3 And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.
The knowledge of God is a progressive chain reaction: doctrine to conduct to doctrine, and so forth, and in this active, progressive experimental knowledge of God alone is life eternal. Many, as the Scriptures show, who start the race never reached the goal because they fail to move continually forward and upward in knowledge and godliness
Bro Growcott - The Fleeting Cross and the Eternal Crown
It is very easy to see from this text, that to obtain "eternal life," a knowledge of two things, or rather persons, is indispensable. A correct idea of one insures a proper understanding of the other. This is proved by the statement Jesus made to the Jews, as recorded in the 8th of John and 19th verse.
"Then said they unto him, where is thy Father? Jesus answered, Ye neither know me, nor my Father: if ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also."
Now if the Jews-who had many advantages over the Gentiles-did not know "the Father and the Son," it need astonish nobody if it should be found that an incorrect understanding is gone abroad among the Gentiles concerning them. We hardly need remark that the knowledge referred to is not a personal knowledge, for as regards the Father, that were impossible.
He is "the invisible God,"-Col. i. 15-
"dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen,
nor can see."-(1 Tim. 6:16.)
And as touching Jesus Christ, the Jews addressed were familiar with his outward appearance. To know the Father and the Son, therefore, implies an acquaintance with something else pertaining to them. And this is the mind or will, purposes and nature.
The Jews doubtless, knew a good deal concerning the Eternal by experience, that is, by judgments and mercies upon their nation. Still, they were ignorant of the divine purpose in the Messiah, or else they must have known Jesus to be he. Being deficient in this, they are said not to have known the Father. Hence it follows that a knowledge of the Father comes through a knowledge of the Son. As Jesus said to Philip,
"Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip?"
"He that hath seen me hath seen the Father."-(Jno. 8:9)
Up to that time, the disciples had not the eyes of their understanding opened, so they had neither "seen" Jesus nor the Father: but soon afterwards, their eyes were opened. Z
Ambassador of the coming age, Dec 1868
That they might know thee
I cannot unite with those who see only flesh in the man Christ Jesus, and who attribute his mind, wisdom, and intelligence to the evolutions of a superior organization of flesh; but neither can I endorse definitions which mean (whether intended to mean so or not) that we are to see no flesh at all in the man Christ Jesus, but a new and mongrel nature, made up of a mixture of flesh and spirit.
I stand out for Jesus being the seed of Abraham (Heb. ii. 16), the seed of David (2 Tim. ii. 8), the flesh and blood of the children (Heb. ii. 14). the likeness or form of the flesh of sin.-( Rom. viii. 3.) But I recognise that, in his case, it was the Spirit converted into this nature (like unto his brethren), and that with this nature, so produced, the spirit (afterwards superadded) dwelt not as a physical element of the flesh of sin, but as an abiding or overshadowing presence of wisdom and power resting on or in the" body prepared."
Bro Roberts TC Jan 1874.
Paul warningly speaks of "another Jesus." What is "another Jesus?" Clearly it means attaching a meaning to the name and personality that is not in harmony with the revealed facts. The name Jesus is on every tongue, but how many really know Jesus? How easy it is to have a form of words without any true conception behind it! We cannot know Jesus without continually reading and thinking upon what is written about him. Mere familiarity with the name and a few surface facts is useless.
We must be intimately familiar with the person for whom the name stands. And this familiarity must be actual. It must arise from the fulfillment of the promise --
"If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him." Although this is spiritual, it is still actual, and must happen if there is to be any hope of salvation -- (Jn. 14).
Bro Growcott - The Test of True Love
We must be able to go to bed each night knowing a lot more about God and His Word than we did the night before. This is the only real purpose of our life, and any day this is not true is a day criminally wasted: a day to give account of at the judgment seat of Christ.
"This is life eternal, to know Thee, the only true God" -- and "knowing" God is not just meeting Him only, but a constant, ever-expanding understanding and familiarity and intimacy.
