(NOTE: This is a ‘rough draft’ of a chapter of my finished book- available on Amazon via Title Link: Thy Kingdom Come- Here and Now!)
Chapter 16: Called, Commissioned, and Empowered
We find ourselves at the end of the Church Age, where I believe that many who are alive today- prayerfully myself included- will live to see the return of the Lord Jesus Christ. The Second Coming will occur at a time when the darkness has so enveloped the planet, that unless the Lord returns quickly at that point- no one of His blood-bought children would survive. I want to stress that this book does not promote, nor do I subscribe to the erroneous theology of what has been called “The Kingdom Now” movement. Their premise is that the church will grow and take over all areas of society, transforming the planet into an ideal and unified society and culture that will then welcome the Lord to reign, peacefully establishing His Kingdom on the earth.
This theology is bankrupt for the Scriptures are very clear: although Christ has paid the price and rightfully holds the title deed to earth, the world still sits in the lap of satan and is under his power. The boat in the midst of the sea of humanity is the church, the remnant of called out ones who respond to the call of God and are chosen to be heirs of salvation. We will see the Lord take over, but the battle with the forces of darkness will rage ever more intense until His Glorious Appearing. Thankfully to His glory, the harvest between now and the full inauguration of His reign will bring at least one billion souls into the Kingdom.
2 Thessalonians 1:5-12… A plain indication of the righteous judgment of God, that you may be accounted worthy of the Kingdom of God, for which also you suffer; Since it is just with God to repay with affliction those afflicting you, And to you who are being afflicted, rest with us at the revelation of the Lord Jesus from Heaven with the angels of His power, in flaming fire, Rendering vengeance to those who do not know God and to those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. They will pay the penalty of eternal destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His strength When He comes to be glorified in His saints and to be marveled at in all those who have believed… in that day. For which also we pray always concerning you, that our God may count you worthy of your calling and may fulfill in power your every good intention for goodness and your work of faith, So that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in Him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.
The Apostle John was privileged to record in his gospel the encouragement that the Lord gave to His disciples just prior to His passion, resurrection, and ascension to the right hand of the Father. This is our instruction as well for successfully participating in His Last Days ministry as ambassadors of His Glorious Kingdom, for He is its Glory.
John 14:1-3… Do not let your heart be troubled; believe into God, believe also into Me. In My Father’s house are many abodes; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I am coming again and will receive you to Myself, so that where I am you also may be.
God’s building is His living habitation with His redeemed people. We are the temple being jointly fitted together… the New Jerusalem and Mount Zion which will descend from Heaven to earth at the right time of the full manifestation of God’s presence.
vv6-12… Jesus said to him, I am the way and the reality and the life; no one comes to the Father except through Me. If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; and henceforth you know Him and have seen Him. Philip said to Him, Lord, show us the Father and it is sufficient for us. Jesus said to him, Have I been so long a time with you, and you have not known Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; how is it that you say, Show us the Father?
Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me? The words that I say to you I do not speak from Myself, but the Father who abides in Me does His works. Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me; but if not, believe because of the works themselves. Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes into Me, the works which I do he shall do also; and greater works than these he shall do because I am going to the Father.
The Trinity is the reality of God which He desires to reveal in us and through us. He is one and yet He is three- the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. The Son is the embodiment and expression of the Father, and the Spirit is the full realization of the Son in His pervasive presence. God the Father is hidden, God the Son has been manifested among men, and God the Spirit enters into redeemed man to be his life and life supply. Therefore the Triune God who is One… the Father in the Son and the Son as the Holy Spirit- imparts Himself into us through the new birth to be our portion that we enjoy Him as everything to us in His divine Trinity.
vv15-18,20… If you love Me, you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Comforter, that He may be with you forever, Even the Spirit of reality, whom the world cannot receive, because He abides with you and shall be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I am coming to you… In that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you.
The Spirit of reality (truth) is the Spirit of Christ (Romans 8:9). The Lord Jesus through His death, burial, and resurrection- releases His life-giving Spirit. This mystery is revealed here for the first time: the promise of the Spirit’s indwelling presence (see 1Corinthians 6:19; 15:45 and Romans 8:11). What an awesome privilege and responsibility we have in representing the Trinity as those who carry His presence everywhere we go. We must be ever vigilant to do so with dignity, humility, and obedient submission to His perfect will that we may do the greater works that Jesus prophesied we would do. Can we mature in this? Yes and Amen!
vv21,23,26-27… He who has My commandments and keeps them, he is the one who loves Me; and he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and will manifest Myself to him… If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word, and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make an abode with him.
