Memphis Belle

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John 14:1-14


“Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.  In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you.  And 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.  And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know.  Thomas saith unto him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way?  Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.  If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him.  Philip saith unto him, Lord, show us the Father, and it sufficeth us.  Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip?  he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father?  Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father is 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.  Believeth me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very work’s sake.  Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.  And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.  If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.


“Let’s turn in our Bibles to John chapter 14.  You know, there’s a lot of great things to study.  And there are some chapters in the Bible that some folks in the past have spent a lot of time on, just a lot of great nuggets, a lot of great truths you can chew on.  John chapter 3, Romans chapter 8, Colossians chapter 2.  But there’s some that there’s just commentary after commentary, page after page, and John chapter 14 is also one of those chapters.  There’s just so much here.  As I was preparing this study, I just decided to even stop halfway through it, and we’ll pick up with the second half next time. 


What is the cure for a troubled heart?


So starting with John chapter 14, verse 1, “Jesus says, ‘Let not your heart be troubled.  You believe in God, believe also in me.’”  So here Jesus says to the disciples this statement here, he says “Let not your heart be troubled” and since he says that, we can certainly then assume, that indicates very clearly that the disciples hearts at this point in time, they’ve got troubled hearts.  They’ve got agitated hearts.  There’s things that have been stirred.  There’s a heaviness, maybe some fears that are in their hearts.  So Jesus says to them “Let not your heart be troubled.”  Now why would their hearts be troubled, potentially?  Well, as we’ve been studying then, as we’ve been going through the Gospel of John, no doubt the environment they’re in, the heat is getting turned up day by day.  There are stresses and issues that are just becoming difficult as time goes on.  But also they heard a few times, and just recently been reminded, we saw it in the last chapter, about the impending death and the soon departure of somebody very dear to them, that is Jesus himself.  He’s mentioned to them that he’s about to die, and he’s about to leave them.  So certainly considering the disciples and their relationship with him, that would cause their hearts to be anxious.  So there’s an uncertainty too of the future now.  Maybe thoughts, ‘Now what does this all mean as far as my future?’.  And one of them also, in the last few verses of chapter 13, that is Peter specifically, you know as Jesus mentioned his departure, that he was going to leave, Peter didn’t completely understand it, but then Jesus did use the opportunity to exhort him, and I guess to encourage him.  But also warn him that he was going to soon struggle, Peter himself, he was going to stumble.  There was going to be a moment of crisis, a moment of crisis for him that he wasn’t going to fare very well.  And of course that would cause anxiety in your heart, if that was you, Peter, and even one of the disciples.  He was one that was a leader amongst them.  These sort of things would certainly cause an agitation in a soul, that’s for sure.  And as one preacher has put it, you combine all those together, man, that’s a lot of weight to carry.  In fact, in some instances, that would really cause somebody’s knees to buckle, even destroy some people, you would think, because of the difficulty of the hour.  Well, Jesus understands that.  Their hearts are troubled, and he now seeks to encourage them.  And what follows in this chapter, we’re going to break it out into two different weeks, but are six great truths, six great truths that he uses to encourage them.  But also they are truths for you and I, that should encourage us as believers in Jesus Christ this morning.  Maybe you’re in one of those seasons.  Maybe you’re in one of those seasons where Jesus could say to you, ‘Let not your heart be troubled’, meaning there’s trouble, and you’re troubled, there’s things that are difficult, there’s things that are agitating your soul.  So you’ve come here to church with that in your heart this morning.  Well may the Lord open your eyes to these truths, these words. What does it mean to you, what is God going to say to you?  May he open your eyes to it, so that you can find encouragement and comfort for your troubled heart.  Man, the disciples, they face no doubt a difficult hour at this point.  I mean, the tensions and stresses are mounting, clearly building.  It’s become daily more apparent that there is a crowd out there that is absolutely ruthless, that wants to destroy their Master, Jesus Christ [Hebrew: Yeshua haMeshiach, as they would have known him as].  That’s become more and more clear, more and more apparent by the hour.  And Jesus again has told them and he’s made it very specific, that his death is about to happen, his death is soon approaching.  They didn’t completely understand even at this point.  But there is the awareness that he’s going to be soon departing, that’s what he’s saying.  How could that possibly be?  They’ve followed him, you know, I mean, they even trust their lives to him.  They have laid down their livelihoods to follow this One.  And he’s saying that he’s about to die.  Man, how could that be?  Wasn’t he the one that’s supposed to come and bring this Messianic kingdom that the prophets of old spoke about?  [see and]  I mean, if he’s going to die, I mean, what are they to do now?  They’ve entrusted so much to him, in following him.  And then to hear that Peter may actually stumble and fall at a very difficult time, even deny Jesus, Jesus said he’s even going to deny that he knows Christ, deny three times.  I’m sure that would bring a bewilderment into their hearts, and anxiety.  A fear would begin to swell up in their hearts.  