Why Do You Have to Go?
Tim Temple

Introduction

Open your Bibles to John, chapter 14. We want to look at the middle section of this chapter. One thing that people find hard to deal with is change. Everybody likes a change of pace or a change of view once in a while, but it is very hard to deal with those big changes that come into our lives—the death of a loved one, a move to another part of the country, the loss of a job, when the last child leaves home, various things like that that come into our lives from time to time. That is exactly where we find the disciples as we come to chapter 14.

In our last lesson, you will remember that in verses 1-4, Jesus made the startling announcement of His departure, and there are many lessons to be learned from the way He gave it. He had been hinting at this and easing into it for some time, but in chapter 14, verse 2, He says, “I go to prepare a place for you.” In verse 3, He says:

John 14

3And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.

However, the words that must have driven right to the heart of the disciples were, “I go. I am going away.” The announcement was made, and we talked about various aspects of that and the results of it in our last lesson.

Disciples' First Objection

We now want to think about the disciples' response to that announcement. After the gracious way that Jesus made that announcement of His departure, we would think that the disciples would have been calm and peaceful, because He did give them a great deal of hope and a great many things to think about as He made the announcement, but as usual, that was not the case. In verses 5-11, we read about the agitation over the departure on the part of the disciples. The first part of their agitation is in verses 5-7, which says, in so many words, “We don't know where you are going.” That is their first objection, the objection that Thomas raises in verse 5:

John 14

5Thomas saith unto him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way?

This question probably came partly because the disciples really didn't want to understand Jesus' leaving them. They just didn't want to have to deal with that. Thomas, who, if you trace through the few mentions of him in the Gospels, always represented the confused and doubting element among the disciples, voiced the question, but it was probably on all of their minds. The way he said it was something like this: “Lord, we are still not exactly clear on where you are going, so how can we possibly know how to get there?”

Jesus' Answer to the Objection

In verses 6-7, we find Jesus' explanation to this objection. In verse 6, Jesus said to him:

John 14

6…I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
7If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him.

Notice very carefully what Jesus said here in verse 7. He didn't say, “I have taught you the way and the truth and the life.” He didn't say, “I know about the way and the truth and the life.” He said, in these very well known, foundational verses, “I am the way, the truth, and the life.” Then He goes on to say, “No one can come to the Father, except by Me.”

That is a very divisive verse in the good sense of the word. We live in a day in which there is a great emphasis on cooperation and on acceptance and on unity. I have been talking about those things myself, but we need to be very careful that we understand that there are some boundaries to that unity and to the cooperation. Here is the most important boundary, the foundational boundary: “No one comes to the Father but by Me.”

When the Bible speaks about fellowship and unity and cooperation, when I speak about fellowship and unity and cooperation, we are talking about fellowship and unity and cooperation within that circle of people who say, “I come to God through Jesus Christ.”

We are not talking about all religious people in the world getting together. We are not talking about everybody who has some concept of God getting together. The Bible doesn't say that anywhere, but over and over again it talks about those who come to God through Jesus Christ having unity with each other, recognizing that there are differences and probably always will be differences. We are not saying that we have to agree about every jot and tittle of everything that everybody believes, but we can agree on the fact that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, the fact that Jesus Christ died on the Cross as a sacrifice to pay for our sins, the fact that He rose from the dead to validate that payment and the fact that He ascended into Heaven with the promise that He would come again. Jesus Christ prayed that the Father would give us unity, but this is the dividing line, and we must not forget it: “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father but by Me.”

Then He goes on to say to Thomas, in verse 7, “If you do not know Me, you do not know God at all.” Jesus unequivocally says that all roads do not lead to God. Jesus, in so many words, is saying here, “If you think of Me only as a teacher about God, you don't know Me. You don't know Who I am if you don't realize that I and the Father are One.”

Not only that, but He is the Light. In fact, Jesus is the very power by which we are enabled to come to God. We would not be able to know God or to understand the concept of God in a relational sense if it were not for Jesus Christ, Who He is, what He did, and the work that the Holy Spirit does in the hearts of men because of what He did.

