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Robert R. McLaughlin Bible Ministries
The Tree of Life is a weekly teaching summary.
The Tree of Life from the week ending 02/27/05
What it means to be initiated into the secret of the mystery. Part 6.
The mystery behind divine sarcasm to Philip.
John 13:36-14:11. 

We continue our study in John 13:36-14">JOH 13:36-14:4, Simon Peter said to Him, "Lord, where are You going?" Jesus answered, "Where I go, you cannot follow Me now; but you shall follow later." Peter said to Him, "Lord, why can I not follow You right now? I will lay down my soul-life on behalf of You." Jesus answered, "Will you lay down your life or your soul for Me? Truly, truly [point of doctrine], I say to you, a cock shall not crow, until you deny Me three times. Let not your heart be discouraged; believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father's house are many permanent dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. And you know the way where I am going."

The first of our inquisitive disciples, Peter, knows doctrine but has failed the apply it. Our next inquisitive disciple, Thomas, is ignorant of doctrine and therefore cannot apply it. JOH 14:5, Thomas said to Him, "Lord, we do not know where You are going, how do we know the way?"

Thomas is probably best known for his inability to believe that Jesus had indeed risen from the dead and for that he has received the name, doubting Thomas. Thomas is not inherently stupid but simply ignorant of Bible doctrine. Once a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ neglects, rejects or becomes negative toward doctrine, he appears to be stupid because he's in reversionism. This doesn't necessarily mean you're living in a certain sin, it means you're going backward in the spiritual life, rather than forward and ultimately disoriented to life itself becoming bitter, self-righteous, judgmental and critical.

In JOH 14:5-6, Thomas said to Him, "Lord, we do not know where You are going, how do we know the way?" Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me."

Thomas is ignorant of the cross, the resurrection, ascension and session to which the humanity of Christ is going to be glorified. The phrase the way, refers to the entrance into the plan of God. The phrase the truth, refers to what Thomas should be learning after he enters into the plan of God. The phrase the life [the most important function, the zoe life] is the function that comes from truth or doctrine.
Everyone enters into the plan of God with equal privilege and equal opportunity to become a winner believer. The means is God's truth, Greek word aletheia, doctrine taught categorically. The object of salvation and its ultimate end is to bring us to a knowledge of the truth. This is why Paul said in 1TI 2:3-4, This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, Who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. Unfortunately, there are many times that we do not think in terms of truth but only in terms of feeling or experience  JOH 1:17 says, For the Law was given through Moses; grace and truth were realized through Jesus Christ.

In JOH 14:6 the order of these words are very important, the way, the truth, the life. After the way, the truth, Bible doctrine, is the most important. This is why the word was glorified in ACT 13:48, And when the Gentiles heard this, they {began} rejoicing and glorifying the word of the Lord; and as many as had been appointed to eternal life believed.

As the entrance, TLJC is our savior and took our place on the cross, as the truth, Bible doctrine is the mind of Christ, as the life, once we enter supergrace our greatest function is occupation with the person of Christ.

JOH 14:7, "If you had known Me [second class condition of the word if, but you didn't], you would have known My Father also; from now on you know Him, and have seen Him."

The second class condition of the word if is known as a contrary to the fact condition. The word if is the conjunction ei plus the verb for had known is egnokeite, indicating that Thomas had the opportunity to know the Lord but he rejected it. The pluperfect use of this verb means that everyday you are in reversionism there is something that you could have understood, some question you could have answered with doctrine that you missed because of your N.V.T.D. Time  spent in reversionism is time wasted and not redeemed. PSA 90:12, So teach us to number our days, That we may present to Thee a heart of wisdom.

There are three principles of time:

1) Organized time, JAM 4:3-17 which teaches that when you know it's right to organize your time, and you refuse to do it, you're living in sin. Our time must be organized.
2) Redeemed time, EPH 5:16-18, "Constantly buying time, because the days are evil.  Because of this, stop being ignorant, but completely understand the will [purpose] of the Lord."
3) Utilized time, 1CO 7:29-31.

