As we pick up in Chapter 16, Jesus continues with his final instructions to the disciples before his death and resurrection. The time of Jesus’ arrest is drawing near. Before we continue with the Upper Room Discourse, however, let us first consider just a few key points concerning our current situation.
• The US (and only the US) has authorized the mRNA shots for infants. Just as we have seen the appearance of Sudden Adult Death Syndrome since the shots were rolled out, will we now see an increase in Sudden Infant Death Syndrome? Data from the VAERS database is already showing seizures, brain damage, hallucinations, and other horrible side effects.
• The US has not been this divided since the Civil War. Recent Supreme Court decisions like the decision in the Dobbs case reversing Roe v Wade, and other decisions, are deepening this division. While the decision in the Dobbs case is a great victory for life, it also pushes us closer toward another civil war.
• We have seen much escalation with the war in Ukraine, making WW III look almost inevitable. A five-star general and two-term president warned us about the people behind this escalation. I am not talking about Biden; he does not make policy decisions. They started killing our leaders in the sixties. Now they are trying to kill us by pushing us into WW III. (Many other crimes could be mentioned but we will move on.)
Let’s look at the historic court decision mentioned in the second bullet point above. With all the bad news these days, the court’s ruling is a ray of hope, a reminder that with God all things are possible. In his majority opinion, Justice Alito stressed that the SCOTUS did not have the authority to issue the Roe decision in the first place. According to the Constitution, the authority to create law lies with the legislative branch. In his concurring opinion, Justice Thomas remarked that this return to the authority of the Constitution could have implications for other Supreme Court decisions besides Roe. If this trend continues, I believe it could affect the mechanics of government itself. To be specific, if the states had exercised their constitutional power in 1973 as defined in the Tenth Amendment and resisted the unconstitutional overreach of the SCOTUS, we could have avoided the deaths of 63 million souls. This is called nullification, ie refusing to acknowledge or enforce unjust laws. See, the Constitution with its Bill of Rights is not self-executing. Our form of government here in the US incorporates checks and balances to guard against a centralized authority that gets out of control. These checks and balances are not limited to the three branches of the federal government. They extend to the states, counties, municipalities, and ultimately WE THE PEOPLE. This is known as the doctrine of lesser magistrates. See here and here.
Even though the states neglected to do their duty, we have nevertheless seen the doctrine of lesser magistrates working to counter Roe for the last forty-nine years. When the court issued their decision in 1973, WE THE PEOPLE who recognized that miscarriage of justice for what it was went to work. Although the Dobbs decision is a great victory, there is still much work to do. At the heart of the matter is the issue of personhood. What exactly is a person? This same issue was at the heart of the slavery debate in America. Someday, people are going to marvel that ‘they used to think a baby was not really a person until she was completely outside of her mother’. That was the court’s decision on slaves in 1857 — slaves were not people protected under the Constitution, but merely property. The court did not tackle the issue of personhood in the Dobbs case, but this issue must be settled. It must be settled in the court of public opinion, regardless of what the SCOTUS or any other courts says. I think Gianna Jessen can explain this issue a lot better than I can. I once had the privilege of meeting sister Gianna at a fund raiser. She is even prettier in real life:
The depravity of our fallen nature stands in sharp contrast to the virtuous character of our Saviour seen in the text below. Although Jesus knows He is about to be nailed to the cross, He is patiently and selflessly attending to the disciples, preparing them for what is about to happen.
Give us understanding, Father, as we read thy word, in Jesus’ name. Amen.
1 These things have I spoken unto you, that ye should not be offended.
2 They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service.
According to Eusebius and other sources, each of the apostles except John was killed for his faith, thus fulfilling Jesus’ prophecy above. According to Tertullian, John was boiled in oil in Rome but he miraculously escaped unharmed. John is the only apostle to die of natural causes. It was also Tertullian who said “The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church.”