With these words, Jesus turned the disciples' thinking from a system or a method of religion to His own Person. It has been said many times before, but it bears repeating that Christianity is not a religion; it is a relationship. We do not gather around a set of statements that some founding group of men put together. We do not gather around a creed or a historical analysis of our mission or any of those manmade kinds of things. Those kinds of things may have their place. Those kinds of things may be helpful somewhere along the line, but we gather around the Person and work of Jesus Christ. It is not a religion at all; it is a relationship with a distinct Person, the second Person of the Godhead, Jesus Christ Himself.

This must have been a rebuke to Thomas and really to all the disciples, because, as so often was the case, one of the disciples would be speaking for the others. But if Thomas meant what he said, if we can take his words at face value after all this time, if he didn't know that Jesus was in the Father and the Father was in Him, then he really wouldn't be able to understand the concept of God the Father or Heaven either. So if Thomas was just dawdling around with his own confusion over Jesus' going away, he certainly got things put in perspective for him.

Some Bible scholars think that Thomas was just using flowery language to stall or that Thomas said this off the top of his head without thinking it through. At any rate, Jesus used it as an opportunity to get into the record for us Who He really is and where to draw the line on our belief in Him and our relationship with other people in terms of their belief in Him.

Another Disciple Objects

As we move on to the next verses, it seems that instead of settling the issue, Jesus' explanation just led to another question. In verses 5-7, Philip says, in so many words, “We don't know to whom You are going.” That is the second expression of agitation over Jesus' announcement. Look at verse 8. The objection itself is there. Thomas has had his turn, so now Philip says to Him:

John 14

8…Lord, shew us the Father, and it sufficeth us.

Apparently, Philip is asking for a physical viewing of God the Father: “Let us see Him personally, and that is all that we will need. We will never have another question again if you just let us see the Father.”

Have you ever said something like that to God? Maybe not, “Let me see the Father,” but probably most of us at one time or other have said, “Lord, if You will only do this one thing, I will never ask You for anything else again. If You will only do this one thing for me, I will never have a doubt again.” How human we are and how silly we are!

In this case, Philip was asking for something even more serious than that. Maybe he was thinking about the time when Moses had asked God to show him Himself, and God showed him His glory in Exodus, chapter 33. God did let Moses see His glory, but He didn't let him see His face. Maybe Philip thought that since Jesus knew God as His Father so intimately and since Jesus had told them how much He loved them (His disciples) that maybe it would be different than it was with Moses. Maybe God would let the Son show the Father to the disciples. Jesus' explanation is in verses 9-11:

John 14

9Jesus 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, Shew us the Father?
10Believest 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.
11Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works' sake.

This answer of Jesus, I think, was said with a note of sadness in His voice. It is as though He is saying, “Philip, do you really not truly believe? After all the miracles that you have seen, after all that I have said about My equality with the Father, do you really still not understand? Do you not understand that to see Me is to have seen the Father?”

I think that is the attitude and tone of voice that He used. It may be that this emphatic statement is startling to you: “He that has seen Me has seen the Father also.” If it is startling to you, imagine how startling it must have sounded to the disciples. These men were monotheistic Jews. Their statement of faith was, the Lord our God is one Lord , and all their lives they had thought in terms of Jehovah. Although, if they studied their Scriptures at all, they would know that God had said, “Let us make man in our image,” and they would have been able to piece together just from the Old Testament the doctrine of the Trinity , if they had been thinking. Jesus is just saying, “I am that One God. I am the second Person of the Godhead. I am a part of the Trinity. If you have seen Me, you have seen the Father.”

That is the strongest claim to deity that Jesus ever made, and as we have been working our way through the book of John, we have seen that He made many claims to deity. Recently, I read an article in a journal that was written in the past year, claiming that Jesus never claimed to be God, that His followers just attached that to Him after He was gone.

The man who wrote that article must not have read his Bible, because over and over again, Jesus claimed to be God. How could Jesus say, “If you have seen Me, you have seen the Father,” when the statement had been, “Show us God the Father and it will suffice us.”? How could Jesus say that without claiming deity for Himself?

Colossians, chapter 1, corroborates this. Paul, writing about the Lord Jesus, makes a very clear statement of the very same thing that Jesus is saying here. Notice verse 15:

Colossians 1

15Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:
16For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:
17And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.

