NEW TESTAMENT - LESSON 24
- Jesus promises his Apostles that they will receive the gift of the
- Jesus foretells his death and resurrection.
- Jesus offers the great intercessory prayer.
A study of this lesson should encourage us to be receptive to the influence
of the Holy Ghost and to draw nearer to Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.
Discourse On The Holy Ghost
- On this last night of his life, Jesus continues to teach his apostles
and strengthen them for that which lies ahead.
John 16:5-7: "But now I go my way to him that sent me; and
none of you asketh me, Whither goest thou?
- The Master gives the disciples reasons for these instructions:
- "These things have I spoken unto you, that ye should not be
offended. They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time cometh,
that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service"
- James E. Talmage: "The apostles had to be prepared to meet
a new order of things, new conditions and new exigencies; persecution awaited
them, and they were soon to be bereft of the Master's sustaining presence."
(Jesus the Christ, p600)
- "But these things have I told you, that when the time shall
come, ye may remember that I told you of them. And these things I said
not unto you at the beginning, because I was with you." (John
- As we face the challenges and difficulties of life, it behooves us
to follow the pattern set here by the Lord. We need to nourish our souls
with the good word of God as found in the scriptures and the words of the
prophets. We need to consult our Heavenly Father in humble prayer and listen
to the promptings of the Holy Spirit. As we do so, we will be strengthened,
as were the apostles, to face adversity.
We live in a time, not unlike that of the
Savior, when wickedness surrounds us. We face a world that often treats
the followers of Christ with disdain. As we learned from the Olivet Discourse,
things will not get easier for those who serve and worship God. We need
the strength that comes from the words of God.
- Stephen R. Covey: "To daily and prayerfully read the scriptures
will enable us to divide truth and error in our lives, to tear down the
contention and the craftiness of men, to be like a rod of iron, guiding
us along the path of righteousness. And when the mists of darkness or the
temptations of Satan surround us so that we cannot see that strait path,
we can rely upon the scriptures and the counsel of our present prophets—the
word of God—and we can can feast upon it every day of our lives."
(BYU Speeches, Feb 22, 1966, p9)
"But because I have said these
things unto you, sorrow hath filled your heart.
"Nevertheless I tell you the
truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the
Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto
READ JOHN 16:13-15. A guide to all truth.
- LeGrand Richards: "While Jesus does not explain why he and
the Holy Ghost cannot remain on the earth and serve together, nevertheless
he does make this fact clear: '. . . It is expedient for you that I go
away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you. . . .
' (John 16:7)." (A Marvelous Work and a Wonder, p115-116)
- Bruce R. McConkie: "During his mortal ministry our Lord gave
his disciples the gift of the Holy Ghost, which is the right to the constant
companionship of that member of the Godhead based on faithfulness. (John
20:22.) But as long as Jesus was with them, the actual enjoyment of the
gift was withheld. (John 7:39; 14:26; 15:26-27; 16:7-15; Acts 1:8.) Fulfilment
of the promise came on the day of Pentecost; with miraculous majesty attending,
the gift of tongues and of interpretation was poured out upon a great multitude
and many conversions were made. (Acts 2:1-17.)" (Mormon Doctrine,
- THE LORD SAID THAT HE HAD TO LEAVE IN ORDER FOR THE COMFORTER TO COME.
HOW IS THE HOLY GHOST A COMFORTER?
- Joseph Smith: "...as the Holy Ghost falls upon one of the literal
seed of Abraham, it is calm and serene; and his whole soul and body are
only exercised by the pure spirit of intelligence..." (TPJS, p149)
- When we think of the Holy Ghost as the Comforter, we are apt to think
of those times of grief when we are comforted by the presence of the Holy
Ghost. But as we live worthy of the Holy Ghost, we receive peace in this
troubled world that comes from knowing truth and knowing our ultimate destiny.
As the Prophet states, when the Holy Ghost falls upon us, "it is
calm and serene." In a world filled with wickedness, war, trajedy,
and temptation, truly it is comforting to feel "calm and serene".
- The Twelve Apostles experienced manifestations of the Holy Ghost during
Jesus' mortal ministry, but they did not receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
- WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A MANIFESTATION OF THE HOLY GHOST AND
THE GIFT OF THE HOLY GHOST?
- Dallin H. Oaks: "Manifestations of the Holy Ghost are given
to lead sincere seekers to gospel truths that will persuade them to repentance
and baptism. The gift of the Holy Ghost is more comprehensive.... [It]
includes the right to constant companionship, that we may 'always have
his Spirit to be with [us]' (D&C 20:77).
"A newly baptized member told
me what she felt when she received that gift. This was a faithful Christiam
woman who had spent her life in service to others. She knew and loved the
Lord, and she had felt the manifestations of His Spirit. When she received
the added light of the restored gospel, she was baptized and the elders
placed their hands upon her head and gave her the gift of the Holy Ghost.
