|Live Services||Two Prophets|
|Q&A||What did Jesus mean in John 17, verses 14 and 16, when He spoke to the Father, saying that His disciples "'…are not of the world, just as I am not of the world'"?|
On October 13, 2007, Dave Harris will give the sermon, titled, “Two Prophets.”
The services can be heard at www.cognetservices.org at 12:30 pm Pacific Time (which is 2:30 pm Central Time). Just click on Connect to Live Stream.
“A man cannot be a little virtuous, a little pure, a little true, a little honest.” This comes from an unsigned article written in 1896. By thinking on each of these we can see that by definition we need to have all these qualities all the time to be considered virtuous, pure, true and honest.
To be dishonest only on a part-time basis will earn us a reputation as being dishonest, not as being a little honest. In fact, to be called a little honest would surely be seen as making a statement to the contrary.
When we live God’s way, we are not to strive in partial measures, but rather, as mentioned in Ephesians 3:19, we are to “be filled with all the fullness of God.” Can we totally and completely comprehend this? It is not a fractional aspect of the Way of God, but it is the replete and exhaustive works that we are to live up to… each to our own capacity.
As usual, we are to follow the example of Christ Who did live up to the prescribed potential (compare Colossians 2:9). We are to be heading in the same direction to the best of our ability. So how do we attain this moral fullness? Well… that would fill a book… the size of the Bible.
This Week in the News
U.S. Political Campaigns — What a Waste of Money!!!
Der Spiegel Online wrote on October 9:
“The American presidential candidates are so busy drumming up campaign contributions and grabbing at opportunities to fly around on corporate jets that they have little time left for the people. Fundraising costs run into the millions…
“The road to the White House leads through the living rooms of Hollywood executives, Wall Street financiers, defense industry lobbyists, oil magnates and corporate strategists of every stripe and color. Indeed, groveling is practically a prerequisite for hitting the big time: the country’s highest office.
“In this early phase of the election campaign the candidates and their helpers are constantly busy organizing barbeques, fireside chats and candlelight dinners to collect both the money and the political wish lists of the wealthy. These major donors, known as ‘fat cats’ in the jargon of campaign managers, hold so much clout that they can sometimes make or break a candidate’s political career…
“Political fundraising is now the dominant campaign issue for the public. Who is raising the most money? Who is ahead of whom? What are the candidates’ fundraising strategies? It’s almost as if the Americans were gearing up to elect the chairman of a nonprofit organization, not a new president…
“Despite extensive legal documentation requirements, the identities of major campaign donors remain largely unknown… The history of campaign finance in the United States is one of endless scandals… So why is it that such a wealthy country seems incapable of introducing a clean, public campaign finance system untainted by the odor of corruption?”
Everyone should be able to see that such tactics are not pleasing to God. And so, this entire political system WILL be changed when Christ returns. No more collecting and spending millions of dollars for political “campaigns”–no more double talks, ignoring or even twisting the facts, suppressing the truth. GOD will APPOINT those who are CAPABLE of running a country. What a DIFFERENCE that will make!!!
Please make sure to read the Q&A in this Update, addressing the need for Christians to “come out of this world.”
U.S. Politics vs. the Truth
AFP reported on October 10 about a striking example of how “politics” is employed to suppress the truth:
“A bid by US lawmakers to label the Ottoman massacre of Armenians a ‘genocide’ will trigger Turkish reprisals and undermine Iraq, Afghanistan and Middle East peace, the administration warned Wednesday. President George W. Bush and his top lieutenants were unusually blunt in attacking what is a non-binding resolution in the House of Representatives, highlighting anxiety over the impact on a key diplomatic and military alliance. Bush said the resolution would do ‘great harm’ to ties with Turkey, a Muslim-majority member of NATO whose territory is a crucial transit point for US supplies bound for Iraq and Afghanistan.”
The article continued to describe “political” reactions to a long overdue condemnation:
“Rice said she sympathized with Armenians’ fate during World War I, when according to the Armenians, 1.5 million of their kinsmen died in systematic deportations and killings under the Ottoman Empire. ‘But the passage of this resolution at this time would, indeed, be very problematic for everything that we’re trying to do in the Middle East because we are very dependent on a good Turkish strategic ally for this,’ she said… Turkey has already warned that passage of the House resolution could force it to bar the United States from a key military base in its south.”
