Grace Bible Church of Rolling Meadows
Top

Highlights in John

2022

Presented by Steve Walker





Jump to ...











The Highlights printout begins on the next page.


To print a single highlight, scroll through the preview and note the start and end page numbers, then select just those pages in the print dialog.


The Highlights are in date sequence.


Note: If the heading is messed up on the first page, cancel the print, click the 'Top' button and try again.


Results may also vary depending on browser and print settings








Highlights in John

THE STARTING POINT FOR EVERYTHING IN THE GOSPEL OF JOHN

May 19, 2022

This is a simplified chart of Israel's complete salvation in God's Prophetic Program:

The First Step of salvation in all dispensations is believing God and His Word to you. God preached Good News to Abraham telling him that he would be the father of many nations and a blessing to the world (Gen. 12:2-3). Abraham believed God and His Word, and God counted his faith for righteousness—he was justified unto eternal life (Gen. 15:6). John the Baptist, Jesus and the 12 preached the Gospel of the Kingdom to Israel. When they believed, God counted their faith for righteousness—justifying them unto eternal life. Today God preaches to us through the Apostle Paul the Good News of the Death and Resurrection of Christ for sinners. When we believe that, God counts our faith for righteousness—justifying us unto eternal life. This is the way God has always saved people since the Fall of Adam—Jews and Gentiles alike—for we are all born into the world as ungodly sinners on enemy status before God, trapped in the quicksand of sin and death, held down by the satanic powers of darkness and the course of this world, BY NATURE children of wrath and the disobedience, Jew and Gentile alike, unable to do anything on our own to escape, trapped hopelessly (Eph. 2:2-3). The only thing that can save a person in such a predicament is for Someone on solid ground to come along, preach good news to them (Hey, I have a rope. Stop doing anything! You're just sinking faster and deeper, and I won't be able to get the rope around your shoulders. Just believe Me and rely on Me, and I'll pull you out!)

This is a homely illustration, but it shows that the FIRST STEP of salvation is always God justifying sinners before Him and His Tribunal (delivering them from the quicksand of sin and death), bringing sinners into a right relationship with Himself through the Person and Work of the Lord Jesus Christ on the Cross, which results in the forgiveness of all their own personal and individual sins and the reception of eternal life. This is the same in all dispensations for all people at all times: Justification of ungodly sinners on enemy status before God by grace through faith without works.

But at this point things differ from dispensation to dispensation. Today in the Dispensation of Grace, for instance, those who believe in the Gospel of Grace—the Good News of the Death and Resurrection of Christ for sinners—and are, therefore, justified unto eternal life before God and His Tribunal, are then sanctified or set-apart for God's purpose by being placed into the Body of Christ. In the earthly ministry of Christ, however, those who believed the Gospel of the Kingdom—the Kingdom is at hand and the Messiah King is here—and are, therefore, justified unto eternal life before God and His Tribunal, are sanctified or set-apart for God's purpose by being placed into the Believing Remnant of the Nation of Israel.

Abraham serves as the climatic example of Israel's complete salvation in God's Prophetic Program. In Gen. 15:6, Moses makes sure we understand that before God could do anything with Abraham, an idol-worshipping Gentile from Ur of the Chaldees, He had to FIRST justify Abraham before Himself by faith without works: Abraham believed in the Lord and the Lord counted it to him for righteousness. Or as Paul puts it in Rom. 4:3: Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness. Having FIRST been justified, God could SECONDLY place Abraham into the Believing Remnant of Israel where He could then do something with him. It was only after justification by faith is established FIRST in Gen. 15:6 that God SECONDLY entered into an unconditional grace covenant with Abraham (Gen. 15:9-21), gave him the sign of circumcision (Gen. 17:9-14), treated him as His friend (Gen. 18), gave him the promised son Isaac (Gen. 21), and offered him the opportunity to be a picture of what God Himself would do with His only Son on the Cross some 2,000 years later by sacrificing Isaac (Gen. 22).

Abraham's faithfulness in these SECONDARY things had no impact on his FIRST justification, his justification before God and His Tribunal unto eternal life; that was by faith without works. But they may impact his entrance into Israel's earthly Kingdom and the full enjoyment of its privileges and blessings—a SECOND justification, you could say, not before God and His Tribunal unto eternal life but before Christ at His 2nd Coming unto life in the Kingdom. God manifested and fully explained the FIRST justification by faith without works fully in the Pauline Scriptures (ie., Rom. 3-4, etc.), revealing that justification of sinners has always been based on the Crosswork of Christ. While in time past, before Paul, no one knew anything about the Good News of the Death of Christ, God knew about it, and when sinners in time past believed God's Word to them, He applied the Crosswork of Christ, justifying them unto eternal life by faith without works. God manifested the SECOND justification fully in the non-Pauline Scriptures (ie., Psalms, Matthew, James 2, etc.) for entrance into the Kingdom by faith plus works. The former reveals the Righteousness of God in saving His enemies—all people born into the world in all times—because He has no friends. The latter reveals how the Righteousness of God in destroying His enemies and saving His friends in the Believing Remnant of Israel for living out the eternal life they already have in Israel's long-prophesied earthly Kingdom.

So, following Abraham's example, Abraham was FIRST justified as an ungodly sinner on enemy status before God unto eternal life by faith without works. Then after that He involved Abraham in His plan. And it is just this truth that national Israel was missing when Christ came. The Vain Religious System that ruled Israel thought that it was enough to just be the natural descendants of Abraham through the line of Isaac. Because of that, they erroneously thought that they were AUTOMATICALLY born by natural birth into a right relationship with God and would, therefore, AUTOMATICALLY be a participant in His plan and would, therefore, AUTOMATICALLY enter and enjoy the physical Kingdom and its blessings. But then John the Baptist and Jesus came along, pulled off their blinders and proclaimed the error of their thinking. NO! This is not the case. It is not enough to just be the natural descendants of Abraham by natural birth. They also needed to be the spiritual descendants of Abraham, following in his footsteps of faith by believing God and His Word to them, being spiritually born again of God (Jn. 1:13).