Verse 17 says, “…by him all things consist.” Through the years we have talked about the fact that the Lord Jesus Christ keeps everything moving. That is true, and what I am about to say doesn't downgrade that in any way; but I want to call your attention to the really more accurate translation of verse 17 in the New King James Version . It says:

Colossians 1

17He is before all things, and in him all things consist.

What that verse says is that even though our human minds can't fully comprehend it, even the creation around us, even our own bodies, the whole movement of the cosmos that is being referred to here in Colossians, chapter 1, is a part of Jesus Christ. It is not just that He sits off in the distance and keeps His finger on the button and keeps everything moving, but all of this is part of His essence, a part of His being to begin with: “Let us create man in our own image. In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” In a way that we can't fully comprehend, all of this is just a part of the essence of Him in the first place.

Turn over to Hebrews, chapter 1. I want you to see that this is the clear record of Scripture that Jesus is One with the Father. We will begin with verse 1 to get the setting of verse 3:

Hebrews 1

1God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets,
2Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;
3Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high:

Notice again verse 3:

Hebrews 1

3…upholding all things by the word of his power…

Then in the last part of verse 2:

Hebrews 1

2…by whom also he made the worlds;

There was this cooperation between God the Father and God the Son, but they are One. It was the work of the Trinity. Jesus is a part of the Trinity, so He is One with God the Father and all of that was done by Him.

Go back again to John, chapter 14, where Jesus carries it a step further. In verses 10-11, Jesus gives a double proof of His deity. First, there is the evidence of His words. Notice verse 10:

John 14

10Believest 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.

Let's think about verse 10 for a moment before we move on to verse 11. Jesus' teaching, His claims to deity, the authority with which He spoke, shouted His unique deity. People heard Him and they said, “Never a man spake like this man.” People saw the miracles that He did, and they realized by His very actions, without His making any claim to be God, that He was God.

Then in verse 11, there is not only His words, but His works. In the last line of verse 10, He says, “The Father who dwells in Me does the works.” That puts Him in the same category with the Father, but in verse 11, He says:

John 14

11Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works' sake.

As I said a few moments ago, all of His miracles proved His unique deity, and what He is saying is that just on the basis of those works, they could accept Him as God. What He is saying is, “If you can't handle this heavy theological concept of I am in the Father and the Father in Me, at least you can believe Me because of the physical miracles that you have seen Me do.”

It is interesting to me how often in the Scripture God will give a heavy doctrinal or theological concept and then He will come back and state it in a simpler way. Let me just give you one other illustration of it. In Ephesians, chapter 5, where the Holy Spirit, through the Apostle Paul, is giving instructions to men and women about marriage, He says in verse 25:

Ephesians 5

25Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;

Then He goes on to talk about loving our wives as Christ loved the Church, and then when He gets through all of that, He says, “So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself.” It is as if the Holy Spirit is having Paul say, “If you can't understand all of this theological concept of Christ and His Bride, the Church, and Christ loving the Church as men are to love their wives, then let me put it this way, ‘Love your wife as you love yourself'.”

That is what Jesus is saying here: “If you can't understand that I am in the Father and the Father in Me, just think about it this way: Think about the works that you have seen Me do. Think about the words that you have heard Me say. Don't worry about the theological concept. Just think about the evidence that I have given you.” You see the graciousness of God in both—having Jesus explain that relationship to them so clearly, but then having also demonstrated it to them before He even gave that theological explanation.

That brings us back again to the purpose of His miracles in the first place. We have mentioned this many times, and it is a very important thing to keep in mind. It comes up again and again as we go through the Gospels. Remember that the purpose of the miracles was to validate His claims of deity. He didn't do the miracles primarily to help the people who He helped. He did those things to show that He was the Messiah, to show that He was God. Even the prophets had spoken of the fact that He would heal the sick and raise the dead and give sight to the blind. The prophets wrote that about the Messiah so that there would be some tangible, physical way of knowing Who the Messiah was when He came. As I have said many times before, if Jesus came as the great healer as some of our liberal friends would have us think, and if some of the other cults and kooks would say, “Oh, Jesus came to heal,” then Jesus was a great failure, because there were only a few more healed folks when He left the earth than when He came.

He healed relatively few people. He raised only a few people from the dead. He only gave sight to a few people. He didn't come primarily to do those things in and of themselves; He did those things to prove Who He was. In His love and mercy and grace, He proved Who He was in ways that helped people, but the purpose of the miracles was to prove Who He was. That was why He said to the disciples, “Think about what you have seen Me do. Think about what you have heard Me say. That ought to be enough, even if you can't understand all of the theological underpinnings of it.”

