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In Judea and John's Gospel

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14. History of Beliefs, Part 2
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From Jerusalem to the Ascension

  

             

Jesus' "Triumphal Entry" into Jerusalem  (MT 21:1, MK 11:1, LK 19:28) is recorded in all three synoptic gospels.

 

TOJ #123:  Bear good fruit. [MT 21:19//MK 11:14]  We can be sure that the Master of the universe was not concerned about an unfruitful tree, but rather He wanted to teach unfruitful people, specifically the Jewish leaders, their destiny.  He did this more elaborately in the next TOJ.  Also see TOJ #102 & #152.  His prayer regarding them is found in John 15:1-8.

 

TOJ #124:  God will reject Jews who reject Jesus as Messiah. [MT 21:33-44//MK 12:1-10//LK 20:9-18]  Jesus taught this truth in the Parable of the Tenants and in the Parable of the Wedding or Great Banquet {MT 22:1-8//LK 14:16-24}.  The "people who will produce" (21:4) and "anyone you find" (22:9) are Believers, both Jews and Gentiles (RM 2:9-11).  See TOJ #49 & #84.  God chose the nation of Israel for the purpose of procreating Messiah, but ironically and tragically they did not recognize Jesus (JN 1:11) as the fulfillment of Messianic prophecies (MT 23:37-39).  See TOJ #137 & Lesson 3.

 

TOJ #125:  Social status is irrelevant in God’s kingdom. [MT  22:9-10]  “Good” refers to the "in crowd" and "bad" to the "dregs of society". {MT 21:28-32, MK 12:43-44, LK 18:9-14, 21:1-4}  This is a significant alternate wording of TOJ #120.

 

TOJ #126:  Sinners/Unbelievers will not be allowed in heaven. [MT 22:11-13]  This rather vague statement is made clear by two OT passages (ZPH 1:8, ZCH 3:4).  A couple of NT passages are also relevant (CL 3:12, 1PT 5:5).  Only saved sinners or saints (who share the righteousness of Christ) will be in Paradise (PHP 3:8-14).  See TOJ #74, #114 & Lesson 6.

 

TOJ #127:  Marriage is an earthly institution. [MT 22:29-30]  Procreation will be passe, and genetic families will be superseded by the spiritual and universal family of God.  People who idolize sex (see TOJ #109) will be enslaved by this passion until their minds are renewed (RM 1:24-32, 12:2).

 

TOJ #128:  Believers will be resurrected. [MT 22:31-32//MK 12:27]  Jesus was the first-fruits (1CR 15:20-23), who provides hope that this brief and often tragic existence on earth is not a farce {JN 6:39-40, 14:1-4}.  See TOJ #94.

 

TOJ #129:  The law of love summarizes God’s moral will. [MT 22:37-39//MK 12:29-31]  Although this law has two applications (love for God and love for people), these are combined and enumerated as one to show that they coexist (1JN 4:20-21).  This law (DT 6:5, LV 19:18) summarizes all of God’s moral commandments as Paul also taught (GL 5:14).  Jesus commanded His disciples to love {JN 13:34, 15:12&17}.  Love is the sign that a soul is a Spirit-filled Christian (TOJ #148).  See TOJ #113.

            Elsewhere (PR 6:16, RM 12:9) it is taught that God and godly people should hate evil.  Of course, Jesus’ instruction to “hate” one’s own life and family (LK 14:26) means to love God foremost (TOJ #50).

 

TOJ #130:  Love is the key to understanding GW/truth. {MT 22:40}  And the key to comprehending God's love is Jesus (JN 3:16, RM 5:8, 1JN 4:10-5:5).  See TOJ #47.

 

TOJ #131:  Messiah/Christ is Lord/God the Son. [MT 22:43-45]  See TOJ #1, #7 & #52.  We can see that several TOJ comprise this complex concept, which is meant by such phrases as "accept Jesus" or "believe in Him". {JN 3:15-18}  Jesus affirmed His Lordship {JN 13:13}, and this belief became the normative way to satisfy GRS in Paul’s writings (RM 10:9, 2CR 4:5).

 

TOJ #132:  Do not reject truth because of unworthy teachers. [MT 23:2-4]  Jesus is the only sinless person (HB 4:8-10), but only teachers who typically practice what they preach are qualified to be spiritual leaders (1TM 3:1-13).  The devil himself can "masquerade as an angel of light" (2CR 11:14), so we must learn to discern between the message and the messenger.