And this is the burden of the Gospel of John. John won't let Israel focus on or talk about the Kingdom and its physical blessings, pointing them instead to the FIRST step of salvation—faith in God and His Word. It is noteworthy that while Matthew mentioned the Kingdom 56 times, Mark 21 times and Luke 46 times, John mentioned it only 3 times—twice in Jesus's discussion with Nicodemus, which Jesus quickly shuts it down, and once before the Gentile ruler Pilate during His trials at the end.

For John, Israel shouldn't be focused on the physical Kingdom and its blessings because those were SECONDARY things and, contrary to their presuppositions, there was something infinitely more important they needed to focus on FIRST. They needed to FIRST seek the righteousness of the Kingdom of God, entering into a right relationship with God (justification) that comes by believing in God and His Word and receiving the One He sent, the Lord Jesus Christ. Then, after that, all those SECONDARY things would be added (Mat. 6:33). Without the former they were not qualified to receive the latter. Without the former, they would not see the earthly Kingdom let alone enter it.

Rather, they needed to start where Abraham started: BY BELIEVING GOD AND HIS WORD, thereby PARTICIPATING IN JUSTIFICATION UNTO ETERNAL LIFE BY FAITH. Without that, God could do nothing with them, and they would be excluded from His plan and purpose. Think about running a race. To enter a race, the runners must start at the starting block. That must be their FIRST step. If they start anywhere else, they are automatically disqualified. It doesn't matter how fast they run, or how many fellow runners they pass by, or if they are the first one to cross the finish line. None of that matters because in not starting at the starting block, they were AUTOMATICALLY disqualified the moment they stepped on the track.

Well, something similar is going on in the Gospel of John. Israel was trying to run in the race but they were starting in all the wrong places. They were trying to start at the point of being the natural descendants of Abraham or at the point of having the Law or at the point of receiving the sign of circumcision. But none of those things were the actual starting block. They were just markers along the way. Starting with them, they were all false starts. The FIRST true step starts where Abraham started, at the starting block of faith in God and His Word. It is only AFTER THAT that that all those SECONDARY things had any value (Rom. 2:26-29). John tries to get all Israel's feet lined up together at the starting line.

Unlike the Synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark and Luke) the Gospel of John refuses to engage Israel on any basis except that of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ: THE STARTING POINT FOR EVERYTHING!

Highlights in John

Can You Get Saved Reading the Gospel of John?

May 26, 2022

On Thursday night we dived into the text of the first chapter of the Gospel of John. The eternal Word, who was the Life and Light of humanity, enfleshed Himself into humanity to shine His Light in a way that He had never been done before. Before He sent His word, He sent Prophets, He sent His presence, He even sent the Angel of the Lord—pre-incarnate appearances of the Lord Jesus Christ. But this time He went way beyond those ways and took on human flesh, becoming a man to shine the Light of God one human to another.

This brought up a question: Can you be saved by reading the Gospel of John? Of course, most of historic Christianity says yes because they confuse God's Prophetic Program with Israel and His Mystery Program with the Body of Christ. But there is a big problem with this view. Today, God's saving word is found in Paul's Gospel, The Gospel of Grace, which is based on, centered upon, the GOOD NEWS of the Death and Resurrection of Christ for ungodly sinners on enemy status before Him, and it is a cause for rejoicing and boasting! God's saving word in the Book of John, however, is the Gospel of the Kingdom—the Messiah King is here for Israel and the Kingdom is at hand. Peter and the 12 preached the Gospel of the Kingdom for years and yet they knew nothing of the death and resurrection of Christ (Luke 18:31-34), and even after His death and resurrection it was anything but GOOD NEWS for them! It was only Bad News, something to be ashamed of not something to boast in (Acts 2-3). To confuse these Gospels is to muddy the way of salvation for sinners today, and that most certainly does not come from God but from the devil.

So, the short answer is that, no, you cannot get saved by reading from the Book of John today because John does not contain God's saving message for the Dispensation of Grace. Rather, to use John you must remove John's content and replace it with Paul's. That's the short answer.


We had a question during fellowship time asking the hypothetical question that if a person only had the Gospel of John, specifically, say, Jn. 3:16, would they find God's saving message for today? The short and simple answer is no. This is surprising to some because for many the first exposure to the Bible was Jn. 3:16, and they feel a sentimental attachment to it. I know this because I was one of those people. The first verse I learned in Awana in childhood was Jn. 3:16. I remember memorizing it and reciting it to the Awana leader, who asked me if I understood what it meant. I said no. And he went on to explain that I was a sinner who needed a Savior, and Jn. 3:16 explained that God gave His Son to be my Savior by going to the Cross to die for my sins so that I could have eternal life. While for a long time I thought I was saved by believing Jn. 3:16, but I learned later that I wasn't really saved by believing Jn. 3:16 but by believing Paul's Gospel that the Awana leader inserted into Jn. 3:16. The leader took the shell of Jn. 3:16 emptied it of John's meaning and replaced it Paul's meaning found in such passages as Rom. 3:21-28 and Eph. 2:4-8.

Let's compare Paul's Gospel, the Gospel of Grace, the Good News of the Death and Resurrection of Christ with John's and the 12's Gospel:

  1. God's saving message for today is Paul's Gospel, the Gospel of Grace, is preached in the context of the Mystery (Rom. 16:25). God's saving message in John (and the other Gospel accounts and early Acts) is the Gospel of the Kingdom—the Kingdom is at hand and the King is here in accord with God's Prophecy Program (Jn. 3:3; Mat. 4:17, et al.). In other words: You cannot find today's saving Gospel of Grace in the Book of John. In fact, when John (along with Peter and the rest of the 12) tried to teach their Gospel to Gentiles in the Dispensation of Grace: Paul WITHSTOOD THEM TO THE FACE BECAUSE HE (Peter along with John—Gal. 2:19) WAS TO BE BLAMED, and Paul rebuked him mightily (Gal. 2:8-11)!
  2. God's saving Gospel through Paul is centered on the Death and Resurrection of Christ. John (and Peter and the rest of the 12) taught their saving Gospel of the Kingdom for years yet knew absolutely nothing about the Death and Resurrection of Christ (Jn. 20:1-10; Mat. 16:21-22; Mk. 9:9-10; Lk. 18:31-34; 24:1-11). Without the Death and Resurrection of Christ you may have the Gospel of the Kingdom, but you do not have God's saving Gospel for today!
  3. God's truth for today through the Apostle Paul taught the Death of Christ as Good News, something to be gloried in and boasted about (1 Cor. 1:17-18, Gal. 2:20; et al.). John (and Peter and the rest of the 12) taught it as Bad News, something to be ashamed of (Jn. 1:11; Acts 2:22-24, et al.).
  4. God's truth for today through the Apostle Paul is that God displayed His love in that Christ died for His enemies (Rom. 5:6, 8, et al.). John and the 12, however, said God displayed His love in that Christ died for His friends (Jn. 15:13).
  5. God's truth for today through the Apostle Paul teaches that God is now blessing the world apart from Israel and through her fall, which had been kept SECRET since the world began (ie., before He revealed it to Paul) (Rom. 11; Rom 16:25; Eph. 3:1-11).
  6. John (and Peter and the rest of the 12) taught that God would bless the world with Israel and through her rise, which had been spoken about since the world began (Jn. 3:16-19; Lk. 1:70; Acts 2-3, et al.)
  7. God's truth for today through the Apostle Paul explained that believers are not under the Law. In fact, to go back to the Law BROUGHT THEM UNDER GOD'S CURSE (Gal. 1). John (and Peter and the rest of the 12) explained that believers were under the Law and to go away from the Law was to fall under God's curse. Even after Christ's death and resurrection they continued under the Law in the Temple continually (Acts 2:42).
  8. God's truth for today through the Apostle Paul's Gospel is in the context of His Mystery Program for the Body of Christ, which was kept secret since the world began (Rom. 16:25; Eph. 3:1-11). John's (and Peter's and the rest of the 12's) Gospel was in the context of God's Prophetic Program with the Nation of Israel, which had been spoken about since the world began (Lk. 1:70; Acts 3:21).
  9. God's truth for today practically equates salvation with the immediate dwelling within believers of the Holy Spirit saying: If any one have not the Spirit of Christ: HE IS NONE OF HIS (Rom. 8:9)! For John the Holy Spirit would come upon believers in the future (Jn. 16:13).

We could multiply these examples many times, but they are enough to show that: No, John's Gospel does not give a sinner God's saving Word for today. To get a saving message from the Gospel of John today, you must empty John's verses of their actual meaning and fill them back in with Paul's meaning. You have to remove John's writings from their context and place them into Paul's context. Like my Awana leader, you have to read Paul into John 3:16 to make it a salvation message for today. The only saving message today is the Gospel of Grace of Christ, the Good News that Christ died and rose again for ungodly sinners on enemy status before God unto eternal life received by grace through faith. This is God's saving Gospel for today, and you won't find it in the Gospel of John. It was not known to John, Peter or any of the other apostles, nor was it known to any one until after God revealed it to Paul, who then revealed it to the rest of the world, including John, Peter and the rest of the 12 (Acts 15; Eph. 3:1-11).

So, if you play football and want to witness to the world by writing Jn. 3:16 with your face paint, just make sure you explain to the journalist after the game what it means by reciting the Apostle Paul (not John): God loved me (an ungodly sinner on enemy status before Him) so much that He gave His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ (to go to the Cross to die for my sins so that He could freely by grace give me eternal life by faith) (Rom. 5:5-11). Or better yet, why not just put the Apostle Paul's verses directly in your face paint to begin with? Rom. 3:21-24 and Eph. 2:8-9 would be very good starting points!

Highlights in John

The Errors That Occur When You Go To John's Gospel Instead of Paul's Gospel

Jun 02, 2022

Last Thursday we had an important message that takes all that we have learned in our study of the Book of Romans and shows us how to apply it to the Book of John. This is the most important thing in the world because going to John's Gospel (which is also Peter and the 12's Gospel) instead of Paul's Gospel has opened the door to all the errors of historic Christianity. By the time we get to the end of Romans, God and Paul throw down the gauntlet. The time for wavering is over. Paul won't allow for “fence-sitting.” It is decision time. Either you are with God, His Word and His Apostle for today, the Apostle Paul—THE GOOD--or you are against Him and His Word—THE EVIL. Like Elijah of old, trying to keep one foot in Baal and other foot in the Lord is not a viable option in God's sight and only leads to destruction (1 Kgs. 18). The same can be said about those who send people to John's Gospel (or any other NON-Pauline Scripture for that matter) instead of Paul's Gospel (Paul's Scriptures, Romans through Philemon) for instruction on salvation and the Christian walk today for the simple reason that you can't find it there! And to try to find it there just adds layers of confusion and levels of complexity to the clarity and simplicity of Paul's Gospel, making salvation harder and the Christian walk impossible.

Someone contacted me with a message for you all. He said: “If you have ever had anyone shrug you off saying, ‘All you people talk about is Paul, Paul, Paul,' well, this is the message for you because it explains why it MUST be Paul, Paul, Paul and must not be John or Peter or even Jesus in His earthly ministry.


In its rejection of the distinct apostleship of Paul, Historic Christianity has made the error of sending people to John or Peter or to the earthly ministry of Jesus Christ instead of Paul and the ministry of the Risen Lord Jesus Christ, and this error is the parent of innumerable additional errors. When someone sends a person to John's Gospel instead of Paul's Gospel for God's salvation and instructions for Christian living today, they are not operating according to God's Policy of The Good but Satan's Policy of The Evil. A mind renewed with Pauline Grace Mystery Truth found in Romans 1-11 and with a heart overflowing with the Love of God at the Cross of Christ it produces WOULD NEVER DO THAT!