There is a lesson in that for us, too, as we go about trying to witness for Christ. Most unbelievers—there are exceptions to this—are not capable of understanding heavy theological truth, heavy doctrinal background. When we witness to people, we need to be careful that we stick to the facts and that we stick to the simplicity. No matter how great a thing may be, the human mind cannot understand the things of God. Paul wrote the Corinthians that spiritual things are spiritually discerned, and it is only as the Holy Spirit opens a person's eyes to these truths that they will be able to understand them. I think we sometimes try to debate people into the kingdom of Heaven, and we try to show them all of the theological background of Who Jesus was. Jesus said, “Okay, if you can't understand theology, just look at it this way: Look at this simple thing.”

Let me give you an example of the way that this works. Turn back to Mark, chapter 2, the story of the man who was brought to Jesus on a stretcher. They brought this man to Him and let him down through the roof. Notice verse 3:

Mark 2

3And they come unto him, bringing one sick of the palsy, which was borne of four.
4And when they could not come nigh unto him for the press, they uncovered the roof where he was: and when they had broken it up, they let down the bed wherein the sick of the palsy lay.
5[Notice this statement] When Jesus saw their faith [the faith of the men who brought him] , he said unto the sick of the palsy, Son, thy sins be forgiven thee.
6But there was certain of the scribes sitting there, and reasoning in their hearts,
7Why doth this man thus speak blasphemies? who can forgive sins but God only?
8And immediately when Jesus perceived in his spirit that they so reasoned within themselves, he said unto them, Why reason ye these things in your hearts?

Let me stop there for just a minute. Another parenthetical point is: Don't you know that must have startled those Pharisees? Jesus did this thing, and they didn't say a word. They were just thinking in their hearts, “Who can forgive sins but God only?” Then this impostor turns to them and says, “Why are you thinking that?” That would have been pretty impressive by itself, I would think. Then He goes on to say in verse 9:

Mark 2

9Whether is it easier to say to the sick of the palsy, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Arise, and take up thy bed, and walk?
10But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, [Mark says parenthetically] (he saith to the sick of the palsy,)
11I say unto thee, Arise, and take up thy bed, and go thy way into thine house.
12And immediately he arose, took up the bed, and went forth before them all; insomuch that they were all amazed, and glorified God, saying, We never saw it on this fashion.

The point here is that the first thing that Jesus said to the man was, “Your sins are forgiven.” The scribes criticized that and accused Him of blasphemy: “Who can forgive sins but God only?”, but Jesus said, “It is easy to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven.' Anybody can say that, but how would we know that they really have that power?” So He said, “I will do something that you can see so that you will know that I have the power to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven'.” Do you think anybody would go through with an elaborate trick like that to carry a man miles on a stretcher and then tear the roof open? These were eyewitnesses to the fact that he was paralyzed. Jesus said to him, “Take up your bed and walk,” and he did.

His real need was forgiveness of sins, and apparently his sin may have been the cause of his paralysis, although it may be that his paralysis was related to something else and Jesus just healed the paralysis as a demonstration even though He knew the real need was for forgiveness of sin. Incidentally, that is always the real need, whether our paralysis is caused by sin or not—whether some physical ailment that we have is caused by sin or not. What we really need is forgiveness of sins.

If we have forgiveness of sins, and we do if we have trusted Christ as Savior, what else really matters? What if we do have a physical ailment that cannot be changed? In our day and time, most physical ailments can be, but so what if we do have some physical ailment that we cannot change as much as we would like to? The bottom line is at least we have forgiveness of sins. When you think about it, how can we say, “At least we have forgiveness of sins.”? What is more important in the world than forgiveness of sins? Even paralysis pales in comparison to that. Even an unsolvable problem pales in comparison to the fact that we have forgiveness of sins.

Advantages to His Going Away

Coming back to John, chapter 14, with all of that as background, we see that the disciples must have been astonished to hear what Jesus was going to say next, because He has answered their objections. In verses 12-26, He starts a new direction in the conversation, and He actually tells them that there will be some advantages in His departure. Can you imagine that—advantages to Jesus' going away? Jesus is going to tell them that they will actually be better off without Him there. That may be hard for you to believe if you haven't thought this through before, so let's look at it.

