Tuesday, January 23, 2007

WHICH JESUS?


WHICH JESUS?

"But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtlety, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he that cometh preacheth another jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him."

2 Corinthians 11:3-4

The apostle Paul spoke of those who would come preaching another jesus; of those who would receive another spirit and accept another gospel. The question we pose to you, the reader, is:
‘Which spirit have you received, which gospel do you believe and WHICH JESUS HAVE YOU ACCEPTED?’

THE ‘JESUS’ OF ARMINIANISM:

The ‘jesus’ of Arminianism is the most popular and adored of all the counterfeit christ’s. This jesus is another false messiah who died, not for God’s chosen people, but for every individual ever born. His death was not to secure the salvation of anyone but was to make salvation potential for everyone, dependant upon their free will choice of Him. This jesus is not the effectual Savior of His people but the potential Savior of every person, thus making man’s free-will decision for God that which will ultimately decide his eternal destiny. It is not Christ and His Work that makes the difference between saved and lost but a free-will act of man. The jesus of Arminianism achieved nothing on the cross for any for whom he died unless they accept what he has done, thereby making it a valid and effectual act. The jesus of Arminianism is a false jesus and no Savior at all.

THE TRUE JESUS:

There is only one True Jesus, the Jesus of the Bible: the One Whom God gives testimony to. The One Who died, was buried and rose again "according to the Scriptures" (see 1 Corinthians 15:1-4). There is only one Savior whom God recognizes as His Son and only His Son saves: the Jesus Who is not only the Son of God but IS God Himself. The true Jesus IS the Second Person of the Trinity (1 John 5:6,7), unlike the Mormon jesus. The resurrected body of the true Jesus was made up of ‘flesh and bones’ (Luke 24:39) and the true Jesus is not already secretly on earth for His coming will be seen by all (Acts 1:9-11 cf. Luke 17), unlike the JW’s jesus. The true Jesus is seated at the right hand of the Father and does not appear at the beck and call of Roman Catholic priests upon their altars as bread and wine. Nowhere in Scripture can it be demonstrated that the sufferings of the true Jesus continued in hell for the redemption of man, as they did for the false jesus of the Faith Movement. The true Jesus died on the cross at Calvary and His shed blood, that is his physical death, DID atone for all the sins of everyone for whom He died. His sacrifice was a once and for all substitutionary sacrifice that requires no repetition and no supplementary act on the part of man in order for it to become effective. His physical death IS sufficient to cover every sin—past, present and future—of all those whom God gave to Him.

The jesuses promoted in the false gospels of religion failed to fully atone for sin by their ‘death’ on the cross. The true Jesus’ atonement for His people was fully efficacious for the redemption of everyone for whom He poured out His blood:

"Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to His cross"
Colossians 2:14

"...but now once in the end of the world hath He appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself"
Hebrews 9:26

"...we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once and for all"
Hebrews 10:10

"For by one offering He hath perfected forever them that are sanctified"
Hebrews 10:14

"...unto Him (Jesus) who loved us, and washed us from our sins in His own blood"
Revelation 1:5

All these Scriptures testify to the fact of the all-sufficiency and all-efficiency of Jesus’ once and for all sacrifice for His sheep on the cross. As the different gospels preached by these false religions are no Gospel at all, so too, their different jesuses are no Jesus at all and, therefore, no Saviour at all! It is of crucial importance that we believe in the right Jesus. In fact it is a matter of life and death. The jesus you have is identified by the doctrine you believe in. There are billions of people on this earth but only one you and one me. So too, there is only ONE God and ONE Lord Jesus Christ. There is only ONE Savior and if one does not abide in His doctrine, if one does not believe in the only Gospel which reveals the Righteousness of Christ, without which no one can be saved, then one is without God and without hope:

"Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God..."
2 John 9

"For I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth...For therein is the Righteousness of God revealed..."
Romans 1:16,17

Imagine a room full of different jesuses. Above their heads are written: ‘The jesus of the Mormons’; ‘The jesus of the Faith Movement’; ‘The jesus of Roman Catholicism’; ‘The jesus of Arminianism’ etc. The characteristics, the attributes, the history and the redemptive work of the jesus you follow must be in accord with the Jesus of the Bible or you have accepted the wrong jesus (1 Corinthians 15:1-4). Why error is so deadly in this matter of who the Savior is and what He has done, is that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump.

If one does not hold to the truth about Jesus, how can one be said to have the True Jesus at all?

The doctrine which distinguishes and identifies the jesus you believe in must be in accord with the Scriptures or you have been taught, and do follow, one of the many counterfeit saviors. The true Jesus is the One whose physical death upon the cross, alone fully atoned for the sins of everyone for whom He died. Only this Jesus is the real Savior; only this Jesus provides salvation for His people, the ones whom God chose before the foundation of the world and gave to His Son (Ephesians 1:4 & John 17:2,3). Accept any other jesus, however much he might resemble the true Jesus, however sincerely you believe him to be the true Jesus, and you have embraced a satanic counterfeit who will lead you to an eternal hell.


