- Christogenea Internet Radio
On the Gospel of John, Part 40: The Consolation of Expectation
Discussing the The Inevitability of Persecution as we presented the opening verses of John chapter 16, we sought to illustrate the fact that even today all true Christians, meaning those who seek to keep the commandments of Christ, should expect to be persecuted by the society-at-large in one form or another. If a Christian is not being persecuted by the world around him, if a Christian is comfortable with the world around him, then he is not really living for Christ. In Romans chapter 6, Paul of Tarsus had described, in part, what it means to live for Christ, as Christians who truly seek to do so should separate themselves from sin. Today’s churches have become agents for the “princes of this world”, and have created a false narrative urging their members to accept all sorts of sin and sinners based on what they call “Christian tolerance”, but true Christians should never be tolerant of sin. The true Christian should have already walked away from sin, as well as from those who remain in sin.
In that chapter, Paul had written, in part, “5 For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: 6 Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. 7 For he that is dead is freed from sin. 8 Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him: 9 Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him. 10 For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God. 11 Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. 12 Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. 13 Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.”
Obviously Paul was speaking of a metaphorical death, as he wrote earlier in that same chapter that “3 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? 4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.” So true Christians should see the sinful nature of the physical body as being “dead” so that they can live in the spirit, which keeps the commandments of God. Writing later on of sin and the lusts of the body, in Romans chapter 7, Paul said “14 For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin.”
In the Roman society of the first century, as it is apparent from Paul’s epistle to the Romans as well as from the writings of pagans such as Tacitus and Suetonius, Sodomy, adultery, fornication and other forms of lasciviousness, or sin, were becoming rather fashionable, even among the highest classes of the citizens. Even many of the archaeological discoveries at Pompeii are consistent with this view of the prevalence of Roman decadence. So in Romans chapter 1 Paul had written about male and female Sodomy, or homosexuality, as it is called today, and among a list of other sins he attested that not only were those who did such things worthy of death, but also those who approved of them. Today, most so-called Christians in our Western society are also approving of Sodomites, transsexuals and other such sinners, and anyone who openly stands against this abhorrent behavior is indeed persecuted. But the commandments of Christ, and sin as it is defined in the Law of God, have not changed. What was sin at Sinai, and what was considered sin by the first-century apostles of Christ, is still sin today.
We are all, or at least we all should be, aware of the historic problems with pederasty among the priests of the Roman Catholic Church. Regardless of this disease, even the Church has so far refused to accept such sins as obvious as so-called “gay marriage”. As recently as 2005, under “pope” Benedict, the Vatican issued a document forbidding “those who practice homosexuality”, who have “homosexual tendencies” or who “support the so-called ‘gay culture’” from entering the seminary or being admitted to any of the Catholic so-called “holy orders”. So the Catholic Church rightly takes a public position against Sodomy, but that position is weakening among mainstream Catholics, as there are movements within the Church to undermine it, some of which have formed formal “Catholic” organizations. Many people want their supposed “religion” and their sin too.
However in contrast to Rome, the Anglican Church has not managed to uphold even a pretense of Christian morality, and there seems to be little outcry about it in England. The acceptance of sin by presumed Christians has now become so prevalent that the Church of England has virtually been taken over by Sodomites. The Queen of England has recently appointed a man who openly advocates for Sodomy into the position of archbishop of York, the second highest position in the Church. We must concede, however, that this may actually be an improvement, since he is replacing a negro. This man, Stephen Cottrell, writes eloquent but specious essays cajoling Christians into accepting Sodomy, appealing to their emotions by telling them that the Church might be seen as being “immoral” if it does not accept Sodomites, and arguing that the Church must change itself to comply with the “cultural beliefs” of the worldly society. Stephen Cottrell is the virtual personification of those against whom the Word of God had warned, in Isaiah chapter 5: “20 Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! 21 Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight!”
