Whom Having Not Seen, Ye Love
John 17:20 “Neither pray I for these
alone, but for them also which shall believe on me
through their word;
21 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.
22 And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one:
23 I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.
24 Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world.
25 O righteous Father, the world hath not known thee: but I have known thee, and these have known that thou hast sent me.
26 And I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare it: that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them.”
1. Through Their Word
2. Perfect In One
3. Before The Foundation
4. The Spiritual House
1. Through Their Word
Verse twenty: “Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; …”
An old idiom running the circuits among all those who come into this world is this statement: “seeing … is believing.”
That is, how most of us see it!
For us: “a thing isn’t necessarily so, unless we can see it, or touch it.”
In this respect, we all are as doubting Thomases. [John 20:27] “Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing.”
Being FAITHLESS is a trait found [in the flesh] within all of us, before the saving, and sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit occurs in our heart. “For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.” [Romans 1:17]
The idiom’s popularity [seeing … is believing] shows that the human heart can only believe what it experiences [by seeing, hearing, touching, smelling] personally. Everyone the twelve apostles saw with their own eyes and touched with their own fingers the marks from the wounds in Jesus’ hands, feet and in HIS side.
After the departure of all these witnesses from the land of the living [that is after the death of all that generation, who saw, and walked with the Son of God], all who follow would have to believe on Jesus Christ without actually seeing Jesus Christ. [John 20:29] “Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.”
Everyone must come to Jesus Christ through FAITH. “Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory:” [1 Peter 1:8].
I am rejoicing with joy unspeakable and full of glory. I put my trust in Jesus Christ for my salvation on board the U.S.S Enterprise thirty-six years ago without seeing HIM. I did this through FAITH which thing is required by God: “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:” [Romans 5:1].
2. Perfect In One
Verse twenty-three: “I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.”
Those that are saved in this age are in one BODY which is related to the HEAD. They are put into [baptized into] the body of Christ the day they get saved. [1 Corinthians 12:13] “For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.”
Jesus Christ is the HEAD of the CHURCH [Colossians 1:24] which is the body of Christ. [Colossians 1:18] “And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.”
HIS goal is for us to be made perfect in one. [Ephesians 5:27] “That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.”
3. Before The Foundation
Verse twenty-four: “Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world.”
This phrase: “the foundation of the world” appears ten times in the Bible. We learn in Revelation, chapter thirteen, that that the SON of GOD was slain “from the foundation of the world.” [Revelation 13:8]
We learn from Ephesians chapter one that the SON of GOD had “chosen us in him before the foundation of the world.”
This is because HE loved us! Let us read that verse: “According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:” [Ephesians 1:4]. And according to text, here in John seventeen, GOD the FATHER loved the SON “before the foundation of the world.”
God has had since the foundation of the world a plan. Amen!
The Father and the Son had it all worked out, how that the Son would come to the Earth, and be slain on the cross of Calvary, in order to redeem that which was to be lost.
Look at what the BOOK says in Titus. “Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.” [Titus 2:14]
God could see the whole thing [the fall of mankind because of sin] from beginning to the end.
4. The Spiritual House
Verse twenty-one and twenty-two: “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. And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one.”
There are twelve tribes that comprise the HOUSE of Israel, and depending on when the snapshot in the historical time-line is taken, the list of the names of the tribes that comprise the nation of Israel will be different.
In the book of beginnings [Genesis] there is this list: [in Genesis forty-nine] the tribe of Judah [or Juda] Reuben, Gad, Issachar, Dan, Asher [or Aser], Naphtali [or Nepthalim], Simeon, Levi, Zebulun [or Zabulon], Benjamin, and Joseph.
In the book of Revelation, we end up with a list that excludes Dan, but it includes Manasseh [or Manasses], along with Joseph in the place of Ephraim.
Now, only one tribe of Israel was to be a tribe of priests, and this was the tribe of Levi. In the New Testament, in the age of GRACE, God established a new priesthood to replace the Levitical, or Aaronic, priesthood, which was limited to one tribe.
In the Church age we have an unlimited, or universal, priesthood of believers.
We can see this in the book of First Peter. Turn with me to First Peter, chapter two, verse five, and we will read from there. “Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.” [1 Peter 2:5]
Every believer in Jesus Christ in this age is a PRIEST!
The moment that a person is born again [or quickened spiritually] they become part of “a spiritual house” which is the Body of Christ … the Church that is being built throughout this age.
When this “spiritual house” is complete … we shall fly through the air to meet the LORD in the clouds. Amen! “For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.” [1 Thessalonians 4:16-17].
Now, let us go back to this business of the need to see the differences between these two houses. We need to see the difference between the Church and Israel. We need to see those differences … in order … to rightly divide the Scripture, and see who we are and where we are going and what God is asking us to do.
[2 Timothy 2:15] “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”
Now, here is the difference. The “house
of Israel”; is physical in nature. [Joshua
21:45] “There failed not ought of any good
thing which the Lord had spoken unto the house of
Israel; all came to pass.” Whereas, the
HOUSE, in First Peter, chapter one, is
SPIRITUAL in nature.
• Can you see that God has established “the house of Israel”, which is a PHYSICAL nation with a physical inheritance that primarily involves earthly promises and earthly rewards?
• Can you see that God has also established a SPIRITUAL house in this age, which is called “the body of Christ,” which will inherit primarily heavenly promises and heavenly rewards?
God has a distinct plan for both groups of people.
Now, just because we are a spiritual house, and not a physical house, like Israel, and just because we have not seen these things as of yet [the heavenly promises and rewards] with our physical eyes, it does not make these things any less real.
Now, what does the BOOK say about us who are living in the times of the Gentiles?
It says this, that the just shall live by FAITH. [Romans 1:17]
We, therefore, see these things through FAITH.
Now, what is FAITH?
The answer is in Hebrews chapter eleven. “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” [Hebrews 11:1]
We see Jesus Christ through FAITH. “Whom
having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see
him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy
unspeakable and full of glory:” [1 Peter