|John 17 |
1 [This Chapter (John 17) along with John 14 are two of the greatest chapters in the Bible to describe the true hope and true good news that Jesus came to preach.]
1 When Jesus had finished speaking these things, he lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, "Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son, that your Son also may glorify you.
2 For you have given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as you have given him.
3 And this is eternal life, that they might know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.
4 I have glorified you on the earth; I have finished the work that you gave me to do.
5 And now, O Father, glorify me with your own self with the glory that I had with you before the world began.
6 I have manifested your name to the men whom you gave me out of the world; they were yours, and you gave them to me. And they have kept your word.
7 Now they know that everything, which you have given me, is from you.
8 For I have given to them the words that you gave me, and they have kept them [in their hearts]; and have come to surely know that I came forth from you, and have believed that you sent me.
9 I pray for them. I do not pray for the world, but for those whom you have given me; for they are yours.
10 All those of mine are yours, and yours are mine; and I am glorified in them.
11 And now I am no longer in the world, but these are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, keep through your own name those whom you have given me, that they may be one, as we are one.
12 While I was with them in the world, I kept them in your name. Those whom you gave me, I have kept; and none of them are lost, except the son of perdition, so that the scripture might be fulfilled.
13 Now I am coming to you; and I speak these things in the world so that they might have my joy fulfilled in themselves.
14 I have given them your word; and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.
15 I do not pray that you should take them out of the world, but that you should protect them from the evil.1 [Your sight and consciousness are in heaven, but you are still on the earth serving the Lord. From the Word of the Lord within: "You can live in heaven and still walk the earth. I will come again to the elect; I will be a crown to lead and guide them."]
16 They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.
17 Sanctify [make them holy, purify, consecrate] them through your truth. Your word is truth.
18 As you have sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world.
19 And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified [purified, made holy, consecrated] through the truth.2
20 Neither do I pray for these alone, but also for those also who will believe in me through their word [teachings];
21 That they all may be one; as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be one in us3 so that the world may believe that you have sent me.
22 And the glory which you gave me I have given them; so that they may be one, just as we are one.
23 I in them, and you in me,4 that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that you have sent me, and have loved them, as you have loved me.
24 Father, I will that they also, whom you have given me, be with me where I am;5 that they may behold my glory, which you have given me. For you loved me before the foundation of the world. [This applies to all his disciples, now and then. It refers to being translated into the Kingdom of Heaven, and to be raised with Christ to sit down in heavenly places in Christ; yet they are not taken out of the world (verse 15 above), physically; their consciousness and sight are in the peace of Heaven, viewing the earth from afar, (an immense spiritual gulf), through the eyes of God. If any man wants to serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there my servant will also be. John 12:26. From the Word of the Lord within: "You can live in heaven and still walk the earth. I will come again to the elect; I will be a crown to lead and guide them." As George Fox ministered on the earth, he was translated to paradise; and then he lived in paradise.]
25 O righteous Father, the world has not known you; but I have known you, and these have known that you have sent me.
26 And I have declared to them your name, and will declare it, so that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them."6
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1 I do not pray that you should take them out of the world, but that you should protect them from the evil. Jesus is praying at the Last Supper to the Father, asking the Father to make his disciples and all those who will believe in him because of them (20), not to be taken out of the world but be protected from evil (15), to be made sanctified [made holy] (17), to be made one with the Father and Christ (21), to be made one with each other (21,22), to be glorified the same as Jesus(23), to be made perfect as one (23), to be with Jesus in heaven to see his glory (24), to receive the love given to Jesus by the Father (26), to have Jesus in them. Just as Jesus is one with the Father, his disciples shall be one with each other, and one in Christ and the Father (21), [junior but up to God]. Obviously these promises are to those mature disciples who are at the conclusion of their discipleship; they have crucified their lusts and affections on the inward cross of self-denial. From the Word of the Lord within: "You can live in heaven and still walk the earth. I will come again to the elect; I will be a crown to lead and guide them."
2 To be sanctified through the truth, which is to be made holy. Jesus said, sanctify them through the truth; your word is truth (17). Jesus is speaking about the word of truth heard from within a man, the word that dwells within a man's heart. The word is near you, even in your mouth and in your heart [so you may hear and obey it];, that is, the word of faith, which we preach. Rom 10:8. So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. Rom 10:17. How shall a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed to and watching for your word [spoken to me].... I have retained your word [spoken commands] in my heart, that I might not sin against you. Psa 119:9,11. Take not the word of truth utterly out of my mouth for I have hoped in your judgments. Psa 119:43. and Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse [the church of believers] it with the washing of water by the word. Eph 5:25-26. and Now you are clean, through the word that I have spoken to you. John 15:3 (So by listening to his words from within your heart, and obeying him, you are cleansed and sanctified).
