THE WORD TO THE ELECT (EXCERPT OF JOHN, CHAPTER SEVENTEEN)
From: John, Chapter Seventeen
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Copyright © 2006 Trumpet Ministries, Inc. All Rights Reserved
There is a Divinely constructed wall that stands between the elect and the world. Christ is giving His Word to the elect of today. Each individual who is hearing and receiving the Word of God will discover that the Word that has come to him is separating him from the world and, in some instances, from people whom he always had considered to be his brothers and sisters in the Lord.
“I have given them your word; and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. (John 17:14)
A Divinely constructed wall stands between the elect and the world. The scriptural passages that control the destinies of each of the Lord’s chosen can be found throughout the Old Testament and the New Testament. These passages are clear: there is a Divinely ordained difference between the elect and the remainder of mankind.
“For you are a holy people to the LORD your God, and the LORD has chosen you to be a people for Himself, a special treasure above all the peoples who are on the face of the earth. (Deuteronomy 14:2)
Consider the awesome implications of such a passage!
For I am the LORD your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior; I gave Egypt for your ransom, Ethiopia and Seba in your place.
Since you were precious in My sight, you have been honored, and I have loved you; therefore I will give men for you, and people for your life. (Isaiah 43:3,4)
Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies [declares righteous]. (Romans 8:33)
But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; (I Peter 2:9)
And so on and on throughout the Scriptures.
Each member of the elect must keep his part of the covenant by cleaving with all of his strength to the Lord who has called him out of the world. If he does not, the Lord will bring him under discipline. If he refuses to be disciplined he will discover he is facing an angry God even though it had appeared he was a member of the elect.
The doctrine of Divine election stands as one of the principal ideas of the entire Scriptures.
In John 17:14, Jesus acknowledges to the Father in Heaven that He has given the Father’s Word to the elect. Hasn’t Jesus given the Word of God to everyone? Not in the sense meant here.
Jesus spoke to the multitudes in parables but He explained the meaning of the parables to His chosen. Only three from among the chosen disciples were allowed to behold His transfiguration. We can see three levels of opportunity displayed here: the multitudes, the chosen, and the three from among the chosen.
A level of opportunity in the Kingdom of God is not earned, it is assigned by Divine election. (Although who can say what God will do on the behalf of any individual who seeks Him with a perfect heart?)
Notice, in the following quotation, how a level of opportunity is assigned by election. We say level of opportunity because it is just that—an opportunity. We are not forced to do anything; neither are we guaranteed that we will not lose our inheritance. The opportunity for glory is there. It is up to us to grasp the prize, the goal for which we have been grasped by God the Father in Christ.
“but to sit on My right hand and on My left is not Mine to give, but it is for those for whom it is prepared.” (Mark 10:40)
The expression “for whom it is prepared” reminds us of John 14:3: “I go to prepare a place for you.”
When God planned in advance the structure of the Kingdom of God He identified two or more persons who would be at the right hand and left hand of Christ when He returns in glory.
Who are these rarely blessed individuals? It has not yet been revealed. We do know that these positions of incomprehensible glory and authority, of closeness to the Master, have been prepared by the Father from the beginning for specific persons.
At some point in the history of mankind each of these highly placed human beings was born (or will be born—for many that are last in time will be first in the Kingdom). He or she was nursed as a baby, learned to walk and talk, attended school, experienced adolescent emotions and confusion, entered adulthood, worked at one or more occupations, lived for his or her assigned period of time, and then died and went to Paradise.
He may have been famous or obscure. She may have been a gentle teacher or perhaps a flaming evangelist. He may have possessed the nobility of a Daniel or the remoteness of a John the Baptist or the cheerful dependability of the friend who lives next door.
Those who have been chosen to stand so close to the Lord Jesus began life just like the rest of us. Their destiny is to reign over the universe from a supremely exalted position of unimaginable glory and authority.
However, this glorious destiny is an opportunity they were invited (or will be invited) to grasp with dedication and diligence. Indeed, they will drink the cup of suffering to the last drop. All the sons of God are obligated to take the Kingdom of God by faith and determination.