But what is the cure, the question is, what is the cure for a troubled heart?  What is the cure for a troubled heart?  Jesus says to them ‘Don’t be troubled in heart.’  And he says next, essentially, ‘instead believe.’  ‘Don’t be troubled, instead trust.  ‘Place your trust, place your confidence fully in me’ is what he’s saying.  You know he says, “You believe in God, believe also in me” (verse 1b).---‘trust in me for what I’m about to say and for who I am.  Disciples, you may not understand, that’s OK, just believe.  Place your trust, place your confidence fully in me, don’t worry, I am still in control.  There are things going on for sure, but that’s OK.’  I was listening to the radio and heard Chuck Smith on our local Christian radio station this week, and it caught my attention.  He was talking about that time again, where Israel is at Kadesh Barnea and they are struggling, they’ve had the reports from the spies, the two reports from the two spies, and the ten reports from the ten spies.  And there’s this struggle they’re going through, and he used this study to just depict the difference between fear and faith.  And he made some points comparing the two, fear and faith.  Maybe you heard the study.  But he made the point, fear looks at the circumstances, but faith looks at God.  Fear looks at the circumstances, faith looks at God.  But he also said this.  ‘Fear makes a mountain out of a molehill.’  I don’t know if you’ve had that experience.  Man, there’s been little molehill’s in front of me, but I get all scared, man.  And it’s like they’re bigger, you know, than the mountains in the White Mountains, because of the fear that’s in my heart.  Because of all the “What if’s”, all those questions, and all those anxieties that come.  Fear makes a mountain out of a molehill.  But faith, on the other hand, can take a mountain and make it a molehill.  There can be some significant things you’re going through.  I was even talking to a brother this week, man, he’s had some incredible experiences, so that’s why I had called him.  I had heard.  Man, this brother needs some encouragement.  But, you know, he says “I’m just laughing, just laughing.  What else can I do?  And God has given me a peace.”  And we’ll talk about that too, as we go on and we get into the second half of this study next week.  So fear, man, fear and faith.  Fear can make things appear to be against you, but faith brings the assurance that God is working all things for you.  Big difference, fear and faith.  And that’s what Jesus is saying here.  “Let not your heart be troubled, you believe in God, believe also in me” (verse 1). ‘Look to me, put your faith in me.’  So are you troubled in heart?  Has fear caused the molehill maybe that’s in front of you to appear like a mountain?  Have you lost sight of God, wondering if maybe things are working against you?  Well, as we go, lets consider the assurances that Jesus is going to give to his disciples.  Again, there’s six points, there’s six realities, that’s what he’s saying, there are six realities for a believer in Jesus Christ.  And these realities should bring an assurance and bring a confidence, and bring a peace and a strength to our lives.  And we’re going to look at the first three of those as we go through.  But these are true to somebody who is in Christ, these are true to somebody who is born-again.  So for all of those who are born-again this morning, these things are true to us.  But if you’re here this morning and you’re not born-again, they can be true for you, if you want to be born-again this morning, if you want to place your trust in Jesus Christ, and ask him to be the Lord of your life---if you chose to be a follower and a disciple of Jesus Christ.  He’s speaking to his disciples, and these things can be true for you also.  Well here’s the first three of the six assurances, we’ll look at the first three this morning, here they are. 1. We have a future eternal home.  We have a future eternal home.  2. A second point.  We have knowledge, true knowledge of the Father.  3. Third point, we have prayer.  I mean, we’ve got this incredible experience of prayer.  I’d like to note Charles Spurgeon’s thought on this passage as we go on.  These are his thoughts.  He says “All Scripture is a garden of sweet flowers.  But this passage may be compared to the rose, for its’ marvelous beauty and its’ sweetness.”


1. We have a future eternal home


Well let’s continue, verses 2-6, Jesus moves on.  He says ‘Let not your hearts be troubled, trust in me…’  “In my Father’s house are many mansions.  If it were not so, I would have told you.  I go to prepare a place for you.  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to myself, that where I am there you may be also.  And where I go you know, and the way you know.  Thomas said to him, ‘Lord, we do not know where you are going, and how can we know the way?’  Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through me.’”  Well, the first thing Jesus does is, is he seeks to encourage them.  As he then mentions his first assurance, he directs them towards the future.  He directs them towards heaven.   [Comment: really “the Kingdom of Heaven”, which will end up on earth, cf. Revelation chapters 19 through 21.]  And he calls heaven in this Scripture, verse 2, he calls it his Father’s house,  his Father’s house, meaning heaven [for some, the Kingdom of heaven, again, which will end up on earth].  He says ‘Don’t be troubled, because in my Father’s house, that is in heaven, there is a future place for you.  Don’t be troubled, there’s a place for you in heaven.  There’s a place in the future that you’re going to be in heaven.  And then he says, ‘In fact, I go soon, in fact it’ll be very soon, to prepare a place for you.  And then later, I’m going to come back, and I’m going to take you to be with me in my Father’s house.  I’m going to come back and take you to be with me in heaven.  So, disciples, don’t be troubled, consider that. So, again, this first assurance we have as believers in Jesus Christ, we have a future eternal home, we have a future eternal home.  So you could say the best is yet to come, the best is yet to come.  Somebody put it this way, “For the unbeliever, life on the earth is as good as it gets, but for the believer, life on earth is the worst it’ll ever be.”  And I like that.  I like that perspective a lot better.  If this is as good as it gets, oh bum deal man.  But if this is as worse as it gets, all right, man, good stuff’s coming.  