The Upper Room Discourse, Pt 13 – 23
Chapter 14 Outline:
- Vs. 1-3, The Promise of Eternal Security. Pt. 13
- Vs. 4-6, The Way, Truth and Life. Pt. 14
- Vs. 7-11, Faith Application. Pt. 15
- Vs. 8-14, The Fellowship of the Father and the Son.
- Vs. 12, The Church Age Believer will Accomplish Greater Things. Pt. 16
- Vs. 13-14, Prayer as an Example of Confidence in our Spiritual Life. Pt. 17
- Vs. 15, Occupation with our Lord Jesus Christ. Pt. 18
- Vs. 16-17, Promised Indwelling of the Helper (God the Holy Spirit). Pt. 19
- Vs. 18-21, The Indwelling Spirit as the Basis for our Fellowship with the Father and the Son and Understanding of the Word of God. Pt. 20
- Vs. 22-24, Summarizing the Previous Two Topics; Building an Intimate Relationship with the Father and the Son. The Benefits of Guarding Your Soul. Pt. 21
- Vs. 25-26, The Teaching Ministry of the Spirit. The Trinity. Pt. 22
- Vs. 27-31, Sharing the Happiness of God – Problem Solving Device 10. This is Achieved by Doing the Will of God Even in the Midst of Opposition from Satan’s Cosmic System. Pt. 23
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John 14:1-3, “Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me. 2In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. 3If 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.”
We now turn to chapter 14 and our Lord’s continued response to Peter’s question in regards to “why can’t I follow you.” In response, our Lord says in verse 1, “Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me.”
Peter and all the disciples, [“your” in the plural of SU – σύ (soo)] receive some Phase Two security. This information is to be remembered, after Peter denies the Lord and the others flee, so that they will not be so discouraged that they will quit. Here is a message to men before failure so that, after the failure, these things will be a source of comfort and blessing. By believing in Christ as the Mediator between God and man, we gain comfort. This, then is the encouragement to all believers — never to quit. As long as you are alive, God has a purpose for your life.
“Heart” is the Greek word KARDIA – καρδία (kar-dee’-ah), which is not the blood pumping organ in your chest. KARDIA is actually the mentality of your soul, the right lobe of your soul, where you do your thinking, where you live. It is the very function of the soul.
Our Lord uses the Imperative Mood throughout this statement to encourage Peter and all of them.
The first of these is the word “troubled” in the Present Tense and Passive Voice of TARASSO – ταράσσω (tar-as’-so) meaning, “troubled, disturbed, upset, terrified, frightened, or stirred up.”
The Passive means you receive the action of the verb. In other words, don’t let some external factor, (swine flu, economic disaster, terrorism, global warming, etc.), cause fear, worry, or anxiety in your soul. For them, the disaster was our Lord’s departure. These words are repeated in John 14:27 with double emphasis.
Jesus knew what it was to have a “troubled” heart, John 11:33; 13:21, where TARASSO is used of Him. So, He is saying, “Do not become discouraged in the mentality of your soul.”
Then He uses PISTEUO – πιστεύω (pist-yoo’-o), twice in the Present Tense and Active Voice. PISTEUO means, “to believe, have faith, or entrust.” The first use is in regards to the Predesigned Protocol Plan of God (PPPofG) the Father has for your life, death, and eternity, because they are already believers. The second usage is in regards to whatever Jesus Christ has taught. This is the inhale of Bible Doctrine through the Grace Apparatus for Perception (GAP). This inhale of doctrine includes what He was about to accomplish; His efficacious work on the Cross, resurrection, ascension, and session. So, he says, “Keep on believing in God and in me,” Mark 11:22.
John 14:2, “In my Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you.”
Our Lord then tells them of an eternal promise for their faith to grab on to in verse 2,
Jesus is going to His Father’s house John 13:3; 16:28.
The word “house” here is OIKIA – οἰκίᾳ (oy-kee’-ah), which means, “a house or dwelling,” and is used here to describe, “the 3rd heaven, God’s abode.”
“Many dwelling places” is POLUS MONE – ολύς μονή (pol-oos’ mon-ay’).
MONE is taken from the verb MENO – μένω (men’-o), which means, “to abide, stay, or remain.” MONE means, “an abode or abiding place.” In other words, there is plenty of room, “many places to live.” The KJV says “many mansions.” It is used only here and in verse 23. Ultimately, it is speaking of the permanency of our heavenly home and eternal union with the Father and Son. It is our heavenly home with the Father and with Christ.
Our Lord reiterates His all truthfulness by stating, “If it were not true, I would have told you.” He put this in a 2nd class condition of EI – εἰ (i), the condition of sarcasm. He cut down the flippancy of Peter with sarcasm. “If” and it is not true, but the 2nd class condition of sarcasm means, “You assumed it wasn’t true.” In addition, apparently, they had heard this information before, and He was bringing it up again at this time for their encouragement. He says this in regards to the previous statement “believe in Me.”
Then he says, “I go to prepare a place for you.” This is an explanation of His words in John 13:33. He is “going” through the Plan of God; the Cross, resurrection, ascension, and session. Our Lord knew He would ascend 40 days after His resurrection and be seated at the right hand of the Father and have all things placed in subjection to Him. He knew of the New Heavens and New Earth, along with the New Jerusalem that would be prepared by Him for our eternal abode. See also: John 16:28.
It was customary to send one ahead for such a purpose as noted in Num 10:33.
Num 10:33, “Thus they set out from the mount of the LORD three days’ journey, with the ark of the covenant of the LORD journeying in front of them for the three days, to seek out a resting place for them.”
- Jesus Christ is departing to heaven to personally make ready a room/place for Peter and all believers.
- This place does not depend on Peter’s success nor failure, or yours. It depends entirely upon the Plan of the Father and the work of the Son.
- Therefore, (operation grace), Peter and all believers have eternal security. No matter what we do in time, we can’t lose our salvation.
- By His death on the Cross, Jesus Christ has propitiated the Father, reconciled man, and procures a right for every believer to live in heaven forever.
John 14:3, “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.”
Next, in verse 3, He speaks further in regards to preparing our eternal abode, “If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself…” Using the 3rd class condition, He speaks of His Second Coming which includes the Rapture of the Church prior to the Tribulation. There are two parts to His Second Coming:
The resurrection of the Church, including the Rapture, where we will meet Him in the clouds of the air at the end of the Church Age, 1 Cor 15:20-27; 51-55; 1 Thes 4:13-18.
The 2nd Advent when He literally returns to planet earth to establish His Millennial reign, Zech 14:4.
In concluding this verse, we also see our eternal security, “that where I am, there you may be also.” This is the purpose of the departure and the return of Christ. It is the promise of being with the Lord forever.
Christ speaks of heaven as a real place, not merely as a state of mind. He pictured heaven as a loving home where the Father dwells. Heaven is a prepared place for a prepared people. Christ “the Carpenter,” Mark 6:3, is building a heavenly home for all who have trusted Him. And He will return to receive His own to Himself.
Had Christ remained on earth, He could not have prepared the heavenly home for His own.
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Upper Room Discourse, Pt 14
John 14:4-6, The Way, Truth and Life.
Chapter 14 Outline thus far:
- Vs. 1-3, The Promise of Eternal Security.
- Vs. 4-6, The Way, Truth and Life.
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Vs. 4-6, The Way, Truth and Life.
John 14:4-6, “And you know the way where I am going.” 5Thomas *said to Him, “Lord, we do not know where You are going, how do we know the way?”6Jesus *said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.”
We now turn to the second question asked, this time by Thomas. It is Thomas who renews the doubt about the destination of Jesus including the path or way, not Peter. Thomas’ question comes in response to the last sentence of our Lord’s response to Peter.
So, we begin with verse 4, “And you know the way where I am going,”
KAI HOPOU EGO HUPAGO OIDATE TEN HODON,
καὶ ὅπου ἐγὼ ὑπάγω οἴδατε τὴν ὁδόν.
Literally it means, “And where I go you all know the way.”
“I go” or “I am going” is the First-Person Pronoun EGO – ἐγὼ (eg-o’) for “I or me,” and the Present, Active, Indicative, First-Person Singular of HUPAGO – ὑπάγω (hoop-ag’-o), which means, “go, go one’s way, go away, depart.”
The Present Tense is Futuristic: Describing a future event, adding the connotation of immediacy and certainty. This is the anticipation of what Christ is about to do as if it were a present reality.
The Active Voice: Christ will be departing from their presence to establish their eternal abode.
The Indicative Mood is declarative of the fact that Christ must leave them in order to complete the work of establishing our eternal abode.
Then we have OIDA – οἶδα for “you know” in the Perfect, Active, Indicative, Second Person, Plural of EIDO – εἶδο (i’-do) that means, “to have seen or perceived, hence to know or understand,” followed by “the way” in the Accusative Singular of HODOS – ὁδός (hod-os’), which means, “a way or road.”
This is a Perfect Tense with Present Force, which means information learned in the past has become present knowledge. Here our Lord is stating what they know, even though Thomas seems not to know.
The Active Voice says that the disciples, (second person plural), have already received this information and have this knowledge
The Indicative Mood is a statement of fact that they currently have the necessary information. They just need to cycle the doctrine resident within their soul.
Then in verse 5 we have Thomas’ inquiry in regards to our Lord’s statement, “Thomas said to Him, “Lord, we do not know where You are going, how do we know the way?””
“Thomas” is a transliteration from the Hebrew. In the Greek, it is THOMAS – Θωμᾶς (tho-mas’), and means, “twin.” As we noted under the Doctrine of the Apostles, he was also called DIDYMOS and was very courageous, John 11:16. Yet here he asks a very naive question. As our Lord previously stated, he already knew where our Lord had to go, but he, like the others, did not cycle the doctrine within his soul.
He appropriately addresses Christ with KURIOS – κύριος (koo’-ree-os) for “Lord,” which indicates His Deity, and that indicates that he (Thomas) is a saved disciple.
“We do not know” is OUK – οὐκ (oo-k) plus the Perfect, Active, Indicative, First-Person, Plural for OIDA.
This tells us that Thomas is really speaking for himself, but apparently it makes it a little easier for him to ascribe his ignorance to everyone else. His ignorance is not that he has not learned the information; it is that he is not applying the doctrine. This is a form of negligence, not on the intake side but on the output side, which leads to disorientation to the Plan of God. Disorientation to the Plan of God results in disorientation to everything else in life. Therefore, Thomas is ignorant at this time of the resurrection, ascension, and session through which the humanity of Christ is going to be glorified and establish our eternal abode. Ignorance and revelation is explained by Paul in 2 Corinthians 3.
“How do we know the way?”
“How” is the adverb POS – πώς (poce), which means, “how or what.” When used in an interrogative sense as here, it can mean, “by what means.”
Then we have the Present, Middle Deponent, Indicative, First-Person, Plural of DUNAMAI – δύναμαι (doo’-nam-ahee) for, “to be able, to have power, can, etc.”
Finally, linked with OIDA in the Perfect, Active, Infinitive, it comes to mean, “how are we able to know the way?”.
This was the clincher. This revealed Thomas’ ignorance of Bible Doctrine previously taught. Remember that we have 4 questions from 4 disciple-apostles. Even though there is one asking the question, it is representative of what they were all thinking. Thomas is the spokesman for the materialistic viewpoint they were all having, not seeing the bigger spiritual picture of what our Lord had to accomplish.
