THE WITNESS OF THE FATHER, SON, AND HOLY SPIRIT, #587
I am one that bear witness of myself, and the Father that sent me beareth witness of me. (JOH 8:18).
Our Saviour most often prepares us for the revelation of Himself by first opening our eyes to see the contrast of Himself to our depraved nature. Here we have another striking contrast between that blessed revelation that He gives of Himself and the depravity of our human hearts.
Before He made that blessed declaration in Verse 12, "saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life," He used the preceding case scenario to reveal the darkness of human depravity. In that backdrop, in that contrast of the darkness of the human heart, we see the blessed revelation of the light that there is in Christ.
We have been studying the story of the woman taken in adultery. The scribes and Pharisees brought her before Jesus that they might trap Him. Now we see in JOH 8:9: "And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst." He turned on enough light so the light shining on their own depravity convicted their consciences, convicted their hearts, and they walked out one by one. They were not able to stand before the convicting power of that light because He was preparing their hearts to see the contrast between the darkness of their own hearts and the light that He was revealing in Himself.
One time the Lord gave me such a blessed assurance from ISA 33:17: "Thine eyes shall see the king in his beauty: they shall behold the land that is very far off." The first thing that entered my mind was that this would be a revelation of Christ in His exalted state, but to prepare me to see the King in His beauty, what did the Lord do? He sent the witness of the Spirit to witness the contrast between that blessed tranquility of Christ and His humble submission to His Fathers will, and my frustration. The Lord sent a set of circumstances that brought me to an extreme case of frustration. In this case of frustration, I was to a point of having no control over my actions anymore. Then I read a sermon entitled, "THE KING OF PEACE." It revealed the blessed tranquility of Christ under the extreme circumstances He suffered in making His free will offering for sin. This sermon began by showing that our blessed Lord had seen all that was in that cup His Father had given Him to drink, and how He could say "Not my will but thine be done."
When Judas came to betray Jesus, He said: "Friend, wherefore art thou come?" At the end of each step of Christs humble submission the sermon said, He was not frustrated, but He could say "Not my will but Thine be done!" The precious revelation of the King in His beauty, was not seen in His exalted state, but in His tranquility, in His total unconditional surrender to the Fathers will. The preparation of my heart was to first see the frustration in my own heart to contrast my own depravity with the striking beauty that there is in Christs tranquillity.
Ill give you another illustration. If you see brides all dressed in white and contrast that with you coming from the shop having your hands full of dirt and grease. Look at the contrast and it makes you feel filthy. However, if you were standing there visiting with another person who is working in the shop, it would never come to your attention of how filthy you were. The contrast makes the white look so much whiter and the filth look so much filthier. This is what the Lord Jesus teaches us as He comes to reveal Himself to us. Now the Father sends this witness of the Holy Spirit.
Our text says, "I am one that bears witness of myself, and the Father that sent me beareth witness of me." God the Father sends His Holy Spirit into our hearts with the conviction of who we are. Then the contrast between this and what we see in Christ becomes so much greater. How does the Father "bear witness of me"?
JOH 14:26 will show you that it is the Father who sends the Holy Spirit in the Name of His Son. The Holy Spirit convicts us of sin. The Holy Spirit reveals who we are, but it is also by the revelation of the Holy Spirit that we learn to see and know who the Son of God is. It is the Father who sends the Spirit.
Look at what we also read in JOH 16:13-15. "Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak:, and he will shew you things to come. He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you. All things that the Father hath are mine." The Holy Spirit hears that which the Father gives Him to tell you pertaining to yourself and pertaining to the revelation that He will give you of the Son of God.
The Lord Jesus is teaching the blessed harmony, the oneness between Him and the Father and the Holy Spirit, the oneness that there is in God. There is one God, yet there are three Persons. The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are each distinct and separate Persons. It was not the Father who hung on the cross. It was the Son. It was not the Son who gave His Son, it was the Father. They are individual and distinct Persons, and yet they are three in one. They are in one Godhead. They are one in purpose. They are one in all their doings.
"All things that the Father hath are mine, and therefore said I, that he shall take of mine, and shall shew it unto you." (JOH 16:15) He shall "shew" unto us all of that which the Father has given Him. So we see the blessed harmony. The Father sent the Holy Spirit to testify in the hearts of Christs venomous enemies of the contrast of the True Light and their blindness. Christ is the Light of the World.
