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These are brief sermons to be
taken for what they are worth.

You can also download this study as a pdf file.

Volume 1, Sermon 13

- John 1:1,2  In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God.
- Genesis 1:1  In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
- Isaiah 9:6  For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
- Revelation 19:10  And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, See thou do it not: I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.

Note: If you arrived here by Internet search, know that this is in a series about "The Whole Christ". Click on the up-left Logo to see the SiteMap where is, among other things, this particular series of sermons.

Therefore: In the beginning

    In the beginning of what?
    I suggest that even before the implementation of God's Plan of the Ages (i.e. the Creation and Sustaining of the Race of Adam ... within which the Son would save the world) there was a Beginning Planing Stage between Father and Son.
    I trust, dear reader, that you have been reading the previous Sermons which together are about "The Whole Christ" because in this Sermon we shall do even more scanning back and forth through the Scriptures.
    In my own ongoing studies I had thought eventually perhaps to write a sermon of scriptures emphasizing the Lord Christ-Messiah amidst both his roles: a) in the Old Testament as the Very Only Begotten Son of God, the Lamb Slain from the foundation of the world to compare with b) the New Testament as the Christ-Messiah Jesus (the Lamb to be slain ... and having been slain as sitting in Power on the Throne with the Father to also function as High Priest in the Heavenly Temple.
    However, after having watched the humanistic movie "Killing Jesus" (said to have been "an historical account")... and hearing at its ending that "Many experts today doubt the Apostle John was the author of the Gospel of John" ... I decided to again visit the early chapters of the Gospel of John ... which would accomplish my initial intent. Moreover, I have added other connecting passages.
    As always, using Steven's Number System, I did not know if such a study would eventually appear on this website as a sermon. However, having now spent quite some time "back and forth" from New to Old Scriptures I have decided to make the study into a Sermon. And I decided to include a list of passages (by varied Scripture Writers) before proceeding to the Gospel of John. In this, then, I trust that the reader will begin to sense something of the Spirit of Truth within the Scriptures down through the Ages ... and how Awesome is this Biblical Theme of the Son (the Whole Christ) ... the Greatest Theme among so very many Worthy Themes.

At Scripture's End is -
Revelation 19:10  And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, See thou do it not: I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.

    Note at Scripture's End that the angel mentioned 'Jesus' and 'Christ Jesus' (as the New Testament writers often do). I see two reasons for this:
    1) Everything that is of Christ (before the Son descended to earth to receive the name 'Jesus') is within the Old Scriptures; thus, in studies of the New Scriptures we should pay close attention to the many references to the Old Scriptures even as the New Testament writers (in referring to their Bible) have written regarding 'Jesus'.
    2) In the Old Scriptures the Lord (Son, Christ Messiah) often through the prophets 'prophesied' of himself for when he would arrive to earth; yet, note in Revelation 19:10 that the angel plainly states that all 'prophesy' from that point in time onward would be about 'Jesus'. Indeed, upon arrival to earth Christ took on a physical body ... within which he has lived and always shall live whether as in heaven now and later when he arrives again to establish his kingdom.
    Therefore, it is in this latter state of having a physical body (now Glorified) that Jesus is accomplishing the Father's commandment to bring unto the Father many sons. While on earth, each son-to-be had and has his own physical body and thus the Son arrived to walk the earth in a physical body. Yet, the Son's physical body took on a Glorified Form upon Resurrection ... which Glorified Form is the First among many glorified forms awaiting the Father's sons.

At Scripture's Center is -
Isaiah 9:6  For unto us
(Israel) a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
    Moreover, he is "the Son of God". See Daniel 3:25.
    Furthermore, he is "the Lord God of Israel". See Isaiah 37:21, Jeremiah 29:21,25 and 35:19,and 43:2, and 50:40.
    The Only Begotten Son already was of the Father. Yet, 'unto Israel' a child would be born and a son given to carry Israel's government upon his shoulder. Among the names with which he shall rule is 'The mighty God' and 'The everlasting Father'. The rulers of Jerusalem (keepers of the Mosaic Law) fully understood that Jesus was claiming through quoting Scripture and doing the Father's miracles that he in fact was the Messiah ... and thus 'Mighty God' and 'Everlasting Father' ... thus, 'God of Israel'.

-    Therefore, consideration of Beginnings in the Old and New Scriptures is where we shall shall begin this Sermon ... scripture-author by scripture-author regarding, and all about, the Scripture's Author.