Preparing for this presentation, I found a book titled Human Rights, Religious Freedom and Faces of Faith published by an organization calling itself “globalethics.net”, which shows how modern liberal humanists are spinning a web of lies in an attempt to turn the historically accepted perception of the development of Christianity on its head. Writing about the ultimate acceptance of Christianity by the wider Roman world, it says on page 197 that “On being moved out of homes, worship had to adapt to ideas and behaviours expected by society, and additionally to adapt all the rules of the public sphere. On the other hand, church officers sought to avoid everything possible that causes offence in the society. This included especially offences against the well-established cultural rules on gender roles. For the sake of expanding their mission local churches decided to adapt to the surrounding culture and patriarchal gender stereotypes.” The same chapter suggests that Paul of Tarsus himself was complicit in this supposed process, which the writers of this trash have contrived for themselves, for their own benefit. In truth, Christian morality and expected Christian behavior are firmly grounded in the Scriptures of both the Old and New Testaments, and have not changed. Traditional gender roles and the patriarchal structure of the Christian society exist because the God of the Bible instilled them into His Creation and has codified them into His law. But these lying bastards at this new-aged institute are attempting to show that Christianity should be fluid and relative today, by falsely claiming that it was fluid and relative in the ancient past. Christianity is not relative, as Yahweh God does not change (Malachi 3:6). Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8).
Fortunately the publisher of this refuse, globalethics.net, is a rather obscure website for an apparently small organization. But the problem is that no matter where they had originated, the opinions which they present and the lies which they have espoused in order to validate those opinions also reflect the opinions which are now being echoed at the highest levels of the Anglican Church, and also by the current “pope” of the Roman Catholic Church. As recently as December 21st, Francis warned that “rigidity… was turning people away… that the church must adapt to a post-Christian west”, and that the “church must adapt or it will become increasingly irrelevant.” Saying those things, he is even indirectly denying the authority which the Church has claimed for itself for the last fifteen hundred years.
So evidently it isn’t long before the Roman Catholic Church catches up to the Anglican in the sphere of moral relativity, and Sodomy becomes universally accepted, just as race-mixing, which is fornication, has already become acceptable by churches everywhere. This is indeed evident as Francis was also quoted as having said “Let's remember always that behind every rigidity lies some derangement”, evidently seeking to make those who stand on Scripture rather than following moral relativism look as though they are hateful and mad. Since Yahweh God is rigid, Francis would surely accuse God Himself of being deranged. Then Francis declared that “We are not in Christianity, not anymore!”, evidently going so far as to seek to separate the Church from Christianity, as if it could be an entity which may transcend even God Himself.
Evidently, the modern churches now esteem sin to be the opposition to the trends of the secular world, which is in direct opposition to the teachings of the gospel and the apostles that Christians must eschew the sins of the world and keep the commandments of Christ. The apostle John defined sin in Christian terms where he wrote in his chapter 3 of his first epistle that “4 Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.” So it becomes evident that true Christians must keep the moral commandments in the law, and for that they will certainly be persecuted, not only by the enemies of Christ but now even by those who claim to represent Him. Sin is not the transgression of the world, it is the transgression of the laws of God, and Christians are persecuted if they seek to actually keep that law. So we may see that the truth of the statement made by Christ earlier in this chapter, that “2 They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service” may be just as relevant, and ultimately just as valid in modern times as it was back when Christ had first spoken them.
Now, regardless of all He has told them, as we proceed with John chapter 16 Christ informs them that they have not yet heard all that they shall need to hear:
XVI “12 Many things have I to say to you, but you are not able to bear them even now.
So, as we had explained in our commentary on verse 4 of this chapter, and even earlier in John, Yahweh God does indeed dispense information on a need-to-know basis. While the practice is not explained in the Old Testament, it is certainly implicit, for example in the giving of the law from Sinai to Deuteronomy, or in the promises to Abraham which, as they are revealed in Genesis, were elaborated upon as he advanced in both years and in his commitment to his faith. Now Christ once again reveals how they will continue to learn:
13 But when He should come, the Spirit of Truth, He shall guide you in all truth. For He shall not speak by Himself, but as many things as He shall hear [א has ‘as He hears’; A and the MT ‘as perhaps He would hear; the text follows B, D and W], He shall speak and He shall report to you the coming things.
At the end of Part 35 of our commentary on this gospel, titled Empathy and Altruism, and at the beginning of Part 36, titled The Way, we made the assertion that even after all of this time which they had spent with Christ, the apostles still had much to learn. This passage alsone is proof enough of that assertion, and some of the learning experience which they had later in life is recorded in the Book of Acts, but even greater learning is reflected later on when they wrote their epistles. Of course, John received many things by the Spirit, and especially those which he recorded in the Revelation of Yahshua Christ. But James, Peter and Jude also wrote of “coming things” in their epistles.
