COMING to the FATHER through JESUS
BY: LLOYD ELLEFSON
Jesus invited mankind to come to Him! “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give your rest.” (Matt. 11:28) Not all people respond to this invitation. Many even resist it, spurning the offer. In the preceding verse it says, “All things have been handed over to Me by My Father.” This is interesting! God’s way is divine order and He has ordained that men repent to Him. Nowhere does it say we are to repent to Jesus. Jesus offers rest to those who will come to Him. This call is dependent on the recipient’s relationship to God the Father. When the relationship is right, the Father hands him to the Son.
If an earnest heart seeks God and wants to find Him, he shall find Him and also the Lord Jesus Christ. No intellectual understanding is necessary for God looks on the heart. However, many just come to God for personal gain or an immediate release from some trying circumstance. This is why many fall away. Some refuse the power of the Holy Spirit and the gifts of tongues, prophecy, and healing – the things which are so critical in overcoming sin and bringing revelation of the body, the kingdom, and the knowledge of what is to come? Understanding the statement, “All things are delivered unto Me by My Father” will help us. Also, “No man can come to Me, except the Father who sent Me draws him.” (John 6:44) This excludes anyone just thinking he can decide to take Jesus as a blessing or as an experiment. It eliminates the idea that we can come to Christ without a relationship with God the Father.
“It is written in the prophets, `And they shall all be taught of God’. Every one who has heard and learned from the Father, comes to Me.” (v.45) How does God teach us and bring us to Christ? God instructs us through the law. “Therefore the law has become our tutor to lead us to Christ, that we may be justified by faith.” (Gal. 3:24) The law was our teacher, schoolmaster (or a teacher-tutor) to bring us to Christ, or more correctly, until Christ comes. Now the law was given through Moses, and it makes righteous demands by the Father. This is the word of God by which we are taught. However, it really becomes an implement or ministration of death to our efforts to be righteous and please God.
Since the law does not give any power or help to fulfill its demands upon us, we are left with our own ability to keep it. Without exception, this always results in failure! We cannot become right with the Father by obeying the law’s demands. There is no one who is righteous! Through the law, the Father has convinced us that we are unable to please Him! We need to turn from our efforts and find forgiveness and assistance. This brings us to Christ. The proud and foolish heart of man only wants to please himself. He deceptively thinks he can accomplish righteousness with his own ability.
The Jews were provoked by the Lord’s reference to the Father. They asked Him, “Where is Your Father?” (John 8:19) Jesus replied, “You know neither Me, nor My Father; if you knew Me, you would know My Father also.” To know Him, they would first have to know the Father. He was simply saying if they really had an understanding of who He really was they would first have been taught by His Father. Now this is why our Lord rebuked many of the Pharisees and leaders when they came to Him. He knew they were coming to Him on their own. His Father had not sent them. He would not refuse them if they had been taught of God and approached Him through the Father. John 6:37 -“All that the Father gives Me shall come to Me; and the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out.” He receives all that the Father gives Him but no one whom He does not give. Why? Because He came, not to do His own will, but the will of Him who sent Him. (John 6:38) “I have come in My Father’s name, and you do not receive Me; if another shall come in his own name, you will receive him.” (John 5:43) The Lord confesses that He comes in behalf of His Father. If you have had repentance toward the Father, to receive His Word, you would receive Christ. If not, you would not receive Him. If people will not receive Christ, you can be sure the root of the problem lies with an improper attitude unto the Father.
To continue John 44-47, Jesus charges all that He will not accuse them to the Father. Jesus came not to condemn the world, because they are already condemned by the Law. So, His statement is that Moses will accuse them. Moses is the Law; the Law brings us under condemnation, accuses us because of our failure. “For if you believed Moses, you would believe Me; for he wrote of Me.” (v.46) When Moses has done his work you are undone, defeated in your efforts to please God, you are humbled and turn for help, you have believed God’s demands are higher than your abilities, you need help, you want help, and you will embrace Christ – for He is the answer to that dilemma. God has a loving purpose in the Law, for He knows you must hear Him through Moses saying you are unable. But trust that He is also saying, here is My Son, He is My means to save you from yourself, and the way to fulfill My will. Luke 16 includes the story of Lazarus and Abraham. At the start of the story we are told that “God knows your hearts.” He knows when we have given up on ourselves, and He knows when we want to please Him and desire His mercy and help. The rich man had died and was in torment, unable to get relief for himself, he asked that word would get to his brothers to escape the same fate. Abraham spoke saying, “They have Moses and the Prophets; let them hear them.” (v.29) inferring that they already had the word of escape. Then the rich man argued that if one would come unto them from the dead then they would repent. The answer was, “If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be persuaded if someone rises from the dead.” (v.31) This is a reference to the Lord Jesus. He was raised from the dead, and though He was raised from the dead, unless one hears Moses, he will not be persuaded of Him. Moses’ word must find a place and do its righteous work in us before we can have Christ.
John the Baptist stood between the covenants to Israel as a trumpet. He was making no uncertain call. The Law through Moses had been preparing Israel by showing them they had failed to please God. John’s message before the coming of the righteous One, the One who can fulfill the Law’s demands, was repent, turn from your own way to God’s way, confess your sins and show your sincerity by being baptized. Now if we are burdened with our sins and condemnation, be assured it is Moses who accuses you, not Christ. Jesus was the fulfillment of God’s intention for man. We “have been made complete (or fulfilled) in Him”. (Col.2:10) Now we see why Jesus knew that some of the people He spoke with would not believe. He knew by the spirit they had that they were not given to Him by the Father. So He was saying, go back to the place where God will give you to Me. No man can come unto Me except it were given unto him of My Father.
“God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son.” (John 3:16a) The giver here is God the Father; it is from His hands we are given this unspeakable gift. Let us be aware that when we evangelize that we are bringing divine order. We must not seek to by-pass the word of Moses that brings us to repentance. Jesus on His own admission will receive all who come given by the Father, yet He will rceive none that come on their own behalf. God’s intention for man is demonstrated in the man Jesus. Much more than justification we have been given life. Will God perform His intention fully? Of course, no one opposing Him will prosper. He will yet bring forth in the earth the full fruit of the Seed.
When you are received by Jesus, you are accepted into His body. You are joined to the church (the called-out ones). You are then a member of His body sharing the flow of His life. Much of the revelation given in the body is never able to move about freely as it should. There are doctrines, denominations, leaders, and other hindrances. The many groups and distances all add to this problem. This teaching letter is a means through which the sharing of one to another of these things will get by some of the hindrances. “Consider what I say; and the Lord give you understanding in all things.” (2 Timothy 2:7)
COMING to the FATHER through JESUS [Lloyd Ellefson] 1