They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service. And these things will they do unto you, because they have not known
the Father, nor me. John 16:2-3
The closer we get to the coming of the Lord, the more these verses will be evident. The world now is spiraling into confusion, ignorance, violence, brutality, and hatred. Jesus' words can be seen played out through the media every day. It's a good idea to take a good look inside ourselves and take stock of what's inside, and go to Jesus in prayer, and ask for His strength and faith to face whatever may come for us. He's faithful and just to answer any need we face. Many churches and Christians today like to keep up a front, and not willing to face reality. There's a time and place for celebrations, laughter and humor, but if you won't face what's right in front of you, and intentionally try to cover it up with the worlds entertainments-you will find yourself unable to cope with life and death issues in the strength of God, when they come. We are rapidly reaching this point now, whether anybody likes it, or not.
Some commentary notes below give a good assessment of how relevant these verses are for us today, and we can then apply them to our daily lives.
"The Jews who persecuted the apostles regarded them as blasphemers, and as seeking to overthrow the temple service, and the system of religion which God had established. Thus, they supposed they were rendering service to God in putting them to death, Act_6:13-14; Act_21:28-31. Sinners, especially hypocrites, often cloak enormous crimes under the pretense of great zeal for religion. Men often suppose, or profess to suppose, that they are rendering God service when they persecute others; and, under the pretense of great zeal for truth and purity, evince all possible bigotry, pride, malice, and uncharitableness. The people of God have suffered most from those who have been conscientious persecutors; and some of the most malignant foes which true Christians have ever had have been in the church, and have been professed ministers of the gospel, persecuting them under pretense of great zeal for the cause of purity and religion. It is no evidence of piety that a man is full of zeal against those whom he supposes to be heretics; and it is one of the best proofs that a man knows nothing of the religion of Jesus when he is eminent for self-conceit in his own views of orthodoxy, and firmly fixed in the opinion that all who differ from him and his sect must of course be wrong." Albert Barnes
"Whether it be conviction of sin, or faith, or hope, all begin and end with Jesus. The chief sin of the present age is its rejection of Christ, and it is for this that men are condemned. The assertions of Jesus as to Himself are vindicated, and His righteousness is established. His divine mission was proved by His resurrection and ascension. The Cross was the scene of Satan’s judgment. There the prince of this world was condemned and cast out. His power is broken, though he still does his utmost to intimidate and hinder the followers of Jesus.
The world comes to us first with her fascinations and delights. She comes next with her frowns and tortures. Behind her is her prince. He, however, exists only by sufferance. Meet him as a discredited foe. He has been judged and condemned. For the Church there awaits victory and freedom; for the world, the flesh, and the devil, hopeless defeat-the bottomless pit and the lake of fire. See Jud_1:7-8."
Because they have not known the Father - See on Joh_15:25 (note). Ignorance of the benevolence of God, and of the philanthropy of Christ, is the grand fountain whence all religious persecution and intolerance proceed.
Lesson: what they do to me-they will do to you.
Joh 15:25 But this cometh to pass, that the word might be fulfilled that is written in their law, They hated me without a cause.
Abuse of Conscience
What a rattle and noise hath this word conscience made! How many battles has it fought? how many churches has it robbed, ruined, and reformed to ashes? how many laws has it trampled upon, dispensed with, and addressed against? and in a word, how many governments has it overturned? Such is the mischievous force of a plausible word applied to a detestable thing (Act_26:9).
(R. South, D. D.)
Here we read of Saul, who became Paul the apostle-before his conversion-reeking havoc on God's people:
Act 26:9 I verily thought with myself, that I ought to do many things contrary to the name of Jesus of Nazareth.
Act 26:10 Which thing I also did in Jerusalem: and many of the saints did I shut up in prison, having received authority from the chief priests; and when they were put to death, I gave my voice against them.
Act 26:11 And I punished them oft in every synagogue, and compelled them to blaspheme; and being exceedingly mad against them, I persecuted them even unto strange cities.