To send the lost to John to find God's Word of salvation for today is to send them on a wild goose chase because IT IS NOT THERE! It can only be found in Paul's Gospel. Notice God describes it as PAUL'S (in other words, it is not from anyone else, not even Peter's or even JOHN”S) Gospel, the Preaching of Jesus Christ according to the Revelation of the Mystery, which was kept secret since the world began (in other words, it cannot be found in any other preaching, not even Peter's and John's Gospel, which had been spoken about since the world began—Rom. 16:25; Eph. 3:1-11; contrast Lk. 1:70; Acts 3:21).

The only way to “find” salvation for today in John's Gospel is by removing all of John's (and God's) meaning from his verses and replacing it with Paul's meaning. I remember memorizing Jn. 3:16 for Awana and proudly reciting it to the Awana leader, who asked me if I understood what it meant. I said no. He said, Well ... and proceeded to take me on a tour NOT of the Book of John but of Paul's Book of Romans! He said, “You are a sinner and enemy before God and in need of a Savior (that's Rom. 1:1-3;20). But, he said, the Good News is that God gave His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, to go to the Cross and die for you and your sins, to redeem and set you free from them (that's Rom. 3:21-5:11). And then he topped it off by telling me that Jesus Christ did this so that I would not have to receive the wages of sin but the free gift of eternal life (and that is Rom. 6:23). You cannot find any of these things in John 3:16 nor anywhere else in the Book of John (see below for fuller explanation). To think you find these saving truths for today in John you have to read Paul's meaning into John's words, as my Awana leader did.

But let's go a step further. What if you are sent to John for salvation, say John 3:16, and you or someone else reads Paul into that verse and you get saved (like my Awana leader did for me), and now you think you were saved by John when you were really saved by Paul (see how confusion and complexity is added to the clarity and simplicity of Paul's Gospel!) what might you think you should do next? You would probably think, well, if Jn. 3:16 is where I got saved then it would probably be a good idea to keep reading in John and get instructions for my Christian walk too. Did you hear that loud clanging sound? That was Satan's trap springing shut on this poor confused soul. If he really does go on reading John, thinking that these are God's instructions for today, he will fall captive to all the errors of historic Christianity. Let's look at a few of them:


JOHN'S GOSPEL
(NOT FOR TODAY)
ERRORS WHEN APPLIED TO TODAY
Satan's THE EVIL
PAUL'S GOSPEL
(FOR TODAY)
CORRECTIVE TO THESE ERRORS
God's THE GOOD
John says God's Love is displayed in Christ dying for His FRIENDS
(Jn. 15:13-14)
1. I need to go to a religious system to make myself God's friend by going through rituals and rites and doing works, leading to the error of apostacy. Paul says God's Love is displayed in Christ dying for the ungodly, sinners: for His ENEMIES, too weak to do anything to improve the situation
(Rom. 5:6-10)
1. Corrected by Paul's Truth that God saves us when we were without strength and enemies salvation must come as a free gift by grace thru faith.
AWAY ALL APOSTATE RELIGIOUS SYSTEMS!
2. I can't make myself a friend of God so God must pre-determine who is His friend, leading to the error of Calvinism in all its guises. 2. Corrected by Paul's Truth that Christ died for us while we were enemy sinners, His offer of salvation extends to all.
AWAY WITH CALVINISM AND ALL ITS COUSINS!
3. If I do something whereby I feel I am no longer God's friend, I will lose my salvation. 3. Corrected by Paul's Truth that Christ died for us to give salvation to His enemies, believers must be eternally secure.
AWAY ARMINIANISM AND ALL ITS LIES!
John says water baptism was of utmost importance and necessary to Jesus, John the Baptist and their disciples.
(Jn. 3:22-30)
The error of thinking water baptism is for today has led to extreme divisiveness, resulting in endless fighting and countless deaths. Paul says what is important today is the one baptism by the Holy Spirit into Christ (NOT WATER).
(Rom. 6:3-4; Eph. 4:5)
Corrected by Paul's Truth that the most important thing for believers today is their baptism into Christ by the Holy Spirit NOT a baptism into water by men.
AWAY WITH WATER BAPTISM AND ALL ITS EVIL!
Jesus's followers (including John!) were told to remain under the Law, observing the Law, and if they left the Law they are under a curse (Mat. 5-6; context of John is the Law—feasts, temple worship commandments) The error of thinking the Law is for today has drained Christianity of all its power. Paul explains that we are saved without the Law (Rom. 3:20-28) and live the Christian life without the Law and if we go to the Law it is utter foolishness
(Rom. 6:14; Gal. 3:1-3)
Corrected by Paul's Truth, we know that NOT being under the Law but being under Pauline Grace puts the power of the Holy Spirit into the Christian walk.
IMPOTENT FLESH LIFE UNDER LAW: AWAY!
John says that Jesus' earthly ministry is only to the Nation of Israel. Israel had to be blessed first and then with her and through her RISE the rest of the world will be blessed.
(Jn. 1:11; 4:22; Mat. 10:5-6).
Applying this today leads to the error that the church must in some way be Israel; we've replaced Israel; we are the new or true or spiritual Israel. Paul says that the Nation of Israel has fallen and God has set aside His Prophetic program with her temporarily (Rom. 11) and has now created a new group of redeemed humanity called the Body of Christ in accord with His Mystery Program
(Rom. 12:4-5; 1 Cor. 12).
Corrected by Paul's Truth we understand THAT God is now blessing the world NOT with Israel and through her rise! But APART from Israel and through her FALL via the distinct apostleship of Paul
(Rom. 15:1-20; Rom. 11).
AWAY REPLACEMENT THEOLOGY!
John teaches the ultimate destiny for Jesus's followers is Israel's earthly Kingdom after first going through the wrath of the Tribulation Period. The error of thinking this is for today has caused much distress and worry for believers as witnessed with the Thessalonians in Paul's day. Paul teaches that the ultimate destiny of believers in the Body of Christ is in the heavenlies and they will be saved from the coming wrath
(Rom. 5:9; 1 Thess. 1:10, 4:14-18)
Corrected by Paul's Truth, believers will be comforted, as they look for the Coming of the Lord that will deliver them from the coming wrath through the Rapture
(1 Thess. 4:18).
AWAY WITH FALSE ESCHATOLOGIES THAT DESTROY!
John's Gospel includes signs and wonders for the Nation of Israel
(Jn. 2:23; 20:30-31).
The error of thinking this is for today has caused whole segments of Christianity to be derailed, trying to re-create the signs and wonders of Pentecost and Christ's earthly ministry. Paul teaches that God has set aside the Nation of Israel, therefore, the signs and wonders for the Nation of Israel have likewise ceased
(Rom. 11; 1 Cor. 12-14)
Corrected by Paul's Truth, believers won't be sidetracked into what God did in the past and will do in the future for Israel. They will instead participate in what He is actually today for and with the Body of Christ.