For example, in 2 Peter chapter 2 we read: “1 But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. 2 And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. 3 And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not.” Now we may think that this applies to any time after Christ, as there were false teachers of Christianity from the first century, and as religion has also been abused for profit throughout the ages. But a few verses later Peter himself reveals what sort of false teachers he had envisioned, where he makes comparisons to the time of Noah, when all but eight of the children of Adam were condemned for race-mixing with the fallen angels, and of Sodom and Gomorrah, which were punished drastically for those same sins and many others, from which we have the term Sodomy. Today, it is fornication and Sodomy which are being promoted in our modern churches, so these must be the times which Peter had envisioned.
Jude shares basically the same message in his lone surviving epistle, also having envisioned these things, and therefore he must also have been taught them by the Spirit of God as he studied the Scriptures. This is apparent where he then cites Enoch, and speaking of the same evil times which Peter foresaw he says “Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints, To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him.” So these apostles foresaw the circumstances which would prevail at the distant time in which Yahshua Christ would return.
In the final chapter of his own lone epistle, James condemned the wealthy, who had “heaped treasure together for the last days” and had “lived in pleasure on the earth, and been wanton; ye have nourished your hearts, as in a day of slaughter.” But then James encourages his readers with the consolation of expectation, exhorting them to “7 Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain. 8 Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh.” As Peter and Jude also described, we have consolation in the fact that our expectation is true, that God is true, and that Christians will prevail over the world, in spite of the seeming odds against their prevailing. Men may think of Christ as some sort of underdog, to use a worldly term, but we must know that God does not think of Himself in that manner. In fulfillment of the words of Christ, if the apostles foresaw these times, and it is certain that they did, then the victory which they also foresaw shall certainly also be fulfilled.
The “Spirit of Truth” (πνεῦμα τῆς ἀληθείας) was also described as the Holy Spirit and as the Advocate, or Comforter (παράκλητος) throughout the discourse of Christ in these chapters of John’s gospel. We must remember that from John chapter 13 we are still in John’s account of the words of Christ on the final evening before the Crucifixion. Note that Christ had said, as it is recorded in John chapter 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. 18 I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.” So there Christ had revealed that He is indeed that Spirit of Truth, or Comforter, to whom He refers here. Once again, it is evident that God refers to a manifestation of Himself in the third person. As Christ is Yahweh God incarnate but He also referred to the Father in the third person, He is the promised Comforter, as He Himself had attested, yet He speaks of that Comforter in the third person. Christ and His Father are one, as He also attested, and therefore Christ and the Comforter are also one, and not two or three.
Then immediately after identifying Himself as the Comforter in John chapter 14, Christ had exclaimed that “19 Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also.” This is the comfort, or consolation, that Christians must have in their expectation. Christ exclaims at the very end of this chapter that “I have prevailed over Society!” If we are Christians, we must follow Him and keep His commandments in spite of Society, because in His comfort, which is the Holy Spirit, we know that we shall live, and therefore through Him we also shall prevail over Society. Continuing to refer to the Spirit of Truth, Christ continues:
14 He honors Me, because He shall receive from of Me and shall report it to you. 15 All things as much as the Father has are Mine. For this reason I said that He [the Spirit of Truth] receives from of Me and reports to you.
The 3rd century papyrus P66 and the Codex Sinaiticus (א) want verse 15 entirely, which the editors of the Nestle-Aland Novum Testamentum Graece, 27th edition, seem to justifiably attribute to a copyist’s error which was most likely committed because of the similarity of the final words of the verse with those of verse 14.
Of course, before the alienation of the children of Israel, Yahweh interacted with His people through His Spirit, so we see the phrase “the Spirit of the Lord” very frequently in the King James Version Old Testament. So the Word of Yahweh spoke to Ezekiel, in chapter 11 of his prophecy: “4 Therefore prophesy against them, prophesy, O son of man. 5 And the Spirit of the LORD fell upon me, and said unto me, Speak; Thus saith the LORD; Thus have ye said, O house of Israel: for I know the things that come into your mind, every one of them.” The children of Israel were being punished because they did not have a mind to keep the commandments of God, and had rather slipped into iniquity.