Moses at Scripture's Beginning -
Genesis 1:1  In the beginning God (i.e. 'Diety, Elohim, the One God who represents Himself within many Personalities) created (i.e. 'particularly, specifically') the heaven and the earth.
    The word 'created' further implies 'like cutting out a piece of tree to make a rootstock for re-growing'... i.e. 'take a piece of what existed to restart it'',  'a process of forming out of what was'. We shall go no farther into 'creating' ... even as we consider The One who continually is 'creating'.
2:1  Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host (i.e. 'each together forming a single mass of living things') of them. And on the seventh day God (Elohim) ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. And God (Elohim) blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God (Elohim) created and made.
These are the generations (i.e. descentent, family, history) of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD (i.e. 'Yahweh, Jehovah ... the Initial Sacred Name') God (i.e. 'Elohim') made the earth and the heavens,
    Moses wrote as inspired by God (Deity) and came to actually know Him by the Name 'Yahweh' (presented in English as 'LORD'), such that Moses and all Israel considered this to be a Sacred Name such that they would not say It out loud or write It down. Therefore Moses, at this point in the narrative, became inspired regarding the Deity whom he now knew to write using the Name 'Yahweh'. Therefore, in personally writing about the Deity, Moses wrote of Him as having 'created' The Race of Adam.
    When the narrative reached the time for the Deity to deal with the Race of Adam, this Name of Yahweh came into Conjunction with Deity. That is, God (the Deity) through Moses, wanted all who heard or read the narrative to also know and understand that the Deity was a Real, True Person with a Name. This Conjunction (a Name associated with the Deity) represents a True Person working out (bring into being) all these things of Creation.
    In other words (as all Scripture reveals in some way or other, and particularly when the Named Person arrived on earth to Israel) we see the Father and The Only Begotten Son. Therefore, in very fact, 'Yahweh' (i.e. in English, LORD) represents The Personalization of Deity within (i.e. by means of) The Son.
2:5  And every plant of the field before (i.e. 'suspended, a pause, put on hold') it was in the earth, and every herb of the field before (i.e. 'suspended, a pause, put on hold') it grew: for the LORD God had not (yet) caused it to rain upon the earth (i.e. 'firm' as compared to the shifting waters), and there was not a man to till the ground (i.e. soil).
    Yahweh intended the Race of Adam to till and harvest from the soil. And so at this point He had pre-planted in the soil both rootstock and seeds ... such that on His Day of Completion of this Work (the Seventh Day) there was a Suspension of His Work (i.e. 'put on hold'); it was a Pause, a Rest, a Sabbath. That is, a sabbath is a 'putting on hold' one's work until a new week begins.
2:6  But (after His Sabbath, His work of a new series of life-events would begin and so) there went up a mist from the earth, and watered the whole face of the ground (i.e. soil).
2:7  And (next) the LORD God formed man (i.e. 'ruddy, a human being') of the dust of the ground (soil), and breathed (i.e. 'puffed as inflating') into his nostrils the breath (i.e. here 'also puff, yet as wind') of life; and man (ruddy) became a living soul (i.e. 'a vitality' of creature, animal or human').
2:8  And the LORD God planted (i.e. 'fixed' as in a specific spot) a garden (i.e. 'a fenced separated plot') eastward in Eden (i.e. 'eden' means 'a part of', i.e. 'of the same'); and there he put the man (ruddy) whom he had formed (i.e.  'molded').

King David -
Psalm 102:15,16  So the heathen shall fear the name of the LORD (i.e. Yahweh, or Jehovah), and all the kings of the earth thy glory. When the LORD shall build up Zion, he shall appear in his glory (i.e. his Glorified Physical Body).
102:17,18  He will regard the prayer of the destitute, and not despise their prayer. This shall be written for (all) the generation(s) to come: and the people which shall be created (then) shall praise the LORD.
102:19-22  For he (Yahweh) hath looked down from the height of his sanctuary; from heaven did the LORD behold the earth; To hear the groaning of the prisoner; to loose those that are appointed to death; (and) To declare the name of the LORD in Zion, and his praise in Jerusalem; (that is,) When the people are (become) gathered together, and (also) the kingdoms (of Israel north and south united), to serve the LORD (Yahweh in his earthly kingdom).
    This passage is prophesy about when the Lord arrives and establishes his kingdom.
102:23  (Now David speaks) He weakened my strength in the way; he shortened my days. (And) I said, O my God, take me not away in the midst of my days: (for) thy years are throughout all generations. (For) Of old hast thou laid the foundation of the earth: and the heavens are the work of thy hands. They shall perish, but thou shalt endure: yea, all of them shall wax old like a garment; as a vesture shalt thou change them, and they shall be changed: But thou art the same, and thy years shall have no end.
102:28  (Surely) The children of thy servants shall continue, and (at that time) their seed shall be established before thee.
    David fully understood by the Spirit all that the Lord had said by the prophets about Himself. David had a full relationship with and knew the Lord as the Lord God of Creation, Yahweh the Name of Deity.

And Now we will get on with the Gospel of John -

Apostle John -
John 1:1-5  In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.
    The Apostle John wrote three books and his prime subject is 'from the beginning was the word' ...... 'the Word' as 'The Only Begotten Son of God' (1John 4:9) ... also 'the Lamb Slain from the foundation of the world' (Revelation 13:8).
    However, mostly the modern Church understands this in light of :
    Christ emerging from the womb of a young virgin (of the lineage of David, of the tribe of Judah) ... and on the eighth day after emerging in the form of a male Judaite babe he (the Greek word for 'he' is 'it') was 'circumcised according to the law of Moses and received the name Jesus according to the Angel Gabriel' [see previous sermon].
    And yet, we too much think of Christ as "Jesus ... of the New Testament" and not nearly enough as the Lord Christ in the Old Testament ... "the Only Begotten of the Father as the Lamb Slain from the foundation of the world". We too much see Jesus as the Christ, but not the Christ as the God of Israel, the Lord of Hosts, etc., doing things and speaking things that mystify us moderns; for we see the Lord as within our own definitions of 'good'. Indeed, He was and is a Stumbling-block to Israel and He is a Stumbling-block to us.
    [ Dear reader, I assume that you are familiar with some of these phrases; therefore, listed below are some of the Greek meanings of the words underlined above in John 1:1-5. ]