So, Thomas’ ignorance opens the door for our Lord to reiterate the Doctrine they should have known, as well as giving us a most memorable phrase in regards to salvation.
Verse 6, “Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.”
“Jesus said to him,” in the Greek it is LEGO AUTO IESOUS.
LEGO – λέγω (leg’-o) is in the Present, Active, Indicative, and AUTO – αὐτό (ow-to) is in the Dative of Advantage for “to him,” and IESOUS – Ἰησοῦς (ee-ay-sooce’) or “Jesus” is used; emphasizing the humanity of our Lord and His teaching ministry. This also indicates the Hypostatic Union of Christ, in regards to the following verse, where He says in essence, “I and the Father are one.” In Christ’s humanity, He is also God, one with the Father.
Then we have His discourse, starting with the declaration, “I am” is the Present, Active, Indicative of EIMI – εἰμί (i-mee’) the verb, “to be or is,” or as here, the absolute status quo, for “I keep on being.” Followed by three things all in the Subject Nominative case:
“The way” – HO HODOS – ὁ ὁδός (ho hod-os’), the entrance into and residence inside the Plan of God for your life.
“The truth” – HO ALTHEIA – ὁ ἀλήθεια (ho al-ay’-thi-a), the power of Bible doctrine in the soul to execute the Plan of God. It refers to the embodiment of knowledge and truth; therefore, absolute truth; therefore, doctrine. Doctrine is the mind of Christ – 1 Cor 2:16; Psa 138:2. The most important thing, after you enter the plan of God, is Bible doctrine.
Psa 138:2, “I will bow down toward Your holy temple and give thanks to Your name for Your lovingkindness and Your truth; for You have magnified Your word above Your name.”
“The life” – HO ZOE – ὁ ζωή (ho dzo-ay’), the eternal spiritual life given to those who enter through Bible doctrine, and the function of that life that comes from the truth – Bible doctrine.
The objective of all doctrine is to take the unbeliever to salvation, and the believer to the supergrace life.
This is the “Eye of the Needle” or “Narrow Gate” of entrance, (Mat 7:13-14; 19:23; Luke 18:25), and execution of the Plan of God for your life. This Plan has already been laid out, a Plan for which everything is provided, a Plan which is categorized by one word: Grace. Everything depends on who and what God is. God does it all.
Mat 7:13, “Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. 14“For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.”
Each of these statements by itself is profound enough to stagger anyone, but all three together overwhelm Thomas.
They are not new revelations, because Jesus had previously called Himself, “the life” to Martha, (John 11:25), and “the door” to the Pharisees, (John 10:7), and “the light of the world,” (John 8:12). He also spoke “the way of God in truth,” (Mark 12:14). His statement here punctuates the fact that He is the way to God and the only way, the personification of truth, and the center of life.
So, we could say, “I am the entrance; I am the doctrine; I am the function of life.” At the entrance, Jesus Christ is our Savior. As the doctrine, it is the mind of Christ. As the life, it is God’s Plan from A-Z which is maximized through Occupation with Jesus Christ.
Then we have the last phrase of verse 6, “no one comes to the Father but through Me”.
OUDEIS – οὐδείς (oo-dice’) is: OUK – οὐκ (oo-k), plus DE – δέ (deh), plus EIS – εἰς (ice) for “no one.”
“Comes” is the Present, Active, Indicative of ERCHOMIA – ἔρχομαι (er’-khom-ahee).
“To the Father” is PROS TON PATER – πρός τον πατήρ (pros ton pat-ayr’) for “face to face with the Father.”
In 1 Thes 4:13-18 and 2 Cor 5:8, Paul emphasizes this point, “Absent from the body, face to face with the Lord.” Had Christ remained on earth, He could not have prepared the heavenly home for His own.
“But through Me” is EI ME – εἰ μή (I may) [which is an idiom meaning, “except”] DIA – διά (dee-ah’) with the Genitive EGO – ἐγώ (eg-o’) for “except through me.”
Translation: “Jesus said to him (Thomas), I keep on being the entrance, the doctrine, the function of life: no one comes face to face with the Father, except through me.”
Christ is the unbeliever’s Way to the Father and to heaven.
In His person, as God manifest in the flesh, we come to the Father through His atoning sacrifice where He is our Advocate in time, 1 John 2:1.
He is the Truth, as fulfilling all the prophecies of a Savior, by which when the unbeliever believes, he comes to the Father by the Way of Him. Likewise, the Believer executes the Plan of the Father by means of His Spirit and Word – The truth.
He is the Life, by whose life-giving Spirit the dead in sin are made alive. No one can come face to face with their Father, who is not made alive by Him as the Life, and taught by Him as the Truth.
By Jesus Christ, as the Way, our prayers go to the Father, John 14:13-14, and His blessings come to us; this is the Way that leads to rest.
He is the Resurrection and the Life. John 11:25-26, “Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies, 26and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die. Do you believe this?””
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Chapter 14 Outline thus far:
- Vs. 1-3, The Promise of Eternal Security.
- Vs. 4-6, The Way, Truth and Life.
- Vs. 7-11, Faith Application – The Fellowship of the Father and the Son
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Vs. 7-11, Faith Application – The Fellowship of the Father and the Son.
John 14:7-11, “If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; from now on you know Him, and have seen Him.” 8Philip *said to Him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.” 9Jesus *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 can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? 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. 11 Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me; otherwise believe because of the works themselves.”
In verse 7, we see the second half of our Lord’s response to Thomas that causes Philip to perk up and ask his question of ignorance, which is poorly translated in the English.
John 14:7, NASB, “If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; from now on you know Him, and have seen Him.”
There are two variant readings of this passage in the Greek, one puts a negative spin on the statement in regards to the disciples using the 2nd class conditional “if” with pluperfect verbs, while the other makes a more general statement in support of the last part of verse 6, “no one comes to the Father but through Me,” using the first class “if” with Perfect and Future Tense verbs.
We begin with “if you had known me,” which is EI GINOSKO EGO – εἰ γινώσκω ἐγώ (I ghin-oce’-ko eg-o’).
Here we have the Protasis “if” regarding the disciple’s knowledge – GINOSKO, that should be in the first class, “if and it is true,” noting knowledge they had in the past. The second-class conditional if for “if and it’s not true” or “if and you do not” is regarding knowledge they should have had but did not. Scholars vary on this interpretation, but it appears there is more evidence for a first rather than second-class. So, we will take the more positive approach.
As we noted above, GINOSKO means, “to come to know, recognize, perceive,” and is in the Perfect, Active, Indicative, Second Person, Plural.
The Aoristic Perfect Tense describes a process or event that took place or was completed in the past, without much or any emphasis of present results. It’s a Simple Past Tense.
The Active Voice in the Second Person Plural references the entire group in the Upper Room and not just the questioner, Thomas. “You all have known.”
Then we have the Accusative, First-Person, Personal Pronoun of EGO (ME) for “me.” Jesus Christ is referencing Himself. So, we could say, “If and you have known Me.” Our Lord is assuming that Thomas and all the disciples had knowledge of Himself as the Son of God.
Next, we have the apodasis or “then” of the “if” statement in, “you would have known My Father also.”
Here we also need to straighten out the translation. In this section egnōkeite – GINOSKO – γινώσκω (ghin-oce’-ko) is used once more but in the Future, Middle Deponent, Indicative, Second Person, Plural. Once more our Lord is addressing all the disciples by utilizing the plural.
The Predictive Future Tense is in relation to the first part of the statement. That is, if we know Jesus, we will then come to know the Father also.
With this is the conjunction KAI – καὶ (kahee) meaning, “and, even, or also.” Here it is “also” for the dual knowledge of the Son and Father.
The Genitive of EGO – ἐγώ (eg-o’) is used with PATER – πατήρ (pat-ayr’) to indicate this is Jesus’ Father. So, we say, “My Father.”
So far, our translation is “If and you have known Me (a reference to past complete knowledge), you will also know My Father.”
Then we have the last phrase, “from now on you know Him and have seen Him.”
This begins with KAI that is untranslated but should be “and,” to link the first two sections with the last. Our Lord is saying they will have something in connection with their previous knowledge.
Then we have APO ARTI – ἀπό ἄρτι (apo’ ar’-tee) for “from now on,” or “from this point forward.”
Then we have GINOSKO – ginōskete again, but this time in the Present, Active, Indicative, Second Person, Plural.
This is a Progressive Present for continuous action. “You keep on knowing Him.”
“Him” is auton – AUTOS – αὐτός (ow-tos’), 3rd Person, Singular.
Then we have the conjunction KAI for “and” with the Perfect, Active, Indicative, Second Person, Plural of HORAO – ὁράω (hor-ah’-o) that means, “to see or perceive.”
This is a reference to our Lord’s statements, “I and the Father are one,” John 10:30, which He will explain further after Philip’s question.
So, our complete translation of verse 7 will be, “If and you have known Me, you will also know My Father, and from this point forward you keep on knowing Him and have seen Him.”
Since they have known Jesus, they know the Father, and from this point in time forward, they keep on knowing the Father, having seen Him through His Son and the Word He will leave behind.
Jesus Christ, the Son of God, reveals the Father to mankind. He is the Son of God, the Image of God, and like God. It is His continued bold and daring claim to Deity. John 1:18; 1 Tim 6:15-16; Heb 1:3; 1 John 4:12-14. Hence, God is like Jesus Christ.
However, Jesus Christ is about to depart. Nevertheless, they are not to be concerned. As He stated in verse 6, He is the truth; He will leave His thinking behind, (the Word of God, the Canon of Scripture, the mind of the Lord Jesus Christ, 1 Cor 2:16).
Principle: The only intelligible conception of God is precisely what Jesus says here, “If you know Me, you will know the Father too.”
We then “see” Philip’s question in verse 8, “Philip said to Him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.” He too recognizes the Deity of Christ by addressing Him as KURIOS – κύριος (koo’-ree-os) – “Lord.”
Philip then plays off of our Lord’s word used in verse 7, HORAO, for “see and perceive,” although he uses a different word, DEIKNUMI – δείκνυμι (dike-noo’-o).
DEIKNUMI is in the Aorist, Active, Imperative, Second Person, Singular that means, “show, point out, reveal, explain, demonstrate, or prove.” With the Imperative, Philip now steps out of line by demanding something from our Lord. He, like Thomas, does so in the plural of EGO – ἐγώ (eg-o’) saying, “demonstrate to us,” lumping all of the disciples into one bucket.
From our study of the Apostles, it seems Philip had trouble with his eyes, he always wanted to see.
- In John 1:46, he said to Bartholomew – Nathanael, “Come and see!”
- He saw the great crowd in John 6 and decided that Jesus could not feed them John 6:7, and
- The Greeks who came to Philip said, “We wish to see Jesus,” John 12:21.
So, the problem with his sensory perception of vision continues here.
Jesus made it clear in verse 7 that seeing Him is seeing the Father, “from now on you know Him and have seen Him.”
Therefore, it “appears” that Philip had a problem with empiricism. Empiricism is knowledge from perception by observation and experience rather than by theory. All ideas are derived from some sensuous experience using the eyes, ears, nose, touch, etc., having no innate or prior conceptions.
