REVISITING JOHN 14:17

Who did the Pharisees not see nor know and the World later would not see or know?

    • John 14:17 [Even] the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.

 

We have ever dwelt on the statement that it was Christ dwelling with the disciples and so he shall be in them. This to me seems half-truth of the verse. There is the aspect of seeing the spirit of truth in that verse that is never tackled in interpreting the verse. How can you see the spirit?

    • John 3:7 Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. 8 The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.
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    • John 10:37 If I do not the works of my Father, believe me not. 38 But if I do, though ye believe not me, believe the works: that ye may know, and believe, that the Father [is] in me, and I in him.
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    • John 14:8 Philip saith unto him, Lord, show us the Father, and it sufficeth us. 9 Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou [then], Show us the Father? 10 Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works. 11 Believe me that I [am] in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works’ sake. 12 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater [works] than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father. 13 And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do [it]. 15 If ye love me, keep my commandments. 16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;

 

The father is the one that gives the comforter, alos that is the same kind of the son, with the same attributes of the son divested of humanity. It would be better we remember that:

The Son is all the fullness of the Godhead manifested. The Word of God declares Him to be “the express image of His person.” … The Comforter that Christ promised to send after He ascended to heaven, is the Spirit in all the fullness of the Godhead, making manifest the power of divine grace to all who receive and believe in Christ as a personal Saviour {BTS, March 1, 1906} 

 

The act of seeing in John 14:17 is manifesting the works of the Father through the son by the works and then through the disciples by the ministration of the spirit. The Jews saw the works of Christ but said it was the work of the prince of the demons Beelzebub working in him [Matthew 12:27] but Jesus said it was the finger of God which was doing the work they attributed to Beelzebub [Luke 11:20]. Their statement, Jesus said it is the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost [Matthew 12:31, 32] for the work of Jesus was a manifestation of the fruit of the Holy Spirit of God [Matthew 12:33]. In this sense, according to John 14:17, the Pharisees did not see the spirit of truth [aka the finger of God, the very spirit of God], neither know him but the disciples knew him for he was manifested in Jesus and will be as a comforter in those who believe alone. For this to be realized in the disciples, they were instructed:

    • John 14:23 If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.

 

The very reason that will make the father and the son be manifest in the disciples is the same reason that made the Pharisees and believers fail to see and know God:

    • John 5:38 And ye have not his word abiding in you: for whom he hath sent, him ye believe not. 

 

John 14:17 should be read in consideration of the previous verses because it connects everything about how the Father will still continue to work when Jesus is taken from the disciples. The primary reference is God the Father and his continued exaltation in Jesus and his disciples. In fact the whole of John chapter 14-17 is based upon John 14:1

    • “Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.”

 

Another important point is that John 14:17 should be taken in the sanctuary language. That is the only way to understand the whole book of John better because from Chapter 1, it is dealing with Atonement language:

    • John1:29 The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.

 

Sin had separated man with God and it was his desire that the broken relationship might be restored. Hence

    • Exodus 25:8 And let them make me a sanctuary; that I may dwell among them.
    • 1 Corinthians 3:16 Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and [that] the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? 17 If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which [temple] ye are. 
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    • 1 Corinthians 6:19 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost [which is] in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? 20 For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s

 

What was the original purpose of God which shall be accomplished in the giving of the comforter?

    • Genesis 1:26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. 27 So God created man in his [own] image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

 

We read:

In the cleansing of the temple, Jesus was announcing His mission as the Messiah, and entering upon His work. That temple, erected for the abode of the divine Presence, was designed to be an object lesson for Israel and for the world. From eternal ages it was God’s purpose that every created being, from the bright and holy seraph to man, should be a temple for the indwelling of the Creator. Because of sin, humanity ceased to be a temple for God. Darkened and defiled by evil, the heart of man no longer revealed the glory of the Divine One. But by the incarnation of the Son of God, the purpose of Heaven is fulfilled. God dwells in humanity, and through saving grace the heart of man becomes again His temple. God designed that the temple at Jerusalem should be a continual witness to the high destiny open to every soul. But the Jews had not understood the significance of the building they regarded with so much pride. They did not yield themselves as holy temples for the Divine Spirit. The courts of the temple at Jerusalem, filled with the tumult of unholy traffic, represented all too truly the temple of the heart, defiled by the presence of sensual passion and unholy thoughts. In cleansing the temple from the world’s buyers and sellers, Jesus announced His mission to cleanse the heart from the defilement of sin,–from the earthly desires, the selfish lusts, the evil habits, that corrupt the soul. “The Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to His temple, even the Messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, He shall come, saith the Lord of hosts. But who may abide the day of His coming? and who shall stand when He appeareth? for He is like a refiner’s fire, and like fullers’ soap: and He shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and He shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver.” Malachi 3:1-3.  {DA 161.1}

 

This work Christ accomplished in his life that he may offer the same:

    • Hebrews 5:7 Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared; 8 Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; 9 And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him
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    • John 17:19 And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth
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    • John 10:36 Say ye of him, whom the Father hath sanctified, and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest; because I said, I am the Son of God? 37 If I do not the works of my Father, believe me not
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    • Hebrews 2:10 For it became him, for whom [are] all things, and by whom [are] all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings. 11 For both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified [are] all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren, 

 

How was this sanctification made possible?

    • Hebrews 9:14 How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? 
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    • Hebrews 10:5 Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me

 

Think of Christ’s humiliation. He took upon himself fallen, suffering human nature, degraded and defiled by sin. He took our sorrows, bearing our grief and shame. He endured all the temptations wherewith man is beset. He united humanity with divinity: a divine spirit dwelt in a temple of flesh. He united himself with the temple. “The Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us,” because by so doing he could associate with the sinful, sorrowing sons and daughters of Adam.  {YI, December 20, 1900 par. 7}

 

It is then realizing our restoration is about the original purpose of God being accomplished that we become one body with Christ:

    • 1 Corinthians 6:14 And God hath both raised up the Lord, and will also raise up us by his own power. 15 Know ye not that your bodies are the members of Christ? shall I then take the members of Christ, and make [them] the members of an harlot? God forbid.

 

Past and Future application

John 14:17 should then be referring to the Pharisees and the world that do not realize and understand the sanctuary service and its purpose. In the giving of the comforter, notice:

    • “And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water; and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him; and lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”  {ST, November 13, 1893 par. 2}
    • John 5:37 And the Father himself, which hath sent me, hath borne witness of me. Ye have neither heard his voice at any time, nor seen his shape.
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    • “And the Father himself, which hath sent me, hath borne witness of me. Ye have NEITHER HEARD HIS VOICE at any time, NOR SEEN HIS SHAPE.” “And the Father himself, which hath sent me, hath borne witness of me.” At the baptism the Holy Spirit had descended on Christ, and God’s voice had said, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” But the Pharisees heard not the voice; they saw not the Spirit of God as a dove hovering over the Saviour. “Ye have neither heard His voice at any time, nor seen His shape,” Christ declared. {RH March 26, 1901, par. 6}
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    • John 5:37 is spoken to the Pharisees and John 14:17 was spoken to the Modern Pharisees/Christendom
    • John 16:1 These things have I spoken unto you, that ye should not be offended. 2 They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service. 3 And these things will they do unto you, because they have not known the Father, nor me. 

 

At the baptism:

“At the Saviour’s baptism, Satan was among the witnesses. He saw the Father’s glory overshadowing His Son. He heard the voice of Jehovah testifying to the divinity of Jesus. Ever since Adam’s sin, the human race had been cut off from direct communion with God; the intercourse between heaven and earth had been through Christ; BUT NOW THAT JESUS HAD COME “in the likeness of sinful flesh” (Romans 8:3), THE FATHER HIMSELF SPOKE. HE HAD BEFORE COMMUNICATED WITH HUMANITY THROUGH CHRIST; NOW HE COMMUNICATED WITH HUMANITY IN CHRIST. Satan had hoped that God’s abhorrence of evil would bring an eternal separation between heaven and earth. But now it was manifest that the connection between God and man had been restored.” DA 116.2

 

