New Commandment

1John 2:7-14 Brethren, I write no new commandment unto you, but an old commandment which you had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word which you have heard from the beginning. Again, a new commandment I write unto you, which thing is true in him and in you: because the darkness is past, and the true light now shines. He that says he is in the light, and hates his brother, is in darkness even until now. He that loves his brother abides in the light, and there is none occasion of stumbling in him. But he that hates his brother is in darkness, and walks in darkness, and knows not whither he goes, because that darkness has blinded his eyes. I write unto you, little children, because your sins are forgiven you for his name’s sake. I write unto you, fathers, because you have known him that is from the beginning. I write unto you, young men, because you have overcome the wicked one. I write unto you, little children, because you have known the Father. I have written unto you, fathers, because you have known him that is from the beginning. I have written unto you, young men, because you are strong, and the word of God abides in you, and you have overcome the wicked one. 

‘New’ the Greek word kainos meaning renewed or fresh. This new commandment is an old one renewed and made complete in meaning by Jesus Christ (1Jn. 2:7-8; Lev. 19:18 with John 13:34). We see this commandment in Leviticus 19:18 “…but thou shall love thy neighbour as thyself: I am the LORD” and John 13:34: “A new commandment I give unto you, That you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another.”

‘He that says he is in the light, and hates his brother, is in darkness even until now’ no man professing a Christian experience who hates his brother has received a saving knowledge of the Truth (1Jn. 2:9, 11).

‘He that loves his brother abides in the light, and there is none occasion of stumbling in him’ a man that truly loves his brother has proof of his Christian experience, and if he continues to love he will not stumble over his brethren.

‘Stumbling’ for those abiding in the light, there will be no possibility of stumbling away from the Truth.

‘Little children’ a term used nine times in this epistle (2:1, 12, 13, 18, 28; 3:7, 18; 4:4, 21). It is used elsewhere only in John 13:33 and Galatians 4:19. There are four stages of Christian experience: infants; newborn (1Jn. 2:12); little children; those able to walk and talk (1Jn. 2:13); young men; those grown to the prime of life and no longer tossed about like children by fallacies (1Jn. 2:13-14); fathers; those who are matured in the Lord (1Jn. 2:13-14).

‘Abides in you, and you have overcome the wicked one’ this is the secret of victory over sin. As long as one remains in harmony with the Word of God he cannot sin (1Jn. 3:9). Keeping God’s commandments is the only guarantee of constant abiding (John 15:10). Abiding is the condition of fruit-bearing (John 15:4, 7). If one does not abide he is cut off and destroyed like a branch (John 15:6).

The Beloved

John 21:20-25 Then Peter, turning about, sees the disciple whom Jesus loved following; which also leaned on his breast at supper, and said, Lord, which is he that betrayed thee? Peter seeing him said to Jesus, Lord, and what shall this man do? Jesus said unto him, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? follow thou me. Then went this saying abroad among the brethren, that that disciple should not die: yet Jesus said not unto him, He shall not die; but, If I will that he tarries till I come, what is that to thee? This is the disciple which testified of these things, and wrote these things: and we know that his testimony is true. And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen. 

‘The disciple whom Jesus loved’ the last of five times, referring to John (13:23; 19:26; 20:2; 21:7, 20, 24). He was not loved more than others by Christ, but he accepted His love and chose to call himself accordingly. God does not have respect for persons, with regards to their looks, races, classes and sexes (Acts 10:34; Rom. 2:11; Gal. 3:28; Jas. 2:1-4).

‘Lord, which is he that betrayed thee? … what shall this man do? … If I will that he tarries till I come, what is that to thee?’ Peter had his instructions; now he wanted to know what John was supposed to do. Jesus rebuked his curiosity by stating that if He wanted John to live to the second coming that was none of his concern. He told Peter to follow Him and let John do likewise. This statement about John not dying is explained in John 21:23. He did die about the close of the first century after he finished the book Revelation on the isle of Patmos (Rev. 1:9).

‘This is the disciple which testified of these things, and wrote these things’ this is proof of the authorship of John. ‘Many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written.’ This verse simply expresses the idea that Jesus had done so many things which are not written, that if they should be written in books the world (Greek word kosmos: social world) would not have room for them. Men would not even take time to examine or digest them.

Jesus and Thomas

John 20:24-31 But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came. The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe. And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you. Then said he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing. And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God. Jesus said unto him, Thomas, because thou have seen me, thou have believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed. And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book: But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you might have life through his name. 

‘Thomas’ the third mention of him in John (11:16; 14:5; 20:24). He is one of the 12 apostles, called also Didymus (twin, 20:24; 21:2; Matt. 10:3; Mark 3:18; Luke 6:15; Acts 1:13). He is known as “doubting Thomas” because he doubted (20:25), but on the same basis, we can call all the apostles doubters and unbelievers (Matt. 28:17; Mark 16:11-14; Luke 24:11, 25, 41). He simply had not been with the others when Christ had appeared. He missed out by not being faithful to gather with the rest, and so it is today (Heb. 10:25). He is thought to have laboured in India and left many Christian converts. There, idolatrous priests tortured him with red-hot plates. Then they cast him into an oven which had no effect on him. They then pierced him with spears while in the furnace until he died. Jerome says that his body, unconsumed, was buried at a town called Calamina.

‘I will not believe’ all unbelief is unreasonable, obstinate, rebellious, prejudiced, presumptuous, insolent, stubborn, self-willed, boastful, insensible, hardening, and deceitful. Thomas’s unbelief was temporary as we can see how much faith he had in the eternal life Christ provided for all who choose to believe.

‘After eight days’ the 8th day after the last meeting of Christians on the first day of the week (20:19) the second Sunday after the resurrection – Thomas went to the gathering where the other disciples were. Again Christ appeared with them and gave the usual salutation (20:19, 21, 26). The doors were again shut, emphasizing again that resurrected bodies can go through material substance without an opening. He simply appeared in their midst, as on other occasions and after teaching them He vanished out of their sight (Luke 24:31). Six more Sundays after this 18th day after the resurrection made 50 days, the day of Pentecost. His time on the other 4 Sundays while He remained on earth with them was spent in teaching (Acts 1:3). The 40th day, or Thursday, He ascended (Acts 1:11), leaving 10 days until the 2nd Sunday after His ascension and the 7th Sunday after His resurrection, which was the 50th day or Pentecost (Acts 2:1; Lev. 23:15-16).

‘Thomas with them’ Thomas was not with the first gathering of Christians (20:19), but when he heard that they had seen Jesus alive and that He had appeared to them on the first Sunday, he was determined to be present on the next time when they were to gather again. Jesus, as usual, satisfied the doubting and unbelief of Thomas (20:27-28).

‘My Lord and my God.’ This is not a mere exclamation, but one of the plainest and most irresistible testimonies of the deity of Jesus Christ. Whether he did feel the nail prints and the spear wound in the side is not stated. He was the first to give the title of God to Jesus, other than the prophets in predicting these events (Isa. 9:6-7; Psa. 45:6-7; etc; cp. John 1:1-2; 5:17-47; 10:33-36; Acts 20:28; Php. 2:5-11; Col. 1:15-18; Heb. 1:8-9).

‘Blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed’ no special blessings are pronounced on those who have seen God over those who have not seen Him.

‘Signs’ referring to the two signs of 20:19 and 26, or to all the many signs of the gospel (Acts 1:3; Heb. 2:1-4; Mark 16:15-20; etc.).

‘Which are not written in this book’ here was the chance for the writers of the apocryphal gospels, of which they were not slow to avail themselves. What we need to know have been written, adding or taking away from God’s Word have serious consequences (Deut. 12:32; Rev. 22:18-19). The apocryphal books were not written or approved by prophets; they were not recognized by the Jews as inspired and a part of Scripture. The last Old Testament prophet predicted that the next messenger coming to Israel from God would be the forerunner of Christ (Mal. 3:1). Most of the Apocryphal books were written during the period between Malachi and Christ when God did not give Word. The books contain statements at variance with the Bible history and they are self-contradictory and in some cases opposed to doctrines of Scripture.

‘That you might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you might have life through his name’ To prove beyond all doubt that Jesus of Nazareth is the promised Messiah and God’s Son and that we might have full redemption and the benefits of the gospel by faith.

Jesus Scourged

John 19:1-7 Then Pilate therefore took Jesus, and scourged him. And the soldiers platted a crown of thorns, and put it on his head, and they put on him a purple robe, And said, Hail, King of the Jews! and they smote him with their hands. Pilate therefore went forth again, and said unto them, Behold, I bring him forth to you, that you may know that I find no fault in him. Then came Jesus forth, wearing the crown of thorns, and the purple robe. And Pilate said unto them, Behold the man! When the chief priests therefore and officers saw him, they cried out, saying, Crucify him, crucify him. Pilate said unto them, Take you him, and crucify him: for I find no fault in him. The Jews answered him, We have a law, and by our law he ought to die, because he made himself the Son of God. 

‘Scourged him’ had Him scourged in the Roman manner which was more severe than the Jewish. It was customary to scourge a person before crucifixion, but Pilate hoped that this punishment would satisfy the Jews so he could release Jesus (Luke 23:16). This did not satisfy the bloodthirsty Jews who wanted Him dead and out of their way.

A scourge was a Roman implement for severe physical punishment. It consisted of a handle with about a dozen leather cords with jagged pieces of bone or metal at each end to make the blow more painful and effective. The victim was tied to a post and the blows were applied to the bareback and loins and sometimes to the face and bowels. The flesh was cut in several places by each blow. So hideous was the punishment that the victim often fainted and some died under it. Flogging was permitted by the law up to 40 stripes (Deut. 25:3). Jews reduced this to 39 stripes (2Cor. 11:23-25). If the scourge used on Jesus had 12 thongs and He was hit even 39 times this would make 468 stripes. If some struck in the same place and cut deeper each time one can see how His body, because of the intense hatred back of each blow, was marred more than any other man’s (Isa. 52:14).

‘Crown of thorns’ for cruelty and mockery, fulfilling His own prophecy spoken in Matthew 20:17-19 in which manner He shall be killed.

‘Hail’ or, Health, success, and prosperity to the King of the Jews!

‘I bring him forth to you’ Pilate made his third appearance from the Praetorium to the Jews outside and brought the scourged, bleeding, crowned, and kingly-clothed Christ of God before them, hoping they would be willing to let Him go after such suffering. But, as ever, religious persecutors have no love and mercy on their victims. They cried for crucifixion until Pilate wanted to turn Him over to them to crucify, declaring the innocence of Christ two more times (19:4, 6).

‘Behold the Man’ Pilate hoped against hope that this awful spectacle would melt their hearts, but it only whetted their appetite for more suffering to the man they considered their rival in religion and power.

‘Because he made himself the Son of God’ this new charge to Pilate was another of ten reasons for condemning Him to die. This new angle made Pilate all the more afraid, so he took Him into the judgment hall again to question Him (19:8-11).

Jesus Questioned

John 18:19-24 The high priest then asked Jesus of his disciples, and of his doctrine. Jesus answered him, I spake openly to the world; I ever taught in the synagogue, and in the temple, whither the Jews always resort; and in secret have I said nothing. Why ask thou me? ask them which heard me, what I have said unto them: behold, they know what I said. And when he had thus spoken, one of the officers which stood by struck Jesus with the palm of his hand, saying, Answer thou the high priest so? Jesus answered him, If I have spoken evil, bear witness of the evil: but if well, why smite thou me? Now Annas had sent him bound unto Caiaphas the high priest. 

‘Asked Jesus of his disciples, and of his doctrine’ they questioned Him as to His authority of collecting disciples, forming a different sect, preaching new doctrines and setting Himself up as a reformer. Annas perhaps was seeking something whereby he could legally accuse Him, but he found nothing. All this was at night, which was contrary to the law of the Jews. The Talmud says, “Criminal processes can neither commence nor terminate, but during the course of the day” (Sanhedrin c, iv, s. 1). If a person was condemned the sentence could not be until the next day. No judgment could be executed either on the eve of the sabbath, or the eve of any festival. All these laws were broken in the trial of Christ which was in the night, on the eve of the passover, and the eve of the special sabbath of the feast – on Tuesday. It had been predicted that justice and judgment would be taken away during His trial (Isa. 53:8; Acts 8:33).

