The Gospel of John ~ Chapter 15, Part 5
Verses 22 – 27
Summary & Complete Translation
The Upper Room Discourse / Gethsemane Discourse
- 1-8, Suffering for Blessing and Divine Good Production
- 6, Warning to the Unproductive Believer
- 9-10, Abiding in the Love of God
- 11, Divine Good Produces Inner Happiness
- 12-13, Impersonal Love Motivates Divine Good Production
- 14-15, Faith Application Results in Intimacy with Christ
- 16-17, Predestined to Glorify God
- 18-21, Obstructions to Divine Good Production
- 22-25, The Reason for the World’s Rejection
- 26-27, The Spirit Leads Us in Triumph
In Verses 22-25 we have three more antagonism by those of Satan’s Cosmic System towards the believer that are obstructions to Divine Good production.
Reason #5: Verse 22 – Their Old Sin Nature is exposed.
Reason #6: Verse 23-24 – The world hates God the Father and it hates God the Son.
Reason #7: Verse 25 – The fulfilment of Old Testament prophesy.
We begin with Verse 22. It reads, “If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not have sin, but now they have no excuse for their sin.”
Here we have the fifth cause of antagonism and that is because their Old Sin Nature is exposed. The principle here is that the world cannot relax when you talk about its Old Sin Nature. It doesn’t want to hear that it is full of sin and in need of a Savior. Those of the world want to be held righteous by their own acts and deeds.
The Greek reads: “ εἰ μὴ ἦλθον καὶ ἐλάλησα αὐτοῖς, ἁμαρτίαν οὐκ εἴχοσαν· νῦν δὲ πρόφασι οὐκ ἔχουσιν περὶ τῆς ἁμαρτίας αὐτῶν. “
Transliterated it is: “EI ME ELTHON KAI ELALESA AUTOIS, HAMARTIAN OUK EICHOSAN; NUN DE PROPHASIN OUK ECHOUSIN TES HAMARTIAS AUTON.”
EI is the Subordinating Conjunction that means “if; whether; that; if only, surely; or since.” Here it is a Second Class conditional “if” which means, “if and it is not true,” as it is accompanied by the following negative ME and the Aorist Verbs ERCHOMAI and LALEO. It is also without the usual AN, but the context makes it clear when below we have “but now”. Therefore, it is an assumption of an untruth for the sake of argument. A hypothetical scenario.
ME is the Negative Particle that means “no, or not”. Here it is tied with the “if” statement so we say, “if not.” This sets up the hypothetical scenario that Jesus did not come in His First Advent which we know to be not true. But it is used by our Lord for the argument that follows.
ELTHON is the Verb ERCHOMAI in Aorist, Active, Indicative, First Person, Singular that means, “to come or appear.”
The Aorist Tense is for a simple past tense and views the entirety of the action of Christ’s First Advent as hypothetically not occurring.
The First Person Singular in the Active Voice, Jesus hypothetically produces the action of not coming in His First Advent.
The Indicative Mood is for the hypothetical reality of the scenario. So we translate the first three words as “If I had not come (First Advent).”
KAI is that Coordinating Conjunction that means “and, even or also.” It ties together the hypothetical scenario of this “if” statement. It ties together His coming with His spoken words. It ties together His witness through His actions with the witness of His spoken word.
ELALESA is the Verb LALEO also in the Aorist, Active, Indicative, First Person, Singular. LALEO means, “speak, talk, say; preach, proclaim; tell; be able to speak; or address.” Here it refers to the communication of Bible Doctrine. So we translate it as “spoken.”
AUTOIS is the Pronoun AUTOS in the Dative, Masculine, Third Person, Plural that means “he, she or it.” In the Third Person Plural and Dative Case it means, “to them.”
So far we have, “If I had not come (Christ’s First Advent / witness of life) and spoken (witness of words) to them.” That is the Protasis or “if” statement.
Next we have the Apodasis or “then” statement; “they would not have sin”, or “HAMARTIAN OUK EICHOSAN.”
HAMARTIAN is the Noun HAMARTIA in the Accusative, Feminine, Singular. It comes from the word HAMARTANO that means “to miss the mark, do wrong, or sin.” So HAMARTIA comes to mean simply, “sin.”
OUK is the other Greek Negative Particle that means, “not.” Keeping with the hypothetical scenario we say, “would not.”
EICHOSAN is the Verb ECHO in the Imperfect, Active, Indicative, Third Person, Plural that means, “to have, hold, possess; keep, etc.”
The Imperfect Tense is typically for past time, but when used with the Second Class “if” it connotes present time in aspect. (See Wallace, Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics, page 541.) It portrays the action from within the event without regard for beginning or end, versus the Aorist Tense that portrays action in summary fashion, a snap shot as it were.
The Third Person, Plural in the Active Voice, the “persecutors” of the Body of Christ, perform the action of the verb. So we can say, “they have.”
The Indicative Mood is for the reality of the persecutors in this hypothetical scenario as not presently having sin.
Therefore, the then statement, (HAMARTIAN OUK EICHOSAN), comes to mean, “They (hypothetically) would not have sin.”
Combined with the Protasis we have, “If I had not come (Christ’s First Advent / witness of life) and spoken (witness of words) to them, they (hypothetically) would not have sin.”
This is speaking of their awareness of sin and their sin nature in a hypothetical scenario. In fact all men are sinful regardless of whether Christ had come or not, (Rom 5:12; 8:23, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”), but in this scenario He is emphasizing their knowledge of their sin and sin nature.
Our last clause is, “but now they have no excuse for their sin” or “NUN DE PROPHASIN OUK ECHOUSIN TES HAMARTIAS AUTON,”
NUN is an Adverb for, “now or at the present.”
DE is a Superordinating Conjunction that means, “but, to the contrary, rather, etc.” It is emphasizing the more severe scenario of what is really happening rather than the previous hypothetical scenario.
PROPHASIN is the Noun PROPHASIS in the Direct Object Accusative, Feminine, Singular that means, “false motive, pretense, pretext, or excuse.” It is that which is alleged as the cause, but used here in the negative sense of a false cause.
OUK is once again the Greek Negative Particle that means, “no or not.” This time used in the “reality check” statement.
ECHOUSIN is Verb ECHO this time in the Present, Active, Indicative, Third Person, Plural that means “to have and to hold.”
The Present Tense is the reality check that these persecutors do not have an excuse for their sins. Christ has taken away all excuses for man as to why he sins the way he does.
The Active Voice in the Third Person Plural, “they”, (persecutors), produce the action of being without excuse.
The Indicative Mood is for the reality of the situation.
Rom 1:20, “For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and Divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.”
TES HAMARTIAS is the Article for “the” and the Noun HAMARTIA in the Possessive Genitive, Feminine, Singular that means “sin.”
AUTON is the Pronoun AUTOS that means “he, she or it” in the Possessive Genitive, Masculine, Third Person, Plural. We could say “of him or his” in the singular, but in the plural it is “their”.
So we have in the last clause, “But now they have no excuse for their sin.”
Our complete translation of John 15:22 is: “If I had not come (Christ’s First Advent / witness of life) and spoken (witness of words) to them, they (hypothetically) would not have sin; but now they have no excuse for their sin.”
Due to the fact of His ministry; “they (self-righteous, legalistic, arrogant persecutors of true believers) have no excuse for their sin (of persecution),” and therefore cannot cover up their Old Sin Nature or the sins from their OSN.
In other words, truth (Bible Doctrine) rips off the façade of self-righteousness; it exposes the person for what he really is: A person with a sin nature and spiritually dead. It topples their house of cards.
See the Parable of Luke 14:15-24.
Christ lays down the basic principle that revelation brings responsibility. Judaism taught that greater knowledge brought greater responsibility. Jesus also taught that revelation increases moral responsibility, Luke 12:41-46, (to whom much is given, much is required).
His works and His words revealed the will of God the Father, that He was the Messiah as prophesied, and the sinfulness of men. He had shown that He was the Messiah by His own arguments and by His miracles.
Therefore, mankind has no excuse. The fact that Jews and Gentiles alike joined together in hating and crucifying Christ is proof that all people are sinners and guilty before God.
