Tuesday, April 16, 2013


Reader Please Note:

~Italics, bold, and brackets have been added by author for emphasis.
~Verses from the Gospel of John will be centered.  Other verses of reference will be in italics, but remain in body of this study.
Remember chapters will follow chronological order so click on “older posts” to continue reading.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The Simple Gospel of John

Kay Frances Graves

     This post is not being written to interpret the Gospel of John, but to demonstrate how simple it is to understand the Gospel of John. It is the reader’s responsibility alone to seek the correct interpretation from the Holy Spirit which resides in God’s Holy Word and hopefully in the heart of the reader as well.
     While the Word of God has many levels of understanding and can be applied to countless experiences in life, this attempt is being made as a means of encouraging those who desire to hear the Voice of God, because they may not yet feel “qualified” to interpret and apply what they are reading.
     What offense caused William Tyndale to be burned at the stake in the year 1536?

     Wasn't it for that "awful crime" of translating the Word of God into the common language of the people?

     Actually, his most deliberate, self-sacrificing intention was to get the Word of God into the hands of every person, even the farmer plowing the field, so anyone and everyone could read the Bible for themselves and thereby many could come to a saving knowledge of Christ, turn from their sin, and receive eternal life.

     The enemies of Christ have been engaged in an attack against the Word of God since the very beginning.
     When they could not stop the printing of the Bible, they simply changed tactics and became busy waging psychological campaigns designed to steal the confidence of those who desired to hear the Voice of God through the pages of His Book.
     One way this is accomplished is through propagating the devil’s lie that “understanding the Word of God is impossible without some ‘learned’ hierarchical figure interpreting it for us.”
     Thankfully we have a place we can go for correct interpretation. That is the Word of God itself where the Spirit of God resides. Once we are born-again of His Spirit (click on picture--top--left side of this page--"God's Gift of Salvation"), His Spirit becomes our Teacher and Guide and has promised that He will lead us into all Truth.
     Let us therefore embrace His Holy Word, freely feasting from it with all joy and thanksgiving.
     The Simple Gospel of John is now being served! “O taste and see that the Lord is good.” (Ps. 34:8)

God’s purpose in giving us His Word:
* It is the means by which everything has been brought into existence.
* It teaches us the value and power of His Living and Written Word.
It defines who the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit really are.
It provides for and defines His eternal priorities for us.
It provides for and defines His earthly priorities for us.
It equips us to enter into the universal battle between good and evil.
It saves us from ourselves and enables us to endure to the end.

Who is John, the man who wrote down the Gospel of John, as God gave it to him?

He is “the disciple whom Jesus loved."    

* He is the Apostle, one of “the sons of  thunder,” known for their zeal.

He is the one who leaned against the  bosom of Jesus at supper.

At the cross, he is the one to whom Jesus entrusted His aged mother.

He was the first male to believe that Jesus rose from the dead.

He was the first to recognize Jesus on  the shore of Lake Galilee.

He is also the man who wrote the Book  of Revelation as God gave it to him.
Genesis 1
The God Said Verses

These “God said” verses found in Genesis, Chapter 1 give us greater insight into what God has for us in John, Chapter 1:
1In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.

2And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.

3 And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.

11 And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so.

14 And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years:

20 And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven.

24 And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind, and it was so.

The first place we are introduced to the significance and power of the Word of God is in the very beginning when God was speaking all things into existence.

(See Next Post to Begin Reading John, Chapter 1)

Monday, April 15, 2013

Chapter 1:1-28 - Who is Jesus?



(1) In the beginning
was the Word,
and the Word was with God,
and the Word was God.
(2) The same [Word],
was in the begining with God.
(3) All things were made by him
[the Word],
and without him
was not anything made that was made
(4) In him [the Word] was life;
and the life [the Word]
was the light of men.

(Word = Life) (Life = Word)
(Life = Light) (Light = Life)

Therefore, "Word," "Life," and "Light" are all equal, according to Euclid's Law (of physics--i.e. God's established law of the universe): "things that are equal to same thing, are also equal to each other."

(5) And the light [Word]
shineth in darkness;
and the darkness
comprehended it not.

"comprehend" = [Greek #2638 in Strong's Concordance]

  1. to lay hold of
  2. in a good sense, of Christ by his holy power and influence laying hold
  3. of the human mind and will, in order to prompt and govern it
  4. to understand, perceive, learn, comprehend
(6) There was a man sent from God,
whose name was John [the Baptist]
(7) The same came for a witness,
to bear witness of the Light,
that all men
through him [the Light/Word/Jesus]
might believe.
(8) He [John the Baptist] was not that Light,
but was sent
to bear witness of
that Light.
(9) That was the true Light
[Word of God/Jesus],
which lighteth
[gives physical and spiritual life to]
every man
that cometh into the world.
(10) He was in the world,
and the world was made by him
[Jesus/Word of God]
and the world knew him not.