To "know" God is not to know ABOUT Him, but to be allowed into His friendship and company and interest -- and this is granted to those only whose life's ambition is that their hearts may be increasingly pure: increasingly emptied of the flesh and filled with the Spirit.
4 I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do.
Jesus being what he was, the "Word made flesh," the manifestation of the God of David in the seed of David, and therefore David's "Lord" -- it is impossible to disconnect his mentality from the Eternal Power in which he was rooted; and that, although as the Son of David and the man Christ Jesus, his existence dates from his conception "of the Holy Spirit," the consciousness within him whose foundation was laid by the Holy Spirit may have reflected previous relations in a way that pure earth-borns like ourselves have no experience of.
... "They (the disciples) have known surely that I came out from thee, and they have believed that thou did'st send me."
And again (previously)
"I came forth from the Father and am come into the world: again I leave the world and go unto the Father" (Jno. xvi. 28);
and again John's remark --
"Jesus knew that his hour was come that he should depart out of this world unto the Father ... Jesus knowing ... that he was come from God and went to God" (Jno. xiii. 1-3);
also the expressions,
"I come down from heaven." "Before Abraham was, I am," and his question: "What, and if ye shall see the Son of Man ascend up where he was before?"
All these expressions imply reminiscence of the preexisting relation of things, which cannot be surprising if we realise that all wisdom and knowledge and memory are stored in the Eternal Father-Spirit of whom Jesus was the expression... The Father element in Jesus must always be kept in view in judging the expressions that came from his mouth.
Nazareth Revisited Ch 55
5 And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.
To glorify another "with his own self" is to impart to that other his own nature, which was done when the Lord Jesus was "changed into the same image or likeness," so that in Jesus now "dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily" (Col. ii. 9).
This glory, he says,
"I had with thee before the world was."
Nazareth Revisited Ch 55
...the very act of prayer on the part of Christ is proof of his non-equality with the Father. The lesser always prays to the greater... Jesus bases his appeal for glory on a certain fact, which he states, viz., that he had finished the work that the Father (a higher power necessarily) gave him to do. On this ground it is, that he asks for glory, thus shewing it was not a thing that he really possessed before. Nor did he possess it before, only in the sense in which he existed before, namely, in the purpose of God.
This is the explanation of the whole matter, and his appeal is equivalent to saying "I have finished the work thou gavest me to do; give me the glory which I had in thy purpose before the world was." - Bro J Butler
Ambassador of the Coming Age, Aug 1868
6 I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world: thine they were, and thou gavest them me; and they have kept thy word.
In this we have a glimpse of the inner side of the work of the Gospel: its divine side: its aspect as seen from the standpoint of God and Christ. From this, it is an affair of manifesting God. To man, it may sometimes seem the mere announcement of changes to come: the return of Christ, the immortality of justified man, the setting-up of the Kingdom.
But rightly apprehended, all these are the manifesting of God. Without God, they could have no occurrence or meaning. It is to carry out His purpose, to enforce His supremacy, that the performances planned and announced in the Gospel will be carried out.
A reception of the truth, therefore, that limits itself to the skeleton facts of the Gospel, is an inadequate reception. The truth, as exhibited in the Bible, has God in its sky like the sun, from whose fructifying beams, all other forms and things derive life and light.
Nazareth Revisited Ch 55
9 I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine.
These are remarkable and terrible words. If Christ pray not for a man, where is he? As a sinner, he has no standing before God. There can be no approach but by sacrifice and priesthood. This is the lesson of the Mosaic Tabernacle, as Well as the express teaching of Christ and the Apostles. It is Christ's appointed part, as
"high priest over the house of God," to "make intercession for us according to the will of God" (Heb. iii 6; iv. 14; Rom. viii. 27-34).
Where he refuses to perform this part, there can, in the nature of things, be no hope. Here is Christ refusing to pray for the world, or purposely declaring he omits praying for them, which amounts to the same thing. What is this but the condemnation of the world. On what ground? The cause appears towards the close of the prayer:
"O righteous Father, the world hath not known Thee" (verse 25).