- The Greek meanings of the underlined words are listed. -

'beginning' is 'a chief or foremost commencement of something'
'Word' is 'after having thought or reasoned something, it is said (spoken forth)'
'with' is 'directional ... toward something to come along side of it, (thereunto)'
'God' is 'Deity, a Being in the general or all inclusive sense'
'The same' is 'in particular it means 'this' '
'made' is 'cause   to be'
'by' is 'a channel, through, by means of'
'In' and 'in' is 'fixed in a position or at rest, not moved'
'light' is 'the essence of luminousness... rays that light up or make manifest'
'men' is 'the general term often for man (men); includes female; 'human' '
'lighten' is 'to show; something that shines when lighted up so as to be observed'
'darkness' is 'the condition of dimness ... of obscurity ... a normally good eye cannot identify'
'comprehended' is 'eagerly take possession of something (physical or mental)'

    Now I will attempt to put John 1:1-5 in my own words while reflecting upon the Greek meanings --
Verse 1 - "Fixed amid the commencement of these things (that are associated with the world as in verse 9) was the thoughtful reasoning process of God (i.e. the Deity, the entire Godhead), which included a speaking forth (John calls this in Abstract form) The Word ... and The Word was toward (i.e. and 'near') God. And The Word was God."

Comments on John 1:1-5
    1) The Son was begotten by the Highest Deity within this commencement (i.e.pre-'beginning' stage). The Highest Deity is often described to us by Jesus as 'the Father by whom the Son had been begotten'.
    I suggest that God's Plan of the Ages in regards to the soon-to-be-created world had been reasoned (i.e. thought out') by the Highest Deity. And then, even before The Plan's 'beginning', He acted by making of Himself and for Himself an Only Begotten Son. This Only-Begotten-Son aspect of Himself (i.e. a personality) became the means by which the Deity's 'reasoned things' of The Plan (thus toward the world) would be worked.
    Moreover, the Son-aspect of Himself would become the Deity's personal contact as 'Lord' or 'Lord God' unto His created human beings. So much was this contact with created humans meant to be personal that the creating of them was assigned to the Son.
    'The world' is the system that was to be set in motion on earth within which the Race of Adam would (and does) operate. (I apologize that my attempts at explanation are clumsy at best.)
    2) The essence of 'the Son' was, is, and always will be toward the Father, such that the Son serves the Father and is 'Lord' unto all else.
    Thus, when Christ Jesus in full obedience rose from the grave triumphant, he became seated fixed within the Inheritance with the Father upon The Throne. This is a picture of the sonship and inheritance awaiting the 'many sons' gathered by the Son ('the Lord') unto the Father.
    3) Still in verse 1: The Word (i.e. the Only Begotten Son, the Lamb-to-be-slain, according to The Plan) indeed 'was God'. That is, the Father, the Son, the Spirit ... and all else spoken forth (i.e. proclaimed) in Heaven regarding The Creation (and later spoken forth unto mankind in the world) was originated of, from, and by the ONE DEITY. Each are Personalities or Aspects (Father, Son, Spirit) of the ONE DEITY (i.e. not "separate individual persons") .
    The Son was and is the Doer, the Speaker, the Creator, and the Illuminator of the Things of God. In fact, the Son was Begotten for this very purpose.
    Christ (i.e. promised Messiah) arrived to Israel in 'a heavenly form' of a male Judaite babe (and named Jesus according to the Angel Gabriel) such that in his ministry toward the Father he claimed that no person knows the loving and sacrificing Son except the All-Loving Father (who in fact was and is The Planner of God's Plan of the Ages).
    'The Word' was fixed within the commencement of God's Plan of the Ages. All was made (created) by the Word and therefore the Word is the 'light' (i.e. 'the essence of luminousness') which manifests (lights up) amid the dimness of the world. Indeed, even at best, 'the world' is altogether dim.
    Moreover, the Word makes manifest so as to show ... whatever the Father wants to be shown to whomever He wants to show it.

