The Gospel of John ~ Chapter 15, Part 4 ~ Verses 16-21

The Gospel of John ~ Chapter 15, Part 4

Verses 16 – 21

The Upper Room Discourse / Gethsemane Discourse

  • 1-8, Suffering for Blessing and Divine Good Production
  • 6, Warning to the Unproductive Believer
  • 9-10, Abiding in the Love of God
  • 11, Divine Good Produces Inner Happiness
  • 12-13, Impersonal Love Motivates Divine Good Production
  • 14-15, Faith Application Results in Intimacy with Christ
  • 16-17, Predestined to Glorify God
  • 18-21, Obstructions to Divine Good Production
  • 22-25, The Reason for the World’s Rejection
  • 26-27, The Spirit Leads Us in Triumph

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Vs. 16-17, Predestined to Glorify God, (Election, Appointment, Prayer, Love One Another).

Predestined to Glorify God

John 15:16,  “You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you would go and bear fruit, and that your fruit would remain, so that whatever you ask of the Father in My name He may give to you.”

This must be understood in the context of the metaphor of the Vine and Branches; that Jesus is the one who has placed them in the Vine as branches in order to produce Divine Good.  Tied to this is their friendship with The Lord Jesus Christ, which involves the obligation of brotherly love: “Love each other just as I have loved you”, John 15:12.

Jesus reminds them that contrary to the common practice of disciples picking a teacher, He had actually chosen them, John 15:19.  The purpose of His choosing was that they were to produce lasting fruit (Divine Good Production).  He chose them for a mission, and while in that mission under the blessing of equal privilege and equal opportunity inside their Royal Priesthood, the Father would answer their requests in order to accomplish that mission, “whatever you ask in My name”, John 14:13-14; 15:7; 16:23-24, 26.

The Greek reads:   “ οὐχ  ὑμεῖς  με  ἐξελέξασθε,  ἀλλά  ἐγὼ  ἐξελεξάμην  ὑμᾶς,  καὶ  ἔθηκα  ὑμᾶς  ἵνα  ὑμεῖς  ὑπάγητε  καὶ  καρπὸν  φέρητε  καὶ  ὁ  καρπὸς  ὑμῶν  μένῃ,  ἵνα  ὅτι ἂν  αἰτήσητε  τὸν  Πατέρα  ἐν  τῷ  ὀνόματί  μου  δῷ  ὑμῖν. ”

Transliterated it is:  “OUK HUMEIS ME EXELEXASTHE, ALLA EGO EXELEXAMEN HUMAS KAI ETHEKA HUMAS HINA HUMEIS HUPAGETE KAI KARPON PHERETE KAI HO KARPOS HUMON MENE, HINA HO TI AN AITESETE TON PATERA EN THE ONOMATI MOU DO HUMIN.”

Let’s break this down.

We begin with, “You did not choose me”, which transliterated from the Greek is, “OUK HUMEIS ME EXELEXASTHE.”

OUK is the Greek negative for “not.”  Linked with the Past Tense Aorist below of EKLEGO, we will say, “did not.”

HUMEIS is the Second Person Plural Pronoun of SU in the Subject Nominative case that means “you all.”  This is an emphatic use.  Jesus is referring to the disciples as the ones who are NOT doing the choosing, and by extension all believers, as we will see.

ME is the First Person Singular Pronoun of EGO in the Direct Object Accusative case that means “Me”.  This is also an emphatic use.  Jesus is referring to Himself as the one to be chosen.

EXELEXASTHE is the Verb EKLEGOMAI (ek-leg’-om-ahee) in the Aorist, Middle, Indicative, Second Person, Plural.  It comes from EKLEGO which is a compound word from EK that means “from or out from” and LEGO that means “to say or address”. EKLEGO is the Active Voice usage that has the sense of “picking up” and comes to mean, “to select or to choose.”  In the Gospels of the New Testament (not in Matthew and only once in Mark 13:20) this word is used of normal decision making (e.g., Luke 10:42; 14:7) as well as for decisions of theological importance. EKLEGOMAI means, “to choose, select or elect” but in the 2nd Person Plural Middle Voice, as it is here, we add “for yourselves.”

The Constative Aorist Tense deals with an absolute. This is an absolute fact. The Constative Aorist says, “You have nothing to do with the Plan, it is My Plan.”

The Middle Voice tells us the subject is acting upon himself, but with the negative OUK, the believer has not chosen Christ for his own benefit but that Christ has chosen the believer for His glory, His benefit.

The Indicative Mood is the reality of the fact that God has a Plan for your life. So we say “yourselves choose.

So we have, “You all did not choose for yourselves Me,” that ends with a comma.

Next we have the contrasting comparison, “But I chose you and appointed you,” which is “ALLA EGO EXELEXAMEN HUMAS KAI ETHEKA HUMAS”

ALLA is a Superordinating Conjunction used as an adversative of contrast that introduces a clause that is more prominent than the one we just noted. It can mean, “but, rather, yet or on the contrary.” It is similar to the Greek Conjunction “DE”, which we noted in Verse 15. Originally ALLA was the neuter plural of ALLOS, “other,” and meant “otherwise” (Liddell-Scott). As a strong adversative conjunction ALLA sets words, sentences or clauses in contrast or restricts their sense (Liddell-Scott). It can also imply transition or an exception.

EGO is the Subject Nominative, First Person, Personal Pronoun, “I.” Jesus is again referring to Himself; this time as the one who is doing the choosing.

EXELEXAMEN is our same root EKLEGOMAI in the Aorist, Middle, Indicative, but this time in the First Person, Singular.

Once again we have a Constative Aorist, but this time on the positive side. It is an absolute fact that Jesus Christ selected His disciples just as it is an absolute fact that God has elected or chosen you.

The Middle Voice with the First Person Singular tells us that Jesus is the one acting upon Himself. Therefore His choice of the disciples, (or you), has a benefit back to Him. It is to your benefit only in the sense that God Himself has found a way to glorify Himself in the angelic conflict by electing believers who will glorify Him, while at the same time you receive benefits, (i.e., various blessings from God).

The Indicative Mood is again for the fact of reality that Jesus Christ is the one who selected His own disciples. So we say, “Myself have chosen.”

This same verb and tense are used for the choice of the disciples by Christ in John 6:70; John 13:18; John 15:19. See also Mat 4:18-22 and Mark 2:14.

Jesus recognized his own responsibility in the choice of His disciples after a night of prayer according to Luke 6:13.

HUMAS this time is the Accusative (Direct Object) Personal Pronoun SU in the Second Person, Plural that means “you all.”

In English we use the same words for subject and object, (you), where sentence structure determines who or what is the Subject and who or what is the Object. In Greek there is the added benefit of the word’s spelling, much like Old English used in the KJV, (ye and you – thee and thou).

KAI is the Coordinating Conjunction for “and, even or also.” It ties together what we just noted “selection” with what follows “appointment.”

ETHEKA is the Verb TITHEMI in the Aorist, Active, Indicative, First Person, Singular. It is from the primary root word THE, that means, “to put, place, lay or set”. So TITHEMI comes to mean “to set, put, place, appoint, assign, destine, etc.”, just as a king selects his officers who will carry out his purposes. Literally, it means “I have placed you, appointed you, set you apart.” It does not mean that He had done this by any formal public act of the imposition of hands, as we now use the word, but that He had designated or appointed them to this work. So here TITHEMI means that Jesus Christ not only selected them but put them in place or appointed them (having a sense of authority) for the purpose of Divine Good Production, as we will see below. He has assigned them to the establishment of the Church. In other words, God has laid out a plan for them just as He does for you and me.

This is again a Constative Aorist, an absolute fact.

The Active Voice, Jesus Christ is the one who has set them in place (i.e. appointed) them to discipleship.

The Indicative Mood is for the reality of the fact that no matter how insignificant or how inferior you may feel, God has a plan and a purpose for your life. He is saying, “I have appointed / put / placed you, (i.e. in the vine) to bear fruit.”

HUMAS once again we have the Accusative (Direct Object) Personal Pronoun SU in the Second Person, Plural that means “you all.”

So far we have, “You all yourselves did not choose Me, on the contrary I Myself have chosen you all and appointed you all…” This sentence continues as we will note below.

Principles:

It was customary among the Jews for every person to choose his own teacher, just as it is today. Students sometimes choose their own teachers, but Christ reversed this order. His disciples were hand-picked to become the foundation of His Church.  John’s Gospel emphasizes that Jesus, not the disciples, had done the choosing, John 15:16,19; cf. 13:18.

Jesus’ selection (EKLEGOMAI) of the Twelve was theologically significant, not only for the Gospel accounts but for the later Church as well, Luke 6:13; John 6:70; cf. Acts 1:2. The importance of this order of selection is that with His disciples, just as with us, His choice is entirely free. It did not rise from any character, motive or condition in them.  Jesus selected the Eleven of the Twelve and endued them with power for a special mission, Mat 10:1; Mark 3:13-15; Luke 6:13-16. His selection was by His grace, not because of their merit.

In our verse (John 15:16) the word “chose” implies that His choice was on behalf of Himself and His plans. He was calling them to ministry here, not to salvation. God had already elected them to salvation, now Jesus is reminding them of His personal selection of them to be His disciples and the appointment He has made of them to be the foundation of the Church, His choice of them to the office of apostleship.

Just as God has elected you to an eternal salvation, of the same importance, He has selected you for a specific ministry and has appointed you for Divine Good Production.

As the prototype for the spiritual life, Jesus Himself was chosen by God.

  • Luke 9:35 (the Transfiguration) The Father refers to Jesus as HO EKLELEGMENOS instead of HO AGAPETOS as in Mark 9:7 (Transfiguration), and Mat 3:17 and Mark 1:11 (His Baptism).
  • At the Cross Jesus is mockingly referred to as HO EKLEKTOS, “the chosen one”, in Luke 23:35 as well as in the opening of John’s Gospel, John 1:34.

Election and Appointment:

Though in a subordinate sense, human choice is involved in conversion,  John 1:12-13, 47-49; 2:11, 23; 3:15-18, 33-36; 4:42, 50; 5:24, 40; Rev. 22:17; etc.  In the final analysis it is Christ, (as well as the Father and the Holy Spirit), who chose us, John 1:43; 6:37, 40, 44-46, 65, 70; 2 Thes 2:13; etc.

John 3:14-15, “As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up; so that whoever believes will in Him have eternal life.”

We were chosen not merely to escape hell, but to bear the fruit of Christian character and witness, Mark 4:20; John 15:8; Gal 5:22-23.

Mark 4:20, “And those are the ones on whom seed was sown on the good soil; and they hear the word and accept it and bear fruit, thirty, sixty, and a hundredfold.”

Scriptures on Election and Appointment include, Deut 7:7-8; Isa 48:11; Dan 9:19; Hosea 14:4; Rom 5:8; 8:28-30; 1 John 4:10, 19; 1 Cor 12:28; Acts 20:28.  Election is the expression of the sovereign will of God in eternity past before the universe existed and before mankind lived on the earth.  Election is the sovereign right of God over His creation.  Election, along with foreknowledge, predestination, justification, and glorification, are all from the Sovereignty of God as part of His Divine Decree. Therefore, they belong only to the believer, Rom 8:28‑30; Eph 1:4-6.

The Biblical Order of God’s Divine Decree (called Infralapsarian) is:

  • Create all mankind.
  • Permit the fall of man.
  • Provide salvation.
  • Leave the reprobate or unbeliever to their just condemnation.
  • Elect and predestine believers only.

Biblical Lapsarianism.

The basis for this modification of lapsarianism is the Doctrine of Omniscience.

God decreed the creation of all mankind with free will in the status of perfection to resolve the prehistoric angelic conflict and to bring many sons into glory.  “Being brought into glory,” Heb 2:10, means there is a Christian way of life, a way to glorify God after salvation—The fantastic spiritual life of the Church Age believer.

God decreed to permit the fall of mankind through the function of his own self-determination, his own volition as the extension of the angelic conflict into human history.  Angels had a fall; therefore, man must have a fall to resolve the conflict.  This duplicates Satan’s fall and the subsequent existence of fallen angels.

God decreed to provide eternal salvation for all mankind under the Doctrine of Unlimited Atonement.  God is fair and provides judgment for sin for all members of the human race.  God does not arbitrarily assign creatures to hell.  By unlimited atonement is meant that all sins in human history were imputed to Jesus Christ on the Cross and judged, so that Christ is the issue and not sins.  2 Cor 5:19; 1 Tim 4:10; Titus 2:11; 2 Peter 2:1; 1 John 2:2.  The Greek preposition HUPER plus the genitive of advantage from the adjective PAS used as a substantive and without the definite is an idiom which always means “as a substitute for everyone without exception.”  2 Cor 5:14-15; 1 Tim 2:6; Heb 2:9; Rom 5:6.

God decreed to leave the reprobate (those who remain in spiritual death because they reject Christ as Savior) to their just condemnation.  All people who reach the point of volitional responsibility have equal opportunity to hear the gospel and believe in Jesus Christ.

God decreed simultaneously in eternity past both election and predestination for believers only.  The unbeliever is never predestined to hell.

Election is the expression of the sovereign will of God for your life. Predestination is the provision of the sovereign will of God for your life.

There are three elections in history.

  • Israel under the ritual plan of God.
  • Christ under the incarnation plan of God.
  • The Church under the grace plan of God.

Under election, the Sovereignty of God willed the highest and best for every believer, having previously deposited it in escrow for each believer in eternity past, Eph 1:3-6.

  • This teaches that election was provided before the creation of the world.
  • “Holy” is a reference to both the absolute and relative concept of sanctification (positional and experiential).
  • Election relates to the experiential part of God’s plan for our lives. Holiness has to do with separation unto God, the execution of His plan for our lives.

The mechanics for the election of the Church is the Baptism of the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:5; 1 Cor 12:13) which occurs at the very moment we believe in Christ. This is one of the forty things we receive at salvation by which each one of us is entered into union with Christ, Eph 1:11-14.

  • The election of the Church brought in a new spiritual species. By being placed in union with Christ by the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, we can now use the 100% available Divine omnipotence.

The election of the Church includes both equal privilege and equal opportunity for every believer to produce Divine Good. Not only do you have a magnificent destiny under the predesigned protocol plan of God, but you have the same privileges and opportunities as all other believers for the execution of that plan.

Under election, equal privilege is your Royal Priesthood, 1 Peter 2:5, 9.

  • The Royal Priesthood of the believer is taught many times in the New Testament. It was a favorite subject of Peter. Although his teaching was misunderstood by the Catholic Church, he was really teaching about the Royal Priesthood of each Church Age believer. Peter was the first to teach this Doctrine. John taught the Doctrine as well.
  • As a royal priest, every believer has a direct line to God, which means he represents himself before God, he evaluates himself, and he offers prayer for himself and others.
  • Faithful Bible teaching from your right Pastor demands your faith perception, metabolization, and application of that teaching to your own life as a royal priest. You cannot advance to maturity on your own; someone has to train you. Your Pastor is neither the leader of your social life or the host of a lonely hearts club. He is neither a counselor nor a crutch to lean on.
  • Your priesthood demands that you live your own life as unto the Lord and take the responsibility for your own decisions. This is your equal privilege under election.

Under election, equal opportunity is logistical grace blessings, 2 Cor 9:8.

2 Cor 9:8, “And God is able to make all grace abound to you, that always having all sufficiency in everything (logistical grace support and blessing), you may have an abundance for every good deed (Divine good production).”

The whole purpose of the Doctrine of Election is to describe God’s way of providing invisible assets so we can fulfill His will and His plan. You must know that election is God’s plan for you, 1 Thes 1:4.

1 Thes 1:4, “Knowing, brethren, beloved of God, His election for you.” 

To understand your election, you must function under grace orientation. Understanding election is orientation to the plan of God for your life, Col 3:12.

Col 3:12, “So, as those who have been chosen (elected) of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience; 13bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, …”

Our works have no relation to our election, 2 Tim 1:9.

2 Tim 1:9, “Who (God) has saved us and called us (election and predestination) with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was granted us in Christ Jesus from all eternity, 10but now has been revealed by the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.”

No man or angelic creature can stop our historical impact because of the fulfillment of our election, Rom 8:33.

Rom 8:33, “Who will bring a charge (any accusation) against God’s elect?”

Knowledge of Bible Doctrine is essential to fulfilling our election to privilege, Titus 1:1.

Since the believer has been elected to privilege, he must function under the Royal Family Honor Code, Eph 4:1-3.

“Faith” is the ultimate requisite of the elect, Titus 1:1; cf. James 2:5.

Believers are commanded to make their calling and election a reality in 2 Peter 1:10‑11.

  • How do you make your election a spiritual reality? Through perception, metabolization and application of election and lapsarianism. You use the privacy of your priesthood; you learn the Doctrine; you learn the mechanics.
  • Election is only the potential for impact on history. By the daily function of GAP, we make our calling and election a reality when we advance to spiritual maturity.

Election is a reason for thanksgiving for others, 2 Thes 2:13.

2 Thes 2:13, “But we should always give thanks to God for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God has chosen you from the beginning for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and faith in the truth.”

So far we have noted the first part of John 15:16 that reads, “You all yourselves did not choose Me, on the contrary I Myself have chosen you all and appointed you all…”

Therefore we have noted our election. As stated above we are elected into the Eternal Family of God in eternity past and predestined to that position in time. That is our first election. Our second election is noted in John 15:16 where we are elected into service for God (which too is a part of our primary election from eternity past), just as the apostles where first elected for salvation and then our Lord personally selected them into His ministry equipping them with spiritual gifts to employ for service. In addition, our Lord appointed them within that ministry to service, with the planned purpose of Divine Good Production. That is what the next portion of Verse 16 tells us, as highlighted below.

John 15:16, “You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you would go and bear fruit, and that your fruit would remain,…

Of the highlighted section the Greek reads:  “ καὶ  ἔθηκα  ὑμᾶς  ἵνα  ὑμεῖς  ὑπάγητε  καὶ  καρπὸν  φέρητε  καὶ  ὁ  καρπὸς  ὑμῶν  μένῃ, ”

Transliterated it is:  “KAI ETHEKA HUMAS HINA HUMEIS HUPAGETE KAI KARPON PHERETE KAI HO KARPOS HUMON MENE,”

We already noted KAI ETHEKA HUMAS above, but in summary.

KAI is the Coordinating Conjunction meaning “and” that ties together what we just noted “(s)election” with what follows “appointment.”

ETHEKA is the Verb TITHEMI in the Constative Aorist, Active, Indicative, First Person, Singular that means, “I have placed you, appointed you or set you apart.”

HUMAS, the Accusative (Direct Object) Personal Pronoun SU in the Second Person, Plural that means “you all” referring specifically to His disciples.

Jesus Christ appointed, (having a sense of authority), them for the purpose of Divine Good Production, as noted in the second part of Verse 16. He has assigned them to the establishment of the Church. In other words, God has laid out a plan of ministry and service for them that is designed to result in effectives, (Divine Good Production), just as He does for you and me. Compare with 1 Cor 12:4-7.

1 Cor 12:4-7, “Now there are varieties of gifts (Second Election), but the same Spirit. 5And there are varieties of ministries (Appointment), and the same Lord. 6There are varieties of effects (Divine Good Production), but the same God who works all things in all persons. 7But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.”

Next we have the purpose for their election and appointment.

HINA is a Subordinating Conjunction that introduces a purpose clause that is dependent on the main clause we just noted above (election and appointment). So we say “in order that.”

Note that there are three Present, Active, Subjunctive, linked with HINA in this purpose clause to emphasize continuance, which means “keep on doing so and so”. This means that their second election and appointment are not a mere spurt or flash in the pan, but it is perpetual and permanent growth and fruit-bearing. Therefore, we translate the following three verbs (HUPAGETE, PHERETE and MENE) in that way. “keep on ……”

Also note that the three elements of this purpose are arraigned as Subject, Object, Predicate. Therefore we note that, “going out is for the sub-purpose of bearing fruit and that that fruit is eternal in nature.”

This section is all under one “HINA” (purpose) clause, but there are two main purposes:

  • Going out, and
  • Everlasting fruit, with the sub-purpose of
  • Divine Good Production which is the intended result of going out and the means of producing everlasting fruit.

Purpose #1:

HUMEIS is the Pronoun SU in the Subject Nominative, Second Person, Plural that means “you all”, identifying the disciples as the ones who would fulfill the purpose that God has appointed them for.

HUPAGETE is the Verb HUPAGO in the Present, Active, Subjunctive, Second Person, Plural that has two types of meaning. The first can mean, “to lead under, or bring under (authority)”, and the second can mean “go, go one’s way, go away, to withdraw one’s self, or depart.” So we can say, “Keep on going out under authority.”

The Authority that they are under (as well as you and I) is God. But God is not here to personally supervise us. So the authority of God is given to us in His Word. This authority is only real when we have His Word / Bible Doctrine resident within our souls through GAP.

The Customary Present Tense is stative, meaning it is ongoing action that is to be continually performed, that is, “they keep on going out under the authority of God’s Word resident in their souls.”

The Active Voice, the disciples are the ones given this purpose to go out under the authority of God’s Word.

The Subjunctive Mood linked with HINA above indicates the purpose clause. The focus is on the intention of the action, “going out under the authority of the Word of God”, whether accomplished or not. This answers the question why they were chosen and appointed which is answered in three parts. The Subjunctive also indicates potential based on the volitional responsibility of the believer.

So we translate HUPAGETE as, “might keep on going out (under the authority of God’s Word).”

Purpose #2:

KAI is the Coordinating Conjunction for “and” that links the following words to this purpose clause.

KARPON is the Noun KARPOS in the Direct Object Accusative, Masculine, Singular that means “fruit”; that is Divine Good Production.

PHERETE is the Present, Active, Subjunctive, Second Person, Plural of PHERO that means “to bear, carry, or bring forth” The same construction that we saw in HUAGETE above applies to this verb as well.

None-the-less, this is the main theme of Chapter 15 “fruit bearing” or Divine Good production as noted in Verses 2-8. This fruit bearing can be either internal to your own soul or external for the benefit of others. The former is the theme of Verse 11 and the latter seems to be the dominant theme found in Verses 12-14.

So we will say “you all might keep on bearing.”

Purpose #3:

KAI is again the Coordinating Conjunction for “and” that links the following phrase to this overall purpose clause.

HO is the Article for “the” in the Predicate Nominative, Masculine, Singular.