In the beginning of the prayer, Jesus had said,
"This is eternal life, at they might know Thee, the only true Gad, and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent."
If therefore, the world know not the Father as Jesus says (and as we know is the fact), they are not in the position admitting of the operation of his priesthood and the hope of eternal life. The knowledge of God and submission to Him are the first conditions of human reconciliation.
Nazareth Revisited Ch 55.
The "world" of which the Scriptures speak is the natural society of man-living according to the mind of the flesh, in ignorance and darkness as regards true spiritual principles. In relation to God, all who are just natural parts of the world are aliens, strangers, living a mere animal existence, outside of the divine family and of God's covenants and promises of life.
About this "world" of natural mankind, the Scriptures say many things, some of which appear on the surface to be directly contradictory. On the one hand we have these broad, general statements of great power and beauty-
"God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on him should not perish, but have everlasting life" (Jn. 3:16).
"Behold the Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world" (Jn. 1:29).
"He is the mercy-seat for our sins, and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world"( 1 Jn. 2:2).
"I came not to judge the world, but to save it" (Jn.12:47).
On the other hand we have these very plain statements and commands-
"I pray not for the world, but a friend of the world is the enemy of God" (Jam. 4:4).
"Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world, for all that is in the world-the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life-is not of the Father, but is of the world" (1 Jn. 2:15, 16).
The apparent contradiction disappears when we re-examine the first class of passages and realize that they all clearly emphasize-yea, they are mainly concerned with-the world's
lost, alienated condition and need for reconciliation and salvation from sin.
These passages manifest-not any blurring of the essential distinction and separation between God's sons and the world-but rather the great compassion of God toward the sinful world, and His merciful desire that as many as possible be saved FROM their alienated and hopeless position.
This is the key to our relationship to the world-sharp, clear separation; but infinite kindness and compassion and patience.
Bro Growcott - Our call to holiness
15 I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil.
It might seem to follow that therefore the best thing is for believers to withdraw themselves into the seclusion of separate communities, after the manner of the Mormon settlement or nunneries and monasteries, and some more recent American examples. This part of Christ's prayer is a complete discountenance of this conclusion.
It would be very pleasing to retire into the harmonious sphere of love and communion; but it would not serve the object for which men and women are called. It is necessary that Christ's people should remain in the world, though not of it, that they may be tried in the tribulation that comes from contact with it. Their separation is a separation from "the evil" that is in it and not from the forms of life that prevail in it.
Faithfulness in this separation is the ground of their final promotion to a state in which there shall "neither be adversary nor evil occurrent;" and there would be no scope for this faithfulness if they were bodily and socially separated from the world as soon as they received the truth.
They have to "endure hardness" in obeying the commandments under circumstances of difficulty. The process is painful, but the upshot is unutterably glorious when the short conflict is over.
Nazareth Revisited Ch 55.
17 Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.
"We should not receive the unsanctified into our bosom; "
that is, we suppose the writer means, into our fellowship. This is also true. But by what rule or standard is their unsanctifiedness to be determined? And by whom are the principles of that rule to be applied?
An Ishmaelite, or iron bedstead manufacturer, says the rule of sanctification is faith in the things of the Kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ" (Acts 8:12), and the baptism of such a believer
"into the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit;"
and in answer to the second question, he says, the principles must be applied by them whose fellowship is sought.
A man claims admission into their bosom who says he is sanctified. Are they bound to receive him on his simple assertion? If it be answered "yes," then they would be bound to receive Archbishop Hughes and his master the Devil, for they both say they are sanctified! It is evident, then, that a man's sanctification cannot be admitted on mere assertion. Evidence of sanctification must be adduced.
But it is no use producing evidence, if it is not to be judged. "Judge not that ye be not judged," does not then apply to judging of evidence. Men are commanded to "try the spirits," which can only be done by examination of evidence and testimony. A man, then, must produce proof of his assertion before his sanctification can be admitted by those whose fellowship he claims.
