Tom: We’re continuing with the gospel—the gospel is what we have been talking about the last few segments, and we’re going through the Gospel of John because we believe if somebody doesn’t know the gospel, has never read the Scriptures before, and you want not to just take our word for it but you would like to start at a place in which the gospel is presented over and over and over again, this would be the Gospel of John. Right now we’re in chapter 13, and we are going to pick up with verse 20: “Verily, verily, I say unto you, he that receiveth whomsoever I send receiveth me; and he that receiveth me receiveth him that sent me.” Of course these are the words of Jesus. Dave, I’ve got a hunch you want to back up a little bit.
Dave: Well, I’m looking at verse 19. Verse 20 kind of comes out of the air, almost, “he that receives whomever I send receives me.” He is going to send them out into the world to preach the gospel…
Tom: His disciples…
Dave: …but there’s a chain of command here, because the Father sent the Son to be the Savior of the world. So, “those who receive the ones that I send out, they are receiving me. They are going in my name, but they are also receiving the One who sent me, the Father.” But someone is going to betray Him; in fact, they are all going to forsake Him and flee—not just Peter, but they will all forsake him. And, verse 19, I would just like to look at it again. I think we probably dealt with it last week: “Now I tell you before it come to pass, that when it is come to pass, ye may believe that I am” (and “he” is in italics).
Tom: All right, now you said that last week, and I missed my chance. I didn’t jump on you. So what? So it’s in italics—what does that mean?
Dave: Because He didn’t say, “I am he”; He said, “I am.”
Tom: It’s not there in the original Greek, but it tries to—somebody put that in so that it would give us an understanding that Jesus is talking, but we may miss something there.
Dave: Yeah, but it was wrong to put it in, because I AM is God’s name in the Old Testament; when He appeared in the burning bush to Moses, Exodus, chapter 3, and Moses says, “Who will”—Well, God says, “I am sending you to Egypt to deliver my people; and Moses says, Who will I say sent me, what is your name?” Or what is his name? And He replies, I AM—Yahweh—I AM that I AM, the self-existent One. And Jesus is once again declaring that He is Yahweh, that He is God. But notice what He says: “I’m telling you about things that are going to happen before they happen so that you will acknowledge that I AM.” And, I think last week we did mention—that would take us back to Isaiah:46:9-10, where God says, “I am the God of prophecy. I will tell you what is going to happen before it happens. And when it happens you will have to acknowledge that I am God.” It seems to me that Jesus is very clearly declaring—the disciples should have understood it—that he is the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. He’s the One who appeared to Moses at the burning bush, and so forth.
Tom: And He is the Alpha and the Omega. He’s the One, as we mentioned last week, the only One who knows the future, and it’s interesting to note that the main things that come against—that would pull the rug out from under God, that would deny that He is God and that He alone can do these things—would be things like fortunetelling and psychic predictions, and all of that They are just everywhere, and its purpose is to undermine what God says here.
Dave: Yeah, to say that there’s “some kind of a force out there. We don’t need to rely upon this personal God,” and so forth. You get that in Isaiah 48, verse 5, where God says, “I’m not going to let you give credit to your idols. I’m going to tell you what’s going to happen before it happens, and your idols can’t do that, so that you are not going to be able to give credit to them. You will have to acknowledge that I am the true God; these idols are false.”
Tom: Now, Dave, what about these predictions that seem to come true? Would that be a legitimate undermining—not legitimate, but would that be a forceful undermining of God’s Word?
Dave: Well, the Word of God gives, I think, seven signs of a false prophet, and we won’t try to go over all of them but the very first one, Deuteronomy, chapter 13, raises that very point that you make: If a prophet arises, and he makes predictions, and they come to pass—but he leads you astray to follow false gods, then even though he made a prediction that came to pass, you do not follow him.
