Jesusí High  Priestly Prayer
A Sermon
Dr. W. Noble King
This sermon is on the other side of the tape of the sermon "The Seven Last words of Christ".  The quality was inferior to that tape and there is, near the end of the sermon, a blank spot in the recording that lasts about 20 seconds.  Again Iíve tried to  do as little editing as possible.   J.R. Sept. 27, 1999 

 Scripture reading: John 15:1-7; John 17:14, 15, 19, 20

1.  I am the vine, and my father is the husbandman.
2.  Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.
3.  Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.
4.  Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch can not bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye accept ye abide in me.
5.   I am the vine, ye are the  branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him , the same bringeth forth much fruit: For without me ye can do nothing.
6    If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.
7.   If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what you will, and it shall be done unto you.

Then four verses from the 17th chapter of St. John 14, 15, 19, 20.

14.  I have given them thy word: and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.
15.  I pray not  that thou shouldest  take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil.
19.  And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth.
20.  Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word.

Now the contents of that which we find from Chapter 13 clear through to the beginning of chapter 18 in St. Johnís Gospel  were uttered by Jesus Christ during one brief evening of instruction. I would say no more than five hours, and probably not much less. The little group of thirteen in all, twelve disciples, and Jesus the Christ had gathered in an upper room in the city of Jerusalem at the request of Jesus Christ himself to observe one last passing farewell supper together before the suffering and the passion, culminating in the death of Jesus Christ should begin.

Now during the first part of that supper in the early evening, Jesus instructed them with regard to the glory of Christian service. Midway, halfway through the 13th  chapter he stopped and arose from the table, and girded himself, and took a basin of water, and a towel, and then he went clear round the table, and washed everyone of the apostlesí feet. He knelt at the feet of Judas Iscariot, and washed his feet; looked up into his face, and Judas Iscariot looked down into his face. 

As Jesus took up his place at the table and picked up his speech(?) literally where he had left it and then continued. He went on through the 14th chapter which was his address on the many mansions in heaven.  And then on to the 15th chapter which was the address on the vine and the branches. And then on to the 16th chapter which was the address on the Trinity, Father, Son, and Spirit. At the end of the 13th chapter, after the address on the many mansions In heaven: they all arose and stood around the table; and as they stood Jesus lifted up his eyes to heaven and said. "Father, the hour is come; glorify thy son, that thy son also may glorify thee."  Then followed his high priestly prayer in the 17th Chapter of Saint John.  Not an eye was closed as that prayer was uttered, and not a knee was bent as the  greatest prayer to which man has ever listened on this earth was uttered.

Judas Iscariot had left a little before this time. The sop had been passed to him. He immediately arose and wispfully moved toward the door, opened it and closed it, and stepped out into the night. The writer of St. Johnís Gospel has a masterly stroke when he says, "as he went outside and it was night".   It was night for figuratively for Judas and it was night spiritually for him.

Now here Jesus said, "The Hour is come",  to which Gen. 3:15  in which we have the first promise of the coming Saviour is given to us. "The hour is come in which Gen. 3:15 was to be fulfilled, and to which it pointed: and every priest pointed to it; and every alter pointed to it; and every sacrifice that had been offered from the garden of Eden clear on down into the Paschal Lamb in Egypt, on to the base of Mount Sinai on to the city of Jerusalem; and almost to the old rugged cross. Every offering that had ever been offered pointed to this hour, and the consummation of this hour. It is just like Rehabís scarlet line that hung over the only standing part of the walls of Jericho after the city had fallen.

Now this prayer naturally falls into two or three major divisions, we however shall deal with it only under two. The first six verses of it deals with the glorification of the father and the glorification of the Son. The glorification of the father through the Son, and the glorification of the Son through the Father.  And then from the 6th verse on down to the end of the chapter it deals with those eleven men then present, and with regard to all of those who would listen to the gospel, and  become saved men either from their spoken word, or from their written word down through to the end of time.