KARPOS is the Noun for “fruit” in the Predicate Nominative, Masculine, Singular. The articular construction HO KARPOS indicates the Predicate Nominative use here that gives us greater definition about our fruit production, (i.e. it should be everlasting).

HUMON is the Pronoun SU in the Possessive Genitive, Second Person, Plural so we say “of you all or your”, indicating that the fruit produced is that of the disciples’ even though they are under the authority of God and His Word. This indicates the righteousness and justice of God in rewarding the believer at the BEMA seat of Jesus Christ, 1 Cor 3:10-15; 2 Cor 5:10. Our Divine Good Production belongs to us and we are qualified for rewards as a result.

MENE is the key verb of this last phrase of the three part HINA purpose clause. MENE is also the Present, Active, Subjunctive, this time of MENO that means, “to stay, abide, remain”. We have seen this verb throughout Chapter 15 typically translated “abide” but here it has the idea of something that remains or is everlasting. Once again we have the same construction of the verb as the previous two verbs. Therefore, they have the same emphasis, but in this case the emphasis is on Divine Good that “remains, is everlasting or eternal in nature” that the disciples keep on producing.

However, there are two differences in this verb. This verb is in the Third Person and is Singular, identifying a subject or object as “he, she or it.” Therefore, this is referencing the “fruit” itself. We already know that the fruit is the disciples’ Divine Good Production from the Genitive of Possession HUMON above. So by using the 3rd person singular this is referencing the fruit itself. So we say, “it (Divine Good Production) might keep on remaining.” The potential here is not that the Divine Good might keep on remaining Divine Good into the future, the potential goes back to the production itself. You have to have production in the first place in order to gain everlasting fruit.

Overall these three purposes mean that once you accumulate Bible Doctrine in the soul, you then begin to accumulate dividends from that Doctrine. But, again, they are in the subjunctive mood indicating the fact that it is potential because of volitional responsibility.

Our translation of the second clause is:  “And appointed you all in order that you might keep on going out (under the authority of God’s Word), and you all might keep on bearing fruit (Divine Good Production), and your fruit, it might keep on remaining.

So far in Verse 16 we have, “You all yourselves did not choose Me, on the contrary I Myself have chosen you all and appointed you all (for the purpose of) in order that you might keep on going out (under the authority of God’s Word), and you all might keep on bearing fruit (Divine Good Production), and your fruit, it might keep on remaining.”

Once again we are reminded of the Biblical order of God’s Elective Decree:

  • Create all mankind.
  • Permit the fall of man.
  • Provide salvation.
  • Leave unbelievers to their just condemnation.
  • Elect and predestine believers only.

When you were elected in eternity past, it was not just for salvation. Your election included your spiritual walk.

Your “walk” in Christ is part two of your election, Eph 4:1-7; Col 1:10-12; 1 Thes 2:12-13.

Election part 1 = Salvation.
Election part 2 = Your Walk.

Col 1:10-12, “So that you will walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; 11strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for the attaining of all steadfastness and patience; joyously 12giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in Light.”

You were elected to walk in Christ which means you were predestined for Divine Good Production and rewards in the eternal state. John 15:16

John 15:16, “You all yourselves did not choose Me, on the contrary I Myself have chosen you all and appointed you all (for the purpose) that you might keep on going out (under the authority of God’s Word), and you all might keep on Producing Divine Good, and your fruit, it might keep on remaining.”

John 15:16, “You all yourselves did not choose Me, on the contrary I Myself have chosen you all.”

This is part two of your election = Selection into a ministry.

John 15:16, “… and appointed you all…”

This is your appointment into service for the purpose of Divine Good Production. Cf. 1 Cor 12:4-7

There are 3 purposes for your election and appointment.

John 15:16, “… you might keep on going out [HUPAGO] (under the authority of God’s Word), …”

  • Purpose #1 = To have the authority of God’s Word / Bible Doctrine resident within your soul at all times.

John 15:16, “… and keep on Producing Divine Good [PHERO KARPOS] …”

  • Purpose #2 = To produce Divine Good either internal to your own soul or external for the benefit of others, 11 cf. 12-13.

John 15:16, “… and your fruit, it might keep on remaining [MENO]…”

  • Purpose #3 = Your Divine Good production belongs to you, and therefore you are qualified to receive rewards. 1 Cor 3:10-15; 2 Cor 5:10

So in summary we also see the Trinity involved in the fulfilment of our Predesigned Plan:

  • Purpose #1 = Preparation (to be able to Go Out) – The Plan of God the Father.
  • Purpose #2 = Application (to produce Divine Good) – The Ministry of God the Holy Spirit
  • Purpose #3 = Rewards (to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ/God) – The BEMA seat of Jesus Christ.= Divine Perfection

Other Principles of Verse 16

Jesus is giving them their marching orders, and it is tantamount to the great commission in Matthew 28.

This appointment is apostolic and doesn’t apply to us per say. The appointment to this apostleship was only given to these 11 and later on to Paul. The gift of Apostleship ceased with the other temporary spiritual gifts circa 96 AD with the completion of the Cannon of Scriptures, 1 Cor 13:8.

Our appointment today is in relation to 1 Cor 12:4-7 as the ministry of the Holy Spirit.

In every other place where the word “MENO” (abide or remain) is used it refers to internal transformation of character. Therefore, He is calling them here to go and become spiritually mature with the results of everlasting fruit.

The allegory of the branches now became reality in their lives as they carried out the Lord’s instructions.  They were to go into all the world, manifesting the reality of the Father. They were to win souls, found churches, and establish believers, Mat 28:19-20.

Remember that it is not our responsibility to convert people. It is God’s responsibility to make the truth clear to the unbeliever under the common grace ministry of God the Holy Spirit. While it is our job to communicate the gospel, it is not our job to get people saved. We can’t manipulate them to be saved, or force them to be saved; that is their decision.

We understand from this verse that Jesus was speaking of two areas in which “your fruit might keep on remaining.”

  • First, Jesus implied the subjective area. Each disciple should bear the fruit of the Spirit in accord with Gal 5:22-23. This means that Jesus’ desire for His own is that they be mature believers by means of GAP.
  • Second, Jesus referred to the objective area. The believer is to produce fruit by his life’s ministry of sharing with others, that is, “Laying down his life for his friends”. The disciples’ testimony and good deeds (words and actions) bring men to Jesus.
  • Both aspects of the disciples’ Divine Good Production come as the result of abiding in Christ, as we have defined it previously in this chapter.

We now focus on the last section of Verse 16 that once again has to do with our prayer life, “so that whatever you ask of the Father in My name He may give to you.”  This is an illustration of the supergrace life of prayer.

The Greek reads:  “  ἵνα  ὅτι ἂν  αἰτήσητε  τὸν  Πατέρα  ἐν  τῷ  ὀνόματί  μου  δῷ  ὑμῖν. ”

This is the same construction as in John 14:13 with the insertion of τὸν  Πατέρα (TON PATERA).

John 14:13 says,   ” καὶ  ὅτι ἂν  αἰτήσητε  ἐν  τῷ  ὀνόματί  μου,  τοῦτο  ποιήσω,  ἵνα  δοξασθῇ  ὁ  Πατὴρ  ἐν  τῷ  Υἱῷ. ”

John 14:13, “And whatever anyhow you might ask in the name of me, this will I do, that might be glorified the Father in the Son.”

Transliterated John 15:16 reads:  “HINA HO TI AN AITESETE TON PATERA EN TO ONOMATI MOU DO HUMIN.”

HINA is once again a Subordinating Conjunction that begins the second purpose clause of this verse. So we will say “in order that.” This is the second purpose of our Election and Appointment.

Under the first purpose clause we were Elected and Appointed for:

  • Preparation – to be able to go out with the authority of God’s Word in our souls,
  • Application – to produce Divine Good, and
  • Rewards – to glorify God / the Lord Jesus Christ.

Now we have the second purpose which is praying in accordance to the Will of God.

HO TI AN combine to make up an indefinite relative phrase of contingency in regard to our pray life.

HO is the Relative Pronominal (used as a Pronoun) Adjective HOS in the Accusative, Neuter, Singular that means “who, which, what, or that.When HOS is used with the particles AN or EAN (if), as is here, it is translated “whosoever, whose or whatever

TI is the Indefinite Adjective TIS in the Accusative, Neuter, Singular that can mean “a certain one, someone, anyone, something, anything, some, certain, in a manner, a kind of.”

As an Indefinite Adjective it shows a lack of precise limits. It is sometimes translated in English as, “any or some.” But in this construction “whatever” suffices here too.

AN is a Verbal (adverb) Particle indicating contingency. It creates a third class “if” like statement (if and maybe it is true or maybe it is not true), but with high probability. It is usually untranslatable, generally denoting supposition, wish, possibility, or uncertainty.

Combined these three create an Indefinite Relative phrase that is an open ended contingency regarding our prayers to God the Father, “whatever”, being the best English translation combining these three, where there is no limitations placed on our prayers.

As we have noted before and seen in scripture, our prayers should be aligned to the will of God. That is our only limiting force, also noted in the following phrase, “in my name”.

AITESETE is the Verb AITEO in the Aorist, Active, Subjunctive, Second Person, Plural. It means “to ask, request or demand.”

The Ingressive Aorist Tense identifies entrance into the action of prayer. So we can say you will begin to pray in this way, for whatever reason / purpose, when you enter into spiritual maturity.

The 2nd Person Plural Active Voice, the disciples are to begin the action of praying “in His name.”

The Subjective Mood once again linked with HINA above and the Particle AN, establishes the second purpose clause of our Election and Appointment and the contingency of the person in prayer. In this construction the Subjunctive is often translated like an Indicative because the potential element belongs to the subject (the disciples) rather than the verb (asking/praying).

That is, we have been entered into the Royal Family of God as Royal Priests in order that we ask the Father for whatever is necessary to fulfill His will in our lives and the lives of others. Whether we do that or not is up to us, not God. So we say, “Whatever you all ask” referring to the disciples, but by extension all believers.

The New Testament records many words for prayer, PROSEUCHOMAI being the most widely used word for prayer. Among the many words for prayer AITEO assumes an important role. It appears more than 70 times in the New Testament but only about 30 of these apply directly to prayer.

Although AITEO plays multiple roles in the Septuagint, it carries strong religious nuances, especially in contexts where the central theme concerns prayer and supplication. In the majority of instances AITEO translates the Hebrew term SHA’AL. Therefore, AITEO represent a human’s request made to God, often in prayer, Deut 18:16; 1 Sam 1:17, 20, 27 [*LXX 1 Kings 1:17, 20, 27]. Note the frequent desperate circumstance of the one requesting. The Psalmist made one request of the Lord: “That I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life”, Psa 27:4 [*LXX 26:4].

*(LXX is an acronym that stands for the Septuagint translation of the Old Testament.)

TON PATERA is the article HO for “the” plus the noun PATER for “Father” both in the Direct Object Accusative, Masculine, Singular. This indicates the one that receives the action of the Verb (AITEO). The Father is the one we pray to, not Jesus, not the Holy Spirit, not Mary, or any other saint, angel, person, animal, or thing. We only pray to God the Father. This is who we pray to.

EN is the Dative of Sphere Preposition that means “in the sphere of”. This is giving us instruction as to how to pray.

TO ONOMATI is the article HO “the” plus the noun ONOMA that means “name.” Both are in the Dative of Sphere, Neuter, Singular.

MOU is the Pronoun EGO (I or me) in the Genitive, First Person, Singular that means “of me or My.”

Therefore we know to pray “in the sphere of My (Jesus Christ’s) name”.  This is the protocol for all of our prayers; that we pray in the name of Jesus Christ. John 14:13-14 explains that every believer is a priest. Our high priest is Jesus Christ; we go through our high priest in prayer by recognizing we are in Union with (in the sphere of) Christ when before the Father’s throne in prayer, Heb 4:16.

Heb 4:16, “Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”

DO is the Verb DIDOMI in the Aorist, Active, Subjunctive, Third Person, Singular. It means to “give; grant, allow, permit, etc.”

The Culminative Aorist means God will answer your prayers. This is the effectiveness of supergrace prayer.

The Active Voice, God the Father is the one who answers our prayers.

The Subjunctive Mood is part two of the second purpose clause, “in order that … He may give” (answer your prayers).” This Subjunctive is also translated like an Indicative Mood as noted above.

HUMIN is the Pronoun SU (you) in the Dative Case, Second Person, Plural that means “to you all.”

Our translation of the third part of Verse 16 is, “in order that whatever you all ask the Father in (the sphere of) My name, He may give to you all.”

2 Parts to the Second Purpose of our Election and Appointment.

  • That we ask the Father; we go to Him in prayer, “in the name of Jesus Christ.” This is God’s protocol for our prayers, John 14:13-14; 16:23-24, 26.
  • That He answers our prayers. This is our assurance in prayer, 1 John 5:14-15.

Therefore, we are Elected and Appointed for the purpose of living the protocol plan of God in assurance (confidence). Giving us this protocol empowers us to fulfill His plan for our lives.

The number two in scripture stands for division or separation.

Therefore, this is God’s Plan of empowerment and confidence to separate out the believer from Satan’s Cosmic System in fulfillment of His perfect pre-designed protocol plan for our lives.

Our complete translation of John 15:16 is:   You all yourselves did not choose Me, on the contrary I Myself have chosen you all and appointed you all for the purpose that you might keep on going out (under the authority of God’s Word), and you all might keep on bearing fruit (Divine Good Production), and your fruit, it might keep on remaining (with the result of eternal rewards), for the purpose that whatever you all ask the Father in (the sphere of) My name (God’s protocol plan for our prayers), He (God the Father) may give to you all (answered prayers).”

Overall the purpose for our Election and Appointment according to John 15:16 includes:

Part 1:

  • Preparation – to be able to go out with the authority of God’s Word in our souls.
  • Application – to produce Divine Good.
  • Rewards – to glorify God / the Lord Jesus Christ.

Part 2:

  • Protocol – Prayer to the Father in the Name of Jesus Christ.
  • Assurance – Answered prayers on behalf of ourselves and others.

Part 1 is God’s Divine Perfect Plan for our lives.

Part 2 is God’s provision for the fulfillment of His Perfect Plan for our lives.

In part 1, we have the number 3 for the Divine Perfect Plan of God and in part 2, we have the number 2 for separating out the believer in fulfillment of God’s perfect plan.

All together we have 3 + 2 which equals 5, which is the number for Grace in Scripture. So this is the Grace Plan of God for the believer.  He gives us power and provisions for the fulfillment of His Pre-designed Protocol Plan for our lives, through preparation, application, rewards, protocol, and assurance.

If we fulfill this “Christ-abiding and fruit bearing destiny”, to which we were called, we will enjoy the special blessing of regularly answered prayer, John 15:7. This is His purpose for the believer as he fulfills the Lord’s commandment to “love one another” in Verses 12-13, 17.

Principles of Praying “In His Name”

Prayer is associated with productivity (fruit bearing) even as Christ associated prayer with “doing” in John 14:13.

We must accomplish Christian ministry or service not merely by our asking, but by God’s performance, “ask and it will be given to you.”

We are instructs to direct our prayers specifically to the Father and in this verse He will grant the request. In John 14:13, Jesus said He would expedite our prayer requests that are directed to the Father. Thus, we see both Christ and the Father granting the believers’ requests.

The “prayer condition” Jesus states here is with a third class condition, yet in a more probable future condition denoting a high degree of probability. Therefore, it is your volitional responsibility to apply God’s protocol to your prayer life; praying to God the Father in Union (the sphere of) Jesus Christ.

  1. Fruitful ministries are directly connected to and dependent upon prayer “in Christ’s name.” John Walvoord stated, “It is infinite in its possibilities, infinite in its privileges; it is at the center of God’s gracious provisions for our lives on earth.”

Christ did not feel it necessary to define elaborately the concept “in My name”, nor do His disciples display any indication of bewilderment over the expression.

Christ did not intend this phrase, “in My name,” to be a fixed formula attached to a prayer. Otherwise He or His disciples would have stated such formula and provided a specific title for Christ for the believer to recite. Of all of Paul’s prayers recorded, not one closes with a fixed terminology incorporating the name.

Those who hold a talismanic conception of the phrase “in My name”, (i.e., think it holds special power, especially power to protect them from bad things like a luck charm), fail to realize its true intent.  Jesus referred to something deeper than simply a convenient formula; whereby, believers conclude their prayers.

What’s in a Name?

To the Westerner, a “name” is a device for identifying one individual from another.

To the Easterner a “name” expresses some outstanding and particularly marked individuality.

  • Sometimes the name describes the nature of the person, i.e., Emmanuel, which means “God with us”, Mat 1:23.
  • It points to circumstances surrounding one’s birth, i.e., Samuel, which means “Asked of God”, 1 Sam 1:20.
  • It might refer to one’s appearance, i.e. Esau means “hairy” or Edom which means “red”, Gen 25:25.
  • Finally, among the Hebrews the naming of a person had great significance, for it was indicative of personality or character.

When Jesus used the term “name,” He signified the ideas of being, personality and character.

Therefore, “In the sphere of My name” conveys the concept of praying in the sphere of His ownership, protection, presence, power, glory, etc. That is, offering prayer that is consonant (in agreement or harmony) with the manifested nature of Jesus Christ.

This also means to pray by His authority. That is, to ask on behalf of Christ, as belonging to Him, as authorized by Him to approach the Father (Heb 4:16). This is identification with the person of Christ. To pray “in His name” is tantamount to praying in union with Christ.

To pray “in My name” is to pray from the vantage point of a new and exalted position (being a new creation in Christ, 2 Cor 5:14-21; Gal 6:15). The believer occupies this position because of Christ’s so great salvation. To pray “in His name” is to pray from the position we occupy in Him, Rom 6:23; 1 Cor 1:30; Gal 3:26; Eph 1:all.

Rom 6:23, “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

1 Cor 1:30, “But by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption.”

Gal 3:26, “For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus.”

Praying “in My name” was a new and startling concept reserved for “that day”, (i.e., the Church Age). It was something that until now they had not done.

As John 16:23-26 tells us, once the “in My name” praying began, Christ’s personal intercession would not be necessary to give validity to their prayers, (although He maintains that role, Rom 8:34; Heb 7:25; 9:24; 1John 2:1). This points to a new relationship established by Christ’s work on the Cross, which Paul refers to as being “in Christ”.

“This phrase describes a mystical union between Christ and the believer that is at once representative, organic, vital, supernatural, and indissoluble in nature.” (Praying “In My Name” Dr. Curtis Mitchell, Th.D., Chafer Theological Seminary.)

H. Strong stated, “Christ and the believer have the same life. They are not separate persons linked together by some temporary bond of friendship; they are united by a tie as close and indissoluble as if the same blood ran in their veins.”

Because the believer is always positionally “in Christ,” the very fact that six times Christ conditioned prayers on asking “in My name” indicates that the condition is more than being positionally “in Christ.”

Therefore, it must mean that a believer is to pray consciously aware of his exalted position in Christ, even as he must be consciously aware of believing “in the name of the only begotten Son of God”, John 3:18. The fact that Jesus felt it necessary to state “in My name” as a condition, implies conscious awareness.

There is nothing wrong with ending a prayer with the typical phrase, “in Jesus’ name, amen,” but, you may want to repeat the phrase at the beginning of a prayer, reminding yourself at the outset that you are “in Christ.”

The real issue is to make sure that you pray “consciously aware” of being “in Christ.” So whether you say it at the beginning, the end or not at all, is not the issue. The issue is the mentality of your soul when praying, being highly aware of your eternal union with the Lord Jesus Christ. Nevertheless, saying it to remind yourself and others of the authority in which you pray can never hurt.

Next we turn to Verse 17 which renews the exhortation to mutual love, “This I command you, that you love one another.”

The Greek reads:  :  “ταῦτα  ἐντέλλομαι  ὑμῖν,  ἵνα  ἀγαπᾶτε  ἀλλήλους. “

Transliterated it is:  “TAUTA ENTELLOMAI HUMIN, HINA AGAPATE ALLELOUS.”

TAUTA is the near Demonstrative Pronoun Adjective HOUTOS that means “this” in the Direct Object Accusative, Neuter, Plural that means “these things” in reference to the commands Jesus has given and is given once again in summary of the vine and branch parable. The singular form of HOUTOS is TOUTO. So instead of using the singular our Lord used the plural even though the command that follows is but one; “to love one another.” The NASB incorrectly translates it as a singular “this” in the reference to our Lord’s command. But this is the same word construction Jesus used in John 14:25; 15:11 and will use in 16:1, which are translated “these things” as it should also be here.

With the plural form it is as if He is going to give them commandments about many things, yet He names this only, why, because it includes many duties.

In order to love you must have capacity to love, this explains “these things” equated to the command to love. Love has a capacity basis, the capacity basis is Bible Doctrine resident in your soul. The more Doctrine you have, the greater your capacity for love and the greater your capacity for blessing.

Therefore by “these things,” Jesus is referring to the previously mentioned commandment to “love one another” in Verse 12, as well as all the information before and after culminating in Verse 17. These things build capacity for love and are the demonstration or expression of AGAPE Love.

Verse 1-11 are capacity builders:

  • Knowing who Christ and the Father are [vs 1].
  • Knowing God’s sovereign authority [vs 2].
  • Knowing your eternal security [vs 3].
  • Abiding in Christ [vs 4].
  • More abiding is necessary for much fruit bearing, [vs 5].
  • Divine discipline for non-fruit bearing [vs 6].
  • Prayer [vs 7].
  • Success leads to more success – glorifying the Father [vs 8].
  • Knowledge of God’s love [vs 9].
  • Knowledge of Jesus’ love [vs 10].
  • Capacity for +H – sharing the happiness of God [vs 11].

Then is the command to express love [vs. 12].

Followed by expressions of AGAPE love in Verses 13-16:

  • Laying down your life for your fellow believers [vs 13],
  • Friendship with Jesus Christ [vs 14-15],
  • Going out and bearing lasting fruit under the sovereign authority of Jesus Christ, [vs 16a-b].
  • Following God’s protocol for your prayer life in the accomplishment of His will [vs 16c].

This list is the “these things” Jesus is referring to in Verse 17 that build capacity for love and are the expression of AGAPE Love.

Our next word is ENTELLOMAI which is the Verb ENTELLO in the Present, Middle Deponent, Indicative, First Person, Singular that means “command, order, give orders, to enjoin, or to charge.”

