Setting His Seal
He who comes from above is above all, he who is of the earth is from the earth and speaks of the earth. He who comes from heaven is above all. What He has seen and heard, of that He testifies; and no one receives His testimony. He who has received His testimony has set his seal to this, that God is true. For He whom God has sent speaks the words of God; for He gives the Spirit without measure.
The Father loves the Son and has given all things into His hand. He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him. (John 3:31-36)
After careful examination I concluded the following about the confusing pronouns in this passage:
He [John the Baptist] received His [Jesus'] testimony and has set his [John the Baptist's] seal, thus adding his own testimony to that of Jesus, together testifying that God is true.
For He [Jesus] whom God has sent speaks the words of God; for He [God the Father] gives the Spirit without measure [to Jesus]. (Because the next sentence indicates all things were given into the hand of Jesus by the Father.)
Either our spirit will be transformed by God's Spirit of love to reflect His image in our lives, words and disposition, or our rejection of the testimony of Jesus about God and our refusal to agree with His testimony will produce the sure result of our living in wrath, meaning that we are handed over, released to the natural consequences of believing that God is like Satan.
Additionally I see here the seal of God as being in juxtaposition with the wrath of God abiding in a person. This passage parallels Revelation 7 where the winds of earth (i.e. wrath in humanity, which is the natural consequence of our choices to retain lies about God) are being restrained until the seal of God's Spirit and its accompanying peace is securely in place in the foreheads of God's true followers.
After this I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding back the four winds of the earth, so that no wind would blow on the earth or on the sea or on any tree. And I saw another angel ascending from the rising of the sun, having the seal of the living God; and he cried out with a loud voice to the four angels to whom it was granted to harm the earth and the sea, saying, "Do not harm the earth or the sea or the trees until we have sealed the bond-servants of our God on their foreheads." (Revelation 7:1-3)
Then I said, "Behold, I come; In the scroll of the book it is written of me. I delight to do Your will, O my God; Your Law is within my heart." (Psalms 40:7-8)
This scroll may be symbolic of the scroll held in the hand of the Father on the throne in Revelation 5 that is sealed with seven seals. Notice the following passage listing seven attributes of the Spirit resting on the Son of God made human.
Then a shoot will spring from the stem of Jesse, and a branch from his roots will bear fruit. The Spirit of the LORD will rest on Him, the spirit of (1)wisdom and (2)understanding, the spirit of (3)counsel and (4)strength, the spirit of (5)knowledge and the (6)fear of the LORD. And He will delight in the fear of the LORD, and He will not judge by what His eyes see, nor make a decision by what His ears hear; but (7)with righteousness He will judge the poor, and decide with fairness for the afflicted of the earth; and He will strike the earth with the rod of His mouth, and with the breath of His lips He will slay the wicked. (Isaiah 11:1-4)
When they found Him on the other side of the sea, they said to Him, "Rabbi, when did You get here?" Jesus answered them and said, "Truly, truly, I say to you, you seek Me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate of the loaves and were filled. "Do not work for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you, for on Him the Father, God, has set His seal." (John 6:25-27)
Jesus, the violently slaughtered Lamb discovered in Revelation 5 is the only entity in all the universe found to be qualified, trustworthy, capable to open the seals of the scroll that is of such extreme importance to everyone in the universe for whatever reason. I personally believe this scroll figuratively provides all the needed evidence vindicating God concerning the slanderous charges, accusations, insinuations and outright lies brought against Him by the great accuser. Not until someone can be found who can effectively expose, neutralize and defeat all the cunning deceptions and insinuations of the enemy will it be possible for the Father to freely govern the way He intends to – relying solely on trust in His love to maintain harmony and peace throughout His universe.
The following verses spell out the methods God intends to use to govern, both now and throughout all eternity.