“He [Satan] was on the ground at the time when Christ presented Himself to John for baptism. He heard the majestic voice resounding through heaven and echoing through the earth like peals of thunder. “He saw the lightnings flash from the cloudless heavens, and heard the fearful words from Jehovah [Father], “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” →HE SAW THE BRIGHTNESS OF THE FATHER’S GLORY ← overshadowing the form of Jesus, thus pointing out in that crowd the One whom He acknowledged as His Son with unmistakable assurance. The circumstances connected with this baptismal scene had aroused the most intense hatred in the breast of Satan. HE KNEW THEN FOR A CERTAINTY that unless he could overcome Christ, from thenceforth there would be a limitation of his power. He understood that the COMMUNICATION FROM THE THRONE OF GOD signified that heaven was MORE DIRECTLY ACCESSIBLE TO MAN.” {Con 29.1}

 

Transfiguration a repeat of baptism

    • “And the Father himself, which hath sent me, hath borne witness of me. Ye have NEITHER HEARD HIS VOICE at any time, NOR SEEN HIS SHAPE.” YET, they heard it Matthew 17:5 5 While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him. 6 And when the DISCIPLES HEARD IT, they fell on their face, and were sore afraid.
    • John 12: 28-30 “Father, glorify thy name. Then came there a VOICE FROM HEAVEN, saying, I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again. 29 The people therefore, that stood by, and HEARD IT, said that it thundered: others said, An angel spake to him. 30 Jesus answered and said, THIS VOICE came not because of me, but for your sakes.”
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    • 2Peter 1:16-18 16 For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty. 17 For he received from God the Father honour and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. 18 And this voice which came from heaven WE HEARD, when we were with him in the holy mount.
    • Revelation 16:17, 18.And the seventh angel poured out his vial into the air; and there came a great voice out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, It is done. And there were voices, and thunders, and lightnings; and there was a great earthquake, such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake, and so great.

 

In the midst of the angry heavens is one clear space of indescribable glory, whence comes the voice of God like the sound of many waters, saying: “It is done.” Revelation 16:17.  {Mar 280.3} 

 

That voice shakes the heavens and the earth. There is a mighty earthquake, “such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake, and so great.” Verses 17, 18. … {Mar 280.4}

 

Soon we heard the voice of God like many waters, which gave us the day and hour of Jesus’ coming. The living saints, 144,000 in number, knew and understood the voice, while the wicked thought it was thunder and an earthquake. When God spoke the time, He poured upon us the Holy Ghost, and our faces began to light up and shine with the glory of God, as Moses’ did when he came down from Mount Sinai.  {EW 14.1}

Satan sees that HE IS ABOUT TO LOSE HIS CASE. He cannot sweep in the whole world. He makes one last desperate effort TO OVERCOME THE FAITHFUL by deception. He does this in personating Christ. He clothes himself with the garments of royalty which have been accurately described in the vision of John. He has power to do this. He will appear to his deluded followers, the Christian world WHO RECEIVED NOT THE LOVE OF THE TRUTH but had pleasure in unrighteousness (transgression of the law), as Christ coming the second time … He proclaims himself Christ, and he is believed to be Christ, a beautiful, majestic being clothed with majesty and, with soft voice and pleasant words, with glory unsurpassed by anything their mortal eyes had yet beheld. Then his deceived, deluded followers set up a shout of victory, “Christ has come the second time! Christ has come! He has lifted up His hands just as He did when He was upon the earth, and blessed us.” … The saints look on with amazement. Will they also be deceived? Will they worship Satan? Angels of God are about them. A CLEAR, FIRM, MUSICAL VOICE IS HEARD, ‘Look up.’ … –Ms 16, 1884.

