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In Search of the Apostles, John the 'Beloved' part 3

Updated on May 20, 2017
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Loving God and loving mankind is an important part of who I am, in these hubs we explore what it's like to really follow Jesus.

Why did he write?

Have you ever stopped to ask why there are four gospels in the Bible? Yes, I know they're all 'eyewitness' accounts and they all see Jesus in slightly different a slightly different light, but why do we need four of them and not just one 'all encompassing' gospel that presents Jesus as all that the four do?

The truth is there were writers in church history who tried to do that. They took the gospel accounts and sought to combine the four into one account that tried to make sense of the timeline, but these four are the only ones that can be traced back through history and effectively linked with the followers of Jesus!

Study early church history and you'll come across documents like the 'Gospel of Thomas', the 'Gospel of Peter' and even the 'Gospel of Judas', there's even a Gospel of Mary Magdalene and a book called the 'Acts of Pilate' (that one may be mid second century) but none of them can be accurately traced back any earlier than the third or fourth century AD and even the earliest Christian writings we have that mention them are from that period and even tell us they're from the period!

Okay, I know I'm being a bit strange here and I probably seem as if I'm jumping into a debate expecting everyone to know something about what I'm talking about, for that I do apologize, but when talking of the Apostles and the Bible we have today it's good for the inquisitive among us to know that there are good reasons we have only four 'gospels' in our Bibles and modern scholars don't want to add more as they seem to find them!

The answer is that all of the books we have in the New Testament can be accurately dated to the time when the Bible says they were written, and can be linked, not just by it's own 'say so' but by historical documentation outside the Bible to the people that are either claimed by the book itself (Most of Paul's letters) or by association (the Gospels).

That still hasn't answered the first question though, has it?

Why did John have to write a 'Gospel'?

The answer is in what was going on at the time, but to see what and why we do need to look a little deeper, we might also 'throw some light' on what's going on in Christian circles today and what the Bible might say about it.

The Apostle writing his gospel

Source

The first few years

During the time of the Acts of the Apostles (literally the story of how the faith went from 'backwater of the Empire' to the very heart of the Roman world' most of the Apostles were still alive and traveling not just inside the Empire, but outside it as well. Thomas reached India in AD 60, Andrew had reached into what is modern day Ukraine, Peter had reached Rome as well as possibly Babylon and

Thomas reached India in AD 60, Andrew had reached into what is modern day Ukraine, Peter had reached Rome as well as possibly Babylon, Paul also reached Rome, maybe getting as far as Spain.

Yes the church was growing, but the Apostles were teaching and raising up church leaders wherever they went, disciples were being made, but as the Apostles were getting older there was a need to write down the stories of Jesus so they could be passed on, there was also something else a bit more sinister that was going on.

6 I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you to live in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel – 7 which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. 8 But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let them be under God’s curse! 9 As we have already said, so now I say again: if anybody is preaching to you a go

— Apostle Paul

Strange really

To write a hub about the Apostle John, but start with a quote from Paul! But it gets the point over. Right from the very beginning things were going on and people were coming out with some strange ideas that actually corrupted the faith right from the beginning, and in fact, most of the New Testament was written to try and stop what was going on!

In Peter and Paul's time, it was the Jewish believers who not only wanted to continue in the Jewish faith, but they tried to force that faith on the non-jews in the church! Paul was fighting against that and basically saying. "Guys, we couldn't live up to it, so why the heck are you expecting the non-jew to even try!"

Let's not kid ourselves here, this was a huge fight that went on, and the first 'council' of the early church was on whether the non-jew could even be 'saved'! It was only answered when Peter stood up and related what happened at Cornelius' house that the council gave a decision (under the guidance of the Holy Spirit).

This 'fight' was going to have huge consequences, and it's the reason we practice a different faith than what Jesus did!

By the time John wrote his Gospel, we Christians had been 'shown the door' to the Jewish faith and literally taken by the scruff of the neck and thrown out of it, then the proverbial door was slammed in our faces and bolted, we were locked out of the Jewish faith forever, or so it seemed.


The Change

By AD 70 things were beginning to change, the old 'fight' against the traditionalists who wanted to make the new believers in Jesus into 'just another part of Judaism' was largely over, Peter and Paul were both in Heaven and the Jews were furious that the first Christians hadn't joined them in the rebellion against Rome.

It had been a rebellion that had seen the Temple destroyed. Titus, the General in charge had given orders that the Temple wasn't to be destroyed, but as the attack took place the Temple had been set alight and had burned so hot that the Gold in the sanctuary had melted, in order to retrieve the Gold the Romans had been forced to prize every stone apart to recover the Gold so that Titus could pay his soldiers! Jewish anger was well beyond boiling point, but there wasn't any use taking it out on Rome, so the next target was those who'd refused to 'join the fight'! Those who were despised anyway, the Christians!

The Last Apostle

John was the last of the Apostles, but there were new threats on the horizon, threats that only an 'eyewitness' could deal with, only one who'd walked and talked with Jesus could argue for the truth of!

1. Was Jesus a real person?

It was only sixty or so years after the events, and some were already calling into question whether there really was a person who did all that the other three writers claimed Jesus did! John writes, "Yes, and so much more"

2. Was he really 'God'


Even today you'll hear a lot of scholars say that the whole idea of Jesus being 'God in the flesh' didn't come about until much later, John says it plainly. WRONG!!! and he argues it not just in the Gospels but in the other books that claim his name!

