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Highlights in John

2022

Presented by Steve Walker





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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?

Highlights in John

THE I AMS OF THE GOSPEL OF JOHN

Sep 08, 2022

Thursday night, in our Gospel of John Bible study fellowship, we continued in our study of John looking at the ideal witness to Christ: John the Baptist. He witnessed to Jesus being:

  1. The I AM the Christ (Jn. 1:20 with 23): The I AM Jehovah (LORD) God of Israel who entered into the human line of David ( in accord with the Davidic Covenant) to save His Nation of Israel (in accord with the New Covenant) and with and through them He will save the whole world (in accord with the Abrahamic Covenant. This is the primary identification of Jesus with the Jehovah (I AM) God of Israel, drawing the whole Old Testament (NOT THE APOSTLE PAUL!!) into Christ's earthly ministry as presented here especially in the Gospel of John in chart form.
  2. The Messianic Prophet that Moses Promised (Jn. 1:21; Deut. 18:15).
  3. The Messianic One who would baptize with the Spirit (Jn. 1:33; Ezek. 36:26).
  4. he Messianic Son of God (Jn. 1:34; 2 Sam. 7:11-14a ; Ps. 89:20-28).

THE I AMS OF THE GOSPEL OF JOHN

The key to appreciating the Gospel of John comes NOT by trying to read Paul into John but to read the Old Testament into John. The use of Jesus's I AM sayings, which refer to the I AM Jehovah Name God gave to Israel at the Exodus, is John's primary way of doing this. Here is a chart of all John's I AM sayings with regard to Jesus, 33 in all.

In order to appreciate the chart, it is helpful to understand that these I AM sayings can be broken down into three main groupings:

  1. Absolute I AM sayings: This is when I AM is used alone by Jesus in self-revelation. He used the absolute sense to identify Himself as the I AM Jehovah God of Israel who entered into the human line of David to be Israel's Messiah/Christ, King and Redeemer in fulfillment of the Davidic Covenant.
  2. Locative I AM sayings: These refer to Jesus's sphere or realm of existence. Where He is from and where He is going. His realm is not of this world and the world is not of His realm.
  3. Predicate I AM sayings: These are the ones that usually come to mind. They use the subject ( I AM) with a predicate compliment, such as, I AM the Light of the world.

I have identified each reference with the appropriate grouping. With all this in mind, here are the charts:

Highlights in John

THE FIRST AND LAST EXODUS AND GOD'S I AM NAME

Sep 22, 2022

Thursday night, in our Gospel of John Bible study fellowship, we finished up our introductory series on John's I AM sayings that culminates in the purpose for the writing the book: And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book; But these (signs) are written that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have (everlasting) life through His ( I AM Jehovah) name (Jn. 20:30-31). John defines eternal or everlasting life in Jesus's prayer to His Father. It is knowing Thee (the Father), the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom Thou has sent (Jn. 17:3). To know God is to be in an intimate right relationship with Him that comes through the Person and Work of the One He sent, the Lord Jesus Christ. That is the “what” of everlasting life. That is the same for all people in all dispensations. Where that everlasting life is experienced and lived out, however, is different for different peoples at different times. Israel in God's Prophetic Program hoped to live out their everlasting life in the Millennial Kingdom on earth, which subsequently becomes an everlasting Kingdom. The Body of Christ in God's Mystery Program today, however, hope to live out our everlasting life in the heavenlies. God promised Israel an everlasting Throne and Kingdom in the Land (2 Sam. 7:13), through the implementation of everlasting Covenants (Davidic--2 Sam. 23:5; Abrahamic--Gen. 17:19; New--Jer. 32:38-40) in accord with the grace resident in His everlasting I AM Jehovah Name (Ex. 3:15). Therefore, Israel needs everlasting life, and that is what God is providing national Israel in the Gospel of John.

The Highlights Article below shows the relationship between John 20:30-31 and Exodus 3-4

The First and LAST Exodus and God's I AM name

If we compare what John says about what Jesus was doing in his days with what the LORD was doing in Moses's days, we see some remarkable similarities.

