John Chapter 20: He is Risen, The Garden Tomb, Appearing to Disciples

Dec 13th, 2009 | By | Category: John, Verse by Verse --Studies led by Br. Frank Shallieu (Click on Book name)

John Chapter 20: He is Risen, The Garden Tomb, Appearing to Disciples

John 20:1 The first day of the week cometh Mary Magdalene early, when it was yet dark,  unto the sepulchre, and seeth the stone taken away from the sepulchre.

The “first day of the week” would be Sunday. Mary (and other women) came before sunrise. Probably they were up all night grieving and then came as soon as possible after the sabbath and yet toward morning when it was starting to get light.

John 20:2 Then she runneth, and cometh to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple, whom Jesus loved, and saith unto them, They have taken away the Lord out of the sepulchre, and we know not where they have laid him.

Mary ran! Peter and John were probably together at this time. Since it was John who earlier let Peter into the place of trial, John evidently had more access to living quarters in Jerusalem. And after Pentecost, Peter and John were the ones who spoke and preached. They were close from this time on, that is, from their experiences at the trial.

John 20:3 Peter therefore went forth, and that other disciple, and came to the sepulchre.

John 20:4 So they ran both together: and the other disciple did outrun Peter, and came first to the sepulchre.

John outran Peter because he was younger. However, his tender conscience kept him from rushing into the sepulcher. Out of propriety and deference to Peter, John waited, for he realized Peter was at a higher level than himself. Even though Jesus had repeatedly taken Peter, James, and John aside during his ministry, John no doubt noticed the special deference given to Peter as a natural leader. Although both apostles preached on the Day of Pentecost, Peter did most of the talking.

John 20:5 And he stooping down, and looking in, saw the linen clothes lying; yet went he not in.

Outrunning Peter and arriving at the tomb first, John looked in and saw the linen cloths lying there. Perhaps this initial view was not as clear as when he subsequently entered. He may have even thought at first that the body was still there because of how the cloths lay.

John 20:6 Then cometh Simon Peter following him, and went into the sepulchre, and seeth the linen clothes lie,

When Peter arrived, he did not stop—he rushed right in!—just as he had impulsively jumped out of the boat on another occasion.

John 20:7 And the napkin, that was about his head, not lying with the linen clothes, but wrapped together in a place by itself.

John 20:8 Then went in also that other disciple, which came first to the sepulchre, and he saw, and believed.

John followed Peter into the tomb. Both saw the linen cloths, but only John got the point—it dawned on him what had happened. Perhaps Peter was too overcome with anxiety to reason on the way the linen grave cloths and the separate napkin were still intact but empty. Peter may have been in a trauma, and being older, he was probably tired from running as well. These factors would have affected his power of observation and reason.

The form of the linen wrappings was intact but hollow inside. The wrappings had been like a cocoon around the torso, legs, and arms. They still retained their shape, but John could see that  the body was missing. In other words, the body had been miraculously and instantly dissolved into gases and extracted, leaving cocoon-like wrappings in their original position.

When people are in an emotional trauma, they cannot observe certain things. For example, it is impossible to reason with an intoxicated person with any degree of complexity, but that is true with other emotions as well—for instance, anger. The senses become dull. Excessive sorrow also numbs the senses and can keep one from observing what would normally be seen. When Stephen died, his countenance glowed, but those who stoned him would not have noticed. Being “blind” with hatred, they could not see Stephen’s face shining like an angel.

John 20:9 For as yet they knew not the scripture, that he must rise again from the dead.

Notice how this verse is worded: Peter and John did not know “the Scripture” that Jesus would rise from the dead. Yes, Jesus had told them he must die, but they did not know the Scripture.

If they had, it would have helped them to believe.

John 20:10 Then the disciples went away again unto their own home.

“Their own home” would be where they were residing in Jerusalem. John and Peter may have gone back to the same house, however.