"In the Beginning was the word, and the word was with God, and the word was God. He was with God in the beginning!" (John Chapter 1 verses 1-2 my own phrasing)

There's a story about John in his later years that he was in the Roman Baths one time when he heard that a man named 'Cerenthus' had come into the building, John got up and ran out of the building afraid that God might judge the building while Cerinthus was in there! And this is the guy who said 'Little children, love one another!' So much for the love for Cerinthus?

What was going on?


1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

2 The same was in the beginning with God.

3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.

4 In him was life; and the life was the light of men.

— Apostle John

John's 'Fight'

Was Jesus really Human?

Believe it or not, that was one of the first ideas that the early church had to deal with, it was coupled with the question, "Well, if he was Human, then was he really divine?"

In other words, "You can't have your cake and eat it! he was one or the other, but not both!"

John writes that Jesus was both! Not only that but he physically came to the earth, he walked and talked amongst us and he did all the things that the Bible says he did, in fact, when we get to heaven, we're going to find so many more things that he did that we never knew about!

The idea of Jesus being 'Just a good teacher' but still only a man, is totally refuted by John, he rejects it to the extent that he won't even be caught in the same building as one who taught it (Cerinthus).

This wasn't some 'pagan' teacher like Emperor Domitian who thought he was 'divine' but one who'd one time claimed to be a follower of Jesus, he was teaching something that was totally false about Christ and John was standing up against the teaching.

This isn't an easy thing to write here on Hubpages because there are so many writers here who'd see things differently, but to really understand the Gospel of John and the man himself we do need to look at what he wrote and why he wrote what he did.

2 This is how you can recognise the Spirit of God: every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, 3 but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world.

— Apostle John

That's all for now

I'll be honest, this one I was more than a little reluctant to write, not because of lack of 'inspiration' but because so many could take the hub as a 'narrow-minded' argument, I didn't mean it that way, but feel that we really do need to examine sometimes why these men and women really lived their lives the way they did, what was the thing that motivated them to risk their very lives for something like belief in Jesus?

The early Christians changed their world, and I'd like to think they left it a much better place than they found it, but it was their core belief in Jesus that was the difference! Not that Jesus was such a 'cool dude' that he motivated them to be better, but that God loves Humanity so much that he's willing to get involved in the mess that we've made and he's willing to go through all that pain and hurt to help us build the world that reflects a God who loves humanity!

But it's only when we look at both sides, what they achieved, and the opposition (both external and internal) that we can get the real picture of whom they really were!

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Blessings

Lawrence

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    • profile image

      Norine Williams 7 months ago

      I have not finished reading yet but I need an answer! What do you mean when you say "...we practice a different faith than what Jesus did?"

    • lawrence01 profile image
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      Lawrence Hebb 7 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Norine

      What I mean is that Jesus was a Jew and was a practicing Jew, all that he did and taught was in line with the revelation that was there in the Old Testament, "The New is in the old concealed, the old is in the New revealed"

      Not long after the finish of the book of Acts the early church and the Jewish faith parted ways and the church got the idea that she's replaced the Jews in God's affection, what I was getting at was that when we go back to the Bible we'll find Jesus and the disciples doing things in a very different way because they were still Jews at the time of writing.

      Hope that explains it better.

      Lawrence

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 7 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      A wonderful piece. It would be nice if you can follow up with more on just why certain books were left out of the Bible. My best understanding is that the council of Nicea which made most of the decisions was basically completely corrupted by the "emperor" that brought the council together.

      I get and understand divinity in the writings of the Bible. But I do care for a bunch of crusty old farts deciding what is and what is not divine. All of the deciders had an agenda. And I do not think that it was love.

      I really enjoy this series and look forward to it. You do a great service here to help us rev up our thinking caps. And that is great.

    • lawrence01 profile image
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      Lawrence Hebb 7 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Eric

      I love the 'crusty old farts' expression! I hear where you're coming from and the idea intrigues me, I tend to to the council of Nicea slightly differently as it was about the Deity of Christ more than what should or shouldn't be in the Bible, but you're right, the Emperor of the time does have a lot to answer for!

      Blessings

      Lawrence

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      Norine Williams 7 months ago

      Lawrence, what I am getting at "It is the SAME Gospel and Jesus "changed" or "fulfilled" the law while HE walked the earth! Paul was "chosen" to complete HIS Mission or to operate "in Christ's stead" (II Corinthians 5:20) continuing to "fulfill the law!"

      Can't say "Jesus was a practicing Jew" and was one (among others) of the reasons they "sought to kill HIM!" Yes, HE went into the Synagogues and preached where the majority of the people were, HE also appeared to be in violation of the law (another reason they sought to kill HIM) by "fulfilling the law!" Therefore, didn't "practice!"

      However, I enjoyed your HUB in that you've taken time out to "Study" to bring to our remembrance how important the apostles are in our relationship with the LORD!

      Let me tell you why there are 4 eyewitness accounts from disciples' walk with HIM on earth! Scripture WILL BE FULFILLED! In Deuteronomy 19:15, Matthew 18:16 and II Corinthians 13:1 it says [paraphrasing] "Where there are two or three witnesses, the WORD is established."

      I know there have been some 'tampering' with Scripture, but GOD will NEVER allow them to change the Message!

      Eric, Good to see you again! Pray all is well!

