Tom: We’re continuing with the Gospel of John. We’re in chapter 12, and we’re at verse 35. Dave, I’m jumping right in. I’m reading this one. “Then Jesus said unto them, Yet a little while is the light with you. Walk while ye have the light lest darkness come upon you. For he that walketh in darkness knoweth not whither he goeth. While ye have light, believe in the light, that ye may be the children of light. These things spake Jesus, and departed and did hide himself from them.”
So, He’s challenging them—it’s not really a challenge; it’s a “take heed to this,” it’s a warning.
Dave: Yeah, chapter 8, He says, “I am the light of the world. He that followeth me shall not walk in darkness but shall have the light of life.” You can’t know where you’re going if you’re stumbling around in the dark, can you?
Tom: It also tells us that darkness is not okay, and some light is okay. He’s directing them to Him as the only way.
Dave: Well, Jesus used physical things, like water: “Whosoever will, let him take of the water of life freely.” “If any man thirst, let him come unto me and drink.” Bread: “I am the bread of life.”
Dave: And He is the light of the world. You could go to Psalm 119: “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, a light unto my path.” Jesus is the living Word. The Bible is such a fantastic book! You couldn’t possibly write it—40 different men over 1,600 years—they came from different cultures, different times in history, most of them didn’t know one another—and it all hangs together! Even in ways like this, that the psalms would verify what Jesus is saying.
Tom: Dave, the other thing about this is, as we mentioned earlier in the program, talking about reason and common sense, He’s telling us…Who would choose to walk in darkness when there’s light available?
Tom:But we do, don’t we?
Dave: But if He’s the light of the world, we’re going to have to walk with Him. We can’t ask Him to walk with us. “Hey, Jesus, I’m off here doing my own thing. Come on over and shine a little light on my path.” Well, if He shines a little light on that path, you’ll find out that it’s what you talked about a week or two ago, Tom: “There’s a way that seemeth right unto a man, the end thereof are the ways of death.” So, while the light is with you, walk while you have this light lest darkness come upon you, because there’s a time of horrible darkness coming upon this whole world. And, in fact, Jesus said that those who reject Him will be cast into outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth; the darkness will be so—overwhelming—that they will be grinding their teeth in pain. “While ye have light, believe in the light.” Now, “Believe in the light? Oh, the sun shines, I’m gonna worship the sun?” [No] “That ye may be children…”
Tom: Or the light at the end of the tunnel? As we have it: “This light appeared….” Not that kind of thing.
Dave: There is a false light in the occult. “That ye may be the children of light…” Paul says we are children of the day; we’re not children of the night, of the darkness. Once again, the Bible confirming itself.
Tom: But, Dave, why does Jesus say, “These things spake Jesus and departed.” Why did He hide Himself from them? It really had to do with a specific time, and they wanted to kill Him…I think.
Dave: Yes, He…well, you could take it back to John, chapter 2: “Seeing the miracles that Jesus did, many believed on his name, but he did not commit himself to them.” He knew all men—He knew what was in man, and He knows that these people are rejecting Him. He’d better go and hide Himself, as you say, they’re going to try to kill Him. He can’t be taken until it is that time—and that’s just a few days from His triumphal entry into Jerusalem. In fact, it will be four days, and He will be on the Cross.
Tom:You know, for those who have a penchant for signs and wonders, for seeing miracles—not that those things aren’t important—the Lord used them for a particular purpose, but if we start looking for miracles rather than the miracle worker Himself, we’re in trouble.
But verse 37 says, “But though he had done so many miracles before them, yet they believed not on him.”
Dave:Well, that certainly shows that miracles are not the key. He did many miracles. And this wasn’t someone doing miracles in the name of Jesus—to get you to believe on Jesus. This is Christ himself! He did the miracles. And they still rejected Him. And we mentioned it before: He raised Lazarus from the dead. The rabbis couldn’t deny it. They knew it; there were witnesses. And they’re going to kill Lazarus to get rid of him! What hardness of heart.
That’s a powerful verse, Tom: “Though he had done so many miracles before them—in their presence, under their scrutiny—yet they believed not on him.”
Tom:Dave, I remember Richard Roberts, the son of Oral Roberts, saying, “A miracle settles it.”
Dave:And having his whole audience—that was at the Word of Faith World Outreach Center there in Dallas, Texas, Robert Tilton’s place. It was a big conference! And some important evangelical leaders were there. And he had the whole audience stand and repeat it: “When I see a miracle, that settles it!” Setting them up for the miracle worker, Antichrist. Because he’s going to do signs and wonders and miracles.
Tom:Lying signs and wonders…
Tom: Verse 38: “That the saying of Isaias the prophet might be fulfilled which he spake, Lord, who hath believed our report? And to whom hath the arm of the Lord been revealed?”
Dave: Well, that’s a tough one, Tom. It’s one that the Calvinists point to, verse 39: “Therefore they could not believe because Isaias said again, he hath blinded their eyes and hardened their heart that they should not see with their eyes nor understand with their heart and be converted, and I should heal them.” It’s not that God did not let them believe. But they have already rejected them. He knows their hearts. It’s like the example that we have of Pharaoh. And it’s referred to in Romans, chapter 9. Before it ever says that God hardened Pharaoh’s heart, it says that Pharaoh hardened his own heart. And God told Moses at the very beginning, “I know he won’t let you go.” Then why did He harden Pharaoh’s heart?
Because the plagues became so terrifying that Pharaoh would have let the people go but for the wrong reason. He hadn’t changed his heart. He was just scared to death. He wanted to save his own skin. And that’s why he would have let the people go. But his heart hadn’t changed, and so God—in fact, in the Hebrew, the word means He gave him the fortitude, the strength…
Tom: The backbone, the nerve…
Dave: Right. The backbone, the gut…to keep saying “no.” He wanted to say “no,” but he would have abandoned that—he was afraid. So God gave him the courage to keep saying no until he had executed his judgment upon all the gods, and there are people—they’ve rejected His Word, and, Tom, it’s just like you have in 2 Thessalonians, chapter 2: “a strong delusion to believe the lie will be given to those who refused the love of the truth.”
So judgment is going to come on these people, and God is blinding them, but this is what they want to believe!
Tom: Well, again, Dave, you’re underscoring—at least, it seems to me—a willfulness. If you take the will out of this equation—that this was against their will, in other words, they didn’t want to receive the truth. Or, let’s say it another way, they wanted to receive the truth, but God took that away from them, or never allowed them to do that in the first place, where, then, is justice? Where, then, is a fairness that you have to expect of God?
Dave: “Shall not the judge of all the earth do right?” And He does right. And gives every man the opportunity. But these people have hardened their hearts—they’ve rejected the opportunity. In fact, Jesus, in Matthew 24, said, “That generation shall not pass away til all these things are fulfilled.” He didn’t mean a literal generation living in that day, obviously, because there were things that He foretold that couldn’t possibly happen then, and certainly didn’t happen then. But He’s talking about—well, He used the term “generation,” and John the Baptist did too: “Rebellious generation,” “Unbelieving generation,” “Disobedient, gainsaying, perverse generation.” That they would continue in unbelief until Christ intervenes in the midst of Armageddon and rescues them and this is what it’s talking about here.