Likewise, in a Messianic prophecy in Isaiah chapter 48 we read: “15 I, even I, have spoken; yea, I have called him: I have brought him [speaking collectively of the children of Jacob], and he shall make his way prosperous. 16 Come ye near unto me, hear ye this; I have not spoken in secret from the beginning; from the time that it was, there am I: and now the Lord GOD, and his Spirit, hath sent me. 17 Thus saith the LORD, thy Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel; I am the LORD thy God which teacheth thee to profit, which leadeth thee by the way that thou shouldest go. 18 O that thou hadst hearkened to my commandments! then had thy peace been as a river, and thy righteousness as the waves of the sea: 19 Thy seed also had been as the sand, and the offspring of thy bowels like the gravel thereof; his name should not have been cut off nor destroyed from before me.” True prosperity results when we keep the commandments of God. When we fall into sin, the enemies of our God become prosperous.
That prosperity, another aspect of the consolation of our Christian expectation, is described in part in Revelation chapter 14: “12 Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus. 13 And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them.” But regarding all of those who worship the beast, who join themselves to the world and conform themselves to its sins, earlier in that same chapter we read: “10 The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: 11 And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.” This is the end of all of the race-mixers and Sodomites who have taken over the modern Churches, as well as those who are outside of the Churches.
Continuing in sin when they have opportunity to know the truth, a mere profession of Christ does not save men from facing the punishment of their sins. For that reason, the Word of God said in Daniel chapter 12: “… and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book. And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.” An eternity in shame and contempt may still be resurrection, but it is not a pleasant resurrection, where evidently even God Himself distributes His mercy accordingly.
In chapter 2 of his epistle to the Ephesians, Paul of Tarsus reflects the understanding that to be in Christ means that one has departed from sin, as he wrote concerning the “children of disobedience… 3 Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. 4 But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, 5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) [a reference to the Israelites of he captivity who would find grace in the wilderness, Jeremiah 31:2] 6 And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: 7 That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.” So later, in chapter 5, he encouraged his readers to be followers of God, to depart from sin where he wrote “3 But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints; 4 Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks. 5 For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. 6 Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience. 7 Be not ye therefore partakers with them.”
In 1 Corinthians chapter 6 Paul discouraged his readers from a similar list of sins: “Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, 10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.” Likewise in 1 Timothy chapter 1 he mentioned “them that defile themselves with mankind” in a similar context. The word, ἀρσενοκοίτης is traditionally and correctly defined as “one who lies with a male as with a female, sodomite, homosexual”. It is the same word that secular Greek writers had used to describe sexual acts between men. It is punishable by death under the law, and condemned in the New Testament as well. As we have said, Paul explained at the end of Romans chapter 1 that not only those who commit such acts are worthy of death, but also those who approve of the men who commit them. It is no wonder, that with the Roman Catholic Church slowly moving away from its own traditional view of Christianity, the current pope would exclaim that “We are not in Christianity, not anymore!”
The world is indeed corrupt, the churches have joined the corrupted world, and the consolation of our expectation is that we shall indeed overcome the world, because our God has already overcome the world. But true Christians also have an obligation to separate themselves from those corrupt churches.
Once again, Christ continues by speaking of His current circumstances:
“16 Shortly and you shall no longer see Me, then again shortly and you shall [A and the MT interpolate ‘not’, which the King James Version did not follow here; the text follows P66, א, B, D, W and 068] see Me [A, 068 and the MT interpolate ‘because I go to the Father’ at the end of the verse, for which see verse 17; the text follows P5, P66, א, B, D, and W].”
Earlier this same evening, in John chapter 14, Christ offered them an expectation of consolation where He told them “19 Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also”, but they still did not understand Him, and we see that again here:
17 Therefore some from among His students said to one another: “What is this which He says to us, ‘Shortly and you shall not see Me [D and W have ‘see Me no longer”], then again shortly and you shall see Me’, and that ‘I go to the Father’?” 18 Then they said: [D wants ‘Then they said:] “What is this He speaks [P5, P66, א, D and W want ‘He speaks’; the text follows A, B, 068 and the MT ], ‘Shortly’? We do not know what He says [B wants ‘He says’; D has ‘that which He speaks’]!”
There are notes here where some manuscripts interchange forms of the words λαλέω and λέγω. The differences in this passage between the words say and speak are arbitrary, and we have say where the verb λαλέω appears, and speak where λέγω appears. The two words being synonyms, surely I did not carry that practice throughout the entire Christogenea translation.