John 20:11 But Mary stood without at the sepulchre weeping: and as she wept, she stooped down, and looked into the sepulchre,

Schematic of Garden Tomb

Garden-tomb-plan

Inside the Garden Tomb

Inside the Garden Tomb

John had stooped down and looked into the sepulcher earlier when he outran Peter to the tomb (verse 5). Now Mary did likewise while she was weeping. Incidentally, the original opening to the Garden Tomb was smaller and near the bottom.

Jesus’ body never got into the tomb bed but was left on the shelf in the antechamber. The women intended to prepare the body further after the sabbath and then have it placed in the tomb bed. Visitors to the Garden Tomb see two small windows through which the sun shines onto Jesus’ (intended) tomb bed. These windows were carved out following Jesus’ resurrection. When Peter and John entered the tomb that Sunday morning, they saw the empty linen grave cloths lying there (verses 6 and 7). The head napkin was “by itself” (that is, separate), so it was obvious the body was gone. The grave cloths were folded together, not in the sense of being unwrapped and folded but in the sense of being collapsed.

The cloths were like wide tape strips. When one cloth ended, the next one was started, overlapping a little. The arms, torso, and legs were wrapped individually, not mummy style.

John 20:12 And seeth two angels in white sitting, the one at the head, and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain.

The sequence of events was as follows:

1. Mary went to the sepulcher. Seeing the stone rolled away, she ran to get Peter and John (verses 1 and 2).

2. Peter and John ran to the tomb. John got there first and waited for Peter. Peter arrived and rushed in; John followed. They saw the linen cloths and the head napkin lying there empty.

John believed (verses 3-8). 3. Mary returned to the tomb (behind Peter and John). She lingered when they left and was weeping. When she looked into the tomb, she saw two angels but not the linen grave cloths (verses 11 and 12).

Why is there no mention of the linen cloths in verse 12? Because they, too, were dissolved into gases and thus had disappeared lest man make a relic out of them. Stated another way, their miraculous removal prevented a subsequent worshipping of the grave cloths.

The two angels were sitting, one at the place where Jesus’ head had been and the other where his feet had been. There was a small slab or ridge to sit on at the ends of the tomb bed proper.

(Normally a marble slab was placed over the tomb. Held up by ridges, the marble slab covered the body.) But the antechamber also had shelves, and it was on these shelves that the angels were sitting. (see yellow shelf in picture above: note this shelf is no longer in the tomb, according to the curator the shelf was removed to make more room for tourists)

John 20:13 And they say unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? She saith unto them, Because they have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid him.

Mary Magdalene was distraught. When she saw the two angels in white, did she recognize them as angels? No. Luke 24:4 calls them “men.” Only afterwards, in retrospect, did she realize they were angels. If one is emotionally disturbed with tremendous grief, anger, happiness— any emotion in the extreme—his senses are benumbed, and that is what happened to Mary.

She was consumed with grief and the thought “Where is my Master?” Hence she was oblivious to the details a more rational person would observe. “Where is my Lord?” was the focus of her concentration.

John 20:14 And when she had thus said, she turned herself back, and saw Jesus standing, and knew not that it was Jesus.

What is unusual? Jesus appeared first to Mary Magdalene, a woman. This priority was appropriate because a woman represents the Church. Also, because Mary Magdalene’s grief was so intense, she deserved the honor of seeing the risen Jesus first. Notice that he was standing behind her. She turned partially and saw but did not recognize him.

John 20:15 Jesus saith unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? whom seekest thou? She, supposing him to be the gardener, saith unto him, Sir, if thou have borne him hence, tell me where thou hast laid him, and I will take him away.

Notice the pronouns: “Sir, if thou have borne him hence, tell me where thou hast laid him, and I will take him away.” Mary herself would take the corpse. This shows how deeply she loved Jesus.

Formerly, she had seven spirits in her. When she came to Jesus and was forgiven, her life changed radically. The principle is that he who is forgiven much loveth much (Luke 7:47). (This forgiveness pertains to before consecration.)

