The Gospel of John ~ Chapter 17, Part 3
Verses 11 & 12
The Great High Priestly Prayer, Part 3
Chapter 17 Outline:
- Vs. 1-5, Christ Prays for Himself.
- Vs. 6-19, Christ Prays for His Disciples.
- Vs. 20-26, Christ Prays for His Church.
Vs. 6-19, Christ Prays for His Disciples.
John 17:11, “I am no longer in the world; and yet they themselves are in the world, and I come to You. Holy Father, keep them in Your name, the name which You have given Me, that they may be one even as We are.”
The Greek reads: “ καὶ οὐκέτι εἰμὶ ἐν τῷ κόσμῳ, καὶ αὐτοὶ ἐν τῷ κόσμῳ εἰσίν, κἀγὼ πρὸς σὲ ἔρχομαι. Πάτερ ἅγιε, τήρησον αὐτοὺς ἐν τῷ ὀνόματί σου ᾧ δέδωκάς μοι, ἵνα ὦσιν ἓν καθὼς ἡμεῖς. ”
Transliterated it reads: “KAI OUKETI EIMI EN TO KOSMO, KAI AUTOI EN TO KOSMO EISIN, KAGO PROS SE ERCHOMAI. PATER HAGIE, TERESON AUTOUS EN TO ONOMATI SOU HO DEDOKAS MOI, HINA HOSIN EN KATHOS.”
“I am no longer in the world” is “KAI OUKETI EIMI EN TO KOSMO” which literally is “and no longer I am in the world.” The beginning Conjunction KAI is used to begin a new sentence and goes untranslated, therefore we can simply say, “I am no longer in the world.” Jesus continues to speak proleptically, speaking of a future event, “no longer in the world”, as a present reality. This is the anticipation of the Church Age in which Christ is absent from the earth. Jesus is viewing His completed work on the Cross, His death, resurrection, ascension, and session as a present reality by using the Present, Active, Indicative, First Person, Singular of EIMI, “I am”, along with the third phrase of this sentence, “I come to you.”
Next we have, “and yet they themselves are in the world”, which is, “KAI AUTOI EN TO KOSMO EISIN.” Literally it reads, “and/but they in the world are.” Here Jesus uses the Third Person Plural of both AUTOS and EIMI, AUTOI and EISIN respectfully, for “they are” referring to His 11 faithful disciples who will remain here on planet earth after His departure. Note also the KAI is used contrastively here and is translated “but” or as the NASB translated it by adding “yet” with the “and.” So we say, “but they are in the world.”
Then we have “and I come to You”, which is “KAGO PROS SE ERCHOMAI.”
KAGO is a compound from KAI and EGO for “and I.”
PROS is the Accusative Preposition that means, “to, toward.” Jesus is going to the Father and will be in His presence.
SE is the Pronoun SU, “you”, in the Accusative, Second Person, Singular referring to God the Father.
ERCHOMAI is a Verb in the Present, Middle Deponent, Indicative, First Person, Singular that means, “to come or to go.”
The Middle Deponent acts like an active voice and emphasizes Jesus’ participation in the action to being “face to face” with the Father. His participation was to complete the work of the Father’s plan. As a result, He would ascend to heaven and be seated at the right hand of the Father. We will translate this simply as “come.”
So we have, “and I come to you.”
Next we have, “Holy Father”, “PATER HAGIE.”
PATER means “father”, referring to God the Father, the one whom Jesus would be in the presence of.
HAGIE is the Adjective HAGIOS in the Vocative, Masculine, Singular, that means, “set apart, consecrated, holy, morally pure, upright, etc.” The Vocative Case is the case of address. It is used to call someone by name or to get their attention. Here it is the name or title of God the Father. It is an essence of God Himself.
So we say, “Holy Father.”
Doctrine of the Essence of God, His Holiness.
The Holiness of God is one of the many attributes that constitute the overall Essence of God. The attributes of God present a theme so vast and complex and so beyond the range of finite faculties that our attempt to classify them is only approximate as to accuracy or completeness.
In addition, the attributes of God are so interrelated and interdependent that the exact placing of some of them is difficult if not wholly impossible.
- S. Chafer states, “Though wholly inadequate, man’s conception of God is measured by those characteristics which he attributes to God. The Bible presents a revelation which, though limited by the restrictions that language must ever impose, is of a Person, and this revelation attributes to Him those exalted qualities which are His. These qualities thus attributed are properly styled attributes. To declare His Person and the sum total of His attributes, would constitute a final definition of God which man might never hope to form. God is not specifically defined in any one assertion, but His existence and attributes are assumed and do appear only as the text in various places and in manifold terms sets forth what He is and what He does. A true Biblical definition of God will be secured only as an induction of all the Scripture is secured (cf. Gen. 1:1; Job 11:7-9; 36:26; 37:5, 23; Ps. 77:19; 92:5; 97:2; 145:3; 147:5; Prov. 25:2; Isa. 40:28; Jer. 10:10- 16; Matt. 11:27; Rom. 11:33, 34; etc.). ” (L. S. Chafer, Systematic Theology, Vol. 1)
An attribute is a property which is intrinsic to its subject. Thus in describing God, we typically define the Essence of God by 10 main attributes including God’s, Sovereignty, Righteousness, Justice, Love, Eternal Life, Omniscience, Omnipotence, Omnipresence, Immutability, and Veracity.
God, out of necessity, is defined for us in the Bible in terms and expressions which belong to human life and experience. He is presented to us in anthropomorphic, (physical characteristics of man ascribed to God) and anthropopathic, (mental characteristics of man ascribed to God), terms.
The Westminster Confession of Faith is one of the most comprehensive or Biblical definitions of God formed by man outside of the scriptures. It reads,
- THERE is but one only living and true God, who is infinite in being and perfection, a most pure spirit, invisible, without body, parts, or passions, immutable, immense, eternal incomprehensible, almighty, most wise, most holy, most free, most absolute, working all things according to the counsel of his own immutable and most righteous will, for his own glory; most loving, gracious, merciful, long-suffering, abundant in goodness and truth, forgiving iniquity, transgression, and sin; the rewarder of them that diligently seek him; and withal most just and terrible in His judgments, hating all sin, and who will by no means clear the guilty.
II, God hath all life, glory, goodness, blessedness, in and of Himself; and is alone in and unto Himself all-sufficient, not standing in need of any creatures which He hath made, nor deriving any glory from them, but only manifesting His own glory in, by, unto, and upon them: He is the alone fountain of all being, of whom, through whom, and to whom, are all things; and hath most sovereign dominion over them, to do by them, for them, and upon them, whatsoever Himself pleaseth. In His sight all things are open and manifest; His knowledge is infinite, infallible, and independent upon the creature, so as nothing is to Him contingent or uncertain. He is most holy in all His counsels, in all His works, and in all His commands. To Him is due from angels and men, and every other creature, whatsoever worship, service, or obedience, He is pleased to require of them.
III. In the unity of the Godhead there be three persons of one substance, power, and eternity; God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost. The Father is of none, neither begotten nor proceeding; the Son is eternally begotten of the Father; the Holy Ghost eternally proceeding from the Father and the Son. (Westminster Confession of Faith, Chap. II)
The Personality of God:
To have a comprehensive understanding of God, we also need to understand an anthropopathic characteristic of God and that is He has a personality. Personality means, “The part of a person that makes them behave in a particular way.” Personality has its component parts, namely, intellect, sensibility, and will. Therefore, God’s personality includes His attribute of Omniscience, but also demands that He have Sensibility and Will. These are not characteristics of God’s attributes, they are attributes themselves.
Sensibility is, “the ability to experience deep emotions.” Will is, “the ability to make decisions, choices.”
In the past we have understood God’s Omniscience and Will, so here we will focus on His Sensibility. God’s divine, moral sensibility includes the attributes of:
- Justice, (including Righteousness)
Both in philosophical and theological usage, the designation “sensibility” includes the higher forms of feeling. The fact that in God the emotions of love and patience, and the attributes of holiness, justice, goodness, mercy, and faithfulness exist, goes far to indicate the true quality of God.
Many theologians try to remove the warm and sentient nature which the Scriptures define for us over and over again. Sensibility in God is as well defined as are the other essentials of personality; intelligence and will.
The sensibility of God includes His rational Being. For example, in the universe He has expressed His ultimate desire, and of that universe, in its original form, He said, “It was very good.” Having contemplated the beauty in creation, none can doubt the aesthetic nature in God.
God is not just pure thought, but He is also absolute intuition and absolute sensibility. He not only grasps reality in His absolute thought, but He sees it in His absolute intuition, and enjoys it in His absolute sensibility.
The Holiness of God:
Ex 15:11, “Who is like You among the gods, O LORD? Who is like You, majestic in holiness, awesome in praises, working wonders?”
Isa 6:3, “And one called out to another and said, “Holy, Holy, Holy, is the LORD of hosts, the whole earth is full of His glory.”
As stated above His sensibility is comprised of His, Holiness, Justice, Love, Goodness, and Truth. We will now understand the Holiness of God in relation to His sensibility.
Holiness is typically defined negatively and in relation to a relative, and not absolute standard. So holiness in the Bible means separation from all that is common or unclean.
In respect to God, holiness means not only that He is separate from all that is unclean and evil but also that He is positively pure and thus distinct from all others.
An analogy may helpful here. What does it mean to be healthy? It is the absence of illness, but also a positive infusion of energy.
Therefore, holiness is the absence of evil and the presence of positive right. In God, His holiness is a purity of being and nature as well as of will and act.
Holiness is the attribute by which God wanted to be especially known in Old Testament times, Lev 11:44; Josh 24:19; Psa 99:1-9; Isa 6:2-3; 40:25; Hab 1:12-13.
In the New Testament it appears in direct statements such as, John 17:11; 1 Peter 1:15. It also appears in ascriptions of praise, Rev 4:8.
The Creator is holy in Himself, quite apart from all evil, Psa 22:3, as we see His holiness in the figure of God being light, James 1:17; 1 John 1:5.
Jesus Christ is said to be Holy in, Psa 16:10; Mark 1:24; Luke 1:35; 4:34; John 6:69; Acts 2:27; 13:35; Heb. 7:26; 1 Peter 1:15.
The absolute, innate holiness of God means that sinners have to be separated from Him unless a way can be found to make them holy. And that way has been provided in the merits of Jesus Christ.
A proper view of the holiness of God should make the believer sensitive to his own sin, Isa 6:3, 5; Luke 5:8.
The holiness of God becomes the standard for the believer’s life and conduct, 1 John 1:7.
- This should put to an end the often useless discussions over what is permitted and what is not in the Christian life. Proper conduct can be tested by the simple question, is it holy?
- This is the believer’s standard. While he does not always measure up to it, he must never compromise it.
The holiness of God is intrinsic, uncreated, and untarnishable; it is observable in every divine attitude and action. It embraces not only His devotion to that which is good, but is also the very basis and force of His hatred of that which is evil.
Thus there is, in Divine holiness, the capacity for reaction toward others which is both positive and negative.
The following Scriptures declare the holiness of God: Ex 3:5; Lev 19:2; 1 Sam 2:2; Job 15:15; Psa 22:3; 47:8; 111:9; Isa 6:3; 57:15; Rev 6:10; 15:4.
Attributes of God that Make Up His Sensibility and Inter-Work with His Holiness:
1 John 4:8b-9, “For God is love. 9By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him.
God is Holy; therefore, the love of God possesses perfect integrity, which includes incorruptible justice and immutable righteousness. In God, love is the perfection of holiness and all that concept implies. Love in God is seeking the highest good and glory of His perfect attributes.
God’s attribute of love does not operate apart from His other attributes including holiness and justice. Because God is holy and unchangeable, divine love cannot be compromised by sins, human good, evil; including Christian degeneracy, dead works or any function of the sin nature. This means that Divine love cannot be corrupted by any creature failure, nor can Divine holiness. God is not tainted by our sins.
Holiness, because of its definition of separation, dictates that there shall be no leniency toward evil on the part of God. Therefore, Holiness condemns sin, while the love of God seeks to save the sinner. Yet, love cannot overpower holiness and save those who reject Christ and die in their sins.
Because God is holy, His love can only function in perfect virtue, honor, and integrity. 1 John 4:16-21
Therefore, God can convey impersonal love to all fallen angels and homo sapiens under real spiritual death while always maintaining absolutely His Holiness.
Rom 5:8, “God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died as a substitute for us.”
John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.”
Since God is holy, He is perfect in His justice and in His righteousness. Justice is perfection of judgment on the part of God, Job 34:12; Isa 30:18; 49:4; Luke 18:7; 2 Thes 1:6-7.
Deut 32:4, “The Rock! His work is perfect, for all His ways are just; a God of faithfulness and without injustice, righteous and upright is He.
Justice is what is done on the Divine side for lost men through Christ’s sacrifice, Rom 3:26; 1 Peter 3:18.
Rom 3:26, “For the demonstration, I say, of His righteousness at the present time, so that He would be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.”
Justice demands a penalty for sin, the Eternal Lake of Fire. Jesus Christ was crucified and thereby paid the penalty for sin. As a result, when a sinner fully believes upon the perfect work of Christ on the Cross, that penalty is removed from the sinner. As such, the penalty of sin, the Eternal Lake of Fire, will never again fall upon the sinner who believes, and he instead shall be saved eternally.
In God’s relationship with man, love is not the issue; the Cross set‑up the issue. Our first contact with the essence of God is with His justice, not His love. Where creatures are concerned, God always places His integrity and His holiness before His love.
Salvation is made possible in perfect justice, such justice that is in harmony with infinite holiness. Therefore, Justice and Holiness work in harmony to perfectly provide salvation for the sinner.
Rom 3:23-24, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus.”
Rom 5:8-9, “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. 9Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him.”
The point of contact in the attributes of God is the justice of God, Prov 29:26, for the unbeliever in salvation, Mat 12:18-21 (Isa 42:1-4), and toward the spiritual believer in Divine blessing, Mat 6:33, and toward the carnal believer in Divine discipline, Heb 12:4-11.
Psa 89:14, “Righteousness and justice are the foundation of Your throne; Lovingkindness and truth go before You.”
Psa 50:6, “And the heavens declare His righteousness, for God Himself is judge.”
The Greek word for righteousness is dikaiosunh, (DIKAIOSUNE). It becomes an absolute term when applied to God. With respect to character, God is transparently holy and righteous in all His acts. God’s righteousness is ever absolute and perfect to infinity: 1 John 1:5, “In Him there is no darkness at all.”
God’s righteousness is seen in two ways:
- He is a righteous Person, James 1:17.
- He is righteous in all His ways, Rom 3:25-26.
Though related to holiness and justice, righteousness is nevertheless a distinct attribute of God. Holiness relates to God’s separateness and righteousness to His justice. Since God’s Righteousness works so closely together with His Justice and Holiness, we must understand His righteousness in order to understand His sensibility.
God is all powerful, (omnipotent); therefore, He is infinitely able to do all things. Yet, He can only do those things which are within the range of His just and holy character. As such, He will not make right wrong, nor will He act foolishly. He will not abuse His power, nor compromise His justice and holiness.
Righteousness in God means that all that He does is perfect and absolutely right/correct. God never makes a wrong or unrighteous decision. All of God’s judgments are righteous as well as being holy in nature, (i.e., they are without sin and evil), Rev 16:5-7.
Rev 16:5-7, “And I heard the angel of the waters saying, “Righteous are You, who are and who were, O Holy One, because You judged these things; 6for they poured out the blood of saints and prophets, and You have given them blood to drink. They deserve it.” 7And I heard the altar saying, “Yes, O Lord God, the Almighty, true and righteous are Your judgments”.”
Righteousness is the principle of Divine integrity, while justice is the function of Divine integrity. Therefore, what the righteousness of God demands His justice satisfies.
God’s righteousness is the guardian of God’s justice. Justice guards the rest of the essence of God including His holiness. Therefore, God’s holiness is absolutely maintained by His righteousness in all that He thinks and does.
When His righteousness combines with His love it results in grace.
When God makes a decision, says something, or performs an act, it is harmonized with His righteousness and justice and therefore is absolutely holy in character and nature.
That is why God is able to condemn sin and the sinner, and provide salvation to the believer while maintaining His absolute holiness, Rom 3:21-26.
God’s sensibility is always perfect righteousness and holiness. He can hate the sinner and love the believer, Mal 1:2-3; Rom 9:13, while at the same time express His love to all sinners, John 3:16.
Another example of God’s sensibility that is protected by His integrity and holiness is His Happiness / Joy, or as we call it His +H. Therefore, +H is an attribute that is part of the essence of God. Psa 16:11; John 15:11; Rom 14:17; Gal 5:22-23; Heb 12:2.
Psa 16:11, “You will make known to me the path of life. In Your presence is fullness of happiness. At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.”
Rom 14:17, “For the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.”
John 15:11, “These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full.”
God the Father demonstrated His happiness when He sent His Son to the Cross for the benefit of the entire world. There we see happiness and righteousness working together, Isa 53:10.
Isa 53:10, “But the LORD was pleased, (+H), to crush Him, putting Him to grief; if He would render Himself as a guilt offering.”
God’s +H is derived from His perfect attributes that make up His sensibility including His righteousness. That is why God’s happiness is never based on the unhappiness of others.
True happiness cannot be separated from true integrity; the righteousness and justice of God. In the happiness of God the principle of integrity is the issue.
God’s perfect happiness includes the following characteristics.
- Tranquility in every circumstance of life, Rom 8:28.
- Contentment in every circumstance of life.
- Capacity for life, love and happiness.
- The stimulus factor in giving life meaning, purpose and definition.
In summary, God’s righteousness is the principle of Divine integrity, and the guardian of His justice which guards the rest of His Essence, including His holiness. Therefore, God’s holiness is absolutely maintained by His righteousness in all that He thinks and does whether it be based on His love or His happiness.
Goodness; may be defined as God’s benevolent concern for His creatures, Mat 5:45; Acts 14:17.
This attribute, if contemplated as that which is within God, is akin to His holiness; if contemplated as that which proceeds from God, is akin to love.
The infinite goodness of God is an attribute of His being which characterizes His nature and is itself the source of all in the universe that is good.
Ex 18:9, “Jethro rejoiced over all the goodness (TOBAH) which the LORD had done to Israel, in delivering them from the hand of the Egyptians.”
Ex 33:19, “And He said, “I Myself will make all My goodness pass before you, and will proclaim the name of the LORD before you; and I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show compassion on whom I will show compassion”.”
The specific terms employed in setting forth the goodness of God are:
- Benevolence, (kind intention, good pleasure – EUDOKIA; kindness – CHRESTOTES), which is goodness in its generic sense as embracing all His creatures and securing their welfare. Eph 1:5, 9; Phil 2:13; Titus 3:4
- Mercy, which is God’s goodness exercised in behalf of the need of His creatures. Mercy is everything that God has done for the sinner, Rom 11:30. God’s mercy alone goes out to every living creature, not His active grace.
Rom 11:30, “For just as you once were disobedient to God, but now have been shown mercy because of their disobedience.”
- Grace, which is God’s free action in behalf of those who are meritless which freedom to act has been secured through the death of Christ. It is that in God which acts freely to save because all the demands of holiness have been satisfied. It is all that God does for the believer, Isa 30:18; Eph 2:8-9.
Isa 30:18, “Therefore the LORD longs to be gracious to you, and therefore He waits on high to have compassion on you. For the LORD is a God of justice; how blessed are all those who long for Him.”
- Love, as noted above, it is that in God which existed before He would care to exercise mercy or grace.
The terms, mercy, grace and love are too often confused. They appear in the limited context of Eph 2:4-5.
Eph 2:4-5, “But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ, (by grace you have been saved).”
Sinners are not actually saved by mercy but by grace. Mercy only provides a Savior and draws the sinner to God; whereas, love is God’s motivation to save the sinner by providing a Savior.
All combined it represents God’s goodness towards man which is also called His lovingkindness, 2 Sam 2:6; Psa 118:1-29; 136:1-26.
2 Sam 2:6, “Now may the LORD show lovingkindness (CHESED) and truth to you; and I also will show this goodness (TOBAH) to you, because you have done this thing.
1 Give thanks to the LORD, for He is good (TOB); for His lovingkindness (CHESED) is everlasting.
2 Oh let Israel say, “His lovingkindness is everlasting.”
3 Oh let the house of Aaron say, “His lovingkindness is everlasting.”
4 Oh let those who fear the LORD say, “His lovingkindness is everlasting.”
To live the spiritual life, we too must be full of the goodness, (AGATHOSUNE), of God and exercises it daily, Rom 15:14; Gal 5:22; Eph 5:9; 6:7; Phil 2:13; 2 Thes 1:11; Philemon 1:14.
2 Thes 1:11-12, “To this end also we pray for you always, that our God will count you worthy of your calling, and fulfill every desire for goodness (AGATHOSUNE) and the work of faith with power, 12so that the name of our Lord Jesus will be glorified in you, and you in Him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.”
John 18:37-38. “Jesus answered (Pontius Pilate), “You say correctly that I am a king. For this I have been born, and for this I have come into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.” 38Pilate said to Him, “What is truth?”
Pilate in asking that universal question, revealed his own and the world’s ignorance of who God is. The truth was standing right in front of him yet he did not know the truth and therefore did not see the truth standing in front of him, just as the world does not know nor see the truth that is God.
Psa 89:14, “Righteousness and justice are the foundation of Your throne; Lovingkindness and truth go before You.”
God is absolute Truth or as we also call it Veracity.
Truth is defined as, “Conformity to knowledge, fact, actuality, or logic; fidelity to an original or standard; reality and actuality. It is a statement proven to be or accepted as true. It is sincerity; integrity; honesty. Truth is most commonly used to mean correspondence with facts or with what actually occurred”.
Veracity is defined as, “Habitual adherence to the truth; conformity to truth or fact; accuracy; precision. Veracity implies factual accuracy and honesty, principally with respect to spoken or written expression.” These definitions in fact describe the character and nature of the person of God in His being, thoughts, will, and acts. That is why He is called “the God of truth” in Psa 31:5; Isa 65:16.
Isa 65:16, “Because he who is blessed in the earth will be blessed by the God of truth; and he who swears in the earth will swear by the God of truth.”
Psa 31:5, “Into Your hand I commit my spirit; You have ransomed me, O LORD, God of truth.”
In His veracity, it is impossible for God to lie. He not only advances and confirms that which is true, but in faithfulness abides by His promises, and executes every threat or warning He has made.
To reveal Himself to mankind and angles, God can only do so in terms of truth. Therefore, Bible doctrine is absolute truth and perfectly reveals the holiness of God.
In relation to mankind, apart from the element of truth in God, there would be no certainty at all in this life and we would wander on in comfortless perplexity not knowing where we came from or where we are going. For those who reject God, that is the state in which they live.
Though men deceive, the veracity of God can never be questioned in the slightest degree.
Truth in God is surety, that what He has disclosed is according to the nature of things and that His disclosures may be depended upon with complete certainty. This certainty characterizes every revelation from God by whatever means.
The setting forth of God’s truth is in the Bible. It, being the Word of God, is true in all its parts. There is a vast array of truth, themes and subjects about which man could not know by himself. The Bible supplies this dependable information.
Psa 12:6, “The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace on the earth, refined seven times.”
God is declared to be a covenant-keeping God. Some of His covenants contain only promises and some contain promises and warnings. He is faithful to every word He has said.
Num 23:19, “God is not a man, that He should lie, nor a son of man, that He should repent; has He said, and will He not do it? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?”
Heb 10:23, “Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.”
The faithfulness of God is the unfailing source of comfort and assurance to those who are right with Him, or partakers of His covenants of promise.
It was a word of great meaning when Christ said in John 14:6, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life.”
Truth is what will judge the believer at the Bema Seat Judgment.
Truth is what will judge the unbeliever at the Great White Throne Judgment.
Ps 96:13, “For the Lord is coming to judge the earth; He shall judge the world with righteousness and the people with His Truth.”
John 12:48, “He who rejects Me and does not receive My sayings, has one who judges him; the word I spoke is what will judge him at the last day.”
Heb 4:12, “For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.”
In the O.T. the basic Hebrew word for Truth is EMETH. EMETH means stability, certainty and trustworthiness. It means that which produces faithfulness, stability and security; therefore, truth is firmness, security and integrity of mind.
If you lack faithfulness, stability and security, it is usually because you lack Truth, (i.e., Bible Doctrine in your soul).
Many ask how do I know if I’m learning Truth or receiving Truth? Well, Truth will cause you to be stable, certain and sure.
The most popular Greek word for Truth is ALETHEIA = integrity of character. Joseph Thayer says, “It is that which frees the mind from pretending, deceitfulness and hypocrisy.”
Pro 23:23, “Buy truth, and do not sell it, also buy wisdom and instruction and understanding.” (i.e., Bible Doctrine)
Truth is something we must be taught. It does not come naturally.
Psa 25:5 “Lead me in Your Truth and teach me: for You are the God of my deliverance.”
John 8:31-32, “If you continue in My Word then are you My disciples indeed. And you will know the Truth and the Truth will make you free.”
Truth must be taught! This is why fathers are told in Isa 38:19 to make Truth known to their children, and in Mat 22:16 our Lord taught the way of God in Truth.
Truth is something that must be taught. This is why the apostle Paul tells us that God’s will for all mankind is to “be saved and then to come to the knowledge of the Truth.”
God desires truth to be within us, 2 Cor 11:10, “As the truth of Christ is in me….”
Without Truth it is impossible to worship God properly, John 4:23-24, “Worship in spirit and truth.”
This is why if a pastor really loves and worships the Lord, he will, 2 Tim 2:15, “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth. “
And He will feed the flock of God. John 21:15-17, “If you love Me, feed My sheep, … lambs…” Feed them what? Truth. Truth is that which the Lord brought with Him when He came down from heaven.
John 1:17, “For the law was given by Moses but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.”
John 18:37, “… for this I have come into the world, to testify to the truth.”
It is only as He brings us to a knowledge of the Truth that He can deliver us completely from our three enemies; ourselves (OSN), the cosmic system and Satan.
The whole purpose of the Gospel and the object of salvation is to bring us to the Truth about God.
There are many teaching dogmatically, in our country today and around the world, that there is no moral truth. The following quote was taken from a book entitled “Why I Am A Christian” edited by Norman Geisler and Paul Hoffman. The quote contains an exchange between a high school teacher and her student that addresses the absurdity that there is no moral truth. The teacher is a proponent that there is no moral truth whereas her student Elizabeth believes there is moral truth….
The teacher instructs her class, “Welcome, students. This is the first day of class and so I want to lay down some ground rules. First, since no one has the truth about morality, you should be open-minded to the opinions of your fellow students.” The teacher recognizes the raised hand of Elizabeth, who asks, “If nobody has the truth, isn’t that a good reason for me not to listen to my fellow students? After all, if nobody has the truth, why should I waste my time listening to other people and their opinions? What’s the point? Only if somebody has the truth does it make sense to be open-minded. Don’t you agree?”
The teacher replied, “This should prove to be an interesting semester.” Another student blurts out, “Ain’t that the truth,” provoking the class to laughter.
Psa 40:11, “You, O LORD, will not withhold Your compassion from me; Your lovingkindness and Your truth will continually preserve me.”
Psa 91:4, “He will cover you with His pinions, and under His wings you may seek refuge; His truth is a shield and bulwark.”
Bulwark is the Hebrew word SOCHERAH (so-kay-raw’), used only here in the entire O.T. It is something surrounding the believer. Truth protects us and surrounds us.
Truth protects us and keeps us from deception. This is why the apostle Paul warns us that in the last days Truth will be rejected and deception accepted, 2 Thes 2:10-11; 2 Tim 3:5-8; 4:1-4.
Truth is always accompanied by God’s grace and mercy, Psa 26:3; 85:10-11; John 1:14.
Psa 85:10-11, “Lovingkindness and truth have met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other. 11Truth springs from the earth, and righteousness looks down from heaven.”
God’s righteousness loves to see His Truth in action, especially in you!
Other Attributes of God in Relation to His Holiness.
1 Sam 2:2, “There is no one holy like the LORD, indeed, there is no one besides You, nor is there any rock like our God.”
Because of God’s Immutability, His holiness is not subject to change.
Psa 102:27, “But You are the same, and Your years will not come to an end.”
Heb 13:8, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.”
James 1:17, “Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow.”
God’s unchanging holiness requires Him to treat the wicked differently from the righteous. When the righteous become wicked, His treatment of them must change too, but His holiness remains the same.
The concept that “The sun is not fickle or partial because it melts the wax but hardens the clay.” gives us a good analogy. The change is not in the sun but in the objects it shines upon.
That is why in God’s Truth and Holiness He says in John 3:36, “He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.”
The change in God’s treatment of men is described anthropomorphically, as if it were a change in God Himself, but that is not the case, His treatment might change as man changes but God’s Holiness never changes.
While God is immutable, he handles different things in different ways consistent with His immutable integrity. God’s integrity is perfect; therefore, it is not subject to change or improvement. No one can promote the integrity of God and no one can subtract from the integrity of God.
Mal 3:6, “For I, the LORD, do not change; therefore you, O sons of Jacob, are not consumed.”
Isa 30:15, “For thus the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel, has said, ‘In repentance and rest you will be saved, in quietness and trust is your strength.’ But you were not willing.”
Heb 6:17-18, “In the same way God, desiring even more to show to the heirs of the promise the unchangeableness of His purpose, interposed with an oath, 18so that by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have taken refuge would have strong encouragement to take hold of the hope set before us.”
- The first immutable thing is who and what God is, and what He did for us in eternity past.
- The second immutable thing is what God says or communicates in time (i.e., Bible Doctrine).
- Both are interwoven with His Holiness.
God is all powerful, infinitely able to do all things which are the objects of His power within the range of His holy character or essence. Therefore, He will not make right wrong, nor will He act foolishly, Isa 44:24; 2 Cor 4:6; Eph 1:19-21; 3:20; Heb 1:3. He will not abuse His power and compromise His justice.
Sanctification and Holiness:
Whether found in the Hebrew of the Old Testament or the Greek of the New Testament, three words arise from the same root, namely; holy, saint, and sanctified.
The Hebrew root word is the noun QODESH – קֹ֫דֶשׁ and means, “apartness, sacredness, holiness, or separateness. It’s a sacred place or thing; rarely abstractly sanctity, that is, consecrated, dedicated or hallowed.”
The Greek word is the verb HAGIAZO – ἁγιάζω that means, “to make holy, consecrate, purify, sanctify, or to separate from profane things” It comes from the adjective HAGIOS- ἅγιος that means, “sacred, holy, most holy thing, or a saint.”
God is eternally sanctified, Mat 6:9. Because of infinite holiness, God Himself (Father, Son and Spirit) is eternally sanctified. He is classified as distinct, set apart and separate from sin. He is altogether holy. He is Himself sanctified, Lev 21:8; John 17:19.
Lev 21:8, “You shall consecrate him (the priest), therefore, for he offers the food of your God; he shall be holy [QADOSH – קָדוֹשׁ] to you; for I the LORD, who sanctifies [QADASH – קָדַשׁ] you, am holy [QADOSH].”
John 17:19, “For their sakes I sanctify [HAGIAZO] Myself, that they themselves also may be sanctified [HAGIAZO] in truth.”
The “saint” is the one made holy by God and is therefore sanctified in Christ.
An unusual text appears in the words: “You shall be holy, for I am holy”, Lev 11:45; 19:2; 1 Peter 1:16.
Therefore Man is plainly required to be like his Creator. This obligation is unusual and constitutes an inherent or intrinsic law, binding on all created beings.
After we are saved and brought into union with Christ, a new responsibility is given to us, which is to walk worthy of our salvation and this means to be as He was in this world, which was holy.
Positionally you are holy due to your regeneration and the imputation of God’s righteousness from the moment of your salvation, just as Christ was, but experientially you must walk in that holiness which is what we call, Experiential Sanctification.
The holiness of man is subject to a threefold consideration:
- Positional, Luke 1:70; Acts 20:32; 1 Cor 1:2; 6:11; Eph 4:24; Heb 3:1; 10:10, 14.
1 Cor 1:2, “To the church of God which is at Corinth, to those who have been sanctified in Christ Jesus, saints by calling, with all who in every place call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, their Lord and ours.”
- Experiential, Rom 6:1-23.
- Ultimate, Rom 8:29; Eph 5:27; 1 John 3:1-3.
Eph 5:27, “He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless.”
Now, back in John 17:11, we continue the main theme of Verses 11 & 12 which is, “Jesus prays for the disciples’ protection.”
The phrase we have is, “keep them in Your name, (the name) which You have given Me.” After a secondary thought in our Lord’s Prayer here (“that they may be one even as We are”), the initial thought is continued in Verse 12, “While I was with them, I was keeping them in Your name which You have given Me; and I guarded them and not one of them perished…” This thought is then completed in Verse 15, “I do not ask You to take them out of the world, but to keep them from the evil one.”
Jesus Christ is in essence passing the baton of guarding the disciples onto the Father by asking Him to protect them.
First of all this request does not suggest the possibility that the disciples could lose their salvation. Note the full request: “…keep (them) in Your own name…that they may be one.” Verse 15 actually gives us the context of this request when Jesus asks that they be kept from the evil one.
Christ was physically with the disciples and was able to keep them together, united in heart and purpose, separated from the world. Now that He was going back to heaven, He asked the Father to keep them.
Jesus uses both “kept” and “guarded” regarding the disciples. The first word TEREO means, “to have watchful care.” The second PHULASSO implies, “custody and protection.”
In both Verses 11 & 12 we have the words, “keep and keeping”, which are derived from the same Greek word TEREO. We have seen TEREO before. It primarily means, “to watch over or to guard” and also can be translated, “keep, observe, obey, pay attention to, keep under guard, keep in custody, etc.”
It is generally used by John to mean “obey” in the sense of keeping commandments (8:51-52, 55; 14:15) or to “observe” the Sabbath (9:16). Here (17:11-12, 15) it is applied to persons in the sense of “preserve,” with an implication of defense.
Implied in this word is a sense of protection, care and maintenance, and sometimes in the sense of protection by conservation or word. A second major definition emphasizes the “watching” aspect of TEREO. Thus, it can mean, “to observe carefully, to keep” (as in “not lose,” Bauer) or “to watch” (for something).
In Verse 12 our Lord emphasized this fact by saying, “I guarded them”, utilizing the Greek verb PHULASSO that means to, “guard, watch, keep, keep under guard, keep safe, protect, defend, etc.”
In Classical Greek the verb PHULASSO is related to the noun PHULAX that means, “a sentinel, a watchman,” and indicates the activity of a watchman (Bertram, “PHULASSO,” Kittel, 9:236). Another related term is PHULAKE that means, a “watch” (e.g., Mat 24:43), especially a “watch of the night.” Therefore, it can mean, “defense against external attack.”
PHULASSO is used in the Septuagint translation of the Old Testament in Genesis 3:24 for the word SHAMAR where after the Fall, “cherubim (of the Lord) and a flaming sword flashing back and forth (were placed) to guard the way to the tree of life.”
In addition, God also “watches over” the righteous. As the Psalmist declares, “O Lord, you will keep us safe” (Psa 12:7, NIV [LXX 11:7]; cf. 16:1 [15:1]; 25:20 [24:20]).
God also “protects” us from harm and evil influence, (Psa 140:4 [LXX 139:4]; 141:9 [140:9]).
God’s role as “Watcher” or “Guardian” may recall His being the Great Shepherd who “guards” His flock, Psa 23; Jer 31:10.
Jer 31:10, “Hear the word of the LORD, O nations, and declare in the coastlands afar off, and say, ‘He who scattered Israel will gather him and keep him as a shepherd keeps his flock’.”
The scope of PHULASSO ranges from “watching over, taking care of,” to “keeping” a law or command.
It is used here in the sense of, “to mount guard against a known enemy”, which in this case the enemy would be fallen angels. Therefore, we see that Jesus protected them against the fallen angels, the doctrine of demons, (1 Tim 4:1), and Satan’s Cosmic System. Therefore, back in Verse 11, TEREO being in the Aorist tense, has to do with the Angelic Conflict.
Jesus petitioned the Father for the continuation of protection for the disciples in the period of danger that lay ahead of them as they remain in Satan’s Cosmic System.
Remember that He addresses the Father with the title “Holy Father.” That was unusual and is comparable to the phrase “Righteous Father” that appears in Vs. 25 when Jesus is referring to the world of unbelievers with the judgment of God in view.
Therefore, we see that the holiness of God is contrasted with the evil of the world that confronted and will continue to confront the disciples as they remain in Satan’s Cosmic System.
On the basis of the holiness of God’s character, Jesus requested that the Father preserve the disciples.
“In your name” is EN SU ONOMA in the Greek, and ultimately means, “by means of your person.”
The word “name” ONOMA that means, “name or authority” is also used for “title” that signifies someone’s authority, character or nature.
Therefore, “name” stands for the power of God manifested in His person, (cf. 5:43; 10:25; 12:28; 17:6, 26), for a name represents authoritatively the person it describes. Here it refers to the essence of God the Father.
So “name” signifies all that is protecting the believer (i.e., the Essence of God). We belong to Him and therefore the character of God is on the line, and God has never lost one believer.
As we have noted, Jesus’ responsibility was to manifest the Father to the disciples and the world, which He did. The Father had given the Son the authority to be the revelation of all that God is (His essence). Jesus was zealous to keep His disciples from any error that would hinder the manifestation of God’s revelation. If Jesus had not guarded them, the doctrines of the Pharisees and Sadducees would have contaminated the truth of His manifestation. Therefore, Jesus had protected them from those evils while He was with them. Now He is leaving and He is petitioning the Father to continue the ministry of guardianship over the souls of the disciples.
In John 17:12, as we have noted, Jesus’ request for the protection of the disciples was accompanied by the reality of His leaving the world. Yet the disciples would still be in the world (Satan’s Cosmic System), exposed to its temptations and hostility. In summarizing His care of them to date, He used the two different words noted above: “keeping” and “guarded”, the former TEREO, the latter PHULASSO. Like other Johannine synonyms, the two may at times be used interchangeably, but there is a slight difference between them. TEREO has the sense of protection by conversation; PHULASSO, by defense against external attack. Therefore, we see that the Word of God will protect their souls against the attacks of Satan’s Cosmic System.
John 17:12 reads: “While I was in them, I was keeping them in Thy name which Thou hast given Me; and I guarded them, and not one of them perished but the son of perdition, that the Scripture might be fulfilled.”
The Greek reads: “ ὅτε ἤμην μετ’ αὐτῶν, ἐγὼ ἐτήρουν αὐτοὺς ἐν τῷ ὀνόματί σου ᾧ δέδωκάς μοι, καὶ ἐφύλαξα, καὶ οὐδεὶς ἐξ αὐτῶν ἀπώλετο εἰ μὴ ὁ υἱὸς τῆς ἀπωλείας, ἵνα ἡ γραφὴ πληρωθῇ. “
Transliterated it reads: “hote ēmēn met’ auton, egō etēroun autous en tō onomati sou hō dedōkas moi, kai ephylaxa kai oudeis ex auton apōleto ei mē ho huios tēs apōleias hina hē graphē plērōthē.”
“While I was with them,” is the Imperfect Tense of EIMI for “I was” and means, “I kept on being with them.” Jesus never deserted the disciples during those three years, “in the world.”
As noted above this theme is continued in Verse 15 ,where our Lord is specific as to who the enemy is that we need protection from, Satan himself, “I do not ask You to take them out of the world, but to keep them from the evil one.”
This protection gave Paul confidence as he was confident in God’s ability to “keep” what He had been entrusted with, 2 Thes 3:3; 2 Tim 1:12; Jude 24.
So we see that Christ does not pray that they might be rich and great in the world, but that they might be kept from sin and evil, strengthened for their duty, and brought safe to heaven. The prosperity of the soul is the best prosperity. He pleaded with His Holy Father, that He would keep them by His power and for His glory, that they might be united in affection and labors, even according to the union of the Father and the Son. He did not pray that His disciples should be removed out of the world that they might escape the rage of men, for they had a great work to do for the glory of God, and the benefit of mankind. But he prayed that the Father would keep them from the evil, from being corrupted by the world, the remains of sin in their hearts, and from the power and wiles of Satan, so that they might pass through the world as through an enemy’s country, as He had done. They are not left here to pursue the same objects as the men around them, but to glorify God, and to serve their generation. The Spirit of God in true Christians is opposed to the spirit of the world. Psa 121:7-8; John 6:37; John 6:39-40; John 10:27-28; John 18:9; 2 Thes 3:3; 1 John 5:18
1 John 5:18, “We know that no one who is born of God sins; but He who was born of God keeps him, and the evil one does not touch him.”
2 Thes 3:3, “But the Lord is faithful, and He will strengthen and protect you from the evil one.”
Psa 121:7-8, “The LORD will protect (SHAMAR) you from all evil; He will keep (SHAMAR) your soul. 8The LORD will guard (SHAMAR) your going out and your coming in from this time forth and forever.”
SHAMAR means, “to keep, guard, protect, keep watch, preserve, etc.”; just like TEREO and PHULASSO of the Greek. The underlying idea of this root is “to exercise great care.”
The participial form of SHAMAR is frequently used to describe those who guarded the city (SS 3:3; 5:7; Psa 127:1; Isa 21:11f), the Temple (Jer 35:4) or palace (1 Kings 14:27; 2 Chr 12:10). Often the task would be to guard a person, either to serve as bodyguard (1 Sam 26:15) or to guard prisoners (Josh 10:18; 1 Kings 20:39).
The Verb SHAMAR in Psa 121 is in the Qal (Active Voice), Imperfect (Tense). The Imperfect is used for incomplete action, which means it is on-going action. Therefore, the protection of our Lord is something that continues each and every day of our lives. His guardianship is not completed or finished but is ever-present.
Scripture often speaks of the way God protects and cares for His people. For example:
- God promised to protect Jacob when He met him at Bethel, Gen 28:15, 20.
- God has promised to keep His people like a shepherd caring for his sheep, Jer 31:10.
- He describes Himself as the ultimate watchman over the city, Psa 127:1.
- Part of the blessing in Num 6:24 is the request that the Lord might keep His people.
Now back in John 17:11-12 & 15, we have four uses of keeping or guarding.
- The first “keep” in Verse 11, “keep them in Your Name” is the Aorist, Active, Imperative, Second Person, Singular.
The Imperative Mood used here is interesting because it is typically used for a command from a superior to an inferior, but clearly Jesus is not putting Himself in that position regarding the Father, since He Just called Him “Holy Father.” It is used here as a request or entreaty as Jesus prays on behalf of the disciples. As we have seen previously, the Imperative Mood is used in prayer requests and we see that this is the request of our Lord Jesus of the Father based on the overall context of Chapter 17 and Verse 15, “I … ask You”, where “ask” is the verb EROTAO in the Present, Active, Indicative, which means, “to request, entreat, beg, beseech, etc.” and is used for prayer requests.
The Active Voice in the Second Person Singular identifies God the Father as the One who Jesus is entreating to guard and protect His disciples, “You protect them.”
The Aorist Tense views the entirety of the action of God the Father protecting them here on earth. The Aorist also gives this prayer a sense of urgency, because the disciples now especially need the Father’s care with Jesus being gone.
- In Verse 12 we have the second “keep” – TEREO, “While I was with them I was keeping them.” This “keeping” is the Imperfect, Active, Indicative, First Person, Singular, much like we saw of SHAMAR in Psa 121.
The Stative Customary Imperfect Tense is for action in progress or continually occurring in past time. While the disciples where with Jesus, He was continually protecting them from Satan, the Cosmic System and evil man with his religious falsehoods.
The Active Voice: Jesus is the One who guarded these disciples during His 3 ½ year ministry. He not only physically protected them but spiritually as well, with the Word of God that He taught them daily. So we can translate this, “I was continually keeping them.”
The “I” in “I was keeping them” is emphatic so Jesus is saying: “I Myself was continually keeping them.”
He then continues the theme of “in Your Name” – ONOMA, which means in the power of the person and authority of God the Father that is, by means of His essence or being, including His Word.
And once again Jesus states, “which You have given to Me” utilizing the verb DIDOMI in the Perfect, Active, Indicative, Second Person, Singular that means, “to give.” This repeats the theme of Vs. 6 & 9 that the Father gave these disciples to Jesus Christ in the past with the results that they are His today. So once again we see the great plan of God Father. So we say “You gave them to me in the past with the result that they belong to me forever.”
- The third “keep” is the synonymous word to TEREO which is the verb PHULASSO used in Verse 12 for, “I guarded them.” Remember PHULASSO has the connotation of “custody and protection, and defense against external attack.” Here it is in the Aorist, Active, Indicative, First Person, Singular.
The Constative Aorist Tense is for simple past tense, viewing the entirety of the action of Jesus guarding the bodies and souls of His disciples by means of the authority and the Word the Father had given Him in hypostatic union.
The Active Voice: Jesus Christ was the sentinel (PHULAX, Acts 5:23) for them. He is our sentinel now as our High Priest and King based on the authority given to Him by the Father.
The Indicative Mood is for the reality of Jesus’ protection over His disciples. So we can say, “I absolutely guarded them.”
- The fourth “keep” is found in Verse 15, “to keep them from the evil one.” Here we have TEREO once again but this time in the Aorist, Active, Subjunctive, Second Person, Singular.
The Subjunctive Mood is used here with HINA, “that.” It is used Imperatively completing the entreaty of Verse 11. The Subjunctive also speaks to probability, leaving room for the Will of the Father to act as Jesus makes His request.
The Active Voice in the 2nd Person Singular: Once again Jesus is requesting that the Father protect the disciples and this time with specific emphasis, “from the evil one.”
“Evil one” is the Greek Adjective PONEROS in the Pronominal Genitive, Masculine, Singular. It means, “toilsome, bad, evil, or wicked.” As a Singular Pronoun it is used substantively and means “the evil one” referring to Satan Himself.
Therefore, Jesus’ petition to the Father is to protect them from Satan himself which would include his Cosmic System. This protection is made dogmatic for us in 2 Thes 3:3, “But the Lord is faithful, and He will strengthen and protect, (PHULASSO – Future, Active, Indicative), you from the evil one (PONEROS – Satan).”
All in all this protection was Jesus’ request that the disciples would be sanctified from the world and from the evil one, (Satan’s Cosmic System), by means of the Name of the Father (i.e., His person / essence – 17:11-12), the Word (i.e. Bible Doctrine resident in their souls – 17:14), and the Truth, (which speaks of the teaching ministry of God the Holy Spirit – 17:17 with 16:13). These are the sanctifying elements, the elements that preserve Christians, who must live in the midst of an evil world.
Rev 3:10, “Because you have kept (TEREO) the word of My perseverance, I also will keep (TEREO) you from the hour of testing, that hour which is about to come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth.”
Jude 24-25, “Now to Him who is able to keep (PHULASSO) you from stumbling, and to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy, 25to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.”
Back in the last clause of Verse 11 we have the Lord’s Prayer for the believer’s union and unity with God and each other.
The English reads: “That they may be one even as We are.”
The Greek reads: “ἵνα ὦσιν ἓν καθὼς ἡμεῖς.”
Transliterated it is: “HINA OSIN HEN KATHOS HEMEIS.”
The use of HINA here establishes a purpose clause that anticipates the Church Age, “in order that.”
OSIN is the Present, Active, Subjunctive, Third Person, Plural of EIMI, “to be, is, are.”
The Customary Present Tense is for ongoing action; “keep on being.”
The Active Voice speaks of the disciples who would be protected by God by being in union with Christ. Therefore, we can add “they” referring to the disciples. This also tells us that every believer in the Church Age is in union with Christ and these 11 would be the first to be placed in Union with Christ of the Church Age on the Day of Pentecost.
The Subjunctive Mood goes with the purpose clause “HINA”; it is not used for potential here. Instead it focuses on the intention of the action, “being one with God.” So we say, “might keep on being.”
HEN is the Cardinal Pronominal Adjective EIS in the Nominative, Neuter, Singular that means, “one” speaking of the disciples being in union and unity with Christ and God the Father.
KATHOS is a Conjunction and means, “just as.” This shows us that a precedent for our union and unity with Christ is found in the union and unity between the Father and the Son.
HEMEIS is the Pronoun EGO, “I”, in the Nominative, First Person, Plural which means, “we”, referring to the precedent for our union and unity being that of the union and unity between God the Father and the Son. We can add “are” for English reading purposes showing the current and eternal relationship between the Father and the Son that is the precedent for our union and unity with the Triune God.
God the Father and the Son have the exact same essence that is identical in characteristics infinitely and eternally. They are two separate and distinct persons but their essence is identical. It is the humanity of the Son which is praying to the Father here, and He says, “We are one” – i.e. we have identical essence which includes identical thinking.
At the point of salvation and the baptism of the Spirit, we are entered into union with Christ and we are now one with Jesus Christ positionally. But this request for protection goes further. For the disciple to be fully protected here on earth, he must also be one with the thinking of God the Father. When he is, he is experientially sanctified and experientially one with the Father and the Son; that is unity.
So we have, “in order that they might keep on being one just as We are.”
Our complete translation of John 17:11 is, “I am no longer in the world but they are in the world and I come to You Holy Father. Keep them in Your name, which You have given Me, in order that they might keep on being one just as We are.”
- Unity is an important aspect of being protected, (TEREO – PHULASSO), by God. Christ prayed that the entire group of disciples might maintain the unity of belief in the Father’s revelation as Jesus manifested it. In other words, the believer is guarded and protected by having the knowledge of God, the mind of Christ – Bible Doctrine in the soul, which also results in having unity with the Trinity experientially.
- Positionally you are in union with Christ, but experiential unity is dependent upon your thinking.
D.A. Carson notes, “In short, Jesus prays that God will keep His followers in firm fidelity to the revelation Jesus Himself has mediated to them. The purpose of such faithful allegiance, Jesus avers, is “that they may be one as we are one.” They cannot be one as Jesus and the Father are one unless they are kept in God’s name, i.e. in loyal allegiance to His gracious self-disclosure in the person of His Son.” (D.A. Carson , The Gospel According to John, The Pillar New Testament Commentary, p. 562-563)
- The unity desired by Christ is that which the Father alone could accomplish and never man; for Christ not only appeals to the Father for its realization, but He indicates its super exalted, Divine character, even as the Father is in the Son and the Son is in the Father.
- This prayer for unity is not for an organic union, as many misinterpret this verse, sparking continual movements to unite all believers under one denomination or religion. This prayer is not answered in a mere union of organizations or any mass movements, though these might help in the matter of an outward appearance. Thoughtless and absurd is the modern notion that Christ was praying that denominations which exist in this remote time and in countries then unknown might become organically united in one, and therefore it is the duty of all sects to unite and thus help to answer this prayer.
- Instead, this unity is sought at the hand of the Father, indicating that it is a Divine undertaking, with the result that a unity as organic and vital as that between the Father and the Son is accomplished.
- The disciples had union, but lacked unity or oneness of spirit / mind as was shown that very evening at the Last Supper, Luke 22:24.
- It is clear then that a unity does exist which is wrought of God, and that men; therefore, do not have to make a unity. The unity that believers can have has been created first and foremost by virtue of our position in Christ, as noted further in John 17:21-23. Then it is unity of thinking, as we will note in numerous scriptures below.
- It is equally clear that believers are appointed to keep this divinely wrought unity. This they do when they love all other believers perfectly, disregarding class distinctions and rising above prejudice because of the application of the Word of God resident in their souls, coupled with the Filling of God the Holy Spirit. The commands given to us throughout the N.T. “to keep the unity of the Spirit”, like the one to “love one another”, is personal in its outworking and is fulfilled when the believer recognizes and loves every other Christian.
- This prayer began to be answered on the Day of Pentecost when believers were by the Spirit baptized into one Body, and is constantly answered whenever:
- A soul is saved and thus joined as a member to the Body of Christ by the same baptism of the Spirit.
- The believer advances in his knowledge and application of God’s Word, 2 Peter 3:17-18.
2 Peter 3:17-18, “You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, be on your guard (PHULASSO) so that you are not carried away by the error of unprincipled men and fall from your own steadfastness, 18but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory, both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.”
- The determining truth to be recognized here is that a God wrought unity exists in answer to Christ’s prayer. “One that is in magnitude, vital actuality, and heavenly ennoblement by the Savior Himself classed with that which is highest in heavenly realms.” (L.S. Chafer, Systematic Theology.)
- When Jesus says, “as We are”, He offers the unity in the Trinity (three persons, but one God) as the model or precedent for believers. That is, the Father and the Son were alike in character and essence, and thought alike as well. Therefore, we too must be like-minded with God in order to have this type of unity with Them and each other. This is noted throughout the New Testament including, Rom 12:2; 15:5-6; 1 Cor 1:10; 2:16; Eph 4:1-6, 23-24; Phil 1:27; 2:1-5; Col 3:2; 1 Peter 3:8.
1 Peter 3:8, “To sum up, all of you be harmonious (HOMOPHRON, [same heart] = “like minded”), sympathetic, brotherly, kindhearted, and humble in spirit; 9not returning evil for evil or insult for insult, but giving a blessing instead; for you were called for the very purpose that you might inherit a blessing.”
Rom 12:2, “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.”
Rom 15:5-6, “Now may the God who gives perseverance and encouragement grant you to be of the same mind with one another according to Christ Jesus, 6so that with one accord you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
1 Cor 1:10, “Now I exhort you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all agree and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be made complete in the same mind and in the same judgment.”
1 Cor 2:16, “For who has known the mind of the Lord, that he will instruct Him? But we have the mind of Christ.”
Eph 4:1-6, “Therefore I, the prisoner of the Lord, implore you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called, 2with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love, 3being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. 4There is one body and one Spirit, just as also you were called in one hope of your calling; 5one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6one God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all.”
Eph 4:23-24, “And that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind, 24and put on the new self, which in God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth.”
Phil 1:27, “Only conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or remain absent, I will hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel.”
Phil 2:1-5, “Therefore if there is any encouragement in Christ, if there is any consolation of love, if there is any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and compassion, 2make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose. 3Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; 4do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. 5Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus.”
Col 3:2, “Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth.”
This is also noted in the Great High Priestly prayer in John 17:21.
This unity is that already made by the Spirit and is not a unity which is merely formed when believers are faithful to each other. Keeping the unity engendered by the Spirit, when He united all as members in Christ’s Body, is far removed from an attempt on the part of believers to make a unity which is no more than the outward exercise of good fellowship with one another.
The first commandment of Christ given in the Upper Room is that Christians are under the greatest imperative to love one another (John 13:34-35), and by this love all men are to know that those who so love are His disciples.
It is clear then that a unity does exist which is wrought of God, and that men; therefore, do not have to make a unity. It is equally clear also that believers are appointed to keep this divinely wrought unity. This they do when they love all other believers perfectly because of the application of God’s Word resident within their souls. Therefore, in body, soul and spirit we have unity positionally and experientially with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit and with our fellow believers who are like-minded.
We have already translated the first half of John 17:12, “While I was with them, I Myself was continually keeping them in your name. You gave them to Me in the past with the result that they belong to me forever; And I absolutely guarded them.”
Next we turn to the last half of the verse of John 17:12c, “And not one of them perished but the son of perdition, so that the Scripture would be fulfilled.”
The Greek reads, “ καὶ οὐδεὶς ἐξ αὐτῶν ἀπώλετο εἰ μὴ ὁ υἱὸς τῆς ἀπωλείας, ἵνα ἡ γραφὴ πληρωθῇ. ”
Transliterated it reads, “kai ephylaxa kai oudeis ex auton apōleto ei mē ho huios tēs apōleias hina hē graphē plērōthē.”
We begin with, “And not one of them perished” which is, “KAI OUDEIS EX AUTON APOLETO.”
KAI is the Superordinating Conjunction for “and.” It introduces this ending clause that is prominent in this passage.
OUDEIS is a triple compound word form OUK meaning “not”, DE meaning, “but” and HEIS meaning, “one” and literally means, “but not one.” It is has become an Adjective used here as a Pronoun in the Cardinal Nominative, Masculine, Singular. As an Adjective it means, “no one, nothing, no, or worth nothing.” As a Pronoun it stands in the place of the eleven disciples who were believers in the Lord Jesus Christ, the eleven who remained with Him. The use of this word also groups the eleven into one group; those who were believers. Since we already have the Conjunction KAI above we will say, “not one.”
EX AUTON stands for “of them”, where EX is the Preposition EK in the Genitive Case that means, “from, out from or of”, along with the Pronoun AUTOS in the Genitive, Masculine, Third Person, Plural that means, “them”; referring to the eleven disciples who were not lost.
APOLETO is the 2nd Aorist Verb APOLLUMI in the, Middle, Indicative, Third Person, Singular that means, “to destroy or destroy utterly.” In the Middle Voice it means, “be lost, perish, (as in Heb 1:11), be ruined, die, pass away.” It is a compound word from Preposition APO that means, “from or away from” and the old Verb OLLUMI that means, “to destroy, lose, to perish, come to an end,” (i.e., destruction, death).
The Constative Aorist Tense views the entirety of the action of Jesus’ protection over them which resulted in their continued walk with Christ right up to this point in time and on into the future. They have believed in Him and therefore are not lost.
The Causative Middle Voice tells us that the subject has something done for or to himself. In this case the disciples experienced the action expressed of not perishing or not being lost (i.e., not destined to be thrown into the Eternal Lake of Fire). The Causative Middle is used to emphasize their volitional participation. It emphasizes their volitional responsibility of believing in Jesus Christ which resulted in their “not being lost” to eternal condemnation. Therefore, this emphasizes the non-meritorious act of faith expressed by the these eleven, which resulted in their salvation, in contrast to the lack of faith that Judas Iscariot possessed which resulted in his betrayal and eternal condemnation.
The Third Person Singular once again points to the eleven as one group of believers.
The Indicative Mood is for the reality of the situation. These eleven have not perished and will not perish due to their positive volition towards the Christ, and the guardianship of the Lord Jesus Christ over them. We will simply say, “was lost.”
This continues Jesus’ past tense vernacular when He is speaking of the Future. That is, He is praying from the standpoint of eternity past viewing eternity future.
Notice also in John 18:9 John’s account of Jesus’ arrest in Gethsemane.
John 18:9, “Jesus answered, “I told you that I am He; so if you seek Me, let these go their way,” 9to fulfill the word which He spoke, “Of those whom You have given Me I lost not one”.”
Only those given to Jesus are not lost. Again we see that Judas was not given to Jesus by the Father because He did not believe, John 17:2-3.
So far we have, “And not one of them was lost, (to eternal condemnation).”
Next we have, “but the son of perdition” which is “EI ME HO HUIOS TES APOLEIAS.”
EI is the Subordinating Conjunction that means “if, whether, etc.” It is linked with the Greek Negative Particle ME that means “not”. Separately they are translated “if not”, but they can be joined together to mean “except, unless, but, etc.” in the English, (see Mat 5:13; 11:27; John 6:22, 46; 1 John 2:22; 5:5).
Mat 11:27, “All things have been handed over to Me by My Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father; nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and anyone to whom the Son wills to reveal Him.”
John 6:46, “Not that anyone has seen the Father, except the One who is from God; He has seen the Father. 47Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes has eternal life.”
1 John 5:5, “Who is the one who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?”
1 John 2:22, “Who is the liar but the one who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, the one who denies the Father and the Son.”
We will translate it as “except”, since this shows the contrast between the believing disciples and Judas Iscariot.
John was inspired to use EI ME here indicating a conditional clause. The condition, as always, is the volitional responsibility of Judas Iscariot. Therefore, we have symmetry between what our Lord said about the eleven utilizing the Middle Voice of APOLLUMI above and what He is saying about Judas Iscariot here; they both have volitional responsibility to believe in Jesus Christ or not. EI ME shows us Judas chose not to believe in Jesus as the Messiah.
This tells us that even though Judas was with them for the 3 ½ years, He was separate and distinct from the rest. They were in actuality two separate groups; one group of believers, the other an unbeliever. If they were one group, which Judas then fell out of, Jesus might have used the Conjunctions KAI, DE or ALLA. But since they were separate groups, and to emphasize their volitional responsibility, He uses EI ME showing the distinction of Judas Iscariot.
Then we have “the son of perdition.”
HO HUIOS is the Article for “the” and the Nominative, Masculine, Singular HUIOS that means, “son.”
TES APOLEIAS is the Article “the”, plus the Attributive Genitive Noun APOLEIA in the Feminine, Singular. APOLEIA is from the Verb APOLLUMI and means, “destruction, or loss.” The Attributive Genitive is used to express quality like an Adjective but with more sharpness and distinctness. It is more emphatic in its description. Also, note the play on words with APOLETO above.
So we have, “the son of destruction.” “Perdition” was the translation in the KJV, and has the connotation of being thrown into “the Lake of Fire”, and it appears that the NASB stayed with that translation since it became a familiar title for Judas and also the Antichrist, 2 Thes 2:3.
So our translation of John 17:12 thus far is, “While I was with them, I Myself was continually keeping them in your name. You gave them to Me in the past with the result that they belong to me forever; and I absolutely guarded them, and not one of them was lost, (to eternal condemnation), except the son of destruction.”
2 Thes 2:3 (KJV), “Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition.”
2 Thes 2:3 (NASB), “Let no one in any way deceive you, for it will not come unless the apostasy, (APOSTASIA – exit resurrection), comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction.” (Italic mine.)
It does not mean, “annihilation” as some have translated it, but instead “meeting one’s destiny”, a sad and terrible exception, Mark 14:21.
Mark 14:21, “For the Son of Man is to go just as it is written of Him; but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been good for that man if he had not been born.”
Here it is a title for Judas Iscariot. It is a title used for only two people in history, and it is a title for someone who is personally possessed by Satan, John 13:27.
The second person will be the dictator of the revived Roman Empire in the Tribulation, 2 Thes 2:3.
Two different people have this title: one just before the Church Age begins and one at its end, after the Church has been raptured.
Jesus stated that he had kept safely all the disciples except Judas. “The one doomed to destruction”, literally “son of destruction”. Because of this singular coincidence, some have assumed that the Antichrist will be Judas resurrected! More likely this phrase was a common Semitism denoting an abandoned character, one utterly lost and given over to evil.
The language does not imply that Judas was a helpless victim who was destined to the Lake of Fire against his will. Rather, it implies that, having made his decision, he had passed the point of no return; (just as those who receive the mark of the beast in the Tribulation will have no opportunity for salvation, Rev 14:9-11 cf. 20:4) and, by so doing, he carried out what the Scriptures had indicated would happen.
Some misinterpret this passage to be “proof” that a believer can lose his or her salvation, but a careful reading of the verse proves just the opposite!
Jesus said, “None of them is lost but the son of destruction.” This shows that Judas was never a part of the believing group of disciples. As we have noted, “but or except” (EI ME) is a word of contrast, showing that Judas was in a different class from the others.
In Vs. 11 Jesus plainly stated that He kept all whom the Father gave Him; since Judas was lost, he could not have been among those who were given to the Son.
Many people today who teach that Judas “lost his salvation” make the same mistake Peter made in John 6:66-71, in thinking that Judas had salvation, when he did not!
Peter and ten of the disciples affirmed their faith in Christ. Their faith came by hearing the Word, Rom 10:17. Judas, however, was a pretender and ultimately would betray Christ.
So, was Judas Iscariot ever saved?
Judas Iscariot was NEVER saved. The Bible says in Acts 1:25 that he went to “his own place.” It is our firm belief that Judas went to Hades because that is where all unbelievers go and will be thrown into the Eternal Lake of Fire with all other unbelievers at the Great White Throne Judgment seat of our Lord Jesus Christ, Rev 20:11-15.
Furthermore, Judas did not possess any “fruit” of being saved. He had no fear of God. He witnessed all of the miracles that Jesus did. He saw people raised from the dead. He, himself may have even performed miracles in the name of Jesus but Judas Iscariot did not truly believe Jesus was his Messiah. He was not a believer.
Judas heard the Lord speak about money and he cared nothing about what Jesus said and he cared nothing about Jesus. He was the treasurer of the disciples with greed in his heart and a follower of the Lord Jesus but not a believer. His evil heart led him to commit the most heinous act in all of human history…the betrayal of the Messiah, the Lord Jesus Christ. He betrayed the Son of God with a kiss.
The Lord Jesus said in Mat 26:24-25, “It would have been better if Judas had not even been born.”
Mat 26:24-25, “The Son of Man is to go, just as it is written of Him; but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been good for that man if he had not been born.
In addition, just because someone performs miracles in Jesus’ name does not make them saved.
In Mark 9:38, “John said to Him, ‘Teacher, we saw someone casting out demons in Your name, and we tried to prevent him because he was not following us’.”
Jesus’ reply in Verse 39 was curious, “But Jesus said, ‘Do not hinder him, for there is no one who will perform a miracle in My name, and be able soon afterward to speak evil of Me’.”
Notice the words “soon afterward.” The Greek word is TACHU and means, “quickly, swiftly or speedily, (without delay)”; it is speaking of the time after the miracle is performed not the time prior to or during. This verse utilizes the future tense which means even in our day and age, it is possible for someone to cast out demons in the name of Jesus and actually not be saved. Therefore, this verse leaves the door wide open for the understanding that someone can be an unbeliever, cast out demons and perform miracles in Jesus’ name.
Also notice in Mat 7:20-23 what our Lord says about this
Jesus said in Mat 7:20-23, “So then, you will know them by their fruits. 21Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. 22Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ 23And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.’”
The Lord will say to those false prophets and teachers…“I NEVER knew you”, because they are not saved and will, like Judas be cast into the Lake of Fire.
Therefore, the fact that Judas might have cast out demons with the other disciples during Jesus’ ministry, Mark 3:14-15; Luke 10:17, is not proof that he was saved.
Judas had all the opportunity to believe in Jesus Christ.
He was from the tribe of Judah, the same tribe as our Lord Jesus Christ; in effect, the ruling tribe of Israel, John 6:71. “Iscariot” or man of Kerioth tells us he was part of the tribe of Judah, Josh 15:25. Judas was the only one of the twelve not a Galilean.
- Judas was called by Jesus Christ, Mat 10:4; Mark 3:19; Luke 6:16.
- He was numbered as one of the twelve, Mat 10:4.
- He was given a trusted position; he was the treasurer, John 12:6; 13:29.
- He was also present at the Last Supper, John 13:26.
- The implications are that he was present at all of the discourses of our Lord between the time of his call and the time of the Last Supper.
In grace Jesus and the Father gave Judas every opportunity for salvation, but Judas, by his own volition, chose not to accept Jesus as His Savior, which led him to betray Jesus.
Judas’ negative volition is seen by what he sowed.
- He allowed himself to fall under demonic influence, John 13:2, so much so that he allowed Satan’s possession during the betrayal, Luke 22:3; John 13:27.
- He protested the honoring of the Lord with perfume, John 12:3-9.
- He was covetous, John 12:4-6.
- He was a thief, John 12:6. Judas stole money from the treasury. He broke the Eighth commandment, Ex 20:15, by stealing from the money bag; he broke the golden rule, by stealing money that was meant for the poor; and he disregarded the Lord’s statement, “You cannot serve God and wealth”, Mat 6:24; Luke 16:13. Judas stole because his love for money was his god. Judas used the poor as a pretense to hoard money, John 12:4-6.
John 12:4-6, “But Judas Iscariot, one of His disciples, who was intending to betray Him, said, 5“Why was this perfume not sold for three hundred denarii and given to poor people?” 6Now he said this, not because he was concerned about the poor, but because he was a thief, and as he had the money box, he used to pilfer what was put into it.”
- Judas had no fear of God and did not fear the Lord God. It is interesting that the penitent thief on the cross believed on Jesus and rebuked the other thief by saying, “Do you not fear God…”, Luke 23:40. For him to steal from the bag, he was stealing from the Lord. Judas did not regard the Ten Commandments. He was blinded by his own greed. He appeared to be religious, outwardly, so much so that the disciples had no idea who was to betray the Lord.
- Judas sought a way and bargained to betray the Lord Jesus Christ, Mark 14:10-11; Luke 22:6.
Luke 22:6, “So he consented, and began seeking a good opportunity to betray Him to them apart from the crowd.”
- Judas actually sought opportunity. Apparently he loved money so much; he would do anything to have it. His betrayal was premeditated, He was looking for an opportune time to betray Jesus and he was dishonest. All the while pretending to be Jesus’ friend, yet in his heart seeking a time to betray the Lord. He did not believe the words of Jesus, “Before Abraham was, I AM”, John 8:58.
- It is also apparent that Judas did not fear God in the fact that he entered into agreement to betray the Lord with the religious leaders of his day. Those particular leaders also did not fear God; for they crucified Jesus for fear that He would come and take their place, John 11:48.
- He was bribed to become a traitor, Mat 26:14-16.
- He had an unbelieving heart.
In Mat 26:24-25 Judas asked, “Is it I?” Why would Judas ask the question, knowing that Jesus would answer? Could it be that he did not believe that Jesus knew the answer?
- Judas had an evil heart of unbelief. We know this by his “fruits.” Judas, most likely, was testing Jesus to see if the Lord knew who would betray Him. Could it be that Judas doubted Jesus’ knowledge of things or else how could he have stolen in the first place?
John 6:64, “Jesus said, ‘But there are some of you who do not believe.’ For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were who did not believe, and who it was that would betray Him.”
He was a bad influence on the rest of the disciples, Mat 26:7-13, leading them to malign Mary of Bethany, John 12:3, for anointing Jesus.
- The book of Matthew does not record who started the argument but the book of John does. Judas Iscariot started it and influenced some of the other disciples to be angry with the woman.
- The anointing of Jesus seems to have been the catalyst for Judas’ desire to betray the Lord. He was angry that he could not sell the ointment and receive the proceeds. He was also rebuked by Jesus, “Let her alone…” In any case, he saw the anointing of Jesus as “waste.”
- As a result Judas went to the chief priests and asked them, “What will you give me?” in Mat 26:14-15. His motivation being one of greed.
Mat 26:14-15, “Then one of the twelve, named Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests 15and said, “What are you willing to give me to betray Him to you?” And they weighed out thirty pieces of silver to him.”
Mark 14:10-11, “Then Judas Iscariot, who was one of the twelve, went off to the chief priests in order to betray Him to them. 11They were glad when they heard this, and promised to give him money. And he began seeking how to betray Him at an opportune time.”
- Judas was unclean which is a metaphor for unsaved.
John 13:11, “For He (Jesus) knew the one who was betraying Him; for this reason He said, “Not all of you are clean”.”
- In the above passage, the Greek word for “clean” is KATHROS and literally means, “clean, clear or pure.”
Titus 1:15 says, “To the pure (KATHROS), all things are pure; but to those who are defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure, but both their mind and their conscience are defiled.”
John 13:16-18, “Truly, truly, I say to you, a slave is not greater than his master, nor is one who is sent greater than the one who sent him. 17If you know these things, you are blessed if you do them. 18I do not speak of all of you. I know the ones I have chosen; but it is that the Scripture may be fulfilled, ‘He who eats My bread has lifted up his heel against Me’.”
- He came up with “the kiss” idea all by himself, Mat 26:47-48, with John 18:3.
In Middle Eastern culture, a kiss on the cheek was a sign of friendship. Judas took a sign of affection and friendship in which to betray the Son of God. How evil he must have been. Notice that he also said, “hold him fast” or “seize him.” No wonder Jesus called him a “devil.”
This betrayal was prophesized in Psa 41:9 and fulfilled in Luke 22:48.
Psalm 41:9, “Even my close friend in whom I trusted, who ate my bread, has lifted up his heel against me.”
Luke 22:48, “But Jesus said to him, “Judas, are you betraying the Son of Man with a kiss?
Jesus dealt with Judas in absolute grace. Our Lord honored him by giving him volitional privacy and the honorable morsel to dip after the main course. Judas repays our Lord’s gracious honor by kissing Him on the cheek, not out of love or friendship but to identify Him as a criminal, Mat 26:14, 47-50; Mark 14:43-45; Luke 22:47-48.
Notice Jesus’ reply, in Mat 26:50, as He still calls Judas, “friend.”
Judas Iscariot reaped what he sowed, unrighteousness; as do all who reject God’s plan of salvation, Hosea 10:13; Gal 6:7-8.
Hosea 10:13, “You have plowed wickedness, you have reaped injustice, you have eaten the fruit of lies. Because you have trusted in your way.”
Gal 6:7, “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap. 8For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.”
Therefore, Judas Iscariot reaped:
Demonic influence and possession, as we have noted above, Luke 22:3; John 13:2; 27. A saved person cannot be demon possessed. Only an unsaved person can be demon possessed. Light and darkness cannot dwell together.
The eternal title of betrayer, because he willfully became a betrayer of our Lord Jesus Christ, Mat 26:20-25; John 13:26-30. His name is always listed last among the lists of apostles with his ominous identification, Mat 10:2-4; Mark 3:16-19; Luke 6:13-16.
Mat 10:4, “and Judas Iscariot, the one who betrayed Him.”
Mark 3:19, “and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed Him.”
Luke 6:16, “and Judas Iscariot, who became a traitor.”
“Betrayed” is the Greek verb, PARADIDOMI and means, “to hand over, to give or deliver over, to betray.”
In Matthew it is a Participle Verb in the Aorist tense that means, “Judas was a betrayer that kept on betraying.”
In Mark it’s a simple Aorist Tense Verb viewing the entirety of the action of His betrayal of Jesus Christ.
In Luke 6:16 we have “Traitor” which is the Greek noun PRODOTES that comes from the root word PRODIDOMI, and means “a betrayer or traitor.”
In contrast notice what Scripture says about the remaining 11 after Judas’ betrayal and death where he is no longer listed among the disciples in Acts 1:14.
Acts 1:14, “These all (the remaining 11) with one mind were continually devoting themselves to prayer.”
The title of “DIABOLOS.” Because our Lord knew he was of the devil and would betray Him, John 6:64, 70-71, Judas was considered “a devil” before he ever agreed to betray the Lord.
John 6:70-71, “Jesus answered them, “Did I Myself not choose you, the twelve, and yet one of you is a devil?” 71Now He meant Judas the son of Simon Iscariot, for he, one of the twelve, was going to betray Him.”
Devil is the Greek Adjective DIABOLOS that means, “to bring charges falsely, slanderous, accusing falsely.”
As a result of his consistent negative volition to the Plan of God, including the rejection of Jesus Christ as His messiah, his soul was filled with slanderous viewpoint, constantly falsely accusing and judging everyone including Jesus Christ.
1 Tim 3:11, “Women (wives of deacons) must likewise be dignified, not malicious gossips (DIABOLOS), but temperate, faithful in all things.” Also in 2 Tim 3:3; Titus 2:3.
Becoming a type of the Antichrist, being called the Son of Perdition (Destruction), John 17:12. The only other person called the Son of Destruction is the Antichrist of the Tribulation, 2 Thes 2:3, who will also be a man of greed, appearing outwardly pious. The antichrist too shall take advantage of the poor and shall blaspheme God.
Physical death, (according to God’s will and plan, not his own). In a failed attempt he tried to kill himself, Mat 27:5, which resulted in crashing down onto a rock pile that finally killed him, Acts 1:16-20.
Mat 27:5, “And he threw the pieces of silver into the temple sanctuary and departed; and he went away and hanged himself.”
Act 1:18-20, “(Now this man acquired a field with the price of his wickedness, and falling headlong, he burst open in the middle and all his intestines gushed out. 19And it became known to all who were living in Jerusalem; so that in their own language that field was called Hakeldama, that is, Field of Blood.) 20For it is written in the book of Psalms, ‘Let his homestead be made desolate, and let no one dwell in it’; and, ‘Let another man take his office.’” (Psa 69:25; 109:8)
Spiritual Death, (being assigned “to his own place”, that being Hades itself), Acts 1:25 cf. Mat 26:24 (“better if not born”).
Judas had remorse for his actions yet did not come to repentant salvation, Mat 27:3-5.
Acts 125, “… this ministry and apostleship from which Judas turned aside to go to his own place.”
Judas’ end was the end of an unregenerate man. Notice that Judas did not go to God’s place but rather, “his own place.”
Proverbs 24:20, “For there will be no future, (ACHARITH – eternal life), for the evil man; the lamp of the wicked will be put out.”
1 Cor 6:9-10, “Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate (male homosexual or prostitute), nor homosexuals, 10nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God.”
Judas was with Jesus for over 3 years, sat at the Lord’s Table, followed Him and fellowshipped in the company of Jesus and the rest of the disciples. He was a partaker in the Lord’s ministry and Jesus called him, “Friend.” Yet Judas cared nothing about his friendship with the Lord. He cared nothing about the disciples. He cared nothing about the poor. He sold the Messiah, the Holy One of Israel, for thirty pieces of silver. He willingly betrayed Jesus because his heart was full of wickedness. The love of money, the evil of his heart, and his greed had consumed him so that he was blinded to reality until alas the money was in his hand and it did not satisfy. But even then his arrogance would not allow him to accept Jesus Christ as his personal Lord and Savior.
The Repentance of Judas was not unto salvation.
Some have tried to make Judas a hero, saying that he deliberately sold Jesus to make sure the prophecies would be fulfilled. Yet, Jesus clearly stated that Judas was not a hero, but a devil, John 6:70, and that, though the prophecies would be fulfilled, he would still be guilty of deliberate sin, Mat 26:24.
Now to be fair, after Judas had committed his evil attack of betrayal against the Lord Jesus Christ, he did have remorse for his actions, yet he did not come to repentant salvation, Mat 27:3-5.
Mat 27:3, “Then when Judas, who had betrayed Him, saw that He had been condemned, he felt remorse and returned the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders.”
The KJV says, “Then Judas, which had betrayed him, when he saw that he was condemned, repented himself….”
“Repented” is not a good word here; whereas, “he felt remorse” is a much better translation.
The Greek verb is METAMELOMAI and is used here as a Participle Verb in the Aorist Tense and Passive-Deponent Voice. It comes from the Preposition META that means, “with, among or after” and has the understanding of “a change or reversal.” With this is the verb MELO that means, “to be an object of care, to care about” which means, “having feelings for someone, strong feels or emotion.”
Therefore, METAMELOMAI means, “a change of feeling” in regard to “regret, being sorry, having remorse, changing one’s mind, etc.”, emphasizing the feelings involved. That is why the NASB did a good job of translating this “he felt remorse.”
METAMELOMAI is not the word that is typically used for repentance for salvation. That word is METANOEO (meh-tah-no-eh-o).
Judas Iscariot felt sorry for himself, he was sincere in his sorrow for what he had done. He made restitution: he brought back the 30 pieces of silver to the chief priests and the elders and he confessed his sin, “I have betrayed innocent blood.”
Judas’ remorse (METAMELOMAI) does not indicate a sorrow for sinning against God but rather a remorse for the consequences of his actions. It is kind of like someone getting a speeding ticket and saying, “Oh, I’m sorry officer …was I speeding… If I had known I would not have sped, ….please don’t give me a ticket.”
METAMELOMAI is a verb of emotion. As noted above it is translated, “repented” in the KJV and it is not a good translation. Judas felt sorry for himself but the Greek word for true repentance for salvation is METANOEO, which too is a compound word. NOEO means, “to think” and as noted above META has the understanding of “a change or reversal.” So the whole word means, “a reversal in thinking, a complete change of mind or purpose.” This is the word generally translated “repent” in regard to salvation, Acts 2:38; 17:30; 26:20; Rev 2:21-22, etc.
So METAMELOMAI here means to feel sorry, to feel guilty, and it is strictly an emotional connotation. The sad thing is that most of the time it is translated “repent”, especially in the KJV, and what makes it even sadder is that today repent means just about anything you want it to mean.
Generally in theological circles it has been so abused that it means to feel sorry for sin, but it does not mean to feel sorry for sin, it never did mean to feel sorry for sin.
Repent means a complete change of mental attitude and the object of the change is declared by the Accusative Case in context. But METAMELOMAI is strictly an emotional word, all emotion here. And Judas has now become just exactly where any person going into the tongues movement is when he gets all worked up and ecstatic. There is not any difference between Judas Iscariot at this point and some knuckle head involved with tongues.
Judas has emotion, plus sincerity, plus a guilt complex and this is about as low as you can get. These are some of the greatest enemies of the Christian life. There is no excuse for any believer having a guilt complex for more than five seconds, long enough to confess it.
But also keep in mind that confession of sin(s), (1 John 1:9), is for believers only. Judas Iscariot was an unbeliever and was not forgiven because he confesses his sin.
In addition, Judas would not and did not call Jesus “Lord”, as in Mat 26:25, he calls Him “Rabbi”, again showing his lack of belief in who Jesus was.
Yet, one day he will be forced to call Jesus His Lord, Phil 2:9-11.
Mat 27:4, “Saying, “I have sinned by betraying innocent blood.” But they said, “What is that to us? See to that yourself!”
Confession of sin(s) is for the believer only. Nowhere in the Bible does it say that repentance, confessing sins and doing good works save someone and neither was Judas saved by these actions. Judas Iscariot was an unbeliever and was not forgiven just because he confessed his sin or was sorrowful or gave back the money, nor did any of these things bring him salvation.
When Judas saw that Jesus was condemned, he was conscience stricken. Judas felt sorry for what he had done. He confessed his sin when returning the silver, “I have betrayed innocent blood”. So He said, “I have sinned”, Vs. 4, because he had been caught in the act, but he did not show any true repentance for salvation.
Notice what he said, “I have betrayed…” – It was still all about himself. Therefore, Judas did not repent of his sin.” He had regret for betraying “innocent blood” but notice that he did not say, “I betrayed the Messiah…the Son of David.”
He was trying to rid himself of his guilt. He did not storm in and yell, “Jesus is innocent. He is the Messiah.”, rather he only came to the chief priests in the morning; when he saw that Jesus was condemned to death.
He was sincere in his sorrow for what he had done. He made restitution and gave back the 30 pieces of silver to the chief priests and the elders. Yet he had rejected the truth and believed a lie.
Mat 27:5, “And he threw the pieces of silver into the temple sanctuary and departed; and he went away and hanged himself.”
His love of money (and probably selfish desire to be a leader in an earthly kingdom) kept him in the band of disciples, but his heart was never with Christ. We see that the thing he loved the most he threw away, money.
All night long, as Jesus was being tried and beaten and questioned, Judas held on to his money. It was only when he saw that Jesus was condemned to die that he went to the priests. It was an act to redeem himself, from his guilt. It was a futile attempt to undo what he had done.
What was his attitude toward Christ? He loved Christ the least; he loved money the most. Christ was a detail; money was utopia.
Now if he throws money away, he will also throw away anything less than money in his own mind. Jesus Christ is less than money to him. So by throwing away the money, he is showing us that he has turned down Jesus Christ too.
As a result Judas took his own life because Satan is a murderer, John 8:44. But it is interesting that Judas had to confess that Christ was innocent first, Vs. 4.
Judas went far toward repentance, he acknowledged that he sinned in that he betrayed innocent blood, yet his confession was not to salvation. He confessed of his sin, but not to God; he did not go to Him, and say, “Father, I am a sinner and I need your Savior.” God is not, nor should man be, satisfied with such partial convictions where the person remains full of pride, enmity, and rebellion.
Salvation is found only one way and that is through faith in the Savior alone, Eph 2:8-9, and Judas did not believe who Jesus truly was or why He had come.
Rather than asking God for forgiveness, Judas chose to end his life. Apparently he did not believe the words of Jesus concerning hell. He tried to kill himself, thinking that it would end it all for him, all his guilt and shame.
Jer 2:26 says that, “the thief is shamed when he is discovered.” Judas did not experience the “godly sorrow that leads to repentance”, but rather a worldly sorrow that leads to death.
2 Cor 7:10, “For the sorrow that is according to the will of God produces a repentance without regret, leading to salvation, but the sorrow of the world produces death.”
But alas Judas awoke to find himself in eternity and Hades, from where there is no escape.
Christ’s death purchased the redemption of the world; Judas’ death purchased a cemetery for strangers!
Contrast this with Peter, who cut off the ear of the servant in Gethsemane, and followed Jesus from a distance. He, being let into the court yard by the apostle John, wanted to be near Jesus but denied the Lord out of fear. Peter’s denial was not premeditated. It was spontaneous. At the Last Supper, he told the Lord, “I will never deny you” but Jesus told him that he would. Peter’s heart did not want to deny the Savior. When the rooster crowed for the last time, Peter remembered the words of Jesus and ran away and wept bitterly. Peter loved Jesus and repented with a godly sorrow, not for himself, but because he failed to stand up for the Lord. It was not self-pity but rather godly repentance. Peter did not commit suicide but rather wept bitterly for his sin against the Messiah.
And, in contrast to the life of Judas, we are command in Hosea 10:12, “Sow with a view to righteousness, reap in accordance with kindness; break up your fallow ground, for it is time to seek the LORD until He comes to rain righteousness on you.”
And finally in the last part of Verse 12 we have, “so that the Scripture would be fulfilled” which is, “HINA TE GRAPHE PLEROTHE.”
HINA is a Conjunction of Result since it is linked with the Subjunctive Mood of PLEROO below. The Result Conjunction gives the outcome or consequences of an action. It is noting the result of Judas Iscariot’s act of betrayal against Jesus Christ, which garnered him the dubious title of “son of destruction”; those results being that Judas actually fulfilled Old Testament Prophecies. We could say, “so that or with the result that” where the focus is on the outcome of the action, “fulfilling Scripture.” Therefore, we will say, “with the result that.”
TE GRAPHE is the Article HO for “the” plus the Noun GRAPHE in the Nominative, Feminine, Singular that means, “a writing, or scripture”. Here it stands for Old Testament prophecy.
PLEROTHE is the Verb PLEROO in the Aorist, Passive, Subjunctive, Third Person, Singular. Basically it means, “to make full, or to complete.”
The Subjunctive Mood is part of the “Result” HINA clause. A Result HINA Clause indicates a consequence of the verbal action that is not intended. In other words, the main action is Jesus’ guardianship so that no one is lost, with volitional responsibility on the part of each individual in view. Yet, because of Judas’ negative volition in his act of betrayal, the unintended result is that Scriptures would be fulfilled.
The Passive Voice: The Scriptures receive the action of being fulfilled by Judas’ betrayal.
The Consummative Aorist Tense views the entirety of the action and stresses the completion of the action, i.e., Judas’ betrayal and Scripture being fulfilled. So we will say, “might be fulfilled.”
So we have, “With the result that Scripture might be fulfilled.”
Therefore our complete translation of John 17:12 is, “While I was with them, I Myself was continually keeping them in your name. You gave them to Me in the past with the result that they belong to me forever; and I absolutely guarded them, and not one of them was lost, (to eternal condemnation), except the son of destruction, with the result that Scripture might be fulfilled.”
PLEROO is an interesting word that has several nuances that have application here. PLEROO can mean:
- “To fill up a deficiency”, e.g., Prophecy is fulfilled in the sense of being historically completed, as specified in the prophecy.
- “To fully possess”, e.g., The Bible will stand forever and it possesses within its own writing the fulfilment of every prophecy.
- “To fully influence”, e.g., Doctrine in the Bible is the greatest and most complete influence for those who are spiritual. The believer is moved forward with a personal sense of destiny by understanding the various prophecies in the Bible.
- “To fill with a certain quality”, e.g., Bible doctrine in the human spirit from which the Edification Complex of the Soul (ECS) is erected, and by which we apply prophecy in regard to living the unique spiritual life having confident expectation of its fulfilment.
These are some of the concepts behind the scripture being fulfilled.
John does not identify the specific passage Jesus had in mind here. A comparison with Peter’s statement in Acts 1:20, after Judas’s death, suggests that it was probably Psalm 69:25-28 or Psalm 109:6-8.
Acts 1:20, “For it is written in the book of Psalms, ‘Let his homestead be made desolate, and let no one dwell in it’; and, ‘Let another man take his office.’”
Psalm 69:25, “May their camp be desolate; may none dwell in their tents. 26For they have persecuted him whom You Yourself have smitten, and they tell of the pain of those whom You have wounded. 27Add iniquity to their iniquity, and may they not come into Your righteousness. 28May they be blotted out of the book of life and may they not be recorded with the righteous.”
Psa109:6, “Appoint a wicked man over him, and let an accuser stand at his right hand. 7When he is judged, let him come forth guilty, and let his prayer become sin. 8Let his days be few; let another take his office.”
It may have been Psa 41:9 quoted in John 13:18 with the same formula HINA PLEROTHE.
Psa 41:9, “Even my close friend in whom I trusted, who ate my bread, has lifted up his heel against me.”
The chart below contains a list of Old Testament prophecies fulfilled by Jesus Christ, the Son of God regarding the betrayal of Judas Iscariot. These fulfilled prophecies demonstrate that the human authors of Scripture who wrote the Bible were inspired by God the Holy Spirit, 2 Peter 1:20-21. It also of course demonstrates that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.
There is no way short of being supernatural that Jesus could have manipulated the events and people in His life to respond in exactly the way necessary for it to appear that He was fulfilling all the prophecies regarding Him, which number over 300, including these of Judas’ betrayal.
|Prophecies Fulfilled Regarding Judas||Prophecy||Fulfillment|
|Betrayed by a Friend||Psa 41:9||Mat 10:4|
|Sold For 30 Pieces of Silver||Zech 11:12||Mat 26:15|
|Money to Be Thrown into God’s House||Zech 11:13||Mat 27:5|
|Price Given for Potter’s Field||Zech 11:13||Mat 27:7|
There were many prophecies concerning the Messiah that were simply beyond the human control of Jesus:
- Place of birth, Mic 5:2.
- Time of birth, Dan 9:25; Gen 49:10.
- Manner of birth (by a virgin), Isa 7:14.
- Manner of death, Psa 22:16.
- People’s reactions, mocking, spitting, Isa 50:6; Psa 22:7-8.
- Piercing, Zech 12:10.
- Burial, Isa 53:9.
The following probabilities are taken from Peter Stoner’s book entitled Science Speaks which shows that coincidence is ruled out by the science of probability. Stoner says, that by using the modern science of probability in reference to just 8 prophecies, Stoner states the following: “We find the chance that any man might have lived down to the present time and fulfilled all 8 prophecies is 1 in 1017…that would be 1 in 100,000,000,000,000,000…17 zeros.
In order to help us comprehend this staggering probability, Stoner illustrates it by supposing that we take 1017 silver dollars and lay them on the face of Texas. They will cover all of the state 2 feet deep. Now mark one of these silver dollars and stir the whole mass thoroughly, all over the state. Blindfold a man and tell him that he can travel as far as he wishes, but he must pick up one silver dollar and say that this is the right one. What chance would he have of getting the right one? Just the same chance that the prophets would have of writing these 8 prophecies and having them all come true in any one man, from their day to the present time, providing they wrote them according to their own wisdom.
Now these prophecies were either given by inspiration of God or the prophets just wrote them as they thought they should be. In such a case the prophets had just one chance in 10 to the 17th power of having them come true in any man, but they all came true in Christ. This means that the fulfillment of these 8 prophecies alone proves that God inspired the writing of those prophecies to a definiteness which lacks only one chance in 10 to the 17th power of being absolute.
Bible Prophecy tells us God Has a Plan:
Does God have a plan which includes the earth and the human race? If so, can man know it? The answer is an emphatic, Yes! God does have a plan, and that plan is clearly outlined in the Bible from Genesis to Revelation. Man can know God’s plan clearly if only he will come to the Bible and submit his mind and heart to the ministry of the Holy Spirit.
One of the strongest fears which drive many to despair is the fear of the future. Most people do not have peace of mind unless they have a measure of certainty of what the next day will bring forth. Of this no mere man can be absolutely sure; therefore, the awful dread of uncertainty robs that person of peace of mind which may in turn create a spirit of despair and hopelessness.
While the heart of the hopeless and fearful person is failing him, the Christian with an understanding of Bible prophecy can face the future with confidence and comfort. Prophecy constitutes a large part of the sacred Scriptures; therefore. it should not be neglected. If the prophecies were not in the Bible, the remainder of the Book would be meaningless. Before the Bible was ever given to man, God had a plan, and we must remember that it is to that foreordained plan that He is working, Isa 46:9-13.
The Key of Bible Prophecy:
Beginning with Moses and going on through all the prophetic writings, you will discover that Christ is the grand theme of the Bible. Recall what Jesus said in John 5:46-47.
John 5:46-47, “For if you believed Moses, you would believe Me, for he wrote about Me. 47But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe My words?”
Therefore, if we deny Him of whom Moses wrote then Moses, by inspiration, becomes our accuser.
To Adam and Eve Christ was promised as the Seed who would crush the serpent’s head, Gen 3:15.
To Abraham God had said that in Christ all nations of the earth would be blessed, Gen 22:18 cf. Gal 3:14‑16.
To Israel the Paschal Lamb foreshadowed the Lamb of God which “takes away the sin of the world”, Ex 12 cf. John 1:29; 1 Cor 5:7.
To Israel in the wilderness the brazen serpent lifted upon a pole, Num 21:8-9, typified the lifting up of Christ upon the cross, John 3:14.
Balaam’s prophecy of the Star that would come forth out of Jacob, Num 24:17, was none other than our Lord Jesus Christ, Mat 2:2; Rev 22:16.
Christ was also the smitten Rock, Num 20:11 cf. 1 Cor 10:4, and the greater Prophet, Deut 18:15.
When Philip first met Jesus Christ, he ran to Nathanael, and said: “We have found Him of whom Moses in the Law and also the Prophets wrote—Jesus of Nazareth . . . ”, John 1:45.
The closing words of the Bible declare that “the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy”, Rev 19:10. This is saying that the testimony of Jesus is the “key” to prophecy.
“His name is called The Word of God”, Rev 19:13, hence the spirit of the Word is not that of confusion, but rather of harmony and unity, all pointing to the Person and work of our Lord Jesus Christ.
If we fail to grasp this great truth, we have lost the key to a clear understanding of the prophetic Scriptures. Christ is its great theme. All prophecy is to find its final application and fulfillment in the past sufferings, present sufficiency, and future sovereignty of the Lord Jesus.
Christ is above all in prophecy. Bible prophecies, Bible analogies and Bible types, are so closely related to Jesus Christ that He alone explains them.
The Value of Bible Prophecy:
- To Know the Mind of God.
Amos 3:7, “Surely the Lord GOD does nothing unless He reveals His secret counsel to His servants the prophets.”
This verse tells us that the prophets themselves are inspired of God, a truth that is supported by the New Testament, Heb 1:1, “God..spoke in past times to the father in the prophets.”
- For Light in a Dark World, 2 Peter 1:19. The New Testament tells us clearly that the prophetic Scriptures are essential if man is to have light on the pathway of the future. Look at what Peter said in 2 Peter 1:19-21.
2 Peter 1:19, “So we have the prophetic word made more sure, to which you do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star arises in your hearts. 20But know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation, 21for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.”
The Apostle is relating what he had seen and heard while on the Mount of Transfiguration, 2 Peter 1:16‑18. There was both a vision and a voice from heaven, testifying of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. Peter then says that we have the prophetic Word as a surer confirmation of God’s plans than what he himself saw and heard on the Mount.
- For Comfort and Hope, 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.”
Dr. Wilbur M. Smith suggests that there are three different attitudes one may take toward the future. The first is indifference, the second is fear and the third is hope. No intelligent person would take the first, no one needs to be ensnared in the second, but all can possess the third. There is comfort and hope for all believers who love and study the Bible.
Therefore, what is said here to be true of the Bible in general is, of course, true of the prophetic Scriptures. The Old Testament prophecies are stable and trustworthy. Our age is distressed, exhausted and fearful of what the future holds. The one bright and cheering lamp for the world’s darkness is the prophetic Word of God.
Complete Translation of John 17:11 & 12
John 17:11 , “I am no longer in the world but they are in the world and I come to You Holy Father. Keep them in Your name, which You have given Me, in order that they might keep on being one just as We are.”
John 17:12 is, “While I was with them, I Myself was continually keeping them in your name. You gave them to Me in the past with the result that they belong to me forever; and I absolutely guarded them, and not one of them was lost, (to eternal condemnation), except the son of destruction, with the result that Scripture might be fulfilled.”
In Part 4 of The Gospel of John Chapter 17, we will take a look at John 17:13 & 14.
Principles of Happiness and Fullness, Doctrine of Heavenly Citizenship; Your Portfolio of Invisible Assets, The Ten Unique Factors of the Church Age, Living the Life Beyond Gnosis and Having a Personal Sense of Destiny.