A Man Sent From God II - RR197B4

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Professor: Rushdoony, Dr. R. J.
Title: A Man Sent From God II
Course: Course - The Gospel of John
Subject: Subject:Conversations and Sermons
Lesson#: 4
Length: 0:28:02
TapeCode: RR197B4
Audio: Chalcedon Archive
Transcript: .docx Format
The Gospel of John.jpg

This transcript is unedited. It was:
Archived by the Mt. Olive Tape Library
Digitized, transcribed, and published by Christ Rules
Posted by with permission

Let us worship God. Praise ye the Lord, praise God in His sanctuary, praise Him for his mighty acts, praise Him according to His excellent greatness. Let everything that hath breath praise the Lord, praise ye the Lord. Let us pray.

Our Lord and our God we come together rejoicing in Thy mercies and blessings, thanking Thee that our times are in Thy hands. We thank Thee that in the darkness Thou art our light and the time of sickness Thou art our health, in the time of distress our comfort. And so we come to Thee oh Lord to cast our every care upon Thee, do Thou minister to us in Thy grace, mercy and wisdom, in Christ’s name, Amen.

Our scripture again is John 1:15-34, A Man Sent From God. John 1:15-34.

“John bare witness of him, and cried, saying, This was he of whom I spake, He that cometh after me is preferred before me: for he was before me.

16 And of his fullness have all we received, and grace for grace.

17 For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.

18 No man hath seen God at any time, the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.

19 And this is the record of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, Who art thou?

20 And he confessed, and denied not; but confessed, I am not the Christ.

21 And they asked him, What then? Art thou Elias? And he saith, I am not. Art thou that prophet? And he answered, No.

22 Then said they unto him, Who art thou? that we may give an answer to them that sent us. What sayest thou of thyself?

23 He said, I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, Make straight the way of the Lord, as said the prophet Esaias.

24 And they which were sent were of the Pharisees.

25 And they asked him, and said unto him, Why baptizest thou then, if thou be not that Christ, nor Elias, neither that prophet?

26 John answered them, saying, I baptize with water: but there standeth one among you, whom ye know not;

27 He it is, who coming after me is preferred before me, whose shoe's latchet I am not worthy to unloose.

28 These things were done in Bethabara beyond Jordan, where John was baptizing.

29 The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.

30 This is he of whom I said, After me cometh a man which is preferred before me: for he was before me.

31 And I knew him not: but that he should be made manifest to Israel, therefore am I come baptizing with water.

32 And John bare record, saying, I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon him.

33 And I knew him not: but he that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, the same is he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost.

34 And I saw, and bare record that this is the Son of God.”


Last week we concluded with the fact that the religious

Last week we concluded with the fact that the religious scene in Judea at the time of John the Baptist and our Lord was a very muddied one. It would be impossible to say which group Sadducees or Pharisees were more biblical or more liberal or more conservative because their positions had become opportunistic and power oriented. As a result there was no group to whom our Lord could appeal. No group that He could say here is an element that is ready to hear. There were other groups beside the Sadducees and Pharisees, there were the Zealots, they were revolutionists, the Essenes, or Dead Sea colony people were drop outs, there was no group to whom He could appeal except great numbers in the common people who were ready to hear the truth, who were weary of all that they had from the establishment. It was the Pharisees who came now to see John the Baptist and they asked who are you. We are required as an investigating committee to make a report about you, how would you identify yourself. The questions asked of John the Baptist had reference to his person, was he the Christ, Elijah or the prophet of Deuteronomy 18:15-18. John answered them by referring to his calling, he shifts attention from himself to God’s mandate: I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, make straight the way of the Lord as said the prophet Isaiah. I am only a voice, John says, it is the word of God in the coming messiah that is everything. [00:07:24]

