritual marriage which is to take place in the future].

While on the earth, the believer is a part of the body of Christ but at the end of the Church-age, the believer becomes a part of the bride of Christ. The Bride is a title for the Royal family in resurrection body. On earth the royal family is called the body. The Royal Family is formed on earth during the Church-age, EPH 1:22-23, 2:16, 4:4-5, 5:23; COL 1:18, 24, 2:19. At salvation through the baptism of the Holy Spirit, we are placed in union with Christ and therefore we become a part of His body (1CO 12:13, EPH 4:4).
When the body is completed, the Rapture or the resurrection of the Church takes the Royal Family to heaven in order to prepare her for the Second Advent (1TH 4:16-18; 1CO 15:51-57).  It is at this time that the Royal Family becomes the Bride and the Tribulation period occurs on earth. It is at the Rapture, that the believer gets a resurrection body exactly like Christ's (1CO 15:51-57; PHI 3:21; 1JO 3:1-2) and no longer possesses an old sin nature, PHI 3:21; 1TH 5:23.
Then, at the Second Advent, called by some the Second Coming, the Royal Family returns with Jesus Christ along with the elect angels, the Old Testament believers, and Tribulational martyrs who receive their resurrection bodies at that time (COL 3:4). Our return with Christ is related to operation footstool (PSA 110:1) referring to the termination of the strategic victory of the angelic conflict. The Lord Jesus Christ returns to the earth to establish His kingdom and to remove Satan and all fallen angels. Satan loses the rulership of the world to the Lord, PSA 110:1; HEB 1:13; 10:13.

Remember that the disciples have been taught about the Old Testament Feasts, the New Moon, the Sabbaths, the sacrifices, the Temple and the furniture. Then all of the things noted above are taught by Christ, that was quite a giant leap in learning. This is why our Lord said in JOH 16:12-14, "I have many more things to say to you, but you cannot bear {them} now. But when He, the Spirit of truth [doctrine], comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come. He shall glorify Me; for He shall take from Me, and shall disclose {it} to you.”

So in JOH 13:33-35, "Little children, I am with you a little while longer. You shall seek Me; and as I said to the Jews, I now say to you also, Where I am going, you cannot come. A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another."

Being a new creature or a new species demands a new set of instructions or commands that are summarized under two key words: love and discipleship. The new commandment is based upon the fact that TLJC will have been raised from the dead, glorified, absent from the earth, seated at the right hand of the Father, and therefore we have entered in to the intensified stage of the angelic conflict. There are new provisions for the new spiritual species which allow the believer to love in a brand new way.

Our privileges are greater, and therefore, our responsibilities are greater. Every believer has been given the power and the ability to fulfill the "new" commands.
This is why we all have a supernatural way of life with super-natural means to execute it.

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