The first advantage, Jesus says, is that with Him gone, they will have greater power. Look at verse 12:

John 14

12Verily, 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.
13And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.
14If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.
15If ye love me, keep my commandments.

At first glance, and especially if you haven't really been taught this chapter before, if you haven't thought these things through, you would think, “How could that possibly be that you are going to do greater works than I have done?” In fact, there are people who do understand this chapter to some extent and wonder how that could be.

The first part of the answer is in the last line of verse 12. He says there: “I go to My Father.” There is a direct link, you see, in Jesus' going back to Heaven and their being able to do even greater works than He did. Verse 13 gives a new truth that they had never heard before. We have heard it many times, but they had never heard it before, and He reinforces it in verse 14. Notice verse 13:

John 14

13And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.

They are going to be able to ask Jesus to do things for them after He is gone just as they had been able to when He was on the earth. He reinforces that in verse 14:

John 14

14If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.

Here is part of the answer. The reason that it would be an advantage to them for Jesus to be in Heaven is that they would be able to ask Him to do things. Notice carefully, this promise is for things that are asked in His name. The age old question has been, “How do we know if what we are asking is in His name?” because in several places, He puts that stipulation on the things that we ask, the things that He promises to do.

A clue to that is in verse 15:

John 14

15If ye love me, keep my commandments.

Isn't it interesting that that statement comes right at this point? If you were analyzing it carefully, you wouldn't really see the connection between Jesus' going to His Father and them being able to pray because He was gone. What does it have to do with keeping His commandments? I think that the context of that statement is what gives us an understanding of it in the first place. A person who is diligently trying to follow the teachings of Jesus, a person who makes up his mind that he is going to obey God by obeying His commandments, two things are going to be true. First, he will be able to understand what is in line with His name. If we seek to do His commandments, we are going to have to know what His commandments are, and just in learning what His commandments are so that we can do them, we are going to learn what is in line with His name.

The second thing that is true is that we are going to only ask things that are in that category. In Proverbs, chapter 24, it says, “My son, give Me your heart and set your eyes upon My works.” That verse might seem to mean “give Me your heart and think about My works'; but the sense of the Hebrew is, “Give Me your heart, and you will be able to see My works. Give Me your heart and you will be able to set your eyes on My works.”

That is the thought here. He says, “If you love Me enough to keep My commandments, if you are committed to Me enough to keep My commandments, then you will be able to ask anything in My name. You will know what is in line with My name.”

We talked in our last lesson about what is involved in the name of Jesus. The name is the same thing as a good name that we strive to have in our personal life. The name that a business has doesn't mean just the name of the building; it means everything that that business stands for. The best way to know Jesus Christ and to know what can be asked in His name is to keep His commandments.

Think about it this way: When He was on earth, He was limited to human abilities. He limited Himself to human ability. He could only deal with the request of whatever number of people could crowd around Him physically, and I think that some of those crowd scenes there in the New Testament seem to indicate that a lot of them are shouting requests to Him simultaneously. But nonetheless, He could only deal with the requests of the people who could get His attention while He was limiting Himself to a physical body.

But now He is going back to Heaven. He will be in His glorified body. He will be at the right hand of the throne of God. In that situation, He can hear the requests of everybody at the same time, even though they may be simultaneous coming in from all over the world. He can hear all of them, and He can deal with them all, and He has promised to respond.

Just from the standpoint of sheer numbers of people asking Him to do things, we will be able to do greater things than He did as one human being here on earth, even though He did some tremendous things. He was one man, and He limited Himself to being one man. He could only do what one man could do, but if believers around the world will take Him at His word about this promise and ask Him to do things that we believe are consistent with His name, with His will, with Who He really is, then the aggregate number of Christians asking Him in faith to do things will accomplish more than He could have ever accomplished while He was on the earth as one man. That is what He is saying here.

A Greater Provision for Believers

Another reason that believers can do more than Jesus did while He was on earth is the greater provision that He is going to make for them. This is described in verses 16-17. He is going to make a provision for them that they had not had so far. He says:

John 14

16And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;
17Even 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.

