Abiding… the roles our mind and the Spirit play

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Abide Spirit mind

Sunday 09/17/23

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Abiding… the roles our mind and the Spirit play

For the last two weeks we have been looking at Jesus’ teaching of being the Vine and believers being the branches who produce fruit of their union with Him BY abiding in Him.

We have looked at other passages in order to better understand this analogy Jesus was offering to His disciples and today we will continue to do so. I was going to use 1 John 2 as our goto text, and in fact had an entire message developed for just that when this morning I strongly felt we needed to go to John 14 instead. SO that is what we will be doing.

Keep in your mind that they just got done having the last supper together. Jesus had already broken the bread and served the wine. He said, “take, eat, this is my body, which is broken for you. Drink, this is the blood of the new covenant or the covenant in my blood”, right?

He had taken a towel and girded Himself and washed their feet. So these are the things that preceded this discussion, this last thing that he was saying to them. 

I think that it’s terribly important, and I mentioned this to you guys before, that out of all the things that Jesus could have taught, just before going to the cross, just before being separated from them, this is the one thing he chose to tell them about. 

So again, I think that speaks volumes as to how important this is. 

If you’re going to have parting words for someone that you care desperately about, you’re gonna make them words which are most pertinent, amen? Words that strike to the core and to the heart of what’s going on in the relationship.

These are the words that Jesus needed to say and invest in His disciples before being separated from them initially at His death, but then also following His going to the Father and sending us the Spirit. So how important might that be for us? 

Perhaps maybe even more important for us than for the disciples, right? Because at least these men had had the advantage of having walked and talked with Jesus.

The very existence of Jesus is all predicated based on their word! We’ve personally never met him, right?

So Jesus walking and talking with these guys had to explain these things to them and the picture that he’s painting is one of a kingdom, but it’s also more than that because it’s relationally based. 

He starts talking about his relationship to God the father. And then about halfway through His discussion as He’s going into what John records in chapter 15, Jesus begins to incorporate them into that family. 

He says things like, “In the same way that I’m in the Father and the Father’s in Me, you are now in Me and we are one family.”

And so all of this teaching is presenting them with a scenario that causes them to understand the nature of their relationship with Jesus and the Father. Not just on a superficial level, meaning the relationship with which they were immediately familiar of teacher and disciple, but much more what will be when He dies and rises again. And so these are very, very important words. 

John 14:1-31, 

“(1) Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me.  (2)  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.  (3)  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.”

So I want you to pay special notice to the fact that among His beginning words were, I go to prepare a place for you.”

This is the same man Who just took the towel and bent the knee to wash their feet. I think we can’t help but be a little bit like Peter, who thought “You should never have to do any of that for me. I should be doing stuff like that for You!”

I should be building a mansion for You to live in, not You going and preparing a place for me. You’re not my servant, You’re my Lord, you’re my God! And yet, Jesus told them just a few minutes before He said this, “You know what I’ve done to you by washing your feet, don’t you? That if I, your Lord, stoop and wash your feet, you are also to wash one another’s feet because you’re not any greater than your Lord”… right? 

So if the greatest among us serves, then what does that say to us? You know, we haven’t just received a commission to serve, we’ve been given the privilege to serve!

It’s an honor to serve! 

Wouldn’t any one of us, with great delight drop to our knees and take a towel and wash His feet? Absolutely, you bet I would!

We adore him and rightly so, we should! 

But Jesus says, I want you to know where I am going, don’t let your heart be troubled, “I’m gonna go and prepare a place for you, and if I go to prepare a place for you, I will come again.”

And when He comes again, what’s He gonna do? 

He says, I’m not just coming to pick you up and take you back to where I’ve been, I’m coming to receive you to Myself. Receive you to myself. 

Now, He didn’t say, I’m coming back so that you might go to heaven.

This wasn’t about a location, it was about a relationship! I’m coming to receive you back to Me! 

The truth of the matter is He adores us as crazy as that sounds. 

He said, if I go and prepare a place for you, I’m gonna return and receive you to Myself so that where I am, you may be also. And you know, if we were to skip a few chapters forward to John 17, such was part of the prayer that Jesus prayed to His Father.

So we know how much this is wrapped up in the heart of Jesus. We know that Jesus came to do what He did on the earth in order to honor and glorify the Father. This was not Jesus fulfilling His Own agenda. He was fulfilling the agenda of the Father. God, the Father so loved the world that He sent the Son. Amen.