The proof of Christ as Messiah has been so clear that they cannot plead ignorance; likewise, the gospel has been so often presented that they cannot allege that they had no opportunity of knowing it. It was that way in Christ’s day, as it is still today with all sinners. Compare John 9:35-10:18 with Acts 26:18.
The world lives in darkness and commits the works of darkness, John 3:18-19. From the beginning of the world’s creation men have covered themselves with fig leaves of excuses, Gen 3:7-13.
No matter what form the excuses take, they give evidence of the Truth of the gospel message, (that the light has been shining).
There is no reason or even excuse for sin. Jesus has come and His presence has shown the light on the Truth. It is impossible to hide sin behind transparent aprons of excuse after excuse.
For the unbeliever, no matter what the excuse, rejection of Jesus Christ means eternal condemnation, Heb 10:29.
As for the believer, Oswald Chambers put it well in his piece on “The Opposition of the Natural”, (My Utmost for His highest). Using Gal 5:24, “Those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires”, Chambers states:
The natural life itself is not sinful. But we must abandon sin, having nothing to do with it in any way whatsoever.
Sin belongs to hell and to the devil. I, as a child of God, belong to heaven and to God.
It is not a question of giving up sin, but of giving up my right to myself, my natural independence, and my self-will. This is where the battle has to be fought. The things that are right, noble, and good from the natural standpoint are the very things that keep us from being God’s best.
Once we come to understand that natural moral excellence, (human good), opposes or counteracts surrender to God, we bring our soul into the center of its greatest battle. Very few of us would debate over what is filthy, evil and wrong, but we do debate over what is good.
It is the good that opposes the best. The higher up the scale of moral excellence, (human good), a person goes, the more intense the opposition to Jesus Christ, Gal 5:24, “Those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh … .”
The cost to your natural life is not just one or two things, but everything. Jesus said in Mat 16:24, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself …” That is, he must deny his right to himself, and he must realize who Jesus Christ is before he will bring himself to do it. Beware of refusing to go to the funeral of your own independence.
The natural life is not spiritual, and it can be made spiritual only through sacrifice. If we do not purposely sacrifice the natural, the supernatural can never become natural to us.
There is no high or easy road. Each of us has the means to accomplish it entirely in his own hands (through Bible Doctrine and the Spirit). It is not a question of praying, but of sacrificing, and thereby performing His will. (Parenthesis Mine.)
- In John 15:23-24 we have the sixth reason for the world’s antagonism towards the believer that is an obstruction to Divine Good Production. The sixth reason is “the world hates God the Father and it hates God the Son.”
John 15:23, “He who hates Me hates My Father also.”
The Greek reads: “ ὁ ἐμὲ μισῶν καὶ τὸν Πατέρα μου μισεῖ. “
Transliterated it reads: “HO EME MISON KAI TON PATERA MOU MISEI.”
HO is the article that typically means “the”. Here it is in the Subject Nominative, Masculine, Singular used as a pronoun for “he.” Speaking of the unbeliever from Satan’s Cosmic System who is the one doing the hating.
EME is the Personal Pronoun EGO that means “I or me” in the Direct Object Accusative, First Person, Singular. Jesus is the object of their hatred.
MISON is the Participle Verb MISEO that means, “Hate, detest, abhor, prefer against” in the Present, Active, Nominative, Masculine, Singular. So it comes to mean “hating, or the ones hating or who hates.”
KAI is the Conjunctions “and, even or also”. It’s used like and adverb placing further emphasis on the hatred of the Father as a result of hating the Son.
TON PATERA is the Article HO that means “the” that is not translated plus the Noun PATERA in the Direct Object Accusative, Masculine, Singular that means “father”, referring to God the Father.
MOU is the Pronoun EGO “I or me”, in the Possessive Genitive, First Person, Singular. So we say “of Me or My.”
MISEI is the Verb MISEO in the Present, Active, Indicative, Third Person, Singular that means “hates.” The Customary Present Tense says that those of Satan’s Cosmic System keep on hating God the Father.
Our translation of John 15:23 is: “He who hates Me, also hates (keeps on hating) My Father.”
Then in John 15:24 we have, “If I had not done among them the works which no one else did, they would not have sin; but now they have both seen and hated Me and My Father as well.”
It is structurally and contextually similar to the combination of Verses 22 and 23 but put together here in Verse 24.
The Greek reads: “ εἰ τὰ ἔργα μὴ ἐποίησα ἐν αὐτοῖς ἃ οὐδεὶς ἄλλος ἐποίησεν, ἁμαρτίαν οὐκ εἴχοσαν· νῦν δὲ καὶ ἑωράκασιν καὶ μεμισήκασιν καὶ ἐμὲ καὶ τὸν Πατέρα μου. “
Transliterated it reads: “EI TA ERGA ME EPOIESA EN AUTOIS HA OUDEIS ALLOS EPOIESEN, HAMARTIAN OUK EICHOSAN NUN DE KAI EORAKASIN KAI MEMISEKASIN KAI EME KAI TON PATERA MOU.”
EI is a Subordinating Conjunction establishing a conditional clause just as we had in Verse 22. Typically this would be a First Class if “if and it is true” but because of the following Aorist tense Verbs in the “if” (Protasis) statement, and the Imperfect tense verb in the “then” (Apodasis) statement, this is a Second Class “if” that means “if and it is not true”, establishing the second hypothetical scenario in the object lesson.
TA ERGA is the Article HO, “the”, and the Noun ERGON, “work” in the Accusative, Neuter, Plural. So we say “works” speaking of the Divine Good Production of Jesus Christ during His First Advent.
ME is the Greek Negative Particle for “no or not.”
EPOIESA is the Verb POIEO, that means to “make or do”, in the Aorist, Active, Indicative, First Person Singular. Jesus Christ produced these works during His incarnation. With the simple past tense Aorist in the First Person Singular we will say, “I had done.”
EN is the Dative of Sphere Preposition that means, “in the sphere of or among.” Jesus performed these works while in their presence.
AUTOIS is the Pronoun AUTOS, that means, “he, she, it”, in the Dative of Sphere, Masculine, Third Person, Plural so we say, “them”.
So far we have, “If I had not done the works among (in the presence of) them.”
This is a reference to every miracle performed by Jesus. They were not designed to alleviate suffering, but they were designed to reveal Christ as Savior and the Father’s plan of grace.
HA is the Relative Pronominal Adjective HOS that means, “who, which, what, that”, in the Accusative, Neuter, Plural.
OUDEIS is a Cardinal Pronominal Adjective in the Nominative, Masculine, Singular that means, “no one, nothing; no; worth nothing, etc.”
ALLOS is an Adjective in the Nominative, Masculine, Singular that means, “another, other, etc.” Combined with OUDEIS above we could say, “no other, or no one else.”
EPOIESEN is the Verb POIEO in the Aorist, Active, Indicative, Third Person, Singular that means, “to make or do.”
The Aorist is again for simple past action – “did”.
The Third Person Singular Active Voice, others or no one else did not fulfill the Father’s Plan, only Jesus Christ did.
The Indicative Mood is for the reality that no one else fulfilled God’s Plan; no one else could ever do these things
Next we have the “then” (Apodasis) Statement. “They would not have sin.”
HAMARTIAN is the Noun HAMARTIA that means “sin” in the Direct Object Accusative, Feminine, Singular.
This is what they would not have if Christ did not come in the First Advent. As noted in Verse 22 this does not mean they would not have any sin; it means they would not have the sin of persecution against Jesus Christ. They would not have the sin of hatred against Jesus Christ. They would not have the sin of hatred toward God the Father.
OUK is the other Greek Negative Particle “not.”
EICHOSAN is the Verb ECHO, that means “to have or hold”, in the Imperfect, Active, Indicative, Third Person, Plural.
The Imperfect is for incomplete past action, “have.” This also indicates our hypothetical scenario. Their sin is in process. Their hatred is fluid.
The Third Person Plural Active Voice, “they” speaking of the Pharisees in their self-righteous, legalistic arrogance.
The Indicative Mood is for the dogmatic fact of the situation, “would.” So we say, “they would have.” This is the Hypothetical scenario, they would not have sin in this category of sinning, i.e. hatred towards Jesus Christ.
Our translation thus far for the “if” statement reads, “If I had not done the works among (in the presence of) them which no one else did, they would not have (this category of) sin.”