There maybe some difficult things right now for them, for us, but the reality for a follower of Jesus Christ, is that there is some cool stuff waiting for us not long into the future.  That’s what he says.  You know, this week I’ve had some challenging moments, you know, especially with winter.  I don’t know about you, but I’m one of those types that, the snow comes, the cold comes, I get into my vehicle, those numb fingers mornings, you know what I mean, grabbing onto that steering wheel.  I don’t like that, you know, personally.  I know some of you people like that, that’s OK.  But I’m one of the summer people, I like it warm.  The cold isn’t necessarily my deal.  I’d just a soon that, I pray for the greenhouse effect, that’s what I’m doing, ‘Lord, more of that’.  [laughter], ‘just kick that stuff in, couple more degrees Lord, and let it snow in the mountains.’  [He doesn’t know what he’s asking for.  See]    I like the snow, I like to play in it, skiing is cool, I never get to do it, but I like it.  So, you know, some of us, we’re in that same place, we can relate.  Right?  Now here we go, it’s cold.  But you know there has been this thing, tomorrow morning my wife and my kiddo’s and I, we’re going to get in our van and we’re going to drive to Orlando, Florida.  And the reason we’re going to it, is my nephew is playing in a football game there from southern California, but he’s playing in Orlando.  So one of my relatives is paying for all of us to go there.  So we’re going to jump in our van and we’re going to go.  Now so I’m shoveling last week, I’ve got the numb fingers, and I’m thinking ‘Oh man’, but at the same time I’m thinking ‘Palm trees next week.’  You know what I mean?  [laughter]  I’m thinking, ‘You know, it’s going to get better Steve, just a few days away.’  And it’s a little bit of an encouragement as I’m out there working and shoveling and dealing with the cold, shivering in my car on the way to the church, or whatever it might be, that perspective.  These present sufferings are not worthy to be compared to the suntan that I’m going to have, you know, next week.  So, but if that can encourage me, that can encourage you at times, you have those times.  Some of us are snowbirds, we use the opportunity to get away from the winter and go south, fly south if we can.  And if that can encourage you, I mean, that possibility in the future.  Maybe there’s other things for you.  If that can encourage us, then the more we consider the reality of heaven, and what awaits for us in heaven [the kingdom of heaven], should certainly have an effect upon my perspective in this present hour, upon even the present difficulties I’m going through.  You know, if palm trees will lift my heart, what about the glories of heaven.  He says “mansions” here, “in my Father’s house are many mansions”.  I don’t know about you, but I get a visual with mansions, there’s a visual.  And I even think back too, when I was young my Dad was in the Air Force, and we lived for a few years in Germany, and there was one Baptist church that we used to go to, I think I was in the fifth grade, and man, there was a song “I have a mansion”, you know, “just over the hill”.  Maybe you’ve heard of the hymn…I’m not going to sing it for you, maybe you’ve heard it.  But I can remember the words, and that was the song at that church.  I mean, when there was a pick your favorite song, man, that was the song.  This church just rocked with that song, and there was always that sense, ‘We’ve got a mansion waiting for us.’  And I had earlier, my Dad when we had moved to Germany, my Mom and I and my sisters, we spent a time with my Mom’s family in France, we lived in a little village for a summer while my Dad was looking for a place.  And I guess it took so long, took the entire summer, we were having a neat time, but my Dad went out and found a really cool place up in the mountains in Germany, in the Tonis Mountains.  And to this day in my life it’s the best house I’ve ever lived in, it was just a cool pad.  So I used to sing that song, and had that experience.  I would get a visual, of a  mansion, even now I, you know, a mansion in heaven, I can just see it on the back deck, the ocean, the beaches.  And I remember my wife and I, when we were on our honeymoon, we were standing looking on a beautiful view, and a guy drove by and he said ‘You want to see a better view, come with me.’  So we followed him to his house and got on his deck, and just looked at the view.  And it was incredible, the view from his back deck.  I can just see it, a mansion, the views, just incredibly sweet with the animals [cf. Isaiah 11, we’re really talking about heaven on earth, in reality, according to all of prophecy] and all that.  And, the truth is, what I think in my mind, and we see this with the apostle John, what I think in my mind is far short of what the reality is even going to be like.  I mean, it just doesn’t even compare.  My mind is so limiting.  And John when he saw what he did there in Revelation 21 and 22, he saw, I mean, he had a hard time putting into physical words what he saw when he saw heaven [i.e. the kingdom of heaven, when he saw in Revelation 21:1-17 the New Jerusalem coming down over the whole Middle East, to reside there on the earth, this 1,500 mile by 1,500 mile square, by 1,500 mile high golden city coming down from outer space.  That in reality is our new home, filled with mansions.  That is the Biblical picture John saw in vision, and it blew him away, so to speak, and it was all on planet earth.].  And Jesus says “Let not your heart be troubled, we’ve got a place for you…and I go to prepare that place, and I’m going to come back, and I’m going to take you there.’  [“And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again [2nd coming], and receive you unto myself; and where I am, there ye may be also.” Verse 3.  When Jesus returns, i.e. his 2nd coming, he’s saying we will reside where he is, and that will be in Jerusalem, cf. Zechariah 14:1-15, where he sets up his throne, ruling over the world, cf. Zechariah 14:9.  We will be ruling the world with Jesus after his 2nd coming.  Then when this whole 1,000 year Millennial reign is over with, then the New Jerusalem and God the Father comes down to earth, our new eternal home.  Read those verses for yourself.]  Well, that certainly is something that can encourage us, and should encourage us, that’s for sure.  Now when he uses the word ‘mansion’, maybe you have the NIV, the word ‘room’, that word is also translated in verse 23 as “abode”, and the word isn’t necessarily a physical structure.  