In the comic strip, Peanuts, Charles Schulz had the theologian Linus tell his friend Lucy that God gave us the rainbow as a promise He would never again destroy the earth with a flood. Lucy said that was very comforting, to which Linus replied, “Good theology is like that.” Chapter 14 began with Jesus’ directive to not let our hearts be troubled. In this post, Jesus supports his directive with doctrine; sound doctrine that will instill in our hearts an assured and steady sense of shalom.
Father, give us understanding as we unpack the precious words that your Son has for us in this section. Increase our understanding of You, your Son, and your Spirit. Give us wisdom. Give us the peace that passes understanding, in Jesus’ name. Amen.
7 If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him.
8 Philip saith unto him, Lord, shew us the Father, and it sufficeth us.
9 Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father?
10 Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works.
Although the Godhead consists of three distinct Persons, the three are one. All thee are always in perfect agreement with one another at all times, yet each plays his specific role: Jesus points people to his Father; the Father draws people to his Son. The Holy Spirit points people to Jesus and lives in our hearts by faith. The three are so alike that Jesus says we can know what the Father is like by looking at Him. Like Jesus, his Father is a God who loves us, especially the ones in the background who no one else cares about. He is a merciful God who loves sinners and is a Friend to them. He is a God who goes to great lengths for the good of his people. Jesus never put Himself first. He never took a woman. He showed no regard for his own comfort but lived to serve us. That is what God the Father is like. He loves us just as Jesus does.
We accept the doctrine of the Trinity by faith, but we can spend a lifetime contemplating it. It has been said that the Trinity is like Neapolitan ice cream, inasmuch as Neapolitan ice cream is three, yet one. The three members of the Godhead are so alike that it appears Jesus may have referred to the Spirit as the Father in verse 10. Likewise, although Jesus is seated at the right hand of the Father in heaven, He dwells in our hearts through the Holy Spirit. (Eph 3:17) A solid belief in the Trinity is essential for the peace that passes understanding. Doubting the Trinity opens the door to confusion and anxiety. Jesus emphasizes the importance of the Trinity by beseeching us to believe Him:
11 Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works’ sake.
12 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.
We only see a few dedicated followers of Jesus in the Gospels, but when Peter preached on the day of Pentecost, 3000 people got saved. That is a greater work. When a soul turns to Christ, that is a greater work than giving sight to the blind or even bringing a young maid back to life.
13 And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.
14 If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.
15 ¶ If ye love me, keep my commandments.
In his first general epistle, John wrote And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him. (1 John 5:14f) In other words, when you see your prayers getting answered, you know you are praying according to his will. Before I left Los Angeles a couple of years ago, I was keeping track of my prayer group’s petitions with a yellow legal pad. When a prayer was answered, I would highlight it. I had almost an entire legal pad filled with prayer requests that were about 99% highlighted. The thing about that prayer list is there was not a single prayer for anything fleshly or superfluous. Verses 13 and 14 have caused some people to become angry and doubt God’s word because they had a prayer that was not answered. If that has happened to you, you may want to ask yourself if you follow what Jesus said in the next verse: Do you love Him, and are you keeping his commandments. If not, you are trying to cash someone else’s check. That is what the late Dr Harry Ironside said about Jesus’ promise in verses 13 and 14.
16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;
17 Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.
18 I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.
The third Person in the Godhead is a primary source of the comfort that Jesus wants us to have, hence his name, the Comforter. He is also called the Spirit of truth. This is where things get tricky. I have had people tell me that the Book of Revelation is too scary to read. I have had people tell me that the name of this website — End of Days — is too scary. But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable — ie before you have peace, you need purity. You need truth. Truth can be daunting, but the righteous are bold as a lion. Truth can be unpopular, but Christianity is not a popularity contest. It was Luther who said, “One with God is a majority.” Let’s gird up our loins (Eph 6:14) and explore the truth a little further:
19 Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also.
20 At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you.
21 He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.
22 Judas saith unto him, not Iscariot, Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world?
23 Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.
24 He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father’s which sent me.
The word ‘keep’ appears in some form four times in the verses above. Jesus said if we love Him, we will keep his words. If we do not love Him, we will not keep his words. This is what Strong says about téreó, the Greek word for keep:
5083 tēréō (from tēros, “a guard”) – properly, maintain (preserve);
(figuratively) spiritually guard (watch), keep intact.
téreó: to watch over, to guard
Original Word: τηρέω
Part of Speech: Verb
Phonetic Spelling: (tay-reh’-o)
Definition: to watch over, to guard
Usage: I keep, guard, observe, watch over.
You can see above that one of the definitions of téreó is observe, but it also means to ‘guard’, to ‘keep intact’, and to ‘preserve’. This is the same word that Luke used in the Book of Acts when guards were charged to keep prisoners from getting away (eg Acts 16:23). In other words, we are not only responsible for obeying Christ’s words, but preserving them as well. (Deut 4:2; Jer 26:3; Rev 22:18f) Jesus is issuing a warning here, much like his final warning at the end of the Revelation: Do not subtract from or add to my word (Rev 22:18f). Not long after Jesus made the proclamation above, many of his words were edited out of the New Testament by fake Christians known as Gnostics. They did this in an attempt to make the New Testament more closely fit their pagan beliefs. Gnosticism was a first-Century pseudo-Christian cult based in Alexandria, Egypt. In editing the New Testament, they removed several words, including entire verses and even entire passages. In a few of their manuscripts, Mark’s entire account of the resurrection is omitted. This is why some new versions of the Bible place the passage in brackets or footnote it, calling its authenticity into question. More here.