Behold, My Servant, whom I uphold; My chosen one in whom My soul delights. I have put My Spirit upon Him; He will bring forth justice to the nations. He will not cry out or raise His voice, nor make His voice heard in the street. A bruised reed He will not break and a dimly burning wick He will not extinguish; He will faithfully bring forth justice. He will not be disheartened or crushed until He has established justice in the earth; and the coastlands will wait expectantly for His law. (Isaiah 42:1-4)
The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me, because the LORD has anointed me to bring good news to the afflicted; He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to captives and freedom to prisoners; to proclaim the favorable year of the LORD and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn, to grant those who mourn in Zion, giving them a garland instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the mantle of praise instead of a spirit of fainting. So they will be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that He may be glorified. (Isaiah 61:1-3)
After being baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending as a dove and lighting on Him, and behold, a voice out of the heavens said, "This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased." (Matthew 3:16-17)
While he was still speaking, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and behold, a voice out of the cloud said, "This is My beloved Son, with whom I am well-pleased; listen to Him!" (Matthew 17:5)
The reason God the Father emphasized so much our need to listen to Jesus is because we struggle so much to believe that Jesus is what God has to say to the universe. Yet Jesus is the revelation of God.
I did not recognize Him, but He who sent me to baptize in water said to me, 'He upon whom you see the Spirit descending and remaining upon Him, this is the One who baptizes in the Holy Spirit.' (John 1:33)
You know of Jesus of Nazareth, how God anointed Him with the Holy Spirit and with power, and how He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him. (Acts 10:38)
This Spirit that was given without measure to Jesus is the Spirit of Truth. It is sent to also bear witness through anyone else who will be willing to give it full authority in their heart testifying that God is true.
I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you. (John 14:16-17)
He who hates Me hates My Father also. If I had not done among them the works which no one else did, they would not have sin; but now they have both seen and hated Me and My Father as well. But they have done this to fulfill the word that is written in their Law, 'THEY HATED ME WITHOUT A CAUSE.'
When the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, that is the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify about Me, and you will testify also, because you have been with Me from the beginning. (John 15:23-27)
We are to testify under the prompting and in the power of the Spirit of truth for the very same purpose that Jesus testified under that same Spirit – to counter the false assertions that create doubt about God's trustworthiness and integrity. The entire war between evil and right revolves around the charges and accusations against God, primarily that God somewhere deep inside harbors selfishness and therefore should not be trusted because He has infinite power and will at times abuse it.
Such belief will inevitably result in hatred of God sooner or later. As John pointed out above, all hatred of God is without cause because it all results from lies believed about Him. When we embrace the truth about God as revealed in Jesus our fear, hatred and sin will all be resolved and disappear.
Jesus came to reveal the real truth about God by living a selfish-free life of constant loving service for others and loving each person without measure or restraint. He wants everyone to join Him in His campaign to defeat the lies of Satan that have caused us to be afraid of God. Sin will in the end be overcome by the overwhelming testimony of all who agree with the witness of Jesus – that God is only good, only light, only love and in Him is no darkness at all. (1 John 1:5)
After revealing clearly the real truth about His Father to refute every lying assertion of the enemy, Jesus went back to heaven to assume the strategic position on God's throne where He can coordinate through His Spirit everything needed to defeat evil permanently. Through the Spirit of truth conviction occurs as truth exposes lies believed and our need to change how we feel about God makes us see our disharmony with how we were designed to live. This conviction from God is not meant to make us feel condemned but rather cause us to long to be restored into harmony with how we are meant to live.
But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you. And He, when He comes, will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment;
concerning sin, because they do not believe in Me;
[sin is distrust of God because of lies believed about Him]
and concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father and you no longer see Me;
[God's righteousness means He is consistently good, true, fair, humble and selfless]
and concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world has been judged [all his lies exposed].
I have many more things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come. He will glorify Me, for He will take of Mine and will disclose it to you. All things that the Father has are Mine; therefore I said that He takes of Mine and will disclose it to you. (John 16:7-15)
The Spirit of God acts consistently with the humble attitude that all the other parts of the godhead display, always drawing attention to another part of of the godhead and never seeking to draw attention to themselves. The same character traits that God asks us to reflect in our lives as His followers are those originating from God including humility, selfless love and looking out for others ahead of ourselves. This is the startling revelation about God's character that is needed to defeat the accusations of the fallen angel Lucifer turned Satan.
You are from God, little children, and have overcome them; because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world. They are from the world; therefore they speak as from the world, and the world listens to them. We are from God; he who knows God listens to us; he who is not from God does not listen to us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error. Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love. (1 John 4:4-8)