It is by non-meritorious faith that we truly “see” the Father, as we come to know Jesus Christ better.
Mat 5:8, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.”
All that “see” Christ by faith “see” the Father in Him.
- In the light of Christ’s doctrine, they see God as the Father of lights;
- In Christ’s miracles, they see God as the God of power.
- The holiness of God is shone in the impeccability of Christ’s life.
We are to believe, by faith, the revelation of God to man in Christ. For the works of the Redeemer show forth His own glory and God in Him.
Philip says that if you just give us this, we will be satisfied; using the very word he did in John 6 regarding the feeding of 5,000, ARKEO – ἀρκέω (ar-keh’-o), when the money was not sufficient. There too we see his empirical statement and not one of faith.
The Present, Active, Indicative of ARKEO can mean, “to be strong enough, to be sufficient, or to suffice”. Here it means, “enough or sufficient.” In other words, “Demonstrate the Father to us and we will then believe.”
John 14:9, “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 can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?”
Jesus’ response in verse 9 is one of exasperation, “Have I been so long with you and yet you have not come to know Me Philip?”
Our Lord puts it in the Perfect, Active, Indicative, Second Person, Singular of OUK GINOSKO – οὐκ γινώσκω (oo-k ghin-oce’-ko), and this time singling out Philip as the one “not knowing or believing Him.”
He then reiterates His previous statement, “He who has seen Me has seen the Father,” using HORAO – ὁράω (hor-ah’-o) both times in the Perfect Tense. In other word, you have had sufficient information to know the Father.
Then His exasperation continues when He says, “How can you say, ‘Show [DEIKNUMI – δείκνυμι (dike-noo’-o)] us the Father?’” Philip has had three years!
We now see the issue of “faith” verse “empiricism” in our Lord’s following statement in verses 10-12.
So, we see the dynamics of the application of Bible Doctrine. This means that God’s Word has to be in the right lobe of your soul, and it gets there through the daily function of GAP through non-meritorious faith.
We get into the Plan of God by personal faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Once we are in the Plan of God, we are then expected to orient to the Plan of God, to understand the Plan of God, and to function under the Plan of God.
We live in the devil’s world. He is the ruler of this world, the guiding influence of this world, and it is only through Bible doctrine that we can fulfil the very reason for our existence under grace in Phase Two.
The Lord Jesus Christ rebukes Philip, and Philip’s recovery from the rebuke is very rapid, as it was for all the disciples. This is an important principle.
No matter how you get hit or fail in life by what, when, where, or how; it is imperative that you get back on your feet, as soon as possible, and keep moving forward through faith perception and faith application of God’s Word – Bible Doctrine.
The problems, failures, difficulties, and the disasters of life are not meant to keep you down. Philip snapped right back into it, but only because in faith, he received the Grace Apparatus for Perception (GAP) and applied it to his life. Our Lord knew that Philip would recover, so He gave Him the necessary doctrine for His recovery.
Then in verse 10 we have, “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.”
We begin with, “Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father is in Me?”
OUK PISTEUO HOTI EGO EN HO PATER KAI HO PATER EN EGO EIMI
οὐκ πιστεύω ὅτι ἐγὼ dí ἐν ὁ πατήρ καὶ ὁ Πατὴρ ἐν ἐγὼ ἐμοί.
The negative OUK – οὐκ (oo-k) with PISTEUO – πιστεύω (pist-yoo’-o) means, “Do you not believe,” in the Present, Active, Indicative, Second Person, Singular.
PISTEUO is used here for the inhale and exhale of Bible Doctrine in the faith-rest technique that Philip was not currently applying, specifically the exhale.
As a result of Philip’s lack of application, our Lord begins to teach them once again in regards to the essence of God. In grace, this provided another opportunity for the GAP and faith-rest on the inhale side, so that in the future, they will faith-rest on the exhale side.
This is seen in the second sentence of verse 10:
“The words that I say to you,”
HO REHMA HOS EGO LEGO SU,
ὅς ῥῆμα ἐγὼ λέγω σύ
“Words” – REHMA – ῥῆμα (hray’-mah) in the Accusative Neuter means, “what is said, word, or saying.” By implication, it means, “a matter or topic.” Here, it is in regards to a doctrine our Lord is teaching, which is, “I am in the Father, and the Father is in Me,” the Essence of God Rationale.
So, PISTEUO – πιστεύω (pist-yoo’-o) is used at the beginning for the believer learning doctrine so that he can move on.
GAP and faith-rest go hand in hand.
In positive volition, doctrine taught comes into the NOUS – νοῦς (nooce,) Left Lobe of your soul – your mind.
When faith-rest is applied towards that Bible doctrine learned, it is transferred to the KARDIA – καρδία (kar-dee’-ah) Right Lobe of your soul via the human spirit. Once you learn God’s Word and believe upon it, it is then ready to be applied in your life from the Launching Pad of your KARDIA – Right Lobe.
“I am in the Father and the Father is in Me.” Philip and all the disciples need to know this doctrine well and apply it. It is a basic doctrine. Failure to learn the Essence of God doctrine, or any other that pertains to the person of God, leads to this kind of trouble. If Philip had just understood the character of God, he would not have asked this question and would not have gotten himself into this jam. Therefore, the principle doctrine in view is The Doctrine of Divine Essence.
Jesus says, “I am in the Father,” and that means that Jesus Christ has the exact same characteristics as the Father. In other words, in essence, the Father and the Son are the same.
Philip’s problem was that he had failed to go back to the fact of the essence of God when he said in verse 8, “Show us the Father and it is sufficient.”
In verse 10 the words, “the Father is in me” (HO ESTIN PATER EN EMOI) where ESTIN (EIMI) – εἰμί (i-mee’) is in the Present, Active, Indicative with the First-Person, Dative of Sphere for EN EMOI – ἐμοὶ for “in me.”
This turns it all around and says in effect that Jesus Christ is just as much God as the Father is, and that God the Father is just as much God as Jesus Christ. So, both ways you slice it, the Father and the Son have identical essence.
There is one other who has the same essence and who will be introduced a little later in the paragraph under the title “HELPER,” but right now He wants Philip to concentrate on a very simple principle from which Philip should be making application as a relatively new believer.
The simple principle is the fact that Philip, upon hearing of Jesus’ departure to be with the Father, thought that Jesus was letting them down by leaving them and wanted some reassurance. The fact is, God never let anyone down, and that God never became petty, and never changed His attitude, Heb 13:5; Deut 31:6, 8; Joshua 1:5 with Mat 6:24-34.
Therefore, you cannot superimpose upon God human characteristics of people who have disappointed you, let you down, hurt you, or done something that is in some way considered maltreatment. In other words, no matter what people do to you, you can’t turn around and blame it on God. The problem with Philip was that although he knew the essence box, he did not “believe” – faith-rest it.
He had God’s essence in his left lobe and there it was understood objectively, but you cannot apply essence in the NOUS – Left Lobe. The Essence of God, as well as all doctrines have to be in the KARDIA – Right Lobe on the launching pad to be effective in your life.
“Do you believe” is where there must be PISTEUO – πιστεύω (pist-yoo’-o). There is Philip’s hang-up, Philip’s problem. He is loaded up with doctrine in his Left Lobe, but has never transferred it to his Right Lobe. There is such a thing as understanding something academically and objectively, but not being able to use it.
Bible doctrine is no good to you, until you get it into your Right Lobe.
Philip understood the Essence of God, but he could not apply it. So, Jesus challenges him to apply it: “Do you not believe?”
As we saw previously in verse 10, “the words that I speak” is referencing Bible doctrines, the doctrines He has been teaching to them all along, John 8:12-20; 10:31-38; 12:44-50; compared with John 1:14-18.
Our Lord then references the source of His teaching, “I do not speak on my own initiative,” beginning with the Progressive Present, Active, Indicative of LALEO – λαλέω (lal-eh’-o), which indicates that He has consistently communicated to Philip and the others this Bible doctrine. This is linked with the negative OUK for “I do not communicate.”
Then we have “on my own initiative” which is the preposition of source APO – ἀπό (apo’) that means, “from,” plus the Genitive Pronoun EMAUTOU – ἐμαυτοῦ (em-ow-too’) that means, “myself.” So, we have, “I do not communicate from the source of myself.”
Jesus Christ is now emphasizing His humanity. The teacher, Christ had to receive the doctrine just as everyone else has to. He had to GAP it and receive it from the Father, the ultimate source of Bible Doctrine. So what Jesus taught, He first had to GAP Himself. This too He had taught many times, John 3:11; 5:19, 30; 7:16-18; 8:26-28.
Principle: You can’t communicate doctrine to others until you have GAPed it yourself.
Here we also see the Hypostatic Union of our Lord.
- “I am in the Father,” speaking of the deity of Christ.
- “The words that I speak,” speaking of the humanity of Christ. He is not teaching from His Deity.
Then the Lord tells them the ultimate source of His doctrine, “but the Father abiding in me does His work.”
God the Father is the one who provided Jesus Christ His doctrine. He is said to “dwell or abide” in Him, Present, Active, Participle of MENO – μένω (men’-o). This is the precedence for the Church Age believer. It is not just speaking of the indwelling of the Father, but also having His Word resident within His soul by means of the Grace Apparatus for Perception.
“Does His” is POIEO – ποιέω (poy-eh’-o), which means, “to make, do, or produce.” He produces the production. In other words, it is God the Father who taught the humanity of God the Son. Christ’s own Deity did not need teaching but His humanity did, and the source of that teaching was God the Father.
It is God the Son in His humanity who GAPed it and became a supergrace person in His humanity, and as such, He had sufficient information to teach these doctrines to Philip, yet Philip had only gone as far as cycling the doctrine to his Left Lobe or at best into the Right Lobe but was not able to launch it under faith.
“His works” is HO ERGON AUTO – ὁ ἔργον αὐτός (ho er’-gon ow-tos’), for “the work of Him,” or “His works.” So, we understand that the doctrines Jesus taught were from the source of God the Father, which tells us of the Father’s works for mankind. So “His works” is speaking about Bible Doctrine, “His doctrine,” that tells us of His works.
John 14:11, “Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me; otherwise believe because of the works themselves.”
In verse 11, we have two Imperatives both for “Believe” – PISTEUO in the Present, Active, Second Person, Plural. The two Imperatives are designed to break up the log jam in Philip’s soul, so that he can transfer doctrine from his Left Lobe to his Right Lobe and launch it, (i.e. Begin to utilize what he has learned.).
We have already noted the first PISTEUO in regards to the unity of the Father and Son, the Doctrine of the Essence of God, which Philip was having a hard time cycling through his soul. Philip has the doctrine, but he has not faith-rested it so that it could be cycled into the Human Spirit and up into the Right Lobe and applied through the Launching Pad. You cannot use doctrine which is not found in your Right Lobe.
Now we focus on the second PISTEUO – πιστεύω (pist-yoo’-o) in regard to the Father’s works or doctrines, which is actually the last word in this sentence in the Greek. “Otherwise, believe on account of the works themselves.”
We begin with “otherwise,” which is an idiom made up of three Greek words; εἰ δὲ μή – EI DE ME – (I deh may) for “If, but, not” or “but if not.”
