The Holy Spirit Will Teach You All Things

John 14:15-31; Matthew 26:30; Mark 14:26

The Upper Room Discourse
Late Friday evening the fifteenth of Nisan

DIG: How are the apostles to show love to each other (Jn 13:34)? To Jesus (Jn 14:14)? Why is this idea repeated four times (Jn 14:15, 21, 23 and 24)? How does Yeshua set the example for us in verse 31? What do you learn about the Ruach in verses 16-17 and 25-27? What is the relationship of the Father, Messiah, and the Spirit to the believer? To each other? What is the difference between how Messiah and the world gives us shalom? Since the Adversary has no power over Christ, why must the Lord die (Jn 3:14-15, 6:53-54, 10:15-18)?

REFLECT: God wants to be your dwelling place. ADONAI has no interest in being a weekend getaway. He wants you under His roof permanently. How “at home” are the Father, the Son and the Ruach HaKodesh in your life? What is your worst fear? If you should have to face it, do you believe Christ will be there with you? Where do you need the Lord’s shalom? Where can you find hope in this passage? Of all the promises here (Yochanan 14:16-18, 21, 23, 26-27), which one means the most to you? Why?

Jesus established an unbreakable connection between love for ADONAI and obedience to His commands. Whereas Peter wanted to show his love in a blaze of glory with sword in hand in the Garden (Matthew 26:51), his Master asked for something far more difficult: daily, consistent obedience. Yeshua’s announcement of His departure sent the apostles into an emotional tailspin. They wouldn’t imagine their future without Him, and the prospect of going on alone terrified them . . . and rightfully so! I cannot imagine having to face life without Christ in my life. Those trembling eleven men needed courage, just as we do today.1432

If you love Me, keep My commands, My mitzvot (Yochanan 14:15). There are 1,050 commandments in the B’rit Chadashah, which according to this verse are to be obeyed by those who love Yeshua. Any distinction drawn between messianic Judaism as a religion of commandments and the New Covenant as a religion of love is unfounded. Both the Torah and the B’rit Chadashah are based on both love and commandments, both mercy and justice, it has always been so and always will be.1433

Christ recognized the weakness of these men and their ability to fulfill the ministry of revealing the Father that was being entrusted to them. Therefore He said: I will ask the Father, and He will give you another comforting Counselor like Me, the Spirit of Truth, to help you and be with you forever (John 14:16 CJB). The Greek word parakletos means Counselor, Comforter, Advocate, or literally one called alongside, that is, to help. The word might have been translated the Helper. There are two words in the Greek for another - allos, meaning another of the same kind, and eteros, meaning another of a different kind. Here the word is allos, a comforting Counselor just like Yeshua, namely the Ruach HaKodesh (Yochanan 14:17). The Holy Spirit would do for these men all that Messiah had done for them while He was with them. They had been sent out on missions during the time when they followed in the dust of their Rabbi while He was on the earth. They would now be sent out to be His witnesses during the time of His absence from the earth. The Lord had been their Helper while He was with them. Now in Messiah's absence He would send them another Helper.

This is an amazing promise for a Jewish person to read, because the TaNaKh speaks of only a few persons as having the Ruach HaKodesh with or upon them. Among them are Moshe and the seventy elders (Num 11:17-29), Gideon (Judges 6:34), Jephthah (Judges 11:29), Samson (Judges 14:6), Saul (1 Samuel 11:6), David (1 Samuel 16:13; Psalm 51:11), and Saul’s messengers (1 Samuel 19:20), and only Joseph (Genesis 41:38) and Bezalel (Ex 31:3) having the Holy Spirit in them.1434

The Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that the Holy Spirit is not a person and therefore is not God. They teach that He is nothing more than an impersonal, invisible, active force similar to electricity. Messiah said: The world cannot accept Him, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him. But you know Him, for He lives in you and will be in you forever. I will not leave you as forsaken orphans; I will come to you (Jn 14:17-18). By this He probably meant that the Spirit would come to them until after the resurrection. There would not be a time when the Ruach would be taken away from them in the way Jesus was being taken from them. Consequently, permanent help was promised to these men at the time they were being sent into the world to be witnesses to the Father and the Son.

