John, chapter 12

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    The Holy Scriptures from Genesis through Revelations are written to God’s chosen people only, NOT to this world’s populations at large. There are many proofs, it is the reason Jesus spoke in parables for example. (See Matt 13:10-17; Then the disciples came to Him and said, “Why do you speak to them in parables?” He replied, “You (disciples) have been given the opportunity to know the secrets of the kingdom of heaven, but they have not.

    For whoever has will be given more, and will have an abundance. But whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him. For this reason I speak to them in parables: Although they (non-believers) see they do not see and although they hear they do not hear nor do they understand. And concerning them the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled that says: ‘You will listen carefully yet will never understand, you will look closely yet will never comprehend. (The reason?)

    For the heart (Seat of understanding) of this people has become dull; they are hard of hearing, and they have shut their eyes, so that they would not see with their eyes and hear with their ears and understand with their hearts and turn, and I would heal them.

    “But your (You disciples) eyes are blessed because they see, and your ears because they hear. (Understanding gifted) For I tell you the truth, many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it.) (See Isaiah 6:9-10)

    All Jesus’ apostles’ letters likewise are written to the Churches of God, NOT to the Pharisees, Sadducees, or any people who aren’t converted to be followers of Jesus’ way. Each of their letters start basically the same, let’s zero in on 2Peter.

     (2Pet 1-15; From Simeon Peter, a slave and apostle of Jesus Christ: to those who through the righteousness of our God and Savior, Jesus Christ, have been granted a faith just as precious as ours. May grace and peace be lavished on you as you grow in the rich knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord!

Confirm Your Calling and Election

    I can pray this because His divine power has bestowed on us everything necessary for life and godliness through the rich knowledge of the One who called us by His own glory and excellence. (Attributes followers of Jesus grow to, follow.)

    Through these things He has bestowed on us His precious and most magnificent promises, so that by means of what was promised you may become partakers of the divine nature, after escaping the worldly corruption that is produced by evil desire. For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith excellence, to excellence, knowledge; to knowledge, self-control; to self-control, perseverance; to perseverance, godliness; to godliness, brotherly affection; to brotherly affection, unselfish love.

    For if these things are really yours and are continually increasing, they will keep you from becoming ineffective and unproductive in your pursuit of knowing our Lord Jesus Christ more intimately.

    But concerning the one who lacks such things — he is blind. That is to say, he is nearsighted, since he has forgotten about the cleansing of his past sins. Therefore, brothers and sisters, make every effort to be sure of your calling and election. For by doing this you will never stumble into sin.

    For, thus an entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, will be richly provided for you.

    Therefore, I intend to remind you constantly of these things even though you know them and are well established in the truth that you now have. Indeed, as long as I am in this tabernacle, I consider it right to stir you up by way of a reminder,  since I know that my tabernacle will soon be removed, because our Lord Jesus Christ revealed this to me. Indeed, I will also make every effort that, after my departure, you have a testimony of these things.)

     It’s obvious to each called individual that they’re being addressed in Peter’s letter. (Now, Peter shares His, John and James’ experience with Jesus, Moses and Elijah’s transformation. See Luke 9:28-36.)

    (2Pet 1:16-21; For we (Apostles) did not follow cleverly concocted fables when we made known to you the power and return of our Lord Jesus Christ; no, we were eyewitnesses of His grandeur. For He (Jesus) received honor and glory from God the Father, when that voice was conveyed to Him by the Majestic Glory: “This is My dear Son, in whom I am delighted.” When this voice was conveyed from heaven, we ourselves heard it, for we were with Him on the holy mountain. Moreover, we (Apostles) possess the prophetic word as an altogether reliable thing. You do well if you pay attention to this as you would to a light shining in a murky place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts. Above all, you do well if you recognize this: No prophecy of scripture ever comes about by the prophet’s own imagination, for no prophecy was ever borne of human impulse; rather, men carried along by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.) (Peter’s next two chapters are about false prophets and more about the call to live righteously.)

        Now John introduces the necessary mind set for prayer ‘according to God’s will.’ All believers need to consider and meditate on.

    (1John 5:13-21; I have written these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.  And this is the confidence that we have before Him: that whenever we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.