  For a slight diversion here is another Comparison Old / New Testaments -

    Let us pause and appreciate the worshipful song of a famous mother in the Old Testament as compared to the worshipful song of a famous mother in the New Testament -
1Samuel 2:1-3  And Hannah prayed, and said, My heart rejoiceth in the LORD, mine horn is exalted in the LORD: my mouth is enlarged over mine enemies; because I rejoice in thy salvation. here is none holy as the LORD: for there is none beside thee: neither is there any rock like our God. lk no more so exceeding proudly; let not arrogancy come out of your mouth: for the LORD is a God of knowledge, and by him actions are weighed.
1Samuel 2:4-8  The bows of the mighty men are broken, and they that stumbled are girded with strength. They that were full have hired out themselves for bread; and they that were hungry ceased: so that the barren hath born seven; and she that hath many children is waxed feeble. The LORD killeth, and maketh alive: he bringeth down to the grave, and bringeth up. The LORD maketh poor, and maketh rich: he bringeth low, and lifteth up. He raiseth up the poor out of the dust, and lifteth up the beggar from the dunghill, to set them among princes, and to make them inherit the throne of glory: for the pillars of the earth are the LORD'S, and he hath set the world upon them.
1Samuel 2:9-11  He will keep the feet of his saints, and the wicked shall be silent in darkness; for by strength shall no man prevail. The adversaries of the LORD shall be broken to pieces; out of heaven shall he thunder upon them: the LORD shall judge the ends of the earth; and he shall give strength unto his king, and exalt the horn of his anointed. And Elkanah went to Ramah to his house. And the child did minister unto the LORD before Eli the priest.

Luke 1:43-45  And whence is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?  For, lo, as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in mine ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy.  And blessed is she that believed: for there shall be a performance of those things which were told her from the Lord.
Luke1:46-50 And Mary said, My soul doth magnify the Lord, And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour. For he hath regarded the low estate of his handmaiden: for, behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed. For he that is mighty hath done to me great things; and holy is his name. And his mercy is on them that fear him from generation to generation.
Luke 1:51-56  He hath shewed strength with his arm; he hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts. He hath put down the mighty from their seats, and exalted them of low degree. He hath filled the hungry with good things; and the rich he hath sent empty away. He hath holpen his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy; As he spake to our fathers, to Abraham, and to his seed for ever. And Mary abode with her about three months, and returned to her own house.

Similarly, King David of Israel sang -

Psalm 98:1-3  A Psalm. O sing unto the LORD a new song; for he hath done marvellous things: his right hand, and his holy arm, hath gotten him the victory.  The LORD hath made known his salvation: his righteousness hath he openly shewed in the sight of the heathen. He hath remembered his mercy and his truth toward the house of Israel: all the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God.
Psalm 98:4-6  Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all the earth: make a loud noise, and rejoice, and sing praise. Sing unto the LORD with the harp; with the harp, and the voice of a psalm. With trumpets and sound of cornet make a joyful noise before the LORD, the King (of Israel in heaven).
Psalm 98:7-9  Let the sea roar, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein. Let the floods clap their hands: let the hills be joyful together  Before the LORD; ... for he cometh to judge the earth: with righteousness shall he judge the world, and the people with equity.

    We see from the above (indeed, by all Scripture) that there is a Theme within God's Plan of the Ages which Emphasizes the Son of God, the God of Creation, the Lord, the God of Israel, the Christ Messiah, the King and Judge of the world, the Lamb Slain, etc.
    Many other songs, words, and signs refer to the arrival to earth of the Emphasized One.

    Therefore, he (It) arrived according to The Plan ... and on the eighth day (It) was circumcised in obedience to the Law of Moses and (It) received the Name Jesus in obedience to the Angel Gabriel.
    The Plan, then, had been devised and developed before 'the foundation of the world' (i.e. not "of the earth"); and from 'that beginning' The Plan has been and is working on Schedule.
    Furthermore, his (
Its) Return as presented in Jesus' own Revelation-Song terminates the Holy Scriptures.
    Therefore, you and I await that Return.

Now let us return to the Gospel of John -

John 1:6-9  There was a man
sent (i.e. 'set apart and sent') from God, whose name was John. The same came for a witness (i.e. 'evidence' from God), to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe (i.e. 'a verb form of faith'). He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. That was the true Light, which lighteth (i.e. 'brightens up') every man that cometh into the world.
    To my mind, verse 9 means ... 'That was the true Light that cometh into the world, which brightens up every man.
1:10,11  He (the Light) was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew (i.e. 'perceived') him not. He came unto his own, and his own received (i.e. 'receive near unto') him not.
1:12,13  But as many as received him, to them gave he power (i.e. 'delegated privilege, force [i.e. a push], ability') to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: ... Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will (i.e. 'determination') of the flesh (i.e. physical body, within the skin of men), nor of the will of man (i.e. 'an adult male person'), but (entirely and only) of God.
    The word 'power' here is not like the power of the electric lines in your house which has the potential to "energize things" of itself; it does not mean that one has the power to do things for God. It has to do with becoming one of the many sons of God being gathered unto Him by the Son.
    And ... though 'the Light' delegates such a privilege unto a believer, the actual energizing-kind-of-power is entirely and only 'of God' to transform the believer into a child of God. The Deity begot for Himself and out of Himself a Son; but a man (or woman or child) cannot do this of himself. Nor can witnessing, preaching, praying, etc., accomplish this in another person.
    The Power to activate and to energize and to make or fashion something is only of God. Anything accomplished regarding the kingdom of God can only be accomplished by the King Son for and in association with God the Father.