We have His seal of ownership. Now God . . . has anointed us, set His seal of ownership on us, and put His Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come (Second Corinthians 1:22 and also see Ephesians 4:30). This happens at the moment of faith (see Bw – What God Does for Us at the Moment of Faith). A seal on a document in B’rit Chadashah times identified it and indicated the owner, who would protect it. So too, in salvation, the Holy Spirit, like a seal, confirms that believers are identified with Christ and are God’s property, protected by Him. It was probably this thought that caused Rabbi Sha’ul to describe himself as a slave of Messiah (Rom 1:1; Phil 1:1).

Messiah referred to His death by saying: Before long, the world will not see Me anymore. But He promised: You will see Me. This seems to be a clear reference to the resurrection. Because of His own resurrection, He could assure these men of their resurrection. Because I live, you also will live. On that day you will realize that I AM in My Father, and you are in Me, and I AM in you (for more on the doctine of the believers "union with, or in Christ," see Kt - I AM the True Vine). This new intimacy would produce obedience to Yeshua's commands: Whoever has My commands and keeps them is the one who loves Me. The one who loves Me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show Myself to them (John 14:19-21). It would produce a deeper intimacy than these men had previously experienced, both with Himself and with the Father.

When Jesus stated to His talmidim that He would soon leave them and that it would be impossible for them to come with Him (John 13:33), it raised four specific questions that Messiah, in turn, answered. The first question came from Peter: Lord, where are you going (Yochanan 13:36)? The second from Thomas: Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way (Yochanan 14:5)? And the third question came from Philip: Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us (John 14:8).

The promise of restoration after the resurrection raised a fourth question in the mind of Judas son of James, also known as Thaddaeus (see Cy – These are the Names of the Twelve Apostles). He asked: But, Lord, why do you intend to show Yourself to us and not to the world (John 14:22)? This question apparently arose because the apostles expected the Messiah would set up David’s throne and rule over David’s Kingdom. In their minds that would have necessitated a public manifestation of Yeshua, but the nation had rejected Him. So the messianic Kingdom would be postponed until the far eschatological future. But that would not stop the righteous of the TaNaKh from being resurrected (see my commentary on Revelation Fd – The Resurrection of the Righteous of the TaNaKh). Thus Jesus replied: Anyone who loves Me will obey My teaching. My Father will love them, and We will come to them and make Our home with them. Anyone who does not love Me will not obey My teaching. These words you hear are not My own; they belong to the Father who sent Me (Yochanan 14:23-24).

I have told you these things while I AM still with you. In a few hours Judas would come with his henchmen to take the Lamb. But the Counselor, the Ruach HaKodesh, whom the Father will send in My name, will teach you everything. The Spirit’s teaching would cause the talmidim to understand those aspects of Messiah’s teaching that had remained beyond their comprehension. In addition, Jesus said: The Ruach will remind you of everything I have said to you (Jn 14:25-26). Thus, they would be able to recall the truths Christ had taught them that they had neither understood nor remembered. When they ministered as His representatives, they would be able to proclaim His own words.1435

We have a guaranteed inheritance. You who heard the message of truth, the Good News offering you deliverance, and put your trust in the Messiah were sealed by Him with the promised Ruach HaKodesh, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession – to the praise of His glory (Ephesians 1:13-14 CJB). The last part of verse 13 is literally: They were sealed in Him [Messiah] with the Ruach HaKodesh of promise. The word seal indicates security (Matthew 27:66; Ephesians 4:30), authentication and approval (John 6:27), certification of genuineness (Yochanan 3:33), and identification of ownership (Second Corinthians 1:22; Revelation 7:2, 9:4). God is the One who seals, Christ is the sphere in which the seal is done, and the Holy Spirit is the instrument of the seal.

The Ruach HaKodesh who seals is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance. The deposit is more than a pledge that could be returned; it is a down payment with a guarantee of more to come, or the firstfruits of the Spirit (Rom 8:23). A deposit guaranteeing translates the Greek word arrabon. It guarantees believers’ inheritance of salvation and heaven (1 Pet 1:4). In essence, the deposit of the Holy Spirit is a little bit of heaven in believers’ lives with a guarantee of much more yet to come.1436

What I AM leaving with you is shalom – I AM giving you My shalom. I don’t give the way the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid (Yochanan 14:27 CJB). “If Jesus is the Messiah, where is world peace?” The question is often asked as if the implied negative answer proves the Yeshua’s claim of messiahship is false. For it is true that the swords have not yet been beaten into plowshares, and nations still learn war (Isaiah 2:4). The answer is that Jesus is indeed fulfilling His promise but not all at once (Second Peter 3:9). Shalom does not come to those who refuse it, to those who, as it were, fight shalom, but to those who receive it gladly.