In turn, the Son loved the Father so much that He allowed Himself to be sent!

That is the truth… and we see throughout Jesus’ ministry, that He was consumed with doing the will of His Father – He delighted to do His will!

But every now and then, we get this glimpse of His heart towards us. 

He talks a lot about His heart towards His Father, but we are left with no question as to whether or not this was just an assignment so that He might honor His Father because He loves Him. 

Jesus, His heart was wrapped up in us as well! You can see it in His initial words of “Don’t let your hearts be troubled!”… and then He tells them, “I’m gonna come back and I’m gonna receive you to Myself.” And that’s what He said publicly to His disciples. But later on, when they were in the Garden of the Gethsemane and He went and prayed privately before the Father

In that prayer we have revealed to us in John 17, that He said, Father, God, it’s My desire that these men that you’ve given Me may be with Me where I am.”

It’s My desire.

I want them to be with Me. 

Then He says,

“(4)  And where I go you know, and the way you know.” (5)  Thomas said to Him, “Lord, we do not know where You are going, and how can we know the way?”

Now, this is this kind of key to what we’re talking about today because these men did what we often do and that is – they went to their intellect.

He said, where I’m gonna go, you know, and the way I’m getting there, you know. 

They’re like, no, I don’t know. I don’t know what you’re talking about. 

A major and recurring point I am making about this is WHY they did not seem to know. It wasn’t because the Spirit wasn’t telling them, but because they were referring to their own intellect rather than their Helper

I know that the Holy Spirit had not been given to the disciples as their Helper yet, but He had been abiding with them. Jesus says so later on in the chapter. 

If the Holy Spirit had not been abiding with them, they would have had no eyes to see or ears to hear anything that Jesus ever said. When Jesus came up to them, while they were with their fishing nets and said, “come follow Me, they would have had no ears to hear or eyes to see. They wouldn’t have understood.

They wouldn’t have responded. 

So the Spirit of God was present during this whole time, but He was not specifically given to them as their Helper until Jesus left because it was a baton pass. Jesus was saying that, you know, when I leave, I’m going to send another, another, another helper. That the word another means one of equal quality and of the same type as I am. 

So in other words, there’s a transition of ministry here.

I’m going on to the Father to do other work and I’ve passed the baton to the Holy Spirit Who will continue My work in and among you. Right? And that had not happened yet. That was going to happen when Jesus left, which isn’t right now in these chapters, right? 

But the Holy Spirit had still been abiding with them. And if they had just checked inside with that voice that they have heard they would have known. It was the same voice of the Spirit that Jesus was excited about, when Peter heard from the Father about WHO Jesus was! When Peter replied to Jesus’ question, You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”

Jesus said, Blessed are you Simon bar Jonah because flesh and blood didn’t reveal this to you. This was given to you by the Father”. 

Meaning by the Father through the Spirit, the One Who’s been with you from the beginning!

If they had been checking with the Spirit of God rather than their intellect, Thomas would have never said what he just said. 

When Thomas replied like he did here in John 14:5, what did Jesus say in reply?

“(6)  Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.  (7)  “If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; and from now on you know Him and have seen Him.”

From this day FORWARD, you both know Him and have had your eyes open to Him, right? 

“(8)  Philip said to Him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is sufficient for us.”  (9)  Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; so how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?  

Did you catch that? Jesus is describing His earthly relationship with the Father. As a human being. Essentially saying “I am a branch in My vine Who is the Father”

The works I do, I can’t do apart from Him, right? 

Now this is all leading up to Him saying that a time is coming when I’m gonna be the vine and you all are going to be the branches in Me and you won’t be able to do anything apart from Me in the same way that I couldn’t do anything apart from My Father.

You’re being invited into the family! He has what the Bible says, vanquished separation. There is no more separation!

Now, if we were to skip on forward to John 16, we’d find the same thing said about the Holy Spirit, when He comes. He will not speak on His Own authority. The very same words Jesus just said about Himself in regard to the Father

The Holy Spirit is going to take of what is Jesus’ and reveal it to us. So the Holy Spirit is revealing Jesus just as Jesus revealed the Father.

Now this is not to the exclusion of the Spirit in the life of Jesus. If taken together with all the New Testament tells us we learn that Jesus needed the Holy Spirit in the same way that you and I do! 