1:14  And the Word was made (i.e. 'caused to be') flesh (i.e. 'that which is inside the skin of animal, man, etc.), and dwelt (i.e. 'encamped, in a tent') among (i.e. 'fixed in') us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full (i.e. 'covered over') of grace and truth.
    The 'flesh' on this occasion of the Christ to become Jesus in a physical form was 'the begotten of the Father' and John, discipled, and all other men 'beheld his glory' ... 'full (covered over) of grace and truth'. Jesus Christ, though with a physical form, was not of the flesh of mankind. Though Christ came from heaven into the womb of a virgin and was born from her onto the earth, he was not 'of' her or 'of' her humanity or 'of' 'the dust of the ground' as was Adam and Eve.
    He had been named Jesus according to the Angel Gabriel, and therefore he dwelt (i.e. 'encamped within a tent') of this altogether new and only kind of 'flesh' directly from heaven to walk on earth.
1:15,16  John (the Baptist) bare witness (i.e. 'testified') of him, and cried, saying, This was he of whom I spake, He that cometh after me is preferred before me: for he was before me.  And of his fulness (i.e. 'completion, something that fills up other things') have all we received, and grace for (i.e. 'because of or out of') grace.
1:17  For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came (i.e. 'became') by Jesus Christ.
1:18  No man (i.e. 'no body') hath seen (i.e. 'discerned') God at any time; the only begotten Son, which (has been and) is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him (i.e. 'openly considered in speech, unfolded in concept').
    I trust that this verse is a clear as any verse can be.
1:19  And this is the record of John (the Baptist), when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, Who art thou?
1:20-22  And he confessed, and denied not (that he was sent from God); but (openly) confessed, I am not the Christ. And they asked him, What then? Art thou Elias? And he saith, I am not. Art thou that prophet? And he answered, No. Then said they unto him, Who art thou? that we may give an answer to them that sent us. What sayest thou of thyself?
1:23  He said, I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, Make straight the way of the Lord, as said the prophet Esaias (Isaiah).
1:24,25  And they which (also) were sent were of the Pharisees. And they asked him, and said unto him, Why baptizest thou then, if thou be not that Christ, nor Elias (Elijah), neither that prophet (i.e. like unto Moses)?
1:26,27  John answered them, saying, I baptize with water: but there standeth one among you, whom ye know not; He it is, who coming after me (i.e. 'was birthed after me') is preferred before me, whose shoe's latchet I am not worthy to unloose.
1:28-31  These things were done (i.e 'past tense') in Bethabara beyond Jordan, where John was baptizing. (And) The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away (i.e. lifts off, sails away) the sin of the world. This is he of whom I said, After me cometh a man which is preferred before me: for he was before me. And I knew him not: but that he should be made manifest (i.e. become apparent) to Israel, therefore am I come baptizing with water. 
    The Apostle John tells what had happened between John the Baptist and Christ.
    Yet, in the next verse the Apostle John tells how John the Baptist had been ongoing within his work baptizing, but men began arriving to him (sent from Jerusalem) to inquire regarding the news that something very special had occurred between John the Baptist and a Stranger named Jesus.
    Various claims had been spreading in Jerusalem that John the Baptist had proclaimed that this Stranger is, in fact, The Christ!
    Therefore, the Apostle John now tells of John the Baptist having to respond for weeks to such inquiries ... even as Christ Jesus was being tempted (tested) in the wilderness by Satan.    
1:32-34  And (so) John bare record, saying, I saw (i.e. past tense) the Spirit descending from heaven like (i.e. 'as if') a dove, and it abode (i.e. 'stayed or remained') upon him. And I knew him not: but he that sent me to baptize with water, the same (had) said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining (i.e. 'staying, continuing') on him, the same is he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost.  And I saw (it), and (continue to) bare record that this is the Son of God.
    That is, John the Baptist continued to steadfastly proclaim that which he had proclaimed from the first.
1:35,36  Again the next day (after John the Baptist had once again stood his ground in testimony, not relenting), and (along with) two of his disciples (attendants unto John); And looking upon Jesus as he walked (who had just returned from the wilderness unto the Jordan River), he saith (i.e. 'again proclaims'), Behold the Lamb of God!
    Within his first proclamation, John the Baptist had declared that Jesus was The Christ. Now in this proclamation, John declares that Jesus is 'the Lamb of God' ... meaning that John the Baptist fully understood the very Purpose of the Christ ... meaning that John the Baptist fully expected his disciples now to follow Jesus the Messiah.
1:37-39  And the two disciples heard him (i.e. John) speak (i.e. 'proclaim' by the Spirit), and (so) they followed Jesus. Then Jesus turned, and saw them following, and saith unto them, What seek ye? They said unto him, Rabbi, (which is to say, being interpreted, Master) where dwellest thou? He saith unto them, Come and see. They came and saw where he dwelt, and abode with him that day: for it was about the tenth hour.
    Therefore, out of John the Baptist's own disciples we see the beginning of the gathering of the eventual Twelve disciples. These two disciples had been for quite some time under the tutelage of the greatest prophet of God.
1:40,41  One of the two which heard John speak, and followed him (i.e. Jesus), was Andrew, Simon Peter's brother. He first (going out) findeth his own brother Simon, and saith unto him, We have found the Messias, which is, being interpreted, the Christ.
    Dear reader, Jesus' disciples from the beginning knew him to be the Christ; let no one suggest otherwise.
    Certainly for three years they did not fully understand the teaching of John the Baptist in proclaiming Jesus to be 'the Lamb of God' (i.e. to be slain from the foundation of the world); but they fully knew Jesus to be the Christ, Israel's Messiah King, Son of God.
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 (i.e. 'a piece of rock' ... compare this to Jesus as a millstone or the stumbling-stone).
    Now Jesus goes hunting for others of the Twelve who would become the Apostles of Jesus Christ. Even so, a great many began to leave things behind and as a large group trail along throughout three years.
1:43,44  The day following Jesus would go forth (from the vicinity of the Jordan River) into (the region of) Galilee, and findeth Philip, and saith unto him, Follow me. Now Philip was of Bethsaida, the city (also) of Andrew and Peter.
1:45,46  Philip findeth Nathanael, and saith unto him, We have found him, of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets, did write (i.e. as in verse 42), (and he is) Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph. And Nathanael said unto him, Can there any good thing come out of Nazareth (meaning that Nazareth was a place of spiritual confusion)? 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!
    What an outstanding statement of admiration by Jesus!
1:48  Nathanael saith unto him, Whence knowest thou me (Nathanael knew that he was a spiritual and very upright young man)? Jesus answered and said unto him, Before that Philip called thee, when thou wast under the fig tree, I saw thee.
    Surely under that tree, Nathanael had been in a state of Communion with his Lord!
1:49  Nathanael answered and saith unto him, Rabbi (i.e. my Master), thou art the Son of God; thou art the King of Israel.
    Nathanael, in the Spirit, was a man on search for the Messiah of Israel!
    And now, by the Spirit, Nathanael had found him (It).
1:50,51  Jesus answered and said unto him, Because I said unto thee, I saw thee under the fig tree, believest thou (i.e. verb or action form of the word 'faith' in that indeed Nathanael was 'faithing')? thou shalt (surely moreover) see greater things than these. And he saith unto him (Nathanael), Verily, verily, I say (particularly) unto you, Hereafter ye shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man.
    Therefore, we see that Nathanael was a unique-type unto chosen-Jacob. Jesus knew his disciples (the Twelve) because he had been led in the Spirit to them by the Father.
    Therefore, from the beginning of the Twelve, each had recognized Jesus as the Christ, Son of God, to be King over them, etc. Indeed, each had understood him as best as he could by the Scriptures; and each had recognized his Lord by the Spirit.
    For instance, James and his young brother John, and Matthew the tax collector also had experienced similar personal experiences with Jesus ... and also with each other as disciples in joining the Master (Rabbi).

