Tom: We are continuing with the Gospel of John. We’re in John, chapter 12, and we are going to pick up with verse 31. First, Dave, I have to give a sales pitch here. We want to encourage all of our listeners to get into God’s Word. That’s what the program’s all about. Search the Scriptures daily, see if these things, which we are saying or wherever you hear it, whoever is promoting a religious idea or even saying it’s a biblical idea, you have to be able to discern whether it’s of the Lord or not. Isaiah said “To the law and the testimony; if they speak not according to this word, there is no light in them.”
Tom: Our encouragement is to read the Bible. Those of you parents out there who are raising children, get them in the habit of listening to—If they are very young children, you read the word to them. Begin today, start with—even your teenagers—let them read, and then you read. You know, that’s one of the things I’m excited about with my daughter. You know, I have five children and she’s about to go off to college, and she came to me and said, “Dad, I don’t know if I’m ready.” Well, she knows the Word, but nevertheless, we have started each morning going through the Scriptures—not a verse here and a verse there but really going through a book here, and she reads a verse, and I read a verse. We do it early in the morning, and I’m excited about that. But I encourage our listeners to do likewise.
Dave: Well, when you consider that probably most of our listeners really believe that the Bible is God’s Word—wow! This is God’s message to us—His love letter, really. Then how can we neglect it? That’s horrible! If you really believed this is God’s Word—Wow! We’d be digging into this: “Well, what does God have to say? This is His word that He has given to us, and Jesus is the living Word. Wow—this is fantastic! Let me find more, let me study it, let me come to a deeper understanding. Lord, help me to understand your word and what you have to say to me.”
Tom: John, chapter 12, verse 31: “Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out.” Now, Jesus is referring to the prince of this world. This is Satan, the adversary, but what does it mean, “cast out,” Dave?
Dave: Well, He is going to the Cross—Christ is referring to the Cross. He is going to be judged by the Father on the Cross for the sins of the world. We got that in John’s Gospel, chapter 1. John the Baptist hailed Him as, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who bears away the sin of the world.” So, this moment is approaching now—this is what He is talking about. He is going to be on the Cross, and the wrath of God is going to pour over Him: “all Your waves and billows have poured me.”
So, the world is going to be judged in that sense; Christ is going to pay the penalty. The world is also going to be judged. Paul tells us Galatians chapter 6:14: “God forbid that I should glory save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.” The world is going to be judged in the fact that it has rejected and crucified the Son of God. That is horrible! Every other sin that man has committed, for which we deserve eternal judgment, pales in significance in comparison with that. God himself comes to this earth, becomes a man, doesn’t cease to be God, He’s the one and only God-Man, and He does miracles, He feeds the hungry, heals the sick, opens the eyes of the blind, raises the dead, and so forth, and they hate Him without a cause. They reject Him, crucify Him.
So this is a horrible judgment of the world. Do you want to know what sin is, look at the Cross. If you want to know what this world really is, look at the Cross. That’s what this world, Jew and Gentile, did to the Son of God.
“Now shall the prince of this world be cast out.” Well, Satan is defeated on the Cross, He will be cast out. Now, he’s still hanging around, but he has been defeated. Christ defeated him, and we can stand in that victory. We can all share in the victory if we are willing to trust Him and obey Him.
Tom: The way is given in verse 32: “And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.” We have an example in the Old Testament, a type of this, where the Israelites were bitten by snakes and many of them died, and God had Moses make a bronze serpent, put it on a pole, and all who, by faith, looked upon this serpent—which I think was representative of sin, and this is what Jesus would become sin for us—take on the sins of the world, and as we look upon Him. So, we’re to lift him up, aren’t we, Dave?