Within every believer is a shalom that comes from God Himself. It is not a self-satisfied false peace that ignores suffering, but a compassionate peace that longs for God’s shalom to be present with everyone and motivates action to help bring it about.

When the Meshiach returns He will rule them with an iron scepter (Revelation 2:27), He will compel cessation of hostilities between nations. Meanwhile, where is world peace? It is in the lives of believers; so that in the Lord blacks and whites, Israeli Jews and Palestinians, indeed members of any groups at enmity can experience in themselves and in each other Yeshua’s shalom.1437

You heard Me say, “I AM going away and I AM coming back to you.” If you loved Me, you would be glad that I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I (John 14:28). Because Jesus said: for the Father is greater than I, the Jehovah’s Witnesses will say Yeshua is inferior to His Father, and therefore, not deity. But was that really what Jesus meant? We should be careful how we think of key words in the Bible.

One of the terrible mistakes Jehovah’s Witnesses make in their teaching about Christ is that at His resurrection He gave up His humanity forever. They believe that when Jesus died and His human body went into the tomb it was dissolved by Almighty God. Obviously, the Bible says no such thing, but the Jehovah’s Witnesses have to stick to that foolish explanation because, according to their belief, Yeshua had to rise from the dead as a spirit in order to become Michael the Archangel once again! Unbelievable!

When Rabbi Sha’ul wrote his letter to Timothy it was many years after the Lord had died and had been resurrected and gone back to heaven to sit at the right hand of God. Yet Sha’ul writes in the present tense: For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus (First Timothy 2:5). Therefore, Sha’ul clearly indicated that Yeshua retained His humanity at His resurrection and took it with Him to heaven.

In their attack on the deity of Christ, the Jehovah’s Witnesses use two basic arguments. First, they say that Messiah cannot be God because Jesus had a beginning. Another way of saying the same thing is that they say He was created. Secondly, they state that Yeshua cannot be God because the Bible shows that He is inferior to God and obviously, by definition, God could not be inferior to Himself.

To support their two arguments, the Witnesses use eight primary passages of Scripture. These are the only passages in the entire Bible that the Jehovah’s Witnesses themselves feel can be used to prove that Jesus is not God. The scriptures they use to prove that Christ had a beginning are Proverbs 8:22-30; Colossians 1:15 and Revelation 3:14 (see my commentary on Revelation Bf – The Church at Laodicea). The scriptures they use to prove that Jesus cannot be God because He is inferior to God are John 14:28; John 20:17; 1 Corinthians 8:6; 1 Corinthians 11:3 and 1 Corinthians 15:28.

The key word here is greater. In what sense is the Father greater than Jesus? As an example, it would be true to say that the President of the United States is greater than I am, but is he necessarily better? No. He is greater than I am by virtue of the position of Chief Executive of the United States Government. Does that make Him a better person? No. He is a member of the human family just as I am and we both have equal status when it comes to our possession of human nature. Yeshua wasn’t saying that His Father was superior to Him, only that His Father’s office was greater.

It is important to understand what the Messiah had to do in order to become a man on the earth, as described by Rabbi Sha’ul. Though He was in the form of God, He did not regard equality with God something to be possessed by force. On the contrary, He emptied Himself, in that He took the form of a slave by becoming like human beings are (Philippians 2:6-7 CJB). He existed in heaven in the very form of God (Colossians 2:9) and He emptied Himself. Meaning He stripped Himself of His privileges as God and placed Himself voluntarily under the tremendous restriction and limitation of being a man on this earth, carrying out the roles of Mediator and Messiah. So while on earth in those roles, He would obviously be dependent on His Father in heaven. However, Jesus was not inferior to His Father, because Yeshua still possessed His God-nature, and so was equal with His Father by nature, even as I am equal by nature with the President of the United States.1438

