When coming back from a "far country" a couple of decades ago, I, like most renewed converts, plunged headlong into Bible study with a passion. Since that time I have been hot and cold, and, of course, sometimes, "luke warm" on related studies. One can spend every waking hour trying to keep up with the "literature train" that has no end.
Somewhere in the midst of this venture I became more and more aware of a disharmony, dissension, actually a downright war between individuals and groups in our denomination about their theological conclusions. I saw Christianity divided into four caste systems: cf. 1 Cor. 1:10, The Scholars, The Administration, The Clergy, and The Laity. Secondly, I saw within these individual groups much lack of unanimity on myriads of Bible subjects. It was not just a disagreement on exegesis of texts like Daniel 8:14 and Romans 7:14-25, but was, in fact, an accusation of about who is able to stand (Rev. 6:17).
The spectrum of beliefs varied, from "absolute perfectionism" to "beneath a worm" theology, and confusion and misinformation on justification as well as sanctification. I can only see unity when issues are met and resolved, at least to viable proportions. I propose that we all meet on the common ground of our Lord's prayer of John 17, and please allow me to use other scripture to see if we cannot mend some fences and tear down some barriers. For simplicity of topics, I should like to divide John 17 into seven sevens, and to use the first five as a format for discussion.
Prayer for the Father: 17:1, 4, 5, 7, 12, 25
Prayer for the Son: 17:1, 2, 5, 6, 10, 19, 20
Prayer for the Believers: 17:2&3, 7&8, 9&11, 13&14, 18&22, 24-26
Prayer for Unity: 17:10, 11, 21, 22, 23, 24, 26
Prayer for In/Out of This World: 17:6, 11, 13, 14, 15, 16, 18&21
We shall omit, #6 - Prayer for the Present Time, and #7 - Prayer for a Future Time, in this discussion.
PRAYER FOR THE FATHER:
John 17:1. The hour has come - in John 2:4 the hour has not yet come (to make wine) when Jesus finishes this prayer of John 17 He enters the "wine press". Glorify your Son that your Son may glorify You. Glorify - Gr., doxa, doxadzo; Heb., kabod - radiancy of nature (see John 13:31, 32; Phil. 2:9; John 16:14; Luke 18:43).
One of the things that overwhelmed me was the definitions of the word glorify: name, authority,character, renown, to know, to manifest, to sanctify, word, to hallow, to consecrate, tent, dwelling place. In an exegetical study they all resembled the same root, all pointing to a shekinah nature (cf. Gen. 1:3,4 ; Matt. 1:23 and John 6:68). Look up the word for light; Heb. - ore, illumination;
Gr. - phos. The word Shekinah does not exist in the Bible; in Heb. it is - skn; Gr. - skeen; the nature of divinity and humanity dwelling together, the presence of divinity shall parallel the words glory and name. Look up the word light in the concordance and write out the 260 uses in about 220 texts and then read them collectively - what an incredible message! Anyone in Christ will see the light!
2 Cor. 4:6 For God, Who said, "Light shall shine out of darkness," is the One Who has shone in our hearts to give the light of knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ. The Father and the Son are so closely united that One's action always glorifies the Other.
John 17:4. The Son glorified the Father by accomplishing all the work the Father gave Him to do. In Romans 1:1 Paul states that he is a "doulos" of Christ, separated for the gospel of Yahweh. Here we see the same thing in Christ for the Father; He became a servant, a slave, holy, wholly dedicated to every thought being in the will of the Father, cf. Phil. 2:5-8, John 14;10, Dan. 7:9,13, 22 and John 4:21 & 23.
John 17:5. Glorify the Son together with the Father, as it was before creation - John 1:1-5, Hebrews 1:1-13. Christ was the word that created all things that were made, cf. John 8:58.
John 17:7. Everything the Father gave the Son comes from the Father, cf. John 16:29,30. In the middle of our first seven, this #4 is the theme of this chiastic seven, not only was the Father in absolute control, but the Son was totally dependent on the Father. Finally the apostles understood everything that came from the Son originated with the Father.
John 17:12. The Son was keeping the disciples, which the Father had given the Son, in the Father's NAME. The Father gives the Son all of His people - they are His inheritance. In Romans, Paul spells out the process by which the people of God come to God and are sealed by the Spirit, cf. Eph. 1:13. In the first fourteen chapters of Revelation Christ is showing His church, His body, how He accomplishes this cleansing and sealing. In Rev. 5:1&7 Christ receives His people from His Father:
One may call this the "Book of Life" - Rev. 3:5; 8; 17:8; 20:12, 15; Dan. 12:1; Phil. 4:3.
One may call this the "Book of Ezekiel's Scroll" - Ezek. 2:10.
One may call this the "Book of Truth in Heaven" - Dan. 10:21.
One may call this the "Book to be Unsealed" - Dan. 12:4.
One may call this the "Book of Deeds" - Jer. 51:60.
One may call this the "Book of Remembrance" - Mal. 3:16, 17 - in which is recorded those who fear the Lord and esteem His Name, in which is found "My own possession, My own Jewels".
One may call this the "Book of Inheritance" - from Roman culture and law.
One may call this the "Book of the Covenant" - Ex. 24:7
One may call this the "Book of Moses that You have written" - Ex. 32:32, 33.
One may call this the "Book of the Law" - law of Character, Name - Deut. 28:58, Gal. 3:10 (in which Deut. 29 spells out events of curses which God's people meditate on day and night, Josh. 1:8).
One may call this the "Book of words" - Luke 3:4. Or:
One may call this the book the "Lamb's Book of Life" - Rev. 21:27.
