WHICH WORLD DID GOD "SO LOVE"?Arnold kennedy
Over the years, accumulated errors in translations have led us away from the meanings contained in the original texts. One consequence has been that the commentaries and reference dictionaries often perpetuate and magnify the problems by using statements such as, this has come to mean, and then applying their own interpretations based upon such new meanings. Apart from errors in pure translation, there are errors due to words being added in English that are not supported in the original text. Also there are words deleted from the English text that are supported in the original text. An example of this is the frequent omission of the Definite Article from the English translations, where this is included in the Greek and vice versa.
Universalists may use what appear to be direct statements. But they rely on certain words that have been given new meanings. Sometimes completely wrong and deceptive meanings have been placed on words and some of these have become accepted modern teachings. To these manufactured word meanings, "types" are added to fit the interpretation. This is the common way of teaching, but it is not teaching that is based upon the foundation of the Law, the Psalms and the Prophets.
In the New Testament there is a call to separation which few will deny. In todays preaching, this is presented primarily as a separation from uncleaness and sin. This is not an incorrect presentation in itself, but it is a half truth.
¼ I will dwell in them, and walk in them, and I will be their God, and they shall be MY PEOPLE. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean [thing], and I will receive you.
The addition of "thing" [akathartou, genitive, singular, neuter] at the end of this verse is grammatically justified. But, preachers use it in the sense of things rather than people. When we look at this verse, it is obvious that "them" signifies the separation of one people [not thing] from another. The word used in Greek is aphorizo that means to border off to limit off to separate and to sever from the rest. In the next verse below we see how this word is used; it is used of the separation of sheep or goats. [Note: nations is a neuter noun whereas them is masculine and thus refers to the people within the nations].
This specifically mentions nations. Any such suggestion of election or national separation horrifies some Christians because of the conflict between this and their understanding of God so loved the world and similar Scriptures. So it might be well to immediately look at these verses and see what the world means.
GO INTO ALL "THE WORLD".
John 3:16,17 For God so lovedthe world that he gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
Mark 16:15 And he said unto them, Go into allthe world, and preach the gospel to every creature.
These are two much quoted verses. In each case "the world" is the same word kosmos in the original Greek. Kosmos is probably one of the least understood and misused words in the New Testament and perhaps we should take a short-cut and make statements about kosmos which is usually translated as "world".
So, which "world" of all these "worlds" did God so love? From the Scriptures, we can see that there are differing kinds of worlds. Think about this and how this relates to what has been shown as written in the Law, the Psalms and the Prophets. In the Old Testament we are told that God loved Israel. There does not seem to be a single direct reference to God loving any other race. Let us consider the Israel order whom God says He loved in the Old Testament.
loved you, and because he would keep the oath which he sware unto your fathers [that is, of Israel].
Psalm 47:4¼ the excellency of Jacob whom he loved.
Isaiah 63:7-9 I will mention theloving kindness of the Lord and the great goodness toward the house of Israel in his love and in his pity he redeemed them
Hosea 3:1 according to thelove of the Lord towards the children of Israel.
Hosea 11:1-4 WhenIsrael was a child, then I loved him I drew them with cords of a man, with bands of love: ¼
Zeph 3:17 The Lord thy God in the midst of thee [that is, Israel] is mighty, he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy, he will rest inhis love ¼
Malachi 1:2¼ yet I loved Jacob, and I hated Esau, ¼
In the Old Testament we have these expressions of the Israel people that God so loved. Cast your mind back to all the Scriptures in the New Testament we have looked at which show the exclusive nature of Israel. Both tell of the love of God for Israel in a way which separates them from the other races. Are we now to believe that this people Israel have somehow disappeared, despite prophecy to the contrary? If God said that He hated Esau, then Edom could not be included in the "all" or "the world" of Go ye intoall the world and God so loved the world.
Just in case anyone still has reservations about "the world" having different meanings, we will look at pairs of verses each of which contain the words "the world".
The world cannot hate you, but me it hateth, ¼
1 John 3:13 Marvel not, my brethren, ifthe world hate you.
If both of these two "worlds" were the same, then the disciples could not be hated by a world that was not able to hate them. Both worlds are kosmos.
the world ¼
John 17:14¼ they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.
In one verse they are out of "the world" and in the second they are not of "the world".
¼ I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me, for they are thine.
John 3:16 God so lovedthe world, ¼
Might it not be blasphemy to suggest that Jesus would not pray for that world He loved. So He must pray for one "world" and not for another! Here are demonstrated three pairs of Scriptures which show contrasts in the "worlds" they are talking about.
THE WORLD KOSMOS OR OIKOUMENE?
