In the Apostle John’s gospel, chapter 17 verse 19 we find Jesus Christ praying to the Father about the disciples He had chosen to take His gospel message to the world. In this verse Jesus–a man like all other men–noted that He had sanctified Himself–set Himself aside for holy use, thereby making Himself one with the Father. He then said that that He wanted the disciples to be sanctified exactly as He was, thereby making themselves one with each other and one with God. My focus in this instance is on how Jesus and the disciples would be sanctified. He told us in verse 17 that like Himself, they could only be sanctified “… BY THE TRUTH,” which He identified as GOD’S WORD–THE ONLY SPIRITUAL TRUTH AVAILABLE TO MANKIND.
It is here that many well-meaning but Truth challenged God seekers are lured off God’s narrow way by Satan’s false prophets. It is assumed by the whole of professing Christendom that, having done what their particular sect requires, they are “saved, sanctified and born again” as the result of an act of God that supposedly took place upon finishing the prescribed ritual known globally as “the salvation experience.” Let it be known that the “salvation experience” is nothing more than an introduction to the concept of Jesus Christ and His work among men. What church people believe to be the end of the line is only the first step. As I showed in my YouTube series titled Jacob’s Ladder, there is a great gulf between the first (introductory) step and the final step that places one at the Lord’s side. Satan has convinced churchman that there is only one step–the first one in which one supposedly gets saved, sanctified and rebirthed. Jesus was right in Revelation 12:9–Satan has indeed deceived the whole world.
For the Truth about instant salvation, sanctification, rebirth, mansion assignment, etc. let us return to that day at the Jordan River when John saw his cousin Jesus coming to him to be baptized. Let us envision the scene. We see Jesus, about Whom John declares: is more righteous than John himself; that He was the Lamb of God who would take away the sins of the world; that he was before him. Along with this John saw the Holy Spirit descend and light on Jesus Who would baptize true saints in that Holy Spirit. In addition to all of this taking place, God Himself announced audibly that “This is My beloved Son in Whom I am well pleased” (Mat. 3:17). Because of all these things taking place at the time of Christ’s unveiling, the church has assumed that He had been sanctified (set aside for holy use) by God during the process. Not so, if we can take the Lord’s Word as fact. Not only did Jesus have to sanctify Himself, He had to do it by believing and obeying the Father’s Word–JUST LIKE ANY OTHER MAN. Recall in verse 17 that Jesus asked the Father to sanctify the disciples BY HIS WORD. Here we have what appears to be a contradiction concerning who does the sanctifying. Let it be known that Jesus said that He could do nothing by His own power. Neither could the disciples. It is true that God does the actual sanctifying, but MAN, INCLUDING JESUS, HAS TO WILLINGLY ENTER INTO SANCTIFICATION BY BELIEVING AND OBEYING GOD’S WORD. Sanctification, like salvation and rebirth, is not automatic. Rather, one must obey God in order to qualify for those blessed gifts. To qualify one must believe and obey God’s Word–His roadmap to eternal life. Having and believing that the map is authentic will not result in salvation. One must follow His instructions (map) in order to reach the desired destination–the Kingdom of God (not heaven).
Relative to sanctification, salvation, etc., Jesus includes those who would hear, believe and obey the Words of the apostles in verse 20. Note the emphasis on the disciples WORDS. And what Words would these be? In Matthew 4:4 Jesus tells us that in order to join Him in paradise we must “… live by EVERY WORD SPOKEN BY GOD” to His prophets and apostles which they recorded to be used as the foundation of the New Testament Church (Eph. 2:20). In Matthew 24:14 we find Jesus speaking about the necessity of believing and obeying the Father’s Word: “And THIS gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness (of God’s will) to all nations, then the end will come.”
The problem with professing Christendom is that she is failing on several levels, one of which is to heed Christ’s warning found in Matthew 24:3-5. Here the disciples have asked Him about the sign of His return to earth (to set up the Kingdom of God). Jesus answered by warning them (and us) not to be deceived by men who would lead us away from God and into the devil’s religious abyss. Alas, some 99% of God seekers have failed to heed His warning. Knowing this, Jesus prophesied that only a “few” would “find” and “strive to enter” His strait (difficult) gate and walk His narrow (very restrictive) way which leads to eternal life (Mat. 7:13,14). As Jesus warned, “many” (the vast majority of) God seekers have preferred to have their ears scratched by Satan’s false prophets and have become Catholics and Protestants–the mother whore (mystery, Babylon) and her harlot daughters (Rev. 17:1-5). God warns seekers to “come out of her (the Institutional Church) and be separate, touch not the unclean thing.” Then, and only then He says, He will be our God and we will be His people (2 Cor. 6:17,18). L.J.