The bottom line is that this book, sealed with seven seals, is not only a catalog of events, but the names of God's people which He gives to His Son, cf. Rev. 1:1, who has purchased them from the earth, cf. Rev. 14:3, by His blood, cf. Rev. 5:7. Earth in Revelation is always dark and void - first concordance usage is Gen. 1:2. References for Rev. 1:1, the Revelation of Jesus Christ, His people are Eph. 3:1-10, especially v. 10; the mystery of the ages, Col. 1:26, 27, is being manifested in His people, both Jew and Gentile, cf. Gal. 1:15, 16; 2:20; Heb. 2:4; Gal. 3:6, 29; Rom. 1:16, 17; and Rom. 3:21-24, 28. There are simply too many texts in scripture to deny that Jesus IS being revealed in and through His people, His Body. The Son keeps us in the Father's name, character, will, attributes (seven-fold spirits of Isa. 11:2; Rev. 5:12; 7:12 - some of the characteristics of the Godhead) the attributes that Christ gives us to change our inclinations, to fit us for heaven, that have us dwell on things of the spiritual nature, to change our minds, to dwell (on the ARK).
Rev. 1:5, 6
||1. Head, hair white as snow, wool (leprosy of people)
|2. Faithful witness
||2. Eyes of flame of fire
|3. First born of the dead
||3. Feet as burnished brass (refined in a furnace)
|4. Rule of kings of earth
||4. Voice of many waters
|5. Loves us (love for His people)
||5. Right hand holds seven stars
|6. Looses us from sin by blood
||6. Mouth, a two-edged sword - GOSPEL
|7. Made us to be a kingdom of Priests to the Father
||7. Face shines as the sun
Revelation 1:17 - 20: Man's appropriate response . . . . .
1. Saw Him (He is seen) behold the Man Acts 9:5, Who are you, Lord?
2. Fell at His feet as though dead - posture of a man to God (always).
3. Laid right hand on me - provided comfort and encouragement - holds stars (HE).
4. Fear not attitude, confidence in the Lord, Trust, He is faithful.
5. He is first and last - Jesus' position (our #1).
6. Living one - Christ is life - His state of being.
7. Dead, now alive forever more - Resurrection after His second death, for mankind.
8. Has keys to death and grave - He is central to all, cf John 17:2.
9. Write what you see, hear servant's response, stewardship.
10. Know the Mystery - study, fast, pray - mystery of Revelation . . . (one body in Christ).
Rev. 1:13 The High Priest walking in the middle of the lamp stands.
John 17:25. O Righteous Father (distinction of holiness, perfection) - the world does not know the Father - the Son has known the Father and the believers know that the Father has sent the Son. Righteous Father - Ps. 7:9, absolute authority and control -
Ps. 19:9, Jer. 12:1. The Lord is always righteous - Dan. 9:14, Rev. 16:5.
John 17:26. The Son has made the Father's name known to the believers, and the son will continue to make it known, so that the love with which the Father has loved the Son may be in the believers and the Son in the believers (I in them). Every time I read this verse I am in shock - it is so incredible! I marvel at how most of my friends deny and reject our Lord's words. Any case that one could make for God's people being the Revelation of Jesus Christ is minuscule in comparison. THE LOVE WITH WHICH THE FATHER LOVED HIS SON WILL BE IN THEIR PEOPLE!
PRAYER FOR THE SON (HIMSELF)
John 17:1. Glorify your Son - again, duradzo in Greek - a state in which divine and celestial beings dwell -- worship and adoration accorded to the Father - Radiancy of Nature.
John 17:2. The Father gave the son Authority - rabah, taqaph, toqeph in Hebrew; exousia, katexousiadzo in Greek. Definitions are; unexcelled in position, authority, control, full privilege over -- in the sense of ability, potentate, delegation, jurisdiction, right -- Matt. 7:29; 21:23,34; Luke 4:36; John 5:27; 1 Cor. 15:24.
Rev. 1:18 I hold the keys to death and Hades (the second death). Rev. 3:7 holds the key of David - absolute; Rev. 10:1-11 authority and control over (people of) earth (land) and (people of) sea and holds (people of) little book (true gospel and people) in His hands (cf. when Michael stands up in Dan. 12:1 and Isa. 3:13), (cf. authority in Dan. 7:14), (cf. Mark 6:7-13; 13:34 where Jesus gives/shares His authority with His body ... the Church). Presentation of the Gospel results in salvation or second death (Hades).
Son in Greek - Huios - Kinship, relation as in Son. Flesh in Greek - sarx - what is external, human nature, frailties, human passion. It is very important, no IMPERATIVE, to look up the words in Hebrew and Greek in order to discover the root, the original meaning. A good example would be in Rev. 6:2. The first seal, in which the word bow is used in the English Bible. When one mentions this bow to scholars they immediately turn to texts like Jer. 51:21, and Ps. 45:3-7 which may be great texts for the trumpets, but which do not apply to the "four horsemen" of the seals. Since the four living creatures of Rev. 4 & 5 and of Ezek 1 are representatives of the application of the Holy Spirit ; cf. Rev. 22:17, The Spirit and the bride say, come. And let him that heareth say, come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will let him take of the water of life freely. Rev.6:1, 3, 5, 7 - the living creatures say come. In Rev. 5:13 the creatures lead out in worship of the Lamb. In v. 14 they say "Amen", cf. John 14:16, 25; 15:26; 16: 7, 13 where the comforter is come. Note especially John 16:3-15 where the work of the Spirit is teaching the gospel and truth. Since the horses represent the four spirits of heaven, cf. Zech. 6:5, who teach the truth and the gospel, and the riders represent Christ's revelations, His people sent, teaching the gospel. The horse's colors white, red, black and pale show step by step Christ's experience to and on the cross. We see the picture of the fourth seal as Christ sharing His authority with His people, cf. Rev. 1:18, 3:7, 6:7, Isa. 22:22, Matt. 16:19, 18:18, John 14:13-14, 15:7-8, 16:23. Three times in John Christ tells His disciples, when you are living in My name (character, will), and you ask anything in My name, IT IS ALREADY BEING DONE, Matt 6:10. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven, cf. Dan. 9:23, Ezek. 33:17. On the horses see Zech. chapters 1 & 6. In Zech. 6:5 these are the four living spirits of heaven going out to the whole world.