3 That they all may be one; as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be one in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. John 17:21. This is the union of the saints with Christ and God [junior but up to].
So, are we to aspire to be God? Absolutely NOT!!!! We aspire to be like God, to be godly, to be pure, to be kind, to be merciful, to be righteous; and when we are righteous, God tells us everything to say and orders us in everything to do. We want to become a fit instrument to be used by Him, but definitely not a duplicate of Him. NO, we don't want to be God; we have had a lifetime of failure being our own God. That was the devil's original promise to Eve: "you will be like God, knowing good and evil;" and we have had well enough of living according to our own will, our own carnal mind, our own evil imagination, our conduct in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the thoughts of our mind, walking according to the ways of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air [Satan]. NO, we want to do God's will — to do His will on earth as it is done in heaven, following orders, following Jesus. We hate and mistrust our own will. We want to serve God, just like your finger operates according to your will, only we want to be another of His fingers operated by Him. We want to represent the one and only God; and to represent Him, we must be like Him while junior to Him.
We want the direct opposite of becoming God; we want to become completely directed by God, thus to become slaves to righteousness, slaves to perfection, slaves to perfect love, slaves to kindness, slaves to mercy, slaves to goodness, slaves to humility, slaves to faithfulness, slaves to holiness, slaves to peace, slaves to wisdom, slaves to glory, slaves to power, and slaves to virtue; as servants whose words and deeds are always perfect, virtuous, loving, merciful, wise, pure, holy, and truthful. As slaves to perfection and righteousness, we aspire to have boundless enthusiasm, unspeakable joy, peace beyond understanding, everlasting confidence, and pleasures at His right hand forevermore — to this we are called. (Is there any other comparable goal for your life?) Therefore having these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God. 2 Cor 7:1. For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold firm the beginning of our confidence to the end. Heb 3:14.
4 I in them, and you in me, that they may be made perfect in one. John 17:23
These promises are beyond the ability of most men to hear, understand, and believe; yet here, they are clearly requested by Jesus, and we know that all of Jesus's prayers have undoubtedly been granted. This is the good news that Jesus came to preach — the availability of restoration of man to the image of God, lost in the garden; but even beyond that — to union with God, translated into the Kingdom of heaven within them and around them, while still alive on earth.
5 they also, may be with me where I am. Jesus said the same in Chapter 12. If any man wants to serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there my servant will also be. John 12:26. This is for his disciples to be with him, in his company, in the Kingdom of Heaven, while alive on earth and then forever. This is to be translated into the Kingdom of heaven because God has delivered us from the power of darkness, and has translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son; to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light. Col 1:12-13, in which light we have fellowship with other saints, and with the Father and Son. 1 John 1:3,7. From the Word of the Lord within: "You can live in heaven and still walk the earth. I will come again to the elect; I will be a crown to lead and guide them."
Translated into the kingdom to be with Jesus, but still remaining on the earth(15): how? When you are translated into the Kingdom of Heaven, as Paul and others were, your sight and consciousness are no longer in the dimension of this physical world. The Apostle Paul helps us understand the Kingdom of God within and among us, writing in the Bible's book of Acts: God .. is not far from each one of us, for in him we live and move and have our being, (Acts 17:27-28) — but we are not aware of this, because we are in a lower physical dimension. The physical dimension shares the same space as the higher spiritual dimensions; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. Eph 4:6. To enter the Kingdom of God within and around us, is to be dramatically translated to the spiritual dimension of consciousness and sight, in union with Christ and God, but walking on earth by the light of God; walking on the earth with the eyes of God. The world passes away from our sight when the Kingdom is entered. Paul said: We no longer walk by sight, but by obedient faith, as the Spirit of God prompts and leads us. Jesus asked the Father to not take his followers out of the world, but he wanted them to be with him, to see his glory; so we walk on the earth, but our sight is in the Kingdom of Heaven.