Christ gives the Word of the Father to the elect, to each person whom the Father has given to Him. Christ will not give the understanding of the Word of God to anyone who is not of the elect.
And the disciples came and said to Him, “Why do you speak to them in parables?”
He answered and said to them, “Because it has been given to you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given. (Matthew 13:10,11)
It is the giving of the Word of the Father to the elect, to the chosen, that causes them to be separated from the world. As a result, the world hates God’s elect. Every member of God’s Israel was called out from the world. Israel is an elect, a chosen, a firstfruits of mankind. The world, and those of the church people who never were called of God, hate God’s chosen and will murder them because of envy.
Whenever the Word of the Father is given to a person, and the person receives that Word in faith and embraces it, he is born from above, from Heaven. He no longer is a part of the world system. His spiritual life from now on is at the right hand of the Father in Christ. He has become a part of the Kingdom of God, the family of God, the Church of the Firstborn.
As the Word begins to grow in him he commences to act, speak, and think in a manner the world hates. He becomes the feared enemy of the world system because he testifies of the world that its works are evil. Satan stands before him and resists Christ who is being formed in him.
His citizenship is in Heaven, and until the Lord returns he is a stranger and pilgrim in the world. It is the Word of God that creates alienation from the world in each of God’s elect.
It is our point of view that many, if not most, of the “Christian” people of today have never been born of God. They were born of the churches, not of the Spirit of God.
The period of time in which we now are living is one of shaking, of separation. The fires of persecution and tribulation are testing the genuineness of each individual who professes Christ.
It appears that the Divine shaking will produce two separate churches: (1) the Church, the Body of Christ, formed from God’s elect, His remnant; and (2) a much larger group of Christian “believers” who will appear in many ways to be members of the Christian faith. They will have the reputation of being “alive” but will be spiritually dead.
There is a willingness on the part of professing Christians to believe unscriptural concepts, such as an emphasis on “grace” to the extent that behavior is not critically important; on the love of God to the exclusion of the fear of God; on the “rights” of people to the neglect of the adoration and service of God; on the catching up (rapture) of immature believers to the neglect of the spiritual life that is absolutely necessary if we are to participate in the first resurrection from the dead (Philippians 3:11).
It is being taught and believed that Christians always must be comfortable and must not experience suffering or tribulation of any kind.
There are those who fear God who believe that this entire trend of preaching and teaching has no part in Christ even though its proponents are “fundamental” in doctrine, aggressive in evangelism, and, in some instances, speak in tongues, claiming to be filled with the Spirit of God.
It may be true that the Charismatic (Pentecostal) believers, of whom the writer is one, may be the most vulnerable to deception. We tend to look toward spiritual experiences rather than toward stedfast adherence to the Word of God.
Also, we are more than willing to believe in miracles and angelic visitations and often do not examine carefully their source. We do not “try the apostles,” especially if they use our familiar terms or act in accustomed patterns of behavior. We Charismatics often are as wise as doves and therefore are as harmless as serpents.
In addition, we have reacted against the formality of the “dead” churches to the extent that we have become overfamiliar with the Lord Jesus Christ. Sometimes we speak as though Christ is our servant, believing He is willing to be used by us for our purposes. This is a deception, a lying spirit.
Overfamiliarity with the Glory of God can lead to death.
Our mind goes back to the days when the Ark of the Covenant was abiding in the house of Abinidab in Kirjath-Jearim. The Ark was in Abinidab’s house for fifty or more years. The family became familiar with the Ark, and familiarity led to presumption and irreverence.
Abinidab had two sons, Uzzah and Ahio, who were accustomed to seeing the Ark in their home. Were they not close friends with God Almighty? Do not we Christians think we have God in our pocket?
And when they came to Nachon’s threshing floor, Uzzah put out his hand to the ark of God and took hold of it, for the oxen stumbled.
Then the anger of the LORD was aroused against Uzzah, and God struck him there for his error; and he died there by the ark of God. (II Samuel 6:6,7)
We must keep in mind that there always is death, as well as life, in the Presence of God.
