Jesus Prayed for You :: By Nathele Graham

If you knew you were about to be arrested, falsely accused of a crime, put through a mock trial, beaten so badly that pieces of flesh would be torn out exposing your bones; mocked, and ultimately crucified, what would your thoughts be?

Most of us would run and hide. Our thoughts would be for self-preservation rather than helping others to cope with what was to come. Jesus knew long before the foundation of the earth was laid that Adam would sin and that mankind would need a Savior. Jesus would enter into His creation in order to provide the only way that sinful humans can be saved.

As Jesus began His ministry He chose a handful of men to learn from Him, and to spread the gospel—after His blood sacrifice upon the cross. Jesus knew what He would face.

The Child whose birth we celebrate had willingly left heaven to be our Kinsman Redeemer, which would require Him to become the Sacrificial Lamb to take away our sins.

“O death where is thy sting? O grave where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Corinthians 15:55-58)

His blood was shed for our redemption and three days later, He was resurrected. Because He lives so will we if we place our faith in Him.

When Jesus knew that it was time for His sacrifice on the cross, He willingly went to Jerusalem to celebrate Passover. Because of that sacrifice we are sanctified if we believe in Him.

“By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.” (Hebrews 10:10)

In Jerusalem He ate one final meal with His disciples. When the meal was finished Jesus told Judas Iscariot to go and do what he had to do—betray our Lord. After Judas left, Jesus spoke openly with the men who remained about what was to soon happen.

Anyone today who claims to follow Him should read those words, beginning in chapter 13 of the Gospel of John. Write them on your heart. Jesus finished His talk with a prayer for those men who would spread the gospel far and wide. Jesus also prayed for you.

“These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee: as thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him. And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent. I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do. And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.” (John 17:1-5)

Jesus had done everything that He had been sent to do, and now the hour had come for Him to offer Himself as the Sacrificial Lamb of God. He prayed that God the Father would glorify Him with the glory they shared prior to the creation of the world. Jesus            is God the Son and existed prior to the creation of all things.

We read in the book of Genesis that God spoke all things into existence, and the Gospel of John makes it clear that Jesus Christ is the One who spoke. Now it was time for His earthy ministry to end; the time had come for Jesus to return to the glory He and the Father had shared in the beginning.

[Jesus said,] “I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world: thine they were, and thou gavest them me; and they have kept thy word. Now they have known that all things whatsoever thou hast given me are of thee. 

For I have given unto them the words which thou gavest me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came out from thee, and they have believed that thou didst send me. 

I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine. And all mine are thine, and thine are mine; and I am glorified in them. And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee.

Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are. While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled” (John 17:6-12)

Jesus specifically prayed for His disciples who had walked with Him and heard His teaching. These men would face some fierce trials, but Jesus knew each one and had chosen them because He knew they would be faithful. The exception was Judas. Jesus chose him, not because he would be a faithful follower but because he would fulfill Scripture:

“I speak not of you all: I know whom I have chosen: but that the scripture may be fulfilled, he that eateth bread with me hath lifted up his heel against me.” (John 13:18)

Judas had walked with Jesus and heard what He taught, but still he would betray Him. Just because someone claims to follow Christ doesn’t mean they are a Christian. After Judas left, Jesus prayed for those who remained. We can thank God that those men did what they were asked. Even Peter was not lost. He denied Christ and hid, but Jesus restored him and Peter became a strong leader among those early believers. He was faithful even to his own crucifixion.

“And now come I to thee; and these things I speak in the world, that they might have my joy fulfilled in themselves. I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. 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.” (John 17:13-19)

These men would face great opposition as they carried the gospel into the angry, fallen world. Their strength would be in God. Jesus prayed that these men would be sanctified (set apart) from the world. Every Christian today needs to heed this prayer.

Do you claim to be a Christian, but instead of living by God’s Word you follow the world? Maybe you’re more like Judas than a true follower of Christ. God’s truth hasn’t changed so you need to separate from worldly ways and be sanctified through the truth of God’s Word.

Here is what Jesus prayed for you and me:

“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. And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: 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 has loved me.” (John 17:20-23)

Because Peter, James, John and the others shared the gospel faithfully, nearly 2,000 years later people read God’s Word and believed unto salvation. Through the years many false teachings have entered into the various denominations. Shame on you if you follow New Age teachings, participate in yoga, or embrace sin because your denomination believes God’s Word has changed.

“Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.” (Hebrews 13:8)

Sanctify yourself through God’s Word and be separate from the world.

“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. O righteous Father, the world hath not known thee: but I have known thee, and these have known that thou hast sent me. 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.” (John 17:24-26)

Do you want to be with Jesus for eternity? Do you want to behold His glory? I do. Jesus prayed for you and me to be there with Him, and I look forward to that time. The world doesn’t know God; it follows Satan and his evil horde of demons. The world is not sanctified by the Word of God and will hate you if you separate yourself from sin and follow Jesus. Jesus never said it would be easy.

“These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)

Only through Jesus can we know the love of God and not be a part of the sin of the world. Our victory comes only through faith in Christ.

After Jesus had finished His prayer they left the upper room and went outside. Jesus knew what He was about to face and He continued to pray to the Father. Jesus prayed that there would be another way for the redemption of mankind to be accomplished.

“Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done. And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him.” (Luke 22:42-43)

There is no other way for salvation than through the shed blood of Jesus Christ. If there were another way, God would have revealed it. Instead He sent an angel to give Jesus the strength to face what lay ahead. Don’t think you can be “good enough” or that Allah, meditation, or any other satanic way will lead to heaven. Satan is the “father of lies” (John 8:44), and has deceived many people. Only faith in Jesus Christ and His finished work on the cross will allow you into heaven.

Have you turned to Him for salvation? If so then be sanctified by His Word and separate from the world. Study your Bible and apply it to your heart. When you stumble in your walk with Him, repent and ask forgiveness. He loves you enough to have given His life for you.

Remember, Jesus prayed for you.

God bless you all,

Nathele Graham

twotug@embarqmail.com

www.straitandnarrowministry.com

ron@straitandnarrowministry.com

Ron and Nathele Graham’s previous commentaries archived at http://www.raptureready.com/featured/graham/graham.html

All original Scripture is “theopneustos” (God breathed).

The Accuser and the Advocate :: By Nathele Graham

When the cherubim were created Satan was one of them. He is described as being beautiful to behold.

“Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created.

Thou are the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou has walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire. Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee.” (Ezekiel 28:13-15)

By his own choice he is the most evil and hateful being to be found anywhere and is responsible for sickness, temptations, and all forms of evil that plague mankind. Don’t blame God if you’re going through sickness, bereavement, or any other problem in life. Satan is either directly or indirectly behind your troubles.

The word “iniquity” is translated from the Hebrew word ‘evel which means injustice, unrighteousness, wrong, violent deeds of injustice. Those are very descriptive words            for Satan. Pride set in and he desired to be like God. That combination of iniquity and pride was his downfall. He could no longer be a part of the angels who chose to serve God Almighty, but it might surprise you to know that he still has access to heaven.          There he accuses us of sin before God and his goal is to turn all humanity against God.

Satan began his lies and deception against humanity in the Garden of Eden. He lied to Eve and even accused God of deception. God had told Adam and Eve the truth, that they would die if they ate the fruit of knowledge of good and evil. That lying serpent made the forbidden fruit look tempting, but Eve told him that God said they would die if they ate it or even touched it.

“And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.” (Genesis 3:4-5)

Eve believed the liar rather than God and Adam followed her in sin. They tried to hide from God, which is impossible. Then came the finger pointing. Adam blamed Eve and even blamed God.

“And the man said, The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat.” (Genesis 3:12)

Adam made a choice but he blamed others for causing him to fail. Eve blamed the serpent although she knew she wasn’t to eat the fruit of that tree.

“For Adam was first formed, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.” (1 Timothy 2:13-14)

They each made their choice and we now live in a fallen world. Satan has never stopped lying to us and he continues to lie and accuse us before God.

It was Satan who tempted Eve to eat the forbidden fruit and it was Satan who accused Job of loving God only because God protected him.

“Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them. And the LORD said unto Satan, Whence comest thou? Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it.” (Job 1:6-7)

The term “sons of God” can refer to angels and we see that Satan was right there with them as they stood before God. Satan had been roaming the earth and God asked him if he had considered Job who was “…a perfect and upright man, one that feareth      God, and escheweth evil?” (Job 1:8b)

That’s when Satan began his accusations against Job.