We see in JOH 8:9: "And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst." The Light, the Witness, and the Testimony that the Father is testifying of the truth of what the Holy Spirit is saying by the Son. That Testimony was sent as a witness in their own hearts, so that they were without excuse. They heard, they saw, they understood. The Lord Jesus said: "Whosoever of you is without sin cast the first stone." They heard His gracious words, and the Holy Spirit, sent by the Father, left such a testimony in their hearts.
So it is when our blessed Saviour is preparing to reveal the perfect harmony of purpose and will between Himself and His Father. See how a divisive spirit, found in the depravity of the human heart, is revealed. Look at JOH 8:13: "The Pharisees therefore said unto him, Thou bearest record of thyself; thy record is not true." Their hearts were filled with divisiveness. They were coming against Him. They were trying to make Him an offender for a word. They were revealing the depravity of the human heart as a black backdrop to the light that the Lord Jesus Christ was revealing of the perfect harmony and the witness and the testimony between Himself and the Father.
The depravity in the human heart becomes revealed as the true light begins to break forth. Look at ISA 29:20-21. "For the terrible one is brought to nought, and the scorner is consumed, and all that watch for iniquity are cut off [See what they were doing. They brought that woman taken in adultery to try to take Him in His word. They were watching for iniquity. They were watching for something that they could find to accuse Him.]: That make a man an offender for a word, and lay a snare for him that reproveth in the gate."
Their enmity originated by the reproof they had received when the Lord Jesus said: "He that is without sin cast the first stone." That reproof left them so guilty in their own consciences, and now they are trying to justify their own depravity by laying a snare to make Him an offender for a word. Watch what they want to do. "That make a man an offender for a word, and lay a snare for him that reproveth in the gate, and turn aside the just for a thing of nought."
The Lord Jesus Christ was preparing to set forth for the benefit of the church through all ages to understand that blessed harmony between the Father and the Son. He was teaching how the Son does nothing except that which He is bidden of the Father, and how the Father testifies of the Son as well as the Son testifies of the Father. In preparation to reveal this, the Lord Jesus brings a set of circumstances to where the divisive nature of our hearts reveals itself.
We find this situation in our own lives. Just before sunrise is the darkest time of the day, and just before the Sun of Righteousness reveals Himself in our hearts, our hearts will experience darkness. We will see the depravity of our own hearts revealing itself, and this is what we see here. The Father most often prepares our hearts to see the King in His beauty by sending circumstances that bring the very worst of us to the surface. The more our depravity and impurity comes before our eyes, the more beauty we will see in the purity of our Saviour.
As these venomous enemies of Jesus twisted His Words to make Him "an offender for a word, and lay a snare for him that reproveth in the gate," our Saviour uses the occasion to reveal the perfect harmony between Himself and the Father. Our text says, "I am one that bear witness of myself, and the Father that sent me beareth witness of me." We want to notice the blessed harmony between the Father and the Son as we develop this. The Son came to glorify the Father, and the Father testifies of the truth bearing of the Son. HEB 1:2-3 says God "Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high."
Jesus said in JOH 10:30, "I and my Father are one," yet they are distinct from each other, and each have their respective testimonies. It isnt as some teach that Jesus is the Father. There are three distinct Persons, yet they are incorporated into one Godhead. A church has many members, yet they are incorporated into one body. The Holy Trinity is incorporated into one Godhead, but they are three distinct Persons-the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Jesus said, "I and my Father are one," yet they are separate and distinct entities.
Notice JOH 15:1. "I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman." He clearly distinguishes between Himself and the Father. He is the vine. His Father is the Vine-Dresser. He is the Husbandman. He is the one who takes care of the Vine. Now also see the distinction in the witness they bear to each of us. There is a distinction in the testimony that you and I get from the Father and the Son. Look at JOH 15:2, "Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away [We bear fruit in Christ. Christ formed in you is the hope of glory. Christ in you bearing fruit. The Father is the husbandman.] and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit."