There were some times when the Father spoke directly to Jesus, like when He came out of the water after being baptized, “this is My beloved Son.” 

That was the Father speaking! 

When Jesus prayed before going up to raise Lazarus, the Father God spoke to Him from the clouds. 

So there are some times when God spoke to Him directly. Most of the time however, He heard the words of the Father the same way you and I do, and that’s through the Spirit.

When we get to John 16, we will learn more about the Holy Spirit. Jesus says when the Holy Spirit comes, He’s going “to take of Mine and reveal it to you.” And the reason that’s important… the reason it will happen that way is because of what Jesus just got to saying to the disciples here in chapter 14

“No one can come to the Father except by Me.”

So if we’re going to know the Father, which is still the ultimate goal, we’re going to have to first know Jesus. So it is that the Holy Spirit’s going to take of Jesus and reveal that to us! 

That’s why he’s called the Spirit of Truth because Jesus is the way, THE TRUTH and the life. The Spirit is going to reveal truth to us which is to say that He’s going to reveal Jesus to us!

This is why Jesus told Philip that THEY would be able to see the Father, right?

Just like he told Thomas

In fact, in John 16, Jesus went on to explain the connection between seeing the Father in Jesus even clearer. He said, “when the Holy Spirit comes, He’s going to take of Mine and reveal it to you. Everything that I have is from the Father. THAT IS WHY I said He’s going to take of Mine and reveal it to you!”

The goal is to know the Father through Me, the Son!

Jesus didn’t have to have another person revealed to Him to see the Father. He just had the Father revealed to Him, but by the same Spirit. This is why, in a few minutes, as He is talking about the Holy Spirit, He begins to call the Holy Spirit His “peace”.

He said, “My peace, I’m leaving with you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Don’t let your heartbeat troubled! Don’t let it be afraid. My peace, MY PEACE, I’m living with you.” 

The peace is the person of the Holy Spirit

My peace, I’m living with you. The same “thing” that has given Me peace this entire time, since I was born, since I’ve been in the flesh, I’m leaving the same One with you. I’m not giving you something of lesser quality. I’m not giving you a copy of a copy of a copy.

You’re getting the real deal. The same One Who got Me through will be getting you through! 

In many respects, we would expect there to be a difference made between the deference and the respect and the honor and the provisions that were made for the Son and what’s given to us, there isn’t one!

There’s no difference!

As Jesus in these same passages reveals to us, the Father loves us just like He loves the Son. 

What an amazing truth! 

That just as the Father has loved me, He’s loved you and I’ve loved you. 

And that’s when He says, “Abide in My love”, right? But we’re getting ahead of ourselves.

So let’s go back over here to John 14

“(10)  Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me? The words that I speak to you I do not speak on My own authority; but the Father who dwells in Me does the works.  (11)  Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father in Me, or else believe Me for the sake of the works themselves.” 

What works is he referring to?

We kind of addressed this the other day. Yes, I’m sure miracles are included in this, but what He’s really been talking about are His words as guided by the Holy Spirit revealing the Father

“I don’t speak, on my own authority, but the Father in Me is the One Who does the work.”

Does the work of what? Speaking through Me! 

Well, Jesus even with his disciples said, you know, there’s a day coming when you’re gonna stand before kings and nobles for My name’s sake. Furthermore He told them not to take any thought in that hour, what they should say, for in that very hour, the Father will fill their mouth. Well the Spirit, but it is the Father BY the Spirit.

This is done in the same way that He filled Jesus’ mouth. That’s the works! 

Now did the works also include healing the sick and delivering people from the demonic spirits? Yeah, that was like the spill-off of it, but none of that happened until Jesus taught the Word.

He went to an area and He taught the Word. Afterwards He would heal sick and break bread to feed a multitude, that kind of thing, but what He’s really getting at is His words! And signs do in fact follow the preaching of the Word, but you know if you’re not preaching the Word, don’t expect signs to follow. 

John 14:12-14, 

“Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father.  (13)  And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.  (14)  If you ask anything in My name, I will do it.”

Now the reason why whatever you ask as representing me in Jesus’ kingdom, the Father will do is so that Papa will be glorified in Jesus through you, through your kingdom oriented request. 

You’re asking for something on behalf of the kingdom. 

That was the focus of Jesus. Jesus said, when you pray, pray like this and His prayer was all about the kingdom! So, we know, that’s a good thing that our prayers are kingdom focused. That’s a very big deal. 