Paul's Gospel, the Gospel of Grace, which explained the Good News of the Death and Resurrection of Christ for sinners, is the corrective that explains how we are to use all sources of information from the Bible in the Dispensation of Grace, including John's Gospel. Paul warns the Galatians that if anyone preaches another Gospel to them other than Paul's Gospel, they are under a curse! That's strong language. Then Paul calls out the source of that “other” Gospel, the only other Gospel divinely active at that time (the Gospel of the Kingdom/Circumcision, which explained the Bad News of the Death and Resurrection of Christ), ie., Peter, James and JOHN'S Gospel! Paul puts Peter, James and JOHN in their appropriate place in the Dispensation of Grace's Mystery Program for Body of Christ, which is NO WHERE, no place (Gal. 2:6-10). And when Peter, James and John tried to bring the Galatians into their Gospel when Peter was in Antioch, PAUL WITHSTOOD HIM TO THE FACE BECAUSE HE WAS TO BLAME (Gal. 11-14).

If only historic Christianity had followed Paul's instruction that anyone who tries to lead someone to another Gospel that is not Paul's Gospel: Let him be accursed (Gal. 1:6-9); and if only historic Christianity had heeded Paul's instructions and withstood those people to the face because they are wrong (Gal. 2:11), just think how much more faithful and powerful Christianity would be, powerfully participating in and advancing God's Plan of The Good. Instead by confusing Paul's and John's Gospels historic Christianity has mostly participated in and advanced Satan's Plan of The Evil!

The only legitimate use for the Gospel of John today, or any non-Pauline Scripture, is explained by Paul in Rom. 15. It is only AFTER we have been fully established in the Pauline Grace Mystery Truth of Romans 1-14 that Paul brings up reading the non-Pauline Scriptures. They are for our “learning.” And what do we learn from them? We have demonstrated above that it is certainly not God's saving message for today or His instructions for Christian living today! To go there for those things just results in our ruin. Rather, we go to John's Gospel to learn about God's faithfulness. For there we see Christ in His earthly ministry coming to confirm and fulfill all promises God made to the Nation of Israel in His Prophetic Program that would culminate in the world being blessed with Israel and through her RISE.

But that creates a big problem for the world because Paul just told us in Rom. 11 that Israel had stumbled and FALLEN. Without Israel, the rest of the world was utterly hopeless—they had no blessings of their own and without Israel they could not even partake in her blessings either. But THANKS BE TO GOD! When the world was utterly hopeless, God opened up a new conduit to send out His blessings to the world, and that conduit is the unique and distinct apostleship of Paul, whereby He would provide blessings APART from Israel and through her FALL!! That is what we are participating in today. That only comes from Paul's Gospel. That is GOD'S PLAN FOR THE GOOD TODAY.

Highlights in John

Shining The Light (pt 1)

Jun 09, 2022

I often get the question of why and how do we study the non-Pauline Scriptures? Well, it is certainly NOT to learn about God's saving Word for today or instructions for Christian living today. For those things you need to go to the Pauline Scriptures. So, why study a non-Pauline Scripture like the Gospel of John? Paul says that it is only AFTER we have been fully established in Pauline Grace Mystery Truth that we can go to the Gospel accounts and learn from them because if we are not grounded in Pauline Grace Mystery Truth, we will get all confused. When we use the Gospel Accounts in the way God and Paul instruct us to use them, we will learn about the faithfulness of God. For when we see God faithfully confirming and fulfilling the promises He made in His Prophetic Program to the Nation of Israel through the earthly ministry of Jesus Christ (the Gospel accounts) so that he could be the conduit of His blessings to the whole world, whereby the Gentiles will be blessed with Israel and through her RISE (Rom. 15:4-12), we can be absolutely 100% certain of the fact that He will be just as faithful in fulfilling His promises to us in His Mystery Program for the Body of Christ through the Apostle Paul's ministry of the Risen Heavenly Lord Jesus Christ, whereby the Gentiles will be blessed apart from Israel and through her FALL (Rom. 11; 15:13-19) and that gives us patience and comfort that we might have hope (Rom. 15:4)!

In John 1:1-18 we see God faithfully fulfilling His promises to Israel and the world to the extent of enfleshing Himself into the human line of David. In doing this, He came as an Israelite to accomplish what no other Israelite could do: Save national Israel from her sinful predicament. And He could do this because He wasn't just the Son of David, rather He was the Son of David who was also the Son of God!! He came to fulfill all the promises, especially in the Davidic Covenant: He came to confirm the promises to Israel that He will be their Redeemer, Deliverer, Avenger, King and Blesser. In short, He will be everything Israel needs for a complete and perfect salvation.

Highlights in John

Shining The Light (pt 2)

Jun 16, 2022

In our Thursday night Bible Study we see the faithful God trying one more time to shine His Light into the darkness of Israel. As it says in Heb. 1:1-2, in the Old Testament God faithfully tried to get Israel to repent and return to the Lord in many different ways. He gave them the Light of His Word and His worship service. He led them and fought their enemies. He sent them prophets and even pre-incarnate appearances of the Lord Jesus Christ. But nothing worked. In their rebellion and rejection of God and His Word, they entered the 5th Course of Punishment under the Curses of the Law. Mercifully, lest they grow even more rebellious, stiff-necked and hard-hearted, blind and deaf, God stopped interacting with them for 400 years. Then in the Gospel accounts God breaks that silence with the ministry of John the Baptist and returns to His people in a way He never had before. He incarnated, enfleshed, Himself into the human line of David in the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ, so that He could shine His Light human to human, person to person, face to face, and woo Israel back to Himself.

