The seeking ones among God’s people need to know the Lord as life, and they need to experience Christ as life, and they need to study the Bible in the way of life. It is for those seekers that we commend the life study of the Bible. Listen and enjoy Christ as life.
The Gospel of John is simply profound. It’s simple. The words, the vocabulary, the expressions appear so simple. In the beginning was the Word. The Word was God. The Word became flesh. But, it’s profound also. If you’ve had the opportunity to follow us through the heart of chapters 14 through 17, you perhaps have some sense of appreciation of the profound depths of the Gospel of John.
The Gospel of John is a Gospel of life and building. We need to really dwell on these two crucial words: life and building. Life is God Himself. Life is Christ. He said “I am the life”, “I came that you may have life”, and “life is the Spirit.” Eternal life is not merely an eternal state of existence in another realm. Eternal life is God dispensed into us. It cannot reasonably be denied that the Gospel of John is the Gospel of eternal life.
We should treasure the way the Lord has ordained to be present with us now. May the Lord really open our eyes: that what is precious to God, that is the invisible, indwelling, pneumatic Christ, would also become precious to us.
In John 20 as in the Gospel of John as a whole, we see the Trinity both in His essence and in His economy. The Divine Trinity is a trinity of essence eternally that is the Father, Son, and Spirit coexist and co-inhere in the Godhead eternally. This is the Trinity in essence. But in order to have the fulfillment of God’s economy, the essential Trinity must function as the economical Trinity to pass through the process in order to, on the one hand, enter into God’s people, and on the other to bring God’s people, now redeemed and regenerated, into God. By the time we reach chapter 20, we have at least the initial completion of this process in which the very God who became a man and died for our redemption, in resurrection became the Spirit, so that, economically speaking, the Father, Son, and Spirit may indwell us.
John 1:14 says, the Word became flesh. That means the Word, who was God, became something that He previous was not. When God came out of eternity into time to accomplish His plan, He became flesh. In this sense, God did change.
When we cover these two aspects (God being unchanging and God having changed), what we’re touching is the mystery of the Divine Trinity. So, what we need to do is look at the entire Bible and just say Amen to whatever the Bible says about the Triune God. On the one hand, you know people uses this verse Malachi 3:6, which says that God changes not. And, this is true. But of course, if you look at the context of Malachi 3:6, it’s talking about that God changes not in his principles, in the way that He deals with His people. But also, we know that the Bible shows that God in His eternal being is unchanging. The Bible reveals that the Triune God, the three of the Godhead. On the one hand, they are distinct. The Father, the Son, and the Spirit are eternally distinct, but they also co-inhere. That means that they mutually indwell one another. The Father is in the Son. The Son is in the Father. The Father is in the Spirit. more…
John (Program #49) – Life Processed for Multiplication (4)
Let us all let the wind blow where it wills. And, instead of trying to systematize or schematize the experience of the Spirit, let’s experience the Spirit for the carrying out of God’s economy, letting God truly be God.
John 20 is in many respects, a chapter of realization or actualization. By using these terms, I’m trying to say, that in this chapter we have the reality in actual experience of what the Lord revealed concerning His process elsewhere in the Gospel. He made it emphatically clear in chapters 14 through 16 that He needed to go, that is, die on the cross, and come again, that is come into the disciples as the pneumatic Christ in order to indwell them. He had, as the first half of the Gospel emphasizes, become flesh and tabernacled among human kind. But, God’s goal is to be in His chosen and redeemed people, not merely among them.
John (Program #48) – Life Processed for Multiplication (3)
I really like this marvelous term here. “Go tell my brothers.” In the Gospel of John, He was with these disciples a lot, but He never referred to them as brothers. He always called them either by name or referred to them as friends. But, after His resurrection for the first time, He calls them brothers.
In this Gospel, the presentation of the crucifixion is really more complete and more meaningful than you have it in the other three Gospels. First, the account here brings out the two aspects of the Lord’s death by mentioning two substances, which came out of the Lord’s side when the soldier pierced Him. When the soldier pierced Him, out came blood and water. The blood of Christ there is to answer to our need for the dealing with sin. The blood of Christ cleanses us from every sin. And, the water that came out is really meeting the need for our life. Water in the scripture is often a picture of life. There’s the water of life that’s in the book of Revelation. And, there’s the water that flowed out of the rock in the Old Testament. So, water really means life, the imparting of life.
John (Program #46) – Life Processed for Multiplication (1)
The main thing is that these garments were left there in this orderly way as a testimony of His resurrection. This was not something like someone got in and stole His body as reported. No. He did this Himself. He resurrected.
The account of the crucifixion in the Gospel of John is different in the fact that it brings out these two aspects(redemption and imparting life). In the other Gospels it only mentions the redemptive aspect. But, in the Gospel of John, you do have the two aspects which are shown by the two substances that came out of His side. In verse 34 of chapter 19, it says, “one of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear, and immediately there came out blood and water.” When the soldier pierced His side, out came blood; that’s for the redemptive aspect. And water, that’s for the life aspect.
Because of the deceit of religion and the darkness of politics, He was delivered to death. He was proved to be without fault, but religion and politics were exposed to be dark, deceitful, and corrupt.
We’ve come today to the section of John 18 through 20 dealing with the Lord’s death on the cross and His resurrection. Generally, we consider the Lord’s death in relationship to the work of redemption. But we will see once again today that this Gospel, though certainly not minimizing the redemptive aspect, has another emphasis; the release and multiplication of life which resulted from Christ’s death.
We are one divine human incorporation in the Triune God. Surely, our Oneness is not just a “getting together” or a kind of “joining something”. It is the Oneness of the Triune God.
In John 17, you have a list: 4 verses, mentioning something of the Oneness. Verse 11 says, the Oneness is in the name of the Father. The reality of the Father’s name is the Father’s divine life. So, the first factor of the genuine Oneness is the name of the Father with the Father’s divine life. Then verse 21, this is deep verse, so profound! “That they all may be one; even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us; that the world may believe that You have sent Me.” The point here is this. The Oneness is in the Triune God. When we are all in the Triune God, then in the Triune God, we have the Oneness. But, here we have to pay attention to this fact. How could we be in the Triune God? Through His death and resurrection…
We have an entity in New York called the United Nations. But, I think we all realize that the United Nations is actually the divided nations, that there is no real oneness outside the Triune God.
This passage (the Lord’s prayer in John 17) is maybe the most important portion of the Holy Word because this is the Lord’s final recorded prayer before He goes to the cross to die. And, what we see in this prayer is the aspiration of the Lord’s heart’s desire actually becomes His specific prayer to the Father. So, in this prayer, what we see is the very heart’s desire of the Triune God. And, in verse 1 of this prayer, the Lord opens by saying, “Father, the hour has come; glorify Your Son that the Son may glorify You.” So, this is a prayer for the Father to glorify the Son that the Son may glorify the Father. And, what this means is for the Father and the Son to have a full expression through His many believers. And, this expression of Himself is His glorification.
When the Spirit as the essence of the Word makes that written Word living, immediately we receive the dispensing of the Father’s life. And, in that life we can be one with all the believers in Christ Jesus.
Upon a first reading or a rather superficial reading of John 17, we may have the impression that the central point is the oneness of the believers. Although this point is crucial, it is neither the central point of the chapter, nor the subject of the Lord’s prayer in this chapter. The subject is clearly indicated in verse 1, where the Lord Jesus lifted up His eyes and said, “Father, … glorify Your Son that the Son may glorify you.” This sets the tone and reveals the subject of the Lord’s prayer. He is praying for His glorification so that in His glorification the Father would be glorified.