John's Summary Account:

Jn. 20:30-31: And truly Jesus did many other signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book; but these (signs) are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have (everlasting) life in His name.

Now let's read Moses's account:

Ex. 3:13: Then Moses said to God, “Indeed, when I come to the children of Israel and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,' and they say to me, ‘What is His name?' what shall I say to them?” And God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.” And He said, “Thus you shall say to the children of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.' ” Moreover God said to Moses, “Thus you shall say to the children of Israel: ‘The Lord God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you. This is My name forever, and this is My memorial to all generations.'

Both accounts center around God's everlasting I AM Jehovah Name that is able to impart everlasting life in the Land/Kingdom for those who believe and rely upon that Name with the help of God-given signs. While Jehovah performed many signs during the Exodus, Moses here lists three that were given that they might believe in His I AM Jehovah Name, so that He could usher them into the Promised Land. Similarly, according to John's account of His earthly ministry, the Lord Jesus Christ performed seven signs in order that they might believe in His I AM Jehovah Name, so that they could be ushered into Israel's long-promised earthly Kingdom in the Land. The Exodus from Egypt of Israel's ancient history was just a foreshadowing of the future Exodus of the Believing Remnant of Israel from the whole world at Christ's 2nd Coming whereby they will be ushered into the Millennial Kingdom that becomes the Everlasting Kingdom.

Highlights in John

Paul's Conversion and I AM Jesus!

Sep 29, 2022

Outside the Gospel Accounts, there are only seven instances of I AM sayings applied to Jesus Christ. Four of those are found in John's Book of The Revelation (Rev. 1:8, 17; 2:23; 22:16). The other three are found in the Book of Acts, and all three are in the context of Saul's/Paul's “conversion” on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:5; 22:8; 26:15). To demonstrate how a rich understanding the I AM Jehovah Name of the God can open up the Scriptures, we will look at the first account of Paul's conversion in Acts 9:1-6:

And Saul, yet breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, went unto the high priest, and desired of him letters to Damascus to the synagogues, that if he found any of this way, whether they were men or women, he might bring them bound unto Jerusalem. And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven: and he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks. And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do.

The key explicit reference to the I AM Jehovah Name is found in v. 5 where the Risen Lord Jesus Christ identifies Himself to Paul as: I AM Jesus. The Risen Lord uses terms of deity, God's I AM Jehovah Name that He gave to Israel just before He delivered them from the Egyptians in the Exodus Account (Ex. 3:14). Now that we have studied His Jehovah Name in some depth, and we appreciate the importance of that Name throughout Israel's history and into the Gospel Accounts of Christ's earthly ministry, and especially as put on multifaceted display in the Gospel of John, we can see that this important passage in Acts has may other references, direct and indirect, to God's Jehovah Name in relation to the Lord Jesus Christ.

For starters, the name “Jesus” itself is a compound Jehovah (I AM) Name. It means Jehovah (I AM) your Salvation. Therefore, Jesus's answer to Saul could be rendered: I AM, I AM your Salvation! But that's not all. If we remember the I AM sayings from the Gospel of John, we see that Saul's goal was to persecute the Lord's people who belonged to “the way,” which recalls Jesus's claim in Jn. 14:6: I AM THE WAY, the Truth and the Life. In addition, when Saul was confronted by the Risen Christ on the road to Damascus, “a light” shone around about him, which recalls Jesus's claim in Jn. 8:12: I AM the LIGHT of the world. But there is even more! The Light that shone around about him was “from heaven”, which recalls Jesus's claim in Jn. 8:23: I AM from above; you are of this world; I AM not of this world. So, if we were to paraphrase Acts 9:2-5, highlighting the explicit and implicit uses of God's I AM Jehovah Name, it might go something like this:

As Saul/Paul sought to persecute those who belonged to the I AM (Jehovah LORD'S) WAY ... he came near Damascus and suddenly there shined about him the I AM (Jehovah LORD'S) LIGHT ... and it shined from the I AM (Jehovah LORD'S) Heavenly realm ... and Saul (no wonder) fell to the earth and asked: Who are you, Lord? And the Lord said: I AM, I AM (Jehovah LORD) Your Salvation! ... (No wonder) Saul/Paul trembled and was astonished asking: LORD, What will You have me to do?