This is scriptural and rational, however much of bigotry and sectarianism there may be in it according to modern Christian liberalism, which, after all said, is but a species of infidelity.
If said claimant say, "I was sanctified when I experienced a hope of pardon;" and on further inquiry, he confess that he was ignorant of the purpose of God in relation to Palestine, the Twelve Tribes, and the nations, with Abraham, Christ, and the Saints' connection therewith; it is therefore certain, whatever he may have believed about Jesus, that he was ignorant of the gospel or the truth.
Devoid of this, no man can be sanctified, for it is the sanctifying principle. When Jesus prayed for the sanctification of his disciples he said, "Sanctify them by the truth: thy doctrine-ὁ λογος ὁ σος-is truth." The Spirit sanctifies when the doctrine of God sanctifies; and a man's sanctification by the truth is known when, confessing what Jesus confessed before Pilate, he is "washed, sanctified, and justified, by his name and God's Spirit"-1 Cor. 6:11; Rom. 10:8; 1 Tim. 6:3, 4, 12, 13.
The sanctification of men, be they dipped or sprinkled, baptized in ignorance of the promises covenanted to them who love God, is a dogma of the Apostacy, which we sincerely, earnestly, and faithfully, advise all to repudiate, who favour a return to the doctrine and practice of the primitive believers.
Herald of the Kingdom and Age to Come, March 1856
What is the essence of the idea here but this, that the false impression of the senses is to be combated by the implantation of knowledge which is beyond the reach of the senses? Christ is not within reach of the senses, because he is absent from the earth. If we trusted to our senses, we should believe that he was nothing - past, present, or to come.
God's communications with Israel and His deeds on their behalf are beyond reach of the senses, because we live not in the day of their occurrence, but in the interregnum of the divine work on earth.
... thus our natural selves are to ourselves the devil, whose impositions and temptations are to be continually resisted by the weapon of knowledge provided in the word.
This applied to the mind creates, and constantly applied, maintains, the right impression with regard to all these things; and this right impression, sedulously cultivated and obeyed, gives us the victory: for what is the victory that overcometh the world? Even our faith (1 John 5:4)
Bro Roberts - Light and darkness
A correspondent writes (from another group, troubled about the fog of spectulation and "new thought" and "non-traditionism" that is filling the Christadelphian air), "That's the thing about the Berean [magazine]: you never have to worry about what some writer is driving at."
We accept this comment thankfully, and as a great responsibility.
The Truth does not change: people just tire of it. What was sound in the days of our pioneer brethren Thomas and Roberts is sound today; and what was unsound then is unsound today.
"Progress" has an appealing ring: but from where to where? From soundness to unsoundness? From clarity to fog? From the Rock to the quicksand? We are old-fashioned, stick-in-the-mud, "traditionalist" -- everything that is anathema to the modern wave of speculation and "new thought", and we are thankful that in God's providence through brethren Thomas and Roberts we have been shown the soundness of the original Faith, and we intend, God willing, never to budge from it.
20 Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word;
To be included in Christ's prayer may seem a light and even sentimental matter at present. It will be apparent as a great and solid privilege when the prayer is answered in its final fulness: that
"they all may be one, as Thou father art in me and I in Thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that Thou has sent me"
This evidently refers to what Paul calls
"the day of the manifestation of the sons of God."
The world will "believe" when the saints are visibly revealed in the earth in their corporate unity and completeness, under Christ, at "the general assembly and ecclesia of the first-born" to whom the wealth and dignity and glory and honour of all the kingdoms of the world will be transferred.
The glory of their assembly will be their deathlessness and their absolute unity in mind and nature, caused by the brooding and indwelling among them of the One Eternal Spirit of Christ, who is "the Lord, the Spirit," through whom they will be one with the Father as he was.
Such a body of rulers and governors the world has never seen; strong and glad and beautiful in every faculty, a joy to one another, and a pure blessing to the nations of mankind over whom they will be placed; a perfect satisfaction to Christ, and a praise and a glory to the Father in heaven.