Dave: “I, if I be lifted up”—well, they knew what being “lifted up” meant. It goes on in verse 34: “How sayeth thou, The Son of man must be lifted up? Who is this Son of man?” I just skipped a little bit there, Tom, but they know that to be lifted up means lifted up on a cross—He is going to die. In fact, verse 33 says, “This he said, signifying what death he should die.” Now, “draw all men unto me?” Yes, all men are going to come to Him either for salvation or, if they reject Him, they will come to Him in judgment. And we read of that in Revelation, chapter 20:11: “And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat upon it, from whose face the earth and the heavens fled away: and there was no place found for them. Then I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God…,” and so forth.
And we read in an earlier chapter, John 5, Jesus said, “All judgment is committed unto me by the Father.” He’s going to judge the world. So, the whole world—because He took our sins, because He was lifted up on that Cross and paid the penalty for our sins—the whole world is going to be drawn to Him, either in salvation or in judgment.
Tom: [John:12:34] “The people answered him, We have heard out of the law that Christ abideth for ever: and how sayest thou, The Son of man must be lifted up? Who is this Son of man?”
Dave: Tom, it’s…We believe in a Rapture. We believe the Rapture is separate from the Second Coming. We believe the Rapture is what Jesus talked aboutˆwhen we get to it, couple more chapters, John 14: “I’m going to go away, and if I go away, I am going to prepare a place for you; and I will come again and take you, receive you to myself.” The Rapture is described for us in 1 Thessalonians, chapter 4: “The dead will rise first ,and the living will be caught up together to meet Christ in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.” It sounds like He is going to take His own—those who believe in Him—away from this earth.
And so, you have people today who say, “How can there possibly be… You’re talking about two comings. How can there be a Rapture—He takes the saints to heaven, and then the Second Coming, Zechariah, chapter 14, He comes with His saints when His feet touch the Mount of Olives—show me, where does it say that?”
Well, go into the Old Testament. This is what these people are troubled about. Where does it say in the Old Testament that there would be two comings? Well, any Christian, if he’s a Christian, believes Christ came once, and Jesus said, “I will come again,” so he believes in two comings. Where would you find that in the Old Testament? That’s what these people are troubled about. Well, we heard out of the law that Christ abides forever. Where did they get that? We just quoted Isaiah:9:6, and verse 7 goes on and says, “And of his kingdom and peace there will be no end.” But wait a minute! But it also says “he’s cut off out of the land of the living,” Isaiah 53. How could He be cut off and establish a kingdom that doesn’t have any end?
This is what the people are saying: “We heard out of the law that Christ abides forever, and we thought you were the Christ, but you say the Son of man must be lifted up. Well, you couldn’t be talking about yourself, then. I mean, you’re surely not going to be crucified. How could you establish a kingdom?” That bothered John the Baptist. He sent two disciples to Jesus from—he was in prison: “Art thou he that should come, or look we for another?” “Well, how could you be the Christ? They’re going to crucify you, and look, I’m in prison—how come you don’t you rescue me? I’m about to get my head cut off.”
That was a troubling thought, and it bothers Jews to this day. The Jewish people today say, “We can’t believe in Jesus. He didn’t establish the kingdom. The Messiah comes to establish eternal peace. He didn’t do it. He got crucified!” That’s why the rabbis mocked him: “If you’re the Christ, what are you doing up there? We’ve just proved you’re not the Christ, because we’re putting you to death.”
No, the Bible said he would come as the “Lamb of God to bear away the sin of the world,” and He would die for our sins. He would be resurrected, He would go to the Father’s house, and then He would come again as the Lion of the tribe of Judah to execute judgment. These people are confused. They can’t understand it, and this is the question that they are asking.
This was the question that Christ answered in Luke 24 to the two disciples on the road to Emmaus. They said, “We thought he was the Messiah, but they killed him.” And Jesus said, [Luke:24:26] “Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory?” It says, “And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.” These people don’t know the Scriptures; the rabbis don’t know the Scriptures; the disciples don’t know the Scriptures. That’s just a reminder to us: search the Scriptures daily so we don’t get confused and we really understand what God is saying to us.
Tom: Dave, Jesus’ words in John:12:35: “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.” That’s been our exhortation, our encouragement, to our listeners: Walk in the light of God’s Word.