      GOD allowed these "old farts" change 'some' of HIS WORD to see if we pass the TEST of "obedience!" HE "commanded" us to "WAIT" for HIS HELP in order for HIM to "lead and guide us into ALL truth" but without, we error in our "interpretation" vs the "revelations" HE HELPS us with creating another 'church' practically everyday!

      Enjoyed again Lawrence, but can't wait for you to get to 'Paul!'

      Blessings

      Blessings

    • lawrence01 profile image
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      Lawrence Hebb 7 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Norine

      Actually, Jesus was a practicing Jew, what he had problems with was the traditions of 'men'

      Take a look at every confrontation he had with the religious leaders. He never once broke the original Mosaic law, but be frequently broke with the tradition that had grown up around it! That was where he had the problems!

      Jesus could say that he fulfilled the Law because he never once broke it! But he frequently broke the 'traditions' of men as that (the men's traditions) literally pulled mankind away from a relationship with man that God wanted!

      Blessings

      Lawrence

    • profile image

      Norine Williams 7 months ago

      The woman caught in adultery for example, while "The Mosaic Law" demanded execution (Leviticus 20:10), Jesus re-established righteousness on the basis of "GRACE!" Now, when someone comes in and changes 'the law' completely, I wouldn't call that "a practicing Jew!"

      I'm only trying to correct today's RELIGION which has been "brainwashed" to believe JESUS and Paul taught a "different faith" via "The Pauline Doctrine" which is the biggest LIE and (just like Satan) has caused MANY souls to be LOST!

      Because of their IGNORANCE (didn't "STUDY" just took "man's" word for it), I've had some tell me "If it isn't in 'red,' I'm not doing it" but little do they know, It was actually JESUS speaking through Paul, consequently, not obeying GOD!

      Therefore, I commend you for "STUDYING" Scripture to produce such an in-depth HUB! It gives my heart joy when one increases his "FAITH" by "STUDYING!"

      More, More, More!

      Blessings

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 7 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Lawrence, is there some writing reflecting like a transcript of the council? For sure the focus was as you say. And for that reason a success in my mind. It would seem to me that concept of both human and God still eluded them.

      But of course back to John. Do you understand there to be any books written by him that were not included. And do you think he did write four?

    • profile image

      Norine Williams 7 months ago

      The council was more than just about "the Deity of Christ," the "crusty old farts" had to make WORD 'align with THEIR 'doctrine' and is why untruths are entwined with THE TRUTH and there's NO WAY one can "figure it out" without the HELP of the HOLY SPIRIT!

      You want TRUTH? "OBEY" HIS 'LAST' "COMMANDMENT! Acts 1:4 "And being assembled together with them, COMMANDED THEM that they SHOULD NOT DEPART Jerusalem, but "WAIT" for "THE PROMISE" (John14:26;16:13) of the Father, which saith he, ye have heard of me." I know this was JESUS' 'LAST' "COMMANDMENT because further down in verse 9 IT says "And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was TAKEN UP..."

      Why is it so hard to "obey?" Why can't we "get on our face" and ask GOD to come in? Why can't we "humble ourselves?" Is that so hard? Didn't HE say "If you LOVE me keep my commandments" (John 14:15)? Show some REAL LOVE! "OBEY" to find REAL TRUTH! Did HE not say "I AM" the way, the [REAL] truth, and the life; NO MAN cometh unto the Father but by ME" (John 14:15)? Well, where does that leave MOST?

      LORD, Have Mercy on US!

      Pride and ego vs "Humbling oneself" is going to KILL MOST!

      Not only will you be "lead and guided into ALL truth" but look at what John 14:26 and 16:13 said of "THE PROMISE" (aka HOLY SPIRIT)! "...HE shall teach you ALL things, and bring ALL things ["STUDY"] to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you ["STUDY']! PEACE (Did you hear?) PEACE I leave with you, MY PEACE I give unto you; NOT AS THE WORLD GIVETH, give I unto you. Let not your heart be TROUBLED, neither let it be AFRAID" (John 14:26-27)! Don't you BELIEVE 'JESUS?' Then in John 16:13 JESUS SAID "Howbeit when HE, the Spirit of [REAL] TRUTH, is come, HE will guide you into ALL truth..." (v15) "ALL THINGS that the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, that HE shall take of mine, and SHOW IT UNTO YOU." Again, Did 'JESUS' LIE? Why don't MOST BELIEVE HIM? Why don't they LOVE HIM? Why don't they "OBEY?" Look at ALL they're MISSING!

      LORD, Have Mercy on US!

      I Pray!

      Blessings

    • lawrence01 profile image
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      Lawrence Hebb 7 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Norine

      You raised the point of the woman caught in adultery. Take a look at what Jesus actually said, he agreed with the religious leaders she deserved the death penalty!

      But then he told them they could only carry out the execution if they were 'without sin!'

      I think he was doing the same thing Paul later did in showing the religious leaders can't 'pick and choose ' which part of the Mosaic law to obey, if you're going to follow part you have to follow it all!

      Jesus agreed with the leaders on what the Law said, but he also refused to carry out the punishment because he knew the Law also says "I demand Mercy, not sacrifice!" (1 Samuel 15)

      He wasn't breaking the Mosaic Law by not carrying out the stoning of the woman, he said the Law required it, but it also requires one who 'has no sin' to throw that first stone, something only he could do, and he refused because Mercy is just as important as Justice.