Even though Christ had told them much earlier and on at least several occasions that “he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day”, as it reads in Matthew chapter 16, the apostles still did not understand that it is that same thing to which He had been referring throughout this discourse. So the questions continue:
19 [A and the MT insert “Then”; the text follows P5, א, B, D and W] Yahshua knew [P66 inserts “that they were about to and”] that they desired to ask Him [א and W have “that they were about to ask Him”; D “that they desired to question Him concerning this”], and He said to them: “Concerning this you inquire with one another because I said ‘Shortly and you shall not see Me, then again shortly and you shall see Me’?
Now His answer offers consolation regarding a more immediate expectation:
20 Truly, truly I say to you that you shall weep and lament, but Society shall rejoice. You [A, W and the MT have ‘Then you’; the text follows P5, א, B and D] shall be grieved [λυπέω], but your grief [λύπη] shall be made into joy.
So Christ foretells of immediate grief for His disciples, and of the joy they would realize once they are past that grief. Once again, this is also a repeat and an elaboration on things which Christ had explained to them earlier this evening, as we read in John chapter 14 : “28 Ye have heard how I said unto you, I go away, and come again unto you. If ye loved me, ye would rejoice, because I said, I go unto the Father: for my Father is greater than I.” There we explained that the apostles did indeed realize that joy, and in their epistles they wrote about the joy which they had in Christ, and had implicitly described it as the ultimate consolation of our Christian expectation, for example where Peter wrote to the Christians of Anatolia in his first epistle: “7 That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ: 8 Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory: 9 Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.”
Now Christ compares the process which His disciples would suffer, of grief and pain followed by joy, to a woman in childbirth:
21 When a woman gives birth she has pain [λύπη], because her hour has come. But when she should give birth to the child, no longer does she remember the distress on account of the joy because a man has been born into Society.
The word for pain is λύπη, which is the same word rendered as grief in the context of the surrounding passages, where it appears in reference to the apostles.
In Isaiah chapter 66, this same analogy was used of the ultimate deliverance of the saints and the destruction of the enemies of God, where it must also be speaking of those same future circumstances that the apostles had foreseen, and which we evidently suffer under today. But it was also speaking of the fate of the Israelites of the Assyrian captivity, as all prophecy has both an immediate and a transcendental fullfillment, so we read:
4 I also will choose their delusions, and will bring their fears upon them; because when I called, none did answer; when I spake, they did not hear: but they did evil before mine eyes, and chose that in which I delighted not.
As Paul had explained in Romans chapter 1, Sodomy was not the sin for which the people should be punished, but Yahweh gave the Romans up to Sodomy because they had the truth and changed it into a lie, going over to paganism.
5 Hear the word of the LORD, ye that tremble at his word; Your brethren that hated you, that cast you out for my name's sake, said, Let the LORD be glorified: but he shall appear to your joy, and they shall be ashamed.
Here it is evident that men who sought to keep the commandments of God have suffered throughout history, even long before Christ had warned His apostles of that same thing. Continuing with Isaiah:
6 A voice of noise from the city, a voice from the temple, a voice of the LORD that rendereth recompence to his enemies. 7 Before she travailed, she brought forth; before her pain came, she was delivered of a man child. 8 Who hath heard such a thing? who hath seen such things? Shall the earth be made to bring forth in one day? or shall a nation be born at once? for as soon as Zion travailed, she brought forth her children.
These children are the nations which would result from the deportations of the Israelites, to which Paul was referring in Romans chapter 4 and Galatians chapters 3 and 4. Again continuing with Isaiah:
9 Shall I bring to the birth, and not cause to bring forth? saith the LORD: shall I cause to bring forth, and shut the womb? saith thy God. 10 Rejoice ye with Jerusalem, and be glad with her, all ye that love her: rejoice for joy with her, all ye that mourn for her: 11 That ye may suck, and be satisfied with the breasts of her consolations; that ye may milk out, and be delighted with the abundance of her glory. 12 For thus saith the LORD, Behold, I will extend peace to her like a river, and the glory of the [nations] like a flowing stream: then shall ye suck, ye shall be borne upon her sides, and be dandled upon her knees. 13 As one whom his mother comforteth, so will I comfort you; and ye shall be comforted in Jerusalem. 14 And when ye see this, your heart shall rejoice, and your bones shall flourish like an herb: and the hand of the LORD shall be known toward his servants, and his indignation toward his enemies.