These two words are both translated "world", but they are different in application and meaning. The meaning of kosmos is determined by its context to identify which particular world is under discussion, whereas oikoumene means the inhabited or civilised earth of the Mediterranean region. We can see oikoumene easily in verses such as Luke 2:1 where Caesar was to tax allthe world and Acts 11:28 about a famine throughout all the world. In Acts 17:6 we read where the disciples turned the world upside down. In Acts 19:27 we read about all Asia and the world worshipping the goddess Diana and in Acts 24:5 about Paul being said to be a mover of sedition throughout the world. In Rev 3:10 Jesus speaks about the hour of temptation which shall come upon all the world. In Romans 10:18 we are told the Word of God went into all the earth and unto the ends of the world. When we remember that both parts of Israel were scattered among the nations this is easily understood. We might say that the kosmos of Israel was scattered throughout the oikoumene. Jesus came into the oikoumene [Heb 1:6] to minister to the kosmos of Israel.
Once we understand this, we can correct verses which the universalists use, such as 1 John 2:2: And He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only, but for [that is, the sins of] the whole world. Here the word for world is kosmos, not oikoumene. The "whole" is holos which means every bit and every whit of the kosmos it refers to. The context shows John is saying that the propitiation applies to all of Israel.
It also helps with Matt 24:14 where Jesus speaks about the gospel being preached (proclaimed) in all the world. Here we find oikoumene for "world", not kosmos. The expression in the world is not to the world. Here Jesus was addressing Israelite disciples about the gospel being a witness to all the Israel nations who were dispersed in the oikoumene at that time.
WHAT "WORLD" DID GOD SO LOVE?
Does all mankind belong to that "world"?
Do only certain men belong to that "world"?
Who are those people then that God loves?
Where do they come from?
These are very important questions which have to be answered and faced up to, like it or not. A very solid foundation has been established from both Testaments to build upon and this shows the world of an exceedingly exclusive, chosen, called, predestined and elect race of people. Most people have some thought about the existence of a "chosen people", and somehow they come up with the label "The Jews" for these people. "The Jews" is a generalisation which cannot equate to Israel! And, Jesus always condemned "The Jews" for what they were [John 8], so "The Jews" [as the popular term] cannot be Israel!
THE TWO VIEWS OF "THE WORLD" ARE TWO DIFFERING GOSPELS
The two views commonly taken are really two separate gospels. One of them must be another gospel. Those who believe another gospel, the Apostle Paul states, are accursed! This is really very serious, so to not be accursed we have to look well at both gospels! Both cannot be right. One is the gospel of the universal. One is the gospel of the particular. So think this through well. Either God loves all men, [including those God says that He hates] or He loves only His elect.
After a few more paragraphs, we will have summaries of these two different gospel options to consider.
DOES GOD LOVE THOSE HE DECLARES THAT HE HATES?
The Bible tells us of Gods hatred as well as Gods love. So if God hated even one man, He would not so love the world. He does say Esau have I hated. If God hated just Esau, then Edom could not be included in the "all" of Go ye intoall the world or "the world" of God so loved the world. If God failed to save all mankind, then He is not almighty and unchangeable. He must be powerless if The World means all mankind. All men are not saved. Could the death of Jesus and the redemptive Love of God ever be in vain?
Quoting from R.K. and R.N. Phillips in "The Book of Revelation", Part Two:
Gods love of the Elect is in no way limited. He so loved this "world" of His Elect. This is the order of Israel He loved and sent His Son to redeem. This is for whom Jesus died. We are told He came to save HIS PEOPLE from their sins.
Scripture says, Whosoever believeth on Him shall not perish, but have everlasting life. We have to look at which "world" is being addressed and see that the "whosoever" refers to "all" of that part being spoken about and not "all" of everything. The context here is Israel. The whosoever is a mistranslation; it literally means the entire one which refers to the entire nation of Israel, as determined by the context.
Now we can go back to the Old Testament Scriptures with understanding and see just why it was so important to quote all the Scriptures which show that the Law and the Ten Commandment were given to Israel alone. It is vital to understand this. Redeeming Love can only mean redemption from the curse of a broken Law. This Law Covenant had not been made with all races. Israel is the world Jesus came to save. He bought back or redeemed Israel. That redemption price, by Law, could be paid only by a kinsman - according to the Law God gave Israel. Hence Jesus is the kinsman of Israel (He is Davids greater son). Jesus is not the kinsman of any other race.
JOHN CHAPTER THREE
Let us go back to John 3 where Jesus was talking to Nicodemus, a Master of Israel. In context, Israel is the "world" they were talking about. Consider, For God so loved the world; the word "for" refers to the immediate, preceding discussion. This provides the context. To whom is Jesus speaking? This tells us which kosmos is under discussion. The whole subject matter concerns Israelites and a master in Israel, Nicodemus.
To which race did Moses lift up that serpent? Which race was then healed and cleansed from the serpent bites? It was only Israel.