We go by the true God, we follow the true God. Now then, in Deuteronomy, chapter 18, it says, “If he makes predictions and they don’t happen, then you know he is a false prophet.” Well, Tom, I can guarantee you that anyone—psychic, whoever they are, palm reader, and so forth—they may have made some, very few, very small percentage—this has been checked out, correlated, how many of these predictions come true, and the National Enquirer and other magazines like that often publish the predictions, and then look at the record, and a very small percentage come true. So…
Tom: Dave, let me just address the small percentage. I grew up in Southern Ohio, and there was a bridge up the river that a psychic had predicted that it was going to collapse. Well, nobody paid any attention to it and guess what? The bridge did collapse. Now you figure, how did that happen? Well, after the bridge collapsed—now, in Ohio, right there on the border of the Ohio River, we would get snow and they would use salt quite a bit. And the main strengths of this bridge were just below the surface of the road, and cars would go through and they would spill this salt onto these cables, and the cables deteriorated without anyone having checked it out, and so on, and the bridge collapsed. Here’s my point: Demons would know this! (laughing) They can see certain things that are going to come about, and so on. It’s not a matter of knowing the future; it’s a matter of checking out what’s out there, and what’s the purpose of it? The purpose comes back to, it seems to me, to undermine the credibility of God. If God alone knows the future and they can somehow come up with something that denies that, then they are making their points.
Dave: It’s interesting you mentioned that, Tom, because, you know, we have done quite a bit of investigation in this area, and usually it’s a disaster that is predicted accurately, and Satan is in the business of causing disasters.
But anyway, Jesus, later on in chapter 14:9, is going to say, “He that has seen me has seen the Father.” He is declaring over and over that He is in God. We had it in chapter 8, where He said, “Before Abraham was, I AM.” He didn’t say, “I am he”—“I AM.” And earlier in chapter 8, He said to the Jews, “Except you believe that I AM,” and the “he” is in italics there, “you will die in your sins.” So, He declares again and again that He is the one true God. And, there are people who claim they are Christians and do not believe that Jesus is God. We have Christ’s word—He said it: “You do not believe that I AM, you will die in your sins, and where I go you cannot come.”
So, He goes on now in [John] 13:21: “When Jesus had thus said, he was troubled in spirit, and testified, and said, Verily, verily, I say unto you, one of you shall betray me.” Now He is further proving that He is God; He knows their hearts. ”Then the disciples looked one on another, doubting of whom he spake. Now there was leaning on Jesus’ bosom one of his disciples, whom Jesus loved. Simon Peter therefore beckoned to him, that he should ask who it should be of whom he spake. He, then, lying on Jesus’ breast, said unto him, Lord, who is it? Jesus answered, He it is, to whom I shall give a sop, when I have dipped it. And when he had dipped the sop, he gave it to Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon.”
Tom: What’s a sop?
Dave: You dip some bread, I guess, in the wine or whatever.
Tom: Sounds like the bread sops it up.
Dave: Right. “And after the sop, Satan entered into him. Then said Jesus unto him, That thou doest, do quickly.” Now Tom, this is a remarkable passage, because in some of the other gospels, you have the disciples all saying, “Lord, is it I? Lord, is it I?” And when Judas says, “Lord, is it I?” Jesus says, “Thou sayest.” Now look, Jesus says one of you is going to betray me! They should have locked the door! They should not have let anybody out until they found out for sure who it was. They just seemed to kind of pass this off. I mean, you could almost be discouraged if you had disciples like that.
And then the next thing, and we don’t have it here in this gospel but in others, it says the next thing they do, they have forgotten that somebody is going to betray Him and they are arguing among themselves who will be the greatest. These guys certainly didn’t suffer from low self-esteem, which is supposed to be the raging epidemic that troubles all mankind.
Tom: Dave, it just tells about the longsuffering of God, and I think about myself—how we fall and stumble and try to do some things and sometimes we are not willing to do other things. But the Lord loves us, and it’s just amazing, this love. Wow!
Dave: Well, He’s got a lot of patience, Tom. He’s had a lot of patience with me. I am so slow to understand, but it’s a tremendous picture—or it gives us very clear insight into ourselves, into the heart of human beings. It’s unbelievable, Tom! “One of you will betray me,” and they just kind of slough it off. And there are many today who claim to be true Christians who are betraying Christ, betraying the gospel, and yet it’s very difficult to get someone to be up in arms, standing for the truth, and really wanting to correct this.