So, the great suspense of the Gospel of John is: Will Israel receive this Light and be saved? Or, will they reject it and continue in darkness? Rejecting it brings condemnation upon themselves while receiving it blessing (Jn. 1:12, 3:17-21)

Highlights in John

Moses and Jesus

Jun 23, 2022

In our Thursday night Bible Study we see the faithful God trying one more time to shine His Light into the darkness of Israel so that He can enlighten Israel to be His light unto the Gentiles in accord with God's Prophetic Program (Is. 60:1-3). To do this He sent Jesus, His one of a kind, only begotten “Son.” Jesus Christ was not like Abraham's only begotten son Isaac (Heb. 11:17), who was one son among Abraham's many sons, albeit the special son of promise. Nor was He a “son of God” like Adam or the angels, who were “sons of God” by direct creation. Nor was He the “son of God” the way believers are sometimes called “sons of God,” who were adopted as adults into God's family and business (Ex. 4; Rom. 8). He is not a “son” like any other. He is the only one in His class. The Lord Jesus Christ is the Son of God because He has the very nature of God Himself! HE IS GOD (Jn. 1:1-3; 14, 18)!!

We also began to set the groundwork for a short study on idolatry, beginning with the Golden Calf Incident. While Moses gave Israel the Law, which they misused, bringing them under the curses of the Law and the wrath of God in the Courses of Punishment, the Lord Jesus Christ is the very source of the Grace and Truth needed to save Israel from their sinful predicament (Jn. 1:14-18).

Highlights in John

THE GLORY OF GOD AND THE GRACE RESIDENT IN GOD'S JEHOVAH NAME

Jul 21, 2022

In looking at the Israel's rebellion and idolatry at the Golden Calf Incident and its aftermath in Ex. 32-34, we heard God's answer to Moses's question: How can an infinitely holy, righteous and just God deal mercifully and graciously with those who only deserved His vengeance, wrath and judgment? According to the Mosaic Law, it was impossible. So, Moses wanted God to show him what was true about His nature and being--His Glory--that allowed Him to freely operate in this manner. Here is how God answered Moses' question:

Now the Lord descended in the cloud and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of the Lord. 6) And the Lord passed before him (Moses) and proclaimed, “The Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abounding in goodness and truth, 7) keeping mercy for thousands (of generation), forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children and the children's children to the third and the fourth generation (Ex. 34:5-7).

In order to appreciate what an earth-shaking proclamation this is, we must note the three phrases that comprise verse 7:

  1. Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin (v. 7a);
  2. By no means clearing the guilty (v. 7b);
  3. Visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children and the children's children to the third and fourth generation (v. 7c).

This isn't the first time Moses used these three phrases. He had used them previously at the giving of the Law back in Ex. 20. So, let's look at them in the context of the Law where they first appeared in the commandment against idolatry and the commandment against taking the Name of the LORD (God's Jehovah, I AM Name) in vain:

And God spake all these words, saying, 2) I am the Lord thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. 3) Thou shalt have no other gods before me. 4) Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image ... 5) thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; 6) and shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments. 7) Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain; for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain (Ex. 20:1-7).

Here are the same three phrases. Regarding the command against idolatry we have:

  1. Visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me (v. 5);
  2. Showing mercy unto thousands of them that love me and keep my commandments (v. 6).

Then in the Command against taking the LORD'S Name in vain we have:

  1. The LORD will not hold him guiltless (v. 7).

According to the Mosaic Law in Ex. 20, idolatry was to be FIRST met with God's automatic, immediate and violent rejection of the disobedient idolaters, those who had rejected His Jehovah Name in unbelief, taking it in vain, considering it nothing, which made them the recipients of His vengeance, wrath and judgment. Then, after that, He would show mercy and grace to the obedient, those who believed upon His Jehovah Name, NOT taking it in vain, relying on its value.

But that's not what happened at the Golden Calf Incident in Ex. 32-34. There, God put on display the grace resident in His Jehovah Name by FIRST showing mercy and grace to the disobedient idolaters in His longsuffering kindness. Then, after that, those who received this mercy and grace but persisted in rejecting His Name in unbelief (ie., taking His Name in vain) became the recipients of His vengeance, wrath and judgment.

To fully appreciate how God uses these phrases in the two passages, let's put them side-by-side:

God's response according to the Law commandment against idolatry and the taking of the LORD's Name in vain (Ex. 20): God's response according to the Grace Resident in His Jehovah Name (Ex. 34):
FIRST: Vengeance, wrath, judgment to the disobedient FIRST: Mercy and grace to the disobedient and idolatrous.
SECOND: Mercy and grace to the obedient SECOND: Vengeance and wrath to those who persist in rejecting the Name of the Lord in unbelief whereby God protects His Name.
THIRD: Continued rejection of the Name of the LORD in unbelief: More vengeance and wrath.

We see both responses from God at the Golden Calf Incident. God's first response in Ex. 32:9-10 was what the Law called for: Moses, get out of the way so that I can go down and consume them (first: vengeance, wrath and judgment to the disobedient), and then I will start over again with you (second: mercy to the obedient). Before God carried this out, however, while He was being longsuffering, Moses interceded for Israel appealing to God on the basis of the grace resident in His Jehovah Name and the grace resident in the Abrahamic Covenant (Ex. 32:11-14), resulting in God changing His response from vengeance and wrath to mercy and grace.

The only way for rebellious Israel to survive was for God to reserve the right to deal with them outside the Law and in accord with the grace resident in His Jehovah Name. God explained to Moses that this works because it reverses the order of the Law commandments so that God could deal with Israel first in mercy and grace. His vengeance and wrath would fall upon the nation not for their idolatry but because after receiving His mercy and grace resident in His Jehovah Name they persisted in their rebellion, rejecting His Name, taking it in vain, considering it nothing, despising it in unbelief.