Non-Binding Resolution on Genocide Passed
In spite of such political pressure, as described in the previous section, the non-binding resolution was passed by the House Foreign Affairs Committee on Wednesday by a 27-21 vote. It will now go to the full House for a possible vote. The Bush Administration stated that they regretted the passing of the resolution. Turkey’s reaction was predictable, by adding even more propaganda to suppress well-established facts.
The Associated Press reported on October 11:
“Turkey swiftly condemned a House panel’s approval of a bill describing the World War I-era mass killings of Armenians as genocide, and newspapers blasted the measure on their front pages Thursday… ‘It is not possible to accept such an accusation of a crime which was never committed by the Turkish nation,’ the statement [of the Turkish government] said. Turkish newspapers also denounced the decision… The U.S. Embassy urged Americans in Turkey to be alert for violent repercussions…
“Historians estimate up to 1.5 million Armenians were killed by Ottoman Turks around the time of World War I, an event widely viewed by genocide scholars as the first genocide of the 20th century. Turkey, however, denies the deaths constituted genocide, saying that the toll has been inflated and that those killed were victims of civil war and unrest… After France voted last year to make it a crime to deny the killings were genocide, the Turkish government ended its military ties with that country.”
AFP added on October 10:
“According to the Armenians, 1.5 million of their kinsmen were killed from 1915 to 1923 under an Ottoman Empire campaign of deportation and murder that later encouraged Nazi leader Adolf Hitler’s Holocaust against the Jews.
“… the resolution’s backers warned the issue could not be ignored as they drew parallels to the Holocaust and the present-day bloodshed in the Sudanese region of Darfur.’ We’ve been told the timing is bad,’ Democratic House member Gary Ackerman said in an emotional hearing that lasted nearly four hours. ‘But the timing was bad for the Armenian people in 1915.’ Republican Representative Christopher Smith said the resolution was not a slight on modern Turkey, adding: ‘Friends don’t let friends commit crimes against humanity.'”
The New York Times wrote on October 11:
“Backers of the resolution said Congressional action was overdue. ‘Despite President George Bush twisting arms and making deals, justice prevailed,’ said Representative Brad Sherman, a Democrat of California and a sponsor of the resolution. ‘For if we hope to stop future genocides we need to admit to those horrific acts of the past.’
“The issue of the Armenian genocide, beginning in 1915, has perennially transfixed Congress and bedeviled presidents of both parties. Ronald Reagan was the only president publicly to call the killings genocide, but his successors have avoided the term.
“When the issue last arose, in 2000, a similar resolution also won approval by a House committee, but President Clinton then succeeded in persuading a Republican speaker, J. Dennis Hastert, to withdraw the measure before the full House could vote. That time, too, Turkey had warned of canceling arms deals and withdrawing support for American air forces then patrolling northern Iraq under the auspices of the United Nations…
“Representative Mike Pence, a conservative Republican from Indiana who has backed the resolution in the past, said Mr. Bush persuaded him to change his position and vote no. He described the decision as gut-wrenching, underscoring the emotions stirred in American politics by a 92-year-old question. ‘While this is still the right position,’ Mr. Pence said, referring to the use of the term genocide, ‘it is not the right time.'”
Is there ever a “right time” to suppress the truth???
Putin’s High-Risk Gamble
Der Spiegel Online wrote on October 2:
“Russian President Vladimir Putin dropped a bombshell on Monday when he announced that he was running in the forthcoming parliamentary elections. The move will effectively allow him to hold onto power even after he gives up the presidency next spring. Putin had vowed that he would abide by the constitution which forbids a third consecutive term in that office, but it had been clear that the 54-year-old was not ready to shuffle off quietly into the sunset of retirement just yet… Analysts are already predicting that Putin will now place one of his followers in the Kremlin who would then answer to him. This could well be the newly appointed Prime Minister Viktor Zubkov, who has no power base of his own and who as president could be expected to fall in with whatever plans Putin has for the power structures in Russia.
“Commentators in Germany are critical of Putin’s bid to cling on to power and voice concern that instead of bringing stability to Russia these moves could end up achieving the opposite.