Then we have the Preposition DIA – διά (dee-ah’) that means, “by means of or through.” Here in the Accusative it can mean, “because of, on account of, or for the sake of.”
This is followed by HO ERGON – ὁ ἔργον (ho er’-gon) in the Accusative, Neuter, Plural for “the works.” This is linked with the Third Person, Plural, Pronoun of AUTOS – αὐτός (ow-tos’) for “themselves.” As we noted above, the works of God the Father are revealed through the Word of God, so we can say by analogy, “the doctrines themselves.”
In other words, our Lord was saying, “if you don’t believe in who I am, then believe what the Word of God says about Me, believe all the doctrines.”
So, we see The Importance of Having Bible Doctrine in the Soul.
Heb 4:12, “For the Word of God is alive and powerful, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to separate the soul and the spirit, both joints and marrow, able to judge (evaluate) the thoughts and the intentions (motivations) of the heart (the right lobe of the soul).”
The basis for understanding all information with regard to our spiritual life is in the Scripture.
- Bible doctrine will be here long after we are dead.
- Bible doctrine is always powerful, even when we are weak.
- There is no substitute for Bible doctrine circulating in your stream of consciousness.
- Positive volition to the teaching of doctrine makes you alive.
In the process of the Grace Apparatus for Perception, the Word of God, from the source of God the Father, penetrates into the human soul and the human spirit through the teaching ministry of God the Holy Spirit. Therefore, all believers have equal ability to understand Bible doctrine. Only the believer has both a human soul (created by God the Father at physical birth) and a human spirit (created by God the Holy Spirit at the new birth). The unbeliever does not have a human spirit.
As Heb 4:12 states, the Word of God is able to evaluate the thoughts and motives of your heart (stream of consciousness).
When you have Bible doctrine in your soul, you evaluate your thoughts and motivations. Your motivation comes from Bible doctrine circulating in your stream of consciousness. You evaluate your own life, and you develop your own motivation.
God has been at work for you since eternity past, providing for your very own Portfolio of Invisible Assets. “Portfolio” is a term for the holdings of an investor, a synonym for his riches. God has lavished upon the believer “the riches” of His grace, Rom 11:33-36; Eph 1:3-14, 18-19; 3:8, 16-19; Phil 4:19; Heb 10:35-36. Therefore, every Church Age believer is fabulously wealthy, Col 1:27; 2:2.
Col 2:2, “That their hearts (right lobe of your soul) may be encouraged, having been knit together in love, and attaining to all the wealth that comes from the full assurance of understanding (SUNESIS – running together, combining doctrines), in a true knowledge (EPIGNOSIS) of God’s mystery, Christ,”
The Portfolio of Invisible Assets connotes the grace work of God the Father on behalf of the believer in eternity past. In your Portfolio of Invisible Assets (PIA) God has provided everything necessary for the function in life, dying, eternity, growing in grace, and the execution and fulfillment of the Plan of God. The PIA provides everything necessary for you to have a fantastic life through receiving your escrow blessings which glorify God.
Your Portfolio of Invisible Assets Includes:
Primary Assets, consisting of:
- Escrow Blessing for time and eternity
- Election and Predestination
Secondary Assets, consisting of:
- Positive volition toward Bible Doctrine
Production Assets = Residence in the Plan of God (i.e. Fruit of the Spirit)
- Suffering for Blessing
- Invisible impact blessings
- Personal impact – blessing by association
- Historical impact – national blessing (Pivot)
- International impact – association with Client Nation to God
- Operating in your Spiritual Gift
- Baptism of the Holy Spirit
- Pre-designed Protocol Plan of God (P3G)
- Equal Privilege and Equal Opportunity
- Unique Royal Commissions
- Unique Mystery Doctrine of the Church Age
- Indwelling of the Trinity
- 100% Availability of Divine Power.
God is still at work in you in time by providing the three spiritual skills and the infallible Word of God. The Three Spiritual Skills include:
- The Filling of the Holy Spirit.
- Bible doctrine circulating in the stream of consciousness of your soul.
- Formation of the Ten Problem Solving Devices on the FLOT line (Forward Line of Troops) of your soul.
God has and still works for us through the Divine initiative of antecedent grace in time and eternity. We can only learn and function with reference to God’s will through knowledge of Bible doctrine. The Word of God is designed to make us effective in execution of the will, plan, and purpose of God for our lives. The will of God is for every believer to be consistent with the function of the three spiritual skills, so that he executes the Protocol Plan of God and glorifies God through taking the high ground and becoming an invisible hero.
This objective demands the consistent function of the three spiritual skills, the deployment of the Ten Problem Solving Devices on your FLOT line, and requires the formation and deployment of the forth battalion (Doctrinal Orientation) on the FLOT line of the soul.
Col 3:23, “Whatever you do, do it from the soul, as to the Lord and not to men.”
2 Thes 3:3-4, “But the Lord is faithful, and will sustain you and guard you from evil. And we have confidence in the Lord concerning you; that you are doing the will and will continue to do what He commands.”
Bible Doctrine in Your Soul is Important Because:
It produces confidence in time, Job 5:24-27; 2 Cor 5:6-8; Heb 10:35.
It produces Divine viewpoint in life and establishes right priorities in the soul of the believer, Isa 55:7-9; 2 Cor 10:5.
It orients the believer to the Plan of God, Isa 26:3-4; Rom 8:28.
It produces stability of mind, as opposed to the instability of the double-minded, James 1:8 with Psa 51:10; 112:7; Prov 11:19; Isa 26:3; 1 Cor 15:58; Col 1:23.
It is the basis for divine guidance and the execution of the will of God, Rom 12:2-3.
It leads to occupation with Christ and the capacity and ability to love God and appreciate Him as the source of blessing when it comes, Phil 3:10; Eph 3:19; Heb 12:1-2.
It attains eternal grace blessings, as a result of applying it: Heb 11:9-10, 13; James 1:25; 2:12-13.
- Toward God – Worship, love for God, and Occupation with Christ.
- Toward people – Impersonal Love for all mankind.
- Toward self – Spiritual Self Esteem; Personal Sense of Destiny; Grace/Doctrinal Orientation.
- Toward dying – Applying God’s Word in the last phase of your physical life; Dying Grace.
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Chapter 14 Outline thus far:
- Vs. 1-3, The Promise of Eternal Security.
- Vs. 4-6, The Way, Truth and Life.
- Vs. 7-11, Faith Application.
- Vs. 12, The Church Age Believer Will Accomplish Greater Things.
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Vs. 12, The Church Age Believer Will Accomplish Greater Things.
John 14:12, “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father.”
This passage begins another important point of Doctrine our Lord is making by saying AMEN AMEN.
AMEN when at the beginning of a discourse is translated, “surely, truly, or of a truth.” We have previously seen this in John 13:16, 20-21; 13:38. When it is used at the end, it is translated, “so it is, so be it, or may it be fulfilled.” It was a custom, which passed over from the synagogues to the Christian assemblies, that when he who had read or discoursed had offered up solemn prayer to God, the others responded Amen, and thus made the substance of what was uttered their own. When used this way in Scripture it is simply, transliterated “amen”.
In addition, it is used as a topic changer. Our Lord is changing the topic / doctrine from Faith Application for confidence and assurance, to Faith Application for living and excelling in the spiritual life.
Then we have the Present, Active, Indicative, First-Person, Singular of LEGO – λέγω (leg’-o) for “I say,” followed by the Dative of address, Second Person, Plural of SU – σύ (soo) for “you all” in addressing all the disciples in the Upper Room. So, we have, “Truly, Truly I say to you all,” meaning that a new point of doctrine is about to come.
Then we have “He who believes in Me” which is the Present, Active, Participle of PISTEUO – πιστεύω (pist-yoo’-o) in the Nominative case. This is not for salvation; this is what will break down the log jam in Philip’s application of the Grace Apparatus for Perception (GAP). It explains how he and all believers excel in the spiritual life by believing and applying Bible doctrine.
This is an Iterative Present that means to believe when the Word is being taught and when it is time to apply it. Bible doctrine is not transferred from the left lobe to the right lobe unless you believe it. That is what moves it from receptive comprehension to application. Receptive comprehension is not applicable until believed and cycled through your soul.
Next, He says, EIS EGO – εἰς ἐγώ (ice eg-o’) for “in Me.” Notice He doesn’t say “believe ON me,” which would indicate belief for salvation but “in Me,” which is directional and means, “toward.” It doesn’t have anything to do with salvation; it has to do with everything that Philip has been taught for the past three years. So, He says, “believe toward me,” which is in regards to the Doctrines He has been teaching; “works” of verse 10 & 11. This is breaking the log jam in Philip’s soul.
Then we have “the works that I do,” which is HO ERGON HOS EGO POIEO.
Once again HO ERGON – ὁ ἔργον (ho er’-gon) refers to Bible doctrine in the right lobe being applied in production.
“That” is the relative adjective HOS – ὅς (hos) and “I do” is a Present, Active, Indicative, First-Person, Singular of POIEO – ποιέω (poy-eh’-o) meaning, “to do or make.”
This too is an Iterative Present for regularly repeated action; the teaching of Bible Doctrine and service to God the Father.
“Shall he do also” or “He will do also” is the Future, Active, Indicative, Third Person, Singular of POIEO for “he will do.”
The Future Tense anticipates that throughout the Church Age believers will not only take in Bible doctrine in the local church via communication from the Pastor Teacher (GAP), but will actually believe the things they have been taught so that they will become productive in their spiritual lives.
The Active Voice says the believer with doctrine in the right lobe and on the launching pad is the one who applies it.
The Indicative Mood is the reality of the function of doctrine from the launching pad from the reality of the Edification Complex of the Soul (ECS) via the GAP, plus the reality of entrance into the supergrace life.
“Also” is the emphatic pronoun of KAKEINOS – κἀκεῖνος (kak-i’-nos) that means, “and that one, and he, that one also, he also.” It is a crasis formed from KAI – καί (kahee) meaning, “and, even or also,” and EKEINOS – ἐκεῖνος (ek-i’-nos) meaning, “that one,” so combined it comes to mean, “and that one also.”
Next is the coordinating conjunction KAI for “and” to link the believer’s positive volition towards doctrines with the application of that doctrine.
Then we have MEGAS – μέγας (meg’-as) for “greater than” in the Neuter, Plural, Comparative, which means, “abundance or greater in quantity but not quality.” The quality is the same whether it is Bible doctrine in the right lobe of the humanity of Christ, Bible doctrine in the right lobe of Philip who is now going to break the log jam, or Bible doctrine in your right lobe. It is all the thinking and power of God, and the quality of Bible doctrine is always the same (equal privilege and equal opportunity). In other words, there will be many believers in the Church Age who will get it, who will transfer it, who will have it in the right lobe, who will function and use it, apply it. Not in quality but in quantity, because there are more people producing in more places.
Also, as we will see later in this chapter, the reason for this greater work is made possible by the Holy Spirit as “Helper” – PARAKLETOS – παράκλητος (par-ak’-lay-tos), John 14:16-17; 15:26 and 16:7.