‘I spake openly to the world; I ever taught in the synagogue, and in the temple, whither the Jews always resort; and in secret have I said nothing.’ Jesus has spoken openly to all people, in synagogues in the cities and even in the temple at Jerusalem, and has said nothing in secret. If they have not heard Him, they could have asked those who have. They and their spies have watched Him everywhere. Jesus has said nothing contrary to the law and the prophets [the name of the Old Testament]. He has not disturbed the state by rebellion. He asked that they would judge Him righteously according to their laws if He has done something wrong.

‘One of the officers which stood by struck Jesus with the palm of his hand’ – this was an outrage against justice, for a prisoner before trial and condemnation were under special protection of the court. This is the fifth definite law of justice and judgment broken before the trial really got underway. They sought for witness against Jesus to put Him to death, this was contrary to their law which required them to begin a trial with those things that would acquit the accused, not with those things that made for his condemnation. In this case, not one thing was sought that would acquit Christ. They were determined to kill Him so they looked for every excuse possible, not realizing they were fulfilling prophecy. Not any two witnesses agreed on any one point of accusation, yet they condemned and killed the only sinless man that ever lived.

‘If I have spoken evil, bear witness of the evil: but if well, why smite thou me?’ – a Christian is bound to bear injuries and injustices without revengeful retaliation; but he is privileged, even by the example of the Lord, to call to question such mistreatment. This does not break the law of Matthew 5:39.

‘Now Annas’ all of this happened in Annas’s presence. John omits the trial before Caiaphas (Matt. 26:57-68).

Jesus Prayed: Made Perfect in One

John 17:20-26 Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; That they all may be one; as thou, Father, are in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou has sent me. And the glory which thou gave me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou have sent me, and have loved them, as thou have loved me. Father, I will that they also, whom thou have given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou have given me: for thou loved me before the foundation of the world. O righteous Father, the world has not known thee: but I have known thee, and these have known that thou have sent me. And I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare it: that the love wherewith thou have loved me may be in them, and I in them. 

‘One’ – this request for absolute unity is made five times (17:11, 17:21-23). Unity among Christians is necessary to convince the world that He had been sent by God. Is this why the world has not been convinced?

‘Are in me, and I in thee’ – the so-called doctrine of interpenetration, that is, persons entering physical into each other, is false. The Bible does speak of the Corinthians and Philippians being in Paul’s heart (2Cor. 7:3; Php. 1:7); God being in Christ (2Cor. 5:19); Christ being in God (John 14:20); God and Christ being in each other (John 14:10-11); men being in both the Father and the Son (1Jn. 2:24); men being in Christ (2Cor. 5:17); men and the Spirit being in each other (Rom. 8:9); Christ being in men (Col. 1:27; Rom. 8:10); man and Christ being in each other (John 14:20); all creation being in God (Acts 17:28); and satan entering into men (Luke 22:3; John 13:27). However, these passages refer to being in union with, being consecrated to the same end – one in mind, purpose, and life. They do not teach physical entrance of one being into another. It may be best understood by a man and woman becoming one in life together, being in each other’s plans, life, etc. Hence, satan entering into Judas simply means Judas submitted to satan’s temptation to betray Jesus. He became one with satan, like men become one in spirit with God when joined to Him in consecration (1Cor. 6:17).

‘That the world may know’ – if Christians want to know how to convince the world that their religion is of God, then let them become one as God and Christ are one. Make no mistake about it – this is the secret of the world’s recognition of Christianity. See what it did in the early congregations when they were one (Acts 1:14; 2:1, 46; 4:24, 32; 5:12). James 3:16 is so true: “For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.”

‘Before the foundation of the world’ this is the second statement here of Christ’s preexistence – see also Micah 5:1-2; John 1:1-2; Revelation 1:8, 11; 2:8; 22:13 and Col. 1:15-18.

‘Righteous Father’ – eight facts about the Father: He is righteous (17:25); He is holy (17:11); He originates from heaven (Matt. 6:14, 26, 32); He is the Father of Mercies (2Cor. 1:3); the Father of Glory (Eph. 1:17); the Father of Spirits (Heb. 12:9); the Father of Lights (Jas. 1:17) and the Lord of Heaven (Matt. 11:25).