Then He tells us,

John 14:15-27, 

“If you love Me, keep My commandments.  (16)  And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever—  (17)  the Spirit of truth, Whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you.  

(18)  I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you.  

(19)  “A little while longer and the world will see Me no more, but you will see Me. Because I live, you will live also.  (20)  At that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you.  (21)  He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him.”  

(22)  Judas (not Iscariot) said to Him, “Lord, how is it that You will manifest Yourself to us, and not to the world?”  (23)  Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him.  (24)  He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine but the Father’s Who sent Me.  (25)  “These things I have spoken to you while being present with you.  (26)  But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, Whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.  

(27)  Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”

Not yet, but when I die and rise again and then I come and appear to you in the upper room and I breathe on you and say, receive the Spirit of God, THEN He will be in you. But even right now, He is with you!

He was already with them. Now, this reminds me of a passage in John 8. So keep your finger here to turn over to John chapter eight. Because he says, he says, even the Spirit of Truth Whom the world cannot receive because it neither sees Him nor knows Him, but you do know Him for He is with you. He dwells with you and He shall be IN you. 

In John chapter 8, we see that actually happening right in Jesus’ ministry as He’s teaching Jews who both believe and do not.

John 8:31-47, “(31) Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed.  (32)  And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”

If you do what? Abide. 

If you abide, you’ll be my disciples. What did Jesus say over there in John 15?

We read a couple of weeks ago. He says, He said, if you abide in My word, you’ll bear much fruit and then prove therefore to be My disciples. 

So being a disciple is directly connected with abiding.

And He said the same thing here, didn’t He?

(33)  They answered Him, “We are Abraham’s descendants, and have never been in bondage to anyone. How can You say, ‘You will be made free’?”  

(34)  Jesus answered them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin.  (35)  And a slave does not abide in the house forever, but a son abides forever.  (36)  Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.  (37)  “I know that you are Abraham’s descendants, but you seek to kill Me, because My word has no place in you.  (38)  I speak what I have seen with My Father, and you do what you have seen with your father.”

(39)  They answered and said to Him, “Abraham is our father.” 

Jesus said to them, “If you were Abraham’s children, you would do the works of Abraham.  (40)  But now you seek to kill Me, a Man who has told you the truth which I heard from God. Abraham did not do this.  (41)  You do the deeds of your father.” 

Then they said to Him, “We were not born of fornication; we have one Father—God.”  

(42)  Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love Me, for I proceeded forth and came from God; nor have I come of Myself, but He sent Me.  (43)  Why do you not understand My speech? Because you are not able to listen to My word.  

(44)  You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it.  (45)  But because I tell the truth, you do not believe Me.  (46)  Which of you convicts Me of sin? And if I tell the truth, why do you not believe Me?  (47)  He who is of God hears God’s words; therefore you do not hear, because you are not of God.”

Strong words!

You know we talked about this a few weeks ago… about the kind of hearts that hear, have to FIRST be worshipers of God. 

Lydia was one of them and Cornelius was another. They had ears to hear because they were already worshipers of the right God, of the real Father.

These people Jesus was addressing were not. 

He says, why don’t you understand my speech? Because you’re not able to listen to my word. 

Now back over here in John chapter 14, Jesus says, even the Spirit of truth that the world cannot receive because it does not see Him. 

Can you see the connection with what we just read? 

They cannot see Him and they do not know Him. But you, as follower of Christ, know the Spirit because he dwells with you when He shall be in you

“I will not leave you orphans.” I’m not going to abandon you. 

“I will come to you a little while longer and the world will see me no more. But you will see me because I live.”

So He’s already beginning to make this transition of what’s true about Me will be true of you. Amen.

Why do we live? Why are we alive spiritually? Because Jesus is because there’s no separation. There’s no distance!

There’s no difference “even as He is, so am I in this world.” 

If he lives, I live.” Amen?! 

Jesus is leading up to “I’m the Vine, you are the branches” It is on  THAT DAY that you will know. 

Now, how are they going to know?

By the Holy Spirit that he just introduced to them! 

He said, now the world doesn’t see the Spirit of God. It can’t see Him and doesn’t know Him. “But you do know Him because he dwells with you and He will be in you. A little while I’m going to go away and the world won’t be able to see me anymore because I won’t physically be here… but you’re still going to see Me”, right? 