At the end of Jesus’ life, Mary Magdalene was mentioned frequently and in every instance where women (plural) were named. She was mentioned more than Mary, the mother of Jesus; more than Mary and Martha; more than Joanna; etc. This shows the tremendous affection she had for Jesus.

John 20:16 Jesus saith unto her, Mary. She turned herself, and saith unto him, Rabboni; which is to say, Master.

When Jesus (the gardener) addressed her in the familiar, recognizable tone “Mary” (just one word), she instantly knew him and immediately turned around completely. Jesus was risen! In a nanosecond (one billionth of a second), she remembered his words about rising again and recognized him!

“Rabboni” means “my Master,” “my Teacher.” When Jesus said “Mary” in the familiar way, she responded in her customary way.

John 20:17 Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God.

“Touch me not” signifies “embrace me not.” Jesus must have said this very quickly, for as Mary turned, she would have wanted to fling herself at his feet. “I am not yet ascended” means “I will ascend, but first, I will remain here for a little while yet.”

Jesus was clearly implying that the disciples’ dealings with the raised Lord were to be different than when he was in the flesh. Their deportment should be different. There was a marked change, and he wanted to impress that fact on them. Although he appeared as flesh, he was really spirit—that is what they had to grasp. Jesus was now a spirit being who used flesh or an accommodated body to prove he was risen.

“Go to my brethren.” What is unusual about this instruction? The term “my brethren”—here Jesus used this expression for the first time. Formerly he had called them servants, friends, etc., but not brethren. The resurrected Lord addressed Mary in this fashion. (Although Hebrews 2:11 says of Jesus, “He is not ashamed to call them brethren,” these words were written much later by the Apostle Paul.) Being called Jesus’ “brethren” right after his resurrection was encouraging to the disciples. While he now had a reserve as the risen Lord—Mary could not embrace him—yet the tone of his voice in saying “Mary” was very affectionate and penetrating, and he used the familial term “brethren.”

What a blessing for Mary to be given something to do by and for the Master! She had come to the tomb wanting to prepare his body, and now he asked her to take a message to the others. “I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God.” John’s Gospel repeatedly shows Jesus’ acknowledgment of the superiority of the Father. His words are strong proof against the Trinity. Jesus had to go to his Father and his God—that is, to the One who was his superior.

What is unusual about Jesus is that while he was emotional, tender, compassionate, and considerate, he retained his bearings. He knew just what to say and how to say it. In the first part of the verse, he used the words “my Father.” Then he repeated the words but added others: “my Father, and your Father; … my God, and your God.” Jesus brought in his relationship to the disciples, his “brethren,” but that could not change his affection for the Father. The Father was, is, and always will be first. Nevertheless, the relationship that exists between Jesus and the Father also exists between Jesus and the Church. Chapter 17 of John’s Gospel emphasizes this oneness.

John 20:18 Mary Magdalene came and told the disciples that she had seen the Lord, and that he had spoken these things unto her.

No doubt the disciples thought she was so distraught that she had hallucinated. Yes, John had seen and believed, but his conviction did not persuade the others.

John 20:19 Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you.

“The same day,” “the first day of the week,” was Sunday—the day Jesus first appeared to Mary Magdalene. However, other events happened between his first appearance to her and what is described in verse 19 (for example, his appearance to the two on the way to Emmaus). The same day, Sunday, was the resurrection day.

The disciples were assembled behind shut and bolted (locked) doors because they feared the Jews. The disciples’ fear was a proof that they did not really believe Mary’s report of Jesus’ resurrection. Jesus had appeared to the other women too, saying, “All hail,” etc., but that report also was not believed (Matt. 28:5-10).

The fact that Jesus appeared suddenly in their midst, through bolted doors, proved he was no longer a human being. Physical walls do not encumber a spirit being at all, for their molecules can be adjusted to go through the porosity of walls. They can also adjust their size, even being reduced to just a pinpoint. As an illustration, a legion of demons was in Legion—showing they can compact themselves. That which is ethereal and spiritual is more real than the physical. An invisible God made the visible earth.