“The Financial Times Deutschland writes: ‘This plan is in stark contrast to the hierarchy of powers envisaged by the Russian constitution… As prime minister Putin would presumably dismantle the architecture of the constitution… The deal that Putin seems to be striking with his closest followers is also highly risky for him. He is basing it on the assumption that all of those involved will stick to the agreement and that the presidential puppet, who will be chosen as Putin’s successor, will not suddenly decide that he would like to be number one himself. If the puppet comes to life, then the situation in Moscow might not just become unstable, it could become dangerous.’
“The conservative Die Welt writes: ‘A society that is forced together by authoritarian centralism will inevitably develop countervailing forces again. Putin’s stability is only borrowed and, therefore, won’t last long.’…
“The business daily Handelsblatt writes: ‘… This has little to do with true democracy… Does Putin really have everything under control? There are some doubts… Putin is setting up his experiment like a laboratory technician. But he cannot always control the results.'”
And More Rumors of Wars…
Reuters reported on October 3:
“Russia’s military space commander vowed to retaliate with an arms race if any country started putting weapon systems into orbit, he said in remarks published on Wednesday… ‘if any country will place a weapon in space, then our response will be the same,’ [he said]… Tensions between Russia and Washington have deepened over U.S. plans to rekindle the stalled ‘Star Wars’ program from the 1980s with a new generation of missile defense shields.”
Russian Politics vs. the Truth
AFP reported on October 10 that “Russia has no evidence that Iran is trying to build a nuclear weapon, President Vladimir Putin said Wednesday after talks in Moscow with his French counterpart Nicolas Sarkozy. ‘We do not have information that Iran is trying to create a nuclear weapon. We operate on the principle that Iran does not have those plans,’ Putin said.”
The Russian denial of Iran’s intentions is, of course, not mere naivety, but motivated and driven by strong Russian economic interests in Iran.
Germany’s Dark Past
Der Spiegel Online wrote on October 1:
“Germany’s Federal Criminal Police Office [Bundeskriminalamt or BKA], the equivalent of the FBI in the US, has invited historians to research its origins after World War II when many of its leading members were recruited straight from the ranks of Hitler’s police and security apparatus… It’s already known that when the BKA was formed in 1951, almost all its 50 top officers had a Nazi past — in SS units active in German-occupied territories, in the Gestapo, in the secret military police or the Third Reich’s criminal police force (RKPA).
“For example, the man in charge of manhunts at the RKPA, Kurt Amend, took up the same position at the BKA. Historian and former BKA officer Dieter Schenk said Amend sealed the fate of ‘hundreds of thousands who were put in a concentration camp or brought before a special tribunal as a result of his intelligent policing methods.’ Amend’s Nazi past was never investigated.
“Another example is Bernhard Niggemeyer, a senior officer in the BKA, who had the rank of Sturmbannführer or Storm Unit Leader in the SS and was in charge of several military police units responsible for thousands of executions during the war. In some cases former Nazi investigators remained in the ranks of the BKA well into the 1960s.”
Some striking parallels exist between the political conditions in Germany in the aftermath of World War II and Afghanistan and Iraq following the invasion of the Allies–these similarities should not be overlooked…
German Politics vs. the Truth
Der Spiegel Online reported on October 10:
“Germany’s parliament votes this Friday on whether to extend Berlin’s participation in the military mission in Afghanistan. The country is on the brink of disaster, but German politicians have chosen to ignore Afghanistan’s real problems.”