Highlights in John

The Prophet Like Moses Checklist

Oct 13, 2022

Fifteen hundred years before the arrival of Jesus Christ in His earthly ministry, Moses prophesied that the LORD would send a Prophet like unto Him. Just as Moses was the mediator between the rebellious Nation of Israel and God at Mt. Sinai, so too this promised Prophet would be the mediator between a rebellious nation of Israel and God in the days of Christ's earthly ministry (Deut. 18:16-17), albeit taking it to an infinitely higher level. So, how does Jesus Christ match up to the requirements of this long-promised Prophet sent from God as recorded by Moses in Deut. 18:15-22 and affirmed by Peter in Acts 3:22-26?

  1. Deut. 18:15a, Deut 18:18a This Prophet will be raised up by God.
    God sent His Son to be raised up so that all who look on Him, and all who believe should not perish but have everlasting life (Jn. 3:14-17). This raising up leads to being raised up on a Roman Cross unto death (Jn. 8:28-29; 12:32-33). But the story does not end there because God raises Him up by resurrecting Him from the dead unto life and raising Him up above all things by His ascension, exaltation and return to the Father (Jn. 20-21; Acts 1:9; 2:22-24, 30-36; 1 Cor. 15:6). The next time He is raised up to be seen will be at His 2nd Coming in wrath and judgment, and there He will not only been seen by Israel but by the whole world and He will display His Righteousness by saving His friends and destroying His enemies (Mat. 24:29-30; Acts 3:22-26). Jesus's whole ministry is characterized by being raised up.
  2. Deut. 18:15b,Deut. 18:18b: The Prophet will be of the “brethren” of Israel, an Israelite who can do what no other Israelite could do because He is not only the Son of David but also the Son of God, Israel's Kinsman-redeemer in fulfillment of the Davidic Covenant (Jn. 1:1-18; Acts 2:22-36). And He will do this in “the midst” of Israel (Jn. 1:11; 31; Acts 2:22). Jesus Christ is the fulfillment of the Davidic Covenant, and at His 1st Coming He went only to the Nation of Israel (Jn. 1:11-12; Mat. 10:5-6).
  3. Deut. 18:15c: Israel is commanded to listen to this Prophet because He bears witness to the One who sent Him, God the Father (Jn 3:32; 5:19). Because by hearing and receiving Him, Israel hears and receives the Father unto eternal life (5:24, 46-47; 10:3-4). Because by not hearing and receiving Him, they reject the One who sent Him, the Father, unto condemnation (8:45-51; 12:46-50).
  4. God will put His words into the Prophets mouth. Jesus speaks not His Own words but the words of the Father (Jn. 3:34-34; 7:16-18) and to receive Jesus's words is to receive the Father's words (5:24; 12:44). And, of course, the Gospel opens with Jesus Christ being the Word of God incarnated (Jn. 1:1, 14).
  5. The Prophet shall speak everything the LORD commands. Jesus's word is equated with the Father's word because He says what He hears and sees from the Father as the Son of God who is in the bosom of the Father (Jn. 1:18; 10:25-30; 12:49-50).
  6. Deut. 18:19: Whoever doesn't hear (believe) the Prophet will be held accountable. God has given all judgment into the hands of Jesus Christ (Jn 5:22-24, 27; 12:48).
  7. Deut. 18:20: This Prophet will not presume to say anything in the Name of the LORD that the LORD has not instructed him to say. Any prophet that does should be put to death. Ironically, the Vain Religious System turned Moses's command on its head and tried to make Jesus into a prophet that speaks presumptuously by breaking the Sabbath, deceiving the people and making Himself equal to God. Therefore, He ought to be put to death (5:16-18; 7:22-23; 10:33; 7:1, 19, 25; 8:37, 40, 59; 10:31; 11:8). But this act of rebellion to save themselves and their Vain Religious System backfires and causes them to commit blasphemy and throw away their whole heritage by hailing Caesar as their king (Jn. 19:15). But this is not the last word. God raises Him from the dead and offers the Nation of Israel another opportunity of salvation (Acts 2:22-36; 3:22-26).
  8. Deut. 18:22: How to discern the true Prophet from false prophets. If what the prophet said doesn't occur, that prophet spoke presumptuously and should be ignored at best and put to death at worst (Jn 18:20). All of God's prophets operated at 3 basic levels:
    1. Immediate future;
    2. Intermediate future; and
    3. Distant Future.