Next we have the “contrasting” statement. It begins with, “but now they have both seen and hated…”
NUN DE KAI EORAKASIN
NUN is an Adverb here that means “now or at the present”.
DE is a Superordinating Conjunction that means “but, to the contrary, rather, etc..”
KAI is a Coordinating Conjunction that is closely tied to our next word “seen”. It typically means “and, also, but, even, etc.” In the construction of this sentence with multiple KAIs the first is translated “both” and the one to follow is translated “and.”
EORAKASIN is the Verb HORAO that means, “to see, perceive, etc.” in the Perfect, Active, Indicative, Third Person, Plural. It means to get a perfect panoramic view. The Sanhedrin (Pharisees, Sadducees, etc.) had a panoramic view of the Plan of God via the person of Jesus Christ.
The Perfect Tense is completed past action. They saw and understood who Jesus Christ claimed He was.
The Active Voice tells us the Sanhedrin are the ones who witnessed the life of Jesus.
The Indicative Mood is for the reality that they did come in contact with The Christ.
With the Third Person, Plural we can add “they” representing the Pharisees. So we say, “they (absolutely) have seen (and perceived).”
KAI this is our second Coordinating Conjunction which we translate this time as “and”. This links the “seeing or perceiving with hating” which is our next word.
MEMISEKASIN is the Verb MISEO that means “hate”, also in the Perfect, Active, Indicative, Third Person, Plural. So just as we have in HORAO above, we translate MISEO as completed past action, and therefore, “they have hated.” We have seen MISEO used throughout this chapter. For the first time it is in the perfect tense. It tells us that they hated our Lord in the past and that their hatred will continue into the future.
Our final phrase is “Me and My Father as well.” Which is, “KAI EME KAI TON PATERA MOU.”
KAI is once again a Coordinating Conjunction. This KAI is closely related to the following phrase and we also have a double KAI construction. It is used to add emphasis, so we could say, “also, both, as well, etc.” or with the first KAI “not only” and the second “but also.”
EME is the Personal Pronoun EGO, “I or Me”, in the Direct Object Accusative, First Person, Singular.
KAI is the second Coordinating Conjunction in this structure so we say, “but also.”
TON PATERA is the Article HO, “the” and the Noun PATER in the Direct Object Accusative, Masculine, Singular that means “Father”, signifying God the Father.
MOU is the Personal Pronoun EGO once again but this time in the Possessive Genitive, First Person, Singular that means, “of Me or My.”
So our complete translation of the “then” statement is, “But now they have both seen and hated not only Me but also My Father.”
Our complete translation of John 15:24 is: “If I had not done the works among (in the presence of) them which no one else did, they would not have (this category of) sin. But now they have (absolutely) both seen and hated not only Me but also My Father.”
Jesus pointed to “the works” as evidence of His identity. The works He did were prophesied of the Messiah in the Law and the Prophets. His messianic credentials were presented, but the Jews rejected their validity. His enemies had heard His words and had witnessed his supporting miracles. Their reaction against Him could not have been attributed to ignorance of His words or to a lack of evidence substantiating them. As a result they are without excuse.
Passages in which Jesus stressed His works as a beginning for belief in Him and His message include, John 5:36; 10:37-38; 14:10-11.
John 5:36, “But the testimony which I have is greater than the testimony of John; for the works which the Father has given Me to accomplish—the very works that I do—testify about Me, that the Father has sent Me.”
John 10:37, “If I do not do the works of My Father, do not believe Me; 38but if I do them, though you do not believe Me, believe the works, so that you may know and understand that the Father is in Me, and I in the Father.”
This is a statement of total hatred and total rejection of the Plan of God on the part of the KOSMOS system. Jesus Christ is the primary target, and they keep on hating Him. Since God the Father sent the Son, hatred of the Son is hatred of the Father. Likewise, they hate the Father because Christ reveals Him, John 14:9
The revelation in Jesus and by Jesus is so tied to the Father that to hate Jesus is to hate God. Jesus is the revelation of the Father. If a person does not like what he sees when he views Christ, he will have no love for the Son or the Father.
The Son’s nature is the Father’s nature. To love the nature of one is to love the nature of the other. To dishonor Christ is to dishonor the Father, John 5:23.
John 5:23, “So that all will honor the Son even as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him.”
The coming of Christ has revealed the weight of sin on those who reject Him, John 3:18-20.
Rejection of the Son is rejection of the Father’s Plan and the Father’s grace.
The KOSMOS system hates the Father and the Son and it will try to distort the ministry of the Holy Spirit in this intensified period of the Angelic Conflict.
- In John 15:25 we have the last reason for antagonism from Satan’s Cosmic System which has to do with the Old Testament. Reason #7, The KOSMOS hates the believer because the Old Testament prophesied it.
John 15:25, “But they have done this to fulfill the word that is written in their Law, ‘They hated Me without a cause.’”
The Greek reads: “ ἀλλ’ ἵνα πληρωθῇ ὁ λόγος ὁ ἐν τῷ νόμῳ αὐτῶν γεγραμμένος ὅτι Ἐμίσησάν με δωρεάν. “
Transliterated it reads: “ALL HINA PLEROTHE HO LOGOS HO EN TO NOMO AUTON GEGRAMMENOS HOTI ‘EMISESAN ME DOREAN.”
First we must note that “they have done this” is not found in the original Greek texts. It is implied but is not needed.
ALL is the Coordinating Conjunction of Contrast ALLA that can mean, “but, yet, rather, on the contrary, etc.” It ties together what is to come with the last part of Verse 24, “they have both seen and hated not only Me but also My Father.” It continues the contrast to the second hypothetical scenario found in the first part of Verse 24, “If I had not done the works among them which no one else did, they would not have (this category of) sin.” Because Jesus did come and do the works of His Father, those of Satan’s Cosmic System hate both the Son and the Father, as well as what is to follow in this verse.
HINA is a Superordinating Conjunction that means, “in order that (of purpose); being linked with the following Subjunctive verb. So this is a Conjunction of Purpose, “in order that.”
PLEROTHE is the Verb PLEROO that means, “fulfill, complete, accomplish, make come true, bring about (of Scripture), etc.”, in the Aorist, Passive, Subjunctive, Third Person, Singular.
The Aorist Tense is a simple past tense looking at the entirety of the action of the Bible prophecy of those from Satan’s Cosmic System having hatred toward Jesus Christ.
The Passive Voice tells us the “Word” (LOGOS) receives the action of being fulfilled.
The Subjunctive Mood is for purpose; that scripture will be fulfilled. This is not intended to be for potential, casting a shadow of doubt on whether prophecy will be fulfilled or not. It’s just the opposite, prophecy will be fulfilled. At the same time it represents the decision making authority on the part of those of the KOSMOS. It is their volitional responsibility to choose to hate and persecute the Son and the Father. But nevertheless, this Subjunctive of Purpose tells us that God’s Omniscience and His Word trumps all. God has known from eternity past that they would hate and persecute He and His Son; therefore, He recorded it in prophesy which is always fulfilled. So we say, “might be fulfilled.”
HO LOGOS is the Article plus the Noun both in the Nominative Masculine Singular that means “the Word” referring to the Scriptures.
HO is the Article “the” used here to point out the distinctiveness and identity of the LOGOS. It goes un-translated but helps to define what the LOGOS is, which is given in the following phrase.
EN is the Dative of Place Preposition for “in”, signifying where this prophesy is coming from.
TO NOMO is the article HO, “the” plus the noun NOMOS that means “law”, in the Dative of Place, Masculine, Singular. Here it is referring to the Old Testament in its entirety and not just the Pentateuch because of the passage it is quoting which is actually found in the Psalms.
AUTON is the Pronoun AUTOS that means “of them, or their”, being in the Possessive Genitive, Masculine, Third Person, Plural. This further defines where the prophecies are coming from. The hatred of the Pharisees is prophesied from their own sacred texts. Compare with what Jesus said in John 8:17; 10:34.
John 8:17, “Even in your law it has been written that the testimony of two men is true. 18I am He who testifies about Myself, and the Father who sent Me testifies about Me.”
GEGRAMMENOS is the Participle Verb GRAPHO that means “to write”, in the Perfect, Passive, Nominative, Masculine, Singular.