See v.5--"the darkness comprehended not," now in v. 10 we see that "the world knew him not."

Many people today are searching for "the light," but they do not realize the simple truth that the Light of the One True God is the Word of God--the Living Word, Jesus Christ and the written Word, the Holy Bible.

In the Book of Psalms 119:105, we are told: "Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path."

From this we can conclude that except for those who believed who Jesus Christ really was and received Him, the rest of mankind continued to live in spiritual darkness and did not realize who He was or the significance of His existence.

When Jesus arrives on the planet, immediately the dichotomy between good and evil, spiritual darkness and spiritual light is manifested.

(11) He came unto his own,
and his own received him not.
(12) But as many as received him,
to them gave he power
[spiritual ability]
to become the sons of God,
even to them that believe on his name:

The ones who received Jesus and accepted who He really was were those He had given the spiritual ability/power to become the sons of God.

His "name" is the key. What is the function (totality) of a person's name?

Doesn't His Name reveal who He really is?

In other words, those who were given the power to see and accept who Jesus really was were given the ability to enter into the family of God.

Jesus = [Greek #2424] and [Hebrew #3091]
Have same meaning: Jesus - "Jehovah is salvation"

(13) Which were born,
not of blood,
nor of the will of the flesh,
nor of the will of man,
[Not a physical birth]
but of God.

Here God begins to emphasize the difference between physical life and spiritual life and how man is to enter into a spiritual relationship with God through His Son, Jesus Christ, who is defined here also as the Light, the Life, and the Word.

Only His people will be able to understand and receive the True Light (Jesus Christ), the Life, and Word. . .while others will not be able to understand it and will therefore remain in spiritual darkness.

(14) And the Word was made flesh
[became the man, Jesus]
and dwelt among us,
(and we beheld his glory, the glory
as of the only begotten of the Father,)
full of grace [merciful loving kindness]
and truth [only what is true/absolute fact/reality],

"glory" = [Greek #1391]
  1. opinion, judgment, view
  2. opinion, estimate, whether good or bad concerning someone
  3. in NT always a good opinion concerning one, resulting in praise, honor and glory
  4. splendor, brightness, magnificence, excellence, preeminence, dignity, grace
  5. a thing belonging to God--kingly majesty which belongs to him as supreme ruler
  6. majesty in the sense of the absolute perfection of the deity
  7. a thing belonging to Christ--the kingly majesty of the Messiah
  8. the absolutely perfect inward or personal excellency of
  9. a most glorious condition, most exalted state
(15) John bare witness 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
[Gen.1:1--He was at creation doing the creating],
(16) And of his fulness
have all we received,
and grace for grace.
(17) For the law
was given by Moses,
but grace and truth
[merciful loving kindness
and absulute fact/reality--v.14]
came by Jesus Christ.
(18) No man hath seen God
at any time,
the only begotten Son,
which is in the bosom of the Father,
he hath declared him.
Just a thought:

What could John have been symbolizing and what example could he have been giving when he put his head on the bosom of Christ during the last supper?

Perhaps John was not only showing his affection for his Lord and Savior, but could it be possible that John was also declaring who Jesus really was, just as Jesus declared who God was when He resided in the "bosom of the Father," as we are told here in verse 18?

(19) And this is the record of John,
when the Jews
sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem
to ask him,
Who art thou?
(20) And he confessed,
and denied not;
but confessed,
I am not the Christ.
(21) And they asked him,
What then?
Art thou Elias?
And he saith, I am not.
Art thou that prophet?
And he answered, No.

The priests and Levites reveal their contentious attitude by asking John the Baptist the same question after he had already told them that he was not Elias.
(22) Then said they unto him,
Who art thou?
that we may give an answer
to them that sent us.
What sayest thou of thyself?

This was a threat as well as a question. They were letting John the Baptist know that superior worldly/religious authorities were investigating John. They were not there to merely satisfy their own curiosity.

(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
[referring to the prophecy in the Word of God].
(24) And they which were sent
were of the Pharisees.
(25) And they asked him, and said unto him,
Why baptizest thou then,
if thou be not that Christ,
nor Elias, neither that prophet?
(26) John answered them, saying,
I baptize with water;
[John baptizes with water but...]
but there standeth one among you,
whom ye know not;
(27) He it is,
who coming after me
is preferred before me,
whose shoe's latchet
I am not worthy to unloose.
(28) These things were done
in Bethabara beyond Jordan,
where John was baptizing.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Chapter 1:29-51 - Why Did Jesus Come?