This becomes the basis for all that God does with Israel throughout the Old Testament, and (most importantly for our study of the Gospel of John) during Christ's earthly ministry. In sending His Son to Israel, God exhibited the greatest display of the mercy toward rebellious Israel found in the grace resident in His Jehovah Name, beginning FIRST with mercy and grace at Christ's 1st Coming and later ending SECOND in vengeance, wrath and judgment at His 2nd Coming.

What God didn't reveal to Moses 1500 years before, He revealed to Israel in Christ's earthly ministry. In the Gospel of John, God presents to Israel His Jehovah Name in the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ, the very source of its mercy and grace, longsuffering and goodness and truth (Jn. 1:14-18). To have been presented with the glory of God's grace in Christ and to have rejected it in unbelief, is to reject God's Jehovah Name in unbelief, taking it in vain, which calls down God's vengeance and wrath. But for those who received Christ in faith, having recognized the infinite value of the glory and grace and truth of God resident in His Name and embodied in the Lord Jesus Christ, they were empowered to become the children of God (Jn. 1:12).

For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved (God operating outside the Law—FIRST, mercy and grace). 18) He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God (continued rejection of the Name of the Lord embodied in Jesus Christ). 19) And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil (finally the reason for vengeance and wrath) (Jn. 3:19-21).

This is particularly important in John's presentation of the earthly ministry of Jesus Christ. In the Gospel of John where the “I AM” Jehovah Name phrase is applied to Jesus no fewer than 32 times. In short, what Moses hoped to see but couldn't, and what he heard only partially of the Glory of God's Jehovah Name, Jesus's followers saw and heard in full to the point where Jesus could say: If you have seen Me, you have seen the Father (Jn. 14:9).

Of course, today in the Dispensation of Grace we have an even greater display and revelation of God's mercy and grace, now being manifested through the Risen Lord as made known through Paul's distinct apostleship. Today we aren't just participants of His superabounding mercy and grace like Israel, we are participants of the SUPERABOUNDING RICHES OF HIS MERCY AND GRACE as members of the Body of Christ!

Highlights in John

MISCELLANY ABOUT GOD'S JEHOVAH NAME (LORD)

Jul 28, 2022

  1. The history of God's Jehovah Name:
    1. God gave Israel His Jehovah Name (LORD in all capitals in English Bibles) just before the Exodus. Then, going from Goshen in Egypt to Mt. Sinai, He taught them about how important it was for them to rely solely on Him and His Name. If they were going to be the people He created them to be, they needed to realize that HE WOULD HAVE TO DO EVERYTHING FOR THEM (Ex. 3-18).
    2. But they rejected His Jehovah Name by going under the Law with the intent that: WE WILL DO IT OURSELVES (Ex. 19) and spent the next 1500 plus years under the Curses of the Law.
    3. At the very start, at the Golden Calf Incident, they completely broke the Law and fell under the Curse of the Law, which called on God to go down and consume them utterly (Ex. 32:10). Moses appealed to God based on the grace resident in His Jehovah Name, for God to operate outside the Law and show mercy rather than vengeance (Ex. 32:11-14). On that basis, God “repented” and showed mercy and grace to the disobedient idolaters rather than wrath and judgment (Ex. 32-33). Awestruck by this, Moses asked to see what is in God's nature and being, His Glory, that made it possible for Him, an infinitely holy, just and righteous God, to respond in mercy and grace to sinful rebels. God answers Moses by proclaiming His Jehovah Name and explaining that the grace resident in His Name reverses the order of vengeance and mercy commanded in the Mosaic Law. The Law's commandment against idolatry called for immediate vengeance, wrath and judgment for the disobedient and then, after that, mercy for the obedient (Ex. 20:1-7). His Jehovah Name, however, reverses that so that God can now first show mercy and grace to the rebellious idolaters, and then after persistent rebellion and continued rejection of that mercy and grace in unbelief, taking His Name in vain, He would respond in vengeance, wrath and judgment to protect His Jehovah Name (Ex. 34:6-7).
    4. It was only through the grace resident in His Jehovah Name that God could preserve Israel, and that is how He dealt with the nation throughout the 1500 years, leading into Christ's earthly ministry. If He had dealt with Israel solely based on the Law, she would have been utterly destroyed before she even left the starting gate back at the Golden Calf Incident.
    5. The highpoint of God dispensing the grace resident in His Jehovah Name to Israel came when God sent His Son to Israel to dispel unbelief that all might believe in His Name. The Lord Jesus Christ is the personification of God's Jehovah Name. He was the source of its mercy and grace, goodness and kindness, faithfulness and truth.
  2. The Law Compared to the Grace Resident in God's Jehovah Name

Highlights in John

What Grace?

Aug 04, 2022

Thursday night, in our Gospel of John Bible study fellowship, we continued looking at Israel's idolatry in the light of the Grace Resident in God's Jehovah Name, translated as LORD in all capitals in our English Bibles. And it brought up a very good question: What is the relationship between the Grace Resident in God's Jehovah Name for the Nation of Israel as revealed in the non-Pauline Scriptures (the Old Testament, Gospel Accounts and the ministry of Peter and the 12) and the Riches of God's Grace for the Body of Christ as revealed in the Pauline Scriptures (Romans through Philemon)?

What Grace?

The Grace Resident in God's Jehovah Name (LORD in our English Bibles) is one of the most important concepts in His Prophetic Program with the Nation of Israel. The Mosaic Law called for immediate and complete vengeance, wrath and judgment on rebels and idolaters (Ex. 20:5; Ex. 32:10). If God only dealt with Israel based on the Mosaic Law, they would have been completely consumed and destroyed before they got out of the starting gate (Ex. 32:1-10).