From his Journal the following is George Fox's wonderfully inspiring, unparalleled Christian testimony of being translated into paradise, the Kingdom:
"I saw also the mountains burning up, and the rubbish, and the rough, and crooked ways and places made smooth and plain,* that the Lord might come into his tabernacle. These things are to be found in man's heart; but to speak of these things being within, seemed strange to the rough, crooked, and mountainous ones. Yet the Lord said, ‘0h earth, hear the word of the Lord!'"
*Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be brought low; and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough ways shall be made smooth. Luke 3:5
"Now I came up in spirit, through the flaming sword,* into the paradise of God. All things were new, and all the creation gave another smell unto me than before, beyond what words can utter. I knew nothing but pureness, innocence, and righteousness, being renewed up into the image of God by Christ Jesus; so that I came up to the state of Adam, which he was in before he fell. The creation was open to me; and it was showed me how all things had their names given them, according to their nature and virtue. I was at a stand in my mind, whether I should practice medicine for the good of mankind, seeing the nature and virtues of the creatures were so opened to me by the Lord. But I was immediately taken up in spirit, to see into another or more steadfast state than Adam's in innocence, even into a state in Christ Jesus, that should never fall.** And the Lord showed me, that such as were faithful to him, in the power and light of Christ, should come up into that state in which Adam was before he fell; in which the admirable works of the creation, and the virtues of that may be known, through the openings of that divine word of wisdom and power by which they were made. Great things did the Lord lead me into, and wonderful depths were opened unto me, beyond what can by words be declared; but as people come into subjection to the spirit of God, and grow up in the image and power of the Almighty, they may receive the word of wisdom that opens all things, and come to know the hidden unity in the Eternal Being."
*So [God] drove out the man [Adam and Eve out of paradise, the Garden of Eden]; and He placed at the east of the Garden of Eden the cherubim and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep and guard the way to the tree of life. Gen 3:24
**There are two steps in perfection through the grace of Christ: 1st) to be raised up to the perfection of Adam and Eve in paradise, but still capable of falling to temptation, and 2nd) to be raised up to union with Christ Jesus, an everlasting perfection, which is incapable of falling to sin or temptation. Stephen Crisp, another eminent early Quaker, writes further of this two-step perfection:
For you know while the vessel is filled with wrath, envy, or with unrighteousness of any kind, such are not yet fit for the glory of God to shine forth in. When that is removed out by judgment; and Zion is set free from oppression, then the creature returns to God a pure vessel in the righteousness that was before the fall. So a man or woman may come to Adam's state that he was in before he fell, which was without sin. Against such the judgment of God does not go forth, but they have peace with God, and fellowship in what is pure, before sin and transgression were. Those who come to this state, may be entangled again; as was Eve, and if they do not watch, they may be entangled again; but if such are faithful to the power that redeemed them from the sin, and in the power resist the temptation, then such receive the seal of eternal life in Christ Jesus, who never fell, though he was tempted, and so come to an establishment in Him who never changes.
"Moreover, the Lord God let me see, when I was brought up into his image in righteousness and holiness, and into the state of the paradise of God how Adam was made a living soul; and also to the stature of Christ, the mystery that had been hid from ages and generations: which things are hard to be uttered, and cannot be borne by many. For of all the sects in Christendom (so called) that I discussed with, I found none that could bear to be told that anyone could spiritually grow to Adam's perfection, (that is into that image of God, and righteousness and holiness that Adam was in before he fell), to be clean, pure, and without sin as he was. Therefore, how would they be able to bear being told that any should spiritually grow up to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; when it threatens them to hear that any shall come, while upon earth, into the same power and spirit that the prophets and apostles were in? Though it is an absolute truth, that none can understand the Apostle’s writings correctly without the same spirit by which they were written.
The Lord God opened to me by his invisible power, how that ‘every man was enlightened by the divine light of Christ.’ I saw it shine through all, and that they that believed in it came out of condemnation to the light of life, and became the children of it; but they that hated it and did not believe in it, were condemned by it, though they made a profession of Christ. This I saw in the pure openings of the light without the help of any man; neither did I then know where to find it in the scriptures; though afterwards, searching the scriptures, I found it. For I saw in that light and spirit which was before the scriptures were given forth, and which led the holy men of God to give them forth, that all must come to that spirit, if they would know God or Christ, or the scriptures correctly, which they that gave them forth were led and taught by.