The work of the Father and the work of the Son are clearly distinguished. The Father does the purging. The Son is the vine. The Father is the Husbandman, and He does the purging that it might bring forth more fruit. Our Saviour had just revealed unto the scribes and Pharisees the contrasting darkness in the depravity of their hearts by saying: "He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her," as we see in Verse 7. He had just revealed Himself as the very Jehovah, the Great "I AM," saying, "I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life." These scribes and Pharisees had just experienced the witness of the Fathers pruning knife to purge away their hypocrisy. They felt the cutting edge of His Sword, the Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. They felt this in their hearts, but the difference was, they loved not the truth.
Look at JOH 8:9: "And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last." The truth drove them away from Christ. Why? He is the light, and the light was their condemnation. JOH 3:19-21 says, "And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God."
As these hypocrites shrank from the very light which the Father sent by sending His Spirit to testify of the truth of our Saviours words, it only kindled a burning desire in their heart to extinguish that light. There is the distinction between those who are born of the Spirit and those who are not. Those who are born of the Spirit come to the light that their deeds might be made manifest, and those who are not born of the Spirit are driven away by the light.
The light is their condemnation, and this is what we see in JOH 1:5; "And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not." When we see the light shining in our hearts, the distinction between those who are born of the Spirit and those who are not is that we comprehend the light, that we understand that it is the witness of the Spirit and that it is to bring us unto Christ.
Therefore, we see in JOH 8:14, "Jesus answered and said unto them, Though I bear record of myself, yet my record is true: for I know whence I came, and whither I go; but ye cannot tell whence I come, and whither I go." The Lord Jesus testified that He had come from the Father, and He was going to return to the Father.
Why was this? They were from beneath; they were of the world. They did not have the witness of the Spirit in their hearts that witnesses with our spirits that we are the sons of God. They didnt have that testimony that they were the sons of God. They were not the sons of God.
In His condescension, after Jesus enemies had tried to tempt Him to take Him in His Words, and after they had attempted to make Him an offender for a word, Jesus proceeds to reveal wherein they error in judgment. The Lord in His condescension was so gracious, and He is so gracious unto you and me.
He showed them in JOH 8:15-16, "Ye judge after the flesh; I judge no man. And yet if I judge, my judgment is true: for I am not alone, but I and the Father that sent me." They were passing judgment on Him for what He had said. What is He telling them? You judge after the flesh. You judge after the sight of your eyes. You judge with carnal judgment, but I judge no man.
The blindness of these hypocrites was of a spiritual nature. He is saying is that they are judging after the flesh. They do not have spiritual discernment and do not understand what Jesus is saying. Their eyes were blinded to what Jesus told them. Look at 1CO 2:14-16; "But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. [They did not have spiritual discernment. They did not understand the spirituality of the message He was telling them.] But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man. For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ."
When we have the mind of Christ, in other words, the Spirit of Christ, we understand what Christ is telling us, then we see the beauty, we see and understand the blessedness of the light. Those who find the light a condemnation, and those who love not the truth, and those who flee from the light, have not the mind of Christ.
When Jesus said, "I judge no man," He was telling them He was not sitting as the judge of His own testimony in their consciences. This would be parallel with what we read in JOH 12:47-49, "And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world. He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken."
Go back to what the Lord is telling us in this chapter. "You judge after the flesh" (Verse 15). They were sitting as judges in their own hearts. Why? Their own consciences became their judge. "The word that I have spoken will judge you." On the Day of Judgment they will have their own consciences testify that the words that He spoke condemned them. Now, what are they doing? Now they are throwing stones at Him. They didnt have a stone to throw at that woman who came condemned and found a pardon. They came in a self-righteous spirit and left condemned by the words that He had spoken. Now what He is saying here is, "He that rejecteth me and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him. The word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day."
Those words that they refused to hear convicted their hearts and drove them away from the light because of the condemning power of the light. He said, "Those are the words that shall judge in the last day. For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak."
The Lord Jesus is telling us that every word that He spoke, He spoke because it was given Him of the Father. He was only speaking that which the Father had commanded Him to speak. He says, "I am one that beareth witness of myself, and the Father that sent me beareth witness of me." He is telling us that He was speaking on the bidding of His Father, and yet they were condemning Him and they were accusing Him. They were now throwing stones at Him. Why? The words that He spoke condemned them.