“Peace be unto you.” Jesus tried to calm them and play down the emotion. He wanted to show them he was not a ghost or apparition. He purposely appeared in diverse forms after his resurrection in order to appeal to their natural minds in a calm, serene circumstance. That way the disciples got the feeling that he was actually raised. If he had appeared only in dramatic ways, they might have had second thoughts later on.

John 20:20 And when he had so said, he showed unto them his hands and his side. Then were the disciples glad, when they saw the Lord.

When the disciples first saw him, they thought, “It looks like Jesus.” He was probably wearing a white robe. All they saw initially was his face—they did not notice his hands. Then he said, “Look at my hands,” and he drew aside the robe to show his wounded side. This further impressed upon the disciples that he was the same Jesus but not a human being because he came through a locked door. He was the same and yet not the same. Because Pentecost had not yet come and they could not discern spiritual things, he was trying to appeal to their natural minds.

John 20:21 Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you.

As the Father sent Jesus at the First Advent—from Jordan to Calvary in particular—to get disciples, preach the Kingdom, etc., so Jesus now sends us on a mission to preach to others.

And there was a more immediate sense too. As the Father sent Jesus to the disciples at that  moment to convince them of his resurrection, so Jesus would send the disciples to convince others. The Father sent Jesus for 3 1/2 years, and Jesus likewise sends us for our lifetime—until death. This thought can be extended to the whole Church.

John 20:22 And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost:

Jesus “breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Spirit.” He did this in pantomime form to impress upon the disciples that the power was not from themselves but was an external power coming from the Father and through him. Of course the disciples did not actually receive the Holy Spirit until later, when they were gathered in this room on the Day of Pentecost. Then the Holy Spirit came down to them in a visible form as tongues of flame that sat on each of their heads, and they were given miraculous ability, such as understanding languages they did not know. By doing this now in pantomime form, Jesus was telling them what would occur as a result of his resurrection and through him. He is our Advocate. Only through Jesus do we have this relationship. The Holy Spirit is from God and through Jesus, the Head.

John 20:23 Whosesoever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whosesoever sins ye retain, they are retained.

Jesus continued to speak, but his words in this verse apply only to the apostles. The point is that we cannot teach love, mercy, forgiveness, etc., except by spiritual guidelines, and these spiritual guidelines come through the writings of the apostles. While Jesus talked on these subjects, he did not talk at length except in parable form. But the apostles, especially Paul, laid down many guidelines to fit various circumstances. We are told when not to fellowship, on what grounds, what the degrees of fellowship are depending upon the nature of the sin, and so forth.

However, we can say to one who has not consecrated, one whom we are trying to interest in the truth, “No matter what your past sins, you will be forgiven if you openly confess both the sins and your need for Jesus’ redeeming grace. If you comply with those terms, you will be freely forgiven.” But even in this case, we can utter these words only because the Holy Scriptures tell us so, especially the apostles.

Caution: Do not be free with forgiveness that is not Scriptural. It is easy (but wrong) to be free with other people’s money, goods, and feelings. We can be very magnanimous, but we are amiss if we do not obey Scripture. Papacy erroneously uses verse 23 as a basis for obtaining forgiveness. The system instructs, “Go to the priest and confess your sins. He will then tell you how many Hail Marys to say and/or how many candles to burn.”

In regard to the trespass offering, Pastor Russell said, “For every wrong, restitution must be made with interest and accompanied by repentance and asking forgiveness from the Lord.” If we speak according to Scripture, we can speak authoritatively.

“Whosesoever sins ye retain, they are retained [not forgiven].” Peter used this power with Ananias and Sapphira (Acts 5:1-10).

