Doug J Klassen
John 3: 13
I was thinking about heavenly things. John presents heavenly things to us which would link on with what we have already had in this meeting in relation to the apostle Paul, Aquila, Priscilla and Apollos. Their desire was not only to be in the gain of, but to present, heavenly things. We need to be able to help one another. If we take account of one another, we are really taking account of what is heavenly. It has been said before that the assembly, which is the saints, is heavenly in origin and destiny, JBS vol 7: 14, 15.
This verse presents to us heavenly things. It says in verse 12, “If I have said the earthly things to you, and ye believe not, how, if I say the heavenly things to you, will ye believe?”. I was impressed thinking of this in relation to the Person of the Lord Jesus. Here was One who came out of heaven - who better to speak about heavenly things than One who had been there! I find it a great challenge for myself especially when facing the opposition, and facing earthly things, to remember that I have been introduced to heavenly things. What does that mean to you and me, dear hearer? Does it affect us so much inwardly that the earthly things are of no effect, that the things that the enemy brings against us are of no effect? It should.
I would encourage the brethren to read, even if quickly, as much as possible of what John brings before us in all of these chapters. I find it very helpful to see that the gospel of John is broken into two volumes. The first twelve chapters are heavenly things presented in relation to you and me. You think of how the Lord is presenting things; He came in as “the Word” (John 1: 1), that He might express and make known something. No doubt it would be God Himself who introduced heavenly things. He speaks about that too.
He comes to John taking account of Him, “Behold the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world”, chap 1: 29. These are heavenly things in relation to you and me. We all know that we are sinners before God; we have been made righteous through Him. The Lord Jesus is the Lamb of God. There is much more that I am skimming over but when we come to chapter 2, you get the marriage, where there was a shortage. He in His grace comes in and turns the water to wine. Again, it is heavenly things for you and me. We could keep going on; chapter 3 introduces Nicodemus for us and the Lord speaks about the Spirit. He says, “he that practises the truth comes to the light”, v 21. He speaks about the light. It goes on, all through the different chapters.
We know chapter 4 brings in the woman at the well. She had a great need and the Lord met that need; He met her in her need. He provided heavenly things for this woman, and heavenly things for us. In chapter 9 you have the blind man: look at the system of men there questioning this man. The Lord had healed him; He had caused Him to see, and these persons cast him out. You might say they cast him out of the old fold. Then you come to chapter 10 and you get the new fold: “he that enters in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the porter opens; and the sheep hear hisvoice; and he calls his own sheep by name”, v 2,3.
What is interesting is that, when you come to chapter 13, a new volume begins; here we have heavenly things in relation to Christ. The things that are introduced there are things that are going to be related to Him and for Him. It begins with Him washing the feet of the disciples, and He says, “If I therefore, the Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, ye also ought to wash one another’s feet; for I have given you an example that, as I have done to you, ye should do also”, v 14. What a wonderful thing to see the inheritance that God has in the saints. The Lord Jesus has taken up this service for the sake of what is for Himself. This changes the way that we view one another. It changes the way that we view things in relation to Christ and what is precious to Him and His assembly. I mention these things because I feel it is paramount at the present time that our focus is not taken away from what is heavenly. Our gaze must be kept on the One who has come from there, so that we are occupied with the greatness and glory of His Person and all that He has given to us, and all that He is, and all that He is seeking from us.
There would be response Godward, towards Himself. We move in the power of the Holy Spirit that things do not drag us down and bring us where we are occupied with what is earthly, where the enemy can have his way. We are going to overcome the enemy by being occupied with another sphere where the Lord Jesus is pre-eminently before us; where He occupies us with the place that He has come from and the place that He has gone to. I trust that each one of us will be encouraged. There is much pressure upon us at the present time and the enemy is very active and we know that, but are we going to triumph over that and recognise the heavenly things that have been given to us for our overcoming?
May the Lord bless the word for His Name’s sake.
29th March 2017