Hardness of heart = blackout of soul = frantic search for happiness. John 12:39-43

John 12:39 For this cause they could not believe, for Isaiah said again,


John 12:40 "He has blinded their eyes, and He hardened their heart; lest they see with their eyes, and perceive with their heart, and be converted, and I heal them."


At the same time, this starts the Jews on a frantic search for happiness in the area of religion, legalism, and asceticism.

Combining the three they were able to build a lot of self-righteousness in a hurry, as per the concept of the Pharisees.


Remember, we are not dealing in this passage with the thousands of Jews who responded and were born again. Right now we are studying only those Jews who rejected the Lord Jesus Christ:


“For this cause” – because they had rejected Christ.


/“they could not” – imperfect middle indicative of dunamai.[dunamai] The imperfect means they kept on not being able.\


The middle voice is reflexive. They themselves had said no so many times that they are exactly like the Pharaoh of the Exodus whom they despise. The Pharaoh of the Exodus said no, no, no, no, and finally he couldn’t say yes.


“they were not able to believe” – present active infinitive of pisteuw.[pisteuo]


/When a person says no often enough and long enough so that he builds up a maximum amount of scar tissue on the soul, so that the mataiothj[mataiotes] opens up and makes a great attack upon the mind. \


/Eph 4:17 This I say therefore, and affirm together with the Lord, that you walk no longer just as the Gentiles also walk, in the futility of their mind, \



The information he receives in that attack does two things. It causes him to function to build scar tissue, it causes him to emotionally revolt, but this information that comes through mataiothj[mataiotes] also makes him say no every time he is confronted with the gospel.


John 12:40 "He has blinded their eyes, and He hardened their heart; lest they see with their eyes, and perceive with their heart, and be converted, and I heal them."


They have a blackout of the soul so that they no longer perceive and no longer care about ever accepting the gospel.


Notice that it is said that the heart is hardened. The heart is the right lobe. The blackout of the soul always results in the heart or the right lobe getting false information.


Only positive volition to the word of God can soften a hard heart. God will use divine discipline to help open the ears of an unbeliever or reversionistic believer.


Once you have scar tissue on the left and right banks of the soul [the mind and the heart] or the mind and the heart you are no longer free, you are the slave of the devil.


matiothj[matiotes] (vacuum or futility) will give you your instructions but your volition will no longer operate. In other words, as scar tissue accumulates you are no longer free. The build-up of scar tissue cuts down the freedom of the soul.


This explains why people don’t change even when opportunity to change is presented and the reality that change will help them is clear to others around them, especially loved ones.


The darkness hates the light and only feeds on more darkness. It is a condition of the fall and the result of sin and evil. Never, ever take sin and evil lightly. Name and cite, forget it, and move on.


Volition, volition, volition… your only true obstacle is negative volition at hearing, at metabolizing, and applying.


“and I heal them”  used for the healing of the soul.


There is no physical healing here at all. We are talking about thinking, the right lobe, the hardness of heart, and hardness of heart can only be healed by a positive attitude toward Bible doctrine—first a positive attitude toward the gospel which results in believing in Christ: instant healing; secondly, the same concept is also used when a believer recovers from reversionism through the daily intake of Bible doctrine and the removal of scar tissue.


The future tense (I heal them) indicates that it is future from the time of the decision. The active voice indicates the individual must make a decision. In the case of the unbelieving Jew in this context he believes in Jesus Christ. In the case of the believer in reversionism, he makes a series of decisions of a positive attitude toward doctrine. The indicative mood is the reality of the healing of the soul at the point of salvation.



John 12:41 These things Isaiah said, because he saw His glory, and he spoke of Him.


What Isaiah said is in Isa 6. The reason he could say it is because he saw the Lord’s glory.


In contrast to them, Isaiah saw and loved the glory of God.


Think of the difference so that you may know the issue and have no confusion in your own soul. Isaiah saw the glory of the Lord and found humility. The religious Jews of the Lord’s day saw the glory of the Lord and found more hardness.


You have seen the glory of the Lord through the completed word of God and what have you found?