Next is the Demonstrative, Genitive, Neuter, Plural of AUTOS – αὐτός (ow-tos’) for “these,” referring to the doctrines our Lord has taught and displayed. Therefore, some have added the word “works” here for context.
With this is once again the Future, Active, Indicative, Third Person, Singular of POIEO for “he will do” referring to the believer who does not have a log jam in his soul.
Then we have the causal conjunction, HOTI – ὅτι (hot’-ee) for “because,” linked with the pronoun EGO – ἐγώ (eg-o’) for “I” and the Present, Active, Indicative of POREUOMAI – πορεύομαι (por-yoo’-om-ahee) which means, “to go or depart, to pursue the journey on which one has entered, to continue on one’s journey, or to go from one place to another.” It refers to the Ascension and Session of our Lord.
This is a Futuristic Present for the absolute reality of the occurrence with emphasis on immediacy and certainty.
Finally, we have PROS HO PATERA – πρός ὁ πατήρ (pros ho pat-ayr’) for “to the Father.” PROS plus the Accusative case of PATERA means, “face to face with the Father.”
At this point, we have the intensification of the Angelic Conflict anticipated. Once Jesus is seated at the right hand of the Father, glorified, as per John 7:39, the Holy Spirit will produce, through Bible doctrine, the impact to meet the intensified Angelic Conflict. There will be the function of GAP, the erection of the Edification Complex of the Soul (ECS), entrance into the supergrace life, but above all, there will be doctrine on the launching pad of the soul of the positive believer.
Our full translation of John 14:12 is, “Truly, Truly I say to you all, He who believes in Me (breaks the log jam in their soul) the works that I do he will do also, and greater than these (works) he will do because I go to be face to the face with the Father.”
Faith Application is the key to spiritual greatness. If you want to excel in the spiritual life, you must faith rest when learning and applying Bible Doctrine.
God’s promise to the fearful disciple is His assurance that He will not leave them, but will be with them inside GPS (God’s Power System).
This is a general promise and does not specify that all believers will accomplish the “greater works,” because the condition is faith in application of His Word, “he who believes in Me.”
Therefore, not all believers will realize “greater things.” Likewise, those that do will experience it in various measures due to variations of Faith Application.
“Greater” does not mean greater in power or quality, but in quantity. No higher exertion of power was put forth, or could be, than raising the dead. Therefore, the Church has more opportunity for effective Faith Application due to sheer volume.
“Greater” does not denote the absolute exertion of power, but the effectiveness which the Word of God and the Filling of the Holy Spirit has on mankind. “Works” denotes not merely miracles, but the entire spiritual life executed in Faith Application with personal, national, international, and angelic impact, blessing by association.
By going to the Father, Jesus would send the enabling power for the believer to produce “greater works,” God the Holy Spirit, John 14:26, 28; 16:7-14.
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Upper Room Discourse, Pt 17
John 14: 13-14, Prayer as an Example of
Confidence in Our Spiritual Life.
Chapter 14 Outline thus far:
- Vs. 1-3, The Promise of Eternal Security.
- Vs. 4-6, The Way, Truth and Life.
- Vs. 7-11, Faith Application.
- Vs. 12, The Church Age Believer Will Accomplish Greater Things.
- Vs. 13-14, Prayer as an Example of Confidence in Our Spiritual Life.
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Vs. 13-14, Prayer as an Example of Confidence in Our Spiritual Life.
We now turn to John 14:13-14, “Whatever you ask in My name, that will I do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14If you ask anything in My name, I will do it.”
Interestingly and by no coincidence, in our Sunday morning series of 1 John 5:14-15, we find ourselves, by the leading and inspiration of God the Holy Spirit, with exactly the same topic.
1 John 5:14-15, “This is the confidence which we have before Him (God the Father), that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. 15And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests which we have asked from Him.”
As we have been noting in both series, prayer is an extension of the spiritual life. It is used in both cases as an object lesson in regard to the spiritual life. In the Gospel of John, the emphasis is on the Deity of Christ, being co-equal with the Father in relation to our prayer life, which should give us confidence for our Spiritual Lives.
In the First Epistle of John, the emphasis is on the Plan of the Father for our Eternal Life in relation to our prayer life, which should give us confidence in our Spiritual lives.
Our first point in regard to our prayer life is that you are not spiritual because you pray. You pray because you are spiritual. Therefore, prayer is a result of the spiritual life, an extension of the spiritual life, yet the spiritual life is not a result of prayer.
Since this is our weeknight study, let’s begin with the exegesis of the Gospel of John 14:13-14. We begin with “And whatever” which is the conjunction KAI – καί (kahee) meaning, “and, even, or also,” and an idiom made up of the relative pronominal adjective HOS – ὅς (hos) meaning, “what,” plus the Indefinite Pronoun TIS – τις (tis) meaning, “who, which, or what,” and the Verbal Particle AN – ἄν (an) indicating contingency in certain constructions, and is usually untranslatable, but generally denotes, “supposition, wish, possibility, or uncertainty.”
Then we have “you ask” which is the Aorist, Active, Subjunctive, Second Person, Plural of AITEO – αἰτέω (ahee-teh’-o), which means, “to ask, request, beg, call for, crave, or desire.”
This is a Constative Aorist which gathers up into one entirety the prayer life of Philip, the disciples, and all Church Age believers from this time onward and every time they pray.
The Active Voice says that Philip and all believers will become believer priests, from Pentecost forward; the Church Age, with the authority to pray to God.
The Subjunctive Mood linked with the particle AN above indicates the potentiality of prayer in the life of the believer priest. Your volition is involved.
Then we have “in my name,” which is the Dative of Indirect Object of EN HO ONOMA – ἐν ὁ ὄνομα (en ho on’-om-ah) and the Genitive of Possession for EGO – ἐγώ (eg-o’). Remember this is speaking in reference to the time frame after Jesus Christ has gone to the Father (vs. 12) and is absent from the earth. As the High Priest, He is seated at the right hand of the Father, so we ask through the person of Christ.
With it is the Future, Active, Indicative, First Person, Singular of POIEO – ποιέω (poy-eh’-o) for “I will do.” As we know, God the Father answers prayers; compare with John 15:16; 16:23-24, 26, but so does the Son, John 14:13-14. This is also a continuation of the doctrinal lesson to Philip in verse 9-11, when Jesus stated “I am in the Father and the Father is in Me,” and from the previous lesson, “I and the Father are one,” John 10:30. Our Lord is speaking from the future standpoint of His Ascension and Session.
Next, we have the Conjunction HINA – ἵνα (hin’-ah) for “so that,” establishing a Purpose Clause, with the Nominative HO PATERA – ὁ Πατέρα (ho pat-ayr’a) for “the Father,” and the Aorist, Passive, Subjunctive, Third Person, Singular of DOXAZO – δοξάζω (dox-ad’-zo) meaning, “to render or esteem glorious,” for “may be glorified.”
The Constative Aorist looks at all prayers in their entirety, but gathers them up in a point of time when the Son and Father answers our prayers. At that time, the Father is glorified.
The Passive Voice says the Father receives glory when prayers are answered.
And the Subjunctive Mood is a part of the purpose clause with HINA, when prayers are offered, they are answered. The condition is on the prayer being offered or not, not the answering of prayers, because all prayers are answered one way or another.
Wrapping up verse 13 we have the Instrumental of Means Dative of EN HO HUIOS – ἐν ὁ υἱός (en ho hwee-os’) for, “by means of the Son.” When we offer prayers in the Name of the Son, the Father is glorified by the Son’s High Priestly work.
Our translation then is, “And whatever you all ask in My Name, that I will do so that the Father may be glorified by means of the Son.”
Then in verse 14 we have, “If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it.”
The first point to note in verse 14 is the word “Me.” The “me” in John 14:14 is highly debatable and does not appear in many of the early Greek manuscripts. Some believe it was added later. As you can see, it changes the meaning of this passage dramatically. If this were part of the original text, it would be the only place in the Bible where Jesus or one of the Apostles or writers mentions praying to God the Son. All other prayer references command that we pray to the Father, Mat 6:9. If it were original, the only significance would be to continue the doctrinal lesson of the Trinity, “I am in the Father…etc.” Throughout the rest of Scripture, we are commanded to pray only to the Father; therefore, we should not take this passage as a mandate for our prayers.
Dr. Curtis Mitchell, Th.D., Praying “In My Name” states, “Textual criticism is divided over the inclusion of “Me” (me) in verse fourteen. If it is part of the text, it means that this is the only authorization on the part of Christ to address prayer to anyone other than the Father. This writer concurs with R. V. G. Tasker and the translators of The New English Bible in omitting the “Me.” In the words of Tasker: ‘[“Me”], found after [“you ask”] in most MSS., was left out of the text on the evidence of A D, most late Greek MSS., and the old Latin. Its later insertion was thought to be an inference from [“I will do”], made on the assumption that the one who answers prayer must be the one to whom prayer is made.’ (R. V. G. Tasker, The Greek New Testament: Being the Text Translated in the New English Bible, Oxford: University Press, 19))
We begin the exegete of verse 14 with the 3rd class conditional “If” – EAN – ἐάν (eh-an’) plus the Aorist, Active, Subjunctive, Second Person, Plural of AITEO – αἰτέω (ahee-teh’-o) for “If you all ask,” (Maybe you will and maybe you won’t.)
Next, we have the Indefinite Pronominal Adjective, TIS – τις (tis) for “anything.” Here we have to add some context, as we will note in the doctrine below. We can’t ask for a million dollars and expect it to magically appear and then when it does not, we accuse God of lying. This “anything” has the context of “according to His will,” 1 John 5:14.
Then we have the same construction as in verse 13 for EN TO ONOMA EGO ἐν ὁ ὄνομα ἐγώ (en ho on’-om-ah eg-o’) for “In My name.” In context, this means there must be doctrine in the right lobe, and the more doctrine in the right lobe, the sooner you get to supergrace, and a supergrace believer is highly effective, because he is occupied with the name which is above every name, with the person of Jesus Christ. Therefore, spiritual maturity leads to highly effective prayers that are offered “according to His will,” and therefore answered. So, we see how Philip, and all the disciples, and us are partially straightened out on this point. The ascension of Jesus Christ will not hinder Philip’s or our future prayer life.
And finally, we have “I will do it”, which is the Nominative Pronoun EGO plus the Future, Active, Indicative, First Person, Singular of POIEO. When seated at the right hand of the Father, Jesus will co-sponsor our prayer petitions and their answers. Whatever we ask in Christ’s name, that shall be for our good and suitable to our state, he shall give it to us. To ask in Christ’s name, is to plead His merit and intercession, and to depend upon that plea.
So, our translation of verse 13-14 is, “And whatever you all ask in My Name, that I will do so that the Father may be glorified by means of the Son. If you all ask, (maybe you will and maybe you won’t), anything in My name, I will do it.”
Later in the Upper Room Discourse, our Lord reiterates the point made in verses 12-14.
John 15:16, “You did not choose Me but I chose you, and appointed you that you would go and bear fruit, and that your fruit would remain, so that whatever you ask of the Father in My name He may give to you.”
John 16:22-24, “Therefore you too have grief now; but I will see you again, and your heart will rejoice, and no one will take your joy away from you. 23In that day you will not question Me about anything. Truly, truly, I say to you, if you ask the Father for anything in My name, He will give it to you. 24Until now you have asked for nothing in My name; ask and you will receive, so that your joy may be made full.”