We get that visual of a mansion, but it is possible when he refers to many mansions, or many rooms in his Father’s house, he isn’t necessarily referring to a physical structure in the sense that we think of it at all.  And there are some commentators, some great Bible teachers that say that, and believe as they look at the words here in this study, that we may not have a mansion in the sense that we think of it at all, he may actually be referring to our new bodies.  And the reason why they think that, and that is possible, is 2nd Corinthians chapter 5, verse 1, Paul referring to our new bodies uses a very similar description, he says this, “For we know that if our earthly house, this tent, is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens”, referring to our bodies.  [i.e. eternal bodies composed of spirit, able to live anywhere, living for ever.]  And these bodies that we’re going to get are so tremendous, we’re not going to need to sleep, we’re not going to need to rest, we may not even need a physical house.  So you could be at the Mall 24 hours, I mean, well there’s no time [i.e. we’d be capable of living outside of space and time, like God does], you could be at the Mall forever, never have to go home, that could be heaven for some of you.  Some of you could just be at the golf course forever, you know, and that could be heaven for you.  So he may not even be referring necessarily to a dwelling that you go move into, it might be in the sense of a new body.  And you know, man, to be delivered from this body is a pretty good deal [and I know all you younger folks may not think that right now, but wait till you get older, and things start going wrong with your various bodily systems].  And to have that eternal body, that body that we want, that we can then walk like even Adam and Eve did there in the Garden of Eden, and walk with God.  [Also the Prophet Daniel said of our new bodies in Daniel 12:1-3 (the time of Jesus’ 2nd coming), “And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as has never been since there was a nation even to that same time: 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 they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament [heavens]; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.”  Those that are part of the 1st resurrection to immortality (cf. 1 Cor. 15:49-56) will have spirit bodies similar to the angels, eternal, and glowing as bright as the stars in heaven, similar to the way Jesus glows (cf. Revelation 1:13-16).  There is one place in the Old Testament that refers to Jerusalem after the 2nd coming, at night, glowing like the day.  That is because we and Jesus will be inhabiting that Millennial Jerusalem, and at night our glowing bodies will be lighting up the whole city, which will be able to be seen for miles around,  because Jerusalem sits on top of a mountain range.]  So he said, ‘Don’t be troubled, yeah it’s tough maybe for you right now, but don’t be troubled, man.  There is a future for you, that I’m going to prepare, and it’s a new home, and maybe it’s even a new body.  And it’s waiting for you.’  Paul had that perspective, so he’s able to say certain things and have a certain perspective, even in the midst of hardship.  I was reading through 1st Corinthians this week, and these words just stuck out to me.   He talks about his hardships, but again there’s a perspective.  Paul says this, “To the present hour we both”---him and Apollos---“we both hunger and thirst, and we are poorly clothed, and beaten, and homeless, and we labor working with our own hands.  Being reviled, we bless.  Being persecuted, we endure.  Being defamed, we entreat.  We have been made as the filth of the world, the off-scouring of all things until now.”  I mean, that is a tough day.  I mean, if you ever refer to your life as “the off-scouring”, I mean, I don’t want to describe it in visual terms what he’s saying, but it’s not very pleasant.  And I was reading this, at the time I’m reading my Bible at my desk, got my coffee, and I got my little heater blowing on me, and he’s saying “I’m poorly clothed”, so I’m thinking about my clothes, he’s saying “I’m hungry, I’m thirsty”, you know what hunger and thirst is like, said “I’ve been beaten”, he’s got bruises, he’s got things that are bothering him, and maybe even broken bones or something.  And he says “I’m homeless.”  You know, a few times in my life I’ve had the fear of maybe being homeless, but I’ve never been homeless.  But I’ve had the fear, that well maybe if this happens I’m gonna be homeless, and that enough made me miserable, just the fear of being homeless.  But he says he’s homeless.  But it doesn’t matter, he says, ‘Because I’, and Paul actually has that perspective, in 1st Corinthians 15 he says there is a resurrection, there is eternal life, there’s a new body and a new home waiting for me, and that is it, man, that’s great hope.  That’s great hope.  [see]  So at times he’s able to have this perspective in the midst of that, of being a blessing to others and having, as we see in other Epistles, an incredible joy.  So Paul says to the Romans “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.”  Then he says in 2nd Corinthians “For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.”  He says “light affliction”, I mean, he sees mountains as molehills.  When I looked at Paul’s life, I’m like, those are mountains that guy had to deal with.  But he says ‘light afflictions, light afflictions, not a big deal.’  So again the question to you, are you troubled in heart?  Are you troubled in heart?  Well, if you are, stop being pre-occupied with your past, stop looking around at the ugly circumstances, and get focused on what is ahead.  Don’t look down, look up.  Look up, look up to what the Lord is doing.  [As a teen I was a member of a water-ski club.  I managed to get the courage to try the ski-jump once.  The instructor told me, ‘When going over the jump, focus your eyes on the horizon.  If you look down at the water below you as you go off the end of the jump, you will go down, head-first.  A literal case of ‘Look down, go down.’  I looked down and went down, into the water, head-first.]  Paul reminds the Colossians, he said “Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth.”  So, the first assurance, man, we’ve got a future eternal home in Christ.  Jesus reminds us then in verse 4, he says, “And where I go you know, and the way you know.”  