…the Comforter, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things and remind you of all the things which I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
When the Spirit comes, He comes with the Father and the Son, which is further proof that the three are one God. The Trinity is dispensing Himself into us in His divine life to be our life, our love, our everything. Praise His Holy Name… Hallelujah!!!
John 15:1-11… I am the true vine, and My Father is the husbandman. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes it away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it that it may bear more fruit. You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. Abide in Me and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me. I am the vine; you are the branches. He who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit; for apart from Me you can do nothing.
If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is dried up; and they gather them and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. If you abide in Me and My words abide in you, ask whatever you will, and it shall be done for you. In this is My Father glorified, that you bear much fruit and so you will become My disciples. As the Father has loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love. If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; even as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love. These things I have spoken to you that My joy may be in you and that your joy may be made full.
This represents the full tree of life expressing the Triune God’s divine life, and we have a part in it as His branches! The Father is seen as the cultivator (husbandman), who is the source, the planner, and all the substance to the vine. The Son as the vine is the full embodiment of all the riches of the Godhead. We express the Father in a corporate way through the branches, with the Son as the vine and center of God’s economy. When we abide in Christ and allow Him and His word to abide in us- we are truly one with Him. He works within us through our prayers, for when we abide and pray, He is praying as well in our praying. This is the catalyst to fruitfulness, which glorifies the Father. He speaks into us and as we obey, we demonstrate our love to Him bringing Him joy. This joy ‘circulates’ to us giving us a joyful life no matter what circumstances befall us.
vv12-17… This is My commandment, that you love one another even as I have loved you. No one has greater love than this, that one lay down his life for his friends. You are My friends if you do what I command you. No longer do I call you slaves, for the slave does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all the things which I have heard from My Father I have made known to you. You did not choose Me, but I chose you, and I set you that you should go forth and bear fruit and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name, He may give you. These things I command you that you may love one another.
The fruitfulness described here is not the personal character development that we find in Galatians 5:22. The fruit of the Spirit maturing in us are akin to what is stated in Colossians 1:27… Christ in you, the hope of glory. The virtues that we possess through abiding in Christ are not counted as the Lord’s multiplication. In the context of the vine and branches, the Lord Jesus is directly speaking to our producing other believers who are mentored into producing other believers as well. This does not happen unless we invest our time in personal relationship for their spiritual nourishment and growth in maturity, which includes their personal character growth as seen in the Galatians passage, and their producing other believers also- and investing themselves into them. This is tangible demonstration of how we are to love one another as Christ has loved us… and our self-sacrifice under the leading of the Holy Spirit will bear fruit a hundredfold, sixtyfold, and thirtyfold. Single-minded devotion to the Lord lead by His Spirit will cause us to bear fruit in great abundance.
John 16:7-15… But I tell you the truth, It is expedient for you that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Comforter will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you. And when He comes, He will convict the world concerning sin and concerning righteousness and concerning judgment: Concerning sin, because they do not believe into Me; And concerning righteousness, because I am going to the Father and you no longer behold Me; And concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world has been judged.
I have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. But when He, the Spirit of reality, comes, He will guide you into all the reality; for He will not speak from Himself, but what He hears He will speak; and He will declare to you the things that are coming. He will glorify Me, for He will receive of Mine and will declare it to you. All that the Father has is Mine; for this reason I have said that He receives of Mine and will declare it to you.
In Adam we were born in sin. The only hope for mankind is to believe in Christ Jesus, the Son of God who alone paid the full price for our redemption. He is righteousness to us, and we are justified in Him alone (Romans 3:24; 4:25). Those of humanity who do not repent and believe in Christ remain in sin and will share the judgment of satan for eternity. These are the main points of the gospel which the Holy Spirit uses to convict the world through us.
Secondly, the work of the Holy Spirit is to guide believers into all truth (reality), to make all that Jesus the Son is and has real to each believer. All that the Father is and has is embodied in the Son (Colossians 2:9), and all that the Son is and has is declared as truth and reality to believers through the Spirit. This glorifies the Son with the Father, and is the tangible reality of the Triune God being worked into and mingled with believers.