‘Them’ – there are 169 pronouns used in this prayer. Plural pronouns are used of God and Christ in the same sense as used of disciples, proving plurality of persons in the Godhead (17:11, 21-23). There are 65 singular personal pronouns used of Christ and 53 of the Father; 43 plural pronouns are used of God and disciples.

Jesus Prayed: Be One

John 17:9-12 I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou has given me; for they are thine. And all mine are thine, and thine are mine; and I am glorified in them. And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou has given me, that they may be one, as we are. While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gave me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled. 

‘I pray for them’ – here 7 things are mentioned that can be prayed for believers: to be kept from evil (17:11, 15); unity of all believers, as God and Christ are one (17:11, 21-23); the joy of Christ fulfilled in all believers (17:13); sanctification or separation of believers to the full work of God, as He had been set apart for this work (17:17-19; 10:36); world recognition of God’s love to believers (17:24); reunion with Christ (17:24); and to see His glory (17:24).

‘And all mine are thine, and thine are mine’ – this is a claim to perfect equality with God. Any believer can say that “all mine are Thine,” but only Christ can say all “Thine are Mine.” The claim is that all of Christ was the Father’s and all of the Father, is Christ’s.

‘None of them is lost, but the son of perdition’ – none is lost, but Judas who fell from the apostleship by transgression (Acts 1:20-25; Psa. 41:9; 69:25-29). Judas was included with those whom God gave to Christ (Matt. 10:1-20; Mark 3:13-19; 6:7-13; Luke 6:12-16).

‘Lost’ the Greek word apollumi. Used in John: to lose (6:12, 39; 12:25; 17:12; 18:9); perish (3:15-16; 6:27; 10:28; 11:50); destroy (10:10); and die (18:14).

‘Son of perdition’ – literally means the son of destruction, because he was destined to destruction. Used also of the Antichrist (2Thess. 2:3), and in the Septuagint of children of transgression (Isa. 57:4). Hebrews and Greeks called anyone who had a particular destiny, quality, or trait, the child of that thing, as “children of the kingdom” (Matt. 8:12; 13:38); “children of the bridechamber” (Matt. 9:15); “children of hell” (Matt. 23:15); “children of wrath” (Eph. 2:3); “children of wisdom” (Matt. 11:19; Luke 7:35); etc. Judas and the Antichrist have no relationship to each other as to parents, birth, life, death, etc. Both are simply destined to destruction by their own deeds. The Antichrist will die at the hands of Christ, while Judas hung himself (Dan. 7:11; Isa. 11:4; 2Thess. 2:8; Rev. 19:20).

‘That the scripture might be fulfilled’ The 11th Old Testament prophecy fulfilled in John (Psa. 41:9; 69:25-29; 109:8; Acts 1:20-25). Judas was not lost that prophecy might come to pass, but prophecy foretold the fact of his willful sin and lost state. He was lost because he refused to be saved; lost through his own avarice and stubbornness to come back to Christ even after his crime.

Jesus Prayed: Glorified

John 17:4-8 I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gave me to do. And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was. I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gave me out of the world: thine they were, and thou gave them me; and they have kept thy word. Now they have known that all things whatsoever thou has given me are of thee. For I have given unto them the words which thou gave me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came out from thee, and they have believed that thou did send me. 

‘Glorified thee on the earth’ this is done by demonstrating the will of God in teaching, healing, and holy living.

‘Work which thou gave me to do’ this is the work of Matthew 4:23 and Acts 10:38. The work of redemption was to be finished in a few hours at the crucifixion (John 19:30). The work in heaven is still going on (Rom. 8:34; Heb. 4:14-16; 7:25).

‘With the glory which I had with thee before the world was’ – a plain reference to His self-emptying (see Php. 2:7) where the Greek word kenoo means to empty out, drain. It is translated “make void,” “make of none effect,” and “make of no reputation.”

Here He refers to three experiential states: Eternal pre-existence (Mic. 5:1-2; John 1:1-2; Rev. 1:8, 11; 2:8; 22:13; Col. 1:15-18); Earthly self-emptying (Luke 2:40, 52; John 1:14; Php. 2:5-11; Heb. 1:3-9; 2:9-18; 4:14-16; 5:7); and Restored glory (John 17:5; Matt. 28:18; Eph. 1:20-23; Php. 2:9-11; 1Pet. 3:22; Heb. 12:2; Rev. 3:21).