When a request is made in the name of the Son, God the Father treats it as if the Son made the request Himself, and the Father denies nothing to the Son.
Mat 18:19-20, “Again I say to you, that if two of you agree on earth about anything that they may ask, it shall be done for them by My Father who is in heaven. 20For where two or three have gathered together in My name, I am there in their midst.”
So, this leads us to:
The Doctrine of Prayer
As part of equal privilege of election, the Church Age believer is a Royal Priest, and because this is true, there has never before in history been such an emphasis on every believer entering into prayer. It is the unique function of the Royal Priesthood and the equal privilege and opportunity for every believer to have an effective ministry. The most effective service is invisible service such as prayer.
- In past dispensations, there were specialized priesthoods in which certain people functioned as priests. A priest is a person representing the human race (believers) to God.
- Any system of specialized priesthood in the Church Age is a false system. All believers in the Church Age are the equal to what many think catholic priests represent.
- You have the right to represent yourself before God the Father in the name of the Son and through the power of the Spirit. You also have the right to spiritual privacy.
From the Royal Priesthood originates prayers to God the Father as the recipient of all prayers.
Prayer from the function of your Royal Priesthood gives you access and privilege to present two categories of requests to God the Father.
- Petitions; prayers for yourself.
- Intercessory prayers; prayers for others.
Therefore, prayer is communication with God for the expression of personal needs in petition and the function of intercession for others.
The approach to prayer is part of God’s protocol plan for His Royal Family and has a precisely correct procedure:
- All prayer is offered to God the Father, not to Jesus Christ or the Holy Spirit.
- Any prayer offered to Christ is automatically cancelled, since it fails to follow God’s protocol for prayer. This is illustrated by the model prayer for the disciples, Mat 6:9; Eph 1:17; 3:14; 1 Peter 1:17.
- Prayer is addressed in the name of or through the channel of the Son, John 14:13‑14; Heb 7:25.
- All prayer is made through the enabling power (filling) of God the Holy Spirit, Eph 6:18.
Prayer is related to the omniscience of God, Isa 65:24.
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.
Prayers and their answers are part of the Divine decrees. Therefore, your needs, intercessions, desires and God’s answers to your prayers are all part of the decrees in the foreknowledge of God. God knew and answered all your prayers in eternity past.
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.
- As a primary asset, prayer is a part of your equal privilege of election, a part of your Royal Priesthood.
- As a secondary asset, prayer is a part of our Christian production. Prayer is a ministry designed for every believer. Each Church Age believer has the privilege and the right to enter into intercessory prayer for others, which is an actual ministry.
Therefore, prayer is one of the most powerful and effective functions in all of history.
Prayer is an invisible power directed toward invisible God (1 Tim 1:17) in relationship to our invisible assets. Prayer is most effective when used by invisible heroes, i.e., believers who have attained spiritual maturity. John 4:24, “God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”
The more you grow in grace, the greater your spiritual growth, the greater your effectiveness in your prayer life. Effectiveness is not measured in terms of your eloquence when praying in public, but on the basis of your spiritual growth when praying in private.
- The power of prayer increases as the believer advances in the Plan of God for the Church Age.
- Accurate and effective prayer is associated with the three stages of spiritual adulthood: Spiritual Self‑Esteem, Spiritual Autonomy, and Spiritual Maturity.
Grace is a principle in prayer. Heb 4:16; 1 Peter 1:17.
- Prayer is the privilege of the Royal Priesthood, and since grace is the basis of prayer, no believer can come to God in prayer and expect to be heard on the basis of his human merit, ability, or any other human success story.
- In other words, every believer approaches God on the basis of the merits of Jesus Christ. The Father has already been propitiated with Christ, and since He is no respecter of persons, as far as we are concerned, He accepts and hears our prayer on the basis of the fact that we are in Christ. In other words, God doesn’t answer prayer because I’m good, because I’m benevolent, because I’m sincere, etc. God hears and answers prayer on the basis of who and what Christ is.
Christ’s prayer in the garden, Mat 26:39, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; yet not as I will, but as You will.” was answered with a “no” response, because the very purpose for the Hypostatic Union was to bear our sins. This was the only prayer Christ ever offered that was not answered with a “yes.” Nevertheless, Christ’s prayer was answered according to the will of the Father which was to go to the Cross. Therefore, our prayers must too be offered in the “will” of the Father.
There are three sources of prayer received by God the Father:
- The prayers of the greatest prayer warrior of all, the Lord Jesus Christ our great High Priest, on our behalf, Heb 7:25.
Heb 7:25, “Therefore He is able also to save forever those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.”
- The prayers of God the Holy Spirit as our “Helper” (PARAKLETOS) in prayer, Rom 8:26-27.
Rom 8:26-27, “In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.”
- The prayer from the believer priest, Heb 4:16.
Heb 4:16 “Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”
Principles of Prayer Related to our Priesthood:
The Church Age is the dispensation of the universal priesthood of the believer. Every believer is a priest, both male and female.
- 1 Peter 2:5, every believer is a Holy Priest.
- 1 Peter 2:9, every believer is a Royal Priest.
- Rev 1:6, 20:6, every believer is a part of a kingdom of priests.
One of our great priestly functions is prayer. When you pray for others, you enter into their ministry.
Two persons of the Trinity are involved in prayer for us: Jesus Christ in hypostatic union in His human nature as our High Priest remembers us in prayer, and God the Holy Spirit who prays for us with groanings too great for words.
As a Priest, the believer has the privilege of intercessory prayer.
- One of the greatest acts of intercession for an entire nation was made by Moses, Ex 32:9‑16 and Num 14:11‑20.
- Jesus Christ prayed, while on the Cross in Luke 23:34, the greatest intercessory prayers of all time, “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.”
Prayer is a part of Christian service, and as such, prayer must comply with the doctrinal principles of Christian service. Since every believer is in full time Christian service, he should express in prayer the concepts related to that service; therefore, his intercession for others will be Divine good rather than human good or dead works. The principles of Christian service apply to every prayer just as much as they do to witnessing or to the fact that your job is a part of Christian service.
The principle of prayer is based on two doctrines of Scripture: the post-salvation spiritual life, defined as harmonious rapport with God, and the integrity of God as the source of all answers to prayer on the one hand, and the explanation why other prayers are not answered.
We fail in prayer, because in the malfunction of our spiritual life, we do not understand the Will and Plan of God for our lives; therefore, we understand the importance of prayer being compatible with the Plan of God for the Church.
We fail in prayer, because we fail to rebound when we sin. Therefore, when perpetual carnality sets in, it is inevitable that we get into serious discipline and so many problems that we start praying to God for help and our prayers do not get to the throne of grace.
Only the emergency procedure of Rebound as outlined in 1 John 1:9 can correct that situation. Without Rebound there is no spiritual life, Eph 5:18 ff.
Spiritual skills must precede production skills for an effective prayer life.
- Spiritual skills include: the filling of the Holy Spirit, cognition and inculcation of Bible doctrine, and the execution of the Plan of God.
- Spiritual growth increases the power of prayer in your life. Therefore, your spiritual advance through perception, metabolization, and application of doctrine is directly related to your prayer life as a part of your Christian service.
- The more you learn about the Will of God from Bible doctrine, the more effective your prayer life will be.
- The effectiveness of prayer is related to the function of spiritual skills preceding production skills in the performance of Christian service and Divine good.
- Production skills minus spiritual skills equal the performance of human good and dead works in prayer.
- The key to prayer is the attainment of the spiritual skills: The filling of the Spirit, cognition of Bible doctrine, and execution of the Plan of God.
How to Approach God in Prayer:
All prayer is offered to God the Father, not to Jesus Christ or to the Holy Spirit. Any prayer offered to Christ is automatically cancelled, since it fails to follow God’s protocol for prayer. This is illustrated by the model prayer for the disciples, Mat 6:9; Eph 1:17; 3:14; 1 Peter 1:17.
The channel of approach is through our high priest, Jesus Christ, John 14:13-14.
The power of approach of prayer is the filling of God the Holy Spirit, Eph 6:18.
We should understand that God has encouraged us to pray through promises. An extrapolation of prayer promises falls into three categories:
- Those related to the Faith-Rest Technique, Mat 18:19; 21:22; Mark 11:24; or the Old Testament promises of prayer which are somewhat different from the New, but just as valid, Psa 4:1; 116:1-2; Isa 65:24; Jer 33:3.
Psalm 4:1, “Answer me when I call, O God of my righteousness! You have relieved me in my distress; Be gracious to me and hear my prayer.”
- Every legitimate prayer that ever was uttered in history was heard in eternity past, and if it was a legitimate prayer, it was included in God’s Decree / Plan.
- The New Testament promises for example, Mat 7:7-8; John 14:13-14; 15:7; Eph 6:18; Phil 4:6; 1 Thes 5:17; Heb 4:16, etc.
From the standpoint of the believer, the effectiveness of the believer’s prayer is living the spiritual life.
From the standpoint of God, the effectiveness of the believer’s prayer is related to the integrity of God.
God is eternally blessed with the integrity and power to answer prayer. God is endued with the Divine ability to answer prayer from the essence of God with emphasis on Divine integrity and omnipotence.
As we have noted above, there are two categories of prayer requests: Intercessory and Petition. In this section, we will understand the principles of each.
The Doctrine of Intercession:
The dynamics of intercessory prayer are mentioned in Elijah’s prayer on Mount Carmel which demonstrates the power of intercessory prayer for the nation, 1 Kings 18:42‑46; James 5:16‑18.
James 5:16-18, “Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much. 17Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the earth for three years and six months. 18Then he prayed again, and the sky poured rain and the earth produced its fruit.”
In this scenario, Elijah displayed five components for effective intercessory prayers:
- Pray in private. Elijah was alone, 1 Kings 18:42. It is important to be alone with God in order to hear His voice in response to your prayers. Compare Mat 6:6 and Mark 1:35 (our Lord’s example). This does not say that there is no place for public prayer, there is. But God desires intimacy with His children in prayer.
Mat 6:6, “But you, when you pray, go into your inner room, close your door and pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.”
- Humility of the soul. Elijah was humble in offering his prayer; demonstrated by crouching down, 1 Kings 14:42b. Where the body goes the mind leads. Humility in prayer is recognizing God’s all sufficiency and our insufficiency to meet a need or problem.
- Be specific and precise in your prayers, 1 King 18:43a. God wants to hear from you about all that you desire and need, so be specific and ask in detail what it is you want for others or need.
- Be persistent in your prayers. Elijah did not quit when his prayer was not answered, 1 Kings 14:43b. He was persistent and prayed again and again until he received God’s response. Keep praying until you receive an answer to what you asked for from God.
- Be ready to move into action when you receive God’s answer. This is called expectancy. Upon receiving an answer, Elijah acted quickly, 1 Kings 18:46. There is no reason to procrastinate when God makes His answer clear.
The power of prevailing prayer is demonstrated in Acts 12. The power of prevailing prayer was exercised in the early church on behalf of Peter, who was in prison and about to be executed.
Acts 12:5, “So Peter was kept in the prison, but prayer for him was being made fervently by the church to God.”