The development of such a body was the subject of Christ's prayer. It is a poor view of his words that limits the petition to mental unity among the few and weak disciples at any time living upon the earth during the dark days of probation. Such a unity is doubtless a beautiful thing, but it is never seen to perfection and never among "all" and has never had power to convince an unbelieving world.
The unity of an immortal multitude will be a very different thing. It will overawe with its impressiveness, and strike conviction into universal man, and tend to evoke that "glory to God in the highest" which is the first characteristic of the age of blessing which Jesus came to prepare the way for.
Nazareth Revisited Ch 55
21 That they all may be one [In Us]; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.
.. the Heavenlies in Christ are not luoghi, heux, or places, but STATES, the foundation of which is laid in Jesus Christ - Deity manifested in the Flesh. "The Man Christ Jesus" is a real man. When on earth he was "holy, harmless, undefiled, and sinless," as to character; yet imperfect as to his material nature.
He is now perfect - a perfect man "justified by spirit," and therefore incorruptible and immortal - a perfect character or moral nature, developed by Divine power, or spirit, into a perfect material nature.
But Christ is also an allegorical man, as Hagar and Sarah were two allegorical women; the former representing the Mosaic Covenant; the latter, the New, or Abrahamic, Covenant.
From the days of Moses until the Day of Pentecost, A.D. 34, the whole twelve tribes were constitutionally in their mother Hagar, or the Jerusalem system then in existence, and in bondage with her children.
But on that celebrated day a new system was initiatorily developed, the Sarah Covenant, styled "the Jerusalem above the Mother of us all."
Isaac was Sarah's son, and allegorically slain, and allegorically raised. The saints are all in Isaac; for "in Isaac shall thy seed be called." This seed is Christ; not Jesus only; but that great multitude also which no man can number.
This "One Body" of people headed up in Deity is the allegorical or figurative Christ. They are the children of the promise as Isaac was; the free-born sons of Sarah the free woman. This is their state, without regard to the place or country of earth or heaven, where they might be supposed to be. But, if there had been no literal or personal Christ, there could have been no such Christ-State for Jews and Gentiles.
Jesus of Nazareth was allegorically "a number which no man could number." He himself taught this, saying, "he that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit:" and, "Father, I pray for them who shall believe into me (eis eme) through the apostles' word: that they all may be one in us" (John 10:5; 17:20,21).
Though few compared with the whole race of man, it is a great company absolutely - a people taken out from all the generations and the nations for the Divine Name.
Now the apostles have proved beyond all confutation that Jesus is the Messiah or Christ of Yahweh promised to Abraham, David and Judah. Hence, all that is said about the Christ in the Old Testament must, sooner or later, be fulfilled in Jesus.
But the prophets exhibit the Christ, not as a solitary man only, but also as a man of Multitude, as we have abundantly shown. Therefore, Jesus and his apostles preached the Christ in the same form -- as One Person, and a Multitude in that One, in and through all of whom the Eternal Spirit would dwell and manifest His power.
"I and the Father," said Jesus, "are One" ONE YAHWEH; and concerning his apostles, and all Jews and Gentiles believing into him through the apostles' testimony, he also said, "I pray that they all may be one; 'as' Thou Father art in me and I in Thee, that they also may be ONE IN US -- that they may be one even as we are one; I in them and Thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one" (John 17:21) -- in One YAHWEH; that is, in the one perfect Man of the Spirit, styled Jehovah, Yahweh, or Yah, because HE SHALL BE.
"Hear, O Israel, Yahweh, our Mighty Ones is One Yahweh."