The Fate of the First Disciples
Matthew suffered martyrdom by the sword in Ethiopia. Mark died at Alexandria, after being dragged through the city. Luke was hanged on an olive tree in Greece. Peter was crucified at Rome with his head downward. James was beheaded at Jerusalem. James the less was thrown from a pinnacle of the Temple and beaten to death below.
Philip was hanged against a pillar in Phrygia. Bartholomew was flayed alive. Andrew was bound to a cross, whence he preached to his persecutors till he died. Thomas was run through the body at Coromandel, in India. Jude was shot to death with arrows. Matthias was first stoned, and then beheaded. Barnabas was stoned to death by Jews at Salonica. Paul, “in deaths oft,” was beheaded at Rome by Nero. (J. Angus, D. D.)
Because They Have Not Known the Father, Nor Me
The Tribulation Explained
I. TRACED TO ITS CAUSE—ignorance. It is strange how differently Christ and man may view the same action. The Jews imagined they above all men were acquainted with the Father, and knew better than all the world beside what kind of service to present upon His altar. This was not the judgement of Christ.
II. CONDEMNED IN ITS CHARACTER. Though Christ ascribed their behaviour to ignorance, He does not say that for this they were not responsible, if they did not know the Father or Him they might have known Joh_15:22).
Joh 15:22 If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin: but now they have no cloke for their sin.
III. COMMISERATED IN ITS ACTORS. One cannot help thinking Christ designed His words to awaken pity in the breasts of His persecuted followers, like that afterwards found in His own, when, hanging on the cross, He prayed for His murderers (Luk_23:34). (T. Whitelaw,D. D.)
Jesus gives us the example of what we are to do-when we face this in our lives-as he hung on the cross:
Luk 23:34 Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots.
A word, in conclusion: TO THE UNCONVERTED. Remember your ignorance does not excuse you, or else Christ would not say, “Forgive them”; they must be forgiven, even those that know not what they do, hence they are individually guilty; but still that ignorance of yours gives you just a little gleam of hope. “Bring forth, therefore, fruits meet for repentance.” But there are some here for whom even Christ Himself could not pray this prayer, in the widest sense at any rate, “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do,” for you have known what you did, and every sermon you hear, and especially every impression that is made upon your understanding and conscience by the gospel, adds to your responsibility, and takes away from you the excuse of not knowing what you do. You know that there is sin and God, and that you cannot serve both. You know that there are the pleasures of evil and the pleasures of heaven, and that you cannot have both. (C. H. Spurgeon.)
Final Note: There are several definitions for who/what a prophet is, in the word of God. One definition is-someone who exhorts, warns, preaches repentance and proclaims Jesus Christ as the Messiah. In reality-anyone who publicly proclaims Christ, in witnessing, preaching, teaching or on a street corner, is a prophet. John the Baptist gave no prophetic message foretelling any future event, he preached repentance and proclaimed Jesus as the Messiah that was to come. His message was hated so much by the Pharisee's of his day, they plotted against him until they finally found an excuse to put him in prison. This happened by way of Salome, when she danced for Herod-and laid claim to John's head. Herod, not willing to be shamed by not keeping his promise of giving her what she wanted, had John beheaded. John is an example to all of us who follow Christ-to not be surprised when we face the same persecutions in this life. Those who proclaim the "name it and claim it" prosperity gospel-are preaching another Jesus, not the real Gospel, nor the real Jesus. Don't be deceived, read the Bible for yourself, and then, count the cost for following Jesus Christ.
But, as John the Baptist did-those who truly know Christ and who's Spirit dwells within them, will pay the cost, no matter what it may be.
Luk 6:22 Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man's sake.
Luk 6:23 Rejoice ye in that day, and leap for joy: for, behold, your reward is great in heaven: for in the like manner did their fathers unto the prophets.
In this page there will be devotions/poems
music and inspirational material
The Lord Will Pour Out His Spirit
And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions:
And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit.
And I will shew wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke.
The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the LORD come.
And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the LORD shall be delivered: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the LORD hath said, and in the remnant whom the LORD shall call.
But this is that which was spoken by the
And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams:
And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy: