The Berean Expositor
Volume 50 - Page 170 of 185
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Chapter 17:
pp. 116 - 120
The sacred prayer of our Lord in this chapter summarizes the work of Christ from
before the foundation of the world to His re-entry into His glory. The Son desired that
the disciples His Father had given Him might be with Him there and behold His glory
(17: 24). We have here plain statements concerning God manifest in Christ in glory
before the foundation of the world; God manifest in Christ as the Son of His Heavenly
Father on earth; and finally God manifest in Christ in the glory again. There is only One
God but for our human limitations such separate manifestations were evidently necessary
and we do well not to spoil such a holy demonstration by attempting to explain or define
spiritual margins:
". . . . . the glory which I had with Thee before the world was" (17: 5).
". . . . . now I am no more in the world . . . . . and I come to Thee" (17: 11).
"I have glorified Thee on the earth; I have finished the work which Thou gavest Me
to do" (17: 4).
The last words of the previous text "the work which Thou gavest Me to do" are
highlighted by a brief study of the phrase "before the foundation of the world" in
verse 24.  Katabole, the Greek word for `foundation' occurs 10 times in the N.T. and
illustrates the supernatural power of God from the beginning to see how His creation will
react and live in the future. While leaving mankind with their free choice (and not
controlling them as puppets) God overrules where necessary so that His ordained goal
will be reached. God foresaw the effect of the flesh on man and the misuse by Satan of
the power and the authority given to him over the world. Right from Gen. 3: 15 to the
end of Revelation, God enshrined in His Word His declared plans to redeem His people,
to establish them as His children and as the Apostle Paul sketches the goal:
"The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: and
if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer
with Him, that we may also glorified together" (Rom. 8: 16, 17).
So the following texts centering round katabole demonstrate complete knowledge of
God and His wonderful provision for us:
"I will open my mouth in parables; I will utter things which have been kept secret from
the foundation of the world" (Matt. 13: 35). This was quoted from Psa. 78: 2
where the Holy Spirit recorded by the psalmist all those years ago God's intention to
reveal in parable to His elect some of His future plans.
"When the Son of man shall come in His glory . . . . . then shall the King say . . . . .
Come ye blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the
foundation of the world" (Matt. 25: 34). Here for our comfort is the announcement of
God's provision for His elect so long ago and will He not have done this for all His
companies of believers?
Jesus Said . . . . . woe unto you, scribes and pharisees . . . . . ye build the sepulchers of
the prophets, and your fathers killed them . . . . . ye bear witness that ye allow the deeds