 

TOJ #133:  Do not view anyone as an intercessor between you and God. [MT 23:8-10]  All Believers are saints and priests (1PT 2:9, RV 1:6, see TOJ #126), but only Jesus is worthy to be revered as rabbi and father.  This also applies when praying (TOJ #32) and LGW.  It is wrong for a pastor to presume that he/she is the only person in a church who has the proper understanding of GW, but many preachers do not encourage feedback or constructive criticism of their sermons.

 

TOJ #134:  Woe to hypocrites! [MT 23:13-39, 16:6]  Although this is certainly related to TOJ #68 & #87, Jesus denounced this particular sin so forcefully that we ought to list it separately.  Hypocrisy is pretending or claiming (falsely) to be righteous or godly or Christian.  Such people have trees in their eyes (MT 7:3) and camels in their stomachs (MT 23:24)!  They are spiritually blind and morally foolish. {LK 11:37-52, 12:1, 20:45-46, MK 12:38-39}

 

TOJ #135:  Killing the truth results in evil behavior. [MT 23:29-36//LK 11:47-51]  This TOJ amplifies #111.  Jesus prophesied that evil behavior would include murdering His disciples/apostles as well as Him. {JN 3:20, 7:19}  See TOJ #18.  Historical examples of this fact include the Inquisition and Nazism.

 

TOJ #136:  Souls have free will. [MT 23:37//LK 13:34]  They may choose to understand God’s Word or not, to their own blessing or misery (Lesson 4).  God permits people to resists His will {JN 19:11}.  Although souls are influenced by both heredity and environment, they remain free/responsible to choose the curse of rejecting God (DT 30:19, MT 23:37), which grieves Him greatly (EPH 4:30). {JN 7:17}  See TOJ #71.

 

TOJ #137:  Those who reject Jesus will be destroyed. [MT 24:2//LK 21:6]  Jesus indicated that death would be one consequence of the Jews rejecting Him as Messiah {LK 19:41-44, 21:20-24}.  This seems to be why Jesus told the "daughters of Jerusalem" to weep for themselves {LK 23:28-31}.  See TOJ #124.

 

            TOJ #138:  False teachers will deceive many people. [MT 24:4-5, 11&23-24a//MK 13:5-6]  This TOJ is an extension of #47.  The deceivers will include people who claim to be Christ or a prophet greater than Him.  Some may even perform apparent miracles {MT 24:24b-25}.  They will try to distract Believers' focus from LGW {MT 24:26, LK 17:23}.

 

TOJ #139:  The end of the world will be catastrophic. [MT 24:6-7a//MK 13:7-8a//LK 21:9-10]  There will be wars and natural disasters {MT 24:7b, 21//MK 13:8b, 19//LK 21:11, 23-26} that threaten the survival of the human species {MT 24:22//MK 13:20}.  The enigmatic reference to Isaiah {in MT 24:29//MK 13:24-25//LK 21:25} might describe a cosmic collision.

 

TOJ #140:  The gospel will be proclaimed throughout the world before the end. [MT 24:14//MK 13:10]  Although believers should seek to evangelize the world and work to bring God’s peace on earth, Jesus indicates most people will reject their efforts (TOJ #46).

 

TOJ #141:  The "abomination that causes desolation" will be the final blow. [MT 24:15-20//MK 13:14-18]  This sounds like it might be a nuclear bomb in Jerusalem, in which case the only hope for survival would be to find shelter in the mountains before it was detonated.  The wording in Luke {LK 21:20-24} seems to describe this event in terms of the sack of Jerusalem by the Romans in 70 A.D.  Perhaps what occurred then will happen again and extend around the world in the future.

 

TOJ #142:  Christ's second coming will be visible and instantaneous. [MT 24:27-28//MK 13:26//LK 21:27]  The connection with judgment is found in Hebrews 9:27-28.  The reference to vultures could be literal, or it might signify the arrival of hell's angels to collect the demonic souls who remain behind after Believers are raptured (the next TOJ).

 

TOJ #143:  Believers living at the time of the end will be raptured. [MT 24:31&40-41//LK 17:30-35]  Raptured means translated to heaven without experiencing death.  Paul also mentioned this phenomenon (in 1CR 15:51 & 1THS 4:17).