Isaiah, for instance, gave many immediate prophetic words and works that came true in his lifetime, one of the most notable being the immediate fall of the Northern Kingdom to the Assyrians, which was fulfilled shortly thereafter. He also prophesied about the intermediate future regarding the Babylonian Captivity and their fall to the Medo-Persians, specifically mentioning the Medo-Persian ruler Cyrus some 100-200 years before he came on the scene. Finally, Isaiah prophesied about the distant future, usually prefacing these prophesies with “in the latter days.” These were prophesies that would be fulfilled at the end of Daniel's Time Schedule 100s of years later (and now, in fact, with the insertion of the Dispensation of Grace, 1,000s of years later).

Verifying a prophet began when the prophet's immediate prophetic words and works were fulfilled. This assured Israel that that prophet was a true prophet of God and should be listened to, assured that his other prophesies would be fulfilled even if not in their lifetimes. Intermediate prophesies, when fulfilled, provided assurance to Israel's future generations that the prophet could be relied on for his distant prophesies as well, which wouldn't be fulfilled until the end of the 5th Course of Punishment and on into the establishment of the long-prophesied earthly Kingdom.

Likewise, Jesus as The Prophet, was accompanied with prophetic words and works that were fulfilled immediately as with the numerous miracles He did (Jn. 2:23; 20: 30-31), and especially the seven signs from God that the Gospel of John focuses on:
1. The turning of water into wine (Jn. 2:1-11);
2. The healing of the nobleman's son (Jn. 4:46-54);
3. The healing of the paralyzed man (Jn. 5:1-15);
4. The feeding of the 5,000 (Jn. 6:5-14);
5. The walking on water (Jn. 6:16-21);
6. The healing of the blind man (Jn. 9:1-7);
7. and the raising of Lazarus from the dead (Jn. 11:1-45).
Because all of these immediate prophesies (among countless others—Acts 2:22) came true, Israel was assured that Jesus was a true Prophet of God and should be listened to while awaiting the fulfillment of His intermediate prophesies, not the least of which being the sign of His death and resurrection (Mat. 12:38-40) that would give Israel another opportunity to repent. With all of these immediate and intermediate prophesies fulfilled, Israel should have been certain that He was indeed not only a true prophet from God but THE PROPHET of God that Moses prophesied some 1500 years before, and they can be confident that His distant prophesies “in the latter days” will be fulfilled as well, bringing God's Prophetic Program with Israel to completion.

In fact, He said numerous times that He was telling them something so that later, when it happened, they would believe (Jn. 2:22; 13:18-19; 14:28-29; 16:1-4, 32-33).

The Lord Jesus Christ is indeed God's sent one, the Father's perfect and full emissary, the TRUE PROPHET THAT MOSES PROPHESIED ABOUT!