Now back to Rev. 6:2 where the word "bow" is used. It is not the Hebrew word "quesheth" which means to arch, to bend as a bow for shooting an arrow. The word used here is the Greek word "toxon", # 5115 in Strong's reference. It means a ribbon, a fabric bow as you will see on a Roman coin tying the "stephanos" or crown of victory in the back. It is taken from the word "tikto" which means to reproduce from seed, to bear, to be delivered in travail. Thus the pictures of bows and arrows of war are false when applied to this seal. Rather we have a picture of the gospel being transmitted as in the Three Angel's Messages of Rev. 14:6-12 under the most adverse or "travailing" conditions, with the strength of application from heaven being applied even unto death - the spiritual death of those rejecting, and the martyrdom (Rev. 6:9) of the presenters of the gospel.
We shall see later that the picture of Christ is reflected by His followers through the church age and the picture of the church is one of the yo-yo experience of the history of the nation of Israel.
John 17:5. Father, glorify the Son with the Father as it was before creation, John 1:1-5, Heb. 1:10, John 12:32. When Christ is lifted up He will draw all men unto Himself, John 12:46. Christ is the light of the world, John 12:45. He is the sent One, John 14:22-23. Christ reveals Himself only to those who love and obey Him - Glorifying the Father, John 16:15. All the Father's glory is the Son's, Heb. 5:4-10. Jesus offered up prayers to the Father with loud cries and tears - He glorified the Father who said, "You are My beloved Son", John 8:58, The I Am.
John 17:6. The Son manifested the name, which the Father gave to the Son, to the believers. They were out of this world - believers were the Father's and He gave them to the Son - because they have kept Your and the Father's word.
The book of 1 John emphasizes being separated from the world. The Word and the world are not compatible. God's people are sealed for eternity, a second separate sealing from what is found in Eph. 1:13, (* cf. Eph. 4:30; * Matt. 25:1-13 extra oil) Hebrews 12 teaches about how God disciplines, chastens, corrects, and "shakes" His people until everything (v. 27)is removed (NIV) that can be shaken, so that what cannot be shaken may remain. In Heb. 10:16 He is putting His laws in our hearts and writing them on our minds, cf. Ps. 37:31, 40:8; Jer. 31:33, 32:40; Rom. 2:15, 7:22; 2 Cor. 8:8; Heb. 8:8 (new covenant); Ezek. 11:19, 36:26. Stone hearts to flesh.
It is time to reveal some of the facts from our study in Revelation - - In the trumpets - - the seventh seal IS the seven trumpets, Rev. 8:1-There was silence in heaven for about one half hour. In Gen. 7:4, 10 there was a seven day waiting period of silence when nothing happened before the rain began (first usage of half hour). In Joshua 6:15 the children of Israel marched in silence for seven days (one half hour in prophetic time) before they shouted and blasted the trumpets at the same time. Judgment came both times after the half hour of silence. The seventh trumpet represents the Seven Last Plagues. It reminds me of captain Naaman being baptized seven times (one half hour) in the Jordan to become cleansed. In Rev. 8:3-5 we find an expanded prolepsis to the final warnings and the close of probation, cf. With Jesus in His Sanctuary, p. 522 by Leslie Hardinge. On the fourth and final visit to the most holy place the high priest removes the censor and casts the ashes down on the East side of the altar of sacrifice - "it is done"! Ended! Finished! Completed! A good chapter for silence to judgment would be Isa. 41.
Also we have a great reminder of "strange fire" in the case with Aaron's sons, found in Lev. 10. Another situation was with the sons of Eli in 1 Sam. 2:12-17... of doing ones own will and following the "old nature". The third, fourth, and fifth trumpets are primarily against the impostors, the "professed" people of God, the Jews that are not Jews, cf. Rev. 2:9. Not only did the flood and the battle of Jericho defeat the enemies of God's people, but it separated His people in the ark and in the East wall of Jericho. There was a complete deliverance of God's people. When you see the false sealing of the fifth trumpet you realize you are seeing the application of the mark of the beast, as in Rom. 1:24, 26, 28. God gave them over to false teaching who follow the teachings and doctrines and forms of worship from the "pit" (the darkness of Gen. 1:1). We realize that the theme of the fourth trumpet parallels the second half of Romans chapter one, that as the sun, moon, and stars (true message and messengers) are darkened by falsehoods, the people are struck, smitten into their eternal condition. It is the story of Joseph (Gen 37:9) and his family in their stress and distress of life before entering the presence of royalty. This is God's people cementing eternal destiny by presenting the gospel which brings about acceptance and/or rejection of false teachings. In Rev. 12:15, 16 the earth are the people in darkness, swallowed in the "dragon's river". Waters and fountains of waters represent true believers, where the sea represents the deceived ones, cf. Isa. 57:20, Jude 13.
Out of this world - 1 John 2:15-17 - love of this world is opposed to the true Word, the gospel. In Christ the believers have already overcome the world, cf. John 16:33. God's people keep Christ's word by believing in Him. John 10:27-30 - My sheep listen to My voice, I know them, and they follow Me. I give them eternal life and they shall never perish - no one can snatch them out of My hands. My Father who has given them to Me is greater than all - no one can snatch them out of My Father's hand. I and the Father are one.
John 17:10. The Son has been glorified in His believers. Jesus glorifies the Father and the believers in Christ glorify the Son. Those who love and obey Him by keeping His word glorify Him. I once read an article that said that faith can be found in anyone who eats any item that can be purchased. This lack of frugality is unwise. We are not asked to follow our Lord blindly, but follow a great light.
John 17:19. For the believer's sake the Son sanctifies Himself that the believers might be sanctified in truth. The word sanctify in Greek is hagiadzo; which means to set apart, to set aside for a special purpose, to make holy. In the Hebrew the word is qudash - meaning to hallow or consecrate.
John 14:13 says, "And I will do whatever you ask in my name so that the Son may bring glory to the Father."
In truth - here is where a concordance study of the word "light" needs to be applied - this light illuminates the truth, which is shaded by darkness - Jesus is the true light, cf. 1 John 1:5, 7; 2:8-10.