He said for the record, "I sanctify myself that ye also might be sanctified through the truth. Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word".  (v.19, 20)  You see all history from that moment to this hour on to the end of time is included in this prayer of Jesus Christ.

Now we are going to notice first of all then, that Jesus prays that God the Father would sanctify regenerated people. Those people were not of the world. They were in the world it was true, but they are not of the world. Jesus said, "I have given them thy word, and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world even as I am not of the world."  Christ said they were separated from the world, thus they were separated from the world.  They  are not separated institutionally in Christ, but they are separated factually as Christ was separated from it.  He prayed that God the father would sanctify a group of people like that. 

Then those men for whom Jesus prayed were not lost. Every unsaved man and every unsaved woman from pole to pole is lost. The prodigal son was lost. Jesus said,  "this my son was dead, and is alive again, he was lost and is found."  So every unsaved person is a dead soul spiritually, and is lost as far as God is concerned.  But with regard to these men Jesus said, "Those that thou gavest me, I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition."  And he was gone before this prayer was uttered.  So here is Jesus Christ praying to God the Father, that he would sanctify men who were are not lost. 

Then they are going to have their ordination administered by Jesus.  We are told in two places in the gospels that they were ordained.  Mark tells us that they were ordained and in the 15th chapter of St. Johnís Gospel we also read that they were that they were ordained. 

You remember on one occasion that Jesus sent out twelve apostle to go before his face, and visit every place that he himself intended to visit.  Right on the heels of that twelve; he did not send those twelve out two by two; then right on the heels of that twelve he sent out other seventy laymen.  And  he gave them power to cast out devils, and to heal all manner of diseases and sickness, and to preach the gospel of the near coming of the Kingdom of God.  He told them to go out and to do it.  You remember presently a few weeks there abouts all 82 of them were there(?) and they were rejoicing greatly.  They said the very devils were subject to them through his name.  They were having a wonderful time rejoicing in their God given power, and in their victory.  However Jesus came among them and said, "Rejoice not because the devils are subject unto you, but rather rejoice because your names are written in heaven."  Now please understand that sinners names are not written in heaven.  God does have a great book in which the names of all mankind are registered, but this book that Jesus referred to here was the book of those redeemed by the lamb slain from the foundation of the world.  And he told them to rather rejoice because their names were written in the Lambís book of life.  And what Jesus the Christ prayed was that God the father would sanctify people whose names were written in heaven.  That God would sanctify them holy.

Furthermore, they belonged to both Christ and God.  Jesus prayed and said, I  pray for them.   Iím specializing my attention on these eleven men now.  I Pray for them.  I pray not for the world.  He did pray for the world.  He did contact the world, but not tonight.  I pray for them.  I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me.  For they are thine, and all mine are thine, and thine are mine, and I am glorified in them.  They are Godís creatures. They are Christ redeemed creatures, and they got glory for God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.   And then Jesus Christ prays that God would Sanctify them holy.

Furthermore they had been commissioned to carry the gospel to all the World.  He said to them, "Go ye therefore and teach all nations to observe all things that I have commanded you, and lo I am with you always even unto the end of the age."  They are ordained and commissioned and sent forth by Christ and they had promise that his spiritual self hood would be with them clear to the end of time.

They were planning to go to Jerusalem when he said farewell to them on the mount of Olives.  They were told to return and to go to Jerusalem, and tarry there for the promise of the Father,  that the Father had promised through Joel to mankind.   Jesus Christ had also adopted as his own promise, and had passed it on to them.  They were to go to Jerusalem and tarry for a time.  So they went, and spent the ten days in praising and in blessing God in the country, before the very people who had crucified Jesus Christ.  They did that during the day.  Then morning and evening, they spent in the upper room praying and tarrying and waiting for one dispensation to come to an end.  And for a split second in Godís time piece, another dispensation would be ushered in.  These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication with the woman, and Mary the mother of Jesus and with his brethren.  Now only grace all grace that might have occurred between the betrayal in the garden of Gethsemane, and the resurrection of Jesus Christ from Josephís tomb were all taken care of, and even if there was some breaks; Peter had denied Jesus Christ publicly on two occasions, but after Jesus arose from the dead he did not deny him again.  Peter reaffirmed his faith in the Christ, and was reinstated in the Apostolic Band.  So they were all fixed up.  Their experiences are sky blue, and they spent those ten days praising and blessing God in the temple, and in the upper room.  They did not spend those ten days repenting and confessing and straightening up their own generation.  It was sky blue, after those ten days.  But Jesus prayed that those men be sanctified holy.  We wonder what more they needed, but he indicated (?) they needed something more.  Jesus said for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth, or sanctified in truth.  Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word. 

