Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Polarization via Different Unities - John 17

How many of you remember that old Coca-Cola commercial that talked about how "I'd like to teach the world to sing, in perfect harmony"?
If you've never seen it or can't remember it (I bet you do!) here is the commercial for your viewing:
In Perfect Harmony

Then of course there was that song that was produced by numerous famous song writers, We Are the World. This was a tremendous ensemble of musical artists like Ray Charles, Kenny Rogers, Michael Jackson, Cindy Lauper, Lionel Richie, Bob Dylan and very many others who came together for a charity event to help the starving of Africa.

Now, don't get me wrong - it's not my intention to denigrate or criticize the intentions and purpose of this effort, but it does demonstrate certain false assumptions that serve to create a sense of false unity in the world.

Before I get too far into this examination however, I must admit that as I watched the video, I did get a bit misty-eyed. Who doesn't yearn for peace and harmony in our world? Who doesn't want charitable and loving gestures of compassion to be expressed to everyone in our world?

Everyone would be happy to see an end to suffering, to poverty, to war and violence and injustice of course - but upon what basis? What vehicle will be utilized as the foundation for this peace that we are all seeking for in our world?

Here are a couple of lines from the song, We Are The World:

"We're all part of God's family" Tina Turner sang.

"God has shown us by turning stone to bread" and Willy Nelson added.
Isn't it interesting that this twisting of Scripture should be done in just this manner.

God never changed stone to bread; it was Satan's temptation of Jesus to do so when He was on His forty day fast (LUKE 4:1-13). And what was the LORD's answer? "Man shall not live by bread alone but by every Word of God." While such charity is commendable for the poor and needy of Africa (I used to collect for UNICEF as a child (something I don't recommend however due to UN policy) and today I sponsor a child through Compassion Int'l.) but after feeding their bodies, what was done for their eternal souls?

We are indeed to "LIVE by EVERY WORD of GOD"!

Of course, and sadly - it's not at all true that we are all part of God's family, though God would have it so, I'm sure, such is His love for the souls He has created, but the truth must be told.

We are not all God's children:

JOHN 1:10-13
He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not.
11 He came unto his own, and his own received him not.
12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:
13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

The world did not know Him - the very One that is their Creator! He was a stranger to them all, and just as was the case with Israel ("His own") so too with the majority of the world: "they received Him not" (See LUKE 13:22-24; MATT 7:13-15; JOHN 3:18-20).

To be a part of God's family one must receive Christ, and then through the supernatural act of God, be born spiritually anew "by the will . . . of God". Until a person is reconciled to God (make peace) for the sins committed in their lives by receiving the atonement of Jesus and His shed blood on the Cross for those sins, they can never know true, lasting peace in their hearts. And if no peace exists in the hearts of humanity, there can be no peace in this world! None (though a false peace is coming via the anti-Christ in the last days to come)!

So there are actually 'two families' represented in the world - the family ("children") of God: see
ROM 8:16-17,21; GAL 3:26; 1 JOHN 5:2, among many other passages.

ROMANS 8:15-17
For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.
The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:
And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.

And the children of disobedience, children of the devil the wicked one, of darkness:
MATT 13:38; JOHN 8:43-45; COL 3:6; 1 JOHN 3:10; 1 THESS 5:4-8.

1 JOHN 3:10 
In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother.

Of course any that "does righteousness" are those who trust Jesus Christ the Righteous as their LORD and SAVIOR; those that trust in His work on the Cross have only one work to fulfill themselves:

JOHN 6:28-29
Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God?
Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.

But as mentioned previously, those who are the children of the devil will not believe, will not receive and thus remain part of this present world and not included in the kingdom of God.

Thus we have a polarization in our reality - ever since the beginning of time (and perhaps even before then) a disunity was created when Lucifer rebelled against God and one third of the angels joined with him (REV 12:4).

That disunity, that inharmonious cacophony was spread to the earth when Satan (either in form or possession of the serpent in the garden) tempted Eve and both she and Adam fell into sin, procuring then a sin nature that was passed onto their progeny - thus subjects of the new ruler ("god") of this world (2 COR 4:4) who has been the lord over all of the world system now for well over six thousand years.

How can one teach the world to sing "in perfect harmony" when we are as a race in rebellion against our Creator? Upon what foundation would such a harmony be built if not upon God and His Truth?

It will be built upon the foundation of God's enemy, Satan and based upon the lie instead (2 THESS 2:10-12).

Yet when Christ Jesus came to this world, lived among us, taught us the Truth, and finally died upon the Cross for our sins, rose from the dead and imparted the life-giving Spirit to indwell all who would by faith, receive such salvation and become the children of God (Remember JOHN 1:12), there was a union restored with our Creator Who then became our "Abba, Father".

We can see this polarization then between the children of light - God's own; and the children of darkness - those still enslaved by Satan and sin. There are those in the church today, wolves and heretics all: who are trying to blur the lines of this spiritual distinction; that we of the church can and should have fellowship with and work alongside the people of this world. They teach that we are to be busy about building God's kingdom on earth.