The following is from the writings of another kingdom-dwelling early Quaker, William Dewsbury: (written in 1655)
In that day and hour of temptation, I witnessed those Scriptures fulfilled in me of Paul's condition, in which he complained as I then did. I found law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, so that when I would do good, evil was present with me; the sense of which caused me to cry, "Oh wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?" As I was crying to the Lord, to free me from the burden I groaned under; the word of the Lord came to me, saying, "My grace is sufficient for you, I will deliver you." And by the power of this word, I was armed with patience to wait in his counsel; groaning under the body of sin in the day and hour of temptation, until it pleased the Lord to manifest his power to free me, which was in the year 1651.
Thus through the righteous law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus, I was and am made free from the body of sin and death; and through these great tribulations, my garments are washed and made white in the blood of the Lamb, who has led me into the new Jerusalem, where no one enters that works abomination or speaks a lie, but those whose name is written in the Lamb's book of life. Here my soul now feeds upon the tree of life, which I had so long hungered and thirsted after, that stands in the paradise of God. Here there is no more curse nor night; but the Lord God and the Lamb are my light and life forever and ever! And I witness that I am regenerated and born again of the immortal seed, and having partaken of the first resurrection, over such the second death has no power.
And this I declare to all the inhabitants of England, and to all that dwell upon the earth, that God alone is the teacher of his people. He has given to everyone a measure of grace, which is the light that comes from Christ. It checks and reproves for sin, in the secret of the heart and conscience. All who wait in that light, which comes from Christ, and which is the free grace of God, for the power of Jesus Christ to destroy sin and to guide them in obedience to the light, shall come to know the only true God and Father of light in Christ Jesus, who is the way to him. This I witness to all the sons of men, that I came not to the knowledge of eternal life by the letter of the Scripture, nor by hearing men speak of the name of God. I came to the true knowledge of the Scriptures and the eternal rest which they testify of in Christ, by the inspiration of the spirit of Jesus, the lion of the tribe of Judah, who alone is found worthy to open the seals of the book.
Dewsbury clearly speaks above of: 1) suffering under the burden of sin, 2) being freed from sin, 3) experiencing great tribulations, 4) Christ being resurrected in him, 5) being translated into the Kingdom of God, 6) being in New Jerusalem, and 7) feeding from the tree of life that stands in the paradise, (kingdom), of God. Thus all the promises of the scriptures he witnessed as having been fulfilled.
6 the love, with which you have loved me, may be in them, and I in them. The same love which the Father bestowed on Jesus, is given to his true followers, and Jesus is also to be in them. God is love. We know that he has given an infinite amount of love to Jesus; now Jesus has asked the Father to do the same to his true followers. The following are the proofs of being a true follower of Jesus:
And Paul told us that love was the greatest gift of all.
Here are the promises of union with Christ and the Father, union with all other disciples, and to be in heaven while still alive — to have a fellowship in the Spirit with the Father, the Son, and other saints made perfect in the past. Once you grasp the true promises, the true hope, the true gospel — then all the scriptures will begin to make sense, without having to discard the exclusions or the requirements of cleansing, purity, perfection, and holiness.
And how are these promises realized? How can one be cleansed of sin? How is one's heart purified? How can you become capable of union with the holy, pure, perfect Jesus as an integral part of his body under control of the head? Blessed are those who hear the word of God [within your heart] and keep [practice, obey] it. Luke 11:28; by being obedient to the word of truth, heard; the words that I speak to you are spirit and they are life-giving. John 6:63. By waiting on God in humble silence, listening for whatever he wishes to teach or command you. By hearing Him speak to you. By walking in complete compliance to all commands received. Do this and you are cleansed from all sin by the blood of Jesus, your heart is purified by faith, your soul is purified by obedience to the word of truth. Faith is hearing the word of God spoken within you, and believing it to be spoken by God, and obeying the commands you have heard. So we go to God and sit in humble silence to wait on Him, as we watch, listen, hear, obey... wait, watch, listen, hear, obey..... seek, listen, obey.
John describes this purification process in his 1 John 1 Letter:
But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another,
and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanses us from all sin. 1 John 1:7
John in the very next verses explains how Christ's blood purifies us from all sin. He said:
If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. (We start as sinners, before being cleansed.)
If we do not deny our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (All unrighteousness is sin.)
If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us. 1 John 1:8-10,5:17
When you examine these verses in lieu of the verses before and after the above three, this is the meaning:
With belief in the promises of the gospel, we go to the Light (Jesus) in humble silence to wait, listen and watch, hoping for purification by his blood and grace.