The manuscripts that were edited by the Gnostics in Alexandria were rejected by the church until they were used to compose the Greek New Testament of B F Westcott and F J A Hort, which was used for the Revised Version of 1881. Out of all the ancient manuscripts still extant today, the vast majority agree with one another. They are therefore called the Majority Text. These Majority Text manuscripts were used to translate the KJV, Luther’s German Bible, the French Olivétan Bible, and virtually all of the other translations that appeared across Europe as a result of the Reformation. Fallacious diagrams in study Bibles that imply the KJV was not translated from the original Greek are simply wrong. The Minority Text, which came from the Gnostics in Alexandria (most notably, manuscripts Aleph and B), was heavily relied on to translate the Revised Version of 1881 and virtually every other new version since. These minority texts contain all sorts of omissions and errors but most notably, they consistently demote the deity of Jesus Christ, as do the new versions that rely on them. For example:
1 Timothy 3:16 MAJORITY TEXT: God was manifest in the flesh
1 Timothy 3:16 MINORITY TEXT: He appeared in the flesh
Some omissions are more subtle:
Ephesians 4:6 MAJORITY TEXT: One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.
Ephesians 4:6 MINORITY TEXT: one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. (Universalism)
Jesus said if we love Him, we will keep his words. Doing so will give us better discernment to guard against the nets and snares the enemy tries to trap us with. Today, Neo-Gnostics are appearing in all sorts of places. They range from the radical Heaven’s Gate cult that committed mass suicide in California in 1997, to the QAnon cult, to other assorted personalities that are popular in the freedom movement. We need to stay informed, but we must also be aware of the booby traps. The gold that Jesus spoke of (Rev 3:18) is not found in ‘secret spiritual knowledge’ or gnosis — it is found in the Bible. (Rom 11:33) John gave detailed warnings against Gnosticism, especially in his first two general epistles. If we heed Jesus’ warnings and John’s warnings (ie the Holy Spirit’s warnings) to keep Jesus’ words, if we treasure his words above all else, we will know the truth and the truth will make us free. (John 8:31f) Part of this means keeping our focus in the right place. My focus is on the Bible and the more sure word of prophecy contained therein. All the signs Jesus gave us to look for are going off like air-raid sirens, sounding the alarm to prepare for Jesus’ soon appearing. Even if Jesus does not come back soon, you definitely want to have your doctrine straight and your armor on considering what we are facing. If your focus is on trying to put our Humpty Dumpty republic back together again, you are wasting your time on wood, hay, and stubble. If you feel called to be involved in politics I would recommend you work locally, where you can still have an effect.
25 These things have I spoken unto you, being yet present with you.
26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.
27 Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
There is that commandment again to not let our hearts be troubled. Read verse 27 three more times.
28 Ye have heard how I said unto you, I go away, and come again unto you. If ye loved me, ye would rejoice, because I said, I go unto the Father: for my Father is greater than I.
There are certain ways that a father is ‘greater’ than his son (stronger, smarter, etc), but that does not make a father more valuable than his son. Jesus humbled Himself and took on human flesh for us. He submitted to the will of his Father. That does not make the Trinity any less of a reality. Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
29 And now I have told you before it come to pass, that, when it [his death and resurrection] is come to pass, ye might believe.
30 Hereafter I will not talk much with you: for the prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in me.
31 But that the world may know that I love the Father; and as the Father gave me commandment, even so I do. Arise, let us go hence.
In conclusion, the main themes in this section are the importance of believing in the Trinity, the importance of preserving God’s word and obeying what it says, and the importance of letting the Spirit lead — all things which the Gnostics attacked. Also, not to worry. (v 27) The new world order is doing everything in their power to put our brains in a blender but if you will trust in these three things, the Trinity, God’s pure word, and the leading of the Holy Spirit, you will find your confidence increasing and your anxiety abating more than you ever thought possible. Many books by top-notch language scholars have been written on the subject of new bible versions and the manuscripts underlying them. For further reading, I recommend Which Bible? by Dr David Ottis Fuller (Grand Rapids International Publications, 1970). For any further questions, I recommend Jeremiah 33:3: Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not. For more on the freedom movement from a Christian perspective, I recommend Dragon Slayer Jesus Christ by yours truly (the paperback version; the ebook is only 99¢ but you get what you pay for). Finally, Let not your heart be troubled: Jesus went to prepare a place for us and He is almost done. He created the world in six days, but He has been working on our new place for almost 2000 years. It is going to be a sight to see. Meanwhile, they are doing everything they can to deceive people about the rapture, like preparing people to think maybe it was someone like Thanos from the Marvel series who did it. Or to think that maybe we caught a comet, like the Heaven’s Gate people said they did. We know different. We know Jesus is coming back soon. Let’s be sure we have plenty of oil in our lamps (ie be sure we are filled with the Spirit) as we prepare to meet Him. I know that many who read these notes are suffering. Do not give up. Jesus is with us to help us overcome whatever this world throws at us. Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.
…..Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.
Father, increase our faith. Help us to be wise, to fear You, to walk in your ways, and to be ready when You send your Son back for us. Please account us worthy through faith in your Son to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before Him. We ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Soon and Very Soon