The result of this prayer was Peter’s dramatic deliverance. He was chained between two Roman soldiers. But with every Roman guard asleep, Peter simply walked out of the prison. All the Roman soldiers were executed for this.
The prayer for the unbeliever is demonstrated in Rom 10:1.
Rom 10:1, “Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for them (Jews) is for their salvation.”
The prayer for the unbeliever is in regard to their salvation. That the issue be made clear, that doctrine will be presented, and that the witnessing and the evangelism will be so lucid that they will understand the issue. Prayer for unbelievers is legitimate and a part of your dynamics in intercessory prayer. Do not let anyone tell you that you cannot pray for the unsaved. Also remember not to attempt to violate their volition by asking God to make them believe in Christ.
The prayer for the unknown believer, Col 1:3-13. This is a demonstration of the power of impersonal love in spiritual autonomy, because spiritual autonomy has the greatest motivation in praying for those who are enemies and for those who are unknown. This demonstrates the functional virtue of impersonal love, and therefore, the status of spiritual autonomy.
Prayer for the known believer. The dynamics of Paul’s intercessory prayers for believers are seen in Eph 1:15‑23 and 3:14‑21. This is also a demonstration of brotherly love (PHILADELPHIA).
The true Lord’s Prayer is found in John 17 and is a great example of intercessory prayer. This demonstrated the dynamics of the Lord’s Prayer. The true Lord’s Prayer is found in John 17 not in Mat 6:9ff. It is the most phenomenal prayer ever made. The template prayer of Mat 6:9-13 is an outline of how to pray and what to include, but it should not be repeated verbatim or repetitively as noted in Matt 6:7.
Mat 6:7, “And when you are praying, do not use meaningless repetition as the Gentiles do, for they suppose that they will be heard for their many words.”
Four Categories of How God Answers your Petition Prayers:
Each petition prayer actually has two parts:
- The petition which is what you actually say, whether it is a petition for yourself or an intercessory prayer for others.
- The desire, which is what you really want.
The four categories that follow show that God views both parts of your prayer as separate, and answers each part either positively or negatively. Therefore, God’s answer to each petition and desire can be defined in four ways.
Positive-Negative: In which the petition is answered with a positive but the desire behind the petition is not answered.
- 1 Sam 8:5-9, 19-20. The Jews asked for a king so that they could be like other nations, and God gave them a king, Saul, but they were not like other nations, and as a result they had more trouble than all the others. Petition: We want a king. But they lost all their blessings under the reign of Saul.
- In Num 11:5-35; Psa 78:17-30; 106:13‑15, the Jews were tired of the great Divine provision of manna, the greatest health food ever. They longed for the Egyptian meat and food they used to eat. God answered their petition with a yes; He sent them quail. But the desire for satisfaction or “food happiness” was not answered; instead, they suffered terribly from it and thousands died.
Negative-Positive: Where the petition is not answered but the desire is. This is where God says no to the petition but He gives you the desire behind it, Gen 17:18; 18:23-33; 2 Cor 12:7-10.
- In Gen 17:18-21, Abraham prayed that Ishmael, the son of Hagar, might be his heir. God said no to Ishmael becoming his heir, but yes to the desire behind it, to have an heir, for he eventually had Isaac.
- In Gen 18:23‑33; 19:20-22, Abraham prayed that God would spare Sodom. After bargaining with God, Abraham settled with asking God to spare Sodom if there were ten believers; he was sure there were at least ten believers in that large city of perhaps 200,000 people. He was wrong; there were only three believers. The petition to spare Sodom was answered no; the desire that Lot and his two daughters be preserved was answered yes.
Positive-Positive: The ideal prayer where the petition is answered and the desire is also answered – Yes and yes, 1 Kings 18:36-37; Judges 16:28; Luke 23:42-43; John 11:41-45.
In 1 Kings 18, Elijah built an altar, dug a trench around it, and prepared a sacrifice for the Lord. Then he instructed that water be poured on the offering and on the wood three times. So much water was poured that it filled the trench. Elijah then prayed that God would light his offering on the altar with fire. God answered yes, 1 Kings 18:38. His desire was expressed in 1 Kings 18:36, “O Lord God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, today let it be known that You are the God of Israel and that I am your servant, and I have done all these things at Your Word.” This was answered yes.
In Judges 16:28, Samson was blinded and tied up in the temple of Dagon. “Then Samson called to the LORD and said, “O Lord GOD, please remember me and please strengthen me just this time, O God, that I may at once be avenged of the Philistines for my two eyes.” Both his petition to strike the Philistines, and his desire to avenge were answered yes. Why? Not because God approves of revenge, but because of the degeneracy of the Philistines. Samson was the instrument that God used. He got his strength back, wrapped his arms around two pillars of the temple, and pulled the whole thing down on all of them.
In Luke 23:42‑43 is the petition of the dying thief. “Then he kept saying, `Jesus, remember me when You come into your kingdom.'” This petition was answered yes. His desire was for salvation, and Jesus answered this affirmatively in verse 43: “Jesus replied to him, `I tell you the truth, today you will be with Me in paradise.'”
In John 11:41‑45, the petition was for the resuscitation of Lazarus. The desire was that the bystanders who witnessed this might be saved. Both petition and desire were answered yes. Verse 45, “Therefore, many of the Jews who had come to visit Mary saw what He had done, and they believed in Him.”
Negative-Negative, or no and no: The worst prayer of all where neither the petition nor the desire is answered.
Why Prayer is Not Answered:
The fundamental reason why prayer is not answered is because the believer is under the control of the sin nature. In a state of sin, your prayers cannot be heard or answered. General reasons for failure in prayer are always related to carnality, being out of fellowship, residence in the cosmic system or reversionism.
Psa 66:18, “If I regard wickedness (cherish iniquity) in my heart (stream of consciousness of the soul), the Lord will not listen to me.”
“Cherishing iniquity” means not rebounding. Rebound (1 John 1:9) is a non‑protocol prayer. Rebound is a recovery procedure. Rebound does not belong to the spiritual life. Rebound must precede all Divine mandates of prayer, whether the mandates are in the Old or New Testament. Rebound is a non‑protocol prayer as an emergency procedure to get you back into fellowship with God immediately, 1 John 1:5-9.
In carnality, the believer grieves (Eph 6:18) and quenches the Spirit (1 Thes 5:19), and your prayers cannot be heard. The only prayer which can be heard is rebound, which is the private confession of your sins to God; in that sense, it is a prayer.
What the righteousness of God approves (personal prayer on behalf of self and on behalf of others), the justice of God answers through the love of God expressed through the grace of God, when the believer has first confessed their sins.
What the righteousness of God disapproves (the believer praying in a state of sin or in perpetual carnality), the justice of God does not answer.
The love of God provides the means and the solution for effective prayer through the grace of God, Psa 66:19-20.
Psa 66:19‑20, “But certainly God has heard; He has given heed to the voice of my prayer. 20Blessed be God, who has not turned away my prayer nor His lovingkindness from me.” Between verse 18 and verse 19 is Rebound.
Another reason for malfunction of prayer is always related to the believer’s rejection of Bible doctrine. Whatever your reason for rejecting doctrine, it means you have no understanding of the mechanics of prayer. Only Bible doctrine teaches the mechanics of prayer; only Bible doctrine teaches the will of God. Your prayers must comply with the will of God 1 John 5;14-15, and must follow the precisely correct protocol procedure for prayer.
Indifference to or rejection of Bible doctrine produces three categories of ignorance which guarantee the malfunction of your prayer life.
- Ignorance because of indifference to doctrine.
- Ignorance because of wrong priorities. If wrong priorities persist in your spiritual life, you’ll become a loser with no prayer life.
- Ignorance because of the arrogance complex of sins: jealousy, bitterness, vindictiveness, implacability, hatred, self‑pity, inordinate ambition, inordinate competition, vilification, slander, maligning, judging, creating the public lie, revenge motivation and modus operandi. Arrogant believers never get through to the throne of grace.
Failure to execute God’s mandates is a reason why prayers are not answered, 1 John 3:22.
1 John 3:22, “Furthermore, whatever we have asked, we receive from Him, because we continue to execute His mandates, and we keep on doing what is pleasing in His sight.”
- Therefore, prayer is related to your fulfillment of the Plan of God and the execution of the Christian way of life. Prayer becomes more and more effective as we execute His mandates. You can have effective prayer right from the start of your spiritual life if you execute His mandates. But to become a great prayer warrior demands your daily intake of doctrine and the daily use of the Problem-Solving Devices you have learned. Then you do not depend on others to solve your problems, but you handle your own problems from the doctrinal techniques you’ve been taught.
- To do “what is pleasing in His sight” describes spiritual adulthood when the believer reaches the peak in his prayer life.
- Hence, failure to execute His mandates and to attain spiritual adulthood (“do what is pleasing in His sight”) impedes, obstructs, inhibits, and undermines all effective prayer.
One of the Greatest Problems Related to Prayer is Concentration:
All forms of worship are a concentration test. This test can be divided into three categories.
- Concentration on the teaching of Bible doctrine. This reflects your values, your motivation, your spiritual condition, and your spiritual status quo. Bible doctrine should have number one priority in your life.
- Concentration in the communion service. The communion service is a reflection of the person and work of Christ.
- Concentration in your personal and private prayers, during public prayers when others are praying, and in your petitions and intercessions. Prayer is a challenge to concentration.
The pattern of concentration in all forms of worship is established in the function of perception, metabolization, and application of Bible doctrine. If you can concentrate on Bible doctrine in time of stress, adversity, or even in time of prosperity, then you can concentrate in prayer.
There is a direct relationship between concentration in Bible study under the ministry of the Holy Spirit and concentration in prayer under the ministry of the Holy Spirit.
Psa 4:4, “Tremble, and do not sin; concentrate in your heart upon your bed, and be still.”
Psa 63:6, “When I remember You on my bed, I concentrate on You in the night watches.”
See also Isaac’s example of studying and praying in private for concentrations sake, Gen 24:63.
The Mechanics of Prayer:
Public prayer should be short and should avoid repetition.
Mat 6:7, “And when you are praying (publicly), do not use meaningless repetition, as Gentiles do, for they assume that they will be heard for their many words.”
God is not impressed with verbiage. Remember, “God does not look on the outward appearance, but on the heart (right lobe).” Gen 20:6; Psa 139:23; Acts 15:8; Heb 4:12; 1 Peter 3:4.
Mat 6:5, “When you pray, you are not to be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on the street corners so that they may be seen by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full.”
You cannot impress people and God at the same time with your prayers.
In public prayer, you always add the principles of impersonal love, flexibility, and thoughtfulness of others. You must be thoughtful of others in prayer who are gathered with you.
Long prayers should be reserved for private intercession and petition.
Mat 6:6, “But when you pray, go into your private room, and when you have shut the door, pray to your Father who is in secret; and your Father, who sees in secret, will provide for you.”
The majority of your prayers should be conducted in private. Mat 6:6
Mat 6:6, “But you, when you pray, go into your inner room, close your door and pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.”
Organization is absolutely necessary in an effective prayer life. Therefore, you need an agenda, and the Bible suggests a four-fold agenda for your private prayers:
- Confession of sin is the first function of private prayer, 1 John 1:9; 1 Cor 11:31.