And he is referring the way you get to [into the kingdom of] heaven.  He says, ‘You got heaven waiting for you, and the way to get to heaven, you understand that way.  So in verse 5 you then see that Thomas says to him, ‘Lord, we don’t know where you’re going, we’re not completely understanding.  And how can we know the way, we don’t fully understand this whole deal.’  But then Jesus responds with a really strong, a very strong declaration in verse 6, he says, “I am the way, I am the truth, and the life.”  And what does that mean?  He says “No one comes to the Father accept through me.”  He says “I am the way”.  When he says this, this is this I AM statement.  We’ve seen these I AM statements, and when he says “I AM”, he’s saying I AM all you need, and he’s saying that again.  [I AM is also part of Jesus’ identity, John 8:58; Exodus 3:13-14, Yahweh.]  I am all you need in the sense that I am the way and I am the truth, and I am the life.  But in saying “the way”, you know, Thomas is saying ‘I don’t understand’, he says “I am the way” and then he says as you see, as you connect the thoughts, “I am the way to the Father, I am the way to [into the kingdom of] heaven…I AM the truth.  In fact he says “there is no other way.”  Right?  The second part of that verse, “No one comes to the Father except by me.”  “Except through me.”  So I AM the way, so no one comes to heaven, comes to the Father, except through me.  I am the only way.’  That is that truth, that is his own statement.  I was listening again to the radio this week, and I heard a teacher share about that in this present time in history, you may not think this, this is a surprising statistic, I don’t know how they would come up with this, that right now in this more recent history, they said in all of history, there are more people that believe in God than ever before.  I’m not sure if that’s true, you know, how they would figure that out.  But at least in recent history there are a lot of people in our country, a lot of people in this world, that believe in the existence of God.  And then I read just a few years ago a Newsweek Magazine article with a study that was done that said seventy-seven percent of Americans believe in a literal heaven.  Seventy-seven percent of Americans believe in a literal heaven.  So many people believe in heaven, that it exists.  But Jesus says this, ‘I am the way to [into the kingdom of] heaven…Now that’s interesting, because in our society today, with the philosophies that we’ve adopted, and the courses that we have gone, there’s then this understanding today that yes, we believe in heaven, yes we want to go to heaven, but yet at the same time there’s also this understanding ‘Take your own route, and you’ll get there.’  There are a lot of different ways to heaven, right?  You hear about it.  In fact, maybe you were driving to church this morning to downtown here, and you noticed the banner out on the Unitarian church, that banner that said “Come join our community and seek your own truth.”  [Boy! Does that ever nail them for what they believe!]  And if you go and study Unitarian universalism you’ll see that they believe that everybody will be saved, and that you can go any way you want to go, and get to heaven.  Now is that what Jesus says, though, here?  This isn’t my perspective, what does he say?  These very words, these words go back centuries, folks.  He says this, he says ‘I am the way, and there’s no other way.’  Right?  That’s what he says.  But in our nation today there’s a lot that believe in heaven, but at the same time there’s this “Chose your own way, and you’ll get there.”  Is that true?  Can you get there any way if Jesus says ‘There’s only one way, through me’?  Maybe you’ve adopted that philosophy, but here’s a little analogy for you.  Let’s say I had set up in our parking lot a little spaceship, went down to NASA, you know, I’m going to Florida, on the way to Orlando I go to Merrit Island and Cape Canaveral and I pick up a spaceship, I come back, plop it in the parking lot, you come to church next week, I’m like “Here, here’s the keys.  What I want you to do, I want you to fly this thing up to the Space Station, I want you to go connect up there.  OK?”  And I just leave you there with it.  Now, you’ve never been trained.  You’ve never been given instructions.  Do you honestly think you can get there, if you just do it whatever way you think?  It would probably be better if I came over with some NASA scientists and said, “Listen, we’re going to give you some training [discipleship], in fact, we’re going to program this little machine, you can just sit there, we’re going to program it, it’s going to fly, it’s got to go at a certain time, a certain angle, it’s got to go just right to get there and intercept that space station to connect up with it.  I mean, you realize, it takes a lot to get from here to there.  I don’t even know where the Space Station is.  I mean, I wouldn’t know where to go, even if I could get the thing to take off.  That’s a big place out there.  How do you find that little thing and connect to it?  I mean, there is one way to get there.  But why do we say there’s many ways to heaven [into the kingdom of heaven, Biblically speaking, for some]?  And what you’re saying is that you’re confident that when you die, you know the way beyond death to God?  That’s what you’re saying.  I can’t get to the Space Station, but I know I can get to heaven.  I mean, that’s the truth.  Right?  It’s absolutely absurd.  It’s absurd, that I can die, and I can get to heaven.  I know how to do that.  I don’t know how to do it unless God told me the way.  And I tell you what.  If you want to take your own way, go for it.  Have fun.  But I’d rather believe in Jesus Christ, a man who did the things that he did, a man that’s affected history.  Jesus Christ, more people know of him than anybody.  We talk about him thousands of years later.  He did things that even people say ‘It’s interesting that he did that.  It’s amazing that he said that.’  He’s a unique individual.  I’d rather take his advice about what it means to get [into the kingdom of] heaven, than saying ‘Well I’m going to do it my own way’.  And deal with the grave?---the grave?  Are you sure?  We have been duped with just nonsense in our country.  ‘Go seek your own truth’.  Understand, you go out to Broad Street and you go “I’m going that way”, and I say ‘I’m going this way’.  Are we going to meet up?  You know, when we get to River Street we might.  Fat chance.  