The Instantaneous Present Tense is used for the action of giving a command which is completed once the command is given.

The First Person Singular Middle Deponent Voice acts like an Active Voice and tells us Jesus performs the action of giving the command. Therefore we can add the personal pronoun “I”.

The Indicative Mood is declarative of the fact of this command. It’s an assertion as a non-contingent statement. So we translate this, “I command.”

HUMIN is the Personal Pronoun SU in the Dative, Second Person, Plural that means “you all”, again referring to the disciples.

There is an important comma after this word. It gives us a pause in the statement to separate out the “these things commanded” and “love one another.” It breaks up the two while also joining them. In other words we see the correct translation of “these things” versus “this” as noted above. Without the comma “this” would refer to a command to “love one another”, while “these things” refers to everything stated above in Chapter 15 that leads to the fulfillment of “loving one another.” We could almost translate this verse, “that you love one another, these things (everything just stated) I command you”. Therefore the comma helps with the greater emphasis of this passage.

Next we have the Purpose Conjunction HINA that indicates the goal or aim of the command. It can mean, “in order that, with the goal that, with a view to, or that.”

AGAPATE is the Verb AGAPAO in the Present, Active, Subjunctive, Second Person, Plural that means “love.”

The Customary Present Tense is for regularly repeated action of loving one another.

The Active Voice, the disciples perform the action of loving.

The Subjunctive Mood supports the HINA [purpose clause] and is for volitional responsibility on the believers’ part. So we say “you all (disciples) love.” This again is based upon the amount of Bible Doctrine in the soul.

ALLELOUS is the Pronoun ALLELON in the Direct Object Accusative, Masculine, Second Person, Plural that means “one another” [of the same kind]. These are the ones we are to AGAPE love, our fellow believers.

Our complete translation of John 15:17 is:   “These things I command you all, with the goal that you all love one another.”

The two main corrections are the plural of the Demonstrative HOUTOS [TAUTA] giving us “these things”, Versus the singular “this”, and the use of HINA as a purpose clause.

The Darby Translation is: “These things I command you, that ye love one another.”

The New King James Translation is: These things I command you, that you love one another.”

The American Standard Version translation is: These things I command you, that ye may love one another.”

The International standard translation is: “I am giving you these commandments so that you may love one another.”

The New Revised Standard Version translation is: “I am giving you these commands so that you may love one another.”

The Net Bible Translation is: “This (these things) I command you – to love one another.” They use a hyphen for translating HINA

As we have noted, this verse is a repetition of John 13:34; John 15:12.

Principle – Repeat, Repeat, Repeat!!!!!!!!!

Also, it is ironic that this very night the disciples had been guilty of jealousy and wrangling over which one was greater, Luke 22:24.

Principles:

Christ’s love to us should direct us to love each other.

The expression of our Love as friendship with Jesus involves the obligation of brotherly love, which is what we are to express to fellow believers. This is the mark of the disciple of Christ, the true follower, the mature believer.

John 13:35, tells us how the world will distinguish Jesus’ disciples. The answer Jesus gave is both simple and practical, “By this shall all men know… if you have love for one another.”

A few days before this, Jesus taught that all the Law and the Prophets could be summed up by the two great commandments, “Love… God with all your heart” and “Love your neighbor as yourself”, Mat 22:37-40. Love is the sum of both commandments.

  • To love one’s neighbor presupposes one’s love for God.
  • We love one another because we love Him.
  • We love others because they bear His likeness.

Our love for each other cannot go to the extreme that His love did in His redemptive work. But our love can be the same quality as His.

We share His love; therefore, we can be patient, kind, without envy, without arrogance, rejoicing in goodness, forbearing, trusting, hopeful, and Christ like, 1 Cor 13:4-8.

The natural outgrowth of love is a desire to conduct one’s life in obedience to the Lord’s wishes where the teachings of Christ become commandments for the believer, John 14:15.

Jesus’ commandments are not only His imperative commands but His words, sayings and teachings. The believer keeps them by conforming his conduct to their behavioral cautions, where the natural response of love is to please the loved. Col 1:10-12; 1 Thes 4:1-3ff; 2 Tim 2:4; Heb 11:6.

There is no substitute for knowing the Lord’s teachings and obeying them. In so doing we are promised the love of the Father and the Son, plus the personal, intimate communion with Christ, John 14:21, 23.

Jesus asked for obedience out of love for Him, not out of fear, 1 John 4:18. Awareness of spiritual truth and Christian maturity must be cultivated; but the Spirit is faithful to illuminate teachable disciples through the Grace Apparatus for perception, (GAP), building the capacity to love one another, 1 Cor 2:5, 7, 9, 12-15.

Jesus repeated the truth that the condition of receiving the revelation of Him depended upon the disciples’ “love” and obedience to His “words”, John 14:15, 23-24.

The “we” of “we will come to him” refers to the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, which took place for the disciples at Pentecost, and occurs for the Church Age believer at the moment of your salvation, John 14:19-20. “To him” indicates a personal, intimate, face-to-face experience.

Those who love Jesus and treasure His Word become adorned temples for His presence, 1 Cor 3:16; 6:19; 2 Cor 6:16; cf. Rom 8:10; Col 1:27.

Jesus Christ indwelling our bodies is our status quo since the day of our salvation, but Jesus Christ being glorified in our bodies is the ultimate experience of spiritual adulthood. The three stages of spiritual adulthood are related to three experiences associated with Christ in our bodies, which are distinct from Christ indwelling our bodies.

  • The experience of Spiritual Self-Esteem is, “Christ being formed in our bodies,” Gal 4:19.
  • The experience of Spiritual Autonomy is, “Christ being at home in our hearts (right lobes),” Eph 3:17.
  • The experience of Spiritual Maturity is, “Christ being glorified in our bodies,” Phil 1:20.

To fulfill the command of John 15:17, “to love one another”, we must build capacity through Bible Doctrine resident in our souls (2 Peter 3:18) in order to express the love of Jesus Christ (formed, at home and glorified) in you.

__________________________________________________________

Vs. 18-25, Obstructions to Divine Good Production, the Reason for the World’s Rejection

Reason #1: Satan’s Cosmic System hates the believer!

John 15:18, “If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you.”

The Greek reads:  “Εἰ  ὁ  κόσμος  ὑμᾶς  μισεῖ,  γινώσκετε  ὅτι  ἐμὲ  πρῶτον  ὑμῶν  μεμίσηκεν. “

Transliterated it reads:  “EI HO KOSMOS HUMAS MISEI, GINOSKETE HOTI EME PROTON HUMON MEMISEKEN.”

We begin with the first clause, “If the world hates you,”

EI is a First Class Conditional Conjunction that means “If, whether, since, etc.” A first class conditional conjunction introduces circumstances necessary for a given proposition to be true. So we can say “if … and they do.”

HO KOSMOS is the article for “the” and the noun meaning “world” in the Subject Nominative, Masculine, Singular. It can mean world inhabitants, or mankind (especially of men hostile to God); therefore, it refers to unbelievers and reversionistic believers of this world who reside inside of Satan’s Cosmic System. These are the ones expressing hatred to the believer in the Lord Jesus Christ. They are from and part of Satan’s Cosmic System. KOSMOS used in this way embodies the contrast to God’s orderly economy. God is revealed by His love; the world is noted for its hatred.

Originally KOSMOS denoted “building” or “construction,” but it soon acquired a far wider usage. KOSMOS indicates the presence of “order” and “arrangement,” or “organization.” The word can represent an arrangement by rank or a battle configuration. In Greek philosophy it represented the total world system, but it also indicated various parts of that system.

KOSMOS in this passage means a system of thought which is antagonistic to Jesus Christ. Satanic organizations which are antagonistic to Jesus Christ and people who are antagonistic to Jesus Christ all fall into the category of hating as depicted in this passage.

HUMAS is the Second Person, Plural, Pronoun SU in the Direct Object Accusative Case that means “you all”, referring to the disciples and by extension Church Age believers. These are the ones receiving hatred from the world.

MISEI is the Verb MISEO in the Present, Active, Indicative, Third Person Singular that means “hates, to hate, pursue with hatred, detest, abhor, to be hated, or detested.”

The Customary Present Tense tells us what is habitually expressed by those of Satan’s Cosmic System to those who abide in the sphere of Christ, (God’s Power System – the Divine Dynasphere as Pastor R.B. Thieme, Jr. called it.). It will always hate you.

The Third Person Singular identifies and lumps together as a whole those who are a part of Satan’s Cosmic System, both unbelievers and reversionistic believes, as well as Satanic and demonic influence over mankind and the world system.

The Active Voice tells us they are the ones producing the action of hatred toward the positive believer.

The Indicative Mood is for the reality of the situation. The positive believer will be hated by the world.

This is the strongest word for hate in the Greek language. This is one of the few verbs that does not have to be compounded to give it intensity. It expresses the intensity of mental attitude and of thought pattern. Therefore, we see that there is a system of thought that despises you.  Part of that system of thought is legalism and religionism and do-goodism and bleeding-heartism.  It is a system that despises you!

Hatred is the expression of Satan’s Cosmic System towards the believer who is residing the sphere of Jesus Christ, inside God’s Power System, It includes unbelievers and reversionistic believers who reside inside of Satan’s Cosmic System as well as Satanic and Demonic influence over mankind and the world system. They have hatred towards the believer who resides inside God’s Power System. The world, the KOSMOS system, is implacable toward you.

MISEI is followed by a comma. It ends the Protasis of our “if” statement.

The “if” statement is then, “If the world (Satan’s Cosmic System) hates you all (and it does).

Note that in Verse 17 Jesus commands the believer to express love to one another, while in Verse 18 He is warning us that the world will express hatred to the believer. Therefore, even though we are hated, we are to express love towards those who hate us.

Other verses that tell us the same thing includes:

Mat 10:22, “You will be hated by all because of My name.”

Mat 24:9, “Then they will deliver you to tribulation, and will kill you, and you will be hated by all nations because of My name.”

John 7:7, “The world cannot hate you, but it hates Me because I testify of it, that its deeds are evil.”

John 3:13, “Do not be surprised, brethren, if the world hates you.”

Mat 5:44, “But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.”

Luke 6:27, “But I say to you who hear, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you,

The second clause of Verse 18 is the Apodosis or “then” statement. It reads, “You know that it has hated Me before it hated you.”

GINOSKETE is the Verb GINOSKO in the Present, Active, Indicative or Imperative, Second Person, Plural. It means, “Come to know, recognize, or perceive.”

The Imperative and Indicative Moods are spelled identically. When in the Imperative Mood GINOSKO means “Be very certain, or remember.” In other words understand this point of Doctrine and retain it.

The Iterative Present Tense in the Imperative Mood urges an action to be done, it’s a command. That is, the believer is to continuously or repeatedly know that Satan’s Cosmic System hates them (i.e. remember this principle of Doctrine).

The Active Voice in the Second Person Plural tells us the disciples are to perform the action of continuous knowledge. Therefore, the believer is to keep recalling this principle of Doctrine. We will translate this as, “You all keep on (continuously) knowing.

HOTI is the Epexegetical Conjunction which means “that”. It introduces the clause that completes the idea of the noun KOSMOS above. It is telling us more about Satan’s Cosmic System. We will translate HOTI as, “that it (Satan’s Cosmic System).” The neuter pronoun “it” is added in conjunction with MEMISEKEN below.

EME is the First Person, Singular, Pronoun EGO in the Accusative case, which means “I or Me”.  Jesus is referring to Himself.

PROTON is the Ordinal Adverb of PROTOS that is linked with MEMISEKEN, (has hated), below. It means “first; leading, foremost, prominent, most important, earlier, former, or before.”

HUMON is the Second Person, Plural, Pronoun SU in the Genitive of Comparison, meaning “you all.” Here Jesus is comparing Himself to the believer, both of which are hated by Satan’s Cosmic System, yet hatred of Christ came first or before hatred of the believer.

MEMISEKEN is the Verb MISEO once again, but this time in the Perfect, Active, Indicative, Third Person, Singular.

The Third Person Singular points back to the KOSMOS, and therefore links with HOTI above by adding the Neuter Pronoun “it”.

The Intensive Perfect Tense signifies a completed past action that emphasizes the present state produced by the past action. (i.e., they hated Christ in the past with the result that He and the believer are hated today.)

The Active Voice in the Third Person Singular, tells us that the KOSMOS, (those of Satan’s Cosmic System), produce the action of having hated Jesus Christ with the result that they continue to hate Him today.

The Indicative Mood is for the reality of their hatred towards Him before their hatred towards the believer. So we can say “has hated and still hates.”

Our complete translation of John 15:18 is:   “If the world (Satan’s Cosmic System) hates you all (and it does), then you all keep on knowing (remembering), that it (Satan’s Cosmic System) has hated and still hates Me before (it hated) you all.”

We have noted these first three verses above which reiterate what our Lord is saying in John 15:18.

Mat 10:22, “You will be hated by all because of My name.”

Mat 24:9, “Then they will deliver you to tribulation, and will kill you, and you will be hated by all nations because of My name.”

John 7:7, “The world cannot hate you, but it hates Me because I testify of it, that its deeds are evil.”

In addition we note:

Luke 6:22, “Blessed are you when men hate you, and ostracize you, and insult you, and scorn your name as evil, for the sake of the Son of Man.”

Mat 5:10, “Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 11Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. 12Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”

But then our Lord goes on to remind them of the same principle; even though we are hated we are to love our neighbor.”

Mat 5:43, “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44“But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? 47If you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? 48Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”

Principles:

Christ was and is the target in the Angelic Conflict before the Church Age began. It hated Christ from Genesis 3:15 until His resurrection, ascension and session.

Now Christ is gone and every believer is still on the earth, and this verse is saying that, “in the intensified stage of the Angelic Conflict you (the positive believer) are a target, always will be a target, and there never will be a time when you are not a target of cosmic hatred.”  This targeting sometimes occurs directly to you in the form of gossip, maligning, slander, ostracization, etc., or even physical attacks. Yet, it also occurs indirectly as part of Satan’s propaganda machine of bombardment of cosmic viewpoint.

The positive believer is a target for intense hatred and it is not just people hating you, it is a system that hates you, a type of thought.  That system includes religionism, legalism, one worldism, utopianism, etc., and it despises you.

So the first reason that the world hates the believer is because the Cosmic System hates Christ and we are related to Him.

  • You are a “son / child of God”, Mat 5:9; Luke 20:36; John 1:1-13; Rom 8:14, 16, 19, 21; Gal 3:26; Phil 2:15; 1 John 3:1-2, 10.

Gal 3:26, “For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus.”

1 John 3:10, “By this the children of God and the children of the devil are obvious: anyone who does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor the one who does not love his brother.”

  • You are “in Christ”, Rom 6:11; 8:1; 12:5; 1 Cor 1:30; 2 Cor 5:17-19; Gal 3:28

1 Cor 1:30, “But by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption.”

Jesus prepared the disciples for their hostile reception by the world, as we too are prepared. It is the nature of man to want sympathy and understanding and it can be very discouraging to be hated, especially when one acts from the purest motives and performs righteous deeds.  Therefore, the Lord comforted His disciples by preparing them for the sufferings they would undergo because of His name, as He also does for us.

The apostle Peter passed on the same truth in 1 Peter 4:12-13 because it had been a comfort to him.

1 Peter 4:12-13, “Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you, which comes upon you for your testing, as though some strange thing were happening to you; 13but to the degree that you share the sufferings of Christ, keep on rejoicing, so that also at the revelation of His glory you may rejoice with exultation.”

The disciples were assured that the world would hate and persecute them because it hated and murdered Him first. This was Christ’s warning to them so that they would be prepared to face the challenge triumphantly.

Principles of the KOSMOS

The head of the structure for the KOSMOS is noted in John 14:30 and Eph 6:11. Satan is the prince (ruler) of this world.

John 14:30, “I will not speak much more with you, for the ruler of the world is coming, and he has nothing in Me.”

  • The one who rules the world is Satan. The person of Satan, the greatest genius of all creatures is described in: Isa 14:12-17; Ezk 28:11-19; John 8:44; 1 John 3:8.
  • He gained rulership of the world as a result of Adam’s decision to follow him rather than God. Compare Gen 2:26, 28; 3:1-7 with Mat 4:8; Luke 4:5-6; John 12:31; 1 John 5:19.

Luke 4:5, “And he led Him up and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. 6And the devil said to Him, “I will give You all this domain and its glory; for it has been handed over to me, and I give it to whomever I wish.”

1 John 5:19, “We know that we are of God, and that the whole world lies in the power of the evil one.”

The general make-up of the KOSMOS is noted in Eph 6:11-13.

Eph 6:11, “Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. 12For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm.”

There is a specific meaning to each classification found in Eph 6.

  • Devil – DIABOLOS that means “slanderous or accusing falsely.” He is the Head of the demon army, Mat 9:34; Mark 3:22; Luke 11:15.
  • Rulers – ARCHE that means “beginning or origin”. It meant “the first place or power, Sovereignty, dominion, or command.” It comes from ARCHO that means “to rule or to begin”. These are the top ranking and most powerful angels, the Generals of Satan’s demon army.
  • Powers/Authorities – EXOUSIA that means “power to act or authority.” It is used for “an office or magistracy.” These are the Officer Corps of Satan’s demon army.
  • World Forces – KOSMOKRATOR that means “rulers or lords of this world.” These are the ones representing Satan in each country here on earth, the Ambassadors of Satan’s demon army. Daniel 10:13-20
  • Spirits of Evil in the Heavens – Is made up of three Greek words, PNEUMATIKOS; PONERIA; EPOURANIOS. They literally mean, “spiritual; iniquity/wickedness; of heaven”. These are the grunts, privates or Rank and File Soldiers of Satan’s demon army.

Satan or DIABOLOS is in the singular while the other four mentioned ranks are all in the plural.

Similar to Eph 6 there are other verses which describe hierarchy of authority among the angels both elect and fallen. Rom 8:38; Eph 3:10; Col 1:16; 2:10, 15

Satan also has a strategy working through unbelievers, Luke 8:12; 2 Cor 4:3-4; 2 Thes 2:9-10; Col 2:8.

God knew that Satan would be the ruler of this world; therefore, He designed certain things to protect the human race during Satan’s rule. Those protections include the four Diving Institutions (Volition, Marriage, Family and Nationalism).

  • The Divine Institutions were designed to protect human freedom and are the means of perpetuating the human race as the counteraction to Satan’s rule.
  • Under them human freedom is the most protected thing in the devil’s world so that bona fide evangelism can exist in every generation.

Likewise, the ministry of God the Holy Spirit as the restrainer (2 Thes 2:2-6) is a protection to all of mankind and especially the believer while in Satan’s Cosmic world.

Satan attacks not only the positive believer but these four Divine Institutions as well as the gospel, the content of the gospel, the message of the gospel, those who deliver the gospel, and so on. Therefore, Satan as the ruler of this world, having a well-tuned army organization and a system for attacking thought content hates the Lord Jesus Christ.

The strategy of Satan mentioned in 2 Cor 2:11 is found in many areas of scripture.

2 Cor 2:11, “So that no advantage would be taken of us by Satan, for we are not ignorant of his schemes.”

The believer is commanded to not fall prey to Satan’s Cosmic strategy in 1 John 2:15-17.

1 John 2:15-17, “Do not love the world, (Satan’s Cosmic System), nor the things in the world, (materialism). If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh (appetite) and the lust of the eyes (beauty) and the boastful pride of life (ambitious pride), is not from the Father, but is from the world. 17The world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God lives forever.”

Satan’s strategy is to negatively influence the lust pattern of man’s Old Sin Nature in three prime areas, appetite, beauty and ambitious pride.

  • Appetite is the lustful sin pattern linked to the arrogance complex of sins that creates a thought of, “I want, I need or I deserve”. It is inordinate wanting, craving or desire for something.
  • Beauty is the lustful sin pattern linked with the arrogance complex of sins that perceives something as highly desirable and creates a though pattern of, “I must have”.
  • Ambitious Pride is the lustful sin pattern linked to the arrogance complex of sins that creates a sinful thought that leads to sinful action, “I must do, attain or achieve.” It is inordinate pursuit of life, wealth, possessions, etc. that culminates with arrogant boasting, the “look at me”, or “look at what I have….” syndrome.

This has been Satan’s strategy to lead man away from God since the Garden of Eden, Gen 3:6.

Gen 3:6, “When the woman saw that the tree was good for food (appetite), and that it was a delight to the eyes (beauty), and that the tree was desirable to make one wise (ambitious pride), she took from its fruit and ate….”

This strategy also has to do with the attack upon the Divine Institutions as illustrated in the Garden of Eden and the antediluvian civilization where Satan attacked them all.

  • He has a strategy with regard to national entities, to distort them from a protective system, (Divine Institution #4, nationalism) into something that he can use to further his gain (one world system).
  • When a national entity starts to get into these things, such as socialism, government regulation of industry, government controls where human volition is involved (outside of crime, where it is bona fide), it destroys human freedom.
  • Satan’s objective with regard to nations is to distort the true purpose of Divine Institution #4, (provide and protect freedom).

Satan is anti-Divine Institution even as he is anti-Christ and is constantly exercising his hate toward God.

The unbeliever involved in anti-establishment is described in Rom 1:28-32.

Rom 1:28-32, “And just as they did not see fit to have God in their knowledge any longer (negative volition at God-consciousness), God delivered them over to a depraved mind to do the things that are not proper, being filled with all unrighteousness, greed, malice, full of jealousy, murder, dissension, deceit, evil motivation; they became gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, without understanding, lacking honor and integrity, unloving (no capacity for love), implacable. And although they know the righteous decree of God, that those who practice such things deserve death (capital punishment), they not only continue to do these very things, but also they approve others who practice them.”

The believer involved in anti-establishment is described in 2 Tim 3:2-7.

2 Tim 3:2-7, “For persons (Church Age believers) will be lovers of self (cosmic one), lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, wicked, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, haters of good (of intrinsic value), treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having an overt appearance of godliness (hypocrisy of legalism), but they have denied its power (omnipotence of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit). Therefore, avoid these believers (who are anti-establishment and anti-Plan of God), for among these are those who worm their way into homes and captivate silly (weak) women who are loaded down with sins and swayed by all kinds of evil desires, always learning but never able to come to the EPIGNOSIS knowledge of the truth.”  

Mandates for Defensive Action Against the Power of Satan.

The believer is commanded to defend against Satan’s strategy.  Defensive action is a grace function. Believers are dependent upon the grace provisions of God, Eph 4:27; 6:13.