Then He says that whoever has My commands and keeps them. Now, this word keep is in the continuous present. It means, those who have my commandments and habitually keeps them. It is he who loves Me and he who loves Me, will be loved by My Father and I will love him and manifest Myself to him.”

So a condition of the Holy Spirit revealing Christ to us is that we love Him and we keep His commandments as a habit of life, as a way of life. It’s what we do! 

Doesn’t mean we don’t fall. We’re going to fall. We promise that you’re going to fall. We’re going to sin. But he said, the truth of the matter is, as a general note of your life, you’re going to live your life in a way that seeks to honor Me. 

If that is your mode of operation, if that’s the way that you live, I will come to you and I’m going to manifest Myself to you.

You’re going to see Me. That’s why the world hates Me because they’re not keeping My words – they can’t even hear My words.

You know, we understand this now as we’ve talked about in this church, as a matter of honor. The Father is the one who controls the flow of information. He’s the FCC, if you will, of heaven. And He’s the One that determines whether or not it can be communicated to you Who Christ is. 

He’s one that determines that and He bases His decision upon what you’ve done with what you already know about Him! 

Have you honored what you already know? Are you a Lydia who didn’t know anything but knows there’s a God out there and was determined to know Him and I worship Him? 

Are you a Cornelius that thought, “I know I’m not a Jew, but I see them and I’ve gone to their synagogues and I’ve heard the word of their God and I believe… it stirs something in me. I don’t know why, but I love these people and I feel compelled with all the things I’ve been blessed with to give to them and to minister to their needs and to pray to their God.” 

Well, do you think this Cornelius guy honored God? You bet he did! And so what did God do? He gave him power to pay attention and hear the words! 

God the Father had Jesus manifested to Cornelius

Why? Because he’s already doing what he knew to do. 

In other words, if you’re a person that is going to treat the revelation of Jesus casually, then you’re not going to be having Jesus revealed much to you at all. Jesus was walking and living and breathing in front of the Pharisees and the great number of them did NOT respond to Him properly. Some of them did, but the great majority of them did not. 

Jesus told us the reason why they didn’t was because there were of their father’s the devil and the desires of their father they wanted to do. He told them, “you don’t have My words of binding in you.”

Yeah, they’d read the scriptures, the Old Testament, thinking that they found life there, but those very passages are the ones that talked about Jesus and they wouldn’t come to Jesus!

They refused, they slammed the door and because they would not honor the Son when He came, no further revelation will be given, but He will continue to manifest Himself to those who love Him. 

You see, it is a matter of honor!

If I’m continuing to walk in the light to the degree that I see the light, I have fellowship with him and the blood of Jesus Christ cleanses me from all sin… and God manifests Himself to me. 

Of course Judas, asked again, “Lord, how is it that you’re going to manifest yourself to us and not to the world?”

Again, where are they going? They’re still going back to their intellect, but you know Jesus is patient and He’s training them. Jesus answered, said to them, 

if anyone loves Me, he will keep My word and My Father will love him and We will come to him and make Our home with him (or We will abide or dwell with him). He who does not love Me does not keep My words and the word which you hear is not Mine but the Fathers Who sent Me. These things I’ve spoken to you while being present with you, meaning just before I leave, but the Helper, the HolySpirit whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.

He’s going to be your teacher. He’s going to be the one guiding you into all truth. Amen?

Then He said, peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you, not as the world’s give to I give to you. Don’t let your heart be troubled and neither let it be afraid.

That’s what Jesus said to them as they were beginning to walk towards the Garden

He was saying,

“you guys need to know that I’m the vine and you’re the branches. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away and every branch that bears fruit He prunes that it may bear more fruit.

You are already cleaned or pruned because of the word that I’ve spoken to you.”

Now again with this word would not have done them any good if they hadn’t had ears to hear it. If they had not been obeyers of the word, it would not have done them any good. 

We just heard that then Jesus said that,

“you are already cleaned and pruned because the word that I’ve spoken to you abide in Me and I and you as the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine neither can you unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me and I and him bears much fruit for without Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me he is cast out as a branch and is withered and they gather them and throw them into the fire and they are burned.” 

That very clearly reminds me of a passage in 2John 1:4-9.

