chapter 1
Bible Mysteries

chapter 2
Bible Mysteries
Dunamis Holy Spirit Power

PDF 2 Power
chapter 4
Bible Mysteries
The Cross-Baptism

PDF 4Cross

chapter 5
Bible Mysteries
Church the Body

PDF 5 Body

chapter 6
Bible Mysteries
Grace through

PDF 6 Grace
chapter 7
Bible Mysteries
Jesus The Living

PDF 7 The Word

chapter 10
Bible Mysteries
Church the Body

PDF 5 Body

chapter 11
Bible Mysteries

Who are God's Children?

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Index to all Charles Pinkney Christian Study Titles


Study # 11
Who Are the Children of God?
The first verses in John's Gospel point to the reality of BECOMING
a child of God. That transformational state is confined to those
"who believe on his (Jesus') name."
The text follows:

John 1:11 He came unto his own, and his own received him not. 12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: 13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. (In this passage the "right" is Gk. exousia, which means permission or authority.)

In John, the first chapter, we find that those who receive him (Yeshua, Jesus the Messiah) those who will receive, he gives the Power which is Gk. exousia which means authority or permission. Again we are to understand that not all will receive Jesus. They can't be among those who may call themselves "sons of God, or children of God."

John 6:37 All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out.

The notion that all of humanity are the "Children of God" is a popularly held belief. It is the "ecumenical" viewpoint wherein no religion or denomination is excluded from claiming that they are among "God's children." This agrees with a Universalist theology. It has also been declared by the now pope, Pope Francis 1.

I find this belief to be the current understanding of most mainline Christian churches. The universalists uphold the comforting belief that man is essentially good and that a wise, all-compassionate God will certainly acknowlege that one's best human efforts will grant them an eternal heavenly reward based on their motivation and actions. It is the belief that seems most fair and reasonable in most minds. The view that all are children of God is also allows a tenant of Buddhism where "all paths lead to God."

We must turn to Jesus' words to be reconciled to the reality, There is "a broad path that leads to destruction, by which many go.. " Jesus spoke of a narrow path. This narrow path was declared to be through Jesus of Nazareth himself. He is the one access point, the door. He said, "No one comes to the 'Father' but through me." This has always been the pathway that brings offense and causes many to stumble.

Is the path that leads to salvation such a limited one?

This chapter rightly belongs among the Mysteries of God. Is the WAY so restricted and limited to but a few? The belief of a hidden or limited path is rejected by the mass of humanity. Proofs are found in the New Testament but veiled and hinted in the Old Testament. The Holy Bible teaches that only those who are "born of G-d are the children of G-d.
" 1 John C.3,
(The Jewish traditions honors the title of God by rendering the divine name G-d or JHVH.)

"Our Father Who Art in Heaven.. "

This familiar prayer memorized by most Christians begins with this declaration. Does this validate the universalist view point or does it suggest another reality? We give little thought to the first phrase of the "Lord's Prayer" because it has lost any kind of meaning since we have learned to pray it by wrote countless times.' We never contemplate the profound implications that it had with those who originally heard it declared by the Messiah himself. A change was to come in the status of humanity from "children of wrath" to children of G-d.

Remember in the days that Yeshua (Jesus) of Nazareth, ministered on earth. The Jewish authorities held that G-d had no son. The same doctine is held by Islam today. It is emblazoned upon their mosque, the dome of the Rock in Jerusalem.

Why did Jesus so thoroughly offend the Jewish authorities of his day? Because they said he made himself equal with G-d declaring that G-d was his father. This was blasphemy according to their understanding of Mosaic law. It continues to be a critical point of contention held by any orthodox Jew today. Since G-d is "one," the rabbis conclude that Yeshua can not be the Messiah. The Sanhedrin,of Jesus' day, crucified Jesus for this "blasphemy."

Jesus instructed his disciples to pray to the heavenly Father even as he himself did. This new relationship foretold a new relationship that would soon come, not to affirm to them that "we are all God's children." This point of view of course is questioned by credentialed church leaders today. Only a closer study of the Bible texts will bring light to settle the matter.

Christians Before the Resurrection?

I have heard many Christian leaders actually go so far as to call Yeshua's disciples "Christians" during his earthly ministry. They were not Christians, they were disciples, followers of Yeshua of Nazareth. His disciples believed him to be the promised King of Israel and it was hoped that he would become the ruling Messiah. Even after Pentecost the disciples of Jesus identified themselves as being followers of "the way" of their Messiah. It was at the birth of the church age at Pentecost that the supernatural "Power of G-d" transformed the spiritual nature of the disciples into "sons and daughters of G-d. It was years later in Antioch Syria that followers of the way were called Christians. It is even foolishly taught by some Christian pastors that followers of Moses were Christians.

That identity of Jesus as the "Son of the Living God" was first revealed to Peter by the revelation of the Holy Spirit. (Matthew 16:16) Thereafter the disciples believed that Jesus was truly the Messiah and the Son of the Living God. They would have carried and affirmed this belief for the duration of their days with him. Nevertheless they were never quite sure of what it meant that he had a destiny to die in Jerusalem to fulfill his Father's will.

Finally, the original disciples did not attain to the status of sonship until after Jesus breathed upon them bringing spiritual regeneration and understanding to life in them. (John 20:22) (Luke 24:45) They were then prepared to received the "promise of the Father" the full immersion into the Spirit empowered life. The Spirit of Truth would take which Jesus would supply in word or action to minister with the anointings that Jesus' ministry required. Therefore, the sonship that was promised in the above prayer was spoken in advance of any of the disciples actually becoming "children of the Father."