Eph 4:27, “Do not give the devil an opportunity (TOPOS – place).”

Eph 6:13, “Pick up and put on the full armor from God that you may always be able to hold your ground in the evil day.” 

The evil day is the day of attack. The Roman soldier was able to get dressed for battle in a few minutes and be ready to defend himself. We too must be prepared and ready at a moments notice when hatred is directed toward us.

James 4:7, “Hold your ground against the devil and he will flee from you.”

1 Peter 5:8-9, “Attain spiritual self-esteem, be alert, your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for some believer to devour; therefore, hold your ground against him standing firm in faith (Bible Doctrine).”

What God has provided in grace for our defensive action has no weaknesses. When we use our human strengths and abilities against Satan, we are defeated and overrun.

Encouragement for defensive action against Satan is found in 1 John 4:4, where we are told, “Greater is He who is in you (God the Holy Spirit) than he who is in the world (Satan and his cosmic system).”

Hatred towards God, Jesus Christ and the believer is also described in scripture in terms of “Enemyship.”

In human history, the Sovereignty of God and free will of man coexist by Divine decree because human history is an extension of the prehistoric Angelic Conflict.  Satan learned in the prehistoric Angelic Conflict that he can not attack the Sovereignty of God, which is incorruptible, so he attacked the volition of other creatures. He came up with a plan to attack God through His creatures, since he could not attack God.  Therefore, since mankind was created in history to resolve the prehistoric Angelic Conflict, Satan attacks at the weak point the volition of mankind.

The greatest attack on human volition occurred against the humanity of our Lord Jesus Christ during the incarnation while He was in hypostatic union.  Jesus Christ was attacked constantly; He was tempted beyond anything we will ever know, Mat 4:1-11; Luke 4:1-13.

Satan is always getting at God the Father through human volition.

Satan’s major objective is twofold:

  • To blind the minds of unbelievers so they will not accept Christ, 2 Cor 4:3-4.

2 Cor 4:3-4, “But if our gospel has been veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, in whose case the god of this world has blinded the thinking of those who are unbelievers, that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.”

  • If they do believe in Christ, hinder their function and execution of the Plan of God for their life, distract them in every way possible, and keep them from making Bible Doctrine their number one priority, 1 Peter 5:8.

1 Peter 5:8, “Be of sober spirit (attain spiritual self-esteem), be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.”

Satan has organized an almost fool‑proof system to get us out of God’s Power System (GPS) and into the Cosmic System.  As we have noted in Eph 6, demons don’t just sit in the stands and watch us as do elect angels (Luke 15:7, 10; 1 Cor 4:9; Eph 3:10; 1 Tim 3:16; 1 Pet 1:12); the demons are on the playing field while at the same time observing.

Satan has Various Functions as the Ruler of Fallen Angels:

  • Satan is the enemy of unbelievers, Luke 8:12; 2 Cor 4:3‑4; 2 Thes 2:7‑10; Col 2:8.
  • Satan is the enemy of the Church Age believer, 2 Cor 2:11; 11:3; Eph 6:10‑17; James 4:6‑10; 1 Peter 5:6‑9.
  • Satan is the enemy of the Church, Rev 2:9, 13, 24.
  • Satan is the enemy of Bible Doctrine, Mat 13:9, 39.
  • Satan is the enemy of Israel, Rev 12:4, 13, 15.
  • Satan is the enemy of the incarnation of the Hypostatic Union, Rev 12:4.
  • Satan is the enemy of nations, Rev 12:9; 20:3, 8.
  • Satan is the chief antagonist of the extension of the Angelic Conflict into human history, Heb 1‑2.

Categories of Enemyship Related to the Spiritual Life:

  • Satan and the fallen angels are the enemies of the believer, 1 Tim 5:14-15; 1 Peter 5:8.
  • The reversionist, though used by Satan, is the enemy of both Satan and the advancing believer.
  • Demons are said to be the enemy of God, 1 Cor 15:25; Heb 10:13.
  • Unbelievers are the enemies of God, Rom 5:10; Col 1:21. Rom 5:10, “For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.” All unbelievers are “in a state of alienation, hostile in thinking and evil in deeds.”
  • Both categories of enemies of God will be judged by the Lake of Fire, John 3:18; Mat 25:41; Heb 10:27.
  • The carnal believer becomes a temporary enemy of God by being out of fellowship, Rom 8:7‑8.

Rom 8:7-8, “Because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so, and those who are in the flesh cannot please God.”

  • God is the enemy of the reversionistic believer, 1 Sam 28:16, especially when he is under the sin unto death.
  • The reversionistic believer is the enemy of God, James 4:4.

James 4:4-5, “You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. Or do you think that the Scripture speaks to no purpose: “He jealously desires the Spirit which He has made to dwell in us”?”

  • The reversionist is called the “enemy of the cross,” Phil 3:18.

What we have been noting in Verse 18, as summarized by our Lord, was previously expanded upon by Him when encouraging the disciples in regard to their future ministry in Matthew 10:16-26.

Next we turn to Verse 19 for the 2nd Obstruction to Divine Good Production:

Reason #2: We are not of this world – Election out from the World

that says, John 15:19, “If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.”

The Greek reads:  “ εἰ   ἐκ  τοῦ  κόσμου  ἦτε,  ὁ  κόσμος  ἂν  τὸ  ἴδιον  ἐφίλει·  ὅτι  δὲ  ἐκ  τοῦ  κόσμου  οὐκ  ἐστέ,  ἀλλ’  ἐγὼ  ἐξελεξάμην  ὑμᾶς  ἐκ  τοῦ  κόσμου,  διὰ τοῦτο  μισεῖ  ὑμᾶς  ὁ  κόσμος. ”

Transliterated it reads:  “EI EK TOU KOSMOU ETE, HO KOSMOS AN TO IDION EPHILEI; HOTI DE EK TOU KOSMOU OUK ESTE, ALL EGO EXELEXAMEN HUMAS EK TOU KOSMOU, DIA TOUTO MISEI HUMAS HO KOSMOS.”

There are five parts to this verse:

Part 1: “If you were of the world (and you are not)”

Part 2: “the world would (still) love its own”

Part 3: “but because you are not of the world”

Part 4: “but I chose you out of the world”

Part 5: “therefore the world hates you”

Part 1: “If you were of the world (but you are not).”

This verse begins with another “if” statement. EI is the Conditional Conjunction linked with the Verbal Particle AN in this sentence that makes this a Second Class Conditional “if” that means, “If and it is not true,” stating that the believer in the Lord Jesus Christ is not of the KOSMOS.

EK is the Preposition that means, “from, out from, away from or of.”

TOU is the article HO for “the”.

KOSMOU is the noun KOSMOS for “world” or Satan’s Cosmic System as defined in the context here.

All three, EK TOU KOSMOU, are in the Genitive of Source Case which means “out of, derived from, dependent on, or sourced in.” This could also be a Possessive Genitive stating “belonging to or possessed by.” With the Second Class “if” we understand this as “not the source” from where the believer comes from, or “not belonging to.” With the Second Class “if” we understand this as the believer “not being from” the world. We are not of this world.

ETE is the verb EIMI (is or to be) in the Imperfect, Active, Indicative, Second Person, Plural that means “you all were”.

The Stative Customary Imperfect Tense means to keep on being in the past.

The Active Voice indicates the individuals spoken to here, the disciples.

The Indicative Mood linked with EI and AN, makes the Indicative an unreal, contrary to fact Indicative. It is for the reality that they have not belonged to this world since their salvation. There was a time when you were from the world, but you are no longer. Literally, “If you were belonging to the world, but you are not.” You are born again now; you are disciples now.

We translate this as “If you all were from the world (Satan’s Cosmic System), but you are not.

Therefore we have the second reason for our obstruction from Producing Divine Good:  We are not of Satan’s Cosmic System, because of our Election by God

This reminds us that even though we are in the world, we are not of the world. Instead we are a heavenly citizen. We have a heavenly citizenship known from the Greek word POLITEUMA in Phil 3:20.

Phil 3:18, “For many walk, of whom I often told you, and now tell you even weeping, that they are enemies of the cross of Christ, 19whose end is destruction, whose god is their appetite (emotions), and whose glory is in their shame, who set their minds on earthly things. 20For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.”

Phil 1:27, “Only conduct yourselves, (POLITEUOMAI – live as a citizen [of heaven]), in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ.”

Eph 2:6, “And (God) raised us up with Him (Jesus Christ), and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus.”

Eph 2:19, “So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God’s household.”

Col 3:1, “Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ (and you have), keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. 3For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 4When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory.”

Therefore, the believer is a heavenly citizen and not a citizen of Satan’s Cosmic System. You have been called out of Satan’s System and entered into the eternal kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ, 1 Peter 2:9-10. That is why the world hates the believer.

1 Peter 2:9-10, “But you are a chosen race, A royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; 10for you once were not a people, but now you are the people of God; you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.”

Part 2: “The world would (still) love its own.”

Next we have the “then” statement, “the world would love its own.” “HO KOSMOS AN TO IDION EPHILEI.”

HO KOSMOS is the Nominative use of the article and noun for “the world” (Satan’s Cosmic System).

AN is a Verbal Particle. It’s a particle indicating contingency in certain constructions. It gives us our “then” statement. We will translate this contingency as “would”.

TO IDION is the article HO “the” plus Pronominal Adjective IDIOS in the Accusative, Neuter, Singular that means, “one’s own, belonging to one, personal, private, or peculiar to oneself.” In the Neuter Singular it is referring back to the “world” so we add the pronoun “its” for “the”, in “its own.”

EPHILEI is the Verb PHILEO in the Imperfect, Active, Indicative, Third Person, Singular that means “It was loving” or “keeps on loving”.

The Stative Customary Imperfect Tense means to keep on loving in the past.

The Active Voice in the Third Person, Singular, the world (Satan’s Cosmic System) was loving you in the past.

The Indicative Mood is for the reality of being loved by the COSMOS in the past.

In other words “the world would keep on having rapport love for you.” The type of love here is PHILEO, or rapport love. Why? Because, “the world would love its own.” Satan has his own system, the COSMOS, and the COSMOS despises you because you left it and joined the Plan of God as of the day you accepted Christ as Savior.

So the COSMOS must therefore hate the believer, hate Doctrine, hate anything that causes the believer to stand up to the COSMOS system.

The believer may stupidly love the COSMOS because of ignorance of Bible Doctrine (1 John 2:15-17), and this is where we have social action today and social gospel.

There is a difference, however, between loving the souls of men (witnessing therefore) and the system under which men operate.

When people are saved they are snatched from the COSMOS system.

We will translate this section as, “The world (Satan’s Cosmic System) would keep on having rapport love for its own (you as an unbeliever) but it does not.

Part 3: “But because you are not of the world.”

Next we have but because you are not of the world,” “HOTI DE EK TOU KOSMOU OUK ESTE.”

HOTI is a Conjunction which means, “that, because, for or since.” Linked with DE it introduces a causal phrase.

DE is another Conjunction that means, “but, to the contrary, rather; and; now, then, so.” In English we reverse the two and say “but because.” Here I will translate DE using “to the contrary” to express the contrasting position the believer stands in now, versus the position they were in prior to their salvation, and say “because to the contrary.”

EK TOU KOSMOU is once again in the Genitive of Source Case for “from the world, (Satan’s Cosmic System).

OUK is the Negative Particle for “not”.

ESTE is the Present, Active, Indicative, Second Person, Plural of EIMI that means “you all are.” Linked with the negative OUK it is saying the believer is currently absolutely not from Satan’s Cosmic System.

So we translate this section as: “Because to the contrary, you all are absolutely not from the world (Satan’s Cosmic System).

This reminds us of our eternal security, John 10:28-31, due to our Election.

John 10:28-30, “And I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand. 29My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. 30I and the Father are one.”

Part 4: “But I chose you out of the world,”

Our next section is, “But I chose you out of the world,” or

“ ἀλλ’  ἐγὼ  ἐξελεξάμην  ὑμᾶς  ἐκ  τοῦ  κόσμου, ”

which is, “ALL EGO EXELEXAMEN HUMAS EK TOU KOSMOU,”

ALL is the Superordinating Conjunction ALLA that means “but, rather, or on the contrary.” Since our Lord has already used a contrasting conjunction idiom HOTI DE, this clause complements it while continuing the contrast of the previous clause. Therefore we will translate ALLA here as “rather.”

EGO is the First Person, Singular, Pronoun in the Subject Nominative Case that means “I or me”, Jesus is referring to Himself as the one who does the choosing or electing.

EXELEXAMEN is the Verb EKLEGOMAI in the Aorist, Middle, Indicative, First Person, Singular of EKLEGO that means, “To choose, or select.”

The Constative Aorist Tense is for simple past action that views the entirety of the action. It stresses the fact of occurrence, that is, you were chosen by Christ in eternity past.

The Indirect Middle Voice, Jesus Christ is the one who chose us for Himself. This indicates His election of the believer to complete His own body, His royal family.

The Indicative Mood is for the reality of Jesus’ election of the believer. We translate this “chose for Myself.”

HUMAS is the Second Person, Personal Pronoun SU in the Direct Object Accusative Case that means “you all.” The disciples were, and by extension we are the ones who received the action of Christ’s election.

EK TOU KOSMOU is our phrase “from the world” once again, but this time it is in the Genitive of Separation indicating that we have been separated “out from” or “away from” Satan’s Cosmic System as a result of Christ’s Election. So we will say “out from the world”.

This is the Doctrine of Election; in eternity past when election was put into operation (Eph. 1:4-5) God, (which includes the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit) elected every believer in the Church Age. He elected Christ; every believer is in union with Christ.

Our translation is, “Rather I chose you all for Myself out from the world.

Part 5: “Therefore the world hates you.”

Our last section is “therefore the world hates you”, which is “DIA TOUTO MISEI HUMAS HO KOSMOS.”

DIA is a Preposition in the Accusative case that can mean, “Because of, on account of, for the sake of; through.”

TOUTO Demonstrative Pronominal Adjective in the Accusative Neuter Singular of HOUTOS that means, “this, this one, he, she, or it.”

Together DIA TOUTO comes to mean, “Therefore or for this reason.” Other Greek scholars have translated the above as “on this account”, Wuest, or “for this cause”, Murdock, or “That is why the people of the world hate you,” SEB, or “for that reason the world hates you”, Weymouth. (Complete Biblical Library Various Versions – John.)

MISEI is the Verb MISEO in the Present, Active, Indicative, Third Person, Singular that means “hate, despise, disregard, or be indifferent to.”

The Customary Present Tense tells us that the world keeps on hating the believer in the Lord Jesus Christ.

The Active Voice, those of Satan’s Cosmic System produce the action of hating.

The Indicative Mood is for the reality of the situation.

HUMAS is the Second Person, Plural, Pronoun SU in the Accusative case that means “you all” these are the ones that are once again hated by the world.

HO KOSMOS is the article for “the” plus the noun KOSMOS in the Subject Nominative case, Masculine, Singular, meaning “world.” This is the thing that hates the believer – Satan’s Cosmic System.

Our translation is, “For this reason the world (Satan’s Cosmic System) keeps on hating you all (the believer).

The complete translation of John 15:19 is:   If you all were from the world, (Satan’s Cosmic System), but you are not, the world would keep on having rapport love for its own, (you as an unbeliever), but it does not; because to the contrary you are absolutely not from the world, rather I chose you for myself out from the world, for this reason the world (Satan’s Cosmic System) keeps on hating you all (the believer).”

Here we have a definite and specific reason for the world’s hatred of Christians, whose very existence is a reproach to the sinful world. Cf. John 7:7; John 17:14; 1 John 3:13.

John 17:14-18, “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. 15I do not ask You to take them out of the world, but to keep them from the evil one. 16They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. 17Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth. 18As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world. 19For their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they themselves also may be sanctified in truth. 20I do not ask on behalf of these alone, but for those also who believe in Me through their word; 21that they may all be one; even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us, so that the world may believe that You sent Me.”

So we have to ask ourselves an important question, “Does the world hate us?” If not, why not? Has the world become more Christian or have we become more worldly?

Therefore we have Obstruction #2 – Election out from the World.

In John 15:19 we are given the second obstruction to Divine Good production which is our election out of the World. So the second reason we are hindered from producing the fruit of the spirit is because the believer priest in the Plan of God no longer belongs to the world, Satan’s Cosmic System, and therefore is hated by that Cosmos.

We have been chosen by Christ, and therefore are not of the world. Because of our different nature and disposition from the world, the world cannot get along with us.

The results of Christ’s elective work belong to all the saints, for we all are subject to the antagonism of the world.

Election is noted in 2 Thessalonians 2:13–14 and Romans 8:29–30

One reason for the world’s hatred of the believer is not the weakness and inconsistencies of the Christian in his human nature but their righteousness and grace. The world’s displeasure cannot always be attributed to the faults of those who are the objects of it.

As Barclay pointed out, “The world even in unspiritual matters, such as daily work, often persecutes men for working too hard or too long at their duties.” Why because it is a convicting thing to practice a higher standard in one’s physical work habits than that practiced by the common everyday laboring man.

So because of the righteousness working through you in grace orientation, the world hates that higher standard of living, and therefore will hate you.

But remember that as Swete stated, “The quarrel of the world with the Church, so far as it is not provoked by the faults of Christians, is merely a continuation of its quarrel with Christ.”

Plato, although not a Christian, had an interesting insight into human nature that he wrote about centuries before John’s Gospel, “that if a truly righteous man ever appeared on earth, he would be scourged, imprisoned and hanged!”

Approaching the topic from the other direction, our Lord in John 7:5, 7, told His earthly family who did not believe on Him that the world would not hate them. It was because they were as the world.

John 7:5, “For not even His brothers were believing in Him. … 7The world cannot hate you, but it hates Me because I testify of it, that its deeds are evil.”

Remember that the COSMOS claims unbelievers as its own.

On the other hand disciples have a different master from that of the world.

  • The believer’s desires are not the sinful lusts of the world, 1 John 2:15-17.
  • The believer’s conduct does not conform to the pleasures of the world, 1 Tim 6:17-19.

1 Tim 6:17-19, “Instruct those who are rich in this present world not to be conceited or to fix their hope on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly supplies us with all things to enjoy. 18Instruct them to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, 19storing up for themselves the treasure of a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is life indeed.”

  • The believer’s hopes are based on that which is incomprehensible to the world, Eph 2:12-13.

Eph 2:12, “Remember that you were at that time separate from Christ, excluded from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. 13But now in Christ Jesus you who formerly were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.”

  • The world does not share the aims and destiny of the disciples of Christ, 1 Peter 4:1-6.

1 Peter 4:1-6, “Therefore, since Christ has suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same purpose, because he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, 2so as to live the rest of the time in the flesh no longer for the lusts of men, but for the will of God. 3For the time already past is sufficient for you to have carried out the desire of the Gentiles, having pursued a course of sensuality, lusts, drunkenness, carousing, drinking parties and abominable idolatries. 4In all this, they are surprised that you do not run with them into the same excesses of dissipation, and they malign (BLASPHEMEO) you; 5but they will give account to Him who is ready to judge the living and the dead. 6For the gospel has for this purpose been preached even to those who are dead, that though they are judged in the flesh as men, they may live in the spirit according to the will of God.”

Bigg noted, “The Christians were compelled to stand aloof from all the social pleasures of the world, and the Gentiles bitterly resented their puritanism, regarding them as the enemies of all joy, and therefore of the human race.”

And remember that they really hate the believer because they first hated our Lord Jesus Christ, Luke 22:65.

Luke 22:65, “And they were saying many other things against Him, blaspheming.”

“The emphasis Jesus placed on the sinful nature of the world is reflected in all of John’s writings. For John, as with his Lord, one is either a believer or a member of the hostile world. One either lives in the light or in darkness. He is either headed for the Father’s house or for destruction. Christ is his master or he is of his father, the devil.” (Complete Biblical Library Commentary – John.)

So we have to ask ourselves an important question, “Does the world hate us?” If not, why not? Has the world become more Christian or have we become more worldly?

The Edification Complex of the Soul coupled with the filling of God the Holy Spirit is what causes you to stand up to the intense hatred of Satan and the Cosmic System, Eph 6:13-18.

We now turn to John 15:20 that says, “Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A slave is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you; if they kept My word, they will keep yours also.”

Here we are given the 3rd reason for the hatred of the Cosmic System.

Reason #3: “The servant is not greater than his Lord,” therefore we too will have persecutions.

The Greek reads:  “μνημονεύετε  τοῦ  λόγου  οὗ  ἐγὼ  εἶπον  ὑμῖν  Οὐκ  ἔστιν  δοῦλος  μείζων  τοῦ  κυρίου  αὐτοῦ·  εἰ  ἐμὲ  ἐδίωξαν,  καὶ  ὑμᾶς  διώξουσιν·  εἰ  τὸν  λόγον  μου  ἐτήρησαν,  καὶ  τὸν  ὑμέτερον  τηρήσουσιν. “

Transliterated into English it reads:  “MNEMONEUETE TOU LOGOU HOU EGO EIPON HUMIN, OUK ESTIN DOULOS MEIZON TOU KURIOU AUTOU. EI EME EDIOXAN, KAI HUMAS DIOXOUSIN; EI TON LOGON MOU ETERESAN, KAI TON HUMETERON TERESOUSIN.”

We begin with the first clause, “MNEMONEUETE TOU LOGOU OU EGO EIPON HUMIN,”

MNEMONEUETE is the verb MNEMONEUO (mnay-mon-yoo’-o) in the Present Tense, Active Voice, Indicative or Imperative Mood (since they are spelled the same in Greek, yet the context here like in Verse 18 is Imperative), Second Person, Plural. It means, “to call to mind, to make mention of, to be mindful of, recollect, recall or to remember.”

The Instantaneous Present Tense is used here as our Lord is calling for the disciples to recall the information He previously taught them in John 13:16 at this very moment. Yet, He does so, so that they will keep this information in mind going forward.

The Active Voice, the Lord is commanding that the disciples recall this principle.

The Imperative Mood, is a command from our Lord to the disciples to remember this principle of Doctrine with the expectation that they will keep on remembering it in the future as well.