John 12:42 Nevertheless many even of the rulers believed in Him, but because of the Pharisees they were not confessing Him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue;


John 12:43 for they loved the approval of men rather than the approval of God.


Verses 42-43, the neutralisation of key believers.


Many believers never recovered after salvation because immediately after salvation they face a new issue.


The issue before salvation is. “What think ye of Christ?” But after salvation the issue is, “What do you think of the thinking of Christ?”—doctrine.


Your attitude toward doctrine determines were you are going from there. Many of these people never got off the ground.


Verse 42 – “Nevertheless” is the conjunction o(mwj, [homos] and it should be translated, “But for all that.” With it is mentoi, [mentoi] a Classical Greek word for “however.” So this should be translated, “But for all that, however.”


John 12:42 Nevertheless many even of the rulers believed in Him, but because of the Pharisees they were not confessing Him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue;


“[even] among the chief rulers” – this included prominent members of the Sanhedrin, e.g. Joseph of Arimathea, Nicodemus, and other prominent men who became believers.


But very quickly they were overcome by the lust pattern of their old sin nature. It takes a lot of doctrine immediately to straighten this out. The Jerusalem church never recovered from this, it was destroyed in 70 AD with everything else.


“many” – polloi;[polloi] “believed” – aorist active indicative of pisteuw,[pisteuo] non-meritorious thinking, the object of believing [Jesus Christ] has the merit.


“but because of the Pharisees” – the most legalistic of all the parties in the Sanhedrin, and legalism always persecutes grace. The Pharisees were vigorous in their persecution of grace.


“they did not confess him” – imperfect active indicative of o(mologew[homologeo] which means to cite or to acknowledge.


Here, with the negative o)ux,[ouch] “they kept on not acknowledging him.” In other words, they went into a state comparable to reversionism where they did not acknowledge Him.


These VIPs were pressured so that they did not witness, acknowledge the Lord Jesus Christ.


“lest” introduces a negative purpose clause, i(naplus the subjunctive, plus the negative—“that they should not become ostracised from the synagogue.”


“should not become” is an aorist active subjunctive of ginomai. [ginomai] The words “ostracised from the synagogue” is a noun, not a verb, the nominative plural of a)posunagwgoj[a)po[apo] = out from; sunagwgoj[sunagogos] = synagogue]. Putting the two compounds together means to be excommunicated or ostracised from the synagogue.


John 12:43 for they loved the approval of men rather than the approval of God.


The reason. “For” introduces an illative gar[gar] which gives the reason.


“they loved” – aorist active indicative of a)gapaw, [agapao] mental attitude. They are minus mental attitude love from doctrine, therefore they are in emotional revolt. In emotional revolt they have approbation lust, power lust, they want to be well thought of.


“the praise of men” – literally, “the glory from men.” The words of men is an ablative of source.


They loved glory from the source of man more than they loved glory from the source of God. The reason: Lack of doctrine means lack of capacity for love. So these people are hamstrung by reversionism.


They had this attitude as unbelievers as we have already seen.


John 5:44

"How can you believe, when you receive glory from one another, and you do not seek the glory that is from the one and only God?


Now that they are believers their thinking hasn’t changed. This brings up an important principle:


Salvation changes the position of the person from enemy of God to child of God who is in union with Christ by means of the baptism of the HS. However, the condition of the person’s thinking is not changed, or only slightly changed. The only thing that changes thinking is doctrine.


This is why you cannot say that someone needs have evidence that they are saved. Look at these Pharisees, they’re saved but they still love the approval of men more than the approval of God and since they won’t even acknowledge that they’ve believed in Christ there is no overt change.


Mankind is always trying to put his own spin on God’s character and nature. If it’s not in the word of God then it shouldn’t be believed.


The last paragraph in this chapter is a continuation of the message that the Lord gave prior to His leaving this crowd.


John 12:36

"While you have the light, believe in the light, in order that you may become sons of light."

These things Jesus spoke, and He departed and hid Himself from them.


So John 12:44 – 50 is a continuation of this message since it follows the same theme and message.


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