You successfully added to your cart! You can either continue shopping, or checkout now if you'd like.

Note: If you'd like to continue shopping, you can always access your cart from the icon at the upper-right of every page.



The Gospel of John: Manifesting God’s Glory Book 4

Jesus manifested God's glory through 8 miraculous signs in the gospel of John. These are a revelation of the feast of tabernacles.

Category - Bible Commentaries

Chapter 19

Functioning in Two Worlds

The law of devotion in Leviticus 27, like the rest of the law, was applied in a limited manner under the Old Covenant. The Old Covenant manifestation of the law was largely limited to types and shadows, awaiting a greater manifestation under the New Covenant. Although Leviticus 27:28 shows that men might devote (cherem) a man to God, the law comes with little explanation. It is only when Jesus applies it to His disciples that we become aware of the spiritual law under the New Covenant.

Jesus’ prayer, as we will see shortly, shows that when the disciples were devoted to God, they became part of another world, no longer belonging to the earthly order but transferred to the heavenly order. So also Paul tells us, “our citizenship is in heaven” (Phil. 3:20).

Two Kingdoms at War

Jesus continued praying in John 17:13-16,

13 But now I come to You; and these things I speak in the world so that they may have My joy made full in themselves. 14 I have even given them Your word; and the world has hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. 15 I do not ask You to take them out of the world, but to keep them from the evil one. 16 They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.

Jesus Christ, the Logos, spoke the word (logos) “in the world” in order to bring the heavenly order into the earth and thereby manifest His glory in this realm. Specifically, He deposited His logos into the hearts of the disciples, so that they, in turn, might deposit the same word into the hearts of others, spreading the heavenly order throughout the earth until all men are saved and creation is reconciled.

But the pall of death and darkness had passed from Adam into all men (Rom. 5:12). From the perspective of those dwelling in such darkness, light is the great enemy to be feared and hated above all else. So “the world has hated them” since the light first shined in the earth. John tells us that the light can never be overpowered or extinguished by the darkness (John 1:5). The work of the light will be successful.

Darkness fears the light as men fear an army greater than themselves. The children of darkness try, nonetheless, to maintain their dark status and lash out in hatred against the children of light. The sovereign act of God in shining light into the world has created a great war between two kingdoms. Light has declared war on darkness, and darkness desperately tries to defend itself.

The conflict comes because God has no intention of removing the children of light from the darkness of this world. His intent, after all, has always been to change the world by manifesting the light of His glory in the world, to redeem the earth, and to restore it to the paradise that it was created to be at the beginning. So God is not snatching a few out of this world; He is invading the earth with the intent to take it over and to reclaim it as His own by right of creation.

He does not do this all at once, but incrementally. As devoted men, the disciples belonged to God. So Jesus prayed in a lawful manner “to keep them from the evil one,” that is, to keep the devoted ones from being reclaimed unlawfully by the evil one. Lev. 27:28, 29 makes it clear that anyone devoted to God may not be reclaimed or “ransomed” (NASB) back under the authority of anyone on earth. Anyone attempting to do so would be classed as an “evil one.”

God Wins

Darkness does not recognize God’s ownership that was established in Gen. 1:1, for it has usurped power and treats the earth as its own domain. Darkness does not recognize the sovereignty of God but treats its own authority as if it were sovereignty. Adam’s sin gave authority to that which was “evil,” but God never relinquished His ultimate claim by right of creation. The law never sets forth men’s unlimited power, not even over those who have been enslaved on account of their sin. Slavery ends with the Jubilee, and there is no sin-debt so great that the Jubilee is powerless to cancel it.

Hence, darkness and slavery were given authority over men through Adam’s sin, as illustrated in Matt. 18:24, 25, but that authority was limited. God has been sending His light into the world to redeem a few at a time. The Great White Throne judgment will be the moment when He reclaims all things and summons the living and the dead to appear before His throne. That is the moment when all of humanity is devoted to God. Every knee will bow. Every tongue will profess Him as Lord to the glory of God the Father (Phil. 2:10, 11).

At that point, God will use His overcoming agents to train these new believers in the ways of righteousness (Isaiah 26:9). The few that He had trained earlier will train the many in that final Age of judgment, according to the promise of God to Abraham. In fact, ironically, the children of darkness, who hated and persecuted the children of light, have been used to train God’s devoted ones in the art of love, patience, and faith, so they will be able to train those who abused them in the age to come.

We see this in the example of Joseph, David, and all of the prophets in Scripture, for hardship and persecution forged them by fire into useful vessels, filled them with the logos, and imprinted the name of their heavenly Father in their foreheads.