      Blessings

      Lawrence

    • justthemessenger profile image

      James C Moore 7 months ago from The Great Midwest

      Informative and good instruction. I don't know so much about the early church history as you and some others on hub pages. I remember a co worker showing me a "bible" with the gospel of Thomas included. It indicated that Jesus and his disciples relationship went back to their childhoods. I wasn't then and still not sure how any of that would be relevant to the biblical truth (4 Gospels) as I know it. If the book of Thomas wasn't contemporary with the other gospels that would explain its exclusion from the New Testament.

    • lawrence01 profile image
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      Lawrence Hebb 7 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Eric.

      Transcripts of the council of Nicea, I wish!

      You can get the two arguments online, look up 'Arius' or Arianism, (not Aryianism which is Nazi propaganda) that basically taught Jesus was a man on whom Deity 'rested' until he got crucified!

      Then look up 'Athanasius and the incarnation'

      Athanasius defended what we would now call orthodoxy, but he was in the minority!

      The council wasn't 'the whole church', just what was within the Empire.

      Constantine did want unity in the church and 'in word' the Deity of Christ was agreed, but most of his senior advisors were 'Semi Arian'.

      Constantine died in 336 AD before what the council agreed came into being, the result was the senior clerics backtracked and adopted a form of Arianism which Athanasius fought all his life.

      He was sent into exile at least five times, but refused to bow to imperial pressure to 'con' form'

      By the way, the part of the reason for these hubs is to show the emperor didn't have full control of the church, it was too big and already outside the Empire (the churches in the east, the Parthian/Sassanid Empire, India, China and Ethiopia weren't there as they weren't on friendly terms with Rome and would risk arrest!)

      That's just for starters!

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 7 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      You are awesome dude!! Whahoo, what great stuff to learn. I will return and follow your bouncing ball. What a gift God has given me in you. Thank you.

    • lawrence01 profile image
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      Lawrence Hebb 7 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Justhemessenger

      You've raised an interesting point, one thing I've discovered researching some of the hubs is that some of the Ancient churches do have 'other' books in their scripture!

      The reason we have the four Gospels is they are the ones that EVERY branch of the church agrees on!

      A Catholic Bible has seven extra books in the Old Testament.

      The Church of South India I believe does accept a 'gospel' of Thomas but I'm not sure if it's the same 'gospel' of Thomas I've read about.

      The Assyrian church has the Diatessaron which is an early second century compilation mostly of the four Gospels we use. In answer to your question, quite possibly, it would be interesting to find out if your friend belongs to one of those Ancient churches!

      Blessings

      Lawrence

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 7 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Now I must research Acts and Revelation. I feel confident John wrote one. But why include them?

    • lawrence01 profile image
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      Lawrence Hebb 7 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Eric

      'Acts' was Luke, but with Revelation you'd be right!

      By the way. The Church of South India has a book called the 'Acts' of Thomas's not the gospel. It's thought to be 3rd century

    • profile image

      Norine Williams 7 months ago

      I can't find in John Chapter 8 where Jesus "agreed with them that the adulterous woman deserved the death penalty!" Just doesn't make sense because Jesus said in Verse 11 "...Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more." If HE didn't "condemn her" HE didn't "agree" to a "death penalty" for her.

      You know Lawrence, if we don't tell TRUTH, we will be as guilty as the Emperor and the Catholics (aka "crusty old farts") at the Council. We will have untruths entwined with THE TRUTH as they did! It's NEVER a matter of "I'm right" and "you're wrong" but what THE WORD SAYS!

      I'm not trying to do ANYTHING but tell TRUTH because I ALWAYS bear in mind "I'm going to "Stand before the Judgment Seat of Christ" eventually!

      You know, you and Eric wouldn't have to "wander and wonder" or "research" to find out what's missing IF you would "OBEY" HIS 'LAST' "COMMANDMENT" (Acts 1:4), "HUMBLE YOURSELVES" (II Chronicles 7:14) and let *HIM* "lead and guide you into *ALL* TRUTH" (John 14:26; 16:13)!

      "CONNECT" (aka "born again" John 3:7) to HIM gentlemen by getting on your face and asking HIM to come into your lives for REAL TRUTH!

      There were some laws 'brought over' from the Old Covenant [Mosaic] laws into the New Covenant (Grace) via Paul (aka Jesus Speaking!)! e.g. Homosexuality (Romans 1:18-32)!

      Blessings

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 7 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Reading your fine articles is like taking a master's class in Biblical study. Thank you!

    • lawrence01 profile image
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      Lawrence Hebb 7 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Norine

      In the dialogue, when the religious leaders tell Jesus the Law demands stoning, he says nothing, but then he adds the 'proviso' "Let him who's without sin cast the first stone"

      Jesus had already been teaching (sermon on the Mount)

      "Don't think I came to abolish the Law, I didn't! I came to fulfil the Law, not one jot or tattle of the Law will pass away until the son of man comes again in glory" (Matthew 5 vs 17-20)

      By the way, the scripture 'I desire Mercy, not sacrifice is Hosea 6vs 6 not what I said before (sorry)

      Blessings

      Lawrence

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      Norine Williams 7 months ago

      Lawrence, what Bible are your reading from? My KJV published 1976 Matthew 5:17-18 says "Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, Til heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, TILL ALL BE FULFILLED."

      Keep reading verses 19-20 "Whosoever shall break ONE of these commandments..." (v20) "...except your righteousness shall EXCEED the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall IN NO CASE enter into the kingdom of heaven."