The Perfect Tense is for completed past action of the writing of this prophecy. It was written in the past, and therefore prophesied in the past.
The Passive Voice is what is called in theology the “Divine Passive” noting that the agent who wrote it is obvious, that being God. The Law (Old Testament) was written by God and given to the Jews first. So we could say, “having been written.”
HOTI typically means “that, because, or for since.” In this sentence scholars debate as to how HOTI is used:
As a Relative Adjective Adverb that modifies the Participle Verb GRAPHO above, we would say, “that is written.” This would give us the translation, “But in order that the Word might be fulfilled that is written in their Law.”
As a simple Conjunction that calls specific attention to the concept being discussed in English we would use quotation marks instead of translating the conjunction. In this usage HOTI serves the purpose of calling specific attention to the content and form of the quotation as do quotation marks in English. This construction would not translate HOTI, but have quotation marks when quoting the following Old Testament scripture. Therefore the translation would be, “But in order that the Word written in their Law might be fulfilled.” Followed by the quoted Old Testament passage.
I am leaning towards the second translation as did Darby and the scholars of the International Standard Version.
Darby’s New Translation, “But that the word written in their law might be fulfilled.”
International Standard Version, “But this happened so that the word written in their Law might be fulfilled.”
“Written in their law”, refers to Psalm 69:4 or Psalm 35:19 which is quoted at the end of this verse.
Psa 69:4, “Those who hate me without a cause are more than the hairs of my head; those who would destroy me are powerful, being wrongfully my enemies; what I did not steal, I then have to restore.”
Psa 35:19, “Do not let those who are wrongfully my enemies rejoice over me; nor let those who hate me without cause wink maliciously.”
“Their law” is the broad designation for the whole of the Old Testament, not merely the Torah or Pentateuch.
- The Jews divided their Scriptures into three parts: the Law, the Prophets, and the Psalms, Luke 24:44. Sometimes the Psalms were called the Writings. The alternative title Psalms is for the first book of that group.
- In this statement “law” refers specifically to the Psalms quoted.
Jesus referred to the Scriptures as “your law” and here as “their law.” Compare John 8:17, “Even in your law it has been written that the testimony of two men is true.”
The Savior never included Himself with the people by saying “our law.” He is the author of the Law and not a fellow subject of it.
This is not to say that He failed to keep it, He kept every jot and tittel.
The allusion is the hatred of the Jews toward Jesus who is the promised Messiah, John 1:11.
John 1:11, “He came to His own, and those who were His own did not receive Him.”
Therefore the final phrase of Verse 25 is the prophecy, ‘They hated Me without a cause.’
Transliterated it is: “‘EMISESAN ME DOREAN.”
‘EMISESAN is the Verb MISEO once again for “hate” in the Aorist, Active, Indicative, Third Person, Plural. The Aorist Tense views the entirety of the action in the past. They hated Him previously and they continue to hate Him.
The Third Person Plural, Active Voice, the Pharisees and those of Satan’s Cosmic System (they) are the ones producing hatred towards Jesus Christ.
The Indicative Mood is for the fact of reality that they hated Jesus according to prophecy.
ME is the Personal Pronoun EGO, “I or Me” in the Direct Object Accusative, First Person, Singular. Jesus Christ is the one being hated by the Jews in fulfillment of prophecy.
DOREAN (dor-reh-an’) is an Adverb that can mean, “without cost, as a free gift; for nothing, needlessly (Gal 2:21); without cause or for no reason.” Formally DOREAN was the Accusative of DOREA that means, “a gift, or freely”, but since around the Fifth Century before Christ (Herodotus) it has functioned as an Adverb meaning both “freely, without cost” and “without a cause, or reason.”
Therefore, “They hated Me for no reason”, means Jesus was not guilty of any crime, He had done no injury to His people or to any individual.
Our complete translation of John 15:25 is: “But in order that the Word written in their Law might be fulfilled, ‘they hated Me without cause’.”
Psa 69:4, “Those who hate me without a cause are more than the hairs of my head; those who would destroy me are powerful, being wrongfully my enemies; what I did not steal, I then have to restore.”
Outline of Psalm 69
This Psalm seems entirely prophetic of Christ. It is the most quoted Psalm in the New Testament.
The Hebrew word SHOSHANNIM means “according to the lilies” and has the allusion of a wedding song or may simply be addressing the horn section which resembled the flower. As a wedding song it addresses the groom, Jesus Christ.
- It speaks to the deep abasement of our Lord in Verses 2-5.
- His prayer for His disciples and followers, Verse 69:6.
- His prayer for Himself, in the garden of Gethsemane, Verses 15-19.
- His crucifixion, Verses 20-22.
- The vengeance of God against the Jews, Verses 23-29.
- The glorious manner in which He gets out of all His sufferings, Verse 30.
- The abolition of the Mosaic rites and ceremonies, Verse 31, compared with Isa 66:3.
- The establishment of the Gospel through the whole world, Verses 33-36.
John 15:24-25 amplifies the thought in Verses 22-23.
Jesus’ miracles were so distinctive that their significance was unmistakable; they signified the Christ.
- The Jewish nation should have truly confessed as Nicodemus did, “No one could perform the miraculous signs You are doing if God were not with Him”, John 3:2.
- But the nation as a whole rejected both Jesus and the Father because in their sins they loved darkness rather than light, John 3:19.
The Pharisees thought they were serving God in rejecting Jesus, John 16:2-3, but in reality they were serving Satan and His Cosmic System, John 8:44.
John 8:44, “You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies.”
Sin is basically irrational. Their hatred of Jesus was without any rational cause which also fits the pattern of hatred for righteous people, as seen in those who hated David, Psa 109:3.
As we saw in Verse 22, “They have no excuse for their sin.”, likewise here, “They can give no reason for their hatred.” This will be especially true on the Day of Judgment, the Great White Throne of Jesus Christ.
No being on earth has ever been more hated, despised or neglected than our Lord Jesus Christ, and in every instance it has been “without a cause.”
Vs. 26-27, The Spirit Leads Us in Triumph
As we noted in Verse 25, the Word of God is always given to us as an encouragement when dealing with Satan’s Cosmic System. Likewise, it is power and strength to overcome.
Now in Verse 26 we have the other enabling Divine power given to us by both the Father and Son, so that we have strength and encouragement in order to be victorious while living the spiritual life in the midst of Satan’s Cosmic System. The power – The ministry of God the Holy Spirit.
John 15:26, “When the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, that is, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will bear witness/testify about Me,” Verse 26 ends with a comma.
The Greek reads: “ Ὅταν ἔλθῃ ὁ Παράκλητος ὃν ἐγὼ πέμψω ὑμῖν παρὰ τοῦ Πατρός, τὸ Πνεῦμα τῆς ἀληθείας ὃ παρὰ τοῦ Πατρὸς ἐκπορεύεται, ἐκεῖνος μαρτυρήσει περὶ ἐμοῦ, “
Transliterated it reads: “HOTAN ELTHE HO PARAKLETOS HON EGO PEMPSO HUMIN PARA TOU PATROS, TO PNEUMA TES ALETHEIAS HO PARA TOU PATROS EKPOREUETAI, EKEINOS MARTURESEI PERI EMOU,”
We begin with, “when the Helper comes”:
HOTAN is the Subordinating Conjunction that means “when or whenever.” It is a Temporal Particle used primarily with the Subjunctive mood. It gives us an Indefinite Temporal Clause. Therefore, you can assume that something will occur, even be repeated, but the exact time of that occurrence cannot be established.
ELTHE is the Verb ERCHOMAI that means, “to come, or go”, in the Aorist, Active, Subjunctive, Third Person, Singular. In this construction it tells us of the probability of the coming of God the Holy Spirit without reference to timeframe, (His indwelling ministry).
The Aorist Tense views the entirety of the action from Christ’s asking of the Father, to the sending of the Spirit by both the Son and Father, to the actual permanent indwelling of every Church Age believer, to His empowering and enabling witness inside each believer.
The Active Voice tells us the Holy Spirit will come at some point in the future.
The Subjunctive Mood used in this Indefinite Temporal Clause indicates a future contingency. We will say, “comes.”
HO PARAKLETOS is the Article, “the” plus the noun that means “to call to one’s aide.” It has come to mean, “helper, advocate or comforter” in regard to the Holy Spirit. It is in the Subject Nominative, Masculine, Singular. God the Holy Spirit will come at some point in the future in relation to the time of Jesus speaking. As we know, He came on the day of Pentecost, 50 Days after our Lord’s resurrection and 10 days after His ascension.
So we have, “Whenever the Helper (Holy Spirit) comes.”
Then we have “whom I will send to you from the Father.”
HON is the Relative, Pronominal, Adjective HOS in the, Accusative, Masculine, Singular. It means “who, which, what, or that.” As a Relative Pronoun we will say “whom.” It indicates the one sent, i.e., the Helper.
EGO is a Pronoun for, “I or Me” in the Nominative, First Person, Singular. Jesus is the one who is sending the Holy Spirit according to this verse. Once again we see that both the Son and the Father are senders of God the Holy Spirit; Unity in Trinity.
PEMPSO is the Verb PEMPO that means, “to send or dispatch”, in the Future, Active, Indicative, First Person, Singular.
The Predictive Future Tense, Jesus will send the Holy Spirit at some future point in time, the day of Pentecost as we now know.
The Active Voice, Jesus Christ is the member of the Trinity that will dispatch the Holy Spirit.
The Indicative Mood is for the fact of reality that Christ will send the Spirit. So we say, “will send.”
HUMIN is the Second Person, Plural, Pronoun SU, “you”, in the Dative of Advantage. It is to our advantage that Jesus sends the Spirit. The Dative also gives direction, “to”, and the plural means that every believer in the Church Age will receive God the Holy Spirit. So we say, “to you all”
PARA is a Preposition in the Genitive of Source that means, “from (the source of)”.
TOU PATROS is the Article HO “the”, plus the Noun PATER that means “Father” in the Genitive of Source, Masculine, Singular. God the Father is the source of God the Holy Spirit; Unity in Trinity.
- As we noted previously in John 14:16, & 26, the Father is the one who sends the Holy Spirit at the request of or in the name of Jesus.
- But here we see that Jesus is the one who does the sending. He will reiterate this principle, “that it is an advantage to the believer to send God the Holy Spirit”, in John 16:7.
- Likewise, after His resurrection Jesus tells the disciples of the sending of the Holy Spirit once again, Luke 24:49.
- The actual giving of the Holy Spirit for the first time, and therefore the Birthday of the Church is found in Acts 2:1-4.
- The confirmation of the sending of the Spirit is given by Peter in Acts 2:33.
So we have, “Whom I (Jesus) will send to you all from (the source of) the Father.”
Our next clause is “that is the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father.”
“that is” is not in the original Greek text but is added to add emphasis to the identification of the Helper.
TO PNEUMA is the article HO, “the”, plus the noun that means “Spirit”, in the Nominative, Neuter, Singular. So we have, “the Spirit”, speaking of God the Holy Spirit (the Helper) as the one being sent by Jesus Christ from the Father.
TES ALETHEIAS is the Article HO, “the” plus the Noun ALETHEIA that means “truth”, in the Genitive, Feminine, Singular. The word truth here is reference to the Bible Doctrine that the Spirit will teach to and communicate through Church Age believers. So we say, “the Spirit of Truth (Bible Doctrine)”
HO is not an article here; see the difference in the Greek spelling above. Here it is the Relative, Pronominal, Adjective HOS, as we had above, but this time in the Nominative, Neuter, Singular to go with PNEUMA above. It means “who, which, what, or that.” Here it can mean, “which or who.” We will translate it “who” to give identification of God the Holy Spirit as a person versus a thing.
PARA is a Preposition in the Genitive of Source case once again, “from (the source of).”
TOU PATROS is the article HO, “the”, and the Noun PATER, “Father” in the Genitive of Source, Masculine, Singular.
EKPOREUETAI is the Verb EKPOREUOMAI that means, “to go, to make to go forth or to go forth”, in the Present, Passive Deponent, Indicative, Third Person, Singular. It comes from the Preposition EK that means “from or from out of”, and the verb POREUOMAI that means “to go”, which is from POROS that means, “passage”. So EKPOREUOMAI can mean “to set out on a journey” as it does in Mark 10:17.
The Gnomic Present Tense is for a timeless general fact that the Spirit comes from the source of God and into the believer of the Church Age.
The Passive Deponent Voice: The Passive indicates that the Holy Spirit is sent by the Son and Father but the Deponent gives this Passive an Active meaning, which says that the Spirit Himself proceeds from the Father. He performs the action of proceeding. So we see that all three members of the Trinity are involved in the sending of God the Holy Spirit to Church Age believers.
The Indicative Mood is for the reality of the going forth of God the Holy Spirit from the Father.
Here we will translate it “proceeds” as it is in Mat 4:4; 15:11, 18; Mark 7:21, 27; and Eph 4:29.
So we have, “That is, the Spirit of Truth (Bible Doctrine) who proceeds from (the source of) the Father.”
Our final phrase is, “He will bear witness/testify about Me.”
EKEINOS is the emphatic Demonstrative Pronoun which means “that” in the Subject Nominative, Masculine, Singular. As a Pronoun we could say “that one” in reference to the Holy Spirit or just utilize the English Pronoun “He.” I will stick to the more literal translation.
MARTURESEI is the Verb MARTUREO that means, “to bear witness or testify”, in the Future, Active, Indicative, Third Person, Singular. It is from the word MARTUS that means “witness”, where we get our word martyr from.
The Future Tense indicates that upon the universal indwelling of God the Holy Spirit during the Church Age, His mission is to proclaim the Savior, Jesus Christ.
The Third Person, Active Voice, God the Holy Spirit is the one who will bear witness of Jesus Christ.
The Indicative Mood is for the reality of His mission during the Church Age. This is the mission of the PARAKLETOS, John 16:7-15, as it should be ours. So we will say, “will bear witness.”
PERI is a Preposition in the Genitive of Reference Case that means, “about, concerning, or around”, that denotes place, cause or subject. Here it is the cause, mission or ministry of the PARAKLETOS, God the Holy Spirit.
EMOU is the Pronoun EGO, “I or Me”, in the Genitive of Reference, First Person, Singular. Jesus is referring to Himself as the one which will be proclaimed. We could say “of Me”, but with PERI above we will simply say, “concerning Me.”
So we have, “That One will bear witness concerning Me.”
Our complete translation of John 15:26 is: “Whenever the Helper (God the Holy Spirit) comes, whom I (Jesus) will send to you all from (the source of) the Father, that is, the Spirit of Truth, (Bible Doctrine), who proceeds from (the source of) the Father, that One will bear witness concerning Me.”
So we have the ministry of the Holy Spirit throughout the intensified stage of the Angelic Conflict.
- The antidote to the antagonism of the world is found in the Word as stated in Verse 25 and the witness of the Holy Spirit found in Verse 26.
- Some translations render the Greek word PARAKLETOS “Advocate, Counselor, Helper”, etc. All these add to the idea involved in the third person of the Trinity and the function of the Holy Spirit; however, they all are short of the mark.
- Though other passages describe different characteristics, in this verse the Spirit’s work of testifying about Christ is highlighted.
- He will give that testimony of Christ through the apostles and disciples of the Church Age.
- The word PARAKLETOS is a word with legal associations, suggesting our lawyer or advocate.
- In other words, the Spirit has as His task the conduct of the case of Christ before the world. He is part of the prosecution dream team that supplies the evidence leading to a guilty verdict of Satan and His Cosmic System.
- We are to leave the ultimate defense of Christ to His powerful pleading and argument through us, rather than trying to fight against or clean up the devil’s world through our own human power, resources and assets.
- PARAKLETOS is an operational title in connection with His communication of Bible Doctrine; whereby, we can have an Edification Complex of the Soul, (ECS), so that we can stand up against the pressure of Satan’s Cosmic System.
- In order to build our ECS we need the Grace Apparatus for Perception, (GAP), to teach us the Word of God. GAP is the teaching ministry of God the Holy Spirit.
- Once we have learned and stored God’s Word within our soul we will be able to be a witness for the prosecution in the appeal trial of this Angelic Conflict.
- “Whom I will send”, tells us what Jesus will do for the apostles, and us, after His Resurrection and Ascension.
- This statement is another declaration of Christ’s equality with the Father. There is no stronger evidence of His claim to deity than this, other than perhaps, “I and the Father are one.”
- This passage and the one to follow gives evidence that God’s plan will continue on the earth after Christ has ascended. It comes from two sources: in Verse 26, the ministry of the Spirit; in Verse 27, the ministry of every believer.
John 15:26 identifies what in theology is called “The Procession of the Holy Spirit.”
L.S. Chafer states, “The order, (of the great commission – baptize in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit), reflects what has been termed the Doctrine of Procession. The idea of procession is based on what seems to be the uncomplicated teaching of the Bible with respect to the relation existing between the Persons of the Godhead. In recognition of the Scriptures the great creeds have made explicit averments.
The Nicene Creed states: “And I believe in the Holy Ghost, the Lord and giver of life, who proceedeth from the Father and the Son, who, with the Father and Son together, is worshipped and glorified” (quoted by Watson, Theological Institutes, I, 628).
So, also, the Athanasian Creed declares: “The Holy Ghost is of the Father and of the Son, neither made, nor created, nor begotten, but proceeding” (quoted by Watson, loc. cit.).
Likewise the Thirty-Nine Articles state: “The Holy Ghost, proceeding from the Father and the Son, is of one substance, majesty, and glory, with the Father and the Son, very and eternal GOD” (quoted by Watson, loc. cit.).
And the Westminster Confession asserts: “In the unity of the Godhead there be three persons of one substance, power, and eternity; God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost. The Father is of none, neither begotten nor proceeding; the Son is eternally begotten of the Father; the Holy Ghost eternally proceeding from the Father and the Son” (II. III).
Psalm 104:30, R.V. declares of Jehovah, “Thou sendest forth thy Spirit.”
Likewise Christ said: “But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceeds from the Father, he shall testify of me: . . . Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I do not go away, the Comforter will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send him to you” (John 15:26; 16:7).
The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of God and of Christ, not merely the spiritual presence of the Father or the Son; He is the Spirit of the ‘Father because He is sent of the Father, and He is the Spirit of Christ in that He is sent of Christ. As the Son is ever the manifestation of the Father (John 1:18), so the Spirit is sent forth from both the Father and the Son. These are eternal facts of relationship which, though but little comprehended by men, represent mighty realities within the God-head.
It is also important to note that the Holy Spirit—as His name appears in the full title of the Godhead—though ever sent by Father and Son, is eternally equal to the Father or to the Son. The great revelations that the Son is begotten of the Father and that the Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son must be kept unconfused with human relationships; for, while the Scriptures assuredly present the Doctrine of Procession, these same Scriptures as certainly announce the absolute equality of the Persons within the God-head.”
Then in John 15:27 we have, “and you will testify also, because you have been with Me from the beginning.”
The Greek reads: “ καὶ ὑμεῖς δὲ μαρτυρεῖτε, ὅτι ἀπ’ ἀρχῆς μετ’ ἐμοῦ ἐστε. “
Transliterated it is: “KAI HUMEIS DE MARTUREITE, HOTI AP ARCHES MET EMOU ESTE”
We begin with, “And you will testify also.”
KAI is used here as an Adjective to complement the following Pronoun. So we say, “also”.
HUMEIS is the Second Person Personal Pronoun SU, “you” in the Subject Nominative, Plural so it means, “you all”, speaking of the disciples in the Upper Room. They are the ones who will too be witnesses for Christ.
DE is the Coordinating Conjunction that means “but, to the contrary, rather; and; now, then, so, etc.” It ties together Verse 26 with Verse 27, the ministry of the Holy Spirit with our personal individual ministries. In English we place this at the beginning of the verse.
MARTUREITE is our verb MARTUREO that means, “to bear witness, or testify.” It is in the Present, Active, Indicative, Second Person, Plural.
The Futuristic Present Tense describes what will begin on the day of Pentecost with the connotation of immediacy and certainty, i.e., “you will bear witness.”
The Second Person, Plural, Active Voice, ties in the disciples as the witnesses for Christ. The positive believer of the Church Age is a witness for the prosecution (God), during this intensified stage of the Angelic Conflict.
The Indicative Mood is for the reality of the mature positive believer being a witness for Christ.
So we have, “And you also will bear witness.”
At a basic level all believers are witnesses for Christ due to their non-meritorious act of faith in the Cross of Jesus Christ and resultant salvation. He won them at the Cross for all of eternity.
Here we note that “you also” as well as the Holy Spirit are witnesses for Christ. You also when filled with and taught by the Holy Spirit the things concerning Jesus are His witnesses. Unfortunately, it is here that Christians fail most.
Then we have, “because you have been with Me from the beginning.”
HOTI is a Subordinating Conjunction that means, “that, or because.” Here it introduces a causal clause. This is the reason they are qualified to be His witnesses.
AP is the Preposition APO in the Genitive of Time that means “from, away from, etc.”
ARCHES is the noun ARCHE in the Genitive of Time, Feminine, Singular that means, “beginning, first, etc.” This stresses the time they spent with Jesus, “from the beginning.”
MET is the Preposition META which is in the Genitive of Association Case that means “with, in company with, among, by, in, on the side of, against, etc.”
EMOU is the Pronoun EGO, “I or Me”, that is also in the Genitive of Association, First Person, Singular. The disciples where associated with Him since the beginning of His ministry.
ESTE is Verb EIMI that means “to be, is, are, etc.” in the Present, Active, Indicative, Second Person, Plural.
In the Second Person Plural we can add “you all”.
The Extending from Past Present Tense indicates action which begun in the past and continues in the present with emphasis on present time. They “have been” with Christ since the beginning of His ministry.
The Active Voice, the disciples produce the action of being with Christ during His ministry.
The Indicative Mood is for the fact of reality of the disciples being in His presence; under His ministry since its inception. We will translate ESTE as “you all have been.”
So we have for the last section, “Because you all have been with me from the beginning (of my ministry).” as in John 14:9.
They were chosen to be with Christ by Christ, Mark 3:14.
Mark 3:14, “And He appointed twelve, so that they would be with Him and that He could send them out to preach.”
Our complete translation of John 15:27 is: “And you also will bear witness, because you all have been with me from the beginning (of My ministry).”
- This is a reference, first of all to the disciples. When the Church Age begins they will bear witness of Christ, Acts 2:1-47; 5:32.
Acts 5:32, “And we are witnesses of these things; and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey Him.”
- This witnessing principle has been perpetuated from the disciples right down to us today.
- So there are two things which counter-attack the antagonisms from the devil’s world: the ministry of the Holy Spirit and the witness of the gospel through the individual believer.
- The testimony of the Spirit and of the disciples is, to use Christ’s own words, “of Me.” That underlines the fundamental message of Christianity. It is of Christ.
- Any message that fails to set forth truly and triumphantly the sovereign and saving Messiah, Jesus Christ, can hardly claim to be the witness that pleases Him, or the witness of the Spirit of God.
- Jesus said in John 12:32, “And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all peoples to Myself.” When we preach our own experiences, people may be interested, but it awakens no real sense of need for a Savior in them.
- But once Jesus Christ is “lifted up,” the Spirit of God creates an awareness of the need for Him.
- The creative power of the redemption of God works in the souls of men only through the preaching of the gospel.
- It is never the sharing of personal experiences that saves people, but the Truth of redemption.
John 6:63, “It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life.”
John Chapter 15 Summary
(The Garden of Gethsemane Discourse)
After completing the Upper Room Discourse our Lord moves the group to the Garden of Gethsemane, John 14:31c, “arise let us go from here.” Beginning in Chapter 15 they are heading toward the Garden of Gethsemane where many times before they had spent the night.
On the road to the Garden they would have passed through the valley of Kidron where there were vineyards along the way. This may have been the inspiration for what we have in the first half of the chapter, or perhaps they passed by the temple with its golden vine decorations, or both. Our Lord seeing the vines and vineyards used them as an analogy for explaining the believer’s Divine Good production for the Church Age in Verses 1-17.
This chapter outlines three relationships that are part of every believer’s experience:
- Relationship with God, (Jesus and the Father), vs. 1-11,
- Relationship with other believers, 12-17, and
- Relationship with the indifferent and hostile world of nonbelievers, 18-27.