(29) The next day
John seeth Jesus coming unto him,
and saith, Behold the Lamb of God,
which taketh away
the sin of the world.
(30) This is he of whom I said,
After me cometh a man
which is preferred before me:
for he was before me.

       Even though John the Baptist was born before Jesus was born, John knew that Jesus had existed from the beginning.

(31) And I knew him not:
but that he should be made manifest to Israel,
therefore am I come
baptizing with water.
(32) And John bare record, saying,
I saw the Spirit descending from heaven
like a dove,
and it abode upon him.

       Did they all see a literal dove with feathers literally descend from heaven?

       John said that the Spirit was "like a dove" or functioned like a dove.

(33) And I knew him not:
but that he that sent me
to baptize with water,
the same said unto me,
Upon whom thou shalt see the spirit descending,
and remaining on him,
the same is he which
baptizeth with the Holy Ghost.

       (13) Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth:  for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.
      (14) He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you.  
      (John 16:13-14)

       Another reason Jesus came was to give us the Holy Ghost/Holy Spirit to:
  • teach us (help us see life's experiences through the perspective of the Word of God)
  • comfort/vindicate us
  • convict us of sin
  • empower us to overcome
  • lead us into all truth (balance/correctly interpret the Word of God)                                                                                            
(34) And I saw and bare record that this is the Son of God.

     John now identifies Jesus as the "Lamb of God."

      "The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world."  (John 1:29) 

       What is the two-fold function of Jesus as the Lamb of God?

            1) As the Lamb of God, Jesus would serve as the sacrifice to take away the sins of the world.

            2) As the Lamb of God, He would be the only one worthy to open the Book.

       (1) And I saw in the right hand of him that sat on the throne a book written within and on the backside, sealed with seven seals.
       (2) And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, Who is worthy to open the book, and to loose the seals thereof?
       (3) And no man in heaven, nor in earth, neither under the earth, was able to open the book, neither to look thereon.
       (4) And I wept much, because no man was found worthy to open and to read the book, neither to look thereon.
       (5) And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof.
      (6) And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth.  (Rev. 5:1-6)

       Rev. 4:5 = Seven lamps are seven spirits (which contain fire burning before the throne of God).

       Ps. 119:105 = "Thy Word is a Lamp unto my feet."

       A lamp contains the fire of the Spirit of God.  It is His Spirit which resides in His Word, because His Word is the Lamp that contains His Spirit.

       John 6:63 = "It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life."

       Again, the Word of God is the Spirit of God.  The Spirit of God resides in His Word.  It is this Spirit of God that brings life to us--physical life and eternal life.

       It is the Lamb of God who is the Living Word of God, worthy to open the Book because He is the Word and therefore the only one who can rightly interpret the Word.

       Thus we have the Living Word which is Jesus in the flesh and the Written Word of the Bible.  Both are vessels that contain the Spirit of God.
Revelation 5:7-12 says:

       (7) And he [Jesus] came and took the book out of the right hand of him [God the Father] that sat upon the throne.
       (8) And when he had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb [Jesus], having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints.
       (9) And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation;
       (10) And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on earth.
       (11) And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne and the beasts and the elders: and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands;
       (12) Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive [1] power, and [2] riches, and [3] wisdom, and [4] strength, and [5] honour, and [6] glory, and [7] blessing. 
       (Rev. 5:7-12)

       The Lamb is worthy to receive the above (7) attributes of God because He was slain as the only appropriate sacrifice for our sin.  Could these attributes or characteristics of God be the characteristics of His Spirit--or actually be the (7) Spirits spoken of in Rev. 4:6 that He imparts (through His Word) to those who belong to Him, since the seven lamps are the seven spirits?

Let's look at Revelation 4:6 again:

       (6) And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth.

       Horns always symbolize "authority" and eyes symbolize "spiritual vision/discernment."  These are also said to have the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth.

       In other words, the Word of God carries the authority and spiritual discernment to the inhabitants of earth to correctly interpret His Word. . .or the Word of God interprets the Word of God.

       No human can correctly interpret the Word of God for us.  Only the Lamb, Himself is qualified to do that through the power of His Spirit which indwells His people.

       Only Jesus, the Lamb of God is worthy to open, read, or even look upon the precious Book of Seven Seals because it was given by God the Father, Himself.

       What about the other 66 books of the Bible?