By Moreno Dal Bello

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

WHICH GOD ARE WE SERVING?

Today I want to talk to you about: "Which God are we serving?"

Do we bow down to the One and Only Almighty God who is described by the Bible alone, or do we serve another god whom our Church says we should be worshipping?

Of course, you all know the answer to that question.

We must worship the God of the Bible, because the men in the Church may be badly mistaken.

If we would not worship the God who is described by the Bible alone, we will be condemned to Hell for worshipping idols.

Therefore, if we find that we do not like a certain passage in the Bible, or we have an aversion against some verses of the Bible, then in fact we are bearing a grudge against God for placing words in the Bible that are really unacceptable to us.

Watch out!


That may be a sign of an unsaved heart.

That is why I want to lead you to this chapter 13 in Revelation.

In this chapter God shows us an awful beast, who is doing awful things to the people of the world, and God lets him do it. Let's look at:

The Beast (Revelation 13:1-9)

Revelation 13:1

And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy.

Revelation 13:2

And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority.

Revelation 13:3

And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast.

Revelation 13:4

And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him?

Revelation 13:5

And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months.

Revelation 13:6

And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven.

Revelation 13:7

And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.

Revelation 13:8

And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.

Revelation 13:9

If any man have an ear, let him hear.

Are we really going to see such a strange beast rise up out of the sea?


Of course not.

We do not expect literally to see such a strange beast with seven heads and ten horns rise up one day. God is giving us here a word picture.

And the picture of this beast is a picture of Satan.

But here we read a very uncomfortable message, and remember, it is a message from God:

It Was Given Him to Make War With the Saints (Revelation 13:7-8, John 10:28)

Rev 13:7

And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power (lit: authority) was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.
Revelation 13:8

And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him (shall worship Satan), whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.

This is an awful message!

God is not just allowing Satan to make war with the saints, but it was given to him.

The Greek word that is used here indicates that it was really given to him, like given to him on a silver platter.

This verse 7 says: God is giving to Satan the gift that he may make war with the saints, and he will overcome them. What a horrible event!

But what is this?


Does God give the saints into Satan's hand?

Can the saints lose their salvation?


Of course, the saints cannot lose their salvation.

God did not lie when He said in John 10:28,

John 10:28

And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.

What then does God mean when He said:

"And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them".

How is Satan going to overcome them?

Will Satan bring on worldwide persecution and bloodletting so that the Church will be destroyed?


No!

That is not how Satan is able to destroy the Church.

He tried this many times in the past.

He tried it again in the 20th Century in Communist countries. But it has never worked.

The result of persecution has always been that the blood of the martyrs was the seed of the Church.

How then will it be given to Satan to make war with the saints and to overcome them?

Well, the Bible gives many examples of how the people of God go down to defeat.

The scenario was always the same:

Whenever they were unequally yoked together, that is when the people of God go down to defeat. This also brought on the Flood of Noah's days.

Here is one of the aspects of God that we do not hear very much about.

God is angry about sin in the Church. God is preparing the Church for Judgment Day, by giving Satan to devastate the Church.

Why don't pastors preach about it?

This is not the only place in the Bible where this is mentioned.

We should feel no inhibitions to talk about this.

In Revelation 13 God is speaking about the last days before the end comes. God tells us here that God is using Satan, not to persecute the Church, but to join the Church.

And the majority of Churches in the world will fall, because God has it so decreed:

And he will Overcome Them (Revelation 13:7-8, Revelation 17:8, John 10:15, John 10:26-27)

God is sovereign. God can do with His creation whatever He likes to do.

Who are we to stand up against God and say: You cannot do this!

God simply carries out His plan, but God warns us ahead of time:

Rev 13:7

And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power (lit: authority) was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.

Revelation 13:8

And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him (shall worship Satan), whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.

Here we see the Grace of God shining through.

Even though the majority of mankind shall be deceived into worshipping Satan, by the Grace of God there will be a minority who will not be deceived.

God has a "Book of Life of the Lamb". All those on earth whose names are not written in this Book of Life of the Lamb, are given to worship Satan.

But those on earth whose names are found written in this Book of Life of the Lamb, are under the special care of God; they will not be deceived.


But look carefully: This is "the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world".

Does this mean that this Book of Life of the Lamb also dates from the foundation of the world?


Indeed it does. We read in Revelation 17:8,

Rev 17:8

And they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is.

God is sovereign!

The Bible says here that before the foundation of the world God chose a people for Himself out of this rebellious mess of mankind, and God wrote their names in this Book of Life of the Lamb.

God said: They will be My people, and I will be their God.

No one can steal them away from Me.

The Lord Jesus confirmed these things so clearly in John 10:15, when He said:

John 10:15

As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep.

The Lord Jesus did not say that He would lay down His life for all the people in the world, but He did lay down His life for His sheep; only for His sheep.

Who are His sheep?

All those whose names the Father wrote in the Book of Life of the Lamb before the foundation of the world are His sheep.

If you have trouble seeing this, look at how Jesus is addressing the unbelieving Jews in verse 26:
John 10:26

But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you.