The First Miracle -

2:1  And the third day (next day after verse 1:51) there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee; and the mother of Jesus was [already] there:
2:2  And (i.e. but also) both Jesus was called (i.e. 'bidden', because of his family's name), and (thus also) his disciples, to the marriage.
2:3,4  And when they (i.e. the guests) wanted wine, the mother of Jesus saith unto him, They have no wine. Jesus saith unto her, Woman, what have I to do with thee? mine hour is not yet come.
    2:5-10 is the story of the Miracle of the water pots.
2:11  This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested forth his glory; and his disciples believed (verb form of faith, i.e. entrusted) on (i.e. into) him. After this he went down to Capernaum, he, and his mother, and his brethren, and his disciples: and they continued there not many days. And (then) the Jews' passover was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem (to the feast with his family and disciples),
    This was the first time to visit Jerusalem with the disciples after having entered into his Messiah-ministry in Galilee.
    2:14-22 is the story of Jesus driving out the sheep, oxen, and money-changers. 
2:23-25  Now when he was in Jerusalem at the passover, in the feast day, many believed (faithed, entrusted)  in his name, when they saw the miracles which he did (as for a while he had been doing in Galilee). But Jesus did not commit himself unto them, because he knew all men, And needed not that any should testify of man: for he knew what was in man.
    Many were ready at that time to claim Jesus as Christ their King, wanting him to set up his kingdom.

    Therefore, it was in this context (the goings on around Jesus in Jerusalem ... along with the earlier proclamation by John the Baptist in Galilee that Jesus was the Christ) ... that we read ...
3:1  There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler (i.e. 'chief') of the Jews:
3:2  The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi (i.e. 'my master', an honorable claim by this man), we know (i.e. 'to see, to know, to perceive') that thou art a teacher come from (i.e. 'off of or from beside') God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except (i.e. 'if not or unless') God be with him. (Yet) Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
    3:3-8 Jesus is 'teaching' to Nicodemus 'the way'. Nicodemus was a man of faith, raised and taught to 'believe or faith' the Mosaic Law, which he did ... and so by faith he believed in Jesus sent from God. However, he had never been exposed to the 'born again' concept. Were not all Israelites God's people? This is the same age-old concept in the Church ... were not all professing believers in Jesus saved?  Then ...
3:9  Nicodemus answered and said unto him, How (i.e. 'in what way') can these things be (i.e. 'come into being')?
3:10-13  Jesus answered and said unto him, Art thou a master of Israel, and knowest not these things? Verily, verily, I say unto thee, We (i.e. from near God and those sent of the Lord) speak that (which) we do know, and testify that we have seen (near or from God); and ye (i.e. through the ages leaders of Israel in the Law) receive not our witness. If I have told you earthly things (i.e. needing on earth to be 'born again' a spiritual birth), and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things? ...
    The Mosaic Law was for Israelites on earth living a righteous life before the Lord so as to please Him and receive his protection and many benefits. So it always has been with the Church, which witnesses for the Lord and teaches the moral life so as to please Him and receive his protection and many benefits. Israelites 'believed the Law' and thus lived by it. Yet, as Paul said, "Not all of Israel are of heavenly or spiritual Israel." Through the ages it has been the same for the Church. While yet treading the earthly realm 'born again' is birth from the warm protected womb of moral realm into the energizing heavenly-spirit realm.
... And no man (i.e. 'not even one', man is not in the Greek) hath ascended up (i.e. 'go up', hath past tense is not in the Greek) to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is (i.e. 'being' present tense) in (i.e. 'fixed in') heaven.
    Jesus verifies that Nicodemus is correct ... that Jesus came 'from beside' God (verse 3:2) and 'not even one' other can ascend to heaven. And, though presently Jesus sits with Nicodemus on earth, he is 'fixed' in heaven.
... And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up : (i.e. 'elevated, exulted')
    To understand this conversation between Jesus and Nicodemus we must consider Proverbs 30:1-5; for Nicodemus fully well knew this passage, and now he is coming into the full understanding of it.
Proverbs 30:1  The words of Agur the son of Jakeh, even the prophecy: the man (Agur a prophet or teacher) spake unto Ithiel, even unto Ithiel and Ucal,
30:2,3  Surely I (Agur) am more brutish than (i.e. 'eat food as does', brutish is poor translation) any man (i.e. 'human'), and have not the understanding of a man
(i.e. 'ruddy, adam'). I neither learned wisdom, nor have the knowledge of the holy.
    Note the distinction between the words translated 'man'. Agur claims to consume food like any 'human', but has not the deeper understanding of an 'adam' with close contact with God. Neither has he 'learned wisdom' (like Solomon), 'nor have the knowledge of the holy'.

(Indeed,) Who hath ascended up into heaven, or descended? who hath gathered the wind in his fists? who hath bound the waters in a garment? who hath established all the ends of the earth? what is his name, and what is his son's name, if thou canst tell?
30:5  Every word of God is pure (i.e. which comes through the Son, the Lord): he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him.
    Though Agur had not the deeper knowledge of an 'adam' he was one of these 'that put their trust in him'. Agur understood his position under his Lord; and it seems to me that he had good Bible understanding taught of the Spirit.
    Nicodemus was a type of Agur ... a 'chief ruler', though not having the deeper knowledge of an 'adam'. Not only was Nicodemus recognizing (within the truth of this Proverbs passage) that Jesus was 'from near God', he was nearly spellbound; but still asking questions for more truth which Jesus was giving to him (and to you and to me). So back to Jesus and Nicodemus ...
  3:19  And this is the condemnation (i.e. 'judgment for or against'), that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth (i.e. 'practices') evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest (Nicodemus came as a moth to a flame), that they are wrought in God.
    In high governmental position and a Master Teacher, Nicodemus was the first believer in the Sanhedrin. In such high circles he often defended Jesus and he was one of the two men to bury Jesus' body.

3:22  After these things came Jesus and his disciples into the land of Judaea; and there he tarried with them, and baptized.

    Jesus and disciples had left Jerusalem, but remained in Judea (not yet returning north to Galilee). He had been introduced in Galilee as the Christ, and having made his own introduction as Christ amid the Holy City of Jerusalem (having stirred as a hornet's nest the religious hierarchy, keepers of the Law), now he was preaching, teaching, and baptizing (his disciples did the actual baptisms) around the localized region near Jerusalem where lived many righteous followers of God.
3:23,24  And John (the Baptist) also was baptizing in Aenon near to Salim, because there was much water there: and (so) they came, and were baptized (of Jesus' disciples). For John was not yet cast into prison.
    Here we see that John the Baptist, who had wanted Jesus to baptize him, along with his disciples was baptized within Jesus' ministry, thereby making yet another proclamation that Jesus was the Christ and that Jesus was higher than God's greatest prophet (so claimed Jesus regarding John the Baptist).
3:27  John answered and said, A man can receive nothing, except it be given him from heaven.
    Therefore, I suggest now that Nicodemus also had received entrance into 'the way' which Jesus Christ had made clear to him in that holy night.
    Now, as many had been going north to Galilee from Jerusalem to John the Baptist to be baptized, many new believers of Jerusalem and Judea (2:23-25 above) were going out to be baptized of Jesus.
    Though we do not know of it, Nicodemus may also have been among the crowds being baptized by Jesus. More than a few priests, levities, and office holders were also privately believing; but not many of them made open confessions, for they did not want to be banned from the holy temple.
3:28  Ye yourselves (do) bear me witness, that (early on) I (John) said, I am not the Christ, but that I am sent before him.