       Who is worthy to open, read, or even look upon those precious Books that also proceeded out of the mouth of God?

(37) And the two disciples
heard him speak,
and they followed Jesus.
(38) 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?
(39) 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.
(40) One of the two
which heard John speak, and followed him,
was Andrew,
Simon Peter's brother.
(41) He first findeth his own brother Simon,
and saith unto him,
We have found the Messias,
which is, being interpreted,
the Christ.
(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.

       Does John, the writer of this passage, say that Peter is a "stone" or a "rock?"

       He says "by interpretation, a stone."  Why insert "by interpretation?"

       Could the Spirit of God have impressed upon John the importance of using the word, "interpretation" to alert the readers of this passage that a correct interpretation would be required to keep Peter's name/function in its equal and rightful position among the disciples of Christ and under the exclusive authority of Christ?

       The original translators agreed that Jesus was referring to a "stone" because the word from the Greek used here is #4074, which also may refer to a rock but only in the reference to its unique physical characteristic of being "a very hard substance," not in regard to its size.  By referring to Peter, via the use of this word, Jesus was confronting him about his character weaknesses, not Peter's authority.

       Peter was a stubborn, unyielding, hard-headed fisherman.  He was hard, like the substance of a stone.

       To examine this verse further, we need to go to Matthew's account.

       (18) And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, [Peter = #G4074 = a stone - soul hard - unyielding] and upon this rock [i.e. "this other substance"] [#G4073 = Now referring to preeminence - large solid rock, Jesus Himself - firm strength of soul] I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.  (Matthew 16:18)

       At the time Jesus said these words, He already knew that in the future this issue of rock vs. stone was going to cause confusion in the Church.  But not even the gates of hell, much less any verbal gymnastics, were going to prevail against the preeminence of Jesus Christ and the Church He, Himself, would build.

       Those who belonged to Christ would have the Holy Spirit to correctly interpret His Word and they would know that He alone was "the Rock of their salvation" --the Preeminent One who exclusively held the power to ransom sinners and build His Church Himself through faith alone in His Word and His sacrifice on the cross.

       If we examine this issue very closely, we will see that there is a slight, yet very significant difference in the two types of rock mention in the above verses.  They come from two slightly different Greek words.  The true Rock [#G4073] of our salvation is Jesus Christ.  Then there is the smaller rock or stone [#G4074] that is Peter.

       As previously stated, Peter was a tough, hard-headed fisherman, yet he would deny Christ three times by yielding to fear.  Jesus knew this so in their initial meeting, He wanted Peter to know that He would not expect him to do something he was not equipped to do.  The Church of Jesus Christ was not going to be built on the efforts of a mere man, but on the superior strength of Christ Himself, the Solid Rock.

       The Church which is made up of the fellowship of true believers cannot have any other foundation but Christ.  Therefore the real Church of Jesus Christ cannot be built with human hands or independent good works.  Christ is the Creator and Leader of His Church, which is His true bride.  She loves Jesus as her Husband and is committed to following Him and His specific will alone.

(43) The day following
Jesus would go forth into Galilee,
and findeth Philip, and saith unto him,
Follow me.
(44) Now Philip was of Bethsaida,
the city of Andrew and Peter.
(45) Philip findeth Nathanael,
and saith unto him,
We have found him,
of whom Moses in the law,
and the prophets,
did write
[in the already existing portion of the Word of God]
(46) And Nathanael said unto him,
Can there any good thing come out of Nazareth?
Philip saith unto him, Come and see.
(47) Jesus saw Nathanael coming to him,
and saith of him,
Behold an Israelite indeed,
in whom is no guile!
(48) Nathanael saith unto him,
Whence knowest thou me?
Jesus answered and said unto him,
Before that Philip called thee,
I saw thee.
(49) Nathanael answered and saith unto him,
Rabbi, thou art the Son of God;
thou art the King of Israel.
(50) Jesus answered and said unto him,
Because I said unto thee
I saw thee under the fig tree,
believest thou?
thou shalt see greater things than these.
(51) And he saith unto him,
Verily, verily, I say unto you,
Hereafter ye shall see heaven open,
and the angels of God ascending and descending
upon the Son of man.

       So it is with us.

       Even before Jesus calls us, He sees us and is watching over us--carefully drawing us to Himself through the power of His Word and His Spirit.

       This is an amazing thing, but when we believe, we also will begin to see even greater things than this.

(50) . . .believest thou?
thou shalt see greater things than these.
(51) And he saith unto him,
Verily, verily, I say unto you,
Hereafter ye shall see heaven open,
and the angels of God ascending and descending
upon the Son of man.