Jesus said: "ye believe not, because ye are not of My sheep".

Jesus did not say: "Ye are not My sheep because you do not believe".

Can you see the difference?


Then Jesus said in verse 27:

John 10:27

My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:

No ifs and buts. My sheep will hear My voice, and they shall follow Me.

But what about all those:

Whose Names Are Not Written In the Book of Life of the Lamb (John 6:64-66, Matthew 26:24)

In John chapter 6 God answers all the questions we have come across in those three verses of Revelation 13.

The Lord Jesus said to the unbelieving Jews in John 6:64

John 6:64

But there are some of you that believe not. For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that believed not, and who should betray him.

Jesus knew from the beginning of time who believed Him not, and Jesus knew that Judas Iscariot was going to betray Him.

These unbelieving Jews were a sample of those whose names are NOT written in the Book of Life of the Lamb.

The Lord Jesus did not lay down His life for these people.

Of course, the Lord Jesus did not lay down His life for Judas Iscariot.

The Lord Jesus said of him:

Matthew 26:24

The Son of man goeth as it is written of him: but woe unto that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed! It had been good for that man if he had not been born.

Without a doubt, Jesus says here that Judas Iscariot would have to pay for his own sins in Hell. Jesus was NOT going to be his Savior.

In fact, most people end up paying for their own sins in Hell, because the Bible says that:

"Wide is the gate and broad is the way that leadeth to destruction, and many there be that go in thereat. And narrow is the gate and troubled is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it".

This alone should scare the dickens out of anyone reading the Bible.

How then can anyone find that narrow gate, which leadeth unto life?

How can anyone get Jesus to be his Savior?

Only those who see the need for Jesus to be their Savior, will have Jesus as their Savior.

In other words, only those who recognize that they are dirty rotten sinners, deserving to go to Hell, will cry out to Jesus for mercy.

But who of mankind wants to believe that they were sinners from the day they were born.

That is what the Bible says.


But who believes the Bible?

Jesus said in John 6:65

John 6:65

And he said, Therefore said I unto you, that no man CAN come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father.

Allow me to paraphrase this: Jesus said, "No man will believe My Words, no man will come to worship the God of the Bible, except it were given unto him of my Father."

Remember the title of this article: "Which God are we serving?"

Will we believe and worship the God who said these words here in John, chapter 6, or is this one of those chapters that we wished would not be in the Bible?

Jesus said very plainly:

John 6:44
"No man CAN come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father".

Only those whom the Father draws to Jesus will believe these words that God is sovereign and He rules in the affairs of man as He pleases.

But this kind of a God is not a popular with man. We read in John 6:66:

John 6:66

From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him.

They were a sampling of those whose names were not written in the Book of Life of the Lamb.

But Whose Names Were Written There? (John 6:37, John 6:44, John 6:65, Romans 3:11)

Only the names of those people, in whose life are seen the effects of the miraculous work of God in their heart, of having heard and believed the Gospel of the Bible, the Gospel of salvation through the Lord Jesus Christ, which is:

1. That we are all sinners and we all were by nature the children of wrath, even as others;

2. That we were saved entirely by the sovereign Grace of God, and not by any of our works;

3. That Christ took upon Himself the sins of all those whom He came to save, and only those;

4. That Christ paid the full payment for those sins, the equivalent of an eternity in Hell;

5. That God the Holy Spirit gave us a new heart so that we would put our trust in the Word of God;

6. That God gave us a repentant spirit and a heart filled with gratitude towards Him;

7. That God promised eternal life now to all those who have a fervent ongoing desire to do His will.

These are the people whose names were written in the Book of Life of the Lamb, and they were written there before the foundation of the world.


Let's look at verse 37 in this chapter. The Lord Jesus said in John 6:37,

John 6:37

All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.

Without fail, all those who were given to Jesus as His Bride, are those whose sins have been paid by Christ on the cross, and shall come to Jesus, not on their own terms, but on God's terms.

What are God's terms?

By Grace alone! By Grace alone! By Grace alone!

But who else would come to Jesus on God's terms: casting aside his own pride, not leaning on his Water Baptism, or on his Profession of Faith, or on his action of making a decision for Jesus, or on any action crafted by man?

Who else would come to Jesus on God's terms?


The Bible says: No One!

Romans 3:11
"There is NONE that understandeth, there is NONE that seeketh after God".

That is why Jesus says in John 6:44:

John 6:44

No man CAN come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.

No one is willing or able to come to Jesus, to come to this Jesus of the Bible, who is also called the Word of God.

Make sure that you understand that if you call on the Name of Jesus, that you are not bearing the Name of the Lord our God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that beareth His Name in vain.

When we even doubt the sovereignty of God, we are bearing the name of the Lord our God in vain.

In case you have still not understood this chapter, the Lord Jesus says again in verse 65,

John 6:65

And he said, Therefore said I unto you, that no man CAN come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father.

Whose names were written there?


All those who give the credit of their salvation to God alone.