When the 70 were sent out earlier, Jesus gave them the Holy Spirit with regard to physical healings, not with regard to the forgiveness of sin (Luke 10:1-16). That event, too, was prior to Pentecost. What is the difference? It is one thing to be begotten by the Holy Spirit and another thing to be mechanically moved by the Holy Spirit as the 70 were.

John 20:24 But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came.

John 20:25 The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe.

This experience is the basis for the term “doubting Thomas.” Jesus had previously appeared in the midst of the ten apostles (minus Thomas) through a locked door (verses 19-23). Thomas did not simply say that he had to see Jesus as he had appeared to the ten, but that he wanted to see and touch the wounds. In other words, in order to be convinced, he wanted more than an identical experience.

Thomas’s statement “Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe” is missing in some of the ancient manuscripts, but we can accept it because of what is stated subsequently in verse 27, where Jesus voiced Thomas’s attitude, thoughts, and words. Obviously, Jesus would not have enjoined Thomas to reach forth his finger and hand to touch the nail-print wound and side, respectively, if Thomas had not doubted.

Thomas wanted more effectual evidence—and so do some Christians. This attitude is not to their discredit in some respects. It is just a slower process to fully confirm and assure them of certain things in Scripture. Such Christians have a harder time accepting particular statements in Scripture just as they are written.

“Didymus” may refer to a town called Didymus, although the town could have been named for him at a later date. “Didymus” means “twin.” We do not know who the other “twin” was. He was not an apostle, but perhaps he was a disciple.

John 20:26 And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you.

This appearance to the eleven (including Thomas) was on a Sunday eight days later. In other words, the phrase “after eight days” refers to the following Sunday, a week later. The expression “eight days,” like “three days,” is a Hebraism that can throw us off, for they were not full days. (Jesus was in the tomb for just parts of three days.) The intervening week would have seemed interminable to the apostles. Jesus’ appearances on Sundays were one reason why the early Church decided to break bread on Sunday. Another reason is that Jesus was resurrected on a Sunday. Thus the early Church—that is, during the first three centuries—put a greater emphasis on Sunday as they separated from the Jewish influence of the sabbath.

Jesus appeared to two on the way to Emmaus. The two returned to Jerusalem speedily to report the appearance only to learn that he had also appeared to the ten in the interim, on the same day.

Q: Jesus said three times “Peace be unto you” (verses 19, 21, and 26). Does this repeated statement relate to his title “Prince of Peace”?

A: Since this statement was made after his resurrection, it would seem to be related to the title.

John 20:27 Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing.

John 20:28 And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God.

Thomas would not have thought the ten, Mary Magdalene, and others were lying about the earlier appearance of Jesus, for it was too serious a subject (verses 19-23). He knew they had seen something but thought that it was a deception, that someone was assuming Jesus’ posture. Hence he wanted more evidence.

Thomas never did thrust his hand into Jesus’ side—just seeing Jesus with the wounds was enough. In fact, one reason Thomas did not have to thrust his hand into Jesus’ side in order to believe is the miraculous nature of Jesus’ sudden appearance through locked doors. In this and the earlier instance, Jesus said, “Peace be unto you,” because such a sudden appearance would tend to frighten the apostles and cause them to think they had seen an apparition. Moreover, Jesus’ manner of address showed Thomas he knew what the apostle had previously said about seeing him, that is, when Jesus was not visibly present with them. Jesus’ words impressed Thomas and helped to convince him.

Thomas’s exultation “My Lord and my God” is recorded by John in the same chapter where Jesus said earlier (verse 17), “I ascend unto my Father … and to my God.” Trinitarians use verse 28 to prove the Trinity, but the same chapter refutes it. In the context here, John shows a chain of command. Just as Thomas has a “God” or superior in Jesus, so Jesus has a “God” or superior in the Father. A similar principle was used by David when he wrote, “The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool” (Psa. 110:1).