In the New Testament MNEMONEUO usually implies a warning similar to “Now don’t you forget,” as shown in Luke 17:32, Remember Lot’s wife,” and Rev 2:5, Remember therefore from where you have fallen, and repent.” It is a warning call to duty, a form of recollection and exercise of mind, as shown in Hebrews 13:7, “Remember them which have the rule over you….” It implies exercise of memory and usually focuses on an object, person or Doctrine. Therefore, MNEMONEUO means to call to mind something that you have previously learned, something that you already know. The reason you call it to mind is to apply it to the situation.

This word suggests once again that within your soul there is an erected structure from which you draw information from. That is what we call the Edification Complex of the Soul. Therefore, based on the Doctrine resident in your soul and grace orientation you remember and recall a Biblical principle which you then apply.

Here Jesus is warning that just as the world had rejected Him and His teachings, so it would reject the teaching of the disciples because we are not greater than He is. The Cosmos has hated Him; therefore, it will hate His disciples too.

TOU LOGOU is the article HO plus the noun LOGOS that means “something said, a word, etc.” In the Possessive Genitive, Masculine, Singular we say, “the word of Me or My Word

HOU is the Relative Pronoun HOS that can mean, “who, which, what, or that

EGO is a Pronoun in the Subject Nominative, First Person, Singular that means, “Me or I.”

EIPON is the verb LEGO in the Aorist, Active, Indicative, First Person, Singular that means, “to say, speak, address.”

The Consummative Aorist Tense is for simple past action used to stress cessation of the action, Jesus previously told them of this doctrinal principle.

The First Person Singular Active Voice tells us that Jesus is the one who previously told them this principle.

The Indicative Mood is declarative for the reality that He previously told them this principle. So we translated it as, “said

Once again we have the principle of repeat, repeat, repeat for the inculcation and retention of Bible Doctrine.

HUMIN is the Personal Pronoun SU that means “you” in the Dative of Advantage, Second Person, Plural that comes to means, “to you all”. It is an advantage for anyone to receive the Word of God.

So we have, “Remember My Word that I said to you all.” It ends with a comma.

Principles of Repetition

Repetition is defined as the act of repeated utterance; therefore, reiteration. The principle of repetition is what you learn after you know it all. The reason for repetition is that the rate of learning must exceed the rate of forgetting for the inculcation of Bible Doctrine. The inculcation of Doctrine is designed to impress the stream of consciousness with EPIGNOSIS knowledge of Bible Doctrine by repeated teaching of a pertinent subject.

Failure to respond to repetition of Bible teaching results in the function of the three arrogance skills (self-justification, self-deception, and self-absorption).

2 Tim 4:3-4 is the result of reaction to repetition, “For the time will come when they will not endure sound Doctrine, but on the basis of their own lusts to have their ears tickled they will accumulate to themselves teachers and will turn away their itching ears from the truth and will turn aside into myths.”

The Christian dilettante wants to hear something new to stimulate or scratch their itching ears.  They dabble in false Doctrine, seeking either emotional stimulation or philosophical and psychological distractions which reject true doctrinal inculcation.

  • 2 Tim 3:7 describes that status quo, “Always learning but never able to come to a knowledge of the truth.”
  • The description of the Christian dilettante is given in 2 Tim 3:2-6.

Next we have the doctrinal principle the disciples are to recall, “A slave is not greater than his master” which is “OUK ESTIN DOULOS MEIZON TOU KURIOU AUTOU”

OUK is the Greek Negative Particle, “not”.

ESTIN is the Verb EIMI that means “is or to be”, in the Present, Active, Indicative, Third Person, Singular.

The Gnomic Present Tense is a statement of a general, timeless fact.

The Third Person Singular Active Voice refers to the “slave” / believer who is not greater than his “lord” / the Lord Jesus Christ.

The Indicative Mood is the reality of the situation.

DOULOS is the Greek Noun for “slave or servant” in the Subject Nominative, Masculine, Singular.

MEIZON is the Comparative Adjective MEGAS in the Predicate Nominative, Masculine, Singular that means “greater than” used here in a one-to-one comparison, i.e. the disciple to the Lord.

TOU KURIOU is the Article HO plus the Noun KURIOS in the Genitive, Masculine, Singular. KURIOS means “master or lord.” Here it is used generically in this axiom but refers to the Lord Jesus Christ in comparison to the disciples.

AUTOU is the Pronoun AUTOS in the Genitive, Masculine, Third Person, Singular that means “of him or his.”

So we have, “The servant is not greater than his master, (the believer in comparison to the Lord Jesus Christ).

Principles of DOULOS

Everyone has a choice; we are either slaves of sin or slaves of God’s righteousness, Luke 16:13; John 8:34, 36; Rom 6:16-23

Luke 16:13, “No servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.”

John 8:34, “Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is the slave of sin. … 36So if the Son makes you free (from sin), you will be free indeed.”” (Parenthesis mine)

Believing in Christ’s atoning work makes it possible for man to be freed from their enslavement to sin and to enjoy a new status as sons of God, Gal 4:7; 2 Peter 2:19.

2 Peter 2:19b, “For by what a man is overcome, by this he is enslaved.”

Gal 4:7, “Therefore you are no longer a slave, but a son; and if a son, then an heir through God.”

Servants should proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ as servant ambassadors of God, John 12:26; Rom 1:1-9; 2 Cor 4:5-6: Phil 1:1.

John 12:26, “If anyone serves Me, he must follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also; if anyone serves Me, the Father will honor him.”

Rom 1:9, “For God, whom I serve in my spirit in the preaching of the gospel of His Son, is my witness as to how unceasingly I make mention of you.”

2 Cor 4:5, “For we do not preach ourselves but Christ Jesus as Lord, and ourselves as your bond-servants for Jesus’ sake. 6For God, who said, “Light shall shine out of darkness,” is the One who has shone in our hearts to give the Light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.”

The DOULOS of God is under obligation to be totally committed to his Lord, Mat 6:24; Luke 16:13. Even unto death, Rev 19:2.

Mat 6:24, “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.”

The DOULOS of God will sing praises in worship of Him. Rev 15:3.

The slave depends upon his Lord to provide for his every need including sustenance and protection, while he serves in the ministry God has designed for him, Lam 3:20-25; 2 Cor 9:8-15.

A servant is one who is willing to serve and sacrifice, willing to give up their way for the good of a greater agenda, God’s way. When you do so it makes for great discipleship and it makes for hard living. Yet, it goes against everything in our nature to give rather than take, and to serve rather than to be served, and to promote another rather than promote yourself.

The servant of God will suffer various persecutions in like manner to our Lord, John 15:20.

Then He makes the application: “If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you;” “EI EME EDIOXAN, KAI HUMAS DIOXOUSIN”

EI is the Subordinating Conjunction that means “if or since”. This is a first class “if” statement that means, “if (and it is true).” It introduces the Protasis.

EME is the Pronoun EGO that means “I or Me” in the Direct Object Accusative, First Person, Singular. Jesus is the one they have persecuted first.

EDIOXAN is the verb DIOKO in the Aorist, Active, Indicative, Third Person, Plural that means, “To put to flight, to put pursue on someone”, and by implication “to persecute.”

The Constative Aorist is for simple past action that views the entirety of the action as a whole. It refers to certain points of time which are all gathered up now into one entirety. Jesus was not persecuted every minute but there were times when the pressure was on.

The Active Voice in the Third Person Plural tells us that Jesus was persecuted by a group of people “they” referring to those of Satan’s Cosmic System.

The Indicative Mood is for the reality of Jesus’ persecution during His first incarnation. So we say, “They persecuted.”

KAI is typically the Coordinating Conjunction that means, “and, even or also.”  Here it is used as an adverb linked with DIOXOUSIN below. This sets up the Apodasis or “then” statement of this “if” statement.

HUMAS is the Pronoun SU for “you” in the Direct object Accusative, Second Person, Plural for “you all.”

DIOXOUSIN is the verb DIOKO in the Future, Active, Indicative, Third Person, Plural that again means, “to persecute”.

The Future Tense tells us that the persecution of the disciples is subsequent to the persecution of our Lord. It will be post resurrection and ascension. It means that the apostles are not a target yet. As long as Christ is on the earth He is the target, but He says that in the future they will be. In the Church Age every believer is now the target.

The Third Person Plural Active Voice again tells us of the group that “will persecute” the disciples of our Lord, “they” referring to those who are a part of Satan’s Cosmic System.

The Indicative Mood is for the reality of the situation. The Disciples will be persecuted by those of Satan’s Cosmic System during the Church Age.

So we have, “If they persecuted Me (and they have), they will also persecute you all.

“The Lord who was personally persecuted on earth continued to be persecuted, even in His exaltation, in the person of His persecuted followers. Their being persecuted for His sake was a sign that they belonged to Him, as it was a token of coming judgment on their persecutors” (Bruce, p.313).

Compare John 16:33; Mat 5:10-12; 10:24-25; Mark 10:30; Luke 21:12; 1 Cor 4:12-13; 2 Cor 4:7-10; Gal 4:29; 2 Tim. 3:12 for proof that this prophecy came true.

John 16:33, “These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.”

Mat 10:24, “A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a slave above his master. 25“It is enough for the disciple that he become like his teacher, and the slave like his master. If they have called the head of the house Beelzebul, how much more will they malign the members of his household!”

2 Tim 3:12, “Indeed, all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.”

1 Cor 4:12, “… when we are reviled, we bless; when we are persecuted, we endure; 13when we are slandered, we try to conciliate; we have become as the scum of the world, the dregs of all things, even until now.”

2 Cor 4:7-12, “But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, so that the surpassing greatness of the power will be of God and not from ourselves; 8we are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not despairing; 9persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; 10always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body.”

Mat 5:10, “Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 11“Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. 12“Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

The final clause gives us the contrast to the persecutions from Satan’s Cosmic System. He adds this positive aspect for encouragement. It reads, “if they kept My word, they will keep yours also.

Transliterated it is:  “EI TON LOGON MOU ETERESAN, KAI TON HUMETERON TERESOUSIN.”

EI is once again a Subordinating Conjunction that gives us a first class “if” statement, “if (and it is true).”

TON LOGON is the article HO for “the” and the Noun LOGOS for “word” in the Direct Object Accusative, Masculine, Singular, here meaning Bible Doctrine.

MOU is the Pronoun EGO “I or Me”, in the Possessive Genitive, First Person, Singular that means “of me or My.”

ETERESAN is the verb TEREO that means “to watch over, to guard, continue or keep”, in the Aorist, Active, Indicative, Third Person, Plural.

The Constative Aorist Tense views the entirety of the action in simple past tense.

The Third Person Plural leads us once again to add “they”, this time referring to those who are converts from Satan’s Cosmic System and are not part of Satan’s Cosmic System during our Lord’s incarnation.

The Active Voice identifies the positive believer who is applying God’s Word to life or those who are applying Divine Establishment principles to life.

The Indicative Mood is for the reality that some “kept” God’s Word or Divine Establishment principles resident within their souls during our Lord’s First Advent.

KAI is once again used as the Adverb “also”, but this time linked with TERESOUSIN below. This sets up the Apodasis or “then” statement of this “if” statement.

TON HUMETERON is the Article HO for “the” plus the Pronominal Adjective HUMETEROS that means, “your”, in the Accusative, Masculine, Second Person, Singular that comes to mean “yours.” Its root is found in the Pronoun SU.

TERESOUSIN is the Verb TEREO that means, “to watch over, to guard, continue or keep” in the Future, Active, Indicative, Third Person, Plural.

The Future Tense tells us that those who are positive to the teaching of Jesus Christ will be positive towards the believer who is representing the Lord Jesus Christ during the Church Age.

The Active Voice, positive believers or those who hold to Divine Establishment principles will not be antagonistic toward the believer.

The Indicative Mood is for the reality of the situation of non-antagonism from those who are not part of Satan’s Cosmic System. So we translate this as “they will keep.”

We translate this last clause, “If they kept My Word (Bible Doctrine) and they have, they will also keep yours (Bible Doctrine).”

Our complete translation of John 15:20 is:  “Remember My Word that I said (taught) to you all, if they persecuted Me (and they have), they will also persecute you all, (and they will). The servant is not greater than his master, (the believer in comparison to the Lord Jesus Christ); If they persecuted Me (and they have), they will also persecute you all, (and they will). If they kept My Word (Bible Doctrine) and they have, they will also keep yours (Bible Doctrine).”

The parable of servants and son persecuted in Luke 20:9-18 elucidates our passage.

Luke 20:9, “And He began to tell the people this parable: “A man planted a vineyard and rented it out to vine-growers, and went on a journey for a long time. 10At the harvest time he sent a slave to the vine-growers, so that they would give him some of the produce of the vineyard; but the vine-growers beat him and sent him away empty-handed. 11And he proceeded to send another slave; and they beat him also and treated him shamefully and sent him away empty-handed. 12And he proceeded to send a third; and this one also they wounded and cast out. 13The owner of the vineyard said, ‘What shall I do? I will send my beloved son; perhaps they will respect him.’ 14But when the vine-growers saw him, they reasoned with one another, saying, ‘This is the heir; let us kill him so that the inheritance will be ours.’ 15So they threw him out of the vineyard and killed him. What, then, will the owner of the vineyard do to them? 16He will come and destroy these vine-growers and will give the vineyard to others.” When they heard it, they said, “May it never be!” 17But Jesus looked at them and said, “What then is this that is written:          ‘The stone which the builders rejected, This became the chief corner stone’? 18Everyone who falls on that stone will be broken to pieces; but on whomever it falls, it will scatter him like dust.”

Principles:

The world responds to God’s messengers of the Church Age as it responded to Christ Himself. John 15:21, “They will treat you this way because of My name.”  This is a clear warning not to expect a lost world, driven by Satan’s Cosmic System, with motives that are corrupt and ungodly to gladly embrace Christ or Christian beliefs and standards. Those of the Cosmic System are not only unable to see the light, but they are also hostile and resentful to any hint that their ways lie under the judgment of God.

In warning the believer of the persecutions from the Cosmic System, our Lord never tells us to fight back or right the wrongs of the Cosmos. Yet, Christians who live by Christ’s teachings and share the message of Christ stand against the world, Eph 6:10-18.

On the other hand, those who imagine that the Gospel will one day usher in utopia fail to realize that humanity lingers in a dark world of illusion and sin.

It is sometimes hard to grasp the reason for the open hostility of the world to Christians who seek to live by and who openly affirm God’s standards. Jesus gives us two reasons:

  • “They do not know (OUK OIDASIN) the One (God the Father) who sent Me, (Jesus Christ)”, John 15:21,
  • In His incarnation Jesus revealed righteousness and thus rebuked sin, John 15:22.

The phrase, “if they kept My Word”, tells us that some of those in the Cosmic System will accept the Gospel of Christ, yet most will not. Of those that do not, it suggests that they lack an adequate concept of God, His grace and love. Therefore, with a distorted view of God, the world has no way to correctly judge the messengers of God or the message. So they shoot the messenger as well as the message.

The problem is not simply conceptual; it is moral. In Jesus’ incarnation and through His Word the world has been given a clear vision of righteousness.  Measured against the standard of Jesus’ perfect life, as against the standard of His words, coupled with His saving work on the Cross (paying the penalty for sin), every shred of false pride and every excuse is stripped away, and the world stands exposed as guilty before God, Rev 21:11-15. It is that guilt, (that they consciously know and try to run away from), that makes the world so hostile toward Christ and Christians.

It is the moral message implicit in the name of Christ, along with the added deficiency of not being able to comprehend the grace and love of God, which convicts the sinner and arouses hatred from them. That moral message, coupled with His grace and love, exposes every human being as guilty of sin and in need of a Savior. It is that which people do not want to face; so instead they are antagonistic towards its message and messengers, Luke 20:19-20.

Next we have the fourth reason for Obstructions to Divine Good Production in:

John 15:21, “But all these things they will do to you for My name’s sake, because they do not know the One who sent Me.”

The Greek reads:  “ ἀλλὰ  ταῦτα  πάντα  ποιήσουσιν  εἰς  ὑμᾶς  διὰ  τὸ  ὄνομά  μου,  ὅτι  οὐκ  οἴδασιν  τὸν  πέμψαντά  με. “

Transliterated it is:   “ALLA TAUTA PANTA POIESOUSIN EIS HUMAS DIA TO ONOMA MOU, HOTI OUK OIDASIN TON PEMPSANTA ME.

This verse gives us the fourth reason for obstructions to Divine Good production, “The Cosmos does not know God and is ignorant to His Plan.” This is noted in the last part of Verse 21, but before we get to it, we must note the first clause which gets back to the warning regarding persecutions.

The first clause is “But all these things they will do to you for My name’s sake,” which is “ALLA TAUTA PANTA POIESOUSIN EIS HUMAS DIA TO ONOMA MOU”

ALLA is the Coordinating Conjunction that means “but, rather, on the contrary”. Our Lord is contrasting the last statement of Verse 20, “If they kept My Word they will also keep yours,” and getting back to the main point of warning the disciples of inevitable persecutions.

TAUTA is the near Demonstrative Pronominal Adjective HOUTOS that means “this”, in the Accusative, Neuter, Plural. It is referring back to the variety of persecutions the believer will receive. As a Plural Pronoun we can say “these things (persecutions)”.

PANTA is the Adjective PAS that means “all, each, every (plural all), every kind of, etc.”, also in the Accusative, Neuter, Plural that complements TAUTA. So we can say, “all these things (i.e., persecutions).”

Principles:

“All these things” is a reference to Satan in the business of exalting self and opposing God.  Satan is therefore in opposition to the Plan of God. He has designed a plan to counter the Plan of God.  He has designed systems of culture, politics and education, in order to obscure and ridicule the Plan of God.  He is the author of religion and legalism, and he is doing everything he can to discredit grace and discredit the Plan of God during the Church Age.

POIESOUSIN is the verb POIEO in the Future, Active, Indicative, Third Person, Plural that means “to make, do, cause, effect, bring about, accomplish, perform, provide, create, etc.”

The Future Tense also indicates the linkage to the previous warning about future persecutions. “They (those of the world / Satan’s Cosmic System) will do (persecutions) to you.”

The Active Voice in the 3rd Person Plural tells us that those of the Cosmic System will in the future bring about persecutions to those who love Christ.

The Indicative Mood is the reality of future persecutions by those of Satan’s Cosmic System.

EIS is a Preposition in the Accusative that means, “into, to, in at, on, upon, against, concerning, etc.”

HUMAS is the Pronoun SU that means, “you” in the Direct Object Accusative, Second Person, Plural. Referring to the disciples it is, “you all.”

Principles:

“They will do to you all,” refers to anyone who is involved in Satan’s system.

Satan’s warfare adapts itself to times and conditions.

  • Sometimes he seeks to destroy all believers on the earth, when history is right for it, and at other times he seeks to discredit believers on the earth.
  • Sometimes he entices the believer away with false Doctrine and sometimes he just wipes the believer out with those who have false Doctrine.
  • Sometimes he entices believers away through lustful sin and prosperity, and other time he tries to wipe them out through adversity and poverty.

His tacts may change, but his goal always remains the same; Stop Christ from being believed upon in the world.

DIA is a Preposition in the Accusative that means, “because of, on account of, for the sake of, or through.”

TO ONOMA is the article HO, “the”, and ONOMA that means “name”, in the Accusative, Neuter, Singular.

MOU is the Pronoun EGO, “I or me” in the Possessive Genitive, First Person, Singular. So we could say, “of me or My.”

Our translation thus far is, “But all these things, (persecutions), they, (those of Satan’s Cosmic System), will do to you all (disciples of the Lord) for the sake of My (Jesus’) name.”

This identifies the problem of self-righteous legalism as a substitute for true faith.

Principles:

  • “For my name’s sake,” is another reason for persecutions towards the disciples of our Lord, yet it also tells us of the false motivation behind their persecution.
  • In Verse 20 persecution came to the Church Age believer because “they persecuted Christ” who is no longer on the earth, so they turned their attention to those who are “In Christ.”
  • Then in Verse 21 we have the misguided motivation for these persecutions; Self-righteous crusader arrogance.
  • This then identifies who will do the persecutions, and therefore who is from Satan’s Cosmic System.
  • Those that persecute others in the name of God or in the name of Jesus Christ are truly those of “the world”, Satan’s Cosmic System.
  • Therefore the legalistic believer, like the Pharisees of Jesus’ time and the early Church, will persecute the Grace Oriented believer having been totally deceived by Satan resulting in false motivation.
  • The arrogant legalistic person self justifies his persecutions, wrongly thinking he is doing the work of the Lord.
  • The self-righteous religious type persecutes with the false motivation for Christ’s sake. Thinking they are serving Christ, they persecute those who are teaching grace.

Doctrine of Persecutions

John 15:20-21, “If they persecuted Me (and they have), they will also persecute you all. But all these things they will do to you for My name’s sake, because they do not know the One who sent Me.”

Bruce stated, “The Lord who was personally persecuted on earth continued to be persecuted, even in His exaltation, in the person of His persecuted followers. Their being persecuted for His sake was a sign that they belonged to Him, as it was a token of coming judgment on their persecutors” (Bruce, p.313).

Definition

English Definition:

  • To oppress or harass with ill-treatment.
  • To treat someone extremely badly, or to refuse them equal rights, especially because of their race, religion, or political beliefs.
  • To frequently or persistently annoy or threaten someone, even of death.

From a Biblical perspective:

  • The hatred and affliction that follows the witness and holy life of God’s people in a hostile world.
  • From the moment of salvation, every believer, regardless of age or sex, regardless of status in life, is in the midst of a great spiritual conflict, which we call the Angelic Conflict. The creation of man is the result of this conflict, which has existed since some time in eternity past. It is a conflict in which the fallen angels are pitted against God, against the elect angels and against believers.
  • The Church Age in which we now live is unique. It is the age in which Jesus Christ as the God-Man is glorified: He is seated at the right hand of the Father in His resurrection body, as far as His humanity is concerned (His deity was always glorified), and therefore the angelic conflict has shifted gears. Until the death, burial, resurrection, and ascension of Christ, it was the intent of the fallen angels to frustrate (persecute) the incarnation of Christ and to thwart the dissemination of information regarding Him. Since Christ did go to the Cross and is now glorified, the former purpose has changed. Every believer is now the target in the Angelic Conflict, which has greatly intensified. In fact, the New Testament uses actual warfare as a basis for illustrating the great spiritual battle in which we find ourselves, Eph 6:10-18.

Etymology

Greek:

The Greek noun DIOGMOS – διωγμός means “persecution” in Mat 13:21; Mark 10:30; 4:17; Acts 8:1; 13:50; Rom 8:35; 2 Cor 12:10; 2 Thes 1:4; 2 Tim 3:11.