      Now I ask, how do we EXCEED the righteousness of "DO" GOODER RELIGIONIST?" And how does one measure? ONLY with the HELP of the HOLY SPIRIT because we (human) CAN'T do it alone or without SUPERNATURAL HELP!

      It's not "...until the Son of man returns..." It is "till all be fulfilled" and it was "fulfilled" in Scripture or we wouldn't be under "GRACE!" JESUS HAS DONE IT ALL (Hebrews 10:14)!

      What "translation" are you using?

    • lawrence01 profile image
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      Lawrence Hebb 7 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Norine

      Exactly my point! Jesus fulfilled it! To fulfill it he had to obey it!

      The version I use (by the way) is the New King James, but I've 'paraphrased' it quite a bit as my main computer is 'down' at the moment and I'm using my phone to reply.

    • lawrence01 profile image
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      Lawrence Hebb 7 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Bill

      Thank you, hopefully I didn't put you to sleep with it:-)

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      Norine Williams 7 months ago

      He did not "obey it" or what was HIS purpose for "fulfilling" IT;which "CONTRADICTS?" "Obeying law" and "fulfilling law" totally opposite! HE "CHANGED" IT (Hebrews 7:12)! HE "took away" (Hebrews 10:9)! Made "more excellent" (Hebrews 8:6)! "Made better Testament" (Hebrews 7:22)! Why would HE "obey law" HE came to "fulfill?" HE would have CONTRADICTED HIMSELF!

      CHRIST HAS DONE IT ALL (Hebrews 7:27)!

    • lawrence01 profile image
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      Lawrence Hebb 7 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Norine

      Read the sermon on the Mount! John also points out that Jesus was crucified at the Passover feast.

      At that time the sin offering was made, it's where we get the expression 'scapegoat' from (where one goat was sacrificed and another 'became sin' for the congregation).

      Jesus fulfilled (completed, not changed) the Law by becoming that 'scapegoat' (becoming sin) for us.

      John's point is because he had no sin, fulfilled (not changed but completed) sin had no hold on him!

      We are not under 'Law' as you rightly point out, but even Paul says it still has some use and value (we can talk about that when we cover Paul).

      Back to the hub, John sees Jesus as 'fully God' and 'fully Human '

    • profile image

      Norine Williams 7 months ago

      "...there is made of necessity a CHANGE also of the law" (Hebrews 7:12)!

      "Who is made, not after the law of a "carnal" [Went from "DOING" to ALLOWING THE HOLY SPIRIT "DO" or went from Old ["Carnal"] Covenant to New ["Spiritual" Covenant) commandment, but after the POWER (HOLY SPIRIT; Acts 1:9) of an endless life" (Hebrews 7:16)!

      "For there is verily a "DISANNULLING" of the commandment..." (Hebrews 7:18)!

      "For the law (Old Covenant 'law') made NOTHING perfect, but the bringing in of a BETTER HOPE did; by which we draw night to GOD" (Hebrews 7:19)!

      "By so much was JESUS made a surety of a BETTER TESTAMENT" [ALL SPIRITUAL] (Hebrews 7:22)!

      "But now hath HE obtained a MORE EXCELLENT MINISTRY, by how much also HE IS THE MEDIATOR of a BETTER COVENANT, which was established upon BETTER PROMISES. For IF the FIRST COVENANT had been faultless, then should no place have been SOUGHT for the SECOND" (Hebrews 8:6-7)!

      "How much more shall the BLOOD OF CHRIST, who through the ETERNAL SPIRIT offered HIMSELF without spot to GOD, PURGE YOUR CONSCIENCE FROM 'DEAD WORKS' TO SERVE THE LIVING GOD" Hebrews 9:14)?

      From these Scripture, IT not only "CHANGED," IT'S GONE!

      "Then said HE, Lo, I come to do thy will, O GOD. HE 'TAKETH AWAY' the FIRST, that he may ESTABLISH the SECOND. By the which we are sanctified through the offering of the body of JESUS CHRIST [LISTEN] ONCE FOR ALL" (Hebrews 10:9-10)!

      "CHRIST HAS DONE IT ALL!" IT'S BEEN FULFILLED, CHANGED, DISANNULLED, GONE! NO MORE "WORKS!" IT'S "ALL SPIRITUAL! WE ARE UNDER 'A NEW COVENANT' AND THERE IS "NOTHING" WE CAN DO "IN THE FLESH" TO PLEASE GOD" (Romans 8:8)!

      "For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. [LISTEN!] Whom therefore ye IGNORANTLY worship, him I declare unto you. [LISTEN!] GOD that made the world and ALL THINGS therein, seeing that HE is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands; Neither is worshipped with men's hands, AS THOUGH HE NEED ANY THING, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and ALL THINGS" (Acts 17:23-25)!

      That's why John 4:23-24 says "...they that worship "MUST" worship in Spirit and in Truth!"

      IT'S "ALL SPIRITUAL" but RELIGION has made MOST BELIEVE "Spiritual is 'demonic' or not "Religiously correct!" Now how many do you think are LOST because of that theology?

      Blessings

    • lawrence01 profile image
      Author

      Lawrence Hebb 7 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Norine

      Hebrews 7 vs 18 is translated slightly differently, rather a 'setting aside ' not a 'changing'

      He's arguing that it can't save you, it was never intended to! It was intended to show us our need for Jesus!

      Jesus 'completed' it by being the person it would reveal our need for!

      It was 'weak' because without Jesus it can't help us, but he completes the picture, the one God intended all along!

