satisfy the selfish desire by which he was enticed, this spirit son of God changed himself from a son of God into a disowner of God his Father, from a co-worker with God into an opposer of God, from a truthtelling praiser of God into a lying slanderer of God. He turned himself into Satan the Devil, whom God could not own as his son. He did this by trying to convert Adam and Eve from perfect, righteous, sinless children of God into bad persons such as he could now originate, sinners against their Creator. That is why John writes: “He who practices sin originates with the Devil, because the Devil has been sinning from when he began. For this purpose the Son of God was made manifest, namely, to break up the works of the Devil. . . . The children of God and the children of the Devil are evident by this fact: Everyone who does not practice righteousness does not originate with God, neither does he who does not love his brother. . . . we should have love for one another; not like [Adam’s son] Cain, who originated with the wicked one and slaughtered his brother [Abel]. And for the sake of what did he slaughter him? Because his own works were wicked, but those of his brother were righteous.” (1 John 3:8-12) Through introducing sin, Satan desecrated God’s Eden sanctuary.
(To be continued)
Questions From Readers
● At John 3:16, 17, what “world” did God love so much, and what “world” did God send Jesus, not to judge, but to save?
In John’s account of Jesus’ life the English word “world” is translated from the Greek word kósmos, which occurs at least seventy-nine times in the original text of John’s account. Fundamentally, kósmos means “order,” that is, a constituted order, an arrangement, an ordering of things according to a certain design, an arrangement of things according to a certain pattern.
However, whenever in John’s account we read the word kósmos, we must not in every case at once think of a world made up of heavens and an earth, the heavens being composed of invisible controlling spirit forces and the earth being composed of human creatures subject and submissive to the control of those invisible spirit forces. Hence we should not at once think of such kinds of world which have been or will yet be associated with this earth—the Edenic world of Adam and Eve’s innocency; the world outside the garden of Eden or the world of the ungodly before the Flood; the present world of the “heavens and the earth that are now”; and the coming new world of “new heavens and a new earth.” If we always think of such worlds we may run into confusion and wonder which is the one of those several worlds that is meant.
For example, take John’s first four uses of the word kósmos or “world.” We read: “The true light which gives light to every kind of man was about to come into the world . He was in the world , and the world  came into existence through him, but the world  did not take note of him. He came to his own home, but his own people did not take him in.” (John 1:9-11) Now, into what world did Jesus come as the true light? It is true that this occurred during the time of the world made up of the “heavens and the earth that are now.” (2 Pet. 3:7) But is this the “world” that John 1:9-11 means? Was this the world that “came into existence through him”? Was this “his own home” to which he came, but none of which took him in?
We must keep in mind that Jesus came out of the invisible, higher spirit realms into the visible, lower earthly or fleshly realms. This was why he said to the Jews: “You are from the realms below; I am from the realms above. You are from this world; I am not from this world.” (John 8:23) Here Jesus was identifying one world with the “realms above,” and another world with the “realms below.” He said that the people from the realms below were “from this world.” He himself, being from the realms above, was therefore “not from this world.” What, then, was this world? Yes, it was an established order or an arrangement; but for there to be an order or arrangement, there have to be things or people to be set in a certain order or to be arranged a certain way. It is clear, then, that the word “world” in its usage by John here would mean the people who are in a certain arrangement or constituted order and subject to a certain system of things.
Now, to return to John 1:9-11: Jesus, the true light that gives light to every kind of man, was once about to come into the world, that is to say, come in among the arranged people or the people subject to a certain set order. Jesus came from above, from among angels, and he came among people on earth, human creatures living according to the order of things that prevailed among them. As long as he was in the flesh, and particularly during his public ministry when he sought contact with all the people, the lost sheep of the house of Israel, he was in this world of people. He was the Word of God, by means of whom all things came into existence. Hence Jesus Christ was responsible for the existence of this world of people, although not exactly for the arrangement or constituted order according to which they lived and worked.
Did this world of people “take note of him”? John 1:10 says that it did not. That is, the majority of the people did not do so. They clung to their preferred order to which they conformed; they wanted no change. So his own people, creatures who owed their existence to his original work, did not take him in, not even the Jews. But did nobody at all accept the light or take note of him or take him in? John 1:12 says that some did so. It says: “However, as many as did receive him, to them he gave authority to become God’s children, because they were exercising faith in his name.”
Since the greater part of this world of people treated Jesus that way, it could be said that the world hated Jesus. When Jesus’ own half brothers said to him: “Manifest yourself to the world,” Jesus said to them: “The world has no reason to hate you, but it hates me, because I bear witness concerning [the world] that its works are wicked.” (John 7:4-7) For this reason Jesus did not manifest himself to the world of people, but went up secretly to the feast at Jerusalem, to thwart attempts of the world to kill him out of its hatred. For the greater part, the world of people did not love him and they would not love those who came out of this world of people and became Jesus’ followers. So he said to his apostles: “These things I command you, that you love one another. If the world hates you, you know that it has hated me before it hated you. If you were part of the world, the world would be fond of what is its own. Now because you are no part of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, on this account the world hates you.”—John 15:17-19.
In order to hate, the world has to be made up of people, creatures with the capacity to hate. Jesus did not pray for these haters, the hateful world of people. To his heavenly Father he prayed: “I make request concerning them [the men you gave me out of the world]; I make request, not concerning the world, but concerning those you have given me, . . . Also I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world and I am coming to you.” “They are no part of the world just as I am no part of the world. Sanctify them by means of the truth; your word is truth. Just as you sent me forth into the world, I also sent them forth into the world.” “I make request, not concerning these only, but also concerning those putting faith in me through their [apostolic] word, in order that they may all be one, . . . Righteous Father, the world has, indeed, not come to know you, but I have come to know you, and these have come to know that you sent me forth.”—John 17:9-11, 16-18, 20, 21, 25.
Now in this connection, who was it that the heavenly Father, Jehovah God, loved? Was it the whole world of people, of whom his apostles and later believers ceased to be a part? Let Jesus answer these questions in his own prayer: “I in union with them [not with the world] and you in union with me, in order that they may be perfected into one, that the world may have the knowledge that you sent me forth and that you loved them just as you loved me. . . . because you loved me before the world’s foundation.” (John 17:23, 24) God loved those who loved the one whom he loved, his Son Jesus Christ. The world of people did not love the Father’s beloved Son. Those who ceased to be one with the world of people and who became one with Jesus Christ loved him. Those in union with Jesus Christ were the ones whom the heavenly Father loved. This excludes the world