In Hebrews 10:12-14 His sacrifice sanctified those who are being made holy.
2 John 9, "If anyone runs ahead and does not continue in the teaching of Christ he does not have God."
The NASB reads, "does not abide in the teaching."
2 John 1, 2; 3 John 3, 4 - Love and know the truth, it ABIDES in us, walk in truth, bear witness to truth.
Hebrews 4;12 - The Word is living and active and sharp as a two-edged sword.
Matt. 6:20-24 - Word is light, is truth - eye is the lamp, must be clear.
Rom. 3:21-26 - Truth - a righteousness has been revealed! The gospel is truth - Rom. 1:17 - Live by faith ONLY!
Josh. 24:14, 1 Sam. 12:24, Isa. 38:3 - Whole hearted truth.
John 1:14, 17 - The truth of the Father comes by Jesus Christ.
John 8:32, 14:6, 2 Cor. 4:2 - Manifestation of truth.
3 John 12 - Out testimony is true.
John 17:20. The Son does not ask for His disciples alone, but for all who believe on the Son through the believer's word (the sent ones).
Dan. 12:1 - Close up and seal the words of the scroll until the time of the end.
Ex. 17:14 - Write this for a memorial in a book.
Deut. 6:9 - Write them upon the doorposts.
Isa. 8:1, 30:8, Hab. 2:2, Ezek. 43:10, 11 - Write and make it plain.
Isa. 42:1-4 - Our best Truth, my Servant, the Chosen One.
John 5:33 - You have sent John and he has testified to the truth.
Luke 10:1 - If the Lord appointed "sent ones"- so send I you.
John Bunyan's inspired Christian's pilgrimage comes to mind where he said, "I have used similitudes", quoting from Hosea 2:10. He put his truth on "mantles", not without pain. His Christian found the Holy City, and became a member of the 144,000. Most on the route sat on a beast. In Ephesus, Jesus told the church, "you have lost your first love." Ephesus means desirable. The only place in the KJV Bible where this expression is found is Ezek. 23, our two sisters, Oholah and Oholibah, who found the enemy desirable as well as their horses. In Rev. 12 John is telling the church the same thing Moses told his in Deut. 29:19, 25; 31:16, when you go astray - Follow the lady, arrayed by the son, reflecting like the moon, with the truth, the word of the twelve stars, as she dashes off into the wilderness, chased by the devil's falsehoods. Some came out triumphant in Christ, the rest become the sea. They became a root of poison, cf. Deut. 29:18, like unto wormwood. We see it today in existentialism. I marvel at how many of my brethren run off to ecumenicalism. I long for the day when the 'plug" is to be pulled so that everyone can be confronted with their own silence. Conversely we see the great multitude of Gentiles in Rev. 14 that were taught by the "sealed ones" of Rev. 7.
FOR THE BELIEVERS
John 17:2,3. The Father gave all flesh to the Son - to whom the Son may give eternal life - eternal life IS KNOWING the Father, and the sent one, Jesus Christ.
Authority - Mark 1:22, 27; John 5:27; 1 Cor. 15:24; Matt. 9:6, 8 & 28:18; Rev. 5:12,13 & 1:18.
Eternal life - Mark 10:17, 30; John 3:15, 6:54 & 68, 10:27-30; Rom. 6:23; 1 John 5:11, 13 & 20.
Romans 10:9 - confess with your mouth, believe with your heart. Rom. 5:6,8 - Christ died for the ungodly (that includes everyone).
John 17:7, 8. The believers know the Son and that His words are from the Father. Believers have the word and know that the Father sent the Son. From the Father - cf. Matt. 11:27; John 1:14, 5:19-42, & 57, 7:16-17, 8:23-29, 42, 58; John 16:26-28. The Father hath sent the Son. Believers are given the word from the Son, cf. Matt 12:36-37; John 4:41 & 50, 5:24, 14:24; 15:3. Word is a major theme of John, this Word that became flesh, John 1:4 & 14, has the power to "incarnate" Himself within our consciousness.
Christ came through the sanctuary to get His people and now He is taking us back through the sanctuary. Beginning at the Altar of Sacrifice, past the Laver into the Holy place where we a led to the Candlesticks, the Table Throne, the Altar of Incense. He allows His people to see the Throne, Rev. 11:19, 15:5, as he allowed Moses to see Himself, cf. Ex. 33:18-23. All of God's people crave to see Him . . . to be with Him.
John 17:9,11. Jesus asks for the believers, not for those of the world, to be kept in "Your Name" - the Name which the Father gave the Son - to be as one as are the Father and the Son. John insists that the world and the Word have nothing in common and cannot co-exist in harmony. Today's ecumenical and sports programs have the same format as did that of the Third Reich. God's people are living in His name, His character, His will, cf. John 10. Jesus said, "I bring a sword, not peace, cf. Matt. 10:34, Zech. 1:11.
John 17:13, 14. The Son will go to the Father, and the Son speaks these words in the world so that the believers might have joy - and the Son gives the believers the Word. In Matt. 25:21; John 15:11, 16:20-24; Jude 24 joy is only gained by Trauma . . . the Trauma of the Cross.
We really need to examine this joy that our Lord offers to us - offers us after His great sorrow. The joy He gives to us comes with a great price: Heb. 5:7-10 (NIV), "During the days of Jesus' life on earth, He offered up prayers and petitions with loud cries and tears to the One who could save Him from death, and He was heard because of His reverent submission. Although He was a Son, He learned obedience from what He suffered, and once made perfect, He became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey Him, and was designed by God to be a high priest of the order of Melchizedek." And again in Phil. 2:8, "And being found in the appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross!"
Our joy needs to be reborn with great awe and excitement, with great humility, with great romance. The Son of light in our souls should illuminate and radiate with the glory our Lord shares with us. When we read a text like Acts 4:12, "And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men, by which we must be saved" (NASB), how can we comprehend the depths of salvation? Maybe, when we are seated at the feet of professors Enoch, Elijah, and Moses during the millennium college courses (and you guys thought you were getting away from school), maybe then we can have a better understanding. I think of John Wesley teaching from a tombstone and creating change in the political, emotional, and religious climate in his country and even the world. There are so many historical Christian remembrances.