Thirdly, the Spirit reveals and declares the things that are to come; all that has yet to manifest according to God the Father’s economy. He brings to mind gems out of the whole counsel of God and shows correlation, confirmation, and present truth revelation that opens up the depth of meaning of God’s Word to us, that to many is otherwise inscrutable. Declaring the future before it happens is a bold method of bringing attention and conviction to unbelievers concerning the claims of Christ and the reality and true implications of existence which can only be understood in the light of God’s Holy Word. This work of the Spirit in its three aspects correspond with the three sections of the Apostle John’s writings: his Gospel, his Epistles, and the book of Revelation.
v33… These things I have spoken to you that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have affliction, but take courage; I have overcome the world.
This world in great distress is perplexing. Not only do we who are children of God carry the eternal treasure in earthen vessels, but we have the full awareness that most of mankind is launching into eternity unprepared. This is one of the most troubling aspects of life- fully knowing the truth in His divine person, and yet so very few receive this saving knowledge and act upon it. With humble gratitude we must allow the burden of God’s heart to become our burden. As Benny Hinn says Winning the lost at any cost, should be our mandate as well. And thanking God for the peace that surpasses all knowledge, we can be courageous to be overcomers in this world as He is.
John 17:1-5… These things Jesus spoke, and lifting up His eyes to Heaven, He said, Father, the hour has come; glorify Your Son that the Son may glorify You; Even as You have given Him authority over all flesh to give eternal life to all whom You have given Him. And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Him who You have sent, Jesus Christ. I have glorified You on earth, finishing the work which You have given Me to do. And now, glorify Me along with Yourself, Father, with the glory which I had with You before the world was.
Ponder this again with me: the God of all things (more than just this universe) condescended to come to earth to be incarnated in flesh. This flesh was God’s tabernacle or place of dwelling. His divinity was concealed and confined in His humanity, just as God’s shekinah glory had been concealed within the tabernacle. We see Him on the mount of transfiguration once, when His divinity flashed in His humanity and His glory was released (Matthew 17:1-4; John 1:14). In anticipation of His death, He looks beyond His passion to the resurrection that would uplift His humanity into His divine nature, with the result that His entire being- His divinity and His humanity would be glorified. By this the Father would be glorified in Him.
John 17 truly is the Lord’s prayer because it declares the divine mystery that would be fulfilled in three stages. First, in Christ’s resurrection where His divinity was released from within His humanity into believers. Then second, it is being fulfilled in the church where the Father and Son and Holy Spirit are continually being glorified as His resurrection life continues to be expressed through His many members. Third it will ultimately be fulfilled in the New Jerusalem, where He will be fully expressed in glory through the Bride of Christ and Her divine Bridegroom, the Lord Jesus for all eternity.
It is of special note to consider v5 more closely. Jesus says, “And now, glorify Me along with Yourself, Father, with the glory which I had with You before the world was.” This verse alone would be sufficient to affirm the deity of Christ, for only a lunatic would make such a statement if it were not true. And yet we have the many infallible proofs of the whole counsel of Godthat fully confirm not only the deity of Christ but also the truth of all Scripture.He had divine glory along with the Father in eternity past, before the world was created. He never lost or forfeited His divinity, it was only veiled so that the emphasis could be on His humanity empowered by the Holy Spirit. This is to give each of us clear encouragement and challenge to walk as He walked in the world: in full submission to the will of the Father, and thereby empowered to walk in Kingdom authority by the power of the Holy Spirit.
vv6-10… I have manifested Your name to the men whom You gave Me out of the world. They were Yours, and You gave them to Me, and they have kept Your word. Now they have come to know that all that You have given Me is from You, For the words which You gave Me I have given to them, and they received them and knew truly that I came forth from You, and they have believed that You have sent Me. I ask concerning them, I do not ask concerning the world, but concerning those whom You have given Me, for they are Yours; and all that is Mine is Yours, and Yours Mine; and I have been glorified in them.
The names God and Jehovah were revealed in many aspects in the Old Testament, along with many of the other names of the Godhead. The name that Jesus is fully unveiling here is the name Father, which was only mentioned briefly in several passages in the book of Isaiah. The Lord came to manifest and make the Father known to all those who belonged to the Father from the foundation of the world; all of us whose names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life. We are likewise to declare the Father, which is why we pray to the Father in Jesus’ name- receiving the answer by the work of the Holy Spirit and the ministering holy angels of God.