If we go claiming to be without sin, we deceive ourselves, we have no humility, and we get no help; the truth is not in us.
If when He (the Light) shows us our sins and we acknowledge them, He will forgive and purify us of that sin.
But, if when He (the Light) shows us our sins, and if we claim to be without the sin He has shown us,
thinking He is not the Truth, thinking whom we hear to be a liar, we receive no help from Him;
and His word fails to be planted in our heart, so that it can control us in the future.
Thus we have rejected Christ as a liar and we have shown our hate for Him, John 3:19-20.
But if we accept His conviction as true, He forgives us, cleanses us from sin, and His word stays in our heart to keep us from sin.
This is how we are cleansed from sins until we are clean and purified. We believe what the Light shows us, and that the light is Christ.
We believe Jesus within, the true Light, given to every man who comes into the world so that he might believe. John 1:7,9
It is not enough to believe that Jesus is the Son of God, born of a virgin, and resurrected from the dead.
We must believe what he says to be true and then act on it.
Faith without works of loving obedience to God is dead. James 2:20, Gal 5:6
Jesus also told us to "believe in the light so that you may become children of the light." John 12:36
It is not enough to believe there is a light, we must believe what the light shows and tells us to be true, and then act on it.
It is by grace through faith that we are saved, (delivered from all sins).
By waiting on God, we receive the teachings of grace, the convictions of grace, and the removal of sin by grace, ending in our salvation by grace.
John in the next verses, continues:
My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin.
But if any man does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.
He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours, but also for the sins of the whole world.
And by this we know that we know Him: if we keep [obey] his commands.
He who says, “I know Him,” and does not keep his commands, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.
But whoever keeps His word, [obeys the Lord's commands spoken to him], truly the love of God is perfected in him;
by this we know that we are in him. He who says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way that he walked. John 2:1-6
Starting as spiritual little children, if we obey the Word that we hear him say to us or what he shows us in the Light,
(Jesus being the Light and the Word), and if we abide in Him, we are of the truth and we know we are in Him.
and God's love is perfected in us, resulting in us walking as Jesus walked, in love and truth.
We progress from little children, to become young men that have overcome the wicked one, to then become Fathers in the truth;
we grow up to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ. Eph 4:13
And every man who has this hope in him purifies himself, even as he [Jesus] is pure.1 John 3:3
Whoever commits sin practices lawlessness; for sin is lawlessness. 1 John 3:4
And you know that he appears [in us] to take away our sins, and in him there is no sin. 1 John3:5
Whoever abides in him does not sin; whoever sins has neither seen him or known him. 1 John 3:6
For this purpose the Son of God is revealed, [in us] that he might destroy [in us] the works [sin] of the devil. 1 John 3:8
The purpose of the Son is to destroy the devil and his works [sin] in us — if we go to him.
Whoever has been born of God does not sin, for his seed [Christ] remains in him;
and he cannot sin, because he has been born of God. 1 John 3:9
And His seed [Christ] are the words he has planted in your heart, words that you have heard, the Word of God. Luke 8:15
The words are grafted into your heart, forming Christ within you, until He is fully formed and resurrected in you.
Those words we hear Him speak to us are engrafted into our heart, James 1:21;
and those words we hear Him speak to us are Spirit and impart the life of God to us, John 6:63;
which life of God is Christ, John 1:5, 14:6, so that Christ is formed within you, Gal 4:19
Until finally Christ is fully formed and actually resurrected in you. 2 Cor 4:14,Col 2:11-12,3:1,Eph 2:5-6,Rom 8:11, Gal 2:20
You then see Christ, the glory of God, appear in your heart and witness Him bringing your salvation and eternal life.
From the Word of the Lord within: "We go to Him, and He rains help upon us; well does this exercise of God purify those who do."
The false prophets take 1 John 1:8 out of context: If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us, and say that proves no one can ever be without sin; ignoring the next statements and ignoring the context of the process of purification being referenced. To be purified you have to have sin to start, or purification is not even necessary. John is referencing sin that is to be destroyed, not carried to the grave.
This is how to kill (deaden, deprive of power) the evil desire lurking in your members: sexual vice, impurity, sensual appetites, unholy desires, and all greed and covetousness, for that is idolatry (the deifying of self and other created things instead of God). Col 3:5.
Many scriptures prove the Lord's gospel is to destroy sin, and many others show that sin was destroyed. See How to Receive the Changing Power of God for more on the destruction of sin within you.
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