This prophecy was fulfilled in Christ, in the course of His ministry, death and resurrection in Jerusalem, in which the children of Israel would be comforted.
15 For, behold, the LORD will come with fire, and with his chariots like a whirlwind, to render his anger with fury, and his rebuke with flames of fire. 16 For by fire and by his sword will the LORD plead with all flesh: and the slain of the LORD shall be many. 17 They that sanctify themselves, and purify themselves in the gardens behind one tree in the midst, eating swine's flesh, and the abomination, and the mouse, shall be consumed together, saith the LORD. 18 For I know their works and their thoughts: it shall come, that I will gather all nations and tongues; and they shall come, and see my glory.
The immediate fulfillment of this is that Isaiah was prophesying the fall of Jerusalem, and in its fall the children of Israel would have joy as they became many nations in their captivity. All nations and tongues of the dispersed children of Israel shall be gathered, as the context also now indicates, in a passage which also reveals the identity of the dispersed children of Israel:
19 And I will set a sign among them, and I will send those that escape of them unto the nations, to Tarshish, Pul, and Lud, that draw the bow, to Tubal, and Javan, to the isles afar off, that have not heard my fame, neither have seen my glory; and they shall declare my glory among the Nations.
Not two hundred years after Isaiah had written these words, the people historically known as Kimmerians, Galatae (the Gauls or Galatians) and Scythians, the Germanic peoples of modern times, began to appear in all of these places, which can be identified along the southern coasts of Europe, from the region around the Caspian and Black seas and west all the way to the Iberian peninsula. Continuing with Isaiah:
20 And they shall bring all your brethren for an offering unto the LORD out of all nations upon horses, and in chariots, and in litters, and upon mules, and upon swift beasts, to my holy mountain Jerusalem, saith the LORD, as the children of Israel bring an offering in a clean vessel into the house of the LORD. 21 And I will also take of them for priests and for Levites, saith the LORD.
And now in a revelation of the distant future, the transcendental fulfillment of Isaiah’s words which all Christians should be expecting becomes manifest, as these things are prophesied anew in the Revelation and have not yet been completely fulfilled:
22 For as the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make, shall remain before me, saith the LORD, so shall your seed and your name remain. 23 And it shall come to pass, that from one new moon to another, and from one sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before me, saith the LORD. 24 And they shall go forth, and look upon the carcases of the men that have transgressed against me: for their worm shall not die, neither shall their fire be quenched; and they shall be an abhorring unto all flesh.
So it is evident, that the Word of God is true, but that Christians shall not receive the final reward of its fulfillment without much pain, likened in Isaiah to the pain of a woman in childbirth as Christ describes the trials which His disciples must also undergo. So while we suffer, and may even be persecuted in the world today, the assurance of the Word of God and our final victory is the consolation of our expectation, just as the apostles of Christ and the obedient Israelites of antiquity were also assured. So Christ continues to address their grief and console them with that promise of joy:
22 Therefore you also have grief [λύπη; P5, B and D have ‘shall have grief’; the text follows P22, א, B, C and the MT, and this reading is evident where Christ already described the apostles as having grief] indeed, but I shall see you again, and your hearts shall rejoice, and no one takes [P5, B and D have ‘shall take’; W has ‘takes away’] your joy from you.
While Paul of Tarsus was not one of the original disciples, and was not present here, he nevertheless had received the Spirit of Truth, and by it he understood all of these things. So in Romans chapter 15 he described the consolation of expectation and the joy which the nations of scattered Israel should have by the gospel of Christ their Messiah, where he wrote “8 Therefore I say, Yahshua Christ came to be a minister of circumcision in behalf of the truth of Yahweh; for the confirmation of the promises of the fathers; 9 and the Nations for the sake of mercy honor Yahweh; just as it is written, ‘For this reason I will profess you among the Nations, and I will sing of Your name.’ 10 And again it says, ‘Rejoice, Nations with His people.’ 11 And again, ‘Praise Yahweh, all the Nations, and commend Him, all the people.’ 12 And again, Isaiah says, ‘There shall be the root of Iessai, and He is arising to be ruler of nations: upon Him the Nations have expectation.’ 13 Now may Yahweh fill you of that hope, with all joy and peace in confidence, until you overflow with expectation, in the power of the Holy Spirit. 14 Moreover I am persuaded, my brethren, even I myself concerning you, that you also are full of goodness, being full of all knowledge, being able then to advise one another.”