The article continued:
“Welcome to Afghanistan in the sixth year following the Western intervention. Welcome to a country that ranks, sadly, in eighth place in the 2007 edition of the ‘Failed States Index’ compiled by the US magazine Foreign Policy — just behind Sudan, Iraq, Somalia and Zimbabwe…
“A troop withdrawal would be a ‘serious defeat for international law and the international community,’ warns Peter Struck, the floor leader of Germany’s Social Democratic Party (SPD), while German Chancellor Angela Merkel believes that her country’s commitment to the operation in Afghanistan is ‘the only way to demonstrate that we fight terrorists, and that we do so with great resolve.’…
“This Friday, Germany’s parliament, the Bundestag, will vote on whether to extend two of the three German military mandates in Afghanistan, currently the Bundeswehr’s most dangerous mission. Twenty-one German soldiers have already lost their lives in Afghanistan, and last Friday three Germans were lucky to escape from a suicide attack with only minor injuries. The Bundestag will decide the fate of up to 3,500 soldiers and six Tornado reconnaissance aircraft operating in Afghanistan under the auspices of NATO’s ISAF force. Parliament’s approval of the mission is considered a done deal, with a broad majority in both the ruling grand coalition and the liberal Free Democratic Party (FDP) likely to vote in favor of keeping the troops in Afghanistan…
“Relatively few members of parliament have traveled to Afghanistan in recent months to get a first-hand impression of the situation in the war-torn country, despite the fact that members of the German Bundestag are normally known for their love of travel. Apparently only very few of Germany’s elected representatives feel that Afghanistan is worth a visit… The news that reaches Berlin from Afghanistan these days is simply too horrific. Members of parliament who have visited the country describe a place on the verge of collapse. Instead of declining, the problems of poverty, corruption, violence and sheer hopelessness are on the rise. Government institutions are virtually nonexistent in many parts of the country, the police are corrupt and overworked and the military isn’t in much better shape. The effects of Western development aid go largely unnoticed by much of the population…
“There is an odd disparity between the reality in Afghanistan and the political debate in Germany. Seemingly oblivious to the information coming from the country, both the Bundestag and the political parties become embroiled in heated debates over technical details that are in fact irrelevant in Afghanistan… The important questions in the Afghanistan debate are also being ignored…
“The Germans are eager to distance themselves from the United States in public debates, insisting that, unlike the Americans, the Germans are mainly involved in civilian reconstruction assistance. But this is precisely where Germany has failed miserably…”
In spite of denials to the contrary, the invasion of the Allies in Afghanistan was as much a failure as the occupation of Iraq. This is not surprising for those who understand the Bible, as God clearly teaches us that man’s wars do NOT bring permanent and lasting positive results. For more information, please read our free booklet, “Should YOU Fight in WAR?”
New Treaty for Europe?
On October 2, BBC News reported:
“Legal experts from the 27 countries of the European Union have agreed on a draft reform treaty. The treaty is set to replace the defunct European constitution rejected by French and Dutch voters. Portugal, which holds the EU presidency until the end of the year, hopes to get agreement on the treaty at an EU summit in Lisbon later this month. Possible domestic opposition to the treaty in Poland and Britain mean they may present the biggest hurdles. The treaty aims to streamline the workings of the EU bloc, which has almost doubled its membership in the last few years.”
The Paralyzed UN — “The Whole Week Was a Mess”
Der Spiegel Online wrote on October 1 about the meeting of the UN General Assembly as a “meeting of clueless leaders.” The article stated:
“A description of the week’s events might sound something like this: they met, they ate good food. There were some brilliant speeches, but no resolutions were passed. Or, in the words of one German: ‘It was all about money and who could manage to get what. It was all about massaging each other’s egos.’ Swedish-born Mats Karlsson, vice-president of external and UN affairs at the World Bank, put it a little more diplomatically: ‘I am worried about the calibre of our global leadership.’…
“Ambassadors and foreign ministers — at least, those who were brave enough to abandon the cliches surrounding the whole event — said there is something wrong, seriously wrong, with the UN. ‘Our entire system of international policy is falling apart,’ said one participant, a veteran at the UN… There’s just no other way of saying it: The whole week was a mess.”
The UN will NOT play a dominant role in the future. Rather, Europe is destined to fulfill this responsibility–but devastating consequences will be the result. For more information, please read our free booklet, “Europe in Prophecy.“
The Building of the Holy Temple
IsraelNationalNews.com reported on October 7:
“On Wednesday, the last day of the Sukkot [Feast of Tabernacles] festival, a 34-person delegation from West Papua presented a large amount of gold to be used in the building of the Holy Temple. The delegation, including representatives of the nation’s government, explained that they study the Bible regularly and recently came upon a verse in Zecharia (6:16) [the intended reference is Zechariah 6:15] reading ‘And the distant ones will come and build the Temple of G-d.’ They discussed the passage among themselves and decided that their faith obligates them to fulfill the verse. West Papua, located in the southwestern Pacific Ocean, is rich in gold mines, so the delegation thought it natural to donate gold for the Holy Temple. The Holy Temple will be built in the place where the First and Second Temples once stood – on Jerusalem’s Temple Mount…
“The Temple Institute was established twenty years ago, and deals with research and education about the Holy Temple. The institute has published dozens of books and has prepared more than 70 of the gold, silver and copper vessels needed for Temple service. Just two weeks ago, the institute completed a large ‘King David’s Lyre.’ Its craftsmen are working now on the golden headpiece worn by the high priest. Some of the vessels prepared by the institute for use in the Temple include the golden menorah (candelabra), the show-bread table, the golden altar, Levite musical instruments and priestly clothes. The vessels are on display at the institute’s headquarters on the Old City’s Misgav Ladach street.”