But God isn't limited by the Law. He reserved the right to deal with Israel outside the Law in accord with the Grace Resident in His Jehovah Name (LORD). God partially revealed to Moses the Glory of this Name, explaining “how” it worked to preserve the Nation of Israel in spite of her breaking of the Law. He revealed to Moses that His Name worked because it reversed the order of divine responses. According to the Law, God's FIRST response was to in vengeance and wrath against the disobedient (i.e., Moses, get out of the way, I'm going down to consume them—Ex. 32:10a), then, after that, He would extend mercy and grace to the obedient (i.e., Moses, I will make of you a great nation—Ex. 32:10b). But according to the Grace Resident in His Name, His FIRST response was to be merciful and gracious to the disobedient (Ex. 32:11-14), then He would respond in vengeance and wrath if the disobedient continued in their rebellion and increased in their idolatry; thereby taking His Jehovah Name in vain, throwing its longsuffering mercy and grace away, treating it as though it was nothing.

This is important not only because it open up the Old Testament, but because it is also the very basis for the Gospel of John. In John's Gospel, Jesus is identified with God's I AM Jehovah Name no fewer than 32 times. In John's Gospel, God reveals to Israel what Moses wanted to know but couldn't: the full glory of His Name. In John's Gospel, Israel learned not just “how” His Name worked (that is what He revealed to Moses in Ex. 34:6-7) but “who” and “what” was the very source of the Grace Resident in that Name: The Person and Work of the Lord Jesus Christ for national Israel (Jn. 1:14-18). In John's Gospel, God gave the greatest display of the Grace Resident in His Jehovah Name that He had ever given: He Himself enfleshed Himself into the human line of David to reveal His glory person to person to Israel in all its fullness. What Moses longed for some 1500 years before, actually appeared in the earthly ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ as revealed in the Gospel of John.

And this brings up back to our question: What is the relationship between the Grace Resident in His Jehovah Name for the Nation of Israel and God's Riches of Grace for the Body of Christ in the Dispensation of Grace as revealed through the distinct apostleship of Paul?

Remembering that one of the key distinctions between God's Prophetic Program with the Nation of Israel and His Mystery Program with the Body of Christ is that the former manifests the Righteousness of God IN SAVING HIS FRIENDS AND DESTROYING HIS ENEMIES whereas the latter manifests the Righteousness of God IN SAVING HIS ENEMIES BECAUSE HE HAS NO FRIENDS (Rom. 3:21-26; Rom. 5:1-11). The Grace Resident in His Name was sufficient for God to save His Own people, His friends, the Nation of Israel, especially as encapsulated in the Believing Remnant of Israel. But God's Riches of Grace dispensed through Paul's apostleship is sufficient for God to save His enemies, ungodly sinners on enemy status before Him. In the former Christ died for His friends (Jn. 15:13). In the latter Christ died for His enemies (Rom. 5:8-10). The former certainly consists of a fullness of divine grace, but the latter consists indeed of the infinite, boundless, immeasurable RICHES OF HIS DIVINE GRACE in Christ!

Highlights in John

THE ORIGIN OF IDOLATRY: ADAM AND EVE?

Aug 11, 2022

In this first instance of idolatry, we saw that Adam and Eve became like what they worshipped and revered. The serpent was a liar and deceiver (Gen. 3:1, 4-5, 13), Adam became deceptive when he didn't answer God forthrightly (3:11-12), then going on to blame not only Eve but God Himself for eating of the fruit (Gen. 3:11-12)! The serpent was self-centered, espousing his own view of reality, making his own judgments. Adam and Eve become self-centered wanting to be like the “gods”, espousing their own reality and determining their own judgments (Gen. 3:6), while protecting themselves at all costs without concern for others (Gen. 3:6, 12). The serpent didn't trust God and misrepresented His Word (Gen. 3:1, 4-5). Eve doesn't trust God and misquoted His Word by minimizing its privileges and maximizing its judgment and prohibition (Gen. 3:2-3).

Adam and Eve were created in God's image to be reflectors of His Light and Glory in which there was no shame, no broken relationships, no hiddenness, no fear, no barriers, no sin and no death. But they exchanged that glory and became like the serpent, becoming reflectors of shame, bringing in broken relationships with God and others, hiddenness, fear, barriers, sin and death. Instead of filling the world with God's image bearers (Gen. 1:28), they filled it with children born in their own sinful images, spiritually dead (Gen. 5:3-32). But God did not leave them hopeless. He preached good news to them (Gen. 3:15), and believing that, they obtained life in a new and better way, a permanent and eternal way through justification by grace through faith without works unto eternal life.

Like Adam and Even in the Garden, Israel at the time of Christ's earthly ministry had become like the idols they revered—stiff necked, hard hearted, eyes that cannot see and ears that cannot hear. But God does not leave them hopeless. In the Gospel of John, God puts into action the greatest display of the Grace resident in His Jehovah Name that He had ever given in Israel's history. God Himself entered humanity through the line of David to bring mercy and grace, to rebellious Israel and through Israel the whole world. Operating on the basis of His Jehovah Name, He reversed the order of curse and blessing that the Law demanded (Ex. 20:1-3 compared with Ex. 34:6-7).

The Law contract called on God to FIRST respond in vengeance, wrath and judgment to the disobedient, and then SECOND He would respond with mercy and grace to the obedient (Ex. 20:5-6; 32:10). The Grace resident in His Jehovah Name, however, called for Him to be longsuffering, FIRST, responding in mercy and grace to rebellious idolaters, and then, depending how they responded to the time of longsuffering bestowed by His Name, He would either bring His wrath and judgment for continued rebellion and increased idolatry in unbelief, which meant they took His Name in vain, treating it as though it was though it were nothing; or, He would bestow more mercy and grace for repentance and returning to the LORD in faith.

In the Gospel of John, we see the greatest display of the Grace resident in His Jehovah Name: God Himself became flesh in the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ and was sent to the rebellious and idolatrous nation of Israel. The question is, will Israel use the greatest time of God's longsuffering mercy and grace bestowed through the earthly ministry of Jesus Christ to repent and return to the Lord in faith? Or will she respond in unbelief, continuing in her rebelliousness, going further away from the LORD, and calling down upon herself wrath and judgment?