But honoring Yahweh, the Nations were being called to obedience, to keep His commandments, as later in that same chapter Paul mentioned the “compliance”, or “obedience of the Nations”, and then mentioned the obedience of the Roman Christians in chapter 16, commending them for it, while in the closing verses of the epistle he once again attested that the nations were called to the submission, or to the obedience, of faith. In Romans chapters 5 and 6 Paul described that same obedience as a departure from sin, the faith requiring Christians to be obedient as Christ had said, “If you love Me, keep My commandments”. So the true Christian faith requires obedience to the commandments of God, as Paul also explained in Romans chapter 6: “15 What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid. 16 Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness? 17 But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. 18 Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.”
Therefore, one cannot be a sinner, one cannot be a Sodomite or a race-mixing fornicator or any other type of sinner, and still pretend to be a Christian. Although one may get through this world under that pretense, God Himself will not be mocked and in the end that presumption of Christianity will be of no profit to the sinner, nor to those who accept them. Later in Romans chapter 6, Paul explained “22 But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.” In the context of his previous explanations, “being made free from sin” meant that one should depart from sin, not that continuing in a sinful life would be somehow ignored or even blessed by God. Of such men Paul had written in Hebrews chapter 6: “4 For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Spirit, 5 And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, 6 If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance [so we see that their fall was to go off into some sin]; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.” These modern churches crucify Christ anew by insisting thsat we accept sinners. And then Paul exclaimed in the final verse of Romans chapter 6: “23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” That gift is the Christian expectation. Now Christ is evidently speaking of the attainment of the joy by which they have consolation and says:
“23 And in that day you shall ask Me nothing. Truly, truly I say to you, anything [P22, A and W have ‘that which’ or ‘that if’, depending on whether ὅτι is read as ὅτι or ὅ τι ; א has ‘that whatever’, ὅτι ὃ ἐάν ; the MT has ‘that as much’, ὅτι ὅσα ἂν ; the text follows P5, B, C and D, ἄν τι] you would ask the Father in My Name He shall give to you.
The Christogenea New Testament had this verse to read in part “anything you shall ask the Father”, yet the verb is an aorist subjunctive and has now been corrected. Strangely, the correct version stood in the translation notes, so it may have been an error in typing the translation.
Here we cannot imagine that Christ is speaking out-of-context, of worldly or material gifts, as the prosperity gospel hucksters want their followers to imagine. Christ is speaking of “that day”, meaning the day “when He should come, the Spirit of Truth”, as He had just promised them in verse 13, and then as it says here in verse 19 that “Yahshua knew that they desired to ask Him” concerning the meaning of His words to them, they would ultimately be able to inquire through the Holy Spirit and receive the understanding of His Word without having to ask Him directly. This is the context of His words here, and they cannot justly be lifted out and set in any other context.
So in Ephesians chapter 1, Paul wrote of riches far beyond the worldly desires of the prosperity hucksters, praying for his readers: “17 That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him: 18 The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what [are] the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints”. So this is what Christians should pray for, to be assured in the expectation of their consolation.
24 Until now you have asked nothing in My Name. Ask [whether αἰτεῖτε or αἰτήσασθε] and you shall receive, that your joy would be fulfilled.
The apostles have asked Christ questions directly, but evidently had not yet thought to ask anything of God in prayer in the Name of Christ, which He has now instructed them to do. Next, He admits having spoken to them enigmatically, for which reason they have not been able to understand Him completely:
“25 I have spoken these things to you in parables. The [P66, A and the MT have ‘But the’; the text follows P5, א, B, C, D and W] hour comes when I shall no longer speak to you in parables, but with frankness I shall report to you concerning the Father.
These reports are not found in the records of our New Testament Scriptures, as even in Acts chapter 1, after he resurrection and immediately before His ascension, Christ did not answer their questions fully. Evidently, their answers would only come through their future prayers and study of the Scriptures, by the Holy Spirit or “Spirit of Truth”. Paul would later write, in his first epistle to the Corinthians: “9 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. 10 But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.”