 

TOJ #144:  Only God the Father knows when the end will come. [MT 24:36//MK 13:32]  Some people might find it disconcerting that Jesus could be mistaken or ignorant about the exact time salvation history will end, but they should realize that He was human (1TM 2:5) and had finite capabilities, which is the reason His moral perfection qualified Him to be Messiah (HB 2:17-18, 4:15, 5:7-9).  If Jesus did not know, Believers in Him certainly should not be concerned with the date {ACTS 1:7}.  See TOJ #57.

 

TOJ #145:  The omega event will be unexpected. [MT 24:27&37-39//LK 17:24&26-27, LK 12:39-40, 17:28-29]  Paul also taught this (in 1THS 5:2-6).  Thus, the need for the next TOJ.

 

TOJ #146:  Be prepared. [MT 24:42-44//MK 13:33-37, LK 12:35-40, 21:34-36]  This is the explicit significance of the previous TOJ, and how to be ready is explained in the next one.  Readiness is signified by oil in the Parable of the Ten Virgins. {MT 25:1-13}

 

TOJ #147:  Readiness consists of being good stewards of God's gifts. [MT 24:45-51]  In the Parable of the Ten Virgins, readiness is signified by having lamp oil, which might symbolize good deeds (JM 2:17, EPH 2:10) {MT 25:1-13, LK 12:35}, and in the Parable of the Talents, the monetary talents represent any resource, ability or opportunity a person possesses. {MT 25:14-30//LK 19:12-27}  The "more" that is given to the person who does well with what he/she "has" may include temporal blessings, but it certainly refers to blessings in heaven.

 

TOJ #148:  Faith in/love for God is manifested by loving behavior toward people. [MT 25:31-46]  The evidence of saving faith is loving behavior. {JN 13:35, 15:12-13}  It is the fruit of the Spirit {JN 15:4-8} (also see GL 5:22-23), rather than ability to work miracles (MT 24:24).  This love is the basis for essential unity among all Christians {JN 15:17, 17:20-23}.  Faith without love is counterfeit (JM 2:17).   Satisfying GRS is manifested by any type of personality (introverted, extroverted, etc.) as long as one is loving, but no good work merits salvation (EPH 2:8-9), because no one is perfect (PHP 3:12) except God (HB 5:7-9, TOJ #106).

 

At this point I will include teachings from Mark and Luke that apparently occurred before the events in Matthew 26.

 

TOJ #149:  Inner motive is the basis for God’s judgment. [MK 12:43-44]  God knows our heart or thoughts (PR 16:2, HB 4:12).  The point is not necessarily that the rich should become poor, but that they should share God's blessings to help the poor so that no one is destitute (2CR 8:13-15).  See TOJ #117 & the next TOJ.

 

TOJ #150:  God's judgment is just. [LK 12:47-48]  God judges souls on the basis of what they freely choose to do with the opportunities they had to LGW and satisfy GRS (Lesson 3).  These opportunities are symbolized by the talents in the Parable of the Talents. {MT 25:14-30}  See TOJ #149.

 

TOJ #151:  The result of Sin is death. [LK 13:2-9]  Paul also taught this (in RM 6:23).  The parable bears a resemblance to the incident when Jesus cursed the fruit tree (TOJ #123).  See TOJ #137.

 

TOJ #152:  The eternal result of Sin is misery/hell. [LK 16:19-28]  This consequence is logical and just (Lesson 2).  See TOJ #102.

 

TOJ #153:  Do your duty to God. [LK 17:7-10]  Creatures are responsible to their Creator.  Fulfilling this obligation is nonmeritorious.  See TOJ #2.

 

TOJ #154:  Reality includes a spiritual dimension known as the kingdom of God/heaven. [LK 17:20-21]  It is invisible to scientific exploration (Lesson 1), but it will become visible at the end of earthly history (RV 21:1-2). {JN 18:36}

 

TOJ #155:  Damnation is worse than never having existed. [MT 26:24//MK 14:21//LK 22:22]  There may be degrees of suffering (LK 12:47-48), but the least misery is not almost heaven (Lesson 2).  Given this fact, we must believe in the perfect love, justice and wisdom of God’s decision to create free souls.  Antichrists should ponder this verse.  Do they have a good reason?

 

TOJ #156:  We should do what is right despite bodily weaknesses. [MT 26:41//MK 14:30]  Instead, some people add physical addictions to natural desires.  Paul’s prayer in Romans 7:24 is relevant.

 

TOJ #157:  All who initiate violence will be punished. [MT 26:52]  Jihad must be defensive to be holy war, and vengeance is not defense.  If peacemakers are blessed (TOJ #16), then war-mongers are cursed.