Look at JOH 8:14-17; "Jesus answered and said unto them, Though I bear record of myself, yet my record is true: for I know whence I came, and whither I go; but ye cannot tell whence I come, and whither I go. Ye judge after the flesh; I judge no man. And yet if I judge, my judgment is true: for I am not alone, but I and the Father that sent me. It is also written in your law, that the testimony of two men is true." Every word that the Lord Jesus spoke to them was spoken with power. They were coming against their own consciences in condemning the Lord Jesus Christ.
The Spirits witness in their hearts told these hypocrites that what Jesus said was true. Their own hearts convicted them to know that what He said was true, but they loved not the truth. They were trying to pervert the truth. In JOH 7:7 we read, "The world cannot hate you; but me it hateth, because I testify of it, that the works thereof are evil." That is the testimony they received in their consciences when the Lord Jesus said, "He that is without sin, let him cast the first stone." It testified that their works were evil. This is why they hated Him. This is why they were trying to ensnare Him in His words, and this is why they were trying to prove Him wrong. They were coming against Him because their own consciences testified of the truth.
Now our Saviour proceeds to tell them why they were judging after the flesh, and why they loved not the truth. JOH 8:23-24 says, "And he said unto them, Ye are from beneath; I am from above: ye are of this world; I am not of this world."
Who was He talking to? He was talking to the scribes and Pharisees. He was talking to the leaders of the church, and He was telling them, "You are from beneath." He says in Verse 44: "Ye are of your father, the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own, for he is a liar and the father of it."
He is telling them why they dont love the truth-because they are from beneath. "I am from above. Ye are of this world, I am not of this world. I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins."
Do you see what a contrast there is between those who have the quickening grace of the Holy Spirit and those who do not? They both receive the light. They both have the light shine into their hearts. The one loves the light, and the other one flees from it. He is telling them that the light has shined into your hearts. "The words that I have spoken, they will judge you in the last day. Ye are from beneath; I am from above. Ye are of this world. I am not." Do you see why there was no harmony? Do you see why there was such a division in thinking between Him and them? He pointed out the perfect harmony that He has with the Father.
As we go through this life, we learn to understand that the more we have of the Spirit of Christ, the more we walk in the footsteps of Christ, and walk in the light and not in the darkness, the more we are going to see the contrast between us and those who serve the world.
It isnt necessary that we testify with our mouths in order for the world to distinguish. They will see the difference in our attitudes toward what is right and what is wrong. They will see the difference in our attitudes toward each other. They will see the difference in our attitude toward the law of God, and it becomes a testimony unto them.
It says here: "Ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins." This is where the distinction is. That divisive spirit of theirs became such a contrast to that blessed harmony there is between the Father and the Son. The Son, being in unconditional surrender to the will of the Father, revealed their hypocritical spirit.
To the contrary, Jesus told them why His judgment and testimony were true. Look what we see in JOH 8:18. "I am one that bear witness of myself, and the Father that sent me beareth witness of me." The witness of the Holy Spirit, who was sent by the Father, was a witness that what He said was true, that the judgment He passed was true. The witness of the Holy Spirit enlightened their eyes to see and understand, "He that is without sin, let him cast the first stone." That was a testimony that they were not able to gainsay: "Being convicted in their heart, they went out one by one."
The Father bore witness to the Son in all the prophecies in the Old Testament. See the glaring witness the Father has given of the Son. The prophecies in the Old Testament are where the Father has spoken by the Holy Spirit and testified what we would see in the Son of God.
What these hypocrites did not realize was that they were, in fact, fulfilling those very testimonies, those very witnesses that were prophesied in advance. They were fulfilling those very Scriptures that testified of that very hour. Look at JOH 12:38-41; "That the saying of Esaias the prophet might be fulfilled, which he spake, Lord, who hath believed our report? [The prophecies of the Father as He set forth by the unction of the Holy Spirit prophesied that very hour that they would not believe his report.] and to whom hath the arm of the Lord been revealed? Therefore they could not believe, because that Esaias said again [ISA 6:9-10], He hath blinded their eyes, and hardened their heart; that they should not see with their eyes, nor understand with their heart, and be converted, and I should heal them. These things said Esaias, when he saw his glory, and spake of him."
When Esaias saw the glory of God, he spoke of the coming of the Messiah. Then Esaias saw that contrast; he saw that blessed revelation of the Lord Jesus Christ, but he also saw the hardness of the heart and the depravity of the heart by nature.
In fact, just look at ISA 6 and take notice of the beauty when he saw the revelation of God. In verse one it says: "In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple." Now look at Verse 5; "Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts."
A revelation of the Lord Jesus Christ shows the beauty and the purity there is in Christ in contrast to the depravity of our own hearts. Isaiah said, "I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips." As the revelation of the Lord Jesus Christ was brought before His eyes, he also prophesied of that very day when Jesus was standing before those people.
The Lord Jesus testified of the witness His Father had given Him in the Old Testament as He stood up to read from the book of Esaias which they had given Him as we see in LUK 4:18-19. Throughout the Gospels, the Lord Jesus brings forth the testimony of the Father that was testified of Him in advance. They gave Him the book and He read: "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, [these Pharisees had witnessed all of these things.] To preach the acceptable year of the Lord."
The Spirit of the Lord was not only upon Him, but it also accompanied His gracious words into their hearts as you will notice in LUK 4:21-22. They had the testimony in Isaiah 61, and He is bringing forth the testimony of the Father, and the Holy Spirit is accompanying those words right into their souls. "And he began to say unto them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears. And all bare him witness."
As the Father witnessed by sending His Holy Spirit into their hearts, they had the testimony of the Father, they had the testimony of the Holy Spirit and they all bare Him witness. There wasnt one in His audience who didnt witness that the power of the unction of the Holy Spirit accompanying those words. To some it was the savour of life unto life and to others it was the savour of death unto death because they received it not.
"All bare him witness that the Spirit of the Lord was upon Him and wondered at the gracious words which proceeded out of his mouth [and yet they found fault. See the hypocrisy of the human heart.] And they said, Is not this Josephs son?"
They all bare Him witness that the Spirit of God was upon Him, and that He was preaching the gospel of peace and that He had healed and performed all the miracles spoken of in the prophesy. Their own hearts bore witness of it, and yet they came against Him. They said, "Is not this Josephs son?" In other words, He cant be the Messiah.
The Father sends the Holy Spirit to testify in our hearts with a conviction that no man can deny. When the Holy Spirit comes, the Father testifying of the Son, He is sending His Holy Spirit to witness in the heart. "All bare Him witness and wondered at the gracious words." That is when the Holy Spirit speaks in our hearts. We have the witness of the Holy Spirit that it is the Word of God.
Look at 1JO 5:7; "For there are three that bear record in heaven." See the harmony in the Trinity. See the harmony in the Word of God, how that the testimony of the Holy Spirit, the testimony of the Father, and the testimony of the Son make one undeniable testimony.
The Father is the husbandman. He does His pruning by sending circumstances to prove the genuineness of our faith. Those circumstances are in such perfect harmony with what He has told us by His Word and Spirit. We have that undeniable witness in our hearts how those circumstances and the Word and the application of the Word come in perfect harmony. These three bear record. "For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one."
Now, our text is speaking about how that the Father testifies, so lets examine this term, bear record. It comes from the Greek word martureo (mar-too-reh-o) which means "to be a witness." So, "these three bear record in heaven," means that these Three are being a witness one with the other. It means "to be a witness i.e., to testify literally or to give evidence." So, the three bear record in heaven. The Three are there giving an undeniable witness or testimony.
Now, what did the Lord Jesus say to them in JOH 8:17-18? "It is also written in your law, that the testimony of two men is true. I am one that bear witness of myself, and the Father that sent me beareth witness of me."
Now in 1JO 5:7 we see that there are Three who bear witness in heaven, and these hypocrites had the witness of the Holy Spirit in their hearts. They had the testimony of the Holy Spirit. They walked out one by one, when He said: "You who are without sin cast the first stone." They knew, they had the witness in their souls. It wasnt that they didnt know, it is because they rejected the truth. The light was a condemnation to them.
Now, our text says. "I am one that bear witness of myself, and the Father that sent me beareth witness of me." So, not only does the Father bear witness of the Son, the humble obedience of the Son also bears witness of the truth of the Words of the Father. I want you to see that Three bear record in heaven, that Three bear witness. Not only does the Father bear witness of the Son, but also the Son bears witness of the Father.
