I thank thee, Father,
Lord of heaven and earth, that thou hast hidden these things from the
|THE QUESTION (#68)
Why Not Take Them Out of the World?
Regarding your great principle, I have a few questions.
When Jesus prayed in the gospel of John (17:15) that God would "not take them out of the world, but keep them from evil" wouldn't that go against how you say we should hate it here? Especially since the kingdom of God is here now, the earth included within that realm. Jesus cast out the prince of this world as he said, and is ruling all things on earth right now. Wouldn't this be true?
It is not my Great Principle. Every thing is directly from the Lord. I did designate it The Great Principle because it is so significant as to justify a special term comparable to the Great Commandment. Let us look at the Great Principle as stated by the Lord in the Fourth Gospel so readers will know of what we speak:
Jn.12:25 The [one] philia-loving his psyche-life will lose it, and the [one] hating his psyche-life in this world will guard it to zoe-life eternal.
So, doesn't this contradict the saying of John 17:15?
No, because he had a purpose for their remaining, which he explained to them, and to us, explaining in vs. 18 almost immediately after the utterance you quote:
Jn.17:15 I do not ask that you take them of the world, but that you keep them from the wicked [one]. 16 They are not of the world just as I am not of the world. 17 Make them holy in the truth; your word is truth. 18 Just as you sent me into the world, I also sent them into the world.Therefore, we see that the Lord sends his disciples into the world for the same reason the Father sent him. This was, as he stated to Pontius Pilate:
Jn.18:37 Pilate therefore said to him: So are you [a] king? Jesus answered: You say that I am king. I am born for this and am come into the world for this, in order that I witness to the truth. All those being from the truth hear my voice.
We would never have known the Truth, including the Great Principle, if he had not kept the first disciples here for a while -- to continue what he had begun by continuing his testimony in the world. We, his disciples, continue to do the same, though we are not of the world, by giving the same testimony in the world and by manifesting it in our lives in the world and in our deaths to the world, as did the Lord. I am 80 yet I came to the Light only a few years ago, after long searching. My remaining is justified, however, as long as I have persons such as you, hungry for the Truth, to whom I can give my testimony. My departure will probably be by natural means because few in Christendom care about spiritual things enough to persecute and kill as our Lord's contemporaries killed him. Considering my age, it should be relatively soon. When my hour comes, I may yet fail of my testimony by clinging to this body of flesh. That last hour is the real determinant of ones eternal destiny. It was the powerful temptation to save his life that so troubled our Lord in Gethsemane. Only by hating this life in the flesh and in this world and rising gladly to the Father when my hour has come will I find acceptance in heaven. So it will be with you when your hour has come and with everyone else on earth when their hour has come.
As for the effect of the kingdom of God having come to the earth, it is not relevant here because, as Jesus also explained to Pilate, his kingdom is not of the world.
Jn.18:36 My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my officers would have fought in order that I not be delivered up to the Jews; but now my kingdom is not from here.
We see this fact as immediately determinative of the disciple's action in the world, which action he confined to being his witnesses. Having now all authority in heaven and on earth, the Lord governs not for the sake of the world itself, but only for those whom he calls to himself out of the world. He has no concern whatever for the entity he calls the world, as indicated by this prayerful utterance:
Jn.17:7 Now they have known that all, whatsoever you gave to me, is from you;
8 that the words you gave to me I have given to them, and they received [them] and they knew truly that I came from beside you, and they believed that you sent me. 9 I ask concerning them, not concerning the world do I ask , but concerning whom you have given me, because they are yours, 10 and all mine is yours and yours mine, and I have been glorified in them.
The Lord precisely illustrates what out attitude must be to our lives in the world and to the Father in heaven, and also his and the Father's lack of interest in the management of affairs in the far country, by the Parable of the Prodigal Son, when he puts these words into the mouth of the Prodigal:
Lk.15:17 But coming to himself he said: How many servants of my father have abundance of bread, but I am perishing here in [a] famine. 18 Having arisen I will go to my father and will say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you, 19 no longer am I worthy to be called your son, make me as one [of your] hired-hands.
Our Father in heaven wants one and absolutely only one thing of us while we remain here. As a loving father of any wayward child, He would have us only arise and come home! He leaves us here for a time only that he call others through our testimony so that they, too, will want only, like the Prodigal, to arise and go to my Father!
All that are otherwise minded remain bound to this world and have yet to taste the freedom promised by the Lord when he said:
Jn.8:31 If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples. 32 And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.