Humility of John The Revelator

I am Jounralling Through Revelation here in the Tampa Bay area.

I am Journalling Through Revelation here in the Tampa Bay area.

I, John, am your brother and your partner in suffering and in God’s Kingdom and in the patient endurance to which Jesus calls us. Revelation 1:9 NLT

John walked with Jesus, and was called the disciple who Jesus loved. John was one of three disciples privileged to be on the mount of transfiguration. He also was one of two disciples who asked to be seated next to Jesus in His kingdom. Now, here in this text, John does not set himself apart from us as though he was in some special class. He writes to you and me calling himself our brother and partner.

You may study Revelation here.

2 John; The Commandments Define Love

I am writing tonight from the beautiful Tampa Bay area.

 And now I beseech thee, lady, not as though I wrote a new commandment unto thee, but that which we had from the beginning, that we love one another. 2 John 1:5

Here is a trick question you can try on your friends.  What was the highest vmountain in the world before Mt. Everest was discovered? The answer is Mt. Everest! Even though it was new to the people who discovered it, it was there all the time. Same with the commandment to love one another. It has always been there. It did not replace the ten commandments. It actually outdates the ten commandments. The ten commandments help us define love. The first four tell us how to love God and the last six tell us how to love one another. When people say we don’t need the Ten Commandments anymore, that we just need to love one another they are not being logical. The Ten Commandments help us define love so we can know how to love God and one another.

John 18-19; The Closing Scenes

I am writing from the beautiful Tampa Bay area.

   It would be well for us to spend a thoughtful hour each day in contemplation of the life of Christ. We should take it point by point, and let the imagination grasp each scene, especially the closing ones. As we thus dwell upon His great sacrifice for us, our confidence in Him will be more constant, our love will be quickened, and we shall be more deeply imbued with His spirit. If we would be saved at last, we must learn the lesson of penitence and humiliation at the foot of the cross.  {Desire of Ages  83.4} 

John 19:25 Now there stood by the cross of Jesus his mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary the [wife] of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalene. 

 19:26    When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved, he saith unto his mother, Woman, behold thy son! 

 19:27    Then saith he to the disciple, Behold thy mother! And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own [home]. 

  As the eyes of Jesus wandered over the multitude about Him, one figure arrested His attention. At the foot of the cross stood His mother, supported by the disciple John. She could not endure to remain away from her Son; and John, knowing that the end was near, had brought her again to the cross. In His dying hour, Christ remembered His mother. Looking into her grief-stricken face and then upon John, He said to her, “Woman, behold thy son!” then to John, “Behold thy mother!” John understood Christ’s words, and accepted the trust. He at once took Mary to his home, and from that hour cared for her tenderly. O pitiful, loving Saviour; amid all His physical pain and mental anguish, He had a thoughtful care for His mother! He had no money with which to provide for her comfort; but He was enshrined in the heart of John, and He gave His mother to him as a precious legacy. Thus He provided for her that which she most needed,–the tender sympathy of one who loved her because she loved Jesus. And in receiving her as a sacred trust, John was receiving a great blessing. She was a constant reminder of his beloved Master. 

     The perfect example of Christ’s filial love shines forth with undimmed luster from the mist of ages. For nearly thirty years Jesus by His daily toil had helped bear the burdens of the home. And now, even in His last agony, He remembers to provide for His sorrowing, widowed mother. The same spirit will be seen in every disciple of our Lord. Those who follow Christ will feel that it is a part of their religion to respect and provide for their parents. From the heart where His love is cherished, father and mother will never fail of receiving thoughtful care and tender sympathy.  {Desire of Ages, p. 752}

John 13; John, The Knowing Disciple

I am writing today from the beautiful Tampa Bay area.

At the last super, when Jesus tells His disciples that one of them is going to betray Him, they all asked, “Lord is it I? Matthew 26 However, John, instead asks, “Lord who is it?” John 13 John knew it was not Him. He knew that He loved Jesus and had not betrayed Him. John was a confident disciple because he was confident in the love Jesus had for Him and that He had for Jesus. Look at John’s frequent use of the word “know.”

He grasps Jesus’ words,   John 17:3 And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent. 

John himself writes, 1 John  2:3 And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. 

 2:4 He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. 

So John tells us that knowing Jesus equals eternal life, and knowing Jesus equals commandment keeping. If A=C and A=B than C must =B.

1John 2:29 If ye know that he is righteous, ye know that every one that doeth righteousness is born of him. 

1John 3:2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. 

1John 4:16 And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him. 

 4:17       Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world. 

John knew the power of a relationship with Jesus, giving him confidence in the judgment, knowing in this world we can experience Jesus’ power over sin.

1John 5:13 These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God. 

John wants us to have the same confidence that he had. He does not want us wondering, or hoping and wishing that we have eternal life. He wants us to know we have eternal life. If we know Jesus, we know we have eternal life. No Jesus, no life.

John 7; It’s a Conspiracy!

I am writing today from the beautiful Tampa Bay area.

John 7:19 Did not Moses give you the law, and [yet] none of you keepeth the law? Why go ye about to kill me? 

 7:20       The people answered and said, Thou hast a devil: who goeth about to kill thee? 

Either the group talking to Jesus here, were ignorant of the conspiracy to kill Him or they were two-faced. Peter tells us in 1 Peter 5 that we are not to be paranoid about conspiracies, but to cast all of our care upon Jesus. At the same time, Peter acknowledges that the devil is out to get us.

1 Peter 5:7 Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you. 

 5:8         Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: 

 5:9         Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world. 

In John 7 the multitude had mixed opinions about Jesus. However His conduct is what validated His words and works.

While people are telling Jesus that He is crazy for thinking someone wants to kill Him, the Pharisees send out a group of conspirators to get Him.