If Any Man Have an Ear, Let Him Hear (Revelation 13:9, John 6:45, John 6:63)

Perhaps you remember, when we were in Revelation 13:1-9, that verse 9 ended with these words:

Revelation 13:9

If any man have an ear, let him hear.

Who does not have an ear?

Well, there are some deaf people around, but they too can be saved.

What then does God have in mind when He said: "If any man have an ear, let him hear"?

God does not have physical ears in mind.

God is speaking to all those who received from God spiritual ears with which we can hear spiritual truths.

These are ears of discernment, to discern truth from error.

Moreover, can you see that this is the application of all the preceding verses in Rev 13?

God said:

Revelation 13:8

And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him (shall worship Satan), whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.

In other words, God said: "Listen carefully, this is important.

The Church around the world shall fall into apostasy, because Satan will come with gospels that are so close to the true Gospel that most people in the Church are unable to discern between the true Gospel and the false gospel.

Put on the whole armor of God. Be prepared.

Those remaining faithful will be few.

You will be maligned.

You will be gossiped about.

You will be called a cult.

You will be called old fashioned.

You will be accused of not being filled with the spirit. And so on.

Just remain faithful to the Word of God, and I will not let you down.

Hang on to the Gospel of Grace alone, and I will not let you down."

And when we have done all that God has commanded us, and we are prepared, and we do remain faithful to the Bible, we must remember that we only could do it by the Grace of God.

Philippians 2:13

For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.

God Himself will guide us all the way, both in our justification as well as in our sanctification, so that we will know which God we are serving.

God says it again, here in John 6:45,

John 6:45

It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me.

Whom does the Father give spiritual ears to hear so that they come to Jesus?

He gives spiritual ears to those whom the Father has chosen before the foundation of the world to be the Bride of Christ.

His Grace is irresistable.

And what are the channels that God uses to reach the ears of those He intends to save?

God says it here in John 6:63,

John 6:63

It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.

The words God speaks to us through any of the channels He provides, those words are the substance of our spiritual understanding:

Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.

What Does the Spirit Say unto the Churches? (Revelation 2:7, John 6:67-69)

God says to us in Revelation 2:7,

Revelation 2:7

He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.

God repeats the same sentence in Revelation 2:11, Revelation 2:17, Revelation 2:29, and in Revelation 3:6, Revelation 3:13, and Revelation 3:22.

When God says it seven times, it must be quite important.

What does the Spirit of God have to say to the Churches?

In summary, what was the message to the seven Churches of Asia Minor?

Paraphrased, God says: Make sure that you know which God you worship.

When Jesus declared: "No man CAN come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father", there was immediately a falling away of many of His disciples.

This was not the God whom they wanted to worship.

They wanted to worship a god of their own liking.

We see the same thing in most of today's Churches.

When you tell people that they can trust in their Profession of Faith, or trust in their Water Baptism, or when you tell people that they can accept the Lord Jesus as their Savior right now,
they will fill your church, because you will be bringing them a gospel that they like.

But God will then hold you accountable for His words in John chapter 6.

Do you dare to call God a liar?


Whose friend would you rather be?

John 6:67

Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also go away?

John 6:68

Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life.

John 6:69

And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God.

Eleven of the disciples agreed with Peter. This was not something that Peter and the eleven disciples dreamed up. This was given them by revelation from God. God has done His work in them.

When a giant named Goliath defamed God's honor, David did not hesitate to risk his life, because he could not bear to hear his God being blasphemed by this giant.

Will we stand for the truth when our God is being defamed?

Will we stand up for the truth of the Word of God?

Today in many Churches which used to be quite orthodox, Hell is not mentioned any more, the wrath of God is not mentioned any more and the sovereignty of God is not mentioned any more.

This means that many pastors do not preach the cross of Christ any more.

How can you preach Christ crucified without mentioning Hell, without mentioning the wrath of God and without mentioning the particular atonement of the Lord Jesus Christ?

It is not possible, unless you tell only lies.

What does the Spirit say unto the Churches?

Make sure that you know which God you worship.

By Alfred J. Chompff

Monday, January 08, 2007

THE WORLD

In John 17 we read what is known as the High Priestly Prayer of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Why is it called the High Priestly Prayer?

It is because this is the prayer that the Lord Jesus prayed to intercede for His people just before He went to the Garden of Gethsemane to endure the Atonement for their sins. We can see the shadow of this event in the Old Testament ceremonial law on the Day of Atonement when the high priest offered a prayer of intercession for the people just before he went into the Holy of Holies with burning incense, and with the blood of a bullock, and with the blood of a goat. That was just a shadow of what Christ was going to do: It pointed to His Atonement beginning at the Garden of Gethsemane and ending when He died on the cross.

The Lord's Prayer (John 17:1-3)

This really is the Lord's Prayer. What we commonly know as the Lord's Prayer from Matthew 6 is actually the Sinner's Prayer. But what we have here in John 17 is the most remarkable and most full and consoling prayer recorded in the Bible. The veil separating the Holy of Holies is drawn aside, and we are admitted with our great High Priest into the secret place of the tabernacle of the Most High.