The Bible strongly indicates that a Temple will be built in Jerusalem, prior to the return of Jesus Christ. For more information, please read our free booklet, “The Great Tribulation and the Day of the Lord.”
“Human Life Begins With Conception”
Reuters reported on October 11:
“Pope Benedict appealed to scientists on Thursday to stop using human embryos in stem cell research… The Vatican supports stem cell research so long as it does not harm embryos, which the Catholic Church argues are humans from the moment of conception.
“‘The destruction of human embryos, whether to acquire stem cells or for any other purpose, contradicts the purported intent of researchers, legislators and public health officials to promote human welfare,’ the Pontiff wrote in a letter to South Korea’s new ambassador to the Holy See. The Church supports research on adult cells and promising alternatives to embryonic research, such as the use of amniotic fluid protecting fetuses in the uterus.
“The Pope said such research methods ‘harmonize with the aforementioned intent (to promote human welfare) by respecting the life of the human being at every stage of his or her existence.’ South Korea announced plans earlier this year to remove some of the blocks to human embryonic stem cell research in place since a 2006 scandal involving forged data in stem cell studies.”
The Dangers of Tattoos and Piercing
Der Spiegel Online wrote on October 1:
“Self-enhancement — or self-mutilation — can be a hazardous pursuit. Those opting for tattoos and piercing can end up with allergic reactions or nasty infections, including hepatitis, while cosmetic surgery is also fraught with danger. The next stop can often be the doctor’s surgery or even the emergency room. And in Germany, where it is compulsory to have health insurance, it is the insurance companies that end up footing the bill for these damage-limitation exercises.”
What did Jesus mean in John 17, verses 14 and 16, when He spoke to the Father, saying that His disciples "'…are not of the world, just as I am not of the world'"?
This statement by Jesus Christ highlights a misunderstood truth that very few have comprehended, about the purpose and message of Jesus Christ, as well as the conduct of His followers–those who would claim to be Christians.
In an earlier account, Jesus pointedly contrasted His origin to that of the Jews who heard His preaching (Compare John 8:21-30). What He addressed were their actions, their lifestyle–their very way of living. He plainly said that they were “‘…OF this world'” (John 8:23); while, on the other hand, He emphatically stated that He was “‘…NOT OF this world'” (Same verse).
In verse 44 of this chapter, Jesus powerfully indicts those rejecting Him and His message: “‘You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it.'”
Then, Jesus adds: “‘He who is of God hears God’s words; therefore you do not hear, because you are not of God'” (John 8:47).
Two ways of living are presented in these quotations, and they are polar opposites! God’s words are contrasted to the desires of Satan. Furthermore, Satan is revealed to be a liar and “the father of it.” Those who listened to Jesus but rejected His teaching are described as “of” the devil. Their actions were representative of the wishes of Satan.
It is important to understand that this present world–this age and civilization filled with violence, lies, hatred and every evil (Compare Galatians 1:4)–is ruled over by Satan the devil (Compare John 12:31; 14:30; 16:11)! He is described as “…the god of this age” (2 Corinthians 4:4). After a lengthy meeting explaining to His disciples things they should know and do, following His death and resurrection, Jesus also explained how He had dealt with the society that had rejected Him: “‘These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world'” (John 16:33).
The reason His disciples would suffer persecution and difficult times is because they would not be living any longer according to the ways of the world–that is, they would not be “of” this world ruled over by Satan and his demonic forces.
Jesus reminded His disciples: “‘”…A servant is not greater than his master.” If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. If they kept My word, they will keep yours also'” (John 15:20).
The disciples very quickly experienced exactly what Jesus had warned. Following the remarkable events on the Feast of Pentecost when God poured out the gift of His Holy Spirit on the disciples of Jesus, the religious leaders immediately rejected what the apostles were preaching: “So they called them and commanded them not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus. But Peter and John answered and said to them, ‘Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you more than to God, you judge. For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard'” (Acts 4:18-20).