    • profile image

      Norine Williams 7 months ago

      "Knowing this, that the LAW is NOT made for a 'righteous' man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, for whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine" (I Timothy 1:9-10)!

      Take it or leave it! If you are "a righteous man" (aka "IN CHRIST") the law is GONE according to WORD!

      Blessings

    • lawrence01 profile image
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      Lawrence Hebb 7 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Norine

      I totally agree with you. I'm not arguing it 'still being in force' but completed, set aside yet still 'there for the ones who choose not to accept Christ (John 3 vs 16-18).

      Blessings

      Lawrence

    • profile image

      Norine Williams 7 months ago

      You can't 'enforce' something that is GONE!

      Yes, the Ten Commandments are still enforce for those who are coming "UNTO" Christ (I Timothy 1:9-10) or new in the FAITH (Galatians 3:27-28), but not for those "IN" Christ! We are no longer under the law "...we establish the law" (Romans 3:31)!

      Isn't this AGAINST what RELIGION teaches although IT IS WRITTEN? Why so many confused! We are NOW under the New Covenant which is "ALL SPIRITUAL" and MOST don't realize it but "worship and "UNKNOWN GOD" (Acts 17:23-25)!

      SAD!

      Blessings

    • lawrence01 profile image
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      Lawrence Hebb 7 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Norine.

      I agree but read my comments carefully, you'll realize we're agreeing with each other.

      Blessings

      Lawrence

    • profile image

      Norine Williams 7 months ago

      It's not "set aside" Lawrence! It's been replaced - GONE! It's "not for the righteous man!" You don't consider yourself "unrighteous;" do you?

      You can't operate under BOTH Covenants (Galatians 4)!

      "For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in ONE point, he is guilty of ALL" (James 2:10)!

      How can we "keep the whole law?" We need HOLY SPIRIT! We need JESUS to "lead and guide us" (John 14:26)!

      Why I keep repeating what WORD SAYS! Isaiah 28:13 "But the WORD of GOD... [makes one] "...GO, and fall backward..." and "OBEY" HIS 'LAST' Commandment "WAIT" (Acts 1:4) for the HELP "PROMISED" (John 14:26) in order to be "lead and guided into ALL truth!"

      "If you love me keep my commandments" (John 14:15)!

      Blessings

    • profile image

      Norine Williams 7 months ago

      Lawrence, you are a "BLESSING" from the LORD!

      Look how you have provided for MANY to know TRUTH!

      You're the second person on HP I've heard say "...til the Son of man returns" (Matthew 5:18) vs "...til all be fulfiled." And "...all [WAS] fulfiled" when JESUS DIED and shed HIS blood on "The Cross!" Did HE not say "IT IS FINISHED" (John 19:30)? Look what RELIGION has done to MOST!

      JESUS HAS DONE IT ALL! HE has provided "GRACE" and we don't have to "WORK" for Salvation as they did under the Old Covenant! The "NEWS" ("GRACE") seems "TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE" and MOST still cannot BELIEVE IT because IT seems;"Unbelievable;" (logically/carnally) although IT IS WRITTEN!

      GOD is soooooo GOOD! GOD is soooooo0 MERCIFUL! GOD is soooooooo GOD (aka LOVE)!

      Blessings

    • Robert Sacchi profile image

      Robert Sacchi 7 months ago

      I enjoyed reading this Hub. Isn't the Gospel of John written for the Jews of the time while the other Gospels written for the Gentiles? I'm asking this in the sense that you might write a Hub geared to New Zealanders and I might write a Hub with a similar message but geared to Americans.

    • lawrence01 profile image
      Author

      Lawrence Hebb 7 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Robert

      Thanks for the visit, there is some debate about that, it has been said in the past that the Gospel of John was written for the Greek mind, but more recently the Messianic community in Israel has shown the Jewish concepts behind a lot of what John talks about and how it differs from the traditional thoughts of why the Gospel was written.

      Here I've just tried to deal with the history of what was going on and not so much the 'Theology' behind it.

      Blessings

      Lawrence

    • profile image

      Norine Williams 7 months ago

      Welcome back to the REAL world Lawrence (II Corinthians 4:3-6)!

    • Robert Sacchi profile image

      Robert Sacchi 7 months ago

      You have a point with focusing more on the history than the Theology. The Theology has been a subject of debate for centuries and is not likely to end anytime soon.

    • lawrence01 profile image
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      Lawrence Hebb 7 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Robert

      True, but there are a few things the writers make clear, and some that are left to us 'to figure out!'

    • Robert Sacchi profile image

      Robert Sacchi 7 months ago

      Good point.

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      William Kovacic 6 months ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

      Late again, but glad to have caught your in-depth study. I will also add, you're much more patient than I am when it comes to debate. Good job, Lawrence.

    • lawrence01 profile image
      Author

      Lawrence Hebb 6 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Bill

      No worries, I enjoy the debates, as long as we can keep them that way we can learn things.

      Happy new year

      Lawrence

    • profile image

      Norine Williams 6 months ago

      What does "keep them that way" mean Lawrence? I'm just curious? How can you "learn something" when something different is brought to MOST'S attention they (as Bill) don't want to consider?

      That's interesting!

      As long as nothing differs from one's belief; it's OK? Otherwise, it's [what?] "JUDGING, ARGUING, EGO TRIPPING," what? I'm just curious?

      Why is it always "What *you* or *I* believe" and not what *GOD* HAS SAID? How can one learn if they don't even 'consider' what another is saying? How can you remain "stagnated" like that when GOD SAID We "change from glory to glory" (II Corinthians 3:18)?