There are many like happenings going on today, everyday. I get letters every week from the Philippines, from Ghana, and from many other places around the world that are involved in Bible study with great results, with much inspired thought and new candidates for heaven. Using my study group's format of a seven-fold structure: Soteriology, Ecclesiology, Eschatology, Chiastic, Septenery, Prolepsis, and Inductive Comparison - relying heavily on a "chiasm" of creation, an intense study of the sanctuary, progression of Gen. 3:15 - Daniel - Matthew 24 & 25 - Revelation - - looking up every word, every phrase, every quote, every symbol on Revelation and trying desperately to ignore some practiced study traditions, these study groups around the world are discovering what Paul calls in Col. 1:26, 27, "the mystery that has been kept hidden for ages and generations - - which is Christ in you, the Hope of Glory." They are finding the role of the "last-day-Christian', which very few are teaching. They see a great parallel between Romans 1-8 and Revelation 1-14. Both teach the message of Leviticus 13-16, Leprosy, Cleansing, and Day of Atonement. Romans teaches that this you must do, and Revelation is Christ telling His people how He does this in their lives, through His attributes, the crushing out character through His churches, the building of Character through the sealing, the shaking and separation of true believers through the trumpets and the glimpses He offers of the Ark (Rev. 11:19, 15:5) in this pilgrimage. Some one dissected our old standby, Rev. 19:10 - here they are - those living in Christ Jesus are the rational souls, the vital principles, the inspired speakers - they are fulfilled prophecy, not in eisegesis but in direct exegesis. Actually in Revelation, Jesus, who was all of the Sanctuary, piece by piece, trains His people to reflect all these items, to become like them, and to become a live throne, a live ark - mercy and justice received, alive -- not as little Christs but as Christ's people. "I In Them". Just research the words 'testimony' and 'authority'!
Why have not we told our people what they are to become in Christ? In this life? This never illuminates the individual, the body is disclosing Christ! In the book "How to Understand End-time Prophecies of the Bible" by H.K. LaRondelle, p. 474, it clearly states that the distinction between the New Jerusalem and the church "must be retained". While Randall Price in his "Secrets of the Dead Sea Scrolls", 4Q174 on pp. 243-244, in regards to 2 Sam. 7:10-14; John 4:21-24; and Rev. 21, clearly states that the city is to be "a temple made of 'man'". I mention this because many of these local group studies have found both that God will dwell "in" man and "with" man. A concordance study on Rev. 21 does show the building descriptions the same as the promises to man, and it is a cube in dimension as is the Most Holy Place. We have NEVER found the ground rule in our study of Revelation on how one can suddenly change from symbolic to literal and back at will. My point on joy - what excitement, what life changing experiences - in learning about Christ and what He wants, nay, expects from His saints - and this is found in Bible study - Hallelujah!
As I am writing this I am watching in awe as the "high priest of Babylon" is visiting Cuba and the whole world is watching. I am watching a lawsuit in Amarillo, Texas about the safety of eating beef. If I were watching twelve Mt. St. Helens erupting at once around the world I couldn't be more excited, knowing that God's lambs are being fed (John 21:15; Jonah 4:11) and that they are growing into radiant lights - - - that is my sign to watch for - the illumination of Rev. 18:1 - the body which will light the whole world! We really need to bring the ark on the threshing floor of Ornan and the tabernacle on the high place in Gibeon together, for one can only "see" the ark through the sanctuary - - and there it will shine, on the threshing floor, on Abraham's Mt. Moriah, on the temple mount, at the place of the skull - Golgotha, at the place of great price - our Pearl.
David said, "let me have the site of your threshing floor so that I can build an altar to the Lord, that the plague on the people may be stopped. Sell it to me for full price."
Abraham said, "The lord will provide" - on the mountain of the Lord it will be provided.
John the Baptizer said, "Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!" Right!
John 17:15, 17. Do not take the believers, but protect them from the evil one - sanctify the believers in truth - the Father's Word is truth, John 12:31, 16:33; 1 John 2:15-17.
This week I received a letter from a lady in the Philippines stating that she had four daughters, three of whom were married and that the "youngest daughter was available to go out there". She also stated that this daughter had been trained in the way of Christians. I wondered how many "trained Christians" there are "out there". Please know that she will receive a lot of gospel literature. This also reminds me of our dog, Brandi. She has her "territory" and it seems to have expanded to be as far as her senses will allow. When one invades one's "territory" on theology, the result usually resembles Brandi's actions. Most of those who accept the teaching of the Revelation of Jesus Christ as presented in Revelation are non-denominational, and very graciously, I might add. Christians are very territorial.
Our Father's word is truth - such great truth. I remember the April, 1979 special issue of These Times - "The Amazing Prophecies of Daniel & Revelation", which left out the Most Holy Place, chapters 4 & 5 of Revelation, being totally caught-up in the beasts. I was amazed that they understood that the going forth of the four horsemen was the going forth of the Christian gospel. In vain do I search the commentaries that describe the 24 elders as those of 1 Chron. 23:4, 25, 30; 24:5, 18 and their "continual service to God". Jesus WILL have His kingdom of priests, cf. Ex. 19:6 & Rev. 1:6.
"Serve the God of your Father, and serve Him with wholehearted devotion and a willing mind, for the Lord searches every heart and understands every motive behind the thoughts. If you seek Him He will be found by you; but if you forsake Him, He will reject you forever."
Sanctify - Gr. hagiadzo - to make holy, to separate, to focus. Christ's people are consecrated, dedicated.
To hallow - Heb. qudash - to be holy, to make holy, - always, constantly, consistently. Please approach the ark correctly, precisely in awe and in worship, and please, bring no strange fire.