At the beginning of this chapter we quoted Mark 16:15 in connection with going into all the kosmos and "preaching" [that is, proclaiming] the gospel to every creature. Which "world" were the disciples to go into? This is a fair question. When the disciples were sent to the lost sheep of the House OF ISRAEL, to whom and to which "world" were they sent? When Jesus said in Matthew 15:24: I am not sent BUT unto the lost sheep of the House of Israel, to what race was He sent? Are we to say Jesus was wrong and that He was sent to every race? Are we to say Jesus was wrong in sending His disciples only to Israelites? If they were told go ye into all the world, why did they not go to the Negroes, the Chinese or the Indians? Why did they choose only one direction and proceeded to where the Children of Israel were?[EDITOR'S NOTE: most instances of "children of Israel" are translated from "ben" which means "sons of Israel]. The location of the House of Israel at that time can be easily established historically.
¼ he departed thence to preach in their [disciples] cities.
Matt 10:5-7 Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not: but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. And as ye go, preach (proclaim), saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand.
The disciples were instructed specifically not to go to certain peoples. The disciples of Jesus went out from Galilee knowing exactly where to find these "lost" sheep. They were not so "lost" that they could not be found!
"ALL", "EVERY ONE", "WHO-SO-EVER", ETC.
Consider again these two verses:
Such verses are the basis of the thought that the go and preach the gospel to every creature of Mark 16:15 refers to going to every person of every race on earth. Let us consider some of the words in these verses.
This is the creature [or rather, creation] of Mark 16:15. The word ktisis in the Greek is used to indicate the product of human building or formation. In this context it refers to a village, or place where people live. A ktisis is built by man, not God. The disciples were to go specifically to the places or the villages or places where the Israelites lived.
of Israel, til the Son of Man be come.
We cannot make the citiesof Israel mean the cities of every race. Note here that Jesus is speaking of the time of the end.
The Kingdom is what Jesus and John the Baptist came proclaiming repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. Who proclaims that today? It is impossible to believe and teach both the modern universal gospel to all races and the exclusive Kingdom of Heaven at the same time. He confines all the world to the cities of Israel! In other words, it is to be proclaimed in the dwellings or places where the Israelites live right up to the end of the age.
ARE "ALL" and "EVERY" LIMITED EXPRESSIONS?
Does "all" usually mean "all of everything" or "all of that part being spoken about"? Does all the world mean all the planet, or just all of that part of the planet being spoken about. A look through Youngs Analytical Concordance will show how these words are used. This will give an indication without having to go into the Greek. Being certain on this topic is well worth the time involved researching lexicons to determine the correct meanings of the words used. The words for all, every etc. are often singular, NOT plural. Thus they refer to:
To grasp the use of all in Greek and Hebrew, consider Deut 28:10 and all the people of the earth shall see that thou art called by the name of the Lord, and they shall be afraid of thee. Here, all the peoples of the earth does NOT include Israel. In the same way, go ye into all the world is NOT inclusive of every race. Failure to understand this is the source of error in the modern popular teaching. Jesus says that it is not given for everyone to hear or to understand. Immediately we have just one exception, then "every" and "all" cannot include that exception, or the other exceptions. If an exception is made about the Edomites who cannot find repentance, or of those Jesus said, leave them alone, then these cannot be part of the "all" being addressed. Jesus did not proclaim to certain peoples, as we have seen. Jesus said He was sent to Israel to save His people from their sins. Are we to be wiser than Jesus?
And, what are the two differing gospels?
GOSPEL NUMBER ONE [The FALSE Gospel of the universal]
This is that gospel which cannot be found throughout the Law, The Psalms, the Prophets or through the New Testament. So, it must be false. It says:
[EDITOR'S NOTE: There were 14 Tribes of Israel, 12 of the house of Israel, one of the House of Judah, plus the Tribe of Levi which was spread amongst all the other 13 tribes]
All men are supposed to have faith - even if the Bible says all men have not faith.
The Father gave Jesus to all men of all races, not all men of Israel only.
All races are pre-destined - God must have been wrong to expect Israel to destroy certain mixed races; all are the same now.
There are no elect people nor any election according to grace.
God has mercy on everyone, not just on whom He chooses or elects.
There are no scriptural differences between men of different origins.
Men always includes women.
Non-Israel races can be adopted into Israel - even though the Bible says who are Israelites, to whom pertaineth the adoption, [Rom 9:4] and of whom concerning the flesh Christ came.
God may be worshipped acceptably within any culture and religion; all being paths to God.
All races are the same in Gods sight.
It is now up to all sinners of all races to embrace the love of God or not to embrace it.
This gospel says it is up to everyone of every race to either have eternal life or to perish. This would mean God is not sovereign in giving the choice only to Israelites. This is the gospel of individual universal salvation.
This false gospel claims that, in general, mankind is sovereign and makes the choices.
GOSPEL NUMBER TWO [The True Gospel of the particular]
This is the everlasting gospel, the true gospel in which we stand if we continue in The Faith that was once delivered unto the saints and delivered to no one else. This says:
[EDITOR'S NOTE: Jesus said He was sent only to the House of Israel, the northern 12 tribes, which excludes the House of Judah,the one southern tribe]
That is, the true gospel says that God is absolutely sovereign and particular!