Its root word is DIOKO that means “to put to flight, or pursue” and by implication means persecution. It is used for:

  • Persecute in Mat 5:11, 44; 10:23; 23:34; Luke 21:12; John 5:16; 15:20; Rom 12:14.
  • Persecuted in Mat 5:10, 12; John 15:20; Acts 7:52; 22:4; 26:11; 1 Cor 4:12; 15:9; 2 Cor 4:9; Gal 1:13, 23; 4:29; 6:11-12; 2 Tim 3:12; Rev 12:13.
  • Persecuting in Acts 9:4-5; 22:7-8; 26:14-15; Phil 3:6.

Hebrew:

The Hebrew equivalent to DIOGMOS is MURDAPH –מֻרְדָּף and is used in Isa 14:6.

Its root word RADAPH – רָדַף which means “to pursue, chase or persecute” is equivalent to the Greek word DIOKO. RADAPH is used for:

  • Persecute in Job 19:22, 28; Psa 7:1, 5; 31:15; 35:3, 6; 69:26; 119:84, 86.
  • Persecuted in Deut 30:7; Psa 109:16; 119:161; 143:3.

Persecution in the Old Testament Times.

The New Testament has many warnings regarding persecutions for Church Age believers. At the same time our Lord and the writers of the New Testament spoke of the persecutions of Old Testament saints as well, as did Isaiah and the Psalmists. Jesus said to the Pharisees that innocent blood had been shed in those times, and that they were showing themselves heirs, (to use a legal phrase), to their fathers who had persecuted the righteous, “from the blood of Abel the righteous unto the blood of Zachariah”, Mat 23:34-36 also in Luke 11:51.

That Zachariah is not the prophet Zechariah who wrote the O.T. book of Zechariah, but is another whose murder is recorded in 2 Chron 24:20-22. In the Hebrew Bible Genesis is the first book and recorded the first murder, Abel’s, and 2 Chronicles is the last book that records Zechariah’s murder. Therefore, Christ is saying from the first to the last murder (persecution) in the Bible.

In Acts 7:52 Stephen accused the Pharisees of the same, “Which one of the prophets did your fathers not persecute? They killed those who had previously announced the coming of the Righteous One, whose betrayers and murderers you have now become.”

The concept of persecution is prevalent throughout the Old Testament. The writer of Hebrews listed many individuals who suffered persecution:  Abel, at the hands of Cain; Joseph by his brothers; David by Saul. Elijah was forced to flee for his life, 1 Kings 19, Jeremiah was dropped into a well, Jeremiah 38, Amos was driven out of the sanctuary, Amos 7, and Daniel was thrown to the lions, Daniel 6.

As a nation, Israel experienced persecution all during its existence but especially so during the period of the Maccabees, (168 through 163 B.C.). Thousands of Jews immigrated to surrounding countries. Under the reign of Antiochus IV Epiphanes, (175 through 163 B.C.), many Jews were murdered because they refused to participate in the idol worship of their captors. (Complete Biblical Library)

Persecutions in the Period Between the Close of the Old Testament and the Coming of Christ.

Believing Jews endured persecutions during this period because of their refusal to embrace idolatry, and of their faithfulness to the Mosaic Law and the true worship of God. During that time there were many who were true martyrs and heroes of faith. For example:

  • As noted above, the Maccabees, were among those who were as Daniel stated in Dan 11:32, “The people who know their God will display strength and take action.”
  • Jonathan the Jewish high priest said, “We have no need of human help having for our comfort the sacred Scriptures which are in our hands”, 1 Macc 12:9.
  • In the Epistle to the Hebrews, persecutions during the Jewish Dispensation are summed up in Heb 11:36-38, “And others experienced mockings and scourgings, yes, also chains and imprisonment. 37They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were tempted, they were put to death with the sword; they went about in sheepskins, in goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, ill-treated 38(men of whom the world was not worthy), wandering in deserts and mountains and caves and holes in the ground.”

Persecutions of the New Testament.

As we noted above, in the New Testament DIOKO is most often used to mean “persecute.” It is a consistent theme in the New Testament. Jesus met with persecution, John 5:16; Acts 22:8. But perhaps most prevalent are the references to the followers of Jesus, members of His church, Mat 5:10; Luke 21:12; John 15:20; Rom 12:14, who met with persecution.

Also the word DIOGMOS consistently means “religious persecution.” Mark notes that DIOGMOS comes DIA TON LOGON, “because of the Word”, Mark 4:17; Mat 13:21. Likewise, in Acts DIOGMOS comes “upon” the Church, Acts 8:1, or individuals of the Church, Acts 13:50, (Paul and Barnabas). The sense in Rom 8:35 might possibly be ambiguous except it is certain from other instances that Paul was referring to “persecution because of Christ”, 2 Cor 12:10; 2 Tim 3:11; cf. 2 Thes 1:4. Thus DIOGMOS is virtually a technical term for “persecution” in the New Testament.

Other examples include:

  • John the Baptist was thrown into prison and subsequently beheaded, Mat 14:3f.
  • Jesus Christ as a young child was threatened with persecution in all its intensity, Mat 2.
  • Throughout His ministry Jesus showed an awareness of His own demise, Mat 17:12, and in the final months of His earthly life, He discussed the subject frequently with His disciples. From the onset of His public ministry, Jesus suffered tremendous persecution which culminated in His violent death on the cross.

Persecutions Foretold by Christ.

Persecution was frequently foretold by Christ, as certain to come to those who were His true disciples and followers. He forewarned them again and again that it was inevitable.

  • Before His death Jesus warned the disciples that they too would be persecuted if they continued to follow Him, Mat 5:10f.; 10:16-28; John 15:18-21.
  • He told them they would be:
    • Hated, Mat 24:9; John 16:2,
    • Mocked, and spoken evil of, Mat 5:11,
    • Ill-treated, Mat 24:9,
    • Brought into court, Mat 10:17f.; Mark 13:9,
    • Excluded from the synagogues, John 16:2, and
    • Murdered, Mat 10:21; 23:34; 24:9.
  • All of this would take place for Jesus’ sake, Mat 5:11; 24:9, and for the cause of righteousness, Mat 5:10.
  • During His incarnation Jesus told the disciples more than once that they would be persecuted for following him, Mark 10:30; Luke 21:12; John 15:20-21; 16:33.

John 16:33, “These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.”

Mat 5:10, “Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 11“Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. 12“Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

Mat 10:24, “A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a slave above his master. 25“It is enough for the disciple that he become like his teacher, and the slave like his master. If they have called the head of the house Beelzebul, how much more will they malign the members of his household!”

  • He said that He Himself must suffer persecution, Mat 16:21; 17:22-23; Mark 8:31.

Mark 8:31, “And He began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and the chief priests and the scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again.”

Paul also taught such warnings with encouragement in, 1 Cor 4:12-13; 2 Cor 4:7-10; Gal 4:29; 2 Tim. 3:12.

2 Tim 3:12, “Indeed, all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.”

1 Cor 4:12, “… when we are reviled, we bless; when we are persecuted, we endure; 13when we are slandered, we try to conciliate; we have become as the scum of the world, the dregs of all things, even until now.”

2 Cor 4:7-12, “But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, so that the surpassing greatness of the power will be of God and not from ourselves; 8we are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not despairing; 9persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; 10always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body.”

Various Forms of Persecution in the Early Church.

Persecutions would take different forms in the Early Church, ranging through varied possibilities from false accusation to the infliction of death and beyond.

The early Church was primarily persecuted by the established religion of Jewish Sadducees and Pharisees, Acts 4:1-3; 5:17-18.
As Christianity expanded beyond the Roman Empire and even within it, various heathens also persecuted those who witnessed for Christ.  See Fox’s Book of Martyrs.

The methods of persecution employed by the Jews, and also by the heathen against the followers of Christ, included:

  • Men would revile them and would say all kinds of evil against them falsely, for Christ’s sake, Mat 5:11.
  • Contempt and disparagement, Mat 10:25; John 8:48.

John 8:48, “Do we not say rightly that You are a Samaritan and have a demon?”

Mat 10:25, “If they have called the head of the house Beelzebul, how much more will they malign the members of his household!”

  • Based solely on the fact of their loyalty to Christ, they were forcibly separated from the company and the society of others, and expelled from the synagogues or other assemblies for the worship of God, Luke 6:22; John 16:2.

Luke 6:22, “Blessed are you when men hate you, and ostracize you, and insult you, and scorn your name as evil, for the sake of the Son of Man.”

John 16:2, “They will make you outcast from the synagogues.”

  • Illegal arrest and plundering of goods, and death itself.
  • In the case of Christ Himself, persecution took the form of:
    • Attempts to entrap Him in His speech, Mat 22:15,
    • The questioning of His authority, Mark 11:28,
    • Illegal arrest,
    • Every insult imaginable towards Him especially as a prisoner, false accusations and a violent and most cruel death.
  • Remember that the slave is not greater than his master, as He suffered these things so too will His disciples.

All these various methods, used by the persecutors, were foretold, and all came to pass. It was the fear of apprehension and death that led the eleven disciples to forsake Jesus in Gethsemane and to flee for their lives. Jesus often forewarned them of the severity of the persecution which they would need to encounter if they were loyal to Him, Mat 23:34; John 16:2b.

Mat 23:34, “Therefore, behold, I am sending you prophets and wise men and scribes; some of them you will kill and crucify, and some of them you will scourge in your synagogues, and persecute from city to city.”

John 16:2b “But an hour is coming for everyone who kills you to think that he is offering service to God.”

Persecutions were Primarily Instigated by the Legalistic Jews in the Early Church.

After our Lord’s resurrection, the first attacks against His disciples came from the high priest and his party. The high-priesthood was then in the hands of the Sadducees, and one reason which moved them to take action of this kind was their “being greatly troubled”, because the apostles “proclaimed in Jesus the resurrection from the dead”, Acts 4:2; 5:17. Sadducees did not believe in any form of resurrection, and therefore needed to stop the preaching of Christ resurrected to maintain their semblance of authority over the people.

The old joke says that they got their name because they did not believe in life after death which is “sad you see,” (sadd-u-cee).

The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, states, “The gospel based upon the resurrection of Christ was evidence of the falsehood of the chief Doctrines held by the Sadducees, for they held that there is no resurrection. But instead of yielding to the evidence of the fact that the resurrection had taken place, they opposed and denied it, and persecuted His disciples. For a time the Pharisees were more moderate in their attitude toward the Christian faith, as is shown in the case of Gamaliel, Acts 5:34; and on one occasion they were willing even to defend the apostle Paul, Acts 23:9, on the Doctrine of the resurrection. But gradually the whole of the Jewish people became bitter persecutors of the Christians. Thus, in the earliest of the Pauline Epistles, it is said, “Ye also suffered the same things of your own countrymen, even as they (in Judea) did of the Jews; who both killed the Lord Jesus and the prophets, and drove out us, and please not God, and are contrary to all men, 1 Thess 2:14-15.”

In the case of Stephen: a serious persecution of the Christian church began with the stoning to death of Stephen, Acts 7:1-60. His lawless execution was followed by “a great persecution” directed against the Christians in Jerusalem.

  • This “great persecution”, Acts 8:1 scattered the many members of the church, who fled in order to avoid bonds and imprisonment and death.
  • At this time Saul (who later became Paul) established himself amongst the Pharisees and Sadducees by his great works in persecuting, “this Way to the death, binding and putting both men and women into prisons”, Acts 22:4.

The Apostles, James and Peter:  One by one the apostles were put to death, the first of the apostles to suffer martyrdom was James the brother of John, who was slain with the sword by Herod Agrippa, Acts 12:2. Peter was imprisoned, and was delivered only by an angel, Acts 12:7-11.

Gentile Persecutions:

During the period covered by the Acts there was not much purely Gentile persecution: at that time the persecution suffered by the Christian church was chiefly Jewish as noted above. There were, however, great dangers and risks encountered by the apostles and by all who proclaimed the gospel then.

At Philippi, Paul and Silas were cruelly persecuted, Acts 16:19-40; and, even before that time, Paul and Barnabas had suffered much at Iconium and at Lystra, Acts 14:5, 19.

During Paul’s life, for the most part, the Roman authorities were not actively hostile. The threat of Christianity was still too miniscule in their eyes to bother with.

The Persecutions of Nero. His full name Nero Claudius Caesar Augustus Germanicus was the Roman Emperor from 54 AD to 68 AD. During his reign as Emperor of Rome, the legal decisions which were favorable to the Christian faith were soon overturned following the great fire in Rome, which occurred in July, 64. At that time a great fire destroyed much of the city. Nero himself was thought to have been the arson. Fox’s Book of Martyrs states, “Among other diabolical whims, he ordered that the city of Rome should be set on fire, which order was executed by his officers, guards and servants.” To avoid suspicion from the people, he blamed it on “terrorists”, that being the Christians. He made the Christians the scapegoats which he thought he needed. As a result, he ordered Christians to be thrown to dogs, while others were crucified and burned. Fox’s Book of Martyrs states, “He had some sewed up in skins of wild beasts, and then worried by dogs until they expired; and others dressed in shirts made stiff with wax, fixed to axletrees, and set on fire in his gardens, in order to illuminate them.”  The non-Christian historian Tacitus describes Nero extensively torturing and executing Christians after the fire of 64, (Annals xv. 44). Another non-Christian historian Suetonius also mentions Nero punishing Christians, though he does so as a praise and does not connect it with the fire, (The Lives of Twelve Caesars, Life of Nero, chapter 16). Also the Christian writer Tertullian (c. 155- 230 AD) was the first to call Nero the first persecutor of Christians. He wrote “Examine your records. There you will find that Nero was the first that persecuted this Doctrine”, (Tertullian Apologeticum, lost text quoted in, Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History, II.25.4.)

Persecution in Asia: In Revelation the apostle John is in “Patmos for the word of God and the testimony of Jesus”, Rev 1:9, and persecution had broken out among the Christians in the province of Asia.

  • At Smyrna, there is suffering, imprisonment and prolonged tribulation; but the sufferers are encouraged when they are told that if they are faithful unto death, Christ will give them the Crown of Life, Rev 2:10.
  • At Pergamum, persecution has already resulted in Antipas, Christ’s faithful martyr, being slain, Rev 2:13.
  • At Ephesus and at Thyatira the Christians are commended for their patient enduring, evidently indicating that there had been persecution, Rev 2:2, 19.
  • At Philadelphia there has been the attempt made to cause the members of the church to deny Christ’s name, Rev 3:8. Their patience is also commended, and the hour of temptation is spoken of, which comes to try all the world, but from which Christ promised to keep the faithful Christians.
  • There is no distinct mention of persecution having taken place in Sardis or Laodicea. They had enough problems of their own in regard to their faith. They were not yet worthy of underserved suffering for blessing.

The Roman Empire as Persecutor: 2nd and 3rd Centuries: Speaking generally, persecution of greater or less severity was the normal method employed by the Roman Empire against the Christian church. Persecutions may have come to an end about the end of the 3rd or the beginning of the 4th century, when the empire became nominally Christian. Prior to that persecution became almost the normal state in which the church is found.

“For 200 years, to become a Christian meant the great renunciation, the joining a despised and persecuted sect, the swimming against the tide of popular prejudice, the coming under the ban of the Empire, the possibility at any moment of imprisonment and death under its most fearful forms. For 200 years the followers of Christ would count the cost, and be prepared to pay the same with his liberty and life. For 200 years the mere profession of Christianity was itself a crime. The Latin phrase CHIRSTIANUS SUM was almost the one plea for which there was no forgiveness, in itself all that was necessary as a ‘title’ on the back of the condemned. He who made it was allowed neither to present apology, nor call in the aid of a pleader. ‘Public hatred,’ writes Tertullian, ‘asks but one thing, and that not investigation into the crimes charged, but simply the confession of the Christian name.’ For the name itself in periods of stress, not a few, meant the rack, the blazing shirt of pitch, the lion, the panther, or in the case of maidens an infamy worse than death” (Workman, 103).

With the exception of such instances as those of Nero and Domitian, there is the surprising fact that it was not the worst emperors, but the best, who became the most violent persecutors. One reason was that the ability of those emperors led them to see that the religion of Christ is really a divisive factor in any kingdom in which civil government and pagan religion are indissolubly bound up together. The more that such a ruler was intent on preserving the unity of the empire, the more would be persecute the Christian faith. Hence, among the rulers who were persecutors, there are the names of Antoninus Pius. Marcus Aurelius the philosopher-emperor, and Septimius Severus (died at York, 211 Ad).

Pliny a proconsul of Bithynia in 111 or 112 AD, writes to the emperor Trajan a letter in which he describes the growth of the Christian faith and his efforts to “stem the tide of the advancing Christian faith.” He would round up Christians and demand that they renounce their faith, and pay allegiances to the Roman gods and Emperor via sacrifices and worship. In one letter Pliny stated, “I had them repeat after me an invocation of the gods, and offered prayer, with wine and incense, to your statue.” In another he said, “They all worshipped your statue and the images of the gods.… I forbade the meeting of any assemblies, and therefore I judged it to be so much the more necessary to endeavor to extort the real truth by putting to the torture two female slaves, who were called deaconesses, yet I found nothing but an absurd and extravagant superstition.” These letters of Pliny and Trajan treat state-persecution as the standing procedure. The sufferings and tribulation noted in Rev 2:10, and in many other passages, had come to pass. Some of the Christians had denied the name of Christ and had worshipped the images of the emperor and of the idols, but multitudes of them had been faithful unto death, and had received the martyr’s Crown of Life.

Under Trajan’s successor, the emperor Hadrian, the lot of the Christians was full of uncertainty: persecution might break out at any moment. At the best Hadrian’s regime was only that of unauthorized toleration.

The Decian Persecutions: The persecution inaugurated by the emperor Decius in 250 AD was particularly severe. There was hardly a province in the empire where there were no martyrs; but there were also many who abandoned their faith and rushed to the magistrates to obtain their “LIBELLI”, or certificates that they had offered heathen sacrifice. When the days of persecution were over, these persons usually came with eagerness to seek readmission to the church. It was in the Decian persecution that the great theologian Origen, who was then in his 68th year, suffered the cruel torture of the rack; and from the effects of what he then suffered he died at Tyre in 254.

Other persecutions during the reign of Roman Emperors noted in Fox’s Book of Martyrs include:

  • Domitian, A.D. 81
  • Marcus Aurelius Antoninus, A.D. 162
  • Severus, A.D. 192 (Severus, having been recovered from a severe fit of sickness by a Christian, became a great favorer of the Christians in general; but the prejudice and fury of the ignorant multitude prevailing, obsolete laws were put in execution against the Christians.)
  • During the reign of Maximus, in A.D. 235 there was in Cappadocia, the president, Seremianus who did all he could to exterminate the Christians from that province.
  • Valerian, A.D. 257
  • Aurelian, A.D. 274
  • Diocletian, A.D. 303

Persecution in the Army: Service in the Roman army involved, for a Christian, increasing danger in the midst of an organized and aggressive heathenism. Hence, arose the persecution of the Christian soldier who refused compliance with the idolatrous ceremonies in which the army engaged, whether those ceremonies were concerned with the worship of the Roman deities or with that of Mithraism. “The invincible savior,” as Mithra was called, had become, at the time when Tertullian and Origen wrote, the special deity of soldiers. Shrines in honor of Mithra were erected through the entire breadth of the Roman Empire, from Dacia and Pannonia to the Cheviot Hills in Britain. And woe to the soldier who refused compliance with the religious sacrifices to which the legions gave their adhesion! The Christians in the Roman legions formed no inconsiderable proportion of “the noble army of martyrs,” it being easier for the persecuting authorities to detect a Christian in the ranks of the army than elsewhere.

“The Third Race”:  The strange title, “the third race,” probably invented by the heathen, but willingly accepted by the Christians without demur, showed with what a bitter spirit the heathen regarded the faith of Christ. “The first race” was indifferently called the Roman, Greek or Gentile. “The second race” was the Jews; while “the third race” was the Christian, who were called by God a new creation, (a new spiritual species), 2 Cor 5:17; Gal 6:15. The cry in the circus of Carthage was “Usque quo genus tertium?” That is, “How long must we endure this third race?”

Tertullian’s Apology: Tertullian, in an oftentimes quoted passage in his “Apology,” writes, “We live beside you in the world, making use of the same forum, market, bath, shop, inn, and all other places of trade. We sail with you, fight shoulder to shoulder, till the soil, and traffic with you”; yet the very existence of Christian faith, and its profession, continued to bring the greatest risks. “With the best will in the world, they remained a peculiar people, who must be prepared at any moment to meet the storm of hatred” (Workman, 189). For them it remained true that in one way or another, hatred on the part of the world inevitably fell to the lot of those who walked in the footsteps of the Master; “Indeed, all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.”, 2 Tim 3:12.

The Edict of Milan: The persecution of the Christian church by the empire of Rome came to an end in March, 313 AD, when Constantine issued the document known as the “Edict of Milan,” which assured to each individual freedom of religious belief. This document marks an era of the utmost importance in the history of the world. Official Roman persecution had done its worst, and had failed; it was ended now; the Galilean had conquered. (International Standard Bible Encyclopedia.)

Persecutions are Part of Satan’s Cosmic System.

The anti-Christian principles of the world’s system clearly clash with the values and morality of God-fearing Christians. As evil men and wickedness increase, persecution will not lessen but will come to a climax during the reign of the Antichrist. The Book of Revelation foretells in some detail the persecutions which are yet to come.

The Failure of Persecutions:

Even though there were tremendous persecutions against the believers of the Church in its first 300 years, instead of abolishing the name of Christ, as the persecutors vainly imagined they had succeeded in doing, it actually became a catalyst for the growth of the Body of Christ. Those who sought to exterminate Christians and eradicate Christianity were unwittingly advancing the message of Christ.

Satan’s efforts to destroy the church by violence were a failure because Jesus had warned his disciples ahead of time and they chose to believe the words of their Master. As Christ’s faithful were slain and fell at their posts, others sprang up to take their place. By seemingly individual defeat, the Christian movement conquered. God’s workmen were slain, but His work went steadily forward. The gospel continued to spread and the numbers of its adherents continued to increase. With the Edict of Milan, as noted above, what was once cruelly persecuted by the Roman Empire actually became the standard for religious worship in the previously pagan Empire. Satan’s attack had failed.

