In the previous posting we learned that faith alone will save no one, which is the exact opposite to what I was told for decades from pulpit and podium. I, like most, if not all of you were taught that to be saved one need only believe in Jesus, go through the prescribed ritual, get baptized and be active in church. God having shown us what “believeth” means to Him, let us now move on to other word lessons taught in John 3:16,17.
The next words we will examine are “through Him.” This expression, though normally passed over without serious thought, is one of the most important statements found in the Bible in that to be saved “through Him” (Jesus) one must first be “in Him.” One cannot go “through” a tunnel unless one is “in” the tunnel. To be “in Him” one must be led by God’s Holy Spirit (Rom. 8:1,2). Only they who are led by His Spirit are His children: “They who are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God” (Rom. 8:14). The “Spirit of Truth” leads God seekers to His Word, then empowers them to obey that Word unto salvation. Those who seriously study the Word according to Isaiah 58:10,13 know that God sent Jesus into the world to save those who “believe” (obey) Him and thereby live “through (“in”) Him.” Note that He said through Paul that He will return to earth only for those who are “in” Him: “But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep (have died), …. God will bring with Him those who sleep IN CHRIST. We who are alive until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep (dead). For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead IN CHRIST will rise (from the grave) first. Then those who are alive and remain (in Christ) shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air” (1 Thes. 4:13-17). As has been shown in The Kingdom of God postings, Jesus and His saints will then descend to the Mount of Olives where they will set up God’s earthly kingdom in the Holy Land. Paul was assuring the Thessalonian church that those saints who had died IN CHRIST would be resurrected from the dead upon His second advent. In fact, he told them, the dead will rise to meet Jesus in the air before those who are still living at the time. It is at that time–the first resurrection–that rebirth (man’s change from physical to spiritual bodily consistency) will take place.
Those who live “in Christ” (believe Him) and “through Him” (obey Him) during their lives are the subjects of Christ’s concern. This is brought out in the 17th chapter of John’s gospel where Jesus is praying to the Father on behalf of His disciples and those who would believe and obey their words. In verse six He acknowledges that the disciples belong to God BECAUSE, and only because, they “… have kept (obeyed) Thy Word … the Word which THOU HAST GIVEN ME” (Jn. 17:8). Jesus then made a statement that has been summarily rejected by the church masses: “I PRAY NOT FOR THE WORLD ….” This is a shocking revelation to most church people. But let us remember that He spoke to multitudes IN PARABLES so that they could not understand the mysteries of the Kingdom of God. The Lord prays ONLY for those who keep God’s Word (Jn. 17:6). He declared to His Father, “I have given them (the disciples) Thy Word,” which rendered them “… not of the world, even as I am not of the world.” He stated in verse nine that HE DID NOT PRAY FOR THE WORLD, but only for HIS OWN–those who had “… kept thy Word.” Notice that He prays only for His disciples–those who believe/obey God’s Words. These are they whom God has sanctified (separated) from the world. These are “… NOT OF the world,” but are set aside (sanctified) FROM the world in which they live. This separation takes place because God has answered Jesus’ prayer for Him to “Sanctify them through Thy Truth; Thy Word is Truth” (Jn. 17:17). SANCTIFICATION ONLY TAKES PLACE THROUGH BELIEF IN AND OBEDIENCE TO GOD’S WORD, not the false truth put forth by the Counterfeit Church. Jesus went on to say that He prayed, not for the world, but for those who would become His disciples by believing/obeying God’s Word in the future. Today those disciples comprise God’s remnant church. Note again that there is no mention of Jesus praying FOR THE WORLD, but only for those who believe/obey His and His Father’s Words. By doing so true saints are “…IN US”–Jesus and the Father (Jn. 17:21). In summary: Jesus prays (intercedes) only for those who remain “in Him” by believing/obeying His Father’s Words, thereby becoming and remaining cleansed: “You are already CLEAN because of the WORD which I have spoken to you” (Jn. 15:3). This is what He meant by saying that true saints are “… sanctified and cleansed by the washing by the Word” making them “holy and without blame” (Eph. 15:26,27). As this website has been commissioned to tell those who have ears to hear and eyes to see, the two billion plus unwitting souls who have been lured by Satan into Catholicism/Protestantism are not sanctified, cleansed, holy and blameless saints. They are not IN CHRIST because they do not live THROUGH HIM. They have not been washed by the water by the Word in that they neither believe nor obey that Word. In order for those of professing Christendom to inherit eternal life they must COME OUT OF THE WORLD AND ITS WORLDLY CHURCH SYSTEM, BE WASHED BY THE WORD AND WALK IN CHRIST AND THROUGH CHRIST BY BELIEVING/OBEYING THAT WORD, THEREBY REMAINING CLEANSED UNTIL THE RETURN OF THE LORD. If God is to be believed, there is no other way to enter His kingdom. “Cursed be the man who trusts in man” (Jer. 17:5). L.J.