Tom: We’re continuing with the gospel. Currently we are in the Gospel of John, chapter 14. I’ll begin reading—although we covered a couple of verses last week, Dave—I’ll begin reading on verse 1. “Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God [again, these are the words of Jesus], believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there you may be also.” Wow, those are wonderful words!
Dave: Tremendous statement. But, of course, as we pointed out last week, “Let not your heart be troubled” is because He has just told them that they can’t follow Him. He’s going somewhere. Peter says…
Tom: To the cross.
Dave: …”Oh, I would die for you,” and Jesus says, “No, you are not. You are going to deny me.” Then He says, “Don’t be troubled by that. Things are going to work out.” And now He makes that statement: “You believe in God, believe also in me.” I mean, could you say that, Tom?
Dave: I could certainly say to people, “You believe in God.” But then would I put myself on a par and say, “Believe also in me as you believe in God.” Jesus is very clearly again saying that He is God. I don’t think you can get around that.
Tom: Well, you have, on numerous programs, talked about what’s called, the tri-lemma. Either He’s delusionary here; He’s got an ego that is beyond anybody’s comprehension, or He is who He said He is. He’s God.
Dave: Right. Yeah. “You believe in God, believe also in me.” And then He tells them something that I guess He had never told them before. He has said that He has come from the Father. He has said that He is from above. That’s back in John 8. He said to the rabbis and the unbelieving Jews out there, “Where I go you cannot come unless you believe that I am,” that is, “that I am God.” But now He is talking to His own in this intimate setting of the Last Supper, and Judas has gone out into the night, so only believers are left, and He says, “In my Father’s house are many mansions, many dwelling places, and I’m going to go away.” Obviously the implication is, to His Father’s house—remember, we will get it when we get to chapter 20, Jesus says to Mary: “Don’t cling to me, I haven’t yet ascended to my Father but I ascend to my Father, your Father, to my God and your God,” and so forth.
Tom: He just didn’t want her delaying Him. He didn’t mind what she was doing, but not now.
Dave: So He is telling us He is going to go away to the Father, and He says, “I am going to prepare a place for you.” Now I don’t think He’s up there building something for us. He prepared it, or at least prepared the way at the Cross, so He’s going to the Cross, and He’s going to prepare a place by paying the penalty for our sins. And then He says, “And if I go away—I’m going to my Father’s house—I am going to come again and receive you unto myself,” where would He be receiving us to? To the Father’s house, “that where I am, there you may be also.”
Tom, I don’t see how anyone can escape the fact: He’s talking about the Rapture. He’s going to come and take us. And Paul gives us that in 1 Thessalonians 4, beginning at verse 13, but going down farther in the chapter, “The dead in Christ will rise first; then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them to meet the Lord in the air, and so shall we ever be with the Lord.” Now that must be a further revelation of what Jesus is talking about, “that where I am there you may be also, and so shall we ever be with the Lord.”
And how do we get to be with the Lord? He doesn’t come back on this earth and rule over a kingdom we have established, but we will meet Him in the air. We will be caught up together with the resurrected dead, and those of us who are still alive, our bodies will be transformed, 1 Corinthians 15 tells us that, and we are caught up to meet Him in the air. He takes us back to heaven, obviously, because Zechariah, chapter 14, tells us that when His feet touch the Mount of Olives…
Tom: The Second Coming.
Dave: The Second Coming now, not the Rapture, He brings all the saints from heaven with Him, so He must have taken them up there. How did they get up there? The Rapture! And we read in Revelation of a wedding in heaven, great joy, and we read also of the judgment seat of Christ—that’s not the Great White Throne…
Tom: No, that’s for rewards, the Bema Seat.
Dave:That’s not the judgment of the lost, but this is judging the lives of those who are redeemed as to what rewards we will have, and so forth. We’ve talked about that in the past. So, I don’t know how you could escape it. Jesus is saying, “There’s a place in heaven, my Father’s house. You’re going to be with me, you’re going to be with my Father, and I’m going to take you there.” That has to be the Rapture.
But the disciples are puzzled by this. Jesus says, verse 4, “Whither I go, you know, and the way you know,” but they don’t. Thomas says, “Lord, we know not whither thou goest, and how can we know the way?” And here we have that tremendous, tremendous statement from Jesus. Buddha never said anything like it, Confucius wouldn’t dare, Muhammad wouldn’t dare. “Jesus saith unto him: I am the way, the truth, and the life; no man cometh unto the Father but by me. You know me, you know the way, I am the one who will take you there. I am the way.”
Now Tom, you mentioned a few minutes ago, either Jesus, when He makes statements like this, he’s either a self-deluded egomaniac—he’s insane—or he’s a deliberate liar, or he’s who he claimed to be, and you cannot escape it. And Jesus makes these statements over and over and over. You can’t just make Him out to be a good man. He is a good man…
Tom: He’s a perfect man.
Dave: He set the example that no one could keep. He would have to live that life through us, or we couldn’t do it. But you can’t escape what Jesus said! This is historic—we know it, and yet people don’t want to face that. We were talking about these Unitarian Universalists, or we’re talking about, “Oh, well, let’s all get together with the Muslims and the Buddhists and the Hindus.” Jesus says, “I am the way!” Nobody dared to say that. Now that puts everyone else in a different category. I love the way Simon Greenleaf put it. Simon Greenleaf, one of the co-founders of Harvard Graduate School of Law, the greatest authority on legal evidence in the world, and when he became a Christian, he said, “Christianity demands the destruction of every other religion.”
Tom: Yeah, but you had better spell that out because we have another religion that we have been talking about that demands the destruction of every other religion. What’s the difference?
Dave: So how do we destroy it? Not with a sword, not with machine guns, not with bombs, not with terrorists, but by logic.
Tom: The truth.
Dave: This is the truth. Now if this is the truth, and this truth—what Simon Greenleaf was saying literally is, “This is exclusive. This truth excludes all others.” It’s just like mathematics. If 5 X 5=25, then you can’t say…
Tom: You can’t celebrate diversity, Dave, by saying 5 X 5 is, you know, is 40 or it’s 60 or 10.
Dave: And there’s no way that you can say 2 X something =25, or 3 X something = 25, or 4 X something—this is what we call a prime number, it’s divisible only by one and itself. But anyway, I’m getting off the track here, Tom (laughing)—flashback to my pitiful days of mathematics. But this is exclusive: “I am the way, the truth, the life.” Well then, you’re not going to get there through Buddha.
Tom: Some other way—there is no other way.
Dave: Exactly! So this is what Simon Greenleaf says: Christianity demands, it requires—if you’re going to be a Christian (let me put it in other terms) if you’re going to be a Christian, if you’re going to believe in Jesus Christ, you can’t be anything else. You can’t be a Muslim also at the same time. You can’t be a Hindu or a Buddhist at the same time.
Tom: Gandhi said he was, Dave.
Dave: He thought he could, yes. And Robert Schuller was just being praised at a mosque in Illinois, and it was Louis Farrakhan who said: “I am a Muslim, I am a Buddhist, I am a Hindu, I am a Christian.” Well, he should have added, “I am crazy.”
Tom: Again, he got that from Gandhi. He wasn’t even original with that.
Dave: Yeah. Tremendous statement, and if you believe it—I mean, why not? And if your faith is in Christ—Wow! He has gone to prepare a place, and He did prepare it with His death on the Cross. He’s going to come back, and He’s going to take us there—He’s going to take us to heaven. That is so wonderful, Tom.