 

TOJ #158:  Jesus voluntarily allowed Himself to be crucified. [MT 26:53-54]  He was free to disobey the Father’s will (HB 5:7-9).  John's gospel also teaches this {JN 10:17-18}.  Thus, He is worthy of all honor and praise as our Lord and Savior (Lesson 2).  See TOJ #54.

 

TOJ #159:  Various OT prophets foretold the Messiah would suffer and die. [MT 26:54&56//MK 14:48]  {MT 26:31//MK 14:27//LK 22:36-37}  Jesus even taught this fact after His resurrection {LK 24:25-26&44-46}.  See TOJ #177.

 

TOJ #160:  Jesus will return as Judge. [MT 26:64//MK 14:62//LK 22:69]  This truth is taught in Hebrews 9:26-28 and John 5:21-23.  If the disciples of Moses, Buddha, Mohammed or whoever enter heaven, it will be because they somehow/sometime are taught the gospel and become Messianic or acknowledge Jesus as Lord (PHP 2:11-13, cf. 1PT 3:18-19).  See TOJ #167 & #195.

 

TOJ #161:  Jesus is the Davidic king of the Jews. [MT 27:11//MK 15:2//LK 23:3]  He is the heir of God's covenant with David to establish his throne forever (2SM 7:12-16). {JN 18:37}

 

TOJ #162:  Jesus' resurrection was physical or bodily. [LK 24:38-43]  In heaven saved souls will have immortal bodies (1CR 15:35-50).  One way Christianity could be disproved is if the body of Jesus were found in a tomb in Palestine (Lesson 1).

 

TOJ #163:  Jesus suffered. [MT 27:46//MK 15:34]  He even felt abandoned by God the Father.  In this way He showed us the importance of keeping our faith alive even when we feel like God is dead (IS 54:7-8, HB 2:9-10). {JN 16:32}

 

TOJ #164:  Make disciples of all people. [MT 28:18-20a]  This TOJ is known as the Great Commission (Lesson 3).  Failure to obey it is the sin of great omission (JM 4:17)!  Another wording is found in ACTS 1:8 (TOJ #205).  This book is one way I hope to persuade people to become disciples of Jesus.  May God bless your efforts to fulfill His purpose for your life as well (JN 17:18)!

 

TOJ #165:  Jesus is with believers always. [MT 28:20b, JN 14:18-20]  This is possible because of the operation of God as the Holy Spirit, which proceeds from both the Father and the Son (TOJ #178).  This truth is taught by Jesus before His ascension, which will conclude our progression through the synoptic gospels.

 

TOJ #166:  The Holy Spirit empowers Believers. [ACTS 1:2-9, LK 12:12, MK 1:8]  My understanding of the dynamics of this relationship is found in Lesson 5. 

 The Teachings of Jesus in the Gospel of John 

John's gospel is more philosophical than the synoptic gospels.  It skips Jesus' birth and begins by describing Jesus as the divine Logos incarnate (JN 1:1&14).  His first teaching apparently referred to Jacob's dream (in GN 28:12-13), in which a stairway reached between heaven and earth.

 

TOJ # 167:  Jesus is the (door)way to heaven. [JN 1:51, 14:6]  He is the "gate" {JN 10:7-10}.  This is true even for those who never had an opportunity to know Jesus during their earthly life, of course, or else God would be unloving/tricky (Lesson 3).  Buddha or Mohammed or anyone else is in heaven will acknowledge Jesus as Christ the Lord (PHP 2:9-11).  See TOJ #160, #169 & #173.  (Also see Lesson 5)

 

TOJ #168:  You must be born again or of the Spirit. [JN 3:3-7]  Jesus describes GRS in terms of the baptism with the Spirit that occurs when a person becomes saved (Lesson 5).

 

TOJ #169:  Jesus lived in heaven before being born on earth. [JN 3:13]  He is "from" heaven {JN 8:23}, thus He has "seen" God the Father {JN 6:46, 62, 8:38} or "knows" Him {JN 7:29, 8:55}.  He existed before Abraham {JN 8:58} and before creation {JN 17:5&24, also see 16:28}.  This TOJ indicates that God's Triune relationship with Believers is somehow an eternal relationship within Himself as well.  The "somehow" of this doctrine is incomprehensible, but let anyone who tries to explain God's "threeness" be sure to preserve His oneness (Lesson 2).  See TOJ #167.