The Father by the Holy Spirit penned down the prophecies of the Son. The Son, very, very carefully fulfilled every one that the record of Him might be true. So in other words, He also bears witness that of what the Father has said, not one jot or one tittle shall fail. He shall fulfill it all. Thereby, He bears witness of the Father, the truth of His Word, the truth of what was spoken concerning Him, the Lord Jesus Christ.
See what it says in LUK 24:44. "And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me." He did not allow one thing that was written of Him to be unfulfilled. Thereby He also bears witness of the truth of the Father, that everything was fulfilled, not one thing remained unfulfilled.
So, not only do the Father and the Word bear witness, but we receive the witness of the Spirit when the Word of promise has been spoken with power in our soul. Notice the blessed harmony in the witness of the Father, the Son and the Spirit. The Father has spoken from eternity. The Son has fulfilled every jot and tittle, and the Holy Spirit witnesses in our hearts.
Now look at EPH 1:11-14. "In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated [it was foretold of the Father] according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will: That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ." Here we see the testimony of the Father in His predestinating love.
The Father commands us in 1JO 3:23 that we believe in the Name of the Son. "In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise." Notice that it is after you have obeyed this commandment of the Father to believe in the Name of His Son that "ye were sealed."
See the blessed harmony. Here is the Father, predestinating that we should be conformed to the image of Christ. We see the believing in the Son, according to the commandment of the Father, is the prerequisite for the promise. After you believe, you are sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise.
What is that seal? When you make a deed to a piece of property, a warranty deed, then it is sealed with a notary seal, and that seal is the evidence or confirmation that you have good title. The Spirit is the earnest of your salvation. When you enter into your transaction to buy a piece of real estate, you give earnest money. That earnest money is to say this is a bona fide offer. It is an offer that is secure. You will not back away from it. There is the earnest money to secure the offer. So we have the seal of the Spirit, which is the earnest of our salvation. It is our confirmation. It is our guarantee. It is that which we have received in advance as proof of the promise. See the blessed harmony of the witness of the Holy Spirit confirming that which was spoken by the Father and by the Son.
In Verses 13 and 14 we see, "In whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory." Christ purchased us with His own blood, and the Holy Spirit has sealed it with His seal. How? By applying the promise with the power of His Spirit to your heart. It is the witness of the Spirit confirming that which the Father has spoken from eternity that you are predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son.
Now, that threefold testimony spoken of in 1JO 5:7 cannot be broken when it is sealed upon the heart by the Holy Spirit of promise. There is the witness of the Father. We see in His providence and in His purging the witness of the Father according to His working. We see that abiding in the Vine and feeding upon the Lord Jesus Christ is the evidence of the oneness of spirit that we have with the Spirit of Christ. It is Christ being formed in you. We have the seal of the Holy Spirit, which is the threefold witness. As we see in 1JO 5:7: "For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one."
The Father and the Spirit had also born witness of the deity of the Son at His baptism. We see the distinct Persons of the Trinity, but sealing their oneness. Take notice of the baptism of the Lord Jesus Christ and how the Father and the Spirit sealed the deity of the Son. Look at
MAT 3:16-17: "And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son [the voice of the Father], in whom I am well pleased."
Our text says: "I am one that bear witness of myself, and the Father that sent me beareth witness of me." The Father bore witness of Him at His baptism, speaking with audible voice from heaven: "This is my beloved Son in whom I am well-pleased." The Holy Spirit bore Him witness by coming down in visible form upon Him, and lighting upon Him as a dove.
How can these scribes and Pharisees come to Him as we see in Verse 13: "Thou bearest record of thyself; thy record is not true." See the blasphemous accusations that they brought against Him. There is such a glaring testimony of the Father and of the Spirit to the Deity of His Son in His baptism of which they were aware.
To those gainsaying hypocrites who knew, but rejected the witness of the Father, and of the Spirit in their own hearts, Jesus said in our text, "I am one that bear witness of myself, and the Father that sent me beareth witness of me." They refused to believe upon Jesus out of envy.
We also see the witness of the Holy Spirit that they had in their own hearts. "They all bare him record." They all bear witness that the Spirit of God was upon Him when He spoke those gracious words, and yet they refused; they rejected the Lord of life and glory. Amen.
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