When God's plan for your life is over, you run out of days, so every day is a grace gift from the Lord; therefore, every day is equally as great. JOH 11:9 10, Jesus answered, "Are there not twelve hours in the day? If anyone walks in the day, he does not stumble, because he sees the light of this world. But if anyone walks in the night, he stumbles, because the light is not in him."

JOH 14:7, The use of the second class condition of the word if, means if but it's not true, the Lord is saying Thomas you have had time to learn these things and when you get to the place where you're occupied with Me, you won't have these questions.

TLJC is about to depart and go forward with the plan of God. He's going to leave a legacy of Bible doctrine so that future generations will be able to see the Father and His plan through the study of the Scriptures. Once Christ ascends, the plan of God the Father is seen through His word. No believer can attain spiritual maturity, be an invisible hero and glorify God apart from perception, metabolization and application of Bible doctrine. The Bible is our textbook and the gift of pastor-teacher is designed to communicate the mystery doctrine that causes spiritual growth. Doctrine must be learned under authority, and that authority is vested in the spiritual gift of pastor-teacher. Every believer must take the responsibility for his own decisions, therefore, the believer must make decisions with regard to his selection of his own pastor-teacher, and his faithfulness in learning Bible doctrine from that pastor-teacher.

We are now ready for the next inquisitive disciple in the upper room discourse, Philip. JOH 14:8-11, Philip said to Him, "Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us." Jesus said to him, "Have I been so long with you, and {yet} you have not come to know Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; how do you say, 'Show us the Father? Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father is in Me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on My own initiative, but the Father abiding in Me does His works. Believe Me that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me; otherwise believe on account of the works themselves."

In the Gospel of John, Philip met Jesus beyond the Jordan River during John the Baptist's ministry. Jesus called Philip to become His disciple. Philip responded and brought to Jesus another disciple, named Nathanael, (JOH 1:4351) or Bartholomew, MAR 3:18. Before the Lord fed the five thousand, He tested Philip by asking him how so many people could possibly be fed. Instead of responding in faith, Philip began to calculate the cost of feeding them. JOH 6:5 7.

JOH 6:1-2, After these things Jesus went away to the other side of the Sea of Galilee (or Tiberias). And a great multitude was following Him, because they were seeing the signs which He was performing on those who were sick.

At this time TLJC was at the peek of His popularity, not because of His wonderful message or who He was but because people were entertained by His miracles.

JOH 6:3-5And Jesus went up on the mountain, and there He sat with His disciples. Now the Passover, the feast of the Jews, was at hand. Jesus therefore lifting up His eyes, and seeing that a great multitude was coming to Him,

There are 2 types of Christians: Those who are afraid of failing and therefore never try anything and those who try anything because they're not afraid to fail. You can either be close to the Lord and have Him use you or you can be like most Christians and stand far away from Him because you really do not want any pressure. Philip will be tested by TLJC and fail, however, it is much better to fail and learn the lessons than it is to sit back and do nothing.

JOH 6:5-6, Jesus therefore lifting up His eyes, and seeing that a great multitude was coming to Him, said to Philip, "Where are we to buy bread, that these may eat?" And this He was saying to test him; for He Himself knew what He was intending to do. This is a challenge to Philip and the imperfect-active-indicative of the verb lego is used here so it means that our Lord had to repeat the question.

Joh 6:7, Philip answered Him, "Two hundred denarii worth of bread is not sufficient for them, for everyone to receive a little."

A denarii was a day's wages in the Roman Empire. The Holy Spirit choose to record this statement to reveal to us that Philip is thinking human viewpoint not Bible Doctrine. The number 200 is always found in scripture in an evil connection and therefore it suitably expresses Philip's heart of unbelief. We find this number stamping various things with insufficiency: Achan's 200 shekels were not sufficient to save him from the consequences of his sin (JOS 7:21). Absalom's 200 shekels weight of hair were not sufficient to save him, but rather caused his destruction, 2SA 14:26; 18:9. Micah's graven image was purchased for 200 shekels (JUD 17:4 and 18), and led to the introduction of idolatry in Israel. Ezra's 200 singing men and women (Ezra 2:65), were not sufficient to produce peace with God, true spiritual worship, or joy in the Lord. The significance of 200 in Joh 6:7 tells us that looking at things from human viewpoint is insufficient. Philip had recognized that TLJC was the Messiah. He even recruited others to follow TLJC as the Messiah in JOH 1:43-45. Philip also seemed to lack confidence in his relationship with TLJC in JOH 12:20-22.