How did this occur? By the witness of each individual who suffered under these persecutions. The witness of their words and lives spoke volumes to their persecutors and those who witnessed their persecutions. For example, Paul and Silas had this impact during their persecution and deliverance at Philippi in Acts 16:16-34.

The sufferings which the Christians endured brought them closer to one another and to Christ. Their living example and dying testimony were a constant witness to the truth. Even many of the followers of Satan were leaving their service to him and began enlisting under the banner of Christ.

Persecution Should Not Cause the Disciple of Christ to Lose Courage.

Having the great example of the early Church with the triumph their persecutions brought about in bringing the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the entire world, should give us today great courage and commitment to continue fighting the good fight of faith, Rom 15:4.

Rom 15:4, “For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, so that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.”

We must never under estimate the impact we have when preserving through undeserved suffering for blessing.

We must also have the attitude which was in Christ Jesus and the martyrs of the early Church; that our physical lives are but a small price to pay for the gift of eternal life for another. That is the mental attitude of the disciple who is able to fulfill John 15:13, “Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.”

Paul had this mental attitude, 2 Tim 2:10, “For this reason I endure all things for the sake of those who are chosen, so that they also may obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus and with it eternal glory.”

The Bible teaches that persecution should not cause the disciple of Christ to lose courage. It is not a thing to be feared or to be incessantly worried about.  As we have seen in our study of the various persecutions the early Church endured, patient endurance in times of persecution is in fact the proof of genuine discipleship. For example:

  • Moses, “choosing rather to endure ill-treatment with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin”, Heb 11:25.
  • Timothy was exhorted to, “be sober in all things, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.” 2 Tim 4:5.

Persecution is a Test of True Discipleship.

  • Those whose commitment to Christ is shallow will falter when persecution arises, Mat 13:20-21.

Mat 13:20-21, “The one on whom seed was sown on the rocky places, this is the man who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; 21yet he has no firm root in himself, but is only temporary, and when affliction or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he falls away.”

  • Yet those who endure persecution show their true faith in Christ and their spiritual relationship with past heroes of the faith, Mat 5:12; 2 Thes 1:4-5.

Mat 5:12, “Rejoice and be glad, …. for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”

2 Thes 1:4-5, “Therefore, we ourselves speak proudly of you among the churches of God for your perseverance and faith in the midst of all your persecutions and afflictions which you endure. 5This is a plain indication of God’s righteous judgment so that you will be considered worthy of the kingdom of God, for which indeed you are suffering.”

  • Those that persevere through undeserved suffering will have tremendous Divine Good production to show for it, Mat 13:23.

Mat 13:23, “And the one on whom seed was sown on the good soil, this is the man who hears the word and understands it; who indeed bears fruit and brings forth, some a hundredfold, some sixty, and some thirty.”

  • As a result, your good of intrinsic value will have a great return with rich blessings for time and eternal rewards, Mat 5:10-12a; 2 Tim 2:12.

Mat 5:10-12a, “Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. 12Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great.”

2 Tim 2:12, “If we endure, we will also reign with Him.”

  • Therefore, you should not fear persecution but persevere under persecution, even to the point of praying for those who bring persecution against you, Mat 5:44-48; Luke 23:34; Acts 7:59.

As Jesus said in Luke 23:34, “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.”

As Stephen said in Acts 7:59, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them!”

R.B. Thieme stated, “Billions and billions of years ago in eternity past, God knew about every need believers would have at every stage of this intensified conflict. He knew we would live in a very difficult period of our own national history, as well as in the spiritual history of mankind. He knew about the dramatic rise of Communism with its anti-doctrinal aspects. He knew about the internal disintegration of our nation through drugs, the rise of theological liberalism, and the failure to recognize Divine laws relative to police and military activities; He knew that confusion with regard to the gospel would result from the Satanic utilization of those who choose ecstatic and emotional criteria rather than Bible Doctrine as their modus operandi. Furthermore, He knew that, as individuals’, we would have to face national crises, personal crises and local church crises, and that we would encounter an accumulation of pressures at any point where His Word might be revealed. Accordingly, God’s provision for every believer in this Dispensation of the Church is phenomenal.”

Persecution made Christ very near and very precious to those who suffered. Many of the martyrs bore witness, even when in the midst of the most cruel torments, that they felt no pain, but that Christ was with them. Instances to this effect could be multiplied. Persecution made them feel how true Christ’s words were, that even as He was not of the world, so they also were not of it. If they had been of the world, the world would love its own, but because Christ had chosen them out of the world, therefore the world hated them. They were not greater than their Lord. If men had persecuted Jesus, they would also persecute His true disciples. But though they were persecuted, they were of good cheer, Christ had overcome the world; He was with them; He enabled them to be faithful unto death. He had promised them the crown of life.

We now finish John 15:21 with the last clause that says, “because they do not know the One who sent Me.”

  • This is our fourth reason for obstructions to Divine Good Production, “they do not know God the Father.”

The Greek reads:  “  ὅτι  οὐκ  οἴδασιν  τὸν  πέμψαντά  με.  ”

Transliterated it reads: “HOTI OUK OIDASIN TON PEMPSANTA ME.”

HOTI is a Conjunction Subordinating that means, “that, because, since, for, etc.” It answers the question “why the self-righteous, legalistic, arrogant, religious type persecutes a true disciple of Christ.”  So we translate HOTI as “because”.

OUK is the Greek negative particle for “no, not or do not”.

OIDASIN is the Verb OIDA in the Perfect, Active, Indicative, Third Person, Plural. OIDA comes from the Greek verb HORAO that means, “to see or perceive”, and OIDA comes to mean, “to have seen or perceived, hence to know.” It means “to know fully, understand, or recognize.” The perfect idea of “possessed knowledge” rather than the present aspect of “acquiring knowledge” is how this word is defined. It has the sense of a continued completed state: “I know,” versus, “I have come to know” (through experience or event).

The Perfect Tense is a Perfect with a Present Force. It is emphasizing a present state based on completed past action.

It’s a Resultative Perfect emphasizing the present state. In other words, to not know in the past means they do not know in the present. They did not know God the Father in the past which means they continue to not know Him in the present. This has led them to persecute the true disciples of Christ.

The Third Person Plural in the Active Voice identifies the self-righteous, legalistic religious group once again who persecute “for My Name’s sake”. That is how we know Jesus is talking about pseudo Christian types as opposed to atheists, agnostics or pagan god worshipers.

The Indicative Mood is for the dogmatic reality of the situation. Those religious types who persecute true believers and disciples of Christ absolutely do not know who God the Father is or what His Plan for salvation is.

Combined with OUK we translate this as “they inherently do not know.”

TON  PEMPSANTA is the article HO, “the”, plus the verb PEMPO used as a Participle in the Aorist, Active, Accusative, Masculine, Singular. It is used as a verb noun. PEMPO means to “send, commission, dispatch, or appoint.” It identifies the action of being sent and the one who is doing the sending. With the article it is used to identify God the Father who sent His only begotten Son. So we could say, “The Sender, The Commissioner or The Appointer” as descriptions of God the Father, John 13:16. We will translate this as “the One who sent.”

ME is the Pronoun EGO in the Accusative, First Person, Singular that means “I or Me.” Jesus is referring to Himself as the One sent by God the Father.

Our translation of the last clause is, “Because they (self-righteous, religious types) inherently do not know the One (God the Father) who sent Me (Jesus Christ).”

Our complete translation of John 15:21 is:  “But all these things, (persecutions), they, (those of Satan’s Cosmic System), will do to you all (disciples of the Lord) for the sake of My (Jesus’) name. Because they (self-righteous, religious types) inherently do not know the One (God the Father) who sent Me (Jesus Christ).”

Principles:

These self-righteous, legalistic religious types do not understand the Father or the principle by which He operates. God the Father operates on the basis of grace. There is no other way for God to take sinful, spiritually dead, hopeless, useless humanity, and make him a child of God. Grace found a way, i.e. the cross. They do not understand grace, therefore “they do not know” God the Father Himself.

Dr. L. S. Chafer in his Systematic Theology, vol. II, page 110, said, “The idea that man will stand on the basis of personal worthiness has been the chief heresy opposing the central Doctrine of grace from the time of Christ’s death to the present hour.” He went on to say, “It so permeates the Church that few who preach are able to exclude it from their attempts at gospel preaching. It is safe to say that wherever the element of human merit is allowed into the presentation of the plan of salvation, the message is satanic to that extent. The ministers of Satan proclaim personal righteousness as the ground of the individual’s right relationship to God (2 Cor. 11:13-15).”      

To “not know” God is tantamount to rejecting Him, Gal 4:8; 1 Thes 4:5.

Gal 4:8, “However at that time, when you did not know God, you were slaves to those which by nature are no gods.”

Paul also spoke to this factor in Romans 10 regarding Israel’s lack of understanding as to whom God truly is, and His plan of salvation for man, Rom 10:1-17

In Rom 10:2, Paul states, “they have a zeal for God.”  He is referring to the Jews, who we have seen persecuted the disciples of Christ, “in the name of God”. They rejected the name of Jesus Christ. Yet, Jesus states in John 15:21, “for My names sake” identifying “pseudo” Christians, religious types who also have persecuted disciples of Christ, “in the name of Jesus Christ.” This occurred extensively during the middle ages.

Rom 10:3 gives us three things regarding the self-righteous religious types and their relationship to the true righteousness of God.

  • They do not know God’s righteousness.
  • They seek to establish their own righteousness.
  • They do not submit to God’s righteousness.

Interestingly the number three speaks to Divine perfection. But this verse begins with the Greek negative prefix “A”, in AGNOEO. Therefore what is in this verse is the opposite of Divine perfection.

AGNOEO is in the Present Tense and comes from “A” (a prefect negative prefix in the Greek), and GINOSKO that means “to come to know, recognize, or perceive”. So AGNOEO comes to mean “to be ignorant or absolutely does not know,” just as OUK OIDA does in John 15:21.

Rom 10:3, (KJV), “For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.”

Those that are self-righteous are in fact ignorant of the righteousness that comes from God and instead are seeking, demanding and/or striving for their own righteousness from the works they perform under Law. They strive to make their own righteousness stand up under the scrutiny of God’s justice. But they do not voluntarily place themselves under or obey God’s plan and provisions for their righteousness. The context in Rom 10 is regarding salvation but this principle also applies to believers post-salvation who think they have all the answers and reject God’s provisions for teaching them His righteousness. They think they can do it on their own. That too is self-righteous arrogance.

John 15:21 reveals the importance of knowing God and how terrible is ignorance of God. The knowledge of God invites believing in Christ. To “know” God’s righteousness leads to eternal life and living daily in His righteousness; our Positional and Experiential Sanctification respectfully. It is sad that the world is ignorant of God and Jesus Christ.

Ignorance means:

  • Destitute of knowledge or education, lacking knowledge or comprehension of the thing specified.
  • Resulting from or showing a lack of knowledge or intelligence, unaware and uninformed.
  • It may imply a general condition or it may apply to a lack of knowledge or awareness of a particular thing.
  • It can be applied to illiterate, unlettered, untutored, and unlearned, which means not having knowledge.
    • Illiterate applies to either an absolute or a relative inability to read and write.
    • Unlettered implies ignorance of the knowledge gained by reading.
    • Untutored implies lack of schooling in the arts and ways of civilization.
    • Unlearned suggests ignorance of advanced subjects.
  • Ignorance is also the choice to not act or behave in accordance with regard to certain information in order to suit one’s own needs or beliefs.

What the righteousness of God demands His justice satisfies. Sinful man can not satisfy the demands of God’s righteousness.

  • There is nothing you can do to pay for or overcome your sins, either for bathing at salvation or cleansing post salvation (John 13:10).
  • Only God can satisfy His own perfect righteous demands. God’s perfect justice fulfilled His perfect righteous demands through the efficacious sacrifice of our Lord Jesus Christ upon the Cross.
  • This is the great tragedy of Israel, pseudo Christians, unbelievers, and believers who post salvation do not claim the promises of God.
    • They look to themselves to save and/or cleanse themselves instead of receiving the gracious work of our Lord.
    • They are ignorant to God’s grace plan of salvation, and for some believers, His grace plan for cleansing post salvation, 1 John 1:9.
    • They are ignorant of the fact that only God’s perfect justice can stand up under the intense scrutiny of His perfect righteousness which was accomplished once and for all time at the Cross of Jesus Christ, 1 Cor 2:14-16.

1 Cor 2:14, “But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised. 15But he who is spiritual appraises all things, yet he himself is appraised by no one. 16For who has known the mind of the Lord, that he will instruct Him? But we have the mind of Christ.”

A famous saying that is part of American law is that “ignorance is no excuse for the law.” This means that regardless of ones knowledge of the laws of the land, if you break the law you are guilty by it. Your defense can not be, “I did not know.”

  • The same goes for salvation. God’s law says, “believe on Jesus Christ for eternal life”, John 3:16. Those who reject Jesus Christ will have no excuse when it comes to the Great White Throne Judgment Seat of Jesus Christ, John 15:22; Rom 1:20; Luke 14:16-21

Rom 1:19, “Because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. 20For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and Divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. 21For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. 22Professing to be wise, they became fools.”

“Not knowing” and ignorance do not mean that information was not made available. It means information is available but the person chooses to ignore or reject it, John 15:22-25; Gal 3:22.

Gal 3:22, “But the Scripture has shut up everyone (no excuses) under sin, (all have sinned according Rom 3:23; 5:12), so that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe.”

Simply professing to know God is not enough, Titus 1:16.

Titus 1:16, “They profess to know God, but by their deeds they deny Him, being detestable and disobedient and worthless for any good deed.”

True knowledge expresses itself in obedience to God and love for His people, 1 John 2:3-6.

Jesus had true knowledge of God and His Plan of Salvation, John 7:28-29.

John 7:28-29, “Then Jesus cried out in the temple, teaching and saying, “You both know (OIDA) Me and know (OIDA) where I am from; and I have not come of Myself, but He who sent Me is true, whom you do not know (OUK OIDA). 29“I know (OIDA) Him, because I am from Him, and He sent Me.” 

The self-righteous, legalistic, arrogant religious types Jesus speaks of in John 15:21, truly do not know God the Father, and truly do not understand His Plan of salvation and living the spiritual life, which is called grace. They have rejected His Son Jesus Christ and/or His Word.

As a result of their ignorance, they will persecute those who do not follow their way of thinking, even unto death.

Famous Quotes regarding Ignorance:

“An ignorant man is always a slave.” ~ Anonymous

“Ignorance is the parent of fear.” ~ Herman Melville, Moby Dick

“Man,” I cried, “how ignorant art thou in thy pride of wisdom!” ~ Mary Shelley, Frankenstein

“Whoever works without knowledge works uselessly.” ~ Anonymous

“To be conscious that you are ignorant is a great step to knowledge.” ~ Benjamin Disraeli, Sybil

So far we have noted in John 15:18-21, the four obstructions from Satan’s Cosmic System that are intended to hinder the believer from producing Divine Good / the Fruit of the Spirit. They are:

Reason #1: Satan’s Cosmic System hates the believer! John 15:18.

Reason #2: We are not of this world-Election, out from the World! John 15:19.

Reason #3: “The servant is not greater than his Lord,” therefore we too will have persecutions! John 15:20.

Reason #4: “The Cosmos does not know God and is ignorant to His Plan.” John 15:21.

Regarding the fourth reason, “because they do not know (are ignorant about) the One who sent Me”, it is therefore imperative for us to make sure we know God the Father.

Doctrine of God the Father

Introduction

God is revealed to mankind through nature as its Designer and Creator and through Scripture, (which directly testifies of Him), and through the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ, (who came to reveal Him, John 1:18, and introduce men to Him, Mat 11:27).

From those revelations God is to be recognized as both Creator and Father.

For some reason we tend to comprehend God as Creator more easily and more often than we do as our Father. As such, it is more common to investigate the creative activities of God than to consider His Fatherhood. In spite of this tendency, there is an extended body of truth bearing on the Fatherhood of God in Scripture that we will explore.

In John 14:7 Jesus said, “If and you have known Me, you will also know My Father, and from this point forward you keep on knowing Him and have seen Him.

The passage tells us, since we have known Jesus, we also know the Father and from this point forward having known Christ we should keep on knowing the Father, having seen Him through His Son and the Word He will leave behind. This is our revelation of who God the Father is.

Jesus Christ, the God/Man, reveals the Father to mankind. He is the Son of God, the Image of God, and is God just as the Father is God. John 1:18; 1 Tim 6:15-16; Heb 1:3; 1 John 4:12-14.

Therefore for us to know who God the Father is, we have to: 1) know Jesus Christ and 2) know His Word, which are the only means for us to know God the Father.

John 1:18, “No one has seen God at any time; the only begotten God who is in the bosom of the Father, He has explained Him.”

Jesus makes the Father known. The only intelligible conception of God is precisely what Jesus says in John 14:7, “If you know Me you will know the Father too”. So let us see what Jesus has told us about the Father.

The Trinity:

First we must understand the concept of God. As He has been revealed in Scripture, God is one in three persons. There is one God, yet three persons that make up the Godhead; God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit. This is called the Trinity.

One of the few verses of scripture that capture all three in one verse is John 14:26.

John 14:26,But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name (all three members of the Trinity in view), He will teach you all things (Mystery Doctrine of the Church Age) and cause you to remember all that I taught you.”

The word “Trinity” is not a Bible term, though unquestionably a Bible truth. Trinity is the term given to describe God as having one essence yet being three in person. Therefore, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit all share equally, eternally and infinitely the exact same Divine essence and attributes as the other members of the Trinity.

(Click Here to See Trinity Diagram)

In the Old Testament the emphasis of the Trinity is upon Divine unity where a Divine plurality is seen in the meaning of “ELOHIM”, Deut. 6:4, a plurality of persons and unity of essence. The suffix “IM” in Hebrew stands for plurality.

Deut 6:4, “Hear, O Israel! The LORD is our God (ELOHIM), the LORD is one! “

The New Testament lays emphasis upon the individual Persons of the Trinity and their separate responsibilities for the purposes of redemption, yet here too there are occasional references to Divine oneness of essence, Mat 28:19.

Mat 28:19, “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.”

Water is a good illustration that may serve as a “three-in-one” illustration since it retains its chemical activity whether in solid, gas or liquid state, (i.e., ice, steam and water).

There is also a triple point for water; a condition under which ice, steam and liquid water can coexist in equilibrium. All are water, yet distinct from each other.

Another analogy, the sun, its light and its power may help illustrate the Trinity. No one has actually seen the sun just as no one has seen the Father. Yet we learn a great deal about the sun by studying the sunlight just as we learn about the Father through Jesus Christ the Son who is the radiance of His glory, Heb. 1:3. Then there is the power of the sun as it is involved in the growth of seeds and trees and plants. When asked what makes things grow, we say the sun does. The Holy Spirit is like the power of the sun and He is God.

1 John 1:5, “And this is the message which we have heard from Him and we announce to you, that God is light, and in Him there is no darkness at all.”

John 1:5, “The light shined in darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend (overpower) it.”

John 8:12, “Again therefore Jesus spoke to them saying, ‘I am the light of the world.  He who follows me will not walk in the darkness but will have the light of life.’”

1 Tim 6:16, “Who alone possesses immortality and dwells in unapproachable light, whom no man has seen nor can see, to him be honor and eternal dominion. Amen.”

One God can be three in person because of their shared attributes. The 10 major attributes of God include:

  • Sovereignty
  • Righteousness
  • Justice
  • Love
  • Eternal Life
  • Omniscience
  • Omnipotence
  • Omnipresence
  • Immutability
  • Veracity

 (Click Here to See Essence of God Diagram)

These attributes are set forth in Ex 15:11; 33:19; 34:6-7; Deut. 6:4; 10:17; Num 16:22; Isa 44:6; Hab 3:6; Psa 102:26; Job 34:12; Rev. 5:12 and 7:12.

A good definition of the Essence of God is found in the Westminster Larger Catechism, which reads: “God is a Spirit, in and of himself infinite in being, glory, blessedness, and perfection; all-sufficient, eternal, unchangeable, incomprehensible, everywhere present, almighty, knowing-all things, most wise, most holy, most just, most merciful and gracious, long-suffering, and abundant in goodness and truth”.

In the Bible and therefore theology, the Trinity is known as Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The Father is known as the first person of the Trinity, the Son as the second and the Holy Spirit as the third.

God the Father:

The first person of the Trinity is identified as “Father” for example:

  • “Our Father … in heaven”, Mat 6:9, 14, 26, etc.
  • “The God and Father of the Lord Jesus”, 2 Cor 11:31, etc.
  • In the Old Testament God was revealed as Father:
  • Of the Israelites, Ex 4:22.
  • To the special representative of the nation, the king, 2 Sam 7:14.
  • As a Father who loves his children, Psa 103:13.
  • In the New Testament it is first revealed in relation to the eternal Son, John 1:14, 18.

John 1:14, “And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.”

John 1:18, “No one has seen God at any time; the only begotten God who is in the bosom of the Father, He has explained Him.

The title “Father” represents several scriptural concepts.

  • It designates the first Person of the Trinity.
  • It designates His relationship to Jesus Christ, “Father of our Lord Jesus Christ”, 1 Peter 1:3; 1 Cor 8:6; Eph 1:17.
  • It designates His relationship to the believer, “our Father”, as noted in the template prayer of Matt 6:9. This relationship is also noted in the first words of the Apostles’ Creed, “I believe in God the Father Almighty.” These are from recognition of this spiritual truth as depicted in the Word of God. Only those saved through Jesus Christ are admitted to the privileges of children in the Divine household of the Father.
  • It designates His relationship to the Jewish nation. Deut 32:6; Hosea 11:1; Psa 103:13; 68:5; Mal 1:6.
  • It designates His relationship to the universe, “the Father of lights”, James 1:17.
  • It designates His relationship to angles, “sons of God”, Gen 6:2,4; Job 1:6; 2:1; 38:7.
  • It designates His relationship to man, “the Father of spirits”, Heb 12:9; who are created after His image, Acts 17:26-29; Luke 3:38; with Gen 1:27; Mal 2:10.

Man, as created, was designed for sonship to God. The realization of man’s true creature destiny was frustrated by sin, and can now only be restored by redemption. Therefore we have the place of sonship in the gospel:

  • As an unspeakable gift and privilege, 1 John 3:1; with Eph 2:8-9.

1 John 3:1, “See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called children of God; and such we are. For this reason the world does not know us, because it did not know Him.”