26 In that day you shall ask in My Name, and I do not say to you that I shall ask the Father for you [P5 wants ‘for you’]. 27 For the Father Himself loves you, because you have loved Me and you have believed that I came out from Yahweh [B, C and D have ‘from the Father’; the text follows P5, א, A, W and the MT].
Yahshua Christ is Yahweh God incarnate, the physical manifestation of God in His Creation, and therefore He was the Light made at the beginning of the world, even before the creation of the sun, moon and stars, and at the end, in Revelation chapter 21 where the City of God is described, He is the Light once again, as “the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof.” As we also explained early in this commentary, the assertion that Yahshua Christ is the light come into the world is a direct refutation of the ancient claims of kings to be the bearers of light, as kings were the law-givers of ancient societies. Yet Christ is the true Light and the only righteous law-giver.
Being the Holy Spirit, as He has also attested, His children may inquire through His Spirit, if indeed they keep His commandments so that He may dwell with them. This He said in John chapter 14: “23 Jesus answered and said unto him, 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. 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.” So all of these modern clerics who bless fornicators and Sodomites obviously cannot love either Christ or God. But as John also attested in chapter 1 of this gospel, Christ is “the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.” and “He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not.” The supposed Church leaders who attempt to conform what they call Christianity to the whims and sins of the world evidently do not know God.
28 I came from [B and C have ‘from of’, ἐκ rather than παρὰ ; the text follows P5, P27, א, A and the MT] the Father [D and W want ‘I came from the Father”, the rest of the words continuing the sentence from verse 27] and I spoke to Society. Again I leave Society and I go to the Father.”
The apostles still did not quite understand this, so now they exhort Him to speak plainly:
29 His students say [א, A, D W and the MT insert “to Him”; the text follows P5, B and C]: “Look, now You speak with frankness and speak not with any [literally ‘with not one’] parable. 30 We know that You know all things and You have no reason [χρεία, or necessity] that one should question You. By this we believe that You have come out from Yahweh.”
He had no reason, or perhaps necessity, that anyone should question Him, yet they had need to question Him often, and their questioning Him and staying with Him in spite of His often enigmatic answers help serve to prove that they did actually believe Him. Now He refers to that belief:
31 Yahshua replied to them: “Even now do you believe?
This remark may have been interpreted as a plain statement, as the editors of the Novum Testamentum Graece also note, where it would be translated “Right now you believe.” However the following verse reveals that it should be a question, because He is challenging their claim to believe:
32 Behold, the hour comes and [א inserts ‘the hour’; the MT has ‘and now’; the text follows P22, P66, A, B, C, D and W] has come that you shall [P66 inserts ‘all’] be scattered each to his own affairs [τὰ ἴδια, ‘his own affairs’ or perhaps ‘his own place’, see our commentary on John 1:11] and you will leave Me alone. Yet I am not alone, because the Father is with Me!
The hour has come because He has nearly reached the garden of Gethsamane and His arrest and execution are imminent. The record is evident, that upon His arrest His disciples were scattered. This was unavoidable, as it was prophesied in the Word of God, in Zechariah chapter 13, “smite the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered”. As it is recorded in Matthew chapter 26, and in Mark chapter 14, but not here in John, earlier this same evening and before they left the house where they had dinner, Christ had cited those very words from Zechariah in reference to Himself.
Now He once again declares what is the consolation of their expectation:
33 [P66 inserts ‘Now’] I have spoken these things to you that in Me you should have peace. In Society you have [D has ‘shall have’] distress [P66 wants this clause, ‘In Society you have distress], but you must have courage, I have prevailed over Society!”
This is how we have consolation in expectation: because Christ had already prevailed over Society even before He was slain, but His being slain made the way for the children of Israel to be reconciled to Yahweh their God, so they would live just as He still lived.
As it is written in the words of the Wisdom of Solomon, “God created man to be immortal, and made him to be an image of his own eternity.” God will not fail, in spite of the failures of man, and in Christ all those whom He created shall have life, as Paul also attested, in 1 Corinthians chapter 15, “22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.” But all of the bastards shall be destroyed, and if any of those charlatans who are leading the Christians of the West into fornication and Sodomy still attain to that resurrection, if they indeed be among His people in the first place, then surely theirs will be a resurrection into shame and everlasting contempt.
The look on Stephen Cottrell’s face will be priceless. As for “pope” Francis, he is certainly a bastard and will not be part of the resurrection.