I mean, maybe in a b-zillion years if you think of the sphere and we keep driving around and around.  That’s silliness.  That’s silliness.  It’s absurd.  The only reason the Bible has told us that people will not accept Jesus is because they don’t want to.  They don’t want to.  [They want to go to Buddha, they want to go to Mohammed, but they don’t want to go to Jesus.]  And if you don’t want to, you have that option.  You have that option.  Because God’s a gentleman, you can go the way you want to go.  But consider the grave, consider the grave.  Well, Jesus makes a very strong statement here, and he declares this same thing at other times.  He said to Nicodemus, he said, “Most assuredly I say to you, unless one is born-again he cannot see the kingdom of God.”  What does it mean to be born-again?  It means that the Bible says that we’re all sinners.  We were born into our sin, and when I’m born into my sin, that means I’m separated.  Isaiah says that sin separates us from God.  But it also means, if you study the Scripture, that the spirit in me, Paul says, is dead.  I have a spirit [called in 1 Cor. 2:11-13 “the spirit of man”], but it’s dead.  I have no ability to commune with God.  I’m flesh, I’m soul, and I’m spirit.  But the [human spirit], has been dead [to spiritual understanding about the things of God] has been dead because of sin.  But then the Bible says, through Christ my spirit is made alive.  [cf. also Romans 8:9, 16-17]  And now with the [human] spirit made alive in me [by God combining his Holy Spirit with our human spirits] there’s this ability to commune with God the Father, and to walk with him, and to know him.  So that’s what he says, ‘You must be born-again’, because without the Holy Spirit [combined with your human spirit] you’re just a carnal person, and a carnal person can’t stand before a righteous and living God.  [Read Romans 8, whole chapter].  But a man who has been cleansed by the blood of Jesus Christ for his sin, whose now been born-again, his spirit has been made alive, he can know the Lord.  Jesus said again, “Most assuredly I say to you, unless one is born of water and of the Spirit [i.e. Holy Spirit], he cannot enter the kingdom of God.”  Now this is consistent throughout the New Testament, Jesus will say this.   I think of this when we drive down the street right here to get to this church.  He says “Enter by the narrow gate, for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go by it, because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.”  We say, we have banners in our community about seek your own truth.  Jesus says ‘Narrow is the way’, meaning, there is one road, man, there’s one road, there’s one road to get there, and the road is Jesus Christ…[tape switchover, some text lost]… [Comment:  When you couple Jesus’ statement here with all the Old and New Testament prophecies, heaven refers to the kingdom of heaven, alternately called in other passages “the kingdom of God”, which is brought to earth by Jesus at his second coming.  This is the Millennial Kingdom of God. At the end of that 1,000+ year period of time, after the Gehenna fire and new heavens and earth are created, God the Father himself comes down with the New Jerusalem (Revelation 21:1-17) to dwell with the resurrected, immortal saints, to dwell eternally with them.  See for a description of this period of time.  When coupled to all these other fantastic prophecies, “mansions” has to be modified by them to mean positions of great authority under Jesus, ruling over the world for a glorious 1,000+ years, and then the whole heavens and earth are remade, and God the Father comes to earth himself, with the New Jerusalem, the eternal home of the saints, and future Headquarters of the vast universe.  I know this may upset some people’s interpretation of heaven, but it is Biblical, when coupled to all the prophecies of both the Old and New Testaments.]


2. We have knowledge, true knowledge of the Father


Verses 7-11, “‘If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him.’  Philip saith unto him, ‘Lord, shew us the Father, and it sufficeth us.’  Jesus saith unto him, ‘Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip?  he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Show us the Father?  Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works.  Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very work’s sake.’”  “Jesus says you’ve known the Father, and from now on you do know the Father, and you’ve seen the Father.”  And then Philip has a response, then Jesus says, and he said this essentially before, ‘You see me, you see the Father.’  He claims to be God is what he does.  And he is God, he’s the Son of God. [actually, as we’ve seen before in John 8:58; Exodus 3:13-14, he is Yahweh.]  He says, ‘If you’ve seen me, you’re seen the Father, when you hear from me, you hear from the Father, and you can look at me and you can certainly know the Father and know all about the Father.’  That is what he is saying here.  With that, Philip says, ‘Man, not an easy time right now, but you let us see the Father right now, that really would help.’  That’s essentially what he says.  Right?  He says ‘It would be sufficient, man, just open it up, if I can see God the Father right now, man, that would really help get the right perspective.  And that is an assurance, to know that you know, and to know the Father, and to grow in a relationship and an understanding with the Father.  You remember Moses there on the Mount, you know, challenging time leading the people of Israel.  And he said, “Show me your glory, show me your glory.”  And God allowed him just to see the glory.  And the difference it made in Moses’ life, he came down from the mountain, people were like, ‘Whoa, Moses, man, where have you been?  You’re all shiny, glowing.’  But that is an assurance, I’ve got a future home, but also true knowledge of God, man.  I tell you, it gives you a tremendous assurance.  And what he’s saying is if you look to me.  You want to know the heart of God the Father?---you want to know the way he acts, the way he sees, the way he sees you?---just look at me.  And you’ve known me, so you know the Father, and we’re one.’  That’s what he’s saying.  And so therefore in my life, you know, I get into these situations where I have these ‘What if’s’, right?.  I see things forming on the horizon, and now I start to squirm a little, going, ‘What if?  What if?’  I don’t know about you, but a lot of those things just rip you off, and they never happen.  [I love watching real movies about B-17 bombers over the target.  90 percent of the flak shells that burst around a B-17 just pepper it with little holes, but do no real damage, they just scare the crap out of the crew and pilot, but never end up shooting down the plane.]  ‘What if, what if this happens?  Oh, man.  What are we going to do, Paula?  This could be the worst. What if this, or what if that?’  But you know, you pick up the Bible, Jesus says, “If you’ve seen me, you’ve seen the Father.”  You want to know about God, you want to know how he views you?...So I look to the Gospels, and I see, I see the Canaanite woman come up to Jesus, saying ‘Oh, man, my daughter, my daughter, help me, help me, help me.’  And he goes, ‘Man, your faith, man, I’m going to heal your daughter.’  You know, blind Bartemeus, ‘Oh, son of David, have mercy on me.’  And you see the man in incredible depression and bondage with demons in him, and he comes to God, Jesus, and Jesus sets him free.  You just watch the way he loves people, and works in their lives.  And he says, “If you’ve seen me, you’ve seen the Father.”  Now that’s an assurance.  That’s what Philip wants is that, ‘Yeah!, that would really help right now.’  But I can do that as a Christian today.  And I can find assurance.  I have a knowledge of God the Father, I do through his Word, I do through his Son Jesus Christ.  [Comment: That is why the 4 Gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John are so very important.  If the first five books of Moses, the Torah, taught us about Yahweh, the Lord God, the Great I AM, who was the pre-incarnate Jesus Christ, then the first five books in the New Testament, teach us about and who Jesus Christ is, and what he is like.  Genesis was the historic book, along with Numbers.  The Book of Acts is the historic book for the New Testament Torah for believers.]  And the great deal is, man, God even uses hard times in my life to help increase my knowledge of him.  And as I have that experience, man, the bitter times become sweet times.  So, are you trouble-hearted this morning?  Maybe you’re thinking too, man, just let me get a good peek at God, that would really help me. You can, you truly can, in faith.  Study the Word of God, open your heart to Jesus this morning, you can get a look at the Lord, spiritually speaking, where he will just bless your heart in your life.  And he’ll encourage you, man, to know his love, his mercy, his grace towards you.  And man, it makes an incredible difference.  And those ‘What if’s’, man, you know those ‘What ifs’, they don’t mean a whole lot.  I mean, whatever happens, I can look back and say ‘God, you’re good to me.’  ‘I look in your Word, you’re good to me, Lord.’  “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life.”  Well, that’s what he says.  Jesus says to Philip, now Philip wants to see the Father, his says, ‘OK, Philip, you’ve been with me now for a few years, man.  And you don’t completely yet understand,’  you see that in verse 9.  “He who has seen me, Philip, has seen the Father.”  ‘So you say, Show us the Father.   You’re not completely understanding, this is it, Philip.’  He’s trying to explain to him, “Do you believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in me?” (verse 10a)  When he says that, you don’t have that necessarily in English, but in the Greek he does state that in a way that he expects a “Yes”, he expects a “Yes”.  “Do you believe that I am in the Father and the Father in me?”  ‘Yes!  Yes, you believe it.  So hey man, you have what you need.’  There is that assurance.  There is that strength, that peace that you can have.  Well then he shares more about the words that he speaks.  Of course he’s told us before, and he does as the Father leads him, he’s under the Father’s authority, and the Father dwells in him and does the works through him.  We’ve seen that before.  And you see in these verses, he equates the Word and the works.  But he says “Believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in me, or else believe for the sake of the works” (verse 11).  He said that to people that were even skeptics before. 


3. Third assurance, we have prayer


Now we come to our third assurance, and our last point.  “‘Most assuredly I say to you, He who believes in me, the works that I do you will do also.  And greater works than these he shall do because I go to my Father” (verse 12).  Man, there’s some great things here.  I mean, the works that Jesus has done are great works.  The works, the way he’s worked in people’s lives, I mean, we just saw him raise Lazarus from the dead.  And he says to you, ‘Those who believe in me, check this out, the works that I do, they will do even greater works.’  What does that mean?  Well, you look in the Book of Acts, our home fellowships on Thursday nights are studying the Book of Acts, and you see Peter right after Pentecost, you see the other disciples, God working through them in great ways, incredible things are happening as God is ministering in and through the disciples.  And he says, man, well, we’ll go on, we’ll see next week about the Holy Spirit, the empowerment of the Holy Spirit, in our next study.  But he says “greater works”.  And we see it fulfilled (in the Book of Acts).  You think of Billy Graham, it’s been said about Billy Graham today, and when I first heard this, I thought, ‘You can’t say anything like that’, but it’s true in a certain way, that Billy Graham brought more people to God than Jesus himself did in his ministry.  But of course Jesus brings everybody to God.  But as far as, if you look at the end of Jesus’ time on earth, there were a lot of people following him, and of course we all follow now through Jesus, but if you just look as far as conversions, in his life on earth, Billy Graham, look at the conversions of souls to God, so many.  [Comment: what he’s getting at, is Jesus’ followers numbered 120 people gathered at Jerusalem for that first Pentecost.  The other figure mentioned by Paul is 500 in 1st Corinthians.  The way the Messianic Jews view this, is that there were 120 males gathered at Pentecost, but 500 men, women and children in all.  Just 500, maximum that were still following Jesus right after his death, burial and resurrection.  Then look at how many Peter himself drew to Jesus during that first Pentecost, the birthday of the Church, 3,000 souls it says in Acts 2, by the end of Peter’s sermon.]  