Moreover, the fact Thomas made the statement does not prove that Jesus is God, for Thomas had not yet been begotten by the Holy Spirit—Pentecost was future to this event. Thomas uttered the statement on an emotional basis when Jesus made his surprise appearance. Prior to Spirit begettal, the apostles made some incorrect statements; for example, Peter denied Jesus three times, and surely Peter’s statements were not true. Thus a statement uttered before Pentecost is not to be considered true just because it came from an apostle, for the apostles made several unbecoming or unfavorable statements before they were Spirit-begotten.

According to Young’s Analytical Concordance, the word “God” in verse 28 (Greek theos) means “a god, object of worship.” This same Greek word is used in 2 Corinthians 4:4 to refer to Satan: “In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.” And theos is used in Philippians 3:19, “Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.”

Knowing the capability of spirit beings to materialize, we might find Jesus’ resurrection hard to accept, but the number and the variety of appearances, plus the techniques used and his conversations, give us the assurance. We need these multiple references. The tenor, thinking, and method of appearance are characteristic of Jesus. Also, an unholy angel would not be happy to appear as Jesus or to be with him. Earlier two unclean spirits said to Jesus, “Art thou come hither to torment [judge] us before the time?” (Matt. 8;29). And James said, “The devils also believe, and tremble” (James 2:19). Hence the attitude of the fallen angels proves Jesus’ appearances were not deceptions. Fallen angels are called “familiar spirits” because they impersonate the dead. To avoid being deceived in the future, we need to be armed by the Holy Scriptures and dispensational truth (such as the Second Volume chapter “The Manner of Our Lord’s Return and Appearing”).

John 20:29 Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.

This statement was a rebuke to Thomas. John gave balanced clues to Thomas’s character, for he also recorded Thomas’s favorable, positive statement, “Let us also go [to Jerusalem], that we may die with him [Jesus]” (John 11:16).

After this incident, a stigma may have attached to Thomas in some respects. Those who want to find fault with Thomas use this incident, but it is not a fair assessment of his character. He is an apostle, and at Pentecost, the Holy Spirit sat on him, showing he had divine approval. John treated certain personalities more closely than the other Gospel writers. An example is Mary Magdalene, for we get a deeper insight into her at the Cross and the tomb. John also gave us an insight into Nicodemus both earlier and at Jesus’ death, the latter showing the courage aspect of his character. John felt that certain things should be brought out, and he wanted to set the record straight. We learn about the woman of Samaria at the well from John’s Gospel. He zeroed in on particular personalities and omitted perhaps three quarters of the events recorded in the other Gospels, including the Memorial emblems. Instead John dwelled on discussions; he recorded Jesus’ discussions with Nicodemus, the woman at the well, and the disciples the night of the Memorial en route to Gethsemane. John’s different temperament beautifully complements the testimony of the preceding three apostles. Thus all four Gospels are needed. In reality, “the gospel” is the four Gospels.

“Blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.” The “blessed” ones are those in the days following Jesus’ resurrection, as well as those down through the Gospel Age and during the Harvest period.

Luke 24:39 emphasizes the fact that Jesus appeared in flesh and bone, not flesh and blood. “Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have.” With the human nature, the life is in the blood rather than in the outer covering. Hence spirit beings appear with the same skeletal framework and with flesh but not with blood (Lev. 17:11,14).

Q: Wouldn’t the angels who materialized at the time of the Flood and had offspring through human females have had bodily fluids and blood?

A: Yes, they could simulate blood, etc., as well as flesh and bone, but they should not have done so. The sperm that create life are of the blood.

The genetic aspect is very technical. It is the same with the soul. In previous studies, we have shown that the body and the breath are really but the vehicle in which the soul resides. We can understand this today through the illustration of a tape recorder, plus there are Scriptures to indicate the distinction. And certain Scriptures give us clues about the blood. Blood outside the body is a symbol of death. Blood inside the body is a symbol of life.

The unholy angels left their first estate, so more was involved than just their coming down— they established a residence. But perhaps the information in Jude 6 that they “kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation” also indicates the thought of their procreation of children and intermingling with the human family.

