The Gospel of John ~ Chapter 17, Part 8
The Great High Priestly Prayer, Part 8
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. 20-26, Christ Prays for His Church.
Next we have in John 17:23, “I in them and You in Me, that they may be perfected in unity, so that the world may know that You sent Me, and loved them, even as You have loved Me.”
The Greek reads: “ ἐγὼ ἐν αὐτοῖς καὶ σὺ ἐν ἐμοί, ἵνα ὦσιν τετελειωμένοι εἰς ἕν, ἵνα γινώσκῃ ὁ κόσμος ὅτι σύ με ἀπέστειλας καὶ ἠγάπησας αὐτοὺς καθὼς ἐμὲ ἠγάπησας. ”
Transliterated it reads: “EGO EN AUTOIS KAI SU EN EMOI, HINA OSIN TETELEIOMENOI EIS HEN, HINA GINOSKE HO KOSMOS HOTI SU ME APESTEILAS KAI EGAPESAS AUTOUS KATHOS EME EGAPESAS.”
We begin with, “I in them and You in Me, that they may be perfected in unity.”
Here we have yet another purpose clause with HINA (nineteen times in this prayer, this is the fifteenth), with the periphrastic Perfect, Passive, Participle in the Nominative, Plural, of TELEIOO, cf. John 17:4, and means, “a permanent state”, with EIS HEN “into one”, meaning our “unity” as the goal and final result.
A periphrastic phrase is made up of two verbs. There is the Present, Active, Subjunctive, Third Person, Plural of EIMI (OSIN), which is the first verb that means, “they may keep on being”.
The Subjunctive Mood goes with the Purpose Clause and therefore it just simply means that this is a part of God’s purpose.
The Active Voice: The Church Age believer “keeps on being” in this status.
The Customary Present Tense tells us they habitually are in this status of being perfected.
Then there is also the Perfect, Passive, Participle of TELEIOO. TELEIOO is from TELOS, and means, “to be completed, made perfect”, and sometimes is used for spiritual “maturity.”
The Passive Voice means this completion or perfection is received or given to the Church Age believer by God.
The Perfect Tense represents a completed past action that emphasizes the present results. From eternity past the Body of Christ has been in the Plan of God and is fulfilled in time.
So combined in this purpose clause it means, “In order that they might keep on being in this status of having been made complete”, referring to all Church Age believers.
Therefore, we see that the Indwelling of Christ gives the Church a perfect and complete state of unity based on Christ’s indwelling that also provides for the building of our ECS and reaching a state of spiritual maturity through the GAP.
Doctrine of the Indwelling of the Jesus Christ
The Church Age Believer is Indwelt by All Three Members of the Trinity:
God the Father indwells us for the glorification of His protocol plan which He designed in eternity past for each Church Age believer, John 14:23; Eph 1:3-12; 4:6; 2 John 9. In addition, it provides assurance regarding His work in eternity past on our behalf. He is the author of our Portfolio of Invisible Assets, the grantor of our escrow blessings, the mastermind of the Predesigned Protocol Plan of God, and the designer of our very own palace, (GPS – God’s Power System), by which we execute His Plan.
God the Holy Spirit indwells us to create a temple for the indwelling of Christ as the Shekinah Glory, to be a down payment of our royal inheritance, and to empower us in the execution of the Father’s plan, John 14:16; Rom 8:11; 1 Cor 3:16; 6:19-20; 2 Cor 6:16; Eph 1:13-14. He then provides a base of operation for both the execution of the Predesigned Protocol Plan of God and the glorification of Christ in our bodies.
God the Son indwells every Church Age believer.
The prophecy of the indwelling of Jesus Christ is found in, John 14:19‑20.
John 14:19, “Before long the world will see Me no longer, but you will see Me; because I live, you also will live. In that day (Church Age), you shall come to know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you.”
There never has been a time in history when some part of the world did not see Jesus Christ. That is the doctrine of Theophany. There was not a generation in Old Testament times that did not see the visible member of the Trinity. But in the Church Age, Jesus Christ is invisible to mankind.
- Christ appeared as a man, e.g., to Jacob, Abraham.
- Christ appeared as a cloud, pillar of fire, the burning bush.
- Christ actually indwelt the sacred building in Israel.
Church Age believers live inside the operational GPS, and by so doing are able to see Christ by means of His Word resident within their soul.
When He said, “I am in my Father”, it is a statement declaring the deity of Christ. These believers would come to know that Jesus Christ was true deity while in hypostatic union. The humanity of Christ was in union with the Father, a unique positional sanctification. This is undoubtedly the basis for our positional sanctification, since we are in union with Christ and must share everything he has.
Then “and you in Me,” is the prophecy of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit when we are placed in union with Jesus Christ. We not only become members of His body but we are “in Christ”, giving us equal privilege and equal opportunity to excel inside the Plan of God under Predestination.
Then “and I in you,” is a declaration of the indwelling of Jesus Christ to every Church Age believer. This is true for every believer (you is SU in the Greek as a second personal plural pronoun = “you all”).
The people who heard this prophecy could see Christ’s humanity, but they could not see His Deity. The same was true of the Shekinah Glory that dwelled in the Tabernacle / Temple of Israel. They could not see the Shekinah Glory, but they could see the manifestation of its presence in the cloud and pillar of fire.
The Indwelling of Jesus Christ is Unique to the Church Age:
The Church Age is the Dispensation of the Royal Family of God; therefore, it has certain unique features which include the fact that God the Father, God the Holy Spirit and God the Son indwell every believer. These are unique and never occurred before in history.
The Verification of the Indwelling of Christ in Our Lord’s Great High Priestly Prayer for the Church, John 17:22‑23, 26:
John 17:22, “And the glory which You (God the Father) have given to Me (Jesus Christ) I have given to them (the Church), in order that they may keep on being one just as We are one.”
“And the glory which You (God the Father) have given to Me (Jesus Christ) I have given to them (the Church).” This is a reference to the prototype Divine Power System, (GPS), by which the humanity of Christ glorified God the Father. Now our Lord has given to us the operational GPS as the means of glorifying Him.
“In order that they may keep on being one just as We are one.” The glory is more than the GPS and includes the indwelling of Jesus Christ.
In Verse 23, “I in them” is a specific reference and prophecy of the indwelling of Jesus Christ.
“And You in Me, (the Father’s indwelling of Christ during the incarnation), in order that they might be made complete, (be matured)…” God the Father indwelt the Son in order that He might become spiritually mature. In the same way, Christ indwells us that we might become spiritually mature.
In John 17:23a, the preposition EIS plus the Adverbial Accusative of Reference, Neuter, Singular of HEIS should be translated, “with reference to one.” This means there is one objective: To fulfill God’s Plan and glorify God by growing to spiritual maturity.
“That the world may know that You have sent Me and that You have loved them, just as You have loved Me.” One of the purposes for the indwelling of Christ is a sign to you that God the Father loves you just as He loved Jesus Christ.
John 17:26, “ I have made known to them Your person and I will continue to make it known, that the love with which You have loved Me may be in them. . .” This love will be fully realized by you when you reach spiritual adulthood with personal love for God and impersonal love for mankind.
“…and I in them.” Jesus Christ indwells you along with the virtue‑love of GPS. This becomes a reality to us when we have metabolized Bible doctrine about who and what God is.
God the Son Indwells Us for a Number of Reasons:
As a sign or badge of the Royal Family, John 14:20.
- While the baptism of the Spirit is the means of forming the Royal Family of God, the indwelling of Christ is both the sign of the Royal Family and another expression of the uniqueness of the Church Age.
- Therefore, your background is of no consequence in the Church Age, because you are indwelt by Jesus Christ. You have equal privilege and opportunity with all other believers.
As a guarantee of the availability of Divine power (GPS) in time, 2 Cor 13:4-6; Rom 8:10.
The indwelling of Jesus Christ is a guarantee of our Portfolio of Invisible Assets. Along with the sealing ministry of the Holy Spirit in Eph 1:13‑14; the indwelling of Christ is a guarantee of our Portfolio of Invisible Assets prepared for us by the Father in eternity past Eph 1:3.
As a guarantee of life after death in the presence of God forever, Col 1:27, “the confidence (hope) of glory.”
The indwelling of Jesus Christ is a guarantee of eternal security.
- You cannot lose your salvation, John 10:28-30, no matter how you foul up your life, no matter how you fail!
- You cannot see Christ indwelling your body until you die. Upon your death your soul and spirit leave your body, “Absent from the body and face to face with the Lord,” (2 Cor 5:8).
- Jesus Christ leaves your body along with your soul and spirit and escorts you to heaven.
- This fulfills the principle of Psa 23:4, “Even, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will no fear no evil because you are with me.”
The indwelling of Jesus Christ is a guarantee of your escrow blessings.
- Since Jesus Christ is both the depositary of our escrow blessings and the escrow officer who distributes them to us when we fulfill the conditions of the escrow, the indwelling of Christ is a guarantee that billions of years ago God the Father created and placed on deposit in Christ fantastic escrow blessings for you.
- The fulfillment of the escrow conditions is the execution of the Plan of God for your life. The indwelling of Christ is not a guarantee that we will receive our escrow blessings, only that they exist. We will never receive our escrow blessings until we advance to spiritual maturity, 1 Cor 3:10-14.
- Therefore Jesus Christ is the depositary of special blessings for time and eternity, Eph 1:3, and the escrow officer who will deliver these blessings to the believer when he reaches spiritual adulthood and appears before the BEMA (Judgment seat) of Christ, 2 Cor 5:10.
The indwelling of Jesus Christ is the motivation for momentum in spiritual adulthood, Gal 2:20.
- In Spiritual Self‑Esteem, you have personal love for God the Father, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit. Knowing Jesus Christ indwells you becomes the motivation you need to advance to Spiritual Autonomy, and to Spiritual Maturity.
- Each one of these stages is accompanied by the Divine administration of undeserved suffering. Spiritual Self-Esteem must pass Providential Preventative Suffering to advance to Spiritual Autonomy; Spiritual Autonomy must pass Momentum Testing to reach Spiritual Maturity; and Spiritual Maturity must pass Evidence Testing to glorify God to the maximum.
- Therefore, there must be some motivation, in addition to metabolized doctrine, to go through undeserved suffering. The specific motivation is the application of the indwelling of Christ. This becomes the motivational virtue for the advance through each stage of spiritual adulthood. There must be a strong personal love for God that continues to get stronger. It is Occupation with the Person of Christ that becomes the important motivating factor beginning at Spiritual Self-Esteem, Heb 12:3.
Heb 12:3, “For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.”
The indwelling of Jesus Christ is the basis for assigning highest priority to relationship with God over relationships with people, and to the use of Divine power over the exercise of human power, 1 John 2:24.
1 John 2:24, “As for you, let that abide in you which you heard from the beginning. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, you also will abide in the Son and in the Father.”
The indwelling of Jesus Christ is the basis for the glorification of Christ, the Shekinah Glory, in the unique life of the Church Age (C.A.) believer, John 17:22-23, 26.
Every C.A. believer belongs to the royal priesthood of our Great High Priest, Jesus Christ (Heb 4:14; Rev 1:6). Each of us has been granted a royal warrant from God to be Christ’s ambassador in Satan’s kingdom (2 Cor 5:20). We are heirs of God, joint heirs with Jesus Christ (Rom 8:17). We will accompany our Lord and glorify Him forever (Eph 2:6-7). His glorification coupled with His indwelling of every Church Age believer provides great motivation to advance inside GPS in the unique spiritual life of the Church Age believer, to the glory of God the Father.
The Relationship Between the Indwelling of Christ and the Indwelling of the Holy Spirit:
The indwelling of the Holy Spirit provides a temple for the indwelling of Christ as the Shekinah glory, 1 Cor 3:16; 6:19-20; 2 Cor 6:16.
1 Cor 3:16, “Do you not know that you are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?”
1 Cor 6:19‑20, “Do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? You have been bought with a price; therefore, glorify God in your body. “
You glorify God in your body by the knowledge of and then the execution of the Plan of God, the lifestyle of wisdom, and the unique life of the Church Age believer.
2 Cor 6:16, “Or what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God, just as God has said (Lev 26:12), ‘I will indwell in them and walk among them; furthermore, I will be their God and they will be my people’.”
The “idols” here refers to the Corinthian temples. They were houses of prostitution, places where they worshipped the various gods and goddesses of sex. They were also the place for the best bars and best food, with a little religion thrown in on the side. As a result, Corinth was a party town. Since some of the believers were still going back there, Paul asks, “What is the rapport between those idol temples and the temple of your body?”
The indwelling of Jesus Christ is the beginning of the unique spiritual life. The combination of the indwelling of Christ and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit is the basis for the unique life, Rom 8:10.
Rom 8:10, “For if Christ is in you (and he is); on the one hand the body is dead because of the sin nature, but on the other hand the spirit is (the unique) life because of (imputed Divine) righteousness.”
From the indwelling of the Holy Spirit via the G.A.P., we learn about the indwelling of Jesus Christ as the Shekinah Glory, and this results in the transformation of our lives into the image of the Shekinah Glory, 2 Cor 3:14‑18.
2 Cor 3:14, “But their minds were hardened, (negative volition of Israel), for until this very day (AD57 and now) at the reading of the Old Testament scriptures, the same veil remains unlifted over their minds, because it is (can only be) removed in (by) Christ.”
- The unbelieving Jews, because they had rejected Christ as Savior, suffered from scar tissue of the soul. Because the Jews rejected Christ as Savior, they had a veil over their minds about Christ as Messiah.
- The veil is the scar tissue on the soul of the Jewish unbeliever. The Jews read about Christ in the Old Testament, but they did not understand and follow the pattern of Rom 9:30‑33. Therefore, they sought to be justified by the law, as per Gal 2:16.
- This “veil” or hardness of the soul is abolished or removed from the Jewish mind when he believes in Jesus Christ.
2 Cor 3:15, “But to this day (AD57 and still now), when Moses is read, a veil lies over their heart (right lobe of the soul).
- “A veil lies over their right lobe” means that scar tissue of the soul accumulated from rejection of Christ as Savior makes it impossible for them to understand even that which they customarily repeat: ADONAI ELOHENU, ADONAI ECHAD, (the Lord [Jesus Christ] is our God; the Lord [Jesus Christ] is One [Trinity]).
- In the Dispensation of Israel, the Jews could not see Jesus Christ dwelling between the cherubs of the mercy seat atop the Ark of the Covenant in the Tabernacle. There was a veil between the Holy Place and the Holy of Holies, and the entire Tabernacle was covered. But they could see Christ from the articles of sacred furniture taught by the priests, and from the theophanies, like the cloud over the Tabernacle.
- Today when a Jew believes in Christ, the veil is removed. Jesus Christ, the Shekinah Glory, now indwells his body. Now Christ can be seen, not literally, but by understanding through the teaching ministry of the Spirit, the indwelling of Christ. This is the analogy of the Temple veil being torn in two after the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, Mat 27:51; Mark 15:38; Luke 23:45.
2 Cor 3:16, “But when anyone (specifically a Jew) turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away.”
Paul had to explain the blindness of the Judaizers, since the Corinthians had accepted their teaching and had become legalistic.
2 Cor 3:17, “N “Now the Lord is the Spirit (deity of the Holy Spirit), and where the Spirit of the Lord is (indwelling of the Holy Spirit in the body of the believer), there is freedom (ELEUTHERIA).”
- The Holy Spirit is called “Lord” in Isa 6:8‑9 cf. Acts 28:25-27; Jer 31:31‑34 cf. Heb 10:15‑17.
- “Liberty” = ELEUTHERIA, which means “freedom.” We have freedom to execute God’s Plan after conversion.
- There are two categories of freedom, establishment and spiritual. This passage refers to spiritual freedom which exists only inside God’s Power System, (GPS), John 8:32. The filling of the Spirit provides the spiritual freedom necessary for the fulfillment of the Predesigned Plan of God and the glorification of God.
2 Cor 3:18, “But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit.”
“Unveiled face” is a reference to Moses who had a veil over his face to hide the reflected glory of Christ. Yet the believer in the Church Age need not hide the Shekinah glory. This is why the veil in the Temple was torn in two at the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. It gave everyone access to the Shekinah Glory in the Holy of Holies, “unveiled.” Upon our faith in the saving work of Christ on the Cross, we are granted access to the Shekinah Glory and are indwelt by Him. As we grow spiritually, that glory is seen in our words, actions and deeds, “unveiled.”
“Beholding as in a mirror.” The mirror is the Word of God. As we persist in learning Bible doctrine inside GPS, we not only see a reflection of ourselves, but we also learn the mystery doctrines of the Church Age, and we see the Shekinah Glory, Jesus Christ, in ourselves.
“The glory of the Lord.” As a reference to the Shekinah Glory, this also refers to the indwelling of Christ without saying so, and the point is not the indwelling of Jesus Christ, but seeing the glory of the Lord, from Bible doctrine, which results in Occupation with Christ and Personal Love for the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
- The Jews profited from understanding that which they could not see, just as we profit from that which we cannot see, the indwelling of Christ and Bible Doctrine in our souls. The Jews could not see the Shekinah Glory dwelling between the cherubs in the Holy of Holies, but they knew He was there by the presence of the cloud over the Tabernacle. The analogy to this concept is found in Ex 40:34, “Then the cloud covered the tabernacle, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle.” In the Holy of Holies, Jesus Christ was present, but He was invisible to the people. This is analogous to the indwelling of Christ. He actually indwells your body, but He is invisible to you.
- The visible manifestation that the Shekinah Glory was indwelling the Tabernacle was the cloud, a theophany, which covered the Tabernacle. The visible manifestation today that the Shekinah Glory indwells the believer is his attainment of spiritual adulthood through residence, function and momentum inside GPS.
- In this context, the believer through his persistence in living in GPS and in learning Bible doctrine comes to an EPIGNOSIS knowledge of the indwelling of Christ as the Shekinah Glory.
“Transformed into the same image.” The indwelling of the Shekinah Glory makes it possible for the believer to attain spiritual adulthood. The indwelling of Jesus Christ as the Shekinah Glory today is just as invisible as He was in the Old Testament, but the cloud of His reflected glory is seen in the Church Age believer who advances through the stages of spiritual adulthood to spiritual maturity.
- We are never transformed through any personal self‑ improvement. The Passive Voice of the Greek verb METAMORPHOO, “are being transformed” means the believer is acted upon by metabolized Bible doctrine, resulting in spiritual adulthood.
“Into the same image.” Here we must be careful in our interpretation because Jesus Christ is God and there is no way we can be God; that is impossible and blasphemous. But we can emulate our Lord Jesus Christ in His humanity.
- From the point of His virgin birth, Jesus Christ occupied the prototype GPS and rapidly advanced to spiritual adulthood while in physical childhood. He reached spiritual maturity and subsequently faced Evidence Testing from Satan before His public ministry began Mat 4:1-11; Luke 4:1-13. His humanity never left the Prototype GPS at any time. He had respect for and obedience of authority; authority of God the Father and His Word. He was teachable and continued to grow in grace and favor with God and man. We can do likewise, thus being in the image of Christ.
- In GPS we can emulate Christ, i.e., emulate the image of His humanity. We can advance spiritually in exactly the same manner, because we have the exact same enabling power of the Spirit, and we have even greater Mystery Doctrine!
- So “the same image”, means the same as Jesus Christ in His humanity, having the indwelling Shekinah Glory and growing in the three stages of Spiritual Adulthood which manifest the invisible indwelling Christ.
“From glory”, (APO DOXA) is a reference to John 1:14, (“And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.”), where the Shekinah Glory, our Lord Jesus Christ became flesh and tabernacled among us. Therefore, this is a reference to the Shekinah Glory residing in the body of every believer, just as the human body of Christ resided in the prototype GPS. So “from glory” is Jesus Christ, the Shekinah Glory becoming true humanity and residing in the prototype GPS during His entire incarnation. Now He indwells the Church Age believer.
“To glory” is the Preposition EIS plus the Adverbial Accusative of Measure of DOXA that indicates how far the action of the main verb extends. The action of the main verb METAMORPHOO or “being transformed” extends all the way to Church Age believers who through residence, function and momentum inside GPS, attain spiritual adulthood. Therefore, it includes, from the Shekinah Glory becoming true humanity and residing in the prototype GPS to the believer residing in the operational GPS attaining spiritual adulthood and glorifying the Lord.
“Just as from the Lord, the Spirit”, A.T. Robertson states, “More likely, ‘as from the Spirit of the Lord’.” It refers to both the indwelling of the Holy Spirit which makes room for the indwelling Shekinah Glory inside your body and the two functions of the enabling power of the Holy Spirit inside GPS:
- The first is the ministry of spirituality, a.k.a., the filling of the Spirit. Generally the phrase, “filling of the Spirit,” from Eph 5:18, refers to your body; for when the Holy Spirit who indwells your body has control of your soul, you are said to be filled with the Spirit. That is the status quo of being inside GPS, “walking by means of the Spirit.”
- The second is the teaching ministry of the Holy Spirit, John 14:26. This is how Christ attained glory inside His humanity and how we attain further glory after the indwelling of the Shekinah Glory.
Warren Wiersbe states, “Truly our position in Christ is a glorious one! The ministry of grace is far superior to Judaism or any other religion, even though the NT Christian has none of the ceremonies or visible trappings that belonged to the Law. Ours is a glorious ministry, and its glory will never fade.”
The Indwelling of Christ is Not the Same as Having Occupation with Christ as a Problem Solving Device on the FLOT (Forward Line of Troops) Line of the Soul:
Occupation with Christ is the experience of having the Eleventh Problem Solving Device deployed on the FLOT line of the soul. The Eleven PSD’s include:
- Rebound – Confession of your sins, Psa 32:5b; 1 John 1:9
- Filling of the Holy Spirit, John 14:26; 16:12-14; Eph 5:18; Gal 5:16
- Doctrinal Orientation, Heb 11:1; 1 Thes 4:13
- Faith Rest, Psa 37:4-5; Rom 4:20; 2 Cor 8:9; Heb 4:1-3
- Grace Orientation, Eph 3:20; 2 Cor 12:9
- Authority Orientation, Rom 13:1-7; Titus 3:1-2; 1 Peter 2:13-3:6; 2 Cor 10:8; Eph 5:22-24, 33b-6:9; Col 3:18-25
- Personal Sense of Destiny, Eph 3:16; Phil 4:9; Rom 9:23
- Personal Love for God, 1 John 4:19; Rom 5:5, 8:28; 1 Cor 2:9
- Impersonal Unconditional Love for Man, John 15:15; Rom 13:9; Gal 5:14
- Sharing the Happiness of God, John 15:11; Prov 3:13; 1 John 1:4
- Occupation with the Lord Jesus Christ, Eph 3:17; 1 Peter 1:8
It means Christ is formed in your soul, Gal 4:19; or Christ being at home in your hearts, Eph 3:17. This is the experience of the mature believer who has executed the Plan of God.
The indwelling of Christ is related to the body and is not an experience. Indwelling is a position: whereas, Occupation with Christ is an experience. Just as there are two aspects of the Holy Spirit’s work in the believer, there are two aspects to Christ’s work in the believer.
- The indwelling of the Holy Spirit is positional.
- The filling of the Holy Spirit is experiential.
- The indwelling of Jesus Christ is positional.
- Occupation with Christ is experiential.
All believers are indwelt with the Holy Spirit according to scripture, yet only believers using the spiritual skills are filled with the Spirit, which is mandated by God. Likewise, all believers are indwelt by the Shekinah Glory but only believers utilizing the spiritual skills to grow to spiritual maturity are occupied with Christ.
On the one hand, the indwelling of Christ belongs to all believers at the moment of faith in Christ and remains a permanent possession regardless of spiritual status quo or lack of it. The indwelling of Christ, as the Shekinah Glory, guarantees we have the Divine blessing of our Portfolio of Invisible Assets. Christ also indwells us as the guarantee of the irrevocability of our escrow blessings.
On the other hand, Occupation with Christ relates to the soul and occurs experientially for the few who are persistent in the use of the three spiritual skills, (The filling of the Holy Spirit, Bible doctrine circulating in the stream of consciousness, the formation of Problem Solving Devices on the FLOT line of the soul).
The experiential factors related to Occupation with Christ are as follows:
- Cognition of the indwelling of Christ contributes to number one priority being given to the three spiritual skills as the means of Occupation with Christ, which includes understanding the precedence for the Christian way of life. Cognition of the indwelling of Christ becomes motivation for perseverance in the use of the spiritual skills when under pressure.
- The experience of Christ formed in you, Gal 4:19 is equivalent to the experience of Christ formed in your hearts through Bible doctrine, Eph 3:17.
Continuing in John 17:23, we look at the last part of this passage, (in bold), which gives us:
Two Results of Christ Indwelling the Church Age Believer.
- Faith based understanding of Christ by the unbeliever.
- The demonstration of the Father’s love for the believer.
John 17:23, “I in them and You in Me, that they may be perfected in unity, so that the world may know that You sent Me, and loved them, even as You have loved Me.”
John 17:23, “ ἐγὼ ἐν αὐτοῖς καὶ σὺ ἐν ἐμοί, ἵνα ὦσιν τετελειωμένοι εἰς ἕν, ἵνα γινώσκῃ ὁ κόσμος ὅτι σύ με ἀπέστειλας καὶ ἠγάπησας αὐτοὺς καθὼς ἐμὲ ἠγάπησας. ”
John 17:23, “EGO EN AUTOIS KAI SU EN EMOI, HINA OSIN TETELEIOMENOI EIS HEN, HINA GINOSKE HO KOSMOS HOTI SU ME APESTEILAS KAI EGAPESAS AUTOUS KATHOS EME EGAPESAS.”
We begin with the first result, “so that the world may know that You sent Me”, “HINA GINOSKE HO KOSMOS HOTI SU ME APESTEILAS.”
HINA is a Subordinating Conjunction of Result translated, “so that.”
GINOSKE is the Verb GINOSKO that means, “come to know, recognize, perceive”, in the Present, Active, Subjunctive, Third Person, Singular.
Customary Present Tense: This is the intended result of the demonstration of the perfect unity between Christ and the believer. The world will recognize, perceive, know, or understand that Jesus is the Christ sent by God the Father.
Active Voice, Third Person, Singular is speaking about all unbelievers as one group, “the world.” These are the one who Christ desires to evangelize by the witness of our unity with Him.
Subjunctive Mood is part of the result clause with HINA, so we can say, “they would know.”
The Present, Active, Subjunctive of GINOSKO with HINA is just like what we saw in John 17:21 with the Present Tense of PISTEUO, (So that the world would believe). Here it is “so that the world would know” with the same pointed phrase “that You sent Me”, (HOTI SU ME APESTEILAS) as in John 17:8, 25.
HO KOSMOS, here we have the article, “the” with the Noun meaning, “world” in the Nominative, Masculine, Singular. Speaking once again about unbelievers in every generation.
HOTI is a Coordinating Conjunction translated, “that, because, for since.”
SU is the Second Person, Singular, Pronoun in the Subject Nominative Case “you”, referring to God the Father as the One who sent Jesus in His first incarnation
ME is the First Person, Singular Pronoun EGO, “I” in the Direct Object Accusative case, meaning, “Me”, where Jesus is referring to Himself as the One sent by the Father.
APESTEILAS is the Verb APOSTELLO, in the Aorist, Active, Indicative, Second Person, Singular. It means, “to send or send away.”
The Aorist Tense is the simple past tense viewing the action in its entirety, referring to the Father’s commissioning of Jesus.
The Active Voice in the Second Person, Singular: God the Father is the One who sent His Son in the First Incarnation to go to the Cross and pay the penalty for the sins of the entire world which brings the believer into perfect unity with Christ.
The Indicative Mood is for the reality of the Father having sent His Son, so we will say, “sent.”
So we have, “So that the world would know that You (God the Father) sent Me (God the Son).”
- One of the main reasons for the indwelling of the Shekinah Glory in every Church Age believer is to bring the Gospel message to those who remain in unbelief.
- God the Father sent His Son (the Lord Jesus Christ in hypostatic union) to earth with the expressed purpose of going to the Cross and paying the penalty for every sin of mankind.
- Jesus began the Upper Room Discourse with the acknowledgement that the Father commissioned Him for the Cross in John 13:16; cf. 14:31; 15:21; 16:5. He now reiterates that fact once again in the closing portion of the Great High Priestly Prayer, John 17:8, 18, 21, 23, 25.
John 13:16, “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.”
- So apparently the knowledge and belief of the fact that God the Father sent His Son into the world is a key component to bringing the unbeliever to a point of salvation knowledge.
- Notice in John 17:21 it was, “so that the world may believe that You sent Me”, and in Verse 23 it is, “so that the world may know that You sent Me.” Both are in the Subjunctive Mood indicating the result desired by Christ, as well as, allowing for the free will of man to believe. Therefore, Jesus demonstrates that His thinking is aligned to the righteousness and justice of God in the expression of Divine Love.
- In the first use of the Subjunctive Mood it is PISTEUO, the applying of “faith” to the Word of God; in the second it is GINOSKO, the “perception” of the Word of God regarding the commissioning of the Son, cf. Rom 10:17, “So faith comes from hearing (perception through the ear gate), and hearing by the word of Christ.” Faith comes by perception and both occur only as a result of the free will of man. So our Lord is doubly emphasizing His desire that all of mankind come to the saving knowledge (faith) of Christ Crucified.
- This demonstrates the impersonal / unconditional love of Christ for all of mankind, which aligns with the justice and righteousness of God, who too loves all of mankind and desires for everyone’s salvation, John 3:16-21; 1 John 4:9-10.
1 John 4:9, “By 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. 10In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.”
Our next phrase is: “and loved them, even as You have loved Me” “KAI EGAPESAS AUTOUS KATHOS EME EGAPESAS.”
KAI is a Coordinating Conjunction, “and, even, also.”
EGAPESAS is the Verb AGAPAO, “to love”, in the Aorist, Active, Indicative, Second Person, Singular.
The Aorist Tense views the entirety of the action of the Father’s love for every believer that is made manifest when we build our ECS and demonstrate His love towards us to the lost and dying world.
The Active Voice in the Second Person Singular: God the Father produces the action of loving His children.
The Indicative Mood is for the reality of God the Father’s love for the believer of the Church Age. We will say, “you loved.”
AUTOUS is the Pronoun AUTOS, “he/she/it” in the Accusative, Masculine, Third Person, Plural, meaning, “them”. Even though “the world” was the last topic of discussion, this pronoun continues to focus on the main subject of this paragraph, “the believers of the Church Age.”
KATHOS Subordinating Conjunction, “as, just as, even as, etc.”
EME is the emphatic use of the Pronoun EGO, “I” in the Accusative, First Person, Singular meaning, “Me”, where Jesus is again referring to Himself. This along with KATHOS above is emphasizing the love that the Father has for His Son in relation to the Love the Father has for His children, believers of the Church Age.
EGAPESAS is once again the Verb AGAPAO, “to love” in the Aorist, Active, Indicative, Second Person, Singular, “you loved”
So we have, “And You loved them even as You loved Me.”
Our complete translation of John 17:23 is, “I (Jesus Christ) in the sphere of them (Church Age believers) and You (God the Father) in the sphere of Me, in order that they may be perfected in unity (with God), so that the world (unbelievers) would know that You sent Me and You loved them even as You loved Me.”
- The goal of the unity of believers with Jesus Christ and with God is twofold:
- That the world will believe in the Son’s divine mission (know that You sent Me).
- That the world will sense that God’s love for believers is deep, intimate and lasting as is His love for His unique Son (cf. 26).
- The complete unity that Jesus prays for is not an organizational union of churches, but rather a spiritual union of individual believers with the Father and the Son.
- A union in which we submit to and do the Father’s will.
- A union which enables Christ to act through us, and thus evangelize the world via, “let the world know that You sent Me and have loved them even as You have loved Me.”
- John 17 picks up the theme of John 15. There Christ spoke of Himself as the Vine and believers as Branches, and stressed the importance of remaining in Him by choosing to express our love for Him by an ever-obedient response to His teachings. Here Jesus prays to the Father, asking that what is potential in the union faith creates between the believer and the Lord might be actual in our experience.
- How can the world know that the Father loves the believer? The ECS reflects the glory of God while we are in Satan’s cosmic system and makes the world aware of the Father’s love.
Personal Love of God the Father Toward the Believer
John 17:23c, “And You loved them even as You loved Me.”
The Greek verb for “love” in John 17:23 is AGAPAO. AGAPAO is the most frequently used verb for “love” in the New Testament. The cognate noun of AGAPAO is the word AGAPE, and means, “virtue-love.” Therefore, AGAPAO comes to mean, “to have or express virtue-love.”
The other Greek verb for “love” is PHILEO, which has the connotation of “personal love” and is translated, “kiss” in Mat 26:48; Mark 14:44; Luke 22:47, regarding Judas’ sign of betrayal towards Christ. But other times it means a personal love relationship between two parties as in the Father’s Love for the believer in John 16:27.
John 16:27, “For the Father Himself loves (PHILEO) you, because you have loved Me and have believed that I came forth from the Father.”
PHILEO is also used in regard to the Father’s discipline of the belier in Rev 3:16, “Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline; therefore be zealous and repent.”
But in John 17:23 it is AGAPAO which means, “virtue-love”. Virtue Love emphasizes not the personal rapport of two individuals as in PHILEO love, but the honor and integrity of one party expressed to the other. With God, honor and integrity means the expression of His righteousness and justice towards the believer.
God’s Love is a Part of His Divine Essence:
God does not possess life. He is life. We possess life; God does not. The life that God has is infinite, eternal, unending, unchanging life. Part of God’s life is love. Love is a part of the essence or being of God, 1 John 4:8, 16.
1 John 4:16, “We have come to know and have believed the love (AGAPE) which God has for us. God is love (AGAPE), and the one who abides in love (AGAPE) abides in God, and God abides in him.”
1 John 4:8, “The one who does not love (AGAPAO) does not know God, for God is love (AGAPE).”
All three members of the Trinity have coequal and co-eternal sovereignty, absolute righteousness, justice, eternal life, love, omniscience, omnipotence, omnipresence, immutability, and veracity. Love belongs eternally and coequally to each member of the Trinity. Therefore, the love of God has always existed; there never was a time when it did not exist.
AGAPE Love which is characteristic of the essence of God can be called Divine love.
2 Thes 3:5, “And may the Lord direct your hearts to the love of God and to the endurance (fortitude, perseverance) of Christ.”
Jude 21, “Keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting anxiously for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to eternal life.”
The love of God possesses perfect virtue and integrity, which includes incorruptible justice and immutable righteousness. The perfect love of God always comes from perfect virtue. 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.
God’s love is always compatible with God’s justice and is absolutely perfect in every function. God’s love is always fair.
Luke 11:42, “But woe to you Pharisees! For you pay tithe of mint and rue and every kind of garden herb, and yet disregard justice and the love of God; but these are the things you should have done without neglecting the others.”
Perfect righteousness excludes arrogant self-righteousness. Since God is holy, He is perfect in His righteousness and in His justice. Since God is eternal, He is eternally perfect in His righteousness and in His justice. Therefore, since God cannot be anything less than perfect nor anything less than fair, this includes the use of His Divine love. Because God is holy, His love can only function in perfect virtue, honor and integrity.
Since God is love, always has been love and always will be perfect virtue-love, God does not fall in love, nor can His love be compromised, corrupted or bribed by good deeds or human experience.
God’s love does not increase or diminish. Therefore, it cannot be changed by human rejection, failure, sin, or evil, or by whether or not we are good or bad. God’s love cannot be complicated by either ignorance or absurdities.
God’s love is never frustrated or disappointed. His love existed before there were any creatures to love. His love exists with or without an object, since it is always a part of His perfect essence. Divine love is never sustained by human attraction, human rapport, human merit, human worthiness, morality, self-righteousness. Therefore, any system of human merit is never the basis for God extending His love to mankind. God’s love cannot be bought by your good behavior, good deeds or Christian service.
God’s infinite and eternal love does not conform to human standards because it is so far beyond it. Since God’s love is an integral part of His essence, His love exists with or without an object. It is obvious that His love exists in spite of the object.
Because God is virtuous, His love is totally devoid of sin, human good, evil, and altruism. Furthermore, God is free from hypocrisy, flattery or any patronizing influence of mankind.
Obviously, God’s love is permanent, stable and virtuous, and therefore, becomes a Problem-Solving Device for the believer. Since God’s love cannot be divorced from His eternity, infinity, integrity, virtue, stability, or any other attribute, God’s love has great significance for us. God has unchangeable virtue, immutable integrity and His love is associated with these characteristics.
Rom 5:5, “And hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.”
There are Three Directional Categories of Divine Love:
Toward God: Each person of the Trinity has spiritual self-esteem directed toward His own perfect righteousness, and each person of the Trinity has perfect love directed toward the perfect righteousness of the other two members of the Trinity. This is God’s love for God.
Toward Mankind: There are two categories of mankind: saved and unsaved. Man’s attitude toward Jesus Christ and His work on the Cross separates mankind into these two categories.
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.”
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.”
God’s love toward unsaved, spiritually dead mankind is Impersonal Love. Being spiritually dead, man’s righteousness is relative and not compatible with God’s perfect righteousness, Phil 3:9; Titus 3:5-7.
Titus 3:5, “He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit, 6whom He poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7so that being justified by His grace we would be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.”
Phil 3:9, “And (I Paul) may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith.”
But when anyone believes in Christ, God the Father imputes His perfect righteousness to that person. It is imputed first for justification, secondly for logistical grace and thirdly so that God can personally love all believers without compromising His essence, since all believers have the indwelling Divine righteousness, Rom 10:10; 2 Cor 5:21.
Rom 10:10, “For with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.”
2 Cor 5:21, “He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”
Toward policy: This describes the difference in Divine policy towards the believer and unbeliever, both of whom God loves. This is classified as anthropopathic love. An anthropopathism ascribes to God a characteristic which He does not possess, but using language of accommodation and human frame of reference, God’s policies are described in terms of man’s characteristics.
- There is an anthropopathism of love ascribing to God a human love which He does not really possess, but which is used in this sense to clarify Divine policy in terms of human frame of reference. This is found in Rom 9:13, “Jacob I loved; Esau I hated.”
- God’s attitude here describes the difference in Divine policy toward a believer and unbeliever. Both love and hatred are used as anthropopathisms here. God does not love or hate (a sin) in our sense of the terms. God “loved” Jacob in the sense of perpetuating the new racial species of Israel through Jacob the younger rather than through Esau the elder.
Divine Impersonal Love for the Unbeliever Emphasizes the Integrity of the Subject (God):
Impersonal Love towards the unbeliever is found in John 3:16 and Rom 5:8.
John 3:16, “God loved the world so much that He gave His Son, the uniquely-born One, that anyone who believes in Him shall never perish but have eternal life.”
Rom 5:8, “God demonstrates His own love toward us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died as a substitute for us.”
As sinners there was absolutely nothing loveable in us from God’s perspective; therefore, He could not personally love us unto salvation. But from His own integrity, (righteousness and justice), God loved and continues to love sinful man today. This love was manifest in the sending of His own Son to the Cross for our sins.
Divine Personal Love for the Believer Emphasizes the Integrity of the Object:
The object of God’s personal love is His perfect righteousness inside of you, the believer.
Divine Love is attracted to perfect Divine righteousness. God’s personal love can only love perfect righteousness. God loves all believers personally because God’s perfect righteousness has been imputed to us at the moment we believed in Christ. Divine love can only have perfect righteousness as its object.
How did God ever come to have personal love for anyone in the human race?
- At the moment of salvation, every believer receives the imputation of God’s very own perfect Divine righteousness, so that every believer not only has regeneration through Divine Impersonal Love, but he also has Divine Personal Love. God now has Personal Love for the believer.
- At the moment of salvation through faith in Christ, the righteousness of God is imputed to us. This is true in every dispensation. There are three results from the imputation of Divine righteousness to the believer.
- God looks at His righteousness imputed to us and declares us to be righteous. We receive instant justification, Rom 5:1.
- God’s love changes from Impersonal Love to Personal Love toward His perfect righteousness imputed to us. God can now love us personally.
- We receive logistical grace.
John 16:27, “For the Father Himself loves (PHILEO) you, because you have loved Me and have believed that I came forth from the Father.”
The moment you believe in Christ, you possess God’s righteousness, Rom 3:21-26; 4:3-8; 5:17-18; 10:10; 2 Cor 5:21; Gal 3:6; 1 Peter 2:24. Now God can say to you, “I love YOU” and it is personal love. It is personal love because the subject (God) and the object (you the believer) have exactly the same righteousness; God’s righteousness.
God’s Personal Love is the Motivation for Our Logistical Grace Blessings:
God’s righteousness in the believer is the basis for the believer’s logistical grace blessing whether he is a winner believer or loser believer.
The mechanics of logistical grace blessing include the two parts of Divine holiness, (righteousness and justice). Grace is the function of the justice of God in providing blessing for the human race under the Laws of Divine Establishment and for the believer under the Predesigned Protocol Plan of God (P3G).
All blessings that come to the believer prior to his receiving his escrow blessings originate from the justice of God, imputed to the indwelling righteousness of God in us. Our point of contact is the justice of God, not the love of God, yet the love of God is His motivation to bless us. (See Grace Pipeline Graphic)
God daily sustains and supports all believers, even providing fantastic logistical grace blessings above and beyond what is required to keep us alive and He gives these blessings to winners and losers alike, from His Personal Love for the believer, because every believer has imputed Divine righteousness.
What the righteousness of God in us demands, the justice of God executes and we receive the blessings of His love.
In the function of the policy of grace, there can be no compromise of Divine attributes, and God has found a way, through the imputation of His Divine righteousness, to provide logistical grace blessing to bless each believer without compromising His attributes.
Logistical Grace includes six categories of support.
- Life-sustaining support. God sustains the life of every believer on earth. No believer can depart from life apart from God’s will. Therefore all the forces of hell cannot remove one believer apart from God’s permission. God also provides all that it takes to support life, Lam 3:20‑25; Psa 48:14, “This God is our God forever and ever; He will be our guide even unto death.”
- Temporal needs such as food, shelter, clothing, transportation, environment, time, a job, etc. are provided by God, Mat 6:33; Phil 4:19.
- Security provision is taught in the doctrine of eternal security. Your security is from God. This includes the assignment of guardian angels, (Psa 91:7-14; Mat 18:10; Heb 1:13-14), and the provision of the laws of Divine establishment for freedom to advance to maturity. If positive to Bible doctrine, God provides the security for you to make that advance, as in the wall of fire, (Zech 2:5). 1 Peter 1:5, “We are kept by the power of God.”
- Spiritual riches are provided by God, such as our Portfolio of Invisible Assets, the Eleven Problem Solving Devices and the unique factors of the Church Age. It also includes the provision of doctrinal teaching from your right Pastor-Teacher, privacy and security necessary to maintain positive volition, the Royal Family Honor Code, and discernment to see distractions and set them aside. Spiritual provision of an Evangelist, a Pastor, the privacy of your priesthood, the Canon, and a local church are all provided for you. Eph 1:3, “Who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing.”
- Equal Privilege and Opportunity. Blessings are given to every believer, both winners and losers. These are not to be confused with escrow blessings which are far greater.
- God preserves us from death. Heb 2:14; Psa 33:18; 56:13; 116:8
Psa 33:18, “Behold, the eye of the Lord is on those who fear (respect) Him, on those who wait for His lovingkindness (grace) to deliver their soul from death, and to keep alive in famine (depression).”
Psa 56:13, “For you have delivered my soul from death, indeed my feet from stumbling, that I may walk with God in the light of life.”
Personal Love is the Basis for Our Father’s Discipline: Deut 8:5; Psa 119:75; Prov 3:11-12; 13:24; 1 Cor 3:28-30; 11:28-32; Heb 12:4-10; Rev 3:19
When we believe in Christ, eternal life is imputed to us. We are said to be “born-again,” and we are said to be, “children of God”, John 1:12; Rom 9:8; Gal 3:26.
John 1:12, “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God; to those who believe in His name.”
Rom 9:8, “That is, it is not the children of the flesh who are children of God, but the children of the promise are regarded as descendants.”
Gal 3:26, “You are all sons of God by faith in Christ Jesus.”
Therefore, God the Father no longer deals with us as unbelievers, but as children.
Now that we are His children, we cannot lose our salvation, John 10:28-30. But whenever we sin, we are under two Divine laws.
- The Law of Volitional Responsibility, Hosea 8:7; Gal 6:7.
Hosea 8:7, “We sow to the wind and we reap the whirlwind.”
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.”
As such, many of the problems and difficulties we have in this life are created because of our own bad decisions, especially when we are walking out of fellowship with God and in reversionism (backsliding), grieving the Holy Spirit, Eph 4:30.
- The Law of Divine Discipline, for God’s children only.
Divine discipline is the sum total of punitive action taken by the justice of God in grace to correct, to punish, to encourage, to train, and to motivate the believer’s free will toward the Plan of God.
Prov 3:11-12, “My son, do not reject the discipline of the LORD or loathe His reproof, 12For whom the LORD loves He reproves, even as a father corrects the son in whom he delights.”
“Love” is the Hebrew verb AHAB in the Imperfect Tense, Qal (Active Voice), 3rd person, masculine, singular, which is from the noun AHABAH. They are equivalent to the Greek verb AGAPAO and noun AGAPE respectfully. The LXX translates AHAB as AGAPAO here and elsewhere. Therefore, AHAB is emphasizing the continual integrity of the subject “God” in the process of Divine discipline.
Prov 3 shows the underlying motive of a father’s love for his son, wanting him to enjoy a long life, (vs 2), live in the fear (respect) of the Lord, (vs 6), have a good reputation, (vs 4), and financial security, (vs 8). And this is the desire that God the Father has for His children.
Hebrews 12:5f quotes these verses to first encourage Christians facing persecution (underserved suffering), and second to remind reversionistic believers of God’s love in discipline. The author of Hebrews expands Prov 3:12 by explaining that human parents can only discipline according to their human understanding, yet God disciplines with Divine Omniscience. In addition, this is all the more reason to respond positively to God’s discipline, since it is based on His perfect knowledge and understanding, Heb 12:10.
If we respect our earthly fathers, how much more should we obey our heavenly Father?
Children who are disciplined sometimes reject the lesson to be learned by it, yet our discipline is Divine, not human and should always remind us that God is a God of love who desires only the best for those who are His, cf. Mat 7:9-11; Luke 11:11-13.
Divine discipline is distinguished from Divine judgment, in that discipline is for believers only, but judgment is directed toward all categories of the human race and angels under certain circumstances.
When believers get out of fellowship through sin, human good or evil, we bring suffering on ourselves. If we do not use the most basic Problem Solving Device of Rebound (1 John 1:9), we will continue in a state of carnality, cosmic living, or reversionism.
- Carnality is a brief stay in the cosmic system;
- Reversionism is a prolonged residence in Satan’s Cosmic System.
Divine discipline must also be distinguished from the Law of Volitional Responsibility, (Hosea 8:7; Gal 6:7), with its self‑imposed, self‑induced and self-indulged forms of misery. Bad decisions not only destroy future options in life, but they result in tremendous misery manufactured by ourselves, for which we must take the responsibility. The resultant discomfort, misery and unhappiness may last for a short or long period of time.
If the believer persists in the three categories under the Law of Volitional Responsibility, (i.e., self‑imposed, self‑induced and self-indulged misery), it is obvious that God will add to it if you do not come around through Rebound.
Punishment from God often follows the failure to Rebound from our sins. Our every sin originates from our free will. Though temptation may come from the Old Sin Nature or another source, we make the decision to sin! All wrong decisions come from some form of arrogance or lust.
While God is the source of Divine discipline, man’s free will is the source of suffering under the Law of Volitional Responsibility. God uses His sovereignty and His perfect judgment to know when it is time to warn us that we are out of fellowship, and to bring us back to reality with varying categories of punishment.
There are three categories of Divine discipline administered to the cosmic or carnal believer.
- Warning discipline, Rev 3:19-20
- Intensive discipline, Job 5:17-18; Psa 7:14; 38:1-14; Heb 12:6; Rev 3:19.
- Maximum or dying discipline, called the “sin unto death”, with the option of installment discipline if one rebounds, 1 John 5:16; Psa 118:17-18; Phil 3:19; Rev 3:16. All three categories are found in 1 Cor 11:28-32; the context is believers taking communion out of fellowship.
1 Cor 11:30-31, “ For this cause, many are weak (warning discipline), and sick (intensive discipline), and a number sleep (in unto death).But if we would judge ourselves (rebound), we should not be judged.”
All Divine discipline, except the sin unto death, is always designed to correct, to train and to motivate.
The Parental Analogy of Divine Discipline:
There is no such thing as a perfect child. Therefore, if you as a parent have never spanked your child, you have failed! And the child who is not properly trained and disciplined inevitably grows up to be a source of great misery. Generally speaking, children are benefited from spanking, and they always feel better when it is over. Not only are children imperfect, but all children are hardheaded.
Prov 13:24, “He who withholds his rod hates his son, But he who loves him disciplines him diligently.”
So there is an analogy between children and believers. For as long as we live on this earth, we continue to have an Old Sin Nature. We will never be free from sin; no one is perfect, Rom 3:23. When we, through our own bad decisions, put ourselves in a jam, we hate ourselves, whether we know it or not. We are miserable under the Law of Volitional Responsibility.
Rom 3:23, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”
Therefore, God in his grace provides Divine discipline. His divine discipline is motivated by love. God does not punish us because he likes to see us squirm! God is perfect, just, and fair; we are His children as Royal Family of God.
Prov 3:12, “For whom the Lord loves He judges by punitive action; therefore, like a father to a son in whom He delights.”
Being fair and loving to your children means you will reward and bless them on certain occasions, and at other times you will discipline them. Being a parent is a very difficult life, because you love your children but you cannot cater to them. You must recognize their faults and train and punish them; you must also recognize when they succeed and reward them, 1 Cor 3:10-15; Heb 12:4-11.
Heb 12:4-11, “You have not yet resisted to the point of shedding blood in your striving against sin; 5and you have forgotten the exhortation which is addressed to you as sons (Prov 3:11-12), “My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, Nor faint when you are reproved by Him; 6For those whom the Lord loves He disciplines (warning discipline), And He scourges every son whom He receives, (intensive discipline).” 7It is for discipline that you endure; God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom his father does not discipline? 8But if you are without discipline, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. 9Furthermore, we had earthly fathers to discipline us, and we respected them; shall we not much rather be subject to the Father of spirits, and live? 10For they disciplined us for a short time as seemed best to them, but He disciplines us for our good, so that we may share His holiness. 11All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness.”
Divine discipline to the believer is parental training in the Royal Family of God. Like parental training, Divine discipline is designed to inculcate humility, and from that humility, true objectivity for life. You are never oriented to life until you are objective. People who are basically subjective have a much more difficult time in learning from and receiving blessings from God’s discipline.
Divine discipline teaches us as believers to be oriented to what we really are. The very fact that we receive warning discipline from God tells us we are divorced from reality, and that God is bringing us back to reality and objectivity so that we can grow in grace and have all the wonderful assets He has designed for us in our portfolio and in His plan.
So Divine discipline teaches the believer when he refuses to learn from Bible doctrine (being arrogant), or what he simply has not learned from doctrine, being negative and ignorant. Often what you resist in the teaching of doctrine, God will teach you in another way, the hard way, through Divine discipline.
Remember that although Divine discipline is suffering, it is not bad, as we associate with suffering, but it is teaching from the grace of God. All of us must learn certain things the hard way through Divine discipline. So you can learn the easy way, from your Pastor‑Teacher, or you can learn directly from God, the hard way by which you hurt.
Rev 3:19 ‘Those whom I love (PHILEO), I reprove and discipline; therefore be zealous and repent.”
Learning the easy way is through the communication of Bible doctrine from your own right Pastor‑Teacher. This system has unlimited opportunity for advance to maturity. This can result in spiritual maturity and fantastic blessing. Learning the easy way requires three things.
- Filling of the spirit.
- Impersonal love for objectivity.
- Enforced and genuine humility, without which the believer is unteachable.
Learning the hard way is through Divine discipline from God, which has limited objectives to alert the cosmic believer that he’s out of bounds, and to motivate his recovery through the function of the rebound technique. If you cannot learn from humility, you learn from hurting. Learning from hurting is the limited lesson of motivation to rebound and recover from the cosmic system. Divine discipline reminds us that none of us ever get away with anything! You are no different!
The believer must recover from the cosmic system to live inside of God’s Power System (GPS). Only inside GPS is logistical grace provision exploited to the glory of God and momentum.
The cosmic believer who does not learn from Divine discipline is eventually removed from this life under painful circumstances under the Sin Unto Death.
When the believer uses rebound, God exercises one of three options on his behalf, though the purpose for the suffering has changed from discipline to blessing. All suffering for blessing is designed to accelerate spiritual growth.
- The removal of all disciplinary suffering.
- Discipline suffering is diminished, but is now designed for blessing. The reason the suffering is reduced is so that you can bear it. God never gives us more than we can bear in fellowship, 1 Cor 10:13.
1 Cor 10:13, “No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.”
- Disciplinary suffering continues at the same intensity, but is now designed for blessing. It continues at the same intensity because you can bear it and gain blessing from it, Job 5:17-18.
Job 5:17‑18, “Behold, how happy is the man whom God reproves, so do not despise the discipline of the Almighty. 18For He inflicts pain, and gives relief; He wounds (intensive discipline), and His hands also heal.”
In addition to the three categories of Divine discipline noted above and in 1 Cor 11:28-32, 1) Warning discipline, 2) Intensive discipline, 3) Maximum or dying discipline, with the option of installment discipline if one rebounds, there is also a category called “Triple‑Compound Divine Discipline.”
- This is the worst type of self‑induced punishment. This begins with the believer’s decision to become involved in mental attitude sins as motivation for sins of the tongue. These sins of the tongue are motivated by such mental attitude sins as arrogance, jealousy, bitterness, hatred, vindictiveness, implacability, self‑pity, guilt syndrome, and revenge tactics.
- While these sins of motivating evil begin with bad decisions from human volition, they are also subject to divine discipline. Therefore, bad decisions to commit verbal sins towards others brings about this worst category of divine discipline.
Mat 7:1‑2, “Do not judge so that you will not be judged. 2For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you.”
- You receive triple discipline for:
- The verbal sin: gossip, judging, maligning, slandering.
- The mental attitude sin that motivated the verbal sin.
- Every sin mentioned, whether true or not, is put on you.
In summary, most of our suffering comes from ourselves under the Law of Volitional Responsibility. But when we ignore the suffering incurred from the Law of Volitional Responsibility and continue to live in the dungeon of the cosmic system, then God brings us back to reality.
- The arrogance complex in cosmic one is so great and powerful that it divorces us from reality. So God first administers warning discipline.
- When that does not work, He adds intensified discipline. At this point, God now uses the believer for an entirely different purpose. No longer can he fulfill God’s plan. However, God keeps him alive, though obnoxious, psychotic, neurotic, or sociopathic for people testing for those believers advancing through the valley of Momentum Testing.
- Finally, God takes him out under the Sin Unto Death.
- The only priesthood function the believer can use while in the cosmic system is the Rebound technique. This is the only way to break the system of Divine discipline. Naming your sins to God is totally non-meritorious. You are then immediately forgiven and restored to fellowship, filled with the Holy Spirit and reentered into your palace, GPS.
- Divine discipline does not imply loss of salvation. No matter how intense the suffering, you never lose your salvation. Once you believe in Christ, there is nothing you can do to cancel what God accomplished for you at salvation. On the Cross, Christ was judged for all your sins, including the ones related to evil. We cannot change the work of God at salvation. No matter how terribly we suffer under Divine discipline, it can never cancel salvation. No failure on your part can change the grace and work of God.
2 Tim 2:11‑13 emphasizes this principle. This passage is part of a hymn entitled, “Faithful is the Word.” “Faithful is the Word; for if we died with Him (retroactive positional truth), we shall also live with Him (current positional truth). For if we persevere (inside GPS), we shall rule with Him (in the Millennium). If we deny Him, He will deny us (loss of rewards). If we are faithless (in cosmic system), He remains faithful (eternal security), for He cannot deny Himself.”
Psa 119:75, “I know, O LORD, that Your judgments are righteous, and that in faithfulness You have afflicted me.”
Prayer and Personal Love of God the Father Toward the Believer
John 16:23, 26-27, “In that day you will not question Me about anything. Truly, truly, I say to you, if you ask the Father for anything in My name, He will give it to you. … 26In that day you will ask in My name, and I do not say to you that I will request of the Father on your behalf; 27for the Father Himself loves (PHILEO) you, because you have loved (PHILEO) Me and have believed that I came forth from the Father.”
As believers we have the privilege and opportunity of executing God’s plan for our lives through the two power options, (the filling of the Spirit and the metabolization of Bible doctrine), plus the deployment of the Eleven Problem Solving Devices on the FLOT line of the soul, which make up the three spiritual skills. As such the love of God has been poured out within our hearts so that we can walk in fellowship with Him, execute His plan for our lives and receive the distribution of our escrow blessing from the love of God based on His integrity.
Rom 5:5, “And hope does not disappoint, because the love (AGAPE) of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.”
It is the Personal Love of God the Father that has provided for our unique spiritual life, Rom 5:5, and it is the Personal Love of God the Father that rewards us for living the unique spiritual life, 1 Cor 3:10-15, or disciplines us for walking in Satan’s Cosmic System, Rev 3:19, and it is the Personal Love God that hears and answers our prayers, John 16:26-27.
Rev 3:19 ‘Those whom I love (PHILEO), I reprove and discipline; therefore be zealous and repent.”
As such, God’s love provides for every believer to live the unique spiritual life in the intensified stage of the angelic conflict. This unique spiritual life includes our Royal Priesthood, 1 Peter 2:5, 9, which provides a unique prayer life for the Church Age believer, giving us access in prayer to God the Father. Therefore, it is the love of God that provides for our unique prayer life.
The Love of God Motivates Him to Hear and Answer Our Prayers. The love of God towards the Church Age believer not only provides for a unique prayer life, but it also is the motivation for God to hear and answer our prayers.
- Love being the motivator for hearing and answering your prayers never stands alone, but must also align with His other attributes, as we have noted.
- Therefore, what the righteousness of God approves (personal prayer on behalf of self and on behalf of others), the justice of God answers through the love of God expressed through the grace of God, when the believer has rebounded and is in fellowship with God, Psa 66:17‑
Psa 66:17‑20, “I cried to Him with my mouth, and He was extolled with my tongue. 18If I regard wickedness in my heart, the Lord will not hear; 19But certainly God has heard; He has given heed to the voice of my prayer. 20Blessed be God, who has not turned away my prayer nor His lovingkindness from me.” Between verse 18 & verse 19 is Rebound.
- Similarly what the righteousness of God disapproves (the believer praying in a state of sin or in perpetual carnality), the justice of God does not answer. This is the reason why many believers’ prayers go unanswered; they are simply out of fellowship with God at the time of prayer.
How to Pray in the Love of the Father, the Lord’s Template Prayer, Mat 6:9-13; Luke 11:2-4.
Luke 11:2-4, “And He said to them, When you pray, say: ‘Father, hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. 3Give us each day our daily bread. 4And forgive us our sins, For we ourselves also forgive everyone who is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation.’”
Because God is Love He forgives us and instructs us that we too must forgive others as a prerequisite for our sins to be forgiven and therefore for our prayers to be answered.
This command demonstrates the need of the new birth or spiritual regeneration, because scripture teaches us that prayer, other than the call to know God or for salvation, is really only applicable to believers in Jesus Christ who are brought into a relationship with God as His children through faith in Jesus Christ. This is accomplished by the new birth, the regenerating work of the Spirit of God, cf. John 1:12; 3:3-7; 14:6.
Our prayer is to be addressed to God using the term, “Father.” The basic plan of prayer for the Church Age believer is not to Jesus, but to the Father. He is the One to whom we are to pray, “THE GIVER”, through the name of the Son, “THE ACCESS” into God’s presence, and in the power of the Holy Spirit, “THE MEANS”, cf. John 14:6; 16:23-24; Eph 1:17; 2:18; 3:14; 6:18; Col. 1:13; Heb 7:25; Jude 20.