We may think God is obligated to bless us because our doctrine is “correct.” Instead we should be in fear and trembling, understanding that even the Christians of righteous behavior are being saved with difficulty (I Peter 4:18).
Will we prophesy over people who give us a specified amount of money, as some have done? Will we prophesy immunity to disease to people who give us money? Will we sell prayer cloths and other amulets and fetishes in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ?
Will we state, being filled with presumption, that the Apostle Paul could have avoided his troubles if he had possessed the “faith” we have today? Has man become sovereign in the Kingdom of God? Is this not the False Prophet?
Will we be rich in the world? Will we command and force God to do our bidding? Is Christ our slave? Is God the Father smiling on our sin, our rebellion, our complacency, our presumption?
Will no person among us be reproved in the Day of Christ? Will we all, like the godly Enoch and Elijah, ascend in the clouds in the first resurrection whether or not we have overcome the world through the Spirit of Christ?
Are we more precious to God than all past generations? Or are we not, in fact, terribly deceived and facing the greatest judgment in history?
Will not Sodom, Gomorrah, Capernaum, and all other cities and nations that have been judged by the Lord rise up in the Day of Christ and bear witness against the “Christian” nations of today?
Is it a time for smugness and complacency because we speak in tongues, or should we not cry out to the Lord in sincere repentance so He may protect us and our loved ones during the tribulation that is at the door?
Which voice is of Christ? One voice is assuring us there is no need to be concerned because at any moment we may fly away, leaving the world and the Jews to the sorrows of the great tribulation.
The other voice is warning us to turn to God, confess our sins, and cease our wicked practices because we are entering the Bride’s baptism with fire (Isaiah 4:4).
Which voice is the voice of Christ? Do you know? One thing is certain: both voices are not coming from the same source.
A shaking is coming. A separation is near. The Spirit of God is bringing the Word of Christ to the churches of today. God’s chosen people will hear the Spirit and will become strangers and pilgrims among the peoples of the world and among the spiritually deaf church people.
Those who have not been chosen by the Lord will continue in their delusion that they are God’s “pets”—the favored of Christ. They think that Jesus never would rebuke or discipline them for their lukewarmness.
The Pharisees who howled for Jesus’ blood believed they were the favored of God.
God’s elect of today who can hear His voice must redouble their efforts to walk carefully and prayerfully before Christ, turning to Him in sincere repentance and humility of mind.
Has there ever been the amount of deception present among Christian people that is true of today?
Should we be looking forward to the coming of Christ with gleeful overconfidence in a spirit of presumption and familiarity with God?
Woe to you who desire the day of the LORD! For what good is the day of the LORD to you? It will be darkness, and not light.
It will be as though a man fled from a lion, and a bear met him! Or as though he went into the house, leaned his hand on the wall, and a serpent bit him!
Is not the day of the LORD darkness, and not light? Is it not very dark, with no brightness in it? (Amos 5:18-20)
True, we may object, but those statements concern the unfortunate Jews who will go through the tribulation while the lukewarm Gentile believers are watching the misery of Israel from their beds of ease in Paradise.
Is this sound doctrine? Would we split the Body of Christ, the one new Man, the Israel of God (Galatians 6:16), that seamless robe, into Gentile and Jewish believers in defiance of all that Paul taught (Ephesians 2:11-19)?
Listen to the scriptural warning given to all believers, to all of God’s elect; because there is no difference between Jew and Gentile in Christ:
For the time has come for judgment to begin at the house of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the end of those who do not obey the gospel of God?
Now “If the righteous one is scarcely [with difficulty] saved, where will the ungodly and the sinner appear?” (I Peter 4:17,18)
“The righteous” are Christians who keep God’s Word concerning righteous behavior; they are saved with difficulty. The above passage hardly supports the overconfident, assured attitude so prevalent among us today.
The Lord Jesus Christ is not the good-natured fellow the spiritually careless, smug churchgoers believe Him to be.
A study of the fourth chapter of First Peter will reveal that our suffering in the world is Divine judgment, a judgment that is saving us so we may be prepared to meet the Lord when He appears in the clouds of heaven. This message from First Peter does not agree with current Christian teaching.