Fulfilled prophecy is a great comfort to believers and Christ had predicted His death and resurrection many times (Matthew 12:40, 16:21, 17:22-23, 20:18-19; Mark 8:31-32, 9:91, 10:33-34; Luke 9:22, 18:31-33; John 2:19-21). When it actually happened, after the initial shock, it would greatly encourage the apostles’ faith. I have told you now before it happens, so that when it does happen you will believe. The Lord’s teaching time was limited for the prince of this world (John 12:31; 16:11), Satan, the enemy of Souls, is coming. Yet he has no hold over Me. Sin leads to death (Romans 5:12, 21:a, 6:16), and sin and death give the Adversary a hold over people (Hebrews 2:14-15; Revelation 12:10). But since Yeshua is sinless, the evil one cannot claim Him for his kingdom of darkness. The ancient Serpent thought Messiah’s death was a victory for him and hell, but it was actually a victory for Christ and heaven (Colossians 2:15). Because Yeshua loves the Father, He did exactly what the Father commanded (John 14:29-31a, also see John 10:18, 12:49-50), including being obedient to death (Philippians 2:8).1438

Then the apostles, but not Christ, drank the fourth cup of wine or the cup of praise. After drinking the third cup of wine the Master had clearly said: I tell you the truth, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink new wine with you in My Father’s Kingdom (Matthew 26:29). Then the Passover meal was over.

In modern Judaism, a fifth cup of wine is reserved for a very important guest. This cup is called the cup of Elijah because it is reserved for Elijah. It actually started with a debate among the rabbis whether one should drink four cups of wine or five cups of wine. Finally they reached a compromise which was that only four cups would actually be drunk but there would be a fifth cup on the table next to an empty chair that was not to be drunk until Elijah comes to settle the dispute among the rabbis.

Based upon Malachi 4, the bible teaches that Elijah the prophet must come before Messiah can return (see my commentary on Revelation Bw – The Return of Elijah). Judaism teaches that when Elijah does come it will be on the first night of the Passover. So just in case this is the Passover when Elijah comes, the chair and the cup are reserved for him. It has become customary that at the end of the Seder service, the youngest son goes outside to see if Elijah is coming. After he comes back and states that Elijah is not coming, the Seder comes to a close with the words, “Next year in Tziyon.”1439

With the Passover meal concluded, Yeshua stood and the other men followed suit. He didn’t seem to want to leave at once, so the men fell into conversation and conjecture. They discussed the meaning of the matzah being Messiah’s body. A few reminded the others that a year ago Jesus had told them in the synagogue at Capernaum (see Fr – Jesus is the Bread of Life) that He would give them His flesh to eat and His blood to drink or else they would not have life. Some understood now, some were not so sure. Then Jesus said to His apostles: Come now, let us leave (John 14:31b).

Yeshua’s last Seder with His talmidim concluded in the normal fashion with the singing of the Hallel, or Psalms 115-118. These are messianic psalms. How appropriate the Hallel would be as it includes such messianic verses as: This is the day [of redemption at Passover] ADONAI has made and, Blessed is He [the Messiah] who comes in the name of ADONAI (Psalm 118:24-26). Following that, Psalm 136, or what is known as the Great Hallel is sung. It is based on Isaiah 30:29, which prophesied: And you will sing as on the night you celebrate a holy festival. The Eleven concluded the Seder with their Rabbi, singing about the prophetic events that would soon be fulfilled right before their very eyes.1440

Psalm 115 compares the God of heavens to idols made from the hands of men. It reminds Israel to trust in ADONAI and promises Isra’el and the house of Aaron blessings that will be realized in the messianic Kingdom.

Psalm 116 bemoans the pains of death and hell, then praises the LORD for overcoming them: Yes, You have rescued me from death, my eyes from tears and my feet from falling (116:8 CJB). The atoning power only comes when Messiah fulfills His destiny. The Savior’s immediate mission that very day would be to drink the bitter cup of our salvation as mentioned in 116:13 in the CJB, “I will raise the cup of salvation and call on the name of ADONAI.” But it would not be easy as seen in Yeshua’s words: Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from Me. Yet not what I will, but what you will (Matthew 26:39b-c; Mark 14:36; Luke 22:42).

Psalm 117 CJB reads: Praise ADONAI, all you nations! Worship Him, all you peoples! For His grace has overcome us, and ADONAI’s truth continues forever. Halleluyah!

Psalm 118 is a messianic Psalm that says in part: The Rock the builders rejected has become the cornerstone. This had come from ADONAI, and in our eyes it is amazing (Psalm 118:22-23 CJB). After singing the Hallel, they went out to the Mount of Olives (Matthew 26:30; Mark 14:26). Then it was time to go. The cross was waiting.

 

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