 

TOJ #170:  God loves all souls. [JN 3:16a]  Therefore, God wants all to be saved or to accept Jesus. {JN 6:37&39-40}  Although God's love was implicit in the synoptic gospels (especially TOJ #14, 29, 30, 106, 113 & 129), John's gospel makes it explicit.  In John's first epistle (4:7), he says that God is love and that God first loved us (4:19), which means that God is the source of love and that love manifests the Spirit of God (JN 13:35).  Atheists can only imitate true/God's love, since they do not love truth/GW.  See the next TOJ. 

God demonstrated His love most fully through Jesus' atonement (RM 5:8), which allows repentant sinners to be "at one" with God (JN 17:22).

 

TOJ #171:  Evil-doers hate/avoid the light of GW. [JN 3:19-20]  Atheists hate God's truth because it exposes their sinful attitudes and actions.  Often they seek to justify or excuse their avoidance by noting the sins of so-called Christians, as though God will not judge them, too.  Jesus is that light personified {JN 7:7}.  See TOJ #170 & #186.

 

TOJ #172:  Truth-seekers welcome the constructive criticism of GW. [JN 3:21]  They view reproof as a much needed slap in the face to get their attention, so they can learn how to become new and improved versions of themselves (TOJ #10).  (Lesson 6)

 

TOJ #173:  God provides salvation by means of Messiah. [JN 4:10,14&22, 14:6, 17:2-3]  Messiah is Jesus, the resurrection and the life. {JN 11:25-26}  See TOJ #20.  Here salvation is symbolized by water {as in JN 6:35b, 53-56, 7:37-38}, and elsewhere by bread {JN 6:27a, 32-33, 35a, 50-58} and yet again as a vine {JN 15:1-8}.

 

TOJ #174:  God is Spirit. [JN 4:24a]  This word signifies God's omni-attributes (Lesson 2).  How the invisible God (CL 1:15, 1TM 1:17) is manifested by the material world is a mystery (RM 1:20) as is the essence of matter scientifically.  I have heard it has something to do with "quarks".

 

TOJ #175:  Worship God in spirit and truth. [JN 4:23-24]  The Bible employs various terms that upon evaluation seem almost synonymous, many of which are found in this Gospel.  One synonymous pairing is spirit and (=) truth (1JN 5:6). {JN 14:17, 15:26, 16:13}  See TOJ #203.

 

TOJ #176:  Believers play various roles in doing GW. [JN 4:35-38]  One may plant the seed of truth in a soul, another may encourage it to grow, and yet another may be present when that soul decides to accept Jesus (1CR 3:5-10).

 

TOJ #177:  John and Moses (the OT prophets) testified about Jesus. [JN 5:31-40,45-47, 8:56]  The correct interpretation of the OT points to Jesus as Messiah/Christ.  Paul also taught this (in ACTS 26:22-23).  See TOJ #20 & #159.

 

TOJ #178:  God the Father is revealed most fully by God the Son, who embodied God's Holy Spirit. [JN 5:36-38, 6:27b&45, 8:19, 10:30, 16:14-15]  Thus, Jesus fulfilled the prophecy in Isaiah 54:13.  This nuance of TOJ #1 is so central in John's gospel that I will state again the key concept:  Insofar as it is possible for God to reveal Himself as a human, that person is Jesus. {JN 12:44-45, 14:9-11, 17:6}  For practical/ redemptive purposes, they are One {JN 17:11}.  See TOJ #70 & #186.

Jesus said He would be with Believers as the Holy Spirit, who would continue to counsel or teach the truth. {JN 14:16-17, 15:26, 16:12-15}  The apostle Paul also taught that the Holy Spirit baptizes (1CR 12:13) and indwells Believers as God's seal or deposit (EPH 1:13, 2CR 1:22), who is manifested whenever they speak the truth and love (RM 5:5, EPH 4:15).  This TOJ reveals that God is known in three ways or as a Triunity (Lesson 2).  See TOJ #197.

 

TOJ #179:  The work/will of God is to believe in His Messiah. [JN 6:29]  This verse is very important, because it clarifies that saving Faith (TOJ #49) is prior to working faith (TOJ #51), and we should never reverse them (Lesson 3).

 

TOJ #180:  God enables souls to be volitional and loving. [JN 6:44]  Souls are not able/free to love by themselves apart from the initiating (Lesson 2) power/love of God (EPH 3:16-20), which Believers reflect (1JN 4:19).  Even the ability to work and produce physical goods is given by God (DT 8:17-18).