Q: Would the implication be that when the holy angels materialized on various errands or even when Jesus materialized after his resurrection, not having divine nature yet, they were to just simulate human nature? Part of the sin committed by the disobedient angels prior to the Flood was that they not only materialized as human beings but took on the entire aspect of that nature.

A: Yes.

Comment: When angels materialized, they were never to have blood, and that was part of the sin committed by those who left their first estate. To have just flesh and bones was the normal way to materialize in any age.

Reply: Yes. Originally the angels appeared without the blood and simply simulated human beings. Then, considering the fallen angels had children, we see that in leaving their first estate, they simulated human blood, which was strictly forbidden. Perhaps that sin was even the kernel of the matter in leaving their first estate and living down here.

Q: Didn’t a newspaper article report that in the Midwest, cattle were found missing some of their organs and blood?

A: Yes, the blood had been drained. These mutilations were never explained. The cattle were dropped from high altitude down into the mud. Many things are going on that we are not fully cognizant of. The study of genetics being pursued by scientists today is, unbeknownst to them, following the lines of the Adversary. Dedicated and noble-minded scientists do not consciously worship or cooperate with Satan, but he is interested in science. In the pre-Flood days, Satan tried to produce a new human race that would not die. Earth was his domain, and he saw that the human race of Adam was dying. He reasoned that if an angel, who never dies (as far as he knew, for none had yet died), had offspring through a human female, the progeny would not die. Although Satan may have been right in his reasoning, that method was stopped by the Flood and the incarceration of the fallen angels themselves.

Here, now, was another way of creating life apart from Adam. Very remarkable things are being discovered today about the genes, but behind this quest is the desire to make man like a god, able to manipulate his own destiny. Satan is very interested in genetic engineering. Perhaps the blood was taken from the cattle by the fallen angels to pursue studies—by spirit scientists, as it were, who are intensely interested in this subject. Satan is still trying to circumvent a dying race.

Comment: Adam (on behalf of the human race) was given a simple test of obedience: Do not eat of the grove of life, the forbidden fruit. The angels were given a simple test of obedience: Do not simulate blood/body fluids in materializing. In both cases, Satan thought God was depriving the beings of something.

John 20:30 And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book:

John 20:31 But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.

Some have suggested that these verses finish John’s Gospel from one standpoint and that the next chapter is an addendum by the apostle, written postscript. This premise seems reasonable.

An authenticity in the next chapter also stamps it as being truthful and of John. Authors, ancient and modern, sometimes furnish an addendum. For instance, a person may give a comprehensive sermon or treatise and then find he has omitted a thought that needs to be included in order to straighten out a misconception surfacing afterwards; he then attaches an addendum.

Chapter 21, which was written after the Apostle Paul’s death, helps us to understand certain things that Paul said. John lived to be a centenarian, whereas Paul died before AD 70. The entire Gospel of John was written after AD 70.

John 21:25 is missing in the Sinaitic Manuscript. Is it spurious? “And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen.” John 20:30,31 is a similar thought, but verse 25 is such an exaggeration that it smacks of being spurious—like the end of Mark.

The Sinaitic and Vatican manuscripts are the most helpful in trying to see what the original Bible actually said. Although neither manuscript is infallible, both are vastly superior to other manuscripts, which are riddled with interpolations. The other manuscripts are perhaps 90 percent correct versus the Vatican and Sinaitic being 98 percent correct. Constantine had the Sinaitic Codex compiled from another manuscript. In the copying process, a few errors crept in, but that older manuscript has been lost.

As the last of the four Gospel writers, John was very different from the other three. He was very choosy in what he wrote, omitting much material because it had already been covered.

(1986–1987 Study)

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  1. Is it true that when Jesus appared to the disciples , that He was able to eat food in His spiritual body,
    and will we be able to eat food in our spiritual bodies also?

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