      I wonder how many has gotten "new revelation" from GOD increasing their "knowledge and understanding" in/from HIM? How long ago has that been? How many YEARS have MOST been "complacent?"

      RELIGION has taught MOST "There are three persons but they all are "ONE" God! Does that even sound right when John 4:23-24 "GOD is a SPIRIT?" What about the "person" of Melchizedek and MANY others?

      RELIGION has taught there is "water" baptism when John TOLD US in Matthew 3:11 "I indeed baptize you with water UNTO repentance: but HE that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: HE shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with FIRE." Ephesians 4:5 says there is "...ONE" baptism." Now does that sound right? Which "one;" "water" - "UNTO" or "FIRE" - "INTO?" RELIGION has LIED teaching ALL we have to be "sprinkled" or "emerged in water" when John has spoken! Why does Acts 17:23-25 say "As if HE needed man's hands to worship HIM!" Why do MOST still operate under the LAW "Worshiping with hand" (Romans 8:8)? John said the "ONE BAPTISM" is with "FIRE!" Why don't MOST "BELIEVE?" Then the Scripture RELIGION "inserted" to "justify" was I Peter 3:21 "The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now 'save' us..." I thought Ephesians 2:8-9 says "For by GRACE or ye 'saved' through FAITH: and that NOT OF YOURSELVES: it is THE GIFT of GOD. Not of 'WORKS' (water baptism is 'WORKS'), lest any man should boast?" Then it goes on to say "...(not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a GOOD CONSCIENCE toward God,)..." What? GOD can "look at hearts" (II Samuel 16:7) but can't "look at our "GOOD CONSCIENCES?" Get REAL! Does that sound right?

      It TIME to stop playing "religious clicks" and "STUDY" for "TRUTH" in HIS WORD! It's TIME to stop trying to gain the most "friends on Facebook" and tell TRUTH in HIS WORD! It's TIME!

      GOD is TIRED!

      Blessings

    • lawrence01 profile image
      Author

      Lawrence Hebb 6 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Norine

      It simply means that we remember they are 'debates' and we allow the Holy Spirit to do his work in each other using his timetable.

      I do believe that he'll lead us into all truth, and he won't force us to believe anything we don't want to, if he doesn't then we shouldn't try to force others.

      That's what I was getting at.

      Blessings, and happy new year.

      Lawrence

    • profile image

      Norine Williams 6 months ago

      It depends on how "SERIOUS" their LOVE is for GOD, doesn't it? If one is "complacent" and "refuse to do as "commanded" when we are supposed to be "growing" into HIS likeness or "changing from glory to glory" (II Corinthians 13:8):

      "But "SEEK" ye FIRST the kingdom of GOD..." (Matthew 6:33) and without "SEEKING" we know there is NO LOVE FOR GOD!

      "If you LOVE me keep my commandments" (John 14:15) again we know there is NO LOVE FOR GOD!

      Why do you all continue to play games? You can LIE to yourselves, you can LIE to me, but you can't LIE to the Holy Spirit (Acts 5:3)!

      MOST have shown THEY DON'T LOVE GOD rather use HIM to "justify unrighteousness!"

      Acts 18:6 "And when they opposed themselves, and blasphemed, he shook his raiment, and said unto them Your blood be upon your own heads; I am clean..."

      Happy New Year to you as well!

      Blessings

    • lawrence01 profile image
      Author

      Lawrence Hebb 6 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Norine

      No it doesn't! He doesn't change or get tired of us! He knew the way we would be even before he started creation!

      He knows how we'll react, he knows what we'll accept and not accept, yet he chose to make us with choices.

      Yes he's only given us a finite time to get to know him, but he planned everything knowing how we would act, and he still loves us!

      Despite all our faults Jesus still lived us enough to go to Calvary, so let's let HIM complete the work he started in us (and in others).

      Lawrence

    • profile image

      Norine Williams 6 months ago

      Even Paul got TIRED of those continuing in "IGNORANCE!" However, from RELIGION "MOST" have been "taught" and will say "Who cares? Who the heck is Paul?" It's that kind of IGNORANCE one needs to hear is AGAINST Scripture!

      Paul spoke to the Corinthians in II Corinthians in Chapter 13:1 and said "This is the THIRD TIME I am coming to you..." when they were "seeking a proof of Christ speaking in me..." and when they didn't he told them in Verse 5 they needed to "Examine yourselves, whether ye be IN THE FAITH; prove your OWNSELVES. Know ye not you own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?"

      I agree GOD knew "from creation" who would and would not be "a reprobate!" Therefore, when one is not willing to "hear" what HIS WORD SAYS, who wishes to remain "complacent," who "DELETES" HIS WORD without consideration, shows signs of a "reprobate!" When one says "I got this!" and is not willing to 'consider' Scripture that is the sign of a "reprobate!"

      Since I've been on HP, I have listened to others and with the WORD given by Judah's Daughter, I didn't DELETE what I was in disagreement with at the time, I "searched the Scriptures to see if those things were so" (Acts 17:11)! Now that what a true "SEEKER" of TRUTH in HIS WORD does! I thank GOD for Judah's Daughter for without her showing me in Scripture where Ephesians 4:5 said "ONE BAPTISM" I would have continued in my belief of 'two;' water and FIRE!