The title of this article is "The World".

We will not have time to look into every aspect of this prayer. I will focus on those verses that speak of the world. So let us begin with the first three verses:

John 17:1
These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee:

John 17:2
As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him.

John 17:3
And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.

"Father, the hour is come". In the Gospel of John this is the seventh time and the last time that Jesus refers to this momentous "hour".

And notice verse 2, where Jesus says: "That He should give eternal life to as many as Thou hast given Him". Allow me to paraphrase that. The Lord Jesus said: "Let Thy Son glorify Thee by saving those many souls according as Thou hast appointed Him to do so". You see the Lord Jesus was not praying for everyone in the world. The Lord Jesus was not paying for the sins of everyone in the world. You see that clearly here in this verse. And verse 2 also says: "As many as thou hast given Him". The Father has given to Christ the souls that He has chosen from before the foundation of the world. These were the souls that were redeemed at the cross.

Now, let us look at:

The World of the Reprobate (John 17:14-19)

What does that mean, "Reprobate"?

It is actually a common English word. Webster's dictionary describes them as "those who are rejected and condemned as unworthy, unacceptable and evil".

We will now look at verses to verses 14-19, and there you see the world of the Reprobate:

John 17:14
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.

John 17:15
I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil (or the evil one).

John 17:16
They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.

John 17:17
Sanctify them through (Lit: in) thy truth: thy word is truth.

John 17:18
As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world.

John 17:19
And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth.

Eight times is the word "world" mentioned in these six verses, and in every case it refers to the evil world of the Reprobate. "The world hath hated them".

Does the world hate you?

They will not admit it, but it is a fact that the world of the Reprobate is under the dominion of the prince of the power of the air. He leads them and they are fully taken in by all those things that are not of the Father. On the other hand, when you have been saved, when you have received a new soul, which means you have been born again, then you have been snatched out of the kingdom of Satan and you have been placed in the kingdom of the Lord Jesus Christ. I did not invent that. God says so in Colossians, chapter 1.

The kingdom of Satan is the world of the Reprobate. That kingdom is 100% opposed to the kingdom of the Lord Jesus Christ. For example, when you have become saved you have become an odd ball in your family. You have become a stranger to them, because you now have new affections, new interests, a new language, a new lifestyle, and a new Master. Without saying one word you have already condemned by your lifestyle those who are in the world. In fact, by not joining them in their lifestyle you have become a traitor, who has sold out to a world they do not like to join at all.

And that is the hostile world that we are sent into. The Lord Jesus knows the danger that we are getting into. We are sent into a world that renders evil for good. The Savior knows this, and He knows that this evil world would not change. Therefore He pleaded with the Father to protect us.

But He does not take us out of the world, because we have been sent here as the Lord's ambassadors. The only three prayers NOT granted to the saints, as recorded in Scripture, are the prayers of Moses, of Elijah, and of Jonah, which were prayers to be taken out of this world.

Sanctify Them Through Thy Truth (John 17:17)

The Lord Jesus says in John 17:17,

John 17:17
Sanctify them through (Lit: in) thy truth: thy word is truth.

Now, the word "sanctify" does not mean that we are living a more godly life, or a more moral life, or a more religious life. The word "sanctify" means to "set apart".

What are we set apart for?

We are set apart unto God for His use. We are set apart in "Thy Truth." And then God defines that Truth. He says: "Thy Word is Truth". We were set apart in Christ before the foundation of the world. We are set apart in the hearing of the Word of God through God the Holy Spirit who opened our ears, and we will be set apart when Christ comes again when we will be standing next to Him, judging all the unsaved in this evil and wicked world; the world of the Reprobate.

When we are set apart in the hearing of the written Word of God, we are set apart in Christ from this doomed human race. We are set apart by ransom from those who are captives of Satan, and who are dead in trespasses and sins. God does not need time for that; God does that in an instant. But when God says: "Sanctify them in thy truth", that is practical and progressive. Only as long as I walk according to God's Word shall I be separated from evil. Therefore we see that verses 15 and 17 are intimately related. In verse 15 the Lord Jesus prays that the Father should keep us from evil. In verse 17 the Lord Jesus prays that the Father will set us apart in the hearing of the Word. We are kept from evil by the power of God while we are hearing and meditating on His Word.

Now we can also see the close relationship between verses 16 and 17. "They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world", now sanctify them in Thy truth. In other words: "Father, because they are not of the world, cause them to walk in separation from it".

"Thy Word is Truth". The written Word is (not "contains") unadulterated truth, because its Author cannot lie. In it there is no error. Because the Word of God is truth, it is of final and only authority. By it our thoughts are to be formed, and our conduct is to be regulated. Just because the Word of God is truth, it sanctifies those who obey it.

If then the Word of God is truth, should we not place a high value on it?

Should we not prize it more than anything else, and should we not guard it so that it will not be defiled by well meaning translators?