Highlights in John

THE LAMB OF GOD

Oct 27, 2022

We have seen that the traditional explanation of John the Baptist's: Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world (Jn. 1:29, 36) doesn't really “hold water.” The traditional view suggests that John is saying that Jesus is God's sacrificial lamb who will go to His death on the Cross to atone for the sins of the whole world. There are many problems with this view (not the least of which being that John states expressly that Jesus did NOT die for the whole world of enemies but only for His friends (Jn. 15:13), but for our purpose here, we will only observe that the sacrifices interpreters offer to explain the traditional view either don't use a lamb or don't take away the sin or sins of Israel, let alone the whole world. In addition, by John the Baptist's own words, he could not have meant what tradition says he meant. He had no notion of this understanding of the phrase (Mat. 3:7-12) and was completely unprepared to accept it (Mat. 11:3). The fundamental problem with the traditional view is that it reads Paul into John instead of John into John. So, let's see where we end up if we do the latter rather than the former.

We must first observe that the Old Testament does not only use the theme of lambs and sheep in the context of Israel's sacrificial system. It also uses this theme in the context of the people of God (Ps. 23; 79:13; Hos. 4:16; Is. 40:11; Jer. 50:6, Ezek. 34:5-15, et al.). Israel and the Israelites are often called the lambs/sheep of God, and this theme continues into the Gospel Accounts. Jesus, for instance, sends His disciples only to the lost sheep of the House of Israel (Mat. 15:24) and into the world as lambs into the midst of wolves (Lk. 10:3), and especially in John where He calls out His sheep and protects them (Jn. 10). He also calls the Believing Remnant of Israel His Father's Little Flock (Lk. 12:32) and tells Peter to feed His lambs/His sheep (Jn. 21:15-16).

When God enfleshed Himself into the human line of David, He became an Israelite. As an Israelite He was a son of God (Ex. 4:22) and a lamb/sheep of God (Ps. 79:13). But, of course, we are told by John's Prologue (Jn. 1:1-8) and the testimony of John the Baptist (Jn. 1:19-36), that while (believing) Israelites may be called sons of God, Jesus Christ is THE eternal Son of God because He is God! And while all (believing) Israelites are called lambs of God, Jesus Christ is THE eternal Lamb of God because He is God. Because of this, Jesus Christ can accomplish what no other Israelite individually or together nationally could accomplish: Complete Salvation for the Nation of Israel from her sinful predicament under the Curses of the Law in the Courses of Punishment. That is why in the Gospel of John the Lamb/Sheep metaphor bursts all its seams. Jesus is not only THE I AM Jehovah God Lamb, He is also THE I AM Jehovah God Shepherd and THE I AM Jehovah God Sheepgate (Jn. 10:7-8, 11)!

The next thing we must observe is that the Lamb metaphor for Jesus is only found in the Apostle John's Scriptures. The author John records John the Baptist's two Lamb of God sayings at the very beginning of Jesus' earthly ministry (Jn. 1:29, 36), and then he does not mention it again anywhere in the rest of the Gospel of John nor anywhere in his three Epistles (1, 2, 3 John). Then suddenly in the Book of Revelation he barrages us with no fewer than 29 references to the Lamb of God metaphor! So, let's go there for its fuller meaning

There we learn that Jesus Christ is the Messianic Conquering Lamb, who has 7 powerful horns (Rev. 5:6). It turns out that this Lamb is not really a Lamb, lambs don't have horns. He is a Ram, the (Ram) Lamb of God. We see something similar when God sends Nathan to confront David about his adultery with Bathsheba and murder of her husband Uriah through a parable (2 Sam. 12:1-6). In the parable, Bathsheba is identified as the ewe lamb of Uriah. But this is a contradiction in terms. A ewe is an adult female sheep (referring to Bathsheba, an adult woman) whereas a lamb is a baby sheep. Therefore, the metaphor “lamb” here isn't referring to age or maturity but to the condition of a lamb—one in weakness, helplessness, dependence, and easy prey to enemies, which calls for special care and protection. Likewise, Jesus Christ, the (Ram) Lamb of God, at His 1st Coming took on humanity by entering into the line of David in a weak, dependent and dangerous state (from His birth through His life) that led to death. At His 2nd Coming, however, He will exercise ultimate power and glory and authority and rule over all, fulfilling all aspects of His being the Ram Lamb of God. Only then will they recognize the One Israel put to death but God brought back to life (Acts 2-3). The Lord says: They will look upon Me whom they have pierced, and fall on the grace resident in His Jehovah Name (Rev. 5:6; Zech. 12:1-10).