Now as we all  know the word sanctification has four basic meanings.  First of all it means Separation from the world.  And then it means dedication to God, or to something.  Those who are part of it belong to the experience of regeneration.  And then the third meaning is the consecration of oneís self to God.  And the fourth meaning is heart purity.  With regard to fallen men and women; Entire Sanctification means all four.  But with regard to Jesus Christ it only meant one.  A consecration of himself, or a dedication of himself to God in effecting redemption by dying on the cross to save the souls, and to sanctify the souls of men and women.

Now those men were a wonderful group of men.  And their names were written in heaven, and they were children of God.  We wonder what was wrong with them?  But as we start to examine their secret conduct and their inner heart life take a look at them on the inside, we clearly(?) see that there were certain  indications of heart difficulty that necessitated a second work of grace.

First with regard to this matter let us notice that they were carnally vindictive.  There was a kickback in their hearts.  They couldnít take it.  They liked to get even with people.  You remember that the apostles and Jesus Christ had been expelled from the Province of Samaria.  They wouldnít listen to them there, and they expelled them from their area all together.  After they got out of Samaria; James and John went to Jesus and this is what they said, "Lord wilt thou that we command fire to come down from heaven, and destroy them as Elijah did? (Luke  9:54 ff referring to 2 kings 1: 1-10).  Now they had a greater prophet and they had the Old Testament as precedence, and they wanted to get even with them.  Jesus answered; Now I think if Jesus had said to them all right go ahead and do it, they could not have done it anyhow, but they wanted to do it.  Itís the way they thought.  Itís the way they wanted to rule out any side when they didnít get their own way.  Jesus said to them, "Ye know not what spirit ye are of."  That carnal kick back in your heart, that Satan spirit, that  get even spirit at any price or cost is doing more harm to the cause of Jesus Christ, than all of the external opposition than we can possibly face. You see, Jesus laid his finger right on the necessity for a second work of grace.  Heart spite, heart get evenism, that kick back spirit in the heart.

Then again, they were carnally Jealous with regard to those who could do better than they could do.  You remember it is John this time.(Mark 9:38ff &Luke 9:49 ff )  He had been going around somewhere, and he met a man who was casting out a devil, and the man cast out the devil, and John forbade him, and then John went to Jesus and said, "Master we saw one casting out devils and we forbade him, because he followed not us.   "Now there are no denominational questions (?) here at all,  it was group within group.  "We stopped him because he followed not us."   Now that man had a right to cast out that devil.   He had been commissioned and empowered by Christ to do it. He had been given that authority, and power.   He was one of the seventy.   He did it through Christ's name.  He did it for the glory of God, and he was successful in doing it, and in doing it, and by doing it, he brought glory to God.  However the difficulty is just this, no one of those apostles after visiting the Mount of Transfiguration had tried to cast out a devilÖ And they were laughed at by the people around.  Here is a man not one of the twelve at all, but one of the seventy, who is doing successfully what they failed to do, and by doing it successfully he was putting them on the spot was showing them up and James and John were as jealous of him as they could be, but Jesus said donít stop it.  He is doing it in my name for the glory of God.  You see they couldnít take it when somebody was doing better than they could do.