“Father” is a term of honor or reverence and relationship. Coming to God in prayer as “Father” is designed to demonstrate: 1) Our attitude toward God as one of honor, respect and trust, and 2) Our understanding of the relationship we have with Him as a child; God is a father kind of God who loves and cares for us as only a parent can love and care for a child.
How should this affect our prayer life? When we pray as Church Age believers, we are to talk with God as our Father, not simply about God in a theological monologue of high sounding and pious phrases and tones. It is true that we should exalt the Lord in our prayers through praise, adoration and thanksgiving for His person, His essence and His works in creation, history, salvation, etc. Yet, our need is to come to God as a child and talk with Him as our loving Father, Psa 103:13.
Psa 103:13, “Just as a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear Him.”
It means we are to talk with Him as a Father who loves and cares for us as His children. We will praise Him for His Divine essence and being, and for His wonderful and mighty works, but ultimately it means praying with the frankness of a child while counting and resting in God as a Father who has a father’s heart, love, understanding, wisdom, and strength.
To pray to God as our Father means recognizing that He is a person who is intimately concerned about us more than we could possibly be concerned about ourselves. He is not a blind or impersonal force.
Calling God our Father means believing Him to be so. Such a relationship and conviction could never really be expressed if we were to address God as simply, “Almighty God, the great and terrible one,” or “Dreadful Creator and Basis of all Being.” This kind of approach to God would actually betray one’s ignorance of the nature and relationship of God to us in Christ, or one’s unbelief in Him as a loving heavenly Father.
How easy would it be to pray or how confident would we be if we could only approach God as an impersonal “basis of all being” or as “the great and terrible one?”
The word “Father” draws our attention to the nature of our relationship with God as a result of the new birth and our access to God through the person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Thus it emphasizes the ease and willingness with which we should come into His presence, boldly, with the confidence of a child who knows he or she is loved with an unconditional love.
John 16:27, “For the Father Himself loves you, because you have loved Me and have believed that I came forth from the Father.”
Heb 4:16, “Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”
Come to Him with “ease” means an awareness of this fatherly kind of care, the love of God and our provision and access through the finished work of Christ.
Forgiving Others is a Demonstration of the Father’s Love for Us:
Luke 11:4, “And forgive us our sins, For we ourselves also forgive everyone who is indebted to us.”
Failure to forgive demonstrates our unwillingness to treat others on the same basis of grace and love that God has treated us. We must be willing to extend forgiveness as freely to others as God has freely extended it to us, Mat 18:21-35; Eph 4:32.
Eph 4:32, “Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.”
Failure to forgive others stems from our failure to turn the matter over to the Lord and trust in His sovereign purposes and control. The Lord who rested totally in the Father’s love and plan is our perfect example in this, 1 Peter 2:21-25.
Failure to forgive others keeps the Lord from forgiving us, not because our act of unforgiveness becomes the basis for our own forgiveness, but because unforgiveness, like any known sin, stands as a barrier to fellowship.
The basis for our forgiveness is always the Cross and Christ’s presence before the Father as our advocate, 1 John 1:9-2:2.
It is important for us to understand that failure to forgive others is not only sin, but a sin which is a contradiction to the heart of the gospel message and the Father’s love, cf. Psa 66:18; Mat 5:23-24; 1 Peter 3:7.
Failure of people to forgive one another results in a sick church, one without the power and blessing of God on its ministry and life.
Your impersonal love toward others is important because it is a reflection of the love of God in Divine integrity. Divine integrity is made up of three divine attributes of God: the righteousness, justice and love of God. Grace is a reflection of the entire integrity of God. Grace works with love as love works with the holiness of God. Out of Divine integrity comes our very own Portfolio of Invisible Assets with our very own spiritual life. And Impersonal Love gives you compatibility with the integrity of God, 1 Cor 13:4-8a, 13.
Prayer is a Means of Entering Into the Joy and Confidence of God’s Love, Provision, Direction, and Presence, Phil 1:3-6:
Phil 1:3, “I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, 4always offering prayer with joy in my every prayer for you all, 5in view of your participation in the gospel from the first day until now. 6For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.”
It is a means for us to focus on the “who” and “what” of God; His person, plan, principles, promises, purposes, etc. This kind of praying glorifies the Father and demonstrates our desire for relationship with Him, along with obedience. At the same time it brings joy (+H) and comfort to our hearts because it brings God into our focus along with His purposes.
When we pray typically we tend to begin with “us” rather than with “Your.” That is why it is so important to pray to God as our Father, because it immediately puts us in the proper frame of reference.
Typically, we rush into God’s presence pleading for “our” petitions, “our” needs and “our” problems. As a result, we become problem oriented and frantic rather than God and grace oriented being relaxed in His sovereignty under the Faith Rest Technique, cf. Psa 46:10.
Psa 46:10 (NASB), “Cease striving and know that I am God.”
Psa 46:10 (KJV), “Be still and know that I am God.”
“Cease striving” or “Be still” are the Hebrew word RAPHAH which means, to “sink down, slacken or relax.” It is used in the Hiphil Mood (Causative Active), and Imperative Tense (Command).
The LXX uses the Greek word SCHOLAZO in the Aorist, Active, Imperative which means, “to cease from labor, be at leisure, to have rest or respite from a thing, or cease from doing.”
Therefore, this is a command to stop using our human power and effort, (human good works), and instead faith rest in God in association with our prayer life, (as we should in all aspects of our spiritual life).
Therefore, with the right perspective in our prayer life, “Our Father”, we gain a relaxed mental attitude and rest from our human good works in trying to solve all of our problems.
Our Prayers are Answered from the Love of God, 1 John 3:21‑22; 5:14-15:
We are inadequate and weak to solve our problems, but God is the omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent One who is able to do above all that we can ask or even think, Eph 3:20.
Eph 3:20, “Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us.”
In His love He always cares, in His wisdom He knows what is best, and in His power He is able to do anything.
The more we come to understand and sense our impotence and need, the more indispensable and irresistible prayer should become to us all.
Persistent prayer demonstrates our knowledge and confidence in our friend and heavenly Father, Mat 7:7-11; Luke 11:5-10.
This is a call for expectant waiting in our prayers. This is the principle of waiting on the Lord, of the faith-rest life; resting patiently by faith in God’s wisdom and love.
Do not give up and go away. Do not stop. Stay, wait and rest the matter in the Lord’s hands and timing. The answer and revelation of what God is doing will come. Just trust in the goodness and wisdom of God.
With that in mind, the Lord quickly focuses our attention on the nature of God and our relationship with Him as our heavenly Father as believers in Christ. Why?
- To encourage us to keep on asking, seeking and knocking.
- To strengthen our faith.
- To demonstrate why we can be assured of God’s answer and concern.
Therefore, Jesus focused our thoughts on God’s “greater grace” by calling our attention to God’s infinite and holy love as our heavenly Father, which greatly glorifies God because it shows we are resting in His wisdom and love.
The lack of an immediate answer to our prayers should never turn us away in disgust or cause fear or doubt and frustration. Why? Because we know our heavenly friend and Father. Do we understand all that God is doing? No, not really. Is it easy? Not always. Is that a reason to quit or stop praying? Absolutely not!!
Persistent prayer demonstrates the maturity of our faith and also our need of understanding God, His plan, principles, promises, and purposes.
It demonstrates our need of faith, of wisdom and Biblical values, and priorities along with patience and an eternal perspective. Cf. Mat 6:25-34.
Mat 6:25, “For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they? 27And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life? 28And why are you worried about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin, 29yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these. 30But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you? You of little faith! 31Do not worry then, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear for clothing?’ 32For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. 34So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”
A mature or growing faith sees and believes the promises of God, embracing them with persistence even though the answer is not immediately forthcoming, Heb 11:13, 39.
Mature faith knows that God will answer in a better time and in a better way than we could do on our own, James 1:5-8. This was illustrated in the prayers of our Lord both before and while on the Cross. Had the Father taken the cup of the Cross from Him or called ten thousand angels to deliver Him from the Cross, we would still be in our sins. God answered His Son, but in a better time and in a better way.
James 1:5, “But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him. 6But he must ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind. 7For that man ought not to expect that he will receive anything from the Lord, 8being a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.”
“In that day you will ask in My name … for the Father Himself loves you …” (John 16:26–27), by Oswald Chambers. “… for the Father Himself loves you …”—the Father’s love is evidence that our union with Jesus is complete and absolute. Our Lord does not mean that our lives will be free from external difficulties and uncertainties, but that just as He knew the Father’s heart and mind, we too can be lifted by Him into heavenly places through the baptism of the Holy Spirit, so that He can reveal the teachings of God to us.”
In Part 9 of John 17 we will look at Verses 24 – 26 as well as: Good Gifts Given by Our Father,
Doctrine of God the Father as Righteous & the Complete Translation of John 17:24-26