JOH 14:8, Philip said to Him, "Lord [notice again He calls the Lord Kurios because Philip recognizes the deity of Christ, he is saved], show us the Father, and it is enough for us."

The word for show us is the verb deixon and it means to demonstrate, to prove, to teach, to make known. Now that TLJC has announced His departure time, Philip now wants some teaching. He is like many believers who have had the communication of Bible doctrine available to them for a long time but do not want it until they're in some jam. Philip realizes that some drastic changes are about to take place in his life. He's been following TLJC for three years and now the Lord says I'm going away and "Where I am going, you cannot come."

But at this moment the Lord can't spend time teaching Philip. He's taught him for three years and it's now time for our Lord to fulfill the Father's will and go to the cross and die for the sins of the whole world, including Philip's. Philip is saying if you want to please us or make us content or satisfy us then demonstrate, prove to us, or teach us about the Father. The objective of the communication of Bible doctrine is not to please the listener but to teach the listener, to inculcate, and to indoctrinate. Philip is one of those individuals who learn only when they're being entertained. Philip's problem was inability to concentrate and notice that what the Lord has just said to Thomas, completely passes over the head of Philip. "The Father and I are one, I am the revealer of the Father, if you have seen me, you have seen the Father," Peter understood that, and got a bit of it, Thomas understood it, but doubted how it applied but Philip doesn't understand it.

JOH 14:9, is a rebuke of divine sarcasm, Jesus said to him, "Have I been so long with you, and {yet} you have not [ouk] come to know Me, Philip? Sadly enough that is a statement that could be said to the majority of believers today. Philip was impressed with the miracles but didn't concentrate on the doctrine. Our Lord now goes into the dynamics of Bible doctrine and its application to the principles of life. The Greek word ginisko is used here and it means that nothing has come through yet, you know nothing.

JOH 14:9-10, He who has seen Me has seen the Father; how do you say, 'Show us the Father'? Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father is in Me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on My own initiative, but the Father abiding in Me does His works.

Through the word of God the Father, and the power given to Him, the Lord was able to do the works that God the Father called Him to do. This is what the Church-age is all about. Every believer is to take the word of God and mix it with the power of God and perform the works that God the Father calls him to perform.

In JOH 14:10-12 we have what Philip should have been doing, he should have be inhaling, taking in doctrine, and then exhaling, applying the doctrine. JOH 14:10, "Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father is in Me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on My own initiative, but the Father abiding in Me does His works.

The Lord now is taking him right back to being a baby believer and starting all over again. This is co equality and co eternity of essence. The Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit have identical essence. Whenever the Scripture says God is one, it is talking about the essence of God. When there is a distinction between the members of the Godhead, it refers to a principle of distinction, which is personality. Here we have identical essence. The members of the Trinity have the same eternal life, omnipotence, omniscience, omnipresence, immutability, sovereignty, justice, righteousness, love and veracity. "Philip, if you want to see the Father, you can see the Father in the humanity of Christ."

The failure of Philip to learn doctrine, the doctrine of seeing God, is his failure to realize that all 3 persons of the Godhead have identical essence. The deity of the Father, Son, or Holy Spirit cannot be seen, but the humanity of Christ can be seen and heard as He teaches doctrine to the disciples.

If you are born again you have a human spirit and together with the left lobe of the soul, your spiritual eyes, you can see God through His word. This is where Philip failed, Philip didn't concentrate on the words.