Then again they were carnally self centered in their own group, right in their own little click, or group.   James and John went to Jesus and said to him, "Grant us that we may sit, one on thy right hand and one on the left hand in thy glory." (Mark 10:37)   And when the ten heard it they began to be much displeased with James and John.  All of them wanted the right hand and the left hand places, but the other ten did not have the nerve to go up to Jesus and ask for it.  But here are James and John who do have the nerve to ask for it, and they go up and ask for it.  The others became angry and chagrined at the other two, because they had the nerve to do what they did not do.  Now had Jesus said, all right you two, you two brothers, you can have the right hand place and the left hand place, they would have immediately started quarreling  over which one would have the right hand place.  You see they were self centered and self seekers in the group.  So their heart was smitten with some kind of a serious difficulty.

Then they were carnally fearful, carnally afraid.  When storms started to blow, they all forsook him, and fled.  They positively declared that they would not do this.  They would even die for him if that was necessary.  But when trouble came, and difficulty cameÖ they all forsook him, and fled, because they were carnally afraid.  So you see there was something wrong with them inside. They were carnally afraid.  They were carnally self seeking, they were carnally jealous, and they were carnally vindictive.  So they did stand in need of a vital second work of grace.

Now what happened to them at Pentecost has a permanence that goes right down through history.  You know there are a lot of aspects connected with Pentecost; because God brought one dispensation to an end, and ushered in another dispensation.  Every time a new  dispensation has come in there have been qualities that have never been repeated.  And there are some qualities that survived at the coming of Pentecost that never have been repeated.  But we want to drive right down the middle here, and find out those permanent qualities that they received and that have come right down through history to us.

Now the prophets themselves had something to say with regard to the coming of Pentecost.  Isaiah had said, "For I will pour water on him that is thirsty". Jesus promised a blessing and said, "Blessed are they who hunger and thirst after righteousness."  He prophesied of the Holy Spirit.  Here the Holy Spirit was going to be poured in the hearts of men, who are hungering and thirsting  after righteousness.  And floods upon the dry ground.  The Holy Spirit is going to be poured on the desert like hearts of men and women, and make them blossom like the rose.  "And I will pour my spirit upon thy seed, and my blessing upon thy offspring."  That is what Isaiah had said about it...

Then Ezekiel had this to say (Ezek.36:25, 26).  "Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean:from all your filthiness, and from all your idols will I cleanse you and a new heart also will I give you, and a right spirit will I put within you."  They were to get a right spirit, a Christ like spirit, a new heart, and a cleansed spirit. T hat is what Pentecost was going to do for themÖ.

Then we come to the book of Malachi, and this is what Malachi says, "And He shall purfiy the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver."   The sons of Levi, or the Levites of the Old Testament represented christian men and woman in this New Testament age.  So the Levites of old were to be purged, and purified and cleansed, and the Levites in the new, all christian men and women in the new, at Pentecost were to be purged, purified and cleansed.    Then John the Baptist came along and said,  "And now also the axe is laid to the root of the trees."  The Sapling in us has to be cut down and sawn.  Next year it grows up and we cut them down again.  But here John the Baptist says letís take the axe of the Holy Spirit, and letís cut out the old root, letís cut out the stump, let us remove the stump all together, and then there will be no more saplings to cut down every fall.  That stump, that carnal nature, that inbred, inborn sin in the heart is taken out by the Holy Spirit of God there are no more (?) evidences of (?) essential operation of the Holy Spirit in the soul of man has to be attended to.  Jesus had referance to it when he said, "Every branch that bearth fruit, every branch that beareth some fruit, he purgeth it, removes dead matterÖ that it may bring forth more fruit.  That is one of the aspects of Pentecost.