The investigators then asked a key question

The investigators then asked a key question: if you are not the Messiah nor Elijah or the prophet why are you baptizing the Jews? Such baptism is a sign of the coming of the Messiah. Passages like Ezekiel 36:25 and 37:25 also Zachariah 13:1, Isaiah 52:15 identified baptism for the Jews with the coming of the Messiah. There was to be a general purification at His coming. All gentiles were baptized on becoming converted and the baptism signified the calling of all peoples in the Messiah. Of these gentiles who were baptized, circumcision then followed for them. John now was baptizing Jews which was a sign of the baptism signified the coming of the Messiah. Unless the Messiah had come such baptism placed Jews on the same level as gentiles: as defiled and in need of cleansing. We can see why John is called the Baptist, what he was doing to summon all the people, Jews and gentiles to the Lord. And in so doing he was not only acting in obedience to his calling but making clear the lost condition of the Jews, God’s chosen people. In verses twenty six and twenty seven we see John’s brief answer, indeed he is baptizing, but there is a difference between his preparatory baptism and that which is to come. John’s baptism is with water, the Messiahs is with power. Moreover he says the messiah is here, He is of this generation, but you do not know Him. And the implication is you will refuse to acknowledge Him. This coming one, John adds, is greater by far than I. I am not worthy to tie the thongs of His shoes, that is, do what was a servant or a slave’s task, tying shoe thongs. [00:10:24]

It is a greater honor than I deserve, John says

It is a greater honor than I deserve, John says. This coming one, John adds, is greater by far than I. So much greater there can be no comparison between us. Now the locale of this meeting of John the Baptist and the deputation was in Bethabara or Bethany, beyond Jordan, where John was baptizing. Verse twenty four tells us, or twenty nine, that the next day John sees Jesus coming to Him and he declares behold the Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world. John is here referring to Isaiah 53:7, the prophecy concerning God’s plan for the atonement of sin by the redeemer servant. The iniquity of all is laid upon Him by the Lord according to Isaiah 53:8 and He atones for the sin of the world. By the world John means that Christ is the savior for all peoples, all nations and races, not every man individually. Every morning and every evening a lamb was sacrificed in the temple to atone for sin, now God’s lamb had come for the efficacies atonement. The Pharisees were looking for a Savior King, not one who was an atoner. John says that a savior priest is coming; we are later told that Jesus is also the prophet and the king but he must first be our savior priest. It was this fact which the Pharisees and others chose to ignore. Moreover Isaiah 53:8 reads:

“For the transgression of my people was he stricken.”


The Pharisees read ...

The Pharisees read ‘my people’ to mean Israel. John makes clear that it means all the called and redeemed of God in all the world. Then in verse thirty John the Baptist spells out for those near him that Jesus is the Messiah. The one of whom he spoke and for whose coming his work was a preparation. He was before me, says John, that is He is the preexistent one, He always was for all eternity. In other words He is not only man but also the eternal God. John the Baptist here says essentially the same thing that verse fifteen says. In both instances he declares this is the one of whom I have been speaking. In other words the coming of Christ had been the subject of much of John’s preaching so that his hearers were now familiar with his teachings concerning the coming one. John as the son of a priest stresses Jesus as the Lamb of God. Not only because it was his calling to do so but because his family background made him realize the centrality of atonement. Then in John’s next sentence he says, verse thirty one, I knew Him not. John was a relative of Jesus, we know this from Luke 1:36 and they were doubtless acquainted. John doubtless knew from his mother of our Lord’s miraculous birth, of course they lived in different areas but all the same they knew one another. John may have regarded Jesus as like himself another prophet sent by God to prepare the way for the Messiah. Now inspired of God he recognizes Jesus as the Messiah. [00:15:49]

He had come baptizing with water to prepare the way

He had come baptizing with water to prepare the way for the Christ, by this baptism those of Israel who received it acknowledged it like all other peoples, like all the gentiles, they were under the sentence of death. In the words of Arthur W. Pink and I quote:

“They acknowledged that death was their due. In this John’s baptism differs from Christian baptism. In Christian baptism the believer does not confess that death is his due but he shows forth the fact that he has already died to sin, died with Christ.” Unquote.

Chrisitan baptism marks the fact that we are now members of the new creation and of Christ’s new humanity. According to an early church father, Justin Martyr, in his dialogue with Trypho, the Jewish belief was that the Messiah would be unknown and I quote from Justin Martyr:

“And has no power until Elijah comes to anoint Him and to make Him manifest to all.” Unquote.