Christ is giving His Word to the elect of today. Each individual who hears the Word of God will discover before too long that the Word that has come to him is separating him from the world and—in some instances—from people whom he always had considered to be his brothers and sisters in the Lord.
The Lord of the churches is walking among the “lampstands” in the present hour. His eyes are flames of fire. He is not appearing as an amiable, soft Jesus who loves and forgives us whether or not we are doing our part in the work of redemption that is to take place in our personality.
Perhaps the question is, will the Lord Jesus actually spit from His mouth all the lukewarm believers of today, or will He accept them anyway because they are “saved by grace”? The writer is firmly persuaded, in accordance with the written Word of God, that Christ indeed will spit them out of His mouth.
How about you, dear reader? Your eternal destiny is the issue here. Will you gamble that the “prophets” of today who advise us not to worry, that after we have confessed Christ we can sit back and wait for the “rapture,” actually are speaking by the Spirit of the Lord God of Heaven?
The present writer is stating that their message is not coming from the God of Heaven. Will you take a chance on being cast into outer darkness, there to gnash your teeth in an agony of remorse because of the memory of opportunities forever lost?
Or will you instead turn to the Scriptures, particularly the New Testament, and find for yourself if the Apostles of the Lamb, or the Lamb Himself, ever taught or in any manner suggested all that God requires of us is a statement of faith in Christ?
While you are examining the writings of the Apostles, do not extract one, or two, or ten verses in order to prove a point. Read the entire epistle and attempt to grasp the main thought and important ideas.
One or two passages from Paul’s writings would appear to support the current overemphasis on grace; but the theme of Paul’s arguments in each epistle reveals that the overemphasis on the grace of forgiveness (the notion that godly living is not critically important in our salvation, in the Kingdom of God) is a poisonous wresting of Paul’s gospel.
It may be helpful to go through and underline the passages of the New Testament that indicate godly behavior is a necessary part of our entrance into the Kingdom of God.
Such passages are numerous in the New Testament, appearing in the writings of all the Apostles. The passages that might be interpreted to mean that righteous conduct is not necessary are few in number. Righteous conduct is the doctrine of the entire Scriptures (under the new covenant it is righteous conduct resulting from our union with Christ, not from our own efforts apart from Christ).
Keep in mind that our righteous behavior does not earn salvation. Rather, righteous behavior results from salvation. Where there is no growth in righteousness no salvation is taking place.
The Scriptures do not teach that the grace of God causes God to overlook the sins of the believers. The Scriptures do not teach that God’s love prevents Him from punishing believers who sin. The Scriptures do not teach that God’s people will be caught away to Heaven to escape the great tribulation. The Scriptures do not teach that believers should attempt to use faith to gain money or other forms of material wealth. All of these doctrines are filled with the spirit of man making himself a god and come from the spirit of the False Prophet.
Verses must be lifted out of context in order to appear to support such distortions of God’s holy Word. They must be isolated from “the whole counsel of God.”
It is your salvation! If the Word of God comes to you so that you see the need to turn to God in repentance, we pray you will give all your attention to this supremely important matter.
The desire and the ability to repent are gifts from God. These are the most precious treasures in our possession and we must guard them with the utmost care. Some have neglected them and lost them.
Do not place your hope of eternal joy in the hands of the overfamiliarity with Christ that is so prevalent today, until you can find in the Scriptures a basis for such confidence (Psalms 2:10-12).
If you should become persuaded, from your searching of the Scriptures, that all of us must turn to Christ and repent of our lukewarmness, do not be surprised if the world begins to hate you. Neither be surprised if the church people begin to avoid you.
However, you are not alone. The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are with you. The elect angels are with you. In addition, you are being created an eternal part of the Body of Christ with its many members on the earth, and many more in Heaven surrounding you as a cloud of witnesses. They are cheering you on as you press forward to victory in Christ.
Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble;
for so an entrance will be supplied to you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. (II Peter 1:10,11)
I have given them your word; and the world has hated them, because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. (John 17:14)
(“The Word to the Elect”, 3222-1)