Last fall I had occasion to attend one of our churches near a Christian hospital. I was mortified to learn that one large Bible School class had been studying Larry Wilson's book "Revelation is About to be Fulfilled" every week for the last three years. Not only was I disappointed that the class had missed the study on 1, 2, 3 John, which I considered the best lesson quarterly for years, but was distressed at the imminent and literal applications to current happenings. I consider Wilson a step above the Wheeling monthly from Alabama, but the truth of our Father's Word is compromised. I am sure that some of you scholars consider some points that I am making less than hermeneutically sound, but I know that a forthcoming publication will clarify Truth and ease some tensions. Remember this correspondence is meant to mend fences, not cement walls. And we have a few more miles to go - miles to go.
If we could only train as hard to find and live in our Father's Truth as does an Olympic athlete to compete. I am only a machinist, fellows, and the fear of God is my treasure (Isa. 33:6), and untruth is only cast out by fasting and prayer (Mark 9:29), I am greatly encouraged because of different study groups in different locations with the same study format are arriving at the same conclusions -- we all feel that the "book" is being completely opened.
John 17:18, 22. The Son sends believers into this world. The glory that the Father has been given to the Son, the Son has given to the believers - that they may be as one as the Father and the Son are one.
Paul calls gifts a fragrant offering, an acceptable sacrifice of service coming from faith, Phil. 4:18, 2:17. As one offers up one's body as a living sacrifice - holy and pleasing to God - this is one's reasonable service, Rom. 12:1.
I love Jesus' statement in John 20:21 - "So send I you". That is not alone ... it is with "I in them".
The next statement in John 17:22 that Jesus gives His people His glory, those that are "full of grace and truth", John 1:14, is one of the most awesome, incomprehensible statements of the Bible....of all times. I have previously listed many texts that correspond. Why do I seem to be like a voice crying in the wilderness on this issue? What is everyone afraid of? We have already seen misuse by others, but we must face what Christ wants us to be, what His "body" must be before He can come back. I remember asking Wm. Johnsson last fall if the last day people are more sanctified as a body than in prior times - obviously the answer is an exuberant, Yes! There have always been individuals on this plane, but never a world-wide body. Obviously someone has to tell this body what is expected and demanded of them. And how is this manifested? The love of the Father is in them John 17:26. Jesus is coming back to His own, and the sheep know their shepherd. His people have long withdrawn from the devoted things of Jericho. They are living solely for Christ and His glory. They know they belong to Christ. They are a white stone, cleansed and fitted into the New Jerusalem. They have a new name - "you are Mine", Isa. 43:1, Rev. 2:17. You became the most beautiful of jewels, Ezek. 16:7. You are My treasured possession, Mal. 3:17. And why? ..... only because they are the "I in them"!
John 17:24-26. Righteous Father, the Son desires the believers to be with Me, where I am - to see the Son's glory from the Father - the love of the Father for the Son before creation to be in the believers and Christ "in them". Eph. 2:6, "And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with Him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus" - to show His grace and kindness. Christ will die for His inheritance, and now He wants it. Father, give Me My inheritance - and not for them to go to a "far country" but to a "new city", Rev. 3:21. These last five verses in John 17 require much study and prayer for life application - they can be silent no longer! Can you not see why I write this to you and issue you this challenge ..... or shall the very rocks cry out? Never mind responding to ME, but God's people are awaiting your response, your direction. The revelation of Jesus Christ is His people, His inheritance.
OUR LORD'S PRAYER FOR UNITY
John 17:10. All things that are the Father's are the Son's and all things that are the Son's are the Father's, and the Son has been glorified in these things through His believers.
There will always be opposition in this life but our Father and His Son are one and they have been glorified by their creation and their peoples. The picture of Psalm 41:6 is not just a picture of Judas, but also a picture of Lucifer in heaven. The story of Absolom rebelling against his father, the king, is also a picture of Lucifer rebelling against his King, and this story will have the same ending. The middle trumpets are against those of the church that did not accept Christ's attributes, that did not have enough oil, that did not wear the wedding garment, the white robe, that did not repent in the churches according to Jesus' admonitions. These are those that didn't afflict their souls, Isa. 58:1-7; the ones that were marked, Ezek. 9:4-7, Rev. 13:16; The ones that have not accepted the "death of the testator", Heb. 9:16, 22; those that have bought into the system of the Prince of Babylon, Isa. 14:12-20.
Do you glorify the Father and the Son? Is your reasonable service your life dedicated to all thought and resources only to glorify your Creator and Savior? Do other people see His radiance in you or do you mask the mountain experience?
John 17:11. Holy Father - keep the believers in Your name, the name which You have given to the Son, that the believers may be one as is the Father and the Son. Do you doubt or distrust this presentation? To be one with the Father and the Son, you must have Their name - Their character, Their will, Their attributes - Their life ..... in you! Rev. 14:3 - Those that have been purchased "out of the earth". Rom. 10:9 - Those that believe and confess that Jesus is Lord. Refer to your concordance study on Light - Eph. 5:8-10; fruit of light - goodness, righteousness and truth (you can not disfactor if you haven't done study on light!)
John 17:21. That all believers be one even as the Father and the Son are one - that the believers might be in the Father and in the Son - so that the world may believe that the Father has sent the Son. Do you honestly know what Jesus gives His people to be one with His Father - here is an article that was printed in the Barberton, Ohio church newsletter:
The Birth and Ministry of
AGAPE MISSION LIBRARY
- - - - - by Brother Gus Foster, founder and director - - - - -
In 1985, I wrote a manuscript on righteous living by the control of the Holy Spirit over the inclinations of the natural man. It was my intention to show that Christ not only gives repentant sinners salvation through His sacrifice on the Cross, but that He also gives His people:
The Holy Spirit in Power - - as in Christ's resurrection, Eph. 1:20.
His Father's love to Him, John 17:26
His attributes to His church, Rev. 1,2,3; John 17:26 "I in them".
His Character traits (seven-fold Spirits), Isa. 11:1; Rev. 5:12; Rev. 7:12.
His Light - - you are salt and light and a lamp, Matt. 6:20-24.
His cleansing - - by blood, water, and fire (substitution: foot-washing and trials).