Justin’s Jewish friend felt that because Elijah had not come literally Jesus therefore was not the Messiah but John the Baptist declares that the Messiah is manifest, it is Jesus. After baptizing Jesus John declares I saw the spirit descending from heaven like a dove and it abode upon Him. We have this recorded in all four gospels, they all speak of this remarkable event. It abode upon him can be rendered as it remained upon him, that is, the presence of the Spirit now became a part of Jesus’s life and person. This was in fulfillment of Isaiah 11:2:

“And the spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord;”

The gospels tell us that this descent of the spirit was in bodily form like a dove, not as a dove. [00:18:41]

What that form was we are not to speculate about, what

What that form was we are not to speculate about, what we do know is that this was the anointing of Jesus as the great prophet, priest and king. His baptism is an anointing in which the Old Testament takes part in the person of the last prophet, John the Baptist, and in which God the Father and God the Spirit take part. Jesus now replaces Adam as the head of a new humanity and a new creation as Paul tells us in First Corinthians 15:45-59. In verse thirty three John the Baptist again says I knew him not, his recognition of Jesus as the Messiah is supernatural, God who sent Him had declared that the Messiah would be anointed and confirmed by the descent of the spirit. This man, God’s Messiah, would baptize with the Holy Spirit. He would make men a new creation, He would endow them with power, a new world was now in the making to replace the fallen world and it’s sin. In verse thirty four John concludes his testimony by witnessing to the fact that Jesus is the son of God. John has said that he can only administer the sign of the new creation, water baptism; the Messiah would administer its power and its regenerating life. Since God is the creator and the Son the recreator together with the Father and the Spirit they usher in the new creation in our regeneration it continues. The son comes as the great high priest to make atonement to God and to remove sin. He comes as the great prophet to s peak God’s authoritative and final word of revelation, He comes as a King to rule the new humanity and the new creation. In Christ we are citizens and members of God’s new and eternal world. [00:21:44]

Let us pray.

Our Lord and our God we give thanks unto Thee that we are citizens and members of the new creation. That we have in all time and eternity the place of adopted sons in Christ our Lord. We thank Thee, we rejoice in Thy mercy and we pray our Father that we may be used to extend the boundaries of Thy kingdom to all peoples, tribes and tongues. In Christ’s name, Amen.

Are there any questions now about our lesson?

[Unintelligible Question]

[Rushdoony] There have been so many false prophets since Christ’s coming how will we know Him when He comes. We are told that all eyes shall see Him and all shall know Him, either as their savior or as their judge. It will be a case of knowing immediately instantaneously who and what He is. That He is very God of very God, that He is the creator and the great judge at the last judgment. So the knowledge will be total with everyone. Any other questions or comments? [00:24:15]

It is interesting that John whom our Lord says is the

It is interesting that John whom our Lord says is the greatest man of the whole of history until His coming has had such little attention from Christians. But John is a great prophet and we need to give more attention to him, certainly in Luke we see something of the nature of his preaching. John was an important figure because he represented the old establishment although he separated himself from it totally by going out into the wilderness. But as a member of the old establishment he witnessed against it, yes?

[Unintelligible Question]

[Rushdoony] Yes. John was rejected and no doubt the leaders of the people were grateful that Herod disposed of him. It would have been more difficult for them to get rid of him since he was legally one of them.

[Unintelligible Question]

[Rushdoony] The parallels were very, very great and that’s why the Pharisees and others raised the question. But they didn’t want the answer. Any other questions or comments? [00:27:00]

Well if not let us conclude with prayer

Well if not let us conclude with prayer.

Our Father we give thanks for Thy word. We thank Thee that Thy word speaks clearly and unequivocally to our needs, to our burdens, our problems, our hopes. Give us hearing ears that we may hear, grow and in obedience serve Thee all the days of our life. And now go in peace, God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Ghost, bless you and keep you, guide and protect you, this day and always, Amen.

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