She recalled, 'I felt the influence of the Holy Ghost settle upon me with
greater intensity than I had ever felt before. He was like an old friend
who had guided me in the past but had come to stay'." (Ensign,
Nov. 1996, p60)
- JESUS PROMISED HIS DISCIPLES IN V13, "THE SPIRIT OF TRUTH...WILL
GUIDE YOU INTO ALL TRUTH". WHAT TRUTHS DOES THE HOLY GHOST BEAR WITNESS
OF AND WHAT TRUTHS HAS HE BORNE WITNESS TO YOU?
- A testimony of the truth and divinity of the Lord's earthly work.
- He gives to men the power to keep his commandments and gain eternal
- The doctrines of salvation and the mission of Jesus Christ.
- All things pertaining to God and man.
- WHAT DOES IT MEAN IN VERSE 13 WHEN THE LORD SAYS THAT THE HOLY GHOST
WILL NOT SPEAK OF HIMSELF?
- He is Christ's minister. His commission is to bear record of the Father
and the Son and to reveal the truths of eternity.
- Parley P. Pratt: "The gift of the Holy Ghost...quickens all
the intellectual faculties, increases, enlarges, expands and purifies all
the natural passions and affections; and adapts them, by the gift of wisdom,
to their lawful use. It inspires, develops, cultivates and matures all
the fine-toned sympathies, joys, tastes, kindred feelings and affections
of our nature. It inspires virtue, kindness, goodness, tenderness, gentleness
and charity. It develops beauty of person, form and features. It tends
to health, vigor, animation and social feeling. It invigorates all the
faculties of the physical and intellectual man. It strengthens, and gives
tone to the nerves. In short, it is, as it were, marrow to the bone, joy
to the heart, light to the eyes, music to the ears, and life to the whole
being." (Key to the Science of Theology, pp100-101)
- HOW CAN WE RECOGNIZE THE INFLUENCE OF THE HOLY GHOST?
- Galatians 5:22-23: "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy,
peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance:
against such there is no law."
- D&C 6:23: "Did I not speak peace to your mind concerning
the matter? What greater witness can you have than from God?"
- The reverse of this is also true. If we are living worthy of the Spirit,
we may have a feeling confusion or unsettledness if the matter is false
or we should not proceed. "But if it be not right...you shall have
a stupor of thought that shall cause you to forget the thing which is wrong"
- Boyd K. Packer: "The Holy Ghost speaks with a voice that you
feel more than you hear. It is described as a 'still small voice.' And
while we speak of 'listening' to the whisperings of the Spirit, most often
one describes a spiritual prompting by saying, 'I had a feeling...' ...Revelation
comes as words we feel more than hear." (Ensign, Nov 1994, p60)
Jesus Foretells His Death & Resurrection
- READ JOHN 16:16-20. A little while, and ye shall
not see me.
- John 16:33: "These things I have spoken unto you, that in me
ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of
good cheer; I have overcome the world."
- HOW IS IT THAT THE TWELVE MIGHT HAVE PEACE WHEN THE MASTER HAS TALKED
OF LEAVING THEM?
- John 16:21-22: "A woman when she is in travail hath sorrow,
because her hour is come: but as soon as she is delivered of the child,
she remembereth no more the anguish, for joy that a man is born into the
"And ye now therefore have sorrow:
but I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no
man taketh from you."
- The Master uses the birth of a child in explaining to the Twelve that
the process of obtaining the peace may not be easy. What grief they would
feel when their beloved companion, their Master, was brutally taken from
them. What peace and unspeakable joy they would know upon learning of the
resurrection and the real meaning of the Savior's sacrifice and upon reception
of the Holy Ghost.
The Intercessory Prayer - John 17
- President David O. McKay said that this is "the greatest prayer
ever uttered in this world" (CR, Oct 1967, p5)
- V3: "And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the
only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent."
READ JOHN 17:4-8. Jesus finished the work of the
- WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO KNOW THE FATHER AND THE SON?
- READ 1 JOHN 2:3-5. To know him is to keep all
- READ 1 JOHN 3:1-6. He who has sinned cannot know
- READ 1 JOHN 4:6-8. He that is of God hears the
servants of God. He that loveth not is not of God.
- Bruce R. McConkie: "To know God in that full sense which will
enable us to gain eternal salvation means that we must know what he knows,
enjoy what he enjoys, experience what he experiences. In New Testament
language, we must 'be like him.' But before we can become like him, we
must obey those laws that will enable us to acquire the character, perfections,
and attributes that he possesses." (CR, Apr 1966, p79)
READ JOHN 17:11, 20-23, 26.
- IN JESUS' PRAYER HE REPORTED TO THE FATHER THAT HE HAD FINISHED HIS
WORK ON EARTH. ACCORDING TO THESE WORDS, WHAT WAS THAT WORK?