    And if we know that He hears us in regard to whatever we ask, then we know that we have the requests that we have asked from Him. (We need not ask for things that aren’t according to God pre-known will, remember He knows before we ask, so let’s consider an example of Peter and John’s asking according to God’s will.)

    (Acts 3:1-7; Now Peter and John were going up to the temple at the time for prayer, at three o’clock in the afternoon. And a man lame from birth was being carried up, who was placed at the temple gate called “the Beautiful Gate” every day so he could beg for money from those going into the temple courts.

    When he saw Peter and John about to go into the temple courts, he asked them for money. Peter looked directly at him (as did John) and said, “Look at us!” So the lame man paid attention to them, expecting to receive something from them. But Peter said, “I have no silver or gold, but what I do have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, stand up and walk!” Then Peter took hold of him by the right hand and raised him up, and at once the man’s feet and ankles were made strong.) (Peter knew at that moment what he was gifted with, “thus, what I do have I give you.”

   John continues the same ‘how and what to pray for theme’ in chapter 5, regarding eternal death, the believer and the whole world’s condition.

    (1John 5:16-21; If anyone sees his fellow Christian committing a sin not resulting in death, he should ask, and God will grant life to the person who commits a sin not resulting in death. There is a sin resulting in death. I do not say that he should ask about that.

    All unrighteousness is sin, but there is sin not resulting in death. We know that everyone fathered by God does not sin, but God protects the one He has fathered, and the evil one cannot touch him. We know that we are from God, and the whole world lies in the power of the evil one. And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us insight to know Him who is true, and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This One is the true God and eternal life. Little children, guard yourselves from idols.)

Pharisee mentality about healing on the Sabbath

    (John 5:1-29; After this there was a Jewish feast, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. Now there is in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate a pool called Bethzatha in Aramaic, which has five covered walkways. A great number of sick, blind, lame, and paralyzed people were lying in these walkways. Now a man was there who had been disabled for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there and when He realized that the man had been disabled a long time already, He said to Him, “Do you want to become well?” The sick man answered him, “Sir, I have no one to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up. While I am trying to get into the water, someone else goes down there before me.”

     Jesus said to him, “Stand up! Pick up your mat and walk.” Immediately the man was healed, and he picked up his mat and started walking. (Now that day was a Sabbath.) So the Jewish leaders said to the man who had been healed, “It is the Sabbath, and you are not permitted to carry your mat.” But he answered them, “The man who made me well said to me, ‘Pick up your mat and walk.’ They asked him, “Who is the man who said to you, ‘Pick up your mat and walk’?”

    But the man who had been healed did not know who it was, for Jesus had slipped out, since there was a crowd in that place. After this Jesus found him at the temple and said to him, “Look, you have become well. Don’t sin any more, lest anything worse happen to you.” The man went away and informed the Jewish leaders that Jesus was the One who had made him well.

    Now because Jesus was doing these things on the Sabbath, the Jewish leaders began persecuting Him. So he told them, “My Father is working until now, and I too am working.”

Jesus Is Equal with God

   For this reason the Jewish leaders were trying even harder to kill Him, because not only was He breaking the Sabbath, but He was also calling God His own Father, thus making Himself equal with God.

The Authority of the Son

     So Jesus answered them, “I tell you the solemn truth, the Son can do nothing on His own initiative, but only what He sees the Father doing. For whatever the Father does, the Son does likewise. For the Father loves the Son and shows Him everything He does, and will show Him greater deeds than these, so that you will be amazed. For just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, so also the Son gives life to whomever He wishes.  Furthermore, the Father does not judge anyone, but has assigned all judgment to the Son, so that all people will honor the Son just as they honor the Father. The one who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him.

    “I tell you the solemn truth, the one who hears My message and believes the One who sent Me has eternal life and will not be condemned, but has crossed over from death to life.

    I tell you the solemn truth, a time is coming — and is now here — when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live. For just as the Father has life in Himself, thus He has granted the Son to have life in Himself, and He has granted the Son authority to execute judgment, because He is the Son of Man.

    “Do not be amazed at this, because a time is coming when all who are in the tombs will hear His voice and will come out — the ones who have done what is good to the resurrection resulting in life, and the ones who have done what is evil to the resurrection resulting in condemnation.)

Review Jesus’ witnesses, and the Baptist being light At John 5:30-47 from a previous study.

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