“Satan answered the LORD, and said, Doth Job fear God for nought? Hast not thou made an hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he hath on every side?  thou has blessed the work of his hands, and his substance is increased in the land.” (Job 1:9-10)

God allowed Satan to trouble Job with some tough trials, but in the end Job remained true to God and regained all he lost. Are you going through some struggles right now? Don’t blame God. Blame the accuser—Satan. He has no love for you and will do anything to get you to turn away from God. Don’t allow this evil being to come between you and God who gave His life for your salvation.

Satan’s lies and accusations aren’t just aimed at us mere humans; he was even prideful enough to think that he could tempt Jesus to bow before him. Just before Jesus began His ministry on earth He went into the wilderness where He fasted for 40 days. Satan is no match for God, so he waited until Jesus’ human body was weakened and then attacked with temptations. Jesus was hungry, and that evil accuser tempted Him to prove who He was.

“And the devil said unto him, If thou be the Son of God, command this stone that it be made bread.” (Luke 4:3)

More temptations and accusations followed, but Jesus answered every one with Scripture. Can you do that? Satan will always see your weak points and try to tempt you to fail in your walk with God. He will place thoughts in your mind that you’re a failure or tempt you to sin by making it look as if sin isn’t so bad. Sin is always bad. Scripture is your defense and if you’ve memorized verses you can quote them in order to gain victory           over sin.

“There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.” (1 Corinthians 10:13)

Write God’s Word on your heart and always turn to God in times of temptation. Those temptations come from Satan accusing you and trying to make you stumble. He’s a liar and hates all humans. Don’t allow his lying tongue to pull you into sin.

Satan goes by many names, and one of those is the “great dragon.” After the Rapture those who are left on earth will face horrendous evil which is caused by that creature known as the serpent, Lucifer, the Devil, the “prince of the power of the air,” the “great dragon,” and “the accuser of our brethren” to name a few of his descriptive names. In the end he will lose and be permanently cast out of heaven.

“And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan,             which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth and his angels were            cast out with him. And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, ‘Now is come salvation,  and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser            of our brethren is cast down which accused them before our God day and night.’” (Revelation 12:9-1).

The accuser of the brethren will spend eternity in the Lake of Fire along with everyone who rejects Jesus Christ for salvation. Don’t allow him to deceive you or cause you to reject God. You have a choice, so choose wisely.

Satan, the accuser, will soon be reckoned with. Until then, what do we do? Are we at his mercy? Well, there is no mercy in Satan, but we do have an Advocate. “My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.” (1 John 2:1)

John wrote this letter to Christians and gives us assurance that our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, is our Advocate with the Father. An accuser blames you and wants you punished, but an advocate is someone who stands up for you and pleads your case. If you have accepted Christ for salvation, then He stands up for you when Satan accuses you of failure.

As Christians we need to live our lives as sinless as we can but it’s impossible for us to never stumble and fall into sin. When that happens our first response should be to reach out in faith to our Advocate.

“If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:8-9)

Satan is the accuser, but Jesus Christ is our Advocate. He loves us and shed His blood to take our sin away. Do your best to flee from temptation and sin, but when you stumble confess your sin to Jesus and His righteousness will cleanse you. He is your Advocate with the Father.

If you’ve rejected the blood sacrifice of Jesus Christ then you have no Advocate before the Father. Your sins cannot be forgiven and Satan’s accusations will not be rejected. If you’ve rejected Christ’s free gift of salvation you will spend eternity in the lake of fire with the accuser, Satan.

“For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”  (Romans 6:23)

If you have accepted Christ for salvation  then live as close to Him as you can. Don’t give Satan reasons to accuse you, but always remember that Jesus Christ is your Advocate and the propitiation for sin.

“Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” (1 John 4:10)

Your choice must be made while living this side of heaven. If you choose to reject Jesus Christ as your Savior then you have no Advocate before the Father, only an accuser.

God bless you all,

Nathele Graham

twotug@embarqmail.com

www.straitandnarrowministry.com

ron@straitandnarrowministry.com

Ron and Nathele Graham’s previous commentaries archived at http://www.raptureready.com/featured/graham/graham.html

All original Scripture is “theopneustos” (God breathed).