‘Thy name’ – speak of authority in His name (John 5:43; 10:25). ‘The men which thou gave me out of the world’ These men not only included the 12, but also the 70 disciples and many others that had come to believe in Him. Note ten things about these men: Jesus has manifested the Father’s name and glory to them (17:6, 22, 23); they were the Father’s (17:6, 9); they had received and kept His Word (17:6, 8); they knew God and believe that Jesus came from the Father (17:7, 8, 25); the world hated them (17:14); they were not of the world even as Jesus was not (17:14-16); Jesus was glorified in them (17:10); the Father gave them Jesus (17:2, 6, 9, 11, 12, 24); Jesus gave them eternal life (17:2-3); those that the Father gave Jesus He has kept, and none of them was lost, except for Judas (17:12).

Jesus Prayed: Life Eternal

John 17:1-3 These words spoke Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee: As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou has given him. And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou have sent. 

These words that Jesus spoke, refers to all of John 13:32-16:33. Then the Lord prayed His longest recorded prayer, which may be divided into four sections: verses 1-5 for Himself; 9-19 for His disciples; 20-24 for all disciples and 25-26 for His disciples again.

‘Power’ the Greek word exousia meaning the authority, delegated power and the right to give eternal life to all whom God gives to Him. As He died for all, He has the power to give eternal life (John 3:16; 1Tim. 2:4; 2Pet. 3:9; Rev. 22:17).

Man was given power over all creation and had he remained master of all things he would have continued to live forever. Satan, evil spirits, and sin got the mastery over him and he had to die (Gen. 2:17; Heb. 2:14; 1Jn. 3:8). Christ came to bring man complete mastery over these powers so he can again live forever in union with God. Eternal correspondence and relationship with the eternal God bring eternal life.

When man passes beyond the finite and the material realm where his life does not depend upon these things he enters into the infinite, spiritual, and eternal. Because of partaking of the nature of the eternal and having perfect correspondence with the spiritual and the eternal he can live forever (John 17:3; 2Cor. 4:18; 2Pet. 1:4). Such a life in the spiritual world possesses the elements of eternity, provided that this life, correspondence, environment, and union with the eternal is not broken off by sin and rebellion thereby incurring the death penalty (Gen. 2:17; Ezek. 18:4; Rom. 1:29-32; 6:16-23; 8:12-13; 1Cor. 6:9-11; Gal. 5:19-21).

To know God eternally is eternal life. To know Him for a time like Adam is temporary life (Gen. 2:17). Eternal life is not prolonged existence or eternal continuance of being, for all the wicked have this and will be punished in conscious existence forever (Isa. 66:22-24; Matt. 25:41, 46; Mark 9:43-49; Rev. 14:9-11; 20:10-15; 21:8). It is not merely eternal existence, but eternal knowledge of God in eternal and perfect correspondence and perfect, eternal, and infinite environment. This life is only in God’s Son (1Jn. 5:11-12). Thus everlasting life is not merely an everlasting existence.

This scientific proof of the possibility of eternal life through eternal correspondence with God also proves the possibility of the opposite – eternal death or separation from God because of the lack of correspondence with God. If eternal life is only in God’s Son, then all who are not in Christ do not have eternal life, even though they will continue to exist forever. Furthermore, those who do not continue abiding in Christ lose true eternal life.

Just as anything in nature lives to the extent and as long as it continues in the environment producing its life or keeping it from dying, so the believer lives according to his knowledge. Like all things in nature die when they cease to have correspondence with and utilize the environment which keeps them alive, so the believer dies and is separated from God when he ceases to live in God and appropriate by faith the benefits provided him on the grounds of obedience to the gospel (John 6:27; 10:1-28; 15:1-8). Nothing in nature is given unqualified and unconditional life in itself, and nothing in nature is ever blessed with any degree of life without meeting the conditions upon which that life is given and maintained. The believer also must meet the conditions of maintaining life in God and in Christ, according to Scripture, if he is to live forever.

‘Know thee’ Knowing God is eternal life. This is why knowledge is stressed in Scripture. The words know, knowledge, known, etc. are found 1,401 times in the Bible. All Scripture centres around the idea of knowing God and conforming to His eternal will. Ignorance of Him and refusal to know and believe in Him are condemned many times. This is what will damn the soul.