 

After proving that John 14:17, other verses and quotes refers to the Pharisees and wicked not being able to see, know, hear the Father or working of his Holy Spirit but attribute all these manifestations to Beelzebub yet the disciples and believers are privileged of what the Pharisees and the wicked were deprived, the question now remains; how does Jesus fit in the verse since it is clear in John 14:18, Matthew 28:20, 2 Corinthians 3:17 and Galatians 4:6, is the fulfilment of John 14:17 and it is Christ Spirit which come to us? This is where the conduit of ministration comes in

    • John 3:34 For he whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God: for God giveth not the Spirit by measure [unto him]. 35 The Father loveth the Son, and hath given all things into his hand. 36 He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him. Remember the words I speak unto you are spirit and life [John 6:63] and those words are the words of the Father hence it is the Father which dwelleth in me [John 14:10] and this is how he will abide in you [John 14:23]
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    • John 17:1 These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee: 2 As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him. 
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    • John 14:24 He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father’s which sent me. 25 These things have I spoken unto you, being [yet] present with you. 26 But the Comforter, [which is] the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.
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    • John 15:26 But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, [even] the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me: 27 And ye also shall bear witness, because ye have been with me from the beginning.

 

Acts 1:4 And, being assembled together with [them], commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, [saith he], ye have heard of me [presumably in John chapters 14-17]. 1:8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth. [Notice that in John 15:26, 27, they shall testify, witness after the Holy Ghost, the comforter is come upon them. In Acts 1:4, 4, that comforter is the promise of the Father and his power which proceedeth from him John 14:26. Emphasis and brackets mine

    • Acts 2:33 Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear
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    • Titus 3:4 But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, 5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; 6 Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; 7 That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life
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    • Revelation 1:1 The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to show unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified [it] by his angel unto his servant John:
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    • Revelation 1:12 And I turned to see the voice that spake with me. And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks; 13 And in the midst of the seven candlesticks [one] like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle.
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    • Revelation 2:7 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.

 

But turning from all lesser representations, we behold God in Jesus. Looking unto Jesus we see that it is the glory of our God to give. “I do nothing of Myself,” said Christ; “the living Father hath sent Me, and I live by the Father.” “I seek not Mine own glory,” but the glory of Him that sent Me. John 8:28; 6:57; 8:50; 7:18. In these words is set forth the great principle which is the law of life for the universe. All things Christ received from God, but He took to give. So in the heavenly courts, in His ministry for all created beings: through the beloved Son, the Father’s life flows out to all; through the Son it returns, in praise and joyous service, a tide of love, to the great Source of all. And thus through Christ the circuit of beneficence is complete, representing the character of the great Giver, the law of life.  {DA 21.2}

“Wherefore He is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by Him, seeing He ever liveth to make intercession for them.” Hebrews 7:25. Though the ministration was to be removed from the earthly to the heavenly temple; though the sanctuary and our great high priest would be invisible to human sight, yet the disciples were to suffer no loss thereby. They would realize no break in their communion, and no diminution of power because of the Saviour’s absence. While Jesus ministers in the sanctuary above, He is still by His Spirit the minister of the church on earth. He is withdrawn from the eye of sense, but His parting promise is fulfilled, “Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.” Matthew 28:20. While He delegates His power to inferior ministers, His energizing presence is still with His church.  {DA 166.2}

 

    • John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
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    • 1 Corinthians 15:24 Then [cometh] the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. 25 For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet. 26 The last enemy [that] shall be destroyed [is] death. 27 For he hath put all things under his feet. But when he saith all things are put under [him, it is] manifest that he is excepted, which did put all things under him. 28 And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all

 

Conclusion

Ye have neither heard His voice at any time, nor seen His shape. And ye have not His word abiding in you: for whom He hath sent, Him ye believe not. Search the Scriptures: for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of Me. And ye will not come unto Me, that ye might have life.” There are many in our churches to whom these words are applicable, “Ye will not come unto Me, that ye might have life.” I am charged to present this chapter, the fifth of John, to our churches. Unless those who have had such great light, shall awake from their sleep, and keep their lamps burning, they will slumber until they will at last find that their lamps are without oil. Now, now, without delay, let our people improve the opportunity to arise and shine. Let them take the Bible, and on their knees before God confess their sins of neglect. Let every other consideration become secondary. Earthly, common business is of little consequence compared with eternal interests.  {AUCR, March 11, 1907 par. 3, 4}

 

See that thou reader those words in John 14:17 and John 5:37 do not apply to you.

 

Blessings

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