      I don't consider myself "all knowing" but "I Press" (Philippians 3:13)! It seems MOST are not willing to "PRESS" therefore showing NO LOVE FOR GOD!

      "Pressing" is how one "grows into HIS likeness!" GOD SEES "MOST" are not willing! Hebrews 6:9-12 says "But, beloved, we are persuaded better things for you, and things that accompany salvation (Did you hear?), though we thus speak. For GOD is not unrighteous to forget your work and labor of LOVE, which ye have shewed toward my name, in that ye have MINISTERED to the Saints and DO MINISTER. And we desire that EVERY ONE of you do the SAME DILIGENT to the full assurance of hope unto the end: BE NOT SLOTHFUL, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises." Didn't HE ask us to "BE NOT SLOTHFUL?" Didn't HE tell us to "PRESS?" But when we say "He'll take care of it "in due time" WE DEFY SCRIPTURE!

      I've been "chosen" to "MINISTER unto the Saints" and when DELETES without asking "Why do you think like this?" I know they are not "A Saint!" Saints "PRESS" and DO NOT "remain complacent!"

      Don't think HE LOVES one because they believe there is a GOD who had a Son named Jesus Christ either! Hebrews 6:1-3 says We have to be "PRECISE," we have to come into agreement; we have to be of the SAME MIND (I Corinthians 1:10) and there should be "NO DIVISIONS among us!" AFTERWARDS, Hebrews 6:1-3 says we can then "Leave our principles of the doctrine behind, then we can go on UNTO perfection; not laying again the foundation of "repentance" from DEAD WORKS, and of faith toward GOD, Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment." How can we "go on UNTO perfection" when one doesn't want to hear TRUTH? How can we learn "the principles of the doctrine of Christ" if one doesn't want to hear? How can we "proclaim" we are Saints and it doesn't matter GOD will do it in HIS TIME! Scripture says "...TODAY if ye will hear his voice (WORD), harden not your hearts..." and when you "harden your hearts" DEFYING Scripture, what makes you think "HE LOVES ME ANYWAY" when you DEFY HIS WORD?

      I'm telling you THE TRUTH! I'm not trying to be "egotistical!" I was "chosen" by GOD to "MINISTER 'UNTO' the Saints!" But as I do I "minister to myself" also! I'm not ABOVE HIS WORD and is why I listened to Judah's Daughter because she "PROVED" with WORD which is what we should be doing as stated in Hebrews 6:1-3! Instead MOST act like those in II Corinthians 13:5 and need to GO BACK and "Examine yourselves to see if in the right FAITH!"

      I MUST DO AS COMMANDED "Preach the WORD" (II Timothy 4:2) "...for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ" (Ephesians 4:12)!

      I KNOW you all are "blessed" in that HE placed me on HP, although when "they put me out they think they've done GOD a service" (John 16:2) but little do they know, I have been "Chosen!"

      Therefore, I will continue "sowing HIS SEED" (Mark 4:5) but yet; they've heard!

      Romans 10:13- "For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved." This doesn't mean just saying HIS Name but "call from the heart" for guidance! "How then shall they shall they call on him on him in whom they have not believed?" If doctrine is "twisted," you believe in NOTHING! "and how can they believe in him of whom they have not heard? That's why GOD sent me to HP! "and how can they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach except they be sent?" LORD have MERCY! I teach with FEAR because if *I* say something rather than using GOD'S WORD, guess what? "Their blood is on *my* hands" (Ezekiel 3:18)!

      Romans 11:8 says "(According as IT IS WRITTEN, GOD hath given them the spirit of slumber, eyes that should not see, and ears that they should not hear;) UNTO THIS DAY!"

      LORD - HAVE MERCY on "US!"

      I Pray!

      Blessings

    • Mel Carriere profile image

      Mel Carriere 6 months ago from San Diego California

      Lawrence you are quite the scholar. I apologize for having been absent during the Christmas season, but I love these articles and anxiously await the next. I hope that when you run out of apostles you can turn to other Biblical figures. Great stuff. Happy belated New Year.

    • lawrence01 profile image
      Author

      Lawrence Hebb 6 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Mel

      Thank you for the compliment. I think we all need to take a break at times, and Christmas is a great time to do that!

      I've had a few technical issues as well during the break, internet crash and computer problems, but they're slowly getting sorted.

      As for 'running out of Apostles', that's going to be a while, at the moment I'm wanting to look at some of the characters in the early and Medieval church to see what they show us, people like St Francis of Assisi or St Patrick just to name a couple!

      Anyway, Happy new year.

      Lawrence

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      wba108@yahoo.com 5 months ago from upstate, NY

      "During the time of the Acts of the Apostles (literally the story of how the faith went from 'backwater of the Empire' to the very heart of the Roman world' most of the Apostles were still alive and traveling not just inside the Empire, but outside it as well. Thomas reached India in AD 60, Andrew had reached into what is modern day Ukraine, Peter had reached Rome"

      When you think of how a hand full of ordinary men like the disciples could have such in impact on the world, it's surely a wonder. In those days reaching India must have been a miracle in itself.

      Thanks for the insight into the writings of the Apostle John, God had a good reason for keeping him around for so long, He knew that false teachers would come to prominence and they would need an eye witness to refute them or permanent damage would occur.

    • lawrence01 profile image
      Author

      Lawrence Hebb 5 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      WBA

      That's one of the reasons for the hubs, exploring how the faith spread not just inside the Roman Empire, but outside it as well.

      Blessings

      Lawrence

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