Peter said this about Pentecost, " God which knoweth the heart bare them witness, giving the Holy Ghost even as he did unto us." (Acts 15:8 )  Peter here is comparing the Corneilian household incident with the upper room incident, and he pointed out that the need was the same in both instances; heart cleansing.  And that the gift was the same in both instances, the Holy Spirit.  And that the results were the same in both instances; heart purity."  And put no differance between us and them, purfying their hearts by faith. (Acts 15:9)  Then a little bit later referred to the purified in heart as obediant children. (bad tape)Ö heart Purity, heart cleansing, and the other is a heart that is a heart like Christ had, that is totally, and absolutly conscreated and given over to the will of God, obedient Spirit, heart Purity, and heart obedience.  That is Pentecost. You see Peter had come a long way from the night that he thrice denied JesusChrist.

John was also at Pentecost, and this is what he said, "But if we walk in the light as he is in the light we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his son cleanseth us from all sin. (1 John 1:7)  Then later John referring to the purfied in heart said, "The purified heart was filled with perfect love."   Here you have heart purity and  love perfected, as evidences of Pentecost.  And later on John is known as the great Apostle of Love.  Pentecost did something for John.  He had traveled a long way from the day that he was expelled from Samaria, and wanted to call down fire and brimstone from heaven to get even with them.  There he was the apostle of blood and thunder, but now he is the Apostle of Love.

Then Paul said, "And the very God of peace sanctify you holy."   And in regard to those  who were sanctified holy. Paul said that God had sent forth the spirit of his son into your hearts, crying, abba Father."   So then in Paul we have, heart purity and the witness of the Holy Spirt with the human spirit and the human soul.  That is the way Paul puts his seal upon it.

Now there were three New Testament giants; Peter, and John, and Paul. Those three New Testament giants each got the matter of Pentecost down to a focal point, almost identical.  Start with Peter.  Peter said that Pentecost was Heart Purity, and heart obediance.  John said that Pentecost was heart cleansing, and being filled with perfect love. Paul said, we have heart purity and the witness of the Spirit with our human spirit. (there is a twenty seconds of blank in the tape here.)

They did have a heart difficulty and that Pentecostal experience they had, they were filled with perfected love.  Let me put it this way, their heartís were totally cleansed at Pentecost, and instantaneously cleansed at Pentecost.  And then the heart was filled with perfect love at Pentecost, whether they are large or small, nevertheless the heart was filled with perfect love at Pentecost.  And beyond that they were brought to heart harmony, and heart purity. They didnít all see alike mentally.  That  possibly would have brought on (?) a tragedy. What a tragedy it would be if the Church of the NazareneÖ( bad tape)..Iíd better put it like that.  We are not really supposed to see it totally alike mentally, but their hearts had oneness, and then that cleansed heart becomes the home or the abode of Godís Holy Spirit. Purity and love and fellowship, and then their hearts were filled with the Holy Spirit of God himself.

Now John said, "I indeed baptize you with water,  BUT water is a type of the Holy Spirit. BUT he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and fire.  And that is exactly what happened when Jesus went back to glory.  He poured out the Holy Spirit from God the Father and baptized them with fire, and with the Holy Spirit.  And that left a heart of purity and power. Their hearts are pure, and their hearts are on fire, because they are indwelt by the Holy Spirit of God.

Thatís what Solomon meant when he said that the man that is right with God,  is stronger,  the man filled with the Holy Spirit is stronger than he that can take a city, even a fortified Military city.  When we have purity and power as a result of the Baptism with the Holy Spirit, we can conquer everthing, that crosses our path, or comes our way, INTERNALLY.  I"m not talking so much about the external, but INTERNALLY, we have victory under every and all  circumstances.  And that is Pentecost stripped of itís external trappings, and that is the call of God to every last child of God in this dispensation, and in his presence today.

May God add his blessing to this study from his word. Shall we stand together please for the benediction?

Our Heavenly Father, we thank thee that many present this morning have the experience of heart purity.  We thank thee for it.  We thank the also that there are many others who are hungering and thristing after it.  May they continue so to do until they are in possession of this grace from God.

Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy.  To the only wise God, Our Saviour be glory, and majesty, and dominion, and power, now and forever more.   Amen

John Ross OneTexan
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