In Verse 1 we have the analogy of the Son and Father as the Vine and Vinedresser respectfully. Note that vinedresser is actually the Greek word, GEORGOS, (gheh-ore-gos’), that means, “tiling the ground, a farmer, a husbandman,” or as we would say, “a gentlemen farmer, or tenant farmer.” In other words, God the Father is both the owner of the land and the worker of the land.
Jesus Christ is the Vine that provides the invaluable nutrients to the branches. That is analogous to our Lord providing us the spiritual food we need daily in order to produce Divine Good.
God the Father, as the “tenant farmer”, works within our lives by first providing a plan for our lives, then by providing our Logistical Grace blessings, our Portfolio of Invisible Assets, etc., and Divine discipline when necessary.
In Verse 2 we are given the “branch” analogy which stands for the believer in the Church Age, (“every branch in Me”). The branch does not stand alone but is attached to the vine where it receives its value nutrients, (spiritual food). The branch is also the conduit for producing the fruit of the vine. Therefore, Divine Good Production, though produced by the believer, is actually the fruit of our Lord Jesus Christ based on His Word and Spirit in us.
The “taking away” of branches is the removal of believers from earth due to the believer’s prolonged reversionism, where they are not producing Divine Good, resulting in the Sin Unto Death; a dishonorable discharge. This is the third and final stage of God’s Divine Discipline towards the reversionistic believer, 1 Cor 11:30. These believers go to heaven and no longer have the opportunity to glorify God in time through Divine Good Production.
The “pruning process” is for the positive believer who is producing fruit on a consistent basis. This pruning is design to weed out any remaining garbage in your soul from Satan’s Cosmic System, which is non-productive distractions, so that you produce even more fruit. That is the “bears fruit” to “bear more fruit” analogy.
Sometimes this includes going through various trials and tribulations, and sometimes it may include stages 1 and 2 of God’s Divine Discipline for correction in your spiritual walk, Prov 3:11-12; 12:1; 15:32-33; Heb 12:5-11; Rev 3:19.
Heb 12:5-6, “My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor faint when you are reproved by Him; 6For those whom the Lord loves He disciplines, and He scourges every son whom He receives.”
Heb 12:11, “All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness.”
Prov 15:32-33, “He who neglects discipline despises himself, but he who listens to reproof acquires understanding. 33The fear of the LORD is the instruction for wisdom, and before honor comes humility.”
Then in Verse 3 our Lord reminds the disciples of their position in Christ. He reminds them that they have bathed already, the Greek word KATHAROS also used in John 13:10, speaking of their eternal security in salvation.
This was a poetic play on words by our Lord where in Verse 2 the word for “takes away” is AIRO (ah’-ee-ro), and the word for prunes is KATHAIRO (kath-ah’-ee-ro), and then contrasted with KATHAROS.
You see it is the believer who is absolutely confident in his eternal security that is able to produce Divine Good. The believer who doubts his salvation or fears he can lose his salvation cannot produce Divine Good because he is always working to gain or maintain his salvation, which is false motivation and counterfeit to the Plan of God. Therefore, his works are at best wood, hay and straw of 1 Cor 3:10-15.
Next in Verse 4 we have the means of Divine Good Production, the spiritual nutrients supplied by the Vine, the mind of our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, we must have consistent intake and application of God’s Word if we are going to produce Divine Good.
In Verse 5, for the believer who is consistent in their intake and application, they will grow spiritually and produce even more fruit, “bears much fruit.” So now we have seen three stages of Divine Good Production, “bears fruit”, “bear more fruit” and “bears much fruit.” Each stage parallels the three stages of Spiritual Adulthood; Spiritual Self-Esteem, Spiritual Autonomy, Spiritual Maturity.
Apart from walking with Christ, “abiding in Him”, on a daily basis we cannot grow spiritually, and therefore cannot produce Divine Good.
Verse 6 then gets back to the subject of Divine Discipline and especially the third stage, the Sin Unto Death scenario. This is not referring to being sent to Hell or the Eternal Lake of Fire, it is only an analogy compared to what was going on in the actual vineyards. It is the removing of dried up, useless and dead branches so that the healthy branches can grow even better. It is the analogy of the Sin Unto Death where the ultra reversionistic believer is removed from planet earth and yet brought to heaven, albeit under a dishonorable discharge. Remember John 10:28-30 regarding our eternal security.
John 10:27-30, “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; 28and I give ETERNAL life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand. 29My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. 30I and the Father are one.”
Then in Verse 7 our Lord introduces the protocol for prayer once again. Here we are told that when we are walking in fellowship with The Lord Jesus Christ our prayers will be answered. Therefore, we must recognize the importance of prayer in producing Divine Good Production.
This demonstrates in yet another way that it is not our human resources and assets that produce Divine Good but God’s power and provisions.
When praying regarding Divine Good Production we must pray for ourselves to be supplied both physically and spiritually to perform the task at hand, as well as, for the situation or person; the object of our Divine Good Production.
In Verse 8, when we produce Diving Good, God is glorified.
Divine Good is only possible when we are Occupied with the Person / Word of our Lord Jesus Christ, and our prayers are the reflection of that Occupation as we invoke God to lead us in Divine Good Production, with the purpose that the Father is glorified.
The purpose for our salvation is to glorify God to the maximum, and that doesn’t happen until Spiritual Maturity because consistent fruit bearing does not happen until Spiritual Adulthood. Therefore, the believer’s goal should be to grow to spiritual adulthood.
Then in Verses 9-10 the overall theme of these discourses is introduced once again, AGAPE love.
Jesus as our Prototype for the Spiritual life demonstrated His AGAPE love by fulfilling the Father’s will and plan. Therefore, we too demonstrate our AGAPE love for Jesus Christ and God the Father with the results of Divine Good Production, by learning and applying God’s Word / the mind of Christ, “keeping His commandments.”
In Verse 11 we have a benefit from “abiding in Christ”, which is, “Christ’s joy in you”, that is having inner peace, happiness and contentment, sharing the Happiness of God, (+H), the 9th of the 11 Problem Solving Devices, as a result of having God’s Word resident within your soul.
In Verse 12 Jesus then repeats the “new commandment” that He gave in John 13:34. With the repetition He builds upon what He previously taught by clarifying what it means to love “as I have loved you” in Verse 13.
In Verse 13 the greatest AGAPE love we can have is to “lay down our lives for our friends.” “Friend” is speaking of believers only, as noted in Verse 14 and James 2:23. And potentially could be refined to only spiritually mature believers.
James 2:23, “And Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness,” and he was called the friend of God.”
What did Abraham do to be “a friend of God?” He believed!
A friend is someone who keeps the Word of God resident within their soul; “If you do what I command you.”
In Verse 15 we have the promise of God’s great disclosure to the believers of the Church Age. No longer will this “mystery Dispensation” be a mystery.
God held many things mysterious to the Old Testament saints. He did not disclose to them in any detail this Age which we now live in. But to us, the mystery of God’s grace dispensation is revealed via the New Testament and completed Canon of Scripture.
Therefore, the Church Age believer has a unique opportunity for relationship with both the Father and Son as never before. This is especially due to the PARAKLETOS, the indwelling of the Holy Spirit as seen in Chapters 13-14.
In Verse 16a, we have the principle of God’s election of the believer, which also speaks to our eternal security.
And in 16b we are given the protocol for our prayers once again. The protocol includes:
- All prayers are directed to God the Father only.
- We offer our prayers to the Father in the Name of Jesus Christ.
- God will answer your prayers, the confidence factor.
Then in Verse 17 Jesus repeats the new commandment in summary of the Divine Good Production parable, “to love one another.”
As we noted “this” is the plural of HOUTOS which should be translated “these things” speaking of a multitude of factors that Jesus has just taught, all of which build capacity for the believer to be able to AGAPE love.
Therefore, AGAPE love has a capacity basis. The capacity basis is Bible Doctrine resident in your soul. The more Doctrine you have, the greater your capacity for love and the greater your capacity for blessing.
Moving to Verse 18 our Lord begins a new discussion regarding the believer’s relationship to the world. Remember He just finished describing the believer’s relationship to Himself as “no longer slaves but friends” and now He contrasts that with the believer’s relationship with the world.