“(4) I rejoiced greatly because I have found some of your children living according to the truth, just as the Father commanded us.  (5)  But now I ask you, lady (not as if I were writing a new commandment to you, but the one we have had from the beginning), that we love one another.  (6)  (Now this is love: that we walk according to his commandments.) This is the commandment, just as you have heard from the beginning; thus you should walk in it.  (7)  For many deceivers have gone out into the world, people who do not confess Jesus as Christ coming in the flesh. This person is the deceiver and the antichrist!  (8)  Watch out, so that you do not lose the things we have worked for, but receive a full reward.  (9)  Everyone who goes on ahead and does not remain in the teaching of Christ does not have God. The one who remains in this teaching has both the Father and the Son.”

So as we go back to John 15 He says what we just read in verse 6if anyone does not abide in Me He has cast out as a branch or if he if he goes on and does not abide in the teachings of Christ –  because to abide in Jesus and abide in His word of the same thing aren’t they?

He said that such are gathered together and thrown into the fire they are burned.

So abiding in Him has to do with abiding in His teaching and His in his teachings abiding and living and dwelling and making Their home inside of our hearts.

Meaning if His word has taken up residence inside of you. If it has found within you, a home… a place that doesn’t resist… that is not obstinate against God’s word, but is in step with God’s word and is in surrender to it!

They hated Jesus without a cause because His words had no place in them and the same will happen with us in our lives.

However, when the Helper comes Whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of Truth Who proceeds from the Father He will testify of Me and you will also bear witness or testify because you have been with Me from the beginning. 

Now I want to flip over and look at one other passage before we close because all I’ve done really today is just kind of introduce this, but in 1John we see the Holy Spirit showing up again. 

You know I taught on this a while back, I believe the message was called “the Holy Spirit the believer’s forgotten friend” or something along that line. 

1John 2 talks about the Holy Spirit

In my heart I just felt I’d introduce the Holy Spirit today in His role as our “Helper”. The One Who helps us in our relationship as branches, connected to our Vine. 

1Jn 2:20-27,

“(20) Nevertheless you have an Anointing from the Holy One, and you all know.  (21)  I have not written to you that you do not know the truth, but that you do know it, and that no lie is of the truth.  

(22)  Who is the liar but the person who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This one is the antichrist: the person who denies the Father and the Son.  

(23)  Everyone who denies the Son does not have the Father either. The person who confesses the Son has the Father also.  

(24)  As for you, what you have heard from the beginning must remain in you. If what you heard from the beginning remains in you, you also will remain in the Son and in the Father.  

(25)  Now this is the promise that He Himself made to us: eternal life.  

(26)  These things I have written to you about those who are trying to deceive you.  

(27)  Now as for you, the Anointing that you received from Him resides in you, and you have no need for anyone to teach you. But as His Anointing teaches you about all things, it is true and is not a lie. Just as it has taught you, you reside in Him.”

He says, but you have an anointing from the Holy One and you know all things.

Now again, he’s saying this in a context. He’s been talking about false doctrine and knowing the truth and having a discernment about you because you have the word of God and keep it. 

He addressed this earlier in the chapter by saying, 

“(12) I write to you little children because your sins are forgiving you for His namesake. 

(13) I write to you fathers because you have known Him Who was from the beginning. 

I write to you young men because you have overcome the wicked one.”

So they’ve known the Father and they have kept His commandments, which means they’ve overcome the wicked one. 

They’ve kept the Word they heard… so we know that they are in a position to know it, aren’t they?

What does John attribute this knowing to? He said, you have an anointing from the Holy One and you know all things. 

Meaning in other words, I’m talking to you about these false doctrines and I’m talking to you about these false teachers and I’m combating the things that they have said and reaffirming your faith. But you really already know these things because you have an anointing from the Holy One and you know these things. 

If you would pay attention, unlike what the disciples were doing, when Jesus was beginning to unveil truth to them after the supper and asking questions that He already answered. Remember, He just told them If you’ve seen Me, you’ve seen the Father.Then the next thing out their mouth is, “well, then show us the Father.

Were you not listening to Me? I just said, if you have seen Me, you have seen the Father.”

So you can understand that obviously they weren’t quite getting it. 

One of the reasons is because they were referring to their intellect rather than their teacher, the Holy Spirit

I’m not saying intellect is wrong. Intellect has its place. There’s a lot of things in the Bible that would be clarified.