The inhale of doctrine into the soul of our Lord and His exhale, the words that He speaks, is the breath of life, JOH 6:63, the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life.

JOH 14:10, "Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father is in Me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on My own initiative, but the Father abiding in Me does His works."

It is the Holy Spirit who teaches the human spirit of Jesus, and from there doctrine goes into his human soul. Therefore He is not speaking from His own initiative. This was the Father's plan billions of years ago, to reveal the essence of the Trinity through the humanity of Jesus Christ. He is the revealer of the Father, and He is revealing the Father's plan in Chapters 13-17. Starting in Chapter 18, He will fulfill that plan. The Father's plan is for Him to die on the cross and He has already revealed His death in the upper room.

Philip is likely a bit confused. Therefore, we have in verse 11, 2 imperatives or commands of the verb to believe. This is designed to get Philip to apply the doctrine he has just heard.

JOH 14:11, "Believe Me that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me; otherwise believe on account of the works themselves.

The Greek verb pisteuo says believe Me, and it is used twice as a command. Notice that there is a different object of faith: The first believe Me refers to the person of Christ, the second believe Me refers to His production. He is saying if you won't believe Me because I command you then believe because of the things I have done in the past (the miracles, the works, the production, the divine good). Many believers fail to recall the blessings and the promises of God. Think of how many times we have been in a jam and God has come through for us. But like so many believers, there are times that we forget His past blessings.

In JOH 14:12 TLJC now hits Philip right between the eyes, "Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater {works} than these shall he do; because I go to the Father." This anticipates the production of divine good from believer priests in the Church age, which definitely includes Philip. This Greek word for greater is meizona meaniing greater in quantity but not quality. It's greater in quantity only because we have more opportunity to produce divine good. Whereas the Lord Jesus alone was producing divine good, now there are perhaps millions of believers who have and are producing divine good.

Problems come into the mind of those who are in the upper room, and especially for Philip. The Lord is going to leave and there are a few other things Philip would like to ask Him. Even though our Lord will be seated at the right hand of the Father all believers can ask the Father through Him. Therefore He says in JOH 14:13, "And whatever you ask in My name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.

TLJC is saying, "I'm going to go, but don't get discouraged, don't get upset, whatever you ask in My name, that will I do. My absence from the earth does not hinder prayer." We still see the Lord because of the word. 

JOH 14:14, "If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do {it.}" This is the new way to pray beginning in the Church-age, they are to pray in Christ's name. Prayer is addressed to the Father, MAT 6:6 9, EPH 1:17; EPH 3:14, 1 Pet 1:17, in the name of or through the channel of the Son, JOH 14:13 14, and in the enabling power (filling) of God the Holy Spirit, EPH 6:18.

Prayer and a few misconceptions concerning prayer:

1. Prayer is not designed to get us out of trouble but to express our helplessness, our humility, our total dependence on God, and our recognition of His grace and His mercy toward us.
2. Prayer should not be based upon what we want but what God wants for us. 
3. Prayer was never designed to fulfill our lusts and desires; prayer is designed to fulfill the will, plan, and purpose of God for our lives. Too many prayers are expressions of what you want, not what God wants.
4. However, to express the will of God in your prayers, you have to come to know what the will of God is or how to ask for the will of God instead of your own will. Prayer is also related to the omniscience of God, ISA 65:24 "Before they call I will answer; while they are still speaking, I will hear." God hears the prayer twice: in eternity past, and at the time of the prayer.
5. Prayers and their answers were entered into the divine decrees, so that answers, rejections, petitions, interjections, and desires are all printouts of the decrees in the foreknowledge of God. God knew and answered all your prayers in eternity past.
6. All answered prayer is part of your portfolio of invisible assets. There is a direct relationship between your prayer life and your portfolio of invisible assets.

There is no place for sloppiness in prayer. Yet, that's exactly what we have today among believers:  emotion, ignorance, stupidity, and sloppiness because we've ignored the Biblical principles that mandate precisely correct procedure. So all prayer is offered through the channel of our great high priest, in the name of the Son, JOH 14:1314.

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