And think also of the reverse: If truth separates us from evil, then error draws us into evil. So beware of error. As poison is to the body, so error is poison to the soul. We must know the truth, so that we can discern error. But how do we get to know the truth? When we study our Bible, pray to God that He might lead us into truth. Just knowledge of the Bible does not protect us from false gospels. God the Holy Spirit must give us understanding, which He will give, by God's grace.

I Also Sent Them into that World (John 17:18)

"As My Father hast sent Me, even so send I you".

The Lord Jesus said in John 17:18,

John 17:18
As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world.

What a wonderful assignment is this. The Lord Jesus has given us His place. It is His place of acceptance on high, and it is His place of witness here below. But those who witness here below have a special status: It is the same status that the Lord Jesus had while He walked on earth. We are called upon to bear testimony in the world while actually our citizenship is in heaven. The Lord Jesus did not belong to this world; He was the Heavenly One who has come down to earth. In like manner, we who have been identified with Him as partakers of the heavenly calling are now commissioned to represent Him here below. This reinforces the concept that we are not of the world. Only if we first have been chosen out of the world can we be sent into the world.

The Lord Jesus Christ was sent into the world to reveal the Father, and to show forth His glory. Now we are sent into the world to reveal the Lord Jesus Christ, and to show forth Christ's glory, which is the glory of the Father. The Lord Jesus said: "I and the Father are One". Christ was sent here on a mission of mercy. He came to seek and to save that which was lost. Now we are here on a mission of mercy. We are His agents, His instruments, to tell a world that is dead in sin of the One who is mighty to save. Christ was here "full of grace and truth".

Now we are here to show the power of our Master by our faithful lives. Christ was here as the Light of the world. Now we are here to shine as lights in this dark place. Christ was anointed, filled and led by the Holy Spirit. Now we have received the Holy Spirit to anoint us, to fill us and to guide us. Christ was always about His Father's business, not pleasing Himself, but He was making the most of His brief time here below. Now we are to redeem the time, to be instant in season and out of season, always abounding in the work of the Lord. It is in this manner that Christ is glorified in us.

Can there be any more wonderful assignment than this?

And yet, there are people who resent this and they refuse to bear witness. I fear that they do not understand what salvation is, and I fear that they do not know what they are doing to their neighbor. I fear that they are still living in the world of the Reprobate.

In the previous studies you may have heard me talk about the symbol of concentric spheres. An example of concentric spheres is an egg and its yolk. The symbol of concentric spheres applies to a great number of concepts in the Bible. I have preached on the body and the soul as concentric spheres. I have preached on the External Church and the Eternal Church as concentric spheres. I have shown how the Temple can also be seen as the External Temple and the Dwelling Place of the Lord; these are also represented by an external sphere and an internal sphere. And now we have come to the world. This world is often described in the Bible as the world of the Reprobate, but sometimes it is described as:

The World of the Elect (John 17:20-23), depending on the context.

The outer sphere represents the world of the Reprobate. Most of the time this is all we see, and we call this a sin cursed world, a world that is still in the darkness of sin, and so on. But what about those verses where "the heavens declare the glory of God" (Psalm 19), and "The heavens are thine, the earth also is thine: as for the world and the fulness thereof, thou hast founded them" (Psalm 89).

The Lord Jesus said: "Consider the lilies of the field. Even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these". This then is a world that is considered different from the world of the Reprobate. It is true, that the world can be seen from the perspective of sin, and then it is a very wicked world. But God's glory is reflected in all His creation, and God also created His elect. God says in Ephesians 1: "According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will".

From God's perspective, this is beautiful.

Here in John 17 we see both the world of the Reprobate in the verses we have covered, but in the following verses we see also the world of the Elect. Let's continue in verse 20,

John 17:20
Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word;

John 17:21
That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.

John 17:22
And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one:

John 17:23
I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.

If we would not make the distinction that the world can refer to the world of the Reprobate or to the world of the Elect, then we would arrive at a false doctrine.

For example, when God says through the mouth of John the Baptist: "Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world", is this not the world of the Elect only?

Certainly, this verse does not mean that Christ would pay for the sins of everyone in the whole world. I have been careful to quote only those passages where the same Greek word for world has been used. It is the Greek word "Kosmos". When God says in 2 Corinthians 5:19, "God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them ……" certainly God is not referring to the whole world, but only the world of the Elect.

Here in John 17:20, when the Lord Jesus said: "Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on Me through their word", is this not clearly saying that the Lord Jesus is not praying for the whole world, but only for those who will believe on Him, through the preaching of the Word and by the power of the Holy Spirit?

The Lord said it earlier also in verse 9: "I pray for them: I pray NOT for the world, but for them which thou hast given Me; for they are Thine". The Lord Jesus is praying here not only for His disciples, but for us also who would believe on Him through the preaching of the Word and by the power of the Holy Spirit. He thought of us and He provided for us before we were born. Therefore, to show us that He had a place in His heart for us, He named us in His Testament. What a great honor. Therefore every born again soul can say: "He prayed for me".

And then we read in verse 21,

I in Them, and Thou in Me (John 17:21)

What awesome things is the Lord Jesus saying here?