- Thanksgiving, Eph 5:20; 1 Thes 5:18.
- Intercession (praying for others), Eph 6:18.
- Petition (praying for yourself).
Confession of sin (1 John 1:9), if necessary, to ensure the filling of the Spirit. Only prayer offered in the status quo of the filling of the Spirit will be heard.
Thanksgiving expresses the concept of worship in private prayer. Thanksgiving is grace orientation; it recognizes the source of all blessing.
Eph 5:20, “Always giving thanks to God the Father for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
1 Thes 5:18, “In everything give thanks, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
Capacity for thanksgiving comes from your personal love for God and your impersonal love for others. Capacity for thanksgiving increases as you grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
Your thanksgiving to God is a part of your personal love for God. The more you love God and the more you appreciate Him, the greater your thanksgiving and the greater your alertness in prayer.
It is hard to stay alert when you are in a routine situation, doing the same thing over and over again – repetition of prayer – is not a good way to express your appreciation for God.
Intercession is praying for others, Eph 6:18; 1 Kings 18; James 5:16‑18. This is a spiritual ministry. It requires that you have your own private prayer list.
Petition is praying for your own needs and situations and includes being confused about a situation where you have not yet learned how to apply one or more of the Problem-Solving Devices for that situation. Therefore, it is prayer offered on behalf of self.
Heb 4:16. “Approach boldly the throne of grace, that we might obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”
To approach boldly also means you approach in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ by the filling of the Holy Spirit.
Part of the mechanics of prayer is concentration. Concentration is a function of the filling of the Spirit, positive volition, and motivation.
Thanksgiving is a function of prayer.
Eph 1:16, “I do not cease giving thanks for you, and I make mention of you in my prayers.”
Col 1:3, “We give thanks to God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you.”
Phil 4:6, “Stop worrying about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.”
1Thes 5:18, “Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
The Old Testament has no concept parallel to the English word “thanks,” that is, simply an expression of appreciation to other persons or to God. What do the words “thanks” and “thanksgiving” mean in the Old Testament? The Hebrew word is YADAH – יָדָה (yaw-daw’), which with its derivative TODAH – תּוֹדָה (to-daw’) is often translated “thanks” or “thanksgiving.” It means, “to declare publicly” or “to acknowledge.” It is used of the confession of human sin and also of public confession of God’s character and works.
The New Testament words translated “thank” [EUCHARISTEO – εὐχαριστέω (yoo-khar-is-teh’-o)]; “thankful” [EUCHARISTOS – εὐχάριστος (yoo-khar’-is-tos)]; and “thanksgiving” [EUCHARISTIA – εὐχαριστία (yoo-khar-is-tee’-ah)] signify a thankful attitude and a demonstration of gratitude.
We are Commanded to Give Thanks:
Psalm 50:14-15, “Offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving and pay your vows to the Most High; 15Call upon Me in the day of trouble; I shall rescue you, and you will honor Me.”
Col 4:2, “Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it (concentration) with thanksgiving.”
Thanks should be offered:
- To God, Psa 50:14.
- To Christ, 1 Tim 1:12.
- Through Christ, Rom 1:8; Col 3:17; Heb 13:15.
- In the name of Christ, Eph 5:20.
- In behalf of ministers, 2 Cor 1:11.
- For our fellow believers, Rom 1:8; 2 Tim 1:3.
- Be exhorted to give thanks, Psa 105:1; Col 3:15.
- Resolve to give thanks, Psa 18:49, 30:12.
- Habitually offer thanks, Dan 6:10.
- Offer sacrifices of thanks, Psa 116:17.
- Abound in the faith with thanks, Col 2:7.
- Magnify God by offering thanks, Psa 69:30.
- Come before God with thanks, Psa 95:2.
- Enter God’s gates (worship) with thanks, Psa 100:4.
- Be accompanied by intercession for others, 1 Tim 2:1; 2 Tim 1:3; Philemon 4.
- Always accompany prayer, Neh 11:17; Phil 4:6; Col 4:2.
- Always accompany praise, Psa 92:1; Heb 13:15.
- Be expressed in our songs / psalms, 1 Chron 16:7.
Thanks should be offered for:
- The remembrance of God’s holiness, Psa 30:4; 97:12.
- The goodness and mercy of God, Psa 106:1; 107:1; 136:1-3.
- The gift of Christ, 2 Cor 9:15.
- The reception and effectual working of the Word of God in others, 1 Thes 2:13.
- Deliverance through Christ, Rom 7:23-25.
- Victory over death and the grave, 1 Cor 15:57.
- Wisdom and power, Dan 2:23.
- The triumph of the gospel, 2 Cor 2:14.
- The conversion of others, Rom 6:17.
- Faith exhibited by others, Rom 1:8; 2 Thes 1:3.
- Love exhibited by others, 2 Thes 1:3.
2 Thes 1:3, “We ought always to give thanks to God for you, brethren, as is only fitting, because your faith is greatly enlarged, and the love of each one of you toward one another grows ever greater.”
- The grace bestowed on others, 1 Cor 1:4; Phil 1:3-5; Col 1:3-6.
- The zeal exhibited by others, 2 Cor 8:16.
- Nearness of God’s presence, Psa 75:1.
- Appointment to the ministry, 1 Tim 1:12.
- Willingness to offer our possessions to God, 1 Chron 29:6-13.
- The supply of our wants, Rom 14:6-7; 2 Cor 9:11; 1 Tim 4:3-4.
- All men, 1Tim 2:1.
- All things, 2 Cor 9:11; Eph 5:20.
Thanks should be offered:
- In private worship, Dan 6:10.
- In public worship, Psa 35:18.
- Upon completion of great undertakings, Neh 12:31, 46.
- Before taking food, John 6:11; Acts 27:35.
- Always, Eph 1:16; 5:20; 1Thes 1:2.
The wicked are averse to offering thanks:
Rom 1:21, “For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened.”
Prayer of thanksgiving and sanctification for food or saying “grace” before meals is a special prayer. This is a mandate for all believers.
1 Tim 4:4‑5, “For everything created by God is good for food, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with gratitude. For it is sanctified by means of the Word of God and prayer.”
This applies to all food, anytime, anywhere. God has created food to be received with thanksgiving.
To sanctify your food all the time, everywhere, is a very good idea for you never know what is in that food. There may be ingredients in the food that are very harmful, but offering this special prayer will protect you. In this way, you can still receive all the benefits from the food without any side effects, simply because you have sanctified that food.
Grace before meals has a two‑fold purpose:
- The expression of gratitude to God for His logistical grace support, which includes food. Thanksgivings before meals is a part of grace orientation with special emphasis on the appreciation of God’s logistical grace provision.
- Sanctification of that food to eliminate any potential, harmful effects. Thanksgivings before meals sanctifies the food, protecting the believer’s health from any possible impurities in the food, and so that the food will fulfill any requirements of the body when metabolized.
1 Tim 4:3-4, “Men who forbid marriage, and advocate, abstaining from foods, which God has created to be gratefully shared in by those who believe and know the truth. For everything created by God is beneficial, and nothing is to be rejected, if it is received with thanksgiving.”
To sanctify food requires one believer in fellowship offering a very short prayer asking God the Father to set apart the food.
To ask God to “sanctify” or “set apart” your food, means to ask Him to overrule any impurities that may have infiltrated the food; i.e., impurities from storage, from exposure, (to elements or creatures), and from virus or bacteria.
First you have to be thankful for the food, and then you have to know enough doctrine to know what to say in prayer. So, you must be in fellowship for your prayer to be heard.
To sanctify food takes no longer then one sentence: “Father, sanctify this food; in Christ’s name, Amen.” God isn’t impressed with a lot of words, especially unnecessary ones.
Prayer for Those in Authority Over Us:
As citizens of a client nation to God, this is a very important function for believers.
1 Tim 2:1‑3, “First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men, 2for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity. 3This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior.”
- Verse 1 points out that there are certain people for whom we should express our thanksgiving to God in prayer. In addition, there is intercession on behalf of all mankind and petition for ourselves.
- Verse 2 gets specific; we are commanded to pray for governmental authority and all other authority.
When you reach spiritual autonomy, this prayer really becomes effective. Having impersonal love gives you the ability to forget about the personality, the idiocy, the antagonism, and to actually pray for those people with whom you do not agree, who are leading our nation the wrong way, or who are damaging our client nation.
Impersonal love gives you phenomenal power for such a prayer. The confidence to offer such a prayer comes from personal love for God.
Prayer for the Sick, James 5:15.
James 5:15, “And the prayer offered in faith will restore the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up, and if he has committed sins, they will be forgiven him.”
Prayer for the Unsaved, Rom 10:1.
Rom 10:1, “Brethren, my heart’s desire and my prayer to God for them is for their salvation.”
Paul prayed for the salvation of unbelieving Jews. Although you cannot pray that their volition will be coerced, you can pray that they will be exposed to the Gospel and have the opportunity to believe in Jesus Christ.
Prayer for Your Enemies, Mat 5:44.
Mat 5:44, “But I say to you, love your enemies (impersonal love), and pray for those who persecute you.”
This prayer reflects the phenomenal dynamics in Spiritual Autonomy from the confidence of Spiritual Self‑Esteem and the impersonal love of Spiritual Autonomy.
Prayer for Spiritual Adulthood:
Phil 1:9, “And this I pray, that your virtue‑love may abound still more and more in metabolized doctrine and all discernment.”
- Paul is praying that virtue‑love may abound still more. He is not praying that someone reach spiritual adulthood. He is praying about someone who is already in spiritual adulthood. He is praying that their application of metabolized doctrine will have a wider scope, a more effective use of virtue‑love.
- Virtue‑love is confidence from personal love for God and impersonal love toward man from Spiritual Autonomy. Virtue‑love is not only a Problem-Solving Device used to pass momentum testing, but at the same time, it is maximum effectiveness in prayer. This is especially true for these categories of special prayers.
Col 1:9, “For this reason, we also (Timothy, Titus, Luke, and Paul), from the day we heard (the Epaphras report – Pastor at Colossae), we have not ceased to pray for you, and to ask that you might be filled with the knowledge (metabolized doctrine) of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding.”
Wisdom and spiritual understanding are characteristics of Spiritual Self‑Esteem and Spiritual Autonomy.
Prayer for the Communication and Communicators of Bible Doctrine; for Pastor‑Teachers, missionaries, evangelists, etc., 2 Thes 3:1; Heb 13:18.
Col 4:2-3, “Devote yourselves to prayer; in it, keeping alert with an attitude of thanksgiving, praying at the same time for us (teachers of Bible doctrine) as well, that God may open up to us a door for the teaching of the Word, so that we may communicate (teach) the mystery doctrine from Christ.”
Prayer of Widows, that is, ladies who become single either by the death, divorce, or abandonment of their husbands.
1 Tim 5:5, “Now she who is a widow indeed and who has been left alone, and has fixed her hope (confidence) on God, she also continues in petitions and prayers (intercession) night and day.”
This special category of widows in spiritual adulthood can pray both night and day (more often than once a day) for themselves and for others. As a result of their very tranquil and uncomplicated life, they are able to be effective in continuous prayer on behalf of others.
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