Into Joy

John 16:16-24 A little while, and you shall not see me: and again, a little while, and you shall see me, because I go to the Father. Then said some of his disciples among themselves, What is this that he said unto us, A little while, and you shall not see me: and again, a little while, and you shall see me: and, Because I go to the Father? They said therefore, What is this that he said, A little while? we cannot tell what he said. Now Jesus knew that they were desirous to ask him, and said unto them, Do you enquire among yourselves of that I said, A little while, and you shall not see me: and again, a little while, and you shall see me? Verily, verily, I say unto you, That you shall weep and lament, but the world shall rejoice: and you shall be sorrowful, but your sorrow shall be turned into joy. A woman when she is in travail has sorrow, because her hour is come: but as soon as she is delivered of the child, she remember no more the anguish, for joy that a man is born into the world. And you now therefore have sorrow: but I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man take from you. And in that day you shall ask me nothing. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever you shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you. Hitherto have you asked nothing in my name: ask, and you shall receive, that your joy may be full. 

‘A little while’ He was with them for one more day and then crucified, where He remained dead for 3 whole days. Then they saw Him for 40 more days and no more after that (Matt. 12:40; Acts 1:3, 11). As He said to the Jews (John 7:34; 8:21), He said unto the disciples: when He finally did go they couldn’t follow, but He will come back for them [and us] later (John 13:36; 14:1-3) at the time of the Rapture.

‘Because I go to the Father’ Three times Jesus said that He was not going to be there to continue His works, so He made full provision for believers to do them (John 14:12-17, 26; 15:7; Matt. 3:11; 17:20; Luke 11:13; 24:49; Acts 1:4-8; 38-39); He sends the Holy Spirit to take His place and convince the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment (16:8-11) and He was going to His Father, so the disciples will not be able to see Him until He comes again.

‘A woman when she is in travail has sorrow, because her hour is come: but as soon as she is delivered of the child, she remember no more the anguish, for joy that a man is born into the world.’ This is a literal illustration picturing the sorrow and joy of the disciples in His death and resurrection.

‘In that day’ the day when Jesus went back to the Father they shall ask Him nothing, but they shall ask the Father in Jesus name (John 14:1-3, 12, 19-20; 16:5, 10, 16, 23-27).

‘Whatsoever you shall ask’ again assuring no limitations to what believers may ask and receive within the bounds of the promises.

‘In my name’ this repeats the doctrine of the Christian’s power of attorney and teaches agency in divine affairs. Legally, any person capable of free and intelligent action may act as an agent. A lunatic, imbecile, an infant, or anyone incapable of free and intelligent action cannot act as an agent. The power of attorney means the legal and written authority to transact business for another. One may be a general agent to represent another in all of his business, or a special agent who is authorized to do some specific work, or transact some special business. The agent can act with all authority within the bounds of the legal authorization as much as the one who gave him this authority. All believers have full, legal, redemptive, gospel, blood-bought, promised, and family rights to use the name of Jesus.

Free, unlimited, and unqualified use of His name is the body’s deposit. Checks will be honoured in the amount signed with a steady and unwavering hand (Jas. 1:5-8).

‘Hitherto have you asked nothing in my name’ up until then the disciples have not asked anything in Jesus name for He was with them and they could ask Him personally; but after He left, they had to ask the Father in Jesus name.

‘Ask, and you shall receive’ Do not be afraid to ask – simply ask in faith and you shall receive. Asking is not limited to salvation, but “whatsoever,” “anything,” and “all things” will be given in Jesus name (Matt. 17:20; 21:22; Mark 11:22-24; John 14:12-15; 15:16).

‘That your joy may be full’ the purpose of answering prayer is to help you and to confirm the infinite Fatherhood of God (Matt. 7:11; Luke 11:9-13; Jas. 1:17), so do not hesitate to ask any material, physical, or spiritual blessing – any need for body, soul, or spirit – for no good thing will He withhold from you (Psa. 23:1; 34:9-10; 84:11; 91:1-12; Matt. 21:22; Mark 9:23; 11:22-24; John 14:12-15).