 

TOJ #181:  Do not stumble because of Christ's crucifixion. [JN 6:53-58&67]  See TOJ #92.  Just as many Israelites complained at having to eat manna (NM 11:4-6), sophisticates criticize God's plan of salvation as barbaric (1CR 1:18-25), as though they were not equally in need of its efficacy.

 

TOJ #182:  Words expressing God's truth are God's Spirit/Being. [JN 6:63, 14:10]  (GW=life/being is another synonymous pairing.)  The spiritual realm is an invisible dimension that is partially revealed by right logic.  See TOJ #203.

 

TOJ #183:  God ordained when Jesus would die. [JN 7:6&8, 12:27]  Jesus recognized that the right time had come when He prayed in the Upper Room. {JN 17:1}  Paul said (in RM 5:6) that Christ died for sinners "at just the right time."

 

            TOJ #184:  Whoever serves Satan will reject/hate/kill Jesus. [JN 7:19, 8:37, 39-41, 44]  They are not His sheep {JN 10:25-26}, but in fact they are wolves/demonic/antichrist.  See TOJ #59, #63 & #202.

 

TOJ #185:  All souls sin (except One). [JN 8:7]  This truth is found in Psalm 53:1-3 and Romans 3:23.  The lone exception is Jesus, who always pleased God. {JN 8:29}  Hebrews 4:15 states that He was "tempted in every way, just as we are—yet was without sin."  See TOJ #24.

 

TOJ #186:  Jesus is the light or God/GW incarnate. [JN 8:12, 9:5, 14:6]  John's gospel stated this in the opening section (JN 1:1&4-9).  Several OT verses spoke of light as representing God (PS 27:1, IS 60:19 MIC 7:8) or GW (PS 119:105).  Jesus spoke GW {JN 8:26, 12:49-50, 15:15} or truth {JN 18:37b}, and so He illuminates the right way to live {JN 12:35-36, 46}.  See TOJ #19, #38, #178 & #203.

 

TOJ #187:  Jesus' testimony is validated by God the Father. [JN 8:14-18]  Jesus showed concern to satisfy the Jewish law that required two witnesses (NM 35:30, DT 17:6, 19:15).  Jesus cited the miracles He performed as one form of validation {JN 10:25,32&36-38, 11:14}; OT prophecies {JN 13:18-19} and His own prophecies {JN 14:29, 16:1&4} were another form.  See TOJ #177.  He referred to God's approval as glorification {JN 8:54, 11:4&40-42, 12:23, 13:31-32, 14:11, 17:1}.

 

TOJ #188:  Jesus' disciples obey His teachings. [JN 8:31, 14:15, 21, 23, 15:9-10, 14-15]  The Greek word for disciple means "learner".  (The two main categories of Christ's teachings are discussed in Lesson 3.)

 

TOJ #189:  The truth will set you free from slavery to sin. [JN 8:32-36&51]  The resurrection miracles, especially of Jesus, are the critical evidence.  See TOJ #77 & #94.

 

TOJ #190:  The consequence of Sin or sins is not reaped (necessarily or justly) in this life. [JN 9:1-3]  Thus, we should not view sickness as symptomatic of an individual's sinfulness or lack of faith.  See TOJ #51.

 

TOJ #191:  Jesus is the shepherd/pastor of God's people. [JN 10:1-5&10-15]  The OT spoke of God as the shepherd (GN 48:15, PS 23:1, IS 40:11, and the NT called church leaders pastors (ACTS 20:28, EPH 4:11), so Jesus is the great or chief Shepherd (HB 13:20, 1PT 5:4).

 

TOJ #192:  No one can cause a believer to become unsaved. [JN 10:28]  However, a Believer should not become complacent, because numerous scriptures refer to the possibility of Believers choosing to become apostate (Lesson 4).

 

TOJ #193:  Knowledge of GW enlightens our way in this world. [JN 11:9-10]  This point was made by the Psalmist (PS 119:105).  See TOJ #186.  Jesus said not to take enlightenment for granted, because a soul may not have another opportunity to satisfy GRS before death {JN 12:35-36}.

 

TOJ #194:  The purpose of Jesus' first coming was redemption. [JN 12:47]  Even so, those who reject GRS condemn themselves (TOJ #195).  What God intends for good (GN 50:20), He allows sinful souls to pervert with evil consequences {JN 9:39, 12:31}.