7:45        Then came the officers to the chief priests and Pharisees; and they said unto them, Why have ye not brought him? 

 7:46       The officers answered, Never man spake like this man. 

The officers who were sent to take Jesus reported that never man spake like this man. But the reason of this was that never man lived like this man; for if he had not so lived, he could not so have spoken. His words bore with them a convincing power, because they came from a heart pure and holy, full of love and sympathy, beneficence and truth. There is eloquence beyond that of words, in the quiet, consistent life of a pure, true Christian. We shall have temptations as long as we are in this world, but instead of injuring us, they will only turn to our advantage, if resisted. The bounds are placed where Satan cannot pass. He may prepare the furnace, but instead of working injury, it will only consume the dross, and bring forth the gold of the character, purer than before the trial.  {Gospel Workers 1892 P, 244}

No reason to be paranoid about Satan’s conspiracies. Just keep living for Jesus!

John 1; John Sees What is Right With The Church

I am writing today from the beautiful Tampa Bay area.

John 1:26 John answered them, saying, I baptize with water: but there standeth one among you, whom ye know not; 

 1:27       He it is, who coming after me is preferred before me, whose shoe’s latchet I am not worthy to unloose. 

I have already noticed something different about the book of John. The other gospels record the strife between the disciples as to who is the greatest. John does not record this strife. John speaks about John the Baptist leading people to Jesus and not to himself. In John 3:30 John records John the Baptist saying, “He must increase, I must decrease.”  I think John is focusing on what is right with the church instead of what is wrong.  He is giving us some good role models. Former U.S. President, Bill Clinton, once said, “Nothing is wrong with America that cannot be cured by what is right with America.” I choose to believe that there is nothing wrong with the church that cannot be cured by what is right with the church. Of course, Jesus is what is right with the church, but let’s look at what else is right with the church.

1:40 One of the two which heard John [speak], and followed him, was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother. 

 1:41       He first findeth his own brother Simon, and saith unto him, We have found the Messias, which is, being interpreted, the Christ. 

 1:42       And he brought him to Jesus. And when Jesus beheld him, he said, Thou art Simon the son of Jona: thou shalt be called Cephas, which is by interpretation, A stone. 

 1:43       The day following Jesus would go forth into Galilee, and findeth Philip, and saith unto him, Follow me. 

 1:44       Now Philip was of Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter. 

 1:45       Philip findeth Nathanael, and saith unto him, We have found him, of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets, did write, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph. 

 1:46       And Nathanael said unto him, Can there any good thing come out of Nazareth? Philip saith unto him, Come and see. 

 1:47       Jesus saw Nathanael coming to him, and saith of him, Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile! 

 1:48       Nathanael saith unto him, Whence knowest thou me? Jesus answered and said unto him, Before that Philip called thee, when thou wast under the fig tree, I saw thee. 

 1:49       Nathanael answered and saith unto him, Rabbi, thou art the Son of God; thou art the King of Israel.  

 1:50       Jesus answered and said unto him, Because I said unto thee, I saw thee under the fig tree, believest thou? thou shalt see greater things than these. 

We have Andrew who is working hard and quietly behind the scenes to bring people to Jesus. In the other Gospels we never heard him mentioned by name, like we did James and John in the fracas as to who was the greatest. We never heard him making outrageous boasts like Peter made. About the only other time we hear of him, is when he found a boy with a sack lunch that saved the multitude from hunger. Andrew seems to work best one on one and without much fanfare. I would say he is what is right with the church.

Next we have Nathanael. Nathaniel seems to be a man of prayer. Jesus says Nathanael is an Israelite who has no guile! Wow! I pray Jesus can say that about me! That would be awesome. I do not know of a higher compliment that Jesus ever gave to anyone, and he gave it to a man the other three gospel do not even mention, and is only mentioned six times in the book of John, five of those times are in this brief story above. This tells me there are people in our church today who have no guile. We may not notice them because they are not drawing attention to themselves. They are quietly praying and bringing people to Jesus instead of arguing over who is the greatest.

Mark 9; Recognizing Our Loved Ones in Heaven

I am writing today from the beautiful Tampa Bay area.

Mark  9:1 And he said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That there be some of them that stand here, which shall not taste of death, till they have seen the kingdom of God come with power. 

 9:2         And after six days Jesus taketh [with him] Peter, and James, and John, and leadeth them up into an high mountain apart by themselves: and he was transfigured before them. 

 9:3         And his raiment became shining, exceeding white as snow; so as no fuller on earth can white them. 

 9:4         And there appeared unto them Elias with Moses: and they were talking with Jesus. 

 9:5         And Peter answered and said to Jesus, Master, it is good for us to be here: and let us make three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias. 

 9:6         For he wist not what to say; for they were sore afraid. 

 9:7         And there was a cloud that overshadowed them: and a voice came out of the cloud, saying, This is my beloved Son: hear him. 

Jesus promises that some would see the kingdom before they died. At the transfiguration, they saw the kingdom of God and the Son of man as also the Son of God. But in this story I see something else too. While studying with people, many ask me if we will recognize our loved ones in heaven. I assure them they will. The disciples recognized Jesus after the resurrection and we will recognize each other after the resurrection. However, I believe we will also recognize people we have not even met yet! Why do I say that? Well, I may be reading too much into it I don’t know, but I notice in this story that right away Peter recognizes Moses and Elijah. Moses was resurrected after his death according to Jude. Elijah was taken up in a fiery chariot without ever seeing death, according to 2nd Kings 2. Peter never knew Moses and Elijah by sight as they lived hundreds of years before him, but now in the transfiguration, in Jesus’ Kingdom, Peter recognizes two people he had never even met. So I say, yes we will recognize our loved ones and those we have never met before.