John the Baptist was looking for the latter but only saw the former, confusing him. When he prepared the way for Jesus Christ, the I AM Jehovah God of Israel, and proclaimed the Gospel of the Kingdom (Mat. 3:2-3; Jn. 1:23)--that The King is here and the Kingdom is at hand--he was looking for the arrival of the Messianic Conquering (Ram) Lamb of God, who would destroy all enemies and save all friends, thereby purging the world (I.e., taking away) of sin or unrighteousness, not through an atoning sacrifice but through His vengeance, wrath and judgment so that His Kingdom could be established in righteousness, thereby saving the world and restoring God's glory over the whole earth.

That's what John the Baptist was looking for but that's exactly what John didn't see. At the end of his ministry, when he was sitting in a jail cell and about to be put to death, all he saw was the weak and humble Jesus, an easy prey to enemy attack, heading toward death. The King and Kingdom were supposed to destroy the violent, but the violent by force were taking the Kingdom by wicked hands. Instead of seeing the King bring in Israel's national restoration, the King was being rejected by all Israel, especially Jerusalem (Mat. 11:2-24). No wonder he sent disciples to Jesus asking: Are you the One? Or do we look for another (Mat. 11:3)?

What neither John the Baptist nor anyone else fully understood until after the actual death and resurrection of Christ was that based on the grace resident in His Jehovah Name, God sent His Ram LAMB first to be manifested in weakness and dependency, offering grace and mercy to Israel to take away the sin of world—THE SIN OF UNBELIEF (Jn. 3:14-16; 16:8-9). It will be at His 2nd Coming that those who reject the grace resident in His Jehovah Name will come face-toface with the RAM Lamb of God in all His power and glory, as He avenges and delivers His friends while destroying His enemies, taking away, purging out, all the sin of the world—the sin of unrighteousness and wickedness--thereby establishing His Kingdom and reign on the earth in Righteousness forevermore

In conclusion, if we read John into John instead of Paul into John, then based on the Old Testament, Gospel accounts and Revelation, John the Baptist is referring to Jesus Christ, Lord of Lords, King of Kings, THE Ram Lamb of God, who is going to save His people/lambs/sheep and destroy His enemies, thereby taking away, purging out, the sin of the world not by an atoning sacrifice but by His vengeance, wrath and judgment (in accord with the Davidic Covenant). Having done this, He will restore national Israel (in accord with the New Covenant), making her the head of the nations, and with Israel and through her rise He will establish His righteous Kingdom and reign over the whole earth of friendly Gentile nations (in accord with the Abrahamic Covenant) (Rev. 17:14). This will occur at His 2nd Coming, and at that time God's Prophetic Program with the Nation of Israel will be completely and perfectly fulfilled.

Highlights in John

The Disciples Pt. 1

Nov 10, 2022

Thursday night, in our Gospel of John Bible study fellowship, we began to watch as the disciples begin their journey of faith in the advancement of God's Prophetic Program with the Nation of Israel with the arrival of the earthly ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ. We watch the group of disciples progress from Rabbi/Teacher/Master (Jn. 1:38) to Messiah/Christ (1:41) to the Fulfiller of the whole Old Testament (1:45) to the Son of God/King of Israel (1:49)!

Highlights in John

The Disciples Pt. 2

Nov 17, 2022

Thursday night, in our Gospel of John Bible study fellowship, we began to watch as the disciples begin their journey of faith in the advancement of God's Prophetic Program with the Nation of Israel with the arrival of the earthly ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ. We watch the group of disciples progress from Rabbi/Teacher/Master (Jn. 1:38) to Messiah/Christ (1:41) to the Fulfiller of the whole Old Testament (1:45) to Nathaniel's declaration that Jesus is the Son of God and King of Israel (1:49)! We asked that perennial question: What, exactly, was Nathaniel doing under the fig tree?