John 17:21
That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.

Remember, Jesus said: "I and the Father are One". As Christ is in the Father and as the Father is in Christ, so the Lord Jesus prayed that WE would be one in the Father and in Him. What a glorious mystical union is in view here. We cannot understand this fully, because God always remains God. But think of the wonderful relationship we have with Him, for having been elevated to the status of sons of God. It also means there is now no distinction between Jew and Gentile. The middle wall of partition which had for so long divided Jews from Gentiles was on the point of being broken down, and now He would make in Himself of twain one new man"

"That the world may believe that Thou hast sent Me".

What world is this?

The context clearly says that this is the world of the believers; this is the world of the Elect. This is not the world of the Reprobate.

God chose these people, before the foundation of the world. (Check for example Ephesians 1.) The Bible calls them the Elect. And then the Father placed them in the Lord Jesus Christ. First God sent the Lord Jesus Christ into the world, to bear the sins of all those who have been placed in Him. On the cross, when He cried, "It is finished", the Lord Jesus Christ had fully paid for the sins of all the Elect, and fully satisfied the righteousness of God by enduring the equivalent of an eternity in Hell for those sins.

Then God gave us in the Bible the dramatic conversion of Saul of Tarsus, who became the Apostle Paul. This is exactly how God drew each one of us out of the Bottomless Pit, and placed us in the kingdom of the Lord Jesus Christ. Just like Saul of Tarsus we were drafted into the army of the Lord Jesus Christ by God's irresistible grace. We resisted because we had no idea what was good for us. But just as in the case of Saul of Tarsus, we could not resist the grace of God, because God 's efforts cannot be frustrated. To God goes all the glory. And so here we are, a bunch of former misfits huddled together in a tiny church like this.

Can we ever lose our salvation?

Can we ever undo what God has done in our soul?

Impossible!

Can God ever send us to Hell for this sin or for that sin?

No, that is not possible!

The Bible says that we were in Christ when He bore our sins and stood guilty before the Judgment Throne of God, which was at the time that He stood before the judgment seat of Pilate. Christ was condemned to Hell and we were in Christ. The Bible says that we were crucified with Christ, we died with Christ, we were buried with Christ, we rose from the dead with Christ and we ascended with Christ into heaven, where we are seated with Christ at the right hand of God the Father. God cannot send us to Hell, because we have already gone through Hell with Christ and in Christ. God cannot send us to Hell for the second time, because He is a righteous God.

That, in a nutshell, is what is meant by, "I in them, and Thou in Me". Let's read on in verse 23,

That the World May Know (John 17:23)

John 17:23
I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.

That the world may know.

What world is this?

The context says that this is the world of the Elect. This is the world that shall know Christ, which means, this is the group of people that shall be saved.

Verse 21 says: "That the world may believe that Thou hast sent Me".

Verse 23 says: "That the world may know that Thou hast sent Me".

Clearly, believing Christ and knowing Christ means the same thing; and it means having been saved by the power of God. And then the Lord Jesus said:

"And hast loved them as Thou hast loved Me".

What an incredible idea: "God loves the saints as He loves Christ".

Let me first set this straight: God loves us because He loves Christ.

Therefore He "has made us accepted in the Beloved". He did that for Christ's sake. We were chosen in Him as the Head of all the Elect, we were pardoned, sanctified and glorified in Him and through Him.

But look at the stupendous likeness of that love. The Father loves Christ as His Son, therefore He loves us as His sons. The Father loves Christ as His image. We read in Hebrews 1: "Christ being the brightness of His glory, and the express image of His person ….."

Therefore He loves the saints, who are by grace renewed after His image (Colossians 3:10). He loves Christ tenderly, therefore He loves us as "dear children" (Ephesians 5:1). He loves Christ eternally, therefore He says to us: "Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love" (Jeremiah 31:3). He loves Christ unchangeably, therefore He said: "I am the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed" (Malachi 3:6)

What a comfort is this for our poor hearts. What a comfort when we are hated by the world, to know that the Father loves us as His Son. What a glorious theme for our daily meditation.

Is this not a cause for adoring, and loving, and worshipping this great God?

Let us turn now to the last three verses in this chapter, where we can see:

The Whole World (John 17:24-26)

In our symbol of the two concentric spheres we have seen how the outer sphere represents the world of the Reprobate, and the inner sphere represents the world of the Elect. These two spheres together represent the whole world.

The Lord Jesus said in John 17:24,

John 17:24
Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world.

He is speaking now about the time period before anything was created, before the world was created, and before Adam and Eve were created. "Thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world."

John 17:25
O righteous Father, the world hath not known thee: but I have known thee, and these have known that thou hast sent me.

The entire world has not known the Father or the Son, because the entire world was in rebellion against God. But now, the Son has come into the world, and these disciples have understood and believed that the Father has sent His Son into the world to save sinners; His Elect sinners. All the time it is the same Greek word: "Kosmos". Let me return to verse 24. The Lord Jesus says there:

"Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am". This is the first time that the Lord Jesus said in this High Priestly prayer: "I will". He speaks of this as His right, because of His purchase and because of the Covenant between the Father and the Son concerning those given to Him. "I will" speaks of the authority which the Father has given Him over all flesh (verse 2). "I will" uttered just before His death may be regarded as His "testament". Heaven is ours. It is an inheritance left to us by Christ.