 

TOJ #195:  Judgment and condemnation will occur at the second coming of Jesus. [JN 12:48]  As the writer of Hebrews 9:27-28 stated, “Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people [TOJ #194]; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.”  Simultaneously, this will mean condemnation for those who are implicated in the crucifixion of Jesus (TOJ #54).  This doctrine, even though it is essentially the same point as TOJ #83 & #160, is the “bottom line” of the NT, so it warrants reemphasis.  If this is false, then life is a farce, and God is tricky.

 

TOJ #196:  Pray in the name of Jesus. [JN 14:13-14, 16:23-24]  The name of the Lord revealed in the NT is Jesus (Joshua, the Lord saves), the “name that is above every name” (PHP 2:9-11).  Thus, we pray to the Father (Yahweh or Jehovah) in the name of the Son (EPH 5:20, CL 3:17), not because the word “Jesus” is magical, but to acknowledge that the reason we have the privilege of addressing God as Father is because of our saving relationship with Christ the Son.

 

TOJ #197:  The Holy Spirit will indwell and guide truth-seekers until Christ returns. [JN 14:16-18,23&26, 15:26, 16:13-15]  The Holy Spirit has always been God’s connection with Believers (NM 11:25, DT 35:31-35, PS 51:11) and always will be in heaven (Lesson 5).  However, Jesus and the NT taught this truth more fully.

 

TOJ #198:  Joy/peace is the God-given motivation for saving faith. [JN 14:27, 15:11, 16:20-24, 33 17:13]  Joy and peace speak of ultimate satisfaction rather than momentary emotion—the deep sense of fulfillment that will accompany the realization that life on earth was meaningful rather than a farce.  Desiring happiness God’s way is self-love but not selfishness.

 

TOJ #199:  Love is sacrificial. [JN 15:13]  It is unconditional concern for the eternal welfare of others to the point of willingness to risk death on behalf of others if necessary (RM 5:8).

 

TOJ #200:  Jesus views His disciples as friends. [JN 15:14]  Another word for friendship is fellowship (1JN 1:3). Conversely, fellowship with ungodly souls is hatred toward God (JM 4:4, 2CR 6:14).  (See Lesson 5)

 

TOJ #201:  God’s revelation is progressive. [JN 15:22-25]  Theism per the OT satisfies GRS only until a person learns the NT, at which time he/she becomes responsible for accepting its teaching about Jesus.  There is no good/godly reason not to become a Christian.  See TOJ #61.

Later is not always better.  Many teachings of some popes, Mohammed and Joseph Smith are retrograde or steps backward toward OT legalism that contradict NT grace.

 

TOJ #202:  Some so-called theists will think God wants Christians to be excommunicated or even killed. [JN 16:2-3]  “Theists” who have fulfilled Jesus’ prophecy include some “Jews” (the Sanhedrin, MT 27:1), “Christians” (e.g. medieval Roman Catholic popes) and fanatical “Muslims” (terrorists).  See TOJ #70 & #184.

 

TOJ #203:  GW is truth. [JN 17:17]  Here are other synonyms:  GW = Spirit = truth = light  =  life   =   wisdom   =   power  =  love  =  law(JN 6:63)  (1JN 5:6) (JN 1:4) (JN 1:4) (PR 8:1&35)  (JR 10:12)   (EPH 3:16f.)  (GL 5:14)

See TOJ #175 & #182.

 

TOJ #204:  God wants all Believers to become perfectly unified or loving. [JN 17:11&23b]  Paul exhorted Believers (in EPH 4:3) "to keep the unity of the Spirit."  Those who have received God's Holy Spirit manifest an ecumenical mind (Lesson 6).

 

TOJ #205:  Witness for Jesus to the world. [ACTS 1:8]  Jesus told the apostles (minus Judas and before Paul) to wait for the gift of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost (ACTS 1:4-5) before beginning to evangelize the world.  Unfortunately, only the ministry of Paul in the area westward to Asia Minor, Greece and Rome had a significant lasting effect.  The TOJ faded from memory in Palestine and were perverted into ascetic monasticism in Egypt.  Thus, there was a spiritual void that was filled by Mohammed’s Koran and campaign of conquest a few centuries later.  See TOJ #164.

 

This concludes my enumeration and commentary of the TOJ.  May the reader find it helpful for understanding reality and for coping with life on earth.  Amen.