Now when he says greater works, it’s important to say this though, he’s not referring to greater in quality, and he [Jesus] gets all the credit, because any works are actually ultimately accomplished by him.  It’s not greater in quality, he’s told us before, the servant is not greater than the master.  So that can’t be so.  But it’s in scope, it’s in quantity.  And we see that even today with people ministering.  So he says to the church here, our congregation, he says to the Baptist churches, and Pentecostal churches in the community, he says to his people, he says, ‘Hey, greater works, man.  Trust me for great things.  Open your hearts to me and watch what I can do.  Even in the midst of your difficult hours.’  But that brings us to this third point I want to make.  He says “Whatever you ask in my name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.  If you ask anything in my name, I will do it” (verses 13-14).  So the third assurance, is that we have prayer.  We have an eternal home, we have a true knowledge and relationship with the Father, and we have prayer.  And I tell you, prayer, man, there’s nothing like prayer to a troubled heart.  I don’t know about you, but when I have a troubled heart…it leads me to prayer.  And I am amazed, you know, what the Lord does as I pray, ministering to me and my heart, giving me incredible peace.  We have this opportunity, no matter how scary the moment, no matter how crazy the circumstance, no matter how big the mountain may appear, we get to go to the guy who is in complete control.  We get to speak to the one that can do anything at any time.  With God nothing is impossible.  So prayer, oh man.  Troubled heart, prayer is an incredible thing that we have.  There’s an assurance that we have.  And he’s talking about praying with a right heart and a right attitude, and praying in faith.  And he makes the statement, “Whatever you ask in my name, I will do”---“Whatever you ask.”  Wow!  Whatever you ask, what does that mean?  So can we like maybe, as they teach in some places, you can ask for that pink Cadillac, and go “I claim that pink Cadillac”?  Is that what he means?  You know, he may give you one, and he may not.  It depends on why you’re asking. And in most cases they’re carnal motives, carnal reasons, and he’s not going to do that.  There’s a key part here, “In my name”, it isn’t just going ‘Well I pray and I add “in Jesus name, Amen”, that’s not what he means.  It’s good to pray in Jesus name, but it’s the heart of praying in Jesus name that he’s talking about.  “In the name”, that name represents certain things, the name is significant.  When you say name, an individual’s name, especially God’s name, when I pray, he’s saying that everything I pray should be in harmony with him, his character, his personality.  His name speaks of his nature.  So when I pray, and this promise ‘Whatever you ask in my name’, meaning ‘according to my personality, my character, my person’, when you pray with that heart you’ll see tremendous things happen.  So it means when we ask what Jesus would ask, when we ask what would please him, when we ask what would bring him glory, when you pray that way, man, watch out what God will do.  God says you’ll get whatever you ask when you pray that way, that is for sure.  Remember, he’s speaking to disciples, people that have forsaken all of their worldly things to follow him at this point.  So he’s saying to them, they’re not interested in the pick Cadillac, you know, they may have one at home, but that isn’t the issue.  They’re interested in following him.  And so he’s saying this promise to them, people that have denied themselves, people that have taken up the cross, literally,  and followed him, totally wanting his will, he says, “If you ask in my name, then it’ll be given to you”, and that’s what he means.  But that’s awesome.  Because as I read his Word there’s a lot of things I know about his heart, about his promises to me, and I can pray with absolute confidence that he will do that.  “God, I need peace right now, God I need peace.  God I need boldness.  God I need comfort.”  He promises that he is the God of all comfort, able to comfort me in all my trials.  I can pray those things with absolute confidence that he will respond.  So, when I pray, and I pray according to his name, he says “Whatever you ask in my name, I will do.”  I tell you, maybe you have a troubled heart, a difficult time you’re going through, just consider that.  That can really encourage you.  And you can pray for things that are consistent with his heart for you, and you can know that God will indeed work, he will indeed work.  Bishop Hall put it this way, “Good prayers never come weeping home.”  You know, you send off a prayer, it doesn’t come back going ‘Bum deal.  Oh man, I couldn’t get through, he didn’t like me.’  Good prayers never come weeping home, man.  So I’m sure he says that I shall receive either what I ask, or what I should ask.  So somebody else said, “If the best of blessings are to be had for the asking, he who will not ask deserves to go without.”  So you come maybe this morning, or maybe you know somebody that’s struggling.  Jesus says “Let not your heart be troubled, you believe God, believe also in me.”  Don’t give into fear, man, it’s faith, it’s faith in God.  And understanding as you have Christ in your heart, what that means, when you have Christ in your heart, this is the worst that it gets, you got better coming.  So be encouraged.  And it’s better than palm trees, man.  Not only that, secondly, you know the Father.  He’s using this time to draw you nearer to him so that you can know him more.  And to know him, “Taste and see that the Lord is good.  Taste and see that the Lord is good.”  Thirdly, you have prayer, you have prayer.  Use this time to turn to God in prayer, and ask God to help you to pray according to his heart, and his mind, to pray in the name of Christ, truly praying according to the very name, the person, the character of Christ, and watch what God will do in your life.  And you can know he has many promises for you.  Study the Word of God and read those promises, man.  He wants to work in your life in that way.  He wants to do that even today.  So, great assurances.  Let’s close in prayer…”  [transcript of John chapter 14:1-14, from a sermon given somewhere in New England.]   


To read a whole section on this site about prayer log onto and be sure to apply the awesome understanding imparted by the pastor here about what “in the name of Jesus Christ” really means.

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