You don’t even really need a whole lot more than just plain good old common sense and you could sidestep many an issue in misunderstanding scripture. Lots of things are like that. A great number of things are like that in the Bible. Just common sense and you just wouldn’t fall for silliness.

God has never called us to check your brains at the door, to turn off your intellect. 

But when He’s talking to you, you NEED the Spirit of God to cause you to understand and discern the meaning of His words! 

These people in 1John had done that. They’d learned that already. So he says, “you received an anointing from the Holy One and you already know these things. You know what these teachers are saying is wrong. And so therefore you know the people who teach these things are false. You already know it!”

All I’m doing is just affirming what you already know because you have an anointing from the Holy One. You already know this! 

So how do we abide in Jesus by the Holy Spirit? By what the Spirit teaches…

That’s how you do it! 

You’re going to be tempted like those disciples to get into your intellect. You’re going to be tempted to put your eyes back on yourself and your performance. You’re going to be tempted to look back on the things that you did right or the things that you did wrong. 

You’re going to be tempted to try to understand something that God has told you with your mind. And all of these things are the wrong course because you have an anointing for the Holy One and you know these things.

The Spirit is both faithful and true. He will do the work of revealing Christ to you. And even as He has taught you, so you will be enabled to abide IN HIM. 

Our friend, the Holy Spirit is the One Who enables us to abide. And we’ll spend some more time with that next week.


Hi my name is Mark and though I am opposed to titles, I am currently the only Pastor (shepherd/elder) serving our assembly right now.

I have been Pastoring in one capacity or another for nearly 30 years now, though never quite like I am today.

Early in 2009 the Lord revealed to me that the way we had structured our assembly (church) was not scriptural in that it was out of sync with what Paul modeled for us in the New Testament. In truth, I (like many pastors I am sure) never even gave this fundamental issue of church structure the first thought. I had always assumed that church structure was largely the same everywhere and had been so from the beginning. While I knew Paul had some very stringent things to say about the local assembly of believers, the point of our gatherings together and who may or may not lead, I never even considered studying these issues but assumed we were all pretty much doing it right...safety in numbers right?! Boy, I couldn't have been more wrong!

So needless to say, my discovery that we had been doing it wrong for nearly two decades was a bit of a shock to me! Now, this "revelation" did not come about all at once but over the course of a few weeks. We were a traditional single pastor led congregation. It was a top-bottom model of ministry which is in part biblical, but not in the form of a monarchy.

The needed change did not come into focus until following 9 very intense months of study and discussions with those who were leaders in our church at the time.

We now understand and believe that the Bible teaches co-leadership with equal authority in each local assembly. Having multiple shepherds with God's heart and equal authority protects both Shepherds and sheep. Equal accountability keeps authority and doctrine in check. Multiple shepherds also provide teaching with various styles and giftings with leadership skills which are both different and complementary.

For a while we had two co-pastors (elders) (myself and one other man) who led the church with equal authority, but different giftings. We both taught in our own ways and styles, and our leadership skills were quite different, but complimentary. We were in complete submission to each other and worked side-by-side in the labor of shepherding the flock.

Our other Pastor has since moved on to other ministry which has left us with just myself. While we currently only have one Pastor/Elder, it is our desire that God, in His faithfulness and timing, may bring us more as we grow in maturity and even in numbers.

As to my home, I have been married since 1995 to my wonderful wife Terissa Woodson who is my closest friend and most trusted ally.

As far as my education goes, I grew up in a Christian home, but questioned everything I was ever taught.

I graduated from Bible college in 1990 and continued to question everything I was ever taught (I do not mention my college in order to avoid being labeled).

Perhaps my greatest preparation for ministry has been life and ministry itself. To quote an author I have come to enjoy namely Fredrick Buechner in his writing entitled, Now and Then, "If God speaks to us at all other than through such official channels as the Bible and the church, then I think that He speaks to us largely through what happens to us...if we keep our hearts open as well as our ears, if we listen with patience and hope, if we remember at all deeply and honestly, then I think we come to recognize beyond all doubt, that, however faintly we may hear Him, He is indeed speaking to us, and that, however little we may understand of it, His word to each of us is both recoverable and precious beyond telling." ~ Fredrick Buechner

Well that is about all there is of interest to tell you about me.

I hope our ministry here is a blessing to you and your family. I also hope that it is only a supplement to a local church where you are committed to other believers in a community of grace.

~God Bless!