- To glorify the Father (v4).
- To teach the people, particularly the Twelve, words of the Father.
He brought them to a knowledge that He was sent of the Father (v8).
- WHAT ARE OUR RESPONSIBILITIES IN THAT WORK?
- When we have received the words of the Father and the Son it is our
responsibility to teach, by word and example, those around us: family,
neighbors, associates, and others that we come in contact with.
- Why should we do otherwise? This is the work of eternity. There is
no greater message do be delivered.
- Speaking of Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost, President
Hinckley said: "They are distinct beings, but they are one in purpose
and effort. They are united as one in bringing to pass the grand, divine
plan for the salvation and exaltation of the children of God.... It is
that perfect unity between the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost that
binds these three into the oneness of the divine Godhead." (Ensign,
Nov 1986, p51)
- WHAT IS THE KEY FACTOR FOR US IN ESTABLISHING UNITY?
- HOW HAVE YOU, YOUR FAMILY, OR YOUR WARD BEEN BLESSED WHEN THERE WAS
- When there is no unity, we forego blessings and may even do harm to
ourselves. Several years ago I had a strong disagreement with a bishop
over the direction of the youth program. My original intentions were good
in wanting to best serve the youth, but by not working with the bishop
I fell out of harmony with the bishop and made some poor decisions. I resigned
my current position and became part of a negative group in that ward. I
soon entered one of the most difficult periods of my life.
We cannot progress as families, as wards,
as a church, unless we have this unity which Jesus prayed for in behalf
of his beloved followers. "For he who is not able to abide the
law of a celestial kingdom cannot abide a celestial glory" (D&C
88:22). Those who obtain this great reward, must be in harmony with celestial
principles. If we are not unified, we cannot expect to have celestial glory.
Consider the words of President Benson: "There
is a 'union required by the law of the celestial kingdom; And Zion cannot
be built up unless it is by the principles of the law of the celestial
kingdom.' (D&C 105:4-5.) Among the required principles and attributes
is a unity of mind and heart. 'I say unto you, be one; and if ye are not
one ye are not mine,' is the Savior's injunction to His modern Church (D&C
38:27; John 17:20-23)." (Teachings of ETB, p372)
- Missionaries face a unique challenge when they leave home for the first
time and receive a companion who has differences in opinion, differences
in the way he does things, and comes from a different background. Building
unity within the companionship was one of the greatest challenges of my
mission. Unity is fundamental to carrying forth the work. If there is disharmony
within a companionship, the work will suffer.
I had several fine companions while serving
on my mission. Several months into my mission, I was blessed to have a
wonderful companion who was completely dedicated to the work and made a
tremendous effort in working with me as his companion. In the four and
a half months we spent as companions, we developed great unity of purpose.
It was during this time that my testimony blossomed. We read, and studied,
and discussed the gospel together. We fasted on a weekly basis. I don't
think that it was a coincidence that the most productive period of my entire
mission were these four months. Unity of purpose in the missionary work,
allowed the Spirit to lead and direct us. It allowed the Spirit to instruct
us as to what to say. Unity is fundamental.
- HOW CAN WE BUILD UNITY?
- Mosiah 18:21-22: "And he commanded them that there should be
no contention one with another, but that they should look forward with
one eye, having one faith and one baptism, having their hearts knit together
in unity and in love one towards another. And thus he commanded them to
preach. And thus they became the children of God."
- Look forward with one eye having one faith and one baptism.
- Having their hearts knit together.
- HOW CAN WE GUARD AGAINST CONTENTION AND OTHER PROBLEMS THAT DESTROY
- Brigham Young: "That perfect union, which must ultimately be
enjoyed by the Latter-day Saints, can only be brought about by every man
and woman living so as to keep their minds pure and unspotted like a piece
of clean, white paper, being constantly free from the love of the world,
that the spirit of revelation may easily indite upon the heart whatever
is the mind and will of the Lord. We cannot be truly the members of Christ's
mystical body without living in this way, that the Spirit may indite as
easily upon the heart the things of God, as these brethren, our reporters
can write with ink on paper." (JD, 11:19)
The Master concludes his instruction to the Twelve by teaching them
of the Holy Ghost and then prays to the Father in their behalf. In a troubled
world, we stand in need of the calming and strengthening influence of the
Holy Ghost. We have been given that gift. Are we living worth of it? Are
we striving to live in harmony with God's laws and with those around us?
As Christ prayed for the Twelve, that they might be one in Him, we too
should pray that we might be in harmony with the gospel and teachings of
the Church and that we can be one with our fellow Saints in this great
Lesson 25: Matthew 26:36-46; Mark 14:32-42; Luke 22:39-46
Additional Reading: 2 Nephi 2:5-8; Alma 7:11-14; 34:8-16; 42:1-31;
D&C 19:15-24; Bible Dictionary, "Atonement," 617; "Gethsemane,"
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