Phanerosis - And At His Feet As The Aspect Of Glowing Brass
23 I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.
Now, in the apocalypse, THE ECCLESIA is symbolized by a persecuted woman; by the 144,000; by the temple of the Deity and the Holy City; and by the Lamb's wife made ready (xii. 6; vii. 4; xi. 1,2; xix. 7): while "the Church" so-called, is styled
"the Synagogue of the Satan;" "the Court of the Gentiles without the temple;" "the Great City, spiritually called Sodom and Egypt;" "a woman clothed with the Sun, and the Moon under her feet and upon her head a crown of twelve stars;" "Mystery, Babylon the Great, the Mother of Harlots and Abominations of the Earth," and "Names of Blasphemy" (ii. 9; iii. 9; xi. 2,8; xii. 1; xvii. 3,5).
Between these two institutions, there has been since their contemporary development irreconcileable "enmity." So long as the Brethren of the Ecclesia are faithful to the Word of the Deity, there can be nothing else; for they are "the Seed of the Woman," who "keep the commandments of the Deity, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ" (Gen. iii. 15; Apoc. xii. 17): while "the Church" is "the Seed of the Serpent;" and between these two seeds, the Deity has put an "enmity," which can only cease by the destruction of one or the other party, or by apostasy from the truth.
The enmity between these hostile institutions is amply illustrated in the apocalypse. Thus, the Church, or Court of the Gentiles, treads under foot the Ecclesia, or Holy City, forty and two symbolical months; and the Church again, becomes
"drunken with the blood of the Saints, and with the blood of the witnesses of Jesus."
...This state of things, however, in connection with the Body of Christ, did not obtain in the beginning. There were then no rival bodies, each claiming superiority over the other. "There is," says Paul, "one Body;" and that body he styles "the Ecclesia;" of which the Head is Jesus; and the foundation, the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself the chief corner (Eph. iv. 4; i. 22,23; ii. 20).
In the beginning, the members of this body were brethren, the sons of the Deity; and consequently, the brethren of Jesus Christ. There were no sects, nor any Catholic or Protestant churches. But all the brethren were of one mind and disposition; or, in the words of Luke,
"the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul;"
an original unity to which the Brethren of the Ecclesia in all ages and generations, are earnestly exhorted, both by their Elder Brother and Lord, and his apostles.
24 Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world.
The foundation of the world
The things laid, or fixed, in the rudimental constitution of the world, may be summarily stated in the following particulars;
1. Sin in the flesh, the enemy of God, contending for the dominion of the world.
2. Mankind in a state of nature, subject to the propensities, and to pain, trouble, and death.
3. Labour and toil the condition of existence in the present state.
4. The subjection of woman to the lordship of man.
To these things was established a divine antagonism, by which they might be controlled; and a system of things elaborate in conformity with the purpose of God. This part of the foundation may be stated as,
1. The law and truth of God as expressed in "His way," demanding unreserved submission to its authority.
2. Mankind under the influence of this truth assuredly believed, contending for it.
3. Divine power exhibited in the punishment of men, and in the performance of His promises.
The action and re-action of these agencies upon one another was to produce,
1. An enmity and war in the earth between the sin-power and the institution opposed to it.
2. A bloody persecution of the adherents of the truth.
3. The destruction of the sin-power by a Personage to be manifested for the purpose; and
4. The consequent victory of divine truth, and establishment of the Kingdom of God.
Elpis Israel 1.4.
The foundation of the kosmos Ex 5,6,8.
Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine:
And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel...
And all the people answered together, and said, All that the Lord hath spoken we will do. And Moses returned the words of the people unto the Lord.
They now constituted the One Body of Moses, and the Firstborn Son of Yahweh (Exod. 4:22; Zech. 3:2; Jude 9): and when they arrived at Sinai, fifty days after the institution of the Passover, they became the kingdom of the Deity (Exod. 19:5,6,8). These events signalize the katabole tou kosmou, or '"foundation of the world;" to which frequent reference is made in the New Testament, in connection with the prepositions pro, before, and apo, from, since, etc. (Matt. 25:34; 13:35; Luke 11:50; Jhn. 17:24).
Luke 11: 50 refers back to the blood of Abel 'the period of laying the foundation of the world' Elpis Israel 1.4.