Apostles taught the Israelite Christian Churches in The East

The only begotten Son of God -
Hebrews 1:5  For unto which of the angels said he
(i.e. the Father) at any time, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee? And again, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son?
5:5  So also Christ glorified not himself to be made an high priest; but he
(i.e. the Father) that said unto him, Thou art my Son, to day have I begotten thee.
    Here we see the wondrous Mind of Deity (i.e. having conceived 'God's Plan of the Ages') informing His Heavenly Creation about a New Concept or Design for Earthly Creation. The Centerpiece of the Design is a Conceived (of the Deity Himself ) Only Begotten Heavenly Son. And through the Son many sons shall become worked on earth and brought unto Him in Heaven.
    Indeed, by this Conception the Only Begotten Heavenly Son (in the First Part ofThe Plan) shall be a Lamb Slain from the very foundation of the world ... a world to be created by the Son himself for his Heavenly Father.
     Then due to the Son's completion as The Lamb Slain and Risen ... there is Revelation 13:7 And it was given unto him (i.e. the Antichrist) to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations. And (thus) all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. If any man have (i.e. 'hold or possess') an ear (to hear since he is in 'the book of life'), let him hear.
    Indeed, this latter statement was and is directed to the many sons yet upon the earth ... having ears which can hear their Shepherd ... because they in the Lord can in him overcome the world ... because Romans 8:16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God ... and because Mark_13:19  For in those days shall be affliction, such as was not from the Beginning of the Creation which God Created unto this time, neither shall be (again)

To bring this Sermon to a close, let us consider -
    What did Israel's religious leaders believe about the promised Christ, the Son of God?

Matthew 2:4  And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he demanded of them where Christ should be born.

Matthew 27:39,43  And they that passed by reviled him, wagging their heads,
And saying, Thou that destroyest the temple, and buildest it in three days, save thyself. If thou be the Son of God, come down from the cross. Likewise also the chief priests mocking him, with the scribes and elders, said, He saved others; himself he cannot save. If he be the King of Israel, let him now come down from the cross, and we will believe him. He trusted in God; let him deliver him now, if he will have him: for he said, I am the Son of God.

Mark 14:61  But he held his peace, and answered nothing. Again the high priest asked him, and said unto him, Art thou the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?

15:32  Let Christ the King of Israel descend now from the cross, that we may see and believe. And they that were crucified with him reviled him.

Luke 22:67  Art thou the Christ? tell us. And he said unto them, If I tell you, ye will not believe:

Luke 23:235  And they began to accuse him, saying, We found this fellow perverting the nation, and forbidding to give tribute to Caesar, saying that he himself is Christ a King. And the people stood beholding. And the rulers also with them derided him, saying, He saved others; let him save himself, if he be Christ, the chosen of God.

    If Jesus was the Christ ... then Jerusalem's leaders, Keepers of the Law, knew that the underlined things in these verses would be true ... but they believed not, not could they believe ... being not of Jesus' flock. Nevertheless, they did know their Scriptures and all that it taught them about the Christ ... leaving them no excuse.

'Sufferings' in store for the 'many sons' -

Hebrews_2:10  For it became him (Deity, the Father), for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect (i.e. 'complete') through sufferings.

1Peter 4:19  Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator
(i.e. the Creator-Lamb).

2Peter 2:5  And
(who) spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly; and 2Peter 3:4 And (who were) saying, Where is the promise of his (Christ's) coming? for since the fathers fell asleep (i.e. Adam, Eve, Cain, Able, Seth, etc.), all things continue as they were from the Beginning of the Creation.

Revelation 3:14  And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness
(Jesus), the beginning (as Christ the Son, the Promised One) of the creation of God;

Encouragement -
    As an apostle, Peter was sent to Israelites throughout the Biblical (i.e. Eastern)World wherever they, having been scattered among the nations, were living.
1Peter 1:25  But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.
1Peter 2:25  For ye were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls.

2Peter 2:5  And spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly;

2Peter 3:1  This second epistle, beloved, I now write unto you; in both which I stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance: That ye may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us the apostles of the Lord and Saviour: Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts,

3:4  And (they) saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation (creation that now is).
3:5,6  For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God (at one time) the heavens were of old, and the earth (i.e. 'soil' was) standing out of the water and also in the water: Whereby the world that then (at that time) was, being overflowed with water, perished:
3:7  But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are (presently) kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.
3:8  But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.
3:9,10  The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away (i.e. 'come near, arrive') with a great noise, and the elements (i.e. 'orderly things') shall melt (i.e. 'loosen, break up') with fervent heat (i.e. 'be set on fire'), the earth (i.e. 'soil') also and the works that are (operating) therein shall be burned up (i.e. 'burned down to the ground').
3:11  Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved (i.e. 'loosened, broken up'), what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness,
3:12  Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire (i.e. 'ignited') shall be dissolved (i.e. 'loosened, broken up'), and the elements (i.e. 'fundamental things') shall melt (i.e. 'loosened, broken up') with fervent heat (i.e. 'set on fire')?
3:13  Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new (i.e. 'fresh') heavens and a new (i.e. 'fresh') earth (i.e. 'soil'), wherein dwelleth righteousness.

3:14,-16  Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless. And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you; As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.

3:17,18  Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye
(now) know these things before(hand), beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, (and) fall from your own stedfastness. But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.

' ... for the testimony (i.e. 'evidencing') of Jesus is the spirit (i.e. 'breathing') of prophecy. Revelation 19:10

Sincerely, Ron

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