It is ever so critical to realize that the Lord Jesus is not praying for the world- as He clearly states He is asking not concerning the world, but only those whom the Father has given Him. It is clear to me that from eternity past, the Godhead knew not only the end of the creation from the beginning, but also every single person- man, woman, and child who would come to the saving knowledge of the truth and become forevermore children of God and of His Kingdom. This sober truth must be allowed to engender in each of us permanent humility, gratitude, and instant obedience to the leading of the Spirit for we are those who are privileged beyond comprehension.
vv11-17… And I am no longer in the world; yet they are in the world, and I am coming to You. Holy Father, keep them in Your name, which You have given to Me, that they may be one even as We are [One]. When I was with them, I kept them in Your name, which You have given to Me, and I guarded them; and not one of them perished, except the son of perdition, that the Scripture might be fulfilled. But now I am coming to You, and these things I speak in the world that they may have My joy made full in themselves.
I have given them Your word, and the world has hated them, because they are not of the world even as I am not of the world. I do not ask that You would take them out of the world, but that You would keep them out of the hands of the evil one. They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth.
The Lord Jesus in v11 makes one of the deepest requests that can possibly be made. He is asking, apparently according to the will of the Father, that all of His true disciples would experience and live out the oneness that He, the Father, and the Holy Spirit share intimately. This is the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace that we as believers are to daily strive for. In making His permanent habitation in man, this Holy God has crafted one of the most overwhelming realities, Christ in us, the hope and reality of glory. We must enjoy the Father’s name- the Father Himself, as the primary factor of our oneness.
It is interesting that He also states that He is not asking that we would be removed from this troubled planet, but that the enemy would not be allowed to do us permanent damage. Let’s take a moment to tie this together with two other Scriptures:
Acts 1:8… But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you, and you shall be my witnesses both in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria and unto the uttermost part(s) of the earth.
Revelation 12:11… And they overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony, and they loved not their [lives] unto death.
In the Acts reference- the word witnesses is literally martyrs. These have died to self so that we can bear a living testimony of the resurrected Christ. And even in our witness, the Revelation verse is ever operative: We overcome the enemy by the blood of Jesus which we are sealed by, stopping all accusations of the adversary against us and giving us full victory over him. Our testimony is that of a transformed life in a new creation, and the proclamation of the gospel of the Kingdom, just as the Lord Himself declared. We acknowledge that nothing, not even death will separated us from the love of God (study carefully all 39 verses of Romans 8).
John 17:18-26… As You have sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world. And for their sake I sanctify Myself, that they themselves also may be sanctified in truth. And I do not ask concerning these only, but concerning those also who believe into Me through their word, That they all may be one; even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us; that the world may believe that You have sent Me.
And the glory which You have given Me I have given to them, that they may be one, even as We are one; I in them, and You in Me, that they may be perfected into one, that the world may know that You have sent Me and have loved them even as You have loved Me. Father, concerning that which You have given Me, I desire that they also may be with Me where I am, that they may behold My glory, which You have given Me, for You have loved Me before the foundation of the world. Righteous Father, though the world has not known You, yet I have known You, and these have known that You have sent Me. And I have made Your name known to them and will yet make it known, that the love with which You have loved Me may be in them, and I in them.
The Father sent the Son into the world on a mission of mercy: to rescue the creation and specifically man who was made in His image and after His likeness. If we are truly Christians, then we are little Christs (little anointed ones) whom the Lord Jesus has sent into the world on the same mission of mercy. Another critical aspect of our oneness according to God’s holy purposes is our sanctification, which is separation from the world unto God- accomplished through adherence to the revealed will of God in His Holy Word. The glory that we receive through Christ is manifested in corporate oneness and expression of the Triune God. It still shocks me to think that the Father loves us even as He does Christ Jesus! He gave His Son His life, His nature, His glory, and fullness that Jesus might fully express Him. In turn the Father loves us by giving believers in the same way His life, His nature, His glory, and His fullness that we might reveal the Father’s love as well… imparted to us, and through us to others. We are to be the ultimate corporate expression of the Triune God consummated in the New Jerusalem, the Zion of God, and continuing in divine glory throughout eternity future.
The world system ingrained in most of humanity prevents them from hearing the truth, and experiencing any conviction of sin; much less the righteousness and judgment of the Holy Spirit. Those who repent and turn to face a new direction are all going against the tide, but it is well worth it for we then get to swim in the deep things of God for all eternity. Deep truly calls unto deep. The love of the Father and the burden of His heart for His called out ones gives each of us a continuing sense of this eternal love. It compels us to go and do what we must… bring into the Kingdom all those who are ordained for salvation, and called to freely express God and His glory for all eternity.
End of Chapter citations in rough draft format (Final Chapter 17 & Resource Directory not included).