Yet no where in Scripture is the church given this mandate. We are to preach the Gospel for the salvation of souls, delivering them from sin and death and hell through no other authority but by Christ Jesus - to Whom belongs all the glory as this is truly His work through us and not our own. We are to be committed to those things which are above, that is the eternal kingdom of God; not temporary things below here in this world - we are to "set [our] affections" in heaven! (COL 3:1-3).

The Kingdom will arrive only when the King does (DAN 2:34-35, 44-45), and on that Blessed Day we the church will be coming along with Him out of heaven (JUDE 1:13-15).

In John's account of the Gospel, chapter 17, the LORD JESUS prayed to the Father:

JOHN 17:15-21 
I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil.
They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.
Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.
As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world.
And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth.
Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word;
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 hast sent me.

This is the only unity and "one"ness that can ever endure, because it's not founded on human will power nor on the deceptions of Satan (that "all men are brothers") - that oneness that we are blessed with in our communion with the LORD Jesus Christ, Who is in some spiritual, unfathomable sense joined with our spirit (1 COR 6:16-17).

Do you know that all the effort among churches and denominations to create unity is wasted? All the plans and actions that so many are working laboriously for in instilling a sense of unity for the church is non-essential.

Too often such efforts are terribly unbiblical as we hear the cry "unity at any cost! Let's not get hung up on doctrine!"

There are those who desire to point out falsehood and deceits, bad teaching and erroneous theology who are labeled as divisive and unloving - but wait a minute!

Nothing could be more loving than giving the truth to others; the truth will bring every benefit there is to those who will receive it; lies and deceptions or even teaching that is 98% true and 2% false will eventually wreak spiritual ruin (1 COR 5:6-7; GAL 5:8-10)!

As for being divisive, it most certainly is not the one that is pointing out genuine, unbiblical errors that's being divisive, but the one who is teaching something contrary to the Word of God which is our very foundation as the body of Christ!

We need the pure Word of God for the unity that the LORD Jesus prayed for us in John 17, and as well as this, the Spirit of God:

Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling;
One Lord, one faith, one baptism,
One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.

One Spirit. One faith (that is, credence in allegiance to the Word of God in the expression of a living faith that transforms us by His Spirit). Ecumenism is a very poor (and most often Satanic!) substitute for the unity that we already have in possession! All we are called to do is "keep" that which is already given "in the bond of peace" through the Prince of Peace, the LORD Jesus Christ!

So we can see that all the world can be divided into these two different groups: children of light and children of darkness. Tares and wheat. Sheep and goats. Good fish and bad (EPH 5:8; MATT 13:24-30,47-48; 25:32-33).

We are ambassadors to this world (2 COR 5:20) and foreigners and pilgrims (1 PET 2:11) but we are not of this world even as our LORD is not of this world (JOHN 17:16). Our associations with the world are to be maintained very lightly and only in regards to demonstrating the life of Jesus as His Spirit resides in us, not partaking of the life and love for the things of this world (2 COR 6:13-15), but rather committed to the proclamation of the Gospel.

1 JOHN 2:14-16
I have written unto you, fathers, because ye have known him that is from the beginning. I have written unto you, young men, because ye are strong, and the word of God abideth in you, and ye have overcome the wicked one.
Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
 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.

Unfortunately too many that have named the Name of Christ have apparently left their presumably "first love" and the blessedness of the kingdom to 'go native' and adopt the ways and loves of this world as their own. They "looked back", they "returned to their wallowing in the mire", they have chosen to enjoy the pleasures of this world rather than to suffer the afflictions of Christ! Just the opposite of the choice that Moses made (HEB 11:25-27)!

Let us be aware always of this determined distinction between the things of the world, and most especially the religious world! - and the things of Christ and His Holy Word. Compromise, 'conversation and dialogue', consensus, 'getting along' should not be in the vocabulary of the saint of God where it jeopardizes our witness and testimony for our LORD or does damage to our representation of the truth.

Let us likewise have great joy and expectation for the Day is indeed coming when there will INDEED be harmony restored, and all the world (those who will honestly and willingly bend the knee in repentance to the LORD Jesus Christ and receive His salvation via the Gospel and reject the prince of this world (Satan) and sin) will sing His praises and worship Him Who is wholly worthy of our worship!

PSALM 68:31-35
Princes shall come out of Egypt; Ethiopia shall soon stretch out her hands unto God.
32 Sing unto God, ye kingdoms of the earth; O sing praises unto the Lord; Selah:
33 To him that rideth upon the heavens of heavens, which were of old; lo, he doth send out his voice, and that a mighty voice.
34 Ascribe ye strength unto God: his excellency is over Israel, and his strength is in the clouds.
35 O God, thou art terrible out of thy holy places: the God of Israel is he that giveth strength and power unto his people. Blessed be God.

PSALM 66:3-5 
Say unto God, How terrible art thou in thy works! through the greatness of thy power shall thine enemies submit themselves unto thee.
4 All the earth shall worship thee, and shall sing unto thee; they shall sing to thy name. Selah.
5 Come and see the works of God: he is terrible in his doing toward the children of men.