Unity in Christ

Jesus continued His prayer in John 17:19, saying,

19 For their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they themselves also may be sanctified in truth.

To be “sanctified” means to be set apart for divine service. Sanctification distinguishes such people from the ordinary or common world. When Jesus said, “I sanctify Myself,” it means “I am setting Myself apart.” He was not asserting some sort of self-consecration, but was referring to His return to the Father, by which He was to be set apart for divine service as the faithful High Priest of Melchizedek.

By ascending to heaven, He was able to send the Holy Spirit to sanctify the disciples, setting them apart, renaming them apostles, who were to be sent out as ambassadors of the Kingdom. Their consecration to the priesthood would come through Pentecost, whereby the Spirit of Truth would sanctify them “in truth,” that is, in the logos that Jesus had spoken to their hearts. Jesus prayed further in John 17:20, 21,

20 I do not ask on behalf of these alone, but for those also who believe in Me through their word; 21 that they may all be one; even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us, so that the world may believe that You sent Me.

In other words, all who believe “their word” in future generations were to join this body of sanctified ones, each in their own time, “that they may all be one.”

In Moses’ tabernacle, ordinary people had access to the outer court. These represented believers in general who came to sacrifice, acknowledging Christ by faith. This outer court typified the feast of Passover and was thus the first step in approaching God.

To approach God further, one had to be a priest, for only priests were allowed to enter the sanctuary itself. This “holy place” typified the feast of Pentecost, which was a closer walk with God, separated only by a single veil. This teaches us that one must be filled with the Holy Spirit to be a priest of God.

The old Protestant view of “the priesthood of the believer” thus needs some modification. Believers are not necessarily priests. In a New Covenant context, priests are those who have experienced Pentecost. Those who have faith in the blood of the Lamb are still limited to the outer court until they are filled with the Spirit.

Priesthood is a second step in one’s approach toward God’s full presence. It is one thing to have faith in Christ through the experience of Passover; it is another thing to be filled with the Spirit through the experience of Pentecost.

This is again illustrated in Israel’s journey, for they left Egypt at Passover but became sanctified as a holy nation at Mount Sinai at Pentecost. Only at Sinai was the nation offered the position as “a kingdom of priests” (Exodus 19:6).

Israel was led by the Spirit in the pillar of cloud by day and fire by night from the day that they left Egypt (Exodus 13:20-22), but this was a lesser relationship with the Holy Spirit than what they were offered at Sinai. Hence, these feasts were given for different purposes. Passover and Pentecost were not the same event, nor was their experience the same.

Going further, the Most Holy Place typifies the feast of Tabernacles, by which feast we come fully into the presence of God as part of the body of the great High Priest. So we see that Passover makes people believers, Pentecost consecrates priests, and Tabernacles creates a unified body of the great High Priest.

The progression of the feasts portray a journey. Being justified by faith is the start of this journey. Being sanctified by the Spirit of Truth is, properly, the journey. The goal, the Promised Land, is to become one body with Joshua-Yeshua, under whose leadership we are able to enter our Promised Land—the Most Holy Place.

The Path to Unity

There are three levels of fulfillment insofar as timing is concerned. The personal level focuses upon each individual walk with God in one’s progressive experiences through the feasts. The second is the collective body of people known as the remnant, or the overcomers, who are the few called to bless the many. These are the inheritors of the first resurrection (Rev. 20:5, 6).

The third level is the largest body of people, all of creation, all who have ever lived. Any who did not bow to Christ during their lifetime will bow to Him at the Great White Throne. They will then profess (exomologeo, “acknowledge openly and joyfully”) Christ as believers (Phil. 3:11). Such a profession of faith will be their Passover experience (i.e., justification by faith).

They will also declare Him as “Lord to the glory of God the Father.” Paul says in 1 Cor. 12:3 that “no one can say, ‘Jesus is Lord,” except by the Holy Spirit.” Hence, when every tongue professes Jesus Christ as Lord, it indicates that they will also be filled with the Spirit. Such Spirit-filled believers will still require much training in righteousness, in order that the logos might be instilled in their hearts. The Spirit of Truth will indeed write the law upon their hearts, changing their nature to conform to the image of Christ.

Some may think it strange that a Spirit-filled believer will be assigned to the “lake of fire” in that final Age. However, John said the Holy Spirit’s baptism of fire was designed to burn chaff (Matt. 3:11, 12). Every true Pentecostal knows about this work of the Holy Spirit. Being Spirit-filled does not mean that one is suddenly perfected; it means that the Holy Spirit is beginning the work of perfection. So also will it be in the lives of those in the “lake of fire.”

That age of divine judgment will end at the great Creation Jubilee, the appointed time when all sin-debt is cancelled, and every man returns to his lost inheritance. This is the great promise of God, when all of creation is unified in agreement, having one heart and one mind with “the only true God” (John 17:3) and His Agent, Jesus Christ, who is “the only-begotten God” John 1:18).