Following this warning, the apostles were again confronted by the religious leadership:
“And when they had brought them, they set them before the council. And the high priest asked them, saying, ‘Did we not strictly command you not to teach in this name? And look, you have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine, and intend to bring this Man’s blood on us!’ But Peter and the other apostles answered and said: ‘We ought to obey God rather than men'” (Acts 5:27-29). This time, they were beaten for what they said and what they did (Compare Acts 5:40).
These disciples were not “of” this world. They were not part of the government of Rome that ruled in the land of Judea. They were distinctly separate in doctrine and understanding from anyone else on the earth–all of whom were under Satan’s influence. Why? Because they were following the example of Jesus Christ! They were living their lives as Christians!
In his later life, Peter continued to teach the approach of Jesus Christ:
“For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps: ‘Who committed no sin, Nor was deceit found in His mouth’; who, when He was reviled, did not revile in return; when He suffered, He did not threaten, but committed Himself to Him who judges righteously; who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness–by whose stripes you were healed. For you were like sheep going astray, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls” (1 Peter 2:21-25).
Peter died because he was not “of” the world–the age and generation in which he lived. Jesus revealed to Peter even the manner of his death (Compare John 21:18-19). Another apostle of Jesus Christ, James, the brother of John, was killed by the political leader over the area of Judea, Herod the king (Compare Acts 12:1-4).
Paul, who had at one time persecuted Christians, later on was converted (Compare Acts 9). However, his conversion took him out of the social and religious relationships in which he had been living. Now he became an object of murderous plots, persecutions and constant trials–he no longer lived his life according to the way of the world (Compare 2 Corinthians 11:22-33).
For anyone called of God, the message is to come out of the world (Compare Revelation 18:4; 2 Corinthians 6:17). The special relationship of Christians is one that separates them from the world. Even in the matter of problems within the Church of God, Paul points to the higher standard of conduct for followers of Christ:
“I wrote to you in my epistle not to keep company with sexually immoral people. Yet I certainly did not mean with the sexually immoral people of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world. But now I have written to you not to keep company with anyone named a brother, who is sexually immoral, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or an extortioner–not even to eat with such a person. For what have I to do with judging those also who are outside? Do you not judge those who are inside? But those who are outside God judges. Therefore ‘put away from yourselves the evil person'” (1 Corinthians 5:9-13).
Christians are to continue to live in the world–just as Jesus Christ did! Yet, they must separate themselves from the ways of this world–again, just as our Savior did!
Living in the world brings on the difficulty Jesus warned us about, and that is because we are to live as ambassadors of God’s Kingdom and as representatives of Jesus Christ (Compare 2 Corinthians 5:20). Christianity is a “way” of life that stands in stark opposition to the pattern of living adopted by mankind through the influence of the devil. It is even called repeatedly the “Way” in the book of Acts (Compare Acts 9:2; 19:9, 23; 22:4; 24:14, 22).
When Jesus said that His disciples were not of the world in John 17, He also said: “‘I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one'” (Verse 15).
John reminds us of why we are now living a way of life that is different–that is not “of” this world:
“You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. They are of the world. Therefore they speak as of the world, and the world hears them. We are of God. He who knows God hears us; he who is not of God does not hear us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error” (1 John 4:4-6).
We must differentiate between truth and error; between righteousness and sin; and between God and Satan. That means that we also must “overcome the world” as Jesus did. He did not participate in this world’s governments, showing that His Kingdom was not of this world–this age and civilization–rather, it was future (Compare John 18:28-38). Jesus did not violate the rules and laws of this present age, as long as they did not contradict God’s Law (Compare Luke 20:20-26). His ministers taught that Christians are to be subject to authority (Compare Romans 13:1-7). Of course, that is provisional in terms of whether it is a question of obeying God or man–as we have already read in Acts. When man’s rules and laws are in conflict with God’s commandments–in the letter OR in the spirit–then we must obey God (Compare Daniel 3:16-18).
Finally, we have these words from John that dramatically point out that those who follow what Jesus Christ taught must stand separate from the age and the world in which we live:
“We know that we are of God, and THE WHOLE WORLD lies under the sway of the wicked one. And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us an understanding, that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life” (1 John 5:19-20).
Lead Writers: Dave Harris and Norbert Link
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