The knowledge of the Father, John 17:8.
He gives us His glory, John 17:22.
He gives us knowledge, John 17:20.
He gives us sacrifice - - Gethsemane (Jihn 18: "Oil Press").
He shares with us His authority, Rev. 1:18; John 16:23; Matt. 16:19.
He teaches us the Father's will, His way, John 17:6 "Name".
He shares His throne with us, Rev. 3:21; John 17:24.
He teaches us how to live His righteousness, Rom. 1:16.
He shakes the world out of us until there is nothing left to be shaken, Heb. 12:27.
He dedicates Himself completely to us, John 17:19, 26.
I completed this 93-page manuscript , made several hundred copies, and sent them out - out there. A couple of months later I received a letter from Zambia stating that they were studying my manuscript every day for their Bible study, since they had no Bible. I hurriedly and quickly sent them a box of Bibles, hymnals and other religious books to not only Zambia, but to Ghana, Ivory Coast, Swaziland, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Malawi, Cameroon, the Philippines and other Pacific countries, and finally to Eastern Block nations.
Since that time, we have sent out thousands of boxes and mailbags overseas. The response has been incredible, the need even greater. Letters came in of whole villages meeting in the town square reading a book we had sent. New schools were opened and we supplied many school and children's Bible books. New churches were opened - - in one province in Nigeria alone, 9300 people have been baptized in just eight years with a group of teachers using our literature!
Some people became sick or persecuted or murdered. We were helpless and devastated, but we continue to pray and send more literature, more Bibles - - to radiate our hope and our love. And as we continue to do so - - we go on - - insufficiently, with not enough materials, books, or ambition - - but we go on,hoping that one book, one Bible, will shed some light on some wretched soul in need - - not of us, but of the light of Jesus. At the very least it is our duty, our responsibility of stewardship of our Lord's gifts and grace to share His love and Word. 1 Pet. 2:15 (NIV), "You also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ."
John 17:22. The glory that the Father has given to His Son, the Son has given to the believers that they may be one even as the Father and the Son are one.
Please, get on your knees and pray about this! Who do we know that is teaching this? Our people are streaming to imitations! Of course we run from this because of tradition and history, but, my friends, our Lord wants, yes, needs His people to become one with Him. Christ vindicates His Father over Lucifer's lies with His body, the church! Mercy and justice radiate throughout the whole universe through Christ and His people - stop denying it!
John 17:23. The Son in the believers and the Father in the Son that the believers may be perfected in unity, so that the world may know that the Father has loved the Son, and that the Father loved those in the world even as the father loved the Son. At this point I find it impossible to add to these incredible words.
John 17:24. The Son desires the believers to be where He is - to see the Son's glory that was given to Him before the world was created. Jesus' whole life on earth was to glorify the Father and to train His disciples to do likewise. Only by giving of Himself could He accomplish this, and even now, serving as High Priest in the heavenly sanctuary, His work in sealing His people points to the holy sovereign majesty of the Father.
John 17:26. The Son made the Father's name such that the love that the Father gave the Son may be in the believers. God's character in man reflects God's love and this is shown by a manifestation of God's love in many, especially to his fellow man. Dear Jesus, give me the ability to have a greater capacity to have more love and compassion and to be less judgmental of my fellows and for all of those for whom Jesus died.
JESUS PRAYER, IN/OUT OF THE WORLD
John 17:6. The Father gave the Son the believers that are not of this world - the believers have kept the Father's word. OK fellows, I realize you could have survived without receiving this "unsolicited mail". I also know that I am writing very little if nothing new to you - but there are some applications that are not being fully addressed:
Is Jesus Christ in control in the book of Revelation - Absolutely.
Is the revelation of Jesus Christ His people - yes.
Does Jesus give His people His glory - yes (in part?)
Does Jesus share His authority with His people - yes (in part?)
Is the love of the Father in His people - yes (how much?)
Are His people in this world - yes.
Have His people kept the Father's word ---
Is what I am writing and asking necessary ---
One could say yes to all of the above, and one could say no.
What do you say? Many of my brethren are so engrossed with an imminent Sunday law that they have little time for these things. Revelation eleven is a continuation of chapter ten. Christ gives John a measuring rod to measure the temple - is this a place or His people? No. 3485, naos, and no. 2411, hieron, - the temple, a sacred place to dwell. Now, exclude (cast out, throw out) the outer court (gentiles). You already know that my study shows this to be the people of Revelation ten, those of the earth (dark and void), those of the sea (professed, apostatized) and those of the little book - my two witnesses. If your "little book" is the gospel, then it is the people of the gospel as well. If your little book is events, may I suggest these are being done by the very same people. Let us get down to the nitty-gritty. There are those that are diametrically opposed to this concept. Among these is a retired pastor. His letters and papers follow me around the country crying - man is bankrupt, man has no glory, no goodness, man is not like Christ ... never. He is evil. In the most loving way I can possess I reply to that, "which man are you talking about? Are we only dealing with semantics, or is there more than one man? I would expect that we might be at odds on commenting on a conclusion for
Rom. 7:14-25 as contrasted with Rom. 8. The Natural Man, vol. 6 pg. 672 on 1 Cor. 2:14.
"A man who is not spiritual minded; one unregenerate; one whose interests are confined to the things of this life. Such a man depends on human wisdom for the solution to all his problems. He lives to please himself and to gratify the desires of the unconverted heart, and as such is incapable of understanding and appreciating the things of God. To him the plan of salvation, the wonderful revelation of God's love is folly. He cannot distinguish between worldly philosophy and spiritual truth because the wisdom of God is understood only by those who permit themselves to be taught by the Holy Spirit."