  • Being obtained by grace, through regeneration, John 1:12-13, and adoption, Rom 8:14, 19.

John 1:12-13, “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, 13who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.”

In this relation of nearness and privilege to the Father in the kingdom of His Son, Col 1:13, believers are “sons of God” in a sense true of no others. It is a relation, not of nature, but of grace. Therefore, Fatherhood is now the determinative fact in God’s relation to the believer, Eph 3:14-21.

The Fatherhood of God has several manifestations.

The distinctive Fatherhoods of God are:

  • Fatherhood over creation – Universal Fatherhood.
  • Fatherhood over Israel – National Fatherhood.
  • The Father of our Lord Jesus Christ – Eternal Fatherhood.
  • Fatherhood over all who believe – Relational Fatherhood.

Fatherhood over Creation (Universal Fatherhood):

In 1 Cor 8:6 where it is declared, “But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things,” teaches all mankind as belonging to the Fatherhood of God due to His creation of mankind.

There is a form of universal Fatherhood which, within its proper bounds, should be recognized. God, through His own creation, has provided for the existence of all who live in this world. So from a parenting perspective He has provided for all His children believer and unbeliever alike, compare Mat 5:45; 6:26-30.

This is in no way to be confused with that Fatherhood which is secured by the regenerating work of the Holy Spirit.

This general form of kinship between Deity and Creation is not usually predicated of the Father, but is declared to be between God and His creation, as noted by His love for all humanity expressed in the words, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son”, John 3:16.

In tracing the genealogy of Christ back to Adam, Luke accounts for Adam’s existence by declaring him to be a son or creation of God, Luke 3:38. This is sonship by right of creation, the only conception of Divine fatherhood which an unregenerate person can entertain.

Paul similarly quotes the pagan poets as asserting that all men are the offspring of God, Acts 17:28. (Offspring or children = GENOS that means family, race, nation, people, or offspring, i.e. children.)

All men may be considered sons of God inasmuch as they owe their existence to Him.

Fatherhood over Israel (National Fatherhood)::

The intimate relationship between Jehovah and Israel, which was made possible by the gracious work of God alone, was also Divinely expressed by the figure of Father and son.

In Ex 4:22, Jehovah instructed Moses to say to Pharaoh: Thus says the LORD, ‘Israel is My son, My firstborn’.This was the first mention of that intimate relationship of Father and son between God and Israel.

Several other times God addresses the nation of Israel as a Father or as His sons, Deut. 32:6; Isa. 63:16; 64:8. This designation did not intimate that individual Israelites were regenerated sons of God. The term connotes national fatherhood by reason of parental care for all, just as Jehovah declared Himself to be a husband unto Israel, Jer 31:32.

The Father of our Lord Jesus Christ (Eternal Fatherhood):

The phrase “the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ” is the full title of the First Person of the Trinity. It is used five times by Paul, Rom 15:6; 2 Cor 1:3; Eph 1:3; 1 Peter 1:3 and in 2 Cor 11:31 with no “our” and just “the”.

Even though God the Father is also the Father of all who believe, for all eternity to come, He must first be recognized by the distinction, “the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ”.  The relation of the Second Person to the First Person of the Trinity has been from all eternity that of a Son, which is not only eternal but unchangeable too.

He did not become a Son of the Father, as some say, by His incarnation or by His resurrection, nor is He a Son by mere title, nor is He temporarily assuming such a relationship that He may execute His part in the Plan of Redemption.

The Son, being God Himself, is eternally on an absolute equality with the Father. On the other hand, the First Person became the God of the humanity of the Second Person as a result of the incarnation.

The First Person is never the God of the Second Person in Deity, but is His Father in a peculiar sense which belongs more to other spheres of existence than it does to this earthly one.

Only from Jesus’ humanity could Christ address the First Person as “My God.” He did this in the moment of the supreme manifestation of His humanity, when on the cross He said, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken Me?”, Mat 27:46. And again, after His resurrection, He said, “I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God”, John 20:17.

The thought of inferiority or succession is not to be included in the Divine Father and Son relationship. That is held for the understanding of His self-willed humility in terms of manifestation in his humanity.

Jesus may appear inferior from wrong applications of certain scriptures. But the unique, eternal affiliation between the First and Second Persons of the Godhead is best revealed to the human mind by the pattern of the appellations used for an earthly father and his son.

Therefore, whenever Christ addressed the First Person as “God”, it is clearly indicated that He spoke from His humanity, Mat 27:46; Heb 10:7 (Psa 40:7-8).

Many false Doctrines persist regarding Jesus’ sonship which must be rejected including:

  • That Christ became a Son by His incarnation, Luke 1:35.
  • That He became one by the resurrection, Rom 1:4.
  • That He is one only by virtue of office.
  • That He is one only by title.

Taking just one of the above scriptures out of context has led to these misunderstandings and false Doctrines. Comparing scripture with scripture tells us that Jesus was the Son of God by His incarnation and His resurrection. So which is it?  It is neither. He has always been the Son of God and His sonship is made manifest by His incarnation and resurrection, the two cornerstones signifying His humanity.

Jesus asserted the principle of His Sonship from eternity past in John 17:5, 24, as does Paul in Col 1:15-16.

Jesus was the Son whom God sent into the world, whom He “gave”, Isa 9:6; John 3:16.

The Nicene Creed states: “The only begotten Son of God, begotten of His Father before all worlds, God of God, Light of Light, very God of very God, begotten not made, being of one substance with the Father.”

The Athanasian Creed states: “The Son is from the Father alone; neither made, nor created, but begotten . . . generated from eternity from the substance of the Father.”

The terms Father and Son, as applied to the First and Second Persons in the Godhead, are somewhat anthropomorphic in character. That sublime and eternal relationship which existed between these two Persons is best expressed to human understanding in the terms of father and son, but wholly without implication that the two Persons, on the Divine side, are not equal in every way.

Fatherhood over all who Believe (Relational Fatherhood):

Under this the fourth aspect of the Divine Fatherhood, a most intimate relationship and abiding reality is in view.

Even though generation and regeneration are closely related there is a subtle difference. The generation is the begetting of life which is the starting point of physical existence, while regeneration is the begetting of life which is the starting point of spiritual existence.

Jesus distinguished the difference between the two when evangelizing the Pharisee Nicodemus in John 3:1-7.

Peter reiterated the significance of regeneration compared to generation in 1 Peter 1:3, 23-25a.

1 Peter 1:23, “For you have been born again not of seed which is perishable but imperishable, that is, through the living and enduring word of God. 24For, “All flesh is like grass, And all its glory like the flower of grass.  The grass withers, And the flower falls off, 25But the word of the Lord endures forever.””

Paul signified the difference of the regenerated spiritual life in 2 Cor 5:17; Gal 6:15.

2 Cor 5:17, “Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.”

  • The authority of God’s Word testifies that men in their natural estate of generation are spiritually dead until born again (regeneration).
  • Being born again gives the impartation of the Divine nature to the believer.
  • Men are either perfectly lost, being unregenerate, or perfectly saved, being regenerate as to their relation to God.
  • Regeneration is one of the 40 things God provides the believer at the moment of salvation.
  • Being regenerated is made possible by God the Holy Spirit and results in legitimate Fatherhood on the part of God, and legitimate sonship on the part of the one who believes.
  • This sonship, though it brings the believer into the position of an heir of God and a joint-heir with Christ, is not the same as the Sonship of Christ which is from all eternity.
    • Christ never used the phrase “our Father”, other than when instructing believers how to pray in Mat 6.9.
    • He spoke of “my Father, and your Father; my God, and your God.”
    • However, Paul spoke of “our Father”, in most of his opening or closing salutations and other places as well, Rom 1:7; 1 Cor 1:3; 2 Cor 1:2; Gal 1:3; Eph 1:2; Phil 1:2; 4:20; Col 1:2; 1 Thes 1:1; 3:11, 13; 2 Thes 2:16; Phile 1:3.
  • Regeneration is God’s own plan by which the lost may enter into that relation to Himself which is infinitely near and real.
  • Each individual who is born of God has become a son of God in the most vital and immutable meaning of sonship and has been received into the household and family of God, Mat 5:9; Luke 20:36; John 14:2; Rom 8:14-19; Gal 3:26.

Gal 3:26, “For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus.”

  • The regenerate one may say as Christ did in Mark 14:36, “Abba Father”, a term of filial (fili-el) relation, Rom 8:14-17; Gal 4:6-7.

Rom 8:14, “For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. 15For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, “Abba! Father!” 16The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God, 17and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him.”

The Characteristics of God the Father:

  • He is the first person in mode of operation. The First Cause, the Original, the Source, the Beginning, the Commencement, the Fountain-head of all wisdom, the Absolute.
  • The Foundation of our Redemption, John 3:16.
  • The Covenant Maker and Keeper, and the Covenant Promiser, Gen 6:18.
  • The Architect, Designer and Controller.
  • The Provider and Sustainer, Job 24:23, Psa 35:5; 145:14; Gal 3:5.
  • The Light, Unapproachable Light, Life, and Love, Rom 4:17, 6:23; 1 Tim 6:16; 1 John 4:8, 16.
  • Glory, Majesty, Holiness, and Fire, Heb 12:29.
  • Perfect, Mat 5:48, Invisible, Spiritual, and Eternally the Father.
  • The Begetter, John 3:16.

The Functionality of God the Father in the Trinity Related to Mankind:

God the Father Created the Universe, Psa 102:25, “Of old You founded the earth, and the heavens are the work of Your hands.”

  • Jesus Christ’s part in creation is stated in Col 1:16, “For by Him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible”
  • God the Holy Spirit’s part in creation is stated in Gen 1:2, “The Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters” and Job 26:13, “By his Spirit he hath garnished the heavens”.

All of this is combined in the one sublime statement in Gen 1:1, “In the beginning God [Elohim]  created the heaven and the earth”. The separate, yet complete act of creation on the part of each Person is gathered up in the assertion that Elohim, which name declares the mystery of plurality in unity and unity in plurality, achieved the undertaking.

God the Father created Man, Gen 1:26; 2:7; Eccl 12:1; Isa 54:5.

Gen 1:26, “Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness”

Also in Gen 2:7 Jehovah Elohim is said to have, “formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.”

  • Christ’s role in creation of man is declared in Col 1:16, “by Him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible”
  • God the Holy Spirit’s role is declared in Job 33:4, “The Spirit of God hath made me, and the breath of the Almighty hath given me life”.

God the Father gives and preserves life in man, both body and soul, Mat 6:25-34, likewise He cares for His creation and their needs (Divine Providence), cf. Psa 8:6-8

  • The Father provides our Logistical Grace blessings, Rom 8:32.

God the Father is the planner or designer of salvation for all of mankind. Isa 14:27; John 4:34; 5:17; 12:44; 1 Cor 8:6; Eph 3:11.

  • God the Son executed salvation on the Cross, John 4:34; 5:17; Rom 5:8; Heb 10:7; 1 Pet 2:24; 3:18.
  • God the Holy Spirit reveals the message of salvation. Under the Doctrine of Common Grace, He makes the gospel perspicuous, John 16:8‑11.

God the Father has elected the believer from eternity past, Mat 15:13; 2 Thes 2:13.

Mat 15:13, “But He answered and said, “Every plant which My heavenly Father did not plant shall be uprooted.””

The believer is Called to salvation, Justified and Glorified by God the Father, Rom 8:28-30; 9:22-26; 1 Cor 1:9; Gal 1:15-16; 1 Peter 1:15; 5:10.

God the Father indwells all Church Age believers as part of the Mystery Doctrine for the Church Age, John 14:23; Eph 4:6; 2 John 9. His abiding establishes our eternal relationship with Him.

  • God the Son indwells us according to John 14:20; 17:22-23; Rom 8:10; 2 Cor 13:5; Gal 2:20; Col 1:27; 1 John 2:24. We are the temple for the dwelling of the Shekinah Glory.
  • The indwelling of the Holy Spirit is found in Rom 8:11; 1 Cor 3:16; 6:19-20; 2 Cor 6:16. He Indwells us to empower us to execute the spiritual life and adorn the Temple of Christ.

The Father is fully responsible for our prayers.

  • The Father hears (receives) our prayers. We pray to the Father. Mat 6:6-9; 7:11; Luke 11:2, 13; John 15:16; 16:23; 1 John 1:7-9. We approach the throne of Grace, Heb 4:16
  • He answers our prayers, Mat 18:19; Luke 11:13; John 15:16; 16:23; 1 John 5:14-15.

Mat 18:19, “Again I say to you, that if two of you agree on earth about anything that they may ask, it shall be done for them by My Father who is in heaven.”

  • He forgives us of our sins when we confess them to Him, Mat 6:14 cf.  1 John 1:9.

Mat 6:14, “For if you forgive others for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions.”

  • The Son is our Intercessory/Advocate in prayer, Rom 8:34; 1 John 2:1.
  • The Holy Spirit helps us (intercedes for us) in prayer, Rom 8:26.

God the Father disciplines and judges, Mat 18:35; Heb 12:4-11, (Prov 3:11-12; Psa 119:75); Deut 8:5; 2 Sam 7:14.

Mat 18:35, “My heavenly Father will also do the same to you, if each of you does not forgive his brother from your heart.”

  • Jesus Christ is said to discipline the reversionistic believer in 1 Cor 11:32; Rev 3:19.
  • The Holy Spirit brings judgment, Judges 3:10.

God the Father provides Divine power for the function of His Plan for your life. The omnipotence of God the Father is related to our Portfolio of Invisible Assets. He is also the designer of God’s Power System that is available to every believer.

Your Portfolio of Invisible Assets Includes:

Primary Assets consist of:

Baptism of the Holy Spirit

Pre-designed Protocol Plan of God (P3G)

Equal Privilege and Equal Opportunity

Unique Royal Commissions

Unique Mystery Doctrine of the Church Age

Indwelling of the Trinity

100% Availability of Divine Power.

Secondary Assets:

Positive volition toward Bible Doctrine

Production Assets = Residence in the P3G (Fruit of the Spirit)

Suffering for Blessing

Invisible impact blessings:

  • Personal impact – blessing by association
  • Historical impact – national blessing (Pivot)
  • International impact – association with Client Nation to God

Personal Asset:

Operating in your Spiritual Gift

Unique Asset:

Indwelling of the Trinity

  • The omnipotence of God the Son is related to the preservation of the universe as well as the perpetuation of human history.
  • The omnipotence of God the Holy Spirit is related to residence, function and momentum inside God’s Power System.

The greatest power the Father has given to us is His Word, Bible Doctrine, John 15:15; 17:14, 17 cf. Heb 4:12.

  • The Bible is said to be the Mind of Christ, 1 Cor 2:16; 2 Peter 3:18.
  • The Bible was inspired by God the Holy Spirit 2 Sam 23:2; Acts 28:25; 2 Tim 3:16, and is revealed / taught to man by the Spirit, John 16:13; 1 Cor 12:8; Eph 6:17; 2 Peter 1:20-21.

2 Sam 23:2, “The Spirit of the LORD spoke by me, and His word was on my tongue.”

2 Tim 3:16-17, “All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; 17so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.”

“Inspired by God” is the Greek word THEOPNEUSTOS which comes from THEOS that means God and PNEUMA that means breath or spirit. Literally it is “God-breathed”, (i.e. inspired by God.) PNEUMA is used in the New Testament for the Holy Spirit; therefore, it is the Holy Spirit who has inspired the writers of the New Testament to write the Word of God. This is called “Verbal Plenary Inspiration of the Scripture.”

The Pastor’s authority is given by God the Father. 2 Cor 3:5-6.

  • The Pastor’s authority is of the Son, as Paul testified in 1 Tim 1:12, “He counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry.”
  • The Pastor’s authority is of the Holy Spirit, as Paul instructed the elders of the Church in Ephesus, Acts 20:28, “Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood.”

The believer is sanctified by God the Father, 1 Cor 1:2; Heb 2:11 and Jude 1:1 (KJV).

Jude 1:1 (KJV) “To them that are sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ, and called.”

  • Of Christ it is said in Heb 2:11, “For both He who sanctifies (Jesus Christ) and those who are sanctified are all from one Father; for which reason He is not ashamed to call them brethren.”
  • The Holy Spirit’s sanctification in relation to believer is noted in Rom 15:16; 1 Cor 6:11.

1 Cor 6:11, “Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.”

The Believer is kept safe by God the Father, which also speaks of our eternal security. Christ declared of the Father in John 10:29 that, “No man is able to snatch them out of my Father’s hand.”

  • The same thing is promised by the Son Himself, John 10:28, and in Rom 8:34 we see the fourfold nature of Christ’s safekeeping,

Rom 8:34, “Who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us.

  • Nothing is more assuring than Eph 4:30 that tells the believer he is “sealed (by the Spirit) unto the day of redemption.”

God the Father’s Role in the Incarnation of Jesus Christ.

John 3:16, “God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son.”

John 5:26, “For just as the Father has life in Himself, even so He gave to the Son also to have life in Himself.

Three Persons are present in the incarnation of Jesus Christ:

  • The Spirit generates the Son, Mat 1:18-20,
  • But in such a manner that the Son ever addresses the First Person as Father, Mat 4:17; Mark 1:11; Luke 3:23, 38; John 3:35.
  • The Son always did the will of the Father, Mat 26:39; Mark 14:36; Luke 22:42; John 6:38
  • To accomplish this, the Spirit was given to the Son without measure, Mat 3:16; 4:1; Mark 1:10, 12; Luke 4:1; John 3:34.

God the Father was involved in the death of Jesus Christ upon the Cross as prophesied in Psa 22:15.

Psa 22:15, “And You lay me in the dust of death.”

  • Likewise Jesus gave up His own life, Luke 23:46; John 10:11-18, Phil 2:8.

John 10:18, “No one has taken it away from Me, but I lay it down on My own initiative. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This commandment I received from My Father.”

  • Of the Spirit’s part in Christ’s death it states in Heb 9:14, “Christ . . . through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God.”

The Father resurrected Jesus Christ (returning His spirit from heaven), Eph 1:20; Col 2:12; 1 Thes 1:10; 1 Pet 1:21; Heb 13:20

  • The Spirit returned His soul from Hades/Sheol, Acts 2:24; Rom 1:4, 8:11; 1 Peter 3:18.
  • The Son raised His body, John 2:19; 10:17-18.

God the Father will place all authority in subjection to our Lord Jesus Christ, (Operation Footstool), 1 Cor 15:25-28; Eph 1:22; Heb 2:8.

“Marvelous, indeed, are the works of God and of surpassing import is the fact that these works are, in each case, said to be wholly wrought by each of the Trinity separately, not in partnership or mutual cooperation, and sufficiently in each instance to make it appear to be unnecessary for the work to be undertaken by Another! Thus unity and plurality are demonstrated as existing in the Godhead on a plane of relationship above and beyond the range of human experience.” (L.S. Chafer, Chafer Systematic Theology, Vol. 1, Chapter 18.)

The Titles of God the Father:

The titles of the First Person are largely restricted to combinations associated with the word “Father.”

He is the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the Father of Mercies.

He is addressed as Abba, Father; Heavenly Father; Father of Spirits; Holy Father; Righteous Father; Father of Lights; and Father of Glory.

The Worship of God the Father Inside the Trinity:

All created intelligences are appointed to render worship to God, and their worship, such as it is, comprehends the triune Godhead.

  • He is worshiped by Angels. The angels ascribe worship to three Persons when they say in Isa 6:3, “Holy, Holy, Holy, is the LORD of hosts”, and the “living creatures” are saying in Rev 4:8, “Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come.”
  • God is worshiped by Saints. All prayer and worship is now directed, by Divine instruction, to God the Father, in the name of the Son, and in the enabling power of the Holy Spirit, John 16:23-24; Eph 6:18.
  • The Benedictions gives praise to the Trinity. In Num 6:24-26, the blessing implored by the high priest upon the people is recorded as;

Num 6:24, “The LORD (YEHOVAH) bless you, and keep you;”

Num 6:25, “The LORD (YEHOVAH) make His face shine on you, and be gracious to you;”

Num 6:26, “The LORD (YEHOVAH) lift up His countenance on you, and give you peace.”

In 2 Cor 13:14 the most used benediction of the church is recorded, “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with you all. Amen.”

Keep in mind that even though we have some revelation about who and what God is, He remains the incomprehensible one that humans cannot totally fathom, both in His essence and ways, Job 36:26; Isa 40:13, 25, 28; cf. Deut 29:29.

Eph 4:4-6, “There is one body and one spirit, just as you have been called with reference to one hope of your calling; one lord, one faith, one baptism, one God, even the Father of all.” 

Verses 4-6 teach that just as there is unity in the trinity, so in principle there is unity in the body of Christ.

Verse 4 teaches there is “one Spirit.”

Verse 5 teaches there is “one Lord.”

Verse 6 teaches there is “one God, the Father of all.”

One inexplicably three.

One in simplest unity.

Summary of Verses 18-21: We have seen four obstructions to the believer’s Divine Good Production by Satan’s Cosmic System, which includes:

Reason #1: Verse 18, Satan’s Cosmic System hates the believer!
Reason #2: Verse 19, We are not of this world–Election out from the World!
Reason #3: Verse 20, “The servant is not greater than his Lord,”, therefore. we too will have persecutions!
Reason #4: Verse 21, “The Cosmos does not know God and is ignorant to His Plan.”

These are the first four warnings from our Lord as to the reasons behind the tactics of Satan and his Cosmic System in an attempt to stop the believer from going forward in the Plan of God. But our Lord doesn’t just give us the warnings in these verses. He also gives us tremendous encouragement in each verse in order to face the challenges that lie ahead as we navigate behind enemy lines in Satan’s Cosmic System, being citizens of heaven and God’s royal family.

These encouragements include:

Verse 18, We stand in the same position as our Lord stood, (Positional Sanctification), John 10:36; 17:19; Acts 26:18; 1 Cor 1:2; 6:11; Heb 2:11; 10:10, 14.

Verse 19, We are elected out of the world by God, (we have a heavenly citizenship not an earthly one), Rom 8:33; Phil 3:20; 1 Peter 2:9.

Verse 20, Some will be positive to your witness of Christ and non-antagonistic towards you, (we are ambassadors for Christ), 2 Cor 5:20; Eph 6:20.

Verse 21, It’s not you who they hate but our Lord Jesus Christ who is in you (we are indwelt by Jesus Christ), John 15:18 with John 14:23; 17:23.

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