“The world” is KOSMOS, Satan’s Cosmic System, and the believer’s relationship with Satan’s Cosmic System is that it hates him. This hatred is based on the believer’s relationship to Jesus Christ, as Satan hates the Lord Jesus Christ. Since Christ is in you, Satan’s Cosmic System hates you too.
In Verse 19 we see that as an unbeliever Satan’s Cosmic System embraced you, but now as a believer Satan’s Cosmic System hates you.
In Verse 20 Jesus expands on the subject of the world’s hatred for the believer, by repeating the Doctrine of John 13:16, “a slave is not greater than his Lord.” Therefore, due to the believer’s relationship with the Lord he is hated by Satan’s Cosmic System.
He then defines the world’s hatred as “persecutions.” Persecution is the demonstration of the world’s hatred. This is in contrast to the overall theme of these discourses, where self-sacrifice is the demonstration of the believer’s AGAPE love for all mankind.
Therefore, hatred is demonstrated through persecutions and love is demonstrated through self-sacrifice.
Our Lord then gives us the reason why the world hates Him and the believer, because they do not have the Word of God resident within their souls.
In Verse 21 Jesus defines the haters of this world as the “religious crowd.” So we see that in the Name of Jesus Christ, the religious crowd will persecute true believers. Likewise, because of the person of Christ, the religious crowd will persecute true believers. This group is further defined as people who “do not know God the Father.” They do not know the Father because they do not know His Word.
In Verse 22-23 these persecuting haters have no excuse for their hatred, because the Word, Will and Plan of God the Father has been revealed to them in the person of Jesus Christ whom they reject. Even though their hatred is directed towards Jesus, they are demonstrating their hatred towards the Father having rejected His Word, Will and Plan.
In Verse 24, the Word, Will and Plan of the Father were demonstrated to them by Jesus during His incarnation in the performance of the many signs, miracles and wonders in fulfilment of Old Testament prophecy.
In Verse 25 we see that none of this has caught Jesus or the Father off guard. They are not shocked at this behavior because they have known it since before the foundation of the world, and they prophesized about it in Psa 35:19; 69:4.
Then at the conclusion of Chapter 15 in Verses 26-27 the Holy Spirit is introduced once again. This is now the third mention of the Spirit, and our Lord continues to build upon what He previously taught regarding the Spirit’s ministry.
This ministry of God the Holy Spirit is to evangelize. This is what we call the “Common Grace” ministry of the Holy Spirit, where He acts in the place of a human spirit for the unbeliever and makes the gospel message understandable to them when they give it a hearing. In addition, this indicates the empowering and enabling ministry of the Holy Spirit in the life of the believer who is led by the Spirit to actually present the gospel of Jesus Christ.
The final point is that this too is a commissioning of the disciples, who would become apostles, to build the early church. They would do so through the enabling power of the Holy Spirit.
The Complete Translation of John Chapter 15
John 15:1, “I AM the True Vine and My Father is (has been and will always be), the Vinedresser.”
John 15:2, “Every branch, (Church Age believer), in Me, (in union with Jesus Christ the Vine), that does not bear fruit, (no Divine good production), He, (God the Father), takes it, (non-fruit bearing Church Age believer), away, (Divine discipline); But everyone bearing fruit (mature believers) He (God the Father) prunes it (Undeserved Suffering) in order that it should bear more fruit (Divine good production).”
John 15:3, “You all (believers only) are already clean because of the Word (Gospel of Jesus Christ) that I (Jesus) have spoken to you all.”
John 15:4, “You all abide in (the sphere of) Me, (as I want you to), and (when you do) I (will abide) in you. As the branch (believer) is not able to produce fruit (Divine Good) by means of itself, unless it (the branch / believer) abides in the sphere of the Vine (Bible Doctrine), so neither are you all able to (produce Divine Good), unless you all abide in the sphere of”
John 15:5, “I am the Vine, you the branches. He who abides in the sphere of Me and I in the sphere of him, this one brings forth much fruit. For since apart from Me you are not able to do, (produce Divine good), in any respect.”
John 15:6, “If any believer does not abide in Me, (is not Occupied with Me), He (the reversionistic believer) is thrown away (Divine discipline) as a branch and he withers away; and they, (servants of the Vinedresser – Angels), gather them, (reversionistic believers), and they throw them into the fire; and they, (reversionistic believers), are consumed (Sin Unto Death).”
John 15:7, “If, (and maybe,) you are occupied with Me, and, (maybe,) you are occupied with My words, (Bible Doctrine), begin to ask whatever you all desire and it, (your prayer petitions), will come to pass, (be answered).”
John 15:8, “In the realm of this, (Divine Good Production), My Father is glorified that you all keep on bearing much fruit and you all become My disciples.”
John 15:9, “Just as the Father (has, does and will forever) love Me, I also love you all; You all abide in the sphere of My love.”
John 15:10, “If you, (maybe you will and maybe you will not), persist in obedience to My commandments, then you will abide in the sphere of My love; just as I have persistently observed the commandments of My Father, and therefore abide in the sphere of His love.”
John 15:11, “These Doctrines I have spoken (taught verbally) to you all (disciples), in order that My joy (+H) might keep on being in the sphere of you all, and your joy (+H) might be made full.”
John 15:12, “This keeps on being My commandment, that you all (believers) love one another (fellow believers), just as I loved you all.”
John 15:13, “No one has greater love than this; that someone lay down his life on behalf of his beloved (fellow members of the Royal Family of God).”
John 15:14, “You all are and you keep on being My loved ones (friends), if you all, (maybe you will and maybe you will not), keep on doing what I myself command you.”
John 15:15, “I no longer call (designate) you all bond-servants, for the bond-servant does not know what his master is doing. To the contrary, I have called (designated) you all friends (loved ones). For everything I heard from My Father I have begun to make known to you all.”
John 15:16, “You all yourselves did not choose Me, on the contrary I Myself have chosen you all and appointed you all for the purpose that you might keep on going out (under the authority of God’s Word), and you all might keep on bearing fruit (Divine Good Production), and your fruit, it might keep on remaining (with the result of eternal rewards), for the purpose that whatever you all ask the Father in (the sphere of) My name (God’s protocol plan for our prayers), He (God the Father) may give to you all (answered prayers).”
John 15:17, “These things I command you all, with the goal that you all love one another.”
John 15:18, “If the world (Satan’s Cosmic System) hates you all (and it does), then you all keep on knowing (remembering), that it (Satan’s Cosmic System) has hated and still hates Me before (it hated) you all.”
John 15:19, “If you all were from the world, (Satan’s Cosmic System), (but you are not), the world would keep on having rapport love for its own, (you as an unbeliever), (but it does not); because to the contrary you are absolutely not from the world, rather I chose you for myself out from the world, for this reason the world (Satan’s Cosmic System) keeps on hating you all (the believer).”
John 15:20, “Remember My Word that I said (taught) to you all, if they persecuted Me (and they have), they will also persecute you all, (and they will). The servant is not greater than his master, (the believer in comparison to the Lord Jesus Christ); If they persecuted Me (and they have), they will also persecute you all, (and they will). If they kept My Word (Bible Doctrine) and they have, they will also keep yours (Bible Doctrine).”
John 15:21, “But all these things, (persecutions), they, (those of Satan’s Cosmic System), will do to you all (disciples of the Lord) for the sake of My (Jesus’) name. Because they (self-righteous legalistic religious types) inherently do not know the One (God the Father) who sent Me (Jesus Christ).”
John 15:22, “If I had not come (Christ’s First Advent / witness of life) and spoken (witness of words) to them, they (hypothetically) would not have sin; but now they have no excuse for their sin.”
John 15:23, “He who hates Me, also hates (keeps on hating) My Father.”
John 15:24, “If I had not done the works among (in the presence of) them which no one else did, they would not have (this category of) sin. But now they have (absolutely) both seen and hated not only Me but also My Father.”
John 15:25, “But in order that the Word written in their Law might be fulfilled, ‘they hated Me without cause’.”
John 15:26, “Whenever the Helper (God the Holy Spirit) comes, whom I (Jesus) will send to you all from (the source of) the Father, that is, the Spirit of Truth, (Bible Doctrine), who proceeds from (the source of) the Father, That One (God the Holy Spirit) will bear witness concerning Me.”
John 15:27, “And you also will bear witness, because you all have been with me from the beginning (of My ministry).”