That is a lot of meat in a couple of verses. Here is the first specific promise of the coming of the Holy Spirit recorded in the New Testament. Jesus had told the disciples if they would ask for the Holy Spirit, they could have Him. He had made references to the Holy Spirit, but here is the first promise that they were going to receive the Holy Spirit. Notice some characteristics of the Holy Spirit. In fact, He doesn't specifically use the term Holy Spirit in these verses, but you can see by looking at these characteristics that that is Who He is talking about.

First, He will be another helper: “I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper.” There is no question that Jesus had been a helper to the disciples while He was on earth and a helper to all of those people that He taught and the people that He healed. Now He is going away, and so He comforts them by saying that He is going to send another helper: “Even though I am going away, God the Father is going to send you another Helper to take My place.”

Notice that He lovingly includes the fact in verse 16 that He will abide with you forever. In other words, Jesus was saying in so many words, “You are never going to have to go through this challenge of hearing God say, “I am going away.” Never again. “You are hearing Me say that. You are all agitated about it, but you are never going to have to go through that again because when I go away, the Father is going to send another helper, and He will abide with you forever.”

Aren't you glad that with all the things that we have to worry about and legitimately be concerned about in our Christian life, we don't have to give a single thought to the Holy Spirit's leaving us? We are never going to be gathered together and have the Holy Spirit make the announcement like Jesus made to the disciples. “He will abide with you forever,” Jesus said. It is all part of the context of this chapter. In fact, it is interesting to know, and we wouldn't know it unless we understood something about the Greek text, but the Greek text expounds on that fact by using a Greek word for another , that means “another of exactly the same kind.” Probably the main reason that the New Testament was written in Greek is that it is so much more a precise language.

There are at least two words used in the New Testament for this word another . One is the word homo , which means “another of the same kind.” A negative example of it would be the homosexual, a person who loves another of his or her same kind. That is the idea there. It is a general kind of thing. But the word in this verse is the word allos . The Greek word allos means “another of exactly the same kind.” The best illustration of it is God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. God the Son was going away, but God the Holy Spirit was coming. God, the second person of the Trinity, was going, but God, the third person of the Trinity, was coming. They are all God.

Do you see what that means? That means that you and I have the presence of God in our lives right now, if we have trusted Christ as Savior, just as much Peter, James and John and the other disciples had the presence of God with them when they were with Jesus.

If you give some thought to that, that is mind-boggling. We say it so often, but I don't know how often we stop to think about it. So many Christians say, “Oh, if I could have just lived when Jesus was on earth, I would really not have so many problems.” Baloney! If you are having problems now, you would have them then, too, because you are living in the presence of God right now as much as they ever were—more so, because Jesus limited Himself to human activities. If Jesus said to Peter, James, and John, “Wait here while I go yonder and pray,” as He did in just a few hours after the events of this chapter, they did not have God with them. He was a distance away praying. We don't have to put up with that. The Holy Spirit never says to us, “You wait here while I go do that.” The Holy Spirit is with us. In fact, He goes on to say, and this is another characteristic of Him, that He will be within you. He says in verse 17: “You know Him for He dwells with you and will be in you.”

Here is another illustration of what allos is: “He dwells with you.” Who was with them? Jesus Christ. “He will be in you.” God, in the person of Jesus Christ, was replaced in their lives and our lives by God who is the Holy Spirit. Of course, those men received the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost. They had to wait nearly two months from the time Jesus made this promise until He came. After the Day of Pentecost, every believer receives the Holy Spirit at the moment of salvation. When a person trusts Christ as Savior, the Holy Spirit comes into his life, brings his life into Christ's life, baptizes us into the Body of Christ—all of those doctrinal truths at the moment of salvation.

Conclusion

As we close, I want to remind you again of the tremendous advantage that we have, oddly enough, because Jesus went back to Heaven. We have the advantage now of having God with us in a greater sense even than the disciples did. I hope as you move through the days of this coming week, that you will live with that realization in mind. It ought to have a bearing on everything that we do, not because we are afraid of Him, but because we are in awe of Him.

We haul the Holy Spirit into some pretty unsavory places. We expose the Holy Spirit to some pretty unsavory attitudes. I wonder if we would do that so glibly if we really understood the fact that He is in us, just as Jesus was with them.


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