3 And these things will they do unto you, because they have not known the Father, nor me.
Saul the Pharisee was a religious zealot who persecuted Christians unto the death. (Acts 22:4) Like countless others throughout history, Saul thought he was doing God service. Of course, he repented when he came to know Christ and took the name Paul. Paul therefore called himself the ‘chief’ of sinners, demonstrating that nobody is beyond redemption: Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting. (1 Tim 1:16)
4 But these things have I told you, that when the time shall come, ye may remember that I told you of them. And these things I said not unto you at the beginning, because I was with you.
5 But now I go my way to him that sent me; and none of you asketh me, Whither goest thou?
6 But because I have said these things unto you, sorrow hath filled your heart.
7 Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.
Jesus said that his leaving them was a good thing, not a bad thing. The disciples surely had a hard time understanding how this could be, but before Jesus went to the cross their access to Him was limited by his location. After Pentecost, each of the disciples had Jesus living in their hearts. The same is true of you and me. Through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit we take Jesus with us wherever we go. (Gal 4:6; Eph 3:17) In Chapter 15, Jesus said without me ye can do nothing. Contrariwise, when we are filled with the Spirit we can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth [us]. When you read the Acts of the Apostles, you can see how the ubiquitous presence of Jesus in the lives of believers everywhere began to transform the world. The Book may be more accurately called the Acts of the Holy Spirit.
8 And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:
9 Of sin, because they believe not on me;
10 Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more;
11 Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged.
12 I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now.
The sin of unbelief in verse 9 is what I consider the ultimate sin. All else can be forgiven but first one must believe. When Paul stood before Felix, he reasoned of righteousness, temperance, and judgment to come. At first Felix trembled, but he put off receiving Christ as his Saviour. The kernel of belief in Felix’s heart eventually withered and died. First the kernel of belief died, then Felix died.
13 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.
The Bible says the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy. We cannot possibly cover all the different ways they are attacking us with their Great Reset agenda in these notes, but suffice it to say they are making great progress. HG Wells wrote a dystopian novel predicting these things called The Shape of Things to Come, but the future is not bleak for believers, it is glorious. If you are walking closely with Jesus, the Spirit will show you personal things to come in your own life as well. He has done it for me and He will for you too.
14 He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you.
We will develop verses 13 and 14 more in our next post. For now, consider that during the time period in which the New Testament was written, the Roman Empire controlled large swaths of the known world. Worship of the reigning Caesar was required under penalty of law. Infanticide was legal and common. Slavery was legal and common. Crucifixion was legal and common. When our Saviour appeared on the scene to right these wrongs, what looked like the worst defeat in the history of the world turned out to be humanity’s greatest triumph. Although things looked worse than ever when they nailed Him to the cross, although it looked like all was lost, Jesus was doing something nobody understood at the time. He was making all things new. So it is now. Despite how ugly mankind can be, the beauty of our Saviour stands in sharp relief, showing what we will look like once his work of redemption is complete.
Although I believe Jesus is coming soon, I also believe it is possible that the judgments we are seeing worldwide may be part of an overarching plan that God is executing to further the gospel, preparing the world for one last great revival. Our God has a way of turning curses into blessings, of working all things together for good to them that love God, to them who are called according to his purpose. Whether Jesus tarries or whether He is just around the corner, it is up to us to be salt and light until He comes.
In closing, the Declaration of Independence says the reason we instituted our government was to secure our unalienable rights: life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Furthermore, our government derives its just powers from the consent of the governed. Consider these words of wisdom from our forefathers. Consider the doctrine of lesser magistrates. (See links above.) Consider what constitutes a person in God’s eyes. I do not believe these issues can be resolved without a God-sent revival. That is what we must pray for. The church cannot reform the world, but we can change one heart at a time through faith in Christ.
Father, come what may, we love You and we trust You. We know and believe that You are still in control. We know that we have sinned against You. In much the same way that You had to correct your chosen people when they strayed from You, we know that You must not let our sins go unanswered. We know and believe that the judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether. We know that You are making all things new. We know You will send your Son back soon. May we persevere undeterred as we patiently wait on You. May we rightly represent you to this lost and fallen world. Please give us one last great revival. We ask this in Jesus’ name, Father. Amen.