Of whom is the Lord Jesus Christ speaking?

He says: "they also, whom thou hast given me".

He is speaking of all the Elect whose sins He is bearing, and He is including us. How comforting are these words, and how comforting to know that the Father always hears the Lord Jesus. When Jesus prayed at the grave of Lazarus He said: "Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me. And I knew that thou hearest me always". What a sweet assurance that not one of the Elect shall fail to enter into heaven. This also reveals to us the heart of our Savior: He will not be satisfied until He has all His blood bought sheep in His presence, "and so shall we forever be with the Lord". He will personally come to take us to be with Himself. The Lord Jesus said in John 14:3, "I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also".

"That they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me". O what a wonderful glory that must be, and what a privilege and honor to be there and to see and experience it. But then Jesus says:

O Righteous Father (John 17:25)

We cannot imagine the emotions of the Lord Jesus when He says "O righteous Father".

He knows that His heavenly Father is righteous.

But what does that mean?

It means that the Father must punish all those who bear sins, and that includes the Son. A righteous judge is a just judge, even if His own Son stands to be judged. The Lord Jesus knows what the penalty is for sin, any sin. The righteousness of God states that it is spending an eternity in Hell. He knows that the righteousness of God demands that the full payment be made. And the Lord Jesus knows that He is bearing our sins, and the sins of all those who are His Elect. The righteousness of God will send Him to Hell. And yet He prays: "O righteous Father". He knows that His Father loves Him and continues to love Him. But the righteousness of God is overriding the lovingkindness of the Father. His Father would like to be kind and loving, but He may not diminish His righteousness.

John 17:25
O righteous Father, the world hath not known thee: but I have known thee, and these have known that thou hast sent me.

"The world hath not known Thee". This is ominous language. Not only did Divine righteousness bestow heavenly glory upon the Elect, but also Divine righteousness refuses to bestow it on the unbelieving world. God refuses to bestow any good thing upon the Reprobate. God is angry about sin and God hates the sinner.

God says in Psalm 5: "Thou hatest all workers of iniquity". God says in Psalm 7: "God is angry with the wicked every day".

All these condemnations are implied when the Lord Jesus Christ prays: "O Righteous Father". The Righteousness of God may not be compromised, and God will sort it all out to His glory.

But is God not also a God of Love?

Does not the Bible say: "God is Love"?

That is true. (1 John 4:8

But God bestows His love only on those who are His Elect, but never on the Reprobate.

How can we see that God is also a God of Love?

Well, look at the cross.

What does God say in John 3:17?

That the World Through Him Might Be Saved (John 17:26, John 3:17)

John 3:17
For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

The first time God sent the Lord Jesus Christ into the world was not to condemn the world. He came as the Suffering Servant. God so loved US that He sent His only begotten Son to die for US on a cruel cross, and endure the equivalent of Hell for US. He, the Creator, did that for us, the creatures. God did not have to do that. God could simply have sent us all to Hell, and start all over again. But God, in His great love for US, gave US His only begotten Son, because we loved our sins so much.

What does that mean for US, who have committed such heinous sins in the past?

Can there be forgiveness for US also?

Of course!

The Lord Jesus said: "Him that cometh to Me, I will in no wise cast out".

The Lord Jesus came for sinners, BIG sinners. He did not come for small sinners. If we think that we are only small sinners, then remember the words that Jesus spoke in the house of Simon the Pharisee. Jesus said: "To whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little".

If you think that you are not as bad as that sinner over there, then you love Christ only a little. It means that you have never been saved. The Kingdom of the Lord Jesus Christ is populated only by BIG sinners. And they are ALL great lovers of the Lord Jesus Christ, because they have been forgiven much. This does not mean that we have a license to sin! If God has changed our hearts then we love the Lord Jesus, and then we want to do those things that are pleasing in His sight. Therefore, we pay attention to His Commandments, because doing that is pleasing in His sight.

And now, lets turn to the last verse in John 17:

John 17:26
And I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare it: That the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them.

Do we read this right?

The Lord Jesus says that God will produce a Godly love within us. That is right. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another (John 13:35).

In summary, I have talked about the world of the Reprobate. This is the outer shell of the world we know. This is the world everyone can see from the outside. But there is also the world of the Elect, and it is a world that is not seen, except through the Scriptures. With the eye of faith we can see this world of the Elect as God sees it.

What can we DO to be part of this world of the Elect?

Nothing!

God does it all.

But can we know if we have become a part of this world of the Elect?

Absolutely Yes!

When God has produced in us a desire to love Him and adore Him, and God has produced in us a faith to believe the Bible and what it says about His dear Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, and a desire to do those things that are pleasing in His sight, then we know that God has given us a new heart. What a glorious awareness.

By Alfred J. Chompff