Proverbs 30:4 An Old Testament Statement Testifying of G-d's Son
"Who hath ascended up into heaven, or descended? who hath gathered the wind in his fists? who hath bound the waters in a garment? who hath established all the ends of the earth? what is his name, and what is his son's name, if thou canst tell?"

Jesus' Parable of the Wheat and the Tares; a Proof Text That We Are Not All God's Children.

Matthew 13: 36 Then Jesus sent the multitude away, and went into the house: and his disciples came unto him, saying, Declare unto us the parable of the tares of the field. 37 He answered and said unto them, He that soweth the good seed is the Son of man; 38 The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one; 39 The enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels. 40 As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world. The above passage indicates that those sitting next to us in a pew, who we presume to be Christians, may be among the tares. Others from another denomination or religion may likewise be among the tares, unregenerated humanity. The appearance of goodness or moral standing is no guarantee that they are among the called and redeemed.
Only God has this knowledge. Sorry! The Bible does not teach the equality of all religions.

Who is it that determines whether or not we qualify for the title of God's children? The Father knows those who are His own. This will become abundantly clear when the ingathering, final harvest occurs at the end of the age. We who have been "born from above" have this witness that we are the children of God. From the viewpoint of any casual observer, believers are not distinquishable from unbelievers. Churches and cults imagine themselves display confidence in their righteous standing; that they are the elect and beloved of God. But have they had their names written in the "Book of Life?" Have they been "born again?"

The Gospel of Grace declares that this status of adopted sons and daughters may be received as a free gift. It is not awarded because of religious works or righteous deeds. G-d only initiates this transaction supernaturally. He answers those who cry out with a sincere heart. Anyone who calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved! (Joel 2:32) 32 "And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be delivered: (saved) for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the Lord hath said, and in the remnant whom the Lord shall call."

Why Jesus Taught in Parables

Matthew 13: 10 "And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables? 11 He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given. 12 For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath. 13 Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing, see not; and hearing, they hear not, neither do they understand."
You man ask if God is fair. According to the knowledge and wisdom of God some are called and equipt but are unchosen. This is clearly a mystery among mysteries. God prepares the heart of those he calls at at time of His choosing.

Proof Texts from the Gospel of John

John 1:11 He came unto his own, and his own received him not. 12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: 13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. (In this passage the "right" is Gk. exousia, which means permission or authority.)

In John, the first chapter, we find that those who receive him (Yeshua, Jesus the Messiah) those who will receive, he gives the Power
which is Gk. exousia which means authority or permission. Again we are to understand that not all will receive Jesus. They can not
be among those who may call themselves "sons of God, or children of God."

John 6:37 All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out.

John 14.6 - - Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. It is the Father in heaven who makes the decision about those who will be drawn forth or "chosen" for the title of Son of God.
But the qualifying fact is that they are to come to the Father through only one channel, that of the Son, who is also called the door of the sheep fold. Believing in God you do well, so do the demons and they tremble; But to go into the sheep fold by any other means is not permitted. (John 10: 7-10)

An excellent resource that explains the calling or drawing power of the Holy Spirit is this one online.

John the apostle writes in his 1 John:3 Johns first Epistle:3 Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. 2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.

John continues to clarify the identifying traits of those who are God's children and the children of the devil later in the same chapter:
(1 John 3:9) Anyone born of God refuses to practice sin, because God’s seed abides in him; he cannot go on sinning, because he has been born of God. (10) By this the children of God and the children of the devil can be distinguished: Anyone who does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is anyone who does not love his brother.

Worldly Christians it seems, are far more engaged in pursuit of worldly rewards, name, fame, power, recognition, and acquisition of things. They have set their hearts (the seat of affections) upon things of this world that perish, and not things which are eternal / heavenly. John has exhorted against this pitfall, "Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him." (1 John 2:15)

Some have debated the reality of Good vs. Evil. The Bible makes it clear; there are some human beings who are Evil and some who are Good. The good news is that we can change that status once we realize the truth about our fallen nature. Ephesians 2:v3 explains:

We were in times past counted among the children of the evil one. But in God's time we were delivered from that state and translated into the Kingdom of God's dear son. AMPC translation of Ephesians 2:3 - - Among these we as well as you once lived and conducted ourselves in the passions of our flesh [our behavior governed by our corrupt and sensual nature], obeying the impulses of the flesh and the thoughts of the mind [our cravings dictated by our senses and our dark imaginings]. We were then by nature children of [God’s] wrath and heirs of [His] indignation, like the rest of mankind.
This is the Phillips translation of the same verse:
To you, who were spiritually dead all the time that you drifted along on the stream of this world’s ideas of living, and obeyed its unseen ruler (who is still operating in those who do not respond to the truth of God), to you Christ has given life! We all lived like that in the past, and followed the impulses and imaginations of our evil nature, being in fact under the wrath of God by nature, like everyone else. The final thought is this, we can be changed. We can be rescued from destruction. We can escape the wrath to come both temporal and spiritual. We can change our parentage from a fallen child of the evil one to being a child of the living God.

Christ has redeemed us. We are redeemed from the curse of the law, Christ having been made a curse on our behalf. (Galatians 3:13)

The consequences of not receiving our Savior Redeemer: John 3:16 to 3:18 The offer of redemption is made clear in these verses:
16) For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. 18 “He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. 19 And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. And finally Chapter 3 of John concludes with this verse for further emphasis:
3:36) He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.”

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Updated 4-23-2018