Our Bible teaches about another kind of man, one that is regenerate, reborn, one that has been incarnated by the Holy Spirit, one who lives only to glorify Christ and worship the Father. And this Christ "in you" receives power, glory, love, authority and Christ like inclinations, (study 2 Cor. 10:"1-6). I love this retired pastor as much as any man alive, but for anyone to deny "I in them" is actually denying the purpose of the gospel. What about this authority business? I have already given enough scripture to irradicate any doubt. Our study reaffirms this, Rev. 11:3-7 - I will grant "power", authority. This in no. 1849, exousia - delegated authority, jurisdiction, liberty, power, right, strength, exercise authority, to bring under power of - no. 1832 - a lawful right. OK, power to do what? Rev. 11:16 - power to shut up the sky, turn water into blood, strike the earth with plagues -- (symbols) -- are our scholars going to remain silent? Is silence condescending, compromising, ungodly? Many scholars announce that the original apostles were unique in their gifts and powers. Just on the basis of John 17 alone, can we live with this proclamation? So now, I ask all of you, is there an increase of Christ's attributes corporately in His people in these last days? Jesus Himself said that the righteous of the last days would do greater works even than He himself. Look, I do not advocate perfectionism, but neither will I deny the spiritual rebirth of God's converted saints. These reborn are fearful only that they will do, think, or teach something that will bring reproach upon their Savior and God. The issue of death is only the second death, which Christ has already defeated.
John 17:11. The Son is no longer in this world (mission about to be accomplished as the Pascal Lamb),
(Heb. 5:7-10; 7:26-8:2; 10:5-7, 19-25), applies here in many ways. Always aware that from this John 17 prayer our Savior walked into the "oilpress" and onto the altar of sacrifice. All the Father had given the Son to do He accomplished.
John 17:13. Now, the Son comes to the Father - Jesus' will was His Father's, and He came to Him totally void of all self and personal preferences. Jesus was teaching His apostles the only true joy was from the Father, and to make them one with Him.
John 17:14. The Son gave the believers the Father's word and the world hated them because they are not of this world even as the Son is not of this world.
When you are in conference employ you may be somewhat protected, shielded from worldly hatred because you are usually surrounded by fellow believers. When one works in the market place, the factory, or the commercial front a Christ-like attitude will generate animosity ... especially from the "Jews that are not Jews". "And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed"- (disciples of both).
John 17:15. The Son asks not that the believers be taken from this world but to protect them from the evil one. All of you can give beautiful expositions on the distinctiveness between the word and the world?!
John 17:16. The believers are not of this world even as the Son is not of this world. Our world has forgotten how to blush,
Jer. 6:15, 8:12. Where I work in a machine shop there is a small window about ten feet high where there was once an air conditioner. I remember a time, not long ago when I was crushed, because a study group I had visited totally rejected the idea of "Christ in you", let alone that God's people are "the revelation of Jesus Christ". Through this window I can only see the top corner of a nearby building. For months a starling perched on this raised corner every morning around nine or ten. I used to watch for him. He became my Noah's dove. During this time of distress the silly bird didn't show up, for whatever reason. Remember that this is a bird that eats other bird's eggs and lays its eggs in other bird's nests. I remember praying for this bird to return - maybe it was an omen that I had acted ungodly, or presented incorrect doctrine, or twisted the truth. For ten days that bird stayed away. I was beside myself - Lord, have I offended you - then suddenly the "dove" reappeared. There was land out there and I was to press on with my life, giving much praise and thanks to my Lord. Now this dingbat has a mate and while he perches majestically surveying his territory, she busies herself hopping around. There was no one in the shop that I could share this with, not about the bird, not about "Christ in you" - for they do not know Jesus, and would probably throw something at the bird. The sixth trumpet, our study shows, is directly against those who sin against God and man - against those who do not keep the commandments of God and who also do not have the testimony of Jesus.
John 17:18, 21. As the Father sent the Son into the world, so the Son sends believers into the world - believers to teach the Son's word to show the Father to the world. The sent ones - John 3:17, 20:21; Luke 10:1 - Jesus sent appointed ones to every town and place where He was about to go - into all the world, Matt. 28:18-20. In Revelation 11 the two witnesses, those that have the Father's word and the testimony of Jesus are representatives of all believers, John 8:18. These are to worship the Father in Spirit and in Truth, John 4:23. We can all read books to live by, like Henri Nouwen's "In The Name of Jesus" or Oswald Chamber's "My Utmost for His Highest", but these do not necessarily tell us all of the Truth. For example, our Revelation study group spent many hours researching single words such as "grass". In the first trumpet, "and all the green (spiritually alive) grass was burnt up". Grass was food for animals, a resting place, a feeding place, Isa. 15:6 and 40:6-8, it was all the flesh that withered or dried up. If grass is people and all the people perish in the first trumpet ... well ... end of trumpets ... no more people, (cf. Matt. 21:19 on withered). If the first trumpet is combined with the last (seventh) in a chiasm, then the fourth is the first and the key to the trumpets. It could mean that we are witnessing the shaking described in Heb. 12:14-29. The symbolic separation as in Rahab separating from Jericho at the close of their probation, or the end of the age. The people of the church are being cemented,cf. Rev. 12:1, smitten, struck, into a permanent condition. The trumpets ARE the cleansing of the sanctuary. One must know and live truth in order to teach truth. If the believers are to teach the Son's word, then they must know the word. This is where scholars, leaders, and teachers enter, proclaiming truth. What is truth? Jesus Christ is the Truth, the Light, and the Way! Now you have the picture, the reason I am writing to you. The TRUTH about the book of Revelation is that it was written expressly to show Christ, the work of Christ following His ascension, and the primary fact that Christ is revealed through His body on earth and the manner in which this is to be accomplished.
Apparently only a very few have any knowledge of this. Read commentaries in vain and you won't even find this as a footnote. God's people cannot become the body of Christ in power until they are informed of what they are to become and how to do it. "Christ in you, the hope of glory" is looked to from afar, put at some future time or place, perhaps heaven? A concordance study of the word glory, Gr. doxa, reveals that it happens in this lifetime to and in the believers - to doxadzo. My conclusion of the whole matter of my personal study of John and Paul is that "Righteousness by Faith is Christ incarnated for and in you by the indwelling Holy Spirit." Remember, Jesus removes his justification from all of those who refuse His sanctification.
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